Archive for April, 2012

After

April 29, 2012
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My stuff!

I like to color coordinate my books. Besides being a fun way to spend Saturday afternoon, you end up with perplexing juxtapositions, like the Twilight trilogy next to an Eisenhower biography.

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In London I loved to sit by the window. I had a view of the canal and towpath: I’d watch the boats, the people, the occasional fox. I miss it, but now I have a chair in the sun.

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My friend Meghann laughs at my turtle collection. It reminds her of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMNry4PE93Y
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Every year Kyo’s mother sends me a Japanese calendar for Christmas. I save them. One day I plan to wallpaper an entire room in Japanese calendars.

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I grew up in a house with crammed cupboards. I rebelled.

In fact, one of my favorite things about being a Virgo is seeing all the handles of my teacups facing the same direction. Order is relaxing!

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The bedroom is dark. This is helped by my Phillips Wake Up Light HF3470 (on the little table next to the mirror). If you sleep with it right in front of your face, it wakes you with a simulated sunrise. Lovely!
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Before

April 28, 2012

I’ve been meaning to post some pictures of my new apartment for awhile now.

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This is how it looked back in November. And December.

It took almost 5 months for my furniture to get from London to Los Angeles. Lord knows why. Maybe instead of a normal ship, they used the Santa Maria. Or a Conestoga wagon. Maybe they went by way of Australia.

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The thing is, you can’t get on the phone with your moving company and say, “Hey Jerkface, what the ever-living dung balls did you do with my stuff?” You can’t do this because they have your stuff.

They can dump it in the ocean. They can set fire to it. They can keep it. They can do whatever they want.

So instead of complaining, once a week or so I would come home to my empty living room and burst into tears.

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I really missed my stuff.

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Clean

April 22, 2012

Teacher / hates kids.

Chef / hates vegetables.

Window washer / scared of heights.

Priest / doubt.

Homeless lady / OCD.

You know where this is going. Yesterday at Starbucks, an old lady came in wearing a loose t-shirt and no bra. Her breasts were very long and flat. Her chest was so sun-damaged it looked speckled with dirt.

She spent a stack of napkins and a good five minutes wiping down her chair. Then she went up to the counter.

“I’D LIKE TO SAMPLE THE GUATEMALA ANTIGUA,” she said, much too loudly and confidently.

The counter boy said they didn’t have Guatemala Antigua.

“WHAT DO YOU HAVE THEN?”

Gold Coast Blend. She took her sample over to the milk station and set it on a clean napkin. Wiped down the pitcher of half-and-half, then poured liberally. Took her café con calories back to her napkin-scrubbed table, covered the cup with yet another napkin. Then went to the bathroom.

She was in there for awhile. Maybe she was washing. Maybe she has to clean it before she can use it.

I just watched, dumbstruck. I mean, can you imagine?

A life like that: A dilemma, a curse, a Greek myth.

Einstein

April 12, 2012

I like to think birds are smart, like Alex the talking parrot, but apparently there’s a whole range of avian intelligence, from “birds who can count” to “birds who can hunt” to “birds who can’t.”

I bring this up because on Saturday, a hummingbird with the IQ of a thermos got stuck in my house.

He came in through the front door but kept trying to leave through the window. He would tap it with his beak — the outside world was right there — and when he discovered he couldn’t fly through glass, he’d hover, wings buzzing, and try again. And again. Tap, tap. Buzz, buzz. Cheep, cheep. Tap, tap. Buzz, buzz. Cheep, cheep.

There was no back up strategy. It was heartbreaking. I was worried he was going to die of exhaustion, like the pony in True Grit.

I thought I had never seen such a stupid creature. I mean, what kind of brain failure makes you try the same thing over and over, thinking this time it’ll all work out, this time the glass will become air, this time will be different.

This time, at long last, I’ll get a nose full of nectar.

Stahl

April 8, 2012

On Friday I went to the Stahl House with some coworkers.

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This is the street-side facade. Basically, it looks like a very small Walmart.

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But when we walked in the door, we all gasped. Honest to goodness, gasped. (Keep in mind these are a bunch of design professionals. Their usual reactions are more like, “It’s not visually cohesive,” and “Too much cyan.” You don’t often get a “Whoa!” out of them.)

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Here’s the Julius Shulman shot that made the house famous. Roman Polanski must have been looking at this picture — or this view — when he said, “Los Angeles is the most beautiful city in the world. Provided it’s seen by night and from a distance.”

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Paula, Jon, me.

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The main living area.

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The groovy open fireplace.

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It makes you want to have a margarita.

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Or not.

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Sometimes Los Angeles just takes your breath away.

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