Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Edward or Jacob?

These Twilight folks are obsessed. I went with Shana today (who, after waiting 1 1/2 hours for the midnight show last night, got turned away), and saw a red Prius with the license plate TWILITE driving off. The place was full of teen and tween girls and also quite a few guys (probably batting for the other team and there to see Jacob and his six-pack abs run around shirtless). Good movie, though. Love, honor, history, family, great fight scenes between the vampires and the werewolves and the vampires and the vampires and Edward and Jacob and Jacob and Edward. We finally see why Bella needs to make the decision she makes at the end. Oh...the suspense.

The Hearings

Wow. Elena Kagan. It looks like we'll be in good hands...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot

Hot Mama Louise met the ladies at the Montelucia for some sangrias and a hot, hot, hot birthday party. (I need to get a real camera, by the way - sorry) We showed up after the sun went down loaded with presents, party favors and even a donkey pinata for a welcome back from Bruges and Slovenia Jaye, Bon Voyage to Berkeley Maddie, all tan from Cancun Carla, vintage C-bi head to toe Ronnie, signing up to be the next Mrs. Robinson Leslie and the Hot Tamale herself on the way to Italy Louise for a fun we'll get through the summer yet bash.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Movie Madness - Exit Through The Gift Shop

Great documentary about art, street art, graffiti and what our definition of beauty and vandalism is. French guy brings along a camera wherever he goes and ends up being a rock star avant garde artist, making tons of dough.

Here's the most well-known street artist around

and Mr. Brainwash himself

Fun film about perception. Who are you? What are you capable of? What if you threw everything you thought about yourself away and started over?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Sunday

Shana's almost back to normal after saying good-bye to her tonsils so we hit the pool with Allison. I usually don't go in until it's about 110 outside and Mother Nature was calling. Plus, I just got a huge bill from the pool guy after the pool filter exploded 

and I figured I might as well use it after pouring the rest of the summer's vacation moolah into some new contraption (pretty isn't it?)

Sully the dog loves the pool, too
Some yard things that just look at the pool all the time 
Gnorman our gnome watching the water festivities
Milli and Unum my year 2000 millennium bugs
Welcome to Summer '10.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Night Special

Movie Madness for Maddie, our number one member, who is departing for beautiful Berkeley (at least it's closer than Amsterdam). A hilarious romp with Joan Rivers,
then some romping of our own with great gals Michelle and Caroline (Maddie's hip "mountain friends" - who, along with Maddie, have been up and down Camelback by the time most of us roll out of bed). We hit the cool new Fox restaurant Culinary Dropout in our own private little sexy table in the back with our own chandelier for some great food and I think even a new change your life margarita (sorry Regions, something about the orange peel).
Maddie's been my Yes, Yes, Yes friend for a couple of years now, 
totally open to whatever I suggest, with (like me) an empty nest and an adorable hubby that doesn't mind us going out to play and a flexible job, she's always willing to meet wherever for a museum tour or a last minute Saturday morning at Changing Hands or a walk through the flower gardens in Holland or a play in downtown Phoenix or a glass of French Merlot as the sun goes down. 

Mon amie, you'll be missed!

Friday, June 25, 2010


111. A hundred and eleven. One hundred and eleven degrees. I'm not complaining. It does this every year and I'm ready. I'm just wondering why we don't cover every building and every parking garage and the top of every car in solar panels and cool this puppy down. Enough with all of the oil drilling, we've got a powerful energy source right here that we're wasting. But since nobody seems to be listening to Al Gore anymore (even Tipper) the only thing to do is duck into a freezing cold movie (I even brought a sweater like my mom does) on a blaring hot day. Shawn, Tom, Cameron and me out for a wild, cool Friday afternoon ride. 

Fun movie. Shoot 'em up, stunts galore, travel tour through some amazing cities, some chemistry, some laughs, a come and go Boston accent and (I hate to give it away, but...) a happy ending. And not just the part where we go outside and the sun's gone down, like knight and day.

No Pain, No Gain

Shana told me last night that she was afraid to go to sleep since her throat always hurts so much when she wakes up. Talk about heartbreaking.They said it would take ten days to recover from a tonsilectomy, but I was worried it might go longer. I fluffed her bed, doped her up, wrapped up the next dose and put it right next to her pillow for a middle of the night round if she needed it and kissed her good night.

