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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.

Silver Lake Is For Hipsters (And Lovers) (And Cats On Leashes)

13 Oct

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I’m sitting here eating a caramel-chocolate-mini-m&m-pretzel rod and that’s really the beginning and the end of everything, isn’t it?

Whenever I sit down to compose a blog post, my first impulse is to start with a detailed description of what I’m consuming at the moment.  It’s a terrible habit, and a terribly boring habit in terms of writing, and yet I’m drawn to it.  Every time I put my fingers to the keyboard to spill something profound all I can think is, “Wow, I really love this pretzel rod.  And that pop of salt?!”

I’ll try to spare you all.

The other evening I decided I was going to try one of my all night writing sessions.  These late nights have been known to be effective in the past, my most effective, in fact, and so on the way home from Luke’s at 1:00AM I stopped at Jack in the Box and I got a Munchie Meal.

I congratulated myself on this choice.  Two types of fries!  Possibly-soy tacos!  Something smothered in cheese!

A friend said she saw the Munchie Meal advertised and wondered who on earth consumed such a thing.  Well, the answer is me, and the answer is, in the cold light of morning with no writing done and a pit in my stomach the size of two potentially-vegan tacos I had regrets.

All the regrets.

The other day Luke and I drove by Joni Mitchell’s Laurel Canyon home.  It was a special trip, one to fulfill my heart’s deepest desires.  As we climbed the Hollywood Hills my lungs filled with anticipation.   My eyes widened, ready to take it all in. This was it!  This was where all the magic happened, where Joni became Joni!  I waited for the traffic to thin, the houses to grow sparse, the air to turn crisp and medicinal.

It never happened.

Joni’s home was right off a busy thoroughfare, covered by shrubbery.

It was nothing to look at it, nothing to see.

My soul wasn’t healed, or even touched, really.

I tend to have this problem with anything I’ve imagined.  The reality is just…reality.  I remember seeing the Pantheon in Rome and being completely let down.  I had envisioned the famous building on the top of a quaint hill surrounded by lush greenery and faint breezes. I had imagined my ascent–treacherous and possibly involving a donkey, but worth it when I finally got to the top and soaked in its majesty.

Instead I nearly had my chest crushed and my purse stolen by unruly, smelly crowds in the center of Rome.

Que sara sara.

(A boy once put this que sara sara song on a playlist for me after we broke up.  That’s all I can ever think when I say that phrase.)

Que sara sara, Joni.

I read an article about Joni Mitchell’s current Bel Air home and the best part of the whole thing was when Joni called the interviewer at 8:00AM and said, “I just wanted to talk to you before I went to bed,” and the interviewer is like, “Joni, it’s 8:00AM.”

I get that.  I’m a little sad I’ve lost that to an extent, the world has stolen my all-nighters from me, and I’m trying to get them back.

Jack in the Box Munchie Meals are not the way to go, it seems.

The day of the Joni Mitchell Laurel Canyon thingamabob, Luke, myself, and my new leather fall boots spent the morning in Silver Lake.  Luke and myself quite enjoyed the morning, but my boots, let me tell you.  They were none to happy.

As I sat in the car, using Luke’s entire Band-Aid supply on my feet and wincing at the memory of the boots I wondered when I will learn.  New shoes are not to be had for day trips!

But they were soooo cute.  I tell myself.  But they were fall and went with the flannel and….oh there’s no excuse because it was so unbelievably hot and the flannel was too much to begin with.

It’s been so boiling toasty here. I’ve done my best not to only fill this blog with tales of the weather, though maybe that’s an idea right there.  A weather blog!  With a side of what I’m eating right now!

But really, Instagram and the news, and the sweat barreling down my leg midday are all screaming about the heat and I seem to be ignoring everything and wearing flannel and boots.

(I’m going to Utah in two weeks.  I’m going to Utah in two weeks.  I’m going to Utah in two weeks.)

Silver Lake was everything I had hoped it would be all in one hipster morning.  It was coffee shops with almond butter muffins and coconut kale smoothies and fresh, local, organic everything.

It was grown men with cats on leashes, and handmade flavored luxury marshmallows and a store that sold (and rented) VHS tapes.

