Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Gift Of Music

Revised 12/25/11 10:50pm:
I wrote about Jen Stills (among other things) in this post, and meant to tell you where you could buy or listen to her music, which is sort of the point of why I want to introduce you to my musician friends. The music business is tougher even than most other businesses these days. I want to turn you on to some wonderful, new (to you) music, and give you the opportunity to enjoy, appreciate, support and encourage these artists. Please scroll down to the bottom to find links to where you can buy or listen to Jen's music.

(Original Post)

One thing you should know about me is that music has run all through my life. My grandfather played Dixieland saxophone into his 90's. My Dad is a pianist, and was a jazz pianist in the 50s and 60s - playing with all the cool L.A. jazz guys, and in Lenny Bruce's band. During the day, he worked for NBC, as censor on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, where he also wrote and arranged music for the Tonight Show Band... but that's another story. He's still writing and producing music.

My mom bought all the cool jazz and rock and R&B records and would write down the words so I could learn the songs and sing them with my dad. Sometimes, when I was 8-9-10 years old, she'd wake me up, saying "Come on, you're going to go sing with Daddy." We'd go in the back door of some jazz club and I'd sing a few songs with the band, then go back home and to bed.

Dad always came home late at night, after gigs, and played jazz piano. I'd wake up and hear it, then drift back to sleep. To this day, jazz piano music makes me sleepy. ; ) Maybe I should play that instead of taking Ambien? I should actually try that.

My older brother plays guitar and bass and has been in many bands, my younger brother never really applied himself, but plays the few guitar songs he learned in college really well. My boyfriend of eighteen years. Michael, is also a musician. He plays piano, guitar, mandolin and a few other instruments, and orchestrates beautiful music on the computer.

I still have and play the Yamaha classical acoustic guitar my parents gave me on my twelfth birthday. I'm still not very good, but I love it. I took a few lessons, learned some Dylan songs, and my brother's friend (and my teenage lifeline) Allegra taught me Leonard Cohen. Since then I've been listening to music , writing down the lyrics, figuring out the chords and playing them on the guitar, mostly by myself. This was my favorite thing to do - alone - for twenty years (My first boyfriend wasn't a musician.)

Then I met Jennifer Stills. She was/is a singer songwriter, and we became quick close friends. I sang harmonies with her and after a while she started calling me up on stage to sing with her. Singing with Jen is one of my favorite things in the world. She has a beautiful rich voice. People say she sounds like Bonnie Raitt, Roberta Flack, Adele...

This was recorded recently, a cover of her dad's (Stephen Stills') "Haven't We Lost Enough?"

You can hear her sing Stephen's "Love the One You're With," and Jackson Browne's
"These Days" here.

There are four songs on her MySpace page here(I'm singing backups on the last one.)

And finally, this exact time last year, Jennifer, Michael and I were in a hotel room in L.A. on Christmas eve. She moved to Portland a few years ago. I asked her to play one of her old songs, and this is a video I took with my point and shoot camera of Jen singing "Lover," the first time in about ten years.

She's rusty, Michael picks up a guitar and tries to play along, and I'm singing harmonies WAY too loud because my mouth is right next to the camera microphone. I'm trying to sing really quietly which only makes me off key half the time. LOL. It's sloppy, but I love it.

I miss you, Jen. Merry Christmas.
Jen Stills ~ Christmas Eve 2010

Where to find Jen Stills' music:
  • "These Days" at here or on iTunes. You can listen to it for free at here.
  • "Love the One You're With" at here or on iTunes. You can listen to it for free at here.
  • Jen sings "Good Intentions" on "The Prince & Me" soundtrack (Track 6) at here. It's also on here, where you can listen to it for free.
  • Jen sings harmonies on the title track of the Crosby, Stills & Nash album, "After the Storm" (Track 11) at here or on iTunes. You can listen to it for free at here.
  • She also sings harmonies on Ray Lamontagne's "Trouble" album, on the song, "Narrow Escape," which you can listen to on free here. Or you could buy it on here, or on iTunes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice - Bring on the Light!

