Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I have been feeling the need to counterbalance the 'I Hate You' post with a more positive one, even before I thought I was going to shut down this blog. Usually, I can remember to focus on the simple pleasures in life, the things that delight me. I have always been inspired by Katherine Hepburn in "On Golden Pond," how her character, Ethel Thayer, was delighted by even just the calling of the loons on the lake ("The loons, Norman!")

What delights me? (and why do you care?)

I get so much pleasure from my pets on a daily basis. Domestic Partner and I enjoy indulging the codependent nature of our pugs. And we are happy to have a new feline friend in the house, again, even if she is a little vampire kitty, always biting and chewing on our hands and fingers in her play.

Can you believe I don't watch "Dancing With the Stars?" I know. Chastise me all you want. But I am delighted to recently learn about Mark Dacascos. Why am I just now discovering this sexy man, this Chairman of America's "Iron Chef?!" I don't care if he is a flat-footed dancer, as my coworkers have told me. This man is fine. Call it a combination of narcissism and just plain lust, but this part-Asian man is my new role model! Yes, he has trained for decades as a martial artist, but if he can maintain such physical perfection in his forties, then I have no excuse to give up on any of my own fitness efforts.

I continue to enjoy the TV series "Glee." It's like a new version of "Fame" to me. I delight in the new "Glee" soundtrack CD that I bought at Target last week, and I can't wait for the second one to come out next month! The cheerleader character, Quin, sings a cover of the Supremes' "Keep Me Hanging On." It may be an even more watered-down and vocally vapid version than Kim Wilde's, but it's one of the stand-out songs from the album that's had me rockin' all week. This version seems to hit the girl-power/feminist message more acutely somehow, at least, in a white girl kinda' way.

I delight in my scooter ride to work on sunny mornings, especially when it's a particularly safe and timely ride. I delight in the endorphins I am able to easily access when I jog, or go to the gym, or just dance around my kitchen. I take great delight in eating chocolate every day, especially Snickers, even though I shouldn't.

And I delight in the anticipation that comes along in life. The dancers I used to work with in Japan have started to find some of us Americans on facebook, and they have already set a date for a reunion next summer. It gives me continuing delight to look forward to flying across the Pacific to see them all again, in person.

It also gives me motivation to get my middle-aged ass in the gym regularly and out on my neighborhood jogging route.

Like I told you, it's also for the endorphins, my organically manufactured high and delight!

Monday, November 16, 2009

One Person

One person can make a difference.

I had every intention of writing a goodbye post tonight. I was going to retire from blogging, at least for now. I was going to pop the bubble, as it were. Then I noticed another follower. From Poland? How can I quit now when this reader just recently added my blog to his reading roll? How could I possibly risk exacerbating the precarious global conflict that's already rampant around the world by giving up on my blog?

Okay, really: How could I be so lazy and give up so easily?

Why did I start blogging in the first place? Honestly, it was another fun way to get attention. Why do you think I used to sing and dance? (Why do you think I still force my coworkers to endure my singing and dancing?) Also, I really thought I might discover that I have something substantial to say, unremarkable as my life can be, most of the time.

Why was I going to make tonight's post my last? My writing is suffering in general. Continuation of My First Novel attempt has been shamefully neglected, and I thought that cessation of this blog might help to resolve that. I feel the need, yet again, to clear away the clutter, even though that means wanting to clean out closets and getting rid of old clothes before sitting down to do any actual writing.

Maybe I am just anxious over the fact that Domestic Partner and I will be hosting my family in our home again for one of the holiday dinners this year, and I want to do as much prep cleaning as possible before that happens.

Also, my life may be too easy. My life is great, actually, and who wants to read about that? We have a new kitten in the house, another preemie we had rescued from abandonment in our backyard. Baby Kitty is playful, affectionate, and just too adorable for its own good at almost two months. She sleeps between the humans in bed, and sometimes between the pugs. Life is cozy and sweet.

We think Baby is a 'she.' We were wrong with the last cat.

I have nothing remarkable to write, most days, but I have good things in my life, and I am grateful for that. I am grateful for safe scooter rides on the freeway, and for the fact that I am employed. Sometimes, while riding into work, I remember to pray for the chance to be a light in this world, and for the chance to make a difference in someone's life, no matter how small.

