Gratitude is the sign of noble souls ~ Aesop

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving ~ Kahlil Gabran

Joy delights in joy ~ William Shakespeare

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Highway 1

I'm excited and grateful to be making like Kerouac and getting on the road! Nothing like an adventurous (and luxurious) excursion with my best friend to heighten the senses, relax the nerves, and bring much needed perspective to this crazy world.

Cruise control here we come!!!!

Girls Night Out

I'm thankful for bad movies like Sex and the City that are a good excuse for a bunch of girls to put on high heels for each other to admire and go see a movie that we can all laugh about when it's over. God bless those actresses for having to say all those puns with a smile and wear hats that look like they were made out of soiled hay from a horse stall...the lengths they go to for our amusement!

Friday, May 28, 2010

You like me, you really like me!

I had meeting today with a "big time" producer and it made me very happy to find how funny and open and down to earth he was. It was a refreshing surprise in this town built on egos, and it was wonderful to be treated as an equal, with respect. I keep thinking of Sally Field's exuberant Oscar speech, and even though I didn't get an award, I had a nice day, and in my book -- in Hollywood -- that's something to celebrate:)

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I'm thankful that my hubby comes home tomorrow! And I'm thankful for how wrong it feels when he's gone. I feel like it's the night before Christmas and I can barely get to sleep because I wish it were already morning...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nightlight in the sky

I love the moon. How it's a light in the dark, content with being silver in a golden world, how it can be both constant and changing at the same time. I love how it somehow elicits wonder in my heart every time I see it, day after day, as if it were somehow new and not nearly as old as time itself. I love the soft halo that encircles it and that I can stare at it as long as I like without hurting my eyes. And how when paired with clouds sweeping swiftly across it like a bellydancer's swirling veils and Beethoven's ninth playing on the radio it is the very definition of magic. It is a simple, primal joy...and for that, I am thankful:)

Ps. Did anyone laugh as hard as I did at 30 ROCK when Buzz Aldren yelled at the moon "I walked on your FACE!" Hahah! And he did! Amazing.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Only in Hollyweird

Yes, it's a smart car with a moustache. And the liscence plate says HLO DALI. Need I say more?

Monday, May 24, 2010


Had I stayed in Michigan it would've been harder to make a living playing pretend... and tougher to bag a nice southern gal screenwriter (although I'm certain we would've managed to cross paths). So I'm grateful that I packed up my mom's little red car and headed west 7 yeas ago. But spending a few days back home with my folks is all it took for me to wax nostalgic for Michigan summers (and falls and winters). Our families are our living legacy. A couple weeks a year just isn't enough time to be with them. Were I born into an Italian clan circa 1850 in Sicily I probably would've never left the island, just as generations of my elders would never have done. An adventurous life has put many miles between me and the very comforts of home that I was so excited to break free of when I was 23. And now that I've married into an amazing Kentucky/Carolina clan... I have even more homes and family members to miss!

I guess what I'm trying to say is... let's all become Mormons and live together on a compound. Or move to a hippy commune. Or at least get a dang time share together for a week out of the year! Italy was too fun to be a one time memory. Our families are too awesome to keep apart!

On a wing and a prayer

I'm thankful that I get to be a part of the "prayer team" at my church (sounds like some terrible TBN superhero show, doesn't it?) Mercifully, I don't actually have to wear a cape or brightly colored spandex:) I may like to joke about it, but truly, it is such a humbling experience. It brings me a deep joy to have the honor of being present when people drop all of their pretenses and defenses as they get down to the true essence of what is real and important in life. Vulnerability is a beautiful thing to witness and I am buoyed by each person's trust and openness as they share their deepest hurts and hopes with me. Holding hands with a stranger, who is at her core my sister, is a profound experience of a kind of love we are all meant to know, but somehow lose sight of in our busy isolated little worlds, and I can't help but be grateful to be a part of something so much larger than myself. I'm not sure where the term "on a wing and a prayer" comes from, but I have found the act of praying to be so uplifting that the wing part is starting to make sense to me more each day...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Love stories

Tonight Lindsay and I saw LETTERS TO JULIET and it was just lovely -- I cried over no less than three scenes because of their sweet hopefulness. The movie made me thankful for many things...for love stories, for the fact that it's never too late for true love, for happy sappy movies, for beautiful Italy, for the fact that I have had the honor to see Italy in person and for the excitement of the many times to come when I will get to see it again. I'm thankful that Lindsay always goes to see happy sappy moves with me and that she always remembers kleenex. And most of all I'm thankful to have my own true love story...and I'm glad I didn't have to wait 50 years to find it!

