Showing posts with label Diptic Dump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diptic Dump. Show all posts

the ides of june

Nice moments lately:

Killing time in the train station. Shows at The Orpheum and King King. Drinks at Casey's, a backyard BBQ, and the Make Music Pasadena street festival. My second-annual Bon Anniversaire crepe, cashing in a Burke Williams birthday massage, and the faces that I love so very much.

Boring, sorry, and not much context. Just trying to keep the ol' phone uncluttered, and wanna remember these days. Into the squares they go!

candle counting is for suckers

I don't want to let my birthday go by undocumented, but there isn't a whole lot I can write about it that doesn't sound like an eighth grader's diary entry. It was really fun! I love my friends!  But it was really fun, and holy hell do I love those people, all of whom traveled at least an hour to come for the weekend. Some of them collaborated on Mason's surprise visit (I had no idea he was flying in from AZ). Some of the pooled together to send Terence and I to HardFest in August. Some of them chipped in for a table at Avalon to see Dirty South. And some of them printed up and framed a photo from 80s Prom Night for me. We spent days goofing around at various pools and nights goofing around at various bars. I spent twenty minutes collaging the pics that can be shown, so here's hoping they give a good idea what it was like.
That was really fun! I love my friends! Got a hundred on my pre-algebra quiz!

summertime blues

What we want? Boring, poor quality photo collages! When we do want them? Now!

Not much in the way of exciting commentary to go along with these. It's been stupidly hot. I've been lazy. Chaucer's been lazier.

Some smiles and sights I've been snapping, including three dumb selfies because I attempted to tone down the red in my hair. Brunetter is better!

Happy Friday, weirdos. Hope everyone gets to do something fabulous / relaxing / other, as desired.

life lately, 5.6.14

Life lately is long walks with Chaucer and longer naps afterward. It's watching Last Week Tonight (much better this past Sunday, no?) projected on the wall, a night at the speakeasy, and a visit from M. Papa (with an impromptu concert by his son). It's bomb new headphones and hairstyling LOLs, and a Wall of Joy for twelve cents a print.

It's nesting and decluttering and unloading what's no longer useful. It's a special trip for pizza with Chaucer, goofing around, a lobby Ellie, and as always, lots and lots of music.

Life lately is Hey, I'm back downtown. Wanna go to the observatory?, shoe gazing on the train, and cuddles with Chauc. It's parks and high rises and the Hollywood hills, and still finding Uranus funny, at 36 and 38.

Hope life lately is just as colorful for everyone else.

severance packages and safe bets

Nine days ago, I posted a final photo on Instagram with what I hoped was a not too dramatic-sounding explanation and farewell. I turned my phone face down so I wouldn't see any push notifications, and returned to what I'd been working on, determined to back up the decision to better use my time with immediate action.

That lasted about five minutes.

Then I picked up my phone, checking to see if any responses had come; a few had. I replied to them, and turned my phone back over. Twenty minutes later, I peeked again. I read goodbyes from IGers all over the world, some of whom had been following me for almost two years. Their kind words took the wind right out of my sails. I cried more than once, as messages continued to come. Yep. I cried when I quit Instagram. If you're thinking to yourself, Wow, this chick has problems, let me tell you - you don't know the half of it. Because quitting was easy compared to what came next.

Terence gamely suggested we go to happy hour to "celebrate" my Instafreedom. And I don't use scare quotes to mock his word choice, which was him just trying to make me feel better about my decision, and totally sweet and supportive. I use scare quotes because I spent the better part of that evening second-guessing myself and feeling variously depressed (Wow, I just destroyed a really nice emotional resource), scared (Was this the right call?), angry (WTF, so-and-so unfollowed me without even saying goodbye? I liked every one of his lame, boring pics for two damn years), guilty (I'm abandoning faithful readers who've been so supportive and encouraging), and this strange mixture of resignation and detachment, as if I'd just signed up for a deep space mission, and was saying goodbye to life as I knew it. Or as if I'd been sentenced to solitary confinement, albeit with access to a really good library.

Point being: I didn't feel celebratory, though I could feel the first, tiny shudderings of relief and unburdening. All sorts of questions were going through my mind, and that didn't stop Friday night or even that weekend. In fact, I've passed most of this past week thinking about the ramifications of my decision to quit, which - expected, right? What I didn't expect was the Pandora's box of much larger questions that quitting IG would open up, about things like the meaning of friendship, self esteem, and the definition of success. Thinking about those things raised other questions about my life and my priorities - re: myself, my relationships, and even this blog. I know it sounds dumb, but I don't feel like the same person I was nine days ago. Existential crisis: there's an app for that.

Some things I've been considering:

What could I look at, if I wasn't looking at my phone all the goddamn time? What could I think about instead? What sort of space, as my friend Jenny put it, would I have in my mind for other things, if Instagram wasn't there?

What am I communicating to my blog readers by quitting IG? Are they going to think that I don't want to interact with them? Would I blame them if they did? Why should anyone continue to give a shit about my life when I've essentially said, Welp, nice following your life for a while - peace out! 

