Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sex Without Love

Thank you curly-brown-haired girl next to me. With your jacket tied around your waist and your little hanger nobs molded into your T-shirt. At the Ben Lee concert tonight, you were my hero.

People don't dance in LA. People don't let loose at concerts. And every once in awhile, I turn into one of those people. Eeew.

Tonight, you danced to the same beat for every song...but it didn't matter. Because you LOVED Ben Lee. You loved every beat and every word. You loved it like you'd known it your whole life.

I'm so grateful for people like you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happily Ever After

How many cheesy love stories can you watch in a row? Tonight it was three for me. If I had more time, I would have watched more.

Watching sort of mindless, cute movies takes me out of my reality and its a nice little break.

And, PS, Meg Ryan should have never gotten plastic surgery. Yuck.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In 30 minutes or less

The guy who delivered my Chinese food tonight might have been the happiest delivery guy I've ever met. He even walked happy.

We had a conversation about what I had done that day, what I was watching on TV and how I had ordered his favorite dish on the menu. I'm not entirely sure he understood everything I said and he had never heard of X-Men, but didn't matter...he was a little sunshine in my day.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sometimes, it doesn't feel like work

I received an email tonight from a Malbec fan who helped on the video shoot. She was outstanding. She showed up at 6am and didn't stop going until she left at midnight. Her note was simply to say thank you and that she had a good time.

She also included something that was most definitely my sunshine today:

I love how you and Mark work together it is very inspiring.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oh, the Hills of Beverly

I helped at a fundraising event in Beverly Hills today for Friends of El Faro. It was a High Tea event with a lot of extremely wealthy people at a museum-esque style estate. There were typical things there...little sandwiches, rose petals to walk on, beautiful centerpieces, lots of plastic surgery, fancy petifores and a guy with a puppet. Yup. A puppet.

As guys with puppets go, he was great. But looking at the event as a whole, the little fuzzy character with a high pitched voice was so out of place. However, no matter how aloof or prissy each of the guests were, they all laughed at the puppet. And in between their sips of champagne and bites of scone they giggled and pointed and despite being slightly creeped out...donated over $10,000 to our cause.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Butter + Bread + Cheese = Victory

I was meant to attend the Grilled Cheese Invitational today but got suckered into helping on the Malbec music video set for approximately 30 hours straight. Working on creative projects with my brother is clearly a good trade off, but I do LOVE me some grilled cheese and have tried to make this event the past few years.

About 3/4 through our between wrangling extras, cleaning up cigarette butts and coaching actors on "What the F?" looks...I was pulled aside by a good friend (ahem, the lead in the video) and my brother. I followed them into the kitchen and hidden behind a kitchen appliance with a big tada! reveal was a make-shift grilled cheese sandwich with a cocktail umbrella in it. It was two pieces of pizza cut into teeny little sqaures and squeezed together to perfection.

I'm not sure it would have won any awards at the Invitational, but man it made me cry a little bit. I have EXTRAORDINARY people in my life.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A mouthful

On my way home from work today, I knew I had a long night ahead of me and was craving some caffeine. Decided I'd stop somewhere for a coffee.

I prefer mom and pop shops as opposed to Coffee Bean or Starbucks, but when I turned the corner and saw the DRIVE-THRU Starbucks just before the freeway, it was like the heavens were shining down on upon it. Getting out of my car was going to be entirely too much effort and the nice girl behind the microphone made it worth it.

"Welcome to Starbucks in Valencia, we're so glad you're here, hope you're having a great day, what can I get for you this lovely evening?"

Wow. Does she have to say that every time?! Impressive.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Let's Misbehave

Took a little shopping break at lunch today. At the Tar-jé.

When I got to the checkout line, the guy behind the counter...mid thirties, harmless...said, "Hi, are you misbehaving?"

I almost didn't hear what he said and assumed it was just a generic question. I kind of grinned and said, "No."

And he sincerely looked me straight in the eyeballs and said, "Why not?"

Good question.
I retracted my statement and said, "Well maybe a little, I'm taking a long lunch."

What's funny is...the sort of rush that rose in my chest when I realized what he had asked...cause I actually DID feel like I was misbehaving...shamelessly spending too much time away from the office. I felt like I had been caught. Could he see it in my face? How did he know?

