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!
Life was careening along at such a hopping pace and then Ka-bammo! I got covid. It’s sort of funny that the day I took the above photo was the day I started to feel sick. It was just a sore throat in the morning which is really common for me because I like to sleep with the window open and I often wake up with a slight sore throat. I usually don’t worry about it and it wears off by noon. Not that day. It wasn’t bad but by the afternoon I started to feel achy and tired. I probably infected a bunch of people and didn’t even know it. (I’m sorry!)
That was the day we went to Long Beach and shopped a bunch of vintage stores looking for “fabulous” costumery to wear to my party. Actually, I already have a fabulous outfit for myself (of course!) but I thought I’d stuff one of my vintage suitcases with some whacky clothes for party guests to wear if they needed to zhuzh up their outfits. You know, just in case they aren’t fabulous enough already. Just me being me going over the top as usual.
We found a bunch of treasures and had so much fun until I started to feel sick. I actually didn’t buy any of the above except the light blue tuxedo shirt on the bottom and then when I started to feel feverish on the drive home I wore it and it was super soft and comfortable.
When I got home I went straight to bed. I was worried.
The next day I took a test and yep. Covid. I guess all the cool kids are getting it now. (Yes, that’s a joke.) I felt pretty crappy for about two days and slept as much as I could. Then on the third day, I started to feel better. Not too shabby! Is that because covid isn’t very strong anymore or is it because I’m vaccinated? We’ll never know.
I think the hardest part was forcing myself to stay in quarantine when I felt fine. Nothing new here. People have been doing this for two years straight! I did get a lot of desk work done which was nice… but I missed going outside. We have a community laundromat so that meant no laundry was getting done for a while.
Then on day seven (this morning!) I tested negative!! Yay!
Feeling all chipper and excited to get out, I walked my masked self down to our apartment complex clubhouse to check out the party site to make final arrangements. Nothing is going as planned. What did I expect? The woman I reserved the room with wasn’t there and her boss was instead and guess what? There are a lot of rules I wasn’t informed about when I made the first reservation.
The first new rule: closing time. I have to make sure we are out of the room by 10 pm sharp, and that means out and cleaned up by 10 with a security guard locking up. That’s gonna be challenging. Sorry folks! Time to get out and take a plate with you on your way out. After party in my tiny apartment with white carpet? Eeek! I guess we’ll see how that goes. The invitations are already out and sent so I can’t really change the location now.
The second new rule: no alcohol outside of the clubhouse. This does not really work well with my margarita truck idea or that open-air covid-free patio meandering I was hoping for. I mean how are you going to get your drink from the truck to the clubhouse? Drive the truck into the clubhouse?? I spoke to the margarita truck guy (my client) and apparently, this happens all the time so they will serve drinks inside the clubhouse. But what’s the fun in that?? The truck is just for looks?
Anyway, I’m sure it will be fine. I’m just slightly annoyed. I guess there are bigger things to worry about, like women’s rights going backwards in time. Sigh.
Cheers to your health!