Sunday, July 31, 2011


-Neale Donald Walsch

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Messenger

One of my favorite things about meeting with writers is listening to their stories.  I'm curious by nature and I tend to look for patterns in the various stories I hear.  I ponder the clues life has to offer through the experiences of others and I try to detect if fulfillment was accessed from swimming against the current, or an effortless, obvious route.  I'm often struck by the significant role random people play in one's life.  In a recent meeting  I asked a successful writer when she knew this was going to be her career.  She laughed.  Her creative pursuit in college and the years after was acting, first in NYC and later in Los Angeles.  She never harbored a secret desire to write, never kept a journal, or contemplated plots for her unwritten novel.   In her early twenties she worked as a paralegal in a law firm to pay the bills.  Her boss accommodated her audition schedule, and oddly kept encouraging her to write, an outlet she never desired to pursue.   One Christmas for her bonus, her boss gave her a six week writing course, a class that changed her life.  I wonder about the guideposts in my life, the bumpers urging me to stay on the path, and the forces steering me in a different direction.  I wonder about messages I'm unable to hear, and those that are too loud to ignore.  I contemplate destiny, the meaning of fate, the feeling in my gut when everything seems so right, aligned in a perfect union and at other times when the world feels off kilter.  I wonder where that feeling comes from, the intrinsic knowing that has been inside of me the whole time.

Friday, July 29, 2011

This Moment

A Friday ritual.  A single photo, no words, capturing a moment from the week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To and Fro

Afternoon meetings on the west side often result in a horrific trek home.  Such was the case today, when my last appointment ended at 5:15 several blocks west of Sepulveda.  There are no short cuts, or easy routes to ease the pain.  However, there are always calls to roll, and if I were to compose a to-do list I'd write get a book on tape at the top of it.  Oddly, I keep forgetting to make a list and without one my errands seem to go unattended.  Thankfully, I had my camera to keep me occupied on my 90 minute journey.  I was only several miles from home when my impatience kicked in.  I was absolutely ready ready to stretch my legs, and ease into another phase of my day.

Monday, July 25, 2011


My little east coast gem, AGA, is visiting her Auntie K for a week of SoCal summer fun.  Yesterday, in her morning cooking class, she made scrambled eggs, rosemary potatoes, scones and M & M pancakes.   A menu perfect for recreating on Mother's Day.    In the late afternoon heat we went to a nearby canyon with a flowing stream and waterfalls, and the city girl got a big dose of nature.  Her long limbs carried her down the dusty paths and across the rocks.  We all participated in an exercise in balance as we held hands crossing the water over slippery boulders and logs.  Although we haven't seen each other in years, K and I fell into an easy rhythm.  Our histories are intertwined; we grew up around the corner from each other, my oldest, dearest friend is her sister-in-law, and we adore the same seven year old.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

To and Fro

My brain is flooded with various ideas for television series, characters and their potential arcs, a condition that makes me happy.  I'm drawn to narrative storytelling, and I'm used to looking at my life, and the lives of others, real and fictional, through this lens.  It was this specific creative muscle I missed flexing when I wasn't working.  I consciously filled the void with my camera.  I strung visual moments together to tell stories where I was often the reluctant subject.  My days were frequently shaped by places I wanted to shoot, a luxury I can no longer afford.  Unfortunately, as I've become more immersed in work, I'm taking fewer and fewer photographs.  My goal is to balance these two different mediums whose process and outcome are equally loved.  The result, a new photography series to be shot on the way to and from work while stopped at a red light or caught in traffic.  As an added bonus, perhaps the least favorite part of my job, the commute, will be an artistic outlet, a time to enjoy the landscape behind my dashboard and remain in the now.

