Thursday, March 31, 2011
Bruce Springsteen - Drive All Night (1977) Audio
I'm not a fan of Bruce Springsteen, which is a sin coming from an east coaster. Luckily I resided on the other side of the river (Hudson) where Billy Joel was the chosen one (not a fan either). Whatever, for some reason I have always loved this song, which is funny since I didn't even know how to drive when I lived in New York. I think of it often, probably because all I do is drive.
Today was no different. I received a call in the morning from K's agent asking if she had a valid passport (she does). I was told to keep my phone close, she might have a big casting today. OK. That's for the no information. About an hour later I get the email, the casting is for a beautiful little girl (check), fair skin (check) and long hair (check). Easy to work with (check) and cute smiles (check). The bonus? It shoots in Costa Rica for a week. OMG how amazing would that be? Wardrobe for this spot was a bathing suit. Score!! K loves nothing more than auditioning in special wardrobe. When I told her about it at pick up she jumped up and down, equally excited about wearing a bathing suit and the chance to film in such an exotic location.
We left early, just in case. Right before we took off I received another email for the same casting tomorrow. I guess they really wanted us to be there. The traffic to the freeway was awful. Worse than awful. I left with 90 minutes to get there (it takes 30) and I wasn't sure we would make it. I was exactly one mile away from the 405 and not moving at all. My GPS alerted me of my estimated arrival time every few minutes. At one point we moved about 10 feet in 20 minutes. It was freaking me out. I knew that I had the option to go tomorrow but who knows how bad that traffic would be. Besides K is shooting with a new photographer and I'd hate to cut that short.
Every time the GPS chick told us we were going to be late a round of "shut up!!" came from the passengers in my automobile. Finally we made it to the freeway. It took over 45 minutes to go less than one mile. For the first time in my life I was happy to be off the local streets and on the 405. Crazy!
We arrived with time to spare and even got great parking. She went in and did her thing while the casting person checked our passports. I guess they want to make sure they hire someone who can get on a plane in two weeks. I wonder how many moms are paying for expedited passports to make the casting tomorrow.
When K came out of the audition she was smiling and happy. She went back in and gave a huge goodbye and skipped towards the elevator. When we got outside the heat was oppressive, the thought of getting back into the car to sit in traffic did not sound appealing. We decided to have dinner first and let other people sit in the rush hour traffic. We stopped at Jerry Deli (a local chain). K ordered breakfast for dinner, her absolute favorite thing to do. As we waited I watched my little girl do the puzzles on the kids menu, bathing in the sunlight. She looked like an angel. She cuddled up close to me and thanked me for taking her out to dinner. She told me how much fun it would be if she booked the commercial because it would be an adventure. A girl-only trip that would involve flying and not driving.
She fell asleep on the (short) ride home and went to bed dreaming of Costa Rican beaches and pancakes.
I'd drive all night for my little girl.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math (Lyric Video)
Not really, I suppose it could be but then I'd be bored. Who wants simple? I just looked at all the unfinished posts I have and it's pretty sad. Today would have been a nice day to do it. D took K to her piano lesson which usually gives me some time but right after that we were going to look at a new bed for K, so I rushed to get ready during intermittent power outages. Annoying as heck to a girl who requires a workout with a hair dryer every morning. So they grabbed me and off we went to see this fabulous bunk bed. A giant bunk bed that will come in handy during sleep overs and serve as a fort when a fort is required. It's pretty cool actually and she's super excited. I now must get rid of her princess bed and play kitchen (which will break my heart, not my daughters who couldn't care less). After that it was back home to get ready for a Saturday casting.
