• Living

    Comfort in Soup and Sameness in an Unsettling World

    I like to think of myself as a minor adventurer. You won’t see me signing up to climb Kilimanjaro, but I’ll try something new (and mainly safe) now and again, explore new places, and enjoy meeting new people. But when I feel as though my world has been upended, or I simply turn on the news, sometimes finding pleasure in normalcy and the mundane is necessary. These rituals, habits and favorites are sources of comfort. Sometimes I want to visit the same coffee shop over…

  • Living,  Style

    Fall Decor, No Veggies Required

    I don’t know too many people who have decorated their homes around the color orange. Or even those who have used orange as an accent color, at least since the ’70s. But every year, fall approaches and everyone storms the pumpkin patches or parking lot pumpkin purveyors. People plunk nice, mid-sized pumpkins or groupings of autumnal gourds on their dining room tables or fireplace hearths and call it fall decor. And these vegetables can appear out of place. I mean, at what other time of…

  • Site Info

    Quick PSA About Comments!

    Hi friends! Just a quick public service announcement about comments. If you comment on a post, or just enjoy following comments, you may wish to check one of the boxes under the comments: This will allow our conversation to continue! I have replied to some of your comments with questions, but you may not know this unless you’ve made a selection to be notified. If you can’t stand getting another notification or email from me, carry on! Otherwise, please check the first box and keep…

  • Living,  Travel

    The Trip Begins with the Planning

    I read recently that the experience of a vacation begins with the planning. I agree that for the post part it’s best to live in the moment, but when the anticipation of a trip can actually create pleasure in the moment, that kind of future-tripping can be positive. This is great news for someone like myself who likes to dig deep into research, skimming Instagram and blogs for inspiration. I have a trip coming up next month, so I’m revisiting all the travel tips that…

  • Culture,  Living,  Style

    October Lusts List

    The fashion, beauty, books and more I’m lusting after this month. If you read my post about how “When Harry Met Sally…” has influenced my love of fall, you can imagine how tempted I am by just about every retail email I receive in October, each of them filled with wooly and pumpkin-scented and -flavored delights. So, here, in what will be become a regular (monthly? bimonthly?) thing, my Lusts List is a curation of what is inspiring me at the moment. Cider in my…

  • Living

    That Time I Didn’t Plummet to My Death

    You ever have one of those days when you wake up and find your fully charged phone has died, so your alarm never went off and you overslept. But! You still have 30 minutes until your phone interview. Phew. Except the interview has to be rescheduled by the interviewer. Wait…what kind of bug is that crawling across my foot? Is that a…a termite? Termites have wings, though. Not all termites have wings, you say? You’ve never had one of those days? Me neither. But if…

  • Culture

    Of Monsters and Me: Live Music and Memory

    I woke up Sunday feeling tired and cranky. Could it be because I’d had a third date the night before, during which I managed to walk nine miles through a county fair, that ended with a “thanks for indulging me!” instead of a kiss? Yeah, that could’ve been part of it. I mean, I’m not unhappy about the nine miles. I hadn’t had that kind of exercise in ages – the kind of exercise that includes deep-fried, bacon-wrapped pickles. So the prospect of going to…

  • Culture,  Living,  Style

    Color & Mood: Peacock Blue & Petrichor (Reader Tangent)

    In a post from a couple weeks ago, Linda commented about how she’s inspired all year long by autumn’s colors, which she uses around her home. I feel the same way about peacock blue. But it wasn’t always this way. Several years ago I went shopping for a new sofa. I figured I’d order one with a neutral mushroom-brown cover. Or else I’d go in the other direction, and wind up with emerald velvet. I did neither. At the urging of the saleswoman, I went…

  • Culture

    From My Earholes, to My Eyeballs, to a Delightful Tangent

    When I moved to Los Angeles nine years ago, I had a job that made me feel a little alienated. I could barely understand most of the people who worked around me. Part of that was because they were engineers, and I had never developed that part of my brain. The other reason was because they largely spoke Chinese. I needed a way to feel less alone, that could simultaneously stimulate my bored brain during the hours I sat with little to do. A new…

  • Culture,  Living,  Style

    It Had to Be Cable-Knit Sweaters and Pumpkin Candles

    It’s 92 degrees as I write this, but the scent of pumpkin and apple fills the air. It’s Labor Day weekend, and I’m determined to bring fall into my house even if it’s sweltering in Los Angeles and will likely continue to be for another two months. I’m the person who walked through Target’s home section yesterday just to fondle the new, cozy pillows and sniff the maple candles, so that for a moment I could be transported to a place where brush fires aren’t…