Friday, October 30, 2009

It's the Great Pumpkin family reunion, Charlie Brown!

So many pumpkins to choose from! How will we decide?!

Gourds are nice. And funny. These look like hats.

These gourds are either swans or snakes coming out of basket... or easy carry with those handles.

As far as the eye can see....

Trio of cupcakes. I think we all know where that tombstone is going...

Look at me, I'm a Deatheater!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Countdown to Costumes, "Eat your Wheaties"

This was last years costume.
I was in Seattle on my way to my parents 50th wedding anniversary. My nieces asked me if I was going to go trick or treating with them. I said. "Of course!" They asked what I was going to wear (this was in August). I said, "HOT PANTS!" Then I was stuck trying to figure out a costume that I could wear hot pants with, in Seattle, in October, in a neighborhood where my brother's family lived, surrounded by children, and not walking down the street in West Hollywood surrounded by drag queens... this was going to be tougher than I thought.

Wheaties was my answer. By the way, it was COLD.

I'm considering wearing this costume again this year (in West Hollywood) but adding a blood effect and carrying a large fake knife. I would be... wait for it... a CEREAL KILLER.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Everyone knows its Windy!

Yesterday we had a HUGE wind storm in Los Angeles. Gusts from 20-70 mph. I battened down the hatches, put everything away that I could find and sat inside waiting to see the Wicked Witch of the West fly by on her bike.

The above picture is our back yard the next morning filled with leaves, twigs and branched (and a squirrel). The wind blew over our patio umbrella even though it was closed and had a VERY heavy base. It also snapped off some bamboo we have in a pot on the back porch. No "damage" per se.

In the front of the house we have two palm trees. The wind cleaned them out. I went out every two hours and pulled the fronds out of the road and out of our driveway. By the end of the day I had a pile the size of a VW Bug.

Across the street, a large branch came down on top of a car. Darn it, I was too slow to get a photo of the car covered, but there is the branch.

And then just next door, a tree came down. Thankfully the owner's car wasn't home until a few hours later. 20 foot tree, buh-bye.

Countdown to Costumes, "Hey Sailor..."

The secret to a good costume is repeatability. Wear it in one loacation one year, then move to a different location the next.
Hawaii, 2006 (pants on)

West Hollywood, 2007 (pants off)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Countdown to Costumes, "Who was that Masked Man?"

Some years you got it. Some years you don't. This year with the black masks, was a totally lame year. It was Halloween day and we were still calling each other asking, "Are you going out?" "Do you know what you're going to be?" "Where should we go?" Everyone had the same answer, "I dunno."

I took matters in to my own hands. I called a few friends (safety in numbers) and told everyone to be at our house at 9 pm. "Wear all black," was all I told them.

I went to the local "sexy store" the Pleasure Chest and purchased a black leather mask for everyone coming out. Costume solved.

We went to our fallback local friendly bar. Location solved.

Then people asked us what we were supposed to be. Uh...

"I can't reveal my secret identity."
"Madonna's back up dancers from 'Justify My Love'."
"A hotter version of the Lone Ranger."
"What do YOU think we are supposed to be?"

But we had a great time and that's what matters most.

Fast forward a few years and the masks make a comeback:This year we had our answers, with the addition of black feathered wings and a lot less clothing, we were Fallen Angels and we were strutting our stuff down Santa Monica Blvd. WORK!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Countdown to Costumes, "What a Drag!"

Our first Halloween out together. It was crazy.We bought white smocks from the university book store (thank you science department) tailored them in slightly, added silver buttons and... Voilá, Clinique Ladies from Hell!

It helped that at the time I worked for Nordstrom and my cosmetics manager loaded me up with the goods. We had out "Silent partner pins" on, "Moisture Surge, Ask Me How!", we had free samples, "Ooooo, that doesn't look good, here, try this moisturizer." and we wore basic black loafers (no heels), "Girl, I am on my feet behind that counter all day. I need comfortable shoes!"

