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Experiences Holidays

Happy 2017!

January 6, 2017

I spent the last moments of 2016 with a slice of pizza to raise in the air at midnight instead of a drink. In my head I could hear the part of me who always makes things bigger than they are consider this some important symbol of change: If you want things to change, you have to do something different. But in my heart, this was mostly about eating free food and getting home safely.

Some mild chaos ensued (something about someone wanting champagne and deciding 11:59 was the moment to voice this) and we missed the stroke of midnight. People started counting anyway, but counting backwards at any time other than 10 seconds before the new year or the last 10 seconds of a timed game just sounds like we’re employing an anger management technique. You just had to laugh at how all-over-the-place everything felt and how narrowly we missed the mark.

This is what I want! Mild chaos of the innocuous sort. And plenty of pizza.

Cheers to an amusing new year!

Anything Goes Experiences Holidays

Visiting My Family for Thanksgiving Recounted in Unspoken Thoughts

December 1, 2015
  • I’m sleeping in my old room next to a huge pack of dixie cups and several dozen rolls of toilet paper piled up in the middle of the floor because my room was turned into a glorified storage closet shortly after I moved out.
  • A bunch of old home videos have been converted to DVD by my dad. I looked like Joseph Gordon-Levitt (in his 3rd Rock From the Sun days) when I was a 11 because I used to part my hair down the middle. Also, I used to say really fucking embarrassing things at that age, like “I’ll sock ya!” I had a ton of annoying kid energy, the kind I still do when I’m alone in my apartment.
  • Under “I have good parents” memories I’m banking the time my dad stood next to the sweet potato casserole all night and declared how good it was over and over again because it’s one of the only things I’ve made for Thanksgiving, ever.
  • We’re sitting by Nordstrom’s at the mall drinking coffee. My mom asks my dad, “should we tell her?” And then they decide that now is the time to tell me what they would like me to do with their bodies when they die. They also asked for feedback on their plans.
  • My dad tells a dirty joke and I don’t understand it. My parents then have a debate over whether I’m old enough to know these things. I’m present for the entire debate but have no say in the matter. Sadly, they decide that I’m an adult. They explain the joke and I bleed from my ears.
  • My visit home is almost over and I can tell that my parents are getting sad. Who will help them google Pat Sajak’s and Vanna White’s salaries when I leave?
Anything Goes Experiences Rambling

I Talk About The Weather More Than Anybody I Know

November 2, 2015

Everybody has their thing, I suppose, and I’m starting to realize that my thing might be talking about the weather–you know, that subject you discuss when you’re absolutely awful at small talk. That’s a strange thing to fixate on when at the end of the day, I live in a very temperate climate that has a range of about 20 degrees throughout the entire year. But I’m the type of person who likes to talk again and again about a few select things and after all is said and done be completely willing to start the same conversation all over.

Speaking of the weather, it’s finally colder in Los Angeles which means I spend every spare moment I get drinking chamomile, lighting tea lights and sitting around watching Frasier. The other night we had a windstorm and there was a terrifying trifecta of a pipe rattling against the next building, dried foliage hitting my porch and the clatter of my kitchen window. I had fallen asleep on my couch and I woke up to what I thought was someone breaking in. For the rest of the night I lied there with my eyes wide open listening to every creak and squeak, suddenly feeling like the age of my building was so much less charming than it had been before. My apartment has all sorts of quirks that make up for the lack of decor I keep procrastinating on. I might not be giving myself enough credit, though, since there’s a really great Forrest Gump poster I temporarily taped up in my kitchen when I moved in this summer that’s still there. I really should decide where I want to put that.

In between drinking tea and envying Frasier’s apartment, I’m enjoying another thing I talk about way too much–this recording of Cold War Kids’ First. If you think you’ve heard this song a thousand times, this will make you feel like you’re hearing it anew, all stripped and full of that feeling you get in your chest when you’re reminiscing a little too much. Definitely worth listening to another thousand times.

 

Experiences

Pimping My Ride

October 3, 2015

I can’t say if I’m sure karma exists, but in a weird way, I believe that balance does. Such proof exists in the fact that I accidentally left my car on a street while street cleaning was happening and miraculously did NOT get a parking ticket, but instead was punished with having my side mirror broken off and swiped by somebody who decided to remain anonymous.

See? Balance.

It’s annoying that I’ll never find out who did it, but adulthood is full of minor misfortunes like this. I go back and forth between feeling pissed at the unfairness and grateful that something worse didn’t happen. I lean more towards the latter, but I can’t tell if a look-on-the-bright-side approach makes me a well-adjusted person or if it’s a case of mild denial. Mostly I think about how I could stand to be a little more prepared because I don’t think these little mishaps ever stop rolling through.

Now my mirrors are different colors, but my car was screaming for a makeover anyway (really, the upside down ‘s’ on the trunk just wasn’t enough). I have a boring looking car that I am hopelessly in love with. Yep, I’ve never had any work done on my car, don’t even know that much about cars, but I love my car like…another person loves his/her car? No great analogies, just fond memories of bad days when the only alone time I had was in my car. I love that thing. Hopefully I’ll get to drive it for years to come.

