Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Heads Will Roll

I dropped a cast iron tea pot on my big toe the other day, making balancing on nine toes at yoga pretty hard, but I gave it my best shot. Yogi Mary is still wanting to make a Peace Garden and I told her I'd help. There's a pic of my own little rock sculpture. My sister swiped it from the desert in Tucson a few years ago, well, not really swiped, she left a little something there in exchange. Sometimes her/his head falls off, but I just stick it back on and keep going.

Quit teasing me, Mr. Monsoon

One of the things that gets me through the summers in Phoenix is the monsoons. I love the whole "I'm Mother Nature and you're goin' down" attitude. I love watching the thick white clouds come over the mountains in the afternoon. I love watching them turn dark. I love the wind. As a native, I remember the storms way back coming in fast and just letting us have it. The black sky, the lightening, the pounding rain. These days, the monsoons are wimpy. Did global warming beat Mother Nature? I get all excited. I put down my patio umbrella. I get ready and pull up a chair for the show. Then I wait. And wait. And it just blows over again.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Movie Marathon

Away We Go with Shawn and Shana
(laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh)
My Sister's Keeper with Shana
(cry, cry, cry, cry, cry)

Happy Sunday!

Luscious Louise!

Gathered the gang together to celebrate Luscious Louise's birthday at the Mondrian. The place was a big pool party when we arrived - wall-to-wall teeny-boppers (okay maybe some were in college), pounding music, one big hormonal festive atmosphere. We took the party to the room (at $100 bucks a night, split a few ways, you can't go wrong) and had happy hour and presents in the room. We strolled on down to The Red Bar for a drink with new friend Karin and even newer Diva Mary Ann. Dinner was with more beautiful people of Scottsdale at AZ88 for some great food, great laughs. The party continued back in the swanky room for a slumber party. One more year - the best ones keep coming!!

The Bear Rug shot

it's a long story...

Friday, June 26, 2009


The circus is in town and we're goin'!! It's been a long time, but our friend Maggie actually knows one of the clowns - Tweedy! - and hooked us up with a great deal, so the whole gang is on the way. ZING ZANG ZOOM!!!

Upcoming Movie Madness - Little Ashes

It's all about Dali!!

Monday, June 29 at Camelview at 10:30

Herbal Happy Hour

It must have been all the anti-oxidants in the $4 Pomegranate Margaritas at The Herb Box happy hour because we girls were on a roll. We poured old friend Sheila into the clan, picked up new friend Karin at the bar and mourned Michael Jackson (absolutely my first real, posters all over the ceiling, idol). We drank right through a parenting class so we conducted our own class - a little parenting, a little first love, first trip to Europe, how to teach the other halves to just blend in, how to construct a "Nobody Asked You" sign and a whole series of Codependent No More. It may have gotten to 107 in the afternoon, but up in the bubble of North, North Scottsdale, surrounded by big trees and mountains, we sat on the patio on a cloudy evening, misters going, a little rain falling, a beautiful sunset happening and it wasn't hot at all (and not just because I'm not complaining - even the born a city girl, but turns into a Wisconsin Farm Frau every summer, was cool). Life is good.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Who is this guy? Why does he think he is so different from all of those other guys that came before him? Crying in Argentina??? Shut up! Is he apologizing on national television to his loving wife and amazing children just because he got caught? If you know that your spouse and your children probably don't want you to sleep with somebody else, then don't, or get a divorce, get separated, because you're going to get caught. And what's with all the Christian stuff? Crying in Argentina? Come on. It's always the lying that will get you in the end. Jon Stewart said he's just another guy with a conservative mind and a liberal penis (Fox News even identified him as a Democrat, just like they did with that guy that had sex with the male interns - always so fair and balanced). At least his loving wife sent him out there by himself, letting him squirm all alone.

The Validation Letter

Shana's been involved in a program called Leadership Workshop for years (http://www.orho.org/eoffice/taf/_orho.taf?mnid=0&smid=0&vurl=orho - check it out!)

