Happy Monday! Let's take a quick poll (you know how I enjoy a good poll), keeping this in mind: I'm trying to decide if I need to limit the number of blogisodes per story. I don't want people to feel overwhelmed by the length of the stories, but at the same time, I don't want to short change them. Yes, this is all because Charlotte told me she thought "College" got a little long, and as my guest blogger and a good student (and my child), I value her opinion.
Also, as you may have noticed, what we are doing here on MY OWN SPACE is a little more complicated than a traditional blog, because the stories are ongoing. Therefore, I am still working on making the site clear and easy to navigate.
I have had the most unproductive weekend--I mean truly so boring--that I don't have a lot to tell you. Let me do a quick round up of the headlines.
1) We have a mouse infestation. And by mouse infestation, I mean that yesterday the cat caught three and Rob got one out of the sink for a total of four. FOUR. The whole this is SO DISGUSTING that I can't write anymore about it, and I have friends threatening to de-friend me on Facebook if I have one more status update with "mouse" in it. But that's the major headline over here. Moving on.
2) Charlotte is (as I type this on Sunday morning) auditioning for the Fiorella LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts. Not to be confused with the school where I teach (Professional Performing Arts School) or the other private school that is a performing arts school (name is unknown to me...too lazy to Google). LaGuardia is the closest school for being the model for the movie musical FAME, and I am slightly blown away that my child is living out the opening scenes of FAME....something I would have died to do at the age of 13...but the truth is we are not so in love with the idea of her going to a performing arts school. (Unless someone from the LaGuardia admissions committee is reading this, and then, YES, we LOVE this school! Hooray! Go LaGuardia!). But between you and me and the wall, it sorta, kinda seems like high school should be...high school...and not a performing arts college. Okay. BUT. Just to argue the other side, I have a lot of friends whose kids go there and they love it. Like, really love it. And, as a bonus, it is actually very hard to get into academically and there is a big push for it to be recognized as the academically challenging school that it is.
Okay? Everyone happy?
3) I was worried about Thanksgiving day and overeating because I am super focused on Weight Watchers, but who knew this weekend would be so hard? My niece came into town and she has an addiction to Levain Bakery cookies (74th and Amsterdam--don't miss out--unless you are on WW, and then you should totally skip it) and then the cookies just sat around in a bag. All weekend. Then, my nice neighbor baked Rob delicious cookies and brought them over while they were boiling hot and in a tin, smelling delicious. "Hi Sharon, here's some crack in a tin for you. Good luck on WW!" Fortunately the children made a nice dent in them and Rob will wipe them out fairly quickly. That's what I get for being all braggy about being in the "zone". One warm cookie and I crumble.
Now. I think we should jump right back into our earthquake story, because I am really excited to write this next part. Your poll answers will dictate how much of this post earthquake story I tell, but I think I can get us to Singapore pretty quickly if I haul arse today. Let's re-cap.
Previously on "One Day More: We had an earthquake, a ding bat working the front desk, an animated group of actors, musicians and crew telling earthquake stories on the curb, free orange juice, and me and my calling card (remember calling cards?) finally getting to the front of the payphone line to call my parents. Caught up? Okay, let's go.
As you remember, Rob was in the air on the way to Detroit, so I couldn’t reach him. So, I called my parent’s house, figuring it was about 8am Eastern Standard Time, and they were probably a complete wreck waiting to hear from me. I dialed, and my father answered the phone. Hearing his voice, I burst into tears and the first words out of my mouth were, “Dad! I’m okay!”
The first words out of his mouth were, "Hold on a second....(rustle, rustle)......I dropped the phone.....(finally getting the receiver to his mouth)....(coughing, clearing of throat)......Okay, sorry about that, you caught me sleeping (laughter). Now who is this?"
"Dad, it's me, I'm calling to say I'm okay!"
"That's good! I'm okay too, well I don't really know how I am yet, but so far I feel fit as a...."
I interrupted him. "DAD. Do you know what's going on?"
"Well, let's see, what's today? Tuesday?"
Time to speed things up. There was a long line of unhappy and shaken Les Mizzers waiting for this phone, and I know my Dad when he first wakes up in the morning, this could stretch on for hours. "Turn on CNN. Right now. I'll hold."
Pause in story: This was blessedly before the days of Fox News. Unpause.
After much grunting and rustling and shuffling around, I heard the TV come on, and my Dad say, "What am I looking at here? Something's burning, but I can't figure out what I'm seeing."
"Dad, it's LA. There was an earthquake. I was in an earthquake."
"Now wait a minute, I can't hear." (He turned the TV volume up) "What the hell? It looks like there was a big earthquake in LA! Look at that, it looks bad! I wonder how big it was? That looks like a 7 or an 8."
"Yes. An earthquake in LA."
"Now, where are you right now?"
"Hold on, you're in LA right now?"
"That's why I'm calling."
"And you were there for the earthquake?"
"I was, and I'm okay, that's why I'm calling."
"Oh, what a phenomenal experience! I have ALWAYS wanted to be in an earthquake! I felt one once in San Francisco and it shook things around pretty good for a minute, but not a big one like this. You're having the experience of a lifetime!"
Sometimes......just sometimes.....all this glass is half full crap can be a bit wearing.
"Dad. It's not fun, it's really SCARY. It threw me from my BED."
More positive...positive....excited....science facts about earthquakes....then finally I said, "Dad? Is mom there?"
My mother got on the phone and cried and gave me everything I needed and let my Dad have it for not telling her I was on the phone, reminding me, "I can't control him."
My mom hatched a plan that I should call her friends Dan and Betsy Brown who lived in Pasadena, so she wouldn't worry about me so much. Rob and I had seen them a few days before, and they were very kind to host us at their beautiful house, but I had no idea they were about to become my Southern California parents.
Meanwhile, this is from Rob (and I am typing as he talks): "I got off the airplane in Detroit, and on all the television screens was footage of Los Angeles burning. All I thought was that I needed to get in touch with you and there was no way to do it, because we didn't have cell phones. I tried to call the hotel, but I couldn't get a call to go through, and of course, you couldn't call me because I was in an airport on a layover. I think what finally happened was that I called your parents and your parents told me you were okay. I called them second."
Me: "Did my Dad answer?"
Rob: "No. It was your Mom."
As soon as the sun came out, we all headed out to find some food, and I was surprised to see people happily dining al fresco, despite the earthquake damage, eating huevos rancheros and drinking mimosas, but it actually made sense. We were all hungry and afraid to be inside, so how about a nice SoCal outdoor brunch? I remember hearing a news report that people were sleeping in tents rather than going inside, and I wished I had a yard and a tent. It made perfect sense to me. My favorite post-earthquake outing story, was my friend Lucy and her boyfriend Gary, who went to see a matinee of Schindler's List that day. Lucy says that if she didn't have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder before seeing that movie, for sure the combination of the earthquake and the movie did her in.
Sooner rather than later, I got a message from Betsy Brown inviting me to her house, which I happily took her up on. I ran up the hotel stairs, packed a bag (scared to death while I was up there, because we had an aftershock while I was in my room) and ran down to meet her. I waved goodbye to my friends, thrilled not to spend another second in that tall building.
Betsy and I went to her house and she made a delicious rosemary turkey--of COURSE I remember the food--but it was particularly delicious and a recipe I have tried to duplicate for years to no avail. Maybe I can get her to read this blog and she will post it so we can all have it on Thanksgiving. In that mom way, she knew comfort food was the way to soothe a shaky ground. We roasted vegetables, watched the news, and waited for word about my show, which was bound to be cancelled because Los Angeles was on a dusk to dawn curfew.
But we weren't in Los Angeles.