We finished our cashier-line conversation with him explaining that he had just turned down a job in the industrial area of Santa Clarita at an "Adult Novelty" manufacturing plant. "I mean, I figure I'd have lots to talk about with my guy girlfriends probably wouldn't get it though."

Apparently they couldn't match his Tar-j
é salary so he had to turn it down.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

If you build it, they will bring beer.

We had a Guerrilla Gardening mission tonight and about half way through, the owner of the Liquor Store right next to our spot came out to introduce himself.

He noticed a few of us had purchased a beer to quench our thirst and he immediately said..."You guys don't need to buy beer...let me treat you. What are you drinking? I'll bring out a 12pack."

And he did. And he promised to buy a hose tomorrow so he could help us water and maintain the garden.

His name is Carlos. And he truly, truly made my day today.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I might have cried a lot...

But the movie I watched tonight was still my sunshine.

Paper Clips
PAPER CLIPS is the moving and inspiring documentary film that captures how middle school students in Whitwell, TN responded to lessons about the Holocaust-with a promise to honor every lost soul by collecting one paper clip for each individual exterminated by the Nazis.

I feel like days when I'm down or frustrated, I always get side-swiped with something like this. Projects like this are so inspiring and simply blow me away. I would recommend this movie to ANYONE.

PS - I watched it instantly on Netflix.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yes, it IS 92 degrees...but, um...this IS a desert.

It seemed that every conversation today included something like, "It's so hot." or "Can you believe this weather?" or "I need a bath full of ice."

When we have sudden heat waves in LA and people start to gripe, my first instinct is usually -- have you ever been to Florida in August?...get over yourself. But today all the weather talk just reminded me of a quote I always think of when a lull in conversation leads to someone mentioning the weather.

"Don't knock the weather. Without it, some people would have nothing to talk about."

Which at first glance, seems like the underlying statement here is -- some people are boring. But I think having a subject that is so universally common actually lends itself to starting up conversation with someone you normally wouldn't talk to. Ya know, the guy in the checkout line, the lady at the crosswalk or that guy in the elevator.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The S is for Super

I love long car rides by myself. Especially when I have my iPod on shuffle.

I'm completely aware that music, like smells, can take you back in time...but it never ceases to amaze me when a song takes me back to a very specific moment and I remember almost every detail. Tonight's journey...

Won't Let You Go
by Billy Mann
Flash to: 17-year-old Rebecca in my red Nissan Sentra sitting at a red light at Country Club Drive & North St., waiting to hear track number two. My ex-boyfriend had told me the night before that when he heard the song, all he could think of was me. And as I passed through the green light and the song made it through one verse, I realized for the first time how sad love can be. And mostly because I realized he had wanted ME to send HIM that song.

But then because iPod shuffle is so brilliant, the next song was:

by JJ Fad
The first beat of this song puts me back at Semoran Skateway at a Friday Night Lock In, shuffle skating around the rink, bouncing on my skates and stumbling through all the words before it got to my favorite part -- "...and the R is for Rap, so tell those nosy people just to stay the HELL back." I was punching my arms and cocking my head like a REAL rapper and I always felt soooo cool that I got to say a cuss word.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hey you guys...

Watched Goonies tonight with a few friends.

I know that I know this is a brilliant movie. And I've seen it so many times, but I always seem to forget how freaking funny Chunk is. That kid cracks me up. His timing is impeccable and I just want to squeeze his cheeks.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day of rest

I used to not be able to conceive missing a Friday night out -- even if just to the movies. But lately, Friday nights seem to be the best night to just go to bed early.

So I did.
And it was so wonderful.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No curbside waiting

Seeing the ocean before work usually makes for a great day and today it definitely made work more bearable. But so did my super successful trip to the airport.

We almost timed it perfectly. I pulled up to my friend's airline terminal and only had to do one little teeny weeny half turn-around before he was waiting at the curb. No honking. No mean security men with flashy flashlights. No In-N-Out drive through to waste time. Just efficient picker-upping at LAX.

Love it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Guess you had to be there.

