Saturday, April 4, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

30th Birthday

I'm really behind on my blogs. I find that writing articles throughout the week have been taking me away from my usual instinct to be up to date on my blogs. Oh well, I just may be a wee bit late time to time.

For my Birthday my mom and I went to Dancing with the Stars. We went to night two, the night Belinda Carlisle got eliminated. It was a really fun time. We got dressed up fancy and headed off to CBS studios. Our seats were amazing. We were right next to the stage and directly behind the VIP seats. This particular night Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Jewel performed.

At 6:17, the show was going strong and my mom leaned over and showed me her watch. 30 years ago that minute I was being born and it was special to be doing something with my mom on this great day. Thanks for sharing the day Mom.

After Dancing with the stars I came home and immediately took off that dress and shoes. I can't tolerate them any longer than I must. I see women walk around in high heels all the time and I don't know how they do it. Really, I don't.

After changing into Jeans I left for Disneyland with Jude. They let you in free on your Birthday but since we are already pass holders, instead they will give you a gift card for 70 dollars to spend in the park. I went to the ticket counter and the the guy wished me a happy Birthday. He told me that they'd been expecting me and everyone was already waiting inside the park to celebrate my big day. I'm pretty sure this statement was supposed to be used for a 7 year old to feel special, but it works for me at 30. I took my Birthday pin, placed it on my shirt and headed off through the gates to fireworks that were just starting. Oh Disney and your never ceasing magic you!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My articles with

So far this has been a lot of fun!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Great New Find...

Tonight Jude and I went to a Birthday party for a friend downtown. We met at the Hotel Figueroa which is across from the Nokia theatre and Staples center. This place was so cool and the perfect place to lounge around and have drinks with your friends. The atmosphere is really laid back and it has this really cool Moroccan vibe going on. It's a hotel (hence the name) but you can also stop at the bars just to hang out. We hung out by the pool, listened to music and chatted over drinks. No one comes over and pressures you to buy. They just let you do you thing. I definitely want to go back again!

Happy Birthday Patrick!

Here are some pics I took from the website so you can see the style...





Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Big Sur Day 4: What a Wonderful World

This morning I woke early and began packing my things. I stopped and read the plaque in the room that shares Saint Romuald’s brief rule. It says, “Put the whole world behind you and forget it. Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish. Realize that you are in God’s presence, and stand there with the attitude of one who stands before the emperor.” I love this and will take these thoughts back with me long after the retreat.


I left the monastery and decided to make some stops on my way home. (This is partly for the beauty and party because of my motion sickness) Stop 1 happens to be Elephant Seal beach. I read the sign on the beach that explains in January Elephant Seal moms come to the beach and give birth to their babies. They raise their babies until the middle or end of February where they will mate one last time and then leave the kids behind. I watched a beach full of Seals laying the sun and throwing sand on their backs to avoid exposure to the Sun. It amazes me they have these instincts.



Stop 2 is just a look out off the 1, but a beautiful one it is indeed. I look over the water and it finally happened. I saw the whales! I’ve been wanting to see them because I’ve never seen whales in the wild. One time as a child on a family vacation we went whale watching to see…well me throw up I guess….no whales at all (and did I mention this motion sickness☺

Anyhow, back to the Whales. I was expecting maybe just to see some water shoot up, but I let out this giddy scream when I saw a group of whales coming out of the water. Awesome!

I got back in my car and turned on my XM. Louie Armstrong’s “What a wonderful world came on.” It was cool to drive down the highway listening to that. I drove by Sand Dollar beach and I saw Isaac in the same parking lot. I smiled as I saw him eating lunch and talking to someone new.

“I see skies of blue…. clouds of white
Bright blessed days….dark sacred nights.
And I think to myself…what a wonderful world

The colors of a rainbow…so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
And I think to myself…what a wonderful world”


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Big Sur Day 3: I'll be Okay!

This morning I woke up and opened up windows. My first thought was “Man, this place smells exactly how I wish my car did.” Maybe I don’t need to purchase those cheap hanging trees for the car anymore. Perhaps I can bottle some big sur air and take it back with me.

