Wednesday, February 29, 2012

C-bi time

Every season, I want to hate the stuff. It's so much work to have a party. You've got to nag, nag, nag, nag, nag all of your friends. People start to hate you. You turn into one of those emailers where everyone just hits "delete" when they see your name or, even worse, you've already been long ago sucked in to the "Junk" box with those "please forward this to ten friends or you will die a long, horrible death" or too many cutesy animal photo senders. It's bad. I guess I could just pay full price, but after so many teen-age years walking the carpets selling stuff in department stores, I just can't do it. So every season I check out the catalog and think "eh" whatever, I can live without those things. Then C-bi Queen Ronnie invites me to a hoity toity fashion show - wine, music, all kinds of different outfits on real people all done up and glam and suddenly I'm all excited about supplementing my designer wardrobe from Marshall's with a couple of totally original pieces.
Like this, the Dotty Cardi. Love it.

Most people think -Abi is some kind of cult. Some kind of weird shopping experience. Who wants to try on clothes after a long day at work? At someone else's house? Yuk. Not me. Then you get there in front of your peeps and suddenly there's something shoved in your hand that you would never wear in a million years (like this CA-i explosion from a few seasons ago) and somehow you love it.
Out of the box. But what do I know? Nothing (except someone told me today that I'm an inspiration to her. Ha! A fashion inspiration! Maybe now you blah wardrobe wearers know why I invited you after all). It's all due to the wined-up, wound-up roomful of lovelies flashing pink lacies and got-to-go green cottons nodding their heads about how adorable you look (but pay attention to the one in the back, too, shaking her head no, no, no).

You can't get that at Marshall's.

Check it out!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Se7en was on TV and I was reminded of the Brad/Gwenyth love connection. The old Hollywood frenzy. The pretty, almost sibling-like, years long affair and engagement. I thought of The Oscars on Sunday. Gwenyth, stunning, glowing in a white gown, walked on to the stage with beautiful Brad in the front row, his parents just behind (Shawn makes fun of me for knowing these things, but as the Director of Movie Madness, I feel I must keep up on Tinsletown's Who's Who-ers). I wondered what Mom and Dad were thinking as she stood before them - the "what ifs" and all the holidays around the fireplace, the trips to the beach, the splashing in the pool with the dog, the Skyping across the Atlantic.  Were they allowed to smile and wave from the second row? Maybe send a little text? Hi Zach, I mean Gwen, can we still be friends?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday A'Fair

Baseball and bongos!! A pretty spicy day - red-hot salsa, Tex-Mex, blues...all wrapped up with a bunch of baseball fans for the Spring Training kick-off celebration - fun, fun, fun in the sun.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Crazy, Stupid, Politics

Bill Maher explains the 2012 presidential race - streaming for free on Yahoo.

He's got my vote!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Will pedal for beer...

Just reserved the Trolley Pub for Shana's BIG 21. Watch out Tucson!!

Movie Madness - Oscar Shorts 2012

My baloney has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R...

Set your DVRs, the Oscars are on this Sunday. Have you seen all of the Best Picture nominees -
The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse? If you were a good Movie Madness Member, you would be way ahead of the game.

The perfect film, small, beautifully moving parts (stay tuned for upcoming rumor revelation...)
And watch out for I Am Not A Hipster, the latest cool flick to take Sundance by storm (made by the amazing Jared Callahan and starring the next massive movie star, Sophie Callahan!)

But up next for us - the best short films of the year

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Club - Room

If I hadn't started drinking at 3, I may have remembered to take some fabulous photos of our adorable selves, the stunning table, the candlelit mantle, the blanketed nightie-night on the sofa, the cheese plate, the thick uteruses (uteri?), the red hot - is it hard? - car, Grandma Pei Wei's old family recipes, the male and female lace cookies, the heated political debate (stay out of our vaginas!), the ashy foreheads, the mini me, the later in life personality disorders of breech babies, the early-comers, the late-stayers and everything in between.

But, I forgot.

"Assignment"- Room
Everybody that got through Room loved it.
Extra credit...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Upcoming - Caramelpalooza

Caramel, Smeeks, Short Leash food truck and First Friday - coming up next week!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Movie Madness - Thin Ice

Chill Out! Hilarious film, cracked up over and over at the amazing cast - Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup - until the perfect ending.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Twelve Bees

An oldie, in honor of upcoming prom dress hunting...

