Thursday, January 13, 2011

when minimal mode is bling

Have you ever noticed that the only thing standing between "spoiled" and "soiled" is "p"? I didn't until today, and what a decadent day it was. I hope something ominous isn't looming on the horizon. Considering nothing in life is free and things are often too good to be true, it seems life is calm for the moment, and curiously generous. *knocks on wood

My toenails, for instance, good god they were in a funk, chipped since before Thanksgiving, last year. I finally made my way to that special place on Hyperion with all the People magazines and massage chairs today, right before the sun went down. I walked there and (carefully) back in flip flops for exercise. They charge $15 and I always leave $5, and they always act surprised and grateful, as if they usually get nothing extra. I think they all speak Vietnamese, hardly a lick of English. The red I chose today is called "High Maintenance." I thought that was cute.

I also have a new leather handbag by LA designer Clare Vivier from the Mohawk General Store on W Sunset. Ned had surprised me with a smaller bag by the same designer at Christmas, but the clasp broke on the way to the post office in Atwater Village, so I had store credit. The new bag is a roomier hobo, I absolutely love it, even though it reeks of death in a way. It's also unlined, so my new Grace Paley is becoming tinged with orange pages before I can even open it and devour the stories inside. 

Sure, I'll get over it, but you'd think, for a $380 bag, Vivier might've at least sewn a swatch of silk inside, making it less rustic, and a touch more...upholstered? Regardless, it's mine now.

If it's not obvious by the photo I also started Thomas Pynchon's V today. Oddly enough, I've lost interest in graphic novels and now I'm veering more towards long, modern novels. 

So far I've made it all the way through to chapter one, something about sailors and beer and a girl and the New York subway. I can tell this isn't going to be easy; it's very masc-centric, dense, loopy and complicatedly book about nothing in particular but a man named Profane just kind of being a likable bastard. 

The way the sentences twist and twirl around sometimes is what makes it special. It's not as complicated as White Noise or Blood Meridian or anything, but it's definitely in the same club of jargon-based word art. I'm going to try to get to 100 pages by the end of the night, then I'll only have 400+ and maybe I can finish the whole thing in less than a week. 

My old Gateway is at the Apple store in the mall tonight, too, along with my new Macbook Air. The genius squad is transferring my photos and word documents over to a hip, lightweight piece of techno-inevitability. Dependabilitywise, the look on my face had to be of shock when they told me they'd have to keep both computers overnight until six the next day. 

I said to the genius Mac guy, "What the hell am I supposed to do without a computer at home, use my phone?" and then I remembered I had a Dell netbook at the house that I've barely used. I bought the thing thinking I'd take it to coffee shop and write some great novel on it one day. Heh! Eh...ugh. 

I have three computers and a miniature computer phone. Is that normal? Depends on who you ask I suppose. My handbag's expensive according to most minimum wagers, but cheap compared to those who will settle for nothing less than a 2-grand plus Gucci, Prada or Alexander Wang bag. 

And walking down the street today, I wondered if I was wearing one two many rings with my flip flops and new leather handbag; as hybrids, SUVs and Mercedes flew past the sidewalk I trekked to get a pedicure. Then an attractive black teen in a prep school uniform asked me for a dollar in exchange for a smile. 

Perhaps this is just Los Angeles, and to adapt to Los Angeles, the minimal mode is bling. I'm not complaining, trust me; I've never had a better excuse to play materialistic.

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