A girl likes to be jumped now and then, but 4 times in 2 days??!!

Mercury’s in retrograde. I know, I’ve become that person, that hippy-dippy, Los Angeleno, actress-type. But it’s true: Mercury is in retrograde, January 11 – Feb. 1. What does this mean to you, my little buttercups? 

It means that for about three weeks, everything goes to crap. People can’t communicate and snap at each other (see, JP? It wasn’t just the PMS!); emotions are all over the place; travel, mail and appointments get effed; and electronics break. Basically, life sucks for about three weeks (the week and a half before and after ain’t so great, either). Oh, yeah – and you’re not supposed make major decisions during this period (like signing a lease, for example… ooops).

In any case, I woke up yesterday morning, tired from packing the apartment up, but still and all, happy to have a job in this climate. I walk the dog, drink some coffee, go to my car, turn the key and … clicking noise.  What the hell? It’s a 2006 Beetle, with a mere 20,000 miles on it. I remember that Volkswagen has emergency roadside assistance, included with lease, so I leave my poor little car, and return to my home to find the number on the World Wide Interweb. (I would’ve used the manual that came with the car, but some a-hole stole it when they broke in last July.  Is the economy really so bad that people need to steal car manuals?) The WWW is slow (thanks again, Mercury) but finally, the guy comes, brings his little portable jumper box, jumps me and I drive to work – an hour late, and a little annoyed, but none the worse for wear.

Cut to 3:00. Same day. The Boss asks me to get him a sandwich (egg salad, mayo, lettuce, white bread, no tomatoes or “heads will roll”) and I take my keys to try to start the car. You know, just for fun. Clicking.

Now I’m irritated. I can’t start my car, I’m carrying egg salad (no one likes carrying egg salad, especially someone else’s egg salad) and it’s 3:00 in the stinking afternoon. I call Volkswagen Santa Monica (special shout out to Julio, my “technician”) who tells me that, yes, they are open until 8:00 pm, but the mechanics leave at 5 and I’m welcome to have the car jumped again, drive it in and then, for extra fun, THEY’LL RENT ME A CAR.

I’m sorry. What? You’ll RENT me a car? Thanks for the generous offer! After all, it’s not like I paid over $400 for the 20k service 5 weeks ago and then had to bring it back 2 weeks after that for an oil leak you people couldn’t find. It’s not like I already missed an hour of work because their stupid battery didn’t work (and no, while I do have in fact boobs, I did not leave my lights on, chuckle, chuckle). I give him what-for, up, down and sideways. No dice. No loaner car. What are my options?

You guessed it. I called VW emergency assistance at 6:00pm to have them jump it again! I drove home, pulled in my little lot (next to SaxyLady’s car…every time I come home, it’s all I can do not to key it), turned the ignition off and tried to immediately start it up again….clicking.

At this point, I’m over it. I packed up some more of my kitchen, watched my Will & Grace, and went to bed. Alarm goes off this morning and I have a plan: make coffee, take a shower, call VW emergency assistance (I love that this is now a part of my morning routine, right before brushing my teeth). The guy from yesterday comes with his little portable box and jumps me again! Woohoo! This is kind of fun! I’m starting to enjoy knowing that Volkswagen is probably paying these dudes wayyyyyyy more money for each jump than if they’d covered a rental car. HA. I got to work around 9:15, turned the car off, went to my desk and called VW emergency assistance again to get them to tow the car to the dealer.

Awesome! Yet another dude comes by (this one seems stoned, btw, which makes me a little less comfy), and says, “Yo. I gotta jump you so’s I can move it and then tow it.” Jump #4 (none of this can be good for the car, right?). He does…I stay at work, waiting for my car to get diagnosed.

Julio, my “technician” just called. His expert opinion?

Wait for it….

The battery won’t hold a charge.

Thank God for mechanics.

Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 11:56 pm  Comments (3)  

“Gang Rape Makes Me Uncomfortable”

Why does finding an apartment have to be so hard? I was perfectly content in my 1970’s, wall-to-wall-carpeted-ground-floor-not-cleaned-or-painted-before-I-moved-in-one-bedroom-apartment. (How I could be perfectly content in such squalor is another story, but I digress.) Yes, indeedy. I’ve been there for over a year, my rent only went up the requisite 3%, my cat and dog seemed happy…and then. BAM. I get a letter from the management company: “It has been brought to our attention that you are living with a dog. Please remove the dog ASAP or we will begin legal action.” WHAT?! After 13 months of living there with a dog?!

(Now the hard part….breathe through the pain…you can say it). I didn’t actually tell the management company I had a dog. I got some sort of vague email that said I could have a “pet” – which a dog is – but still. The lease actually says “no pets”. Enraged at the injustice of it all (those of us who are rule-breakers will understand my completely unjustifiable anger), I immediately called the LA Housing Authority. They said, “Yeah…now that your lease is up and you’re on a month-to-month, they can pretty much kick you out for any reason.” Great.  What’s a girl with crap credit and a dog to do?

She starts looking for her next apartment. Preferably in the same area, so as to be near and dear to the most important person in my life (next to my landlord, that is), with some “flexibility” on the credit sitch, and one that allows pets.  (Those of you who, a few moments ago thought, “Why doesn’t she just get rid of the dog?” are all dead to me.)

So, I went on Craigslist. I emailed friends. I combed and scoured the San Fernando Valley (words I thought would never leave my lips. It’s a little like saying I scoured Queens. Ick.)

And I found a place. Yes, indeedy.

It’s less than a mile from my current apartment, pet-friendly, only a $99 deposit, and they said my credit seemed fine! Yippee! I did a little research on this fine community, (which also features a pool, community room, underground parking) and I found the following:

“Terror at ____________!!! The WORST!!! -TanyaG

“Suicide Colony” – Anonymous

“Security walks around with iPods…TO DROWN OUT THE SCREAMS!” – Anonymous

Now, let me say this. I am from New York. That’s right, New York City. I moved to 43rd and 10th Avenue in the early ’80’s (then known as Hell’s Kitchen), and have lived in every nook and cranny in Manhattan. The last place I lived? Washington Heights (featured prominently in the Ed Norton, Colin Farell picture “Pride & Glory” – the actual neighborhood had neither). 181st and Bennett Avenue, as far as up as you can live while still maintaining a 212 area code. Might mean nothing to you, but it was, well, the ‘hood. I was a single gal living in the ‘hood, and I WAS FINE. (Well, except for when my landlord broke in and stole all my jewelry and cable boxes.)

So, I look at these so-called reviews and I think to myself,” Pfft. People are pu–ies. Stupid Iowa/Ohio/Indiana/insert hick town transplants. I can hack it. I’m from New York, dammit!” I then make the mistake of showing the aforementioned most-important-person- in-my-life the reviews.

He chose to focus on a mention, ever so slight, of some gang rapes.  He calmly turned to me, as only he is able, and without any expression, simply said, “Gang rapes make me uncomfortable.”

I started my search all over again this morning.

PS: The woman in my building who complained? She’s alone, lived in the same crappy one-bedroom for 15 years, balding and her license plate reads “saxylady”. Nice.


Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 2:36 am  Comments (2)