Autumn, Don’t Leave Me!

 

Because I want to make this:


Sour Cream Apple Pie OMG

 

And snuggle up here:

 

 

And walk in this:

 

Please come back, Autumn?
You were so pretty.

 

…for the two days you were here.

I Love My City:

 

NightFall from Colin Rich on Vimeo.

 

When people tell me that Los Angeles is ugly,
I’m going to show them this.

My Nitty Gritty City:

 

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.

California,
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 home,
to opportunity,
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!”,
but better,
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,
isn’t it?

 

My favorite LA Places:

(I’ll probably keep adding to this list…)

 

Beantown, Sierra Madre

by Mindee Choi for LAMag

 

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

 

From Kate Cornell

 

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

 

Photo by coffeemeister.blogspot.com

 

Oh, man.
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

 

Photo by skyminor.com

 

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.
SO. GOOD.

 

Leela Thai, Silverlake
 

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,
pushy salespeople,
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.
It’s exhausting,
but if you plan well, it’s totally worth the traffic and parking.

 

Favorite Hikes:

Eaton Canyon, Pasadena
Mt. Wilson Trail, Sierra Madre
Griffith Park, Hollywood
Lake Avenue, Pasadena

 

Favorite Beaches:

Hands down,
my favorite is Ventura (which is technically not in LA, but who cares?)–
it’s quieter, cleaner,
and dog-friendly.

This is Ventura. Well. It’s a picture of The Boyo and M’self in Ventura, the day we met our little corgywn.


 

I love Venice Beach for the exact opposite reasons.

Dockweiler allows fires in allotted fire pits,
and Zuma is Malibu without the pretension.

 

Obviously:

 

In n’ Out Burger
(there’s a reason why it’s famous)

The Getty Museum
(well-curated, in spite of Greco-Roman art scandals)

The Arclight
(will spoil you on regular movie theatres forever)

Cinespia
(bring a group, an umbrella, and a low chair)

LACMA
(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
(Worth it)

 

So…who wants to come visit me now?

The Process. And Also a Corgi.

 

She kept planting her furry little butt on my skirt. We drew lines of compromise here.

 

She sure makes me more cheerful when I inevitably fuck up a simple seam, though. Lookatthatface!

 

The desert at 90mph.

 

This part of the lawn is VERY IMPORTANT.

 

Sometimes, I'm tempted to put fake eyelashes on my wighead.

 

The 300" skirt and the front tapestry panel.

 

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.

Shutup.

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.

 

It's this amazing tweedy mustard color--It feels like I pulled it out of a Vermeer painting.

 

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.

 

Merry Christmas:

 

Christmas Eve is better with an Octopus.

 

Tonight,
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.

 

Merry Everything.

 

It *almost* makes it feel like it's snowing outside!

Number 19:

 

The Roommate,
my friend,
my chosen sister,
Jessie Jones,
got married on Saturday.

 

There were wine bottles
and Jurassic flowers
and roses and peonies
and a very small dinosaur on her bouquet.

 

Photo Courtesy of Amanda Rouse

"Rawr" means "I love you" in Dinosaur.

 

Jurassic Bouquet - Photo Courtesy of Laura Jane

Protea, Thistles, Peonies and Roses, Oh My!

 

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
because?

Jessie and Mike have made their lives around people who are wonderful,
just as they are.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Greenholt - Photo Courtesy of Amanda Rouse

Mr. & Mrs. Greenholt

 

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.

 

Mike, Jessie.

I love you both.
Thank you for Saturday.
May God smile on all of your days together.

 

ps (i miss you, jess.)

 

Jones and Rea - Photo Courtesy of Laura Jane

The Pink Hair. The Redhead.

Exhaustion:

 

Which means that this is going to be disjointed.
Sorry.

 

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,
starfish style.

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.

 

Yesterday,
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,
boys,
literature.

…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.

 

Roses and berries

 

I’ll have to get a better shot of these roses–
they’re called “Cool Water”, and I love their delicate color.

 

"Mad Men" is *very* important to the arranging process.

 

My Nitty Gritty City

 

That sky?
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.

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