Monday, April 30, 2007

Gwen Stefani

Following on the heals of a full Thursday, Friday night Lyle, Chandra and I went and saw Miss Gwen Stefani in Concert.

She put on a great show though in my opinion it was no Madonna Concert. In Lyle's opinion it was no Simon & Garfunkle. In Chandra's opinion we needed to shut up.

You know the old addage, "If it's too loud, you're too old"? My goodness, that concert was loud!

And perhaps we were too old as we were surrounded by adults younger than us who were attending with their children. Who takes their 10 year old to a concert that has songs with four letter words?

How come my parents weren't that cool?
Chandra and her mini-harijuku girl. In the background someone's grandfather looks on...


Rachel's birthday was Thursday, Happy Birthday Rachel!

Since Rachel, Chandra and I all have annual passes to Disneyland and California Adventure we decided to go make a festive day of it.

As you may notice, I tortured Rachel by forcing her to wear a tiara and a button that read, "Birthday Girl". Yeah, forced her... she willingly obliged.

Joining us, were Rachel and Chandra's friends Christine and Emery.

Above is a photo of the photo they take at the top of "Tower Of Terror". Christina was a tad frightened.
Here we all are looking happy and snappy in California Adventure.

The cheapest form of entertainment (after you pay your hefty entrance fee) is to try on hats, laugh and take photos. But do NOT purchase. Honestly, where are you gonna wear those hats outside Disneyland?
Chandra models the Jack Skellington Mouse ears.

Princess for a day (or week, or year...)

A fitting photo finish to a lovely special birthday.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gym day

Or should that be "Jim Day"?

The gym I go to in West Hollywood (Crunch) is full of famous people. I don't tell you this to brag. I don't tell you this to boast. I tell you this because I believe nothing exciting happens to me in my everyday life but when I tell someone who doesn't live here who goes to my gym they get excited.

Let me also add that I do not speak to these people. They do not approach me. So blasé about celebrities are we in LA that no one even gapes or points them out. To be fair, we do a triangular approach where you check them out by looking in a mirror that reflects another mirror by way of a window. Or you pretend you know someone behind them and look at your mystery friend.

All that being laid out, about two years ago I saw Drew Barrymore on the treadmill.
Yes, she looked just like that. Except she had dark hair, a hat on, and clothes.

Yesterday Randolf Duke (fashion designer and TV commentator) was there. After my long intro on how I never speak to any of these people I must now confess that my friend Tony has a friend who is Best Friends Forever with Randolph and I have actually met him and spoken with him. But didn't yesterday.

He was also wearing a hat while at the gym.

I haven't seen Mr. Ian Ziering since I joined the gym. I did see him there within the first few months of joining, but not since then. Best known for being on the show "Beverly Hills 90210" he is now on "Dancing With the Stars".
There are signs in the gym that they have a TV watching party at the restaurant downstairs on Mondays to "SUPPORT OUR IAN!" I don't' attend.

And finally, just to torment all the people who watch "Grey's Anatomy" yesterday also had an official sighting of "Dr. McSteamy" Eric Dane. As casual as we all are, that one seemed to get a lot more cross triangulation viewing than others.

You have to wonder if it's like in the Movie "Soapdish" when Sally Fields' character feels needy and she goes to a mall in New Jersey to be "surprised" by her adoring fans. Are these people at my gym a) keeping it real; b) too cheap to go somewhere private; c) looking to be noticed; or d) who really cares? This is LA after all!
This photo of Eric Dane was not taken in the gym shower. He also was fully clothes while at the gym but surprisingly, he was not wearing a hat.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bad Computer, no biscuit!

My lovely superfast regular computer has been very bad lately. Crash, crash, crash. I have no idea as to why other than the warranty ran out March 6, and all this began about March 15.

If they are smart enough to build a computer, don't you think they are smart enough to program it to break down two weeks after the warranty runs out?

Anyway, not to complain I am sharing this for a reason. I am now working via the laptop computer. So I can get work done, just a little slower.

But here's the vexing part, I do not want to re-do all my itunes and iphoto stuff to the laptop and then in a week or so have to re-rig all back to the bigtime computer. So, bear with me, I am not planning on uploading any pictures to the laptop. Consequently, I am not getting any new photos here fora bit.

I thought this blog would be boring just writing about my day-to-day activities but at least the photos gave us all something to look at. Now (yawn) I have no idea what to do...

