Thursday, June 30, 2011


Today was my first day working from my office on the lot. It had that first day of school newness. What will become routine -- driving through the guard gate, walking past prop decorated storefront windows, and purchasing lunch from the cafeteria side of the commissary -- was refreshingly unfamiliar. I felt at home in my barren office hosting meetings and interviewing potential assistants. In between appointments I rearranged the furniture and made a mental list of items to bring from home. I unintentionally smiled a Mona Lisa like smile when my picture was taken for my badge. My excitement was evident by my lack of awareness of how long it took me to drive home.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I forgot about the intimate conversations and confessional reveals that can transpire during a meeting with a writer.  Write what you know often begins with discuss what you know, and every now and then there's an uncanny similarity between experiences, as if you've been circling each other on the journey called life.  Sixty minutes evaporates too quickly, and I'm eager for the collaboration to continue, excited about what may result. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rich Boat, Poor Boat

Like most Oscar-worthy films, this one was ten years in the making.   We left Manhattan, the evening of July 4th, 2001.  The World Trade towers were still standing, and the city seemed invulnerable.  On our ascent to Sardinia we flew over clusters of glittering fireworks commemorating our nation's birth.  What followed was an unforgettable, "fabulous-fabulous" holiday.  Italia!

Monday, June 27, 2011

From One Wonder to Another

I wish I could be a fly on the wall a thousand years from now when archaeologists unearth Las Vegas and try to piece together the civilization that dwelled in this hedonistic metropolis.  After a dozen visits I still have difficulty comprehending the excess and cheesiness, and truth be told, the way women dress.  When did looking like a slut become popular attire?  En mass, girls wear obscenely short, tubular dresses and totter on four inch heels.  They must all frequent the same ubiquitous mall store, for the skimpy frocks are nearly identical.  Their daytime, pool garb is even more shocking, string bikinis and platforms.  The DJs at the hotel's beach club had the crowd on their feet, even in the 100+ degrees.  I too was moved to dance even thought I was highly distracted by the parade of drunken pleasure seekers.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Magnificent Ravine

I seized the opportunity to take a helicopter to the Grand Canyon, a destination I've been yearning to visit.  My ideal scenario is to camp for several nights in the natural wonder, spending the daylight hours hiking and exploring, but if I waited for every ideal scenario to present itself I'd certainly miss out on many amazing experiences.  Five of us flew over the Nevada desert, glided over Hoover Dam, passed Lake Mead and ascended to a helipad in The Grand Canyon.  Majestic, splendid, glorious.   A smile was plastered on my face as I dreamed about my return.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Let the Festivities Begin

My friend AT is incredibly generous, whip smart and beautiful.  In honor of her 50th birthday her and her husband gathered 150 of her closest friends to celebrate for three days in Sin City.  The invitation stated, "get yourself to Vegas, and we'll take care of the rest."  The rest included luxurious accommodations and an all encompassing list of activities.  The hours were filled with lavish sit down dinners, soaking up the sun poolside in a private cabana, a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, multiple spa treatments karaoke, dancing to cover bands, invigorating yoga, and Cirque De Soliel.

I met AT 21 years ago when I interviewed her for a job scheduling promos at a fledgling comedy channel.  Over lengthy, analytical conversations about our pasts and aspirations for the future, our working relationship quickly morphed into a close friendship.  I remember the first time we made plans outside of the office, to meet at a museum, and she brought along her brother and a friend.  I soon realized one of AT's greatest traits is the ease in which she shares her fabulous siblings, delightful parents and extended group of close knit friends.  Some of the most cherished people in my life have resulted from these introductions.  The flawless execution of this incredible birthday celebration was amplified by the people I reconnected with, and the new associations I forged.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rear Window

Chelsea Girl's apartment reminds me of my favorite Hitchcockian flick, REAR WINDOW.  A bank of windows looking over a garden, green from spring showers, tempted me to spy on the inhabitants across the way.  Housebound with a broken leg Jimmy Stewart's character, a photographer, takes to observing his neighbors through his telephoto lens.  I didn't stumble upon any mysterious happenings, or body parts in the flower bed, but I did click a few photos.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Elliot Erwitt

I kept my schedule relatively free today so I could wander aimlessly through the streets of Manhattan with my camera.  A consistent spray of raindrops falling from the bleak sky changed my plans.  After taking care of some business this morning I went to ICP to see the Elliot Erwitt exhibit.  His timeless black and white images, full of wit and candor, entertained and inspired me.  According to Erwitt, 
“Photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

I hope the steady drizzle subsides long enough for me to observe and shoot before I make my way to the airport. The second I finished the previous sentence it started to downpour!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Savage Beauty

