Sunday, November 27, 2005


I thought you might like to see two of my animals in their natural habitat. They're trying to blend in to the furniture so as not to be seen by predators.

Bogie on his chair

Sonny on his ottoman

Friday, November 25, 2005


Thanksgiving officially continues to be my favorite holiday. Boy Howdy-I love Thanksgiving.

If Norman Rockwell were Jewish, he would have drawn my family's Thanksgiving dinner when I was growing up. It was pretty perfect. There were about fourteen of us sitting around, feasting on the amazing meal my Mom and my Grandma took all day to prepare. We ate late in my family. The meal started around 6:30. And those ladies were in the kitchen from the second I woke up until we started eating. Now that I'm cooking, I have no earthly idea what they were doing all that time. But, it was worth it.

After dinner my brother and I would usually start the entertainment portion of the evening. He would play some goofy song on the piano that everyone would sing along to. And I would do some kind of monologue, usually the one where you put your hands on either side of your face and push your cheeks in saying, "Hi, I'm Chubby." Every year it would make my grandpa laugh so hard he would cry. There was nothing better than that. My cousin, my mom, or my aunt would sometimes sing a song, my grandpa would tell stories, and we would stuff our faces with dessert. Those were wondrous times.

Then Thanksgiving hit the skids a little bit. My brother married an amazing woman with an amazing family, but everyone has a different idea of what Thanksgiving should be. When their union was official, so was the end of my tranquil Rockwellian Thanksgivings. Now it became an every-man-for-himself kind of hugely crowded holiday, where Russ and I had to sit at a card table, BY OURSELVES, for our first Thanksgiving together. It was not my idea of my favorite holiday. And it was no one's fault. It's just that there aren't a lot of graceful ways to celebrate with 27 people in a room meant for ten. This went on for several years.

Well, last year we took the reins back. See, Thanksgiving was always Russ' favorite holiday, too. So we decided to start our own tradition. Last year was the first year we had the feast at our house. This was year number two. And, although I miss being with my entire family on that day, it has absolutely become, once again, the holiday I look forward to all year.

Russ and I have decided that Thanksgiving is OUR holiday-the one time we get to make the decisions and dictate the meal, the mood, and the fun. It took some selfishness and some struggle, but we did it. And man, the food tastes twice as good when you've made it on your own terms. Don't get me wrong, we still do ALL the other holidays the way everyone else wants us to. But, we enjoy them all a hell of a lot more now, knowing we have Thanksgiving.

And we are thankful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Birthdays ain't what they used to be

Well, it's after midnight so I'm officially 34.

Good, then.


When I turned 15 a bunch of my friends kidnapped me in the morning and took me to Bobby's, a greasy spoon in Woodland Hills. I was in my pajamas at about 7:00 AM, eating my weight in bacon and eggs. The night before, my mom insisted I wear a little more than normal to bed. "It's supposed to be really cold tonight", she said, hoping my friends wouldn't barge in on a naked 15-year-old at 6:45 the next morning. I didn't even question her. I just wore my flannel pj's.

That was back when I was really easy to surprise. Now I'm way too nosy and I ask too many questions. I guess that comes with age.

But I do get surprised a lot. Today I smiled at a woman in a parking lot. She and her daughter were crossing in front of my car and they both looked kind of mean. But, when I stopped, she waved and I smiled. The smile I got back from her was so big, it blew me away. That was surprising.

I'm surprised at the constant love I get from my family and friends. I'm surprised my husband still looks at me that way. I'm surprised by the way waking up to my dog is a new treat every morning. I'm surprised at how many cool people I meet in the midst of all the shitty people I meet.

I get a lot of little gifts every day. It's probably taken me about 34 years to realize that. (Well, maybe not that long). I've accumulated a whole lot of wonderful things over the years. If I told you about the people in my life... how amazing they are... you'd think I was making it up. Actually, if you're reading this, you're probably one of them so you know I'm telling the truth!

Anyway, I'm tired and I'm probably not making sense. But the point is, I don't need a party or presents to celebrate my birthday. My constant gift is my life and the people in it.

That is cornier than I thought I'd be at 34.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Truth is... I really don't know what the hell to write about. In two days I'll be 34. I'm not doing much to celebrate my birthday this year, seeing as how I threw a baby shower yesterday and Thanksgiving is Thursday. So I think I'll just let this one pass. I mean, I'm sure I'll talk to my friends and maybe have a breakfast and a lunch or two. But I ain't doing a big party and I ain't having a big gathering. It's just too damn busy for everyone!! It's just too damn busy for me! But, I'm happy to have a quiet one this year.

Today was so beautiful in the San Fernando Valley. God, I love the 818 this time of year. It's just about 71 degrees, and the sun is so magnificent. It's a melancholy, beautiful, romantic sun and I swear it makes me want to cry. And, for the next few days, it's fall in the 818. I mean, it's not much for seasons out here, but I swear there were brown and orange leaves falling all over the damn place today. Beautiful, I tell you.

