Thursday, March 20, 2008


SHHH! Be very quiet for a minute. I've been sitting here in this box lid for a while thinkin' about our redecorating event yesterday. I am so sad that mom didn't like what we had done to the drinking fountain, but it was really for the good of Elijah. He falls in and bumps his head and then he has to run around the house and get everything wet. And also poor Willow is too little to be able to jump up on to the sink and the bridge just made it so much easier on the little guy. But I guess we really should have talked to mom before we rearranged things. I really want mom to forgive me but she's pretty angry. I'll just saunter over to the couch and try to make up with her. This is her quiet time so she shouldn't have too much on her mind right now.



It's ok, Buddy. I forgive you.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

They should have run this by Martha Stewart first...

Last night I had dinner with my good friend, Yumi. For my birthday she took me out for sushi and then we had drinks at the Cheesecake Factory. It was a fun evening and I was in a wonderful mood when I got home. As I've explained before usually when I get home Lorenzo is sitting right in the doorway yowling his head off, demanding to be fed while he and his minions gather at my feet and try their best to trip me as I make my way to the kitchen. However when I walked in the door last night no one greeted me. I panicked. This phenomenon only happens when they've escaped. I dropped my purse and jacket on the floor and quickly turned on the light and much to my relief all four kitties were in the room waking up because of the light in their eyes. None of them got up and they were acting so lax that I was afraid they were all sick. I asked them what was up and of course Lorenzo was the first one to speak up and this is what I can remember of the conversation:

Me: "What's up with you guys? Are you sick?"

Lorenzo: "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrre tiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeedddddddddd."

Me: "Why are you so tiiiiiiirrrrrrreeeeeeeed?"

Lorenzo: "We were really busy today."

Me: "Ok, well wake up and stop whispering and tell me what you did that made you so tired?

Lorenzo: "YAWN. Ok...I'm awake now."

Me: "Good, so what's up?"

Lorenzo: "Well, Ashleigh had a terrific idea today and it took us a couple of hours to bring it to fruition."

Me: "Fruition?"

Lorenzo: "Yes. Fruition. I've been doing crossword puzzles with the boy. We are expanding our vocab."

Me: "What did you bring to fruition, pray tell?"

(Ashleigh enters the conversation)
Ashleigh: "You know how Willow is too little to be able to jump up to the counter in the bathroom and you know how Elijah tends to fall in to that gigantic water fountain when he's getting a drink?"

Me:"That 'water fountain' is a toilet.

Ashleigh: "Tomato/tomahto."

Me: "Ok, so where is this going?"

Ashleigh: "C'mon and look. I can't wait to show you what we've done!"

Ashleigh: "See, what I've done here is lay down a little bit of carpeting so that we don't have to put our feeties on the cold floor when we come in here to use the drinking fountain. Secondly, I've pulled this bridge down from the wall so that Willow can just hop up on it and walk straight over to the sink counter, and then voila...he can look out the window with the rest of us. But what I'm most excited about, and what took us the longest to accomplish is this:"

Ashleigh: YOU SEE WHAT I DID HERE? Now when Elijah is using the drinking fountain he can't fall in, but if he does then he won't bump his head because we put a towel in there. We really had to look through all of the towels before we found the newest most fluffiest towel. We figured that would give Elijah the most protection if he falls in again. IS THIS COOL OR WHAT?"

Me: "I know you worked really hard on this project but I'm sorry to say that I can see a few flaws in your finished product."

Lorenzo: "We knew you were going to say that. We had a discussion and we voted and it was decided that since this is where you like to sit...we'd scoot over and make room for you on the chair in the other room. We're sure there is enough room for everyone! And besides, we don't like it when you sit on our water fountain."

Me: "That is a very well thought out and generous plan but I just don't think it will work. Sorry you went to all this hard work."

Lorenzo: "Tsk, Oh Man!"

Ashleigh whispers to Lorenzo:"Go tell the kids ixnay on the indoway ojectpray..."

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bruise Watch 2008

I'm pretty sure that there is no one who is as fascinated by my boo boos as I am... however... just in case there is anyone who is curious as to how my injuries are progressing please see the stunning photos below:

The palm of my right hand:

My left thigh:

Sorry the pictures are so washed out and not fine tuned but it was a little difficult for me to set up a full fledged portrait setting in the rest room here at work.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Worst birthday ever.

Yesterday was my 48th birthday. My family and I will be going out to see Gabriel Iglesias next Saturday which left my birthday night free. I made plans to go out with a girl friend but for what ever reason the plans fell through.
I figured that at the very least I could grab Andrew when I got home and we could walk up to Main street and have a drink or some other celebratory gesture but when I got home I discovered that Andrew was as sick as a dog. I went to the drug store and got him some over the counter cold meds, ibuprofen and Gatorade. I gave him everything and figured that that was that as far as festivities was concerned so I changed out of my work clothes, fed the cats, cleaned out two cat boxes, then swept and vacuumed the kitchen and then sat down and watched tivo’d episodes of “That 70’s Show” with Andrew. I gave Andrew the phone and told him to call his mother and tell her happy birthday. (on the far off chance that anyone reads this who doesn't know...I have a twin sister.) About 2 hours later he finally got up and went outside. I thought he was making the call and having a cigarette but he was gone for like two hours. Here I thought he was on his death bed and he’s out gallivanting about the town. When he came back he had a birthday card for me and a can of something alcoholic to drink. (As you know it’s always good to mix cold medication with alcohol.) After he gave me the card he left again.

