Because I want to make this:
And snuggle up here:
And walk in this:
Please come back, Autumn?
You were so pretty.
…for the two days you were here.
dancer. reader. thinker.
15 Oct 2012 Leave a Comment
Because I want to make this:
And snuggle up here:
And walk in this:
Please come back, Autumn?
You were so pretty.
…for the two days you were here.
26 Sep 2012 Leave a Comment
When people tell me that Los Angeles is ugly,
I’m going to show them this.
09 Jul 2012 1 Comment
I am a third-generation Californian.
I live here because I love Los Angeles.
Not the traffic, sure.
Sometimes I get tired of sunshine,
and wish we had weather.
But I love that I can drive five miles
and be in a completely different place,
with completely different shops and restaurants and people.
There are small theatres and large theatres
jumbled up with Korean karaoke joints and medical marijuana cafes.
You don’t have to go to Starbucks
because there is probably another independent coffee shop just a little further on.
And we do walk in LA.
We walk to our parks, walk in our neighborhoods,
walk like I do on Saturday mornings to our favorite coffee shops,
where we linger in the sunshine
and say hello to everyone’s dogs.
for my family,
is promise and hope and something better than where you were–
my great-grandmother fled the Dust Bowl in Texas
for a better life in Burbank,
and she found it.
My parents moved to Washington (for reasons still unknown),
and all we dreamed about for ten years
was coming back here,
to sunshine and flip-flops and the ocean
maybe not at your door,
but within reach.
That’s the thing about Los Angeles,
and probably most big cities:
They are what you make of them.
I don’t think I could ever live in Manhattan or Brooklyn,
but I think it’s wonderful and lovely that people go there,
survive, and make it their home.
It’s kinda that old saw of “Bloom where yer planted!”,
because you get a chance to move about within your city
until you find your home and your way.
…Sometimes it doesn’t work.
And you go back to the Northwest or the Midwest or wherever
because you will find home there instead of here.
And that’s okay, too.
I found my home here.
I love my city.
I love California.
I love the busy-ness and the sunset on the San Gabriel mountains
and the scent of orange blossoms every spring
when I drive through Pasadena.
I love the quiet of Eaton Canyon,
the weirdos on Venice Beach,
the lights and crowds in Hollywood;
I love the way dusk falls when I’m sitting in my friends’ backyard,
all blues and purples and golds on the hills.
When I was in Washington,
on my loneliest days,
I would face south and make a wish to go back to California.
It’s kinda nice to know that
tiny wishes come true,
My favorite LA Places:
(I’ll probably keep adding to this list…)
Beantown, Sierra Madre
This is my coffee shop–the baristas are always friendly,
and there are plenty of squashy chairs and couches for curling into with a book.
I highly recommend the spiced vanilla chai.
The Bourgeois Pig, Hollywood
The coffee can be great or total crap,
but really, I go for the back room, which is decorated to look like a forest,
and has a teeeeeny little two seat cubby tucked into one corner.
The mint tea is usually a good bet.
Swork Coffee, Eagle Rock
The Boyo and I went here almost every weekend
when he was living in the hotbox ghetto apartment.
Swork makes a mean cup of coffee, just as good as Intelligentsia,
in my opinion,
and a helluva a lot cheaper.
We love the blended Eagle Roca and the Mayan Mocha.
Auntie Em’s, Eagle Rock
There is usually a long wait on the weekends,
but the food is worth it!
I had honey-orange french toast here–
the honey was carmelized, so it added this delicious little *crounch* to the toast.
I can’t even remember how we found this place,
but the Boyo and I have been coming here since 2006–
their prices are fantastic (most plates around $7-$8),
and the food delicious.
His favorite is the Pineapple Fried Rice,
mine is the Pad See Ew;
we both adore their crispy eggrolls.
Crossroads Clothing, Pasadena & Studio City
Their website reads as a trifle hipster-y,
but trust: This is where you go to get good clothing for cheap.
