Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Aaahhhh...back to yoga after everybody took an over month-long break. By the end of class, Mary could hardly get us to roll over let alone stand up in the sanctuary. She talked about trying to find that sometimes imperceptible space between inhaling and exhaling, exhaling and inhaling. She said that's where freedom is. I thought that it is sort of like your brain is on auto-pilot for a pause, letting your body take over all of the decisions. Before class, one of my yoga buddies and I were talking about "the switch" going off. How one minute life makes sense, the next you wonder how you could have been living like you were the moment before. She is at the five month point of saying no to alcohol and I stopped eating like a pig around that same time - totally out of the blue, switch went off. Well...there were some onion rings involved. Back then, our bodies took over and gave the brain a new piece of info to ponder, like tonight mine said, "Hey Lisa, look, your boobs are so small now they don't hit you in the face and suffocate you during yoga anymore."

Switch. Breathe. Freedom.


I'm becoming my mother. For as long as I can remember, she has mailed me snippets of articles that I just must read. She's always loved the mail. She loves getting it and sending it. She could be standing right in front of me with an envelope with my address on it and will not give it to me, instead leaving to stop at a post office on her way home and drop it in their box. Granted, most of my Mom's envelopes are full of good stuff, interesting topics, cute cards. Today I'm mailing an article to Shana down in Tucson. It's about Toms shoes. She loves Toms shoes. Owns at least one pair. I never really knew much about this company, except I thought the shoes were a little weird looking, until I got my handy dandy Costco Connection magazine and the adorable owner was on the cover. He gives away one pair of shoes for every one he sells. He has been to lots of Third World countries and seen the devastation that can be prevented by just giving somebody a pair of shoes. The article chronicles his beginnings as an entrepreneur, starting back at 19 with a laundry service. The company is organic, has a small footprint (no pun intended), is trying to spread the "one for one" philosophy and only wishes that they could make shoes faster. I learned a lot. I hope Shana does, too.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Movie Madness - The Girl Who Played With Fire

Wow, those Swedes sure know how to make a movie. Lisbeth rocks it again in part two - the Movie Madness gang was on the edge of our seats, hearts pounding.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Strangers in the Bedroom

Excellent acting, crazy antics and English accents abound on stage at Theatre Artists Studio, great place right by PV mall!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Fresh from a Weight Watchers meeting, I ran in to Fry's to grab a few things.  As of today, there's a whole Cold Stone Creamery store INSIDE the Fry's store.  That's cold. Before I even got close, I smelled it.  The sweet, battery, buttery golden brown waffle cones baking in the oven. It was intoxicating. I rushed by, quickly glancing at all of the toppings, then turned the corner to see two freezers full of an already packaged take-home extravaganza. OMG. I thought about the WW meeting. We talked about how the WW plan is like a puzzle and that if you really want some of your favorite foods, you can have them. You just need to plan. Fit them in accordingly. Eat less one day. Work out more the next. Simple, right? Like one lady gave up cream in her coffee, used Truvia instead in her three or four cups a day and lost 4 pounds. I made it successfully through the store, making two new BFFs in line who were also feeling my pain, went home, checked the Cold Stone Creamery site and did some calculations. How many points in my daily food puzzle would my usual order (medium coffee ice cream with Snickers mix-in) cost me? Fifteen. Out of twenty-two. So, yeah, I guess I could work it in, plan for it, move some other puzzle pieces around, starve. But I'm glad I walked away.

I'm also glad that there's a different, not so cold, Fry's down the street.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I grumbled to Shawn the other day after I picked up the millionth sock off the floor, realizing (out loud) that I spend a lot of my time making his life easier. It's like those weird curler people up front, frantically doing things ahead of the ball or whatever that thing is, helping it to move along faster, smoother, with fewer obstacles in the way. That's me. Blocking him from the bad stuff. Organizing his life. Intercepting all things negative, paying the bills, buying the toilet paper, running the company, doing the dirty work so that his world orbits around nice and steady.