I went outside and called out to bunny. A minute past and there she was hopping out. I know there are explanations for this. People have fed bunny, she gets to know someone new every week and lives just outside of the trailer. But no, my mind chooses a different explanation. It’s simple. Bunny loves me and wants to move to Hollywood with me. I’m gonna make Bunny a big star!


When Bunny (Yes I know clever name) jumps out I notice how small she is. She is probably just a little bit larger than my hand. “Do you have a mom?” I ask. Thoughts of Tom Hanks talking to a ball on an island come to mind. I swear I’m not losing it.

Today I’ve decided to stay up the hill here. I went for a nice hike and stopped at many of their benches along the way to enjoy the scenery. They also have scriptures on some of the trees to read along the way.



Last night the waitress at the Lodge told me that the monastery benches were the best place to whale watch. I tried but sadly didn’t see any. The views were amazing though so I enjoyed myself anyhow.

On the way back from my hike I stopped by the bookstore to do some shopping. I bought some bracelets for my parents and I. The beads of the bracelets are olive wood from the Holy land. The monks have it imported and carve it into jewelry. I also bought a really cool incense burner with a crucifix on it. This too is olive wood. Some of the other things I picked up were some cards that one of the monks painted, a monk coffee mug for Jude, some fear stones, and some fruit cakes that they made here.

When I purchased my items he asked if I wanted my jewelry and fear stones prayed over. After he bagged up the rest of the my items he placed everything aside, laid hands on these items and said a prayer over them. Following the prayer he blessed them with holy water. “They don’t do that at Kohls do they mom?”


Tonight I watched my final sunset and it was beautiful! As the final colors were fading from the sky I noticed I was crying. I’m not a big crier so this was big for me. I’m not sure if it’s because it was last sunset, the beauty of God’s creations, or just because I’m so thankful for this retreat. But there is a peace inside of me that I hope stays firm in my heart. I’m left thinking of the Josh Radin song that says, “For the first time in such a long time I know I’ll be okay.”


Monday, February 23, 2009

Big Sur Day 2: Contentedness at Sand Dollar Beach


This morning I decided that today I would spend some time down the hill. Yesterday “book store monk” suggested I head south a few miles to Sand Dollar Beach. Before heading off I stopped into the Chapel for some meditation. The chapel is open 24 hours a day and is really cool. As you enter there is holy water at the door. You turn around the corner to an open area for you either to sit, kneel or sit on mats. It’s cold and dark but there is a feeling of holiness inside these walls.


After prayer time I got into my car and headed down the hill. Sand dollar beach was amazing. I was alone and had it all to myself, which would never happen in LA. I thought it was going to be cold on my trip so I packed a lot of warm clothes. I had to strip off my sweater and stick with my tank top today. Who would have thought I’d be coming home with a sunburn?


Sand Dollar beach has hundreds of rocks that the ocean has smoothed over. Up against the hillside there are caves that you can walk into that are filled with these pebbles. As you walk around inside they glitter like you’ve found a diamond mine. I think of how pressure has turned these rocks into something beautiful and I’m somehow comforted about life and the worries I brought with me here.


On my way back up to my car I stop at a look out point. It overlooks the ocean and the snowcapped mountains in the distance. I stop and read a sign about whale watching when I hear a voice say, “Did you see the snow on the mountains?” I look up to see Isaac. I don’t know him but I was about to.


Isaac is one of these people who even though you don’t know him, you feel like you do. You don’t feel any pressure about what to say or any uncomfortable silences. He tells me he is originally from Montana and that he moved to Santa Cruz for school where he majored in Marine Biology. He is out here with a group of people doing a study on sea otters. He didn’t get here in time and his team was out so he was just roaming about now. We talked for a good while and then we headed to our cars that were parked in a picnic area. A nearby family is having a picnic and I notice a car that looks similar to the Scooby-doo van. “Is that your car?” I ask him. “Yeah, but it’s also my house.” He offers to make some tea and tells me how “this baby is fully loaded.” I decline the offer but we continue our conversation. He said that he lives in there and travels place to place. He comes and go’s as he likes and meets people. I tell him he sounds like Jack Kerouac. The biggest thing I notice about him is that he seems happy and very content. I think about how blessed we are with so many things and how often we are never happy nor content.

