Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Let me begin by saying that my time as a DA was probably the most important experiences I have ever had. I was around criminals every single day. Sometimes I would talk to them (and their lawyer, of course). But most of all, I basically got a crash course in behavioral psychology that has been invaluable since I left.

Tonight I was on the train (yes, LA does have a train) headed home after a lovely and fulfilling day of reviewing documents. I'm always aware of my surroundings, but at night, downtown, and on the train are places I'm specifically on my guard. I notice EVERYTHING.

In the six-months-worth of time I have taken the train, I've only noticed maybe two or three people ever that I could tell were looking for some kind of victim - an open purse, someone with headphones playing on a phone they could grab, basically an easy grab-and-go situation. I make sure my body language shows that I'm paying attention and that I'm probably not the person you want to try to mess with. Generally looking someone directly in their eyes is enough to have them change their mind about you. And fear - just like the movies, "they can smell fear." I never look afraid. I look like I know exactly where I'm going, what I'm doing, who's around me etc.

We were about three stops away from the end when the girl sitting next to me got off. Then a guy with wicked BO sat down next to me and I had to hold my breath, but for only one station. Luckily, he got off, but as I turned my head back towards the door and saw a guy come in. He was creepin'. I really don't have a better word for it. Walking kinda slowly, checking everybody out. Then he comes and sits right next to me. There was a completely empty seat in front of me, but he sat next to me.

He also didn't move. He didn't look at me, he didn't shift to get comfortable, he didn't look around. This was fucking suspicious as shit. I made sure that I didn't shirk away next to the window as though I was scared of him so perhaps he'd decide I wasn't the best target. My purse, as usual, was nicely secured on my arm in my lap. The way he was acting, I thought he might try to grab my purse and run out at the next station, but he didn't. Wouldn't have gotten it off my arm anyway.

Train gets to North Hollywood. Everyone exits. Despite having to exit before me since he physically had to for me to get out, he appeared a couple of feet behind me. I was still in a crowd of nearly a hundred people, so I wasn't creeped out yet. I walk faster to get in front of this crazy lady with a dog stroller.  Get on the second escalator. Hmm, still a couple of feet behind me. When we got outside where people are being picked up, I turn and begin walking towards my car - when I saw him in my periphery following me I decided to try something.

I walked over to a bench area where a guy was on his phone, and I stopped to get my keys out. Well whaddaya know, the stalker stopped too. Because there were so many people being picked up right there and my car was one row back, I decided to see if he'd go that far. He kept about 20 feet back, but he followed me the entire time, so I decided to walk in circles. Then I walked back to the station. Dude, I can fucking see you, are you kidding me? He was obviously a very bad criminal. So for a few minutes I walked around the crowded area to see if he'd give up. I thought he had, so I head back out towards my car. Turn around, guess who's there, 20 feet back, coming back to the parking lot.

When I get to my car, I just turned around and watched him. He wasn't stopping so I headed back to the pick up lane. This time he just sort of stood a few feet away from my car and lit a cigarette, thinking I'd come back while he was there (SERIOUSLY HOW STUPID ARE YOU?). I literally stand in a handicapped parking space next to a car with a man and his daughter waiting on someone for two minutes. I watched him. He was just waiting. Finally he seemed to give up and headed back to the station area, since I was too close to people.

After another couple of minutes, I thought he'd completely given up, so I headed back towards my car. I turned back and saw him speeding up behind me, since he'd given himself too much room and I might be able to get in and away before he could reach me. And then the beautiful sight of black and white passed my lane and I just sprinted towards the car, waving at the sheriffs to stop. I told them this guy had been following me for 10 minutes back and forth to my car, and we walk around the corner and there he is, just waiting.

The officers detained him, searched him, and started asking him questions. I stood back and waited, knowing they'd want to talk to me. Eventually one of them came over and asked me what had happened, and I told him the whole thing. They said he had no weapons on him (whew) but had admitted to being arrested before. They sat him down on a curb while they went through all the shit he had in his pockets and got my information.

Since obviously he hadn't yet committed a crime, the sheriff told me they were going to run his record and "hopefully he has a warrant," but also said they'd keep him facing the other way if I wanted to get in my car and go so he didn't see which way I went. He was pretty dim, so the officers weren't too worried about him remembering my car. I thanked them and went on my way.  A+, LASD. There when I needed you.

