life rhymes

this place where i was felt so familiar, yet so distant at the same time. the sensations of déjà vu were omnipresent. for the first time in a long time, though, i didn’t ignore or deny them, but listened and saw the messages put there for me instead.

the face that popped into my mind surprised me. it caught me a bit off-guard as visions of memories past and intersections with my “now” came rushing in with it.

what i am doing here at all in the first place still feels like a big, overwhelming, looming question mark most of the time, i’ll admit. but a huge smile erupted on my face with gratitude — even a most cynical attitude can’t dampen the sparkle when i see the synchronicities around me sometimes. it’s pretty amazing to believe in the power of magic again.

images of dirty cars, jeans, heads rolled back in laughter, and the smooth shifting of feet that comes with confident driving flooded my mental camera roll.

over the years, he and i had spent hours talking about drives across the country, being young and having motor vehicle responsibility, and how simultaneously crazy and beautiful the world of the entertainment industry is.

life rhymes.

like so many of the people in my life years back, i met him through work. he had told my boss about an embarrassing promotional appearance he’d made once. he wasn’t sure where the tension lied, he’d said in the meeting with his team, but it was holding him back professionally, and he hoped we could somehow melt the tension that remained.

separately, over months, i found out the full story. it had been egregious, but knowing the men and circumstances involved, it likely wasn’t nearly as fatal as he had concocted it to be in his head. where the tension lied and what needed resolve became more and more obvious with each resentment that spilled out, though, and soon we sounded like we belonged in a parking lot after an AA meeting.

names of movies he was in years ago are now alarmingly relevant. others he has made since are as poignant, if perhaps more personally exploratory. one particularly notable to me involves a monumental life transformation and unearthing hidden parts of oneself when the love of another suddenly takes precedence.

he brings a sense of levity to the heaviness of it all, and that lets us do the work, too. that ingratiating exuberance is in all he is. in all he does, in all he makes. even when he doesn’t know it. we are all so lucky.

he exuded in celebrity the rare desire to be better. not to be more famous, but to be more in alignment with what he found important as a human. that concept was foreign to most of us at the time, and he was seemingly the odd one out.

how silly the rest of us were. chronology was irrelevant. he had years on us having already started to face and accept his own demons while we attempted a business out of thinking we could hide those of everyone else.

the team of us eventually made his dream of an in-person opportunity at redemption possible. but what i ultimately remember is his curiosity. his beleaguered consternation at the obvious that was assumed around him. his confusion at most of life, and his simultaneous unflinching awareness of it.

as we grow and change, life rhymes i think to remind us of what we like. of what we find relevant, and of what lets us feel relevant. of what makes us happy.

and of how amazing it is to believe in the power of magic again.

happy accidents

there once was a time i ended up on a spiritual and yoga retreat without knowing it.

admittedly, this is an instance of a confounding juxtaposition of reality i find myself in often these days. laughter is the best salve for the fog that comes about with the dissonance. what is obvious now though, is that while i used to proudly tout my book smarts, i am definitively lacking common sense in some areas. foundational building blocks are loose, misplaced, or missing. it is chaos, sometimes, but happy accidents thankfully are often the result.

drinks meetings became what we all did for a while. many had expense accounts, and the dating rules were applied to gatherings. from who chose the location to who paid, and all the variances of information exchange in between. gender was not a factor.

having drinks was always a good excuse to duck out of the office, and working with athletes, an afternoon absence was not questioned. these meetings were how we stayed connected and up to date. with each other, the business, our worlds. life made rare conversational appearances, and usually involved the aforementioned. we didn’t have much else going on then.

one such meeting kept me entertained with copious amounts of wine and the rare entertainment writer who saw the depth of what she covered outside of the superficial we both knew her editors would print. amidst our television knowledge, it was figured out that we were both single and long overdue for a vacation. mere weeks later, we were in tulum.

we watched fishermen on rocks catch what would be served for dinner that evening. the granola was locally grown and made, and tasted more sweet and delicious than anything we eat for breakfast here. we did yoga twice each day. ate organically. went to sleep under mosquito netting; earlier than we had when we were fifteen.

internet was not piped to the rooms, and in fact, the main room usage was highly discouraged in an effort to promote calm and quiet. she and i agreed to be silent with each other, not engage in cross talk about nonsense. we would log on and work from our respective work laptops at lunch time only. we had boundaries, we said.

the first couple days we fretted about what we were missing, but once we realized how acutely unimportant we were, that panic resided. or, at least in my case, was masked by temporarily-applied trained indifference.

booze was allowed, and there were organic offerings available with dinner. we drank few of those beverages, however, opting instead for the glorious tasting hydration from local fruits. the option of an evening in a sweat lodge was presented, and we both lept at the chance. for the experience, the opportunity. for the self-realization it offered; we both knew we needed it, but never spoke of it.

when it was time, we followed the rest of the attendees to a tent and sat cross-legged in a circle. a fire smoldered in the middle. it was warm and humid inside; there were times breath felt heavy. people around us wept and my friend broke down while i remained disconnected and falsely stoic. i hugged her, and felt both a mass of empathy for her spilt emotions and deep envy of her mental freedom.

as we meandered through the airport in texas for our connection a few days later, images of another, unfortunately fatal, sweat lodge flooded the news coverage. we stopped discussing where we’d been with fellow travelers. anything of a spiritual nature brought speculation, uneducated questions, and the odd look conveying the anxious assumption of a close call, which we hadn’t experienced.

we landed at home and soon went back to work. other than the awareness of a few that we hadn’t physically been on-site, our return to that corporate life was filled and busy, but negligible. we caught the bug again, though, and would run into each other at industry events.

