January 25th, 2004


James L. Brooks' Spanglish Shooting at My Mom's House Again Today

Here's one for Frank.

Hello My Baby Darlings,

I'm sorry I haven't checked in, in soooo long. I've been fighting this darned virus/flu cold thing -- whatever it is -- for what feels like forever but I think I am finally regaining my strength, thanks to the help of a long course of Zithromax and my wonderful bariatric surgeon Dr. Liu. If anyone is waiting on a response to an e-mail, a comment, or a letter you may have sent, please, please, please forgive me, I've been so sick and when I'm well enough I have so much backlogged stuff to do that I never manage to get to my correspondence. Let me know if you're waiting on a response of any kind so I can get back to you. I can't bear the thought of anyone here having written to me without getting a response and perhaps thinking that I don't care, which is never the case, it's just that my box gets flooded and things back up terribly and I can never catch up. I'm sure people have added me and are wondering why I haven't bothered to add them back, and of course other people will have left my friends list as well.

They're finally shooting the scenes for James L. Brooks' new film Spanglish at my Mom's house today. She lives on Stone Canyon in Bel Air, above the Bel Air hotel. Apparently he lives up the street and loves her house so he asked her if he could shoot some exteriors there in her driveway and on her porch. Maybe we'll swing by. We were there yesterday and they had so many wardrobe, makeup, lighting, catering, and tech trucks, plus all of the actors super deluxe motor homes. They had an enormous tent for craft services. This has to be a serious big budget production with this kind of location support.

I would so love to be able to hang out at Mom's for a little bit and get to watch Anne Bancroft, Tea Leoni, or Adam Sandler working, but I hate being a little fly on the wall outsider when it comes to film shoots. I want to be working myself and it hurts too much to be such an outsider looking in. On the other hand it might be nice for Beau to get to see such a big scale film production close up. I could never bring him to the set when I was working because they had age limits and rules about kids on sets. With plays it was different, there was always a chance to bring him by before or after rehearsals and he would have fun playing on the set or watching tech rehearsals.

I have sad news for us about Irma, (our housekeeper/pal/assistant), good for her, but so sad for us. She is going to move to Boston in March to marry her first love, her first husband Meme. She had one child, Rosa, (14), with him when she was very young and then they split up and came to the states. He went to Boston and she came here. She worked as a housekeeper and he went in to the restaurant business. He manages four different restaurants and can't give up his job to move here because he makes so much money. Irma fell in love with a man named George and they moved in together and started having kids. They have three kids together but never got married. Then he started drinking and over the years, after suffering through so much abuse because of the drinking, she fell out of love with him. Finally his family paid for him to move back to El Salvador to try to sober him up. He was gone for about four months, maybe a little longer, and in this time Irma really toughened up and resolved to leave him permanently. All through the years she kept in touch with her first husband and has always missed him and regretted splitting up. Then at Christmas he sent her an engagement ring and asked her to marry him and now she has agreed. Anyway she's going to take all of her kids and move there in March. I'm really happy for her but so sad for us because I can't imagine ever finding anyone as wonderful and kind and honest as Irma is. I trust her completely and that is such a rare thing to be able to find again, someone I enjoy being with every day on such an intimate basis, someone who has amazing ethics and morals and who loves animals and is willing to put up with taking care of so many on a daily basis.

I'm going to do what I always do when this happens -- trust in the universe and put an ad in La Opinion, the local Spanish language newspaper. It isn't going to be easy, we always get so many responses, hundreds of phone calls, and then I have to filter out the crooks and flakes and try to find the one gem amidst all of the desperate people who will say anything to get a job. I've been burned before and it's scary. The trade off in working for us is that we speak Spanish and don't really care if the person is legal and we pay cash. We're also kind, friendly, fun to be with, and are super generous and inclusive, anyone who works for us becomes family. Also I don't really mind if people bring their kids or pets, but it would be nice if this time I find someone who doesn't have to bring four kids and a dog to work every day, not that I minded because I love Irma's kids and even her dog and will miss them desperately, but if I were looking for the ideal person and I am, they would be single and available to really help us organize, clean, and get it together around here. With the number of pets we have and the amount of crap I've accumulated and all of the various things I do, to say nothing of my needy thirteen year old monkey boy, we really need someone with energy, a super big heart, experience cleaning and caring for animals and a good soul. It'd be nice if they were someone I could enjoy being with every day as well. It's miserable being with someone dumb or boring, I just can't stand it, even though that sounds so bourgeoisie piggish of me to say.

Atra and Arta, my new best friends from down the street, had a huge party last night to celebrate their sister's daughter Amita's birthday. I enjoyed helping them get ready and buying little gifts and things for them. I bought flowers for them to plant in their garden and lots of perfume for Amita, perfume, a purse, some candles and fun chewy gummy candies. Amita is so lucky, you can't imagine the amount of presents she has on the floor of her room right now. She hasn't opened them yet, wow. Oh and Beau and I went and bought two Siberian hamsters for Atra's daughter Gilan. She's so sensitive and sweet, just the kind of person who needs a little animal friend to love. It makes me so happy to make other people happy. I loooove giving people presents. I wish I had an endless supply of money so I could continue to do this forever and ever.

Well, I have to get going. I'm looking forward to watching the Golden Globes tonight. I have soooo much work to catch up on. Our garage is finally remodeled and it's just waiting for me to turn it into the studio we have fixed it up to become. I get to move all of my art supplies in there so I can just go out there and create. I have been having such a blast making collages and assemblages and artist trading cards. It's such a fun hobby and a great diversion for me. But I have an entire back yard full of all of the junk we took out of the garage and I don't know where to begin sorting through all of it, plus I'm dreading facing whatever water damage there may be after our having had to leave everything outside for so long, blech, scary.

Beau is going to put his guitars out there and we still have my ex's piano, the one I'm never sure if he is going to give to us or not, and I have my guitars, my ukulele and drums, so we have to set up a music corner where all of our instruments can live. Then there is my treadmill and the fact that we need exercise space for yoga and Pilates and I've got an eBay and antique mall business to get up and running. All of these things have to compete with things we need to store for space. It seems pretty daunting to me right now. Then there's the big figure of death who we've had sitting in our front yard since Halloween. People are starting to make jokes about it. We need to haul him off to storage but like everything else I've been procrastinating about it.

Hugs and kisses all round from your pal,