Sunday, June 22, 2008


Best week ever

Hard to believe, but Monday the 23rd marks Grace's one week birthday. Happy One Week, Gracie!

In honor of the event, here's the necessary cute photo . . .

Yeah, my daughter's going places. Get it? Because she's in the car seat. You know, so she's . . . Hey, look, you come up with something funny on three hours of sleep!

At any rate, yesterday, as the wife and I were cleaning up the house again, I came across last Monday's L.A. Times, from the day that my daughter entered the world. It's something I wanted to hold onto for a couple of reasons. First, I thought it would be cool for her to someday see what was going on in the world on the day she took her first breath.

Second, I guess I'd like to feel ancient when she looks up at me and says, "They used to make a paper version of the L.A. Times site? Why?"

At any rate, thought I'd share with you, the reader, a few of the things that were going on last Monday, and what Our Woman in LA and I are hoping they might portend for our daughter's future.

1) There's a front page article with the headline "Women lining up behind Obama," and a subhead that reads "McCain hopes to lure Clinton loyalists. But polls show they are staying Democratic."

OK, this is a relief, because Our Woman in LA and I are really behind Obama, and we love the fact that even though Gracie might sleep through this year's election, that she's born into what could be a historic time.

Consider this: she might live in a world where it doesn't seem at all crazy for an African American man to be President of the United States. She might grow up someplace where there are elected officials not setting their sights on attacking every nation on Earth that begins with the letters I-R-A (whew, Italy just barely dodged a bullet) in the name of ExxonMobil.

Or McCain might win. In which case, she'll grow up in Canada.

2) The front page of the California section has a dominant story about two men who have been in a committed relationship with each other for 15 years. Thanks to the recent ruling by the California Supreme Court, they can finally wed.

Again, how awesome is it that our daughter might actually grow up in a world where people who love, honor and respect each other can get married, whether they're hetero- or homosexual? For me, there's something great about the idea that Gracie might look at her mother and me and not really believe that we ever lived in a time where this was considered an issue. I expect her to express outrage for the past and gratitude for the future in which she lives.

Then I expect her to ask for the car keys.

3) In Sports, Gracie's hometown basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers, had just won Game 5 of the 2008 NBA Finals, bringing the Series to 3-2 in favor of Boston. Game 6, on Tuesday the 17th, ended with a victory for the rival Boston Celtics.

I don't really have much comment here, other than to say that if history is any guide, it won't be the last time these two teams line up against one another. In the 60 year history of the NBA, the Celtics have 17 championships, the Lakers 14.

My buddy Grant has asked for us to push Grace toward Celtic fanhood because of the victory. Can't do it, man. Nobody puts baby in a corner, even one belonging to the NBA champs. We'll let the girl make up her own mind. Can't see her being an out and out Laker fan, though, at least until Kobe's gone. After all, she is still a baby woman.

4) Finally, in the Calendar section, there are stories about the addition of Albert Brooks to the cast of WEEDS, and Showtime's new drama, which is about a call girl.

For the dad in me, I imagine a world where my daughter will not watch - or even better, know about - sitcoms about pot dealers or dramas about hookers until she's out of the house, or until she's old enough for me to be oblivious to what she's talking about.

On the other hand, I imagine her looking up at her mother and me and saying something like, "God, guys. Of course it's about hookers. It's on Showtime." And then taking the keys to the car.

Sigh. Well, at least maybe those first two wishes - the Obama one and the gay marriage one, in case you lost track - will come true. Either way, she'll still have the newspaper.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Then came Grace . . .

"Years from now, when you think of this - and you will - be kind."
- Deborah Kerr, to Cary Grant, AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER

Years from now, I'll think about this week, and the nearly 10 months preceding it, and I'll have no problem being kind. To call this time the turning point in my life is a gross understatement. You get a few really amazing, life-changing happy moments in any life; I've been lucky enough to have my share, more so in the last 8 years since Our Woman in LA entered the building.

And on Monday, another Little Woman in LA entered my life. Meet Grace Marabel Wieland (seen below in the picture, with her beaming Mom and Dad).

