Happy 2023

It’s been a week!

Shaka used to drive through Brentwood on his way home from a gaming company several years ago. He always loved the smell of an Italian restaurant in the vicinity but couldn’t find it.

Today, he was like, we should find that place and go.

And we were able to pinpoint where it might be. We headed out.

He asked me if I was okay since I seemed a little off.

I told him that the events of the past week have gotten me a bit blue.

I had time off between Christmas and New Year’s and was focused on the jury duty summons I received right before the break.

It would be for the first week of 2023. I didn’t want to go. I tried to meditate on the idea I would not get the call, but it was always in the back of my mind.

I had fantastic lunches and get togethers with friends and family.

From the new Academy Museum with Mads, Nat and Zappy, to a Duffy Boat ride in Huntington Beach canals with CW and her family, From a brunch and some stretching sessions with Penny, to a celebratory lunch with my writing partner C! From a beautiful catch up brunch with Faye at AllTime in Los Feliz to a Christmas Eve dinner with my relatives. We found ourselves on Christmas Day going to Shaka’s friend, Wolfie’s open house drop in. Her friends are the most eclectic group of creatives you will find. I was chatting with a conductor, a comic and a stunt woman all before we headed out to hang with Shaka’s family for a Christmas that would rival any you see on screen.

The holidays were wonderful and I felt so grateful.

During a delicious dinner at Mozza on 1/1/23 with Zappy, Mads and our hubbies, I told them how it’s important to be grateful for every moment we have since we don’t know when it will be our last.

Even if your life is long, life can seem short. I bet if you asked older people about their memories, it would feel to them that some of those moments happened last week.

I blah blah blahed about how this was the first holiday season in 4 years I wasn’t in treatment and wasn’t in pain.

They nodded in agreement as we sipped our lambrusco.

The next day, I was going to visit Leigh, who btw has breast cancer and is in treatment, to give her her Christmas gifts.

I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up some tulips for her. No lie, it felt like many of the other shoppers were in a zombie state. No one seemed like they had ever shopped before. After getting my items, I hightailed it out of there.

On my way home, as I was waiting to turn left onto my side street, a car at the stop sign FROM said side street was also waiting for the traffic to clear.

As the cars subsided, I made the turn. I happened to notice that car at the stop sign was now headed right for my car. I tried to finish my turn and was actually shocked that he hit me. In my car, now facing the other direction that it had previously been facing and having done some donuts on the main drag, I pulled onto the side street to get my self acclimated to what was to come.

The guy who hit me pulled up behind me. We exchanged info. My car looked to have minimal damage while his car looked like it had hit a brick wall.

I ended up taking Shaka’s car to Leigh’s after I called my insurance.

It was a nice evening. Almost made me forget the accident and the jury duty that awaited me.

Fast forward back to tonight. Shaka asks me how I am doing.

I tell him. First and foremost, I am grateful that the accident wasn’t more severe. I am also grateful that jury duty was complete without me having to go in (woo hoo)! I also had a mammogram that was normal and good!

But still dealing with my car repairs and my upcoming cystoscopy (to go in to see if my bladder from the previous treatments still looks good) as well as work and other stupid regular adulting items that were keeping my brain occupied.

Him listening helped a lot.

I felt a little release.

One of the things I told a friend recently is that no one gets off scott free in this life. The people who make it look easy, just sometimes make it look easy. Doesn’t mean they don’t have issues. I remind myself of this daily. And if sometimes, it actually IS easier for you than others, man, you should really feel the gratitude then.

So as we pull into this restaurant, wondering if it is the same one Shaka used to smell on his way home, we take a chance.

As he opens the door, I half expect it’s gonna be locked since it appears to be dead inside.

My bad.

It’s not full by any means at this time, but there is a lively bday celebration happening with silver haired, black glasses wearing industry types near us.

Our server Arturo is awesome and greets us like we’re old friends.

He knows all the people who enter the restaurant after us. There is a family that comes in. They are meeting another family but there’s isn’t enough room at one table for all of them. The kids will sit at a table near us and the adults will sit at a table on the other side of us.

The dad, a Bill Hader looking dude tells us the kids will behave.

The place starts to fill up with all kinds of Brentwood, Sunday evening, new year, rainy day patrons. We feel like we were dropped into a borrowed lifestyle.

Shaka is so happy with this place, the martinis, the garlic bread and the vibe. He looks at me and says, “I won the lottery with you!”

Aw, my response, “How so?”

Yeah, I am annoying, like that. Sue me… it’s been a tough week. Hahaha.

He tells me all the reasons we work well together. I agree, We are holding hands like it’s our first date.

I use the restroom.

Then Shaka needs to use the restroom.

He comes back and says, “Hey you know the Bill Hader looking dad? He was filming in the bathroom.”

“What? Are you sure he wasn’t watching something on his phone?”

“Well, that’s weird in a bathroom to do anyway. But it looked like he was filming me and I said, ‘hey, how about you don’t roll film on people in the bathroom.'”

“What did he say”

“He said, ‘what what?'”

Okay, so this borrowed lifestyle may have some kinks to work out. Or Shaka misread the scene but he usually doesn’t.

Our server, Arturo asks if we are in a hurry. When we tell him no, he brings some dessert wine to the table.

Yum. But like Cinderella feeling the pang of the clock, I feel like we gotta make our way home. It’s been a pleasure and a delicious one at that.

But tomorrow I gotta still deal with this accident nonsense.

We drive back over the Sepulveda Pass with the cool, post-rain air tickling our faces.

I am grateful. And even though my blah blah blahing on NYD was about feeling the gratitude in every moment, I truly mean it.

And even though my car got hit the next day, I still feel it.

I mean, I got to spend an amazing break with people I love, I didn’t have to serve jury duty, I have my health and tonight, I got to spend a fabulous meal with my honey with a crazy tableau of characters to watch.

2023 is off to an interesting start…and I am here for it!

Happy new year, everyone! Hope the start of your year is filled with fun, adventure, health, laughs and lots of abundance!

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