Sunday, July 29, 2012

Leaving our Lady of Angels

LA Love

LA has been home. For a while... a long while. For Matt, it's been home pretty much always. And like most places we humans call "home", LA is a real character. She's a bitch to get along with sometimes. She's full of bad traffic, and crowded everything. She's not the most intellectual, or most attentive. Sometimes she's so wrapped up in her own drama that it's easy to get sucked into it and think she's the only place in the world. But she's also really easy to love. She's warm and has a beautiful sunny disposition. She's a little zany, and whimsical, and just about anything goes. She doesn't really judge- (unless you are old, or fat or poor, but even then, her judgements are only that you are, indeed, those things). She's industrious in one of the most lucrative and yet creative industries. She's popular. And, she's so much FUN! She's always up for a night out or a brainstorming pow-wow or a movie premiere or a walk through the hills or a day at the beach or some high-brow shopping or a spin through the central market or ... just-have-your-people-call-my-people-and-arrange-something!

And now we're leaving her. Her sunshine. Her crowds. Her lack of seriousness. Her totally unique sense of style. And it's a little sad. So, in the midst of all our tying up of loose ends, we have taken moments here and there, over the last few days, so say good bye to our girl.

We spent an evening hanging out on a private beach at a Malibu mansion (yeah, lucky break... we got hooked up!)

And we said farewell to Hollywood...

Although, truth be told, our Hollywood looked a bit more like this:

We had picnic dinners at home with friends, after we took advantage of the glorious weather and played around Santa Monica

A little stop in here...

We ran some important errands on the West side, near our old neighborhood,

and Matt had a Jewish deli feast at Juniors on Westwood. After he stuffed himself with hot pastrami on rye, latkes, pickles, cole slaw, knish, kraut and a Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Soda (and a bite of my eggless egg salad sandwich), we made our way back to Downtown...

And the freeway gods smiled upon us, allowing us swift passage...

We stopped by Matt's office, and the whole gang was there to wish us well! 

And we devoured this cake!
It was so sweet. Not the cake...well that was sweet too, but the send off party. I can tell these guys are going to miss Matt! Especially the boss ;)

Then, we headed back to our apartment. Started loading up the Penske and took stock of what was left to do. And we said goodbye to the neighborhood strays (with a little Whiska's feast). This girl is preggers... for, like, the third time in the last year. I know, I know... 

We have one more night in LA. We're mostly loading up the truck and finding spots of the last remaining odds and ends, but we just might make a quick run to one of LA's most famous chow spots. But more mention of that later, if we actually make it.

We are going to miss LA. We might even come back to her one day... but for now, Adios mi Ángel, like, totally.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We're effing moving... to Scotland.

Road Less Traveled

I remember the night Matt told me he wanted to move to Edinburgh. We were sitting on our little balcony in our old apartment. He told me he wanted to do something different with his life, something exciting, something out of his comfort zone. I was still in law school when we had this talk (and at the same time I was also very much over it).  Scotland sounded like a great adventure. And, of course, I was on board.

Soon after this discussion, we decided together that it would be best if we waited a year before making the move. Matt deferred his acceptance to the University of Edinburgh giving him lots of time to work things out with this job. I finished law school (and had a most fabulous reason for not taking the Bar... I mean, we were going to be moving! And yes, most people, including Matt, told me to take it anyway. But, I will when I get back... I promise ;) And we went on living in LA. Working, moving apartments, going on trips, buying groceries, taking the cats to the vet... you know, all the things you do when you live somewhere. All the while, knowing that our lives in Los Angeles had an expiration date... but not ever really getting it.

Now. Today. We got approved for our UK visas. (Excuse me one moment while I go do a happy dance...). Our possessions are in boxes or sold off to strangers. We've said our good-byes to most of our friends and families. And even the cats are getting a nervous look in their eyes.

Because we're effing moving... to Scotland.

What?! It's finally hitting us both. And we're still so giddy and excited. But it's hilarious for me to think back on the night on the balcony a year and a half ago, because it all seemed so abstract then. And while I never thought it was impossible (actually, kind of one of my strengths, I have this ability to think Matt and I can do anything...) I also didn't truly believe that we'd actually pull it off! But we did. Because we wanted it, and because we had a lot of support, and because we're awesome.