We went to the Seattle Aquarium Party (a big gay fest) and there was a "costume parade" that I thought would be super fun to do. I convinced Lyle and my brother to go along with me and we were shocked, (SHOCKED!) to discover that the parade led you directly onto a stage where you were interviewed for the costume CONTEST. The microphone came towards us and they asked us what we were, "Clinique Women From Hell" I replied meekly (turns out, if you put a wig on my head I loose my personality). They asked a few more questions that I can't recall, but the audience turned on us and started to make restless noises, at which point Lyle grabbed the mic and started shouting that they were all ugly and needed makeovers. We left in hurry after that.

Two years later we returned to the scene of the crime with Robb in tow. Lyle refused to dress in anything girlie and this was our compromise:
Catholic school girls out on a field trip with their priest. Lyle was consistently molested and bothered by people in his priest outfit. He regretted not going as an ugly woman like the rest of us.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Countdown to Costumes, "Giddy Up!"

In San Francisco for Halloween I learned that it is NOT West Hollywood. It's COLD!Note Lyle's last minute "Cowboy Costume". It consisted of his own jeans, his own flannel shirt and sued vest paired with a child's cowboy costume from the drugstore. Tiny felt chaps, a neckerchief, a sheriff's badge and a hat.

I was Peter Pan. I know, not really a costume if you wear it every day, it's just an outfit.

Ten years later and Lyle finally gets the costume he wanted years ago:
This was the year we rented "Real Hollywood Costumes" from Western Costume. Lyle has sueded chaps, a fringe vest (his own Dolce and Gabanna denim shirt, he is gay after all) and oh, that's my cowboy belt.

Notice how I always wind up in a tunic or some really short shorts (or underwear)? Let's face it, I'm all about the legs.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Countdown to Costumes, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!"

Halloween is coming in less than ten days! What to wear? Who to be? Where to go? It's all so complicated!!!
This is one of the first Halloweens that Lyle and I went out together. We went as "New Year's Eve". Such a lame yet fun costume. Wear a nice suit or tuxedo, take an empty (or full yet soon to be empty) bottle of champagne, and lots and lots of confetti.

We were at a party in Pullman Washington. Oh the horror. We went because we had promised a friend we would go visit him at college. His date was a DJ for a local radio station. We got free admission to a college town radio sponsored party. SHUDDER.

There was a set of "Miller Beer Girls" and I don't think it was a costume for them, I think they were working. Shorter than short outfit, higher than high hair. Every time they walked by we blew our horns, shouted "Happy New Year" and threw fistfulls of confetti at them. Our goal was to weigh down that hair until it fell flat.

After about 10 laps past us, four girls stopped dead in front of us.

"Hey, have you guys been throwing confetti at us all night!?"
Uh, no... we lied.
"Are you certain?" demanded the girls while pointing at the mound of confetti that surrounded our feet.
Oh, uh... um... sorry... We were SO BUSTED.
"So uh, do you guys wanna dance?" the lead girl asked Lyle as her second in command stepped towards me.

Well crap. I forgot this is how straight people flirt. Throw things at people you like. Torment those you are interested in. Small college town, straight bar, not my usual comfort zone... we were trapped and said, "I guess."

Our first dance was the ever popular "Cocaine" by Eric Clapton. I loathe that song. Then a slow song came on and Lyle and I were each drawn in closer by our dance partners. Aside from being freaked out that a Miller Girl was touching me, I found the whole scene surreal and hilarious. Whether you believe in God or not, you'll have to admit my prayers were answered when suddenly the music came to a screeching halt. The power had been overloaded and they blew a fuse. Before anyone could make a different suggestion (like, "you wanna go outside?") I blurted, "Well, I guess I should get back to my friends," and bolted to the bar. Lyle followed right behind me.

Lessons learned:
1.) Don't throw confetti at the same people all night.
2.) Remember during introductions to college girls that key phrase, "I'm gay."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parental Visitation

My parents came to town for a week. It's been three years since they were here last. My mom always says it's easier for me to come see them, then I counter with they're old and have nothing better to do than travel. We then sit down with a calendar and start to go over the year available.

