Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Groinocologist

I stopped by the Groinocologist to, you know, "say hello" and was surrounded by pregnant people. Cute pregnant ladies with their cute husbands looking at the cute pregnancy magazines. So cute. It sort of makes me want to have another one. Another cute, little baby. I'm not the most maternal person on earth, but I love babies. I love watching them smile and yawn and look at things. It seems like they take in every single sound and noise and color and touch and fold it into who they will become. Amazing. Then they grow up and like to be pushed on the swings and play on the beach and ask for help with their homework. It's all good. After the nice doctor did her stuff she said I'm boring. I'm normal. Another year, nothing new, but no news is good news. Right? But I walked out thinking, hey, that could be me. I've still got the time. The energy. The husband. The eggs may have seen better days, but I could be sitting there with the rest of them next year if I wanted to. I left the building, got in my babyseat-less car and drove off, right by Chuck E. Cheese's. I forgot about Chuck E. Cheese's. I can't stand Chuck E. Cheese's. Is that normal? Maybe it's a sign.

Still stuck in the 80's

They say that your all-time favorite music is what you were listening to when you found your first true love. Was is Sinatra? Elvis? The Beatles? The Grateful Dead? For me, it's the 80's bands. It's a good thing that there were so many of them, so I can keep reliving my youth every time one of them rolls through town. I remember doing the 80's dance (sort of embarrassing these days) in the living room to all the cool videos on the brand new MTV, getting the moves down, learning the words and singing along as my idols sang about all the stuff that I was going through. So for tonight's Blondie and Pat Benatar concert, I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to dress the part. I scrounged the closet for some shoulder pads and head bands, but came up with nothing. I found some leggings, but without leg warmers and white Reebok high tops, the look just didn't work. So I ended up with a push-up bra, high heels, a black top (of course), some jeans and tons of gloss for my still stuck in the 80's night. I did see a few gals that had better luck than me. Some big hair bows, some ripped fishnets, some Flashdance-like off the shoulder shirts, but mostly we all looked the same, some of us a bit swelled and most of the big hair gone, replaced by, sadly, a bunch of guys with bald spots gleaming in front of me. But at least I had my 80's crush, Shawn, standing next to me with his full head of hair (in some last minute right up front half priced seats, thanks to my new BFF, Steve, the ticket broker), and we were hardly able to contain the still stuck in the 80's feet from doing the old dance. All the words flowed back as the first few notes were played on the old favorites. Pat Benatar brought down the house with her unbelievable voice and amazing band. She walked us down memory lane (Heartbreaker, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Love is a Battlefield) describing how and why and when a lot of the songs were written as they celebrated the band's 30 year anniversary. Then Blondie, the first real punk rock girl was in her true cheeky, cheeky Diva form as she sang Call Me, Heart of Glass, Maria, One Way or Another and so many more as she had us all mesmerized all the way through to her last song, a tribute to Michael Jackson with a psychedelic, disco ball spinning version of Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough. Both rockers looked amazing and I tried not to think about the fact that these ladies are probably grandmothers, but they were incredible - their voices, their presence, their total heart and soul were put out there and it was obvious that they were thrilled that they could still take a few thousand 80's fans back almost three decades to make us feel like it was just yesterday.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Upcoming Movie Madness - Food, Inc.

PUT DOWN THAT HOT DOG and come learn something! Meet the gang to see the documentary Food, Inc. on MONDAY August 3 at CAMELVIEW at 11:30.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Movie Madness - (500) Days of Summer

NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT!!!! Full House at high noon at Camelview!!! Either the heat has made everybody else in Phoenix catch up to me in the crazy category, or Monday Movie Madness is catching on!

Adorable flick about finding love and holding on to it, through the Summer and into Autumn (you need to see it to know what I mean.)

Shana and I met for lunch in the dark (she had tuna and red onions and I had spicy salmon sushi - and nobody even complained about the smell!) and funny Leslie was laughing away, too.
FYI - If you're going to eat sushi at the movies, find the glob of wasabi before the lights go out.

See you next week - Monday, dark, cool, movie.....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Do. So don't.

