Monthly Archives: April 2003

this corporate pixie is… BACK!

the west coast incarnation of administrative hellfire present and accounted for, SIR!

from the resume circus and silent phone to a successful outcome, at the late end of expectation. on a morning of yet another panic over not landing a job yet, comes the call… the employment agency has a perfect job for me… being the administrative assistant to the president to a well-established talent agency in sherman oaks. the money wasn’t what i wanted but after an interview decided to go temp to trial each other out for a few weeks… i thought once they saw my work, the money would increase but after two days i saw it was exactly what i was doing at BMG; that fast-paced, juggling, always “on” and thinking 10 steps ahead; except at bmg i was making more than double what this place could hope to give me in a year.

when it rains, it pours with me so i wasn’t surprised that more job offers were coming after that. yesterday i had a job interview after work on wilshire near where we are staying in beverly hills. i walked into the building but didn’t see the company name on the directory. i went to the second floor to the suite # he told me about on the phone…no name on the door… i walked in and it felt like a doctor’s office, in a good way though… a modern, high-class, personalized-attention-like doctor’s office.

“hi. i’m here to see matt.” i said to the spunky older woman with short hair and a warm smile. i sunk into the black couch. i felt like i was sitting on the floor. no paintings on the wall or plants… the office was prime real estate, in the heart of beverly hills and was all fancy so i wondered why… later i found out that they’d just moved in 2 days ago. i went into matt’s office and within 15 minutes his charisma and pay offer had me committed. the office is one mile from the apartment that we just rented so there’ll be no commute. a decent starting offer, full benefits and a challenging new area of work… advertising. it’s a start up company financed by danny devito’s family. they are a brand new company with big eyes on the future. they’re in the spa industry… botox, laser treatments… the company recruits entrepreneurs to pay half a million dollars for each ‘medspa’… a doctor and nurses to administer the treatments. my job is to keep track of the advertising and write copy for promotional material. 25% creative writing? i’m in…

matt wore all black, has a russian wife who speaks only a little english and has that entreprenurial vibe about him. he’s very direct and comically pushy. as we were talking, his eyes were smiling, demeanor knowingly calm, and he yelled to the girl at the front desk to call a newspaper and see if it’s too late to cancel the ad they had placed that day for the advertising position…. all this before i even expressed an inkling of interest… “yes, you can cancel it but she said you have to do it now…” “give me fifteen minutes” he said, eyes on me… i couldn’t help but laugh. a bit of talk about hours, daily tasks and health benefits and we had a deal. “see you tuesday?” “yes, on tuesday then.” i walked out of his office introducing myself as “cheryl, advertising, see you tuesday!”

starting on tuesday allowed me the opportunity to pet my guilty-feeling furs with my first job that i had started. “it was a trial period!” i assured myself as i slowly walked stunned out from the elevator into the lobby, out to the street picking up speed in my new boots heading back to adi’s place where tsafi was… “all’s fair in love and war!” i told myself… i continued to rationalize it all… soon the words subsided and i broke out running down the street full speed on wilshire blvd. sharp left turn onto palm street. i couldn’t wait to tell tsafi… i ran all the way home, opened the door, fell on the floor laughing and rolling and tearing into him “C’M HERE! C’M HERE!” and i told him the good news. better starting salary, no commute, no need to buy a 2nd car, room to grow, more challenging for me. we slapped each other’s asses as a high five and got way too giddy. a perfect solution this was…

and it wasn’t like the day wasn’t already going fabulously… we’d bought a brand new freakin car the same day! a 2003 toyota corolla LE in black…tsafi had picked me up from the sherman oaks job at 1pm (we got off early from work for good friday). the toyota dealer drove it from the dealer’s lot to our insurance agency so we drove adi’s car to meet it there. i was carrying a dozen french white tulips sent to me from KT in NYC for my first day of work. i put them down in the shade in the parking lot while tsafi went to finalize insurance papers adn the dealer then drove the car around to where we were. it was like a newborn baby. that new car smell, 33 miles on the odometer. the first thing i noticed was that there was green and white glitter in the paint. it was just perfect. the dealer was showing us all the features but we just locked eyes full of pride. this is our car… our beginning, our life… another beautiful notch of success.i bounced in the back seat while tsafi pressed buttons in the front. all paid in full with wedding money…