If ever there was a time to light a candle, it's now.
Leave behind the darkness and set your intentions for the coming year.

Happy Solstice!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Alright, well...
I just spent an hour writing a post about this morning's full lunar eclipse, getting all philosophical and spiritual about it, then my blog froze and for the first time ever NONE of it was auto-saved. I've been spoiled.

I just don't have it in me to rewrite it, especially since I'm setting my alarm to get up at 4:45am PT for the beginning of the eclipse. It will be full on at 6:32am PT.

It should also be a pretty awesome big low red full moon, best seen in Hawaii and the far western U.S. Right now, it's a big, bright white spotlight of a full moon.

Red Moon During Lunar Eclipse
Wikimedia Commons

(Great. It's auto-saved this three times in three minutes.)

Here's a lovely article from MOONCIRCLES to replace the one I tried to write: Beyond Words by astrologer April Elliott Kent.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dig Stuff

My friend in Progressivism, Bing.

Yes, I'm home from Austin, but more on that later...

My friend, Bing, posted a Louie Schwartzberg"Gratitude" film, embedded below, on his Facebook page today. I ended up going to Louie's "Moving Art" YouTube page and watching all 40 of his short films. 

Schwartzberg, who went to UCLA Film School, is an American director, producer, and award-winning cinematographer, specializing in time lapse and aerial photography, among other things. Some of Louie's footage appeared in Koyaanisqatsi and many of his short - and longer films - have that same vibe of love for the planet and its inhabitants.

Louie Schwartzberg
This all speaks very directly to me and I think it will to you too. If you want to see more or learn more about Schwartzberg and his work, check out his main page at his main page is at, which is gorgeous.

Then, try to do what Jeff Mallard frequently reminds me I taught him when we lived in Laurel Canyon... "It's a beautiful day. Let's just go out and dig stuff."
Jeff Mallard
So much to dig, so little time...

As you can see,  Jeff's still taking my advice to heart all these years later. Here is is, quite obviously, just diggin' stuff.
Anyway, I'm trying to get you to watch these videos! 
I hope you like them. Let me know.

This is one more, just to whet your appetite... If you like it, go check him out at


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good Morning LAX!

Picture me here at 4:30am Wednesday.

Michael and I had Thanksgiving dinner with my mom and dad last night, as I'll be in Texas with my brother's family on Thursday. Michael and Cokie will be back home in Hollywood lying on the couch in their underwear, eating leftovers, watching football on Thanksgiving.

The boys. Soon to be home alone.
They'll be fine.

Wisteria Tunnel

Wisteria Tunnel, Hampton Court 
Herefordshire, England

Or possibly Kawachi Fuji Garden Wisteria Tunnel?

No one seems to know, for sure.

Is this a real photograph?
A painting?
Does it matter?

Looks like a perfect journeying spot to me.

Click on the image to enlarge it.
Close your eyes and put yourself there, then see what happens.

I'd love to hear.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

These Boots Are Made For ... Slouching?

I bought myself some nice new black Clarks ankle boots on sale at Macy's last week, to have some classy footwear for the rainy season. As you may know, in Southern California, we have two basic seasons: fire and rain. Like the James Taylor song.

That's not really true. We also have lots of beautiful warm days, cool sweater days, freaking hot days and once in a while a really cold day, but mostly it's either warm and too dry or raining. We love the rain.

I had the perfect occasion to wear then today as we experienced a torrential downpour on my way to San Pedro this morning for a travel agent tour of the Crystal 'Symphony' cruise ship. Really gorgeous ship, btw, and they have offer computer lessons, Berlitz language lessons, acupuncture, teeth whitening - a lot more than movies, dancing and golf while you're out there discovering the world. If you're in the market for a luxury cruise, I can hook you up!  ; )

Anyway, I wore my fun new boots and love the fact that they a bit of a heel, making me taller than my usual almost 5'4" - I even bought a longer pair of pants for them.

