Friday, May 28, 2010

Lisa G's in the house!

Roberts, Sheila, Gerbis, Sullivan

Old friend, Lisa G., cruised in to town for a quick visit and the gang got together for a Friday night celebration. There was so much going on and so much catching up and so many ohhs and ahhs over how big all the kids are now that I didn't have a second to think about taking a picture. So here's one from way back when of the girls (ahem...Princesses) hanging out at Disneyland in the early 90's. We reviewed the past couple of years, the gossip, the kids, the parents, the plans for a girl's trip - Savannah? Florida? as the hubbys hung out on the patio. Time flies, but it's always like starting from where we left off. I miss the Princesses.

Bloom Buh-Bye

Quick Lipstick Call with the book club. Laurel's off to the farm, pre-bday for moi, Jo's new dress, Louise's new job, Leslie's new graduate, Julie's back to MN and new friend - come on over and join us.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


No Sex for me. I tried it once and hated it. All bells and whistles and no substance, no character, no emotion, just a bunch of cheap thrills. And now I'm supposed to go back for more? No way. Sorry Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda, you're on your own for this one. Get out the Rabbit. The reviews are horrible, it's almost three hours long and walking around in Jimmy Choos in the desert? I just can't do it.
I would feel so used.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I took my car in for a quick air pressure check before we head off to the beach in a few days. The guy started saying something about 3 and 3/4, but between 4 and 5 and 5/8s so maybe it's time for new tires. I mean, I wouldn't drive to San Diego with those tires, I'm not saying anything bad will happen, but, you know. It's not like you'll have a blow-out or anything, but more likely you'll lose traction, lose control, etc. City driving may be ok, but San Diego? I don't think so. That's what he said so I went home. Shawn said my tires were fine. I told him about the 3 and 3/4, but between 4 and 5 and 5/8s and it's on the inside that's the problem. So he looked. He agreed. He called the guy and we got new tires. Maybe I could have handled that on my own. I didn't want to be taken advantage of just because I don't have a penis and because I know nothing about tires. Shawn's good for that. It's a wonder that I make it through most days. There are so many things that I don't know and it's all his fault, really. I also know nothing about: computer hardware, cell phone batteries, hot water heaters, pool pumps, sprinkler systems, how medicine works, burning a CD, the remote control - I can turn on the TV to watch a show, but have no idea how to start a movie or fast forward a movie or pause a movie what with the four different remotes involved. I can't change a tire, jump a car battery, fix a dishwasher, install a faucet or a garbage disposal, kill a spider or get up on the roof to do whatever it is that people do up there. 

I guess I could learn if I had to, but "thanks, Shawn" is so much easier.

Family Dinner

Family dinner at the great Rita's Kitchen at Camelback Inn. There we are. Noah just home from college with his ROTC 'do. Turn around and you'll find Shawn taking the picture. Dueling guacamole, the new AZ AG, summer plans - France, Montreal and someday, Vienna, Dad's not Twittering or Tweeting yet, nobody likes their cell phone, really good fish and Mummy Mountain whenever I looked up. Gorgeous patio, it just doesn't get any better than this, night in good old Phoenix.

Guitar Man
 The View

Melanoma May

May is Melanoma Awareness Month. As an Arizona native, somebody that grew up slathered in baby oil every summer out by the pool or for ten hours a day on the beach in San Diego for a couple of weeks a year, I should worry. I'm covered with a wrinkly face, splotchy chest and such spotty forearms and hands, I look like a grandma. These days I don't leave the house without my SPF and I'm hoping for a little luck over the next few decades. But a couple of weeks ago my sister had to have something removed from her ankle. Something suspicious. Cancer, they said. It's all gone now and the tests came back good that they got it all. I freaked out and made an appointment with my Derm to get the once over. I stripped down (poor guy, those florescent lights are rough - I look much better by candlelight) and he examined every little spot through some magnifying glass-like contraption. He said I'm good. No Melanoma. Not one bad spot, but he told me to keep using the sunscreen and to come back next year. In three more days I'm off to the beach with Amy.

