Monday, October 30, 2017

It's Raining Daddies in New York or STOP With the Middle-age Male Fantasy Films!





I can't believe I am addressing this again. Films where predatory, old, white saggy ass men lust after teenage girls. I was so outraged a couple years ago regarding the film The Last of Robin Hood, which focused on Errol Flynn's (50) sexual relationship with Beverly Aadland (15), I had to make some noise. Here is the post under GROSS.  They tried to gloss this ridiculous movie over by suggesting that that was how things were back then. WELL, here we are in 2017. So much for that rational.

And in bizarre coincidence one of the two films, Woody Allen's A Rainy Day in New York casts the lovely Elle Fanning as the supposed 15-year old girl. Her sister Dakota Fanning, played the 15-year old Beverly Aadland. I have no idea what this means, but I love the Fanning sisters and all of their 248 movies.




But, NO, just NO. You don't have to play these roles. Walk away. Run! Everyone in Hollywood wants to cast the Fanning sisters. So why say yes to this trash?



I'm not interested in bringing up the entire Allen history, because this entry is not about that.

It's about how is it possible there is not one but TWO of these films soon to be released?

The other one is Louis CK's I Love You Daddy. His 17-year old daughter (Chloe Grace Moretz) is stalked essentially by a 68-year old creepy film "god" John Malkovich. EEEWWWW. There is an unofficial tag line: "Everybody is a Pervert." Newsflash: Only perverts believe this.

Woody Allen is not about to defend his next venture into Lolita-land but he did defend Harvey Weinstein, calling him a "sad, sick man." Good lord. Well okay then. That explains it.


Louis CK, however, is defending his movie, a defense that sounds very familiar. "I grew up with that. Manhattan is a movie I saw as a kid, and I was like, "Okay, that's what people do."  Really?  It is? People do this? What people? You mean people like you and Woody Allen? Manhattan was made nearly 30 years ago. Has Louis not changed his mind since he was a teenager? When will adolescent middle-aged men grow up? Oh. Never. Of course. Men like him and Woody and HW and on and on and on.

It's as though men over 45 read or reread Lolita and think: "Wow. I want to make that film! I want to undress a gorgeous teenager and pretend to have sex with her, or at least watch!"


Also, who are these movies for? Certainly not women. I'm sure Louis CK is hoping his huge fan base will come along for the ride. I got an email to that effect. You know, those casual emails he sends to his fans, like we're best friends. "Hey Rhonda, I've been SOOOO busy. I made this flick. I really want you to come see it. In fact, YOU can get a ticket early, like today, even though it opens in November. But you can claim your lucky seat now." AS IF and ----


(I wanted to make you feel like you are “going to the movies”.  I think you will really enjoy going to this movie)  How the hell does he know what I will like? 

This was the longest email I ever received from Louis. TWO pages. Me and millions of others, basically begging us to see this film. Weird.

Woody Allen did not send me an email.

I don't plan on seeing either film. As much as I love the cast, in both.

But for two incredibly privileged filmmakers that can do whatever they want, stop with the old man having sex with girls trope because it's not a real trope! But it is a real fantasy that nobody but the filmmakers and "people like them" want to indulge in.

This is why I wish I was a billionaire. In addition to basically doing good works everywhere, I could own a studio and produce films -----written, directed and acted in by women about matters that are interesting, reflect our actual lives and are relevant to our culture. Films that have an impact. Films that are enjoyable. Films that could even make a difference. MEN, you've had your chance. FOREVER. Step down. Pass the baton. You're going in circles. You're making me sick.


Rhonda Talbot weighing on in misogyny, films, predators, male fantasies, Woody Allen, Louis CK, and all that crap.




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Women Have More Power Than They Know




Women in Film put out a statement today on the Weinstein catastrophe. As I was writing this I checked to see what the victim count was. Thus far over 25. From Rose McGowan to Asia Argento to Rosanna Arquette. << link My little rant here is on this statement. Lots of good ideas but how to implement?
While it's a very fine statement, exactly how do we get men, male colleagues, to become our allies and speak out when they witness any discrimination of any kind? This is certainly a wake-up call for many, but the town is run by men and until women make an incredibly bold move, not much will change. The men run the boardrooms, hold the keys, have all the money and power.

