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Showing posts from July, 2016

In the cups [Also on iTunes and SoundCloud]

This week's Saturday on SoundCloud piece. Originally posted December 2015.

Here’s more of that true romance from the seventies I last wrote about in E Ticket to Ride. Do I really remember the color of Lena’s couch? No but I remember Derek.

In the Cups

Derek was already there when I walked into Lena’s place. Viviana was sitting in the corner of a love seat, Derek straddling a kitchen chair, facing her. He was making her laugh about something, her lips curved over flashing white teeth and I wished I could walk right back out the door. 

I could see he’d come straight from work. His idiotic wig was off but he was still wearing his white work shirt. Leaning forward, tails untucked, his pale blond hair and shirt were bright in the otherwise darkened room, caught by the light coming from the kitchen. The same light that lit up Viviana’s mouth. Lena, grinning from the kitchen door, beckoned me over. 

Thanking me for coming, hugging me to her warm, soft body, she gave me a plate of little sausa…

Above Ground on the London Underground—Day 38: The British Museum and Bloomsbury

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If it's Friday we must be back in London.Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings. Here are the previous days. Piccadilly Line, Day 38.

We spent last week exploring the Covent Garden area, this week we'll hit the British Museum, trying to reserve some energy to explore Bloomsbury, the area made famous for being the meeting place of the Bloomsbury group, an informal gathering of artists, writers and intellectuals including Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell.

Big day ahead so let's get started. It's just a half mile to the British Museum, most famously home to the Rosetta Stone, which dates to 196 BC. The face of the large rock—3′ 9″ x 2′ 4″ x  11″—is inscribed with a decree affirming the royal cult of King Ptolemy V on the anniversary of the the …

Colbie Caillat #ThrowbackThursday

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I got one of those promoted Instagram posts a couple of days ago, Colbie Caillat announcing her new single 'Goldmine' from her upcoming album, The Malibu Sessions. Caillat became a phenomenon after her pop-catchy Bubbly received a gazillion hits on YouTube back in 2007. 

The California girl shot to fame while I was still working my old steady freelance gig at 805 Living magazine out in Westlake Village, California and the editor asked me to interview her for our back-of-the-book feature, PS. The singer, born in Malibu, was raised in Newbury Park and went to area schools in Thousand Oaks. As was often the case, we didn't meet, I interviewed her over the phone.



I won't pretend to know her. It's not as though I was able to trail after her for a week, like the Rolling Stone journalist in Almost Famous, observing her in action. We didn't keep in touch. If I got an invite to go see her perform, I didn't accept it. I didn't tag along with the photographer Gary M…

E Ticket to Ride [Listen on iTunes and SoundCloud]

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Third in the series about an old boyfriend from the 1970’s



I met him at the grocery store ... he turned around and smiled at me. In my first year at Santa Monica College, I was still living at home while I worked part-time at the snack bar at the Vons market across the street. Derek worked there too, after school, and I found myself scanning the store’s parking lot at 14th & Wilshire, seeking out his blue and white GTO more and more. There was something in the air that summer besides the delicious smell of the deep fried chicken he spent most of his working hours battering up in the basement. 

You know how it is. I couldn’t wait to get to work and it had nothing to do with wanting to make cheeseburgers and serve coffee at the snack bar all day long. It was him. All about him. Just the sight of him in the silly platinum wig he had to wear to keep his long blond hair from slipping into the food and I’d have to bite my lip to keep from smiling. I lived right across the street and when …

Above Ground on the London Underground—Day 37: Covent Garden

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Image via © TfL, from London Transport Museum Collection
Every Friday I take a virtual walking tour ‘above ground’ on the London Underground. Using my Tube guide & my fitbit® device, my goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day roughly following along the Underground route, reporting back here on Fridays with my findings. Here are the previous days. We're following the Piccadilly Line path. This is Day 37.
"All I want is a room somewhereFar away from the cold night air.With one enormous chair,Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?"
Most of you probably recognize the lyrics to Wouldn't it be loverly? from My Fair Lady. Can you hear Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle the Covent Garden flower girl singing her heart out. The location? The Royal Opera House aka Covent Garden. 

Once upon a time the area also housed a fruit and veg market—as seen in My Fair Lady as well as Hitchcock's Frenzy—but the area became so congested, the market was relocated in 1980, leaving the central buil…

Time for a little brotherly love #ThrowbackThursday

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I fell down the stairs when I was two or three years old and somewhere along the line I got the idea that my brother was the culprit, that he shoved me down the steps from the landing. Was I standing at the top of the stairs, tottering around, out of my mother's sight? I have no idea. I have no memory of the fall at all, the landing I create in my imagination is dark oak or sometimes it's simply depression-era brown paint on cheap floor boards, a thin and faded floral carpet tacked down over it. That's how memory works, a vague haze that we color in with details from other times and places; most of the landings I've seen have been the ones in old movies.  

None of it can actually be true, certainly not that my brother, the naughty little devil—one of the epithets my mother would call himdid it. What is true—according to my mother—is that my grandmother had to push my loosened teeth back into place. Russell would have been no more than five or six at the time. 

I've …

Absolutely Fabulous: the movie #BRIFRI

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Taking a mini-break from my usual Friday walk in London for British Isles Friday with a little something different. I wanted to tell you about the invitation I received to a screening of Absolutely Fabulous; The Movie on Monday here in L.A. 

The film was inspired by the Ab Fab television series which is about as British as  you can get anyway. I used to watch religiously, and I confess seeing the girls back in action in the trailer made me laugh. Edina (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley) have aged, but so have I, making the whole situation even more hilarious. Add in Julia Sawalha back as Patsy's daughter and a slew of celeb cameos—Jon Hamm, Kate Moss, Stella McCartney etc. 



My sister—who makes me laugh anyway—is joining me for the screening. There's something about these two ridiculous women with their concerns about their looks and denial about their aging that makes us laugh at ourselves, plus we've been promised champagne, so how could I refuse?

I'll be back…

Waiting on a friend: Part 2 of an Old Boyfriend Story [Also on iTunes and SoundCloud]

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We both worked at the snack bar at Vonsand I couldn't stop watching him. Even when I wasn't at work. It was the early 1970's and I was nineteen.
Waiting on a Friend
If I got down on my knees I could safely peek out my bedroom window and see the whole parking lot across the street, the last few employee cars illuminated in the moonlight. With the lights off, shielded by the leaves of the tree in front of the apartment building, I could watch Derek as he headed out to his GTO, whipping his wig off as he walked. He’d sit for a minute, one leg out the open door and I imagined him scratching the wig itch out of his head while he hunted around for a smoke or maybe an 8-track tape to pop in before peeling out of the lot. Leaving me sitting back on my bedroom’s green shag carpet, rubbing the wormy indentations from my kneecaps and wishing I was there with him, riding along in the passenger seat, singing along to Wild World or maybe the Stones. He’d probably like the Stones better th…