Archive for As random as it gets?

A Video, of Jesus

A video, of Jesus walking on Sunset Blvd.  Yes, THAT Jesus.

Click the photo for a link to the video

Jesus on Sunset Blvd. MySurreaLife

Moving is so Moving!!!

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For the past seven years i have lived in a condo on the top floor of a beautiful condo building in an idyllic neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles.

I had lived in LA for 3 years, in two rented apartments before deciding it was time to purchase  a place of my own.  The first apartment I lived in LA was on Hollywood Blvd. I moved in with a friend who was in dire need of a roommate.  Her roommate had been deported back to New Zealand and she was freaking out about how she would cover her rent.  I had been wanting to live in LA literally my entire life so I took the opportunity to help her out and move into her one bedroom apartment.  She and I lived in that apartment for about six months and until there was a newsman across the street from our building reporting on how a murderer was apprehended in the building across the street from ours. Time to leave!

We moved into a cute two bedroom walk up in another part of town and it became what my roommate coined, “Holman Hostel.”  We had so many people stay there with us over the years. It was great.  What was not great was the amount of money a person spends on rent in LA. When I calculated what I had spent in two and a half years, I was determined to instead spend my money on equity in a property.

I had been attending open houses for three years, seeing what’s available and what’s out there.  My roommate would come with me sometimes.  We turned the excursions into a verb; we often went “open housing.” For three years I saw what I felt were mediocre places. While visiting a friend’s apartment in the Valley one day late in 2006, parking was limited near their place so I had to park half a block away, which is the first time I saw the building that would become my sanctuary for the next seven years.  I loved how it looked from the outside and I loved the location. I took down the realtor’s number, went to see the unit and, upon walking in, knew that was where I would live. I’d never felt so at home within such a short time of being present in a relatively strange and new place.

I made an offer, it was accepted and I moved in. Knowing I would need minor assistance paying my mortgage while also being able to have money left to live off of, a couple people moved in with me into the new 3 bedroom condo. For years I had various roommates.  My roommates had fun friends who would come visit.  It was a nice, central place for us all to enjoy doing nothing together every once in awhile.

I loved the central location of where the condo is in the Studio City and I also loved the proximity of everything from where I lived; the Hollywood Bowl was a 10 minute drive, Hollywood, a 15 minute drive (without traffic of course, which never happens, but still).

When my fiance moved in, I asked one of our remaining roommates to move out so we could live as alone as possible for awhile.  Our other roommate, Big Rob, was nearly always gone on tour with whomever he was working with at the time.  When my fiance and I decided we wanted to become parents through the foster system, we realized we had yet to live alone, together, and wouldn’t ever live alone again once we had a child.  Tearfully, I had to ask Big Rob, the best roommate ever, to also move out.   Being the best roommate and best friend a gal could ever ask for in a guy, he totally understood and had no hard feelings on the matter…at least from what I think!

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My fiance and I lived together for a month or so until our beautiful three year old little lady was placed with us.  What a crazy first night that was; for my husband and I realizing we had a three year old person, we didn’t even know previously, to care for.  A few months later we realized we needed to move my husband’s eighty-five year old mother in with us as well.  Family of four in a three bedroom condo.  It was do-able, but tight, especially with all the stuff we had – three family’s furnishings started to become unloaded at every possible opportunity, but we realized just getting rid of our stuff wasn’t going to be enough.  We wanted to be able to let this child go explore and play outside in a backyard.

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Back to “open housing.”  All the houses we looked at for months and months that were in our price range had nice little backyards, but were only slightly, if at all, larger than our condo, until one day, my husband and our little lady were shown a house just three miles away from our condo.  My husband didn’t think I’d like it for many reasons until one day he suggested going to see it.  Once I did, I was really surprised at how perfect it was for us, with the exception of the gynormous pool in the backyard and no grassy yard for our little girl to play.

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We made the decision to put in an offer and were shocked to find that there were already three offers on the property, one of which had just been accepted.  We were slightly crushed, but not too surprised as beautiful homes in our price range and our preferred location are few and far between.  We were shocked again when we learned that the first offer had fallen out of escrow and we were up.  It was a month long process of paperwork to the loan officer, banks, and realtors, but we made it through and are the proud new owners of a single family home.

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It’s interesting to me to realize how little I think about our condo.  I think that maybe I don’t let myself think about it too much because I would miss it too much.  Then again I rationalize that it was time to move onto a bigger space for our growing family, but I do miss that space, and our neighbors, and the area, immensely.  Even our little girl talks, unprompted, about how she misses it.  It had amazing energy from the first day I saw it.  This new house is getting to have good energy, but it’s taken some time.

