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There and Back Again

Mood: Beehive Brain
Drinking: Tea

I’m on the brink of a European vacation and fairly vibrating with the excitment. I can’t concentrate on work, am completely worthless in meetings, and really just need to get on a plane and go, already. But I haven’t packed yet. And that will take awhile…

This time around, Boy and I will be visiting the lovely cities of Paris, Zurich, Florence, Milan, and wherever else we happen to stop along the way.

I’ve already got my tickets to see DaVinci’s Last Supper in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia, and one of my favorite paintings, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus at the Uffizi. I’m also hoping to come face-to-face with the Mona Lisa while in Paris.

It won’t all be museums, though. There will be lots of eating and shopping and general meandering about. I find that getting lost in a new city is one of the best ways to get to know it. And I plan on getting lost both on foot and by scooter. We’re going to be doing a lot of rail riding, as well, but I’m pretty sure we’ll stay on track with that mode of transport.

I’m hoping to get inked by Laura Satana while I’m in Paris. Boy and I got our first international tattoos while we were in Rome last year, and we want to continue the tradition on this trip. (I’m sure my mom will be happy to hear that.)

One of the best parts of this trip is that we’ll be meeting up with friends while we’re in Italy. It will be fun to see some familiar faces in a strange land. Last year, toward the end of our two-week stint, I really started to miss my friends. It’s eerie to be in a country for an extended period of time and realize that absolutely no one except your partner knows who you are.

There is so much to look forward to. I’m already inspired and I haven’t even done anything yet! I predict this trip will yield a cinepoem (or two). Meanwhile, I’ll continue to be manic and worthless. Perhaps I’ll start packing early, just to make myself feel better. It’s going to be a miracle if I can close that suitcase without sitting on it!

-Lo, who has been trying to recall those two years of college French but so far can only remember “Je m’appelle LaDonna” and that football player with Tourette’s who sat next to me with an occasional twitch.

Date of Birth

Mood: Preoccupied
Drinking: In-between drinks

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to outgrow birthdays. I blame it on my Dad. When I was growing up, he was always the first to get excited about his own birthday, even singing “Happy Birthday to Me” weeks before the big day.

I think it’s genetic. I do the same thing. When I called my Mom last week the day before my birthday and sang the birthday song to myself, I could hear her eyes rolling. “You’re as bad as your father,” she said.

But I can’t help it. There’s just something magical about my birthday, no matter how high the numbers go. You just walk the whole day with a kind of glow about you, passing strangers with a smile, half expecting them to know what day it is and to stop and offer their well wishes.

So even when the number is 73, my birthday will probably still be a big day for me. The day that’s all about me, unapologetically, all day long. This year, that day was last Friday, and I made the most of it, even dragging it out into the weekend. (I called it my birthday weekend.)

My friends didn’t disappoint. They lined up with long-distance phone calls, an extended lunch-hour shopping spree, completely unnecessary but totally appreciated gifts, and even an ear-splitting Christina Aguilera-like rendition of the birthday song, courtesy of my adorable sister.

Of course, the “birthday weekend” was made even better by the addition of a film festival, complete with a Best Female Filmmaker award that was appropriately shiny and now sits in my dining room awaiting a good polishing.

So here’s to all my friends and family, who put up with my annual birthday antics. And to Boy, who never fails to weather the event with good humor, and this year went so far as to bake me a homemade ginger cake that was quite possibly the best thing I’ve tasted all year long. Heart shapes to all of you.

-Lo, who now turns her attention to the stockpile of supplies for the upcoming European adventure. Maps? Check! Guidebooks? Check! Outlet adapter thingie? Check! Supercute Red Hat for Parisian Cafe Outing? Check!

Hi, Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go…

Mood: Nose to the Grindstone
Drinking: Watery Tea

The weekend was exactly what I needed. A nap, a stroll with the Loo, a bit of bowling with the boys, a bowl of chili with some friends, and I’m back!

This week promises to be busy and then some. K and I moved our Chapter Two review to the weekdays, so that’s coming up. I have a never-ending list of writing projects to complete, all with various looming due dates. And then there’s the Poppy Jasper Film Festival this weekend, featuring heaping spoonfuls of “art in 30 minutes or less.”

If you live in the Bay Area, check out the Film Screening Schedule and stop by Morgan Hill to check out some short films. Our cinepoem project, “The Way She Walks”, will be screening on Friday, November 10, at 5 p.m. and Saturday, November 11 at 7 and 11 p.m. Michelle and I will be there on Saturday for both showings, doing some question and answer stuff. We’re skipping the Friday screening, though, because November 10 is the day everybody gets to celebrate me with cake and candles and assorted pointy hats.

We’ll be at the film festival on Sunday, as well, to pick up our “Best Female Filmmaker” Award. Good stuff, that is.

So I’d best quit writing about it and get to work. Happy Monday to you, Internet.

-Lo, who, as a rule, is not on friendly terms with Monday, but will sometimes make an exception.

One Moment, Please

Mood: Chilled
Drinking: HtwoOh

This moment, this very one that’s happening right now, is the first chance I’ve had in more than a week to just breathe. You know, to sit and let your chest rise and fall, let yourself watch it go for a minute and just relax into the rhythm of air flowing in and out and in and out and in .

I used to have days — I remember them clearly — when I’d be bored to distraction. Absolutely at a loss for what to do with myself. My sister and I would solve the problem with “sister weekend”, which usually involved plunking down a great deal of cash for a large number of movie rentals, followed by extravagant orders of take-out Chinese. (mmmm. crab rangoons!)

But those days existed before Boy took up residence. Before LeeLoo arrived. Before web sites and cinepoems and California dreamin’.

Nowadays it’s all I can do to keep all the balls floating in their appropriate air spaces. But this weekend, this weekend is my gift to myself. It’s sanity weekend. Time to recharge and rejuvenate so I can start juggling again, come Monday morning.

Today has been delightful. I slept in, then threw the Loo in the Jeep for a trip down to the beach where I met a couple of friends and their one-eyed pooch, Riley. There was some wave-frolicking and sand-licking (on LeeLoo’s part), and then we came back home. Boy’s out motorcycle shopping with a friend (they’re supposed to be motorcycle shopping for the friend, not to increase Boy’s two-wheeled-vehicle collection, but we shall see…), so I’ve been catching up on my TiVo favorites — the ones that Boy refuses to watch. (Namely Veronica Mars and Battlestar Galactica, which are both amazing shows and it’s totally his loss.) I had stacked up a store of 3 new unwatched episodes each, since I’ve been too busy to watch them. But thanks to my friend TiVo, I’m all caught up with what’s going on in Neptune and New Caprica.

The rest of the weekend has a similarly leisure-filled schedule. Boy and I are doing a little photoshoot in the morning for our Christmas card (it involves costumes), and then K and I are meeting to finalize Chapter Two of the new book.

But that’s it. That’s all the worthwhile work I’m going to do this weekend. The rest of the hours will be filled with completely unproductive book-reading and beach-combing and general laying-about. How awesome is that!?

-Lo, who thinks that book-reading should be like breakfast-eating: doctor recommended for your good health.