I haven't work any kind of heel in years. My podiatrist told me my foot xrays look like those of a professional soccer player. That's not a compliment. I've broken several bones, lost both big toenails (they're back, but not perfect), sprained feet and ankles. OK, so I'm accident prone. At least you can't say I just sit around all the time.

I pulled my socks up high so the tops of my boots wouldn't rub against my ankles. They weren't knee socks, but sort of high ribbed trouser socks.

Halfway through the tour my socks were wrapped around my toes, with no protection to my legs whatever, and, surprise, my leg about 3 " above my left ankle is rubbed raw. OUCH.

I spent the rest of the tour walking like a - I don't know what I looked like, but it definitely wasn't the look  I was going for.

So this is my question. What socks does one wear with ankle boots?? I've been looking for sort of substantial slouchy socks but can't find them anywhere. It seems that for a lot of walking, it would take more than just thin knee socks, but I don't want to go leg warmers, either - and sometimes I'll want to wear them with tights, and... slouch socks!

Are those a phenomenon of the 80's? Am I showing my sock age? Can anyone recommend a specific good pair of socks that will protect my ankles from friction and NOT slide down around my instep when I wear boots?


Saturday, November 19, 2011

So God Made A Farmer

This video was emailed to me by my mother (who grew up on a farm in Iowa), having received it from her brother (who is 'retired' on his ranch in Nevada). It's a slideshow of farmers in Canada set against one of radio broadcaster Paul Harvey's typical segments, "So God Made A Farmer." 

Paul Harvey was an American radio broadcaster for 50+ years. You might remember him for his "The Rest of the Story" program. 

I have a great love and respect for farmers. I always thought of my mom's parents as farmers, even though they'd moved to the suburbs of L.A. just before I was born. You can take people off of the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the people. It always felt like Marie and Papa's house was a farm house - like they just picked it up and moved it to California. My mom's apartment feels kind of like that, too. 

Justus & Marie Larson (Marie and Papa)
and my border collie Marrakesh.

I may not be a farmer, but next time around I'm not going to spend my entire life in a city, as much as I love L.A.  I think that even having grown up around 'farm people' has made me a more self sufficient, down to earth human being, and I'm grateful for that. 

Cute Owl. There. I said it.

Just watch.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Saint Misbehavin'

Hugh Romney (Wavy Gravy) L.A. 1965
Photo by Lisa Law

I don't mean to sound like a blurb on the back of the DVD, but whether or not you know who he is, if you're reading this blog, I'm guessing you'll love the documentary about my favorite peace activist/humanitarian/poet/hippie/clown/children's circus camp director/former ice cream flavor, Wavy Gravy, just released on DVD and now airing on Showtime: Saint Misbehavin'.

Wavy Gravy

Wavy Gravy, and this film, are positive, inspiring, life affirming and altogether loving and lovable. If you missed the sixties and want to know what all that 'peace and love' stuff was about, or just want to feel good, watch Saint Misbehavin.'

Even if you think you wouldn't be interested, if you have Showtime or Netflix, watch this movie - or rent it on iTunes for $3.99. I really think you'll like it.

He really is a saint to me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Heart AAA

24 Years Of Saving My Ass

First of all, I love Triple A.

Today we called the Auto Club to bring us a battery for my boyfriend's 97 Cherokee. We forgot the alarm remote upstairs that you have to click before the car will start.

The alarm is messed up anyway. It occasionally goes off when you're driving and the lights flash and it feels like you're in a Stephen King story.

He took it to our highly recommended auto electronics shop we've been going to for 15 years - and where I've spent thousands of dollars on my 4Runner. I always thought they were way expensive but they always end up convincing us we really need the work and that, in fact, we're getting a deal.

