Tag Archives: Hermosa Beach

Eat, drink and be scary.

It’s that time of year and the season to rule them all has officially arrived. The air has a certain crispness to it, everything has a bit of pumpkin in it and the leaves are covering the ground in a gorgeous array of colours. It means that fields of corn are about to be harvested and people are finally breaking out their newly purchased jackets/coats. The best season ever is here! It’s finally fall and I couldn’t be more excited!

I'm jealous of this random woman who gets to enjoy fall. In fact, I hate her!

Ok, that’s a lie. I could be more excited about the autumn weather if I was actually able to experience any of it. Back home, autumn means all sorts wonderful things are happening. In Hermosa Beach, however, it’s just another gorgeous, sunny day. Another perfect day, just like the other 325 days of the year. I haven’t had a single loaf of pumpkin bread, a pumpkin cookie or a piece of pumpkin pie since fall began. Since the weather here is rarely below 60 degrees (F), I don’t even have to wear a heavy coat. Living in Hermosa Beach has put me in a serious Fall Funk and only one thing can get me out of it.

                                        HALLO-FREAKING-WEEN

Yes, I totally picked this for YOU.

Halloween is my favourite holiday. I love everything about it. The food, the festivities and especially the crazy people I always meet. It is the one day of the year where it is ok for me to dress like a crazy person and it is completely copacetic. My costumes on Halloween are always over the top and I pour every ounce of energy I can spare into making them look amazing. Who wins every Best Costume Award at every Halloween party they attend? Yup, it’s me. Winning this particularly coveted award is a source of pride for me and I go all out to make sure I blow the competition out of spiked, green punch.

Growing up, my mother would make sure that all of our costumes were the most fantastic in the neighborhood. One year I wanted to be a dinosaur, except that my best friend also wanted to be a dinosaur. Not to worry, my mother had the most-over-the-top-dinosaur-costume-ever thing covered. She spent countless hours in the weeks before Halloween sewing and painting in her craft room. The day of Halloween, she proudly zipped me up in my homemade dino costume and I was the envy of all my friends. I put my best friend’s costume to shame (something I feel bad about now, but back then I was more like EAT IT BECCA)! So you could say that I have been a “competitive costumer” since I was young.

Each year, I start planning my costume well in advance. Months of prep work are required for fine-tuning and I spare no expense when it comes to the details. My costumes are never based on what is popular at the time and they aren’t always “normal girl costumes.” One of my favourite costumes was the one I made in 2009. After much deliberation, I decided on Alex from A Clockwork Orange. I special ordered a lot of the items needed for the costume and had to take the pants to a tailor to make them fit properly. I even scoured thrift stores for the perfect pair of boots and a cane that I could paint to more accurately match the one in the film. Needless to say, my costume was a massive hit with those who had seen the movie (and even some that hadn’t.)

Except...a girl...

Last year, I finally constructed a costume I had wanted to make for a while: a valkyrie. I purchased a handmade leather valkyrie mask*, Roman style sandals, a shield and I rented a sword. I then sewed a costume based on this picture (which was not easy since I don’t sew well):

I didn't have a horse to complete the look though.

The costume was absolutely incredibly and I need to find out if my aunt kept any pictures of it. I only got to wear the costume twice (sadly), but I have kept it for when I want to wear it again.

I am absolutely thrilled this year though! I have been invited to not one, not two, but THREE costume parties. The first costume party will be happening Thursday night. It isn’t that big of deal, just some people from work. The invitation said that it was a masquerade party and that we only had to bring a mask (no full costumes). Since I have a ridiculous collection of masks*, I am going to wear:

I totally wore this around the fair all day.

This mask came from a Renaissance Fair a few years ago (yes I went to a Renaissance Fair, what of it?) I decided to wear the Seraphim Mask with a shimmery dress and hopefully the costumes simplicity will make it a hit.

The second party I am going to is on October 22 and I will be dressing as this little guy:

I’m excited to wear the costume I created, as I had a jacket made to match the The Little Prince in his “formal” uniform (seen above).

The last party is the night of Halloween. I’m not sure if I will be able to go though. If I am able to make it, I have considered using the valkyrie costume again, since I love it so much. If I do, I will take lots of pictures!

Scary

Happy My Favourite Holiday!

*Since the purchase of my first leather mask, I have acquired around 25-30 more (10 of which were custom-made). I plan on amassing some sort of crazy leather mask collection and I have a blast picking new ones out. Bet you didn’t know THAT about me, huh?

Question: What are you doing for Halloween? What costumes have been your favourite? What are you going as this year? What was your favourite Halloween candy as a kid?

I didn’t think I would but…

I really miss the seasons of the Midwest. Talking with some of the long time residents of Los Angeles/Hermosa Beach, I can tell that the extreme seasonal changes I am use to back home don’t occur here. Even though I cursed the cold weather, ice and snow every winter, it was always something I expected around the same time each year. Since I have been in California, I have only seen three “changes” in Hermosa weather. Either the weather is sunny, foggy or rainy, with very little deviation from that. Last winter, I took solace in the fact that I was going home for most of late-fall/early winter. Traveling back to Missouri, I enjoyed seeing the fall colours and eventually relished the thin sheets of ice that made everything glisten so magically.

I have always had this weird fascination with ice.

It’s silly to feel so let down by weather, I suppose. I should feel privileged to live in a part of the country that seems so many sunny days, but I feel like I’m missing out on integral activities that take place in more temperate climates. I want to throw snowballs and see the changes in the trees right outside my window (all I can see is palm trees). I know that I can ultimately see changes if I traveled just outside LA or further north, but raking leaves during the fall was always an activity I oddly enjoyed.

