Monday, June 30, 2008

Will and Graze

Being of (somewhat) sound mind and body, I wrote out my will today. It's time.
Thinking about my trip to Kenya is what made me finally sit down and do it--should have been done long ago. Today I just got online ( and began to fill one out. It's simple and very easy to understand. I even put down that I want to be cremated and where I would like my ashes scattered. (I said part of me at Dodger Stadium--I want to be at all the games--and the rest at Irvine Meadows--I want to be at all the concerts.) Then I just had to fill in who gets what. Like, who gets my vast wealth and who will inherit this fabulous home which has declined in value below what I owe at this point.
Oh, but then I started thinking...who will get the 46 photo albums? My fabulous DVD collection? The Dodger bobble head dolls? My record albums/CDs and 45s!! Hello! Who is going to get my Bobby Sherman lunch pail for crying out loud!?'s the deal: I don't own anything of any monetary value. I have a little bit of money in the bank and I designated who gets what percentage of that. I did the same for my car, my iPod and my tickets to Counting Crows in September. That's about it for valuables.
As far as all the rest of the 'stuff' (crap, junk, knickknacks, collections, chachki!) in my house...well, I have taken care of that in my will as well. This is what I wrote out:
Following my memorial (which will be FUN, HAPPY, and full of GREAT music), there will be a FABULOUS meal served at my home. (I'm thinking Lucille's caters it and brings a VAT of that banana pudding!) There will be beer and wine flowing...and laughter will fill the house as everyone will ENJOY eating, just as I did!! At the same time, each person will be invited to 'graze' walk around the house and take something home, take a few things. (Hell, back up your station wagon, this woman has a lot of crap!) Seriously, if you need a VCR, a wine rack, a lot of old suitcases...take mine! If you need an Eiffel Tower...yeah, everyone in attendance gets one automatically. Take my books, my Santas, my Desert Rose dishes, the Pez dispensers
...and, for the love of God, go enjoy the rest of YOUR life.
Then, the instructions call for Goodwill to bring a large truck and hall the rest of it away. The house is then to be sold and the $10 profit to be divided evenly between my heirs.
It was a fun thing to do today, actually.
I was thinking about who might be mad that I didn't leave them money or who might have wanted to be willed those concert tickets. I can't imagine anyone 'fighting' over anything I own...but it was fun to wonder who might take what from my home.
And truly knowing that it won't matter at all to me. I'll be gone.
Relaxing in heaven.
Hopefully with a big bowl of banana pudding.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

or a baby's arm holding an apple...

Last night I had the GREAT pleasure of seeing The Tubes perform and may I just say, THEY ROCKED! (Just take a minute and look up their songs--I promise, you've heard them!)
And it just got better...we stayed around after the show and were able to meet and talk to the band members. This is Fee Waybill, lead singer of The Tubes for over 30 years and an INCREDIBLE performer! He had five or six costume changes and altered his persona and style throughout the concert--their music is so diverse and totally unique.
Seriously, one of the best shows ever!
My friend knew the guy doing sound for The Tubes last night and we were able to go up in the sound booth and watch part of the show from there. Here's the set list!
And, as is my new usual M.O.--I ended up at the stage. The band was doing a song from the movie "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", thus Fee's AMAZING costume! The guitar player, Roger Steen, is absolutely phenomenal!
The entire show was brilliantly executed and just fantastic!!
Wow...between this and the amazing experience at Dodgers' stadium Friday's been quite a weekend.
Have I mentioned that I have a good life? Oh yeah!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Shower the people...

Today I attended a shower for my cousin, Tina, who will be having her third child next month.
From the left is Tina, and her sisters Robin and Laura
Having been to a combined 5,287 baby showers in our lifetimes,
Robin and I were completely out of our minds with excitement for this event.
...but the cake was delicious.
Tina took this picture and said,
"Well, it is legal in California now..."
Bummer is--we're first cousins...

When you PRAY...move your feet.

