A Fun New Haircut, or a Cry for Help?

Old Life/New Life

As a successful lifestyle blogger, I know that your look is the most important reflection of who you are. That leaves me to wonder: if I change my look, who am I exactly? I cut off 6 inches of my hair to find out!

A drastic haircut is an exciting way to update your look and make the world seem fresh and new. Or is it a desperate plea to inject a little big of excitement into your draining, monotonous life? Who knows! Either way, I love my new haircut.

I knew it was time to cut my hair because it was getting hard to wash, but I could just sense that it was time to cut off so much of my hair that I feel like I’m living in someone else’s body. Was it because I wanted a fun look for fall? Or because my soul was desperately crying out, “Someone, save me from my rote daily existence that stretches on into infinity with no end in sight?” Ray at Atomic Hair Lab did such a great job that it doesn’t even matter!

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Everything is great now.

The feeling of watching giant chunks of my own hair fall to the floor and collect at my feet was liberating and exciting. Piles of hair fanned out before me, like dismantling all the dreams and plans I made for my life and combing through them, wondering if they will ever pan out and if the journey is really worth it at all, at the end of the day. Wondering: how does one ever really know if they are taking the right steps forward, or even if they are taking steps forward, when the journey only makes sense in hindsight looking back. It’s an endless puzzle, but then, isn’t the puzzle the most important part of the journey? Will it ever become easy to live with uncertainty? Anyway, the haircut’s great.


(Photo Credit: Jen Aubrecht)

My Adequate Hiatus

I ignored this mantra

I’m sure that you, my hopelessly devoted fan base, have noticed that I haven’t posted in a couple weeks. Well, even successful lifestyle bloggers need to take vacations sometimes!

I’m pleased to report that I’ve taken the last two weeks to live my life as usual. I traveled from my bed, to my couch, to my car, and back again.

I exercised one time. I ate a lot of pizza. I kept forgetting to go to the hardware store. And I realized just how important it is to recharge those batteries by changing absolutely nothing about my routine. Because now, I’m prepared to be the lifestyle blogger that you, the adequate masses, deserve.

I Hiked Alone and Didn’t Die!

Hiking is so popular in LA that even I have done it a few times. It’s an activity that involves nature, strenuous activity, and general discomfort, but sometimes I’m forcibly dragged on one anyway. So I whine a lot and try to make the other person turn around and get ice cream after ten minutes. Usually that doesn’t work thought, and I go on a hike. But never alone, until now!

I took the day off work for a thing that ultimately got cancelled, so I found myself with a rare free morning. I thought a calm, solo hike would be a great way to break my routine and re-center. And because I love failing at things, I chose the Wisdom Tree. It’s a short but rugged hike that ends at the top of a peak where there is one lone tree. It’s awesome! But usually I don’t make it to the top, because I’m out of shape.

When I was alone, I whined less. I whined to strangers on the trail a little, but mostly I was quiet. The walk from my car to the start of the hike was already a steep hill, so I was tired before I began. Then my legs grew heavier with every step. But I kept going! I climbed and climbed until…


….I got tired and gave up. I didn’t make it to the top. But I probably made it over halfway up, and then I went to get a breakfast burrito, so I still consider it a huge success 🙂

My Favorite Apps for Changing Nothing About My Lifestyle

It seems like these days, there’s an app to improve just about every part of your life. A lot of them look time-consuming and stressful, but not these. Here are some apps I love for creating the smallest illusion of life change.

I’ve been trying to get more sleep, so I downloaded Sleep Cycle a few months ago. It’s an app that runs during the night and, like magic, tracks your sleep patterns (based on breathing I guess? Technology is scary). I love it because it “reminds” me to pay attention to how much sleep I’m getting every night, even though I’ve made no effort to improve my habits at all. It also tracks my sleep quality, which is generally poor.

SworkIt is an app where a small person leads you in five minute workouts. “Stretching” is pictured above but “yoga,” “strength,” and “cardio” are also available workout options. What’s great about this one is that you can watch the little person do your workout and still feel as if you get some of the benefits. Plus it’s only a five minute investment of your time, so how hard can it be to keep up with it? Also I use it rarely.

5 Every Day is a fantastic resource for all Los Angeles folks. It was made by some sort of public radio station, maybe? Anyway, it’s my favorite way to learn what’s going on around town so I can feel bad for not going to even more things. Until I got this app, I had no idea what gallery openings and concerts I was missing out on every single day of the week. The simple interface makes it easy to think “ooh, I should check that out!” every day, and then sit at home with Netflix.

A SandwichQuest Mirage

In case you’re new to My Adequate Lifestyle, I’m on a quest to find the perfect sandwich in Los Angeles. A sandwich that satiates my body and also my soul, that makes me feel spiritually whole. It is a SandwichQuest, and it is a serious matter.


The Melrose Cafe was not on my SandwichQuest spreadsheet. I’d never even heard of it before (and haven’t since…hmmmmm). But my friend Eric and I were looking for a place to have lunch, and we walked there because it was nearby. The storefront is unassuming and easy to miss – almost too easy to miss.

