I'm intrigued by others who share the same positive, loving passion and zeal for life. They see the world differently. When together, the energy within them radiates and multiplies and lifts despite any hardships or pain.

  • Stories from life. Names have been changed.

It's a weekday and the city is bustling with events. People are flying in from all over the world to be apart of this creative city for a week. It's an exciting time for some; a great annoyance for others. For Taylor, it's the best.

Taylor's sitting in the kitchen of her friend's house in Westlake, wearing a black dress she wore to her solo show the week before. It's vintage looking, classy, sexy and strong. Red lips and dark nails. She picks up a glass of red wine from the granite countertop and takes a sip. The house belongs to her friend Kat and is a dream, tastefully modern yet comfy. Taylor and Kat met at an artist retreat on a ranch a couple of months before and hit if off over smoky campfire talk. 

They're all dressed up because they're attending a private party close by. One last sip of wine and Taylor and Kat gather their bags to head over. The house was formerly owned by Lance Armstrong and is stunning. It represents both the greatness one human being can achieve and the equal and inevitable downfall and spiderweb of destruction caused when things get out of hand. Everyone's human, and are humans meant to climb that high? Can anyone really handle that?

The women check in at the front door, crossing over the threshold and into a new adventure. Taylor leads Kat into the backyard and over to the beautiful pool lit by twinkle lights. She looks up to find herself surrounded by Van Gogh trees as far as the eye can see. They're divine. She turns left to find a crowd of guests dressed to the nines, joyfully mingling. Armie Hammer walks by with his beautiful wife; Richard Linklater chats it up with some friends. As Taylor scans the space before her a kind and familiar face comes into focus, a friend of hers named Brad. He snaps a pic, they catch up and then the two women continue on. 

As Kat and Taylor take it all in, two classy women approach them, "Are you two here on your own?" one of them asks. 

"I have some friends here, but yes we came together," replies Taylor.

"Oh wonderful," says the woman in a Russian accent. "It's nice to meet you, we don't know anyone here."

The four of them chat, sharing stories. One is originally from the Ukraine; the other from Russia. They both live up north in the States. The four of them hit it off when another guest approaches them.

"Are y'all actresses?" the man asks. 

"No, we're not," the women laugh. 

"Well you all definitely look it." "I'm Christian, nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you as well," everyone replies.

"What do you all do?" he asks the group. Everyone shares their story and then Taylor hers.

"I'm a painter," says Taylor. "I returned from traveling last year and paint full time now."

"Oh nice. Where did you travel?"

"All over western U.S., Greece, Kosovo and also lived in San Diego a bit.

"Really where in San Diego?" 

"La Jolla."

"That's where I'm from," he says with a big smile. 

"Oh how funny, what a small world!"

The four women make their way through the event, meeting new and interesting souls; catching up with old friends, including a good friend Matt who introduces them to many new people. A favorite couple is Chris and Sean who are incredibly fun and kind, sharply dressed. The night is full of stories exchanged, ideas discussed as the night air caresses their faces and whispers a message..."dreamers." 

As the clock strikes ten, a classic smart blonde named Jess walks up to Kat, Taylor, and Matt and informs them of the after party location  - Mel's family home in the neighborhood a few blocks away. The fabulous house is a brightly colored vintage candy dream from back in time. They enjoy pizza served with a side of vodka tonics in colorful and fun vintage glass goblets. Taylor's kind of style alright.

They sit in the pink and green kitchen, sharing about life, relationships, laughs. Jess and her friend Mel are both actresses and are in character, as their an acting duo and are wonderfully hilarious. There's music as well.  Christian plays the piano in a distant room, feeling the pull of the keys to his fingertips. It's passionate and beautiful, filling the room exquisitely.

After some time, everyone has sobered up and agrees it's time to move on to the next house. This time a different neighborhood close by. The adventure continues and when they arrive Taylor feels as if she's back in Paris with her brother and sister-in-law. Oh how she misses Paris so. They walk inside the next house, sophisticated, dark and tasteful, to be greeted by gorgeous piano. Everyone takes a quiet seat and is serenaded into the dark, cool night.

It's the perfect ending to the perfect artistic day with new friends.

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Beverly Hills

Stories from the road. *Names have been changed.

Stella, a passionate painter, and Ethan, a smart designer, have been traveling on the open road for three months. They’ve made their way down the West Coast, passing through Olympic National Park, Seattle,  Astoria, Portland, and San Francisco. They've finally reached the concrete sea of Los Angeles.

Stella and Ethan park on the busy street of a neighborhood in Beverly Hills. They'll be staying at their friends’ place for the week. It’s very LA, with white walls, periwinkle accents, and beautiful landscaping. They knock on the door and are happily greeted by their friends and hosts - Helen, a soprano singer, and Ryan, a data scientist. The house is divided into three apartments. Helen and Ryan live in the downstairs apartment adjacent to their landlord, Sean.

“You guys will be staying upstairs in Sean’s extra apartment. It’s fully furnished and ready for guests,” Helen tells Stella and Ethan. “Sean is out of town in France so he won’t be here and he won’t know. Besides, he owns another mansion on the hill which he rents out for $20,000 a month, so I really don’t think he'll mind.”

Helen takes the couple upstairs to show them their apartment for the week. It’s quite spacious, with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen and living area. The decor consists of Asian furniture, sculpture, painted portraits, a cocaine poster, and quite a large collection of books. It’s very nice, but eerie.

