Thursday, June 30, 2005


Today is the last day of employment for me and I have lots to share about my roller coaster ride of emotions. It's amazing how quickly I slide from big-picture to little-picture perspective. Suffice it to say that I have amazing friends in my life who hold the vision of what's true about my life when I am freaking out and fetal in moments of extreme drama.

But I don't have time to share all that today because I have one more scene to write and then it's time to proofread! Even though the deadline for the contest is tomorrow I want to put it in the mail today. I like synchronicity even when it's a little contrived. So ending the job and loosing the script on the world at the same time feels right.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this gem of an essay about the state of things in this country right now.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

I know that I'm going to be okay, but seriously, this country? Led by this administration? Going to hell in a bucket of water that's getting dangerously hot.

Monday, June 27, 2005


I have been working feverishly on the final draft of my script. The deadline for the contest that I'm going to enter it in is this Friday. My last day of work is Thursday. I am looking at the synchonicity of these two events as a good thing. I was talking to A. this morning and he said that I sounded like I wasn't happy. He's in Serbia on vacation, but even on the phone, thousands of miles away, he can still nail me. I told him that I'm freaked out about not having a job at the end of this week. He responded that I need to know that this is a good ending and that no matter what I have him.

Yeah, except he's in Serbia!

I do know that this is timely. I have been sitting and spinning without challenging myself for a long time. One can get real comfortable where I've been. One can get real stagnant too. One can also get a really wide ass from too much sitting. So I am willing to see this ending as a good and timely one.

I'm also willing to see the completion of the script and tossing it out there as the great new beginning. To write for a living is, I think, a conscious choice to follow your passion. The you may have to find other ways to pay your bills while you look for someone who will pay you to write. If I had little bills I would be a lot less freaked out. Every day I feel a little closer to the end of the skinny branches. My ass is bobbing around out there and I need to let go and fly into the great new beginning.

I haven't had any practice in a long time and all I can think about is what if I have forgotten how to fly? What if I hit the ground and end up on the corner with a sign that says, "Will work for food? Anything helps," like the man at Venice and Fairfax that I drive past too many times a week.

On a positive note Pete might finally lose some weight if he's tied to a shopping cart, hauling it down the street. He's a big cat, but 25 pounds is a little too, verging on getting your picture distributed on the internet big. I've been thinking all kinds of catastrophic thoughts and I'm so aware that it's all a distraction from getting on and doing what I need to do.

Why is it that I must be exhausted into surrender? Into doing what I need to do and going with the flow, trusting that if I do the work and keep shuffling my feet, that great new beginning will just show up? It always has before. This isn't the first time I've found myself here.

I'm just scared that I've forgotten how to fly.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

There are women in the suburbs who are far more desperate than the women on the show. Although after hearing the story I heard yesterday I found myself wondering if it was desperation or mental illness or alcoholism, or possibly a combination of all three. My friend A. lives out in the valley where so many Los Angelenos go to settle when they’ve had children. It’s a world of track homes and soccer fields and club league baseball where nine year olds are “recruited” by balding 38 year old men with beer bellies who look like they’re closer to fifty.

Their wives for the most part sport leathery tans and spend most of their time carting the kids from one activity to another in the Escalade, Denali or Navigator. And when they’re not doing that they’re at the gym so that they can stay a size 2 or 4 or 6, though they definitely don’t seem to be maintaining their figures for the fat, bald husband. From the stories I hear they’re having affairs.

So my friend A. has a daughter who is in middle school. She’s that age where you start to develop BFF friendships. Her current BFF is moving to the O.C. at the end of this week. The mother and father of the BFF are a couple that A. has met a few times due to the fact that their daughters socialize, but you wouldn’t say that a real friendship has developed. So A. was surprised to come home from work the other night and get a call from E., the mother, saying that her daughter was distraught about the move and that she was going to miss A.s daughter so much and could they all go to dinner.

E. was sobbing as she made this request.

Being a very empathic and loving person A. said, of course, and she got her girls in the car and headed out to meet E. and her kids. Except on the way E. called to say that her daughter, the “distraught” one didn’t want to go out. She wanted to stay home. A. said, okay, then we can order pizza and I’ll pick up a bottle of wine

When they got to E.s house the distraught daughter didn’t look upset at all, though she was happy to see the kids and they all went and played in the backyard. E. took A. into the bedroom because all of their furniture has been moved except for the beds....

