Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Arts District Archives.

I got dressed! And left my neighborhood! So naturally, I documented it.
There was plenty of "saying yes" to food that day. (I'll spare the dozens of photos. You're welcome.)
Aurelia said this will be framed in "our" house, when if we are 36 and still single. Holler for civil unions!
And holler for tattoos! This was a post-tattoo pit stop for gas - not at a jail - before my good friend/tattoo artist, Jiro, brought us back to my apartment. (Sharon, you don't need to worry. It wasn't me this time.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Because Sometimes I Dress Up.

My girlfriend Carli made me laugh the other day when she said "I buy all these cute clothes and when I go to get dressed, I look at those outfits and think 'who am I kidding,' and put on my yoga pants." Yes, girl, yes.  (Of worthy note: her boyfriend is a professional baseball player and she's still not getting dressed to the nines. That makes me feel better, knowing that I'm not the only one who feels it can be daunting to get glammed up on the regular, and that my loungewear is not entirely indicative of my singledom.)

I used to put way more effort into getting dressed and looking somewhat presentable every day (remember this theory?), but somewhere a while back, I just stopped. (Ha.) Working for myself isn't the easiest of motivators; I don't really want to get up, get dressed, and put my face on - just to remain in an office all day by myself. Jah feel me?

When I do have a reason to get dressed up though, like for a friend's A-list bash at the Ritz, it is fun to dust off my "going out" clothes that just hang in my closet - most with tags on - desperately wanting to be worn. Hell, for this night, I even wore false eyelashes! Maybe I should put my sweats on a really high shelf, or feng shui the whole closet again so I'm forced to wear something other than gym-like attire. Or, maybe I'll take a cue from Carli, because who am I kidding.

    
I wish I got a better outfit shot, because I really loved this dusty blue two-piece number.
Three Massholes plus one co-founder of Cash Money Records. (I couldn't resist.)

And see? Don't let the cute outfits or "celebrity event" fool you, we were back at my apartment - in pajamas - by 11PM. By 11:05, three outta the four in my apartment were out cold.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Captain Kirk, the Saxophone Man.


There's one (street) musician in particular who has caught my attention over the last six-ish years. He's always dressed with a smile, always playing the saxophone, and always with a gold sparkly gift bag in tow, for tips. And what a talent this guy is! I once asked him if he'd mind playing closer to my apartment, so I could hear his music with my windows open. He smiled and nodded when I told him my cross streets, but I'm not sure he realized that I was being serious - because I sure was.

One day he was being filmed, which didn't surprise me at all, and as I walked by I looked directly into the camera and said "He is my favorite!" before pulling out whatever loose bills I had in my pocket.

"You hear that?!" the man behind the video camera exclaimed, taping the entire exchange. "She thinks so too!"

"I'm sure I'm not the only one!" I yelled over my shoulder as I walked away.

I saw him again last week, the infamous saxophone guy, after picking up Ziggy's medicine from a local pharmacy. I waited until he was finished playing to muster up the courage to ask him if he'd mind me taking his photograph. "You're my favorite!" I reminded him, dropping a few dollars into his tip bag, which had since been upgraded from the sparkly gold one (that lasted about five years more than I'd expect of any dingy gift bag). "I've always wanted to ask you if I could take your picture, but I was too nervous. I figured why not ask now!" He smiled graciously and said he wouldn't mind.

"Will you be here long?" I inquired further.

"About another hour or so," he replied - still smiling - and went back to playing.

Thrilled at the opportunity, I called the salon where I had just scheduled an eyebrow appointment, and told them I might be five minutes late. They informed me that if I was going to be more than five minutes late, I'd lose my appointment. Like I care, I thought. I'd take the portraits over eyebrow grooming any day.

I raced home, grabbed my camera, raced back toward the music, and began to snap away.

      

It didn't take more than a few minutes to capture what I wanted, and I thanked him profusely before I got going. "Oh, I forgot to ask," I said before walking away, "What's your name?"

His smile got bigger and brighter than ever, and he replied, "Captain Kirk - the 'Sax Man'!"

Sunday, July 19, 2015

30/52


Z's on the up and up - thank god - but now Nellie has a few medical issues we are trying to solve ASAP. She may have surgery as soon as tomorrow, which terrifies me, but it's times like these when I'm especially grateful for snapping a million photos of my pups. Because boy do I love them.

TWF (texts with friends).

The subtitle of this series could be "I mean texts with Aurelia and Cait."

   

How 'bout my mother, chillin' on a floating lounge chair, drink in hand? (This was a girls' weekend in New York with her college friends. I'm jealous of the whole thing.) And Aurelia, remembering Ross Perot - but only because of the three-day weekend thing. I wouldn't have remembered him or what he wanted to implement, so props to her. (I was only ten when he ran for president in '96...but so was Aurelia.)