This morning she woke up smiling. No Pain. It's officially Day Ten. Middle of the night med still wrapped up by the pillow. Made me smile, too.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Good Egg

You would think that with such big, ugly feet, I'd wear shoes all the time. But I don't. I'm usually barefoot and when I'm not I'm in some sort of slip-on sandal, mule, clog or flip-flop that easily comes off for even more time with nothing between my soles and the dirty floors and gravel of my life. So my feet are even worse. But not anymore. I got a Ped Egg! (a Happy Birthday present from Shana - maybe she was trying to tell me something). It's like a cheese grater for your feet. So cute, so compact, and if you keep it upright, it even catches all of that stuff that it sloughs off. Beautiful.

Movie Madness - Solitary Man

Rescheduled three times due to little sickie Shana and should have taken that as a three stirkes and you're out sign. Bad, bad, bad movie. We're really sorry Mr. Michael Douglas character that your Cardiologist thinks your EKG looks bad, but grow up and stop ruining everybody else's life. He goes on to bankrupt his business and himself, ruin his marriage, ruin his relationship with his daughter and grandson all while sleeping with every young thing in town. All the Movie Madness gang could do when he was about to bag his girlfriend's eighteen year old daughter was close our eyes. Please, don't, please, really, don't do that. But he did. We waited around for the end for a little closure, but it never came.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bless You

I never say "bless you" or "gesundheit" when people sneeze. I'm not trying to be rude, but I just don't understand the philosophy behind it. I heard that people thought long ago that when you sneezed, you lost something, brain power, thoughts, intelligence, something, and that if you were "blessed" or "gesundheit-ed" afterward all of that loss would go back in. I don't buy it, blessings should be saved for the real stuff. For the past week, I've been blessing myself all the time. Blessing myself for Shana. I've always been a glass-is-half-full kind of person and try to be thankful for all that I have, but sometimes I take it for granted. Having a sick kid will do that. I haven't been able to think about much else except just wanting to take away her pain. Then I think about all of those moms with truly sick kids. Kids with real problems and I don't know how they get by. Shana laughed during a movie the other day and I wanted to jump up and down. She initiated a conversation today and several sentences in a row came out. She's getting better. Pure relief. Gesundheit.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thai Turnaround

Shana spent all day in bed yesterday. She made one Mount Everest-like walk to the family room for a two and a half hour showing of Avatar, but other than that, it was beddy bye time. Just snoozing in a Percocet-filled haze, a little texting, too tired to Facebook and a bit of thinking. She made it through the night with no drugs and awoke with this: "Mom, I've figured out my first meal." Yay, I said. For the past several days anytime I mentioned any food she shook her head and covered her ears. I played "here comes the choo-choo" game with her and got in some mashed potatoes, chicken soup and rainbow sorbet, but that's about it. So I figured that thoughts of real food was a very good sign. OK, what is it? Thai food and a Pizzookie for dessert.

Wow. Pretty ambitious. Great, we can go to neighborhood fave Takeda then walk to Oreganos, perfect. That's not going to happen today, but it's definitely something to look forward to. Today, we took it a little slower. She wanted a grilled cheese from In-and-Out so she actually left the house, invited the dog along and we went to the drive-thru. She took one bite, not gonna happen, and the dog had a nice treat. Hours later she wanted to try something else and we headed out again for a Cherry Coke Slurpee. She drank the whole thing. Peanut sauce, here she comes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Yes, we have no bananas

I knew that I could never eat all of these bananas. I do like the occasional one, but when I saw this bunch at Costco last week for $1.28, even though they were still green, I said what the hell. For that price, even if I ate only a few, I would still be ahead of the game. But it's been five days now. They've been sitting in my windowsill trying to ripen. I really wanted a banana this morning, but they are still exactly the same as when I brought them home, hard and green. They are a bunch of duds, flown in from Ecuador or somewhere after some genetically-altering growing process and they will never amount to anything.

What a waste.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Say Ouch

(before pic)
We heard all of the warnings. Getting your tonsils out at this age sucks. It's a big deal. It's gonna hurt. For days. Yeah, yeah, I thought, but Shana will be alright. She's strong. She's healthy. She'll do fine. I was wrong. This is bad. We're on day four and it's getting worse. The poor baby sleeps like 20 hours a day. She's totally drugged up most of the time and hasn't eaten more than five bites of mashed potatoes and a little bit of a Wendy's Frosty since Wednesday. She had some visitors the first couple of days, but now she's texting them all away, too tired, no voice. I feel so helpless, but today, after I got shushed from singing the "Lollipop, Lollipop" song (as I was bringing her a prescription-strength $10 cherry flavored throat numbing sucker), she whispered, "Thanks for taking such good care of me."