And if you’re sitting there thinking “Oh my gosh this is going to veer into something very Penthouse Forum, then we have the same dirty mind.”

E. proceeds to tell A. that her husband, who was down in the OC at the new house, beats her in front of the children. All the time! And then she told her how unhappily married she is. Um, that’s kind of a given if you’re being beaten, don’t you think? But then she told her about how when she worked at a local restaurant she was screwing all of the busboys and waiters and she thinks that maybe she might have sex addiction issues.

Something that was borne out when the 25 year old pizza delivery guy showed up and she walked him out to his car, telling him that it was really nice and she wanted to see it. And then she tipped him $20 – so I think she wanted to see more than his car. When she came back in she started crying again and asked if she’d told A. about all the affairs that she’s had and how A. is having such a great divorce and she’d like to have that too.

And then she wanted to change clothes because A. looked so "good" and she wanted to look good too. A. had no idea what to say or do. She just wanted to get the hell out of dodge. This is a woman that she literally has only met a few times. They’re not even friends. She couldn’t say, “What’s up? What have you been smoking? Did someone slip some acid in your Vitamin water?”

After dinner A.s daughter said that E.s daughter wanted to come spend the night and A. couldn’t wait to get out of there. She said she wished she could’ve taken the little brother too, but there was no way to get the kid out of the house without it being somewhat strange. As she encouraged the little girl to get her things together, E. wanted to tell A. just one more thing.

Seems that her husband, the one who beats her in front of their children? He thinks that A. is really hot and E.’s exact words were, “I know it would make him really happy to watch you fuck me.” A. pretty much got the kids and ran from the house. I’m like what did you say? She said she pretended she hadn’t heard and that when she called E. the next day to see how she was doing she acted like everything was normal. Said she’d had a really great day and that maybe she had a little too much drink the night before.

You think?

I think she’s a crazy lady. A. spent all the next day reeling from the conversation and the experience. She’s very relieved that E. is moving away. I think that someone who would tell you that their husband beats them and then two hours later sexually proposition you for a three way with the beater has definitely got issues. If you seriously wanted a three-way, telling someone that the guy you want to do that with beats you is not exactly giving him a great reference. If it’s just that she drank too much she must have started really early in the day. I tend to think that she’s a desperate, manipulative woman and I cannot help but feel very sorry for her kids.

And her husband, unless he really beats her, but I kind of think she made that up, along with everything else, except the affairs and the request for the three way.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

On Saturday, my friend Adam was ordained as a priest. He entered the order of the Discalced Carmelite Friars about eight years ago. When I got the invitation to the ordination I was very excited because, not being Catholic, I had never witnessed this ritual. Although I spent most of the day confused, and I have a whole list of questions, I was incredibly moved as I watched him make his vows to God surrounded by his Carmelite community and his friends and family.

I got there late which pretty much blew because that meant I missed sitting with my friends who all went to Catholic school. Instead I slunk in and sat in a folding chair that was set up behind a huge post. This also blew because I brought my camera to take pictures of this big event and from that vantage point I couldn’t see a thing that was happening up on the altar. I couldn’t even see the altar!

I was on Mary’s side though and that was cool. When I go to a Catholic church I like sitting on the left, close to the altar to Mary. Kind of like when I used to go to Grateful Dead shows and I liked sitting on the left, close to Jerry. They are both kind of laid back. The church was absolutely beautiful. The light fixtures featured angels perched with their backs to each other, their angular wings meeting in a circle and the walls of the altar at the front of the church were paneled with a red wood inlaid with brass fleur de lis and reliefs of Jesus and Mary carved into pillars on the side. It was all very Moderne in flavor, e.g. made around 1930. At the reception later I was talking to a woman who told me that, in fact, the church had been built 75 years ago. There is some beautiful work in that church and it has been preserved with much love.

The church was packed with parishoners and nuns. Lots and lots of nuns. And lots of ladies with lace scarves on their heads. The nuns were wearing brown habits with cream colored wimples and further head craning revealed that there were also a bunch on the other side of the church that were dressed in the blue and white habits like Mother Theresa wore. The brothers or friars were all gathered up at the front of the church and they were wearing white robes with hoods. Like friars! I didn’t see Adam. There was a lot of talking/droning by a guy who looked like my favorite martian, and finally Adam was called to the altar and I about died! I haven’t seen him in so long and his head was shaved although I don't think that was a preisty thing, I think it's more about a balding thing.

