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Hipstercrite: September 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

54 Flavors of Choice Fatigue

Standing before me, amongst the big sky backdrop of Suburbia, Texas, stood Super Wal-Mart and Super Target.

I needed toothpaste and undereye concealer (a necessity ever since 7th grade when a classmate told the school I was a cocaine addict), so I decided on the lesser of the two evils and pulled into the stadium size parking lot of Super Target.*

Super Target boasts a grocery store AND retail store. Anything you could possibly want can be found there. You can furnish your entire house, fill up your refrigerator, flare up your closet, and entertain yourself with a plethora of options at Super Target. Want California grown avocados? Super Target's got 'em! Want visually displeasing bedding from a sell-out designer? Look no further! Need your fix of forced sardonic dialogue and excessive pop culture references? Get the entire series of "Gilmore Girls" on Super Target!

It's easy to get side tracked at Super Target. I found myself wandering into the produce section, picking up fixings for a salad, then subsequently veering into the condiment aisle. I stood, staring at an entire wall of salad dressings. Now, I have difficultly choosing a salad dressing to begin with. At one point two years ago, I had 13 salad dressings in my refrigerator to represent my indecisiveness with life. I scanned from top to bottom to see what Kraft in particular had to offer me. Kraft had to offer over 50 different types of salad dressing there at Super Target that day. 54 types to be exact. I counted out every single one, loudly. For example, this is what one had to chose from if one liked Italian dressing:

Zesty Italian
Tuscan House Italian
Creamy Italian
Golden Italian
Caesar Italian
Italian Vinaigrette
Free Caesar Italian
Free Zesty Italian
Light Done Right Italian
Carb Well Light Italian
Carb Well Italian
House Italian Reduced Fat
Light Done Right House Italian Reduced Fat
Light Done Right Zesty Italian Reduced Fat
Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan
Special Collection Caesar Italian with Oregano
Special Collection Classic Italian Vinaigrette
Special Collection Italian Pesto
Special Collection Parmesan Italian with Basil
Three Cheese Italian

The phrase "choice fatigue" came to mind. "Choice fatigue" or "choice overload" is the theory that too many choices leads to unhappiness and paralysis in decision making. Well, I think I had just proved that idea correct. I stood there in the salad dressings for 20 minutes. I bounced from intrigue to confusion to pissiness. I left the salad dressings completely empty-handed, exhausted, and angry.

When I discovered the theory of "choice fatigue" earlier that year, it was as if a light had been turned on. Being a frustrated, nonplussed twenty-something, this explained a lot of things. Everyone nowadays is faced with countless options in their daily life, but Generation Y was born into it.

In the beginning of 2008, I quit my career. I wasn't happy and I didn't know why. I purposely cleared my slate and decided to start from the scratch. I then spent the following months confused and immobile. I could go in any direction. The possibilities were infinite. The infiniteness terrified me. I could go back to school. I could move anywhere in the world. I could try to climb the corporate ladder. I could not shave my legs and paint fucking leprechauns all day (not fucking leprechauns but fucking leprechauns).

We're told we can do EVERYTHING, and by God, I was afraid to do anything.

Normally a girl who always knew what she wanted, I felt like I was drowning in the sea of option.

I thought long and hard on why I felt such paralysis.

Why does choice make life more difficult? Nothing is permanent, yet why do we lay such burden on our decisions? Is it because our lives are temporary and making the wrong choice could set us back precious time? Or have we just gotten too exhausted (or too lazy) to contemplate multiple thoughts nowadays?

I realized that for me, is was the former. Then it hit me. I'm losing more valuable time by being afraid. Yes, we're pelted by the assault rifle of options on a daily basis, but we can't let it stop us from living our lives.

I made a u-turn with my shopping cart and headed back to the salad dressings. I picked out two salad dressings that day and it felt good. That evening I had the most delicious salad I had ever tasted. A salad made with the freedom I had found in making a choice. Any choice. I've tried to live according to that principle every day since.

Now only if the asshole at Kraft who approved 54 salad dressings could limit his.

*My current financial situation and lack of knowledge of the area is currently preventing me from shopping at the independent Mom & Pop shops I'd rather be spending my money in.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Route 10 to Salvation

I'm watching my hands shake on the wheel and the tears start coming.
I'm not even outside of L.A. yet.
I can't see.
I'm going to crash before I even cross the county line.
Turn off Sia's "Breathe Me". You're doing this on purpose.

