Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's A Wonder I Still Enjoy Warm Nights

As I helped my brother move into his new apartment this afternoon, I looked out his window to a view of a slope leading to a sidewalk. I flashed back to a warm Saturday night four years ago, when I was tucked into my low bed next to an open window in my apartment in Westwood, California. As I began to drift off, I heard footsteps in the bushes directly outside my first floor window, followed by the sound of a drunk college male pooping. I knew that he was pooping because he yelled it to his friends on the sidewalk so they wouldn't misunderstand and think that he was just peeing. Nope, he needed more time than that, and he let them know why.

As I looked out my brother's window at the setting sun, that was all I thought about. No other memories came to mind. Just that one.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Just Want to Help

Alright, I am getting tired of answering this question, so I am just going to post my answer.


Dear Leighton, How can I catch a nasty case of bed bugs?

Sincerely, Hopeful in Lake Forest


Dear Hopeful in Lake Forest,

Catching a good case of bed bugs is dependent upon finding an extremely dirty, second-hand (or hopefully third or fourth-hand!) mattress.

The first step to solving your dilemma is going to involve another question: The term nasty is a bit vague; how bad of a case do you want? Do you want minor discomfort that can quickly be solved by wrapping your mattress in plastic until the bed bugs suffocate, or do you want a raging case that can only be taken care of by burning your mattress and every belonging that was in a three feet radius of the bed? Both scenarios are going to require patience as you wait to find or inherit a really dirty mattress. However, I won't mince words here. If you want a raging case, it will probably take months to find a fully infected mattress. Searching Craig's List is not going to produce what you are looking for; I recommend driving around college neighborhoods at the end of a semester and/or combing through dumpsters. I'm not saying it's impossible. You are just going to have to commit.

I hope this helps. Good luck on your endeavor!


Leighton Davis

Monday, September 17, 2007

Motivational Runners

I went running with my mom and sister tonight. Apparently we are making this a Sunday night tradition.

Before last year, I had never run a mile at one time. I somehow made it through high school and college, sports teams and P.E. classes included, without ever having to run a mile. Though I wasn't proud of it, I was able to forget and undervalue it until I would watch a scary movie. My heart would sink every time I watched a woman get chased because I knew that if I were in put her position, I would have to stop running and find a good hiding place. The problem is that in scary movies, there are never any good hiding places. Serial killers, vampires and tyrannosaurus rexes can apparently all smell human flesh. (Yes, I classify Jurassic Park as a scary movie. As if you could keep your cool when your Jeep has just been flipped and is being spinned in the mud.)

But scary movies still did not get me running. If I changed my behavior on the basis of scary movies, I would have to give up everything from baby-sitting to vacations to public restrooms. And frankly, I love a good public restroom.

No, my running motivation came from another movie: one of the movies from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I am pretty sure I mean the Two Towers, when Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn have to go warn somebody...about something...and they end up having to run quickly to get...somewhere...in time to tell them their news...I don't think it would have killed me to do a little research.

My point is that they had to run for days, and as the camera followed them across the plains, I felt a wave of panic that stuck with me for a long time. I knew that I never would have been able to save Middle Earth. I would have had to take a break every five minutes until Aragorn got so fed up with me that I would have had to just fake an injury and let the others go ahead. I couldn't handle that.

It took about 7 months and some small neon shorts, but I believe I am now a runner. If Aragorn calls, I am ready for anything. And I mean anything. Ahem.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nerd Roadie

My mom's string quartet is playing a concert for a group of Mormon lawyers this Friday. At last week's rehearsal, the pianist said, "Leighton, would you mind..."

I thought I knew where this was going and responded that I would be happy to turn pages for her during the concert.

She finished her thought with, "...talking about our piece before we play it?"

At the last concert, I was put in charge of researching each piece of music and giving a little synopsis before it was played. This is actually something that I enjoy doing. I get to read about the composer's lives and what was going on in the world when the music was written, which usually unravels the piece enough for me to advise the audience what to listen for, in an attempt to make the music more interesting. The problem is that I like writing little essays to be printed in the program; I do not like having to present this information to the audience. A few reasons why not:

1) I can spot glazed expressions and I know that most people are not paying attention.
2) I am presenting too much information for it to be absorbed audibly. People should be able to read it on their own time.
3) Since I also have the job of turning pages for the pianist, everyone has to wait for me to walk to the piano and sit down after I have spoken before the next piece of music can begin.
4) Did I mention it's humiliating? Since I also have to carry stands and instruments, I end up looking like the ultimate nerd roadie.

At the last concert, I told the audience that Schumann had originally studied law, and that the movement they were about to hear sounded like a case that was being argued and pleaded by a lawyer in court. No one in the audience cared, but the musicians behind me went ape shit, and now I am pretty sure I have to read that synopsis at every concert for the rest of my life, especially Friday's concert for the Mormon lawyers. In return for presenting my insight to a group of bored people, I am getting a free dinner. I am being forced to intellectually put out for a steak. I am a cheap Classical music prostitute being pimped out by a Mormon pianist.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Moms Will Be Moms

This conversation occurred tonight at Irvine Valley College after my mom, sister and I walked out of our Chinese class. We were discussing the possibility of learning French at some point after we have become proficient in Chinese.

Mom: "If I could just lick Chinese..."
Me (interrupting): "You want to lick Chinese people?"
Mom: "Yes. Let's do body shots."