Los Angeles.

“You’ll never run out of things to do in this city. Believe me,  I’ve lived here over 50 years.”

Her Classic Red lips spoke in between yellowed teeth and drags of her cigarette.  The tiny old woman with her wiry, yet styled platinum hair, dark eyebrows, fake eyelashes, sunken nose, and sage advice walked us through an empty apartment in The Valley stopping when she opened a door exposing a huge hole in the ceiling of one of the bedroom closets. The popcorn texture around the hole bled from brown to yellow.  

“Oh. That hole is being fixed next week. What brings you girls to Los Angeles? Actresses?”

This is the first time in my life that I had ever been to L.A. 

It’s been nearly 21 years to the day of this encounter, and I can confidently tell you that the David Lynch side character lady was correct. Los Angeles is massive. And magic. She didn’t tell me that, but I know that’s what she meant.

That brings us to Tree People.

I went to Tree People yesterday. It’s this amazing hiking trail in like, Beverly Hills maybe? off Coldwater Canyon and Mulholland Drive. This place is FOUR miles away from me and I didn’t even know it existed until recently. You are in the middle of seemingly nowhere and YET you can see all of the valley. It’s absolutely…peaceful. 

Except I was hiking and there were bugs around and my kids were walking real close to the edges of cliffs so there might have also been some complaining. But it was peaceful complaining. Everyone we passed was talking to their hiking buddy/on their phone about the last show they worked on and how much they loved/hated the main actor/actress/director on the show. FYI, be nicer if you’re any one of these.

This is when, maybe? my life has been changed, blessed, though I didn’t realize it at the time.  I think that I may have hiked past Lady Gaga. I’m not kidding. She was very dressed down, white tank top, dark sweats, walking a dog and I don’t even know if she has a dog. I was yelling at kids at the time.  I tried to keep my conversation going, unhickuped with Book Friend, who was also there,  because I didn’t want to stare at her or expose that I know who she was, so I can’t be 100% sure it was her, but hear me out, it was her. I searched her name on Twitter to see if she’s even in LA and she’s trending. Also, probably in LA. I’m weirded out that people on twitter know this. 

“Oh my god!”, I think, “She was spotted by TMZ while hiking with some dog! I’m part of her trend!!!” Not quite. 

Apparently, it was her birthday yesterday. I still haven’t accurately located Gaga, which is fine, but I DID find out it was her birthday so I’m forced to assume that, if not her on the trails, then she’s a witch materializing in front of people so they google her. – It’s a birthday ruse. I was visited by Gaga. 

Sadly, she was NOT hiking in Louboutin’s. If it was even her, but I’ll tell you I was upset when I googled and found out that that was a thing that I could possibly have witnessed.

So whether Gaga was in LA, hiking on her birthday or not, I was visited by her astral projection on her birthday so I’m forced to believe that Lady Gaga is of supernatural skill if I was not blessed by Gaga, herself.

I also re-fell in love with LA, as if I needed another reason. I did drive on Mulholland Drive which is always a strange drive, and I reaffirmed the truths of my probable guardian angel, Old Lady Lynch Character. Also, the Essence of Gaga came to me on her birthday.

Los Angeles is as magical and weird as the first time I stepped foot in it, creepy apartments and all. The platinum blondes have blessed me.

The Last Day

We leave Oregon tomorrow. It’s been a good trip but I’m pretty sure I’ve worn out my welcome. That happens to me a lot. Thankfully, I wasn’t thrown off a cliff when we went hiking today.

I’m writing this distracted. I’m rewatching the Golden Globes because I missed Oprah and I’m also really focused on finding out who the lady in the purple dress was and how out of place she must’ve felt. Her stylist has been probably fired and and someone should’ve given that woman a dinner jacket. How embarrassing. How do you make that kind of mistake?

Anyway, today we hiked somewhere where you could see Washington State, a bunch of volcanoes, and some really amazing trees with moss all over them that look like they belong in an arty film about loss and rediscovery that may involve ghosts.

