I’m Married!

Just kidding. I’m not that big of an idiot. But we did have fun this weekend.

Chloe and I drove to Vegas Friday.

Traffic was a bitch but once we hit the desert it was okay. Whenever I get to Barstow, I always think of that Kim Wilde song, “Kids in America.” There’s one line, “New York to East California/ There’s a new wave coming I warn you.” I always wondered, “What the hell is East California?” I mean, there’s Northern California and Southern California, but there is no part of the state known as “east” California. I get that Kim Wilde is English, and that “east” is one syllable, but really there’s nothing there but barren desert.

Anyway, we had a lot of fun. We gambled a bit, got to know each other, and ate a lot of food. Chloe is just so good-natured it’s weird. She doesn’t have a mean thought in her head. Not sure why she likes me, but I really like her.

Elevator Girl Lives Up to Her Name

Just ran into Michelle in the elevator on the way down to lunch.

I said hi, she said hi, and then we rode down with the other people in silence.

When we got to the lobby, she stopped me, though. She wanted to know “how I was doing.”

I said I was fine. I said I was dating someone. Even though it was true, she kind of looked at me like I was lying.

I said, “How’s the wedding planning going?”

She said they haven’t even set a date yet.

I said, “Well, see you around.” But she stopped me and said, “Look. Can we be friends?”

I thought about it for a second and said, “I don’t know.”

She thought about that, smiled, then said, “I can work with that.”

Then we went our separate ways.

New Newspaper Guy

Woke up early enough this morning to see the newspaper guy dropping off my Times.

But it wasn’t Hector, it was some new guy. So I said, “Hey, what happened to Hector?”

The guy said, “Hector quit, man. He won the lottery.”

I was more than a little confused. Did he win the actual lottery? Or some metaphorical lottery, like marrying a supermodel? So I said, “The real lottery? Like Powerball?”

The new guy said that California doesn’t have Powerball, it has Mega Millions. And yes, that’s the one Hector won. But he didn’t win the grand prize. He got five numbers without the mega number, so it was “only” worth $200,000 or so. Still, Hector used the money to move the rest of his family up here from Mexico and now he’s opening a bodega in East L.A.

I said, “Wow. Good for him.” I’ve never met anyone who really won the lottery before. Now that he’s gone, I wish I’d talked to him more.

I asked the new guy his name and he said it was “Pedro.” I said, “Tell Hector I said hi.”

Magazine Kid

I’m back to work today after two days home with a cold.

Yesterday, I was minding my own business catching up on Judge Judy when the doorbell rang. I didn’t even know I had a doorbell, that’s how many times someone has actually rung it. So I went over and opened the door to reveal some teenager with a notebook.

He launched into a spiel about how he’s raising money for his school by selling magazine subscriptions. Not being an idiot and checking in daily with Snopes.com, I immediately recognized this as a scam. (Need proof? Check this out: http://www.travelingsalescrews.info/magazine%20scams%20and%20rip%20offs.html.)

But it’s my mission in life to talk to strangers so I felt a moral obligation to have a conversation with this kid. So I said, “Do you have ‘Guns & Ammo’?”

He said, “Let me check,” and he flipped through his notebook of poorly laminated sheets.

While he was checking, I explained, “‘Cause I have a lot of guns in my apartment and I really need to learn more about shooting and stuff.”

He said they didn’t have “Guns & Ammo.”

I said, “What about ‘Soldier of Fortune’? I’m kind of in between jobs right now and I heard there’s a lot of opportunities in the classifieds.”

He started checking.

At this point, I was pretty surprised he was buying my routine. But I guess he thought he was going to make a sale so he stuck with me.

“No ‘Soldier of Fortune.'”

I said, “Okay, what about ‘Big Game Hunter’?”

They didn’t have it.

I said, “Damn, what kind of shitty magazines do you have?”

He ran through a bunch of titles, normal stuff.

I said, “Anything snuff-related?”

He didn’t know what that meant.

I explained, “You know, like pictures of dead people. Real dead people, not like fake shit. Like snuff films. Come on, man, don’t tell me you don’t have any snuff magazines!”

At this point, I guess I went too far, because he looked at me and said, “Are you fucking with me?”

He looked kind of mad and I didn’t want this to get out of hand, so I said, “Special Agent Alonzo Mosely, FBI. Stay right there, I’m going to get my badge and my gun.” Then I shut the door on him.

I don’t know if he believed me or just got pissed that I wasted his time, but he didn’t stay put very long.

Home Sick

I’m home sick today, which means that I’m feeling pretty awful because the fact is adults still go to work when they’re just a little sick.

It’s just a bad cold, but whenever I’m sitting in my apartment with a cold, I can’t help think back to being a kid and having my mom take care of me. Add to that the fact that it’s a rare rainy day here in L.A. and it totally takes me back to Pennsylvania eating grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup in bed.

Maybe this is a sign of where I am in my life and what I want now. I’m not as much interested in scoring with hot chicks as my number one priority. That was the primary mission in my life for the last ten+ years. And it’s not like I’ve sated my appetite. I definitely could use a few more erotic encounters. It’s just that I’m more interested in sharing my life these days. Taking care of someone and having someone to take care of me on days like this.