January: I'm busy with work
February: It's gross here and it rains too much
March: We usually travel
April: Perhaps we'll travel twice this year?
May: Mother's Day and my mom's birthday
June: Too hot here for my parents
July: Too hot here for my parents
August: Too hot here for my parents
September: Too hot here for my parents
October: Work is very busy for us.
November: Thanksgiving
December: Christmas

So you see, there aren't a lot of times that work. Happily, October worked this year, and my parents took the train from Seattle to Los Angeles. a glorious, glamorous 36 hour ride on a train. I think they are crazy.

They arrived on a Tuesday night and on Wednesday we went to the Getty Center.
My dad got stuck in an artsy shot by me.

I showed them the panoramic view (that was hemmed in by fog at the outer reaches) and we did a small tour of the more modern paintings the Getty has.
Vincent van Gogh, View from the wheatfields.

After two hours, my dad said, "I'm done." That's about my endurance looking quietly at art as well. Looks like I come by that honestly. So we stopped and had a snack and some water (it's important to keep the parents fueled up).

On the tram that takes us back down to the parking area, we saw the vineyard on the hill of Bel-Air, The Moraga Vineyards.
It seems so surprising to find "farming" right there in the middle of the city, between the freeway and million dollar mansions.

When I asked my parents what they wanted "to do" while in town, they told me, "Just sit and visit. We don't have to go anywhere." Of course my response was, "No, we have to go somewhere, I can't talk to you both for 7 days with no break."

We took a driving tour out to Fillmore to buy pumpkins for Halloween. We drove out to Pasadena to see if we could see where the Station Fire had been in September (couldn't really see anything). We drove through downtown and Chinatown and around the Staples center. My parents enjoyed "tour by car" and only walked when I forced them out and into stores. We ate at Gladstone's on the beach in Malibu. We went out for dinner for our anniversary. We left them at home and went out for dinner another night for our anniversary. We ate a lot.

I watched the baseball playoffs with my dad.

Did you read that? I couldn't believe it either. But I did get smart and recorded it on Tivo so I could fast forward over all the commercials. Man, there are a LOT of commercials in baseball!

We had a Tupperware party.

My mom has been selling Tupperware longer than I have been alive. She is the Tupperware Queen. In an effort to give people a reason to come over and see/meet my parents, we had a Tupperware party.

My mom sent Tupperware down to my house in advance, and then supplemented her display from what I have in my cupboards. I have a lot. After the party, people went into my kitchen and looked in the cupboards and accused me of just putting everything away in Tupperware because my mom was here. I had to confess, no, I live like that every day.
Tupperware Prizes!

On our last day, the weather was gorgeous and I took my parents down to Venice.
That's quite a range for the outside temp, 68-84. I guess you're bound to be right at some point.

Dad was not amused that I kept shouting, "Don't jump! Don't jump!"

Baywatch Barb(ie).

We drove back through the canals of Venice. Something I had not down before. I want to go back. It was pretty.
You knew there were canals in Venice, CALIFORNIA... right?

Late last night I caught my mother doing something I NEVER thought I'd see. Seriously. As long as I've been alive. I NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE THIS:
My mother with a Ziplock bag!

Is it weird that I'm saying I'm happy to be sad today? My parents left this morning and I wish they had stayed longer. I'm glad it wasn't the other option. My parents left this morning and I was wondering why they stayed so long.

So before you know it, I was back at the train station in downtown Los Angeles and my parents were being whisked away for another 36 hour ride home.
They never moved so fast all week!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The parental units are in town!

So I've been busy entertaining them. (Just in case you were wondering why nothing much has been posted around here.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Five years has flown by!

As a follow up to the post two days ago, it was five years ago that Lyle and I got hitched in Canada. Thanks Canada!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Missing something...

I miss my KYLIE!!! So I figure you must as well.

Here she is having some fun backstage:

And here she is putting those skills to work on stage:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Watch 20 years in a minute and half

It was twenty years ago today...

One of the earliest photos I have of us... gee, getting off an airplane. Already made friends with the flight attendants. Who knew this would be my life?

So no, this isn't a Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club post. Twenty years ago Lyle and I met and knew we were on to something good. I'm not a mushy person (well not in print) but I honestly can't imagine my life any differently. Through good and bad, I wouldn't want to be any where else with anyone else. (Though I'd gladly let Kylie Minogue tag along.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mazel Tov!

