Sunday, January 31, 2010

Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Friendship Garden

What a beautiful garden right in the middle of the big city. Stroll across the bridge and watch the fish in the koi pond, look at the Japanese trees and plants. There's a gorgeous tea house the overlooks the garden and the fountains. I'll have to go back for some tea. I was reminded of a tea service class I took a few years ago. It was very quiet, very slow, very peaceful, just like this place, and so unlike all of us hurried, crazy people, whining that the latte is taking too long to get at Starbucks. So, head downtown. Breathe. Stroll. It's worth the trip.

Nearly Naked Theatre - Fuddy Mears

Favorite nearlynakedtheatre's new show - Fuddy Mears.

There's a review below - I couldn't have said it better myself. Except - GO, it's hilarious - here through the 13th.

Nearly Naked Theatre presents the Arizona Premiere of Fuddy Meers, by David-Lindsay Abaire. This poignant and brutal new comedy traces one woman's attempt to regain her memory while surrounded by a curio-cabinet of alarmingly bizarre characters. Claire has a rare form of psychogenic amnesia that erases her memory whenever she goes to sleep. This morning, like all mornings, she wakes as her chipper husband comes in with a cup of coffee, explains her condition, hands her a book filled with all sorts of essential information, and he disappears into the shower. From there her day becomes a harrowing rollercoaster ride as she meets a limping, lisping, half-blind, half-deaf man in a ski mask, her perpetually stoned son, her gibberish-speaking mother, a dimwitted thug with a foul-mouthed hand puppet and a claustrophobic lady-cop. It's one hilarious turn after another, through the day of an amnesiac trying to decipher her fractured life.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Rock Bottom Lipstick Call

The lipstick was long gone by the time I rolled in. Giddy from a blast from the past Happy Hour with the high school girls, I got a call on the way home - Hey girl, hey, we're still here, right by your house. I swung by Rock Bottom for a quickie with the new crew, well, not so new, way past ten years now, but compared to the ones that knew me four decades, dozens of wrinkles and thirty pounds ago, pretty brand spanking new.

The Girls Are Back In Town

(photo - the girls back in the day )
Leslie, Soosie (well, now that we've grown up it's Susie, but I can't seem to write it like that yet) and I got together in the old 'hood at Tee Pee. Since Soosie never left the place everybody still knew her - something about having her Realtor pic on every shopping cart at Safeway seems to help. We looked at old pictures, the ones with the rounded corners that you ordered doubles of so you could share. I had forgotten about some of the trips to San Diego, sitting around the fire pit at night in the sand. There were the days at Disneyland and all of the parties, the Fozzie Bear I kept for way too long, kids in Izod shirts lined up on 70's couches, Farrah Fawcett hair. Did you like him? What? She stole him from you? Her dad was crazy, mom drunk, sister cranky, brother still exactly the same, boyfriend gay, dog named Hey You and Seagram the cat I gave away that got hit by a car, leading to my sobbing meltdown in the middle of Arcadia High. The years since, the dating, the divorce, the kids, the no kids and the old stuff melting into the new, the future plans, maybe another trip to the beach, maybe a new Farrah Fawcett haircut.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I forgot how disgusting candy cigarettes are. I got through almost half of one before I finally gave up. That's about how many real cigarettes I've made it through over the last 28 years. Lighting a few back as a sixteen-year old, mostly unsuccessfully, dangling them from my fingers as we cruised through town, sucking on them, trying to inhale without really inhaling since every time I did that I made a total fool of myself. And wasn't avoiding making a fool of oneself the whole point? At a writing class at the fabulous Smeeks with the always amazing Amy Silverman (and her mom, too - a first - she's a ballerina and a dentist's daughter with bad teeth - there's a book in there somewhere!) we were surrounded by candy.

