Archive | July, 2015

LA Happens

29 Jul

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Recently a friend and I went out for sushi.

I had been to this particular restaurant once before, about a year ago.

Last year I ordered a chicken teriyaki bowl and asked for a fork.  I told the people I was with I had never liked sushi and never would, sorry, and also what’s the deal with chopsticks.

I stabbed my rice bowl with deep shame and clunky chopsticks.

(The server never brought me my obnoxious-person fork.)

This year I ordered five kinds of sushi and ate every single bite.  I marveled at the price, gave thought-out opinions on what I was eating, and used chopsticks without any real problem.

I had sushi again the next night.

LA happens to the best of us.

I love to hike.  That’s a very LA way to start a sentence, but there we go.  I love to hike and a few weeks ago I was on a mountain with friends when we started talking about face products.

“Oh yes, I tone with witch hazel now,” I said.

“Witch hazel,” my friend said knowingly.  “Very smart.  I don’t want anything but all-natural ingredients for my body.”

“Coconut oil!” my other friend chimed in.  “Through my years with skin problems, nothing works like coconut oil!”

I nodded, sweat pooling under my Dodgers hat.  I wore black Nike shorts, a black tank top and dedicated black Nike hiking shoes that I told myself I could buy after I had hiked five times.

I bought them after I had hiked once.

LA happens to the best of us.

There’s a guy who always comes to Wednesday yoga wearing toe shoes and when he rips them off his feet smell up the entire room.  We’ve all kind of accepted it at this point, muffling our noses in our tank tops.  He’s one of us.  One of the Wednesday Yoga Crew.

I’m one of those, too, I guess.  If I don’t make it to yoga at least once a week I feel off balance.  I look forward to it, plan my day around it, talk spirituality and yoga with my friends.

“It’s about my mind as much as my body,” I say.

“It’s making me rethink my entire life,” I say.

LA happens to the best of us.

I have a bag of frozen bananas in my freezer.

It’s a bag I’m constantly replenishing, a bag exclusively devoted to a green smoothie I love.

The drink in question is a knock off of a knock off of a twist on the best smoothie Vitamin Barn offers, a green thing that includes a frozen banana, frozen mango and pineapple, coconut water chia seeds and kale.

I like kale!  It’s true!  I prefer it to spinach.  I don’t know what people mean when they say it has a strong taste.  Am I missing that taste?  Kale tastes good.

It tastes like…health.

I like the taste of health.

And green smoothies.

And kale.

LA happens to the best of us.

Complicated Schedules

13 Jul

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I am one of those terrible people with an extremely complicated schedule.

I say this before I try to make plans to preempt the inevitable, “Oh my gosh you’re so busy!”  response to my attempts at coordination.

Because, yes, I am busy.  But more than that, I just have an odd schedule.

I have a great schedule if you’re a stay-at-home parent.  I have a great schedule if you want to go out of town with me on a pre-arranged weekend next year.

But I do not have a good schedule if you work 9-5 and you want to hang out with me any time soon.

The next time I am seeing people is in October.

(This is a bit of a joke.

But only a bit.)

My friends are all very supportive of me and this, though, what else could they be?  It’s supportive or nothing.

I learn to take time, slivers where I can.  An ice cream cone once every two weeks may be all I can give my people right now and it’s not enough, it’s never enough.  But it’s something.

It’s about the effort.

My friend and I talked about long distance relationships recently.  She said the biggest difference between a long distance relationship and everyday life is that everyday life relies more on small, daily sacrifices.  Long distance is like, “Oh hey I’m here for a weekend, let’s block everything out of both of our schedules and do nothing but be together and fall in love the whole time,” and everyday life is, “Can I catch you for a half hour next Thursday at 11:00PM and let’s be humans?”

Real life is hard.

There’s something in the sacrifice, though.

Something in the coordination and patience and the driving to see a person on a Thursday at 11:00PM for a half hour.

There’s something in that.

Dodger Stadium

5 Jul

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I love going to Dodgers games.

I don’t know why, really.  I’ve never once watched a Dodgers game at home on my own time.

It’s something about the ritual of it all.  Packing my broken hat.  Wearing my coolest possible clothing, but bringing along my blue fleece blanket.  Slathering on sunscreen.

It’s about the drive.  At least an hour and a half, maybe more.

Meeting up with Rob halfway.  Complaining about the traffic.  Knowing that that particular tribulation is just beginning.

It’s about the pre-game food routine.  The papusas at Grand Central Market.  Talking about how it’s silly everyone comes to Grand Central Market for Egg Slut when the papusas are the only reason to come to Grand Central Market.

Maybe a jaunt to Silver Lake if there’s time.

If I ever lived that deep into LA, I think I would live in Silver Lake.

But oh it’s hot there.

It’s about the parking and the walk from far left field.  It’s about the line to get in.

It’s about the heat and the Dodger dogs, the mini caps full of ice cream, the $8 Diet Cokes.

It’s about the seventh-inning stretch where we sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and the movies after the game that we always intend on watching but never make it through.

I almost told Rob I loved him for the first time at a Dodgers game.  I think I said something like, “I want to tell you something—see, I’ve been thinking—“ and then I clammed up and giggled and he told me it was OK and I could tell him when I felt comfortable telling him.

I had been playing with telling him for a while.  I knew when I left Caitlin’s one night and ran to my car to see him.

There I was, running to see a boy I had seen an hour before and would see an hour later.

I knew I loved him then.

I almost told him at a Dodgers game.

Instead I told him later that night, back at my apartment.

Sometimes I wish I had told him at the actual stadium. It makes the declaration more special, more epic in its scale.  It makes Dodger Stadium Our Place.

But then, again, maybe it’s Our Place anyway.

Maybe it’s just as good that it was the stadium where I realized that I was ready to share it, this big important thing. Where he said I could take as long as I needed.

Saying I love you is just about the bravest and scariest thing you can do, I think.

Or I guess not saying I love you but actually loving someone, whoever it is, whatever relationship you have with them–opening your heart up and risking the most vulnerable parts of you–that’s the bravest and scariest thing you can do.

I think.

Oh, well. Hi. I finished the first draft of my novel.

1 Jul

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Oh, well.  Hi.I finished the first draft of my novel.

I don’t know if that’s technically true, actually.  Two and a half months ago I sent a friend a really haphazard version of my book along with the plea, “Tell me if this is a stepping stone project, because if so I want to step right along.”

“You need to finish it,” my friend said.

I didn’t realize at the time he might not have been saying, “You need to finish it” because it was a great novel, he may have been saying “You need to finish it” because it is good to finish things.

Especially writing things.

Before I’ve picked a project, really settled into it, before a project has become fun and manageable, all I do is bounce around.  This new idea is going to be great!  And maybe this thing that I put on hold a few years ago–now is probably the time to take it up!

The truth is, of course, all projects suck until you put in the work.  It’s as simple as that.

Without work, all projects suck.

And so to finish something, to really give it my all, to edit and revise and try again and again when nothing (and everything) is at stake, when I have no agent or book deal or money on the table, and all I’m giving is more and more time, time that could be spent on that thing I put on hold a few years ago or my waning personal life—

To do that is good.

To finish what I’ve started, to show I can do it, to put my full self into a project so I can no longer hide behind the excuse of “I didn’t give my all.”

That is good.