Los Angeles: A Love Story

Dear Los Angeles,

As with every love story, we have had a tempestuous journey in our relationship and quest for mutual understanding.  But as with every journey, there comes a parting of ways.  Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.

I have lived in Los Angeles for the better part of four years now, and in Southern California my entire life.  Now, every state has it’s problems, and certainly every major metropolitan city.

Don’t mistake me; I love California.  I’m spoiled to live here.  There are four seasons, and all of them are sunny flip-flop weather.

But if you don’t fix the following things soon, Los Angeles, I’m afraid we may have to go on a break.  Where we see other people.  If you are not comfortable with that idea, please address and adjust the following bullet points promptly.

1.  The City of Los Angeles Parking Authority.  You want me to pay my tickets that I don’t deserve?  You’ll have to catch me first!  (Note the picture.  However, this is obviously not Los Angeles, because this photo contains plants that are not dead.)

2.  The crazy homeless guy who roots through my dumpster for recyclables.  Root away, I don’t mind!  But don’t having a screaming match with yourself at 5 a.m. right outside my window.  Rude.

3.  The five-lane lane merge of death coming from the 101 S to the 110 S.  I have seen my life flash before my eyes, and let me tell you: it was short.

4.  Every single alley that reeks of piss vapor.  What is that, a perfume now?

5.  Living by a fire station where sirens go off 24/7.  Wee oooh, weeeee oooh, weee….

6.  “Oh, you only have five dollars on you?  Well this small order of french fries is $20.  What do you want, it’s LA!  Thank you for stopping at McDonald’s.”

7.  THE SLOW LANE IS IN THE RIGHT LANE.  DO NOT GO 55 MPH IN THE LEFT LANE.

8.  This drive that normally takes me 10 minutes has taken me 1 hour and fifteen minutes.  What time is it?  Ah yes, 5 o’clock rush hour.

9.  The only green living thing here is the hot dog someone smashed into the sidewalk 3 weeks ago and left there that has now developed mold and begun to move on its own.

10.  Why don’t the street cleaners ever come on street cleaning day?  It’s their only job!  If you’re going to ticket me for parking there, at least make sure you come to clean.

11.  Running outside is like sticking your mouth on the end of an exhaust pipe.  If I liked running, this would really bother me.

12.  Hipsters that listen exclusively to 8 tracks, only take photos with discontinued Polaroid film, and never shave their molestache, but drive their mom’s Audi to work.  If you’re going to be an elitist, commit and get a fixed gear.  Stop posing, suburbanite.

13.  Hollywood Boulevard at 2 a.m.  No explanation necessary.

14.  The only subway in L.A. serves sandwiches.

15.  Living in South Central.  It’s not the location that bothers me, it’s the drive-bys.

Thank you for your time and consideration, Los Angeles.  It’s been an affair to remember.

Yours Truly,

Lindy

P.S.  In regards to #7, please see below for suggestions.  I don’t like to bring up problems without offering solutions:

If LA signs were truly useful

A Girl’s Guide to Camping: Survival Edition

I just got back from the wilderness and all I want to do is shower in my own personal space.

Every year, my family goes camping.  (For some reason, many white people love the CRAP out of camping.  It’s a thing.  My parents and I are no exception.)  In fact, my family loves camping so much, we usually go twice a year.

No joke. I wrote on a wall in the lodge every year starting when I was 7, which explains the serial killer slant to my handwriting.

We used to go up to the same place in the Sequoias every year for anywhere from three days to a week at a secluded camp site named Camp Wolverton that used to be for Boy Scouts.  When the Boy Scout Council no longer wanted to maintain it regularly, it was kept up by families with members formerly in the scouting program.

Oh, you thought we camped in cabins? That’s cute.

Unfortunately, some S.O.B. administrators shut down our idyllic little private hideaway and we began the hunt for a new location for all of these former Boy Scouts and their families to meet up.  We settled on a place called Camp Whitsett in the southern Sierras. (It’s also a Boy Scout camp; sensing a pattern?)

