Monday, December 21, 2015

(Psst, this is from last year.) Tis The Season...?

I guess.

Being that I live in climate controlled Los Angeles, the only way I was made fully aware of this was upon purchasing a cup of Starbucks coffee, which was now red and featured a very happy, winking snowman in a top hat. I was perplexed at the time for I was also standing near a palm tree set amongst the backdrop of the bright, white sun while dripping a combination of sweat and SPF 45. The thought of Christmas fast approaching reactivated my once dormant anxiety. I imagined having to spend an inordinate amount of money as well as time asking people what they want, shopping for what they want, waiting in lines to buy what they want, wrapping what they want and then having to hang out with them to give them what they want. I then have a silent panic attack and go on to drink more coffee.

I decided to take some time out of my busy schedule of staring at my phone and styling my hair to compose a list of tips based on personal experiences and YouTube videos that I feel may increase the holiday joy for those of you this year. Ok great. Enjoy.

TIP #1: For all you shoppers to be this season, you should know that kids do not care about fashion unless this piece of fashion has their favorite cartoon character or super hero embedded on it somewhere really big so they can see it. If you get them a "cute outfit marked down from $75 that's so practical, oh-so warm and 100% Wool" you basically just bought the kids' mom a present and this is not fair. So please do not do this.

When I was a kid all I wanted were stuffed animals, real animals and action figures in the shape of animals. That's it, nothing else. If it was Christmas and I counted on you to contribute to my action figurine supply and you showed up with a big, rectangular box that with the word MACY*S on it, I was very mad and threw fits before each and every car ride to dinner at your house thereafter and also dried my hands on your show towels.

TIP #2: Please be parental and wake up earlier than your kids on Christmas day like you are supposed to, Mom.

As a child my mom would wake up later then all of us and make my brothers and I wait to unwrap gifts while she had her morning coffee and performed a full on make-up application. This gave me a lot of time to stare at my presents while attempting to decipher what the contents were. I would pick them up and feel around and if I felt anything weird like earrings I instantly got mad. Earrings were not Ninja Turtles so this Christmas was already a disappointment. I would also notice the label on the presents that read "From Santa" was in my mother's handwriting. Needless to say,  I knew there was no Santa since age 7 so thanks Mom for taking 45 minutes to put on mascara.
TIP #3: When reusing other people's things or past gifts, make sure you have removed the price tags and all other indications that these are not directly from an online store or the Glendale Galleria. These can be hidden quite well so make sure you do this in a well lit area. If you have the belief that hand me downs are great because you are like a human thrift store then do so carefully.

As I got older and my mother got broker I noticed that the majority of my gifts would come from yard sales or were recycled/rejected gifts from Christmases of yesteryear. On several occasions I received my interesting items of sorts in a misshapen Happy Birthday bag that still had a tag that read "To Kathy Love, Wanda". This could have been avoided if proper inspection was performed. Another red flag was when I was given a body mist/shower gel gift set with a peculiar name like "Secret Sensual Endless Peony Garden Daydream" which can not be purchased in any store known to mankind but only somehow from a yard sale.

These experiences early on in my life inspired me to reply to "What do you want for Christmas?" with simply "Money".

TIP #4: Tell everyone you want money and look them in the eye and repeat yourself and do not blink.

People hate giving money. Because you will then know that they are cheap. It is now way obvious. People are good at making believe they spent a lot of money by buying you things you have never heard of. They will go to the edge of the earth in the Promenade of Santa Monica to buy something so unnecessary that it is obviously rare because no one wants to reproduce something so unnecessary. Just to make you wonder how much it is. You can't even find the words to Google Shop it because it is undefinable. Then the gift giver feels educated and mystical because you are baffled. They will also feel sly because they spent $6.99 cash meanwhile you gave them a gift card to Pier 1 Imports for $150. These are not your friends. If they also are the types that send you mass texts then they are definitely not your friends. You should evacuate them from your social circle.

TIP #5: Do not attempt to buy the XBox One console while on sale. You will most likely die.

Black Friday arrives as our bodies are still in digestion mode. Some people camp out over night while in digestion mode. They do not have sufficient sleep. They are very irritable. Therefore, Black Friday can be dangerous. When people hear the words "Prices Have Been Slashed" a sociopathic switch goes off in their minds in which they then enter the realms of Battle Zone: Christmas Spectacular. Shoppers in festive turtlenecks and snuggly reversible scarves emerge from their Nissan Pathfinders and congregate into the arena of war that is the Walmart parking lot, ready and eager for full-on tactical combat. If you decide to venture into the madness to buy your friends a Keurig (make sure you buy the pods because if you don't you are an asshole) maybe wear a helmet. I've seen aftermath footage on Fox News of Black Friday and it is quite frightening. It is very similar to the scene in Natural Born Killers where Tommy Lee Jones' ravished, dead head is being pranced around on a stick. You are basically waiting to be released from behind a barricade along with 40,000 of the type of people who do strange things like wake up at 5 am on a Sunday "Just because" who will literally eat your arm while stepping on your head if you are within reach of the much coveted Nikon COOLPIX.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my list of tips for Holiday Season 2014. May you and everyone you know that you sort of maybe care about have a great holiday and get everything you desire that you will lose interest in after 15 minutes unless it's an iPhone. So definitely get an iPhone.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

How to Keep People From Moving Into Your Los Angeles Neighborhood the New York Way. WARNING: There are Two Selfies in This Post.

