I started wearing my wedding band again. To remind myself that I’m stronger than I feel. I recently interviewed Amy Jo Martin, who wore red nail polish every day for 5 years as a confidence trigger whenever she felt unworthy.
This is my wedding band. It’s an ouroboros. Eternal chaos and renewal. My physician told me that my life has been series of crises, one after the other. He referred me to a crisis therapist, but I never called. Because I never feel stressed or sad unless it involves a broken heart.
Otherwise, I’m stronger than I feel.
In our time of shiny happy social media feeds, I figured I’d try to review my year in earnest and show you all of the darker periods and how it’s ok. How I’m doing ok and whatever shit you’re going through – that too shall pass.
This was the year that my divorce was final. And although I haven’t spoken to Chris since I filed a restraining order against him, it marked a real sense of closure. I don’t talk about this often, as it is a particularly painful story – but it is over. The important lessons are to always put your personal safety first and never let a broken person, break you.
This was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to overcome, which is why I’ve chosen the ring as my talisman for courage.
My boss, the CEO of American Apparel, Dov Charney gets booted from the company he founded
This has been covered extensively in the news. And while it may be fun schadenfreude fodder for those who have participated in the culture of American Apparel in some way for the past decade, this had very real and difficult ramifications in my life.
While I had been living out of a suitcase since 2009, I was accustomed to the organised chaos and rhythm in which we ran the company. I’d written about my thoughts on this here. There was an extremely high level of uncertainty and instability.
When you’ve dedicated most of the waking hours of your adult life to working there as I had, it often feels like your career is all you have. Some malevolent force was fucking with the one constant, my every day, my foundation, my family.
I was fired
After 7 years of tenure, I was fired from both of my positions at American Apparel as Marketing Director and Retail Director of our Australian subsidiary. Under new management and within 2 weeks of a new supervisor – I encountered hostile bullying and discrimination, filed an HR complaint, 48 hours later I was out of a job, my US work visa, and $40,000 worth of unpaid bonuses.
This didn’t stop them from taking credit for positive work that myself and my colleagues were responsible for, after throwing us out the door.
American Apparel has filed for bankruptcy which make my shares worthless and legal claims effectively frozen. But bad situations give us the best ideas, my views changed in ways I never thought they would.
When cash is scarce, you figure out what your life essentials are. In things, in people, in beliefs. This means that I no longer put up with a lot of bullshit out of loyalty, obligation, or mercenary reasons.
My dog died
Miss you, Albert Einstein. You were a great physicist.
Now, remember how I said it’ll be alright? I had a destabilising year, but the pros always outweighed the cons and I thank Based God for the generosity of all the people in my life. Here’s what kept me afloat.
Incredible sex will change your life. Let’s not discredit how something so basic can alter your entire mood. I thought I was doing alright in this arena until I was dumbfounded by a specific experience. I asked my partner at the time how he became the best I’d ever had. For someone who never says much, his response was sweet and profound.
“It’s not me, it’s us. It’s about two people connecting, and we’re just very connected.”
Imagine going your entire life having never been vulnerable enough to share that kind of connection with someone.
Sometimes you have to love like you have nothing to lose.
And who knows? Your entire universe might expand in a moment of surrender.
No relationship is stronger than that of a female bond. I wholeheartedly believe this. I just broke up with someone I really, really, really liked. For every time I’ve been in a tailspin, the unconditional support and humour from my friends and sisters have always brought me back to some semblance of sanity.
Women confide in each other and listen, really listen and care. It’s a type of intimacy that may never be achieved through romantic relationships. For romance to work, there has to be some suspension of belief and female friendships are as real as they get. Ugly cries, guilty admissions, secret slobby behaviours, and mental hospitalization levels of cray are all safe territory in the context of BFFs.
Love you, bitches.
I’d never been to Europe before, and this year I made it a priority to get to Paris. It wasn’t all that.
My favourite moments were centered on one-on-one time spent in my air bnb with some very special dear-to-my-heart dudes.
Hot showers shared, home made breakfasts, listening to lesser-known Bieber tracks. It made me miss home.
Home being a person, and not a place.
Here’s to you, my people.
Happy New Year.