Signed into law: "Senate Bill 54 will clarify that same-sex couples who married outside of California before Proposition 8 went into effect last year are recognized as married spouses."

Guess who just found out they are legally wed in California? US!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Looking backwards at September

I've been so busy, I didn't have a chance to mention my trip to New York.

Fine, I'm lying. I went on a trip to New Jersey. But I did manage to snag about 20 hours in Manhattan at the end.

Lyle got unexpectedly sent to New Jersey for work. Our planned pleasant weekend at home together got the boot and he flew off to New Jersey on a Thursday morning. On Friday I was lamenting that I missed him and was "not digging being home alone". So he said, "Get on a plane."

Right. Like I'm gonna' find a house and dog sitter for the weekend, buy a ticket to fly on the same day, pack, ditch work and fly over five hours... all for the opportunity to stay near a convention center in New Jersey?

It must have sounded better than that, because I got it all organized in under half an hour.

Friday night I went to a friend's birthday party with my luggage in my trunk. After the party I drove to LAX and boarded a plane at midnight. I arrived in New Jersey at 8 am.

You know how sometimes stuff happens in your life and you say out loud, "I just want my mom." Well, stuff had been going on in my life and it turns out, "I just wanted my husband." It was a lovely thing to notice.

The convention in Edison, New Jersey was less than stellar (and so was the nearest mall). I felt like I had been locked inside a low rider boom box bass unit for 8 hours at a time. The cast of characters that passed by was the land that time in front of a mirror had forgot. I won't immortalize it here. I don't want to remember it.

But we had a good time. Lyle and I. We had a good time because we were together. And we had a good time because for our last night in New Jersey, we moved into Manhattan. We had dinner out with two stellar people that we never get to see, then walked around SoHo at midnight. We woke up in one of our favorite cities the next morning, and had lunch with another beautiful friend. I may have been in the wrong place (Edison New Jersey convention center) but I was with the right person.

We came back to the hotel one night to find this tour bus parked out front. I think this would be a brilliant business model.

We ate at Bobby Flay's restaurant, Mesa Grill. We had the coconut cake.
THE coconut cake.
OMG. Delicious!

We had a chance to walk the newest park in Manhattan, the Highline. It's an old elevated railway that nature had taken over. They kept seeds from all the plants that had thrived here before they turned it into a park, and once the park was completed returned the seeds to the soil. Its an amazing space.

Can you believe it!? There they go again, using my body without my head. It's all a ploy to get around paying me my royalties.
THIS, is how it's supposed to look!

Our last fleeting shot of NYC. Meatpacking district, just under the Highline park (up there on the right), pretty sky.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Wow, Wow, Wow, WOW!

Its good that I write this blog and don't have to record it. I've lost my voice. Two nights of Kylie in a row can have that effect. Seeing Kylie in concert was a moment 21 years in the making. From the first time I saw a Kylie video in London in 1988, to this weekend, I've been waiting far too long.

Since we've been traveling so much lately, Lyle asked to be let off the hook for going with me to see Kylie in Las Vegas. I immediately agreed that both he and the dogs would be happier with that plan, but who would go with me? I needed someone just as crazy as me, if not crazier... A couple of names were tossed around and our friend Erica won the honor! (Bless her heart, she is definitely as crazy if not crazier, than I am.)

We flew out of Burbank Saturday at noon and checked into the Palms Place Hotel at 1:30.
The Palms sign looms large. Matt Goss, Kylie Minogue Live Tonight, and in the background, our room on the 25th floor of the Palms Place Tower.

We had the perfect plan, check in, change into swim togs, grab a bite at the restaurant next to the pool, than bake it the desert sun until it was time for dinner. We changed into our swim costumes, went down to Simon LA (the restaurant next to the pool) and watched in horror as the wind blew everything and everyone around the pool away. Our plan was looking foolish. Then right in front of us a table set for 25 began to fill... "Rockstars!" whispered Erica under her breath at me. My breathing stopped and I waited... could it be?... could it be? could Kylie be grabbing a quick meal right here in front of me before she performs tonight........?


