Monday, January 31, 2005

Reading The English Patient for the oh-so-many-th time for inspiration...

"Some people you just had to embrace, in some way or another, had to bite into the muscle, to remain sane in their company. You needed to grab their hair and clutch it like a drowner so they would pull you into their midst. Otherwise they, walking casually down the street towards you, almost about to wave, would leap over a wall and be gone for months."

Sunday, January 30, 2005

My Photography Site

London Car
Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

The photography site is done!

Saturday, January 29, 2005


After a months long dry spell, I've found some music to love.

Fully recommend Damien Rice's O and the In Good Company soundtrack.

Good music to write by, which is what I'm doing right now. Nearing 10,000 words, which will earn me a huge ice cream cone.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sugar Cookies

Sunday Flowers
Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

Had a good night of baking yesterday(Or at least of putting cookie dough onto cookie sheets and placing them in the big hot thing that makes them brown.), and realized afterward with some amount of dismay that I'd been burning my sugar cookie candles while the actual sugar cookies were in the oven, therefore making it impossible to tell if my apartment smelled good thanks to Pillsbury or Illuminations. Hmpf.

On the subject of fake things, the color of these flowers I photographed on Sunday makes them look like they're not real. I think they've had work done.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Multiple Personality Disorder

Flower Outside Hungarian Restaurant
Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

The Hungarian restaurant next to my apartment is a moody place.

Every morning I walk by it on the way to my car. Some days, the place smells of homemade bread straight from the oven. I'll take several deep breaths while passing because that is one of my favorite scents in the world, and smelling it on my own street corner makes me feel like I'm some place much more wholesome and interesting than Melrose & Vine. It's a great way to start the day, especially when the scent of bread mingles with the scent of the bright yellow roses that grow along the wall of the restaurant. When that happens, I'm able to ignore the fact that the building housing this restaurant is a complete eyesore.

On other days, the place smells so strongly of garbage that it makes my eyes sting. What's alarming is that as far as I can tell, the bread smell and the rotten trash smell come from the exact same part of the restaurant. There's a little gate through which you can see into part of the restaurant that isn't quite indoors, or quite outdoors. On the good days, there are racks of bread loaves. On the bad days, heaps of filth.

I suspect that this may have something to do with their questionable health department rating which fluctuates on a nearly monthly basis between a borderline acceptable "B" and a downright scary "C," and also explains why there are sometimes throngs of people in the place, but more often no one at all.

Last night I noticed that they'd cut down all the roses from the wall (not the bushes, just the pretty flowers), and I was glad I took this picture of one last weekend.

Moody indeed.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Puzzle

I am friends with this really great couple, D & R, who've been dating for almost as long as I've lived in Los Angeles. They are two of the best people I know, enormously easy to be around and just generally good souls. Over New Year's, D proposed to R in Hawaii during a thunderstorm. Cuteness, excitment and glowing ensued, and they set a date in 2006 to be married.

Last week, R found out that her dad has cancer, and not a form that will go away with any ease. My first thought upon hearing this, after immediately feeling incredibly sad for her and her family, was that it's entirely unfair that her engagement bliss should be interupted by something so horrible that it can't be overlooked. There's no way that her father will not be at the forefront of her mind during what should be a purely happy time.

And then it occurred to me that we're not ever promised purely happy times. I once read an interview with Julia Roberts where she said that she feels as if, right now, she's in the "harbor of her life." If we're so blessed as to have a time like that, a little cove of calm and perfection, even for a brief time, it's to be truly appreciated because even then, in what seems like a sheltered moment, we're still vulnerable to what life can bring.

Realizing this, and thinking about it over the last several days, has been liberating to me on some level. I've spent so much of the past three months thinking that if only my love life were in proper order, everything would be perfect. I've a well paying job, amazing friends, a healthy, loving family, a cozy apartment, and a new little business that is already doing wonderfully even though it's not quite officially open! Yet I've been in such deep pain over the loss of my relationship that despite my gratitude for all these other things I've got, I've been utterly incapable of accepting my life as being full just as it is. It feels like something is missing, and something IS missing, but if it weren't, I wouldn't be guaranteed that the other things I value would be there as well.

The sense of completion, of fullness, has to come from something other than having the pieces of The Puzzle together all at once. The Puzzle is too fragile, too shifting, too fickle to be relied upon that way. You can search under all the couch cushions for the piece you're lacking, only to find upon returning with it that another one got lost while you were out looking.

Of course, I still wish I had my missing piece. But I will find my missing peace without it.

In Los Angeles, it can smell like Spring in January.

