Three LA Shorts

But first, a list of words that I confuse with other words, and therefore have to think about significantly more when I try to say them aloud:

  • Polenta, the cornmeal-based Italian food; it takes every last sinew in my body to not say “placenta”
  • Aioli, the spicy mayo that comes with your fries at nicer restaurants;  always right on the razor’s edge of blurting out “areola”; this one works both ways, as the words are totally interchangeable for me, unlike “placenta” which always, always comes out first
  • Nagini, Voldemort’s snake in Harry Potter; I refer to her solely as “Kathy Najimy,” but that one is a conscious choice

And now some stories.

The Storage Unit That Was Filled with Garbage

I recently posted on Instagram about finally getting our stuff delivered from Chicago. A very exciting day, indeed! It was surreal to have lived in a new city (and apartment) for 2 1/2 weeks, packed a whole apartment and then traveled across the country the week and a half prior to that, to make for nearly a full month of not living normally. I remember packing up our Chicago apartment at the end of September and saying to books and dishes, “I probably won’t see you for awhile.” And I was right!

We reserved movers to meet us at our moving unit in Van Nuys early last Thursday morning, which was a very easy commute because no one here wakes up before like, 10. To give a small amount of context to anyone who hasn’t used a moving-unit service (still calling it a “moving-unit” as not to out a particular moving company, but maybe I will start a PODcast and out them there), it works like this: You rent what is essentially a storage unit from a participating company of your choice. The difference is that the storage unit is not a part of a building; rather, it’s just a big metal box that is moved around a warehouse with a forklift. (Very cool to witness and even cooler to think about how satisfying it must be to stack and unstack things all day; thought briefly about quitting writing and going into demolitions full-time.) Your big metal box gets loaded on a tractor trailer and is driven to where you need it to go, e.g., the City of Angels. Most cities allow you to place your metal box on the street, and you can unload directly from there into your new home. As luck would have it, we moved from one big city to another, so street zoning laws prohibited us from leaving it on either our new or old streets. Therefore, we had to hire movers to move all our stuff into their moving truck, and then load it into the moving unit, vice versa of course for the California part of the task. That is why we had to meet our movers at the loading dock last Thursday morning. You can also avoid all of this by driving your stuff across the country in your own rented moving truck but, as I cannot think of a lower depth of despair, we opted not to do that because I didn’t want to hate myself. I remain steadfast in saying I have no regrets.

Our movers were three lovely Russian gentlemen (though two were quick to clarify that they were Latvian and Bulgarian respectively) and upon hearing we are writers, they began to pitch stories, I assume with an aim to get a story credit on our pilot, “Movers.” One of them asked if we are the next Dan Brown. I said, “I hope so.” The leader of the moving team then told us a story about moving a hoarder out of her home and discovering a mummified parrot between the cushions of her couch. I had many follow-up questions about this claim, chief among them a question of the parrot’s age in relation to the hoarder’s age. Parrots live forever, everybody knows that!

A woman in a BMW pulled into the loading zone. She was very put together: high heels, expensive bag, hair up in a sleek bun. From around the corner, three day laborers entered on foot, one of whom holding a gigantic pair of bolt cutters. The forklift was moving again, readying 3 storage units for her. We watched her deliver some instructions to the day laborers then disappear, presumably into the main office or some kind of Fancy Lady Lounge. I decided to watch them unload her units, since watching my own things get loaded made me too nervous, and Tony was already low-key Dad-style checking in with our movers after every box. I was also curious to know what such a fancy lady could have in storage. Jewels: Box 1/7 I chuckled to myself. The day laborers cut the Master Lock with their giant cutters, and that’s when I saw it: an avalanche of trash cascade out and onto the asphalt. It was too good to be true! You know, you dream about seeing so many trash bags fall out of a storage receptacle, especially one owned and operated by a rich person, but you never think the stars will align in such a way that is actually happens to you. And then the second moving unit was opened: More trash! Trash bag upon trash bag, gathering in a great mountainous heap. The day laborers shrugged at each other like, Boy, this lady has a lot of trash! then proceeded to toss it about before eventually digging out a gigantic antique dinette set from circa the “Backstreet’s Back” music video. I guess it just goes to show that sometimes you have to dig through a lot of trash before you can….eat? (That one didn’t work so well, I’ll keep trying to break it.)

