Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Time Bandits

It's pouring here. Buckets and train cars full of water slosh from the sky. I am lucky that unlike other Los Angelens, I do not live near the edge of a cliff or under the shadow of a mountain so it is without reservation that I celebrate the influx of wet. Huzzah! Bring it! (with a little shout to any Angelens who  are in either of this situations, eep. sorry).

It has been raining, storming even, for like six days. It's easy to love it because I know it ends. Also, I don't commute anywhere. Plus I figure we were overdue, so let's gather as much of it in the ground or reservoirs as possible. Of course most if it runs off, creates havoc and is useless but I like my pollyanna vision of little ponds with frogs and ducks getting filled with clean, fresh water.

Here are a few pics from a recent rain hike where we got whipped by rain and wind but the BHB was a total champ under his plastic tarp.

Rain makes me have deep thoughts...

Overdue is a quick apt description to my reality at the moment. I've got a library book so overdue I even got the wtf robot dialed phonecall on my cell phone. But getting to that library one mile away sounds hard. I'm a disappointment as a citizen and a human being, I realize that. But it's raining! I need a boat to get there.

And I'm overdue with my updates here. Overdue on several emails. Overdue to spend QT with friends, I wonder if they remember me?Overdue to get the kid out on playdates. I've got that big stamp over me at the moment, but I'm strangely peaceful about it.

I recently transitioned from SAHM who REALLY needs to be working to WAHM with waaay too much work. I felt like that desperate, dehydrated desert traveler who stumbles onto water and gorges on it until he is sick. Ah! Did you see 127 hours? Like that. That was me. Still is.

And honestly? It's been fantastic. I've had two jobs of late, one is editing behind-the-scenes videos for various artists. Here is one of my favorites so far:

So while I cut away in my office, the BHB has several girlfriends who come over in the afternoons who party with him at the park, entertain him here at home, or do laps n' snacks in the red stroller that he could sit in for hours. It's pretty darn sweet, he love these girls and I'm right here if I'm needed. When the day ends, he and I do the dinner dance, bath, book, bed and I go right back to work...usually til the wee hours of the night. Or get up at 4 or 5 to work again til late morning when cute hubs needs help again.

Which finally brings me to the title of this post. While it's been a super sweet time, it feels like there have been bandits who have taken late summer and fall away. I feel DAMN lucky to be able to work at home so I can have meals with the dude and see him off to bed. Sure sleep is back off the list of things in abundance, but it's a fair trade for the laughing contests I get to be a part of....

Oh, and is there something happening this week? Something to do with Jesus or the Mall? Remind me ok. I'm kinda out of it.

Soaked in goodness,

PS. Sending out some love for our friends in the real estate business. Holiday is the perfect time of year to buy a house, prices are lower and sellers are eager and you've got time to cruise around in the rain with our buddy Brad. Go grab a house before interest rates go up!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Big Daddy

* Note to google stumbler who is searching for Adam Sandler silliness - sorry to dissapoint. I like to name my posts after movies. This movie offers a title I like. I've never seen it. We cool??* 

My Dad died when I was 20. I don't recommend this. I think waiting until you're 40 and up is a more preferable time frame to say goodbye to a parent's presence on this planet. Anything before 30 and it's going to be a life definer. Anything before 20 and it's so big all of your therapy will never quite get you through it. So I fall in the almost no recovery but not quite; certainly a life defining moment category as a member of the dead dad club.

My Dad was always going on diet's. He was built pretty much like a bear anyway, add the beard and fuzzy hair-do and he definitely had the 'bear' thing going for him. To lose weight he'd eat a mono diet of crackers for many days. Not kidding, the cracker diet. He'd drop about 10 pounds in 5 minutes 'cause you know, it's a male thing, they can do that.

He wore blue short sleeve shirts with a collar and a pocket. Do you know the one? Not the stiff starchee one, the soft kind. The pocket held is cigarettes. And a lighter that was always falling out when he bent over. He had these really great looking calves, like a tennis star. The only trouble is they were always really dinged up by coffee tables and any low flying objects. Benches, things like that. He had an eye disease called Retinitis pigmentosa. If you're not into following links, I'll say this:  He was loosing his eyesight very slowly, moving from the periphery in. What he could see, he could see well, it was just a very limited field. Take a pin, poke a piece of paper, look through that.

He was a really kind man. People really liked him - you couldn't help it. My cousins remember him as someone who would make you feel like you're the only person in the room or even in the world. He was very present with you, you had all of his attention. It was like a light swung by and stopped on you and your little person needs. This wasn't of course always my experience as a little person, but I get why that's how they remember him. And I really like it.

My favorite memory of my father happened when I was thirteen and my heart got broken. I mean smushed flat and stomped hard for the first time. A boy named Sean broke up with me a few days before homecoming. From then on my parents called him 'Ob-Sean'. I grew up in Texas y'all, and let me tell you, football and homecoming is a BFD. So getting dumped by the quarterback a few days before the big rally and game was pretty devastating for anyone, and for this lil sensitive thing? Disaster.

I was a twirler. There were four of us, we didn't perform with the band, more like in the shadow of the cheerleaders with a microphone and boom box. We had a big routine to perform at both the pep rally and the game. As the scorned girl, I felt that time more than ever, I needed to get it right. There waas nothing worse than the thump. thump, thump of the baton down the wooden stage steps and having to scramble into the audience in my white jazz shoes, nude stockings and short skirt to pick it up.

So I was obsessively practicing my routine in the backyard. Steady tears, scratchy grass and waning twilight were my company as I did the routine over and over and over again. Somehow that flashing silver in the dim light was bringing me the slightest sense of peace, I drank it up until the day gave in to pitch black. As I walked into the kitchen door, I discovered a strange sight.  My dad was sitting at the kitchen table crying his eyes out. He was on the phone with his sister Jane (who yes I was named after) and she was trying to help him through my heartbreak.

He tried to compose himself but I'll never forget his beautiful hazel eyes all red rimmed and wet. After getting off the phone, he took off his glasses and hugged me. We both wept. And then laughed. And cursed Ob-Sean's name, which was easy to do thanks to the nickname.