Friday, July 22, 2011

This Moment

A Friday ritual.  A single photo, no words, capturing a moment from the week.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Perhaps it speaks to how fully I disconnected from my former working self the past two years, or the effects of living in the present.  Whatever the reason, the result is that some days I feel like a ghost, as if the bells have tolled on Christmas Eve and I'm revisiting past stages of my life.  Yesterday I had a meeting in a building where I first worked when I moved to Los Angeles.  The first 5 years of my career were spent in this iconic black tower, a place I haven't been since I left 13 years ago.  Although the original Queen Anne credenzas and clawed foot Chippendale chairs have long been replaced by blond, generic office furniture, the space was incredibly familiar, especially the elevators.  The aluminum deco metal work, black panels and marble floor were unaltered.  As I pressed the button to the 11th floor, I remembered the countless rides I had within the same walls.  It was in my boss' corner office, we delayed our morning staff meeting to watch OJ's acquittal.  It was in the parking structure adjacent to the downstairs lobby we would sneak cigarettes to take the edge off of pilot season.  It was on the 10th floor, I sought shelter under my desk, unable to control my shallow breathing, as bullets ricocheted off the metal filing cabinets.  A disgruntled, out of work back lot employee shot 60 rounds into this building on a pristine spring morning in 1993.  I seriously wondered if I would make it out alive.  In the aftermath, we emerged from our offices stunned.  Lew Wasserman paced the halls, assessing the damage and said to me, "Maybe if your shows were funnier, they wouldn't be shooting at you."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Glancing at my calendar can make me anxious, meetings fill many hourly slots wiping out the leisure lifestyle I had come to enjoy.  But the content of the meetings, sitting with writers whose work I admire, talking about potential projects, excites me.  In actuality my days are filled with passion, a fervor for storytelling, and the desire to mold these ideas into rich television concepts.  The anxiety about my schedule is an old one.  The fear there's not enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs to get done is left over from my days as an executive.  I'm embracing the new rhythm in my life, which is familiar in a good way.  I've been getting up with the sun and going to a 7am yoga class before engaging in my day.  In order to do so, I try to be in bed earlier with a book or script, before turning out the light and drifting into deep dreams.  There's a cadence to the week I enjoy as I move through the days with the  knowledge Icreate my reality regardless of how many meetings I have on my calendar.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Truth be told, I tend to stay close to home, Carmageddon or not.  Sometimes schlepping cross town is  unavoidable, but this weekend, due to the closed 405, my plans were to stay local.  I was not alone.  Not surprisingly, it was a big deal for people to arrange their weekend around not driving far for dinner, errands or entertainment.  Ironically, for those on the road, traffic reports were the stuff Los Angeles dreams are made of.  Facebook status updates reported empty freeways, ideal for shooting a commercial or making it from the east to west side in record time.  Paradoxically, the only jam I encountered was winding towards my home in the hills.  I was stuck behind a tour van as it crawled up my street, stopping every few feet, to seemingly report some sordid Hollywood fact.  Remembering I had my camera, I took the pace in stride and focused on the morning light, snapping a few shots from my drivers side window along the way.

Friday, July 15, 2011

This Moment

A Friday ritual.  A single moment, no words, capturing a moment from the week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Getting Settled

The last two days I've driven my car, loaded with furniture, art, and books, to the lot in an attempt to make my office feel more like home.  I am pleased with the work-in-progress results.  The change is happening gradually, so my system is not sensing a shock, but the transformation is indeed in full swing.  Lunches in commissaries, rolling calls, reading scripts at night, going from meeting to meeting, and riding the highs and lows of each day.  I'm truly surprised at how much my life is shifting especially when I think back to last summer when I spent most of July in Northern./ California drinking wine, practicing yoga and expanding into the freedom of my days.  Luckily, I'm just going with the flow. Incorporating work into my life feels like the natural next step.  I remain very appreciative for where I've been and excited about where I'm headed.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Curiosity beckons Monkey.  He leaps onto the windowsill,  his head moving in the direction of birds singing in the distance.  Something rustles underfoot and his gaze turns downward, his whiskers illuminated in the morning light.  Sometimes, when he nestles in the crook of my arm, purring like the hum of an engine, I stroke them, gently pulling them apart from his mouth.  It creates the expression of someone unsuccessfully trying to put on a happy face.  He always seeks my affection, often guiding my hand with his paw towards his neck where he loves to be scratched.  Most nights he falls asleep by my side, but inevitably makes his way toward the foot of the bed, for that's where he is when I first stir.  The rustling of the sheets wakes him, and after a stretch he curls up next to me, purring in delight.  I wish I could put him on a leash and take him on long hikes, or have him run errands with me, but cats on leashes look silly and he hates being in the car more than anything.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I always forget how hot 109 degrees really is, until summer rolls around again and I spend a few days in the desert baking my organs.  If it wasn't for some furniture and art stored in my garage, which is desperately needed to take the generic sting out of my new office, I would have forgone the mini-road trip.  Although my 24 hour jaunt was pleasant, and very productive, it was slightly off kilter.  Last night I went to the local art house movie theater to catch Woody Allen's new flick MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.  I was immediately delighted and comforted by the familiar opening credits, score and cadence of dialogue, and then the unthinkable happened.  The film sputtered to a stop.  We were informed the power was out on the street, and given free passes to make up for the inconvenience.  The culprit: most likely too many air conditioners running at full blast.  I was just getting hooked, settling into Paris in the '20s and boom I was abruptly back in 2011, on a hot desert night.  I loathe the necessity of air conditioning, but given the mercury was still hovering at 90 degrees, l had no choice but to keep mine running.

