Saying goodbye: Breaking up the Norton Gang

The only photo of the entire Norton Gang. (L-R: Coco, Megan, Aaron, Ari, Amy, and Tristan. Bottom row: Chips and Maybelle.)

Since my last blog was about the possibility of moving, I thought I’d talk about a couple that actually made it out of the Norton building and moved on to bigger and better things. My best friend since I was two-years-old, Amy, and her husband Ari took off last week to move to THEIR NEW HOME in South Carolina! Yup, those two crazy kids bought themselves a home. If anything makes you hate Los Angeles real estate, it’s seeing what your friends and family can buy in any other state for a home price that DOESN’T EVEN EXIST here.

Anywhoo. The thing is, Amy and I have never lived more than an hour (or two in traffic) away from each other in our lives. Now she’s on the other side of the country. My heart is broken. Every day I have to walk by the empty apartment that used to be mine and then theirs, and I feel like crying. The painters came the other day to re-paint it and now it doesn’t even smell like them anymore. I feel sad and lonely and… well… jealous.

Family dog pile: Ari, Amy, Maybelle, and Chips.

Family dog pile: Ari, Amy, Maybelle, and Chips.

I have dreams of grabbing my husband and our pets, packing up all our shit and driving off together into the future (and out of LA), just as Amy and Ari did. But that doesn’t keep me from being happy for them! I do miss my childhood-to-adulthood friend and her awesome husband. But, as my friend Lisa put it, “You know they are just making the country a smaller place by going.” And that made both Amy and me feel a bit better about the preveiously-unexperienced miles between us.

And now here are some photos just make this blog post a little more sappy and sad… Read More

A trip to the farm

A trip to the farm
I never did really tell you about the time I made a salad from scratch and it changed my life. Not a HUGE life change, but more of a minor life shift. Kind of like a life after-shock or mini-quake. Let’s just say, I’m open to more things of a nature and food variety, which was SORELY needed.

When I got home from my Seattle trip, in which I made said life-changing salad, I told my oldest friend Amy all about it. Being a chef, she was excited to hear that I had discovered a love for gardens. She offered to bring me along to a trip to one of the farms from which her restaurant orders their produce.

I was MORE than happy to come along to Coleman Family Farm in Carpenteria, especially because I was promised a free lunch, and lots of pigs and goats to pet.

Here are the photos from that day: Read More

Wanna see me wearing the ugliest thing that I’ve ever put on my body?

Totally pointless blog post, just to show off some recent photos.

I went to visit Coco at her work — the Santa Monica Nordstroms. I decided I needed some new clothes. Over lunch, Coco asked me what I was looking for and I told her that I’m gonna down two glasses of wine and then she just needs to bring me shit, because just TALKING about shopping was already making me anxious.

Here’s Coco pulling some shit for me and looking like a freaking model:

At one point Coco brought me a dress that was on sale, and said, “hey just try this on.” And then she left me alone. I put on this weird dress and then burst out laughing, alone in my dressing room just sputtering out “ohmygodno” over and over, while I waited for Coco to get back so she could see the hilarious hideousness for herself.

10 minutes and a lot of “ohmygodno”s later, she came back to see this:
Read More

Black Friday at Wertz Bros.

I swore that I would NEVER (ever ever ever) go shopping on Black Friday, but yesterday I broke that promise. But I went to Wertz Brother’s Antique Mart in Santa Monica, which really doesn’t count as “Black Friday” type shopping. Before I left, I attempted to get Aaron to come along, and when he asked me “what kind of stuff do they sell?” I realized that I didn’t really have a good answer — everything, and nothing really! So, I thought I’d document some of my favorite finds from my Black Friday at Wertz Bros…

This is my favorite booth at Wertz Bros, it’s usually filled with awesome mid-century modern furniture like this dining room table I wanted so bad. But it was gone today (not that I could afford it anyway).

But I did end up getting these funky hand-blown glasses from the booth instead — 7 of them for $45!

Wetz Bros deals with a lot of antique home-goods, so I often run into things I recognize from my own family — My mom has that same pewter duck tureen, it’s been in every one of our kitchens for as long as I can remember, and that china was my parent’s pattern when I was a kid.