Twelve Bees

Why was I blubbering? This was supposed to be a quick shopping trip with Shana to buy a prom dress. Just one more errand on a busy Saturday and suddenly it's a major Kleenex fest. After coming up empty at three mall stores, we found ourselves at a fancy little dress boutique. Shawn was sitting in the dad chair, reading the dad magazines, when Shana came around the corner. We ignored her dirty face and ratty, unwashed hair from a post-softball game, post-cosmic bowling, post-up-all-night slumber party to see our baby girl looking suddenly all grown up. Even Shawn got a little teary-eyed. 

She had on a beautifully embroidered, butter-colored satin dress, not very promy, but it was stunning. I’m sure the nice saleslady had us pegged from the moment we walked in and put Shana on her “I’m gonna to sell this girl a dress today” radar. Roxanne had another thing coming, though. I knew I couldn’t afford anything in there. The balance in my end-of-the-month checking account was so low I didn’t even look at any of the dangling, laminated price tags, so I stayed calm as the dresses kept coming. A cupcake bright pink taffeta with a full skirt, a pure white wedding-like gown, a long, skinny orange silk that made Shana look like a popsicle, and a really tight red spandex number that made her look like a, well, you know. After totally messing up the dressing room, Shana hit the jackpot when she slipped on a gorgeous lavender dress with black and silver beading. It laced up in the back and fit her perfectly. She looked like a princess. Roxanne just lit up and said it wouldn’t even need alterations. She didn’t have a clue. We’re not worried about alterations, lady. We’re just browsing.

Shana kept mentioning that the store only sells one dress style per high school per season, so no two girls would ever show up wearing the same thing. According to Shana, that would be a nightmare. Roxanne thought so, too.  I was thinking they were both insane when a girl walked in to buy her dress, only to find it had already been sold. She had a meltdown right there on the floor. Roxanne looked over at me with an “I told you so” smile as the girl’s mom rushed over to console her. After Little Miss Sunshine calmed down, her mom sidled up to me like I was her new best friend and desperately explained that there are no dresses left out there and we are all too late for the dress search marathon. Just for a second, I felt a tiny bit of angst – was I too late, too? I prayed Roxanne didn’t notice. She could sell a blow-the-budget dress to one of these lunatics today, but not to me.

I had gotten off pretty easy with the formal dresses quota since Shana started high school, only one formal in the past three years. We scored big when we found a designer dress at a resale shop about four hours before her Cotillion dance. The zipper was broken, so I had to pin in the poor kid for the night, but she looked great. Her Homecoming dances have been themed costume parties, so I got another break there, too. One year it was “New York” and Shana dressed up like a taxi. She made it herself and spoke with a really thick Bronx accent. This year she was a bumble bee for the “Enchanted Forrest” dance. She looked so adorable covered in huge yellow and black stripes, a little stinger and a floppy chrome antenna. She reminded me of John Belushi in that old Saturday Night Live killer bee skit, buzzing around and around.

So I guess I wasn’t prepared when she wailed, “Mom, I have to have this dress! Itfitsperfectlyit’sonlyfourhundreddollarsandIloveitplease. It’s a once in a lifetime event!"  “I know, Honey, it’s beautiful, " I nodded. "Wait. Did you just say four hundred dollars? Are you crazy? This is just prom, Shana, junior prom. My wedding dress was less than four hundred dollars.” She looked devastated as she sulked back to the dressing room.  A few minutes later, from behind the door, I heard her sadly whisper,  “At the Homecoming dance I was one of twelve bees.”

I took a deep breath and said, “Okay, Roxanne, ring it up.”

Friday, February 17, 2012

Titans at The Tavern

Met the old gang, even the up-from-Tucson, Lisa ("Dos"), for some one-way gift exchanging, some citrus drinking, some high-heeled bathroom walking and even a little Sugahbeating.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Carla brought down the house with her sparkly boa, new woody javelina and amazing bunch of gal pals as we toasted in a bright, new year at Tanzy.
Kaki, Ronnie, Carol, Moi, Louise, Jaye, Shar, Leanne and the Birthday Queen


Yoga's gotten a bad rap lately. There's a whole new book out there that describes how it'll kill you and I've heard somewhere in the GOP Primary culture war circus that yogis are a bunch of hippie, tantric, Devil-worshipping freaks. Whatever, you haters. Stay away then. More space on the floor for my mat, I figure.

