Thursday, August 30, 2012
I absolutely adore my family and while I was home in Maine last week we all went to Monkey C Monkey Do in Wiscasset to explore our adventurous side. The outdoor tree house like obstacle course offered various levels of difficulty, zip lines, a bungee jump-esque swing in the middle of the course and hours of fun for my family. Since I was in town from Los Angeles and didn't pack my sneakers in my carry-on luggage (all I usually do at home is eat, sleep and relax therefore working out is not on my vacation agenda), I had to borrow my brother-in-law's shoes so I could play on the course. Although it was generous of him to offer up his old pair for me to borrow, they were reminiscent of clown shoes on my feet, making the tightrope a bit awkward for me to walk on and funny to the crowd below (I must have looked like an act at the circus). Big feet aside, I watched as my 8 year old niece bravely took on the bungee jump swing as she plummeted 50 feet down, not even making a peep. I thought, if she can do it then it must not be that scary, right? Hell freaking no! I tried to remain calm walking up on that high wooden platform into the loving harness of Bill the manager of the course but I immediately started to shake. I find that as I get older, roller coasters, water parks and heights are a lot harder for me to take than when I was a kid. I now applaud my parents for toting us around when we were younger to various amusements parks all over the east coast keeping their composure while we enjoyed ourselves, probably terrified inside. But I couldn't back down now, that's just not my style- and my niece jumped with such ease! As my entire family looked on, I sat down on the platform, nervously waiting as Bill harnessed me in securely and lost about fifteen shades of tan (you see what I did there?) in my face. As my breathing increased and I began having heart palpitations, I kept repeating the phrase "Keep Calm and Carry On" over and over again in my head. Bill moved his arm over to the side of the platform and told me to lean into it to begin my jump. I looked at him like he was crazy, "but there's nothing below your arm and I know you won't be catching me, I'm just going to fall!" He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Well, yeah- you wanted to do the bungee jump swing, right?" I know, I know but I didn't realize who scary it was! How the hell did my niece do it without screaming? How the hell did all the kids before her do it without screaming? Why am I the oldest one to attempt to conquer this thing today? So many questions, so little time! I looked Bill dead in the eyes and asked him if anyone had ever peed their pants while jumping. He told me no, or at least no one had admitted it. I told him a may the the first and that if I did happen to pee a little, I would like a dry pair of pants and a new harness. He laughed and told me to lean into his hand again and fall. I felt like I was going to die and as my family cheered me on, I thought, screw it! I made it all the way up to this small wooden platform and there's only one way dooooooownnnnnn! As I leaned into Bill's arm, my entire stomach came up into my throat and I began to scream. And I didn't stop screaming until I was on the ladder in the safe zone, getting my harness removed. Once I was safely on the ground, Bill yelled down to me, "Are you dry?" I checked my pants to feel for some wetness and surprisingly I was in the clear. Proudly, I responded "I didn't pee, Bill!" Lesson for the day? This Monkey Saw and this Monkey will never Do again.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
As I looked into the eyes of the helpless little skunk, my heart sank. His arm was tangled so bad in the net that unless we had a tranquilizer gun (trust me, I asked my nephew if he did, to which I just got a snicker) I would have to hold down the stinky, rabid skunk. What was I getting myself into? At this point, my pride was the only thing keeping me going. So, I thought I would try to talk to the skunk, human to animal, eye to eye, person trying to save a life to animal that will die. I adjusted my tone a bit, as if I was talking to a baby and started my pep talk. "Hi little guy, it's okay, I'm on your side. I'm not going to hurt you, I'm your friend! Don't spray me buddy, I'm good!" Wishing that he would just give me a thumbs up and sit like a good pet, he made eye contact and did the exact opposite. He turned around and proudly lifted his tail in my direction, aimed and ready to fire. I ran as fast as I could behind the closest tree to dodge the bullet. Now I was trapped. I tried to reason with him again and even warned him that if he didn't listen to me, he was going to have to face my nephew and/or dad but he kept that tail straight up, aimed at me. Frustrated and feeling betrayed, I made my way through the woods, around the batting cage, back into my sister's house. Now I was angry, screaming back at the skunk, "I tried to help you, skunk! I tried but you wouldn't listen!"
I won't tell you what happened next because I didn't even want to know, but I will say that I resented this little guy for not trusting me- Erin Demchak! I wouldn't hurt a fly! But I also wouldn't risk getting sprayed by a skunk, so maybe I should take the blame. I'll never look at Pepe Le Pew the same again.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
I have seen my share of crazy things in Los Angeles, like ‘Charlie Chaplin’ waiting for the city bus, a woman hiking in a bikini and a guy carrying a tiny Yorkie in a Baby Bjorn, but there were a few things that I experienced this weekend that were not only crazy but a few firsts for me. Now, this may sound crazy, but I have never been to Costco. Never. Not in Maine and not in Los Angeles. My boyfriend took me this weekend and I couldn’t help but laugh as I felt like Mario from Super Mario Brothers in ‘Giant World’ stumbling through this mad house of giant pancake mix, brand name jeans, mattresses, huge boxes of Splenda, rugs and the biggest shampoo bottles I have ever seen. I was blown away by the store and by the restaurant directly outside the entrance that was perhaps busier than the store itself. And I am not going to lie but the pizza looked amazing! Why didn’t they have this when I was a kid? I would’ve loved to take a little trip with my parents to Costco to get diapers for life and a large pizza pie…what a great idea!
