My famous forehead and ear

Hey I am heading out of trip right NOW.  But, wanted to share a few seconds of supportive fame from the recent election.

Local TV in LA would rather do a story on a murder, any murder, no matter where then spend much time on our exhausting long Mayors race.  They ask why people don’t vote? Sheesh.  So, here is one of the FEW news reports on Mayor Elect Garcetti’s first news conference. Well, done Dave Lopez of channel 2. You can see me behind him. I’m the blonde with bands squinting in the sun.  The lady with curly hair to my camera left the begining of the tape I met canvassing in South LA.  Okay, I got to finish packing.

Oh yeah, the rest of the video is vision for LA, blah, blah, oh, why didn’t bring I sunglasses?

 

where should Barbie live? (sponsored)

You might be thinking, Barbie you have a dream house in Malibu, you are unnaturally thin and curvy, big blue eyes and blonde hair without visible roots.  You never get zits, what is the wanderlust?  Well, apparently Barbie is looking for new digs. Malibu use to be more casual, now it’s full of super rich, and maybe David Geffen’s sea wall was the final straw for her.  Good for you Barbie.  My kids think you should move inland to Mid City.  I’d love to have Barbie as a neighbor.  I’d pop over while Ken is sunning.

The first stop on the Barbie tour is this Saturday, June 1 at the Grove in LA.  If you had a dream house, where would you put it?

Rosie Pope giveaway

Okay, a little break from local politics, but still, alas, LA centered event.  Pretty preg czar Rosie Pope is throwing a little mommy party and you are invited.  Rosie has her own maternity line, and some nice clothes for those of us who will not be popping…anymore.  She is a maternity concierge.  What?  Does she make you dinner reservations?  Think she helps expectant moms get their game plan together.

She is the star of the Bravo reality series “Pregnant in Heels”.  She has helped famous moms to be look chic and one of the ladies who goes to this event will be picked to get a fab make over.

So, here is the deal, if you are in Southern California next week RSVP to aaron@finnpartners.com for this event, tell them I sent you.   Only five spots open and there will be a GIFT BAG.

That will get you into the event, meet Rosie, get her book, maybe get a make over.  It’s sponsored by Scholarshare California’s 529 plan.  The event is on May 29, get it, 5/29.  Get it?  At the Grove at 3rd and Fairfax in LA.  It’s from 12 to 2.  This is not a sponsored post, but they were nice to work with last year so I want to support them.  Hey, in LA it’s not just about politics 😉 Best part

Valet parking will be provided for confirmed attendees.

 

 

The

VICTORY…and what I wore

My friend Eric Garcetti won.  July 1st he will be the Mayor of the 2nd biggest city in the USA.  I’ve been feeling on the verge of emotion for days, and had hoped to bawl last night… wine or lose.  However, it didn’t work out that way.

Victory rolled in slowly

The large venue held a few of the people I’m use to seeing at his events and about 900 more I didn’t know.  Mark was with me as were my sister Cecily, and her daughter Lily.  They had made calls for the first time for Eric that day.  My other sister is out of the country, but my nephew Charlie was there.  He has gone to Eric’s valley office often after school to volunteer.  He will probably be a senator one day and they said Lily worked the phones like a veteran Chicago Alderman.

One of my new friends through the campaign is Leonora Pitts.  Star of TV and activist mom.   There were times when she would show up to volunteer with her newborn- 2nd baby – strapped to her body.  One time I showed up at Eric’s house to make calls and there Leonora was dialing for votes with her 9 day old baby sleeping next to her.  That’s my kind of mom!

and our shoes

 

The party was large that I couldn’t get a good perch or see the TV screens.  But, lots of people were tapping on their phones.  “Wendy is up by 200 votes.”  someone said.  Then Mark saw Gil Garcetti, Eric’s father, former DA, all around nice guy.

“Mark” Gill hugged Mark.  We asked about what we had just heard.  Gil said,

“We expected that.  Those are early absentees.  Greuel had a lot of ads up then, we didn’t so, we knew they would favor her.” he said talking about the different ebbs of flows of cash in the race.