It's run by an incredible woman named Dr. Frances Yerger and she really "gets" kids. She knows a lot about all of us parents, too. The day long and week long "camps" are meant to be a lot of fun, but they are really intensive learning experiences. The kids are led by "Dr. Franny" and a bunch of amazing peer leaders, because teenagers tend to listen better to their peers, rather than us. Right? To tell the truth, probably half of the kids get dropped off on Monday morning kicking and screaming, but by Tuesday or Wednesday, they want to go back again and again. They talk about their feelings and their parents and peer pressure and boy-girl stuff and their goals and they do all of this in a fun, exciting way. Every year, we parents are supposed to write the kids a "validation letter." It's a time to focus on the positives and the pride and the hopes we have for each other. I usually end up bawling when I write mine and Shana usually ends up bawling when she reads it (Shawn's, too). Can you imagine having received a letter like that every year from your parents during those hard years? I'm so fortunate that I have had the opportunity to participate in this with Shana and watch her go so far in it, now serving as a third year Peer Leader. I talk about my strengths and also weaknesses in my letter, giving Shana some ammunition sometimes, but it always works out in the end and I'm glad that I took the half-hour to make that kind of investment. Thanks, Dr. Franny! And thanks, Shana. You blow me away!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I dream of Genie

I have the cutest kitty in the world. She's a lot of fun and the best thing she does is greet me when I get home. As soon as I open the back door, she's there, flipping over on her back to show me her tummy. It's hard not to smile at her blatant (sort of slutty) attempt to get attention and hard not to bend over and give her what she wants. The thing is, she knows when I'm about to come in when the garage door goes up. The thing would rumble and sort of shake the house as it slowly went up. Over the past few weeks, it got worse. One day a big bolt fell down on me as I was walking in. I looked up and the whole track above me had come off the ceiling. Now we have a new door. It's quiet. It's fast. It's so fast that we have actually stood and watched it go up, adding up all the time in our heads that had been wasted waiting for the old guy to make his way up. But there's a problem. It's too quiet. Cali can't hear it from her perch up in my closet, back behind all of my black clothes, shedding her white hair all over them. I don't get greeted anymore. No tummy to rub. No little pink nose. I have to go to her now and it's just not the same.


Somebody asked Shawn at lunch yesterday what he and Shana have in common and before the poor guy could open his mouth, I shouted out, "They're both so grouchy in the morning!" That Shawn is a grump before his quadruple shot latte that he concocts for himself every morning kicks in is nothing new to me. I've learned to just smile and nod for an hour or so, then remind him to take a big breath and we're good to go. But, Shana? Precious little Shana? After being away at college for a year and every morning she's been home since then she's slept in, I sort of forgot she really is Daddy's girl. She's doing her first week of her Leadership Workshop this week and yesterday she had to get up and out of the house by 7:15, early for somebody that goes to bed somewhere in the am hours. My annoyingly chipper morning self flew into her bed as usual for a snuggle (will she ever be too old for that?) and I immediately got the attitude. Mom! OK, honey, let's go. Want some breakfast? How you doin'? Huh? How'd you sleep? Huh? Huh? Ready for the day? What are you going to wear? Huh? Huh? Huh?

She eventually showed up in the kitchen to her perfectly toasted everything bagel with light whipped cream cheese and a lovely fruit salad. She mumbled something about "to go" and grabbed some foil. I threw the fruit in a Baggie, she downed the last of my tea and she flew out the door, barely even looking back.

Ouch. Grouch.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm not complaining...

Phoenix just had a good weather streak - 14 consecutive days under 100 degrees in June. May was really nice, too. The last time that happened was in 1913. It's been great. I could hang around on the patio in the mornings and take the dog around the block before 10pm. Things were good. I almost wanted to take credit for the streak. After all, this is the summer that I'm not complaining. Not one bit. I'm committed to keeping my mouth shut and focusing on the positive. I even went up to Northern Arizona this weekend for a previously planned trip, but was a little disappointed that it wasn't hotter yet here. So I got in the car on Friday and it was in the 90s, spent a cool weekend in the 7os with my friends then Phoenix welcomed me home on Sunday with a 105 degree slap in the face. I didn't say a word. I stayed inside for the rest of the day and life was good. Yesterday I worked, snuck out to a cool movie (parked in the shade) and lunch with friends - totally unable to let the girls weekend end. One more late afternoon attempt to keep the three (or four) day weekend going, more happy hours in a warm until we complained bar. Grocery shopping at 8pm after the sun went down. I know the tricks. Armed myself with a cool, light dress to work today with a renewed commitment not to bitch. Things will be okay. Got in the car, pulled out of the garage and it started to rain. Couldn't ask for more!


cheek-y (chee kee)
adj. Impertinently bold; impudent and saucy. Brash, nervy.

Boots McAlister

What's your stripper name? Take the name of your first pet and the name of the first street that you lived on.