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Why is moving so moving?!?!?!  Am I too sentimental or what. Sheesh.

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The kitchen in the new house, before we moved in.

Making A Stuffed Animal Dance

A fun lesson she has recently mastered

 

This Past Tuesday On Tujunga

This past Tuesday, I was surprised at how happy I was when I woke up.  I woke up and was just happy.  It’s not that I often wake up miserable.  In fact, I typically simply wake up tired but yesterday, I woke up expressly happy.  It is a good way to wake up.  I am hoping to remember to slam myself into that first morning mindset on a daily basis from now on.

After such a hectic Monday, Tuesday seemed easier, but only by a bit.  Maybe that’s why I was so happy when I woke up?  I had stuff to do – I had to call lawyers who could represent us in court, I had to go down to the Children’s Courthouse to file paperwork to make our standing with our little girl’s case more secure, but it was less to do, which was nice. After I did both of those things, it was lunch time.

Driving home from the courthouse, I was on the phone with my most favorite Big Rob for most of the ride.  I asked him where I should go eat.  I told him I wanted a big delicious salad, or just anything tasty that I could actually eat.  Being intolerant to gluten and dairy often makes dining out a bit difficult. He suggested Aroma Cafe on Tujunga.  This is one of the many reasons why Big Rob rules.  He has the most perfect ideas. Everyone thinks Aroma is great, because it is.

I drove up to find the line out the door, per the usual. I decided not to get discouraged or frustrated with my belly’s seriously grumbling situation.  I parked across Tujunga from Aroma, fed the meter, answered a return phone from one of the three lawyers I placed calls into earlier, and walked up to Vitello’s to read the menu.  Once I saw gluten free options, I made eye contact with the hostess, was seated and prepared to decide what my feast would consist of. Build your own pasta, with gluten free pasta as an option.  Score.  Arugula salad?  Yes please.  Mojito?  Uh huh. I sat back, enjoyed having five minutes not worrying about the many things I had to take care of.  This guy pulled up and made me smile until he got out of the car.

MySurreaL Tuesday on Tujunga

Who wears jeans AND leather knee high boots on a ninety degree day?  My feet started to sweat as I watched him feed the meter.

MySurreaLife on Tujunga

I happily ate my incredibly delicious arugula, almond salad and was super excited when I saw the gorgeous plate of pasta.  I was even more excited when I started eating it.  It was really delicious.  As I reveled in the glorious food, I noticed a table top sign about the restaurant’s game nights.  I had been to a restaurant in the area that also offered board games to patrons while they ate, but that restaurant is now closed so I was thrilled to find this available elsewhere.  I took a pic of the small sign, with my delicious food in the foreground and sent it via text to a girlfriend of mine who is also gluten intolerant and lives in the area.  I told her we should have a date night some game night and eat some more delicious gluten free pasta.

MySurreaLife A Tuesday on Tujunga

She promptly texted me back that, “Vitello’s is where Robert Blake shot his wife!”  Of all the luck.  Of course I then had to research what happened there and then drove around the scene to check it out when I left. I posted about my new found knowledge of a Hollywood crime scene on my FB page, and stayed on FB for a little while.  I noticed that Nickelodeon actress Madison Pettis, someone I have worked with in the past, posted that it was her birthday and that she and her girlfriends had brunch at Aroma earlier that day.  See? Everyone really does like Aroma. 

MySurreaLife Madison Pettis Aroma Cafe Tujunga

It’s always something that makes life seem so surreal.   #MySurreaLife trips me out constantly

Dog Days of Summer in Aspen

While in Aspen last summer, I saw these dogs thoroughly enjoying their lives.  I just had to share such preciously adorable photos of these cute beasts.

MySurreaLife Dog Days in Aspen MySurreaLife It's a Dog's Life in Aspen

Happy summer everyone!

“I Got A Big Woody!” says the 3 year old

I have dreamed for most of my life, to be a “Santa” to a child at Christmas and to see the joy in their eyes when they see that Santa had in fact come to our house the night before.  Christmas morning was as magical as I had dreamed it would be, seeing the joy in our little lady’s face when she saw that Santa had left her the doll house she had asked for and that “Santa” had also taken a bite out of the cookie we left for him near the fireplace.

