Archive for drinks

“Until my middle name was excess.”

Posted in 37 with tags , , on August 15, 2011 by ana

Cleo and I have been friends since 1994. We went to art school together and have shared so many laughs and tears I consider her to be my wife. I don’t know when she became that but I suspect it was somewhere around the time when we were going out six nights a week back around when I was 26 and she was 23. When I left New York she was, and still is, what I missed the most of my life there.  As of late I have been very lucky to have her in LA a few times a year. She’s been here twice this month. She left yesterday.

Saturday we went to see a movie. We were both tired and sad.  We sat outside the theater smoking a cigarette, and I said to Cleo,  “there is this hole in me, it has always been there, and I have always filled it with clothes and food and cocktails and shoes and boyfriends and cigarettes. Those are my default settings to ward against loneliness or boredom. I’ve never learned to fill it up with anything else, with anything that will actually fill it.”

Lately I have come closer to filling it than ever but I still haven’t really. I’m still being excessive. It is a quality I really don’t like about myself. It keeps me distracted. It keeps me from doing real work, from really creating or contributing at a level that I am capable of.  My acting teacher, Howard, would always tell people in class- don’t play dumber than you are. I think I have done just that but I don’t want to hold myself back anymore. Life feels too precious to waste any time.

I feel an urgency to change this, to pay off my debts, to travel, to live more and consume less. I feel thirsty to learn, to have great conversations, to keep growing. I feel such an intense yearning to actively create my own life and not just be a participant in it. I want a family of my own. I feel ready for it. I no longer fear how it will change me. It’s quite the opposite now. I feel ready but I don’t think I am. Otherwise it would happen, I am open. There must still be some things I have to tend to. For one, I have to start taking better care of myself. I have really been neglecting lately, albeit a fun neglect. I need to focus. I need to grow my creative self up.  I may be feeling more like a grown woman than I ever have but my guess is that I’m still about 10% shy of it.

Before we went to the movies I said to Cleo, “I can’t wait to move. I’m so ready to discover this new place, both it’s geography and myself in it.”

“You have to go out and live your life,” she said.

Los Angeles has been a great place to gestate.



Drinking and facebook

Posted in 37, reading with tags , on June 13, 2011 by ana


I love to read. I don’t do it as much as I used to when I lived in Brooklyn, and had a 45 minute commute to the museum I worked at in Queens, but I try to read at least a little everyday. Someone once said to me- those who love to read are never alone. And I think it’s true. A whole other world exists out there that you can get to only through books. More often than not when I read something I love I feel inspired but every once in a while it can be incredibly intimidating and paralyzing.  And then I know I must start to write, no matter what it is I write about, or I will loose my nerve. That is what I’m working with today. The fear that I will judge everything I write, deem it not good enough, and then spiral into a frozen abyss.

Last week I went for drinks after work with a few of the cooks and my friend who was managing that night. We went to Bigfoot, which is not that far from work, and also where Leo and I met. I had not been there since that day. The bar was nearly empty and we stayed until the lights came up. Then once the bar closed we stood outside talking for awhile. I didn’t really think of Leo, even though all we did was talk about relationships and sex and heartache, but of course he was still there in spirit*

I don’t know if it was the G&Ts or if being in that bar made me nostalgic but when I got home I logged back in to my facebook account. I don’t do facebook anymore. I find it doesn’t contribute anything of value to my life. Sure, it was fun seeing what people I went to elementary school with looked like as adults. Sure, it was fun reconnecting with old summer camp buddies or long lost friends but after that it just became a time-suck and the whole thing is just weird. But there I was at 2:30 am looking at what 150 of my closets friends had been up to in the last five months. And, of course, eventually I wondered over to Leo’s page. Now if you read this blog regularly you know that that is not my style. I have tried very hard to not bring any extra Leo stimulation into my life. But there I was. And there he was looking thinner, smiling, cavorting at his friend’s wedding wearing a shirt I bought him (or at the very least insisted he buy) at Paul Smith. And it shook me up. I couldn’t help thinking this should have been my wedding (or at the very least I should have been cavorting with him at that wedding.) Now, don’t think just because I’m writing this that I wish that things would have turned out different. I don’t. But a part of me, a smallish part of me, couldn’t help thinking how strange that his friend got married but we didn’t.