Somebody said, "You should write about marriage"...

I don't have a perfect marriage, but most days it's really great, so I can't complain. I've seen some really bad couplings that drag on and on for years after the rest of the world was saying "enough already." The lying, the cheating, the abuse - it's really unbelievable to see what some doormats will put up with (you know who you are). Back when they created marriage, you said "I do" to some guy that your parents picked out and hoped for the best for the next 15 or so years of your life span. These days, with half of all marriages ending in divorce, I don't know why everybody still thinks it won't happen to them. People still walk down the aisle and think "'til death do us part." But once you get the ring, it's not a free ride. There's work involved. There's talking and planning and therapy and following though. If you put your marriage on autopilot and it falls apart, then take the blame, learn from it and move on. There are boundaries. There are expectations. Be nice to each other. Listen. Aim for happiness, even, easier said than done, I know, but we all wake up every day and choose what to think about, so choose to aim for happiness. Be good parents together. Go on dates. Then there are the deal breakers. No lying. No hitting. No cheating. One strike, you're out. I said I do. So don't.

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Mom, there's a keloid in my tragus."

Shana pierced her tragus. I had no idea what that was until a couple of weeks ago and I'm pretty sure that I could have lived my entire life happily in the dark. She has a tiny diamond on the side of her ear that seems pretty stupid to me, but the kid's eighteen and I'm slowly realizing that there's not a lot I can say or do anymore that has any impact. Now she's got a keloid back there (some sort of skin growth, as well as another new vocabulary word) and since "go to time-out" doesn't work anymore, I was forced to pull out the last remaining parenting chip I've got: "I have money and you don't." No more piercings, buckaroo. No more holes in the head or anywhere else or you just see what happens when you try to use your debit card.

I think Little Miss I'm An Adult Now got the message.

Milwaukee's Best $7.49 for a 12-pack

I'm not a big drinker. I love going out with my friends for a couple of glasses of wine, or some margaritas or mojitos (had some great Cucumber mojitos at lunch today - thanks Carla!), so, you know, I'm a social drinker, not one of those gotta have one every day. There are the occasional "I had too much to drink at the Christmas party and the next day is shot" events, but not so much anymore. So the other day Shawn sent me off to the store to buy some beer so he could make some brats, boil them in it or something. I don't cook, especially if it's meat and especially if there's a casing on it, God, just the thought of that pushes me over the edge. But I can shop. So I got some beer (he said "just get whatever, anything, it doesn't matter") so I found the cheapest one there - Milwaukee's Best $7.49 for a 12-pack, what a deal. I stood at the register with my Milwaukee's Best, $7.49 for a 12-pack, and totally got one of those "you're one of those that gotta have it every day, aren't you?" looks.

Happy Baby

That's the "Happy Baby" yoga pose and it always makes me think of Shana when I do it. Shana's a happy baby. I wish I could take all the credit for turning her into one, but I had a lot of help, sort of like living on Easy Street in Parentland. I had a good husband that changed diapers along with some amazing grandparents that kidnapped her every chance they could so I could sleep in. And then there was Shana, the pretty much perfect kid. She rarely got sick, slept a lot, smiled a lot, did everything according to plan. She did well in school and made friends easily. Plus, she was a girl, which was probably easier for me and then we quit while we were ahead. No second child syndrome. No sibling rivalry. Nice, quiet house. I was a smart cookie, too, maybe even over prepared. I got a degree in psychology, then another one in education. I ran parenting classes and family therapy sessions and worked with some pretty dysfunctional families and their heartbreakingly psychologically, socially, and behaviorally totally messed up kids. So when Shana came along, I knew what not to do. Her happiness was on my mind every day. I always knew that my number one goal was to raise a happy baby, a happy child, and now a happy Little Miss I'm An Adult Now. I realize turning this one kid into a smiling, productive world member wasn't the hardest thing I've ever done. But it's my most important accomplishment and it always will be. And that makes me happy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mama Mia

