Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Apartment Hunting

It was a nice first night in LA at Carly's.

First morning, I had to start strategising, I told her what my plans were, that I was going to re-register with the casting networks/agencies I was with before moving to Vegas and tell everybody I'm back, book me! Which I did. And the did! I spend the first day back online in my car by some free parking lot in Hollywood. I had a few things I needed to take care of in Hollywood, so I decided to stick around. 

That night, I paid for overnight parking again, Carly didn't have a car, so she didn't quite know what the deal was with parking. I wasn't crazy about paying $15 for parking daily. Too much! But then, I didn't plan on sticking around that long for me to pay for the entire month. 

Carly had a roommate, she was sleeping in the living room but her part was partitioned out with those Chinese room divider thingies. She was also never home, she went to school and worked nights and was in a brand new relationship, so she was always out. Which worked best, otherwise, there would've been too many people in a one bedroom apartment. I did get to meet the roommate on my second day there or so. Nice girl, she and Carly were born two days apart, same year and everything! #twinning!

Carly had had a roommate before, a Korean girl who was here for a month or so, they got along fine,l according to Carly, she told me she still misses her. She wished she were still rooming with her and not the current roommate. Not that there was anything wrong with current roommate, it's just that, Carly didn't think she and the current roommate had anything in common, she was hoping for someone she could hang out with and have laughs like we used to in Hollywood or go out like with the Korean girl. She told me that the current roommate keeps to herself when she was around. 

When the girl and I met, we got along like a house on fire. She literally told me her entire life story that very day. She seemed like a nice young girl who had been seen it all. She has a big heart, supporting her family at her age of 21. 

I remember after meeting her, she and I continued to chat and Carly went to work. When Carly came home, she and I were hanging out. I would mention something about Bee, the roommate, and Carly wouldn't know that about Bee. I  noticed that they didn't know anything about each other. Which was very interesting and totally none of my business. I think that made Carly feel weird because she thought that Bee was one way and I saw a different side to Bee. That made her wonder if Bee just didn't like her (Carly's) company. That's the thing with having more than one other person in the house. Two will get along and one will feel weird. Good thing I wasn't there temporarily. Also as a side note, I always bring out the side to people, people who have always known them have never seen. I guess that's my specialty. 

Within 24 hours of my arrival, Carly had signed up with casting agencies, she was getting booked on shows on days she had school and work, I was just like, wtf? She would get booked on shows I had applied to and didn't get booked and walk out like, hey, gurl, heeeeyyy! I'm on my way to Hollywood, I got booked on this show by so and so. I'm thinking to myself, uhm, I thought you were not doing any acting work, what happened? But I had to save my energy, first because I didn't want to create tension in someone's home, secondly, because I needed my energy for house hunting. I had to focus, she was being herself again, copying everything  I did. So early! 

She would book herself for something and have to leave early because she had to get to work, she would then have to forfeit her pay because she didn't stay until the end. Where's the logic? If you hadn't gotten greedy and tried to steal my only bread and butter, I maybe would've been booked for the spot you took and gotten paid but you had to be a bitch! Like who works for no pay? 

I got some jobs too, I was working, fortunately, we never got booked in the same show ever! That would've been really awkward cos btch, I ain't tryna give you a ride! I know I stay in your house for free but you don't have to be an asshole about it! 

I was busy every morning and night, looking for accommodation. I would have appointment and stuff, I was already getting fed up of being around Carly, I was considering settling and just moving to Hollywood. I will see Beverly hills later, I gotta get the fck outta here! On our days off, we would go for a walk downtown. I saw a different side to downtown LA. When I lived there before with Daddy, I was locked up in that hellhole, I never really got to explore Downtown. One day, I went to the 99 cents store, OMG! That was the 99 cents store up the road from Daddy's. Fck me! That brought back all the memories! I never thought I'd see myself back there. I was caught off guard. Imagine if I bumped into him? I wonder if he would recognise me? Wow! 

I decided to drive down the street towards his house. I remembered the route because we went there all the time and he once let me drive there and back, which was nice of him. I parked in front of his place and just thought about living there. Where I was in my head when I did. It was quite something being there again, I tell ya! One day, I took Carly there because that was the only 99 cents store with parking in the neighborhood, not that close to her house, maybe 10 minutes drive, but it was close. I think she was zoned out when I told her that's where daddy used to take me, I didn't even bother showing her where I used to live with him. Why bother, if she doesn't give a sht?

There's a market, diagonally across the street from Carly's. OMG! She took me to this taco place, Christ! Best tacos ever!  So cheap, too. $3 each and they put so much meat on it, nomness! My favorite is Pork, of course! Sometimes, I would have half Beef and half pork or half chicken and pork. They're all good. Carly's favorite is pig snout. Meaning, as you may have guessed, the nose of a pig, gurl, I can't! I just thing about all the snort!

One of the weekends, we went to Little Tokyo. Carly's place is down the street from Chinatown, Little Tokyo is also close by. Walking distance. We had a nice time there, taking pictures. I have been looking for those pictures the past two days, otherwise I was almost done with the blog already. I tried sorting my picture folder out but it was too much of a mission, I decided, I will do a picture blog when  I am done sorting them all out. So far, I did about two hours of sorting and stopped. So please bear with a sista.

Carly took me to a Japanese supermarket in Little Tokyo where she usually gets some of her groceries. It's a pretty neat spot, affordable too. We walked home. I tried to boycott but she was like, let's walk a bit, you'll see, it's close. I'm not a big walker, big, yes, walker, not so much. But  I did it. It took us less than twenty minutes to get back to the apartment.

Not too long since I moved in with Carly, it was her friend's birthday, she asked me to tag along as she went to shop for a gift. She bought her friend a Victoria's Secret perfume. She bought herself one as well. That's the Carly  I know. She always gets herself something when she buys gifts for her friends. I ain't mad at that! We were there forever, while she was not able to make up her mind. She can never make up her mind, even though she knows exactly what she wants. When you get to the store, she confuses her self and then spends hours trying to decide between what she wants and what she doesn't. I was like, listen, you're paying for parking if we're gonna be here any longer. I can't do this anymore. Let's go!