Ever since that night I have felt liberated. Not all at once but little by little as the days went by. And more and more my personal truth about the disintegration of my relationship emerges. That, as has always been the case in all my long term relationships, I outgrew it. The safety, the warmth, the companionship, the support, the fun, and even the periods after the break-up have always shown light in the missing pieces of myself and helped me grow more confident.


* “The experience of a city is made up of a constant negotiation with the ghost and residues of previous experience, most notably in Paris, with the ghost of insurrection and revolution, but also in Berlin which for Benjamin was above all a city of ghosts.” Howard Caygill (Walter Benjamin: The colour of experience)

PR / NY / LA

Posted in 37 with tags , , , , on May 16, 2011 by ana

Why do I feel guilty when I wake up late? This is something that annoys me about myself. There is no reason I should feel this way, specially on the mornings after I worked late, but I do. It’s one of those things that ties along with how difficult it can often be to be kind to yourself. I meant to wake up at eight and go to a workout class but instead slept ’til ten. I was so tired when the alarm went off, and I felt congested and groggy. It’s allergy season, well it’s always allergy season in LA because something is always in bloom. Whatever is blooming right now is not my friend.

Friday, Stevie and I watched Modern Girls and drank Gin & Tonics. Gin has never been my thing but the drinks she made were so yummy and refreshing that I think I’ve had a change of heart. Modern Girls was one of my favorite movies when I was twelve. When I was growing up there was a video store on the corner of my dad’s street. We could rent movies there and they would bill my dad later. From sixth grade until about ninth grade I would rent five or six movies every weekend. Often I would rent the same movies every weekend. In Puerto Rico at the time there was little access to a lot of music and stuff that wasn’t completely mainstream. Cassettes that had been copied two or three times would pass from friend to friend but for some reason video stores often carried a bunch of really cool stuff. I rented Sid & Nancy, Liquid Sky, Suburbia, Dogs in Space and Mondo NY from that store along with a lot of other eighties movies. Modern girls was one of those movies that I would watch over and over again. All those movies, along with some other things, I think contributed to why I am somehow not exactly, fully typical puerto rican. Of course, that’s all changed now. You can get anything on the internet. It’s funny to go home and see a girl wearing a shirt with Siouxsie Sioux’s face. That would have been such a prize for any of my friends.

Saturday, I went to the beach for a friend’s birthday. Before heading there I stopped to buy some little cakes and sweet treats at a bakery. I left my bag on the counter when I realized I hadn’t put any coins in the meter and ran out to put some money in. So I think it’s official- any drop of New York blood left in me has now been sucked out by LA. Not too long ago Milly and I had stopped to get coffee before going on a hike and as we were walking out I pointed to a table where someone had left a lovely Prada bag and an ipad while they odered coffee or went to the bathroom. “Can you imagine if someone did that in NY,” I said to Milly. “Her stuff would get swiped right away. Who leaves their stuff laying around like that?” The answer is me.

I headed west a little aghast. The drive through Malibu Canyon was beautiful and endless. I think I’ve been to the beach six times since I moved here, usually because someone who is visiting wants to go, and that may be why. Well, I also have this aversion to the beach in California because it feels too cold to me. From the time that I was three until I was ten I lived two streets away from the beach in Puerto Rico, and the water is very warm there. But I love the ocean, and it seems silly to live so close and never go. When I lived in Brooklyn I would sometimes take the train to Coney Island just to sit in the sand and look at the water.

I think Bette said it best-

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 28, 2011 by ana

“There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of Champagne.”

It feels like I’ve let myself go the past week or so. I really haven’t but it feels that way. Maybe it feels that way because I can see how easy it could be to just continue in that direction. It’s silly really. Nothing a manicure and some closet organizing wouldn’t fix. But when you are feeling low and can not really motivate to pluck your eyebrows or fold your clothes then those little things, that don’t matter if you are happy, matter. It’s just hard to motivate sometimes even when I know that if I shake my booty a little the world just feels rosier.

I was on my way to dance class but I ended up on the phone with Nai and just kept driving, weaving from neighborhood to neighborhood until it was too late to go. I half called her to talk about our upcoming weekend getaway and half to talk about my broken heart. She asked me again if I regretted my decision to leave Leo, and talking to her I realized how much I wallow in the feeling that I had no choice but to leave him.

“You did have a choice,” Nai said. “Saying that you didn’t is giving up ownership.”
She was right but it still felt a little like the other choices weren’t really choices.

