Wednesday, April 30, 2008
So I was driving my one day a week, hard-working, immigrant nanny/housekeeper to the bus as I usually do on Wednesdays. Mind you, this is Thousand Oaks, California not Newark, New Jersey. Nice upper middle class area with limited public transportation. The bus route is near the mall, so while we soccer mom's drop off our 'domestic' help at the bus, we can zip into Macy's for the latest in INC. or Bobby Brown (on sale, of course).
So- as she is getting out of the car, a seemingly un-crazy crazy guy stops in the middle of the road and points to me. Quickly, I tuck my wallet and purse under the seat of the car and wait for him to move so I can get the heck out of there fast. He proceeds to give me the finger. And, not the girlie kind of bird with closed fist. This was an arm's length bent-knuckled 'the Fingah!' Then he shouts out "Up Your A-(hole) N-word!" And believe me, he did not use the abbreviated versions seen here. There was no mouthing of these words. It was loud and clear. All heads (well, the few that were around the bus stop) looked at him, then at me as if I had just slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting him. But, there I sat, on the side of the road, paying my housekeeper as I had done so many times. Quietly. Non-confrontationally. Well within the laws of the road and driver courtesy.
Now while I've been called a lot of things in my life. I've been called an asshole. but never the N-word. I don't even use that word...ever. Not that I am beyond racial epithets...but that word is just so hateful. I think the C-word is the only other word I don't use. Everything else is fair game. Hell, I've even invented a few good ones. But that one? Not for me.
So- with my 4 year old in the back of the car...I bang a U-ie (that's cool guy for U-turn) and nervously get the hell out of there. I am pretending to be all cool, but a part of me wonders what brought about that slur. Was it meant as a statement against SUV's and some sort of political statement about global warming? (I drive a Honda Pilot, a mid-size SUV with really good mileage and safety ratings). Was he pissed off that I hire immigrants? Does he know I am a jewish woman and he is pissed that we don't do our own housework? Does he work for the bus driver's union and felt I was cutting off the bus lane traffic? I have no idea....but I couldn't help thinking I did something more than double park at a bus stop.
And, this whacko wasn't driving either. So there was no fear that he would ram my car or anything like that. He was on foot. Standing in the middle of the road with his arm held forth as if he was holding a Stop sign. Only his sign wasn't a stop sign. It was a sign that was more disturbing than that. I guess I should have waited to see if he approached my nanny at the bus stop...(was his epithet meant for her somehow?) But as I thought more about it after the fact, mother bird protects her young, not another bird. I go the heck out while the gettin' was good.
So, immediately - I call hubby and tell him about it. While he is in his car, he see's movie stars. While I am in mine - I get call a lot of things, but never this.
Monday, April 28, 2008
sans the bling.....:(
I wish we all could be California girls! Oh wait - WE ARE!!!!!!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Nyahni , Nyahni , Boo-Boo ! We may have our share of problems out here...but what we do have that you don't have in a Dakotah or Oklahoma is Movie Stars...that's right - M-o-v-i-e Stars. Celebs, 'E' Network worthy folks whose daily lives are the captured by Paparazzi and People Magazine fanatics. Me? I only read that stuff on my twice monthly visits to the nail salon - or while on line at my local big box grocer...
So we've lived here in LA-LA land (or there abouts) for almost 4 years now...and I still get excited to see famous people. I bring this up because tomorrow, my sister and niece are flying in from Florida for the weekend - and they, of course, want to do all the Hollywood stuff. And, hopefully - see some famous people.
Now first- need I remind you that I don't like to drive (that fear of all things transportation related rears it's ugly head once again) so the mere thought of navigating Hollywood and Vine has me a bit famished (which is Yiddish for Ver-Klempt...). So with that, and the desire to make my guests happy, I will rise to the occasion and ...have someone else drive us around L.A!
We scored tickets to the taping of the Ellen DeGeneres Show! So set your Tivo/DVR as we think the show will air on Friday the 18th....check your local listings. (To do list: get someone to drive. Check!) Hopefully, we'll see someone famous on the show. Would be awesome to have great guests....don't know until we get there. I don't usually get to watch daytime t.v., but I have always liked Ellen - and it should be fun.
Secondly - on Saturday we are going to do the tourist-y L.A. thing. Rodeo Drive, Pinks for Hot Dogs, Hollywood Walk of Fame...that kind of stuff. (To do list: get someone else to drive. Check!)