Just call me Boots!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Three Day Weekend

I can't believe we pulled it off! Six amazing women (if you count the Grand Canyon, we had seven wonders of the world all gathered together) for a three day get-away. Our long-time BFF Cecily has been running an entire industry up there pretty much single handedly, managing everything down to the last detail. She's got a steakhouse, a spaghetti western restaurant, a Mexican place, the coolest coffeehouse around and a great gift shop. She's going crazy working and needed a different kind of crazy added to the mix. We were happy to oblige, showing up from Phoenix on Friday afternoon and probably didn't stop laughing or making fools of ourselves (in a good way) the whole weekend. We had a great mix of gals, perfect weather and a great chance to get away. So much fun! Loud festive Mexican music, margaritas, helicopter rides, IMAX, good guac, Yippie-Ei-O, falling in love with a gay forest ranger, showing the Rotary Club how to really have a good time, Bloody Mary's at El Tovar on the patio, and we even almost tried the menudo and the tongue taco - Cecily's place - the perfect place to come! And oh yeah, we even actually looked down into the canyon, the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, so much history, so many stories to tell...kind of like us.

Get your kicks on Route 66

Started the Three Day Weekend in Flagstaff with the Divas - Cecily, Leslie, Jo, Louise, Maddie and me! Cool pines, bright blue skies and white clouds and happy hour in the hotel room. Catching up with the whole gang is a never-ending project. Took the show on the road to Pasto's - incredibly hip restaurant - sat on the gorgeous patio and tried not to make a scene. Great food, perfect wine, the best company, some naughty texts and even an adorable surprise designated driver that happily hung around all weekend, long enough to become the first official Diva Dude. Strolled through the happening downtown Flagstaff Friday night, complete with Celtic festival and stomped up the oldest stairs in the city in the Zane Grey hotel to have some more libations in the bar with the wraparound patio. Collapsed into bed and zonked out only to be woken a few hours later by a promise of four Chippendale's dancers in the lobby - what a ploy! But it worked and I scooted my half-dressed cheeky self down for a trip to great joint Late For The Train for some caffeine with the locals.


The Yippie-Ei-O Steakhouse was hoppin', hoppin', hoppin' on Saturday night (hopefully making up for all of the food and wine that we swiped!). Cecily runs the totally authentic, down-to-earth place at the Grand Canyon and we took up a big table for an enormous amount of amazing food, booze and a couple of leftover Cake Walk cakes, hardly able to contain ourselves without making yet another scene. And then the group of Italian bikers walked in. We suddenly became absolutely unable to contain ourselves. They were strutting around in tight jeans and Bologna jackets and toasting and singing opera-like songs, turning a bunch of married, single, attached, and unattached Maricopa County girls into wild women. The filets were devoured and the girls were happy...

Crazy Canyon Ladies

Cecily had to actually work for some of our trip, so the rest of us just sat around and contemplated life - hormones, prostates, penises, pooping, wrinkles, the kids, sleeping, not sleeping, playing dress up, margaritas for breakfast, the challenge course - to try not to jump off the rim, boys, boys, boys and boys, gay, not gay, how the five finger discount at The Gift Shop could land you with a night washing dishes at Yippie-Ei-O, a slap on the wrist at the juvi place down at Durango or a two night stay in the juvi place in Holland, so put the bracelet back, but I did get a great Grand Canyon patch for my "Volvo"!

The Rotary Club

In order to impress the canyon honchos and draw in the locals, Cecily has joined the Rotary Club and the girl will soon take over the entire town. We all helped her volunteer at The Rotary Club Solstice Celebration Picnic, complete with a cake walk, jumpy thing and dozens of quirky Northern Exposure-type townsfolk. My favorite was the guy that strolled in from out of the forest in hiking boots and a homemade lemon cake made on a Hansel and Gretel oven complete with orange and lemon zest, totally vegan except for the eggs. We all worked very hard on the cake walk to get that cake and it was definitely worth the effort. Always the scene-makers, we showed those people how we roll and were the life of the party. The Rotary Club will be talking about the book club for many, many meetings to come.

El Tovar AM

Just one more look at the canyon before we left. We strolled across the rim on a beautiful morning and stopped for a Bloody Mary break overlooking one of the seven wonders of the world, right in our own backyard. We saw the silver streak Grand Canyon train and was reminded that our own Maggie's ex is a fiddler on the Williams-Canyon route. Yes, it's true, she left a fiddler for clown (sounds like a Batman movie, I know) and more laughing from the professional whiners on the way out of town.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Upcoming Movie Madness - Will you marry me?

Okay, enough already with the deep, well written, well directed, well acted independent films, it's summer!!! Let's go see The Proposal, Monday June 22 at 11:15 at (pay attention) SHEA 14.

