Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Parking Nazis in Hermosa Beach.

Gotta tell you, there are MANY things I love about Hermosa Beach. Many! The beautiful beach, my awesome neighbors, hot firemen, great restaurants and there is only one thing that makes me hate it.....the city office that controls the parking passes. Yea, yea, yea, I get it. People are trying to scam them into getting guest passes and temporary passes and stickers all the time. There are a lot of shysters out there. But I am not one.

In the morning, a few weeks back, I was driving down the main drag of Hermosa Avenue, on my way to Starbucks and saw someone pulling out of a parking space. I put my blinker on, stopped and within a minute, was rear-ended by a box truck from a lighting company. Old boy wasn't paying attention. Clearly. The upside....if there is one in this car surprisingly suffered little damage. (The box trucks grill was smashed and was leaking several fluids....serves him right!) Anyway, the downside was now I had to deal with getting my car fixed. Luckily, the driver, Scruffy, I'll call him that since he hadn't seen a razor in awhile, Scruffy fully...and rightfully...admitted to the accident, so then began the dance of exchanging information.

Fast forward a week or so when I get the rental vehicle while my car is in the shop. Since I have lovely neighbors, they let me leave my new Ford Escape.....dreadful their garage the first night, since there was no way it would fit in my tiny garage....unless I wanted to sleep in it. SO....I march on down to the Office of Finance at Hermosa's City Hall to get a temporary parking pass after I left the gym that morning. I brought the things I figured I needed, like a utility bill and the car rental agreement. As lovely as these local people are, they are really quite odd. They are all women and they stand behind the main desk and stare at you with the blankest of looks. I couldn't even VENTURE a guess as to what is going on in their heads....its like they are poker players...or....or....missing cerebral activity. They must train 'em like this because its bizarre and uniform to all the workers.

Anywho, I walk in, praying this will be a breeze. I tell the young lady I need a temporary pass for a rental car for a week....and she stares at me....a good 15 if I had asked her if it'd be alright that I park my spaceship on city hall....and then she says, "Do you have the estimate from the repair shop?"

"Uh, not on me. But heres my utility bill and my car rental agreement."

"Here is our fax number."

"I can't just get the pass really quick? I'm late for work."

"We need the estimate to determine how long you need the pass."

"I told you, till the end of the week. Friday. Its Tuesday. So that would be only about 3 1/2 days."

"We need the estimate to determine...."

"Um, yea, you said that....uh, okay. Thanks for being so helpful."

As soon as I get outside the office, I call the repair shop, explain the sitch and ask them to fax over the estimate. He says he will take care of it. I also explain I need it sent now because I need to pick up this

So I leave, go home, take the poor chihuahua on a supersonic walk, shower, shovel food in, get all gussied up and zoom on back over for another staring contest. The same young lady helps me and stares at me as if we have just I explain it again....

(AHA! I just got it! All the Stepford wives live HERE!)

Once I go through it all again, she goes to the fax and says nothing came in. I tell her I called them over an hour ago. Nope. Nothing.


So I call the repair shop.......again.

Explain myself.....again.

Ask them to fax it now.......again.

Thank them......again.

(Jeopardy music playing as we wait...)

"Oh here it is." She says 10 minutes later. It finally comes over.

The young lady then starts examining my other paperwork and informs me that my phone bill is too old. "Its two months old" she tells me.

"Its from June"

"But its July"

"But I haven't gotten one for July yet and its NOT 2 months old."

"Do you have a more current utility bill?"

"Do you have a new facial expression?" (Sooooo badly wanted to say that, but didn't)

"Uhhhh....OH! I just got my gas bill sent to me via email this morning on my phone! Here! Here, this is current!"

(I point to the place where it says "Gas Company" and the place where it says my address and an amount.)

"I need something to determine the address for the bill."

"Uh, its right there!" I point again.

"No, can you log into your account?"

"On my cell? That'll take hours and I don't even have AT&T but it'll take me that long to figure out my password. I'm on auto-pay. They send me this bill, they take my money from my account. See? Real simple....unlike THIS!"

"I will have to speak to my manager."

At this point, I am a weeeeee bit annoyed and can't believe this girl is giving me so much crap. I just need a pass for 3.5 freakin' days and then the ridiculous Ford Escapes-my-mind-why-anyone-would-buy-it, can go back to the rental car agency. Why is this so hard? I am at the end of my rope.

"Look, I don't have time to go home and get another bill that I don't even have anyway because all my utility bills are on auto pay except my Verizon cable which IS HERE. Can you please just give me the pass so I can get to my job that I am ALREADY 20 mins late for? I'm not asking you to build me a freakin' garage!"

She finally starts filling the pass out and tells me the pass will cost $1.

I put a dollar on the counter.

She continues......slowly filling out the pass....

"Next time you will need to bring a more current utility bill."

This time *I* stare at HER.

Then she says, "The pass is good through Thursday. If you need the pass through the weekend, you will need to bring the new estimate and a more current utility bill."

"So I'd need to come back Friday and do this dance again with you?"

"No, we are closed Fridays."

You gotta love small towns.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How NOT to name drop.

Alright class, settle down. We are going to go over a very basic social phenomenon and how NOT to do it. Yes, name dropping.

I recently and unwillingly fell into a conversation with a coworker that I'll call "PJ". He's one of those guys that constantly has to prove that he is relevant and knows something, despite his being much younger than the rest of us and therefore less experienced. And instead of just kicking back, opening his ears and maybe learning a thing or two, he insists on telling stories about when he worked here or there and blah, blah, blah....ow, my ears are bleeding...

Anyway, one day he shares with me the mother of all name dropping stories. And much to my delight, I will now pass it on to you! (hopefully YOUR ears won't bleed) So, here he is excitedly standing in my doorway, eyes all lit up and trying so hard to win my approval, so he launches into this story:

"Ok, so like, I was at a restaurant one day with my friends and I'm all, dude, our waiter looks familiar and so I say to my friends 'Dude! Our waiter looks familiar' and they're all 'Dude! Yer right! He does look familiar!' and so I'm all, huh, I wonder where I know him from and then he like, opens his mouth and he's like, got an Australian accent and he's like, Asian, and thats really unusual, cuz Asians aren't from Australia, so I'm all, dude, I know who this guy is! And my friends are all, 'Dude! Who is he?' and I'm all 'Dude! Its the guy that played the best friend of the one girl in the sequel of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants!".

(this is where I am staring at him.....occasionally blinking....)

After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, I finally say,

"I have no f**king idea who you are talking about."

Wind out of his sails, he's defeated, but for the love of God! Does ANYONE know who the hell he is talking about?

Name Dropping Rules:

1. Don't tell your story in one long run on sentence.

2. Don't use the word "dude" where a period should be.


I don't know what to do with this kid, but people, let this be a lesson! If you are going to go out on a limb to name drop, have it be about someone like Bono or Lindsay Lohan! At least we could launch into a conversation about how do you think Lilo will fair in jail or something! Poor little dude. I probably crushed him, but I seriously had no F-in idea who he was talking about and if any of you DO, please send me a link because I don't know any Asians that actually come from Australia! Hahah! Silly kid, actually thinks that that was a possibility! Aaaaahhhh, youth!