Archive for the ‘hell is other poeple’ Category

Pooh-litically Correct shit

October 8, 2017

Sometimes thinking people who’re trying to get it right wind up getting it horribly wrong. I applaud them for caring, but I think they’re half the reason people got annoyed enough to vote for Trump.


poolitically correct sml

“Tampon Pads” and a floating apostrophe – someone’s drunk and has a pen…


Does the term “feminine” seem “blaming” to you? Well… to me deleting it does. It’s not negative to me. I actually think feminine might be a better way to do many things. This rejection of the term makes me think of the way some racial terms keep changing, as if it’s the term that matters, not the way the world operates. They are feminine hygene products. If you’re trans, post-menopausal or identify otherwise, they are still feminine hygene products.

The NAACP knows this. I think it’s hilarious that this petition had only 34 supporters.

I will call people whatever they want to be called. Male, female, he, she and they… which is something I do even though MS Word thinks its wrong. An ex-boyfriend wanted to be called African American. After an hour of pushback, because, you know, I’m actually African as in I have the passport he’d never want, I used the term when talking with him. I adjusted when talking to other friends who prefered “black”. I never use the term “coloured” (note the u) in America, but in Cape Town, sure. Every world has its language. It’s no biggie. Everyone can choose how they’re addressed, as long as it’s not “Your highness”.

But back to the bathroom sign, at the most politically correct venue EVER…

If you’re going to go there, why not include “Adult Diapers”, “condoms” and “cigarettes”, just in case? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen hipsters who protest FOR the Environmental Protection Agency flick cigarettes into the drains that run straight to sea in LA. If you are going to be a pain in the ass political correct person, don’t shirk your responsibility. Take daily action to change things. Like, “be the change”, bro.

Why was I at 18th Street Art’s Center? This amazing traveling show called UNSEAL UNSEAM, which reminded me not to romantisize my recent past. Its a reinterpretation of the opera BLUEBEARD with amazing, subtle and sincere performances. I was moved, and I have a low tolerance for pretension. Here is a link to my friend Alicia Byer’s review on a music blog called NEW CLASSIC LA.


unsealunseam sml

Hollywood. Tuesday. Crazy Uber Drivers.

September 27, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 12.54.28 AM.png

I have a theory about almost everything. I’m adding Uber to the list right now. I encountered two weird drivers tonight.

For the record: Most drivers have been amazing, and I respect what they do. Driving in LA is stressful and most of them handle it with calm and cool conversation.

But not tonight.

The first one stopped across the road from me on Hollywood Blvd – clearly nowhere near my pin. Fine – shit happens. But he hung up the call I made to ask if I should cross the road, then rage-drove around the block to get me. As I got in, he told me I sent him to the wrong place. He was an old guy – the kinda old guy who probably contacts me on dating apps to say he’s “one of the good ones”, which is almost always a sign that he’s been divorced five times and his kids hate him.

He was so obnoxious when I tried to make fun of the app and diffuse it all that I asked him to pull over and canceled the ride.

I walked a while to chill myself out. Passed this:

signs_trump reasons to drink.jpg

So some tourist didn’t like the joke. The shitty thing about Hollywood Blvd is it has some of the best bars, but some of the stupidest people… which is a dangerous combination.

I called a new Uber from a half mile South.

The ride started fairly well, though the guy was hard to get off message. When I said I shouldn’t have gone out to a friend’s birthday party because I should have worked, he informed me I’d regret it because friends all betrayed you eventually, like his bros before ‘ho’s buddy whose wife had ruined their friendship.

Via him asking me about my accent (standard Uber chat) he wandered on to talking about Hawaii, and we agreed they were clever when it came to many policies. But, somehow, that led to him saying we didn’t need another president from Hawaii. Too laid back, he said. Achieved nothing. I was surprised to hear this, having been here through most of Obama’s presidency. He asked me to list one thing Obama achieved.

Gay marriage? Not starting a new war? Fixing the financial crisis?

