Archive for July, 2012

Aboard

July 27, 2012

I’m taking the train across the country, starting from here.

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Union Station is exuberant and fantastical, like a lot of architecture in Los Angeles. And like so much else here, I think it’s under-appreciated. At least, I’d never stopped by to soak it up before.

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You can still wait on the original seats.

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Why did we stop making tile and metalwork like this? Sometimes I worry that beauty has gone out of style.

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When I get back to Los Angeles, I want to go to this bar and order an Old Fashioned.

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Chapter

July 11, 2012

I’m taking another writing class.

One of my classmates has already finished 100 pages of her novel. Writing 100 pages of anything is pretty impressive, if you ask me. But not as impressive as the woman who’s working on the second draft of her second book. Can you imagine? Having a book you wrote sitting around the house? I bet the drawer emits a glow, like treasure in Indiana Jones.

So far, the hardest part of novel writing is that you have to make it up as you go along. E.L. Doctorow said, “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

What a beautiful notion! Also, what a great way to get lost!

I suppose you have to embrace the possibility that instead of reaching the party you were invited to — the one at the mansion on the lake, where the terraces are lit with candles and laughter floats out the French doors — you might end up sleeping at a motel in the middle of nowhere. The kind where the carpets are brown even if they didn’t start out that way, and the mattresses sag in the middle. But where, if you’re very quiet, you can hear the night noises of an entire wilderness, just outside your door.

Niece

July 3, 2012

My sister sent me an email the other day called “mei funny comments lately.”

This was my favorite. (Mei, if you don’t know, is about to turn 7.)

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Mei:        Mom, wouldn’t it be funny if there was a “bootybutt.com?” [snickers gleefully]

Janna:     Oh, there probably is.

Mei:        No, we checked, and there isn’t.

Janna:     We did?

Mei:        But there is an icecream.com.

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Lair + Den

July 2, 2012

I know I’m into a guy when I walk into his apartment and think, “Well, maybe I could deal with earth tones. For the rest of my life.”

Yup, I’m scary. I don’t just imagine marrying a man after the first date; I have actual inner monologues about whether I could live with his couch. In this case, I was prepared to overlook an entire apartment done in rusty orange and mossy green.

I liked him.

It can go the other way too. I once went on several dates that left me lukewarm — until I saw his place. I came home and gushed to my roommate: “I can’t describe it! The rooms are so well-proportioned, and there’s a fireplace, and this great mix of thrift store finds and amazing art and…”

Julie interrupted me to observe that I seemed to like the apartment more than the man.

“Well, but he’s really nice! And he’s got this collection of vintage glasses, you know, tourism souvenirs from the 50s…”

It took me another 8 months to realize Julie was right.

Which brings us to Friday. When I was invited to possibly the worst bachelor pad in Southern California.

The living room was so crowded with furniture I had to stand on tiptoe and do that little squeeze-shimmy you do between tight tables at New York restaurants — just to sit on the couch.

Which was horrible: leftover from who-knows-what decade, covered in brown velour, and 6 feet away from a 6-foot television. In addition to the inevitable black laminate coffee table, there were two auxiliary coffee tables in a corner, stacked directly on top of each other, like mating elephants.

As I sipped my flat, lime-less gin and tonic, he picked up a remote from the pile and turned on some 80s music, which came out of JBL speakers directly behind my head.

This man had seemed promising — smart and handsome — when we’d met the week before. So I told myself “Krista! Don’t be shallow! It’s just furniture!” And I tried kissing him. I really did.

But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d regressed 15 years, was being groped by a college kid on a couch that’d had five owners and never been cleaned. I thought, between kisses, about how much I’d rather be home, on my own nice-smelling sofa, alone.

And so I fled.