Now, I love camping.  I love nature and trees and creeks and fattening food and camp fires and bad hair and no make up and great friends and run-on sentences.

And waterfalls. I like waterfalls a lot, too.

And mountainscapes.

And sunsets.

And bad photography.

However, I feel like certain things will never change between camp sites.  There are constants that will never alter.  I feel it is my duty as a woman to prepare my fellow would-be campers with what to expect.  Because camping ain’t a 4-night stay in the Ritz.  Ready?

A Girl’s Guide to Camping: Survival Edition

1) Never look at anything too closely.  A cursory glance for scorpions and flesh-eating parasites is fine,  but further inspection really just reveals things you’d rather not know about, like dead bugs (or live ones), dirt, and violated health and safety codes.  It’s better this way.  Ignorance really can be bliss.

2) There will be spiders.  And other creepy crawlies as well.  Screaming doesn’t help, it just empowers the nasty buggers.  At least you know where the bug is—it’s worse if it disappears.  You have several options: a) back away slowly and avoid the area until the bug voluntarily relocates, b) conscript a spider assassin, or c) grit your teeth and do it yourself.  You can “rescue” it, but don’t be stupid and get bitten while you’re playing at being spider Gandhi.

3)  You will be dirty, you will be sweaty, you will smell like deet, and you will get sap on you at some point.  If you’re pale like this Viking Goddess, you will be coated in sunscreen.  Showers are never guaranteed, so never ever ever ever pass one up if you can afford it.  Always bring shower shoes.

Showering.  Showering is a subsection of this rule because it is so important and often so awkward.  An extra towel is a necessity because people who camp regularly become less and less concerned with nudity, so there will probably be a flimsy shower curtain or one with lots of gaps.  If they even bother with the curtain.  At  Wolverton, you had two showering options–a group shower with three other people and no roof, or a single-person shower  with only three sides and no roof.  Either way, there was no roof.

This was the group shower:

This was the outside of the shower house. The sign was encouraging, don’t you think?

This was the inside of the shower. It had four shower heads. At least I have something to tell my therapist about when I’m 35.

We used this to keep the men out.

It usually didn’t work.

The single person “open to the bears” shower:

If the shower house was taken, this was your only other option.  It was smack-dab in the middle of camp, with the open side facing the most frequented outhouse on the entire site.  Nerve-wracking.  You didn’t have to pay for THAT peep show.  Up side: When people weren’t throwing snowballs at your naked body over the shower wall, they mostly left you alone.  At 4 pm the sun would hit it just right and warm you up.  And the view was beautiful.  If you ignored the outhouse.

This is the shower. Note the three sides and exposed plumbing.

This is the view from the shower. Note the popular outhouse.

My friend launching a snowball at his dad, who is utilizing the open to the bears shower. This may or may not have happened to me as well.

We’re sledding in front of the shower. Note the dismay in the far left corner.

Lesson:  Life is hard.  Shower when you can.

4)   If you have any special dietary concerns  or require specific food, bring alternative food options for yourself.  It’s likely people won’t know what to do with your obnoxious food issue, so suck it up and “be prepared.”  It’s the Boy Scout motto.  I know we’re girls, but you’re going to have to adapt.  Assume all foods will consist of saturated or trans fats, starches, heavy meats, sugar, excessive salt, and gravy.  Prepare to gain weight.  Drink water.

5)  Don’t expect to sleep well.  You won’t.  Also, always bring your own mattress pad, because sleeping on the ground or a similar provided mattress will feel like taking a nap on the pointy side of an Easter Island head.

Another reason you might not sleep is because you’ll be up half the night talking to people around a campfire.

6) There will probably be wildlife.  Deer are cute but they’ll judo-kick you in the face and give you Lyme disease (the deer ticks will, anyway).  That is, if they don’t run your car off the road first.  Back off, city slicker.

He could kick your face and eat your children AT ANY MOMENT.  If he didn’t look so stoned.

