Thursday, May 28, 2015

Her.


You know "Her?" Aphrodite? She Who Shall Not Be Named? Or, She Who Shall Not (yet) Be Named? Welp, the long-awaited moment is here folks: She is Ellie. The person I've known as my neighbor for a few years, and the person I know now as one of my closest friends.

We actually exchanged numbers on the street corner maybe four-ish years ago (that sounds funny, "on the street corner," like we were working it or something), but neither of us reached out after that. It was just one of those things, a near miss of friendship, or a postponement of friendship if you will, which bums me out a bit. I really do wish she had been around for the last few years; however, I am utterly grateful for the wait, since it means I have her as a friend now. And good people are certainly worth the wait.

Most of you reading this have probably heard me tell you how wonderful I think Ellie really is. Instead of regurgitating it all, I decided to list some of the top reasons why I'm so very thankful for her--partially because I just want to, and partially as a birthday tribute. There are forty of them, to be exact.


Top 40 Reasons I'm Thankful for Her, My Neighbor-Friend, Ellie:
  1. She is brilliant and she is hilarious; she is brilliantly hilarious.
  2. I understand (and love) her sarcasm. 
  3. She knows how to listen, and is genuinely interested in listening to me when I'm talking, even if I'm spewing nonsense.
  4. She lets me vent, and will tell me if and when I'm borderline obsessing.
  5. She hasn't known me too long, but doesn't hesitate to be brutally honest with me, which I appreciate.
  6. If I need to call her at 3AM, I can. Or, I can bang on her door until she answers--which I know she will, no matter the time.
  7. We help each other work on parts of our personality we want to change. (This is one of my favorites.)
  8. She can get me out of a seriously bad mood by sending a funny text, or by dropping off an ataulfo mango at my door. (I had no clue those existed prior to receiving one.)
  9. She introduces me to new things! (Mangoes, new people, new places, etc.)
  10. She's a great wing-woman, and is ready to pounce on any overbearing guy that comes my way.
  11. She's always down to get sushi.
  12. She goes on Friday and Saturday night dinner dates with me, likely to get sushi. (Or on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.)
  13. She is a wonderful dog mama, and to a dog even bigger than my Nellie, so she can empathize with the annoying comments about having big dogs in a city.
  14. She makes me want to read more and challenges me intellectually, which I love.
  15. That said, I must have written three drafts of the first "thank you" note I wrote her, because I wanted it to be clever and "on her level." (I also had my mother approve the final draft.)
  16. She corrects my mistakes without making a fuss about it.
  17. She makes the effort to look up funny slang terms that I use.
  18. I'm sure all of the above makes this one obvious, but she is an incredible, incredible writer. I read her whole blog in one weekend. (She started it in 2012.)
  19. We never run out of things to talk about (or text about).
  20. When Ziggy had a scary seizure and I frantically called her, she somehow made it from Pasadena to DTLA in five minutes to be there for me. She took Nellie out for a walk so I could tend to Z, and that extra hand meant the world to me then, and still does now.
  21. She's seen me ugly-cry. Didn't care then, sure don't care now.
  22. Our friendship never feels one-sided.
  23. Immediately, I felt I could tell her anything. Which I absolutely do.
  24. I was even comfortable enough to mention getting a Brazilian wax within the first week or two of really getting to know her. Oversharing? Maybe. She didn't seem to mind.
  25. As much as she inspires me to make healthy lifestyle choices, she also will go to town on a bowl of salty Takami edemame with me, or inhale Mexican food with me at my favorite place (even though she prefers a different Mexican restaurant).
  26. She makes the best molasses cookies I've ever had, and I don't usually eat sweets. (I ate 7 cookies in one night from last week's batch.)
  27. She doesn't judge me when I choose not to do my hair and throw it up in what she calls a "shame poof."
  28. She bought me a flexible "hair sponge" thing so I could put my hair in better messy buns. 
  29. She also doesn't judge me when she sees me wearing the same red sweatshirt day after day.
  30. She's the first person to say I'm smart, capable, and pretty; it's like I have a one-woman cheering section. 
  31. She pops by my apartment to check on my dog/s when I need her to. (HUGE, in my book.)
  32. She's offered to send her boyfriend over to kill the big bugs in my apartment. (Remember the moth invasion?)
  33. My friends back East tease me about how much I talk about her, and they call her "my girlfriend." which is hysterical. I love it. 
  34. These same friends have told me how happy they are that I have Ellie in my life, without even knowing her firsthand. (You know you must be a pretty good friend when people you've never met adore you.)
  35. She somehow hasn't gotten annoyed with my ability to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk...
  36. She makes me feel like a little girl, wanting to call her one of my "best friends."
  37. She was open to going with me to Morocco this fall/winter, and we hadn't even known each other three months when it was first discussed.
  38. She appreciates my favorite salad from the Greek Grill a few blocks away, which of course is super important. (She also lets me complain about the new price increase at this place.)
  39. She makes me like myself. Maybe that sounds lame, but I feel confident in myself when I'm around her. And I like that.
  40. Lastly, I cannot understand how I got so lucky to have her in my apartment building, on my floor, and in my life. I am so grateful. It would be weird to not have her around, in any of those facets, and I honestly don't look forward to the day where either of us move. (Sooo let's not! Like, ever!)

