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A Little Bit Of Nonsense

13 Aug



Do you hear that?

That’s me stretching my blogging muscles.

They’re all pale and jiggly and nervous from lack of use.

Let’s see if we can change that.

All right, all right.

A few things.

First, and most importantly, Cape Cod Potato Chips.  Oh my Cape Cod Potato Chips.

I first tried these gems of deliciousness on the beach, my toes in the water, my fingers permanently stuck in the bag.  No one else was remotely as excited as I was about this snacking development. I raved and crunched and gesticulated with those hand gestures, those hand gestures that define me probably more than any single thing on this earth, and the people around me just stared.

Stupid East Coasters.  We get it. You eat Cape Cod Potato Chips every day and grew up in Stars Hollow.

We get it.

Also, it was not until after I had shipped 40 bags into California and taken this picture cradling said bags like a baby that I found out Cape Cod Chips are carried in Malibu grocery stores.

Of course they are!


Speaking of The ‘Bu (no?) I spent last Saturday under its flawless sky.  Life is brighter in Malibu, folks, that’s just the truth of the matter.


I get like a cartoon of myself in Malibu.  I gush and giggle and say about 400 times, “I hate LA!  LA could fall into the ocean and I wouldn’t blink an eye!  But Malibu!  Always more Malibu!

I don’t know if it’s Malibu itself or if it’s just what Malibu symbolizes that inspires such passion in me, but I suppose that doesn’t really matter.

Malibu is it for me.

Malibu is the place I went when I was broken and starting over. Malibu is where I first pursued writing as a real, actual, I’m-gonna-do-this thing.  Malibu is beginning and the end of everything, and to this day I still spill my best words under its no-filter-needed sky.

Winters in Malibu and summers on the Cape?

Does that work for you all?

Let’s see, let’s see.

Oh!  This song.  Cait showed me this song the other day and I think it’s quite perfect.  I have a thing with the number 17, and the age 17 and this song perfectly captures what 17 is and was and will forever be to me.


I know you’ll love it.

(Said in a Kathleen Kelly voice.) 



Look at this bacon house of delight and wonder!  Soak it in!  Grasp the concept of chocolate covered bacon!

I snapped this shot last weekend at the OC Fair with Lucas.  Bacon is kind of a thing for our relationship, you know.  The first thing Luke ever cooked me was a BLT, and this was a strong move on his part since he’s a bit of a bacon expert and I am a bit of a bacon crazy.

(Bacon crazy?   Creak, creak, creakity creak.)

When we go to the store Luke has a careful bacon selection process and it’s very cute to see his face scrunch up as he peers through his glasses and picks out the very best of the fats for us.  If I’m ever upset with him all it takes is a good plate of bacon and most everything is forgiven.

So far nothing has been so big that bacon couldn’t fix it.

That might have more to do with his cute glasses, though.

Or him.

Probably him.

I’m going to definitely say this has to do with him, and I’m going to log off now before this train completely derails.

Blogging!  I’ve missed you so!



30 May

photo-259 photo-260 photo-261

These pictures deserve their own post, if only to show the progression of my photography relationship with Caitlin.

The first photos Cait and I took were just about two years ago at this point.  We were a set-up friendship, and had never met in real life so our first encounter was when I showed up in LA ready to look for apartments.

Cait, of course, documented the whole thing.  She has no qualms about taking pictures, asking people to take pictures, forcing you to take pictures even when you say, “no thank you,” in your most polite tones.

No qualms whatsoever.

As a result, we have dozens and dozens of horrifying photos from that first weekend together.

I’m not exaggerating when I say these were the worst pictures of my youngish life.

For one thing I was wearing a hat.  This was during the black-out three days of my life I thought hats and I could work out, and now it’s recorded for all of eternity because Caitlin doesn’t get rid of pictures, she just uses them as blackmail later.

I know, kids.  Look at how weird your mother was.

For another thing, the pictures were just…bad.  The body language.  The angles.  We didn’t know what to do with each other both in the photos and in life.  You could tell she was thinking, “Who is the weirdo in the hat?” and I was thinking, “Who is this weirdo in a hat?” and maybe it was the hat that caused all of the problems.

But probably not.

We took some getting used to, me and Cait.  It took time for us to learn each other’s angles, if you will.

