CAOK III (or, these are the people in your neighborhood)

i just spent 2 hours with the wildest lady i've ever met.

75-year-old sheila met me at her door wearing bedazzled eyeglasses (with matching headband, of course), blue eyeliner, a caftan of several hundred colors (which she kept hiking up to show me her "dancing gams"), and black poofy slippers. her house is filled (and i really do mean filled) with every crafty supply, knick knack and collectible vintage item imaginable. there is not one inch of usable surface in the house. and i know because i had to find said surface.

she is me in some alternate universe.

i saw sheila's ad on craigslist. she has arthritis, and needed help cutting sewing patterns. in exchange she would barter "great sewing supplies and fabric!". now, that was easier said than done, as it became clear rather quickly she is not the type of person who lets things go too easily... she ended up giving me a remnant of fabric (pictured above) that was way too 100% cotton for her style. but more than that i enjoyed helping her out. it was like being phoebe in Friends and just having a totally out there couple of hours. we made a dress for her grand daughter, and started a caftan made out of a huge island wrap she got on a cruise. she showed me every, and i mean EVERY, piece of clothing in her closet. she played me her son's cd and showed me her moves. she gave me chocolate covered cream puffs, 2 of which fell on the floor, and although she wouldn't eat them, she also wouldn't throw them out.

i mean, and she lives on the same street as me, 2 blocks away. it was all in all a neat experience. it made me feel like i live in a neighborhood, and it made her happy. afterwards, i surfed my favorite blogs and found african kelli's CAOK. i think i have committed a CAOK! wahoo! and i may even commit one next week when i take sheila over to the valley to the thrift store where she gets all of her booty. she's very excited to show me this secret place, she doesn't share this information with just anyone, you know.

and we had a CAOK happen to us yesterday: our awesome next door neighbors gave us this gorgeous chair because they know we're finally trying to make our apartment something we love to live in, rather than a holding pen while we're here in LA. i didn't think it was possible... but there are actually good people in LA. people who like to laugh and eat and talk and don't give a shit about the business... oh yeah, and they curse too! and they live right next door to us! shhh, don't tell anyone.


  1. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. What a story, I cannot wait for the next "Sheila" installment!
    Cool chair too!
    How did you get the photos to post??

  2. i'm gonna try and get a picture of her next time. i can't wait to see her shopping outfit.

    isn't the chair GREAT?!

    i can tell you how to post photos, it's easy. i'll call you tomorrow...


  3. click on the highlighted area in the post story, it says "african kelli's caok"... all will be revealed :)


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