Anyway. Happy, happy birthday, Ellie! I'm so happy to have you in my life. (And a bunch of people you don't even know are too.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day, 2015.

I watched American Sniper  this past Friday, and invited the pups on the couch so I wouldn't be watching the movie "alone." I figured at some point I'd be burying my face into the fur of either Nellie or Z, assuming the film would be a bit emotionally jarring--which it was--so I was thankful for their company. I thought it was incredible how it depicted the transition of the Navy SEALs from war to home (and back again and again); it's something I could truly never, ever imagine. I immediately thought of a classmate of mine who lost his life a few years ago, and of other friends who have or are currently serving in different military branches, and it really made me sit back and think about all they have experienced. I've never felt so fortunate to be safe, and to be able to roam about each day being pretty carefree, while such heroic people are fighting daily for my ability to do just that. I even felt selfish in a way, being able to enjoy my daily life as if there are no struggles elsewhere in the world. Eye-opening to say the least, this movie surely was.

My friend Aurelia came downtown yesterday, and we actually spent a good portion of the time talking about American Sniper and the effect it had on us. I almost feel ignorant posting the photos of our day spent together, on this holiday meant to honor our country's fallen heroes. Cheers to you brave men and women; I could never have the strength or courage to do what you do, but I'm extremely grateful to every single one of you.

Little Tokyo





^^Found out that Aurelia is as big a fan of Friends as I am, which made me love her that much more. And a bar that actually plays Friends? Love the bar that much more, too. (If you know the show, you "sous-stand.")^^
^^A subtle nod to our lovely Greek friends. (Hey, Kelly!)^^


^^Pretty sure this was made for me.^^





^^LET'S.^^



Note: curly hair is back.

DTLA


^^Grilled cheese with bacon, from The Standard. I couldn't use my regular camera to take photos, since they apparently don't allow "professional cameras," so these are all iPhone shots.^^



Monday, May 25, 2015

21/52

^^After a trip to the Westside for more vet appointments (and an ultrasound that came out clear!), this little man was happy to be back home, on his sister's bed.^^

^^While Z was at his appointment, I took Nellie to our old dog park and got us both bagels for breakfast (everything for me, plain for her). Tuckered out from our excursion. she passed out in her brother's bed for the rest of the day.^^

^^& Her sweet little foot, which sticks out most of the time, since she really can't fit on Z's bed. (She's done a good job stretching it out though.)^^

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Emotional Toolbox.


A couple weeks back, after a brilliantly productive Sunday morning and afternoon, I had a brilliantly unproductive evening, assuming watching a six-episode marathon of The Slap isn't what you'd call very productive. I do try to extract a lesson or two from whatever I'm watching, even if it's nonsense TV like Teen Mom (don't have sex and/or get pregnant), Secrets and Lies (don't lie and/or lie about killing people), or The Real Housewives of New York City (do not invite other people's house guests to brunch). But back to The Slap.

