It’s sad to say that over the past 20 months living in Malibu–I can’t believe it’s been that long–that some really extraordinary moments have become almost routine.
The other night I was watching City of Angels (because it’s always a good idea to watch a Nicolas Cage movie, right?). In the movie, the angels all gather at the ocean to watch the sunset, and when that scene came up I sort of casually thought, “I live five minutes away from that beach. If they turned the camera, I’d see my neighborhood.”
Then I stopped, and shook my head at myself.
I live next to that beach? The one that’s right there on screen? What?!
How cool is that?!
I was momentarily overwhelmed with how neat living in Malibu is, and this is not a rarity. Moments like this happen all the time, and it’s up to me to recognize them and geek-out a bit. To not let them become routine! Because if I don’t get excited what am I even doing here?
Here are this week’s moments when Malibu struck me as a super cool place to live…
When this was a small blurb on the front page of TheMalibu Times.
When I spent the day here.
When I sent this text message.
I totally walked back to where he was and stared until he looked at me and smiled, and then I was angry I didn’t have makeup on because THIS IS NOT HOW I WANTED US TO MEET.
When I saw dolphins on my drive home, and then took a very bad picture of them.
The point is that Malibu life can be surreal and freaking cool sometimes, and I think it’s completely necessary to recognize that.
But I also want to say that it’s necessary to recognize how magical moments (that don’t include an Orlando Bloom sighting because that’s on it’s own level) happen every day no matter where you live. Indiana is just as magical as California!
I hope you’re all acknowledging the super cool moments in your life because they are there, waiting for you to look!
Have I mentioned that I love movies? Oh, I did. Oh, you can tell. Oh, I can’t seem to have a single thought without relating it to a movie you “just have to see.” Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I don’t think my love of movies is going anywhere fast.
I’ve always wanted to be a part of making movies, part of the “dream factory.” In Indiana, this dream felt like a faraway calling, a quest that I would never be quite ready for. In California (more specifically, in Malibu), the dream makers are everywhere; although they just say they’re in the “industry.” I like dream makers more; it’s very Inception; you just have to see Inception. (Told you. It’s a tick.) The industry folk are quite literally my neighbors (yes, even in the “prefabricated homes” park), and there are moments that are so very surreal, it’s surprising I haven’t fainted. For instance, I drove by Dustin Hoffman walking on a beach street. I waved at him, and he waved at me; I cried for the next ten minutes and wrote several drafts of a fan letter explaining what that wave meant to me (don’t worry, I didn’t send it).
Another one of these surreal gems happened this weekend. Rob, Jill, Rachel, and I (and I smell a fantastic friend group here), went to see Gravity at the GRAUMANN’S CHINESE THEATER. As in, where Star Wars first premiered. As in, had to step over Julie Andrews’s handprints to get inside. As in, I could have danced with a Spiderman impersonator on the way out; okay, that one isn’t super cool.
Inside, there was a display case of George Clooney’s astronaut costume for the movie we were about to see! If movies are dreams, this place is where sleeping happens, man. (I feel like I could do better with that analogy.) I found my way to ladies’ restroom, and I thought, “I’m home.” It’s like the calling to be a part of the dream world is still there, but now, it’s not quite as far away. It’s like I’m Pocahontas and everything is “just around the riverbend.”
Although, that’s not quite what I mean because I already have so many of my dreams. Dustin Hoffman is just a person, everybody (mostly talking to myself: “Stop crying.”). The Chinese Theater is just a building. And movies, as much as I love them, are just movies. It’s how these people, places, and artworks invade ourselves that really matters; that’s what gets me excited about movies. It’s who I am and how I treat people that defines the level of success in my life. I love movies, but I love goodness more. I think the two of them can be friends, like Lethal Weapon (Mel is movies, Danny is goodness). You just have to see that movie.
Ahhhh The Princess Diaries. Weren’t we all a little in love with Anne Hathaway and her frizzy hair in 2001? Which reminds me, the Anne Hathaway hate bandwagon should really go away. Of all the famous people to pick on, really?!
Anyway, The Princess Diaries is close to my heart for many reasons. Let’s explore…
1. Meg Cabot. A Hoosier and a townie! (Please see Breaking Away for explanation.) Doesn’t it feel good when someone who had the same childhood as you (or maybe is just from the same state and school) has success at something you want to do? I know. I feel the same way. Meg Cabot = writer inspiration. Also, her real name is “Meggin,” and that’s pretty cool.
2. Julie Andrews. So Ms. Andrews can’t sing anymore, but you know what? She’s still as fabulous as ever, and I would love to have a sliver of her grace. I say “sliver” because I’ve got pie on the brain.
3. Hector Elizondo. I feel like I’m just naming people (because I am), but Mr. Elizondo gets up on this list because I met him a couple of weeks ago! He came into our store, and I thought, “This is it. This is when someone finally recognizes that I am the next Julia Roberts.” Well, it was more like him asking me if we had linen pants, me saying no, and then a little improv bit about how this company doesn’t know what kind of store they’re running. He laughed, and I thought, “He must know I’m the next Julia Roberts. He’s just letting things simmer while I develop. Either that, or I should grow out my hair and dye it red.”
4. “Supergirl!” You know the song: “I’m supergirl, and I’m here to save the wor-orld. But I wanna know who is gonna save meh.” What a delightful tune that is so catchy, I’m pretty sure I’ll be singing it in my rocking chair as I sip on my morning tea before I pop in my teeth. (I’ll be old, get it)
5. My SISTER. I think this might become a thing; where I relate a movie to a favorite person. My sis, Heather (Heg, Heath, Heathwar), is an amazing, lovely, wonderful best friend for life. I saw The Princess Diaries when I was ten (and Heg was nineteen) during the summer. She would have been home from college, and she took me to see it at a sneak preview. I was on top of the world that my sister, my cool, older, hip sister, would take me (four eyes) out in public to see the movie of the summer before it was officially released. But that’s just the sort of stuff Heg has always done; she makes you feel like a million bucks.
One time (probably within a year of TPD), we visited Heggie at school for siblings weekend. She invited her friends over to her dorm room and we watched Pocahontas Two on VHS (why do I remember this?). Suprisingly, the sequel wasn’t holding our attention, and when I got pjs out of my bag, Heather saw an opportunity for entertainment. She picked up a pair of Winnie The Pooh undies, and showed them to all of her friends: “aren’t these cute?” I. was. mortified. I ran to the bathroom and was beyond embarrassed and angry. But Heather, realizing she embarrassed me brought me back to her room, let me pick out a pair of her undies (some with Tigger on them), and proceeded to show them to the entire group. The group was a little confused, but I didn’t care. I had (and still have) the best sister in the world.
It’s Heg’s birthday today, and I’m so sorry I’m missing it. But I’m across the country, and she’s in an emergency room, saving people’s lives. She’s an ER doctor (just so you don’t think she’s just hanging out in ER’s). She’s an incredible mom, and I can’t thank her enough for making me an aunt to two of the best little girls. She’s a great wife (I’m assuming. He seems happy :)). And on top of all of her “on paper” good stuff, she’s the person I look up to. The one who paves the way, and shows me I have nothing but good coming my way in ten years. She loves her family, tries her best at everything she does, and she’s my best friend. So Happy Birthday, Heg, and “you know most kids hope for a car for their sixteenth birthday, not a country!” Nailed the callback.