Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Garden Party?

The Good News:
It’s been a busy few weeks, dear readers, and I’m just catching my breath (and icing my back) to write about one of the many arts and letters events that has me dancing, if stiffly, towards the academic year end deadline.

On Saturday May 2, I hosted a book party for Josefina López. To date, Ms. López is known for her screenplay, Real Women Have Curves, which became the 2002 film that introduced many of us to America Ferrera, the star of Ugly Betty. Now, Ms. López may become equally known for her saucy novel, Hungry Woman in Paris.

When publicist Steve Rohr learned that another potential book-party house had fallen through, he and friend, Chris Freeman (Love, West Hollywood), asked if I would open my house and garden in Pasadena for the gathering of literati. It was a great chance to meet Josefina and also have her meet some of the faculty from Cal State LA and USC, where Professor Freeman teaches. Better yet, I didn’t have to cook or rearrange the furniture; Steve was going to take care of that! The only task I assigned myself was to dress up my garden a little with some spring planting… more later on the follies of gardening.

One interesting fact I had not known about Josefina López—she attended Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, right on the Cal State LA campus.

The afternoon culminated in a moving reading by Ms. López, who described herself as an actress as well as author. Her reading of the different voices—of the mother and the father of the narrator, for example—demonstrated the power of voice and ear for conversation that also made Real Women Have Curves a delight. In short, a beautiful afternoon in Pasadena.

The Bad News: Three Important Rules
1) Never garden without warming-up
2) Bags of potting soil weigh more than you think
3) Add two days of recovery for each decade when you don’t follow Rules 1-2

Into my 10th day of recovery, my friends, I remain your wincing but still dancing dean!