Eventually we left. After she got what she originally went there for. Then we went to the 99 cents store to buy wrapping paper. We spent forever there while she couldn't decide what color wrapping paper she should get. She was confused between her friend's favorite color and hers. I was like, this is a no brainer, get your friend's favorite color, this is not your gift! She was like, but I really, really, really love this color!Christ! Eventually she bought yellow, her friend's favorite color. From then on, everything she bought herself was yellow. I was like, are you still shopping for your friend? Why's everything yellow around here? She told me that yellow has always been her favorite color, hadn't I noticed. I brought up the friend's birthday, that I was there when she told me yellow was her friend't favorite color, she denied the whole thing and tried to pretend like I was the delusional one. I just agreed with her, she needed that more than me.

My first day there, I did some cleaning, the dishes were piling in the kitchen sink, the floor looked like it had never been vacuumed since she moved ink and there was something rotting in the trash can. I had to clean because I was sleeping closer to the kitchen and the smell was killing me. Carly came home that night and gave me a hug, she told me that those are the things she misses about me. How I always keep a clean house. Her roommate wasn't that way, she never helps her out. I just said, you're welcome. I didn't want to get into it because clearly the roommate was never there and all the sht that was all over the place was Carly's. I don't know why the poor girl would have to 'help her out' with all that when it's her house and the girl was paying rent.

Carly may have taken me out to dinner that night as a thank you. She is generous when it comes to things like that, I'll give her that. She is not the worst person in the world, obviously! Who is?

I had been seriously looking for a place, calling, emailing and all that. A lot of places require application fee, somewhere between $30 and $50. How many of those can one folk out while looking for a place? It's non-refundable, mind you? Some of them want you to bring your own credit record, that you have to pay for too sometimes, or always? I don't know. It wasn't such a fun experience looking for a place this time around. It took way longer than it usually does. Normally within a week of looking, I find a place. Usually, the first place I view, I like and I take. This time, things were different. Carly was very good, she told me not to settle. She would always encourage me when I'm just like fck it, I'll just move to Hollywood. She would tell me that's not my plan, I need to stick to my plan. I can't thank her enough for all those words of encouragement.

I did go to view some places in Hollywood, some places in Beverly Hills, like two servants quarters, I was interested in, the guys wanted to see pictures of me. I wasn't ok with that. One of them seemed really real. We emailed back and forth, he answered all my questions until we got to the point of me going to see the place. He asked to see a picture because there are lots of scammers out there. I don't know how a picture was going to prove I wasn't one. I reluctantly gave in and sent one. Never heard from him again. Oh well!

I bet you that guy is still advertising his space. I used to see it religiously every week I checked the classifieds.

I viewed another servants quarters 'Beverly Hills Adjacent'. It was going for $1200 all inclusive. Unfurnished. Decent price, I just didn't know how adjacent we were talking, so I went to see it for myself. It was in a nice neighborhood, close to a very dodgy neighborhood, so that was a no no for me plus it looked more like a jail cell than a $1200 space. I would've had my own entrance, which would have been a plus, I didn't have to bump into anyone. They had kids and everything. I don't know how all that would have panned out at the end of the day. I am not big on overcrowdedness, especially for that much money.

I told them I would get back to them, they were so nice, I couldn't get myself to call back and say, meh, nah thanks!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Catch That Shade!

After driving around West Hollywood, I spotted a Walgreens Pharmacy. I turned around and went there, hoping they would have free parking. Just as I approached parking, I saw a thing stating that one needs Walgreens verifies otherwise you have to pay for parking. I drove in, I was already right there, I had to, it's off a busy street; Sunset Blvd, I think. I asked the guy at the gate how much parking is per hour, he told me it's free, to disregard the thing at the gate. Hallelujah! Thank you stars. I went inside to use the restroom and maybe buy something to drink. all my Water in the car was lukewarm.

That's the prettiest Walgreens I've been to! It's new and big and the AC was on blast! It was just what I needed. And, guess what? They were having a reopening thing going on, a lady came and asked me if I wanted someone to do my makeup for free. I am never that girl for free make up. but I needed the breather so I said yes, plus she did tell me that I was going to get a bag full of goodies. They only did my eyes and put gloss on my lips, nothing major. Then I got a tote full of stuff, two mascaras, nail polish, top coat, deodorant and other stuff. It was so nice to get all that stuff when I was having such a crazy day. I owe them! 

I bought something to drink and went to the car to make some phone calls. I called Carly, remember her? My old roommate from Hollywood? She picked up, she was like, 'Hey, gurl heeeeeyyyyy!' I asked what she was up to. She told me she was in West Hollywood, she had just got out of an interview. She's always looking for a better job. I was like, omg, let's do lunch! She asked where I was. I told her I had just arrived from Vegas. She seemed so excited to hear that. It was her day off, so she had nothing but time. She was about to take the bus home, so she told me she could take it to where I was. I told her I could just pick her up somewhere. I picked her up from campus. I drove in, turns out, she was outside by some bus stop. One of my pet peeves, someone who sucks at giving directions, like where do you want me to go? Where exactly? Grrrr! Calm down, Brook! 

I told her to come inside and meet me in campus, she did. We then looked all over for the parking ticket,for the life of me, I couldn't find that thing anywhere. My car was full of sht, so it was very interesting to say the least. I didn't even need to be there to begin with, so it was a real challenge to not be pissed at the whole situation. Eventually, I pushed the help button, the guy told me to pay minimum of $12. Really? So much money? Welcome to LA, Brook. If someone had told me they were at the bus stop outside campus instead of telling me to pick them up from the college, I wouldn't be paying random $12. Anyway, We talked and laughed, she was like, OMG, Brooooookkk! Why did you buy such a big car? BECAUSE I'M A BIG GIRL! haha

Carly asked me what my plans for the rest of the day were. I told her that I was looking at air bnb-ing a room for the week or so until  I found an apartment. She offered to have me stay at her house for the night because I had just driven all the way from Vegas, and just paid so much on parking that I didn't even need to, haha, she literally said that. She and I have the cheapskate thing in common! I guess I was tired too, so I took her up on her offer. 

