I'm in northern Minnesota this week, staying in the cabin that my great-uncle bought 55 years ago and passed down to my grandparents, who passed it down to my mother, who will one day pass it down to me.
It's my favorite place in the world.
I store my heart here, to keep it safe through the vagaries of Los Angeles life.
It's quiet and peaceful and the air is... well. Breathable.
At night, the loons call across the water.
During the day, waves lap and clouds drift and deer graze.
I have work to do while I'm here, but it's different than working in L.A. I get a lot more done in a lot less time. There are no distractions-- not even Daisy and Moose, who are home with the house-sitter.
Yesterday I went to Ojai, to visit some friends who recently bought a house there. It was a perfect day, full of sun and trees and blue skies and art walks and farmer's market food...
I wouldn't have changed a moment.
Except that I fell asleep on their couch.
In the middle of the afternoon.
In my defense, it's a really comfortable couch. And the breeze coming through the windows was completely hypnotic. And the music was that perfect blend of cool and calming AND I COULDN'T HELP MYSELF, OKAY???
Before anyone gets excited that I'm feeling that famous first-trimester exhaustion, it's not that. It's just that I'm taking estrogen again... and estrogen sucks every ounce of energy from my body. It happened in the first part of my cycle, and it's happening again now with a vengeance.
Fortunately, I have friends who are cool when you pass out in their sunporch, and then, forty-five minutes later, still like you enough to feed you homemade guacamole.
But for this month-long trip to Vancouver, I really tried to pack light. I filled one large suitcase, and one small suitcase, then shipped one medium sized box full of cold-weather gear (we're going to be doing a lot of night shooting), a medicine ball and a couple yoga DVDs. Oh. And a pair of cute boots.
For a month, that's packing light, right?
("Yes" is the correct answer. Any other answer will be disagreed with adamantly. Remember: this is FOR A MONTH.)
Anyway. As I was getting dressed this morning, I realized: There's something seriously great about having a severely limited wardrobe.
I didn't stand in front of the closet, stressing out for ten minutes. I didn't try on multiple outfits. I didn't work myself into a sweat running up and down the stairs to review my choices in the full-length mirror. (Which reminds me. Must get full-length mirror upstairs.)
I just got dressed.
Easy as pie.
As someone who's been working on reducing the amount of stress in her life, turning something stressful into something as easy as pie feels like a great accomplishment.
Wednesday morning, I'll be leaving L.A. for a month in Vancouver.
I'm excited (I should be able to fit in at LEAST a couple Canucks games!), but also a little nervous. I haven't been out of L.A. for more than a week or two in years.
I'm so tied to so many things, have so many regular appointments and obligations... it's strange to think of leaving them behind. Strange... and kind of wonderful.
But how do you pack for a MONTH? I'll have a one-bedroom suite at the hotel, with a little kitchen, and they'll do laundry, but... there can be a lot of different kinds of weather in a month. And we'll be doing a fair amount of night shooting, which will be FREEZING.
The best thing about the trip, though, is that it will distract me from what may or may not be going on in my uterus. When you're working all the time -- in a completely different country, no less -- it's hard to obsess about when to start taking pregnancy tests. I'm hoping I'll forget about it entirely... but that's probably too much to ask.
Still, a girl can dream.
(And not to worry-- Daisy and Moose will be well taken care of, first by house-sitters and then by a good friend, who'll be staying at my house for the duration. They're gonna have a great time without me.)
'Bass Ackwards and Belly Up' and 'Footfree and Fancyloose' tell the story of four best friends who commit the ultimate suburban sin: putting off college to pursue their dreams.
Publisher's Weekly said: "Full of romance and adventure, laughter and tears, the story is a reminder that veering from the straight and narrow road doesn't always lead to a dead end."
L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption.
I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.