Monday, February 1, 2010

Life: I Believe I Can See The Future; Because I Repeat The Same Routine

At 7:00 AM this morning, I was in my car, illegally planted by the curb, eagle-eye watching the cars parked in a more legal fashion along both sides of my street in furtive hope that one of them would soon leave, allowing me to squeeze into its vacated spot. At least once, I was not fast enough spinning my car around to the other side and someone pushier than me waltzed in instead. By 7:40, I was camped out behind the car of a woman walking towards it with her purse, with my blinker insistently informing anyone hopefully waiting behind me that this one was friggin' mine.

The funny (read: not) part of this, of course, being that I would be moving my car again later the same morning to drive to work. By the time I returned home, the dance would begin again. It's really the only thing so far that's regularly frustrated me about living here. Because the roomy parking lot directly next to our building requires you to be out by morning, we're forced to play this ridiculous game battling too many cars for too few metered spaces out on the street.

As for the rest of the life, the blogposts have slowed because I've been gathering enough to even say. Life has become a repetitive schedule of familiars, and mostly all in the good way.

My mornings see me in one of two offices where I go about trying to find things to do or people to pay me to do them. More than half of those days, I'm out by 2 PM, home by 3:30 PM with the help of some lovely traffic, and it isn't usually too terrible making a few rotations around the block before a parking spot becomes available. This, however, does not usually endear me to wanting to move it again until I utterly have to.

The rest of my time has become divided between two options, both of which are centered around their ability to give me internets. They are as follows:

1) The Starbucks I Can Walk To From My Apartment

Not wanting to move my car makes this walking-distance business a favorite. However, guilt compels me to buy something when I go there so, it costs me money. Also, when it rains, I'm not so much encouraged to go out walking. However, since the latter only applies to APOCALYPSE WEEK, it doesn't quite count.

APOCALYPSE WEEK, as it were, was a full week of rain. Rain, not so bad. Torrential downpours of biblical proportion... slightly more so. You can't even see the rain right in that picture, but I assure you is it going almost straight sideways and at speeds that could stab you in the neck. Rain like this drives Californians crazy, as it turns out, and I'm fairly certain that half of the state remained cradled in their homes out of fear during that week because traffic was terrific, ignoring that you were thundering through huge slippery puddles and had a visibility of little to none.

It was, actually, this WEEK that allowed me to discover option #2, nestled in this shopping mall connected by this courtyard which I'm positive looks better when it's not raining but I haven't bothered to take another picture so you're just gonna have to deal.

2) Borders That Has Free Parking

That's right. Free. Parking. In a garage. And for this, I will forever love them. Not to mention that they are comfy, not powered solely by their A/C, and are full of books which I love a good deal more than coffee, which I do not like at all. Borders is not without its down-points, however.

For instance, though I discovered this perfect cozy spot on a windowsill behind some bookshelves where all anyone could see of me was my feet and I felt secret and alone... there was no outlet in sight. Okay, there was an outlet. But it didn't work. So I'm not counting it. Therefore, no outlet. Approximately one and a half hours after sitting down, I was forced from my comfort zone to find a source of electricity.

In Borders, you have about two options (if you want seating... which, I don't always get around to). The first is the coffee shop below which is quite like Starbucks and where you will be surrounded by a similar crowd all going for the same spots. It is also here that you're apparently presenting yourself to be approached by anyone in the vicinity willy-nilly.

The second option are the chairs along the stairs where you can probably get an outlet if you manage to claim a seat on the outsides near the pillar. I like these chairs. Mostly because I'm allowed to turn them around backwards and use the railing as a foot-rest.

This position is especially endeared to me now because it allowed an Encounter. This is what I'm counting as my first real Celebrity Sighting because the first one was someone I didn't know, and the second one was someone no one else knows. So that kind of defeats the purpose.

No, this one was bona-fide. Because, I was chilling out in my seat with my feet up on the railing and my computer in my lap and, you know, something really epically important on my screen, when a tall lanky form bounded up the stairs. Perhaps he was followed or lead by the attendant he later began talking to... I don't know, why would I be watching the attendant... the point is, I thought I recognized the face despite that it was being partially blocked by a cleverly worn hat. In my sheer surprise, I yanked my headphones off to see if hearing the voice would cement it. And it did. The face? Matthew Lillard. I'm so very sure of it. Check out this tiny-ass, highly questionable evidence.

I whipped open my backpack to take instant proof of this sighting only to find I'd cleverly left my iPhone at home where it would do me loads of good sitting on my desk like a shiny paperweight. So I had to snap this one with my phone where I was instantly reminded that I hadn't turned the sound off because it resonated the store with its extremely obvious "shutter" sound. After this, I was pretty much too paranoid to look up to see if I'd been pointed out for my paparazzi-impression. So I just watched. And lamented that I wasn't obnoxious enough to harass someone who looked like he was in a hurry and didn't feel like being noticed like he wasn't a normal person on a hunt for a good book.

Unfortunately, Borders closes at 9PM. This is early. Not only is this early, but it is part of their new 'winter' hours. These hours are so very new that, without fail, every time they make an announcement over the PA about how they are closing in half an hour and it is eight-thirty someone near me makes a surprised exclamation about how they're closing early. Without fail. Either that or, like me, they are just so irritated by this fact that they feel they must announce it out-loud in similar surprise.

So days sort of blur together as one giant choice between deciding whether to go to Starbucks, freeze, but have one more precious hour of online time, or go to Borders, be comfy in a chair but have to leave in a herd by nine.

Oh. Though, there was this one nice day where my sister and I decided to go to Sprinkles to get her a celebratory birthday cupcake. Then she said we should find a nice place along the beach to sit down and eat them. So I plunked down in the passenger seat with the cupcakes in my lap and we drove for a while... a really, actually, incredibly long while. Apparently, no place all along Malibu was satisfactory because we ended up not on the coast at all but entering Camarillo before the day was over. I comically asked my mother what she'd like from this venture into our old place of living but, since we only stopped right at the limits to get gas and turn around, the snapshots are all out the window of various places along the beach instead.

Enjoy anyway. Because they're just that pretty. And I don't feel like saying anything about them.

Actually, one more thing.

This is what I did on Saturday while other people I happen to know were, like, shoveling or something. I was planted in the lovely courtyard outside the walkable-distance movie theater I just discovered, ruminating over my first 3D movie experience (AND HOW MUCH IT COST ME) and sipping on this delicious Coldstone Cake N' Shake.

You may now commence being jealous.

Then you can reassure yourselves by checking your bank account and being secure in the knowledge that you are less broke than me. I guarantee this is true.

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