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This blog is written by a handful of great ladies. To see a complete list (or to read one author's posts) visit our Authors Page and select the author you are interested in. You will then be given a list of their posts. Enjoy!

Our DAMN Tweets!

jodycakesRT @UnderbellyHOU: It's a whole, beautiful new day. For you to eat lunch in! See you here for a Goat Dumpling/Fireman's #4 combo benefiting HFD?
17 months ago
culturalbaggage@jodycakes Lots of people have listened to Led Zeppelin IV while baking.
17 months ago
jodycakesToday's baking soundtrack - Led Zeppelin IV - it's time to rock and roll this week...
17 months ago
jodycakesRT @FelipeRiccio: Restaurants, groups look to honor city’s firefighters http://t.co/W5ie052wzF
17 months ago
CathyWMDADear Mouse in my kitchen.. This kitchen is not big enough for the 2 of us and well I am not going anywhere.. #getoutwhileucan
17 months ago
CathyWMDAThis just keeps getting better...argh BREAKING: IRS Caught on Tape Telling Nonprofit: "Keep Your Faith to Yourself" http://t.co/jL7bfTqZNs”
17 months ago
CathyWMDAAfter 4 glorious days of #winetasting in the #WillametteValley a #detox is definitely in order ;)
17 months ago

Dream a Little Dream

Hopes and dreams

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Orange crocs and a bellini later…

Yesterday afternoon, I headed to Hollywood to help out with the In Defense of Animals Benefit hosted by Elaine Hendrix…but I made a quick stop to my fave Italian restaurant in L.A. – Osteria Mozza http://www.mozza-la.com/osteria/about.cfm for the latest installment of meeting my favorite chefs in the World!!!

I had the most awesome time meeting and chatting with Mario Batali!!! For those of you unaware of him, he is the portly chef that has made the cuisine of Italy accessible and with his quirkiness such as his Vespa and messenger bag and bright orange crocs make it totally awesome!!!

jodyandmario.jpg

Anyhow, it was a great meeting – there was hardly anywhere there, so we chatted for a few minutes – I asked him his best advice on starting my own bakery – and he was so helpful! He said to have a niche (check), find a place with excellent foot traffic that caters to your niche (Hmmm…need a couple hundred thou for that…work on that) and have fun doing what I do (check).

SORRY MICHELLE TO RUIN YOUR SURPRISE…hee hee hee – thought you would get it for sure…

Kristy, I expect Ron to make the asparagus wrapped in pancetta very soon!!! i’ll bring the supplies!!! :) :) :)

What would you do if I sang out of tune…?

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Well, I had the most fantastic weekend…so good in fact that it has taken me until Thursday to pull my head out…

Mr. G. flew into town on Saturday a.m. and what a whirlwind weekend it was (that is ALLITERATION, my friends…)  He works nights, so the poor man had to suffer through a nonstop flight from Houston to LAX and then jump on the Flyaway to Van Nuys.  Normally this process is so quick but alas he hit traffic at Sepulveda Pass and didn’t get to V.N. for over an hour…then as those of you who know me, know that I have 2 speeds – fast and faster…so I dragged him around the SCV to do this and do that…and he is running on zero sleep – all in the name of love, right?

We had an awesome dinner with Kristy, Ron and Zac – finally someone locally has met Gary, because I think everyone who knows me was beginning to think I had made him up…You know, bought the picture frame from the store and left the stock photo of the hot guy in it…claiming to be Gary…but my friends actually met him – he lives and breathes as we speak!!!  No magic here folks…

Anyhow, we had every intention of going to Santa Barbara as previously posted…but our weekend didn’t quite go that route.  Sunday afternoon…as we walked through Macy’s, we decided to go to Vegas…perhaps we were still a little under the influence of Kristy’s Killer Sangria (which I finished last night thank you very much…) but thought, “what the hell?!?”

So we booked a suite at The Palazzo, set the alarm for 6 am and got a good nights sleep (wink, wink – grrrr).   In the car, we played old CD’s of my fathers that included some Elvis, et al.  We laughed the entire way up the Pear Blossom Highway to 15. 

Vegas was GREAT!!!  I couldn’t believe it – I haven’t been since the night of the Tyson/Holyfield fight in 1995…my, how things have changed…Our hotel was fantastic – we upgraded to the Concierge level – popped into the lounge, checked out our room and walked around like two kids in a candy store!  I thought Vegas was to gamble…but the shops…OMG, the shops…Chanel & Michael Kors & Dior, Oh MY…truly a wonder to me, she who doesn’t shop…

We made plans for the evening to see the Cirque de Soleil production of LOVE and reservations at Daniel Boulud’s Brasserie at the Wynn.   http://www.danielnyc.com/dbbrasserie/cuisine.html

Dinner was awesome – but we pushed it, timewise, getting ready so we had to rush through a bit…had a wonderful, oaky ’96 St. Emilion Bourdeaux and then OFF to the Mirage to see LOVE…sat just in time for the lights to go down. 
I have to say, that this being my first Cirque experience – I thought I knew what to expect…but as the first notes hit and the performers came out – I became completely overwhelmed by emotion…tears sprang to my eyes…and probably for a number of reasons…I was on sensory overload, I was with the person I absolutely love and adore the most, I was at the show that I have wanted to see forever, I felt at peace with myself, wholly…and the list can go on…but there I sat, wiping tears streaming down my face at such a happy little show!!!