Little Houses
Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

It wasn't as relaxing a weekend as I'd hoped for, but I have a feeling that will be the case for a while. I spent much of Saturday and a bit of Sunday painting these little shelves to sell on the site. We think they'd be great for growing a little herb garden. I kept one for myself and can't decide which color to paint it. While I enjoy the actual painting well enough, my favorite part is picking out the colors (endless options!), opening the can, and swirling the paint around with the stir stick. I love that something can be totally transformed for only $14 a quart.

We officially booked our second wedding this weekend. (Well, nearly officially. Money's not in the bank yet.) I'm hugely excited about this as it feels even more "real" then the last one. We're charging enough that we won't have to eat any of the cost ourselves, we've got plenty of time to prepare, and we've got all the fancy stuff in line like a contract and a holding fee and such. Schmancy.

(I just read that last paragraph and realized it sounds as if I'd booked my OWN second wedding. Hee.)

Friday, January 21, 2005

Deep Breath

It's Friday, and I've not written one word of the book this week. That is going to make for a challenging weekend. In fact, I may not finish my pages at all. For some reason, I'm ok with this. It hasn't been an easy week. On Sunday, I got the stuff clobbered out of me and have been trying to recover emotionally from that, work has been hectic, and both of these things have left me feeling absolutely exhausted by the time I get home each night. So I'm going easy on myself, just for a bit.

I have a lot to get done this weekend: April and I are just tiny tweaks away from having the site ready to launch, but the tweaking will require some grunt work that I've been putting off. I also really, really want to take some time to just wander around and take some pictures. I've been dealing so much lately with pictures I've already taken (getting prints made, scanning them in for the website, etc.) that I've not had time to take any new ones, and I'm missing it. I've literally been dreaming about cameras. I've got my eye on a digital SLR that I want oh-so-badly. April & I want to switch over to shooting the weddings digitally, and this camera (the Nikon D70) would be perfect for that. It takes lovely pictures, and I know I could do wonders with it, but for now it has to just stay in my dreams. I'll make do with the trusty Nikons I already have for the wedding/portrait stuff, and my little bitty digital for playing around. Los Angeles has no shortage of cool things to photograph, which I think is really true of any place, and I plan to schedule time this weekend to take advantage of what's out there.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Big Tiny Things

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

When I'd been home for a few days after spending time with my family over Christmas, I discovered inside my huge clunky blue sneakers, a tiny (oh-so tiny, smaller than a pinky fingernail tiny) pink shoe. I think it's a Polly Pocket shoe, and was probably put into my much bigger shoe by the little munchkin peeking out from under that red blanket. When I found it, after walking around all day with my foot slightly uncomfortable and not knowing why (does that make me a princess?), I couldn't stop smiling, which is the effect my little sister often has on me. I keep the pink shoe next to my computer at home. It's practically invisible in its smallness, but it always manages to boost my day even so.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


This week has been a set back for me, on several levels, with this whole break up thing. The result is that I'm hyper-sensitive, and downright fragile. Yesterday, the fact that it was a beautiful day, that the sun was shining, that the air was warm, felt like a personal insult. Just the day before, I'd spent the morning having a bagel at my favorite bagel place and typing away while absolutely relishing the sunshine. A few hours can change a lot. And just now, I stubbed my toe while opening the refridgerator, something that happens so often that I usually barely wince anymore. This time, I was fighting off wild tears, not because of the pain, but because it seemed like even my reflexes couldn't be on my side. All of this is ridiculous, I know. And I also know (or I hear, anyway) that it will pass. But right now I feel not just breakable, but already splintered.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

7000 Words

This writing thing is a strange little bugger. The last few weeks, I've done most of my pages during down time at work. I do believe that the quality of the writing suffers a little bit because of this, as I'm more uptight at work. It's not the most inspiring place to get creative stuff done, but doing so has been a good exercise in discipline for me, and has helped keep me on track with my weekly goal.

Still, it's sort of baffling to me how sometimes it takes me all day to eek out even a single page. I'll stare at the screen for hours trying to come up with one sentence (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE JUST ONE SENTENCE!), and when I do, it's crap, and I want to punch myself. And then so on and so on for each additional sentence until somehow a page has begrudgingly appeared. On other days, today being one of them, I'll have finished a page before lunch, and actually like most of what I've written, at least enough to not want to inflict bodily harm upon myself.