Another priest who also droned but was wearing red and gold asked if Adam was worthy as he stood in front of a guy in a gold crown. And apparently it was decided that he was because then the guy in the crown started to speak. Once he started speaking I relaxed because he talked in a normal voice and the ritual stopped being all Catholic and scary and started to feel much more focused on the commitment, the step, that Adam was making. He talked to us in English and Spanish and I found myself crushing on him. The smell of incense would get stronger and then dissipate and I was completely captivated by the whole experience.

Then somebody’s cell phone started ringing. And instead of turning it off the dumbass just kept letting it ring. It’s amazing how quickly I can go from feeling the love to feeling the irritation. I really dislike cell phones. Anyway, the guy in the crown – who I found out later is the Bishop – addressed the fact that these days being a priest in the Catholic church has got some inherent challenges because of the rampant pedophelia that’s been allowed to fester and perpetuate. He didn’t use those words exactly, but that’s what he meant and he expressed it pretty clearly.

The Bishop, took off his gold cloth crown to reveal a red yarmulke, and asked Adam a series of questions to which he responded “I Do” and THEN Adam prostrates himself on the floor and everyone sings. He is laying on the floor in front of the altar! At this point I can no longer restrain myself and I run up to the front of the church to take a picture because this is a pretty amazing thing to witness and I wanted to remember. I thought it might make me laugh, but it doesn’t. It moves me to see such utter surrender. I’ve never been moved in the Catholic church, even during a really good homily. But surrounded by all the nuns and priests and brothers who had also made this commitment I was really feeling the gravity of Adam commiting his life to serving God.

Peg was sitting on the aisle up with the family members, in front of the nuns and she grabbed me as I was scuttling back to my seat and told me to come sit with them. So I got to watch the rest of the prostrating from a much better seat. When Adam stood up and knelt to receive the blessing from the Bishop and all the other priests I took some great pictures of the altar. Boy – the Catholics sure do like red and gold and pomp and circumstance. Peggy and I discuss which priests we think are hot. I like the tall Hispanic cantor (they have cantors who sing just like in temple!) in the black robe. Black is just way more attractive than white when you have wear a lot of it.

There is a HUGE statue of St. Therese in a niche above the altar and I totally dig this because she is the focus in this church, which makes sense since the church is named after her. It’s a lot nicer to look at a beneficent looking woman looming large than a bloody Jesus. He’s still there, but rendered in a brass statue that sits below the altar. He’s got a magic compartment under his feet where they will put the leftover sacrament after they give out communion.

So I’m really wanting to know why the Bishop is wearing a yarmulke? And why does he take his various hats off throughout the ceremony? I’m sure there’s an answer. I also want to know why they have cantors, guys who sing prayers in the Catholic church? I always thought that was a Jewish thing. But then I also notice that the huge marble altar is inlaid with a bronze lamb that looks like an ancient rendering. Peg said she thought it represented peace, but sacrificing animals on altars has been part of religious ritual for a really, really long time.

The pagans were into that, and by the way Happy Solstice!

After everyone has laid their hands on his head and blessed him Adam receives his stole and chasuble (vestments). This is called “vesting” and after this he goes and has his hands anointed in oil and wrapped in white cloth. So now he could do all those rituals like last rites and marriage ceremonies – for Catholics.

All the priests are up on the altar and they’re getting ready to serve communion again and there’s a guy swinging that incense holder. There must be a class for that because there’s a definite method he’s got going on. I totally get how people could pass out in church. That smell is intense and we’ve been sitting there for about an hour and a half. The Bishop takes off his yarmulke and everyone lines up for communion. Thank God there are so many priests to serve it because with all those nuns and pious people there’s a big long line.

I’m pretty much bored by now and briefly think about going up there just to give Adam a hug, stretch my legs and get a closer look at the hot priest, but I catch a nun glaring at me. Yes, I was getting chatty, and I was having a hard time sitting still, and I was wearing a black lycra top with spaghetti straps rather than a linen suit, but it was a really hot day and the air was still in there. I was probably the only person who was comfortable. I had also forgotten to put on my underwear because I was running really late, but there’s no way she could’ve known that. It’s also possible that she walks around with that look on her face all the time and has no idea that she appears forbidding and judgmental, but in any case I decided not to get up and go for a walk because nuns still kind of scare me.