I noticed I was hitting the rewind button more often than I normally do, not because I couldn't make out what the characters were saying, because I was so intrigued by the realistic nature of the subject matter and dialogue, respectively. I pretty much memorized one conversation between Blythe Danner's character, Virginia, and her daughter, Anouk, played by Uma Thurman (that's how many times I replayed it). Lucky for y'all, I'm typing it below, from memory. (For the most part.)


A quick context recap: Anouk thinks her best friend's husband is having an affair.

Anouk: "She's my best friend, I feel I should tell her."

Virginia: "Oh really, you do? Hm."

Anouk: "I guess that's what I'm asking."

Virginia: "Well, you know I don't give advice but since you asked, you saw the wrong thing. You could have been looking at uh, a purple finch, or your watch, or...into the eyes of this Jamie person. You had bad luck. And people have bad luck all the time!

Virginia (Cont'd): The point is, you really think telling her will make things better? Because I think exposing people to painful realities isn't all that great! There's nothing you can do to make it better."

Anouk: "But then I'm lying to a friend--"

Virginia: "Saving someone you love from upsetting news is not the same as lying. Denial is a useful tool, darling..."


My brain starts churning even as I type that conversation.

I've actually been in this situation before, and it's certainly not an easy one. I was the recipient of information I didn't ask for; rather, it was brought to me quite unexpectedly, and from someone I didn't speak with on a regular basis. I dug around for more concrete, factual information (AKA "proof"), versus coming at my friend with mere gossip, since I had planned to tell her. My mother advised against it and a good friend of mine agreed--I went ahead and told my friend anyway. The morally headstrong Krista told me it was "the right thing to do." (I used to listen to her all the time.)

It was tough though. I mean, do you sit back and watch your good friend commit to a lifetime with someone if there's a possibility he's being unfaithful? Or do you turn a blind eye and mind your own business? As I mentioned, I told my friend, which I'm not too sure I'd have done today. She thanked me though, and even continued eating her ice-cream as I told her. Cool as a cucumber, that one, while I was the one worked up about it all. After a quick discussion with her fiancé, the case was closed. I never asked a word about it, she never mentioned it again, and they were married later that year.

I don't really react to things as strongly now as I once did (cue quote "it is not necessary to react to everything you notice"), and I think my tolerance for people being human has increased a bit over the years. That's not to say I justify people's actions when I feel they are wrong, I guess I have a better understanding now that people will do stupid things, is all. And doing stupid things doesn't mean you're a bad person, or that you don't love others around you--it just means you made a poor decision. I've learned (the hard way) that it's not my job to expose people, nor influence anyone's opinion of the potential exposed. At the end of the day, people are going to do what they want and believe what they want, and I need not be some Virtuous Superhero and let them. Also, I'm sure I can make room for denial in my toolbox--somewhere in between patience and empathy.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Roundup.

On a Thursday (ILoveMakonnen voice)

I went to my favorite restaurant, Takami, with Aphrodite. (Her new moniker, specifically because she wasn't thrilled with the proper noun usage when previously referenced. "Like I'm freakin Aphrodite or something," were her exact words.)  We ran into another bar patron, Kemi, who is quickly becoming a good friend of mine. When we got to talking, I learned that another mutual Takami acquaintance who I've become pretty friendly with recently has a girlfriend. Now, I'm not interested in the guy--that's not the point--I'd just like to know if the person I'm talking to on an almost daily basis is wife'd up! I assumed that was common courtesy, you know, a "by the way I have a girlfriend" kind of thing, but I guess not.

I had enough to drink to feel the need to scold Wife'd Up via text, which is hysterical. I was probably too hard on the guy both because I had been drinking and because I was giving a funny text play-by-play to Kemi, but oh well. I delete my text messages as a rule which now I'm a bit bummed about, because re-reading that conversation would have been great, without a doubt.

Enough cocktails influenced not only my confrontational texting, but my decision to pop by Takami's sister bar/club before going home that night. I've been to Elevate twice now in a six-week span, and that's twice more than I've been in the last five years, anddd twice more than I plan to go in the upcoming five. I did get this gem as a commemorative souvenir though:




Friday

Did you like drunken righteous Krista last night? Lol is what I sent to Wife'd Up. He responded:


Don't think I'll be hearing from him for a while.