It was the purchasing of Raising Arizona on VHS as a gag gift and the constant compliments on “such a find.”  It was an hour in a record store with a perpetual disaffected 80s youth and vintage stores galore, and one ill-fated attempted walk around the lake in which I winced from the car and wished the whole thing were prettier.

It was a spice shop stuffed with things I’ve never heard of and smoky cajun powder for Luke and mint tea for me.

It was an episode of Portlandia, right here in LA.

I quite loved it.

I quite love this pretzel rod, too.  Did I mention the pretzel rod?

My LA Commute: A Survivor’s Story

12 Sep

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Every morning I get in my car just after 8:00.

I have an underground parking spot, and as I pull out I always look at the Yacht Clubbed license plate next to me belonging to Fran, a neighbor I once thought was part of my romantic comedy.

I drive into the gloom of morning-by-the-ocean and my phone adjusts to having service again. I anxiously freeze my fingers on my tumbler, gulping the first water of the day.  It’s the moment of truth, this transition from Searching to LTE.   How bad, exactly, will it be today?

Google Maps lights up quickly, all red, as usual.  It’s 8:02AM in LA and I’m driving downtown.

It’s all red, always.

I quickly take stock of my options.  I can call my best friend in Utah.  Sometimes I’m able to catch her in between baby feedings and being a grown up.

I can turn on the radio and listen to those two know-nothings who hate Mariah Carey. I can brave the fuzzy side noise that comes with my auxiliary cord.

Most of the time, though, it just comes down to me and Luke’s CD.  The one he made me right when we started dating.

It’s full of his Jill songs at that particular point in time, and I have the whole thing memorized backwards and forwards and upside down Beyoncé.

I clip along through the back roads of LA, Norwegian Wood lightly setting the mood.  I admire the palm trees and wonder where I would settle down, if I had to live here for the rest of my life.

Oh please let this not be my place for the rest of my life.

But if it’s this street, I want the Snow White cottage.

And if it’s the next block, the pink one.  Because you can have a pink house in that neighborhood, you should have a pink house in that neighborhood.

I pass the McDonald’s on the corner, never in enough time to stop, but always in enough time to make me want to stop.

The traffic starts and stalls and plays with my heart every few minutes. Google Maps likes to alert me that a new! faster! route is available and sometimes I let myself believe it, and 17 minutes later I’m stuck on a side road, nowhere near work, with only Stevie Nicks to comfort me.

My mornings go Lennon, Nicks, Petty, in that order.

Carey, Swift, Hawkins, too, if we’re being precise.

I slow down at USC.  I speed up for three seconds at a time and jolt to a stop, wondering why I forgot I can never speed up.

I listen to The Cranberries on repeat.

And then repeat again.

After an hour or so of struggle and mixed CDs, I pull into the third row of Joe’s Auto Parks and employ the unnecessary emergency brake.  I’m always a little later than planned and I always hate LA  just a little bit more than I ever thought I could hate a place.

I grab my tumbler, the book that won’t fit into my bejeweled Gone With the Wind purse, and my bruised 3-day old peach.

It’s time to start my day and I’m already over it.

Adventures in Rollerblading And Pasta Salad

7 Jul

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My mother is in town, which means my belly is full, my orchid is being nursed back to health, and my hair is out and scaring strangers.

I swear on the life and legacy of Edith Wharton that my hair grows when my mother is around.  I think it’s a competition thing.  Like my hair can just feel another mane trying to assert dominance and it won’t stand for it, nope.

When you add my little sister’s fuzz to the mix, well, we’re just a walking trio of alpha hair clowns over here in LA right now.

Luke assures me my hair is my best quality and that’s why we keep him around.

Then again, my dad says my mother’s hair is her best quality so maybe there’s something to this.

All right.

My Fourth of July was pretty grand, if you ask me, which you sort of did because you’re reading my blog.

My family saw a feminist revisionist film.  We had a BBQ in which I converted Luke to pasta salad (a crucial step towards any couple’s happy future) and we rounded the day off with an intense rollerblading session and spectacular fireworks on the Marina.

Now.

Before we get to the nitty gritty particulars of my blading adventure, I want to talk about pasta salad, because I don’t think I’ve really expressed my feelings on the matter enough.

Pasta salad is one of my main food groups.

Nachos is another, obviously.

Watermelon makes its own category.