She doesn't have parking in her apartment. She lives downtown LA. She told me that I could pay to use parking right next to her apartment. She said parking was like $5 overnight. Right up my alley. We headed straight for downtown before traffic got crazy. We beat it! Thank goodness! The parking she was referring to must have initially been meant for her building because it's right beside her building. We Parked there, sat in the car and chatted, trying to kill time because parking was $5 from like 5pm and we got there after four, being the cheapskates that we are, we were not going to pay an additional $9 for less than an hour. 

We talked a bit, she told me that I could actually stay there until I found an apartment. That was such a nice offer from her of all people. That girl used to drive me nuts but when someone come through for you at a time like that, it changes how you see them. I thanked her and promise I wouldn't take any of that for granted. I would try and find a place as soon as possible. We took out some of my valuables from the truck, I hid the rest in the trunk and as we were doing that, a dude drove in in a truck that looked just like mine, same color and everything! Carly and I were outside mine, giggling like high school kids the whole time. That's what we tend to do when we're together. It's the best thing about being around each other,if not the only good thing, catch that shade, child! I greeted the guy and said, nice ride! He was like, yours looks even better! He was right! Mine has a sun roof and a moon roof, caaatttcchhh! He introduced himself, we chatted for a bit. apparently, he had had an incident with Carly where she wouldn't let her into the main door of her building when the guy didn't have a key.

We eventually went upstairs. I was looking forward to putting my feet up. It had been a long day. I was also looking forward to seeing Carly's place for the first time. I never really go to people's homes, so I'm always curious to see how other people live. Her apartment was pretty! It's gigantic with high ceilings! I was like, girl, check you out! Having lived with her before and picked up after her the entire duration, I was curious to see how she kept her own place. Well...Side look

She had told me when I was in Vegas that she just bought a sleeper couch/futon. She told me how everything happens for a reason. She bought the couch the previous week, and there I was a week later. I felt bad that her new couch had to endure this heavy weight woman.

I found a spot out of the way for my luggage, put my feet up and we talked the night away. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Leaving Las Vegas

After finally being done packing, I loaded the Landy. I called the landlord to collect my deposit. She was surprised that I was leaving the very next day. Which was the very day I was meant to vacate the apartment. She told me she wasn't prepared for that, to let her mail my deposit check to me. I told her that I needed the money to buy gas. Like WTF? I gave you a month's notice! What are you trying to do?

She told me that at 8pm, it was too late for her to do a walk through to ensure that nothing was broken. What? She had been to my apartment numerous times, she knew nothing was broken there. It was a studio type setup, so it was small, it's not like  I expected her to walk through an entire mansion in the middle of the night. I told her that I was leaving the following morning at 5am, I didn't think she would want to be woken up at 4am for a walk through. She kept coming up with all kinds of excuses. I think she just didn't want to pay me back my deposit. She finally gave in and checked the apartment, I had all the lights on, it was nice and bright, and clean and empty because all the stuff was in the car. I had washed her linen and had been using mine, so everything was nice and clean and smelled fresh. Plus, I left the place cleaner than I found it. It was ok when I moved in, just dusty. I must say, she was so pleasantly surprised when she came in. She told me herself that never in the years she has been a landlord has someone ever left the place as clean as it was. I was happy to hear that she wasn't too proud to admit that. She asked if I wanted to go along to the ATM to withdraw the deposit.

She's an old lady,  72, she told me she has never used an ATM, I told her how to but she just wasn't sure what her pin code was and which card it was for. She actually let me try myself but no luck. She had $100 in cash and wrote me a check for the balance. I was happy with that. I just didn't want to wait for a check in the mail. Where? I didn't have a definite address yet. We hugged and said our goodbyes, it was a nice moment. We parted on good terms. I never had problems with that lady in the entire time I lived there, and I'm sure vice versa. She told me to call her if I'm ever in town again. When I arrived in LA, I made sure to deposit the check into my account as soon as possible. Just in case!

I went to bed one last time in Vegas. It was crazy that it was time to move on again. After everything I had gone through in Vegas, it was time to hit the road, Jack! I set the alarm and woke up nice and early, loaded the last few pieces that I didn't feel safe leaving them in the car overnight, took a shower and left. My landlord was up already when I left, she came out. I gave her one last hug and drove off. I started off at the gas station to fill up. They were doing a shift change, so they closed the pumps. Great! I had to find another gas station. the car wouldn't start! I'm like, the fck! I was in too high spirits for something to go wrong. I knew there wasn't a serous problem, but I needed to figure out what the matter was. I had to get going, boo! I went on good ole google and searched randomly, someone went through the stages of starting a car. Rocket Science, right? I went through them with them and voila! The car was still in gear! Ugh! And Thank God! At the same time haha. I started it and drove off so fast, you would swear  I just stole the car!

I filled up at the next gas station, then as I was about to drive off, my alarm clock went off! I have to tell you, I've never used that alarm for as long as I've had that clock. I've had it since I lived in Salt Lake City... then I moved to LA, then to Vegas, now I was moving back to LA and this thing decided to go off? Where was it? I had no idea! It's a truck full of stuff, I'm relocating, this is not the time! fortunately, I had an idea where everything was and I went straight where it was and just took the battery out. I wasn't in the mood for more surprises. My car was driving smoother than before after having taken it for service, I had a few parts replaced and sht after the whole oil change debacle. I didn't want to have to worry about the car when I was back in LA trying to get settled.

