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Starbucks: My personal hell.

In Rants on July 31, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Going to Starbucks is my personal nightmare that I choose to relive again and again.

First off, I only go for the wifi.

If I need to make a coffee pit stop that does NOT include wifi usuage, I usually go someplace that is also known for their food…

Like Western Bagel in Burbank. It is the most seemingly disorganized place I’ve ever been to. You walk up to a crowded counter. They don’t believe in lines. But somehow, magically, in under 2 minutes, I’ll walk away with a toasted everything bagel and an xtra large hazelnut coffee….all for under 4 bucks. Take that starbucks.

You might be wondering…Erika, if you need wifi so badly, why don’t you go to Coffee Bean instead? Because I went to coffee bean once for wifi and I couldn’t figure out the internet password, and that one experience alone has ruined me for ever trying this again.

So back to Starbucks…I go for the wifi.

There’s first the choice of which cheap drink will I buy, since I’m only there to use my computer….

Is it classy to order water at starbucks as well to buy you more time at a table?

I hate being one of those people who sit around at a table for hours with random people inside of Starbucks talking about my dreams. It makes me uncomfortable. That kind of conversation is best suited for a bar after 3 martinis. If you’re discussing your dreams in a Starbucks in the middle of the day rather than pursuing them…I’m sorry…but you’re taking the elongated route.

There are 3 types of people that sit in Starbucks:

1)    People using wifi

2)    People who bought food at Panda Express and need comfy chairs to rest in while they pass out in a food coma

3)    The people I mentioned earlier who make me uncomfortable by talking about their dreams in the middle of the day.

Here’s the problem:

People types 1 and 3 are all using wifi. People type #1 is clearly there specifically for wifi. ….so that’s about 50% of the outlet population in Starbucks that is taken. 30% of the outlet population is being utilized by People type #3. People who are talking about their dreams inside of Starbucks in the middle of the day are usually backing up their points of conversation with visual aids…typically in the form of google images. So if you’re doing the math, 80% of the outlet population is in use before I even walk in the door.

As soon as I walk into Starbucks, before I even order my drink, I go into focus mode. Half of my brain is trying to scour the place to find an outlet. It can’t be one by a couch, because I’ll get too comfortable and overstay my welcome. It also can’t be one at a regular sized table. If I sit alone at a regular sized table, I will piss off People type #3. As much as they annoy me, they still need a place to sit. So I’ll be generous. I usually scour the place for an outlet by a tall skinny table that is usually only attached to one stool. I will be uncomfortable in the chair and therefore not stay longer than I intend. Perfect choice. At this very moment that I’m looking for an outlet, the other 50% of my brain is deciding what to order. If I order a plain coffee, theres little chance of them messing up my order. If I order green tea to be perceived as being healthy by my peers, theres a 75% chance that my order will come out wrong…

a)     because I’ll place my own order incorrectly, because in my head, I’ll be thinking that I want a venti-iced-non-sweetened-green tea…but instead I’ll SAY that I want a venti-blended hot green tea.

b)    And then when they hand me the wrong beverage, I’ll be pissy for the first 15 minutes of my stay at Starbucks, rather then focusing on plugging in my computer.

Theres a secret code of respect in Starbucks. It is each person’s responsibility to share an outlet. It is considered even chivalrous to offer to plug in a complete stranger’s laptop for them. True. Story. Next time you head to Starbucks in search of an outlet, your best bet is to sit next to an older gentleman…they’re always willing to share.

When I grow up…I want an italian father-in-law

In Rants on July 8, 2011 at 1:05 am

When I was a kid, my parents would ask me, “Sweetheart, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

When I was in college and changed my major 3 or 4 times, my parents rephrased it to, “Seriously, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

Now that I’m a little more older and wiser…meaning I no longer add vodka to my red bulls or stay up until 4 in the morning and convince myself that I will be a loveable human being the next day….I finally know what I want. I also kinda..and I mean kinda know how to get it. But like every other quirky and patient person in L.A…I’m trying to be just that. Patient.