A great new group of friends, ecclectic, hilarious, sat at a red polka-dotted table with pixie sticks, gummy bears, sundae glasses filled with gum balls and on and on. It brought back so many memories of our childhoods - grandma and grandpa's candy shop in the Bronx, daddy winning a Toffeyfay at bingo, getting Kelly Roberts or your other friend Kelly Roberts to swipe some candy for you so you can use it to pick up girls, or even much, much deeper stuff. It was the candy cigarettes that did it for me. Took me right back to that 7-11 counter on 56th and Indian School, shaking as I looked at the man, noticing my friend laughing at me outside. She had done this before. I practiced before I went in, sitting in my mom's yellow Lincoln, The Land Shark, Marlboro Light 100s, Marlboro Light 100s. Breathe. Marlboro Light 100s. But, for my first adventure into Coolville, I stood there and all that came out was, "Hi, can I buy some MarBELLOS?"

Thank God my friend was still in the car.



I'm a local girl, born and raised in Phoenix. I've left a few times, but I keep coming back. One of the reasons is Camelback Mountain. I love it. It keeps me grounded. It tells me where I am - if I'm on this side, then I'm North, over here, East. Sometimes even when I'm out of town and lost, I'll try to figure out where Camelback would be and somehow that helps me. I like to see it when I take off from Phoenix, say a silent little good-bye and then I never feel like I'm really back home until it shows up through one of those small airplane windows. My fifth grade teacher from Hopi school, Mr. Boyd, once told me that Camelback gets smaller and smaller every day. Well, this morning, it was gone. Poof. Totally covered by fog. I felt empty. Sort of like part of me was gone. Lost.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Wheels On The Bus...

I sat down in the bathroom at Costco and I heard a little girl singing. "The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round..........the people on the bus go round and round.......all through the town." It was so cute. Then, "Mommy, I'm done. I'm done." I started to miss Shana, wanted those days back. Then I remembered her text from earlier today - I love you! Have a great day! - and then her call tonight all about the study abroad program she wants to do in Spain next year. She was talking a mile a minute. Chatty Cathy. So excited. And I thought, well, that's pretty adorable, too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Prize Box

My dentist hates me. Or at the very least, she thinks that I'm a totally neurotic wimp. Today, after five years of seeing her, I found out that she has a Prize Box. You know the one. Lots of toys and sugar-free treats. I used to love the Prize Box when I was little. I looked forward to going to the dentist, Dr. Lau and all of his little dental elves, just because of the toys. Of course, that was back when nobody did anything too painful. No big drills back then. No really sharp tools poking at my gums, no bone sawing. I told her that I was upset that I never knew about the Prize Box. And she came right back at me and said, "Well, you've never been very good." Fine. Well, maybe if I had known about the Prize Box I would have been a better patient...

After the dentist I met with my CPA and happily piled all of my 2009 stuff on her desk. I was feeling pretty good. January appointment. Business and personal taxes. Done. She even reviewed my numbers and they all actually added up. She was impressed. Unsually I'm more of a just put more in than you take out kind of girl, so I was glowing. She said, "Gold Star" for you! Now that's what I'm talking about. Even better than a miniature plastic doll from the Prize Box.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Movie Madness - Broken Embraces

Excellent film set in Madrid. Penelope Cruz was great in this - lots of twists and turns.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pull Over

I looked in my rear view mirror and my heart stopped. The flashing red and blue lights. Shit. What did I do? I was just driving home from the gym on a quiet Sunday. I wasn't on the phone. Not texting. Not speeding (my radar detector didn't go off). Just happily listening to the Click and Clack guys on the radio. Are my tags expired? Do I have an outstanding warrant? Too many parking tickets? Sexual offender? Nope, nope, nope. I rolled down my window and got out my driver's license. Mr. Police Officer walked up and asked me if I knew why he pulled me over. I said no. He said that I rolled through a stop sign back there. He's right. I did. I always roll through that stop sign (I didn't say that out loud). It's on a little side street in my neighborhood. There's a T in the road, so no oncoming traffic and hardly ever any traffic coming from the left that could hit me. But he was right. Take me in. Lock me up. He said that he wasn't going to give me a ticket. He was just getting the word out, some complaints from the neighbors, you know. Uh huh. Thank you so much. I'm so sorry. He took my license and registration back to his car. Again, the heart. What's he going to find? Whatever I did, I'm sorry. He came back, handed me my stuff and told me to have a good day. Whew. I turned around and went back through that intersection. I came to a full stop, but my heart didn't stop racing until I was home.

