Sunday, February 25, 2007

And the Oscar goes to...

Ah, Oscar night in L.A. It's a time when Los Angeles finally gets it's Superbowl. The whole town is a-twitter the streets are eerily quiet and all you can really here are helicopters and blimps. It must be getting close to arrivals hour!

Every year I am quite torn over my feelings for the Oscars. On one hand I love the glitz, the glamour and the mocking of people in the public eye. On the other hand it all seems like a very elaborate plot to make me feel bad about myself when yet ANOTHER year goes by without the Academy taking note of MY accomplishments and passing me over for my Oscar.

This morning Lyle and I went to the Hollywood Farmer's Market. We used to go almost every weekend when we lived up on Hawthorne, but since we moved back we just haven't been as much. We tend to over buy produce and then it goes bad in the fridge. It all looks so good, but my god, how much salad can two people eat!?

So to set the stage, the Oscars are being held at the Kodak Theater at Hollywood Blvd and Highland ave. If you've been to see us, I've probably taken you there.

What that translates to, is surface street gridlock in every direction for the last week and half. by Monday of last week, they had already built the bleachers the fans sit in. By Wednesday Hollywood blvd was closed to traffic from La Brea to Highland. Close one block of any major arterial in LA and it all spills over, and over, and over until is creates extra traffic on Melrose and Fairfax which are about a mile away.

Add to that the after Oscar parties which take place in West Hollywood near the Pacific Design Center. They've been building the "temporary" tent for the Elton John after party for two weeks. A week ago I could see them installing hardwood floors.

This always brings us to the odd conversations you get only in LA.

"Where are you thinking of having Rob's birthday on Sunday?"

"The Abbey."

"I wouldn't. They're having an Oscar party that night. Even if they are open, you'll never get your car done there with the Vanity Fair party a block away."

So we wound up at Bill & Mary's favorite Mexican restaurant on Saturday night, El Compadre where we saw Drew Barrymore (name drop!) having dinner.

Or, we were thinking of going downtown to see the Chinese New Year parade on Saturday...

"Parking will be a pain, we should take the subway."

"Can't get anywhere near the closest subway stop. It's Hollywood and Highland and it'll be buried in Oscar."

Instead we are hunkered down in our house just trying to avoid getting trapped in hoopla.

This morning however, we decided to go get produce. It's quite a ways away from the Oscars, a block away from Sunset and Vine. Shouldn't be a problem. And it wasn't hard to get in and out, but the sights along the way... ah, here are your LA moments on Oscar Morning.

We left our house and drove up Highland. Highland has numerous signs posted all along it, OSCAR PERMIT ONLY THIS LANE. So we turned off and went further East to Cahuenga.

On Cahuenga is the Fire Department Museum and a large parking area in front of it. This is where they are staging all the extra emergency personnel from all over the city. I think they have one truck from every station lined up filling about two blocks worth of street, both lanes.

A block away is the office building that houses the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences a.k.a The Oscars. Here there are about 100 people freezing in long dresses and tuxedos waiting in line to board tour buses marked "SEAT FILLERS". These guys are in black tie at 10:30 am riding a bus to the theater so that when the camera pans the crowd you'll never see an empty seat while performers are backstage talking to press or presenting.

Behind the Arclight theater were small shuttle buses taking audience members to a theater next to the El Capitain Theater to attend a screening of the Academy Awards and then a live broadcast of the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Normally they could park at that venue, but not today. No one can get within about ten blocks of that area today.

As we leave the Farmers Market I stop Lyle and point out the Goodyear Blimp overhead.

When we first moved to LA, the first time Lyle saw the Goodyear Blimp he ran inside and phoned his mother. He was so excited!

I couldn't imagine getting that excited over a blimp. But then Lyle reminded me, "Think about it. Think about where I grew up in Northern Alberta. That blimp was NEVER going to fly over my house there."

Oh Blimpy... I can hear it flying overhead right now...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lyle's new 'do...

What more can I say? Watch and learn.

Housey housey

Aaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! My life is so boring!!! Thank god!

To the left, a photo of Mary being scared out of her wits by a giant metal dinosaur on the side of the road in Malibu last weekend.

Here's a few other random photos to give you the updated version of what the heck my life looks like.

Front yard, dug up, planted and in the middle a new fountain!

The parking strip out front, dug up and planted.

Jim & Lyle set to sea in the Gladstone tugboat...

