Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Calabasas California Bans Outdoor Smoking--Hooray!

I like when there are signs telling me that I'm moving in the right direction. And I'm not talking about traffic signs. I've been working on a treatment for a screenplay, and since I started, lots of synchronicities have been appearing in my life.

For the last year or so, I've been thinking about where I would move to. After all, this town, Sarasota, is a bit of a letdown (understatement!) after so many years in Manhattan. But I've become smitten by my proximity to nature and all the warm, smiling sunshine.

California's been beckoning to me for a long time. It's got the climate I prefer, the entertainment industry (where I should be working), lots of raw foods restaurants (where I want to be eating), and now it's got Calabasas, which has decided to ban outdoor smoking. That's a pretty damn great sign that I need to move there!

I'm one of the original anti-smokers. I don't mean I was against people who smoked. I just hated the secondhand tobacco smoke infusing my hair, my clothes, and my lungs. For several years before I moved out of New York, I stopped going out to clubs because I could no longer tolerate their wall of choking smoke. That was a big hardship, because I love to dance, and I love live music.

When I was around 14, I would stroll on the beach (the Jersey shore) with my 12-year-old cousin Dale. We would go up to boys and ask for a cigarette. (Actually I only remember doing this once.) One afternoon when we approached a tall boy and asked, he gave us a cigarette. My cousin, who was doing my bidding, broke it in half right there in front of him while she and I said smoking was a bad habit to get into.

Some years ago, I created an online petition asking for smoking to be banned in all workplaces. Finally, the times are catching up with me! Smoking's being banned in more and more localities. I'm thrilled; it's not so easy being decades ahead of the culture.

And now, thanks to Calabasas, the OUTdoors is being protected as well. Brav-O!

Now I just have to figure out how to make a whole lot of money so I can move to Calabasas. Cross your fingers for me that I turn my treatment into a hot screenplay.