tsafi got into adi’s car and i got into our new baby, moved the driver’s seat forward, put on my seatbelt, turned up the radio and i followed tsafi through the valley, winding around canyon roads that spat us out into beverly hills. we slapped a temporary parking permit on it and brought the tulips inside to put them on the table and head out to sign the lease of our new apartment. it was just an incredible day… we drove to fu’s palace, our favorite chinese place, had a lunch special.. we then realized that that is the corner of our new street, wooster street. we drove down wooster for a few blocks and parked the car in front of a huge purple tree… a residence hand-picked by the faeries. purple flower petals were strewn all over the sidewalk leading up to the front door. paul, the elderly jewish manager, let us in and we checked the place out again. we’ve been to see it twice before. this time around, we strategized where the computer would go, how to feng shui the place, if the dining room table should be square or rectangular. we leaned on the kitchen counter and negotiated the lease and payments. he accepted 2 months security in exchange for not running my credit report. he’s ordering a new fridge to be delivered on monday. it’s on the 3rd (top)floor of a luxury apartment building. the central focus of which is a brand new pool with a painted mural next to it. it’s a one-bedroom fully carpeted, one parking space, laundry in the building. very excited. we thought the rent would be too expensive and wondered how we’d afford it…but now that the universe has come thru for us, we’re worried no more.

“we’ll be good tennants.” tsafi told paul with a firm handshake. paul told us about the neighbors…some old people, some couples, a bachelor with a constant wave of women in and out of his place… an interesting mix of neighbors surely.

so… to recap… in one day….
apt (check)
car (check)
job (check check)

ROCK ON!

reality kicks my ass

we’ve been here 2 weeks… no car, no jobs, no apartment. The car and apartment are about to happen but jobs aren’t coming and I’m panicking… no use panicking, this I know… I have the skills… now about luck… maybe it’s not about luck though… maybe this is the lesson…did we expect it to be easy? Show up and the world be at our feet? ..well… yes… I guess that’s what we expected… I’ve been gone way too long…

so I’m sitting at starbucks drinking hazelnut coffee in a comfortable chair and my panic fades and then grows… my mother called today. I’m beginning to enjoy our talks. In fact, I called her back just to reach out. I feel lonely a bit… scared, doubting, a burden, all this yucky insecurity from failed job searches, pms, and tonight’s full moon again uncelebrated. I make excuses for my shabby appearance. “my stuff’s on a boat delayed by the war.” Which is the truth…except for the fact that the stuff on the boat is just as worn and outdated as the stuff in my immediate possession. I’m SO not l.a. material… must go shopping, that dreaded female experience.

Tsafi and I grow and change and feel more connected with each learning experience. Sometimes a bad mood presents a setback but all in all we’re amazing together, leapfrogging into our future.

I must focus and keep positive or the universe will undoubtedly slam the door on me.. it’s difficult, this adjustment…but anything’s easier than my hellish time in Israel. One employment agency almost wrote me off for wearing purple nail polish to the interview, only to call me at a weak moment today and offered me a job interview tomorrow with a great talent agency. I checked the company’s website online and it looks perfect… my interview is tomorrow at 3pm… I’m not even too excited. Maybe because of that, I’ll get the gig. Best to put it out of my mind.

i miss diana… i thought it would be easier being in her time zone… but it feels just as far as israel if she’s not sitting right next to me… i miss female folk music, swooning to lyrics, riding it, nodding tearfully with the lyrics.. i don’t have a way to listen to music… i hum a lot now… i sleep on a leather loveseat and have no clean socks left… yeah, a true renegade.. i’ve got to earn my stripes, my status…

i look up above a painting to a small sign directly across from me “PUT LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE”
….right… forgot about perspective. what am i not realizing? that life is just life, i s’pose. ride it out, learn as much as i can, make some people happy, leave a legacy, however small… take nothing with me…

i went to california welcome center today. an oriental man who lived here 32 years and is expecting his first child gave me maps, pointed me in directions, gave me an indian bag to hold brochures of bryce canyon… i just called tsafi

livin large

walking down Beverly drive, swinging my hips, suckin on a jamba juice, taking in the sights and smells. I saw brad freakin pitt on a bicycle yesterday and sybil shepherd at a red light today. Passing by many spoiled abodes, me in my shoes with holes in them. Me, in sunny l.a.