These were all rejected, because apparently the gays get the credit for marriage because they’re rich. And the war thing… he didn’t want to talk about that. And the Financial Crisis? Not that either. Instead, he aggressively repeated the question. I asked why my opinion wasn’t welcome. He repeated the question. I felt like I was 10 with some bully guy holding me against the back-of-the-school wall.

When I tried to shut up for a while, he said that the reason blacks in the USA get nowhere is that they “…don’t come with money – they come with their hands out, saying they were slaves. Yeah I get you were slaves, but I’m Native American and I got nothing.” I made a noise that indicated I wasn’t sure that was logical. I began to say I thought “Black Lives Matter, which I support, was partly a result of the–” and he again demanded to know what Obama achieved.

Given that the man driving weighs about 300 pounds and I… well that’s not for public consumption but MUCH less… I got a bit scared. But I thought I’d steer the conversation away from his now-obvious racism and said: “What about Healthcare”.

He scorned this – claimed only 20 million Americans have healthcare through Obamacare. I tried to explain that he had his figures mixed up with his facts. That’s the number that would lose it with Trumpcare. People have already lost faith and defaulted, but the number is still much higher. (I checked – 38 million).

He shouted me down. Then he told me that as a South African I couldn’t possibly know anything. He was Native American, and by being born here, knew things I didn’t. I said that I tried very had to be informed – and that he clearly wasn’t, not on this issue.

“We don’t care about facts”, he said. This seemed racist against Native Americans to me but I managed not to point that out.

Then, he accused me of supporting apartheid. That’s when I lost my cool a little and said that he was unprofessional.

He said he didn’t care. He kept ranting. I shut up… mostly… I may have pointed out that having a political discussion should involve some facts, and that if he didn’t have any or didn’t know how to politely disagree, he shouldn’t start a conversation about politics with a customer.

As I left the left the car in a hurry not quite home, he shouted “Bitch” out the window of his car.

So sometimes, diffusing conflicts isn’t my thing? But I tried. And failed.

My promised theory about Uber? Demand for drivers is so high that literally anyone who has the right car and applies gets the gig. Even people you’d avoid in a dark alleyway do. I do want people with criminal records to have an option because I know people who have changed after doing pretty hectic stuff, but I’m not sure they should get it without an interview, and some vetting.

CORRECTION: A friend who drives for Uber says there is screening. According to this article that doesn’t mean they’re fingerprinted. Not sure how this compares to Lyft – they do both require abackground chck though.

I still wish I’d paid the double-fee for Lyft. I’ve never had this kind of experience in a Lyft – if that’s a fluke, I’ll keep hoping its a permanent one.

Lost and Found on Washington Blvd.

January 2, 2017

Lost art led me to find new art, when a Christmas gift from my father by my mother via Birmingham in the UK got lost in the post and forced me out to track it down. In the course of looking, I discovered another of my neighborhood’s hidden gems.


My Ma’s handwriting is legendary – few people can decipher it. I now understand why this letter wound up addressed to Jean Bowen, and had to be forcibly retrieved by hand.

The letter led me south-west on Washington Blvd into West Adams, where I’ve wandered a few times before, but not as far. It seemed to be just a series of shops for used kitchen fittings. But there is more, there. In fact, the post office where my parcel was being held is the only US post office I know of rated more than 2 Stars on Yelp. It’s got a real community feel, and everybody was amazingly friendly.


Every day, I’m reminded of or discover new art. Thanks Dad.

So I got the calendar, but I also, accidentally, got a whole lot more.


I found this amazing persimmon, which I think you’ll agree as my friend Alicia says: “Manages to look like about four giggly things at once”. Another shopper nearby me saw me laughing and requested a photo of her own to show her husband.


Then was wandering home, and this Liquor Store caught my eye. It would make a great period film location. Notice the sign in the window on the right, advertising “OUT OF TOWN NEWSPAPERS”, which dates it pre-internet, or at least pre-smartphone.


This sign is what led me inside. It made me wonder: Who does own graffiti – and could the owner or tenant of the wall claim they do?

I wandered inside, and found the otherwise unlabeled “UNDERGROUND MUSEUM” on Washington Blvd.