I've been hearing a lot of talk about how people who moved to Brooklyn from other parts of the country are now leaving and moving to Los Angeles. They are usually the people who say they are from Brooklyn. They are not.
Being that I'm from New York and have witnessed this occur there, I understand how this must suck to the locals. I know, I moved here from NYC too but I'm broke and won't raise the rents so who cares? Besides, I've got so much chill. Anyway, if you're a local and you're tired of this wave of dork invasion, here's some secret tips on how to get to these folks out of here the way my New York people did:

Walk out into the street whenever you feel like it- You are not a car, but you are in the street. This will perplex driver people. This is a very New York thing to do that probably has made quite a few people who came from other parts of the country very confused upon first witnessing. Now that they're in LA and have to start driving, "people darting," will easily anger these newbs. Don't even walk straight across the street, walk diagonally. Throw them off.  And take your time. It's always a nice summer day in LA, why not take a stroll?

Double park- Can't find a spot in LA? Don't worry. With double parking, everyplace is a spot.  Just be sure to put on your hazards so that people know you will eventually move your vehicle and that it doesn't need to be towed. Take your time, and if the driver who comes back to find himself blocked in starts honking, just yell, "Fuck you, you horse's ass" or "Pipe down, you low-life prick bastard" really loud at that person for allowing his car to make such a scene.

Tell Everyone It's the Wrong Month- When it's holiday season, tell people it's July. They'll believe you. What'll happen is these shitty kids will forget to get presents for their parents, who pay for their apartment. Their family will discuss this in full at the big back home Christmas dinner and that one opinionated, twice divorced fat aunt will chime in and tell them to stop financially supporting their kids. The parents will then become resentful, feeling like pushovers and take the advice of people who they feel are looking out for them. This is manipulative, I know! But then no one could afford to live at the Dylan condominium on Santa Monica and La Brea and it'll eventually turn back in to a Carl's Jr. which is THE WAY THAT CORNER WAS MEANT TO BE.

Hang up Aluminum Foil in Your 3rd Story Window-  Someone told me this was a really powerful method for blocking out the sun. Then someone else told me about meth heads. Oopsies, had no idea cuz sober.  So to make shit cute, I took it upon myself to create a Meth Head Portrait Studio. Here's some Disco hair and New Wave hair portraits that serve no purpose:

Really great. Anyway, it looks pretty absurd and also blinding from the outside. Which is awesome because it'll keep people who were really obsessed with Breaking Bad to the point of tweeting relentlessly about Breaking Bad two years ago from moving into your building. 

Turn Your Corner Into a Bodega- But don't have air conditioning, only an oscillating metal floor fan that gets stuck and clicks a whole lot. Sell 3 year old Sriracha and lime powdered almonds and once melted, now hardened and misshapen mini tootsie rolls. Neatly arrange rolls of $.99 toilet paper and Tide detergent boxes for your window display. Address your customers as "Ey, Guy" and "Boss" and thank them for their patronage by saying, "Have a good one, pal!" from within your plexiglass cube.

Sit... Everywhere- See something a bit off the ground that doesn't belong to you? Go ahead and sit on it. Whether it be someone's stoop, someone's cooler, someone's radiator, someone's window, or just someone, just go and place yourself on it.

Have Block Parties- There's only so many blocks in LA and usually cars need to get on them, so go ahead and close off your street and have a party on it instead. Hire a local DJ, get an inflatable bounce house and a ball pit too for all the neighborhood kids and place them right on Sunset and Cahuenga at peak party hours, which usually coincide with that of rush hour traffic. Your neighbors will love the essence you bring of strong community.

Tell Your Neighbors Way Too Much Personal Stuff- Speak candidly within the first five minutes of meeting your new neighbor. Go ahead and tell them all about the substance abuse issues you had in the late 90's. Go into detail about your current legal battle(s). Let them know the guy in the second floor apartment sells his Adderall to the landlord.  Make sure you knock on their door every night and talk about these things and more in length and have a hard time leaving. 

Find a Bridge and Throw a Rave Under It- No bridge in LA? That's ok, just throw a rave under anything. Carport? Put a rave in it. The one subway station? Put a rave in it. People that lived in Brooklyn in 2000 definitely went to raves and probably have some psychedelic trauma from them. Go ahead and ignite that trauma with a good old fashioned fun, glow in the dark rave.

If none of these tips seem to be working, use this high-powered technique which was mentioned in another one of my posts, this one.

-Just Go All Out-. Every Sunday you should play a lot of La Mega 97.9 FM very early in the morning. Also, get a jack hammer and fix "potholes" that weren't ever there in front of the house. Above all the noise, have a conversation with your neighbor two blocks away from one another about how they raised the price of 2% milk at the Stop N' Shop. Be infuriated. Then walk somewhere and come back and complain about at least 4 things that happened on your walk. They should probably be about "the drivers out here." That'll really deliver an authentic essence of the 5 Boroughs.

Those are my tips on how to get people out of your Los Angeles neighborhood. I wish you success in your efforts to keep your rent at nice, reasonable rate so that you don't have to relocate to wherever shitty, affordable place these people came from.