Boy Toy

Shawn truly does like the whole saving lives and healing the sick thing, but the real reason he gets out of bed every day and goes to work is so he can drive a cool car. Here's his latest crush. It's not signed, sealed and delivered yet, but his fingers are crossed.

Friday, January 22, 2010


"Sophie Only Seems Sad"
At first glance, Sophie seemed a bit strange. Maybe it's the weird colors on her face, the long neck, the hair. Or it might have been the 30 minute over exposure to Western art and oil painted coyotes and dangly beaded earrings before we met, but after a while, she grew on me. Maddie and I spent a long time talking to her artist about his mid-life crisis at 50 when he decided to stop painting for other people and just paint what he likes. Find some new colors. No more decorator pieces that are commissioned to match the sofa. And since he threw caution to the wind, he's been happier. Funny how that works. The Celebration of Art event on Scottsdale Rd and Mayo Blvd will be there for a few more months (half price coupons online making the total cost a whopping $4 for the entire run). It's full of talented people who are working on their art as you walk by. Talk to them. You may learn something. You may fall in love with Sophie after all.

After taking in the art with Carla, too, we met up with Robin, Cecily and Louise at the fabulous Herb Box. Happy Hour discounts just make everything all better (but I'm still recovering from an I can't remember the last time that happened hangover, so I abstained). The talk was the kids, the men, what the new definition of marriage should be. Maybe it's a rare thing that a marriage lasts a lifetime in these days. Maybe a couple could define their own relationship, not just society's ways. Maybe we need to learn to do divorce better in this country. Enough already with the two year, three year, four year or even decade long recovery process. Yeah, who am I to judge, I know, I know. I've got a swell guy. We've talked. We've defined. We're in it for the long haul. Just the two of us. Promise. But if something ever happens, I hope that I can kiss him good-bye, thank him for the fun ride with no regrets and move on.

At least I'll have my new friend Sophie.

Titans Rule

The hostess had some massive boobs and John couldn't keep his eyes off them. I just sat down, met his girlfriend and he and fellow guy at the table, Tim, just kept going on and on about them. Some things never change from high school. Various combinations of the old high school gang are trying to stay in touch (that's Leslie up there, too). A lunch here and there, holiday happy hour, whatever. It's fun to watch as the stories from long ago are turning into current happenings and plans for the future. But we did rehash all the cars we used to drive and the parties we used to go to. I remembered that Sneaky Pete D. crashed my Mom's Land Shark yellow Lincoln through our garage wall and how we blamed oh-so-perfect Pete B for the crime, since he could do no wrong. Hadn't thought about that one in decades. comes the hostess. John, stop it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Captain Sullivan and the Bone Crushers

Shana went to softball sign-ups (co-ed, slow pitch softball) and discovered that nobody needed any players so she just started her own team. The Bone Crushers. She's the Captain. Last year her team won the championship - let's hope for another good season.

Go Bone Crushers!