I had some snacks in the car for the road, it's good to be prepared right? It felt like I was driving an even newer car after the service, I was feeling my car even more, if that's possible. I really had to watch the speedometer. I was headed for West Hollywood hostel. I was looking forward to that. I had never lived in that area. Before I knew it, I was in LA, nice, uneventful drive across states. Thank You! I knew I was in LA when I started to get stuck in traffic. Welcome to LA, Ms Brook! I embraced all that because your attitude towards something really matters. I was looking at it this way, here's a girl who grew up in the farm in a very small town in South Africa, Uitenhage, driving a Land Rover in the Streets of Los Angeles. That's a big deal! At least for me! I was excited, I didn't want traffic to take that away from that. I blinked and boom, there was the sign, BEVERLY HILLS sign. Man, that automatically elevated my mood to the umpteenth degree! I'm here, bitches! I may have taken a picture! I stopped at the light, took a moment to look around and take it all in and what did I see? PUMP! Lisa Vanderpump's gay bar, you may know her from housewives of Beverly Hills, Dancing with the Stars or Vanderpump rules. I was like a kid in a candy store, smiling from ear to ear!

I drove off and made my way to the hostel, they have parking, thank goodness, it's in the basement. I drove down and uh oh! It looked like my car was too tall for their height limit. I had to stop in their steep ass entrance and double check. I got out the car and realised that the car indeed was too tall. Great, now where the heck will I park! There was a car behind me. A bunch of Dutch or German girls on vacation. They were losing their patience. Unfortunately for them they still had to back out of the driveway and let me get out. I actually went to them and asked if they thought my car could fit. They told me they wouldn't take a chance. They were right!

I got out, it was like a skill test, the whole thing, backing out  of a steep without the car rolling forward. If it had, I would have crashed, I was too close to the entrance. That didn't happen, thank goodness. I stopped on the side of the road and called the hostel. I asked about extra parking and stuff. They told me that they only hosted people who had some kind of a travel ticket out of LA coming up. In other words because I wasn't intending to leave LA, I didn't qualify. Thank goodness I didn't force my car into that silly parking. But now, where am I going to stay? I called a few other hostels, including one where I stayed before. They told me that I was welcome but they didn't have parking. The one where I could stay is right on Hollywood boulevard. No parking. I just didn't feel like spending half my days looking for parking plus all my stuff was in the car, they didn't have room for all that stuff. I needed somewhere with safe parking.

Calm down, Brook, it will all work out! It was around noon, I had ample time to look for a temp place. I could do airbnb (it's private people who host for pay, like a bread and breakfast), or something. I had to be positive, I was in LA, it wasn't a matter of oh, if I can't find a place, I will stay in Vegas until I find it.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Trouble at Walmart

I started looking for apartments on line before I even moved to LA. I wanted to see what I was in for. I set a budget in my mind.

I saw a one bedroom, well, two, in the same building; one had parking for extra $100 per month, just imagine! and the other didn't have parking. Apparently there's no street parking in the area.It would have been a hell of a hassle trying to find parking every single day for my entire time there. I called the guy, he told me that the one with parking was still available. I had a nice feeling about the apartment. I asked him to send me pictures and the contract. I was going to take it. He wouldn't let me take it without viewing it. I was like come on! I'm the one who's committing. He told me I would have to have viewed it for him to let me sign the contract. Ugh! I didn't feel like making a drive to LA. I did think about it for a hot second but then was like, meh cos he also told me that he was still showing it, it would depend when I got there if it were still available. I was like, bye!

I knew that I was getting that much closer to finding the apartment of my dreams. I kept looking. Whenever I felt like it wasn't happening, I stopped looking. I wanted to do it only when it didn't feel like a chore to do it, you know what I mean? I didn't have furniture, nothing! I was going to start from scratch and I was excited. I wanted a king size bed and leather bedroom furniture and suede or beige/white furniture in the living room. I could already see what the entire apartment was going to look like.

My plan was that I was going to stay in a hostel in West Hollywood, which is pretty close to Beverly Hills, looking for an apartment for a week or two and boom, move in!

I took my car for oil change before my drive back to LA. I decided to take it to Walmart because it's Walmart, right? They didn't have much of a line, I paid what I had to and went inside to kill time. Before I knew it, my name was announced on the intercom. I rushed to the back, paid and they gave me my car keys. I got to the car, stuck the key in, (I know, I still have to buy a remote), turn it and it turned 360 degrees. I knew there and then something was wrong. I went around the car and noticed that the passenger's door wasn't properly closed. Everyone in the Auto dept was packing up, getting ready to leave. I had to get hold of someone before they disappeared. "excuse me! My car won't open" They told me it was fine when they had it. I was like, that's exactly my point. It was ok when I handed it to you. Now I can't get in. I have so many things I gotta do, please fix this, quick! they tried to brush me off, I was like, please call me the person in charge, I don't have all day.

It's been such a long time since I used that side of my personality, usually, I'm sweet-ish. I used to be much harsher. It was kinda nice to tap into that ;)
They called the supervisor, then the manager, everyone tried to shift the blame. They were saying things like, 'well, if you had a remote, you wouldn't be having this problem!' I was like, uhm, don't break my car and then tell me what I should've done with it! The bottom line is, you broke my car and now I can't drive home. That's the bottom line. I need it fixed because I'm relocating to another state in 2days, I don't have time set aside to fix a car that was broke by someone who was supposed to fix it. I didn't' pay you guys to create problems for me. It was late, seven-ish. I was there until 8pm, and beyond. I was tired. It was my bedtime and I was sitting at Walmart, not knowing if I was coming or going.

The manager told me to ask my insurance to send a locksmith for me. I told them that this was their problem to fix. My concern was, what if the problem was deeper than we all thought? Then they were going to tell me that the people I got to open it messed the car up. I didn't even want to try. Why should I anyway? They called locksmith, they told us they don't work on those cars. They referred us to someone else, who was there in no time. Long story short, he got me into the car. The car didn't even look like it was going to start at that point. Nobody knew what the heck was wrong. We were all staring at each other. I told them I wanted to go to sleep. I didn't have any more energy in me to try anymore. They were kind enough to call me a cab and give me fare.

