the happiest place

November 15, 2013


10 reasons every adult should appreciate Disneyland:

1. the best people watching ever. [my friends and i often come up with a theme for the people that are trending in Disney that day. there's "are they a couple?" days, "cute or ugly kid" days, and my favorite - "mismatched body" days. that's when people look like one half of their body doesn't go with the other. better than LAX.]

2. you’re old enough and smart enough to strategize. [when i was a kid i was so excited to go on everything i remember just wanting to run from one thing to another, never thinking about lines or rest or bathroom breaks or food. 25 years later there's serious strategy to enjoying the parks. plot your fast passes, move in the opposite direction of the crowd, and drink when all else fails. it makes an adult feel quite accomplished.]

3. there’s alcohol. [California Adventure serves alcohol. too many strollers? feeling like the crowds are a bit much? make a toast at the winery and focus on the fact that you're not working.]

4. there’s food. [sure, you can still grab a corn dog or some cotton candy if that's what your heart desires, but there's also Carthay Circle. a full replica of a 1920's theater with a pristine lounge, astounding martinis, and a pretty damn great rack of lamb. this ain't your mama's theme park.]

5. it’s for every season. [there's water rides in the heat of summer, elaborate pumpkins and orange-lit trees at Halloween, and snow falling in the streets at Christmas. we may never be able to tell what season it is in Los Angeles unless we run down to Anaheim for the day.]

6. it’s a great way to spend a day off. [every time i come home from a day at Disney my feet and legs ache and i feel that wonderful exhaustion from a mixture of laughing, screaming, and endless walking. you can't get all that from the gym or the couch.]

7. screaming is cathartic. [i'm not a huge screamer, but when i do it's like driving a golf ball 300 yards. it's nearly impossible to dwell over a bad work week while you're in a swinging gondola 160 feet above water.]

8. hearing other people scream is cathartic. [one of my favorite moments is when i step into the Tower of Terror elevator and realize our car is full of people that are scared out of their minds. or have no idea what they are about to experience. when the elevator starts to shake right before it drops out from under you... and i know the people around me are going to scream bloody murder i can't help but giggle.]

9. it’s so freaking clean. [i don't know how they do it, but it's better not to question. Disneyland isn't only the happiest place on earth, it's also the cleanest. you would think a kid would barf in the street or some teenagers would take markers to the bathroom stalls... yeah, better not to question.]

10. Ryan Gosling likes it. [yeah, yeah, i hear the groans but he really does love Disneyland. just admit it; the guy's got taste in many things so we can trust him. plus i'm pretty sure he's a full-fledged adult.]

in the name of the…

June 16, 2013

dad and me

10 Things i Love About my Father

1. his corny jokes. [no one will ever be as corny as my dad. corny in the best way possible. there's a definite skill to the pun and the off-the-cuff dirty rhyme and my dad has perfected this over many years. no need to ask for it. just wait and you'll be wondering why you're laughing so hard over something so silly.]

2. his ability to be gentle. [i got a splinter a few weeks ago and my first thought was, "well that thing is going to be stuck in there until i go home for a visit." he's like a surgeon with a tweezer. it's out in 2 seconds and you never even knew it was there.]

3. his ability to do everything well. [wtf is up with this? he picks up a golf club for the first time EVER and hits straight and long. he tries a video game he's never seen before and beats you without breaking a sweat. naturally good at everything, he's always been my inspiration that we can do anything we set our minds to with grace and confidence.]

4. his unwavering support. [i honestly believe that if i woke up tomorrow and decided i wanted to be a prostitute he'd say something like, "okaayyy, that's cool. now let's talk about the positives and negatives of this profession." not literally, but close enough.]

5. his back scratches. [i learned from my father that there is no better cure for anything in the world than a great back scratch. i'm still looking for a great back scratcher in L.A. but i doubt anyone's really going to be able to measure up.]

6. his love of a good time. [some may call it knocking back a few but my dad calls it getting "double goosed." this can be a direct reference to number 1 and it's pretty awesome.]

7. his love in general. [let's face it, nobody loves you like your parents. i happen to be lucky enough to have great friends in my life whom i call family, but nothing means more than the unconditional love from my father. it's that "i'd run in front of a bus to make you smile" kind of feeling that only he can give.]

8. his sense of adventure. [getting lost in the wilderness of Costa Rica. ice fishing with hot chocolate at 5am in New Jersey. hiking until we're lost in the Blue Ridge Mountains. i've heard a few stories about some crazy times in the Virgin Islands before i was born. yeah, i'd say he's willing to jump in and soak up every minute of it.]

9. his compassion. [my father taught me how to be fair and to always try and put myself in someone else's shoes. i like to think of myself as a compassionate person and i learned by example. i may be one of the few only children in the world who tries desperately to share. but really, i mostly want to share with him.]

