Rut-free

It was as if I was asleep and an alarm went off.

This year started off nicely.  Quietly.  Patiently.  That is not how my schedule usually works.  But Shaka had gotten a great gig in December to last for awhile and we could exhale financially.  Which also means emotionally. So we relaxed and enjoyed the pacing.

With the exception of a whirlwind, fabulous trip to Vegas to celebrate Monet’s birthday, the year was still unfolding in slow motion.

But the pacing made me wonder if I was happy or depressed. Mads would invite me to dinners and events and I would turn them down.  We finally talked about it.  She was a little worried.  It wasn’t like me.

Was I depressed?  Was I nervous?  Was I becoming a hermit?

Actually, I was nesting, it turns out. So many art projects and pinterest ideas left me feeling slightly insane. Which made me exhausted.

And then…whoosh! My usual, self-chosen break-neck pace had resumed.

Snapshots of the past month:

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For Valentine’s Day, I made an art piece for Shaka.  It taxed my brain to figure out the best way to get my idea across.  I visited all the craft stores armed with coupons and questions.  The workers there must have wondered if I had partaken in cocaine, red bull or both.  I was a woman with an unquiet mind.  Obvi, meditation was not part of my schedule.  Too peaceful.  I finally finished it.  It is the lyrics from one of Shaka’s songs (his favorite of his creations) deconstructed and combined with hardware for an industrial feel.

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Also, Shaka’s gifts were everything I wanted.  We stayed home in lieu of joining the vday masses and ate pizza and drank the Dom that Shaka’s bro had given us a few years ago.

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My birthday was similar.  I was bathed in love and gifts from everyone.  Also chose to stay home for dinner and watch movies.

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Birthday Brunch was supposed to be held at an outdoor spot in Pasadena.  But as February is wont to do, rain was on the menu.  I had 12 people and the option to eat inside at a place we had never been and whose indoor space was limited, with no reservations was too much for my tender nerves.  I confabbed with Mads to find a place that was affordable, could accommodate, had good yelp reviews, was ambient, and had mimosas.  Found it!  Camilo’s Bistro was a gem!  It was the best way to celebrate with everyone AND the best way to usher in what is becoming a busy spring.

http://www.camilosbistro.com/Camilos_California_Bistro/Home.html

bday

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My cousin Donnie, whose art brings out emotions from all who gaze upon her work, held a cocktail party at her digs for a visiting curator at a museum in Michigan.  It was fun, and interesting and very chill.

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Shaka pulled the gang together for a Little Tokyo adventure. On a Friday night, we met up for Japanese tapas at Fuga Izakaya http://izakayafu-ga.com/.  Zappy got there first and was in a little private area behind a shimmery curtain.  She said since she was sitting there all by herself and was all lit up behind the curtain, she felt like she was a psychic waiting for clients to read their futures in her crystal ball.

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A meeting of the minds with Jazzy and Tamanda to watch the Bachelor finale  discuss our creative plans for the future.  I went kind of off the rails with my calorie counting but it was worth it.

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Reb hosted an Oscar party that was a nice reunion of folks I hadn’t seen in awhile.  Food, per usual, was delicious.  And like last year, I came in second in the Oscar pool.  *shakes fist into the air – so close

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Celebrated BY’s bday down in the Orange Curtain.  The road to get there, however hit a big of a snag. Jazzy, Reb, Shaka and I met at Mads’ to drive down there together.  We made a necessary stop at Starbucks for some fuel.  Jazzy was driving Mads’ car.  Except when she started it up for us to head out on our way, the car wouldn’t start.  It actually did sort of start but took on a life of its own.  We were half-in, half-out of a parking space blocking the already congested, tiny lot.  Tensions were running hotter as the guy in the car parked next to us, sat there with his windows open playing a flute along to the music on the radio.  He wouldn’t help us cuz he said he was better at watching a situation.  CLEARLY flute playing to the radio has made him think life is a film and he is creating the soundtrack.  Jerk floutist. Several people did help though and it turns out that Mads’ car only needed a new battery.  After some reshuffling, we all ended up at BY and Helou’s new place.  Shaka and I were obsessed with getting their dog Cooper to love us. She’s a beautiful Aussie Shepherd and I just love her!  Food was divine and the wine was a-flowing.  Helou is such a fantastic host!  I would hire him always to host any party, though it’s not what he actually does for living.

