September 20, 2008

Blue Jean Baby…LA Lady

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:16 am by LG

Oh my God, I live in LA. I find myself saying that in my head approximately once every 3.7 seconds.  I still can’t seem to wrap my mind around it. I haven’t yet been here two weeks, so it feels like I’m on vacation and that I’m just decorating my hotel room.  It does not feel like I actually pay rent here, or that the post man delivers mail to me here, or that I’m becoming a regular at the coffee shop across the street.  But, it’s real.  This is my life…in LA.  And, so far, I give it two thumbs up.  Of course, there are some things I’m still getting used to.   Namely, the traffic.  The massive amounts of people everywhere I go.  The prices for things.  Seeing the homeless woman across the street every day pacing back and forth by the bus stop, picking out food from the trash can.  (Of course this goes on in Ohio, but it wasn’t happening right outside my window.)  Sometimes I find myself just watching her, wondering what her story is…where her family is…and why she’s out there and I’m in here.

Anyhow, I’ve been really enjoying my new neighborhood, homeless people with mental problems and all.  I can walk to fifty different restaurants and yoga studios, the post office, the bank, the movie theater, lots of coffee shops, boutiques that are too expensive and trendy for me to appreciate, the library (got a card my first day!), and the subway (which apparently no one “cool” takes, but I’m gonna turn that around).  And, I’ve caught myself thinking, wow, this is what it’s like to live my life.  And i love it.  Despite the incredibly deep feelings of missing my parents, my sister and my niece, and my friends, I’m happier than i have ever been.  I’m not really doing anything differently…I guess I just have more room to breathe.  And I’m ready to plant some roots.

As for details, I’m still just settling in.  Lots of painting, lots of shopping for odds and ends that you inevitably need when you move (and i’m the brokest – is that a word? – i’ve been in my life), and lots of arranging and rearranging furniture.  But, the place is coming together and I’m ready for visitors 🙂  My cousin JP and I just got back from a Dodgers game, which was great (despite the fact they lost).  At one point, between innings, there was one of those animation races on the scoreboard – a red car, blue car, and white car – and there were three participants on the filed (in a red shirt, blue shirt, and white shirt) cheering on their cars.  The white car won…and they guy wearing the white shirt actually won a car that was driven out on the field.  It was like Price is Right.  Just to entertain the fans.  But then, the hipster crew sitting around me started chanting (in sing-songy baseball fashion): “F*ck the Homeless” clap, clap, clap clap clap.  It was their way of saying, “great idea: give away cars to people who don’t need them when there are people sleeping in the streets.”  It was at that moment that I knew this was my new home.

I also got a call from the woman who helped me open up my bank account at Bank of America – I had given her my cell phone number when I opened up the account.  She just called to check on me and asked me to have coffee with her on Sunday.  I know – crazy, right?  She’s Armenian and wants to teach me about the culture and introduce me to the entire Little Armenian population (apparently, I life right next door to Little Armenia).  So, I’m making friends and, for the most part, I’m liking everyone.

Yesterday, however, I met one of my neighbors and I realized, ohhhhhh, this is what people meant when they warned me about the stereotypical LA person and the huge LA ego.  In five minutes, not hours, this guy told me about all the moves he’s directed and the two albums he’s helped to produce.  He thew out several actors names.  I started to just nod and smile and pretend to be wowed, but but then I realized that the best thing I can do is be honest.  For one, I don’t know any of these people and I shouldn’t pretend I do.  And for two, I like sending a subtle message:  “I don’t know these people and you’re not going to impress me by telling me that you do.  I don’t care.”

Ok, speaking of impressing people, I need to write quickly about my night last night before I banish it from my mind forever.  Two words: speed dating.  The roommate of my good friend Crazy Chicken (who lives here) asked me to join her and her friend, and I was thrilled because I was in desperate need of some girl time.  Don’t get me wrong, I love JP.  He’s been a God-send with doing all the guy stuff around here (although I have used my new drill myself!)  And I love my male friends here (with whom I’ve been spending all of my time).  But, if i hear one more sports statistic or any further gratuitous commentary about the legs (or breasts or hair or ass) on some girl walking by, I might drive to the top of the Hollywood sign and jump off.  So even though the speed dating event involved men, I also knew it would involve single women, who I was actually more interested in meeting.