So do peaches.

And mac and cheese!  Let’s not forget mac and cheese!

Isn’t this fun?

The pasta salad that converted the “I like my foods hot, thank you very much” Luke to the right way of thinking about pasta salads, I actually discovered at a baby shower.

I’m going to go ahead and say it’s the best thing to come out of that or any baby shower ever in the history of the world, because, really…

…baby showers…

On to rollerblading!

My family decided to bike to the Marina for the fireworks show to end all fireworks shows, and I strapped on my rollerblades for the outing.  This was fine, mainly, but not quite so fine in the dark.

Downhill.

In a crowd.

At one point on the journey we hit a slope and I took off on my blades, unable to stop myself.  My mother yelled, “Jill, grab the flashlight!” as though I could somehow gain control, turn around and reach back for her phone.

(My mother also said this week that she “lives for Snapchats” so let’s document that now.)

People made comments, as they do when a girl in a dress barrels through a crowd on rollerblades.

Is she wearing rollerblades?

Way to be unique!

Hello Jennifer Aniston!

(I couldn’t hear all of the comments, so I’m ad libbing a bit here.)

It was a whole thing.

I also managed to get stuck in my rollerblades right before a family picture, but let’s not go into details right now, let’s just review the picture above.

Ah, candid photos.

The night ended with a midnight s’more, several episodes of The Combeack, and bowl of extra chilled pasta salad.

I’m starting to feel like myself again after this month of Zombie Working Jill.

I’m almostttttt halfway sort of there I would say.

Also, The Comeback.

Why did no one tell me?

S’mores In A Cup And Working Full-Time

19 Jun

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Tonight I told Luke I was giving up writing.

We were walking hand in hand along Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, the palm trees swaying, the blue stretching out before us.

“Okay,” he said.

“Okay?!” I said.  “This was an extremely difficult decision, THE difficult decision of my life.  It cost me a lot emotionally and I would appreciate you taking this seriously.”

“Okay,” he said.

“Hrpmh,” I said as we walked into our restaurant.

I’m so tired.

I’m tired enough that I say things like I’m giving up writing when I don’t really mean them because I’m exhausted and I’m trying to tackle everything at once, and all see is a big future ahead of me where I have no time for anything but sleep and work.

I started my job this week, and let me tell you what, this is something of a lifestyle adjustment.

Tonight at dinner I kept laying my head against Luke, practically falling asleep at the table and our friends assured me it gets better.  I’ll adjust to my new schedule.  I’ll figure it out.

And I believed them, because they introduced me to the restaurant’s S’mores in a cup, and also because, no never mind, it was about the S’mores in a cup.

Oh!  Luke doesn’t like marshmallows!

Breaking news!

Well not breaking, as I have known this for some time, but breaking for my blog readers who are extremely interested in my boyfriend’s eating habits.

I ordered a steak tonight (more fun food facts, coming right at you!) and I when my plate got to me, I scooped up my spinach and mushrooms and put them on Luke’s plate and he said, “You know, your greatest flaw as a human is that you don’t appreciate mushrooms.”  Later, when I ate my S’mores cup and he refused the fluffy goodness, I said, “Your greatest flaw as a human is that you don’t appreciate marshmallows.”

And that maybe sums us up in some weird way.

Or maybe not.

Or maybe yes.

TIRED.

Another fun Luke fact: he goes to the store every single day.

Yes.

He likes it.  He enjoys the grocery store like no one else I’ve ever known.

The day he moved he had a semi-emotional goodbye with his butcher.

And when Luke told me about his store habit, I was so incredulous I could not even speak.  “Stop,” I said.  “Stop it right now.  You go back to the store and you buy seven yogurts, that’s what you do.  You do not go every day to buy a single yogurt.”

But then again, I’m a girl who goes to the store once every quarter so maybe he shouldn’t listen to me.

All right.  Where were we?

Oh yes, I’m working.

I’m working in Downtown LA where the view from my building is as you see above.

Like, hello city.

And every time I look at this, I can’t help but think about Young Jill.

Young Jill dreamed of nothing more than working in a big city. She was sure she belonged in the middle of everything, soaking up culture and refining her mind and buzzing and bursting and flowing and something.

