Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
-Coachella was pretty much totally awesome. I'm going to post about it once I upload the pictures...I was way to tired to do it last night.
and now onto the 3rd question of "Tag...I'm It"
Five snacks I enjoy:
Thursday, April 24, 2008
This is a good one for me to tackle today because I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. After Alie and I decided that we would go to Coachella (a big, three day music festival located in the desert, a couple hours outside of LA) despite the fact that we didn't have tickets, a place to stay, or any plans otherwise, I got the news that I was the lucky recipient of a 3 day pass w/ VIP. This is totally awesome, and I'm insanely excited...but there's so much to do!!!
1. Find a cheap rental car, book it, and figure out the best way to pick it up tomorrow morning and drop it off Sunday night. Try to figure out a reasonable way to fit a pedicure in there somewhere.
2. Upload all the pictures on my camera to make room for all the photos I'm going to take for 1) a "scenes from coachella" post for this blog and, 2) a "what I ate at Coachella" post for losanjealous.com
3. Organize a bunch of crap including, but not limited to:
- what I'm going to wear/pack - The first thing anyone says, when I mention I'm going to Coachella for the very first time, is "It's sooooo fucking hot". Being that it's in the desert, I expect that, and I love the heat, but I'm guessing this won't be the kind of heat I love. I think short-shorts and little dresses are in order.
- what bands I want to see - To be honest, I won't be all that bummed if I miss the majority of the bands, as that's not really what I'm going for. I won't be upset if I miss Prince, but there are a few other bands that I'd like to at least attempt to see; Tegan & Sara, Portishead, Stephen Malkmus, Man Man, The Bird & The Bee, My Morning Jacket...that's about it, although Hot Chip and Raconteurs would probably be fun, too. I'm more than bummed that The Bees cancelled, as that was one of the main reasons I wanted to go in the first place. Oh well.
4. Get to Pho Siam by 5:15 tonight. Take off all my clothes and lay face down under a light sheet. Get brutally massaged for an hour by two tiny Thai woman. Hell. Yes.
5. Practically jump out of my skin with excitement until 10 pm rolls around. Get cozy on the couch with Elvis and Prez. Watch LOST. Have mind blown (hopefully).
see part 1 of "Tag...I'm It" here.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
For now, check out my Grilled Cheese Invitational Coverage over at Los Anjealous.com (which got linked by the LA Times blog and la.eater.com!!!)
Also, if you want to read about why I think it's best to be a little drunk in the beginning of a relationship, go to This Recording.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
What was I doing ten years ago?
Eesh...I was about to graduate from high school, and I was terribly relieved to finally be ending my nightmarish public education run. It felt surreal that I wouldn't have to see the same faces day after day, year after year, ever again (the majority of which I haven't).
I was working after school and on the weekends in a little stationary and gift shop in the shopping center by my house. It was boring, but I got to sit at the counter and read books for hours on end, which made me deliriously happy. I read all of Kurt Vonnegut's books in the 8 months I worked there. I would close the shop everyday for 10 minutes or so, enough time to grab a chocolate dipped peanut butter cookie from the candy store next door, and a cherry coke from the grocery store across the way (my teeth hurt just writing that sentence).
I lived with my mom, sister, brother, my brother's dog Kujo, my cat Whiskers, and my sister's cat Fred in a three bedroom apartment, as the condo we had spent the majority of our lives in had to be handed over to the bank the previous year. We were more roommates than family, although I have good memories of the majority of that time.
My sister and I shared the master bedroom and bathroom, which we decorated with our contrasting personal tastes (my Dead Kennedy's poster in the bathroom, her duck-phone that quacked instead of rung on the nightstand between the beds), as well as a smattering of tchotchkes left over from childhood.
I think if I had realized then, as I do now, that that time in our lives would mark the last period of us being together as a family after almost a two decades of being a close unit, dysfunctional in our own special way (a way that would be foreign to outsiders, which made it that much more special), I would have treasured it more. I find it so odd that these people, who were at any given time my closest allies, biggest enemies, most trusted confidants, and constant companions are now people that I speak to maybe once a month (in my brother's case), and whom I open up to less than I do with my coworkers.
