Monday, April 27, 2009

The Fattest Girl Calls it Quits

Look, Star of Siam, it's over.

I haven't ordered from you for over a year, and it's really time for you to move on and find some other customers. We didn't even see each other very long. Sure, I took you to a party once, but that doesn't mean I was ready to commit. At that time in my life, I was ordering from a few restaurants, just trying to find the one that was right for me. And... well... I have.

I didn't want to have to tell you this, but Bai Plu Thai and I have been seeing each other for quite some time now. Bai Plu satisfies me in ways you never could, Star of Siam. The food arrives hotter, the chili paste is spicier, and, to be perfectly honest with you, the satay sticks are longer. And meatier. I know that you had a faster delivery time, but that isn't always better. Also, my friends and family just like Bai Plu better. I'm not trying to be hurtful, that's just how it is.

So, seriously, you need to stop leaving menus on my porch. It's just embarrassing for you, and it's getting a little bit creepy.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Fattest Girl on a Budget

Times are tough, folks. There is no escaping that fact, as the news, the politicians, and random strangers who are mad about how much stuff costs are constantly reminding us. However, in a land of excess such as LA, I know people are finding it hard to tighten their ostrich-skin Prada belts. With that in mind, I have decided to assist those who are new to this whole living on a budget thing by coming up with some recession survival ideas for LA dwellers.

1. Solution-A-Roni
I know food here can get pretty expensive, but you don't want to give up eating things you love. You know I understand that. With a little imagination, though, you can adapt many of your favorite dishes into ramen- or Rice-A-Roni-based home cookin'. Like Beef Stroganoff? A can of chipped beef in some mushroom flavored Pasta-Roni and you won't even know the difference. Thai food? Some chili paste (save your takeout condiments!) in shrimp ramen will do the trick! Tuna tartare or sushi? Throw a can of Bumblebee in pretty much anything. Don't worry, the MSG will only give you a headache for the first week or so. You get used to it.

2. The Greatest Love of All
Gym memberships are quite the money drain for most LA dwellers. But what's to be done? You have to look good, right? Wrong! You just have to think you look good. Attitude is everything. If you think attractive, you'll be attractive. Rather than paying an exorbitant monthly fee, try some positive self-affirmations, buy larger sized clothing and then rip out all the tags (or even *arts and crafts bonus!* change the sizes yourself), or even cover up all your full-length mirrors. Remember, getting thin is costly and time-consuming. Saying "I love you" to yourself in the mirror is cheap and easy!

3. ...Or Not
For those of you who laughed aloud at the concept of loving your body the way it is, have you consider swapping eating disorders? Think of how much money you could save exchanging bulimia for anorexia. With bulimia, you are literally flushing your money down the toilet. Binging can get pretty expensive, even if you are binging on the cheap stuff. Anorexia is free! However, I encourage you to think long-term. While you will be saving a bundle on food in the short run, the medical expenses, therapy, and rehab stays can add up in the future. Not to mention the expense of a funeral, though I suppose by that time you don't really have to worry about it.

4. Let the Sun Shine
Of course I am not going to attempt to talk you out of tanning, dear Angelinos. I understand how important it is for you to bake your skin to match your leather totes. If we weren't meant to tan, there wouldn't be Botox and face lifts to correct the damage once we age, right? And as far as skin cancer goes... well, there will be a cure for cancer by the time that's an issue, I'm sure. So what's to be done about the expense of tanning salons? Fear not, my paling readers, Fat Girl has solved that problem, too. As many of you transplants from the midwest may not know, the Los Angeles area has quite a few beaches. These stretches of open sand are actually open to the public every day. And, believe it or not, Southern California is fairly famous for the amount of sunshine we get. I know, you're new to the area, so obviously you didn't realize that tans could be had for free, and were unnecessarily wasting money in tanning salons because you lacked this information.
You're welcome.

Of course, you could also stop spending money on cover charges, new clubbing outfits, and pricey bar drinks, and stay home a couple nights a week... you're right. That's ridiculous.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Fattest Girl on the Dance Floor

LA Newbie: Fat Girl, I want to go to a club.

Fat Girl: Don't.

Newbie: But, Fat Girl, I want to be an actress. I can meet celebrities and producers at a club in LA.

FG: Right. And I can lose weight if only I eat enough pizza.
Here's the thing. The celebrities, who may or may not be at the club you so frequently and desperately attend do not wait in line. So you will not meet them. Not ever. Because that is where you will be. In line. All night. In really uncomfortable shoes. You couldn't get me in a line like that even if there was a lifetime supply of free Chunky Monkey at the head of it.

Newbie: I won't have to wait in line. I'm really pretty.

FG: So is everybody else.

Newbie: But I have a gorgeous new outfit.

FG: So does everybody else.

Newbie: But I slept with the bouncer.

FG: So has everybody else. The bouncer would make his own grandmother wait in line if she has never been in a movie. And you know you have never been in a movie. Third ass from the left in a crowd scene in the newest Brad Pitt film does not count. I'm not saying you will never get in. Eventually you will. All I'm saying is you will have to wait in line for six hours. Like everybody else.

