On Sunday, on our walk to church, we stood next to Arnold Schwarzenegger, waiting for a red light to change, before crossing the street. It was 9:15 a.m., and the streets were relatively empty. He was on his bike, on the street. Gemma was on her bike, on the sidewalk. I was on foot, close enough to the former governor to touch him, too close to pull out my cell phone without it being awkward.
(Sunday, our city closed off some of the streets and made them car-free. Among other things, there were people giving salsa lessons in the middle of the street, people doing tricks on roller-skates, and two men walking on stilts.)
Thursday, I was driving home from work, and I saw three paparazzi with big cameras, standing on the corner across from the grocery store. I looked across the street, wondering what they were photographing, and saw Jennifer Garner, and her daughter, feeding the parking meter at Pavilions.
The night before, we had gone to Topanga to see an outdoor production of Romeo and Juliet, but because of a wildfire, everyone in the area had to evacuate.
Now, for those of you thinking Romeo and Juliet with a 5 year old? let me explain my thinking. Last summer, we went to see A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Gemma fell asleep right after intermission. So I figured she would fall asleep before Romeo and Juliet offed themselves. To prepare her for seeing the play, I showed her a cartoon version of the play. When it got close to Juliet feigning death, I stopped the cartoon. "What happens next?" she asked. I couldn't lie to her. I couldn't say, "Oh, that's it. They live happily ever after." So I pressed play and let her watch the end.
That night, when my friends - women who have known her since before she was born - asked her if she knew what the play was about, Gemma told them, "Well, in the first half, they're alive. But in the second half, they're dead."
That about sums it up.