The VCR Chronicles – In For A Penny, In For A Pound

I thought I was doing well, despite, well, you know…covid.

But after many months of being home and living more in our bubble than many around us, I was craving a home refresh.

But any new furniture or home decor must be able to be delivered, or not too heavy or large if I buy it somewhere and it must be in my budget.

le sigh.

Too many constraints on my wild need to redecorate our space. This refresh would bring me some adventure and change in a time when spring melts into summer into fall and I barely wear pants.

Shaka keeps saying we have outgrown the space. I keep saying, we just need to reorganize.

So I looked around our space to see what I could redo.

Our office/guest room has a tv/vcr combo that is taking up some space. As is the shelf of VHS tapes. I bought some hardware and software to convert them with the tv/vcr combo. I tried it but it didn’t work.

My sister said when she was doing the conversion, she used OBS Studio. I tried it but it didn’t work.

I ended up getting a new computer. It didn’t work.

I got another capture device. It didn’t work.

I sent out an inquiry to work people on our intranet.

First guy said his dad was moving and had a vcr/dvd combo I could have but he wasn’t sure it worked.

Another guy at work had a working vcr but needed to get it back from someone who had borrowed it.

The vcr/dvd combo ended up working like a charm.

Then it stopped working.

Thank goodness the guy with the working vcr was able to get it back and was willing to still loan it to me.

Then…that one started working ONLY with the OBS studio but no sound.

I went to bed racking my brain for solutions but I am not tech minded.

I then bought a head cleaner to see if that would do the trick

Shaka smirked from the couch, “In for a penny, in for a pound.”

It’s true! It’s expensive to send them to be converted but I was on my way to spending more if this didn’t work soon.

I became fixated on making this work. It HAD to work! And it had to work soon. I couldn’t finalize my plans until this first row of dominos fell. I didn’t want to live in a half completed project. I am already living in a half reality as it is.

It reminded me of my friends and relatives who are Trumpers. They are not the 1% but they still believe somehow that he is their savior. It’s quite gross. And distressing. They believe in his cult of personality. They believe his lies.
They too, are in for a penny, in for a pound. They double down with vigor and anger as they tell me I am the snowflake or that they won’t live their lives with fear. Though their very tone is quite fearful. I am afraid.

But unlike them, my obsession isn’t based in misogyny or lies or straight out thievery. Mine is all about finishing this damn project. By myself. The only lie I am believing is that I can do it.

I went to Youtube University to learn a new trade (fixing vcrs), but alas, it confirmed what I already suspected. And it’s that I stop paying attention when there are more than 8 steps involved in the first 2 minutes of the tutorial.

Then, I went back to the vcr/dvd combo that had stopped working. It ate a tape. I took off the top of the vcr and started to blow on the inner workings (you might want to take notes, pupils…this here is the technical portion of the lesson – hahahaha). Shaka walks into the living room to see me with an exposed vcr playing and me holding down the tape with my finger.

“Who did I marry???” he laughs

“It’s working,” I cry out like I discovered gold in them thar hills, “It’s FINALLY working!!!!”

I am now nearing the end of the project. Many vhs tapes down. Many hours of watching stuff I didn’t need to digitize like old Bill Mahr or David Letterman or Dharma and Greg promos, Everybody Loves Raymond, Mad TV or other shows I can’t remember. The pile is but a wee stack.

I am finally feeling a win. Once we move the tapes and donate the tv/vcr combo, we can move some furniture around and rearrange things. Move your stuff…change your life!!! My life will be on track!!!!! Okay, that’s a stretch, but it will be some movement.

But during this laborious process, I was finding a time capsule into my past.

I was able to digitize old commercials and old films I was in.

I also found a vhs tape from my friend Debbie (whom I wrote about before https://poppeacock.com/2019/07/18/quicksilver-people-finding-it/ ).

She has been sober for a long time. This tape was made before then and right before her world drastically changed. She filmed her life on her last day (and night) in SF before moving to Ojai.

The label read: To Ginsu Girl from Beecharmer.

I digitized it.

Early in the shutdown, I got back in touch with Debbie. It was like no time had passed, but for sure…multiple lives and experiences had existed in the interim. It was like feeling some movement in a finger that had gone numb.

After I digitized a film we had both been in (actually she was the one who got me the role), I emailed her to let her know that I had a digital version of the film and the SF tape she made for me and did she want it.

The time between hearing back from her was a strange pause because I didn’t want to send her anything that was triggering to her sobriety.

I was in a certain headspace of archiving my memories and projects but that didn’t mean she was.

I waited.

And then I heard back….

TO BE CONTINUED

In Pursuit of Light

We are now many months into this pandemic.

Currently, there is a comet passing by earth. Shaka and I drove out Saturday night to see if we could catch a glimpse of it. Try and avoid a lot of light, face NNW and make sure it’s right after sunset. But of course, it could be an hour and a half after sunset. Or it could be the middle of the night. You might see it if you are in the mountains or better if you are looking towards the horizon. If you miss it, you will have to wait another 6800 years and I just don’t think I have that kind of patience. We didn’t see it Saturday. We will go again tonight. And if we still fail, we will go again tomorrow.

I feel like this pandemic is like trying to chase this comet. You keep doing things right, do what you’re told, hope for an outcome, but you don’t really know if you’re doing it right. You have to hope.

So day after day, in this pandemic, I buckle down in my new normal. Some days feel easy and then others, I cry at a stoopid commercial that isn’t even meant to be sad.

I am fortunate that I still have a job and CAN work from home. The learning curve of making my dining room table and my slow computer do what my work computer can do was quite arduous. I still haven’t exactly found my groove. Work has been crazy, so I don’t feel like AHHHHH I get to chill and go for walks all day long. It’s actually been a bit of a process trying to figure out a routine that keeps me sane and keeps the dead butt syndrome away.

I can’t believe how much time has passed living in this strange new reality. At first, I was like, I will lose weight, learn a language and also become famous with some amazing viral thing I do. But I gained, lost and gained and plateaued. I didn’t learn a new language. And as for being famous, my friends Faye and Leigh separately laughed like, well, what have you done to BE virally famous? And I was like, I dont know…I thought I would have found it by now. I refuse to get tik-tok, so I watch from the sidelines as hilarious Sarah Cooper gains comedic steam. That isn’t to say she wouldn’t have been famous otherwise or take away from her genius, but her timing with both her rise and her imitations are to be respected.