Though I have to say that they sing beautifully and they did. After communion everyone stood and sang and all the priests filed off the altar following the Bishop who carries a staff like a shepherd. I asked Peggy why he had that – like do all Bishops have a staff? Is it one of the accoutrements of being a Bishop? She told me it was in case he lost one of his sheep. Then it was over and we got to go have sandwiches with all the priests and brothers and nuns. I was a little overdosed on Catholic ritual by the end of the day, but I was so proud of Adam and now I know a priest! And I bet he can answer all my questions!!

Monday, June 20, 2005

HEY PEG! something is seriously fucked up with blogger and I can't make spaces, so anyway............Today I was going to write about how my friend Adam married God this weekend and became a priest. But I ran out of time to write the story and now my friend Gemma is going to be here any minute with her fiance Tim, whom I’ve never met, but who thinks I’m a little crazy.

And he might be right because this weekend? When my friend Peg was driving off after staying over on Saturday night (she’d flown down to watch Adam marry God)? I walked into the bathroom and noticed that she’d left her cell phone plugged into the charger that was plugged into the wall. More than a few minutes had elapsed since I said, “Bye Peg, have a good time at mass and a safe trip home.” So I grabbed the phone and sprinted out my front door only to see her pull away from the curb and drive much more quickly than I can run toward the corner.

So I ran out into the middle of the street hollering, “Hey Peg! Peggy!” at the top of my lungs, and jumping up and down waving my arms, figuring that she would at least see me in jumping up and down in the middle of the street in her rearview mirror.

And she did.

It didn’t occur to me until I was mid leap and stopping traffic that was coming in the other direction that I was wearing only a large t-shirt.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Last night I was originally going to see Steel Pulse* at the Roxy with Christina, but then Meg called and said that she had two tickets to see The Roots and Wilco at the Greek. She had bought them when they first went on sale and they were up near the tree line. Then she went on Ebay and got good seats for face value, hence she now had two extra tickets and she was offering them to me! So I called Christina and she was up for making a change in venue. And note to self Ebay is a good place to get concert tickets because the seats she bought there were amazing.

We got to the Greek a little after 7:30 and although they stack parking we scored and the parking dude left our car on the end with easy access to an exit road. The Roots were already jamming when we got to the good seats that Meg was going to sit in for the Wilco part of the show. I love Wilco, but they’re not always consistent, e.g. it might be a angsty evening, and I can sit in the trees and enjoy the show. The Roots on the other hand make me want to stand and wiggle my butt and wave my hands in the air like I just don’t care. So I did. They were jammin’ the Zepplin and it was so tight.

The theater was only about one third full when Meg and Curtis showed up halfway through their set and sat with us. When they announced the show I thought it was a strange combo. Energetically two very different experiences. At the break Meg and Christina and I noticed a guy a couple of rows down. Meg said, “He’s a professional surfer, I think. Not Buzzy Kerbox, but someone from that era.” He was definitely cute and he had that surfer vibe and we wanted to know who he was.

He came and sat in the row in front of us and Meg tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he was from Huntington Beach. He turned and said, “Already with the tapping?” Like people were tapping him all the time or something. She said that we’d seen him when he was a few rows below earlier and he was like, “So you were watching me.” We laughed and said yeah and started playing with him because he seemed a little crazy. You know how those guys who've spent too much time in the sun can be? On closer inspection I started wondering if he really was a surfer because he was so delicate that it looked like a strong wind would blow him off a board. He was also wearing what appeared to be vintage trousers, like something Beck would wear, but they were smudged a la homeless man. He was however sporting a backstage pass. After we freaked him out and he left I realized that he was not a surfer, but rather he was Dermott Mulroney. The actor. Who probably thought we were crazy stalker chicks poking at him and teasing him. Because he knows he’s an actor, but he did not know that we had no idea and thought he was a surfer dude who probably knew Buzzy Kerbox.

