Friday, February 29, 2008

¡Hola Señor Beach!

We are staying on the far right. Villa Tuquesa.
Far away in the middle of somewhere... tonight we were in Playa Del Carmen for dinner. This was the trashy tacky souvenier shops of Mexico I had been searching for. Of course I only bought somethign from the most elegant one. Sorry, no one is getting a gold embroidered sombrero.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Undersea Adventures

Feeling better. Went 'norkeling yesterday and today. Today i learned that if you laugh out loud under water when your boyfriend does the Chicken Dance, you could drown.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Beach v Baños

Day 4 of holiday in Mexico- guess where i've spent the majority of my day? Trick question! The answer was bed.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Coaco de Maya

It won't travel so i am forced to eat this chocolate bar...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I want to thank all the little people...

This year for Oscar night, I will be in Mexico. Hopefully on a beach. So I will have no results. I will be Tivo-ing it to watch when I return. Don't spoil it for me. As I only watch happy movies I haven't seen nearly enough contenders to make a prediction, I won't even bother. Basically I can't really contribute anything to the discussion of what will happen at the Oscars this year...

But I can show you how it would look to win.

The Oscars are held at the Kodak Theater just up the street from my house in Hollywood. This year they had an exhibit where you could meet Oscar. I took Stephen and Mike when they were here visiting from Manhattan. Can you tell which of us has really rehearsed our acceptance pose?

The Oscar statuette weighs 8.5 pounds. Everyone kept commenting on how heavy it was. To be different I had to comment that it felt a little fake and plastic like.

Please enjoy the photos. Please don't sue me.

Imagine how disappointed I am to find out that it's not actually filled with chocolate.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Merida, Mexico

And now for something a little different. TRAVEL! We flew 4 hours, then drove three hours. South first then East. Where in the world are we? Merida, Mexico in the Yucatan.
Its hot. Its humid. Its got a slightly different keyboard. Its heaven on a stick. But since I am on vacation, I am not going all crazy with blogging. You know I prefer to write everything when I get home and have uploaded and retouched my pictures... I mean, color corrected.
Ate too much today. Siesta.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

History explained

I went and saw my great aunt Fran last Saturday.

In my mind there is a great memory that looms over my childhood of traveling to Santa Rosa and visiting family there. They had house with a pool! It was in California! They had a lemon tree outside their front door! It all seemed so glamorous like a TV show!

I was 14 when I got to visit all by myself. I was spending a few weeks with my grandparents in Sacramento and we we drove over to Santa Rosa to see the family. I was allowed to stay with my great aunt and uncle for a week, then they drove me back to my grandparents.

What a whirlwind of excitement awaited me! We played board games in the evening. I swam in the pool every day. It was so hot I wanted to fry an egg on the sidewalk, but my aunt made me use a pan so I wouldn't make a mess. I got to visit the junior league thrift shop my aunt volunteered in. My uncle golfed at the same club as Charles Schultz who drew my favorite comic strip "Peanuts" and even had a autographed card celebrating his golfing Hole-in-One framed on the wall. We drove to "THE CITY". Which could only have meant San Francisco.

I remember being in the backseat of their car as we returned over the Golden Gate Bridge when traffic slowed to a complete stop. I know my eyes were wide with amazement. We were at a dead stand still in the middle of the bridge.

Is this a TRAFFIC JAM?
Yes (heavy sigh) it is.
THAT'S SO COOL! - and I got out my camera to take pictures.
My aunt and uncle made reference to age and perspective making all the difference in how you view things like traffic jams, while they shook their heads at my naiveté.

I loved being with them, their family, their pool, their California-ness.

But they lived far away and they were all grown-ups by the time I started making my way around the world and grown ups were intimidating. So I didn't see much of them as I grew up.

My Grandmother sent me an email in October telling me that my great aunt Fran had a stroke. It was minor, she should recover. Perhaps I'd like her address? But I didn't write. I had no idea what to say.

