Saturday, March 4, 2017

INWOOD!!!!!

I visited the neighborhood I grew up in today. Yep, we did a spontaneous trip up to Inwood with the kids and hit the Dyckman House and Inwood park and stopped at Dichter's pharmacy and Soda Shoppe for hot chocolate before going back downtown. I walked past the school I went to from 1st to 8th grade. It looked so small even from the outside. I was dying to get inside, but it was locked tight. I stopped into the church I went to as a kid and that really looked smaller than I remember. I visited the 9/11 memorial garden there, that honors all the good folk from Inwood who we lost that day. We took a minute to feel that memory.

I hoped to go into another 10 shops that haven't been there for one, two, three, or four decades, but I still kept looking for them, I still kept hoping to see them as I walked the streets of my youth, bursting with memories. I remembered the smells and sights of all those ghostly shops despit the passage of time...Sundrops, the hippie store that used to be next to the Dyckman House; the weird store that used to be a few doors down from Harlem Savings Bank, which sold cosmetics and knick knacks, and use to have crazy great vintage cosmetics from the 70's; Fanny Farmers (who could forget that smell); White Towers, the delicious White Castle knock off. It was nice to see a few of the old places that remained. I adore Inwood and would have ran around visiting various important spots if I didn't have the kids with me, as they tend to have a smaller window than I do, before they turn back into pumpkins. I was dying to get into Ellen McM's building and see the elevator that I remember to be very tiny and Parisian, I recall the orangish bubble the lit up when you called it, and the very specific smooth flat buttons for each floor. Was it an Otis? I also wanted to climb the rocks! We will have to go back soon.

In typical A train fashion, we were leaving my hometown, going down the stairs to the subway as we heard the ding of the train closing its doors, and as we hit the platform, one second away from boarding, those doors did indeed close and we were left on the empty platform to wait for the next train to arrive and of course be swept clean before leaving again, and taking us home.

The problematic A train started running on the F train track after w 4 th street, so we used it to our advantage and stayed on for a stop and ended the day by going to downtown to Great Jones Cafe for dinner, it has been at least 20 years and possibly 30 since I have gone there and it was so delicious...blackened catfish, shrimp in garlic, pulled pork....the only thing missing was whipped sweet potato, which I thought I used to get there, does anyone remember if they used to make that, fluffy creamy sweet potatoes, somewhere between mashed sweet potatoes and whipped marshmallows? Anyway, we got the sweet potato fries instead. Perfection none the less.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GNEcQS4tXgQ

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Aftermath snacks

so I am in complete f*it mode. I got home from the academy awards and ate chocolate, two boots pizza (full on wheat and dairy, which I rarely do) and PORKCHOPS and I have continued int that direction all week! I am exhausted to the bone, which is weird since I am only 51 years old and I have a two year old and a seven year old; and I played a gig one weekend; flew to London and back the next weekend, doing an allnighter in there; threw a birthday party with a house full of kids the next weekend; and and flew across the country and back the next weekend, also doing an all nighter. One all nighter thrown into my regular schedule is enough to wipe me out for a while. Ha! I have been living vicariously through myself! My apartment is a disaster zone. I need some serious rest and relaxation, but since that is not happening I will still do chocolate and PORKCHOPS, bacon, cookies, potato chips and this new drink I am crazy about- carbonated rose tea, with hibiscus, lime And cardamom- by some company called SOUND. Is anyone else drinking that these days?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DaAuY36APVM

Monday, February 27, 2017

So inspiring

So Tom didn't win. No one wins everytime. That's part of the game. It's all good. To put it into perspective in terms of the odds, there were two people nominated last night who had both been nominated over 20 time. Sound mixer Andy Nelson, with 21 nominations, has won twice and lost last night. Sound mixer, Kevin O'Connell had 21 nominations and never won, until last night. amazing. It's a numbers game people.

I am a bit off, a bit run down. I had beautiful hair and make up and dress and the best company but I was not as comfortable in my skin as I was the last two big events. Even befor Tom did not win, I wasn't feeling great. He didn't win the BAFTA and it was still magical. Last night just wasn't my night. But we had a good time and went to the ball and the big after party, but I don't have much to say.

