Lifestyle

Let’s Tour A Dream House, Shall We?

My absolute favorite/least favorite thing about my job doing marketing for Malibu's mobile home parks: The fact that I spend every day looking at houses that I would very much like to own, but do not.

Case in point: This house, which actually made me gasp the first time I stepped foot inside. The view! The ridiculously perfect styling! The walk-in closet of my actual dreams!

Learn about the ins and outs of owning a Malibu mobile home here, and click here to see everything that's currently on the market in Paradise Cove and Point Dume Club.

Lifestyle

What It’s Like To Eat Out Right Now, Cheesecake Factory Edition

OK, so going forward I will 1000% be doing my best to spend all my dining-out dollars at smaller, locally-owned establishments, but if you've ever had the bread basket at The Cheesecake Factory, you know why my children (and, okay, me) chose it for our first restaurant meal in...four months? Twenty years? Several decades?

It's been awhile. I was ready for some food that I did not cook myself.

So for this post, let's answer all your burning questions about what a Cheesecake Factory experience is like in Covid Times.

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Lifestyle

Links & Love & Stuff

If you buy one thing I recommend in your entire time reading RG, it should really be this chair. It's so comfortable I literally sleep in it. Like, overnight.

Based on Jamie Stone's rec, I tried LaNeige's Lip Sleeping Mask. I was initially skeptical, because isn't it basically just...lip balm? But it's WONDERFUL. Absolutely the perfect texture, with zero stickiness or gloppiness, and leaves your lips so soft. I see no reason to only wear it to sleep.

If you're looking for a Father's Day gift, these memoirs sound so lovely. (Six Gift-Worthy Memoirs About - and for - Dads, via LA Times.)

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Lifestyle

What It’s Really Like To Travel In An Amtrak Sleeper Car

I've been thinking a lot about this summer - specifically, how (if?) I'm going to see my parents. I'm anxious about the fall bringing another outbreak, and not seeing them for an entire year (or more) doesn't feel like a thing I can handle. I also don't know if we even technically can travel this summer - it feels like the rules are changing on a near-daily basis - but I figured it's worth coming up with some ideas just in case we can make it happen.

I've thought about risking a flight, then quarantining myself before seeing them. I've thought about an RV. I've thought about teleportation (get on it, Elon). What I haven't - or hadn't - yet thought about was Amtrak. And then, after my accident the other week, I found myself aboard one for the first time in my life, and now I am obsessed.

Lifestyle

Education

A couple of years ago, I got in an unexpected confrontation with a woman at a party. It was during the era right after Trump was elected, when I found myself constantly angry, unable to stop talking about the state of the world even with people who didn't especially want to talk about it themselves - and who certainly did not want to talk about it at a party, when they were theoretically supposed to be having, you know...fun.

Eventually, this woman - I had never met her before; she was an old friend of the party's hosts - and I got to talking. She was the only black woman at the party - not especially surprising; the suburbs outside Silicon Valley aren't exactly known for their diversity. She told me about growing up in the foster care system, and introduced me to her wife. We talked about politics generally, and about the Martin Luther King marches specifically, and then started discussing how to raise the next generation of children with greater awareness. I told the woman about how my son and I had made posters of MLK quotes together to carry at the march, and how I'd framed them on our wall as a reminder to him. I remember feeling all proud of myself, telling her that (ugh, performative; ugh, self-congratulatory, just UGH).

All of a sudden - surprisingly then, unsurprisingly now - everything changed.

Anxiety

Blinded

On Thursday evening - four days ago - I got in a car crash. It was bad. It was also my fault.

I was driving through the middle of nowhere, headed North along the coast, on my way to be with a friend in crisis. The sun was at that point just above the horizon when it's blazing directly into your eyes, and you have to flick the visor from side to side to side with one hand while you steer with the other just to see the pavement ahead of you.

I didn't expect a stop sign anywhere along that particular stretch of road, empty as it seemed. I wasn't looking out for one, but even if I had been I was blinded, and I wouldn't have spotted it. So when one suddenly appeared, I drove straight through it at 40 miles per hour. A man turning from the opposite lane hit me directly on the driver's side door (it's called a "T-bone"; I know terms like this now) and my car and I went flying off the road into a field, where we crashed through wheat and dirt and narrowly missed telephone poles, and finally came to a stop.

Lifestyle

How To Talk To Your White Children About George Floyd

Last night, Kendrick and I were talking about Christian Cooper - the man who videotaped a white woman in Central Park flipping her lid and telling the cops that "an African-American man" was "threatening" her, despite the fact that he was demonstrably doing nothing of the sort - and George Floyd, whose story is so heartbreaking it defies description. About how easily the former story could have taken the the turn that the latter's did. Our son overheard us, and started asking questions. We answered as best as we could, while I tried to dance around the parts that sounded too scary for an eight-year-old. I don't know that I should have done that.

I don't know what to do.

How do you explain to a child that systematic racism is a "we" problem, when they may not be old enough to contextualize beyond "me" (e.g. white people did this --> white people are bad --> I am white --> I am bad). I have struggled also to explain the gross injustices suffered by women in this country to my son, a white boy who will one day grow into a white man. He sees t-shirts that say "Girl power" and I try to help him understand why he can't wear a t-shirt that says the same about him. I am trying to raise a nice boy. I also remember the things that the "nice boys" at my liberal arts university did to their female peers.

Lifestyle

10 Cheap Things You Can Buy And Not Feel Guilty About

Anyone else freaking the fuck out about money? Oh hi there! Thanks for coming!

So look: Shopping isn't happening right now. Which is actually probably great in some ways, because the present moment is teaching us just how little we actually *need*. I, for example, have recently taken stock of my not-inconsiderable shoe wardrobe, and discovered that I wear exactly three of the pairs I own. Two of those are pairs of Birkenstocks, and of those two pairs of Birkenstocks, one is a pair of Birkenstocks that my dog is hell-bent on eating, with astonishingly successful results. Never, ever again in my life - and this is a promise that I feel very comfortable making - will I wear four-inch leopard-print stilettos. That ship has sailed, my friends.

Pour one out for the leopard-print stilettos.

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