Showing posts with label homelife. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homelife. Show all posts

and lo, a great man was born that day

him: "Wanna watch a movie?"

her: "It's kinda late to start one..."

him: "Episode of John Oliver?"

her: "We're all caught up."

him: "Hmm."

her: (sigh)

him: "I have an idea. Let's look at Cute Overload on the projector."

her: "...."

- five minutes later -

couple months' worth

Chaucer always appreciates when people bring toys to the park for him to play with.
"The steering on this thing is a little off."

Request line now open.

"But Moooom, he's got cheeeeese."

TFW Mom says we're having roast chicken for dinner

with you

Sometimes I wear my shirt backwards and inside out.

That's okay, Mama. I still love napping with you.
Sometimes I don't see the cat right in front of my face, even when she has laser eyes.

That's okay, Chauc. I still love walking with you.

you scratch your back, I'll scratch your back

Me: "Listen kid, I'm just gonna give it to you straight. You can't have the toys until you wear the sweater."

Chaucer: "...."

Me: "I know, I know. It's pretty bad. Look, I don't make the rules, okay? I just play by them. I'm a blogger. I have certain expectations to meet. And you, well, you're the youngest, cutest thing living in my home. Which means it falls on you to wear something ridiculous and be paraded around in front of strangers for their amusement and my gratification. Do you understand?"

Chaucer: "...."

Me: "Alright listen, just five minutes. Just long enough to take a few snapshots. But they need to be quality shots, no horsing around making them blurry or we're gonna have to do them again. Then you can go to sleep, forget all about it, and in the morning you'll have a boatload of brand new stuffies to destroy."

Chaucer: "...."

Me: "Thanks, buddy. You're the best."


"Yo, T. You see what's she's doing to me, bro? Help me out here, man. This isn't cool."

"Is she done? Tell me when she's done. I can't even look at her right now."

"What sweater?"


No, I did not actually go out and buy that thing. Terence had an ugly sweater party to attend, and this was the funniest and cheapest option he found. (It won the contest, too.) I'm pretty sure the only reason Chaucer let me wrangle him into it was that it smelled like his BroDog.

Chaucer's 2014 Christmas Haul and toys' current states of repair:

1 Kong Wubba (intact)
1 8/10 TuffScale medium-sized Tuffy Brand pig (intact)
1 stuffing-free squeaky fox (seams ripped and squeakers crushed)
1 small teddy bear (eyes torn out within five minutes)
1 plush Viking Duck (helmet stitching breached, stuffing partially removed)

He's on break from chewy toys since he absolutely demolishes them (Mastiffs have the strongest bite force of all domestic dogs), working them down to tiny bits that he then ingests. No bueno.


My First Hosted Christmas was a smashed smashing success about which I shall post forthwith! Hope all who celebrate the day had a great one.

Holiday Headlines in DTLA

I'm kicking it into high gear (read: panic mode) right about now, as I have volunteered to host a small Misfit Christmas for a few friends but have yet to decide WTF to cook, how to serve it, and what other entertainments we should provide. So I'mma sign off for a few days of preparation, celebration, and recovery. In the meantime I leave you with this wee offering:

Christmas Miracle! Downtown Couple Fit Tree, Mastiff, and Several Drunken Adults In Tiny Loft Apartment; No Fires or Deaths Ensue

Seven Year Old Dog Experiences Snow For First Time, Declares it "NBD" 

Financial District Hanukkah Display Increased In Size By Seven Percent, Moved to Dedicated Peninsula 

String Lights Add Festive Element to 7th Street's Homeless Quarter

Area Hipster Covets Giant Corporate Lobby Christmas Tree Scarf 

Polished Hotel Floors Reflect Guests' Already-Abandoned New Year's Resolutions 


I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and that this week brings you lots of whatever you need most.

Merry merry, happy happy, ho ho ho.


We should get a candle, I said, when you told me it was the first day of fall. Maybe you figured I didn't realize, because I lose track of things like that. Maybe you know fall floods me with an optimism that dips but doesn't really crash until the holidays hit, and you wanted to give me a boost. Or maybe it just made you happy to announce it, in the same way you love to say "Rabbit Rabbit" the first morning of every month.

We should get a candle, I said, and you smiled.


Yeah. To commemorate. Something scented and yummy, like pumpkin. It could be our new tradition, I went on. Picking out a fall candle. Then we could get duck fat fries. 

Yes, you said. I love it. Let's do it. And the next day I met you after work, at the shop. Candy sweet smells pouring out into the plaza. Bottles and jars with silly, sentimental flavors like "Sweater Weather" and "Tailgate". I showed you my favorite, almost sold out, and you mmmm'd appreciatively.

Or should we try to find something nicer looking? I wondered, frowning at the ugly orange wax and tacky label.

No, let's get it. You love it.

So we did. And we walked back home slowly, luxuriating in the coolish air. But we didn't get duck fat fries, because I wasn't up to it. And later that night it got worse, my thoughts twisted into black knots, as they do, until bedtime came and I couldn't sleep. So I crept out to the living room with my blanket and my pillow, and I shut the door carefully on the both of you, snoring almost imperceptibly in unison, a sound that keeps me alive more nights than you know.