Bill & Mary pose for the paparazzi in Gladstone's pipe seat.

Coffee at Gladstone in the morning comes with chocolate chips, chocolate whipped cream and some creamer packs. (sigh) it's no einspänner...

If you believe in reincarnation, you'd best be wishing to come back as one of our dogs. Here's Cooper enjoying his afternoon nap and stretch...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sign up for updates

When I started this (wow, not even a full month ago) Vida asked how she would know if I wrote anything or if she would need to check in every day.

I told here I was sure there was a way to sign up for something that would notify you when I wrote something but that I had no idea how to make that happen yet.

I think I found something.

over on the right hand side below the photo of me and Miss Joan Collins, below the links to previous posts, is a subscription sign up box. I believe it will give you the option of daily or weekly e-mails that will deliver whatever I spew out here into your e-mail. All without having to spend you every waking moment clicking back to this blog to see if I did anything.

Try it if you'd like. If it sucks, let me know and I'll keep searching for a better answer.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Busy weekend

Lyle's parents have been here for a week and this is our last weekend with them. That means we had to go the outlet mall, out to Gladstone's for breakfast, fit in a meal of Mexican food and complete all projects begun on their arrival. Whew!

Last weekend we had a small taste of this weekend when we put in stepping stones and gravel from the sidewalk to the house.

In the middle, Mary has palnted flowers under our lemon tree, picked up all sorts of UCLA swag from the on campus bookstore and kept us abreast of all news happenign in the world. Bill has solved the wiring mystery the blew out all power in the front half of the house, changed out the guest room light to the new light and ceiling fan, placed the dishwasher on its own cicuit breaker (my father will be so happy), the internet has been hard-wired into Chandra's room and of course, the yard is nearly completed. I'm sure there is something else, but I am tired.

On Friday I worked on the rest of the front yard with Lyle's dad. Digging it up and putting in edging and then digging and digging and digging. Lyle's dad, Bill, puts us younger folks to shame. While I am nearly passed out laying flat in the driveway, he is swinging a pick axe to break up the clay dirt that comprises our yard.

After yard work I went to the gym and did a leg workout. Yummy (not). Then it was home, quick bite and out for Joy's birthday (she work's with Lyle) and then home to blissful (leg cramp filled) sleep.

Saturday morning I met my friend Lee at 7 am for cardio kick boxing. Yes, I am officially CRAZY. When I got home, Lyle took the dogs rollerblading, we had breakfast and then we went out and got plants. I had forgotten that after we purchased plants we would (oh the horror) have to come home and put them in the ground. I hate that clay yard.

Finally freed from the yard by blessed sunset, we went out for Mexican Food to El Compadre. After dinner I went out with Doug for a celebratory drink the day after his birthday, and then, back to blissful (leg cramp filled) sleep.

Sunday brought us to breakfast at Gladstone's, the outlet mall and home... to dig a hole in the front yard to put in the fountain. I hate that clay yard.

So it's all done for now. And for the first time in a LONG time I am looking forward to the idea that it may rain. Because if it rains, no one can make me dig in the yard.

Below is a "word cloud" of my blog this month prior to this post. It illustrates in graphics how often a word was used. larger font, heavier type indicates frequency of a word used. No surprise that the words Robb, Lewis and Lyle are used a lot. Budapest comes up more than Vienna because Vienna was used more in January.

Apparently I really like to talk about my bag, being home, showing you photos and think most everything can be described using the word lovely.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Let's just be brutally honest here, Robb and I think we are supermodels.

When we travel we see ourselves walking the runways of every European capitol by virtue of strutting our stuff through the airport duty free shops.

Once we arrive at our real destination, we take the opportunity to capture ourselves as the true fashionistas we are.

As goofy as these shots are and as unhappy as Robb my be with me for putting them up here, I can safely say that I have fulfilled my one promise at the beginning, I've not posted any photos of anyone on a bidet.

This one is for Wallpaper Magazine.

Succeeding at Secession!

For the winter issue of Vogue.

Central Europe meets West Hollywood.

The camera is all seeing...

There are only so many times I can smile like a normal person...
this was about the third of fourth photo at the table...

The cameras are everywhere...
Notice the odd art instalation at the top of the photo?

Oh Jesus, there is nothing safe from our cameras...