There is a lot going on right now. Lots of emotions, tension, ridiculous political stances about not wearing a mask (yeah, I said it – wear a f&*king mask, you dolts!), protests for civil rights (YES), militia kidnapping people in Portland (WTF?), family members getting sick from Covid, arguments with other family members who I believe are on the wrong side of history and health, weird medical stuff for me, Shaka and the cats, missing going out with my friends, missing travel (we were supposed to have gone to Europe this past Spring), missing cocktails being made by someone who isn’t me or Shaka, etc. I know others have it much worse and I sound like a brat throwing a tantrum.

So instead of focusing on what I am missing out on, I wanted to write about the things that have been keeping my spirits and energy up (let’s be honest – it’s mostly media).

– TV/FILM —- There are a lot of options at the moment for tv/films what with all the various streaming platforms. Here are some we have enjoyed during this quarantine (links provided).

  • We got a month of Disney+ to watch Hamilton (we had seen it live at the Pantages in Hollywood a few years ago). I loved it so much! Even though I love Jonathan Groff…what was with the spitting? It grossed me out so much. I wonder if others had to use a different mic from him after he would record for Frozen or Frozen 2. In this time of Covid, all germy things seem more apparent.

We also enjoyed “The Mandalorian.”

And then Shaka made me watch “The Shaggy Dog”, which was actually kind of             fun. Though I was like,  we are NOT watching old Disney stuff.

  • Which led us to “The Imagineering Story” which was pretty much OLD Disney stuff. But it was so interesting. Keep in mind, it’s told about Disney BY Disney
  • We have been binge watching “Community” which has made me very happy. As the seasons go on, I highly recommend taking edibles, cuz I am pretty sure the writers did.
  • Perry Mason (reboot on HBO) and Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (on Showtime), if you are feeling like you need to see more of LA’s crime and racial tensions but in a different era.
  • “Palm Springs” on Hulu!  Oh man, I was truly missing my girls trip to PS this year, so I would have watched this even if it didn’t have Andy Samberg or wasn’t a comedy or even good. But thankfully, I loved it!!!!!! It doesn’t replace the trip, but it’s a pretty good consolation. Zappy said that when she watched it, it was really hot here in LA and made her NOT want to be in an even  hotter desert. If you watch it and want to re-watch it, I highly recommend taking edibles cuz I am pretty sure the writers did.
  • Of course, “Insecure”, “Better Things”, and “Killing Eve” which have nothing to do with one another except that I love them, they are all shot gorgeously and have amazing casts and interesting story lines. Honorable mention is “Dead to Me”
  • There are more but I can’t for the life of me remember cuz my brain is melting…or too many edibles.

– MUSIC —– Mads, Shaka, ST8 and I have been randomly texting each other our music finds. When I finally create one of my shows, I want Mads and Shaka’s friend Shawn to be the music supervisors on them. But ST8 is a one-man show of knowing good music and knowing the stories behind them. He is also an Angelino and has a long history with music here. He definitely needs a podcast, and when he starts one, you definitely need to listen. Stuff we have shared back and forth

You can kind of feel the nostalgic, vacation vibe we have all been going for.

–  BEAUTY (I have been buying various beauty items. No need for as much lipstick when you put on a mask but I have bought some pretty colors anyway. I also have a lot of great hair and skincare purchases. If you’re interested, let me know. Otherwise, I am only listing the following)

  • Static Nails – I can’t paint my nails well at all. So I finally gave in and decided to try the press-on nails from Static Nails. My nails look AMAZING! I just wish I had somewhere to go because Shaka is sick of telling me “they look great” and I am not sick of asking how they look. hahahaha. Lowkey, I am still shit at doing my nails because I think I glued some of my skin to the nails underneath but trial and error. hahahahaha. ouch.

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– SOCIAL MEDIA – here are some of my fave vlogs and IG sites

  • The Sorry Girls – DIY stuff, Canadian, fun.
  • Penn Smith Skincare – she knows skin, she offers dupes to expensive products and explains things in a great way. And she’s based in PDX (which I am usually drawn to having gone to school there).
  • Best Dressed – this young woman has a lot of self doubt and stream of consciousness way of talking. BUT she is such an artist and I love her aesthetic for design and filmmaking.
  • Mary Elizabeth – love her style, her personality and her design upgrades.
  • DNice – awesome DJ that has kept me sane during this crazy time. His Club Quarantine mixes are so much fun. I dare you not to start moving your body.
  • Norah, Yarah and Rosa – hip hop dancing sisters from Holland
  • Alia – so this is a convergence of different things. My (former) belly dance teacher, Eshta makes gorgeous dance costumes and various items (also face masks  D4954EED-FF70-4DE1-8A6A-BDCA7406F786 I get so many compliments on this). She made a costume for this dancer Alia and mentioned it on fb because Alia was featured in Vogue. I looked her up. She is not only stunning and a captivating dancer, but she is also such a luscious skater. I reached out to my friend, Christia. I am co-directing a music video for her that had to be put on hold but which we will resume another time post quarantine. It features a lot of roller skating. I told Christia to check out Alia. Turns out that Christia (a dancer) was also wanting to get into belly dancing and after watching Alia’s skating footage, I now want to start skating. If you happen to see two Pisces skating and/or belly dancing, you will know it’s us. I just need to find cute skates for these big feet of mine. When I told my sister, she said, “do you remember that Dad broke his hip trying to impress a woman by roller blading? Nothing says youth like a hip replacement.” I will not be deterred. The cool thing is that Alia films and is filmed by another skater Neon Keon and their footage is lovely and fluid cuz they are filming WHILE skating. And I love their music choices too!

So that’s a smidge of things that have been keeping my happiness flowing.

It’s hard, you know? A huge part of who I am is being social. I love seeing the world and interacting in it. I love connecting with my friends and family. I just have to stay in touch as much as I can with people and keep a routine that doesn’t feel so cave-persony.

It’s tiring when every day feels the same, but my goal (besides being virally famous), is to try and make every day have a moment that has never happened before. Kind of like chasing a comet. Even if you don’t actually see it, the trek will be a little outing that you can tell stories about. But I hope we see it so I can tell you about THAT.

Star Cluster

I was going to write about this when it happened. And then my birthday extravaganza took place. And then the Stay in Place orders came.

So, today, I will write about it, though it feels like a lifetime ago.

My dad sometimes drives these senior tour groups and on this particular week, the group was in Los Angeles.

