Back from Taiwan. In addition to battling jet-lag, I've been working to develop a children's variety show, entertaining an increasingly delightful and playful baby (love her so much), raising a middle-aged puppy (dat be you, Beans), and prepping for the holidays (sniff our live tree). It's the most wonderful time of the year!
A couple months ago, in a momentary lapse of judgment, I signed up for the LA Rock & Roll Half Marathon. I hadn't run since the 90s and really had no business signing up for a race of any sort - let alone one with the word marathon in it.*
What were you thinkin', Ma?
But the power of the cult, er Crossfit Ganbatte, sucked me and le huz in. For two months, we trained alongside fellow Crossfit crazies under the guidance of our uber-supportive leader, JP. I ran every Tuesday, most Thursdays and even a couple of Sundays. I went from not being able to run a single lap around the Silver Lake Reservoir to speeding around the darn thing three times in an hour and two minutes.** As race day approached, I felt confident that I could tackle the darn thing - with a respectable time, no less. I was going to make everyone proud!
Yes, well, race day was yesterday. ***
And yes, we finished. The huz did great. But my finish was not the one I'd hoped for. In my mind, I'd replayed that final stretch as a triumphant one. Queen's "We Are the Champions" was going to blast in the final yard, and I was to gun down that home stretch in slow-mo, clocking in at JP's prescribed time of 2:05.
That did not happen. My knee went to shit at the 8 mile mark, and by mile 9, not only was I no longer running, I was hobbling. Like a cripple. As fellow runners sped by, I experienced a tsunami of disappointment. But quitting simply wasn't an option. I didn't want to disappoint my husband, my baby, my cult...**** So I bit my lip and walked.
I finished the race in 2:37.
My hubby is proud of me for finishing. My munchkin seems grateful for her new chew toys. I can wallow in a state of could've-would've-should've, but what good would that do?
For me? Why thank you.
Taking advice from Hova himself tonight. Gotta get that dirt of my shoulder. Could you brush it off for me?
* I did not run a full marathon. I ran a half marathon. But don't belittle my accomplishment. 13.1 miles is pretty effin' far.
** One lap around Silver Lake Reservoir is 2.2 miles. Three laps is 6.6 miles. And 6.6 miles is a distance greater than 10K.
*** Sir Weber, me and le huz. Photo taken before we began our run. Explains why we all look funky fresh.
**** Correction. Crossfit is not a cult. It's cult-LIKE.
Our lil' family, accompanied by my pals Jeff and Alexis, hit up Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch in West Hollywood last night and found a pumpkin as grumpy as Olive. All he needs now are a pair of expressive eyes...
A totes-fab Glamour Shot session went down in Burbank last night. While Alexis and her handsome malamute, Napoleon, channeled Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford, my talented friend Jeff channeled his inner Mario Testino and clicked away. I had the fun job of art directing the classy shoot. A poor man's Grace Coddington, if you will. We were going for a midnight snack theme. Have a sneak-peek! Thoughts? Like a John Currin painting, no? We had so much fun... Much more to come.
Casseroles tend to look like vomit. A tad unfortunate, seeing that they're often pretty damn tasty. Here. Have a peek at my Moleskin. I spent the afternoon pouring my brains into it. (I was feeling kinda hungry.) Looking like quite the casserole, eh?
olive, le cub and i left for our much-anticipated maine trip early last week and made our bittersweet return home yesterday. maine was everything we imagined it would be - but better.
gorgeous scenery at cape elizabeth...
delicious seafood at the lobster shack...
outrageously fluffy doughnuts at congdon's doughnuts...
super-moist whoopie pies, friendly white folks wearing barbour, the antique version of everything you see at restoration hardware, ridiculously gorgeous homes, fresh air... yes, i could go on.
we enjoyed our stay so much so that le cub and i began talking crazy like, "babe, let's make a tradition of this. we can bring olive out here once a year!" only, neither of us were actually talking crazy. we were both being serious. olive may not get a chance to grow up in a small town (due to her parents' love of convenience and fear of being bored), but she sure as hell deserves a chance to chill out one once a year in a wide-open green space where she can enjoy the change of season, learn to ride a cruiser, row a frickin' kayak, throw an authentic lobster bake, snuggle up indoors and watch "ghostbusters" on dvd when it's raining outside... we did that.
happy to be back home with beans, but sad to have left a truly beautiful place. (am also sad that le cub had to fly out morning to get back to work). more about our trip to come!
