Sunday, February 27, 2011

Parsons Dance - Remember Me

I won't forget the Parsons dancers for a long time. Wow. This contemporary dance group was amazing tonight, totally unique in the way they moved their incredible bodies around, flying through the air, rolling on the ground, smiling, flirting, falling in love as they led us through a breathtakingly passionate love triangle extraordinaire, complete with opera singers, strobe lights and a happy ending. Even got Dad to join me in a standing ovation! Bravo!

Here's one of their dances - Caught.

I Heart Yoga

Open your heart. Breathe. Let the good in. Send the bad out. Hug a stranger, flip him over your back. Have some tea. Share a cupcake and some love stories. Two and a half hours of yoga on a Sunday afternoon focusing on the heart chakra. Life is good.

Movie Madness - The Illusionist

Monday, February 28th at Shea 14 - 10:45.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

March On





























































Something's gotta give. It breaks my heart to see thousands of people marching in Wisconsin, fighting for their jobs, fighting for the right to negotiate, fighting for fairness, fighting against the corporations taking over. As a parent of a college student set to graduate next year, I worry about her. Will she be able to find a job? Will Wal-Mart be the only company left hiring at minimum wage with no benefits? Will she have to fight for that? Just yesterday I had to call USAir and American Express. Both massive companies with a large presence here in town, huge buildings with plenty of space to put a nice, local recent college grad. But no. I spoke to people all the way over in India. Meanwhile the Middle East is falling apart. Have our corporations had anything to do with encouraging any of those regimes? Would it be so that we can get cheap gas for our big SUVs or buy a new shirt made in China that just spent 17 hours flying over the Pacific burning up fuel so we can save a few bucks while The Gap pockets the change? As a small business owner in the health care field all I see are the insurance companies and the drug companies making all of the decisions. Pay more, get less. Is that fair? I'm not anti-profit, but it seems that we are moving toward a country and a government ruled by corporations rather than people. It's time to speak up.



So head downtown. March. Save the American Dream. 


Phoenix Rally on Saturday from 12 - 2. Save the American Dream
Phoenix Capital

1700 W Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Hosted by Susan Hall
Description Arizona has been hit with lawsuits, boycotts and draconian budget cuts. It's time to let leaders know that we are taxpaying law abiding citizens who contribute to our state's revenue stream. And in return we get repeal of health care reform, draconian immigration laws, tax cuts for the rich, defunding planned parenthood, numerous lawsuits, et al. Time for the middle class to stand up to the oppressive regime that's trying to annihilate us. As we say in Arizona, "Revolution Now! It's too hot in the summer."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Euro Girl

Careful what you wish for. I spent years desperately dragging Shana all over, trying to get her to fall in love with travel, to show her as many places as possible, that she could live anywhere besides Phoenix, all kinds of people and cultures and languages, making her comfortable getting out there, teaching her a bit more, hopefully, than they would in a classroom, hoping for the day that she would be off on her own, leading the way, coming up with a plan of her own like this: March - Venice and Milan one weekend, Barcelona the next. Spring Break in April - Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels.

It just hit me.
That day has come.

TGIF

A little bit of this
a little bit of that
some of this
and this
Happy Weekend!

Phoenix Tea Party

The Patriots are coming to Phoenix! Maybe I'll head downtown for a little tea.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

EVOO

I hate olives. The texture, the flavor, the pits. But a picnic table lunch amongst them at the Queen Creek Olive Mill on a perfect-weather Semi-Retirement Half Day Wednesday date is a whole different thing. Check out the menu at Del Piero - yum.

Miss Sylvia


For years, every morning all I heard was BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG. Then silence. Then BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG again and again until Shawn's morning coffee was properly caffeinated with four shots of espresso. He loved his machine. He loved listening to her roar every day, tamping away, waking the neighborhood. But a couple of weeks ago, the old girl died. Started leaking and they don't make Depends for coffee machines. Shawn was sad. He did some research. Switched to tea for awhile, shunned Starbucks and waited for his new love. She arrived last night to much fanfare. Packing peanuts everywhere, a tiny espresso sample for him, some steaming water for a decaf evening tea for me. He looked so lovingly at her (named Miss Sylvia by the company) but was upset that he had to wait eight hours until really putting her to the test. Morning finally came and Sylvia really stepped up. Quietly. I hardly heard a sound. Shawn was smiling again and so was I.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Grouchy

