Ruby and Ossie Davis
Oh no, I just read that Ossie Davis died, how sad. I love Ossie and Ruby Davis, not only because they were mavericks, activists, and terrific actors, but because they were so lovely as a couple. Remember that touching moment at the SAG Awards where they were honored with a lifetime achievement award? God that was moving. We even named two of our little black kitties (two of my beloved Sparkle's babies that Scott has always called The Sparklers), Ossie D. and Ruby Dee. I've never written about this before because I always worried that it might be a bit racist -- clearly a black cat is not the same thing as a person of African descent, but I meant it as a compliment -- they're the coolest cats in all the world. Oh God I hope I don't lose some of my favorite pals here over this.
I was just reading a book about the history of black actors in Hollywood -- I had finally seen Introducing Dorothy Dandridge with Halle Berry, (I can't believe I missed this when it was first on, sheesh), and I wanted to learn more about her life and what black actors have had to go through in our business -- and I came across a chapter about Ossie and his wife, there was the world's sweetest picture of the two of them stepping off of a train, arriving in Hollywood, they looked so young and happy, and I've always loved how they work together. She must be crushed. Damn, and I had hoped that someday I might be lucky enough to meet him or them : ( He gave a eulogy at the funeral for Malcolm X. I bet he was a love.
An Al Hirshfeld drawing from a play featuring Ruby and Ossie Davis.
Thank you as always for your support through this difficult drama I went through in singing back up on Scott's latest CD. Deciding to go back into the studio and try again, this time with Scott's active support, was a good one. I was so hurt, angry, and frightened, that it was almost more than I thought I could handle. I almost bailed out several times but I just forced myself to do it. It really took everything I had just to show up and be present, so I wasn't really at my best, but it was something I felt I just had to do.
It kind of sucked that one of the main directives that Scott kept having to give me was, "Have fun and smile broadly while you sing," which just made me want to throttle him because what I was really feeling was this deep anger over how hurt I had been. I wanted to say, "Shut up you &^%^$* ^%*#$*! You try feeling as hurt as I do and smile while you sing," but I knew he just wanted it to sound good, and he was trying to be supportive -- not as supportive as I wanted him to be, I needed so much more from him in terms of encouragement -- but he did the best he could and was completely baffled as to what I needed. So I stuck it out, soldiered on, and like I said, I'm really glad I did.
Once I worked through a lot of my anger by being sarcastic, and not just a little biting, I was able to loosen up and begin, just begin, to have some fun. Whereas at the beginning of the night I didn't even want to touch Scott, by the end of our session I was wondering if we'd still have enough energy to be able to make love when we got home -- we didn't. I've always believed in Scott as an artist and last night all of these feelings were reaffirmed for me, and the same goes for his producer Marc who has a genius gift for sound. He hears things that I think so many other people might let slide, he's that picky. The arrangements they've put together for Scott's songs, the musicians they've hired, and the rich blend of sound they've put together, is so good. I can't wait for you to hear it and I'm grateful to be a part of this and so so so glad I stuck it out rather than running for the food halls of Harrods, if you know what I mean. I would have said run for the hills but for a gal like me, a huge comfort seeking food addict, it makes more sense to reference food, yep.
When we finally got out of the studio last night we went back to Scott's where I gave in and took a Xanax so I could wrap something chemical around my seriously frayed nerves, that neither Scott nor I could do anything about. I spent there so I could take him for an epidural today that might bring him some back pain relief. He wasn't supposed to drive afterwards and needed to rest for several hours. I went with him and kept him company, then drove him home to my house and sat by him here in my bed while he slept. I was happy for his company, I really do love that man.
I took our still unnamed Jack Russell Terrier puppy with me when I went to pick up Beau today. I know you want me to share pictures of our dogs with you and I promise I will soon. She was so nice, slept on my lap, seemed happy, so calm as opposed to the wild bouncing freak dog that she is here at home with us, poor little thing. I want to call her Flora, Ana wants to keep calling her Puppy even though we already have a dog named Puppy, and Beau wants to call her Scrappers.