I maneuvered through a year of empty nesting and came out the other end with a lot of used Kleenex, but still in one piece. It's been great to have the little chick-a-dee home for the summer, but the past two days we've been in overload. Shana's participating in her third week of her Leadership Workshop and with this bunch of kids, you never know what you're going to wake up to. Sometimes it's just Shana rolling in around 10pm or even 2am or sometimes I stumble out in the morning to three, four or more bundles of teenagers all over the house. These guys work so hard during the day, working with younger kids on some pretty significant issues - peer pressure, drug abuse, parental and boy-girl relationship issues, etc. They work late after the participants go home on skits and lessons and processing their workshop "families" to determine how they can help them get through some of their problems. Then they crash. Anywhere. And I love it. I love waking up to a houseful of kids. I love feeding them. I love forcing them to drink water since they probably go all day without touching any of it. I love watching Shawn take the coffee orders and fire up his machine for the second round of the day. And these kids are so polite. It's all "yum, this is great" "you're the best, Mrs. Sullivan!" "Thanks so much, Mrs. Sullivan." ( I'm pretty sure they know I don't create a spread like that every day, but I may have forgotten to mention it). Plus, Shana always seems so happy, she likes having the Kool-Aid house. This morning I jumped on her for a little morning hug and one of the girls said that Shana's the best snuggler in the world - that they snuggle all the time. I got in one last squeeze and said, "Yeah, I taught her everything she knows."

The Bourbon Divas Book Club

There's a book in here somewhere. My book club's official title from way back when is The Suburban Divas Book Club (unofficially we're the drinking club with a reading problem), so when the waiter tonight called us the Bourbon Divas Book Club, I figured maybe he was on to something. We gathered the gang (small at just six since it's July and Phoenix is a ghost town) at swanky Durant's with the red velvet wallpaper for some big steaks and some Kobe beef (we even got a lesson, those Kobe cows are pampered - fed beer, left alone to wander and given massages - so, of course the Bourbon Divas were all over that). Our book this month was The Wednesday Sisters, a cute little summer read about a group of women that met back in the 60's (thus, the Durant's venue) and followed them through some blast from the past history lessons and some pretty poignant examples of how some things never really change. We covered all the bases as usual - the kids, the summer, the sex, the politics, the husbands/boyfriends/boy toys/adorable artist guy down at Vinnie's and gossiped about the Divas that weren't there, figuring out all of their lives, too (hey, be there or be square, right?) We even charmed the cute waiter into an early, early Leslie/Jo birthday strawberry shortcake surprise. Maybe if we each started with a chapter, there will be another group of sisters at Durant's talkin' about us someday...

The Girl House

You know you want one. A Girl House. Maybe not enough to ditch the husband, but it's crossed your mind. Your own little hide-a-way. Everything in it's place. No boy stuff. Slap whatever color you want on the walls. Laugh as loud as you want without getting the look. You know the look. We've all gotten the look. Tonight we celebrated Louise's new girlie, girl pad with a pre-book club Happy Hour and the place looks great. Decorated just so. Perfection everywhere. There's still a cute guy around that comes and goes, but this place is all about Louise, bottom line and all. But the best part about Louise's Girl House? Little Annabelle said it best, "It feels like we're home."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thanks, Mr. Monsoon

I hate to be so weather-obsessed, but when it's pushing 114, it's hard to ignore. After a few cool days by the Pacific, I felt like I was ready for re-entry. Ready for the heat. Still ready to manage the summer without complaining. But Monday was tough. Hot. Humid. I almost caved and started to bitch, but by the time I got home from work, the clouds started to roll in. The sky went dark, the winds kicked up and the rains, thunder and lightening came. Finally. I woke up to dark skies and it seemed like a winter morning.

And the high today? A sort of nippy 103.

Nose Painting

OK, pretend that the end of your nose is a paint brush and "paint" circles on the "wall" in front of you (come on, nobody's looking). A little lesson from yoga. Mary the yogi talked about stillness vs. movement and we did some moving that we usually don't do, like the nose painting, instead of the same exact routines we get into every day, the typing, the hunching over the computer, the slouching in the chair. She explained that our minds are never really still enough to listen to our bodies (unless you go to her class!) - we may need more nose painting and less walking around in high heels.