Can you imagine? How loved I felt? How completely understood and cherished? The light swung by and held my sopping little heart. Sure I think it sucks that I missed twenty to thirty years of being an adult and a relationship with a Dad. But. I had a lot then.

Yours in weepy memory moments,

PS. - If you're wondering what inspired me to write this, please follow this link. This is a dear, dear friend of mine who is an incredible writer.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Walk the Line

The BHB (big headed baby) refuses to walk.

He's a fast as hell crawler.
He's pretty much at a run - as long as you've got him by the hand.
He's about 14 feet tall.

But no walking.

I finally stopped opening myself up to the following nonsense:

Me: "Oh he's 19 months old. Yea. Not walking yet. He'll get around to it"
Them: Nodding earnestly
Me: "Must be a procrastinator like his Mom!' awkward laugh
Them: The Speech.

You know the one.

OH all babies are DIFFERENT. They all do things AT THEIR OWN time and pace. It's NOTHING to worrry about. I mean. My baby starting walking when she was NINE MONTHS OLD, well running actually, HA HA so you should feel lucky....


Ugh. I totally deserve it actually. When BHB was just a tiny nugget and tucked into my chest in a Moby wrap, I met a family with a cute toddler person. They shared that he had just started walking at like 16 months or something, only finally crawled at 15 months. They looked stressed about it.

ME: Oh I hope this one does the same thing! That sounds about right...
THEM: Nodding earnestly.
(internal monologue) Really. REALLY?

CUT TO: Now.

AND I'm done with it.

I know, I know it's fine. He's fine. But it's just a bit of a drag honestly. He's got the skills, just not the willingness. But carrying him everywhere or doing the one handed walk is making my body hurt. Wah to the wah, right? As if I've got problems compared to I don't know, a real problem?

I just want him to feel the joy of running. And he will soon. And then I'll be sorry.

Leaning to the right,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Natural

It's so exciting to have a genius in the house!

I'm amazed that we got to figure out his calling so early. I mean, that's lucky right? The kid is only 17 months old and we already know his fate, and for once this didn't involve a call to the astrologer.

Yes, and by the title of my post you know I mean baseball. And besides, he kinda looks like a mini-Redford anyway, right?


About to throw something. Run!

He's the nations next great pro-baseball pitcher. The next Nolan Ryan. (ahem. age myself much?) There is not a doubt in my mind about the greatness that is BHB's MLB career. Frankly I'm most excited about the various houses he's going to buy his loving, doting parents.

In the meantime? He's trying to kill us. More specifically, the brown dog.

We live in utter terror. He has the most amazing aim, and worse, his fastpitch is already coming in. It's a bit side-arm-ee but I think with the right coach he can perfect his form.

Today we pulled all toys that have any heft or sharp corners out of the toyboxes. I hate giving him his sippy cups because they are sure to be launched and provide heavy-plastic-water -filled danger that explode in both thud and wet. Thankfully he's started developing 'the look'. He cranes around me, looking for the brown target and when he's got the poor-pooch in his sight, there is a focus that comes over his face and is both eerie and helpful. That's my big chance to either remove or catch the missive. However if I happen to wander off to you know, cook, or pee or glance at my phone? No-one is safe.

Here's how it goes down:

SFX: Crashing plastic block, dog's nails skittering on wood floor as he escapes.
Me: "No Thank You, NO thank you, we do not throw blocks at Bongo"
BHB: Laughing hysterically.
Bongo: Skulking away
Me: You can throw a ball. Let's find a ball. Ohhhh Look a ball! You can throw this!
Me: Ducking

So other than this 'No thank you and let's find what you can throw' plan, do you guys have any other advice? I'm desperate.

I'll leave you with an image that I've put up here before. Anyone who has ever pitched a baseball can vouch for me here, he's got the perfect finger placement.

Gifted child.

Yours somewhere in-between terror and pride,

PS - The other day I tried to ignore dawn patrol by crawling back into bed with the boy and his morning bottle. Hubs snoozed away, and I got a few more winks as the milk went down. Bad idea. Upon completion cute hubs got the fast pitch at short range - literally a foot and a 1/2 away the bottle flew at his nose at full speed. Poor hubs. Not my proudest parenting moment either, as I carried the star player into the other room I asked him (in the not nicest way) what the eff he was thinking. Yea. So please help.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cold Mountain

Today we needed to do 400 things. But, as always, one of our main priorities was to get up and down or local mountain. I'm pretty sure mountain is a bit of an exaggeration. Ok fine! I'll check the definition.

In the Oxford English Dictionary a mountain is defined as "a natural elevation of the earth surface rising more or less abruptly from the surrounding level and attaining an altitude which, relatively to the adjacent elevation, is impressive or notable."

So great, in relative terms - land forms that rise 400' above Los Feliz should definitely be called a mountain. Or fine, it's a nice hill. And we go there daily to rise above it all, admire the smog-ee smogginess or just notice that all of those cars filled with angry people are really not going that far or fast, it's sweet how their nasty little honks can't affect us up there. It's a nice little bite of perspective on this sprawling city of angel sandwich.

In fact, getting up and down that hill has become so critical to my peace of mind that I call it sanity mountain. Which is dangerous because if I don't get there?

Yep. I'm total koo-koo-pants.

Sometimes I go up twice a day, like today. The first trip I pushed BHB up in the stroller. The 2nd trip he rode on my back. I know, I'm really, really special. And strong! But mostly, sane.

But the story I want to tell is the morning epic. In the AM cute hubs and I gathered our forces and our selves:  brown dog, a big-headed baby with big hair, and the set of weary parents. We galloped out the door. Ahem. Limped? After the 10 minute car trip, the stroller was being set up at the base of the mountain (yep, I'm sticking with this mountain theory), and the transfer from car seat to stroller was taking place, a deeply disturbing fact was uncovered. Well, two.

1. A giant, foaming, overflowing poo diaper was in play.

2. The diaper bag with the nice wipes, clean diapers and other clean pants was woefully missing from the car.

What's a hike-needing family to do? Well, I remembered that there was one diaper in the stroller basket. Sure it was sorta crumpled and a little shredded but clean. And it exists.

