Tonight is the episode with my husband and the side of my head airs. ( previous blog
I’m glad I wrote these down or I would never remember them! But, some dang helpful hints for those about to have the next child.
One of my most viewed videos I’ve ever done spoofed the “dress to mask your flaws” genre. I celebrated my muffin top. Since the close of Campanile I cook a lot more, so when my friend saw these little bake tins of course she thought of me!! Genius!! They are even denim like!
Getting ready for Easter. Mark and I are hosting my family. We are planning the main course, so my sister said “I’ll bring a coconut cake.”
Me: Great. But, can you get something else too because like your husband my kids don’t like coconut.
Her: Yes, But, I don’t get this not liking coconut. It’s Easter. Christ rose again with a coconut cake in his arms.
That joke carried me for hours yesterday. It reminded me of a sight gag I did at Christmas. On Christmas eve I ran into the 99 cent store because though I had planned ahead I was just a smidge short of wrapping paper. The Christmas section was so picked over it was like a bomb had gone off. I picked the ugliest paper, all that was left, and saw an empty nativity scene. Like looters had taken the Holy family, the wise men, the donkey and only left the manger. That gave me an idea. So I put this on my mantle.
I lampooned the concept of working from home. We all want to do it, but does it really make sense? Lots of behind the scenes comedy. Today I was on a business call and taking notes. The caller had no idea where I was writing down these important notes.
Note, this post was written last week, but my energy was ebbing and I worried that I wasn’t clear and lacked confidence in my voice following the shooting. I’m feeling better, looked it over and now I’m posting it.This week I’ve been shaky and a bit daft from the trauma of Monday’s shooting. However, a ray of sun broke through. Yesterday, exhausted and emotionally and physically spent I rallied and went downtown for my confirmation hearing before the City Council’s Planning department. It was long scheduled and not the kind of thing you can easily change. It was good to have a reason to put on make up and I got my hair blown out. Felt down right therapeutic. When I was being interviewed I said straight up that I was off my game and why. “Sorry if I’m not clear headed, you see I was at Wilshire division last night…” They were kind and it went well. The next day was the big confirmation in front of the city council.
Let me back up… so the last couple of years I’ve been a volunteering, community machine. So much so that as I crouched in the lectern Monday night as bullets fired and I was praying I wouldn’t be killed I did think, “Maybe I volunteer too much?” I’m happy that I have lived to fulfill this honor that Mayor Garcetti has bestowed upon me to be on the Central Area Planning Commission.
I pulled Vivien from school for the occasion. I want my daughter to be proud of me. My sisters, mom and Mark were all there.
We waited a while the eccentric characters who make one challenge our countries commitment to free speech spoke. ( one guy had a cape, the other muttered “stupid bitches” under his breath) Than I and another commissioner went and sat at the table in front of the council.
My councilman Herb Wesson, President of the Council, spoke. He said he whole heartedly endorsed both of us for the appointments, but he wanted to speak about why he thought I would be a good commissioner. He spoke about showing up after the shooting,(he did) which is in his district. That he had come to check on his staffer who was present during the shooting and the other people who were with me in that community room. He said, “They applauded for me. I should applaud them.” I said later, we applauded for you because we were touched that you were there for us and had come to support us. He said he would have been running screaming, but the council had stayed calmed and passed three motions after the shooting was over. He said that I, and the others, were heroes and that if I could handle that I could handle this appointment. I’m paraphrasing, but it was a very generous speech. I would say the heroes were the LAPD officers who under fire neutralized the suspect and the police who RAN IN toward the sounds of shots to liberate us . THOSE are the heroes. I’ve never been happier to see a cop in my life!!
I got a tad uneasy as I realized Vivien was hearing this. I have purposely NOT told my children about this incident. I think it would freak them out. So I turned to look at Vivien sitting with the rest of my family to gauge how she was taking this in. She smiled broadly. I smiled back. I don’t think she really got it, but later I said, some people had a loud fight near our meeting, but everything was ok. She seemed fine with that.
After the council confirmed us we went to the city clerk office and I was sworn in. I’m so lucky to have such great support. It was a good moment. Click for my swearing in I got a little choked up, in a good way.
I’m not going to sugar coat it: I’m tweaked. I’m old enough to know I don’t even know what I am now. But, following the shooting I’m drained, achey, and tweaked. HOWEVER, I did finally find a video online of appearence I did with Mark on the Hallmark channel an I’d like to share it. I love my chicken thighs.
