Thursday, October 28, 2010

Humble Abode

And when I say humble, I mean rustic... My penchant for old things has finally reached its pinnacle with our new home. Built in 1932, the Spanish fourplex that we live in is simultaneously shabby and beautiful. Damaged during the Northridge earthquake, our second floor unit has such a slanted floor that you can roll a pencil down to its sagging corners.
But I am determined to reveal its utmost potential! This is hard to do on a budget, but as I set out to take my little iPhone photos of my favorite nooks, I realized I have had some very good luck at finding inexpensive treasures. I also realized that I am a hopeless street scavenger...real classy.

Let us begin at image 1 with the mint-green vase that cradles my little succulent.
Vase: $7 on ebay
Succulent: Poached from a floral arrangement at a wedding

Image 2
Glasses: $10 for a set of 5 from the Jewish Council Thrift Shop; these occasionally debut as vases, thereby doubling their value!

Image 3
Painting: free, by me. If you can't afford art, make it.

Image 4
Frame detail on a Japanese painting from different Jewish Council Thrift Shop: $15
Also pictured, though quite foggy, red stocking screen print obtained in rather hazy time of life and a print from best friend, Kelly Ball.

Image 5
Embroidered pillow cover: $5 for a pair at local garage sale.
Bulgarian doily: A gift from Zlatka, my Stepmom's Mom.
Huge beautiful chair: free, bitches.

As a curbside scanning freeloader, this chair may be my crowning glory. Some call it disgusting, I call it fate. One day, my friend Michelle came over to see our new place before work. Seeing as we'd be proceeding to our place of employment using, for her, a foreign route, she decided to follow me. As I wove the way through Pico Blvd. and beyond, I screeched to a halt. There she was: the mustard colored chair of my dreams (because our collection consists mostly of 70s stragglers, we have a lot of mustard-colored furniture). Perfect condition, brass buttons and filled with down.
Michelle stopped behind me and, after failing to put the chair in my caboose, we put it in hers. See what I mean? Fate. If Michelle hadn't followed me to work, I never would have been able to claim my rightful place upon this velveteen throne.

My sister-in-law thinks I bought it on the hush, and, to hide the extravagance, invented this story. But I know the truth. It was a gift from God.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Just Love Old Stuff

About 6 years ago, on a magical night of good wine and conversation with a friend, I was introduced to the beautiful little world of stereoviewers, stereoscopes and the three-dimensional amusement of a bygone era.

Stereoviewers, or Stereoscopes, allow small, side by side, images to converge into one curiously rich 3D experience. As soon as my friend set me up with one of these, I fell in love. As a Jane Austen-loving girl who grew up putting socks on my hands like they were gloves at a ball, I found my key to the past where I belonged. He had boxes of the photographs and I think I looked at all of them.

He sent me home with a spare viewer (yes, this awesome photophile had a spare stereoviewer) and I have amassed a small, but precious, collection since.

Above, you can see a couple of favorites from my collection that really come to life through a viewer. The Kremlin, whose water emits a perfect reflection in 3D, and Swedish women picking sugar beets in their bonnets; they look like aligned mannequins picking at the soft soil.

People collected these as tokens of a land they may or may not have visited...almost like flipping through an issue of National Geographic at exotic things you'd never see otherwise.
The photos still allow a vicarious experience, but of a time past. And I love them for that.

Monday, October 25, 2010

back in the saddle

After a very complex transition between jobs, company I keep, feelings that I feel, and hobbies that I neglect, I think I am ready to start blogging again.
I began a new job at Craft, and, while the caucaphony of clattering silver and gulping patrons was not something I missed about this industry, I found something quite unexpected.
The people. Oh, my colleagues, how I love you! Brought out from behind my rather bleak and weary shell, I am perfectly at ease being my unpredictably sensitive and offensive self with them. I am even lovingly nicknamed "No Filter."I kind of like's true.

So although this is certainly not what I expected to be doing after my 2009 graduation from UCLA, I can't think of a better outcome from this unexpected detour than getting myself back. Perhaps it's also a symptom of years passing, but I'm feeling a bit more settled in this skin sack. Although my previous job was in a serene, creative setting, I somehow felt malnourished within. This new endeavor piles papers of wine and food print-outs all over me...I know what a fejoia is (do you? didn't think so).

Moving on from fejoias, my point is that I will be blogging again.

The poem in my previous post is the first that I have written in over a year. Inspired to pour out some sort of thick verbal gook, I wrote it after my Nana's death. The week she died, I thought about all the things I wanted to be doing and wasn't. I thought about how she would want me to be happy. Strangely, it helped me to know what I need to be happy when I looked at what she would want for me.

I'll be posting again soon.


On the rarest of openings, being
reminded of that gaping tenderness,
too great to blanket or mend,

An opening with shaking-leaf edges,
the inside is a fact,
a truth-
agape at itself

The beholder becomes an accomplice,
a cursed knower,
reluctant follower
or serene meditation.