May 28, 2009


After a little spell of the blues which didn't last TOO long, I am resurfacing.
Slowly, tentatively. Still raw from where I came from.
But just like the retro moment back to January when I went through this before, I am finding myself busy busy busy with the lovely offerings LA puts out as diversions.

First, I want to say thank you to my camera. For allowing me to be distracted by visuals that are both disturbing, stunning, funny and quizzical. But most of all, they inspire me to click click click and feel like I am gaining fans and appreciators and above all, clients.

I also want to say thank you to my dance training which gets the body moving whenever I hear music and thank you for the summer heat begging for skin which only heightens the need for dance to shake off the weight that the blues can produce. Although I am pretty fortunate that my appetite wasn't heavily affected by this bout, I still always view my weight like playing the slot machine. You never know when Lady Luck or Lady Metabolism will decide to resurface.

I want to give a shout out to the words and stories that allow me to be prolific in my endeavors to be literary.

Mostly, I want to thank the people around me who have given me some respite from myself.

Some highlights:
7 year old Jeffrey (my friend's nephew) assuming that the manure which was wafting in from the neighbor's yard was some kind of smell I was producing in the bathroom. He was so sure, in fact, that he announced it to the BBQ of people who sat around eyeing me sympathetically but also secretly wondering if he was indeed correct (he was not!!)

The department changes which are occurring at work are providing me and my co-workers lots of dramatic stories to gossip about. The characters we lovingly refer to as "nut jobs" allow me to feel a little worse (because I have actual contact with them) and a little better (because I feel superior) about my life. Laydee, my good work friend and I had a wine-induced pow-wow last night, to the dismay of her hubby who had to listen to us going on ad nauseum about people he doesn't know. I felt much better today even though I still feel like I work in a David Sedaris novel.

In addition to the experiences that remind me that this is all one big cosmic joke, I must remember that I shouldn't take things soooo seriously. I am a funny gal for frick's sake.

June is going to rock.
And you will be amazed at how I rock with it.
Join along if you dare, but this will not be for the faint of heart.

You have been challenged.
Tags: depression, happiness, happy, laydee, work

Posted by Kirsten at 05:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 20, 2009

I am gold, baby...or something like it

I have been golden for awhile.
Or at least I have felt it.

And then, with the speed of light, I felt silver, then bronze, then tarnished brass green.
Then, I was just a pile of colorless garbage.
Or at least I felt it.

But then, like a pendulum, color started to swing back slowly into my visage; into my skin and into my being.

Friday, I met Jazzy and Mads for guacamole and margaritas.
Mama C had just won a trip to Australia and Jazzy, being the one who would join her, was all smiles.
Mads and I clinked glasses with her and talked of how she would probably find a hot Aussie to fall in love with.
I could feel my sassy side coming out as the conversation turned to other items.
I chalked it up to the margarita coating my veins.
But in truth, it was a long overdue outlet.

Jazzy and I left to go to the Underground to see the sketch group "Dry Hump".
I laughed, which was the perfect way to end a week that had been fraught with high emotion.

Saturday was Reb's birthday party.
I was sort of out of my head during the day, but by the time I was heading towards party central, I was already back in place with myself.

Reb has some amazing friends and she and Toby are great hosts. Their place is one big photo-op as well so, I was able to be clickity photog McGee. And that always makes me happy.
Reb looked fantastic and made an amazing spread that just added another fabulous item to her already long list of things she is great at.

The whole gang was there: Zappy, her man, Mads, Jazzy, Louis, Tams and her man.
I also met some really cool new people who would later post things to my facebook that would make me laugh non-stop for a good 3 minutes.

Sunday, Mads invited me to be her plus 1 for the Venice Art Walk.
We couldn't tell if it was hot out or cold. But both being native So. Callies, we were prepared for both which actually ended up serving us well.

We walked through some of the art auction items and also partook of some of the house tours. The Eclectic Collector's home had a buzz about it so we headed there to ward off the crowds before they got wind.

