Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy 2011


Here's the thing with "famous" people and their parties:

They might have better signs...

 













They still have awkward drunk girl who can't manage to stay on her feet.


And they still store ice in the tub.




Sunday, December 26, 2010

Corrected.

I pulled up to the drive-through at Dunkin' Donuts and ordered a small iced coffee and one glazed donut hole and one chocolate.

The friendly voice from behind the menu said, "Um, do you mean munchkins?"

Yes, yes I did.  Munchkins.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Like a flashlight!

My brother's friends (and their kids) stopped by today for a visit and the Pontius family was in for a real treat.  An impromptu performance of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer by three singers under 4 feet tall.

I almost melted into the couch.

So, so cute.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cheater.

Against some other people's suggestion, I decided to bring all the leftover cookies from my party to the airport.  Figured I'd give them out in the security line, on the tram, on the plane.

My friends thought I'd have trouble convincing people to bite (pun intended) -- but they were sorely mistaken.  I had a few people turn up their nose, but in general people were excited about cookies.  I mean, duh.

As I got on the plane, two guys in First Class spotted the cookies and said, "Oh, you brought some for everyone!"  I smiled and shrugged my shoulders, "Saawwry, only for Economy Class."  They laughed and said, "We'll send you a drink in return for a cookie."

I agreed that would be awesome and so did the woman behind me.  She butted in and said, "Seat 29F, cranberry and vodka."  I didn't bother telling them I had no idea who she was.

About half way through the flight, I went back up to First Class and offered them a cookie.  They politely declined (they were watching their figure) but wanted to make sure I got my drink.  I told them I hadn't and they said, "What?!  We sent you two.  Who the hell is just taking free drinks?"

That lady, obviously.

I went back to my seat and about 5 minutes later the flight attendant showed up with a cranberry vodka and said, "Purple shirt, blonde hair...you're in 10F...that is nowhere near 29.  And who just takes drinks for something they didn't do?  Sheesh."

Everyone wins really.  But come on lady -- come on.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Coooookies!

As usual, I tried to cram too many things into one day and as I was franticly cleaning dishes/making rice krispy treats/trying to make Pandora work on my TV -- I was second guessing trying to have a party last night.  What was I thinking?

However, once the first guest showed up (with the most amazing gift!) I knew it would all be worth it.  I was having a Christmas cookie party and it couldn't have been a better night.

There was:
Christmas music

Faces I hadn't seen in a month
Footy pajamas on miniature little feet
Instant decorations from the cutest family ever
Sharing old Christmas stories and memories
A surprise visit
and
Warmth, just warmth.


I loved last night.  More than I ever thought I would.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A year in review

Every year for Christmas, my brother and I (ahem, I) make a photo calendar for my parents.  I just take all the random photos of me and my bro from the current year and let iPhoto do the rest. 

Turns out it's a great present for me too!  It's such a cool way to review my year and remind myself of all the awesome things we did in a year.  I suppose it's the equivalent of everyone's new favorite past time of compiling all their Facebook statuses from the year.  Only prettier.

Can't give the whole calendar away, but man those Pontius kids like them some Hipstamatic.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Almost better than a sign with my name on it...

Even as much as Hong Kong loves Christmas decorations and synthesized covers of obscure Christmas music -- I was having a hard time feeling the Christmas Spirit overseas.  Who knew I'd miss too-early stocked Christmas isles in stores and radio stations that play nothing but old Sinatra holiday tunes?  But I did.  And my chauffeur from the airport couldn't have been more thoughtful.

My ride was equipped with:
One cheezy holiday sweater
Christmas music queued in the CD player
Yummy iced coffee

and Rice Krispy Treats!

Such a great homecoming.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Typical.

I'm good at things.  Specifically: making rice krispy treats, swimming and remembering to send thank you cards.

But you know where I particularly excel?  In living everyone's travel nightmares.  In my lifetime, I've missed more flights than I care to admit.  And today was no different.

Frantic packing, impatient navigation through automated phone menus, self loathing, $$$, deep breath, eternity cab ride, deep breath, lines, language barriers, not-so-cheery flight attendant who seemed to be typing her dissertation as she tried to help, deep breath and getting picked for a "special" security screening.  All in a day's work really.

Once I finally squeezed myself into my, since-I-missed-my-first-flight-and-don't-have-a-good-seat, middle chair...I realized this might just be the beginning.  The woman next to me seemed to either not notice there was a human being sitting next to her or simply had no concept of personal space.  She was leaning on me, poking me, elbowing me in the gut.

Normally, I'd sigh and lean away and hope she falls asleep soon.  But today, I couldn't be bothered.  I poked back.  I even ELBOWED back...tried to show who was boss.  She didn't seem to notice, so I closed my eyes and prayed the flight attendant would bring wine.  Quickly.