I'm making my way through a summer book, trying to finish before September hits - Fly Away Home.

So far we've got a Senator's wife who gave up her law career and let a nanny raise the kids while hubby's never home so she could devote her whole life to him, making his life smooth sailing - writing speeches, smiling and waving, Pilates-ing her way into size 6 St. John suits, frantically brushing that ice until, guess what, he starts running around with a twenty-something aide. Nice.

Made me think. Is that my life? Well,  not the nanny thing, not the home alone thing and definitely not the size 6 thing. I threw the socks in the laundry room and thought about all that he does to make my life easier - plays the buffer in so many situations, does all of the he-man, climbing on the roof stuff, healing the sick and making his patients happy, being a good dad. So it really is a team effort, I guess, sort of like curling, somebody pushing sometimes, somebody pulling and it all works out in the end, no twenty-something necessary.

I smiled today as I saw him walking down the hall, a pair of dirty socks in his hand.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Club

Sveeeedish hot hostess, Cathy, put on a real Swedish Soiree in honor of the great Steig Larsson book complete with Swedish meatballs, lingonberry martinis and lots of dancing in the kitchen with Echo and the Bunnymen and Barry White. We actually discussed the book, along with all of the upcoming girls' trips - San Diego for a wedding and Pinetop for some pajama time, the new empty nesters, the perfect MOB, the new Councilwoman Cecily (might need to change the name of the Grand Canyon to Cecily Canyon), the new CAbi fall line, the back on the movie madness list and just how do you get those things to go down???

Up next - Thin, Rich, Pretty at Jilly Bs in the pines.

Bad book clubber. I didn't read this month's book - The Girl WIth The Dragon Tattoo. I saw the movie. Does that count?

Currently can't put down Red Hook Road
And in line at the library for The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet and Women Food and God

So many books, so little time...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Voting Bloc

I've got my own little voting bloc. I'm in charge of four mail-in ballots. Mine, Shawn's, Shana's and my sister Amy's (lives in NY and we blue people in this red state need her vote more than those fancy city folk up north). Amy trusts me (occasionally looking up the issues and giving me advice) and we somehow figure out how to get her signature on it. Shawn, ditto. A couple of weeks ago Shana and I sat down to go over it (I can't baby everybody). We read the information in our booklets and looked up all of the candidates online as she made her way down the list. She got to Rodney Glassman running for Senator and remembered him from a discussion he gave to her APO fraternity last year. She was very impressed by him and said that he talked about networking and that he would be available to them if they ever needed him. So after reading about all the others, decided that it wouldn't be so bad to have a Senator that's available to her and checked his box. Lastly, she got to Constable. Nobody was running on her ballot and she recalled an old episode from our fave The Gilmore Girls when Sookie's husband ran for Town Constable and all of the ensuing hilarity. She looked at it for awhile, then looked at me. Can I run? I said sure. Do I just write my name in? Yep. So she did.

I can't wait for the results tonight to see if she won.

Good Blood

Happiness is not only losing a few lbs and dropping off a big bag of fat clothes to My Sister's Closet, it's getting back some lab results for once with some good news. Good Blood. I'm in the range down the line instead of creeping farther and farther away like in the past few years. I'm stopping a cholesterol med and starting to feel like taking better care of myself just might be a really good idea.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Movie Madness - Get Low

Great, great, great movie! Excellent, almost half a row, turn-out today (even a guy showed up, need a new knee? call Doc Roc) to see what I'm sure will be an Academy award winning role for Robert Duvall. Totally original, made you think flick, about life and death and who is in charge of forgiveness in the end.
Get Low.

