Saturday, October 30, 2010


Jan Brewer was out in force tonight, stumping for votes, gathering up all the bloody beheaded heads from out in the desert,
protecting our great state from all of those paperless people out there. She looked great even with all of those wrinkles and funny teeth and inability to form a complete sentence and way too much wine and if you look closely enough there was a band-aid on her throat, which she said was really nothing, really, she's perfectly healthy, you know. Along with our amazing host the Guv, aka Maggie (a true blue Dem, don't worry, Terry), who bakes like nobody's business, the cinnamony apple pie, the chicken and veggie pie and the total yummy spread including Phantom of the Opera bartender, the scary, scary every inch of the place was decorated, we gathered with Jill, the always prepared hazmat queen,
Leslie, the big-bottomed, my arms aren't long enough to reach around, curlers in hair, white socks in sandals, last year's Harkins cup, I'm positive she'll find a cowboy at Handlebar's Diva, Louise, the lovely nurse, pockets full of "do you need a sedative?" syringes, open wide as she squirted the tequila down,

Kyle, the Dazed and Confused wild child of Maggie and Jens, Mr. Ghostbusters to you,
and me in a "does this make me look fat?" pumpkin outfit complete with totally natural hair stem. The place was packed and we were surrounded by Willie Nelson, Wendy from Wendy's complete with a red beard, an adorable puff of cotton candy, a pirate, Fred and Wilma Flinstone and so many more spooky characters as we did the "Time Warp"'s a jump to the left, then a step to the riiiiggghtt, put your hands on your hips... Next year we're all going as The Spice Girls - I already called paprika, Leslie's alum, so we've got thyme, rosemary and lots of salts still available for anybody who wants to join in as we start planning for a not-to-be-missed Trick or Treat night in CenPho.

Rally To Restore Sanity

Jon Stewart - Rally To Restore Sanity.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Today 9am.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sugar Shack

Weight Watchers Halloween 101. DO NOT buy the candy before the 31st. DO NOT buy the candy that you like. DO NOT eat the candy. Well, actually they would say, why, of course, you can have the candy. You can eat whatever you want on Weight Watchers. It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle. Just don't eat so much of anything. So far, I've broken rule #1 and I bought the stuff (it was on sale). I absolutely love 100,000 Grand Bars, something about the creamy chocolate, the soft caramel, the little crispy things. I always get a bag, you know, for the neighborhood kids every year, but at least this year, I abstained. Stuck with things I can live without. I read the back of the Snickers bag (a lifetime first) and discovered that one tiny, itty bitty, mini bar has about 2 points.

So maybe I can have just one...

Merrily We Go Along

Getting back to Semi-Retirement Every Other Half Day Wednesday yesterday made me realize how much fun it is to squish in fun stuff when you would rather not, when it may seem like a better idea to work through lunch or veg out in front of the TV or pay bills or try to make it to the end of the To Do list. So Shawn and I snuck out to the McCormick Railroad Park for a quick spin on the merry-go-round. The song from The Little Mermaid "Kiss the Girl" was playing and after we got back to the office for round two, I kept hearing it in my head all afternoon.

Now's your moment
Floating in a blue lagoon
Boy, you better do it soon
No time will be better
She don't say a word
And she won't say a word
Until you kiss the girl

Don't be scared
You got the mood prepared
Go on and kiss the girl
Don't stop now
Don't try to hide it how
You wanna kiss the girl
Float along
Listen to the song
The song say kiss the girl
Music play
Do what the music say
You wanna kiss the girl

You've got to kiss the girl
Why don't you kiss the girl
You gotta kiss the girl
Go on and kiss the girl


Purse Party!!