And so these recent pictures, these happy, effortless photos at Caitlin’s graduation, well, they mean quite a bit to me.   They show how far we’ve come.  They show how well we know each other.

I believe “ease in pictures together” is a significant marker in any relationship.

I just thought of that this instant, but I’m sticking to it.

More on this theory later!

Or not!

There was a moment during Caitlin’s graduation where her mother turned to me and said, “Aren’t you so glad Cait didn’t go to USC?”

I nodded.

She continued, “You know, Cait called me when she started school and she said, ‘This roommate, Mom.  It was meant to be.  Pepperdine was meant to be.'”

At that point I full-on teared up.  I watched Cait’s long blonde hair bouncing up and down in the ocean breeze and all I wanted was to go back to our little unfurnished Malibu apartment and start these two years over.  Do them again and do them right and change almost nothing.

Except maybe document them more.

I know, kids.  Look what a sap your mom was.

The George Clooney Diva Fiasco

15 May


Monday morning I woke up to an urgent text from Hilary, “Why were not at George Clooney’s engagement party at Cafe Habana?!  BONO WAS THERE.”

Café Habana is the one and only karaoke spot in Malibu and the home of our regular karaoke jam sessions. (Is jam session the right term here?  I’m feeling a bit insecure about it.)  Just like everything in Malibu, karaoke in Malibu is something of a quaint, endlessly rich affair.  Cafe Habana is owned by Cindy Crawford’s husband and is a Mexican restaurant and bar six nights of the week and karaoke-jam-session-host-thing-place one night a week.

(Yep, definitely wrong term here.)

At 10:00PM sharp on Wednesdays, this deliciously older, bearded DJ sets up camp in the corner booth and suddenly Cafe Habana is ready for some bad singing and even more terrible dancing.

At first I was a bit outraged by the set up.  Where was the stage?  Can you even correctly perform Mariah Carey amongst the common people?  Do the diva goddesses frown on such a practice?  And then I tried it, and, well, now I have to say all karaoke should be done without a stage and with college students dancing in your face every time, always.

There are very few things that inspire me to leave my little cave and be social, but Wednesday night karaoke at Cafe Habana  is definitely one.

I love the little white-haired man that Caitlin gets into dance competitions with.  I love the guy who sings “No Diggity” and compliments my Fergie rap when it’s particularly Fergielicious.  I love the homeless-looking person I’ve been assured is a secret billionaire.  I even like the pageboy-wearing hipster who pulls a harmonica from his pocket and belts “Piano Man” from the tabletops.

(Caitlin doesn’t like that guy much, though, see the above picture.)

I’m not joking you when I say this line-up is fairly static.  Cafe Habana karaoke is as certain as taxes and stretch marks, and I’m all about it.

And now back to that fateful Hilary text.

“WHAT?!?” I responded.  How was it possible that Bono was in Malibu?  Why didn’t we know?

Hilary texted frantically, “I just feel so mad at whoever was in the area and not starting worldwide Twitter trends.  Once, Ryan Gosling was rumored to be at a Bloomington bar and I was woken up in the middle of the night to drive by.  HE WASN’T EVEN THERE.  WHERE ARE PEOPLE’S PRIORITIES?”

Hilary continued on, morosely, “Bono probably sang ‘Zombie’ and brought down the house.”

This was a low blow, really, for last time Hil and I were at Cafe Habana we attempted to sing a “Zombie” duet and it went over rather poorly.  In fact, after the performance we comforted ourselves with Diet Coke and Hilary said, “Some people just don’t understand rock and roll.”

I couldn’t stand the texts at that point.  “Ugh, don’t, Hil.  Don’t go there.”  The thoughts of Bono at my karaoke place singing my karaoke song were just too much for my 8:00 AM brain to handle.

Hilary continued to send sobbing emojis.  I went back to sleep.

I woke up four hours later a little worried I was getting up after noon.  “I just woke up.  Should I be concerned here?”

Hilary responded, “Nah, the George Clooney fiasco required a nap for emotional recovery.”

“You’re right,” I said. “You’re so right.”


I should probably go nap again.


PS: SheKnows?

Apparently high dogs don’t get the munchies, who knew?