Then my grandmother sent me my aunt's phone number. Told my great aunt she was going to and that Fran would love to hear from me. But I didn't call. I still had no idea what to say.

Last weekend we were going to be is San Francisco and I knew I just needed to go see her. I called on Friday to see if she would like a visitor on Saturday. She said that would be nice.

I rented a car Saturday morning (it was so civilized and adult like, I asked for a car at the concierge when we checked in, they arranged everything, and the car was delivered to the hotel the next morning) and drove by myself to Santa Rosa.

I was panicking. I couldn't go empty handed. I couldn't find what I wanted in THE CITY. I think I was filling my time afraid to go and see her. I stopped at a Target just off the freeway and found a couple of terra cotte pots and put some potted bulbs into them. That's what I had been searching for in San Francisco but had no idea where to look.

Back on the road I sped North. I was surprised how quickly the congestion of the land falls away as you leave THE CITY, but the traffic remained pretty consistent. Soon enough I was at my exit. I had mapquest directions that took me straight to her door.

After her stroke she was getting better right away, but a few weeks ago she fell and injured her leg so that's been a bit of set back. She has a full time live in assistant who let me in.

I was surprised how familiar every detail of the house was. Looking into her eyes, my aunt looked exactly as I remembered. As my gaze pulled out I could see her hair was now white and she suddenly looked like a little old lady. Sort of like one of those optical illusions where you can see two different things depending on where your eyes focused.

My aunt was always a stylish woman and I teased her that the solid soled black shoes she had on were a far cry from the shoes I remembered her wearing.

We chatted about stuff and junk. A couple of times I could see her stroke was affecting her speech. I think she has all the words were in her head, but she couldn't make her mouth spit them out. Then frustration set in and the words got pushed out of her mind by the emotion and she lost her place. But just a few times. She's definitely fully present.

I had no idea if she knew I was gay or not. I also knew I wasn't going to pretend I wasn't gay. She asked me what I was doing in San Francisco and I told her my partner, Lyle, had a seminar to attend and I had traveled with him. (Usually he's my husband, he used to be my boyfriend, if I'm being cautious I go polite with partner.)

She didn't flinch and then we started talking down that path. She asked more about him and I said how long we'd been together and that we'd even gotten married in Canada. She said that she'd heard about the wedding and that it sounded quite nice.
Yep, already gay.

She also told me that she knew I was gay when I was at her house when I was 14. She said she told my grandmother. I said I guessed every body knew except me. (Okay, I knew, but I wasn't telling anyone when I was 14) But she thought that no, not everyone was so certain. But she was. And the reason she told my grandmother was to reassure her and remind her to look after me because my life might be harder because of it (uh, hi, it was the late 70's or some such) and that it wasn't so easy back then. But she always knew I was unique and that I was special.

Then we talked about what an impression she and her house and her family had made on me, I pointed out that there were probably still board games in the cupboards right behind her, that I knew the reason the TV was moved into the living room for her was because there was one step down to get into the family room off the kitchen. I commented on the lemon tree at the front door and the lime tree by the pool.

I reminded her to tell me when she got too tired because I was there to visit and enjoy, not wear her out. At about 45 minutes, she said she was sorry, but that she was about worn out.

I gave her a kiss on the cheek and told her I loved her and left.

As I drove back to THE CITY my mind just swirled and swirled. I pulled off at an outlet mall in Peteluma to get out of the car and get air. I parked the car and cried. I went back to the hotel and laid down for a nap to give myself some time to process it all. It made me melancholy to think that at 90 years old, if my great aunt lives to be 100 I may not get back to Santa Rosa again to see her.

I realize now that perhaps the hold that she had over me from such a young age was that she knew my secret before I did and loved me just the same. At 14 I didn't know what was going on, but I obviously knew what unconditional love was and where it was coming from. I felt bad that I hadn't made more of an effort previous to the visit. I felt validated that she had been watching out and over me all this time.