And I watched a movie about broken people accepting themselves and finding love, a beautiful movie that should have lifted me up. But my thoughts were still twisted and black so it didn't. It made me feel worse, and more broken by comparison. Less lovable, less capable of accepting those parts of me that made me relate to them.

I tried to read, but the story hadn't pulled me in yet, so it couldn't compete with the blackness. I put the book aside and just sat, reminding myself that feelings are temporary visitors. But the visitors did a number on me in those small hours, and I let them. Idiot, they said, and I didn't correct them. Failure, they scoffed, and I didn't object. Loser, they sneered, and I only sighed.

Slivers of dawn framed the drawn blinds, but I didn't move until I heard the crows. (They make me think of fairy tales, I explained a few days ago, telling you about the early morning calls which you sleep through.) Only then did I return to the bedroom, climbing back in to your warmth and peace. I waited a little longer, listening to you, to Chaucer, to the birds outside. I pictured the eastern sky as it looked from our roof Saturday at six am when, again, I couldn't sleep. A streak of peachy pink watercolor behind the still-dark city.

Finally, I moved close up against you. Just enough pressure to let my presence sink into your sleepy subconscious, because I hate waking you unnecessarily. Slowly, you became aware of me. You stirred and took a deep breath, and I wondered what your first thought would be. Or if you were still dreaming and whether I was now in your dream. I rolled toward you then, because I knew you were coming to, and because I needed more. And you turned, and put your forehead against mine, and we didn't speak, and instead just enjoyed the wordless space of gentle coexistence that I know fills you up.

And here's what I did that you don't know: there in the stillness, in the semi-dark, my eyes shut tight - I passed it over to you. I reached in and pulled it from my chest, bruised and dirty from so much kicking, and I passed it over to you for a day of safe-keeping. Just one day. Because I knew I could, because I knew that when I was ready to be gentler with it, I could take it back from you none the worse for wear.

Afterward, I turned away, finally giving in to exhaustion. You wrapped yourself around me and your hand found mine, and I marveled at the way your fist stayed clasped around my thumb even as you drifted back into sleep. Was it unconscious? A reflex? Did some part of you know to keep vigil, to keep holding some piece of me tight and safe? I can't sleep tangled up like that but I couldn't bring myself to disturb you again. So instead I just lay unmoving and pictured the street below, readying itself for the day. Bread trucks and laundry service vans filling up the loading zones. The serious-faced husband carting supplies from his car to the tiny lunch counter his quiet wife runs alone, cooking up batches of curry and beef bulgogi that sell out every day. The freight elevator descending with a mechanical groan into the sidewalk, stacked high with crates of whiskey for the pub below. Bustle. Faces tired or friendly. All of it familiar in the best way.

And then the alarm, and you have to get ready.

I'm fading, quickly, mercifully, so you let me be except for a soft kiss on my cheek once you're showered and shod. Messenger bag. Light fall coat. And a stowaway you don't know about, taking a break from me, hitching a ride with you for the day.

cute dog is cute

House sitting for friends, who challenged us to make their cats dog-friendly while they were on vacation. Chaucer was an angel, keeping to a sit-stay and letting this kitty check him out at her own pace (the other one stayed under the bed). But once they got familiar, he was just too excited and kept trying to play with her like another dog. She was fearless and dominant and awesome, but I didn't want to keep stressing out the more fearful cat, so we stopped bringing him over. 50% success rate.

Movie night. Somebody didn't want to get off the blankets we'd all been cuddling on and go to bed. Somebody pulled a serious pout face about the situation.

Can't even deal with him sometimes, I really can't.

two bits

Optimism visited me yesterday, in a roll of quarters. I'd come up against one of those moments where life demanded an energy I couldn't remember ever having, much less summon. Instead I just sort of wilted, like a flower finally giving in to five o'clock heat. Okay, well. That's that, then. Held out as long as I could. I looked around, desperate to find something, anything that I could conquer, even if it was some small and meaningless domestic chore. Bad idea. A red hot wire of shame electrified me when I saw what a mess the apartment had become. Oh yeah, there's the energy I need. 

I hurled a round of texts at my boyfriend. They started out reasonable enough (Baby I'm feeling overwhelmed. I need more help with housework) but grew into a list of demands anyway. He received them calmly, as he does all of my pitches, no matter how I curve the ball. He is so fucking Zen. It is so fucking beautiful.

Clean bedding seemed an attainable and worthy goal, so I headed to the cabinet where we keep the quarters. Two rolls, fresh in their orange and white wrappers, sat in the tacky stained-glass, footed desert bowl I can't bring myself to ditch. Undoing them proved my undoing. My non-existent fingernails combined with the tightness with which they'd been bound at the bank or the mint or in the bowels of hell, possibly...nope, sorry, these quarters have no interest in helping you today. LOL.

That trick where you hit the roll against something to break it? I skipped that one. I opted for the other trick, the one where you take the physical object that is frustrating you and fling it away violently. Haha, what do you mean that's not a trick? Don't be ridiculous. I've been doing it for years.

