Archive for dinner

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 12, 2011 by ana

Last night Claudia, the chef who owns the restaurant where I work, cooked a huge paella on a fire pit in her backyard. It was the best paella I’ve ever had in my life- not dry, not greasy, not overcooked, just fragrant with saffron and perfect.

My friend Liddy and I got massages before going to the party and got there kind of late. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, one of the best things about LA is how easy it is to get a really great $50 massage on a moments notice. We felt brand new as we walked up the hill to the party. My sister met us there. Claudia’s house is almost like a tree house. The place was buzzing with people- outside on the deck, in the living room watching Hable con Ella, chatting around the dinner table, washing dishes, drinking in the yard or simply sitting around the fire waiting for the second batch of paella. A little boy ran around with a toy rifle wearing a magician’s hat. Liddy poured glasses of pink bubbly. We took in the view, the yard with its chicken coop in one corner and the plum and orange trees. We gobbled fork-fulls of rice, chorizo, and seafood, and talked to our friends high above Glendale Blvd. overlooking the reservoir with the observatory at a distance. It was the kind of night that makes you fall in love with LA and makes you think twice about moving away.

On the drive home I felt a little sad. Claudia, Liddy and I had been talking about dating, about wanting a summer full of sex. Claudia asked me if I had seen Leo lately. And I said what I always say we email but I can’t see him. It’s too hard. I feel like I saved myself from a lifetime of conflict and sorrow but that doesn’t make it any easier. That doesn’t make me love him less. I’m just not in love with him anymore. I’m not really angry at him anymore but when missing him sticks its claws in me it’s really hard to shake it off.

Saturday night at the movies

Posted in 37 with tags , on March 13, 2011 by ana

It’s been a while since I went to the movies. Last night I watched Jane Eyre with my friend Alicia. Before the movie we had a small feast at Hungry Cat. There is nothing like spending time with someone who knows you well and totally gets you. It is a quality I appreciate in my friends more and more and that I hope those I love feel from me. During dinner Alicia told me something she had been holding back since Christmas. She told me that at a party someone in my family had said that they had never liked Leo. The way they said it was very ugly. Alicia was conflicted about telling me and I loved her both for telling me last night and for waiting to tell me because back in December it would have crushed me to hear it.

My first reaction to what she told me was that I had always suspected they felt that way. Then I felt hurt. This is not the first time that my family has had something to say about my loves but it always surprises me. By now they should know who I am. Who a person chooses to be with is so personal and complex, and I’ve never understood where people get off being so black and white about how they feel about someone elses’ mate. Then I thought how much my parents, my siblings had loved Leo and I felt loved because of it. And for like the fifteen-hundredth time in my adult life I felt grateful to be born to my parents and not to anyone else in my family.

At the movies I kept thinking I’ve never really written what Leo was like. I’ve written about how I felt but I’ve never described him. He is short, dark with a salt and pepper pompadour, and for my taste an impeccable dresser. He was sweet, loving, funny, silly, full of details, talented, hard working, and he was never afraid to tell me how much he loved me. We laughed all the time. He would happily drive across town to bring me something I’d forgotten. He derived pleasure in pleasing me be it running to the market or rubbing my feet. He was also incredibly indecisive, always late, somewhat critical, and very OCD, and he often didn’t really hear what I was saying to him in terms of my needs. My love for him was passionate, honest, and generous. And that is all that should matter to anyone who loves me.

A quarter of the way into the movie I thought of a Saturday night soon after Leo and I had separated but had not yet split. I had gone to Hungry Cat and the movies with a friend. How hard that had been. What a mixed bag of emotions I was then. And then I thought- what my uncle thinks about Leo is his shortcoming not mine. I am trying to live my life as open-hearted, true-to-me, and fearlessly as I can. And right before I got caught up in the story and carried away by Jane and Rochester into the English moor I thought- I have become the woman I always wanted to be!

Posted in joie de vie with tags on December 11, 2010 by ana

Outside of my parents, my sisters, my cousin, and my closest friends (in proximity and spirit) I haven’t really told anyone about the split. Yesterday my sister told me that my aunt had asked her about the break up and how I was doing. At first when my sister told me, it gave me a lot of anxiety, this breakup has sort of been on a need to know basis. As in I need to tell you. I only want to talk about it when I want to talk about it. Sometimes I’m miserable and I need to let it out. Other times I’m having a good day and it’s the last thing I want to talk about.