I fell asleep on the couch watching "CSI Miami", and at some point after that Andrew came home and fell asleep on the love seat. After I had vacuumed the kitchen I had parked the vacuum so that it abutted the end of the love seat. ( <--- important detail) At about 3:00AM I woke up and was going to go to bed. My middle of the night eyesight is horrible. Fortunately I am smart enough to know this about myself and I walk very slowly when I’m in the dark…HOWEVER when I fell asleep I knew where the vacuum was so I felt secure enough in my footing to walk at a brisk pace the 2 steps it took me to get to the area where I thought the vacuum was. For what ever in the hell reason…Andrew had moved the vacuum and I barreled right in to it. In slow motion I danced with that machine until I finally succumbed to it’s charms and allowed it to dip me all the way to the floor. As I was falling on it we both managed to go off of the step that leads in to my sunken living room. I am so lucky that I didn’t land on my head. I landed in a heap on top of the vacuum and believe me there was cussing involved. Andrew stirred on the love seat and said, “Auntie, what are you doing?” I cussed some more in response and unwrapped myself from the loving arms of the vacuum and ignored my urge to pick the thing up and heave it through a window.

I hobbled to my bedroom and layed down and felt the adrenaline wear off and felt the pain set in. I feel as though I have been hit by a truck. EVERYTHING hurts but the only place that even hints at an injury is my left thigh. What looks like varicose veins is actually a bruise that is emerging from the depths of my cellulite. It’s going to be big.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

My Las Vegas Adventure

A couple of weekends ago I hopped on an airplane and flew to Vegas so that I could celebrate Mary, my best fiend's, 60th birthday. (fiend, not friend) Her sister, Kathi, had planned a festive weekend stay at the brand new Palazzo Hotel for the 4 of us. (Mary, Lucille, Me & Kathi.) If you happen to be a millionaire I highly suggest that you immediately book a room at this luxury hotel. The lobby is about the size of Grand Central Station. Our room was on the "concierge" floor which meant that we could go in to an exclusive lounge and partake of whatever food or drink they happened to have on display. We had drinks, desserts, fruit, juice, soda, coffee, lattes, candy, cookies and the fanciest of fancy nuts..(have you ever seen a bowl of mixed nuts that included pistachios AND macadamia nuts but excluded peanuts? I felt like such a hick but this totally impressed me.)

Our room had a beautiful view of the strip but I think we were more impressed with the fact that our curtain was raised and lowered with a remote control! We had a room with 2 queen size beds and in the step down living room there was a pull out bed. We had 3 televisions, one in each room and one in the bathroom! We had 3 phones, one in each section of the room and one in the potty. I've never had a phone call that was so important that I had to take it while in the potty but maybe that's just me.

I arrived Friday night and due to a comedy of errors my friends who were supposed to arrive many hours before me only landed mere moments before I did. I took a shuttle from the airport to the hotel and for some reason the driveway to the hotel was temporarily cordoned off and we couldn't pull in. The shuttle driver had to drive around the block and that took an extra 45 minutes. I am not exaggerating. Once we got inside and got checked in to our rooms we all took off to parts unknown. Kathi and Lucille wanted to gamble and Mary and I wanted to shop. As soon as we got to the lobby Kathi and Lucille hit the casino. Mary and I shopped and walked until I was certain that we were half way back to LA. We found a gondola ride in the middle of all the high end stores. Mary said she wanted to go on the gondola so I bought us a couple of tickets and we were suddenly on an adventure in Italy!

Our gondolier was named "Nicolai". He. Was. A. Cutie. He was born and raised in Italy and still had a very strong Italian accent. He was gracious and funny and charming. That was all well and good, but when he started singing "Bella Notte" from "Lady and the Tramp" I thought I was going to have to peel Mary off of the floor of the gondola. I have a video of him singing but you're going to have to settle for a picture because I lost my camera cable and I haven't figured out how to post a video from my camera to the computer via a card reader.

The gondola ride only lasted about 15 minutes but it was worth every penny. I pity anyone who went on the gondola and didn't get Nicolai as their gondolier.

After the gondola ride we went in to an art studio and I saw several pictures painted by Ron Wood. For those of you who don't recognize the name Ron Wood is in this fledgling little band called "The Rolling Stones". Perhaps you've heard of them? He is a very talented artist and I consider myself privileged that I've gotten to see his work in person. I also got to see art work done by Frank Sinatra. I am happy that that man had a day job because his artwork was never going to create a sustainable pay check. He did simple paintings with squares and circles, all done in primary colors. Uh, yeah. Moving on...

