Japanese female wrestling 🤼‍♀️ & earthquake apologies

Tales from a weekend spent at the beach.

Hi friends!

How are you? I hope you’re doing well! I hope you enjoyed Mark Pagán’s Morning Diary on Monday as much as I did. It made me miss New York a little, especially the part about standing around with neighbors watching firefighters on the street. One thing I miss about New York is how whenever something is happening on the street, people will stand around watching, and you can just walk up to a stranger and ask them what’s going on and they’ll give you the tea. People don’t gape in L.A., they keep it moving, and nobody ever knows what’s going on. There’s a real lack of curiosity in favor of self-involvement.

Well, I’m sorry to say that at the moment, my cat is the healthiest person in my household. My husband Ross came down with a nasty cold this week and has been really suffering. While I haven’t caught that (yet), I did change up my medication routine this week and have been plagued by side effects. Our cat Zadie is the only one who seems to be thriving right now. She seems to enjoy the fact that we’ve been spending a lot of time rotting in bed, though, where she can join us for snuggles. Zadie is excellent at bed rotting.

Zadie on the verge of sleep

At the end of next week, I will be taking a red eye flight* to New York City to attend a dear, dear friend’s baby shower. If you’re keeping track, that makes two different baby showers I’ve flown out for this year. On top of that, I have another, local baby shower to attend this Sunday in L.A. So many besties havin’ babies!! Also, they all seem to be having boys. You’ve never seen so many registries full of dinosaur print pajamas in your life! I know this is not a new observation, but it’s kind of shocking how early on things get gendered. Who decided that baby boys even like dinosaurs, especially at 0-3 months? They’re still learning to lift their giant heads up, they can hardly care about prehistoric reptiles!

* People hate red eye flights, but it’s really the only way to travel from the west coast of the U.S. to the east without losing a whole day. Plus, I like how quiet and calm the plane is with everyone sleeping in the dark.

Anyway, I’m excited to spend some time in New York and New Jersey and have a decent bagel or two. The weather there can be unpredictable in June–sometimes it’s sunny and beautiful, other times it’s muggy and gray. I’m hoping for more of the former. Either way, it will be great to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in far too long. Plus, I’m actually going to be able to be with my dad on Father’s Day, which hasn’t happened in about a million years.

Speaking of things that haven’t happened, well, ever: last Thursday, Ross and some friends and I went to see Sukeban, a Japanese female pro wrestling show. We got the tickets through Ross’s mom because one of the producers is a family friend, and the vibe was very, “please please come, we just need butts in seats.” To be honest, we were expecting something pretty rinky-dink. Well, let’s just say they definitely did NOT need our butts in those seats! It was a whole scene! The Gen Zers were out in droves. People dressed up and wore cool outfits and shit. I paid $12 for a White Claw, and that was the cheapest alcoholic drink option!

wrasslin’

Best of all, we had a really good celebrity sighting: Steven Yeun was there! He was keeping it super low-key in a black hoodie (hood up) and joggers. Honestly, he just looked like a tired dad. Some famous people have this aura of “this is a star” – Ross always points to the one time we saw Sarah Paulson walking into Ye Rustic Inn and he turned to me and went, “That’s someone famous, isn’t it?” Steven Yeun just looked like some guy who could be introduced to you as someone’s coworker or a friend of a friend. You would never know he was a whole-ass movie star with an Oscar nomination.

Saweetie was also there for some reason, but she wasn’t keeping it low key. They brought her out on stage in between the matches, and she walked up and down the stage and waved to the audience. Then she sat in the VIP-VIP section (we were in the “lesser” VIP section), stayed for one match, and left. It was a little baffling.

At any rate, the wrestling was a lot of fun to watch. Most of my experience with pro wrestling is with lucha libre, which I’ve been lucky enough to see live in L.A. and in Mexico City, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from Japanese female wrestling. There was a lot less flipping and flying at this show, and a lot more tit punching and “hitting” people with chairs. Also, the hair and makeup and costumes for the characters were a lot of fun. I believe Sukeban is still on tour in the U.S., you can follow them on Instagram @sukeban_world for updates.

The next day, Ross and I left for Ventura, a beach town on the coast about an hour and a half northwest of Los Angeles. We’d previously spent a lovely weekend up there a few years ago celebrating our anniversary, in which we’d eaten lots of seafood (including oysters!), walked along the beach, drank sparkling rosé in our Airbnb’s hot tub, and met up at a tiki bar with a dear friend of mine for drinks. Well, this time that dear friend of mine was getting married!! So we decided to make a weekend out of it. 

Ventura Harbor views

Ross also has a work friend who moved to the Ventura area a few years ago, and he and his wife invited us over to their house for drinks on Friday night. It is worth mentioning that this friend and his wife are quite a bit older than us, in their 60s, with grown children who are out of the house. The friend is weeks away from retirement and his wife is already retired, and they lavish their attention onto their three little dogs, two tiny Yorkies and a slightly less tiny rescue mix.

Anyway, their house was beautiful. There is something so nice about hanging out with older parents who have their shit together. It’s just cushy. We drank some wine, they turned on their gas fireplace, and they had laid out a lovely little cheese and charcuterie spread, and they had these perfect tiny little appetizer plates and tiny little forks to go with them. The plates looked something like this. I am married and had a registry and everything, but I’m not put-together enough to have stuff like that. I would probably serve you appetizers on old snowflake-printed paper plates from Christmas or something.