Pretty, chintzy even, wallpaper, Laura Ashley style… until you look closer, and see that it’s repeated images of a lynching.


“In the Hood” by David Hammons (2016), also part of the Non-Fiction exhibit curated by Noah Davis.


The surprise back garden, where there’s space to work, and in summer, a film screening series.

The area where I live (Arlington Heights / West Adams) is often dismissed as “The Ghetto” or “The Hood” in yelp reviews of places Jonathan Gold went to first, making them safe for the middle classes to explore and briefly over-run.  Most people I meet in White LA seem worried about me when I say I live here, or say in that quintessentially LA-Snob way “Oh really… I think I’ve heard of it. How IS that?” An ex-boyfriend once referred to it as a “bad area”, (because why? Because poor / immigrant / black people are dangerous?) and refused to walk two blocks to a restaurant at night with me. Poor baby…

But I’ve fallen in love with it, and more and more I find there’s much more to it than I ever imagined. And it’s not like it’s just arrived, either. The Underground has been there since 2012.

Self-Storage: A place to keep your crap

August 26, 2016

I used Self-Storage once, while between apartments, and had an odd, melancholic conversation with an uber driver on the way to pick something up out of it.

Self-storage is to private property what obesity is to great food in America – a serious problem. A kind of addiction. A greedy perversion of what should be a pleasure and a human right.


This inspired my latest News24 Column.

Recently, I was about to move in with someone, and realistically needed to ditch 90% of what I own. Plates, cups, furniture, duplicate soda stream machine, microwave, toaster… you get the picture. That’s okay. I thought it was. I’ve been forced to reduce, toss, get rid of and let go of things many, many times over the years, though I will confess to keeping an entire 500 LP and 600 CD record collection at my Ma’s house, and the record player and a few other boxes at my Dad’s. But aside from that, I’m willing to let go. Yet I thought, for a moment, about getting self-storage. You know, just in case his soda stream broke and we, you know… needed mine.

And then I realized how crazy that was. How sad. How utterly expensive. I realized this urge was all about the fear of change – that somehow my identity was – is – tied up in this mere stuff. And in disgust, I made a list of only what I wanted to keep. Everything else, anything I can’t remember, must go.

In the process of researching why I was having so much trouble doing this, using my favorite analyst, Google, I also found these entertaining advertisements, mostly from one New York company, Manhattan Mini Storage. New York city may be the only place where self-storage is justifiable, and these guys’ adverts are like an American version of SA’s Nando’s Chicken’s, which make fantastic use of opportunities to satirize politics in South Africa and Southern Africa.

Nando’s agencies do their jobs so well that their ads get banned, as they did for this takedown of Zimbabwean Dictator Robert Mugabe.

gay clutter

Gay marriage is just as annoying as straight marriage, as it turns out. It’s very hard to de-clutter a shared space. It begins to be about territory.





People don't know what they store. The reason it's in storage is it's of no use to them.

People don’t know what they store. The reason it’s in storage is it’s of no use to them.


New York political snobbery. Another billboard mocks "secret republicanism"

New York political snobbery. Another billboard mocks “secret republicanism”


I know people like this. My desk used to be pretty messy, when I had an office job. No longer.

I know people like this. My desk used to be pretty messy, when I had an office job. No longer.

Wait, what is this? This looks like something I need in my life right now. A service that comes and cleans up my future room mate’s junk, so that I can easily move 10% of what I now own into the space I’m sharing?

No such luck, baby. It’s just another storage place.

I saw a billboard for this in LA. I thought it was a decluttering service. Turns out it's physical "cloud" storage. They pick up your items, catalogue them and store them with other folks', and retrieve them when you ask them to.

Turns out it’s physical “cloud” storage. They pick up your items, catalogue them and store them with other folks’, and retrieve them when you ask them to.


A New Beginning

January 14, 2016
2015-12-28 14.07.52.jpg

Fuck you, Santa, invention of the Coca-Cola company… And here’s why.