(I did nothing all of Friday, the highlight being the above text message.)



Saturday

I went for a run, did some laundry, and then sent Apartment Friend a text to no avail. Wifey weekend? was all I said.

Hung out with these guys instead, which was A-OK with me. Neither of them needed me to hold their fur back as they threw up after a long night of drinking; however, they did get a bunch of kisses from me. (Voluntarily.)





Sunday

I ran into Apartment Friend in the elevator bright and early; he was with The Girlfriend.

I had a lazy day with my girlfriend and my boyfriend.


Both of whom I make sure to talk about and not "forget to mention" whenever I meet new people.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

20/52

HEADSHOT SERIES
(Prestigious Animal Casting Agencies Need Only Apply)






CRSK

Hawaii, 2010

Charles Richard Scott Ketter. I haven't mentioned him here. It's too hard, really. And I'm not confident enough in my composition skills to accurately describe someone like him. You can't describe that light, at least I certainly can't; you feel it. Whenever you were around Charlie, you could feel it.

I'm thankful to have known him for so many different reasons, far too many to list here. Upon meeting him is when I truly realized how much you could learn from one person. Because of him, I adopted the life motto "keep it positive." I even went as far as tattooing a positive sign on my inner elbow. Talk about the impact a person can have on your life, in the very best of ways.

Since I can't find the right words to keep going, I'll copy some of the ones I wrote several years back, in September of 2011:

Charlie taught me how to love life just a little bit more. He'd call me "teach" because I'd often correct his grammar, but I was the one that learned so many great things from him. So thanks to Charlie, I will do my best to enjoy every day, and like he'd always say, to "keep it positive."  

Happy birthday, Charlie. We miss you like hell.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"A Quick Drink."

"A quick drink" this weekend was the intention with another newish "Apartment Friend." He suggested the bar downstairs, and its close proximity was key since Ziggy had a recent seizure and I didn't want to stray too far from home. I actually hadn't been to this bar yet (despite it opening two years ago), so a convenient outing somewhere new seemed emotionally and logistically doable.

I've grabbed dinner and drinks with Apartment Friend a good handful of times before, mostly when convenient for him, and less so now that he is officially back "on" with his long-distance girlfriend. I totally get how that works, but it's kind of annoying for me when I need to wait three days for a reply because she was in town. And all I'd asked was "Coffee?"

Anyway. It was apparent The Girlfriend wasn't in town when I got a text asking what I was up to for the night. I had planned to stay in and watch Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, but figured it would be okay if I headed out for a couple of hours, and that a depressing documentary would be better watched after throwing a couple back.

Another text appeared on my phone just as I was about to leave. Want to grab a fine cocktail from my fine bar before heading down? I realized my one round of drinks quickly became two, and up a few flights I went, no-bake peanut butter and chocolate bars made earlier in hand. When let inside, I pointed out that I had wrapped the little treats in Tin Foil should he have forgotten to return a plate. (I was doing him a solid by eliminating any evidence that I had been in his apartment, bringing not-baked goods. The Girlfriend wouldn't have liked that very much.)

He laughed.

The lights in his place were dim, multiple candles lit, and Louis Prima was blaring through the speakers. "Listen to this first line!" he exclaimed. "I eat antipasta twice, just because she is so nice!" and his voice trailed off, singing what he knew of "Angelina."  I knew then what kind of night it would be--for him at least--and I playfully teased him about quite obviously being a few drinks deep. I was handed my "fine cocktail," a mix of gin and St-Germain (and something else?) in a chilled martini glass, muddled mint and lemon twist and all. It was an impressive presentation, especially with the presenter being drunk, and it was impressively smooth going down. When he excused himself to the bathroom, I found the reason behind said drink's goodness:


It wasn't long before we headed downstairs, as originally planned. Apartment Friend ordered a Moscow Mule; I stuck with gin for consistency. He was in a talkative mood that night--maybe just plain drunk--and talked about his ex-fiance and current girlfriend and previous sexcapades, all in that order. I wondered if the bed conquests were told to impress me (they didn't), and he went back to talking about his current girlfriend being "The One." And in the next breath, mentioned how the adjacent bar was becoming his go-to for good drinks and bad choices. Naturally, that's where we went next.