Then! I remembered there was a buncha wipes in the back where the dog hangs out. Sure they were dried out and furry, but, wipes nonetheless.

Poor BHB. Perched in the back of the car filled with dog hair, he yelped while his little bum was  swiped by dried out wipes. Yuck-a. And the fact that the pants were blown out with a smear of poo juice made us go:

"Forget it. Let's go home"

'Cause doing the white trash diaper only thing wasn't do-able, it was a cold morning.

So back the stroller goes into the car, dog coaxed back up, baby buckled in. However, upon spotting a cute striped long sleeve shirt on the floor of the car, I had a brilliant idea.

"Look! Upside down pants!"

I mean really. Why should poopy pants come between us and the mountain?

So, with a relatively clean butt, warm legs and the crows and distant skyline to keep him company, we took to the hill.

Here is some of the fun with improv pants and the Ugg's we got at a shower that are clearly still too big.

Notice the far-away city...nothing that small can be that bad!

Checking out awesome boots. Witness the neck hole at the crotch.

The 2nd trip up looked like this. Mom = Sherpa

Improvisationally yours,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Joy Luck Club

I'm such a sucker for astrologers. And psychics. And mediums. Do you have access to some big cosmic picture book? Hotline to the goods?

I'm in.

I know what you're thinking....
Good thing you're in California Jane, it's so the place for you!
I know! And I'm glad we're staying.
(for now)

In case you are wondering what happened with the big move, basically a job situation we were counting on in Utah went away and another possible job situation opened here in LaLa Land. While nothing is solid or real and done or done in that job arena, we figured we'd better go with possibility rather than the not so much. Yep, it just seemed like we should stay. And so we did. Until we decide to go. And still we might. So how's that for non-committal? Welcome to my life!

But back to the stars. I recently saw an astrologer who told me that I have warring aspects. As a Capricorn, (sun sign) I am tied to the earthly pragmatic realms and ways and I have to work, work and plod along. My rising sign is Sagittarius which he said gives me the luck that often strikes and makes jobs appear out of the blue, or handsome soul mate, or super cool experiences that are so trippy and coincidental that most people are like NA-UH, you're so lying.
And I'm all NA-UH I am so not!

So my chart makes me a bit koo-koo because it makes it tough for me to determine whether I should just 'secret that shit' as my friend and I like to say, or work work work for a result. All that lucky juice makes me a little complacent, but since real life has been on the menu 24/7 lately - complacency ain't working. Of course we do get the magical whizbang wizardry that only a little person can bring, like his sudden and hugely hilarious laugh at a tiny antic I pull or his decision to put the butter from his toast into his hair as a moisturizer.

Blueberries are also an excellent face and hand moisturizer.
So what is my point? My point is that I'm hanging in the balance. That the waiting continues but I'm feeling much more comfy here on the precipice. I think this suspension that I've been strung out from the last five months or so has served the purpose of helping me to live between my warring aspects and do the foot work and trust the lucky stars.

And I should say that this book has helped me immensely. BHB pulled this off the shelf recently, it landed on my foot and opened to a page that said 'You do not have to make a choice'.

Really? Well shit howdy, that helps.

I read that chapter and have been reading it every night since, soaking up the wisdom and ease that her work brings me. Also my SIL (Sister in Law) reminded me in an email recently that I had given her this book years ago, and that I better get to the business of 'Loving What Is'. I guess the combo platter of baby luck and email-reality reminder has got me in good stead. And aspecting well.

Yours in search of (and finding some) inner peas,

PS - A dear friend told me today that she stopped seeing psychics and astrologers and the like and is now listening to her own still voice. How about that? She's inspired me however I'm really clear that I"m not there yet. Yet.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Year One

Approximately one year ago (give or take 3 weeks) I began this blog. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, I just knew that my friend Stefanie Wilder-Taylor said I should. We had just met, I thought 'she's funny as hell and seems to have it together as a mom, I'll do whatever she says'. I know, that's ridiculous. In my defense I was sleep deprived, and she's pretty.

You: Dude, you are such a name dropper.
Me: I know. Sorry.

But I'm glad I did. And so I've been up here more or less consistently typing into the void of the interweb sharing my panic about this parenting thing, and my love of the tiny boy with the big head, the endless nights of sleepwalking, our shortfilm fundraising efforts which succeeded (woot!), a possible huge move out of the state (which isn't happening by the way), and the continual unfolding of realization that this choice we made to be parents just changes the whole playing field in ways I still don't fully understand.

The shockwaves run the gamut: finances, career, friendships, marriage, personal identity. For me it's been a bit extreme in such groundshaking, earthquaking ways that it looks like a crack the size of South Dakota and feels like the crushing loneliness I felt driving through that state when I was 20. I feel a little ridiculous by how thrown I am by this new life, and while it's definitely getting easier, glimmers of the existential angst remains.

But I'm here, and you know what?  It's getting better and better. It's actually turning out to be an incredibly sweet life, and the likelihood is that the darkness I've seen this year is what brought me into this light. Sure the PPD fairy left her mark, but her fairydust doesn't choke me anymore, thankfully that little beyatch is flitting about more on the periphery.

So now that I've linked my way through some highlights of the year, I'll also share some faves that are unrelated. If you've got a minute or 14, wade on through...

Cute hubs on our anniversary
*A big creepy fight outside our house
* A lovely moment of happiness during the holidays
* Sad (long) story of my brother's journey with schizophrenia
* During the movie review phase - Away We Go
* The birth story that I wrote in SWT's class. This was Take 2.

I'll leave you with this. One of the only ways cute hubs and I made it through the year is through knowing Larry and Linda - The Untroubled Couple. They are amazing and have a beautiful way navigating the stormy waters of love. Please watch the trailer for their webseries and become a follower. You won't regret it.

Untroubled and pretty happy about it,

PS - Link count: -  14 of my past posts and 2 other sites. That's a lotta linky!