That summer, eager to leave the city we had come to know as well as we knew each other, my mom and I moved to Los Angeles, my sister moved with her boyfriend to Santa Barbara, and my brother joined the Marines. A couple months later, since all his ties to Irvine had left, my dad followed me to Los Angeles. I miss it sometimes...not Irvine, but my life ten years ago. Although right now is pretty damn good, too.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Someone left a mean comment that's since been deleted. It wasn't a comment about the post, or about my writing, it was a comment about me personally, and I'm trying not to let it get to me. Although I've had a couple snarky and pervy comments here, no one has ever been straight-out "mean" (which I really appreciate, and know is rare).
Anyway, I'll be here this weekend:
Thursday, April 17, 2008
That's her in the middle.
Right now she's in New Zealand, one of the most isolated places on earth. This trip isn't for work, though. This is her first actual vacation in years. She's there, alone, for over a week...and I'm a little worried about her. She's an independent person, as well as tough and smart, so I don't think she'll do anything stupid...but it's a big world, and things happen. I'm excited for her too, though. I've experienced the excitement of being alone in a foreign city...it's thrilling, and I think everyone needs to try it sometime in their life. She's lonely though, which is something I've also experienced in a foreign city...the last place you want to suddenly realize you're lonely is oceans away from everyone you know and love.
Here's her latest update:
1. 4hr. bus ride to Rotorua.
2. Geo-thermal lake-spa to unwind.
3. Hungi = traditional Maori buffet and cultural performance (not at all exploitative) with Phil, the 57-year-old married dude from Australia who offered to drive me around Rotorua the next day and then back to Auckland. When I declined, he admired my independent spirit but cautioned it could eventually impede me from meeting "mr. right". Thank you, "doctor" phil.
1. Gondola ride, seafood buffet (I'm a total sucker for a good buffet, I have no idea why), and LUGE RIDES!!!
2. BUNGY JUMPING!!! I never thought I would do this and probably never will again, but at least my stubborn-ass can say I did it!
3. Jameson on the rocks x2 at a local Irish bar to "settle my nerves" as the bartender put it when I told her what I had just done. She also cautioned me about being out alone at night even in a quiet lake-town. I'm sure my parents would appreciate her advice even though she didn't warn me about jellyfish like they both did...
4. Impulse souvenir shopping
5. 1/2 bottle of "clearskin" pinot noir, take-away pizza and a quick mishap with some balsamic vinaigrette and my leather earth-boots.
6. Back to the geo-thermal spa pools with a live reggae band overheard from across the lake, as recommended by the adventure-tour-bus-driver.
Don't waste your time being lonely, Lee. You'll regret not enjoying yourself when you aren't lonely anymore, whenever that may be.
*She even has an IMDB page, which I just discovered while trying to remember what movies she's worked on!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
-I hate the sound of wind chimes.
-People who clap when they laugh annoy me.
-I've been using the same brand of eyeliner since I was 13.
-I haven't had my natural hair color since I was 13.
-I've had my nose pierced three times. Once was at the county fair. The second time I did it myself at a friends house. The third time my mom broke down and took me to get it professionally done. This is all before I was 14.
-I had a cat for 20 years named Whiskers. I found her as a kitten when I was five. She was put to sleep three years ago while lying on my lap.
-I took tap dancing lessons for about five years in elementary school.
-I fell while roller skating about three years ago and landed hard on my tail bone. It hurts pretty much everyday.
-I once dropped a microwave on my toe.
-I've never met a stray cat I didn't like.
-I have an obsession with tupperware, and glass pitchers and measuring cups.
-I think there's a difference between people who say "see you soon" and "see you later"...I just haven't figured out what that difference is yet.
-I think poorly of people who kick animals off the bed for their own comfort.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Across the way, about 20 feet from me, sat an older couple. It was evident from their attire and mannerisms that they were borderline homeless...perhaps down on their luck, or fighting an addiction to some substance or another. The large woman leaned back against the man, her back resting against his chest, her head cradled between his shoulder and the side of his head. They looked happy and in love, and it made me happy to watch them. His hand absentmindedly began to caress her large, weighted down breast over her shirt, and I looked away to afford them some privacy.
