1. 8 out of every 9 people you know are either aspiring to be, or already are, a) screenwriters b) directors c) actors d) working with/for/under a, b or c, or e) somehow famous enough so that the first page of Google for their name is splattered with half-naked pictures of them. Or they’re despairing that this isn’t the case, and planning to go Kurt Cobain on the world if they don’t have a million Twitter followers by the time they’re 27.
2. You plan your days around traffic (ABSOLUTELY no freeway driving between 7 and 10 am or 4 and 7 pm), but if you DO find yourself driving on the 405 during rush hour alone, that’s when the voices start misbehaving – for example, somebody screams, “SHUT UP ALFRED, Mama said stop whining. We’re going to get home eventually, but your incessant crying is NOT HELPING!! Don’t make me stop this car and start running down the freeway naked again,” to which somebody else responds, “What the fuck, yo, just chill the fuck out.”
3. You negotiate business rates for work that requires travel based upon how far you have to drive, but primarily during what torturous hours of rush hour. This is a completely acceptable and common form of negotiation. And when you say, “Well, we set up an appointment for 5:30 pm, but if I’m driving back at 6:30 on the 605, I’m going to need a little more incentive…” you simply hear them nod over the phone and go, “Ah yeah, the 605 at 6:05, I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. Okay, we’ll see what we can do.”
4. You get a knock on the door from some guy at Fox who wants to film a scene from the new Kiefer Sutherland movie (or TV show or something) in your house. You act nonchalant. Even though, hasn’t it already been 24 fucking hours?
5. You have a parking pass for a lot near your work but goddamit they’re filming Dexter there – AGAIN! It makes you want to KILL something!
6. In the summertime, your brain overheats at 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, so you can’t think about anything except stripping down to the least amount of clothing you own, which is usually a bikini, at most. It’s not always vanity, people. It’s science.
7. You’re at the beach where the sand is practically exploding with overheated, beautiful naked people whose brains are mushy from smog, movies and sun stroke. These people labor all year long to sculpt their bodies into marvelous pieces of sex, while overhead flies a plane dragging along an advertisement for a huge, beefy cheeseburger accompanied by fries glistening with grease, which reads, “Upgrade to Jumbo size for only $.99.” And then it makes sense why you hate yourself.
8. During the winter, you… wait a minute, yeah. There’s not really one of those.
9. You meet young professionals from New York who are like, “man, California moves so much more slowly. How do people get anything done here?” as you’re both reclining on an outdoor patio, enjoying a refreshing mint julip over lunch. That has lasted an hour and a half already.
10. All the girls smell nice. But probably have 4 out of 5 of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. And will whore around for dinners and/or spots in upcoming films. There are some wily-ass bitches in L.A. These are not the girls who give strong, smart, independent women a good name – but don’t look at me like I said it! Everyone knows.
11. At a swanky rooftop Hollywood party, it’s not uncommon to overhear fresh-looking, pressed young gentlemen in suits gushing to some blonde babydoll about how he just needs to get her in this commercial, then in a B-list movie, then work her way up the ladder. “You’re going to be famous, baby!” And also, bend over.
12. You’ve shaken hands with at least two famous directors, been to a few movie premieres, spotted Harrison Ford at dinner with that tiny little wife of his, and hung out with some high-level hotshots. But you know, they’re all just people. And you all go home to sleep at night. Except your dreams are about baby clowns, and theirs are about what to get Brad Pitt for his birthday.
13. You laugh when you see a bus full of ogling tourists bump’n around in one of those “Star Tours” vans with camera arms outstretched. You know personally where Michael Jackson used to live, and don’t really care. Plus, if you wanted to pay $500 to sit in a crowded bus on a hot day with smelly, overweight geriatrics, you could just ride public transit in circles nonstop for a year.
14. The majority of people you know from college who moved to L.A. to “make it big” somehow just became assholes. Giant, prickly pink assholes who stink up the air around them with their premature egos paired with an obvious lack of genius.
15. You can never find a parking spot. AND THIS IS THE WORST THING EVERRRR
16. Wait a minute, no. Getting a parking and/or traffic ticket nearly every other fucking month is the worst thing ever. Fact: street sweeping was invented by Satan himself. And remember that point about driving all the time? Yeah, you’re pretty sure there’s a warrant out for your arrest. Fuck it.
16. You’re sick right now and bored and tired, so you decide to blog about stupid things that happen in L.A. And because your brain feels like a lumpy sack of gel cups that used to be Sharon Osbourne’s breasts, this is the end of the list and who knows if there will be more later. Oh, wait a minute. That’s not how you know you’re living in L.A. when…., that’s just me. Right now. And yes, I technically live in Long Beach. But even though haughty Bel Air-ians refuse to recognize the lovely LBC as part of their sovereign nation, it’s still fucking part of L.A. Thanks. K bye.
17. The city of Angels brings out the snarky, aggressive edge in… some people. So what? I like it, and I’m going to go bathe now.