The shop in Studio City often has a ton of designer brands
(Betsey Johnson, Prada, Alice + Olivia),
most of which are under $20.
For the last year or so, I’ve bought almost all of my clothing here.
The Fabric District & Santee Alley, Downtown Los Angeles
First, bring cash.
Second, bring water and a snack.
Third, prepare to be bombarded with loud music,
and really, really good bargains.
I go here for almost all of my costuming needs–
the fabric district has a dizzying array of choices,
and Santee is great for cheap Christmas presents for nieces and nephews,
and for clubbing/circus/acro clothing.
but if you plan well, it’s totally worth the traffic and parking.
Eaton Canyon, Pasadena
Mt. Wilson Trail, Sierra Madre
Griffith Park, Hollywood
Lake Avenue, Pasadena
my favorite is Ventura (which is technically not in LA, but who cares?)–
it’s quieter, cleaner,
I love Venice Beach for the exact opposite reasons.
Dockweiler allows fires in allotted fire pits,
and Zuma is Malibu without the pretension.
In n’ Out Burger
(there’s a reason why it’s famous)
The Getty Museum
(well-curated, in spite of Greco-Roman art scandals)
(will spoil you on regular movie theatres forever)
(bring a group, an umbrella, and a low chair)
(so much fun–check out the Japanese art wing!)
The Huntington Library
(gorgeous, lush, quiet)
The Hollywood Bowl
(go for LA Phil, if nothing else)
Walt Disney Concert Hall
So…who wants to come visit me now?
09 Mar 2012 Leave a Comment
in Uncategorized Tags: corgi, corgus, costumes, costuming, creativity, Elizabethan, fabric district, I have no sense of proportion, Los Angeles, making things, nami, oh the pretties!, renaissance, Renaissance Pleasure Faire South, Swearing makes it easier
There’s a story behind that tapestry–
Friend Amanda, who is making my bodice
(and regularly whips out costumes for dozens of folks
every year at Faire, ‘coz she’s a genius),
came over to my place last weekend for a shopping trip in the fabric district.
It was amazing to go down there with another veteran–
the districts in LA–fabric, fashion, jewelry, furniture, toys, floral–can be seriously intimidating if you don’t go there often.
It’s crowded, kinda dusty,
parking is a pain in the ass,
and there are so. many. things. whipping past your vision,
it’s easy to get headachey and grumpled.
We both had this moment, about ninety minutes into our trip,
where we were checking to see if the other person was okay,
because that’s uuuuusually the limit we have when we go with other folks,
and we both had to laugh, we were so fine with trucking on
for another three hours.
Plus, girl has a seriously good eye for fabrics.
This tapestry was a simultaneous spotting at Levine’s upholstery shop;
we gasped, I squeaked,
“Oh my God, can I use that?!?!”
Amanda looked at the price, and said,
“No. No, you can’t.”
…It was $24 per yard.
I normally never pay more than $5 per yard when I’m in the fabric district.
There was a great deal of hemming and hawing,
I got a swatch and carried it around for the rest of the afternoon,
and finally just had to come back and get it,
because it was SO PERFECT.
And I only needed one yard.
It’s totally justifiable.
And Amanda said I could!
Here’s a brief glimpse of my finished top skirt–
I also finished the bottom last night.
There will be more photos–
still have to attach my waistband,
hem the panel,
attach the panel to my hoop
(oh yes, I am wearing a hoop LIKE A BOSS),
and then the fun begins with chopine construction!
It’s going to be a busy month,
but my brain and heart feel so much better
for having something creative to hold.
24 Dec 2011 2 Comments
the Boyo and I took Nami and our friends’ wiggly pup, Spaghetti,
to the park to run around for a while.
There was Christmas Tree Lane,
with old, old Deodars covered in soft colored lights.
We played Book Lovers’ Scrabble until we got too sleepy to be clever.
The dogs are quiet.
So are we.
It’s a good Christmas, loves.
16 Nov 2011 3 Comments
my chosen sister,
got married on Saturday.
