Tag: friends

Sketch 31

I started my new job on Monday.  So far its good, but I’m of course still just settling in.  Mainly its a big relief just to have something.  I’m looking foward to Friday’s paycheck from the two day temp assignment last week.

On Saturday, one of my friends invited me along to a wedding of one of her high school friends.  The wedding was pretty normal (well except for parts being in Korean) until the reception.  When the wedding party arrived, each couple was introduced along with music, which they danced their way into the hall to.  When no one was left except for the bride and groom, the video on the right is what happened.  It definitely made for a more interesting wedding reception.  Other highlights included the infomercial made by the groom selling “Jane’s Top Musical Hits,” including him (and friends) lip syncing along to songs from High School Musical, Dream Girls, Hairspray and maybe one or two others, I can’t remember.  The wedding was great fun, but I was sure exhausted by the time I got home a little after midnight.

Sunday I ventured up to Thousand Oaks to hang out with my friend who lives up there.  I took the Red and Orange lines to Woodland Hills to meet him part way.  With the trips on Saturday and Sunday, I’ve now ridden all but a small section of the Green and Gold lines in the Metro “Rail” system (the Orange line is a dedicated bus line).  My friend bbq’d some ribs and we watched Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.  The movie was funny, though not as funny as the first Harold & Kumar movie. It was a pretty laid back afternoon.

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Sketch 30

Well the job hunt drought continues.  I went into another branch of one of the temp agencies to see if maybe that would help.  My gut tells me that they don’t have much going on either.

Last night I went over to a friends place for a dinner & movie party.  This was a few of the folks from our regular dinner group…plus a few other friends of the hosts.  It was a great time of food, wine and conversation.  Something I really needed for sure.  We watched a documentary about struggle for the South Central Farm (official site here) here in LA.  The movie was called The Garden.  The film was good, though definitely biased towards the farmers.  It’s still crazy to see the aerial shots of the site when the farm was active compared to what it is now.  I actually remember passing by the site while on the light rail to Long Beach a few weeks ago, though I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time. Now its just a fenced off plot of dirt, seems pretty silly.

The biggest excitement of the week had to be the 5.4 magnitude earthquake this morning.  It happened at 11:42am.  I was sitting at my desk and all of a sudden the room started shaking.  It took a few seconds to comprehend that it was an earthquake and by then it was pretty much over.  Nothing fell over, not even the books i have stacked on the floor against one of the walls of my room.  It definitely got the blood pumping though, and was the talk of the news for the rest of the day.  They’ve been saying that this is a wake-up call for Southern California, which hadn’t experienced a earthquake of this size pretty much since the devastating Northridge quake in 94.  The “big-one” is still coming geologists stressed.

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Sketch 25

From the 17 – 24th I had a friend visiting from out of town.  So basically we spent the week playing tourist in LA.

After picking my friend up at the airport, we headed straight to the beach (Manhattan Beach).  Spent a little time there and then headed back to my neighborhood.  My friend was craving mexican food, so we walked over to the taqueria that is near my house.  After that we just kind of chilled out for the rest of the evening.

The next day we did some more exploring around the neighborhood.  We walked down Melrose, to about halfway between Fairfax and La Cienega.  The plan was to check out some of the stores (even though neither of us had money to spend).  However, we left a little early in the morning, and a majority of the stores weren’t open.  In the end, we got some coffee and did about 7 miles of urban hiking getting there and back.  Needless to say, after that much walking in pretty warm sun, we didn’t do much else the rest of the day.

Thursday, we got day passes for the Metro and did some exploring public transit style.  We had an early lunch in Little Ethiopia, went to the La Brea tar pits, and in the evening went a saw a sneak preview of the movie Finding Amanda in Beverly Hills.

Friday, we got up early and headed downtown to check out the LA Flower District.  They claim its the largest flower market in the world.  It’s basically 2 big warehouses full of venders selling flowers (and other accessories).  It’s mainly geared towards the wholesale market, but they have public hours each day as well (though some of the vendors shut down by then).  After that we went up to Griffith Park and walked around the Observatory for a bit. I’m pretty sure we went to the beach at some point as well.

Saturday, my friend wanted to visit another friend in San Diego.  So we headed down south to do that.  I dropped my friend off at her friends and headed over to one of my friends place to hang out with her and her husband.  They decided to take me to Coranado Beach to check out that area.  We first went to Mr. P’s Irish Pub for lunch.  Mr. P’s is a big Navy hangout (my friend’s husband is in the Navy.  I had a pretty good corned beef sandwhich.  Then we walked over to the beach and hung out there for a few hours.  My friends husband and I spent a significant amount of time body surfing.  It was pretty much a great time (and I managed not to get sunburned).  Later I met back up with my visiting friend and her friend for some dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.  After dinner, we started our journey back to Los Angeles.  But on the way, stopped at Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido.  We got two beers to split between the two of us, a 2006 Double Bastard and a Cali-Belgique IPA.  Both were good, the cali-belgique was a really interesting hybrid beer.

Sunday, we went to church and then to the beach all afternoon.  I think we got there a little before noon and didn’t leave until after 6pm.  It was great (and again…no sunburn).

Monday we got up late, had some breakfast and had a somewhat lazy day.  We went and saw the new Incredible Hulk movie at the Arclight.

Tuesday, we went to Doughboy’s for breakfast and then it was time to drop my friend back off at the airport.

It was a great week…and fun being a tourist in my own town.