How to decorate like a billionaire

10 Reasons why Hamilton the hipster cat is super suave

15 Dogs that like to garden

15 Garden gnomes gone wrong

19 Signs you decorate like a hipster

Endings and Beginnings and Ice Cream

3 May


Today is the sort of hot that makes me strip down to the absolute essentials, scoop an extra large bowl of strawberry + mint ice cream, and curl up in a dark corner to practice my bad attitude skills.

I just checked my phone. It’s 84 degrees outside.

Oh my spoiled.

Last night I went to a midnight showing of The Princess Bride, and as I sat in the theater with the eccentrics and the other people who spend their Friday nights cheering for Inigo Montoya I just thought, “LA, you are an effing rock star tonight. Also, what ever happened to the actor who played Westley, this man who makes mustaches appear almost slightly acceptable?”

LA is an effing rock star a lot lately.

Also the man who played Westley did not age nearly as well as Robin Wright, who is an effing Greek goddess.

Also I take back what I said about mustachios.

Also I’m done with the term “effing” for this post.

Sorry, Mother.

I’ve found the more I contemplate leaving LA the more LA is fighting back. She’s saying, “Really? You want to miss out on sunsets at Dodger stadium?” “You’re OK not finishing off LA Magazine’s top 75 restaurants?” “What about that yoga class you’ve committed to? You’re really just going to bail on that?”

The yoga class isn’t really the thing I’m most concerned about here, let’s be honest. But I do have yoga commitments, people, and I needed that in writing.

I would also like in writing that my phone now autocorrects “live” to “love” so all the time I’m sending texts like “I guess I just have to learn to love with it” which is actually rather cute when you think about it. Almost every time “love” works just as well as “live” in a sentence, most of the times it works better.

There’s some sort of a hippy parallel to make there about how love always works better in every circumstance.

I’ll let you make it.

Last week before my last class of my last semester of my last year of school, Hilary and Katie and I found ourselves at Duke’s eating burgers and trying to act normal. It was one of those situations that felt like it should have more importance than it did. This was the end! This was the beginning! We should make grand speeches about how far we’ve come and then sing Vitamin C and really mean it!

We decided maybe we just needed to cry it out, combine the tear ducts of three highly emotional girls, and then we could get on with our lunch and change the world and such.

Katie instantly teared up because she was hungry and she’s a human being. Hilary looked across the ocean forlornly, her green eyes wide open. I went to my crying go-to—dwelling on a past, terrible relationship.

This didn’t go on too long before we started to laugh.

I was dwelling on past, terrible relationships to force myself to cry! Hilary was keeping her eyes open, despite their need to blink!  Katie was hungry!

It was all funny.  It was funny because we were trying to force a moment when we were already having one.  It was funny because our emotions were on edge.  It was funny because of everything and nothing and soon our burgers came and we had a normal lunch and a normal class and it had a normal amount of importance.

I don’t like this ending one bit.  I love my life as a writing student.  I love the friendships I’ve made in LA, the two years I’ve put in to make these real, adult friendships when real, adult friendships can be so hard to come by.  I love Malibu and Duke’s burgers and writing groups, and while I know school finishing is not the end of everything, I do feel this time slipping away from me.

Already, in just a few days, there have been subtle transitions.  My life is shifting, whether I want it to or not.

Also today is so hot.

Today is so, so hot that all I’m eating is ice cream.

A is for Awkward

1 Apr

In the crazy haze that was last month, I signed up to be part of the A to Z blogging challenge and pledged to blog 26 times this month. 

Pledged seems like a big word to use here, like I’ve joined a sorority or something, but I sort of feel like I have.  26 times? Is this possible?

What is a sorority?


I think that most people who move to Malibu have some version of a Cinderella story in their minds.  I’m sure it varies from person to person and interest to interest, but you’d be hard pressed to find a 20-something student in Malibu who has never entertained, even for one second, the possibility of randomly meeting and subsequently falling in love with a celebrity.

“Oh my gosh, I never saw this happening.  I totally didn’t even want in on the scene.  But it was Adam, you know?  Adam convinced me.”

“He’s just a good, solid guy, don’t let his stunning looks and curly hair fool you.”