I have never been to Rodeo Drive...but I can't help but be reminded of the scene from Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts' character was shunned from the store for looking like a hooker. Oh wait, she was a hooker! What will the snooty store clerks say when they see Hubby, sister, 15 year old niece (who looks and dresses like a pretty Paris Hilton), 8 year old and 4 year old in tow - gawking at Chanel and Prada smelling like Pinks hot dogs and dripping from ketchup and just the slight sousance of perspiration? Hmmm...might have to buy something just for bothering them. That whole thing should take, what - and hour? Sorry dearie, we are lookie-loos not Jimmy Choos. Catch up with me again, after I hit Vegas in May.
Now- I don't like to boast, but Hubby and I have seen our fair share of the famous few whilst living out on the left coast. I will now start the count:
1) Wayne Gretsky and Janet Jones, sitting at a restaurant in Westlake Village. We saw them on our first weekend here - and thought it was SOOOO cool.
2) Aida Turturo (Janice Soprano). Saw her and her tons of crap squeezing into a limo at LAX like sweet italian sausage in a pot of Sunday gravy. I was afraid to go anywhere near her.
3) Hulk Hogan and family - Saw him and his tatoos at LAX baggage counter trying to check in without being noticed. Hard to do when you are like 6'4" up and down and sideways. Seemed like a regular guy, but hey- who's gonna tell him differently? But, if you want to be inconspicuous, Hulk - lose the bandana do-rag and put on a shirt with sleeves.
4) George Clooney. Yes...for real. George Clooney!!! This is a true story. A few years ago, Hubby's franchise convention was in Las Vegas (my second favorite place on earth with the first being in my Tempur-Pedic pillowtop mattress which cost more than a semester at B.U.). The Red Rock Resort and Spa had just opened, and the convention was the first. It was Derby Weekend, fancy digs and open bar....what a ball. Gorgeous place, too. So, Hubby made me leave the casino, er...um...resort's spa for a morning and we went for a hike in Red Rock Canyon. It was really a nice morning. Any-who, we get back to the resort for a quick lunch and time to explore some of the place when we came upon the VIP pool area. We were asking the 'concierge' (read: bouncer) "How does one procure a chaise in this area?" All of the sudden, I - of un-made face and dusty clothes - feel a tap on my shoulder. I hear a very smooth "Excuse me miss.." and thinking I was in the way of a waiter delivering $20.00 bottles of VOX water and frozen grapes to a VIP, turn quickly and I am face to face with Himself. The holy grail of TV/Movie gorgeousness. The man of (the little known) Facts of Life, ER, and Oceans (what like 47?) fame and other films. Oscar winner....George Clooney! And let me tell you folks, he is gorgeous. He is sexy. He is not large, but has those swaggeringly good looks and slightly lifted one-eyebrowed smile. WOW!
I was dumbfounded. I tried to regain my composure when I realized it was him. I was simply in his way. I had to move. I was stuck. Star struck stuck. I gathered myself up, got out of the way...and said - "You are My biggest fan". Capital D-U-H! He said "thanks". And went on his way. I walked into the lobby with cell phone in hand ...well actually I was slapping my skull with the friggin' phone muttering something like "stupid, stupid, stupid"...
Never one to 'embellish' the truth. By the time the news travelled to the rest of the conventioneers with us, and to my friends and family around the country, I was dumping Hubby. George and I were having dinner and a baby. Remember me George?? Stil waiting.
5) That same weekend at Red Rock, still whirling from my meet with George - I hit the tables. I was playing 3 card Poker and a man sits next to me. Richard Kind. You might know him as the nebbishy neighbor of Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt from Mad About You (a great couples sitcom), or from the Michael J. Fox sitcom Spin City. Well, Richard sits down right next to me and asks how to play. We sit together for about 2 hours while I teach him the game (and others) and we kibbitz about this and that. Now, no offense to Richard. But he is pasty white and chews his nails and fingers worse than a hillbilly groom at a shot-gun wedding. With him, I had no problem talking. I was the only person who didn't mention his TV credits. A regular guy. A nice guy, too. Lousy card player, though. I never mention George...but a crowd gathered at the Cherry Nightclub because you-know-who showed up. I was like, all 'silly tourists' and calm and seemingly uninterested. I non-chalantly rubbed my head where the bruise from my cell phone was while trying to cover it with my hair.