The show itself was one of the funnest ever, from the Justin Timberlake intro to the beautiful sets to the politics and speeches, tres inspiring on so many levels, never boring. the  shocking unprecedented miscalling of the best picture winner was really intense in person. I saw some one rush onto the stage, which isn't very obvious on the TV feed, and it was scary. I thought there was trouble or violence. Thankfully it was only a mistake and no one was hurt. A terrible mistake for La La Land. I can't imagine making the speech and then having the trophy taken away. I feel for those guys. And on the flipside, it was such a reversal of fortune for the socially important Moonlight. I can't imagine losing and then having the decision reversed, better than a dream come true, as Barry Jenkins kind of said. I am equally sad for the La La Land crew and happy for the Moonlight crew.

Well, La la land's producer Jordan was incredibly graceful in such an awkward moment when he said he would proudly hand his Oscar to his friends. The whole evening was very inspiring to me on many levels, as it usually is, but even more so. I just wasn't feeling the whole grandness or the after parties. Dinner was fun and I got to say hi to Viggo, but then I just dragged on until 4 am when a car got us to LAX by 425 and security felt me up and I passed out in my chair minutes after boarding at 530, waking only for a second when my husband shook me to convert my chair into a bed.

It is glorious to be home. I am so happy to see my kids. I am so happy awards season is over. Sorry to be a drag. It is not for lack of trying, or a bad attitude, I just burned out a little too fast this weekend. Happy to be in my comfortable organic bed. Glorious.

Love you all. Xh

Sunday, February 26, 2017

here we go...

you guys who know me from the way back know that i was a a feral cub raised by wolves. so what crossed my mind on the lower levels this morning was deep insecurity. i could easily plunge to the depths and drown there. compare and despair ...and all that jazz. the thing is, that swamp in the dark recesses of my mind will forever be there, that is part of the human struggle, or at least my human struggle. like every challenge, i can't magically make it go away. and like every challenge, it being there is not the issue, but how we deal with it. yes? so i changed the channel, so to speak, remembering who i am. holly ramos, btw, perfect as is, steering clear of the edge.

the other thing that went on in my mind is that i picked the wrong nail polish again this year! (ha! note to self, go with traditional dark red). i picked a gold and it came out a tacky yellow. but i pained over my dumb manicure with my big gold glitter and it looks great.

last time around the awards circuit (and the election) we learned that the frontrunner doesn't always take home the prize. never set your expectations according to predictions, don't expect to win, and certainly don't expect to lose. stay open to all possibilities. keep your eyes on the prize with desire and detachment. its anyone's game...a good practice for all of life.

it is an exciting race with with so many great contenders. i love so many of the films and artists nominated in all of the categories this year. it has been a great weekend hanging out with many of the nominees at various events in los angeles, and even some in london, and getting to know a few. we have also had many great conversations with our super cool drivers, about race, humanity, and saturday night fever! the world is full of amazing intelligent, kind, creative people, never forget that.

"Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent
kindness of the soul" Allen Ginsberg

i really wish i could bring so many of you to the parties and the awards with me. we always ask for as many guest as possible to these things and often we re not allowed to bring anyone. Tom's 80 year old dad will be coming to the academy awards today, which is really exciting for him and really special for us. i hope i get to dance this year, as this crowd is not always the dancey-est. but i have a cool partner in crime this year, another woman who will be going and who loves to dance (and of course she is british). I'm still a little nervous about my dress. keep your fingers crossed for me that it looks ok. i'll tell you all about it in the next few days.....

thank you everyone who helped us with childcare, clothes, jewelry, logistics, everything. i and we could not have done it without you... i am carrying you all with me, keeping it real, diverse, working class and a little bit feral. honored to be going, rooting for my man, (having fun since i was 6...) xxxh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe5PaIa0SX4


Saturday, February 25, 2017

the hammer, grilled cheese, and bubble and squeak

so i met with a pal today and it was so nice to be in los angeles. la smells so good, flowers 
everywhere! 

i forgot to tell you this, but in london there is a menu item called "bubble and squeak". it is some potato thing. it always makes me think of my two kiddos.

one night in london, tom ordered "grilled cheese" from room service and they brought up a piece of cheese that was grilled! so then he had to order bread. ah the brits!

today i had to go to a meeting and so  i set the clock and got up and went, but when i got there i found out it was cancelled. urge! so i took myself to the museum instead, the hammer, and there is THE MOST AMAZING SHOW going on there right now, Jimmie Durham, at the center of the world. the show is The much-anticipated first North American retrospective of this compelling, inventive, and complex visual artist, performer, poet, essayist, and activist.

