Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I went to Colorado for a long weekend for my friend's wedding celebration.  How wonderful that was! In just so many ways. There is far too much to express about that trip, but a short debriefing is certainly in order.  

First off, in leaving LA, I was so confused.  I think I thought that airports were always open.  But I found myself sitting at the Burbank airport at 5 in the morning, unable to check in anywhere, gates up, no one around, just trying to stay calm and assume that all would work out.  Then, I found myself watching the security checkpoint employees test the sensors.  One guard just kept walking back and forth through the metal door frame, and it kept beeping.  So, I guess it worked.

Funny, watching the world set up to operate.  It just made me realize, we set up the systems.  It could have been done any way at all.

So, I was sitting there, wondering how this was all going to go down and, ooh, the lights were turned on! The airport appeared to be opening for business.  Systems in place.  Security scanner working.  Let's play this game we invented!

Also, I think I may just be the most approachable person in the world!  There were all of these airport employees around, yet everyone kept coming up to me and asking me questions.  Where is the United terminal?  Is the coffee shop open yet?  I was very amused.  Fortunately, I knew all of the answers.  Probably because I'd been there since the airport opened!  I mean, everyone already seemed to know me.  At one point, I got distracted by the magazines and Hollywood mugs at the newsstand and, at least five minutes later, a coffee shop employee that I'd already bonded with came up to me and told me I'd left my carry on bag at the coffee counter.  Oops.  Can't take me anywhere!

Well, to the rest of the trip.  How perfect!  I arrived at DIA and it just felt so familiar to me.  Memories of all of the trips I took out of that place.  It was nice to know an airport so well.  We have a lot of history together.  And I just felt so comfortable there.

Then, approaching Denver in the Supershuttle.  That city, it's like a miniature version of a city.  I found myself saying, perhaps I have found myself in a small diorama.  It's like, all plains, and then, all of a sudden, about a six building span of a city is just sitting there, in the backdrop of the Colorado sky, which, I must say, is like no other sky I've known.  There's something about it.  I could recognize that sky anywhere.

It felt good to return to my home state.  And I was not sad.  More than anything, I was so joyful about life and the fact that I've forged my way forward and stayed the course and moved outward.  Returning really just seemed to reinforce for me how much I have discovered.  How far I have travelled and how much I have experienced.  

Even at the various wedding celebrations (lovely, all of them), I found myself faced with my past.  All of these people I've known and engaged with throughout my life.  It was like a continual stream of memories, laying themselves out like a slideshow of what I have known, where I have been, what I have experienced to get where I am, to become the person I am now.  That was unexpected and remarkable.  Especially for occurring in the mountains that raised me.  LIke, the land was saying, you were born of this place, and, look, let me show you how you've become who you are.

I was deeply affected.  In the best way.  It was like going back to the tribe after the vision quest and having that moment when they say, we give you our blessing.  You are on your own now.  And the ties are severed.  

And my life is my own.  But I will always know where I came from.  It was the first time I've ever gone back to Colorado and felt that distance.  As opposed to a yearning.  I was just happy to be in a place I knew so well in my heart and to feel the honor of living.  

Also, on a more material note, I had one of the best meals of my life!  And it was a combination of the food and the company, but, oh, how good that was!  I got to see Zooey and we went to dinner at this tapas place called The 9th Door.  Amazing.  Seriously amazing.  I mean, it pretty much blew me away.  

Everything in Denver is so close, it being a diorama and all, so we walked over to the restaurant from the hotel somewhat late Sunday night.  A dark, large, open restaurant with just enough golden red light.  We ordered the most perfect variety of small dishes; peppers filled with goat cheese, fried artichokes with aioli, patatas bravas (necessary at any tapas place) with three dipping sauces, a cheese plate (the best part of that being the honey, blue cheese, almond combination) and, the stand out dish (in our humble opinions), the mushrooms in wine sauce on a potato pancake.  The flavors that night were incredible!  So many.  So perfect.  Oh, and we got a carafe of sangria because that's just par for the course and, well, also my favorite!  

