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Marissa Flaxbart
Going to the movies and writing are my two favorite pastimes. Watching TV is up there, too. I also love sitting someplace for hours having a long conversation. Preferably Europe.
Interests: comedy, movies, writing, books, singing, performing
Recent Activity
​ Yesterday my dad flew home to Chicago after a long weekend trip to visit me and read books in the sunshine. While we Angelenos proclaimed the 60-70 degree temps "so fall" and "officially sweater weather," Dad smirked at all... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Popular Sentiment
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A while back, I stumbled across a single, incomplete sentence I’d written in a journal. It was a thought I’d hoped to incorporate into an essay I never got around to completing. I’d written, “the kind of person who puts... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
Yesterday, the North Michigan Avenue Apple Store closed. The massive, domineering, four-story building at the corner of Michigan and Huron was one of the first flagship stores in Apple Retail. It was two blocks away from the condo I shared... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
Every Tuesday night for nearly a year, a small group of friends and I had played bar trivia at one of West Hollywood’s oldest, smelliest bars. On an average night, the skimpily-clad waitresses at this dank, storied hell-hole might serve... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
This past Monday, on a whim, I checked out the audiobook of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. It was a dangerous whim. The book, which had been on my radar... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
I wrote and originally posted the below on December 14, 2012, after reading the news of the Sandy Hook massacre. It's nearly five years later, and damn it, what's different? Well, I no longer get my news from Facebook. And... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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For mom's birthday you went to Echo Park and brought along one of her favorite snacks (Snyder's Honey Mustard Pretzel Pieces) and Hope Edelman's MOTHERLESS DAUGHTERS; the latter had been sitting on your shelf, barely touched, for about 10 years.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
Yesterday I was telling my friend Sam a story about the first feature screenplay I ever wrote. At some point in the conversation it be are clear that he assumed I was talking about a script I wrote ages ago,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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I made this sign at the office because our orchids keep dying prematurely from (well-intentioned) watering by the building maintenance. It 's funny situation – we never see the waterers, and we haven't asked them to water the plants, so... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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The big trip to England seemed as good a time as any to break out my long-neglected “nice” camera. It’s this beautiful, expensive piece of equipment that, much like my state-of-the-art video camera that only shoots SD, was outpaced by... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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A while back, I wrote about the age-old concept of florilegia. I’ve continued my practice of plucking favorite lines as I read, and today I came across one (in Brené Brown’s Rising Strong, which I’m alternating with Northanger Abbey) that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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Are you expecting people to read your mind? Let me put that another way: Am I expecting people to read my mind? It happens all the time. I'll be sad that so-and-so made other plans for the weekend, because didn't... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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I was driving down Silver Lake Blvd. toward three quick errands I would knock out bam bam bam so I could get to the next thing. But then I saw the reservoir, and I pulled over. I found a pen... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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n my second childhood home – the one I know best, where we moved after leaving the city apartment that's probably much smaller than I recall – we had a huge yard. In the back of the house, there was a fenced in portion of the yard where the dogs ran around, and that was where Mom's garden was. Accordingly, it was also where you could fine Dad's compost heap. Separated from the garden by a chickenwire fence was this huge pile of rich, decaying soil and he had to stand in it and turn it with a gardening shovel. It was hard, dirty work and I never really understood why he went to the trouble. Our garden looked great. The landscaping he'd done looked great. We didn't need more dirt, did we? When I sat down today, I wasn't planning to write about compost. I was planning to write about writer-painter Maira Kalman, who is my newfound philosophical soul mate and creative...muse? No. Mentor? Can someone be a mentor without knowing you or talking to you? Let's go with "hero." I listened to her interview on Krista Tippett's resplendent On Being and hearing her snapped me right out of my last-day-before-Monday funk. It wasn't that what she was saying moved me or soothed me, exactly. it was that everything she seemed to say about her outlook on storytelling, humanity, the world around us, and creativity was so precisely in tune with my deepest held feelings on those most-mattering of all matters Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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The weekend before I left for England, I went to the beach with my close family friends. Their little son, now a year and half old, hadn’t been to the ocean since he was an infant, and he was immediately fascinated by the expanse of it, then frightened as his toes touched the surf, and then fascinated all over again. And no wonder — this little boy loves water, and whether it’s raining or he’s thirsty or a plant is covered with dew, he’ll point at it and say, “agua! agua!” as he happened to learn this particular word in Spanish. The