Monday AM - Fresh Start

My social worker days are long gone, but somebody just handed me a great resource that I had long forgotten about. Fresh Start. It's for women only. They have classes and services focusing on empowering women - personal development, education, career, mentoring - time management, discovering core strengths, networking, personal style, building peaceful families, AA, Al-anon, surviving abuse, bankruptcy, divorce, foreclosure, preparing for court, yoga and oohhh, even make-overs! It's all free or maybe $5 for some classes. So...pass it on. Take a class. Maybe sign up to teach one or volunteer if you've got the time.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Salty Saturday Seniorita

Hung out with the Arcadia gang, even dragged along Shawn for a trip down memory lane.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Xbox Elbow

Shawn's obsessed with Xbox. His elbow, not so much. He has so many points, working his way though all the levels so many times that they recently named him King or something (or was it Commander?), it's no wonder the guy's in pain. He has all kinds of "friends" that he plays with, some are actual people, in the flesh local guys, that we have seen in person. The others, who knows? But they're a team. They invite each other "over" to play, text each other to see when the next game is, send each other cute little Facebook messages. I try to stay out of it, occasionally barking at him to get up every now and then, stretch, let the indentation in the couch come back. There are worse habits he could have, I guess. He does spend a lot of time in a doctor's office taking care of everybody else, so I suppose a little break is warranted, a little reprieve, but today after work, we're heading off to another one. Pain Management for a quick shot in the elbow. Make sure it's enough to get him through the weekend, Doc, the team's counting on him.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

AZ Chicks With Picks

Fun with the Chicks at the oh so cool Compound Grill.
AZ Chicks With Picks
The Compound Grill

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Today's the day Shawn and I are going to start composting. I bought a Composter at Costco. It's supposed to take between 2-3 hours to assemble. I've got three days worth of watermelon rinds, coffee grounds, expired cottage cheese, a banana peel and a pile of leaves outside in a box ready to go. Saving the world and slowing down global warming updates to follow...

OK, it's later. So Shawn put the thing together in under an hour and I discovered that you can't compost dairy (who knew?), meaning that the cottage cheese ruined my three days worth of stuff.

We'll start tomorrow.

Upcoming, Upcoming, Upcoming

Some of my ilk call me their concierge, always trying to drag everybody around to something fun, make a new memory, nag, nag, nag. I read a great article in the NY Times about how spending money on an event makes you happier than, say, buying a couch. And it's not like I spend a lot. I love Showup.com. I love early bird specials. I really love free. But the greatest part is being a forty-five year old empty nester with a flexible job, a hubby that knows how to make his own dinner and a little extra time on my hands. Now that's happy.

Go Artichokes

I used to be an SCC Artichoke and now I'm back. After finding out that my beloved Mothers Who Write class was full, I knew I needed some kind of class to keep my brain from turning to mush. Last semester I took an online writing class at Gotham which was amazing, but realized that I really need the face-to-face to keep me from cheating. So I went back to my old stomping grounds. Put on some ripped jeans and flip flops to try to fit in and signed up again. The questions started. What's your SS#? Got a driver's license? Yes. Is English your first language? Yes. Are you the first generation in your family to attend college? No. Has your car passed emissions? Uh, yes? When was the first time you moved to Arizona? 1965. OK, it looks like you would like to take a 200 level class. Do you have a signature from the instructor since you're new? Have you ever taken ENG 101 or ENG 102? I couldn't remember. Was it somewhere in the BA or maybe grad school? Was it here? At SCC? She looked me up. Lisa Segal. Old address. My Mom's old phone number from the seventies. ENG 101 and ENG 102, Fall '83 and Spring '84. I passed. I'm in. Go Artichokes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Leslie hit a speed limit. No, not one of those in the school zones, the one that Sammy Hagar sings about. So we gathered the gang for a half-priced, but definitely not half-fun celebration in the rain at Blue Martini, complete with really good band, baby blue bustiers, red boas, presents and lots of laughs. We reviewed the upcoming birthday weekend at Royal Palms (stop by the pool anytime), the cowboy, the Dr. (now divorced), the pilot (now deceased), Ron (the lawyer, former BFF, now disappeared) and Jimmy (the good one that hasn't gotten away). Happy, happy, happy bipolar psycho bitch. Don't slow down now.


