craft time

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can you guess what they are?

remember my birthday? it was back in early june and michael was going to buy me a camera strap cover because i pretty much always complain about how ugly the nikon strap is that came on my camera.

see:
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ugly. or at least (at the very least), not pretty.

(sorry the picture is so small… any bigger and you could even more clearly see how gross and yellowed the grout is in that table. why did i just tell you that?)

but it’s now september (!!) and i stillll had an ugly black and yellow strap. so i took matters into my own hands.

i found a super easy tutorial online, which was probably not even necessary since this has to be the easiest sewing project ever. really, i just needed some unnecessary hand holding, since i’m not an expert seamstress.
i taught myself to sew and now attempt to do things i’m not qualified to do. although, this, i would say, has no prequalifications necessary. it was super easy and it actually took longer to get my sewing machine out and then stowed away again afterward than it did to actually sew the two little strap covers.
…maybe that’s because it is stored in the guestroom/office closet (as in, the only closet in the whole apartment except for our bedroom closet), in the back corner, behind the linens, behind the fake christmas tree and jewish colored christmas ornaments, and in a large Tupperware container that is sitting underneath our luggage.

annnnyyywwaaays, here it is in action!

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(ps: i’m sporting one of me tiedye shirts made at kayla’s tiedye bday party – spiffy, huh?)
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kristen comes to visit, part 1

my friend kristen paid a visit to la last week which provided the perfect reason to do a couple things around the city that i’ve been wanting to do for two years and just hadn’t gotten to do yet!

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first on the agenda was the hollywood bowl. no, i hadn’t managed to avoid the bowl completely for two whole years, but i’d only ever seen in in the middle of the day and empty which is really no way to see it at all. so, we (kristen, my friend blair, and myself) packed up a picnic (of baguette and crackers, three varieties of goat cheese, salami, grapes, strawberries, and berry lemonade — this all cost $20 by the way, thankyoutraderjoe), bought the cheapest seats we could, and went to see:

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the only real downside of going to the hollywood bowl is the notorious parking problem. and ‘problem’ is just much too light of a word. there is not enough. not nearly enough. and even if you do manage to park at one for the bowl lots you will be stack parked. and not in the normal way (2-4 cars stacked and the parking attendant keeps your keys to he can rearrange cars as need be to let people out), no, no. they have an open lot and they just fill them 100% full. no aisles, no rows, no nothing, just cars packed in like sardines. so if you are the first in, you are the last out. period. it is crazytown.

we weren’t havin’ that.

i was informed, by an la public transportation pro, the best way to go about getting to the bowl was to take the subway from downtown to the hollywood & highland stop and then catch the shuttle (which would be free if we show our subway ticket) up the the bowl. this all sounded well and fine except that i am not what one would call and ‘la public transportation pro’ myself. in fact, the full extent of my experience is one bus trip from culver city to venice beach. so, i recruited blair, (very much so of the LAPTpro variety – when one lives in la without a car it just happens) to come with us and lead the way.

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game on.
we had our food, we had our blankets, we had our tickets, we had our guide.
we had a great time!

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(that’s kristen in the gray shirt, and blair with the cracker in her mouth)
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pick your flavor:
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after the show it was back to the streets. we decided to walk back to hollywood & highland instead of taking the shuttle and we were able to enjoy the sights of hollywood after dark. such as men riding on bicycles covered in about 1000 blinking lights and women wearing one shoe crying on the side of the road. awesome.

but once we made it to the hustle and bustle of hollywood & highland (read: glorified shopping center) i thought the last test ahead of us was the walk through downtown at night to my car. but then this happened:
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oh wait, maybe i jumped too far ahead.

first this happened:
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we made it to the subway station and headed down to the platform. then two nice young men had a friendly disagreement. or rather, a very loud and not so friendly disagreement about who knows what and with all of their hoodlum friends watching they made sure to put on quite a show.

that was our queue to walk down to the other end of the platform, away from all the excitement along with most of the other, innocent bystanders (except for the guy who just stood there with his iphone photographing people he didn’t know fight). but then, maybe because they didn’t like that they were loosing their audience, they followed suit and encroached on our area, again. so, we moved, again, back to where we’d been originally, but this time we got smart. we strategically placed ourselves behind a big metal box (you know, the kind that hold lit up advertisements). because we are some smart girls. once we tucked ourselves into our safe cocoon on invincibility we proceeded to forget all about the ruckus going on (or as much as you could forget about it while they kept screaming and preening and cursing) until i saw it coming.

i had my back agaist the metal box (yea the one that was supposed to protect us) and kristen was facing me and i see, coming straight at us, at a very, very high speed, the two man-boys with the issues. and although i watched them come, from far to near, they were coming so fast that i couldn’t articulate what was about to happen and next thing i know kristen is plowed over into me/the “safe” metal box and then onto the ground.