7)  There’s about a 60% chance you’ll get a splinter.  Prepare to use your tweezers for something other than your eyebrows.

8)  Don’t run anywhere.  You will trip on a rock and die.  Eventually.  I also hate running so this is an easy rule to adhere to for me.

This is a rock, or “stalagmite.” But you probably won’t trip on it.

You won’t trip on these stalactites either.

9) Never leave food or cosmetics in your car, tent, or cabin in bear county.  Unless you’re too poor to fix your broken air conditoning and decide you want your entire car aerated by bear claws.

And, lastly,

10) Give up on your hair.  GIVE UP.  No one respects your hair dryer and flat iron here.  Embrace your hair issues.  If you have a regular ‘fro, it’s beautiful.  If you have a white-lady ‘fro, EMBRACE IT, IT’S YOURS.

To be honest, I love camping.  You will too.  Be prepared.

Caged Orcs and the Horrific World of CMAPT

I’m about to move into an overpriced apartment in Los Angeles without a job, a nest egg, and clearly without a clue.

Or, as a friend of mine likes to say, “dive head first into an empty pool.”

There’s something terribly frightening and exciting about taking a huge leap of faith: you simultaneously feel like Wonder Woman and a shivering chihuahua stranded in the middle of the ocean during a hurricane. One minute you’re on top of the world and the next you’re plunging into a vortex of fear, worry, and general life-nausea. You’re the cartoon character who blissfully walks off the edge of a cliff and carelessly hovers, not subject to gravity, only to plummet to the earth as soon as he or she looks down.

To the people who say their twenties were the best time in their lives: screw you. You clearly did not enter the job market after the 2008 recession.

What was once a decade of youth, freedom, and self-discovery has now become what one of my favorite authors John Green would call a “CMAPT” world: one of Crushing Monotony And Paralyzing Terror.

I’m experiencing these in a very cyclical pattern, and they seem to be directly proportional to whether or not I have a job. When I am employed, the Crushing Monotony line on the graph of my life is ever-increasing. Maybe I just haven’t found the right job. But if the right job involves a computer and a chair with poor lumbar support, count me out. That’s 40 hours a week of my life that I can never get back. And a back I can never get back.

When I don’t have a job, the Crushing Monotony stops but there is a MARKED increase in Paralyzing Terror. Can I support myself? Am I doing more than just scraping by? And that’s really what I want to write about.

If I’m being completely honest, there’s never really a decrease in Paralyzing Terror. It’s always an emotion that seems consistently on high alert in the back of my mind: Am I accomplishing enough? Am I making interesting things happen? Am I leaving a legacy? Am I making my time on Earth matter? Thus enter the ice weasels (thanks Matt Groenig).

I am a person of faith, but no matter how much faith I have, I don’t know if that Paralyzing Terror will ever go away. As the years go on, I’ve just learned to cage it in the farthest recesses of my mind, like a starving Orc craving hobbit flesh. Sometimes the angry Orc escapes and commits serious vandalism in the zoo that represents my consciousness, only to be tranquilized with a blow dart and returned to it’s enclosure by my Thought Police.

We all have our own Orcs loose in our mental zoos. It’s just whether or not we tame them and decide to take that grossly underpaid retail job four blocks away from our house or whether we keep holding out for the chance of something that may never come.

Personally, I’ll take a chance of greatness over a sure thing any day.

My Life, The Editing Room

I just finished watching “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” for the first time because when it came out I was living in DC, and movie theaters : DC :: lions : Antarctica.

I noticed that, much like many Hollywood movies, they cut out the uncomfortable or banal daily happenings of characters’ lives.  When do the main characters in Pirates of the Caribbean 4 eat?  Shower?  Sleep?  Never.  Jack Sparrow pooping in the jungle while the rest of his pirate party waits for him to wrap it up just isn’t as cinematic.

As I was watching, I realized that there are a lot of glamorous–and unglamorous–things I do in my life.   No matter how cool it may seem, it can always be made better by editing.