10. his love of being a father – to a girl. [the story goes that my father always wanted a girl and i am sure this must be true. my dad has always done everything with me from fishing to watching movies to golfing to dancing to tree hopping in Costa Rica. i've never once had the feeling that my dad would have been happier having a son and i've never been more happy to be a daughter.]

let me count the ways.

March 22, 2013


10 of my favorite people and why:

1. the way he makes me feel like i have the brother i always wanted…without the punching and the crying.

2. the way she texts me in the middle of the day at random to tell me how much she misses me.

3. the way he makes me love being a kid again while feeling protected…since the day i was born.

4. the way she always understands my thoughts completely…especially when i express them to her in the exact way they first formed in my own brain.

5. the way he makes me laugh so hard my sides feel like they’re going to rip apart and the more it hurts, the more i crave it.

6. the way her voicemail messages give me the best laugh on the worst days.

7. the way he’s always willing to listen to me, even about the same shit over and over again….and over again.

8. the way her energy calms me naturally and makes me want to stay all night.

9. the way he always makes me feel like a girl…especially during karaoke.

10. the way she saves her advice for the problems that really matter…and knows instinctively which ones those are.


10 things i ponder over while driving in Los Angeles:

1. city planners. [aren't these people being paid way too little or way too much? it has to be one or the other cause there ain't no rhyme or reason to this crap in my opinion. there is no good explanation for me being stuck in my car for 1 hour and managing to get exactly 1 mile. no. good. explanation.]

2. autopilot. [what the hell is that phenomenon anyway? i am intrigued by what happens to us when we enter this "autopilot" mode and literally feel like we've been asleep for the majority of a drive and realize when we get to our destination that we don't remember driving there. did our souls leave our body? did our subconscious get a good nap? did aliens invade my body because they wanted to test drive a 2008 Toyota Matrix?]

3. fate. [in the last month or so, i have passed or driven behind a close LA friend of mine oh...i don't know. almost EVERY DAY. he lives near me, but still. i'm now trying to ignore how often it's happening because it makes me feel a little crazy. but it does make me wonder. how many people am i sitting next to at a stoplight that could be my next great friend or my next great love or my next horrible breakup? and how many times did i pass them or sit next to them at that light before we met?]

4. money. [i want a new car goddamn it. and then i ask myself why? and then i ask myself what's wrong with my car? and then i hear my father's voice saying you don't even have a 401K and you are in your mid-thirties. don't buy a car. and then i pass the Lexus dealership in Beverly Hills and i get very very excited and i am very very confused.]

5. time. [i often wonder how much time i spend in my car and if i could only bottle that time and use it to work or take a vacation or sleep what kind of a person i would be and how much better my life would be and how much more evolved i would be. oh jesus i almost got in an accident. i should stop thinking about time and get back to avoiding being side-swiped by that idiot in a Mercedes suv.]

6. children. [depending on the day my feelings vary on the subject of children. sometimes i want one, sometimes i don't. when i'm driving i think about how my life would change and how everything i do would change because my priorities would change. would i drive slower? would i try to beat that light a little less often because my precious little baby is in the back? oh and now i'm thinking about how i don't have sex enough to have children and now i'm at a loss of why this train of thought has any reasoning at all.]

7. Drive. [if it's very late at night while driving in LA and that perfect 80's song starts playing i like to pretend i'm Ryan Gosling in Drive and it's infinitely more fun. or i start to think about Ryan Gosling in general and that's a lot more fun too.]

8. road trips. [when i was in my early 20's i loved taking road trips. i took a 7 week camping road trip in a Cabriolet for god's sake. now i wonder why the fuck anyone would ever want to pile 7 weeks worth of freeze dried food and pillows and lanterns into a tiny little convertible and get stopped at every border because they're dating an indian guy. oh those silly 20 year olds.]

9. Alaska. [there are several reasons i think moving to Alaska is a very cool and brave thing to do. the best of those is the mental picture i have in my head of my daily Alaskan commute. i picture tundra with no cars. no cars, no people... just the bright reflection of freshly fallen snow and the warmth of my heated seat. i've suddenly found myself in a Chevy truck commercial and i'm lovin' it. ]

10. music. [my car is where i listen to my music but it's also the place where i realize that i haven't downloaded nearly enough new music lately and then spend at least 5 minutes thinking about how i need to download more new music and how i need to make a note of it in my phone and then remember that i'll get a ticket for typing something into my phone while driving and how that's dangerous anyway and then...i start thinking about fate again. still haven't downloaded any new music lately. sigh.]

the best part.

November 8, 2012

10 things I learned in 1 day after hearing 2 couples fight:

1. my new WeHo walls are thin. [good lord i heard every word of that shit. yes, every word. the "you said you hate me so get the fuck out" and the "if you try and use our baby as a tactic i'll call your mother." yeah. every word. hello thin walls of WeHo. i'm Tracy and we're in it together.]