And here I am, all grown up and working in a big city, and it’s nothing like what I thought it would be.

For one, it’s not New York City, which I always kind of imagined it would be.

And thank heavens for that.

New York and I were never meant to be, though it’s still the city I get every time I take one of those “What city should you live in” quizzes, I’m apparently so fond of taking.

I get New York and Luke gets New York and Cait gets New York and it’s like all my favorite people are the type of people who should live in New York but don’t.

And maybe that doesn’t sum us up or whatever.

So that was for one, in case you forgot.

For two, cities aren’t as glamorous as maybe I once thought they were.  Like today, on my two-mile trek to Chipotle, I stepped on a rogue earring and the stud managed to pierce its way through my wooden ankle boot and up to my foot!

What disease do I have now?!

(Don’t worry, my mother is in Utah exploring the fine print of my shot records.)

After I stepped on the disease tack, I kept thinking, “I’m going to die.  This will be it.  I will have died because of my greed for Chipotle.  Who knows what rare and terrible diseases that thing had.  I’m going to die, slowly and painfully and probably be on the news.”

And then I bought myself a dozen M&M cookies to go along with my Band-Aids because it was that sort of day.

And then I came home to write.

After eating a steak with no mushrooms.

And S’mores in a cup.

Because I’m not giving up writing, it turns out.

I’m just tired.

The Fake Celebrity Sightings of my LA Dreams

3 Jun

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Important information right here, people!  Important information!

I’m tired.  And my brain does not want to give me a blog post.  And luckily for you all, I wrote a guest post not too long ago about my four dream LA celebrity sightings and now you get to read it.

Also, I’ve recently taken to bidding for vintage mumu patterns on eBay so there’s that.

On to the fake celebrity sightings of my LA dreams!

1. David Beckham

David is clearly at the top of this list as David is clearly at the top of life.  One of my professors recently said she wanted David to decorate her living room and now I just can’t that glorious visual out of my head.  What a living room!

I imagine I would run into David on the beach.  He, holding a surfboard, me wearing a non-pretentious cover-up that conveyed both personality and sass. He would smile, sensing a connection, but things wouldn’t go too far.   WE BOTH RESPECT VICTORIA.  We would lock eyes, wistfully thinking about what might have been in another life under other circumstances. On my deathbed I would yell, “It was always David!”

2. Stevie Nicks

My meeting with Stevie would take place in some ultra-hippy, possibly communal restaurant where we sat on the floor and vibed with the universe. (Duh.)  Stevie and I would discuss life, love, and the pursuit of proper hair products.  (There has to be a secret to those curls, there just has to be.)

We would also get down to business—what’s her favorite line in Dreams? When did the “witch” label come about?  Exactly how much is she in love with Lindsey Buckingham this very minute? Sigh.  I get excited just thinking about it.

3. Scott Disick

I would meet Scott at Duke’s in Malibu.  He would be drunk (Scott!) and at the bar, holding court.  “Let me buy you a drink!  Join us!” he would say, in that thick New York accent of his.  I would spend the afternoon listening to Scott tell increasingly outlandish stories.

At the end of brunch we would go our separate ways, he to a scolding Kourtney, me to my computer, where I would create a new blog entitled “My encounter with Scott Disick.  One post per minute in his presence.” The blog would be a runaway hit.  I would quit my day job and move to Prince Edward Island.  Scott would have another baby with Kourtney.

 4. Oprah

I would glimpse Oprah at a gas station in Hollywood.  She would be in a limousine (obviously) and someone else would be filling it up (obviously).  I would pay attention to the car only because of the intimidating security guards and the general aura of self-fulfillment coming from its very core.

Just as I was getting curious enough to try to sneak a peek in the car, Oprah would roll her window down and give me a small wave. I would take that moment and turn it into a new life for myself, a life of fulfillment and inner peace and chai tea.

When people asked me what changed, why I was a drastically different person, I would just say, “Oprah” and leave it at that.

Which celebrity encounters do you dream about?

Do you, too, respect Victoria Beckham?

Oprah.

In Which I Almost Encounter Bono, Again

20 May

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For those of you concerned that my blog has turned into a Bono fan site where every day from now until forever I quote U2 and talk about how I maybe, sort of, almost should have run into Bono and I’ll never recover because I didn’t, all I have to say is:

Your fears are founded in reality.