They were going to be at the Griffith Observatory one evening. It had been awhile since I had been up there at night. One memory of the sort was when I spent the day with a friend’s kids (twin boy and girl) who were around 10 years old. We explored Hollywood and had lunch and then found ourselves at the Observatory at dusk. On this particular evening, the twins and I saw a line for the Zeiss Telescope. We joined the line and weren’t too far from the front but the line wasn’t moving. The telescope would be open soon, they assured us. This was good, since I hadn’t planned to have the twins out so late on a Sunday. But we waited and waited. Whispers among the adults. Apparently, there are only a handful of people in the world who know how to operate this telescope.telescope

The guy that whose shift was about to begin wasn’t there. And he wasn’t answering his phone. And he seemed to have disappeared. His back up lived kind of far, but they were trying to get him there. The kids were restless but not enough so to want to leave. FINALLY, someone arrived (not sure if it was Operator #1 or his back up) and we took our turn at stargazing through the giant telescope.

As we were leaving, there were several people on the lawn who had their own, personal telescopes out for the public to look through. We wandered up to one guy.

“What is is your telescoped aimed at,” I asked.

In a voice like the comic book store dude on the Simpsons, he replied, “Star Cluster.”

Twin Girl asks, “What’s a star cluster?”

But he heard, “Which Star Cluster?” and proceeded to tell us the numerical name with a manic smugness.

Twin Girl confused by his answer, asked, “What’s that?”

Telescope guy replied, “It’s a STAR CLUSTER!” and proceeded to laugh at his own humor. Twin Girl looks at me. I look back at her with an expression that says, I don’t get it either. We look through the lens at the star cluster. It’s a cluster of stars. It’s pretty cool. As we get in the car, we can’t stop laughing.

We make fun of this interaction for years. FOR YEARS!

Back to current day (pre-Covid Shut Down).

Shaka and I arrive at the Observatory before my dad and his group do. I am shocked that you have to pay for parking up there now. And not just in the lot, but along the road, even if you are quite away down the hill. Parking went from being free to $10/hour. It threw me. So much so, that when I am putting my money into the meter and choosing how long we want to be there, I promptly forget how much it is per hour and I put in 3 hours. Oh well…I mean, I don’t love that I did that, but what’s done is done. I take the parking slip and put it on the dashboard.

We wander up to the lawn where we see several people with their telescopes set up for the public to look through. That part hasn’t changed. What is different, is that each telescope has a little e-board letting you know what they are aimed at.

I gasp. I grab Shaka’s shoulder. There is a little e-board that says, “Star Cluster” and I start laughing. I get in line. I can’t tell if it’s the same guy or not. A woman in front of me asks him about something bright in the sky. “What is that?”

And in that same voice we have been imitating for nearly a decade, he says, “what do YOU think it is?”

She guesses. He says, No

Another person guesses. He says, No.

And yet, another person guesses. He says, No.

As he slightly giggles to himself like Rumpelstiltskin, I blurt out (not sure if I am correct or not), “That’s Venus,” and I take my turn at the lens and look at the Star Cluster.

“Well, yes…that is Venus.” I feel a little bad, but not not a lot bad. I ask him why he loves the Star Cluster.

He says, “My friends make fun of me since I go on about them, but I mean…how can you not? It’s a CLUSTER…of STARS!”

I guess he’s right. When you think of how many of our suns would make up a cluster, it’s pretty cool. I think of the synchronicity of things coming together and joining up to create that experience.

My dad shows up and we wander around the inside and the outside of the Observatory. It is busier than I would imagine. Its not a holiday. It’s the middle of the week and the parking is $$$$. But the crowds are here. I start snapping the evening skyline below us with my dad’s phone (at that point, I was having phone envy with everyone’s newer devices).

My dad was trying to wrangle his group who had already had a tour-filled day. They were heading back to their hotel. Shaka and I decided we would head out too.

My dad’s bus wasn’t too far from ours. He hadn’t paid for his parking and in typical fashion for him, no ticket.

We get in our car with a good amount of time remaining on our parking pass. Up ahead, I see my dad’s bus pull away and another large van park where he had been. We see the driver of the van get out and look at the signs. I could almost feel his disappointment at the prices, as I watched his shoulders slump with a sigh. We pull up next to him.

We ask if he’s planning to be there awhile. His foreign accent is thick and he tells us that his job brought him down here from Seattle and all he wanted to do was see the Observatory but hadn’t had time all week. He was leaving in the morning.

“Not sure how long you wanted to be here, but here’s our parking pass with an hour and a half left on it. Hopefully, you will get to see something you wanted tonight,” Shaka says.

His face lights up!

“Thank you so much! I hadn’t gotten paid on the job yet. Bless you both!!!!”

He fist bumps Shaka as we drive away.

I never felt so good to overpay for parking.

As the city twinkled below us and the stars twinkled above us, we made our way back home.

 

 

 

 

Quarantine Serenade

Obviously, everything’s not alright. But since we are in unfamiliar territory, we need to keep our spirits high even when things are scary and tense. Money, jobs, health, food, supplies, childcare…these are all real issues facing us. Please don’t lose hope. I am trying to keep my spirit up by writing, connecting to family and friends via facetime and whatsapp as well as meditating and playing with the cats. I also felt like singing this song and sharing it with you (please excuse off key moments). Good luck with wherever you are physically and mentally today. We are in this together. And wash your hands.

Mondegreen

Mondegreen  is a mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning. Mondegreens are most often created by a person (ME) listening to a poem or a song; the listener, being unable to clearly hear a lyric, substitutes words that sound similar and make some kind of sense.

So does that make me a Mondegreener?

It almost sounds like the french phrase, “Mon Dieu”, like when you’ve heard something incredulous.

I have always messed lyrics up. And sometimes conversations.

I didn’t know it was SOOO obvious. I thought I could play it off like I have been drinking and become the ditz. Cuz let’s be honest…I sound drunk even when I am sober.

Jazzy hadn’t hosted us in awhile, so we were thrilled that she decided to throw an Oscar soiree for Zappy, Roni, Shaka, Mads and me.

I had seen most of the movies this year (which by the way, doesn’t make it easier to vote for the winners). I almost didn’t want to participate because Roni ALWAYS wins. And I am not good at losing.

But the looks that Mads, Jazzy and Zappy gave me of not participating almost felt worse than losing AGAIN. So I forked over $ and Shaka and I played along.

Jazzy is such a good hostess.

jazzy oscars

I told her that I hadn’t been there in a lonnnnng time and that it makes me sad cuz she throws the best parties.