I now have a better appreciation for the time I was given when I was young and I'm very thankful I made the time this last weekend to get to know my aunt and myself a little bit better.

Something New

So I am trying something new where I can blog from my phone. This was a pic of Lyle and Gwen in Vegas...

Happy Valentine's Day Paula Abdul

For Valentine's day we were invited to dinner with friends of ours who have an interest in a new restaurant. Celebrity investors. Celebrity chef. Celebrity friends. The restaurant that is, not our friends.

The idea of a celebrity chef cooking in the kitchen got Lyle all hot and bothered and we had to cancel some plane tickets to be there then we would fly the next day. But it would be so worth it!

Then the writer's strike ended and The Celebrity investor had to cancel. And perhaps because of that The Celebrity Chef decided to not come and cook either. A little disappointed, we hoped at least one Celebrity Friend would show up. At last our prayers were answered - in walked Paula Abdul.
I am always dumbstruck in front of celebrities. I just go all mush mouth. And I must freely confess before I get busted that I have viciously mocked Paula in all her appearances where she seems a little, how does one say it politely?... "more than legally happy"?

In fairness to myself I almost always follow up with either a Southern style disappater of "Bless her heart," or more commonly, "Well, say what you will she has more of a career that I do."

So in walks Miss Paula. She hovers in front chatting with a few guests. Then she heads our way. Just Lyle and I. Standing apart from all others. Completely anti social outcasts.

And as she goes by she turns her head and says, "Hello."

Undaunted by celebrity, Lyle pounces and strikes up a conversation, "How are you?" And just like that, we're off and chatting!

I tell her how nice her blouse is with its red and black pattern running through it especially paired with her red leather jacket (cut very asymetrical with studs - think Thriller video). How nice it was of her to wear red for Valentine's day. Paula opens up her red leather jacket to reveal that the lining of the coat matches the blouse. That always brings out the Stacy London in me, "Shut Up!" I shout, "That's so cool!"

"Not as cool as your jacket," she tells me. Now I have to share, and I guess its a post of all true confessions by me. I was wearing my father's Black and Blue satin tuxedo jacket from sometime in the late '70s. I'd had it altered to fit about a year ago but had yet to wear it. I've seen many similar jackets back on the racks in stores this past year so I knew it was once again au current but trust me when I tell you, that for a number of years there in the middle it was also known as hideous. I paired it with a solid black shirt and black Roberto Cavali tuxedo pants (thank you H&M!). It was a great outfit. But I was warned by Lyle before going that I was to stop telling people it used to be my dad's in the 70's. All I could say to Paula was "Aw, thank you... uh, it's um, vintage."

This is the infamous jacket in the 80's worn ironically with white patent shoes and a tiny bow tie for a tacky costume party.

Then Paula moved on and chatted with others. She was kind and gracious and her date for Valentine's Day was her mother.
At the end of the evening she was leaving and I just couldn't get the courage to ask for a photo. She was so tiny and so nice. I was so disappointed that I couldn't find something crazy to write here about her. Paula if you're reading this, let's get together again and get goofy. I'd like that very much.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Open and close

While in San Francisco last weekend I visited a former boyfriend. I don't have many of those and I am not one of those "keep all exes as friends" type of person. This one however was spectacular. And by spectacular I mean in many wrong ways.

I met him while visiting California many, many years ago. I thought we were a perfect match. I also thought he was too good to be true. I was right on one of those.

I moved to Southern California to be with him. I loaded up my then car, a 1964 Ford Galaxy, strapped an X-Car-Go container to the roof and motored off by myself.
Those red shorts with a mock turtleneck, multi-colored topsiders and my hair...
why there's only one era this could be, THE 80's!

