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.

PS I LOVE YOU

After taking a hard look at my diet and debt practices, it was time to face reality. I had been doing a lot of “investing” in me, ha! But I wasn’t yet getting a return on that investment other than in hiking poundage and interest rates. I used to live much cheaper, but I also wasn’t happy. I wrote about how I shifted into happiness through a process I called Katification. https://poppeacock.com/2014/07/14/katification-of-me/ The miraculous thing to me was that it had nothing to do with making more money or cutting costs. It had everything to do with shifting focus on what I wanted and what I felt I deserved. It worked. But as with anything, if you stop paying attention to your life, you can slip, even if it’s in too much “self-care.” So here I was, knowing that summer spending was upon me, Zappy wanted to do our annual girl’s trip to Palm Springs. It was going to to be a little tight financially. But Zappy is about to go back to school and we never see Jazzy anymore since she is always on the go go go with work and her man. So this felt like an important trip we just HAD to to take. My dad once said to me that you won’t remember the bad stuff around getting to a fun trip…you will only remember the fun experience. So I said yes!

It was exactly what I needed. I think it was what we all needed. Even though the film, “Wine Trip” was a bust (though I love all the actresses in it), it’s that kind of reunion with your friends that needs to be fostered and happen as often as schedules and your wallet will allow.

Every year, we rent a mid-century modern home with a pool. This year’s was perhaps our favorite (that bar is pretty high already). 

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Because I had been doing a LOT of spending on myself, I forgot that I needed to be being good to myself. And that meant living on purpose. Being present. And I found it was quite easy to be just that. It was absolutely fantastic!

Our friend J has a condo in PS and happened to be there as well that weekend. His place was just a mile away, so it was like the best of all worlds! Visits and instagram-worthy dinners and late night swimming conversations but not having to double up on accommodations.

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His place was a dream as well!

 

 

I was reminded that so much of what gives me fulfillment is connecting with my friends. They have such great taste, personalities, stories and love, that just hanging out with them made me feel a certain level of wellness that I had lost.

 

 

I also love these trips because we drink, eat and partake of the merry herb with no place to be but at the house. We burn palo santo and set intentions. We sing karaoke and play games. We watch cheezy movies like, “Always Be My Maybe” which will now remind me forever of PS even though it doesn’t take place there. And it turns out Randall Park is a crush of one of the ladies (I won’t say who, but just know, we ran with it, since he is nothing like anyone she has ever dated or her husband).always be my

We share summer beauty products (I mean…self care, right?) like hydrating hair cremes or (not sponsored) Supergoop Sunscreen oil. It smells amazing and works.

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Before leaving LA, I got my first spray tan. It was probably my last too because I can’t be trusted to maintain that kind of beauty treatment. Plus, I couldn’t tell that I had missed certain areas of sunscreen and came home with a nice red sunburn when the spray tan wore off. But that first night…I looked super tan and rested!

Zappy made an amazing orzo salad and Mads made a rice noodle salad both with fresh mint and fresh basil. We drank refreshing cocktails and sampled delicious, homemade romesco.

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The next day, J left back for LA and our other friends Roo and Col were in town celebrating their anniversary sans enfants. They stopped by for a cocktail and we all almost forgot this is not our normal lives. Bossa Nova played on the speakers and we cranked the A/C as we shared more stories and connected as you only can on vacation.

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The next morning, Jazzy had to leave back for LA before we did.

We bid adieu to the house.

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Zappy, Mads and I were not ready to call the vacation done and headed downtown for breakfast. Where to go? So many options, but not wanting to have a crazy wait, Mads brought out her superpower. She can find THE perfect place in ANY situation. Though I am prone to hyperbole, this is not an overstatement. She really is that good.

We were getting hangry.

And *poof* out of nowhere and very casually, she’s like, oh, let’s go to the Purple Palm. So we did. And no regrets. In fact, I want to go back with Shaka. If our weekend had a more 60’s mid century vibe, this breakfast locale (part of the Colony Palms Hotel) had an old California, adobe, bougainvillea vibe.

 

 

It was the perfect way to end a pretty perfect weekend!

Like a retreat from another time, I was in the best head space to conquer the real world with the diet/debt situation that was still waiting.  Stay present. Stay connected.  And find the fun, meaningful moments in between the obligations.