Yeah, so that was fun. And then Wilco came on stage and I love Jeff Tweedy. I think he’s an amazing song writer, but this last album he decided to add some disonant guitar at the end of a lot of his songs. This does not work for me. I found it annoying and decided that it would be better to skip the encore and get out of the parking lot while the getting was good. Since the Greek Theater sits in the middle of an affluent neighborhood in Los Feliz the shows end early anyway and my thinking was this…

Get out and get on down the road to the Roxy and catch the end of the Steel Pulse show. And that’s just what we did! Bouncing and sweating to the awesome reggae beats of one of my favorite bands to see in concert was the perfect way to end the night. I even made it home by midnight. I love the fact that I got to jam with the Roots and bob to Wilco and boogie with Steel Pulse because I hate to miss anything.

The whole evening was a perfect Wilco sandwich.
*When I was cleaning out my purse last night I noticed on the ticket stub that I went and saw Steel Pulse. And I actually knew that, but I'm having a hard times with names. Currently when I meet a guy and I can't remember what his name is I just call him Dave knowing/hoping that he'll correct me and the humiliation will help me remember. I may have made up the name Burning Spear, although I do believe I've seen them too at some point in my addled past.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Allison’s marriage to Joe was celebrated at the farm in Connecticut with a good and lovely time. After years of talking on the phone and e-mailing I flew to New York to meet her for the first time and it was like meeting a long lost family member. This weekend just confirmed that she is indeed my sister from another mother and I feel so blessed to have been there as she took this step.

Because getting married is a big deal!

There’s so much to tell about the whole experience, from landing in Boston, to arriving home again, that I’m going to do an outline while I still have pretty fresh memories to tap into and then I can always and come back and flesh out the best bits.

I got to Boston on Thursday night and was met by Aaron, who I knew immediately, although we’ve never met. He taught me the html to link when I started writing here, but anyway, I just saw him as I came down the hallway and thought, “Oh there he is!”

We went to dinner at the most amazing tapas restaurant I’ve ever been to, and I could seriously write a whole entry about that meal, and I most likely will so I need to mention that along with the fabulous bottle of red wine we ordered pork sausage with what tasted like a balsamic vinegar reduction with figs, pork tenderloin smothered in a blue sheep’s cheese and carmelized onions, meaty marinated mushrooms, sauteed artichoke hearts, beef tenderloin on toasted sourdough, topped with roasted red pepper and a decadent chocolate tort for dessert.

Went back to Aaron’s and blew through another bottle of wine and I smoked almost my whole “I just like to drink when I smoke” pack of cigarettes. Yeah, no kidding! It’s a good thing the wine made me so lah-di-dah, I can party like I'm 15, because the Lactaid I took didn’t work and I kept running back and forth to the bathroom for episodes of intestinal distress that are so not the first impression you want to make on someone – even if you feel like you’ve known them forever and they’re super cool.

Woke up Friday feeling pretty much shattered due to a severe, time release hangover, and sucked down a litre of water and three super strength Excedrin, then swam in slow motion through a shower and into the car where I squinted and read directions to get us to Middletown where our hotel accommodations were located. And I have to say that even in the haze Massachusetss and Connecticut are really pretty states.

It was in Middletown that I began to be really aware of the level of humidity in the air. And it wasn’t even that bad, but for a girl from California where we are really spoiled weather wise it was a bit disconcerting. Have to say that all that moisture makes for a glowing complexion. Or zits. Depending on your perspective.

After grabbing lunch we headed to Higgenam and the 100 acre farm that Joe is lucky enough to live. As we came up the drive I saw a huge red barn, rolling green lawns, gravel road and a real farm house with a screen door that slams. I think that the original owners started with a very small house and over the years rooms have been added on so it sprawls in a very charming farmy kind of way. I walked into the kitchen/living room that smells like my Nana’s garage and overflowed with all kinds of wonderful collectibles and piles and piles of stuff. Alli was busily prepping food for the feeding of her 150 guests, because, YES! Allison and Joe catered their own wedding.

Don’t try that yourself. She's tell you that if she were sitting next to me right now.

Luckily there were a plethora of pals – the totally awesome kind who come and help – and they were all busily working around the land doing various list items. Allison had four pages of lists because she's very organized, and for someone who is not on medication, she was very calm. Aaron and I jumped in.

He got the cleaning and boiling of 30 pounds of potatoes. Did I mention how humid it was? And what a prince he is?

