Friday, October 31, 2008

A Moment to Breathe - ahhh

Amidst the nationwide Presidential anxiety, I had the good fortune of spending a few hours in Malibu last weekend...

What's more distracting than an ocean full of surfers?

And more comforting than bare feet on wet sand?

As much as I'm loving this time in our History, I'm looking forward to breathing easy again, having the head space to finish my novel, catch up with friends, see a movie, take a yoga class.

Five days and counting...

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Heat is On

The other night my parents awoke at 1:30 to the frightening sound of a voice through a bullhorn ordering them to evacuate immediately. My mom sleeps with earplugs and missed the whole thing, but my dad got her up. They threw on clothes, hopped in the car and headed down their hill. 

An enormous fire was making its way up the mountain and they were ordered back up the hill to the TOP of the mountain to await further instructions. An hour later they set off to my sister's house, unsure if fire would consume their community.

I awoke at 7am to an email from my sister simply titled FIRE. She explained briefly what had happened and didn't want me to worry if I heard about it on the news.

My parents were allowed back at noon the next day where they found, to their alarm, that fire had made it all the way to their back porch - scorching plants and dumping ash and soot everywhere. Their actual house was spared, and ironically there was no furniture downstairs due to the FLOOD they had a month ago (another story). A fireman told them that they had to break into their house because someone thought they saw embers in their living room, so there was muck and mud from firemen's boots, but no fire.

Fire seems to erupt everywhere in October and it all seems so intangible until it creeps up to your parents' back porch. Last year Erika's family's Lake Arrowhead home burned to the ground. Today is just another 90 degree, high fire alert day in Los Angeles.

The political race is also heating up. I am trying to find my way back to Las Vegas next week. Until then, Liz and I are making calls to Nevada from a very cool house on the Venice canals. Sure we got the giggles once or twice last week, but what's an historic campaign without a few laughs?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Eight is Great

Voted absentee for Barack. Have pictures to prove it:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shout out to Mimi

I met my friend Mimi when I was 16. She'd moved from Montreal to L.A. for the year and our mutual friend Rachel suggested we get in touch. Mimi came over to my parents' house on a hot, sticky August day and we spent the afternoon in the pool staying cool. At one point I asked what time it was and Mimi made a sundial on the pavement with the pool water and stuck her pointer finger in the middle. "Three O'Clock" she said, reading the shadow. Mimi became a fast friend.

Twenty+ years later and we're still friends. Mimi now lives in Oxford, England but through the years we've managed to not only stay in touch, but to meet up in various cities including London, Paris, New York, Montreal, Toronto and most recently Las Vegas. We've gone years without seeing each other or being in touch, but when we meet up it's like no time has passed. 

Most recently, Mimi generously shared her hotel suite at the MGM Signature hotel. She was there for a conference and I was there for Obama. We didn't see each other during the days, but in the evenings we made dinner in the suite and caught up on life while gazing at the Vegas strip 32 floors below. We shared stories about our families, careers and travels. We laughed to tears exchanging guy stories. I returned to L.A. on Wednesday while Mimi set out to the Sequoias for a solo hiking adventure.

So Mimi, if you have wireless in the middle of the woods, THANK YOU for housing me earlier this week and for being the fabulous friend that you are. I hope everyone is lucky enough to have a Mimi in their lives, and if not. you'll just have to meet the real deal next time she's in L.A.


ps- I took her to karaoke for the first time and she did a KILLER version of 'La Vie En Rose'  Edith Piaf watch out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Connections Clark to the Nth Degree

Okay, so I show up today and there's a guy named Bill who is gathering materials with which to go out canvassing. He looks awfully familliar to me, so I approach and ask if he's from LA. Yes.
'Where in LA do you live?'
'Near the Grove.'
I ask what he does for a living.
'Film business - what do you do?'
'I'm a writer, and I teach.' We talk about Otis for a while. 'I used to work in television,' I venture.
'Me, too. I was in development.'
'Oh,' I say. 'I probably had a meeting with you back in the day.'

'Maybe. I used to work at a company called Nelvana.'


They produced Braceface, my show. Turns out I HAD met Bill before. He took over for the guy who actually bought Braceface in 2000. We had a big hug and a good laugh. He temporarily moved here (to the Golden Nugget!) to work on the campaign.