But there are a lot of extremely powerful women with deep pockets that could certainly create companies that promote strong female leadership. Women that would sit on the board. Women that would finance the movies and hold the similar keys.
In a patriarchal world that goes back to the beginning of time, time then is what it will take to keep pushing the boulder up the mountain. Except that's the wrong metaphor and needs to be changed. Sisyphus was never meant to succeed. Women are not under some ancient curse. They can pull that rock and foist it over the top; they can do it together and the men/allies that help will only benefit.
Am I, are we, reaching for the stars? Sometimes it seems that way. Speaking of stars:
What if female A-listers stopped starring in or producing tentpole movies, money that lines the pockets of various unsavory characters?
What is powerful female executives and financiers stepped back until there was some visible change?
I believe women have more power than they know. More than half the movie audience is female. Take women out of movies, and good luck with half an audience, a movie audience that is already rapidly shrinking.
According to Hollywood Reporter, these are the most powerful people 2017. A handful of women. But a good handful. So MEN on this list, are any ready to make changes? To be stand up guys? To think about the 52% of women that go to see your films?
The only thing this industry, like many industries, understands is money.
Mess with it, take it away, threaten the bottom line, and men will suddenly pay attention. Maybe then men will start speaking out, stepping up, and stopping any assaults they see, witness or hear about. Maybe then industry leaders will follow through on the mentioned excellent mandates.
I also don't believe these male colleagues have to have sisters or daughters in order to be motivated to to step up. Men don't need a daughter, sister, cousin, aunt to know what sexual assault is.
Harassment is never acceptable. Women have the right to a safe work environment. Let's hope this did begin to turn the tide. But certainly HE is not the only one. He may be the most vile. But it's the entire entertainment environment and it's sordid history of abuse that he has given a very public face to. A despicable human I can only compare to one other, the one the leads the nation.
Also why can't there be a YELP/Rate My-- for bosses and companies. There are in other industries. At the very least people would know some of what others carry around as secrets. Currency. This town uses secrets and gossip is bargaining power. Rather than on hidden boards inside Hollywood, put that business on a public forum. People might think twice before taking certain actions, knowing they may be outed.
**makes decent films. A bully. A predator. Stay away. Not worth it.

WIF statement:
Women In Film encourages women to continue speaking up about sexual harassment, which is an all-too-common form of discrimination. That so many people, particularly other men in power, knew about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior and didn’t say anything is an indication of how deeply entrenched discrimination is in the film & TV business — and in culture overall.
We are hearing more and more shocking accounts from women affected by Harvey Weinstein’s behavior; women emboldened to finally speak up because others have before them.  We will likely hear about other men in the entertainment industry who have harassed women, because the problem is far more widespread than people have been willing to discuss publicly.

In order to do something to end sexual harassment, we must require industry leaders to: (1) mandate gender inclusive boards and decision making groups (2) mandate inclusive hiring practices from the top down, from executives to support staff. Ensuring that there are more women in positions of power will change the culture and result in decreased sexual harassment and discrimination overall (3) mandate that lasting legal penalties be applied without compromise, bias or settlement, and these penalties be enforced for those found guilty and complicit in these crimes of discrimination. The bottom line is that no one should be held to different standards; regardless of their power, money or fame.
Women need allies. We need our male colleagues – who have mothers, sisters, daughters and friends – to step up and speak out now and whenever they are witness to discrimination of any kind.

Rhonda Talbot weighing in on Harvey Weinstein, Miramax, Hollywood, sexual assault, entertainment business, misogyny, discrimination, power, women.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Thing One and Thing Two - What She Knew





Look how innocent back in the day.  ^ ^ ^

Not that anyone asked, but when I had twin girls 14 years ago, while in the hospital, the incredibly kind night nurse that I wanted to take home with me forever, also made a prediction about the girls.

She had an uncanny ability to read a newborns face with astounding accuracy. This woman had super powers. The way she swaddled those screaming babies into a sleep, how she carried one in each arm, roaming up and down the hallway with such crazy confidence I never once asked where she was taking them.

In any case, she said this.

Nurse:  Good news and not so good news. Baby A will be a very easy child. Even a delight.  Baby B, well, she's got some attitude. She's got plenty of that attitude!

What the hell did that mean? Was this secret maternity ward fun? 6th floor shenanigans? Twin time lunch break games?  Then: Bye bye and good luck with that.





