A Touch of “Little House on the Prairie”-related Homesickness

Lately I’ve been feeling kind of far away from the world, sort of out of touch. Our cable is off so I can’t even watch the same TV shows everyone is watching as a way to stay connected. I gave up my internship for a couple of reasons, one being that we couldn’t afford it anymore, especially since we were both doing Internships. It’s better for Kristyn to do hers because I’ve had my chance. And I don’t regret that because fair is fair and I love that she is so happy.

The problem with not going to that internship anymore is that I am home alone all of the time. And Kristyn is gone and out of the house all of the time. So I have nothing to do. Ever.

But I’m sort of okay with that too. It gives me a lot of time to think, a lot of time to create, a lot of time to job hunt and clean. I’m okay being by myself most of the time. But this is a lot.

When I love a TV show, I have to buy it on DVD. I like to have the option to watch them over and over again. I know that that’s crazy in the era of Netflix but there are some shows that I just can’t get over. And I want to work in television so I think of it as a form of research. I don’t ever want to mime someone else’s work but it’s important to study the things you like to gain creative inspiration, no?

So we mostly have a collection of sitcoms…and “Little House on the Prairie”. I bought season one a few years back, got through a quarter of it, got tired of Kristyn making fun of it and put it away. During those times we worked on the same schedule so we did everything together. There was literally no time to watch a television show that we didn’t both like (even though she would fall asleep as soon as we put something on haha). Anyway, I started watching it again and just love it so much. It’s so comforting. I like that it’s so innocent. And it remindeds me a lot of my Mom and my Nana and being a little girl.

The problem is that it is making me homesick. I love LA but I don’t like the climate. Everyone at home feels like it is something to be jealous of but honestly it gets old fast. We are only truly happy when it’s “cold” (aka 60 degrees) or rainy. There’s no change in the weather ever. But IDK, I’d surely be just as sad if I were back there.

Sometimes it feels like, “Why are we even here?” We’ve been here for over a year but haven’t gotten to experience what it’s like to live here at all. There’s no room for fun or enjoyment. Any day Kristyn has off, she just has to collapse and rest because tomorrow she has somewhere else she has to be. We’re always hurrying her out the door and it stresses her out and makes me feel guilty. But I’m trying, it’s just not working. And when she has off, all I want to do is get out of this horrible apartment and into the world but she needs that time to be here. To see the cats, to lay down on the couch, to not move. And when she’s at work, I can’t take the car and go out because we can’t afford the gas. So IDK we are in a bad cycle. We have come up with a plan that will likely be more affective than what we’re doing now in terms of the quality of our lives.

Because Kristyn works late, we tend to stay up late and then sleep late and then she has to rush out the door. We realized last night that if we get up early on the weekdays no matter what time she has to be to work, she will have more time to write her blogs, call her parents and enjoy being here. And I will be able to get up, keep regular hours, spend more time with her and maybe we can even go for a walk together or something. And then we can sleep in on the weekends like normal people do. So IDK, we’re going to try it this week and see.

Another problem is that we are not in our element here. When you live someplace for your entire life, you know how to keep yourself busy. You know where to find all the things you need and want. That is a huge reason why we LEFT NJ. We were tired of not having to use our brains. We WANTED a challenge. We WANTED to have all new things. The prospect of not knowing where to find things was something we wanted. And it’s something we still do want. The problem is that sometimes you DON’T want to have to think or plan. You just want to do. And everything we want to do involves a big-ass plan. So it’s tiring sometimes. For instance, I desperately want to go to a yard sale. Not a Hollywood Hills yard sale where everything is a ridiculous amount of money. I want to go to a cheap-ass yard sale where someone’s aunt is selling all their weird crap on their lawn for a bean. I want to buy seven things, hand them a fiver and get change back. But this is fucking Hollywood. There are regular people all over the place but the odds of me finding yard sales like that around here are slim to none. I found one recently but it was seriously just JUNK. Like stuff that ought to have been thrown out fifteen years ago and not saved under any circumstances. In NJ we went yard sale-ing all the time because we knew exactly where to troll for sales. And NJ is small so the odds of you finding a little nook with a sale are great. LA is huger than you can ever even begin to imagine. You could probably fit five New York Cities in LA (or more). It’s huge. So where the hell do you start?! That is the problem with this city. It’s so goddamn big! For everything the first question is, “Where do we start?!” So then I think, “Well I’ll go to a second hand store to get my thrift on.” Wrong. Everything is priced the way it would be if it were brand new and in a store which takes all the fun out of it even if I DID have money to spare. The fun part of thrifting is the hunt, the surprise of finding weird stuff you didn’t know you wanted and the low commitment of expense. I’m not interested in ripping people off but if you are charging $50 but a point and shoot 35 mm camera that probably sold for $10 five years ago, we have a problem.

