In honor of one exciting college basketball tourney–and the fact I haven’t blogged since arriving home from Vancouver–I thought I’d highlight the Sweetest 16 moments of my post-Olympics month …
1. I arrived home and happy in Storybookland late on March 2. And, as usual, my friends made me smile. Monica and Jesse cut out paper hearts (and pants — Don’t ask.) and decorated my apartment door. Talk about a welcoming mat!
2. Later that week, I had one of the coolest experiences of my life. Seriously. And that’s not a light statement, considering I am extremely lucky to have a lot of CEEs! (Coolest Experience Ever!) A couple of my friends do PR for Jack Johnson, who is one of my favorite musicians. (Puts me in elite company, I know.) I’ve seen him live — Central Park 2003 was the best! — but have never met him in person. Which is actually sort of strange, considering he is as much surfer as musician and he has been on my “list of folks I’d love to chat with” for quite some time. Well, I can check that item off my list. Brittany and Shelby invited me to a listening party for his new album, To the Sea, which drops in June. It was a small, intimate affair at the Brushfire studio in LA, complete with a keg, tacos and about 30 people. We all stood around the backyard — and the kitchen, like we were at a college party some guy named Jack was throwing– drinking beer and chatting. Around 9 p.m., we took our seats in a small recording room (there were 28 chairs, and yes, I counted) and listened to a CD recording of six songs from his new album. Then Jack sat down, picked up his guitar, called in his band and played four more new songs live. It felt like he was serenading only me. (In my mind, he was.) It was incredible. He finished with Better Together, which is one of my all-time faves and then laid down the guitar, picked up his wine glass and told us all he was going to get another taco. For the next two hours, we all mingled in the backyard. What a fun, wonderful night. And sorry to say, but I don’t have a photo. To be honest, I wanted this one to live only in my memory. But trust me. I took some fantastic mental snapshots.
3. I wrote the cover story of the next issue of EXPN magazine, which is our first ever “Money Issue.” The piece is on DC Shoes co-founder and current rally racing phenom Ken Block. A week after arriving home, I headed to Rynoland motocross track about 2 1/2 hours southeast of Los Angeles for the photo shoot. It was 75 when I left Santa Monica. It was 32 in the desert mountains when I arrived at noon. It wasn’t even that cold in Vancouver! But, besides being cold, the shoot was also very cool and the photos turned out awesome. The photographer was a magician. The issue will be out in a few weeks. Stay tuned!
4. A few days later, I flew to NYC for meetings and to help with the production of EXPN. On the way to New York, all I could think about was running in Central Park on a beautiful Spring day. Instead, it rained every day — monsooned, actually — and it was windy, cold and dark. I think someone is trying to tell me something. Or at least remind me why I moved to Santa Monica.
5. On my trip, I learned I will be adding basketball to the list of sports I write about for ESPN. Starting with an NBA playoff feature that will run in late April. So, last week, I spent my first day ever at Lakers practice — Do Lakers girls in full (if that is the appropriate term) uniform always show up to practice? — and am enjoying learning the ins and outs of covering yet another sport.
6. There was a lot of magic on my trip out east. Saturday night, my friend Michelle and I co-hosted a belated birthday party for ourselves. A Pisces appreciation party, if you will, at The Dressing Room in the LES. Our friend Michael, who is an amazing magician, showed up and performed a few tricks. So much fun.
7. Monday night, a few of us decided we needed more magic in our lives and went to the Monday Night Magic show Michael runs in the West Village. It is the longest-running magic show in NYC and the magicians are incredible. Asi even pulled Sue up on stage to be his assistant. Then he stole her phone, 20 bucks and her watch. But he returned them all at the end. Presto!
8. Back home in the SBL, I drove to Beverly Hills to apply for my Brazilian visitor’s visa. I pick it up at the end of the week and leave for my vacation next Wednesday to meet up with my friends Lisa and John — of whysportmatters.com fame — and Jeff — of Fan Issue fame. More on that trip in my next entry.
9. Speaking of Beverly Hills … Later that week, I found myself sitting in a kitchen in the Hills with my friend (and writing partner!) Stacey talking to our new friend and writing mentor, who is an actress/screenwriter/producer/director/younameit and just an incredibly awesome woman. Apparently, Stacey and I are writing a screenplay. It’s an idea we’ve had for a long time, and we’ve been shopping it around lately. Most folks — including us — think it’s a viable and unique story. Now we have a lot of work to do. But I couldn’t be more inspired and excited about the work we have ahead of us.
10. Saturday was the first day of spring. That’s all I have to say about that.
11. Sunday was the Stadium to the Sea Los Angeles Marathon. Jenni and I spent the day at the beach checking out the finish area and cheering on the finishers. The new course seemed to be a big hit. Sort of makes me want to run it next year. (I said “sort of”!) Also, my friend Jeff (ID’d earlier in #8) sent me the most awesome longboard skateboard last week. I’ve never ridden one, but they look like so much fun, and I often see much less athletic people than myself zooming by on them at the beach, so I decided to bring it with us and test it out. Jenni and I had so much fun learning how to ride it and I can’t wait to take it to the beach again. I guess I can now add skateboarding to my list of favorite sports I’ve learned after the age of 21!
12. A few things I am obsessed with this month, besides working on our script … the Power Balance bracelets. I’ve been seeing them on NBA players and college football standouts for a while and wondered what they heck they were. I bought one, tried it out, and as crazy as it sounds, am now a firm believer in the idea that a hologram embedded with code can improve your balance, flexibility and strength. I’ve spent the past few days researching the technology, talking with the company’s folks and will hopefully be writing a neat story about PB for the magazine. Stay tuned.
13. … GIRL Magazine, our new high school mag for girls. Soon to be re-named RISE Girl (we also publish RISE Boy). I am having so much fun working on this magazine and am constantly inspired by the teenage girls we write about. Last week, I wrote about a 15-year-old three-sport star who is also a published writer who covered Obama’s inaugural and Super Tuesday parties and a DONA-trained doula who works with pregnant teens. God, I’m a slacker.
14. … Romantic comedies. Stacey and I have been doing a bunch of research, so I’ve been watching a lot of the genre. My fave so far (Can’t believe I never saw this film, which was the Best Picture winner the year I was born.) is Annie Hall. Now I get why my most recent favorite film, 500 Days of Summer, is often called a modern remake of that film.
15. This past Monday, Monica’s boyfriend Ben invited us all to a Snoop Dogg concert his company (adidas) was sponsoring at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. Long story short: Fun night … Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers showed up … Snoop did not. Unfortunately, the Fire Marshall shut down the party before the concert started. We might not have seen Snoop, but we got a dang good story to tell.
16. Wednesday afternoon, I was a guest Skype lecturer at the media class my friend Amy is teaching at Duke University (while she is simultaneously making a documentary about longtime Duke track coach, Coach Buehler). To think these kids actually give a hoot about anything I have to say is a pretty weird concept. And so unbelievably cool. Just an average Wednesday afternoon shaping the media minds of tomorrow.
That’s it for now. Only one more week of March to go. I hope I find a way to fill it!