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The Fatties Go to Animal.

The foodie club that I put together went on a field trip to Animal recently. I had heard a lot about this restaurant because it contained a lot of quirky items on the menu that may be repulsive to some. Brains, liver, bones, rabbit legs, and booze. A wonderful, odd combo that birthed a glorious party in my mouth. Less words, more pictures.

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Animal Restaurant
435 N. Fairfax Ave, LA 90036

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amazed.

It’s pretty easy to amaze me. I have an infatuation with clouds that resonates with the glee one would feel over life-changing food. The choirs of angels blast into my ears whenever I listen to a beautiful male voice with an equally beautiful musical arrangement. I am moved to tears when I view the sunrise or when someone I love holds me while murmuring that everything will be okay. I am at my weakest when it comes to emotions, and I love it.

I watched this video last week and couldn’t help but feel like I had found my soul kin. The display of the most purest of joys on this girl’s face as she experiences something for the first time… it’s something no one will ever be able to take away. Even if there was ever an occurrence where her mother pulls her aside years down the line and tells her everything that’s wrong about rain, it won’t matter. The beauty of that moment captured will never be stolen from her.

I’ve been learning a lot of new things lately. Even at work, learning new skills has infused a new type of life into my gait and I’m excited. I met new people who will definitely become my friends, and I’m looking forward to seeing them more. I picked up a new hobby and it’s opening my eyes to different perspectives. My hunger to consume as much as I can and to really live and relish new experiences is making me bolder and happier. And yes, there are times when I look like an idiot and stumble about, but isn’t that the human part of becoming excellent?

A few days ago, I went bonkers over the rolling clouds that appeared after heavy rainfall. “Oooohhhhhhhmyyyyygooooodddddd,” I wailed as I squinted up at the expansive ocean of a sky, stretching out my fingers towards the white, fluffy masses. My friend shook his head and simply responded, “Weirdo.”

I’m okay with that. Being weird, being so tickled by life’s surprises… all of it keeps life amazing and worthy of child-like awe.

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The Breakfast Burger That Changed Me.

The Breakfast Burger That Changed Me.

I just have no words. This little unmarked, unnoticeable restaurant in Venice completely changed my impression of breakfast burgers. No longer will I ever think about Sausage McMuffins or the words “Jimmy Dean’s” again. *Sidenote: I know, these are horrible comparisons, but what I ate at Oscar’s won’t ever be beaten by anyone. Ever. Or until further notice.

The Chorizo Breakfast Burger with Mexican coffee. Heaven.

Oscar’s Cerveteca
523 Rose Ave, Venice 90291

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Black Hogg.

Black Hogg.

Dine LA, February 2014.

I eat out a lot, and I love food to death. I decided this year that I wanted to start a Fatty Foodie Club (please join if you want!) to gather all those – whether friend or stranger – who loved to eat to come together and dine. We had our inaugural dinner at Black Hogg during Dine LA and it was wonderful. The food was fantastic, but that combined with the company of wonderful people made my tummy and heart full. I’m grateful.

Black Hogg
2852 Sunset Bl, LA 90026

 

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the waiting game.

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When I first drove across the country by myself, I was literally quivering from excitement. To be on the open road, to smell the fresh air, to be a renegade running off into the horizon and leaving my past behind… it all seemed like a huge gift of freedom to me.

After the first hour of blasting trance music and singing horribly to 90’s pop, the car was filled with dead silence and I realized with dread that I had not escaped my past at all. In fact, I was drowning in it as I sat in that dark, depressing Honda Prelude. The term ‘baggage’ was underwhelming, to say the least.

I stopped by a rest stop in the middle of Wyoming and remember gazing at the rolling clouds, completely taken aback by the majesty of their size. Why didn’t they ever seem that big in California? Why couldn’t I get beyond myself and care about anything outside of me?

I’m hoping to share in a near-future post about what I’ve gone through since I left everything I was used to for years to finally move to a brand new city where I had to reset my life. I feel like the past 7 months went by in a blur, just like the fields, the buildings, and the people I zipped by on my 2300-mile trek. There would be moments where I would celebrate my newfound freedom, then others where I would be curled up in a ball as I sobbed my eyes out from mourning my losses.

The baggage hurts, no matter where I go and how far it is.

I stood under those clouds for a couple hours, unable to peel myself away. I’m afraid to lower my gaze, to behold the loads of crap I brought along with me, and I don’t want to lose that feeling of being in the presence of effortless glory.

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only.