With the economical crisis that we’re all currently facing, it’s a scary time for all of us. I’m reminded today of Philippians 4:11-13:

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Isaac and I exchange info and he tells me that sometimes it takes awhile for him to get to a computer but when he does, we'll be in contact.

After leaving the beach, I headed north and stopped at Lucia Lodge for dinner and back up to my patio to watch another amazing sunset.

There is a peace here that I can't explain. I feel like the most simple of things have something to teach me. Even a breeze can hit me a certain way and it's as if you feel God's power. I feel overwhelmed by the hugeness of God and his love for little ol me.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Big Sur Day 1: Star Sightings

I'm back from my Big Sur trip and had a great time. I wrote some notes everyday so instead of uploading everything at once, I figured I would upload 1 blog for each day. Here's day 1...

My trip last year to Mount Calvary in Santa Barbara was such a rewarding experience. A month after my visit, the monastery was unfortunately completely destroyed in the Montacieto fires. I vowed that visit that I wouldn’t forget the value of silence and the importance of alone time with God. I found it to be so rewarding that I was going to make my best attempts to take one of these retreats every year if possible.

This year I’ve made my way to the New Camaldolese Hermitage in Lucia, Ca. This monastery has one big difference than Mount Calvary and that is complete silence ALL day long. (With exception to the bookstore and trips down the hill of course) So this is definitely a new experience.


Day 1 – Star Sightings

Wednesday morning I woke up early and headed out on my journey. After 4 ½ hours and some really winding roads on the 1, I finally arrived by noon. I met one of the Monks at the bookstore who let me know where my trailer was. The view 1300 feet above the pacific is beautiful and when I found out that my trailer has a wrap around deck looking out to endless ocean, I was speechless.


My trailer, named Doxa is simplistic and yet I fall in love with it while unpacking. It has a bed, nightstand, desk, kitchen and a bathroom. The weather is perfect so I open up all 4 windows and let the cool breeze pass through. I look out the windows at the beauty of the forest and say to myself, “I can’t believe I’m staying here 3 nights!


As evening falls, I pour myself a glass of wine and go out on the patio. The garden in front of me is like Snow White’s meadow. I see a deer in the distance and a red tail hawk perched on a tree. This has nothing to do with anything but can I just tell you about this bunny that can’t stop looking at me? Someone must have been feeding my rabbit friend because every time I come outside he hops out of nowhere to see me. I’m convinced that if I spread out my arms and sing a song that a bluebird is going to come land on my finger. Disney magic just may be alive here in Big Sur!



The Sunset was beautiful. Watching the sun melt into the ocean and smelling the salty night breeze from the sea leaves me almost chocked up. What an amazing God we have!


Evening turns into night. I read, pray, journal, pray, take a hot shower, did I mention pray yet? As I get nestled into my bed I decide to open the blinds to the window right next to me. Wow! There is a small tree right outside my window. There are so many stars out in the sky that my tree almost looks like a lit up Christmas tree. I jump out of bed and head out to my patio. How could I have forgotten to look at the stars? I’ve never seen this many stars in my life! It’s amazing. I come back to bed look out my window and sing “Oh Christmas tree” as I drift off to sleep.

I dozed off to sleep about midnight while watching my Christmas tree outside. 2am I hear something on my patio, something large. I can hear it moving my chair and table and walking around loudly. I lay in silence wondering what it is. I hear it come to my door, which is right by my bed and I hear smelling sounds. I don’t know what it is but in my head it’s a bear. It sure isn’t the dainty deer I saw earlier or my bunny friend. Should I sing and call them for help? I hear the smelling up and down my door and like a little girl I pull the covers over my head. I see headlines in tomorrow’s paper, “Big Sur tragedy by Big Ben.” I finally forced the inner child away and jumped out of bed and knocked on my door to scare it off. Silence. A couple seconds later the sniffing continues and so this time I turn on my light and pull the blinds to my patio window. Whatever it was ran away.

