Showing posts from March, 2014

no one will ever accuse me of having a hakuna matata attitude

1. self-care in red boots Last weekend was busy. The week that followed it was busy. It included a book club meeting at which we discussed the NPR story we’d all heard about how only white-collar people say they’re busy. People who work three minimum-wage jobs just say they’re tired. By the time I left work yesterday, I was both. Which means I was in a weakened state, and it didn’t take long for me to turn my writing evening at Philippe’s into an is-it-scar-tissue-or-cancer Googling session. It’s the absolute worst thing I can do for my mental health, but it’s like I have an addiction that’s long past the point of making me feel good— and pretty much never did. Leave it to a Klein to find an addiction that was never fun in the first place. I need 'em like a hole in my head. I need 'em to heal the hole in my head. It bugs me that my mental health is so precarious, but at least I got my Googling bender out of my system, and I decided to devote the rest of my week

cats from hell, moms from purgatory

Last night AK and I had pizza and sangria at new friend/Homeboy volunteer Kendra’s house, where we snuggled her new dog and watched My Cat from Hell . Like all makeover shows, it’s not really the cat/dog/kid/house/restaurant who needs to be made over, but the couple trying to wrangle the cat/dog/kid/house/restaurant. And for some reason, the people we seem to trust most to administer the necessary tough love are burly biker dudes with shiny sunglasses (I’ve been watching Restaurant: Impossible at the gym). One part punk, one part military. Or if not them, flamboyant gay men or tough British nannies. Apparently meanness is acceptable from those types. We like it less on naggy (American) women. And we don’t like men who refuse to kick our asses, I guess. I don’t know, this analysis may break down, since the main lesson of My Cat from Hell is Buy Your Cat A Cat Tree. There is a framed picture of a dog in the background. And you wonder why the cat is pissed? My friend Wendy a

"art resides in the quality of doing, process is not magic" --charles eames

I’ve been working like a motherfucker lately. Or perhaps like a no-one-fucker because when you work a lot, there’s less time for fucking. When things were slow and same-old-same-old sometimes at P&W, I occasionally envied people with “real” jobs—I had a kind of Mad Men image of striding into an office, rolling up my shirtsleeves and clacking away at a keyboard as part of some larger mission. Work is so American and noble. Let's get to work here at this beautifully designed modern coffee table. Work is such a human-sized, fortunate, un-existential problem to have. It’s not an exclusively first-world problem, but at its best it can be kind of adorable. And now that work is so very much in front of me, the problem of too much work feels bourgeois and un-artistic and banal and a silly thing to stress about because I have my health (at least I think, knockonwood), and I’m mildly embarrassed and ashamed that I’m letting work stress get to me. But how could anything you d

the arts district and artisan tortillas

I’ve been thinking about space lately. I’m finally living the Eastside dream I’ve had since I started making pilgrimages to Silver Lake in college . I start the day with a train ride that takes me across trestles and over a cement river. I eat lunch in the middle of 1938’s idea of China—neon-outlined pagodas and bamboo lettering. And then I go home to Highland Park’s rolling hills and gold-pink light. I took a long walk on Saturday and found an old glass-works studio I’d never known about. Old New Chinatown. Sometimes, even now that it’s (nearly) all familiar, L.A. still takes my breath away. Other times I wonder if the magical space I longed for in my twenties is made magical only by my longing. It’s like having a crush on someone and then marrying them. Your love dives deeper than you ever knew possible, but the exotic twinkle fades. A little while ago, a writer I know, who recently moved to L.A., asked her Facebook friends what their favorite coffee shops to write in w

stream of consciousness, stream of water gushing down my street

I just realized that my last four Facebook posts were about the rain. I’m a predictable SoCal native—like my cat OC (also a native), I am surprised and a little unnerved when water starts falling out of the sky. I’m one of those freaked-out drivers you hate. I stay home and ruin the economy, although I did clean the house. Eventually. When you put up barriers, you miss out on the love, Grumpy Cat. First I went back to bed and read Sharp Objects — another creepy-good Gillian Flynn novel—until noon, and felt guilty about it, naturally, because people with more important lives don’t do this, right? I might have a mild case of SAD, or I might be mildly under-caffeinated. I griped at AK for having an overbooked day. I thought about how I would be more confident if I lost six pounds. It’s March 1, which is a great day to be ambitious about such things, except today feels like gloom, not rebirth. I listened to This American Life, an old one from 2002, where they spent the da