Toddler Fashions

Harper can now dress herself fully - pulling a shirt over her head in the correct direction was the last hurdle - and prefers to choose her own clothes. I say AWESOME! Sometimes the results are striking. Here are some samples with my best Project Runway critique.

This ensemble is quite nice, though at first I thought pink and orange might be a bit much. But the pink of the leggings plays off the pink in the t-shirt. The shoes seem a bit formal for the look, but still within the color scheme.


There is a lot going on here. Spiderman AND Hello Kitty together? Not sure about that. But Nina might say it's a very editorial look. Heidi might say it's very Japanese street fashion.


Now this outfit is my favorite simply for the sock position alone. She puts them that high and if you try to soften them down a bit, she gets peeved and pulls them back up. Hard. (The facial expression and pose slay me as well.)


The next one is a dress I got Harper in Hawaii last year. It finally fits so I put it on her and she liked it. For five minutes. Then she went about restyling it to make it her own.

Fashionista4 Fashionista4a

I Want To Call Saul

We are huge Breaking Bad fans. When we heard there would be a spin-off about Saul, we were excited and now that it is on, we love it. I love it. Any time we sit down to watch something, it's usually a choice between Justified (which I also adore) and Better Call Saul. I always pick Saul. Kurt said last night, "You like Saul." But I don't. I'm more like Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona:


I Love Scarves. I Live In The Wrong Place.

Okay, I actually live in the right place for many things. The main thing is the movies. I always wanted to work in the movies, so here I am working the movies. But the weather never suited me. I always wanted to live in a place where I could wear a scarf like this all the time:


That's Claire from Outlander, in case you didn't recognize her. I just started watching the show and it's a perfect escape after busy days. (I don't binge, I savor.) But it's one of the first times I've watched a show and through the whole episode I just stared at her scarf. I believe my exact thoughts were: WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT.

Problem is I don't knit. Then I googled "Outlander Scarf" and dang if there weren't a ton of these for sale on Etsy. Problem solved.

But I live in LA and it's spring (and going to be 90 today) so what on earth am I thinking?

Maybe I'll just google "Highland Cottage Rentals" and fantasize a little more before Harper wakes up. Oh and pin the esty pics to my pinterest account for later.


The Joy Of Joining A New Community - Doctor Who Edition - Part 2

I love pop culture. I LOVE IT!

I don't have religion, I have the movies and tv. Sunday morning movies are the best. 10am popcorn? Yes please! Trailers that last for fifteen minutes before the movie? Why not twenty? I could watch two hours of trailers. And these days with Television? OMG don't get me started on the amazing stories being told out there.

NERD! Total Nerd

So I'm a Nerd. I always have been. Is it a birth-order thing? I don't feel like any of my siblings were nerds. Dor might have gotten close, she introduced me to Monty Python after all, but skewed more toward msuic. She was a Yes-head. Is that a musical nerd? (I don't know anything about music. It is the one part of pop-culture I'm pretty clueless about. As proof to this I will tell you that I've heard OF the song "All About The Bass" but I have not actually heard the song. But if you want to talk about Serial Podcast, I'M IN!)

Doctor-Who-logoWhere was I? oh yes, Nerd. I love joining up with the Who Universe to feel connected, to be part of a larger group. I think I had a bit of disconnect from the "larger group" when I was a kid and am always looking for it. I was the youngest and my next oldest sibling was five years older. We did plenty of stuff together, but there was also lots of earlier bedtimes and "maybe when you are older."

And growing up haole in Hawaii creates an intense disconnect. It's challenging as I feel 100% connected to Hawaii, yet at the same time could never quite fit in. In my K-8 elementary school, I was one of about 15 haoles out of 650 students. I had friends, but they were just school friends as I got on a bus every day to go home. And on that bus I read.