OK, we're not there yet, so everybody take a second to knock on wood to counterbalance my cockiness. But seriously, our ducks are in nice little rows, and... well... we're effing moving... and did I mention it's to Scotland?!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

the chaos of moving

Much of our house looks like this these days... well, maybe not most. In fact, given the fact that we have just over a week left in Los Angeles I'd say that not enough of our house looks like this! It's sad to pack. And it's a pain in the arse. But it's finally hitting us, for real. We are leaving! I mean, our apartment is already rented out to another couple! (Who, but the way, happen to seem super awesome and used to live in Edinburgh, what are the odds?) But it's strange. In a matter of days, someone else is going to be calling my home... home. And there's a little part of me that pouts about that.

But, in between the packing and the pouting, there is a lot of fun to be had. We are trying our best to see our people before we go. I enjoyed a wonderful girls night out with my BFF, and a farewell lunch with my Lillikins (who is moving out of LA the same day we are to start her PhD program, whoot!). And we also enjoyed a beautiful balmy day in the park last weekend with our favorite peeps.

And, we couldn't miss watching The Lost Boys in the park...

And who can see the lost boys without wearing fangs?!

And this happened too! Yep, that's Corey Feldman's armpit, for your viewing pleasure! His band, Truth Movement, rocked out before the movie started. It was...unforgettable!

But when we are not partying with child stars of the 80s, and when we're not hanging with our favorite people... and when we're not freaking out over picking up and heading on out of the country... it's business as usual.

I am reading The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox. I've never read a book that I enjoy this much so slowly. I think I started it back in May! It is really interesting, but I think I am too tired each night (from the aforementioned packing and Corey Feldman concerts) to read more than a couple of pages. I am dying to talk to someone who has read it, but I don't know of anyone who has!

Alright... enough with the blogging. I have to go sort through more of my stuff. I have so much of it! Way too much! And sometimes the whole concept of having all this stuff weirds me out a little, but I blame (thank?) George Carlin for that!

PS- Happy Birthday Papa!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Beer Bread

Ahhh! Beer bread. That rustic food that combines the yeasty taste of bear with the... yeasty taste of bread. I must admit, I do love the carb-laden treat. My grandma used to bake up a loaf of it once in a while when I was young. I made some last week and just the smell of it baking brought me back to her kitchen. I believe my version had quite a bit more butter than hers (nearly half a cup melted and poured on top of the raw dough, yikes!) But all that buttery richness crept down on to the edges and made the crust crispy.

Matt and I devoured it within a day or two. He has likely worked off all the extra calories already! Me? Not so much. I better go out on my run now, because I plan on making some caramel monkey bread later today!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles

The Orpheum Theatre is Los Angeles at its finest! We had a wonderful night celebrating our anniversary here. We wandered around the place, oooohing and aaaaahing at all the ornamentation. Everything, even functional things like "exit" signs, were designed to be beautiful. These photos don't do it justice! It is so... GRAND!

The silent movie we saw, Douglas Fairbanks as Robin Hood, was a lot of fun. Before the show began, we were treated to a short cartoon called Koko's Earth Control (which you can see here). And then Leonard Maltin took the stage and told us about the theater, the movie and the era in which they were both made.

But classic movies and famous critics were not the star of the evening's performance... the Wurlitzer organ masterfully played by Robert Israel was pure magic. I was impressed that he played throughout the 5 minute cartoon... I was floored that he played throughout the entire length of the feature film. And then, when I thought I could not be any more dazzled... I realized that Mr. Israel actually composed the whole score, ensuring that the music matched the action perfectly. It was truly an amazing thing to see and hear!

Afterwards, Matthew and I got to check out the organ and talk to the musician and the technician. We also climbed up to the projection room and had a snoop around. We really took in the whole place.

Going to a modern day movie is great fun, but it is nothing compared to this movie-going experience. This felt special... Special in a way that is uniquely LA.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

32 things I'd tell my 13 year-old self

Don't give up on piano. You'll think that 7 years of lessons will mean you'll always be able to play. You'll think you will be able to pick it up again any time you want. You'll be wrong both times. And it would be really really cool to be a grown up who is really really good at one thing.

Mom knows everything that's going on. You are not sneaky, and she is very aware.

You're going to spend parts or your teens and twenties curious if there is a faith system or religion that suits you. You'll try Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism... until you realize you're not meant for any of them. And that's OK.

