Wednesday, July 22, 2009

When a Bargain...

...comes dangerously close to being a crime!!

So if you know me at all, you know I love shopping and I especially love DEALS. About two weeks ago I discovered great one -- a great big pair of beautiful, dangly, turquoise Amrita Singh earrings. Here they are in coral:

These normally cost about $120. I would never pay $120 for a pair of earrings.

In fact, I rarely wear earrings of any kind. I like them, I just never wear them. (This will become relevant soon enough.) But these were so pretty I stopped to look. When I saw they were marked down to $22, I was very intrigued! Then I realized I had a $10 gift credit, making these fabulous babies nearly 90% off!! So I made them mine.

Fast forward to tonight. I was meeting my buddy Rick for dinner in Venice. The evening started out on a few sour notes: I was stuck at work, so I was pretty late. My stomach was upset all day. I cussed directly into the face of a fellow driver who stole my parking spot, then immediately felt bad when he and his friend both looked so sincere in thanking me for it. I found a meter, but only had two dimes and two nickels.

But then Rick and I had a delicious dinner at Via Veneto and everything was sunshiney again. I was giving him a lift back to his office when I saw blue and red lights... uh oh... I looked in my rearview and saw:

Yeah, okay, it wasn't those exact three cops. It was just one and he was not on a Strike Team, nor did he seem corrupt. But he told me he was pulling me over for two reasons.

"One, you didn't stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. And two, the bigger problem, you had your cell phone to your ear."

Rick and I yelled in unison: NUH UH!!!

The cop seemed a little surprised. He made me show him my call log and saw that my most recent phone transaction was a missed call from Larry at 7:12 pm (I'll call you back later, Lar). Since it was now 7:53, it was clear that I was not lying. But still, he said he was certain he saw me holding something to my ear.

He left us to go back to his car and check his magic all-knowing dashboard-mounted computer doohickey to see if my license was current and that I wasn't wanted for drug smuggling, kidnapping or making cats smoke lighted cigars (it's illegal in Illinois). Rick and I spent the time trying to figure out what he could have mistaken for my cell phone.

Then I realized it -- my new earrings, that I'd worn the day before, had made my poor, fresh earlobes so sore that I'd been rubbing them all day today! I am sure that's what Officer Vic Mackey saw me doing, and thus assumed I had a phone in my hand.

He returned with my license and registration and told me to "be careful" then sent me on my way. Whew!!!

On an unrelated note, I cannot let the Emmy nominations come and go without saying something. WALTON. GOGGINS. WAS. ROBBED. This is not subjective. This is not a matter of opinion. This is a bottom line fact, and it's really, really rotten. The fact that the Shield got nothing is ludicrous enough, but maybe understandable since it was so under-appreciated in its time (but oh, yay for that piece of crap Grey's Anatomy). The fact that Walton Goggins was ignored is just shameful. If you voted for the Emmys, you owe Walton an apology.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Two gorgeous babes

Aren't they both so handsome?? This is Brian and his adorable, brand new nephew Luke. So sweet!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Don't forget your passport

It's almost Christmas! Okay, it's not even December for a few more hours, but it feels like Christmas. But this update starts wayyyyyyyyyy back at Halloween. So much to report!

We spent Halloween at our friend Kelly's new apartment. She made disgusting (yet delicious) snacks like dirt pudding with worms, edible eyeballs, and all kinds of other great things. Our "costume" was "NO ON 8" (plus I added some giant feather eyelashes, just for kicks).

The following weekend, our friends Betty and Tom drove up from Ramona for a weekend visit. We had a great time, since they share our passions: eating, drinking, and traveling. If only they were professional fly fishers! Brian would be in heaven. Anyway we covered a lot of ground while they were here.

We had dinner at our old favorite, Boa Steakhouse. We spotted this guy in a cozy corner booth! He looked a little less perturbed.

As usual, when it was time to order dessert, Brian got one for himself, and the rest of us split one! Betty, Tom and I had a mountain of raspberry cotton candy. Who pays $10 for cotton candy?! We do, I guess! Brian had a couple of decadent chocolate chip cookies.