I'm pretty interested in regular three-day weekends where I can hang on a lounge chair with a drink in hand. Let's find Mr. Perot.



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Soul Windows.

The timing couldn't have been any more impeccable. I'm not a full-fledged believer in the law of attraction and manifesting reality and all that, but there are certain times where I'm more of a believer than not.

Cut to Sunday morning: I took myself to a cafĂ© for a coffee and photo editing session (weekly portraits of the mutts), and I wound up blogging about falling back in love with the city and all it has to offer, yadda yadda, and mentioned how I love wandering around downtown alone and coming across new things. I should have included "and new people," because not only is that true, it would have been really really perfect timing since...

I got bored in the afternoon and decided to take myself out for a walk. I chose my normal dog walking route, sans dogs, plus camera. I thought it would be an interesting perspective change, hopefully seeing new things from behind my camera lens. On the dog walks I admittedly don't see anything at all. I only pay attention to potential run-ins with other dogs, not leaving room to observe much else.

I start walking.

A woman yells after me when I pass her. "Excuse me, miss?" she calls out. I'm embarrassed that I didn't even notice the three people I walked by, since my eyes were glued to my camera's viewfinder. I stutter something like "U-uh, m-me? Yes?" She asks what kind of camera I have, and after I answer "a Canon," I hear her whisper something to her friend about a class assignment. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty flattered she thought I was still in school. I was also dressed in loungewear, so if not the face, my clothing might have alluded to a younger appearance.

"Will you take my picture?" her friend interjects. I was caught off guard, since I'm usually the one (nervously) asking permission to take someone's photo. I happily obliged. She introduces herself to me as LaTonya, and tells me she once had an addiction and lived on Skid Row, where the gentleman of the group currently resides. They want a photo together; I took three or four.

I didn't catch his name. I was so engulfed in his eyes, these incredibly deep soul windows, I couldn't pay attention to anything else. He points to my arm and for a minute I forget about my tattoo, an outline of the world map, still intoxicated by his eyes. He shuffles a bit closer to me and touches somewhere in Africa. "I'm from there," he says proudly.

LaTonya proceeds to tell me that she was once the subject of a photojournalism story during her time on Skid Row. When the photographer's assignment was complete, he offered her an opportunity to enter a rehab facility, to which she greatly appreciated but declined - she wasn't ready. He told her he'd have to shelve her story due to an unfinished ending. She was okay with that.

She hopes to meet him again someday, she confessed, to give him the ending he was looking for long ago. To "finally close that chapter of my book," she said.

I really hope she does.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

29/52

For me, falling in and out of love with the city is as cyclical as the tides of the ocean.  The routine fall from grace with this particular relationship typically occurs when I'm in a funk, since it's pretty easy to not like much of anything when you're in one of those moods, home not excluded. When I fall back in love though, it's always deeper than before. I'm amazed with the exhilaration I feel yet again, strolling around alone, discovering new things about the city and simultaneously about myself. 

One of the better finds, of course, is a fabulous background for weekly portraits. I love waking up early on the weekends in hopes of snagging some good shots, the city as still as can be, with no interruptions from people or other dogs (since Z isn't a big fan). Quality time with my city is my favorite, when my attention shifts from any and all thoughts of incompatibility, focused instead on increasing the balance and harmony between us. All of us.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My Second Fourth...

...of July spent at Grand Park. Last year, I went as a twosome with the ex. This year, it was a threesome with my girls, Ellie and Kemi, who also live downtown.

This year wins. Ha.

I wasn't too sure how I was going to feel when I woke up that day. In the past, this holiday (as well as New Years Eve) has more often than not proven to be kind of meh, so I typically try to downplay both and reduce any added stress and/or "holiday" expectations. Not to sound overly bitter about previous years, I just prefer to consider it a normal day with a potential bonus of three "F's" - food, friends and fireworks. (I'd say four "F's," but I'm single.) 

I got all three!

I was careful to manage any possible emotions that could creep up on me: last year I was here with my boyfriend; last year I had a boyfriend...as well as the year before that, etc. (A funny note re: an annoying Fourth: the year before last, I drove to Pasadena to watch fireworks with the ex, because he was working around the Rose Bowl, but all of the streets were shut down and I got gridlocked on the freeway. And then my phone died, so I got lost trying to take alternative routes home. Womp.)

Aside from a joke about kicking a lovely-dovey couple's knees out, I think I did pretty well overall. To be honest, I really don't miss him, nor am I longing for a partner at all. I'm pretty okay with being my own partner for a while, and that feels good. I have some kick-ass girls to hang out with in the interim, and I didn't have them last year, so it's a fair trade (if not a better one). Maybe in the future I can have all four "F's" - but for now, three outta four ain't bad.

  
(I made the Mediterranean salads before knowing Kemi would join, lol. )