After everything that’s gone down – previous posts have more than enough detail for public life – I’m here in LA. I stayed. I found a place that I fell in love with, and a landlord that would trust a freelancer who hadn’t worked for a month, and just enough work to pay my rent, while I write, and dream, and pray that my space in this place opens up, soon.

dawn at my house

Nothing can describe the feeling of having a home again, after two months of depending on the kindness of my boyfriend (who thought he was shot of me) and my friends. I woke up at dawn to an unfamiliar sound on one of my first nights here, feeling full of gratitude and snapped this before I cuddled back up again to sleep more.

At first, it was bliss. And then there was Christmas. Like a monster from hell.


I thought I might never see these trees lit up in Koreatown again. But here they are. I survived another year in LA.

With Christmas came the agonizing sensation that I was supposed to be somewhere else. Something about holidays makes you long for unconditional love, and nothing else is enough, and so I missed my mother, and the plans we had for long swims in Cape Town’s cold, sharky, gorgeous seas, and the chance to see my friends’ new babies and growing children before it was too late, and everybody forgot about me.

I also began to hate my female form, and all the limitations it imposes. As my ex got remarried and began posting honeymoon and wedding photos on facebook for our former mutual friends to “like”, I drowned in self pity, imagining how, next, he would have the babies he took from me, with his new, younger, fertile bride. I would never have a family. I would be alone in this world, without that love, after my mother and father were dead.

The bitterness and neediness engulfed me.


I was sure the answer to this question was “nothing”. I heard on the radio about how old Chinese people who have no families just starve to death. I thought, that’ll be me. I’ll be digging in the trash when I’m 75…


But then I survived Christmas, and New Year came and went, and finally, men from the government began to take down the signs and symbols of my social failure. The bells of joy began ringing again as everybody went back to work.

So, eventually, the holidays ended, and with it, my gloom lifted. Now, I work, and I feel like I’m whole again. I no longer lack what everybody else has. The doors of marriage and kids slamming in my face may be limitations, but they allow me to focus on my art, my writing, and on a last-minute future that means that even if I am left rotting somewhere when I’m 70, tens, hundreds and thousands and maybe even millions of people will have read, watched, or cried over a story I wrote or directed. At least, that’s my dream.

So, what do I mean, in this world? I don’t quite know.

Sure, what we really, really want to mean, is love. Unconditional love. Only this gives our lives meaning, really, and money and fame can’t compensate. We want love, love that would overcome its fears to claim or save us. But if that never comes my way, success of some other kind will have to get me through the night.

And it will get me through the night. So go ahead. Boast of your joy. Post all the engagements, wedding photos, baby pics, back to school pics and relationship status updates you like. One day, when you’re sitting opening Christmas gifts with your grandchildren, I’ll be alone in a hotel room, somewhere far, far away, answering fan mail and weeping with self pity.

But that will only last until about Jan 5th, and then I’ll be fine again.



Omens, visas and impossible life decisions

September 29, 2015

So, the world’s being weird to me. So weird it’s spooky.

Not quite the dream I had in mind.

Not quite the dream I had in mind.

Those who know me know I call myself an atheist. As in, I don’t believe in a godhead. The idea of a human figure running things is preposterous to me. Any spiritual force able to control and link all the world’s creatures is surely more ambiguous and more complicated than the dude in any of the books.

That doesn’t mean I don’t experience what other people call a spiritual life (I’ve seen a ghost), or enjoy religious rituals occasionally, particularly when it comes to the part where you eat and drink feel gratitude for the good things you have.

Being an atheist also doesn’t mean I don’t believe in forces beyond my control. Recently, I’ve been reminded that I have no choice but to do so, because I’ve felt like the world has been trying to tap me on the shoulder and tell me that I’m nobody. I’m nothing. I’m at the mercy of “It”, whatever “It” is.

I don’t know. I’m probably a pretty shitty atheist.

See, while I was trying to depart the USA for South Africa via the UK, first my sandles broke. Odd, timing wise, but no biggie. Then my other sandles broke, too. Then my car broke. But I found my way to the airport.

LAX Departures International

So close, and yet so very far.

Then, they didn’t let me on the plane because I lacked a UK transit visa. And then, just coincidentally, the UK visa site was down, so I couldn’t apply for a transit visa.