Regarding social media, is more necessarily better? More followers, more Facebook friends? If I'm not actually interacting with most of those followers, what is the value in those relationships?

What about in real life? What would happen if we pared our relationships down to a core group, and truly invested ourselves in them? What would those relationships look like? How deep and strong could they become? Is there anything wrong with limiting our time and attention to a few trusted and loved people?

Who are these hundreds of lurkers who are otherwise active on IG but never like or comment on a single photo of mine? Why is that an acceptable concept to me, that my loved ones and I would be entertainment for them? How can I take the power back into my own hands, and stop submitting the treasured moments of my life for their daily perusal and (non)approval? What if I returned to my pre-Instagram way of posting what I want when I want, here on my blog, without auditioning for their "likes"? What if they had to work a little harder, to see what my life is all about? What if I at least had the satisfaction of making them come to me?

What was it about sharing photos on Instagram that I found gratifying? What were the drawbacks? How much of it was fun, and how much of it felt like obligation and upkeep?

Why do I feel compelled to share personal photos online at all, whether it's on IG or here on my blog? What are my motives for doing so? How much of it is sharing and how much of it is validation-seeking?

And finally: how much faster could I get to the life I want - to being the person I want to be - if I wasn't slowed down by the need for approval?

Like I said, reflection and introspection central around here. I'm still working out the answers, which aren't always obvious, despite my leading and loaded questions. One thing I have realized for certain: Instagram was not relaxing for me. Editing the photos, playing with color and filters and the overall look of my gallery - that I loved. But once a photo was actually posted? Then it was like a running ticker tape in my head. A constant distraction. How many likes? Hmm, not many. That's what I get for posting another pic of the man I'm wildly in love with and whose face *I* want to see reflected back in my gallery. Guess I better post more universally appealing stuff or I'll lose followers. Clever comment from so-and-so. Gotta reply to that, but too tired to respond right now. I'll do it tonight. Let me see what so-and-so's been up to...

Instagram is just too mentally stimulating for me, for it to be relaxing.

One awesome silver lining: I have been absolutely blown away by the amazing responses that have come in from readers and IG friends who reached out to say, Yo, I get it, and have shared their own struggles with social media and the internet in general - and those who've said, I guess you're not too horrible, Ellie - what say you we strike up a private correspondence, instead? In fact, I now have a handful of pen pals  (one of whom proposed snail mail, so we have legit mementos to keep and everything) and texting buddies whose friendship I can cultivate post-IG. Talk about a severance package.


One of the best things about Instagram was being able to scroll back and see loved ones and fun times at a glance.* It was, among other things, the perfect scrapbook - but it was a public one, in the same way this blog is. I've thought a lot about privacy, about intention, and about being present when I'm with the people I care about. About when a quick snapshot is worth disrupting the moment to revisit it later - and when memory alone should be enough. I've thought about the differences between posting to IG vs. posting to my blog, and about context, frequency, and timing.

I'm probably going to keep thinking about all of this until my head explodes. But for now, I believe that doing things from a place of love is a safe bet - with the important caveat that what we're doing is in the best interests of those we love. And if were to die tomorrow, I hope I would be remembered as someone who loved the people in her life absolutely, and sometimes just couldn't get enough of their awesome, smiling faces.

To that end, here they are, in some of the moments that have made up life lately, along with some ungrams, because why throw the creative baby out with the creative bathwater? Captionless because I'm too damn tired and this post is too damn long already, and the best moments in life speak for themselves, anyway.

Answerless, confused-as-ever Ellie out.


* This was the one big concern Terence had about my leaving IG. He said he'd be bummed not to be able to see those collected moments anymore. Solution: I'm not deleting the elliequent account, so the photos aren't going anywhere. I also made a new private account for just us that I can flood with personal pics day or night, without worrying about alienating/impressing/annoying anyone else.

new digs

Moving has been a fantastic, much-needed change for me. I was feeling increasingly stagnant and claustrophobic in my last place. So viscerally so, in fact, that I'd find myself actually gasping for air, as if it was running out.

But it's done a number on the writerly part of my brain. It feels like all the words that usually organize themselves and line up in an orderly fashion for me got all jumbled together with everything else I tossed haphazardly into boxes and dragged downstairs. I'm still unpacking them, and I'm not sure where they should go.

Also, the banality of my own domesticity is weighing on me a little bit, saying, "Great, you moved. You did a thing millions of people do every year. BETTER HURRY UP AND TELL THE WORLD ABOUT IT." Ya know?

So I'm sort of forcing myself to write this post to get that banality behind me, and hopefully clear the way for more interesting and creative thoughts.

It went like this, basically: They raised my rent, almost $200. That's not surprising, since they've been bumping up rent substantially in my building over the past couple of years. But I'd heretofore been spared.

When the lease renewal offer showed up in my inbox at such a ridiculous rate, the subconscious part of my brain that had been mulling over what would happen in just such a scenario stepped forward and became conscious thought. Namely, "Fuck it. You should just move in with Terence."