She said, “Oh, well, I am not sad. My bf (she actually said his name and not “bf”, cuz that would be weird) and I are happy here doing things at home.”

And I said, “I don’t care if YOU’RE sad! I said, ‘I’m sad!'”

And then we all laughed at my sadness.

The food was great! The desserts were yummy! The drinks were flowing. And RONI WAS STILL WINNING! Arggggh.

Then that bizarre Eminem performance came on and we all looked at the tv like,

reactions

Not really, but we were wondering if the drinks had made us believe it was 2002.

I start singing “Lose Yourself” at the commercial break.

“Snap back to reality/  Oh there goes gravity /  Oh there goes gravity”

Zappy looks at me and says, “It’s ‘oh there goes Rabbit, he…'”

I was like, “WHAAAAA??”

Turns out, we were both right. I just was stuck on that one line.

Roni and Zappy tied the Oscar pool and decided to donate their winnings to Jazzy for the party (they are better people than I am…lol)

But Shaka and I did pose for my fake win for best actress.

shaka and me at oscars party

I was telling him about the Oops there goes gravity line and he laughed and said, “don’t I know it. you do that all the time.”

I was like, “WHAAAAA??”

Then, skip skip skip to a few weeks later, Shaka and I are on a mini-road trip to Ventura. “Hopelessly Devoted To You” comes on (I have no idea what we were listening to – Spotify? youtube?)

When I was a kid, I was OBSESSED with “Grease.” They even filmed part of it at my high school and I was so excited to pick out the parts where they sing different scenes. I used to have a book called a FotoNovel of the film.

fotonovel

I had the album. I saw the movie many times. I dressed up as Sandy (after her transformation) for Halloween.

Me as sandy

I was an expert is what I am trying to say.

So we’re in the car listening to Hopelessly Devoted to You. And I am singing loudly along.

But now there’s no way to hide
Since you pushed my love aside
I’m nodding my head hopelessly devoted to you
Hopelessly devoted to you
Hopelessly devoted to you

And I say to Shaka, “why is she ‘nodding’ her head? I think she means to say. ‘shaking her head’, like she can’t believe it’s happening.”

Shaka looks at me. Thinks for a minute (probably about how he is married to someone whose view of the world around her is so vastly removed from reality) and says,

“What are you talking about?”

“You know, that part, where she sings ‘I’m nodding my head, hopele…”

“Stop stop…it’s ‘I’m outta my head.”

“WHAAAA? No. It can’t be.” And then I think for a minute and am like, “well…I’ll be. that makes more sense. All these years. Wow. Put it on again so I can sing it differently.”

And Shaka shook, not nodded, his head.

And I, in a french accent exclaimed, “Mondegreen!”

Get Hammered

So I admit that I was reading too quickly when I saw that the Hammer Museum was opening an exhibit for Paul McCarthy called Headspace, I misread it. I was like, cool, a Beatle does art. I’ll check it out.

I invited Faye to join me. I had never been to the Hammer before and Faye had yet to visit an LA museum since she moved here. Win-Win. When she asked me what the exhibit was, I actually couldn’t even remember that I had thought it was Paul McCartney. I told her I didn’t know, but that it was an opening and…why not.

Why not, indeed. Whenever Faye and I get together, we have fun.

The weather was clear, the roads weren’t cloggy and anything could happen.

I picked her up and we caught up and chatted about all her current activities. Faye is an actress living her best life here in LA. She and I met doing theater in Portland several moons ago. She is so good that she moved to LA and didn’t need to get a job doing anything else. Her hustle is legit and she works EVERY DAY! So I like hearing about this voice over gig and that audition and this film and that commercial and this awards show and that theater role. Plus, she had just had some friends visiting so I got to hear about how she took them all over LA, like I had once taken her. But with her own spin on it, naturally.

We got to Westwood and started looking for parking. I wasn’t worried. We would find the best space. But we drove around a few times. I got disorientated. But then…voila! Space found. Almost like valet. not really. But not…not really.

She had just gotten the iphone 11 and I, with my phone envy, got very excited over the camera features.

We wandered into various exhibits and sat in crazy swivel chairs that I knew I was going to break or fall out of (I didn’t).

Dude in one of the swivel art chairs

Then we continued chatting as we entered each exhibit. One was really cool where it was photographs deconstructed in a way that looked like salacious parts of the body but in reality was like a knuckle or a belly button.

I kept saying, “that’s a penis. Or a butthole.”

And Faye would point out my mistake. “That’s a belly button.”

“Oh, but that one there is definitely a butthole…and a penis.”

“Uh, wrong again. You seem to be able to see ONLY those two things.”

I laughed. But wondered why my brain was stuck in 8 year old boy mode.

Then we entered the Paul McCarthy exhibit.

I once saw the Basquiat exhibit at MOCA with Mads and I had to leave the room because the energy coming off the canvas was so dark and negative that I couldn’t breathe (sue me, I am dramatic), but in the same museum, I was admiring Warhol’s suicide/death series and was like, “hmmmmm, interesting.” I loved the film about Basquiat, but that exhibit was too intense. I don’t even remember what the paintings were of. So it’s not subject matter, apparently, it’s how it makes me feel.

And McCarthy’s work felt aggressive and like he was working some stuff out of his soul.

And then Faye says, “Well, here’s your penis. And your butthole. And there is another one. You were in the wrong exhibit.” And we laughed as we hightailed it outta there.

We drank some wine. Took in the people-watching. Took snaps with her phone. In fact, she handed it to me and said, go wild! So I did! Love that girl.

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An older gentleman walked up to us and asked us about one of the exhibits (Max Hooper Schneider’s ‘Transfer Station,’ 2019. Mixed media) and we told him it was interesting and to take a look,

“But it’s a long line. Is it worth it?” Dude, you’re here. Why not?

“Check it out and see,” we said.

Then he said, “Did you check out the big exhibit by McCarthy? Disturbed!”

And it hit me that I sounded like that old man. BLECH!

“Well, it’s art,” I said, “and everyone gets something out of some things,”

What a nonsensical thing to say, but it got me out of the conversation. I mean, I did think it was disturbed, but I was never gonna try and encaspsulate art into something. It’s ART! You don’t have to love it.

We felt the rumble in our bellies and knew the cheese sticks they were passing out weren’t going to do the trick. We left the Hammer and wandered Westwood Village on a Saturday night. How was it possible that everything was closing? It was 9:30!!!! This is a college town! But we ended up at the Napa Valley Grille and as Faye/Poppeacock luck dictates, it was HAPPY HOUR!!!!