destination? A map store… renegade acclimation does have its limits, time for my trusty streetwise map. I saw online that there was a Rand McNally travel store on Beverly drive but the flirtatious man at the newsstand with eyebrows brushed upwards informed me otherwise. So I followed his advice and walked another mile to century city where the valet guys confirmed that yes, there is a rand mcnally here. So now, streetwise map in hand, I set off towards west l.a. in search of apartment vacancy signs…life in a new town…

walking around santa monica blvd again…trying to find a niche, a garden, a park, or a café with some personality. Instead I find a chair at starbucks. Bald-by-choice 20-somethings with albino dogs on their laps and jazz on overhead appeal to chemical morning senses. Grey-haired Britons come in with baseball caps. I’d been told to look out for the cars they drive; simply smashing dahhhling… Birkenstocks and golden retrievers. Natural fibers, facial hair, tennis socks, gym clothes.
This morning I drove orit’s car (adi’s sweet girlfriend). Tsafi had his first day of working with an Israeli moving company. It was my first day driving in our new town. The sky was a distraction, changing colors the way morning does. But I navigated the streets absorbing direction with landmarks. I’m getting used to the names and placements of the streets but the brisk sweet smell of the air is something that stuns me each day… it’s a cool humidity this morning… sticks to my lungs…
I’ve walked further down santa monica blvd now…and I think I’ve entered a gay community. I’m occupying a corner at the coffee bean as electronic Mexican music plays overhead and men hug each other walking their dogs down the street. I have only a few nickels in my back, my hair’s a mess and I feel quite the charity case. Once again, I really dislike having to rely on tsafi’s family yet again for basic needs of food, shelter and shower. As thankful as i am to adi and orit for giving us a wonderful start in our new town, I don’t want them to feel crowded with us there. Mornings are rough; the dog breaks things and pulls my covers off. I once took him outside only to have another dog freak out all territorial on him. I just don’t want the responsibility if something happens to the dog. He puked yesterday. Adi asked me why I didn’t clean it up. I just don’t DO puke… and the one time I took the dog out, he peed in the hallway which almost caused them getting evicted. I have enough on my plate right now… looking for a job, an apartment. I have some clothes and toiletries but everything else is either on a boat or in storage in shaunte’s roommate’s parking space.

I just desperately want my American life back…

Tsafi and I walked the santa monica pier yesterday. I kicked his ass at air hockey. I almost wet myself when I saw 10 air hockey tables all lined up in a row there~ we later stood on the pier overlooking the ocean. Brown churning, green… “well, it ain’t the meditteranean…” I said. He says we’ll go to Malibu and zuma beach when the time comes. It was hazy misty yesterday but we could see Malibu in the distance.

L.A. doesn’t feel like a city to me. It feels like more of a tropical suburbia. Every apartment complex and house has immaculate lawns and flowers, all toxic to touch or walk on. Flawless aloe plants, palm trees every size. There are always landscaping companies up and down the streets. There’s hardly any bars on the windows here and I have yet to encounter the pretentiousness that everyone warned me about. I’ve met happy ex-new Yorkers and maybe some too-perfectly-happy-to-help customer service types. We’d gone to the Toyota dealership yesterday in santa monica and she gave us a good price quote on the new car we want to buy…the Toyota corolla LE in black…there goes our wedding money…

I’d gone to shaunte’s for 2 days this week. We drank wine and did tarot readings on her terrace decorated with pinwheels and frogs. I started to feel a cold coming on so she dosed me with herbs that made me a different kind of sick. Cayenne among other things… potent stuff. We walked around universal’s citywalk and around her town of studio city. There’s a perfect café/bookstore there that I envy. Not these commercially caffeinated places… a real niche.