After I hung up I found myself in Echo Park so I texted Stevie. A few minutes later I was at her door ready for a glass of wine and a cigarette. I know, I know, but like a regular, who I’m friendly with, said to me the other day at the restaurant- “You just have to drink wine and smoke cigarettes. How else do you cure a broken heart? That’s what I did when I got divorced.”

Stevie’s man poured me a glass of pink bubbly and played some records- The Stone Roses, Ride. It was 6:30 and the sun was just beginning to set. The air was kind of crisp and the music, the bubbly buzz, and the weather made me feel eighteen again.  Stevie dusted the last bits of sadness off of me and reminded me of what is so often hard to see when you are in the thick of it. She reminded me of how brave I’d been.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 14, 2011 by ana

So far today has been the perfect day. Still recuperating from a Saturday night full of champers and dancing in my friends’ living room I decided to lay low before what promises to be a busy, crazy night at at work. I’ve pretty much stayed in bed all day reading, listening to music, drinking tea, while doing laundry. It always feels so indulgent to stay in bed, to take a nap, or to watch a movie in the middle of the afternoon, and it feels good. It is becoming less of a struggle to be kind to myself.

Leo feels very present as I write this. I feel centered and womanly in ways I never did before. Letting go of him was the catalyst. His absence will always fill a space in that wholeness. I imagine to lesser and greater degrees as time elapses.

Last night The Sunday’s version of Wild Horses was playing at work. For some reason different versions of that song have been playing lately. It makes me feel a little crazy when I listen to the lyrics because I’m not quite sure how someone that felt as strongly as that song could bring herself to leave. That I could love someone so much and miss them so terribly but also feel that this moment (being alone, breaking up) had to happen. That strength scares me a little. I can’t wrap my head around it entirely.

I was cleaning out my inbox. Deleting emails as an exercise in letting go when I came across this one I wrote to Leo back in November.

I’m sorry I rained on your parade. It’s just incredibly hard for me right now. I love you but I feel like things are just completely out of whack. I think it might be nice to eat tomorrow night but at the same time it’s like-
what’s the point? You don’t know, after 6 years, if you see a future with me and I don’t think there is much of one anymore. My heart is broken into hundreds of pieces. I don’t think you quite get that. It’s very weird to me that you aren’t as devastated as me. That you aren’t wondering what the hell is going to happen to all the things in our home, who is going to live there, etc.

It’s so hard to imagine a future without you in it but everyday that passes that is the future that draws nearer. I know that I want to be in an adult relationship and that I want a child. I want to be with someone that wants that and that puts no boundaries on who I am with that child and what my believes are. I don’t think we are meant to be together anymore, this is the most painful thing ever. I can’t be in a relationship where who I am is in question, where I will be judged and loved by my values. Where things with that child would be dictated by specific rules.

I have always loved you exactly as you are. I have always tried to help you overcome the things that hold you back. I can’t help you overcome the things that hold you back from me and I can’t hold myself back any longer.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 19, 2011 by ana

Slightly exhausted after a night of oysters. Champagne, you are a treacherous friend!

Now that the dust has settled on my move and all the hoopla of the holidays is gone life returns to some kind of routine and in that routine lives a lot of restlessness and doubt. I have to remind myself that I don’t have to solve my life in one day. I have given myself six months to decide where I want to go or if I want to stay, and whenever that question pops in my head anxiety ensues.

Then there are all the projects I was so excited about two weeks ago that I now seem not motivated to sit down and do. My number one enemy is follow through. I never go the distance. I never expand my capacity as a writer, as an actor, as an artist. I don’t commit. I jump but then don’t have the courage to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I don’t want to be this way way anymore. I want to push against the glass walls that surround me. I want to expand creatively. I want to grow my gifts. There is a language out there that is all my own, and I need to truly know it. I need to find it, rely on it, and own it.

Trouble is I’m not sure how. I know that it is partially just showing up and putting in the time on the work, the practice of it all. I often feel inadequate when I try doing this but I think that is one of those fear that you have to ignore. In the showing up lies the breakthrough, I think. The learning curve is in the perseverance.

The thing that is so frustrating is that when I sit to do some work I freeze. For instance, I have been trying to take some pages from a novel I was working on a long time ago and do a visual project with them but when it comes time to do it I just loose interest no matter how excited I am about the work. It is then not a lack of interest but a judgement of the work and a fear and if they ever served me they no longer do.

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.