The Elevator Gives One Final Middle Finger

In it’s day The Elevator was a force to be reckoned with.  Then one fateful day in May The Elevator met a feisty attorney who hadn’t bothered to dye her roots. 

The night before the attorney had a physical altercation with her teenage daughter.  She described, in detail, the conversation that preceded the time she “slapped Hell outta the little bitch” as she tells it.  Well, apparently, the lawyer wasn’t done slapping Hell outta people because she verbally bitch slapped the building manager and threatened a lawsuit. 

Within a week there was a crew out working on The Elevator.  There are three in the building.  I think of them collectively, as One.  The Trinity of Elevators.  Because they are all batshit crazy and they will cut you. 

The crew came and shut each elevator down, one by one.  The building manager hired security guards to monitor the other elevators being used so Crazy Lawyer Lady with Roots wouldn’t sue the britches off ’em. 

They finished the last elevator late last week.  The doors of the elevator were open but the car was nowhere to be seen.  It was a mostly empty shaft, some cables and cobwebs.  A small group gathered, gaping into the emptiness of the elevator shaft, hoping perhaps to catch a glimpse of the Heart of the Beast.  Like mana from the sky, as the Bible puts it, suddenly a handful of metal washers and bolts came crashing down through the shaft, nearly missing the upturned visages of the idiots looking in. They bounced and clanged around, someone exclaimed, “Oh!” One of the washers rolled into the lobby spinning like a coin before finally settling flat.    

One last Fuck You from The Elevator as it died. A middle finger to the masses.  Or maybe it was an “I’ll be back, bitches” because everyone knows an Elevator with a spirit never really dies.


Posted by on October 13, 2012 in Uncategorized


The Elevator is Not For the Weak

The elevator is trying to kill me but wants to fuck with me first.  Like a cat pawing the mouse, batting it around before it finally snatches it betweens it’s teeth and punctures it’s heart.

The other day I got on the elevator to go home.  I am on the eighth floor.  An older gentleman got on at the fifth floor.  We rode the rest of the way down noone else got on.  It was late, around 7pm.  We get to the ground floor and the older gentleman begins to shuffle out – but too far to the right so it made it difficult for me to put my arm out to stop the doors from closing either on him or just behind him.  I tried to move around him to the other side but he was too slow.  Not slow enough to make it out before the elevator doors closed.  With me STILL INSIDE. I almost screamed.  I know it sounds extreme.  I was tired.  Just worked 10 hours, had an hour drive in front of me and I did not want to be in the elevator because some slllloooow old man wouldn’t get out of the freakin’ way.  I know I should be kinder, someday I’ll be old.  Today, I am NOT old, though. I’m not. So, instead of screaming I did the most natural #2 thing.

Top five answers on the board…Survey Says…

I immediately begin madly pushing the ground floor button.  Repeatedly. Because pushing the button once would not properly convey to the Elevator that I wanted to get off NOW.  Pushing the button 80 times in a row tells the Elevator, “If you don’t open those silver pieces of tin doors now, Mister, somebody is gonna get hurt real bad.” 

Ah, but the Elevator had an agenda.  It knew where it was going, what it was doing and what it was doing was NOT letting me out.  It took me straight up to the tenth floor.  Paused long enough at the darkened lobby for me to consider getting out but then quickly snapped it’s doorarms shut and shuttled me to the 7th floor, rinse, repeat at the fifth floor before finally taking me to the ground floor again, where I quickly JUMPED out of the elevator.  It was practically Olympic the way I leapt from my rectangular cabled captor.  We (the Elevator and I) did not pick up any passengers because there were no passengers.  The Elevator was just showing me who my daddy was.  The older gentleman whose fault it was the Elevator got me to begin with was STILL in the lobby talking to the security guard. 

He said, “You got kidnapped!” Call me paranoid after the experience I had but I thought he almost seemed pleased with himself for quipping.  Old fart.

I said, “Yes.  Yes, I did.” Then with absolutely NO humor in my voice, “If the elevator was a person I would kick it in the head.” 

They laughed.  Thought is was sooo funny.  Oh the irony.  I thought of that song, “I started a joke but noone laughed with me…”The security guard and the gentleman were still laughing as I pushed through the glass lobby doors into the dark night. 

Another time when I got on, there was a youngish Asian woman already on. Long black hair hanging in her face, head bent, hands shoved in her cabled gray sweater.  By the fifth floor, we were Four Riders and she suddenly says through the curtain of hair over her face, “Have you ever seen that movie Devil?” and starts snickering to herself.   Creep. 