I'm bringing one of these.


Does this pose make me look fat?


Here,  read this by Maureen Dowd

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Mommy

Shana tagged along to yoga with me tonight. She's used to working out at the gym, aerobics, lifting weights, kick boxing, softball, frisbee on the mall at school kinds of things. Not yoga. I took her once when she was little to a kid's yoga class and they all did cute animal poses. Over the years, I've taught her the child's pose (to help with a sore back) and down dog and we've done sun salutations on some trips that I can remember. But never a whole class. She asked me on the way over if there's music. She wondered if she would be bored. I told her that it is a good time to sort of clear her brain for an hour. I told her that that's what I try to do for just one hour a week. No summer boredom thoughts. No reality shows. No Facebook for an entire hour. Just breathe and try not to think. She said, "Maybe I can make room for more information." Exactly! She met the wonderful Mary and got through the class, keeping up with the rest of us, but not really overflowing with joy. Then, at then end, Mary asked us to do the Happy Baby pose. Shana knows that one, too. She grabbed her feet, looked over at me and smiled.

Go Suns!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Movie Madness - Letters To Juliet

Really bad movie, but got some nice travel ideas. Heavy on the cliches and predictability, it finally asked the question, 'What if?" What if I missed it? Well, the upside - I never knew much about Verona and now I definitely need to go there. Gorgeous. Canals, bridges, vineyards, Shakespeare.

And the day just kept getting better with lunch with the girls - Shana, Heather, Jo and Maddie - yapping over Mozarella, just like in Italy.

Movie Madness will be on hold for a few Mondays after today. Escaping from reality the real way - Memorial Day three day weekend in San Diego with sister, daughter and friend, Ally, three day weekend number two in the Grand Canyon with the book club, then a cool trip to Canada for a little sight-seeing and Grand Prix-ing with racing fan, Shawn, Shana and the fabulous Heather.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

68 degrees and windy

A little someting to remember in August...cold, hoodie-worthy night, late May, windows open, shivering on family walk


My man, Bono, turned fifty this month - the guy's getting up there. On Friday, while rehearsing for another swing through America on his rocket ship for the incredible 360 tour, he hurt his back and had emergency neurosurgery somewhere in Munich. He can afford the best of care, of course, so I'm sure he's getting everything he needs. I hope all of those years jumping up and down on stage for my benefit didn't permanently damage him. I hope he'll be up and around and back to normal soon. I'm trying not to worry, but it seems like everytime I turn on the radio or walk into a store or even when I snuggled on the couch the other night with my other man, my main man, Shawn, and he hit play on the DVD, I hear his voice. Singing. Jumping up and down.

Here he is on April 30th entertaining another pretty cool guy.
Take care. Rest. And get back on your rocket ship soon. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Shana, Shrek and that Malcolm kid

Girl's night out with my favorite girl. Shana and I went to the coolest place in town, Pita Jungle, and sat outside on a gorgeous night. We saw that kid from Malcolm in the Middle (Frankie Muniz)

Here's some "Mom, stop taking pictures!" evidence - movie star to the left of Shana's green fingernails.
(He's staying at the W)
Then we went to see this guy
Shrek - funny, amazing graphics, great life lesson. Shrek gets bored with the everyday routine of his life - loving wife, beautiful kids, nice friends and wishes for just one day of peace. He makes a deal with the villain (Rumpelstiltskin - who looks like, guess who? Frankie Muniz!), finds out life isn't all that great with nobody around, finds his long-lost love, Fiona, who has become a badass Revolution leader since Shrek wasn't around to save her and he falls in love with her all over again. All in a day's work, then cut back to reality at Chuckee Cheese-like birthday party. Lesson - appreciate what you have. I do, I do, I do.