luckily the ground was sparkling clean and nicely padded…
oh… wait.. it was a filthy subway floor and tile, and as hard as tile has a tendency to be. 🙁 everything kristen had in her hands flew (purse one way, cooler another way, even her shoes came off – i’m telling you she was bowled over)!

blair meanwhile, being the subway specialist, sees the cooler fly out of kristen’s hands and open up and immediately zones in on our glass bottle of french berry lemonade and lunges for it before it can be picked up, smacked against a hard surface, and used as a weapon against us all (a la beer-bottle-at-a-saloon-brawl-style).

my plan of action was to sit there with my mouth open and say ohmygoshohmygosh and ask my friend lying on the ground if she was okay.

luckily blair didn’t need to step in and restore order because four cops appeared (literally just seconds too late from preventing the whole thing), tased one of the guys in the eye (this inference is based off of his screams of, “YOU SHOT ME IN THE EYE!”) and cuffed him facedown on the ground. the other guy ran off into the night. or maybe they caught him. i dunno.

and also (how could i forget to mention?) during this entire ordeal a a homeless mand (errr… a ‘gentleman on transient status’) was playing michael jackson’s ‘beat it’ on a keyboard. yeah. i know, right?

so now i return to this photo – which i took with the camera on my hip (so don’t judge me) as we stepped onto the train to take us away from the mayhem.
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(same photo as above, but zoomed in on the perp)

so what happened to kristen?
well, she survived. whew! i would have been in BIGGG trouble had she not.
but she smacked her head on the ground (or the metal box – still not sure which) in the fall, and had a souvenir headache for the rest of the night. and then the next morning she woke to find bruises all over her legs. : |

sorry kris!!

so what did we do the next night?
play it safe and stay at home? no.

we went to a movie.
a nice, low key romantic comedy showing in santa monica? no.

we ventured back into hollywood to watch a movie outdoors…
in a cemetery… projected on a mausoleum.

…to be continued…

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footnote: i do not at ALL think our subway trip was any good indication of the la subway. it was crazy. everyone i’ve told about it, thought it was crazy. blair, who rides the subway everysingleday to work, thought it was crazy. george, who i work with, also rides the subway everysingleday and has been riding said subway for yearsandyearsandyearsandyears (is that one too many ‘years’? did i just imply that george is 100 years old? he isn’t.) had never, ever heard anything like that and thought it was super crazy. it was just crazy. got it? not normal. don’t be scared.
(this might or might not be directed directly at two mothers by the names of cristina and lynne. might or might not…)

the fires

the fires here in california are still burning and more and more families are being evacuated from their homes. it sounds horrible. horrible. horrible.

here is a photo of the view of the fires from our neighborhood.
michael took this with his phone on sunday.

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it makes me wonder what we would take with us.

i used to think about that a lot when i was young. if a fire started suddenly and i only had seconds to grab what i could, what would it be? i thought that i should think about it beforehand since in the moment i would probably forget something important. it strange that i gave this more thought back then than i do now. back when i had just a little pink room’s worth of personal belongings. now we have a two bedroom, two bath apartment filled with stuff.

my game plan as a child was that i would take my blanket (the one i’ve had since i was born that my aunt made for me and that i sleep with every night. yes, even now. michael keeps saying its time to say goodbye, but i’ve had it for 24 years, it’s not going anywhere.) and i would fill it with all of the things i’d need to take with me. then i would sling it over my shoulder and carry it out santa-style.

this was back when my blanket was intact. now it looks more like a ball of yarn. there’s no way it could hold anything.

so what would we bring today?
the dogs.

and if possible, my external hard drive, which holds years and years of photos.

but really, as long as we got the dogs and each other, everything else can be cried over, but eventually replaced.

but i’m sure it’s a lot of crying. a lot. and i feel so sad for those caught up in the mess of fires right now.

family portrait

we have been a family of four since january when we adopted mckinley and have not had one single picture of the four of us together! very sad.

so, on a whim, on our most recent afternoon at the park i thought perhaps i could put our camera up on the concrete ledge near our usual spot and we could get a nice picture of the four of us using the ‘press the timer, run over, get the dogs together, try to get them to look at the camera that is just sitting on a ledge without any person behind it to whistle to get their attention, and smile method’ – not easy.

and to make things even more difficult, my camera kept focusing on everything except us! over and over and over again.
check out these winners:
(even if this were in focus, this isn’t what we were going for)
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(missing the girls)
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(we managed to get mckinley, but where’s meeka??)
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(oh, here is meeka… but where’s mckinley??)
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when i finally got the camera focusing where we needed it we managed to get a total of one photo with all of us in it. not great, but at least one of all of us together exists! and we’ll just have to make sure we get a better one sometime soon.
just ingnore the fact that meeka is not looking at the camera at all, kinley looks like she is wearing a little party hat (which i actually really, really like), and it was smack in the middle of the day to she shadows are suppppper harsh. sigh.

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🙂