It was a pretty odd home. It was punny and intresting and we both were over it at the same time wo we headed to Guy Webster's studio.
THAT was the place I felt should have had a crowd. Decades full of amazing portraits and photos of iconic bands and celebrities. Several album covers that I pored over as a child, unaware that there had even been a photographer (or rather, that concept never entered my young mind), were right before my eyes in this guy's studio. I felt an odd sensation of nostalgia and something brand new. And I got itching to want to keep shutterbugging.

Monday, Namesake was back in town to join me for the Ruby Friedman Orchestra show at the Viper Room.
I have gone on and on about this band but was an amazing show yet again.
Her voice trips and falls like a waterfall of fire. The other band members rocked behind her with their expertise and I swayed and boogied in place, not aware and not caring that I this wasn't a dance. I tried stealthily to take photos and videos. Not sure if I succeeded. Or if it mattered if they (whoever "they" are) would have caught me, but it was an exercise of something I love to do while listening to something I love. Oh yes, I was multi-tasking joy.

I was glad Namesake was my concert buddy. She is such an amazing confidante, support and spirit and even as she stood there, I began to miss her knowing that she is moving permanently back up north. As I write this, she is already gone.
But now I will have a vacation spot in mind some time this summer.

With the exception of an unresolved argument, and the earthquake which rattled me, the weekend reignited my faith that I was golden.
Or at least gold plated.
Solid gold plated, if you please.
Which feels pretty much like the real thing if you don't look too closely.

Posted by Kirsten at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 15, 2009

Walking the Walk of Art

Despite a crappy week full of icky energy, I was looking forward to the downtown Art Walk with PM.
We met at her mansion and headed to Bottega Louis's for dinner.
While catching up from our simultaneous but still never-seeing-eachother Coachella adventures and the dating lifestyles we each keep (the passive-aggressive text from Monsieur, the flakiness of a few other men I know, my latest date with a teacher/therapist who taught me the origin of lullaby), we ate delicious pizza and salad.

A crowd let out a roar and it reminded PM that the Lakers were playing. Her face only darkened for a moment. She had already passed up plans that were to her career advantage on a new gig so I knew that she was ready to walk to the art row with me.

We spotted our favorite weird couple that we see at every art thingy.
We didn't spot Blame Andy guy from (I guess PM ran into him at a show and he proceeded to tell her all the drugs he takes) which was fine.
We met up with her friend Monk and his friends Chad and Jack.

PM and I really dig photography and were really drawn to those particular exhibits.
So inspired in fact, that we are planning an exhibit of our own photography.
We both lit up at the prospect and suddenly, I felt not so much like a walker of art walk, but a potential artist of art walk.

Ran into Mr. Blondie who was headed to the Regent to check out Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (whom I can imagine are great live). The Regent had amazing photography lining the entry hall of the space that Little Radio has taken over.

PM ran into Porn Star (I forget his name) that we ALWAYS see. Afterwards, she said, "it wouldn't have been Art Walk if I wouldn't have seen him."
I think I agree.
It's nice going and seeing the familiar yet strange (as in "not normal" and as in "we don't actually know them") faces and performers.

As we walked by little jazz or samba bands, I strutted my stuff.
PM made fun of me and said, "someone is going to grab you to dance if you keep that up."
I laughed and said that would be fine. When I hear music, I just can't sit still.

The boys walked us to our car, where PM and I decided that even though we still had energy to partake of the fabulous Garden Party in Skid Row, we might easily run out of steam when we got there.

We bid adieu to the boys and drove back through the dwindling crowds towards her mansion with grand ideas of our own show in our heads.

Another successful Artwalk was had by all...well at least by us.

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May 12, 2009

Uncle Grumpy Came to Town

Feeling bad makes you appreciate feeling good.
Without it, you wouldn't know the difference.
Which, is fine in theory.
But I don't need to know the bad as much anymore to know what good is.
I have had enough days of bad in my past to know that the way things have been going are pretty nice.
Yeah, I know that feeling confident, content, grateful and loved is quite the opposite from the ways I used to think where the world was against me, I was invisible and I felt fat 24/7 no matter how many classes of pilates and belly dancing I took.