Today I accomplished my work tasks -- phone calls, reading, and processing the many stories bouncing around my head, while walking around the city and getting a big dose of culture.  On my morning amble through Central Park I was entertained my numerous mommy and me classes.  To a rhythmic drum beat  kids in orange tee shirts jumped up and down.  Further along the path a group of toddlers shook tambourines.  Near the boat house, a harpsichordist gracefully plucked the strings of her gold instrument, and I wondered if she ever cursed while lugging the harp into the depths of the park.  The air was thick with moisture, threatening rain, and with impeccable timing big drops fell from the sky when I was just steps away from the entrance to the Met where I was meeting a friend.  Our conversation was circuitous as we wandered through the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibit.  Meticulously tailored costumes from collections constructed from razor clams, peacock feathers, and tartan plaid graced the galleries.  Gothic music, and mirrored walls enhanced the atmosphere.  This beautifully curated show highlighted McQueen's unique vision and confidence.  I was awed and inspired.  In the evening I met my cousin for drinks followed by a performance of the Motherfucker With The Hat.  The uber talented cast entertained from the opening scene.  My feet are sore, and unfortunately blistered from long walks through neighborhoods teeming with locals and tourists.  And my heart is full with love for this city I once called home.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


AGA is the delightful daughter of my oldest and dearest friend. At seven, she's older than when her mother and I first met and bonded for life. We live on different coasts so our visits are unfortunately infrequent, but when we do see each other AGA gives me long, affectionate hugs. We chat and giggle, and I adore looking into her big brown eyes. I've loved her unconditionally since she was a seed in her mother's womb. Last night we met for dinner at a rooftop garden, we discussed her plans for the summer, and played with the photo booth app on my ipad. We laughed uncontrollably at the horrific images. She leaped into my arms when it was time to say goodbye, her soft curls nestled in my neck. "I always wanted your hair,"her mother said, "and now I've gotten it."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer in the City

Last night I took NJ Transit into the city and arrived as the sun was setting over the river.  Magic hour cast a golden hue as I wheeled my luggage the few blocks from the subway station to PKH's apartment.  I was in the flow of those returning to the metropolis after a respite spent in beach houses, or country cottages.   On the west coast, summer eases across the calender at an unhurried pace, days gradually get warmer, and for a few nights in August shorts and tank tops are appropriate attire for an evening BBQ.   In NYC I was immediately assaulted by the sights, smells and sounds of the season.   I dropped off my bag and immediately went for a stroll stimulated by the energy emanating from the streets.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I did cartwheels today.  I wanted to make sure I could still propel my body sideways onto my hands and spring forth.  In my youth, I spent hours tumbling and twirling in any space large enough for me to spring my body across the ground.  Spending a few days in an adult community has made me hyper aware of the aging process, the hardening of the body, the loss of buoyancy and bounce.   So while grilling vegetables in my parents' backyard, I had a strong urge to put down the tongs, and cartwheel across the freshly mowed grass.  So I did.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Eighty years ago my mother's first cries rang through an apartment on Mott Street in lower Manhattan. Her five year old sister threatened that if the baby was a girl she was going to throw her off the fire escape.  After being introduced to her sister, hours after her birth, my aunt had a change of heart.  We gathered for a family BBQ to celebrate the occasion. Through out the day neighbors popped in, flowers were delivered, and renditions of happy birthday accumulated on the answering machine.  Running errands the day prior, my mother announced her goal was to live to 100.  She's the image of health and vitality, waking at 6am every morning with a full social calendar, attending lunches and cultural events with her many groups.  She cooks, cleans and tends to many of the household needs.  My mother's sole indulgence has been a life long love affair with coffee.  She started drinking it as a child in her mother's kitchen, and for years had a 10 cup a day habit. Today she imbibes 3 cups, the last one before bed, which doesn't seem to keep her up at night or interrupt her sleep.  My mother is an inspiration and I can only hope I age with her vigor and stamina.  I wouldn't be surprised if in 20 years we're celebrating her centennial.  Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sitcom World

Visiting my parents is like walking onto the set of a sitcom.  This morning while my mother was outside potting her pink hibiscus she was interrupted by her neighbor Herbie and she just had to bring him in for an introduction.  On his way back from the health fair at the community's club house, Herbie reported, "attendance was low".   "Nobody is interested in getting bad news," was my father's retort.  "I got a quick joke, and it's not dirty", Herbie said as if my young ears might be offended by risque material.  Herbie's the kind of guy who keeps a catalog of jokes in his mind, and replenishes the stock often.  This tale of a 80 year old woman, on the eve of marrying her fourth husband, ended with "one for the money, two  for the show, three for the ready and four for the go" and a little two step.  His pacing and delivery were perfect, and most importantly the punch line got laughs.  Herbie was gone as quickly as he arrived.  "He's got an interesting story", my father said as soon as the door slammed, "used to work for the mob."  "What?"  "Well he used to work on the docks, and those guys dealt with the mob."  I'm sure Herbie and his jokes did just fine.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Life is Good

I know life is good when three months into working I still don't know what day of the week it is.  I have admittedly spent years ticking off the days until Friday.  In the beginning of my career I'd get giddy as the days drew closer to the weekend and the impending social activities on my calender.   But for many years my life took on a different rhythm -- five days on, 2 days off.  The weekends were simply non-office days.  I'd allocate my energy accordingly, knowing how much I would need to make it to the end.  Some weekends social engagements were canceled due to exhaustion, errands or work.  Unforunately, recreation was often sacrificed for recuperation.  I'm grateful for this major shift, for not being able to differentiate Monday from Wednesday, for practicing yoga on a weekday afternoon, for taking a sunset hike, for hanging out with friends at night without the dark shadow cast from an early morning meeting.  May this wonderful feeling never wear off.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Street Art

