A whole lot o' nothing. And then some….
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Almost 4 years ago, my brother asked my kids what they wanted for Chanukah. One said “candy”. The other, older and wiser at age 5, answered “I want to see you in your house”. Since said house was in NYC, my brother sent over tix – one for my boy and one for me – and off we went. This child had an agenda. No Broadway shows for him. He had other business. He wanted to see Central Park and The Statue of Liberty, following the escaped footprints of Marvin the Ape. He also needed to check out The American Museum of Natural History (thanks, Night at the Museum).

And so we did. We traipsed through Tribeca and Soho. We wandered through the Park by foot, carousel, and handsome cab. Butterfly exhibits, dinosaurs, and tableaux. The Museum shop (our favourite part!). Coffees a-plenty. Neighborhood parks. River walks. Taxi boat tour. Lady Liberty. Visits with friends. A side trip to cousins in Jersey. We did it all.

Cut to: present day. It’s 6-yr-old son #2’s turn to visit his uncle. So off we flew, down to the Big City.

This time, there were no museums. Pas de parks. Forget the friends. Our agenda was simple: dining and retail. This was a boy after my own heart. He had things to eat and stuff to buy. And so did I!

We arrived and immediately went for lunch at Bubby’s. Child-friendly, lots of fried stuff. Crayons. Perfect.

Mac n Cheese w a side of fries....

Next stop: FAO Schwarz. I still have buyer’s remorse. And non-buyer’s regret. I wasn’t that impressed. And my son? He was downright cranky. Why? Because his current obsession, the never-ending spend-a-thon that is Skylanders, wasn’t available. He was sick about it. And no amount of remote control UFOs, big-piano manoeuvres, or FAO Schweetz bulk candy could save the day.

All gummies.And, oddly, bacon-flavoured treats!

The wii was left behind, but was threatening to ruin our trip. As we edged our way down 5th, I stared at the forbidden fruit….Bendels, Sax, Bergdrof’s….I even forced my young traveller into a packed Sax. Crazy shoes, crazier people. And so miserable!! I figured if these folks were browsing the $1000 plus footwear range, surely they’d have something to smile about?? We made our escape and found a cab. As we headed back downtown, the high street stores mocked me with their sale signs. But I was here for my son. It was his trip. And it’s not like I couldn’t find the same stuff here at home, right?

The next day, we headed straight to Central Park.

It was about 500 degrees and we all humoured each other. My brother pretended he was happy to act tourist-y. I pretended the park wasn’t making me melt, and my son pretended he’d rather be running and playing than searching out evasive characters to battle Kaos on the Portal of Power. “Fake it ’til we make it” was our motto. And it worked. We had a blast, despite toilet line-ups, creepy “human statues” and nutritional data on the front of the pretzel cart.

Did you know NYC street meat is practically dietetic? A mere 200 cals. Compare that to a classic Big Apple pretzel, which packs upwards of 400 cals for its salt-crusted goodness. Crazy right?

We headed to my bro’s diner of choice. Which happened to be stationed directly across from Barney’s. What kind of cruel joke was this? I mentioned popping in…just for a few minutes… but was met with steely silence. Not this trip.

“It’s not my trip….It’s not my trip….It’s not my trip….”

And off we went to Times Square. On Memorial Day weekend. Packed with military pomp. My son loved it. He climbed a tank. He faux-drove an armored hummer. He even posed with a sweaty shrek. The reason for his glee and happiness? We hit up the supersized Toys R Us and hit the Skylanders mother lode. $150 dollars worth of made-in-China later and I thought I’d be in the clear. I was wrong.

After Times Sq (and a celeb spot! Snoop Dogg … Can we call him Snoop?) we headed back downtown. My brother skipped out on us, and my son insisted we go back to our place to relax. The poor little guy was exhausted. We found ourselves stuck in traffic. Again.

“It’s not my trip…It’s not my trip….” The boutiques continued to beckon. “It’s not my trip…It’s not my trip…” Maybe we should go back to my brother’s. My son could crash out, I could do some on-line browsing, maybe have stuff delivered express…And then the glorious pink awning of Olive & Bettes appeared right outside my taxi door.


And we did. My son was given my iphone and instructed to remain seated. I’d had enough. It was my trip, goddammit. The cranky clouds of grumpiness lifted with each dress I tried on. And 90 minutes later, we were on our way, laden down with bags, going to meet my sister-in-law and niece for coffee, cake and combo comparisons. Now THIS was my kinda town (yeah I know it’s a Chicago reference. Too bad). And my boy felt it too. Suddenly, he wanted to stop in anywhere and everywhere. He was thrilled with his new light up shoes and endless other bribes. We were in NYC, goddamit. Screw the sites. We were shopping.

everyone loves retail!

Even a jaunt out to Greenwich CT the following day couldn’t dampen the afterglow of my spree. Despite the 60 minutes it took (instead of the 20 we were quoted!). And despite the train being packed. And sitting backwards. I knew a quick stop at Scoop would make it all alright.

