Monday, December 26, 2011


Well, Christmas came and went.  And how unusually beautiful it is in my life, still, even now.  This holiday that once felt like it would always be spent with my family and a tree and the warm fireplace burning, watching the winter snow fall outside of frosted windows. I don't know what I was thinking once, that I forgot that there would be a long stretch of my life out in the world on my own. That there would be many Christmas days to be experienced between the family I came from and the family I might one day create.  That, it never occurred to me, my parents could move away from the town I grew up in, that we might lose some of us along the way, sweet daddy, and Christmas would change because everything changes eventually.  

I'm not quite sure where I came up with my early info on life.  But, boy, do I know how it is now. That, my friends, I can say with conviction.

So my family now gathers after Christmas, usually in January, in sunny California. When I can take a few days off from work and go sing and cook and be with those who know and love me to the core and I can feel like a child again.  Mommy, my sister and Stefan, love of her life, and my brother, and somehow dad's always there too, though I can't explain it.

But Christmas, actual Christmas, it's always something new here in LA.  This year, my friends Bethany and Jessica and I continued a tradition begun last year.  Bethany and I go to Jessica's on Christmas eve for dinner and board games and wine and a gift exchange.  We were all so excited to continue the tradition again this year.  And, I mean, there's no snow and we're gathered around a tree in an apartment warmed by a heater, and it still feels so much like Christmas, it really does, maybe because there is so much love there.  Well, and presents under the sparkling tree always help in setting the mood, too.  And Christmas jammies and a slumber party.  

And Jessica's girlfriend always joins us later in the evening, after Christmas with her family, and this time she made us the best home-made mac and cheese and joined us for some rounds of my board game, Hoopla, and her idea of a board game, Pictionary on their huge flat screen tv via everyone's iphones.  Now that was interesting, because I kept blurting out a stream of answers like I always do and, I guess, you're just supposed to type answers on your phone.  But I can't hold it in.  I have always blurted a continual stream of answers out and so I couldn't help doing it still.  I like the interacting with people board games much better, that's my conclusion from that little experiment.  I mean, screens are only so interesting.

But the whole night, I loved it.  It's just so sweet to find ways to re-invent the holiday, at this phase of my life, and to have found friends here to spend it with, recent friends that love me to the core.   I feel like I know now, wiser girl that I am, that it's up to me to see the value in life as it is.  To create whatever unconventional Christmas we come up with. To find ways to honor life for being just what it is, because it is such a hallowed experience, even if everything does change so much, difficult as it is.  

That's the thing, though.  It seems like that's sort of the point.  We lose everything but our experiences.  So, we can't really worry about things changing and ending, but only of not experiencing them before they do.  And so it's up to us to find ways to enjoy things the way they are right now.  Because, it's one thing to love and trust stability, the expected, the things that feel right and easy, that make us feel secure, that make sense to us. But it seems so much more important to love and trust the unanticipated, the difficult, the new.  If the resilience of our love and trust is never tested, how do we know that we have any faith in what is at all?  I know now, for myself, I honor this divine existence not by trying to figure it out, but by believing in it.  

Which I am proving in writing this still.  Because it is not going the way I expected it to and I am not even doing the things I foresaw, but it is going somewhere, and I am doing things.  So, I don't have the reins, but the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh.  And I'm on board for it.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Well, nothing this week, again.  My good feeling was premature, I guess.  And I harassed four different friends to join me on excursions, so it wasn't for lack of effort on my part, but times are tough right now, it seems.  Holidays are hectic.  At least that's my excuse for them and I'm sticking to it, because I just know this will kick in at some point.  Honestly, I think I'm venturing out less these last few weeks than ever here.  So I know that it's possible.  Just, I've got to be patient.

I was so close to not even writing today because, I mean, nothing happened.  I'm really determined to have some real life experiences to speak of, like fun stuff, but it's slow going. However, the plan was to post once a week, and I will not deter.  No sir, I will not.  

So, listen.  This is the best I've got.  I went to Whole Foods yesterday with Bethany to get sandwiches, as we often do (I know, awesome story).  Need I say, it's like my own little Mecca.  Always has been from my days in college in Boulder when we'd go during lunchtime and take what we called the sample tour for lunch.  Ah, god, college, Boulder, don't get me started, those were the days.  Learning and freedom, two of my favorite things.  Yet, though I reminisce a lot, I will never be one of those people who thinks the best days of my life are behind me.  The best days of my life are now and they just keep spilling forth.

