Remember when I used to have a blog that was about knitting that was also about my divorce and my emotional baggage and my cats and my fight with that cat litter company that one time? Oh and also about how I stalked Ed Begley Junior accidentally and how I beat up a dude in Paris?
This is a blog about travel and living in Los Angeles, but also you get all that other stuff free of charge! I’m generous that way.
I am Laurie and I live in Los Angeles. I wasn’t born here but as the saying goes I got here as soon as I could.
The first time I flew over Los Angeles I looked down and saw a sparkly jewel that stretched from the ocean to the mountains and beyond and it was absolutely awe-inspiring in size. This city is enormous. I had never seen anything like it. I used to be afraid to drive on the freeway.
This is the longest I have ever lived in one city. These days I live in a rambling house that hugs the Hollywood Hills, and about every seventeen minutes something new breaks somewhere in this abode. I enjoy knitting and complaining about exercising. I work at a movie studio and I travel as much as I can.
I love it here. So why am I always going somewhere else?
My disposition is an unsettled mix of curiosity and wanderlust. The first time I stepped foot on an airplane I knew it was magical. There is a feeling of being neither here nor there, suspended in non-time where anything is possible. Maybe it is the low oxygen.
On days when I feel anxious, I close my eyes and picture myself on an airplane suspended in that stale-smelling air across the skies to some new destination. I picture what I’ve packed in my carryon bag, what I might be wearing, what shoes are on my feet, what small knitting project is on my tray table. This mental image calms me and soothes me and you would be surprised how often in a workweek I have to conjure up my travel fantasy.
Wanderlust is not the same as dissatisfaction. There’s an undeniable optimism about the desire to get on the road. That’s part of the reason I resonate with Los Angeles, and why I’ve made it my home. This is the most optimistic city on planet earth! It is a place where people come to make their dreams come true. The entire city vibrates with hopeful ambition. As fun as it is to be on the road, I am always happy to come home.
That occasional twang
No one in Los Angeles knows what a hush puppy is and that makes me very very sad.
I was born and raised in the deep south, which I regularly romanticize in my memories. I have a unique talent of being able to feel maudlin about experiences that were not even very good at the time, and I have done that with my upbringing.
The South is a place that shaped me but never quite fit me. I was a different kind of child with an odd childhood who never found a place to set down roots. We moved too much and we were poor and I was convinced the world could be different from what I had seen in my tiny slice of living. Every few months we moved and whatever couldn’t fit in the car got thrown away or left behind. All I have from my early years are two stuffed animals and a faded Bible. That sounds like the beginning of a very spooky movie! Especially if you add Spanish moss.
Perhaps that’s why I fantasized about everywhere else. I have no childhood home and no hometown. I like to tell people I am from Louisiana or Mississippi or Texas, all the places I’ve lived, but the truth is I am from nowhere in particular and being from nowhere was a very embarrassing thing for me.
There’s a pile of reasons why I fixed my sights on LA, and I moved to California as soon as I finished school. Right before graduation, my friend Stephanie and I found a woman in our town who was a psychic and she would occasionally see clients in her kitchen for a small fee. Stephanie and I went to see the woman, and I clearly remember her holding my hand, looking down at my palm. She told me I was about to leave God’s country… she wished me well on my heathen journey to THE DEVIL WEST. I packed plenty of snacks for the trip and never looked back. It’s fine. We keep our horns pretty well concealed.
When I arrived in Los Angeles, I had a box of books, a suitcase of clothes, some cassette tapes and snapshots, two stuffed animals, one Bible, and a sewing machine. I wish I could go back in time and meet myself upon arrival and strongly suggest she stay a minimalist.
One day I looked around and realized there wasn’t any place I belonged to more than LA. This is the city people come to when they just don’t fit anywhere else. It’s the kind of place where you reinvent yourself, and if that doesn’t work you reinvent yourself again. It is a lovely, lonely, interesting place, a terrifying and beautiful city to build a life.
My time in Los Angeles has far exceeded my dreams and hopes. Here I have learned how to provide for myself, fail and get back up, and be inexcusably my own person. I even (kind of) started eating sushi. To be more specific, I eat vegetables and cooked fish at a sushi restaurant and sometimes I am the friend who orders the tempura basket. Baby steps.
So this is how it happens that I am finally in the city I love, in a place that I adore and all I do is think about how to get away. That seems about par for my course.
My life has some cats and some characters
I have two cats, down from an all-time high of four, and daily I talk myself out of getting a kitten. Bob is delightful and afraid of his own tail. Frankie is a big jerk and she whines a lot but she is awfully pretty and snuggly.
The two people I talk about the most are: The Captain, who is entitled to have his own privacy so I gave him that nickname and he likes it. And Drew, who is my best friend and we tend to run into each other in foreign countries a lot.
Why do I have knitting patterns on a travel blog?
Because I love to knit. Knitting is magical. You use string and sticks and somehow it turns into hats and gloves. I go through periods where I am obsessed with it. I make mostly small items and I never travel without a knitting project.
Wow, this is really long.
There’s some other stuff, like how I wrote some books and did some things. I don’t have a plan for this little website, I just missed writing. It is my favorite thing to do in the world and it is a compulsion I cannot quit. So this is a view from the window into my life and my travels.