There were wine bottles
and Jurassic flowers
and roses and peonies
and a very small dinosaur on her bouquet.
There was a brief rain shower,
during which we all stayed blessedly dry.
There was laughter and dancing
with far away friends,
home with us just for a little while,
and two of the best toasts I have ever heard–
they couldn’t help but be that way
Jessie and Mike have made their lives around people who are wonderful,
just as they are.
Making a wedding happen is always hard work–
I’m home sick for the second day in a row because of it.
But every once in a while,
I get to be a part of a day that is so special,
I would do it all over again tomorrow if I had to.
I love you both.
Thank you for Saturday.
May God smile on all of your days together.
ps (i miss you, jess.)
14 Oct 2011 2 Comments
Which means that this is going to be disjointed.
I feel like I’ve been walking through peanut butter.
Like I could sleep for 48 hours and still need more rest.
Went to Denver for a business trip on Monday
(my first! I’m all growed up!),
had to be up by 3:30am, to LAX by 5am,
and ready to roll into a full day of work by 10.
Wore Full Business Drag (hose, heels, pencil skirt, fancy blouse, lipstick)–
which is awfully uncomfortable,
but looks damn good on me.
It was a good trip–
the best part being the Schwanky Hotel Room.
Sometimes, ya just need to sleep on a king size bed all by yourself,
Friend Mary (NinjaMom!) came to see me–
we went walking through the city,
spent hours talking (not enough time),
made me dearly miss our Girl Days just after she had Jake,
and I was unemployed,
when we walked and talked all over Sierra Madre.
I miss you, friend.
I went to the flower market to pick out pretties for my old student and friend’s senior vocal recital.
I am so proud of her–
when I first knew her, at 15,
she introduced me to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.
We talked about TS Eliot,
…We still talk about those things.
Lauren became the woman I knew she would be–
funny, kind, lovely, gracious, mature.
I can’t wait to see you conquer the world, ‘Lo.
I’ll have to get a better shot of these roses–
they’re called “Cool Water”, and I love their delicate color.
It’s the one thing that makes getting up at the buttfuck of dawn worth it.
I saw the sunrise over Los Angeles yesterday,
and it was beautiful.
I miss watching the sunrise.
07 Sep 2011 2 Comments
in Uncategorized Tags: Anna Wintour, caviar dreams on a mc donald's budget, dreams, fashion, Fashion's Night Out 2011, keep calm and oh never mind, Los Angeles, stop: SEXY TIME, when in doubt look cute, You Can Do It
Old Roommate Tamara and I are heading to Fashion’s Night Out in Los Angeles,
where we will drink champagne out of Louboutins,
exchange fashion tips with Anna Wintour,
and by discovered by Leibovitz, Richardson, and Meisel.
Like ya do.
But only if my dilemma can be solved,
which, naturally, is:
WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO WEAR?!?
All suggestions will be considered.
The management thanks you.
(what I wish was in my closet? see below.)
30 Jun 2011 6 Comments
in Uncategorized Tags: Advice, Advice from a Wedding Coordinator, Budgets, caviar dreams on a mc donald's budget, Comin' to Jesus, How to Get Married on the Cheap, Los Angeles, Say WHA?, Wedding Coordinator, weddings, work with me people, You Can Do It
I am a Wedding Coordinator.
This year will close out with my 17th wedding.
These posts are not meant to be rude or condescending (pinky swear!);
I just want to share a bit of what I’ve learned along the way.
There are things that I find common sense at this point,
which aren’t to a lot of folks because, hey, most of us
only plan one wedding.
So, from Becca’s Basket of Common Sense,
“The Comin’ to Jesus” Post.
Your wedding will cost more than you think.
What number are you thinking of?
Got more than 100 guests?
weddings are *like* great big parties,
except they’re not.
Weddings involve photographers,
and large groups of people,
and the smooshing together of two (or more!) families,
and the solemnity and joy of two people pledging their lives to each other,
and the traditions and expectations of everyone you have ever known,
and the wrangling of small children,
and the feeding and drinking of all of these groups.