We walked back to our hotel…completely spent.  We knew that we had to get up at 5 am to hop in the car to head back to LA to get him to the airport on time…this was the treacherous part of the trip…knowing the end was near.  So I began to pout…Hrumph…24 hours can come and go so quickly…we went back to the room to change…we had only played a bit of Roulette in the Paris and wanted to perhaps gamble a bit…but it was already 12:30 am…Do we stay in the room and “take advantage” of the “amenities” or go downstairs and gamble…what to do…

I pulled myself up out of the bed to head downstairs for a little while…we gave ourselves an hour to gamble…until I began to win. 

First it was $700…Gary looking over at me in disbelief…and me thinking “Tired?  Who’s tired…? Sleep is for the weak…”  And as he lost all of his dough…I decided to put $30 more bucks in the slots for one last pull and let’s call it a night…or should I say, go enjoy the suite that we paid for with all it’s whistles and bells…and I push the button Max Bet…the wheels begin to spin…

7 – 7 - 7

I thought, well that’s cool…I’m gonna win another $400…great way to end the night…I said across the slots…
“Hey, I won again…” he walks around the corner, a bit defeated…grumbling that I’m always so lucky…and the numbers start climbing above $400…so I say maybe it’s this one, pointing to the little chart above the slot machine…keeps ticking up…and then I realize I had hit the progressive jackpot that is in LED on TOP of ALL the slot machines!

YIPPEE!!!  We both realized it at the same time…so I said, in my excitement…”Let’s see if they’ll comp another night…change your flight…go see another show…go eat at Bouchon…and…and…and…and…” ALL IN ONE BREATH…

We laughed and drank champagne and talked about it…and well, ya know reality kicked in…and we decided to just change the flight to a later time, so we could sleep in and enjoy our suite in the a.m….much better plan! ;)  

Jumping a Level

Yesterday, Zac had his weekly golf class.  When we started him in their program, the golf pro talked to Ron and I about Zac’s skill level.  We explained that he’s been playing full golf since he was 6 years old.  He’s pretty good and usually beats me.  So Brad suggested we start him off in intermediate classes to just allow them to get a feel for his skill.

Zac’s the best kid in these classes (not to mention the oldest – haha).  In fact, during the golf camp that we sent him too, he was the only one taking it seriously (not to mention the only one NOT catching ladybugs during their lesson).

So yesterday at golf class I decided to sit in the sun and read my book while he had his lesson.  I overheard one of the instructors saying to the kids that he was going to evaluate the kids and see if they were qualified to move up.  All the kids were a buzz.  They wanted to impress him so bad.  Zac just did his thing and kept on swinging at the driving range.  Then they moved on to putting.  Zac was patient with all the little kids and played a putting game with them.

After the lesson Harry asks all the kids to circle up.  He has slips of paper that he will give to everyone telling them what level they will be in next.   There is this one little boy that had his hat on crooked that had been attached to Zac’s hip all day and he was standing right next to him.

Harry starts it off by saying, “now this person is going to jump from level 3 to level 5, he’s a great golfer and he’s been doing exactly what we ask of him.  The golfer I’m talking about is … Zachary”.

Without missing a beat, Zac’s shadow looks at him and says, “whoa – you aren’t even doing level four”.  You could SO see the admiration in his eyes.  I saw a little grin come to Zac’s face.  One of the other moms was standing by me and we both couldn’t help but chuckle.  It was SO damn cute.

If only life could be that pure and simple all the time.   It was a great moment.

Act: One

Here is today’s horoscope for my three year old scorpio baby:

Overview:
Your emotional energy is bubbling up from the depths :: (OH, is THAT what that is bubbling up from the depths?) :: and may express itself through dreams or daydreams.  Pay attention to your FANTASIES — you may be inspired to ACT on one or more of them.

I’m so afraid that his fantasy involves a monkey, a rocketship and a tootsie roll.  We have two of those things in our house right now.  I’ll leave it up to you to decide which two . . .

What do you want to be queen of?

Today in my email, I received an invitation to listen to a teleseminar with a woman named Pamela Harper who has crowned herself the “queen of visualization.” I thought to myself, “Wow I didn’t know that job was up for grabs!” As a hypnotherapist, I know I am pretty darn good at helping my client visualize what they want and achieve it. But I never thought to crown myself the “queen” of it.

