Sunday, May 22, 2011

Things No One Ever Told Me About LA

I have decided that I am going to start a series of posts on this topic. I am always baffled by my petty but fascinating realizations about this city. It's nothing like Seattle. I didn't except it to be, but there are things that I wasn't expecting...and they blow my mind. 

One of the first things that caught me off guard was the fact that the grocery stores here are all different. QFC isn't called's Ralph's, but it's the same store nonetheless. Safeway isn't's Vons. However, Albertson' Albertson's. Weird. I've gotten used to it though.  Ralph's has become the store we rely on. In fact Sara and I have been watching a little too much of TLC's Extreme Couponing. We have our weekly sit down to organize and plan out our grocery needs and to decide which coupons we will be using at our trusty Ralph's across the street. Anyway, that's another topic.

Before I moved here, I had a completely different notion of what LA was. OK maybe it’s just me, but growing up, I formed an image in my head of what LA was like. I was really surprised when I realized how spread out everything is. Where exactly is LA? I’ve come to the realization that when people refer to LA, they mean Los Angeles County and all that it encompasses.  Downtown LA is actually kind of small for a city, and there’s nothing too exciting there. In the five months since I moved, I’ve been downtown once. Therefore, the famous and glamorous LA can’t be referring to the downtown area. Hollywood is LA, Pasadena is LA, Beverly Hills is LA...I still find myself trying to wrap my head around this phenomenon. 

Another thing that threw me for a loop was the abundance of medical marijuana clinics around here. They are everywhere! In fact they must compete with each other, because I have noticed several areas where there is one on either side of the street. I have no problem with this, don't get me wrong. I was just surprised when I realized I was seeing a total of about five bright green neon Mary Jane leaf signs on my route to work every morning.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Beverly Hillbilly

I witnessed THE STRANGEST event while at work the other day. OK so it's been over a week since it happened, but I'm just now writing about it. It was the end of a long day, and I was working with a patient in a treatment room. The patient was face down on a massage table, nearly asleep, and I was working on his back. I was exhausted and kind of zoning out. I was gazing out the window, people watching, and counting down the minutes until I could be on my way home.

A woman squatting in front of her car on the side of the street caught my eye. I thought, "What? Is she peeing? Out in the open on a busy street in Beverly Hills? Next to Neiman Marcus!?" Yes my friends, she was. And this was no homeless-looking person either. She was nicely dressed, as if she had just gotten off of work. She then pulled up her pants, zipped them, and walked around to the side of her car. She stood there for a minute, swaying around a bit, and then put her hands on her head. So then I thought to myself, "OK, she must be drunk, or high on something." She was absolutely wasted. Her head then dropped forward, as if she was trying to touch her toes. She hung there for quite a while. She rolled up from her bent over position and shook her legs. I couldn't believe it. She had just peed again! Down the legs of her nice black work pants. That assumption was confirmed when she opened the door of her car and sat down on the passenger seat, leaving two puddles of urine on the sidewalk. At this point I felt sick to my stomach. It not only grossed me out but I was concerned! I almost felt like I should have done something. However, with a patient's care in my hands, I just continued to work and kept one eye glancing out the window.

After what seemed to be an attempt at a nap, she sat up from her slumped position and checked her hair and make up in the visor mirror. She grabbed something like a towel or t-shirt and patted at her wet pant legs. After thinking that she pulled herself together she got up, slung her purse over her shoulder, locked the car, and walked down the block. I don't know why it weirded me out so much. Unfortunately, drunk young people do things like that all the time. But not at of front of a physical therapy clinic. Or maybe they do, this is So Cal after all.

P.S. The patient I was working on had no idea that any of this was going on and he still received excellent patient care. Not to worry you.

Monday, May 2, 2011

11 Years Later and My Math Is Still Queer

About a month ago my boss called me into her office to hand me my paycheck. Being called into her office is always intimidating, but I was happy to be getting paid. My excitement was smashed when she said, "Here is your check, but you were inaccurate." I immediately realized that I must have miscalculated on my time sheet. I apologized awkwardly. I was too embarrassed to think of the right thing to say. She then looked at me in the eye and said, "Simple math Melanie, this is simple math." At that point I just wanted to die, or be invisible, something.

From that point on I was determined to never let that happen again. I meticulously wrote down my hours at the end of every shift like it was my duty. My co-workers made fun of me. They thought it was ridiculous how much effort I was putting into it. I didn't care though. I was too focused on never having to be that embarrassed again. I was ashamed. I mean, who does that? Not me. I was the kind of kid in high school who was a year ahead in math and still got 100% on my tests. Even before that I was the kid who had rooms and rooms full of treasure on Treasure Mathstorm. Remember that computer game? It holds a special place in my heart.

Now you're probably thinking, everyone makes mistakes, right? This is no big deal. And you are correct. But what if I told you it happened again? That's right. Today I was called into her office again. "Melanie, you have never been correct on your time sheet, ever." Jfoiweufaosdjflkjslkasjdlfkajsoweiugkhjk!! What?! I couldn't believe it. I had TRIPLE checked my math on my most recent time sheet and STILL was off. Did you know that .5 + .5 = 1.0? Apparently it's news to me. This time I had a little more pride to try and defend myself. I told her that I'm usually pretty good at math and I couldn't believe I was having such a problem. I said I would use a calculator from now on. "No," she said, "this is good practice for you." Ahhhhhggggg. Humiliating.

I thought about it the whole drive home. Thank you for letting me share my woes. I feel a little better now. I think it's time for a trip to the 99 Cent Only store for a use of course after I do it in my head. For good practice...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just an Update

My job in Beverly Hills is going to be full time now! Everything is falling into place. My task of the day is to write a letter of resignation to the clinic in Burbank. This will be the second resignation letter I have written in a little over two months. Gotta do what you gotta do, right? An excuse to bake another cake.

So it will be an hour to and from work everyday now. Gee, that's only about one hundred bucks on gas a week. Woo, 40 hours. That's what I wanted. I can't complain.

I guess this means no more days of watching A Baby Story marathons. That's probably a good thing...