Our server was great, the food was delish and the rose was perfect! We played around with various settings on her phone as we finished up. As I went to the restroom, I realized, we were leaving before their posted closed hour, but we were the only people there who didn’t work there. Oops. Time to boogie.

We made our way down Wilshire back to her place. The air was still perfect and roads were still clear.

Getting cultured and shit.

We’re classy like that.

Unmistakable Appeal of the Marvelous

The other night, I met up with Mads, Zappy and Jazzy at Jones.

It had been a year since we had been there AND before that, it had been way longer.

It was almost a time capsule of our past. But I don’t think of life in those terms. I stay very much in the present, which is why I am the worst at telling you how long ago something happened or what year it did. It all seems like it’s happened a week ago.

Sitting in that booth with the ladies, I realized I had sat here many times. But how many? Who knows?

I feel like I didn’t used to pay attention as much. Or is it that I don’t pay attention now?

Eh *shrugs shoulders

I was happy in the marvelous moment.

Jazzy used to work with some of the bartenders. One of them asked how long she was staying. And as we were leaving, she was like, it’s getting late…I gotta get home.

Then she laughed as she realized he was laughing at her.

When she had worked with them at other places back then (that nebulous BACK THEN), sometimes her shift would START at 10pm.

“Yeah… late” the guy said.

He’s still in that world where time is a different currency from day walkers.

Even if it all still feels the same, sometimes you don’t realize how much things have changed.

But back to the current moment of drinking martinis and sharing in each other’s good news, we laughed, we hugged, we ordered another round. We marveled that the place was still hopping. We thought about the last times we had been there and what was going on in our lives. We talked about people who were no longer in LA, in our lives, or on this earth. I don’t remember how, but a story came up regarding us going to a Stereolab concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

And about how a few days after the concert, Mads gets an email from one of our friends who LOVES Stereolab and is on a certain mailing list or fan site where he saw a photo from the Hollywood Bowl concert.

His email says to her: I think this is you on the left.

She forwards to me.

I have tried to find the photos but the link went dead. Today, however, EUREKA!  I found the photos sans captions.

I will retype (to my best recollection) what was listed on that fan site.

My perfect view…until

head block2

ARGH!

I have to be honest…Mads and I cracked up for a LONNNNNNG time over this.

My hair (or rather, my head) was the butt of a joke. And I was so there for it. Plus, I was loving the highlights.

The weirdest part is that in looking for the photo, I rediscovered my old blog and went down the rabbit hole rereading old adventures last night.

Probably the reason I am exhausted today.

Another time capsule.

We were all single then. We went out almost every night. We were excited by every opportunity because it was a potential for a life we were craving (and also concurrently, living). I wasn’t in the moment then. And I was quite depressed. But damn, I gave all I had to get out of my head with the best adventure buddies.

I was telling Shaka that even though a lot has changed (none of us are single any more and our schedules make it much harder to try and grab dinner even twice a month AND I am no longer living with that sadness), I still get that excitement over my creativity or in collaborating on a project.

I still feel like opportunities are around every corner.

I still like meeting people who cause my world view to shift even ever so slightly.

I still like finding art in the most banal places.

I still like discovering new moments to feel grateful.

I still like reliving fun moments that show where I have been and which spur on where I am heading.

But mostly, I still like funny captions that involve my hair.

 

 

 

Paso Robles

My first round of treatments were coming to an end, and the holidays were also going to be almost over. I decided since we had a couple days free, Shaka and I could take an overnight trip. My co-worker had gone to Sensorio back in October and loved it. I had never been to Paso Robles before and thought what a perfect opportunity. I didn’t realize it was only 3 1/2 hours from LA. Mads hooked us up with a private, members-only wine tasting at Justin Winery. We didn’t have tickets to Sensorio because the online tix were sold out but you could take your chance in line if you showed up. We planned our trip for the day after Christmas.

Christmas Eve was lovely at my relatives’. And Christmas day was festive. Our friend BW has a Christmas day open house every year and she recently moved a few blocks from us which was uber convenient. All her guests are creative people. Writers, producers, art directors, musicians, etc, so the conversations are always lively. Then in the evening, we headed to Shaka’s brother’s for our gathering. I almost had asthma from laughing so hard several times throughout the evening. The rain was pouring down and I wondered how our drive would be the next day.

I didn’t need to worry. The weather was perfect on 12/26. We began our trek to Paso Robles at 9am with all the promise a beginning of a trip has. But just as we were feeling the rush of the road, we noticed what would be the first of many traffic jams.  3 and 1/2 hours, they said. It will be fun and easy, they said. Our appt at JUSTIN was changed a few times as the WAZE lady would neutrally state “estimated time in traffic is 30 minutes” causing me to start crying. The only thing that kept me from a full blown anxiety attack was that the views we were passing were so gorgeous.

6 hours later, we ended up in Paso Robles. JUSTIN is located at the end of a very long, two-lane road. It was very scenic and beautiful! I wondered at one point, if we were even going the right direction since there was no signal out there. But lo and behold…we arrived!!!

We checked in and were told to go up the road to the tasting room.

It was a room right next to the wine cave (we’re like Buttigieg, minus the donors, hahaha).

Our sommelier recognized our harried look since there was another couple there who had just come from LA and were headed to Sensorio that night too. He knew how to calm us down. The reserve Malbec was amazing! The pairings were so yummy. Shaka was in bliss and it was almost as if the journey had been a quick, easy jaunt. ALMOST.

Another group came in with the same look we had had. They were grumbling and complaining about the traffic snarl. But after 15 minutes later, their moods, like ours, had shifted.

After buying the Malbec and a few other items, we headed back to town to our hotel/motel (holiday inn – j/k). It was a quirky motel right in the middle of town. As we checked in, the front desk guy seemed to have his finger on the pulse of everything happening in PR (and all the discounts we could get at their affiliates). He suggested we head to Sensorio immediately, so we did!

We got in line right around dusk. It was gorgeous! And colllllld!

Since we didn’t have tickets yet, we were told to stand by this bench off to the side of the entrance.

As the 5:00 pm crowd went in, we waited.

We watched another line form that I assumed was the 6:00 pm group. But then the gate started letting in the 6:00 ticket holders (it was 5:45). So I asked another guy (since the guy who told us to stand by the bench was gone) and he said that the line I had noticed was for people who were waiting for tickets. UGH! I said, well, that’s us, but we have been standing by that bench for an hour. The guy says, well, you can just tell the people at the front of the line.