I’m renaming this site jillianlorraineandbono.com.

I just purchased red sunglasses and am wearing them indoors.

**How long must we sing this song, how long, how long**

Last Saturday was a long, hot, need-to-recover-in-a-dark-room sort of day.  It was Caitlin’s graduation and a tip top occasion, but really a tip top tiring occasion as well.  I spent most of my time fighting traffic in and out of Malibu, sitting in the hot sun, and other such graduation things.

Graduations!  Important, but also! You know?

Saturday night my boyfriend and I were supposed to go out and socialize with some friends.  Drinks on the water.  Happiness and self-actualization.  LA, etc.  I stumbled over to his apartment around 8:00 and said I couldn’t do it. I was far too tired and needed to stay in and drink a glass of water and take three ibuprofen and eat ice cream and watch Veep in a dark room all night.

“That sounds like your equivalent of a bender,” he said, as he got me water and watched me eat a pint of ice cream.  ”I’ll miss you.”

“Of course you will,” I said, “now go and leave me to my misery.”

A couple of hours later he sent me a text, “One word: Bono.”

Naturally, I remained the classy girl I am, “BONO IS NOT THERE, IS HE? I WILL COME.  WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? YOU DON’T SAY BONO AND DISAPPEAR! WHY ARE YOU JUST TELLING ME THIS NOW? I COULD BREAK UP WITH YOU OVER THIS.”

“I told you as soon as I knew,” he said, which, my dear blog readers, was the honest-to-goodness truth.  Sweet, terrible-taste-in-music boy that he is, he didn’t know Paul David by sight.

!

On the one hand that’s kind of really cute, and the other hand, pull it together, man.

Pull it freaking together.

“Inform me of his every move. I’ll be there ASAP,” I texted and I was out the door, hurtling towards my destiny.  I cranked “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and frantically called Hilary six times.  You see, while I respect Bono as the greatest person alive, as all normal people do, Bono is Hilary’s diva.  Her soul person.

Bono is to her what Mariah Carey is to me.

Plus I was just having a lot of feelings.

All of the feelings.

Feelings everywhere, spilling out, needing to be shared.

A couple of minutes later I got a text from another friend in our group informing me phones were dying and Bono was leaving.

“No!!!!!” I responded, still a full 20 minutes away from Malibu, still a full 20 minutes from my destiny.

“How can this keep happening, my close encounters of the Bono kind?  Why am I so cursed?  Was I born under an unlucky star, is that what this is all about?”

!

A few hours later I was back in bed with my Veep and my water when my boyfriend texted me, phone functional once more.  I apologized for my rash words and asked him seriously if we could continue in a relationship.

How does it work, really, when one of you has been in the presence of Bono and one hasn’t?  Can we still communicate?  Do we have anything in common anymore?  What does our future look like?

“I love you, Jill,” he said.  ”I love your crazy.”

“Yeah?” I said.

“Yeah,” he said.

And then I thought, oh.

That’s how it works.

That’s what our future looks like.

I Survived My First LA Earthquake (I Think)

24 Mar

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A couple weekends ago around 8:00pm I was doing the normal things 20-something girls do in LA.  I was in bed watching Frasier by peony candlelight.

I was going to start the next sentence with “in my defense,” but I am not ashamed of this and no defense is necessary.  I was on Season 7 of Frasier and if Daphne and Niles didn’t get together soon my brain was about to explode and to save myself and my hypothalamus, I curled up in The Marshmallow and forged ahead like a brave little toaster.

Two things you should know: The Marshmallow is the name of my bed, thus given because of its color and overall smooshability.  This picture doesn’t quite do it justice, so just imagine what you see is a pit of whipped cream all sugary and light and then multiply the fluffiness by like 300%.

Did that make you hungry, too?

Also, let’s talk about that pillow!  In my recent terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week (that turned into a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month) I went on a bit of a shopping spree, which is what I tend to do, and I ended up with this pillow and I regret nothing.

Malibu is so big in some respects, (27 miles of coast!) and then so tiny in others (no good pizza!)  This pillow captures all of the Malibu highlights I’ve come to love and love with notable exceptions being the Chipotle and CVS.  But honestly, any pillow that showcased Neptune’s and Paradise Cove really was always going to steal my heart.