First Dates

First dates are the ultimate TTS experience. Everything I’ve learned (and failed to learn) so far about communicating, listening, picking up on subtle bodies cues, being interesting and interested– it all comes to a head on a first date.

Unfortunately, unlike a true stranger who immediately signals your pass or fail grade, a first date is an essay exam: it’s a lot harder to gauge how well you did and you have to wait a long time for the results.

Chloe and I went out to dinner first at this new place by the beach, The Hungry Cat. Chloe is vegetarian but she eats fish so this place made sense. I won’t say the conversation was effortless but we did manage to get into a rhythm. Chloe grew up in San Francisco and she’s one of these people that genuinely never says anything mean about anyone. Normally I’d be disgusted by such a nice person but her positive energy is actually pretty infectious. The key is that she doesn’t take a pious attitude about being so decent and therefore doesn’t come across as sanctimonious about other people. I would launch into one of my tirades and she would laugh; she just doesn’t have any tirades of her own.

After dinner we went to a jazz club in Hollywood. We had a few drinks and the band was really cool. I tried hard not to look like I was trying too hard but I think you have to have somewhat of a plan for the evening or else you’re really not trying at all.

Overall, I don’t know if it was a love connection. We had fun. I liked her. Maybe this is the kind of thing that grows into something all-consuming. But right now, it’s just a seed.

Janet in Reception No More

Janet was promoted. She is now an analyst.

This is baffling for several reasons. First, I had no idea Janet knew anything about banking or was even interested in financial markets. Being an analyst is no picnic. Sure it pays a hell of a lot more than a receptionist, but you have to really like math and spreadsheets. I never in a million years thought Janet with her numerous tattoos was looking to get into investment banking.

Also–and I’m not sure how to say this without sounding like an elitist dick–but Janet is kind of dumb. I mean she’s nice and she gives good advice about relationships but she doesn’t seem to be able to read a financial statement. She routinely says, “It’s six of one, a baker’s dozen of the other.” Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe she’s hiding her brains as some sort of sociological experiment, but Janet does not exude “finance.”

And lastly, and this is where I actually talked to Janet about this, why would Janet want to go from 40 hours a week to 80-100? Analysts work long hours. When I was an analyst, 3/4 of my “class” washed out and went to law school because they thought those hours would be better.

So after I congratulated her, I asked her if she knew what she was getting into.

She said, “It’s an opportunity to start a new career. How can I say no to that?”

I said, “What about social work? I thought you wanted to go get your MSW.”

She laughed and said, “Yeah, and social workers make less than garbage men.”

I totally agree, I just didn’t realize she saw it that way.

Then she placed her hand on my forearm like she always does to people, smiled, and said, “So I guess you’re my boss now.”

I said, “So go get me a pizza then!”

She laughed. But the funny thing is that investment banking is such a boys’ network that when I first started I actually did get pizzas for the associates and VP’s. And when I got promoted, the first thing I did was order two analysts to drive to Santa Monica to get me a Godmother at Bay Cities.

Rebound Date

Can I be on the rebound when the relationship I’m rebounding from never actually happened?

Seems weird but that’s how I feel.

I was feeling pretty upset about Michelle this whole weekend but I didn’t want to waive the white flag. So I dragged myself out of bed yesterday and went to Montana Ave. to go see Chloe at the pet adoption tent. The only problem was when I got there, she wasn’t there. I tried to subtly ask about her and an older woman told me she was in the Palisades that morning. She smiled in a knowing way like it was some big secret she was onto that I’m into Chloe.

I got in my car and drove to the Farmer’s Market in the Palisades. And there was Chloe, set up in a bank parking lot with a dozen dogs and maybe half as many cats. She saw me and kind of lit up.

“What are you doing here?”

“I said I’d stop by and see you. I didn’t know you were going to make it difficult.”

She laughed. We talked for a bit and then I cut to the chase. “Look, Chloe, I’m going to be honest with you. I had some disappointing news on the relationship front the other day and I’m feeling a bit negative. So can we go out some time, and please say yes, even if you don’t mean it, I just need some good news right now.”

She said, “Yes,” with a big fake exaggerated wink.

I smiled and got her information. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have asked like that, because now I’m not sure if she’s actually interested or just felt bad for me. I don’t even know if she gave me her real number. But I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Game Over

I got an email from Michelle this morning saying she needed to talk to me about something.

So we met up for lunch and I’m not going to draw this out, she told me she’s engaged.

I know. What the fuck?! Right?

Apparently Sports Agent Dan was on-again, off-again, and I guess on-again, and that whole bullshit about “taking things slow” was total bullshit because she said yes.

What the fuck?!

She showed me the ring (who cares). I felt sick. She said, “I was hoping you’d be happy for me.” And do you know what I said?

I said, “Well, I’m not.”

That pretty much ended lunch. I took off and I haven’t been able to do any work since.

I thought she was just casually dating because THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID SHE WAS DOING! But I guess somewhere along the way, she fell in love with this douchebag and now they’re getting married. Well if she loves Dan so much, what was that whole kiss about back on Valentine’s Day? I am a wreck right now.

What the fuck?!