I of course want to note that I recognize the relative disparity in a fancy lady just passing off her mess onto someone else, in this case, workers she can probably exploit if she wanted to because that’s how power and privilege works in this country. I also recognize that she is likely a person who is used to things getting done for her while she gets to wait inside in the air conditioning, and that sucks. But for now, reader, take solace in the fact that once the storage units were open it was revealed what had been inside her all along: it was trash. (Theeeeere it is.)

The First Time I Bonded with Other Angelinos 

Perhaps I have expressed this before, but one of my primary concerns in moving to LA has been finding people that are like-minded. There are plenty of nice people, plenty of funny people, plenty of amazing friends-of-friends, but I’d be lying if I said I was totally sure I could hang with Angelinos. Over the past several weeks, I have become very aware of how Midwestern I am, and I began to ask myself, “Then what, exactly, is universal?”

I got my answer at the West Hollywood Target.

Tony and I had spent most of Sunday shopping at Target, because that’s what you do when you move. (It’s also what you do not when you move, when you just feel like “going out and doing something!”, when you just want to feel something.) This was to be our last “big” move-in Target trip; purchases included things like a vacuum, an ironing board, tiny fake pumpkins that were noted on my shopping list as “fall color.” It was a relief to be done with this, because it meant we could start living our lives with all the same trappings that we had in Chicago, with most of the same stuff, with all the comforts of home that go into making a home. Of course, when we actually got home, we realized we had left Target without an entire bag of stuff.

I was very angry.

Angry because it meant the move was still not over, angry because driving all the way back to West Hollywood would not be a breezy errand, angry because I never forget anything but when I do I really beat myself up over it. Luckily, we were attending a Halloween story telling event in West Hollywood later that evening so we decided to leave a whole half hour early and go back to the Target.

We got our stuff back, it was all good, plenty of time to spare. But in the middle of our exchange, while we were waiting to see if they could track down our bag, I noticed two security guards bolt out the front door, presumably to chase someone down. Tony leaned over and said, in total sincerity, “Do you think there was an issue with our receipt?” Eventually our transaction was complete and we got into the next down elevator to go back to the parking garage. We stepped into the elevator where two Kendall Jenner-clones already were: Shiny high ponytails, high-waisted jeans, crop tops, dramatic brows. One was on her phone, with her agent, I thought. Then, Target security personnel appeared at either elevator door, so suddenly that my first instinct was to be anxious of them. Other people loaded onto the elevator, but I realized we weren’t going anywhere. That’s when I realized security was there to apprehend the two ponytails.

“Mommy, I have to go,” said the taller ponytail into her phone before hanging up and cooly going with the security guards. The smaller ponytail toady followed suit, pushing their over-stuffed cart back into the bowels of Target Jail.

“Oooh, mommy’s not gonna be happy with her,” a fellow elevator rider said the second the elevator door was closed.

Without hesitation, the other people on the elevator started adding onto this bit, calling out their total lack of denial and laughing at their acceptance at getting caught. We all sort of reveled in our collective pettiness and wore it like a party tank, while ultimately knowing, Hey, I’m not the one shoplifting at Target! And that’s when I realized: it doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you are there for witnessing the comeuppance of some white girls at the Target.

The Woman in the Gold Dress

I was sitting at a Halloween story telling event a few nights ago, when I noticed a woman slink in. It was nearing the end of intermission, and people were heading back to their seats, fresh drinks in hand. This woman, however, had not been there for the first half. In fact, I wasn’t entirely convinced she knew what she had wandered into, as this event was taking place at a bar and anyone could wander into this back room if they wanted to. The woman wore a floor-length gold sequin dress and she jangled the ice of her cocktails in a glass. She was smiling not only with her mouth but with her eyes and her whole body. She was very drunk. The lights changed and the MC of the event approached his microphone, signaling to us that it’s time to be quiet and behave. The woman in the gold dress had different ideas, though. Instead of finding a seat or heading back to the bar, she opted to sit on a chair that was part of the set. She wrapped herself in a sarcophagus of fake cobwebs and then sat down in the space where performers might perform. So picture it: the MC, in full vampire regalia and makeup, is addressing a room full of people while a woman in a gold dress sits exactly parallel to him. It looked like this:

Artist’s rendering

She stayed for more stories than I expected, laughing along at all the right times, listening intently, never taking her eyes off the performers. It seemed that the woman in the gold dress might be an honest-to-god fan of live entertainment. And when she decided to go, at some point in the middle of a story, she quietly stood up and left, dragging all the fake cobwebs with her, the very same cobwebs that were wrapped around mic and music stands. At first there was an attempt by some audience members to assist her, but they soon realized it was not a fruitful undertaking. They just kind of let it happen. She slinked back out into the bar, ice cubes clinking, sequins and cobwebs disappearing through a curtain. The moral of this story is: When you’re a woman in a gold dress, you get to do whatever the fuck you want, I think.