I always wanted to be one of those California girls The Beach Boys sang about - the long, blonde hair, the dark tan, the oh-so-cool way they ride their beach cruisers down the boardwalk in their oh-so-tiny bikinis. But I'm just a Zonie. A poser. A fake. Somebody that pops in from next door Arizona right before it gets so hot it's about to melt. You can always spot us, too. The sunburned noses, the Noxzema smell, the cactus on the license plate, the bored kids trailing the parents, desperately wanting to escape and sneak down to the pier for a bonfire with the locals. But every summer we descend on southern California like we own the place, taking up every last parking space, every last inch of sand near the water, licking every last cone of fro yo as we try to look cool, like we belong, like we're really California girls. But we're not. So we shake off the towels until next year and go home.

The Face Off

Lotus was having such a good life before Cali showed up. She was the cute one. Her sister, LuLu, was the cranky, mean one. She loved to be pet, loved to be brushed. She got 90% of the cat attention that was doled out in the house, with LuLu only rarely barging in and demanding some, then, more often than not, ending her quality time biting the hand that was petting her. So Lotus ruled for years. Then Shana brought home Cali, all two pounds and abandoned, little Cali and we fell in love. She sleeps on top of Shawn's head. She greets us when we come in. She's got a serious Diva attitude and only drinks running water from the sink. She runs and plays and she's the cute new girlfriend in the house. Now Lotus is kind of cranky and mean. Can you blame her?

Buddha, baby

I love Buddha. I've never been one to go to church, so I just spread Buddhas all over my house and it's the closet thing to religion I get.

This one's the real deal - at least 750 years old. Just got the prayer beads from Amy last year from one of her latest trips to Asia.

Nice gold one watching over the living room - don't talk to him much.
My main man. He's right by the back door and I rub his head just about every time I walk out (so does Shana, Shawn, never).
Shana's shelf. Her little dusty, jade Buddha has been around for years, even went to college with her - right by the door for convenient head rubbing.
Happy rubber Buddhas. Their heads turn around, too - what's not to love.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just beachy!

Snuck off to the beach with the rest of the Zonies to chill for a few days.

Shana, Shawn and some Birds of Paradise

Shana and some peeps - Xandi and Shila

watchin' some hang-gliding

The Grande Finale

Upcoming Movie Madness - Whatever Works

Is anybody still in town? Melted yet? Meet the drippy gang on Monday July 20 at Camelview at 11:30 for the latest Woody Allen comedy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'm not complaining...I'm leaving

'm still not complaining about the heat. I'm okay. I'm staying inside. I'm parking in the shade. I'm doing stuff when the sun goes down. I'm making fun of people that complain. I look them right in the eye as they say something stupid like, "Boy, it's hot out, ha ha, isn't it?" Or, "Wow, I don't remember it being this hot last year. Do you?" Uh, yeah. But now I'm leaving. Shawn and I - heading west. Shana, too. Three Day Weekend. 72 degrees. 72 degrees. 72 degrees. 72 degrees. Sounds good.

It's not about the asterisk (but really it is)

The Reader at Harold's in Cave Creek
The wagon wheels were spinning, the beer was flowing and my heart was racing in Cave Creek tonight. I entered my piece "Fat Chance" into the Cave Creek Film and Arts Festival and out of 42 entrants I was selected as one of the ten Semi-Finalists! I tried to keep the big news on the down low, but my posse showed up anyway and sat through the long (for a bunch of short stories) ceremony with me at the ohh so cool honky tonk cowboy bar, Harold's. I was slated to go last. Last. Except I didn't know that until it was all over, sort of thought that somebody forgot about me. The emcee told me later that she picked me to wrap up the night since mine was so funny. Well, I'll take that. Before I read my piece (since it was getting late and most everybody else had already left and the people were bussing the tables), they announced the final three that would go on to the Saturday night event and I didn't make the cut. But I had an asterisk by my name in the program - a place of honor - a semi-finalist! We'll see ya'll next year, Cave Creek!!

