There's a special kind of thought that pops into my mind quite often. You could call it a favourite thinking exercise, or a recurring fascination.
It's about those times in life when you've been right at the edge of something new, and you can see the change coming but you don't yet know how it will affect your life.
I revel in those feelings.
The photos in this post are all self portraits from when we were in Palm Springs last weekend.
Five years ago in Gothenburg David and I went to look at what would be our first apartment together. We really wanted to get it, it was big had two balconies and was close to the city centre, so when we walked from the apartment to the grocery store down the street we tried to imagine what it would be like if this was our neighbourhood.
It was still winter and the small cherry tree outside the store had yet to grow leaves on its bare branches. We stood underneath it and kissed with so much hope and anticipation in our bodies, and I remember imagining us standing at the very same place in spring, kissing beneath blooming cherry blossoms. There was also worry, that we wouldn't get the place, and that this part of town would continue to be a stranger to us and not our home.
When we finally got the call that the apartment was ours I went back to that feeling in my mind, tried to remember how the neighbourhood looked but not really knowing where the streets went and what was behind the buildings and parks.
Over the years since I've learned how the area looks, I know what is behind the grocery store (ugly apartment buildings from the 80s), I know every twist and turn of the cemetery where I like to go for walks or evening runs, I know all the cute little shops, which chef at the thai restaurant on our street that cooks the best Pad Thai, and I even recognize some strangers that pass through the neighbourhood as a part of their every day life.
And I still try to remember that feeling of not knowing how the future will look, but being sure it will change soon.
I try to see the grocery store down the street in the same way I did that day when I was filled with expectations and longing for something new, because I like that feeling so much, I want to keep it in me forever.
It's a surrender, of sorts. You know that you don't have all the information, you know things will change and that it will make your life different, so all you can do istrust and hope, and let go until you're there.
And then, when you're there, you can never truly get that feeling back because then you KNOW.
Before we came to USA we were in the same sort of unknown space. We knew we probably would be going, but we didn't know when and how it would all pan out. It was too big to even dream of, too huge to comprehend. We could just wait and see, put our lives a little bit on hold until the call came that yes, we should come to LA, in fact- could we come next week?
That period is still so fuzzy to me. Impossible to grasp. It was just a vacuum.
But then, when we came to USA at the end of March, we didn't even have a place to live and we stayed at a hotel until we could find a more permanent place.
On the day we came upon the tiny apartment we live in now I was struck by that very same feeling.
We knew the name of the street, but not the house number, so we drove down the street trying to get a feel of the area and guess where exactly our life would be lived the following months.
I think a move to a new place is a perfect example of this "knowing but not knowing" state of mind. It revolves around so much more than just the house you live in (a new job creates the same feeling of getting to know a work place as well as colleagues). It's about the surroundings too.
You can never keep that fresh naive look at a place after you've gotten to know it, so now when I walk to the grocery store fifteen minutes from our tiny home I try to capture that fleeting memory of how it was when this part of the world was completely unknown to me.
And now I'm at one of those edges all over again.
We're moving to a tiny, but not quite as tiny, home in a part of LA where we've actually been before. We have a favourite sushi place in that neighbourhood. It's close to many places where we've been; restaurants, stores, a theatre and old book stores.
But now there are also small and winding streets we will call Home for a few months. Streets behind all those spots we've visited without knowing that our future home was hiding in the hills back there.
And I can't stop thinking, what will it be like to have these streets be my streets. How will it look in a month when I've walked all over the place, mapped every corner and bump in the sidewalk?
When I look back at the day when we drove there the first time and everything looked so exciting and unknown.
When I will know.
We're in Palm Springs over the weekend and one thing I really wanted to do was to see the desert and take some fun photos.
So today we did just that!
Sweaty as all hell, but WOW, what a place!
I took a gazillion photos with the self timer, so let's take a look at the best ones:
And then we started to imagine what it would be like to get lost out in the desert, and the self portraits took a turn for the dramatic...
The nature out here is like nothing I've ever seen before. David and I talked about how crazy it is that when people in movies go to another planet the entire planet has only ONE kind of nature.
Earth has so many different kinds of environments and the logical way to think is that other planets would be the same. Everything from snow and ice to heat and sandy deserts.
Also: I wonder how they survived out here without AC in their cars...
Back to blogging and it feels so gooooood!
Hiiii! How have you been?
I have been busy busy busy and realised a few days ago that I haven't blogged about when David and I went to Los Angeles in november! Oh no!
