Saturday, September 23, 2006

Another Saturday night...

I know it's somewhat against blog etiquette to post on Saturdays. Most people are out and about, far away from their computers. Prime blogging time, as I understand it, is during work hours... unfortunately, I don't have the kind of job where I am able to blog (that "coked-up" part of my user name in bold letters across the top of the screen being a big part of it!) so I am stuck writing at home. The so-called "off-hours" I suppose, after work and on weekends.

Well anyway, it's Saturday night and I'm staying in. I feel as if this need to be in front of my TV with a bottle of champagne on weekends is a symptom of getting older. And I mean getting older in the good sense... (yes, I've chosen to look at it as a positive!) In the sense that I've become more discerning about my time. I much prefer to go out on weeknights when the bars and shows are less crowded and the LA equivalent of the bridge and tunnel brigade (would that be Orange or Riverside counties?) are not out in full force. I actually luxuriate in my Saturday nights at home... everyone else is out, in the pursuit of that proverbial "good time Saturday night," waiting in line for clubs that blare bad music, or paying $15 dollars for a tiny martini, surrounded by girls with back tattoos and guys who wave their keys for their leased BMW at you in hopes of drawing you in... and here I am, with 3 (! I saved them) Netflix movies, Thai takeout, and a bottle of champagne. What sounds better to you?

(And I DO have plans for brunch tomorrow... just in case you were wondering if I actually have friends at all...)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Can I be friends with my drug dealer?

I think my dealer wants to be my friend (or maybe he just wants to sleep with me.) Is this a conflict of interest, or should I cultivate this relationship?

To give a bit of history, I've been "dealing" with him for over 2 years now, and we've always been friendly; I make it a point to chat for at least a few minutes before I hightail it out of his place (and "hightail" is the right word - relief doesn't come much sweeter than the relief of a successfully negotiated coke exchange.) But lately, he's been more and more chatty, and just the other night, I got a rambling 2am "what's up" message from him that made me just a tad apprehensive. Is my interest in his coke translating in his mind to an interest in him? I've always paid full price... is there some etiquette here I'm missing? Come on... I'm just a naive white girl from the suburbs. Any help?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

missing the mix tape

When I was 15, I made my first mix tape. I was bored one Saturday afternoon and wanted to while away a few hours, and I thought it might be fun to consolidate my favorite songs onto one casette tape. So I dumped my entire collection of tapes onto the floor of my parents' den, armed myself with pen and paper, and began to write out my tracklist.

I soon realized that making the perfect tracklist would not be quite as simple as I had initially thought. As I examined my collection, I found myself considering overall cohesiveness, male/female singer equanimity, variety of genre, and ratio of popular to obscure song choice. At that moment, I embraced my inner music snob. and I have never looked back. This mix was going to be no mere dumping of songs; it would be a work of art.

Anyone who has ever made a "mix-on-tape" (for whatever reason, I feel as if the "phrase deserves quotations marks) knows what I'm talking about. Nowadays, we just load a bunch of songs onto a computer program, hit a key, and 5 minutes later our mix is done. But back then, mixmaking was a labor of love - a multi-hour process of rewinding and fast-forwarding, reworking song order, and pausing at just the right moment. Most importantly, it was a lessson in timing. As any afficiando will tell you, the mark of a superior cassette mix is that thelast song on each side ends mere seconds before the tape runs out.

I still have that first mix, and excepting a fewunfortunate song choices (ie, Aerosmith's "What it Takes," and more than a reasonable amount of selections from the 'Pretty Woman' Soundtrack (Go West, anyone?)) I am actually quite impressed with my fifteen-year-old mixmaking prowess. Come on, how many sophomore girls' high school mixes include ""Oceans" (Pearl Jam), "Black Metallic" (Catherine Wheel) and Simon and Garfunkel's "Cecila" all encapsulated onto one 90 minute piece of Sony plastic??

Here's a bit of a test. If anyone emails me in response to this post I will send them, free of charge, a casettte AND CD copy of the mix in question... come on, 1993 was a really GOOD year for music...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Los Angeles has been gripped by a heat wave. This is not news.

