Wrong side of the tracks….

In my town, I live “On the wrong side of the tracks” which is south of Shaw Avenue. When my parents moved into the house that I now live in, it was as far north in town as you could go. In my hometown, North is good, South is not. So, as the city grew to the north, “South of Shaw” because less and less desirable.

Never mind that there are lovely neighborhoods South of Shaw, such as “Old Fig”, The Tower District, Sunnyside, and Huntington Blvd. to name but a few, for the most part, pseudo snobs say things like “I NEVER go south of Shaw!”.

Recently, I was invited to a party for a friend of mine. She happens to have a twin. The twin invited friends from her church. The party was held in what might be considered (by some) to be in “a bad part of town”. The house itself was lovely, and although you may have to go through less-than-desirable parts of town to get there, once you arrived, it seemed fine.

One of the guests from the twin’s church loudly annouced to her that she (the twin) was “lucky” that she (the guest) even came, because….she NEVER goes “South of Shaw”. I was appalled at this woman’s rudeness. I wouldn’t consider myself “lucky” at all in having a friend like that. The hostess of the party was a friend of the family who offered her house for the party to be held. If I were her, I might have asked the offender to leave…

I was personally offended, because….well, I live “South of Shaw”. I wonder where and what kind of house Ms. Snob-a-roo lives in? Perhaps she’s living above her means. Perhaps her house isn’t paid off, and someday, she may have to move “South of Shaw” herself.

While I may not live in a great (newer) neighborhood, I really do live in a good location. By freeway, I can get downtown in 10 minutes, and to the “North End” in 7. I live near “The Village”, which in this City, is our version of a cross between Carmel and Rodeo Drive (pricey little shops in a quaint atmosphere).

Some people have referred to where I live as a “Ghetto Neighborhood”. A rather rotund woman I knew from high school, who’d gone into business for herself (a clutter shop in the far north party of town), loudly asked me if I was “still living in THAT neighborhood” in front of a store full of people, when I went in to offer my congratulations on the opening of her new store. A few years later, her business folded.

Of course, these are people who make these rude remarks are probably not homeowners, and just might spend the rest of their lives throwing rent money out the window, never “owning” anything.

Another reason I stay here, is because I’ve been told that eventually, the City, or Private Industry may want this neighborhood, due to it’s ideal location. If not, I can always use it as a rental….




“Before you embark on a journey for revenge, dig two graves”-Confucius

One of my favorite TV shows is “REVENGE”. It’s about a young woman whose father was framed, and she has vowed revenge on all those responsible. Not only was her father sent to prison, she had to spend time in a juvenile facility.

She keeps important documents in a box with the symbol for “Double infinity” (Two “8”s) on it.

In the latest episode, her finance’, who happens to be the son of one of the enemies responsible for her father’s ultimate death, finally gets her to agree to a wedding date. She not-so-randomly chooses “August 8”. Now, I know that next Summer, August 8th falls on a Friday, because that’s also my birthday. I wouldn’t think that a Friday would be a popular day to get married, unless it was a Friday the 13th, and you were doing it for the purpose of the superstition (As a friend of mine did, over 20 years ago, and she’s still married).

I’m one to look for omens, and I took her “August 8” date as a message to me, personally. Double infinity, Revenge, August 8, all fit me.

An old friend I’ve known since high school was the one to turn me on to the show. She said I had to watch it, as it would give me some feeling of gratification to see someone else get their revenge on people who’ve crossed them, just as the Citibank 13 (as I refer to them), crossed me.

I would love to have a photo of all of them together, and draw a red “X” through their faces (just as the character on the show does) as each one of them is done in by their own undoing.

I personally don’t have to have done anything to my “enemies” to get that feeling of satisfaction when I learn that they have gotten their comeuppance. It can be something like learning that they lost their job, or their spouse, or their home, business, or whatever.

It would be like running into the woman who said to me “It’s a SHAME you don’t look like THAT anymore” when referring to an old photo of me when I was younger and thinner, and seeing that she had gained a considerable amount of weight, lost all of her hair, or worse.