I sarcastically snickered and said, Yeah right.

But this wasn’t LA. As we went to the back of the line, the guy emerges again and says that the people at the front of the line said we could be in front since they had seen us standing there this whole time. Weeeee! And a few minutes later, we were in!

It was so beautiful!

It was a surreal experience. Even with all those lights, you could still see the stars above so clearly, giving off the impression you are between galaxies or something astral like that.

After our interstellar hike, we went back to the hotel/motel and got in the hot tub. The looks from bundled-up guests checking in were amusing.  As warm as the hot tub was, the walk back to our room was chilly. But it was the perfect way to snuggle in to bed.

The next morning, we headed to town to have breakfast at Andrea’s on Pine. We got in without a reservation or being waitlisted, but 5 mins after we sat down, a crowd started gathering. The food was delicious! If you go, don’t pass on the homemade salsa. It’s to die for!

We asked our server for a local coffee place rec (that wasn’t Starbux) and he pointed us (literally pointed) across the park. I said, ” what’s the name of the coffee shop?”

“Oh, I knew you were going to ask me that..”

I couldn’t help but chuckle. I mean, for good coffee, I WOULD wander across a park blindly, but I didn’t want to if I didn’t have to.

We did take a walk through the park, tho.

We passed a few coffee shops on our way, but we ended up at the recommended Spearhead, the line was long (this must be good). They even had oat milk, so I was happy! And the coffee was delicious! As we walked back to our car, we passed by the Brown Butter Cookies.

I am not really into shortbread cookies, but since I made some this holiday season and won 2nd place at work with my attempts at #thecookies (NYT Alison Roman’s salted butter chocolate chunk cookie), I guess my tastes are changing. We walked into the shop and they gave us a sample. Even though I was so full from breakfast, I had to try it. This cookie was unlike any other I had ever had. It was the salt. It was the sweet. It was amazing!

We bought a bag to give as a gift to Shaka’s sister.

Then we headed to River Oaks Hot Springs Spa. We rented an outdoor, private, mineral water hot tub for an hour which looked out over a vineyard.

Sure, we smelled like farts the rest of the day, but this was a magical experience.

We left Paso Robles at 1:30 pm to make our way to Solvang.

I hadn’t been since I was a kid. I love aebleskivers (a family friend made them for us when I was younger) since they are also the same as the Dutch poffertjes breakfast treat.

Unfortunately, the traffic gods were still at it. Crash after crash added to our time. Every gas station restroom was crowded. I had a long chat at one of them with a woman visiting from Spain who had just come from Big Sur. Her husband was surprised when I waved to her as we drove away and wished her a great rest of the trip in Santa Barbara. Girls make friends in bathroom lines, is what I’m saying.

My dad had gone to boarding school in Los Olivos and asked us to drive through there. He thought it would maybe save us some time since it took us off the 101. It was beautiful (both the school and the town). But we had Danish town vibes to get to.

We arrived in Solvang at dusk. It was quaint and festive.

The traffic gods hadn’t been with us, but the parking gods were! We found a spot right away and ended up getting seated in the Solvang Restaurant 10 mins before they were no longer seating.

IMG_0349

We got our AEBLESKIVERS!!!!

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Yum!

Traffic continued to snarl as we made our way towards Santa Barbara.

We got home at 9:30 pm (I will never believe this trip should be 3 and 1/2 hours!!!!)

I don’t know if it was the traffic or all the things we did, but it felt like we had been gone for a week. I know that time between Christmas and New Year’s is especially confusing with regard to structure, and this mind warp didn’t help.

But you know what did?

Taking a trip with my hubs, meeting people and having fun experiences.

And wine.  And time the next day to sleep in. And then nap.

Happy new year, everyone! May 2020 bring you new adventures and opportunities!!! And if you have lots of traffic, hopefully the view is nice.

 

Kancer with a “K”

I take turmeric daily. I thought the odds of me getting cancer were slimmer than say, me getting a heart attack or dying in a car crash involving a rideshare.

I have always had a tiny bladder. “Hold me closer tiny bladder,” I would hear in my head as I would tell people I had to pee. Their eye-rolls and sighs of “not again” would only spear me on to think…this is me – take it or leave it. But seriously, don’t leave…you’re my ride and I really have to pee. BRB.

Last year, my husband and I were in Hawaii. Only two years before, we were getting married on Oahu and it was a fun, exciting, chaotic time. So visiting again last year was like taking all the best moments of our wedding week and expanding and treasuring them, just for the two of us. Our last day, we had an evening flight so the day was going to be filled with wandering, lunch, drinks, more wandering and sitting by the beach. The morning of our last day, I woke up with a terrible burning sensation. I felt like every time I peed, I still needed to. And the pain!!!!!

I called my doctor and asked if she could prescribe me something to make the pain ease up. I had never had a UTI, but I figured this was one. The doc wouldn’t prescribe me anything until I came in to get tested (damn ethical doctor! j/k I love her). I finally went to the drug store to see if there was an OTC remedy which there was. It helped. But our last day in paradise was kind of a mess since I had to be near a toilet and seated.

Upon returning home, I got tested. The results were negative for UTI.

Weird.

There was still pain. But it came and went.

When I talked to the doctor, she said that it was possible that my body was changing and maybe this was part of aging for my body. She said that some medicines for bladder issues made people feel worse than the thing they were trying to cure.

We waited.

It continued.

I went back.

Got tested again.

I told her I needed to see a urologist since this waiting game was yielding no winners.

I meet with the urologist. The conclusion is there is some kind of blockage in my bladder. I assume it’s a cyst that will need to come out eventually. This is good news.

We schedule a cystoscopy for November 7 (a year ago TODAY), where he goes in with a camera to see what the block is and its size.

My appt is in the morning. That same night, I will be heading to LACMA for an event with Shaka, Mads, Jazzy and JRo. I head to the appt. I even have the strangest thought: I am not a person that will ever get cancer. Weird, right? And cocky. But more weird. And cocky.

The nurse numbs me and tells me this is not gonna hurt. She swabs iodine and lots of fluid down there. Doc comes in. Guess what…that camera going up my hoo hoo…it hurts. A lot! He is showing me the live version on a monitor. “There it is…that’s the tumor.”

“What? But but like a benign tumor, right” I laugh

“No, that’s cancerous. And it’s half a golf ball size.”

