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God Bless Suburbia

After dinner last night, right before we headed upstairs to get ready for bed, we realized we’d forgotten to run the errands we needed to run. We were supposed to pick up coffee, sugar, a GFCI electrical socket, and the required black pants/black shirt Mike needs for his new part-time job. (Yay for the part-time job!)

Luckily, it was only seven-thirty, so we tucked the dogs in for the night, grabbed sweaters to protect against the freezing sixty-degree weather, and hopped in the car.

Yes, we get ready for bed at seven-thirty. What can I say? We’re an old married couple.

By eight-thirty we were brushing our teeth and marveling at how we’d just run three hours worth of errands in one. It was because of the strip mall. And the trunk of the car.

You see, most people who live in suburbia take for granted their ability to run multiple errands in a short period of time. I know, because I used to be one of those people. And then I moved to New York and figured out how the rest of the world works. Or at least the part of the world situated in Manhattan.

If we were still living in Manhattan, we’d have had to make three separate stops, instead of the one we were able to make last night. First we’d have gone to K-Mart for black Dickies and a generic black button-up. It would have taken us thirty minutes to get there, plus a ten minute walk off the train, and it would’ve been a miserable experience because that K-Mart was never fully stocked and it was always so full of people there ought to be signs out front warning shoppers not to enter if they fear large crowds. Next we’d spend another twenty minutes on the subway, another fifteen minutes walking, and then we’d be at Home Depot, also terribly crowded, with checkout lines thirty people deep. Fifteen more minutes walking and an hour on the subway before we got to our neighborhood market, all while carrying everything we’d purchased elsewhere. By the time we finally got home we’d have spent at least three hours, probably four, and we’d be exhausted, sweaty, and praying for an early death.

Instead we hopped in a car, drove to a strip mall, purchased everything we needed at a Target and a Home Depot sitting back-to-back, and were home in sixty minutes. Yes, it’s a little freaky that we can buy groceries and clothing in one location, I’ll be honest. Target’s new grocery section makes me feel a little bit dirty, I don’t know why, but still. I do not miss the city at all.

P.S. There’s a wiener in the lantana.

wiener in the lantana

The Valley After Sunrise

All that weight I lost while I was taking the pill for a test drive last spring came back in July and August when our regular work-outs were replaced with packing, cleaning, and freaking the f*** out. I’ve been slim and athletic my whole life, except for that time in college when I was in the habit of making midnight runs to 7-11 for Ding Dongs and Twinkies, and except for every winter I ever spent in NYC, so it’s incredibly frustrating to feel my body folding over itself whenever I sit down in a pair of pants that fit perfectly only two months ago. I know, I know, poor me and my little first world problems. I feel fat, wah.

But still.

So we’re running again. Mike and I. Huffing and puffing and marveling at our inability to make it through a run without stopping a squillion times so we don’t puke breakfast all over our sneakers. But the nice thing about running here, even when it’s awful and you can’t see that it’s making any difference in your physique, is the view at the top of the hill.

early morning

At least with a view like that, I can pretend I’m breathless not from poor physical condition, but from the beauty flung out before my very eyes.

Big News

St. Andrews

Once upon a time we had a little house and a little garden, and then we moved into a tenement.

We’re moving back to Los Angeles. In August.  I know I told you we’d decided to start saving up for it, but it’s funny the way life works because I put that out into the Universe on June 9th and two weeks later all this stuff fell into place, we found someone willing to take over our lease, we realized we’d saved enough to cover the costs of a move, and you guys, we’re finally going home.  We’ll be back on the west coast in eight weeks and I seriously can’t even believe it’s real.

I’m also completely freaked out.  Moving cross-country is no easy feat, in fact, it’s just about the most horrendous task I’ve ever carried out, and while at least this time we’ll be landing in a city full of our family and friends, a city I grew up in, a city we adore and have greatly missed, this move is bound to throw some wrenches at us.  For one thing, Mike’s finally found part-time work and now he’s going to have to start the dreaded job hunt all over again, in a city where there is hardly any work at all.  I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Also, we’re going to have to find a place to live.  I had really hoped we were settled in for at least two more years, I loathe and despise moving, we didn’t want to leave the city at least until Mike graduated from school, but this job offer is not going to wait and when it comes down to it, if neither of us ever has to experience another city winter, it will be too soon.  But finding a place to live!  I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a spoon than try to find decent digs in the San Fernando Valley within our price range.  Still, I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and let myself dream of a little house with a little garden, and two bedrooms so we can have a nursery an office.  Doesn’t that sound perfect? It totally does! A little house with two bedrooms and a little backyard with a garden to grow things in.  And hardwood floors.  And lots of windows.  In the San Fernando Valley. For under a thousand a month.


Hollywood Flowers

Hollywood, 2006