Running into an ex-boyfriend who “raked you over the coals”, and seeing that he’s gotten very fat, bald, and in general, very unattractive, but you still look great, that’s “revenge”.

The drug dealer living in the rental next door, on Section 8, while he drives a new SUV and does drug deals, gets shot by the police, goes to the hospital, LIVES, and is taken directly to jail from the hospital. That’s revenge. It’s seeing someone else get what they deserve. Karma.

The wheels of justice grind slowly but surely.

I’d better get started digging those 14 graves….


Famous People

What is the price of fame, and why is it like an aphrodisiac? Fame itself, to some, is the aphrodisiac, while to others, simply being somehow “connected” to a “famous” person is the aphrodisiac. (What’s ironic, is when I go to the Awards shows in Hollywood, I hardly recogize half the “celebrities”).

I recall a few years ago, I knew of this young woman named Melissa, who seemed very “normal” at first, but a few key phrases gave away the fact she was actually mentally “unstable”. When talking about a friend of mine who is a somewhat semi-well-known MMA fighter, she shouted out “Heck, I’m more FAMOUS than him!”. I thought “What?”. What was she talking about that she was “famous”? And…”More famous than him”…he wasn’t exactly “famous” himself, either.

She then sent me a link to some silly website, where your friends vote for you, and depending on how many votes you get, determines how “famous” you are! Yes, she did indeed have more votes than my MMA fighter friend. Whoopie. There was also another little local “Attention Whore” who had many votes. She was a little Britany Spears look-alike, who was in a few local commercials, and thought her you-know-what didn’t stink.

I just rolled my eyes. I wouldn’t lower myself to play the “Fame Game”, by voting for Melissa, or anyone else, especially in a local contest.

I also recall about 10 years ago, when a neighbor of mine wanted to get into acting, and was asking me for advice on how/where to get training, and representation. His little teenage buddy piped up and said “He’s going to be FAMOUS!”, as if he was excited to know someone who someday might be “famous”.

Well, my neighbor never got famous, in fact, he never even got into acting. The last I heard, he was unemployed. God knows where his friend is, perhaps looking for others who might someday be “famous”.

What’s sad, is when you are famous, you have to be careful where you go, worry about your kids being kidnapped, make reservations (at hotels and restaurants) under fake names, worry about lawsuits (people automatically presume you have money if you are famous), etc.

Here’s what’s funny, while some people are busy looking for those who are “famous” today, they may be looking right passed someone who might be “famous” tomorrow. I was talking about this to a friend the other day, and she told me of a story that happened a long time ago, when a photographer she knew was down in Hollywood shooting some photos of then-famous people. There was a young man standing nearby, whom the photographer ignored, because HE wasn’t “famous”. Well, HE turned out to be…Brad Pitt.

Years ago, when Tom Selleck had the role that made him famous, Magnum P.I., he was on a talk show, and said “Before I got this role, no one thought of me as a “Sex Symbol”. I guess “fame” really is some sort of an aphrodisiac….


Citibank Banksters

Some people are offended by remarks that I post concerning my issue with Citibank. Maybe they have friends or relatives who work there, and my apologies to them. I know not all employees of Citibank are BAD people, some just work there because it’s a job, a paycheck, and they have bills to pay. Most of the people that I’ve met who work there, the ones with a conscience, eventually get out of there. They go on to work for Property Management companies, or law enforcement agencies.

The others are the ones I feel sorry for, the ones who cheat, lie and steal from customers, just to keep their jobs. If one believes in Heaven and Hell, well, they know where they are going. Cheating, Lying, Stealing, I believe are all addressed in the 10 Commandments.

Today is Sunday, the “Day of Rest”. I’d love to be able to rest, but I can’t. I work 3 jobs during the rest of the week, in order to pay off a debt that never should have been. A debt that an 85-year-old woman with documented dementia was booked into, encumbering her house. The house now belongs to me, and if I don’t pay off that loan, I lose the house.

I have to take care of a house and a yard. I don’t have automatic sprinklers. I COULD have, if I didn’t have this huge debt to pay off, pissing thousands of dollars away per year, paying off a debt that was never proven.