The Hangover

I'm not a big drinker. Really, I'm not. I know that must sound ridiculous what with all of the happy hours and lipstick calls and the whole "drinking club with a reading problem" book club, but it's maybe one or two drinks a week, some weeks none. So, really, I'm not a big drinker. You know how when somebody says, "I'm not prejudiced" but they always are? I've never heard anybody say that one without having some truth to it. But, big drinker, me, nope. Well, maybe last night. I got the email from Louise that she would be driving to book club, ditching her cherry red VW and rounding up the troops in the old Suburban. I'm the one that usually drives. See - not a big drinker. I like to make sure the girls get home safely, keep the glasses of wine to two tops and the water flowing. But with the Louisemobile on the way, I popped open some Chardonnay for a couple of glasses for a pre-book club toast. Then, after giving up vodka after college, I recently decided to give it another chance. Cosmos are so pretty, you know, and there's all that fancy flavored vodka around now unlike back in the day. Well, I guess I don't know how to order correctly, there seems to be an art to it (like Starbucks, I've got that down - tall soy no-foam chai, or on a summer afternoon - grande passion tea, unsweetened) so the vodka hasn't been a winner with me lately. But last night with the freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and tangerine juice staring at me I let it rip. We went late. I must have had three. God. Stumbled home way after bedtime. Didn't want to wake Shawn so plopped in to Shana's empty bed. Then remembered. We're one employee down tomorrow. Sleeping late isn't an option. Drank some water, woke up with a brain splitting in two. Threw the car key to Shawn for our drive to work, begging for a just like back at college morning stop at Burger King for some hangover grease and caffeine. Have you eaten a "hash round" lately? Disgusting.

Thanks for the lift, Louise. And thanks for the solar powered flower, too, but I'm driving next time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Club - The Lost Symbol

Maddie must have been chopping and squeezing all day. Homemade soup - pumpkin ginger, homemade souffle - broccoli artichoke, homemade strawberry ice cream to go on top of the homemade brownies, freshly sqeezed grapefruit, orange and tangerine juices sitting right next to the vodka. Oh, then there was the roaring fire, the always amazing cozy candle-lit house, the cute hubby trying to avoid us but not succeeding, the circle of Divas laughing and crying and laughing some more. We never did get around to talking about the book. But it never is really about the book anyway...

My Kachina Doll

Shana didn't skip a grade in school on purpose, it just happened. One summer day when she was five, Shawn and I walked in to Kachina Country Day School to see if it was somewhere Shana would like, a place where she could start Kindergarten. Shawn had gone there when he was little for maybe two years. The place was empty, but when we walked in an older lady walked out from her office. We told her our names and what we were looking for in a Kindergarten. After thirty years, she recognized Shawn's name and told us all about his days at the school. She knew his parent's names. She knew that his dad is an Orthodontist. She knew that he has an older brother. She remembered that Shawn was an early starter, started first grade at 5, even though she thought that maybe he should have waited and remembered that he had a hard time his first semester but then had his tonsils removed at the Christmas break and did better the next semester. I was blown away. She then went on to show us around and explained some of her unique ways of teaching and testing. I was impressed. Another day, I brought Shana in for some placement testing. She was off the charts. A genius. Well, yeah, duh. She recommended that Shana go into a mixed class, Kindergarten and first grade, so she could benefit from the higher academic level of work and classmates. Well, who could argue with that? Shana went to a Montessori preschool for two years, we read to her all the time, did Hooked-on-Phonics and when she was two my mom dropped everything in her life and moved to Kansas for a year to help me with Shana since I couldn't find a good babysitter while I worked some nights and Shawn was in school. The kid got a lot of attention. So we enrolled her at Kachina and she started in a K-1 classroom. The following year, 1-2, then a 2-3 the year after that. In the middle of that year, we transferred to another school with some of her friends. Since she was doing third grade work, she went into a third grade classroom. So I guess that's when it happened. I've questioned that non-decision for years. Should I have held her back with her age group? Even one year back and she would have still been younger than some with her March birthday. Her standardized test scores were always just average, having to be compared to those one, two years older. But, now she's in college. The GPA is good and I let all the guilt go a while ago. Then today I got a letter from our insurance company. "Your child is now eighteen. We need verification that she is a full-time student. Please send proof, for instance a current high school schedule." High school? She's in college. A sophomore already. At eighteen. I called U of A and they're sending me an official Enrollment Verification form. A sophomore already. What was I thinking? Oh, the guilt. So hopefully like the lady at Kachina, Mrs. Kline, I'll still remember every little thing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mary vs. Mother Nature

Poor, sweet Mary never had a chance. All I could focus on in yoga tonight was the rain. The pounding rain outside the wall of windows in our room. The dark mountains and the black night getting soaked by Mother Nature. Mary's calm words and beautiful music were there somewhere, too, but by the end of class, even she gave up, turned off the lights and the ihome and we just listened. All of us desperately dry desert dwellers listened to the rain.

