Archive for hotels

Speaking of feet on the ground and flipping yourself upside down.

Posted in 37 with tags , , on September 21, 2011 by ana

Cleo was in town for work. We met for dinner and had a meal of grilled oysters, pickled vegetables, house-cured ham and a burger at my old co-workers very meaty and very popular restaurant, Salt’s Cure. After we went back to her hotel room, which was bigger than any apartment either one of us has ever lived in, and sat in the kitchen drinking wine, sharing a piece of chocolate cake, and talking about love.

While sorting through and old box of journals I’d found a letter an old boyfriend had written me fifteen years ago. It was heartfelt and seductive. Written in thin almost translucent paper, typed on a typewriter late at night, it reached out to me with risk and hope. I read it to Cleo. She asked me if I thought that was the kind of letter one only writes when one is young? “I don’t know,” I said, “but you are probably right.”

The last few days I’ve sat at Intelligentsia drinking coffee and writing in my journal. When I was younger, around the time of the boyfriend with the typewriter, I did that every day. Recently, I read some of those old journals. They were celebratory and restless, full of wonderment but also of frustration, of reaching for things and wanting them desperately to be a certain way. From reading my scribbles I can describe the entire decade of my twenties as plucky, hopeful, tentative, and full of doubt. Now I’m just grown up versions of those words.  Over and over I have been plagued by the idea that if I make a mistake I am bad person. That if I don’t get something right away it is worthless, I am worthless. In there lies the seed of my current fears.

Let me just write it one more time in hopes that it will somehow go away. I’m scared to move to Paris. (I am also terribly excited but somehow that is playing second fiddle these days.) It took me a really long time to get a sense of community in Los Angeles, much longer than in New York.  In one city you are moving in your little pod from point A to point B, in the other you are pressed up against strangers everywhere you go. I’m scared that I’m making a mistake by giving up what I have built here.

The other day I sat in my car thinking of something Nicki said.  “If you sit with the emptiness long enough you begin to see it really isn’t empty after all.”  Parked outside of work I tried to feel the emptiness. To get a sense of it without attaching any other emotion to it, without saying it is good or it is bad. What I found, after a while, was that I was hungry. It was something I had never felt before. While getting ready for service at the restaurant I thought, hunger is the proactive version of restless. It is a  compass that has lurked asleep in me somewhere. Hunger is why I have always taken a million classes and workshops. It is why I’m moving. It is why I asked my boss if I could learn to make desserts at the restaurant.

I have done so much work on myself. I just need to trust that everything is exactly as it needs to be. I have to let things happen. Feral attachment to one specific idea has never served me. In the past I have always said, this who I want to be as opposed to looking around me and seeing the beautiful tapestry of things that are already there. Everyday I remind myself to let go of attachment to outcome.

In my dance class all the other girls are fast-flying tinkerbells but somehow I can’t do any of the crazy tricks. The instructor said, “you are very grounded that is why you can’t take flight. It’s a very good thing to be grounded. Just think light.” The other day Stevie, who hates my pole dancing classes but gets why I love them said, “that is why you are still here. You have to flip yourself upside down.” I have always been afraid of handstands and cartwheels. I could never even let go enough to dive in to a pool. She is right. I need to turn things upside down and learn once and for all that my own strength will catch me.


Tossing, turning and Dita Von Teese

Posted in family with tags on May 19, 2011 by ana

Last night I kept tossing and turning until about three in the morning. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t fall asleep. I was cold and couldn’t get comfortable until I was completely under the covers hugging a pillow. Usually I can fall asleep right away. It’s really quiet where I live and my bed and room feel like a cave at night. It’s cozy here but it’s always cold because my cousin is always hot. Part of the reason I find it cozy is  because it reminds me of my grandmother’s apartment in Virginia. I didn’t grow up with air conditioning ( something kind of odd for PR) in my home we only had ceiling fans because my parents liked it better. The apartment that I’m in now and the apartment where my grandmother lived both have central air. Scents linger in a different way in a home that has central air. The whole building often smells like her old building and like her home itself, a mix of laundry detergent, what ever is being cooked and Yardley’s lavender soap. On days when it’s warm it also reminds me of her apartment in summertime. The feeling coming into the cool inside from the sweltering outside. I also feel like I’m living in a hotel and I kind of like that.

My sleep has changed since I moved here mostly because I have a a big TV with fancy cable starring at me. This happened the first time I lived here too. I didn’t grow up with cable. The TV at our house was after thought so it holds a kind of allure for me. I guess it does for a lot of people but it’s a love/hate thing with me.  I find my life is richer when there isn’t one around but I’m drawn to it when there is one near me.

Last night I went out. It feels like a long time since I’ve gone out other than to a friend’s house or to dinner with my sister. I did go out for my friend’s birthday last Saturday but I didn’t get to be a social butterfly since I ended up talking with one person all night.  I guess I have been intentionally or not in a bit of a cocoon. Last night was different. I went to see Dita Von Teese dance at the Roxy and it was a lovely fun night. I was blown away by the production value of all of Dita’s numbers. I find her self-made spirit and lady-like everyday style incredibly chic and inspiring. I really enjoyed the show although I have to say, the girls in my dance class prancing in their heels and undies are way foxier and sultry.

luckiest girl

Posted in breakfast with tags , , on December 6, 2010 by ana

I have been camping out at my friend’s hotel room since last night.