I was sent down to the root cellar, so cool and cavelike and good old house smelling, it made me want to can tomatoes or make jam. Jen was down there doing the flower arrangements for the tables. I have been visiting Jen’s site for probably the last couple of years, but I really had no idea what to expect, because she is more circumspect when she writes than I am, e.g. she doesn’t overshare and write long self involved posts. I am delighted to say that she is another member of my tribe, a long lost, not yet met sister friend who I had soooooo much fun with that I will have to write about in another entry. And now I so totally want her to write self involved, too much information filled posts because she's hysterical and witty as well as wise.

I got pulled off flowers and put on lemons and limes and then Andrew aka Magic Fingers (he is a genius on the classical guitar) and his wife Kristin arrived.

And as I chopped cilantro Robert and his girlfriend Pesya arrived. They got scallions and then when the potatoes were all cooled Jen, Robert and Aaron sliced'em all and it was at that point that we decided that we should all pick our spice names. Out of left field, I know, and I can't deny that the chorus, "If you wanna be my lover," passed through my head, but it’s a fun ball to run down the field with. Especially when Aaron picks Cumin. Heh.

After that potato salad was mixed, corn salad was put together and so was durable salad and then the green beans were started and I just can’t even write about it because while they were super tasty they were a pain in Allison’s butt, and I know she’ll read this and I don’t want to remind her.

We hauled all the food up to the barn and by now there was beer and pizza and Les and his fiance Tanda had arrived. Dave and Cat came down from the barn where they’d been making signs and stuff that required a creative hand. Buck arrived with kegs.

The wedding wing ding was so on.

We hung around drinking and smoking and discussing the merits of a complete bikini wax vs. brazilian vs. landing strip and that of course led to a discourse on manscaping and the optical illusion of enhanced endowment when there is less man hair down there. And then somehow we got onto Indian Guide princess names – Kristen was Prairie Dawn, daughter of Squatting Bull and Jen was Rainbow Dawn? Hmmmm something Rainbow, daughter of Big Cloud. And that still makes me laugh. Rainbow. Big Cloud. Get it?

After horking pizza and beer we went back to the hotel and passed out at midnight, which is incredibly early for Aaron who is nocturnal by nature. I am an in bed by 10pm person who likes to sleep with the curtains open so as better to welcome the day. He likes the black out blinds and since he had been such a complete prince I only argued my point briefly before submitting.

I woke up at 6am, but made myself go back to sleep because I couldn’t read in the dark and figured the TV would wake him up. I had the weirdest dream, you know like you do when you only go back to sleep for a few hours? So when I woke up at 9am I was dying to tell him all about my weird dream. But you know I could tell he totally didn’t care and in fact he got dressed really fast and went to “get coffee.” I was in the shower when he slipped in and left my non-fat latte with the pink stuff on the dresser and then escaped again before I emerged and started talking. But by then I had forgotten most of my dream and I think that was his plan.

Some people need to ease into their day.

We had breakfast at the counter of the Ford News diner which is owned, I think, by this hilarious Asian woman who was sitting next to me when we first got there and then got behind the counter to cook. She clearly knew all her customers and when a group of people came in who were probably part of the myriad wedding celebrations in Middletown, seriously, it seemed like everyone we saw was wearing wedding wear or carrying a garment bag containing same, so anyway, she hollered to the guys sitting at the big table in the back, “Hey you old guys, move! These people need your table.”

After breakfast it was back to the farm for countdown. Aaron took off to practice the ceremony. He’s a minister. From the Universal Life Church. Pretty cool, huh? I think it's great that someone who really knows you can do that ceremony for you.

I took my blue jeaned clad ass up to the barn to help with the setting up of the food tables, the bar, the table cloths, etc. So, you know the humidity? Well, if you wear blue jeans when it’s really hot and humid it won’t take long before it feels like you’re walking around in warm, wet pants and that feels as bad as it sounds.

At about 1 o’clock I ran down to the root cellar and pulled my pants down around my ankles just to get a little relief from the "hey I wet my pants" sensation. I was talking to Jen who was working on creating a bouquet for Allison out of what had arrived from the florist. She didn’t like it so we made her one and Jen said, “I’m not sure about this, but I think she’ll like it because it’s homemade.” And she was right. And it was way better than the foofy thing that the florist did. And we had a flower for Joe's buttonierre.