But then there’s silly and insane shit like this…
Read More

Highlights from Thanksgiving 2010

This Thanksgiving I chose my outfit according to maximum eating potential — jeggings (elastic waist band ftw!) with an empire waisted flowy top that was ALREADY stained, so I didn’t have to worry about spilling anything. I am a total winner.

After reading Facebook updates from so many family members and friends about how they’re spending the entire day in the kitchen, cooking various and yummy things. I realized that I am REALLY thankful that I won’t ever be expected to make some sort of Thanksgiving meal for anyone. And that I, forever, get to show up and eat delicious foods that other, more capable people, have prepared.

So mahalo to those other family members and friends who have and will continue to feed me Thanksgiving meals. And a special mahalo goes out today to my second mother, Meg Wolf, and her family full of chefs who were in charge of feeding me yesterday.

This is a crappy cell phone photo of (from L – R) Ari, Aaron, Amy and Stephanie, actually using the room that NEVER gets used at the Wolf’s. Crazy times.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from yesterday:

“I think I just took a picture of myself when I answered the phone!” -Meg

Me: So you think you’re going to be work on Christmas day!?
Ari: We’re a bunch of Jews opening up a Vietnamese restaurant… why wouldn’t we be open on Christmas?

And here is just a super cute photo of my boys on Thanksgiving morning.

Hope you all had happy Thanksgivings… I’m going to go eat leftovers now.

“Proof of [no] Life” photos

The other day I was “tagged” in a couple of photos from my childhood and I was amazed by the lack of memories that they inspired.

This first one is from a party that a “friend” had where the theme was “dress up like a grown-up/your mom.”

I’m the one in the front that looks like a crazy beauty queen.

The only thing that I thought about this photo was, “man I wish my mom still had that dress.” Other than that, I had no warm thoughts — nothing that inspired any sort of “aw” reaction. But I remember taking that picture and having to sit on that girl’s lap. At one point we were the best of friends. At this point we were not. And it was awkward.

The next picture, from some pool party that I have no real memory of, has been haunting me for the last few days….

I’m the one with the bangs on the far left.

I have no memory of this day except for the fact that I was terrified that I would be one of the unfortunate nerds to get pushed in the pool by one of the popular kids.

As it was posted on Facebook most all of the kids in the picture have been “tagged” and, as you can imagine, there have been a lot of comments. My favorite one was from a guy that I actually remember very well as being a nice kid, (in fact, he’s the only non-white or asian kid in this photo) he said, “this looks like we got kidnapped and this is a “proof of life” picture. all of us except nicole, megan and jackie look like POWs.” Which is was dead-balls-on hilariously true.

The thing that’s been bugging me is that there is now a continuous dialog, in the comments of this photo, about memories from this particular 4th grade class. Schoolmate after schoolmate are posting funny memories and good times of which I have either NO memory of or I had totally forgotten about them until they mentioned it. How do they remember all these things when I can’t even remember even being in this particular class!???

I honestly think I’ve purposely blocked those memories. Going to this school was awful for me. I cried every morning as I put on that itchy uniform. I had been pulled out of a school that I was happy attending and put into this school in the 3rd grade. I think my parents thought that I would have no trouble adapting as all the neighborhood kids went to this school — instant friends! When in fact, becoming friends with me was equal to committing social suicide as, once we were all in a school setting together, it was easy to see that I was VERY different from all of them.  So all the neighborhood girls that I used to be friends completely ignored me as a schoolmate. And that was how my life as a nerd became solidified.

So, all because I had been “tagged” in these damn photos just made me realize that I can’t think of ONE good memory from these times. And although that really bugs me, I’m just glad I survived to become the girl I am today. And let me just say that being an adult nerd is a MILLION times better than being a young nerd.

My birthday shoes!

My best friend (and co-maid of honor) Amy is an amazing artist — she paints, she photographs, she draws, etc. And for my birthday this year, after I mentioned wanting a pair of Toms shoes ONCE a few weeks ago, she got me a pair and then customized them with her artwork…

My custom designed Toms
She drew all over them with Sailor Jerry tattoo type stuff…

Read More