How could she have known that when they were twenty four hours old?

I'm not going to summarize 14 years, so:

Today --Baby A, out of school but fretting over homework due in 2 months, spends her time reading, writing and making short films. I'm posting this one because it so clearly identifies her situation in life and what's wrong with public schools. Oh wait. Did I write that? --She works her ass off, and does everyone else's job to ensure her perfect 4.0 life status and kind of doesn't mind. So she's building a youtube site to vent. (Apple doesn't fall etc.)

This here clue in:   Rome Alone


Baby B.  She's outside on the hammock doing that teen business on her phone chatting with the "squad" in a language I can't decipher because it's not language. It's words without vowels. She basically lives in her own fancy, butterfly- filled fantasy.  (Apple doesn't fall far from the tree etc.)




While A is studies, science exploration, action figures and hiking with like-minded friends, B is Sephora,  you tuber girls, Buffalo Exchange, styling outfits, going to all-boys "summer school" to study "Algebra". None of her T-shirts, for example, have a bottom half. What is that?  Anyway... she's super sweet. She's either saying SHUT UP or STOP TALKING...not sure.




I suppose this is an example of her art, which I fished out of the trash.


Someone told me I ought to try and market some of their pieces for, say, coffee mugs or something... right.. that's me. Oh, hey you --getting your $15 dollar cold brew, you market person hipster guy/girl, put this on a T-shirt for me.


So, there you go. Little slices of A and B.


Rhonda Talbot reporting in on twins, children, parenting, hahahahah, teenagers, art, public school, private school.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fire and Ice





Living in this little paradise could be an option. ^ ^ ^ ^


I've sadly neglected my blog, for apparently over a year, though it does not seem like a year. Mainly because years pass by like days. I've decided to see what's what.

I have a morning routine where I write in a journal, sometimes dozens of pages, most of it meaningless to anyone but me, but somehow that combined with writing for money that never arrives, I've left poor Trifecta in the dust.

Speaking of dust, I loathe the weather in SoCal. I woke up with grit in my throat. Embers from wildfires that are flaring up all around the city - five in total. The reason there are so many has to do with a deadly combination of California's wettest winter in more than a decade; and the intense summer heat, basically burning up what grew during the rain.



This is not too far away, Burbank. I walked out at 6am to get the Times, the sky was thick with yellow smoke. I've seen this many times, I've had to evacuated my home a few times, but somehow this year seems the worst. There is a correlation between the extreme heat rising in SoCal with my extreme dislike for living here. I'm not alone. My friends and I constantly discuss how we are all leaving, together even, to go find some piece of land, preferably near the water, maybe outside the US, but not too far from shopping outlets (heh...Jamie) A commune. With big trees, some deer. With a dozen or so English cottages, a community garden full of exotic lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, okay, a mixed salad, right in the center. Maybe a goat to milk and some chickens.




Just behind this lovely setting is the ocean, clean and breezy. Dolphins pass by, we all have wind chimes. Maybe that dog.

Until we all get there, I dream of ice caves.


This is Northern MI, not too far from where I grew up. Couldn't wait to get out. To come to California. At age 14, that seemed like a great plan. Now, I see this journey as two polar opposites, fire and ice.

Meanwhile, I'm running with what I got and fixing it along the way.

UPDATE:  OMG, so I found out this mind fantasy is a real place, called pocket neighborhoods. This particular place is in WA, not too far from Puget Sound where my mother is from and lived and I've probably seen, so this now makes sense. Crazy. Click on neighborhood link above. Now it's very real. It's on baby.

Rhonda Talbot weighing back in. On Fire, Heat, Ice, Paradise, Life, Ross Chapin


Friday, November 25, 2016

Broken LA Times Repost 2012





The signs of a broken relationship were there from the start

We had come together out of a kind of desperate need. Though things didn't work out, the journey was very worthwhile for one reason: our son.