As a young twasa and soon to be sangoma who approached me uninvited in a bar once told me, you ignore messages from the spirit world at your peril. Two days ago, I decided to listen to what I think the world is saying. I was going to get a new apartment in Cali, and see how that went for a year or so. If I didn’t, I feared that the next thing “It” would do is break my legs to keep me here.

Of course, I didn’t get the apartment because they don’t take freelancers and I don’t have six months rent to advance the landlord – not after everything I’ve had to deal with recently. That’s the one landlord that replied to me at all. Most just let me twist in the wind.

So I’m back to nowheresville, limboing from day to day, wondering what the hell I’m supposed to do now. The world and people around me seem unreal, and I’m never sure where I’m waking up until I open my eyes and look around me.

this shit is bananas

This Shit is Bananas. No kidding.


Life’s full of bumps. Yes. And oddly, all the images on this post were snapped in the last 48 hours – as if some all powerful force feels the need to state the bleeding obvious every time I round a street corner.

I know things could be worse, so I’m trying to stay grateful, but I feel physically tired and heavy and very afraid right now.

I wrote about UK Visas and Human Kindness  (hint: they’re opposing forces) in my News24 column this week.

Obama: He just can’t win because he’s…

August 30, 2014

Poor fucking President Barack Obama. The dude is easily the most intelligent American president I’ve come across, and he’s desperately trying to keep his election promises, but the GOP congress insists on treating him like he’s just being uppity all the time. And it’s clear to me that he’s not afforded the same respect as other presidents.

For instance, look at how nobody paid any attention to what he actually said about military strategy today and chose to focus, instead, on what he was wearing while he said it.


Yes, he’s hot. Damn, that man is hot. Specially in that suit. But try to concentrate okay?

And then there’s this garbage…


I mean, seriously… “Humiliates Prez”? I realize this is The Inquirer, but did they run these kinds of stories about Bush? I don’t know. Perhaps they did. Someone share them if they exist.

2014-08-07 16.44.51

This just in: Blinking is now considered sexual harassment. If you’re “Prez” Obama.

Every time he takes a day off, it's because he's a lazy you know what. The reality is, he's the hardest working president for a long, long time.

Every time he takes a day off, it’s because he’s a lazy you know what. The reality is, he’s the hardest working president for a long, long time.

I don’t get it. Except I do. The worst thing about American-brand racism is the denial.

Shut up please, I don’t care who you think you are in #palmsprings

June 19, 2014

It’s a film festival. Not a bar. But some people… you know how it is?

If you love short films, this is an amazing banquet of talent. If you love parties, there's one every single night. If you want to chat to your friends, maybe during another film's screening isn't the best time?

If you love short films, this is an amazing banquet of talent. If you love parties, there’s one every single night. If you want to network, there’s plenty of that too, but maybe during another film’s screening isn’t the best time?

Call me weird, but I’m one of those people who doesn’t go to the movies to listen to other people’s conversations. In fact I dislike listening to them so much that I almost never go with anyone to movies, in case they try to talk to me during the film.

So I am at the Palm Springs International Shortsfest. I decided to attend, to check out what made it in, since they are only 2 hours from LA and have swimming pools and really cheap hotels. And I’m glad I did. One of the best shorts I’ve seen is a really touching documentary called, Joanna, a Polish film directed by Aneta Kopacz , about a woman with cancer’s long farewell to her boy, and his to her. Sounds more depressing than it is – it’s actually very life affirming. I loved the film, but I kept getting taken out of it because, behind me, two old men were having an ongoing conversation.

I am guessing from the tone that their conversation wasn’t even about the movie. It seemed tedious. Maybe they were recommending each other golf courses, or plastic surgeons, or retirement villages. All I know is that they were ruining the film for everybody around them, and they didn’t care. In fact, they seemed to be having fun doing it.

You all know how it goes – there’s a hierarchy of ways to get people to shut the hell up during films. I and others tried them all.

Tactic 1 – Turn and look: This, they noticed, but completely ignored.

Tactic 2 – Turn and stare: This time, I did it for longer, and received a smirk in response. I wasn’t the only one, but they seemed to be enjoying the attention they got!