New York Moment

my life is boring, here's the kind of people you meet in NY (email from my sister)

New York moment‏
Amy Segal
Thu 6/18/09 4:33 PM
Lisa Sullivan
I had a total New York moment yesterday during my morning walk. The High Line just opened a week ago, which is that elevated rail track in the Meatpacking district that they've turned into a park (good article from NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/arts/design/10high.html?scp=4&sq=Highline&st=cse )

and I was on it at 7 a.m. and there was hardly anyone else there which was fabulous b/c at other times of day there are lines and I stopped to take a picture of something b/c the vantage points are really interesting and then I noticed that this woman was also taking a picture and I thought I might have stepped into her frame so I said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I hope I didn't step into your shot." and she said, "not at all" and we started talking about the High Line and the neighborhood and all the changes it's gone through over the years and she said she's lived in the area for a zillion years and was really opposed to The Standard Hotel

but then decided she likes it. THen she talked about how she had photographed the changes over time and I started to get the impression she was kinda somebody between that and the fact that it was 7 in the morning and she had gold glitter on her face when she pulled out her business card (Coco McPherson, Rolling Stone, Associate Editor) to write her personal website on the back with her photographs of the neighborhood that she thought I'd be interested in seeing. http://www.goodbyenewyork.org/
I of course had never heard of her and then googled her and saw she acted in I Shot Andy Warhol and was also in Best of Village Voice. Anyway, she's super cool. Maybe if I put glitter on my face, I can hang out with her sometime. :)

p.s. she wrote that article above about The Standard btw.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Girls, Girls, Girls

Racing west across I-10 with my mom in her post-divorce jet black Corvette to spend a few weeks in San Diego counts as my first girls trip. I get out there the most with my sister and Shana. We've been all over - dissecting New York a dozen times and up and down the California coast, loving Laguna and San Francisco, and a lot of the states in between (at least the cool ones) plus Hawaii and Asia and, even though we had to drag Shana kicking and screaming, Bisbee, Arizona, where I am absolutely positive I heard a taffeta-wearing ghost walk by my bed. Then there are the trips with my friends. We've gone back to San Diego and to LA, Disneyland, Rocky Point, Nogales, Las Vegas, Oregon, Park City, Sedona, Tucson - Miraval, Miraval, Miraval and Miraval, lots of local resorts and lots of our houses because you're never too old for a slumber party. It's the girls trips that makes life fun. Guys are great, but come on,
really. Plus leaving Dad at home with the kids for a night or two without a list of things to do is the best thing that you can do for them, gives them a solid relationship, teaches them to really get to know each other without you getting in the way. And the best thing? They will actually miss you and be happy when you come back. Next up for me...three days and counting...trip to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon with my book club. I can't wait.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Over the hills and through the woods...

I got kind of used to having the kid home. I sort of went back into that Mom mode again. I was coming up with lots of stuff to say, lots of stuff to squeeze in, lots more of those dreaded assignments I used to give Shana before she wandered off to college and had a good excuse not to take orders from me anymore. I had her develop a resume. We checked out tons of summer reading books. We made a budget and got back to the chores and allowance and talked about how that is all supposed to fit together. We watched the Gilmore Girls and hung out on her bed reading. I dragged her to actual cultural events, just like old times. But now she's gone again. Up and took her BF Jordan to Pinetop to hang out with Grandma for a few days. Cool pines. Getting waited on hand and foot. No nagging mommy. I'm sure she can't wait to get back home.

I am that

Yoga tonight. I am that. Or if you say it over and over again it turns into That I am - thatiamthatiamthatiamthatiam.
Tonight I was not the slithery, graceful, peaceful yogi Mary was expecting me to be. Tonight I was the one that drank too much and ate too much and celebrated her birthday too much for much too long and just wanted to lay on the mat too much. But as the music played and what looked like a monsoon came over the mountains and as I slugged along with the group, I eventually unwound myself, body and brain. Mary talked about all of the gifts that we have to give each other and the ones that we can take from even those who annoy us. Mary is always trying to give back and next up is to build a Peace Garden. I know nothing about gardening, but after tonight, I know something about peace. That I Am.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Movie Madness - Easy Virtue

