Thursday, May 5, 2011


5 events I am totally looking forward to in the next few weeks:

5. Houdini exhibit at the Skirball

4. Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA

3. Mother's Day picnic on Sunday with the family

2. Going to Magic Mountain

1. My friend Anthony's comic book signing next Wednesday

(yes, I'm aware most of those events were definitely nerdy in nature)

4 things I recently bought and I could not BE happier:

4. I'm not a purse person, having bought exactly two in my life, but here's the purse I just bought and I am in LOVE. I never thought I'd like an inanimate object so much in my life.

3. These four Beatles prints. They are gorgeous, and I find it hilarious how clearly they show just how useless Ringo Starr really was to the Beatles. Benni and I found album frames at a craft store and hung them up in our dining room, over our record player (Vinyl FTW!)

2. Tank tops from Target. They are $8 and they go with everything. I don't think I need to explain this one much more...

1. $1.29 daffodils from Trader Joe's. How many times can you say that something you spent a $1.29 on made you blissfully happy for an entire week? But flowers just do that.

of the best things I have read lately:

3. The Happiness Hypothesis - amazing, incredible, very non-new Agey, very practical and scientific exploration of happiness. Best book I've read in a very long time.

2. A Short History of Nearly Everything - hysterical, makes science absolutely fascinating, and makes you giddy just to be alive.

1. This commencement speech by David Foster Wallace, which is heartrendingly beautiful and inspiring and I try to read at least once a week. (It's floating around the internet under the title This is Water)

1 funny story about LA:

I'm sitting in my car in downtown Hollywood, waiting for the light to turn green, when a homeless man carrying a sign that says "Love One Another" ambles over to my open window. I'm not going to be rude, and I have a strict policy of treating homeless people like humans, so I smile as he comes up to my car.
"Excuse me, ma'am, do you have a hundred dollars you could spare?" he asks, eyes kind and smiling. I burst out laughing. Surely he knows how ridiculous this is, right?
"No," I said. "I'm sorry. I have no hundred dollar bills to give you today."
"That's okay," he says, still grinning. "I'll take a fifty if you have one."
Again, I crack up. "Nope, no fifty's either."
He shuffles from foot to foot and pretends to look confused. "How about a gift card to Best Buy?" he asks. By this time we're both laughing.
I look him straight in the eye and tell him, "Man, if I had a Best Buy gift card to give you, I honestly would."
"Next time," he says, and we fist bump, and all the other people in all the other cars can see me laughing and are rolling down their windows to give him money and the sun is shining and life, life my friends, is very, very good.


Snowbrush said...

Quite the auto-biographical list you've got there.

Anthony Duce said...

Seems like the numbers are all good these days. Enjoyed the read. Thank you

Alesa Warcan said...

Blast off! : j
You're on a roll.
Or perhaps it's safer to say that you rock... and roll that way. Way to go!

JJ said...

My kind of gal - BUSY!

Jo said...

Tell me where that guy is...I'll drive over to him and give some dough and a smile. He's probably very close to where I live, since I'm in Hollywood (Beachwood Canyon area).
It would be a win-win! I could use the fist bump.

Phoenix said...

Jo - he's at Highland and Sunset, right where the high school is. ;) I gave him a couple bucks on Monday because he's just so damn cheery!

Lira said...

That's awesome, Trace. And....can I borrow your books?

Eric W. Trant said...

I need to borrow your compassion!

I went to school in Austin. The street people fleeced the students in front of the bookstores, dorms, at the games, all along 6th street, the restaurants, the malls. They were everywhere.

My freshman year, one of my first run-ins with them, I almost got mugged by two homeless guys in army jackets, kept calling me Captain, come on Captain, give us some money, you got some money, we ain't going away until you give us some money, flanking me until I ducked into a record store.

They became a part of daily campus life and I became really damned cautious.

I met my wife in Dallas on a Thursday, and that Friday we were in Austin getting tattoos. She's like you -- sweet to everyone she meets. She gave money to a guy in front of the bar, and he followed us inside, asking for drinks. I bought him a beer, but he kept wanting to drink what was left in our bottles, and scooping up and slurping any bottle he could find laying around.

When he started creeping on my future-wife, I told him to split.

Needless to say, I'm calloused, and I hate that, because it almost feels racist, and I guess in some way it's an -ist way to feel.

In my defense, though, I once passed out on 6th street right there on the sidewalk near one of the alleys with my head in a pool of my own vomit, abandoned by my girlfriend because she got pissed that I threw up in her car.

Everyone thought I was one of the ubiquitous street people, walked on by and stepped over me, and I remember in my daze hearing this one girl say, Oh my God, is he all right?

And this guy answered, Keep on walking.

Karma, eh.

- Eric

Marion said...

I am green with envy about your awesome plans!! I made the mistake of checking out those purses at Etsy. OMG, but I love those ruffled little pouches! If I ever went anywhere, I'd scarf the red one up right now. Loved your story about the homeless guy. It made me laugh out loud.

Thanks for sharing your awesome life with us. Have a blast this weekend! xoxo

Love & Blessings,

Bathwater said...

Only two purses, my kind of girl ;). The homeless man has a good monologue.

Bathwater said...

I find it a bit ironic after reading David Foster Wallace's speech that he himself committed suicide.

Anonymous said...

Ha Good post! What was that homeless man, an ex basketball player?

Wine and Words said...

I love the daffodils at Trader Joes. Best flower bargain on the planet. Heck...I checked out the purse too.! And I am definitely not a purse person. I have one. It goes with nothing and I use it with everything.

Gwen said...

First....I love your new bag and can't wait to see more of it. Second...I love your story of your homeless guy encounter. That's just awesome and how wonderful were the others giving money to him. You both brightened the day for sure. :)

Robin said...

This entire post made me smile, but your LA Story was the BEST.

kj said...

this post is so stimulating i don't know where to start. :^) i love that purse too. my wheels are turning on that one. i just might....haha, tracy, imagine you are walking down the street with your purse and i am walking down the same street with my same purse. aha! destiny intersects!!!

i flowers in my garden today. that gives me the same feeling as tj's daffodils. it's always a good sign for me when daffodils appear. i'm glad that's so for you too.

what else? your plans: wonderful. and your street person: that is a hilarious story. i will remember that and chuckle every time.

here's wishing you a good weekend. ♥

Dave said...

Loved it. Looks like you have some good times lined up!

Heather Taylor said...

I'm kind of in love with your story on the homeless man's requesting benjamins from you. Better than my LA stories, the last one being witnessing some dude in West Hollywood drinking a beer and wearing a trash bag at 3pm on a Saturday. Getting sauced for the par-tay early!
That bag is GORGEOUS. I am bookmarking that etsy shop...

Barbara said...

Love your 5-4-3-2-1 today!! Such a happy post. Would love to see the Houdini AND Burton exhibits! Magic Mountain I can take a pass. Been there, done that, way too many times. :)

And what a great LA story.

Dionne said...

Oooh I wanna see that Houdini Exhibit too, it looks great! And that is a cute bag, but still can't imagine you with any bag encomberances at all, lol.

Awww... that's a sweet story, and hey that homeless guy is hilarious. $100 - who carries that in cash these days?!

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drollgirl said...

aw, you must have made that homeless man's day. and i am glad others sprang to action and joined in on the fun. :)

Okie said...

Wow...I might need to make a trip to LA this summer to see the Houdini and Tim Burton exhibits. Those sound like great fun. Looking forward to your report. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello :)

I feel like a mole - poking his head out of the ground for the first time in months.

It's bright out here I glad to see.

Chloe van Dynn said...

WALLACE-- is genius.

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