OK, bag ladies, the wait is over! PURSE PARTY is tomorrow, October 30th from 1 - 3! Here's the crazy stuff that happened at the last one, so stop and browse all the cheap, cheap, cheap "knock-off" Prada, Gucci, D & G, Jimmy Choo, Tiffany, Marc Jacobs, Ed Hardy - bags, jewelry, accessories. Oh my.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Look up MacDaddy in the dictionary and you get "pimp-meister, king of the streetwalkers, possessor of the blingest of the bling bling" but around here, MacDaddy looks more like this.
My own personal MacDaddy Shawn is obsessed, always needing every latest little thing. He got the iphone the day it came out a few years ago, stood in line with the rest of the Apple nerds. When the new version appeared, he said he wasn't going to get it. Thought he could live without it. Tried a little less is more, want vs. need experiment and I watched as restraint and reality actually won out for a change. Then MacDaddy's Daddy got one and kept calling for some "how do I do this" advice. Shawn couldn't take it anymore. Experiment was over and he headed to the Apple store, exiting with a sleek blinged out black bad boy of a phone (yours truly gets the hand-me-down "old" one). Minutes later he was on Facetime videoing with the parents, walking around the house, showing Nana and Papa our cute kitty, Calico, curled up in the fruit bowl and showing them my I'm on the way to the fair, look, here's my Bling Belt. The other night in a Tucson restaurant, Shana wanted in on the action and called MacPapa on MacDaddy's phone. MacPapa beamed at Shana from Pinetop, telling her how beautiful she looked, chatted a bit then went on a search for Nana, taking us all along for the tour, finally opening the bathroom door where she was, um, "resting" on the toilet, blingless, in a post-bath robe.

End Call? Push it. Push it. Push it.

Down Under Semi-Retirement Every Other Half Day Wednesday

The Koalas are here! The Phoenix Zoo is borrowing a couple of adorable koala bears from the San Diego Zoo for awhile (new info - they are not really bears, but marsupials). One of my friends who is not having a birthday today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY Amy Si., Jaye, Laurel, Linda and Kelly!) asked me if Shawn and I still "do" the Semi-Retirement Every Other Half Day Wednesday thing and I had to answer no. I felt bad. Like I disappointed her. So, after I stared at billing reports for five hours this am and Shawn healed the sick, we headed to the zoo.
Except for a few families, the place was deserted. Perfect weather. Two by two we strolled through, laughing, playing our favorite "what is that animal thinking?" game, like, "Hey, Fred, stop acting like such a Warthog!"
and wondering what we should do next Wednesday.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Keep on truckin'

There's something hypnotically graceful about a bunch of semi-trucks hurling down the highway at night. All lit up, moving from lane to lane so smoothly, signaling way ahead, but mostly staying in their own right hand side of the world. All of that over-caffeinated, highly testosteroned manliness working within the rules, remaining calm, doing the speed limit at all times, leaving enough space between the rest of the crazy gang no matter how much we flit in and out in front of them, pushing our own envelopes, ruled by radar detectors, not the Department of Transportation Licensing Board. So big. So cool. Something so Smoky and the Bandit about it.

Sweaty Asses

Shana's on the Southwest Athletic Softball something or other softball team, but they're known as the Sweaty Asses. It's an all ages, co-ed team and they have tons of fun. Shawn and I cruised down to T-town for an exciting game full of sliding and pop flys and double plays and an Australian who couldn't drop the bat and the still adorable purple Barney the Dinosaur bat and the ever-amazing Shana - she hits, she catches, she mans first base like nobody's business! Go Sweaty Asses!

Movie Madness - Conviction

WOW! Hillary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver in an amazing true story. The acting, the emotion, the flashbacks, the suspense, the drama, the sacrifice all made in the name of family. Made me wonder - how far would I go?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Yoga


What a great class. Learned so many new things about the ancient practice of yoga, things we can still relate to today, like the plow pose. It is so good for our Endocrine system, stretching and squishing all of those internal organs around, releasing the toxins bottled up, like plowing the weeds. Plowing the poisonous things we hold on to for too long, preventing us from moving on, preventing anything new from growing in the new, fresh soil. Get it? Let go of the old, plant some new flowers. Reminds me of something else going on this weekend with somebody weedy in my life. A workshop, Landmark, which helps with the same thing, clears out the old. Check it out.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fair and Balanced?