OK, enough. Leave Oscar alone. First you take a balanced budget and a surplus and f--- it up by giving all the treasure to a few rich people. Then you start a couple of ungodly expensive wars, killing, maiming and PTSD-ing hundreds of thousands of people. Then you look the other way as banks, oil, insurance and pharmaceutical companies rake it in, laying off millions, making it impossible for so many to pay the mortgage and the medical bills as we drive around town watching more and more empty storefronts and "Bank Owned" signs pop up everywhere. Then you tell a bunch of teachers in Wisconsin to pay their fair share and shut up. Pay their fair share? Fine. Shut up? Never. Then you applaud as the Supreme Court granted permission for the corporations to buy your elections, a nice, K-Street sponsored Senate seat, a soft Lazy-Boy Tea Party chair in the House, a cushy Governorship complete with a mansion and "socialized" health care included. No questions asked, no peeking allowed. Now you want to shut down Planned Parenthood. Keep all the little ladies barefoot and pregnant. Next up, NPR. No more Click and Clack? Is this really about the budget? How much does Murdoch send in every April? Huh? Then there's Sesame Street. Close Sesame Street? Seriously? These are the only places we can go without hearing Wal-Mart and Chase and McDonald's and Chevron yelling at us. We need some help, Oscar. Please. Go get Big Bird. Mr. Snuffleupagus, too.

Time to turn up the grouch.

Movie Madness - Cedar Rapids

Whoa, Cedar Rapids is quite the happenin' town. Who knew? Once you get past the totally disgusting, way over the top, politically incorrect one liners and get to know the characters, you won't stop laughing. It's those good old-fashioned Midwestern values that save the day. The ladies who lunch at The Herb Box wasn't so bad, either, with our own one liners, followed by a let's-not-go-home-yet Happy Hour at The Spotted Donkey (in honor of President's Day).



Trailer

President's Day

Presidents.

They're dropping like flies in the Middle East.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Say Cheese

Come on, Wisconsin, don't give up.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Take Me Out To The Ballpark


Go D-backs! The new Salt River Fields is now open, getting ready for the first Spring Training game. Grabbed Jo and took a tour of the place - shiny new, manicured, great seats, cool grassy knoll,
fun restaurants, Native American descriptions of the surrounding mountains and an overall great place to spend an afternoon. Headed next door for a locals only tour of Talking Stick Resort, the casino, the pool, the amazing spa (now I need a view from my shower at home),
the stunning Orange Sky with views, views, views
and the latest and greatest change-your-life-$3 margarita on the patio, smiling at all the snowbirds for a little afternoon delight.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Club - East of Eden


During some drunken girls' trip fest we voted to throw in some classics every now and then. I had forgotten what an incredible book East of Eden is. The suspense, the intrigue, all the secrets, the good vs. evil (do we all have some of each in us?), the meaning of life - is it to acquire fame and wealth or to surround yourself with people that love you for who you are so that nobody says when you're gone, "I'm glad that son of a bitch is dead." We got to see America grow up. The farming, the industry, the railroads, the wars. There were lots of dreams, love, passion, whorehouses, churches, bars, books, big dinner tables, sibling rivalry, heartbreak and at least one definition of happiness - a good night's sleep and a good trip to the bathroom. Can just one person in your life prop you up? Bring out the good and keep the evil at bay? Maybe if we all had a Lee in our lives, our own personal Chinese servant who knows it all and sees it all, lets all the secrets out at just the right time.

So...tonight at Lee(sa)'s, East of Hayden. Bring on the drama.

Progressives United

Check it out...
Progressives United

Monday, February 14, 2011

Why You're Not Married


Still Single, Ladies? Hate it? In this Valentine's season...here's a great article by Tracy McMillan.

Article

SNL Single Ladies Video
Married and miserable? Shake his hand, cut your losses and move on.

Valentine's Day



Spread the love, baby. Valentine's Day! Personally, I think it's a lot more fun and so much easier to peddle around this world on a tandem bike (thanks Shawn - mmwwaaa!), but for all of you single riders, don't be sad, there's something for you, too. It's S.A.D. (Singles Awareness Day). Starting on the 13th. Or the 15th. Or even the 14th, the big one. Pick a day, it's up to you - celebrate right along with everybody else.



