Thursday, February 17, 2011

In bed with Joe Dungan

If you've been following along, you know that I quit my job as an advertising copywriter in December 2010. Since then, people have asked what I do with my time. For awhile, the best answer was that I just wasn't working and it didn't matter what I did as long as I wasn't schlepping my arse over the hill to the San Fernando Valley to write highly-effective advertising for A-list clients.

They say that people crack open their car window because it can get so hot in the valley that the window can shatter. But really, it's so that the real self you leave in the car can breath while the rest of you heads into the office.

But I digress.

So, what have I really been up to?

Generally, I get up in the morning and go to my favorite coffee shop to hang out with Santa Monica's finest caffeine addicts. Then I come home and putter around online. I read my blog comments (thank you!!!), I check stocks (with exclaims of either cha-ching! or oh s*#t) and I troll Facebook.

1. to move around
2. to fish by trailing a lure or baited hook from a moving boat
3. to be a prick on the internet because you can, typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it's the internet and, hey, you can.

All of the above.

After trolling for an hour or so, I wonder if I should write in my journal... try to write those three morning pages. I generally opt out of that and go hiking or to yoga instead. Afterward, I shower, have lunch and have a nap. Then I deal with cleaning out my apartment for when I begin my travels (soon).

It's a good life. 

Today though, I did none of these things. I made coffee at home and crawled back into bed and read L.A. Nuts by Joe Dungan. This delightful little read is part insight, part wit and part venom... my favorite prose trifecta. In it, Joe describes the colorful inhabitants and quirks of Los Angeles. To get a gist of what I'm talking about, here are a few of his chapter titles:
  • This is what it's like to park your car here
  • This is what it's like to buy houses—or not buy them
  • This is how we celebrate Christmas in public
  • This is how our TV news programs cover our weather
  • Meet people who've interacted with famous people
  • This is how we deal with earthquakes
  • Meet our religious people
If you live in Los Angeles, you already understand what you'll find in this book. Everyone has an opinion about the crazy parking signs (especially in Beverly Hills), the real estate market (we're all waiting for a cute bungalow with minimal earthquake damage), Christmas (or should I say non-Christmas), the non-news about the weather, the overly-beaded-hemp-wearing-judgmental-green-tea-drinkers that spew their own flavor of spirituality in every direction, etc (seems they are as fanatic about the Middle East as they are about not eating sugar).

And as for our interactions with famous people, we've all had our internal conflict about name dropping and how we shouldn't do it but we want to but we don't want to be that guy but we are. So instead of gushing to our local friends, we call our family back home and say, "Michael Keaton talked to me in line at the coffee shop! Batman! Bat-frickin'-MAN!"

It happened to me. But you didn't hear it here.

Joe's book is a great read for anyone who has spent any amount of time in LA. You'll be laughing out loud, saying "That's so true!" or "Been there" or "I think I know that guy he's writing about."

Alright. Now that the sun is setting, I should get out of my pajamas and get on with another nutty day in LA.

1 comment:

  1. I want your life.

    And as a third-generation Los Angelino, I think I need to read that book.


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