Little soldiers near the Royal Palace in Budapest.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Lyle's B'day

In trying to get all the vacation stuff up online in some sort of order, I realize the real day to day stuff of no interest to anyone is getting pushed off to the side. So, before it falls off the radar, here are pics from Lyle's Birthday.

Lyle's birthday was February 7th. On that Wednesday, I took him out for a romantic meal at La Cachette near Century City. Lovely French cuisine though after all the foie gras we'd had in Budapest Lyle said there was no way he could eat any more... and right after that he ordered the filet mignon with foie gras.

Lyle's parents came to visit on Friday so we held off and had dinner with friends and family on Saturday.

Here's the unbelievable part, I COOKED.

I made Beef Bourginion (very difficult Julia Child recipe that take 6 hours of prep time the day before. I make it ONCE a year - if you're lucky). And then I made my new favorite winter dish from Hungary, Pasta and Cabbage. Sounds gross in person but oh so tasty when cooked with duck or bacon fat.

For dessert we skipped the usual Sweet Lady Jane Triple Berry Cake and bought a berry cake from Susina Bakery. SLJ has the worst attitude and even more horrible customer service. To phone them is an exercise in futility and they really treat you like they are doing you a favor to charge you $65 for the privilege of getting a cake from them.

In contrast, Susina told us they normally need 24 hours to fulfill a cake order but managed to get us our cake in 8 hours and it cost only $55. Love Susina. In my neighborhood. Easy parking. All their desserts a yummy and the staff is even yummier.
I couldn't find the regular birthday candles. Did I throw them out when we moved? But I could find this Hello Kitty Candle I had purchased for Chandra's birthday! (note Mr. Cooper in the background looking very interested)

Lyle's special name tag off the cake!

Hello Kitty forms a conga line with the deer salt & pepper shakers.

Apropos of nothing, there was a large squirrel in our yard praying a the Buddha this week!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Candid indeed

Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna.

In front of the Secession building in Vienna.
You can see Robb taking a photo right behind Lewis.

Just outside our (2nd) hotel in Vienna.

Out shopping in the cold, cold Vienna sun.

In the lobby of our first Vienna hotel, the Bristol.

Robb & Lyle Class

I may have been stalking Robb...
Or is he the tree topper on my Christmas Tree?

Hurry, enjoy these while you may... I fear that when the Robb & Lyle see them, I may be asked to take them down. It's not that they are unflattering... perhaps it's just that they are "too" candid?
Hey, who's that goofy guy behind Robb?

Luggage still lost, Lyle has on "those" brown cords,
his only jacket, my gloves and Robb's scarf.

Actually, Lewis is not the one obsessed with crowns...

It's Lyle (and his willing, okay, directing photographer).

As the cold wind blew, Lyle's hair got BIGGER...

Jim Class

A recent announcement by British Airways states that they will soon be charging for a second checked bag. As you may recall, they also only allow ONE carry on bag.

People who don’t travel often sometimes scoff at how much we luggage we seem to take on vacation. In the winter I need to pack heavier coats, boots, scarves, gloves and the lot. Travelling to sunny climates is much easier. Flip flops two pairs of shorts and I’ll buy a T-shirt.

But why oh why, do I seem to pack so much?

The answer is simple: The Photos.

You never know where the photographers will pop up and you must be ready. Ready with a change of clothes so every single photo doesn’t look like it happened on the same day (unless you luggage gets lost, then you have to start rotating your clothes with your friends).

Here are some candid shots I haven’t posted. Think of this as the bonus feature on a DVD. Perhaps even the outtakes or Blooper reel...

You knew I had this photo!

Lewis is King!

While we were off on our lovely little European jaunt, it turns out Lewis Boscolo was crowned the new head of state for Hungary.

We didn’t know it at first, he tends to be so quiet and not share his every move, we first began to notice the paparazzi.
First we tried to hide behind our luggage...

Everyday task became more difficult while being followed...

Lewis tries to run from the cameras...

He threatens the photographers with bodily harm!

We found it kind of fun at first, basking in the overspill of attention...

Try as we might, we couldn’t escape them.

Lewis pleads for his privacy...

And then there was the obsession Lewis had with crowns...

We couldn't escape them even underground!

In the end, Lewis relented and gave the photographers some token shots to make them go away...
Styling outside Parliement before he addresses the nation as their new sovereign...
On a walk about with his cadre of security...

and then he showed us his new palace...
It's nice to hang out with royalty!