all bourbon can be whiskey, but not all whiskey can be bourbon

Monday, January 10

Plans for new bank holiday announced.

Banks and shopping centers around the US have announced that they will be closed today, January 10, 2005, as they need time to mourn. A petition is already in the works to recognize this day until the end of time, as it reminds us how fragile relationships are and how much we care about people we do not know.

Friday, January 7

Hurricane season.

I heard some news reported refer to it as the "pineapple express." A storm that originated in Hawaii has made its way to California and it's doing some serious damage. It's raining sideways, the wind has treetops touching the ground, the Grapevine is closed (again), it's snowing in the Antelope Valley, and it's been like this all day long. They could've breezed through two hours of the morning show by saying one simple thing: "It's wet, bitches."

Wednesday, January 5

Like crystal.

I purchased two DVDs recently: Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Before that, I bought Scarface and Freak Talks About Sex/Blowin' Smoke. I had seen FTAS and Scarface numerous times, but felt obligated to purchase the DVDs so that one day I might be buried with them or show them to 10 year-old children in the year 2053 and proclaim them valuable ancient artifacts. Buying DVDs is a bad habit of mine, as I rarely ever watch them- most are still wrapped in plastic- or loan them out, never to see them again.

I was suckered into buying HATAI, because a friend is a member of some hideous DVD club. "I can get them for you at half price," was the last thing I remember hearing. I might be better off renting, if I could just get them back before the late fees tripled the post-production costs. Right now, somewhere in my home, lies a DVD from Korea. I borrowed Old Boy from a friend, oh, about three months ago, and need to watch it so that I might finally return it before it becomes a collector's edition.

Right now, Garden State is what I've been eyeing. "Online" can be a dangerous place. You are able to admire your obsession from the comfort of your desk. You can read glorious reviews and imagine watching the DVD in the comfort of your own home. There are no cell phones, babies crying or large men with gas- sitting two rows in front of you- in your vision. The movie is charming and you'll watch it numerous times. It's all a big lie, you know. You'll buy it, never watch it, and then you'll loan it out to someone, forget whom, and never see the DVD again.

Tuesday, January 4

So SoCal.

My car is a big baby when it comes to winter weather. And I'm not talking about snow, hail or sleet, but plain old-fashioned rain. It's been raining for about two weeks now- with the holy exception of New Year's Day- and my car has started acting up. On my drive home yesterday morning (so not what you're thinking, by the way), PCH was flooded. Side streets with the most minimal elevation were acting as waterfalls full of vigor and chunks of cement formerly known as Cliff Drive and Aster Street. The intersection in front of the Laguna Art Museum was so flooded that people took to making u-turns in heavy, rush hour traffic; staring death in the face rather than risking water damage to the interior of their Corvette. I mean, who drives Corvettes anymore, anyways?

I stopped at Caffino on my way to work: there really is something to be said about drive-through coffee places when it's pouring rain and you don't own an umbrella. As I was pulling into the parking lot/drive-through lane, my car died. The battery light came on and the car stopped. It started again with no problems, so I pulled up to the order window. My goal was to roll down my window just far enough so that I could shout my order, in the friendliest of ways, before closing it again. I noticed that it was rolling down slower than normal, but wrote it off as an effect of rain. Maybe the gears got wet, maybe the motor got wet, or maybe the gerbil is sleeping. Cars are so complex. After I received my coffee and tried to drive away, my car died again. Poof. Battery light on.

I had my CD player, lights, windshield wipers, and defrost all turned on. I decided that maybe my car was sleepy and I should go without the CD, which ended the car stopping. I connect on a deep, emotional level with my automobile. I was also not wearing black, which always seems to help.

Last night, I had my battery tested. People at work let it be known that their diagnosis was a faulty alternator and that my battery would probably live a healthy and prosperous life, if I took care of this problem right away. I decided that replacing a battery was far cheaper and made me far happier, so I opted to have the battery checked first. I waited under a huge umbrella, hoping it would fail and, subsequently, be destroyed. It turns out that my battery might just be the most powerful thing in my car. It was fabulous and ferocious. It was unstoppable. The guy at Wal-Mart-- yes, I know, but it was only a test and it was free and close by and I didn't want to go to the dealership and then be talked into a new alternator that, having already called, would cost $314 plus labor-- said I might have gotten it wet. The root of all my drive-through coffee problems might have been a moist alternator. I did drive through some serious puddles: the kind of puddles that overtake the top of your car and freak you out for 3 seconds. The drive to Wal-Mart was uneventful, as was the drive home. Whew. It was only a moist alternator.

Then it happened again. This morning, my car died at an intersection that sits on a hill. I heard it coming, though: a sound and then my needle dipping and the sound of anti-revving. I was on a steep hill and it's hard to give the car gas when you're driving a stick shift and your emergency brake should only be used for such things as emergencies. The car died. It wanted to die at a second intersection 5 miles down the road, but this time I was able to fight, as there was no hill and I have two working feet. It was a foot opera as I leapt from gas to brake to clutch and back to gas. I was listening to a violin concerto in C minor, so it was instinctual to match the pedal movement to the music.

As I didn't run into any huge, car-soaking puddles, I'm worried again. Alternator? Electrical? Something with the idle gadget thing? There are too many moving parts on this car and they all cost a minimum of $300. The last time the underbelly of my car got wet it cost $473. Why must my vehicle be so sensitive? I'll probably end up going to the dealership tomorrow, but I'm hoping that it stops raining, that my car goes back to normal, and that we can pretend this never happened.

Monday, January 3

RICO Act to be used against Church.

The Rose Parade hasn't been rained on in fifty years, due to a pact made with local churches promising never to hold the parade on a Sunday- the 117th parade in January '06 will be held on Monday, January 2. The Tournament of Roses has never been in direct competition with God and, as a result, has escaped the winter storm Southern California has been experiencing for the past two weeks.

Breaking all records for rainfall totals, the only clear day in weeks was, in fact, New Year's Day. The rain stopped at midnight, January 1, and came back January 2, 2005, in keeping with the pact. Local authorities are looking into complaints filed by angry citizens claiming violation of separation between church and state.

Winter Storm Watch, 2005.

Monday, January 3, 2005. Posted: 9:43 AM PST (1743 GMT)

A sinkhole was discovered in Sun Valley after a big rig disappeared into a side street. A private contractor had been hired to begin construction on a new drainage system that would accommodate new homes in the area, but had poured concrete on top of sand that was not sturdy enough to hold the weight of 2" worth of rainfall. Unable to reach the contractor, the LADWP began filling the 50' wide and 20' deep sinkhole with lawn trimmings and leftover asphalt abducted from the construction site. One hour later, the contractor was spotted handing out cards to the locals, as well as offering to take the big rig driver out for lunch. The sinkhole continues to grow, however, as a warning to oncoming traffic, there are orange cones wrapped in sparkly tape surrounding it and keeping the community safe. Authorities are unsure as to when power and water will be back on, but it's still raining so they can always freshen up outside.

Wednesday, December 29

You had me at 50 cents.

As it is the giving season, has just received its largest donation to date. Stacey C., philanthropic celebrity at large, has just broken all records by donating $1 to the cause. I heart you, Stacey C., and your swelling "philanthropy whore" nature!

© 2004

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