This shop told Michael a year ago that to deactivate the alarm, they'd have to remove the dash to get to the fuse, and the labor would cost $1500. He passed.

Nestor, the Auto Club tow truck driver who replaced his battery today, crawled in from the driver's side, reached up and under behind the dash, and pulled the fuse. The alarm is deactivated. We did not spend $1500.

Yes, it's fucked up that this shop tried to charge us $1500 for something the AAA guy did for free in two minutes, but it's also awesome that we have a new friend named Nestor, who could easily have suggested we tow the jeep back to his shop to 'work on it.'

Thank you, Nestor. We're inviting you to our next party.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How to Do the Dishes

You'll also see a lot of kids on this blog. 
I don't know this guy but he makes me want to do the dishes.
Now that's inspiring.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Levi's New Family

You'll be reading a lot about my friend Eldad Hagar on this blog. He's one of the most inspirational people in the world, to an animal lover.

Eldad and his wife, Audrey, are non-profit extreme animal rescue organization in Los Angeles. I don't have much time tonight, so I'll just post the latest good news.

Levi, a little stray shepherd mix whose September rescue you'll witness in the video below, was adopted today by this wonderful couple.

Thank you, Eldad. Thank you, cool couple. Good luck, Levi.

Inspiration, Move Me Brightly

I've been insanely busy and have not gotten my photo/computer sitch worked out yet. Rather than pretend I'm going to be posting my travel pics any time soon, or writing new content for my blog in any regular manner at this point, I'm just going to be real with you. 

After periods of frenetic activity I tend to fall into opposite world, staying up late, sleeping very late, slouching about, often not leaving home. The only one who's perfectly cared for is Cokie, who is high maintenance and has needs which we see are addressed daily in return for his general awesomeness.

This would be Cokie. It is, in fact, Cokie. 

Borrowing from my friend Wanda, who sends me "motivation of the day" videos when she knows I need one, I'm going back to my old MySpace Healing Prayer Circle days, when I would post things that made me feel better, inspired, made me feel like dancing, cleaning, walking, driving, cooking maybe. Like calling my mom or my friends instead of emailing them. Sometimes just something that made me feel... something. Even if it was sad. Feeling sad has its place.

So that's what I'm aiming to do here for a while. My first daily inspiration (which I'm posting at 2:30am on a Sunday - no surprise there) is a video of Adele singing "Someone Like You" in her living room.

  1. Her voice sounds like taffy
  2. It's a sad song about someone who moved on, got married, had a family- and she still loves him. Always good for a bit of melancholy candle burning. Maybe a hint of sage.
  3. I'm definitely going to set up the mic stands and make a space where we can just plug in and make music together off the cuff like that, like we used to in the Valleyheart house. Loved that old haunted house with the studio/den with the kingsize sofabed, fireplace and wetbar. That, my friends, was a party house. I'll save the earthquake that was ONLY in my bedroom for another time.  ; )
Funny how things like this, and all sorts of other little bits of things will make me get me up and at 'em. (Atom Ant) in no time flat. Feel free to comment on things you like and post links to things that are doing it, whatever it is, for you.

Thanks for hanging in here...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blog Slacker - Already? Man...

Apologies for starting and immediately slacking on this blog.

You don't need to hear all my excuses but I will offer in my defense that I've been in photo hell with all the pics I took during my travels this year - all four memory cards' worth, and just haven't wanted to write about my awesome summer adventures without my pics. As soon as that gets figured out, which will be soon, I'll tell you all about Jamaica, San Francisco, Massachusetts, DC, Virginia, and a lot of other fun stuff.

I've been in hard core physical therapy for my right knee, which doesn't want to stay 'on track' and has been 'going out' on me more than usual lately, causing some rather ungraceful and very painful face plants. I'm bound and determined to kick my knee's ass into shape once and for all, so I don't have to do stairs like an old lady and avoid hiking and, oh yeah, stepping off curbs. Screw that. I'm going all Tyler Durden on my knee. Don't say I didn't warn you, patella.