And then we came back to the house where my brother-in-law brought out some wine he made with grapes from the garden that were smashed up by someone’s feet ( I don’t want to know ANY more details) and fermented with wood chips in tubs in the garage for 6 months. It was pretty sour but super impressive.  Fingers crossed we don’t all get diarrhea from it tomorrow on the plane ride home.

This is short because I need to go pack. After I see Oprah.

Where the heck is Oprah??

Until next time, Oregon. If we’re invited back.

Housewifing 101: “Ladylike Exercises” (part 2)

part 1

I’m supposed to be doing the daily exercise thing as soon as I wake up in the morning. “Only 5 minutes a day!” but I woke up this morning cold and annoyed at the cat so my first thoughts were things like, “I’m going to feed you to pigeons, cat.”, not looking at my neighbors from my open window while dancing an Irish jig because I need the “open air”. Although now that I think of the bar I could raise around here by kicking my own buttcheeks while I stare down a groggy-eyed neighbor who was just woken up by Riverdance, the morning jigs take on a whole new importance.

I haven’t done the exercises yet, though. I’ve thought about doing them, or rather, how I’m not doing them while I sip my coffee and judge people on social media before the kids wake up and demand their breakfasts. I should do them, if only for the power-play on unsuspecting neighbors and the added bonus “concerned look” from my husband.

I haven’t been sitting around on my comfy pants laurels, though, so give me a break. I have regularly been walking around the neighborhood with my nurse friend (I take a nurse in case I die) on her days off, or when she forgets how much I embarrassed us on our last walk, and yesterday I went on a hike through the Malibu hills (or are they mountains? I’m from Colorado so everything else is hills. Deal with it, hills) anyway, we were hiking with the Cub Scouts and it was a thing and I demand exercise credit and possibly an award for it.

First of all, we get there, we’re not even walking yet, we’re just there in a big group and the bugs begin surrounding me like they can already smell my death, which is flattering considering we decided to meet in front of the bathrooms.

I smell worse than public bathrooms.

I’m trying to act cool like this doesn’t bother me as the Scout leaders start talking about safety.  They’re showing us these high resolution, charts and arty photographs and I’m standing here looking like Pigpen suddenly realizing that I still have no idea what poison oak looks like even though I’m right here looking at a picture of it.  Like I see it on those charts in all of its various forms and colors, but I promise I will be the one who will walk right into a whole patch because they’re pretty much like any other plant growing around. And here’s the thing with this crappy plant, from what I think I understand, you don’t even know you touched it for like days and then your skin sets itself on fire. Like is it shingles? Is it an angry demon? How would I ever know? This is why I avoid the outside. Bugs and poison. Maybe there is something to exercising inside in front of a screened window. I mentally note this as I slap away some flies that were hanging out and probably starting to lay their bug eggs on my calf. I should’ve gotten one of those beekeeper suits or something. In fact, maybe that’s just how I go outside from now on. I’ll just become “The bug suit lady” to the kids. Annoyingly, I did not have a suit on this journey and I did not know what plants were demons and I hoped that maybe my cloud of flies would protect me and I don’t wake up in a week clutching a bible.

But we did it. We hiked. My legs were shaky, the den leaders were picking up trash as they went and looking at me like it’s my turn next. Dude, I was lucky I could lift my leg to climb up the really steep path, the candy wrappers will not be picked up by me. You’ll have better luck thinking that a bird will get excited by the glint off the shiny wrapper, pick it up and fly it off to a trash bin than you do of me doing it.  I was also in my high-top Chuck Taylors because athletic shoes are super ugly and I will suffer for my fashion. Even if it means slipping off a cliff to my death. I did not slip and die but I felt like it could’ve happened at any given moment.


This picture makes it appear that I am really tall, towering over all these men and children.

Anyway, I went outside. I did exercise. I worried that kids were going to fall off tall rocks, I got bit by bugs. I do not know what poison oak looks like, I am not tall. See, I do not feel the same sense of dread or general bug infestation from my living-room, so tomorrow, I jig.  And stare down the neighbors. It’s much more my speed.