Listen To Your Mother

03.24.14

I got a text message from my friend Ciaran letting me know that she was a co producer for Listen to Your Mother OC (for you non-locals that’s Orange County). I texted her back with: Congratulations, have fun. And then (as Ciaran is wont to do) I was informed that I should audition and she made reference to an old blog post and how it would be great for the show.

I follow orders well and auditioned for the show, was informed that I was selected as a cast member and then proceeded to freak out. I didn’t actually know what LTYM was going to be about. I didn’t know who else auditioned or how bad it would suck. I just knew that because I’d been chosen that it would suck.

I clearly have some issues that need to be worked out.

This weekend I showed up at Ciaran’s house not knowing what to expect. I’d seen the list of women who would be there and many of them are fantastic writers but I didn’t see a story. I saw bloggers and blogs can get monotonous. Too much self reflection is good for no one. Too much motherhood is just plain dull.

Then there was a rehearsal. I heard the other women recite their best stories. They weren’t all about motherhood. They were about relationships and disasters. There were stories about class, race and privilege. There were decisions made to walk away from everything and other decisions where you walk toward it all. There was mine, which is very light and touches on aspects of motherhood that I’m pretty sure I’ve beat into the ground on this site here.

I loved hearing from these women. I loved what they had to say and how they said it. I loved their accents and their whispers and their confessional tone. I sat and listened was sad that there wasn’t more.

LTYM OC cast

LTYM OC cast

So if you’re near Santa Ana on the afternoon of April 27th I can wholeheartedly recommend Listen To Your Mother. I’ll be there and I’ll be talking but only for 3 minutes. Then I’ll be listening and enjoying because it will be so very enjoyable.

Buy your tickets here.

 

A Little Too Much of Everything

07.1.13

I didn’t write much last week because I had too much free time. It sounds strange but it’s true, mostly. Jane is away at camp and Alexander came home over the weekend. I spent the week alternately working too hard and playing too hard, each method was a failed attempt to not miss the kids too much.

On more than one occasion I went to the gym and yoga. That’s a solid 3 hours of “me time” which historically has been enough to hold me over for a week at a time. Twice I had two yoga classes in a day. I still cannot touch my toes without bending my knees. I’m an enthusiastic yet underachieving yogi. I went to Las Vegas and won enough at the blackjack tables to pay for my plane ticket. Everyone says you should always split 8’s. I’m not sure who everyone is but I think that everyone is wrong.

When I wasn’t gambling, working or exercising I was eating and reading. In Vegas I dropped into Nobu which left me yearning for Katsu-ya. My jaw about dropped when I sat down to a table with disposable chopsticks wrapped in paper. The service was good but missing the near silent attentiveness of the Los Angeles and San Diego restaurants. Also at about $150 a person I don’t want to walk through a casino to use a restroom. I’ll be sitting and sipping sake for hours, I need a real restroom in a real restaurant. The food was almost as good but eating from splintery chopsticks ruined it for me. Of course here in LA we celebrated our anniversary with our son at one of my favorite lunch spots, Crustacean. I think I’ve learned my lesson and Crustacean will remain a lunch spot. We love the crab and the noodles are good too but frankly there’s a really great dive in Reseda that makes it better at about an eighth the price. I’ll never stop loving the lobster and mango salad so anyone who wants a snooty lunch with me can always meet me there.

While we were waiting for our table at Crustacean I saw a mob of tourists outside of Sprinkles with their cameras trained on an SLS convertible and a silver haired man. So I looked at Mr. G and I’m like, “Isn’t that your dad’s car?” And he’s like, “Oh my god they think he’s a celebrity.” And we watched the Senior Mr. G wave to his fans while he grabbed a cupcake. Alexander’s eyes were like saucers, I’m still not sure if he thinks his grandfather is a genius or if every tourist in Beverly Hills is a little bit stupid. I suspect the latter.

Never underestimate the power of good hair and a snazzy car.

During the week I’d been sort of limping through three books, flipping from one to the other. One was a bust so I won’t even mention it, but the other two were perfect reads for me. There was Afterbirth: Stories You Won’t Read in a Parenting Magazine. Well, the tagline is 100% honest… I’ve never read about a bloody jockstrap in a parenting magazine but they stories are all magazine length. Most are 4 pages long and easily digested. It’s a good summertime book to leave in your purse, enjoy a story… take a nap… read another… have lunch…obviously I’m living in a fantasy world.

The absolute perfect kids are at camp book has got to be Getaway Mom. I don’t want to ruin the whole story because it unfolds so nicely but in Getaway Mom a Long Island mom trades places with her unattached LA sister for part of a summer. It’s fun, readable and uncomfortable all at once which is the trifecta of a good novel. I wish that some of the dialogue rolled off the tongue a little better but the story was so good, it captured the LA conundrum so perfectly that I happily forgave one too many I will‘s and in my head substituted them for I’ll because I’ve decided that is how these characters should speak. It looks to be a 99 cent kindle purchase right now which is a great buy but can’t rival my penny dress. 

DVF dress for a penny

The time before last when I popped into Bloomingdales I found a great black and white DVF wrap dress that I thought was 40% off. I was understandably excited to get the dress for under $200 and over the moon when the cashier asked me for a penny. It’s now my favorite dress and I think I’ve worn it twice in June.

I made my way to the mall again while the kids were gone. Since I’d been the beneficiary of a $364.99 sale I had cash to burn and managed to snag a Tory Burch sundress that wasn’t covered in T’s along with a matching cardigan that was. I’m torn because I love the pale pink but I want to bring to a close the days of wearing someone else’s initials on any part of me.

The week. It was well spent in every way.

