Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Is This the End?

I didn't want to say anything until it was official, but as of last night I have checked out of the YMCA for good.

This is the sun setting on the Y. It's like a metaphor or something.

I moved into an amazing apartment in West Hollywood. I'm very happy about my new situation, but I was surprised at how sad it made me to leave. Even though it was only for a month, and even though it was a crappy room at the Y, it's unsettling to leave a familiar place and enter that unknown entity - the new home.

But I love my new apartment dearly, and I am just beginning to explore my exciting new neighborhood.

Of course the question on everyone's lips is "What will become of the blog?"

The answer: Wait and see.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

"I believe that when people are in transit their souls are not in their bodies. It takes a couple minutes to catch up. Walking - horseback - that is the speed at which the soul can stay in the body during travel. So airports and subway stations are very similar to hell."

- from Dead Man's Cell Phone, by Sarah Ruhl

Riding a bike may be the most perfect way to travel. Faster than walking, cheaper than driving, taking in the scenery, the wind in your face. What fun!

I bike a lot.

Yesterday I was making a half-bike/half-bus trip across town. (This is so convenient for when your destination isn't exactly on a bus route. Also for when Google Maps wants you to change buses twice - you can usually replace one of the buses with some cycling.)

On this particular trip, I found myself riding behind a real serious cyclist. You know the type. She had the bike shorts, the sports bra, water bottle, helmet, and a fancy, expensive-looking bike. I rode behind her a ways, letting her cut through the wind for me.

Soon we were joined by another fellow on his bike, and we rode a few more blocks. Then another bicycle turned onto the street and, less than a block later, yet another.

The five of us rode together as a pack for several blocks, weaving around each other, alternating who was taking the lead. The people we passed must have thought we were all there together. And I guess they wouldn't have been wrong.

Eventually, one-by-one we turned to go our separate ways. I was the last to break off, leaving Miss Serious Cyclist to carry on alone.

Sorry fellas, this one's mine.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Living Thrifty: Can Openers

A $3 can opener is not the deal it seems to be. This is important. You need to remember this advice when you're living at the Y with no refrigerator and eating lots of canned foods.

"This is a no-brainer," you'll think, when you find the $3 can opener right next to a $15 can opener. You'll congratulate yourself for being such a shopping genius. But I ask that you please, please stop yourself there, remember this post, and buy a quality can opener.

Otherwise you will get your $3 can opener home and discover that it doesn't do its only job, opening cans. You will spend lots of time trying to force the can opener to work, eventually using it to just punch holes in a circle around the lid of the can. Not only will this create dangerous, jagged edges on your cans; it will also break the can opener completely.

And you will feel stupid because you were so smugly self-satisfied when you found the $3 can opener.

And you will have to buy a decent can opener anyway.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Another Date With Broken Plate

Remember the old man with a broken plate I mentioned a couple weeks ago? We were at the sinks together again last night.

Once again I was washing my awesome complete set of dishes from Goodwill and, once again, he was rinsing two-thirds of a plate.

Then the best thing happened.

He smiled, wagged his shard at me and said, "Gotta be careful!"

I love this place.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Merry Old Land of Oz

I've been re-watching my DVDs of Oz. You know, the HBO prison drama. And it has me thinking about the similarities between living at the YMCA and living in prison. Here's a comparison.

(Click to view full-size.)

Something I Seen: Blast from the Past

Here’s something I seen:

(Click to view full size.)

This guy on the bus is wearing knickers. I don't think I could find a pair of knickers to wear if I wanted to. And now I do. Where did he get these?

Also, his knee socks are purple.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Recipes: Peanut Butter and...

Last week I asked for ideas of fridge-less foods I could use on a peanut butter sandwich. Here’s some.

Smart Start
grade: B
Peanut butter and Smart Start cereal is a good flavor match. The crunch of the cereal is nice, but overall this sandwich is a little dry. Definitely have a glass of water handy.