I've got to buy a plane ticket to somewhere soon!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Here are two sets of "before and after" pictures of the backyard. I guess technically they are "after and Before" photos because I put the after pics first as I like them better.

I've got one more set, but my computer hates me and crashed repeatedly yesterday as I tried to match the last set up. So keep your fingers crossed for those.

After - a babbling brook meanders past Buddha. In the background a grapefruit tree tries to make a comeback. To the right of the photo, tomato plants!
Before - a solid hedge takes up tree feet of yard. A cement oval sits in the middle of the yard for no reason. The grapefruit tree is completely obscured by creeping bamboo plants. You're guide to comparing the changes, in the center behind Lyle is a tree trunk that is also in the center of the photo prior. It is to the left of the neighbor's garage wall, now painted terra cotte.

After - The lemon tree in the center has a low rock wall built out of the old cement patio that used to be in the backyard. A gracious pathway leads you through the yard. The dog poop is cleaned up more than once a week (an improvement over the last tenants who cleaned up once a year - if that)
Before - Ugh. Where to start? That blue bucket in the back and the square cement planter in the back are both filled with dog poo. No one was ever going to take it away... There is no grass. The wooden walkway started in the middle of a dirt yard and ended in dirt as well. To compare photos, you can see the corner of the fence and shed behind the garage meeting right behind the lemon tree trunk.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Spring Harvest

Here's the deal, I have always envisioned myself as having a bit of a black thumb. Everything I plant dies. This year as we started from scratch in the front and back yards, I wanted (okay, DEMANDED) that we produce some food in the gardens.

There is no way it's cheaper. Not when you factor in the water we pay for to grow the stuff. And don't even factor in the hours it takes of tending it day after day. The simple fact is it tastes better. WAY BETTER.

But there I am with my black thumb begging Lyle to plant something because he has such a handsome green thumb.

This year, I seized my opportunity. Fresh yard, fresh year, fresh thumb. Or so I hoped. As a caution against being disappointed, I assume that everything I plant will die. Imagine my delight when only half die. Or this year, imagine my delight when only about 25% do poorly! Yes, contrary to what I could have you believe, not all I sink into the land turns gold. But since I assumed so much would fail, I have greatly over planted to compensate. Hence my joy in bringing you these lovely photos.

Two weeks ago the garden surrounding the fountain in the front yard.

Today, the garden around the fountain in the front yard! (pre-harvest)

When I was in Arizona visiting Mickey Utendale, she made an amazing salad of tomatoes layered with peeled oranges, sweet onions, chopped basil and then drizzled with balsamic vinegar. (more details on request, if you need them) The beauty of the recipe is that besides the onion, I have everything else growing in my yard!

Oranges and tomatoes from the back yard. I commented to our horticulturist friend, Brad, that the tomatoes didn't look ripe, but they were falling off the vine. He told me perhaps they were a different variety that didn't turn red on the outside. He's right!
So for dinner tonight we had the tomato/orange salad, rotisserie chicken, fresh garden green salad with duck confit (planned over from Christmas) and for dessert Lyle made tiramisu. Ugh, I need to go to the gym...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Secret vacation

Robb was headed to his mother's house in Casa Grande , Arizona for Easter. So of course he flew to Los Angeles.

He came in on Thursday evening and on Sunday we drove to Arizona in the convertible. It only took us 12 hours. Okay, we took some odd routes, made a number of stops (including the outlet mall outside Palm Springs - that about 3 hours) but we finally made it there about 11 at night. For all my effort, I got a lovely sunburn because not only had the car been topless, so had I.

In trying to put some things down here, I realize Robb took all the photos and he still has them in his camera. Oops. All the pictures I have are the new header photo up above and this picture of Robb down below. The cactus pic, I stole from the internet.

Mickey's house in Arizona is fab. Great color scheme, great layout and so welcoming. But then All of John and Mickey's houses have been like that so it came as no surprise. Casa Grande, AZ is about 45 minutes south of Phoenix. Or one could say smack in the middle of nowhere unless you think fertilized fields count as somewhere.

All there was to do was eat, drink, hang out by the pool and visit with each other. I managed to do all four.

I extended my stay one extra day to see Lewis when he flew down on Wednesday. Boy was he glad to be out of the North and all its weather woes.

I drove back on Thursday. It took 6 and half hours with far fewer stops. Sadly I put on too strong a sunscreen and didn't get nearly the sunburn I had planned for the return trip.

Surprise! Robb was in town!