I saw smog for the first time recently; a stagnant yellow cloud unwavering in the valley. I wondered how many babies had been born with an extra arm because of it. Shaunte has an outrageous collection of movies. She even made a book catalog out of them with decorations of actors and stickers next to her favorites. Her roommate, bree, looks like strawberry shortcake and collects reptiles. She has a bearded dragon that never seems to have food or water, a turtle in filthy water and a chameleon named ‘karma’ that intrigues me the most. Eyes like olives, hands like clothes pins, and that kaleidoscope skin… the first chameleon died because it had a cut on its tail. They put Neosporin on it and hoped for the best… bree tells stories very animated-like with incredulous undertones of disbelief. She’s very nice and generous and has definite boundaries. The unofficial third roommate is keith; a 41-year-old blonde gay psychic. He lives with his ex-lover in the same complex. He has 2 children that he’s not on communicating terms with and is staying in a difficult reality from what I could gather. Both him and shaunte seem to be in the same funk. They’re able to read the tarot cards for one another. When they were reading for me the basic conclusion was that I’m extremely fertile right now. That would be bad timing right now… no house, no job, no health insurance. I put my palm to my neck and count out the weeks since my last moonblood… I’ll get it in 10 days, no doubt. I hate that kind of countdown…

Shaunte and I watched vanilla sky before bedtime and it was such a total mindfuck that we just lied awake in bed unable to sleep. In the morning she lit incense and took a long, healing goddess bath, saying that she “sensed something”. I entertained myself while she fought her demons by making pasta for breakfast and reading cosmo on the terrace, playing with the cat named ‘evil’ who acts like a dog. Shaunte sings a song with evil when they play with a wand toy. “I know a cat that’s got no friends, doo dah, doo dah~” the dog/cat does double axel jumps when she plays and is very vocal. I love being in the same city as shaunte. We can have fun in a box! She has boxes of arts and crafts and always keeps busy. I’m watching a greyhound dog out the window right now with hind legs shaking… what a strange breed….

beverly freakin hills

strange… being here. A bit intimidating; a bit of a relief. It’s a destination, perhaps home. Beverly hills is a bit too wasteful for me. Money thrown every which way. I never wanted to live this way and don’t even secretly draw from it. I’d be happier in an apartment with cheaper rent and a kick ass salary for a year or two. By then our Israeli apartment will have sold and we can buy a house in a nice area. All the fine things just don’t make sense to me. A psychic once told me that I will always have a bit more than what I need and that is just fine for me. To know that I will always exceed basic needs is all I could ever want. I don’t aspire to become ‘l.a.’ and I think, with these intentions formed, I will be just fine here.
Tsafi and I sleep on couches in his cousin, adi’s living room. I don’t like to touch the leather so I drape a cotton sheet over the loveseat and curl up fetal-like. I’ve been taking naps and adjusting to not only another time zone but today’s switch to daylight savings time.

On april 1st we arrived to l.a. we drove the car to its owner in san diego. He lived in a beach house a block from the pacific ocean on san Raphael place. There were surf shops and typical California scenes passing out the window and we could hardly contain our excitement. We handed over the gas receipts and car keys. He was an out-of-work university teacher with a 6-month-old baby girl at home while his wife worked. He drove us to the train station where we paid $37 for 2 one-way tickets to los angeles downtown. We were so excited that we couldn’t help attack each other on the train in celebration among all the whistle blows and rattling on the tracks.
We rolled our 2 green suitcases and other bags over the sun-splattered train station floor until tsafi’s cousin, adi appeared from the crowd. He had a bloody nose, ripped white t-shirt and a white van. He’s a mellowed version of some Israelis that I’ve met, five years of being in America will do that I guess.

Tsafi’s official green card came in the mail 2 days ago… but it wasn’t green. I put it on the kitchen table, framed it with flower petals, heart shaped and waited for him to see it. A triumphant nod and a congratulatory kiss and that’s that…. My boy’s here to stay!

I feel naïve here…and substandard. I don’t understand it all, pretending to be rich…when you’re not. I suppose to win a girl, make an impression… I’m not big on fascades. I don’t want to live in Beverly hills. I wonder what other towns are like… I’ve taken my first solo excursion to santa monica blvd. there’s a Mercedes dealer in front of me and a jogging path where anorexic girls in baseball caps run in billabong shorts. I get happy when I see long stretches of palm trees lining the roads. The grass and landscaping is perfect here. There’s variety to the kinds of cars people drive here. Yesterday we went to a lambourghini dealer, just for kicks. The boys were excited about it but I don’t care so much for cars.