Saturday, September 30, 2006

Prejudice. Wrote a song about it. Here it go.

So rogray and I have been in the midst of a great apartment hunt. When we first pulled into Brooklyn we immediately looked at 2 apartments. One was really nice – a touch up renovation for $1350 by Ft. Hamilton Pkwy. It just wasn’t really our neighborhood. The second was on 20th and 6th Ave next to 2 really cute looking restaurants (what’s happening down there – gentrification slows for nobody) and was priced at $1400 – again done quite nicely but was quite small. They were trying to sell it to us as a 1.5 bedroom but the .5 part looked like what the rest of us would call a large closet – or a “cloom” as koogs put it.

Day 2 we walked up and down 7th ave. in the slope and people looked at us like we were very poor, misguided souls. All the realtors said that this was a terrible time to look for places. One woman said she had an apartment for November 1 and as much as mo and the tweak loves us, I don’t think they want us living with them for a month. Another guy said he flat out had nothing in our price range anywhere. So we walked down and into a realtors office that mo had said had some listings in our range. We went in, sat down and began our spiel about how we just moved back here after a year in la la and blah blah blah get us something big for $1400 or less in a neighborhood where I can at least pretend I am close to my friends and also a nice kitchen would be great.

This is where we meet “the racist.” This guy is so fucking racist I don’t even know how to do him justice – first off he was wearing a shirt circa 1987 and his hair looked like his barber was a flowbee . At first he was just saying confusing things and telling us about apartments that he knew we wouldn’t want but just wanted to give us an idea of how slim the pickings were out there. Somewhere along the way he tossed in some line about “the orientals.” I immediately squeezed rogray’s arm which is the international symbol for “oh my god. Did you just hear him say orientals? Did that just happen. I’m pinching you instead of laughing or looking horrified.”

Things got worse from there: 1st – any person he referenced he made sure to include a one-word description of their ethnicity like “if you like spicy food this place is where the Spaniards go to eat.” The Spaniards? Like the conquistadors? Next: when we arrived at the building there was a group of black tenants who were moving out who had apparently had interactions with the racist. One of them *jokingly acted* like he was terrified of the racist which I thought was funny. . .and then we got in the elevator with the racist he said “he acted that way because he’s used to being in the jungle.”

WHAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTT?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!? The fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck?

So then we got into the apartment and much to our horror it was great. Cheap, big, laundry in the building, close enough to the train and heat, water and gas included. Crap. Because now are we going to rent from a racist – who at first we thought just didn’t know he was racist but perhaps totally knows he’s racist. Well, yes. It’s a nightmare – either we take the as perfect as we’re going to find apartment and give a racist our $$ or we are going to pass on it and get something slightly larger than a hamster cage for thousands of dollars and hope that we can make it month 2 month.

Friday, September 29, 2006

the eagles have landed.

we got here thursday afternoon, looked at 2 apartments and crashed. 2 things happened thursday night that would have never happened in la la. first, we walked to the grocery store. second, it rained.

then today after possibly finding an apartment and me mourning the loss created by moving out of the slope we ran into reverend k on the sidewalk. best run-in we could have hoped for. already being back here is better -- now if we could get jk, the dude and the bff to move here we would be set forever.

more about the apartment hunt and the shockingly and brazenly racist realtor soon. for those of you that know the story of the realtor who almost grabbed my boob and offered koogs and ms. n a 3 bedroom that turned out to be 2 bedrooms with a large closet this guy is up there in the insanity department. . .

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

take me home, country roads. . .

so after a night with the fam which included a few hours with these goofballs (crazy nephews, gg and sister):


my nephews are hilarious – the older one insists on being naked as often as possible and comes up with the craziest things to say – when big bro, smelly, left he stood on the steps and in his 5-year old's voice sent off his uncle with “come back anytime!”

my sister (the judge) and my dad (gozo) had a race in the pool and she kicked his ass twice – once with the handicap of doing the butterfly while my dad swam freestyle! but rogray turned around and kicked her ass but then lost to her on a re-match due to one of the weirdest turns i’ve ever seen in a pool. it was hilarious and really exciting – my sister rules. and not just over a court – ba-dum-bum.

we moved on to Athens,GA for a few hours with these goofballs (godsons):

chubby cheeks eats everything and that includes basil leaves and big d is obsessed with rogray – they spent the entire time trying to scare t-dog and me at first by pretending to be ghosts but rogray made it a bit more esoteric and somehow got bid d to say things like “mommy, I decided to move to france. Will you drive me to the airport?” I’m still undecided as to who was having more fun: the 5 year old or the 28 year old:

tell her. . .

we moved out of homestate GA and into North Carolina to crash at rogray’s dad and stepmom’s and then had lunch with the guru in Durham – he inspired us to make our own almond milk – his was insanely good. And the guru showed us a brilliant film on George Washington

I highly suggest watching it. . .highly.