At camp over the summer with the church kids, I was feet away from a bear and wasn’t scared at all. I do have to admit that it was a dreadful camp experience and I did kind of figure if the bear didn’t kill me, the camp would anyway. But I’m really out here in the middle of nowhere alone…and it’s a weird feeling. Alright back to bed.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Observatory Valentines Day

Today I had a really nice day relaxing with Jude. Our initial Valentines Day plans were to go to Disneyland. Before we left for Anaheim I called to see how busy they were and they said that the park was already at capacity. Alright let's find a plan B.

The rain is gone, the sky was clear so I thought it would be a great day to visit the Griffith Observatory. The view was amazing and it was nice to spend Valentines Day watching a bright orange sunset over Los Angeles.


We watched the "Centered in the Universe" Planetarium presentation which I had never done before. It was amazing, well worth it and now I'd love to see the two other presentations offered.


One thing I realized today was how Astronomy blows my mind. My reoccurring statement of the day was, "I don't get it." Jude would then say something like, "See the earth's axis yadda yadda or the gravitational pull of this" And I try..I really do try to understand this. I know what is being said. I understand the ideas. But I just can't wrap my mind around it. And if I do, my brain feels like it's going to blow up. So I stopped and enjoyed the view instead. This came much easier for me.

By the time we left, it was dark so it was nice to see the sunset and the city lights at night as well.


Jude gave me a lovely Valentines Day surprise which consisted of flowers, chocolates, champagne, and a delicious Italian dinner he made for me. Awww thanks Jude!

Jude proposed to me 4 years ago today. It's almost scary how fast time flies by.

I hope everyone had a great Valentines Day too. As for me, I'm off to sleep and will try to control thinking about the possibility of an asteroid hitting the earth. Thanks for the paranoia Griffith Observatory!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Directors Guild Awards

Saturday night was the Directors Guild Awards. This is my third time going and I had a whole new plan and mission for this years gathering. My first year going I was a little intimidated by my surroundings and it was all very new to me. My second year I was a little too ambitious with my high heel choice and was paranoid of falling the entire evening. This year I had one mission. Have fun! I sometimes don't enjoy my surroundings enough. So I put on whatever dress fit, put on "medium" heels and off we went. Comfort is a real key for me at the DGA awards. It last about 6 - 7 hours. This includes red carpet, champagne mixer, Dinner, and finally the awards show. so discomfort = very bad.

When you arrive at the hotel there is always a group of fans waiting in hopes of getting pictures or autographs from the stars. This year when we got out of our car and headed inside, the crowd was going crazy. There were pictures being taken and a lot of commotion and I thought, "Wow, if they are this excited to see us, wait until someone famous comes along." It was a really crazy feeling. We headed inside and got on the escalator and as I turned around to look back again at the crowd, I noticed that Ron Howard was on the step behind me. Yeah, so forget that whole excited to see us part and insert humility instead:)


Once you are down in the ballroom there is a second red carpet. This is for media and interviews. (The pics I've attached are some of the media pics taken that night) Once you are down in this room and past the red carpets, you are now in a champagne mixer with everyone. I made a few discoveries at the mixer. First was that I become a giddy girl at these events. Second is I'm horrible with names and third, that every sentence for me started with "Oh my God..." Here is how my conversations with Jude went, "oh my God, Nixon's behind you. "OH my God, there's Batman." and probably the worst "Oh my God, I'm gonna go talk to the slumdog." I make public apologies to Frank Langella, Christian Bale and Dev Patel. I realize your name isn't slumdog, Batman and Nixon:)


Now back to being a giddy girl. At one point I actually busted into a song of excitement which I called, "I'm standing next to Josh Brolin" This apparently only happens under extreme excitement for me. I'm hoping that with the loudness of the crowd and the piano, that Jude was the only one to hear this song. It is quite catchy though...