Erica stands up with a quick whispered, "It's not her," followed with, "I'll be right back." and walks right over to now seated table. It's Slash and his wife Perla. Erica has her own high profile life and it just figures, she knows them. After we left, Erica grilled me on how gay was I and did I have any idea who that was. I said I knew that guy was a guitar player. I knew that guy was ranked in the top 5 of all guitar players. I thought I had seen that guy play a solo behind Michael Jackson or someone on a special of some sort... I think that guy wore a top hat. She said, "That's Slash and he was in a band called Guns N' Roses, but when you tell people just put GNR (all caps) and they should know." By the way, she was actually impressed that I could place the other information at all, so was I.

Blown off by the pool, of course we went shopping. It sucked. Not nearly enough sales.But what else could we do to kill time before the big event... getting dressed to see Kylie! I kid you not when I share with you that I was literally jumping up and down in the hotel room while I was getting ready. It was (brace yourself) BIGGER THAN CHRISTMAS for me.

Since I also saw Kylie the next night at the Hollywood Bowl, I've put all the photos together regardless of which night. I thought the second time I would be calmer and less excited. But as we drove home from the airport on Sunday, past the Hollywood Bowl, I realized I had once again stopped breathing at the mere sight of Kylie's name in lights.

You have no idea what an achievement it was to get Erica anywhere out on that balcony.

I know I already posted this, but here is the set list from the Oakland show. She pretty much stuck to it for both shows I saw. The only variance was in Vegas, before the the second encore song, she sang a verse from an unlisted song (shouted out by an audience member) and in Los Angeles she cut the song "The One" and sang a very slow and sweet version of "I Should Be So Lucky".

Our seats in Vegas were fantastic. Our seats at the Hollywood Bowl (though further from the stage) also FANTASTIC. I think we can all agree that no matter where I sat I would have been in heaven.

I can't really place into words all the feelings that rushed over me and how excited I was. Erica kept telling me to not pass out because she couldn't carry me in her heels.

Here are some photos I snapped through both concerts.

Kylie is stunning in sequins.

Those two beauties behind her are her back-up singers. I want their outfits for my Halloween costume. Black on black with boots and two cotton candy pink wigs for shoulder epaulets.

There is a wardrobe change about every four songs (or less) and I've tried to grab each outfit. I'm certain I missed one or two.

Ah, the shower scene... it's almost like she knew her fans would be excited to see men in their underwear taking showers on stage...

This is how she looked all gorgeous up close. But pull back a little and you will see what a modern concert looks like...
All the cell phones and cameras capturing it forever (myself included).

She is walking across the stage on their hands.

Absolutely stunning.

She does a Hollywood Glamour set. When I saw the "view" from the window in Vegas I knew she was playing to the home audience. I was eager to see her "view" in Los Angeles. I hope other fans put their hometown view up as well.

Then it came time for her Cabaret Kit Kat Club segment where she did a sexy strip tease style version of the Loco-motion.
Kylie's boots are Christian Louboutin (of the famous red soles) and retail for $2,735.

I'm getting smarter and no longer scream or shout at concerts. I applaud wildly but save my voice. On the first night in Vegas I held back, I promised myself to not strain my voice... I gave up before even the halfway point and squealed like a 14 year old girl for the rest of the concert. At the Hollywood Bowl I surrendered from the very first. I can't speak. I have no regrets.

After a three song heartfelt encore, our far too brief 2 hour show was over.
Kylie, her dancers and her band take a bow.

I can't really tell you the difference between each show. I was all a flutter during both. I can tell you that the Vegas show was intimate. The Pearl Theater hold about 2500 people. We were at eye level with the stage. after so much anticipation, it went by too fast. The Hollywood Bowl show had a larger audience. Probably about 8,000 people. I think the added energy of the larger crowd fed into the moment. We saw a lot of friends at the Bowl and it felt like a big party.

And now I have to show you what I think may be the gayest picture I've ever posted on the blog. And for this blog, that's really saying something.
Me, Glenn, Zoel, Lyle, Ellys and Phillip moments after the show in our post Kylie glow.