I'd been there about a month and saw the writing on the wall, it wasn't working well. My mother was going to be in San Francisco for a Tupperware convention and I needed some motherly advice on my life, my alleged career, and this crazy thing called love. I drove up from LA to SF to get some mom face time. Trouble was I was not yet out to my parents. So there I am at a hotel by the airport in San Francisco having a cookie with my mom. This frustrated, floundering, pent-up moment that I seized upon to come clean with my mother in what I viewed as the gayest city in the world.
How's the move been?
Uh, okay.
Are you working?
Uh, not really.
You seem pretty unhappy. What's really going on?
IhatemylifeIhatemyjobthecarisactinguptheguyImovedheretobewithisnotwhath appearedandsinceImnotgoingtolivewithhimIdontknowwheretoliveandImaysoonrun outofmoney. (It all seemed to come out as one long word, but I've broken it up into separate words so that you can understand what I said - I hate my life I hate my job the car is acting up the guy I moved here to be with is not what he appeared and since I'm not going to live with him I don't know where to live and I may soon run out of money.)
My mother the ever clever one caught that little slip up in the middle of the long blurted out word. "Guy you moved to be with? I didn't know you were gay?"

We sorted it out, me relieved that I could finally be honest, her flooded with about an equal amount of angst as to what I was releasing onto her. And then she had to go back to her convention and I went to visit my grandparents in Sacramento for a week to think about my life.

When I returned to LA I went by my boyfriend's place to check messages on his machine. Now I was not a crazy stalker. We had worked out that I could use his phone number for all my job hunting and resumes. I even had a key to his place. But there were no messages for me. There was however a conversation recorded between him and another guy.

It was someone on a phone chat line. My guy admitted that he had a boyfriend but that it wasn't working and he was going to break up with him (that would be me). Then they discussed various parts of each other's anatomy (that was uncomfortable to hear). Then they made plans to meet up right after they got off the phone (and now I was very angry).

See what I mean, SPECTACULAR.

So I sat and waited. When he came home I confronted him and he easily admitted it all. He accused me of being the twisted one who kept listening when clearly is wasn't a message for me. My final words to him were that he was "a loser because I was a great guy and he was never going to find that out!" At the time of course I did not believe that. I thought I was a loser because I picked someone so handsome who would treat me so poorly. And that I probably deserved to be treated poorly because I didn't see myself as handsome, this was what I deserved and if only I hadn't listened to that message I could be blissfully unaware and keep going out with him.

I jumped in my car thrilled to have gotten in such a movie worthy last line and hit the gas to speed maniacally back to where I was staying with a different friend.

That's when the car threw a rod and shuddered to a stop on the side of the freeway. Movie worthy indeed.

Since I was now out to my mother I could actually call her up and cry on her shoulder. She and my sister concocted a plan and were both at my door in 24 hours having driven non-stop from Washington State overnight. They packed me up, called a tow truck to take away the car and recycle it, loaded me into the station wagon and we were on the road North 2 hours later. Me driving their car now as they had not had any sleep all night.

And I really hated that guy.

But then I went to London for the summer (hey, I had no plans anymore) and discovered the world was huge and my problems were very small. That allowed me to forgive a few people I'd been holding grudges against. But not that guy.

Then I met Lyle and I was so thrilled that someone so handsome could actually be nice to me. And that changed some of the bad feelings I still held inside about myself. But I still hated that other guy.

After about 10 years I think I became ambivalent. No longer so pissed off, but not seeking anything out to do with him either.

Finally, I moved on. About a year ago, I found his e-mail address at the end of a mass email a mutual friend had sent. I dropped him a note:
Hey ____, it’s Jim _____(I included my last name so he'd know it was from me).
I found your e-mail address and thought I’d drop you a note.
No, I am not selling insurance. Where do you live now? I live in Los Angeles.
Shoot me a note back when you get this (if you’d like).
And to my surprise he responded:
Hi Jim - What is up?
I live in San Francisco and have been here about 13 years - I can't believe
it. I work at ____. What is new with you?

