I've returned a changed woman. (I wear windbreakers from the 80s now).

It was at one point, over a month since I had last posted on The Sundaze (my own blog!) and I was afraid I would forget how to work it coming back. Alas, it seems like using WordPress is like riding a bike, and here I am, all remember-y and stuff about blogging. Sigh. Well, it’s been a wild month.5 and while I’m sincerely sorry I haven’t been invested in keeping up with my writing and sharing here, it wasn’t for no reason, and I promise (promise) that I’m back now, for good. Better than ever, and I really mean that.

I always imagined that going through my last year of college, and then having my first 6 months out of college, without the promise of a job, and halfway across the country from my family and everyone I knew, would be hallmarked in my life timeline as my ‘mid-youth crisis.’ I started developing anxiety, insomnia, bad health habits, the whole lot, and I remember, up until the point I signed an offer letter at my very first big kid job, thinking I had hit rock bottom. Well, as it turns out, life has a funny was of showing you that rock bottom is a few layers deep. After about a year and a half of upward trajectory, some things starting changing for the worse,  and I plummeted into the deep dark abyss of Rock Bottom 2.0. This time rockier and bottom-er!

However, a wise friend once gave this advice:

And instead of doing all the things I was doing that were making me ‘depressed’ (and I use that term loosely), I got my shit together to get my life back on track. I completely re-branded myself (graphic designer probs), starting sending collateral out to companies, started interviewing, and landed a sweet new gig at a place I’d been following since I moved out to California. And then once I landed that gig, I realized that the new gig wasn’t in Los Angeles, so I started new-hood-and-house-hunting, applying for places (which is basically running around like a chicken with your head cut off, writing checks and handing people money until someone screams STOP YOU LIVE HERE NOW), then “packing” (see: here), and then finally moving and starting a new chapter in the Life of Tory.

While I wasn’t sharing every second of the experience along the way, I was still consuming the same mass amounts of media that I was while working. And since I’ve left Los Angeles for San Clemente (my new home!), I’ve picked up a few new habits and learned a few neat things about life here. So to make up for my month+ of absence, I’m going to prove that I’m in a proper state of mind by presenting:


It's not as dirty as it sounds.

So, here goes nothing, or everything, depending on how you look at it I guess, my feeble attempt to say “FUCK YOU WORLD, I’M BACK, AND I WASN’T EVEN GONE, I WAS JUST SORT OF BUSY FOR A WHILE.” We’ll start with the obvious, the expected:


“Without Shame” by Wolkoff. Although it was just released officially a month ago (4.15), I’ve had access to it for much longer (muahahahahaaaaaa) and while all the songs are solid and make a touchdown of an album, “Be Free” really, really spoke to me during my ups and downs. “They’re gonna hunt you down, all I can do is send you on your way, then once you hit your stride, I have a feeling that you’re gonna be free.”  I listened to the album on many late night drives between LA and San Clemente, and it’s the perfect combination of mellow vocals and pointy-staccato melodies to cruise down the freeway, relaxed but not sleepy, alert but not anxious, and energized but not hyper. Plus the music video for “While You Still Can” is kind of funny and adorable.


One of the very first concerts I saw when I moved to Los Angeles was Aurora. At the time she had maybe three or four songs out, and she played an über small show at a little venue in LA called Bootleg HiFi. I don’t even think it sold out, but it was an absolutely transformative experience. This little girl (19) from Norway just got up on the stage and started singing, with tremendous emotion and skill, about ideas I had, in my five or so longer years on the planet, not even had the brainpower to consider. So it was completely fitting that, almost a year later, my “last” show in Los Angeles was Aurora again, this time at my favorite venue in the city, the Troubadour. While she didn’t change much, aside from knowing more songs (her album “All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend” is outstanding), the crowd knew her, was just as passionate about her music as she was, and there were times when just watching Aurora’s reaction to all of us singing her music made me want to cry happy tears. If I had to guess, her tour is probably sold out (she had to add a second show in Los Angeles), but even just laying and listening to her music will change you, people, it’ll change you.



Bear Coast Coffee. And yes I took a selfie duck-facing it, and it wasn’t even originally for this post. So come at me. Bear Coast Coffee is some of the best coffee I’ve had, maybe ever. They were a pop-up in a restaurant in Downtown San Clemente called The Cellar until last weekend, and they’re opening their own shop on the beach in the next couple weeks. Plus their logo and all their merch is positively adorable. Follow them on Instagram, you won’t regret it (and if you tag them in your coffee selfies they’ll write sassy comments on them).


“Furiously Happy: A funny book about horrible things”


Book portrait with my new favorite cat pillow (see next category) and popcorn.

I mean, can you think of something more up my alley than that? Author Jenny Lawson goes in depth about her mental illness and shares not only valuable information for people struggling with, or friends of people struggling with, mental illness, but also the most hilarious thoughts, stories, commentary, and just general advice for life (not necessarily good advice, but just… like… advice).



Rip N Dip. I mean just, c’mon.


Yes, the rumors (and stated facts above) are true. I’m not longer an LA girl. To be honest, I probably never was an LA girl, and when I was given the opportunity to leave LA, I was actually pretty excited, especially since I was trading it for San Clemente. San Clemente is the southern-most city in Orange County, just south of Laguna Beach and about 50 miles north of San Diego. The population is about 60,000, which coming from Los Angeles, feels like a primitive village. There’s electricity and indoor plumbing here, even WiFi, which is great, but what really takes the cake is this:

And that’s all I have to say about that.


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