6) Matt Damon: Well, not really for sure. So I am on the treadmill at the gym minding my own business. A guy jumps on the next treadmill and proceeds to start his work out/run with IPod in ears and baseball cap on as if he didn't want to be recognized. I look to my right and I swear it's Matt Damon. I don't want to stop and be a gawker...remember-the last time I actually met someone didn't turn out so good. So, I faked dropping my towel just to get a better look. I notice a very prominent dragon tattoo running the entire length of his left leg. He's running. I am trying to get a good look at his face and very distinctive smile. I swear it's Matt. Being from Boston, I am thinking of the clever things I can say. But- he leaves and a few minutes later - so do I. I go to the desk at the gym and ask if Matt Damon is a member. They look it up and say that, indeed, he is. I race home, and Google "Matt Damon's tattoo" Too many references to read them all. I think that I am all that! Never found out if he was really him or not. I live in my fantasy world to this day that it was Matt. I am thinking - I only need to meet another 9 people, then I will have completed the Oceans' 11 tour of California!! "Not for nuthin' but, who me and Matt? He and I ah tight. We work out togethuh!"
7) Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson: Also at the gym. He works out there when he is nearby. He is simply gorgeous. I get the nerve to interrupt him and ask for an autograph for my daughter. He was very gracious and kind. She framed it and brought it to school. It takes a big man to put on a wig, earrings, and fake nails for a Disney channel episode of Hannah Montana. He is a very big man indeed.
8) Pam Anderson: Hubby saw her backing out of a Starbucks with her grande-skinny-latte mochachino-double-pump-no foam on the hood of her car. He saved the coffee and handed it to her. What a guy. I think he was hoping to check out her Mercedes. Hers comes with two sets of front airbags.
9) Heather Locklear and David Spade: Seen them many times. They live nearby in Calabassas. They eat out often. They have booster seats at some of the fanciest restaurants in town. Tiny people need them too. We've seen them together and separately. Don't know if they are an item or not, but they are just cute as buttons.
10) Wink Martindale: Twice. If you don't know him, he was a rather famous Game Show Host. No Whammies!
11) Cindy Crawford: Saw her and her kids at a Chuck E. Cheese type place. It was a Sunday morning. The place teeming with toddlers. All of us moms took pictures with out camera phones and called our Hubby's. "see dear, you shoulda taken the kid to the birthday party!" She is tall and gorgeous with no make-up and tousled hair. And, the best part! Panty lines!!! Just like me!!!!
12) Keanu Reeves: Hubby saw him at this restaurant in Sherman Oaks. (shameless plug for Sharkey's Wood Fired Mexican Grill). Keanu is a 'finatic' and eats there often. They talked for a while about everything except the fact that he is Keanu Reeves. Wish I had the same demeanor as Hubby. I would have flubbed that one up and dribbled fish taco sauce down my face. And no, he doesn't wear his Rio black leather duster all the time. In case you were wondering.
13) Jay Leno: Everyone knows he is a fan of old cars. We saw him puttering along the 101 in an old model something. Waving to fans as they whizzed by. Unmistakenly Jay Leno profile. Woulda loved a moment to chat, but it figures that this was the only day there was no traffic on the 101 and you could actually whiz.
14) Ed MacMahon: Walked the floor of the Bellagio. Let people take pictures of him with them. Seemed very gracious. I was on a roll at the tables, and didn't want to get up for Ed MacMahon. He's no George.
15) Ty Treadway: Now unless you watch daytime t.v , you wouldn't know him. I used to watch a soap called One Life to Live. Ty was a character named Troy with an evil twin ( I know, I know - that is a soap novelty, right?). He was killed off. Now he hosts a gameshow called Merv Griffins Crosswords. I was actually on that show (I lost, I am a loser and wish not to discuss it). Well, he's really nice and approachable and not at all 'famousy' in any way. Good host too. Lousy game show. Needs a studio audience.
All of these brushes with greatness. Aren't they lucky!! (stupid, stupid, stupid)
4/24/08: Hubby now calls with all his latest sightings...Miley Cyrus a.k.a Hannah Montana (seen at a coffee place. When I was 15, I didn't drink coffee - nor could I afford to buy one) , Jack Nicholson (tooling about in a bitchin' convertible), and Lisa Kudrow (sans the Friends).
Life is good.
11/21/08 - this was an old post before anyone knew I existed. Now my regular readers (all 4 of them) can rejoice in the fact that they have hob-knobbed with a big 'swig' = Swirl Girl.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Rachel was 'finched' eating for the day and had got up from the table to look through her Viewfinder.
Rachel: "Look, a P-cock!"
