During my hiatus I mentioned a visit to Malibu. While laying out at Zuma Beach I thought to myself “self, how great does sitting at Nobu with a good book and a glass of wine sound right now?” Nothing like sitting by the ocean with a glass of chilled wine and reading a book. So I went!
The menu at Nobu Malibu is a two pronged endeavor. The left side is the “typical” Nobu menu available at all locations. The right side is the “malibu” side, where one can find specialties exclusive to this location. These elite options are nothing short of spectacular.
What The Heck To Wear To Nobu Malibu:
As expected with pretty much anything in Malibu, the clientelle here is tré riche and somehow even the patron wearing yoga pants (albeit 200$ yoga pants) looks like a celebrity after hair and makeup. I felt like I needed to be wearing a gigantic ice rink sized diamond cocktail ring to really fit in here. The dress code was mixed so I could have been in denim cutoffs (one teaspoon NOT levis) or a gorgeous flowing maxi dress, as long as I had that cocktail ring I would have felt inconspicuous. However, I was in denim cutoffs (yes one teaspoon) and a tank with no ring. I was not inconspicuous but I did not care. A man actually bought me a drink! So I guess I still got it ;).
Seriously? There are no words. If I had to pick words it would be these: relaxing, rejuvenating, romantic.
The experience was so fab I actually returned two nights later with MSM (you didn’t think I ate all that food myself, did you?!). I love that one night I was there relaxing and reading a book in denim cut offs, feeling revived and alive, and the next visit I was with my man sipping cocktails at sunset and feeling sexy and romantic. The place is amazing. No matter your mood, just go. And go hungry because the food is fantastic!
Hello all you lovelies! I hope everyone has had a superb summer. The past few months have been full of change and I figured what better day to fill you all in on all the new developments than the first day of of a new season? Today is the first day of Fall and with the leaves changing in the east and the winds changing in the west, I will share my changes here….
July was a particularly difficult month. Loosing a pet just never seems to get easier. Not sure if you love cats, or dogs, or lizards, or birds, or E. all of the above, but whatever floats your boat, the loss of a pet just sucks. Humans are resilient beings and time does heal, but there will always be a little place in your heart that stays tender to each lost loved one. I have experienced a lot of loss over the years including pets, family, and friends. I wish I could draw a picture of the kaleidoscope of little tiny spots that fill my figurative heart. Its funny though because the spots aren’t black holes of void, they are spots full love and fun and stories. Transactions and circumstances that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I know its cliché but its better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. I would love to hang the drawing of my spotted heart so that every day I could see, together in one place, all the people and things that I have loved.
Over the summer I DID attempt to attack the pineapple drink brigade but alas, I was only able to imbibe in one. And that one was created by a temp bar tender and tasted like poop. It was supposed to be a vodka drink with thyme, lavender and lemon but I’m pretty sure she just gave me ginger beer over ice with some tequila in it. Despite the unsuccessful flavor, the experience was super fun.
When August arrived, my six year stint with my beloved Regular Show came to an end. I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment. JG, the show runner, is not only creatively brilliant but he is amazing with collaboration. Always supportive, he was fabulous at pushing his team to be the best they can be. And the success of the show was a result of that. I will miss Mordecai and Rigby. Yes, I know that they aren’t real, but their stories were very real to me. Fun, dynamic, exciting. The rest of the crew, also fabulous, have become family to me. Its not easy in the entertainment industry to find a production where you get to work side by side with such talented people who have no ego issues. I’ve been blessed to have been a part of such an amazing team.
Mid August the studio awarded me three weeks vacation to replenish my soul. In my industry this is known as the joyous hiatus, a time eagerly awaited by entertainment employees with high hopes of fun and relaxation and often times exotic travels. Knowing I was to return to CN mid September technically allowed me to relax but unbeknownst to more than a few, I had a lot going on behind the scenes regarding work. I was called into a few interviews at other studios and the entire three weeks I spent in negotiations and trying to figure out what direction to follow. A champaign problem for sure, but stressful all the same. I did take two days to myself to do absolutely nothing. One day I spent in Malibu, the other in Laguna. Both equally amazing.
I had forgotten what it felt like to not have a deadline over my head. I had forgotten how to relax. The lull of the ocean waves and the glorious sounds of bird song pulled me back to “me”.