On the verge of tears (I swear the altitude gets me every time), I noticed the drink cart was almost to our row.  I perked up, ordered my wine, poured the entire little airplane bottle into my cup and closed my eyes for a quick toast to Hong Kong and all the things it had carved into my heart.

As I opened my eyes, I noticed my cup was making a b-line toward my lap and there was nothing I could do.  I just watched it slide, in slow motion, directly off my tray.  Ugh, there were those tears again.  Go away!

YES: High-altitude Eat, Pray, Love was getting the best of me. YES: I'd had a complicated morning. YES: My seat mate was a high-class poker -- but, PLEASE: just keep it together.

Ms. Poker McPokerton grabbed her napkin with ninja speed and threw it in between me and the cup.  Even though some of the wine slowly dripped onto my leg -- she'd saved me from complete disaster.  She hardly made eye contact when I tried to thank her.  But she'd won enough points to warrant a few free pokes for the rest of the flight.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A fountain walks into a bar...

Installing a show is never flawless.  In fact, it would be a little disconcerting if it was.

We have a lot of elements in our Hong Kong show and at some point, each of them hasn't worked properly or somehow has a mind of it's own.

Tonight, we had some fountains that were only half working.  When I texted the vendor to let him know:
Two of the fountains aren't happy.


 He simply wrote back:

Tell them a joke.

Made my day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

I had my roommate ship something to my hotel and she added a little surprise present.  So fun. (Thanks, roommate!)  My British (and all male) vendors haven't been on the silly band train and weren't interested in hopping on.  And the rest of the people in the office just looked at me funny when I offered to share with everyone.



BUT....when I came back at the end of the day, someone had created a little rock n' roll scene on my desk.

That snowman is killing it on the guitar.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Internet is so cool.

One of my favorite local LA performers, Mr. Jim Bianco, did an online "concert" from his apartment today.  It was at 3pm PST, which means I had to roll out of bed at 6:45am HK time.  So worth it though.  I put on the hotel robe, made a cup of tea and set up shop on my sahweet balcony.

There was a realtime chat for people to request songs and have typical, fan-type banter. [Jim, we love you!  When are you coming back to the UK?  Are you wearing pants, LOL!  You're so sexy.] Barf.

At some point he asked who was the furtherest away from LA.  I piped up and typed in Hong Kong.  As he was reading aloud some of the cities, he said, "Hong Kong?!  No way, you're lying.....Rebecca?"

I sort of squealed when he said my name.  Only because my username was rhpontius, not Rebecca.  HE KNEW WHO I WAS!  Probably because I've practically begged him to play every fundraiser/event/party I've ever hosted (and he's actually supported FOEF).

But still...



Friday, December 10, 2010

The Hong Kong Shuffle

I've traveled before.
Driven on the other side of the road.
Followed Look Left crosswalk signs.

It usually takes a couple days to re-adjust...but normally, one catches on to the flow of traffic and avoids getting run over.

Somehow, there's a disconnect in Hong Kong. They drive on the left (that's that, there British influence) but walking traffic is sorely confused.  It's not just the tall white people with their maps and their cameras.  It's little old ladies and kids and business men.

It's willy nilly.
Theres no rhyme. No reason.

Up the stairs on the right, down the stairs on the right...or in the middle or sometimes the left.  
I feel like it makes everyone look a little bit confused all the time.  But it also makes for some awesome dance moves as I shuffle through the crowds.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yeah, I don't watch The Sopranos...give me a break.

Just discovering the band Alabama3 and really enjoying them.  Thought I was all  -- Hey guys, check out this sweet UK band you've never heard of.  Then a friend (thanks, Josef) reminded me how I'm always one step behind on the music front. Meh, whatever.

First of all, really digging their music.  But also really liking what I found in their ABOUT section on their website:


And we want to make you feel good. We know you've had trouble in your life, real bad trouble. We know you've got debts. We know you've had your heart broken so many times you're still finding pieces of it in your pillow. Maybe you've done some good things in your life, maybe you've done some bad things. We forgive you. Forgive yourself. Then dress up real sexy and come and party with us sometime. We'll look after you.

That's a promise.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Too matchy matchy?

Today I bought socks that match my underwear.  I suppose there will only be a few people that would ever see that.  But I think it's fun(ny).

They're not just white and white, people.  They're aqua with big white stars. Wicked.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ah, home.

Ran into some travelers on the street last night.  They were asking for advice on a bar with locals instead of guilos.  We tried to send them in the right direction but they were sort of arguing over where to go.  The American of the threesome spoke up:

"There's a sports field over there, let's just grab some beers from 7-11 and hang out in the bleachers."

Classic.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What if I'm wearing a skirt?

I was sort of half listening to my boss and our technical director researching 4D chairs for a new show and it was such a great conversation to hear just bits of.  (4D chairs are theater seats used in theme park shows that move, blow air, spray water, etc.)

