Interloping In My Own Weekend

Once, on a vacation to Palm Springs with Mads and Jazzy, we didn’t do our usual ritual of renting a midcentury modern home with a pool. I think funds were low or we couldn’t get enough people together. So we stayed at a cute little motel turned hotel with a motel-ish like pool. It was nice. But Mads being Mads said we should head to the Parker Palm Springs and use their pool. Jazzy and I were a little nervous at the idea of being a trespasser and the potential following embarrassment. But Mads assured us this was gonna be great. She was right. No one kicked us out and we enjoyed a nice pool-side afternoon. For me, it was during a lean time where Shaka was between gigs and I hadn’t fully understood how to best use our resources. I found myself being covetous of anyone looking like they were having a good time with money.

One of the things I noticed at the Parker pool that day was watching room service being delivered to the guests. Men and women in crisp uniforms bringing coffee in silver French presses to rooms just beyond my view. I was so envious that this wasn’t my life. I have since learned how to harness every moment as “my life.” Because it is. I mean, there I was at the Parker swimming among the people drinking their cocktails, looking no different than they were. Maybe they were interlopers too!!!

My thought patterns have changed from those days. I went through the Katification process where I started to shift my thinking. I even bought a silver French press to have at home.

Which is a long way to lead me into this past weekend. Of being grateful of the moments of luxury, of privilege, of health, of safety, of friendships and…well, just being grateful for all that is working.

During Quarantine, Shaka and I have been good about staying home, masking up and social distancing. For a very socially busy gal, this has had some challenges. But having lost a few people in my life to Covid and knowing I am very lucky to be able to WFH, I have weathered the tougher moments.

Shaka and I have had our first doses and are excited that we can start to do more things in the world like we used to very soon.

My hair hadn’t been cut since September 2019. I tried to do some DIY cutting but it…well…it wasn’t good.

Like many stylists, my usual hair woman, had to open and close as the state determined it. Once she was able to open for a longer stint, her appts booked up. I really needed my hair cut and it looked like it would be awhile before I could get in to see her.

In the back of my head, whenever I would look at pictures from 10 years ago, I would notice how I LOVED my cuts from a woman named Nikki. She worked in a mall hair place and she was masterful. I went to her several times. And then, poof, just like that, she moved to San Francisco. I never knew her last name.

When I saw that my usual cutter was so booked up, I tried to locate Nikki. I deep dove. I finally FINALLY found a woman who looked like it could be her but there was no mention of the mall salon so I wasn’t sure.

I DM’d her. I waited.

I got a response back and it was the Nikki I had been looking for!!!!!! Happy dance happy dance!!!

I finally got an appointment! She owns a salon with 2 other stylists in West Hollywood. Her prices had gone way up from when I had seen her 10 years ago but she should have charged more back then because she gave the kind of cuts that always had people stopping me to compliment my hair.

I didn’t care. I was going to pay it. I had thought about this for so long.

So this past weekend, I woke up and made my silver French press coffee and was excited for my day.

Without having gone to any kind of salon or nail place or facial place or massage place this past year, I dipped my toe into the world and saw Nikki!

Her salon is located near the iconic (not sure why it’s a number one tourist spot) Paul Smith pink wall.

The result: I loved reconnecting with her! I loved the cut! I loved the salon!!! I loved being out in the world again (even with a mask)!

I couldn’t resist and took a selfie in front of a wall on a side street after my appointment (you can see the Paul Smith wall in the reflection of my sunglasses).

Later that evening, Mads and ST8 had Zappy, Roni and Shaka and me over for the first time in a long time. Half the group is fully vaccinated and the other half is partially but we work from home. We ordered Lala’s take out and had a really nice evening of catching up, good food and good company on Mads’s patio. The weather felt like summer was upon us and the night blooming jasmine filled our noses. Our social skills, or at least mine, need a little bit of a refresh because there are moments when I seem like an awkward clod. But if the others noticed, they didn’t point it out. The only thing they made fun of was me trying to photograph Mads and her puppy in low light. And even though the pup wasn’t moving, he was blurry in every shot! But Mads wasn’t. ST8 finally said, “just stop…you’re embarrassing yourself,” which only made me want to keep doing it.

The next morning, I got up early to read some audition sides with Faye. She has had numerous auditions and when she needs to read on camera in her apartment, she asks a handful of people to read the other lines via the phone.