Retail therapy? Hell yeah! The doctor was in, and taking visa!

Trains, planes, automobiles and boats. Restos, diners, sushi bars and coffee shops. Heat waves and thunder showers, friendly faces and complete psychos – we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the Big Apple. Especially once we/I gave in to the temptation facing us/me at every corner.

A New York State of mind indeed. And we’ve got the new outfits, shoes and toys to prove it.


June 11, 2012   1 Comment



50 Shades of Grey. 50 Shades Darker. 50 Shades Freed.

Read, read, read – doesn’t anybody f&ck anymore?

That’s right, I’m talking about the 50 Shades phenom. The mommy-porn that’s sweeping the nation(s). If you’re underage, or male, or dense, you may not have heard about it. But if you’re a hot-blooded mama, you most certainly have. Or will. I whizzed through all 3 books in just over a week. And not because of their brilliance. I was a reluctant reader, but after so many reco’s I needed to know what the fuss was about. I took a look and didn’t much like what I saw.

At first.

They’re terribly written. And most characters are kind of hateful/annoying. I didn’t get it. In fact, I was downright snooty about the whole thing, condemning the trilogy to the annals of pure trash. I figured it was “Harlequin in Handcuffs” for those not gettin’ any. And then around page 200 or so something happened…

Could it have been the Silver Balls??


This post is neither about the books, nor what happens to anyone in them. It’s about the toys. And no, pervs, I don’t own them all, have not tried them all, and don’t plan on some crazy sexy splurge. Then again, it may not be a coincidence I’m writing this post a couple of weeks before Mother’s Day. And now, without further ado: not-even-close-to-50 fun playthings to tickle your fancy – and whoever else’s you may be tickling!!

1. Silver Balls.

Ben Wa Balls

2, 3, 4. Lelo – Liv, Lily, and Mia

Meet the girls:




These are not your old-skool dildos. One lady I know for whom “dating” is merely a euphemism told me she no longer bothers making plans, preferring to stay in with her new besties, the Lelo sisters….

5. The Wild Orchid

A downtown sex shop in Toronto calls this baby the G-Spot whisperer….Apparently finds it everytime…

Wild orchid

6. High End Restraining Arts Kit

Everything you need. Adjustable. Comfy. Pretty.

Cuffs and Straps and Paddles. Oh My!

7. Tape

If the whole kit is too much, try some tape. It may not always work, but it gets the juices – creative and otherwise – flowing….

No Scotch Tape here....

8. Massage Oil Candle

Kind of self-explanatory. Light. Melt. Drizzle. Enjoy.

Exactly what you think it is...

9. Subtle Vibe

It’s a pen! It’s a bullet! It’s a necklace! Oh no wait….pull it apart… it’s just a damn good time…

Cigar Pocket Vibrator....Smokin'

10. Lelo Tiani

Major Swedish lifestyle companies: Volvo, Ikea and…Lelo?! This baby comes with a remote control. For yourself – or others – to handle. Surprise!!

Tiani and remote

11. The Butterfly
Could this strap-on be the reason for so many happy travelers? And flight attendants?

Stewardesses' Secret

This is, obviously, merely the tip of the sexual iceberg. The list is endless, giving the term “Mother’s Little Helper” a whole new meaning!!! For every foot fetish and paddle humper there’s someone just itching to lay their hands on a riding crop. Or a leather collar. Or any assortment of trippy accoutrements. For more ideas, check out Kiki De Montparnasse. Or any sexy-times site. We all know the world wide web is full of ’em. Happy Browsing! And Happy (extra early) Mother’s Day – or any day!


April 25, 2012   1 Comment


What Happens in Vegas? Manny Pacquiao.

Manny Pacquiao, Pride of the Philippines.....

Sin City. Lost Wages. The Entertainment Capital of the Worrrrld.

I’ve just returned from my maiden Vegas voyage and am already plotting ways to get back to that desert oasis. Yep, it could be an addiction. Garish, smoky, crowded and cheesey, I absolutely adored it. And I’m not even a gambler! I tried to be. I really did. Roulette, craps, blackjack and slots – gave each one a shot and lost, lost, lost and lost. I got on a bit of a…. ahem …roll at “Casino War” but my luck soon turned.

Did I care? No! Because Vegas is fantastic. Shopping, eating, checking out the human freakshows, both on stage (“O”) and in the streets (never seen so many surgesized racks). What’s not to love? And we went on a quiet weekend! Sure, I would’ve liked to have lounged poolside, but this was a special occasion getaway. Not only was it my man’s birthday, but we were there as VIP guests of renown photographer David Drebin as his incredible Manny Pacquiao book hit the stands (and the web!).

From the shops....

To the screen via Miss July...

To the toilets...The Book is everywhere!

Our all-access pass took us from the pre-party (Giovanni Ribisi! Jason Lee! Jeremy Piven!) to the floor (Mike Tyson! Magic Johnson! Too many basketball players to name! Or recognize!). Playboy playmates and Idol castoffs, Mexican Grammy winners and “Eye of the Tiger” Survivor singer, this show had it all. Plus Bill Compton.

