Los Angeles

That One Time I Went Down a Slide 1,000 Feet Above Downtown Los Angeles

I’m not a daredevil. If anything, I’m a pee-myself-a-little-then-hesitate-and-try-to-make-up-an-excuse-to-never-do-it-like-ever sort of girl. I’m a refraindevil. So when I found myself scooching across a clear glass slide on a gray mat, 70 floors above the downtown Los Angeles’s bustling and hustling 5th and Flower intersection, I looked down and murmured a well-deserved “What in the fuck . . .”

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Los Angeles, Ruminations

Why I Marched and What Comes Next

I’d advise you to read this post, then read this post on how I accidentally ran into Lance Bass and the universe aligned itself perfectly for just a few seconds. Enjoy.

I wanted to chronicle my experience at the Women’s March Los Angeles—not just so I remember it in detail, but to give it the spotlight it deserves. I can name the many reasons why I marched, but here’s a truncated version: for women’s rights, climate change, inclusiveness for the LGBTQ community, and for immigration and embracing the diversity that was supposed to be the blueprint of the United States of America. Yes, walking was liberating, but the march was a moment—we’re in a movement. If we take no action as a constituent, what’s the point?

I started walking to the Palms Metro Station holding my cardboard sign in one hand, and holding Ben’s hand in the other. The Los Angeles sun obliterated all evidence that it rained heavily the day before, allowing us to revel in its rays instead. This was a good sign.

As we approached the station, only a block away from our apartment, my eyes immediately took notice of the huge mass of people already waiting for the Expo line toward downtown Los Angeles. Sprinkled in front of me were a sea of women, men, and children, many holding signs and wearing knitted pussyhats, each in various shades of pink. Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, African-American, Middle Eastern—it was a scramble of different shades and it felt encouraging.

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Ruminations

Shifting focus.

I’ve had this blog since the summer of 2009. In the summer of 2009, I was an almost-junior in college living in Austin, Texas. I was a journalism major dreaming of working at some New York women’s magazine, writing for The Daily Texan, listening to The Doors and Lady Gaga, and dating a guy I thought I’d end up spending the rest of my life with.

When I first started this blog, I was knee-deep in commentary about music, what-ifs, and that-fucking-celebrity-over-there. My biggest worry was finishing up interviews for a end-of-term story, studying for spanish finals, and deciding what end-of-year party I’d hit up first.

As understated as this may sound, things have changed after 7 years.

I’m a person that’s finally settling into her own skin and feeling comfortable doing so (at the moment, anyway). I’m a woman who loves food, feminism, cats, and the brilliance of incredible writing on any medium. I’m trying to move forward from past fuck-ups and into resolve. I want to start writing about what I value most:

  • Women’s rights, women’s education, and the amplification of women’s voices.
  • Excellent writing.
  • Compelling books.
  • Amazing events in Los Angeles that I’m lucky enough to attend (I do live here after all).
  • Cats, cats, and more cats.
  • TV shows and movies that are pure entertainment, no matter the brow level.

What I’ve listed above is a transparent list of what I should be writing about, and what I’ll start writing about.

Oh mel, gee . . . is still my stomping ground for my own thoughts. I’m just rearranging the furniture.

—Mel

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Ruminations

Gamit thoughts while sitting on my balcony . . .

Look how fucking downcast it is right now. And look at the two broken pixels on my phone’s camera lens—perfect.

This post’s title makes my current setting a lot more bohemian than reality: I’m outside on my balcony, yes, decked in my favorite long-sleeved shirt (Texas Football across the chest) and in my top-notch, pink-checkered pajama bottoms. I’m sipping on the finest of cheap wine, Yellow Tail, and wanting the SoCal sun to please shine with its familiar brightness. It’s hiding today, which always subsequently makes me very, very sleepy. The wine probably doesn’t help.

I am, however, not wearing shoes, so I guess I’m acting mildly “boho”. But I am wearing Adidas socks, mind you.

Like the majority of posts on my good ole’ blog, I never really have a point to them. My thought process constantly moves like a river bank faced with a thousand courses, but writing does allow me to focus a bit more. And no, I don’t have ADD.

I do though, have to write blog posts that MUST have a point to them—as in work blog stuff. So I thought I’d write in my personal dormant blog so I can jump-start and re-oil my writing skills. Why does that sentence seem so contradictory? Whatever.

Last night I went to a good friend’s place, where a bunch of my close, post-college friends gathered to watch 2012 in retrospect, via 12 shorts he taped and cleverly strung together. Throughout January – December, these videos captured all the random, fun, party and non-party times we had, like a visual yearbook. These are memories to be filed under our “hip, early twenties,” when Los Angeles was still oh-so new and dancing to strobe lights on a drunken high with strangers was just as fun as playing a third round of Settlers of Catan. I hope that my thirties, forties, and fifties still feel like my twenties. But again, I’m a sucker for wishful thinking.

