Friends

Your Los Angeles Lakers!

Last Tuesday night I went to my first ever Lakers game. I've lived here for over 30 years and FINALLY made it to a game! I was lucky enough to be invited by my boss from Jumanji, along with some other peeps from the Jumanji VFX crew. We were in the 15th row behind the Lakers bench. Dude.

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I've never even been inside Staples Center. It's pretty cool. 

I'm don't really follow sports, but I usually have a decent handle on who the top players are, who the coach is, etc on the Lakers. But currently - NO CLUE.

Back in the day, when I went to LMU, the Lakers would sometimes practice in our big new gym on campus. One weekend, my college beau (current friend of the blog and back then a H U G E Lakers fan) and I drove onto campus and saw the lot full of very expensive cars. We parked near them and there was Magic Johnson, walking to practice. My beau had just been telling me about a great interview he read with Magic and I said, "Go say hi! Go tell him how much you liked his interview!" He hesitated and I encouraged and he went, I stayed at the car. Magic was gracious and shook his hand, chatted for a minute. I love that memory. 

Shout out to you, RCL!

Now, maybe I should pay attention to who is on the team these days....especially if I get to go back again some time to the 15th row! 

 


It's Only Been A Month Of Kindergarten...

...And I was surprised when Harper told me someone told her that her Lightning McQueen shoes are boys shoes and why is she wearing them.

Harper said she got embarrassed! NOOOOOOOOO!

So I told her that there is no such thing as boys shoes or girls shoes - boys can wear Frozen shoes and girls can wear Lightning McQueen shoes, it doesn’t matter. And I told her she could always wear anything she wants and I love when she wears whatever she wants.

GAH!!

I talked to her twice about it, making sure she heard me, though I'm not sure she totally understands. But one day she didn't want to wear her Lightning McQueen shoes, specifically, even though she needed sneakers for after school. That made me sad. But we will continue to encourage the "whatever you like" style of clothes and shoe shopping. 

I consulted a dear friend, a wise and wonderful woman who has a nine year old daughter. I wrote her an email with the above and she wrote back almost instantly:

Don't you wish you could say, "Honey, there are fucking assholes in this world that want to steal your peace.  It is okay to tell them to fuck off."

This is why I consult with her. She also had some other good advice about watching videos of kids who dress in all different ways as well as wearing "boys" clothes myself from time to time. So my Christmas list will have some "Boys" items on it...

Raising a girl in this day and age. I'm going to need a lot of deep breaths and to always speak my truth to my beautiful strong girl.


Ten Years, Man! Ten YEARS! (Part 2 of 2)

IMG_1495The first half of 2006 had been a fun year, jetting to Paris and up and down North America. And by the way, if you ever get the chance to hang in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in Montreal, take it! We got to relax in the business class lounges for all of our travels because in 2005 I was supposed to have worked on a long term project in Virginia. I would have been flying twice a month from LA to Richmond for about eight months so my work partner and I decided to spend the money on a United Red Carpet club membership. Then that job got cancelled but I still had the membership. Silver lining? I suppose. I would have liked to have worked on that job.

So July. The job in Mexico had gotten into a smooth rhythm. We had some adventures on our weekends. Then I got a call that my dad had taken a serious downturn and would probably die in the next 48 hours. And he did. My dad had been in a nursing home facility for years as he had alzheimer's. He also had heart issues and was 83 when he died, so it wasn't entirely unexpected, though a death is always a shock, even when you know it's coming.

100_1265The team in Mexico was supportive and helpful, of course. At the end of July, I flew back to LA for a night, then Kurt and I flew to the Big Island for a week, helping with the funeral plans and reminiscing. We stayed at the hotel at Anaeho'omalu Beach, which was perfect. It is the beach I know so well on the Big Island, have known it since I was so little, where we used to go before there was a hotel. Also, let's be honest, so happy to be in air conditioning. Waikoloa is H O T in August.

It was a fascinating time, learning more about my dad, hearing others talk about him, people who knew him in a totally different way than I did. We all told stories and looked through old pictures all while playing the Keola and Kapono records, shouting out the words to Mr. Sun Cho Lee. (He got plenty lychee!) 100_1288

It was also surreal to be with my sisters and stepmom and nieces and nephew in dad's house, all there without dad. All the emotions were heightened, of course, the grief hitting us all in different ways. There were tears and laughter and plenty of shouting and hurt feelings, all the usual family stuff. At one point Dor turned to me and said, "How can you be so calm?" I just shrugged and said, "That's what I do. That's what I've always done." Then added, "Hand me another beer..."