Lost: one large, green patio umbrella with little white sparkly lights strung all over it. It finally rained in Scottsdale. Black sky. Big storm. Must have been a microburst, because the umbrella flew out of a stand, breaking out of at least two connectors, up and out of a tall table, over the fence a la Wizard of Oz and is nowhere to be found.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Movie Madness - Winter's Bone

Go see this movie. My heart is still pounding, stunning.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

WWJD (What Would Jefferson Do?)

Politics and religion? I'm about as fair and balanced as Bill O'Reilly and Pat Robertson. But apart from my bleeding heart liberal, know nothing about worshipping, but still spiritual, self, I believe in our laws. Jefferson and the rest of the gang added the separation of church and state for a reason. As Americans we have all agreed to abide by that. It's one of the best things about this country. If the government can tell somebody not to pray, not to build a church or a temple or a mosque, then something has gone wrong. I am as horrified by the events on 9/11 as the next guy. I watched in total shock as the World Trade Center towers came down. I listened to my sister describe walking to work that morning and hearing a bang, how she saw the second plane go in with her own eyes, felt the heat, smelled the smoke, saw the people, couldn't breathe. She told me in first-hand detail the devastation that followed for the rest of the year. I cried for months. But what was more horrifying, really, was discovering everything else later. All of the warnings that were missed, all of the mistakes that were made. Isn't it our fault if we let some suicidal illegal maniacs attend our schools, work in our cities, hop on our planes in Boston? Haven't we failed if we don't protect our borders? Look the other way? Buy all of that oil? And what about starting a couple of wars, killing more Americans than lost their lives on 9/11, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of others by our hands, making things worse, bankrupting our country in the process?

I once stood on the highest floor of one of those towers and looked down on that beautiful city. Yes, it is sacred ground. Is it offensive to build a mosque there? To some. Illegal? No. While America will never be an all-for-one, hand-holding kumbaya country, especially with our current deep religious and political divisions, our only hope is to start with a government that can protect it's citizens and our rights, stand strong against our enemies, punish those who break the law and keep the crazies out. If we don't have that, then no amount of praying will help.

My blond-haired, blue-eyed daughter just got a government job. State of Arizona, here she comes. She called from Tucson. Mom, they won't hire me without my passport. Will you send it?

Yes, happily. Good job, Uncle Sam.


I hate to be such a crybaby. I'm usually so go-with-the-flow, but the little birdie flew the coop this morning, car loaded up and back to school for her junior year (just got text - 11:35am - The eagle has landed). Empty nestville, here I come again. Shana was excited to get back to school. Get back to her friends. Get back to set up her new room in her new apartment. School doesn't even start until the 23rd, so this was a first. I had a feeling all summer that this would be it. The last real one. She was antsy whenever she was home. Wanting to be out working or interning or traveling like so many of her friends were doing. So next year, now that her commitment to Workshop is over, she probably won't even come home. She's going to Spain for her Spring semester and thinks that it would make more sense to just get a one-way ticket, stay over there all summer, putz around, room in some hostels. Maybe that's why it's so hard. Maybe that's why the tears keep flowing. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens

Saucy Jack on a Saturday night. Snagged Shana for one more mother-daughter Thai food/culture night. Left "Planet 69" and met up with Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens in outer space for a way past rated-R raunchy romp through another galaxy. The Phoenix Little Theatre was set up like a cabaret, complete with tables, barstools and tranny "'waitresses" in falsies and wigs. The singing was great, the idea, so creative, the crowd, always entertaining.

Nearly Naked Theatre

Friday, August 13, 2010

Movie Madness - Eat Pray Love

Maybe I loved the book too much. So much heart. So many things to think about. Made me laugh and cry and truly root for the main character. But the movie? Not so much. From the very beginning, I just didn't feel it. There were some lovely shots of Italy, India and Bali, for sure, and some good lines here and there, but I kept waiting for something to happen, for the people in the book to come alive, and they never did.