The casting was another "agent organized playdate" and K got to hang with her friends and run around for a while. When we got back to our side of town we ran a quick errand, all of us eager to just go home and do our thing. For me that was writing, for D it was napping and for K some quality time with her iPad. While waiting for a light to change we heard a pretty loud thunder-like sound followed by a giant burst of flame shooting out of the local power station. "That's not good" we all thought. The workers around the station didn't seem to think it was a big deal but we got the hell out of there and arrived home to no power. There went my writing time. K and D played some iPad games while I tried to get local news on my iPhone. Usually I have crappy cell phone service at home, today I had none. We were completely cut off from the world and stuck at home (driving with no electricity is surely a recipe for disaster in this town).
I realized how reliable we were on all things tech. OK, so no TV or internet, that's not tragic but we didn't have any way to get in touch with anyone. All our phones require electricity. We didn't even have a radio (except the one in my earthquake kit). My poor child had to rough it and play on an iPad that was losing battery with every rope cut. Or whatever you do in that stupid game.
Anyway, it got me out cooking which was good.
This week I'm going out and buying a phone for emergencies. One of those old fashioned phones that require a cord and not a plug. Do they even make such things anymore? They came from a time when things were simple.
So that's why I didn't catch up today. Tomorrow I'm taking K to a fashion show she's doing and then a photo shoot with an awesome photographer. After that it's dinner with some friends visiting from San Francisco. Sounds like a hectic day but it's actually an easy one for us. All activities will take place within a few miles. Much easier than last Sunday which involved trekking through the rain and LA Marathon detours to K's commercial shoot in downtown. More on that later. Now I need to keep it simple and go to bed. I hope the power doesn't go out again, I'll sleep through the alarm. I guess that's another thing on my list.
Finding the simple things in life is going to be difficult.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I seem to be playing this album a lot lately. It's so perfect for the weather. Actually it's perfect anytime. I'm writing right now as K and I enjoy a cozy afternoon at home. No shoots, auditions, karate or playdates. Just me and my little girl (and her hot cocoa).
I'm still writing about those evil emotional creatures of the night. I keep coming up with stories and then editing them. Forgotten memories once dismissed as behavior quirks I now know are tell-tale warning signs. While I want to finish already this life of mine keeps getting in the way. I will tell you this: if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, get the *duck* out while you can.
Stay dry my friends.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Check this out Soles 4 Souls is a wonderful and easy way to help the relief effort in Japan. It doesn't cost a cent either, because if you are like me you have old shoes in your closet. Those shoes that don't quite fit right or those boots that you had to have but don't really go with anything. Now you can get rid of them and not feel guilty about wasting money. I cannot tell you how much I love this organization. to date they have distributed over 13 million pairs of shoes worldwide. K's school collected 250 pairs for this during a shoe drive yesterday. This morning we held our own.
So last year when K and I collected shoes for this, it really helped her deal with the earthquake in Haiti, her desire to help was huge as she emptied her closet. I did the same. I was actually amazed at some things I still had. Thee were shoes in there from my first marriage, some of them even dated back to my New York days. It was a nice way to purge while helping those who truly needed the help.
This weekend Sports Chalet is collecting shoes for immediate distribution in Japan. This will be the first stop we make today.
Originally this weekend was going to be for cleaning/purging/writing/whatever. It never works out that way. This week was going to be all about catch-up but that never really happened either. I did manage to do laundry (a job usually done by D) and cook a few meals. I played class photographer for K's Olympics Day at school, but mostly I schlepped her around. Luckily it paid off. She booked a big job that works tomorrow, putting an end to any plans I had on Sunday.
The one thing that will get done is a trip to Sports Chalet. The bag is filling as we speak which males me happy.
I love my little family and the way we ALL keep things that we have outgrown. Today that little habit will be helping a family that has lost everything.
Now go clean out your closets!!
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
The pictures are tragic, the video is horrific. The people of Japan have literally been rocked to their very core and they need our help. Here are a few ways to do that:
Huffington Post has a nice list here.
Nethope.org is a great resource.