I’m shaken and achy… here is the reprint from what the LA Times wrote. I mean click HERE to see what they wrote. I’m grateful to have survived this.
We are back from a spring break trip to Washington DC. It was great except it snowed the first day, the last day and rained the others. Wait, there was ONE day we had clear skies. So much for “Spring”.
Fortunately it was the day we walked on the Mall. From Arlington Cemetery to the Spy Museum.
The trip was meaty. Lots going on. Sights of historical significance, Ford’s theatre, great food. Red Hen was the best dinner of the trip. Great architecture, show me the brick!. Kafe Bohem, sigh, I miss the great breakfasts. Seeing old friends.
Loved not driving most of the time. Metro, I loves ya.
But, more than once I thought, are my kids ready for this? Moments where I thought, “I DID THE RIGHT THING”. When Vivien was transfixed by the Lincoln Memorial and read his speeches carved into the wall. When I said, “this is where Martin Luther King gave his ‘I have a dream speech’ and she didn’t run and scowl, but stopped and took a picture there. Touching how many parents are doing the same thing. After the memorial Vivien was begging for a hot chocolate, “we must keep going.” cried crazy mom. My sister Cecily, who traveled with us knew better. “I’ll get you one” as she helped my limping 8 year old to a warm coco. I walked along the Vietnam memorial overhearing parents say to their kids, “you see it was a time of great unrest…”
What is the right age to take this in? Or is it in dribs and drabs? Certainly when I lost Rex in the spy museum ( an over rated for profit venture) I thought, I was wrong to come. When he ran up the down escalator in the Metro I thought “too young”. But, if I wait till he is ready for knowledge and travel Vivien will be a jaded teen lost to me.
Certainly a highlight was visiting the White House. Had to pull some strings to get in their and even so there was a long, cold wait to get in. Not like the ’90’s where I had a friend who work in the White House and I was waved in more than once with a only a look at my license. At one point Rex started to go under the velvet rope, but a secret service man scolded him and he shrank back. One of the many times I was fine with a stranger reprimanding my son. “Go for it, I need the help.”
DC , like many American cities of late, has improved. We we rented a home in an area some friends were worried about. A mixed neighborhood that had seen riots/uprisings in the ’60’s, crack in the 80’s. But, now the historical structures of Ledroit Park can shine and it’s lovely. It’s near Howard University and we had occasion to visit their ER for a minor problem and they were great. It was far nicer than any ER around LA. I like feeling like I live in a place when I visit. I walked thru the snow to a grocery store. I would stay there again for sure.
One day we rented a car and went to Mt. Vernon.
A place I remembered from visiting with my dad when I was 9. Since then they have added a memorial to the slaves that toiled there. They have also added a video presentation with of all people Pat Sajak telling visitors what to see at George Washington’s home. Was Vanna not avail? “Don’t forget to see the slave quarters and where they stored the tropical plants.” My sister leaned in, “because there is a real moral equivalency.” When the five minute Wheel of Washington was done Rex said,
“He was nice. But, he seems like a reporter.” Close Rex. Yes, hundreds of years of slavery is not Pat Sajak’s fault. But, I was getting irate at the founding fathers. Um, what was that about independence, rights of man?
It was raining so I didn’t make it to the slave quarters. Rex’s shoes and pants were soaked in rain and mud. He was gleefull. We stood before George Washington’s old tomb and he said, “mommy, I got to go pee.”
“I can’t”. Pause. Then he ran off splashing more in the mud. Well, maybe it was fitting.
Fortunately, Walmart is close and I ran in and got him a whole new outfit as we were headed to meet friends for a nice dinner.
One key note about air travel with kids, if they don’t have individual screens on the plane, forget it. We didn’t have them going, but did coming back and it made a huge difference. I wish we could make our reservations based on this. I can handle the crap food, but kid climbing on me is tougher. Course one consequence was I watched “12 years a slave” on the plane. Woof. Brutal. When we got home I had insomnia and stayed up reading slave memoirs online. The sexual exploitation alone makes me marvel that black people didn’t rise up and kill all white people. Jefferson, sneer. He allowed his own children to be enslaved. They got to be freed when he died, that’s the bone he threw them.
When I went to Europe I ruminated about the holocaust. I know, I could walk any area near me and think of the Native Americans killed and run off their land. Sadly, man’s humanity to man is too clear.
So, in the end it is dribs and drabs for my kids and for me. You know history, but at different moments facts and sensory collide to make it more real.