I must amend that statement. It's not "news" in that this is obviously not new information to anyone who's been paying attention to the actual "news" (ie, the media.) Yes, temperatures are soaring into the triple digits and rolling blackouts may be imminent and my GOD what to do without central air, but COME ON. This is Southern California. We live in a desert.

I actually find myself enjoying the heat. I can put on my little boy "tightie whities" (sp?) and my wifebeater tank and drink white wine and pat myself down with a towel ala "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Doesn't the heat just scream dirty sex and martinis and going without underwear?

Just think of all the sweat glistening off tan, pert thighs... Is it just me?

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Jaded Generation

These past few days I've been having an interesting email back-and-forth with a wonderfully insightful fellow blogger
on the topic of the so-called "hipster." A hipster in this sense broadly defined to mean any urban twenty or thirtysomething who views themselves as apart from the mainstream (whether it's because they have tattoos/do drugs/listen to indie music/wear ironic bandanas, whatever.) By definition, these people would be called the "counterculture."

So does that mean that the 2006 hipster is our generation's version of the hippie/beatnik/flapper/ of yesteryear? That the guy sauntering down Rivington in his ironic bandana whilst listening to Art Brut on his ipod is in the same league as the civil rights crusaders, suffragettes, and abolitionists - all of whom also spurned the mainstream?

Sure, today's hipsters talk a lot about how they're SO against the Iraq war, and that absolutely gays should be allowed to marry, and how Hurricane Katrina showed just how devastating America's poverty problem really is. But last I checked, most of these people were NOT quitting their jobs to volunteer in New Orleans or petitioning their congressmen or marching on Washington. Hell, they could hardly even be bothered to vote. I mean, come on, there's Sparks to drink, and eyeliner to artfully smudge and music to turn up their noses to. (And what do you mean, they don't care? They just wore their ironic anti-GW tshirt yesterday!)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

... but I'm JEALOUS of people with green eyes!

Jealousy. Is there any other emotion quite as toxic?

There's a kind of strength in anger; a dignity in despair. Sadness always bubbles just under the surface of compassion, often as the flipside to love or joy. But jealousy resides inside the lowest, meanest, dirtiest part of ourselves. As an emotion, it's where we humans become truly hateful.

Because we're only jealous of others when we hate something about ourselves. It's so much easier to turn an envious eye towards others' happiness, success, beauty, etc. than to cast that eye upon ourselves. And who can deny that sometimes it can be fun to revel in jealousy, to let yourself go that dirty place and slide around in the muck? Come on, admit it... we all just need to feel mean sometimes. And jealousy makes it safe; the only person we're being mean to is ourselves.

Monday, July 10, 2006

What I miss about New York

I lived in New York for three years. I moved there in June of 2000. The dotcom bubble had yet to burst, the Democrats still controlled the country and “Sex and the City” was the show of the moment. It was a charmed time, and New York was the epicenter of it all – a place where jobs were handed out like candy and the cosmopolitans flowed until dawn. Every 23 year old I knew was talking about bonuses and stock options, company Christmas parties in Miami and Friday afternoon beer pong tournaments in the office sanctioned by the 29 year old CEO. So confident was I in the power of New York that I got on the plane from Los Angeles with no job and no apartment, certain that the city would take care of me, which it did. Within two weeks, I had a job at a boutique PR firm (complete with yearly bonus, summer Friday schedule, and boss w/a coke connection), an apartment in up-and-coming Park Slope, and a charge card at Bloomingdales.

It was wonderful those first few months. I felt like Annie when she first descended upon Daddy Warbucks' mansion. I ate Thai food almost every day. I did lots of ecstasy and ordered from and was there for the birth of vodka and redbull and when all the cool restaurants were serving nouveau comfort food.

Then I was there when everyone subsequently lost their jobs. The 2000 election debacle. September 11th. Anthrax lurking in every envelope; our receptionist sorting our mail with gloves on. What sounded like fighter jets constantly overhead. Sitting on the subway, heart racing and scared out of my mind because the lights had gone out. Bad coke that tasted like dirt and made my throat hurt for days. Moving to an apartment smaller than my college dorm room and running my credit card bill up past $10k. Getting laid off (and learning that company loyalty is not always rewarded.)

