Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Locked out

This afternoon I went to Lowe's and bought a whole bunch of new flowers for my patio. I potted them all out there and am so happy with all the bright colors...everything looks so clean and fresh!
I needed to sweep up the dirt and leaves and didn't want the dust flying into the house, so I quickly closed the slider and then--I heard the STICK drop. The STICK! The stick that the former owners put in the slider track to keep people OUT.
I put down the broom and tried to open the door...it would not budge more than 2 inches. I began to laugh--and cuss a little--but seriously, I thought it was hilarious! The house was locked up from the outside and only ALLISON has another key! How could I call her?
I felt like I Love Lucy...locked out, no one home to even help me...hilarious! I knew there was no option. I had to push on the door until the stick broke enough for me to get in. I tried and tried, but I couldn't make it happen! I kinda thought a neighbor might walk by...but what could they do? I thought about jumping from the balcony...but where would I go? Seriously, I was laughing out loud and I knew there was no option.
I had to break the stick. I jammed and jammed the door, pushing it up and jamming with all my strength.
And it worked.
I took that darn stick and parked it FAR away from the door...
then I went back outside, closed the door and continued sweeping.
The patio looks great.
Can't say the same for the stick.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A great weekend in Arizona!

My cousin Robin and her family have lived in Arizona for the last 21 years...and she's been inviting me to come visit for the last 20...and I finally made it out! Friday morning I took off at 7am and by 8:30 I was with Robin and her 5 year old son, Joe (my new best friend)
We had an amazing three days together...here are the highlights!
NOTE: I actually DID NOT take my laptop...and I lived to tell!
Friday night we went to the Diamondbacks Game! Randy Johnson was actually scheduled to pitch, but ended up pulling a muscle and bowing out...but I did get my picture with him...Randy is 6'10 so I figure this is about how tall he'd BE if he was actually standing next to me! The stadium is remarkable!! Robin's seats are three rows back on the third base line!
The roof and windows open up...it's a breathtakingly beautiful stadium!
Robin and I shared a hot dog...we took about 10 of this picture trying to get it right.
Robin could not stop laughing...
The Diamondback's Stadium is the SEVENTH baseball stadium I have now visited.
Only 23 to go...
This is Robin's GRANDDAUGHTER, Kaylee.

This is my buddy, Joe, Robin's adorable 5 year old son. We became best friends...especially when he brought out the recorder and we sang 550 renditions of "Hot Cross Buns"
...sing it with me, "Hot cross buns, hot cross buns--
HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT--hot cross buns."

Saturday morning, Robin's husband, Bob, flew us all up to their cabin in his new airplane!
It was a magnificent experience...I got to fly as co-pilot on the way up .
My job: don't touch anything.
(Joe was co pilot on the way home. He did a great job...)

The four of us in the "hanger'...Robin, Bob, Joe and me.
(Doesn't Bob look like Hugh Grant?)
Joe and I played a little Nerf football out in front of the cabin...
I taught him a very special victory dance...

Saturday night, Robin and Bob treated me to an incredible dinner and tour of the Phoenician Hotel in Scottsdale. (Yes, I took pictures of my dinner) The hotel is fabulous!
Sunday morning I attended church with the whole family and then came back to the house for a great lunch with all of them before I had to get to the airport...
The weekend was GREAT...Phoenix is great!
And my cousin Robin is amazing...on top of all of these fun activities, we never stopped talking and laughing and we even went and got a pedicure!
It will NOT be 20 more years til I go back...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ok, one last birthday drink...

Laura treated me to a birthday margarita and dinner at Chili's! Yummy!

Cheese Please

I attended the Montage Cheese class today taught by our resident Cheese Somm, Starr Cornwall. It was very interesting, quite educational as well as totally delicious! We had samples of seven different kinds of cheese (Black Gold, Robiola Bosina, Bleu D'Basque to name a few) with honey, jam, almonds and dried fruits. So tasty!


I was called into the back office this morning and this is what was waiting for me...I was serenaded, given a GREAT bottle of Pinot Noir as well as a piece of delicious chocolate birthday cake...and 10 forks.
I love these people.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I love getting flowers

I received these yesterday...a very special birthday gift...
Can't remember flowers ever being quite as beautiful to me.

A night to catch up!

I have had a really busy (and incredibly enjoyable) last couple of weeks. When I got off work today I realized that I did not have any plans tonight and I was so excited! I would (finally!) have a night to catch up on EVERYTHING at home.

