i apologize if anyone has felt mislead. my most recent post was about the first half of all this summer's/fall's ongoings. and i made it seem as though i would be returning soon with the last half. meh, 2 months later is still a return.
two weeks after we got married, we relocated to West Los Angeles. when asked where i am from, i have always replied with a simple "st. louis". i do love that city and am happy to claim it. and while we are not in downtown Los Angeles, it is our official home. it is also the closest that i have ever come to city living (and it's not just thugs and homeless people!). 1. utah county completely diluted my reality and 2. white collar suburbs/borderline countryside in st. louis county was nothing like this.
we've all heard about the 405 or the 10 and seen the pictures. terrifying. and let's be honest- i can barely reach the pedals, i have no sense of direction and i have been in accidents (believe it or not, none were my fault!) and so i am timid when i am driving with other people in my car. all of this added to my racial and gender stigmas going against me- no bueno (that means "no good" in spanish. i have learned a lot in LA). but i actually do not mind the driving here. i have simply come to accept the fact that there will always be traffic. which means:
a. we rarely venture out beyond the 3 mile radius of our apartment.
b. even in that small vicinity, driving time can be an hour or more.
c. life revolves around parking availability.
d. ALWAYS have snacks. you could be sitting a while.
for the most part, people here are efficient drivers. meaning that they will let you merge in, but good gracious, once they give you those 4 inches of go ahead, you best go. and i mean go. because those 4 inches, mean that you have about 3 seconds to take them. and traffic laws? i am sure that they are enforced somewhere, sometime, but i have never seen it. but i have witnessed the most creative, hazardous, and obscure driving. the lack of adherence to traffic laws makes the gridlock game extra fun. living amongst the rich and famous means that we pretty much get a car show everywhere we go. there are literally millions of dollars in automobiles in the parking lot of jared's workplace. i feel really awesome pulling up to jared's building in sally the civic to hand my husband his homemade lunch in a recycled grocery sack. no really i do. i have amazing gas mileage (major bonus because even unleaded will cost you your first born), i zip in and around cars like a boss, and i am a pretty good wife to make and bring lunch to him.
within our little area of life, there are stores and restaurants that easily cater to over 30 different countries' cultures.
a. that's admirable and impressive.
b. we can try new things.
c. for the love of grease, why can't we have taco bell or wendy's!??!
d. small businesses have a chance!
there are practically no chain restaurants here. lots of coffee, yoga studios, dry cleaners and costume shops, but no jr. bacon cheeseburgers. it's awful. fortunately, we have managed to find and settle for decent replacements. grocery shopping is adventure. they don't have 24 hour stores or super targets, super walmarts, etc. luckily the renters before us were subscribed to the sunday paper and we still get it. hello red plum coupon books. and somehow i still spend way too much time and money at target. boo.
3. SOCIAL LIFE.
we don't have one. we are dating each other exclusively.
between 12 hour workdays for both of us, jared studying for his series 7 (and passing!) test, being new to the ward and having no other contacts, there isn't much time left (or energy). but thankfully yelp and netflix are always at our ready.
luckily, we also get visitors! we've already had several house guests and it's been a blast. and we have become more outgoing over the past few weeks and have had a lot of fun with families in the ward and are grateful for the opportunities we have had to get to know more people. plus- they all have adorable kids.
la has had it's conglomerate of pros and cons thus far. taco trucks are always good. and there are a ton of jews- they take their holidays very seriously, it's highly commendable (on yom kippur there was NO traffic!). amazing retail shopping available, primarily perfect weather, sidewalks everywhere, recycling, the temple, our jobs, the beach...and stuff.
being here has caused me to realize a few things:
1. i had no idea i actually used the mountains to know my NESW directions (i get so turned around here, all i know is ocean is west).
2. apparently, i used to eat a lot of fast food.
3. there are a bagillion asians (and they still dress weird here too).
4. a lot of houses/buildings look old and small from the outside, but the inside will blow your mind.
5. people still don't know much about mormons (awesome missionary opportunities).
6. i hoard quarters (ick coin laundry and meter parking).
7. people still smoke and it's gross (and WHY would you smoke inside your brand new aston martin???)
8. that i used to talk on the phone a lot while driving (but NEVER texted, i swear, so stupid).
9. i am a neurotic cleaner. but i love our apartment.
well there is my blurb about LA. i feel like now i can start posting regularly about our life together in california. but as you can see, tiny social life, newlywed bank account, and no time means that it may not be anything all that cool.