The better part - pre-movie Happy Hour at Blue Burrito and after movie Happy Hour at Ling & Louie's with the girls, then Indian Palace for din din with the family. Our own little trip around the world for some eating, praying and definitely lots of loving.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bend Over

Health insurance makes me sick. No matter what you do, you're screwed. I got a 20% happy birthday rate hike in June, then another thanks to the whole family for renewing increase in July. Health care reform finally passed and these bozos are going to try to rake in every last penny while they can before the new rules kick in. And it's not just me. Our patients are feeling the pain, too. Over half the calls we get have nothing to do with medical care. It's all financial. It's I can't afford this drug, is there an alternative? Oh, it needs an authorization? Will you ask the doctor to spend twenty minutes on the phone begging some robot in India? Or I can't afford to come in, I just lost my insurance. When I started working in health care, things were different. People had jobs with good insurance. Low co-pays. Low deductibles. Nobody needed to take a Xanax just to make an appointment. Back when Shawn and I found ourselves suddenly owning a company but with nobody to run it, I didn't know what I was doing. I knew nothing about insurance, or hiring people, or payroll, or OSHA, or how cold the refrigerator needed to be to store immunizations. So I went back to school. Stayed up late and got an MBA. Went to some conferences. Asked for help. Made tons of mistakes. Outsourced stuff I hated. Rode the learning curve for a few years until it all started to make sense. Until now. What do you tell a patient that lost his job and is so sick he needs surgery but can't afford the pre-op labs? How can I just sit there and watch? There wasn't a class about this in school. I'm back to not knowing what to do.

Shana's fifteen minute out-patient tonsillectomy in June came in at just over three grand, pushing us up and over our deductible for the year. That's the first time that has ever happened. We've been lucky, lucky, lucky, I know. Our last big medical thing was in 1991. Labor, delivery, two days in the hospital, private room, one mandatory enema and even a last night in the hospital, not so romantic, steak dinner for two. All for $250. I don't want to jinx anything, but I'd like to take advantage of this met deductible wonderland. Celebrate. Get something x-rayed. Go to the ER and complain about this pain I've been having, this health care ache, just to make our insurance fork it over. That might make me feel better.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Phx Art

Trying to squeeze every last moment into our last week of summer, so dragged Shana to the beautiful Phoenix Art Museum (had to bribe her with a trip to Frances Vintage and Smeeks) but she enjoyed the art in spite of herself. We saw some fishies, some Cezanne and some high fashion from the 40s.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Garbage disposals are bad. I heard on NPR a few weeks ago five things about them that are wasteful:
1. the water flowing unnecessarily 2. the unnecessary electricity usage, 3. the wasted food that's going down the drain, 4. the extra impact all of that waste has on the sewage system and 5. well, I can't remember what 5 was, but there were definitely five, so I've been thinking about making some changes.

I try to be a good human, try to recycle, try to reduce my carbon footprint, turn off lights when I leave the room, be all Al Gory and all, but really, I just use too much. We all do. I don't live in a mansion, but I do have an entire room I never go in, I drive too much, have too much crap around that I rarely ever use and have a pool pretty much for the sole entertainment of a dog.

So I've decided to start composting and stop throwing all of that stuff down the drain. I don't have a garden or herbs or anything that is in desperate need of nutrient-rich compost, so if anybody wants it, just let me know. Since starting to eat like a person on Weight Watchers instead of the glory days of subsisting on Starbucks "banana" walnut muffins, Happy Hour specials and Pei Wei, my waste seems to have increased - watermelon rinds, banana peels, peach pits, carrot scraps, remains from vegetable soup makings (zero points!). Plus we've got lots of coffee grounds. Shawn, Mr. Fancy Four Shot, goes through coffee like he's a barista - gets a case automatically delivered every month from Illy (imagine the carbon involved in that - the paper, the box, the metal canisters, the plane, the UPS truck - please don't tell Mr. Gore)

I've been doing some research and I'm getting close to actually buying a composter, but for now, it's the old fashioned way - the bunnies in my yard have more carrots than they know what to do with.

