East Hollywood Blues

A Diary Of Life Among Millennials

Month: April 2018

The Lost Art Of Being A Puller

A very cute curly haired  25 year old brunette in a brown velvet skirt, black sweater and dark red  Raggedy Ann shoes was talking to a 26 year old boy, totally tatted up from his head to his toes while he lamented being unable to find work.  She was listening and trying to look concerned but she wasn’t – she had a quota to keep.  You see the very cute curly haired 25 year old brunette was a puller for Scientology.

Guy: I’m having problems finding a job.

Girl: If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

Guy: All my tatts.

Girl: NO!  I love your tatts.  They are so sexy.

Guy: But I think they keep me from finding a job.

Girl: NO!  You are so hot in those tats.  You can’t find a job because your Preclear.

Millennial flirtation Scientology style.

 

The DIY Movement Lives On In East Hollywood

Whilst walking to an appointment through this eve I had the pleasure of catching up with Bex, a dear old friend from the days of New York past now living in Seattle.

Our conversation turned to our time in the City and the various reasons we left. I told her about the drag show on 20th Street in the Flatiron district I attended a few times in ’09 and how boring it was, not the Warhol style performers we adored back in the day but performers who looked like they used to be the same friendly women who were really friendly men dressed like friendly women and prowled the Meat Packing District back when we were young bohemians – only this time the Irish barman was their tout and pimp. I took this as proof positive my New York was gone.

As I stopped at a street light, the guy next to me tapped my arm. “The guy is talking to you,” he said pointing to a gender indeterminate individual sitting at a card table covered with detritus.

The gender indeterminate individual was covered with a coarse gray blanket, a white Arab style headdress and a red cloth covering his/her mouth. He/she was also spraying something in my general direction from a distance of about 70-80 feet.

“Yeah,” I asked. “Whadda you want?”

“You called me a faggot,” he/she said, spraying his unnamed fluid in my direction.

“Ah, ” I said turning my back to he/she who obviously hadn’t received the memo that the new denizens of in the rapidly gentrifying, Hipster/Millennial scarred ‘hood known as East Hollywood now refer to said noun as ‘the F word.’

“What are you spraying at him,” the guy who tapped me on the arm asked.

“Pepper spray,” he/she replied.

“How come I can’t smell the CS gas,” I yelled over my shoulder.

“I made this myself from pepper and hairspray,” he/she said.

The DIY Movement lives!

Raving At All Kyle Karaoke

The dream I’ve been having always starts the same with Mr. Guilmet giving us our IGI’s (Identify and Give the Importance) for the big test on The Black Hand and ends with him and Mr. C is his matching socks and sweater yelling at me “It’s all about Vietnamization.”  I sit straight up in a cold sweat screaming ‘Wha’ trying to catch my breath.  How the failure of a Nixonian foreign policy concept was caused by Gavrilo Princip  on June 28,1914 is beyond me but Tom Waits was right about places like this: you take on the dreams of the ones who slept here and it seems those before me failed Modern European History in high school.

So I end up wandering the upper regions of the ‘hood looking wishing the OD were around instead of in the County lock up because his latest ex found him at the local Laundromat, and finally make my way over to the Original Retro Goose, the closest gin joint to the East Hollywood Travelodge where all the “Fabulous Cocktails” have names that sound like the burned out strippers from Jumbo’s Clown Room.  Of course, they also have karaoke; lots and lots of karaoke.  Karaoke 7 nights a week frequented by every knucklehead in the neighborhood.

I poke my head in the door gingerly hoping to avoid some Hipster butchering ‘More Than This’ which makes me want to challenge the guy to a game of Russian Roulette with him going first and the pistol completely loaded.  Things looked safe.  Joe the Barman was on his third double Tito’s Madras of the night as a 34 year old Hipster in an orange stocking cap led the rest of the bar through a teary eyed rendition of ‘These Boots Are Made or Walking.’  Before I could make a discreet exit Joe motioned me to sit next to him, pulled out a Martini glass with three olives inside, a Boston shaker full of ice, a strainer and put the Tito’s bottle on the bar between us.  My ennui and nightmares had helped me stumble on All Kyle Karaoke.