If you are worried about where your money is actually going please check out he American Institute of Philanthropy here and Charity Navigator.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
We do our best to shield our kids from the evils of the world. We change the subject of our conversations when our kids enter the room, we gloss over questions that lead to difficult answers and we tone down the effects of tragedy when they hear about them. What we can't do is monitor their conversations 24/7, they are little detectives and know more than they let on.
Thursday night D and I watched in horror as the disaster in Japan unfolded on live television. Watching the devastation was difficult, knowing the outcome of such horrible events we hoped that the fatalities would be low. We went to bed praying for the people of Japan and are still keeping them in our thoughts.
This brought me to back last year and the Haiti earthquake. It was the first time K asked about a disaster. I was truthful with her and explained what happened. She immediately wanted to help and I showed her all the ways she could do that. We collected items and went to the store to buy the things requested for her school's charity drive. We also went through our closets and found dozens of pairs of shoes to donate to a shoe drive. It made us both feel better and it taught K a lesson about helping others.
I was sent this link via our school message board. It comes from the Uncommon Parenting Blog. It might be of help to those of you looking for advice on how to deal with the current tragedy in Japan:
Explaining World Tragedy to Children
by Chick Moorman & Thomas Haller
Your six-year-old has just seen video of people buried under demolished buildings. Your teen sits transfixed watching images of the aerial view of the earthquake’s vast devastation. At the dinner table your 5th grader asks, “Can anything like that happen to us, dad?”
How is a parent to respond? How do you deal with your child’s fears without increasing them? Is it possible to reassure your child at a time when you, yourself, are horrified by the images of intense grief you see in the hearts and on the faces of parents half way around the world? Is it possible to use this incredibly tragic situation to help your children learn lessons of love, compassion, and of the indestructible nature of the human spirit?
Once children have seen the images of tragedy and suffering it is necessary to debrief it with them. The sooner the better. By debriefing, we mean answering their questions, providing information, asking questions, and reflecting their feelings.
Provide the scientific information for which they are asking. Tell your children in age appropriate language what you know about how nature can create an earthquake. Keep this part factual. You can even use books or magazines to assist you in providing information.
Tell your children the effects of the natural disaster. Talk about the destruction that was created as a result of nature’s fury. Limit what you say to what was seen on TV or directly questioned by your children. Too much information at this point can increase their fright and worry. Be brief, accurate, and provide them with the specific information for which they are looking. If you fail to give them information, children’s brains will fill in the blanks. Better to fill in those gaps yourself with factual knowledge than to have your children fill them with their imaginations.
Concentrate on feelings. Your children will be seeing a wide variety of feelings expressed on TV. In addition, they will personally be full of unexpressed and often unrecognized feelings.
When you sense they are feeling empathy, sadness, or pain, say so. Tell them, “You seem deeply saddened about this,” or “You sound scared and frightened that this might happen to us.” Children are starving for feeling recognition and this is a great time to supply it.
When strong emotion is shown on TV, honor it by talking about it. Mention the extreme sadness and grief that is shown there. Refrain from being an adult who ignores the grief of others. Do not treat hurting human beings like they are invisible. Talk about your feelings. Tell your children about the sympathy, empathy, and pain you feel for the loss of others. Allow your children to hear and see you express feelings. In so doing, you are helping them acquire a feeling vocabulary that they can use their entire lives.
When you communicate your feelings and honor the feelings of your children for people around the world, you teach them important lessons about the human condition. You help them appreciate how we are all more alike than different. You help them see that we are all connected, no matter how distant we seem.
As you go through this debriefing process, encourage your children to look for the helpers. Helpers always come. There are always people who step forth to help. In the case of a major tragedy there will be many helpers, playing out a variety of roles. Point them out to your children. When small problems occur in their own lives they will have learned to look for the helpers.
Discuss with your children how you as a family can be helpers during this tragedy. Perhaps you can send money, give blood, say prayers, or send love. Choose one or more ways to be helpers as a family and allow your children to help implement that strategy. Get them involved in the process of being a helper. Let them see and be love in action.