This is what I got done tonight:
  • Stopped at Ralphs on the way and bought groceries.
  • Picked up two suits at the cleaners.
  • Filled up my gas tank ($49.80!!)
  • Started a load of laundry.
  • Took a quick bath and put on my new comfy jammies.
  • Unloaded the groceries and cleaned out the fridge.
  • Unloaded/reloaded the dishwasher.
  • Watered all the plants in the house, on the patio, out front.
  • Collected all the trash in the house and put the trash containers outside.
  • Took the clothes out of the washer, put into dryer.
  • Popped all the balloons in the house left from Mother's Day and my birthday. Took all gifts out of bags, organized, put away.
  • Made myself a big salad. Turned on the Dodger game.
  • Went through, answered and deleted 73 emails.
  • Returned several phone calls...talked to my mother, sister and two friends.
  • Read through about 10 catalogs and tossed them all. (I need NOTHING)
  • Went through a stack of mail and tossed most of it.
  • Paid bills/scheduled payments on line.
  • Wrapped and addressed birthday gifts for two nieces for their birthdays next week.
  • Decided this was as exciting as the blogging was going to get today.
And it's ok with me. The house is clean, the bills are paid, everything is organized.
And I have plans the next four nights.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Birthday Celebration #...8?...9?

My friend, Eliane made an AMAZING dinner for us tonight...portabello stuffed beef sirloin, twice baked potatoes and green beans with a fabulous choice of wine...
A delicious little fruit tart for dessert and coffee in a Baseball Starbucks mug and the night was complete! Eliane and I worked together at Coco's and has been a true friend for nearly 20 years. I think the 8 days of Celebration has come to an end...what a great birthday week!

10 reasons I love traveling with Allison

Allison and I are just returning from a long weekend in Los Angeles...we truly relaxed, shopped a little, ate great food, relaxed a little more and basically, had a great time. I love being with her and I was thinking of all the reasons that I really love traveling with her.
  1. She carries her own stuff. She never whines, complains or moans about having to carry stuff. This is OH so helpful on long trips and through airports and cities.
  2. She brings everything she needs. Allison is obviously a seasoned traveler, and she has NEVER said, "Dang, I forgot my____." Never.
  3. She is totally "go with the flow." If we decide we want to go to a movie, we do. If we decide to forgo the movie and just go back to the room and relax, she's good with that. Last night her head light was hanging out of the car and flying up toward her on the freeway. We got off, unplugged the light and threw it in the back seat. Life goes on.
  4. She can spend hours in a bookstore. Sometimes we do. We found a three story Barnes and Nobel on this trip. We went there twice.
  5. She loves to EAT! She loves to try new foods, new restaurants, and never says, "I'm not really hungry yet." I really love this about her!
  6. She is the easiest person to sleep with. We had to share a bed (albeit a KING!) this weekend...she never moved all night long! She does not snore/breath heavy/drool.
  7. She loves to be on her computer. She understands that you can blog and email and still carry on conversations and watch a movie at the same time.
  8. She's a good shopper. Meaning: she goes in looking for something and if she finds it, she buys it. If she doesn't find it, we leave. AND, she doesn't try things on. LOVE that!
  9. She has GREAT stories. She has traveled so much and has worked with junior highers forever and has HILARIOUS stories to tell while we are out shopping or driving, etc.
  10. She has THE most amazing laugh and sense of humor. She laughs out loud at movies and TV shows and makes me so happy and comfortable. It's a pleasure to be with her.
We'll be traveling quite a bit together this summer. I can't wait.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Yet another birthday dinner...with Allison and Zachary at "Ketchup" in West Hollywood

"Ketchup" stacks up the onion rings and serves it up with five different dipping sauces.
Zac had a Sloppy Joe with fries, Allison had a half chicken with mash potatoes and I had an excellent Cobb salad...very good food...
cool environment...
So great to have a night out with my kids!

Oh happy day

For the last couple of hours I have been stretched out on a chaisse lounge, looking out over the skyline of Los Angeles, as if I am in a movie...there is not much activity on the streets below on an early Sunday morning and it is silent in our room. Allison is still asleep upstairs.
I called the front desk to see if I could get the LA Times and within about three minutes, it was at our door. While enjoying a full pot of coffee, I read just about every page...
For the last hour or so, I just sat here and closed my eyes and thought of all the great things going on in my life. I couldn't help but smile. Again, sitting in this two story suite I sang that line from the Talking Heads song, "How did I get here?"
Not just here in this incredible room. But here. In this place of genuine peaceful contentment in my mind and heart and life. It is a place so happy that I have tears in my eyes and I can actually feel it in my heart today! I am not really sure how or when I actually arrived here.
But there is no doubt--I am here.
And it feels really good.

