That’s right. I am living large. Like MTV Cribs large. Like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous fancy. Like Oprah, if Oprah floated in Malibu pools sipping sangria. And I’ve probably never been so poor.
Oh I’m working hard. And applying to jobs, though I haven’t gone the waiting tables route yet. I’m holding out for something bigger. Just a little longer. And I’m pretty damn good at managing money, sort of. Except when I have to buy tickets to the Black Keys. I don’t need to go see them live, but I could die tomorrow so I want to dammit. That’s what this new phase of life is all about. It’s about: Why the hell not?
Hit the Jump to continue reading Bureaucracy for Breakfast vol. VI, or Living the high life…
Buy a ticket to see your favorite band, then you shop at Ghetto Ralphs with coupons instead of Whole Foods without, and you’re guilt free.
This whole “I don’t have a boss my life is totally on my terms” feeling is real hard to turn your back on once you have it. It’s like it’s the heat of a Southern summer and you don’t realize you’ve been walking around with a heavy wool blanket wrapped tightly around you day in and day out, and then suddenly that blanket is lifted away and you realize how you’ve been living. That’s how it felt to me at least. Actually I picture the blanket more like a gigantic 17th century tapestry, but who needs melodrama?
Back to the high life. I’m not sure what’s going on in the universe but in this, my 2010 Summer of Unemployment, I have been to more fancy pool parties than I’ve been to in my entire life. One minute I’m getting neck strain from a busted laptop I can’t afford to fix, the next I’m at Liberace’s old condo, swimming, sipping cocktails, and stuffing my face with homemade paella, one of my favorite things on the planet, and something I never think to order or make. And here it is, glorious paella, walking into my life! Two weekends in a row! Magic. I found myself at another pool party on the day our country celebrates its independence from the real pale faces. Brits. This pool party was at a Malibu mansion, with DJs, overlooking the Pacific. They even had an “airbrush station” where tall naked buxom girls got designs airbrushed onto their toned skin. I stood in line for a bit. I was in that kind of mood. But then the dance floor beckoned…At the end of the night there were about thirty people dancing in the Jacuzzi, and for a split second I thought, holy hell, I AM part of Marianne the Maenad’s bacchanal on True Blood. Only no one had those creepy black glassy eyes. Thank god. I also thought for a second that this may be what being in a reality show feels like. Minus the teary fights about… whatever they fight about on reality shows. Racism? Clothes? Which club to go to? But it was fun – a girl even decided to pour her beer from the bottle into the Jacuzzi we were all smooshed in. That’s the life.
When I was a gainfully employed member of society, I never got asked to housesit. Ever. Now I find myself house sitting this amazing place in Venice. They have a freezer, and I don’t. I spent thirty minutes in the ice cream aisle the other day, just picking what kind of ice cream I could store in my temporary freezer. My old staple, Cherry Garcia, found its way into my basket. I wanted to get something exotic and fancy, like champagne fig saffron sorbet, but that’s for people who are used to freezers and who buy stupid ice cream that can’t taste nearly as lovely as Cherry Garcia. They also have a flowery back garden for me to write in. If you’ve ever had a flowery back garden to write in, you know what being rich feels like. A back garden is also a great place to dance around in alone at night with your iPod blaring in your ears. Doing that makes you feel like Trump with better hair. These are the things that happen when you have what certain members of society (like people who are smart and live in cities like Austin and Des Moines instead of cities like Los Angeles) know of as total and utter privacy. No roommates. No weird-ass neighbors who wear muumuus and walk around with their squawking pet cockatoo on their shoulder. A cockatoo that this muumuu-wearing neighbor of mine has decided really needs to be dressed in a pink tutu. Poor birdie. I’m just wondering, if, when the couple that actually lives in my pretend house return in a week, they’ll mind if I just kinda stay and live there and eat my Cherry Garcia in their flowery garden whilst I write my magnum opus.
In the last few months I’ve also been told that I should sell weed and/or become a kept woman. Several times. This is the kind of high life that leads to Heidi Fleiss-ness. One girl who was really trying to convince me to make and sell “baked goods” almost had me convinced. We were eating paella together, so I must have been weak and vulnerable. She said it was easy, and she did live in a pretty snazzy place. But, I don’t have an oven; there’s the rub. I also got a cryptic email from a female acquaintance last month saying: “How do you feel about Italy in July?” My reply was: “I feel awesome about it but I’m unemployed so…” She went on to explain that she was seeing an Italian dude, and they were going to his motherland on vacation. He had an Italian man-friend and she thought I could come, have a free trip, and… keep him company. “No expectations of course,” she added. Of course. If that man-friend were Ryan Gosling I would have been on that plane lickety-split. Something told me it was not Ryan Gosling, so I declined. I must admit I was haunted by visions of frolicking on yachts in the Mediterranean for weeks after our email exchange, but I live right by the Pacific Ocean. What do I need a yacht for?
For now, the universe is kind enough to let me live this high life. So as not to sink into a guilt-laced depression due to my Russian heiress existence on the weekends, I get myself to my “office” aka the coffee shop, every weekday, and work. And write. Even if it’s sunny and the beach beckons. That’s the other side of not having a boss and a schedule – it’s all up to you. You have to crack the whip on your own damn self. Not that I’m complaining, but sometimes it’s tempting to lounge around when there is no jobby job to report to, but for all you laid off people out there, you probably know that this lounging can lead to dark thoughts of “what am I doing with my life I am so lame where’s the remote…” This is bad.
If my house sitting couple doesn’t agree to let me lurk in their garden when they return, I’ll finish my Cherry Garcia and go home, happily. And if the pool parties dry up, I may shed a chlorine tinged tear, but I’ll live. I want to be filthy rich – who doesn’t? But the best part of my July 4th debauchery wasn’t dancing in the Jacuzzi like an extra from The Hills. It was taking my iPod, when the DJ played a played-out house track, walking out to a cliff overlooking the waves, sharing my headphones with a real awesome friend (you can’t share headphones with just anyone) and dancing and singing at the top of our lungs to, who else, the Black Keys. Maybe I should have apologized to the strangers lolling on the grass for bombarding them with my most likely obnoxious display of vocal mediocrity, but in the moment, I didn’t care. I was feeling rich. Why the hell not.
Just for fun, here’s a sample of what I like to jump around to in the backyard at night, alone. Where no one can see. In case you want to try it – no one has to know. If you don’t like these songs… make your own damn Garden Party Playlist…
The Elf’s Garden Party Playlist:
Edward Sharpe: Home
Florence and the Machine: Kiss with a Fist
Black Keys: She’s Long Gone
Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – any song will do, they all turn me into a jumping bean
Bloc Party: Ion Square
Mike Snow: Animal
Kings of Leon: Fans
Heartless Bastards: Into the Open
Bob Seger: We’ve Got Tonight (when you’re out of breath and want to take it down a notch and just sing)
Dolly Parton: Jolene
White Stripes: Jolene (gotta listen to Jolene in this order)
…Till next time…