Some of the sites were translated from Chinese and were fantastic.

"Okay, this one has ankle ticklers but doesn't have the butt kicker."
"Man, but we need a back poke."
"Oh, they don't even offer the leg tickle."
"This one says it moist his hair and cheek. Perfect."
"Oooo, the leg sweep: Mimic small animal climb trousers inside feeling.  What if I'm wearing a skirt?"


You know you want my job.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Eeeeeeee!

At my apartment, our Love Actually DVD gets some serious play time.  Not just at the holidays, but all year long.  How good is this movie?!

While in HK, we all have local Nokia phones and everyone seems to have left their ringtones on default.  One vendor in particular has the infamous ringtone from the character played by Laura Linney.  In the movie, she is taking care of her brother and her phone is his direct lifeline to her. (If you need a reminder, take a listen.)

Here, every time his phone rings, I lose my concentration for a second and think of Love Actually.  It's a nice little break.  For a moment, I sit and remember one of my favorite moments from the film:  The lovely Laura Linney is awkwardly saying goodnight to her crush and they ultimately decide he should come in.  She tells him she needs just a moment and steps into her stairwell to have a quick holy-crap-is-this-really-happening-I'm-so-excited moment.  It makes my heart flutter.  Every. Single. Time.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rated PG13 for violence.

I visited Cheung Chau today, a small island off the coast of Hong Kong and came to the realization that I'm getting older and perhaps not as adventurous as I remember being.  Good news is:  I'm fine with that.

This story's culprit shown in Exhibit A.  Comic relief provided by Exhibit B.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

















After some slight heart palpitations from an earlier experience on the island, I decided to reward myself with a beer and some tasty local cuisine.  Peel-and-eat shrimp seemed like the perfect option -- until it arrived at my table.  There were eyeballs staring at me and 4-inch antennas draping off my plate.  I was having a hard time even looking at these little guys, much less eating them.  What's my deal?!  I've eaten shrimp heads before.  I've even eaten raw shrimp right off a fishing boat.

Didn't seem to matter.  As I evaluated my options, I realized I'd just have to suck it up (ha, no pun intended) and eat them.  At least some of them.  Figured if I didn't look down while I de-shelled them, I'd be fine.  And I was -- until I glanced down to make sure I was grabbing the head to pull it off and green goo exploded all over my hands.  I nearly lost it.  How did I forget about the green goo?! 

I took a deep breath, pulled off the last little bits and took a bite.  Sand.  He tasted like fishy sand.  There was no way I was making a dent in that plate.  And there was also no way I was just leaving a plate full of food.  They're not so into the wasting of food here in the HK.

I realized that a cute little old lady next to me had clearly been watching this all unfold.  We briefly made eye contact and I could tell she was silently laughing at me.  She was also trying to get her granddaughter to laugh.  She had used the paper from her chopsticks to make one of those birthday horns.  She'd blow it in the baby's face and then make funny faces to make her laugh.  I was admiring them (and her sweet invention) when she looked up, pointed the horn right at me and blew it in my face. She smiled and I beamed a huge thank you to her with my eyes. (Because they can speak Chinese.)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thurdeen

The desk I’m using while I’m working in Hong Kong is one of many in a land of half-height cubicles allowing you to see and hear everything that’s happening around you.  Two desks down is a boy named Bruce from Australia.  I’ve been resisting any Finding Nemo shark jokes, but it’s been hard.  Today, he was on a call discussing something about the aquarium (see! It’s too easy) they’re installing and he was requesting new plants for a section of the tank — of which he needed thirteen.

As the conversation went on, he must have said the word thirteen a dozen times.  I grinned the first time he said it and then progressively smiled bigger and bigger until I was almost giggling.  You see, when I lived in Australia my friend Rita and I were very fond of our new Aussie friend Luke.  For many, many reasons but one of them was hearing him say the number thirteen.  We were complete suckers for the accent and used to come home drunk and tackle Luke begging him to say it just one more time.  Even years later, Rita’s told him that if he ever calls and gets her voicemail, to just say thirteen and hang up.

It was a great few minutes of my day.  Hearing the word, but also flashing back to so many good memories of Newcastle, AUS.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dogs and Sunglasses

It's funny the things you notice when you travel.  For whatever reason, it's very clear to me that people in Hong Kong don't wear sunglasses and don't seem to have dogs for pets. (Or if they do, they're just not walking them.)

Those observations are a little random I suppose.  But something ANYONE might notice is how loud it is here.  In crowded places, sometimes it feels like everyone's yelling at each other.  It can be a little stressful, but I'm getting used to it.  I can't really say that I come from a
quiet culture, so I'd feel bad complaining.

At lunch today, I sat next to an American family in a restaurant that was particularly screamy.  The 13-year-old girl of the family sort of huffed and puffed, as 13-year-olds do, and said, "Geez, it seems like they're all yelling at each other.  It's so loud.  It's kind of like the Green Day concert.  Ugh."