After crashing in Richmond and eating at the critic’s suggestion, carytown burgers and fries. . .yummy!)

you have something on your chin

we stopped in D.C. to see the dirty slut who’s been nannying and in desperate need of adult talk. We also tried to stalk barak obama but the closest we got was a cavalcade that kept us from crossing the street – we don’t know who was in it but I bet you it was someone important. . .

we left her and headed to Lancaster, PA to hang with rogray’s mom and stepdad who are making in the midst of getting ready to move themselves.

rogray’s wendy’s add is in full force as we have hear from people in Seattle, North Carolina and York, PA that they’ve seen it -- keep an eye out people.

Thursday, September 28th we will be pulling into bklyn to stay with mo and her hubby until we find a place. we are overwhelmed, excited, anxious and thrilled to be moving back to our home. . .

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Picture book.

so i mentioned in an earlier post about arguing with rogray over the camera. sweatpantsmom has a great post about arguments with her husband in regards to the camera that pretty much sums up our dispute. basically ever since we got the digi-cam i have become obsessed with taking pictures of pretty much anything and everything -- nothing is off-limits including what i think are funny pictures of us waking up in the morning and every other second of the day in which we may or may not be doing anything of interest. especially if it's crossing a state line.

see, i believe that the crossing of a state line is a cause for celebration. it's a symbol of a journey as well as an acknowledgment that you made it out alive despite the attempts on your life by other drivers that think turn signals are for sissies and lane markers are merely suggestions.

rogray thinks differently -- he thinks pictures should be taken only when interesting or supremely funny things are happening and also what's the rush and also (horrifyingly) we lived just fine up until now without the camera, we'll be fine without a few pictures -- this last comment was made in response to my complete freak out over the camera battery dying just as we pulled into vegas -- tragedy!

so basically the spat broke out at the beginning of the trip when we crossed our first state line into nevada and rogray was asleep at the camera wheel and i lovingly smacked him and loving yelled to ask him "what the hell are you doing?!?! get out the camera!! WE'RE CROSSING A STATE LINE!!!!!!"

so i've tried to chill out about it and he's trying to be more on top of the camera thing so he doesn't see camera harpie explode from my forehead.

Friday, September 22, 2006

And we walked off to look for America


we’ve been on the road since sunday and are spending the night in Tupelo, Mississippi. we have seen some pretty outstanding things and unfortunately the photos from the 1st few days are not accessible so i’ll cover those later. but here’s what I can do now:

we went to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on Tuesday and rogray had never seen it so he was surprised:


we went for 2 “hikes” – one to Bright Angel Point and one down the Kaibab trail where we came upon this:


we figured it was like a jenga for hikers: everyone passing by would add another rock: mine is the teeny-tiny one on the tippy-top.

after the biggest canyon ever we were treated to these as we drove out of Arizona:


they were huge, beautiful and everywhere.

we crashed in Flagstaff after having some amazing Mexican food down the street from our hostel. the next day we made an impulse stop at the Meteor Crater and were amazed at how large it was and then drove through the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert where it was very windy and very pretty:



from there we headed into the 1st of 2 insane lightning storms to Albuquerque where we discovered that everything closes at 9pm there. yesterday was our big driving day – we drove through New Mexico, Texas where we discovered the front page news in Amarillo is this:


before we left Texas we were able to trash talk Bush and see this:


the biggest cross in the country in Groom, Texas. if you look closely on the right you can see that the crucifixion is also there and the whole 12 stations of the cross is around the thing. Texas people.

we peddled through Oklahoma and slept in Arkansas where our one tourist stop was this:


the building is really pretty -- a metaphor for the "bridge to the 20th century" which is repeated throughout the tour -- and it is in a beautiful spot overlooking the river --i felt like i was on some kind of pilgrimage. during the 12 minute welcome video i actually began to cry -- going through the library looking at the years Clinton was in office was moving because we were reminded that there was this amazing period of time where things weren't so bad and actually kind of great -- barak obama people -- that's all i'm saying -- let's just get to barak. . .

anyway, rogray and i pretended to be Clinton in the replica of the cabinet room – i like his but i think mine is very Clinton-esque – if Clinton had big boobs and wore pink.



after rogray got his fill of the oval office


we went down the street to the flying fish and got catfish baskets which were deelishish as were the hushpuppies.


since we are sleeping in Elvis’ birthplace we ate at one of his favorite drive-ins – Johnnie’s – and ate a bbq sandwich and “doughburger.” both were good but rogray’s bbq was better than my burger mixed with bread.

tomorrow we hit the ATL and spend time with my fam including my two wacky nephews and two wacky godsons -- and hopefully eat some veggies.

oh -- and thank god for jk's mixes -- i honestly don't think we would have made it this far without them -- also, they are amazing.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Luck be a lady tonight.

rogray and i have hit the road. right now i am using the wireless at the days inn in hurricane, utah. we left l.a. around 1 p.m yesterday with jk's mix in the cd player. it was official -- we had a car brimming with our belongings and a an argument about the camera brewing (more on that later as long as a HUGE picture post) we realized that we would be driving through vegas around dinner time so we decided to make a stop. . .which is huge because both rogray and i were decidedly against stopping in such a place. but we are so glad we did.

