I've been asked many times what does my motto mean.
"To keep up with the Joneses" is an American saying. Or maybe British? Perhaps universal?.... Jones is a very common surname here and what this means is that too many people *waste* their lives trying to compete with their neighbors and friends (the "Joneses") by always having to have a bigger house, a faster car, the latest trends - and they forget what's really important...
I was born in Estonia to Estonian parents. For the fellow VTers who are interested in learning more about Estonia or in a sneak-peak "behind the Iron Curtain" or in truth about the "Big Unhappy Family" the Soviet Union was - there is a new documentary called The Singing Revolution: http://www.singingrevolution.com.
My likes, dislikes and interests:
1) Nature - the ocean, the mountains, the palm trees and all other trees too, flowers, butterflies, sunsets, Nordic Lights in the wintery Scandinavian skies, rainbows, fog...
2) Animals - especially dogs and polar bears, but really all of them. I often think that I respect and trust animals much more than people.
3) Traveling - I feel that I've seen quite a bit - but there is SO MUCH MORE I want to see and learn! Africa, Alaska and the Amazon are high on my wish list. The best part of traveling for me is getting a taste of how the locals *really* live, what they eat and drink, etc.
4) Food - I *love* exotic food!! (By "exotic" I mean other than what would be considered "safe" or familiar. I eat just about anything.) I have really grown to enjoy Ethiopian (especially their vegetarian dishes) and Persian food. I also like the rich and saucy French dishes, the light and healthy Scandinavian and Californian cooking, sushi, Indian food... Every now and then I like to mix it up and try something CRAZY - there is a restaurant in Santa Monica that serves Asian dishes. Among other things there are also all kinds of bugs and worms and scorpions and ants and other weird stuff! My boyfriend Sam and I ate one of each of the creatures that would normally call for a returned meal and a very upset customer! I wouldn't say that I particularly liked that stuff - not enough to be like "What's for dinner, darling? Let's go and have some spiders and roaches!" - but it was surprisingly edible! I would go there again (not more than once or twice a year though 8-)
5) Red wine
6) Music - I have a very eclectic taste. I like The Cure, opera, Gecko Turner, She Wants Revenge, Thievery Corporation, Depeche Mode, jazz, Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra... I especially enjoy going to outdoor concerts - and L.A. is the perfect place for doing that!
7) Openmindedness and openheartedness (There is probably no such word officially - but so what!)
8) Good books (recent favorites are My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Zahir by Paulo Coelho, Three Junes by Julia Glass. These are books that I couldn't put down once started!) and good movies (no happy-ending-bubblegum-sweet nor special-effects and action Hollywood-stuff for me, please! I like Harold and Maude, Constant Gardener, Lost City (the story of Cuba with and by Andy Garcia - GREAT MOVIE!!!)... Many French and British movies but I can't remember any names off the top of my head...) Anything with Judy Dench, Kevin Spacey or Meryl Streep.
9) samfind.com - makes surfing the net even faster and easier.
10) Organ donors and people who care about the environment.
11) And last but not least: RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS...
1) People who deliberately hurt others - especially children or animals.
2) Insincerity and deceitfulness.
3) Narrowmindedness - that includes people who hate or discriminate others because of their color, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, financial or social standing, nationality...
5) Some VTers who treat this site as a sleazy dating site (There certainly are some sickos lurking around the Virtual World, pretending to be Tourists...). Go away! Or at least don't contact me! I will think you are a looser, I will not respond AND I will report you as spam.
6) Selfishness and unfairness.
7) Shallowness (see my motto again!)
8) People who follow trends mindlessly - be it fashion (fur!), politics or anything else.
I've been living in L.A. for just about 15 yrs and I love it!
What's great here: the weather, the nature, the fact that it's a huge cosmopolitan melting pot of all kinds of different nationalities, cultures, cuisines... The fact that it's a city with any kind of entertainment one could wish for - but the ocean and the mountains are right here, and if you want to go skiing or to the desert then it's only 2 hrs of driving! San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Las Vegas - all so different from L.A. and each other - are all close by...
What's bad here: the weather. Seriously! It gets tiring when it's always so beautiful out there! I've been wanting to update my travelpages for awhile now but I find it impossible to spend a weekend or even an evening at home, behind the computer, when I could be out hiking or running around with my dog or having cocktails with my boyfriend and friends on Sunset Blvd or lunch on the beach... Waiting for rain here is like waiting for Godot...
I am the exception that confirms the rule "Nobody walks in L.A.". I walk all the time! I moved close to work, so that I can have the option of walking if it's not too hot - or IF I'm not running late... And of course I walk with my dog. I take her with me as much as possible on weekends - luckily there are still quite a few shops and outdoor restaurants that are pet-friendly.
One of the best things about L.A. is hiking in Santa Monica Mountains or Hollywood Hills. You are right here, in this huge, materialistic city, yet it feels so far away... There are some beautiful views to be seen of the ocean, or the city, and it just feels so peaceful... Runyon Canyon in Hollywood is a great place to go with dogs!
There are so many great restaurants, bars, clubs and live music venues in L.A! Something for any taste. My wonderful and fun boyfriend of 5 yrs - Sam - and I take advantage of them quite a bit :-) Anything from mainstream to sophisticated to goth goes here!
I want to learn from the experiences of others. Perhaps "discover" some new destinations for vacations and adventures that I would not have considered on my own... Share my travel and local wisdom with the ones in need. (I will get to the travel pages soon. Still waiting for that rainy day...). And if Sam and I end up making some new friends along the way - great!!
Happy VT-trails to all!
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