As I watch the sights that I've seen a million times before grow smaller and smaller in my rear view mirror, I think about all my failures in this city. And a boy.
My failures in Los Angeles and failure with the boy are insignificant to the greater picture of this move, yet they're all I can think about.

My feelings towards the boy are the same I have for L.A. We had a brief and tumultuous affair, and after being fucked in the ass, love turned to hate and now the two dance together on a pencil thin line. That's why I needed to get away. Not because of the boy. Though beautiful and purposely tragic, he is a major pain in my ass. No, it's because of the delicate tango my emotions have played over these past five years in regards to my relationship with Los Angeles.

I'm trying to let all these thoughts go out the window with the passing desert, but they won't leave.
They gradually get worse as I drive through Palm Springs, then across the Arizona border, and into Phoenix. My body and my heart hurt and this Kings of Leon album is not helping.

It's 7pm and I haven't eaten all day save for some Doritos and a Vitamin Water. The lights of downtown Phoenix begin to blur, not because of tears but because of hunger on all accounts.

I need to pull over.

I turn off the next exit. It's dark. It doesn't look promising. A Holiday Inn, a Love's, and a Flying J. Then like a shining beacon the white and yellow sign of The Cracker Barrel appears. For the first time on this trip, I smile. I scream, actually. I cheer. I pound the steering wheel. My shaky hands turn the wheel into the parking lot and I'm so overwhelmed with emotion, I can't get out of the car.

I float into the restaurant feeling complete disconnect from everything. I stare, slack-jawwed at the Christmas ornaments on the wall as I wait to be seated. I'm lead to a seat where I write this and anxiously wait to purge my food and my thoughts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Home is Where I Want to Be, Pick Me Up and Turn Me 'Round.

They say, "You can never go home again."

Who says that?

I want to know!

According to, it's a dude name Thomas Wolfe, but that's not confirmed.

Ok, so Thomas Wolfe maybe once said, "You can never go home again."

Well, Thomas Wolfe, you're wrong!

I think you meant childhood. If you actually wrote "childhood", you'd be spot on.

Because I'm discovering something, Thomas Wolfe- you can go home again!

When I first moved to L.A., I immediately transformed into a discombobulated head floating in the smoggy atmosphere of the city. As I waved good-bye to familiarity, I continued swimming deeper and deeper into the grey-orange abyss, only occasionally brushing against solidity. I'd touch down for a moment or two, only to be shot back up into the clouds, letting them take me wherever they'd like. My feet weren't planted here, but they were no longer planted in my hometown either. Every trip back to New York, I felt a deeper disconnect all the while reading "Less Than Zero". While I was in NY, I'd long for the bustle of L.A. traffic, the lights under Mulholland, and the smells of Venice Beach (no matter how good or bad they may be). And though I could barely wait for my plane to land at Long Beach Airport, I'd feel the energy instantly sucked out with the opening of the plane door. From there, I'd climb back into my little empty, plastic bubble waiting curbside that would carry me back through town and into daily life, always keeping my feet from touching the ground.

It wasn't until 3 years in, I noticed that the plastic film had shed away. I looked down and saw that both feet were firmly planted in the Los Angeles dirt. How my roots penetrated that compacted, dry dirt is beyond me, but they had forced through, wrapping tightly amongst the few stable anchors I could find. And there those roots have laid and will continue to lie, though I'm moving to a new city in a few days. I can't pry them, I can't sever them, I can only extend them. In contemplating this, it was then I realized that I had roots still firmly planted somewhere else too. In the place I thought I had pulled up in years ago. I traced back to my hometown, where I did some much needed cleaning and nurturing of my roots. And for the first time, I saw the beauty that lies in my hometown, in Central NY, in the place I once so desperately wanted to leave, but now felt such an undying connection to. Appropriately, I spent the entire trip looking at the grass. Something L.A. doesn't have.

Then I realized that you can have more than one home...and you can go back any time you like.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Whole Foods is Like a Beautiful, Emotionally Abusive Lover I Can't Break Free From

I hate you Whole Foods!
But you're all I think about at night.
I dream if I will see you the next day.
Or the day after that.
And I wonder if you'll ever let me go.
Or if I will have to muster up the courage
To stop going to your salad bar.
Do you know how difficult it is to walk by
Your marinated mushrooms
And not stick my face
In the vinegary coolness?
Do you?
Can you possibly know what it feels like
To see others picking the best of you?
Scooping up the uncoagulated tuna salad
Before I even lay a finger on you?
Oh, Whole Foods
It hurts me when I take such little from you
But my receipt says I've taken so much.
Whole Foods,
I'm tired of spending on you.
I'm tired of being a slave to your Vegan Potato Salad.
Please just let me go,
Because as I sit here
Cradling my recycled cardboard to-go container
With the words "Whole Foods" printed on the lid
I realize I will not find the strength
To do it myself.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Some Have Babies, Others Write About Them

A friend just emailed me pictures of my high school boyfriend's new baby. I'm reading X-files fan fiction in my underwear.
Growing up is not easy. Some of us welcome adulthood with open arms, while others try to beat it off with a blunt object while sitting in a thong reading poorly written Harlequin stories by obsessed fans of a show that's been off the air for many years.