So I wrote back:
Met a great guy. He wanted to go to school in LA. I told him ABSOLUTELY NOT. I’d had a bad go of it before in LA. So of course we moved to LA Day two of the Riots (back when I must have been, uh, um... 20?).
(and then I added a whole bunch of other pertinent details of my life)
To which I received this response:
You are going to hate me...I wasn't exactly sure who you were, oh the mind
is the first to go! Thank you for the update it triggers a flood of
thoughts. (and he shared a lot more specifics about his life)
See, what I had been stewing over for so many years, he didn't even have filed away. All that was a year ago. Last weekend we were headed up to San Francisco (which we never seem to do). I made vague plans to connect if we both had time.

I made the time. I dragged Lyle with me. I kept joking that I hoped he weighed 500 lbs and was bald. Each time promising myself that I wasn't really bitter. Then we met up and he looked good. Not exactly the same as he did 20 years ago, how could he? (not everyone is holding up the way that my friend Carolyn is.) But he is good. He is happy. He's been with his boyfriend for about 10 years and they have cats, a house and a full life. We nattered away for a while and then Lyle and I needed to leave to get packed to fly home.

After we left Lyle asked me if I got closure. Closure? I don't think I went looking for closure. I think I went looking for an opening. I really did like the person I first met long ago and perhaps would like to meet the person he's become today. And I also realized that somehow I just wanted to know that he was "okay". Because I thought he was probably pretty messed up back when I first knew him and I had always hoped he'd sort himself out as he matured. And now I know he has.

As we left I sent him a text, "Getting on BART. Officially out of earshot. You can start talking about me now."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Long time no see

Hiya. It's been a while. My life got a little full and I didn't have time to say hello.

Who wouldn't love to have their photo taken with a GIANT chicken?
Uh, my nephew Sam.

Who loves Biscuits and gravy?

Two weekends ago, while hosting our Manhattan friends, my sister and her family visited LegoLand. LegoLand is kinda far from LaLa Land where I live, and the traffic between here and there can be a nightmare. But on Saturday the were heading to Knott's Berry Farm. That was sort of a middle meeting place between us. How could I say no?
Uh, like in the morning?
Okay, sure.
Meet at 9?
Uh.... (resigned sigh) Sure.
So I got up at 7:30 on a Saturday (normal waking time any other day of the week, about 9) and got showered and dressed pretty to meet at Knott's Berry Farm for Breakfast. They got a little lost but ultimately it was well worth the wait. If only I'd have had more time to spend with them. However I was hosting a birthday party at my house that night for Lyle and had to get home to annoy him.
Our friend the amazing florist Brad kindly sent flowers because he could not come to the party. As lovely as they are (and so impressive!) I'd really rather he attended.

Lyle's birthday fell on Chinese New Year this year. So we threw a Chinese themed birthday party. It is the year of the rat this Chinese year. Rats are gross. So I completely ignored that part of the theme and just went with Chinese.

Last week I ran away to Palm Springs to escape the tar fume next door. While in the desert, I kidnapped another niece and brought her home for the weekend. Funny part is, I wasn't even home this past weekend. She did get to explore Los Angeles with another equally fabulous tour guide, Chandra (our permanent resident niece).

As guests left, and guests arrived, one thing remains consistent - my life is far too busy!

We attended a Valentine dinner on Thursday. Long story, extremely shortened, met Paula Abdul. Did not get a photo.

Lyle had a work function to attend in San Francisco over the weekend. So we flew out on Friday and back on Sunday. That's why I wasn't around the computer much at all.

All I am saying about our trip at this point is, I don't like to fly on United Airlines. They have bad customer service in their terminals. And I won't go on a rant about it this time. It was exhausting and I won't fly them again. Done.
The view from out room at the W Hotel in San Francisco.

Home now (just barely) and leaving again Friday.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ortolan Restaurant

Secret message just for me in the bathroom, so I took a photo just for you.