We made our way to our table to start dinner and from there a really fun night was had. I was sitting next to an actress named Joan and we had fun chatting it up the whole night. Sometimes you are placed next to some stuffy people so I was relieved when I found that I wasn't. Ron Jeremy was sitting at the table next to us. Should I ask what he's directed? Okay I'll leave that one alone:)

Carl Reiner is usually always the host but he came down with food poisoning. Jon Cryer from two and half men (or Ducky as I know him) filled in. From the beginning of the show he implemented a drinking game. Anytime anyone said the word "Brilliant" everyone had to drink. As it turns out, this is said in almost EVERY acceptance speech.


Some of the people I saw throughout the night were Sean Penn, the Cohen brothers, Jodi Foster, the cast of Slumdog, Josh Brolin, Amy Adams, Marisa Tomei, Frost and Nixon (sorry I did it again) and Roger Ebert.


The toughest moment for me was seeing Roger Ebert. He was presented with a lifetime achievement award. I saw him on the red carpet and I walked off with tears in my eyes. I saw him at a signing a couple years ago when he was fine so seeing him now was a bit of a shock for me. He is unable to speak so his wife (to his right in the pic) read the acceptance speech. They paid a great tribute to him but it was really sad.


Slumdog ended up winning the DGA award and the director gave a great speech of encouragement for the underdogs to keep pursuing their dreams.

Overall it was a great night and I'm proud of myself to honestly say there were no nerves, no worries, just FUN! Which is what I was hoping for.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Discoveries from my trip to the Zoo!

Today I went for a walk at the La Zoo and learned many things about the animal kingdom as well as myself. Here are some of the many revelations I had during my visit:

1) Lions are king of the jungle for a reason
2) It is possible for Turtles to actually look adorable
3) Some animals look like breakfast foods
4) Pavophobia is alive and well
5) Elephants are amazing

Today was the best day to go to the Zoo! It's during the week and no one was there, the weather was cool and all the animals were not only awake but out and about playing. I watched the Giraffes chase each other, Gazelles jump around like bunnies, baby rams butting each others heads and snow leopards pounce each other. It was so fun to sit and watch how different types of animals play. I love my walks at the Zoo! But let's get to these discoveries shall we?

Chapter 1: Lions are King of the Jungle for a Reason
It was dinner time for the Lions today and they made that perfectly clear. They were waiting for their dinner and to show they were not only waiting but were hungry, they did some intense roaring. I've never heard a Lion roar in real life. But I was standing in front of them roaring and I was left speechless. It was the loudest, most intimidating sound I've ever heard. I could feel the vibrations inside of me as the roars echoed off of their dens. After a lengthy roaring session between the two of them, the guy next to me looked at me and said, "Did you just piss yourself too?" It is now very clear to me why Lions are king of the jungle.


Chapter 2: It is actually possible for a Turtle to be adorable.
I wouldn't go so far as to say I "dislike" turtles but I really don't have a fondness for them either. Today this may have changed. I went by the turtles and one in particular kept watching me. I'd move around and it would turn it's head and watch me.. watch him. This continued on for awhile because it was amusing me and I grabbed my camera to take a picture of this turtle. If there were a really cute turtle...this is him!


Chapter 3: Some Animals Look like Breakfast foods
I have no idea what this animal is...I forgot to look to be honest. But am I crazy that I think they look like "Toaster Strudels?" Please tell me you see this too...


Chapter 4: Pavophobia is alive and well
Did you know there is such thing as Pavophobia? Me neither. But I looked it up when I came home and there is actually a fear of peacocks. The peacocks today were roaming the zoo grounds. They are very tame and walk right up to you. I grabbed my camera and took a picture of one as it approached me and after I did, I fear I..well..I may have pissed it off. It came up to me and snipped at my jeans. I was taken aback by it's peck and for the rest of the day as peacocks suddenly jumped out of bushes (okay walked out of bushes) I could almost hear the "jaws" music playing in my head. I was sure that one peacock was going to tell her other peacock friends about the human paparazzi taking pics as they plotted their attack. Yes...I became afraid of a beautiful bird today. But admitting is the first step towards recovery right?