2. the grass is always greener. [as a person still in search of a great relationship i have to say it was nice to remember that a lot of crap comes with that Holy Grail. even the best of the best relationships have knock down, drag out fights and to be honest, that's something i'll enjoy missing for as long as it takes.]

3. you fight better with age. [listening to 2 people under the age of 20 have a fight is both entertaining and enlightening in so many ways. entertaining when you realize you have no idea whose side you're on and you're furiously trying to figure that out. enlightening when you realize you used to fight that way many years ago and how awesomely dumb it made you look. thanks kids. many thanks.]

4. a baby doesn’t solve anything. [we all know this to be true anyway. well, maybe those 14 year olds on Teen Mom 17 don't know, but they can't spell the word baby so they don't count. turns out just because you have a 5 week old infant does not mean you won't scream & stomp & pout like you're 12. if anything, i think it gave my neighbors a terrifically unhealthy strategic tool to use against each other. i'm not even sure the teen moms would do that.]

5. stop & think. [when you have the privilege of listening to a very long argument from beginning to end, it becomes clear that no one actually stops and thinks in a fight. the next time i am in the middle of one of these throwdowns, you can bet i am going to try remember the guy next door repeating himself over and over again, saying some serious shit that well, you can't take back. thank God that baby doesn't understand English yet.]

6. women can be really dumb. [yes she's a 17 year old hippie. yes, she's probably not the brightest bulb in the bunch. still, women can be stupid. are you really crying for 2 HOURS about him hanging out with another girl? oy i feel for ya dude. so dumb.]

7. men can be really dumb. [yes, he's an 18 year old hippie and yes, he thinks he's God's gift to all lady hippies that ever existed. still, men can be idiots. did it really take you 2 HOURS to admit that you gave her a massage but you were just getting back at her for hanging out with some guy named Mike? oy i feel for ya sister. so retarded.]

8. everyone hates their parents. [i actually don't hate my parents at all, but this has to be said because both of these couples brought up how much they hate & feel messed up by their parents about a hundred times. what's going on here? too much therapy? i really don't know, but i figured it was worth mentioning.]

9. i’m patient. [5 straight hours of my neighbors fighting ~ with baby in tow ~ and i just laid there and tried to sleep. i didn't pace. i didn't put on headphones. i didn't call anyone to bitch about it. okay fine, i was slightly comatose & recovering from a terrible bout of food poisoning, but i'm still giving myself credit for some patience on this one.]

10. making up is still the best part. [aaahhhh, the golden silence this morning of 2 parents cuddling their infant and making coffee & breakfast. oh the joy of the teenagers walking down my street hand in hand in silence, knowing they've made it through some ritualistic test of coupledom. making up is still the best part, and they didn't even get to the sex yet.]


moving on up and down.

August 17, 2012

5 things that truly suck about moving:

1. reality check. [that moment when you're falling asleep at your desk from searching online and suddenly sit back and sigh. you've never had such a distinct view of how much money you make and how incongruent that is to where you'd really love to live.]

2. the reasoning. [the decision process of the "where" can be funny. it's become the most indecisive thing in my life lately. should i pick a neighborhood based on friends, work, dating, money, weather...or simply go with a street where i'm 94% sure i won't get shot?]

3. thinking. [thinking about packing, thinking about what i need and don't need, thinking about the timing of it all, thinking about which sites to use and pay for and how much to just drive around and see what i find that way, thinking about how much to think about it all. exhaustion. i'd rather just hang my bed from a tree and call it a day.]

4. work with no pay. [it's a full time job looking for a new home. i'm aware that if i really want to find the perfect place i'd better be searching every day, several times per day using multiple search avenues. i have a full time job that often exceeds 40 hours a week. i want my finding-a-new-home-that's-taking-up-all-of-my-time-and-sanity stipend.]

5. the empty bank account. [between the movers and the first & last down (or downpayment if you're actually buying something which most likely means you don't live in LA) and the new piece of furniture that you just had to have because you have a new nook that looks way too empty and the new cable setup fees and the huge grocery store trip that was necessary to fill your empty fridge...poor little bank account is crying out for help but nobody's home.]

5 things that are truly awesome about moving:

1. clean slate. [i lovingly anticipate the purge that happens with every move. that day i decide to go through my drawers and throw out garbage bags full of clothes i never wear and dishes that have a crack and paperwork i'll never need because i know in my heart i'll never get audited. moving is the one and only time i become the minimalist i truly long to be.]

2. clean slate part deux. [a new home is perfectly spotless. there's no cat hair floating around, no stains on anything yet. new windows, new paint, new locks, new neighbors, new address, new life.]