For Lyle's Birthday he requested a treat of going to the restaurant Ortolan. We stumbled across it just before Christmas while shopping down Third Street in Los Angeles. They were on tehefloor fixing chairs and we were looking in through the window. One of the owners came out the door and asked if we'd like to look inside. Of Course we would! We looked over the menu and knew we'd back. We also saw the pricing and knew we'd be back for a special occasion, not just on a Tuesday. As we left the restaurant, Lyle turned to me and said, "that co-owner is an actress. Who is she? And since I know everything I answered, "Six of 9 from Star Trek, Jeri Ryan." Which totally got Lyle excited because he watched that show.

We started off the evening with a visit from the champagne cart. How fabulous is that? A cart of champagne traveling about the globe offering ot bring me pleasure!
Our beloved server, Leila, made the night a smashing success.
I'm sure the champagne helped as well.

We opted for tehe Chef's tasting menu and before our meal the chef sent out an "amuse bouche" of soup. Potato Leek with mushroom foam on top or cream of mushroom soup with mushroom foam on top. In a test tube with a straw. My "bouche" was very amused. (Bouche is French for mouth)

Macaron of Foie Gras Confit with Quince Gelée. WOW. Whoever thought of placing foie gras between macaroons is a genius. I totally want this again. Right now.

Winter Vegetables in Five Ways, Consommee, Coulis, Carpaccio, Emulsion and Parfait. Yeah all that was done to vegetables. Fascinating textures.

Egg and Caviar Cooked in Hot Ash. Inside there is a soft boiled egg with vanilla whipped cream and cavier. It was an amazing taste combination of whipped cream sweet with cavier salt and egg savory. It just kept my mouth guessing!

The next course was Langoustine Ravioli in a chicken consumme wiht a piece of green cabbage. True to form, I was so hungry and the food was so good, I forgot to take a photo.

Roast Scallop with Ricotta Ravioli with a Fig and blood orange reduction. I am not a scallop fan. But everything else had been so good I tasted it. It wasn't bad. But it was still a scallop. I gave the other half of the scallop to Lyle. I did eat all the other stuff on my plate myself.

Steamed Turbot with calamari on a bed of white beans with a black truffle chip. I hate calamari no matter what you do to it. I loved the truffle chip.

Roast Venison Medallion with Chestnut served with a quince chip, pumpkin cubes and a cranberry sauce. Unbelivable. So tasty. So amazing. After that came the Cheese Plate of an herbed goat cheese with olive oil that I also forgot to take picture of.

A pre-dessert cleansing of the pallette with a grapefruit sorbet, and now on to the desserts! Check out the presentation of this:

Panna Cotta with a strawberry cavier.

It looked so perfect I had to take a photo of it after I had some to show that it really wasn't cavier.
Pear & Chocolate. This was three desserts featuring chocolate and pears. One was a sandwich of a biscuit covered in chocolate filled with a chocolate ganache then topped with a solid chocolate square that looked like a Lego piece. On the right side is a paper thin chocolate wrap filled with pear foam and in the front a giant chocolate turd (my description) of the richest chocolate ice cream. I had mine and Lyle's because he claimed he was getting full.

Of course then came his birthday candle dessert that was little petit fours. We managed to squeeze in a just a couple more of those as well.

I do have to mention the one disappointment in the evening was that Aretha Franklin did not come over to sing Happy Birthday to Lyle. Oh yeah, she was there as well.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Poisened in my own home!

The house next door (finally!) sold. The terrifically unpleasant people who lived (and fought) there are GONE. We are (to say the least) DELIGHTED.

Now comes the next phase. And we are trying to remain excited because it doesn't' matter who moves in next door, they have to be better than who just left... but (and you knew there was going to be a but...) the new owner isn't moving in.