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I had yet to meet the beautiful baby Marlon.  His parents are the coolest and always throw great fetes.  It was Marlon’s first birthday and Shaka and I were not going to miss meeting this little smiling boy.  It was pirate-themed and Marlon-dad had made a drink that is supposed to be the first written-down cocktail recipe ever (from Pirate times I guess).  It’s called Dark ‘n Stormy and it was delicious.  I am not a rum person, but I could become one if all rum-tails tasted like this.  Marlon-dad couldn’t believe how fast it went.  He underestimated how many “thirsty” people were attending.  It was a hot day, but it was a fun celebration!  This is us after a few Dark ‘n Stormys.

C&K

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The Wrecking Crew (a nickname for a group of studio and session musicians that played anonymously on many records in LA during the 1960s.) is being honored in a documentary.  Shaka and I went to check out a screening and met Jazzy and her date.

It was bean bag seating which we had missed out on, so it was SRO for us.  But it was worth it.  Well, I must confess to sitting on the ground between two couches.   If you have a chance to see this film, you should!  It’s kind of amazing what this group of musicians accomplished.  I was amazed at the filmmaker’s music clearance aptitude, cuz there’s a lot of music up in there.

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Shaka and I took Leigh and Aubs to the screening of DreamWorks Animation “Home.”  Based on reviews and word of mouth, I didn’t have high hopes, but was happy to take 7 year old Aubs to a screening and explore downtown.  Well, color me surprised!  I absolutely loved loved loved this film!  The Jim Parsons’-voiced “Oh” is such an adorable little character.

After the screening, we wandered downtown.  I wanted to show them the Last Bookstore, but Aubs had to use the restroom.  Try finding a restroom downtown and everyone will direct you to the Starbucks.  F-that!  I wanted to show her that the world is full of options and locales you won’t find in a strip mall.

We found an indoor-outdoor space that years ago, I had seen with a Jesus-performance-art installation thing happening.

Nowadays, it housed a few cool restaurants and a gelato place – Gelateria Uli. My seasalt chocolate and hazelnut was delish! The place is run by a husband-wife team.  Uli does the gelato and her husband Kian (?) does the coffee roasting.  Cute decor too!

uli gelatto

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Later that evening, Shaka gets a text from Zappyman for us to join them in K-town for some Korean BBQ.

The place we wanted to go wasn’t in business anymore, so we took some yelp research and landed on Oo-Kook Korean BBQ!  It was awesome and delicious and they even have a parking lot with only $2 valet.  But better make a reservation since the wait was lonnnnnnnnng.  When we finally got seated, service was quick and friendly. The table next to us was a sausage-fest with 5 guys and two girls.  But it seemed the guys were interested in only one of the girls.  They were posturing and peacocking for her attention with obnoxious yelling and singing “Ha ha Now greet her” over and over. Zappy said, (not too softly), “Come on, guys…it’s Hava Nagila…not that hard.”  Zappy was making me laugh a lot.  She claims the soju made me think she was funny.  I ain’t gonna lie, I did partake of a good amount of soju but she was truly funny.  And her hair was gorgeous and her skin was glowing.  I like hanging with the Zappys. They are good people.

korean bbq

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Shaka had a great idea that we should go with Mads and Madsman to newly reopened and renovated Idle Hour in North Hollywood.  Madsman couldn’t make it, so our troika of Shaka, Mads and I decided to brave a Friday night in the barrel on Vineland.  We ended up getting seated outside in the courtyard with market lights placed in a large center tree. We shared a long table with another party of three who was cool.  It felt like summer in a backyard patio with fancy cocktails.  I, myself, not much of a cocktail drinker still enjoyed The Mule, while Shaka drank what they call “Doctor’s Orders”.  Interesting conversation with the other party at our table and great catching up with Mads, made Friday night feel like the weekend had begun long before we got there.

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This morning’s Oprah/Chopra (see what I did there?) Meditation was all about connecting with your creative mind to get out of your daily rut.  My daily rut was planning to blog, but not doing it.  So even though I have been living adventures for your entertainment, I have been amiss at sharing what it is to be trying to live a rut-free life with you. Also, today’s meditation was actually a different topic but I am 3 days behind.  So yeah, the rut of freeing myself from coming from behind is also being tested.

So today, I begin it. To cast off the cobwebs of the shouldas the wannas and just go ahead with it.

Carving a path of unlimited possibilities. I wish you the same.

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