Monday, January 28, 2008

love bites

OK, these kids are adorable! On top of that, they've got darling British accents.

This makes me laugh and laugh!

everyday i write the book (class part one)

Wednesday was my first creative writing class. I was already nervous, feeling intimidated and unsure. The rain and the stupid people 'driving' in it, did not help my nerves at all. I got turned around, righted, and turned around again before I found the house. I sat in the car, calmed myself and walked up to the door.

Most of us arrived at the same time. Pamela Des Barres was very warm, welcoming us into her home. We sat, chatting, waiting for other (10 were due, only 8 showed). Each of us introduced ourselves to the group, then we each read a paragraph, or more, written by someone we admire (I chose 2 paragraphs from a Dorothy Parker short story). The choices were interesting - Joan Didion to Jack Kerouac to a book currently on the New York Times best seller list. It was about this time my anxiety waned, a bit. Well, until she said 'write...' EEK!

We had to write about a friend in great detail. She gave us ten minutes, telling us to not stop writing, don't think, keep moving the pen. Somehow, I did. Then we each read what we wrote. I wrote about her in detail, but forgot to include her physical description. Some of us wrote in a list format, others wrote a descriptive story. It was fascinating to hear all the amazing details the others had written - vivid descriptions, clever phrases. It was easy to write about someone you know. Then, she gave us the second writing assignment.

"She looked out the window and what she saw blew her mind." Everyone started writing immediately. I sat there. Pen poised above the paper. Thinking. Which is exactly what we are NOT supposed to do. So, I just started writing. :::shoulder shrug::: I scribbled, scribbled, scribbled. Then started thinking again. Ai yi yi! I couldn't wait for the ten minutes to be up. Of course, Pamela asked me to read first. Sidebar: one of the rules is to not qualify before you read. I didn't, sorta. I said I didn't need to qualify it because you'd do it afterwards. So, I read. She said it started off great; and could tell when I started thinking. It's only the first class. One gal was so descriptive about leaving her house as the neighborhood burned. She captured all the random thoughts that go through one's head - what do I grab, where it this, where is that, etc. I really enjoyed it. She wrote a lot in ten minutes...

We ended class with a homework assignment. I've been thinking about it, which I probably should not be doing as our goal is to just write, let the words come. I've rolled it around in my mind...and I hope the words come to me when I sit down to write.

My goal is to write a short story by the beginning of summer...


time for tea

I love tea.

I love the drink. I love the ceremony of afternoon tea. I love the no-rush of having tea.

I love tea.

For the past couple of years, Bo & I have had tea dates:
Sweet Chari-Tea in Burbank, Chado Tea Room after the King Tut exhibit, The Vintage Tea Leaf in Long Beach on a blustery fall day and, today, The Scarlet Tea Room in Pasadena. Oooh, all kinds of good!

Scarlet Tea Room is in a great Pasadena location. Based in a huge old building, the space is deceptively small. The back room, with its mirrored wall, is mainly for large groups/parties. We were seated in the front room, in front of the door. That sucked. Luckily, not many people came in, as we had one of the later seatings. The owner is lovely! She greets everyone as 'doll' or 'dear' or some other term of endearment. Though it grates on my nerve, it seemed to suit her and the place.

We started with a glass of Wilson Creek's Almond Champagne. Oh. My. I love this stuff! G & I found this a few years ago in Temecula - it is yummy. Sipping champagne and perusing the menu (tea choices, sandwich choices, choices, choices, choices), our waitress brought our first course - strawberry sorbet to 'cleanse the palate.' A little difficult to cleanse the palate *and* drink almond champagne; somehow I managed.

We selected our teas (Jade Prince for me, Amour for Bo) and sandwiches (egg salad - of course, green apple & cheese, chicken tahini and turkey & cranberry for me) and settled into conversation. Our teas were brought out fairly quickly, in small white pots. Jade Prince is a loose leaf tea, so I had a leaf strainer (the more acoutrements the better). No cream or milk on the table, which disappointed me; somehow I managed. The tea was very sharp - I loved it. Very flavorful, didn't need sugar (or milk, for that matter).

As we finished our first cup, our food was brought out. Like most tea places, presentation is everything: 3-layer tea service tower with one cinnamon scone and one pumpkin scone on the top; our sandwiches on the plate in the middle; and our dessert assortment - mini tiramisu, mini raspberry mousse in a chocolate tea cup and 2 marzipan petit fours. Heaven on a metal serving tray! The waitress brought out homemade 'Scarlet Cream,' lemon curd and strawberry preserves (yay - more acoutrements). The food was delicious! The pumpkin scone, green apple & cheese sandwich and the chicken tahini were the highlights for me. After eating, having another pot of tea and one more round of champagne, we were brought a cup of fresh strawberries with 'Scarlet Cream' - damn that was good!

Three hours later, Bo & I walked out - mellow, satisfied and caught up on life's happenings. Like Morrissey says "Everyday is like Sunday..." If was like today's Sunday, I'll take it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Girl of 100 Lists - 7 Things I Approve of...

Once again, I get blog inspiration (read: steal an idea) from Sarah at The Pink Shoe Diaries. Thanks!

Seven Things I Approve Of:

1) I approve of collecting Hello Kitty knick-knacks.

2) I approve of designer knock-off handbags from
Shop-Suey Boutique (particularly the Erika tote)

3) I approve of Chinese take-out on Sunday afternoons with friends, while watching the train wreck that is Bret Michaels' Rock of Love.

4) I approve of everyone (me) stepping out of his/her (my) comfort zone to try something new (creative writing class starts tonight - eeek!)

5) I approve of
Brillat Savarin on ginger snaps, drizzled with honey and Humboldt Fog with apricot preserves and pinot noir.