3. exploring. [there is this great month or two right after moving where walking around your new neighborhood seems like Disneyland. when every bar might be your next favorite dive. when every park is a new place to workout or have a picnic. when every neighbor might be the newest addition to your L.A. family. my advice: buy a beach cruiser and make your next exploration even cooler.]

4. housewarming. [everybody loves a good party but there's nothing like the housewarming kind. your friends drool over that spotless granite kitchen countertop while you play the role of host and use your new bar to pretend you're in an episode of Mad Men. this is simply what you always do on a Saturday afternoon. cocktails flow, people compliment, and pride abounds.]

5. things find their place. [i'm smiling just thinking about the process of looking around an empty home and picturing where everything will go that will make me the happiest. feng shui books get opened for the first time in years and there's great joy in moving that furniture around and around until i'm absolutely positive that everything, including me, has found its perfect place.]

contradicting Tracy.

July 9, 2012

Ten very different but Real versions of Me:

1. The Unfiltered Chatterbox. [the unfiltered part is really just another word for alcohol. parties at my house typically end in me remembering something crazy i said to someone crazy i shouldn't have and then i spend about a week wondering what and if i should do anything about it. so far, no friends have been permanently lost in this chaos so i've got a feeling this version of me isn't nearly as horrible as my memory serves.]

2. The Sap. [you wanna see a strong & independent Los Angeles woman transform into a pile of crying mush in under 5? turn on SYTYCD or Girls. i'm a sappy dreamer at heart.]

3. The Bitch. [a definite part of my personality i'd appreciate the ability to tap into more often. i obviously don't want to be an asshole or mean to people...but something to balance out the ridiculously over-accommodating Tracy would be nice. that's all i'm saying.]

4. The Victim. [an acting teacher of mine once told me my biggest obstacle as an actor was that i saw myself as a victim in life. i am constantly growing further and further away from this concept, but it's so easy on a grumpy day to let your brain whine "" pathetic but at least i'm honest.]

5. The Whore. [damn it's hard being 35. you wake up one day - somewhere around 31 - and realize that every fiber of your being wants to have sex all the time. and then you think, what the hell is this? and then if you're really smart you realize, oh yeah, my body wants babies even if the rest of me doesn't. and then you spend the next 10-20 years trying as hard as possible not to seem like a complete whore. cause you aren't. it's exhausting.]

6. The Comic. [every once in a while when the moment is right or the moon is full, i am really, really funny. some of my closest girlfriends would say i'm hilarious all of the time, but that's kind of like how they tell me i'm perfect in every way. maybe a bit biased. i will admit that one-liners on Twitter and chunks of time spent with someone who makes me extremely comfortable (yes you Bill K) enhance my stand-up tendencies. in these moments, i feel pretty cool.]

7. The Ditz. [place me in front of a tall boy who's cute and nice and flirty and every hour of college, tutoring, and generally accumulated brainpower flies out the window faster than you can say "absurd." i can comfortably be on stage in front of 1000 people, gracefully impress in a job interview, and confidently share my thoughts through a public blog. but an attractive flirty male is still, after all these years, my own personal kryptonite.]

8. The Therapist. [you got a problem? call me. i've been told i give really good advice and i listen with everything i've got. okay, maybe only if you're my friend already cause i really don't have time to start a whole new business.]

9. The Yes Lady. [i have this awful aversion to saying the word no. kind of like my fear of confrontation, i am logically aware that saying no can be a very good thing, and yet....meh. it's hard. i don't even worry if people like me anymore, so my brain's having a hard time wrapping itself around the meaning behind this one.]

10. The Quiet One. [i am a really talkative, open person about 90% of the time. but there is this very substantial part of me who since living alone needs to be completely silent for hours at a time with a great book or movie and nothing but the birds or crickets chirping outside. if my voice is hoarse from lack of use at 9pm, it's been a really great day spent with my favorite version of Me.]

it’s time for my final post featuring photographers that i love and this time it’s my good friend Sonia. the thing i admire most about the Son-Ster is the way she reveals the heart and soul of a person. the warmth & depth, sorrow & wisdom, pride & laughter of the people in Sonia’s photographs amazes me every time. i also finally figured out how to do this as a slideshow so hopefully you’ll all find this a bit easier. enjoy.

10 soulful pictures of people by Sonia:

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i have started many lists, but as of late my brain keeps coming back to what can be captured through a lens. therefore, i am officially making June photography month!

a lady i know has always captivated me with her camera. her pictures move me to notice the small things in life and act as reminders that there is beauty in just about everything. enjoy.

10 hypnotizing displays of minutia by Sarine:


June 8, 2012

so, i have a friend who takes pretty amazing photographs.  there is a haunting quality about a lot of his images that captures the feel of Los Angeles as well as the art & music scene here. obviously, his work strikes a chord with me so i have not only added him to my Blog Roll [at the bottom of each page] but i have decided to feature him in a post.  enjoy.

10 intriguing photos by akirophoto.




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