The scope and depth of the pain and heartache of catastrophic tragedies like the recent earthquake in Haiti are not measurable. Yet, those same horrific events can be used for good if we help our children learn about feelings, look for the helpers, appreciate the connectedness of all human beings, and the beauty of one heart reaching across borders to another. We can help them learn that around the world is a long way away and still very much a part of our neighborhood.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I have a love/hate relationship with my iPhone. I fought owning one for a long time but then my beloved Crackberry (K dropped it a week after getting it giving it a huge crack on the back actually earning it's title) finally broke. That was a year and a half ago. I'm pretty sure there is plenty written about me and my iPhone, like most AT&T customers my service is crappy and most of my calls are dropped. Sometimes I have no service when it reads full bars and sometimes my apps just do not work.
In spite of the technical difficulties I have daily I am completely addicted to this little computer and it is rarely out of my hands. I am constantly checking email and never arrive at a new location without announcing to the (Facebook) world. I depend on my iPhone to keep my appointments and contacts, when it's not attached to my fingers it's in the tiny hands of K who has pages and pages of games (in neat and organized folders) all for her enjoyment.
We have an understanding my phone and I, and we never stay mad at each other for long. Although it's only been a year and a half it's hard to imagine how I did anything without it. Like all relationships we have good days and we have bad days. Today was looking like a bad day, dropped calls, no signal and frozen Facebook. When I plugged my phone into the USB port in my I had to ask it to play over and over. Not only was my phone not cooperating but now it had the SYNC chick on it's side. Like anyone who has ever owned a product from Apple I did the one thing that is sure to fix any problem: I unplugged and replugged. As a reward for my patience and brilliant IT skills I was greeted with this:
I knew I wouldn't be mad long. This was next:
I know that was a dig at me but I probably deserved it. Then it mellowed me out with:
Oh iPhone, you know the way to my heart and soul and although we never seem to be on the same page, when I need you, there you are with exactly what I need to hear. It's almost kind of scary.
Here's what I heard as I parked:
How can I hate something that knows me this well?
Baby, baby, baby. I love this song. It always makes me happy no matter how crappy I feel. I actually feel really good today and I'm about to meet my man for lunch. Now that we aren't in therapy we can use the time and money for other things. I felt like hearing this as I got ready and decided to share. I defy you to stay in a bad mood after listening.
By Taylor Mali
I came across this earlier and I was blown away. When someone makes this much sense it's impossible not to listen. If this man played football or was in a band his name and face would be instantly familiar. Sadly he goes unrecognized in the world even though he is most likely a hero to everyone he meets. Teachers today are ignored, underpaid and overworked. They are taken for granted and used as babysitters. They are fired and the ones that make the cuts are forced to work with little or no budget. Please watch this and remember who the true heroes in our life should be.
What Teachers Make, or
Objection Overruled, or
If things don't work out, you can always go to law school
By Taylor Mali
He says the problem with teachers is, "What's a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"
He reminds the other dinner guests that it's true what they say about
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.
I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests
that it's also true what they say about lawyers.
Because we're eating, after all, and this is polite company.
"I mean, you¹re a teacher, Taylor," he says.
"Be honest. What do you make?"
And I wish he hadn't done that
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.
I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.
I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).
Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
So in my research for something I'm writing called "Emotional Creatures of the Night" I came across something interesting and completely related to my discoveries. While I was happy to find out that other Psychological Explorers had stumbled upon the same things I have found, I was saddened to realize how many of these creatures walk among us every day. I had been aware of these people in my past but thought I had learned my lesson. Apparently not. These creatures are adaptable and blend in with chameleon-like ability.
OK, I don't want to give out all my secrets. I do want to share this list, it's the top 25 traits of Emotional Predators and to be honest, if I had a list like this
a few years ago I could have avoided some major drama. If for some reason you happen to be an EP you will not recognize having any of these traits. If you happen to be my EP, why are you still here?