PPS - Can't leave you without one pic of the BHB. This is his sign for Light.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sunshine Cleaning

Anyone seen this movie? I just netflixed it (the verb, to netflix) and I have mixed reviews on it. Basic premise is that two sisters start a cleaning company that cleans places where people die  - be it through natural causes or otherwise. If it sounds sorta gruesome,  it is. There is some heavy backstory about suicide, which is hard to watch this week due to an anniversary of a dear friend who left the planet that way five years ago. And that's not why I didn't love it. The main reason I was sans love is that I found it a little clunky in the dialogue department. It was a little "Hey! Here's how I'm feeling. Oh you didn't ask? Oh that's okay -let me tell you anyway, yes! Here comes a monologue!"

Ohmygod! It's just like blogging. Harumph. Well, that's a revelation. So here comes a monologue - even though you didn't ask.

This motherhood thing is for sure the craziest experience I've ever had. I've never been so simultaneously strung out and annoyed and enchanted and bored and overcome by love surges all the while wondering how I can make it to 7:30 pm. (aka: bedtime) and then miss the little sweetfaced dude when he's asleep. I mean, that is seriously koo-koo-pants. Can anyone relate?

Let me illustrate my little reality with a little story.

The other day I needed to go see a man about some shots in our short film that we are trying to fix up. The shots are not happy because of some evil combo platter that happened between our dolly speed, shutter angle, f-stop and craft service coffee chemistry. Basically the shot is a jumping, juddering mess and it's nobody's fault but I don't know, god. So there are these people who are like god's in fact that they have giant machines that might be able to use their fancy logarithms to fill in the frames and make this pretty, pretty shot live on in our opening sequence. Here is a still from it - you'll see why I want to keep it. 

Scott Subiono as Jonathan in Nov 1st. 
(I love how blue and sparkly the look is and the dolly move is pretty darn cool too).

So! I go to see the men about this moving picture. But as you all know, there is this little man who must accompany me in this meeting because, well, that's my life. Despite the fact that I need to go and act like a hot-shit professional to encourage said men with fancy machines to give us a screaming deal on their fixing skills, I need to first:

a) wait out the insanely long nap that would usually be welcome but of course made me late

b) change the poopy diaper that threatened to wipe me out of an entire case of wipes

c) figure out what a WAHM/Director chic wears and how to best accessorize with my son who will be strapped to my back. Here is a model wearing him as I did that day...

Kim Rhodes wears BHB in the Ergo on a recent hike. Good grief she is pretty. She is in our movie doncha know.

He of course felt it was important to bring a tennis ball in one hand and an adorable but rather large alpaca stuffed toy that sat right behind my right ear and mocked me the whole time. I cracked myself up doing the very literal dance of marching through the giant facility going on about my credits and blablah director me and why they should invest in me and our film by helping us out all the while hopping, bouncing and entertaining the boy by shaking my butt and getting him to giggle. Thankfully the nice man was a Dad but I'm not quite sure how he kept a straight face.

Two days later I don't know yet whether they can fix our broken shot, and also very importantly whether they think free-ish is a good price. But I do know that the women in the fancy, fancy lobby thought he was very cute and lil BHB thought the giant machines and beautiful theatre where they projected our movie was awesome.

Maybe these worlds can live together.

Your favorite SAHMDC,

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Girl In the Cafe

This day, today, was sweet and fun and magical. And this day had some fun that exemplifies why I love where we live. One of about 113 reasons. In fact, I think I shall name them one by one in subsequent posts. Are we staying where we live you ask? Likely. Is it for sure? No. Is that fun? No. But I'm thinking the most positive thoughts that I have access to. (thank you Abraham)

Here is the story:

Today we met with one of the actors who is in our short film, Eddie Jones. Here is a truly delightful man, and holy crap is he talented. But I digress.

We met to have the lunch and provide a sharpie to him so that he may sign the still photos from our movie. Soon we will ship these out to our backers who paid above a certain level who get these cool still's from the movie with the fancy signatures. So there we were having our turkey burgers and laughing and Eddie was signing away while I drank bottomless iced tea.

Next to us was this a delightful man kept joining our conversation in an enjoyable rather than annoying way. Which as you can imagine is a tough line to walk, but he managed to. Turns out he is a writer who used to write on the TV show Becker. And since somehow Ted Danson had come up in the conversation, he piped in that Ted Danson happens to be a super swell guy - oh I know! Eddie performed with him on Cheers, no wait. We have to go back....

Because somewhere along the way delightful writer dude (we'll call him) somehow mentions that the gentleman who was until just a few minutes ago sitting next to him, is the guy who wrote The Deer Hunter.

Yes, The Deer Hunter! That is some iconic shit y'all!

So that's impressive of course but then it had also surfaced that Eddie worked with Robert Redford on the film Sneakers. Eddie played a bad guy but in turn said that Redford was just a lovely, approachable guy. Ok, I know I overuse lovely - so you know - I'm aware. Perhaps we were having the 'which celebs are lovely and approachable' conversation?

Which is what got us to Ted Danson but then, THEN! Deer Hunter dude walks back in and is just so hilarious and charming and I don't know, old hollywood in that 'What picture did we work on together?'  way. (Back then it wasn't a movie, it was a picture). As we were all being introduced to him there was some music playing and it somehow made sense that he would grab the nearest woman to spin her around and they do a little dance and at the time I think he knows her, but no, actually -not so much. Honestly that bit doesn't go so well, her purse sorta whacked him in the chest but huge kudos for effort, right?

By then the whole room of this little cafe is engaged in this sparkly and fun conversation and you couldn't spot on unsmiling face for miles. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that somewhere along this timeline Morgan Fairchild walks in and DWD (delightful writer dude) says hello to her and she says hello back and holy kee-rap does she look good and I'm going whoa dude, this is fun stuff.

So THEN! As we're leaving with our little blond shortie who is of course receiving his own celebrity treatment for being so round-eyed and quiet and a great eater of hummus, and Deer Hunter dude and his posse of Old Hollywood are all outside and all say goodbye with winks and sparkling blue eyes and 'Hello my name is Howard'. At that point I'm restraining myself from saying Howard Who? Dish it! I've got to IMDB you on my iphone on the way home.

But I wasn't going home, I was going to my friends studio where he performed some visual effects magic to fix a little shadow situation in our movie. Which is why it's 12:15 am and due to this crazy lil day, I'm still buzzing. That and the iced tea.