I think the first week of Weight Watchers is rigged. I've been around the block a time or two and seem to recall that it's that first weigh-in that's always the highest. It's always downhill from there. Downhill on the number of pounds lost. I totally changed the way I ate the past week. I had about three bites of things containing sugar. I ate fruits and vegetables. I went to Starbucks once and left with a Passion tea unsweetened, no usual tall soy no foam chai and a banana muffin. I counted my points. I even counted pistachio nuts. When I ran out of points, I stopped eating. I exercised. Sounds so reasonable, really. So when I stepped on the scale at 8am today I was hoping for some good news. The lady smiled at me as she looked up from her only-she-can-see weight display. She wrote down the number. She got out the calculator and hit the subtraction key. Down 6.6 pounds. Sweet!

Can't wait for next week....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Purse Party

You shoulda seen the ladies' eyes gloss over. My house was transformed into a Disneyland for the frugal shopper. Most of us like to hit the racks at Macy's, TJ Maxx and the mothership, Target, for fun new bags, never getting close to the $3,000 and up fancy things Hollywood celebrities love to cart around. But show us a sale and life is good. The crowd was wowed by all of the Gucci, Tiffany, D & G, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Hats, scarves and jewelry were flying off my sofas.  A totally real looking knock-off Prada purse for $45? Come on, that's more fun than a ride on Space Mountain. The wine was flowing as friends, neighbors, book clubbers, mah jongers, drug reps from the office, several high school graduates, including an I'm eighteen today birthday girl, tons of Shana's ilk and even my dentist swarmed my living room for a couple of hours of pure bliss.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I not only had time to go to yoga tonight, I finished up at work and got there an hour early. The church is on a beautiful piece of land just below Camelback Mountain. It is surrounded by desert and rock "rivers" and fountains and sculptures (even one by fave Waddell) and lots of benches for sitting under big trees and thinking, so I took advantage. What a luxury. Mary's just back from a week long seminar quest to learn even more about life and how to pass it on to all of us (by gettting back to basics and really learning less). We had lots of pre-yoga talking time (usually saved for sneaking out and grabbing lunch) and then the class came in, more community, more catching up, more gathering - so much a part of this class. Then it was back to basics - a million sun salutations, work to get it right, make the body light, flowing from one pose to the next, taking longer in one if you need to, less time in others, but really, it's about the flow. Be flexible. Maybe all of the answers are already in there somewhere.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just vote (yes)

I don't know if being a Democrat is hereditary, like my brown hair and blue eyes, or if it's more like a virus, you just pick it up after living with somebody for so long, but mine seems to run pretty deep. Shana seems to have inherited/absorbed the Blue girl in a Red state gene, too, and tomorrow she's off to vote for the very first time. She's seen me screaming at the television over the years on election nights, has come with me to see Clinton, first Bill, then Hillary, Howard Dean, John Kerry and Obama and has watched me fill out countless mail-in ballots. She picked a good election to start with. Pretty basic. Just one choice. Not even down party lines. And, how appropriate, it actually has something to do with her, education. I have to balance my budget every month at home and at the office and it makes me mad that we keep electing people that can't do the same, so I'd really like to vote no and force them to figure out a way to make ends meet without our kids suffering. But that will never happen. So I voted "Yes" on Prop 100. I read my election material with Shana, let her fill out my ballot for a little practice and then mailed it in. We talked about where she'll have to go tomorrow, what she'll have to bring with her and about what time the polls will be open. She asked me if she will get an "I Voted" sticker. She said she's always wanted one of those.

I bet she'll look at that ballot with her blue eyes and vote yes.

Movie Madness - Babies

Wow - great movie. I don't think the Movie Madness gang stopped smiling or laughing the whole time. It's an incredible reminder of what is truly important in life, maybe it's not the perfect diaper or the perfect tone of voice or the perfect parenting book. Maybe kids don't need their hair and make-up done for eighth grade graduation (I'm still kicking myself for caving into that peer pressure stupidity). Four babies from birth to one year from all parts of the world. We are all so much alike, really. Those kids were some amazing teachers.