The Posse

at the bar next door

The posse kept the celebration going as we walked next door to the Buffalo Cow Chip (?) place for some more ale, sweet tea (so they say), amazing voices of Chicks with Sticks and even swiping a hay bale and throwing it in the back of our pick-up (well, okay, suburban version white Volvo, close enough) - never a dull moment with these cowgirls.

too much beer at the bar next door
sit down already!

Did I mention the asterisk??

Lisa Sullivan *

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

Sully's pretty spoiled. To tell the truth, we've created a monster. It's cool enough in the house, we're getting by at 79, sometimes 78, but these days whenever I just crack the door open for something, he jets out and jumps in the pool. I'm trying not to complain about the heat this summer - trying to think of all the positives and he just ruins it with his, "I'm hot as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" not so graceful leap into the bath temp pool.

And Shana just encourages him.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Read? Or Write?

Since my writing class ended in May I haven't written anything (unless blogging counts) and decided to dedicate this summer the Summer of Reading. See, during class it takes everything I've got each week to come up with one two-page double spaced piece of something creative and meaningful and hopefully funny with no cliches and no typos. If I dare to pick up a book, the voices start in, "What, and you think your piece is good enough that you've got all this extra time to dawdle? Huh?" So, class over and the voices quieted, I'm on a reading roll. I realized today that so far, totally unintentionally, they all have something to do with writing or reading or book clubs. First up was Certain Girls - found it in the NY Times magazine as a must read about a woman that wrote a risque book in her youth that comes back to haunt her. Then the "How To Buy A Love of Reading" about a teenager that hates to read so her ostentatious, wealthy parents "buy" her an author to write her a book she'll like. Great lessons in writing. The Wednesday Sisters - an actual assignment for my own July book club (we're meeting at Durants for a swanky happy hour, and I can just imagine The Wednesday Sisters sitting at a table next to us, laughing about the same things we laugh about). My current just can't put it down book, is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, picked by Jo. I had my own little contest with myself during our Grand Canyon trip how many times I could appropriately use the word Guernsey (got up to at least five, by the way) since it was a new word to me. According to my friends (not the city girls) everybody said the word was a type of cow, but now I know it's so much more than that as I read about the incredible island off of England and some amazing characters. So now that my reading roll seems to have found a theme, I figure I have to stick with it. Or, I could stop stalling, grab a pen and write something.

Sunday, Sunday

Perfect omelet created by my personal chef - tall, dark, handsome, works in a robe, puts stuff away and doesn't even charge me. Spinach, mushrooms, onion, mozzarella cheese, mini everything bagel and blueberry and orange tea. Yum yum.

Shana's favorite - over hard with cheddar.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cat Nap, please

Cali the cat used to have a really annoying habit. I have a bowl with fake fruit in it that she discovered a couple of weeks ago. She likes to get up on the table in the middle of the night and dig out the pieces, swatting them until they fall on the ground where she proceeds to chase them all over the house, loudly. I finally learned to smash an extra pillow over my ear and started to sleep through her nightly fruit party. But it seems that the fruit has lost it's appeal. Starting this week, for her "I'm still a baby and it's time to paartay" at midnight happy hour, the little shit has been ramming her nose into my face. It's like she gets a running start and slams her cold, wet nose into my eyes, my cheeks, my nose, encouraging me to get up and play. Hoping for the good old days, though, tonight I'm going to spread fake fruit all over the place and maybe she'll leave me alone.

Quiche For Two

A little middle of the week, middle of the summer, but never just middle of the road catch-up with Dad, the good egg in a yellow shirt (he used to wear yellow pants from Yellow Front, but that was a long time ago). Cruising down Hayden, McCormick Ranch Parkway, Lincoln and lovely 24th Street to the Biltmore while it's still under 100 degrees makes a little early morning pow-wow even better. Life is good. Life is busy. Politics, kids, health care, travel, restaurants worth trying from a real foodie, how it feels to be abandoned in the Phoenix summer ghost town and a so totally typical dad twist on new hail story - "Gang, gang, the hail's all here!"

