Ampersands & Such

Malibu Zuma

The other night, Rachel drove up the coast to hang out in the ‘Bu. She became so distracted and relaxed by the PCH view that she passed my apartment. Meanwhile, I lost track of time and had to frantically rinse the homemade toner out of my hair while she was parking her car. We’re quite the pair, she and I. Together, we’re like…

Tweezers & a Random Facial Hair.

Hatred & Tom Brady.

Oh my gosh, we’re like Freak the Mighty! (She’s probably the brain.)

I gave her one of my really long, lingering hugs (hair smelling included, obviously). I don’t want to brag about my creepy hugs, but if I play it right, I can make my own mom shiver.

We decided to get Lily’s burritos and take them to the beach. Burritos and the beach just go together, like…

T-shirts & Holes.

Smiles & Acne Scars. (These sound like book titles.)

We grabbed our wrapped burritos from Lily herself, and I commented on how fast it was. (It took four minutes.) (THIS IS UNHEARD OF.) She just smiled and wiped away a wisp of hair. “Summer is over. Now we get the real Malibu people… like you.” She waved us off.

Real Malibu person? Me? Aren’t real Malibu people the ones with leather skin and felt hats? Aren’t they the ones with Range Rovers and nannies? Aren’t they teenagers bringing back the nineties with a real vengence? (Scrunchies. Yeesh.)

I almost corrected Lily; I almost told her I’m not from here.I’m not of here. I don’t hold the salt and mountains in my bones! <—I don’t know either.

I’m not really from Malibu, I decided, and then I left.

My Rachel and I sat on Zuma watching the sun disappear. We talked about future dreams, about strategies to collect “secret family recipes,” and about the perfect karaoke song. (I think we need to open our own karaoke place where songs are at least seven years old and consist mainly of Spice Girls, The Cranberries, and U2’s lesser-known hits.) We made fun of the circling seagulls. We watched the surfers and a European family get yelled at by the lifeguard.

And as we ate our burritos and laughed and listened to the waves, a lovely thought flashed across my mind.

“Maybe I am a Malibu person… just a little.” Malibu and I, we go together like…

Baseball Caps & Sweat Stains.

Garlic & Everything.

Capital Letters & Ampersands.

Then a seagull stole Rachel’s ENTIRE BURRITO OUT OF HER HANDS, and we were traumatized for life.

still alive

I’m still alive!

Ha ha ha ha stayin alive, stayin alive!

The Bee Gees! I can do a pretty good Barry Gibb impression, by the way.

Did you know that Stayin Alive has the perfect tempo for CPR compressions? The more you know… brought to you by lifeguard training.

Yes, I was a lifeguard once. I got the most amazing tan lines you can imagine, and I was able to show them off at my brother’s wedding. Don’t worry, those pictures will just be framed and on display for the rest of my life. No big deal.

Wedding Guest: “Hilary, is that a white t-shirt under your dress?”

Me: “No.” **Silent tears**

I feel like we got off-topic. Back to the beginning.

I’m still alive!

I’m sorry I’ve neglected this blog. Although, I’m sure no one too disappointed (except for my mom).

I’ve been having some adventures since I last posted.


I flew to Denver to see my Norwegian Rachel. I was able to tell her, “You haven’t seen Frozen?! It’s the film of your people!” Worth the trip just for that conversation, I think.

But mostly I’ve been snuggling my dog and trying to not be sick, which is hard when you are sick.


I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist putting a picture of Ms. Estelle Getty in here. Proud Dog Mom. (Is that a bumper sticker? Someone keep it far away from me if it is. Far, far away.)

Anywho, I wish you a very happy rest of your week, and I hope that you, too, get a “Let The Good Times Cinnamon Roll” photo op for Mardi Gras. Although, I suggest you don’t lean over or be sick in said photo op because it will make you look eight inches shorter and twenty IQ points lesser (but that won’t stop you from liking the picture!).






up and a way-cool friend

May I just share with you how much I love Up, the movie?  Okay, good.  I love the movie, Up.
I remember standing on the hardwood floors of my kitchen, helping my mom load the dishwasher, telling her the story of Up.  And I cried.  I really cried telling the story back to her.  She may have cried, too, actually.  And you know what part got us?  No, not when Russell squeaks across the blimp’s glass. Good guess, though.

russell slides

You know what part I’m talking about.


I love Up because it’s about life’s adventures, and how they’re never quite how you first dream them.  Mostly because they’re so much better than that.  I love Up because it’s about having a purpose and friends no matter what age you are.  I love Up because it’s about never being too late to make a change, to go after that old adventure, or to find a new one.

I also love Up because I saw it first, in 3-D, with one of my very best friends, one of my Rachels: the Italian one.  (I have two Rachels.  I love them both dearly (which means I will owe my Norwegian Rachel a post), and I don’t think they know that I call them “my Rachels.” Oh, well)
Why do I love my Italian Stallion (Rachel)?  Where to begin?  I think it’s necessary to point out the fact that no matter how many times I make a donkey’s heiney out of myself, Rachy loves me anyway.  I’m the Carl Frederickson to her Russell.  Although if I’m being honest, I’m probably the Doug to her Kevin.

The first time I met Rach (that I remember), I was in the seventh grade, and I immediately accused her of being in the Italian Mafia.  I’m pretty sure I wrote something about it in her birthday card that year, a birthday I was late for, no doubt.  In fact, I believe for three years in a row, Rachel called me to see if I was coming to her birthday party that started three hours earlier, which, of course, I was.  I just was in my pajamas acting like I had forgotten all about it.  I’m a really good actor.
The moment I knew my Italian sista was a bosom friend and kindred spirit had to be at some point in the eight grade, when we became Australian Olympic Sports Reporters at the lunch table.  So obviously, Rachel and I tied for homecoming princess the next year.
Rachel and I have gone on many adventures together: seen in these blessedly preserved school projects (1 & 2).  And now, she is my neighbor.  Wooo!!  The kind of neighbor that lives an hour away, but still, wooo! She’s the kind of neighbor that brings homemade pineapple salsa to your pool party.

I could go on about Rachel, about how she is a brilliant little artist, and is going to USC for a Master’s in Architecture!  Get it, girl!  Or I could tell you about the time I was looking through old pictures and found a little girl that looked an awful lot like her at my fifth birthday party.  (It was her.)

Or I could say, “thanks for the adventure, Rachel” but that makes me sound like I’m dying (the depressed reader just said: “we all are”) . Maybe I’ll just say, “Adventure is out there!”  And add I’m so glad I have my “girl who doesn’t make me want to hurl” to share them with.  This sounds really sweet in my head because the song from Up is playing (bah-dat-dah-durrr-bat-dat-dah-durrrr-bah-dat-dahhhh-bah-dat-dahhh-dah-durrr)