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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

The City (in need) of Angels?

Tell me your troubles and doubts, giving me everything inside and out…

Los Angeles, CA “Thank you for all the work that you do, angel,” he said as he kissed me on the forehead and walked out of the bar. He was a disgruntled New Yorker, who had made the move to L.A. years before to pursue tinsel and other shiny things, and he seemed pretty pissed off about it. However, despite his disillusionment regarding all things Hollywood and people in general, he had spent the better part of an hour explaining to me that what I do for a living is changing the world by giving a voice to women who don’t have one (in his opinion). It was pretty heavy stuff for a girl to listen to, especially when she was just trying to have a beer in West Hollywood in peace. I guess, for a brief moment that night, the angry New Yorker renewed his faith in humanity, and maybe that’s exactly what he needed.

You see, once I made it to the Southern California portion of my west coast tour, I noticed a bizarre trend. I had somehow become a shining beacon of light for complete and total strangers. They would just flock to me and unload all their troubles and worries on me, which led me to believe that the City of Angels was, in fact, a city in desperate need of them. But why me? I’m no angel. I mean, many would argue that I am the total opposite – a demon, sinner or, dare I say, “sinister type.” So, what exactly was going on?

Sure, a single girl on the road makes friends easily, but this was different. The New Yorker with all his disillusions wasn’t the only person to unload all over me (and not in the good way). There was also the waitress at a diner in L.A. where I was having breakfast one morning. The place was packed, and she was the only one working. You could tell she was really overwhelmed, and she was snapping at anyone if they tried to order anything to drink besides coffee or orange juice. Pretty much everyone in the joint was not getting the breakfast they ordered. Something would always be wrong with it or missing from the plate. I could tell the place was falling apart from my little table-for-one in the back corner. Finally, she pulled up a chair next to me and slumped against the wall. She began to tell me how the other waitresses didn’t bother showing up that morning, and that the manager wasn’t doing a very good job actually managing the situation. I told her she was doing a great job keeping it together, and that I was sure the other patrons at the restaurant understood. I mean, who goes for a sit-down breakfast if they are in a rush anyway? You gotta McMuffin that shit! Anyway, the waitress somehow knew the way to my heart and gave me free bacon and coffee (deliberately).

However, that come-talk-to-me vibe I was emitting didn’t just reach the land of the living, apparently. My last night in San Diego I did one of the city’s haunted tours. They are a guilty pleasure of mine when I travel. This particular tour ended at a cemetery. Once the other tour attendees dispersed, I lingered awhile to check out some of the historic graves. That was when a guy walked in from off the street and headed straight for me. It was just the two of us in the isolated and nearly pitch-black graveyard, and I noticed that he immediately started following me around the graves. As soon as I stopped moving, he approached me, “Excuse me, have you ever had a ghostly encounter?” It was such an odd question to ask a total stranger, and he delivered it in an extra creepy tone, which confused me because he was good looking! I told him I didn’t know, hoping he’d go away, but instead he proceeded to tell me about the time he was ass raped by a ghost at a hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. He claimed that when he was child he was paralyzed, and that the doctors told him he’d never walk again. I can’t be sure what he said, because my mind had wandered to trying to formulate a plan to politely get away from the guy who cornered me in a deserted cemetery in the middle of the night, but I got the impression that due to his superhuman ability to repair his body, he had somehow become sensitive to all things supernatural.

Anyway, I had managed to get us out of the cemetery gates and onto a well-lit street corner, where I half expected to turn around for the big reveal. You know, the punch line was surely to be that he was, in fact, the ghost, and I had now had my ghostly encounter as per his initial question. But instead of disappearing into thin air, the guy just wandered off down the street. Unfortunately, he went in the direction I needed to go, so I naturally had to go the opposite way. The strange thing was, earlier that night, in one of the haunted spots on the tour, our tour guide distributed those EMF devices for our use to measure “ghostly” activity around the house. I’m not sure how those things work, or if they actually measure anything at all. What I do know, however, is that my device wouldn’t stop going off, and the tour guide even remarked, “Wow, they must really like you. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, though.”

