I’m still alive!
I’m still here I promise! I just got clobbered with too much work. I’ve been gasping for air whenever I can but that leaves no room for extras like blogging. I was desperate for work so I asked everyone I knew and it all came flying in. Feast or famine! But I’m very thankful. As long as I keep the pipeline full I’ll be able to pay my bills. Them’s the breaks for a freelancer. You can never really relax. But you also can drum up work pretty easily when things get lean.
First off, I finished my first beginning sewing class in the Fashion Design certificate program I’m going for at our local community college. It was super easy and I aced it. I can now make totes, aprons and pajama pants from memory. If you’re family, that’s what you can expect for Christmas.
Did I tell you about the courtesy clerk job at Ralphs? It was such a social experiment for me. While I loved it, it quickly became clear that it was way too hard on my body for way too few dollars. I’ve been exhausted every day after my shift and found it nearly impossible to sit at my desk and continue my regular work that actually pays the bills. No Bueno. I put in my two-week notice and my last day is November 10th. I’m kinda sad to leave because I loved it. I love the people. I love chatting to customers in quick little non-commital snippets as they go through the checkout line. I love working so hard that I don’t have to think about working out and I can eat anything I like and still lose weight. It was really fun. But it also was really physically demanding and I know it’s only a matter of time before I injure myself. Lifting heavy pumpkins from counter height to a cart and then lowering them at an awkward angle was just asking for another Dr. Pepper ice pack necessitating back spasm. I don’t want to go through that again. So I’m cutting my losses and saying goodbye. But I’m also leaving on good terms in case I ever get another itch to work blue-collar again. There is something super satisfying about clocking in an honest day of hard work.
Things with Matt are still going really well. (Would I tell you if they weren’t? Nope.) But they are good. We had a really fun weekend in LA with trips to LACMA and Nobu where I tried wagyu beef for the very first time. I had NO IDEA steak could taste like bacon and drippy popcorn butter at the same time. It was mind-blowing. No wonder it costs so much. Definitely a treat I won’t be having regularly. I do like being spoiled though. The weekend was over so quickly. Now I’m anxiously looking forward to our next trip. Long-distance relationships are tricky but they do have their perks.
Back at home Autumn has been showing up and showing out. I LOVE October so much! It’s so pretty. Just when it seemed like summer was going to last forever it got delightfully chilly. It’s been lovely to sit on my patio and sip hot chocolate, wear sweaters and cuddle up in a blanket. The sunrises have been amazing. I’m so glad I’m a morning person and I can catch them by the lake.
This one really killed it. It didn’t even look like much until I got up to the lake and focused on the reflection. Reflections make my happy bells go off. What is it? Do our minds love symmetry? I don’t know but give me a pretty view and add a reflection and I’ll get you a better picture.
I love my morning walks. They offset the madness that is the rest of my life. I can’t go on them daily while I’m still working at Ralphs (my early shift starts at 5 am) but I squeeze at least two in a week. They are the reason I’m feeling good.
Next up are all the concerts we’ve been going to. No wonder I’m feeling ragged! You can’t get up early like a workaholic and then stay up late and party like a rockstar too. Not good for you! But it was fun.
First I dragged Bug to Harry Styles. She is not a fan but she humored me. I got really good tickets which was a nice surprise. I’m used to the nosebleeds. All those canceled events in 2020 are finally paying off in credits for new shows.
It was a great show. Harry truly is a showman. All the girls screaming around us kinda made it hard to hear anything. My ears were ringing for hours afterward. But it was worth it. It was a lively event and I’ll always remember the fun it all was. I love that people can still be playful and lighthearted in a heavy heavy world.
Two nights later it was Bug’s turn to take me to see one of her favorite bands: The Garden. I’m not a fan. There are a few songs I like but the rest sounds like trash cans being banged together to me. But since she suffered through a pop concert for me, I can sit through a punk concert for her. It was also lively and fun. I loved people-watching. Everyone had make-up on like Bug. She’s found her people.