The house is more than run down. It's a shack. Filth, mold, leaky roof, nasty old shag carpet, rotted window frames, and this is what I can see just from my kitchen window, all need to be fixed. I'm pretty certain they are going about the renovation without permits. No one could possibly get permits to do all that work in such a short time. And I don't care. I'm glad they are fixing it up.

I also believe they are fixing it up just to flip it. The foreman of the job has been quite cagey about who bought it and who is moving in. He has said they will be about 6-8 weeks as that is the normal time frame for when they "do one of these" and that they've "done quite a few with the owner". So yeah, it's a flipper.

Still I'm fine with it. I don't enjoy the dust. I don't enjoy the noise. I don't like all the workers trucks and cars parked in the street taking away parking from my car because I want to park my car on the street to get it out of their way and let them complete this task quickly. I'm all for it.

Then came Friday. And the giant tar baby machine in the back yard. At first it seemed like a mild annoyance. It smelled like May in elementary school when they patched the roof every year. "Oh boy," I thought, "School is almost out!" So we closed up that side of the house to keep the tar fumes out. Then we closed up the other side of the house because the tar fumes drifted. We started to cough and wheeze so we drank more water. I'd lent the car to our visitors from NYC and had nowhere to go or any way to get there. So Chan, the dogs and I just sat here in the closed up box of tar fumes and coughed.
The workers quit at 5. At 4:45 I opened a test window on the opposite side of the house. Still more fumes outside than in. When Lyle came home about 6 he began opening up the house. By this time I was just delirious. I knew a fan would help blow good air in from outside, or should I position the fan to blow the bad air outside? Should I plug it in the hallway, or the kitchen or in the living room... I wandered about the house in a tar fume coma with a fan in my hand and no idea what I was doing.

We opened every window and door then took the dogs and all of us out of the house and went for half hour walk to clear our heads. I swore all night that I could smell tar in the house.

On Saturday Lyle talked to the workers to complain about the great smokeout. They weren't doing more tar on Saturday but plan to tar again for about 3 hours on Monday. I can't take it. Lyle will go to work for the day, but where will Chan, the dogs and I go?
We are going to Palm Springs! We decided to abandon ship and head for the hills. I hear the weather has vastly improved and the pool is calling my name.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Stephen and Mike are visiting! The weather is cooperating (it was 81 today). And all is right in my world...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Birthday LYLE!!!

I can not and will not reveal the age. But it was on this day.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

You must have been a beautiful baby...

All together now, "Awwww...."

I was just going through some old photos and thought it was time to share far too much about myself.

White shoes? I hope this wasn't after Labor Day.

Look how happy I am to throw things at the paparazzi!

My brother, my sister and me. This is the most pattern I have ever seen on my brother. My sister seems to be wearing tights from the early Versace collection. I would never wear overalls by choice. I think I look a little drunk.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I want my $10,000


Three trillion dollars is about what the U.S. federal government will spend this year for domestic and defence programs and benefit entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, according to President George W. Bush's latest federal budget proposal Monday.

Written out, a trillion is a one followed by 12 zeros, or 1,000,000,000,000. That's a million times one million, or a thousand times one billion.

There are about 6.8 billion people in the world, meaning that every living person would get $441 if the U.S. government's budget was divided up. If the money was split among the 300 million Americans, everyone would take home $10,000.

Counting to three trillion at a rate of one number a second would take almost 95,000 years.

Looking at it another way, one would have to circumvent the globe 120 million times to travel 3 trillion miles - or 4.8 trillion kilometres. Similarly, that would be some 17,000 round trips to the sun. The universe, 15 billion years old at the outside, would need another 200 such lifetimes to reach three trillion years.

The article goes on to say that a person given $1 million a year to spend would need three million years to blow $3 trillion. Or by my calculations if you had 3 trillion dollars and you were to spend one million a day it would take you 8219 years to go through your fortune. Meanwhile the United States, led by our Republican president (not one of them whack job "tax and spend" Democrats - he says ironically), can blow it all in one year and still not provide healthcare for all its citizens.