She's the little one, in the hat.

What can I tell you? She's amazing. I know I've practically used sky-writing to tell anyone and everyone about little Gracie, but I'm a proud Dad, so . . . get used to it. She came into the world at 7 pounds, 12 ounces, measuring 20 inches long. She's got a beautiful head of dark hair, and a face that makes you fall in love. Her mama and I are beyond proud, beyond overjoyed to have her as part of our family.

She entered the world at 11:22 a.m. Monday, after about 30 hours of labor for Steph. Steph did it all 100 percent naturally, which is just another in the litany of reasons that my wife is an actual super-hero. Did I mention that she pulled off the major labor and birth (which took almost all of Sunday and part of Monday morning) after closing her brilliant City at Peace - Los Angeles show REVIVE ME on Saturday night?

See what I mean? Super. Hero.

In the hours after Gracie was born, I thought about the journey Steph and I took to get to the little post-partum room at Cedars, where we spent our first night with our daughter.

I remembered the day we learned we were pregnant. It had started with a yoga practice for Steph, where her instructor noticed that she was having troubles with some of her usual poses. We had lunch together that day, and wondered if she actually could be with a child like this one.

On the way home, Steph tells it, she listened to the Jeff Buckley song "Halleluia" in her car and was hit by an honest to God wave of realization. She KNEW she was pregnant. That night, after taking three pregnancy tests (after all, she had to be sure), she called me at the dinner meeting I was attending. I was sitting across from the CEO of the YMCA of the USA, who was speaking, so I couldn't answer. My work cell phone buzzed. Then my personal one. Then my work one. Then my personal one again.

So, you see, I pretty well knew that night, too, before I even left the dinner.

I've always believed that the important stuff in my life - or anyone's, really - are the little moments that make you appreciate how great being in this world can be. It's not the high school graduation that matters, I've argued. It's the moments where you've really appreciated friendships, or things you've learned.

I stand corrected. The little moments - like having the cell phone buzz incessantly while you're listening to your boss speak - are amazing. But in the wake of the big moments, as on Monday morning at Cedars-Sinai, I saw just how incredible those can be, too.

Welcome to the world, Gracie. Already you make it better for being here. Welcome to LA, to this family, and to everything. This is going to be a great ride.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Happy Birthday, Baby!!!

Take a look at that photo . . . right there is a photo of the Wieland family, for approximately three more weeks. After that, it gets bigger by one.

But you knew that. So that can't possibly be enough to pull Our Man in LA out of his long blog-hibernation (blogernation? bloghibe?). Right?

Right. What's pulled me back out and about is the fact that somebody . . . someone in the picture, no less . . . is (in Oprah voice) HAVING A BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!

Hint: It's not the guy in the photo.

That's right, Our Woman in LA, Stephanie Wieland, celebrates another year on this Earth today, and the Gods of California have decided to reward the birthday girl with perfect weather (80 degrees and sunny) and a loss by the Lakers in Game 1 (Our Woman in LA, despite loving her role as an Angeleno, still can't stand that Kobe Bryant - he's soooo smug).

It's been a crazy time for a birthday. The Wielands are in the midst of planning and purchasing for the forthcoming Baby Wieland; and Steph's entering tech week for her latest directorial effort, the City at Peace - Los Angeles show REVIVE ME, playing June 13 and 14 at the Nate Holden Theatre, 4718 W. Washington in LA, with tickets only $20 for adults (FREE PLUG!).

As for Our Man in LA, other than ignoring his blogging "responsibilities," work's been crazy as well.

So you can see what I mean. Barely time to blow out the candles and cut the cake. Thank God next year we'll have the baby around to do all the planning for these summer birthdays. I mean, come on, it's not like she'll be sooo busy (though I hear she may have a new baby sitcom in development, so . . .).

Anyway, join me in wishing my girl the very happiest of birthdays. Happy Birthday, Steph. Every day with you is better than the one before. It seems amazing all that we've seen in done in these first 8+ years together; and I know that we're just getting started.

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