I recently spoke to a friend who didn’t get that memo about editing your life.  The constant Facebook pressure of her friends being fabulous and successful was giving her severe inadequacy issues.

“Lindy, every day on Facebook I see that 45 of my friends have gotten engaged, married, or pregnant, with new cars and first houses and exotic vacations, and all I can think to myself is that I still don’t know how to correctly cook a Hot Pocket all the way through.”

First of all, that’s near impossible.  Cooking a Hot Pocket all the way through is like lightly roasting a golden brown  marshmallow–impossible without selling your soul to an evil wizard.  I felt her choice of snack was more indicative of her point in life more than whether or not she seared her diarrhetic packaged food completely.

“Social media is all a just a highlights reel,” I said, nodding.  “Do you honestly think they’re going to tell you that they hate their new job that makes them work 15 hours a day?  Or that they’re so deeply in debt that any meal they eat at home is Easy Mac?  No.  They’re going to say, ‘MADE IT TO GEISHA HOUSE! #SUSHIGORGE.’

To be fair, I can’t even hate people for it.  I do it ALL the time.  When I was traveling, my Instagram account was filled of pictures of the Alps, Danish marinas, and Italian lemon orchards.  It certainly was NOT filled with pictures of me sleeping in a parka on a train station floor, my fourth day in a row wearing the same crunchy unwashed outfit, or the interminable hours spent staring out of train windows.  It’s the highlights reel.

This made me think about other things in my life that I would edit out if I could.  I know, I know, people always say, “It’s your day-to-day actions that make you who you are.”  But truthfully, I don’t see how cleaning my cat’s litter box on demand every 36 hours is improving my character.  (But I suppose it does serve as a humbling reminder.  No matter how successful I become, an 8-pound ball of indifference, fur, and entitlement can still convince me to clean up its crap.)

So here’s my list of things I would edit out of my life movie to advance the plot line:

  • Sleeping.  Unless I take an Ambien, then all rules are out the window.
  • Going to the bathroom.  Enough said.
  • Standing in front of the fridge deciding what to eat.  Decisions, decisions…life’s wasted minutes.
  • Commuting.
  • Parking.  Unless it’s a tight parallel spot.  Then you wanna watch.
  • Waiting rooms where I’ll catch another disease and be forced to read Highlights Magazine 3 times through before seeing my doctor.
  • Grocery shopping.  Who needs to see me over-buy Milky Way bars and two-buck Chuck?
  • Showering.  Especially at the Bates Motel.
  • Drying my hair, making my bed, or any other morning ritual that could easily be montaged-away.
  • Working out.  The only time it will be sexy is in a Carmen Electra striptease video or playing beach volleyball with a bunch of Brazilian hardbodies.
  • Cleaning.
  • Fixing the toilet.  I’m not Al from “Home Improvement.”
  • Biking to work.  Damn hippies and my own damn poverty.
  • The DMV.  Scratch that.  Murders have probably taken place here.
  • Mending clothes with holes.  This is only interesting when it’s talking mice doing it for Cinderella.
  • Being on hold.  (No snappy comment here. This is the pits.)
  • Chores and errands
  • Shopping by myself
  • All the hours I spend on the computer.  No wonder I have a severe Vitamin D deficiency.

Do they sell an editing program for this?  I know several interested parties.

Retail Hell

The unemployment rate in this country means the terrorists are winning.

For those of you unfamiliar with my job situation (i.e. everyone who doesn’t listen when I talk), I am a recent college graduate.  As such, I fall into that truly blessed 53% of recent college grads who are unemployed and living at home with their parents.

Now, I know I may have had a part in bringing this upon myself.  I majored in print journalism.  To all of you who are about to say “the newspaper industry is dying,” I’VE HEARD.  I was PREPARED to live in a cardboard box in my local alley and eat dumpster bagels if it meant being the next Edward R. Murrow.

As a print journalism major, it only makes sense that I would enjoy the Facebook page Overheard in the Newsroom.  They post things other journalists–guess what–overheard in the newsroom.  Recently, they posted this gem:

Reporter: “There’s a new HBO show about journalists.”