Hubby: "Do you see a Q-cock"
Rachel: " Here Q-cock, Here cute-cock"
Me: " Hello, Mrs. Rachel's mom? This is the preschool office. Aah, we have Rachel with us..."
Me: Hubby blew water out his nose.
All of this went over both girls' heads, thank goodness.
We're bent, they are still straight.
Emily is 1/2 asleep after a long and eventful playdate of painting pottery and swimming.
She takes a sip of water and it, too, dribbles out of her mouth.
Me: " Nice, Emily - got a hole in you lip?"
Emily: "Gotta a hole in my pie hole!"
Now where do they get that from?
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I think we all have more friendly acquaintances than anything else. I have very few 'friends' and am okay with that. I consider myself a low maintanance friend. I don't need much, don't ask for much save the occasional get together. I have always been the 'funny' one, the one who 'still parties' after all these years - and yes , I am all those things. I am loyal and true. I have no patience or tolerance for weakness, snivelling and neediness. But, I have the 'tell it like it is' gene. As I always say - with me...it might not always be pretty, but it will always be real. I tend to take the sometimes wrongful stance of "Ready, shoot , aim!" then ask for forgiveness when sometimes I should have asked for persmission. Gotta work on that.
Why I bring this up is for two reasons....
1) April 10th marked 90 days (or 3 months, or 1/2 a school year, or 1/4 a calendar year ) that my dad died. The sting is not as sharp these days, but it is there nonetheless.
I remember my Dad telling me, on the occasion of his 40th birthday, that if you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand (see above for definition of true friend) that you a lucky person indeed.
2) As I passed the mark of my own 40th (c'mon now, not too far passed the mark), and having given so many up so many of my own organs of late, I am starting to take stock of my precious fingers (and toes, and knees, and spleen, and earlobes) with more tolerance and hopefully less cynicism than ever before.
In the past several few months Hubby and I have had friends: battling their own personal demons, health issues, ailing parents, ailing children, flailing marriages, failed marriages. I have become aware of my own mortality and fragility...acutely aware, in fact. And, whereas in the past, I would fluff these types of things off or attribute these 'behaviors' to weakness - or bad decisions...I am hoping now that my personal epiphany has made me a 'kinder, gentler' cynic.
Maybe now my usually 1/2 empty glass view of the world is not just 1/2 empty, but 1/2 of it has been consumed and the rest is there to swirl and savor. To be enjoyed with one of my friends!
I hope that somebody out there counts me as a finger (probably the middle one, heh-heh).
To quote a famous movie line "Mama always said, Stupid is as stupid does." I hope someone wants to get stupid with me.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Emily: "Mommy, you're not a morning person, are you?"
Rachel: "Daddy's a morning person"
Me: "well bully for dad"
Emily: "Mommy, you're not an evening person either, are you?"
Rachel: "Daddy's a even person, right?"
Me: "well bully for dad" (slurp of of morning manna - coffee)
Emiily: "Okay, mommy - you're a mid afternoon person, then "
Me: (something not so nice muttered under my breath....) "Yes girls, I am a mid- afternoon
person and dad is an all the time person."
Them: "Go daddy, Go daddy"
Me: "uh-huh, go daddy go"
No really - I thank God I have kids or I would probably never even be a mid-afternoon person.
There would be no need to ever have to be 'on' and I could just be a person person.
And while I am thanking God, let me also thank:
My parents as I blame or credit them with my otherwise shiny disposition....
My Hubby for being an 'even' person who takes me for what I am....morning, noon and night.
The Dannon people who make Activia, the yogurt that helps you poop. I mean, if you have to eat that crap, make it taste decent and have it do something more noticeable than living to be 115 in Russia (remember those commercials?) This shit works, literally and figuratively.
The marketing brilliance of the folks that pack 8 hot dog buns in a package and 7 hot dogs in a package. Otherwise, I would have no leftover bread to feed the ducks with.
The people at Webkinz...this is a great kids toy/web virtual world that actually is teaching kids about responsibility, managing time and money, and taking care of 'kidz'. And- giving parents something meaningful to take away if punishment is warranted.
Other people's kids - for making me realize how truly special my gorgeous girls are.
Another actual car ride conversation:
Rachel: "Mommy , do you wish Poppy wasn't dead?"
Me: "Yes, dolly, I really do."
Rachel: "Mommy, look at that tree. If I could climb that tree to the tippety top, I could touch
the clouds and go up to heaven and say hi to Poppy for you"
Me: "I wish you could do that angel, I really do."
Rachel: "Mommy, is Poppy love the same as Mommy love?"