At first I couldn’t figure out how my aunt found out. Then my other sister said she slipped up and said I wasn’t doing well when my aunt just asked how I was. She assumed she meant about the break up. My aunt then called my other sister to get the scoop. That sister said that it was hard but that I was doing great. Perspective is such an interesting thing. Doing well doesn’t exclude feeling devastated and an immense amount of loss. Doing well means I’m taking it one day at a time, riding the ups and the downs, trying to find the magic in things, and firmly moving forward.

At first I was miffed that my aunt knew. I just don’t want people saying things that will irk or hurt me in unexpected ways. Not that she will but I’m feeling very protective of myself and I don’t wan to hear to many- you deserve better or he wasn’t right for you. They don’t help in my specific situation. Yes, I deserve better. Yes, he wasn’t right for me in the end but I can’t negate all the ways in which it was right. I don’t want to hear bad things about Leo. He wasn’t bad. It wasn’t toxic. I know the short coming of my relationship. I was in it.

On the other hand, when people express disbelief and sadness. When people say he’s a fool. that feels accurate and good. Last night I went out with Jay, a friend who I am very fond of. He is visiting LA, and staying with a very wealthy friends in the hills somewhere. He picked me up in the fanciest car I have probably ever sat on. Everything inside was soft and plush. Everything was either wood or leather. We went to the Hungry Cat and had a lovely dinner. My friend Danielle made me the most delicious drink with tequila, lime, simple syrup and chili powder. We shared some oysters, hamachi and a grouper with spicy dates. We talked about Leo, about Miami, about dreams, about old friends. We both went to the same small school for awhile. My entire school pre-k through 12 had maybe 350 students, and over the years I have found that the greatest legacy that school has left me is how close you always feel to people who went there even if you didn’t know them first hand.

Jay is perhaps one of the loveliest people I know. He’s kind, warm, and fun. He has a sadness in his eyes that I always find appealing in people especially if they, like Jay, also have incredible joie de vie. When I told him about Leo he just kept saying- I’m sorry. And when he drove me home he said a few times, I know in six months your are going to be great. I said, I hope so. He said, I know so.

When I got home I started unpacking some things and then started to feel a little sad. I think the sadness was heightened by the drinks and getting my period. My friend F. who is staying with me for the weekend was still out on a date and I ate some cookies even though I had dessert with Jay.

In the end perhaps it’s for the best that my aunt knows. I’m spared of having to tell everyone the news when they ask how Leo is.

Le Divorce

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on November 6, 2010 by ana

Today is my day off! I still have some work to do-I have to transcribe a video for my freelance job and work on my scene for class but I slept until almost eleven then stayed in bed watching Whip it! and reading Jeana Sohn’s blog.

Right now, I wish I had some sort of spicy, chai latte type drink and a pretty new nail polish. Instead I’m about to start cutting into some pages from magazines I’ve set aside to glue in my datebook later. I’m feeling lazy and girly and a little sad. I’m trying to ignore the sad part.

Last night my boyfriend and I went out on a date. It was our first time spending time together alone since I moved out. He came to pick me up at my cousin’s like a proper date. I was a little nervous and hesitant walking outside to meet him. There was a moment the day before were we almost broke up. I sent him an email saying that I didn’t think we had a future together, and that I was just so tired of being in pain and confused. Maybe it was wrong to still agree to go out on a date because I don’t think it will help with the confusion but I’ve never been in this place before, where I loved someone and they loved me but we just want sort of different things, and I’m not quite sure how to to go about the whole thing. When he picked me up we hugged and I started to cry. It totally surprised me and caught me off guard. I pulled it together for the sake of my makeup and because I really didn’t want it to be the beginning of a sob filled night.

We had dinner at the bar at Church & State: mushroom tart, steak frites, vegetable cassoulet, kir royales for me and a cucumber vodka cocktail for him. The guy sitting next to me had great striped socks and his lady was all dolled up. Everyone at the restaurant looked great. I wasn’t too dressed up. I haven’t been feeling it these days. We had a really nice time but “le divorce” was definitely on my mind. I’ve started to think of our break up as le divorce because that is what it feels like. Separating the life we’ve been building together will be very, very hard- like a divorce. But don’t think that just because I think about our break up that I don’t harbor hope as well. I still want it to work out, I just want it to work in both our best interests long term more than anything else. I want to make the decision that I will be the happiest with a few years from now. That is what’s hard. I don’t want to stay because it’s easy and because it’s fun, and I don’t want to leave because it’s difficult to figure things out.