Your starry eyed friend,

PS - Below is a couple of pictures of Eddie on our set. Just a lovely, delightful man. (kinda went for it with my favorite overused words)

Eddie Jones, over Scott Subiono's shoulder

Eddie Jones and Jennifer Nicole Lynn

Friday, July 2, 2010

Toy Story 3

Oh Pixar, why are you so great?

I've loved you since the beginning Pixar, long before you got so cool with your little lamp hopping in 3-d. I got how brilliant and talented and amazing you were long before you did this on again off again romance with Disney. I mean, I get it - that mouse is cute in those red pants and who doesn't love a castle? But if you wanted to be with someone really devoted, you'd be with me.

JESUSAGECHRIST this is an awesome movie! Anyone else see it? Since my mom has left town movies out are no longer really part of the plan, unless one of us sneaks off while the other one hangs at home. As it was tonight. We've had a wicked rough couple of days that involve, uh, well - that involve stuff that can't be discussed on the internet much - let's just say it's a combo platter of wrenching anxiety mixed with crushing disappointment and some betrayal thrown in the mix. Delightful.

So I took myself out tonight. Dammit, that's what I did.

First stop - sushi dinner. Perfect alone meal, me and the sushi chefs laughing and relating while I throw back some Sake and beer and delicious fish. Or it might have looked a little more like me relating with my iPhone, some perrier with lemon and a very annoyed sushi chef enduring my 'handroll no rice' order.

Sushi chef:  Everything okay?
Me: Yea, sure. Thanks!
Sushi chef: Yea but everything okay?
Me: (confused)
Random person next to me:  He wants to know if you don't want rice on everything.
Me: Yes please. No rice.
Sushi chef: No rice on everything.
Me: Please. No rice. Thank you so much.

Me: looking like asshole because I didn't understand him.
Him: Annoyed.

How did I get okay from no rice? Jeasus.

Next stop, therapy~! Hooray! I do enjoy beating the crap out of the couch and screaming my head off. It's seriously good times.

Last and final - Toy Story 3 for some laughing and crying (not kidding) and delicious popcorn at the Arclight where they use real butter don't you know. Those people at the Pixar really know how to tell a story and they have the technoweenie wizardry to back them up. Luckily there were some good laughers there in the late night showing, so I didn't feel alone in my belly laughing or the sniffling.

That is - my friends - one of the best g'damn movies I've seen in a long time. Screw the animation category, they should win it all next year at the Oscars.

Here are some pictures that have absolutely nothing to do with this post. It's an argument for taking the kid out to dinner though, he was a blast this day at a Thai restaurant where he pounded vegetable curry and cucumber salad. He's a fantastic eater and I'm gloating while I can. I know, karma works fast.

Your friend in the appreciation business,

PS - Thanks for your comments about my lil' green facelift - appreciate it! I'm probably going to be fancing this place up somemore soon, stay tuned.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Midnight Cowboy


I so relate to this blogger who recently pulled her blog down (I panicked because I love her blog) and then put it back up and just had herself a little existential crisis about it. I truly get that.

Recently I've had so much crushing uncertainty and strangeness mixed with the euphoria of possibilities back to plummeting panic (all with regards to the move) that I think..."Who wants to read about that? Who really cares?"  Plus what can I ACTUALLY talk about without either getting into trouble with someone or over-sharing or just hovering in this in-between space that is clearly boring because without detail, what the hell can you read about?


So you've noticed.

We might not move. At least right now. It's still unclear and we're supposed to leave in a month. This has been the weirdest chunk of a life I tell you, it's crazy, wacky, nutty times. Long story short - some of the facts shifted, an opportunity opened here - a job went away there - and while that seems like enough information to make it obvious what we should do, it just isn't.

I repeat, ugh.

So let's talk about the short film, shall we?

It's almost done!

Our editor is here right now at 12:30 am and he's finishing the cut before he leaves the country for three weeks. He's been such a ridiculous gift of a person...Cheerful. Kind. Talented. He comes to us and works out of our home so we can be productive and be parents. How lucky, right?
Through a friend we found an amazing motion graphics person who just kicked ass and made us an amazing opening title sequence.
Our composer also killed it.

Three talented guys! Rushing alongside us and our ridiculously cute one year old toward the goal of completion!

So inside of these three (ok six) months of Are we moving? Are we staying? What can be done? What should be done? Should we do the financial program of that Christian dude who's got those nice white people going 'I'm debt free'? Should we go back to relying on the Secret? Why is the weather so great here?

This film has been a beacon of sweet and sanity and good. And it's almost done. And hopefully along with it's completion will also come a new place of knowingness and clarity for our little family. We can only hope.

Producers as Performers, Director - your bloggess, Writer as Cow
Yours in sweet confusion that only 70 degree weather can make ok,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So if you're like me, you occasionally need a break from your existence. And if you're like me, you don't drink. (not likely...but quick shout out to my girls in the hot chics who drink perrier club!) So if you're anything like me, you'd think sneaking off to go see a movie with friends on a Wednesday night would be just the thing.

But here's where the trouble starts.

beloved friend: we're going to see Kickass at the 3 dollar theatre.
me: Oh that looks good. But. I just read on flixter that it's pretty gratuitous in the violence department.
beloved friend: oh I haven't heard that.
my inner voice: don't do it, not worth it.
me: Cool - sure, sounds good.
inner voice: go see How to Train Your Dragon! Hubs would never watch it with you. You love animation. You can't WAIT to see Toystory 3. Why risk it?
me: what time does it play?

I hate violent movies. I violently hate violent movies. I can't watch the murderous mayhem, it churns my guts and makes me just shake. So thanks to my unfortunate ignoring of the very articulate and clear inner voice, tonight I landed myself at an incredibly violent movie.

And I'm still shaking.

There was a ton of redeeming stuff about it, in terms of production value, ideas, acting even. The parts I watched anyway, most was watched from behind my hands or with averted eyes. Perhaps it was a very good movie, but I  hated it with every cell in my overly sensitive body. Afterwards I went into the badly lit pink bathroom of the 2nd run theatre and had a good cry.