Tactic 3 – Turn, look and “Shhhht”!: This wasn’t me. The woman behind me cracked first. This caused them to laugh and keep talking.

Tactic 4 – Polite desperation: “Can you be quiet, please or go outside, guys?” This was me. The response was to first drop to a quieter voice, and gradually increase in volume until the end of the film.

As the titles rolled, I attempted tactic 5.

Tactic 5 – Public shaming part I: “Would you guys not start another conversation, please?” This really amused them, and a few people around me agreed with me. The old boys laughed mockingly, but shut up for the remainder of the screening.

Unfortunately, the best film had already been ruined. The others were mostly interesting – the best of the rest being the Lion’s Mouth Opens, which I’d already seen at Sundance. Only one film felt like it didn’t belong – a 17-minute-long schmooze-fest about a local celeb photographer called Michael Childers, who while worth honoring has to be the only reason they programmed the ‘radio with pictures’ documentary full of shots of the interviewer grinning at Childers and Childers talking about how famous he and his friends are. Local is lekker, as we say in South Africa.  But this film stood out by not fitting into the line-up except to get local bums on seats. I watched in silence, distracting myself by hoping that the two noisy old guys would leave before the Q&A so that I wouldn’t have to see their smug faces again.

And what do you know? Not only did they not have the sense to leave, but when the presenter asked, at the end of the screening, for all those involved in all the films and present to stand, the two old men who’d been talking through vastly superior films by fellow film-makers stood to celebrate their achievement in Michael Childers: Hollywood in the Desert Sky.  I don’t know what their role was. All I know is that I couldn’t believe they had the gonads to identify themselves.

So this was when I had to raise my hand and out them for their rudeness to the entire theater. Ordinary rich trash out for a bit of culture after too many mimosas at breakfast? No problem. Idiocy is expected. But going to a film festival as a filmmaker and then disrupting another artist’s screening to a paying audience has to be the most disrespectful, and amateurish thing you can do. This would have been a good time for them to apologize.

But their response to me and others who vocally supported me? A sarcastic comment: “Ooooh. Such a purist”.

I had to leave, because staying there would have driven me insane. Yes, I’m a purist. I love movies. I won’t apologize for this, and I paid #12 for my ticket and came all the way to Palm Springs. I don’t care who you think you are or if you’re famous in Palm Springs – you simply have no right to ruin another filmmaker’s screening for me.

I hoped for a chance to see Joanna again without them there, but sadly, it only screened once. Look out for it at other festivals. Even disruptive chatter didn’t prevent it moving me to tears and laughter and I know it’ll be showing all over the world this year.


Michael Childers: Hollywood Under a Desert Sky

LA coffeeshop encapsulates what’s to hate about hipsters

April 24, 2014

LA Hipsters can be revolting, partly because so many of them actually are cool. You know, they work in the entertainment or design business. They can afford a $1500 studio in Downtown. They have something I want. But please, gods let me never become like them. I’ll get religion just to avoid that fate. You know what I mean. The people who think it’s cool to read Vice, but would never do anything in it.

What brought this on, Jean? Oh, just an innocent cup of coffee. I have been reading a book for potential adaptation all day. I needed a break and I needed to get out of my apartment – out of Koreatown for a bit too. So I drove to Grafitti on La Brea, which advertises “sublime coffee”. I expected it to be be as pretentious as an Eraserhead haircut, but I also expected to enjoy it as a change from the tatty but loveable life I live day to day.

I mean, look at this place. It's like a laboratory in an airport bathroom, and everybody's wearing black. Even that one customer there.

I mean, look at this place. It’s like a laboratory in an airport bathroom, and everybody’s wearing black. Even that one customer there.

This should have been a clue to me that I should just leave, but instead I got into the line-of-one on the pretentious carpet and before I entered, read the rules. Yes, the rules. Which are posted all over the place, including as you walk in.

Now at THIS point, I really should have known to leave. The Barrista shot me a bored look. I felt out of place, like he could tell my clothes came from a thrift store - and not a trendy one.