“I mean, hanging out with Chrissy Tiegen at the Oscars was cool and all, but she and Johnny are normal people like us.  You’re making too big of a deal out of this.”

(Should I stop or do 25 more?)

My dream Cinderella story involves Adam Brody in all his awkward glory fighting for my attention, me rebuffing him again and again, and Adam declaring his love for me on top of the Starbucks coffee counter.

I love him back.  We kiss.  Death Cab for Cutie swells in the background.  We move to Orange County.  He makes a comic book character named Diva Jillian.  I seek psychological treatment.

Deep breath.

And another.

And oneeeeeeee more.

OK, feeling better.

I’m ready to continue.

Alas, this isn’t a story about my unhealthy love of Adam Brody.  Nor is it a story of how I’ve been coping since his marriage to Leighton Meester.

No, this is the story of my Malibu Cinderella moment with a celebrity you likely haven’t heard of (and who shall rename nameless) and how I seized the mother freaking day.

It all began at Malibu Kitchen…

(Screen swirls taking us back to that fateful day.)

I was all dressed up, a ploy my friends and I were trying in order to improve my mood.  Looking good means feeling good, right?  Onwards and upwards!  A penny saved is a penny earned!

(Who knows.)

I wore this little blue dress with ankle boots that placed me somewhere around the 6’1’’ zone and I shopped for cookies with a vengeance and a purpose.  Basically, it was like any given Thursday afternoon in Malibu plus heels.

There was this hot, disheled, Jewish man (not Adam) outside of Malibu Kitchen reading the newspaper. I noticed him, vaguely, and then put on my best “I’m so fabulous I don’t even notice you” face and bustled around buying three extra Kinder Buenos for good measure.  Hot Man smiled at me.  I acted like I didn’t notice.  There was a check out and another smile.  I moved on.

Back at Pepperdine I pulled out my laptop and settled down for an afternoon of writing when Hilary casually mentioned, “Oh hey.  That hot guy outside Malibu Kitchen who smiled at you? Yeah, that was CELEBRITY NAME.”

I about fell out of my chair.






(More theatrics I will spare you.)

Within minutes Hilary and I were back in her car speeding towards Malibu Country Mart and within a few more minutes I was (very, very awkwardly) giving my number to CELEBRITY NAME and then running off in a fit of giggles and ankle boots.

I spent the afternoon giggling and shaking and saying “oh my gosh” at less and less frequent intervals.  (By the end there I think I was down to four times a minute!)

It was the bravest, craziest, seize-the-mother-freaking-day-est thing I have ever done in my entire life.

Call me Cinderjilla.


Call me Mrs. CELEBRITY NAME Denning.

(I’m keeping my last name.)

Oh my gosh.

Oh my gosh.

Oh my gosh.

Oh my gosh.

Nostalgia For The Now

21 Jan


This weekend I decided I needed to see August: Osage County and so it was off to the movie theater where I enjoyed two hours of Erin Brockovich-ish Julia Roberts and drank a monster diet coke.

I have a real thing for Erin Brockovich, as anyone who knows me can tell you.  Last semester I wrote a paper on the feminism of Erin Brockovich creatively entitled Erin Brockovich: Feminist Icon, my phone auto-corrects Brockovich, and even typing Erin’s name over and over my heart swells with happiness and push-up bras.   It’s the type of film I pop in to watch as a comfort movie, right up there with You’ve Got Mail and Notting Hill, which is kind of odd, really, when you consider the subject matter, but for whatever reason, Erin Brockovich is a boiling pot of cheesy soup for my soul.

Also, I heard that Julia Roberts is in a knitting group, and I don’t know if this is fully true or not, but I really like this idea and I really like living in a place where rumors like this reach me.

Also also, I once went out with a boy who told me I looked like Julia, and though I can’t recall many other details about him/our time dating, I do remember that compliment and always will.

Thanks for that, Frank! (His name was not Frank.)

I remember the first time I saw a movie by myself.  It was Mamma Mia! and I was off sick from school or work or whatever I was doing at the time, and got so bored I left the house and ended up at the movie theater.  Probably not the best idea, but this blog is not where you come for best ideas.

Why do you come to this blog, again?

I was super embarrassed to be by myself at the theater, and rashly used years of stored up wishes to hope no one I had ever met would see me in my sick, alone, popcorny state.