When I got to Beau's school he was all worked up about going to The Promenade in Santa Monica with some of his friends. I said no at first because he's never been there unsupervised before, and there are a lot of homeless folks and drug addicts that hang out there, so it can be kind of scary at times, but he was so upset, and I remembered how much I loved having the freedom to go to Westwood when I was a kid, so I changed my mind and let him go. Afterwards Puppy and I went to one of my favorite bakeries and I got some tea and treats to bring home to share with Esther and her family.
After that we went to our local celebrity dog park and had fun playing with the other dogs and chatting with people. I got to see my favorite dog, a big, gorgeous, black Great Dane named Jake, which is the same name as one of my very favorite cats. Jake never knows what to make of me because as soon as I see him I start calling his name and run towards him like I'm running towards an old lost lover. I can't help it, I just love him so much. He's obviously an old soul, I just look at that great big noble head and into those deeply intelligent eyes and I melt.
I like his owner too, she just sold her condo and is looking for a small house. A small house in any part of LA that isn't totally beset with gang crime will run 900,000.00 dollars. Isn't that shocking? And that's if you're lucky enough to be the first person through the door on the broker caravan days. If you hesitate for a second, no more house. She put an offer in on a house that was 20,000.00 above the asking price and she was buried in a pile of multiple offers, thirty of them.
I was thinking about this kind of thing earlier today -- thinking about how when I recently posted pictures of the oranges, lemons, and grapefruit at our house in the desert, one of my LJ friends had said something like, "Don't they have fruit trees that hang over back yard fences where you come from?" it had kind of hurt my feelings a little bit -- made me feel like my pictures were so mundane and commonplace as to be confusing to her. So I was thinking about this earlier today, thinking that she mustn't understand the LA housing market, and the fact that we count ourselves lucky to live on teenie little parcels of land that cost a million and a half dollars, our houses squashed up against each other, no land to speak of, not too much room for fruit laden trees, in a filthy, grey-yellow, smog-choked city where bursts of colorful nature are so few and far between that, at least in my neighborhood, they're something to be embraced and celebrated.
I watched the best documentary on HBO Pay-Per-View tonight. It was called something like Rape In a Small Town and it was this smart and moving account of an older woman's (She was seventy-five when it happened, and eighty-seven when the documentary was made), brutal rape and her brave fight to keep the rapist in jail in order to prevent him from ever doing to another woman what he had done to her. You wouldn't think this would be the kind of thing that you would enjoy watching, but she was so smart, so dear, and so simple and direct in her description of the terrible events of the night she was raped, that it was fascinating and compelling. It didn't surprise me at all when the film makers showed photographs of her five children and her really fine art -- a mother and an artist who is standing up for her rights as a woman and an elderly person, against a sick and brutal criminal, now that's television I can really get behind.
Scott and I tried to get tickets to The SAG Awards but the tickets are by lottery, and even if the lottery really does exist and plain ol', non-famous SAG members like the two of us, could even get our hands on a couple of tickets, there's still the hurdle of their costing SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS a piece! That just seems so unfair, especially when you consider that something like ninety percent of the voting membership is out of work, and of the remaining small fraction of people who are lucky enough to actually find work, the majority of them make less than $5,000.00 dollars a year. It just seems wrong to me that wealthy celebrities and their friends and publicists get to go for free while the rest of us are pretty much locked out. Don't mind me, I'm just being envious, I'd also like to try Crystal Champagne to see what the big deal is, but at six -- nine-hundred-and-fifty dollars a bottle, I don't know how likely that is.
Wow, this was a long one and it is super late, or early. I had wanted to get up super early to go to an estate sale that I know about that's happening tomorrow, but I decided it would be better to just take a day off and rest up for next week. Okay, good night sweethearts, good night...