It was still cold,it was January. I got home, went online, tried to find out on the Land Rover forums what the matter could have been. First thing the following morning, I went to Walmart with a list of solutions. Nobody even came close to my car that day. Well, one guy did. The cashier, she was so sweet! He told me he thought about me the previous night and hoped that they had solved my problem. We both tried to fix the problem, nothing happened. He and another guy from auto, who may or may not have been on drugs, thought it was an alarm issue. I called a couple of people to find out how to reset the alarm. When you turn the key on the driver's door, it disarms the alarm. The door lock was broken, so we were not able to disarm it, so that I could start the car. That's what we all thought was logically the problem. Because I had worked for Netstar, the #1 car tracking/alarm company in South Africa, I called my former supervisor. She asked what the matter was, she told me, sorry, can't help. Didn't even try! Ok, good night! I didn't have time to wallow, time was money, LA Awaited! I messaged an old colleague, he asked what car it was, I told him, he told me to burn it. I replied, ok. Again, no time to wallow, Neeeexxtttt!

The above are some of the reasons I don't generally tell people when I have a problem. Who tells you to burn your car when you are merely trying to get it started? How does that get the car started? Anyway! Before I knew it, it was late! I had to get the car fixed, no matter what. Time was running out! I went home, this was night 2. I told myself that I was not going to be desperate. I was just going to believe that things would work out. I had put in my notice at my place, If I couldn't get the car going when it was time to move out, I was going to have to figure out where I was going to stay while waiting for the car to work.

I didn't even want to deal with all that. I just needed the car to work so I could get going. I scoured through the internet, only I wasn't quite sure what the problem was other than the fact that I was able to get inside and couldn't get it started. I didn't know if it was the battery, because that had also died over the three days of trying to do all kinds of things to the car... or had it? Oi!

Day 3:- I woke up in a great mood! I had a feeling that was the last day my car was going to be parked at Walmart. I arrived at Walmart, went straight to the car, I had my tools with me. I removed the door panels and voila! something fell out! It was some part of the door lock that was broken. I googled the numbers on the part. I then took the name of the part and googled a broken one in a Land Rover, that's when I found out that that was the reason the car wasn't starting. That was somehow connected to the alarm. I rushed to the manager. They told me they had a new manager that day, he seemed nice. He had been told about me. I told them that their guys broke that and I wanted it fixed asap. They quickly called Walmart insurance, I had already called Land Rover, the guy I talked to told me to refer the tow guy to him. Walmart called a tow truck, nice guy. He asked if I wanted a ride. Land Rover dealership was off my street but like a few miles away. I thought I would take the ride and just take one bus home from there.

Our way from Walmart to Dealership went past my house actually but there was nowhere for a gigantic tow truck with a car on top of it to stop. We arrived at Land Rover and I was like a kid in a candy shop. Range Rovers everywhere! I was like, this is gonna be my next ride! They were so nice, they told me to get in, asked if I wanted to test drive it. That would've been nice but I was there for another reason. They let me charge my cellphone in one of the Manager's offices. They offered me water, soda or coffee. I had to take some of that Land Rover bottled water which I reused and reused and reused.

I had to leave the car, it was next in line. The guy was doing everything in his power to take care of me and let me relocate on schedule. I really appreciated their service.

They  called me when I got home and told me that they would have to order the car from Britain as Land Rovers are British cars. I told them I didn't have time, I had to move the following day. Walmart was paying, I didn't care how much the part cost but  time was of the essence. Luckily, they had an old Landy in their lot that they could take the part from and just replace that with a new one. I was like, I'm down, let's go. Turns out, because the part is shaped very much like a large nail, some people just use a nail, $1 for a set of about 8 nails from Home Depot, Bob's your uncle! That was the least of my concerns!

Land Rover told me that my car would be ready the following morning. In all honesty, I had three or so more days before my move. I just wanted to make sure I had the car by then. And I did. I still had an entire day to go shopping before I moved. The car came back in mint condition, it was clean and they replaced the panel perfectly, you wouldn't even suspect that they were removed by an amateur aka ME! lol. I got a number of calls from Walmart confirming that they took care of everything, they apologised. Everyone worked so well together after I found out what the problem was. I must say, I am very proud of myself that I single-handedly diagnosed the problem!

Now that I was feeling better about everything, I had the energy to pack my bags. Good thing I only had clothes to worry about, no furniture or kitchenware etc.

New Year's in Vegas

There were free concerts downtown Las Vegas on New Years. It was cold and wet. One of the coldest Winters in the area in a long time.  I wasn't about to put my health at risk for a free concert. I stayed put and watched the festivities on tv. I did wish I could watch the fireworks on The Strip. I got lucky because Stratosphere had good fireworks, it's a casino right by my place. My landlord and I stood outside and watched, it as quite the scene! We could also see the fireworks on the strip from our place.

The Strip aka Las Vegas Boulevard was closed to traffic in the evening already, five or six hours before midnight. The casinos/resorts were closed around 10pm or so. They didn't want random people waltzing in and out around midnight for fireworks. It was pretty organised but I also feel like that took the fun out of fun. One would have to have been on the strip well in advance to enjoy fireworks.

It was the First of January! The New Year! Now what? I love social media around Christmas and New Years! All the reposted messages and pictures! Fun! I remember being in South Africa and our messages not going through around midnight because, everyone was trying to send their loved ones messages.

A few days after New year's day, I went back to work for the last few weeks before my move to The City of Angels. It was interesting seeing everyone again. The assholes that stood me up acted like it was a giant misunderstanding. My friend was like, what happened? I didn't hear back from you? The other flake was like heeeeyyyy, Brook! Did you have a good Christmas? I mean, I did! I always have a great time but don't act like you didn't flake out on me! That annoys me to no end! I brought it up. She was like, you don't understand, so much happened in my life around the holiday season. So many people died. I was like, but your phone didn't die, so! It's hard for me to pretend. I go all in and don't care if we never talk again after that. I really can't get myself to care. She kept trying to make me understand that she was going through something, I kept trying to make her understand that all it would've taken would've been one text. You can't convince me, just like I can't convince you! So Fck off!