LIWFreak Flag

I was a reader from an early age and my mom indulged me with books all the time. (Yay Mom! I do and will continue to do the same with Harper.) Someone gave me the first two Little House books when I was eight and I got HOOKED. Here was a story about a girl my age and her family in a world that was totally alien to me. Prairie? Snow? Churning butter? I didn't know anyone else who had read these books. Or who was obsessed with the way I was.

I asked mom to make me a sunbonnet. And she did. AND I WORE IT! I didn't wear it on my head. No no. I wore it hanging down my back, as Laura had. Haven't you read the books?? (and yes, I still have it.) I was a community of one, and I let my freak flag fly, even though I'm sure 100% of the people who saw me were like "what is that thing around your neck?"

Prairieskirt82Side note: prairie fashions were IN in the early 80's. I wore an outfit regularly that was not dissimilar to this one, complete with the sunbonnet accessory. I loved my denim skirt. Mom also made me a petticoat to go with it. LOVED LOVED LOVED.

Where was I? Oh yes, dearth of Laura fans on Maui. Now you can connect with other Laura Fans, read more about her life, see pictures of her and even visit some of the little houses. Or you can have a Doctor Who ring tone on your phone (guilty!), or a tiny tardis necklace and people will nod and smile, knowingly. Or they'll argue with you about Russel T Davis vs. Steven Moffat. (or Tennant vs. Smith). It's wonderful to make those tiny yet meaningful connections in any group. We are a community!

I'm not a church goer but I made a pilgrimage in 1998 to worship at the Church of Laura. I have stood in line to receive the good word of Obi Wan Kenobi multiple times (before and after the re releases). I've gotten to live long enough to be obsessed with BOTH versions of Battlestar Galactica and have loved them equally.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Curiosity makes all the difference. Learning about new things, new ideas, new characters, history, art, language, that is all amazing to me. I've always loved reading and writing stories. If you are open to new things, willing to give something a try (not just one episode, come on!) then the world will always be rich and full. People might say pop-culture is just junk. But oh I disagree. There can be so much commentary, so much reflection on the bigger things in the world, all hidden within that "junk." When our BSG heroes landed on New Caprica, rebuilt their lives, then (spoilers) the Cylons came and took over, there was a lot of excellent commentary on the Iraq war. They made you really look at both sides of a conflict and sympathize with those you might think are the bad guys. Powerful stuff.

OriginaltardisAnd when things are well written, well created, there can be such delightful surprises. You watch a show thinking, Oh this and that will happen and NOTHING CLOSE to it happens. The Good Wife is excellent at this. So is Justified. (OMG Justified, you guys, please watch that show it's amazeballs.) Did you read Gone Girl? That point in the middle where it all went in a TOTALLY different direction? Awesome. I aspire to write that well. I aspire every day and mostly fail, but dammit, I keep trying.

Why did I start this conversation? Because I'm a newly minted Whovian at age 47 and I'm wearing my fandom on my sleeve. I want a Tardis in my backyard. (Or in my house were the house big enough.) In a weird way I'm proud of myself for diving into something new and going whole hog. I always want to try new things. I hope I'm bingeing on something cool when I'm 87.

Full costumeOh and if I could afford a bespoke version of this I would totally wear it.

Or this:

RT shoot white











I'm a goner, people, do you understand? Done. I have fully succumbed to Doctor Who and can't wait to see where it goes from here.

You might have zero interest in pop-culture. Fine. But go out and be curious! Read, travel, explore, taste, try! And don't be afraid to let it show.

The Joy Of Joining A New Community - Doctor Who Edition Part 1

4doctorsI have become a Whovian. Well... most true Whovians might say I'm a Julia-come-lately and that I'm not a true Who Fan because I only started with the 9th Doctor, not the entire show from the 60's. That's fair. But I had to start somewhere!