Tonight my husband and I made a dinner of leftovers from the shower. It was a damn fun dinner! We had turkey meatballs, mac and cheese, baked brie, veggies, and some mini turkey egg rolls. No wonder I can't lose weight.

Oh! Here's a piece of advice I picked up today. You know how normally you buy your pies the day of Thanksgiving? Well, I walked myself into my neighborhood Marie Callander's today and I asked if I could buy my pies tomorrow, two days before Thanksgiving. I asked if they would still be yummy on the big day. They said ABSOLUTELY! As long as you refrigerate them, they'll be just as good. AND YOU'LL SAVE ABOUT AN HOUR OF WAITING IN LINE!!! So, I placed an order, and tomorrow I'm picking up my pies!! If you haven't tried the Razzleberry... do yourself a freaking favor!!

Today was a good day.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


I like to keep things fresh. I have always been one to spit out a stale cracker, chip, or bowl of cereal. I know it seems wasteful but I just can't enjoy something that's supposed to be crunchy and turns out not to be. It's for this reason that I recently filled my cupboards with Tupperware. Now I'll never eat a stale chip again.

Tonight I realized a trend in my life. I also like to keep my marriage fresh. It takes work to keep a relationship as crisp as it was the day it began. But it's FUN work if you ask me! Just as my Tupperware keeps my Kashi fresh, I've found ways to keep a tight seal on my marriage. Not a suffocating seal, mind you. Just one for freshness.

Now, I'm no June Cleaver, nor am I Gloria Steinem. I fall pretty much right in between, (although lately I'm more June than Gloria). I'm an independent woman with a life of my own, who found a man to fit into that life, as I fit in to his. We spend a lot of time together, but we allow each other the freedom to spend quite a bit of time apart. We have many shared interests, and many things we enjoy separately. But it would be easy to fall into a rut where we forget the vows we took. It would be easy to eat separate meals and not spend the time telling each other how our days went. It would be easy to forget to say "I love you", or neglect to hug each other for no specific reason. It would be easy to never dress up for each other or stop having sex.

Well, I make sure to do all of those things, and so does my husband. (Although, for the rest of this, I'll leave him out of it for fear of embarrassing him. I mean, this is my blog, it should be about me!)

Simply put, I make sure he knows how much I love him. I cook for him and make sure I note when he really loves something so I can cook it again. I try to look good for him, (although he makes me feel like I do, even when I think I don't). I ask about his day and I listen. I tell him how brilliant I think he is (and I mean it)! I laugh with him and try to ease his frustration when times are tough. After all, I promised all of this to him the day when I wore that white dress.

And, yes. We have sex. (A lot). I find it to be more important than most people realize. I think a lot of women think that sex is only good for the guy in the relationship. Well, that's dead wrong. To me, it's paramount to keeping a marriage fresh.

So, there you have it. Way too much personal shit about my marriage. And here's my new motto to take with you:

Sex: It's The Tupperware of a Good Relationship.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I'm still awake at 12:50 AM

Look at me! I'm still up! But I have to go to bed because I'm meeting people for breakfast at 10:00, and I have a baby shower to go to directly after that.

Everyone's having babies right now. Is this what happens? People have babies? My mom and dad really want me to have one. A baby, that is. But I'm still undecided.

People with babies, or kids in general, seem to want everyone else to have them. "You should really have kids, " They'll say, "It's the best thing ever." But when you look in their eyes, you can see they're really saying, "Please have a kid because I can't stand the fact that you get to sleep in until 11:00 AM whenever you want to, when I have to wake up at 6:00 every morning and go to birthday parties and soccer games and dance classes and doctor's appointments and have noisy dinners and get no sleep and do it all again the next morning."

Of course, I exaggerate. I love kids a lot. As a matter of fact, my friends just adopted a baby from China and I met her last night. I fell in love with her immediately. And I can't even STAND how much I love my nieces and nephews. I mean, seriously. It's ridiculous.

And that might be why I don't feel ready to have one yet. It's scary to love someone that much. I can't imagine if it's your own!

So, I'll keep sleeping in and having sex and drinking wine and a lot of caffeine and having quiet dinners and long showers until I'm ready.

Wow. How'd that happen? I was just gonna tell you I stayed up late.
I'm weird.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Lunch Alone

I set out yesterday to have a quick lunch alone between laundry and errands. (One of my errands was grocery shopping. I had no food in the house, therefore I had to eat out.) I took with me an Allure Magazine my friend Mike had given to me the last time I saw him.

Do I need to fucking know about all the "wild outfits" Nicole Richie has? Do I need a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker in a pink tutu staring at me and asking that I buy her perfume? I'll stick with my Sud Pacifique Vanille Coco, thanks. Someone told me it makes me smell like birthday cake. Do I need to know about this season's "Must Have" boots? All of which cost well over one thousand dollars, by the way! All of my shoes COMBINED don't add up to that!

I am sick of magazines telling me what color gloss is "in" this season. I'll decide that for myself. I don't need to look to Paris and Nicole for my fashion tips. I mean, let's face it, I'll never be that rich or that skinny. So they CAN'T be my role models.