Well, there was one thing I heard. Mary had us all line up against the classroom wall, facing it, almost shoulder to shoulder in our unusually large class. I smiled to myself when I spotted a small label on the cupboard door that said, "Social Action" - perfect. We all chuckled a little when Mary bent over, making it look so easy, but pretty soon we all did the same thing. Nice guy on my left and nice gal on my right. We faced the wall, stood about 6 inches from it, hollowed out our stomachs and chests and folded over. Try it. Eventually your back will rest, upside down, on the wall in a really supportive, stretchy kind of way. For extra fun, scoot your feet closer to the wall and/or put your arms up the wall. It's hard to explain, but if I could figure it out with all that gorgeous drumbeat of rain fogging my brain, it should be a piece of cake in a quiet house.

Namaste. Thanks, Mary.

Wake-Up Call

I sort of put away my political junkie hat for the past few months. Obama won. He inherited a big mess and we all just needed to give him a chance to fix it. Right? Well, not tonight. It looks like I wasn't the only one that took my eye off the ball.

Your lips are moving, but....

We've been having some computer problems at work. One just totally stopped working the other day and the new hard drive is on the way. Then there's the software problem. The systems aren't "talking" to each other. The "bridges" are down. The in isn't going in and the out isn't going out. Well, the out was going out until the IT guy came in to fix the in's not going in problem. But, now nothing's going either way. He tried to explain all of this to me. He was all plusses and minusses and signs and numbers and databases and computer guy stuff. He was in my office, at my desk, having chosen my PC to use to fix the problems. For like four hours. So I was displaced. I had to stop by pretty frequently to see how he was doing, how much longer, wringing my hands, please, please fix it. But every time he would open his mouth, I just looked at him. I knew I should be able to get this. I went to college. I use a compter every day, but it was just blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, since I was just hanging around getting frustrated, watching my IQ go down, down, sneaking out a bit early to clear off something else on the to do list seemed like a plan. I texted my hairdresser. Could she squeeze me in. I've got tons of grey. Fast, really, just slap it on, I'll leave with a wet head. We changed the color a bit last time and she was talking with a co-worker about the special recipe that would work. Part D and one half of J? No, probably 3.5K and a quarter C with some chrome. Chrome? Well, yeah you need the chrome since you used the H toner last time. Oh right. Do they make 3.5K? I don't know, I'll look. More blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I opened my book. Old fashioned. Paper. Words. Something I could understand and started to read.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Have A Dream

Movie Madness - Crazy Heart

Crazy Heart - Jeff Bridges just won the Golden Globes award for Best Actor and he deserves it. Wow. What an incredible performance. Down and dirty, warts and all. The theater was packed today and we had three generations of movie madness folks - two parents, one sister and one daughter added to the mix. The singing was good, the story great and the lesson worth learning. I'm so stuck in the 80's, muscially speaking, but I think I'll get the CD - a little country never hurt anybody

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Kosher Cheerleader

The Kosher Cheerleader

Lots of laughs as we went on the rollercoaster ride of The Kosher Cheerleader's life. She went from a daughter of an aethiest Jew and a Gypsy/Russian Princess to an LA Raiders cheerleader. She had five siblings, a hole in her heart, danced with Sylvester Stallone, was left in an orphanage for six months "by accident" and made some extra bucks doing stand-up comedy. She finally found happiness by becoming an Orthodox Jew (going from practically naked cheerleader to constantly all covered up), marrying somebody who saw her from the inside and not just that she was "hot" (which she is) and plans to live happily ever after. Fun night out with the girls. Rah rah rah!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mothers Plunge

mothersplunge at the Franciscan Renewal Center

"spiritual refreshment, laughter, a whole new view"