The Girls Are Back In Town

After a long, hot summer, met up with the Divas to celebrate the fabulous Jo and her birthday, along with her very own bubble-wrapped birthday girl glass. Every Diva needs one. The old South Beach place is now the new Renegade Canteen, all renovated and rustic and fun (old fave Regions next door is now vacant like so much of the rest of the city). It's always a blast to reconnect, to go through the whole so what did you do on your summer vacations, to look at the pics, check out the tans, the thank God the kids are back in school faces, the stinging vajayjays, the behind-the-back family meetings, the upcoming girls' trips and to just look around the table and realize how lucky I am.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Back To School

Forget the backpacks and number two pencils, bring on the new clothes! After an afternoon traipsing through Francesca's and H & M with Shana (I only got lost once), she had a bunch of stuff piled on her bed. After a few yes, that works and no, not that necklace, she figured it out. The perfect day one back-to-school outfit. 8/23. U of A - watch out.

Face It

After a fat, cranky, crabby, saggy Sunday, I announced to Shawn then, hours later, Shana, that I needed to get a face lift and a boob job. Everything is falling down and maybe for my 50th birthday (years and years away) I could get a little work done.

Precious little Shana said, "Mom, why would you do that? You look good."

Shawn..."Why wait so long?"

Movie Madness - Cyrus

Great cast, funny parts, but mostly I kept wondering why this lady didn't just kick her freaky kid out of the house and get on with her life. Then I looked over at Shana, home for probably her last long, lazy days summer, ready to hit the real world, ready to even get back to college earlier than necessary this year - she's bored at home, wants to get on with it already, sick of me and sick of Phoenix and I thought, well, maybe it wouldn't be so bad if she never wanted to leave.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hit the road, mac

I knew he was sick, but I just kept pushing, pushing, pushing anyway. I ignored the slowness, the blinking on and off, the 20 minute long tumbling hourglass and just hoped for the best. I had at least three windows in Safari open, one Word document, editing one picture in iphoto while trying to bluetooth in another from my cell phone then, just one more thing, opened Quicken to download a qif doc from Wells Fargo. I think that's what did it. Shut down. Dead mac. Shawn came home and took charge. I apologized, but he said it wasn't my fault. Such a nice guy. After numerous crying fits in the past after losing everything, including an entire thesis that was due that day after a very long all-nighter, we back-up for real these days. Here and offsight somewhere. I don't understand it, but all I know is that it's not the end of the world anymore when the big guy goes down. So for now my only problem is blogging on the old twenty pound PC laptop we use to communicate with the office. No spell check on this blogger.com version and for some reason every 30 seconds the screen and cursor pops up to the top, making me scroll down again and again to find my spot.  But Shawn called Dr. Jobs and made a "reservation" at the Apple Store. He was so relieved when they told him that he had 16 days left on his warranty. 16 days. Maybe it was a good thing that I pushed so hard when I did, or we would really be seeing some tears.

The Fun Club

Girls just wanna have fun. You only live once. Time flies. Woulda shoulda coulda. I need to wash my hair. Here's some good stuff coming up.

Phoenix Art Museum - Cezanne exhibit through Sept 26 (mother daughter going for museum and lunch on Aug 11) 

Movie Madness - Eat Pray Love - Aug 13, 3ish, ditto on the college kids

Nearly Naked Theatre - Aug 14 - Sept 11 (8/14) - Saucy Jack & The Space Vixens - love to support this small local theatre, always a fun, raunchy show and crowd!

Chicks With Sticks - Aug 19 - The Compound Grill, 7pm (free, but worth more!)

Strangers In The Bedroom - Aug 20 - Sept 4 (8/29) at the great, right down the street by PV Mall, Theatre Artists Studio

Phoenix First Friday Sept 1 - let's take the light rail!