September 08, 2012|By Rhonda Talbot, Special to the Los Angeles Times

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(Johanna Goodman, For the…)
From the moment we met, everything about our relationship was broken. I was bicycling at Gold's Gym in Hollywood, listening to Bob Dylan. I barely noticed the guy to my left. I'll call him Jay — tall, lumbering, utterly confused. He fiddled with the controls to his bike, trying not to look embarrassed.
"It's broken," I shouted, not bothering to remove my headphones. He sheepishly climbed off that bike and on to another. More fiddling with the controls. I sighed, pulled off my headphones and pressed his start button.
"Thanks," he said. "I just quit smoking. I also quit drugs, and drinking, and sugar and white flour."
He was handsome in that helpless-boy way. I could tell he was an actor by the way he insisted on making eye contact. He kept talking — something about a motel in Del Mar, Miles Davis, Nietzsche and a pig farm in Utah.
He asked for my number. I could have slipped him a fake one. But I didn't.
How I later found myself in his decaying station wagon — shredded floorboards, untrustworthy brakes, scent of dead fish — remains something of a mystery. We would drive for hours into the desert to sit on sacred land, or pick strawberries in Oxnard, or listen to an obscure jazz band in Thousand Oaks.
Jay was decent and thoughtful. He bought me unconventional gifts: a framed print of Ganesh, a book about the Chumash Indians.
I would report back to my girlfriends about this peculiar guy whose hidden potential came with tie-dyed shirts, pajama pants and strings of puka shells.
After one night of constellation gazing in the high desert, we went back to his apartment. He tinkered with the broken lock, then laughed when the doorknob fell into his hand. "Oops."
By now, I expected things not to work, but I was still startled by the sheer quantity of broken items: televisions, toilets, the refrigerator. Even his roommate, who appeared out of nowhere, walked with a limp.
We drank some warm Cokes, then entered his bedroom. I lay on the futon and noticed the maharishi's face beaming down on me, his left eye askew because of a fracture in the glass frame.
Just as Jay lay down, bam. The futon collapsed. We crashed onto the hardwood floor. I was horrified. Jay chuckled.
"Normally I'm much better at this," he offered. "I mean sexually. Do you want to meditate?"
"Thanks," I said, "but I better get going."
I left thinking I should just erase this entire episode of my life. Why did I even have feelings for this guy?
Back in L.A., I pulled onto my street in the Fairfax district and saw a commotion — fire trucks, ambulances, dozens of pajama-clad onlookers. Then I noticed the fire hoses were directed right into my second-story window.
"What happened?" I said. "That's my apartment!"
"Well, maybe you can tell us what happened," a firefighter said. My place was destroyed, he said, but no one was hurt.
I looked at the crowd of mostly older residents, and my face turned red with shame. Had I forgotten to blow out the aromatherapy candle Jay gave to me, the one that I stupidly left on the wicker table?
"Miss, do you have someone to call?" the firefighter asked.
"Yes, I have a friend," I said.
It was 3 a.m. Many people won't understand why I did what I did. I'm not even sure I do. But heading back to Jay's seemed like the only solution.
He answered the door like nothing was unusual. Homes burn down every day.
I slept on his lumpy sofa, and the next morning Jay made me coffee. We read The Times and carried on. Just an ordinary day.
"Of course you can stay as long as you like," he said.
"That's nice of you."
"By the way," he said, "you slurp your coffee." He winked.
In two days we learned that we had much in common. Broken homes, broken dreams. My heart cracked open.
I knew we had come together out of a kind of desperate need — two halves making a whole. I told him that my family had disowned me when I moved to Hollywood. He said we should live together.
Within a month of combining our households and mismatched belongings, he started bringing in all sorts of broken things. First, there was the stray cat missing a leg, then a wild green parrot that had lost its ability to fly. Soon he moved on to humans — runaways and pregnant heroin addicts.
I eventually missed my old life. Clean. Organized. Predictable. But just as I was about to make my exit, we encountered a broken condom.
Jay was adamant about wanting to make our little family work, so I went along to the Self-Realization Center, to the Buddhist retreats, to the couple's therapist who lived in a tepee — all efforts to fix us. None worked.
By the end of our journey, there was the admission of defeat. But there also was one magnificent prize: a perfectly unbroken son. And for the first time, I understood what love was.
L.A. Affairs chronicles romance and relationships. Past columns are archived at latimes.com/laaffairs. If you have comments to share or a story to tell, write us at home@latimes.com.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Chanel Bags for Getting an A?! STOP





Open Letter to Parents ... Okay, Rant:

I'm struggling here, pleading, this bribing your kids with fancy stuff to get them to do their school work is making problems in my home.  I'm sure you're wonderful people, but this system does not seem conducive to raising healthy children who then go on to become responsible adults.