I cannot reconcile this experience sometimes, I don't know how to do this. How do you raise a kid in a world where we think it's funny or charming or fun to watch an 10 year old girl kickass with every weapon known to human kind? And I"m a fan of dark comedy, I get that, but I'm still just blown away (bazooka to the chest) that our society thinks it's neat to make a super action killer character out of a little girl. It's disgusting. And, y'all know me, I'm not one of those Mom's who wants to censor the world or what not - but SERIOUSLY - how is this okay?

One of the scenes played just like a video game, I lost track of the body count. To which I say, video games harumph. I don't play them. I don't want the boy to play them. Ever. Certainly not the gun-ee or goreee ones. How can I protect him from that? It's so ubiquitous. I'm so screwed here people. In fact today there was a war of sorts just beyond the sweetness of our font porch. Seven kids ranging in age from 4-9 were battling it out with orange and green machine guns. Foam pellets flying. The sweet 8 year old girl who comes by to walk brown dog was at the forefront with her big, creepy, cute colored gun. And what's even more upsetting? She looks like she knows how to carry the damn thing. As if I know what that looks like.

As we drove home I thought about his sweet blonde head asleep in the crib. The sound of the ocean plays in his room and tiny little butt is pushed up in the air under a crocheted blanket his grandmother made for him. In the morning we will pick him up and he will smile his blindingly sweet smile at us. His white soft arms will wrap around us, he may touch my cheek with an open palm as he's done lately. We'll read him books about a little red barn with all of the animals, nothing about the genetically modified crops in the fields or the terrible slaughtering practices in the other barn. Or the killing going on in theatre's nationwide. I don't know how to reconcile the worlds.

But on the porch I saw the battle going by while the little one joyfully yelped and barked the sounds of learning a language. At least I could just inhale his sweet baby skin and dream of the billions I could make if there was some way to bottle his smell.

(what I see when I am lying on the padded porch with the BHB - this is sorta cliche California, right?)
sweet faced dude 

Here are some sun-soaked porch pictures. Today was the first day I saw him successfully stack the legos himself. Clearly the kid is a genius.

And I prayed he didn't notice the guns, no doubt he'll ask me for one soon.

Yours in-between worlds,

Friday, June 4, 2010

Do The Right Thing

Everytime I think - 'Ok, it's time. It's time to let go of the naming the posts after movies thing' a BRILLIANT title of a post appears in my mind that happens to be the name of a movie. And in this case a great movie. Boy there are too things at work there. Humility and a dastardly misspelling. Of course I meant two, not too. Jesus!


I'm in a 'do the right thing' kinda moment. And I'm going to be honest, I'm not really having fun.

Today I was changing BHB on the changing table - which is hard to do because he likes to squirm and crawl away making it completely precarious and frightening due to the 3 feet above the ground thing. And annoying! Especially where there is poo involved. So we've tried several solutions including moving the whole operation to a safe distance from the floor - ie; the floor. Or reasoning with him. (which is going great, thanks!) Or just telling him 'tough kid, lay still' - which usually makes him do the terrorist scream. You know the one? It's the 'someone is trying to kill me' scream that we often hear around PJ time. I expect child services to show up at our door any day, I'm sure our neighbors have the number on speed dial.

So I've taken a new tack. I tell him firmly and with a smile that he has to lay still for this part (the diaper part) but then I am more game for him moving around for the clothing part. That way the poo situation is mildly under control and he can 'help' me put his clothes on. I'm not saying this is completely successful yet, far from it. It's just the plan. (go ahead - laugh). But it's worked like twice and so I'm a believer. Especially if I can have any sense of humor at all about it, he is much more amenable to it.

Wait! I'm getting to my point. Here it comes.

So I was trying this new system and saying something to him along the lines of....

"Sometimes things in life aren't fun but its non-negotiable. This is one of those things. Like Mommy has to clean the bathroom. She doesn't want to, but she does it. And so you will lie still during diaper time little dude, and I hear that you are frustrated. I HEAR THAT YOU ARE FRUSTRATED! I"M SORRY YOU ARE FRUSTRATED BUT SOME THINGS ARE NON-NEGOTIABLE..."
(obviously he is screaming so I have to bring up my empathy to a higher volume)

And I thought, oh crap. Now I have to clean the bathroom.
But then I did it. And I felt better!

But to that end it's time to start packing without doing the wah-wah poor me terrorist scream. This move is 'the right thing' for so many reasons. We need to be near family. We need to lower our costs. The boy needs to know his grandmother (cute hubs mom), and she needs to know him. It's the right thing! And no I'm not comparing moving out of LA to cleaning to the bathroom, but I'm guessing I will feel better when it's done.

Moving date: August 1. Now all I need is some good 'moving' themed movie titles for future blog posts. Oh and any advice on the whole diaper-scream-change time would be awesome too.

Yours in 'the A word' (acceptance),

PS - In case you are wondering, I am reading all kinds of inspirational and uplifting 'change is good, accept all to be free, what you resist, persists' kind of . It still doesn't change that I LOVE the house we are living in and I love this damn town. I'm just sayin'.

PPS - Sorry for the re-run from FB but omg I love this misty morning photo. It's total crap quality from my iPhone and likely the tiny grubby fingers pushing the lens is what created this effect but, yea. It really makes me happy...

Friday, May 28, 2010



Today I went to a super bitchin' coffee shop here in the LA area called Swork. There is an umlaut. I do not know how to create an umlaut. If you're curious, I linked you up, follow at will. If you didn't, just imagine the two dots adorning the w. Which is weird, right? Don't umlaut's usually live on vowel's? The exciting part about Swork is not it's odd lil' name, it's that it features a sweet little play area for shorties. Complete with endless blocks and other goodies, it's pure awesome I tell you. But I digress, as I often do.

So I'm walking into this place to meet a dear, dear friend and her almost 3 year old dude and I'm doing the purse/diaper bag/22 pound baby juggle so I'm a little out of breath and off kilter. Not that it's a good excuse, but there it is.

I see this dude on a go-cart scooting up the sidewalk. He's on a go-cart! Going 20! On the sidewalk! But what's more interesting is that the dude is like 45. But not an interesting 45, more like a frat boy all growed up 45. So I'm thinking something like this....