What a great way to spend a Saturday. Peace, zen, meditation, patience, attention, focus - all good reminders given by a Buddhist with an infectious laugh surrounded by women like book clubber Maddie and writing class friends Latisha and Lori, ready to take it all in.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jesse Cook

Sold out, schmold out. After a rollicking good time on the fun patio on a gorgeous night at AZ88, Louise and I left the rest of the party poopering gang (Maddie and Carla - but we still love them!)

and managed to get the two last tickets right up front to see Jesse Cook. I thought I had never heard of him, but turns out, I just wasn't paying attention. He played several songs I recognized and when I came home to tell Shawn about this fabulous new guy I discovered, he told me we already have a couple of his CDs. Oh well. Anyway, incredible guitar playing, great band - drums, violin, accordian - really amazing. AZ88 was hopping beforehand and we met up with some old friends (Art and Rich) in the restaurant and hotel industry to find out the lowdown of what's really going on in this town. Apparently Lon's is the new (not old anymore) place to be. We had some good wine and even some red roses showed up at the table. What a treat!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help Haiti

My God. It's horrifying.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pass the mayo

I'm trying not to lose my mind. I take fish oil. I eat blueberries. I do crossword puzzles and suduko. I'm always in the middle of one or two books. And, not that it's going to help, I'm part of an Alzheimer's research study at Mayo. I saw a little ad in the paper over ten years ago and I signed up. Every one or two years I go down and they torture me with psychological testing - are you depressed? Suicidal? Bit of a drug problem? Hmm? Here - look at this complex drawing for ten seconds, then draw it from memory, oh, and recite every word you know that starts with the letter C and if apples are 2 for 32 cents how much are a dozen? Fast, do it! Then a little neuro testing, walk on your toes, heels, close eyes and touch nose, hit knee with a hammer and see if it moves. Sometimes they take my blood. Sometimes they put me in a tube and MRI my brain. I do this for nothing. Well, sometimes I get a free lunch. But it's all for a good cause. My grandmother had Alzheimer's. She lived to well over ninety and had a good life and while I hope I don't get it, it does sort of make sense in a circle of life kind of way. We come in to the world not knowing much, no memories. Maybe it makes getting old easier, no regrets, no wondering why you're sitting alone in a nursing home where nobody comes to visit. I always get a wake-up call at Mayo, surrounded by old, sick people. Makes me want to take better care of myself. Eat better. Exercise more. Breathe deep and focus on the positive, semi-healthy person I am, three or four decades younger than the Mayo crowd. The place is so nice, though, soft lighting, piano music playing overhead, nice untattoo-d employees coming from around the dark wood walls while we all say to ourselves, "Pick me, pick me." But I wonder what's wrong with everybody, how long the couples have been married, how much that lady must have to pay to be wheeled around like that. It makes me sad. I want to wear a sign. I'm not sick. I'm here to help. And, no, I'm not depressed. Just a little sad.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pick a card, any card

The gift cards have taken over my wallet. The restaurant cards - Fox, Flemings, Maestros.  The too good to be true $50 Tommy Bahama card that just showed up in the mail one day and expired before I could use it card. The I returned the itchy sweater and now I have a Macy's gift card card. The I returned the microwavable bunny slippers and now I have TJ Maxx gift card card. The at least four Starbucks cards.

I guess it's better than a bunch of fruitcakes.

Back to school

Home for almost a month, Shana flew the coop again today. Hit the road. Back to class. Time to go learn sumthin'. She's really growing up. She worked hard on her class schedule, did lots of research on parking and housing and upcoming sports and study abroad programs for next year. She was excited to return to school. A first. Ouch. I still remember when I would drop her off at pre-school and she would scream, cry big tears, red face, the works. It broke my heart. But then one day, she didn't cry, didn't look back, just ran off to play with her friends.