We took this shot at a church nearby the Fox Theatre where The Garden was playing. It was black and white and reminded me of a very very humble and small version of the Duomo in Florence.
Then inside the theatre, it was chaos. Black and white jester-faced chaos.
I got to explore the theatre which is like many old theatres: full of really cool art deco details and pretty staircases that lead to abandoned back rooms. I’m surprised it was open as much as it was. Inside the tower was a room that looked like a VIP room with velvet couches and pillows… but it was completely dark. I got up the guts to go inside and turn on my phone flashlight but the extremely high ceiling kinda gave me agoraphobia.
That’s pretty much it for October. I haven’t been able to do all the fun fall things we usually do because I’m a working woman and I have no time for domesticity. But I do have high hopes for November!
Do you know what that means? Inktober time! I love Inktober. I should draw all year but it’s too big of a commitment for me. The thing is, drawing every day really works. I can see that I’m better than I was last year. I remember when my Aunt Keren told me that when I was a teenager. I took it to heart and that’s probably why I’m still drawing to this day. It’s my one thing that I love doing all the time. I can be in a good mood or a bad mood. I can be busy or bored. Give me a journal and a coffee shop and I don’t care about much else. Sometimes I wish I had a sketching club, like a bunch of buddies who took their journals out and drew things… that sounds fun, right? But the reality is, when I’m drawing I’m pretty oblivious of what’s going on around me.
In the spirit of Autumn (don’t jinx it and say anything) let’s talk about this cute little mug that Bug made me. She’s getting really good at glazing. She’s making plans to be a ceramicist someday. I’m all for it. Maybe I can come over and use her kiln when she lives in that mansion with a studio in the backyard.
More sketches! It’s beginning to feel like Halloween around here!
Bug went to Homecoming. Her dress is a slip/nightgown she bought at a thrift store for $15. It used to have a mesh backing that looked kinda dated so we ripped it out and used the seam edges to create criss-cross straps. I’m so happy that she likes to re-purpose clothing. It saves me so much money.
We also went to see Hamilton. So good!
The Great Job Hunt of 2022 is going slowly. I was really spinning my wheels on job boards, getting more and more depressed as I realize I am aging out of most jobs these days. So I decided to take a minimum wage job as a bagger at a nearby grocery store. I just had to do something that I knew I wouldn’t get rejected at. I know it sounds like a mistake because I could stay home and make more money doing freelance but hear me out.
Way back in the 90’s I used to love that job. I’m serious. I loved running all over the store doing price checks and fetching carts in the parking lot. I was in the best shape of my life! Putting objects in a bag in an orderly manner uses one of my super skills: organization. I love it. I’m such a weirdo but if I could be a competitive organizer in the Olympics I think I might have a chance at being an athlete. It’s like playing physical Tetris and I’m pretty good at it. Five items in a bag, put like items together, keep your soaps and non-food items separate… Simple stuff! You get to chat with people while you work without doing any math! Sounds like a perfect job to me. I met some of the coolest people working at the checkout line.
There was this one older lady in her 80s who gave me the best advice that I still live by to this day. She said, Walk every day and you’ll stay healthy. She’s right. She was healthy and she walked to the grocery store every day. I looked forward to chatting with her and missed her when she didn’t come. Now I walk three miles every morning and I feel great. I’ve lost 20 pounds since I moved into this place and it’s been easy. I also stopped drinking (outside of maybe once a week socially) but other than those two changes that’s all I’ve really done.
Another perk of taking the bagger aka “courtesy clerk” job is that I can transfer up to cake decorator in three months! You know I’ve always wanted to be a cake decorator. Of course t I’ll still be looking for The Big Job that will enable me to continue living in my apartment which costs too much but at least I’m doing something. I was going crazy getting rejected over and over.
I hope your Autumn is going well. I think we are all having hard times right now. It’s just part of life.
Next time: back to the books!