* Put on the air of “having it all together” and will not readily admit failure or weakness
* Value religiosity’s rules or business protocol over spiritual growth.
* Jump to defensive mode readily and frequently.
* Take pride in their own righteousness and rightness.
* May apologize, but it doesn’t mean a real change in behavior.
* Run from their own problems rather than tackling them.
* Demand your trust rather than being transparent and earning it.
* Will blame others rather than take personal responsibility.
* Lie, using subterfuge and deception as tools.
* Are stuck in one level of maturity where growth is not an option.
* Only have eyes for “me, myself, and I” instead of “we.”
* Don’t understand empathy, except to fake it as a tool.
* “Give to get” by being nice or helpful only to expect reciprocation.
* Find out your weakness or fears to manipulate later.
* Are a black hole, working to get time, money, or talent from you.
* Expect you to lend a listening ear and give votes of approval.
* See you as extensions of themselves and resist your freedom.
* Will rarely listen to or respect your “No.”
* Use emotional withdraw to create guilt and compliance.
* Attempt to belittle any version of reality that conflicts with theirs.
* Will use the parental or child role to get what they want.
* Will betray secrets to feel more powerful.
* Can use flattery or sickly-sweet protests of innocence like a stealth weapon.
* Use verbal skills to block or deflect being confronted.
* Impact our lives negatively despite appearing to have some positive effect.
Yikes, that last one hurt the most. Be careful out there, EPs are dangerous, they walk among us and prey on our weaknesses. Luckily they too have a weakness, I will share that with you soon. In the meantime you might want to grab some garlic or silver bullets just in case.
Sounds Under Radio "All You Wanted"
I posted this song on Facebook last year and heard it a few minutes ago. It's such a gorgeous song and one I can (and do) play over and over. It was nice to hear it while lying on the couch with D. A rarity during the day. I was in Hollywood earlier for a quick go-see with K, then dropped her at school. D was home waiting for a repairman. It was fun to have him home during the day even if I was completely exhausted and stressed out from the morning rush hour. Being in Hollywood at 8:30AM is not something I care to do but it was a big client so we went. Also, the repair was quick, so it was just us, alone during a weekday.
It felt like we were back in high school and cutting class together. Of course the chances of someone coming home and busting us were slim to none. Still, being together during a school day was rare and it felt wonderful. Listening to music and making each other laugh is a wonderful way to spend the morning.
So we heard this song and I wanted to share it and also to remind you to take a few minutes, or an hour if you can and just enjoy the magic of nothingness. It can be with the one you love or it can be alone. I'm grateful to D and the times we share together, even if we are simply enjoying each other. It helped to erase the angst I received while racing back home so K didn't miss more than the morning assembly.
Good thing I had D and Sounds Under Radio to chill me out. We are headed out again for another casting in about an hour. Luckily this one is local. While it won't stress me out like this mornings casting did, it will not be the quiet afternoon I had planned. Maybe later, after K goes to bed, D and I can resume our couch positions and listen to some music.
It'll be like hooky of another kind.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I totally forgot to gush over the new Radiohead album and I've had it for weeks! It's amazing, I'm not just saying that because I have an abnormal obsession with Thom Yorke I'm saying it because anything from this band is pure genius. "King of Limbs" is a gift to any true fan. Last year D and I saw Thom Yorke's "supergroup" Atoms For Peace, it seems that a lot of the new songs came from that tour. Lotus Flower was my favorite and I'm thrilled to have it on the new album. Now I can stop listening to the crappy recording on my iPhone and play it the way it deserves to be heard.
Rolling Stone Magazines track by track breakdown is here.
