Monday, August 18, 2008

Stuff and Things

  • the household: i received a rather pricey bill from the County of Los Angeles last month, called a “supplemental tax bill” (since property taxes don’t tax homeowners enough). the bill unsettled me — particularly its amount — so i paid a visit to the tax assessor’s office to get a few questions answered. after standing in three different lines in various offices, talking to countless people who couldn’t help me, a not-on-break employee finally noticed that the bill was not prorated as it should have been but instead was billed at the full amount for the fiscal year, meaning i was being taxed for a time period when the bank who repoed the house owned the house. County assured me it would repair the mistake and i would get a new bill in the mail for just my portion.

    a few weeks later, i received the new supplemental tax bill in the mail. the bill was for the same amount as before but now included a refund check that covered the bank’s portion. i called the County and asked what happened? “the refund is to help you pay your bill,” they told me. “why didn’t you just deduct the amount of the refund from the total?” i asked. “because that’s not how we do things.”

  • that earthquake: in case you missed it, LA was rattled by a 5.4 a few weeks back. i was at work when it happened, on the 33rd floor of a downtown highrise, talking to a coworker in New York when the trembling started. when i’m faced with frustrating, frightening situations, my impulse is to start swearing like a goddamn cocksucking motherfucker, so that’s what i did — while on the phone with a virtual stranger. “fuck, shit, goddamn motherfucker. it’s an earthquake happening. I NEED TO CALL YOU BACK!!” then i dove under my desk and stayed there until the shaking subsided. first call went to Mo, who’s stationed at home during the day, “how’s the house???” Mo said house was fine, held up well. we hung up a moment later and i realized i forgot to ask him how he and the dogs held up. fuck.

  • those Olympics: at first, i was resigned not to watch them because i knew that watching them would mean becoming obsessed with them. now that i’m obsessed, i’ve become slightly depressed over the fact that these young athletes have accomplished more in their short lives than i ever will with the remainder of mine. i used to think that being a rock star was the greatest profession on earth because it meant never having to get up early, but now i’m convinced that being an athlete is the way to go, because even though athletes need to rise early, they get to eat a lot and spend their days popping off endorphins. i’m also convinced that i will marry Michael Phelps.

  • the day Juice went missing: i swore far more that day than i did the day of the earthquake. but yes, there was a day the other week when Juice got out and got gone. she was found an hour later a block away with some kind neighbors who took her in, but fucking hell, that hour Mo and i spent scouring the streets looking for her was the shittiest hour of my life. i actually held it together quite well until the moment i saw her again, at which point i started bawling like an asshole, at which point she started licking my face. i spent the rest of the day in such a state, my only relief lying on the floor cuddling with both dogs while my heart tried to reconstitute itself.

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