My morning started with an early yoga class, and a list of errands.  I contemplated going to an  afternoon movie, to see the remaining 75 minutes, but after lunch at my favorite local organic restaurant, I longed for a cool breeze, and decided to return to LA.  Like a skilled mover, I loaded my Prius with four chairs, a coffee table, a painting, three photographs and several odds and ends.   Twenty minutes into my drive I started to feel queasy, and uncomfortable.  The car had a stuffy odor, most likely from the chairs which were dusty from months in the garage.  I turned off the A/C and opened the windows.  The heat flooded in, but so did fresh air.  I tried to sing my nausea away, until around Azuza when my saliva turned sour and my stomach started to rise up my throat.  I grabbed a shirt from my bag, and held it to my mouth.  I contemplated getting off at the next exit, but then envisioned a dirty fast food restaurant bathroom.  Was this worse than when my stomach gave out on a trek to a waterfall in Cambodia?  A toss up I concluded, as I dry heaved through Pasadena.  Delighted I made it home without puking in my car, I wondered what  had gone wrong with the Macro Bowl I enjoyed at lunch.  I opened all my windows, lied down on top of my cool sheets and was thankful to be home.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This Moment

A Friday Ritual.  A single photo, no words, capturing a moment from the week.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


On an afternoon walk in the hills outside my door I happened upon a rusted white VW bug that bore a message from its dented rooftop.  PURE, RADIANT, LUMINOUS, CLARITY, RENEW, GLOW.  Apropos of everything in my life these days.  Difficult to capture the image with my telephoto lens, I shot it anyway, for what was most important was the message.  There's an ease to my days as I immerse deeper into work.  I don't question if I'm on the right path, instead I trust that I am.  I don't question if we'll have success, instead I trust that we will.  I've let go of the things that are difficult to hold like grains of white sand.  I'm growing more comfortable with letting them slip through my fingers, observing, and knowing that they will always be there if I try to contain them or not.  So why not just let them be?  CLARITY, RENEW, GLOW, LUMINOUS, RADIANT, PURE.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Rockets' Red Glare

For a half dozen years my social life in LA orbited around two spheres, Venice and Hollywood.  I was part of a  finely intertwined web of lovely, communal entanglements.  Friends of friends connected by previous lives in other urban cities, past collegiate experiences, or current work situations.  We morphed, multiplied and saw each other frequently at backyard BBQs, birthday celebrations, and traditional holiday feasts.  We lived on the west side in Venice or the east side in Hollywood, rarely in between.  I never questioned if it would last, until one day I realized the weekend drives to Venice were becoming more and more infrequent.  Change was inevitable as we moved on to other relationships, cities, and responsibilities.  My friend Ship's visit from AZ prompted a 4th of July reunion among friends I admittedly mainly see on facebook.  The beautifully landscaped Venice backyard, boasting beds of lush beets, broccoli and tomatoes, was teeming with kids aged 10 to 2.  Perched in a tree house, a gaggle of boys aimed their nerf guns at the adults below.  Neon orange and yellow arrows cascaded like snow flurries.  We played ping pong, hula hooped and laughed.   The faces familiar, and conversation easy, yet the passage of time stood like a white elephant in the corner.  My only regret, not taking my camera to document the festivities.  At 8:45 we departed, unwittingly the best  hour to catch the many fireworks displays in the city.  Pyrotechnics hissing overhead, this refrain lodged in my mind, "And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air".   

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Fourth of July weekend, at the apex of summer, and mid way through the year.  Seasonal joy oozed into the atmosphere.  Warm temperatures and the promise of a three day weekend hung in the air as I met a friend for an early morning hike.  Later in the morning I completed a Sunday morning ritual, a trip to the farmers market to stock up on produce for the upcoming week.  Juicy stone fruit and bushels of corn begged to be invited to outdoor festivities.  A cool movie theater provided a respite from the late afternoon heat.  I was deliciously entertained by Mike Mills dramedy BEGINNERS.  Quirky, non linear storytelling, executed with perfection, tugged at the heart strings.  A scrumptious dinner at Cafe Gratitude completed a flawless day.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Today I went to a delightful BBQ deep in the canyons of Topanga hosted by a blogger and attended by those who read her daily postings.  The majority of people had never met before but the group was friendly, warm and familiar.  Many were connected by the loss of a loved one, an experience I don't share, and an interest in the afterlife, a fascination we all had in common.  One attendee was a concert violinist who regaled us with Bach.  Yes, the internet may cause some to isolate and others to be antisocial, but it also creates community, online and off.