Monday, February 28, 2005

It's strange about soap scum, don't you think?

There's a very good chance this is only interesting to me.

I didn't make my writing goal this past week. Close, but not quite. I really had to push myself this weekend just to get a decent amount done, which has got me thinking about when it's best to force the writing, and when it's in the best interest of the story to just let it rest for a couple of days if I'm not feeling up to the task. I've decided that I'll probably just have to deal with that situation on a case by case basis. There was a time a few weeks ago when I didn't feel like writing at all, but I could tell that it was just me being lazy so I wrote anyway, and ended up liking the stuff that I put down during that time. But this weekend, the result was just ugly, stilted writing. I almost wish I'd just given myself the week to think about the other things that were filling my mind and not bothered with my little quota. But it's a fine line. If I hadn't made myself write at all, I probably would have felt guilty, and then I'd be writing this post about that. Who knows. I don't feel like writing tonight, either, but I must finish the current chapter I've got going, as well as the next, before the end of the week. We shall see.

(told you i was boring today.)

Saturday, February 26, 2005

lower case

proof of god
Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

feel the need to counteract the gloom of the last post. it's been a pretty day here. i dropped off a roll of film at the camera shop, and even though i'm not expecting much from it (had to shoot most of the pictures with a flash, which i hate) it will be fun to pick it up on mondayaftertwo. browsed around king's road bead shop for an hour. it's not my favorite bead place in los angeles as the men who run it are a bit creepy, but they have the prettiest stuff. i couldn't stop staring at the jade beads. they had them in a million different colors that looked good enough to eat and would make splendid earrings. managed to leave having only bought what i need to fix something of mine that i broke a few weeks ago. will go back and buy something for fun at another time. ate two chocolate chip cookies from the batch that my mom sent me. her cookies are still my favorite and i hadn't had any in a long time. found a tiny love note from my high school boyfriend that i'd tucked between the pages of my dictionary years and years ago. that's had me smiling for hours.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Gee, I wonder why it is that I never have to fight to use the washer & dryer on a Friday night.

My cousin just finished her student teaching and was writing about it on her blog, asking if it meant that she had to be an adult now. I told her no; I've been done with college for almost six years now, and I still don't feel like a "real" adult. I suspect this has to do, at least in part, with the fact that I don't feel settled the way I imagined I would once I was "grown up." There have been very few times, if any, over the past six years when I have felt any sense of true peace of mind. There's always been some big change just around the bend, some big decision demanding to be made. Many times I haven't minded this. I actually rather like change. Something to keep me on my toes, keep my mind sharp. But other times it's mind NUMBING and just plain tedious. I'm in one of those times. Very tired of thinking about what comes next, and yet I MUST figure out what that next thing will be because I'm in no way feeling peaceful about where I'm at right now.

I'm fearful that I will get replies from my family members who read this post politely informing me that this IS what being an adult is all about -- the constant choicemaking and shifting around and whatnot. Based on what I know of adulthood thus far, I am suspecting this might be the case. But I hope that someone offers me some hope that it is possible to reach a point where there's a feeling of contentment on at least most of the important levels. Not sure I can handle feeling this upheaved indefinitely.

It doesn't help, I suppose, that I feel rather alone in all of this right now. Major life changes feel like less of an adventure when I've no one to turn to and say: We can do this. It might turn out to be amazing. Off we go.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Getting the words out has been a struggle this week. I think it's because I'm rapidly approaching my first big landmark (fifty pages) on this little novel writing excursion. I'm giving my dad the pages to read when I reach that point, and I'm nervous about that. I've become fully convinced in the last few days that my writing is rather crap. I recently finished reading a book (not the one mentioned in my last post) that, despite having made the NY Times Notable list, was full of cliches and boring plot points (what few plot points there were) and even though it was about a potentially very moving topic, it left me totally cold. I worry about this with my own stories. I tend to write about serious, emotional things, but my word choices can distance the reader, I think. Not entirely sure what to do about this because my style seems to be pretty well established by this point, but it's something I'd like to work on regardless.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A nice thought, anyway.

A novel I finished reading recently starts out like this:

We are each the love of someone's life.

The book does a great job of weaving this theme throughout the story, and it's something I've been thinking a lot about.