“Oh I wonder what kind of books he reads” Stella says to herself. She walks over to the bookshelf. “Hmmm...Interesting. Oh my lol.  Hmmm...”  Every. Single. Book. Is about sex. Every single book. Hundreds.

“He’s a sexologist.” Helen tells them and laughs.

“Oh my gosh, are you serious?!” says Stella.

“Yes, he has a PhD in Sexology!” Helen and Ryan chuckle. “Oh and since he doesn’t know you guys are staying here please pick up your bags in the morning and bring them to our place in case his assistant stops by to check on the apartment.”

“For real? OMG. This is going to be interesting.“ Stella smiles.

After a long day of travel ending with a delicious vegan meal, Stella and Ethan retire to their bedroom. As they slip under the covers, Stella spots a book on the nightstand next to her. She picks it up and reads the title How to Have the Best Sex Ever.

“Wow look at what Sean left for his guests, isn’t he such a good host?” she asks with a huge dose of sarcasm. OMG. This is just creepy. SO CREEPY.”  Stella can’t stop laughing. “He put this illustrated book here for his guests. Who is this guy?”

The next morning the couple gathers their bags and brings them to their friends apartment. They enjoy exploring the city, visiting beautiful museums, beaches, and the famous Beverly Hills Hotel.

A couple of days pass. The friends are chatting downstairs when suddenly there's a loud noise. “Is someone upstairs?” Helen asks. They slowly walk up the narrow staircase and knock on the door to discover that there’s a couple in the guest apartment and they’re certainly not from California. The young man opens the door in his whitey tighties. (Is that even a thing anymore?) The friends awkwardly introduces themselves to the new couple and discover that they've just arrived from Germany and will be staying in the guest apartment.

“Oh no," says Helen. “Sean didn’t tell us anyone was staying here.” She makes a deal with the Germans to let Stella and Ethan split the apartment with them for a few nights. They agree, as everyone is traveling and about the same age. Once the young German is fully clothed, they all munch on donuts and beer in the kitchen as they exchange stories and get to know each other.

 “We’re Reality TV stars in Berlin," says the husband as he shows the Americans their German YouTube channel. His wife continues to share that she’s a singer, has multiple degrees and is currently working on her PhD in Pick Up Artists. Stella flashbacks to the neatly placed book on the nightstand she now knows was intended for them. All the while, their little tiny dog is prancing around in an overly frilly pink dress. “He doesn’t really like wearing dresses, but I love it,” says the wife. “Yeah, because he’s a boy,” says her husband with a smirk. The Americans and Germans talk about living and traveling in Berlin, being an artist, and pursing one's dream.

Stella’s mind turns. Hmmm...Sexologist, Reality TV stars, PhD in Pickup Artists, cocaine poster. This all makes a lot of sense now. This has to be one of the weirdest sleeping situations OF MY LIFE, she laughs to herself.


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Swimming in the ocean with my little niece. The storm has passed causing unusually cool waters in the hot Texas Gulf. As we float in the water waves crash about us and the sun shines brightly, pouring glitter onto our glistening faces and sea. Me: "Don't you just love the ocean?" Niece: "Yes. I LOVE it. I love it so much I wish I could kiss the ocean."

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Location: A nice neighborhood on the Oregon Coast

A small bar that's intimate and cozy, with sturdy wood tables & soft lighting.

Its' quite busy inside with a hip staff and array of customers. A young couple from Austin Texas stop in for a drink. The man chooses a mean old fashioned and the woman, a fizzy ginger cocktail. They sit cozily in the back of the bar.

Suddenly a middle-aged man walks in and approaches the couple.

"Mind if I sit here?" He asks them, pointing to a nearby chair.

"Sure, please do!"

He's comfortable, like he's been there before. The woman helps him connect his phone to WiFi. "I'm not good at this sort of thing, technology..." he tells her. "Where are you guys from?"

"Austin," says the young man. "And you?"

"Oh yeah, Austin's great," a phrase the couple has heard many times on their long road trip. The stranger's eyes turn bright and he begins to tell them his story.

"Well, I'm from the East Coast originally. Was a professional snow border in the 1980s. Moved down here 25 years ago. You know, you can ski down Mt. Hood right now. It's got snow."

He takes a sip of his stiff cocktail, very possibly his fourth due to his slurred speech. He waves his arm wildly and points South.

"My home is just down the road, walked here in fact. It's HUGE, got four bedrooms." He continues without a pause. "Got an amazing wife, a career woman, she makes a lot of money but she travels a lot, a kid, and a dog." He points to a picture on his phone. "That's our kid." He smiles.  There's a tinge of sadness mixed in with his smile as he mentions his family. It feels honest and true.

"These days I work as a carpenter. You know, after my injury my sports career was over. And so it's nice to have an active job, working with my hands outside in the sun."

He shares stories of his high-profile customers and of all the places he's traveled to over time, especially while competing. He's been EVERYWHERE. He's seen a lot, and they have a feeling he's been through a lot too.

The man is quite funny and has everyone laughing hysterically. By the end of the night the couple has an offer to stay at his place, although they graciously decline.

The woman wonders what this man is all about. He seems to have it all but is he happy? He sure doesn't seem happy. There's something missing alright and he's searching for it.

As the couple gathers their belongings, ready to say their goodbyes, a mother and daughter sitting next to them smile warmly. The mother tells the couple she too had traveled for a year when she was in her twenties. Her face lights up as she remembers her past adventures. Her daughter is just as friendly. "I love Austin. I hope to live there one day," she tells the couple.

"Yes, it's a GREAT town."

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