WHY LA WAS THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH IN JANUARY

Answer: my mom was in town for 2 weeks. Here's some of what we did. (her debut list is still pending - POTENTIAL IDEAS FOR MY MOM'S FIRST LIST IF THE MAX NUMBER OF LIST ITEMS DIDN'T CAP AT 99)
  1. Late night interview recording sessions
    I recorded about 3 hours of interviews with her, for the first time asking her to tell the detailed story of how she met my father; what it was like moving from Taiwan to Japan to Taiwan to the US; why I attended the high school I did; and so much more. Everyone: do this. With your grandparents, parents, mentors, heroes. Do it now.
  2. James Turrell Exhibit/Perceptual Cell/Skyspace
    I was able to make us an appointment in both the Perceptual Cell and the sunset programme at the Skyspace at KGC. The cell was maybe the single most transformative experience my mom's had in decades. So amazing to watch her process the inspiration in the weeks after.
  3. Daily Pages
    We started "The Artist's Way" while she was here. The 20 minutes of free writing to start the day unlocked a part of her (and me) I didn't know existed. It's magic. It really is. Writing led to conversations and us somehow understanding each other in new ways, something that seemed impossible.
  4. First Hike Ever
    So proud of her. 7miler including hand-over-foot sections. Never a moment of panic, fear, or doubt. Payoff was a beautiful vista of a clear, summery day in Los Angeles in January.
  5. LACMA
    Lotsa fun.
  6. Rain Room
    Super fun.
  7. David Ryan Harris
    I had class, and she successfully navigated Hollywood to see my dude's show. Fearless and epic. That's a pair of Ubers and a hidden, off-the-street entrance to a small venue where the only person she knew was the guy on stage. A proud son.
  8. BROOKLYN Screening
    Plus a Q&A with Saoirse Ronan after. What a beautiful film. We both spent most of the two hours in tears, handing one another tissues. Best quote from the Q&A was via Tennessee Williams on why we do what we do: "We're here to bring people home."
  9. THE REVENANT Screening
    Plus a Q&A with DiCaprio and Innãritu. I thought the movie might be too intense for Moms, but she was appropriately blown away.
  10. THE BIG SHORT Screening
    This was the day after the movie won The PGA. I spent most of the rest of the day trying to figure out/explain 1) the financial crisis, but more, 2) how she recognized all the different actors in the movie.
  11. Powerball
    We played like 15 tickets between the two big jackpots and impressively got a grand total of 4 numbers right. Still a good time.
  12. Yoga
    She connects with restorative yoga at a level beyond many people I know who regularly practice. So happy we could share this.
  13. Sound bath
    My first experience. Wild. Sufficiently rocked us both to the core in all good ways.
  14. Books!
    Moms isn't much of a reader, but I turned her into "The Art of Stillness," "Steal Like An Artist," and the Susan O'Malley book... She read, absorbed, and loved all of them. Wonderful to see her take such a liking to such positive stuff and start to immediately enact it in her day to day.
  15. Audition Prep
    Commercial copy, episodic television, an independent film, and two edgy contemporary plays - Moms is the best and most patient rehearsal partner in the world.
  16. Shopping Expeditions
    Late night Target adventures (open til midnight in Hollywood!), first ever IKEA experience, first ever Barnes and Noble experience, first ever Kiehl's demo experience, and some very bougie natural/boutique grocers. Every single one felt like World's Best Elementary School Field Trip.
  17. Cooked all meals at home except two!
    We both adopted a purely macrobiotic diet while she was here, in an effort to get right and hold each other accountable. She was a hero and joined me in my coffee and alcohol abstinence. Other than the obvious health benefits from the jump and feeing completely present in every moment, it was awesome to shop and prepare meals for each other, also providing me with the necessary catalyst to finally set up my dining area after 10 months.
  18. Watched her get along with my friends
    She told me her biggest takeaway from the trip was all of my wonderful friends - and how it made her realize she wished she had friends like mine. First, they ARE her friends. But it made me value them even more and realize how fortunate I truly am.