Friday, August 27, 2010

Rising up

I'm going to try not to make this post a sad one, because if you know Kiyomi's friend Maya or her mom Polly or were fortunate enough to have seen her brother Eitan perform, you would know that they that's the last thing they would want. Polly was gracious enough to let me write about them and pass on some information, but I don't think she has ever read my blog, and when she does she might be wondering what kind of crackpot she has been entrusting her daughter to on numerous playdates and sleepovers. (Polly, I can assure you they stayed up that one time until 5am hopped up on frappuccinos and potato chips completely without my knowledge or consent.)

Kiyomi and Maya met in the fifth grade and became fast friends, and I was immediately so impressed with her – so fearless and unique. And I liked her mother Polly as well – unpretentious and honest, with the easy parenting style of someone with four children. I remember one day when Maya was at our house and she fell and hit her head. I handled it in my usual way – screaming for an ice pack, frantically grabbing the phone to call 911 and then packing my bags to turn myself in to Child Services. I finally got a hold of myself, though, and when Polly came over she just rubbed the back of Maya's head, calmly asked her if she was okay and said, "She's going to be fine. My kids have sturdy heads." Just like that! I remember being so admiring of that calmness and levelheadedness.

Two weeks ago this beautiful family lost Eitan, 14, in an early-morning fire that gutted their home. Their loss is unimaginable, but the family has handled it with such strength and grace.

Many of you have asked how you can help, and I wanted to let you know that there will be a memorial fundraiser for Eitan and his family on Sunday, August 29 at the Improv in Hollywood. Eitan was an aspiring actor and had performed in several stand-up shows for teens – there is no doubt he had talent beyond his years. You can find information on the fundraiser HERE.

In addition, donations can be sent directly to the family at this address:

Pauline Djiji
P.O. Box 57949 
Sherman Oaks CA  91413

Here's a video that Kiyomi and Maya made a few days ago. I think Eitan would have approved.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

I Turned This Mutha Out

A few weeks ago I was whisked away by Yahoo! to the first ever Motherboard Summit and spent a few days learning, socializing, and eating topped off by a night of karaoke where I may or may not have done some things I'll regret if I ever run for office. Oh, and I spoke on a panel in front of a room full of people and didn't pass out or scratch myself inappropriately.

You can read all about it here.

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