Thursday, February 24, 2011

Strange things are afoot at Chez Gingham

Oh, where to remember my gnome doors? Those doors that lead to nothing (or something--I'm afraid to investigate)? Well, the one on the outside bathroom wall leads to pipes. This much the Frau established on one of her visits. The one in the bedroom closet probably leads to someone's head, but the ceiling door--the SEALED ceiling door must lead to some kind of attic space. Right? I wouldn't know as it has never--NEVER--been opened the whole time I've lived at here, which is 11 years. In fact, the ceiling door was painted shut, the hook-and-latch lock painted over as well.

Then, this morning, as I was steaming my sweater and waiting for a good head of steam to build, I looked up at the ceiling thinking, "It's time to clean up those brown spots again," when I noticed it. THE DOOR IN THE CEILING HAD BEEN OPENED!! When, I don't know, but sometime in the past month someone (or something) has been tampering with that door. How do I know? Well, for one thing, the painted-shut lock is no longer painted shut.
Pardon the bad cell phone photo. You see the rust spot where it's been pulled out of it's loop? Then, there are the finger marks...yes, finger marks!!
Finger marks that appear to be coming from inside that door!!!! I know!!!

Yeah, so if that's not creepy enough for you, how about this. A few nights ago, I was awake at 3:00am and reading in bed with my Kindle and a book light. Suddenly, my bedroom door rattled the way a door does when a vacuum is formed by another door opening somewhere in the apartment...the apartment in which I live alone...with no windows 3AM! I turned the bedside light on and stared at the door for an hour until I fell asleep. And THEN, the next morning, as I was leaving, I noticed the deadbolt on my front door was UNLOCKED! I always (obsessively) double and triple check that before I go to bed.

My friend Amber is convinced I have a split personality and my alter ego, Rebecca, is a party girl who wears blue eye shadow. She also thinks Rebecca's lover enters and leaves through the window in the bathroom closet (don't ask; this house is bizarre) and hides in the attic when I come back to being Laurie Ann. I want to know how Rebecca is getting some and I'm not. Amber wants to call the Ghosthunter people to come and scope out my house.

My other fear, since I had to leave a key for the Frau to fix my bathtub faucet, is that someone got a hold of that key and is coming in and...Yikes! That's just too creepy a thought to complete. But my faucet is not fixed, so I know it's not the Frau. I think a new lock is in order. And then a new apartment. THAT'S what I should have spent the insurance money deposit.

Oh well, live and (never) learn.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Easy Come, Easy Go

So what did I do with my sudden windfall? Well, first, I was responsible and paid a bunch of bills, even getting ahead on the car payments. I can officially park on my own street...if I can find a spot. It's been a bitch this week because the city had temporary "no parking" signs up on surrounding streets. But what does a gal do after being responsible? She buys herself something pretty. Or several things pretty--like a new handbag, some crafting supplies, a new iPod--you know, the usual.

Oh, and I put some in savings so that I have some cushion, but mostly (come on, it's me) I spent it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's things like this that make me believe in divine intervention

To say money is tight at Chez Gingham would be an understatement. On Tuesday I sold the remainder of my formerly vast CD collection to my good friends at Amoeba in order to cover the outstanding checks I had written and make a car payment. Since I'd already sold off the really good stuff, I didn't get as much as I had hoped, so the car payment is still outstanding.

Imagine my surprise when I checked the mail box and saw a check from Mercury Insurance. I haven't had Mercury Insurance for over two years, so I couldn't imagine why they were sending me a check. "Probably overpaid a bill or something," I thought. "It'll be about $3." I opened the envelope and nearly peed my pants. (I had to go already, lest you think I'm THAT excitable) The check was quite sizable. Like four digits sizable--before the decimal!

Back in March 2007, Jamie and I had a little fender bender in a Starbucks parking lot. I never got around to getting her fixed, so I told Mercury to send the claim money directly to the loan company. Apparently, they didn't do that. And now that Jamie is sold, the loan company squared away, the claim money is all mine!!! I can get up to date with my car payments, pay my registration, my past due parking tickets, and still have money left over. Oh, Happy Day!!

Thanks, God! Thanks, whichever angel whispered in his ear. I'm thinking my mom had something to do with it. I've been talking to her a lot lately.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

In which I sound like Joan Rivers

Can we talk about gas prices? No, I'm not going to rant about how high they are; that is what it is. No, I'm just boggled about the fluctuation in prices around town. After I sold my CDs along with my pride to pay some bills, I went to put gas in the car. Mobil at Santa Monica and Vine has premium gas at $3.79. Valero down the street is at $3.69. 76 on Santa Monica, about five blocks from Vine, is at $3.59. I went with 76. I then drove to my friend's house and noticed prices as high as $3.99 for premium. Granted the highest prices were on the west side (Beverly Hills especially), but the first $3.99 I saw was on Highland. Can someone else a difference of 40 cents for what is essentially the exact same thing? While you're at it, can you explain why the exact same deodorant I buy at the 99Cents only store costs $3.50 at Rite Aid? And why anyone would pay full price when you can get it for $1. Or better yet, just explain the entire economic system. Apparently I am dumb.

And another hard is it to remember what floor you were on and what floor you're going to when entering an elevator? Is there a brain wave interference when entering elevators, like there is with cell phones? I can't tell you how many times a day I get on the elevator with an entire family (because one person only cannot run an errand, it takes a village) who then proceed to push all three parking buttons, look around when the doors open, decide it's not their floor, repeat at each floor, then push L and start all over again. OR, they enter on the ground floor and want to go down to the parking deck. Really? You can remember that you already came down to the lobby? I just want to run out and get a coffee for the boss, people. I don't have time for your shenanigans. And no, the consulate is no longer in this building.

Now, get off my lawn.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Shamelessly promoting

Do you live in LA?
Do you like stand-up comedy?
Are you free on Saturday, February 19th?

If the answer to these questions is yes, yes, and sadly, yes...why not join us at the House of Blues' Voodoo Lounge for a night of comedy to benefit Woodcraft Rangers, one of LA's largest non-profit providers of after school enrichment programs for at-risk youth. Just $35 dollars (That's cheaper than a movie!) gets you dinner and a show, with at least three (possibly more) comedians including Jeffrey Garcia, star of his own Showtime and Comedy Central specials, as well as the voice of "Sheen Estevez" on Nickelodeon's Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

For tickets, go HERE. 100% of the proceeds go to after school programs to keep at-risk youth engaged during the crucial hours of 3-6pm. And don't you want to keep them engaged?