I started thinking about that point of a relationship when you feel so connected with that person that you may as well be one person...and I guess you are, in a sense. I really like that feeling. His caress of her breast wasn't a come-on, although still sexual in a sense, it was more a reminder to both of them how close and comfortable they were with each other. The beginning of a new relationship is so fun and exciting, but it's also great to get to that point where you're no longer nervous around each other. Both are nice...I'm enjoying the nervous part very much right now with certain redheaded guy.
Putting my shoes on, I glanced back for one last look at the couple in hopes of sustaining that warm feeling throughout the rest of the day. Her large thighs, which were encased in the tightest jeans I've ever seen, were spread apart. Her head was tilted back onto his shoulder and her eyes were closed tight. Her mouth was open in a moan, and his hand was rubbing...well, you get the idea. Although they obviously didn't care who saw it, I quickly looked away, shocked at what I had just seen. I quickly returned to my office, trying hard to focus on the feeling I had before. People...I can't make this shit up.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Waiting tables fit my personality perfectly, I quickly realized. I was able to juggle large parties of picky yuppies, coffee refills, screaming kids, and climbing up the flight of stairs with multiple plates of food all with a smile on my face. The best part of the job was that the cooks, a group of loud Mexican fellows, liked me, and therefore would happily cook for me anything I could dream up. I was a student at the time, living with five other girls in a shitty office building-turned apartment off Pico, and even with my mere $325 a month rent, I was barely able to scrape by.
Save for bi-weekly dinners with my dad, and frequent trips to my grandma's house, I think I would have had to survive on lunchables and grilled cheese sandwiches if it hadn't been for Blueberry. At work I would eat blueberry waffles, huge sandwiches, and developed my devotion to black coffee. I couldn't make a mandatory meeting though, due to my school schedule, so I was fired. In a perfect world, I could work at Blueberry for the rest of my life* and make enough money to be comfortable...but being comfortable isn't what waiting tables at little cafes is about...it's about getting by.
I got lucky with my second waiting job. Friends of mine had opened a small, upscale restaurant in the Hayes Valley district of San Francisco. I'd work a busy Saturday night every now and then, but when I was laid off from my high paying boring office job, I started working at the restaurant on a regular basis. This place was classy, and had classy clientele to boot (read: yuppie snobs).
Suddenly I was expected to open expensive bottles of wine table side, and go through the ritual of pouring a bit of wine in one of the party's glass (choosing who's glass to pour the taste in was always nerve wracking for me) so they could approve the bottle (I never had a bottle turned away, which convinced me the ritual was just a way for rich people to feel superior). These were people who thought nothing of dropping the equivalent of a weekend of tips for me...people who knew good service, and expected it from me.
Aside from a couple missteps, I eventually learned how to be a competent waitress in a high-end restaurant...I was actually quite good at it. I was attentive, friendly, efficient, and my skills when it comes to reading people helped me give each party whatever level of attention they desired. Tips were always 20%, at least...and every night the chef (a friend of mine) would make the most extraordinary dinners for the small staff. I've never eaten so well in my life...it spoiled me, really.
But all good things must end, it seems. The slow season started, and despite the good reviews and excellent food, the restaurant wasn't doing well. I eventually returned to a boring office job with a steady paycheck, which was followed a few months later by my move back to Los Angeles. I had fantasies of dining at my friend's restaurant when I eventually visited San Francisco...maybe with my imaginary new boyfriend. We'd sit in the little candlelit dining room with a bottle of wine, stare lovingly across the table at one another as I had seen so many other couples do while skited from table to table as a waitress. We'd be warm as we walked out into foggy San Francisco night, despite the chilly air, because when love is new, you don't have normal reactions to things like being cold and tired.
Proof that I'm not above washing dishes.
*minus the uniform of mandatory overalls...god I hate overalls.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
-When I was little, I blew my nose in a tissue and told my brother to close his eyes and open his mouth. Surprisingly, he actually did it...and I stuck the tissue in his mouth and ran away.
-While waiting tables at a nice restaurant, I spilled soup on a guys lap. It was a lunch shift, and the guy was wearing a nice suit, so presumably he had to go back to work after lunch. It was a light colored suit, and the soup was orange. I felt like such an ass.