Reminders from Soul Rejuvenation:
1. The significance of meditation
2. What it feels like to be at a slower pace
3. Life is too short to rush through it.
4. Its ok if you can’t get everything done when your supposed to.
5. NOT everything is important. Prioritize what is important to YOU.
6. Sometimes its ok to just eat the whole loaf.
Also during my break I did a ten day Ballet “bootcamp” This was intense but fun. I wanted to see what life was like as a professional ballerina. I took 2-3 hours of barre each day (including 3 pointe classes), pilates, weight lifting, and cardio. I ate super clean too. I think the experience was marred a bit by not knowing how to really pace myself and the stress of work negotiations but over all it was amazing. On the negative side, I was SO SORE. omg! I did get a few massages but I think by the end of it I was actually more stiff and less flexible! I think next year i’d like to do a 7 day ballet camp instead. A camp that is planned out for the dancers because I think I may have been over training- just a little ;).
Of course I always leave at least some time for fun with MSM and friends. Summer isn’t summer without at least one visit to the Cinespia outdoor screening, this year we saw True Romance. We also danced the night away at a few concerts (Psychedelic Furs at the Pier was particularly amazing), shared cocktails at Sunset, and spent time lounging at the beach. I attended a UT alum BBQ where they flew in Salt Lick from Austin! So yummy. My great great great grand “little” from KD came to visit and we shared lunch in Temecula. It was an enjoyable and lively Summer!
Now I sit here typing at a new work station in a new location- a location I can’t divulge just yet because I’m not sure how permanent it is. Still waiting for negotiations to be closed. But its all VERY exciting.
Huge Lesson Learned:
Change is scary but its GOOD. Rather than calling it “change” I’d like to think of it as its synonym, “development”. Its so important to keep on moving forward. To keep on growing and to keep on pushing yourself past what feels comfortable. I love and appreciate MSM for pushing me to take this position even though I was terrified and worried that I “wasn’t ready”. Learning new skills, expanding my network….I feel ten years younger. I am rejuvenated and re-energized. Who knew that all the heaviness I had been feeling was all because I had ceilinged out at my old post. Its ok to need to move on. Its actually imperative. I’ve known some amazing people who seem to have the talent of knowing when its time to push for growth. They know who they are, and I want to take a moment just to say Thank You all for listening to me and for nudging me to make a move.
Although my hiatus was mostly stressful, it was a well needed break from my comfort zone (where I was actually comfortable but necessarily 100% happy). Ripping me away from my “normal” allowed me the time to get pushed back on track.
I have had the hardest time concentrating this week. I recently found out that my beautiful baby girl, Abby the Bernese Mountain Dog aka Abby Airmail Equus Calhoun, will need to be put to rest. If I was allowed to keep her around, she would have turned 12 on August 23rd, a date that also would have marked my Mother and Father’s 64th wedding anniversary (had my father still been alive). On top of that, this craziness in France, and all the unnecessary shootings are exasperating my melancholy state of mind. The cruelty of people can be so overwhelming to a sensitive soul like mine. To add to things, we are wrapping up the final episode of season 8 at work and MSM starts a new job on Monday. Just a lot of endings are hitting at once. And I’m not good at endings. In fact, I’m terrible with them.
My HauteDog with her Givenchy tote.
My gorgeous girl.
Abby rolling her eyes. I love this photo. It looks like its straight out of an Art House film.
I’d like to focus this blog post on Abby, my devoted fur daughter who has brought so much love and joy to my life. I remember the very first day we picked her up from the airport (she was born on a farm in Oklahoma and sent to us). I opened her crate door and gazed upon the most adorable rollie-pollie curly-haired puppy I had ever seen. And she was eating her poop! This habit, I am embarrassed to admit, never ceased. I wont get into those stories even though they are funny to me, to avoid potentially offending someone who is reading this.
Baby Abby was so beyond adorable. I can picture her laying flat on her side in her Ex-pen during the training months, jerking from puppy dreams of running in fields and eating treats (and poop :P). One year, when Abby was about 3 or 4, I had invited company over for dinner. I set up a beautiful french cheese spread, about four pounds of exquisite stinky cheeses paired with fruit and crackers. When the doorbell rang, I exited the room to greet my friends. When we walked over to the cheese spread, Abby had eaten THE ENTIRE THING. ALL FOUR POUNDS of cheese! She loved to run in the yard and she adored stealing her (Shih-Tzu) tiny big sister’s toys and burying them because if Abby couldn’t have them, either could Daisy! Abby had a wonderful full life. She experienced camping in Joshua Tree, fishing in Bishop, and hiking in Orange County, Los Angeles, Ojai, and Pismo. She lived at the beach with a 180 degree view of the pacific, and inland with beautiful foothills as her backdrop.
Abby hiking Carmel c2011.
Beach bound Abby.
My Travelin’ Trio.