It made me giggle.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A girl loves flowers

























I came back to my hotel tonight in between work and what would be a delicious, thai food Thanksgiving dinner.  As I opened my door, every light in my hotel room was on.  Odd.

I was slightly concerned at first, thought someone was in my room.  But as I assessed the room, I realized I had these on my desk.

Flowers are always an amazing surprise.  Always.  But even better this time was the surprise of who they were from.  I assumed they might be from my office -- sort of a sorry you're working on Thanksgiving bouquet -- but when I opened the card it read: Happy Thanksgiving, sis!

I might have cried a little
.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sometimes, I need a little fluffing.

One of our vendors on this project is British and I adore new catch phrases -- not to mention accents -- so it's been a fun few days so far.

Every time this particular person has been working his ass off and is slowly, food deprived-ly getting annoyed, he sort of searches for compliments.  But not in an annoying or unwarranted way.  It's great actually.  And once he gets a "thanks" or "good job" (even if sarcastically), he says, "That's all I need.  Sometimes I just need a little fluffing."

I mean, who doesn't really?!  Moms can only tell you you're perfect so many times.

And, as fate would have it, I came home tonight to some feedback about a project of mine, and the comments stung a little bit.  As I read through and started to turn red and want to give up...I couldn't help but think of my Brit's request:  A little fluffing.  Even without the compliments on my own project, just repeating the phrase out loud and the thought of some potential kinder words on their way, made me feel a little bit better.  Enough to be able to close my computer and write it all off for a good night's sleep.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Get, that, dirt off your shoulder

Got up early this morning for a little jog around Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.  I've decided this part of town (and perhaps Hong Kong in general) is the Santa Monica of Asia.  People LOVE to be active.  There's your typical stuff -- tennis, soccer, jogging.  But people just like to move here.  It's pretty great.


Obviously, there's Tai Chi and I'm dying to just join a group and be the tall blonde girl in the back that doesn't belong.  But there are also various activities happening -- jumping in place, synchronized armlifts, a billion toe taps, hip thrusts, air punches, etc.  And today, my favorite was a lady that I kept passing on the trail who was briskly walking and brushing each shoulder off individually -- over and over, left then right, left then right.

You know Jay Z went to Hong Kong and was all, sick moves I'm bringing that back to the States.

Friday, November 19, 2010

But, mom...

I was waiting in line at the airport behind a family of three and they had started chatted with the woman in front of them.  The line to get through security was FOREVER.


The little boy started getting antsy and kept telling his mom he was hungry.  Every minute his voice became a little more whiny and every time he complained his mother would simply say, I'm hungry too.

The women in front of them suddenly stopped mid-sentence and said, "Oh my goodness!  I totally forgot.  I have a muffin from breakfast this morning."

She pulled it out of her bag and handed it to the little boy.

People are kin
d.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Hills of Beverly and That Red Frugetable

Tomatoes should be a vegetable.  You don't put them in a fruit cup.  You don't top your pancakes with them.  Yeah, they have seeds.  Big freaking deal.  They. Are. Vegetables.

(Ahem, it appears the United States Supreme Court agrees with me, see 
Nix v. Hedden.  And it also appears you REALLY can take someone to court for ANYTHING.)

Right.  So the point here is:  I don't like tomatoes.  And there are some exceptions to this, but in general, keep them off my sandwich please.  Tonight, driving into Beverly Hills for work, I posted the following on Twitter:

Beverly Hills, you are just like tomatoes to me. Been trying you for years, but we will never be friends.
Then it was as if the universe wanted to prove a point and gave me two - let's call them entertaining - experiences.  After telling twitterspace that I hated this city, I got a free Ruth's Chris Steakhouse cheesecake and an interesting, friendly encounter with a parking attendent.

This still doesn't mean we're friends, but it made me hate Beverly Hills a TEENY bit less.  At least for today.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Drive By

I love when people just "stop by" your house.  I can definitely count on one hand how many times that's happened in 8 years in LA.

Unfortunate really.  But today a friend just showed up.  And he even came bearing gifts!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I've Fallen In Love And I Can't Get Up

I listened to a great story the other day on This American Life.  The theme for the show was "Held Hostage" and Act 3 was about a man with a very unusual condition.

recommend listening to it for the full effect, but here's the gist:

A man named Matt Frerking started having attacks where he simply couldn't move his body.  He would be in the shower and suddenly find himself sitting on the floor, completely unable to move.  After lots of doctors and questions and falling down stairs, he realized the cause of the problem was ca
taplexy.

The process in your body that causes cataplexy is the same process in your REM cycles that temporarily shuts down your muscle system so you don't physically act out your dreams. (so cool)

For Matt, this process is triggered from strong emotions -- in particular happy emotions -- while he's awake.