Saving Tanias Privates Sept 16 - Oct 10 - incredible writer and performer, such a moving story

Friday, August 6, 2010

Downtown Dad

A lot has changed since my Dad's first day of work in downtown Phoenix over fifty years ago. Back then I think he just rode his horse in to town and tied it up outside the old Valley Bank building. I remember my ears would pop riding the elevator up to his floor. The 33rd. Or was it the 34th? These days the firm is in the brand spanking new Cityscape (complete with temporary handwritten "girls" and "boys" signs on the bathroom doors). The light rail slides by right out front and there's no room anywhere to tie up your horse. Condos, a swimming pool, a bowling alley and the first grocery store downtown has seen in decades is going in to the slowly rising tower next door. It's impossible for me to explain, but the office building has three corner offices on each corner. That's twelve per floor, making those high maintenance, big ego'd attorneys happy (my pretty low maintenance Dad has always had the greatest views and probably wouldn't care either way, but - wow - it must help to keep those billable hours rolling). After seeing the future, we met Susan for a walk down memory lane to Hanny's, the old men's clothing store that sat vacant for years. It's now a swanky, reclining leather seats, good food place, run by those amazing AZ88 in Scottsdale folks, complete with the Alice in Wonderland mirrored bathroom entrance - push on a door and see what you find. Times are a changing in good old Phoenix, but it's still fun to head downtown for lunch with Dad, even without the horse.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Make-Out Night

Doesn't anybody make-out anymore?

Shooting on Small, Beautifully Moving Parts temporarily shut down the other day for a philosophical discussion about making-out. How many reunion kisses are acceptable after five years of dating?

So...here's the storyline. Leon is worried about his girlfriend of five years, Sarah. She's pregnant and driving all over the Southwest on a search for her off-the-grid mother. He surprises her after a few weeks and lays it on pretty thick.  Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss. Who could blame him? I mean...look at her, she's gorgeous. I could barely keep my hands off of her.
And, personally, while I saw nothing wrong with watching two beautiful people goin' at it standing between
a saguaro and a minivan, Directors extraordinaire Annie and Lisa decided that four or five was too many. Nobody kisses that much after five years. Nobody makes-out anymore. So the new limit was two, maybe three. Hear that, Leon? Back off. Get real. Nobody makes-out anymore. 

Except me. 

When Shawn and I hit the big twenty-five year mark last year, we wondered, "What should we do? How should we celebrate?" Jewelry? Big trip? Fancy dinner out? Nah, let's get back to basics. More quality together time. How about a weekly make-out night in addition to the rest of the down 'n dirty? Some candles and linen spray? A little regular snuggling, some cuddling, some "hey, honey, how was your day" with a bit of predetermined time set aside in order to really hear the answer beats a gondola ride in Venice, doesn't it? No hanky panky, just turn off the TV an hour earlier for some pillow talk, a little reminder why you got together in the first place. Remember?

So, go ahead, surprise me. I'm surrounded by saguaros. Pucker up. Lay it on me. Two, maybe three, is not enough. XXOXOXO

The Parting Gift

Shana is almost done with Workshop. I've blabbered on and on about it for years, but after this weekend, she's all done. She leaves tomorrow for the annual retreat at Hawley Lake for the Peer Leaders, Leadership Team and the incredible Dr. Franny. It's four days full of ancient rituals and traditions, processing about the past year and just some good, old-fashioned fun. Plus, there are no cell phones, no make-up, no computers and no hair straighteners allowed and somehow everybody survives. I was fortunate enough to tag along last year (Hawley Lake '09) and will never forget those days, participating in some truly amazing, down to the core, life-changing ceremonies.

As a "forth year" Shana will be "exiting" and will be required to take part in some special rituals. One of them involves making gifts for the group. Workshop has always incorporated some kind of gift-giving in everything they do. From the daily gifts from your "secret friend" during the week-long summer sessions to the craft activities made as a group as a remembrance of their time together to the validation letters received from parents. None of these gifts are costly, but rather stress the importance of recognizing others, expressing feelings through something tangible, giving everybody something to hang on to in order to make the bonds even stronger.