I have no idea whether or not I believe it's true. But I hope it is.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Peculiar Milestones

This weekend April and I received our first hate letter. It was from someone who is out of his/her mind with anger that we're not charging more for our wedding photography services. Apparently, it's not acceptable that we're only charging enough to cover our basic costs, even though we've only done one wedding so far and are just trying to build our portfolio. In fact, that we are doing so is threatening to bring down the entire wedding photography industry! We've only been in business two months and we're already destroying the livelihood of thousands of photographers across the land! I, for one, am deeply impressed that we've managed to amass such power in such little time. Hooray for us!

In the hours after receiving the letter, I composed a rather brilliant, biting reply in my head that I intended to post here (since the author of the letter politely declined to include his/her name, and didn't even disclose his/her gender, leading A & I to spend several amusing hours trying to figure out whether we should be laughing at a man or a woman, which for some reason seemed relevant), but have since decided that while I won't pretend I'm never willing to stoop to low levels, this is not worth it. This person doesn't know what they're talking about. It's kind of that simple. OF COURSE we would like to charge more money. OF COURSE we'd like to draw in the caliber of clients who are willing to pay several thousand dollars for their wedding images. And we hope to get there in the next year or so. But right now, we can't justify asking people to pay us huge amounts of money when we're still just infants in this industry. I don't think we should have to make apologies for that, and I'm not going to. Bring on the hate letters, darlings!

The thing that gets me, though, is that there are SO many people/issues that deserve to be protested. I could list hundreds off the top of my head. It's strange to me that someone would waste her time (time she obviously has because no one is hiring her to shoot their wedding) writing a nasty letter to two nice girls (can't you tell how nice we are by looking at our site?!) who are just trying to start up a little business. We're utterly harmless. But oh, the venom this person spat.

Happily, we are looking at this as nothing more than something fun to add to our scrap book, a little milestone that makes us feel a bit more like a real business.

P.S. To the person who wrote the letter, you might want to direct your next one at the teachers who were supposed to have taught you grammar. I recommend starting with early elementary and working your way up.

Monday, February 21, 2005

A Long December

Much more often than I will usually admit, I'm still subjected to tricks my memory plays on me, and a certain song or a certain city block will do me in entirely.

It's been raining here for going on a million days now, everything is constantly damp, and most of the time this is okay with me, some how.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

And then other times...

... I think maybe I do remember the things I've forgotten, but can't tell if what has suddenly popped into my head is some lost little bit returning to me, or just my recalling something I once read. And so not wanting to inadvertently plagiarize, I let it slip past again.

Friday, February 18, 2005


doesn't sound the same in Los Angeles as it does other places. It sounds like fake movie thunder, two foley artists shaking a big piece of tin back and forth. It sort of bugs me that they can't get the sound right. Luckily they don't bother trying very often.

I'm going to listen to my thunderstorm cd while I fall asleep to drown out the sound of the real, less satisfying storm going on outside my window right now.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


When I left for work this morning, the sun was shining. It was warm, for 6:45AM. I'm wearing a skirt and was comfortable. No wind, no clouds. It stayed that way most of the morning. Leaving to grab lunch just now, I stepped outside into gusty winds (can never quite get used to the sight of palm trees blowing furiously in the wind), gray skies, cold. I love it when this happens. There's something about weather changing on a dime (not overnight, not over the course of several hours, but going from one sort of day to another in a matter of minutes) that gives me goosebumps. It might just be that I love a good story, and every good story has a precise moment when things turn. Even though the true shift is inevitably a gradual one, there's always a moment of change. Or maybe (although lately, when this has happened, it has not been to my benefit) I just like the idea that a day can turn out completely differently than you'd imagined it would.

The chapter I am working on right now is giving me a really hard time. What do you do when something needs to be told and you can't figure out how to tell it?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I even forgot what I wanted to call this post. And it was something good.

I'm amazed how there seems to be absolutely no idea, no perfect sentence, no brilliant wisp of words so profound that I cannot immediately forget it if I don't write it down. I was given a digital voice recorder for my birthday last year. I thought I would use it primarily in the car, where I often write in my head and feel helpless letting the words fall away as I drive. But it's ended up being used most in the middle of the night when I'm lying in the dark, nearly asleep, my brain a jumble of thoughts that half belong to the dreams I'm about to have. I've figured out how to turn it on with no lights, babble out whatever I'm thinking, and turn it back off, all without fully waking myself up. But there are some nights, and many, many days, where I fail altogether in writing down the ideas I have, and I get distraught when I think about all the little things I've lost that way. Last night, for example, my mind was gushing with things to write about -- for this blog, for the book, for ANOTHER book -- and I was giddy just thinking about it all. So giddy that I couldn't be swept away from the giddiness for even one moment so as to record ANY of it. Surely this time, I thought, I will remember stuff. How could a few hours sleep erase these particular things? Never mind that I've believed this same thing countless times before. This time I knew I would remember every word, and would therefore greet the following morning with more creative gusto than anyone had before. Ever.