I'm gonna do it. I'm going to quote John Mayer:
Didn’t have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world with both my eyes

I went to the Montalban Theater tonight to see Michel Gondry talk about his new DVD and then jam with Jon Brion and brief special guest Seth Rogen.
Blah. Blah. Blah.
Hollywood. Hollywood. Hollywood.
I realize I'm a lucky little lady to attend such a glamorous Hollywood affair with such talented people...but you could have too -- it was free.

And after having the guy behind me lean his entire body into me for two songs and the girl next to me use my head as a tripod...I migrated to the back of the crowd gasping for air and some sanity. The view from the back was lots of poofy-haired boys and cameras flailing everywhere. I truly couldn't believe the amount of people desperate to get the best shot to put on Facebook tomorrow. Was anyone REALLY watching?

All of that to say, that sometimes I need to be fully annoyed or frustrated to actually have a sunshine stick out.

On my way home, still sort of annoyed and realzing that I could indeed be "getting old", I pulled up to a stoplight with a homeless guy talking to himself. I was the only person at the light and I gave him a smile as we made eye contact and I quickly looked away. He walked all the way around my car and came back to my window, standing at a sort of respectful, safe distance.

He was motioning something with his hands and asking me a question. I just shook my head no assuming he was asking for money, but he was very persistent. He motioned to the back of my car and started using his fingers spelling out P-O-L....and then mimicked a perfect water polo throw. "Yooou play wat-er po-looo?"

My light turned green and all I could do was give him a huge smile and a nod. And to be quite honest, it was the biggest, most honest smile I'd offered anyone all day.

[In case you're not my mom, I DO play water polo and there's a sticker on the back of my car that MOST people mistake for a volleyball player]

Monday, April 13, 2009


Every time I'm sick, there comes a moment when all I want is my mom. What I wouldn't give to have her show up and rub my hair and bring me Sprite.

Yesterday, I couldn't get out of bed. And I haven't felt that awful in a long time. About half way through the day, my roommate knocked on the door because she hadn't heard me shuffle all day and was concerned. She brought me cold water and wanted to know if I needed anything.

It felt like that glass of water almost saved my life.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bacon & Mimosas

Went to an Easter Brunch that had a sit down meal for almost 50 people. So amazing to see THAT many people sharing and passing food. And then watching all the adults scurry to find hidden eggs afterward. It might have been the mimosas that got us all excited, or the cute guy in the Easter Bunny costume or just pure competition.

Either way, fabulous Easter Sunday.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I wanna bang on the drum all day

Ya know what? There wasn't a whole lot of Good in my Friday.

But I did get to eat grilled salmon off a 50 gallon oil drum grill last night. The kind you see in the backyard of BBQ shacks in Tennessee. Custom made, pretty as hell.

And I've never seen someone more proud of their purchase. My friend was literally glowing and grunting and pointing out all the features...ALL night. And the salmon was tasty as well.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Huey, Dewey and Louie

I watched some old school Disney cartoons tonight and I couldn't believe how much I remembered. Which either means I watched them entirely too many times as a kid, Disney is just THAT good or Walt had a way of brainwashing us all.

We watched the Extreme Adventure Fun
DVD and it's a remastered version of the cartoons from 1950! Translation: I watched them 30 years after they were made and now kids are watching them almost 60 years after they were made. And we're both still laughing. Out loud.

The most vivid of all of them is Mickey, Donald and Goofy eating corn for breakfast, type-writer-style, racing to see who finishes first. This is a scene I involuntarily see in my head every time I eat corn on the cob and wonder how others eat it; type-writer-style...or sort of around, finishing one end and slowly moving towards the other.

How do you eat yours? And do you see Disney characters as well?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Easter Bunny came early.

Care packages will never get old...ever. I can usually guess when they're coming (Valentine's, Birthdays, etc.) but somehow this year, I completely forgot about Easter. So when the FedEx man showed up at my door today, I was sincerely surprised.

Yay, Mom!

Surprise package...a sunshine indeed. However, the true sunshine was after I opened the box. I recently saw edible Easter grass at Michael's Craft Store and knowing that my mom frequents the place as much I do, I figured the pretty pink shreds in my care package were in fact this new sort of scary yet intriguing product.

