never married, over forty, a little bitter


An earthquake occurs at a strategic moment in Short Cuts, relieving the building tension that permeates the relationships of the underpaid waitress, uptight cop, drunk hippies, world-weary nightclub singer, and children’s party clown whose several trajectories the film loosely describes, while in Magnolia a similar function is performed by a heavy shower of frogs falling from the sky. What ultimately unites these films, then, and marks them as a tremendously important stage in the history of Los Angeles’ cinematic image, is an effort to demonstrate that the myriad individuals who make up the region’s current population of over twelve million people can achieve meaningful interpersonal connections despite the postmodern tendency of all human interaction to seem like a series of unrelated transactions, and despite the apparent separation of each individual from the next in the city’s endless physical terrains.

–Mark Shiel, “The Southland on Screen,” in The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Los Angeles, p. 156


Several years ago I met a man who moved to Los Angeles at the same time I did, but as opposed to me, he idled for years before looking for work. He loved living in L.A., and I am realizing it’s because he could devote all his energies to meeting people and attending activities around the city. Now that I have some time to do the same thing, I see that creating a fulfilling life here is a full-time job in and of itself.

In any case, I’m having fun exploring the region before I leave– a final hurrah– and forcing myself, for the first time in my life, not to fret about what my next job will be.