It wasn’t until later that I realized going to the movies on my own is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

I once went to a movie with a boy (not not Frank) and he told me he loved to spend days at the theater seeing back-to-back films and eating huge buckets of popcorn.  This was very appealing to me and I felt maybe we had a real connection.  When we got to the popcorn station, we ordered our large popcorn and I smiled thinking this was the beginning of one of our many movie days, a tradition we would look back on fondly.

The worker asked if we wanted butter or no butter on the popcorn, and at the same time Non-Frank said, “no butter” and I said, “butter” and then we looked at each other and right there, I knew our relationship was doomed.

Movie rituals are sacred.

Why are you having popcorn if you’re not having butter?

I won’t accept other opinions on this.

I actually ended up at the movie theater three times last weekend, count them, THREE.  It was all part of my special all-me alone weekend, which unlike Lorelai Gilmore’s special all-me alone space, wasn’t closely attached to heartache and tears.

Well, not as  closely attached.

Lately I’ve been trying to document my life better through pictures. I’m feeling this sense of urgency, this, “You’re leaving here soon, don’t miss anything” anxiety, and so I’ve gone out of my way to try to capture the things that make my life at this particular moment in time so wonderful.

Things like Malibu never packing up Christmas.


Or Reel Inn’s daily puns.


I find myself with a bad case of nostalgia for the now.  It’s like my life is moving too fast for me to take it in, and soon I won’t be able to go to the beach when I please or spend inordinate amounts of time crafting a frothy teen soap and I’m very sad about this.  I feel like I’ve finally got to a place where I know my place, if that makes sense?

I have a routine and friends and a niche and it’s about to be taken away from me, and I’m simultaneously trying to live in the moment and freaking out that it’s all going too quickly.

And so I take pictures.

And eat a lot of nachos.  Always nachos.


And I go to the movies alone.  Three times in one weekend.

And it’s sublime.

Falling In Love With A Place

8 Jan


My first day back in Malibu I was so light and happy I almost didn’t recognize myself.  The sun was out and the ocean was shimmering like Ariel’s sparkle gown and my heart was so full it almost ached.

I am completely in love with Malibu.

A friend once told me that she had fallen in love with a place.  In her case it was New York City, Brooklyn, to be specific, and I remember listening to her speak about her home in animated and adoring tones, much like the ones I used to describe the boy I was mad about, and thinking I had never really experienced that.  Was that even a thing?  Do people fall in love with places, and if so is it like falling in love with a person?

I guess I got my answer this week.

Yes and yes.

You would think that falling in love with a person would be different than falling in love with a location, but in my experience it isn’t. I could list all sorts of awkward love parallels about initial attraction and compatibility, but the bottom line is when I’m in love I giggle a whole lot and when I’m in Malibu I find myself giggling and giggling and giggling for no reason at all.

Oh yes, I love Malibu.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that when it comes to relationships Malibu is The Perfect Boyfriend.

See that?  Awkward love parallels accomplished anyway.

This got me thinking about my relationships with the other cities I have lived in and called home.  If Malibu is The Perfect Boyfriend, then what exactly were they?

Las Vegas was The First Love

Vegas is the first place I remember clearly devoting my whole heart to.   I loved my life and I loved my friends and I loved freely and without thinking because I was young, and that’s what we do when we don’t realize that love only comes around every once in a great while and we should savor it.  I didn’t think about loving, I just did.

When things ended with Vegas, I didn’t get over it, not for a long time.  After all, first loves.  They stay with you.

My freaking goodness I should know.

South Jordan was The Best Friend

SoJo is the guy that I completely adore, but not in a romantic way.  It’s the one I know will always be there for me when I come around, but not the guy I want to spend my life with.  Not a love match.  For either of us, really.

SoJo doesn’t want me long-term.  SoJo knows if I were there forever I would be dissatisfied and our relationship would be ruined.  We’re better as platonic friends and so we were and so we remain.

Which led me to…

Provo, The One That Never Should Have Happened

Provo was bad fit all around. It’s the relationship I gloss over when telling my life story and the relationship I only ever talk about in hushed tones with the people closest to me.  We’ve all picked the wrong match before.  My wrong match was Provo.