Apartment Friend immediately ordered us drinks (kudos to me for sticking with gin), and hardly blinked before pointing out a girl he wanted "to have sex with." I reminded him of his girlfriend, you know, The One, but he was already too far gone. We made our way over to the group of people that included the prospective Bad Choice, and he offered them a round of drinks (guys included). When he went off with the drink orders, I politely asked the group to not take advantage of my drunk friend's wallet, to which they obliged.

Turns out, this underground pub plays 90's hip-hop on weekends, which is most definitely a new thing. Or, it's been a thing and I wouldn't know, since I typically go there on weekdays around 5PM. Either way, I happily danced around by myself, thankful to be able to let loose a bit (and to Montell Jordan no less). Apartment Friend tried to dance but mostly remained perched against a wall, too drunk to coordinate his limbs for much else. His attempt to take Bad Choice home wasn't going to work either, as her boyfriend put the kibosh on the idea before I could. It was then I was thankful for the round of drinks bought on Apartment Friend's dime, since liquor seemed to make the group more forgiving.

His drunken sights soon set on me though, and after declining numerous requests to kiss him, I managed to convince Apartment Friend it was time to go home. I was praying we'd get back to his apartment before he got sick (we did!), and feeling victorious, I put a glass of water on his nightstand and headed home.


The Morning After 

Apartment Friend sends me a text (typos included to enforce hangover). I hope you dropped me off at my door Luke a true gentlewomen. Please don't say I stayed down there after you left...

I knew he'd have absolutely no recollection of the night before. I took you home and rubbed your back while you threw up, got you water, and left. Andddd I tucked you into bed. Oh, I also declined your numerous requests to kiss you, lol.

He replied after a long pause. Thank you for being a very good friend. My kiss requests would be very sincere if I wasn't wifed up...but yeah, I am.

--

I had to tell She Who Eventually Shall Be Named (sooner than later), since I keep her current with most everything now. While she found the whole thing funny, she expressed her disappointment that there are no "good guys taking me out for a nice meal like I deserve." While that may be true, I honestly could care less about that right now. I'm just happy that despite all I have going on, I'm somehow keeping my shit together and not regretting my Saturday nights (and I'm single!). The only thing aside from me in my bed that night was Nellie. And Ziggy. Both who I did let on the bed because I had been drinking, but I mean, it could be so much worse.


PS- Drinking also evidenced by the dark and blurry 1AM selfie taken with Nellie, found later that morning.


PPS- The one not dark or blurry selfie I took to document that I was both wearing makeup and going out on a Saturday night was unfortunately taken squatting in front of a mirror, duck-faced, and emphasizing my gargantuan size hands. Sober.


Again, it could be worse.

Self-portrait.

20/52
Candid.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mother's Day, 2015.



I feel fortunate to have a mother to celebrate this coming weekend, knowing that not everyone is able to. While I'm not geographically close enough to host a Mother's Day brunch (I'm across the country), I do feel lucky just having her around to send love from afar. And sending love, by the way, will come in form of a Home Depot gift card for hanging plants. (A "practical" gift, per her suggestion, which came after nixing the alternative gift certificates to either Target or some state-of-the-art-center for cosmetic surgery. The contrast kills me every time.)

The mother-daughter dynamic is a complex one, often times fraught by challenges. I've mentioned this before, but relationships are complicated! Human beings, by definition, make mistakes. And you know what? I'm really learning to find beauty in these mistakes, especially in my relationship with my mother.

I'm also learning that love changes with time--any type of love--and I'm appreciating the growth and positive developments that change is bringing to this particular relationship. I'm realizing that my mother and I can teach each other and learn from each other as a team; we can grow into something beautiful together, with team effort. Not everything will be organic, and some things will take time and constant nurturing to grow. I'm learning not to mind the latter as much now, because while it may not have initially been on the more natural or easy side, the effort put forth to make something blossom is what matters. And imagine the potential of something grown purely with love...

So here's to my mama--and to us as a team. Happy Mother's Day, this one's for you.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
script> var linkwithin_site_id = XXXXXXX; Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...