Love your boobs. They are nice boobs.

Don't get rid of your crummy boom box. Every time you upgrade to better technology you listen to less music.

Just because something is said in Spanish, by a Spaniard, doesn't make it sexy.

Be nice to your skin. And hats are not dorky, they are really cool. So wear one whenever you're in the sun for any extended period of time. Current me would appreciate fewer spots and wrinkles, thank you very much. And while we're on the subject, you don't look great when you are tan anyway. Feel free to bypass that whole spay tan phase you go through in your early 20s.

Where you grew up is actually a very beautiful place. You're lucky to have Redwood Valley as a home base.

Take more audio and/or video of grandma and grandpa. And when you do... save the tapes somewhere you will always know where to find them. And tell them you love them. lots.

A lot of the things Jason told you growing up were wrong. On purpose. He was messing with you, it's what brothers do... some of them. Wearing socks to bed will not cause gangrene. Don't spread that information like its fact. People will think you're dumb.

Boys who act angstful and tortured are not more profound. They are just teenagers. And once you are no longer a teenager too, they will seem silly.

Keep reading! I've gotten a lot of milage out of you having your nose stuck in a book every night.

Don't start any sentence with the words "By the time I'm 30 I'll..."

Be happy you are tall. Don't slouch. And tell everyone who thinks you should be good at basketball to bugger off. You're good at lots of other things. Sports with balls will never be your thing. But if you insist on doing the volleyball thing anyway, take off your damn medic-alert bracelet before games. It took a good 10 years for that scar to fade away.

Don't ever smoke. It really is gross.

You're going to miss your window to try LSD- everyone else you know will be over it by the time you want to to 'trip'. And then you'll get over it too. And that's probably a very good thing.

Ask your parents before adopting any puppies. They will get stuck with them.

You've got a smoking hot bod. I know I shouldn't say that to a 13 year old, but I think it's OK, because you're me. Just know, that once you allow that "freshman 15" to hang around, you are opening the door for the "first-office-job-15" and the "I'm-going-back-to-school-15" and then "I'm-married-now-15" and your hot bod will be covered in fat. Take up running now, maybe you'll acquire a love of it by the time you're old.

A perm is always a bad idea.

Stop lecturing Dad on the grossness of eating meat. He is never going to be a vegetarian and you're just annoying him. Don't throw away the ham he buys for his lunches. It's wasteful and bratty and weird.

Most of the stuff that Jason tries to show you- music, books, shows- are actually pretty great. NKOTB is not better than DEVO. That said, it's OK to like what you like too.

Work at keeping your friends. They are worth the effort. And it gets harder when you're older to find people as great as them.

Every guy you ever date is going to be appalled that you haven't seen Star Wars and they are all going to want to sit you down and watch them with you. But save yourself for Matt. You're gonna marry him, so let him be the one to take you to a "galaxy far far away...". This is not a euphemism for sex, I'm really talking about Star Wars.

And try reading a fantasy novel. They are not just for dorks, and you don't have to limit your reading to classics to seem smart. Fantasy is fun and adventurous. One series in particular will enter your life in a few years and make it better. But, feel free to steer clear of vampire romances, they're not that well written and they'll kind of depress you.

Every person on the planet farts. And poops. And pees and burps and sweats and pukes, etc. Don't make a big deal about it.

Things like grades and credit scores follow you around, even when you don't think they matter yet.

Right now, you think you hate olives, but once you try them- good ones, not the crappy black ones from the can- you'll change your mind. Same goes for strong cheese. And wine, but you can hold off on that discovery for a bit.

You are pretty good at getting what you want- you're smart, and resourceful and determined... but take more time to really figure out what you want before you go after it.

Celebrate Christmas. Even if you're not into the religious stuff. Even if you're broke. Even if your man is Jewish. Seriously... decorating a Christmas tree is always a good thing.

Your Italian roots are cool, yes. But you're only ever going to be 25% Italian. Sorry. Embrace the English/ Welsh & German/Dutch parts too. These cultures seem cooler when you get older.

It's OK to do things in your own time, in your own order, and in a way that works for you. There's no one right way to go through life... getting jumbled and mixed up is fine. Sometimes it is even fun.

You know how people tell you that since your hair is so fair, if you never start shaving your legs you'll never have to? I'm cool with you testing that theory.

The only picture I have of 13 year old me