Just peeking my head above a fortress of terribly depressing books to say hello. What I'm writing right now better be good because the reading I'm doing as research, if history is any indication of the future, has me feeling hopeless for the human race.
What I mean to say is that if the book I'm writing is crap, then I will have been a masochist. But you already knew that (especially you Isa.)
Writer's angst has me searching desperately for online distractions. Alas the mindless and entirely relaxing world of home design now revs me up. I've come to resent draperies and candelabras and don't get me started on side tables. It's the accumulation that creeps me out. It's all the STUFF. It's an addiction people!
...all the pretty, pretty stuff..
Just one more picture okay, then I go to work. I needed a boost, those books are soooo depressing.
I knew if anyone would understand, it would be you.
I've said before that I'm a sloppy house keeper with extremely low cleaning standards. Even armed with the best of intentions, something fun always gets the best of me. So I'll manage to vacuum Or dust OR clean the kitchen OR the bathrooms, and most often I'll stop in mid bathroom, mid vacuum, mid dusting so the house is never entirely cleaned. Never entirely right. And lately, my house was starting to look A LOT like Grey Gardens.
So I hired a pro.
It turns out that the hardest part of having someone clean my house is not spending money on what i consider a luxury and a sign of my own inadequacy and laziness. The hardest part is to appear busy while she works.
What am supposed to do? I won't follow her around and tell her how to do her job if it kills me. In fact, I can't make any demand at all, not even a suggestion, even if she decides to short-sheet every bed in the house to see just how far I'll go in my cowardice.
I can't write on the days she comes, wouldn't it be an abjectly supercilious occupation while she destroys her hands and back on my toilets?
I thought it would be a cool idea to act blind, or incapacitated in some righteous way, borrow a wheelchair every other Monday for example, but I don't think I could keep it up, at least not for 8 hours. Last week she arrived at 9:30 am and left at 5:30. That's a lot of hours.
I'm tempted to work alongside her, to make her boeuf bourguignon, to give her small massages and suggest we paint each other's toe nails. I'd feel like a nicer person if she'd let me become her friend.
Guilt, guilt, guilt. I tortured myself all day today wondering how she perceived me and my life of leisure, hoping I wasn't disgusting her. Yeah, I know, in the guilt department, I'm pretty well endowed.
At the end of the day the house will be spotless, but i don't know if it will be worth it.
How do you deal with having someone clean your house? Is it worth it to you? Do you feel guilty or blissfully entitled? Is there a middle ground?
I made up with my husband, just in time for his birthday today. Pfff... that was a close one. Nice to know this will not be one of those locked-jaw birthdays where you can't even cut the tension in the air with a chain saw.
He is back in town after four months of working on the East Coast, you see. And though the kids and I missed him terribly and functioned poorly while he was away, now that he is back i'm... aggravated. I am, I confess, a solitary animal, solitary in thoughts and extremely jealous of my alone time. I have forgotten what it is like to share my days with another adult. Especially one whose presence is so HUGE, someone who is so overwhelmingly energetic, and engaged, and action oriented, so full of plans and crazy ideas, and so incredibly persistent, while I, well, I'm a sloth in comparison. Beside I have been entertaining a certain craving for a simpler life. A quieter life of minimalism, simplification, a life of slowing down.
Houston, we've got a mismatch!
For example, he had to rent a car and the only one they had in stock was a huge pick up truck. So in his mind, it is perfectly logical that this week must be used to haul large cargo. What? We have no large cargo to haul? No matter, we'll buy a very large tree then.
Does it make any sense to any of you to purchase a tree for the sole reason that you temporarily own a truck? There had been no plan for trees. We have enough trees. The world doesn't need another tree. I I, especially DO NOT want a tree. In fact, I'm suddenly a tree hater.
It's just that I know my man. It will turn into a new version of the book "if you give a mouse a cookie." If you give my husband a pick up truck, he's likely going to want to purchase a big tree. And if you give him a big tree, he's going to need to dig a large hole. And if he needs to dig a large whole, he's probably going to need THIS to go with it:
And I'll have to return that nice pair of fluffy slippers I chose for him as a gift.
Okay, but I'm told I need to stop dwelling on this. All right. Not another word about it.
Beside, it is beautiful in LA today. We received a felicitous rain storm. Now the sky is washed of all sins, and the plants, which have been choking beneath six months worth of dirt look suddenly as green and lush as tropical plants. And for 72 hours we got to wear boots! and raincoats! and umbrellas in the middle of october!
The storm came at the perfect time because I've been gardening and boy was the soil hard as rock from the lack of humidity and the water rationing.
I've been posting less, commenting less and writing and gardening more, and I realize that once you lose the momentum of blogging it's like everything else, it falls out of habit and it becomes harder to do.
Here is how the little voice in my head goes: "When you're posting less, your posts stay on longer, so whatever you write and whatever images you choose should be worthy of staying on for a week or so." But since the little voice also says, "by the way, you're a terrible writer and you could use a nose job." I have to take what it says with a grain of salt. But we all know that the little voice in our head has a hidden agenda which is to STOP PROGRESS.
I have to remind myself that self-flagellation, though deliciously masochistic, has never served me well in the past. By making myself agonize over what is or isn't worthy of posting, I'm missing the entire point of blogging in my book, which should be about having fun and being relaxed, and sharing and being spontaneous and freeeee!
These images.. where to start... I love them. LOVE them! They are from artist, blogger and etsy seller Sarah Wyman. So pensive and evocative.
So maybe I'll post More and Better from now on. Or maybe I'll post Less and Worse. Or More and Worse. But I'll stop beating myself over it.
I'm writing again at long last, working on the first draft of my new book, the one I have been researching and the one around which I have been walking wide, apprehensive circles.
I was frustrated not be be writing, but I was not worried. I was missing the high, that's all. Only when I write do I feel purposeful and all around wonderful (wether I'm producing crap or not.)
I'm so excited I can barely sleep. Snippets of scenes come to my mind at odd hours. I find myself speaking in the voices of my characters. My life is no longer my life: everything and everyone has become material.
This is my favorite phase of writing, when the fingers cannot keep up with the thoughts, when creativity makes me feel feverish and when endorphin is humming gently in my veins.
I have not been excited about an interior for a while now but this one embodies so many of the qualities I would like to see in my own house. The use of zen white, the lightheartedness, the tangy colors, the poetry, the mirrors that seem to open the room to other dimensions. Nothing seems 'bought' or 'decorated' but you and I are not fooled, it takes mastery to achieve such delicious carelessness.
The apartment is in Paris in the Faubourg Saint Antoine. The husband is Chinese, a graduate of the Beaux Arts school in Paris and the wife is from Belgium and is a graduate of the famed Arts Déco school. They began by opening an art studio for children and now own three Petit Pan boutiques and an online store.