Oh, and the guys that were walking back from taking a swim down the road all strolled past as I was standing there with my pants around my ankles. These are friendships that are forged in the kind of immediate intimacy that you get when you’re camping and it’s hot. Let me tell ya.

Guests started arriving and Allison got her make up on, Joe got in his tux and put the bow tie on Siri, his dog who was going to be standing up with him. Jen and I got ready and then did Allison’s hair and helped her get in her dress and walked her up the road to where Carol and Tom were waiting to walk her up the hill to the gazebo and give her away while Etta James sang “At Last.”

We all gathered around and listened to them read the vows they’d written to each other and I cried. It was short and very sweet which was good because it was also kinda warm. Then everyone went back down the hill for BBQ and all that great food. We lounged around tables set up under apple trees while kids (and grown ups) made cotton candy and there was much bouncing in the bouncy castle.

Then the band arrived and played Bluegrass, blues and jug band music till it got dark. They had a woman who played the kazoo. Dude – it was awesome.

They had a couple of Polaroid cameras with the following instructions: Please take a picture of yourself, paste it on a page of the book and write us a message. And everyone did that and wrote the nicest things.

And then Jen and I got the camera and found props and so they have many pages of incriminating photos of us and anyone else we could get to go along with our fun. Like James who is sitting astride Joe’s Norton motorcycle wearing a helmut and clutching a knife with a sign that says “Ice your own cupcake.” And he’s a cupcake you’d want to ice so that was a good picture.

There were also some pictures of us worshipping the deerhead that Aaron found in the woods. We’re kneeling before him, with citronella torches aloft, as he holds the head at crotch level and we are, well, worshipping it. And we weren’t really drunk so those pictures will probably still be hilarious in years to come. Although maybe not if your grandma is looking at the wedding album.

The night wound down and the guitars came out for some blues and country singing and about half past midnight Aaron and I left our team spicy members and went back to Boston so I could fly home Sunday morning.

It was like leaving camp at the end of the summer. You’re tired and you know it’s time to go, but you don’t want to leave your new friends and the magic that you made and shared. And thank God Jen is an amazing photographer who’s going to send me a disc with pictures on it, and that I found my camera so I could take some pictures too, and that I wasn’t wasted so I could remember as much as I do and write it down here.

That was the best wedding EVER! And I think they should do it again next year and every year to come.

You know like wedding camp.

Monday, June 06, 2005


Yesterday I left A's house about 2pm and went and picked up Ocelli, my 4-year old goddaughter. Her mom and dad are in Mexico on a last hurrah vacation since the new baby will be arriving at the end of August. Her grandparents were supposed to come down and stay with her, but grandpa ended up in ICU after not wearing a proper mask while using a paint compressor.

So the Aunties stepped up.

Everytime I have one of the small children in my universe in my care I come away with renewed respect for parents. It is an exhausting prospect to spend hours and hours with a small child who wants to be entertained and has not yet mastered control of emotional outbursts. Ocelli is actualy a really easy kid to be with. She isn't defiant although that could be because I'm somewhat indulgent. She's a good eater and she goes to bed and goes to sleep and even though she's really missing her mom and dad at this point because they've been gone a few days now she's still a treat to be with.

But it is exhausting to be so aware of the well being of another, quite small person. I heard someone once describe being a parent as walking around with your heart outside your body and I'd say that's pretty accurate. Even when it's not your kid, but it's a child you love because you were there filming when her little head popped out and she looked around the room with wide open eyes, and you've known her her whole life. She's at school right now and all I want to do is go get her because she cried when I dropped her off this morning. And even though I know that once I left she settled in and is probably having a great time, especially because she's wearing, what is probably her best dress - we're talking gold trim here - it still broke my heart to walk away and see her little face crumple.

It totally sucks.

Ysterday we headed down to Long Beach to hang with friends and watch John Doe sing at Fingerprints, a super awesome independant record store. We sat on the floor up front and watched for about 45 minutes and then I had to walk with her down to the beach. Because I had said that I would and I don't lie to little kids. We made an agreement that we would go down there and but there would be no wearing of the bathing suit and no going in the water. And she pretty much stuck to the agreement so it was all good except that I forgot about the potty thing. And of course once we got across the big street and held our breath and climbed the stinky stairs and walked allllll the way down to the water, she had to pee.