My parents still indulge me by asking me, “So honey, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

I like that they know that I’m on a journey. I like that they know that I left point “A”, but who the hell knows when I’ll get to point “B.” They know I’m trying, and that’s all that matters. But for christssake, I feel like I should have an answer for my poor parents. I could easily respond, “Parentals. I want to be a writer/actor.” But c’mon….lets add a little flavor to it. Let’s pull something from left field.

The next time my parents ask me, “Erika, what do you wanna be when you grow up?”

I will look them dead in the eye, and genuinely respond, “I would like to have a crazy Italian-father-in-law when I grow up.”

I’ve known from the time I was a kid that I want kids someday. 4 to be exact. I’ve just always known that this is something I would want. I don’t know when it will happen. Or with whom, and I won’t worry about that right now. Because, lets face it, being single can sometimes be a joy, so I’m going to own it while I can. But if I don’t know when I’m getting married, I can at least make a wish-list of all of the other nonsense that I want in my life. I want an Italian father in law. Someone who is loud. Someone who can make the meek extremely uncomfortable. A father-in-law who cooks with so much damn garlic, that my skin will reek for the rest of my life. A father-in-law with a couple of loud sons who will threaten to beat up their brother if he breaks my heart. A sister in law who is nosey and self-centered, but so damn likeable, that you don’t give a damn. A mother in law who insists that you eat. All the time. This is what I want. I want loud and crazy in-laws who can keep up with my loveably loud and crazy family. Mostly, I wanna pretend that I’m in the mob and sit at dinner tables with checkered table cloths in the back of a restaurant after closing hours. Let’s do this.

I’d like to live in a French film.

In Rants on June 5, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Every day I feel like I go through a different phase. Sometimes, I repeat certain phases. I’ll experience an extremely nerdy day. Or a skanky day. Or an alcoholic day. Or a writer day. In this rainbow of phases, I’ve discovered that the sum of all of it equals this quirky personality that continues to develop. Today, my French phase re-surfaced.

It happened after a cup of coffee. Two cups of coffee. I was watching the final season of Sex and the City…the episode where Carrie learns french and moves to Paris with the a-hole aka Alexandre Petrofsky. I was sighing through the entire episode. I realize that I can’t afford to hop a plane and visit Paris. But damn it. Why can’t my life be a french movie? Or a french movie from the 60’s? It all started with A Woman is a Woman. The gorgeous costumes. The blue and green eyeliner. The wine glasses. The dialogue. I was hooked.

My life has to be a french film.

This was the scene that stole my heart:

Then came Amelie….and I knew. My life needs to be french. Every scene of my life has to come from a french film. Oh, Audrey Tautou….I want to be you when I grow up.

Until then, at least I have your movies….if you haven’t seen Priceless, do yourself a favor. So well-written and charming….and it makes me want to be a gold-digger.

Damn you coffee. Damn you for giving me unrealistic goals. I know I can’t jump through the screen and appear in a 60’s french film…but if I could…I would. At least I would today.

The appeal of the Dive: The search for the New Mclaren’s.

In Rants on June 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm

How I Met Your Mother.

My favorite show. Pretty sure I quote it at least once a day.

In case you haven’t seen the show, there’s a billion reasons to love it. Neil Patrick Harris’s portrayal of Barney Stinson has to be one of the best characters on TV. I fall more in love with Marshall (Jason Segel) as each episode passes by. But the one character that gets overlooked, yet holds the entire show together…is the bar….

McLaren’s is the Dive. I want a McLaren’s in my life.

McLaren’s is the only place you ever drink at. It’s the place where you can always find someone you know…

Cue “Cheers” theme song…

P.S…if you haven’t watched “Cheers” since you were a small child…do yourself a favor and re-watch it on instant netflix. The writing blows my mind every.time. They never leave the bar, and its still genius!

I’ve begun searching for my McLaren’s and I’ve found a couple close calls. My top two choices are “RobinHood’s” in Sherman Oaks…and coming in a close 2nd, is “Fox n’ Hounds” in Studio City.

So, what’s the big deal with the dive? You don’t have to deal with pretentious people. The drinks are reasonably cheap. You’re allowed to wear jeans. I don’t know why, but every time I drink at a dive bar, I feel like I’ll find a story. I feel like something interesting will happen….no pressure, dive bar. Even if nothing interesting happens, I promise you…I’ll still have a great time.

