Archive | July, 2013

Apartment In Hollywoodland.

29 Jul

window-ac-unitI moved in with Ervin in June. And this is our new place in Hollywood. I want to be like one of those bloggin’istas that posts some adorable sneak peak, that makes you immediately Google your brains out, to find every last on-trend item for your very own.

But this is not that apartment. And I’m so not that girl.

It will probably make you appreciate your actual home mortgage, even more. (My GOD I have never been so grateful for this dishwasher in all my LIFE, you will tell your nearest pet, as you sashay through a dining room that’s only for the nice suppers, not the regular ones — just because.)

Ervin and I are currently two aspirational, broke people. Did I mention that we live in Hollywood? Whatever money’s left after rent, goes to gas.

Like, tons and tons of gas. I feel like I have earned a portion of the Middle East. Or wherever they decide the marketing behind 9/10ths of a cent.blue-on-blue-doorThis is our front door. It is blue. Just like our apartment number. Since the porch light has no bulbs in it, this number is invisible at night. So, like… Janet – the Persian Domino’s delivery lady – can never find us. She calls and says “Pick up. Pick up. Pick up…” until we pick up and also open the door and yell our coordinates to her.

It is the best.

And this is what it looks like from the kitchen window. It’s noisy. But there’s something going on, which I like. There’s a time and place for a retreat in the desert. This is not it.

viewThere are also hundreds of tour busses that drive by. We can always hear the tour guides’ jumbled explanation “MRRRR-MRRR-SHMRRRRR-MRR-MRRR” and then we watch a bunch of sunburned Europeans take photos of our corner.

We sip coffee and watch the activity on the street every morning, like old retired people. It is relaxing. We say things like “GOLD LAMÉ for a hike? No”, and “SOMEONE just bought a Ferrari and does NOT know how to drive it. She is DE-STROY-ING that transmission”, and “How come we didn’t start cold-brewing a long time ago – this is so good.”

Fast forward 20 years and with any luck, we’ll be the same people, looking out some window somewhere, talking about how weirded out we are that those individual-toe-sneakers are still around.

This is where we sit.
kitchen-shooting-targetIt’s also where I work do stuff on the computer. I wanted to hang up all my shooting targets like a hobbyist assassin, but Ervin thought that might be creepy. So, there’s one, on the wall there. *(I kill by shooting the getaway vehicle first. Then I go for the hands, according to this poster.)

This is the basil plant in the window of my kitchen. It is the third life form in our apartment.

kitchen-basil-plant

Every morning we look at each other and think:

Basil: “Will this be the day she kills me.”

Me: “Will this be the day I kill you.”

Nearby, on the counter, are a few cookbooks and one head of garlic. And ne’er the two shall meet.
garlic-cookbooksI’ve always wanted a bar in my house. Like, fully stocked… artistan cocktails at any moment… booze n cheese party? What? Oh! I have everything on hand like a friggin Martha Stewart robot, but less drunk! CHEERRRRRRZ!

So, that’s still on my someday-to-do list. But this “bar” has been sentimentally assembled, actually. Except for the booze, which are missing. I don’t have a lot of possessions that mean anything (Really, who gets attached to leggings from Ross. Who.) – but these have a lil history on them.

The weird fingered vase is my MaMa’s (she’s my grandma on my Dad’s side) and I love it. The mirror was my Great Aunt Ethel’s (who had her bright red hair tied into a perfect bun, right up until the end). I’ve carried it with me everywhere I’ve lived for the past 13 years. The horse head, I bought from a guy on Santa Monica Blvd. I made him paint it black — and then I painted it gold because I got tired of the black. I got it because my Chinese sign is “Horse”, and design-wise, thankfully not “Rat”. The Puerto Rican flag is Ervin’s. And the coral-like thing is from our trip to the island.

bar-sea-creature-puerto-rican-flagThis is where a fireplace would be. Except it’s an organ that a friend gave Ervin, and it holds up a stack of Seinfeld DVDs. It also works. I play pretend church music for my stoned neighbors at least once a week.

I’m pretty sure they like it!
organ-guitar-seinfeldYou might know that I used to have a French Bulldog named Poquito. WHO was crazy and I loved him. Now, he lives with a great family in Portland, and I stalk every Frenchie I can find, in LA.

This Frenchie holds pennies. Someday we might have a whole dollar.

wardrobe-frenchie-bank

That’s also the art I purchased from David, the homeless man, and a picture of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s because I like her spirit in the midst of a mess, in that movie. I feel like that here, sometimes. Except I would be eating donuts and standing outside The Dolby Theatre, lining up my reflection to look like I’m holding an Oscar.

The wardrobe is from my good friend Crystal. And it holds my secret plastic Oscar for “BEST ME”. They will totally give them out for anything these days, amiright?