My feelings were not hurt or anything, I just didn't want to have an elephant in the room. Fck shoving things under the rug! Let's talk about it! What if my feelings were hurt? Would you care or are you that inconsiderate and narcissistic? I thought we were no longer in California anymore, the Narcissistic capital of the world haha. I love California. It's my home away from home. Shout out to all my fellow Californians!

Knowing that I only had a few weeks before I left Vegas, I started going to the places I had always wanted to go around Vegas.
M&M Store. Giganting! Four Stores of madness


It was much easier driving. I also did a lot of shopping, sales everywhere! I still have clothes I haven't worn yet during my shopping sprees there!
It would be safe to guess grey and black are my favorite colors. Not really though

I just wore this for the first time last month

I've yet to wear this dress

I haven't worn this jumpsuit yet

 I remember having a conversation with my sister. I told her that  I would like to be those people who go shopping and come back with tons of bags of sht. A few days later, I came home with a ton of bags full of stuff I had just bought.

 It hit me as I got out of the car with my hopping that I was those people! It was a good moment!

new sht

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Christmas in Las Vegas

It was around 6:00am when I started my drive to Vegas. It was going to be my first time driving such a long distance in the US and in a long time, period. I was excited, I love long drives. I punched in the directions to my place in Vegas and drove off with a tank full of gas. It cost me about $60 (+-R720) to fill up the tank. Vegas, here I come!

I got lucky to beat the traffic, soon, I was on the freeway. Let's go! It takes a bit of getting used to this miles per hour thing versus kilometres be hour. Miles are miles less (1mile=1.6km). I'm used to drive 120km/hr on the freeway. I had to quickly adjust to 55, 65 and 70 at most. In South Africa, all the freeways have the same limit, in the US, they don't. Also, there's minimum speed on the freeway in South Africa, not in the US. The most you can drive in the US, or at least Cali and Nevada, the parts of The US I've driven in, is 112km/hr, which is less than the 120 limit in SA. Just my observations, don't quote me! It was a nice drive though. I had my music playing on my iPod, windows down to take in all the fresh air and there were mountains with nice greenery on either side of the freeway. Magical!

It's a 4-5 hour drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. I drove halfway and took a break for snacks and stuff. I may have stood outside my car and checked it out a bit then drove on. It was still morning when I stopped as I left so early. Welcome to the City of Las Vegas! Damn! The buildings were getting bigger, well, the buildings aren't that big in Vegas, only on the strip. I was approaching the strip when I knew my journey is over. I had arrived in Las Vegas! There's one more car on the streets of Las Vegas from today on, I thought to myself. I was excited! I may have spotted a gigantic smile on my face! It was a good day. I headed toward my street, turned on the signal to turn into my street, then I remembered! I remembered the days I used to visualize myself having a new car, driving it and hearing the indicator sound as I was about to turn into my street. My dream had become a reality! In a matter of months. Good times!

I parked my car right where I'd always imagined I'd park it, off loaded it and ran into my apartment thinking, wow! Did that just happen? Did I just go all the way to LA to buy a car and drove back in it? Wow! Thank You!

It was a few days before Christmas. I had considered going on a road trip around Christmas. For some reason, I didn't feel like driving to another state, and another one and another one in just a few days. I was kinda tired of the events of the previous few days. I hadn't driven in a while, plus all the emotions that I had gone through over the previous days, I needed to chill after that. And that's exactly what I did. I bought myself junk food and relaxed at my place. I was off from work, no pressure at all. My landlord came over and asked if that was my car, she complimented me on it. She has an SUV herself, Toyota Rav 4.

On Christmas day, I sent a few text to a few people, called home, Skyped some people, you know, the usual drill of someone who lives far away from home. I'm used to spending Christmas away from family, even when I lived in South Africa. Nothing new. My friend from work invited me over for Christmas day or so before the day. I accepted. She was going to pick me up from my place. I hadn't told her I had a car just yet. I was going to tell her in person. I had another invitation from someone from work. She's kinda out there, so  I didn't think it was going to happen. I did send her a Merry Christmas Text and didn't hear back from her. I wasn't surprised. I got a text first thing Christmas morning from the friend who was going to pick me up wishing me a wonderful Christmas. I thought that was interesting considering we were supposed to spend the day together. I replied, she asked what my plans were. That's when I just ignored her ass. I wasn't trying to have an Un-Merry Christmas. Sht like that will ruin your day if you're not watching.

I called an old friend of mine, the older lady who lived in her car by the beach, if you remember her. She picked up and sounded so happy to hear from me. I was glad she picked up, I had called and texted the two times I was in LA, to no avail. She told me that she missed me. I mentioned to her that I had been in LA twice in the previous two months, before I could even finish, she got so excited and was like, why didn't you tell me? I told her that was the intention when I hit her up, unfortunately, I didn't get hold of her. She was like, no, you didn't hit me up. I told her  I texted and called her. She told me that her sms box was full, no more messages to go through, why didn't I call? I was like boo, I just told you I called and texted you! She told me there is no way I called her. She would've seen a missed call from me and she didn't. I was like, I gotta go, Merry Christmas! The conversation wasn't going anywhere, I was getting pissed and it was Christmas day. WTF? I called to wish this btch a Merry Christmas and I'm being accused of lying instead. I don't deserve this sht. Bye Felicia! Merry Christmas to you and yours mofo!

After hanging up, I was still pissed, I went to my call logs, took a screen shot of the calls  I made to her when I was in LA and sent them to her then I blocked her because I didn't wanna hear her response. After that, I had a nice warm Christmas at home. It was cold out but the landlord had the A/C nice and high for everyone.

I practically spent the entire Christmas day at home. I had no intentions to go anywhere. I hardly knew anyone in Vegas anyway and the people who had invited me were flakes, which was fine, I would rather spend the day with my favorite person in the whole wide world - ME! :).