Book Club Questions

  1. What do the female protagonists have in common in all three stories? How are they different?
  2. How does privilege (theirs and your own) affect the lens through which you read these characters and their actions?
  3. Is it possible that the woman in the gold dress was a ghost?

 

All the Weird Things

I present to you my up-to-the-minute list of all the weird things about Los Angeles.

  1. The never-changing weather, the constant sun, the vivid colors found in the flora of the trees, the nice-smelling air, the dependable light breeze at sunset, zero humidity. I depend on bad weather to stay inside and read and write all day. I need it for my art, man. How will I find the time or the strength to burrow under a mountain of blankets and read if the weather does not necessitate (and enable) my staying inside? Do I read outside now? Has one ever read outside? Will it hurt my eyes? What about zoning out on my phone and watching hours of unwrapping videos on YouTube? Are these unwrapping videos real or are they fake? Do these gift unwrapping families get sponsored by the toy companies before wrapping these gifts, so that when their sweet British children declare, “Oy! Happy Christmas, mum!” they are actually reacting to goods that were provided by Big Toy, Mum and Da laughing all the way to the bank? Can I watch these videos on my phone outside, too? Please advise on what “going outside” is like.
  2. How nice everyone is to you all the time, presumably because they think you might be famous or important. One can’t possibly have every actor/writer/director/producer/blogger/lifestyle expert/celebrity gossip columnist/Olsen sister/health guru/morning show host committed to memory, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. If I walk down the street with my sunglasses on, I can see people look up like, Are you somebody? And they don’t do it because I exude a particularly strong sense of célébrité, they do it because they’re just playing the odds and it’s more likely than not that the average person in public is actually a famous person. I guess it doesn’t help that I’ve taken to publicly shouting, “My uncle, Francis Ford Coppola, won’t be happy about this!” into my phone.
  3. Anyone who orders anything at a counter takes 7-12 minutes to place said order. Sandwiches, coffee, drinks, you name it: People here have nothing but time to ask questions about their purchase. I went to my local grocery store last week (like the Dude, my Ralphs card is also my only form of identification) and there were two young women in front of me at the deli. Their shopping cart was filled to the brim with items you only buy if you just moved, e.g., condiments, cleaning supplies, toiletries. All the stuff you throw away at your last place and just re-buy at the new one. Having just moved myself, I felt sympathy for them, knowing that moving can be tough and having to re-buy all the stuff you had just a few days ago can be annoying. I even went so far as to think, “Yeah, I bet we have a lot in common. Solidarity!” And then it took them literally 15 minutes to purchase a pound and a half of cold cuts and that’s when they became my sworn enemies. They began by asking the deli worker how much meat they would need to make four sandwiches. The deli worker gave a response. The women hummed and hawed over this response, then switched the question up to how much meat is needed for a week’s worth of sandwiches. They deliberated again over the expert recommendation that came from the deli worker. Questions of this nature went on for some time. IF turkey BUT ham THEN what? Then what??? And how! Why ham! Why turkey! They eventually decided that they wanted 24 slices of turkey, 12 slices in one bag and 12 slices in another. They then asked for a sample of every cheese–“just a little slice, to try!” How are you about to buy a cart’s worth of condiments but not know how sandwiches are made? At some point during the cheese tasting, the deli worker turned to me and asked what I wanted and then said, “Do you want to pick that up later? I’m helping them right now.” I begrudgingly agreed and turned in a huff, whispering to no one that Uncle Francis is going to hear about this.