I, like most folks, have a bucket list. (List dictating all the shit I want to do before I kick the bucket.) Mine has yet to change since college, and it remains short and feasible. It reads like so: 1) Get a puppy, 2) Have a baby, and 3) Write and illustrate a children's book. Number one and two on the list have been achieved (Beans and Olive, your Ma thanks you), but number three remains to be seen. But I'm working on it. I read "Writing Children's Books for Dummies" (desperate times call for desperate measures) and have began brainstorming the plot of my very first tale in a brand-new Moleskin. (A glimpse into my mad mind above.) You excited? I am! Self-imposed deadline? December of 2012. It's happening.
Holy crap. Our munchkin is over eight-and-a-half months-old. For those of you who followed me through my post-partum months (remember THIS entry?) I am long past my exhausted-frustrated-crying phase of mommyhood and am now in the triumphant-relieved-amused phase. I am in total, utter love with the ankle biter. Josh and I feel so lucky to have someone so incredible in our lives. I know I'm totally gushing, but look...
Behold. Our budding foodie.
Ordering up a storm at Umami Burger. "Got milk?" (The answer is, "No.")
OMG. So filial!
Helping her Ma fold her Pa's undies. What fun.
With my mini-me finally under control, le hubby and I went on our first Sundate (Sunday date) yesterday. We ventured out for brunch and a movie sans baby. (She chillaxed at home with the nanny.) We grabbed a very adult brunch at Barney Greengrass and then caught a viewing of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. Though physically away from Olive all morning-afternoon, neither of us were able to refrain from talking about nor avoid sharing iPhone photos of her during our short time away. Which leads me to point out...
It's a good thing we're obsessed with this baby. I hear there's a strict no-returns-policy when it comes to this sort of thing :)
One my many fashion idols. Alexander Wang's niece, Aila :)
To my husband, Labor Day marks the transition from summer to fall. To me, it signifies the start of my favorite season to shop for and ooh-ooh-ooh, let's not forget Fashion Week! My fingers can't refresh the Style.com website and Garance Dore's blog quickly enough. Seeing all the cool kids stomping around ol' NYC in deliciously creative outfits from the comfort of my pajamas whilst in bed is one of my favorite past-times. With Olive in tow, I knew that I wouldn't be able to make it to any boutique parties on Fashion's Night Out. Who am I kidding? I'm so socially awkward, I would never have made it out with or without my lil' monster. But armed with a laptop and internet connection, I can do some serious damage. Miniature lumberjack me, be gone! This mama needs new pieces!
Little black waffle jacket by Iro. Oui, please! The texture! The leather trim. What is love? THIS is love. Hunter green suede pumps by Rachel Zoe BFF Brian Atwood. Taking them! In these, my legs will look as if they go on for miles. Is that even possible when you're only 5 feet tall? Theysken's for Theory Frigi flared pleated shorts. Need! Worn over black tights, I'm going to look so Katherine Hepburn goes downtown. Equipment Diem contrast collar blouse.Effortless. So-Garance. Flare-legged jeans by Elizabeth & James. Done. Move over skinny jeans, my cankles deserve to breathe. Phillipa paisley tunic by A.L.C.The cut is so feminine and lovely. RAD message tee by Zoe Karssen.Nike Dunks in navy suede.Elizabeth and James Centinela glasses in tortoiseshell. And the piece de resistance? A Stella McCartney Bryce wool and cashmere coat in navy... Ahhhh... Whoever said that money can't buy happiness, simply didn't know where to go shopping. (Pearls of wisdom borrowed from the mermaid herself, Bo Derek.) I'm so happy, I'm glowing. Am I diseased?
Hubby, if you're reading this, I love you. Life is too short to look ugly. And if you're still steaming, please read THIS:
“He’s always asking: ‘Is that new? I haven’t seen that before.’ It’s like, Why don’t you mind your own business? Solve world hunger. Get out of my closet.”― Michelle Obama
I think about death. In fact, I think I do so than most. But like most folks, I think about how I could avoid it and how I could avoid be surrounded by it. I am awful with good-byes, and well, death to me, is just one big, unwelcome farewell.