New Year's was around the corner - rocket science, right? Haha! I thought of going away for New Year's. I was going to move back to LA end of January - beginning February, I thought it best to wait until then to gallivant.  I focused my energy on my next big desire - to Move to Beverly Hills. I have never even been those people who hang out in Beverly Hills but I was like, let's see if I focus enough on living there if I will end up finding a place there.  I already had Beverly Hills in My vision board. It was a mater of doing my visualisation exercises. I had a Las Vegas key ring I had bought during my vacation in Vegas before I moved there. I guess that was my vision board type thing right there already but I didn't even realize it. I had wanted to live right along the strip and I ended up living two streets off the strip. Five minutes to the bus stop. It was pretty amazing, close enough to the strip that I could walk and far enough that I still had peace of mind whenever I needed it. It was perfect! For an absolutely ridiculous price. I changed the screen saver on my phone from that of the Land Rover to that of the Beverly hills Sign. I did the same on the cellphone. I cut a piece of paper the shape of the Beverly Hills Sign then stuck it onto my Las Vegas Key ring. I may have stuck one more Beverly Hills logo to the speakers that were right by my bed side. What was the first thing I saw when I woke up? #BeverlyHills was trending in my life.

I wrote on my little black book (African American book? Tryna be politically correct ;)) a list of things I wanted in my new Bev Hills apartment:
*One Bedroom (It was about time I'd my own bedroom that actually had a door to it,no more studios)
*Two, preferably more closets. Why not, right! It's my dream, I can go as crazy as I want!
*Glass door in the shower. (No shower curtains that'll be sticking to me. Yuck!)
*Storage for more than one person in the bathroom, you know for toiletries?
*Two Sinks in the kitchen. I had one small one in Hollywood and it drove me nuts
*Own designated parking. It's LA, parking is a big thing! I wanted one with my name on it.
*Free street parking (I wanted my visitors not to have to pay for parking)
*Ground floor apartment.

I would always visualize myself going to my apartment, whish was walking distance from Rodeo Drive. It was going to be in Beverly hills, surely, somehow, I was going to be able to walk to Rodeo Drive, right? For some reason, my apartment was on the right side if you're facing the apartment.  I tried to imagine it in different spots but the one that resonated with me was the on the right, so I focused on that. The last thing you want to do, is to be all over the place. Pick one thing and focus on that until you get it. Make sure it's something you really want. It can't be something Brook has and because Brook is so bubbly and always happy and everyone loves her, you want the things she wants because you think you will be as happy as Brook when you have them. No, my friend. You have to go for the things that make you happy deep down in your should. When you get those things you might just be as happy as Brook, or happier. Good Luck with that ;).

Whenever I remembered, I would look at my vision board and meditate on the things that were on it. I would imagine being in those moments, living that life, the life I have always wanted. Sometimes, the images of me in it would be so vivid, it was scary. As I imagined myself living in Beverly hills, I also imagined myself being in love with my happily ever after. Those were the two things I was focused on after getting the car. I had hoped that  I would have the apartment first and then love but I was open minded about it.

One more month before my move back to Southern California. Soon, we were going to find out if I was going to get that Beverly Hills Apartment or not...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Driving on The Wrong Side Of The Road

The drive from the car dealership to Hollywood was pretty interesting. Here's someone who is used to driving regular sized cars on the left side (or the wrong side) of the road with the steering wheel on the right, driving a gigantic car on the right side. I had literally been telling been telling myself before I even bought the car that I will do just fine.  I had to keep doing affirmations child that I was going to do fine; that I wasn't going to drive on the wrong side of the road so far away from home!

Before I could even digest the fact that I just bought myself a new car, I punched in Chris' address on the GPS and stepped on it! A few minutes later, the thing was telling me to keep left and get on the freeway. Already! Heck no! Sht just got real! I pulled to the side of the road and made a few calls. I called a friend from Eastern Europe and asked her where she was. I told her a friend of mine from Vegas was in Hollywood and wanted to give her something for me. She told me she was going to be at the dentist with her daughter. I told her, I would let her know when the friend was in the vicinity. Chris and I had talked, it was his off day. I told him I was going to be popping by. I also told my Peruvian friend that I was going to be in her neighborhood in an hour or so. I then took a deep breath, checked myself out in the mirror, saw the glow in my eye and knew it was a good day! I stepped on it again and got on that freeway. Let's go!

It was exhilarating! I was listening to the radio, probably for the first time since I lived in Connecticut. That was three years ago or so. Fortunately, traffic hadn't picked up yet. Thank you stars! I found a nice parking spot  near Chris'. I sent him a text telling him to open, I was outside. We had the usual misunderstanding. He didn't know where I was, and when to open for me, even though I was telling him where I was - outside his apartment. Eventually, he called. I really didn't feel like talking to him on the phone. I picked up and asked him nicely to come to the gate and open it for me. He was like, 'Are you here?' Poor thing genuinely didn't understand what was going on. He never does. I wonder how life is for someone like that? Good thing I will never find out.

Chris opened for me, he didn't even give me a hug, he's a big hugger. There was dog poo on the floor, he told his manager who he introduced me to, who what good reason? I can't tell you! He went all OCD about how I should watch out for the dog poo, he didn't want it on his apartment floor. I'm thinking, why would he think I want it under my shoes? Dang! Just because I didn't become all animated and all like him, he thought  I didn't care. He kept asking me if I heard what he said, I'm like yes, Chris, I'm not deaf, I heard you, please, let's go! Christ! I took my shoes off just before entering his apartment. He thanked me profusely for being so considerate. In my head, I went, shut the fck up! I headed for the kitchen to see what I could take with me. He started with his sht; talking about Brook, you were such a bitch last time you were here, you can't stay here tonight. I was like, boo! Didn't I ask you if I can stay here? "I'm just telling you, you can never stay here again. You are very moody and I cannot have that in my home, you will have to find somewhere else to stay tonight!" I ignored him. I felt my tongue shaking inside my mouth and my heart beating fast, my stomach turning, I was getting pissed! I took a couple of deep breaths and kept going with what I went there for, only faster. He came to the kitchen entrance, stood there and went on and on. It was literally, abuse! I'm sure there's a law against that! I was like,'uxolo!'  (Excuse me, in my mother tongue), he got out of the way but kept yapping!

