Delightful week in the desert

I called Tara from Leann’s place in Pasadena and said something like, “Hey, I’m coming to your house, but not sure for how long. Could be months–“ She interrupted with, “Yay! Come! Hurry up!” Someone’s been holed up with three children for too long. By the time I got to Tara’s in Yucca Valley, I’d already bought my ticket to Peru. So much for my months-long visit.

Mountains to Mimosas. Tara is still the same person who watched me dump out small mounds White-Out onto a sheet of notebook paper in 5th grade and label it “Apple-ation Mountains” in blue ballpoint pen. These days, she multi-tasks making chocolate chip pancakes and watching me dump $4 champagne (Cook’s!) and orange juice into Mason jars and label it “breakfast.”

“Girls” win. I introduced Tara to three of my favorite TV shows: Breaking Bad, American Horror Story and – reluctantly – Girls. (Reluctantly because I can see why some people don’t like it.) Well, forget the first two, she loved Girls. Not only did we blow through both seasons in a few days, we started over and watched them again! As many know, Girls is not-in-the-least kid appropriate, so we holed up in Tara’s bedroom with the door shut, poised to pause when one of her three children walked in. Her 17-year old kept asking me, “What are you guys watching in there?” I replied flatly, “porn”. He didn’t buy it, but it’s not far from the truth. (Lena Dunham’s an exhibitionist.)

Worst Suggestion of 2013. I’m always amazed by people’s willingness to lead a conversation with a tenuous word association. I posted something on facebook about being in the desert and a friend of mine messaged me, “Hey, since you’re in the desert, you should check out Burning Man!” What?! That’s like me posting that I’m shooting a commercial in Columbus (Ohio) and someone saying “You should go to Tribeca Film Festival! You see, “the desert” doesn’t mean “every desert”. Problems with suggesting Burning Man:

• Burning Man is a weeklong event at the end of August. So not happening right now at all. We’re in March.

• Burning Man costs around $400 just for the ticket. Unless you’re offering to buy my ticket, then no.

• Burning Man is in the Black Rock Desert, about 600 miles from Yucca Valley. (So a little farther than Columbus to NYC.)

• Burning Man may not be the best event for a single gal such as myself. What the many visually interesting, well-edited videos on vimeo for Burning Man leave out, is its growing unsavory underbelly. My info comes secondhand from a Burning Man veteran who’s refused to go there for the past 4 years.

Perhaps if I were going with a sizable group of friends in a nice mobile home, but that’s a big, fat “perhaps”. Enough of making fun of facebook friends and their conversation starters. Here’s me with each of Tara’s kids: Jenna, 13. Karver, 17. Evan, 10.


Ice Skating in the Desert.  One afternoon we all drove down to the lower desert and went ice skating in Cathedral City.


Here’s Tara making a mean pizza • Evan photobombing us • my fancy new hairdo • Evan and King Lionitis • and the view out my window every morning (if I woke up early enough.)


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