Team Bill ('til Eric shows up)

The fight itself was somewhat lukewarm, but being there was hot!!!

Modern day Coliseum

I’d always liked Rocky (and, um Sugar Ray Leonard) but now I can honestly say I’m a fan of the bloodsport. Bring on the Boxing!!! Or at least, another trip to Vegas!!


EAT: We hit Milos for fine Greek (via Montreal) dining. Their octopus and stone crabs were divine, but their “Milos Special” (razor thin fried slivers of zuchinni and eggplant on a bed of tzaziki) were sublime. Their whole fish was, I thought, overrated, its consistency not unlike chewed gum. Eeeewwwww.

Breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi at (The?) Paris was hilarious. French signs, servers greeting us with “bonjour” and baguette served in paper bags. All we needed were some cyclists avec paniers to make the experience complete. Funny thing is, apparently they have ’em, but we didn’t spot any in Le Casino.

Wolfgang Puck – he’s not just for airports! The guy’s got spots all over the town. We headed over to MGM’s version post-fight for pizza and salads. Tasty.

Beso, Eva Longoria’s Latin Steakhouse, was recommended to us. We were hesitant. But it also happened to be attached to our hotel. So we went. And, despite the stacking of chairs and closing up rituals of the servers (while we were still eating!!) la comida está buena. As were the drinks – in particular their Skinny Colada (coconut vodka, pineapple juice, lime. Zoinks!)

The Buffet. You can’t go to Vegas and not sample their legendary hotel buffets. Or can you? We went once and loaded up on shrimp and bacon. The rest was, well, too buffet-ish. Still, had we known the all-you-can eat extravaganza was included with our daily rate we may have gone back to sample the breakfast pizza (for real) or the award-winning dessert.

I lied. We did sample the award-winning desserts at Jean-Phillippe Patisserie. Their cinnamon danish? Not. Normal. Mind you, the brown sugar coffee cake at the hotel beanery wasn’t too bad either!

Despite eating like piggies, we managed to squeeze ourselves into some new duds. For as much as Vegas is a gamblin’ town it really is all about the shopping.

My fave find was DNA 2050, located in the slick ‘n stylish Cosmopolitan Hotel. His ‘n hers, jeans ‘n tops with a side of footwear. Loved it. Shopped it. Bookmarked it. Also fell for Dutch cosmetic emporium Skins. See ya Sephora, this all-white, upscale product shop has stuff we’ve never seen – nor heard of!

But they was just the beginning. Forum Shops at Ceasar’s (where they really do have folks in Ancient Roman get ups announcing the arrival of the emperor! And Scoop NY!), Crystals for the hoitiest of toity (even the…um…adult shop, Kiki De Montparnasse was couture-ish), the Fashion Show Mall for weekend Runway shows and a myriad of department stores, Miracle Mile for more common finds, and of course the Outlets. It’s impossible to get to them all. But it can’t hurt to try!


View from (almost) the top of The Aria


November 16, 2011   1 Comment


The Eyes Have It

Jeepers creepers….where’d you get those peepers?

‘Tis the question…..

When I was a little kid I had showstoppers. Crazy eyes. Big, blue and beautiful. As I grew older, they got greener. Still my best feature – or so I thought. Yet, with each blue-eyed baby I birthed I’d hear it over and over: where did they get those eyes? I’d open up big and doe-like and pretend I didn’t understand the question. Because I kinda didn’t. Hellooo?!? Green eyed lady, ocean lady???

How could this be??? Bodies come and go and stretch and shrink….but eyes? The windows to the soul? I owned eyes. They were my parts. The ones. IT.

Or were they?

Apparently, it was time for maaaaaaake-up. I’d never worn make-up. Looked like a tranny – or a granny. Specifically, my friend G’s granny who was known for her baby blue… eyelids. That said, they kinda worked for her. For me? Erm….no.

I’m just not a make-up person. Products? Yes. Potions, lotions, tonics and tinctures? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. But now that tans are verboten, the wrinkles are creepin’ in, and my eyes have apparently turned to mud, I knew the time had come.

First stop was the eyelash lady for extensions.

Two hours and $200 later I looked like Carol Channing. Crazy, right? But they were a gift. One that kept on giving because they all fell off after 4 days. Correction: they all fell off of ONE EYE after four days. Hello Clockwork Orange!!

Luckily, I have a couple of make-up artists as pals and they, together with the lovely and talented Katie at Laura Mercier, sent me in the right direction…I soon found salvation in a handful of tubes, bottles and palettes. And if I, who hail from the Crayola School of Makeup, can apply, so my friends, can you. Here goes:

Step One: Primer. Laura Mercier Primer.

I still don’t know what this is or how it works. All’s I DO know is that a little shmear of this topped with a couple o’dots of Origins “Sunny Disposition” and you’ve got a mini face lift. Whether you thought you needed one or not. Looks awesome. Smooth, glowing skin.

