Rock Climbing @ Hanger 18

Saturday morning I decided to use my groupon, and also cross a 2012 resolution off my list. I went indoor rock climbing! For new people to the blog, you should know I have a huge fear of heights. I spent a lot of 2011 trying to overcome this fear, so indoor rock climbing was a good test for me.

The groupon was good for 2 people to be taught by an instructor as well as equipment rental good for a full day. My friend Lindsey joined me as well as Amber and Adam (although they skipped the class portion, as they are pros).

It was scary high.

Harnesses are extremely unflattering, but I had to face some tough fears to rock climb, so Im including even the worst photos. Here I am tying the knot to begin belaying for Lindsey. The knot was my favorite part of rock climbing, because I was really good at it and my feet were always on the ground when tying it.

In the photo below, Amber is belaying for Adam who is….

…up above climbing.

This last photo shows the bouldering facilities, although Lindsey and I had to pass on bouldering. Our arms were sore and we didn’t want to die. Yes, Im exaggerating, but a good friend did break her leg here at Hanger 18 while bouldering. It’s not something to just jump into.

Hanger 18 was a great facility with a really nice (and patient) staff. We went to the Hawthorne location, although they offer 2 other locations around LA. The Hawthorne location offered special deals that make rock climbing affordable. Check out their website HERE. As a newbie, Im excited to go back.

Walking L.A. by Erin Mahoney Harris

Did everyone have an amazing weekend? How beautiful was LA’s weather?! It’s so hard to believe it’s January. You all better have been out enjoying it.

I must announce that Erin Mahoney Harris (writer of Walking L.A.) liked Life Absorbed on facebook today. This is huge for me, as friends of mine could tell you that this book has been my bible for the last 12 months. For new readers to the blog I must explain that in 2011 I came up with a list of new year resolutions with my number one goal of completing all 38 walks from her book. I completed them all and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. It got me to explore LA, it helped me lose weight, it reconnected me with old friends and helped me start new friendships, and it changed how I live my life. I know you’re probably thinking Im giving too much credit to a book, but by setting that as my goal it really got me through a rough time by keeping me focused. It opened my eyes to how I was living my life and made 2011 my best year. So Erin Mahoney Harris, I thank you for making 2011 awesome. For those of you who don’t own this book, buy it (HERE). And if you are interested in following my 2012 goal, purchase Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming (who was inspired by Erin’s book) and L.A. Bizarro by Anthony Lovett and Matt Maranian. While I doubt I’ll visit every place in the L.A. Bizarro book by the end of 2012, I do hope to finish all 42 walks from Secret Stairs by the end of the year.

Teaser for upcoming posts this week: I went ROCK CLIMBING! A spooky girls night up in the Hollywood Hills! Exploring Beechwood Canyon (Secret Stairs #34)! And this Thursday I will try trampoline dodgeball!

The Weekend Guide Jan 27 + 28 + 29

Work has been crazy and I’m so behind the times today. I’m going to have to make this quick! I completely apologize and I swear next week I will be more thorough. Let’s get a move on,

FRIDAY Jan. 27:

If you checked out my last “Weekend Guide”, then you know that the Pacific Standard Time Festival is still happening and continuing through this weekend. If you didn’t go last weekend, you get one extra chance- don’t waste it! HERE is the festival calendar. Such good stuff going on all over the city tonight you have to check it out. Tonight Liz Glynn is hosting an event at the Black Box from 8pm-2am. This event is free and no reservations are required (check out the MAP). DJ OJO is doing an interactive set, Lucky Dragons is doing something with a ouiji board, Mecca Andrews is performing as well as a Walead Beshty’s films banned by China. Like them on facebook for more info, HERE.

Saturday Jan 28:

Two weeks ago I told you about Long Beach’s Adventure Expo and this weekend (starting tonight), is the 14th Annual LA Times Travel Show. Lisa Ling, Rick Steves and Arthur Frommer are three of many special guests attending this event. It’s taking place at the L.A. Convention Center, so you have no excuse not to hop on the metro and stop in to the show. Tickets are $10 and you can get them HERE.

As I posted about this past week (HERE), it’s year of the Dragon and as part of the celebration there will be a Golden Dragon Parade on Saturday from 1-4pm. Cupcake Wars will be providing a 1000 cupcakes to people attending the event. So if you are interested in going, or just curious which streets to avoid, check out the map HERE.