And now…I leave you…with some great bar moments…among other things…

No, I would not trade places with Kate.

In Rants on April 28, 2011 at 4:25 am

I had the good fortune of having not 1, but TWO days off in a row. I spent half of Day off numero uno running errands, and the 2nd half zoning out in front of BBC America watching “The wedding countdown/history of/future of/something or other wedding glory bonanza that is Prince William and Miss Kate.

Its the same story you hear about in the movies.

The normal girl who is also abnormally fabulous and fashionable and let me emphasize NORMAL…somehow swoops in and lands the world’s most eligible bachelor.

Girls are raised being called a princess. We are raised to be looking for a man who will treat us like a princess…so it would seem as if lil miss Kate has won the fucking jackpot.

She will be called a princess by occupation, and she has found a man who by birth will also treat her like a princess…

So here’s the question…would I trade places with Kate?

The answer is…hell no.

While I zoned out during the wedding documentary of “The World’s cutest/luckiest couple,” a couple disturbing phrases continued to resurface.

The reporters kept describing Kate and why she was such a good match for William…however…the typical things you would want to hear about yourself like, “They’re chemistry is undeniable”…or….”She’s simply ape-shit over the man”, were phrases that were never uttered.

Kate was repeatedly described as the following:

Well-mannered. Well-behaved. Poised. Well-spoken. A perfect match for royalty. A perfect match for the public eye.

Here’s the thing…I don’t know Kate. Maybe deep-down, she’s silly, quirky and loves to have farting contests…but it doesn’t matter who she really is…because the real person she is has to be watered down for the general public.

So…no.

I would not trade places with Kate.

I like the fact that I’m allowed to snort when I laugh. I like wearing shirts that say things like, “Hold Hands Not Grudges.” I like being the retard at your local bar. I like biting my nails. I like purposely not using hand sanitizer, because I believe cooties to be thrilling. I like laughing loud. Being loud. Being inappropriate. Saying things you shouldn’t say just because its fun to say them. I like eating food that’s bad for you. I like jay-walking. I like looking like an idiot some of the time. All the time.

Plus, I wouldn’t trade places with Kate…because I’m holding out for Harry. He’s way more my type.

I guess the moral of this fairy tale story, is be you. A princess ain’t the chick sitting on a throne somewhere. The princess is the one dancing down the street because life is good and she doesn’t give a shit what people think. 

My new super power: Eating like its going outta style

In Rants on April 21, 2011 at 6:12 am

Eat.

work.

redbull.

Remember to wear a bra.

apartment hunt.

work.

Crap, did I brush my teeth?

My life looks like this. Everything I own is in boxes, and today I was so over apartment hunting, that I was ready to sign the lease for a dumpy apartment I went to see this morning….half the cars in the parking lot were smashed/banged up…When I asked the property manager when the last tenant moved out and he replied, “A while ago” (yet there was still dirt/scum/spots everywhere and things that needed to be repainted)…I STILL was ready to fill out an application.

I think I have a new super power: Stress Eating.

I’m a huge fan of food.

But I’ve never been a stress eater…quite the opposite actually. Usually when I’m stressed, I completely forget to eat. I’ll go an entire day on one meal, and my body literally forgets to tell me its hungry…OR my brain is so completely on overload that if my body tries to say, “Please, sir…can you spare a sandwich?”

My body full blown bitch slaps itself and screams, “No. Your owner is preoccupied today. Get over yourself.”

I think today was the first day of this new super power…stress eating. And I only call it a super power, because I took it a little too far…

Tonight, my dinner consisted of:

1 McDouble

2 McDonald’s pies

1 bowl o’ pasta

1 plate of asparagus

chips and guac

1/2 box wheat thins

I’m not embarrassed. Or even concerned. I’m just trying to figure out how the hell it happened. It felt like a feat of strength. I could’ve seriously kept going. If my stomach was begging me to stop, then I didn’t even hear it weep.

On a more positive note, I’ve rediscovered my love of the Magic Castle. Shout-out goes to Cat for letting me tag-along. That place can seriously take a shitty day, and put a fat band-aid on it. I adore that place. I adore the fact that there is a place where I can get dressed up, and hold a dirty martini in my hand, and actually feel like a grownup. A place where magic tricks is the thing turning people on…rather than bump n’ grinding nonsense and pickup lines that fall flat. The castle feels like one of those places where you can get pulled into a back room, and see unspeakable things…then you end up signing a contract that you won’t share what you saw with the rest of the world. It feels like a secret society. Kinda like Hostel 2, minus the killing part.