Me: (sniff, snorfle) "Yes, baby...it is the same"
Rachel: "I am glad I have puppy love"
-reach for that tissue now, folks - go ahead, it's okay.
(An aside: I have been asked numerous times what love is, and in trying to explain it I came up with the following - Mommy's love is special love.. Mommy's want their childrens' bodies to be safe, their brains to be stimulated, their tummy's to be full, their hearts to be happy...and children make their mommy's smile! Rachel can recite this 'pearl of wisdom')
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Wouldn't you assume that it was one of the hundreds of junk mails you received advertising male enhancement devices? I know I get things like that all the time.
This time, though - I opened this one as I knew what it was.
Our wonderfully bright daughter, Emily Rose, is one of 5 grand prize winners in an essay contest sponsored by Backyard Sports and Humongous Inc. Her teacher entered her class's essays about being what it means to be a good sport in this writing contest. There were only 5 grand prize winners of all the entrants nationwide. Emily was one of them. Needless to say, hubby and I are so proud of her! And, she is exploding with joy and pride as well. As she should be.
I always take 50% percent of the credit when compliments about our kids are given. But this time I'll take more. Emily's penchant for writing and reading come from me moreso than Hubby. If it were a math award, well- that's all him.
I hope the Admission's department at Harvard considers 3rd grade work relevant for the Class of 2017. Damn, that's just an unfathomable number.
And to my wonderful 8 year old - I say "You rock!"
Humongous news, no?
Friday, April 4, 2008
So let it not be said that I am all serious all the time. I can be goofy too.
And if I am not goofy myself, I have no problem making my family goofy, look goofy, do goofy things or act goofy. They are, afterall, my Pinocchio and I - their Gipetto! The ultimate puppeteer!
I believe I have found the sure fire marriage-reparation device of the century. Although I would not put on the the goofy helmet ( I do have standards ) these little gloves will put a smile on anyone's face. We had a 4th birthday party for Rachel at a place called Pump It Up. An indoor bounce house and inflatables place. Who had more fun, the 4 year olds or the 40+ year olds? And, we all desperately needed a good laugh as this was just days after my dad's funeral and days before my own shit hit the fan.
"Leave the toilet seat up again, who me - NEVER!
"You spent how much on those shoes??"
"Do I look fat in these jeans?"
We went to the Skirball Museum in Los Angeles. A great museum with an amazing exhibit called Noah's Ark , made with all recycled and repurposed materials that the kids can climb and experiment with. Anyway, one of the happenings that day was a guy who travelled the globe making huge balloon animals and sculptures. He showed us how to make balloon hats and flowers. Can you tell which little one was wiped out and didn't want to be goofy?
What kid doesn't want to surprise their dad when he comes home from work? Rachel hid in the toy basket...can you tell which one is her? I do call her 'dolly' 'cuz she is one. It took him a minute to even know she was there.
I am also including the a short video of the absolute best airport time waster I have ever seen. At Miami International Airport - tucked between a Corona Beer cart and a Bacardi Bar- which happen to be about every ten feet - there is a wall of 'water'. As you walk by it, it moves with you as if you were in the water. Hubby and I got stuck there with the girls (well, between Corona's anyway) and had a blast. We 'swam' with the fishes , if you will. Coulda sold tickets (or at least financed another beer) to the passers-by who were so intrigued by our laughing children - I mean, who actually has FUN in an airport? Quite frankly, hubby can make even the most mundane and tedious event fun, even for me....and you know me and my general fear of all things transportation related. This was a welcome respite and a great way to usher in 2008. It was 12/31/2007.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I went back to my dance class today for 2nd time this year. The last time I went, I felt as though I was slogging through mud. Today was ...FUN! It felt good to cha-cha and mambo and chasse again! Those two little hours a week are my diva hours, and now I can enjoy them again- even at 60%. Wish I could sing along, though. Gracias Irene !
I have been emailing with some old friends from high school these past few days. It's amazing that after 25 (or more) years, memories flood back in as if no time has passed at all. Our lives all took divergent paths, but as I have always said - or rather as Dan Fogelberg said in the song of the same title....
"Love when you can,
Cry when you have to
Be who you must,
It's a Part of the Plan"
that was actually my quote in my yearbook....next to BH's at WK's. And those of us in the know , know what that means. Kinda sad that that is how people remember me from High School. I think 5 girlfriends referenced me in their 'memories' in some way. I guess I should be happy to be remembered at all.
just thought of it kinda funny, no?