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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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The stultifying minutiae

I got up at the crack of dawn to go see the researcher at my allergistís office. I had to do those weird breathing exercises again (where your breath draws its own graph, etch-a-sketch style, on a monitor) and suffer through more chiding, but overall, it was an ok experience. The best part was receiving a check for $130 for the ďworkĒ Iíve completed thus far. I put work in quotes because hereís what the ďworkĒ entails:

- logging the fact that I did or did not take 4 puffs of study medicine between 8 and 9 in the morning for two weeks

- measuring my peak flow twice a day, and writing down the best result of three attempts. I have to do this in the morning and before I go to bed and for the record, I vacillate between 250 and 290.

- noting whether or not Iíve had any ailment/pain/injury and whether or not the ailment/pain/injury has sent me to the medicine cabinet. I have to indicate when the pain started, when it ended, etc.

Pretty boring stuff. And not really work.

I was at the yoga studio today, answering phones etc, and I managed to pick up a couple more shifts. I guess with the holiday, people are out of town, and they need bodies to fill the holes in the schedule. I checked the binder to see how many hours Iíve worked and it looks like Iíve qualified for 4.75 classes! Woohoo! I havenít paid for a class in almost three weeks, and that means Iíve saved anywhere from 110 to 147 dollars. And the cool part is that working at the yoga studio has not really cramped my class-taking ass; sure, Iíve missed a few classes taught by my favorite teacher, but itís not like my muscles have atrophied. The other bonus is that Iím meeting a lot of new people, and while theyíre not my friends, it makes me feel less isolated and a little more social.

But my god, people spend so much money on stupid crap! There are some basic rings in the retail section that are your average, stinky hippy store kinds of silver bands with semi-precious stones on them, and Iíve sold so many, I canít believe it! Then there are the t-shirts with the name of the school on them; one woman today insisted on getting three! I canít imagine going to Joe Blowís Yoga Studio and buying three Joe Blow Yoga Studio t-shirts... to wear while youíre taking class at Joe Blowís! People just have some kind of need to feel like they belong, that theyíre part of something, and they need to advertise their allegiance with a t-shirt. I mean, I bought a 64 t-shirt when I was in Biarritz, but I didnít wear it while IN Biarritz! Thatís Ricky Retardo!

When I was a kid, I would save up my money to go to the ballet, and I would purposely wear my hair down. I never, EVER put it in a bun just to go see a performance. But there were tons and tons of young dancers in the audience at the opera house who did, all doing their little duck walk with perfect posture and dumb buns on their heads. Duh! Everyone knows you take ballet lessons, youíre standing nonchalantly in fourth position! At the ballet, no less!

I want to say that itís typically Los Angeles, that need to blend seamlessly into the population, to fit in so absolutely. A friend of a friend of mine refers to LA as the ďMaximum Insecurity PrisonĒ because people strive so hard to resemble everyone else. The pressure to wear the right jeans, drive the right car, carry the right handbag, have the chic-est highlights is palpable--but Iím having trouble identifying why it feels different to me than, say, Paris or San Francisco. People in France all adopt the same fashion, and strive to keep up with the latest styles, but for some reason, it doesnít seem like itís motivated by the same urges as in LA. I want to say that itís a kind of desperation in LA, where in France, itís just part of the general culture. Terence believes that the difference also has to do with the fact that here in Los Angeles, there is a premium placed on youth, and that folks feel tremendous pressure to appear youthful, whereas in France, youth does not play as big a role in determining how you appear.

And hereís why Iím a martian in Los Angeles: today I am wearing glasses that make me look like the Hamburgler, a blue t-shirt that says ďTricatŤle moi!Ē, cropped + faded 501s, and tennis shoes. My hair is in a ponytail but super frizzy so I have a little halo around my head, and I have no tattoos showing. As a matter of fact, I donít have a single tattoo on my person, and that pretty much qualifies me for weirdo status in LA.

Ok, time for another coffee.

2:53 p.m. - 2002-07-05

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