When I looked through all my iPhone photos (I only used my Nikon D7000 for two days, I'll show you those photos some other day) I found at least 100 photos that I wanted to blog. Well, that's a little bit too much, so I made up a little list for myself with everything I wanted to include in a post from our trip.
Here it is:
I searched instagram and yelp
for the best breakfast places both before we went and after we arrived in LA, and since the breakfast at our hotel wasn't very good and also not included we went to a lot of breakfast places during our two week trip. One of those restaurants I found was bld
. We sat outside in the sun and I ordered the eggs benedict because that had looked really nice on the photos I found on internet taken by customers.
It was so very tasty!
MOST INCREDIBLE STORE:
I had a lot of time for myself during the days because David had meetings with Hollywood people, so just like with the breakfast places I had looked up interesting spots that I wanted to go to. One of those was The Last Bookstore
where I could have easily spent an entire day if needed. It was just so amazing!
Fantastical, creative and filled with books, of course! I found myself in front of the Stage/Film/Scriptwriting shelves and was very impressed with myself when I left with only two new books.
One day I was walking along Melrose Avenue checking out the vintage shops there. I had just tried on a fabulous 50's pencil dress that looked absolutely fantastic on me if it wasn't for the fact that it was a tad too small. When I walked past a store that made new clothes in 50's style I went in there in the hope of finding something similar.
The girl in the store was super helpful and nice and we talked a lot while she helped me find the perfect dress. When I was going to pay for the dress she asked "So, why are you in LA? Work or play?". I told her that my husband and I made a short horror film that went viral and now we're in LA because of the attention the short has gotten in Hollywood.
Oh? What's the name of the horror short?
When I said Lights Out her eyes almost popped out of her skull.
OMG! OMG! OMG! I LOVE Lights Out! OMG OMG ITS YOU! OMG it's been everywhere, on Imgur on reddit- EVERYWHERE!- OMG you could have said "Brad Pitt is outside" and I would have been like- "Meh"- but this- THIS is something I care about and OMG you were so good in it! OMG OMG! She had apparently seen Lights Out a lot of times and talked about the best parts and I was so shocked I just giggled.
Her colleague walked in from a room behind and was wondering what the hell was going on. Ha! It was absolutely wonderful.
Right when I left she called after me Come back soon so we can talk more! and then I heard her tell her colleague about how she needed to see Lights Out because it was AWESOME!
Best moment ever.
BEST WALL ART:
BEST VINTAGE FIND:
This velvet dress that seems to be made after my body, the mint belt, a red sweater and a pair of shoes was all found in a thrift store that I happened upon while looking for a coffee shop and I bought it all for almost no money at all.
Apparently people don't walk in LA. Well, I'm not like most people. I walk everywhere.
One day I walked from downtown LA through poor neighbourhoods, through Korea town and all the way to Los Feliz. It took maybe three hours. When I told people about this afterwards they just gaped at me like goldfish before exploding in a You did WHAT? Everybody told me that I have probably seen more of LA than they have. Even the ones that had lived in LA for forever.
No big deal. Haha!
My heel says otherwise though. I'll spare you the photo of the ginormous blister I got...
I ended up outside this 7Eleven for an hour waiting for David to come pick me up during rush hour. I sat on that concrete divider thingy eating fresh fruit and watching the sun set.
A woman parked her car nex to me and when she came back with a cup of coffee she sat in her car with the door open and enjoyed the sunset with me for a while. It's nice, isn't it? she said.
Great weather; not too hot, not too cold.
-Just perfect I said.
She smiled towards me and said It was very nice to meet you before she drove off.
Sometimes it's the small things in life.
The Bold Ramen at Tatsu
. Might not look very tasty but oh, it was!
BEST OUTFIT PHOTO:
Taken with self timer on our hotel balcony. My absolute favourite vintage dress got to come with me to LA. The "Flowerbed dress", as I call it. Perfectly matched with mint cardigan and tights and I was a colour explosion ready for the day.
The two tiny clouds over Santa Monica fighting an impossible battle.
BEST SURPRISE FIND:
On the weekend we went to friends who live close to Santa Cruz. On our way there we had to stop because David had a conference call. We found a little road where we could park and I walked off with my camera and my iPhone to check out the surroundings. I found an abandoned trailer and took a gazillion self portraits. Here's a few of them.
The trip to Santa Cruz was great and our friends live at an absolutely amazing place in the Santa Cruz mountains. The sun sifted through the fog and redwood trees. It was magical! I brought my camera with me on this trip so I have a post planned with all those photos.