As I always do with in-retrospect posts, I can’t even begin to start on how my life has changed so much. Even if it was just a year ago. And it most definitely has: I still work at the same job and have the same title, but I do feel like my role has expanded, and I love it. I do live in the same apartment, but I’ve started a new romantic relationship majigger, and the standstill butterflies in my stomach are fluttering once again. (Okay, barf on that last sentence, but seriously, I’m knee-deep in like with one of the greatest guys in my life, and that’s a really good feeling.) And yes, I still drive the same car, wear the same clothes, and hang out with the same people. But there’s still a freshness to it, which I’m blessed to feel. And I rarely use the word “blessed” in writing, since it’s way too Hallmark and meaningless to me, but I can’t think of another word right now, so there.

Whew. I think the non-sun ray soaking has gotten to me today. Or maybe I should really get started on my “serious” writing tasks. Or maybe I’ve had more than a cupful of cheap wine.

Nevertheless, I hope you all are having a great February so far and that you won’t find yourself in a Bill Murray Groundshog Day repeat experience. Or that you’re getting attacked by wolves that make you listen to Lindsay Lohan’s covers of Prince’s hits. That would be the absolute worst.

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Los Angeles

The Renaissance Pleasure Faire

To the Renaissance Pleasure Faire we go!

I was going to title this “Mel dives into LARPing for the first time,” but that’s not in the least bit true. All I did to prep for the Renaissance fair was braid my hair into a semi-decent Dutch crown.

But, HUZZAH! I had the pleasure (pun-intended) to go to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale on Saturday with the roomies. As a virgin-Renaissance-fair goer, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But I really did have some good ole’ medieval fun.

Actually, since it was me and one of my roommate’s first time at a Renaissance fair, a random festival goer (in character) took us aside and pronounced our welcoming to the crowd of people. He then asked if we were together, which my roommate answered with a “Yes,” and I answered with a “What?!” That awkwardness was trumped by distraction though, since there were so many shops filled to the brim with knick-knacks I don’t need, but very much wanted.

$16 garland. I doubt medieval people ever paid for their garlands. Pfff. But pretty, regardless!

Just to give you a picture of all the things I fancied, but completely lacked necessity, I’ll list a few: a glass potion bottle (thought it would make for a great flask), a leather-bound journal, a pewter chalice, and a wooden sword. Who the hell doesn’t need a wooden sword though? Truly.

The roommates and I dined ye olde-fashioned, with beers—I had Harp, Hoegaarden, and a “Bloody Buddy” chocolate and raspberry porter mixture—and a turkey leg. I consumed more calories than I had this past week—most definitely. But it was well, well worth it.

The definition of classy.

Here’s a summary of events that took place while at the fair:

1. We paid $2 to get lost in a maze. And lost, we were.

2. We waited to watch a joust, but instead ended up watching this bird man that introduced us to owls and vultures. I was on my last drink at that point, and mixed up my bag-o-sweet nuts with my beer. Rookie mistake.

3. Irwindale had a beautiful backdrop of a lake and misty mountains. We took a good break while taking in the nature. It was almost as if we traveled outside of Los Angeles (which we technically did, but still). Fresh air at last. Kind of.

4. My roommate, Ben, had a random “battle” with a woman. He was decked out in war gear and everything. Not really sure who won, but he looked good!

5. This:

It was like a skeevy group shower. Oh look, a little girl in a tub.

And this:

Not sure what’s going on, but I rolled with it.

. . . Does this make me cooler, or what*

Oh yeah, and I really wanted this wooden armory. For the love of all things bad ass:

Beauties.

*Debatable.

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Ruminations

What it feels like to live in L.A. and not have any desire to be in the entertainment industry.

It’s a bit fuzzy, really.

I’m not an aspiring actress, a hopeful producer, or a wannabe screenwriter. I don’t care that celebs shop in the same Trader Joe’s aisle as me, or that they drive on the same roads I do in their daily commute.

I don’t really enjoy gussying up. I trip in heels. I don’t enjoy skeevy L.A. guys with V-neck t-shirts who try to exercise their “game” at random dive bars. And I don’t find Chelsea Handler amusing in the slightest bit.

I don’t know the newest [insert cutting-edge director here] film and can’t put the face to the name of that actress from that new show that’s gotten rave reviews from Deadline.com, Hollywood Reporter, and whatever other trade mag I don’t care to read.

I fall asleep during movies from time to time. And fake, candy-coated people make me literally vomit. All over. Just all over the place. One time, a few months ago, I remember someone introducing me to one of their “friends” and two seconds later, when the person turned around, the introducee said, “Ugh, I can’t stand [insert friend’s name here]. Really.” I vomited all over. (Okay, not really, but a part of me wanted to slug the person in the face then and there, followed by a subsequent up-chucking.) Why would you introduce me to people you despise? Why are you wasting my life?

But don’t get me wrong, I love California. The mixture of sunshine and cooled air feels perfect to the touch, most of the time. I enjoy the freshness that comes with each day at my job and the new people I get to interact with every so often. (I breathe in and appreciate this freshness, because God knows L.A.’s smog level is probably obliterating my lungs with every inhale.)

. . . It’s just weird living in this germ that’s separated from the seed. But I prefer the sidelines to the circus around me. Seriously.

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