1. That I'm finally feeling a smidge better today. I even made it to the gym. When I talked to my sister on Friday, she was disgusted with me for being sick for a week. "Go to the doctor already! What is wrong with you???" "What should I say to the doctor?" I asked. "That my nose is stuffed and I'm tired? I don't think he'll be super-impressed."
2. Jane. December is when we can count on a visit from her, and it's the most wonderful tiiiiime of the year. Plus she took me out to lunch at Phuong Trang and a reflexology spa on Convoy St., which was also awesome. But it's awesome just catching up with her over coffee.
3. Solare, a new-ish Italian restaurant in Liberty Station. We went there with Jane for New Year's Eve dinner. It's all sumptuous and satiny in there, and the food was yum. Felt like a great place to celebrate, to send out the old and ring in the new between bites of pillowy ravioli and creamy burrata and bright-green pesto and flourless chocolate pie.
4. Jessica. She's a long-time friend-of-a-friend but now we both have families formed from international adoption. Had a fantastic playdate with her and our friend Synthia at J's beach pad in IB on a blustery day. The kids had a lot of fun together, and us girls got to talk for hours and hours. Jessica is good for lifting my spirits--something about her. I'm also loving the book she just published, which I truly could not put down: Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir, about her experience living in Guatemala while trying to facilitate her daughter's adoption.
5. Luna Grill. Discovered it the night we went to Christmas Card Lane with Mary, Paul and Joy. It's vaguely Greek, and fast-food, but totally scrumptious. Went there again today for lunch and the egg-lemon soup and barberry rice were especially delish. The portions are so big we didn't even have to buy anything for Jarrah--she just ate off our plates. (In the expression she's co-opted from her dramatic mommy, this is called "I'll just have a crust of bread.") The menu has long explanations of how everything is healthful, natural and hormone-free. I'm officially in love.
6. Exit Through The Gift Shop. "Liking" is not really adequate. I'm obsessed. I've spent the afternoon Googling all the people associated with the movie, reading artist histories, exploring the hoax theories. But I get ahead of myself, if you aren't familiar with this documentary, which will definitely be up for an Oscar (you heard it here first.) Released as "a Banksy film," Exit tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant to LA who becomes obsessed with "street art" after learning that his cousin is the famous graffiti artist Space Invader. Following Invader and his pals with a camera leads to an association with Shepard Fairey (whose street cred, as it were, went mainstream with his Obama "HOPE" posters) and, eventually, to Banksy, who works under cover of anonymity and has become quite a legend in contemporary art. (His interviews are conducted with the subject fully shadowed by a black hoodie and voice distortion partly masking his English accent.)
What makes the movie fascinating is that it starts out as a documentary about famous street artists, shot by admiring groupie Guetta, and is eventually turned on its head when Banksy himself uses the footage to relate Guetta's trajectory from camera-toting schlub to...well, I don't want to give it away--you should really check it out. Along the way, we learn that Banksy is not only talented at street art, he's smart and totally hilarious. His deadpan soundbites are the funniest thing in the movie, and--trust me--that's saying something. I didn't know a thing about this movie before seeing it, and I found every development surprising and delightful. You will, too.
7. Freecycle. It's a Yahoo! group you join if you want to give something away. You can get things, too, but you have to give something first. It's all about avoiding landfills. We finally off-loaded our old, torn couch today, to a father whose son just got his first place. They had a mighty big truck, which was good, because it's a mighty big couch. Their bumper stickers suggested that their politics are scarily different than ours, but I guess they still need couches. 'Nuff said about that.
8. Other stuff: sleeping in (which will end tomorrow, alas), hanging out with David during the day, lots of playdates with friends, reading novels, not getting yelled at, weather appropriate for Uggs, planning Jarrah's birthday party, and Jarrah's new passion for Nutella on toast. (I tried it, too. Doesn't suck.)