At 8pm, for $12 the Steve Allen Theater (which is now calling itself the Trepany House?), is hosting An Evening With Rob Zabrecky. They only have standing room only tkts available, but this sounds like a cool show. This weeks show has musical guests Goodnight Ladies (Liberty Larson + Shayne Eastin).

Sunday Jan 29:

On Sunday check out the LACMA’s new show “In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States”. It opens Jan 29th (Sunday) through May 6th, so you have some time to check it out.

I’m sorry this is so abbreviated, as Im sure there are so many more free cool events happening this weekend. You’ll have to do awesome things and tell me about them. This weekend I’m hoping to use my groupon (as well as cross things off my resolution list) and go rock climbing!

2012 Resolutions

As you probably can tell, my 2011 was unbelievable. The key thing that helped push me to ┬ádo new things in 2011 was my GIANT resolutions list. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like a huge bucket list filled with unobtainable goals. Some goals were small like “buy hiking boots”, “cook more”, and “stay positive!”. Some goals were larger like “run a 5k” and “complete 38 LA walks”. And one was huge, “conquer fear of heights”. I think its important when making a list of goals to have some easy and some hard, because boy does it feel good to cross things off the list. I also like to pull out the list at the start of every month, to help me pace out what I’ve done and what still needs to happen. Don’t save it all until December! And the point of the list isn’t to have a painful year doing really hard things, it’s about trying new things and making 2012 memorable.

Life Absorbed’s 2012 Resolution List

– Complete all 42 walks in “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA”

– Go rock climbing!

– Do at least one “monster” walk in 2012. Use my new “Car-Free LA” book to find a good really long walk and make a day of it.

– Resume hikes from my hiking book! Give those new hike boots a work out.

– Go camping!

– Hike (or ski) Mt. Baldy.

– Go back to Catalina!

– Keep filling my nights and weekends with fun activities, even if it means being tired the next day. It’s worth it!

– Visit Hearst Castle.

– Go cross-country skiing for the first time.

– Go white-water rafting.

– Go kayaking.

– Try yoga.

– Try spinning.

– Make new recipes to last during the week.

– Go to Chicago to visit my good friends and see a new city.

– Keep up my nightly walks. An hour a day does so much.

– Try new bars, restaurants and museums from my “L.A. Bizarro” book. (As Amber pointed out to me, we don’t have to see any of the porn-esque stuff and that is agreed).

– If someone says, “try this hike with me” or “lets do this sport” or any other physical activity, say yes!

– “Grow a Pair!” In 2012 I need to face the little fears. I successfully faced giant fears in 2011, so this should be easy right?

– As a part of “Growing A Pair”, I’m going to go on dates in 2011. It’s something Ive been putting off because I hate doing it, but why not? If it’s the worst, then oh well. If it’s great then maybe I get a new friend out of the deal. I’ve jumped out of a plane, I think I can handle a silly little date. So send your single, outdoorsy, male friends my way.

– And of course I will work hard to maintain you, Life Absorbed. I wish I had started you last Jan. 1st, so now I must make up for lost time.

Here is my new list! It’s a lot shorter than last years, but I think this list will prove to be more challenging (and more expensive). I need to take a moment to thank all of my friends for helping me complete last years resolution list. It really is a group effort. My friends were so great about joining me for activities that I was nervous about. They got me off my butt when I felt myself getting lazy. Their encouragement really pushed me to follow through with my goals. I hope you are all as lucky to have amazing supportive people in your lives. I dedicate my 2012 list of goals to them, and cheers to 2012! We are going to have a blast!



I need to share my photo stills from when I went skydiving this year. 2011 has been a doozy. Skydiving, surfing, backpack camping, parasailing, car camping, tons of hikes, kayaking multiple times, running in 2 races, walking from Silver Lake to the Pacific Ocean and becoming a regular at my favorite local bar. Yup, 2011 has been unbelievable. This year was 100% made possible by the great friends in my life. It’s been the best and most productive year for me since 1986. It’s got me thinking about my goals for 2012, and already I see rock climbing, cross country skiing, another Catalina hiking adventure, at least one National Park, a Chicago trip, a lot of camping weekend, and more HIKES! I also got my 2012 goal book, aka L.A. Bizarro by Anthony Lovett and Matt Maranian. You should get it too, and we can do more odd-ball LA activities together! 2011 was so great that I’m really excited about making the most of 2012. No regrets when you’re living life to the fullest.