Friday Funny

One of my most viewed videos I’ve ever done spoofed the “dress to mask your flaws” genre.  I celebrated my muffin top.  Since the close of Campanile I cook a lot more, so when my friend saw these little bake tins of course she thought of me!!  Genius!!  They are even denim like!

muffin tops For a trip down tummy memory lane:

 

Getting ready for Easter.  Mark and I are hosting my family.  We are planning the main course, so my sister said “I’ll bring a coconut cake.”

Me:  Great.  But, can you get something else too because like your husband my kids don’t like coconut.

Her:  Yes, But, I don’t get this not liking coconut.  It’s Easter.  Christ rose again with a coconut cake in his arms.

That joke carried me for hours yesterday.  It reminded me of a sight gag I did at Christmas.  On Christmas eve I ran into the 99 cent store because though I had planned ahead I was just a smidge short of wrapping paper.  The Christmas section was so picked over it was like a bomb had gone off.  I picked the ugliest paper, all that was left, and saw an empty nativity scene.  Like looters had taken the Holy family, the wise men, the donkey and only left the manger.  That gave me an idea.  So I put this on my mantle.return of christ

I lampooned the concept of working from home.  We all want to do it, but does it really make sense?  Lots of behind the scenes comedy.  Today I was on a business call and taking notes.  The caller had no idea where I was writing down these important notes.
working from home

 

Happy Friday

 

 

Commissioner Brogdon

Note, this post was written last week, but my energy was ebbing and I worried that I wasn’t clear and lacked confidence in my voice following the shooting.  I’m feeling better, looked it over and now I’m posting it.i love laThis week I’ve been shaky and a bit daft from the trauma of Monday’s shooting.  However, a ray of sun broke through.  Yesterday, exhausted and emotionally and physically spent I rallied and went downtown for my confirmation hearing before the City Council’s Planning department.  It was long scheduled and not the kind of thing you can easily change.  It was good to have a reason to put on make up and I got my hair blown out.  Felt down right therapeutic. When I was being interviewed I said straight up that  I was off my game and why. “Sorry if I’m not clear headed, you see I was at Wilshire division last night…” They were kind and it went well.  The next day was the big confirmation in front of the city council.

Let me back up… so the last couple of years I’ve been a volunteering, community machine.  So much so that as I crouched in the lectern Monday night as bullets fired and I was praying I wouldn’t be killed I did think, “Maybe I volunteer too much?”  I’m happy that I have lived to fulfill this honor that Mayor Garcetti has bestowed upon me to be on the Central Area Planning Commission.

at a reception for commissioners a couple of months ago. Do I seem less shaken then?

at a reception for commissioners a couple of months ago. Do I seem less shaken then?

I pulled Vivien from school for the occasion.  I want my daughter to be proud of me.  My sisters, mom and Mark were all there.

We waited a while the eccentric characters who make one challenge our countries commitment to free speech spoke. ( one guy had a cape, the other muttered “stupid bitches” under his breath) Than I and another commissioner went and sat at the table in front of the council.

I am sitting listening to Council President Wesson, me on screen too

I am sitting listening to Council President Wesson, me on screen too

My councilman Herb Wesson, President of the Council, spoke.  He said he whole heartedly endorsed both of us for the appointments, but he wanted to speak about why he thought I would be a good commissioner.  He spoke about showing up after the shooting,(he did) which is in his district.  That he had come to check on his staffer who was present during the shooting and the other people who were with me in that community room.  He said, “They applauded for me.  I should applaud them.”  I said later, we applauded for you because we were touched that you were there for us and had come to support us.  He said he would have been running screaming, but the council had stayed calmed and passed three motions after the shooting was over.  He said that I, and the others, were heroes and that if I could handle that I could handle this appointment.  I’m paraphrasing, but it was a very generous speech.  I would say the heroes were the LAPD officers who under fire neutralized the suspect and the police who RAN IN toward the sounds of shots to liberate us .  THOSE are the heroes. I’ve never been happier to see a cop in my life!!

I got a tad uneasy as I realized Vivien was hearing this.  I have purposely NOT told my children about this incident.  I think it would freak them out.  So I turned to look at Vivien sitting with the rest of my family to gauge how she was taking this in.  She smiled broadly.  I smiled back.  I don’t think she really got it, but later I said, some people had a loud fight near our meeting, but everything was ok. She seemed fine with that.mom and daughtedaphne and morencybrogdon family

After the council confirmed us we went to the city clerk office and I was sworn in. I’m so lucky to have such great support.  It was a good moment. Click  for my swearing in  I got a little choked up, in a good way.

is it too soon for history?