SO NOW IS THE TIME when I show you my sweet walk-in closets full of Louboutins and designer dresses, ya’ll!!!

Noooo… Real beauty is on the inside. And on your teeth and skin (– Until I can afford the shoe closet and just let my teeth and skin decay as they may!). Apply your toothpaste and SPF accordingly.
toothpaste-sunscreen-bathroomI don’t know how this ended up as the grand finale photo, but… here it is.

Our bathroom.bathroom-matches-jesusOur apartment has dimmer switches on EVERY switch. At first, we were like “What? This — we don’t need this. What good is a dimmer in the bathroo— OH. Ok. Oh, that’s nice.” I never knew how relaxing it could be to sit on the toilet at night, in low, romantic light, by myself. Because I’m not the kind of person who does bathroom business in public of any kind.

We have matches on hand, always. For guests, and mainly for us. Because we love each other. And it’s just nature. But for godssakes we don’t need to smell it.

XX,

L

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Over(alls) It.

19 Jul

me-senior-photoWere you having a weird hair day until you saw this picture? You’re welcome.

That’s my senior portrait. Solidifying my status as “Home Grown Pennsylvania” forever. What you’re not seeing is that the scene was an actual field in the middle of nowhere, and my dog “Tucker”, was seated by my foot. Cuz dershnabbit, I’m a farm gal thru and thru! (For the record, I was terrified of feeding baby cows, and drowning in the corn silo, on my friend Theresa’s dairy farm, growing up. And I screamed and ran away from a beaver that wasn’t even chasing me, once. I do like shoefly pie though.)

The worst is that my Mom has had this photo in her wallet for the past 17 years.

…Let that sink in. 

I was so innocent then. So many life experiences ahead of me — including things like: Hair dye (what you’re seeing there is grown-out Sun-In), Nair, leaving a few brow hairs unplucked, flat ironing, and not putting my Manhands™ next to my face in photos.

But the most unforgivable remains: THE OVERALL. Mine were cuffed shorts-er-alls. Pretty sure I had a pair of Birkenstocks on. What? Someone call Vogue! We’ve got a Covergirl on our hands!

When I saw overalls returning to the scene this year, I thought — OMG! Lemme Back To The Future myself and be like “GIRL! You hit this trend like a champ! Who doesn’t love denim, and comfort and baggy crotch! Werk!”

And then Huffington Post called the trend “Stylish”. And I was like —- oh haeeeeeeeellllllll no.

These are the people who are allowed to wear overalls: People who grow their own food in an area that could never be called an “urban farm”, people who live in a state that has the directional qualifier of “West”, people who are under the age of 5, and people who would claim “Professional Banjoist/Juggist/Spoons/Comb” if they filed their taxes.

That’s it. Not even you, supermodel who looks good in everything, can be STYLISH in these. They are for doing laundry. In private. On a planet where you are the one remaining human. Then go for it! Don’t even wear a shirt, if you want!

I saw formal overalls at a fancy restaurant in Hollywood, last year. And I assumed it was just spot on my eyeball. But it’s real and it’s happening, so we should talk about it.

This is the cream of the crap, according to HuffPost. Considering these are our highest hopes, let us begin.overalls-free overalls-free2 overalls-free3 overalls-free4 overalls-free6 overalls-free7 overalls-free8 overalls-free9 overalls-free10 overalls-free11People, I am speaking from experience! Try something more flattering. Nobody’s body is shaped like this. So, really – anything will do.

For real. Someone could be keeping this photo in their wallet for 17 years.

And counting…

XX,

L

Images by Huffington Post before I wrote on them.

Family Vacation: Hudson vs Chucky.

15 Jul

obx-outer-banks-ncThe best part of the whole thing was that I got to hang out for almost an entire week, with my fam. The worst part was having to catch a flight back to LA, at the end of it. Oh. And also how Dairy Queen Blizzards aren’t bottomless. If people say endings are the beginning of something else, they were talking about ice cream mixed with candy. And the beginnings of Diabetes.

This was my first beach vacation with my family since, like, the late nineties. My nephew Hudson is almost two, so I wanted to scoop him up and gobble up his cheeks. Instantly, I learned something about almost-two-year-olds. They go through phases. Like, “Mama’s Boy”. Mama’s Boy no likey Aunt Bubbles (*that’s my chosen nickname. A word he likes and can say already) picking him up. My Plan B was “get on the level”.

Les: “Smell his feet. He loves this.”

Me: “Gross. No. What do they smell like – Doritos?”

Les: “Just do it.”