His grandchild's laughter.
His wife's smile.
The mere thought of his brother's wedding.

All these things trigger an "attack" and his body goes limp.

The entire time listening to this story I kept thinking about Sunshine of the Day.  And all the days I cursed it a little bit and thought -- 
bleh, today sucked, I don't want to write about something good.

Man, what if I COULDN'T write about something good? (without hitting my head on my desk)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Steve

Spent the night at a friend's house and ended up with a little snuggle partner.

Steve is half something and half Chihuahua.  And as I climbed into bed, he burrowed under the covers, all the way to my knees and slept there all night.

I was a little nervous I'd roll over him, so I didn't get a great night's sleep, but man he was cute.

AND, I love dogs with human names.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mark As Unread

In my email inbox, I set things to unread if I still need to respond or complete a task of some sort.  Because I have a brain (and because I want to remain Carolyn Clark's friend), I use Gmail.

Those Googlites have come up with many options -- Stars, Labels, Priority Inbox, etc. -- to help you organize everything.  I appreciate the attempts in innovation to keep me organized, but lately it just stresses me out.  When I go to my inbox and see stars and bold emails in priority order, I'm reminded of all the things I haven't done yet.

Moments ago, I answered the last bold email waiting for my attention.

And, as expected, Google gives you a digital high five when you empty out those looming emails:
Woohoo! You've read all the important messages in your inbox

Guys....It feels amazing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

So thoughtful.
















A friend surprised me today and took me on a field trip for my birthday....to a factory in East Los Angeles.  Not just any factory...the Acapulco Tortilla Chips factory, which are THE BEST tortilla chips in LA.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I even got a special Member's Card to get discounts on all their products.  He also bought me an entire box (12 bags) of chips, so looks like a Mexican themed party is in my future.

Yay, birthday week!

Monday, November 1, 2010

In Review

I've decided to write a poem about my 31st year and the random sunshine it entailed.
Because, why not?


On a bus it did start
this year called thirty one
With cherry whiskey, some dancing
and a night I heard was fun

I moved up in my job
You can call me director
My best friend got hitched
I joined the private sector

My bro hit it big

you can hear it on vinyl
I Rock N Roll gardened
and I swam a cold mile

I worked at a Moose Lodge

They're cooler than you think!
I dated online
read: lots of strong drinks

I laughed and I cried

Even had a hoot and holler
I made it through traffic
And then I found five dollars!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Nothin' Fancy

Was so excited for a little Halloween BBQ and trick or treating tonight!  Not only was there great food and great company, but there was a bounce house!  These two seemed to find something even better though.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kindness.

Oh, Bob's.  My favorite little grocery store.

I was assessing the broccoli in the produce isle and turned to grab a plastic bag. Every roll around me seemed to be completely out.  A gentlemen walking towards me with two bags smiled, reached out and handed me one.


I assumed he'd accidentally grabbed two and it was meant to be.  But as I grabbed the bag, he returned to the full roll of bags and got himself another.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Casualty

After a long day of loading in for my Harvest Event this weekend, I came home to this picture waiting in my inbox from one of my crew members.  Totally made my day.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So Simple

After a frustrating day I complained to a friend, "I REALLY REALLY REALLY just want today to be over."

And in his brilliant wisdom he answered, "Today IS over.  It's tonight."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Pay Off

Today, the rain figuratively and literally put a damper on my sunshine.  From the moment I stepped out of my house this morning, everything seemed to go wrong.  Insane traffic, dealing with the government, soaked shoes, destroyed creative projects, insane traffic, more rain and more rain and more rain.

Putting my key in the front door tonight was such a sigh of relief, I thought I might open the door and immediately lay down on the floor.

But before I did that, I grabbed my mail (all of which appeared to be junk) and tossed it in the recycle box.  An envelope fell out of the pile and onto the floor and I almost threw it away again before noticing it was from a claims agency.  I decided to open it, convinced I'd probably been duped again into opening some crap junk mail.

I was completely wrong.  It was a claim for $500 from a car accident I was in this summer.  My car is actually fine.  And now I have $500 to spend on something fabulous.

Dinner anyone?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Home Is Wherever There Is You

Melt in my seat lyrics.
I dare you to not smile while watching one of these.

My friend
Matt reminded me of this today and a fellow blogger mentioned it a few months ago.  And, just like she says, it deserves the attention it gets.

I'm posting both of these videos because they both make me smile that
comfortable, long, warming smile that only music can create.  I have a fave -- but it doesn't matter.  Flip a coin and watch one -- or enjoy both for their separate goodness.

And dance today -- even if it's in your car or the shower.  Just for a second...smile big and dance
.