Those words float in the air as I deal with the pain of the actual camera and the new news of my bladder having a cancerous tumor.

I go to clean up. I use the toilet and out of habit, I put a seat cover down. I am not aware that my whole ass is wet from the fluids they pumped in me. As I stand up from the toilet, I have wet seat cover sticking to my iodine stained butt. I would laugh but I am trying to get dressed to meet with the doctor. But I can NOT figure out how to be an adult at this moment AND get my skin paper-free. I finally work it out and meet with the doctor.

“I didn’t expect THAT news,” I say.

“I didn’t either. Your symptoms weren’t indicating that it was that large or that it was a cancerous tumor.”

He went over the next steps we would take. I would not need radiation or chemo.

We will, instead, do immunotherapy with BCG treatments. It’s a form of TB that when coating the bladder (after they do surgery to remove the tumor), helps the bladder keep any cancerous tumors from recurring. Who was the person who was like, let’s see what happens when I shoot a TB strain into the bladder? Sick person. But I am glad they tried it. Success rate is supposed to be good. Also, bladder tumors happen for the most part, in older men. Who smoke. Or who are around a lot of toxic fumes. I am wondering…how did I get this? Last I checked…I am none of those things. Do toxic people count? Ha, I kid. But seriously…how did I get this?

We schedule the surgery (I will have another doctor since I want it done sooner and mine isn’t available). I have never had surgery. I have never even been under.

After meeting with the doctor, I call Shaka and break into sobs. It’s hitting me in fits and starts. I tell him I still want to go to the LACMA event.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, the only thing different right now is that I know what’s wrong with me.”

We head there. I tell Mads and Jazzy. Their reaction is confusion, like mine was when the doctor announced it to me. Only theirs has the added bonus of me saying it as if I am telling them about my new hair cut. Like that scene from “The Room” (go to :30), I just slip it in nonchalantly while I stand up to get more tacos and wine.

We take pictures and check out the cool exhibit and cough at the prices of wine! GASP!!!!

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It is exactly the kind of LA night I love and the kind of outing I need to remind myself I am more than this news.

SKIP SKIP SKIP

I go in for the surgery. I am told by friends and relatives that I will wake up and be amazed that it’s over and that I will feel dreamy. My pre-op nurse is a jokester and keeps saying things like, “I don’t know how to put an IV in…just kidding. I DO!” I love a good joking nurse, but am all but looking like I belong on a fainting couch with requisite wrist to my forehead as I see the IV needle out of the corner of my eye. On the upside…I am in a toasty gurney with cute socks and I feel comfortable. They give me something (they equate to a cocktail) so I will relax as I am wheeled to the OR where they will do the countdown. But as it turns out…I was out before we left the pre-op room. I only vaguely remember them wheeling me and me seeing fuzzy figures around me as I try and lift the oxygen mask and yell, “Is this an oxygen mask????”

The next thing I remember is waking up with a lot of pain and a calmer post-op nurse. And Shaka there with all my meds. The doctor comes and tells me it all went well and we will find out the results of if it reached the walls of my bladder later that week and I will have the catheter in for several days. SEVERAL DAYS!!!!! This is almost as horrific to me as the news about the cancerous tumor.

Thanksgiving was 2 days after the surgery, where I will binge-watch episodes of “The Office”, while perusing everyone’s holiday photos on social media. The catheter is making me so nervous. I also worry because my cat, Buster, likes to chew cords and I am a heavy sleeper. I imagine waking up with the catheter all chewed to bits and me having to get another one!!! But Buster behaved and that didn’t happen.

10 days later, the catheter comes out and the doc says they got all of the tumor. It was a pretty aggressive tumor but still contained (which he found unusual). It hadn’t spread to the bladder walls. I ask the doctor, “so I had a cancerous tumor but going forward, what should I tell people or list on forms? Like, what would you say I had?”

“You had cancer”

“Oh”

I wasn’t trying to be stoopid. I was trying NOT to overthink it.

A co-worker of mine says, “what did you think you had? Cancer with a “K”?

I guess I kind of did.

In the new year (this year), I have to go through the treatments. They insert a catheter into the bladder to administer the medicine. The first nurse (whom I adore), says, your urethra is easy to find. This shouldn’t hurt. Though I love this nurse, I realize she is a LIAR! It hurt so badly. I will say, that was the last time my urethra was easy to find cause I tense that shit up from the pain, every subsequent appt. The next 5 treatments have varied results. Crying, calming meditation, calming medication, me yelling OW OW OW! I must have a mark by name that I am difficult but it might also be that I announce it if I get a new nurse. Finally the 6 weeks are up.

In my naiveté, I assume the pumpkin bread I made them to apologize for my behavior was all I would need to part ways.

But the doctor informs me (and maybe he had before and I hadn’t realized it), I will need a regular cystoscopy every 3-4 months (remember iodine-butt) and then BCG treatments every 3 months and then it moves to every 6 months (3 sessions only instead of 6) and this will happen for 3 YEARS!!!

I almost cry again. But that same day,  I hear the news that a healthy friend of mine who had gotten out of a bad marriage and had found the love of his life and was thriving had been working out, felt weird, went home, felt weirder, called 911 and died on the way to the hospital (I think an undiagnosed heart condition). I mean, tomorrow is not promised to anyone, but DAMN!

So, I turned my  idea of feeling sorry for myself into self care and gratitude that I had a doctor who wanted me to get better. And that I was surrounded by so much love and family and friends. And yeah, tomorrow isn’t promised, so I better like today. I better like this moment. Every moment.

So the second round of 3 treatments happens and on the second one, I get a new nurse. I go through my usual, “I am a bad patient, so you will want to make sure I am blah blah blah and yadda yadda yadda…” I see her eyes get big with concern.

I feel her poking around down there and I think, Damn it, she is new at this.

I ask, “have you found the urethra yet?”

And she says, get this, she says, “We are almost done!” WHAT!?!?!?!?!

There was absolutely no pain.

The next and final treatment of that session, I have her again. I wonder if that pain-free session had been a one off.

But nope. Same thing! No pain!

I think, she must be a witch and has put a spell on me to make this easier. Whatever, I will take it!!!!

So with my gratitude and my summer plans, I enjoy my life.

In September, I go back in for another follow up cystoscopy (iodine-butt).

He says, “Hmmmm, there’s a tiny growth there. It’s not anything serious but it wasn’t there before, so I want to remove it.”