Berners are incredibly affectionate and Abby is no exception. In fact, she really is basically pure love. One of her favorite things is being with her people. She sits on our feet and sleeps or grabs our hands and insists we pet her. If we stop for a beat she tosses and turns and pushes our hand back for more petting. She loves to lick our faces (hopefully not after poop eating) or stare right at us, with her face an inch away from ours, and burp “I love you”. She adores cuddling on the sofa during our favorite TV shows or movies. At night she used to prefer sleeping on a cool surface, usually by a door so she could protect her pack. For some reason as she aged, and this is one of my favorites, she crawls into bed at night, lays next to me, and sighs.
When Abby was four, along came her brother Stanley. Stanley has been like a remora shark to Abby. He follows her everywhere. I’m very worried for him now. What will he do without his sweet sister?
Stanley just adores his big sister. He follows her everywhere.
When Abby came into my life I was married. I had a lot to offer her- a father, a yard, a house with a dog door, time, money, and, of course, love. A ton of love. When my marriage ended my whole life shattered. Everything I knew had suddenly and drastically changed. Everything I dreamt for the future could no longer occur because the players in my game of life had changed. I was on my own, ungrounded, and feeling like a failure. As I worked on rebuilding my life I did okay with the pups and always appreciated and reciprocated their support. Eventually, due to finances, working a zillion hours a week, and not being able to afford a house with a yard (or an apartment that allowed dogs over 20lbs), I chose to re-home them for what I thought would be a temporary three to six months. I did this, despite being the person that ALWAY got on a soap box about how giving up your pets is basically synonymous with murder and how only losers and A-holes do it. I could rationalize my choice because I had every intention of bringing them home soon. I wasn’t giving them away, I was temporarily fostering them so they were in a better place while I was getting re-situated. Despite rationalization, re-homing them even temporarily was heart breaking. I had sold my home in OC with thoughts of buying in LA not knowing I was fooling myself because there was NO WAY I could afford a home up here at that time (in a safe neighborhood). I am happy that for the past year my fur kids have had a great home with a family that loves them, a small yard and a dog park close by that they visit often. They are very happy and healthy. It’s a three-hour round trip commute to where they are now but I’ve been going every other month to visit. And I pay for all their medical expenses, grooming, and food. I still love them. They are still mine in my heart. But I am also sad because I haven’t been able to be with them on a daily basis. It has been extremely difficult.
In December, due to a degenerative neurological issue in her spine, Abby began to lose the use of her rear left leg. This progressed to both rear legs. Now Abby’s pain has gotten worse, pain meds are no longer working, her back legs are no longer functioning at all, she soils herself daily, and she can’t move- I am beyond devastated. I am having ethical issues regarding putting her down, but I also know it will take the pain away from her and can kind of wrap my head around why its more humane to put her to rest. It hurts that I will never be able to bring her home. I like to think she IS home. In her new home with her new mom and dad. But its hard to accept that. She’s eleven. She was basically eleven when they got her. She’s my dog and I’ve missed her every day I haven’t been with her this year, but at least previously I could get in a car and go see her or have the foster parents send a photo. I am SO grateful that MSM surprised us this past Christmas with a five-day trip to Carmel, where I got to snuggle with Miss Abby and Stanley. We cuddled, and played, and hiked, and ran on the beach. It was so amazing and beautiful and I can not express the amount of gratitude I feel for having those last few successive days as a family with her. Of course I’ve visited her often since then, including a full weekend last month, but that time in December was the best because it was extended and it was when she was mostly healthy.
My beautiful beast.
Abby Chillaxin at the door.
I love you my sweet Abby girl. May you rest peacefully in heaven, eat all the stinky cheese you desire, run in the grassy fields, and bury your big sister’s toys. I hope Daisy is there for you and will help you through. My heart will always be with you. It’s so hard to let go.
My game plan for dealing with all these endings:
A yogi once said, of his broken gem collection, “Those things were for my joy, not for my misery.” I have been learning meditation, and I think I need to take the day on Saturday to meditate on this. My good friend Dave told me, regarding dealing with a passing pet; “Nothing and no one lasts forever. Rather than focusing on the loss, focus on how grateful you are for the time you had with the pet, and all the good things about her”
Do not attempt to push away the sadness, ride through it. To ease the pain I will pamper myself with a massage and/or mani/pedi.
I will focus on present happiness with a ballet class and/or a walk on the beach with MSM.
I will honor Abby’s life with a ceremonial dinner and toast.
I will have an Annual wine and Stinky Cheese pairing party in honor of Abby.