Step Two: Concealer. Nars Concealer.

As I said, Crayola School of Macquillage. Which is why this concealer, in a little lipstick tube, works every time. No fuss, no muss, no f&ck ups. Whether you’re over-forty or just over-tired, there’s really no excuse for not using this. Even on the weekends.

Step Three: Invisible Eyeliner. Laura Mercier Again.

This stuff is the coolest. Looks like a small pot of dried up paint. Add a few drops of water, swirl with your handy eyeliner brush and apply UNDER the upper lid. Sounds weird. Looks great. This is where the magic happens, ladies and Lamberts. Once you get the hang of it, this stuff doesn’t come off – ever. But in a good way.

Step Four: Mascara. Any kind, any time.

Of course you can keep on keeping on. Blush, lids, liners, and lips. But I can’t. The tranny thing. Plus, after so many years of living au naturel I was loath to commit to a daily regimen. And I’d hate to go to bed as one woman and wake up as another… Trippy and kinky as that may sound, the only thing less appealing than morning breath is morning face.

Laura Mercier Primer: $40
Nars Concealer: $22
“Invisible” Eyeliner and brush: $50

Looking like a million bucks having only spent $122 plus tax: Priceless.


Anonymous said…

Donna Mills

2:09 PM

laviandbelle said…

Good tips!! Lord knows I can use all the help I can get these days….

2:40 PM

Anonymous said…

The eyes do have it. As your sister in non-makeup I have to say, makeup really makes a difference, who knew ?

4:24 PM

Anonymous said…

American Idol, please.


January 28, 2010   No Comments


Storm in a B-Cup

Boobs. Tits. Jugs. Knockers.

Helloooooo there!

When I was younger, I’d go down South to visit my grandparents every Christmas. Aside from the weather, the Apple Jacks, and the all-you-eat early-bird specials, there was the shopping. Aventura, Boca Town Center, Galleria Mall, Pompano Fashion Square. They all had one thing in common, aside from Burdines: Victoria’s Secret.

One of the highlights of each trip would be my annual Vicky’s Secret excursion with my grandmother. My Bubby would install her plus-sized self in one of the fitting rooms – preferably with a snack – while I grabbed as many 34-B bras that I could find. At first they were simple: nothing too lacy, nothing too showy and absolutely no falsies! I’d bring armloads of bras and start trying. One after the other, until she’d find herself at the bottom of a sea of underwear – and underwire. We’d bring them back to Palm Aire and I’d model them for her underneath my various t-shirts and dresses.

This went on from my teens until well-into my twenties. Sure, I erred on the nippy side, but I didn’t care if my headlights were showing. Heroine chic was all the rage. And while I couldn’t compete with the waifs, I certainly had the chest for the tops I liked.

And then I tried on a WonderBra.

Well! Helloooo ladies indeed!

Victoria’s Secret? Out. Marks and Spencer? In.

And so it went. I lived in London and the Florida trips became more sporadic. I still went and we still shopped, but I’d moved on from Victoria’s Secret. A large and in charge Marks & Sparks bra fitter had helped me to see the light – not the headlight. I was loyal to my bras. And they were loyal to me.

And then I got pregnant. And breastfed. Repeat three times. Lovely babies. Lovely boys. Less than lovely boobs despite my fabulous M & S underthings. They helped me through the ups and the downs. And the further downs. Until I noticed there was an awful lot of…room…in them there cups. It was time. To reinvest.

And then a few weeks back I found myself staring into an enormous pair. It was a Victoria’s Secret window and it was huge – as was the bust. Or was it? I stepped over the threshold and let myself go. Shopping American Style. Claire guided me to the bra area. Vivian whipped out her tape measure and got to work. Lynne ushered me into the fitting room. With a bra box. And a t-shirt.

This was not my grandmother’s VS.

Gone were the rummaging through tables and rifling through drawers to find my size, shape and colour. No more undressing mannequins to find a bra that wasn’t fuchsia. This was civilized.

Inside the bra box was each and every bra in the Victoria’s Secret arsenal. In black. The idea being you try ’em all on and find the ones you like. And that like you. Then you ring the “service bell” and they get to work finding your choices.


25 minutes later, I emerged, head held high, tits even higher. Leopard-lined and seamless, biofitted and bombshelled, there were some new bras in town!

The icing on the cake? I was the same size as pre-children. A little lower, maybe, but with the new boob technology out there, who cares? Comfy AND sexy were no longer a contradiction in terms. No fuss, no muss, no knives.

Their latest bra is The Plunge – guaranteed to add two bra sizes for “hourglass ooomph”. A boob job for $45! If my Bubby could see me now….


Rob H said…

Need more Blog Postings… what the hell is up! This year has been sooo slim!


