Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Big Tease

"One day, this will aaaaaallll be yours..." my husband joked last week as our rental car wound its way up Mulholland Drive. My hands were sweating (I'm afraid of heights...and cliffs...and of cars falling off of cliffs from great heights...) and I couldn't really LOOK at what he was gesturing at, but I knew what was there: LOS ANGELES.

I used to live in LA. I loved it then, and I maintain that it is my favorite city in the world. Since I moved away in 2001 (after an awesome turn in Set Decoration for films like THE GRINCH, and BANDITS--an exciting and short-lived career that came to a crashing halt during the writers strike in 2000, and stayed at its crashed halt after the twin towers fell down in 2001), I have been many things, a bartender, a singer, a painter, a shipping specialist for a luxury fragrance company, then a marketer for that same luxury fragrance I push a screenwriting program (The world's best one! )--after all of this I have finally come back to what I always wanted to be, from the time I was a little girl and my best friends and I snuggled around the Ouija board in our sleeping bags and dreamed about what we would be when we grew up: a writer.

So, after several visits to friends in LA, sleeping on couches and being driven around as a tourist, heading there with my husband (who had never been there before--I found him in Iowa), staying at our own hotel, driving around our own (rental) car, I felt less like a tourist and more like I used to--consumed with the knowledge that Los Angeles is the place where I really feel at home. It was a major tease.

One of the goals of the trip, other than being the first real vacation we'd had in our nine (!) years together, was to show Chad around and see if he'd fall in love with it too. I fed him the best Mexican food, showed him the beach, took him to live music at Canter's The Kibitz Room--he seemed happy, in his typical unflappable way, happy but non-committal.

Back home--we got off the plane to find the Seattle sky swirling with snow. Sigh. A week of trying to catch up with work and fight a weird flu that has me hallucinating, and not in the fun way, has distracted me just enough from the fantasy of our five days in La-La Land.

Chad came home yesterday with news that he'd found a 2-bdrm-house for $1700/month--"We already have a 2-bdrm-house," I distractedly informed him. "In Studio City." He said and casually walked out of the, maybe one day, LA won't aaaallll be mine...but at least I've roped my best friend into dreaming about it with me. And dreams DO come true.....look at that guy with the golden voice!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Voices

The characters of my next script are in my head and they won't shut up. Why won't the voices quiet themselves? Or, better, why won't they hop from my brain onto the page and write the awesome script I know they are meant for?

Recently, I mentioned to a friend that I've always wanted to write a great ghost story. A GREAT ghost story. Along the lines of A Christmas Carol, but less...lessony. At the end of my ghost story, you won't necessarily feel like you need to become a better person. But you WILL believe in ghosts. And you will turn on the light in the hall at night when you have to pee. And you won't vacation in old Italian Villas, or in Savannah, GA. You might still brave New Orleans, since you will probably be drunk and won't mind the ghosts so much. And if you wake up at 3 am for no apparent reason, you'll squeeze your eyes shut and pray to fall back to sleep.

On that cheerful note, here is a limited list containing some favorite ghost story films to queue up on Netflix if you're so inclined. In fact, you can see, living and breathing, in the flesh, the director, Guillermo del Toro, of the first two, EL ORFANATO and EL ESPINAZO DEL DIABLO, in person soon if you live in the Pacific NW--my dear friend and script mentor Warren Etheredge is interviewing him on September 30th at the world famous EMP in Seattle (see here for details on how to attend).





AMITYVILLE HORROR (2005) -- believe it or not, this one really creeps me out as well as entertains me on several other levels

THE SHINING (1980) - duh

RINGU (1998) - and the American version, THE RING, aint too shabby either

What am I missing--I know they're out there. If you know of any, please comment!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Snapshot

I hope I can remember these sweet son, at 3 1/2, eating ice cream (hard earned ice cream--he had to finish his dinner for that!) at the kitchen table, at 8pm in summertime, with our rat terrier Edith nipping at his ankles, praying to her canine God that he drops some. Which he inevitably did. It's a not-so-delicate eco-system--stuff gets dropped, spilled, and eventually gets either cleaned up by me or Daddy, or licked up by Edith. This has been an exercise in some weird kind of Zen for an OCD Taurus like myself.

I hope I remember these moments and not the silly self-imposed stressful moments dealing with things like work and house-keeping and bills and finance and...things that when I look at Ellis eating ice cream at dusk in summertime, the summer before he starts pre-school---just don't matter all that much.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Candy has created a monster.

Halloween 2009, the year our sweet boy turned into a freaking candy eating crack rat. Wow. Who knew. Last year he couldn't be bothered with actually eating the candy--he just enjoyed an opportunity to take something from a stranger and put it in his bag (this year we upgraded him from bag to pumpkin--maybe that was the beginning of the problem). LAST year when we tried to entice him to pick something out of his stash (we thought it would be cute to see what candy he liked, what he disliked), he just played with the wrappers and we ended up eating it. I went on the South Beach Diet about a week later...coincidence?

"Want go home and eat Halloween stuff?"