She was so content playing with her doll house she didn’t even want to open her other presents, which was fine by us!  We took our time the rest of the morning opening the rest of our gifts, of which some of her other gifts included a personalized piggy bank, clothes, books and a not small “Woody” cowboy doll, a character toy from the Disney “Toy Story” movies she loves and watches over and over and over and over.  We had a lovely little Christmas.

In the days following, a few people have asked our little lady what she got for Christmas. She responds with, “a dollhouse!” When people ask, “what else?” her second response has mostly been, “a big Woody!”

Am I the only adult completely immature enough to find this absurdly hysterical that Disney would name one of their characters such a name and then sell toys to boot?  I thought it was not-okay.com when a friend of mine sent me a photo of a Barbie doll box she found when the first Toy Story came out.  The box also had a photo of the Woody character on it and the box said, “Barbie Loves Woody!” I mean, come on.

And to all a good night.

Serendipity Is Super Surreal

Putting it off for months, last week I finally decided to get in gear and find something to wear for my very fast approaching wedding. It’s not really a wedding, more of a marriage ceremony; just the two of us.  We have everything lined up; the officiant, the photographer and the location but neither of us have any idea what we are going to wear…until today!

I went shopping last week, to no avail.  Today I was worried the same would happen, but voila…I found what I will be wearing and there is such a huge weight lifted off my shoulders because of it!  When I got to the store today, randomly (not randomly?) they set me in front of dressing room 28, which just so happens to be the date of my birth.  I tried a few things on, none of which really were striking my fancy and I started to get frustrated, especially when a song came on the store’s sound system, a song that my fiance’s boss sings.

A mere 3 hours later, my outfit was purchased and pinned to be altered to fit me juuuust right, like a soft, beautiful bear bed for Goldilocks.  Upon arriving home not long after the successful trip to the store, a box had been delivered outside our front door.  OMG!  Our wedding bands!!! The bands custom ordered for us through an out of state connection had arrived.  Outfit, check. Wedding bands, check check.  Same day, check check check.  Feels soo good to have these boxes getting all checked off with time to spare!

I LOVE when breathing comes easier.

Mommy, Mommy! Are Those Real?

At the grocery store the other day, little lady and I stood by the “fresh” seafood counter awaiting the rotisserie chicken to be finished rotissering. She noticed some whole trout in the frozen display, pointed and said,
“Mommy! Mommy! Look fish!” I looked over, saw the fish in their entireties, eyes open, etc.

Feeling horrible for being at the top of the food chain and being partly responsible for the poor fish in their current state, I simply said,  “yep! Those are fish!”

We waited there for awhile longer, me looking around, on my phone, etc, her in the little seat of the shopping cart.   She had her head turned away from me to look at the fish in the frozen display and she started patting her arm on me, to get my attention. Her little hand landed on my little chest. As she patted the bra area, she said,  “Mommy, mommy. Are those real?”

So that happened, in public.

I explained to her that the fish were real and that they were in there so people could eat them.  She was a bit angered by that.  I forget what she said as I was trying to recover from her feeling me up while asking if something was real.  Hysterical.

I Like You A Lottle

 

MySurreaLife Love you a Lottle

 

I snagged this from Christina Perri’s Instagram account.

Had to re-share.

Returned Favors

In the (sometimes not so) great city of Los Angeles, there are tons of people saying they can do many a splendid and seemingly impossible things.  Publicists promise, for a modest fee, the glare of the media spotlight to fame needy singers and actors.  Directors promise a big budget movie will make big money at the box office.  Friends who work with someone you need an “in” with help you out only to not help out in return.  After too many years (10!) here in LA, I’ve grown to realize that this is just how this town works.

Over the weekend, my hope for humanity was restored when I did a favor for Jasmine Thompson.  Jasmine Thompson is a 12-year-old singer/songwriter from London. She plays the piano and guitar, and dances. Jasmine’s crystal clear, haunting vocals have led her to gain early support from the likes of BBC R1, Jacks Gap and The Best Of YouTube.  Jasmine’s recent covers have also caught the attention of artists such as Naughty Boy and Passenger. Her first radio play was in August 2013 on Edith Bowman’s BBC Radio 1 Review Show in which Jasmine won the weekly national online vote “This is my Jam”. I did what her manager asked of me, her manager did what I asked in return.

Perhaps it’s that they’re sooo far from LA that they actually behaved like humans and respected the return favor.  Regardless, I’m now a fan for life, all because of a little human decency. Thanks Jasmine and manager for making my Monday a happy and hopeful one!