The day before my birthday I had lunch in Stanton at Park Avenue Boulevard with Grant Hier who I didn’t know, but he’s a great guy. Let’s start with the food there which is awesome. I had their tomato soup and the fish. Their chef has skill. They make their own soup, bread, icecream and sorbet. They have a little garden where they grow food although I desperately wanted to succor their tomato plants which needed it and if you don’t know what this means, it’s when you pinch the tiny shoots that grow in the little crotch of the tomato plants’ branches and drain the tomato from having more fruit. When I tell Mark to reach in the tomato crotch and pinch those tender young shoots trying to grow, he always makes a face and doesn’t do it, somehow the idea is repellant to him. This Park Avenue Boulevard had so many foods I wanted to try, the French onion soup, the lobster bisque, the beet salad, the chef came around and talked to everyone. It looks like a New York restaurant inside. Very cozy. Grant and I had a strange conversation from dogs to writing programs, to writers to gardens.
I’ve never even been to Stanton and ask I left, I passed all these roller coasters and I thought, what is that? And then I realized it was Knotts Berry Farm. Somehow, I managed to raise children in Los Angeles and only take them to Disneyland once and to Knotts zero times. Also zero times on Universal Studios. Things we did every year: Camping, Hollywood Bowl, plays, and the Renaissance Faire. So it’s not like we didn’t do anything. We still are always planning for the next family get together.
A lot going on. The press is moving and raising funds for the move at the same time and today is my birthday.
Birthdays are good days to ask yourself what you haven’t done yet. What’s on the bucket list even if they are things you doubt you’ll ever do.
I want to repeat the best times of my life like lying on a bench at the Hollwood Bowl with my head beside Mark having drunk too much good wine and looking at the sky and watching the dark come in and knowing it’s okay because I don’t have to drive out of the Bowl which makes me sick to begin with and the stars come in slowly, in fact, light pollution in LA being what it is, you hardly see any of them, but you know they’re there and the music comes up all around you. Like being a writer for a long time and not seeing anything happen, anything come of it, but being okay with the rising darkness and the music and knowing there is chocolate in the picnic basket beneath the seat, so that’s good, and your lover is right there, Dudamel keeps directing or sometimes it’s Leonard Slatkin or Simon Rattle and you know later, your writing will emerge and you’ll go to the Sequoias late in the summer when the bears come out, and there will be stars. Fish. Bears. Your whole family in tents. And wine there too. Today for my birthday though it’s all about margaritas. Which are a way of saying to yourself, Hey you! Life isn’t all bad.