Sunday, October 17, 2010

A thought

I was getting ready for an evening of martinis and Mad Men and noticed there was a neighbor dog howling and whining for almost an hour.  At first, I thought..."Meh, slightly loud and annoying, but man, I wish I had a dog."  And then my Lassie radar turned on and I thought..."What if someone is hurt and the dog is crying for help?!"

Which was immediately followed by, "Nah, someone else will check."
(Which was followed by that thought for the next hour.)

I sort of hate that reasoning.  People die, can't get up, get kidnapped, don't get help...primarily because
people think:  Someone else will help.

I made it all the way to my car and started the engine before I had to FORCE myself out of my car, walk to my neighbor's complex and pick a door to knock on.

They seemed surprised, defensive and almost annoyed that I had even bothered.  "No, our dog is quiet, I promise."  I tried to explain that I wasn't annoyed or upset -- just worried.  They didn't seem to hear me.

This isn't a
HEY, LOOK AT ME -- LOOK AT WHAT I DID post.  This is a realization that LA has slowly and surely changed me.  And I'm frustrated.  It took a ton of convincing to get out of my car to "waste" 3 minutes of my time to check on a fellow human-being.

Buuuut....man did I feel relief afterward.  Even if they couldn't quite understand my intentions.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dearly Beloved...

Three weeks ago I gave a speech at a wedding that I didn't even make it through the first two words.

Last night, a 4 year old gave a speech.  With a microphone. And killed it.

She said, "I just wanted to say that this is really pretty. [pure silence....] And I'm really happy."

So great.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Like father, like son.

I was at a 4 year old's birthday party today and even though the entire day was pretty sunshine-worthy, there was one moment that stuck out.

After cake was served, a dad and his 3 year old plopped down in the grass and sat in exactly the same position -- knees bent, feet underneath their bums and sort of a straight-ahead gaze.


I could tell the dad was exhausted and happy to sit.  He used a fork and slowly enjoyed every bite while the little boy used his fingers to eat.  They both barely looked at the cake as they stared ahead into nothingness and finished their cake.

Then in perfect sync, they both used their fingers to diligently get every last spec of frosting off their plate.  One swipe at a time, they scooped it up, licked their finger and then did it again and again.  Until the plate was clean.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

$1.25 please

I was headed home from Laguna Beach tonight and was aimlessly following my phone's GPS which put me on a toll road.  I hesitated at first, but then thought...whatever, what's it gonna be...like $2?

Wrong.  $4.75 for a few miles of fancy toll road pavement.  I was slightly annoyed at first, but then realized I'd paid for a road to myself.  There wasn't a car in sight and I forgot how great that feels.


Ya know, the open road.

Hard to find in the City of Angels.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

And then I found five dollars...

A little tip:
When telling a story that seems to be dying quickly and everyone is losing interest...simply finish the story and then pause appropriately and say, "...and then I found five dollars."

It needs to be matter-of-fact, shrug your shoulders and bring your pitch up at the end of "dollars" -- works every time.

Well, it has for me.

But today, for real, I found THIRTY DOLLARS in my pocket.  I mean, it doesn't get better than that.  It's like free money.  And it made my d
ay.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Swim. Bike. Run.

I was at the LA Triathlon today and almost started crying as I watched a mom cheer on her son.

She had been standing across the race path from me, sort of pacing and reaching her neck out over the crowd looking for her son.  Once she spotted him, she looked down at her watch, her eyes widened and she squealed at the top of her lungs.

She yelled "Oh my goodness, that's such a good time! Go, honey, go!" And as he passed, she turned to start running with him.  She put her hand over her mouth in disbelief and pride took over her body.  It was as if she could clear a skyscraper building as she did a hop, skip and jump to catch up with him.


I watched her all the way to the finish line with tears running down her face and a smile ear to ear.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Cool Kids Are In College

Perhaps this is a broken record, but music fans in LA can be kind of lame at live shows.  I can't tell if it's the over abundance of options that makes people snooty....sort of a taking it for granted attitude...or if just those types of people flock to LA.  Either way, it's no fun.

Tonight I went to see
Foster the People at the UC Riverside campus and it was so great to see people at the first note of the first song, already bouncing around a little bit.  And to songs they've probably never heard before.

Yes, college kids are generally a little more free, but come on LA, let's step it up. Music is awesome.  You know it is.  Now let go a little bit.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Splish.

Went to a ridiculous house in Burbank with a pool that melts into infinity off a cliff. It's a friend of my parents and in the email he sent to invite us for dinner it said:  Tell the "kids" to bring their suits, the water is warm and the slide will be on.

For about 2.5 seconds I thought, "Mmph.  I'm not a kid."  But then I thought, "Right, who am I kidding?!"

Then while running up and down the waterfall, over and over...I made a promise with myself to always be a kid.  It's way more fun.  And when I'm 88, I will still not be able to resist playing in a swimming pool.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Presents!


I left the house this morning at 6:30am and returned at 8:00am.