Wanna talk about Fair and Balanced? NPR is fair and balanced. It's solid, factual journalism in a time when we're seeing less and less of it all around us. It keeps me calm and informed during the week and makes me laugh on Saturday mornings. Lately, just to stay sane in the daily barrage of election phone calls and mailings and hanging ads on my front door and red-faced talking TV heads and disgusting commercials I can't get away from at Jiffy Lube, I've been heading to the left, listening to AM1480, checking in with updated polls online every day, reading the latest poignant Michael Moore (go ahead, click on it, read it) take on the Juan Williams firing and crossing my fingers that in a couple of weeks we won't let the puppets take over the whole place.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Club - AArrruuggh!

Move over, Johnny, bookclub was Pirateville all the way.
I heard somebody say something about a book, Half Broke Horses, by the amazing Jeanette Walls,
but tonight it was all about birthday girl, Jaye. 50 big ones!
What she lacks in style (the lesbian shoes, the thick black knee-high socks, the couldn't quite get the pirate bandana on without looking like someone's mom from the old country) she totally makes up for in love of life and travel and only daughters and Movie Madness and hard work and her amazing wit and hilarious personality, like when she walked into Laurel's new Miraval-like suite and said, "If I had a bathroom like this, I'd be cute." 
The wine and Champagne was flowing, along with the Gourmet Magazine spread featuring French cheese, hard-to-find chipotle for the pork, mushroom risotto, veggie torte and a Garrison Keillor rhubarb apple crisp (well, two, those Farm Fraus need an extra for breakfast, don't ya know) until we all decided we're moving in for some permanent serious spoiling.
 We did the musical chairs around the house shuffle from the kitchen to the table to the sofa to the pool to the patio with some dancing, some smooching, 
some present opening, lots and lots of Happy Babying until the clock struck way past bedtime and the planning began for the next celebration.  How about Wednesday? 
Bring your bandana.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Straight Up

Instead of getting down to business and focusing on la dee dah yoga, the class was all excited about the new Cosmo  Arizona Bachelor of the Year, Geoff! Woo Hoo! He is the son of one of the ladies in class and Mary had to calm us down like a bunch of pre-schoolers.
The theme tonight was Community. Union. Communion.We learned how yoga is all about the joining of physical, emotional, spiritual "bodies" within us. After some balance poses, we did something new and formed a circle with the group - hands up, palm to palm, pressing lightly against each other. We sort of made our own "tree" as we did the tree pose. It was incredible how much easier it was to stand up straight with just a little bit of support. I realized that I was also trying much harder, focusing more, breathing, thinking about what I was doing because if I fell I could potentially bring down the whole group.

Mary's lesson: there is no ego in yoga.

Lean On Me

I almost skipped yoga. Headache, homework, but made it there. Made me think. Meaning of life kind of stuff. What are we doing here? Is it all about us? So much to whine about. Real life example of how we need each other, about how others can make our lives easier, make us stand up stronger, dig deeper to support the rest. I thought about my support "tree" in my hubby, my cool kid, my family that I can reach out to, my friends that go out and play with me, my job, my healthy body that can bend and carry me around, my clear brain that pushes me to learn more, turn off the tv, listen instead of bitch (most of the time) and how all of that lets me support others, lets me give back. What do I bring to the table? What do you? Tree of life. Headache's gone.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Movie Madness - You WIll Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Woody Allen's still got it. Great tour through London peeking in on how some crazy couples and all their passions, ambitions and anxiety lead them into trouble and out of their minds. A bit long in places and a little chopped off at the end, would have loved to see the devastation as the lives really unraveled, but a great cast and an even better lesson:

Sometimes the illusion works better than the medication.

