Monday, June 11, 2018

It's Like California Backwards

My friend Denise created these earrings for me...pretty fantastic, aren't they?

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Day Trip

As part of my ongoing quest to furnish my Burbank condo in a way that balances the midcentury aesthetic of Burbank with the Marie-aesthetic of handmade international quirkiness, I headed down to Orange, CA, over the weekend.

There's an old town there, and while "old" here is something entirely different from New York and vastly different from "old" in Europe or China, it was certainly older than the area surrounding it.

I caught the Metrolink train from Burbank to Union Station, changed to a different Metrolink train, and headed to Orange. I visited just about every shop and a flea market.

I didn't find anything. All I bought was a juice. But I enjoyed the browsing, and was back home by late afternoon.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018


I'm tempted. I'm not sure this would make sense as I'd have to miss one of the classes and it's clear across town and I never leave work on time, but yeah, tempted.

Monday, June 04, 2018


See that unassuming storefront?

That's camouflage for the Chocolate Shop behind it. You'd never know it's there. Most people don't.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

70 Stories over DTLA

See that enormous building in the middle of this photo?

That's the building with the transparent slide up on the 70th floor.

It sounds scarier than it actually is—the slide is only one story, so it's over before you realize it's begun. Tracy and I went on the slide in December when she was in town for work. We were terrified. Who wouldn't be? But also a bit disappointed. Slide, boom, it's over. No seconds.

The best thing about the slide is the wings painted on the glass.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

In the Eye of the Beholder

Over the weekend in JC, I pulled the cushions off the old sofa to beat the dust out of them. There was a brand name on the sofa frame underneath. The sofa had been in my office in Manhattan, and when the company moved to LA, I took home my furniture.

I had a house that needed furniture, and furniture that needed a house, so for the cost of a few hours U-Haul and a parking meter off Broadway, this made sense. It's nothing spectacular. Really simple.

I looked up the furniture now using the brand name.


...I really do not understand anything about value.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Home Furnishings

I just shipped my Moroccan rug from NJ to Burbank. This image is not my rug—it's one I found on Google Images that looks like my rug. I can't take a picture of mine, since it's in a box somewhere with UPS.

My rug isn't valuable and it was not expensive, and its sentimental value is primarily in being reminded of the discomfort of once being a rookie traveler. But I want a rug for next to my bed, and my Burbank condo is taking on the look of mid-century minimalist Foreign Service officer back from abroad, so the rug would fit in nicely.

I bought this wool kilim for $70 in 1995 because that's what I had in my pocket when pal Steve B and I went to Marrakech and thought it would be fun to visit a carpet shop.

It wasn't fun. It was intimidating. This was my first exposure to the hard-sell, and it was on top of being aggressively harassed by touts—including robed and hooded men on Jawa motorcycles—for the first time. (Aside: Marrakesh is way easier now. Don't even worry about this anymore.)

I'm not intimidated by this kind of thing nowadays, and if I were, I couldn't travel the way I do. But the rug I ended up buying out of the weird sense of obligation that goes along with being a tourist in a shop of emotional manipulation experts is headed my way, so I can look at it every day and feel both inadequate and ridiculous every morning.

But here's the thing about this's kinda dirty. I took it out in my backyard in Jersey City over the weekend and swept it, but its colors are dull. This morning, I searched for tips on how to clean it once it arrives in Los Angeles county.

And I got the answer.

Or at least, AN answer.

Take it to the self-serve car wash.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

I'll Show You for Free

I wish I could go on this tour, but I can't due to being 3,000 miles away.

This tour actually stops at my house and laments the stucco someone put up over the tin, probably in the early 2000s. The guide remembers seeing it happen.

I am annoyed about it too, but my hope is that person's cover-up action, probably an attempt to solve a cold or leaking problem, left me something to work with down the road.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Door Guardians

I bought a little hanging rack and set up these souvenirs I bought in Tunisia. They look great, and they'll keep away burglars, no doubt!