When I left, there were a few things on my floor -- not gonna lie.  But when I came back, this was added into the mix.


So bizarre...I have no idea where it came from.  


But I am taking it as a gift from the City of Santa Monica for paying almost a billion parking tickets this year (so far).  


Thanks, guys!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Question Everything

In college, there was a wall I passed everyday where someone had spray painted: Question Everything.  And directly underneath it, someone else had written: Why?.

I realize a version of that graffiti is probably on every campus wall.  And in someways, it's almost as common as
For A Good Time Call [insert your ex-girlfriend's phone number].

But, man, it's so true.


On a two hour flight today, I had a conversation with a complete stranger and it was so refreshing.  Every answer I gave, he had a follow up question.  And then another and another.  Turns out he's a philosophy teacher, so I suppose the questioning is second nature. But my mind is still running in circles and zig zags from our conversation.


Just for fun, I'll give you a question to run with.  The same one he gave me:

Do you think you can CHOOSE to believe in something?

Annnnnd, go.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I like that she apologized first.

I was hanging out in a hotel hot tub today and a guy came over to join us.  He tried to slide in gracefully but ended up knocking over one of our cups and missing a step in the process.  He sort of grinned, apologized and slid across to the other side.


Suddenly, I heard a little voice from behind me, "Um, um I don't want to make you feel bad, but...smoooooth moves, Dad."


I turned to see his 9 year-old daughter with a mouth full of braces smiling at all of us.  So great.

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's the journey, not the destination.

And usually the batter is almost better than the dessert.

I made cookies from scratch tonight.  Which, in itself, is so fun.  Had a craving, was annoyed at the thought of going out to get something and then assessed the ingredients in my house...Viola!  Oatmeal cookies.

The idea that you have enough just "laying" around to make something delicious is so exciting.  I realize that's pretty normal.  MOST households have this.  But sometimes I still feel like a college student and was legitimately surprised tonight when I realized I could pull it all together.  (Had to run over to my neighbor to ask for vanilla, but again, fun.)

The cookies ARE delicious.  But the batter, the realizations, the neighbor visit...even better.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Here's to following through with ideas...

A friend sent this to me because it reminded him of me.  Fun.
It's a great little watch.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Your love glass is half full.

Saw the movie Paper Heart and it was better than I expected.  Charlyne Yi creates these great puppet scenes to tell love stories.  There are some sweet moments; in particular when she interviews a bunch of kids about love.


Worth the watch.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Skee Ball

Played a little skee ball down at the Santa Monica Pier tonight.  Always a good time. The little boy next to me was determined to get 100 points.  However, he was convinced the only way to do so was by throwing the ball overhand as hard as he possibly could.


Mom and dad didn't seem to care that he was throwing wood balls at a metal cage. And I'm pretty sure every other ball ended up in my lane.  One of which scored me 40 points!


Thanks for the help little kid.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dating is rad.

Had some time to kill before a blind date and was utterly exhausted.  Thought a nice nap in the park would be perfect.  Laid out my yoga mat, curled up and was ready to pass out.

I would have been asleep in moments, but kept getting a whiff of dog poop.  Mmph, it's a park after all, no big deal.  

But it wouldn't go away.  I sort of half sat up and scanned the area around me...shifting back and forth on my mat and sort of turning side to side.  I looked under my mat, around my mat -- it seemed to be clear.  Since I was laying on my side, my feet were sort of stacked and I couldn't see my bottom foot.  But now I could see the smear of dog shit on my yoga mat. 

Yup.  ALL OVER my foot.  Not just my shoe, people.  All my shuffling around had spread the poop onto my skin and IN my shoe.  Completely disgusting.  All the leaves in the park and the box of handy wipes didn't seem to do the trick.  I was convinced I still smelled like poop.

What's a girl to do?!  Basically, it was the perfect excuse for a pair of new shoes.  And if this boy was cool, would also be a great story for tonight.

The new shoes:  Totally cute.





















The date:  A no show.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Read it again and again

I can't remember the last time I quoted a bible verse.  Probably in high school when I was still sussing the whole thing out.


But last night I watched (via video feed from FL) a memorial service for a 5-year-old little girl from my church at home.

I
 can't erase it from my mind.

I connected to it because it was home.  

Because her favorite song was ABC by the Jackson 5
and she loved to dance.  
Because there were familiar faces
and spaces
and a community holding up a family who shouldn't have the strength to stand.


The pastor who gave the sermon is someone my age.  Someone I remember being an awkward high school student with.  And he's actually the uncle of this little girl.  He said the following words with strength and without a tear and it made me want to call everyone I love and tell them so.  Because we never say it enough.


"Blessed are those who mourn. [Matthew 5:4] -- Seems like that is exactly NOT how it is.  But read it again and again and again if you have to.  Those who mourn do so because they feel loss and loss is not felt by those who are not first blessed."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Moment

There's a moment as you approach your car, after a long night of it being alone, and you see something on the windshield.

