After six long, miserable years in New York City, I decided to jump ship and head for greener pastures (literally) in Los Angeles. And I am happy to report that I love Southern California. In all honesty, I don’t know how or why anyone can say they hate LA; I can only assume they’ve never tried surviving NYC.

Pasadena Hollywood sign while driving in Los AngelesI do agree with the haters on some things though. I mean, I wouldn’t be me if I just sat here and focused on the good. That would be too LA. So I won’t detail how the weather is perfect every day, or how I live on the top of a beautiful hill and attend amazing events and meet people I’ve been watching on TV and in movies for all my life. I’ll hold off on the benefits, fund raisers, award parties, and backstage passes I’ve been enjoying for the past six weeks. Nope. I’ll spare the gory details about how I finally have my own photography exhibit in a sick downtown gallery, The Hive. I don’t want to recruit new residents (there’s enough traffic as it is) or lose my cynicism, which I use as a shield.

So rather than spewing happy on the world, I’ll take this time to bitch about how annoying it is to drive in this damn town. I’m not sure what the city planners were thinking when they designed these roads. Maybe they were huge fans of Frogger or Mr. Toad’s Wild ride and decided to play a little game with the people of LA.

When you finally escape the dreaded cars flying by, you’re reminded that you need to make the most of every moment… aka "have some sex."For those of you unfamiliar with how driving (if you can call it that) in LA works, allow me to elaborate. Let’s refer back to my favorite male model, Zoolander. Remember how he couldn’t turn left? Well as a New Yorker, I thought that was nothing short of insane, and that the writers were just low on material. I now know how very wrong I was. Evidently, I now find myself unable to turn left on a daily basis. There are about three intersections in LA County with a left turn signal and designated lane. For the remaining intersections where one must turn left, the only way to do it is to stop short at a green light with about 200 angry drivers honking at you from behind for piling up traffic.

Only adding to the stress and annoyance of the other road occupants freaking out on you is the grave task of cutting into oncoming traffic and making the almost impossible turn. In my short experience, I’ve found that the only fairly successful way to do that is right at the second when the light changes from yellow to red, forcing the enemy (oncoming cars) to stop, allowing you about two seconds to turn before either a) smashing into another car or b) getting a ticket for running the light. This allows about one car through safely per light. As you can imagine, this pleases absolutely no one.

"So why not drive in the right lane?" you’re surely wondering. Because the right lane turns into parking at random times in random places. There you are, sailing down the right lane, laughing at the poor souls beside you in the left lane, thinking it’s going to be a smooth journey considering the lack of brake lights, when suddenly you realize the brake lights aren’t on because the cars are parked. Now you have to come to a dead stop and move left while everyone beside you (who just watched you pointing and laughing at them) flies by with no intention of letting you in. Just add a few cell phones and there you have it, ladies and gentlemen: gridlock… the reason why no one ever makes it to their destination even close to on time.

Another movie scenario which comes to mind when I’m on the road is from Clueless, when Di accidentally gets on the freeway and is so freaked out that she decides to lose her virginity to Murray. The New Yorker in me used to think she was just a hoe looking for an excuse to give it up. Now LA Jessica completely understands this scene.

Here in LA, if you don’t pay 100% attention to the signs, you can end up on the freeway at any time. It can be very scary for new drivers (Di and myself since I haven’t driven in about six years prior to the sudden move to California). When you finally escape the dreaded cars and trucks flying by you (a reminder why you’re probably better off on the gridlocked, stand still traffic known as Santa Monica Boulevard), you’re reminded just how short life is and that you need to make the most of every moment… aka "have some sex." I too would lose my LA virginity immediately exiting the freeway, but I have no one here in mind, and the men I’m finding here are far too in touch with their feelings, causing what I can only imagine would be more trouble than a one night stand is worth. I celebrate surviving the highway with California’s state drink: a large iced coffee with organic soy milk.

While proofreading this I made note of the fact that I’m now referencing movies rather than news stories, but all in all, since I live in Hollywood now, movies are way more important than world news or impending terrorist attacks.