Though I've already parented one child through the LA haze/maze of the private school network, while there were pitfalls and rabbit holes and plenty of snubs because we were not on a first name basis with Steven Spielberg, the entire ordeal worked out fine. But the world seems to have changed since the last time I stepped into the hallways of a Middle School.




Arguably one could say nothing has changed, things have just amplified. But, nostalgia, my constant, dreamy companion will always illustrate otherwise.

Back to my point. I raised a boy. It's different than raising girls. At least for me. Most of them, well, mine that is, didn't care about clothes, fashion, cool cars, cliques, instead he focused on what he liked, academics, science, video games, hanging with his local friends and staying clear of the Westside where he attended posh school. Yes there were problems, but nothing compared to what I see coming.

Now I have 13-year old girls. Just getting them this far took Herculean effort. I should be dead.

The girls have so many interests, dance, music, art, cooking, design, sewing, fashion, Lego's, Marvel anything, collections of stuff...  anyway suffice to say everyday is school, activity, homework, friend drama, problems/complaints with my dinner menu; then everyone goes to their own private pod to engage in some pastime. I go to my bedroom, tiny slice heaven, to read, write, scribble notes, talk to myself, channel flip.

Now the girls are getting into more complicated issues. Stuff outside my wheelhouse. Like fashion, boys, make-up, designer shit, girl drama. Well, one twin anyway. Her sister doesn't care about any of this.

But E, she's the artist, idealistic, sparkly, she loves elegance and plush, knows designers, studies Youtube tutorials on fashion, hair and make-up. Her creativity has no bounds. She never stops. My house is an art gallery. The flourish of her paintbrush is also used on my face, I'm her subject. Everybody is her subject.



All of this is fine and dandy. She's also a good student and seems well adjusted. And my make-up never looked better.

But when it comes to schoolwork, my parenting style is pretty much hands off. They're on their own. They always have been. They know this. They like this. And it works. For us.

THEN Yesterday:

E:  Suzie Q gets a new designer handbag every time she gets an A in anything. She just got a Chanel for English.
Me: I can't listen to this. Who does this? Why not just work for the A, get it and feel good you earned it? Why a reward? She's 12 for chripes' sake!

I'm sure my rant was much worse, before launching into: 'My dad gave me a buck for every A at the end of a semester..." but she was already organizing her point.



E: Do you think I can get a Chanel bag at the end of the year when I make honor roll.

Which lead us into a conversation of, sure, you'll get some kind of reward for getting good grades. Which I don't have a problem with. For example last year I took the girls to Waffles when they got on the Dean's list. It's more of a small celebration for their hard work.

But they're upping the stakes. I'm not buying a 13- year old a Chanel bag! Ever! I don't care if one of them cures cancer. She can buy her own Chanel bag! Get me one while you're at it.

To me this is bribery, suggesting that education is merely a way to get "stuff" and if they work the system, which they can, they will get great "stuff." Alas, life does not work that way. The kid is being set up for disappointment and disaster. No employer is going to buy you a Chanel bag because you did your flipping job.

But I need support. As in PARENTS stop it! Read some articles or books on how this will backfire. As I've written so often before, they will fall apart in college. They will not be prepared.

I am not talking about the kid who works hard anyway and will do well no matter what the circumstances. I'm talking about the majority of kids who don't like school but will tolerate it if they are given material things.

Many studies conclude that paying kids to learn decreasing their intrinsic motivation to perform those activities, weakens their internal drive to learn, and removes their love, if any, for learning. Here is a good, short impactful article.

Instead of Gucci bags, Prada flats, BMW's or fifty dollar bills;





you might say, 'I have complete confidence in your abilities to achieve this task.'

I don't even say that, frankly. Maybe I'm fortunate, my kids like school, like to learn. Sure sometimes it's hard. Sure they'd rather play Mindcraft or watch Bethany Mota bubble on about her DIY "hauls."

But you know what they hate more than anything? Getting a C or god forbid a D! When that happens, they get upset with themselves, then figure it out. Sometimes I get involved, mostly not. What happens after that? They start getting B's, then A's. Along with the great satisfaction it was all their own doing.

It seems in this world, most of the kids I encounter have everything. Iphones, IPads, IAnything. Many get allowances (mine don't.) Many get shopping sprees. They want for little. SO, in addition, then get HIGHER end stuff if they get an A?