This entry was written by Friends, Joey Ng, Los Angeles, Love, New York, Sex, Writing and tagged Albert Einstein, American Apparel, Amy Jo Martin, Divorce, DJ Slow, Dog, Dov Charney, DTLA, Echo Park, Endless Love Ring, Ilirjana Aлусхај, Kiara Sayer, Lena Vanderford, Lower East Side, Marie McNally, Marketing Director, MTV, Nora Kogan, Paris, Penelope Trunk, Refinery29, Silverlake, Social Media, Susie G, Thina Desancic, Thomas Duval, Tiffany Tyson. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on December 31, 2015 at 5:09 pm, filed under
It’s been a while since I’ve done a food round up of my favourite breakfast product, the egg.
1. Kokuho Rose Brown Rice Bowl. Sqirl, Los Angeles, California
2. Eggs Benedict. Ordered In By Him, Malibu, California
3. Black Truffle Deviled Eggs. Ghetto Gastro, Long Island City, New York
4. Kewpie Mayo Deviled Eggs. Homemade By Me, Manhattan, New York
5. Poached Eggs, Grilled Lemon, Haloumi, Asparagus. Homemade By Me, Los Angeles, California
6. Sicilian Baked Eggs. The Smith, Manhattan, New York
7. Campfire Breakfast. Big Crow, Toronto, Ontario
8. Udon Carbonara. Marugame Monzo, Los Angeles, California
9. Egg White Omelette, Heirloom Tomatoes, Avocado. Homemade By Me, Los Angeles, California
Missing: every time I’ve ordered just plain egss and bacon. Eggs, over easy.
If you’re hungry for a good time tonight, though, please join me at Over Easy LA.
This entry was written by Events, Food, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and tagged Big Crow, Colta, Deviled Eggs, Echo Park, Eggs Benedict, Ghetto Gastro, Home Cooking, Ibe Soliman, Little Tokyo, Manhattan, Marugame Monzo, Over Easy LA, Silverlake, Sqirl, The Smith, Udon. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on June 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm, filed under
I’ve had this post in my drafts folder for about a month. I guess it’s never going to feel right, so I’ll post it now.
Let’s be honest here. And by ‘let’s’, I can only mean me. I am sad. It comes and goes, and it comes less often than it did but when it does, it’s no less heartbreaking.
I want to talk about our last conversation.
I want to talk about every single memory.
But not quite, in its entirety. At least not yet.
I took a shower this morning, I cried in the shower. I started making a list of things I felt I had learned from feeling pretty fucked up in the past few weeks.
P.S. It’s for me, mostly.
1. Fall in love. A lot.
I don’t have a lot of time. With people. In one place.
It comes with the territory of not having had a home address in years. So people often wonder how much you can possibly love a person in mere months or weeks or days.
Have you ever had a moment?
When your world started to shift
revolve around a person.
I probably fell in love with Richard by the third night I had spent any time with him. We were on his red velvet couch. He lay a mass of ginger curls on my chest. Just for a second, maybe seventeen of them. And I knew I’d always have an immensely, intensely, emotional reaction to whatever it was that he
would ever do did. We didn’t have a lot of time. I couldn’t have loved him any later or less. I would not have forsaken it for anything.
So fall in love. Whole-heartedly and as often as you’d like. Even just for the 20 minutes it takes to lie on the driveway in front of a McDonald’s to make out with someone you’ve just met. I have. And it was great.
2. Write it down. Especially if it’s important, even when it’s difficult.
A few weeks before Richard died, I found out he had written me a letter. He said it was probably best that it was at the bottom of his car getting wetter by the day. I don’t have that letter. I wish I did, and if there is any way I could read what he had wanted to say to me regardless of its contents and sentiments, I would.
I read his journals when we last played house. I tell people this was an asshole thing I did but really it’s the kind of thing I would do unapologetically. If I can learn something –anything– more about a person I care about, I will.
Some of it was unsettling, but mostly amusing. It was all important. It was important for me to know his thoughts – whether mundane, dark, or genius alike. It’s important to me that I knew him.
I also wrote a lot about him. I adored him at times and hated him at others. The way we related, he called it ‘tumultuous’. And in these whiskey encouraged extremes, I wrote. I’ve read them over and over. To remember.
Write it all down – one day you may want to remember it, too.
3. Know what you want. Deliver others what they want.
In my last hour with Richard, I had ordered a cup of tomato soup, a side of potato salad, and a side of arugula salad with shaved parmesan. Then the server asked if I wanted to get a combo of 3 sides. The list of permitted options in his proposed combo contained none of the things I had originally ordered so I said “No, thank you” with a look. A look that said “No, thank you. You idiot.”
Dick laughed. “This guy obviously doesn’t know you. You of all people know exactly what you want.”