Please enjoy this amazing song while I finish up the many half written posts I now have. I will finish them eventually. Especially the one I've been working on the longest: A detailed description of something I've stumbled upon: Emotional creatures of the night (and day). Be careful, they walk among us mostly unnoticed!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Are you kidding me with this? One of my very favorite Band of Horses songs covered by Cee Lo Green? I freaked when I first saw it this morning and I wasn't home. I could not figure out how to post it on my Facebook page, I almost wanted to go home and do it!! Leaving therapy to post a song is extreme.
I know this. I'm not that bad.
Besides, it was a huge moment in therapy. We no longer need to go weekly. Not that we are finished growing and evolving, but the issues that brought us to Dr. Phil are no longer issues. We have both successfully done the work and have found a place that we never thought we'd reach. Home. When we first approached the "couch" we were two broken souls, seething with anger, bitterness and judgement. Mad at each other and mad at ourselves. Wow, that sounds awful. Maybe it wasn't that bad every day but we came into Dr. Phil's office with a full set of unmatched luggage. Therapy, much like life (as said by Mrs. Gump) is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get. We went in looking for one thing and left with something else. We soon found out that the issues we thought were important were mere shadows of the real reasons we ended up there.
We both rolled up our sleeves and prepared to get dirty. I don't think either of us expected to be doing swan dives into a pool of mud, but we did, sometimes happily, most times begrudgingly. Over a year and a half later we emerged. Clean. That's the word I used weeks ago and that's what Dr. Phil called it today. We were clean. Ironically it was "all the drama" that served as the final rinse. Our "load" was also over 500 pound lighter (an estimate of the weight from the "friends" we gave up). Cool, lighter and brighter. OK, enough laundry jokes.
I originally came here to post the song but I wanted to share the news. We aren't completely done. Things will pop up from time to time. D's mother is planing a visit soon, we'll come in right before that for some reinforcement.
It was different sitting there on the couch with D today. We talked about how we've grown, especially over the last month. There was no worry that either of us was going to be put on the spot. It was a recap of the last year and a half. I told Dr. Phil about something I was thinking of writing about and he was extremely encouraging. "All the drama" brought out some things about people that I never noticed before. Coming clean, literally and figuratively gave me the clarity I needed to see people for who they truly were. In fact I was able to put the pieces of certain stories together with flawless accuracy. This inspired a theory which I am currently putting together and will have for you soon.
In the meantime, please enjoy the song. No one's ever gonna love you more!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
This is the funniest video I've sen in a long time. I love everything about it. What I love best is the little girl playing Sophie, she's one of K's oldest and "bestest" friends. Watch her and Tom Hanks in this awesome spoof of "Toddlers & Tiaras."
Notice how N nails the timing and keeps up with Hanks beautifully. I'm not just saying this because I know this little girl, I'm saying this because she is a superstar. I said it to her mom the day we met four years ago.
Yesterday K and I spent most of the day in Long Beach shooting on a beautiful boat. Actually she shot on the boat and I spent the day talking to my friends. The whole day I had this song in my head. It was such a great day, not only because the location was so fabulous (it was). The company was wonderful, three other moms that I adore, and the photographer and her team were amazing. I had no idea we would be gone all day, I had planned to spend the afternoon writing and catching up. I didn't.
I spent the day at the Marina and then rushed home to do some homework and get K to a commercial audition which she rocked.
It was one of those wonderful days, even though we were on the road at 7:15AM. K had her iPad and I had my latte. She was thrilled to spend the day out of school and on a boat, in fact she has not stopped talking about it. Captain Doug even let her do some driving which was clearly the high point of the day. The kids were amazing and the clothes were to die for. Where else is my daughter going to wear a $200 Baby Dior bathing suit topped with a vintage feather headdress?
So I'm not here to offer an excuse, just brief description of my day with my amazing daughter.
I'll be back soon recapping the weekend with my mother, discussing childhood trauma that always seems to come up during these visits. D wants me to write about my recent weightloss and what I've gained from it. Not the few stress related pounds I lost but the over 500 pounds in lost friends. Sort of a what I gained and what they lost thing.
Should be a good one!