After getting stuck at work for the past couple of Thursdays, I finally sneaked out today for a mid-morning class. It was like spending an hour at a spa, a Saturday night date, a massage, an outdoor concert on the grass, a drug-doling doctor's office trip, toes in the sand on a beach, a therapist's couch, a chai latte at Starbucks, and a girls' slumber party wrapped up into one.

All for $10 bucks. Freaky, right?

JOY OF YOGA with Mary
Scottsdale Neighborhood Arts Place
4425 N Granite Reef Road

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You've Got Male*

*at least I hope you do

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Movie Madness - A Separation

Now that's what I'm talking' about...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The King And I

Headed East to see The King!! Not all the way to NYC when I saw Yul Brynner in this role with Old Wildcat and little Kittycat, Amy, but this was good, too. The singing. The acting. The sets - as I sat next to the amazing Maggie who painted everything, filling me in on the backstage gossip and technicalities of it all. Beautiful!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


The 9am bottle of vodka should have been my first clue that the day would not have a happy ending.
The plan was for the gang from Tucson to descend on The Phoenix Open for a day of fun in the sun,
commencing with an early morning "pre-drinking" drinking fest at some guy's Kierland house.  By the time I fetched Shana and Zach around 2, following several loud, drunken, disoriented, choppy phone calls and texts on a not working very well in the golf-clogged cell site system "I'm on Princess, I'm at The Princess, I'm on Hayden, no, the Greenway-Hayden, no Bell, no Frank Lloyd Wright Loop somewhere" there was a red, tear-stained face and no gang from Tucson anywhere to be found.

Nobody drove (I'm sure of it). Nobody threw up (I don't think). Nobody got arrested (I don't think). And there was only one ear piercing (that I'm aware of).

I never did understand golf.

*Totally Plastered Children

Mantle Peace

Help! Somebody call the Mantle Police. I never know what to do up there. After taking down all the holiday garland and lights, it looked so bare. Shana suggested on the phone the other day that I put up a picture of her. She was kidding, of course, but after seeing her home-for-the-day grown up face walk in today and laugh at the poster-sized one, front and center, brought in from the garage, I think I'll keep it up.

Friday, February 3, 2012

First Fridays

Ever think the Phoenix Art Museum is a little too white Wonder Bread? After grabbing some not white bread pizza and the newly expanded have Pane Bianco, Shana and I hit the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit, complete with funky band and wild crowd.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Garrison Keillor

I half expected Guy Noir to walk in at any moment as Laurel and I sidled up to the bar at The Stockyards for a saloon stop
before heading to see the other Guy, the Big Guy, Garrison Keillor. I thought I'd need my BFF from Minneapolis to help translate, but as soon as he came on, it was like he was speaking right to me. Right to everybody, really. The man's a genius. Witty. Pithy. Pretty cheeky. He takes experiences we all have had and turns them into stories and songs we all know the words to. We laughed. We cried. We sang. Maybe it's weird for a girl like me to like this guy. It's such an old-fashioned thing to do, sitting around on a weekend, listening to him on the radio. Sometimes I imagine I'm back in those times before TV, sitting with my family, surrounding the radio, watching it, wondering what the characters look like - the private eye, the sultry bartender, the librarian, the cowboy, the mom on the other end of the phone. But I'm not very old-fashioned. I can't cook. Or sew. I'm a really bad hostess. Pearls look funny on me. So even though I've been married forever and I love the whole mom thing, that's probably where my old-fashionedness stops. But tonight as I gazed around the old, old Celebrity Theater in the round, smelling like Depends and baby powder, looking like Skate World from seventh grade with the worn out Vegas carpet, I realized - we've all seen better days. I'm glad I was there to hear all about them.

Not ready to stop the Minnesota/Arizona good times rolling, Laurel and I laughed our way over to see another long-time Keillor fan, Anne, at her Knockers Up place, where I started to imagine things again, like seeing Garrison and the definitely not old-fashioned Rusty Warren hanging around a kitchen table in Lake Wobegone, going at it for a round or two.