The early summer haze known in Los Angeles as June gloom was just starting to dissipate when I picked up my friend to go check out the exhibit at MOCA.   Museums in LA remind me of ghost towns, wind and tumbleweed whistling through large open spaces, so I was shocked to see so many people milling about the galleries.  Clearly, the many articles written about this ground breaking display heralding graffiti artists had an impact on residents.  Jeffrey Deitch, the museum's new director, stated,
“One of the goals of this show is to place the best of these artists coming out of street culture into the context of contemporary art history.  I don’t think that there’s some separate category — real contemporary art versus street art."
For this reason I enjoyed and appreciated the exhibit although street art has a greater impact on me when it is in its natural habit and not haphazardly displayed in a brightly light, sanitized, white walled museum.

Friday, June 10, 2011


When DS and I first started to hatch our plan to form a company it didn't seem real.  It was a dream, an idea between two friends, which we kept confidential for several months.    When the time was right we slowly released the secret like helium escaping from a balloon.  When we left our first meeting with our  future agents I turned to DS and said, "Now it feels real".  Several months later, in the elevator after our first meeting with studio presidents where we discussed our philosophy and goals, the same expression escaped my lips.  Only days before I was battling the fumes and congestion in Hanoi.  The dream was still a notion, but after articulating our vision to executives who are in the business of making television, it started to become very real.  Today we were shown several potential offices on the lot and we immediately knew which one would be our home.  The charming, old suite of offices with venetian blinds and curved windows in a historic building bearing the name Clark Gable.  As we walked back to our cars I  laughed at myself, as I uttered the words, "now it seems real" putting a stamp on the magnitude of the day. I've worked in this industry for 24 years.  I've seen and experienced a  lot from the various positions I've held, and I've experienced some disappointment, so I don't take this excitement for granted.  I love that every moment feels crisp, consequential and real.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Unknown

Perched in our cozy, satellite office in the shadow of the studios,  my partner and I sit with writers listening to tales of passion, and exploring potential concepts for development.  Some meetings are like mini-history lessons about particular sects, professions or moments in time.  We share topics we're enthusiastic about some anchored by books or articles.  For the next several months we will live in the unknown, a state of pure potential and fervor.  Only time will reveal which encounter will lead to more, which moment will be retold as the genesis of something greater.  I recently read about one of the primary differences between life and the afterlife.  Seemingly, in the astral plane the soul is all knowing.  The soul has complete memory and awareness and can manifest anything in an instant.  When the soul is in the body this knowledge is veiled.  It's only in the human form that we can experience the now, and embrace the beauty of not knowing.  Although waiting can frustrate me, so many wonderful moments in life are about the unfolding.  I realized what I love about this time in my life is the joy of anticipation, not knowing which conversation will lead to success, but trusting one or more of them will.

Monday, June 6, 2011

One-Two Punch

Several months ago my friend DS and I embraced our entrepreneurial spirit and started to dream about creating our own production company.  On long hikes we talked about our ideal work environment, the importance of communication and the art of compromise.  Our passion for stories and character lead to lively brainstorming sessions, ideas crowding our space like gnats on a moist summer night.  We kept our plan a secret until the time was right to unveil it.  The planets aligned, and our vision was greeted with enthusiasm.  Next week we embark on our deal at a major studio.  While organizing my home office I stumbled upon a list of dreams I tucked away after my Mondo Beyondo workshop last spring.  Staring back at me from the half dozen entries was creative partnership.  Truthfully, I don't remember writing it, or attaching any specific outcome to this dream, and yet, in hindsight, this collaboration is the quintessential  fulfillment of my wish.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


In my book, marking life's milestones with celebratory parties is essential.  Gathering loved ones to share tales over food and drink in to the late hours of the night is what living is all about.  Last evening a friend honored her 50th year with a rocking fete.  Commandeering the DJ's sound system, her teenage son surprised her by performing two songs accompanied by his guitar.  Happy Birthday was sung and wine was spilled.  I enjoy parties where there is a degree of separation among all guests.  It serves as an open invitation to strike up conversation . . .  with everyone.   Even though I hadn't met all of my friends' friends, many of their names, as a result of stories from the past, were familiar.  Thus a casual introduction often lead to recognition and a deeper conversation.  To be able to float through a crowd untethered and with ease is the sign of a good party.  Happy Birthday DS!  May all of your dreams come true.

Friday, June 3, 2011

This Moment

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Sometimes happiness can be bought.  Several days ago, for $6.99 I purchased a bunch of peonies at Trader Joe's.  Every day this week I have watched and documented the saturated coral buds blossom.  I'm particularly fond of the way the afternoon sun makes the petals translucent.  I can't walk by them without staring, admiring their beauty and grace.  Their presence in my living room makes me happy.  It's kooky, I know, but their splendor brings me joy.  Today the petals parted exposing a core of yellow stamens.  I try not to think about how quickly their prime will be replaced by drooping outer leaves, and instead I write on my to-do list:  Trader Joe's.