But I suppose the truly weirdest thing about moving here–or moving anywhere, really–is the element of starting over on things that I just didn’t have to worry about for a long time. This is not a phenomenon unique to me; all people hate updating resumés. This stage of rebooting, however, is the first time I’ve had to do it since graduating college and solidifying my life in Chicago. This is a return to finding doctors, a place to get my hair cut, the safest route from point A to point B. To doubting my ability to make adult decisions, even though I’ve done a perfectly fine job of it for years, even though I have a partner who supports without ever condescending. I can say with confidence that this is an issue of confidence. I need more of it. I’ve spent so many years pretending I know what I’m doing, I’m afraid the ruse will catch up with me. Here’s hoping that I can outsmart LA in the same way I outsmarted Chicago, college before that, and basically any other situation in my life in which I had to pretend I knew what I was doing.

I just told you I’m happiest when I’m inside under blankets; surely you can glean that I am a huge comfort creature. I was hygge before hygge was a thing, baby. And though I talk (and, I think, walk) a big game of making emotional, intellectual, professional, creative changes, I really hate physical changes. Like, the actually having to get up and and do stuff element of changes. Yes, I moved across the country, but that’s different! That’s big. That is macro. I am talking micro. Walk two blocks to try a new restaurant? Too much effort!  Want to check out the public library in our new neighborhood? No, absolutely not now, even though we have nothing else to do! Leave this shitty bar and walk over to that awesome bar? No way, we’re already here! It’s hard to pinpoint the exact issue, though “comfortable footwear” is a leading theory. It’s also fair to assume that I’m afraid of finding out my routines aren’t actually all that great, that I’ve been wasting time and money on things that are beneath me, that I didn’t do it right the first time.

So here’s to getting my library card, to getting my bangs cut, to walking south when I always go east. To celebrating the three writing submission and application deadlines I just hit, because we should celebrate what we write even though rejection is possible, the bright side always being that at least my mom will read my plays and stories. To all the weird things.

 

On an unrelated but sad note, I want to mention the passing of our sweet buddy, Chester. My brother and I were told for years and years that we were absolutely not allowed to ever have pets, and then my mom met Chester and he stole her heart. Chester was temperamental and hilarious, kind and unabashedly nosy. A true cat. I leave you with one of my favorite short stories by Lorrie Moore, If Only Bert Were Here. It’s about the death of a cat, and it’s so funny and touching. Just want to reiterate, this story is about the death of a beloved cat, so don’t be like, Hey, that story was sad, Katie! What gives! I am telling you now, so read it when you’re ready. But read it! It’s great. Death can be multi-faceted like that sometimes.

My last visit with the little prince

 

Stop Gap Living

Well. Here we are.

The adventure across [most of] the United States was a great one. We traveled Chicago to Omaha to Denver to Santa Fe to the Grand Canyon and finally, to our new apartment in Los Angeles. I wish there were more exciting stories from the road, but the truth of the matter is that the drive was completely without incident, each stop more lovely than the last (and they were all lovely), and we gawked in awe at parts of the country that neither of us had seen before. This is as good a time as any to mention that we were in the Grand Canyon for two days, and in those two days, the horrific shooting in Las Vegas happened as well as the death of Tom Petty. To be clear, these are two very different events, carrying two very different weights, things that I don’t intend to equate, but they were nonetheless being talked about on the trails by domestic and international tourists alike. I am saddened by both of them. Being at and looking upon the Grand Canyon is a surreal enough experience in the first place, but to look across the canyon (the great wide open, as it were) towards Las Vegas was both isolating and devastating. Big canyon, little me. And I was struck again with the now commonplace question of “Where were you when?” and it was hard not to feel shame and sadness over all the tragedies I can’t separate from the others, because there have just been so many. I was enjoying myself at the Grand Canyon when the Las Vegas massacre happened. We were awake and watching the live coverage because we were just next door, or so it seemed. Gun control now. Action now. Do something now. Throw your prayers into the canyon like I did and then get to work because there is a lot to be done. I am not going to apologize for the weird tonal transition that is about to happen.

Sunset at the Grand Canyon

The trip was most notably marked by all the warm welcomes we received from friends old and new. They showed us their cities and sent us off with full bellies and hearts alike. If you ever make a large-scale life change, one that involves moving away from all the things you ever found familiar, I highly recommend seeing as many people that love you along the way as possible. We felt loved! We felt refreshed! We almost decided to just live in Santa Fe and not go any farther! But farther we went and now we are here in our completely empty apartment because the delivery of all our belongings has been delayed for an unknown amount time.

I guess that detail qualifies as an “incident,” now that I really think about it.