I made a quick decision to take only my most valuable stuff and leave the rest there, if he wanted to 'donate it to Red Cross', he was free to do so. I needed to save myself! The only way to do it was to get the heck outta there ASAP. I grabbed a few bags, he asked if I needed a hand. I didn't but I told him I did. I told him my ride was waiting for me outside. He asked if it was a man or a woman, black or white. I was like, please close the door, let's go! Like, why is this doo asking me things that nobody ever asks? I led him to my new ride, when we got there, I took out the key and asked, 'how do you like my new car?' "Brook! Wooooowwwwww! It's beautiful! You are rich! Why have you been pretending to be destitute when you know you are rich? This is an expensive car, Brook! Come here! Give me a hug! I'm so proud of you! That's what I like about you, you make things happen. Would you like to stay here tonight? You can stay whenever you like for as long as you want!" Just like, we became best friends! I was like, thanks, I never said I was destitute, you're the one who assumed you were better than me! I accepted the hug, well, not really, I didn't have a choice! He was like, let's go for lunch! I told him I wasn't hungry. He should know now that he knows I'm not destitute that I can afford my own lunch. Clearly all those times, he used to take me to eat and spit all over my food, he thought I couldn't do better. He tried to play nicey nice. I was like, anyway, I gotta go. He told me to call him that night and let him know if I would be going back to his to spend the night. I was like, definitely! It wasn't going to happen but I was trying to keep the conversation short.

I told my friend at the dentist that my 'friend from Vegas' was on her way to the dentist. In case you haven't figured it out, I was my friend from Vegas. I made my way to Hollywood from Chris' in Koreatown. Traffic was crazy on Hollywood Boulevard but I made it. I'm used to driving in (downtown) Johannesburg CBD. I've had my practice. I parked my car in the basement parking and went upstairs, my friend saw me and flipped. It was nice to see the surprise on her face! It was so nice to see her again. She's my people! He daughter soon came out, I love that little girl. She's absolutely gorgeous! My friend was like, 'why don't I drop you off somewhere, maybe the bus stop?' She had told me she has a new car, she's leasing a Honda Ballad. I hadn't seen it yet. I did tell her that I was good ride wise. I told her I wanted to show her something quick before we parted ways. Turns out we were parked near each other. When we got to the basement, I showed them car and was like Voila! Meet my new car! Her daughter was so happy for me! She was like, wow, it's so big! My friend was like, 'Did you win the Jackpot or something?' She said stuff like, Great, it's my birth month and you bought yourself a car. I thought to myself, I'm sorry I didn't buy the car for you but I kinda needed it. I hope that's ok! It became an awkward moment, fast. She came up with ideas of places we can go with our cars that she hasn't been able to go with her car because mine is an SUV and because mine is not a lease, therefore I don't have to worry about mileage. I just said yes. I wasn't about to make a bad moment worse. I just agreed and kept it going. She did say some nice things like when her daughter asked if that's my Christmas gift to myself. I was like, actually, I want to buy myself a bottle of perfume for Christmas haha. My friend was like, you should post this on Facebook and be like, Dynamite comes in small packages. lol. It was funny, she has a wicked sense of humor!

I drove off to my last stop in Koreatown, Ms Peru. She also had no idea I had just bought a car. I found parking next to her building after surrounding it for a while hopping for free parking. I ended up paying for the metre. It was just a dollar per hour. I called her to the street as I was still paying. She told me she was exhausted and she had a friend over. I was like, come on, just a second. She came down. I met her across the street from the car as she came out of her building. She pointed at the car and asked if it were mine. That was interesting considering there were other cars there. I was like, why would you think that? She told me because she knows me, she knows what I'm capable of lol. I was like, guilty! She congratulated me and asked if I bought it for $850. I'm not sure why specifically that amount. I told her, I wish! Could you imagine a car for that amount? Nowadays, you'd be lucky to get a moped for that amount of money. She told me that she was saving to buy herself a car for $850. She wanted to know how much I paid for it. I told her not to worry about that. So far, everyone had asked me how much  I paid for the car, I told them the same thing, not to worry about it. I mean the car was already paid for, it's not like they were going to help a sista out.

My friend got on the driver's seat and was looking around. I asked if everything was ok. She asked where the key was. This btch was about to drive my car just like that! I never saw her drive in my life, she keeps saying she and her husband have a car but nobody has seen it, I've heard him talk about forgetting his bicycle on the bus, so. Plus, I'm just not that person who lets people drive my car. I've never been. Funny because people let me drive their cars all the time and I never say no. That's their prerogative though!

I refused to let my friend drive my car. We went back upstairs, hung out with her nice friend. She told the friend I just bought a car, I showed the friend pictures, the friend was excited for me. My friend asked me to take her where I bought the car, she wanted to see what else they had. I was like, uhm, I'm going back to Vegas! We hung out until late that night. After the friend left, my friend told me about problems they have been having in her marriage. She had never opened up to me like that before. It was kinda refreshing. I hated that she was going through rough patches but she seemed fine. She seemed like she got that! Plus her stories are inconsistent so good luck trying to sympathise and give her advice!

I ended up spending the night in Peru haha, reminds of Paris Hilton's sex tape, One night in Paris. Did yall watch that? The following morning, I took a shower, and as I was about to head out my friend asked if I could drop her at the gym downtown? Uhm, I love you but no! LA Traffic is about to get crazy! I was trying to get out of LA before all that mess. Plus, she sprung that on me last minute. I offered to drop her at the train station. She told me she didn't have money for the train, she needed a ride. I just bought the car the night before, what if I hadn't? How were you going to go to the gym? I gave her cash for a daily pass. I think that was her way of making me pay for staying the night at her house. I mean, it's fine! I had offered to pay, she refused, next thing I know, she was making me pay! By the way, Chris texted the previous night asking what time I was going to be back. I told him I wasn't going to need a place to stay. I really was saying fck off! In my head.

I dropped my friend off at the gas station which happens to be across the street from the train station. I filled up my tank and made my way to Vegas.