That got me thinking, if I were going to crown myself the queen of something, what would that be? I’m thinking about it but I don’t have the answer for myself yet.  Queen of Confusion?  I don’t think that will help me get speaking bookings! LOL!

I’d thought I’d throw the question out there for you. Dream big! What would you want to be known as the queen of? (or king if you are of the male half of the population.)

Across the Universe…and other such things…

You wanna know my type?  Well, for those of you who know me or know Mr. G will say that this is COMPLETELY incongruent…although very handsome - blond, well built, my height.  He is opposite of my normal fancy.  (which he is fully aware…and tells me when one comes into range – “Hey look Flood, it’s your type…”)

My new found obsession is Jim Sturgess…normal_scans_02.jpg

I love tall, skinny, dark haired, pale boyish looking guys…this is such a weird thing, I know, but WHEW…this guy makes me ga ga.

I have always liked the Adrien Brody’s, the James McAvoy’s and the likes…

But…not only do I think this guy is cute as a button but watched the movie, Across The Universe a few weeks ago and cannot stop thinking about it. 

http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/acrosstheuniverse/

This film was EXTREMELY well executed in the fact that it makes you think…it’s a bit kitschy in parts, but all in all…there are some moments that are so poignant that it truly makes you think about things for days to come. 
Perhaps it is a bit like this generations version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall – a bit trippy, a bit surreal, a bit anti-establishment…but Across The Universe was extremely well done with some AWESOME cameo appearances by Bono, Joe Cocker and Eddie Izzard.

If you haven’t checked it out yet…perhaps you should, even if you don’t think you’ll like it…something will hit home for you, I’m sure of it.

Besides that…how can you not love his character Jude???

Welcome to our new home …

Welcome Page

I wish I had a Sven

You know that commercial that has a guy named Sven who takes care of a family?  I don’t even know what the commercial is selling because as soon as I see this Sven guy updating the couple on their investments first thing in the morning, I drift off into this daydream of having my own Sven.  Cathy posted earlier about wanting a wife and for years I used to say that too.  But now I want a Sven instead. 

It’s not that he’s attractive, because, while easy on the eyes, he’s certainly no hub unit.  No, it’s more the fact that he takes the thinking out of life.  My sister said something similar the other day.  Even though she is very creative, she would prefer to be given instructions and an outline of exact expectations rather than do any of the figuring out. 

I had to stop and think about that.  I think I prefer that too to a certain degree.  As long as you’re not telling me to clean my house, I’ll probably listen to you and follow your lead.  Huh.  Not exactly how I’ve always pictured myself.  Not exactly how I’ve always lived my life, but still.  I think now that I examine things a bit closer, I believe it’s always been there, that ambivalence about taking charge of my life.  I’ve always been a hard worker and made the most of the opportunities provided me, but CHOOSE for myself??  Pluck an idea out of dreamland and MAKE IT HAPPEN . . . for MYSELF?  

Nope.  Even now, in the safety of my own home, that particular thought makes me feel like there’s a furry animal racing around inside my skull looking for a corner to hide in. 

And I think for me, it’s more than just personal goals.  It’s the world in general these days.  I guess every generation has faced it’s uncertain times, but in my lifetime this has got to be the diciest.  People hate people now.  There is no tolerance for a difference of opinion.  It’s no longer ok to debate an issue.  You must either believe 1000% what the other person believes or it’s FU.  I have friends from every walk of life and I love that they bring that influence and different perspective to my life.  When I was growing up, people looked out for other people.  Fractured though my family was, we had people who looked out for us, neighbors, extended family, friends.  I don’t have that sense any more.  If you have that feeling where you live and there is a house for sale on your block, let me know. 

Maybe Sven is simply the new Alice from Brady Bunch.  BTW, just what did Carol Brady do with all her time??  I remember seeing her bring in groceries every once in a while, but for everything else, Alice had her covered.  Was Carol always off soaking in a bubblebath?  Was she boinking the yard boy?  WTH?

If I ran the zoo, every family who wanted one would have a Sven.  For now, I’ll just keep dreaming and hoping for the best :-)

Observations on Surf Culture – Through a Mom’s Eyes

I’m catching up on my blogging today so you get two entries for the price of one!  We are on vacation in Carlsbad, CA.  – cute village, wine tasting, spas, cafes, nice restaurants, pretty beach, and yes, surfing.  We are at the Carlsbad Inn, which is pretty nice, just across a small street to the special stairs to the beach, complete with free chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, and sand toys for the asking.  Because the water is not really warm yet, we rented the boys surf wetsuits yesterday and also rented a foam longboard for them to try out.

