Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Too Little, Too Late

Dearest Annie,

On my way home from work tonight, there was an ambulance on Magnolia Blvd. As I pulled over to let him to pass, I noticed that the driver wasn't quite behaving normally. He was driving rather slowly, and eventually paused a long time in the middle of the road. The lights were flashing and the siren was sputtering, as if he couldn't decide whether to turn it on or off. Then he slowly pulled onto a dead end street.

I continued to drive merrily on my way, but as I looked in my rear view mirror, I could see the poor fellow turning around. Again, I yielded to let him pass. He was obviously very disoriented on his journey to what may have been a life or death situation. It must have taken him a minute or two to slowly catch up to me as I was halted there on the side of the road. He paused yet again, and eventually turned left on a side street. I've never seen such a slow ambulance! I snickered at the irony of it all as I continued home. Somewhere someone was dying, and the ambulance sent to save the poor chap was frightfully lost!

"It could have been me..." I thought, in a desperate attempt to not make light of such a grave situation. That didn't much help. I continued snickering.

It is interesting how much timing plays a role in our everyday lives. Some call it fate, some call it an "act of God," but I like to call it coincidence. I'm not saying that God doesn't intervene in the minutiae of our lives, I just mean: "Who am I to assume any given event is a divine sign from above that I should to this or that?"

There has been lots of ironic timing in my life these past few months... an unexpected guest at the roller rink, a flower unknowingly left on my doorstep just minutes before I break up with its sender, an email delivered only hours too late...

Back to the present.

I park my car, gather my belongings and, in an unusual moment of productivity, decide I should probably check my mail box. I usually only check the mail once a week. I open the thing, which is stuffed full of newspaper coupons and Netflix DVDs. As I extract the crumpled mess, my eye catches a glimpse of a small envelope resting at the bottom of the box. Call it sixth sense or feminine intuition... I know immediately what it is:
Dear Lisa,

My heart feels so joyous now. I just wanted to write you an encouraging note. I enjoy our talks, laughs, encouragements and inspirations. You are so smart, talented, funny, caring, and very beautiful. You inspire me!!! I pray the Lord will quickly show us the way and remind us to trust in Him always. He knows what our desires will be. We have had many trials and yet we continue to learn for God is good.

Yours Truly,

I am mortified. There are tears. Six days ago, Annie. Six whole days.


At any given moment I have 2-3 men showing interest in me. It is really tough to figure out

a. which ones actually LIKE me
b. which ones I might like
c. when to take the risk and date one of them?

Sometimes I just wish they'd all go away!!!!

CAVEMAN (I should ask David Cho to illustrate this) :
Hmmmm. She's kinda cute... can I do better? Yeah, I think I can do better. Do I really want to date right now anyway? I have so much I want to accomplish before I "settle down." Wow! Family Guy is on. I'm so glad I bought this big screen TV...

Mmmmm... popcorn.

But back to the letter...

Endearing as this scented missive might be, perhaps it is too little too late? It is flattering, I'll give it that, but still it lacks true conviction: "I pray the Lord will quickly show us the way... He knows what our desires will be..."

What are your desires you FOOL?
Why do you torture me so?

Perhaps our lost ambulance driver could have used a GPS. God, however, does not provide us with a divine decree for every decision in our lives. In a way, the bible is our GPS, and as I mentioned above, in it, MEN WERE DECISIVE! Can you imagine Adam, upon beholding Eve for the first time as he arose from his deep slumber, proclaiming to God, "What's this? Can't you do any better?"

I'm not advocating a man marry the first woman he meets. All I'm saying is if he finds her "smart, talented, funny, caring and very beautiful," as my would-be suitor proclaims, then why not pursue her with true conviction and Godly intent?! If his decision is not to pursue me, or he is unsure of his feelings, then why is he telling me all these lovely things in the first place?

I'm starting to sound bitter, so I'll shut up now.

Undecidedly Yours (Truly!!!),

Monday, June 29, 2009

Gay Bar

Dear Annie,

When I first began attending church again, I was dating a Lutheran named Paul. He was a "good kid" from Illinois: smart, accomplished, conservative, and he liked athletic things. He was a private pilot, advanced SCUBA diving instructor, and enjoyed monthly trips to the shooting range. It goes without saying that Paul was not a thinker, nor did he care for theological discussions. I didn't much care at the time, either. All that mattered to me is that we generally believed in the same God, and felt it right and proper to someday live on a farm, vote republican and keep a loaded rifle under the bed.