"OK dude, you are WAAAAYYY too old to be driving a go-cart".

I mean, wouldn't you?

But that's the problem. It was kind of a mean spirited (ok quite) thought and I'm not usually such a person as this. But there I was all juggley and judgey and I swear to you the following happened. As I walked by the guy said to me:

"I know, I'm too old".

So busted!

So I sorta laugh and turn toward him and I'm about to apologize for what I said except that I quickly realize that I didn't actually say anything so instead I offer a halfhearted apology in the form of a laugh-turn-and-acknowledge as I stumble by with the unreasonable load of crap and cute hanging off my shoulders and arms.

I ask you - is nothing sacred? Is my bad mood private thinking no longer an option? If every thought I think is out for public consumption (um hello, the fact that I'm putting this on a blog is not lost on me, I know I'm ridiculous) I'm seriously in trouble.

I'm going to try to live tomorrow as a transparent mind. It will be a delightful experiment and I will share the results. But here is a little sampling from today:

  • "This June gloom matches my mood beautifully. Sure I hate everyone and everything but at least this diffused lighting is flattering on all of us."
  • "I love my friends, they are ridiculously great. I'm annoyed at their greatness. Will I ever find new friends this great?"
  • "Good grief this is a cute kid. I love his soft white limbs, they are like white bread. Umm, white bread."

and other hits.

And finally, I'll leave you with the reason I love facebook. Today I posted this quote from The Prophet by Kahil Gilbran.

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And could you keep in your heart the miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy. And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief."

and got this response.

To proceed very far through the desert, you must be willing to meet existential suffering and work it through. In order to do this, the attitude toward pain has to change. This happens when we accept the fact that everything that happens to us has been designed for our spiritual growth.— M. Scott Peck

And two things happened. I thought, how weird! I'm moving to the desert. And then I thought. And there must be a higher reason. But you probably knew that's what I was thinking.

Cloak and Derwood,

PS - Here is a little spot of joy from my afternoon yesterday.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

7 Year Itch

The longest I've ever lived in one spot is 8 years. 1st grade through 8th grade I lived in Texas. Houston, y'all, it was awesome.

Runner up? Seattle for 7 years. Next runner up? This current beautiful and ridiculous city for 7 years. Perhaps the constant movement of my childhood has set up this little timer in my gut that goes off and rattles my brain and my life and off I go. 

St Louis, 6. San Diego, 5. And then there was that Florida adventure - 6. I'm not saying when what happened but I think what I'm really missing when you look at the US map is the northeast. 

My foot n' shadow. Perceptions aren't always accurate. Something to think about...
The move from Houston to Florida was the hardest. I had finally gotten to be one of the cool kids, finally shook off my uncool-fat-kid-rep and was sorta popular. FINALLY for effin' sake, why would parents move a little girl out of such a precarious spot as the teetering of actual popularity? And then make her to go to a filled-in swamp for high school and start over? Oh sure, Houston was a swamp too, that's an interesting thing to note. They promised to buy me a horse. They didn't do it. But bribe's work man - not that I had a choice.

Anyway, I'm feeling a lot like that little 13 year old girl right now. I mean, we are finally making some headway with our dream here - (our film is coming along swimmingly, thanks for asking) and I have many dear friends that I love so much it hurts my heart to even pack a box. I've had a headache for two days from too much crying. (or perhaps it's caffeine issues, can't be sure)

But the bets are going down now for how long we can stay away. The shortest I've heard is 6 months, someone else suggested a year. I predict we'll come back in 5-6 years, but you know, what the hell do I know? I'm just the one renting the moving truck.

I just want to be settled when BHB gets to school age. It's only fair.

13 going on 39,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

sweet dreams

I want to be good. I want to be layered with subtext and make tiny choices with big consequences. I want to be inspirational to smaller girls and lucid old people with twinkling eyes. I want to do something extraordinary - really extreme. Like those crazy Olympians. Yet I want to do it in a small ordinary way.

I think of the filmmakers who made Once. Have you seen that movie? It was a small undertaking that turned into an extraordinary thing. It's magical, and the title track to the soundtrack makes me sob without fail.

Like a David Whyte poem. Like this poem.
I pasted it below too....

I don't need need fancy dresses, I dress like a teenage boy in real life, why pretend and wear other people's dresses? (I'm thinking of the Oscar's of course). I just want to be grace and love and magic personified. I want to drop all of my bad habits, negative thinking and random bullshit that y'all have surely noticed over the last 3/4 year but have granted me pardon because I'm funny at times or my kid is too cute to pass up. I'm guessing anyway. Is that it?

Can you tell I'm working in a 'dream board' this week? I'll have to scan it and share it like a big old geeky crafty scrapbooker when I'm done.

I've got to get some vision back into this picture as it's gotten a dangerously dark and gloomy around the edges. As it is, that big ol' life change I've been threatening to dish about has finally come to pass in an official way. Our tenure in Los Angeles is coming to a close, this little family is moving east to be near cute hubs family. So the thing in the box over there to the left? About leaving LA for free babysitters? It's happening.

We're moving to Utah. I hope the saints are nicer to outsider's in 2010 than they were in the 1840's.  Hub's family is delightful and not a part of that scene (for the most part), but that part of the equation is an x factor that makes me uncomfortable. I'm reading Under the Banner of Heaven, which it turns out, isn't a great idea. But it is a great book.

I love LA in an unreasonable way, mostly because of the people who I love here. And the sun I love here. And the way people dream big here.

For the record I'm going to keep dreaming big up there in the valley near Park City, I just have to do it in the snow. (shudder)

So for now I'll leave you with this poem that a dear friend of mine sent me in an email six years ago. She didn't stick around the planet for long after she sent it to me, I think this kind of living is hard to do. But I love this poem and her memory in the same fierce way.

Heavy hearted-ly yours,

Self Portrait

It doesn't interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

-- David Whyte
      from Fire in the Earth 
      ©1992 Many Rivers Press

Monday, May 10, 2010

Working Girl (2)

Sometimes motherhood knows no bounds in it's ability to bring me to my knees. Literally.

Imagine this.