 

This brings me to the surf thing.  My oldest tried it out a couple summers ago with friends and was told he was pretty good at catching on.  Since then, he has wanted a board.  The skim board I bought him before he went away to school (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo – yes, a surfer campus) was no substitute, although he has gotten quite good at sliding on the water film made by the retreating waves, and can do spins and jumps.  I am pretty sure one of the reasons he chose this campus (besides the highly-ranked aerospace engineering program and the bowling alley in the student union) was the fact that they offer a “for fun” class in shaping your own surf board. 

 

I was not surprised when he told me he was taking the class the first month he was on campus.  I WAS surprised later on when he informed me that it would cost $225 to pick up the board from the guy who was doing the fiberglass coating on it, and that he’d be late getting back to his room to meet me when I picked him up for Christmas break “’cuz I just gotta get my board!”.  When I asked where he got this $225, it became clear he would be a little short on the rent money January 1st.

  First surf culture observation #1: Surf stuff is really cool and worth spending your rent money on, as long as you believe you still have enough parental credits to get it covered in time. 

The surf board glass guy only reinforced my son’s view of how cool this board was when Kyle called him to arrange for the pickup.  He said: “DUDE!  You’re sooo stoked!  This board is great, man!”  ( Surf Observation #2:  Doing fiberglass for a living might be fun and even lucrative, but it really does a number on your brain cells.)

Now Kyle thinks he can not only surf (“You’re picking this up really fast!”, but that he can make boards, too.  It doesn’t help that I flash back to when we moved to southern California with our then 9-month blonde son and our friends prophetically said, “I can see it now – you’re going to have a surfer on your hands.” 

 

Surf culture observation #3: Anyone’s surf stuff makes all other surfers or wanna-be-surfers really excited.  Case in point:  Kyle “got to” store his friends long board (read over 9 feet long) in my garage for about a year – never used it – whole other story– but he thought it was so cool to look at and think about using.)

 

Now back to this week in Carlsbad.  I have now lugged the hand-made surf board all the way from SLO to Santa Clarita and now here, we have rented the wet suit, and as it turns out, he cannot try the board out because it has developed a crack.  We have looked up repair shops in the phone book, and thankfully thought to ask the nice surfer-dude man at the rental shop if he knows where to get repairs done.  Surf Culture observation #4: surfers are easy going and nice, and many are attractive in a sun-worn, muscular way.  Sorry to digress – the good news is he tells Kyle that he can use Solarez (a tube of special epoxy-like gunk), to repair the crack himself, and that it cures in the sun is about 1/2 hour.  “Great!”, I think, “this will save some of next month’s rent money.”  So a good part of yesterday was spent with Kyle repairing the board, AND re-finishing the skim board with spray on polycrylic we had to stop at a hardware store for.  Our condo deck looks like a repair shop (yes, my husband brought sand paper and steel wool along – don’t ask!), and the living room smells like what I imagine glue sniffers (or surf board fiberglass guys) are attracted to.

Surf Culture observation #5: working on your boards is almost as attractive as using them. 

While at the surf shop, we also had to purchase a “leash” for said new surf board, and some wax.  Cold water, and also base coat, since it has not been waxed before.  There were lots of fun things in there – cute and provocative clothing, board covers, and many other accessories and toys.  Surf Culture observation #6: There are lots of sexual undertones in this sport – and actually, some are pretty overt.  We could choose between Sex Wax or Sticky Bumps.  Kyle wanted Sticky Bumps.  He got an “XM High Performance Leash”  We could order a cover for his board called the “Thruster Cover”.  The wax packet said “How to wax your stick”.  Kyle told us one of his teachers says: “If it swells, ride it!”  You get the idea.  Slight uncomfortable feelings looking at all of this with my two sons, but sorta fun when I focus on my hubby.

 

After all of this, the boys ended up skim and boogie boarding with the wet suits – “The waves are no good for surfing.”, and the new board has still not made it into the ocean.  I do have to admit that it looks great, and it’s kind of neat to think of my muscular blonde son riding it, just like our friend foretold all those years ago.  Maybe I’ll get to see it on this vacation, or perhaps a future one.  Maybe there will actually be an application for it when he gets to fluid mechanics or aerodynamics in his aero program (a mom can hope!).  Maybe he’ll just develop another great physical hobby that makes him feel good and lets off steam. Surf culture observation #7 (really a Mom observation) : There are many less desirable things a kid could get into, I do think it’s cool,  and mostly, I wish I could do it, too.

Have a good one, dude!

Karen

Can I be the “other woman” on the “other woman”?

That actually sounds QUITE RUDE…but, I got my license a little over a year ago so I can hang with the boys…or in this case, Mr. Gary!All this talk of the “other woman”…makes me itch.   So Can I be the other woman, wholly & completely????!!!!???Please click on picture below for me in ALL MY RIDING GLORY…HA! Jody & Triumph Daytona 675 - somewhere in South Texas

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