This morning, I woke up all out of sorts. My body, still on east coast time, thought it was late, when in fact, it was very early. Without any food in the house and a rumbling stomach, I got in the car and got some breakfast.
After all the rain, it's a bright and sunny So. Cal morning. So I continued driving and headed out to the coast. The water sparkled against the sand. Cliff walls popped against a rare clear blue sky. I turned up the radio and drove.
I made a mental to do list, sang, and marveled at how beautiful LA can be.
When you come back from a long trip, how do you re-acquaint yourself with your surroundings?
While relaxing in Vermont, my family and I watched The Sound of Music and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Last night, we searched for another classic, but couldn't find one on broadcast TV.
Hurricane and Nonna wished we could see An Affair to Remember. I've never seen that movie. But between all their raving and the Gossip Girl references to it, I'm putting it at the top of my classic film to be watched list.
What classic films do you love? Which classic would you like to see?
It’s like this I crunch through the snow Following the tracks she carves I remember her at my age Reinventing Shaping her - no, our - future And I wonder what’s next And how to get it right this time
I look behind me And he’s there, backing me up like always
The cold burns my face As the sun melts gold over the mountains We trudge along trees that touch sky
He passes us She falls back a few paces and matches my stride Happy to let him lead Until he stops “Listen,” he says. “It’s so quiet. I love that.” We do And for a moment it’s just Us The Woods And God Then he turns to us and smiles “But we have miles to go before we sleep And many promises to keep.”
What promises do you have to keep?
*Those last two lines were quoted (so eloquently out of order) from Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
Every Christmas morning, my family begins our celebration with bagels, lox, cream cheese and all the fixin's. We used to tear into presents first, then eat. But now that we kids are not, ahem, kids anymore, we usually eat before dolling out what my mother calls, "prezzies." But the first holiday meal is always the same.
In LA, underground parking garages can be somewhat freaky. You know, like subways in So. Cal. There's always something a little unsettling about the idea of spending time in structures that could collapse and kill you in a quake.
But today, on the fifth and what feels like 500th day of downpour, I am psyched to park underground and take an elevator directly into a store. It makes the idea of grocery shopping and cooking loads of holiday food for my clients a lot less intimidating.
H and I always joke about her plan to take over the world. We imagine her in a lone house in the middle of the desert (somewhere around State Line) with a giant satellite dish and a huge computer board that looks like something out of War Games. Or maybe a little like a recording studio. (This is total freak fiction. Let us roll with it.)
I just asked her, "But if you're going to take over the world, what would you change?"
That of course, spurred uproarious laughter and the answer, "Uh, I don't know."
So if you took over the world, what rules would you create?
"My vote for wimpiest and most annoying Christmas song has got to be that Paul McCartney tune where he just sings, 'simply having a wonderful Christmas time.' I don't even know the name of it but I do believe it's following me everywhere..."
That, of course, inspired me to comment, "OH! Thank you for the inspiration. I'm totally stealing your concept for the Question of the Day!"
What is your pick for wimpiest and most annoying Christmas song?
Blogger buddy, Dawn, posted about a book she wanted to love but just quite didn't. And that made me think about no matter how much I try to love other genres, I'm a YA commercial fiction lover. I've definitely gotten immersed in adult fiction too, but overall, there's nothing I love more than a novel about real teens dealing with real issues.
I wish I loved Sci-Fi. I wish Fantasy was my fantsy genre. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but overall, I definitely have a book "type."
When my mother and stepfather got married, my biological brother, stepsister and stepbrother and I united under one roof to spend the summer together. We weren't exactly The Brady Bunch.
N made the walls shake with his heavy metal. C partied on, thinking nothing of barreling up the stairs at 3:00 AM and waking everyone. I complained, loudly, about my stepfather waking us at the crack of dawn, making us do chores. And H stood on her soapbox and preached about saving the Earth, way before that was cool.
My stepfamily took the "function" out of dysfunction.
Then The Parents decided to add a new rule to our war zone. Everyone had to be home for dinner at 6:30 on Sunday nights. Or else.
During the first dinner, the silence was so loud that my mother cried. The second dinner brought more tears after heated debate over the questionable morality of meat eaters. But the third dinner brought a sort of solidarity between step-siblings, when we discovered that we could make my mother cry. And maybe, just maybe if we did that enough, she'd call off the stupid dinners.
We underestimated her stamina.
And after a few weeks, we got used to the Sunday Night Dinners. Slowly, we began to talk to each other. We got to know each other and eventually began to like each other. Years later, we look forward to the opportunity to gather around a table together and we appreciate the tradition.
When we children's book writers ultimately to decide to break out and write explosive tell-all memoirs or take a dip into writing erotica, we're going to need pseudonyms.
The classic formula for a pen name is combining your middle name with the first street you lived on. For example, my middle name is Marie and the first street I lived on was Hemlock Dr, making my pseudonym Marie Hemlock.
Of course, since I just shouted that across cyberspace, when I finally decide to write a racy novel, I'll have to come up with another name.
Yesterday, Colleen F responded to the question about what musical instrument you would have liked to have learned to play by writing that as a kid, she wanted to play saxophone but her dad wouldn't let her.
That made me wonder, is there anything your parents said you shouldn't do that they were wrong about?
This question is brought to you by the letter "B."
During a vacation in Maui, Beck and I took a helicopter ride. We rose over the ocean and watched whales leap in and out of the water. We hovered near cliffs as waterfalls crashed down their walls. Then we flew into a deep valley. Steep lush jungle surrounded us.
I became terrified. I clutched Beck. I clung to my seat belt and tried to dig myself into my chair. Then I prayed.
I don't get motion sick. I love roller coasters and windy mountain roads. Turbulence doesn't bother me one bit.
But that helicopter got me. Big time.
Have you ridden in a helicopter? If so, how was it?
I'm visiting family in Sonoma this weekend. Before I left, friends asked me if we planned on going wine tasting. On most of my visits, we've toured vineyards and it's a lot of fun. But this time, we've enjoying a fire in the fireplace and rain on the rooftop.
My family is lucky to have easy access to beautiful scenery and delicious wine tastings. But I'm sure a break from doing the tourist thing is a welcome treat for them.
I'm supposed to make lasagna for my clients tonight. At first, I thought of meat lasagna with browned sausage in it. Then my mom's awesome portobello mushroom lasagna made my mouth water. And then came the idea of a decadent seafood lasagna in a cream sauce.
I never really thought about it before, but there are so many different kinds of lasagna. What's your favorite?