You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.

I hate LA.  It is the antithesis of everything I like about the East Coast. Yet, I go — and mainy for one reason — my friends.

dcspartyYes, I get some work done. I tried (not in too much earnest) to call my attorney. I took a meeting with some shyster about running a film festival. I threw a small gathering for DC Shorts participants who could not make the trek to DC for the film festival.  Thanks to those who came — it was great to see Mia and Dave — a couple who met at the festival, fell in love, got maried, and are now expecting their first kid — who I hope they name Jon or DC.

But I got to spend some amazing time with Terese, Kim, Steve and Jimmy.

Terese is a former graphic designer who is launching a consulting firm (sound familiar?!)  I have known her for more than 10 years, and she is always generous when I show up.  Now with her own 4 dogs and her business partner’s one, Pilot joined in the pack and ran around the house and yard while I was able to relax.

floatI have always wanted to see the Rose Bowl Parade. Well, I arrived too late for the fanare — but just in time to see all of the floats up close in a post-parade show-and-tell.  Up close, the floats are truly amazing — every conceivable seed, flower petal, greenery and shrubbery is used cover these intricate enginering feats. As luck would have it, my friend Gene worked on the Bollywood float a few days before the parade — so seeing it and his handiwork was extra special.

After leaving Pasadena (and no, I did not see the “little old lady,” I spent the afternoon with Kim.  We met my first year of Camp ‘Camp’ in 2002. She is fabulously funny and filled with lesbian drama that could be its own TV show.  Good for 2009: she has found a possible new girlfriend who sounds like a great catch and very sweet.  Bad for 2009: she lost her job in biotech marketing.  kimMan, I hate this economy!  Anyway, Kim was able to squeeze in extra time with me and Pilot and took us to Runyon Canyon — a vast series of hills and canyons north of Hollywood.  Yes — its a great place to see famous people. We walked by many a bad face lift or overinflated lip job — some of the distorted faces were familiar. I don’t care about celebrity, so I could not identify anyone — although there were a few very hot model/actor guys I wanted Pilot to trip over.

After a few day’s at T’s, I moved into Steve’s place.  Steve and I also met at Camp — and have been able to grow a wonderful friendship ever since.  Located in the heart of West Hollywood (the gayborhood for those who don’t know LA), Steve is a close walk to great coffee shops, unque boutiques, trendy restaurants and plenty of sex toy shoppes.  We spent our time walking around with Pilot, watching realy bad MTV and Bravo TV (yes — I LIKE IT,) and catching up.  Steve has been out of work by choice for a long while.  He is ready to get back in the workplace — and I hope he can find something fast.  He is a brilliant office manager and had great person-to-person skills — he can talk to ANYONE.

jimmyDuring my stay, I was able to see Jim.  I met Jim (and his partner, David) at the Ashland Independent Film Festival six year ago. We hit it off immediately, and since have become each others best cheerleaders.  Jim is incredibly talented — he designed the sets and props for the 70s CBS gane shows (Match Game, Price is Right, many others), as wel as has won Emmys for his work on Moonlighting, Hart to Hart and others.  Did I say he is taleneted?  I wish I had some of it!  We caught up on old time, new work, and what the future holds for both of us (PLENTY!)

I am sorry I missed so many others — Mars is not living in Poland. I forgot to call Emily. I missed Juan and a few other Camp buds.  But I am incredibly grateful to have friends in LA.  In a town where the bullsh*t is so thick, you’d break a dozen shovels to get at the truth, its is nice to have honest, caring people I can rely on for fun, advice and insight.

Yesterday, Steve drive Pilot and myself to the airport.  Asfter slipping the therapy dog cape on Pi, then slipping him a doggie downer, we effortlessly boarded a non-stop flight home. Pi did fine on the plane — he fell asleep for most of it.  I watched bad Bravo on the satellite TV (Millionaire Matchmaker), and fended off the doxen childen (and many adults) who wanted to pet Pilot.  As we landed, I managed to slip the very cute flight attendant my card (I hope you pass through DC, Matthew), then exited the plane to the helpful and welcoming arms of my neighbors Kirk and Tim who came to pick us up.