Babies movie

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Maddie's Done!

One more down for the Sinclair family. Maddie's graduating from Notre Dame Prep on Tuesday and then it's off to the U of A. Fun party with Carla and the girls (gotta go back to Miraval!), high schoolers running around, Bill's Bait Shop and the always amazing Megan in town for the big event.

Maahhmm, I'm bored!

Shana's been home for a week and I've already heard the "I'm bored" whine. She finished her finals early so she was stuck in Phoenix for several days sans friends, but she got her closet cleaned, joined a gym and helped her grandmother plant some flowers. Beach towels are spread all over the patio and I can just feel the water bill doubling, so I know she's home for awhile, but it didn't occur to me that I needed to plan out her schedule anymore, make some play dates, organize some field trips. I guess I just got out of the habit. But this could be the last summer where I have total control. She's home for her last year as a Peer Leader for Workshop (sign up your kids now, you can thank me later) but next summer, who knows where she'll be. No more kids running around at all hours of the night. So the other day I forced her and Jordan into SMOCA to see the musical exhibit and then next door for the text messaging show. They loved it. I even overheard Jordan on the phone with his mom saying that it was "really cool." See, I know what I'm doing. Lately, we've had some movies, a meal-planning trip to the grocery store followed by soup-making and a Saturday night out on the town with Dad.
 I gave her a good book to read and there's an upcoming walk to the library in our future. But if I hear just one more "I'm bored," Camp Sullivan is going into full swing, 7am wake up, up and out, museums, day trips, morning nature walks and arts and crafts activities featuring macramé God's eyes. She won't know what hit her.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I love to eat. I hate to exercise. I "Botox" and "liposuction" my online self to a thinner version via Photoshop and run past mirrors in real life as fast as I can. But something clicked last night. Something's got to change and I can't seem to do it on my own. I started going to Weight Watchers when I was 13 and it's been an on and off again relationship since then. Mostly off, obviously. So, starting today, we're back on. Me and all my new friends, clapping over a pound here and a pound there, learning to plan ahead, write stuff down, eat less, exercise 30 minutes most days, drink lots of water, less alcohol, less sugar. Today's lesson - the difference between support and sabotage. Good to know. They also have a mirror that I didn't want to run past. A "magic" mirror. It realistically takes off 20 pounds, so I lingered and took in every beautiful, skinny angle, hoping for an even smaller version next Saturday.

*Weight Watchers, Lisa's Doin' it

Friday, May 14, 2010

T. G.iligin's I. F.

Met the high school gang at local bar, Giligin's, for Happy Hour. As always, the fun started right away - making fun of the big-boobed, dim-witted, Pippi Longstocking waitress, the not quite teriyaki wings, the stunning (free and we didn't even have to buy a car to get them) silver and pearl necklaces and the nice extreme DUI attorney there for a fix-up, but the non-lesbian Les wasn't biting. See all you Facebook friends next month!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A little TGIF Art

My friend, Maggie, fellow book clubber, is an incredible artist. I could look at her stuff all day. There's a new gallery in town. Well, not really in town. Actually, really out of the way. 24th and University. Don't try to drive through the airport, either. But, it's a great effort. Some amazing pieces, creative, lots of different exhibits. They will be rotating new shows through, so go down and take a look. And say hi to Maggie.

Taliesin Tour

Nights on the desert tour. Started off a great night at Regions with the gang, Leslie, Laurel, Louise and Carla, including guys, like new guy Clark, had us cracking up all night find that can hang with us anytime, the now official one of the girls, invited to the party from now on guy, Russ, and the old guy (not old old, far from that, but just been around the block with this crowd more times than he would like to admit) adorable Shawn.