Tall Dark Stranger

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Fair Lady

The Arizona State Fair is in town! Rides! Cotton candy! Stuff on a stick! Fried butter! And, oh yeah, the B-52s!
Shawn and I met up with some old friends (even made a new one on the way back from the bathroom that hung around for the whole encore - nice guy, good dancer). We did the crazy 80's dance for a couple of hours to Rock Lobster, Private Idaho, Planet Claire, Love Shack and to some of their new stuff. It's always interesting to head down to the fairgrounds for a little people-watching, adding up points for how many mullet haircuts were spotted (higher for balding or lesbian - really high for balding lesbian), how many missing teeth, estimating how many hours since that guy said good-bye to Sheriff Joe and we just couldn't take our eyes off the row behind us at the concert, each over 250 pounds, clad in tie-dye shirts with matching tie-dye headbands (I'm sure they were all making fun of my Bling Belt, oh well). We rode the skyride over the midway and caught an incredible sunset and beautiful views of downtown, uptown and the mountains circling it all, inhaling the grease from the cheese curds and Krispi Kreme hamburgers down below. I had splurged on a VIP parking pass (tickets to the fair were a whopping $6 bucks so I had a little left over) and as I handed my paper to the guy in the booth, my entire world changed. He smiled at me. He picked up his walkie talkie, pushed the button and said, "LISA SULLIVAN is here! LISA SULLIVAN is here!" He instructed the powers-that-be to mark me off the list and placed a big blue VIP sign on my dash. It's like the waters started to part as workers stood at attention, waved me past all the riff raff that had only paid the regular parking fee, taking down ropes, leading my queen carriage to my very own special stall. It was the best $20 I've ever spent. So, another night at the fair. Ears ringing, songs dancing in my head, no voice, sore feet. Just like the old days.

Veggie Man

Shawn used to be so Yin to my Yang. For years, he was a manly man, Fred Flintstone, Atkins Diet meat, fat and protein eating garbage disposal machine. I would load up the house with pot roast, steak, chicken, salami, pastrami, pepperoni, Boar's Head turkey (whatever non-honey or non-barbecue coated flavor was on sale at Fry's), chicken salad, parmesan, romano, mozzarella, bleu cheese crumbles and, occasionally, some spinach. Spinach was the only fruit or vegetable he ate for years. He lost a ton of weight eating this way and has kept it off. Back when he started he even had a haircut that sort of looked like a portobello mushroom but that had to go - too carb-like. I was so grossed out most days as a vegetarian (except for fish, but pescatarian just sounds so weird, doesn't it? ) and even got to the point when I could no longer buy uncooked meat, but I was still really proud of him. He was committed. He rarely cheated. There was one problem, though. Since he never ate any fiber (even though Dr. Atkins recommended several "safe" options) he went through tons of what I lovingly referred to as "Colon Blow"- a pretty white and green bottle full of capsules to help things move along, you know. I would stock up to limit my exposure to embarrassment, but usually that just backfired, resulting in numerous conversations about flax seed and other natural remedies with my flower-shirted friends at Trader Joe's. Anyway, Shawn finally got sick of it all. Maybe Dr. Everythingwillbealright even realized that this may not be the way to a healthy long life after all. So, for two whole weeks now, he has been on my team. He's suddenly off all meat. He's been steaming and sautéing and chopping and blanching like crazy. He's been ordering all kinds of new things at the Thai, Indian and Chinese places we frequent, even doing okay with salads and fruit and cheese plates brought in from the yummy ladies-who-lunch Arcadia Farms joint a couple of times a week. We haven't been to old Sunday night dinner faves Houston's or Village Tavern since the switch, that might just push him over the edge, but for now, things are good. No more Colon Blow, no more drippy raw chicken in my fridge and he's even said he lost a pound or two.

Rock on, Veggie Man.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Movie Night - Red

There's nothing like a Friday afternoon movie to get the weekend started. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich - action, action, action. Go in with sunshine, out to cool night. And the lesson? It's never too late to kick some butt.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The WW Slide

I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting at thirteen. Since then, I've been back many, many times, usually lasting for a few months before dropping out, thinking that I can handle it on my own. Thinking that all the weighing and measuring and counting and writing down and talking and asking for help is for the birds. Figuring that normal people eat and exercise and seem to stay at healthy weights without all the WW hoopla. But then I slide right back to where I was when I started, plus some. I thought this time would be different. This time it's a change of lifestyle thing. This time it's for keeps, no sliding backwards allowed. But it's happened. Since 9/2, it's been up, up, up, up. There have been two great four day girls' trips in there, plus one Shana's home for the weekend, let's go to all the favorite restaurants. There's been starting a class where everybody else is so young and so talented and the only thing that helps the stupid inferiority complex is a twist fro-yo. Excuses, excuses. But this week I'm getting off the up .2, the up .4, the up .2 slide before it gets too high. This Saturday. 8 am. It's just you and me Mr. WW Scale and you're goin' down.