As we were waiting in line to order, we started to wonder, “Aren’t these sandwiches pretty cheap for everything that’s on them?” They were. At the counter, the woman asked us which side we wanted – it was included with the sandwich, so she said. Highly questionable that a $7-8 sandwich would include a side. Something wasn’t right. Still, we both ordered salads.

Then two of these arrived at our table:


Side salad.


Immediately, we were suspicious. Two kinds of cheese? Three kinds of peppers? What’s the catch here? Did we actually walk into an unassuming storefront, or is this a deal we made with the devil? Were we even at a restaurant at all?

Then the sandwiches came out. I got the toscano panini, which featured turkey AND chicken, plus pesto and tomatoes and…avocado? Very Italian. I’m not complaining. It was a little too much meat for me, but overall was nearly perfect. It almost felt like a sandwich I’d made up myself. But…did I?

We each packed up more leftovers than should ever come from a light lunch, and stepped out into the bright sunshine. Had we just experienced a collective sandwich hallucination? WAS there even a Melrose Cafe? I guess I’ll never know unless I drive by or go back again or look it up on the internet. But some things are meant to be mysteries.

Grade: A

Spiritual Wholeness Quotient: On par with stepping through a wardrobe and finding Narnia, only instead of Turkish Delight there are sandwiches.

4 Things I Love: Beach Edition

I know, I know, every Wednesday I’m supposed to bring you a list of four things to love from the previous week. But loving things takes a lot of energy, and this week I just wasn’t up to the challenge. Also it is currently Friday.

So I bailed on everything and went to the beach!

I might be a deeply unfun person who does not love the beach, but I DO love some other things.

We went wine tasting, and I love wine.

My friend Carly came to town, and I love Carly!

Brigid buried John in sand, and I love other people’s misfortune!

This photo is heavily filtered, and I love pretending that it’s reality!

The Fickle Nature of Sandwiches


Fresh, disappointing sandwich

In life as in sandwiches, sometimes things don’t reveal themselves to you immediately. The universe rewards patience. People take time to warm up, to trust. And perhaps, so do sandwiches.

I stopped at All About the Bread between therapy and a screening of Room. Somehow my sandwich escaped being soaked in tears, which is a SandwichQuest miracle all on its own. I ordered a turkey club, since it involved turkey and avocado. Quests need a control group; this isn’t anarchy. Mostly though, I was excited about the implication of good bread, and the logo led me to believe that I was going to an off-brand Jimmy John’s. Very promising.

When I looked at the bread, I was disappointed. I expected it to be softer. Not Subway-yoga-mat spongey, but softer. The flavors in the sandwich felt muted – the turkey and guacamole were there, but they weren’t there. The bread was…dare I say hard and flavorless? I expected better from a place that claimed to be “all about” the bread. But the things you love? Sometimes they disappoint you. Yes, even sandwiches. I wasn’t that hungry, so I put the second half of the sandwich in the fridge and went to drain all my tears into a Buncha Crunch box and contemplate the meaning of freedom.

The next day, I sat down to eat the second half of the sandwich because, well, it was there. And if you can even BELIEVE it, the leftovers were incredible! I’m not sure what it was – maybe the tomato had soaked into the bread just enough, or the turkey was softer and more flavorful – but all the flavors had come together. With a little time and space, the sandwich was free to become what it was. And it was excellent.

(This story has a postscript, which is that I was immediately shamed by my friend Will, who recommended All About the Bread, for not ordering the meatball sandwich. And so a second trip was made. Again, the sandwich was good (better than the turkey), but the leftover second half of the sandwich was absolutely transcendent. Finally, having the appetite of a baby bird pays off.)

Grade: A-

Spiritual Wholeness Quotient: On par with spending a long time searching for something, only to find that you’ve had that thing inside you all along.

4 Things I Love: Mental Fog Edition


Downtown. Glamour.


I spent roughly two days of this week being a tour guide for a visiting college friend. It was delightful! But that was enough to make the whole week feel exhausting. But don’t worry, I can still love things while in an inexplicable mental fog! Just watch me!

  1. Frasier. Sometimes, when everything feels like too much and my brain refuses to function in any way, I reach a point where the only acceptable activity is watching an episode of Frasier. I don’t love Frasier more than any other 90’s sitcom. In fact, I never ever watched much of it until recently, and maybe that’s why it’s so comforting: it feels familiar while still retaining some sort of newness. At any rate, I reached a point this week where even watching Frasier seemed like too much mental effort. And if that doesn’t provide a lovable amount of perspective on where my life’s at, I don’t know what does!
  2. The End of Migraine Visions. On Saturday afternoon I found myself with one of those lethargic, weird headaches. I lost track of time, space, and any accountability I had to the day. Suddenly it was time to meet aforementioned college friend to go to a poetry reading at the Ace Hotel. I poured myself onto the bus, and found myself in a strangely lit room listening to a long series of poems, read haltingly by nervous writers. The uneven lamplight danced off my retinas and I was forced to breathe through a weird series of optical tricks. I wasn’t “seeing things” exactly, but my vision wasn’t normal. Every once in a while the pain was almost blinding, but in between, I just knew something wasn’t right. The reading stretched on for hours (less than two of them). By the end, my headache was finally breaking and the visions went away. I have to find something to LOVE about this because I typed it all out, so let’s just pretend that it was nice to experience poetry in a surreal way.
  3. Downtown at Night. After the poetry reading, I missed the bus I was trying to take home. It was 10:30 at night, and there wasn’t another bus for an hour. Unsure what to do, I started walking. Walking downtown at night is oddly peaceful – I miss living in a city where that’s more common occurrence, and it’s nice to do it when I can. I like it even more because it’s clearly a bad idea. It was a crisp night, and I felt truly alive as I walked by groups of drunk people walking into leather bars and dodged cat callers. Everything in my world made sense, if only within the tiny microcosm of my quiet stride. I debated walking all the way home. Then I turned a corner and instantly felt legitimately unsafe. I called a Lyft in ten seconds flat and waited for it, terrified. The walk was nice while it lasted.
  4. Finishing Stuff. It’s 1:30 on Wednesday night (Thursday morning) and I am determined to finish this post on time. If you’re in Hawaii, it’s still Wednesday. So I did it, and I love that.