That hurt even more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Movie Madness - The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassas

What would you do without me?

Get another midget...

Wild and crazy carnival ride surrounded by movie madness mavens through the Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassas. What's in your imagination? Totally unique film with incredible acting and special effects. After Heath Ledger died, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell took over some of the parts - beautifully. Lots of choices and deals with the devil, which way will you go?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Take Your Daughter To Work Day

Shana lost money on the deal, but it was a good lesson. Sometimes work gets in the way of life.  I went along for the ride for Shana's school still hasn't started and I'm still at home in Phoenix and I really don't want to drive to Tucson to go to work but I really have no other choice, other than to quit, and I really do like my job so I need to do it trip to Tucson. We stopped at Starbucks and had a rollicking time on the I-10. We sang at the tops of our lungs. We noticed the hot air balloons flying around. She went to work. I putzed around. Had sushi. Shopped. She got off work and we went the back way home. Beautiful desert. Made fun of the other drivers. More loud singing. She taught me how to do the in-the-air fist bump without looking like an idiot. She said that she really likes her job. She said that they really like her. Tested her a bit today on the inventory, making clear she's no seasonal helper and they planned the upcoming play "The Frog Prince" where she'll be the narrator. Good kid. Good employee. Good lesson learned.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Four L's

Out with the four L's for a lipstick call. Stopped by the Frenchy Zinc for some vino, then stumbled down the perfectly manicured, palm tree-lined, sparkly lit, Disneyland-like Kierland street to Ocean Club to help newly single Louise find a man. The place was humming with the beautiful people of Scottsdale (including lots of desperate, lonely ones, too). Never one to enjoy the pick-up scene, I focused on my girlfriend duties and spotted a potential guy - Hollywood producer-type, brown bomber jacket, jeans, full head of hair (grey). She chatted him up a bit then realized he was too full of himself and turned to sit on Laurel's pick's lap - nice, Midwestern, kind of pasty and balding and, oh yeah, married (at least he admitted it). We gave up and moved on to the the next theme park ride for a little umbrella in the drink at Tommy Bahamaville before designated drivering it home.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

August: Osage County

The play won a Tony and a Pulitzer prize and to think, I almost didn't go. At over three hours long, it seemed too much for a week night. But Shana and I (along with her student ID - half price, third row center tickets!) loved every minute. So much going on - the family drama: the alcoholic dad, the pill-popping mom, the creepy uncle, the cousin that's really your half-brother, the sister that has to always take charge when things fall apart, the sister that leaves town when things fall apart and the other sister, the one in love with the cousin that's now your goes on and on and we all know somebody in there.   The characters and the writing and the set and the dialogue was intense, but so hysterically funny.

Stand up - Applause, applause, applause, applause.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lucky Mom

I thought she would be sick of me by now, but all I heard this afternoon was, "Mmooomm, when are you coming home?" We've had weeks worth of holiday parties and chores and shopping and a couple of road trips and lots and lots of togetherness, capped off yesterday with Movie Madness and a mother/daughter Sapporo/Costco/reading in bed extravaganza. But the kid still needs me. She likes me. She wants to hang out with me and the feeling's mutual. Shana has done everything by the book. She went through all the stages right on time, except for one. The annoying one. She skipped that one and I figure at age eighteen, we're in the clear. Maybe I've forgotten how hard it was when she was smaller. Or when she cried. Or when she misbehaved. There were some Time-Outs way back when, but even those went pretty well. Maybe it's because she's an only child, nobody else to get in trouble with, nobody else to gang up on me with. Maybe that's it. She won't have anybody to complain to when I'm old. When I'm annoying. Or maybe she'll still call me and ask me to come over. I hope so.

Yoga - Less is More

Throw away the PhD, the Masters, the high school diploma and go back to Kindergarten. We learned in yoga tonight that it's when your mind is empty that you can focus on the body. Let it go. Less is more. Lower the bar. Get rid of the clutter, the facts, the worries.