Paul came from a culture in which you just don't talk about things... anything really. It is okay to discuss the weather, but only if the weather channel is on, (which it is, of course). I didn't get along with Paul's friends, really. Somehow I would always manage to embarrass him around them. I could do no right in his eyes. I'd spend a whole day of socializing with them, being on my best behavior, and on the ride home, I'd receive heaps of criticism for the littlest mistake. I had to really fight to fit in with his crowd.

Near the end of our relationship, his long-time friend Sarah flew out to visit. I desperately wanted to make a good impression. She had some other friends in West LA, and Paul told me they were spending that Friday night hanging out at a local bar on the Westside. I had to be at church that night.

All through the sermon, all I could think about was Paul and his female friend in West LA without me... having fun... drinking just a little too much. Who was this Sarah person and why was she with my boyfriend!? By the end of the service, I had resolved to leave the safety of my church group and join the dark side.

Paul was quite surprised to hear from me:

"Want me to come hang out with you guys?"
"Oh... no, you don't have t-"

Luckily Paul had been foolish enough to tell me they were at the Cabo Cantina on Wilshire. I drove home, exited my church clothes, and put on my best representation of what I thought "clubbing attire" might be. I got in my car, sped down the 405, parked a mile away, and made it to the bar about five minutes before they were ready to leave. "Good," I thought. I was relieved to be away from the loud music and drunkards. We went back to Sarah's friend's apartment, about three blocks away.

Sarah's friends included some hotshot wealthy business entrepreneur who lived in a swanky high rise apartment building, and a Latin pop singer (who we'll call "Rico"). I felt glad that the night was over, content to be sitting on the couch chatting over a cup of tea, but to Rico and Sarah, the night was still young.

I've learned over the years that it is simply not wise to go places with "friends of friends." I know it seems entirely logical that a decent person would have decent friends. This just isn't the case. Often times I've found myself held hostage in a car with one of these semi-strangers, being completely at his mercy and too polite to protest whatever wild adventure he has in store.

Rico was a friend of a friend of a friend. He had a delightful personality: magnetic and quite charming. He was smart, cute, ambitious, talented, and, well... gay. I was happy to have made his acquaintance until he suggested that we should all go over to West Hollywood and check out the gay scene. At this point I would have been happy to walk the mile back to my car alone and call it a night, but the thought of my boyfriend gallivanting around West Hollywood at 2 am irked me. I felt compelled to join the fun.

By the time we parked in West Hollywood, I had to go to the bathroom rather badly. Paul and the boys took the liberty of peeing in some dark alley. That was rather interesting. Women, of course, do not have that ability. When we reached the first bar, Sarah and I immediately ran to the bathroom. It was occupied. We waited several minutes, and whoever was in there simply would not come out. Sarah knocked on the door. Someone knocked back!

Now, there are stories you hear of certain communities that you just categorize under stereotype or urban legend. You never imagine that they could possibly be true. As we stood there, hopping up and down with our legs crossed, to our shock and horror the door finally did open and I kid you not, three men emerged. They took great pleasure in insulting us on the way out. Let's just say it was offensive.

We hesitated for a minute, afraid to look inside and see what these men had left behind. I was finally brave enough to crack the door, and what I encountered is an image forever ingrained upon my mind. Seriously Ann, a completely wet floor, flooded toilet, used condoms, syringes, a pile of used toilet paper at least a foot high... it was dark, dank, festering... worse than my worst nightmare. I'd rather rot away in a Mexican jail cell than spend 30 seconds in that bathroom. Sarah agreed. We decided holding it in was a better option for the time being.

Upon returning to the boys, Rico assured us that "not all gay men behave that way, just the insecure ones." This was mildly reassuring. It was fun to watch him flit and frolic about the room. He knew people, so it seemed. We eventually did find a bathroom in the next bar that was not quite so bad. By that time I had no choice but to use it. The night ended around 4am with Rico throwing himself at a very good looking man who simply wasn't interested.

Ultimately, I suffered through this West Hollywood night(mare) in vain. Paul dumped me a month or so later, and I really wish I had a more exciting denouement... it is amazing the things we do to impress the ones we think we love.

I talked to Paul a couple months ago. He's now a Master Mason, and has taken up sailing.


Saturday, June 27, 2009


Dear Annie,

It's 11pm and I just had an opossum waddle through my apartment door. I know what you are thinking... why is my apartment door open at 11pm? It's hot, that's why! I know, I live in North Hollywood, which dictates it much more likely for a drug addict, transient or transvestite to wander on in... but no, I get an opossum.