But even when it was raining, my coffee guy was there and he always had my order ready (medium w/ cream and sugar) when he saw me coming. The woman who ran my drycleaner opened her own Chinese bakery and it was my dollar she proudly displayed to represent her first sale (a delicious fig cookie.) And when one evening, I hailed a cabbie to take me back to Brooklyn and subsequently realized I had no money, asked him to take me to an ATM and then found that the citys' ATMs were all inexplicably "down" (blackout preview?), he still took me home and waited while I ran inside for a check - finally telling me in broken English, "If I had a daughter, I'd want someone to do the same for her" - I realized - it's not New York, the city, that creates the magic, it's all these people.

That's what I miss.

Friday, July 07, 2006

it's all relative

OK, I'm really pissed off. Right now, I can drive half a block and buy multiple bottles of liquor and several packs of cigarettes, and if I'm lucky, the man behind the counter will ask me for my ID and I will demur and feel flattered, harkening back to when I was 17 and wielding my fake Alvarado street license and was thrilled to be the one who brought back the Boone's Farm so we could all do shots in the park to the tune of Bush's "Glycerine."

But why the fuck can I not buy an 8 ball and an ounce of pot and a few tablets of e instead of this pint of Stoli? No reason. It's all relative. Who decided this?

LA or NY?

Los Angeles or New York? Because I’ve lived in both cities, I often get asked which one I like better. It’s a well-worn debate, and many people have a very distinct preference for one over the other, but I can never answer the question. For me it’s impossible to compare the two; they are so vastly different in every way. How can I weigh the pleasures of a drive down PCH at sunset against a walk through Central Park just as the leaves have started to fall? Or choose which is worse – the 10 freeway at 6pm or the 4 train at 9am?

I live in Los Angeles now, and in some ways, I guess that is me making a choice. Los Angeles is where I grew up, and I love the weather and my car and the Mexican food and the fact that my family is here, and when I lived in New York I found myself missing it. I’ve resigned New York to my past – a place I’ll always love but will never live in again. But I just returned from a weekend back in the city and was reminded of all the little things that make New York great - things that LA can never duplicate - and I find myself feeling this little tickle in the back of my brain that maybe New York really IS better in some quantifiable way.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


How many of you are hiding a drug habit? And I don't mean an occasional bump off your friend's key at LAX or a mushroom you shoved inside your underwear and tripped on while dancing to Gnarls Barkley at Coachella. I mean a REAL habit - a hiding in the bathroom, stoned at work, vodka in your coffee kind of habit. Something that has taken over your daily lives and that you argue with inside your head. A habit that has become a person more real than you are, with a personality, a particular, louder laugh, a different sleep pattern, an assertive phone manner.

And though you hate that person, he (or she) is always stronger, funnier, sexier than you. You may try to stake a claim, but he (or she) will win every argument, and leave you slinking away to the corner. It's where you belong, anyway; everyone likes him (or her) better.

At least that's what I think. Who do you like better?

All Apologies

I apologize for my absense... I have several excuses. You may take your pick:

a) I have had to attend too many weddings in states that are not my own, often wearing technicolor bridesmaids gowns in woefully unflattering styles

b) I started a new diet and have been extremely grumpy and uninspired

c) I began to wonder if maybe this whole "blog fad" had run it's course - that my ramblings had become insipid and pedestrian

d) I've been doing too much coke

I'm sure you can all guess the answer:

E) All of the above!

If anyone is out there, thanks for listening... I'll be back...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Free Shows

Free shows in Los Angeles are a double-edged sword. From a financial standpoint, it's absolutely lovely that on almost any given night in Los Angeles, you can usually find a place to see free live music that's actually good. Nothing to complain about there. However, anyone who showed up after 9:00 to see Editors' free show at Spaceland last month, only to encounter a line 200 people deep - none of whom would actually get into the club - will understand my conundrum. Without a ticket, you never know whether to show up at 6pm and risk sitting around for 3 hours chatting with the guy selling t-shirts in an empty bar, or to arrive at a more reasonable hour and possibly be denied entry because every hipster with a Myspace account managed to get there earlier.