This is his new mantra. I took him to the playground today, as it was sunny and apparently there are 'big changes ahead' weatherwise for us in Tacoma. Usually this occupies him totally--running around, slides, pushing swings (he doesn't like to actually get on them), etc...but today he ran up to me in between each fun and seemingly token activity to beg to go home candy. He has lost love for his favorite of all time, Morningstar Farms Veggie Sausages. This is huge. This is all he has eaten for the past year, basically. It seems he's figured out that they contain zero percent chocolate. Luckily I also love the Veggie Sausages. Luckily because there are about six boxes of them in our freezer (Fred Meyer was having a sale). I TRY to avoid the 'if you eat your dinner you can pick something out of your pumpkin'--I don't want him to get the idea that this will always be the case, right? Last night, though, I was weak. I was tired. It just...came out. Today when I set his lunch before him he piped up with 'If I eat this can I pick something out of my pumpkin?' Fast learner.

On the bright side, the first thing he did this morning was swipe a Granny Smith apple off the counter. He walked around the house and ate the whole thing--so proud to exhibit the fact that he is a big boy and no longer needs the apple either peeled or cut. And he still likes his mac and cheese. Just not as much. See before and after shot below. That's my boy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Never Buy New

We've needed a new car for some time now. We were thinking about getting a new one when we were pregnant, until it occurred to us the foolishness of getting a fresh shiny new car just before embarking on a new life of Cheerios and spit-up and sticky peanut-butter fingers etc. One poor decision on my part to give Ellis Strawberry Quik on a road trip (yes, I did it) and it's all over for that new car smell. That's one thing I love about our Jetta. It is so cosmetically imperfect, stains and scratches
mean nothing. And when we do buy, I doubt we'll buy new, for that very reason.

However, you don't have that luxury when it comes to your child's face. You get this perfect beautiful little human, and hard as you may try, you can't keep them fresh from the factory. I've gotten used to the knee scrapes (ever present) and he did get a little puncture wound on his lip from a sharp corner of our coffee table a few weeks ago (which looked unpleasantly and unfortunately exactly like a cold sore), but nothing prepared me for the epic chin-splitting episode we experienced on Monday.

I had a meeting in Seattle, and Erik and Adeline were in town and agreed to come to Seattle with me and play in the park with Ellis until my meeting was over. Once finished, I joined them at the park and watched how carefully Ellis was walking in circles, balancing on the cement curb that bordered a sandbox with a shiny chrome dome slide type thing. Adeline was there, holding his hand. He was very focused. "He's done that about twenty times," Erik said. As Ellis approached me, I swung him up into my arms for a hug, but he clearly wanted back down to continue his new obsession. THE MINUTE I set him down, he fell smack on his face, audibly hitting the cement curb, scraping open his knees and splitting open his chin.

Blood everywhere.

Adeline had the smart idea to run over to some Park Maintenance guys to see if they had a First Aid kit (They did, and told her they had just put it in the truck that morning!!! There's Ellis's guardian angel at work again!). Erik fixed his little godson up while I held him and sang the Itsy Bitsy Spider (he'll probably hear that song in his nightmares hereafter--good thing I chose one that's already kind of creepy). We determined ultimately that he didn't need stitches, though I wasn't totally sure. I could tell that it wasn't life-threatening, and I didn't want to traumatize him further with a trip to the ER. One thing I am sure of is that he will have a pretty big scar on his chin. Scars are cool right? Look at Scarface? Oh, wait. Bad example.

So, I guess I have to get used to it. I can't keep him a little pristine perfect baby boy forever, but I'll do by best to protect him. And I promise not to shave his hair into a mohawk or give him a rat-tail. What more can I do.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Oh yeah....

Whew! I almost forgot I had a blog! How on earth do the weeks and months fly by the way they do...I think Ben Folds said it best with 'the seconds pass slowly and the years go flying by.'

I'll do what I can to keep up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let it Snow

If one goes to and clicks on the 5-day forecast, one finds many different ways to politely say "It's %&*-ing FREEZING!" You've got today, Tuesday, 'Quite cold with sunshine', Wednesday, 'Cold with snow at times', Thursday, 'Cold. A snow shower', Friday, 'Very Cold', and Saturday, 'Clouds and sun (hope-giving, but then:) Very Cold.' The HI on Saturday is 26 degrees. I'm trying to figure out the best way to break this to my dear friend who is unwittingly flying into icy cold hell, all the way from sunny Los Angeles. I guess this is that way, since she gets an email alert every time I post a blog. Please, please do still come to visit, Erin.

The bright side is how incredibly beautiful everything looks with a fresh white blanket. Mt. Rainier, which you can see if you stand on your tiptoes in the corner of my living room, is striking and massive, and easy to see because of the cold clear skies (oddly enough, the best view of Rainier is from the Target parking lot on Union Ave). It's fun to watch Ellis discover chilly wind--he was laughing uncontrollably as I rolled him in his stroller, wind whipping around us, to the bus stop the other day. I looked up to see all the drivers in line at the red light laughing at him--his eyes were wild and he was flailing his hands. Hands that he refuses to keep mittened, although he seems to be giving in a little bit as he learns that they will keep him warm.

All the snow and cold surely add to the Christmas vibe--and remind me how incredibly fortunate I am to have a home. I was barely able to walk to the shed, about a fifteen foot 'walk', last night. I couldn't imagine trying to survive in this bitter cold without my family and my home. I am so lucky.

So, Happy Holidays everyone! Remember all that you already have...and let it snow! (Just don't make me drive in it).