So overall, good job Team Pillow!

(I don’t know.)

I do know that one of my goals before I leave Malibu is to visit every place on the pillow and the pillow is taking on all sorts of metaphorical meanings and I can’t stop this train.

And now let’s bring it back to Frasier.   Recently my writing group assigned ourselves Frasier characters because, from what I understand, writing groups mainly exist to support each other’s mental health and discussing Frasier characters fits that bill completely.  Also because the first rule of Writing Group is you do all you can to avoid actually writing.

The second rule of Writing Group is you do all you can to avoid actually writing.

After almost no deliberation, my group decided that Katie is a Frasier (the intelligence) and Hilary is a Martin (the dog) and I am a Niles (the drama).

I can’t tell you how happy this made my soul.  No matter what else happens to me in life I can always cling to this:

I’M A NILES.

(There have to be t-shirts for us out there, right?)

I actually quoted Niles to my mother the other day when she said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and I retorted, “Yes, but some people don’t make it out of the first category!”

But you came here for the earthquake not for the drama.

Back to that.

The earthquake situation thingy was all very quick and by even writing this post I’ve made it much more theatrical than it ever was. (You came here for the drama, admit it.)

One second I was throwing pillows at the TV and saying, “HURRY THIS UP ALREADY. I CARE NOTHING ABOUT DONNY AND NEITHER DID YOU AS A WRITER, OBVIOUSLY” and the next second there was this big thud.  Like if I weren’t on the top floor of my building I would have thought a large marble bust had fallen upstairs or something.

(Marble bust? I’ve been reading a lot of Victorian literature lately for school, you’ll have to excuse me.)

I quickly googled, “earthquake” to see if that’s what it was and nothing came up so I assumed I was probably being murdered and someone had broken into my apartment and dropped their marble bust, giving themselves away.  (Slight exaggeration only.)

I blew out my candle, sent some good vibes to the universe, and then got on Twitter where updated information told me that I did, indeed, survive an earthquake.

A 3.2 magnitude earthquake in Marina Del Rey, to be specific.

That’s right, I made it through my first LA earthquake and I didn’t even know it!

I guess this makes me a true Angeleno now.

It only took me a year and a half and seven seasons of Frasier.

The Dennings Do LA

20 Feb

Last week some of my big, curly-haired family came to visit me in LA.

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See that?  Wild hair is genetic!  Frizzy Dennings unite! All you needs is curl! Etc.

I tend to write stories about families with a million siblings and more curly hair than one home knows what to do with, and it’s such an obvious, “Wow, Jill, drawing from real life?” thing that it’s almost embarrassing.  But I don’t stop.

Write what you know.

And I know crazy, curly, overalled families.

Other things I know:

1. Teenage angst (and adult angst)

2. Female friendships

3. Feminist girl bands

5. Girls who want to be Stevie Nicks

Also, let’s talk about the whole “write what you know” thing.  I think most of the time, for me, at least, it’s “write what you wish you knew.”  It’s write Ryan Gosling.  It’s write a British boarding school where the lead (who looks and acts suspiciously like I do) falls for a boy named Elvis, the son of a rock star.

Elvis, for Elvis Costello.

Obviously.

But back to my familia.

What I really do know.

Years ago it was decided that I would be the Chief of All Vacation Activities And Other Assorted Tourist Plans in the Denning household, and I have to say, it’s quite a fun role to have.  My mother once said that people come to her and my dad for practical things.  If you need someone to help you move, they are exactly who you’re looking for.

No one has ever called me specifically to help them move.  I’m an adequate mover (I assume), it’s just that it isn’t quite in my range of specialties if you know what I mean.

My parents are pros are day-to-day life.

I’m a pro at being on vacation.

Last week my family ended up at the wax museum in Hollywood (one of my life goals–NO JOKE) and so much happiness ensued.  I will only share one highlight per Denning because, really, you don’t love us that much.

Also some things are special.  Like me and Thor.  That is special and that is secret and that just got weird.

Do you know what else is weird? Me and David Beckham. Gosh, that’s an awkward photo.

And now to pictures allowed on the internet!

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Leo.  Leo my love.  Leo, do my burning eyes display my burning passion for your burning soul?  Leo I’ll never let go if you jump I jump Leoooooooooo.