Loss is always a reminder that life is too short. I need to take this time to take a chance and do some things that I’m normally too afraid to do. Its time to focus on career growth, where I want to go, and who I want to be. So often out of the pain of loss comes a new beginning that usually leads to something good. Can you think of something you currently love that you can trace back as ultimately starting from a loss? I bet your answer is “yes.”
I know that some expensive things are just frivolous and a waste of money, but everyone should have a list of non- negotiable items that are just worth the extra dime. Mine, for sure, include hair stylist, hand bags, shoes, and food.
26 years ago, when I was just a young student in Austin, every Sunday, no matter the heat or the rain, exhaustion level, or exams, I would head over to the this tiny little grocery store to support my local organic farmers. In attempt to minimize my carbon footprint, with my expandable crochet grocery bag over my shoulders, I would hike the 3 mile trek across Guadeloupe to the original Whole Foods. At the time Whole Foods was a small eco-friendly food co-op. I was always greeted by a friendly staff and the food here ALWAYS surpassed the products at the other local options (HEB and Ralphs). Not only did everything taste better, it even looked better. More natural. Over the years Whole Foods became a national brand, and I continued to support it, partially out of habit and partially out of nostalgia. I do still believe the food from Whole Foods tastes superior to other grocery stores- though I think they, on some accounts, they are on par with a much more affordable “Sprouts Market”.
This weekend MSM took me to a “new” (to me) grocery store with the most peculiar name; Erewhon. (pronounced Eh-ro-whan). This place either a. transported me back to 1974, when things were just more fresh and less stuffed with preservatives or b. seriously sells better food. I mean I thought Whole Foods was the top of the crop but I, apparently, was wrong. Whole Foods is no longer the king of my grocery world. I just ate some cherries (from Erewhon) that tasted AH-MAZING. Honestly I can’t even describe it. They just tasted different. More like I remember cherries tasting years ago. The house-made hummus tastes like we flew to Israel and grabbed it off a local’s table. How can food taste so different?? So fresh and, for lack of other words, “real”? I’ve been trying to read more and more about GMO’s and organic farming and the information I’ve found has been all over the place. After eating the food from Erewhon I’m definitely siding with the anti-GMO group. There most DEFINITELY is a difference. Yes, the Fagé at this market is 2$ more than at Whole Foods and without a doubt tastes the same, but the produce, meat, poultry….anything not processed FAR surpasses that of any other store. These items seem even tastier than the products I’ve gotten at the local farmers market. Astonishingly enough that I’m actually writing about it. They have some interesting mildly processed items, such as no salt added Kimchi or a healthy toxin-free (low fat, low sodium, but somehow still tasty) pizza crust made with added spirulina. I have to say, I will definitely be returning to Erewhon. It is well worth the extra dollars. Only potential downside? If you want to blend in with the new Venice clientele, make sure you style your hair and don a nice designer piece. Everyone that was shopping here was really beautiful.
WHAT THE HECK TO WEAR TO EREWHON:
As I mentioned above, one designer piece and a nicely coiffed do is perfect. Mainly what I saw here was high end Alo yoga wear, Stella McCartney Adidas, and a couture handbag.
On a side note….things have been a crazy whirlwind with my career. All good things. Wrapping up Season 8 of Regular Show and trying to figure out whats next on the horizon….so i’ve been very focused on that. More blogging to come though!
Stay strong ya’ll! Hope you had a festive Forth of July weekend and that you have more fun with your freedom this coming weekend!
Just a quick blog RE post… my fellow blogger, Monica, had the brilliant idea of posting a list of places to order cocktails out of a golden pineapple! Check it out here: Gisele Chic.
I’m obsessed. Nothing says classy sassy summer fun like a gilded pineapple filled to the brim with proverbial ambrosia! There are, according to Monica’s list, five places in Los Angeles that partake in this ingenuous idea. I plan on visiting each and every one of them this summer, and will blog about it (including what to wear while embibing, of course). Peruse the rest of her blog as well. She’s a genius!
This weekend I had the honor of meeting a very sweet young but enterprising fashion designer, Chloe Selby. Though most of our discussion was about ingredients in a “make your own smoothie”, and how strawberries, mint, parsley, and spinach obviously do NOT make a good combo (duh! What was I thinking?), we did touch on blogging and fashion and our dreams. It was so refreshing to meet someone young and unaffected. Despite our age difference, Chloe did not mind staying engaged in conversation. Even though she is sage beyond her years, Chloe reminded me of the innocence of youth and how its okay to not only dare to dream, but to work towards a dream. I fear that as we age, we loose faith in the universe and we loose our ability to dream. Loss after loss, we acquire an attitude of “whats the point?” and eventually just stop dreaming all together. Lets not let this happen to us. No matter how many nay sayers you meet, and no matter how old you are and how many adversities you’ve faced, don’t let go of your dreams. And if you’ve grown out of some dreams, write a new list. Start small and work towards big. Not every dream will end in disappointment. It just wont. And when some do come to fruition, embrace the moment and celebrate!