As I said in my last post, I am truly grateful for this experience. The trip was transformative on many levels, and I truly loved seeing parts of our great nation that many take for granted.

Stay tuned — I have many more journeys in the future — and would love to take you all along for the ride.

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Alternatively titled, “Into What Will Peter Pan to Morph?”

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s been a week since Jon, Pilot, and I came rolling into San Diego. I have missed our daily escapades seeing kitsch and the charm of Americana on our incredible cross country trip, but I am here where I want to be—back living on the west coast.

brianf1I’ve already settled into a routine of work and life and general and I can really see myself putting down some roots here. I am sure some of you that know me well are a little surprised to hear me talking about settling down—most of my adult life I’ve been a bit of a Peter Pan—never wanting to settle into a routine nor having major responsibilities and moving every few years. I love the many friends I have, but I wish that you all could be a part of my everyday life—just be able to pick up a phone and say “Hi—want to have dinner tonight or catch a movie?”—tough to do when you are 3000 miles away from me. My hope is that by settling down I’ll be able to have that sense of community/friendship day-to-day. I’m sort of rambling, so I hope you’re following what I’m trying to say.

San Diego has been surprisingly cold this week—in the 40s overnight and early morning and 50s during the day; out of the sun it feels a bit colder than that(you’ll laugh, but I’ve actually worn a sweater most of the week). While cool, I still find the place really beautiful—I think it’s the light. Some of that is because I am no longer working my overnight vampire shift (I’m interpreting for an agency 7a to 4p Mon thru Fri, no VRS). Most of it is because SD is a sunny/bright area—a perfect fit for me. I am even branching into color. You can see the collage of pics of my apartment attached to this posting (you’ll all be shocked that I’m not doing black and white). Next step is to bring some color (other than black) into my wardrobe. Baby steps, baby steps.

I did make one big resolution for this year: to get healthy and stop yo-yo-ing all over the place. I need to not be on medications, I need to lose a couple of pant sizes, and to start feeling good in my own skin. I am not going to be dieting, but I am going to be making a lot of better food choices and work on portion control. This weekend I am going to look for a yoga class to work into my week and start looking at bicycles to pedal around San Diego as I discover more and more of it.

In May I plan to take the last two classes for my Residential Planning diploma—I am not sure what I’ll do with it, but I know I will work interior design into my life somehow—I enjoy it too much not to. I would love to go all out with this apartment, but I am only here until April and then I will either have bought a house or found another lease. If this place were up for sale, I think I would try to buy it. It’s a really cute 2 BR, 2BA garden apartment. The whole complex is just 7 units. My front door faces out into the landscaped courtyard and there is also a small fenced in garden area accessed through the door in the master bedroom. I don’t hear much from the neighbors and it is rare to hear any traffic—this unit is in the back of the gated complex and is closer to the alley behind (where I have a parking space). As quiet as it is, I am able to find everything I need within a 10 block radius—grocery store, two pharmacies, dry cleaners, gas stations, my realtors’ office, a few ATM’s, an independent theater, several coffee shops (2 Starbucks and a really funky/groovy independent coffee shop named Claire de Lune—I love it!), countless restaurants—both fast food and small mom and pops, including a place that serves some of the best Mexican food dirt cheap. I am going to have to be careful to not make this 10 block area my entire life—there is a lot of San Diego to explore.

That’s all for now. I just wanted to catch you up and let you know that I am doing really well and that this seems to be the right move for me.  I miss you all—come visit; my sofa is a sofa bed and I have an aero mattress and a sleeping bag too.

brian b.

spacelodgeBrian, Pilot and I spent New Year’s Eve in the Best Western Space Lodge — originally build in 1964 by a man who had connections with the aerospace industry, this remodeled (1998) motel was actually quite nice. The space theme permeated the property — from the huge murals in the lobby, to the space saucer on the roof, to the Space Shuttle artwork adorning our room, to the very cool architectural detailing (laser-cut metal columns, glitter embedded into the stucco walls.) We watched Kathy Griffin and (my love) Cooper Anderson in NYC with the ball drop — all which happened at 9:00 our time. So we did our best to stay awake while watching endless HGTV until it was actually midnight (we both forgot to look and the only reason I noticed the time change was that my email program told me that the new emails I was reading came in “yesterday.” Yes, we are losers.

