On Tuesday nights, I go to a Toso and chant with a group of fellow Buddhists. I know. You aren't supposed to be spiky or opinionated when you're a Buddhist, but I like shattering myths. Besides, it's my karma. And I've got a lot of it to work out. There are times I think I'm working off stuff from a future life along with the stuff I accrue by the minute. I know. What the hell do you care what my religion is, right? Seriously, do we all have to announce our religious and political affiliations all the time? (I'm a Democrat, by the way.) I usually only mention that I'm a Buddhist because of the bitter irony. (And, after two years of chanting, I'm still spiky and opinionated, but more aware of it.) Buddha rocks the humor, though. Like ninety-eight percent of his statues and other likenesses have him smiling/laughing. The rest, he's totally Zen.
Anyway, the Toso starts at seven and goes on to eight-thirty. If I'm not careful, I can easily miss the right time to have dinner, and then I'm left to grab grub way too late to be eating, especially when it comes out of a bag (because I'm so not going to cook at nine o'clock at night).
Theoretically, I'm on a diet. Usually, this means that I'm steaming up green veggies and eating tofu and brown rice. Right now, it means I'm having a green tea soy latte for breakfast, eating organic raisin bran cereal for lunch and having a Boca burger on Ezekiel bread for dinner. Not because I'm test driving an eating disorder or anything, I'm just really not in the mood to cook, I'm tired/lazy, and this menu gives me the illusion that I'm kind of being healthy. (Let me enjoy the denial/delusion at least until I catch up with work.) I am for sure getting my fiber, though.
Sadly, I had run out of cereal, and I'd had the Boca for lunch. Sigh. Going off to chant without dinner isn't fun. So I swung by a Starbucks for a half-calf soy latte to tide me over. Only problem was, they accidentally gave me real milk, which gave me a mild asthma attack about fifteen minutes into the Toso after only a couple of sips (and, yes, I did think to myself, Hmmm, this tastes a little off). Chanting while wheezing is totally good times. (I did go back to that 'Bucks and got a kindly refund, and a coupon for a freebie. See why I can't stay off the sauce?)
After leaving the chant and returning the tainted latte, I was starving and exhausted from trying to breathe. And so, I went to the Baja Fresh on the corner of Lincoln and Wilshire to get two shrimp tacos. Kind of lo-cal/healthy, right? (Go ahead, lie to me. When I'm on a diet, that's the only time I want to be lied to.)
As I was walking toward the entrance, I looked into the car making the corner and heading toward me, and saw this chick in the passenger seat licking the seat belt strap. I stopped in my tracks and took a closer look. Yep, she was licking it. She stopped when we made eye contact.
Can anyone tell me why someone over the age of three might do that? She was definitely over twenty and looked like a typical local collegiate. Seriously, WTF?
I lost my appetite for about five seconds, then recovered. It had been a long time since lunch. As I stood waiting for my tacos, I recalled another weird sighting I had a couple of years ago, and a reminder of why you really shouldn't look too closely into nearby cars when you are in L.A. (or Santa Monica, which I was technically in at the time). You never know what you might catch a glimpse of, and the EEEWWWW! factor it might bring.
Click here if you care to join me for a stroll down that memory lane.