Pathway To Suburban Righteousness

Rumor has it that our little town has a little bit of a budget surplus. California is generally against budget surpluses or balanced budgets. In fact, budget surpluses are down right unAmerican, so our local government thought they should spend their little surplus tout de suite before people started pointing fingers. They got together to decide on a cause worthy of the local funds.

Sure you can shovel that cash into education, but that seems like a lost cause. Are the children really the future? I mean Whitney Houston sang about it, but she was also shopping for some serious nose groceries at the time, so can you really take her word for it? (Crack is whack, girlfriend, and bathtubs are dangerous.)

I’m sorry, Whitney but children are for sewing sweatshirts and mining diamonds in 3rd world countries. (image via wikipedia)

Plus, if we give children a better education, they become better informed and better informed people make a whole lot of demands on their government, which is frankly a pain in the @ss for any government official. So they decided to dodge that bullet.

No, a better way to spend the money would be a sidewalk beautification project. Now I already thought our sidewalks were mildly attractive. Not that they were going to get picked for America’s Next Top Model or anything, but still, for a cement strip I thought they towed the line. But what do I know? I walk my daughter to school in the sweats I sleep in, so I’m probably not the last word in beauty. Luckily no one listens to me.

That right there is some beautification in progress.

They started the sidewalk beautification project, which consists of tearing up sections of sidewalk to cut out all of the tree roots underneath. Genius, right? They very thoroughly cut the tree roots off the tree in front of our bedroom on both the street side and the sidewalk side, so I’m looking forward to adding that tree to our bedroom decor during the next wind storm. It will give the room a more rustic modern feel, which is good, because I was really wondering what to do in there anyway.

They also tore up some of the driveways, including ours, and then blocked off street parking, which gave us a good excuse to try out that new hover-craft that hasn’t been invented yet. I got a ticket for parking on the street, but I wrote a very nice letter to the parking people pointing out that the 2002 Mazda models don’t evaporate into thin air and they kindly dismissed my ticket.

They are very serious about the beauty of the new sidewalks because when my daughter scratched a heart into the fresh cement, they came back to smooth it over. Just in case they had inadvertently missed the beauty of an eight year old’s artwork, we redrew that heart four times and each time someone smoothed it over. Apparently they really are serious about children not being the future.

Tell your kids to keep their art and optimism to themselves.

Riley was crushed about her artwork but Hubs is going to rent a jack hammer, so we’ll get that heart in there one way or another. We’re used to waking up to the sweet dulcet tones of the jack hammer anyway. Now the kids don’t have to miss it.

They finished the strip on our side of the block and WOW was it worth it! I mean the sidewalk used to just look like squares of cement, but now…well now it looks like a pathway to suburban righteousness. I’m sure bird crap will burst into flame before coming to rest upon its pristine surface. You best believe that I’m breaking out my good sweats to walk my daughter to school now.

Check it out! You wish you could walk on this bad boy.

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Spell Check

I smell trouble for this business.

On the upside, they’re making a product that people want. If they were making “Sofas U Loathe” or “Sofas About Which U Feel Ambivalent” they would really be in trouble. But they’re making Sofas U Love. It says so right there on their sign. And who doesn’t want to love their sofa?

Hubs loves our sofa so much that he’s made a butt imprint in his favorite spot. Conor has lovingly smeared it with all kinds of substances to show his devotion. Our sofa is an integral part of our family.

However, the first hint of trouble lies in the fact that they didn’t spell out “you”, opting instead for the alphabet letter with the same sound.  This seems clever until it’s sitting next to the big sign printed with the word “CLEARENCE”. Now they kind of look like ignorant sofa makers. And don’t you want a smart sofa on which to place your fanny while you’re staring blankly at your boob tube?

Now I’m no spelling genius. I’ll admit to relying heavily on Spell Check. But wouldn’t you think that if you were going to the expense of having two giant signs made, you would double-check the spelling? Sure they only missed one word out of five, which is an 80% success rate, if you’re a glass half full person. However, I feel the need to step into my role as Captain Buzz Kill and point out that the word they misspelled is the biggest, most eye-catching word on the sign. Though spelling isn’t a required skill when building a sofa, attention to detail is and they’ve got two giant details hanging from their store which seem to have escaped attention.

Things don’t look good for this business, UNLESS…

…They’re going for the sympathy factor. Sort of a “We’re struggling so hard that we’ve lost the will to spell” slant. Or even: “We need to sell some sofas in order to afford to educate ourselves.” If that’s their angle, I take back everything I’ve said here. They’re marketing GENIUSES! The Grifters of Furniture Design. Bleeding heart liberals like myself will rush to buy up their sofas in the name of giving back to the community, while furnishing our eco-friendly, equality loving homes. Sales will go through the roof. They’ll be able to afford a luxurious second home in a tropical local and fill it with expensive misspelled signs.