Friday, May 21, 2010


I admit it. I'm not ashamed. I am a fan of America's Funniest Videos. What could be funnier than a scrappy mutt fighting his own foot for a bone, or a kid being caught by his underwear falling off the top of a fridge, or a dachshund running around the yard with a roman candle in his mouth? And it's not just funny, it's educational too. It has taught me that the difference between crying and laughing is time...and that kids are made out of rubber. Seriously, they bounce off everything. Thank you, dumb people, for giving me something to make me feel better about myself. Shakespeare was right, all the world is a stage...a Ringling Brothers stage:)

To look a pelican in the eye

To look a pelican
in the eye
is a curious thing
You don't even notice him
at first
as you sit on the beach
reading your chick lit
but you sense the movement
and look up to see
a strange
prehistoric looking creature
lumbering towards you
his wings are heavy at his side
but he is fast
maybe too fast
you are fascinated at first
but as he gets closer
you are scared
Do pelicans attack people?
But then you catch his eye
and he doesn't look like a killer
he looks...studious
There he is
a foot away
What does he want?
You think maybe he's hungry
so you search your backpack
and find a cranberry almond bar
break off a piece
toss it towards him
It doesn't interest him
But you do
He blinks
and somehow you are surprised
Who knew pelicans have eyelids?
You notice that the feathers
on his brown head
seem soft, like fur
and he starts to look
like a very strange dog to you
and you have the sudden urge
to pick him up
and pet his furry head
to give him a name
and play catch with him
He could probably fit a basketball
in that giant beak
And as you imagine this
with a laugh
you think about
what he must be thinking
probably something like:
To look a human
in the eye
is a curious thing
And as he finally leaves
waddling towards the lagoon
and past the sand bar
you can't help but wonder
Do pelicans get goosebumps too?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Raindrops keep falling from my head

This might be a strange thing to be grateful for, but I'm glad we humans can cry. Each little tear working to wash out the bad and make room for the good. I'm glad for happy tears too, the ones where you can't quite find the words to describe the love or joy or gratitude that you feel, so it all just comes spilling out like a flood. So interesting how I feel so much better after a good cry, even if it doesn't change anything -- like somehow when you're feeling helpless crying feels like doing something, which is much better than doing nothing. And just like everything feels fresh and new again after a good rain, and then the sun comes out from behind the clouds, hope and possibility seem to come after a good cry and you know that smiles can't be too far behind.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Better Than A Job

I'm so happy and fortunate to have the BEST friends and family I could ever hope for. Getting canned from a big job is a really shitty thing. But the amazing outpouring of support, love, and hilariously angry-at-CBS emails I got from everyone has truly been a silver lining to this otherwise very stormy cloud. Thank you all for being so awesome.


Back porch farmer's market

We've got 3 beans, an overgrown spinach bush, one pepper, 6 carrots and ten thousand cucumbers growing in our garden right now and it makes me so happy to go out every morning and see they've grown a bit more. The tomatoes are taking their sweet time this year, but I still appreciate seeing them try with tiny little yellow flower buds dotting the tips of each plant. In a strange way it inspires me the way such tiny seeds can grow into such a harvest. Whenever I think I'm too small to make a difference I just think about my garden and realize I've got a whole bushel-load of potential in me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Flat Stanley