We are back from a spring break trip to Washington DC.  lady in washington hatIt was great except it snowed the first day, the last day and rained the others.  Wait, there was ONE day we had clear skies. So much for “Spring”.

Viv, sis and I ready for sightseeing.  Is it Spring yet?

Viv, sis and I ready for sightseeing. Is it Spring yet?

Fortunately it was the day we walked on the Mall.  From Arlington Cemetery to the Spy Museum.

map of the dc mallThe trip was meaty.  Lots going on.  Sights of historical significance, Ford’s theatre, great food.  Red Hen was the best dinner of the trip.  Great architecture, show me the brick!.   Kafe Bohem, sigh,  I miss the great breakfasts.   Seeing old friends.

if you are in DC area check out my comic friend Queen Aishah, HIlarious and great person

if you are in DC area check out my comic friend Queen Aishah, HIlarious and great person

Loved not driving most of the time.  Metro, I loves ya.

But, more than once I thought, are my kids ready for this?  Moments where I thought, “I DID THE RIGHT THING”.  When Vivien was transfixed by the Lincoln Memorial and read his speeches carved into the wall. children and lincolnchildren get lincoln When I said, “this is where Martin Luther King gave his ‘I have a dream speech’ and she didn’t run and scowl, but stopped and took a picture there.  children and I have a dreamTouching how many parents are doing the same thing.  After the memorial Vivien was begging for a hot chocolate, “we must keep going.” cried crazy mom.  My sister Cecily, who traveled with us knew better.  ”I’ll get you one” as she helped my limping 8 year old to a warm coco.  I walked along the Vietnam memorial overhearing parents say to their kids, “you see it was a time of great unrest…”

What is the right age to take this in?  Or is it in dribs and drabs?  Certainly when I lost Rex in the spy museum ( an over rated for profit venture) I thought, I was wrong to come.  When he ran up the down escalator in the Metro I thought “too young”.  But, if I wait till he is ready for knowledge and travel Vivien will be a jaded teen lost to me.

Certainly a highlight was visiting the White House.  Had to pull some strings to get in their and even so there was a long, cold wait to get in. visiting the white house Not like the ’90′s where I had a friend who work in the White House and I was waved in more than once with a only a look at my license.  At one point Rex started to go under the velvet rope, but a secret service man scolded him and he shrank back.  One of the many times I was fine with a stranger reprimanding my son.  ”Go for it, I need the help.”

DC , like many American cities of late, has improved.  We we rented  a home in an area some friends were worried about.  A mixed neighborhood that had seen riots/uprisings in the ’60′s, crack in the 80′s. But, now the historical structures of Ledroit Park can shine and it’s lovely.  It’s near Howard University and we had occasion to visit their ER for a minor problem and they were great.  It was far nicer than any ER around LA. I like feeling like I live in a place when I visit.  I walked thru the snow to a grocery store.  I would stay there again for sure.

One day we rented a car and went to Mt. Vernon.

Cecily is fun to travel with

Cecily is fun to travel with

A place I remembered from visiting with my dad when I was 9.  Since then they have added a memorial to the slaves that toiled there.  They have also added a video presentation with of all people Pat Sajak telling visitors what to see at George Washington’s home. Was Vanna not avail?pat sajak mt vernon ”Don’t forget to see the slave quarters and where they stored the tropical plants.”  My sister leaned in, “because there is a real moral equivalency.”   When the five minute Wheel of Washington was done Rex said,

“He was nice.  But, he seems like a reporter.”  Close Rex.  Yes, hundreds of years of slavery is not Pat Sajak’s fault.  But, I was getting irate at the founding fathers.  Um, what was that about independence, rights of man?

It was raining so I didn’t make it to the slave quarters.  Rex’s shoes and pants were soaked in rain and mud.  He was gleefull.  We stood before George Washington’s old tomb and he said, “mommy, I got to go pee.”

soaked

soaked

“Rex, wait.”

“I can’t”. Pause.   Then he ran off splashing more in the mud. Well, maybe it was fitting.

Fortunately, Walmart is close and I ran in and got him a whole new outfit as we were headed to meet friends for a nice dinner.

