it’s getting real

We are now 36 hours from the close of Campanile.  It’s been a month long wake.  Great to see people, lots of drinking, yet tinge of sadness.  It’s hard to write about as I’m going through.  I did finally cry yesterday.  I was talking to a total stranger. A friend of a waiter who had a kind face and without expecting I blubbered for a few seconds.

My sister’s said “we want to be there for you for the last night, to support you.”  Really, why?  I thought at first, so deep is my survival denial.  But, now it’s sinking in.  The epicenter of my husband’s professional life and that which we schedule most of our family life around is closing it’s doors.  Forever.

PACKING UP Mark's OFFICE

Will there be other projects, jobs?  Sure, but the place where my husband cemented his reputation, where I accidentally walked in one day and met the man I would marry and have babies with is closing.  Forever.

I saw the chef and restaurateur who are taking over the building in there the other day looking at the space with their architect.  Sizing up their remodel.  I said nothing.  I turned away.  LIke seeing a body measured for a coffin before it’s cold. That chef blabbed to a food blogger before Mark could speak to his staff.  I have nothing to say to him.

This reminds me of when I had to sell my house years ago post Madoff.  One more fucking loss.

I am an optimist and I always try to keep it together for my kids and show them that no matter what the core is our family.  But, I have to find a way to process this, feel it so I can move on.  I think that’s often the hard part for parents. How do you go through your own emotional crap without inflicting it on your kids?

I’m going to shoot “Vivien’s Campanile” today.

campanile kid

My support, sisters, mom, niece

A video of how she has seen it. Per her request I cannot share it outside of our family.  I want to record her memories, her special hiding places.  My dear step daughter Vanessa has come out from NYC for the close ( and happily missing Sandy).

siblings

It’s great to have her here.

our friend Jack
My sister Cecily and Mark

Hugs from friends and regulars

I still am not clear how I feel… maybe next week I’ll know.

Change of life

Wow, this lady is a hot mess. Oh wait, I’m the hot mess.

When a mom is NOT  needed all the time what defines her time? I had coffee with a friend yesterday, just to catch up. It was last minute. It felt like the ’90’s. However, I have not found my stride in my freelancing, housewife, mom, help my husband with his work life. It’s all a bit…fuzzy right now. My brain with it. Or maybe that’s because I’ve been drinking at Campanile while it’s still open ( 6 days to the close).
How did you handle it when your kids were in school?

My kids are NOT sorry

Maybe it’s because the first episode of my new Cafe Mom series is about Dealing with other parents ( see below) or maybe because I had a great time at my son’s preschool today in a book club.  We are reading “The Power of Play” by David Elkind.  Which boils down to this, stop scheduling, turn off the TV and let your kid bang on some rocks.  Whatever the reason, I have a new resolution.

The discussion among the few moms were in the group was that we react in play situations more out of peer pressure than what we believe.  Unless a kid is pounding on another kid with a hammer, we’d rather the kids work it out.
Of the “that’s my bucket” variety.

But, fearing some mom is going to give us a hard time we step in often when we don’t want to.  I got such a surge listening to these other moms I suddenly yelped, “I’m not going to make my kid say ‘sorry’.

Chorus of “Yes” ( in my heart I heard ‘Amen sister’) rang up from the tiny chairs we were seated in the pre school. If they don’t genuinely mean “sorry” it’s all bullshit anyway.

I’m not in junior high, what do I care what that mom at the park thinks of me? And fi I was a mom in junior high, how awkward.  Another mom in our group said, “I’m going to say, ‘If you want to step in, you can, but that’s not how I want to handle it.'”

We decided we would be judged and disliked by some parents, but we were going to try it. I’ll you how it works.

How to deal with parents you don’t like

IT’S FINALLY HERE!  I’ve gestated and now I’ve given birth to the funniest webisode I’ve ever done and the funniest video I’ve done since “Moms with Scarves.”   This is the first of 8 episodes with Cafe Mom Studios for the NEW series “How To Be a Mom”.  I’m really proud of it and it was so great to work with a creative team after shooting, editing, feeding all by myself all year.

PLEASE watch, Please SUBSCRIBE to cafemomstudios on youtube to see them all ( and so I can do more).

My friend Sarah Maizes ( “professional writer, amateur mom” lol) guest stars as all the annoying parents that cross my path. Per usual, I couldn’t have done this without my kids, Vivien and Rex!

ENJOY and let me know what you think.

 

What binder am I in?

I love running gags.  I love the Memes that develop online.  The best one to come out of the debate this week was all the binder jokes. I’d to work more, so perhaps Mitt Romney could fit me in one of his binders?  The “TV host, comic, vlogger” binder.  We are the bridge to no where of workers.

To be fair to Mitt and his binder beyond the Lily Ledbetter legislation Obama could have done better in his reply to the question of how to address the fact that women make 72 cents to a man’s dollar, as well.  Mary McNamera, TV critic for the LA times, had a pithy response to the back and forth.  Check it out, but this is one of my favorite parts

So we fixed that,” the president said. Et voila, pay equity all around! Instead of discussing how, say, that act might work for real women, he decided to turn a question about equal pay into an opportunity for him to point out his support for legal abortion and insurance coverage of contraceptives.

Because clearly any mention of women must prompt a discussion of abortion and contraception, and legal abortion and covered contraception should, somehow, make up for women not getting paid enough. (Memo to American management: Next time a man asks for a raise, just hand him a box of condoms.)