There's my dad. The Don Draper of Honolulu. (Who later moved to the Big Island.)

The day after the funeral, we scattered his ashes from canoes at Anaeho'omalu Bay. The water was calm and the experience quite new for me on a variety of levels.

Then a big aloha to Hawai'i and back to Mexico for me. I was really glad to have two overnights in LA on each side of that trip. Nice to sleep in my own bed and pet the cats.

There were three more weeks of the shoot in Mexico and I enjoyed the hell out of them. We went to Puebla for a few days as well as Cuernavaca. We had various locations that were a refreshing break from the sets at the abandoned quarry/mall. A friend from LA came down to hang out for a long weekend and we timed it for the two day weekend that had been scheduled (we were working half days on Saturdays). It was so nice to be a tourist with a good friend.

100_1460A giddiness started creeping into the crew as we got near the end. We were all still working hard, but laughing more and taking more pictures of each other. The crew went out one night for drinks and music and that was our non official wrap party and it was a blast. Then the real wrap party came and it was nice, but not as much fun. On the last day of shooting, when the first AD called "That's a wrap!" I, of course, burst into tears. What a long crazy summer it had been.

Adiós Mexico! Adiós Diana, my favorite statue in Mexico City. Hello LA...

Home. But not for long. At the end of September I'd be off to London to work with the VFX team for a few weeks, handing over the information from the shoot to the new producer. But before that, we were invited to a friend's beach house in Santa Barbara for Labor Day weekend. A wonderful few days of good friends and sitting on the beach and looking at the ocean. Soothing.

London. I got good at figuring out the bus schedule (cheaper/easier than the tube) and my little neighborhood in Clerkenwell where I stayed in the Zetter Hotel. Quite hipster cool at the time and so expensive that when my work was done and Kurt and I were staying a few days more, we found a cheap and therefore TINY room elsewhere. We played tourist, my favorite day being the one at Hampton Court Palace. (I love a good audio tour!) 100_2347

Then for fun and also because you can, we took the train to Paris for three days where again, our friends were staying in their apartment and we spent a lot of good time with them.

Paris twice in one year? Man, that is a good year.

Home at the end of October. I was exhausted and charged with emotion and restlessness since I had been moving practically non stop since April.

There was one more trip and that was to Maui in early December with Kurt's family. They had never been so we enjoyed many touristy things, trips to Hana, up to Haleakala, ziplining, snorkeling, big hotel Luau, the whole nine yards.

Then home. HOME. A quiet Christmas on our own here in LA. Just us and the cats.

2006 was a roller coaster and I loved it all. I know that sounds strange since my dad died in the middle of it, but loving it all is just embracing all that life throws at you - the good, the bad, the easy, the tough - everything. I'm proud of that year. I doubt I'll have another quite like it. But I hope I do.

Ten years, Man! Ten years.


Mostly Bad News, Then Some Really Good News

It's been a month of bad news.

Two people we know (one neighbor and one work colleague) died very suddenly. The wife of our suddenly dead neighbor now might have breast cancer (she finds out on Friday) and one of my cousins was diagnosed with a brutal form of cancer that he's fighting tooth and nail.

BUT... in between all that grief and anguish, there was a shining ray of Amazing! A good friend who had been waiting for a new kidney for a few years GOT ONE! And the surgery went well and the new kidney is doing great so far and she already feels so much better.

Nice to cry happy tears among all the sad ones.

Life is short, make sure you are doing all you want to do and getting rid of all the things that are negative or just don't matter in the long run.

And be an organ donor, dammit! If you aren't already, please sign up to be one here: Organ Donor Registry


Rose Parade Floats

Did you watch the Rose Parade on New Year's Day? We did for about ten minutes. It did spark my imagination about how they are made, so Harper and I went on an adventure to Pasadena on January 3 to see the floats on display. Luckily the weather had been cold for days so all the flowers were still fresh and vibrant. It's mind boggling how they make those things! Is there a float design school somewhere? Must be, but my cursory google search didn't turn up much. Oh well, I have lots of other things to do with my time.

We met up with Shana and Peter for our float adventure! I recommend going to see the floats. It's $10 each and there are multiple parking/shuttle options. Along the route are tons of bathrooms and food/drink vendors so you can really spend time checking them all out.

(You can click all pics for larger versions - the detail on the floats is incredible.)

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Harper loves bears.

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And she loves robots!

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It was a gorgeous day to be out looking at floats.

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And we had some snacks.

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