You're at some work function, it's the type of thing that features a sea of featureless faces and fancy graphics flying around giant screens, stage lighting, and funny but wince worthy videos. Anyone live in corporate land and know what I'm talking about?

So let's ignore that it doesn't make sense that I'm there. Let's just let that go for now. Let's just say that it's an old day job that came up and I'm happy to be there. 

Back to you. So you're there, the place is filled with thousands of people, but most of them are men. I'd say 80%. And before you go all 'Samantha' on me and think that the numbers sound good, I'll tell you that the actual numbers of the men you'd like to see their face is 10%. So the ratio isn't that special.

But the point of the above paragraph is that you're happy about it because there are never lines in the restrooms. Like at hockey events. And you go in and no one is there but in one stall you see a pair of black boots that are facing the wrong way. That's odd. And you hear a toilet repeatedly flushing, like back to back to back. And again. And these boots are there, the owner is squatting and time is passing but you don't hear anything. By now you expect to hear the telltale wretching of the night before gone wrong, but you don't hear that. Instead you just hear the tiny splish splish splash of tiny squirts of some petite liquid hitting the water.

Do you know what it is?

If you're a mom you're going to guess faster.

And if you guessed milk,
 you're right!

Silly me, I thought we were more or less weaned. Silly me I thought it was fine to go on this business trip without the pump. Silly me, I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Leaning over the toilet is something I used to do alot when I drank too much. So my face too close to porcelain today was all too familiar. But there was something even more sad and pathetic about the grown woman squatting and squirting with vigor into a churning tank because the damn auto-flush function was in overdrive so I was occasionally getting splashed in the face thinking are you effin' kidding me with this!? all the while wondering what the nice lady who is always there to ensure that the place is super shiny is thinking as she paces by. Meanwhile I"ve GOT to get back in there to work but it's also critical I commit time to this activity I don't get a plugged duct or something horrifying.

And I so desperately miss the little creep who's fault this is. The physical pain is a helpful place to put the heartache I feel. I'm guessing the person who decided the dates of this event is a man and maybe not even a Dad because I had to fly away from the sweet little giant headed baby on Mother's day - before he or the sun even awoke. Which sucked.

But skulking past the bathroom lady 6 or 7 times today enduring her dirty looks and figuring out which of the 18 stalls the auto flush is mercifully broken and wondering what bladder trouble I needed to invent for my co-workers and trying desperately to find a pump but deciding that it was too expensive was how I spent my day. And I thought y'all might get a kick out of the story.

Looking a LOT like a porn star,

PS - I took these pictures yesterday as everyone prepared for the onslaught of people today. I think they perfectly captured how I felt after flying across the country away from my boy for the first time. I was so profoundly alone. These chairs and tables are lonely and beautiful little flowers.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

I loved this book. I know, me and 14 trillion other ladies. The movie is coming out soon. I'm anxious about it, I saw the trailer and - uh-boy. I don't remember a best friend that she confides in all the time from the book, do you? They invented a confiding best friend and that makes my heart sink.

A couple years ago around the time it was becoming the ginourmaous massive hit it was to become, one of my BF's and I  went to hear Elizabeth Gilbert speak.  She was on tour with Annie Lamott and I thought boy is that worth the 50 bucks or whatever it was - these were two amazing women breathing the same air. And this is BEFORE I read Operating Instructions, I thought I loved Annie Lamott from Bird by Bird but I had not idea that I loved her as deeply as it turns out I do.
But I digress.

Eat, Pray, Love. What an amazing journey. Such unbearably beautiful writing. I love her voice. I love her. I love her talent and guts and her unbearably beautiful writing. She is worthy of idolizing, and, clearly -  I do it.
I don't think Julia Roberts should've played her.

There, I said it.

I don't.
I'm sure no one had a choice in the matter. But, let me tell you who should have played Elizabeth Gilbert in this movie that is DOOMED to fail because holy crap we all love this book too much and there's no way, just no way that a 95 minute movie is going to take us on the ride it needs to to even for a second give us a glimpse of the page turning goodness.

So yes, here is who it is.
Kate Winslet.
Am I right? I'm so right.

Oh dammit, I just googled that combo and I see that I'm not the first to come up with this. I'm sure everyone else said the same thing. Julia Roberts? Really? No! It should be...Kate. or Laura Linney. That's a great idea too.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that I just finished re-reading EPL and it totally inspired me. Not to leave my husband and go on a soul searching journey, but to stay with my husband and tiny tot and go on a soul searching journey. I think I'd call my version Sweet, Play, Love.

God bless me and my cheesy ways but I need to make that my mantra. What else is there really? That little boy shows me these all the time. His sweetness overflows in the little fountain of joyful squeals, fast crawling toward our waiting arms, and in his sweet smelling hair. If I actually sit and play with him, we find each other. We bonded today over the moving of the big legos from this bin to the other spot.  He stared into my eyes and laughed at my random observations. He's like a little alien who doesn't speak the language but gets it more than anyone I've ever met. And love? As you know, it's all we need. My damn cute husband is a walking lovebomb - when I stop and focus there instead of 18 other places, I hear birds and notice good lighting. So - when I come back to those things,  along with the gratitude I have for the health we have, the love of friends and family, that hummingbird that was hanging around this afternoon -  I can't get all freaked out by the future and all the stuff I'm freaked out by.

Although, frankly,  I'm kinda freaked out.
The trouble with coming out of the movie coma I'm faced with reality and it's a bit daunting.

Towards the end of EPL she talks about this time that she went to an island alone for a week and sat in solitude and silence and faced down her fears. She literally sat still, watched the feelings come and go and then invited her fears, shame and hurt into her heart. I have never heard of anything so brave. I was so moved when I read this, it floored me. Again let me tell you - she sat STILL inside of squirmy awful feelings and let them move through her - and then she INVITED them into her heart. Who does that? Seriously? Rockstars. Not real ones, I use that as a complimentary term. She's my hero.

So there you go. A little sass and sap for you on a Tuesday night, as I continually try to talk myself down from the freak out and back to the SPL.

Your memoir writing mama wanna-be,

PS - Here's some eat play love - stop it with the cuteness, right?
The boys making the birthday cake for the belated birthday party.  Not sugar of course, sweetened with maple syrup...