Good to know...

Office Blues

Stuck on the phones at work today. Scottsdale's sick. They all came in.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lipstick Call Sans Lipstick

What a difference a week makes. Some of us girls showed up for a lipstick call last week at the snazzy Z Tejas. It was booming with the holiday, there's no recession around here, crowd. We were rarin' to go, too, ready for the new year, making plans, lipsticked up and even had on a totally unchoreographed selection of oh so cool animal prints.

But today, following Movie Madness and oh my God I haven't seen you since last year, we flopped over to another drinking hole, not so snazzy, totally dead Blue Burrito. Perfect for a Monday afternoon. Perfect to catch up. Perfect to congratulate ourselves for surviving yet another holiday intact.

No lipstick necessary.

Movie Madness - Up in the Air

Some people just don't get it. I was trying to explain Movie Madness to somebody at a New Year's Eve party and he just gave me the look. The I have to work look. The I have a life look. The I have a million other things I need to do look. The I have the kids and the house and the car and the job and the errands and the class and the spouse and I could never possibly run off to the movies in the middle of the day because I'm so very perfect and responsible look. I've seen it before, believe me. So when Mr. Party Guy said that he had to work and I asked him why he wasn't working then. Right now. On New Year's Eve? Who gave him permission to take time off of work? Why couldn't he stay late at work one day? Come in early one day? Maybe show up on a Saturday morning? Now there's something his boss would probably say yes to. There's something his clients would appreciate. Be a little flexible, man. Yeah, yeah, my life is easy. I work right by the theater, have a flexible job, empty nest and a self-sufficient husband. But I figure it's an investment. It's like therapy. I never walk out of a movie without appreciating my life more. I always am amazed by the art of the movie. The direction, the acting, the scenery, the music, the writing. It's like going to a museum. How did they get that shot? Where did they come up with that word? That look? It's always worth every minute, every penny and somehow everything else eventually gets done. And sneaking out of life in the middle of the day - so naughty, so ditch dayish. So Frenchie, how 'bout it?

Today we got the year off to a flying start. George Clooney - Up in the Air. Good turn-out, mavens, petite ya yas and even two humans of the male persuasion - way to go Neal and Jordan. The movie was good, maybe not the five stars I've seen around, but makes you think. What do you want to put in your backpack? What's important enough to carry around with you all the time? Family, friends, a make the world a better place by healing the sick job and Movie Madness, of course!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Shana and I hung on tight as Shawn flew us up to Pinetop in his rocket car for a Wonderful White Winter Wonderland Weekend in the Woods. Nana and Papa, recently retired, have been snuggled up there for months and we joined them for a nice relaxing couple of days reading and playing in the snow (plus a few wayward snowballs, very funny, honey, ice in the face and fake skating on the are you sure it's frozen? frozen pond).

Friday, January 1, 2010

Up Up and Away

To get the new year off to a flying start, sister Amy and I headed up up and away for a sunset ride through the desert in a hot air balloon. It was incredible. The afternoon was just perfect, sun shiny, fluffy white clouds, a little wind. As we rose up I got sort of a Dorothy heading out of Oz feeling. Once we got up, the silence was amazing. It was so peaceful  as we floated away from the city and the interstate and the hustle and bustle and into the desert. Except for the occasional dog barking at us and the sound of the fire bursting into the balloon carrying us, the noise was gone. The sky and the mountains were beautiful - blue, purple, orange, pink and then when we landed softly at sunset in the middle of nowhere, the horizon turned a deep red. Unbelievable. "Hello 2010," said Mother Nature. The group gathered  for a Champagne and treats from Vincent's party before calling it a night. As Amy and I pulled into my neighborhood, the moon was just rising, low, massive, yellow and another reminder to make this year a beautiful one, to get out there, outside, put my feet in the grass and my head in the clouds as often as I can. Thanks, Amy. Happy New Year, baby.