This particular morning, there were 4 auditions! And we did it in an hour!!!! I was so happy to help and to get to chat with her. She’s so good at her craft and me, well, I enjoy exercising that muscle memory of a long gone career choice.

After we hung up, Leigh called. We had tentatively planned to go to the beach. But this particular Sunday, the skies were gray and it felt a little chilly.

She still wanted to go. I debated about wearing a swimsuit under my clothes but decided in favor of it, even if I probably wouldn’t put more than my feet in the April cold ocean.

I drove separately from them to Santa Monica. I went into one parking lot by accident and happened upon a crazy scene of masked couples doing group yoga and modern dance with no music. I wondered if I was high. I wasn’t. But I was in the wrong lot, so I made my way to where I was to meet up with Leigh and her family.

Crazily, the weather was better at the beach. The skies were blue and there was a slight breeze.

Her daughters donned their wet suits and went into the water. Leigh and AJ and I lounged on the sand and chatted about life, movies and bitcoins. Leigh said that many of the people in her company are in landlocked parts of the country. For them, this would be a vacation. For us, it’s Sunday. I soaked in the gratitude along with the vitamin D.

Finally, I decided to see how the water was. Her daughters were thrilled. It took awhile but I finally was playing in the water dunked head and all. Leigh and AJ were napping side by side on the blankets. Her daughters and I had really cool conversations. I told them about how an actor on a show we all like was in a play with Faye and that I met him. I actually DM’d him on IG and he responded with the nicest message back. Leigh’s 9 year old screamed out to the ocean, “He DM’d YOU? That is so cool! I wanna DM SOMEONE!!!!” and we laughed.

After many hours of beach time, we went our separate ways. Leigh and her family to Porto’s, and I back to Shaka. It was the opposite of Sundayitis. I felt invigorated! I felt grateful! I felt so happy.

My nose and cheeks, despite having had sunscreen on, started to show a rouge I didn’t expect. I was exhausted. It had been quite a weekend. Not just from the actual socializing and activities, but also all the mental excitement of living a life that felt familiar but still not quite mine.

Just like the afternoon at the Parker Hotel pool, I felt like I had interloped into another person’s life.

However, this time, I knew it was my own.

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.

 

 

 

Friday – Memorial Day Weekend (part one)

To say that I needed that extra day off would be both cliche and true.

I was looking forward to a 3Day weekend of lazing around (let’s be honest, I still multi-task my lazing by doing other things while at the same time doing nothing) and finishing binge-watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But poor Chachi, as it usually goes, I sprinkled little jaunts here and there, leaving us with nary a laze.

All good problems to have.

Friday, Chachi had mentioned he wanted margaritas after work. We both each got off work early and were running a few errands when Mads called. After shifting a few plans, the three of us found ourselves at Mexicali for happy hour! I was the first one there and showed remarkable restraint that I didn’t down an entire basket of chips all on my own.

As we were winding down, I see that downtown Edgar (the man who used to throw the most amazing garden parties/after-art-walk parties at his loft) posted that he was going to a Miles Davis themed whiskey/jazz (I am still not clear what it was) thingy. I don’t like jazz. But Chachi does. And Mads, well, she likes a good time and seeing where the night will take her.

So we decided that we would reconvene at Mads’s and take an Uber downtown.

Mr. Mads even joined us and off we went.

The upside to Uber/Lyft is that you don’t have to park. The downside is that if the place you are heading isn’t what you expected (it wasn’t), then you are left feeling abandoned. Unless you’re with Mads and then you are in for an adventure of spontaneity.

We started at Guisados (yum) in this really cool passage where I once had gelato at Uli’s (side note – back in the late-early days of the Art Walk – this space was empty. But there was music playing and one lone light shining on a Jesus impersonator (are they called impersonators if it’s Jesus?)).

IMG_0041

I was still full from the happy hour but I still was able to sample some deliciousness.

Now it was time for a drink. We made our way to the El Dorado (a bar downstairs from Le Petit Paris).

el dorado2

el dorado

art deco wallpaper at El Dorado

The smell of new wood, leather and liquor were intoxicating. The space was pretty big and not yet filled at this early hour. We chat/yelled (noisy) about who knows what (nude painting from another time, how Mr. Mads isn’t meant for outside (his words), people watching groups of co-workers trying to outshine their peers).