All Kyle Karaoke is a group of 12 Hipsters, all named Kyle dressed in the same flannel shirt because Kurt Cobain chic is back in beard and glasses, get together to murder their favorite songs in a way that would make Mrs. Miller proud.  Neither Joe, the MC nor myself know which Kyle will walk up, don the orange toque and claim his chanteuse infamy.  As I poured my Immaculate Conception, the the Nancy Sinatra but sounding far more like Crispin Glover wanna be finished to a smattering of applause and Kyle was called up to warble ‘Because‘ by the Beatles.  He lost his mind after the first line.

“Because the world is round it turns me on…no!  NO!  The world isn’t round it’s flat. Earth is a disc with the Arctic Circle in the center and Antarctica, a 150-foot-tall wall of ice, around the rim. NASA employees guard the ice wall so people can’t climb over and falling off.”

“What about the sun rising and setting,” Joe the Barman asked.

“The have big planes that move the sun and moon 3,000 feet up,” Kyle replied.

“What about the stars,” Joe asked.

“They’re on a plane 100 feet above the sun and moon.”  With that Kyle broke down and started crying.  “They’re old and don’t get it.  I read all about it in the HufPo!”

The MC stepped in to smooth over the situation.  “Let’s try to shy away from controversy gentlemen.  We’re all friends here regardless of whether we believe in the Reptile People but should.  Ok.  Up next we have Kyle with ‘Put ‘Em On The Glass.‘”

Suddenly I found myself in mind of the Once and Future ex who always claimed my small but slowly growing bald spot was due to Chemtrails.

Hector Is A Proper Noun and A Verb

My building is being painted.

So the painters, who arrive at 7:58 am and have a key to everything except the deadbolt, are unable to open my door because I lock the deadbolt behind me all the time when I’m in the house asleep like a good New Yorker does.  Their remedy for said situation knowing I’m home is to drill out the deadbolt.   It seems knocking is a lost art form in Los Angeles but destroying a perfectly good door costing my landlord hundreds of dollars and sending me to a cheap hotel.

The Travelodge in East Hollywood is an effective place to feel wretched with summer wheat painted walls and beige just to this side of white of linoleum tiles separated by dirty grey grout.  The Frat fridge doesn’t work, the microwave is really a 1981 Convection oven and there is no deadbolt.  The Meth freak who occupied the room several guests before me ripped it out of the wall in a fit of political pique when the Chester A. Arthur refused to have brunch with him.   Three doors down, the locals who claim to have killed Geri Rosenthal are screaming about aliens coming through the Flat Screen TV’s via Pardon the Interruption.

As I wait for the elevator, a late twenty something couple who judging from their accent are from the Upper Midwest and ignored whatever advice they received on Hotels.com to avoid this place, cower as the disembodied voice behind the brown door that separates room 225 from the hallway screams “Hector!  Hector!  I’ll chase you around the bed until I catch you!  Hector!  Hector!”   These screams are followed by crashes of ceramic plates and the breaking of glass.

“Hector sounds scary,” the female end of the Late Twenty Something Couple from the Upper Midwest in Lisa Loeb glasses said.

“Just like the one who was in that bad ass film Troy that took place in Athens,”  The male end of the Late Twenty Something Couple from the Upper Midwest in an ironic strawberry beard said.

“The one who was killed by Bob Pitt,” the female end of the Late Twenty Something Couple from the Upper Midwest in Lisa Loeb glasses said.

“The very one.  They named him after that tendon in in your knee,” The male end of the Late Twenty Something Couple from the Upper Midwest in an ironic strawberry beard said.

I am forced to conclude discussing the word Hector as a proper noun as well as a verb would be pointless.