From ghosts to people having bad days, it seemed like everyone had something to say to me. My first night in America’s Finest City, I went out to a Spanish restaurant. I decided to sit out on the patio and people watch, but it wasn’t long before guys were walking up to the railing trying to chat me up and/or ask to come home with me. The table next to me finally decided to intervene and told my potential suitors that I was part of their party and that there just wasn’t room at their table for all of us. It seems in that part of the world, eating alone is considered both pathetic and dangerous, and so is driving alone! People would walk up (or drive up) to my car and start talking to me the second I came to a stop. The best time was when a guy approached me to ask me if “daddy” bought me the car I was driving. Didn’t realize I looked like a spoiled little rich girl, with my million dollar super sweet sixteen birthday parties or whatever the kids are doing these days. And speaking of kids, little children followed me around the San Diego Zoo like I was the freakin’ pied piper of Southern California. I don’t think I ever once paid a bill or checked out at a store without someone making a comment about my looks – and not always in a positive way! One beach blonde carded me at a bar in Orange County and her eyes practically fell out of her face, “You are NOT THIS OLD!” I guess in Southern California people think that 29 y/o women are supposed to look like the Crypt Keeper. That’s probably why guys my age used to want to date girls my age, but now all they want to do is date girls who are the same age as my students (a.k.a my babies)! Creepy.

Perhaps it wasn’t an angel these people were actually seeking, maybe it was just a connection. I found myself thinking a lot about chemistry and connections when I was driving back to L.A. from San Diego on Friday. I had decided to take the long way back and hug the coast, which got me to thinking about my first trip to California. It was back in 2009, and I was there for a Ducks/Coyotes game. I met a guy during the game, and he asked if I wanted to grab a drink. Well, that drink turned into 3 days of us driving up and down the coast – stopping only to eat, gas up, and, well, you know. Now, I’m not saying he and I had a particular “connection,” but he was a guy who was willing to come along for the ride, and that’s all I could ever really ask for at that time. All I really remember about him now is that he had a Scorpio tattoo on his leg, brown eyes, and that he over-used “PHAT” and “the bomb,” which was already outdated even back then! Anyway, I wouldn’t have even thought about him, if I hadn’t begun retracing our steps up the Pacific. I realized that given the debacle in the Bahamas, this 3-night stand still held the record for the most interesting first date I’ve ever had, and I started to wonder why I hadn’t really had any truly adventurous dates since then.

I had a theory. Back in 2009, I was all about the pursuit of that “connection,” which probably meant that I had opened myself up to experiences like that. But then once I lost faith, I closed myself off to the things and feelings I couldn’t understand, and started going for the safe option – banging hot guys! 5 years later, however, banging hot guys is starting to get old. I mean, they are all the same at the end of the day, if you think about it. Anyway, I promised myself that afternoon to consider the next guy very carefully. Sex is just better with that “connection” and a little chemistry, anyway. I guess you could say San Diego made me believe in the existence of that “connection” again, and so I suppose I made my own vow to be more of an angel that day. Yeah, we’ll see how long that lasts…

So what happened as soon as I swore off meaningless sex? Well, I naturally got invited to a full-on orgy within an hour of me arriving in the City of Angels. Maybe it was my yoga pants and school teacher cardigan that made them think that I should be let in on the secret. Nothing says “good in bed” like dressing like your mom, right? But this “sex party” was the real deal. They gave me a copy of the “rules” and they were very Fight Club-esque. I was tempted to go for the sake of the story, especially since one of the rules stated that participation wasn’t mandatory, but I decided it was better for me not to get my amusement at the expense of others. I mean, I would be there thinking everyone was ridiculous, when that’s just the way they are, and this party was essentially their “safe place.” Could it be? Am I maturing?! I also figured it might have just made me sad about life, especially since I had just promised myself to stop being so disconnected. Could that be why all these weird things were happening to me? Could it be that I had flipped on some switch and now I was attracting people instead of repelling them? Anyway, I thought that whole orgy thing was funny, though, and definitely “very L.A.” Especially since the State of California posted a giant billboard at LAX which basically said, “Get tested! California has A LOT of syphilis!”

