Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gloria Estefan and Snow White.

     The last two days, Bug woke up way too fucking early. 5:30am yesterday, and 5:00am today. That means I got about 8 hours of sleep in 2 days. Not good. I'm a super bitch if I don't sleep enough. It makes my tummy hurt, and I feel stupid and slow all day, and it just ruins my whole mood. So today I was a super bitch. I've been trying to get a couple sewing projects done, but couldn't do anything until tonight when I finally asked Gage to babysit for a couple hours. Instantly I felt better, even though I totally fucked it up. I think I just needed some ME time. I don't mind being super Mom everyday, but once in a while, on days like these when I'm exhausted, I just can't function right. I found myself singing to her, "Ohhhh poor babyyyy......why do you just fucking cryyyyy allll the time....??? Stop fucking crying babyyyy......I hate really is fucking annoying.....wahhhh....I'm not sorry about giving you the wrong cup... la la la laaaa..." So yeah. I needed a break.


It was supposed to be a skirt, but I fucked up the measurement by a foot! WTF? So I cut it in half, chopped off the bottom and made side panels for a dress/shirt. Whatever!

     I just have to bring this other thing up because I've been thinking about it a lot all week. All my life I'd hear people complain about Los Angeles and how the people are so fake, and everyone's a dick, and nobody knows how to drive, etc...but my experience was never that way. I grew up 30 minutes away from L.A., and felt at home there. I lived in Hollywood for a couple years, and as miserable as my situation at that time was (that's a whole other show, people), I found the people I met there to be friendly and delightful. There are so many different cultures of people and things to do and see! I never could understand why anyone would hate it. I get it now though, I think. At least part of it.

     We moved here kinda reluctantly. Husband has lived here before, briefly, years ago. From his experience from before, and my recent experience, the people here are exceedingly stupid. People drive like they are the only ones on the road, they are rude to us and each other, racism is thriving, people look at my "Wife" tattoo and say, "I don't get it....", and Gage is hard pressed to find a kid who gets his Family Guy references.  This opportunity was too good to pass up though, and Gage and I were just ready to try something new. Pensacola was so pretty when we visited...once we saw the beaches we were hooked. We were certain once we were here for a few months we'd have friends and new hangouts and such. And then reality hit us. We're different. We are NOT used to where we are, or the culture here. We think everything and everybody here is lame, and honestly, it probably isn't as lame as we think. It's just very different, and we're trying to adjust and find our niche.
     I just made the connection with the whole L.A. thing. There, everyone is from somewhere else. It was seriously hard to meet someone in L.A. who was from there. At one point I was friends with a group of about 10 people, 9 of which were from different states. And they all tended to think people in L.A. were fake and rude, etc. They just weren't used to it there. The culture was different. And now we are going through the same thing they were. I'm trying to give Pensacola a chance, really I am. And when we go downtown I have hope that we can make this work.

     We just took Bug to the Pensacola Museum of Art, to see what it's like. I didn't care for the current exhibit much, but it was good to know where it is and that it exists. It's housed in a very old building that was originally a courthouse and prison, and the doorways inside are all prison bars rather than actual doors. Creepy. And rad. They do kids birthday parties! There are a few galleries downtown, some cool stores, great restaurants, and live music venues. It feels more like home to me down there. We just found this joint called The Bodacious Olive. You walk into a room full of dozens and dozens of olive oils, infused oils and balsamic vinegars to taste test or take home, fresh baked breads to dip them in, plus a limited menu and cooking classes, wine, cheese and oil tastings...omg HEAVEN. I literally felt my knees get weak! You mean we can go in and drink and eat fresh baked bread dipped in infused olive oils and 18 year old vinegars??? YES. PLEASE. I suddenly loved Pensacola. I spent the next hour trying to think of a babysitting plan so that Husband and I can spend a whole day getting drunk and eating bread. Just like old times...