 

Random Things I Want to Tell You

05.1.13

The LA mayors race is an important one. Do the right thing and vote for Garcetti. He’s been great for Hollywood and he’s the only candidate capable of leading our city. Also Daphne told me to say this and Daphne is obviously the boss of us all.

Here’s a video of a 90 year old woman doing a double back flip. You want to see this, it’s only 30 seconds.

My daughter has a tumblr and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Do I make an exit as she makes an entrance? Are there any mom bloggers whose children are blogging now? Links! I want to know how this balancing act is accomplished.

 

Yesterday I had my Global Entry interview and it was quick and efficient. With Global Entry you can bypass the line at customs and you just sort of swipe your passport through a machine that looks like an ATM. No fuss, no lines, no waiting. As an added bonus you get to use the trusted travelers line with TSA Pre✓ and you don’t have to take your shoes off at a lot of airports or get your laptop out of the bag. The best part? It’s $100 for five years and if you have an AMEX Platinum it’s free. I’ll do a full post on AMEX Platinum one day but I assure you it’s the best couple of hundred dollars I spend every year. It usually pays for itself by February.

I’m planning a return to Australia for a one day rheumatology symposium. I’ll be presenting with Dr. Irwin Lim and I’m incredibly flattered and nervous. I’m going to talk about what it’s like to be the patient and how we search for information. I hope they aren’t horrified.

Also, Jane is reading To Kill a Mockingbird so now I am too. She’s at Chapter 7, I’m finishing up Chapter 2. I’ve never read the book or seen the movie (I know…) but I had to pick up a copy for myself after hearing Jane rant about how ill behaved Scout is. I’m not quite sure what to make of her reaction.

Also I bought these shoes and I love them so much but they made my foot bleed after just two hours. I’ve decided that this needs to be my biggest personal tragedy of 2013.

alexander mcqueen skull ballet flats

The single best Mothers Day gift I can recommend is perfume from Pure Natural Diva. PND Botanicals has a great option where you buy Mom a gift certificate for their favorite scent. Of course Mom has no way of knowing her favorite scent over the internet so PND sends her a 3 or 4 samples and when she picks a favorite they fulfill with a full sized bottle. This is perfect for someone like me who sometimes loves the perfume they sample and then at the end of the day I’ll find that it doesn’t react well with my skin. For the record I love Pure.

 

 

Back to AIDS

01.31.13

I just finished reading, no devouring, A Home at the End of the World. It’s a rich novel that explores relationships and the limits of love. It begins in the 60’s and I’m uncomfortable because there’s sex but no talk of condoms and I’m furiously flipping pages because I know what the 80’s will bring.

There was incredible sadness and fear in the 80’s and the 90’s were marked by slower deaths with anger and activism. There’s an article that needs to be written and it needs a more targeted audience than this site can provide but one day I’ll be able to write about what it is to watch someone die. Deliberately. One day I’ll tell you about the day he killed himself and we all watched and chanted and said the prayers he needed. We watched him take his last breath and no one interrupted to try and save him but no one helped either. We knew better than to do that.

In his dying months he regaled me with tales of Die Ins and trips to the desert where he and his friends from ACT UP would stamp their money with pink triangles. Queer bills, he called them. Just a year earlier in Colorado I’d watched in horror as the Christian Coalition rallied the troops and passed laws that were violently anti-gay assuring that the state would never see them as a protected class enabling good people to be fired, evicted and generally abused. I’d never really believed that people hated gays until I left Los Angeles. I should add that I’d never been to Church. My experiences in Colorado showed me that the hatred and fear I’d seen started at a pulpit.

I was checking the Lemmle for movies I might want to see and there were none so I looked at what might be coming soon and saw How to Survive a Plague is coming next week. I assumed it was a tongue in cheek title until I clicked through for the trailer. And then I sat and watched and sobbed.

I cannot tell you how many men died. I think this is a movie I need to watch alone.

Fifty Shades of Grey and Why I’m Going to get Kicked Out of Book Club

04.25.12

My book club is reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Everyone I know on Facebook and Goodreads is reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Months ago one of the Pocahontas‘ suggested I read it and I dutifully walked into Barnes and Noble only to find that it was backordered.

And then I realized it was mom porn. I’m trying to figure out what the hell mom porn is. Is it a whole book full of husbands who take out the trash, play with the kids and then get bonus checks? Maybe mom porn is about a woman who works out all morning, lunches with friends and then has time to nap before picking kids up in her new Bentley SUV?

I want to know what Mom Porn is people!

So I downloaded a sample to my Nook and immediately recognized the fact that my girlfriends have lost their minds. Can you imagine hundreds of pages of this?

She hands me a security pass that has “visitor” very firmly stamped on the front. I can’t help my smirk. Surely it’s obvious that I’m just visting. I don’t fit in here at all. Nothing changes. I inwardly sigh. Thanking her, I walk over the bank of elevators and past the two security men who are both far more smartly dressed than I am in their well-cut black suits.

A page later:

She’s more nervous than me!

Really, that was the sentence.

Chapter two begins with:

My heart is pounding. The elevator arrives on the first floor, and I scramble out as soon as the doors slide open, stumbling once but fortunately not sprawling onto the immaculate sandstone floor. I race for the wide glass doors, and suddenly I’m free in the bracing, cleansing, damp air of Seattle. Raising my face, I welcome the cool, refreshing rain. I close my eyes and take a deep, purifying breath, trying to recover what’s left of my equilibrium.

I’m just not understanding what part of this is engaging. I know the ladies of facebook say, “it’s all about the sex”.

So, I’m supposed to read a horrendous plot so that I can get to the sex? Maybe the moms don’t need 50 shades and they should treat it just like any other porn and fast forward to the good part? I cannot bring myself to buy this book. It’s just ghastly looking to me. I wish I had an anonymous blog because I think book club will be pretty uncomfortable next month.