Having that meal, that long evening, just reinforced my love for life.  And for its every little element.  From the sweeping experiences that carry us through, to the minute and intimate interactions with people, to the moments of deep understanding, to the savoring of one bite of mushrooms in wine sauce.

So, although it's an abridged version (there's just too much to say), that weekend was truly a celebration of love.  And where we've come from and where we are and where we are going.  And every component that makes our time meaningful.  And that feeling of a life so full, overflowing really, with beauty and sadness and experience and honesty and care and connection and everything that is supposed to be and ever was.  That feeling was bound to me, and I to it, over the weekend.  And it was a true celebration.  And there was love.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Angels & Kings

I really have not had the time this week to be free and explore.  The new job has had me learning so much and has quite absorbed me.  Which, I guess, is an exploration in its own right.  And I do love it, I truly do.  

I'll tell you what, though.  If you've never been to Brentwood, you should most certainly go!  I've been spending my days at the Country Mart, which is this huge barn like place filled with fancy shops and lovely restaurants and dining al fresco.  It's kind of the best.  You've got to see it to understand, but, I'll tell you this, I'm glad that I have that place in my repertoire of LA.  It's pretty cool.  Open air and families and people and hustle and bustle.  I like it there.

Although, to be honest, it's made me nostalgic.  I've sat there watching all of the families, and the kids after school buying candy at the candy store, and a strain of sadness runs through me.  Longing for the freedom of my childhood.  When I wasn't trying to make it in the world, when I didn't even know what that meant.  And, I've been feeling a little bit lonely, too.  Just, in a new setting, new job, new people.  And I must remind myself that I always end up settling in well to new things eventually.  And my life is good.

Aside from all of that, work, I did manage to make it out this week into Hollywood proper, which I was not expecting.  My dear friend Zooey surprised me with a phone call that went something like this: "Hey, I have a surprise for you!" "What sort of surprise?" "I'm in LA!"

Well, now, this is a friend that I met years and years ago at my good friend's wedding.  We clicked and have stayed in touch ever since.  With letters and the longest phone calls in the world.  Like, running out of batteries phone calls.  So, at this point, we know each other well.  But we hadn't actually seen each other again since we met, like, seven years ago.

So, here he was, in Los Angeles.

When he called me up, I was already in my pajamas and well into a book, but, like I told him, he's lucky because I was willing to put on normal clothes and go out for a drink simply because it was him.  Usually, once I'm settled in for the evening, I won't budge.

So, we met up with the intention of going to get my beloved weird cheese thing at Loteria, but the place was closed, and so we found ourselves nearby at Angels & Kings.  Which I told him was owned by Justin Timberlake, because, well, I thought that it was.  That's what I'd heard, anyway.

We went there for a drink, and found it surprisingly loud and brash, what with the hard metal music playing, but enjoyed ourselves nonetheless.  Although, we just could not understand why Justin Timberlake wouldn't just play his own music at his bar, or at least something like his.

Well, then I discovered, with a small bit of research, that it's actually Pete Wentz's bar, and then it all made sense.  And we probably would never have gone there had we known.  Well, who knows, it's not like we're Justin Timberlake fans either, but I'm glad we went.  It was a fun Hollywood night with a good friend.  Out of the ordinary is fine by me.  And with a great person, it's even better.

It kind of doesn't matter where you go or what you do when you're with someone you understand so well.  And love being with.  You could just go anywhere and be happy.  And we were, metal music and all.  

Also, the timing couldn't have been better.  Like life was bringing me the most unlikely visitor to remind me that I have such a wealth of friends and love.  And I am never alone.  And that in my life, no matter how many changes occur, I have always been surrounded by beautiful relationships and experiences.  And it will continue to be that way, because no matter where I go, or what I do, I will always be me.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Good god, life just changed in an instant!  I'm still taking it all in, but it's so very good!  