I've also been entrenched in political Twitter debate, and once you get me started... Well. I just need to stop that little addiction.

And I've been helping out some of my pet blogging friends with a 'Twitter Tips for Beginners' series on my cat's blog. Yes, I'm just saying it. Those who know me, know that my cat Cokie is just about the coolest ragdoll cat around. Certainly in L.A., and he has his own blog. Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider. (He's not allowed outside since he fell from an 80' palm tree 16 years ago.)

Cokie is going on eighteen now and wears pants because of spinal damage from aforementioned palm tree incident. He's something of a role model for incontinent cats. He wears his man pants and he wears them well. In fact, he rocks those fuckers.

There goes my Disney blog sponsorship. Oh, well.

My point here is that I've been writing something of a primer for people (or pets) who want to tweet. Twitter. Get to twittering.

If you have any desire to check out Twitter, are new to Twitter, or just want to make fun of my cat teaching people to use Twitter, head on over to and click on the Twitter Tips tab up top.

And no, I don't have kids. Don't start with me.


Monday, September 26, 2011

If I Die Young

OK, This song, "If I Die Young," was playing on every freaking radio station last month when I was driving alone around western Massachusetts for three weeks. At first I thought it was insanely hokey and awful and ridiculously over the top melodramatic teenage goofiness that someone thought would sell, and put production behind and made into this hit song that mothers and teenagers would all grab onto and connect with and cry over.

I pictured teenage girls all over America learning the easy chord progression and singing it on their guitars all dramatically alone in their bedrooms twenty times in a row. Which they are most definitely doing. Just YouTube it.

But the thing was, I couldn't change the station. I kept coming across that same damn song, and finding myself singing alone. It was catchy. It was a ridiculously catchy song about a dying - or dead - teenage girl. It was "Tell Laura I Love Her" and "Teen Angel" and Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.

I finally had to give in. I liked it. I liked the singer's sweet, good voice, the guys' harmonies, the simple arrangement with folksy guitar/mandolin/accordion/base/drums, a little banjo, a little fiddle. Wait, this was really beautiful. OK. It's a freaking beautiful song.

I thought it was Taylor Swift or someone like that, but I just remembered it tonight, since I haven't heard it since I got back to L.A., and looked it up. It's a band called "The Band Perry," and it's a cute blond girl and her two younger brothers - the Perrys, from Alabama. They're adorable.

Just look how adorable they are:

Adorable in the Studio
Adorable Live in Oregon
Adorable Making This Music Video
I had to play it for Michael when I realized he hadn't been subjected to the constant inundation of  "If I Die Young," like I had - at first acknowledging how ridiculously over the top sappy I knew it was, knowing that he would hate it, but he liked it right away, which totally surprised me - but the musicianship is good! The voices are good. The song is good.

Suspend your cynicism and your coolness, and just try not to get all sentimental about your life, or someone you loved whose passed away - a friend, a relative, a dog... This song will be played at a million funerals with those 'celebrate their lives' slide shows. And now I'm feeling sad about all those dead teenage girls and young women that will be commemorated with this song. And old women, and grandpas and brothers and dads and cats and guinea pigs and soldiers and this death song is going to make this little family band a fortune! And that's OK because it's a good song and because they're good artists.

Go on... Play the video:

But please... the lyrics.. Srsly?

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn 
Send me away with the words of a love song
Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colors
Life ain't always what you think it ought to be
Ain't even grey, but she buries her baby

The sharp knife of a short life
I've had just enough time...

Oh, and it goes on!

They just got five Country Music Association (CMA) award nominations, and more power to 'em. Good job. Youngin's. Their parents must be so proud.

And they're cool. Look what they just posted to Twitter. LOL.