In short, there was a clerical error, and our stuff just never left Chicago. Just didn’t leave. Was supposed to leave! Didn’t leave. So for the 6 days we were driving across the country, and making jokes like, “There’s our stuff!” every time we saw a train or tractor trailer pulling freight, we were WRONG because our stuff was not loaded onto any mode of transportation, it was just hanging out in the warehouse where we left it nearly 2 weeks ago. Upon hearing this news, Tony and I both laughed ourselves hoarse because what the fuck else can you do but put on the same clothes you’ve been wearing for days and keep moving forward. I’m not here to drag a company on the internet, especially as their HQ was hit in Hurricane Irma and we feel they likely had other priorities to tend to, so please, do not inquire. In fact, everything was really great until there was literally a mere paperwork error and they didn’t know our stuff was ready to go so they didn’t send it. (Rest assured that I will whisper the name of this company to you after I’ve had 3 sips of wine.) I should also add that the gas company can’t send anyone out to turn on our gas until the 10th, so when all is said and done, we will be sans stove for a week. We are basically squatting in our home. I eat cereal while sitting on a yoga mat (the most use it’s gotten in months, by the way) and I sigh deeply and say yes, yes, this is the LA dream I was promised.

Since arriving only days ago, we have developed an intricate system of stop gaps on which we solely survive. The yoga mat, for example, was the only place we could sit aside from kitchen counters and un-yoga matted floors. Then we treated ourselves and bought lawn chairs, a true game changer. We have no way of cooking, but when the gas gets turned on, our kitchenware will still be in transit. What does one buy to account for only a few days of meals? And beyond that, what if our stuff takes weeks to get here? Do I prepare now for the possibility of needing multiple weeks worth of items? Do I never cook again? This basic cycle of questions applies to all aspects of my life now, whether it’s carefully selecting clothes to wear or applying for health insurance. What do I need right now while keeping in mind that this need might very quickly change? What if nothing ever changes and this is our life now? We remedied most of these existential quandaries by going to IKEA.

I would like to begin by saying I had never been to an IKEA. I experienced all five stages of grief during my time at the Burbank IKEA. I denied that a place like this could or should even exist. I was angry that the flurbs and blurghs were all so boring-looking, yet so clean and geometric and undeniably mod. I bargained with a higher power, dedicating my life to better furniture-buying research if I only made it out of there unscathed. I was depressed at the prospect of falling prey to its powers. I accepted that I am basic.

“More jorgenflürbs!” I exclaimed, riding the cart like a Razor scooter down aisle 13 toward bin 20. “More flürbenjorgs for all!”

We selected some sensible items (and of course some not-so-sensible items) in an attempt to bring a kind of normalcy and familiarity back into our lives. I guess that’s why we bought so many pillows. I can’t claim that I fully “get” the appeal of IKEA, though I certainly get it for now. “For now” is the name of the game, but only for now. I feel just prepared enough, which is more than you can hope for sometimes. Putting together a kitchen table and chairs also gave us something to do and something to sit on.

In my last post I said “I don’t believe in luck, I only believe in myself.” I still mostly maintain that motto, though I do want to note that I acknowledge how privilege factors into my life and it’s easy for me to just, like, blindly believe in myself. I believe in myself and I also believe in my ability to be flexible. I believe in making sandwiches because you don’t need a stove to cook those. I believe in action and changing all that has become normalized “for now.”I believe in flurgenglürgs. I believe that every last one of our belongings will make it to Los Angeles and that moving will be complete and living here can really begin.

 

 

 

 

Go West

I never wanted to move to California. There was a brief period of time in high school–literally spanning only one Saturday afternoon–when I thought it would be cool to go to Stanford. I knew about Stanford because everyone on TV wants to go there. This was also before I understood that getting into Stanford is hard. It took no more than a bird’s-eye sweep of the school’s website to realize, oh, I am not the target audience for this…situation. And that was the last time I ever considered living in California.

So I guess it’s a little strange that all my belongings are now packed into a moving cube to be shipped across the country to, you guessed it, California, USA. And not just any part of California, no, no. We are talking Los Angeles, a place I have described as “a relentless series of strip malls” and “too hot” and “definitely not for me, Jesus Christ, no!” Well, things change, minds change, moods change, goals change, body temperatures change (actually, not really, I am sweating right now) and you wake up one day and realize that maybe now’s the time to try the thing you had never planned on doing. There is nothing more sophisticated to this decision other than, simply, I changed my mind.