Chapter 5: Elephants are amazing!
I already knew Elephants are amazing but today I was reminded. I watched Billy splash about in the water with his trunk amusing himself and then he went over and picked up this tire with this trunk. He did this with ease like it was as light as a feather. He then placed the tire underneath him and walked along as it rolled underneath him. I have no idea if this is a fun game in the elephant world of if this is a nice massage, but I do know Elephants are amazing...and apparently also need spa treatments:)


Overall I had a great day. It's amazing how every visit is never quite the same. ahhh I love the Zoo!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some Like It Hot!

Tonight I went to a book signing to see Tony Curtis.

Tony Curtis and Marilyn Pictures, Images and Photos

"Some like it hot" is one of my favorite movies and even though every movie I've seen him in has been an "old movie." I somehow didn't know how to expect him to look physically. Everything I've seen him, he was young and handsome...very handsome might I add. And as everyone stood in line waiting for him to come out, questions were asked about what he would look like and how old he is now. (83 and a half is the answer.) We were warned that he would be coming out in a wheel chair, that we could talk to him but to just understand that he is real hard of hearing. One worker even said, "Glad you could be at this signing, it just may be his last." Hearing all this I thought to myself, "uh oh..this is going to be a really sad one." I almost felt myself mentally preparing for it.

But then things turned around unexpectedly and there was no sadness in the room at all. It was gone.
I saw a great turn out of people not only there to see him but truly EXCITED to see him. 65 year old sisters behind me were turning into 13 year old love struck girls talking about having crushes on him and what would they say when they finally got up to him. The lady in front reminisced of skipping school as a child and watching his movies. We talked about his romance with Marilyn Monroe and skimming through the book looking at pictures of Jamie Lee Curtis as a child.

some like it hot Pictures, Images and Photos

Guys down the way were having their own discussions over Spartacus and Houdini.

I talked mainly with 5 ladies, whose ages spread over 40 years and we were all acting like we were at a slumber party talking about our school crush.

But in the back of my head I kept wondering, "How's he holding up?" Finally they brought him out. He looked....well he looked old... I'm not gonna lie. But this didn't hold me too long because I ended up loving him. I hope if I ever get to be 83 years old that I would be sporting a black leather jacket, and a Beatles T-shirt.

When I finally met him he was just so nice and thankful and I asked if I could get my picture with him. This was a little bit awkward because of his wheel chair but I told the camera man, "Just take it where you are." Right as he is about to shoot the pic on three, Tony reaches over and holds my hand and says, "Come closer to me." A startled me ruins the shot by looking over at him and laughing. I felt like a girl on date in a movie theater who had the "yawn stretch" pulled on her. He continued to hold my hand while we talked and I thought to myself, "I'm holding Tony Curtis' hand right now. The one I've watched for years and year...yeah his!

Me and Tony Curtis

Life tends to be sad as we age. We no longer look like we once did, our bodies don't feel like they once did and we often think of that next step in life. But I was inspired tonight by seeing a zest, a youthful vibe and and excitement so thick you could cut it with a knife. And all of this was for talented 83 year old man. I'm glad tonight celebrated him! I didn't leave saying, "Poor Tony Curtis..that was so depressing." I left saying, "That was really fun and truly felt like a celebration of his life.

And shouldn't that be what life is about anyway? Regardless of our ages...


Help, I need somebody...

My friend Diane suggested to me the other day that I start doing my blogs here!  I have to admit I'm a bit overwhelmed.  I'm not exactly sure how to do anything, find my friends, navigate around etc.  I feel like one of these elderly people in retirement homes saying, "I've heard about this internets thing."  Hopefully I'll figure it out more as I start messing around..but wanted to throw out an SOS.  HELP:)