Then we went to have some breakfast at Los Feliz Café where a pack of decked out, hardcore, cyclists sat next to us outside. But they weren’t just any cyclists- they were all Mexicans. It isn’t every day that you see cyclists who are Mexicans- and not Harley Davidson cyclists, mountain bike cyclists. We both thought that was a tad odd. As we headed back downtown, I was full from my omelet and ready to crash on the couch and watch some Olympics. But as we turned the corner onto 7th Street, I couldn’t help but notice a tiny, old, dirty homeless woman screaming at the top of her lungs at everyone else on the street around her. And then it happened. She took that dingy white t-shirt that was hanging on her small frame and lifted it up over her head. What was she wearing underneath, you ask? Absolutely nothing! Of course, Anthony missed it- thank goodness for him! But for me, that image is branded in my brain unfortunately. As much as I love L.A., I can’t wait to get home to Maine next week!
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
It’s tough in L.A. when you are one of the only chicks who doesn’t drive a Lexus, or a Range Rover, or a BMW, or anything bright, shiny and expensive for that matter. But I was perfectly happy with my little white Jetta named Jorja (after Bret Micheal’s daughter….yes, I know, I know) until she started acting up on me a few months ago. The flat tires weren’t her fault and I never blamed her, those were caused by the bumpy L.A. streets and the pot holes that litter the roads. But anything that goes wrong inside the car, I blame Jorja. Obviously. So when my blinker just started blinked like it was going out of style, I was a little confused and a lot annoyed. You know that sound that you hear when you turn on your blinker? Yup, that’s the sound I hear randomly whenever Jorja wants me to. It comes out of the center console of the car and rocks out to its own beat. I have tried punching it, turning up my radio (thanks, Pop for that tip) and even avoiding using my blinker altogether. Nothing stopped it. It’s like I had that little frog from the Looney Tunes who sang “Hello my lady, hello my darling…..” living in my dashboard and he only came out in his little tap shoes to dance when he didn’t think I was looking. He will definitely hide when I take Jorja into the body shop and try to explain this elusive blinker sound coming from the center console of my car to the mechanic. I can hear him now, “Are you crazy Mama-cita?” So what’s the use? I will just turn up the radio and ignore that I have a constant blinker sound coming out of the dash…or just stop making turns altogether. I wonder how far that would get me? Thanks Jorja!
Friday, August 3, 2012
Today, I thought I would write about a past experience I had last summer, which was one of the most embarrassing/hilarious moments of my life. After getting three flat tires in a span of five months, I thought I was out of the clear until I was at least forty years old or so- I mean who really gets that many flats? (Answer- Who Else But Erin?)
So, I was driving home from work last summer, I think it was a Friday, so I was in a good mood- ready for the weekend to start! When I rolled onto Hayworth Ave, I decided to park in front of my building instead of in the parking garage, because as my roommate Mary knows, it was like Austin Powers trying to get in and out of our spots in that damn garage.
When I parked my car, I heard an unmistakably horrific sound- the air shooting out of my tire at record speed- just gushing out. I didn’t know what to do because there was no way I could stop it, it was happening so fast! I thought about stuffing my bubble gum in the whole but then realized that I wasn’t a cartoon- so I called my dad. When in doubt, call Pop- it’s a great motto. As I suspected he couldn’t help me because in his words, “Erin, what would you like me to do? I am in Maine and you are in California!” Hmmm, I knew that obviously but there is just something comforting about your father’s voice in situations like that. I may be a girly girl, but that doesn’t mean this chick doesn’t know how to change a flat- the only problem was the spare in my trunk was already flat due to my previous incidents. And of course I didn’t have AAA (I believe I signed up that night). So I got on the phone and called Anthony, Mary and Beth…the body shop down the street closed in an hour and Beth lived the closest to me and was off work, so she was the one who came to my rescue to repair my spare tire. When she got there, I was on the side of the road, my work clothes covered in black smudges, and looking a bit frazzled.
I told her that I just needed her to literally drive me around the corner and then I could take it from there. My plan was for her to drop me and my spare off at the body shop and by the time they repaired it, Mary would be home and could pick me up and I could change the tire- it sounded like a great plan! Except once Beth dropped me off and I handed over the tire to the guys, they patched it so quick, I could still see Beth’s car driving away. I didn’t want to call her back because I hated to be a nuisance and Mary still wouldn’t be home for another hour- I didn’t think it would take that quick to fix a tire at a busy body shop! So, it only seemed logical (since I lived around the corner) to roll the tire (like the kids in the old movies did down the tire tracks with the sticks) back to my car. So, that is exactly what I did- in my work clothes, down Fairfax Ave, in broad daylight. No shame here! Thanks Pop for teaching me how to change a flat tire and thanks mom for telling me there was nothing I couldn’t do. Except I am sure there were things she never thought I actually would…