One thing I felt very acutely during this trip was how USA has a long way to go in regards of gender equality. I have never been treated more like a child in my life. It was quite awful actually.
Every day I got called Mrs Sandberg even though my name is Lotta Losten and nothing else. In Sweden that doesn't happen. Never has anybody taken for granted that my name is anything before asking me. I may be married to David but I am not his property. It's really weird to realise that what I am used to back home, what I think is absolutely obvious and doesn't need explanations is apparently extremely new and controversal in a country that looks at itself as the Best Country in the World.
It's not very hard to see women as people. To see them as individual human beings and not jus a Mrs to a Man with a full name. Well, apparently it's not that easy for some people.
It makes me furious.
My name is Lotta Losten. I don't answer to anything else.
From our hotel balcony one evening when the moon looked just perfect.
MOST BORING THING:
I got the worst cold of my life the last week in LA. I was completely out of it for a couple of days. Here I have gathered enough strength for a self portrait showing just how bored I was.
MOST WONDERFUL MOMENT:
I was standing in the Starbucks line waiting for my order. In front of me in the queue was a woman in the most beautiful Niqab I've ever seen, it was black with golden embroidery on. Her eyes are the only part of her face showing and they are gorgeous.
When she has her coffee and is about to pass me she sees me, put her hand on my arm and says You are absolutely beautiful. I can see in her eyes that she's smiling warmly and then she sweeps her hand up and down in the air infront of me, all the way from my blue and neon green tights covered legs to my Sgt Pepper Jacket to my long hair and repeats Just beautiful before she leaves the coffee place with the niqab flowing behind her.
I was left standing there smiling with heated red cheeks when the barista called out A Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte for Lottie!.
BEST RESTAURANT:The Commissary
at The Line Hotel. A restaurant situated in a beautiful greenhouse on top of a building in Korea Town with wonderfully weird menus and really good food.
As I mentioned really quickly earlier in this post we went to LA because of Lights Out. David has managers and agents there and they are working on making Lights Out into a feature film. It's exciting times, dear friends and readers! I hope to be able to tell you more in the not too distant future.
Bring on 2015, I say!
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday if you celebrate that.
I had a couple of great days with my family, and after a few really hectic months I'm now ready for a new year with my head filled with lots of new ideas.
Talk to you soon again!
I'm finally back with the second day of our road trip adventure.
It was saturday and we woke up in Söderfors at the beautiful mansion Söderfors Herrgård.
After a nice breakfast in the gorgeous main building we packed our bags and checked out because we had places to see!
David waits patiently for his wife to finish taking photos.
We had read about a greek temple in Söderfors. Built in 1795 and a replica of the Theseus temple in Athens. It's situated in an English style park in an old Swedish industial town and it's such a weird mix of everything we just had to go check it out.
This place just begs to be danced in, right?
When we felt we had seen all of the temple and my damaged heel had had enough of jumping we went back to the car to continue our journey.
This is the town of Söderfors, by the way.
It's kind of interesting to see how divided the town felt. It used to be a thriving industrial town and the historical parts are still there as in the mansion, the english park, the greek temple. But the rest of the town just feels so lonely and sleepy.
Our next stop was another old industrial town, Gysinge, that used to produce iron.
This place felt a whole lot more lively than Söderfors and lots of tourists come here to look at the historical parts with the river and rapids as the soul of the town.
Gysinge Herrgård, such a beautiful mansion!
And they had fluffy trees! Not many things make me as happy as fluffy trees!
After Gysinge we drove on towards our stop for the evening. But we had to stop in Karlstad to eat.
We found the sushi place Happy Kitchen
. Super tasty, as you can see!
And then we arrived in Jössefors. Another old industrial town. We unpacked and rested for a few hours before we took our cameras and went outside for an evening walk in search for the lake Glafsfjorden that we had seen through the car window on our way to the bed and breakfast.
Aaaah, there it is.
Tip: Click on the photo to see it larger.
We were a little late to find a path that reached the lake so it was hard to capture the fog that lay thick over the forest, but I think these photos are perfect anyways. It was so beautiful there. So still and silent.
Such a great ending to a wonderful day.
Then we went back to the bed and breakfast that had incredibly high ceilings that made me look oh so very tiny.
We were so tired after a long day and the day after was going to be filled with adventure so we needed our rest.
The post from the last day of our road trip is going to be epic. Epic, I tell you. So let's hope I can show you soon! There's a lot of photos to edit before that though, so off I go!
Oh, and today my vacation is officially over. Back to work!
The smell of autumn in the air makes everything so much easier, doesn't it?
See you soon!