And then one of us felt a little bit better.

Ten four, good buddy

I didn't want to get weighed today. After a week putzing through Montreal with all of those French speaking people and all of their baguettes and butter and cheese and Chantilly cream on the crepes for breakfast and the Doritos at the Grand Prix since everything else seemed to be covered in sausage and all of those Fodors said you gotta try them restaurants and all of the "this doesn't count because I'm eating it on an airplane" food, I thought, if I can just maintain my weight this week, I'll be happy. A couple of weeks ago I stepped on the scale after a burrito and cheese crisp-filled weekend in San Diego (with no respectable Mexican food in NY, sister Amy needs to overcompensate whenever near the good stuff) and it was the same as the week before. Exactly the same. Down to the .3 of a pound. M for maintain. I took it then and I was good. Today, I was hoping for another M. Praying, really, for another M. But, I lost 3.8 pounds! OMG, 3.8 - get out the tank tops! Throw away the cholesterol pills! That's down now 10.4 pounds in one month and with none of that hormone from a pregnant cow stuff that everybody else is taking.  I'm trying to focus on what goes in my mouth. Adding up points in my head as I scan over an item. Eating more carrots than one would think is humanly possible. Trying to count calories (something I'm sure regular people do all the time). So I joyfully sat in my Weight Watchers chair and politely applauded as my new buddies got their little stickers for losing a bit here and there. It's sort of cult-like, this Weight Watchers. We all look to the leader for the goods, the advice, the inspiration, the deals at the grocery store, the really, really fat "before" photo. Everybody's so supportive, so nice, like an AA meeting without all of the smoking (from my social worker days, as an observer, people), with all of the folks listening intently to how hard it was to get through that holiday dinner at Mom's or cocktails with the boss or evenings at home alone when all you want to do is snuggle up with Ben & Jerry. It's hard. But these people seem to make it a little easier. Hi, my name is Lisa and I'm a food junkie.


Friday, June 18, 2010

7 Minutes In Heaven

It's always a good time at Space 55. Saturday at 9.

7 Minutes In Heaven is a freewheeling variety show that serves up a random, raucous assortment of music, mayhem and merriment. Don't like what you're seeing? Just wait 7 minutes for the next act!

Anybody want to go? Just $10 bucks.

Polynesian Party

Leis, grass skirts, tiki torches, exotic wall hangings and flowers surrounded us as we gathered at Louise's Happy Girl House for a total monkey business Polynesian Party celebrating my birthday, Louise's birthday and Maddie's upcoming departure, so really it was just all about celebrating. We hung out on the lush, plush patio by the perfectly placed pool drinking and talking and grilling after some chopping and grinding and hula hula-ing in the kitchen on a gorgeous summer night in Phoenix.  Incredible din din by the should be world-famous Jo - wasabi-crusted ahi, grilled mixed veggies marinated in, since we ran out of oil, Paul Newman's Own (whose idea was that?), berries with a splash of balsamic, sesame green beans and a yogurty cheesy yummy rice dish. Then the "homemade" Leslie fruit tart and Tammie Coe mini coconut cupcakes disappeared as the Sucker Queen regaled us with stories from her heavily forested past (before the fancy new pruner), the wills and will nots of relationships, who's got the power?, and calling in sick for those four things you need in life (which can all be found for $99 at the Montelucia, well, except for the bed shoes). I'm lucky. We're all lucky. It's going to be a great summer...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Say Ahhh

After several years of every other month throat pain, Shana had her tonsils taken out today. I was scared. The whole tonsils thing didn't go well for Shawn or me. There's a 40 year old story about how my mother stopped a dumb nurse about to administer a life-ending second dose of something that would kill me in just the nick of time after my surgery when I was five. And Shawn. Shawn's doctor accidentally chopped off his Uvula during the process, leaving the poor guy Uvulaless. He grew up anyway, went to medical school and actually went in to practice with that guy (that turned out about as well as the surgery). So, anyway, even though it's a pretty minimal surgery, I was worried. Anesthesia always makes me nervous and Shana is, after all, all we've got. No spare. But the doctors were nice, seemed to do an effective, quick job and sent us on our way after a couple of hours to home where Shana spent the afternoon watching
and napping and taking Percocet and trying to force down some Jell-O and sucking on some some pretty cool lollipops with pain reliever in them. No big stories to tell. Just like I hoped.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Goin' Solo

