Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Year New Outlook and Revelations

Year End Madness

It was a delightful surprise to be told during my last appointment at Oncology Clinic that my care was to be transferred to my primary care doctor. I was no longer part of the clinic save for the annual tests. That really made me feel good going into the teeth of the holiday season. I also had some catering and film related work to cover some of our overhead thus giving us extra spending money. And then the other shoe dropped. Or actually, it was my right foot. I did something to my knee on the way from a film meeting. I was in a hurry and handled one of those 8 inch curbs Los Angeles is famous for badly. I didn't fall. In fact, I made the rest of my appointments that day without a problem. I went nowhere the next day. It was soon clear that I would be getting very little done that didn't involve hanging out on the sofa.

That was upsetting as I had dozens and dozens of cookies to bake. I still had shopping to do for everything from gifts to food. I knew that I would not make deadlines to ship my baked gifts to family and friends. Ironically, I have not been in this position since the year I was diagnosed. That was disheartening. However, everyone I ship to is aware of my occasional set backs, so I did not let that deflate my holiday cheer. After all, Jon would be off for a whole week, and there was a lot of liquor in the house (I highly recommend Kirkland Egg Nog Liqueur sold by Costco. It is both smooth and very, very potent). Where was I?

Jon and I had a very nice holiday with the people we love and got to spend a lot of time together. On Christmas Eve, Jon and I celebrated the 20th anniversary of our first date. It was quiet but very nice. I think we're better now as a couple, because we know how to really communicate. We sure laughed a lot during his vacation. Things were very silly in the house, and that was wonderful.

Update! I had to finally got to the ER for the knee as it was not healing. In fact, I kept injuring it. The verdict: no severe injury. I have to wear my brace at all times for a while. And I have to keep it elevated as much as possible. I am behaving now, honest.

Jon vs Manscaping

No, I haven't suggested that the poor man get his back waxed, as some have suggested. He doesn't need that kind of maintenance. It all begins with the fact that he his one of the most difficult people I know to buy a gift for. The only one who came close was my Dad. I gave up with him when I discovered he liked my baking. So I make some of his favorites for Christmas and other occasions. Jon tends to get anything he's interested in as the thoughts occur to him. He just isn't the wish list type, and then he's very particular about things he's inclined to want. There are always things tht he needs, but I don't want to feel like I'm being a Mommy by buying just things like socks and jammies. As always, I was wracking my brain as the holiday grew closer.

And then, Jon began complaining about dry, tight skin around his mouth. That's normal for a man of his age.
His skin has also gotten sensitive over the years. Thus, when I was shopping for who knows what late in the shopping season, I ran across a gift set of his shaving cream along with a moisturizer and a light scrub. It was the same company as the stuff he's used for years. He gave it a look like it was a Brazilian bikini wax. Then he noticed that I was glowering at him, he said he'd use it on special occasions. I decided that those times are called weekdays. I think he'll use it in the end. Jon likes to look sharp.


Throughout much of last year, I found I was upset that my blog was not getting out in a timely fashion. I just was unable to eek out any kind of spare time to put together a proper blog. I felt like I was failing to schedule my time properly. However, events in recent weeks have caused me to look at these lapses differently. For years prior to my diagnosis, Jon and I were leading a very structured life. We still had some creative irons in the fire, but that was nothing like when we were actively chasing a film project. During those stable days, we'd get an occasional semi-urgent phone call to pull a file and email it somewhere. It would barely be a blip in our day. Our weeks seldom varied in routine. There was actually a time of day on Sunday when I would write my blog. The blogs weren't as regular when I first began writing them.

However during much of last year and stretching into this one, Jon and I have been really pushing our creative projects aggressively on many fronts. Our free time has been a lot like it was when I began writing this blog. That has meant having to write whole film schedules and budgets in hours or combing through records for a ten year old contract or who knows what, but an answer is needed now, now, now. And when you start moving and shaking and making connections even at our level, it begets others seeking out help with their projects. The good thing to do is to help where you can. You do that solid without expecting one in return, because you will be rewarded somewhere down the line. Of course, that could mean trying to hook up a bunch of hospital baby beds for a commercial shoot in Canada with only hours notice (something I did) or finding someone who has a walrus for a shoot (I assisted on that one). I have some phone numbers that come in handy-like sometimes. Long story short, when you start trying to make things happen in film, whole days get derailed chasing leads that could amount to nothing. It leaves a gal mentally exhausted and really snarky from coping with my own weird crap and that of others' visited upon my door. I hate writing snarky blogs. I don't like writing them while exhausted either. They always lack the joy experiencing such zaniness can bring. And I do enjoy it. No one has a life like someone trying to make films happen in LA. When I do have a few moments of lucidity, I've been using them on writing assignments. I am now at peace with the blogs happening when they happen. I hope my readers will understand. I think it'll be worth the wait for it to turn up.

Next time – The surprisingly lucrative and exciting freelance job that dropped into our laps while I was trying to make Sunday pancakes.

Stay tuned.

Celebrating Zora Neale Hurston's Birthday

Jon finishing the chess sets.

Jon and Marie testing a chess set.

Me with my favorite gifts, the giant wok and my chef's coat.

New Year's Eve formal.

Our Christmas e-card.

Another favorite gift. I've had trouble putting it down.

The first haul of the year from the Farmers Market.

A Japanese twist on Southern New Year's Traditional Food.

A Japanese omelet with scrapple for New Year's Day.