And then there was…

Crestwood, Kentucky, The Blind Date.

I did not choose Crestwood, but rather it was chosen for me when my family moved there after I graduated from high school.  I did my best to give Crestwood a shot, after all, you never know?  Maybe something could be there with such opposites? Maybe after Provo anything was better? But alas, there was nothing and I left barely remembering it ever happened.

Which brought me back, of course, to SoJo, my good pal, (all roads lead to SoJo?) and once we had spent a sufficient amount of time together and I had regrouped I moved on to…

London, The Dream Guy

London was the relationship that I had spent so many years fantasizing about that it could never live up to its impossible expectations.  London carried the weight of every dream my dream-heavy heart could project, and, as with most Dream Relationships, it crumbled under the pressure.

London did, however, introduce me to therapy.

And so it was back to the always open arms of SoJo and then it was to Malibu, because I was getting restless and SoJo is a pal.

By now we know how I feel about Malibu.

I considered naming Malibu “The One,” because that’s what I like to do when I fall for something.  I want it. All of it.  Forever.  You and me, all the time.  But alas again, I fear Malibu is simply a good phase in my life.  A boyfriend to remember for the happy times, but not the one to call home forever.

I think The One is yet to come.

This year my life is going to change in significant ways and I don’t know where I’ll end up. San Francisco has been on my mind for some time, kind of a hazy shape of idea that hasn’t formed into any real plans yet.  There’s always the possibility of LA, of course.  And then there’s New York.  Ah, New York.  “Finishing school for girls like us,” as Jen Lindley told Joey Potter.  I’ve never been one of those people obsessed with getting to New York, but perhaps that is why it will happen for me.  Cait’s vibing it, and I  trust nothing if not Dawson’s Creek and Caitlin’s vibes for my life.

So perhaps New York is The One.

Or San Francisco.

Or maybe, just maybe, if I play my cards right and cross my fingers twice and throw a pinch of salt over my shoulder at exactly the right time, my Perfect Boyfriend could become The One.

Just maybe.

Heaven knows we’re a good match.

Thelma And Louise

16 Oct



The other night after class I headed up the PCH to the place formerly called home.

I hadn’t done that yet this semester for a number of wishy washy reasons that involve carpooling and late classes and other things that seemed important but probably weren’t.

Last week, though, I made it to North Malibu and back to the Caitlin/Jill apartment of yore.

Cait screamed when I knocked on the door.  A loud, over-the-top scream that continued on even when she let me in the apartment.

I have missed that.

I have missed that more than I thought.

We spent the night sitting on Caitlin’s bed talking about a little of this and a little of that and a whole lot of nothing.

Caitlin soon found herself in the Affair to Remember pose, blanket tucked over her, arms perched on her stomach. I soon found myself saying, “All I want is to wear my glitter skirt somewhere and maybe my glitter shirt on top of it and then probably never take either off again.”

Which is to say, soon we found ourselves exactly where we’ve always been.

We laughed at my inappropriate laugh in class.  We laughed at our latest dating disasters.  We laughed as Caitlin suggested we were Thelma and Louise and pulled up a picture of Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis and decided she was a Geena and I was a Susan.

I mean, the scarf and glasses.

I mean, the gun.

We laughed and laughed and talked and talked and at one point I did a dramatic reading of the Thelma & Louise Wikipedia page so we could relate it to our lives.

I find myself giving a dramatic reading of something or other quite a bit these days.  It’s one of those things I’ve discovered about myself in adulthood and knew about myself in childhood—I love to read things out loud.

I can’t tell you exactly what it was about that Malibu evening that made it so special.  It was simple and regular and I don’t remember most of what was said or done.  I just remember the feeling.

It’s the feeling that I forget I need when I just go through life and don’t pause for glitter skirts, Thelma and Louise, and An Affair to Remember nights.

It’s the feeling of, “I am understood completely. I am me completely.”

Don’t You Just Love LA In The Fall?

2 Oct


Now is about the time of year when blogs across the nation explode in a haze of “apple picking” and “cider” and “Pumpkin! Pumpkin! Pumpkin!”  It’s the season where sweaters are immortalized and boot photos are taken and Kathleen Kelly is quoted.

