Two Moments with Friends

Today Erik and I were helping Ying and Stale move from their K-town walk-up to an extremely spacious new place in Pasadena. There was much heaving and struggling, most notably in getting their sofa out the doors and into the moving van, but overall it wasn’t a bad day. After the initial transplanting of boxes to the new apartment, Ying and I took off to Venice to pick up a gorgeous credenza Ying had bought online. By the time we arrived on the Westside and had carried and shoved the credenza into the back of the van, we were exhausted and ravenous. So we headed over to Empanada’s Place for two dozen of their divine empanadas and two boxes of alfajores (which seem to be especially scrumptious today – maybe they bake them on Saturdays?).

On our return trip, traffic was lousy, but with alfajores and two hot empanadas apiece we weren’t too bothered. In fact, I blame the lovely food, but we were pretty high on life as we drove eastward.

We began singing.

It was a traffic-inspired mention of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang that first got us going. We began by recalling Dick Van Dyke’s fabulous fried-egg machine, but before long we’d burst into “Truly Scrumptious” and “Toot Sweets.” From there we traveled through Les Misérables, The Sound of Music, Rent, West Side Story, Evita, Annie, A Chorus Line, and My Fair Lady, with detours into Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon. At some point in our childhoods we both dreamed of being on Broadway (more like daydreamed, obviously, since we’re now academics) and so we both have significant portions of our brains devoted to these lyrics. It’s true one must use or lose, however! The most hilarious thing was that between the two of us we could only remember a couple of songs from each show, and only a few lines of each at that, so we would belt out what we knew, full volume and molto espressivo – “Don’t cry for me Argentiiii-naaaa!” – and then have to finish up with a combination of faking and remembered bits and pieces – “Argentina… um… la la la la laaaaaa la da da… all through my wild days… um… don’t keep your distance?” – until we had to give up and move on to another musical. Lyrics or not, we were in fine form and kept on singing, stopping briefly for water, till we arrived at their apartment.

Moments like these just fill me with gleeful giddiness.

Last night Jason, Precious and I went to North Hollywood to watch a play called Do Lord Remember Me. We had a tasty dinner beforehand and we all enjoyed the play, but I think what I liked most of all was being out in the evening with a couple of sharp-dressed people. The same goes for the opera the night before with Margaret.

It’s a funny thing, seeing someone you know all dressed up and looking their best. For me, if it’s someone I’m very fond of, when I see them looking so gorgeous, I get a little heart-turn-y feeling, just like falling in love. I’ve mentioned how fabulous Margaret looked on Thursday night, gliding across the Music Center plaza in her beautiful dress. When I saw her I just felt so proud and excited to be spending my evening with someone who looked so good. When Jason came downstairs yesterday evening dressed up for the play, I felt the same way. It was funny because we had been watching TV together earlier that afternoon, he with Chairman on his lap and I slurping up a pick-up lunch of ramen, and after that we spent some time putting together one of his new bookshelves from Ikea. We’d been bumming around for a few hours when we realized it was time to leave. I ran downstairs and changed into a dress and earrings, and almost as soon as I’d put them on he poked his head in, still wearing his polo shirt and shorts, and wanted to know if I was going to dress up. I didn’t have to say anything because he could see the answer for himself. He ran back upstairs and reappeared in a few minutes, all GQ in a sharp striped shirt and black pants.

Then, we met Precious and she looked lovely too. At the show, we all stood around at intermission and chatted with the producer’s wife (who was very sweet) and she told us how much she liked our clothes.

Is it weird that I get a little heart flip-flop when I see my friends looking nice? I’m not quite sure what it says about me, but I just love it when it happens.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at I’m so glad I keep a journal — eight years later I have absolutely no memory of this play or of the outing to go see it.]