Wish I just saw Pearl Jam last night. And that I had that leather jacket... Oh hell, OK, and that I could sing like that and had 5 CMA nominations and a hit song and was twenty something  years old... In fact, I'm going to start practicing guitar again now. I haven't played in a long time, since my Kobe Bryant finger injury last year, and I've barely played my ukulele Michael got me for Christmas two years ago.

AHA! Note for my next life: Instead of sitting alone in my room playing my guitar as a teenager, try to write more songs, take more guitar lessons, don't let my brother sell the piano, get a mandolin... Be more patient. Practice more. Give it more time. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bomb Squads and Heroes

Hi. I was planning to write about Jamaica tonight, but then some crazy stuff happened today... And let me start by saying, I do realize that this post is pretty long. I started writing about today and this is what came out. I didn't even include some other cool stuff I want to save for another post. What I'm saying is that constructive criticism is welcome here. If this is just way to freaking long, please tell me. If so, what should I have left out? The whole eye doctor thing? What?

I really want to know what you think because I want you to come back!

So... today... my boyfriend, Michael, and I took my mom to the eye doctor because she's had something going on where she's felt like she's had an eyelash in her eye for weeks. Michael and I were sitting on the step outside because the waiting room was full.

There were group of people across the street - maybe forty of them - all dressed in black, standing on the sidewalk. Were they with a funeral or something? In the Ross Dress for Less parking lot? Hmm.

Dr. Harry Hovanesian, who is way cuter in person, fyi.
I went in and talked with Mom and her doctor, who I love btw. If you need an ophthalmologist in L.A., Harry Hovanesian at Specialty Eye Care is great.

The other doctor in his practice wasn't in today, and he was covering both of their appointments, and they were both booked solid - and he had a surgery emergency. He was worked, but he was totally nice, very thorough, and ultimately found that Mom's only real issue right now is that her eyes are super dry. He gave her some eye drop samples to take four times a day, and sent us on our way. I have to admit the banner on their website is a little odd, though.
Specialty Eye Care Medical Center's website banner.
I hope those aren't the doctors' eyes. Or the patients'...
Meanwhile back outside, the people in black have taken over our side of the street, and are all huddled beneath trees in the medical building parking lot like chickens under a shady bush (which I now know all about, since my farm-sitting vacation last month in the Berkshires). (Chickens hanging out under bushes for shade, that is.) Oh, and it was hot, thus the need for the shady trees.
Sherman Oaks Fashion Square Mall is where the tall tree on the left is, Mom's Eye Center is on the right. We were sitting on a step by the car on the right. Evacuees were under all the trees and anywhere there was shade. (GoogleMaps pic)
I asked one of the - I don't know - humongous group of mourners? What was happening? They said they'd been evacuated from the Sherman Oaks Fashion Square mall across the street because of a bomb threat. I had to ask why they were all wearing black. Was it a religious thing? It wasn't the Scientology 'black pants/white shirt' uniform. Something for a movie or television show?
Crappy iPhone pic of evacuees huddled under trees.
They all worked at Macy's. Black is their uniform. Anything black. Then they laughed and pointed at me. I was wearing black yoga pants and a black t-shirt. I fit right in with the evacuated Macy's employees. I looked just like one of them. I could have been herded into some bomb scare evacuation Macy's round-up for questioning as a terrorist suspect! I figured I'd better get the hell out of there. We got in the car and pulled away from the men and women in black.

It was weird. They were in every bit of shade on both sides of the street for blocks around, a couple groups of 20 or 30 people were marching down the sidewalk in one direction or another - not all in black, but mostly. It wasn't just Macy's employees, there are more than 100 shops in that mall. There were lots of people outside!
Crappy iPhone pic of evacuees evacuating.
I felt like I was in Men in Black, or that movie with Nicholas Cage and all the angels in dark coats who stop to watch the sunset. Or The Matrix.
"Men in Black"
"That movie with Nicholas Cage & all the angels
in dark coats who stop to watch the the sunset"
"The Matrix"
I just had to drive by the mall, since it wasn't cordoned off - just the entrance and the other side street were closed. I pulled over to try to get a good photo with my iPhone for Twitter, but it came out crappy. I was too far away. We drove by again and gawked at the cops and the security guards and the news vans pulling up and all the chicken people under the trees, and went to get something to eat. (I don't mean to say they were 'chicken,' like scared. We just started calling them the chicken people.)