Honestly, I couldn't stand not knowing what all the wacky references were on the internets. I kept seeing things about Daleks (costumes, birthday cakes, silly hats, people saying "exterminate!" in funny voices) but didn't know what they meant. Same for the Tardis. And Sonic Screwdrivers and Weeping Angels and Cassandra. And on and on. I thought I knew a thing or two about some pop culture sci-fi stuff, but I had missed this whole side of the world and felt it was time to get on board. Thanks to Netflix, it was easy to drink the kool-aid and step into the Tardis.

And now I'm hooked!







Bingeing Vs. Real Time

DoctorLineupIn the precious few moments between Harper going to bed and me going to bed (it's a very small window as I'm such an early to be/early to rise kind of person) I like to watch a bit of mindless tv. And Doctor Who has filled that bill for me over the last few months. I understood going in that there is a giant machine of fandom behind this show and that I couldn't hope to grasp it all in just a few weeks or months. I also understood that Doctor Who is mainly a show for a younger audience. It's on during family time on Saturday nights. It's a bit goofy. It can be scary but not bloody or violent. I think it's wonderful. 

The hard part about bingeing a show like this (or any show that really strikes your fancy I guess) is twofold:

1) Once you catch up to where the actual show is in real time, you have to WAIT for more episodes! (or sadly if it is a show with no more episodes, it ENDS!!!) I just finished the last episode of Matt Smith's era. I have all the new episodes waiting on my DVR, but I can't bring myself to start them yet. I need a bit of mourning for the loss of that bow-tied goof. And I don't want this binge ride to end. Of course it's not like the show is over, I will just have to wait like everyone else for the next season. (Christmas Special notwithstanding.)

2) With bingeing you don't get that deep investment of time that comes with "from the start" fandom. I love Star Wars and I had to wait YEARS! before I got to see what happened to our intrepid rebels after they (spoilers) blew up the Death Star and Darth Vader got away. Then I had to wait MORE YEARS to see what happened to Han when he got frozen in carbonite! (I love you. I know.)

(And when you are such a deep fan of something, words like carbonite are so much a part of you that when I typed it just now, I wasn't sure if it was the right word because it is a real word to me. "Kurt, can you pick more carbonite at Trader Joe's?"))

Oh and the kids today! They can just watch all the movies at once if they like. (I'm not really talking about the prequels, mmmmkay?) Don't even get me started on Harry Potter and again, waiting YEARS before the next book came out. The anticipation was fantastic! (And yes, I was in my 30s, waiting with bated breath for the next book to come, always rereading the previous book just before the new one was published so that I was PRIMED! I think I read the last two almost straight through...)

Yes, there are new books and movies and series coming out now that people are huge fans of and they do get the experience of the waiting, the anticipation. These are good things. The waiting is what creates the deep fan experience. But with bingeing, there is the loss of that experience. Or it is squeezed into days (or hours in some cases) and can't, therefore, be as rich.

1339533769-donnaWhen you watch something from the start, there is time to talk/argue/reflect/defend while waiting for the next. The next episode, The next season, the next Doctor. But maybe that is a plus for bingeing -- not so much argument. I have Whovian friends who go RABID when discussing Matt Smith and Steven Moffat. I loved David Tennant but was frankly ready for something new when he was done. (Though I would have happily had another year of him and Donna together and I will argue that while she got married and got rich, she should have gotten to remember all she had done and experienced so that she knew what an incredible person she really was.)


The beauty of today, 2014, is that a) we can binge on shows and b) there is so much to read out there online. While I don't have the years of investment in Who that others have, I can certainly read and watch and enjoy all kinds of Who related things and feel a part of this community right away. There will be those in the community who might think me a Doctor Who Dilettante (A Wholettante?) but that's okay, there are always those kinds... I have enough respect for the show, the world of Doctore Who to at least not be this.


In Part Two, I will explore the curiosity factor and how it should never stop being a part of your life. Oh and Nerds. And also letting your freak flag fly!




I'm Going To Miss You, Treme

Treme-Done-NOLATreme, the drama on HBO about New Orleans after Katrina has ended. The last episode aired on December 29, 2013, but I only watched the last two about a week ago. I just couldn't let it go.