Life Gave Me Lemons


There’s a lemon tree in front of my house. After months of looking at sad green bulbs, beautiful yellow lemons appeared all at once. Which means….immediate stress! A desperate need to binge on lemons! Over-saturation of garden delight! So I came up with a plan: a massive lemon day, where I would pick all the lemons and then cook and bake lemon-related things with them. It was going to be grand. There would be lemon bars and meringue pies! There would be potions and teas and lemonades! There were some hurdles.

Lemon trees have thorns. I didn’t know that until one stabbed me. So the momentous lemon harvest turned into picking six lemons and then going inside to wash my wounds. It’s okay though! Cooking with six lemons is totally respectable. I “cook,” but “baking” isn’t really a doable thing, so my friend Jen came over to assist with the “following directions” part of baking.

My first recipe attempt was a (misguided) Lemon Spaghetti. Does that sound weird? It was. But I don’t cook meat, and vegetarian lemon recipe options were sort of limited. And then….the substitutions! (I can’t follow a recipe.) I thought heavy cream sounded too unhealthy and subbed in “fat free half and half” aka chalk water. Also, I already had mozzarella cheese so I used that instead of parmigiano reggiano (whatever that is). So something about the flavors wasn’t quite right, and instead of a sauce, it was more of a cheesy lemon stew. It needed vegetables, and I had none. And I might have left out another thing? Parsley, maybe? It was totally fine, though. Very edible.


Jen’s contribution was this recipe for a Lemon Yogurt Cake. This one got off to a strong start because we had all the ingredients (thanks, Jen). It hit a rocky middle because I don’t own a mixing bowl. We made it work, though:


This is a pitcher.

There’s actually not that much to report about the baking experience. I stayed out of the way, and it went off without a hitch.


No hitches here.

The cake was a total success. And I ate leftover lemon spaghetti for the rest of the week, so that wasn’t technically a failure either. 🙂

What else should I “make” with a bunch of lemons? Tell me in the comments!

4 Things I Love

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I am not having a productive week, but I am having a good time with it. There’s what you should care about with me this week!

  1. Spring Break. My bus route to work goes by three high schools, which means the person to skateboard ratio on the bus is usually 1:1. Last week, though, there were no skateboards and thus no people. It’s refreshing to be surrounded by youth and potential every day, but it’s way more refreshing to sit anywhere I want on the bus. My sweatshirt got a seat, my purse got a seat, even my podcast got a seat. Now I’m back to sharing a seat with the manspreaders of tomorrow, but I LOVED it while it lasted.
  2. Library Books. I love the library! A few months ago, I checked out an enormous short story collection on a whim. I read approx. 5 pages out of 2000, and then renewed it several times to avoid returning it. It was due a week ago. I carried the enormous brick of a book all the way to work, but the book drop at the downtown library was locked. Locked! I have no choice but to keep this book. I often miss the days when art was more tangible, so it’s refreshing to be weighed down with this physical reminder of all the fines I’m racking up.
  3. Procrastinating. In college, I never started paper more than twelve hours before it was due. Now that I’m out of school, sometimes I miss it – the feeling of dread and wasted hours sitting in the bottom of my stomach, the heightening panic as a deadline approaches. Yesterday, I had a lot of free time and a long to do list, so I indulged. Without realizing it, I spent over an hour watching clips of Jimmy Kimmel man-on-the-street bits (why?) instead of starting my laundry. I found myself feeling deeply and inexplicably sad later – is time-wasting not the rush it once was? – but on the whole, it was a lovable throwback to a simpler time.
  4. StumbleUpon. This deserves a whole separate category, even though it technically falls under #3. I just remembered about StumbleUpon from college – it’s a website randomizer that helps you find novel ways to waste time. And it existed before clickbait was even invented. As I was getting really nostalgic for my college study habits, I went see if my old friend still existed. IT DOES! Hours were wasted! I read about Syria, read a quote about intimacy, and looked at these fun cardboard dioramas. I’m not sure how old I am anymore, and my laundry isn’t put away, but I’m loving it.