Quondam Dreams

Friday, June 30, 2006

Love, Cell Phones, A Strange Walk And Me

My cell phone sucks. It seemed nice enough at the beginning of our relationship, but as time has gone on, I find myself discovering more and more ways in which this supposedly non-sentient object is quite deliberately trying to drive me crazy. It's like one of those movies where the main characters have to stage a marriage for a set period of time, except for the part about falling in love at the end. We'll probably stay together through the terms of our agreement, but I don't think we'll be shacking up forever.

My last phone and I split in December. If you were to ask it - and if it were a living thing that could actually answer back - it would say that it left me. Since I'm the one telling this story, though, let the record show that I dumped it in order to take advantage of my plan's biannual upgrade hook.

After at least a couple of minutes of deliberation, I settled on an LG VX6100. It seemed like a nice, solid phone, balancing the features I wanted to have with the price I was willing to pay for them.

It looked so sweet and innocent.

Here's the thing the phone only revealed to me after the ink was dry: the buttons on the sides stick out far enough and are sensitive enough that seemingly every time I pull my phone out of my purse, it's done something I don't want it to do. I've spent hours deleting pictures of the inside of the lens-protection slider from the gallery. Putting the phone in manner mode is all but pointless, because if one of the buttons on the left side gets nudged for a couple of seconds, the phone goes into Driving Mode and loudly announces all of my incoming calls. If the phone gets nudged again in just the right way, it may turn Driving Mode off, but the phone defaults to regular, ringer-enabled mode even when it was in manner mode in the first place.

As if that weren't frustrating enough, over the past week or so it's become fickle about how much of a charge it will allow its battery to hold.

Since relationships are about compromise, rather than ditch the encumbrance for a younger, flashier model which would undoubtedly cost me more than I planned to spend, I decided to get myself one of those in-car chargers. A little online recon pointed me to a Radio Shack a couple of blocks from where I've been working. Perfect for a little lunchtime stroll.

Maybe I should be thanking whatever forces brought this phone and me together. Without them, I probably wouldn’t have taken a that walk, and wouldn't have run into this succession of people:

- A guy who was quite certain in his conviction that Lyndon LaRouche is the only real Democrat, and everyone he doesn’t like is a Nazi. As if that weren't enough, he also told me that I've been suckered in by said Nazis; tried to pressure me into giving money to the LaRouche PAC, because, to hear him tell it, that was the way to prove that I am committed to promoting political discourse; and had the bad form to guess my age right on the nose. He seemed very disappointed that I wouldn’t give him my phone number.

- A very smiley girl, handing out small double tablet-shaped cards imprinted with the Ten Commandments.

- A group of expensively-highlighted women assembling for an L.A. Film Fest event, all of whom were wearing vaguely Indian-inspired couture with uncomfortable-looking sandals. Predictably, they were chattering away on Blackberries and looking at everyone except the people with whom they were standing.

- My aunt Ruth, who seemed slightly thrown by my presence in her neck of the woods.

For reasions I can't quite explain, I felt like I'd traveled through a scene from The Crying Of Lot 49. Life imitates Pynchon. Call me Oedipa.

I acquired the charger from Radio Shack, and returned later in the day to exchange it for one that actually worked with an LG VX6100. When I got to my car, I plugged everything in. The car charger lit up with a faint green glow. The phone's display brightened up blue-grey. I drove off into the golden magic-hour light, humming.

I hope I can remember that feeling of contentment the next time my phone starts screaming numbers at me.

Monday, June 12, 2006

To Those Three Guys I Met At The Well In Hollywood On Saturday Night, Should They Be Reading This.


What the hell?

Seriously. Who the hell ditches a woman in the middle of Hollywood at 1:30 in the morning? Who the hell ditches anyone in the middle of Hollywood at 1:30 in the morning?

Oh, that's right -- the three of you.

You know, it's a really good thing for you that I have a healthy sense of the absurd, and that there are a lot of people walking to their cars on Hollywood's side streets at 1:30 on a Sunday morning, because otherwise? There could have been A Scene.

Allow me to refresh your memory. One of you met me at the bar at the Well as I was closing out my tab, and proceeded to initiate flirting. My friends were leaving, but I decided to stick around for a little while longer and hang out with the three of you. Why not? You certainly seemed like fine, upstanding young men, at least by Hollywood standards, and I do enjoy chatting with new people. When you all decided that the bathroom line was too long and wanted to go to the Bowery, just across the street, I took up your invitation to come along.

Apparently, the Bowery wasn't happening enough. One of you suggested that we go next door to Magnolia. You milled around the foyer, trying to decide whether to stay or go.

"You guys figure it out," I said, touching the arm of the guy who'd been trying to feel me up for the past hour. "I'm going to find the ladies' room." Which I did.

Evidently, you used that time to figure out that you didn't want to be anywhere near Magnolia.

Oh, I did all the logical stuff. I walked through the restaurant. I asked the guys at the bar in the foyer if you'd said anything about where you might be going.

"Those three guys that were here -- they didn't happen to say where they were going, did they?"


"Yeah. I think I've been ditched."

"Seriously? Dude, that sucks."

"Ya think?"

I checked the Bowery. I even struck up a conversation with a busboy on the Magnolia patio, just in case you were all in the bathroom at the same time and were going to emerge.

"You didn't happen to see three guys taking off, did you?"


"They totally ditched me."

"They what?"

"Took off."

"I'm sorry, sweetie."

I was so pissed at this point that I didn't even object to some strange guy calling me "sweetie".

Since you guys obviously had left the block, and not having any other ideas, I went back to the Well and had a look around.


"What the fuck kind of putz ditches a woman in Hollywood at 1:30 in the morning?" I asked the bouncers on my way out. "'Cause I met three of them here."

"Oh, that's not right," one of the bouncers said, in a sentence that would go on to win the "understatement of the evening" prize if there were such a thing.

"Well, if you happen to come across three nebbishy guys from New York looking for a woman named Rose, tell them I left." The bouncers agreed to do so, but we all knew you weren't going to show your faces again.

I made the circuit one more time: I checked Magnolia, stuck my head into the Bowery, scanned the streets and walked through the Well once more.

And then I went back to my car and went home.

So, guys: I'm curious. What the hell? It doesn't matter, exactly, since there's no way that you can ever justify abandoning anyone -- much less in Hollywood -- much less a woman -- but I'm wondering what was, or wasn't, going through your heads. At least two of you were sober enough to know what you were doing.

Seriously. What the effing hell?

If you'd like to come beg my forgiveness and perhaps explain, the one who was trying to get me to make out with him at the bar was told where I hold court on Monday nights. He also knows -- or at least was told -- what web site he can reach me through; hence this post.

This is, of course, assuming that you're big enough to show up and take responsibility for being total jackasses.

And that you're reading this.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Friday, June 9: The Bush Twins Learn To Share

The Bush Twins Party Hour will be back at The Actor's Space in Sherman Oaks this Friday, sharing a bill with the Breakfast Junkies sketch comedy troupe. Two shows for the price of one -- such a deal. You should be there! (Distance is no excuse. You have plenty of time to make the drive.)

As always, you can find the latest info at www.bushtwinspartyhour.com and www.myspace.com/bushtwinspartyhour.