Bewildered. And I get a sense this is just going to escalate. Hello High School.

Just after posting, I was sent this great article, including a saying: "Punished by Rewards" excellent read. Perfect timing. Read here.

Rhonda Talbot weighing in on spoiled kids, overindulgence, Middle School, High School, Rewards for Nothing, Parenting, Bribery, Help.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Helicopter Parenting Destroying Entire Generations!









Newsflash: Doing your kids homework will never get them into a good school. If you buy their way in, they will fail anyway. Side note: Because these kids come in lacking in any self sufficiently, yet are pressured to do well by their parents, more than 30% load up on the Adderal. Just letting you know. Many of them become extremely depressed because they know they had every advantage and are still failing. "Lurking beneath of whatever thing needs to be handled is the student's inability to differentiate the self from the parent."  These kids can't problem solve, cope with minor setbacks, don't know what makes them happy and rarely know who they are.

I understand some parents do this to "protect" their kids and some others do this as an ego-extension of themselves. The bragging! And now social bragging. Endless. How much can we as a society tolerate? I don't care that your daughter won the gymnastic nationals, or she's doing print modeling in between piano recitals, or that your son has a 4.9 but working toward a perfect 5! I still don't respect you as a parent because your kid is miserable. 




I've written about this before but this is great article by an ex-Stanford dean who witnessed first hand the overprotected kids that enter college only to fall apart. Read here.  I see it all around me, and we see this in the media, flooded with pictures of celebrities and their over-indulged kids who will never understand what it feels like to actually earn something. Then these same parents are surprised when the kids flail at school, away from mom, dad, tutors, assistants, and so on.





Clearly I am against any of this hyper-parenting. I know where it comes from ("I wasn't really parented by my hippy-dippy mom and I will give Chuckles everything I never got") and also have seen where it goes ("Mom, tell me again how to work a subway because the cabs are ignoring me. I feel so rejected. Can you fly out here?")





I've been parenting for a while, and I suppose I'm what you call a "let them break an arm" parent. I told my daughters as much when they were age three:

"Girls, you need to understand I will not be a typical mother. In fact, consider me an aunt. You'll have to figure things out on your own." Guess what, they did. They're independent but also compassionate. They have weird hobbies like reptile collecting. They seem to find outlets for all of their various interests. My house is messy, but there you have it.

They have zero interest in my opinion on most matters, they trust their own. They wouldn't dream of me ever helping them with homework.

"Honey, do you need help with that math that makes zero sense to me? I can switch you back to old school in no time."

"How about never!"

They laugh. They run circles around me. They steal my phone and make movies. They think I'm lame. And I happen to think that's healthy. But we also all adore each other, we bake, shop, go on adventurous hikes, look for wild animals in hiding, snare stray cats, surf, (well they do) and Apples to Apples somehow never gets old.

Why on earth would parents NOT want their kids to learn from their mistakes, get disappointed, cry, bawl their eyes out, and learn to get over it; stumble, fall and be okay? To experience life? It's called balance and the kids will be fine. Let them get a damn D! Take the training wheels off before they are 12. How old is this kid?



In this in-between place, I never have to worry whether or not my kids are spoiled, over-pampered, lacking in confidence, or incapable of taking care of themselves. What I get in return is a life. Everybody wins.

It will be curious to see what happens to this next crop of extremely over- indulged kids. This is the generation following the ones already out there.



In my opinion one of the most loving things you can do for your children is let them grow up.

Rhonda Talbot on helicopter parenting insanity, parenthood, millennials, raising kids, college, independence.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

On The California Drought Crisis, Flashback, Marin County, Jerry Brown, Sam Shepard and Me





"The California I knew is gone, doesn't exist... little pockets, farm country....fresh produce stands with avocados and date palms. An artichoke for a buck. All wiped out now."

This post is not in any way to make light of our California drought situation. But it's impossible for me to not do the deja vu stumble.  I'm a product of the 1977 Marin County "Emergency" drought, where drastic measures had to be taken or the state would simply burn to the ground.

Jerry Brown was a younger, hipper Governor then. I was living with my mother in Tiburon, she was somehow an interior decorator and I was a kid plotting my move to anywhere else but Marin. For example, every morning, because my mother didn't believe in curtains I was forced to wake by sunlight at approximately 6:00am.