November 23, 2009   No Comments


LA Woman

I’ve wanted to go to Hollywood since, well, forever. As a little kid I’d sing songs from Annie, hoping to be discovered… in the privacy of my bedroom. If anyone came even close to my door I’d immediately clam up. Broadway, Hollywood – it was all the same in my 9-year old mind. When I finally got to Hollywood it was the Florida version. And even a 9-year old knew it was pas la meme chose.

And then, I wet my feet in Show Biz, where all roads lead to Hollywood. Except the one I was taking. It went directly to Toronto instead. Yeah, yeah, Hollywood North (or is that Vancouver?). Whatever. I wanted the real deal. And finally, this past weekend, I got just that. My Man took me away from all this and we headed West. To Los Angeles. Hollywood, California. Sun, Sand, Sea…


Yes, kids, I went on my very own private Celebrity Safari!!!

Everyone who’s anyone knows that when you’re on safari it’s all about the accommodations, the food and of course, the animals. Wildebeest and giraffes are cool as hell, but it’s the Big Five that count. Lion. Leopard. Rhino. Elephant. Buffalo. And when you go to LA it’s no different. It’s about where you stayed, where you ate, and who you saw. With a side of where you shopped.

Off we went, eyes peeled, looking for stars and pretending not to. Which is, of course, the Canadian way. Except in the end we may have been a little too nonchalant. We came, we ate, we shopped. But the celeb sightings? Few and far between.

Our safari began almost immediately, with a sighting of Tanya Kim. I know, I know…. Who? OK, she’s not technically a star, but she is one of the hosts of an entertainment show and, as such, counts as a celeb. A local one, sure, but she was in business class. In full makeup. At 11AM. On the safari equivalency test, we’ll say vulture.

We landed at LAX, rented our love machine, and hit the road. First stop, Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. A vision of loveliness by the Pacific, it would’ve been even more idyllic had we not arrived at the same time as June Gloom. Never heard of it? Neither had we when we booked our trip. And, apparently, neither had The Weather Network. But it’s the annual cold front that reaches LA at the beginning of June. Accompanied by grey clouds. Lots of ’em. And blustery winds. Especially by the beach. Still, it was perfect walking around weather. Except we were in LA, where everyone drives everywhere, and we’d rented a car. A convertible.

Shutters on the Beach

Shutters on the Beach

But we wrapped ourselves up in our new scarves and jackets – that’s right – and hit the town. We were on a mission: to relax, eat well, see friends and shop (in no particular order). And of course we presumed we’d see stars on every corner. Because that’s what people do in LA right? Right?!

My Man decided it’d be fun to play a little game where he tells me about the various actors he’s spotted while my head was turned. Kind of like those annoying Euros on African Safaris who claim to have been chased down by rhinos, faced off with leopards etc. Only the Hollywood stars were far more elusive than the Big Five. And my husband was way funnier. Except he actually did see Silver (real name unknown, and unimportant) from 90210 while I tried on outfits. And he did work out with Dennis Leary in the hotel gym while I was sampling free chocolates at See’s Candies. Harumph. I saw Atom Agoyan at LAX. From behind. But my guy didn’t think that counted. And it probably didn’t. Too locally accessible. Raccoon.

Strange thing is, all the locals know that all the visitors are looking for the stars. They know where they hang out, what they do, and no one’s shy about telling you where to go to find them. The watering holes they like, the best season to find them. They’re starf&cking and we’re star-hunting. And everybody knows it. It’s weird.

So it became all about where we ate and who we saw. Ivy by the Shore – pas de. Apparently all about the one on Robertson. We shopped and idled a bit but no sightings. But food at the Shore was awesome. And massive. Seriously. Too big even for us. And for those in the know, that’s saying something!

Next day was a local spot to start- Cora’s. Perfect for breakfast. Not so much for movie stars. Followed by Robertson shopping a cruise down Sunset and lunch at Mel’s Diner. Because it’s funny. And it was en route. Mel’s Diner! Hilarious (tho’ the real one is in San Fran….But you make do with what you’ve got, right?) Out with friends for the food and the vibe at STK. Both very good.

But where were all the movie stars?

We headed to Joan’s on 3rd. A guaranteed celeb hangout. Just not while we were there. But incredible food, and hung out with an old friend who happens to be married to an actor who we actually recognize – by face. We imdb’d him on the spot and shared an “I love that guy” moment. So that was kinda neat! Especially since our pal invited us over to meet him in person if our celeb safari turned out to be less than fruitful. We never had to take her up on it – tho we would’ve loved to, had there been more time….Stopped in at that great Los Angeles equalizer, In ‘n Out Burger and went animal style. Bun for him, lettuce for me. Incredible. All they say it is – and less. No frills, no fuss, lots of muss (mess) and deeeeeelish.