So I, hoping to avoid another Editors' debacle, arrived to last night's free show at the Troubadour at 7:30, only to see Black Wire - a band with arguably enough buzz as Editors and even a touted connection to Kroq staple The Kaiser Chiefs - play to a half-empty LA crowd with nary a hipster among the lot.

I DID see the Editors the night after their Spaceland show. And to be honest, Black Wire was better.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Bad weekend

So Thursday night I got an 8 ball and settled in for a nice night of DVR'd Lifetime movies and a coked-up writing binge. (All of us cokehead writers think we can be the next Stephen King...) I didn't have to work on Friday, and hadn't made any plans, so I decided on a night in by myself. I dug in at 9pm, and was soon flying high and having a grand old time, finished a story, and as you can see, finally posted entries to this blog that had been languishing as "drafts "for months.

Everything was just brilliant, as the Brits would say, until about 4:30am - what I call the "rock star hour." This is the time when the rookies quit, pop their Tylenol PM and go to bed. Anyone who keeps going past this point knows they're in for the long haul. They have commited to seeing the sun rise. But - there's a difference between continuing to do lines in the still-hazy blue of 6am and hunching beside a coke-laden CD case lit by the full force of the sun. Once you hear your neighbors leaving for work, the alarm bells should be loud and clear. It's quitting time. The time when even the real rock stars know that getting sleep is necessary, if only so that they can be fully rejuvenated to party the next night.

Take my advice. Don't wait until you hear the mailman's keys jingling outside your window.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Arctic Monkeys @ Spaceland

(Originally written after the show in November... )

Some bitch walked in on me tonight when I was doing coke in one of the bathroom stalls. Spaceland, ground zero of hipster hell. I knew I shouldn't have brought the stuff in the first place; my adored Arctic Monkeys' were making their LA debut and I was missing it because I couldn't stop going to the bathroom. I need to have my trusty baggie at shows, and I hate myself a little for it. I often miss my favorite songs, but I can't imagine a concert without coke. It's my security blanket, my goodtime insurance, even if the music sucks. Which it never does.

I go to a lot of concerts, at least 3 or 4 a month, but I haven't seen a bad show in the past two years. For me, it's simple - I won't go to a venue bigger than the Wiltern (other than Coachella, but festivals don't count) and will only see bands I already know and like. I cannot abide seeing some random band I've never heard just to "check them out." For this reason, I loathe opening bands, as do most people in LA. I do feel for the plight of the unknown band playing their hearts out to an apathetic and occasionally rude crowd and they might even be relatively good, but I'm always just waiting for them to be over. As I've explained, I'm discerning about my concertgoing, and only want to see the band I came for. I also want to be high.

I'd been looking forward to tonight's show for months and I was extra anxious to do my business in the bathroom as quickly as possible. During concerts, I usually try to take my bathroom trips on my lesser-liked songs, but that wasn't an option tonight. I am hooked hopelessly on these 19 years olds from Sheffield, and there is no song of theirs I don't love. They hadn't yet played my favorite on my last bathroom trip and in my haste to get back out, I somehow neglected to lock the door securely.

I know the girl saw what I was doing when she walked in. I shoved the door back at her and heard her laughing with her friends. How fucking embarassing, although I suppose it was fitting, really - I was the exact cliche from the Arctic Monkeys song, the pathetic "weekend rockstar in the toilet." Adding to my embarassment was the fact that I had also been peeing as I was snorting. (In the girl's bathroom, multitasking is a matter of courtesy.) You can't get much lower than crouching over a dirty toilet with a straw shoved up your nose. I didn't want to come out and face her but she didn't seem to be in a hurry to leave. (The stupid bitch probably didn't even know the Arctic Monkeys and only came because she heard they were the latest cool band to see.) I couldn't even soothe my ego with a nice fat bump; my bag had been nearly empty and the shock of her invasion had caused me to dump its remnants all over myself. My pubic hair was dusted in a layer of white, like dandruff. I tried to salvage what I could, licking the precious powder from my bare legs with my finger.