I was incredibly grumpy this morning. I believe I may have actually growled at one point. I shuffled around in my robe missing plans I had made one by one which made me feel even worse. I missed church, then the farmer's market and when I looked at the work I had to do and pushed it away with a grunt. But the one thing I couldn't push away (because I had a deadline and I had to have it done in time to mail it tomorrow) was the thing that ended up bringing a smile to my face: Flat Stanley. My best friend's son sent me the little paper guy all the way from Georgia and asked me to show him around. So Saturday Ryan and I took him to see Griffith Park (where we got engaged) and then we went to a special secret place I'd never been before that had an amazing view of the Hollywood sign. After that we went to see the Walk of Fame and the handprints outside the Chinese Theater. And we met Superman. We also met a bum with a sign that said "Bet you $1 I can make you read this sign" and, well, I didn't take a picture of him with Flat Stanley, but a did give him a dollar -- a bet is a bet after all.
Looking through the pictures today made me remember the cool things that I forget are just around the corner from me. Things that used to make me giddy with excitement became old hat over the years, but seeing them again through Flat Stanley's eyes was pretty fun. And knowing the pictures were going to a classroom full of kids that might get some excitement from seeing Flat Stanley in such cool places made me -- wait for it -- happy. Didn't seem possible on a day like today, but it was and for that I am grateful. I'm also thankful my husband took the day to be a tourist with me and I'm glad Eli entrusted his little paper friend to me:)


I'm thankful I had the opportunity to experience a different culture tonight when I went as Lindsay's date to a Bat Mitzvah for the little girl she tutors. The service was mostly in Hebrew, but I was still able to connect in such a deep way that I couldn't help but cry at the end. It was special to be a part of such an important part of that family's life. And the party afterwards was quite an experience too...more extravagant than any wedding I've been too. But the best part was seeing the Bubbies (grandmothers) dancing with their glow sticks along with all the thirteen year old kids. What a joyous occasion and what a truly touching look into another way of life.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Always there

I'm thankful for wonderful friends and family who are there when you need them, precious rays of light slicing through the murky clouds on dark days.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I'm thankful for perfect little pillows of pasta filled with brie and ricotta and just a hint of garlic that make me feel like I'm back in Tuscany:)

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I think it's funny that what looks to some people like me just staring off into space daydreaming is actually me working. Today I sat outside on my porch and stared at the sky all day while I cracked the major plot points of an entire story. A teacher probably would've yelled at me for daydreaming, but it's the way I start all of my jobs. I love to walk through all of the worlds in my mind for hours on end and I end up losing track of time completely. If someone asked me what I did today, I could say I sat -- or I could say I took a trip to Italy, survived a freak snow storm and watched a couple fall in love and get married -- all in one day:)

It also made me giggle today to see a little girl walking her tiny Yorkie while she roller skated. Halfway around the block the dog got tired and so the girl had to hold him while she skated which did not look easy because she couldn't swing her arms for momentum like a skater usually needs to do. Made me want to buy a pair of skates...not the clunky inline things, but the old-school white lace-ups with 4 red wheels.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Knocking on opportunity's door

I'm thankful for the pitches I have coming up this week and even though they make me nervous, I love the possibilities they represent. I'm excited to see what project I'll be working on for the next six months...I hope it's a good one! In the mean time I'm going to just be thankful for the opportunity to have meetings and I'm going to just try and enjoy the process and to have fun doing what I love to do -- telling stories.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take my maiden voyage on the USS Sleep Number to dreamtown:)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spaghetti Night

I have the most wonderful husband ever :) Whenever I am sick, or tired, or grumpy and don't want to do dinner, he happily sets to work making his famous, made-from-scratch spaghetti sauce. Inevitably, the delicious aroma of garlic, olive oil, and basil waft over to me, and I miraculously start to feel better and better. By the time the noodles are ready, I am waiting in line with my plate in hand, ready to partake in the magic. It's like a happy food hug every time :)

Princess and the pea

I'm thankful that tonight is my last night sleeping on this environmentally friendly (back and neck not so much) mattress. I hope my tossing and turning days are over. Bring on the new Sleep Number and a squishy supportive slumber!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

That's entertainment

I'm thankful for a weekend retreat that was so far away from the distractions of television and the Internet that I was forced to procrastinate by watching a tiny fly...and then by writing about it:)

A wayward gnat
has mistaken me
for a lamp
and spins around me
dizzy, drunk
so fragile that my breath
knocks him off course
undeterred, he braves
the gail force winds
and finds his way
towards my face again
Does he know
how small he is
how much he owes
to my benevolence
that I would rather
watch him dance
than squash him

Saturday, May 8, 2010

World Wide Whip

I'm happy that my wife is on a peaceful retreat, free from electronic handcuffs, if just for a fleeting couple of days. Remember when Spam was just sketchy meat, surfing was for Beach Boys, and Twitter was just a sound Pippin made when he was excited?