Are there cheaper alternatives?
There’s the county courthouse,
there are cheaper ways of doing things:
1) Potluck reception.
(but remember that hot food needs to be kept hot,
cold food cold–there are expenses here, too)
2) Skip the flowers.
3) No booze.
4) No dancing.
(This avoids the cost of renting a dance floor, and/or hiring a DJ)
5) Non-professional photographer.
6) Costco cake (not a bad option, actually).
7) Afternoon wedding so you don’t have to worry about lighting or heating.
8 ) Have a long engagement in order to save up for the wedding.
(If that’s not feasible, how about getting married in a civil ceremony,
and have the Big Bash later when your budget can handle it?)
9) Cake and punch only reception.
10) No reception.
11) DIY DIY DIY DIY.
12) Call in favors–do you know someone with property who can rent it at cost? How about someone who rents chairs and tables? If you *know* people, you can often get costs seriously reduced.
Getting married outside in a public park saves a ton of money–
but what about inclement weather?
If it’s an evening wedding, you’ll need to rent heaters and lights.
If it’s a day wedding, you’ll either need to have shade on site,
or you’ll need to rent a tent.
Do you want folks to hear your vows?
You’ll need extension cords, speakers, and a mic–which many cheap outdoor sites do not provide.
Does the site provide adequate bathrooms?
If not, you’ll need to rent port-a-potties.
But above all?
Shrink that guest list.
specifically Southern California,
I can almost guarantee that if you have a guest list of over 100,
you should expect to pay between $8,000 to $10,000 for your wedding…
IF you’re doing stuff on the cheap.
Average wedding cost for this area?
Everything adds up–
most couples completely forget about the costs of purchasing or renting tables, chairs, tablecloths, napkins, silverware, plates, bowls, cups…
Even if you went to Smart and Final
to purchase disposable paper plates, cups, and plastic forks,
you still have to purchase at least twice the number of your guest list.
(Unless you tell your guests up front
to hang onto their disposable plate because they can’t get another
because there *aren’t* any more. UGH.)
I did flowers for one wedding
where only crudites, cake and punch were served.
Cheap solution, yes?
There wasn’t enough cheese and crackers for
even one serving per guest.
Folks who didn’t arrive to the reception site first
didn’t get anything to eat until the cake was cut–
an hour into the reception.
A lot of people left early because of this.
My point is,
even if you’re just serving cake and punch
(and boy, please put that on the invite,
so your guests know to not come hungry),
expect it to cost more than you think it will.
Ask friends for favors,
ask them if they can use their varied talents to help you and your fiance/e.
I’ve been doing flowers and coordinating weddings
at cost for friends for seven years.
The Boyo has designed wedding invitations at cost.
One of my friends made a dozen small cakes in different flavors for
Another friend is doing photography for The Roommate.
You cannot expect your friends to cover those costs *for* you.
(If they volunteer to do so, well and good.
But please please please don’t be the person who expects this.)
Flowers still cost money (if I’m lucky, I can keep it between $500-700 for a small bridal party, and little centerpiece decor–but if you choose to get married on a holiday weekend, flower prices double and sometimes triple).
Photography is eight hours on-site, and countless hours of post–
if you want prints of *anything*, that gets hella expensive in a hurry.
The ingredients for enough cake to feed over 100 people aren’t cheap.
It’s also polite to pay transportation costs for those who are volunteering their services to you. Not required, but polite.
You absolutely can get married on a tight budget in California.
However, you will have to give up a great deal of “extras” in order to do so.
I know this is a stomach twister,
but I am not exaggerating:
A wedding on the cheap in Southern California for over 100 guests
is going to run you around $10,000.
24 Jun 2011 Leave a Comment
When you say you want footage of a dinosaur,
what precisely do you mean?
‘Coz I’m picturing this:
(You do know “Jurassic Park” wasn’t real, right?)