Elevator Pet Peeves

I hate it when people get on the elevator and go up one floor or down one floor.

This last week it rained really hard and half the people who got on the elevator smelled like wet dogs.  

People get on and don’t know which floor they need, then ask everyone in the elevator, “Which floor is such and such business on?”  Noone ever knows. 


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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Uncategorized



The Elevator’s Got Your Number

I work in an old building. There is a cafe in the basement. So, in the morning when they make breakfast burritos the entire first floor and the cargo elevator smell like chorizo. It’s disgusting. It’s a greasy, spicy smell. I love chorizo but when you are not eating it and it is being massed produced the smell borders on NAPALM.  “I love the smell of Napalm in the morning.” Gah! I exaggerate…the smell won’t kill you, it will sometimes trigger your gag reflex but any given weekday, you’ll live.

On my first day when the office manager was giving me the tour she took me to the bank of elevators in the lobby and said, “If you get stuck in the elevator just use the call button. It happens sometimes.” 

The elevators give you anywhere between a nano and millisecond to get yo ass in the elevator before it takes off from the first floor.  Some floors have more open door time than others.  Seasoned elevator riders will get in and immediately put their arm across the door to prevent it from closing on someone running to catch the car. Nice etiquette since chances are you are going to run into repeat customers on a daily. 

One day, while trying to catch the elevator on the first floor I foolishly stuck my arm between the closing doors.  I got my arm in midway between the elbow and wrist assuming the doors would just pop back open.  THEY DID NOT! They closed on my arm.  I panicked. I had to grab the doors with my free hand and wrench them apart.  In my panicked frenzy, I didn’t care that I almost spilled the contents of my purse all over the lobby.  I broke into a cold sweat.  

Do you remember that part in Hot Tub Time Machine when they are waiting to see how the bellhop is going to lose his arm?  And he gets it stuck in the elevator and they are screaming because they think he’s gonna lose his arm? Then he doesn’t? THAT’S how I felt. Only – not funny! 

A guy was getting in the elevator today on the sixth floor and he stuck his arm in to stop it from closing…I cringed.  When he got in, I told him my near-maim experience and we laughed.  He said, “I do it all the time.”   I said, “Well, good luck brother, I will NEVER do it again.” 

The elevator says who. The elevator says when.

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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


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The Face of Forty


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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Uncategorized


Look Out Weekend, Here I Come

Got away this weekend for a little relaxin’. The room’s patio is perfect. It faces the boardwalk and the Balboa peninsula and the ocean. There is also an amazing jacuzzi tub.
Forty is good because you can afford to stay in rooms like this without sharing with another couple or three o’ yo girls.


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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


My entire existence I thought the words to that song were…

What I sing: “Would I lie to you? Now would I say something that wasn’t true? I’m asking would I lie-ie-ie-ie to you? My friends know what’s in store. I won’t be here anymore. I packed my bags, I leave the store, watch me walkin’ walkin’ out the door door door (background singing: I’m Naked Naked)”

Actual lyrics: I’ll “make it, make it” not I’m Naked Naked. I like my lyrics better. I am not sure someone is leaving the store…that could be wrong.

What I sing: “a Mel-lye-do, and a ladle, a mosquito and The Beatles. Runny nylons Runny nylons Runny nylons”

Actual lyrics: A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido. Our denial, Our denial, Our denial.

I always wondered why he mentioned The Beatles…like, what was the significance of referencing an older band…maybe it was like a druggy hippie dippy reference to their Rebellion and a throwback to the seventies. Now, I see it is strictly about a boner. The Runny Nylons thing I KNEW couldn’t be right. But, I figured it was some weird thing like that douche song.

“Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche in the middle of the night.” Which, interestingly enough turns out to be: Revved up like a deuce…I think they lie. I think they sang douche on purpose for laughs. I mean, why not, right? They were loaded on pot and LSD back then.


Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Uncategorized



For Sale – Memories Not Included

Original Post: August 13, 2011

I blew a tire last night at 1 a.m. at the intersection of Ball Road and Valley View, the intersection nearest the home my grandpa bought in the 50’s when there were mostly cow pastures. I pulled into the gas station on the corner, a blip of memory on my brain about how I used to buy gas for .98 cents a gallon in 1990, back when I was rolling around town in my gold VW.