But, Romney’s boast that he got a “binder full of women” so he could get some new hires with a vagina has prompted the cargo load of jokes and memes.  It sounded at best a bit stiff and out of touch and worst insulting, “you got all the way to the governers office without knowing women of merit? All that business experience you had and you didn’t know some women to bring along?”

Not to mention, great you hired some broads, how does that help American women going forward?

Back to the jokes.. it’s the binder, people.  These are some of my favorites.

This is my fave.. perfect picture of Clinton.  Btw way, check out the twitter @pimpbillclinton  riot.

I was interviewing celebs on the Red Carpet with “The most interesting man in the world” showed up.  He crushed the Desperate Housewives and all others in terms of the crowds response.  He is a nice guy.

 

I have some empty binders if anyone needs them.

Fine Dining Tramp

The announcement of Mark’s iconic LA restaurant, Campanile, closing has met with many stunned expressions.  Regular folk commenting on their Facebook page or in person how sad they are, how much they will miss it.  I love the respect and attention Mark and his staff are getting.

My sister and I couldn’t help injecting some humor into the final days. We created “Occupy Campanile” shirts.  The slogan, “So, we can still eat like the 1%”.  

I have had a lot of insomnia trying to conceive how it will feel on November first when we can no longer go there.  How will Mark feel?  I can’t wrap my brain around it.  They are doing a final blow bash on Oct. 31, all you can eat and drink for $89 ( the year they opened).  Black and White masked ball.  I’m taking the kids trick or treating, then deposit them with a sitter and go to the final soiree.

What time should the drunken crying start?

Lot’s of taxis will be called and I’m having the sitter spend the night and take the kids to school the next morning. I’m fully expecting Mark and I to be wiped out. I’ll be hung over, but I think we will both be emotionally exhausted.

However.. I’m enjoying every last minute of Campanile.  Vivien looks at me after we have done her homework, “Are you going out tonight, AGAIN?”

“Yes, I told you I’m going out a lot to the restaurant.  I’ll be home in November rocking back and forth in a dark room.”

Every night, it’s with someone different.  I’m a fine dining slut.  One night with my sisters and mom.  The next night with my friend Inge Lise, the other day I had a lunch date and a dinner date in the same day.  I walked to dinner to work off lunch. Two in a day. Such a fine dining hussy.

Then the kids and I got dressed up and met up with my “school husband” my co room parent Jasen and his son.  We also brought Flat Holden, a representative of our friend in Nashville, and enjoyed the last ever fried chicken night at Campanile.The next night I went there with a couple. Such a harlot.

Then I went with my entire dinner club, past and present, and a couple of babies.  It was my dinner club that lead me to meet Mark and then get asked out by Mark.

Magic moments have occurred here for me, and many others.  I’ve been so fortunate to have this dining salon to meet old friends and make new ones.  I’m not taking this lying down.  I’m sitting up, chatting and eating.

What a way to go.

Better start cooking: crispy eggs

Since Campanile is closing at the end of the month I’m going to have to step up my game.  Granted, Chef Peel will be home more so I might get some home cooked meals, but I am usually the cooker or at least the Executive Chef.  So, While I’m running to feast at my husband’s fantastic restaurant for dinner as much as I can I thought I’d start on breakfast.  When Vivien was little we went out to breakfast a lot, but Rex doesn’t have her ability to sit still so I’ve been working on creative breakfast for longer. This recipe came about the other weekend after I had made bacon for Rex. I cooked this in bacon fat with a small pat of butter for flavor.

1 corn tortilla, 2 eggs, ( you could use olive oil instead of bacon fat), butter, salt and pepper, boring taco cheese. When I do it again I will also add a little diced onion in the saute.

Cut up the tortilla in small strips. Put in iron pan with olive oil, don’t be stingy

I’m trying to make a crust.  Cook till you see it brown on the edges, about 5 min.

crack in two eggs and pierce the yolks to spread around.

throw on the pre grated taco cheese.  Could I use better cheese? yeah, but I always have this stuff on hand because the kids like it on their tacos and I’m in a hurry and don’t want to chop or grate anything in the morning.

then, flip it over

There it is.  It looks like fried potatoes.   I meant to eat half and give the other half to Mark, but I inhaled the whole thing.  I was full till 3pm!

 

I need a better name then “crispy eggs”.  Any ideas?

How to be a mom

Though this year has been a tad challenging in the work department ( oh, two restaurants closing, stuff like that) I’m fired up that the web series I did with Cafe Mom is going to be debuting soon.  Here is the promo for it and it cracks me up.  You can see Mark, Oliver, Rex, Vivien.  You see my alter ego who bridges the action.   I really hope you all like this send up of helpful advice and please subscribe to the Cafe Mom Studios you tube channel, watch and share my vids and hopefully I’ll get to do more. ( my friend Karen Walrond just did a series with them as well)

Cranky pregnant woman

My friend Joanna is weeks from giving birth.  I see her at drop off with her first grader and her toddler son- who is also Rex’s BFF. Parking at our school is difficult for those of us not carrying around an extra 40 lbs. Finding a place to park near a crack house, stepping over dog poo while holding two kids hands is our morning.  Too boot Los Angeles is having record setting heat.  Today it’s 101.  October.  101.  Yeah, global warming, I believe you.

Seeing her waddle in and telling her son “no, I can’t pick you up.”  I had a deep flashback. “Don’t you just want to kill everyone?”  I queried.  Yes, said without hesitation ( which is one of the reasons I like her)

The funny thing is I actually think my cranky gave me some energy.  Mother nature’s way of pushing you through those final, heavy, back breaking months.   MOMS to be… especially those with older kids, this ones for you!