Loving This Bowl of Stars

Things I Love About Los Angeles:

  • Training for the LA Marathon, where we’ll run from the stadium to the sea with the Pasadena Pacers‘ 5-minute mile crew. Just kidding. I’ll be crossing the finish line around 4:50 (11:00 pace, oh good I can still do math), and then jumping anyone within sight who has food. Preferably Organic Doritos. Yes, that’s a thing out here. If you come to cheer me on, bring Organic Doritos and you’ll help me reach my goal of crossing the finish line with plenty of salt in my system and an orange smile.
  • Hiking with my husband in the Hollywood Hills, canyons around the city, and mountains to the north.
  • Meeting a novelist who is under contract to adapt her YA book into a screenplay. We’re getting together again today to talk about our work. After talking before a Film Independent LA seminar, we heard the screenwriters of “Carol,” “The Hunger Games” and “12 Years a Slave” discuss their adaptations and dish about their triumphs and trials bringing both bestselling and relatively unknown stories to screen.
  • Being a 30-minute drive from my friend Tara. We met in Cincinnati at a local music show maybe 18 years ago (Tara would remember who was playing), then bonded on the leadership team for MidPoint Music Festival. Looking forward to planning a party with mutual friends here in LA, underneath the wisteria-topped Roman pergola in our front yard (the only remaining sign of a nearby mansion that’s been replaced by three California ranch homes).
Pergola Arden Rd
Tigri investigates the ruins in our front yard. Is it legal to park cars under your Roman pergola in California? You know, a lot of things that are illegal elsewhere are legal here – namely pot and greeting someone with, “Still surfin’ brah?” But other than that, California has codified a shit-ton of things that are permitted, but maybe frowned upon,  back in Ohio. It may be illegal for us to park cars under our pergola, particularly in Pasadena.
  • Singing in the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles. Thank you for the opportunity to sing and be a cisgender ally and activist in this incredible choral community, “…the largest group of trans and gender non-conforming people anywhere in the world who gather together regularly to raise their voices in song.” Sing or volunteer with the Trans Chorus of LA!
  • The first person I talked with in meditation class is a screenwriter for one of the studios. Working on, in his words, “big sci-fi films.” I’m going to ask him if he’s open to grabbing coffee, and sharing his story. Always a big ask, since everyone thinks you’re just looking for a job. They’re right. But I also want and need to hear their stories. Wish me luck as I ask this screenwriter and a boatload of other relative strangers to share their journeys.
  • Meditating outside on my porch this morning and knowing I’ll be doing the same in the middle of January. If I can keep this up.
  • Taking a class in UCLA’s Film & Television program where my instructor is a writer and executive producer whose credits include “Dead of Summer” and “Grimm” and “Witches of East End.” Thank you Richard Hatem for the knowledge, wisdom, energy and humor you bring in spades, each week. So glad I signed up for your class. Thanks as well for asking us to watch the pilot for “The Flash.” Absolutely the best pilot I’ve seen, next to Twin Peaks’ and Breaking Bad’s (which are stellar for very different reasons). After finishing the episode, I returned to the first 15 pages of my screenplay, cut a few lines and moved others to quicken the pace.
  • LA radio. Did I say LA radio? LA Radio. KCSN (which just completed the largest signal expansion in public radio history), KPCC, KROQ, KKJZ KJazz and my latest find, Kindness, Joy, Love and Happiness Radio – KJLH, which was purchased and named by Stevie Wonder. If you have recos for other LA stations I should add to my presets, hit me up!
  • Listening to KROQ block party rock blocks on my way to Trans Chorus of Los Angeles rehearsal and belting along to MUSE’s – “Uprising.” Great warmup for rehearsal, and the resistance. What? It might also be a mental health anthem to empower us all? Sweet.


  • Getting up at 6 a.m. each morning and really, really wanting to run. And then running! Because it’s always sunny in California.


  • Waking up in the middle of the night with a good idea (All nocturnal ideas are good, right?) Writing it down. Following through on it after morning meditation, and annoying the bejeezus out of you with another blog post.


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