-My sister had one of those little safes that kids get to store their change in. Even though it you needed a code to open it, it was fairly easy to manipulate and open without the code. As a kid, I would steal change from it...never more than sixty cents or so at a time, but still...it was fucked up. Later, as a teenager, I would steal weed from it. Sorry Lee!
One Good Thing I've Done
I'm 20 years-old, still living in Los Angeles, and I'm dressed to the nines...vintage a-line dress, black hair in a perfect bob, false eyelashes expertly applied. It's Saturday night and I'm on my way to my then-boyfriend's house. Once there, we're going to hop on his scooter (the nice one, not the beater) and head to a dance club where we'll two-step the night away to valuable Northern Soul records with other sharp-dressed kids.
As I'm making my way out of my neighborhood, a cute guy on an old BMW motorcycle passes me...and drives right into the car of a woman who wasn't paying attention while she was making a left-hand turn. I watch him fly over her hood and disappear behind the car. It wasn't slow motion, like you hear people say. It was brutally fast...too fast to process right away. I pull over and run to the guy, who's lying on his back on the asphalt. I call the police on my cell phone with one hand, while the other hand fumbles with the chin strap on his helmet. Another bystander (an older gentlemen) and I stare down at this guy...I think we both thought he was dead.
It took him a few seconds to open his eyes and for his brain to begin the process of making sense of the situation. He looked confused and scared, so when his eyes fixed on me, I smiled at him and said "hi" in a cheery voice. Although he was obviously hurt pretty badly, he actually smiled back. He asked me to grab the camera from under his bike seat and use the up the entire roll taking pictures of the accident (an obvious sign of an experienced rider). I did so, and then returned to his side and held his hand and talked to him until the ambulance came.
A police officer questioned me and I gave him my account of the accident, as well as all my info...but I never heard anything about it again. I still wonder about that guy, and how his life was after the accident...and if I'll ever be drinking in a bar somewhere and overhear someone talking about the time a girl with an a-line bob kept him company after his wreck.
Okay...you know the drill! Your turn. Comment with a good thing and/or a bad thing that you've done.
Friday, April 4, 2008
But naps...taking a nap actually feels like I'm being productive. Granted, two hour naps are the only thing that'll do for me...none of this "power nap" bullshit. But slipping into my cool bed, dressed in a t-shirt and undies, the last remnants of the day's sunlight peaking through my homemade curtains...this is what I look forward to while I'm driving home from work. Honestly, more often than not I let out a sleepy yet triumphant "yay" when my head hits my feather pillow.
I took a nap in the Louvre once. The jet-lag from our flight to Paris was weighing me down and, to be honest, museums bore the shit out of me...so I curled up on a little stone bench that had probably been there for hundreds of years. With my jacket tucked under my head and tourists staring, I fell asleep, hoping that whatever ghosts inhabited the centuries-old building would infiltrate my dreams...unfortunately, I think I just dreamt about airplanes.
Lately, though, as I'm drifting off to sleep, my naps have felt like a waste of time. Guilt is a common emotion for me, and I do my best to avoid it lest I end up hating myself. The list of things I need to do...should be doing, marches through my head until I literally have to tell myself that I'm not a bad person for taking a nap. Practicing my drums, transcribing a deposition, going for a bike ride...these are things that are going to make a difference in my life, not sleeping an extra two hours, fer Christ's sake.
So! I'm swearing off naps, if only for a little while. My weekends have been pleasantly busy lately, so I don't have to worry about that (although I think taking a nap during the weekend is a-okay, don't you?)...but during the week I plan on being awake between when I wake (6:40 am) until when I go to sleep at night (somewhere between 10:30 pm and 1:30 am). Please direct your attention to the Making the Chain calendar I have created in order to give myself something else to feel guilty about. It helps that one of my BFFs made this website and will more than likely ask me how my chain is going whenever he sees me (hi Micah!).
Guess I'm going to need to find a new favorite vice...what's yours? Maybe I'll steal it.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
And swing back here tomorrow to find out how utterly amazing this line makes me feel: "Georgia Hardstark is a writer living in Los Angeles."