Saturday, February 25, 2012


I had a wonderful morning at the Academy of Motion Pictures. The five nominees for Best Foreign Language film spoke on a panel. My dad, a long time member of the Academy, votes in this category. There are approximately 60 movies that get whittled down to five, and tomorrow one winner will be named from those five. The directors, four men and a woman, were all passionate and articulate. I have a feeling Iran is going to win with A Separation, but that's only because it seems that film has gotten the most press. My favorite speakers were Israel (Joseph Cedar) and Canada (Philippe Falardeau), though they were all wonderful. I can't wait to see the films, many which are now in theaters and a few coming over the next months:

Foreign Language Film:
Rundskop (Bullhead), Michaël R. Roskam, Belgium
הערת שוליים (Footnote), Joseph Cedar, Israel
W ciemności (In Darkness), Agnieszka Holland, Poland
Monsieur Lazhar, Philippe Falardeau, Canada
جدایی نادر از سیمین Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader and Simin, A Separation), Asghar Farhadi, Iran

Speaking of foreign, this behemoth......has been parked outside my apartment for the past 4 days. This photo doesn't do it justice. I have no idea why it's here and quite honestly feel a little weird at night when I'm changing for bed. Can they see in? The other day on my run I asked a few dog walkers what that yacht was all about. Two of them said with certainty that it's the billionaire Russian owner of Stolichnaya Vodka. One asked if I've seen the helicopters landing on the yacht (I haven't). No one knows why it's there. I'm guessing Academy Awards? Perhaps Stoli is a sponsor? I guess we'll see tomorrow night. At night the yacht is all lit up in neon colors. Again, this photo doesn't capture it. It's kind of like the inside of my Mini Cooper - one night it's green, the next blue. What a mystery!

FInally, here is my new book's cover. I am so thrilled with it. Kim Killion of Hot Damn Designs put it together after I picked the egg image. The book cracks open in mid-March. This has been a very empowering adventure and I can't wait to share it with you.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Off to See the Wizard

My latest exercise craze has been biking to the Santa Monica pier and back every other day. This 70 degrees winter weather has been a dream come true and I zip down the bike path fully appreciating the golden sand and sparkling sea. The other day I realized my trips to the pier resemble that of the journey in the Wizard of Oz. No flying monkeys or Opium trips (well, that might actually be happening at the boardwalk), but lots of surreal sights, nonetheless. Take, for example, last Friday. I hopped on my bike and sped down the alley until I reached the bike path. I'd forgotten both my sunglasses and my iPod so I was really forced to look at my surroundings. A homeless man made eye contact with me. "God Bless you," he said, nodding. I was blessed by God four times that day. Did I look like I needed help? Had I sneezed and not heard myself? Or is that just the new greeting? Further along I spotted a woman riding her bike on the other side of the path. She had headphones on and was singing "I'm Not Gonna Write You A Love Song" at full volume in a high pitched operatic tone. I saw a dog riding a skateboard, a dog in a bike basket, a dog wrapped like a scarf around a rollerblader. And when I biked under the pier, I emerged at the giant tent - the wizard of Cirque du Soleil, which is pitched for their latest show, "OVO". L.A. is many things, including the land of illusions, but one can't deny how colorful it is - from the blues and yellows of the beach to the blues and yellows of circus tents...