I left the stall and tried to smile at her, as if I were laughing at myself and we'd shared a funny secret. She didn't acknowledge me at all.

Will the real hipsters please stand up?

First off, I'd like to explain what I mean by calling myself a "coked up hipster." I'm sure you already have the basic idea; it's a stereotype that conjures up some obvious connotations, many of which describe me very well. I see obscure British bands at Spaceland, I wear Chuck Taylors and lots of eyeliner, my hair is black and I spend a lot of time in bathrooms snorting coke.

So yes, "a coked-up hipster" gives you the general idea of me. But though the "coked-up" part of the moniker is self-explanatory, I'd like to define the word "hipster" insomuch as how it relates to who I am. Based on the dictionary definition of the word, I am not a hipster. I am not "one who is exceptionally aware of or interested in the latest trends and tastes, especially a devotee of modern jazz;" I am a music snob, but my awareness is certainly not exceptional. And of course there's the fact that I never listen to jazz. And although I'm a liberal, the second definition: "someone who rejects the established culture; advocates extreme liberalism in politics and lifestyle" describes someone much more passionate and extreme. The word hipster used to describe the true members of the counterculture; the ones who actually created the trends because they didn't care about trends. But about five years ago, the word had a renaissance in the American language and its conntation has changed.

Shedding it's prior associations with jazz or hippies, the word "hipster" has come to define a particular type of urban twentysomething whose culture of cool revolves around irony and a heightened sense of self-awareness. Hipsters drink at dive bars and live in Williamsburg and wore trucker hats in 2002. They have a penchant for indie rock and vintage clothes and a proud disdain for the mainstream.

Hipsters congregate in major cities. Because I live in Silver Lake, I'm talking in particular about the Los Angeles hipster, though the type is pretty universal. Whetherthey live in the East Village or Austin, hipsters are the ones who consider themselves the trendsetters, the center of the zeitgeist, thumbing their noses at the unitiated masses. That band you're listening to? A hipster had the import a year ago; in fact, they made out with the drummer after their show at Silver Lake Lounge last year. They moved to Echo Park before it was gentrified, and the only place that they'd ever consider living on the Westside is Venice. Black hair dye reigns supreme and even the straight boys wear eyeliner. They are gay and straight, from all races but primarily white and Asian, well-educated, and overwhelmingly liberal.

Their liberalism extends to all aspects of their lives. Their openmindedness, especially towards sex and drugs, is a source of pride. Everyone knows a couple in an open relationship, and of course, it's working out so well for them! Straight boys share the story of their gay experience back in high school without shame; the girls love to kiss each other - though it's not for the benefit of the guys, they just really think other women are beautiful. Hipsters don't judge. They'll try anything. They'll even show you the phone number of their drug dealer programmed into their cell phone, though they probably won't share their coke unless they want to sleep with you. These are the people that truly consider themselves the "cool kids," and like in high school, believing you are cool is often enough to convince everyone else. And I am no exception, for even as I try to keep myself apart, I've found myself lured in by the promise of cool - a follower to the hipster herd. But the more I've seen of this so-called hipster world, I've seen how we're all just feeding off of a sense of smug superiority that only exists in a vaccuum. The bandanas and modified mullet haircuts are no better than the Ugg boots and Gap jeans of the reviled masses.

Lately the word has been thrown around so much it's become a kind of parody of itself. Have you ever noticed that no one who the media might still call a hipster would ever actually use the label for themselves? Nowadays, it's only acceptable to call yourself a hipster if you can be ironic about it - like "yeah, I may be a hipster, but I'm a self-loathing hipster." There are people who spend a lot of time pointing out/laughing at/dissecting the sociology of the "hipster," scoffing at the hipster lemmings, but in my opinion, they're hipsters just like the rest of them.

So in my definition, a hipster = a follower with a raging case of cultural superiority.