I have been called the 'queen of looking on the bright side.' I am the person who can find a silver lining in even the most hopeless of situations. I have used this blog to encourage people to find the good in every situation and to keep looking forward with a smile on your face!
But today I am feeling as though I have misunderstood the vast and vitally important difference between looking on the bright side and being utterly BLINDED by unrealistic optimism.
At the very strong--yet kind--urging of a friend, I watched "An Inconvenient Truth", former Vice President Al Gore's passionate campaign for our environment.
Tears ran down my face as I sat--captivated!--throughout this brilliant and incredibly life-changing movie. (I know, it doesn't take much to make me cry these days, but THIS is mind-boggling stuff!) Gore calmly and clearly lays out the facts of global warming--without getting political--and the undeniable repercussions and consequences of US not responding or reacting to the facts. Yes, facts! Why have we pretended this is not happening? It is indeed the truth, however inconvenient to our thoughts and comfort level.
Global warming is NOT a theory. And it's not something that's been 'discovered' over the last few years. This was devastatingly eye-opening for me--I admit, I have been living in denial. Half way through the movie, I was headed toward despair, tears streaming down my face as I thought about the numerous additional hurricanes, floods, droughts and tornadoes that have occurred in the two years since this movie was made! This is all documented stuff folks!
But (bright side/silver lining/hopefulness here!)-- SOME WHERE between the denial and despair is the fact that we now know what we need to know about this and it's not too late to make a change!
And the change starts with me.
The last 20 minutes or so of the movie talks about ways to make a difference...what we need to do--OK, what I need to do to make a difference in the world! First off--pull my head out of the sand! And then, encourage others to do the same. Before the movie ended, I was already on the Climate Crisis website asking for ways that Julie Hibbard can make a difference.
One of the suggestions--BLOG ABOUT IT! So, since (for some unknown reason) I have nearly 1000 readers a week on my blog--here goes:
Please watch this movie. It's not a hoax or a theory and it is actually incredibly motivating and encouraging!
Then visit the Climate Crisis website...and then,
change the way you live!
I am determined to find a bright side and there can be a silver lining. So here's the deal: WE can do it together. We can! Please join me in the effort. Do your part. Pray about it...and move your feet! If we each make small little changes--'boldly, quickly and wisely'--WE will make HUGE differences in OUR world.
Thank you!!

Field of Dreams

Last night I crossed another couple of "before I die" things off my list.
I was given '6 rows from the field, box VIP seats' to the Dodgers/Angels Game.
It had always been a DREAM to sit so close and to watch the players "life size." NEVER--in all the many years I have been attending baseball games---have ever had such GREAT seats!
And then...I caught a foul ball! Well, OK, I have to be honest, it actually HIT one of the ballpark ushers in the leg and ricocheted my way and I grabbed it! I was like a little kid! I was SO stoked and SO excited!! It has been a lifetime GOAL to catch a foul ball!!
It was an absolutely SPECTACULAR night--perfect weather, perfect seats and perfect company! To top it all off, the Dodgers beat the Angels 6-zip to come just 2.5 games within first place in the division. As I sat back with my hot dog and my beer--and my ball!--looking out at the gorgeous field--I got a bit choked up. In all honesty, there was NO WHERE in the world I would have rather been last night--with my dad and a couple of good friends--it was my ACTUAL Field of Dreams--come true.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Childhood Sweethearts

Kelly has been asking me about this picture for a while...
she wondered if I still had it!
Warning to all--I have EVERY picture I've EVER taken!
This was at Westminster Mall in 1979
(Gina--Notice "Flytrap" in the background!)
Sonja also has every photo she's ever taken...though some, like this one, probably should have been hidden away. We were on a ski trip with my family in Mammoth!
There's no date on the photo, but since I have braces, I am guessing we were about 14.
I would love to ski at Mammoth again someday, but I don't think
Santa would want Kelly and I sitting on his lap...
(or would he?)
I wouldn't go back to those way.
The future looks bright

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day...