Adam-from-Poland, today you are that one person to me. Because of you I will continue to write new posts for Plastic Bubble World.

And for that I thank you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Hate You

I can't write. All I want to do is rant and rave about my pet peeves. I don't want this blog to be an outlet for that - a dumping grounds.

Oh, well. Too bad.

You people who leave your shopping carts in the parking lot? I hate you. If you can't push it back to the front of the supermarket entrance, at least take it to the designated area in the parking lot. Think of the people working on staff. Do it for them.

Stop littering in the parks and around the DMV by my house. I hate you for doing that. Bushes and small trees are not there for you to place empty soda cans and cigarette boxes. Trash cans are only a few feet away.

And stop leaving empty In'N'Out bags, boxes, and soft drink cups by the curb, in front of my neighbors' houses. And beer bottles. Take it away in your car, you know, in the same way you brought it to our neighborhood.

To the guy who dropped his salsa on the floor in El Pollo Loco. I hate you. I can't believe you just left it there and went back to the salsa bar to get some more. Think of the people working on staff and clean up your own damn mess. I feel sorry for your girlfriend/wife/sister (whatever). She has to put up with your apathy for however long you two are together.

Be reasonable. Be like me and do things my way so I won't have to hate you.

And to everyone driving in Los Angeles? Use your frickin' turn signals. Give me a clue if you are about to change lanes or make a turn, so I don't crash into you.

I know my life is good. If this is the worst my life gets, then I should just be grateful. But, still. Quit it.

Get off my lawn, you damn kids!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Plaid Polyester and Plastic Name Tags

I served my time in the fast food industry, in the early 80's at Le Box du Jacque, and I had a great time. Usually. Once or twice, I had run into the freezer to yell and scream my frustration out. But as with most memories from more than twenty years ago, the good outweighs the bad.

We had fun at work. Half of the staff was comprised of high school band geeks, including BFF Kathy, Knucklehead, and BMWinLaguna. We called our place of employment "Jerk in the Box," "Jack in the Crack," "Jerk Off in the Box" - everything but the actual name.

I started out on fries, and eventually I was promoted to the grill. I loved working the grill because I got to eat the extra hamburgers when they became more than thirty minutes old. I probably made more hamburgers than I was supposed to, even for the dinner rush hour.

Kathy worked the front counter and sometimes the drive-thru. She would bag the hamburgers I had wrapped in the shiny, logo-marked foil before handing them through the window. "What if you took a single bite out of the burger before wrapping it up?" she had asked me once. That still makes me laugh. I can just picture the surprised or pissed off look on some one's face after they drive away and pull the burger out of the bag.

Knucklehead was a year older than me, and therefore much wiser and more dignified. We had been cast mates in the school musical, "The Fantasticks." I was comfortable singing show tunes in front of him while on dish washer duty in the back room. Sometimes I would switch from show tunes to Madonna.

"Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight - starlight."

Knucklehead's tone was thick with condescension. "Oh, those are difficult lyrics!"

The training methods were probably Pavlovian-based. We learned to automatically respond to a series of beeps and boops for taking the french fries out of the fryer before they burned, and for flipping over the burger patties in time, etc.

The taco salad (at the time) was crowned with a ladle full of seasoned, soupy ground beef. The taco meat was kept in a kind of crock pot and would congeal if it wasn't stirred every fifteen minutes.

"Doo-doo, doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo," was what I heard every time the short medley would play over the taco meat crock pot.

BMW, with his perpetually dry wit, came up with original lyrics on his own. "Stir the taco meat, yeah-yeah-yeah," he would sing in perfect pitch.

We had a great boss, Penny, a woman with a blond bun on her head and concerned blue eyes. She would let us eat anything we wanted, "as long as the customers don't see you." I guess she figured that we would end up eating much less that way than if we had snuck around behind her back.

So, we really liked Penny. She got fired. She had been collecting cash from the register drawers, to take to the back and count in the office. She wanted all of the cash in one place, so she grabbed the most logical and handy item available: a logo-marked paper bag. That paper bag got handed out the drive-thru window. The bag contained over $1,000.

It was never seen again.

Penny's career at Junk in the Box may have been cut short, but Madonna's is closing in on three decades.

Eat those difficult lyrics, Knucklehead!