Now at THIS point, I really should have known to leave.  There’s also a sign telling parents that their kids may not raise their voices or play in the coffeeshop. It felt unnecessarily aggressive. This isn’t the kind of place you bring kids, but if you do, it’s clearly a quiet environment. So why make a thing of it?

The Barista shot me a bored look. I felt out of place, like he could tell my clothes came from a thrift store – and not a trendy one.

But I’m stubborn, as we all know. So, feeling a little nervous,  I ordered a pour over. And a glass of tap water. Now, the first thing I noticed is that despite the eco-conscious, profiteering use of peace signs and organic wadawada-wa they use disposible paper and plastic cups. God forbid their hands should get wet or something… Where do these idiots think paper and plastic come from. Trees? Well, yes, but it’s more complicated than that.

I got my glass of water. When it was empty, I tried to refill it from the handily positioned tap on the counter but I couldn’t figure out how to open the tap, so I gave up. I got my coffee and sat down. The music was soothing and I settled into a trendy but uncomfortable chair to enjoy it and keep reading when… along came the Barista. I smiled at him. He didn’t smile back.
“I just came to inform you,” he said, with a glance up above the counter, “That sometimes they watch on the camera up there. And they saw you trying to take a glass of water. It’s against health regulations.”
I thought he was kidding. Surely he was kidding. No. He was not kidding.
“Oh… what?” He kinda hovered, so I felt obliged to say. “Well, I failed to figure out how your tap works.”
“Well I just wanted to inform you.”
It was humiliating. I sat there for a while as he walked away, feeling like a kid caught stealing, even though taking a glass of water shouldn’t be a crime when you’re buying a $4.35 cup of coffee.

For a while, I tried to stay, but I couldn’t. I left my coffee (which was good, but I couldn’t bear to drink) on the counter for the dude to clean up.

It looks like these guys just realized they broke a rule. Maybe that's not a real Mac?

It looks like these guys just realized they broke a rule. Maybe that’s not a real Mac?


So twee it makes me want to vomit.... but wait! Look! There's a sign there that says "Water Closet" in the far right corner. Maybe that's where I was meant to get my second plastic cup of the precious liquid? Or maybe the barista could pee in the cup - I'm sure his urine is pure as sunlight.

So twee it makes me want to vomit…. but wait! Look! There’s a sign there that says “Water Closet” in the far right corner. Maybe that’s where I was meant to get my second plastic cup of the precious liquid? Or maybe the barista could pee in the cup – I’m sure his urine is pure as the sunlight of angels.

Turns out my infringement recorded on their CCTV had nothing to do with hygiene, and everything to do with profit. They charge – get it, CHARGE – $1 per cup of water after the first one.

What should be written on all parts of the sidewalk outside Graffiti.

What should be written on all parts of the sidewalk outside Graffiti.

Anyhow, I felt like shit driving home. So much for my big treat of the day. But I felt a little better when I went to yelp looking for pictures and found that many – no, most – of the reviewers who had some hilarious and completely right on things to say about this pretentious bleached asshole of an establishment.

Here’s a short selection:

“The space is not welcoming at all, in fact there is signs everywhere with there different rules. I don’t have children and I was offended by there sign about keeping children’s noise level low and it won’t be tolerated..I don’t know if they know but children aren’t that easy to teach to keep there voices down..they are kids for gd sake!” Dadli Y.

“…my friend and I decided it definitely smells like a pool (you know that weird humid-chlorine kind of air thing?)” – Kira S.

“I appreciate the space. I think its beautiful. What I did not love are all the signs with rules everywhere. “kids cant talk loud” “kids cant run around” “Every person inside must make a purchase.”  “One wifi password per person. No outside food or drinks.” It made me feel like such a bad bad kid. After blowing 10 bucks on a juice I decided I probably will …. never go back.” – Molly s.

“Overalls they come off as cheap and unhappy, however it’s apparently for a good reason- to keep away moochers. Though they don’t even give free water continuously, the first cup is free, then $1 per cup.” – Josh H.