On a nerd note, I finally saw Hook on the big-screen for the 1st time in my adult-life…I think I was 5 last time I saw it in theaters. Such a fun night! I went as slutty Jack.

Don’t judge. Spent the night crowing at the screen, screaming that tink was a homewrecker and spatting out lines along with the audience. It was insanely awesome. To top it off, I got a hug from Rufio. Btw, he gave a hysterical Q n’ A before the show. For info on more nerdy screenings at midnight, visit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nerds-Like-Us/121943994494325. They’re gonna be screening Animal House next. Alright kids, I need a nap.

The moon and i.

In Rants on April 14, 2011 at 3:53 am

I was recently watching a movie with my mom…and the main character admitted that when she was a kid, she believed that the moon followed her everywhere.

My mom burst out laughing.

I didn’t think it was funny. I thought it was sweet…then my mom looked at me and said, “You used to believe the same damn thing. It was hilarious.”

As soon as she said it, it struck a memory with me.

I honestly believed the moon followed me.

I must’ve been a pretty self-absorbed kid…to think that a busy moon had all the time in the world to follow my sorry ass around throughout the night. But I know that I’m not the only child who thought this…

The older we get, the less we believe that the moon follows us. We know that its just our eyes playing tricks on us.

We don’t trust that it’ll be there. We figure the moon is too damn busy and has too many other prior engagements to make sure that we’re ok once in awhile. We lose faith that people worry about us. We lose faith that people care about us. And as we start to lose faith in all of these things, we start to quickly lose faith in ourselves. It gets easier to question your dreams. It gets easier to get caught up in the day to day nonsense…and one day…you find yourself stopping yourself in your tracks, and asking yourself one simple question…

What the fuck am I doing, and how did I get here?

You’re allowed this moment. You’re allowed to question yourself. You’re allowed to have a few “What the fuck” moments in life. Its those kind of moments that stop you in your tracks, and force you to turn around.

And I guarantee that if you stop yourself in your tracks once awhile, you’ll see that damn moon sitting right behind you. We might’ve gotten older, but somehow, the moon still sticks around. It still knows that it is needed.

When I was a kid, I had a music box that my grandma gave me…it played the following song, which is fitting because

1) it discusses the moon

2) it includes cats and memories…and for a cat-lady like me, its well…kinda perfect.

Goodnight moon. You’ve been damn good to me.

Apparently I’m dating.

In Rants on April 12, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Apparently I’m dating.

And I didn’t even frickin’ realize it.

I’m in an unhealthy relationship with almost every property manager in the Los Angeles area. When I try to tell him my needs,

“Sorry, I can’t afford more than $850.”

or

“Will you love me even though I have two cats?”

….

I’m met with the same response every time. A laugh. A “hell no” kinda laugh.

I’ve even lowered my standards for the type of man I’m looking for. I started off by searching for a man with hardwood floors, an assigned parking space, a tolerance for cats, and within 5 miles of work.

Now, I’ve lowered my standards.

I feel like a cheap dirty whore.

When a guy tells me, “I only have street parking,”…its like I’m so desperate I’d take him home with me after only 1 beer. I’m willing to give up assigned parking for a relationship that will only last 6-12 months. It’s ridiculous.

I’m ready to give up hardwood floors for a stained mess of a carpet.

My life is in boxes. I literally have baggage. I’m shopping for a new man who can accommodate the baggage that is my life…and I’m not finding him. And that’s ok. Maybe I have to flirt with a couple application fees before I find my damn prince. And that’s ok. I need a guy who will tolerate my cats. A guy who maybe doesn’t have assigned parking, but damn it…he has a nice safe street I can park my jeep on. A guy who will make me feel safe, so that when I come home at 2 in the morning, I don’t have to fear for my life.

Dear Los Angeles Prince,

Where the fuck are you.

I would love to curl up with you and unpack my baggage.

Let’s have a lease together.

retard.