I got a new job that has led me on an adventure that I could not have foreseen.  It was just like, one day, I was at my old job, and the next, I was at my new one.  

It's been a nonstop whirlwind of a week, driving around LA to new places that I have never been before.  When it's all struck me the most is when I've been on the freeway.  I've realized that I have just always tried to keep my little life pretty local and at least contained to surface streets no matter how far I've had to venture out of my neighborhood.  There's just no reason for me to be on a commuter's freeway when I'm just going to dinner or the beach or something.

But this past week, there was kind of no way around it.  And I was a commuter for four days!  Thank god I only had to do that for four days.  Though, on one level, I enjoyed it and was quite amused all the while.

Me on a freeway going to get educated for a job.  That's a sight.  Because mostly I'm just playing "commuter" the whole time.  And so I was perusing the radio stations, stopping at each for a while, pretending that I was someone who would listen to that particular station.  And so sometimes I was dancing with the steering wheel as my partner to remixed rap music, or responding aloud to political debates…"Oh, yes, the budget must be confronted, and soon. And what about that fiscal cliff?", or singing out loud in broken, or rather, in all honesty, shattered spanish to the mexican stations, or talking back to the country songs…"She really was a keeper, what'll you do now?"  

Or, I was having secret conversations in my head, well, sometimes aloud, though they did not hear me, with the drivers around me.  Usually, when we'd all come to a slow crawl, and I found myself sandwiched between two cars, I'd say, "Hey, guys, here we are, side by side, cozy as bugs in a rug, shall we make introductions? Can I offer you anything?"  And when all of the cars were just sort of sitting there, I pretended we were about to start a race and I would just look over to either side of me and say, "You're toast."  Or, I'd pretend we were kids sitting in bumper cars.  

I mean, no one around me was aware of all of this, but I amused myself during rush hour for sure.  Which made me not quite understand why everyone hates freeway traffic so much, because there is so much to do, but I guess it's because they do it so often and regularly that they really just want to get home.  Whereas, I am never on the freeways in rush hour traffic and so I'm actually experiencing it, in the moment, as it is, and observing it, and making it enjoyable, because it's new to me and it feels so goofy to be out there with the masses trying to get home, all separate, all in our cars, not talking, even though we're within talking proximity at a full stop.  To me, it's the funniest damned experience ever!  

So, I got to do that this week.  Who knew rush hour traffic could be so entertaining?

Also, I had to visit a mall four days in a row.  Now, I am just not a mall person and never have been.  Those, I prefer to avoid.  It just feels so normal.  Or at least, I feel surrounded by normalcy.  And I think that's sort of my worst.  I did, however, stumble upon the best mall lunch ever!  Gross that it had to happen at all, but at least I discovered something palatable, nay, delicious, actually!  In my embarrassment and shame I braved the food court.  Oh, I am so not a food court person!  This is too normal!  I am a foodie!  I wanted to exclaim it from a megaphone.  

Instead, I opted to take a deep breath and mentally assume the traveling position.  Meaning that I had to make like I was a visitor in an unfamiliar place.  When I travel, I enjoy trying to assimilate, and discovering the ways of every new place, and getting all when in Rome and such. You're in a foreign land now, dear!  Drop your comforts and discover something new.  Whereas, some people who travel just want to find the nearest Starbucks.  I want to find what I don't know.

So, I took myself up on the offer of a small vacation to Food Court and decided to make it an exploration and check out the local offerings and try something I'd never tried before.  Well, that wasn't difficult!  I ended up at a Pho restaurant (stand? counter?) because they marketed the place as healthy and I saw that they had a few specifically vegetarian options, which I always think is cool, and could not say the same for the rest of the restaurants in Food Court Land.  

I asked at the counter what the best veggie option was and the guy pointed to the vermicelli bowl.  And so I got it.