It was Saturday night. That’s the equivalent of mid-day on safari. You see nothing. Still, Katsuya held some promise for us. Food was incredible, and the place was crawling with paparazzi – and loads of loser civilians with cam-corders at the ready. According to the bartender, some Lakers were coming. Whatever. Sports stars don’t count. For me. My Man was on the edge of his seat. But no luck. No shows. We were then befriended by a wacky makeup artist who, I was convinced, was looking to grift us in some way. Told us she was working the red carpet the MTV Movie awards the next night and could get us in to all the parties. Even offered to do my makeup. Thought she was just some freak (until we got home, checked out her website and learned she was totally legit. Ooops. Too late.) As we waited for our car, the gawkers whipped themselves into a frenzy….Over Zach Braff (not that any of them knew who they were looking at. The just knew he was “Someone”) . And yeah, he was. He is. But I don’t watch Scrubs. On the safari scale? Impala.

Where were the Lions? The Elephants?

There’s nothing remotely elephantine in LA, despite it being the land of good food. And also, presumably, the land of pukers, druggies, exercise fanatics. Or probably some sort of combo platter. Chateau Marmont showed us the most magnificent creatures we’d ever seen. Ever. One stunner after the next. Had no idea who they were, but it didn’t matter. They just were. Magnificent to behold, fun to watch in their natural habitat, and interesting to witness life behind The Bubble first hand. Breathtaking. Migration of the Wildebeest.

Sunday was the day of rest for us. No safari. Biking in Venice instead. Carney boardwalk. Drum circle that managed to walk that fine line between between cheesy and cool. Freakshows left, right and center. And the laid back hipster vibe of Abbott Kinney. Which I LOVED. Ate quite well at 3 Square Cafe and spotted what looked like Hank’s wife, Karen, from Californication. Which is kinda funny ‘cuz we were in Venice, it’s set in Venice…And it ended up being her! Natascha McElhone. At last! Someone we knew (not personally) from something we’d seen (and pvr’d!). How exciting! How thrilling! We even ooh-ed and aah-ed over a puppy together, cooe’d over her baby together, and acted like we were really cool and didn’t know she was a star of stage and screen (even tho we did) together. We had a moment. A brush with stardom. More a giraffe than a leopard, but still…

Ended our Celeb Safari in Malibu. At the impossibly romantic (yet borderline geriatric) Geoffrey’s. Which they pronounce “Joffrey’s”. Strange. But tasty. And host to two wedding receptions and many dates. Fun fun fun!

On the very last day I drove. By myself. In our car. It was a bit warmer, the sun poked its head out and I realized I’d fallen in like-a-lot. Despite the dearth of sun and stars, my Man and I had the best time. Amazing what 4 nights in a hotel sans kids can do. And who knew LA was such a perfect destination for a long weekend getaway? Definitely beats Buffalo.

As the good guv says, we’ll be back.


Anonymous said…

sounded great.. the best part.. YOU AND YOUR MAN


June 2, 2009   No Comments


Game On

Many moons ago I bought my then-boyfriend a PlayStation for his birthday. I remember shopping for it; salesmen would light up at the mere idea of their lady-loves buying them a video game. One friend of mine warned me I’d rue the day that I handed over the PS2 – it’d sound the death knell of our relationship. Once my man plugged in, he’d never be back.

But I knew better. Those days were the early days of our romance. The days when “staying in” meant, well, you know…wink, wink, nudge, nudge… And I knew no playstation could ever come between me and my man.

That man is now my husband. And after many nights of, ahem, staying in, we have three children. Which of course gives the term a whole new meaning. Now “staying in” means staying home, catching up with our beloved pvr, going to bed early, or all of the above. Or at least it did…

Until last week.

Last week was my beloved’s birthday once again. And I revisited the idea of the gadget gift. No more sweaters, bags, or, erm….sweaters. I was going for fun this time. We were ipodded-out and the PS2 was looking a little sad in its new role as basement dvd player. So I went for it… and bought my man a Nintendo Wii.

Well, my old pal was right. I have created a monster…..ME!

I’m completely obsessed. My man is too, don’t get me wrong. In fact, we now spend our evenings on a World Tour. RockBand, that is. He’s drums, I’m guitar and we vie for the mic now and then. To get to the songs you love (and know!) you need to get past various levels. It makes it difficult, or some addicts may say, impossible, to leave the band hanging without reaching just one. more. level. And while you’re at it, you learn to love songs you never in a million years thought you could even stand. Bon Jovi – where have you been all my life?!

But it’s not just about Rock Band. My five-year old son has a thing for the bowling. And the air hockey. My 3-year old likes to watch the tennis. And my 5 month old likes nothing more than to lie on his playmat, rolling around to the sounds of gunfire.

Yes, gunfire. Loathe as I to admit it, I’m hooked on the shooting game. It starts with balloons, followed by targets, skeet/clay pigeon thingies, and cans. Finally, it ends with a group of characters running around a field being abducted by aliens – which you have to shoot down. And I can’t get enough of it. My oldest and I played for over an hour yesterday. Me, the mother who resisted buying water guns, is now channeling my inner Sarah Palin and going hunting with my child. Sick!

But oh so much fun! And I’ve barely broken the surface of the world of Wii!