I will definitely try to travel back home over the coming months, so I may even be able to build a snow man in late December. Until then, I will have to be content with the beautiful sunny weather that I wake up to almost every day here. However, I will continue to secretly pray that a freak blizzard will coat Hermosa in gorgeous, fluffy snow and I will have the most epic snow ball war this city has ever seen.

June does not need to be abbreviated.

I have seen “Jun 1, 2011” everywhere today and even though I know it is the proper abbreviation for June, it seems so wrong. Why can’t we just write out “June”? Jun feels like some sort of illiterate lolspeak or part of a thirteen year old’s text message to her best friend, “OMG, Jun iz my fav month, yo!”

On another note, I have purchased enough furniture to outfit my new master bedroom! That means I only have 5-6 more rooms to go and since the house has that ridiculous elevator, I have to figure out some way to utilize that. Why would anyone put an elevator in a 3 story house? It makes me feel lazy just thinking about it. I have yet to find the appropriate couch for the “great room,” which I am considering calling the “incredible room.” Every single couch I have looked at seems to have some glaring flaw (mostly that I don’t like them) and I’m becoming frustrated with my search. I haven’t lived in Los Angeles long enough to know where to go for custom furniture and I don’t have the time to really meet with designers to figure out what I want. Dilemma.

Monday was also the first day of my cleanse. I have been trying to stay away from this massive plate of cookies I baked for my cousin. I wish she would just come and pick them up so that the temptation would be out of the house. After going to Von’s, Whole Food’s and Oliovera I feel ready to begin what my body will ultimately decide is me punishing it for not properly fitting into an Alberta Ferretti dress a few weeks ago. I say this even though I wore the dress anyway. The slight bit of snugness around my middle caused me to panic and I immediately searched my computer for the detox rules.

Work was incredibly hectic today and I relished the 15 minutes I had to myself in my office. After P came back with my lunch I locked out the world and tried to focus on enjoying what little break I was given. It was definitely one of those days when I wondered why I decided not to pursue my passion and instead chose to appease everyone else. These days it seems like I have begun to question not only my commitment to the hospital, but also my commitment to medicine. Why did I spend so many years pouring over texts in medical school, only to be dissatisfied with the end result?

Finally, I am considering purchasing an eReader. I have been told to buy a Kindle, a Nook and an iPad which has left me all the more confused. I have ruled out the Kindle (I think) and it seems to be down to a Nook Color, a ‘Next Gen’ Nook or an iPad. I can not see myself using all of the features of an iPad and keep leaning towards the Nook Color, but I wonder if I wouldn’t use the iPad more once I discovered how useful it really is. This all came about after I finished A Game of Thrones and did not have A Clash of Kings on hand to read afterward. I have been forced to wait by the Hermosa Beach Public Library and so I am currently reading Embassytown and The Tragedy of Arthur, though they both seem to be fairly interesting.

This House is Now a Home

I am very excited! The sale went through on the house and we have finally closed! I will be moving in (officially) at the beginning of July and will start to take some stuff over there in a few weeks.

Since we have finally closed, I am now starting to think about how I want to decorate the new house. While I have been in my current place, I had a lot of it upgraded and renovated so hopefully it will be a quick move out process.

I have taken some time off of work at the end of June-beginning of July, so I will use that time to move things and to become familiar with the new house.

This is a very exciting event for me! This is the first home that I have ever owned (no point in buying when you move every few years) and it will now be a place where I can feel stable for at least the next 4 years or so. A new house and a new chapter in my life begins!

Buying a life

The offer I made on a house here in Hermosa Beach was accepted, the details are pending and I am set to move in the first week of July. The house is beautiful and it boasts a gorgeous view of Hermosa Beach. It is definitely more than I need, but I did not want to settle. When my realtor walked me through it and showed me the expansive rooms, I instantly fell in love. Now I am worried that the expansiveness will feel lonely and cold without someone to share it with. I have to buy even more furniture just to make the house appear “lived in” and “like a home and not a house.”

I don’t think that reality has actually hit me yet, I still believe that I can just move back to New York anytime I want. I debated on buying a house here in California for a long time and I’m not sure why. I still can not picture myself here, but perhaps when I actually sleep in my home I will start to wake up to the realization that I have another 3.5-4 years here.

The thought of living in California forever still terrifies me. I have been here for over a year and I am just now coming to terms with the fact that this is my home. Everyone assumes that I have made friends here, just like I did in NYC. This is not the case and I am not sure when I will actually have the time to form a “social circle.” Thankfully my cousin lives just outside of Los Angeles, making it a short commute to actually spend time with someone I know. She has quickly fallen in love with California and some of her friends have become acquaintances of mine as well. When I have asked her if she is planning on staying in California she is all smiles and yeses.

I, however, can not picture myself staying in California past my contract date and have been counting the days until I can return to the East coast. I fear that I am too sullen and serious for the West coast, though I am not even sure if that is at all possible. The warm, sunny weather annoys me and I know that I will crave the brisk autumn weather that I loved in New York. As much as I miss NYC, I know that I need to get over the fact that I want to be there and make the most of living in Los Angeles.

However, I need to realize that I am purchasing and cultivating a life here and that all of this can be transplanted to a new location when I have completed my work. Perhaps the reason I have been so sullen is because I continue to live across the country instead of just enjoying the view I will soon have.

This view is from the rooftop of the house