I know that there is a difference.
And I know nothing is always going to be smooth sailing.
I am optimistic, not naive.
But still, I wasn't prepared when I faced a day like yesterday.
Yesterday was BAD!
Like a visit from an old relative you thought was dead.
Or at least was too disabled to come visit.

You never counted on the fact that this relative was stronger than ever with its feeble arms and walker.
That it could almost flatten you.
With all of what I know now, I should have been more mature and realize this is all temporary.
But instead, I fell into the old traps or reacting to it all.
Which leads to more bad feelings and tummy aches.
Old triggers let loose old emotions that created a wonderful downward spiral.


Yesterday truly sucked.

Too many people let me down. And I thought, it's one thing if it is one or two people.
But four or five...I looked around for a camera for sure I was being Punk'd.
How much Gandhi-patience can one girl have?
How much understanding that this will subside can I possess?

Crazy stress dreams about broken ATM cards, missed plane connections, hitchhiking from Burbank to LAX and rabid dogs kept me from looking refreshed this morning even though I got plenty of sleep.

And just when I thought about taking up drinking, the relative left.
Just as soon as he had come.

Which reminded me of how good I have it in general.

And that Uncle Grumpy should be on his last legs pretty soon so...

Feeling good can go back to feeling great.

And even though I don't need to anymore, I will totally drink to that!

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May 07, 2009

It's a Pressure Cooker in Here

The heat tonight is starting to become overwhelming.
As I drove home this evening, I was actually singing the weather's praises.
I told my building manager that even though this is fire season, that the wind and the smell in the air invigorates me.
And then as I sat in my apartment, putting the retouching tweaks to the piece I am reading tomorrow for Pinata, the air got hotter.

Or maybe it was my writing.
Trying to conjure up "mom stories" that allow people to join me in laughter rather than in pity, started to get me hot uner the collar.

Or maybe it is nerves.
Or the realization that procrastination has run its course and now is go-time.
Or fatigue.

My week has been quite a bit of a ride.

Saw Monsieur for a date and came to the realization that he and I probably operate from different levels.
It's not as much fun for the gal when she realizes that the guy is totally content to see her every few weeks and cook up some jambalaya and watch comedy shows.
That is all well and good when you are dating already, but the beginning should feel a little more like a pursuit.
I am running in the chase but when I turn around, Monsieur is waving from the couch.
No pursuit at all.
And you realize as the girl, that you could have been running a long time in that direction by yourself if you hadn't turned around and figured it out.
No hard feelings. He is very funny, smart and cool, just the way I like them.
So that means I am heading in the right direction.
At least I got the tank top back I had left there from the last date.
I really loved that tank top too so it is all good.

Mr. Blondie took me out to the Echo Curio in Echo Park where we watched some bands.
We got there early, talked to the drummre from the Monolators who were having their cd release party a bit later. The music wouldn't start for awhile, so we walked up and down Sunset and marveled at some of the things you only see when you finally foot it rather than drive down that stretch.
Like a random Billie Jean King brass sidewalk plate in the middle of the pavement.
It made me laugh.
It's great to honor her.
But why there?
And why Billie Jean King and no one else?

Or how the neon roof sign on House of Spirits has a neon wine goblet that rivals the size of the neon house that has neon smoke puffing out of it that beckons those with a thirst into its doors.

Later at the Echo Curio, I realized the skirt I sported might not have been the best choice for sitting on the floor. I was loathe to give a peep show so I daintily tried to sit like a lady. A hip lady who was totally comfortable in her outfit. Try is the operative word there.
I don't think success was achieved but it doesn't really matter since I was in a room that had one back up dancer taking off her top to show her skimpy bra while on stage. I was also in the company of some injured band members from the Monolators: a bass player with a foot cast and a keyboard player with bandaged fingers from a kitchen accident. No one was paying attention to my squirming ladylike behavior.
Walking back to the car, Mr. Blondie and I took in the sight of Echo Lake while discussing music. As we watched the fountain shoot up in the sky with Downtown as its backdrop, I thought...this is a pretty great night.