ImageThere’s a lot that you could be thinking of, and all of it weighs so heavy that it feels like your heart is splattered all over your feet. You drag them along leaving a streak of brilliant red that doesn’t seem to wash or fade away with the onslaught of the bullet-like rain that reminds you over and over again that you’re only human and you could disappear in a glitch of destiny. A lot of people say that your destiny is determined and you’re moving towards this one thing that decides what your life has always been about, but couldn’t that possibly be such bullshit?

Getting through every single day knowing that you did your best, knowing that you loved fiercely and represented the glowing embers of your soul… that has to be the best destiny possible for that day. To be shooting for the stars and working your ass off to get to the moon, you then realize that maybe you should go a little further, see how far you can really go. You’ve miscalculated your limits, the limits of your humanity, and by the time you glance back and find the fierce paleness of the moon fading as quickly as your oxygen, it’s too late and you’ve already drifted too far.

The angst that you carry inside of your shirt like you’re hiding a bowling ball causes an insurmountable desire to release everything and run away, but you have to keep lugging that shit around without any hope of salvation. But the burden can actually be a blessing, like the blessing I was within my mother’s womb for nine months that were probably the worst time of her life, only for us to both fall in love with each other upon the first glance. Except. Falling in love wasn’t really with each other, but with that moment of “Damn, we’ve been through hell and back, and look where we are now.” I am her and she is me, and that’s where we’ve fallen into this forest of buds called love, where through wildfires and drought, we’ve had to nurture and care for it with dedication and commitment, which happens to be viable ingredients to stay afloat with someone you may hold without any regard for anything else in this world that can be so nasty and cruel.

There are times when you may feel like the world totally reads you wrong, as if you were those supposedly scandalous books of the past that had to be burned. But as the flames lick up your stories and swallow up your voice, the ashes rise and all that’s left is your withering look of discontent that is illuminated by that computer screen, gazing at your face in a darkened room and pityingly trying so hard to envelope you in any breed of light.

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swim.

ImageI recently started noticing messages in my inbox regarding my upcoming high school reunion. This made me feel awkward in three ways: 1) I didn’t technically “graduate” from this high school and I think 99% of the people I considered my friends at the time didn’t know what actually happened to me, 2) I hated high school, and 3) it freaks me out in a small way (similar to perhaps an adorable baby mushroom cloud) that it has been ten years since I was 18. Ten. Years. That’s a whole decade worth of drama, growing pains, and good things. Wow.

As haphazard as my decision-making skills are and as wild as a rollercoaster my emotional and spiritual development has been, I must unfortunately state in a contradictory manner that I was always an equal balance of safe and reckless. I feel cocky to call myself a big fish in a small pond, but I really did act as if I knew everything about this feeble body of water in my massive tuna of a body.

In practical terms, I came out of high school thinking I knew it all. I considered myself to be a professional wiper of life’s shit, and as long as I had these “street smarts,” it didn’t matter that in every other term, I didn’t have anything figured out. Dreams to be accomplished, jobs to be pursued, careers to be made… I had no clue what I was destined to do. I know a lot of people don’t have it figured out, and I know that it’s one of life’s fun mysteries to discover what your purpose in life is and how you can make a niche in this crazy world today, but as much as I enjoyed struggling through this identity crisis, I stayed in it even after I knew what I wanted to do.

I knew I wanted to write. I talked about it all the time. I talked about blogging, moving to New York to pursue a Sex and the City-esque life resembling Carrie’s, working my way up in a publishing house, and even going to school to get my master’s in writing. I blah-blah-blah’ed my dreams into one giant puff of a cloud that simply followed me around and didn’t take any shape. I became complacent with working in professions that I knew that I was good at, but didn’t particularly get excited over. My heart bled for the written word, yet why was it so hard for me to snap out of my passive comfort to pursue what I knew was woven into the DNA of my being?

As I erratically jumped from job to job, I realized that there were times I did this because I was afraid. I was afraid of becoming a big tuna in an even bigger ocean, where rejection and criticism were much more common, and I wouldn’t be surrounded by the safety of what I was already confident with. The predictability of my life choices began boring me to tears, and I knew that I needed to face my fears and start applying to jobs where I can start writing and hone in on this passion of mine that loomed over me for the past ten years.

I didn’t get callbacks and started getting discouraged. I even accepted a job offer for this job that was completely out of left field and wasn’t at ALL what I was expecting or looking for, but it seemed like it would be a great asset to my professional development. But to keep a long story short, I heard back about a writing position literally the weekend before I was supposed to start. God is so funny, and He loves to surprise me with His faithfulness.

It’s finally happening. Not only am I going to write full-time, but I’m going to be moving to a new city too. I feel like this is going to be the beginning of conquering fears and fulfilling dreams.

My oceans will continue to grow, so may I become bolder to swim.