Shana wanted to somehow incorporate the meaning of Workshop and how it has given her a home and support with her love of travel as she moves on away from this group. She designed a card (picture to follow) and glued a coin from some of her travels to each one. She hopes that this will be a reminder how they have given her strength to continue to "fly" without them.

The forth years also need to leave something of themselves behind. Hawley Lake has become a special, spiritual place to them over the years and at the end of their time there, they bury something meaningful. We have some Chinese iron balls from Hong Kong (a place Shana loved). They are two small balls that you place in one hand and move them around and around for good health, balance, meditation (it's harder than it seems!). Shana said that they represent yin and yang to her as well as silly vs. serious and how she has learned to bring that in to balance in her own life. She will bury them at Hawley with the hope that that lesson will always remain with her.

I'm sure it will.

Prop 8 goes down


Monday, August 2, 2010

Action - Take One

I'm returning to my old job as a Production Assistant (here's a look back at my initiation). Amazing Annie is adding another piece to her Sparks series, a feature called Small, Beautifully Moving Parts, along with cohort Lisa Robinson.

This one's a road trip. During the past two weeks, the crew has been to LA, Vegas, the Grand Canyon and will be rolling in to Cave Creek tomorrow. I'll be there, too, taking off a few days from work to help make the coffee, do a few airport runs to pick up the stars, clean up the trash (you know, the important stuff) and just watch in awe as the whole thing comes together. It's going to be rough. These Hollywood types are crazy - working all kinds of hours - my voice mail, email and text in boxes are already crammed full of way too organized lists, lists, and more lists to keep us on all track.

First assignment - I'm in charge of breakfast for around 15 in Cave Creek Wednesday 7:30am.

latest text...please don't forget the gluten free granola and soy yogurt

I'm off to Trader Joe's


Action! Day One

Day One call time: 7:30

So, why would anybody volunteer for three days, three loonnggg days, on a movie? Why would anybody get up at the crack of dawn and drive to Cave Creek, shop for a dozen people, haul ice and bottled water around, sweat in the Arizona sun - right out in the middle of the desert - make coffee, lunch, snacks, run errands, wash dishes and just try to be all around helpful? What's in it for me, huh?

Well, it's just so friggin' cool. It's truly amazing to look at the world through Annie's eyes. It's impossible to grow up next door to a geodesic dome house in Cave Creek, Arizona and not be affected by it. She's got gurus and neurotic girls and quirky characters floating around in her psyche and it's so much fun to watch them come alive. Plus, I love movies and what an incredible education this is for me, behind the scenes, holding the water, "umbrella-ing" the stars (who knew umbrella could be a verb?)

Today was Taffy's Dome House (incredible labyrinth creator and so much more)

xmas tree still up, fake pregnant Sarah tries to find her mother, but all she gets is a guru and some meditators.
Sarah - Anna Margaret Hollyman
Here's one of the meditators, no, not mediator (Phoenix atty that knows my dad, everybody knows Old Wildcat)
There was also a Peggy and a Dee and somebody that showed up in a Mother Goose outfit.

Between takes we all sat around the Howell's dining room table reminiscing about the good old days in Phoenix, back when Scottsdale Road was so hilly it made you carsick and to get to Rawhide was a whole day trip.

Action! Day Two

Here's a shot from several days ago out on the road when the Movie In A Van traveled through the Grand Canyon. Today there was more outside shooting - at the labyrinth, sneaking around the house, 
talking to the camera (under the amazing direction of Charles Swanson)
and then, when the rain started to come down, back to Taffy's for a scene in the tub, clear the set when the bikini top dropped and some concern that if it kept raining nobody would be coming or going in or out of Cave Creek for days if the wash was full. 

But all was ok, even the boyfriend showed up, Andre Holland (loved him in Sugar!)