Photo chief: “Are they all sitting at home not having jobs?”

The answer is if they aren’t, they should be.

But, I should say, I’m not TRULY unemployed.  Just under-employed.  I work a retail job that pays barely above minimum wage and only hires me for 10-14 hours a week.  On a good week.  That’s not even truly part time.  To be totally frank, retail is killing my soul.  And they don’t much love me either.  As my comrade in retail once said to me, “You know its bad when you take out private health insurance as a preventative measure.  Unemployment is imminent.”

So naturally, rather than just bitching about this, I decided to increase the heavy intensity of my job hunt even further and just…find a better option.  After all, I refuse to be one of those people who Ben Franklin said “die at 25, but aren’t buried until they’re 75.”

So just find another job, right?  Sounds pretty easy.

It isn’t.

My lack of job success combined with the constant emails from LinkedIn reminding me of the new and exciting jobs all of my peers are getting serves only to exacerbate my frustration.  Half of the reason there aren’t jobs for anyone in my age bracket is because of all the bureaucratic BS that goes on behind the scenes.  I voiced my anger at this state of affairs to my same retail-burdened friend I mentioned earlier, and he sent me this in regard to a Facebook post I made about being hired:

 

“[Insert Company], Inc.
HR | Compliance Surveillance Strategies Group

CONFIDENTIAL: to be read by recipient only

Lindy,

Per the [Insert company] Associate’s Bible® corporate policy compendium, section 15 § 78a-g: “Associates® may not engage in unauthorized use of social and non-social media tools in reference to current employment at [Insert Company], Inc, (hereafter referred to as “the Company,” inclusive of all wholly-owned and affiliated subsidiaries).”

The Company’s Outside Counsel (Dewey, Cheatham & Howe, Esq.) has advised that such media tools include, but are not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare® (online and playground), sidewalk chalk postings (exclusive of renderings drawn past the point Where The Sidewalk Ends), carrier pigeon (and Hogwarts Owls), daytime TV rants, shouting all crazy/ethnic in public, graffiti art, messages etched into the remaining hair on the male or female shaved head (inclusive of other body hair regions at the Company’s sole discretion), Bedazzled® cellphone cases marked with derogatory comments regarding our stores, and stick figures on public restroom dividers (exceptions include statements accompanying hot chicks’ phone numbers and adolescents’ Sharpie-scrawled cries for help, which must be reported promptly or disciplinary action up to and including public shaming/execution may be taken). The Company may also employ Indians and other sources of outsourced labor to monitor, search, stripsearch, Google, gaggle, surveil, or go all TSA on their ass to said media tools at will without further notice.

Recent statements that you made on __Facebook__ may have contained information in violation of this policy. While we understand your __excitement__ at __obtaining a job___ we ask that you cease and desist immediately. Congratulations on beginning your career with the Company, and dare we say we better not this conversation again.

InSincerely yours,

HR”

 

Maybe it doesn’t solve my problems, but it certainly makes me feel better about them.  Thoughts on the economy sending your life into a shame spiral?  Share them in the comments.

Nostalgia

I used to be nostalgic for another time, until I realized I like indoor plumbing, anesthesia, and gun laws.

I realized this as I was sitting talking to my dad in his office with his television on in the background.

It was set on the History Channel, which has released a new miniseries called “Hatfields & McCoys” based on a well-documented historical feud between two families living in backwoods West Virginia and Kentucky.  The feud escalated with a brutal disagreement over the ownership of a pig.  (Well done, Appalachia.  I would like to point out that this crazy behavior is the exception, not the rule, as my former roommate is from West Virginia and she is a bright, well-behaved engineer with no unnatural feelings for her siblings.)

The Real-Life Hatfields.  Sorry they can’t all be cute, it’s the wilderness.  They may or may not have had unnatural feelings for their siblings.

Miniseries Title. They’re not much cuter here either.