Experiences

Mandatory Fun | Weird Al at The Greek

September 21, 2015

weirdal[Image Credit: The Orange County Register]

I’ll try not to use the word “weird” in this post as much as I usually do to avoid confusion given the artist’s name, but I’m a creature of habit and change is hard.

A long time ago when I was a kid, I had a hard time making friends and I felt like I didn’t fit in. Then one day I was looking on the internet to see if there a song about Spam existed, and I found Weird Al’s parody of Stand by R.E.M. and realized how fine a little strangeness was: how fun it was, how normal it could be. I’ve been a Weird Al fan ever since and Saturday night when I saw him at The Greek, there was definitely a part of me that was going back in time and giving young Nhi a big hug. Is that a weird way to put that? Everything felt so full circle and I was sort of emotional about it.

I parked in a neighborhood near The Greek and took a lyft up to the venue, which was brilliant until after the show, when my phone started glitching and I couldn’t hail a ride back down to my car. This is exactly why Mrs. Demedeiros in 7th grade never took our shit when we turned in assignments late because of computer and printer malfunctions–she knew technology was shit and we shouldn’t rely on it anyway. Coincidentally that’s the year I first discovered Weird Al, but let’s just say I’m deliberately tying everything together because I’m just that clever. The walk back to my car wasn’t too bad, but as I had saved its whereabouts on my phone I was left with only a foggy memory of where it was. I tried telling Siri that my touchscreen didn’t work and she just said sorry so I guess it makes it all ok.

You know, it might be the first time I felt too normal for a situation, not that I’m complaining. I could’ve dressed up, especially given that I have some questionable hats from my past hipster life that my old roommate said made me look Amish. Amish Chic–I hope one day when some indie LA clothing brand nabs that name they’ll google it and see it was here first. Vouch for me, guys.

His show is really a multi-media experience. In between songs he plays everything from Al TV clips to shows and movies that reference him–proof positive of his iconic status, not that you needed it. It’s all even funnier live, since you can’t not laugh when Miley Cyrus is projected on the big screen while the accordion plays Wrecking Ball. Every song and moment was pure gold and even now I’m holding on to every joke I can remember. 7th grade me probably never thought I’d see him live, but the day came, I did, and that’s one more thing crossed off the bucket list now.

Experiences Music

Jack White, Cold War Kids and My Brain on Fire

June 19, 2014
CWK:Jack White The Fonda 061014 - 10

I’ve seen a good amount of live music this year. I never saw myself as cool enough to be that person who “goes to shows,” but as it turns out, all you have to do to be that person is to buy yourself a ticket and show up at the right place at the right time.

That makes it sound like a guessing game, which it isn’t.

140610_JWIII_LosAngeles_Fonda_Show_0148

Photo credit: http://jackwhiteiii.com/

Last Tuesday I saw Jack White at the Fonda. Hopefully once that statement sinks in I’ll be able to go back in time and enjoy the show as a blissful reality instead of the indigo-tinted fantasy I recall it as now. I couldn’t explain to you how much I loved Blunderbuss two years ago and how much I’m enjoying Lazaretto now not because the love is so great (it really is though) but because I’m not musically proficient whatsoever. I like hearing other people review the actual music, though, but my own review for any music is purely instinctual–as in, damn, that’s good, or no, please don’t do this to my ears. Or I could ramble about how I like the use of sound as a motif in Jack White/The White Stripes lyrics. You can take the girl out of the English major…

People are right–I do take the fun out of everything.

I know the point of seeing someone in concert is to be near them, but as someone who is the smallest person in any given room, I don’t take well to general admission. If not being able to see over the person in front of you wasn’t bad enough, there’s just less air at my level in crowds. You’re surrounded by dozens of sweaty, heaving chests and the risk of nipple-to-cheek action soars like a billion percent. When I was at Coachella trying to walk to one of the tents I had to cross the Lana Del Rey crowd and literally got stuck between people for what must’ve been half an hour but felt like eternity. Next thing you know, I was crying to ominous sound of her voice, but only because I couldn’t believe this was going to be the last thing I was ever going to hear before I got suffocated and it was all over. This is a long way of saying I really don’t mind being in the balcony at the Fonda.

I was excited as hell about seeing Jack White live and because dreams really do come true, the opening act turned out to be none other than one of my favorite bands, Cold War Kids. I hadn’t been this excited about almost anything since 30 Rock had that great Weird Al storyline. I preemptively crowned that night as the best of the year, and thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. I’ve seen Cold War Kids at the Fonda before, and when they play the crowds do this light rocking thing where they bob their heads appreciatively until “Hang Me Up to Dry” comes on and everyone freaks out.

It’s obvious I thought Jack White was awesome, right? Lots of White Stripes songs, which I have no complaints about. I’ve had a couple of friends say interesting things about the band but as I’ve mentioned, I just don’t know enough to say something that would sound like I wasn’t talking out of my ass.

“I’m in a talkative mood,” he said at the start of his set. “Please don’t mind me.”

And that was almost the only thing he said all night. Two hours for the punch line, and totally worth it.