The change clanged and scattered across the kitchen counter, a couple dollars' worth landing in the sink. The noise and tiny, manageable mess pleased me. That's right. I am in control here. The rest of my life might be in semi-shambles but goddamnit, I am stronger than these quarters. 

I didn't notice at first that they were brand new. I didn't notice until I was stuffing blankets into one of the temperamental, coin-operated contraptions upstairs and hoping that today I'd picked the functional one (our building's four washing machines take turns working correctly, which I think is very democratic of them). The quarters, which I'd set on top of the machine, winked at me happily. You got this, they seemed to say. Sure we're young and don't know much of the world yet, but we believe in you, Ellie! 

I may be spending too much time in my own company.

On the elevator ride back down, I ran my thumbs over the leftover quarters (the machines are also notorious change-eaters; we hope for the best but prepare for the worst) and considered how they felt different than others. Smoother on the faces, but rougher on the ridged sides. Not yet worn in, worn down, worn out. They felt like a testament to all things new and hopeful and still full of promise, and they cheered me immensely. These little bright silver symbols of capitalism and materialism and other things I'm conflicted about - I closed my fingers around them and felt at least ten percent lighter in my body, and my thoughts.

And that evening my boyfriend came home to the cleanest house he'd seen in a while. A victory in two bits is still a victory.

20 things worth remembering from the last few weeks

1. This engorged dog tongue at Whittier Narrows:

2. This photobombing solar flare:

3. and 4. These dueling dorks:

5. This tug-o-war session:

6. This glimpse of the David Kelley exhibit:

7. This tangle of stuffed snakes at MOCA:

8. This puppy peering around the corner:

9. This courtyard at Zinc Cafe:

10. This glowing resin sculpture at MOCA:

11. and 12. This invisible beverage at Umami, and this dutch-oven at West Elm:

13. and 14. These puzzlers and this monkey:

15. These loves:

16. This winning gooooooooaaaal:

17. This island-dining solution:

18. These jelly jars at Villain's:

19. This pile of dishes in Chinatown:

20. These two ducks and one lady:

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!

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.

perfect. ish.

Contextual Item The First

We're in the market for barstools, so we can eat at the kitchen island and skip the whole dining table thing (which we really don't have room for, anyway). If I had a bazillion dollars, my first choice would be Jamaica stools (design lady boner shwing!). I do not have a bazillion dollars. If I had even a bajillion dollars, I'd go with Philippe Starck Charles Ghost stools. Haven't got a bajillion, either.

Ghost stools really would be perfect, since a) there's actually no overhang on the island, and we'll have to have our legs mashed up against it when we sit there; a backless stool will be the most accommodating of this ergonomic awkwardness, and b) transparency would help keep an airy look in an already smallish space.

At least, that is my justification for thinking way too much already about this shit. The best laid plans and such.

Contextual Item The Second 

Today on the sidewalk just outside our building, I ran into a friend of Terence's. I invited her up to say hi to him and to see our place. She ended up hanging out for a while to catch up, the three of us clustered around the island...with no place to sit. 

Approximation of Conversation This Evening

- Hey, so barstools. 

- Yeah.

- Let's talk about them for a sec, yeah?

- Yeah.

- So today, having Merrill up really drove home for me how nice it is to have people over and just chill in the kitchen, you know?

- Totally.

- Soooo you know those knockoff Ghost stools I showed you? The ones with the sad video?

- Yes.

- I found a place that does relatively cheap reproductions. 

- How many would you want to get?

- Three, maybe four? Then we can just put them at the corners and eat dinner like so. It's easier to twist your legs to the side that way. 

- But if you put them there, that'll block the cabinet.

- I usually don't need to get any pots out while I'm eating dinner, so I think that'll be okay.

- Where would we put them the rest of the time, though?

- Well that's the good thing about those. Since they're clear, they won't take up much visual real estate*. We could just have them right here, along the island. 

- You think? Won't that cut off a lot of the space for walking?

- Well, a bit, yeah. But they're transparent, so it wouldn't really be imposing, I think. And I'm pretty sure they're stackable. So we could pop those bitches right there in the corner. You wouldn't really even notice them. Or even here, where the tripod is.

- I always forget that you have that tripod. We should use it.

- For what?

- I don't know. Photos?

- Well, that dude I dated never returned the stabilizing arm, remember? So I can't use it with my Nikon.

- So how did you use it before?

- I just used my iPhone mount. That's how I did all those selfies for Instagram. 

- Want me to call him? Be like, "I'm Ellie's boyfriend. She wants her part back."

- Well that sounds great except I don't have his number anymore, and I think he lost it or threw it out anyway. 

- So what do you need to use the tripod?

- With my iPhone? Nothing. See, look... 

*derpity derp, Derpina sets up tripod with her phone and starts timer app* 

- Twelve, eleven, ten, nine-

- Am I in the frame?

- Yeah.

- What should we do?

- Just act natural. No no, don't!--

- Okay that was not natural. And oh my god I look fifty. Another one without your pants falling down.

- Yeah that's good. One more...Chaucy, come here!

- Perfect. Ish.


* Actual phrase that actually came out of my mouth.