But again: if not now, then when? We want to be engaged now, and we want to live in Los Angeles now, so now it is.

Tony and I made this decision together. He’s the other half of this equation, Tony is, and we figured there was no better way to celebrate our summer engagement than by totally upending our lives and moving across the country. It has been, truly, a relaxing and carefree time for us, not stressful at all. In fact, we recommend everyone make several major life choices in the same 6-week span of time. Did I mention we also bought a car? Well, we did! Classic summer relaxation tactics. But again: if not now, then when? We want to be engaged now, and we want to live in Los Angeles now, so now it is.

Tony and I went to Los Angeles at the beginning of the month to look for apartments. Los Angeles was experiencing a heat wave of unparalleled intensity and anomaly on this particular weekend, and for much of our time apartment hunting, I had a heat migraine. I managed this issue by sleeping in our rental car by day and putting a bag of ice on my face at night. First we saw a bunch of shitty apartments. Then we saw some nice apartments. And then we signed a lease for an apartment, and gave the loudest sigh of relief and headed to the Bubba Gump at Santa Monica Pier as both a reward to ourselves as well as a reminder that the Pacific Ocean is pretty great and it’s right there and boy would we be chumps if we didn’t go to the beach, right? It should be noted that upon discovering there was a Bubba Gump at Santa Monica Pier, there was simply no other option. It was too good. Too right. In 5 years in Chicago, I have not once been to Navy Pier, but god damn it if I wasn’t going to eat some franchise shrimp in Santa Monica. Among the many things that Tony and I love and share together, one is an affinity and total earnest love of chain restaurants. Put us within even relative proximity of an Arby’s and it’s game over.

Have you been to a Bubba Gump? Because I had not and let me tell you, all I want to do now is talk about Bubba Gump. I should also mention that Tony and I both feel very strongly about Forrest Gump;  a mild review is “problematic” and a harsher review is “manipulative garbage.” We do not like this film. We DO love chain restaurants. Do not overthink this, because we certainly haven’t. The most accurate (and troubling) detail of Bubba Gump is that the restaurant treats Jenny the same way as the movie, which is to say, the character is punished. The “Jenny” section of the restaurant is located on the two small half-walls that create the bathroom waiting area. It is Freebird-era Jenny who eyes you on your way in as you shrug and say, “Those shrimp were heavier than I anticipated.” Jenny cannot catch a break–and I think it’s terrible! Anyway, to answer your question, yes, we did answer all the Forrest Gump trivia questions correctly. In fact we answered so many correctly that our waiter had to come up with more trivia questions and then we answered all those correctly and we were almost late for our flight back to Chicago. But we do not like this movie.

Besides, you will end up punished for all your bad decisions, just like Jenny!

More importantly, though, Tony and I promised each other that we would return to the Bubba Gump at Santa Monica Pier if ever we need to recall or re-evaluate why we moved to LA: a renewal of vows, of sorts. I think it’s good to have a plan like this one, a high-sign to give when a check-in is necessary. (Also sometimes we might go there just to go, it won’t mean we’re miserable, it will just mean we’re on the beach and want shrimp, which is a perfectly normal thing to want, so like, preemptively lay off.) The risk in wanting things right now is the uncertainty in answering “But then what?” You can talk in circles with each other, identifying all the ways it can go wrong, or all the ways it can go right, but at the end of the day it goes as it goes and you just have to be satisfied that you did the thing at all. Unless the thing in question is like, an honest-to-god, objectively bad decision, in which case, don’t tell anyone you got your advice from me. Besides, you will end up punished for all your bad decisions, just like Jenny! Now that advice is coming straight from the horse’s mouth. Also, please don’t tell me that moving to LA is a bad decision. Now is not the time.

I am sometimes overwhelmed at the trajectory of my life up until this point. I don’t believe in luck, but I do believe in good people and good places and I believe in myself. I believe that this move will be difficult, and I also believe that it will pay off in abundance. I believe that a lifetime of writing anything about everything has been the best gift I could have given myself. I believe Jessie Spano when she expressed both excitement and fear. I believe in shrimp.

I never wanted to move to California. Until I did.

Photo courtesy of KM/”I dig my toes into the sand” courtesy of Incubus