In Rants on April 4, 2011 at 5:26 am

I’ve become very aware of something…

there are many things…

that I am completely incapable of.

A) I can’t wear my hair down. It bugs me. I wish I could pull off sexiness 24/7, but I honestly can’t do it for a number of reasons:

  1. My hair has a mind of its own. One day, its ridiculously curly. The next, straight as an arrow.
  2. I’m lazy. I don’t use blow-dryers, I give up after 2 minutes with a curling iron, and I’m bored after 5 minutes with a flat-iron. I wish crimpers were back in style. I would not be too lazy to use that…because I’m not afraid to admit…I still think they’re frickin’ badass.

B) I am incapable of looking like perfection by the end of a shift. I usually look like I’ve been hit by a semi. My hair is askew. My eye makeup starts to leak. I’ve usually chipped/bitten off most of my nail polish by this point.

C) I’m incapable of keeping my conversations (and thoughts for that matter) G-rated…or even PG-13. My mind moved into the gutter quite awhile ago, and to be honest…its very comfortable residing there.

D) I’m incapable of drinking and not texting boys. Its not even because I like the attention at this point…its because its a fun pasttime from my college days and I feel as if I would be betraying “college me” if I didn’t indulge in this once in awhile.

E) I’m incapable of winking. True. Story. I absolutely cannot wink. Another example of my inability to be sexy. I mean c’mon. Even non-sexy people can wink. Its a rite of frickin’ passage.

F) I’m incapable of giving up fast-food for any length of time. I’m in love with Big Macs. And Taco Bell bean burritos. And In N’ Out animal style fries. And the monster tacos from Jack n’ the crack…i know….its bad. In general, I try to stay pretty healthy, and I don’t overdue it on any one thing. But hot damn. If a Big Mac struts by me with his 6-pack, I’m gonna tap that.

G) I’m incapable of not eating eggs every day. I seriously eat eggs about 2 meals a day. Redic.

H) I’m incapable of following through on some things…

I)

I’m such a hippie.

In Rants on March 16, 2011 at 6:14 am

2 days of work in a row, and I’m practically haggard.

But its definitely a good thing…

I’m just sleepy.

Evita has hit the ground running. I got a new job. And my other job is starting to catch its stride once again. The play I wrote is finishing up with the pre-production process.

I love it.

Thank goodness for red lipstick. At the end of a long day when you feel like you look like ass, red lipstick somehow fixes the world.

As does knee-high boots.

Iced tea.

Too much coffee…

And the soundtrack to Hook.

Yes. It was playing during the meeting, and I felt like a frickin’ little kid in a candy store during a blowout sale on Mars in a cartoon movie. It was that good.

My mom did something today that shocked the shit out of me.

She is a serial cell-dialer. She’s the type of person who calls you once…and if you don’t pick up, she refuses to leave a v-mail..she’ll just keep dialing, until either you answer the phone…

or lose your mind…

Suddenly, I look at my phone at some point tonight..and I have 4 missed calls from her…

Did the world explode?

I honestly can’t figure out what the emergency is…

So I text her: At work…you ok?

It turns out, she was buying new bedding from pottery barn…she’s staging all of the rooms in the house before she sells it, and she wanted me to approve some bedding before she buys it…so that I can keep it after the house sells….

And as it turns out…her and my dad have excellent taste.

Kudos mom and dad.

I’m getting ready to go to sleep…

I changed my fb profile photo to something a little more “serious looking.”

me as a padawan back in the day….is it strange that that is the only time you’d catch me with a serious expression?

Note to self: Clean out Short Round. My jeep is a mess. It looks like a homeless person is living inside of it. And i wouldn’t be surprised. I left my windows down today on accident..like a dumb-ass.

P.S….i am shocked at the feat of strength I went through this morning..not sure if that last sentence was gramatically correct.

Don’t really care either.

Anyhoo.

For breakfast, I ordered an oatmeal combo from McDonalds..but I thought I’d still be hungry, so I ordered an extra breakfast sandwich..but they screwed up my order and made the “extra sandwich,” an “extra sandwich combo.” So I sat in my car with 2 combos…and ate BOTH of them.

Fat.

Ass.

G’night world. Go to bed for crying out loud.