Yeah... me neither.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I take great joy in learning new things about my parents that pop up out of the about dates at the end of the runway watching planes fly overhead and about a wedding band (how did I never ask before?) and a job at a surveyor's office that I never knew about. I like getting pictures of hotels my dad is staying at and the hat my mom is wearing on Oaks Day. Yep, I'm thankful for stories and pictures and for pictures that tell a story.
As for a different kind of learning experience, I had a pretty good laugh today after Ryan took the dogs to get groomed and came home with two nearly bald dogs. Note to the future, don't put the dad in charge of the kids hair!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Everyone just relax

I think that instead of soldiers, the US should send massage therapists to conflict zones. It's impossible to be angry and relaxed at the same time and I'm sure it is very hard to try to shoot a gun when your muscles feel like butter and you want to take a nap. Just an idea.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's Boboli and I helped!

Does anyone remember that old Shake n Bake commercial? That girl's voice is forever in my memory, the way she made the word "helped" sound like it had three syllables was hilarious.
Anyway, I love making homemade pizza with my hubby (with the help of some Boboli crust). I like that we get to make it exactly how we like it, and having both worked at pizza places growing up, we make a darn good pizza. For a side dish I made a tomato and cucumber salad with homemade dressing and our very first home grown cucumber of the season. Deeeeelicious!
I think making pizzas now makes me so happy because I loved making it so much as a kid when we had Chef Boyardee make your own pizza nights as a family. The crust may have been a little lumpy and the toppings a mess, but nothing seasons a meal better than the sense of accomplishment of having made it:)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hot Day Haiku

I lie down in bed
and listen to the a.c.
summer's lullaby


When I was a kid and my mom would say "Don't take things for granted" I thought she was saying "Don't take things for granite". It kind of makes sense either way actually. She was telling me to appreciate the nutritious meal I had before me... and not treat it like an ugly slab of rock. Perfect sense. Granted, I guess it's human nature to take things for granite. We're always looking to improve upon our current situation. We're seekers. We're restless impatient improvers. But every once in a while we're shocked into realized how great we really have it. Big things, like talking to a heart broken friend and realizing how fortunate I am to have such an amazing wife. And small things, like not being able to swallow and realizing how nice it is the rest of the year when I'm not battling a dang sore throat! Hopefully I'll feel better soon... because it feels like I've got a throat full of rocks. More specifically, granite.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Compassion in action

Earlier today I heard an inspiring story on the NPR show Humankind about a man in Massachusetts named Mister Joe who single handedly flies to Vietnam several times a year and escorts young polio victims, some of whom have never walked, to receive free treatments and leg braces in America. All these children who were shunned and despised for their weakness in their country have been given a new life because of the compassion and passion of one man. Amazing. And then tonight I watched Extreme Home Make Over about a family who adopted four special needs kids who had such beautiful smiling faces and sweet spirits I couldn't help but cry so hard I got the hiccups. One little girl was a triple amputee but because of the love and support of her parents she was already winning medals in the special olympics -- and she was overjoyed not only to get a new more accessible house, but to also get to meet her hero Bethany Hamilton. I am thankful for selfless people who make the world a better place, one child at a time.

Perfect Days

How wonderful to have one of those rare, perfect days! Sleeping in, relaxing on the dock, a bike ride around the lake, fun with the pooches, great time with friends, and a delicious dinner. My contentedness is so complete I can't help but be thankful :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I can't help but feel happy when I'm sitting at night in my quiet living room reading and the only noise is Pippin snoring. How such a small dog can make so much noise is a mystery to me. A funny little mystery.


I read somewhere that hope is joyful anticipation, and I've always loved that definition. I'm thankful for things to hope for and look forward to...all the things I daydream about when I should be writing:) I keep a hope chest in my mind, and when I'm having a hard day, I like to sneak inside and take a peak at all of the wonderful might be's in there. And when I start to worry about some bad "what if" I like to try to always replace it with a good "what if". It takes practice, but my imagination enjoys the work out, and just like exercise for the body is important because it makes you feel better, I think the same is true for the mind and imagination.

(Fyi...Esperanza is the Spanish word for hope and I've always thought it was a magical sounding word:)