To give you the Reader’s Digest version, a bunch of people ended up dying over some stupid stuff that could have been resolved reasonably and without firearms.  I guess I shouldn’t expect much from a region with such low education rates at the time that they managed to produce the inbred family the  Blue Fugates of Troublesome Creek:

The Fugates DEFINITELY had unnatural feelings for their siblings.  This is a real photograph of them.

This does not particularly make me want to live in another era.  I’m a sarcastic person: the general proclivity for violence and the widespread ignorance in the area would provoke me and pretty much guarantee my swift demise.

Most of the past centuries were brutal, unclean, and war-torn.  Diseases like typhoid, small pox, and cholera hit early and killed early.  There was no morphine or anesthesia–the term “bite the bullet” didn’t come from just anywhere.  Needed your leg amputated?  Rusty saw and some whisky.  Good luck to ya.

Let’s not forget the complete lack of attendance to regular hygiene practices like bathing (Queen Elizabeth bathed once every 3 or 4 weeks and people thought she was crazy and was opening her soul to possessions or something.  At best people were showering once every few months to once a year).  I really shouldn’t expect so much.  People were still throwing their full chamberpots into the street back then.

“I would take a bath but I may need a crane to get me out of all these clothes.”

Then there were all these meshugines running around with wacky-ass teeth because people were a) too broke and b) too unaware to understand dental care.  People were not cute back then.  The were wizened and haggard and probably had halitosis.  At least some of them, anyway.

This. Is. Terrifying.

Now, before you all start jumping to the defense of certain centuries or decades with exclamations like, “But did you see Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris?”  How fun would that be, to be able to meet and talk to famous artists and writers from your favorite age?,” I’m going to say, you are right.  I did see “Midnight in Paris,” and that would be fun.

Owen Wilson as the main present-day character meets fictionalized versions of Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, along with other Golden Age literati and artists, when he goes back in time.

But these great notaries, like Da Vinci, Austen, Michelangelo, Mozart, Ben Franklin, Fitzgerald,etc., were the 1% of the 1%.  It would be very hard to find them, much less talk to them.  And not all of them always hung out together like the members of the Algonquin Round Table.  So getting them all in one place to shoot the breeze with you like in Woody Allen’s movie is highly unlikely.

Even then, let’s say you DO meet your favorite author/painter/funambulist, etc.  Then you still run the risk of  contracting the same diseases they do because now  you’re living in their era.  At least in 2012 we have modern-day conveniences like anesthesia, antibiotics, transfusions, the ICU, and HAZMAT teams to stop outbreaks.  You have a good chance of living until at least 70 or 80 now.

And don’t even get me started on the justice system in past centuries.  Our justice system is totally flawed, but not nearly as flawed as the legal system allowing something like the 1804 Burr-Hamilton Duel.  (That stuff was LEGAL back then!)  Pistol dueling still isn’t explicitly or technically outlawed in some states *ahem* California *ahem*, so watch out.  (Inflicting injuries or death on someone is still punished as murder or manslaughter, however.)

If you run afoul of the law now they have to provide evidence, read you your Miranda Rights, and ensure punishment is doled out aboveboard.  Not so in the Old West.  The Gunfight at the OK Corral: a typical way for law enforcement and outlaws to solve their disagreements, even if it was the most famed shoot out of the time.  Line each side up and shoot the crap out of each other and hope you win.  And even if you did win, you might lose over half of your compatriots and then have the rest of the deputies chasing after you  on an Earp Vendetta Ride to avenge the death and maiming of their brothers.

I don't need to go back in time to see this.

I don’t need to go back in time to see this.

Plus, when your country got in a war, YOU got in a war.  American Revolution: pretty much every citizen was involved.  100 Years’ War:  Same thing.  For 116 years.  World War II: you get the picture.  Burning draft cards and fleeing to Canada really only became  a popular (illegal) option during the Vietnam War.  And now here we are in this wonderful position of being in two simultaneous wars and not a single person has had to be drafted or otherwise conscripted in any way.