In any case, this was a good trip to the market as I finally figured out where they stash the $1.99 wine.  On Thanksgiving I found a $6.99 bottle of wine and when I was checking out, the cashier that I've always had a secret crush on told me he thinks the $1.99 wine is better.  I was shocked that they even sold wine that cheap and was determined to find it on my next visit, but I looked high and low to no avail.  And I had the same cashier and told him that he needs to show me where they keep that business the next time I come in.  But then he wasn't there on my next trip, so I scoured and scoured. No luck.  

Yesterday, though, I found it.  It's by the sandwich counter.  Sneaky.  Not even in the wine section.  So you've got to know where it is to get the deal of the century.  I feel like I'm in a secret club now.  I don't know what that club is, exactly.  Probably not the most honorable society.  Cheap winos, that would be my first guess.  But hey, it's a hearty crew, until I can graduate and afford the pricier stuff.

Now, I say nothing happened this past week.  But that's selling life short.  There's kind of always something happening and it's always pretty amazing to me.  Just being here, experiencing it.  It's a lot.  

I marvel at this world, I really do.

I mean, seriously, what dream is this life? How is this possible? I had a dream that I was on a huge ball of soil and rock and water and trees but it was completely suspended, unhinged, and spinning really fast. Only, I wasn't stuck to it, but could move around and walk and dance and skip and run. And I was with other people and could even have secret crushes on some of them and some I just loved so much and didn't know why but we just got along and my life was better because of them.  And I felt so much, so much all of the time, with every new day.  

And sometimes, the sky was bright pink and golden and just got brighter and brighter and then sometimes it was coral and pale blue and shining goodbye and then it turned dark and black but speckled with small spots of light all over.  And one big spot of light changed shape and grew and shrunk over time.  And as I watched it, I changed shape too, I grew and altered and everyone else changed too.  I didn't understand it, but I loved it all the same.

Really, this preposterous, magnificent life…what dream is this?  Sometimes I think I could do nothing forever and still be amazed by it.  But, I think tomorrow I am actually booked to go out into the world of LA with a friend.  You know, at this point, I'm not counting the eggs just yet, but I think so.  I do. 

Monday, December 12, 2011


photos by Jonathan Mash (it was really really bright that morning!)

Well, another week's adventure lost to moving in and trying to get my internet up and running.  Basically I've spent my nights making friends on the phone with AT&T representatives and my days off waiting for, entertaining and acting therapist to AT&T technicians.  Which, I'm very good at, don't get me wrong.  One girl I had laughing hysterically on the phone because I said that when I was making my way through the instructions while setting up my non-working internet, it said very boldly that if I had problems, just go to  I mean, really?  She just died laughing saying how funny that was and she never thought of that before, that it's just rubbing it in my face that I couldn't get my internet working.  Anyway, I'm good at handling these things.  And making people laugh, I guess.  

And I realize that I wasn't always so patient and understanding.  I did used to get frustrated and upset when anything got difficult.  And I thought that things just weren't going my way.  And that I was unlucky or something.   But I've spent a while in the world now, and I think I've sort of got it down.  How it works.  Which makes it easier.

I've been thinking about that during my varied four-hour windows of waiting for technicians.  It's interesting to me to see that most people expect the world to run how they think it should instead of how it actually does.  I swear if you just realize that it operates how it does operate, you will be a able to navigate it much better and it will be so much more enjoyable.  Like, most people think, in the world that they've created, that there isn't traffic, and no long lines, and planes always take off on time and babies don't cry and cars always run and everyone is nice.  I mean, if you just look at the world for a little while, it doesn't take much to get it figured out.  And if you see it as it is, you realize that most things don't work the way you want them to.   Once you understand that, you can adjust yourself.  

Instead of expecting it, for some reason, to fit in to your image of what you want it to be, and getting angry and frustrated every time it doesn't, expect it to be what it is.  Ah, here I am, on the tarmac for an hour with babies crying, yeah, that's life.  Oh, I'm in a long line at the market and only have five minutes to get to where I have to be, funny, so true.  The bank is closed today, and I have this check I need to cash, well, banks are closed on holidays.  Stuck in traffic again in LA, now that doesn't surprise me.  