“Stay away from this place. Aside from the overpriced coffee, and list of rules (literally, there is a list of rules to follow when you are inside), the customer service is atrocious. The baristas were condescending and cold. They were blatantly making fun of a customer right in front of me. I had to sit outside so I wouldn’t have to overhear anymore jackass conversations.

Also, what’s with their list of rules? I felt like a child in a catholic school where every move I made was being watched. “Every person inside must make a purchase. One wifi password per person. No outside food or drinks.” DId the owners forget this is JUST a coffee shop.” – Marina M.

“EEK! I’m surprised they don’t have a dress code!” – Ami S.

“We were in line ordering our 2 coffees, and a hot chocolate for our daughter (which would have cost us about $20), when our 8-year old daughter went to sit in a chair about 10 feet from us. Out of nowhere, the barista starts waving at us to get our attention… in front of our faces… and says, “We aren’t kid-friendly, so can you keep her close to you?”. Was she going to damage the gigantic stainless steel table in front of her?
At first, I thought there’s no way this woman just said this to me, but when I said, “excuse me”, she repeated herself. With no shame, said again, “Yeah we aren’t kid-friendly”. Kid-friendly?! The kid who gets excited to go to Graffiti to get a hot chocolate, who was sitting quietly in an empty chair. Our daughter couldn’t understand what she did wrong that we weren’t welcome anymore.
Needless to say, we walked out. As soon as we got in the car, our daughter then tells us that the owner yelled at her to get off of the chair she was sitting in. Where do you get off?! You overgrown steroid geriatric a$$hole dressed like you’re 15!”  – Noah W.

The people have spoken.

He loved Thailand. Can I trust him?

March 30, 2014

Some of my best friends have been to Thailand. No, really – they have. And at least one of them is male and said he didn’t avail himself of the “services” that are apparently frequently on offer to foreign men. He spent his time drinking and getting some tattoos and he loved it.

Many of my female friends have been there too. They rave about the food, the adventures they safely had while traveling alone, the gorgeous beaches and the welcoming and business-suavy people. They return fresh, new, open and happy.

I’ve worked with a cinematographer from Thailand. He’s just like all cinematographers I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with… slightly nuts, heart on the sleeve and mostly brilliant.

So yes. There’s a lot more to Thailand than dodgy massage. This toilet, for instance.

Exactly why would you want a wifi-enabled toilet?

Exactly why would you want a wifi-enabled toilet? Posted on facebook by a friend, from her holiday in Thailand.

But Thailand does have a reputation for being a great place to go if you want to have sex with beautiful women at low cost. I have heard the stories. I have read the stories. I know it’s a pretty big business out there. So when I see a guy say on an online dating site or any other public place that the best place he’s ever visited is Thailand, I wonder… what did he do there? And does he do it here, too?

I briefly made the mistake of taking a trial membership on a dating site, you see. And as you know if you’ve ever used one, people lie on those things, about who they are, what they look like, and what they want. It’s almost as bad as Facebook. But I gave it a shot, because I figured I needed to meet some boys my own age. And normal people do use these sites,  nowadays – it’s not skungy like it used to be. Is it?

Or… is it? Because it seems that the guys who’re still available by the time they hit 35 have at least one of the following flaws:

– Heavy drinker who would like you to come to their place for dinner on Date One.
– Very Short with large beard and belly, possible religious extremist, and political conservative.
– Can’t spell and doesn’t have a job. Would like to move to LA, but needs to stay with me in the beginning
– Dirty fingernails and dirty cowboy hat (I went on one date). He actually came to dinner with dirty fingernails.
– Took profile picture in public toilet mirror. Actually, that may explain why this toilet in Thailand is wifi enabled. It’s so that the guys who might be interested in making love to me can update their dating profile photos between massages while on holiday.

And then there’s the one who went to Thailand. He’s probably my soul-mate, but I’m too scared to find out.

I guess I’ll just be forced to sleep with younger men. The problem with them is that they learn to have sex by watching porn, so they really have no idea how to actually do it with a real woman. One minute you’re kissing them. The next thing you know you’re in some gonzo fantasy and his eyes are all glazed over and dead like a zombie’s.