     Oh shit. Now I have to tell a Hollywood story cuz I got nostalgic and those days snuck into my head and I can't NOT let it out. I'll tell you one of the better ones rather than just wax poetic about my 19 year old Hollywood days. Here goes:

     I used to live a block north of Hollywood Blvd, in a tiny little neighborhood called Franklin Village. It was quite the little up-and-coming hotspot at the time, but very much an L.A. locals hangout. I lived in a total shithole apartment, and worked at a cafe across the street, right in the center of all the action. It was a new restaurant/espresso bar called the 80's Cafe, and the owner was a mid-thirties, second generation Italian dude who loved Gloria Estefan a little too much. He had a huge family who lived all over the city, some of whom owned restaurants too. On Sundays a whole bunch of them, sometimes 30 people, would come in and have dinner, and pay for whatever food and drink charges I had from my shifts during the week too. They were very sweet people.

     He hired me to waitress, with no experience, and told me flat out that I got the job for being cute. I slowly learned the art of food service and the strange game of charades-meets-Spanglish needed for communication with the cooks. For a few weeks it was awesome. I was allowed to wear any 80's themed clothes I wanted, great for a new wave girl with pink hair. As the weeks turned to a full month though, shit went bad. I never got a paycheck. When I finally got the balls to ask the owner when I'd get paid, he said, "How much do you need?" Me being naive and scared to speak up, I said, "Well... I need rent money, and bills...", to which he replied, "Well, I can't pay you your hours right now, so how about whenever you get a bill or rent is due, or you're going out to a club or whatever, you just come in here and tell me how much you need, and I'll give it to you, and we'll deduct it from your paychecks?" That sounded just fine to me, so that's what we did.

     From then on, I could walk in on a night off and ask for $400 here or $60 there, and my boss would hand it over. No questions asked, just a kiss on the forehead. This setup was so much more convenient than having a bank account, because there were no fees and no such thing as banker's hours.
     One morning I called my boss to let him know I'd come in later for some cash, and he said that was fine, he'd be there all day. So in the late afternoon I showed up at the cafe to meet him. I looked in both rooms and didn't see him, so I asked the cook and he pointed to the back storage room. So I throw the door open (it wasn't locked) and walk in with my usual "Hey, I just came by to..." and I froze, because it wasn't just my boss in there, but several men in my boss' family, sitting at tables with big, brown paper wrapped squares in front of them. My boss was counting money. The back table which usually held to-go cups, now had scales and a plate of white shit on it. Everyone stopped laughing and talking, and stared at me with the same amount of shock you'd have if I was a unicorn come to kill them. My boss suddenly screamed at me, "GET OUT!" and I did. Fast.

     I spent the rest of that night and the next few days trying to figure out if that really happened. Did I imagine it? Was it all a joke? Surely I didn't see that right. There's no way I really just walked into Scarface or some shit. The cafe never opened up again. I showed up for work and me and the cook would sit there for a while waiting for our boss to come open up, but he never came. No returned phone calls either. When I finally did get ahold of him, I was all riled up about getting the rest of the pay he owed me. I told him over the phone that he didn't know how to run a business, and he better pay me today or I'd go to the labor board. He called me a little shit and told me to come get my money.
     Of course, when I got there he didn't pay up. It was him and his uncle, who informed me that the cafe was out of business now, that they'd send me a check for the remainder of my pay (never happened), and that I am very young and sometimes my imagination might run away with me and make me see things that aren't there. I said I didn't know what they were talking about and they seemed happy about that. I felt awkward all of a sudden so I thanked my boss for the year of work, and wished him well. I'd seen gangster movies. I wasn't trying to be a snitch or whatever in the fuck they say...whatever. I just wanted to pay my rent. And I absolutely didn't understand what had just happened. It still seems like a movie.

     Oh yeah, I was watching infomercials in the middle of the night, years later, and I saw my old boss from the 80's Cafe pitching a sale on some chef knives! No shit! Hahaha payback's a bitch, huh? hahahaha....chef knives....

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