We took a nice group shot outside after dinner.

The pic didn't include my new Wolford tights -- they are so cute, and I got such a GREAT deal on them (about 50% off, yeah baby), I really wanted to show 'em off -- so I took one myself. Oh, also those shoes are Pollini, marked down to $80 from $575 -- das right! The toes are scuffed so badly because I was texting while walking, and tripped on a parking hump. Lesson: Do not text while moving in any manner.

As if we hadn't spoiled ourselves enough, we had Sunday brunch at Gordon Ramsay's at the London West Hollywood. Ooooeeee, it was great. Yes, I said "ooooeeee"! The sommelier matched everyone's dessert to a specific wine, and they were all crazy good. We were going to drink a toast to our grapefruit coulis, but Brian couldn't wait and started in on his pear tart.

We did some dogsitting for our friend Kim -- we had Yeti (schnauzer) and Amber (shar-pei/pit bull mix). Thankfully Betty and Tom are dog-friendly because Amber drooled all over their bed! Otherwise, she was a doll, although she did eat a tennis ball and it was... uh... unpleasant when it made its way back out. As for Yeti, You may recall our beloved squirrels? Well they got Yeti's attention. But oddly enough, he didn't freak out and try to eat them.

Then came our anxiously awaited trip to MEXICO! Now, I have mentioned before that I am the best shopper EVER! Aside from my $1,375 Herve Leger gown for which I paid $35, this is my biggest coup: we got two nights at the utterly gorgeous Paraiso de la Bonita resort for a grand total of $47. Yes, we got change from a 50-dollar bill!! Normally the lowest rate, for the smallest room, in the off season, is $900. But we got a deal through a special promotion from Leading Hotels of the World, to celebrate the year of their founding (1928) -- thus $19.28 per night. But there was a maximum of two nights. Here's what we had to look forward to:

We had already planned a weekend in Nashville to see my family (they were planning to drive down from Lexington). So we tagged the Mexico trip onto this weekend. The day we were leaving for Mexico, Brian decided to start looking for his passport... and never found it!!!

What should I do?!?! Sacrifice the trip and stand by my man?! Go without him and pretend it was terrible, so he won't feel bad?! Uhhhh NO, no, no!! First I helped Brian turn over every single corner of our apartment looking for the passport, then I helped him figure out how to get an emergency passport, then I wished him luck and headed to LAX!

WOW!!! This place was PERFECT! The most beautiful, placid, quiet, relaxing place EVER! The staff was wonderful, the "junior suite" was terrific, the food was delicious, the weather was perfect, and the pool and ocean were just what I needed. The place was also very popular with iguanas, and they had parrots on staff to ensure I was awake by 8 a.m.

Iguana hanging out by the pool

Squeaky little parrot (everyone here says "Bix a bel!" which translates from Mayan to mean "how's your road?" but I couldn't get the parrots to say it!)

FINALLY Brian made it! He got his emergency passport, and arrived just in time to hang out in the pool, have dinner, and spend one night.

Dinner was absolutely excellent, here we are enjoying our lobster strips and filet mignon with foie gras (which Brian scraped off). Oh and if you're wondering why I'm so red -- well, the sunscreen there was $100! That is DOLLARS, not pesos! So I opted to fry.

What Mexican dinner would be complete without mariachis?! These guys were *excellent* -- they even had CDs for sale! Here's a very short little video clip for your listening enjoyment!

The next day we had snacks by the pool (though a big black bird stole a bunch of our chips!) and snorkeled. We saw a barracuda and an ENORMOUS snapper, but sadly, we don't have an underwater camera (yet).

Notice the bird with the chip in his beak! (Reminder, you can click on any picture on this blog to view it larger.)

Alas we had to leave the 90 degree sunshine of Mexico for the 36 degree haze of Nashville... but we had a great time there too!!

Here's a photo of Aunt Carmie, Dena, Kelli and Mom in front of the Opry Mills outlet mall. We might as well have slept on mall benches, because we spent a LOT of time (and some money too) here.