Cinco de Mayo brought a catch-up call from Jazzy about her Vegas adventures and an invitation to join Ruby Friedman and her friends at Room 5 to see Elizaveta sing (very pretty voice, mellow tunes and a Regina Spectorish quality).
I sat next to a guy at the bar who kept calling his head fat and his ass fat. I told him he had body issues when he asked me what that said about him that he kept using that word fat to describe himself.
He wasn't fat at all.
"What does it say about me then, that I ordered the Mac'n'Cheese?"
"That you don't really care that you have body issues," I said.
We both laughed.

Room 5 is where I did my first comedic essay reading.
It brought back a lot of feelings for me of how nervous I was. I actually am always nervous to perform but that particular night, I was almost shaking. Until I hit the stage. And it was up there with one of my best performances.

When Elizaveta finished her set, I briefly joined Ruby and her friends at their table before heading home to try and get some writing in and a phone conversation with EK, who was waiting on the east coast to catch up with me.

And now I sit, in my hot apartment.
No longer relishing the smell outside of BBQ or cigarette smoke from Angry Smoking Man.
The fans whir and my fingers type.
I finally find an ending that I hope is worthy of my friends who will be coming out to see me perform tomorrow.

And suddenly, the temperature isn't so unbearable any more.
Maybe the heat WAS all in my head (she said wiping her damp brow).
Maybe not.

Posted by Kirsten at 08:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 01, 2009

Interplanet Janet

It was unseasonably warm last night.
I left work, ran a few errands and was nearly home when for some strange reason, I turned my car up towards the Griffith Observatory.

I bet the view is fabulous tonight, I thought.

I don't know why I assumed I would be alone up there.
I guess there was a part of me that thought it would be closed.

I hadn't been up there at night in a long long while.

But I was not alone.

The parking lot was packed.

I ignored the "Lot Full" signs and drove right in and found someone pulling out just as I was pulling in.

So different from the last time I was up there during the day and almost got beaten up by a guy who snagged my space and then got angry when I called him on it.

But no such violence was present on this balmy evening.

I headed towards the gorgeous building I can usually see shining brightly from my house.

Tourists were everywhere snapping photos and talking in foreign tongues.

I didn't even have any plans. I just wanted to see the view.

And it was remarkable!

LA twinkled below me.

This is earthquake weather and I wondered if I would roll down the hill were the ground to start shaking.

My brother-in-law makes fun of me for thoughts like that.

I stood there in awe.
I could see all the way to the ocean.
Downtown shone and Century City glistened.
Nothing but lights all below me, as far as the eye could see.

I headed inside to see what I had been missing.

I saw a large group head for the elevators, so I followed them.

We all started to get in line.

"What are we in line for?" I asked the father and son in front of me.

"To look through the telescope. You can see Saturn very clearly tonight. This is the time of year to do it. It's only until May."

"Ohhhhhhhhhhh," I intelligently responded. I think I had given up sounding intelligent when I asked what I was standing in line for...while standing in line.

The warm wind was starting to get a little cooler as I stood queued up on the roof.

Apparently, you could see the rings pretty clearly as well as 4 of Saturn's moons.
Now I just HAD to see it. I suddenly felt a need to wikipedia stuff about our planets.

"My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nice Pickles", is the only thing that came to mind as I tried to note anything at all about my education from science classes. Apparently, I retain only what I learned in 2nd grade and nothing later.

The line moved slowly.

An employee of the Observatory made an announcement that visibility had been nearly awesome due to perfect conditions and then 5 minutes later, visibility had changed to some of the worst they had seen. So basically, they couldn't guarantee that our wait in line would be worth it.