After our marathon hike through the underground shopping mall and the gondola ride we had had enough and headed back to our room and went "for to night night". (as all of my nieces and nephews have said..)

The next morning we got up bright and early because one of us is an early bird. (Those of you who know me...know it is not me who is the early bird.) We went to the concierge lounge and planned out our day. Kathi told us that on the way in to town last night Mary had seen a bill board for Terry Fator. He is the ventriloquist who won last seasons version of "America's Got Talent". Ever since seeing him on TV Mary had wanted to see him in person. We all pretended to contemplate this as an activity but the big secret was that we already had tickets for this show. We sort of told Mary that we were sure it would be expensive and that some of us didn't even really know who he was and we really just dragged our feet. Then we let the cat out of the bag and let her know that we had tickets to the show and our tickets were in the 3rd row! Mary was so excited that I think she cried.

We had many hours to spend before we had to get ready for the show and we decided to head across the street to the Mirage and see the white tigers. I had been there years ago and the tigers were in a huge glass enclosure where you could just walk up and watch them for as long as you wanted...for free. We found out that this is no longer the case and if you want to see the kitties you have to pay. I balked at the idea of paying to watch 3 white lions sitting around doing nothing and then I found out that there was a lot more than 3 lions in "Sigfried & Roy's Secret Garden".

When we first got to the Mirage Mary and I were accosted by a giant ravenous bronze lion. We thought he was going to bite off our arms but he just wanted to play.

And now here are the pretty kitties we saw:

There was also 3 dolphin pools.

This was a baby dolphin. It had a pink belly.

Ok, this stymied me. Exotic white tigers & lions and then around the corner...


There was also 1 snow leopard. I took several pictures of him but my camera would only focus on the fence. The fence on his enclosure was made with much smaller links than the fence around the other cats. I wasn't able to shoot any pictures through the fence. All I got were some very lovely close ups of the fence with a blurry cat behind it. :(

After we had spent hours looking at the cats and the dolphins we headed back over to the hotel and got ready for our night on the town.

We started our night with a very nice dinner in the Italian restaurant in the lobby of the Palazzo. After dinner we told Mary that we needed to hurry up and get in to the taxi cab line so that we would make it to the show on time. While Lucille and I kept Mary distracted in the taxi line, Kathi was looking around for our next birthday surprise for Mary. When it got there Kathi hollered, "Mar, our ride is here..." When Mary turned around Kathi was standing next to a beautiful white limo. Once again Mary laughed until she cried.

Lucille, Me, and My best fiend, Mary

2 things about this picture in regard to me:
1. I am not pregnant nor did that blouse fit skin tight. I have no idea why it looks like that.
2. I have no make up on. That would be because I left my make up bag in my car at the airport.

My obesity and lack of make up aside..we had a fun trip in the limo. The limo didn't come equipped with nary a beverage or even a radio...but a limo ride is a limo ride. Somehow we managed to keep Mary from standing in the sun roof as we rode down the street. But as soon as the car stopped she popped right up and posed for pictures. (sorry, I can't find that picture.)

When we got to the theater Kathi and I stopped in the bar and ordered drinks. I got a diet coke and vanilla vodka and it was served in a plastic dixie cup. I. Hate. That. When Kathi and I got back to our seats we gave Mary her drink and then we sat down. I put my drink in my cup holder and .2 seconds later Mary shifted in her seat and hit the straw in my drink and voila! I was wearing a diet coke and vanilla vodka. It pooled in my lap before I could jump out of my seat, and then when I stood up it collected in my shoe. It was the Josh Groban concert all over again. (Last year for Mary's birthday I took her to see Josh Groban. Mary stayed in our seats when I went to the bar to get our drinks. I got her a margarita and I had a plastic dixie cup of wine. I gave her her drink and I sat down but before I could sit down all the way Mary readjusted and hit my hand and I spilled pretty much my entire cup of wine. In. My. Shoe. What didn't land in my shoe was all over Mary's white pants.)

The Terry Fator show was fabulous. ( ) He has several different dummies he uses and they all do vocal impressions of famous people. He sang every type of song you could think of and never once did I see his lips move but more amazing...I never saw his adams apple move either. The singing was good, the banter was funny and I wanted to see more when it was over. The theater we were in is the same theater that Elvis played in when he was in Vegas which was surprising because the theater was quite small.

We only had the limo for the ride to the Hilton so we had to catch a taxi to take us back to the Palazzo. The taxi ride cost almost as much as the limo ride. It was ridicules.

I had to catch the shuttle back to the airport at 6:00 AM so I opted to go up to the room and pack up my stuff so I wouldn't have to do it in the morning and disturb every one.

There was so much more fun to be had in Vegas so I was very sad to have to leave so early. Maybe we'll do it again next year....