Me: “Ugh. Seriously?” (I pretended to sniff, but I breathed out. Gross – feet!) “GROSS HUDSON!!!! EWWWW!” He laughed.
hud-feet-obxLittle boys are the grossest. He’s stinking cute though, and therefore is irresistible to me. Of course I still wanted to squeeze him.

We rented a house in The Outer Banks (cultishly known as OBX to people who go there. Almost everyone has personalized license plates saying XTC OBX, OBX4EVR, XXX OBX — ok, no one had that last one. It’s a family place), and had easy access to the Atlantic, and a pool. Dolphins swam by almost every day in the ocean, and boogers came out of Hudson’s nose every day in the pool. I prefer dolphin sightings – but that’s just me.

I remember the family vacations of yore, when my sister and I would listen to our walkmen (I said it was the ’90s!), whilst oiled up, smelling like baking coconuts, “laying out” on the beach, wishing so hard for something cool to happen. Now, we all slather on the SPF100, park it in the shade, and appreciate that just being able to hang out IS the cool thing happening.

les-hud-dad-obx

heath-hudson-pool-obxOK, you just have to deal with this adorable family photo. heath-les-hudson-obxI wanna say I’ve never eaten so much in my life, but that’s not true. And that’s what vacation is for, right? Especially if you’re within walking distance of the place where the sea creatures lived before you ate them.

Heath steamed like so many clams, none of us could keep up. Combined with shrimp, pulled pork and North Carolina style BBQ sauce? Shut yo mouth.clams-obxThis was my contribution to the supper that evening:paper-plates-with-peas-obxTo put a little backstory on this, I was making a salad. My Mom, who was cooking other things, told me I could thaw some frozen peas on plates – and just throw them into the salad.

Mom: “Just put them in, straight from the bag. They’re delicious!”

Me: (Trying one ice pea) “They’re so cold! They’re like ice.”

Mom: “Well, you said it’s a cold salad.”

Me: (Tasting another ice pea from a different region of the paper plate) It’s not cold saladit’s room-temp.”

Heath (My brother-in-law, popping a Corona): “What is that, salad?”

Me: “YES! DELICIOUS FROZEN PEA AND PAPER PLATE SALAD AT THE MOMENT.”

Heath: “You’re gonna eat salad on vacation?”

Me: “I have to put these peas in the microwave.”

Mom: “Just throw them in the salad! They’ll be fine!”

Me: (Testing another completely frozen pea) “Mom! They are frozen! This salad is sucking…”

We all destroyed like a million shrimp and clams and Carolina pulled pork. And a little serving of my signature magical pea salad.

dad-me-mom-obxMy sister and I have no current photos of us together, so we tried to get some good ones — after I took this artistic photo of her sideburns. We both have them. As my boyfriend has made known. (I’m talking about you, Ervin! Thank you for always tucking my ‘burns behind my ear, so I feel like a pretty lady…)les-lashes-obx

Here was an attempt at a sisterly portrait.les-me-obxAnd another.

Les was workin it. I think the zit that was forming under my eyebrow skin was distracting me…
me-les-obxOne afternoon Heath, Les and I snuck out while Mom and Dad distracted Hudson, and headed to a little town called Manteo. We walked into a quaint fabric store where a nice older woman said “Is this your first time in the store?”, I said “Yes”, she told us about the interesting necktie purses Cindy was making, and we decided to leave Manteo.

— and try our luck a a super popular Diners Drive-Ins and Dives pick Tortuga’s Lie. The food is amazing. I’ve never had such flavorful fish tacos in all my life. And the fries are deliciously salty and peppery. But the highlight was my drink. The “Shark Attack”, with an actual plastic shark in it, that you flip over, dumping the contents of its guts into your glass. What’s not to love! It was the day I first witnessed the Sharknado movie trailer, so sharks were on my mind menu.
tortugas-lie-shark-attack-obxMy Dad made brownies (to the amazement of my Mom, who was shocked that he could measure anything). He put the pan in the oven and joined all of us in the living room, brownie-batter-bowl in hand.

Dad: “Anybody wanna lick the bowl?” I turned to see a bowl, scraped CLEAN, by OCD Mr. Martha Stewart.

Me: “WHAT!? DAD, THERE IS NOTHING LEFT IN THAT BOWL!”

Dad: “Yes there is!” He’s too thorough for any possible mooching.

Me: “You guys. Look at this bowl.”

He managed to scrape out 1/4 teaspoon, anyway…

dad-brownies-obxThis picture makes me laugh. Hudson, who became a fearless wave-jumper, thanks to a little positive peer pressure, looks on. As his comrades pose for their Mom’s camera. I was hoping so hard that he would run over and join them, but he kept a comfortably awkward distance.