As for the event, all I can say is thank God there was a bar there.  I really needed a glass of wine when I saw the group of men lining up for the “dates”:  bald men (mind you, this was a “young professionals” event), men in polyester rayon blends, men with THICK mustaches, men with mullets, and – my fav – men who made comments such as, “wow, I’m really glad they gave us name tags because it gives us guys an excuse to look at your breasts.”  i wish i were kidding.  i do.  but, I’m not.  But, I tried to be a good sport.  I played along.  How it worked was this:  Everyone got an index card and a name tag for our first name and our assigned dating number.  All the girls stood in one line and all the boys in another.  We faced each other, chatted for four minutes, and then all the girls moved one man to the right.  We were told to write the assigned dating number down for anyone who we were interested in and then turn our card in (on which we wrote our email address too) at the end of the night.  The organizers would then look for mutual matches (ex: girl 16 wrote down boy 7 and boy 7 also wrote down girl 16) and do the exchanging of email addresses.

Even though I didn’t meet anyone who I would want to date, I did meet some interesting people.  I met an astrologer, who actually found a soft spot in my heart because he’s a nerdy PhD and has the same name as my father…who is also a nerdy PhD 🙂  I also met a masseuse, a magician (yea, he was showing magic tricks during his “dates”…note to men reading this: don’t do that.  don’t ever, ever do that.), a production assistant (which i think means unemployed, but I’m not sure) and a wine buyer.  I met two guys from Ohio: one who graduated from Bowling Green in 2007 (who I could have babysat) and one who played football for and graduated from Ohio University in 1992 (who could be my father).  Yeah.  So, I made the best of the situation and quickly made friends with the bartenders.  They couldn’t make good drinks to save their lives, but they were entertaining…after all, they are all actors in their “real” lives.

Long story short (because I could write so much more!), I’m having fun.  I’m loving life.  I’m going to see Nelly at the Jimmy Kimmell show on Monday.  Holla.

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September 7, 2008

Going with the Flow

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:24 pm by LG

Wow.  I’m back from a long sabbatical.  I’m sure you are all thinking that I ran off with Starbucks Stud (from my last post) and am living happily ever after.  Not quite.  I am living…and happily….hopefully ever after.  The last two months have been a whirlwind.  I turned 30, finished my law clerk position, packed up my life (into 56 boxes), exchanged often difficult goodbyes with family and friends, and set off on my trip out west with my cousin JP.  We are currently driving – excuse me, he his driving (as he has been the entire time, god love him) – through Texas.  I’m typing on my laptop, looking out the window at those huge three-prong windmills.  I’m certain this is a promising development – using wind as a resource – but they kind of scare me. They look like cold pricklies.  Not warm fuzzies.  Maybe we can paint them sunflower yellow or something.  Just to cheer them up a bit.

Anyhow, I think I’ve not been writing because what I’ve been feeling lately can’t really be put into words.  I’ve tried to think of how this feels – moving across the country alone at 30 to start a new job and a new life – and all I can come up with is a lava lamp.  Lame, I know.  But I feel like this blob, hot pink as it were, kind of floating through a larger blob… changing shape, changing directions, running into things.  The outline of myself has become less clear, but I’m ok with it.  I’m simply trying to observe each moment as I flow through this move.

I’ve been thinking a lot about an analogy my mom emailed to me to help me deal with this major life change, particularly to cope with saying goodbye to everyone I love.  She told me to think of life like a river; everyone in the world is in this river together.  Sometimes, you float along with the same people for a while and it’s wonderful.  But then, for whatever reason, currents change, or there’s a fork up ahead, or you get hung up on a rock, and all of a sudden you find yourself surrounded by different people.  All your previous river mates are still in the river, but no longer next to you.  If you try to fight the current, by swimming backwards or by trying to catch up with someone a mile ahead, you’re simply going to wear yourself out.  And, worse, you’re going to miss out on the people and the view around you at that time.

The key is that you have to trust the river because it allows everyone to live his or her own life gracefully.  You can’t control where others stop for a break or whether they take a riskier path over some rocks, or a less risky path in the slow lane.  All you can do is accept everyone where there are and enjoy the scene around you.  The river changes constantly, and maybe those who were around you five miles ago, will meet up with you five miles down the river.  Maybe not.

This thinking has helped me so much, particularly over the last several days as I’ve been on the road.  I’ve found myself wanting to look back — which is fine to wave “Hello” or “I miss you” — but once I realize I’m not enjoying the scene around me, then I have to regroup.  And sometimes, I catch myself looking ahead — already in LA when I’m really at the Sooners game in Oklahoma — and I have to remind myself to be where I am.  Even if the river is muddy, or rough, or too slow, or too fast, it’s where I am.  And that’s exactly where I should be.

Speaking of which, we just floated into New Mexico.  I’m gonna go soak it up.