One key note about air travel with kids, if they don’t have individual screens on the plane, forget it.  We didn’t have them going, but did coming back and it made a huge difference. I wish we could make our reservations based on this.  I can handle the crap food, but kid climbing on me is tougher.  Course one consequence was I watched “12 years a slave” on the plane.  Woof.  Brutal.  When we got home I had insomnia and stayed up reading slave memoirs online.  The sexual exploitation alone makes me marvel that black people didn’t rise up and kill all white people.  Jefferson, sneer.  He allowed his own children to be enslaved.  They got to be freed when he died, that’s the bone he threw them.

When I went to Europe I ruminated about the holocaust.  I know, I could walk any area near me and think of the Native Americans killed and run off their land.  Sadly, man’s humanity to man is too clear.

So, in the end it is dribs and drabs for my kids and for me.  You know history, but at different moments facts and sensory collide to make it more real.

Ah, the toddler years

We just got back from a fun camping trip with families from Rex’s pre school. Rex is part of the “cool Senior set”  4 and 5 year olds who are all about to chuck the sand box for long hours of structured learning.  Oh, they have no idea what a buzz kill that will be.IMG_0670

I have bagged the trip before because it always falls on my birthday ( thanks, thanks), but because it’s our swan song we went.  So glad we did.  Great time, great people and being sung to by a campfire as I look up at stars ( non existent in LA) is a nice way to bring a new year in.  Though why I  had to hear so many times “29 again?” Chortle, chortle.  Hey, why is it SO funny that I would be 29?  Do I look THAT bad?

One bummer was that oddly NOT ONE family had an older sibling Viv’s age.  There was on 7 year old boy, but different universe.  Not one older sister.  Note, to self, if we go again kidnap a third grade girl for the weekend, “don’t worry, we will take care of her and bring back on Sunday.”

family and llamasLOTS of people with little kids.   I loved holding the occasional baby.  That sweet new human smell they have is like NOTHING else.  It’s a primal connection.  Nature knows what it is doing.  I whiff that and I would take that child in and make them my own if needed.  HOWEVER, all the toddlers, 3 year olds only made me pat myself on that back for demanding my husband get a vasectomy. Seeing so many people trying to reason, cajole their 2 and 3 year olds gave a tiny bit of glee.  I don’t have to deal with this ( much) anymore.

The irrational, no reason, OCD, crazy people that rule you.  No thanks.  My fiver old is no walk in the walk.  I don’t want to go through that again.  So, I looked for a snap shot of when I was in that mode.  When all you can do is crack up, or find the comedy.

But, Gosh, look at those curls!  Sniff, sniff.

Who says I don’t cook?

mark peel and daphne brogdon cook

we had fun and worked off each other well

A few weeks back Mark and I were guest on Hallmark Channel’s “Home and Family”.  It’s a great domestic oriented morning show.  No trash stories, helpful and fun.  Wish it was on my cable carrier.  Anyway,  We did a Chicken Thigh Throwdown. Everyone thinks Mark is nightly making me great meals. My standard line was, “sure, if I went into his restaurant.” But, at home I do most of the cooking and since we don’t have any restaurants anymore and my work has been…meek.. the last couple of years I’ve been cooking more than ever.

Mark getting his mic...I hope

Mark getting his mic…I hope

IMG_0165

 The idea was Mark would do the “restaurant” or fancy version of chicken thighs and I would do the easy, your family will eat version.

mark peel and daphne brogdon cookAs someone who made her living for years as a TV host I really appreciate a good host.  Christina Ferrare and Mark Steines are great and improvising and brought out the best in us.  It was the first time Mark and I have cooked together out of our home and it was a lot of fun.  In case you want to try either dish, here are the recipes.  Enjoy. http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/homeandfamily/recipe/markpeeldaphnebrogdonchickenthighthrowdown

parent teacher conference

We just had our meeting and in general Vivien is doing very well in school.

As the hardworking teacher showed us the work and what they are learning I kept thinking, “I didn’t do any work like this in 3rd grade… or ever.”  Granted I had kind of a Bo-Ho education.  Not all kids get to opt to watch a Bette Davis double feature instead of learning long division.  But, 1) the work does seem harder now and 2) it’s just different.  The terms are different, the nomenclature of their work is so unknown to me so that if they didn’t include “notes to parents” in some of her work books I’d be unable to help her.