I can't remember the last time Shawn and I had Shana all to ourselves on a trip. There has been Lauren and Alexis and Kiera and Naomi and Ally and Allison and Megan and Jordan and Heather and I'm sure I'm forgetting some (sorry, gang), but this trip it was just the three of us. After months of planning and plane ticket in hand, Heather realized that her passport expired in January. I did some research. So did Heather's mom, Sue, and it looked like she could get in to Canada, but getting back? Nope. Not worth the risk. So it was just The Three Amigos heading north. And it worked out. We had a great time together. Lots of laughs.

We weren't on our best behavior when we would get lost on a drive or when somebody got cranky or when I failed to negotiate a scalped ticket properly or when Shawn appeared one morning in a flowered Tommy Bahama shirt and Shana exclaimed, "Mom! Oh my God. Why did you let him pack that?" We got in a lot of talking, a lot of planning for next semester, a lot of reading, a lot of snuggling on the couch and some Rock, Paper, Scissors on the plane (she cheats), things that probably wouldn't have happened otherwise. I'm sure we'll be back to Rent-A-Kid for the next adventure with the only child, and that's always great, but it's nice to know going solo works, too.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hamilton Wins!

Can I call it, or what?
Maybe it was beginner's luck, but my pick Lewis Hamilton won the 2010 Grand Prix. The race was incredible. F-18 jets flew overhead, the sound of the cars was amazing, screeching, high-pitched, ear plugs got some good testing. The guys pulled in to the pits only a couple of times to change tires. This was the first year that no refueling was allowed which changed the race somehow. One car crashed right out of the start and a few others didn't make it. Shawn was in heaven, like a little kid, overcome with pure joy.

 The track is on an island on a beautiful park with a huge casino in the middle.

 A hundrend thousand people descended on the island to watch the festivities, including this guy.
The race took less than two hours, but what a thrill. Vroom, vroom.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Formula 1 Footsie Fashion

Apparently the Grand Prix is all about fashion. Everybody had on some racing something or other, some logo, hat, gear
and lots of ladies in high heels. Trudging through gravel in heels. Shana was fashionable in maxi dress and cute sandals
and Shawn had on the requisite racing shoes (complete with tat),
but me, after doing something to my ankle somewhere in Quebec (here it is twice the size of the left one)
had to resort to granny comfy shoes.
Oh well, maybe next year...

Grand Prix

Twelve hours ago I couldn't care less about racing. I thought that Shawn's obsession with cars was just some weird guy thing and the whole watching cars turning left for hours at a time while going fast seemed a bit boring. But not after today. Several months ago I spotted young, cute racer Lewis Hamilton. I didn't know anybody else, so he was the guy I picked to win the 2010 Grand Prix. Our Grandstand seats are right in front of his pit so we get to watch his every little move. Shawn's idol is Michael Schumacher who is recently back from a three-year retirement. For the qualifying rounds, all of the drivers take their turns around the track (don't blink, or you'll miss it)
trying to get the fastest individual times, while eliminating the slow cars along the way until we get to the final 10. One of the guys brushed up against the curb and the announcers said that they were  planning to replace the suspension  on the car before the next race. I asked Shawn how much that would cost us if we had to do that every time I ran into a curb. Here is the Red Bull car pulling in to the pits - they can change tires in less than three seconds.
For the first time in a long time, Schumacher didn't make the cut during preliminaries. Until the final 90 seconds, Hamilton was in third, meaning that he would have to start the race behind another car. But he flew out of his pit and logged the fastest time of the day, with seconds to spare. Right after he passed the finish line, he ran out of gas and the guy sits up on top of his slowing down car, waves to the crowd as he steers with his knees, I guess, then jumps out and starts pushing the car around the track. Total show-off. Standing ovation. The crowd ate it up. Speaking of the crowd. Wow. Testosterone city,
but not in a Nascar, tank-top wearing, beer belly kind of way (no offense to all of my Nascar friends).
Here's a cute guy.
Can't wait for the race tomorrow.