So I didn't think twice. I didn't even smell it or overly examine it, I just stuck it in my mouth. Apparently my mom missed the shelf with the edible grass.

I laughed out loud at myself. And not just a chuckle. It was a solid laugh-out-loud 30 seconds.
The best kind, really.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Movies that effect you to the core

I watched the movie Towelhead tonight and had no idea what I was in for. I thought it was going to be about some unwanted racism in the South. Which, indeed, was included in the movie. But there were SO MANY other elements to this movie about a 13 year-old girl.

I actually almost turned it off a couple times. Not because of the quality of the film but because of the intensity.

About halfway through the movie, a new character is introduced played by Toni Collette. She was, in some way, the sunshine of this film for me. Even with all the uncomfortable events and ideas throughout the film, her character brings a little normalcy to a Texas suburb. And she's an example of the kind of person and neighbor I'd like to be.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bag Lady

I got a sweet new bag over the weekend. For cheap....on

This bag knows how to ride my bike with me; to beer gardens, to my job, to the grocery, to The Promenade and to Life in general.

I started my morning filling my newly acquired bag with my laptop and my Lacie drive... and I must say... I left the house looking very professional.

I ended my day filling it with Coors Light, glow bracelets and a much needed camera to document an evening of kickball.

That's right people.
I work AND I have fun...most days in fact...and the sweet new bag is only going to accentuate both.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mmm...Lemon Ice Box Pie

Needed to crush some graham crackers today and the best way to do so was with a ziploc bag and a rolling pin.

I am the proud owner of an old school rolling pin that I purchased from a flea market awhile ago. However, unlike the rest of the Smith family (my mom's side), mine has two handles. Which under normal circumstances, a rolling pin should. But when your grandmother cooked with a broken rolling pin and your mom purposefully broke her own because the second handle was simply in the are sort of destined to ignore the second handle. And I do.

I haven't officially needed to break mine, but I do admit that I am much more comfortable crushing graham crackers using one handle. And every time I even SEE the rolling pin I think of Granny Smith and my mom and the many cooking traditions handed down through generations.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Saturday, you are my sunshine.

And Westside, you are the rays.

Riding bikes, having a beverage in a beer garden and having someone ask me if I was a pilot because I was wearing aviator sunglasses...might be the best Saturday ever. Living in Southern California feels like a dream sometimes.

I take that for granted entirely too often.

And ending my Saturday hanging with a two-year-old all night, might have been the best decision I've made in awhile.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I received a this message will destruct in 30 seconds text message today. It gave the secret details of the location I was to pick up a disc with important files.

You wouldn't think it would be that much fun, but looking for the pink flowers next to the fire hydrant in front of the 777 Hotel...I felt a little bit like James Bond. However, with the new haircut, I probably looked more like Nancy Drew.

Scavenger hunts will always be matter how big or small.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hey, Mr. Bouncer Man...

Don't be a jerkface.

Usually in Hollywood, they are. And until lately, at Hotel Cafe, they had nice dudes at the door. No jerkface bouncers allowed.

But in the past two years or so...they haven't been that impressive.

Tonight, it could have been that I was on a high from meeting Dooce or maybe it was my Dirty Thirty confidence, but the bouncer was overly nice to us.

So nice in fact, that we got in even though it was sold out and he didn't even officially count the cash I handed to him for cover...he just trusted me.

Thank you Mr. Bouncer Man. You are my sunshine for today.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Elbows off the table

Met an old friend out tonight who was in town for a business training. He brought one of his colleagues along for the ride.

I don't pretend to be a Southern Belle or to have taken fancy etiquette classes, but when I meet someone with manners, I'm always so impressed. And more importantly, someone who has them ingrained...sort of second nature. It feels subtle and honest.

Mr. Colleague Man was the perfect example. And not because he wanted my phone number or was overly trying to impress. His actions were examples of how you treat PEOPLE in general.

I've been trying not to generalize and blame the city of Los Angeles for its shortcomings. And I realize meeting 25 year-old hipsters at Hollywood bars and late-night eating joints doesn't make my test group very fair...but in my experience, LA leaves a little to be desired in the courtesy department.

So tonight was refreshing.