Opossums may not be as terrifying as spiders; however, you can't exactly squish an opossum and flush him down the toilet now can you? (Let the record show that I actually rescue all arachnids and deposit them safely outside in the flowerbed).

Luckily, all I had to do was utter one syllable and he turned right around and ran out. I wonder if opossums would make good pets? They seem a rather docile creature. I think this is the same opossum I've seen out in the parking lot. He sits up on the brick wall and licks himself like a cat.

Well anyway, I hope this mildly entertained you.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Chat with Craig

a modern day technological poem.

: i'm going "invisible" but you should still be able to type to me.
invisible! ha ha.
2:23 PM weird. it made invisible bold
i dont know why
it didn't that time
Craig: haha

8 minutes
2:32 PM Lisa: this should be bold
this italic
2:33 PM Craig: was it?
Lisa: for me it was. i don't know if it showed up that way for you if you are on your phone and not a computer
2:34 PM for you it might have shown up with stars around the word or an _

52 minutes
3:26 PM Craig: nothing fancy here, just whatever you type
3:27 PM yes I'm on my phone
3:31 PM Lisa: well too bad then... you may miss my subtle innuendos written in italics!
3:32 PM brb
Craig: bold
3:34 PM Lisa: yes that worked
that you can do that
yet can't see it
Craig: annoying?
3:35 PM well I know what it means
3:36 PM Lisa: oh
Craig: so I can figure it out
Lisa: so you see the stars
3:37 PM Craig: did the bold and italic work at the same time?
Lisa: yes
it did
the "i can" is not bold
but the figure it out is bold and italic
i can is italic
but not bold
3:38 PM Craig: so it's backward?
Lisa: that is correct
3:39 PM Craig: that's not right
Lisa: ?
Craig: underscores have been used for centuries to signify underlines for printing presses
3:40 PM Lisa: yes. and since the advent of the computer, underscores mean italic
an underlined word
should be italicized instead
i know. i took typography
italic is the new underline
get it?
3:41 PM Craig: lame
3:42 PM why so confusing
computers have earned the name a friend of a friend calls them: confuser
4:01 PM Craig: good
does that work?
4:02 PM Craig: wh*a*t
4:03 PM _

Saturday, June 20, 2009


By Lisa Gilbert

Friday night, Ms. Ariel Morgan, a Southern California resident, was found dead in her North Hollywood apartment. While investigators have not ruled out homicide, her tragic demise seems to have been self-inflicted. "It appears that Ms. Morgan died of undying devotion," says Detective Reynolds of the North Hollywood Police Department. "I see this all the time... it's a classic case of Hamlet and Ophelia."

Authorities are not sure, as of yet, who the object of her affection might have been. A hundred candles were found in Ariel's apartment, along with what appears to be an unaddressed love note. The most striking evidence in this case, remarkably, is the peculiar letter-shaped lacerations:
discovered on Ariel's neck. However, Ms. Morgan apparently perished before carving out an actual name. "It appears that Ariel accidentally gouged her jugular, and the rest is history," lamented a teary-eyed Reynolds, "In my thirty years on the force, I've never seen a case of unrequited love this gut-wrenching."

Miss Morgan's family is devastated, as well. "Ariel had a few men showing interest in her, but we had no idea anything had gone this far." A friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, disclosed to reporters that Ariel was extremely devoted, and once she fell for a man, he could do no wrong in her eyes. "The word 'no' was simply not in her vocabulary."

UCLA psychology professor, Belinda Havarti, informed LA Times reporters that there have been an increasing number of these cases in the United States over the past ten years. Psychologists unanimously blame the phenomenon on movies such as Twilight. "Women watch these films and get an unrealistic idea of what love is," says Havarti, who suspicions the root of this disorder stems much deeper than originally surmised: "Not every man turns out to be a 'Mr. Darcy.' We just have to get that through our thick skulls. There are far more 'Mr. Wickhams' in the world, tragically."

The real question of the hour is, even if Ms. Morgan is technically responsible for her own death, could this still be ruled a homicide? The National Organization for Women thinks yes. "Men should not get away with taking advantage of women like this. This man, whoever he is, needs to be punished," says NOW's president, Nancy Jones. " The ACLU has also exhibited extreme interest in this case.

Detectives are still hunting down the culprit. "Until we find him, we'll have no idea what really happened to this poor young woman," says Detective Reynolds. "All we have is her note." Authorities would not release Ms. Morgan's letter to the public due to sensitivity issues; however, it is rumored the last line of the note reads something to the effect of:

Not Again! Why? Why? Why?