And while I get it, I truly do, I mean this is my birthday month for heavens sake, THE BEST MONTH OF THE YEAR WHAT ARE YOU GETTING ME?  I have to ask, is there anyone on this planet who does not think fall is the best of all seasons?

Pumpkin! Pumpkin! Pumpkin!

Reading these social media tributes to crisp weather has had me thinking a lot about fall. The thing about LA in the fall is that it’s quite like LA in the summer.  Or spring.  Or winter.  That’s the glorious, perfect magic of LA.  We have fall all year round, suckers.

Last week one of my friends from London came out to California for a brief visit. This friend is an Australian mountain man-type and after lunch he turned to the drab Santa Monica Mountains and said, “I don’t get the California thing.  Why are people so into it?”

I thought this was a joke at first.  Haha good one.  You hate pizza, too?  And Friends?  And The Beatles?

Ha ha hardy har.

When it became clear that he was serious, I pointed over my shoulder,  “The ocean that we just ate lunch on! And the weather!  The weather is like this all of the time!”

My friend didn’t get it, though, and all my impassioned hand gestures couldn’t convince him otherwise.  However, that moment of outrage, that “I must defend this place” feeling made me realize something about myself–I’ve truly become a California girl.

When I was younger I thought I was an East Coast girl through and through.  This may have been a product of growing up in a Utah suburb, but the East just seemed for me.  The East had boarding schools and old-timey houses and town hall meetings and Luke Danes.

The East was where it was at.

When I was a teenager, my brother Jeff predicted my future. He said I would be a professor in some East Coast metropolis and have a professor husband and wear a lot of turtlenecks. “YES,” I thought.  “This is surely my life’s path.”

Perhaps it still is.

Who knows.

For now, though, I’ll take the non-fall of California.

For now, I’ll revel in my hippy sweaters instead of harpooning coats and traffic instead of subways and Malibus instead of New Yorks.

For now I’m a California girl.

Muumuus And Moving And Malibu

4 Sep


I recently bought an article of clothing that can only be described as a muumuu.

Not a dress-turned muumuu.

Not a cover-up worn as a muumuu.

Simply, straight up a muumuu.

I’m in love.

I’ve managed to wear said muumuu every day since I bought it and, unfortunately, this isn’t like wearing a pair of pants every day for a week.  People tend to notice bright-colored muumuus and say things like, “That’s a muumuu, all right”  and “When did you get back from your out-of-the-country vacation?”

If I had any sewing inclination at all, I would take up making muumuus and expand my wardrobe options.  I imagine they are fairly easy to make:

1. Buy large piece of hippy fabric.

2. Cut out holes.

The end.

Oh for the skills to follow two sewing directions.

Next up–moving!

The last couple of weeks I was in a weird in-between place.  And not in the Dr. Seuess, I’m unsure about my life way, because that seems to be an ongoing place of my 20s.  No, this was a literal in-between place where my stuff was in storage, and I lived out of a tiny suitcase and only shopped enough for a few days in advance.

Turns out 24 frozen burritos weren’t necessary for a few days in advance, who knew?

In-between places feel very chaotic.  No matter what I do, no matter how packed (or unpacked) my schedule is, I can’t seem to settle down or get much accomplished because there’s just this vague sense of unrest.

I’m in my new home now, and have exited my literal in-between phase.  Thank heavens.  Also, I bought a muumuu, have I mentioned?

And finally! Malibu!

It’s weird not living in Malibu.  Already I’ve found myself stranded in the Bu wearing only a cover-up and baseball hat and realizing I needed to go out that night.  The thing about LA is you can’t just decide to go back to your place and change.  Not when you’re going from Malibu to Marina Del Rey and back.  That journey will cost you several hours and 1/16th of your soul, and so you tighten your baseball cap and go out in public anyway and decide it looks very celebrity chic to wear sunglasses and a bathing suit in public, when you know it doesn’t.

I’ve decided I’m going to start a travel bag in my car where I pack my muumuu and a pair of sandals, 10% so when situations like these arise I won’t be completely helpless, and 90% so I never have to go anywhere ever again without my precious.

I mean my muumuu.

And with that I leave you with a few of my other favorite M words, because, you know, good writing.

McSteamy.  McDreamy. Mac and Cheese.