I fell in love with all these amazing characters and places and cultures. When I watched, I always thought about how I would feel living in NO and realized that on some levels, it would be like living in Hawaii. There is a very public version of the place that all the tourists come to and enjoy. But underneath all that there is the true soul and long history of the place that you might only know having been born and grown up there or maybe if you lived there for decades and truly opened yourself up in a humble manner to take it all in. Having grown up in Hawaii, I know I could never call myself a true "local" in a place like NO, even if I lived there for 25 years. There is something deep and spiritual in places like this that you can't just read about, show up for a few years and "know."

Treme made me miss living in Hawaii. I often wonder if I could move back home to live. When people ask me, I usually say "I could have a house there, but I couldn't live there full time." I think that is still true because while a deep part of my heart will always be in Hawaii, always, and my ashes will be scattered there someday far in the future, I am too restless to stay. I love LA, I love the bustle and the bigness and the always present opportunity to go somewhere (without the five extra hours from HNL to LAX).

Treme-costume-590x319But back to Treme. I'm going to miss you. I'm going to miss Big Chief Lambreaux and his hard commitment. I'm going to miss Antoine and his laid back style. I never got to eat at Desautel's or to meet Miss LaDonna and have a drink at Gigi's. I would like to.

So long Treme, I'm going to miss you!

Great Women - Old Friends And New

I recently made a new friend. I feel like I'm in grade school again and all excited to find someone like me. (This is especially significant as there actually weren't many kids who looked like me in grade school.) In fact, in our first get-together via a common friend, we found out we had so much to talk about that our common friend should have just read a book while we talked feverishly for an hour. When we met again on our own, we talked for two and a half hours and I feel like we could haved talked for two more. It's been about three weeks since that last lunch and we won't see each other again until late next week. I'm greedy and impatient about wanting to see her again. What a nice feeling to be in a new friendship. It's like being in love but more an intense like.

Today I'm having lunch with a friend of the family I've known since about 1982. She knew my stepdad when mom and he were getting married all those years ago. She and her husband were friends with Jen and while they all had wildly different political interests, they remained friends. In fact she came to most of Jen's chemo appointments. That is a good friend. And when Jen died and we were planning the funeral, I suggested she be one of the readers at the funeral mass. My brother in law (who didn't get along with her well) hesitated. I said, "She was there for Jen." And he then agreed. I don't know the full details of their small town political history, I just know she's always been kind and supportive and she was there for Jen. Now she's going through a big change in her life, moved to Orange County and I am happy to have a fun lunch and be there for her.

Lynda_carter_gallery_12 Quite randomly, not long ago in a writer's meeting a discussion of superheroes came up -- DC vs. Marvel. Not so much "versus" as "compare and contrast." We talked about Wonder Woman and the old show and how tough it's been to make a new show in these modern times. I hadn't really thought about that show in ages and even back then as a young impressionable girl, I knew it was a bit hoky. However, seeing a strong, independant, intelligent woman who also happened to be gorgeous, kick ass every week was fantastic. The best part about Wonder Woman? She was NICE. If you were a bad guy, you were going down, but she was always fair and never mean. And when some of us started to develop BOOBS at an early age, here was another role model to look up to.

While googling to find a photo of Wonder Woman, I noticed there was artwork on Google's home page instead of the logo. Turns out today is International Women's Day (the 100th anniversary no less!) and March is Women's History month. Wow. Back in 1978 we were honored only with Women's History week, but then it got bumped up to Women's History month in 1987. Makes me feel so special and honored. Like a second class citizen. Where the hell is my golden lasso? We need some TRUTH up in here.

I'm grateful for all the amazing friends I have, new ones and old ones (or "long time" if you like), men and women. We all need support and people to lean on. I am lucky to have so many and to be the one for them to lean on when necessary.