driving into vegas is hilarious. and trying to decide which casino to go to is challenging -- so many choices! so many miniature replicas: venice (canals with gondolas!), paris (the eiffel tower), nyc (the statur of liberty and the chrysler building within feet of each othe!) we opted for the mirage -- home of siegfreid and roy -- because they have an erupting volcano -- which we never saw. after marveling at the free parking we went to play our alotted $5. all i wanted was to play the slots so i did. at one point i was up $5 but ended up with nothing -- i perfected a style of hitting the buttons that i think added some panache to the game. but rob -- he chose video poker and guess what??? he won us $50!!!! FIFTY DOLLARS!!! so what did we do with it? save it? no. spent it on some titties? uh-uh. go to an all you can eat buffet in the neighboring casino? hell YES! it seemed like the most logical and vegas thing to do. we put it all on our plate:pizza, sushi, pasta, salad, crab legs, shrimp. . .none of it was particularly good -- until we got to the dessert bar:freshly made doughnuts, chocolate covered everything, creme brulee, sundaes, brownies, cupckaes. . .it was disgusting. and awesome.

after that we felt like we had played our 3 hours in vegas well -- and now, we are about to hit zion and bryce canyons so i should go. . .more later. . .

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

This is the last goodbye...

so last night was the last time rogray and i were going to see jk for awhile. we decided for our last night together we would go to the Dresden on Vermont and listen to Marty and Elayne which was on our jk approved “things you have to do in l.a.” list. it was great – mateo was in town for work and he came (and has kindly agreed to fly back with our crazy cat harper) as did rogray’s bestie, the dude.

jk gave Marty and Elayne $3 and requested songs – he surprised us by dedicating them to us – best cover of Stayin’ Alive i have ever heard – Elayne rocks out on the keyboards. Marty kept saying that these songs were for shana and rob – but it sounded like he was saying robin. i filmed movies of jk doing his Owen Wilson & Jack McBrayer impressions which are priceless and which i will post when i figure out how to do stuff like that.

at the end of the night after discussing how awesome the 16-disc volume of mixes jk made for our road trip (20+ hours people – he is as awesome as he says he is) we said our goodbyes. and i cried – i don’t think it hit me until that moment that we wouldn’t be seeing jk again for awhile and it made me very, very sad. As we drove mateo back to his insanely overrated, hipster hotel I kept crying off and on – and had to admit to jk today that I cried myself to sleep last night over him. i know i said it in yesterday’s post but the reason we found things to love about this place is because of this guy. so, i raise my glass to you jk -- we’re gonna miss you the most. . .if i could, i would return the incredible gesture. la la looooooove you!!!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Los Angeles, I'm yours. . .

Well, not completely but in the year that rogray and I have been here we have discovered that there are some major gifts L.A. has for its residents that you can't find anywhere else (or at least not in NYC which is my primary point of comparison). I am going to take the opportunity of my first blog post to be a re-cap of what made our year in SoCal bearable and at times downright lovely.

First off, L.A. brought us the jk.

A friend through miss n. who has upgraded from acquaintance to full on friend – and best L.A. friend for sure. His blog,, features many of our favorite adventures on the west coast and is also what I think this blog might be fashioned after...just without all the O.C. talk.

jk brought us food, food, and more food. Zankou, Fred 62, fried chicken, Yuca's dim-sum, Shanghai dumplings, Langer's and Tecate and wine tasting in Santa Barbara. . .he also introduced us to Griffith Park and a trail-blazing hike which once resulted in he and I climbing down fearing for our life – awesome. And he is to thank for my Hollywood Bowl double hitter: Belle & Sebastian with The Shins one night and Looney Toons with the L.A. Philharmonic the next – hard to beat that.

jk, rogray and I also created Art Jam – which involves various shared art supplies, beer or wine, midnight snacks and ends with collages, tracing projects and me crashing in jk's bed forcing him to his own couch – don't worry – this is coming back to NYC with us.

L.A. brought me my 1991 Mazda mx-6 turbo which we will try out in Brooklyn.

I also discovered, much to my surprise, that nature is not evil but rather lovely in controlled doses – especially if it's in Malibu next to the ocean.

We lived in West Hollywood, mid-Wilshire, Mar Vista (next to Venice), and Hollywood proper. I spent a month in Berkeley working on 9 Parts of Desire and realized that it is magical there and that Chez Panisse is as good as they say.

We saw an Olsen twin, Morrissey, David Cross (in San Fran but still), Diane Keaton and Al Pacino (both at the same Target on different Saturdays) and more that I can't remember at this moment.

Only in L.A. can you be early for your dinner plans and decide to go for a walk on the beach to kill time. Only in L.A. can you say that it’s cold and put on a single sweatshirt to get warm in February.

But, only NYC has Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes and the NY Times Crossword puzzle. And almost all of my nearest and dearest friends. . .New York. . .your lady is coming home.* Just in time for winter. . .

*thanks mo.