6) I approve of Digweed, Justice and Love & Rockets playing Coachella 2008.

7) I approve of work distractions! (in moderation, of course)

What do you approve of?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

emotions in motion

'American Idol' is back! Woo hoooo! Last night was the beginning of Season 7. I usually watch the first couple of night as I can only handle so much bad singing, posturing and insults. But once they move to the L.A. rounds - watch out! I'm on it.

Excited, nervous, creative, challenged, fulfilled. accomplished
A month or so before I turned 40, I wrote a list of things I'd like to do - a resolution-type list, if you will. One of the items is 'find a creative writing class.' I checked out community colleges in the area but the classes offered are during the day - nocando. Last week, I applied for a private creative writing course (only 8-10 students). This week, I found out I was accepted! I am soooo excited about it. And I'm totally nervous. No doubt I'm up for the challenge. I think my pre-conceived notions of writing creatively has me panicked...

Bummed, pissed
The Writers Guild (WGA) will not issue a waiver for the Grammys. What does this mean? Very likely, no Grammys. Very likely, no Rissa at the Grammys. What a drag! It's the 50th anniversary, too. :::sniffle:::

Unsure, yet excited
LOST is coming back! Finally! It seems as though this show has been on 'break' for years. I'm sorta on the fence about getting myself involved again only because I know the show has been cut to 8 episodes. This will, once again, leave all of us hanging with tons of unanswered questions. I have to find out who Jack needs to rescue back on the island and who was in the casket with no one at the funeral and who Kate ended up with and WTF happened to Michael & Walt. Ah, yes - it's all coming back to me now.

Shameless, enthralled, disappointed
I love reality TV! Especially the ones about finding love (The Bachelor, Average Joe, et al). No shame in that game whatsoever! Last season, I got hooked on both 'Scott Baio is 45 and Single' and 'Bret Michaels' Rock of Love.' I mean hooked. The shows are so fascinating to me! This season, Scott Baio is 46 and pregnant. Watching him freak out in the first 10 minutes of the show was brilliant. He's so over-the-top and ridiculous, I believe he's acting. But whatever. It's a train wreck and I can't stop watching! Another reason for me to watch? My friend, Bill, is the guy teaching the Parenting for Dads class! :) OK. Rock of Love. The most awesome train wreck on TV ever! Last season, Bret chose Jes. It didn't happen for them (she essentially dumped him on the reunion show). So, he's back. And the girls are ridiculous! Seriously. I've never seen so much fake boobage, bad eyebrows, over-injected lips and horrible clothing in one place at one time. It's phenomenal! This is gonna be the best train wreck ever! :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

One night yeah and one more time...

As Keri so delicately put it: "You need to update..." So, here I am!

I got sick Christmas night while at my parents' house. By the time I returned to my home the next day, I was in full-blown cold mode. Not fun. Not only because a cold, in general, is no fun; but with my high blood pressure, I can't take any medication! Grrr. My colds last longer and are more miserable because of it. I doubled up on my multi-vitamins, ate Vitamin C tabs like candy, drank enough orange juice to eat the lining of my stomach away and took a few layers of skin off my nose blowing into Puffs tissues (total misnomer). The good part? I slept. And slept and slept. Mmm...sleep...body heal thyself. With all of the sleep/rest, I figured I'd be better by New Year's Eve. If I wasn't, then I'd drink it out of my system - kill it with alcohol! Uh, yeah. Not so much.

There was *never* the thought 'Reese, you shouldn't go to the show.' Come on! A) it's the English Beat (my 12th show in 2007)! B) it's Richard Blade :::squeal::: doing a live broadcast of the show on Sirius Radio! And C) it's the English Beat *and* Richard Blade doing a live broadcast of the show on Sirius Radio from MALIBU! Yeah, Reese ain't missin' it. Besides, it was too late to cancel the hotel (totally lucked out getting a room with a view of Malibu beach at a ridiculously excellent rate!).

2 of my musical heroes - Richard Blade & Dave Wakeling

I lug my tissues, water, juice, vitamins and stuffy nose over the canyon to Malibu. Ahh, fresh ocean air! I opened all the windows and the balcony doors of the hotel room and...slept. Scot & Linda were picking me up at the hotel around 7 or so - I had plenty of time. Can I just say, I looked killer in my new dress? OK. I looked killer in my new dress! It was a Christmas gift from my co-workers. I know!

That's me with Linda

Scot, Linda & I had dinner then hit the Malibu Inn around 10. As we enter, I spot Richard Blade on the stage. :::squeal::: I froze or grabbed Scot or something, it's a bit fuzzy. But I walked right past him. I know. I'm 12. Really, it's the only excuse I have. We sorta ramble around backstage, greeting the band, yada yada yada. I'm just fidgety. We walk over to the stage, Richard says 'Hello! Happy New Year!' and jumps down to greet us. He hugs me. Uh huh. Hugs. Me. :::squeal::: I thank him for introducing me to all the bands and music that I love. He asked if I'd like to make a request. So, I did! (Should I Love You by Cee Farrow - *never* hear that song anymore) Scot snapped a pic of me with Richard and we went our merry way.

Richard Blade and me :::squeal:::

The show was fantastic, of course. I had such a great night! I really wish I could explain it. There's something…the band, the music, the vibe, the energy…I don't know. But, something about seeing the English Beat live makes me incredibly happy! For those two hours, I'm in a space that is so full of joy and nothing else. I think that's why I get so pissed at Flying Hair Girls, Drunk Dancing Girls and the Aggro-Pogo Boys – they're messing with my happy! I get it, I get it – they're getting their happy on, too. Anyway, that feeling – that happy, that outrageous joy – is why I go see them every chance I get.

That's me with Scot

Wishing all of you outrageous joy and an abundance of all things good!