I can’t afford a gardener, so I have to do it myself. I do not have a green thumb, and my lawn is shrinking. Should I just let it all die, and just have patches of dirt in my front yard? I can’t even afford to plant cactus and have rocks, like a desert scene, because that costs money, money I have to piss away each month, going towards nothing.

I have to buy my food at warehouse stores. “Organic”? Ha Ha…what’s that? Buying “‘generic” and lower quality produce (i.e. exposed to chemicals) probably has a lot to do with the fact I can’t lose weight, and am having liver problems….my body is full of toxins.

Weekly trips to the “Dollar Store” where I buy my generic cleaning products and laundry detergent. I “brown bag” it to work. Going out to lunch-or even coffee-with a friend, is a “splurge”.

I often think of those Citibank employees, driving their new cars, and riding their Harleys (Like Mr. Rogers), while I have to plan routes to work and stores, so that I don’t waste gas.

A friend recently asked me “What do you do for entertainment?” meaning “How do you afford entertainment?”. Easy. I just go to things that are free, or stay home and watch DVDs I check out from the library. Finally, someone bluntly asked me “How do you afford to go to the Emmys?”. Well, that’s not “entertainment”, that’s a “business trip”. It’s not exactly a “write off” (yet!), but in hopes of selling my script about my Citibank ordeal, I go to the awards shows, because everybody (producers, directors, other writers) are all there.

I’m hoping and praying that someday, someone, somewhere, will make Citibank “pay” for what they’ve done, not only to me, but to probably hundreds of thousands of people. I’d love to be a witness for the prosecution. Every one of the evil people I had to deal with in my Citibank issue would be implicated. It would make “Operation Rezone” look like child’s play….

Free Appraisal of your Looks

Twice a year, a local Medi-Spa has an event I’ll call “Girl’s night out”. It’s where they offer great prices on things like Botox, Facials, goop that makes your eyelashes grow longer/thicker, and expensive skin care line products. I go to this spa maybe a few times a year for facials. I have never used Botox, thought I’ve been bluntly told “You’d look more youthful if you got  Botox”.

As I look around at many of the women who work at this Medi-Spa, I notice that they have seemingly “plastic”, expressionless faces, or the skin on their faces doesn’t match the rest of the body’s skin tone, because they’ve been using products to lighten the “hyperpigmentation”. (Think Michael Jackson).

As I passed by the Laser hair removing machine, an Asian man attending the machine asked me if I’d ever had Laser Hair removal done. I looked him squarely in the face and said “I’m part Asian, and I’m part Native American…I don’t have excessive body hair” and I walk on.

Next, I pass by the longer/thicker eyelash serum. Again, I get the pitch “Have you ever tried….?”. Yes, I have. Loreal’s version. It costs about $6, where your’s costs around $200. Thanks, but no thanks.

The Botox lady is beautiful, but she looks like a mannequin. Her face looks “tight”, and her nose is pointed. She just looks “Unnatural”. She reminds me of the Blonde woman in the store on Rodeo Drive in the movie “Pretty Woman”. Sure, she’s “gorgeous”, but something seems “off”. I move on.

Finally, I come to the Indian (As in “From India”, not “Come to my Casino” Indian, like me), who has a ghosty-gray face against the rest of her otherwise brown skin. She asks me if I’ve used the product. Well, yes, I’ve used some of the products from that particular (and very expensive, I might add) line. She doubts me. She tells me I have “hyperpigmentation”. I tell her I’ve just come from a swimming pool, as one of my jobs is teaching Aqua Aerobics. I don’t have make up on. She goes on and on about my “hyperpigmentation”. I sigh out of frustration with her, and said “Look, I’m a redhead, are you sure it’s not freckles?”. She gets huffy and very snidely says “It’s hyperpigmentation….from the sun”. No kidding? From the SUN? Go figure! I storm off.

I refuse to be bullied into buying a product that is way overpriced, and makes your face look freakishly unnatural. Sure, I’d like to have perfect skin, and a perfect body, but being closer to 60 than I am to 50, I think I look pretty darned good.