Last night was a fun and at the same time it was tough. Even if I know why things didn’t work it doesn’t mean it’s easy. It might make it a little easier but it still sucks, and there are many moments of just utter loss and devastation. In the past couple of days I’ve really begun to understand why the man who loves me and who I love couldn’t commit to me. The feeling has shifted from feeling rejected to feeling grounded. The love doesn’t change but I understand more. In some really concrete way I finally feel what I have only gotten glimpses of in the past- that it has really nothing to do with me.

Still, last night while at my acting teacher’s Christmas party I felt really sad. Someone asked me where I lived and I said Koreatown. When he asked me who I lived with I said my boyfriend. It felt funny but I didn’t want to say- with my cousin. Until a month ago I was a grown woman living in an amazing apartment with the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. I think the hardest, hardest part of the letting go is the rupture of my identity. I really felt comfortable being in love. I really adored being Leo’s girlfriend. I was pleased as punch about the life we lived together.
Now that all that is gone I feel fractured. And for as much as I want the loss, and love, and anger, and disbelief to change to what it will eventually be, I can not force myself to cherish. It will come when time has run it’s course but I know that is where I am headed.

The party was lovely. Candles where lit everywhere, and there were several fire pits. Big stainless steel pots were filled with sangria, and the air smelled of bonfire and cinnamon. Everyone looked so lovely. Everybody was good-looking. Everybody was at least fourteen years younger than me. I left feeling the magic of the twinkle but also a little uneasy. It was a feeling that followed me to the next party. I was trying to put it in words but I couldn’t quite get it. I think in the end it all boils down to not being entirely sure how I feel about my teacher or my class. I don’t know if it’s me- how vulnerable I feel or that the things I’m working in class have hit a nerve. Everyone is really nice, people do great work but I miss the tight sense of community from my old acting studio, and I miss my old teacher who taught me Alexander Technique. He really saw me. There is something about my current teacher that I can’t put my finger on.

It was a magical evening. I love always finding the magic in things, and it’s easy this time of year with so much festivity. I know that if someone can only see one side of me and not all the wonderful and complex things that I am, well that is beyond my control, that has nothing to do with me. Earlier yesterday, I did a new age kind of workshop with a friend. One of the things that they kept repeating was- what people think of you is none of your business. I know that I’m always concerned that people don’t always see me for me. Some people only see the sweetness or the self-consciousness but I’m really beginning to feel my wholeness more and more. And I hope that this wholeness truly releases me from caring. It certainly is helping me answer a question that I have always felt ill-equipped to answer; who am I?

Who am I? I am a 37 year old woman who loves to cook, and write, and act. I keep notebooks full of collages and photographs. I love clothes, and shoes, and handbags. I love the people that I love passionately be it friend or lover. I am generous sister, a loyal friend, and a thoughtful daughter. I am a giving girlfriend when I’m in a relationship. I am creative, and lionhearted, and lovely. I always remember a face. I pay attention to detail. I love to celebrate and entertain. And I am slowly becoming a bold lady. Bolder than I have ever been. The road has brought me here. And here is Sunday night. I have just had a massage in the hotel, and I had waffles in bed with one of my best friends for breakfast. Who I am is a girl holding aces.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 10, 2010 by ana

My dad left this morning. We had such a nice weekend, even if my sister and I were both brokenhearted and sad, it was really magical and special to have him close for a few days. We stayed with him at his hotel, and ate nice meals, and walked around. I love staying in hotels, and I love hotel bars. Maybe that’s why I loved Lost in Translation so much, it really captures that dreamy, fabulous air that sleeping in a hotel has. I bet Sofia Coppola loves hotels too. They are definitely a theme for her-hotels and dads.

I have been crying all day but I also have some happiness inside-it’s the little things. Last night was a really lovely. My dad and I went looking for a sweater for his girlfriend at the Americana, which my dad aptly described as Disney-like. They were setting up their Christmas tree and the air was crisp and full of pine. I loved the joy the crazy fountain show brought me as we walked past it- the water moving to triumphant holiday music and the light making it sparkle. And I loved how cozy and loved I felt grabbing a drink with my dad at an Italian restaurant after, even if I was wishing as I was drinking it that tears weren’t falling into my prosecco. It was a really full night. Later, we drove across town to buy my sister the heels she’s been wanting, in hopes of cheering up her day.

Through the night my boyfriend kept asking if we were going out to dinner and saying he could meet us anywhere. I had told him I didn’t think it was best- it was so hard seeing him those three days. But he kept emailing me that if I changed my mind he was free. It broke my heart a little because I think he’s lonely and because it makes me realize how really clueless he is about this whole mess. Why are men like that? Why do they compartmentalize? In the car I asked my dad what he thought I should do.

And then this morning he called from the airport and gave me great advice- make the decision that will make you happy in the long run regardless of what happens now.