Oh and, because the world was so messed up before 1980, if you are a person of any kind of color whatsoever other than white you probably don’t want to time travel anyway because people would be TERRIBLE to you because slavery and racism were much more prominent and people sucked.  Louis CK explains it best:

Life is unfair.

So thanks, but I think I’ll deal with my over-reliance on technology and the other problems of my generation if it means I have access to sanitized medical services and a more enforceable Constitution.

Why I’m Studying Defense Against the Decorative Arts

My family has decided to renovate the house, seeing as it’s last face lift was 20 years ago.  It’s going to be hell.

I liken houses in need of renovation to bad celebrity face lifts, and  there are four distinct categories:

1) The house desperately in need of a face lift (The Nick Nolte Mug Shot House);

Nick Nolte, Before and After

2) The house that doesn’t really need work done but the owner wants it anyway and the house ends up looking weird (The Mickey Rourke House);

Mickey Rourke, Before and After

3) The house that keeps getting renovated even though it no longer needs it (the Joan Rivers House);

Joan Rivers. Stop the Madness!

and the house that’s had a lot of additions but still makes it work anyway (the Kathy Griffin House).

At least her hair is better.

Our house is a bizarre combination of the Nick Nolte and Mickey Rourke houses.  Hundreds of boxes decorate our living room floor, piles of junk are scattered throughout the living room, and packing tape dispensers lie willy-nilly on the ground, serrated edge up.  If I lived in such disarray when I was younger, I’d be placed in foster care.

Basically it’s a hot, biohazardy mess.

My parents have all sorts of plans: remove this beam, install this staircase, paint this wall, etc.  But what I’ve noticed in all of the remodels I’ve seen and heard about, and ours as well, is that people love to spend the most time revamping their bathrooms.

At first, this confused me.  What is it about bathrooms that so enrapture the human mind?  Why is it that people love to renovate the place where the most foul and basest human function takes place?

And then I knew the answer:  Time.  Uninterrupted time.

When people use the restroom, that is the one moment they have to study their surroundings and draw conclusions without distractions.  Bathrooms make an impression.  Ever notice how all nice hotels and restaurants have incredibly luxurious bathrooms?  How they have attendants and soaps and perfumes and sprays and lotions and ornate, filigreed mirrors and plants no one would intentionally purchase?  If you want to convince someone you live a lavish life, you need incense and monogrammed decorative towels next to your toilet.  Preferably your toilet paper would be made out of money, but let’s not be wasteful.

For example, many famous people have died in bathrooms, hence the name “the room where legends die.”  Elvis died in the bathroom of his Graceland mansion, Lenny Bruce croaked next to his Beverly Hills home toilet, Orville Redenbacher kicked the bucket  in his whirlpool bathtub, Whitney descended to heaven in her hotel bathtub, and Jim Morrison laid to rest in the bathtub of his Paris hotel.  It is a place of prestige.  What better was to go than in an opulent bathroom?  If the room were you do your least dignified business is fancy, you should just see the rest of the house…right, potential admirers?

Decorative pillows serve the same purpose as decorative towels.  No one ACTUALLY cares about them, they just want to make sure they can impress other people with how many decorative towels or pillows they can afford.

If it were up to me, I would update my bathroom to serve an appropriate function.  For example, first I would replace our weak-ass toilets with terrible water pressure and install functioning toilets that don’t require me to Macguyver their intestines every time I have to grace the toilette with my delicate derriere.

Secondly, I would replace our bathtubs.  Seriously people.  What good is a  bathtub if can’t extend your legs or submerge more than a fourth of your body?  It’s useless.  I do all my thinking and decision-making in the tub and shower, and I’m not going to make wise life choices if I’m constantly thinking about submerging another half of my body so I don’t contract pneumonia and die.

Think about that next time, guys.  Oh wait, you can’t…your tub’s too small.

For the record:

Bad Bathroom. This is the one that would be in the Bates Motel.

Good Bathroom. Tony Stark status.