Wow! What a year. I quit a job, got a job, moved in with my dude, traveled a lot, tripped out a lot, tried new things, had a JAWS-themed birthday-Halloween party, and like my bestie Justina Blakeney wrote in her year-end round-up, we Occupied LA, Ciclavia-ed the streets, friends had babies, and all kinds of good stuff happened.
Ten things that really made my 2011 radical include:
1) New York City & The Late Show with David Letterman
Almost exactly a year ago, I went to NYC with No Age when they played on Letterman. We stayed at a fancy hotel in the Lower East Side, went up to the top of the Empire State Building and did lots of rad New York things!
2) February 21st
On the very same day my dude had his birthday (and I threw him a Creature from the Black Lagoon-themed surprise party with tons of homies), my best friend Sofia had a baby boy named Theodore. It was an amazing day. I love boys! They sure are cute.
3) Spring & Spain
In May, I took a week off from my fashion-writing job to fly to Barcelona and meet up with my dude who had been on tour for two months. We spent a week in the city, at the beach and also attended the Primavera Sound music festival for three days straight. Dancing on stage with The Flaming Lips dressed in Wizard of Oz costumes was obviously the highlight!
4) Quitting & Getting Jobs
In mid-summer, I quit my full-time fashion-writing job and took a run at more freelance writing (also wrote a zine called “Quit Your Day Job”). I revisited some travel writing projects, took my office outside and enjoyed the freelancing freedoms of not having to report to the same office every day. I also moved out of my apartment in Koreatown and moved into storage and in with my dude in Highland Park. Fun! Plus, I was super stoked that my sister and partner in quitting-and-getting-jobs graduated from nursing school, and after years of working in public health, social services and nursing homes, she landed a phat job as a cardiovascular surgical nurse at the top hospital where she lives in Spokane, Washington. Pretty dope!
5) Erie, Pennsylvania
This year, I made it to Erie, Pennsylvania twice: once for a summertime family reunion and the second time for my grandfather’s funeral. At least three or maybe four generations of my family were born and raised in this small town on the Great Lake of Lake Erie (closest airports being Cleveland, Pittsburg and Buffalo). My dad’s living there now, so it’s fun to visit and trip out on all of our family memories and history. Plus, I’m related to almost everyone in Erie some way or another. Needless to say, it’s at times a little eerie. : )
6) Spokane, Washington
My sister and her husband live in Spokane and I visited twice this year, once in the snow and once when we swam in the lake by their new cabin in the woods. It was the perfect escape/retreat. So rad!
7) The California Coast
Road-tripping up to Big Sur to camp and see a show at the Henry Miller Memorial Library was ah-mazing! Then heading further north through Santa Cruz, Bonny Doon, San Francisco and into Marin to camp at Steep Ravine on the cliffs near Stinson Beach was also a total thrill. Four nights of camping, battling hungry raccoons, and being in Marin where I spent most of my grade school and high school years was such a sweet experience.
In October, I once again got to join the No Age crew on a trip to Mexico City. They played the Corona Capital music festival. There were like 90,000 kids there and it blew my mind! Plus, The Strokes headlined. Swoon! After Mexico City, we headed to Mazatlan and chilled beach-styles. I had piña coladas while I worked and got the best tour from my dude who spent a lot of time there growing up.
9) Disney Job
Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s back to Disney I go. When we got back from our trip to Mexico, my old copywriting job at Disney called me to see if I was available. I returned in mid-November and now the office is only three metro stops from my place. Getting back to a steady gig was perfect timing (i.e. I needed the money) and now I’m very happy back at the “mouse house” bringing magic to millions every day. : )
10) Sand Collection
So, years ago when I was at this cute old couple’s house in France, I saw they had a sand collection. It was a small shelf with tiny jars, kinda like a spice rack. It was filled with sand they had collected from all their travels. I knew I needed to start my own. So for almost five years now, I’ve been collecting sand and labeling where, when and who I was with when I got it. I love it. It’s one of those projects—just like writing or making music—that I always want to keep up with and make time for. I have little bags of sand everywhere, but I’m just now getting it in jars. It’s a little silly, but I love it. And that’s what I’d like to keep in mind as we start this new year: Do whatcha like, even if it might be a little silly. And if your sand is spread out all over the place, it might be nice to organize it in jars so you can remember all the good times and amazing things in your life. I’m not sure what that means, but…
Happy New Year, homies! Best wishes to all & catch ya on the flipside. XO, s