Jimme is native American Cherokee. if you are in LA, you need to make the trek over. so inspiring visually and politically and creatively. i was so happy to have the unexpected hole in my schedule, which led me there, someplace i wouldn't have gone otherwise. i used to take myself to the museum alone, pre kids, but that is one of the last things i would do with free time theses days, (only because there are so many other priorities) but here i was stranded in westwood, without a car....life is interesting that way. be open to the detours!! love you always. xh
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOr4O66WZW0
https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2017/jimmie-durham-at-the-center-of-the-world/

ice cube, gwyneth paltro, leonardo dicaprio, adam sandler, larry david, skrillex...

ice cube, gwyneth paltro, leonardo dicaprio, adam sandler, larry david, skrillex, vince vaughn, felicity jones, octavia spencer were all at the party tonight. also there, but i did not see them were denzel, emma stone, amy adams, casey affleck. Oprah seems to go every year, but she wasn't there this year. drats!

we made it back to la. the kiddos got squared away, thanks to many dear helpful folk, especially my sister. the cold is getting better and i am ready to go to bed.

putting aside all of my petty concerns about glamour, all my urgent politics, and all my luxury problems of being so busy and having so much to do.... i am just so very grateful right now. i have the cutest, lovingest kids, the sweetest dearest husband, the kindest supporting family, and the coolest warmest friends. aside from any award season, i am one lucky blessed woman. i have a great life and great people in it. and on top of it all i have this neat opportunity to go on this wild ride and jet set around and hang at some fun parties and play dress up and have some great times. i have much gratitude and appreciation for all of it. i am enjoying the ride.
goodnight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qixQns6Xs4


Thursday, February 23, 2017

I got to call #45 a racist bully on TV!

So I hadn't left the house since Sunday. I fly tomorrow and I am trying to shake a cold. I colored my hair today and need to buy some false eyelashes. So I put big sunglasses on my sick makeup less face and I put my daughters silly hat with a Pom Pom over my wet hair and I went out. It felt great to walk around on this beautiful spring day!

Outside my door are all these barricades. Thy put them up when ever there is going to be a parade or protest. Uh oh. We have an early flight and have to get our kids into safe hands in the morning and we certainly don't need any delays. I am not a morning person, and can barely get to the airport on time with no delays. So I asked a doorman if he knew what was up. But alas he was wondering the same thing. Then I saw an eyewitness news truck, so I walked over to get the scoop and they told me that it was a protest against #45 overturning Obamas order regarding transgender kids getting to use the bathroom of their chosen gender.

Yay! I said. And as I walked away they asked my position on the matter. I told them yay that there is a protest. Boo to 45's ruling. Then they asked if they could interview me. It look a split second to decide, looking so goofy but feeling so passionately, if I should go on the record and on camera....of course. And I said ok but I look terrible. They kindly lied and said no you don't, you look like a New Yorker. Good answer....

I am not the most articulate when put on the spot, but I did ok.

I talked for 5 or 7 minutes about how irresponsible it is to mess with the standard Obama set up. How transgender kids are struggling enough and don't need to have more on their plate, like worrying about feeling unsafe or uncomfortable or being put in an unsafe position. They need role models who say we support your choice and we want to keep you safe. Then I got to say that 45 was a racist bully who hated everyone but white men, and how I would use the same word as Maxine Waters but it was network. The crew loved everything I said. I don't know what they will air, if anything, or when, but if I am on, it will be on eyewitness news this evening. I may not get the chance to watch, so if you see it, let me know. You may not recognize me in my silly hat and shades, but I am told I have a memorable voice! Ha!