As I got nearer to the door, it became clear that seeing Saturn was perhaps fraught with some problems. The telescope operator needed to move the behemoth machine another direction and change the lens or something like that.
I guess he was letting us see something else otherworldly since Saturn was not cooperating.
That is sooo like Saturn to be a primadonna like that.

This lens change would take another 10 minutes.

Even though I had gone up there with no intention other than to see the view, I now was mad that I possibly wouldn't get to see the ringed planet.

Another 10 minutes' wait to look at something else?

I wasn't interested anymore.

Which, looking back, seems a bit bratty and impulsive.

But, leave I did.

And as I walked on the lawn towards the parking lot, there was a smaller telescope with grand power that was being manned by another employee.

There were only 4 people in line in front of me.

"Is this aimed at Saturn," I asked.

"Yes," the woman answered. And then she proceeded to tell me how she and the other telescope operator worked several jobs together.

I imagined that she had a crush on him.
Or maybe they were having an affair.
She seemed rather interested when I told her that he had to change the lens and pointed the telescope away from Saturn.

While she was still chatting about him to me, it was my turn to look through the telescope.

Lo and behold! There it was: Saturn and its rings. And 4 of its moons.

Sitting very brightly in the sky just waiting for us to look at it.

I gasped.

"Wow! I see it! That is incredible" but no one was listening.

It didn't matter as I was filled with an excitement you get only from nature or experiencing something larger than yourself.

I stepped aside and let the others behind me take a gander.

I smiled all the way back to my car.

It seemed so close.

It's still two planets away and apparently, it takes 72 hours for light from Saturn to hit Earth. Or vice versa. Hey that is more than I knew before driving up there last night.

But it felt like I could reach out and grab it; like it was in my reach.

And then all I could think of was becoming School House Rock's Interplanet Janet and how she waves at the planets and they wave back to her.

"But somewhere out in space,
there's another shining face,
you might see some night up in the sky...
Interplanet Janet, she's a Galaxy Girl,
A Solar System Ms from a future world,
She travels like a rocket with her comet team,
There's never been a planet Janet hasn't seen"

I sang it all the way home.

What a way to enjoy Earth Day Eve.

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Dance Me To the Middle of Nowhere

Today was a glorious spring day and I walked/shopped with co-worker Ange.

She is from England and has regaled me with stories of her teens when she went to raves and such.

Mads has recently laughed at the notion that I would like a rave since I am not really into that music. Nor am I into drugs.

But after Coachella, the vibe of group events where people are wandering around happy and infused with "stuff" while enjoying music and people watching, I seemed a bit enticed.

Mr. Blondie and I have been talking again.

He invited me out to the desert for a rave on Saturday night.

As the sun beamed down on me today at lunch and the smell of sweet flowers entered my nose, I told Ange all about it.

She smiled and said in her accent, "how lovely."

On Saturday night, Mr. Blondie and I headed out towards Mojave with lots of water, blankets and anticipation.

I didn't really know what to expect.

After a few squabbles about directions, we ended up going off the highway into what I like to call, a cactus maze.

At one point, we had fellow party goers following us.
"How does it feel to be the leader?", he asked me.
"Awesome," I replied with a confidence that would soon turn.
Because right after I said that, when I turned right per the directions, everyone behind us turned left.
Uh oh.

We retraced our tire marks and tried to regroup.
We felt our spirits soar again when saw a beautiful collection of rocks with a campfire and several campers. Music was playing and we parked our car near them.
We high-fived.
How beautiful it looked.
Until as we were ready to unload, a flashlight shines in Mr. Blondie's window.
"What are you likinG?" a heavy russian accent asked us.
"We are looking for the party."
"Oh this is not it. You must turn right."
Was he kidding?
What does that mean exactly in the maze of cacti?
Turn Right?
Yeah, will do.

He tried to guide us as best as he could and in my rear view mirror, I swear I saw them mutter something to each other like, "Yeah, right" while they laughed at how we would get lost.

We turned down another road and came upon two other guys on motorbikes.

Apparently, we were on military land!