If any of you have read The Fountainhead, you’ll remember Howard Roark’s attitude towards learning all the the details of a job before being able to master overall production. Along with her obvious passion, I was very impressed with Chloe’s respect for learning the art of sewing, pattern making, and the rest of the ingredients that make up fashion design. I also adored her Jacqui Aiche necklace. Anyone who has an appreciation for Jacqui Aiche has appreciation from me. This fille will most certainly make it to the top. I look forward to following her blog and seeing her creations. Check her out yourself: Chloe Selby Style
Craziness at work ensues this week, but its all fun! Danielle sent a few summer pieces, all of which were totally unflattering for my body type and extremely expensive. Like my smoothie from above, this is not a good combo! Boo! Still looking for that perfect number to go with my SW buff highlands (see previous post), I decided to rebel and pick a few pieces myself. Staying in line with my resolution, I wanted to pick just one piece that was affordable, current, and could replace something else in my closet. These are the three I ordered, hopefully one works:
Meanwhile, I’m obsessing over these shoes. I have no idea why, since they look like orthopedic shoes for the elderly. I think because they look so cute when Danielle outfits them on her blog, AND because they honestly look comfortable. My ballerina see these and think “clouds!”. They are very hip right now and I can wear them even with a mini dress. Extra bonus? MSM will be SO pleased I’m not in heels and we can walk for miles on our dates!
Nothing has brought me into a rush of nostalgia like the intro to Pippi In The South Seas. MSM launched our memorial day weekend with a surprise viewing of this film. The minute the title credits were done and the story opened in Pippi’s house I literally felt like I was hit on the head with a flash of memories. I’ve never realized how much I loved Pippi. I remember the house as if it were my own. Every detail. Where the kitchen table was, what the wallpaper looked like, Old Man (her horse), the amazing dirigible that Pippi created from her bed, Pippi’s strange sense of fashion, Annika and Tommy….the list goes on. Embraced by the warm familiarity of “home” and pacified by the soothing sound of the projector purr (yes, it was real film shown via projector!), I sat on the edge of my seat (albeit somewhat because the chair was very uncomfortable) and enjoyed every moment of the story. At the conclusion of the film I literally could not stop myself from crying. I didn’t want it to be over! It was as if, for that 90 minutes, my father was still alive. I subconsciously remembered what it felt like to be able to dream with no worries, to live without thinking about it. I remembered being 8 years old and building forts out of pillows and blankets and my parent’s huge library chairs. How I built my own dirigible and flew over the 7 seas looking for pirates. What happens to us that we lose that sense of magic? I’d like to read more on the subject of the “adolescent brain”. Is there a way we can slow down the degeneration? Or resuscitate it once its gone?
Following the movie was a pizza and ice cream party. The ice cream sundaes, vanilla striped with strawberry or fudge sauce, were individually housed in those little opaque plastic receptacles with tear off tops that I haven’t seen since, I’m pretty sure, 1982. You know, the ones that come with a mini wooden spoon? Now, if you are familiar with my blog you know how much I enjoy time travel, and this “trip” surely did not disappoint.
What can we learn from Pippi:
A. Anything is possible if we just believe in ourselves and our own strength (I’m pretty sure Disney movies try to teach this as well).
B. If something goes wrong never worry at all because no matter what, a solution is just around the corner.
C. Some things may look mundane, but it’s really a disguise. There is something special in everything, we just need to think outside the box.
D. As long as you have family (close friends included), you have everything you need to make it.
E. Memories are malleable. Don’t be subjected to a negative past. If you don’t like the story, change it.
F. Enjoy the little things. Don’t forget to smell the roses.
G. Singing a ditty makes everything more fun.
This event was thrown by Cinefamily. Taken directly from their website:
The Cinefamily is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of movie lovers devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films.
The Cinefamily’s mission is to reinvigorate film culture by fostering a spirit of community and a sense of discovery.
Like campfires, sporting events and church services, we believe that movies work best as social experiences. They are more meaningful, funnier and scarier when shared with others.
The Cinefamily was founded in 2007 by brothers Dan and Sammy Harkham and Hadrian Belove, founder of Cinefile Video. We currently average 14 shows per week, many of which are enhanced with special guests, live music, dance parties, potlucks and other kinds of social fun. Over 65,000 patrons visit the Cinefamily annually.