And I know I’m rambling at this point but I need a good ramble and it’s doubtful you’re even paying attention anymore so whatever. Another problem we have is that people keep giving us advice. We appreciate it but this city is way too complex for anyone to really advise us on anything. In NJ/NY everything is so close together. Our conventional wisdom that works in that area just doesn’t work here. You can’t really walk to anything here. And when people said that to me before I moved here I was all, “Malarky!” But it’s true. Everything is farther than you imagine it to be. For instance, when driving down Santa Monica Boulevard towards home, there is this fast food place that I always take as a marker that I am home…just a little bit further now. But that fast food place is actually twenty minutes from my house. The drive is just so long that my brain remembers it as “almost home” and it is in no way “almost home”. In NJ, anywhere you want to go is 20 minutes away for real. We’ve gotten so used to LA’s hugeness that a 40 minute drive (one way) doesn’t seem like anything at all. When I drive Kristyn to work and come back again that’s 40 minutes each way and then another 40 each way to pick her up at night again. So that’s 160 minutes in the car which is TWO HOURS AND FOURTY MINUTES driving time so that I can have the car to go food shopping. Do you know how much gas that is?! Haha. It’s a lot. So we FINALLY learned that it’s just best for us to run these sorts of errands when Kristyn has off or when the car is already in this area either before she goes to work or when she gets home. Which of course leaves me here babbling to you guys, watching a million episodes of “Little House on the Prairie” and thinking about all the things I want to do but don’t know how to do here but would know exactly how to do if I were home. Vicious cycle guys, vicious cycle. And the horrible part is that I KNOW that if I were home either because we left here or because we never came here, I’d be crying about the exact reverse problem. I have ACTUALLY said these words in NJ, “Even sitting in an apartment in LA would be better than having a good time here!” I’m an asshole, what can you do?

BUT on the bright side, we are going to start the process of applying to schools out here. As much as I’m bitching, we both know that this is the place we have to be right now if we want to work in this industry. Naturally we can live home and work in New York in this industry if we wanted to but we both suspect that our resumes will look shinier if we learn the ropes and pay our dues here rather than there. Nothing says “Hollywood” like a diploma from “Hollywood”. And we are smart enough to realize that while adding school onto our load is only going to make us whine even more and look back on these times as “simpler times we wish we could go back to”. Life = suffering. Once you understand what that means it actually is kind of funny. The past and the future always look rosy and the present, no matter how sweet, always looks bleak because you’re in the midst of your problems, the realities right in front of you and the future unsure. I do know that despite all my whinging, we will look back on these days fondly. We were young, we were stupid, we didn’t have anyone to take care of but ourselves (and our million pets). We were living in the city of our dreams and following the path to the careers we always wanted. And I know we’ll definitely say, “Why did we need all those crocheted blankets again?”

So anyway, I’m gonna go now, cross-stitch and watch some more (you guessed it):

P.S. Someone needs to buy me the full collection of this show. Who cares if it veered into “who cares” territory towards the end. THE COLLECTION COMES IN A GODDAMN COVERED WAGON! How lovely (obnoxious) would that look presented on a mantle? “Welcome in friends. I have a mental illness not classified by the latest version of the DSM. Please put on a bonnet and have a wheatflour cookie.”

P.S. #2 Here is the episode I am going to go watch. It is a BEAUTYFUL episode and I tried to force Kristyn to watch it last night to no avail. This clip shows all the important parts, enough to rip out those heartstrings.

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