The single thing I remember today is that one of the things I wanted to write about was forgetting things I wanted to write about.

Luckily (I guess?), the very nature of my creative amnesia makes it difficult to mourn too deeply for what I've forgotten. That's how far gone the words can be within minutes of my having thought of them; There's not even a tiny hint left to remind me of how good they could have been.

Monday, February 14, 2005

right over there

He's hunched over his food. A hamburger, it looks like. And fries. He's pouring himself ketchup. Good boy. He doesn't watch the bottle while he does it. He's reading. A thick book. You can't see what it is. Probably something you've not read, haven't even heard of. Watch him run his hand over the top of his baseball hat, worn and blue and loved more than most things he will leave an impression on over time without realizing he has. He's biting his finger nail, the side of it, the same way you do, the same way you are right now, and were two minutes ago. This time of day does that to you, and apparently you're not alone. His hair is some blond variation of brown, and it sticks out from under the hat in a clever way that makes you think of a boy named Hans from high school, who you had a crush on for years. Hans had red hair and was not very smart, but it's amazing what being left handed and carelessly sweet will make up for. You once ran into him after college, thousands of miles from anywhere he should have been, and he recognized you instantly. You soared. Look at him turn the pages, never raising his face, so you'll not know if he has kind eyes or if he bites his lip when he takes in words. You'll just know the bridge of his nose.

The light turns green and you go.

My Darling Mom

On Friday at work, I was having a mad craving for this stuff that when I was growing up was called Dog Chow. It's basically Chex covered with chocolate, peanut butter and powered sugar, and it's really good, even if it lacks any sort of sophistication. I hadn't thought about it in years, but suddenly I couldn't get it out of my mind. When I got home that afternoon, there was a package from my mom. Inside, in addition to some conversation hearts and a little Valentine, was a huge bag of... Dog Chow! Okay, so it was a slightly different version made with white chocolate and more ingredients than just Chex, but it's the same concept. Mom read my mind before I even had the thought!

Here is her version. I highly recommend it if you're having a need for something hugely sweet and delightfully portable (I brought my bag to work today).


10 oz bag of mini pretzels
5 cups of Cherrios
5 cups of Corn Chex
2 cups of dry roasted peanuts
1 lb of plain m&ms
24 oz of white chocolate chips
3 tablespoons oil

Mix first 5 ingredients in a big bowl. Melt chips and oil in microwave 2 1/2 minutes, then stir and melt another 20 seconds. Pour over dry ingredients. Spread on wax paper and let cool. Break apart and store in airtight container.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I bought my own dang flowers...

Buying My Own Dang Flowers
Originally uploaded by sweetmondaygirl.

... Tomorrow being that special flowery day and all.

And here's where I would say that I don't even wish I had a Valentine, but that would just send everyone who knows me, including myself, into ridiculous peels of laughter.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Things for a Happy Saturday

* Finally making the chili I planned to make on Wednesday
* Adding lots of jalapenos to it
* Red Bicyclette merlot - the writing on the back of the bottle alone makes it worth the price
* Finishing The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer, one of the best love stories I've ever read
* Having a fun talk with mom about cameras - can't wait to get my hands on that D70

Friday, February 11, 2005

Thanks for the effort, Fake SUV Guy.

Whenever I see someone crying in her car, which admittedly isn't often, I always make up a huge story about what might be causing the tears, thus entertaining myself for the remainder of my journey. And having been a frequent car weeper myself, I've often wondered what other people think when they see someone crying while driving. Last night I was on my way home, it was late, traffic was particularly awful, and my blood sugar was low. So I was doing this thing I do when I'm stressed where I rub my forehead as if shedding myself of a few eyebrow hairs might be just what I need. And right then a guy in a huge black Lexus SUV thing (although something that is a Lexus cannot really be a "sports utility" anything) shouted at me "Don't cry! It will be all right!" I burst out laughing because it figures that a time I'm NOT crying is when someone would chose to comment.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

My version of Prince Charming...

will go to the LA flower district early in the morning to pick out flowers for me.

He will also definitely, happily, thankfully not be too charming.