The prime demographic for videogames is male, aged 13-25. But not anymore. Teenage boys, move over for Mama. There’s a new gamer in town and she’s looking for action!



Anonymous said…

we’ve been playing in the garage… start playing medium and hard level sister and we’ll see if you’re really ready for the band.

3:28 PM

Anonymous said…

we’re so alike. but yer so much better.

4:00 PM

Robbie Henry said…

First off I think that all of this Guitar Quero, Rock band crap is retarded but each to his own.

Get your hubby to connect your Wii to your Wireless Network, go to shoppers and buy Wii Points and collect Shoppers Optimum points and then go and download these wonderful games (from your Wii Shopping Channel) that are all under $10…

World of Goo
MaBoShi: The Three Shape Arcade
Tetris Party
Bomberman Blast
Art Style: ORBIENT

They are all Killer!

World of Goo is friggin awesome!

12:22 PM

Anonymous said…

Once again .. informative and very well written


November 15, 2008   No Comments


Lulu’s for Lemons

Check out the following statement:

“Look at your cute clogs…I remember when you only wore high heels, were dressed to the nines, and had your hair cut ‘n coloured by that rip-off guy….Now you’re all comfy and relaxed….”

How would you interpret this?

a) that you’re fabulous and chilled; mellowed with age.
b) that the person speaking has a secret ladies’ shoe fetish
c) that you’ve let yourself go

If you said anything other than (c) you’re a moron. Or a man. Same same sometimes. “Comfy”? There’s not a whole lot worse you could call a person, without being straight-out rude! Fact is, lululemon is the best – and worst – thing to happen to a girl since the invention of lycra.

Lulus, and all their knock-off compatriots, have definitely helped the humble sweat pant grow in leaps and bounds. (Excuse the phys ed refs.) But when once they were seen as a somewhat chic way of dressing shlubby (in my mind that is) they’ve now become the ubiquitous uniform for stay at home moms, exercise fanatics, and those of us who need to shed a few.

In other words, they’re the new Fat Pants.

They’re black. They’re flattering. They suck you in in all the right spots. We all wonder how we lived without them…And yet…they let the world know you’re got nothing to wear, something to hide, or both. Outside of the gym, that is. I have one friend who refuses to wear her yoga pants after 12 noon. Another who will only wear them once she’s inside the actual gym. And then there’s me, who (until the clog/relaxed/what happened comment) refused to wear anything but!

Erm, “butt” being the operative word here.

Having a four-month old baby should be excuse enough for kicking back a la lemonata. And yet, it’s not. With my other kids I always knew another pregnancy was on the cards, so never really invested. Sure, I joined a gym (or two) but rarely went. And of course I’m a Weight Watcher lifer. I always got back down to the starting line, give or take 5 lbs. But this time, it’s done. No more babies to be born from this body. It’s time to get back on the horse. The clothes horse that is.

But with an unforgiving, post-partum, 3-baby body it’s easier said than done. Hence the yoga pants. And now it seems they’re no longer an option. Or are they? Sure I remember the days of yore: not necessarily skinny, but definitely stylish. I was the chick who was dressed and blown dry on Sundays. In my apartment. And now? Jeans are my fancy pants. What happened? Have I let myself go? Is the most stylish thing about me my beloved iPhone?

It is pretty stylish…

But I digress. Someone suggested I don’t care as much now about how I look.


I straighten my hair for god’s sake. I may colour it myself now, but I still straighten. With products. So I must care. Right?

Let’s set the record straight.


Or anywhere exciting. It’s a short drive from my home to my kids’ schools. Throw in a couple of detours for food ‘n sundries and I’m done. For that I should dress up? How? Back in the day when I did get styley, I was also getting paid. Most of my money went towards feeding my shopping habit. Nowadays, my money isn’t really mine. It’s “ours”. (Well, actually…my money is mine, his money is ours… but I don’t really have any…And that’s another story…) Either way, it’s spoken for.

But not anymore. I’m turning over a new leaf. Or reverting back to an old one. I’m packing up my yoga pants. Putting away my sensible shoes (albeit high-heeled ones). All dressed up with no place to go? That’ll be me. Suited and booted and rarin’ to go. Nowhere. But in style.

At least for this week……


October 30, 2008   No Comments


Hello Gorgeous!

The Palm Pilot is dead.

Long live… the iPhone!

That’s right kids. I went for the beauty along with the brains. And now, I am a woman in love. Completely and utterly besotted. With my new device, the new and improved iphone 3G. At last, after years of watching my man develop crackberry thumb, I have a syndrome of my own – iphone finger. And I couldn’t be happier.

Palm who?

Aaaah iphone. It’s a phone. It’s a walkman….I mean, ipod. It’s a filofax. It’s on-line shopping.

It’s a bloody computer and it’s fanf&ckingtastic.

