Parking Ticket Guy

We went to see Man on a Ledge yesterday. Wow, what a bad movie. P.S. that girl from 40 Year Old Virgin, no one believes you are a cop. Whose ridiculous casting idea was that? Was Amy Poehler busy that day?

Anyway, in the garage at the Century City mall, it’s fully automated now. They used to have ticket booths to get out a few years ago but now you have to pay inside and put the validated ticket into a machine at the exit. Yet, for some reason, there is still a guy who helps you put your ticket into the automatic machine. Again, there’s no booth–he just stands there on the concrete barrier between the exit and entrance lanes. He literally takes your ticket and completes the six inch journey from your car window to the machine.

So I said, “I don’t mean to diminish you or say something negative about your job, and it’s great that the mall can gives a few more jobs in this economy, but why did they automate the exit if they were still going to have someone take your ticket?”

He didn’t seem surprised by this line of questioning. He said, “Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense but as long as they keep paying me.”

I said, “I hear you. It’s like they wanted to go full automatic but they didn’t quite trust people to be able to handle it.”

“You’d be surprised. You know how many times a day someone can’t get out because they need help working the machine?”

At this point another can pulled up behind me. Michelle tapped me on the shoulder to let me know.

I said, “Well, nice talking to you.”

I was about to pull out and then I just blurted out: “Want to come to our Superbowl party?”

He said, “Yeah, sure.”

The car behind me honked. I said, “I’m just going to pull over. I’ll be right back to give you my info.”

I went through the exit gate and pulled over. Michelle looked at me and asked, “What Superbowl party?”

I said, “I don’t know. The idea just came to me. Hang on.”

I went back and we exchanged info. So turns out I decided to throw a Superbowl party next Sunday. Yes, I know, I don’t like sports. I don’t even know who’s in the game. But I thought it would be cool to invite all the people I’ve met in the last year to a party and this seemed like a good excuse. Michelle, God love her, said it was a brilliant idea.

Lunch Date

I emailed Michelle this morning and she was free for lunch so we went over to the mall and ate at 59th and Lex, that little restaurant inside Bloomingdales.

I’d never eaten there before (what man has?) and was not surprised to find it was mostly empty save a few elderly ladies.

Anyway, I haven’t seen Michelle in a while and I asked how things were going with the wedding plans. She said they were going fine but I could tell that something was up. I pressed a little, but she stuck to her story that everything was fine. She changed the subject and asked, “How’s your love life?”

I told her about Chloe and that I was sad that it didn’t work out. But then I said, “I think I’m more upset about the idea of the relationship not working out than things not working out with Chloe specifically.”

Michelle said, “I know what you mean.” But she said it in a cryptic kind of way as if I were privy to the special meaning of her words.

It was a strange lunch but I was glad to see her. Despite all that’s happened between us, I still really like Elevator Girl.

Reality Star

I called Chloe yesterday and we made up. More on that later.

So yesterday I ate lunch at the food court and a random woman came up to me and asked if I wanted to be on a reality show.

I guess she was a booker or a promoter or something like that and she was handing out flyers for an audition next week. Well, she picked the wrong guy.

I asked her a bit about the show. Seemed like some sort of bullshit about living in a house, competing for money, doing humiliating things– basically the same as every other reality show. Now coincidentally, I am currently reading a great book, “The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America.” It’s written by Dr. Drew Pinsky, so I was a little suspicious at first, but I have to tell you, this book is a must-read for anyone living in L.A.

So I proceeded to tell the woman that narcissism is a mental illness and that this fame-seeking through outrageous behavior is caused by severe childhood trauma like physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. The woman actually seemed pretty intelligent and debated the issue with me for a while. But I told her that reality TV normalizes the kind of unacceptable behavior that we should be condemning. That you know children are getting the wrong message when 51% of all kids list “becoming famous” as their #1 or #2 most important goal in life.

Anyway, we parted ways on not very good terms but the whole thing really riled me up. I have repeated railed against people whose sole mission in life is to get attention without any laudable accomplishment to back it up.

And p.s., that is why I choose to remain anonymous. I have never printed my last name because I value my privacy. I write this blog to share my experiences. At first, it was because I wanted “someone” to talk to. But then when it started working, I realized that I wanted to share my success as a wake-up call to other people who were lonely and isolated like I was. But the idea of being a celebrity is nauseating to me.

Lunch with Old Guy

Yesterday I went to the mall to have lunch and it was packed. There were no tables anywhere so I made a big move: I asked if I could sit down with some old guy eating by himself.

The old me never would have done this in a million years. I would have just taken my sushi back to the office. But I was hungry and I wasn’t going to eat standing up.

Naturally, I starting talking to the guy. He was a lawyer, one of the founding partners of a medium sized firm in Century City. He’s retired now, but still goes into the office just to “keep an eye on things.” We got to talking and I told him about Scott and the TV. Not exactly asking for a legal opinion, just wondering what he thought I should do.

And the guy said, “Let it go.” I couldn’t believe that was his advice, but he gave me a whole speech about life being too short, how litigation makes you tired, etc.

So I guess maybe I’ll just let it go.