As a pre-teen, I thought this was bullshit. I needed that extra hour before school. Get curtains!

Mom: We are not shutting out the majestic glory we get to momentarily be part of.

She was already drinking coffee and drawing blueprints for some boutique. She never went to design or architectural colleges, so her money-earning ambitions remained a mystery.

Mom:  Honey, get up. The sun is out. Splendor awaits. Take a one minute shower, dash out, leave it running and I'll pop in.


During this time, the new water rules were: basically you couldn't use water. Which meant, you were not suppose to flush the toilet until five uses, one quick shower a week, there was the same 25% cut in water supply... or,

"The Family That Showers Together, Doesn't Go To Jail!"

The slogan might have been, "The Family That Showers Together Stays Together."  That is so perverse, even by the low moral standards of the Mariners, the locals quickly changed it.




Jerry Brown, 77, mandating the 25% ^ ^ ^ among other restrictions. ^ ^ ^ If you abused your water usage, not only were you fined, but potentially looking at 30 days in the slammer.  My mother took this all very seriously and would sometimes throw a nerf ball at my head if I showered too long. She also had a thing for Brown and a probable hook-up. Back then he was like Ryan Gosling. But in the power seat.


His water ration for the week.
People were concerned about the water, but not that much. Many would wash up in a San Rafael city fountain then go listen to Bonnie Raitt at Sweetwater in Mill Valley.  The older folks just went to bed.




The street signs kept going up, some were rather inappropriate using images from that book The Joy of Sex. Some trying to be clever.



I don't think Jerry Brown sanctioned these signs, but people posted them everywhere, all over Main Street and into other cities.

It appears he's using a similar handbook for our current crisis.  This is not a horrible thing, everyone needs to conserve and shut their fountains down. Over 80% of CA water goes to agriculture, but I suppose every drop helps. Other efforts, however, are mandatory. There needs to be a better long-term solution than short term regulations. Listen up engineers. Be a hero. Everyone get involved. There needs to be more talk about desalination.  Go here. 




Okay, back to 1977, Main Street sort of looks the same, ^ ^ ^ minus the fancy stores. Incidentally Mom created the interiors of nearly all those shops. Again, a mystery. She went on to become an unlicensed therapist with a decent book of clients.

Mom: It's amazing what people will tell their designers. Now I'm in a position to help them proper and get paid.

Of course no one was going to shower with their family, or not flush their toilets. But to do their part, everyone did carry around flasks of whiskey and sit in hot tubs. We all wanted a hot tub.



The restaurants did not put water on the table, unless you were Sam Shepard, because he's god. And was also a regular at Sam's, the local, well, watering hole.  He was an great guy, and I talked to him often because my mom would drag me there so she didn't have to drink alone.



Sam often saw me in a corner doing homework while he was writing Pulitzer winning plays. I didn't know who he was, just another sweet guy at Sam's. I was working on my college essay, yes early, but I was anxious to move on.


Sam told me I was off to a good start. He told me to figure out what I find curious, then mention in my letter both the subject of curiosity and the professor who would be teaching this to the Freshman. I would eventually do that and not on a napkin.

I would later find out that a very young Sam had a romance with Patti Smith (connection one) and he also has a musician son, Walker, whose band The Down Hill Strugglers, play "down home folk." There is a great scene in The Notebook with Sam Shepard, everyone is dancing to banjo/fiddle music, (connection two.) These connections are the majestic fabric of my life.



As a "teeny-bopper" I was curious why there was a water shortage at all given we were surrounded by so much.


My walkway to the bus every morning. ^ ^ ^

My mother explained the difference between salt and tap then offered she preferred wine, so she wasn't part of the problem anyway. All of our ferns had long died from neglect. We were winning.

Year later, here I am all grown up, explaining to my kids why we are installing drought resistant grass, but the kids seem to be armed with knowledge because I get yelled at the most.

"Turn off the faucet, Mom!"

When I tell my kids why there are no decent oranges or lemons, I sound exactly like my mother back in Tiburon. There have been subsequent droughts but I didn't have kids then. Somehow the impact isn't felt as much. Because well, pasta, laundry, long-haired twin girls.

If it gets to that point, of "The Family That Showers Together Doesn't Go to Jail!" just get yourself a hot tub.  Like these fellas.


Maybe stick to coconut water.