For one thing, if I signed another lease, we'd be looking at least another year of commuting to date. My not having a car leaves that pretty much all on Terence's shoulders, since a bus or bike ride or bus+bike ride to his place is kind of an asspain, and also doesn't factor into consideration Chaucer, who needs letting out, etc.

For another, my building is incredibly conveniently located. Walking distance to almost everything a person needs, and a block from the train station. Also, it's a really, really nice building, in a great, relatively quiet area of downtown.

So without mentioning anything to Terence yet, I stopped by my leasing office to let them know I might be in the market for a bigger unit, around X dollars/month, and to keep me in mind if anything opened up. Well, something had just opened up that day, for $200 less than the price range I'd quoted, and it was a lower-level loft of the same layout Terence and I had previewed before, just for shits and giggles.

For me it was a no-brainer, but Terence needed convincing. He'd just moved into an adorable house in Silver Lake less than six months prior, that he loved. He loved it so much, in fact, that he'd been hoping eventually I'd move in with him. But while the Silver Lake house was really sweet, it would have been virtually impossible for me to live there without a car. Which I don't have. It isn't a walk-to-what-you-need neighborhood. It's too far from the train. There are no parks or grassy areas for Chaucer, like there are downtown. It just wasn't an option.

So we talked and talked and talked and in the end, financial considerations (for us both) won out (we're both saving a lot of money this way). That, and we really, really, really love the apartment that opened up. Everything about it was - is - perfect. But it was an incredibly difficult decision for Terence to give up his new home, and it's been an intensely emotional transition for him. While I schlepped my shit down three flours over a day and a half, he took the rest of the month to consolidate, sell, donate, and generally be ready to be here. In fact he only just finished today. Meanwhile I was all, Hurrrrrry upppppp, godddddd. Sensitivity fail.

I posted a quick video tour on Instagram, but here's a Diptic dump of some actual pics:

And that's how the next phase of Ellie's So-Called Life came to be. We're in the process of fusing our belongings and figuring out storage solutions and all that junk, so it might be a little while yet before it's decorated and ready for its closeup.

In the meantime, thanks loads to everyone who has been so enthusiastic and excited for us, and reached out to say congrats. We know how totally bananas we seem for jumping in so fast, and I really appreciate the support. :)

sort of kind of not really at all like a virgin

80s prom party this weekend, at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, put on by Drink Eat Play (which is a company that only has 1/3 of its priorities in the correct order, if you ask me, because hello, one has to work up an appetite, amirite?). Second year going with this group of delinquents. Used the same alternate high schooler identities we made up last year, ate at the same restaurant beforehand, ordered the same drinks, made asses of ourselves on the same subway. Totally tubular traditions, basically.

If you're in LA, I can't recommend this event enough, and here's a video of last year's that will sell it far better than I could. People get into it. I guess it's strayed from being strictly formalwear to anything-80s-goes, really. Any 80s character (one guy came as the Karate Kid, complete with a shiner), any 80s look. The best outfit I saw was actually a girl in retro aerobics wear, layered up in leggings, leg warmers, a leotard and thong, and an amazing poofy-bang ponytail. Instead of dancing, she spent the whole time doing exaggerated side stretches and other hilarious aerobicise moves. Stole the whole show.

Last year I half-assed it with my costume, so this year I went big and replicated Madonna's 1984 VMA ensemble, sans veil, dirty blonde curls, and general sex appeal. I was actually able to pick up almost everything I needed cheaply in the fabric/fashion district, which is walking distance from where I live. $1 bracelets and necklaces, crazy cheap corset and bra, gloves and socks at Beverly Hills Hosiery (which, while it is run by a very lovely man and is stocked to the ceiling with fun costumes and accessories, is not exactly as glamorous as its name implies). For the BOY TOY belt I bought a premade $5 sash at a quinceanera shop, and found letter stickers at Moskatels (a craft supply store, also walking distance). The only thing I had to order was the skirt, which I got from Etsy. Any excuse to wear a big fluffy tulle skirt, I think, justifies its purchase. But I know with all the dumb and random stuff I do anyway, I'll find reasons to bust it out again.

Hooray for Diptic, which makes blogging pics as easy as tappity-tap-tap. Eighteen uploads? Gag me with a spoon. Two uploads? Bitchin'. 

I'm doing the weirdest, most awkward shit with my arms in these photos (I feel like an absolute tool putting my hands on my hips), since I didn't know how to show off my arm party other than by holding my wrists up, Wonder Woman style. Still, toolish. Very few photos of us actually in the crowd dancing, because by that time, we were a bit too tipsy to futz with cameras. But we got some decent shots before, after, and taking breaks up top on the venue roof. Oh and the stairs and subway grate pics were NOT my idea…but they're kinda fun. :)

Aaaaand that will conclude this episode of More Pics of Ellie Than Are in Her Goddamn Baby Book Plus A Few of Peeps That 95% of You Don't Know. Thank you for tuning in!