 We met up with Ronnie for an amazing tour.

Frank Lloyd Wright was truly a genius. A genius that fell in love with the Arizona desert. I can relate to that. I've been fascinated with him for years. I've been to Taliesin before, even to the one in Wisconsin, plus several in Chicago and most of his amazing homes I can find in Phoenix (my favorite is on Tatum, north of Lincoln), but tonight was a real treat. They have recently renovated and opened the personal living quarters for the first time ever and the place looked great. Our guide (who has been working there since the 70's) told a funny story about how FLW testified in court that he was the greatest architect of all time. After he was done, his wife told him that maybe he shouldn't have said that. He said, "But, dear, I was under oath!" We learned all about how important nature was to him and how it influenced every decision. He liked to build things into the "brow" of a hill, instead of on top, so as not to lose the hill. Facing SW, he built his summer home like a ship, sailing into the desert. We discussed "compressing" people out of less than desirable places and moving them to more open spaces. Every little detail was incredible. It was so exciting to sit where he sat, hang out where he had all those parties, go to the theater and acoustically perfect music rooms to go back in time. I've been before, but every guide is different and the one tonight was great. The place gets all of it's water from a well, after all these years, never has hooked up to the city water supply and our guide told us about all of the people from the old days, some in their 80's and 90's, that still live there and are still so productive - so drink up when you're there! It was a gorgeous, fire-breathing dragon kind of night. We had a great crowd. Next up - tour of the interns housing in January.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book Club

At Jo's tonight. Nice, quiet, makes you smile book.
But there was nothing nice and quiet about us tonight. Natalie and the hot dog. How much does a Kindle cost?  Change your life margarita with muddled cherries. The more than getting their money's worth Mexican flower cans.  The too old to moon with our pants off. 
Swingin' hips by the sudsy sink (sans the farm frau apron from Amsterdam), blast from the past 80's music blaring, Cinco de Mayo Paula Dean empanadas and the whole amazing Jo delectable food spread, the bad babysitter, but fun weekend lounging by the pool anyway, three upcoming ex-husband events, but the hair is looking fab, the let's try to clothe the Phoenix media in C-bi, Twitter, baby, lots of proms down, seven graduations to go,
Petite Ya Ya got into Sotheby's London (yay!), upcoming gun slinging Grand Canyon trip, toast to the summer, toast to Tuesday, he peed in the toilet! and the annual group shot. Circle of life PJ-clad Shana appeared after mommy had some adult beverages, hugs and kisses in the kitchen to the next generation, including braces off tomorrow Miss B, then we were off, swung by Temple Beth Israel before the clock struck midnight for our annual 5/11 Happy Birthday Boo Boo salute to our very own circle of life starter. The School of Essential Ingredients lesson - pay attention to what you put into your life, add one heaping spoonful of book club. Stir.


It's never about the book with this crowd, but...currently by the bed - Spooky Little Girl by used to be local writer, Laurie Notaro.

Also, just finished this one by Patti Smith, Just Kids

Here's a description - loved, loved, loved it.

It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a path of art, devotion, and initiation. Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to Forty-second Street, and eventually to the celebrated round table of Max's Kansas City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court. In 1969, the pair set up camp at the Hotel Chelsea and soon entered a community of the famous and infamous—the influential artists of the day and the colorful fringe. It was a time of heightened awareness, when the worlds of poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics were colliding and exploding. In this milieu, two kids made a pact to take care of each other. Scrappy, romantic, committed to create, and fueled by their mutual dreams and drives, they would prod and provide for one another during the hungry years. Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame

Monday, May 10, 2010

Movie Madness - Oceans

Incredible film about oceans and so much more. My little fishy, Shana, and I snuck out of Monday and were in awe. The photography alone is worth the hour or so, but then there's the humor, the adorable baby animal shots, the lessons learned, the reminders that it's not about what the ocean is, it's about who we are. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

One of the moms at the Mothers Who Read event yesterday reminded all of us of a quote from Jackie Kennedy, "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much."