The fact that he’s probably a blurry little weirdo in the background of their photos, pleases me infinitely.
hud-kids-beach-obxAnother good shot, was taken by my Mom. Using the panorama function on her new iPhone 5. A Dali-esque scene atop the 100-ft sand dunes at Jockey’s Ridge. Near the Wright Brother’s Aviation Museum. Just north of the —- wait, yuck. This is getting way too historical.

Look at my arms. All of them. me-jockeys-ridge-pan-obxAnd finally, a family photo that I think really represents our week together. family-photo-obxWITH CHUCKY!

He actually wasn’t angry at the time. It was the wind. And his concentrating little eyebrows. And the placement of his finger. OK, he looks exactly like Chucky, except I’m pretty sure he’s still Hudson on the inside.

I love these people. And I miss them already. Super looking forward to the next time I get to hang out with them again.

XX,

L

Friendiversary II.

1 Jul

crystal-dollars-meYeah, those are cold, hard $1’s. Bling it on!

Remember last year when Crystal and I had our special Friendiversary in Malibu, celebrating our friends-ness for one whole year? This was our second one! Cuz we still think each other is neat! [*Clink glasses!]

Our adventure started out in Los Feliz at the Vintage Cinema, to see The Bling Ring, the new movie by Sofia Coppola. Obviously. Best girlfriends, stealing together from celebrities, flouncing around in the coke-habit/Louboutin tax bracket… every girl’s dream! We got our popcorn and Junior Mints and enjoyed some A/C in the midst of an LA heat wave. Seated, in the very seats I sat in to watch Burlesque, almost 2 1/2 years ago when I got to LA.

Even then, I knew a scene where the Hollywood sign reflects upon your bus window – is impossible. Unless you’re in a flying bus. Or you’re Christina Aguilera and Cher is your fairy-god-mentor.

Bling Ring opened with a shot of a rich person’s front gate, at night, from the perspective of a security camera. “I’ve been to this house for my delivery job,” I thought. Then the shot reversed, and I could see the house. I leaned over to Crystal, and dribbled some annoying popcorn-breath information, “I’ve totally been in this house!” It’s like a long, modern, glass ranch-type place. I know this, because I have to walk by all the glass rooms when I drop off the food, always hoping I don’t catch them doing anything “private”, while at the same time, trying to find a human to sign the credit card slip. I always see their cat first.

When the movie was over, and I had eaten 90% of our shared Junior Mints, we stepped out on the street and became slightly melty popsicles.

“What do you wanna do?” I slapped my sunglasses onto my face.

“Malibu?”

And we were off. Riiiight into a bunch of cars, creeping along the highway. Summer makes the beach feel so far away, factoring in the soul-sucking amounts of traffic. But no matter! We could chat along the way!malibu-seagull-friends“Sometimes I feel like every ship is sailing away, like, all the life-ships. Each one of them coming by and a bunch of people jump on and I say No, not this time, but you guys have fun! I’m just waiting for some… other… ship, I guess… and it keeps happening and I’m not really, like, doing anything with my life or something. Y’know?”

“Yeah.”

A good friend just lets you Debbie Downer for a while, and then reminds you about how in the movie they got started stealing out of fancy unlocked cars on the street and how we should totally do that, right? And it makes you forget all about your sad-sack sailing ships.

We stopped for fish n chips n stuff at The Reel Inn. Ervin first introduced me to that place. It’s perfect. You can chill with some food and a drink, on the deck, in the shade, right next to the ocean. Relaxing.

We passed by this wine tasting place, next door. We skipped the tasting and hit up the breathtaking photo opp. This must have been what Alice In Wonderland felt like when she was all small. And over 21.

rosenthal-giant-wine-meIt’s no trip to Malibu without feeling some amount of sand in your toes, so we spent a little time sitting on the beach, watching the waves and the people and talking about everything. Also, through modern science, we were able to face the Pacific Ocean, with the sun setting behind us. Whaa? Geography is hard.

“I’m like the only person without a tattoo,” Crystal said.

“Everyone has tattoos now. You’re interesting if you don’t have one,” I said.

“I’m too scaredy-cat to get one.”

“Well, You don’t put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari.

“What??”

“I heard someone say that once. It’s true!”

“I’d be more like a… what’s that Back To The Future car?”

“A DeLorean?!?! WHAT?

“Yes! You don’t put a bumper sticker on a DeLorean!”

“Where would you even put it? Where is the back bumper on that thing!”

And such and such.

Finally, it was time for us to go home so Crystal could get started on her cooking project for the weekend, and I could get back to obsessing over how crickets are getting into my second floor apartment, every nite.mcdonalds-sunsetThe sunset was amazing, as it probably always is… Except this time, I was in the passenger seat, having just spent a really fun day with an incredibly great girl, who I’m lucky to call my friend.

So, naturally, it looked sparklier.

XX,

L

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