Anyway, the next morning, we awoke to a hearty breakfast (space saucer pancakes and eggs), then headed on the road for the final leg: 4 hours into San Diego. The drive was actually more spectacular than I had thought — long stretches of desert and farms created in the arid soil, sand dunes (and tons of ATVs and dune buggies) in souther CA, a mountain range near San Diego that looked like piles of massive boulders stacked on top of one another. And we hit 3 border crossings/security checkpoints along the way. Yes, I understand making sure we don’t bring in fruit flies, but do we look like labor smugglers or terrorists?! Sheesh.

datelandOne great stop made along the way was in Dateland, AZ. Thanks Mark for the suggestion. This shack (the larger restaurant was being rebuilt) is at the edge of a small date farm in the middle of the desert — sort of a sugar smack oasis. Brian purchased a pound of dates (they were like $3 — about 1/ the price at WholePaycheck.) And we had the most amazing (ok, AMAZING), delicious date milkshakes. Yes, I know that doesn’t sound overly appealing, but I swear it was the best milkshake I have ever had. Not too sweet, sort of musky, cold and filling. When we finished ours, we looked at each other — I was about to suggest making a U-turn for another, but opted for the New Year’s resolution of losing a few tons.

At about 2:00, we arrived in San Diego at Brian’s new pad. The cute 2-BR, 2-BA unit has an open kitchen, a small fireplace, and sort of reminds me of something out of “Three’s Company.” We unpacked the car, and headed out to shop. Now, Brian hates shopping. And he does not like large crowds. So shopping at the big box stores was not his idea of a San Diego welcoming. I, on the otherhand, am a good shopper — I do not necessarily enjoy it anymore, but I can work my way through a retailer and get out fast. So we did.

boulders1Over the past 24 hours, we hit Bed Bath and Beyond ($800, after $150 in gift cards and another $130 in coupons), Target ($300 after $100 in gift cards), Ikea ($600) and a furniture rental place where he found a really nice sleeper-sofa, chair, coffee table and side table for less than $1000. I think Bri was a little sticker shocked — and a little scared at how fast I can shop (and find a better bargain.) In the end, we moved everything into his place, I spent yesterday hooking up his internet and wireless network (named PilotNet), and connected the TV. Exhausted, we went to bed early — Brian in his new chocolate and baby blue sheets, me on the new Aerobed — and zonked out until this morning.

Today was spent at Ikea, having a very filling breakfast at Brian’s (a diner he likes — probably because of the name, the hot waiters, and the huge portions — take your pick,) and taking me to the car rental place. Brian and I parted ways outside the Enterprise rental car office — happenstance brought us to a service station called “Route 66,” piled my stuff into the car, got Pilot in the front seat, and said goodbye (for now.)

In Hebrew, it is customary to say “L’Hirtra’ot” instead of “Slahom.” It means “Until next time” instead of “Goodbye.” I know that the physical distance between us will keep us from seeing each other, but email, videochat, and visits will keep us together. We began our journey as acquaintances and ended as close friends. Brian is truly an inspiration — picking up and moving across the country to start anew is something, that even with my chutzpah (craziness or gumption), I would never do. To me, the thought of starting over is much sweeter than the doing. I prefer to cultivate my piece of DC — it’s what I know, and what I think I can manage. I am very honored and humbled to have had this incredible experience, and most importantly, to call Brian my dear friend.

NOTE: This will NOT be the last post — Brian wants to make a few more, and I will be reporting from my week in Los Angeles.  Stay tuned!

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