Kona Grill Happy Hour

TONIGHT - Thursday at 4pm at Scottsdale Fashion Square (Lauren suggested walking off any alcohol in the mall prior to driving - that girl's always thinking!)
Cheap drinks, cheap sushi, the mall's on sale...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Movie Madness - Public Enemies - Johnny Depp!!

Movie Madness - Monday, July 13 Shea 14 12:10

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

You No Work Today?

Do they have any proofreaders in Alaska?

Resignation in a minute and a half.

Dowd's great "nutty puppy" column

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Make Snow Not War

Careful what you wish for. Shawn and I were hot and cruised up north to find some cool. We found ourselves in Flagstaff at the Snowbowl mountain on the "Scenic Chair Ride" heading up to 11,500 feet on a gorgeous, thank God we got out of Phoenix, day. The ride up was beautiful - sunny, even warm in some spots as our feet dangled off the lift. We made fun of the people going down with their jackets and hats - even one guy had on gloves, thinking those weird Flagstaff locals are always so prepared. We noticed the clouds coming in before we got to the top, figured we may get some drops and sort of looked forward to it. That was the plan, right? The whole goal of the day was to cool off. It did just that as we went by the 10,000 foot marker, then 11,000, then 11,500. We got off and walked around, even saw the Grand Canyon in the distance. As we got in line to head back down, the sky started looking worse. I noticed that the other half of the chairlift was empty, too, nobody was coming up anymore, forcing us line waiters to get on only every third chair for balance. Halfway through the 25 minute ride down, we felt the first drops. Then they started coming faster and faster. Then they turned to hail. Hail. In July. I know that any lightheadedness from my freshly made raspberry beer from the microbrewery at lunch had worn off, so the only excuse for our hysterical laughter was probably insanity. We got soaked but kept laughing anyway. The hail was hitting us hard. Shawn - The Hero - wrapped himself around me (as much as you could on a metal swing hundreds of feet up in the air) and saved parts of me, while constantly sweeping off the piles of gathering hail. Still laughing, even though my flip-flopped feet were freezing, it was really fun. Shawn later described it as being rocked by pheasants during medieval times (this, coming from Mr. Metrosexual, standing there in linen shorts). We finally reached the bottom and the only thing I could do was to give a Rocky Balboa hands up in the air scream. There wasn't a soul on the previously full deck, now white with hail. We rushed in to the restaurant, crowded with much more prepared than we were storm watchers. I found a corner behind a table and bent over to shake the big white hard hail balls out of my hair into the dark green carpet. The family at the table was watching me and the guy said they were bummed when the chair lift closed down and they couldn't go. As I wrung out my t-shirt, watching a stream of water drip to the floor, I smiled and said, "Are you still bummed?" He shook his head.

After catching our breath, we ran to the car, cranked the heat and tried to thaw out, sort of hard to do in clothes that weren't going to dry anytime soon. I ventured back in to buy something dry and even though I have vowed to never, ever, ever buy another sweatshirt, I got a very stylish Arizona Snowbowl grey hoodie for only $29.99. Shawn requested a t-shirt and the only thing they had that wasn't brown or green and covered with big deer standing in front of forests with snow-capped mountain peaks in the background was one that said "Make Snow Not War."

We drove down the mountain in the rain to new favorite coffeehouse, Late For The Train, cracking up the whole way.

All better

Dr. Everythingwillbealright was burning up and prescribed a little day-tripping in thehigh country for some cool breezes, lunching on an outside deck and strolling around without worrying about finding some shade for the car. We snuck out of town to Flagstaff to find a beautiful day waiting for us. I even took advantage of the drive to and fro to whip through some of my summer of reading list - finished Certain Girls and took a big chunk out of Wednesday Sisters, next up is Peony in Love (War and Peace is next summer). My options are limited when driving with Shawn. If there's a capital I in front of the street name, the guy thinks he's on the Autobahn, so I can either white knuckle it, sleep or read. We had our fill, cooled off and raced home in time for the 9:00pm fireworks in Cave Creek.
Thanks, Doc!