Secret Pop

Feb 8, 2005

Good enough for good night

I went to an open house at the Sony Design Center in Santa Monica tonight. It was a bit steamy in there. With fancy free sushi being served and fancy free drinks and sake and coffee and hobnobbing. I caught myself envying the corporate workspace for half a moment. I don't miss having to go into an office every day, but I do miss being able to go to work in a place that seems creative and energetic and collaborative and inspiring. I must find my inspiration where I can. And that is often not as easy a task as one might think. Even with ready access to the Internet.

It's been years since I've had an office or a cubicle where paychecks would come find me. Years now that I've been working mostly on my sofa, mostly in the middle of the night, and mostly without any human contact whatever. I appreciate my independence. But sometimes I miss going to lunch. And putting my handbag in a drawer and getting a cup of coffee and starting my day. I am proud of being self-sufficient. I am glad I survived the series of blitzes that were run on my professional life. But reminiscing reminds me of all the twists and turns my career has made and makes me wonder, customarily, what might have been. It's a fantasy world, there in my brain. A weird place where nothing is pinned down with any permanence. Corkboard and staples and thumbtacks and pushpins. Temporary. I am writing my masterpiece on post-it notes.

Among the post-its that would have been written on this past weekend, I went to LACMA with Beulah and Justin on Saturday, and we took pictures with both our cameras and visited our favorite pieces. And then we went to Melrose and shopped with verve. I have a new favorite store there, the name of which I can't quite remember but whose storefront I would surely recognize. We ate dinner at I Love Sushi. Which was great. I'm not always excited to try new sushi places. It's so easy to be disappointed. But I enjoyed it very much, and I can picture us visiting it again and again when Beulah and Justin come to town. Beulah wasn't feeling very well, but I'm glad we got to enjoy more than the inside of my living room during her visit. She is my favorite.

That evening, I went to Farrah's birthday party at All Star Lanes in Eagle Rock. Attendees were asked to come in pirate attire. I complied. A strange, enthusiastic fellow at the bar started talking to me like a pirate and asked what vessel I was on. I had just gotten there and didn't want to come across as an ungenerous jerk, so I didn't roll my eyes and walk away. I made something up about not being able to read. Or about being kidnapped. My birthday is not until May, but I'm already wondering if it will be possible to celebrate it more excellently than I did last year. It's a dangerous thing when you've had the best time ever. You can't NOT try to top it. But the spectre of failure is unpleasant and looming. I did not attach any great value to my birthday last year. I just wrote an evite and sent it around to people, and I was surprised and delighted that so many people showed up and that I had such a thrilling night. But this year, I will have that memory, and I will hope for even more, and there is every chance that I will not get it. I like to do spectacular things. And I like to know that they are spectacular as they are transpiring. I do not always get my way.

I took Beulah and Justin to the Griddle Cafe on Sunday morning, where we were seated in the "VIP room" and where we ate fabulously well and were joined a bit later by Tina and Mig. Then we got victuals at Trader Joe's and went back to my place to watch what little of the Super Bowl was left with Jessie and Stacey. It was an impromptu choice, as I had no intention of watching the game this year. And in truth, I really didn't. I spent the bulk of the time preparing food and fussing over things and drinking a lot of beer and thinking about the exclamation of "Go, Eagles!" from The Hudsucker Proxy. My dad's from Philadelphia, but I'd bet he didn't watch the game. It's only the Super Bowl of boxing that interests him. And my mom likes to watch pairs figure skating and ice dancing. I think we got settled just in time to see the half-time business. I heard Paul McCartney singing his popular repertoire from the sink in the kitchen. I understand it was a good game. Stacey and Justin both care enough to have told me so. And I trust them. In years past, I have managed to watch nearly none of this Super Bowl business. I have always found other (better) things to do. I don't mind a Super Bowl party. A party is a party. But to just watch the game is not appealing to me at all. Watching sporting events just feels like waiting to me. Waiting for calls to be made. Waiting for the clock to run out. Waiting for the commercial breaks so you can talk without disturbing people who actually care what the referee is saying. I'm really just sitting there waiting for it to be over from the moment it begins. And that does not speak highly of my attachment to the experience.

I stopped by Von's on the way back from Santa Monica, and I bought some soda. I was offered assistance by a guy in line who, after I declined his help, explained to his friend that Diet Dr. Pepper is heavy. I was offered help out to my car by three different employees, too. I wonder if I look terribly anemic today or something. I can carry my own groceries. Really. I won't buy it if I can't lift it.

And I had a nice little chat with Tom, whose birthday it was today (2/7) but who did not get to celebrate it in the way that I would have insisted. I like the month of February, but I'm almost afraid to admit it. I don't care about Valentine's Day. And I have quite a few friends whose birthdays must be acknowledged. And it's colder than I'd like sometimes. And it's riddled with inconvenient government holidays. But it's a pretty time of year, and I have done plenty of nice things in Februaries past. Once, I went to Tokyo Disneyland on a rainy day in February. I was cold and miserable and physically uncomfortable the entire day. But I remember it fondly and can remember it as if it happened only moments ago. That may not be because it was February, but it was February, and that's the part I remember.

Happy birthday, February babies. I will be enjoying my Dove milk chocolate hearts long into March. And if anyone gives me Red Hots, you can have them. I hate those things.

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