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Sketch 15

I have of late been in a pretty crappy mood.  I’ve been depressed and snappy and generally not too fun to be around.  Thankfully, I think last night helped me take a step away from this lame moodiness.  Last night was the monthly gathering of the “cuddle call” group.  I was in charge of planning the festivities and thought it would be nice to have a bonfire on the beach.  It was great just to be with such a great group of friends that are just so loving and accepting.  I’m so lucky to have found (or been found by) this group of people.

On the job search front…I’m leaning more towards staying in Los Angeles.  Which means probably getting some sort of a temp job at least initially.  I’ll also be looking for a new place to live, preferably for a little less rent than I’m paying now (so under $800/month).  I think I’m going to take the morning off on Thursday and spend some time researching and applying to local temp agencies.

I’m going on a retreat this weekend, we have to hike into the campsite.  I’m pretty stoked to get out of the city and be in nature for the weekend. 

Continue reading

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Sketch 11

I find myself often overwhelmed and lost living in a city the size of Los Angeles.  So when a friend offered a chance to not only get out of Los Angeles for a couple days, but to get out of the state, I jumped on it.  My friend was trying to convince me that Phoenix is a cool place, because I had made fun of it in the past.  Mainly the thing I don’t like about Phoenix is the sprawl of urban mess, covering way more ground than is needed (and can be supported by natural water sources in the area).  Because we were flying on a seat available basis, we quickly found out that our chances of getting out of LAX were slim to none, however if we drove down to Long Beach, we’d have better luck.  So braving the Friday evening rush hour traffic, we set off for Long Beach in our quest for seats on a plane.

With plenty of time to spare, we managed to get through the rigorous security at Long Beach, and get on the plane.

On Saturday we went for a 5.8 mile hike on the Go John Trail outside of Cave Creek, AZ.  A relatively short drive from Phoenix, away from most of the sprawl that makes up the Phoenix Metro Area.

The wildflowers were in full force and it was just nice to actually get out into nature for a change.  There are more pictures here.Sunday night was the monthly dinner group I’m a part of.  I think that all nine of us ended up showing up this week.  It was a great evening of food, wine, laughing, and discussion.  I made a Guinness Cheesecake for dessert.  It was a great time for sure.

It’s spring break here, so the majority of the students are gone, and I can mainly work from home this week.  I’ve got a lot of personal projects to work on, as well as a couple work projects.  I’m hoping I can make some headway on the personal projects this week.  Good news is that I’ve got my resume updated, so now its just sending it out for jobs and what not.

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Sketch 6

Finally a day off!!!

Saturday, I decided to take advantage of the wonderful weather here in So. Cal. and I drove up to Malibu to check out one of the beaches up there.  It was in the mid-70s.  I just sat on the beach, read, and listened to the ocean.  Oh and called some friends in less friendlier climates…from the beach…to rub it in.

In the evening, I met up with the “Cuddle Call” group at Masa in Echo Park.  It’s a group of young adults doing some sort of ministry.  A place where we can learn and build up each other.  I’m glad to finally have something like this.  I’ve really needed some place where I could find support.  Even though it has pretty much come too late, but that’s a different story.

Work is still incredibly busy and stressful.  Compounding it all, I’m feeling pretty disconnected from God, faith, spirituality.  It makes it difficult to come to work with passion for my projects.  I feel defeated by my job and the largely only negative feedback I’ve been getting pretty much the entire time I’ve been working here.  I know that should challenge me to make things better, but right now I just don’t feel like there is anything I can do.

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New Art

I’ve got such great friends and family.  Elizabeth saw the above artwork at Stumptown (one of my old haunts in Portland), so she emailed my family and a bunch of my friends and they all chipped in and got it for me.

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Labor Day

The toughest part of living in LA so far has been my days off.  Because I don’t have a car yet, and I only really have two other friends other than my housemate, I end up feeling a little trapped on my days off.  This is further magnified by the fact that I still have quite a different natural schedule than my housemate (I get up when its still the morning).  This coupled with some extra hot days…and I end up just sitting around my room bored all day.

I’m hoping to get the car situation worked out fairly soon.  But I am dependent on my buddy getting it ready for me (like getting new tags for it).  At least then I can get out and more easily explore things.

I still feel this need to find some friends outside of my work world though.  But I’m not really sure how to go about that at the moment either. 

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I had a great time visiting NYC with my friend Elizabeth.  We managed to get in the majority of things we wanted to do (which was mainly visit friends).  I’ll work on trying to update with a more inspired post later…but for now, I’ll just give you a link to the pictures.

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a psalm for trees

I am a tree and I am quite lonely.  I weep in the rain.  For the sake of Allah, listen to what I have to say.  Drink down your coffee so your sleep abandons you and your eyes open wide.  Stare at me as you would at jinns and let me explain to you why I’m so alone.

— from My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk


We cut them down…just to wipe our ass in comfort.

They watch over us, the world, each other…seeing it all…feeling it all…

And without a word we cut them down.

But then we’ve looked at them for shelter for many years.  We just don’t take the time to listen anymore.  To let them carve into us the names of their loves.

I want to get lost among them…listening to their stories…understanding their knowledge of God.  Follow their wisdom about love and long life.

I want to tell them about the summits of mountains and the trenches of oceans.  Those things they’ll never see.

But I too am guilty of cutting them down.

As am I guilty of cutting myself down.

Just so it will be more comfortable to wipe my ass.

for AWags

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