But I noticed him because I know criminals. Most people don't. He didn't stand out in any way physically or by his clothes, but by his actions. Someone who didn't know what to look for likely would have been followed to their car and robbed. So be careful. Watch people's demeanor, and for the love of god look behind you at night. Walk in circles. Do what you need to do to make yourself know you're safe.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Honest to goodness question: does ANYBODY actually like it when a store employee yells "hello!" or "Hi, how are you?" when you enter a store? Can we just get rid of that whole thing and have salespeople standing around visible in case you actually need to ask for help? PLEASE?

I have worked retail. I know both sides. I was once a person who was told by a manager to "greet everyone as they enter the store" and "make sure everyone knows your name." You know what? NO. Here's how shit works.

When I'd stand near the front of the store and someone would come in, they display certain behaviors. Option A - they look right at me and seem friendly. Option B - they don't look at me but also don't look like they'd eat me if I spoke to them. Option C - they intentionally keep their eyes off me and have a look that tells me they do not wish to be bothered. Option D - they not only don't look at me, but they notice my presence and enter as far away as possible and immediately get lost in the racks.

Despite being a socially anxious misanthrope, I read people very well. I can tell who is friendly and who is not, who is being friendly only because they want something, who is in a bad mood. They don't even have to speak. So when I was a retail employee, if option A or B entered the store, I would nicely tell them hello, and generally they would smile and say hi back. I knew instinctively not to bother C or D. How? Because they are me. That, and my manager would be around so I'd have to speak to them and they'd flat out ignore me, so my point was proven.

There seems to be a new trend of all the employees of a business yelling "HI WELCOME" the instant you walk in, as though they're in a race to see who can say it the fastest. It's bizarre and creepy. I know they were told to do that, but who on earth thought that was a good idea? "Hey, let's get five people to yell at this customer as she enters the store so she's bombarded by humans and also has no idea which one to respond to, if any."

First of all, "welcome" is fucking weird. It isn't a question, so it doesn't really require a response, but it also leaves you vaguely confused if just saying hi back is enough. Also, "welcome" is something you say to someone entering your home, because if they just walked in off the street that might not go over too well. Of course I'm fucking welcome at Subway, your sign says open and I'm about to give you my money. If you're welcoming someone to a place that is not your home, it better be as they go through customs at the airport or have stumbled upon your candy factory accidentally and it's followed by "go ahead and try anything you want."

Second, we both know you don't mean it. Don't look at me and try to convince me for one minute that you took that retail job because you ACTUALLY deeply wanted everyone to feel welcomed into this store that barely pays you enough to get by. I know you don't care how I am, and I'm super fine with that. I didn't care how anybody was when I was in retail, but I knew I had to say it. Unless you're working on commission, you don't even give a flying shit if I'm in the store at all, because you're making money by just standing there.

"Can I help you find anything?" Yeah, I was wondering where your kosher snacks are...? "Ma'am, this is Forever21." WELL THEN WHY DID YOU ASK??? Do people really come in and ask "I just want to know where the solid blue crop tops are, I'm in a hurry"? The most ironic part is that I hear this the most in small stores, yet where you would NEED to ask something like that would be in a large department store - "Can I help you find anything?" "MOTHER OF GOD I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR THE RESTROOM FOR TEN MINUTES AND AM ABOUT TO PISS IN A LOUBOUTIN, WHERE THE HELL IS IT??"

"Are you looking for a specific size?"

"Shopping for Christmas gifts today?"
No, I'm bored out of my fucking mind and have nowhere to go in the day but the goddamned mall. Also are people like me really buying $400 purses for OTHER PEOPLE? Do I look famous?

"What can I help you with today?"

*at the register* "Did you find everything okay today?"

And I'll finish with an actual exchange I had a few years back in a clothing store:
"Are you shopping for Valentine's Day?"
"Do you sell boyfriends?"

Friday, December 2, 2016


Sup. I'm old. I mean, I can't really deny it anymore. Even though I feel like I did when I was just a wee law student, I am three months away from being old enough to run for president. Yeah.