Facebook comments

Some people take Facebook comments WAY too seriously. A year or so ago (I don’t really remember, it’s not that important to me), I made a comment about a photo of a guy’s 2 sons. They were cute, and also looked old enough to be young adults. It wasn’t a risque comment, just something about how they’re “Cougar Bait”. Now, with all the T-shirts going around saying “Cougar Bait”, I thought this was a compliment. This guy’s over reaction to my comment made me feel as though he was practically accusing me of being some sort of pedophile!

The worst part of it was, he felt he had to “EXPLAIN” to me why he didn’t like my comment, and that I needed to immediately remove this comment from his Facebook page. What the….? Couldn’t he just hit the delete button on my comment? I was at work, could only read the message on my cell phone, but would have to get to a computer in order to delete the comment.

Well, I couldn’t just get up from my desk (where I had no access to a computer), and go to the Library where there was a computer (that runs as slow as molasses), I had to wait until my lunch break to do so. I ended up not having lunch that day, because I had to go to the library, and wait for the computer to come up (slow as molasses, remember?), log in, find the comment, and delete it. I also deleted him from my “Friends” list. It’s just easier that way.

Since the incident, this guy has tried to get back in my good graces, and has tried to “friend” me again, but I just don’t have time for that. I have over 600 friends on Facebook, and he’s just not that important to me. He’s not someone I could call if my car broke down in the middle of the night on a lonely road, or anytime, for that matter. In fact, I don’t believe I even had his phone number.

This is the same guy who used to post horrible photos he took of me at social gatherings. You know, the kind that for some reason expand to make you look twice your normal size? To me, that’s far worse than a comment about someone’s kids being cute. But I never sent him a message saying “Hey, I don’t like this photo you took of me, I hid it” or whatever. I just untagged the photo and let it go.

We’re big boys/girls now. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, if someone’s comment on your Facebook page doesn’t please you, just delete it. Don’t rub their nose in it like you’d rub a dog’s nose in its own feces to show it that it did something wrong. Unfriend them if necessary. If they’re constantly posting offensive things on your Facebook page, arguing with your friends, putting people down, etc., you’re far better off just “unfriending” them and letting it go.

Then, if they ask you why you unfriended them, you can tell them, but not until then. Don’t bring a gun to a knife fight.

Words of advice to “Celebrities” at Awards Shows

1. You are there. Your peers have nominated you. You should be flattered. If you do not win, do not sulk. Do you know how many people in the world would give their eye-teeth to be in your shoes?

2. Don’t “diss” your fans. These are the people who love/admire you, simply for your work. I can’t think of many people that I love for their work, except for my dentist and his remarkable cosmetic dentistry. Oh, and my hairdresser, who can perfectly match my natural color.

3. Even if you don’t win, smile. Be happy for those who do win. Their show may be cancelled the next season, and you may still be working 10 years from now. Your turn will come, and even if it doesn’t, keep in mind, it’s an honor just to be nominated.

4. Thank the writers, thank the writers, thank the writers. Your show/movie begins with them.

5. Thank the Producer, the Director, and the crew. These people work the same long hours that you do, and go unrecognized for their hard work, for the most part.

6. Thank God, or whomever you consider to be a higher power, for helping get you where you’re at. Yes, a lot of hard work goes into getting into the business, but sometimes you get an unexplainable boost from an unidentifiable source.

7. Don’t use winning an award as a  platform for which you can express your political views. Save that for another time.

8. Be gracious to your fans. Even if you have a personal battle going on, it only takes a minute or two to make someone’s whole day/month/year/life. Meeting you for a split second may have been a dream of theirs for many years. Remember, fans go with the territory. Without them, you would not be where you are.

9. If you’re nominated for an award, try to be at the ceremony, unless you absolutely cannot attend. People are expecting to see you there, the least you can do is show up. And again, there are millions of people who’d gladly go in your place, just to be at the event.

10. Again, don’t sulk if you don’t win. Don’t act like a bratty child, it’s not going to do you any good, and will just make you look like an ass, Steve. Smile, pose for photos, give an autograph. You have one of the most coveted jobs in the world.