I know it’s not perfect, of course. But I’m deeply entrenched in those early days of the love affair – where everything’s perfect. Or as close as it gets. Apparently these babies break down. Erm, ever hear of “reset”? And they’ve been known to re-send the same email. Over and over and over again. But I say, look on the bright side – it can make the recipient feel ever-so-popular. And don’t even get me started on all the apps! No, really. Don’t. Because I’m not quite sure what apps are, how they work or why I need ’em.

All’s I know is I scream you scream we all scream for…. iPhone. Ok so I’m appropriating a slogan inappropriately. I can’t help it. I’m positively giddy about the whole thing.

And it’s not just me. I swear. Fellow iphoners are equally obsessed. We’re like those loser Jeep drivers who cruise the streets, honking other loser Jeep drivers. Remember those? When I see another person playing….er, working, on an iphone, I feel the need to discuss. And they do too!How fab it is. Which cool shortcuts we’ve learned. Which apps we’ve downloaded. (Or not, in my case. But I play along).

The crackberry mob is quick to naysay: it’s hard to type (not once you’ve practised); it breaks down (it does?); it’s not good for business (huh? what business?)…The list goes on, as they check out the iphone. Many of them have opted for the itouch – iphone sans phone. But I like one-stop-shopness of it all.

I checked out the Blackberry. Curve, Pearl and Bold. I really did. I couldn’t type on it, could barely see the screen and thought it was clunky. In other words, I hadn’t been converted yet. I figured if I had to start fresh, I may as well go for the hot young creative over the staid, ubiquitous business sort. Artistic temperment, and cheesy metaphors, be damned.

And best of all, unlike the other creative types I’ve known, with one touch of a button, I can turn my iphone off!


journey2learn said…

The iPhone rocks! Welcome to Twittermoms.


September 15, 2008   No Comments


Too Much Information

It’s a sad, sad time for me.

As many of you know, I lost a trusted friend yesterday: my Handspring Visor. Though referred to it as a Palm Pilot, it was actually an offshoot. The unrecognized bastard child of the Palm’s creators. Born sometime in the late ’90’s to compete with the Palm, the Visor was supposed to be The Hot New Thing: a PDA (or, as it was once known – the electronic organizer) that could turn into (gasp!) a phone! Or even (gasp!) a camera! No, no it wasn’t merely another palm device – this was the be-all-end-all in devices. This was gonna blow the old Palm Pilots out of the water.

Or so I was told. And I bought it – the device, the hype, the whole nine yards.

Many moons ago I went on the search to simplify. Being au courant, I figured I’d ditch my beloved filofax and go electric. Afterall, my Filo was getting so heavy and I yet couldn’t bare to edit or (god forbid) tear out old pages. Just in case. Also, it was fun flipping through the calendar and reminiscing. It was a good-looking book too, way nicer than my original rubber one. This one was leather, from that store Bree. Remember that place? Another relic where everything – everything – was light beige leather. The idea being that you’d have their wares forever – bags, suitcases, erm…filofaxes. And the longer you owned it, the more worn and tanned the leather got. It was stunning. At the time.

But practicality prevailed and I ditched it for a Psion. Remember those? The little keyboards that could? It was love at first sight. Until I got sick of it. I figured after several years it was time to upgrade. And thus the search began. First I checked out the old Blackberry – mostly because I liked the name. I friend of mine had one and it looked like a pager. And he was all thumbs. Why would I want that? Besides, I really just wanted an organizer.

So the Visor won. And I lost. Everything. All because I neglected to back it up.

Gone, 10 years of good times and bad. Adios friends, neighbours and services. The only folks who are keepers are the ones whose emails I happen to have. I suppose those are the only folks worth keeping anyway, and yet…..I liked having the numbers of restaurants, florists and my local GP from London. So what if I’ll never use any of ’em? Or if some have closed down? I could still go through, and reminiscent about my old life. Ditto having the address and phone number of my old boss, a hot shot film director who, tho’ we worked together for 5 years, I haven’t heard from in nearly ten. Still, it was nice to have, even if he never answered the last out-of-the-blue Christmas card I sent. Old boyfriends, old hairdressers, old haunts….see you never.

Many of you thought it hilarious that someone who thinks she’s so hip ‘n happening would be caught dead with something as passe compose as a Palm Pilot. It is, after all the ’00’s. Call me old fashioned, but I loved that quaint ole thang. ‘Til it lost my life. Now I’m over it.

Out with the old and in with the new.

But new who? Do I join the other addicts and go crackberry? Apparently Blackberry’s new Bold is gonna be all the rage. Or do I go for the lifestyle and looks of Apple? And if so, i-touch or i-phone? I’ve consulted with some of my pals, boys who like toys and they seem to like both. Sadly, that’s not an option. Not in these unemployed days. But what to buy? And what to do in the meantime? The Apples may not be as practical, but they’re attractive, cute, hot. And the Blackberry? Well, it’s just…not. Tho’ I’ve no doubt I’d learn to love it. Especially the whole v-card thing….

The Bold or the Beautiful? Or back to paper? It’s a big decision. And I can’t even call my advisors….I’ve lost their information….


August 16, 2008   No Comments