La Pelicula Mania - Biutiful

Missed Movie Madness last week and went to Spanish class in Alcala with Shana instead. The topic of the day - movies! Peliculas! We learned all about directors and actors and theaters and plot and even how to say popcorn. Her instructor was an incredible young woman and she spoke so beautifully. Sometimes I get too used to the gangsta Mexican/Spanish "Spanglish" version of the language we hear here everyday and forget that true espanol is just plain musical. I know why the English must cringe when they hear us speak. Several times during class we came back around to Javier Bardem, Spain's most famous, at the moment, actor. On a side note, after putting jet-lagged Shawn to bed Thursday night in Madrid, Shana and I hit the town, searching for the restaurant owned by the actor's family, La Bardemcilla. We must have arrived way too early (before 9) and the place was dead. We did see a cute picture of Javier on the wall, but then moved on to find a less quiet joint. We walked a bit and found a great tapas bar. There was a couple sitting next to us that could barely keep their hands off each other (these Spaniards are passionate folks) but as the rest of the place filled up, we realized we were in Gaytown. It's hip to be gay in Spain. Several years ago gay marriage became legal. So, thanks to Movie Man, Javier, for leading us to the fun part of town and to Shana's profesora for giving us a valuable cine lesson. Now I want to go back and see some more.

The next best thing is the beautiful Javier Bardem in Biutiful. Wow. What a film. Pelicula. Horrific at times, cross your fingers, pray, heart racing, shut your eyes and say please, please, please just let one thing work out for this guy. In the end, it does.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

C-bi Spring Fling

Just like Fashion Week in New York, we were all spruced up as the ultimate C-bi Consultant, Ronnie, threw a smashing fashion show today under a cool, sunny sky, complete with Champagne with raspberries, chocolate and oh yeah, models, models, models. They kept coming, dancing to the runway tunes, making the incredible clothes come to life, giving us all some great ideas, some huge wish lists, lots to think about, like the nonchalant ruffle, the convertible sleeve, the asymmetrical top, the investment shopping, the Closet Audit, the nautical nod, the military salute, the big, big, big, bigger than I've ever seen hook and eye, the bummer bomber, the cowboy boots, the jewelry, the stylist, the fishnets, the how does that lady get her butt to look like that?, the cheeky bartender, the sitting at the bad-girl table, about to get sent to the Principal's office, but in awe of how somebody cranks up a new career so fast, so professionally, with attention paid to every single teeney tiny little rose-petal-on-the-table detail. Amazing. And so are the clothes. Let me know if you need some.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Proud Mama


Sorry...I can't help it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Walk Like An Egyptian

Way to go, guys.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

And She's Off..

So much to do. Madrid. Salamanca. London. Lisbon. Barcelona. Venice. Milan. Prague. Dublin. Sevilla. Twenty euro for a train ride. Eleven euro for a hostel. One euro for a mini motorcycle trip.

She said, "Mom, I'm running out of weekends."

Spain, Spain, Spain

Look. Here is what Shawn and I saw in Spain. Shana's back. She led us all over. She spoke to everybody. Took charge. Figured out the directions. Found the streets. Showed us places she's been that we haven't. Quite the turn-around. I'm usually the tour guide. But I guess the only thing I really wanted to see in Spain was Shana, the rest was just a bonus. Keep walking, baby, we'll try to keep up.

Tapas Tour

Heeerrrree's Danny! Our very own Tapas Tour guide. He led us all around Madrid, feeding us wild stuff, showing us amazing sights, giving us an incredible history lesson.

video



video

Madrid

In front of the beautiful Metropolis building.

Stayed at Quo Puerta del Sol right off the main Plaza del Sol (gate of the sun).
Learned how to order cafe duble con leche y un te para llevar por favor senor (doble espresso with milk and a tea, to go, please, man) at our cafe right next door.









Checked out Teatro Kapital - the hottest club in town for the young 'uns. 

Ate at this way hip place. Turned out she was ok after all.

Alcala de Henares

Shana is going to school in Alcala, a picturesque little town about 20 miles from Madrid. Here is the center of town - Plaza de Cervantes (Cervantes was born here). She is living with a family - Mom, Dad and 27 year old daughter. They invited us over for dinner at their apartment for a night of paella. They have had dozens of students over the years. Seems like all of these American kids prop up the economy pretty well, some even providing the family's only source of income. We all got along great and they seem to adore Shana.
Some new friends - the storks. They sound like flamenco dancers and the way they looked at that crane is probably the same way Don Quixote looked at the windmills.

Stayed at Husa El Bedel, totally quaint, right off San Diego Plaza.

Art and library at the really cool Parador.

Night in Madrid

My God, do these people ever sleep? It's all, here, let's eat. Let's drink. Let's walk around. And then let's do it all over again. I love it. Madrid just lights up at night, no wonder nobody wants to miss a minute of it. We stayed out late and took it all in, even wrapping up one night with some churros dipped in thick hot chocolate, a local treat people eat for breakfast. But by breakfast, they mean before you go home after a long night out partying, like at 6am.

Lots of different architectural styles, most curved around the intrersections and plazas. Beautiful.