This past weekend, a dear mentor and friend of mine whom I've known for a decade decided to bid adieu early. He committed suicide and left a letter for his friends to digest. Months shy of 40, he explains that endless disappointments became his overwhelming end and according to my friend, "a life not entirely made." He insists that his friends could not have stopped this from happening, but I can't help but think differently.
The loss of someone so humble, generous, brilliant and genuinely caring... is heartbreaking. It is out of selfishness that I cry, because I know, my friend, that you're finally at peace. I should be happy for you, the way you've always sincerely been happy for me. Always smarter than the rest of us... even when gone. Ha!
But I miss you too much to say good-bye. So I won't.
Never thought this day would come, but my thesis is FINISHED. I am presenting it to my advisors this Friday back at UCLA, and then *crossing fingers* I will officially receive my Masters. (I walked in graduation over a year ago - pregnant with Olive - but never received my actual diploma because I hadn't turned in my final film.)
This labor of love was inspired by my difficult munchkin, whom my hubby and I love and adore, but struggled dearly to appease during her first months in this world. All characters and props were fabricated from the Amazon cardboard boxes her baby gear arrived in. Pieces were then scanned and manipulated in After Effects and Final Cut. (I had initially hoped to shoot them in stop-motion under a down-shooter camera, but ended up having to learn After Effects when I realized the project would be more feasible if made that way.)
While the short is minimally-animated, spastically-timed, and probably leaves you thinking, "Wahhh? That's it?!?" I am still proud to have, simply, finished. It wasn't easy making time in my packed child-rearing day to grind this out. And it wasn't easy uploading this film online for the whole world to see. (Feeling kinda' naked.)
I hope you like it.
P.S. Thank you, Alexis and Jeff, for making this possible. I could not have pulled this off without you two!!!
Good sleepers are born, not made. Olive, unlike most babies, hates to sleep. Instead, she prefers to spend her free time practicing her Indian accent and watching "Keeping Up With the Kardashians." I kid. That's what I do in my free time. No, really. Olive is strangely really anti-napping, and in the evening, she's like the J.Lo of babies - requiring a truck load of assistance and amenities to fall asleep. In spite of my husband and I providing a abundance of sleep-inducing goodies, the munchkin still has difficulty going the eff to bed. The little monster needs to be rocked and held. She needs to sleep in our room - more specifically, on our bed. Le hubby would sometimes complain while I, deep down, adore having her sleep with us. She's a great cuddler! But now that she's a crazy crawler, in order to ensure her safety, I've agreed to put an end to her bad habits and our mother-daughter co-dependency. Olive, mommy's sorry, but your sleep-related privileges are coming to an end.
Le hubby and I began sleep training last week. In the evening, we plopped the munchkin into her crib (situated in our bedroom as it is where she sleeps best), shut the door and left! We promised each other not to "save" the baby until the next morning - 6am at earliest. So much easier said than done. Olive woke up about two times during the night, and each time I heard her crying for help, I wanted to cry. I'd reach for the baby monitor to see what she was up to, and as expected, there she was, standing in her crib, hollering for dear life.
Ermahgerd! If she cried for an hour, I was awake for that hour. Last week was rough.
Le hubby was able to sleep through the commotion just fine. Dads. Yes, well, we're in week two, and I'm slowly getting used to the sound of her "self-soothing." And Olive? She's actually starting to get used to sleeping on her own. Sure, she still wakes up at least two times during the night to scream for help, but the duration of her crying has definitely shortened from 1.5 hours to 30 minutes. This may not be much to you parents with good self-soothers, but in our household, this calls for a juice box toast. I'm so proud of my munchkin. Give her two more weeks, and perhaps we'll have this sleeping thing down... Here's hoping.
* Photo of Olive looking unimpressed was taken by Monica of Shoots & Giggles.
With less than two weeks left to complete my thesis, I'm starting to feel panicky. I feel like I'm running a marathon that's never going to end, and it's an awful feeling! Beans wants to help, but the canine has no opposable thumbs. After Effects requires them.
On my own and freaking out. Should any of you encounter me in these next two weeks, reconsider saying "Hello." It's like that Peter Cetera Chicago song, "Look Away".
"If you see me walking by, and the tears are in my eye, look away... baby, look away."
Seriously. I just might bite your head off. GRRRRR.
*Above: A sneak peek of one of many inappropriate scenes in my thesis. didn't bother to allow the computer to render properly, so D'OH... the quality of these two images is bound to be totes shitty. deal with it!)