Skipping that sex fest is how I ended up in the company of the disgruntled New Yorker in West Hollywood. His friend, however, was kind of a dick. He told me I looked like the “typical trophy wife, who takes advantage of men,” which kind of shocked me since I was in the land of Real Housewives and bikini models, so I really wouldn’t have put myself in the same category as those types… Yeah, once again, school teacher cardigan… However, before he douched out, he did say something almost profound and most definitely rehearsed. He said, “L.A. is limitless. L.A. is possibility. It’s the only place in the world where you are free to pursue your dream and no one will think you’re an idiot because they are trying to make it too.” It’s a nice statement, but what I heard is “courage in numbers.” Everyone is doing the same thing, so why would anyone be scared? But people are still scared of things there. They are scared of deviating from the norm. They are scared of what their “friends” will think of them. They are scared of ruining their “image” by shopping at the wrong grocery store or dating the wrong person or having the wrong nose. Hence the need for super secret orgies – no one is really comfortable with themselves. They just hide in the shadows or behind digital screens, even though they should know that they have nothing to be afraid of. Maybe these insecurities are just a few of the many reasons why the citizens of the City of Angels are desperate to figure out where all their angels are actually hiding…

…Or maybe these people were actually MY angels. It’s no secret that I’m heading back to the Mid East on Friday, and I know that I am at risk of falling back into my rut once the internet becomes my only portal to the outside world again. Perhaps all these people from the town with the shallowest reputation on the planet, and all their stories and problems will help keep me sane in the desert this year. Maybe now I won’t see them all as bimbos and modelizers, but rather people who work four jobs in hopes of landing a small role, people who get stuck serving 30 tables at once because their co-workers are irresponsible, and people who upgrade me to a suite at the Hard Rock just because I commented on their favourite band. Of course, maybe there isn’t a deeper meaning here, after all. Maybe these experiences are just more proof that I am both insane and continuously proving the theory that crazy simply attracts crazy…

Follow me on Instagram for photos from my west coast tour and my up-coming adventures.

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Sunday, July 27th, 2014

The Second Flight: a sequel to Fan Boys & Fear Boners

She wonders how she ever got here as she goes under again…

Nassau, Bahamas If this blog is good for one thing, it’s all the sordid details from my escapades on the road to the NHL and beyond. But have you ever wondered what happens when I meet someone in my hockey travels on a night when I am or he is quickly leaving town immediately after the game? The following is a cautionary tale about the dangers of not “getting it out of your system” on hockey night and letting the sexual tension drag on for years and years. Enjoy!

As you know, I’ve been aboard for over four years. And I know I’ve mentioned before that the guys back in NHL Land love to talk a big game when I’m overseas, but then magically disappear as soon as I’m back in Canada because they no longer have a 9000 km buffer zone to hide behind. I caught on to this game early on – we’re talking in my Korea days – and I learned to take all their flirtations with a grain of salt, and basically assign it to the “not worth my time” pile. So imagine my surprise when one of these guys decided to finally put his money where his mouth is – literally.

A couple months ago, the fan boy in question announced that he had come to the realization that if he was ever going to get a shot with me, he was going to have to actually do something to make it happen before I head back to the Middle East. You see, our NHL ports are quite far apart, so even when I’m not abroad I’m still kind of abroad. And the last time I was in his port of hockey was in 2011. But he kept in touch with me all thorough Japan and Saudi, and I’m sure there was more than a few stretches of time where he was one of my only links to life back in Hockey Land.

Anyway, he claimed that our first date couldn’t just be any ordinary first date, it had to be totally epic. He told me he was thinking about going to the Bahamas in July and offered to fly me there with him, if I was bold enough to go. Of course, I thought it was crazy, but I couldn’t say no. You see, I’ve been saying for years that the perfect guy for me was the guy who was ballsy enough to follow me through all my crazy travels around the world. I didn’t want to be the girl who was too blind to see the good thing that was right in front of her. This guy could have been exactly what I was looking for, and I just hadn’t given him any serious thought because I always assumed he was another one of those guys who just likes to “talk” when I’m away. And, to be fair, on paper this guy was the real deal – allegedly adventurous, HOT, and, well, could provide me with an endless amount of NHL tickets (as long as I was willing to start following his team, that is). I figured he was worth a shot. Besides, I’ve never been able to refuse a new and crazy adventure!