They were very kind and quite fun to hang out with, and their dogs were super friendly and adorable. I was wearing a dress with leggings and shoes, but the dogs kept licking the inch and a half strip of skin that was exposed around my ankles, which made me giggle. Most of the time I am happy with just having a low maintenance cat, but man, I do love hanging out with other people’s dogs.

On Saturday morning, we had a huge breakfast at Alison’s Country Cafe, a brunch spot with insanely big biscuits, and then it was time for the wedding! I am so, so happy for my friend, I know this is something she’s wanted for a long time, and I’m so glad she gets her happily ever after.

The wedding ceremony was a full Catholic mass in a historic mission at the center of downtown Ventura, which was pretty cool; we walked a few blocks and got Americanos between the ceremony and reception. Inspired by the suggestions on the wedding website, I brought a little black dress to wear. Unfortunately, I had not even tried it on before the day of the wedding, and lord, there was a lot of cleavage!! Tits were OUT, before God and baby Jesus and the Holy Spirit! Luckily for me, it was gray and chilly that day, so I spent pretty much the whole wedding covered up with a wrap. But let this be a lesson to all: try on the dress before the church wedding!

😬😬😬

On Sunday, we left Ventura pretty early because Ross had to do some work, and we made it back to L.A. just in time to feel the 3.5 earthquake that hit South Pasadena, the next neighborhood over from ours. That was a weird one because I heard it before I felt it – our building started creaking before it began shaking. Earthquakes don’t all feel the same. Some roll through you like a train passing underground, some whoosh like a gust of wind, some just shake back and forth.

The craziest one I’ve felt so far was several years ago, when two friends and I were at the Magic Castle. We were in one of the basement theaters, watching a magician perform, when the curtains around the stage started swaying back and forth. That was probably the longest one I’ve experienced, and yet, we all still just sat there and looked around at each other like, “What do we do?” My friends were in town for the weekend from San Francisco, and I felt the need to apologize to them afterwards?? As if I were in charge of the city of L.A.’s seismic activity?? Classic girl moment!

Anyhow, wow, this has been a real rambly, tell-you-about-my-week one! I hope you like these kinds of newsletters once in a while. Let me get into a few shows I’ve been keeping up with real quick, for the pop culture heads:

- Buying London, season one (Netflix). I needed a show to watch when Ross was out and I was bored at home, so I threw this on one night. It’s a real estate reality show very much in the style of Selling Sunset, except it takes place in London. They even use some of the same music as Selling Sunset, and yes, it’s pretty sad that I recognized that, haha. One thing that annoys me about the O group on Sunset is that they are always bragging about getting these huge, $50 million listings, but then they don’t ever actually sell them! The listing always expires without a buyer and it’s like, so what was the point? DDRE, the real estate group on Buying London, lists unbelievable, luxury properties and then actually closes deals on them. It’s pretty impressive. Plus, I love British accents.

I do have to say, the outfits on Buying London are much more work-appropriate than Selling Sunset.

The funniest thing about this show is that Reme, the 21 year-old baby agent is actually the most mature and level-headed in the office. There’s Oli, who is half pinstripe picture of elegance, half spluttering doofus, who looks so much to me like Mr. Jellineck from Strangers With Candy that I keep waiting for Stephen Colbert to show up. Rasa, who is Lithuanian and never met a siren eye she didn’t like, is super childish and volatile, and it’s great. She’s one of those classic “I can’t hide how I feel” types, which, it’s like, then maybe don’t work with the public??? Get a computer job where you can flip off your inbox from the privacy of your own home. Then there’s Daniel Daggers, the boss of the whole operation, which is an incredibly fun name to say in an English accent. I recommend the show if you’re looking for something fluffy, with spectacular properties.

- Top Chef, season 21 (Peacock). This current season of Top Chef takes place in Wisconsin, and is the first one hosted by former winner Kristen Kish instead of Padma Lakshmi. I think Kish is doing a pretty good job for her first season as host. The first couple episodes were a bit stiff, but I think she’s finding her own style. I also love that they’re featuring Wisconsin, which I think gets often overlooked as a foodie destination but has a lot of its own cool regional food and restaurant styles. Out of all the contestants so far, I think the one person whose food I’d like to try is Michelle’s. She has been super inconsistent as a contestant, but when she nails it, it’s a real triumph.

- RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars, season nine (Paramount+). I think this season has been just okay so far. I was thrilled to see Gottmik back, and Plastique Tiara has really impressed me, but otherwise…? I’m not really feeling the fantasy, as they say. I never really understood Ru’s obsession with Jorgeous, and as much of a Drag Race icon as Vanjie is, she had never won a single challenge despite being on two different seasons, so??? ¿Por qué está en All Stars? I like the charity aspect, but it does seem kind of fucked up that they can “sabotage” each other from making strides toward the grand prize money. Idk, man. If you’ve been watching, what do you think?

An incredible Gottmik look. Photo by Albert Sanchez

- Kansas City, Missouri. Ross and I are starting to plan a small anniversary trip for September, and we are seriously considering going to Kansas City, Missouri, just to eat barbecue and see the tree kangaroos in the zoo there. Ross recently fell in love with tree kangaroos when the Instagram algorithm started serving them up to him, but sadly, they are very endangered, and only in a few zoos in the U.S. Has anyone been to Kansas City? Any highlights of traveling there?

Alright folks, that’s it for now!

If you have a second, I’d love it if you’d like or comment on this post–just click this link to go to the post page. Or just hit reply and say hi! :)

Until next time—sorry about all the earthquakes!!!

Love,

Liz

XOXO

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