Update: Couldn't wait 'til Saturday and weighed in Friday am. Down! Back to the 9/2 weight and back to focusing on the goal, a new goal - make it to January without going up.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It Depends

I'm in charge of the purchase and delivery of Depends for a family friend. I won't get in to too many details, but he needs two Costco-sized boxes a month dropped off to his nursing home. Mens size L/XL. I'm happy to do it. He's a nice guy, or at least he was when he used to know who I am. I get sort of a "what goes around, comes around" karma feeling when it's that time again (but I do put the boxes on the bottom rack of the cart to avoid unnecessary embarrassment at the store). He lives in a nice place. It's always spotless and the home-cooked food the nice Romanian couple doles out always smells so good. Then it hit me. Is this what I have to look forward to? Wetting my pants, living with strangers, eating all kinds of beef stews and sausages and watching church on TV for hours every Sunday morning?

I called Shana, hoping for a little support, and said, "Just shoot me, okay?"


Movie Madness - Secretariat

Giddy-up! Excellent trip down a forgotten memory lane. Yeah, it was Disney, so there were tears, there was suspense, there were bad mom moments, but overall an incredible history lesson with an amazing cast, a powerful horse and, of course, a come from behind win at the end.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Something to think about...


Jungle cat


Who's your Daddy?


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tea for two (x 2)

I read somewhere there are four times more Tea Partiers in Arizona than in any other state.  Four times. Now usually that wouldn't bother me. I'm used to being a blue girl in a red state. Usually I'd be ok walking around in my own little "my guy won a couple of years ago, you know, and it's all going to be alright" bubble. But it's getting harder. There are signs all over town. Bumper stickers. Red-faced talking heads going on and on and on about immigration (kill 'em all!), taxes (hate 'em all - shut down the schools, let the houses burn, take away my sewer, I don't care!), global warming (global what?), health care reform (NO socialized medicine, none at all, except don't touch my Medicare). It's heating up. The Tea Partiers are circling with their hand-made Sharpie posters and it's going to get worse for the next few weeks. It's time to tell them the Tea Party's over, Mad Haters. Vote. Send it in. Early voting starts now.

Here are a few smart folks that could use some help...
Terry Goddard

Harry Mitchell

Penny Kotterman

Rodney Glassman

Go Wildcats!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Ten Year War

We are going in to our tenth year in Afghanistan. Is anybody out there paying attention?
Here's a take on the whole mess by the always interesting Michael Moore.
Here's some more info, too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Let the Fashion Begin!

Seriously fun sippy cup crowd for a great trip through the latest CAbi fashions. There was even a repeat performance of the Scottsdale original: Two Divas From Brooklyn.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Weather or not

After a long, hot summer I was practically jumping up and down outside my office today watching the rain. We natives are weird. Let the work pile up, it's raining. It poured. It flew sideways. Camelback Mountain was all faded in the background. Last night things seemed to shift. Shawn and I grabbed the dog and went around the block a couple of times and it was actually nice. So it felt good to be outside in the middle of the day and be cold. Then it got worse. An hour later I was at a collision center having a previously scheduled meeting with my mom and an insurance agent concerning an April fender-bender. Within ten minutes, the manager got seven faxes about damaged cars, the Scottsdale hail storm, he kept saying. Then an email from friend, Laura, came in - here's her car after the storm. Ouch.
"Hi," said Fall, "I'm here, I'm here, I'm here."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pass the veggies

Just thought I'd pass this on...
The photo above is a peak into the rarely-seen world of mechanically separated meat, or Advanced Meat Recovery (AMR).
Someone figured out in the 1960s that meat processors can eek out a few more percent of profit from chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows by scraping the bones 100% clean of meat. This is done by machines, not humans, by passing bones leftover after the initial cutting through a high pressure sieve. The paste you see in the picture above is the result.
There's more: because it's crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.

The resulting paste goes on to become the main ingredient in many of America's favorite mass-produced and processed meat-like foods and snacks: bologna, hot dogs, salami, pepperoni, Slim Jim-like jerkys, and of course the ever-polarizing Chicken McNugget, where the paste from the photo above was likely destined.  

Sorry if I ruined your dinner.