I liked my childhood. I didn't particularly want to give it up.

The days when one could dress up as your favorite role model, Dana Scully, and people thought it was cute instead of creepy. The days when I wrote "Things I want to do before I'm 25 List" consisted of pragmatic goals like "Have completed ten novels", "Have starred in ten movies" and "Have two ex-husbands". The days where I had no concept about the unfairness in the world, the bills I'd have to pay, the emotional breakdown that would actually come at 25 instead of stardom and divorce settlements.

I believe my childhood died in fragments, not in one final, grand exit.

Like a series of heart attacks.

There first heart attack came in 8th grade. I was wearing a over-sized women's business suit. I wanted to look like an FBI agent. Dana Scully wore cool business suits. I didn't realize until I was older that she indeed did not wear cool business suits. A male classmate asked me if I was a dyke. I had no idea what that word meant. I envisioned a riverbed and could not see the correlation. A friend later explained to me what it meant. I was crushed. When you're 14, those sort of things hurt. As an adult, I'd laugh and say something along the lines of, "Yep, I have my strap-on in the car? Want me to demonstrate on you?" (actually, I would not say this- I'd only imagine saying it). After that day, I retired my over-sized pant suits to the closet and settled for more traditional teenage garb like a jean skirt and tee.

The second heart attack came when my childhood dog passed away. For some reason, I was dumb-founded when she actually died. I was convinced she would live forever. I actually thought that I could will her to be immortal even though I was 17 years old and should have known better. I would sit with her and have a talk. I'd say, "Look, Sam. You're not dying ok?" I'd look her intensely in the eyes. The more intensely I'd look, the more I knew it would work. I'd sit next to her on the couch, staring, sometimes crying, sometimes screaming, demanding her to live forever. Sam would look at me sideways, then slowly lean away with that look of, "How much more of an asshole could my owner be?".

The third attack happened when I was twenty. Some things are better left unsaid.

The fourth heart attack came when I took the Jim Henson Studios tour and saw five Kermits hanging on hooks on the wall.

So, while looking at this picture of a child of somebody at one time knew so well, somebody at one point I couldn't imagine life without, someone I stopped loving years ago, someone I have no idea who they are anymore nor care to, I debate whether or not I should put some clothes on, shut down the computer, and just finally take the pant-suit to GOOD WILL.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lindsey is my Man

Lindsey Buckingham will be performing at Royce Hall @ UCLA Sept. 14th at 7PM. Tickets are $56 and $66. Jeez, Lindsey!

I walk this Earth looking for a man that resembles Lindsey Buckingham circa 1977. If you see a man that looks like this, please let me know.

The dude still looks hot at 60! I caught a Fleetwood Mac show about 5 years ago and couldn't take my eyes off the man. Stevie who?!

He still wears low v-necks!

Let's analyze, shall we? That hair! Those eyes! Those angry, minimalistic lyrics! That odd way he moves stiffly while playing guitar!

No better way to get your Lindsey fix than "Holiday Road" from NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION. know you love it!

and this is what our child would look like...(thanks for Buzzfeed for showing me

Is this creepy?

L.A. Times Pick the Top 25 Films about L.A. in the Past 25 Years

Movies about New York City made me want to live there. Movies about L.A. made me never want to go there.

So I move to L.A.

After quickly getting acquainted with the City of Angeles, I began to shovel in movies about it. Each one seemed like a love letter to the city. Sometimes a sweet and nostaligic love letter, sometimes a fucked up, hateful one about a love affair gone wrong.

And it's the fucked up ones that make me proud to live in this city. The even better ones make downtown look romantic (oh, how I was deceived!)

17.) SPEED
20.) L.A. STORY
25.) CRASH

I'm happy to see that MAGNOLIA and GRAND CANYON weren't on there, but surprised that PULP FICTION and SHORT CUTS didn't make the list. L.A. STORY should have been closer to the top.

"And what about HEAT!?!" Kelly says!