Naturally, he never mentioned it again, and once more my theory about “distance flirting” seemed to hold up – he was totally full of shit. However, two weeks ago he brought it up again, and this time he followed through and bought me a ticket to Nassau. I was shocked. For the 10 days that followed I practiced my best Scarlett O’Hara impersonation, “Oh fiddledeedee! I never knew that I was the type of girl that a man would just fly to the Islands on the first date! I do declare I may even let him kiss me goodnight!” I’m sure that got annoying after the first 100 times I said it.

Anyway, once the ticket was booked, Fan Boy seemed to be putting me under the microscope. It became painfully clear that he was psychoanalyzing and reading into pretty much everything I said. He apparently feels he’s a part-time psychiatrist, doctor, and all sorts of other things he isn’t actually qualified to be. And if anything, he was the one with a personality disorder. The guy probably sent me 5 selfies a day, and they weren’t even sexy selfies, just idiotic head shots from inside his car. If that doesn’t scream narcissistic personality, then I don’t know what does! Anyway, I was starting to get majorly turned off and definitely started regretting my decision to go away with him. But my friends just kept slapping me on the wrist and telling me that I was being stupid, and that I should be excited because he is, in their opinion, perfect.

A day before we were supposed to leave for the Bahamas, disaster struck, or perhaps it was a blessing in the disguise. Fan Boy messaged me claiming his father was seriously ill and in the hospital. Now, I don’t want to sound insensitive, but without getting into all the details, trust me when I say the whole thing was full of inconsistencies and reeked of bullshit. I gave him the out early in the day, and told him I understood that family comes first, and that I was OK with cancelling. Truthfully, it was a relief. However, he wouldn’t cancel officially until 11PM on Tuesday, and my flight was at 6AM on Wednesday, so he kept me waiting all day as he vacillated.

Being the naughty type, I toyed around with some travel websites to see if I could still make use of this free flight. Unfortunately, it seemed the whole area was booked solid! Even Fan Boy claimed that “when he called Atlantis to cancel his reservation,” they told him they were happy because they had overbooked the hotel and needed the room. So, it seemed I wouldn’t be going to the Bahamas after all.

Since I didn’t have to be at the airport, I slept in on Wednesday and woke up depressed because I wasn’t in the Bahamas! Eventually, I rolled out of bed, threw on some clothes, and hit the Tim Hortons drive-thru to start my day. I felt it was necessary to go on a date that evening to at least hope that someone MIGHT get to appreciate my wasted, fresh pre-beach Brazilian wax! However, around 7PM, I got a strange text message.

Evidently, daddy was no longer ill, and Fan Boy had decided to go to Atlantis again, and asked me if I would get on a plane in the morning, if he bought me yet another ticket! I told him I would (this time mostly to just see if he would actually buy a SECOND flight since the first flight was non-refundable), but that I wasn’t confident he could find a place to stay now, especially after what Atlantis had allegedly said to him. “I work miracles!” he said. Apparently, apart from being a self-proclaimed doctor and psychiatrist, he’s also Jesus. Anyway, the Magic Man pulled through, and I was sent yet another flight to the Bahamas!

This time I just couldn’t get excited about it. It seemed really fucking strange, and I sensed that he was definitely hiding something. On top of it he seemed extra “happy” while he booked my second flight…happy as in “I’ve been in the Bahamas this whole time and drinking at the pool all day.” Once more, I expressed my concerns to my friends, and was basically told I was being a raging bitch who was just looking for reasons to tear him apart. But something wasn’t right, and on top of it, he was dodging all my questions about his flight information and which tower he would be staying in at Atlantis. Eventually things went quiet on his end, but I couldn’t be sure if I was being ignored because he had said he was hopping a “late flight” that night to get to Nassau.

When 3AM rolled around, a game time decision was needed. I knew something was wrong, but being a decent human being, I knew that I couldn’t use my doubts as an excuse not to get on that plane. I mean, this guy dropped over $1000 just to fly me to the Bahamas for our “romantic and spontaneous” trip as he called it. I’m not going to be the bitch who doesn’t show up! Besides, maybe my friends were right and I was just being irrational about him. I decided to do the right thing, but I still needed a pep talk first. I had a heart-to-heart with myself that morning. I reminded myself that I was a traveller, and that no matter what happened, I knew what I was doing and I would be fine. I told myself to go, and take the risk, and have a little adventure, but I also made myself promise that if he did fuck me over, I wouldn’t let it kill my spontaneous spirit.