Then it was time to visit the Association. I hadn’t been here in awhile. Very velvet ropey. And you could definitely feel that the bars all have competition from the development boom and millennials who like drinking. I love seeing downtown thrive like it is, but the preciousness/instagramable feel is definitely alive.

Hop, skip and a jump in our uber back to our hood.

It’s hard to believe I worked today, considering the traversing we did tonight.

I don’t even feel tir-    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(More to come)

It’s a Mads Mads World (and I am invited)

Getting a call from Mads in the morning can only mean one thing:  I am doing something cool that night.

What it’s also taught me is:  dress for day-to-night for said cool event/thing/outing.

Once upon a time, I came into work sick and she presented me with the invite to join her to go to the premiere of the film, “Magnolia.”  I looked a hot mess.  I went anyway, cuz…Hollywood premiere.

I didn’t know enough then to not care about looking like the riff/raff.  I do now. In order to stave off riff-raff-dom, I have a few items in my bag to make sure that I can at least upgrade from hot mess to “possibly invited party guest.”

The problem is that if I get Mads’s call when I am already en route to day job, I must work a little harder to pull the look together.  Thankfully, I wore something that was not entirely embarrassing.

I have been excited to see “Big Eyes” by Tim Burton since I heard about it.  I love the writers (they wrote “People Vs Larry Flynt” and “Ed Wood”. I have also come to love Amy Adams’ acting (though I had to work through my dislike of people with bunnymouths – I know, I am the worst).

Mads had scored some tix to see the world premiere screening (note- different than the world premiere) held at LACMA.

My trek towards the Miracle Mile was less than speedy and Mads had to play Scavenger Hunt Hostess to find someone to leave my ticket with.  It all worked out! Seeing old friends scattered throughout the crowd as well as my imaginary friends (but real people) like Catherine O’Hara also in the audience, I felt sated.  Mads had also emailed me that there was a show after at the Montalban Theater featuring a short-term supergroup helmed by Elvis Costello.  I was in.  In theory.  I already knew this cold I tried to conquer through holistic means was still stalking me and I wasn’t sure I would last the evening.

I loved the film!  I truly enjoy the ride of people with dysfunctions.  Now that I no longer court them in my real life, I do enjoy cinematically experiencing them.

After the film, there was a Q&A with Tim Burton, Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz.

bigeyes

Bunnymouth comment (see above), aside, I think I LOVE Amy Adams.  She speaks so elegantly.  And Christoph Waltz reminds me of men I met in Europe that would engage in deep discussions about love, art, novels, and philosophy over wine in smoke-filled bars.  Some of what he was saying was also akin to some of the meditation work I have been doing this week (so random, right?). As the lights came up, the front row swarmed the stars on stage for autographs and we headed to the lobby to mingle with our chums.

My tummy was growling with hunger and I was growing weak.  There was no way I would be able to make it to the New Basement Tapes show.  Mads understood.  But she was determined to go. Jazzy (who was also at the screening with Schnits) was joining her in my stead, but time was of the essence and like the tortoise and Madeleine, we were moving too slow for her. She was on a mission and we were slowing her down.  We all but ate her dust.

I got home exhausted and hangry.  Shaka had made me a little something to eat stating:  “I know how crappy you must feel to have given up going to that.”

True that.  Love that Shaka!

At the screening, we jokingly wondered if Johnny Depp would have a cameo in the film.

He did not.

But this morning, Mads emailed Jazzy and me this review about the show.  Johnny Depp was a surprise guest musician.  She had seen him after all!

http://www.mxdwn.com/2014/11/14/reviews/the-new-basement-tapes-put-on-stunning-one-off-show-featuring-haim-johnny-depp-and-more-review-setlist/

Am I sad I missed an amazing show?  Not sad.  But I know I would have loved it. Just bummed that I hadn’t stopped to nourish before the events of the evening took hold.
I learned that in addition to my day-to-night look, I must also bring sustenance in the event this happens again.

Knowing Mads, this kind of thing will happen again.

And knowing that it will, I should also be prepared with a parka, a bathing suit and a suitcase, so I can upgrade from “possibly invited party guest” to “shit yeah, you were invited!”