There was a barbecue place nearby we wanted to try and when I looked it up on Yelp, it apparently had a killer happy hour, so we went to Mr. Cecil's on Ventura Blvd. It looks sort of like the House of Blues on the outside. Well, not really, but it sort of reminds me of the House of Blues.
Mr. Cecil's California Ribs
We went in and it was totally cute and comfortable. We sat at the bar, which is where you have to sit to get the happy hour specials, and asked the happy looking guy eating by himself what he was having. We ended up ordering based on his recommendations - exactly what he was having: a big ass bucket of beef ribs, (sorry, vegetarians/vegans, but I'm not in that phase right now and my doctor says I have to eat meat because I'm protein deficient and allergic to dairy and soy), hush puppies (cut in half with a little butter - my doctor also says I can eat a very small amount of butter for some reason, thank God), green beans with garlic and tri-tip tacos. Actually Michael ordered the tacos on his own. Al hadn't mentioned the tacos.
Check out this Happy Hour menu. And you get A LOT OF FOOD
for these prices! (I lifted this pic from
Al was the guy eating by himself watching the Cleveland Browns on the TV above the bar. There was some sort of kismet because the Browns are my dad's favorite team. He's CRAZY about the Browns, and is making me go to his friend Charlie's house on Sunday to watch a game. I'm a basketball girl. I don't generally do football unless it's the Superbowl or a bunch of friends are involved, but Dad just beat leukemia and he really wants me to go, so I'm intent upon going and having a good time.
What I'll be watching at 10am on Sunday.

Anyway, our food came and it was all fantastic. We were psyched. All good. So good I asked Al where he was eating tomorrow. He actually recommended a Jamaican place down the street called Sattdown Jamaican Grill, and you already know I have a thing about Jamaica. I think I'll like this place, too. Their motto is:

That's what I'm talkin' about. Mon.

Chef/Owner Tony Hyde
of Sattdown Jamaican Grill
Suddenly, Al was joined by four friends at the bar and we were a 'bunch'. We were talking and laughing and eating, and his friends were flirting with the bartender/waitress who was working the whole place by herself because the bartender wasn't coming in... kind of like the eye doctor. (?)

Anyway, she was adorable and kicking ass and we were all having a great time - me, Michael, my mom, Al, his friends and Alison the bartender - when Michael leaned over and whispered to me that one of Al's friends was Captain Sullenberger. You know, the airline pilot who ditched the US Airways plane in the Hudson River in 2009, and saved everyone's lives? That Captain Sullenberger.
That's the guy! Hi Captain Sullenberger!
 I looked again at the man I'd been talking with for 30 minutes and I swear... maybe it wasn't, but I seriously think that was him. Actually I thought it was Capt. Sulleyberger until Michael corrected me on his name. Mom didn't think it was him but admitted he looked just like him. I looked at him for the next half hour and I'll swear again. That was freaking Captain Sullerberger. Sullenberger. Whatever. We would have asked him... but we didn't.

Angelenos rarely call people out on being famous. It's not really a social faux pas, but we just don't really do it. Except when it's someone we really, really love and just can't help ourselves, then we try to casually say something without calling any attention to ourselves - and we'd never ask if we could take a photo. Although we will try to get a photo without anyone noticing, as if people can't tell we're really taking a photo when we're trying to look like we're checking our emails on our iPhone. And if we've had a few drinks all bets are off and it's photos all around!  : P

So we got some chicken wings to go for later (per Al) and had our big "Cheers" goodbye and the three of us walked out of there full, including our 'to go' order, for $41 plus a great tip for Alison. Happy hour ROCKS at Mr. Cecil's.