The forecast...mostly Sunny...
Partly cloudy...
Earlier in the week Gina and I had planned to meet and go visit our Nana tonight. We picked up flowers and cookies and walked in to her home. We were not prepared for what we found...Our Nana was 'not there'. She barely spoke, telling us that it hurt to talk. She could not hear one bit. We wrote down things for her and she just was not interested. This is the woman who just a couple of weeks ago was STOKED about the Angels having the best record in baseball. Something suddenly changed. Her doctor will be visiting tomorrow and most likely putting her in hospice. Ugh.
We tried to make her laugh, telling stories, making no avail. She was just not there. Gina and I walked out crying...and we couldn't stop. It's not like we didn't think this day would ever come...but it's so odd really! This is a woman we have known our whole lives! Our grandparents always lived closed by and were at EVERY event of our childhood, at our weddings, at the births of OUR our KIDS' graduations! Heck...I am 45 and I have my grandmother...I've never known life any other way.
Gina and I decided there was only one solution to the sadness we were feeling...
we needed to go see SUNNY!!!
When we drove up...Sunny ran out to our cars! She hugged and kissed us and made faces with us and tickled us and brought us out pudding to eat and made us remember how great life is.
And how very precious it is indeed.
The blessing of having family within a few miles!
The next few weeks are sure to be filled with tough decisions and much sadness.
And for some reason, Sunny is in town from Hawaii at this time...
Oh the circle of life.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Que Syrah Syrah...

Tonight my SWEET friend, Claudia, treated me to one of the most enjoyable evenings ever! We went to a wine tasting at Charlie Palmers at Bloomingdales , South Coast Plaza.
Our friend, Chris worked with us at Montage and is now the Wine Director at Charlie Palmers. As part of the wine tasting event, Chris brought us FIVE different wines, telling us about the flavors, aromas, where they're from, and what we should be experiencing as we tasted each one.
It was fabulous!
Appetizers are served throughout the tasting, but Claudia and I needed a little bit more. We delighted in the KOBE sliders and French fries (best with the Syrah!)
Along with the Syrah, we enjoyed a Sparkling Brut, a Pinot Gris, and two different Pinot Noirs.
All were absolutely fantastic. And the conversation? Oh, so great.
Claudia told me that she had recently written a paper on me...
about how I am inspirational to her!
The restaurant is's located at the south west corner of the brand new Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza.
Wine tastings are every Tuesday evening from 5 to 7pm and are $25/person.
Oh, come on, you know we had dessert too!
The pastry chef, Maren, used to work at Montage as well!
This is four tempura-battered ganache chocolates (yes, that's deep fried chocolate balls!) and a scoop of chocolate sorbet, along with a little marshmallow--just slightly seared.
Absolutely spectacular!!!
We TRULY miss having Chris at Montage...Charlie Palmer's is really lucky to have him there! He is an incredibly gifted (and hilarious!) person! Our friends Heidi and Evette walked in as we were getting ready to leave and we spent a half hour talking about our fabulous wine tasting and food loving adventure! I walked out OH so happy!
As I drove off, I literally started to cry. The weather was just perfect, the sun setting in the sky, John Mayer was singing to me in my car...and I was having that "no where I'd rather be" feeling.
Who knew that life could really taste this good!
Every single bit of it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Soundtrack of my life...