Or, for that matter, anything even close to prince-like.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Things for a Happy Wednesday

* New episodes of LOST and ALIAS tonight
* The little white paper sleeve thing that you put a cookie in when you buy it from the bakery
* Finding out that you'll be getting enough back on your tax return to buy a new camera, providing you don't have another freak car incident the way you have the last two Februaries (knock, knock)
* The perfectly chewy cookie inside the white paper sleeve thing
* Pretty red skirts that flare when spinning
* Chili for dinner so that you can pretend it's winter even though it's sunny and 70 outside
* Thinking about the underappreciated instrument that is the xylophone
* Reading an awesome post ( that reminds you from whom you get your need to write

Sunday, February 06, 2005


I have no problem spending time by myself. I'm not bothered by going to a movie alone, I often take myself out for breakfast on Sunday mornings, and given the choice between spending a Saturday night alone in my apartment or being with people who I don't totally adore, I'll almost always choose to stay in. I've always been comfortable in my own company.

Being alone in the larger sense, however, is a different story. I'm utterly awful at dealing with loneliness. It completely paralyzes me, but so do the things that might alleviate the problem. At heart I am profoundly introverted. For most of my life, I've had only a few close friends at any given time. Right now I could count the number of people with whom I feel deeply comfortable on one hand, even if I were to experience horrible frostbite that caused me to lose a couple of fingers. Yes, there is always a larger group of people with whom I enjoy spending time, and who always know, more or less, what is going on in my life, and I theirs. But I'd never call them up and ask if they want to see a movie with me. My shyness would keep me from even considering it.

For the most part, this has worked out okay for me. Whenever I've been far away from those few close people, there were always roommates and co-workers and boyfriends (who themselves would eventually be counted among the close) around to fill in the gaps and fend off the loneliness. I very rarely felt like I was somehow lacking socially, and so I've been able to make it to 26 without having to push myself too terribly far outside of my little world.

Now I suddenly find myself single, living alone, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, really struggling to figure out how to not be lonely in such an all consuming way. I've canceled dinners that would have been fun, I've spent a couple festive holidays at home rather than face a bit of awkwardness to join other people in what they were doing, I've skipped parties... anything that would have caused me to put my toe over the line o' comfort has been avoided at nearly any cost. I simply haven't wanted to make myself feel any more vulnerable than I already do. My awesome friend M, who is one of the very close few, but who lives across the country, has been trying to help me brainstorm ways to get out of this rut. By now she's nearly ready to kill me, I'm certain, because every good suggestion she's given me has sent me further down my little foxhole. Eventually I'll have to come up. I'm shy, not reclusive. But it's going to take some bit of courage that I haven't found yet.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Starting to come to terms...

with the fact that I just can't wear yellow. Certain shades are somewhat acceptable (I've a buttercup colored tee shirt that's not too offensive), but the shade I really love, a bright Canary yellow, the color I would use to draw the sun when I was younger, simply doesn't look good on me. It makes me appear jaundiced and frightful. This is hard for me to accept, especially considering I've been holding on to a dream of someday walking around Paris in a fabulous yellow jacket (The rest of the city will be in black & white, as will I. The only color will be my jacket.), and I guess I'll have to let that one go.

I'm not giving up my yellow umbrella, however. So on rainy days folks will just have to deal with the color bouncing off my white skin, blinding them all silly.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

If I could make this title have sound, that would be best.

Given the choice of seeing a brilliant movie scene (for example, the moment in ALMOST FAMOUS when Patrick Fugit thinks he's introducing Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup for the first time, and Kate gets tears in her eyes when she shakes Billy's hand), reading a brilliant passage in a book (see last post), or hearing a brilliant piece of music (There's a particular part of a song called "Halfway" by the Actual Tigers that springs to mind -- out of this world piano -- but I am probably the only person who knows what I'm talking about in that specific case. Wish I could attach the clip of music here.), which would you choose?

It's incredibly hard for me to decide an order because every time I've been really moved by any one of these things, I can't imagine, right that second, how any other medium could be as effective as what I'm experiencing. But if I were forced to pick (and I'd be very curious to know what kind of scenario would involve me being FORCED to do such a thing), it would probably be music, then something written, then something from a movie. If I was going just by how many times one type of thing has made me emotional, it would be written stuff, hands down, no question. But whenever I get all worked up about something I've read, I always know exactly what emotion has been evoked. It's very clear to me. Music, on the other hand, quite often has the ability to do something that very few other things can (and right now I can't think of anything at all, but am enjoying trying) which is cause a pure swell of undefined emotion. I dig that.

Anyway. Weigh in, if you'd like.