Who the hell are my role models? Is this what happens when you're 15 days away from turning 34? You start looking around and realizing how young, rich, and thin everyone in magazines is? I mean, where is the gray area between "young, hot, & single" and "old, wrinkled, & incontinent"??

Wait a minute. Sarah Jessica is older than me. So, I'm coming up with an equation here:

I want a magazine with women who are at least a size 8 telling me where to find FIFTY DOLLAR BOOTS, okay? And maybe I care more about what the waitress who served me my ratatouille omelet is wearing than I do about Jessica Simpson! And maybe Allure should put Rachel McAdams in some Levis instead of a PRADA dress!


That's all. I feel better. Next time, I'm bringing a book to lunch. And my ratatouille omelet was really freaking good. (So were the grits and the honey bran muffin).

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Still More things that seem Obvious...

If you can't be with the one you love... BE ALONE! Settling for someone or something is the saddest thing a person can do.

A gut feeling is a real thing. If your gut is telling you something's wrong... SOMETHING'S WRONG!

The best way to become a good cook is to not be afraid. Just go for it! Try new things and new recipes. The worst thing that could happen is you'll have to eat a bad meal, or throw it out and order pizza. But the next time you make it, it'll be better.

Don't try to make the whole world love you. Someone will always find something wrong with you, so only pay attention to how your friends and family feel about you. And sometimes even they can be wrong.

Always have decaf coffee in the house in case someone doesn't drink regular. The same goes for sweeteners: have sweet n' low in case someone doesn't use sugar.

Drink a lot of water! All the stories you've heard are true!

If you put your clothes in the hamper right when you take them off, they won't be on the floor in the morning.

Walk around naked as much as possible. It'll force you to be comfortable with yourself.


Take constructive criticism well. Changing something small about yourself can sometimes lead to wonderful things. But always consider the source.

Write a letter to a company you're pleased with. Costumer service is going out the window, so we should honor companies who still have it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Losing My Cool

There was one cool thing about me left. I could stay up until 3:00 AM with absolutely no problem, seven nights a week. That's slowly slipping away.

Let me clarify. I'm not someone anyone would classify as "cool". I mean, people might think I'm cool as in nice, but definitely not "cool" as in someone who starts trends or is incredibly interesting or has a mohawk or tattoos or a nose ring or wears leather. Get it?

But, the one cool thing I could hang my hat on is that I was a night owl. It really started back when I was 19 and working at TGI Fridays. I would often work until 2:00 AM, then head to the nearest Dennys with friends to eat Grand Slams and drink five cups of coffee. Then we'd talk until the sun came up and finally go to sleep, waking up around noon or 1:00.

When my husband and I met, we would stay up until all hours talking, watching TV, drinking, you-know-whating. And until very recently, I could hang with him until about 2:00 or 2:30 in the morning. Frankly, I'd pride myself on staying up late and sleeping in. I could scoff at those friends of mine who were in bed by 10:00 PM and waking up at 6:00. I would laugh when someone yawned at midnight. "What a lightweight," I'd think, "He or She can't even keep up with me!" I was cool. I loved the night and ignored the morning. And I really liked that about myself.

Well, now I'm feeling this weird switch. For the last couple of weeks, I've been getting up with my husband when the alarm goes off for his new job. I pop out of bed before he does, putting on my slippers, making coffee, feeding all the animals and starting the oatmeal. I've even been taking Bogie for some morning walks!! I was working out yesterday at 8:00 AM! I thought I'd NEVER lift a weight before nightfall. And I've actually been getting some stuff done before noon. Stuff! Stuff, I tell you!

Well, this morning the shit hit the fan. At 7:15, my eyes popped open, and there was no going back. Now, I do not wake up without an alarm, okay? That is not who I am. I hate mornings! But there I was, wide awake with Bogie and Russ sleeping soundly next to me. I got up. I fed the animals. I made the oatmeal, the coffee, and a few calls. I returned emails, did some errands, and I was in the gym by 10:15. WHO AM I??

Last night I had dinner at my friend's house and I was yawning at 9:00! I was asleep by 11:45! I am not a morning person, damn it! Have I said that enough? I live for the darkness!! I'm "cool"!

So, there it is. I am begrudgingly morphing from a Night Owl into an Early Bird. Unfortunately, my husband is not. So, there will have to be a few nights a week where I chug coffee to stay awake an extra hour or two. At least those nights I'll be cool. Or not.

(Click Pic to Enlarge)

This drawing was lovingly done by my friend Max Koch.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

More Things That Seem Obvious

Keep cleaning WHILE you're cooking! There'll be much less to clean up when you're done.

If someone offers you help with something, it doesn't make you weak to accept it.

Quality of friends matters much more than quantity.

Success shouldn't only be measured in money.

If you let your dog (or cat) sleep with you, you'll wake up happier.

But it's okay to lock him out when you have sex!

If you open a door or smile at someone, you could be changing their whole day.

It's great to change as a person, just don't expect everyone around you to change at the same time.

Take responsibility when you forget to call someone back. Otherwise, you look like a prick.