Cranberry Sauce
grade: C-

Definitely edible, and it has the advantage of looking and feeling like traditional PB&J. But the peanut butter overpowers the taste of the cranberry sauce. Also, I can’t save any cranberry sauce for later and a whole can of cranberry sauce is hard to stomach in one sitting.

Apples and Honey
grade: A+

Apples are like jelly that hasn’t happened yet. This is a perfectly delicious blend of flavors. Very, very tasty. A strong recommendation.

Oatmeal and Sugar
grade: B+
Surprisingly tasty. It turns peanut butter into a hot sandwich, which is a melty treat. I found that the oatmeal needed a LOT of sugar to compete with the peanut butter flavor.

grade: B-
Decent. The flavors blend well, but are not thrilling. And dry.

Got a fridge-less recipe to share? Leave it in the comments!

If you really dig sandwiches, check out Scanwiches for a daily dose of delicious scans.

A big thanks to Heather and my mom for their input on this.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Something I Seen: Buffy the Vandalism Sprayer

Here’s something I seen:

I can’t be certain, but I think Sarah Michelle Gellar has started tagging.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bread Lady

I was browsing the rack of day-old baked goods at the supermarket, looking for a cheap loaf of bread, when I heard a gravelly shriek from behind me.


The speaker was an old woman in a humongous sunhat that looked so silly on her tiny body I almost laughed out loud.

“Yeah, that’s what I’m looking for,” I told her.

And she began clawing through the rack of food.

“Oh, HERE we go!” she screamed, bringing several loaves up from the bottom shelf. This woman had the biggest mouth, both figuratively and literally, and the feature was even more pronounced because of her bright red lipstick. She smiled a smile that stretched back to her ears and handed me a fancy bread with lots of grains. “You take this one. Trust me, it’s the BEST. SO HEALTHY.”

I thanked her and started to walk away with the bread. From behind me she called out again.

“Look at THIS.” She was holding up some danishes. “$1.79! One a day, with your morning COFFEE. I’m not a coffee drinker.” And put them back on the shelf.

I love this woman.

I would have forgotten all about her, but three hours later I got on the bus and there she is, flapping her enormous red lips at anyone and everyone nearby.

"Weatherman LIED to me. 'Cooler today than yesterday.' LIAR."

I tried really hard to figure out a way to take her picture without her noticing, feeling like Harriet the Spy. It didn’t work out. Someday.

“Finally learned the TRUTH. No one goes to the MOVIES anymore, ‘cause there ARE NO MOVIES! Not for TWENTY YEARS.”

She didn't stop talking the whole time she was on the bus. When we arrived at her stop in front of a hospital, she tried unsuccessfully to convince the driver to pull around to a side door for her. She stood up to exit the bus, and jabbed a bony finger into the chest of a young boy standing in front of the door.

“YOU. Outta my way. I’m going in for SURGERY.”

Then, as she debarked, to the small crowd waiting to board the bus:

“Coming THROUGH. Going in for SURGERY.”

Friday, April 1, 2011

Something I Seen: This Doesn't Mean Anything

Here's something I seen:

It's an ashtray.

High Five

Yesterday a guy about my age sat next to me on the bus and proceeded to pull an enormous wad of cash out of his pockets. It was mostly ones and fives.

Counting your pocketful of bills is a strange thing to do on a very crowded bus, and I found myself curious about where he had been that night. He didn’t look like an exotic dancer. He was kind of dirty and needed to shave, so he also didn’t look like a waiter, and certainly not one that would be taking home so much money on a Thursday.

I’m telling you, it was a huge pile of cash spread out all over his lap. He dropped like six bills on the floor of the bus without noticing. Finally I picked them up and handed them back to him.

“Oh, thanks man,” he said. “High FIVE!” (He didn’t actually high-five me. Just shouted it at me.)

He put all the money away. And then it got weirder.

Because the next thing he pulled out was marijuana. Now, I don’t really know much about marijuana, but it looked like a lot of it to me. And he starts rolling a blunt, on his lap, on the crowded bus.

But at least the large amount of marijuana helps to explain the pile of cash.