Across the street from the restaurant there are beautiful lofts, and I could see myself moving there. I own a huge table, it deserves a nice home. One of the most mind boggling parts about all this is the question of where I will go if we break-up, it constantly weighs on my mind. I so desperately want a home, and I thought I was finally getting one. At dinner we talked a little bit about that, about home, about us but mostly we talked about projects and Brian Ferry and food and work, regular stuff. We didn’t kiss though we both said at different times that we wanted to. It would just be too much. We sort of kissed each others neck but that was all. It was nice. It was also strange. After dinner we drove to Cafe Stella for wine and dessert. We had a great time there too. He said- that’s what makes this so hard, I love talking with you, I have such a good time spending time with you.

So, all of that is lurking in the back of my mind but I don’t want to go there today. I’m so sick of feeling miserable. I just want to relax and rest and recharge. My dad is coming into town tonight. I’m really excited to see him. I can’t help thinking that I will be sad when he leaves. I keep pushing the thought away. Because I get really sad when I think about how much I miss my family and how far away they are. It just really have to stay present. So much of my energy goes into making ends meet, into working on the things that I do to hold myself back-like not loving exactly who I am, into trying to figure out where my light will shine, that I forget to enjoy what I have right now. Yesterday, I was reading the interview with Anne Hathaway in November’s Vogue, and I felt so stressed. Whenever I read or hear about people who have have been acting since they were nine or wrote their first book at twenty-two I panic. I feel that I will never be able to catch up. Yesterday, though, after the panic I had a new thought-even if I don’t see it, or even feel it, I am on a path, my path and it will unfold in a way that is unique to me. The best thing I can do is think about that whenever I feel lost or sad. It’s important to always enjoy where you are, even if where you are doesn’t feel so nice.

The new world

Posted in 37 with tags on October 27, 2010 by ana

Tuesday night my honey and I went for a fancy birthday meal at Craft. It was lovely and kind of random and perfect all at the same time. I love getting dressed up and going out. I wore this black, seventies-looking pantsuit and a chunky gold necklace my dad gave my mom a long time ago. While waiting for our dessert I got a beautiful long, gold necklace, with a charm shaped like an egg, as a gift. There was a little note tucked away inside of it.

There was nothing I didn’t love about the evening but towards the end of the night I felt detached and sad. There was a time when I truly believed we were going to get engaged somewhere between our vacation, his birthday, our anniversary and my birthday. When I got the gift I was reminded of that, and I couldn’t let go of the feeling. The note, which was sweet, just felt like salt in a wound. It said he was thankful I was in his life. It was lovely but it fell short. All I could think of was that we both now existed in this new world, one were the possibilities of not being together were so real that they often surpassed the hope that we would make it through together and be better for it.

I don’t know how to properly explain how surreal this all feels. I have been happy with this man for the last 6 years of my life. We have had so many fantastic days and evenings filled with laughter, love, attraction, not to mention that we are great writing partners and have the best time together. Our lives are filled with all the things we love like movies, museum trips, plays, lovely meals, walks or just simply being at home. It’s hard for me to deal with how ashamed, angry and hurt I feel. After the relationship we’ve had how can this man not know if he can be with me for the rest of our lives.

A very large city, indeed

Posted in 37 with tags , , on October 17, 2010 by ana

Last night we were on the west side. I never go west. Sometimes I think the beach is so close I should just drive over and see the ocean but it seems so far away. And it is. It really felt like we were in another world.

The few times a year we find ourselves out there we take the opportunity to eat at some of our favorite places- mainly Gjelina on Abbot Kinney or Mori Sushi on Pico. Last night we ended up at Gjelina with two friends and had grilled squid with grapefruit and avocado, and pizza one with lamb sausage and tomato confit, and another with gruyere and caramelized onions. We drank two bottles of Petalos, a spanish wine that I really like, and had a grand time. It was pretty and cozy at the restaurant- the wood, the tiles, the dim lights. It really did feel like we had been transported to another city, something like a cross between Brooklyn and Chelsea. Last night I think I finally got the west side’s appeal. There is something very luxe amidst its boho Jim Morrison vibe. Something very Barneys, art gallerish, designey about it. The opposite of the east side’s hipster thing.

This city is so big. Sometimes that is one of worst things about it but other times it really adds to its magic. Friday we walked around our neighborhood in search of dessert and wine. We wandered through Koreatown marvelling at how it felt like we were in a different country and not just Korea. Part of a sidewalk, taken over by the roots of the trees lining it, reminded me of Puerto Rico. The televisions in bars and restaurants, though they showed Korean television, reminded me of Spain.

That night we ended up at the HMS Bounty which also felt like somewhere else. Sitting in a booth felt like we were in the midwest and had stopped for a drink after a long day of driving cross-country. But their we were, sipping terrible wine across the street from where Robert Kennedy was shot and up the street from where the Brown Derby used to be. And then we walked home. It felt good to walk home. Walking anywhere in LA always feels special.