I've come to that point in my life where I get huffy if someone doesn't card me for booze. I have repeatedly responded to an underestimation of my age in the 20s with "Well aren't YOU just the nicest person I've met today," thereby making them think I'm actually OLDER than I am.

Consistently I would say that people average my age between 5-7 years younger than I really am, which is pretty good if you ask me. So as the resident "looks younger than her age" person, I am going to share my tips on *not* aging.

1. Sleep a LOT. Like live in your bed. Being unemployed and/or chronically depressed can really help your skin.

2. Don't have kids. Just like all presidents seem to age 20 years in their one or two terms, you bump up your age each time you deal with a newborn...going back to my sleep thing - never again can you sleep 10 hours just because you have a bed. And then pretty much every day is stressful for the rest of your life so the youth melts out of you and into your large glass of wine.

3. Have very blond hair. I am getting a shitton of greys right about now and noooobody can tell! Boom.

4. Don't drink a ton. I'm not entirely sure why my 20s didn't catch up with me in that department, because I definitely had my share, but my body now tells me to simmer down in the middle of my first glass of beer. I get hungover while I'm still drunk. Suffice it to say, I don't really care for drinking much anymore, and pretty much keep it to when someone actually invites me out to a bar (I have no life, you guys). I understand drowning one's sorrows, but I generally just go get better meds. Wine probably would be cheaper, but alcohol wears off and meds are forever! *creepy smile*

5. Don't tan on your face. I completely understand wanting to be tan, as I am Princess Snowflake and can't get enough self tanner, but for the love of god, don't go into a tanning bed. I've done it exactly three times - each time I was laying there contemplating which organs I was frying from the inside out and how many years I just lost off my life, but when I was done and looked in the mirror, I saw DAMN, I look a LOT better tan. Now I just use lotions or airbrush if I'm feeling fancy.

But for reals though, slather that 50 on your face and wear a hat, get a real tan on the rest of you and make up for it with self tanner and bronzer.

6. Become obsessed with all things Korean and start doing the 435 step Korean Beauty Routine: How to Look Like a Preteen at Age 50:

  • oil cleanser - When I first heard of this, I was like aw HELL naw, my face is oily as shit, I'm not putting more oil on it! But after I read some shit on it, I took a trial run. It feels so, so wrong, but then you immediately get to wash it off and that feels so rewarding.
  • normal cleanser - This is just your average foaming cleanser, but they have formulas to do different things - like charcoal for zits (wtf?), or collegen for wrinkles, or "brightening" which is the secret term for "whitening" and is very much an Asian thing I learned in Hong Kong...
  • sheet mask - These are the awesome things that look like the shroud of Turin with holes for your eyes and mouth and they're all gooey and gross and stick to your face. You leave it on for 10-15 minutes, which is kinda relaxing, while texting ugly pics to your friends of your weird mummy ghost face, or cool tiger face if you happen to buy one that's got an animal design on it. Then you take it off and rub the leftover goop into your face. It feels cold and nice, and they usually smell good.
  • toner/essence - I honestly have no idea what these things are, I just get free samples that tell me to put it on before my regular moisturizer. So I do.
  • night cream - I have two - one is literally made from snail mucus and the other is to fix spots. Yes, some days I rub snail mucus on my face, and yes, I like it. Then I feel weird about liking it and try to think of something else. My other night cream is "brightening" - but it's to fix these stupid dark spots I get from birth control. Apparently you also get it when you're pregnant, but it goes away when you're done. Since I plan on staying on birth control until my uterus falls out, I will have to deal with my stupid dark spots with my Korean whitening cream.
Then of course I follow that up by using Korean foundation so my skin looks like that of a small baby or someone who airbrushed their photo a little too much. 

But yeah, if you want to look hot, do all those things. And make sure they were made in Korea, or Japan. It's becoming "trendy" but don't fall for it, Americans haven't perfected the art of the overly intense beauty routine (I mean, we did produce Tan Mom). There are Nature Republic and The Face Shops in NY and LA, and then the rest I get on Amazon or pick up a ton when I go to Asia and make my friends (ahem Amanda) bring refills when they come back to visit.

Good luck.
- Almost 35 With No Wrinkles, Bitch