Well played, sirs. Well played.

Can’t Keep a Good Bean Down

image via NBCLA. If you need caffeine this badly you shouldn't even dress yourself without heavy assistance.

A little over two weeks ago someone drove through the window of this Starbucks near my son’s preschool. Luckily no one was seriously injured. This is especially good news for me because one of my son’s preschool teachers was inside at the time and if anything happened to her I’d have to cut a beyotch. Don’t mess with my son’s education or his teachers’ caffeine consumption. (They need it to cope when he refuses to clean up, stages an impressive emotional meltdown and then pees on the rug–they love my boy, they do.)

By the time I had heard of the incident and had the wherewithal to snoop investigate, the store was as good as new, which is truly remarkable when you consider how long it takes just to have cable installed. How is this possible, you ask? I’ll tell you.

You see, Starbucks in its dark roasted wisdom, recognizes that caffeine greases the wheels of modern civilization. Without it, production and civility (and essential driving skills) grind to a halt. Starbucks cares too much to let this happen.  Now maybe they pumped a team of experts full of French Roast or maybe they used tweaker fairies–the details are fuzzy, but my point is that they did whatever was needed to patch up this here indoor parking lot in record time, so they could go back to doing what they do best: making the world a better place one Venti beverage at a time.

God bless you, Starbucks. I’ll take my green tea lightly sweetened on the hood of a Toyota Camry.

Porn to Run

I saw it on the internet, which everyone knows is the most reliable source of information (even better than going to a doctor or reading a book.) Evidently the threat of mandatory condom usage is driving the porn industry to abandon California and head to an unprotected state.  Very soon silicone laden hoochies may be donning little Hobo bags filled with crotchless panties and jumping on east-bound trains. This has me worried, as it should worry you (and not just because you are about to read a disturbing amount of porn-related puns.)

Yes I'm once again using my children's toys inappropriately to make a point.

This mass exxxodus is going to have an effect on Southern California’s economy, an economy that is already in need of a fluffer. Porn doesn’t happen in a vacuum. (It happens in a warehouse in Chatsworth, but that’s beside the point.) It is a multi-million dollar industry and it in turn helps support other local industries–tanning booths, Cosmeticians and stores selling super-glossy lip gloss and hair extensions, Estheticians specializing in hair removal and body acne, disreputable plastic surgeons, trashy lingerie shops, drug stores carrying personal hygiene products whose names makes good insults, STD clinics and the makers of batteries, lubricant and costumes that all begin with the word “sexy” to name just a few. This will impact their bottom lines as well. And nobody wants their bottom line impacted. It’s really uncomfortable.

I’m also worried about the social and psychological ramifications of a porn-free California. What will become of our local youths with low self-esteem and no job skills? Hot Topic can’t give all of them jobs. Where are they to look for a legitimate source of income and the validation they didn’t receive from their parents? Are they just supposed to hang out on their friends’ couches and wait for their latest YouTube video to launch them into a short-term pseudo-celebrity status or hope that MTV will make them the next Snooki? Suddenly porn starts to sound more respectable, doesn’t it?  Not to mention, how badly will we, as a state, feel about ourselves when even porn has turned us down? Is there enough cookie dough ice cream in the world to take the sting out of that kind of rejection? I don’t know but I hope Ben and Jerry are ramping up production just in case.

"I'm going to lie in the road until porn comes back or I'm crushed under the wheels of a semi."

But you know the thing that really worries me? The thing that keeps me up at night?

What will become of the city of Chatsworth?

For decades Chatsworth has hung its hat on being the city that produces porn. It put the “strip” in strip mall if you will. Sure that is a somewhat tawdry reputation but cool in its own way–certainly worth a mini-tour from lonely deviants hoping that the girl next to them at Subway Sandwiches would say “I’d like a foot long” with cheesy 70’s funk music playing in the background. What is Chatsworth’s future now that it may be deprived of its skanky reputation? Will we simply call it the town next to the town that had the big earthquake in 1993 where everything burst into flame? Will it become just another semi-respectable Valley community or simply an R rated ghost town?

"Ghost" Town - NARA - 543356

Would you look at that--some poor exotic actress forgot her porn wagon.

These questions haunt me. They persist regardless of how many times I watch Boogie Nights. In my heart of hearts I think the only true way for us to weather this storm is to each do our part. Buy that extra pot of lip gloss. Support your local Hot Topic. Drive through Chatsworth blasting a little 70’s funk and then stop to pee in a cup at the local clinic. Tell the young lady with the slutty outfit and the bad boob job that you think her dad would be proud (if you only knew where he was.) It takes a village, people! A really skanky village. We can get through this.