Happy Birthday to me - the joy of getting older!
Me at 28.
Well as I have now fully recovered from my birthday celebrations, I am ready to blog about it. Friday, August 7, 2009 at 5:55 am I turned...older. And I have to tell you - it felt marvelous. I spent most of the day alone - an activity the less mature Leo would have a hard time with! We like to run in a pack. But one of the newer joys of my life is alone time - I relish in it! I get to explore my creativity - listen to music I love - exercise - sing - play - drink coffee and hang in cafes. It's a beautiful thing. After working out and enjoying my morning iced coffee - I got inspired and decided to make some art. I had saved a recent cookie fortune and had it sacredly placed by my special knickknacks and my record player. It reads: It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are. I looked at that fortune and let it soak into my bones. Don't I know this! Aren't I living this! Don't I feel the most like myself that I have in years - the closest to little Frannie who sang and made up songs in the back yard for hours as a girl - who played dress up constantly and always dreamed of being a performer - the girl who loved and lived life to the fullest and pouted when she didn't get her way. Yes - maybe I have always been this little girl - but I feel as if the insides are finally matching the outsides. I feel like I've come full circle in a way. I know I have a lot further to go - so much more to learn - so many more demons to concur- so much life to live - but at 28 I can say that I am who I am and I have faced my deepest fears to get here. HELL YES!
I placed the fortune in the middle of a piece of heart shaped cardboard and painted all around it in joyous hippie colors! yay.
Around 5pm the Ventura crowd arrived in all their young and vibrant glory: my brother Jesse, girlfriend Alana, and their two roomies and new friends of mine Cory and Scott. They are all at least 5 or more years younger than I - but they are creative and funny and wonderful and wanted to love on me for my birthday! We went to an awesome restaurant called Roys - Hawaiian fusion cuisine. They printed out a special birthday message for me in the menu! The food was delicious and healthy and beautiful and the company was divine and hilarious.
The Ventura boys jam out in my room!
Alana and I pose in front of my souvenir menu!
After dinner - we were off to The Dresden Room for some lounge music. The Dresden Room is a place I have been wanting to go for years! My brothers and I became huge fans of the movie "Swingers" back in the mid 90s. Swingers is an ode to the LA lifestyle - a portrait of single - struggling male actors living in the city of angles and searching for love or lust or money or themselves. The soundtrack is amazing - but possibly one of my favorite scenes took place in a little spot called the Dresden in Los Feliz where a couple named Marty and Elaine sang hilariously mediocre jazz renditions and lounged out Bee Gees songs - Marty on drums and Elaine on keys. The movie does not even do them justice! This pair has been singing in this room every night since the 70s and they are a polished, loving, funny team of jazz fans playing the music they love. It made me sooooo happy! They took requests and after making some hilarious jokes with me ("The last time I was in Paris it was 1984 and they were painting the Eifel Tower drab green!")- Marty played "April in Paris" and "Foggy Day" - both renditions were spot on perfect - they probably have played them a million times. Marty also sang happy birthday to me and gave me a free CD! I was soaring.
Dresden Room shots:
My friend Rona stopped by after her theater rehearsal to say hello and suggested I sing with them! I was making excuses - but then realized that my "SAY YES" thing applied - so I sad ok - I'll sing "Stormy Weather" or "Do it Again". Marty and I decided on Stormy - I sang a few bars to Elaine to establish a key - and we were off! It was delightful. I was in heaven. Marty had whispered in my ear "You must realize that you'll be singing through a wall of sound. Get ready for that." But when I started singing - the room quieted down! I got some great audience appreciation - and also met another singer who performs with them often - he said I was great and should come back again. So there you have it. That is how you celebrate your birthday with a couple of LA lounge singing legends!!
Rona and I - my friend from the Italy workshop.
Enjoy a snippet from my shot at "Stormy Weather" with the legendary Marty and Elaine!
We had reached our peak at the Dresden and decided to end the night back at my apartment with a little after party on my roof deck. I sang a few songs on my guitar and then we all enjoyed a little champagne - some laughs - and some jacuzzi under the stars. My roomie joined us - and had a cupcake and candle waiting for me upon our arrival as well as a happy birthday banner. The night ended on a bright and soggy note!.... It was an LA ending to an LA birthday story.
Did I mention i love this town?
So to make a long story short. I'm 28 and I'm sincerely enjoying every minute! Amen.