Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Woody Allen asks all the right questions --  Is there a God?  What is love?  What is the point?  He searches for the answers with comedic brilliance.  He makes me laugh, he makes me think, he makes me fall in love with Manhattan, Paris and Barcelona.  He makes me crave romance.  I can't think of at time when Woody Allen wasn't on my radar.  I remember dinner conversations about SLEEPER and fashion inspired by ANNIE HALL.  I remember seeing New York City through Allen's lens in MANHATTAN, as if I was seeing it for the first time.  I recognized the power of black and white, and an unxpected sound track.  A few consecutive clunkers caused my interest to wane until I was smitten again by VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA.  I was reminded of my life long love affair with the imitable filmmaker when I recently watched WOODY ALLEN: A DOCUMENTARY by Robert Weide.  Woody is an inspiring artist and I hope he continues to make movies for a long, long time.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

On A Clear Day You Can See Catalina

Spectacular day for a hike, a movie, a book, a nap, a conversation, a dream.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day After Chill

Finished Jennifer Egan's poetic and haunting LOOK AT ME.  So beautiful and compelling, her other novels are on the short list of books to read next.  Can't think of a better way to unwind from feasting with friends than waking up to a book that needs to be finished.  Pure joy.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thankful for my neighbor who trimmed his trees, and unknowingly gave me a bounty of fragrant branches, boughs of eucalyptus and pepperberry in every room.

Thankful for all the wonderful bakers whose pies outshone my experimental vegan debacle, for no one went home longing for traditional holiday confections. 

Thankful for the daily light outside my window, beckoning me to play, to bathe in the clarity of its tranquility.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I was passionate about Lisa Ling's series OUR AMERICA when it was in development, so it's been a delight to watch the produced episodes.  I'm riveted by the diverse subject matters, but the episode about identical twins was my favorite.  Centered around the world's largest gathering of multiples in Twinsburg, Ohio, Lisa encountered many sets of identically dressed siblings, echoing the same sentiment: they were born with their soul mate.  Questions about separation was like asking if they could live without oxygen.  For two brothers, one fighting leukemia, this wasn't a hypothetical concept.  I can't imagine having a twin, or being so enmeshed with another human being, yet these portraits made me wonder what it would be like to experience the completeness they described.  I also wondered about their psychological well being:  Are they healthier because they inherently love themselves, as a result of loving their twin?  Are they more narcissistic?  What are the effects of being mirrored by someone who looks just like you?  Most certainly, my curiosity will lead to hours on the internet reading studies and articles.  I never take for granted my cyber-library, always available to answer any question or shed light on my many fascinations.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Reflecting on the speed of life, the conundrum of how quickly my life is passing while at the same time I can encounter monotony from wondering if certain experiences will manifest in this lifetime.  Is the answer to live without expectations?  Perhaps, but if that's the equivalent of letting go of dreams, I'm not so eager to partake.  A puzzle I've written about before, this desire to let go and still live a fulfilled life.  I have moments, many actually, when I am completely filled with joy, but then I look down and realize there's no net.  Lately the downward glance is a mere moment, an acknowledgement, and then I keep walking, one foot in front of the other, focused.  Easier to do when I'm satiated creatively, and emotionally which I have been.  I feel connected, energized, and committed.  As we begin a week focused on gratitude, I am thankful for that and so much more.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Three in One

This photo captures three things I love about Palm Springs:  The sky, the hiking trail which begins at the base of this mountain and ends on my street corner, and the museum.   On this particular day I saw an exhibit featuring Andrew Wyeth's quiet snowy landscapes and portraits of people whose journeys are mapped out on their faces, as if exclaiming "I've lived".

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Desert Sun and Frittata

I don't have many go-to recipes, except when it comes to Sundays in Palm Springs.  Years ago, when friends started to make the weekend pilgrimage to the desert,  I often whipped up a frittata for Sunday brunch from the previous evenings' left over vegetables.  Efficient, easy and from the compliments,  satisfying.   The smell of sauteed garlic, ginger and a fresh pot of coffee is enough to get the late sleepers out of bed, and for those who have already scrambled up the mountain trail behind the museum the sustenance is a welcomed treat.  I prefer to lounge and cook, and eat under the blue sky than try to rally everyone to wait in a long line at a local eatery for brunch.  So the frittata has become a Sunday morning staple, and like a good friend, its always enjoed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Desert Rain and Pasta

An expected cold and rainy weekend in the desert yielded a perfectly chill day.  Morning yoga gave way to consignment store hopping stirring my passion for interior decor.  An afternoon movie was shelved for a good book and a lengthy nap.  MG whipped up a fantastic dinner from finds in the refrigerator -- eggplant, arugula tomato sauce over vegetable fettuccine with a side of artichokes.  Night stars glow in the sky making it difficult to predict tomorrow's weather especially given the conflicting forecasts for more showers.  Either way, I'm certain the day will unfold as it should, perfectly.