A happy, happy Mother's Day for me. Dinner with in-laws on Saturday, morning movie with Shawn, Shana and Robert Downey, Jr., dinner with Mom.

Shana - the best thing I've ever done.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mothers Who Read

Who was the genius that said, "Do something every day that scares you?" As I sat listening to some amazing women read, I thought, these ladies don't need to be here. They don't need to take this class. They're busy. They've got a million other things to do. Plus, this is scary stuff. Showing up once a week and baring your soul to strangers. Then once a year to even more strangers to read the best of the best. But they all did. And so did I. Today was the biggest event ever - 24 readers (but with a newly in place rule of just 500 words, it flew by). We killed. The audience laughed, cried, thought about their own kids, their own lives, their own dilemmas, their own purple vibrators. It was great.

Then we circled around a big table next door for a little stress relief tequila. And I looked around again. So glad to be there. So glad to be a part of such a group of intelligent, brave, hilarious, generous women. They totally rock. And read. And write.

A little press...Mothers Who Read

Friday, May 7, 2010

Two Down, Two To Go

I called Shana tonight to congratulate her. Two down! Two to go! Yay! Only two more years! She said, "I don't want to talk about it." I didn't expect that. We had spoken several times during the day - on the way to the library, four more hours before her Statistics final, need to talk to teacher for one last time, go over one more thing, then one more email, until ready for the test at 1. I'm all, breathe, read the questions carefully, blow your nose, caffeinate. Then later, leading up to the Spanish final at 5. Ready for this, but a bit worried. Shana said it takes a 92 in the class in order to get an A and that's where she stands now before the final. She emailed the teacher, worried again. Amazing Spanish teacher (I saw her in action a couple of months ago) responded, you're an excellent student and I'm sure that you will get the grade you deserve. After the test, another phone call - it went great! But hours later, she didn't want to talk about it. She's not ready for it to end. She had a wonderful year. Her first really on her own, in her own house, no parents, no RAs, no dozens of kids in and out of the bathroom (well, except for a few parties that I will never get the entire scoop on). She made a new best friend and bonded more with a couple of old ones. She got to choose her classes this year after trudging through some general ed ones last year and really started to enjoy them, started to make the connections with her instructors in these smaller classes. So, she's not ready for it to end. Not ready for a fun summer with moi? Snuggling every day, swimming, sushi, manis, pedis, traveling, watching our new fave show Parenthood (since The Gilmore Girls ended)? But I guess if there's anybody that can understand, it would be me. One of my professors at Virginia Wesleyan College, a tiny, perfect for me, liberal arts school, used to say "the real world sucks, don't go" and I took his advice. I love college. I kept going. Even if my employers didn't require it, I kept going. Graduate school. Twice. It's like my brain was requiring it. I made some great friends, had some incredible experiences and, oh yeah, even learned a lot. So when Shana said that she didn't want it to end, I told her that in two more years, she'll be ready. But I guess I really didn't even believe that myself.

Dance, Dance, Dance!

Tagged along with proud parents, Laurel and Russ, to see Claire's dance performance. She's been dancing forever, all kinds of dance, hours and hours each week spent practicing. More often than not, when I try to reach Laurel, she's at a dance practice or on her way to a dance practice or on her way home from a dance practice or getting food for her dancer or getting the backyard ready for a slumber party of dancers. It's a way of life for the whole family. 
So when Claire started high school this year and made it on to the school's dance team, it was a big deal. She really is incredible. Even better than some of the seniors dancing right along with her (and I'm not just saying that). There was something for everybody tonight - ballet, modern dance, hip hop, some sort of gansta rappy thing with baseball hats, a senior farewell video and solo perfomances. And then there was Claire. Claire, so beautiful, every little move perfect, every toe point, every smile. 

The kid can dance!