I think of the kids in her class whose parents don’t speak English and I wonder , “How can those kids succeed?”  So much homework, new terms, plop on  a different language you are sunk.

My only question at the conference?  When will they get more free play?  Answer:  they won’t.

Here is another burst of educational insight I had when Rex was younger and I still had my fab camera man Chung Ming shooting my vids  ( I just recently got to work with him.  Love that guy)

My other insight is bring your kid’s teacher a sandwich.  I did and she was happy.

imovie is cramping my style

So, my computer went on the fritz.  I sprang for a new mac.  All of this meant I couldn’t blog for a while.  Then when the new machine arrived I thought, “ah, finally, I can edit my videos.”  But, I’m stalled.  The new and improved imovie is not my friend.  I’ve watched  a you tube video and it doesn’t help.

So, why does mac put out products without explantation?  My texting wasn’t working on my iphone.  My sister Cecily, who is tech savvy, picked it up and figured out how to fix it.  I feel like you have to learn how to handle mac products on the street, no one tells you.  Like sex.

new imovie no good

 

I got this far, but stalled.  Sigh.  I’m sure there is genius there, if I could only unlock it.

Oscar ’14

As much as I wish the rainstorm had fallen right on red carpet Sunday, I watched the show with wide eyes.  I can’t help it.  I was born in the Heart of Screenland (Culver City), I’ve commented on the fashion as part of my job in the past and I even knew a couple of people in the big show.  (I’m so 3 degrees from famous)  I’ve eaten the pizza Ellen ordered!  I was on the list for an after party, not Elton’s.  But, after I put on my make up I got a text that the party was a turkey and not to bother.  When a film hasn’t won their party can go like half and  half left out.

At home Mark and I made dinner for our family who had come over and I got Red Carpet (wearing) Ready!

red carpet watching ready

 

Thanks for asking, I’m wearing vintage cashmere sweater and yoga pants.  Oh, no, I don’t buy it.  They send it to me.  Yes, picked the first thing I put on. The real red carpet was a snooze.  Not sure what happened, but I saw 4 celebs and lots of commercials, canned bits, and those weird talking heads on E!  Liked this clip of fashion from Vanity Fair party they sent me.  Miss Jane Fonda looks fab.

Ellen did a great job.  Also, kudos to all these thoughtful acceptance speeches.  Jared Leto, the lady from “12 years a slave”, the guy who wrote the movie.  I wasn’t wishing for a trap door to sink the narcissists till more than half way through the show.  Lame award goes to the director of “Gravity”.  Maybe he should have spoken in Spanish, cause he kind of rambled and didn’t have a point in English.  The director of “12 years” had a dud speech too.  Best picture award ususally does.  Best Short Action Animation in a Festival and Made on their Credit Card has more heart and vulnerability than the guy who will get ads taken out for him in the trades just to congratulate him.  I can’t get over his name being Steve McQueen either.  Do the kids even get that?  Is his wife named Ali McGraw?

Loved that they actually performed the nominated songs.  Didn’t like the years they didn’t. How about Travolta butchering Idina Menzel’s name?  He wasn’t even close.  Maybe he should do a PSA for dyslexia?  All great songs, except my old buds U2.  No “In the name of Love”.  Um, and why did Pink sing instead Liza Minneli?  Also, I like Bette Midler and she looked and sounded great, but do we need a reminder of “Beaches”?  Weren’t Kim Novak’s lips enough?

I found a great way to get through the slower bits of the show.  Oscar Bingo.  It’s a mix of fashion, celebs, and hack words and expressions.  Here is the winning card held by my niece Lily, and my card which did not.oscar bingo Lily’s, (on the right) has “Cuff”in the upper left box, as in worn on a lady’s wrist, metal.  Then anyone from “American Hustle”,  ”incredible”, anyone saying that word.  The word “Amazing” was on someone else’s card and was marked fast.  The center box is suppose to be “Bow Tie”, but I wrote “Box Tie”, clearly thinking of what the stars inject in their faces.  Next is “person with accent”

Vivien’s card had  one we didn’t hear, thankfully, last night, the winner telling their kids to “go to sleep.”

Rex was undone.  ”Why are you all watching this? It’s so boring!”  As he tumbled on the coach before donning my rain boots, a helmet, clutching a styrofoam “sword” sans pants.   “I know it is Rex.  But, I’m not budging till it’s over.”