Memorable Moments in an Alien World











Awhile back I met some friends at the Los Angeles Annual Lithuanian Fair.

Being surrounded by a foreign culture – even just for an afternoon – reminded me of my time spent in Europe and caused a pining in me for travel. Read the rest of this entry »



{November 4, 2012}   Captive Audience

Yesterday I met a friend of mine for coffee at this amazing little cafe in south Santa Monica called Dogtown Cafe. I had arrived a bit early and did something I felt most conspicuous about: I took out my Bible and began to read. I felt conspicuous because although I see people reading their Bibles in public all the time in the town I’m from, it seems to be a bit of a rarity in Los Angeles. And, if I’m being truthful, it seems like it could put a target on my back and there is a small, cowardly part of me that just doesn’t know if I could take the heat. Read the rest of this entry »



{October 7, 2012}   Unintended Consequences

I like books. Not nooks. Not ipads. Real, physical books. Furthermore, I enjoy supporting local businesses that have to compete with “the big guys,” so when my brother was out for a visit this weekend and we were cruising down Santa Monica Blvd, I said, “You know, I really want to buy a book on the history of LA. There’s an independent bookstore that I always pass on the way to church that looks great, but I’ve never stopped in. Can we take a small detour?” Read the rest of this entry »



{September 29, 2012}   West what?

I am pretentious. It’s a fact that I know and try very hard to keep under wraps. Because that word just doesn’t have the best connotation, right? There are some things I am openly pretentious about. Espresso. Grammar. Chocolate (clearly all very important). But that’s about it. The rest I hide away and try to ignore.

But I stumbled into unsolicited pretension the other day. Read the rest of this entry »



{September 8, 2012}   When There Are Just Too Many Zeros

No, I’m not referring to binary code. Nor am I making reference to the UK band.

This week something INCREDIBLE happened. I received a paycheck after two months of, well, NOT getting paid. I went to the bank to deposit my check and as I was conversing with the teller, I noticed something out of the ordinary. As he got my cash ready, I let myself take a good, long look at the keypad on which I had just typed my PIN.

Finally, I looked at the teller and laughed. I told him that this particular branch of Chase must handle very wealthy clientele. Questioningly he looked at me, but nodded and said, “Yes, I suppose we do. What makes you say that, though?” Read the rest of this entry »



{July 21, 2012}   Rage of the Rich

A couple weeks ago I decided to stop at Chipotle to grab something to eat. Usually I frequent the one in Santa Monica, but today I decided to try the one in Beverly Hills, as its proximity is much closer to my apartment.

Driving down North Beverly Drive at 1:15p was a traffic nightmare. After looping a few blocks for about 20 minutes, I almost gave up and went home, but my love of Chipotle caused me to keep driving – and I’m glad I did, for I found a free parking garage right in the center of Beverly Hills (who’d have thought?!). I pulled in and quickly realized that this was a smallest parking garage that I had ever entered. I drove in and the lot curved around in a backward C-shape and…that was it. It was full to the max (no surprise, there were only about 20 spots!). That being the case, I turned around and began to slowly make my way around the curve.

As I did, I saw an impeccably dressed woman walking towards a car that cost more than a Harvard degree. Thrilled to finally be catching a break in this foolish pretense of a parking garage, I called out my window to her in exuberance, “Thank you!” True to her Beverly Hills cultivation, she ignored me completely, raising her nose up conspicuously high in the air, her perfect heels clicking away as she stepped to her millionaire-obile.

Whatever. I was getting a spot!

As I waited for her to get into her car – whose street value could feed half the hungry in LA – I found myself in a predicament. Read the rest of this entry »



Last weekend I had one of my very dearest friends come out to visit me. Not entirely sure where to take her, but knowing that she wanted to be close to the beach, I decided to take her down the famously fabulous Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice. Read the rest of this entry »



{June 16, 2012}   Catch 22

I enjoy wine. Reds (Merlot, especially) are my favorite.

I also enjoy Coke. Nay, I love Coke and over the years have (rightly, I surmise) ignored the insurmountable number of emails from Coke-haters admonishing me on the evils of Coke (mind you, we are speaking of Coca-Cola – and NOT the original recipe, if you know what I mean). Coke rots your teeth. It’s bad for your stomach. It dissolves pennies. Cops use it to clean up blood on the road after a really bad accident. Blah, blah, blah. Eh, I digress…(but if you DO want to know what Coke can do: The Many Uses of Coke)

I enjoy many different beverages, but have noticed that I apparently become quite conspicuous in an after-work social setting if I choose NOT to drink alcohol. That being said, I attempt to fiercely hold on to my independence and free-will to drink what I want, not what is expected. Read the rest of this entry »



I can’t stay seated when an elderly person gets on the bus.

I can’t lower myself to take part in screaming matches with people in order to win a power struggle. Read the rest of this entry »



{May 30, 2012}   Breaking up.

Before I actually found a place to live in LA, I was living as a transient gypsy. Extended stay at a hotel Sunday through Thursday, 3 hours in traffic on my 5-freeway commute back to Murrieta. Then I would drive BACK to LA on Saturday with my parents, searching out available apartments. Then BACK to Murrieta Saturday evening. Sunday morning would come and go so fast and the next thing you know, I’m packing up to trek back to LA for another crazy 50-80 week.

I had been living like that since late August, so by late September it is a massive understatement to say that I felt DESPERATE to find a place to call home. One week, my ever-helpful mother drove out in middle of the week to help me locate some apartments. While I was at work she lined up a couple of places for us to take a look at after work that evening.

As we drove to the first place, it was right around dusk. Probably not the best time to go apartment hunting, but I had no other option. We Sasses are punctual to a fault, so we had a few minutes to look around while we waited for the owner of the complex to arrive and show us around.

The neighborhood didn’t bowl me over. It definitely seemed like the kind of place you shouldn’t walk outside after, well, dusk! But I was currently staying in a seedy hotel – how much worse could this be? Read the rest of this entry »



et cetera