I was listening to a Woody Allen interview today on NPR on the way home from work. He said that one of the things that is pleasurable to him about making a movie is that it distracts him from the negative things/thoughts in his life. Thoughts about death and war and the Holocaust and aging and his health (I know, I know - Woody needs to lighten up) - worries that cross his mind, but that he may not be able to do much about. Today I was distracted by seeing Easy Virtue. Set in the thirties in England, it reminded me of some of the same worries I hear about in this time and place that everyday, non-Woody Allen, folks have. Is my life too predictable? If I spend my life choreographing everybody else's life, will there ever be any time for me? How long should I live in a loveless marriage? Should we throw the same parties and go on the same vacations every single year? Is everything all about money? Is war ever worth it? Well, it wasn't all that deep - but a great trip to beautiful England with a wonderful cast of characters, lots of laughs and a good lesson about how to live life - you can either whine, whine, whine or go Tango!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Oh, Boy

I was walking the dog the other night and I saw a mom and her probably three year old daughter standing in their doorway, waving good-bye as a car pulled out of the driveway. The little girl yelled, "Bye, Nana!" and grandma yelled back, "I love you." The little girl paused a bit and then in her high squeaky voice ..."I love you sssooooooo much!" It was adorable. Kind of made me miss having a little person around. Shana was like that. She was usually pretty happy, pretty content, pretty sure that most people in her life worshipped the ground she walked on. I still get the "I love you"s from her every single day and now that she's home for the summer they don't just stare at me in a text message. I don't think that I could have ever had that if I had a boy. I always had this weird fear that I might not love a boy as much and I'd have to spend the rest of my life faking it. That mother-son relationship always seemed a bit bizarre to me, something that I probably couldn't do too well. Give me a girl, somebody I can talk to, somebody I can hang out with. Plus, I didn't really know much about boys. I have a sister. Neither my dad nor Shawn is a testosterony macho, camping and sports loving he-man and even my first boyfriend turned out to bat for the other team. So when I was four months pregnant and the ultrasound guy told me I was having a boy, I went home and cried. Seriously. Eventually I calmed down, bought a few cute little boy outfits and adjusted. But when my seven month ultrasound showed actual "little girl parts" I was thrilled. I admitted it out loud and decided never to take that chance again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Oohh..scary - Wait Until Dark

Out with mini me and her peeps to see Wait Until Dark...better watch your back!

Blue Genius

Shawn taught Shana how to use the remote control yesterday and this morning she actually remembered all 83 steps involved and played a movie all by herself! She found a movie that we saved on the Play It Now instead of waiting for totally efficient always within 24 hours snail mail Netfilix. At least I think it was Netflix. I know that we have Bluetooth and Blue Ray and XBox and appletv and some of the other things, or maybe all of those other things, but I'm pretty sure it was Netflix. So I was amazed when Shana asked me to watch a movie with her, Shawn nowhere in sight. See, I gave up on the remote control. I also gave up on actually getting up off of the sofa and crawling over to all of the components to try to figure them all out. Too many buttons. Too many bells and whistles. It's just easier to grab a book and read. Besides, every time I master something, Mr. I Have To Have Every New Thing That Comes Out Right When It Comes Out finds some new toy and puts me back to square one. Recently I was making fun of all the people who still didn't have the stuff for the deadline for going over to digital television - those people with the rabbit ears still on their TVs that are stacked on top of their even bigger TVs.

But at least they know how to turn the thing on.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Free Boob Job, Food Stamps and a Lobster

Stopped by neighborhood beachy joint Sandbar with the girls for Friday night happy hour. What I really wanted was a margarita, but as soon as I sat down I saw it, big letters on the chalk board - FREE BOOB JOB, enter to win!

Then there was the "hostess" in the bathroom with three fully stuffed and yet to be unpacked duffel bags on the floor, waiting to serve the ladies that forgot their perfume or deodorant or mascara throughout the night. Was I supposed to tip her? Why? Why is that? But feeling guilty, I rummaged through my purse in the stall anyway searching for some money, a dollar maybe, but all I had were some fresh from the ATM twenties and some change. I still remembered from my waitressing days the "if you can't fold it, hold it" rule of tipping, so I reluctantly took the special, tip-worthy towel from her and left without donating anything to her tip bowl - full of dollar bills and I'm absolutely positive that I saw some food stamps in there, too.

The night got better with my I-can-squeeze-in-just-one-more-last-birthday-blowout-celebration with the parents at Eddie's House with, what else, lobster!!

The Back Line

I could give you the back line number at the office, but I'd have to kill you. Yeah, it's that important. It's for emergencies only. Oh, and for the kids. And for the wives. The boyfriends. The other doctors. The telemarketers. The office supply salepeople. The medical supply salespeople. The toner cartridge salespeople. But, really it's for emergencies only. So don't ask.