Seriously, it seems like most people get upset at the way the world is.  And that doesn't seem fair.  I mean, you can get angry at things that are way out of the norm, I guess, like an asteroid hitting your house, but not at things that are standard operation.  Most things in life are unreliable.  And so we get to adapt as we go.  And that makes it interesting and that makes it the adventure that it is.  And it also gives us the opportunity to choose how we react.  Do you want to get mad or do you want to be the person who understands how life actually is?  I, personally, have resigned myself to knowing how life does work, I mean, at some point you've just got to surrender, and that helps a lot.  Because I don't have to fight it.  It is not what we think it should be and it is not what we want it to be, but it is a brilliant and crazy landscape of unpredictable.   And we get to live it.  I do believe that there is a best way to do it.  And I want to do it that way.

And, guess what? I don't have to write about AT&T anymore, as of this instant, thank god! The technician just left and it's working! And we became friends too and are going to have dinner tonight.  Haha, leave it to me.  I have a good feeling about this week.  I think I'm going to get out and be able to write of something else like I've been wanting to, some trek out in LA.  Oh, that would be so good!  And, see, this didn't go the way I would have wanted it to at all, but, somehow, it's been wonderful.  

Monday, December 5, 2011


Again, this week, no proper outing.  And I tried, I did try.  I was supposed to go to the MOCA downtown with my friend Chris.  He bailed, as happens regularly in LA, but he had good reason and was not happy about it.  Plumbing and cell phone issues.  And I will admit that I am guilty of flaking as well now, as it is a learned custom of life in Los Angeles.  Which totally makes sense here, because it takes a lot to do anything with anyone.  No one lives conveniently nearby, there's always the matter of time and transportation and parking and getting home and traffic and every detail in between because we are just too spread out.  And you just sort of adapt to making plans and having them fall through.  In fact, you almost anticipate it.

But it's funny, because I watch life a lot.  And I know that people always say that everything happens for a reason, but I don't know if they really know the reasons.  I swear I do, because I always observe things as they happen after a roadblock or hurdle or change of plans, to see where it leads, and things seem to truly happen for reasons that I can actually explain when all is said and done, because I've watched it.  Just give it a while, and if you watch it too, you will always see why.  I think understanding life takes a lot more patience than we think.  But the sum total, it's going to be perfect.  

Chris and I ended up going to the Solar de Cahuenga Cafe later that day, after everything was in order in his life (well, I wouldn't say everything, but a couple of things...little by little, my dear, we battle through this life).  And I must give him major credit for the same day raincheck, as it usually takes weeks before a plan is rehashed in LA.  That cafe has long been a nearby, favorite, all hours sort of spot for me.  It's most recently been my local internet post these couple of weeks, as I have had a very difficult time getting internet transferred to my new place.  Chris doesn't have internet where he lives, god knows why, and so it was a mutual gain.  

Solar de Cahuenga is a very cool locale for internet use, I've now gathered.  And it's been fun to go there during my apartment transition because the crowd is interesting and everyone seems to be doing something of value, or at least that they care about, or at least that takes a lot of time and concentration.  I try not to, but I can't help but glance at the computer screens as I walk to my table, and it seems like no one is just browsing the internet, but doing something rather substantial, like typing and editing and making things.  I don't know, but that's how it looks.  Which I love, because it's like an enterprising place.  And they serve really really good sweet potato fries.  That's a plus.

So that night, we, of course, were the only ones just browsing the internet.   And at some point we decided that we were going to get tattoos together and I drew mine out on my wrist because I've just been waiting for the day, and then at some point we decided to take a trip to Mexico City in the near future.  And we researched and we have a plan.  So that was productive, because those are things I will definitely be able to write about when they happen.

Anyway, the things happening for a reason trajectory.  That night, I called AT&T to figure out where my internet was, and it was supposedly on it's way, by last night at the latest.  But I didn't get it last night.  So I called them again and apparently the order was re-set on my last conversation and won't get here for a few more days.  But the beauty of the inquiry was that at the end of our chat (I get pretty chatty with representatives), the guy on the other end, Joe, thanked me for my wonderful spirit.  And he said that he needed something like that in his job to make it worth it and that I brought meaning to his holiday season.  I mean, seriously, the AT&T representative liked my spirit, and shamelessly told me so in those new-age words, even though it's recorded and everything.  Now that's a reason.  

A small inconvenience in my own life led to a much greater happiness in someone else's.  And I've always believed that if you are just really good to people and really open, you can seriously change their lives.  Even if it's just that they will be good to someone else, or feel a small sense of joy or, like Joe said, meaning.  That is so much more important to me than having my internet up and running.  I'll wait, happily and patiently.