What causes a good writing day and what causes a bad one seems not to have to do with my mood, my hunger level, or whether or not I've washed my hair in the morning. It seems to be dependent on absolutely nothing, really, which is why the bafflization occurs. I shouldn't be surprised about this, since really it's not the only thing in my life that comes and goes for no reason whatsoever (my darling depression being the other), and I've gotten over my curiosity about that. I guess I just need to treat this the same way: be happy for the easy days, and grateful for what the hard days teach me.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

What Helped Me Today

"Praise God for all that's holy, cold and dark. Praise him for all we lose, for all the river of the years bears off. Praise him for stillness in the wake of pain. Praise him for emptiness... The secret that we share I cannot tell in full. But this much I will tell. What's lost is nothing to what's found."

--From LISTENING TO YOUR LIFE by Frederick Buechner


Why is it that President Bush always laughs when talking about hugely serious things, like the issues in Iraq? I'm pretty sure he's the only one who thinks this stuff is funny.

Is it some sort of bizarre speech impediment?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Here Comes A Metaphor!

There is this toy my cat Mira loves which recently has taken to getting stuck, painfully I imagine, in between her teeth. Each time she plays with it, she does so with such abandon and fresh, happy Attack Cat glee that it's as if it's the very first time she's ever seen this bouncy wire with cardboard tied to the end (no, I did not fashion it myself. It's called "The Cat Dancer," and it has to be the very least sophisticated cat toy ever invented. But oh the wonders it inspires!). And each time, she is similarly surprised (as am I, frankly, although that is a whole other issue) when the wire gets jammed between her teeth and she can't get it out for uncomfortable minute upon uncomfortable minute. Although we play with this thing almost every day, she can never remember that it can end up hurting her if she's not careful. Or else she can't comprehend why The Dancer would hurt her again, when look how much fun it is, bouncing! bouncing! in the air!

Granted, I should probably not give her this toy. But Mira weighs 17 pounds and might drop over dead if she doesn't get exercise, and this is the only toy she has even the most remote interest in. So she and I both keep going on with it, full of blissful denial.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


If you haven't already done so, makes it very, very easy to make a donation to Red Cross right now. I encourage you to give just a tiny bit more then you think you can part with. That's usually the right amount.

Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

The wedding photography site is almost done. I'm terribly excited about this, although I will be more excited about it when it gets us another wedding to shoot!

"At the end of the day you get nothing for nothing..."

I'm starting to make a New Year's tradition of seeing great theatre. Last beginning of January, I was in London watching Anything Goes, and this weekend April and I went to see Les Miserables at the Pantages theatre, which, although extremely ornate in an ornatey sort of way, is a rather spectacular place to see a show. I had just gotten used to the fact that most theatres are not the grand visions that I'd always imagined they would be when I was a little girl who thought of little else besides musicals and Broadway and Little Orphan Annie. Some of the best theatre I've seen has been in smallish venues that are worn in to the point of almost being shabby. I've gotten used to not expecting much from the theatre itself and placing more emphasis on the performance, which I guess is how it should be. But it was nice to go to a show somewhere so bold and assuming for once. It's too bad that we saw the last performance of the run, because I'd have loved to encourage everyone in LA to see this particular show. It blows my mind how many tremendously talented people there are out there. Everyone in the cast was incredible. Made me wish I'd pursued theater as originally planned, just so that I could be around that more often.

On a side note, I had escargot for the first time on Saturday. It burnt my tongue and I had to spit it out -- in the most ladylike way possible, of course. Luckily I was not alone, as April was spitting at the same moment. Eventually we managed to eat those two buggers along with several of their garlicky friends. However, if given the choice between snails and banana creme pie, may I politely suggest you go with the pie.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

If I weren't so loyal in other areas of my life, this could be highly metaphorical.

I've been noticing lately that I have a bad habit of not appreciating or accepting when I've found a good product. Rather then just being happy that I've found the perfect night creme that makes my skin incredibly smooth, I continue to buy other, often more pricey cremes every once in a while, in case there happens to be some level beyond incredibly smooth. There's not. There are, however, incredibly greasy, incredibly watery, incredibly stinky lotions out there. Why I feel the need to spend my time and money on looking for some better version of something already splendid, I have no idea, especially since there many, many things for which I've found no miracle product. I haven't, for example, found the perfect blush, or a red lipstick that doesn't turn orange on my lips. Do I spend my money searching for these things? Not usually. Usually I buy yet another shiny, slightly colored lip gloss, even though I already have a perfect shiny, slightly colored lip gloss.

Perhaps there's some deep psychological reason behind this, but probably not. It's most likely just my own stupity and uncanny ability to squandor money. So here's to Nivea Renewal Night Creme, Jergin's Skin Smoothing Lotion, Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer, Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash, Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser, Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black and Keihl's Lip Balm in hue no. 30G. I love you even if I don't always show it. God bless ya.