After 2.5 hours going through customs, I was finally on the plane. I still hadn’t heard from the Fan Boy, but I figured he was still asleep. Anyway, once our plane had taxied from the gate it was grounded for a good 40 minutes because a “bird?” hit a plane in front of us!? The problem was my connection in North Carolina was only 40 minutes, so being a decent person, yet again, I texted the Fan Boy to let him know there was a good possibility I might miss the next flight. The response I got blew me away…

“Sorry, I’m not going to be here now.”

Seems Freud over there made a little typo. Did he forget the T in ‘there,‘ or did he really mean ‘here‘ as in “I’ve been here this whole fucking time, bitch!” He would give me no explanation as to why he wouldn’t be there, and when I told him I was already on the plane all I got was, “Totally sorry.”

You see, Fan Boy thought flashing the cash was “romantic,” but I’d much rather a guy buy me a $2 coffee and be a considerate person on our first date, than drop a grand and think that gives him a licence to be a thundercunt. I mean, he claimed he was flying out the night before, so going with that story, he knew hours before I went to the airport that he “didn’t go.” Why was I not informed?! Thundercunt.

As you have probably guessed, I already gave Fan Boy his walking papers, so I will likely never know the secret behind the mystery of the two flights. Is he married? Did he go to the Bahamas and meet some bronzed set of implants in a thong bikini at the pool the night before, and decided I was no longer needed like so many modelizers before him? I’ll never know. However, some have speculated that he was simply afraid. That he was, in fact, all talk, and when game day finally arrived he chickened out – both times. For some guys it’s enough just to know that you would get on that plane, but actually seeing you when you get off is a totally different thing.

So you’re probably wondering what I did now that I was stuck on a plane bound for a destination where I had no place to stay. Well, the initial feeling was like being at the top of the hill on a massive roller coaster, and you’ve just discovered your seatbelt doesn’t work. I mean, I was still in Toronto, but I was so far from the gate that getting off the plane was no longer an option. So close, yet so far. Luckily, the hockey gods smiled on me that day, and there was wifi (that actually worked) in the cabin. I consider this to be pretty damn lucky. I mean, I travel A LOT, and I’ve only been on a flight with wifi a handful of times, and only twice did it actually work properly.

Anyway, once we were up in the air, I started iMessaging down to my grounds crew, and had them on the task of finding me a place to stay. However, it wasn’t as easy as that sounds. Like I said, Nassau was booked, and because of the delay I didn’t even know if I was making my connection. So, I had people looking at hotels in Carolina and Nassau. But the possibilities were endless. I could hop a plane to Charelston, or I could rent a car and drive up the coast. However, since I’m doing the drive between Vancouver and LA in 12 days, I thought that was a bit of a waste. Sadly, once we landed in Carolina, my flight had just started boarding. So after a quick Skype call on my phone, and a secure reservation (found a room via Priceline eventually), I was running onto the plane and heading to the beautiful Bahamas.

Let’s just say I had a great time on this trip, if you know what I mean. Yeah, you can probably imagine that a tale of woe, such as mine, is like catnip for guys. They just couldn’t wait to volunteer to show me “how a real man treats a lady.” So, guys, if you really want to screw over your lady friend, don’t leave her with a crazy story that is sure to get her laid again and again – especially on the trip you were supposed to take with her hmmmmmm!

So, at the end of the day, I guess I wasn’t the type of girl that a man just flies to the Bahamas on the first date, after all. And what was supposed to be the story of my craziest first date ever, turned out to be the story of the craziest way I’ve ever been stood up for a date! I think it was actually the first time, and if we’re being honest, it was kind of fun. Anyway, I can only hope that, after this whole experience, I didn’t learn a goddamn thing. Because the next time some crazy, spontaneous guy wants to do something epic for our first (or any) date, yeah, I’m still definitely going along with it. I know I’m crazy, but I try to live in the spirit that, if there was ever a film made about my life, the entire soundtrack couldn’t be anything but Duran Duran.

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