Spanish word for “water” rolls so much more easily off a baby’s tongue, and he delights in the way we react, both tickled by his early bilingualism and able to understand just what he’s talking about. I can relate to my little nephew’s fascination with water. I realized in my twenties that just being near the water soothes my nerves and lifts my spirits. I lived within a couple of miles of Lake Michigan, which has sandy beaches of its own, for all of my pre-California life, and the Chicago River is still my favorite thing about visiting home. I now live about ten miles from the Pacific Ocean, and that distance is about as great as I can stand; my first year in California, autoless and 15 miles inland, I would pay $30 to borrow a car and drive to Newport Beach for an hour or two just to stick my toes in the sea. In all my fascination and reverence for water, though, I never really stopped to consider its sacred significance. Sure, there’s “holy water,” but I never drew the line between this consecrated bowlful of liquid and the vast bodies of water that dominate this planet. But in our trip to England, the connection was impossible to miss: there was holy water everywhere you went, and it was coming out of the ground. Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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Yesterday, I took myself to see Ingrid Goes West, a movie I knew little about, except that it starred Aubrey Plaza and was a comedy, possibly of the trenchant variety. It turned out to be a terrific little film, but... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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It’s the start of a new month, and a new season of life and work for me. Knowing I had this big trip to England coming up, I turned it into a kind of mile-marker, a dividing line between summer and fall, between creative brainstorm time and get-down-to-brass-tacks time. I’ve been working on a play, a podcast, and a side-hustle. I just got a new screenwriting job. So much to be excited about. I returned from my mystical journey grateful for a fresh start and raring to go, as soon as my body caught up to itself in the Pacific Time zone. Last week, in the days following my return home, I set goals, made gameplans, and scheduled my (metaphorical) grand re-opening for today, Tuesday morning, September 5. I cooked up an elaborate and detailed new work schedule for myself, complete with breaks, opportunities to evaluate my “assignment” for the day, and commute agendas. I was going to have my feet on the floor at 7:30am. I was going to have my butt in my office chair by 8:30, dressed, made-up, caffeinated. My painstakingly selected word for the month is “vitality.” I’m annoying myself just writing it down, contemplating the go-gettery bushytailedness of it all. I woke up at 7:30am today, as I have the past few days in fact, a nice side effect of getting to sleep early. Only today, I felt a bit like I’d been hit by a truck. My body was sore, my brain was foggy, and no amount of contemplation on the word “vitality” was going to pep up my step. Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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In an effort to get into the spirit for my England trip (or maybe just to tamp down my intense longing for the English countryside), I decided to read a book set in England in the weeks before I left.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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I have returned to these United States, back to a grisly heatwave in beautiful, sunny Los Angeles, back to the traffic in my sprawling, diverse adopted home. In case it’s not clear from all those conflicting descriptors, I am teetering... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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Note that I began the below while I was still in Salisbury; I'm now in London, but I hadn't made time to finish/proof/post it until now. What a delightful whirlwind it's been! Last Wednesday, after a week and a half... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
Here's the second of my two travelogue posts for the Music at All Saints Facebook page It’s kind of ironic, really: back home, Thursdays are rehearsal nights for the All Saints Choir — the one day a week (other than... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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Earlier today I wrote about how arriving in Salisbury was bittersweet. Then I left the hotel during daylight hours and walked a few blocks further into town than I had last night. All I can say is, it's a good... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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You've probably heard that smell is the sense most closely tied to memory. And you've probably experienced it too -- walking into an unexpected cloud of scent and being transported back to a place (the smoky incense of Northern New... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
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I wrote the following post yesterday (Thursday, August 17) for the daily travelogue being shared on the Music at All Saints' Beverly Hills Facebook page. Take a look at the page for more updates and perspectives on the trip from... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2017 at Popular Sentiment
As my time abroad continues, I am feeling called to resist the urge to check my phone for messages, emails, and updates. I have very limited data to use while in England, so I’ve turned it off entirely, and I can only get internet access when I’m back at the hotel, where there is a reliable (if molasses-slow) WiFi connection. I have to admit: it’s shaping up to be a really great time to be far away from America, unplugged from the headline deluge and tweetstorm feedback loop. That being said, even in this sacred, quiet place, the troubles of home are on my mind. This is supposed to be a travelogue, however, so let’s talk about something from my travels: We have breakfast included at our hotel — hot and/or cold food, coffee and/or tea, butter and/or jam, the works. It’s a small place — 15 rooms in all — and it’s almost entirely filled with choristers from All Saints Beverly Hills like myself. Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2017 at Popular Sentiment