And since this is "Super Tuesday" and you may be voting, Paul had this little graphic on his website the other day that compares statistics on the US from when Bill Clinton left office and where we stand now. Not pretty.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Many happy returns of the day go out to fellow blogger Lewis and his husband Blair who today were able to register as Domestic Partners in Oregon.

You never forget your first gay wedding. To quote Martha Stewart, "It's a good thing."

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Poor Cooper. He never gets to go anywhere. We got Cooper from a shelter when he was about two. We've had him for a couple of years. When he is good he is a delight. When he is bad, not so delightful. Last summer was his first trip to the beach. This last weekend was his first overnighter.

We took the dogs to Palm Springs. We have so much going on this month we felt like we were going to be spending a lot of time away from the pups. Since we could take them, we did take them.

When we go out each night for the evening walk, Cooper pauses next to the car and looks up at me, then the car. Me, then the car. I tell him no, and we go for our walk. He tells me often how much he wants to go out of the yard. To go far and see sights. To ride in the car. You spend enough time with the dogs, the start to talk to you. You spend too much time with the dogs, you start to understand.

Finally his dream was realized on Friday and we packed up the dog bag, the leashes, the pills, the water bowl, the dog gate, two towels for the back seat, dog toys, a bag of treats and most importantly - THE FOOD. That's when Lola sat down under the dining room table and waited. She knew that wherever that food was going, so was she.

They were very well behaved all weekend.

Then came time to go home. Eager to get in the car and follow the same packing routine we loaded up and all of us got in. Then Cooper began to fuss. And whine. And pace the backseat. We thought he'd settle down once we got on the freeway. We planned on stopping at the outlet mall in half an hour. He'd get out be better after that... Nope.

The winds kicked up. The rain began to fall. It would have been a great dust storm if it hadn't been for the rain. Instead it was more like a mud hurricane. As we neared the outlet mall is was pissing rain and howling wind. "Keep driving," I told Lyle.

We got stuck on the highway for an additional half hour due to an overturned car that closed off two out of four lanes. All the while Cooper cried.

Lyle took two aspirin without the benefit of water. I sucked on a throat lozenge as I had a sore throat. Lola tried to sleep. Cooper cried. I yelled at Cooper. Cooper whined and cried.

Halfway home the rain let up briefly so we pulled over to let Cooper potty. That had to be it. Then he would be a good boy and ride quiet the rest of the way home. Right? Nope, he barely peed then pulled to return to the truck. I've seen him pee more on a tree at the end of half hour walk around the neighborhood just to mark his territory! Back in the car it was another hour of crying before we made it home.

I ate a bowl of ice cream with frosting slathered on top to induce a sugar coma so I could fall asleep and clear and my head. UGH.

Other than that a lovely weekend. Visit with Lyle's parents. Visit with Robb's family (Hi Robb, thanks for updating your blog!) . No sun to speak of. No shopping of any consequence. Dinner at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion restaurant in the middle of the desert. I still have a slightly sore throat that started last week and just won't go away. It won't come on stronger either. Just that nagging tickle...

I've got big plans for the rest of the month, so I shan't be letting any throat tickle slow me down. Onward and upward, better living though medication!

Friday, February 01, 2008

P.S. I love you

But not the traffic it takes to get to you. Of course I am talking about Palm Springs. Lyle's parents have rented a house for the month of February in the desert.

We have one weekend in February available and this is it (so I guess that actually means no weekends available in February).

Before you conjure up visions of glamorous poolside cocktail parties I will let you know that the weather forecast for Saturday in Palm Springs is a high of 58°. WHAT?!?

Robb's mum will be driving in from Arizona to visit friends and relatives at the same time so we will get some visiting in with her as well.

I see outlet mall in my future. Coat wearing, sunglass shielding, glove loving outlet shopping.

I have no plans to take the laptop. So until Monday, this is it.