over the years, we have both switched jobs entirely, and moved counties (me) and states (her). we have seen each other only sporadically in the years since that trip, yet she comes into my mind all the time.

whenever i see this other gal we know, she tells me how she met her husband at a birthday party of mine years back. i don’t know if that is indeed the case — discrepancies have surfaced as to whom was invited and who came with whom. but their daughter’s name is the same as that retreat, so however it worked, it feels fated.

her mom went to that retreat once, and while it was a seminal experience for us both, neither of us knew the other had been. our friendship has always been aloof like that. deep and intimate with some things we know too much about and laughably distant and unaware of some things we should know about one another.

we’ve been in each others’ orbits for a long time.

both personally and professionally. we have seen a lot of each others’ histories. we are both in a season of new beginnings. especially with stress, we bring out the cattiness and obnoxiousness in each other. the love and grace, too. our bonds run deep; we are energetically connected, it seems. like family.

and happy accidents.

10 years

for years, getting around was not anything i put thought or awareness into. for my work, i got up, got ready, and drove to the office or wherever my first appointment was. traffic in LA is just traffic. it‘s heavier than a lot of places, but you just work it into your life, as one does with weather anywhere else.

when i traveled, it was often with celebrity clients, or, at least on their behalf. car services always picked us up to bring us to the airport, and cars were arranged by studios for any in-person interviews and appearances on site. and as a sidenote, i will simply say that regardless of who set up the press bookings, no one ever declined a car in NYC sent from a david letterman talkshow.

for years, driving was simply a utility for me. and i treated the process as such. dismissively working it into my life as needed, but not engaged in it outside of obligations and requirements. i drove nice cars, but that was more about vanity, and somewhere back in my mind, safety. but when i’m really honest, it was just an easy ease of ownership; i was focused on different things at the time.

ten years ago was a marker in life for me. i have tried and tried to find any photos that capture the transition that time was for me, but the only photo from that day, randomly, is a stock photo of a red balloon. the memories before it can be jogged and remembered usually, but are harder to recall on their own. such is life.

may 31, 2010 turned what i knew as my world completely upside down. it came out of nowhere. suddenly, all i was enthralled by was joy and beauty and fun and nature. all else went by the wayside; authentic happiness was new to me, and i was enamored.

i suddenly was looking forward to off-roading, and eventually i stopped worrying about getting dirty. how i look became increasingly irrelevant. for a while, i attempted “sassy” and “witty” and “sardonic,” but those manifestations from my old wheelhouse didn’t work anymore, and actually, were disastrously smarting instead. wtf.

happiness got confusing for a bit.

my astrological chart tells me that partnerships are how i explore my shadow side. it tells me also that my sun is in the house of partnerships, that my life force shines its light on my unions. which has its own implications and pitfalls of course!

it seems as though i made it this far, though, to explore all of this further. what this 10 years has made abundantly clear to me is how important the basics are. emotions that come up now get in the way, now that i like having an actual life, rather than just work. i read once that having it all is possible, just not at the same time.

so on this 10 year mark, i choose to celebrate what i have now. not all i will have eventually, but what we have made and created. unions are hard and eye-opening, but when you get down to it, really, what else is there.

thank you for coming into my world, showing me how much i love another old, very fitting, nickname i had at work, that of “sidecar.” jeeps on hawaii and porsches anywhere will never be the same, and that makes me so happy. you have showed me more of what is really valuable. what a gift — i wish everyone gets so lucky.

i love you and am grateful for you always, mr. whatever this life looks like. aloha

this is the end… movie

THIS IS THE END was one of the greatest projects i got to work on. the story is magnificent; the characters are full and relatable. despicable and loveable, like all of us.

this movie is perhaps more relevant today… no one cares anymore about the celebrity inclusion in it, and i am grateful we think bigger than that now.

but here is an “inside-baseball” type pro tip: we — all of us humans — are represented in this story. we aren’t all the lead or focal characters — that would make life pretty boring. but we are all there. we can all grow out of the paradigm we put ourselves in. laughing through it at ourselves helps keep perspective open. movies are good tools to do that .

getting here

the general query letter i wrote when i was 17 to leonardo dicaprio’s then-publicist magically got me to an internship here a few months later. i knew nothing about the entertainment business, and even asked in that letter “but what do you (actually) do?”

i met leo that summer. we exchanged pleasantries by the elevator bank at lunch time. i’d skipped a walk down rodeo drive; he needed to sign some posters for a studio. i think for “the beach.” i got insanely lucky to have that run-in. or again… maybe there is some magic after all✨

that internship experience didn’t tell me per sé, but it let me feel the answer to the question i’d posed. and how silly all of it is, really. but, i drove up the 1 to san francisco that summer. mostly, it was in the dark as i went after work, but i loved it and would end up going back as much as i could. i played company softball. i went to my first comedy club. i rollerbladed on the santa monica beach path. i talked too loudly on a cell phone; i was clueless about a lot of things.

it was 1998.

years later, i worked at this company for a long time. it was the hardest, silliest, most ridiculous employment i’ve ever had, and i still miss some people and some parts of it so much sometimes it hurts.

this place started me on a professional life path that shaped my worldview, for good and bad. and it showed me what is important. not in the moment, mind you😂 we all were insanely selfish, but were working too hard for our clients we cared way too much about to see anything else. i see now though how it all dovetails so beautifully. what a gift that time was✨

the news came out today that after 33 years, bwr is closing. my love to all who made that place what it was. we are all wackier, and ultimately, far better for our time there. thank you for the experiences you helped make possible there and the lessons you shared with us along the way.

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