We also visited the beautiful Opryland Hotel. After 45 minutes of driving around looking for parking (I *refused* to pay $18 for self-parking), I cried uncle and paid even more to have the valet end the misery. He was nice enough to snap a photo of our whole gang.

While in Nashville, Dena and I celebrated the Steelers win by being weirdos.

We said goodbye outside of our hotel, and Brian helped my family smash their luggage into their car. Can you believe that even after stuffing every square inch of that poor Prius with newly purchased goodies, they stopped at the Zappos outlet on the way home and bought 14 more pairs of shoes?! Yes these are my people!!

I'll end this post with three important thoughts:

1. THANK YOU to all 56 (!!!) of our subscribers! We have friends all over the country and some around the world, and it makes us so happy to know that people are actually interested in keeping up with us. We read all of your blogs too (well, I do... I don't think Brian really cares that much about blogging. In fact, I think he oughta write some more of these entries, and if you agree, bug him about it!!) :-)

2. RIP, The Shield. You remain the absolute finest television program I have ever seen and I vow that I will continue to spread your gospel far and wide. And if Walton Goggins doesn't get a Best Supporting Actor Emmy, then they might as well stop giving them out. (I'd also like to suggest a new category, Best Supporting Supporting Actor, for David Rees Snell). People, if you have not seen this show, go rent it (starting from the very beginning) RIGHT NOW. If you don't like it, may I suggest instead the 7th Heaven box set?

3. If you are ever feeling down (like I was after the Shield finale), you can always revisit this blog to perk yourself up with some hot squirrel-on-squirrel action. Yeahhhhhhhhh....

Monday, November 3, 2008


Remember a few posts back, I showed you the wildlife that inhabits the tree outside our balcony? Well Brian gave the little guy a nut.

Now we can't get rid of him! And he's getting aggressive!! AND he's bringing friends!!!

I'm a little scared he'll figure out how to get inside, but he's cute as long as there's a screen between us!

The last political post on this blog

Finally, finally, we're about to reach Election Day. I cannot wait for it to come and go. 24 hours from now we'll learn if we're moving forward in the right direction, or if I'm moving to Ireland!

I told my friends before any of the real heat began: don't talk to me about politics. I don't want to discuss it with people I love. And here's why: if I know your politics, there is a chance that my opinion of you will be affected. I'd rather that not happen with friends and family.

But this year is different. Nobody wanted to keep their opinions to themselves. Palin was a game changer. So now it's ALL fair game.

In the past few months, I have:
- Researched both sides until I've made myself sick
- Had daily arguments
- Had daily affirmations
- Made phone calls for Barack Obama
- Been flabbergasted at the ignorance I've encountered
- Been shocked at how many smart people fall for manufactured lies, rumors and fearmongering
- Been encouraged by other volunteers with sky high optimism
- Grown sick of "liberals" being used as a pejorative
- Pondered the benefits of conservatism
- Lost many hours of sleep!

And tomorrow I will intercept voters on their way to the polls to encourage them to vote NO on Proposition 8. Those who are voting yes will get my most heartfelt wishes that their ignorant, hateful, and/or closed minds will one day open.

I may or may not ever be a mother. I hope so. If I do, I will be able to look my kid in the eye and say I fought for what was right. And if my kid turns out to be gay, I will be able to say, not for one moment did I think of you as unequal. And I tried my heart out to defeat those who do. Sadly, the polls show we are losing this fight. Please, if you are in California, do the right thing and vote NO on Prop 8.

Friday, October 31, 2008

In case it isn't clear...

...we want Californians to vote NO on 8!!! This is CRITICAL and there is truly no good reason to vote yes on 8.

Please take 30 seconds to watch this.

For Halloween, we're thinking of going as "No on 8" -- just gotta figure out how. :-)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dear Californians

I can think of exactly ZERO reasons to vote YES on 8. Well, I can think of a few that are filled with hate and inappropriate use of government. But otherwise, zero. Think about it.