Once I realized the tire was shot I got back in the car and sat there trying to decide what to do next. I was staring out of the window, hands on the steering wheel, listening to some Katy Perry song about Friday nights, reconstructing the intersection of my youth. That Starbuck’s used to be a DK’s donuts. This ice cream place used to be Foster’s Freeze. That used to be an Albertson’s. There used to be a Warehouse records in the corner. It’s all different, but still the same.
I walked here, I roller-skated there, I played in that park.

I decided to park the car and have AAA come in the morning. Called a friend for a lift and called it a night. While I was waiting for my ride, I suddenly became aware that a singular thought was repeating itself in my brain on a loop, like I had OCD, like my life movie had a glitch.

“I wish my grandparents were home.”

My grandmother, we called her Nana, passed in 2007. My grandfather, we called him Gwan-gwa, has dementia and is in the care of family members. My mom and my Tia Frances sold the house to put the money in a trust account for my grandpa’s care.
The house is there, but my home is gone.

Three generations of my family grew up in that house, ending with my son.
There was a giant maple tree in the front yard and us kids would climb the branches until we were higher than the roof of the house and we would swing down, flip around branches like gymnasts, and jump off. My grandpa finally started cutting branches off the tree when he realized we were climbing on the roof. Eventually, the entire tree came down. My grandpa would spend hours raking leaves on the weekends. He would rake them into giant piles and my cousins and I would run and jump into the middle of them. I remember the smell of dusty maple and crunch of old leaves underfoot like it was yesterday, or at least last week.

I’ve seen old photos of my Mom at 18 washing her own VW in the driveway, other snapshots from the early 60’s where Nana is dressed like a Mexican Doris Day, hair fashioned into a sweet roll bun piled on her head and Grandpa is dressed like a mormon.

“Who says you can’t go home?” Isn’t that the way Jon Bon Jovi sings it? I drove by the house not long after it was sold. It was about 9pm. The lights were out but there was a car in the driveway. I slowed to about 3mph while I passed it wondering if it was a young couple who bought the place and if they would live there for three generations, their kids running out into the yard, while Mom yells, “Don’t slam the door!” or “Close the door!” or “Don’t go too far!” Yelling something after your kids as they run out of the house seems to be something you have to do when you’re a parent. Admonitions to kids as they run from houses always falls on deaf ears, yet generation after generation, we do it.

I’m glad I got to help paint and clean. I’m glad we were all there together to do it. My family, painting, cleaning and readying the house for sale seems to be the only way we could have done it. Together.

So, at the end, when the last piece of furniture was out and the floors had been swept one last time, I locked the door, stood in the driveway and remembered all the good, the trials, the cooking smells, the arguments, the days, months and years that made a lifetime and I said, “Goodbye, Casa de Aguirre, Ruiz, Palacios. ”
A house is just a building with termites and plumbing problems, a home is where your family is, where your heart is. This building, this house was the hub of our family. We could always go home and Nana would feed us, slip us a twenty and give us a nice place to rest for awhile before we moved on to the next thing in our lives.

It’s inevitable though, this stage in life where your parent’s and grandparent’s don’t live at home and your new home becomes the hub for your children and their friends and their children. There’s a new building to house the memories of the new generations, a new building which becomes HOME.

He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge –Proverbs 14:26

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Posted by on August 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


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“It’s a marvelous night for a moondance”

I have such a hard time posting blogs on myspace. I need to activate my javascript.

Javascript Power activate-form of…okay lame. Whatever.

The other day I was listening to Brown Eyed Girl on JackFM. Who doesn’t love that song? Every brown eyed girl thinks the song is her anthem. Blue eyed girls wish they were brown eyed girls for about 3 minutes.
I listen close to the sound of his voice and nod in time to the music…yeah, that gravel in the voice. Right there, right at the base of the throat. He had that gravel and it was raw – raw from too many smokes, too many drinks, too many manys. His current sound is bloated and round.
His younger energy was raw and bad, man. He used to have “it” flowin’ out of his pores. Sweat and spittle and grit on the mike. Now “it” has been replaced. Replaced with rebirth and praise. I can appreciate the man lights up in a new way but his riffs of southern sound juxtaposed with hawaiian ukelele just don’t make it for me.

“Baby please don’t go. Baby please don’t goooohhooooo. Baby please don’t go down to New Orleans you know I love you so baby please don’t go.”

Well, baby. He went. He went into the Lord’s light. And who can blame him?

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Posted by on September 9, 2006 in Uncategorized