"Where is the party?" I said sounding like the dumbest girl alive, since I needed to explain WHY I was driving on military land.
"Right where the lights are," he said pointing as if I were the dumbest girl alive.
Yeah okay, like there aren't OTHER lights going off in this maze.

But he was right. Right where he was pointing, we saw another car and we 180'd it and followed them.


They led us right to the rave.
We had reached it.

It was nothing like I expected.
But it was a lot of nice things I am glad I encountered.

The party was a memorial for an underground DJ who would plan these desert events.
Everyone had wonderful things to say about him and this was a party he had been planning for awhile before he died in December last year.
So in his honor, they kept the party and drank to him.

Mr. Blondie and I sat around the fire, under blankets and talked to the others doing the same.

People danced.
And someone handed Mr. Blondie a glowstick, which he handed to me.
I placed it on my head like a halo.

I offered wine to the ladies next to me.

At one point, one woman said, "I see my name in the stars."
I looked up and saw millions of stars above me.
But I didn't see my name.
The glowstick halo fell off my head and some nice man behind my chair placed it back on my crown. I felt like I was being inducted into the group.

Then the next woman said, "I see a vampire in the fire."

"What ARE you ladies drinking?" I asked laughing
"The same thing you are," they replied.
"Yeah, but I don't see my name in the sky, nor do I see a vampire in the fire."

And we all laughed.

At which point in the story, Ange said, "the missing ingredient that they had and which you didn't was E."
"ahhhhhhhhhh, I see," I laughed as I peered inside H&M's window.

Back in the desert, as the temperature dropped, Mr. Blondie and I headed towards the car and bundled ourselves in blankets and tried to sleep for a few hours with the "oontz oontz" music playing the whole night through.
Strangely, it was very meditative for sleeping. I fell hard into dreamland.

I woke up to see the dawn.
I also saw a man who was wearing a tank top dancing like it wasn't 30 degrees out.
It made me laugh.
The cactus maze didn't look soo scary in the morning.

We still had to find our way out but somehow it felt like it would be a lot easier.

And after a few wrong turns, it was.
Mr. Blondie was pretty impressive at getting us back on track.

We followed the people out in their SUV, who had partaken of my wine.

How we don't hear more about people dying on their way to or from raves, I just don't understand.

Ange said, "that is why you do those things when you are younger and not when you're your age. You just don't worry when you are young."
"It doesn't mean you won't die"
"True, but for some reason, you just don't."

I was pretty bushed when we got back to LA.

My car had run fine.

Until that night.

All the jostling around on craggy rocks and such had loosened something in my car.

With a pit in my stomach, I took the car to my mechanic the next morning.

He said that everything looked good but since it could be in the engine, I should take it to the dealership since it is still under warranty.

So I did.

Apparently, there were a few recalls and several broken parts to my car (that tend to occur in my car model, he said) that down the road would have cost me an arm and a leg or worse, been very dangerous if they were to unravel on me.
The thing that made the noise that caused me to bring it there in the first place (the only thing caused by the little adventure) was the most harmless of all.
Just a plate that was bent and hitting the rotor.
Making just enough noise for me to bring the car in and have everything repaired before things got really hairy.

They fixed everything!
All in one day!
And I paid nothing!

The little adventure had perhaps saved my car.
It now runs even newer AND the dealership washed it!

At lunch, standing in the sun, telling Ange the tale, I felt like it happened so long ago.

Mads is probably right. I am not necessarily a rave gal. But being out there in the clean desert night air with nice people next to a roaring fire surrounded by stars and loving stories about a man who really loved life, I felt that this is something I could do again.

Perhaps closer to home.
Perhaps without the cactus maze and my white knuckle hand position on the steering wheel.
Perhaps without the the run-in with the russian mafia campers or the military bikers.

But when I got back to my desk from lunch, I found the pair of gloves I had worn on Saturday night which I had accidentally left in my bag.
I could still smell the desert air and campfire on them.

And it made me smile.

Life is an adventure.

And I am glad that it keeps unfolding like that for me.

"Oontz Oontz Oontz"

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