He was right. I’m not very compromising. I know what I want, and I fight to get it. Sometimes that didn’t help our cause, but it was what I wanted. Y’see Richard dumped me years ago because I had to travel with my job and he wanted a stable, local girlfriend. I’m very grateful and happy with where I am even if it meant letting go of potentially wonderful relationships because that’s what felt right at the time.
I love my job, the city, and the people I surround myself with. He fell in love the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen and they made art and love and a home while it lasted.
I think we both found what we needed, afterall.
4. Keep the ones you love in your life.
It was months before we spoke again. Richard had ended things with me over BBM and I had the drunkest night of my life. I deleted him out of my phone, and blocked him on facebook. Four months had passed. He called. Ever the sweetheart, of course he’d be the first to reach out.
We became friends again and infrequently lovers. We kept each other updated, but mostly each other in check. I was dismissive a lot of the time. I’m sorry, Richard. I hope you know I care.
I found out that he had died through a friend of a friend’s facebook status.
It sounds so fucking stupid but I hated myself for blocking him on facebook. Over the years, he thought it was funny and we made a pact not to pry in each other’s social media profiles. But it seemed so overwhelmingly important to be able to see photos of him. All the hilariously ridiculous updates that I had missed. Every heartfelt message left from our grieving friends.
But then I remembered that’s what he had wanted. For us to share what we had to share between us when we could – in person, by phone, or text. A personal connection. At least I had that. All of our memories. And I can’t imagine how much worse I would feel if he’d never been a part of my life again.
It may be hard at times, nor the best idea at others but eventually, reach out and keep the ones you love in your life. Don’t be cruel. You don’t want to regret losing someone for good.
Richard, you said you had a dream that I’d told you I wished I’d never have met you. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Every day I wish you were still here. At bus stops, in elevators, every street corner of downtown LA, I think of you. I miss you. You are loved so dearly.
This entry was written by Friends, Los Angeles, Love, Writing and tagged DTLA, Echo Park, La Cita, Millie's Cafe, Mustache Mondays, Richard Gimbel, Richard S. Gimbel, Richard Scott Gimbel, Silverlake. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on March 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm, filed under
– Charles Bukowski
I have all these little photos
Men I love for more reasons than not.
I wanted to start a series, but I just can’t decide what to call it.
Anyway, this is Sean.
And I love him.
You ask, I tell. Selection of questions posted on Tuesdays.
Film – 35mm Olympus Mju II. A present my mother gave to me when I was 14.
Maybe Christmas, maybe sooner. I don’t know how I feel about singing online anymore
Ideally, brunch with friends and a lot of laughing. A bit of shopping followed by a nap. Dinner before seeing a band. Drinking, dancing, and lots of making out.
1. Try anything once 2. With a trustworthy and willing partner. 3. Enjoy yourself.
I generally like to answer this question in jest with “I don’t have the time to think about whether I’m happy!”. But if I’m going to be honest, then yea, probably more so than I have been in a while. Not to say that my life is all double rainbows and bacon wrapped dates but it’s certainly much more interesting and productive.
Got a question for me? Ask away here.
This entry was written by Los Angeles, New York, Tell-all Tuesdays, Toronto and tagged Annex, Beverly Hills, Bushwick, Chinatown, Echo Park, Venice, Viva Radio. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on October 18, 2011 at 3:38 am, filed under
If there’s one thing I believe in, it’s brunch.
Soft Shell Crab Benedict | Clinton St. Baking Company
June 7th, 2011 | Lower East Side | New York
Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon | Clinton St. Baking Company
July 1st, 2011 | Lower East Side | New York
California Omelette | Home
July 4th, 2011 | Silver Lake | Los Angeles
Devil’s Mess | Millie’s Cafe
July 9th, 2011 | Silver Lake | Los Angeles
Arlene’s Breakfast | The Park
July 17th, 2011 | Echo Park | Los Angeles
Smoked Salmon Benedict | House Cafe
August 10th, 2011 | Beverly Blvd | Los Angeles
This entry was written by Food, Los Angeles, New York and tagged Beverly Blvd, Breakfast, Brunch, Clinton St. Baking Company, Echo Park, Eggs Benedict, Home, House Cafe, Lower East Side, Millie's Cafe, Silverlake, The Park. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on August 22, 2011 at 4:39 am, filed under
2 Gimbels 1 car.
This entry was written by Friends, Los Angeles, Photos and tagged Candis Gimbel, Echo Park, LACMA, Richard Gimbel, Richard S. Gimbel, Richard Scott Gimbel. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on July 17, 2011 at 9:25 pm, filed under