A moment where you think..."Is that a note?  Who could have left me a note?"

That moment is short.  VERY short.
And usually followed by, "Duh.  It's a parking ticket."

But that brief, brief moment is so sweet.

Love note?  Friend note?  Secret Admirer note?

People don't leave those enough. You should start today.
Leave more windshield notes.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Could be

A friend showed me this video and I can't seem to get it out of my head.  We had a pretty long conversation about it afterward and it makes me want to know everyone's opinion about this poignant, short film.

This isn't an in-your-face sunshine moment.  In fact, it might make you sad.  But watch it.  Perhaps with a friend so you can discuss.  Try to see the good...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Squeezing in every minute

For whatever reason, there's always pressure to take complete, full advantage of days off.  Perhaps it's just MY pressure, but I always want to use every moment of a day without work.

And today was a success.  Road trip, cannonball contests, WANG, 40oz Bud Ice, Polaroid cameras, roasted corn, playing fetch and an improv show in the Hwood.

Done and done.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Swingtown

I dare you to resist swinging your legs back and forth when your feet are dangling from a high seat.

It's nearly impossible to sit still when tempted by chair elevation.  Especially when you're gossiping with an old friend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Smiling Faces & Flailing Arms

I was huffing and puffing through swim practice tonight trying to focus on ANYTHING other than my arms.  They seemed to be made of lead this evening.

During each breath, looking at the sideline of the pool, I remembered a trick I've used before to make it through a set.  I imagine people in my life running back and forth on the deck screaming and waving me forward -- just like high school swim meets.  My father, my coach, my brother, my friends.  It's fun to go through the list of people in my life and imagine their smiling faces and their flailing arms.  I even throw in perfect strangers, new crushes and unlikely characters.

Now, you can call me a total cheese-ball,  but I feel like this strategy could work for many difficult situations in life.  Imagining people you care about on the sideline, cheering you on...supporting you.

Right?
Cheese-ball indeed.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Interpret that.

I love when dreams feel like real life.  I woke up this morning and it was as if I'd visited an old friend.  For real.

Granted he was wearing this crazy army uniform and there was a human-size rabbit and a compass and I was perpetually lost in an airport.  Buuut, it still felt like I'd given him a real hug.

It also reminded me of a dream I had in 6th grade. My boyfriend had dumped me and it seemed so real that I avoided him for three days because I wasn't sure if it was true or not.  It's crazy what you remember.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Ha Game

Have you played this game?

The Ha Game
Teams competing lay down side by side on the floor. The first person lays their head back of next person's stomach and that person lays back their on the stomach of the next to him and so on. The first person in line is to laugh one HA. The next person in line is to laugh HA HA (two times). The third person is HA HA HA. And so on. Any person that breaks out into a giggle is out of the game and must get up and the hole is filled in. The last one to giggle, wins.

Been doing some research for Field Day and came across it on some website.  Last time I played it was about 2 years ago with some friends and I'm pretty sure I haven't laughed that hard in ages.  In fact, I think I remember my stomach being sore the next day.

Best game.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Check out those moves

I get up.
I walk.
I fall down.
Meanwhile I keep dancing.

That's been a favorite of mine for quite sometime and tonight I saw that quote in real life.

Spent the evening running around and playing games with kids at Camp Harmony.  It's an amazing week-long camp for homeless kids ranging from 7-10 years old with high school students as their counselors.

Those kids KILLED it on the dance floor.  KILLED. IT.  I watched as they challenged each other in battles, jumped around in circles, did back flips and schooled every single one of the volunteers with their sweet moves.

And they were happy.

I can't even BEGIN to imagine what their lives are like outside of this week-long camp.  But after tonight,  that quote makes even more sense to me and is the reason I live by it.  Dancing is a therapy that is truly priceless.  And those kids get it.  They just get it.

(This also reminds me of a great film, Rize, about people using dance as an alternative to gangs and a way to express emotion.  Here's the trailer.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Repeat Offense.

I feel like I've mentioned this before, but perhaps it's worth talking about again.

I'm a little sad for kids who have to toy shop at the grocery store now.  I feel like one of the best parts of grocery shopping with my mom was being allowed to hang out in the Toy Isle for a bit.

Remember?  Bouncing the bouncy balls as high as you could to try and make it over to the next isle?  Sussing out the best possible toy option that mom MIGHT buy?

Well, it's tough nowadays.  The toys are all spread out.  Sort of sporadically hanging in various places down EVERY, SINGLE isle.

I was on a mission today for a specific toy and I literally had to walk down every isle to find it.

About halfway through my mission, I started to get a little annoyed.  But then I realized if I was a kid (and who am I kidding really) this would be even MORE fun.  So I embraced it.  And pretended like I was Nancy Drew.