(Fun fact.  My AZ roomie Harry contacted me after I put this picture on Instagram and asked who my new boyfriend was.  I was like, “Do you think I’m dating Leonardo Dicaprio? I love you!” And he was like, “Oh.  I didn’t recognize him.”

Could that fact get any more fun?)

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My mother.

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Joel was ridiculously on fire this day in a way he’s never been on fire in front of the camera, well, ever. (I’ve been there for 20+ years of family photos with the boy, trust me.)  He then was initiated into the Instagram world.   I don’t think he quite got it, but I also don’t think we’ll be seeing pale pink borders on his pictures anymore so we’ll count that as a win.

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Jessica making Hitchock/me proud.

Bonus picture just because I’m a Pink Lady and if you can’t post these pictures on your blog why are you in the blogging game in the first place?

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Goodness gracious I love this family of mine, curly hair and all.

I think I’ll keep writing about them.

Curly hair and all.

 

I’m Juicing

18 Feb

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A few weeks ago after a long day on campus and a long night in class I got in my car, turned on Fleetwood Mac and drove straight home.

Not a bite of McDonald’s.

Now, to you people out there who eat your fruits and juice your vegetables like the good citizens of the future, this probably sounds like a normal night.  To me, who quotes Her and refuses to stop, this was the height of oddity.

10PM = Malibu McDonald’s.

It’s the only routine I can even trust in this crazy thing called life.

But wait!  There’s more.

Not only did I skip the McDonald’s (and the Taco Bell. And the other McDonald’s) on this night-from-another-person’s-life, I skipped the McD/TB/McD and then I went home and juiced.

That’s J-U-I-C-E-D, for those of you who don’t live in LA and are not yet under its spell.

I put kale and lemon and beets in a J-U-I-C-E-R and ground it all up and then drank it.

It was T-A-S-T-Y.

(Don’t tell the spicy McChicken.)

I don’t want to go too far here, but after juicing I decided that I was an entirely new person and needed to change my name to commemorate this new identity.

Please call me Zelda The Juicer from now on.

If you mention the video game I will personally see to it that Caitlin hurts you.  I’m trying to reclaim the name Zelda and we can all be part of this, folks.

Now that that’s out of the way.

I’m juicing!  That whole intro was just to tell you that these days you can call me Zelda The Juicer, because I don’t even recognize myself and I’ve made all sorts of healthy changes in my life.

(I will accept congratulations in the form of McDonadl’s gift cards.)

(They are a thing.)

(I got one for Christmas.)

(Thanks Jenna and Andrew.)

I credit these positive steps in my life to two things 1. A lingering Utah cold that made me sound like a baritone with a cough 2. The New Year.

Every year as January 1st rolls around I make a massive list of all I want to do in the next 12 months.  I wouldn’t call these things “resolutions” per say, more like a running document of all I would like to accomplish in the new year.  Some of them are fun things (Ellen, your lottery system can’t outwit me for much longer!) and some of them are rolling things (I will I will I will take a self defense class one day, oh yes I will), but all of them are things.

Things without numbers.

I’m really, really terrible at goals like “Do 74 push ups five times a week taking 30 second breaks between push-ups 40 and 41 and 63 and 64,” but I’m very much for trying something new and learning to take better care of myself.

In 2014 this means experimenting with juicing, I suppose.

And rollerblading.

Rollerblading!

Oh people you should see me rollerblade, or actually you probably shouldn’t because it’s kind of absurd.  I demonstrated to Caitlin as I left her apartment and she just rolled her eyes at me and said, “That’s a visual I won’t soon forget.” This may have been because I was reenacting it with a 7-foot surfboard and mini dress, WHO KNOWS, but whatever the case when I rollerblade I sashay my hips and it’s a visual people don’t forget.

Also, I can’t stop.

Not as in “can’t stop won’t stop,” just simply “can’t stop will hopefully learn to stop before I topple down a mountain on rollerblades.”

I have to say, maybe it’s the kale speaking, or maybe it’s the endrophines from the rollerblading injuries (those give endorphins, right?), but so far 2014 has been the greatest.

G-R-E-A-T-E-S-T.

(For those of you who don’t live in LA.)