Recommendations are key when traveling.

That was one of the best little mall lunches ever!  That would have been good anywhere.  Rice noodles and tofu and shitake mushrooms and lettuce, basil, peanuts, carrots and some very delicious sauce on the side.  And of course I added sriracha all up in that business.  So good!  Which I was happy about, even though I felt all awkward sitting in a weird mall food court booth all by myself slurping noodles and lettuce off of chopsticks.  I managed.  Mostly because of my mindset.  

I settled into my traveling mode quite well.  That really helps me when experiencing uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations.  Because I know that I love to travel for that very reason.  It's not what I'm used to.  And you do have to try new things.  And you end up discovering things you never would have had you not been open to the ways of others, a different city, new customs.

That fish out of water feeling is fun for me, ultimately.  I find that that is when I explore my thoughts and the world the most.  When I just go with things as they are and try and find a way to enjoy them.  So to the freeways and malls this week, I thank you.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Ah, great world, world at large, it's my birthday tomorrow.  And I can't help but get reflective and philosophical about it.   

Sometimes, I really want to be able to put in a request with the maker and just say, dear big man in the sky, I'm sorry sir, but I will no longer be able to get older.  I am simply too young for that anymore.  Thank you.

But then I remember.  This aging thing has been really good for me. 

I've always been mostly joyful and in awe with life.  But it inevitably gets interrupted by certain moments of unclarity or despair.  I know what to do with those now, though.
I remember, when I was younger, staring at the walls wondering over and over what it's all about and where am I going and how do you do this, again? And many moments of panic.  And curling up into a ball with tears streaming down my cheeks just thinking, I can't do this.  But those days are long over.

And I do feel like I have it down now.  

It was the trying to figure it out that was the cause of all of the confusion.  Trying is a struggle.  Being is quite serene.  It's like if someone posed a question to which there was no answer.  You could just go crazy trying to answer it, or you could just grin and say, I like that question.  

And I had to keep pushing forward to figure any of that out for myself.  That was my strength during those deep and painful bouts of confusion.  Pulling myself up by the bootstraps and just coaching myself.  You got this.  Just keep going.  We'll figure it out one of these days.  And at some point, I did get it and just let life be.  And finally said to myself, there's no right way, just shine your light.

The more I started shining my light, my truest light, always, unabashed, fearlessly, the more the world lit up before me.   The light is yourself.  The brighter the lamp, the brighter the room.  The brighter you shine, the more illuminated the world becomes.   And clear, bright life makes so much more sense.

God, how I love living!

Now, it's like I don't even want to sleep, much less stare at a wall worrying about everything.  Now, I'm so quick to catch myself if ever I feel lost.  I'm just like, come on, girl!  There is too much to see and so many experiences afoot and so much wonder to behold.  And really, so little time.  Oh, precious life, I am forever enchanted by the details of your mystery. 

You hear people say there's not enough time in the day.  But, sometimes, it really feels like there is not enough time in the life.  I've said this before.  But it's going too fast.  

And I must not let my mind wander that way.  Come back here thoughts, lest you distract me from the glories at hand.

So, this week was not full of adventure, but contemplation.  My birthday does that.  It makes sense.  To evaluate who you are and how you've evolved and where you've come from.  So I did.  

Well, also, I played badminton in the park on three different occasions!  I seriously love that sport.  I swear I'm going to start a league or something one of these days.

I'll tell you something, though.  Every so often, I wonder if I should post when I don't really have a story.  But then I snap out of it.  Like with life, there's no rule to it.  

So, when I think this is silly and wonder who cares, I remember.  Our lives, they're our only stories, and they are rich, even if it's only our observations and thoughts.  

And this is a part of me being my complete and true self.  And having no fear in doing so.  Just putting all of me out there into the world. That's what I mean by the unabashed shining of light.  Because you could worry forever about what other people think.  Or you could just be you and carry on smiling.