There was no way we were going to make it to the bathroom. And no way we were going in the water. So I did the only thing that seemed reasonable in that situation. I pulled her pants down and had her cop a squat on the beach. And then we buried the wet spot. Just as the lifeguard drove by. He just waved.

We went back to my friend's house for dinner and John Doe came over after his performance since he is a friend of the family. Ocelli was getting bored so I asked Mia, who is six and another one of my favorite kids, to put some make up on her. Ocelli loves make up. Especially anything that has glitter. When we sat down for dinner Ocelli joined us looking a lot like Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Sweet Baby Jane," but you know it had provided the grown ups with about 45 minutes of uninterrupted conversation. And it all washed off when I put her in the tub before we went home.

I thought she'd sleep in the car, but I'd also promised her that we would watch The Incredibles when we got home. And a promise is a promise so she was bound and determined to stay awake and watch the damn movie. Since we got home at 9:30 I had to make a deal with her to watch half before bed and half in the morning. She could barely stay awake so she was amenable. When we went upstairs to go to bed she picked one of those singing books for me to read before sleep. One where you push the button and tinny music comes out that you sing along with. And that was fine because I know all the songs. What wasn't fine is that one of the buttons got stuck and I couldn't make the music turn off. It didn't matter what I did. I flashed forward to 3am with the sound of "tinkle, twinkle little star" repeating over and over and over from under a blanket downstairs.

I have really good hearing.

It did finally stop and we decided to go with another selection and then she passed out horizontally on the bed. And kicked me all night in her sleep. She also doesn't like to sleep with covers on so I kept waking up and pulling them back up. Needless to say I was pretty tired when we woke this morning at 7am to go downstairs and watch the rest of The Incredibles. And then there was the eating of the breakfast and the outfit selection. I may be indulgent, but I did not, for one second, believe that today was "jama" day at school and that is why she's wearing a beautiful, flowy party dress with gold embelishments, a velour jacket and Ugh boots with pink jewels on them.

But her hair was brushed (tears!) and her teeth were brushed and I remembered to pack her a lunch (turkey slices, yogurt squeezy, string cheese, celery sticks and peanut butter and a red vine). We got to school almost on time and I was only an hour late getting into the office and I will probably go pick her up a little early so we can hang out a bit before we go pick up her mom and dad at the airport tonight!

She's going to be so happy and I'm going to go home and collapse!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


After finding out that I have employment for thirty more days I went and saw a screening on the lot last night. Something that I've never done because by the end of the day I don't want to be here anymore. I want to go home. But now with the feeling of "last chance" I went and saw a preview of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. This is a very sweet story based on a popular YA novel and now I'm going to have to go read it because the movie was pretty good.

Basically it's the story of the 16th summer of four girls who are life long friends and follows each of them as they spend their first summer apart. Before taking off to their various destinations they go shopping and find a pair of jeans that fits all four of them and look great, even though they are each very different. They vow to share the pants, each girl will keep them for a week and wear them and then send them on and they will share the stories of what happens when they wear the pants.

The script had some major flaws and weaknesses, including one very contrived and convenient device involving a dog and the pants and a guy that offended my intelligence, but it wasn't enough to make me dislike the good parts. And there were lots of good parts, not the least of which was the cast, all young actresses that played sixteen credibly with all it's drama and flaws and joie de vie. The movie was just about stolen by the little girl who plays Bailey, but I could just be saying that because well...

Just bring your kleenex and your best friends or your mom and don't make a man sit through this movie. If you love him, or even just like him, don't do it to him. Plus, it's a lot more fun to see it with someone who will cry with you like the two women sitting next to me last night who were just losing it.

I mean sobbing.

But in that good way that girlfriends cry with each other.

I saw it with a guy who is an executive and was seeing it for work and although he probably wouldn't have minded, I didn't feel comfortable really letting go with the tears on him, so I just kinda leaked. And thought about moving over a couple of seats to sit with the girlfriends and borrow a tissue and sniffle out loud.

So I will probably go back and see it with a girlfriend or two. And I will be obssessing about going back to Santorini since one of the stories is filmed there and it is just beautiful. Of course, I will want a Babu and a Yaya and a big babbling Greek family. It's just not the same when you're a tourist.

But still - it's absolutely gorgeous on film and brought back wonderful memories. Of being in Greece and of being sixteen.