Happy Birthday Courtney

My friend Courtney was born the day after me!
(Ok...18 years and one day after me...)
Court--here is a picture of your gift. Let me know when we can enjoy it together!
Hope it's a GREAT day!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Europe 2007

This year's vacation adventure will be an escorted tour of
"Imperial Europe"
two days in Budapest,
two days in Vienna and
two days in Prague...
This time, Allison will be joining me. So after the tour, a few days in London may be necessary...

One SUITE birthday!

Allison arrived at my home this morning with a giant Starbucks coffee and a delicious Maple Nut Scone. We drove up to the W hotel in Westwood where Allison had scheduled an amazing afternoon at the Bliss Spa. We enjoyed the steam room and the sauna and then took an incredible shower and lavished ourselves with an assortment of sweet smelling lotions, soaps and creams. While Allison was having her treatment (scrub and color) I relaxed, read magazines and ate a BIG Granny Smith Apple in the Bliss lounge. Then I went in for my own scrub and color--and it was fantastic. My skin is SO soft and silky and my legs (as well as the rest of me!) is now golden bronze...
We headed over to The Grove and had an early dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. I had the Da Vinci pasta (cause that's what I have every time.) We did a little shopping and headed to our hotel.
Now here's the SWEETEST part of all. Last Summer I attended a fund raising event hosted by my friend, Sharel...and I won first prize in the raffle--a two-night stay at a hotel in Los Angeles...and tonight we finally cashed in the prize!
When we went to check in we were informed that we were to be in a two-story suite on the 23rd floor...overlooking downtown LA. We walked into the suite, to see the spiral staircase and panoramic view windows and we couldn't believe it!! What a treat!
And it is fantastic...Allison is downstairs blogging (she just informed me that there is a second bathroom down there) and I am upstairs in a king-size bed watching the ballgame and enjoying the city light view...
The doorbell just rang...Allison ordered dessert for my birthday! An apple tart with a candle in it. Oh, and a chocolate molton something or other for herself...
Happy Birthday?
Oh yeah!!...Happy and joyful and OH so grateful here on my sweet 44th birthday...
PS Special thanks to all who left birthday greeting voicemails, text messages and emails today!!

Born on May 19th

Malcolm X
Nora Ephron
Peter Townsend
Grace Jones
Joey Ramone
Julie Hibbard

Friday, May 18, 2007

Big Bang Friday Night!

Tonight was a tough night to be a Dodger fan...
but any night is a great night when you are at the ball game!
Sarah and I split our affections between the two teams.
My sister, Gina was at the game and came to join us for a bit...at that point, I had begged Sarah to trade hats with me...the Dodgers were behind by about a half dozen runs!

Sarah also gave me tickets to go see Wicked at the end of the month!
Yeah...so ends birthday celebration #4...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Birthday Celebration #3

Tonight I had TRULY one of the most spectacular meals ever. I have had great meals in Rome and Paris and New York City--among other places--and you know that I LOVE food...so when I say it was a good meal--I am telling you it was out of this world!
The photo above is with my friend, Stephanie and
the Chef of Mozambique, Alfonso Contrisciani...and his gorgeous birds!

Mozambique's atmosphere, wine selection and extensive menu is really phenomenal!
Check it out HERE
We had a bottle of Canonbah Bridge 2003 Drought Reserve Shiraz
which our waiter, Stephen suggested...and it was delicious!
I brought the rest home with me. (I locked it in the glove box)
Stephanie is the Director of Catering at Montage and I worked as her assistant before moving into my current position. She is currently in a leadership/success program with Jack Canfield (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) and is a BIG fan of "The Secret" so we had LOTS to talk about! Over these last couple of years, Stephanie has been one of the most encouraging people in my life.
One of the best treats of the evening was having Stephen as our waiter. Stephen and I worked together at Coco's on Crown Valley Parkway in 1982...we've known each other 25 years...
And, to make the night complete, he brought out a
"banana-white chocolate-macadamia nut-bread pudding"!!!
For the love of God I don't think I ever tasted any dessert that was more amazing.
Seriously, the entire meal--the entire EVENING--was wonderful!
And it's not even my birthday yet...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Which would look the best?









I am taking a little survey for my friend who took the above photos with a revolutionary new camera system he has developed... click HERE to see more of this innovative photography

Take a look at these images...(you can click on it to enlarge)
Now, imagine that they are FOUR feet tall and TWENTY-FIVE feet long...they will be!
Three of these will GRACE the tunnel walls of Union Station in downtown Los Angeles...
So, let me know...