Newbie: But it will be totally worth it. I'll see tons of celebrities and have so much fun!

FG: First of all, you will probably not see a celebrity. Okay, you might get lucky and see a girl from The Hills, or maybe someone you recognize from Law and Order--

Newbie: I love The Hills!

FG: Of course you do. But as far as anyone who has any power to do anything for your career, they won't be at the club. It's not that celebrities don't go out. It's just that, even in a city as star-filled as Los Angeles, there are more clubs than there are celebrities. The odds are more likely that you will get really drunk, meet someone who looks kind of like some director, and then realize in the morning that he is just the valet.

Newbie: No way. I watch TMZ, celebrities are always at clubs, every single night. I will totally meet one.

FG: Fine, I know, Harvey Levin is a god. But seriously, if lightenting strikes and you do meet a real, honest-to-god celebrity, that person will not talk to you. He will not help your career. He probably won't even look at you. At the most, a very gracious celebrity will thank you for being a fan before his giant gorrilla attendant moves you away.

Newbie: Fat Girl, you're just being cynical. I will get discovered if I go to a club.

FG: Fine. Have fun. Mention me in your Oscar speech. I'm going to go eat some pizza.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Fattest Girl in Yoga Class

So you’re in LA and you want to exercise. I don’t blame you. When you are filled with the aggression which daily life in Los Angeles inevitably incites, it can give you extra energy which you could channel into a healthy pursuit like exercise. Well, that or punching people at Whole Foods. And given the fact that the air is not fit for a three-headed mutant rat from a power plant to breathe, and every single paved surface is clogged with cars driving like they’re in a demolition derby, jogging and biking are pretty much out. You could run on a treadmill, but you’d have to battle for an available one with the droves of Exercise People who, I am convinced, keep apartments above 24 Hour Fitness, and arrive in groups of 200 around the clock to keep normal people from using the equipment. Possibly, this is why yoga is such a popular LA pass-time. Or maybe because the women there needed another excuse to wear spandex when the eighties ended. Who knows?

Before you take a yoga class, you have a major decision in front of you. Are you going to take your class in a gym or a yoga studio? This decision is half the battle, because once you decide this, you have also decided on your type of instructor, and your classmates. If you go to the gym, first you will need a gym membership. There is only one guy who ever sells gym memberships. This is not LA specific. You could be in Los Angeles or Fargo, and your membership will be sold by 270 pounds of steroid abuse named Chad. Chad will try to upsell you into buying a super-deluxe, universal club membership. Do not believe his lies. Get the basic membership, go to yoga class, and never set foot in that office again. Your teacher will have a name like Kimmi, Micki, Kirsti, Skipper, or something equally nauseating. Your classmates will probably be named Betty Jo, but will “act” (read: wait tables) under the name Bethanya. The Skippers will lead the classes like cheer coaches, blasting a pop music CD, with lots of peppy encouragement while they bounce around twisting themselves into impossible pretzel shapes which would be impossible for you to copy. Bethanya can copy them perfectly, and thrives under Skippers rah-rah attitude. Bethanya is, after all, one of the Exercise People. The gym will be full of them. Those 2% body fat freaks of nature that live on the treadmill in between shifts at Spago. If you want to avoid the Exercise People, you may have to go to a yoga studio.

At the yoga studio, your teacher will be named Sage, Midnight, Moon Blossom, something of that nature, though she was probably also a Betty Jo at one point in her life. She bikes to the studio from her apartment in Silverlake, where she is hand-fashioning a line of organic bath mats, in between auditions, of course. New age music subtly floats through a room scented like patchouli and hung with silk scarves and twinkle lights. Moon Blossom murmurs gentle words of encouragement to the stay-at-home moms and one gay guy in her class. Balancing on her head, grabbing both big toes with her right hand, Moon Blossom will tell you the sweet, simple clarity of this move once you let go of the pain you are imagining. The moms will force their faces into relaxation and fantasize about their next Botox appointment, and pretend that it might make them look as serene as Moon Blossom. Moon Blossom probably got Botox, too.

But do you really want to take yoga? Far be it for me to try to talk you out of yoga classes. Maybe, though, you would prefer one of the many yoga hybrids that exist out there. These are available both in studio and in gym. If yoga is not work out enough for you, perhaps you want to blend it with some other form of work out, dance, or pep rally activity. Yogalates might be more your style. Or Yogaerobics? Jazz Fusion Yoga Beat? The possibilities are as limitless as the imaginations of every failed dancer and ex-Laker Girl in the City of Angels. That is to say, fairly limited.