I went out canvassing with him and one of the 20somethings named Rick. We walked through neighborhoods in Vegas rife with FORCLOSURE signs. We spoke to regular citizens. One woman came to the door and was very informed regarding politics. She had her own suggestions about the bailout, etc. In the middle of talking to us, her son came outside. 'Mom,' he said. 'WalMart won't pay for the accident.' He's an employee at WalMart and recently fell off a ladder on to his head. They have been fighting with the insurance company ever since.

When we walked away Bill said, 'That was straight out of a Michael Moore movie.' And he was right.

As we walked along with 20something Rick, Bill alluded to my teaching. Rick asked where I taught. I said an art college in L.A. 'I went to art school in L.A.,' he said. 'Otis College.'

Too crazy.

The election is 3 weeks from today. Momentum is building. Polls are highly in Obama's favor, if you believe those things. Change is merely a vote away.

Can you feel it?


ps - who is mystrz who commented on the last post?

Monday, October 13, 2008


Here's the story...there are so many fabulous, dedicated, intelligent, friendly, fantastic people volunteering for Obama that it makes one feel all gooey inside.

I arrived at the field office around 10am and stayed until 6. At first I did a lot of pamphlet sorting over by the front desk. This allowed me to eavesdrop on all the phone calls that came in from people wanting to volunteer, wanting to register, wanting to canvass, etc. I also met the stream of people who dropped by the office - for signs, to donate food, water, for stickers, pins, Obama literature. The head of the iron union (the iron used to build these gigantic hotels, not the kind used for getting rid of wrinkles in clothes) came in because he wants to inform all the union members about why they should vote for Obama. A grandma and grandpa came in with their 2-year old granddaughter who was saying 'Moe-Mama' as I took their picture in front of the life sized cut out of Barak Obama (he's tall!).

I later moved to the phone bank where I called registered Democrats to help canvass their neighborhoods this weekend and make sure their neighbors get out and vote. This was slightly disappointing b/c a lot of people either weren't home or weren't interested. Then I changed my strategy. If I sensed someone was interested in the cause I said I was a volunteer who came up from Los Angeles to help. Suddenly people started paying attention. Some still said they weren't available to volunteer but others comitted to dates and shifts. One woman even invited me to stay with her family if I decided to come back another weekend (which I'm thinking about. Turns out the woman lived in Marina del Rey and taught at LMU!!) It was such a high when someone said yes. Out of about 75 phone calls, I got 8 'yes's' and apparently that was a huge deal.

Here's a question: when did 20something guys become so solicitous? Is this a generational thing? A democrat thing? Why wasn't Barak running when I was in my 20's? The nice boys at HQ bring me water, invite me to lunch, check-in on me throughout the day. Are they just being polite to the middle-aged lady in the office?

After today I feel energized, inspired, hopeful and excited. I can't tell you how many registered Republicans I spoke to who are voting for Obama. This is huge! There are only 22 days left until the election. If you can get your booty to Las Vegas or anywhere in Nevada it would be insanely helpful. I'm thinking about coming back in the next few weeks.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about the German guy who is between jobs in Germany and decided to come to Nevada and work on the campaign. HE'S NOT AMERICAN. HE CAN'T VOTE. But he sees an opportunity for change, not just for Americans, but for citizens of the world. You don't even have to go to Germany to help with the political process - just to Las Vegas.

Don't ask about the gambling. I had a rough morning at the slots. I intend to win it all back tonight.


ps - let me know if you're reading this...drop me a comment!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

I'm off to Vegas for my Obamarama visit. I'll be volunteering at Las Vegas headquarters on Monday and Tuesday and returning to L.A. on Weds. It feels empowering heading to a swing state to help out. Truly, I feel like it's my civic duty. I don't know when I became so Ms. America (especially since I plan on moving to Canada if you-know-who gets into office) but I am excited to be part of the political process. Plus, I just love a good blackjack table. Viva Las Vegas!  

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Everybody's doing it...

Jen's blogging about india:

Lisa's blogging about food:

And me? Being the private person I am, I'm still writing in a journal.  Sure, I have a website or two

But overall I keep my presence on the web on the DL.

Until now.

Connections Clark was a nickname given to me by my friend from college John Mancuso who laughed at the way I searched for connections between people. I did that at 18 and I still do it now. You could say I live for doing it.

And so I'd like to use this forum to connect people - to other people, to books, authors, recipes, music, good karaoke songs, restaurants, travel destinations, and on and on and on.

E.M. Forrester said "Only connect" and so I literally obey his command.