Friday, November 11, 2011


When it comes to decorating, very specific visions frequently appear in my mind.  Several years ago, when I purchased my PS house I immediately imagined a deep blue pool, inspired by those I'd seen in the Hamptons.  This costly cosmetic enhancement fell to the  bottom of my priority list, jettisoned for a slew of necessary renovations like a new roof and kitchen.  A month ago I was informed my pool had several serious leaks, and the only solution was to re-plaster the surface.  On the bright side, I could finally get the deep blue pool I always wanted.  I received three different bids, all recommending pebble tec, a man made surface composed of small stones more durable than regular plaster.  My request for old school plaster, and a deep blue color was met with resistance.  Nobody does that was the basic response.  I stuck to my guns.  Additionally, for an extra thousand for labor I could replace  the cheap purple tile border, a feature I never liked.   I drove to the nearest pool tile store, and went straight for the clearance section.  I like bargains for more reasons than just the price.  The limited selection makes decision making simple, and typically the merchandise is in stock.  For $3.25 a square foot I purchase a natural stone 1" square mosaic.  The results exceeded my expectations.  Ironically, the pool company has already recommended the plaster to several clients.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Due to a prior engagement downtown, I was the last one to arrive at a dinner party where the only person I knew was the hostess, and our connection was just starting to develop.  The guests were already immersed in conversation, and red wine.  Introductions were made, and one woman asked, "you're a photographer?"  I stumbled, never having been identified that way especially in a group with heavy ties to Hollywood.  "I take photographs", was my hesitant reply.  "I stare at you all day, your face, your photograph."  That was indeed an interesting icebreaker.  In the smallness that is Hollywood, a fb friend purchased my profile photo last year, and the framed image hangs on a wall outside this woman's office.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I've been craving a good thrift store where I can lose hours riffling through racks of vintage clothes or surveying endless rows of mid-century furnishings.  My all time favorite haunt, the 111 Antique Mall in Palm Springs, closed suddenly several years ago amidst scandalous gossip.  I still dream about the  large warehouse filled with vintage treasures.  A mere eight hundred feet from my house, I often visited the mall, alone or with weekend guests in tow, enticed by the promise of  an affordable souvenir and the persnickety owner's R-rated shtick that was better than most comedy acts. The exceptional prices made it easy to take decorative risks.  It was not uncommon to take a break in one of the many living room settings while plotting potential purchases.  Inspiration for my burning man installation occurred when I stumbled upon a 1970s pool slide in the back of the store.  One November I finally gave in and purchased an original Evergleam aluminum Christmas tree, the quintessential Palm Springs holiday ornamentation.  During another visit I became obsessed with a listed Californian artist, Hendrik Grise, and purchased two of his watercolors.   Although I continue to search, I've never encountered another store  that comes close to the 111 in scope, merchandise and entertainment, but the optimist in me keeps looking.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Light after the Storm

Of late, we've had a lot of varied weather in Los Angeles.  I hiked one afternoon, later than I should have, the consequence of ignoring the fact that the days are indeed getting shorter and shorter.   The sunset cast a purple hue over the mountains, and a warm Santa Ana breeze chased any chill that would typically accompany the onset of night.  Days later low hanging clouds gave way to hours of rain, the perfect atmosphere for staying in, finding comfort in various rooms while reading scrips and books that had piled up as attachments in Google docs.  The storm ended in the afternoon, and I watched the descending sun's patterns on the walls through out the house.  Simple days; nourishing, calming and productive occupy my week.  For years I sought balance between the demands of a satisfying career and a rich social life that provided connection and downtime.  I knew something had to give, and it did in a big way when I took two years off from work, but the goal, the dream, was to find balance while integrating these two parts of my life.  I wasn't sure how to achieve it, and I had many doubts it was even possible, but I didn't stop dreaming.  So the other day as I was chasing the light around my house with the camera, in awe of the beauty and thankful for the moment  I realized my dream was no longer a dream, but my reality.