We drove past the mall again and it was still closed and the black chicken people were still in their shade huddles, but there were a lot more news vans now. We were thinking they should just let those people go home, but then realized that all their cars were in the parking structure that was cordoned off.

We heard on the news on the radio that the bomb squad had been called in because of a suspicious package. You can mess up a town if you forget a package somewhere these days. I remember a freeway being closed down because of a package, which they had to blow up to make sure it wasn't a bomb. 
Moonwalker Bomb Robot

It was actually somehow comforting to see all those people getting the hippity hop out of that mall so quickly though, and staying out till the 'all clear.' It was a great fire drill, anyway. Never hurts to be prepared. Makes me want to go buy one of those fire ladder things to hang out my second floor apartment window onto Hollywood Boulevard that I've been meaning to get since I moved in here seventeen years ago.
Note to self: Tuck a pair of yoga pants & a t-shirt into that ladder thing, so you don't have to run around in that pink satin robe all day,
especially since you'll have a cat in a day pack on your back.
2nd Note: Keep a day pack & a pillow case with that ladder thing, so you can throw the cat in the pillow case and stuff him in the day pack.
Copy that. √
We got back to Mom's house and watched the mall on the news, while I looked up Captain Sullenberger to see if it was really him. Again. I swear it was him! It even said online that he's working at CBS News now, and the L.A. CBS Studio is right up the street from Mr. Cecil's. I'm telling you, it was him. I'll ask him next time we go there. Or Al, or Alison. It sure looked like him.

It's funny. We could have lunch next to Johnny Depp (and have) or dinner next to Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston (and have) but the one we get all giddy about is the airplane pilot hero. And I guess that's the way it should be.

Oh, and it wasn't a bomb.  Which is good.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why I've Started This Blog

1. To have a place to collect and share my experiences - and photographs and videos of same. I've had a lot of adventures - a lot just this year - and I want to share all the things that made them wonderful.

My very sweet friends in Jamaica, mon.
I'm not sure what sign they're flying there.
I hope I'm not in a Jamaican gang now...
2. To document some of my rather unconventional history before I forget it all. I'm already skeptical about some of memories - was I actually there or did I just hear the story so many times I've invented images in my head with me in them!? And vice-versa, actually. My mom insists it was me who used to bang my head against the wall when I wanted out of my crib. I swear that was my little brother.

3. To let certain elements of my life serve as a warning to others. ; ) To give you the opportunity to learn from some of my mistakes - and me, too, for that matter.
I loved my VW van,
but I should have bought the one that was $4000 more!
4. To give my friends, family, and anyone else who's interested a place to talk about things we've found particularly wonderful, helpful, inspiring, or fun.
Volcano Birthday Cake!
Those aren't corn cob holders, they're Tikis! LOL.
5. Because I've been blogging for my cat for almost three years and my soul is yearning to express itself without any of these:  =^..^=
Cokie checking in with his 4700 Twitter followers.
According to my Jyotish (Vedic) astrologer, my life's purpose is to 'lead people from the darkness to the light.' It is quite fitting, I think, that very coincidentally, I find myself finally publishing my first post of this blog on the Autumnal Equinox, when day and night are of equal lengths, which particularly resonates with me right now. This is a perfect time to come to terms with our own darkness, in order to fully embrace the light and love we're meant to exude.
Photo from
So there it is. Thank you for reading my very first blog post on Notes For My Next Life. I'd love to hear who you are and where you're from - and what you think of this new blog project of mine. Please bookmark it, and come back to it.

I hope this becomes a special refuge and meeting place in this weird, wild metaphysical Internet space and time that we can enjoy, learn from and treasure together.

Check out this awesome visualization of a tiny piece of the Internet. That's us!
Tree of routing paths through a portion of the Internet
as visualized by the Opte Project
Peace and happy Autumn!