I got off a little early today and came home and started cleaning. I confess that I have not really 'cleaned' since before Zac's party over a month ago. And I've been busy...ok, lazy. Suffice it to say there were five pair of shoes in the living room and the laundry basket has been on the kitchen table since Friday. I've been 'dressing' out of it.
(The good and bad of living alone in one perfect picture.)Of course I have to have music blaring while I work around the house, and I decided to put the iPod on "shuffle" and just let it play. I laughed as I cleaned and realized what an eclectic (read: absolutely random) selection of songs I have on there. This is kinda how it played: The Cars, Black Eyed Peas, Dire Straits, Nora Jones, Erasure, Talking Heads, Elton John, Maroon 5, The Turtles, Ray Charles, KC & The Sunshine Band, The Beatles, Counting Crows, Sinead O'Connor, Sting, Men at Work, John Mellencamp, John Mayer, John Denver, and, oh yeah, Johnny Mathis. (Chances Are....)
My random cleaning went perfectly with the beat. I usually start in my kitchen and work my way back to my bedroom, and forget what I'm doing sometimes in between, stopping to water the plants, check my email and read and smile through a stack of birthday cards that need to find a place to live. Then I join David Bowie in the kitchen and start again.
My THOUGHTS are the only thing MORE random than the music and attempted cleaning: A month from today I will be in Kenya. I need a suitcase and should find my passport. It's so damn hot in this house, I am glad I live alone and won't offend anyone in a tank top and shorts. When's the last time I saw my Nana? I'm so hungry. This plant is dead, but I keep watering it. OH! I love this song. I should get rid of this picture that reminds me of him. Do I have any stamps? Did I miss anyone's birthday? Oh! I love Dave Matthews. Crap, the first is coming again. Is this Friday payday? I think I'll take a bath. When's the last time I changed my sheets? Damn, it's hot in here...and I'm freaking starving...
I turned my cell phone OFF so I would not be tempted to take calls and neglect my work. I had five missed calls when I went back to the phone. Two unidentified numbers (Red Cross wanting blood, no doubt), my sister and two friends...I now have plans through the rest of the week.
I had to stop to take apart my vacuum and cut off MATS of blond long hair that had actually made the roller stop working! Oh the thoughts again! Am I really losing that much hair? Should I change the bag while I'm at it? Dear God, am I really losing that much hair?!
Took out two large bags of trash, took down the EMPTY laundry basket and set up the coffee pot for tomorrow morning. I put a Lean Cuisine Pizza in the Microwave and poured a GIANT diet coke. Ahh...
It's cool in here now. The pizza is good and, I'm sorry mom, there's still nothing that tastes better than an ice cold diet coke...
except maybe enjoying it with a clean house, a made bed (and fresh sheets) a cleared mind...
mmm....and a little Billy Joel...

Random Kinds of Factness

In the 'news' today:
  • Global Warming experts say "we're toast"
  • Amy Winehouse has emphysema
  • Wildfires burning out of control in California
  • Naked Cowboy sues M & M company
  • Gas prices still rising
  • George Carlin dies
  • Boy who gave 'nugie' fights expulsion
  • Airlines cutting thousands of jobs
  • Ferry sinks-hundreds presumed dead
  • Dow Jones down again
  • Boy George denied US visa-Summer tour cancelled
Oh what a world...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

One (Re)FINE(ery) Day!

Tonight we met Allison at the grand opening of The Refinery--Saddleback Church's NEW Student Ministry Building...and it is AMAZING! The team has put together a place where kids can come hangout, learn, play, grow, know that they belong somewhere and are loved! In addition to the beautiful venues for the services there are ping pong tables and basketball courts and video games and a skate park and a place to draw and eat and so much more!
Allison gave us a thorough and highly-personalized tour of the place! It is truly phenomenal!
I was overjoyed to run into SO many people that i used to work with!
I always feel SO loved when I'm there.
Above, Josh and Josh
Sunny and Abby have been friends forever!
Alanna and Ange
(I've known both of these girls since they were in Junior High)
Great stuff everywhere...
One of my MOST favorite people (and an EXCELLENT blogger!)
Josh Treece.
It has been YEARS since we'd seen each other!
My dad and Ange have been 'blogger friends' for the last year or so.
They were THRILLED to finally meet each other!
Bethany and Lola
After the Refinery tour we met Gina and Logan at Chili's to celebrate Gina's birthday!
Gina has ALWAYS loved having people clap and sing Happy Birthday to her!When I dropped my parents back off at home, Sunny gave me a little skateboarding demonstration! She is absolutely incredible on that thing!
I am OH SO blessed to have such great people in my life...
And I am grateful for this one fine day.

It's June 22nd!

Happy Birthday to my AMAZING sister, Gina!
Who do you think is older?
Yep, that guy in the middle.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Moon over Montage

I took this picture from the lobby of Montage a little before 6am yesterday morning...
That is the MOON! The big, bright, BEAUTIFUL full moon!
God's gift to those of us who have to get up at 4am...