Now that you have decided on your class, what are you going to wear? If you are one of the Exercise People, you undoubtedly already have a closet full of sports bras and various spandex garments to paint on to your size 0 frame. Good for you. Now, to address the normal people, who haven’t worn work out clothes since high school gym class. Basically, you need to be able to bend, and you will need to strap down the worst of your jiggling. Both yoga studio and gym will sell you appropriate garments. At the yoga studio, the clothes will be organic cotton, hand painted by Moon Blossom. Of course, they are very expensive. You are in LA and you’re shopping, what do you expect? These clothes are high in comfort and very low in jiggle-protection. At the gym, you will find the opposite. Mystery fiber which straps you in like you’ve duct taped your ass, and somehow manages to breathe, while taking away your ability to do so. They are also very expensive. Still in LA, right? Jiggling in front of Skipper and the “actresses” or dying of asphyxiation? I leave the decision up to you.

On second thought, maybe you should just try punching the people at Whole Foods. I haven’t tried it, myself, but it can’t be much worse.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Fattest Girl in a Restaurant

If I am going to wait for ages and pay exorbitant rates in a restaurant, I expect the food will be delicious, the portions will be large, the service will be unparalleled, and the atmosphere will be welcoming and pleasant. Apparently, I’m the only one in Los Angeles who feels this way. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a public outcry against the terrible service and the tiny portions. Wait, never mind about the portions. I momentarily blanked, and assumed Angelinos ate.

Of course, I understand that many food servers are not career waiters or waitresses. They do not necessarily have passion and commitment for their jobs, and they have ambitions outside of getting me a side of ranch. I know this. Better hurry up with my damn ranch, but I know this. So why is the service from an aspiring actor-waiter (a “wactor” as those of us in LA like to call them) so horrifically atrocious? I think this might have something to do with their reasons for working at the restaurant, and also the personality that craves fame. Obviously, one works in an LA restaurant to pay bills while that acting career is busy not panning out, but really any job would take care of that. The reason for waiting tables at a Los Angeles restaurant is The Dream. This is The Dream:

You wake up in the afternoon, go to the gym, eat one spoonful of peanut butter and four grapes, spend two hours doing your hair, and then head off to work. While sashaying casually from table to table, posing as you pour water refills, Spielberg walks in and is seated by the hostess, who is at least ten pounds fatter than you are. You walk up to his table, your trademark pout on your lips. He sees you and exclaims, “Perfect! Tell that A-list celebrity we were going to cast in the lead of my next major motion picture that they are out. This kid’s the new star!”

This has probably happened never. But it is the dream that keeps the service slow and the wactors sullen, pouty, preoccupied, and self-involved. Of course, they are also all of these things because they want to be in The Industry, and those qualities are a requirement. If you ever meet someone who does not have these qualities and wants to be an actor, you have met someone who will make it. Because I guarantee you this person is every bit as shallow and selfish as the rest, but managed to make you believe that he or she was actually a real person. That is a good actor. Really all I’m saying is if you want good service in a restaurant, you better brush up on your Spielberg impersonation.

Sometimes I find it hard to find a restaurant in LA. Not because there are few of them, quite the opposite, actually. They are as plentiful as clothing stores. That is the real problem. I often find it hard to tell the difference between the two. They are both staffed by over-made-up Lollipop Heads dressed all in black. They both have insane amounts of empty space, and any space they do have is taken up by broken motorcycles, dead branches, and other objects posing as art. They both have names that could either be a pet’s name or a sex act. They both have worse lighting than a Tijuana jail cell, and worse service. Do you see where it could get confusing? Beating the pavement trying to find which model-staffed warehouse space actually sells meals works up quite the appetite. And that is just too bad.

So you’ve found it. Maybe you got lucky, and some starlet was doing blow in the bathroom. Get out your camera phone, because you’ll need to sell those pictures to afford the meal. But now prepare yourself for the inverse relationship between price and portion. Go to some diner, give them six dollars, and you’ll get a plate piled so high with deliciousness that even after splitting it with your friend, you have enough to bring to work tomorrow. However, as the price goes up, the size of the food on your plate goes down. At an LA restaurant, or at least one classy enough to have celebrities take drugs there, you will pay ten times as much for ten times less food. I have never eaten out in LA without having to make a Del Taco run afterwards. But the strange thing isn’t the amount of food. Obviously, a weight-centered society such as Los Angeles can only benefit from the enforced portion control. The really strange thing is how they position it. The more you pay, the smaller your portions, the higher your food is stacked on your plate. Seriously. Apparently, the better a chef is, the more the chef is obsessed with towers. Maybe there is some mysterious link between cooking ability and Jenga skills. Maybe all of the best culinary schools are located in the highest turret of a palace. Who knows? Whatever the reason, these kids love to stack. Your food will have a little dollop of some starch at the bottom, maybe pureed turnip with saffron infusion or something. This will be topped with an exquisitely seared sliver of some meat raised by nuns in the French Alps and slaughtered by eunuchs in caves. Sprinkled in a delicate stack on the top will be hand-carved truffle rosettes, surrounding two chive stalks which sprout from the whole pile. Smear some sauce on the plate, and you can charge whatever you want. This is not to say that the food will not be superb. Probably it will. So if you have that kind of swag to blow on an appetizer, be my guest. I think I’ll stick with Del Taco.