I met my friend Lynn, my wonderful friend, over twelve years ago while we were in a sex education theater group (I know, what the hell does that even mean?) We would tour around schools in the city and perform skits about having sex and STDs and sometimes we had to sing songs, too. Songs about loneliness and herpes. Lynn was my rock in Los Angeles– she introduced me to Larchmont Village, gave me my first LA driving tour, listened to me cry, educated me about Dole Whip, took me to get beer ice cream floats. I miss her daily.
Lynn has a wonderful blog, The Actor’s Diet, which you should read, and she launched a podcast a few weeks back, which you should listen to. Right before I left, she interviewed me and it was so much fun to sit down and chat about food, take-out versus cooking, baking, and how I went to Los Angeles and became a little piggy eating donuts and cookies with every meal. Go have a listen here and subscribe to her podcast!
Last night before work I made cookies and a White Russian. There are two times when I feel most like an adult– when I check my mail before going into my apartment and I’m carrying bills, keys, and bags and I’m pooped from my day, I totally feel like a grown up. And when I can put together snacks and booze and call it a meal, I feel like an adult (and I would pronounce it with the hard “a”– aa-dult as opposed to uh-dult).
When I stopped at Bogie’s Liquor Store on Melrose to get supplies, the little old guy who works there was adorable and his toothless smile was wide and he poked out from behind the counter to help me find a mini bottle of Kahlua and he was older than water and he said “Thank you, sweetie, so honest” when I told him not to forget to charge me for the vodka, too, and I was leaving he yelled out “See you next week!” even though I’d never seen him before, but it was like he knew I drink too much and would be back next week. Which of course I do and I will. Adorable and psychic.
Two nights ago, I had a nasty scratch of insomnia. I went to bed at 11 pm. By 1:45 am, I was four cups of coffee awake, and I caught myself doing the oddest thing– I was literally tossing and turning in bed. My sleepless nights usually find me staring unblinking at the ceiling, but on this night I couldn’t get comfortable, my skin felt itchy, my pillows were suffocating me. My mind was running eight hundred miles a second– how will I pay my rent? did I respond to that email? how many people have I slept with? what was Forest Whitaker’s last movie?— and the only thing that seemed to calm me down was an episode of Downton Abbey.
Days following those nights can be rough. I’m tired and I know something is on my mind, something that might be unknown to me, and I find that stressful. I wanted to cry when I woke up and I wasn’t sure why. I went to work and felt mildly bewildered all day. After work, instead of coming home and parking in front of a movie or my computer, I decided to bake a cake. I used to love to bake. I miss it. I went to the store, I bought a bunch of baking supplies, I got home and drank peach beer, I listened to the James Taylor Pandora station and I made an olive oil cake. Usually books and movies and booze help me when I’m feeling sad, but those things run the risk of keeping me locked in my head. There’s something about doing the dishes as the entire house starts to smell like something is baking in the oven that just involves me in a different way. Sometimes it’s good to do things with your hands when the blues come to getcha.
*Full disclosure: my cake kinda tasted like shoe. I skimped on the olive oil, opting for the cheapie four dollar bottle, so yeah, my sweet olive oil cake wound up smelling and tasting like a cheap Italian restaurant.