I have to go in for ANOTHER surgery.  I am happy it’s benign but I am not happy that I have to go through this again.

I have the surgery. It goes well. The first 4 days after, I am pain free and feeling amazing (no at-home catheter this time – YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!)

Then the 5th day, the pain starts up. OUCH.

In fact, I am just NOW, nearly 6 weeks later, just feeling the pain subsiding.

A few weeks after the surgery, I have a post-op appt with the doc.

He tells me that they biopsied my tiny little growth and it was indeed, CANCER (FUCK! Again!). It was a different kind than the last one. This one is the more aggressive kind (apparently there are various KINDS that get to invade my bladder like some messed-up video game with Bladder Monsters). The doc is shocked since, like with the first one, this growth wasn’t acting like the usual kind of aggressive tumor.

But now I have to start all the treatments again. Like from the beginning.

My first session of 6 starts next Friday.

I am not happy about it. In fact, I have been feeling very uneasy that I don’t know what’s to come, since my poor bladder has been through the ringer already. I write this today and can’t believe it’s only been a year since I got the news of the diagnosis. I had been planning on writing this post for awhile, but that was before the second diagnosis.

On this day, 4 years ago, our kittens came home with us (after they had almost died due to an infection)

That is a good memory of this day. And my sister told me today is the day my teenage niece came home from the hospital 2 years ago after being very sick for like 2 months. So it’s a strange day of highs and lows in my family, I guess.

The other thought I had was that since my tumors (gosh, plural) have not acted or behaved like NORMAL bladder tumors and since these have been caught early and I have a good team, I will take it, that perhaps, I do have Cancer with a K.

Maybe it’s the imitation kind of cancer.

Wish me luck that I get the witch nurse again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residue from the Cult-of-Personality

I was a little surprised to be getting a call from Faye the day before we were gonna meet for brunch. We usually text.

I was out running errands and took the call.

“Do you know who Caroline Calloway or Natalie Beach are,” she asks.

I don’t.

She begins to tell me about them.

Caroline Calloway  is an Instagram influencer who has also been accused of scamming her followers for a “Creativity Workshop” that failed. She has been compared to the likes of Billy McFarland (Fyre Festival CEO), but I wouldn’t go that far. Caroline seems to take her critics to the bank as she turns their insults into merchandise. She became Insta-famous for writing longer (bloggish) captions on her IG posts before anyone else was doing that. She had a college friend who was like her invisible, talented, ghost-writer side- kick, named Natalie, who helped write some of those captions. Things were sort of good. Then they weren’t. And the friendship ended. Now Natalie has written an article for “The Cut” and before it came out, Caroline was giving it press in her anxiety of what was to be written.

It did come out. And now, Natalie has a deal with Ryan Murphy for the rights.

Natalie’s side of things

Faye wanted me to read up on it for our brunch the next day so that we could discuss, since we both love all things pop culture, real housewives and social media. It also touched a nerve with regard to fame, friendship and that elusive quality of being IT.

We met at Faye’s and walked to   Loupiotte Kitchen   in Los Feliz. It was HOT outside. Not cool, global warming! (ha literally). These temps lately have been making my eyebrows sweat off. Actually, just one eyebrow. Which is worse, because it looks like I gave 1/2 a shit. It never looks like I put the effort into it that I did. And it definitely never looks like the cool, no make-up/make-up, effortless look the French girls have like   Camille Rowe.

I used to live in Los Feliz but it’s been awhile since I have walked to brunch there. So much has changed (she said with the sort of awe of a person who has been gone from her hometown for ages). Loupiotte was a perfect choice! If I can’t have French style, I can have French brunch. We sat down and ordered our food with a side of the pastries sampling (can you say petit pain au chocolat? YUM) The food came fast and the oat milk latte (you heard me) I ordered was fantastic!

So Faye and I discussed the whole Caroline/Natalie saga as if it were our jobs.

But it began to turn into something much more. We discussed why the story touched a nerve. How, when you’re young (though it’s not only reserved for the young), you are trying to figure out who you are and you find people in your life that spark you. So much of the time, those sparking people are incredibly toxic. Which is why your friends and family scratch their heads wondering what you see in that person.

We pondered are we more a Natalie or a Caroline? Or both? And Faye pointed out that your answer of who you think the villain is depends on your own experience. Were you an alpha or a beta in those relationships? I have been both. I never think of myself as the villain, however I told her that in high school, I wrote so many papers sympathizing with the antagonists that my teachers started to worry for me.

Caroline is pretty. But she’s not the most gorgeous woman you will see. And Natalie describes herself in more understated adjectives, however, from the rare photos, she isn’t unattractive. What makes someone like a Caroline shine, while someone like a Natalie feels sidelined? Privilege plays a role, as do certain influences and experiences from a young age. But really, a lot of it is how you see yourself and value your own worth. We both agreed that neither of us saw either as the villain. But that Natalie’s article almost birthed Caroline into a literary character. Maybe she already was and Natalie captured it. We love messy, complex women. And we also don’t.

Our discussion continued as we talked About how society is training young girls to be strong and speak their minds but that there is always a limit. Who decides that limit? Why do people love an underdog but only to a point? Why do people love to hate/watch social media posts about the wealthy/successful/clever/narcissistic? Schadenfreude is a component, for sure, but I think there are more layers. We opened the vaults to our own experiences with these situations. About giving our power away to people so easily. About our own culpability in those moments. About the lessons we now can say we learned.

Loupiotte was busy. But we seemed to fade into our own world. No one pushed us to leave or hurry up. The vibe in there was lovely. Our discussion rambled into various phases of hypotheticals about social media and devil’s advocate stances to oppose. I hadn’t had that kind of marathon philosophical/social/real world kind of discussion since post-college, I would imagine. Or perhaps when I was high in Palm Springs on one of my many girls’ trips (but who can remember? ah weed).

We met the owner (an effortless French woman) and paid our bill. We continued our discussion walking up Vermont Ave, peering into shops. Once back at Faye’s, we began to talk about other things that were equally important but which we hadn’t given enough time. Then, her cell rang; her mom. My cell rang; my dad. It was strange that we had been talking about youthful experiences and behaviors, only to have our parents tell us it was time to go home and get ready for the week.

Faye looked at her phone to see her IG showed a post of Caroline at Glossier here in LA. We laughed. We have no idea why this girl is interesting. But we follow her anyway. I guess we will continue to try and find the answers. Maybe youtube has a video on it. Don’t mind me while I do some research.