“But, you saw the exit poll?”   Gil refering to an earlier poll that day that showed Eric up.  I didn’t say, “Kerry was up in exit polls too”  but I didn’t say it.

Then I saw a man standing next to me smiling.  I introduced myself, thinking he was Gil’s buddy.  “Hi, I’m Alex” he said,  I wanted to get a picture with him.” Meaning Gil. Ah, a friend he hadn’t met yet, got it.   I feel like one of my jobs in this race has been to connect people to the Garcetti folk.  So, I said, “Gil, this guy really wants a picture with you.”  He happily obliged.

Then a loud cheer went up.  What??  Someone said, “Eric is up 2 thousand votes.” Cecily took Charlie and Lily home.  It was getting late.

I was VERY honored that the campaign asked me to stand on the stage behind Eric.  I had a special wrist band.  I saw a bunch of the “VIP’s” rushing to the stage.  I had to go up a staircase, across a big balcony, down a big staircase.  The hierarchy of these things as I see them is

1) candidates family

2) big name supporters, local politicians, community leaders

3) diversity of community groups, different ethnicities, Vets, etc.

4) regular people who worked they hinds off.  That’s my group.

People who didn’t have the wrist band were trying to get on.  It was a bit like a life boat drama on the Titanic.  As I rand up the stairs in my heels with my wrist band showing.  I was right behind Councilmember Bernard Parks who is 9 feet tall.  Crap.  There guys my “Hey mom, I’m on TV” moment.  I looked to my right and there was a friend of mine and her husband who are big supporters.  Poor thing she is short.  I said, “Get away from Parks”  I didn’t want to be pushy, cause, hey it’s not about ME, however if I’m going to be part of history I’d like a glimpse.   The crowd shifted enough so that I could move away from Parks and behind Councilman Paul Koretz.  Yes, he is short.  He is also a great councilman, btw, his office was very responsive to some issues we had when The Tar Pit was in his district. After a minute the music went up and out came Eric and his wife Amy.

my vantage point, Bernard Parks head

 

It was a sort of victory speech.  Pretty much what you say when you when, thanking the opponent, but not a “We won!”  line.  Thus, I didn’t get to bawl as planned.  I was just trying to get away from a tall councilmember’s shadow.

I did get a heartfelt hug from Amy who said she was looking forward to what I would write about the last days of the campaign– coming soon.  She is such good people.

I found Mark and we spoke to Jan Perry.  ME: “it’s going to go on for days?”

No, she said, “It will be over by 3am.  Look” she pulled out her phone. “he is trending up, she is trending down.”  Then, “I have to go soak my feet.”   I agreed with the council woman and limped to the car.

So, sure doing the best for our community is important, but what did I wear?  I chose the same dress I wore when I gave a luncheon for Eric last year for mom bloggers.  That lunch helped him win support from some smart ladies who were with him till the end ( more later).  I had asked for his mom Sukey to be at the lunch, knowing she would be a hit.  She was.

When Campanile announced it’s closing I had emailed Eric and said something along the lines of, “well, I’m glad we could help you when could.”  He wrote back in part, “Campanile has been the site of so many memories” Writing this, I’m finally, tearing up. Little did I know my husband would make more memories breaking out his grilled press by himself, at our home several more times to help Eric and make Grilled Cheese for Garcetti.  For canvassers, to win over undecideds.  I worked the room, he worked the press.

I wore a bracelet that Rex INSISTED I wear.  You can see it hear on the outstretched arm over Bernard Parks shoulder ( his left, our right).  An arm outstretched in hope of good times.

last sign on the right is mine

 

 

too nervous to write: election night for Los Angeles

Okay, I have more to say about my deep involvement in the LA Mayor race, but right now it’s less than an hour till polls close and I can’t get thoughts together.  We first did something to help Eric Garcetti become mayor of LA in the summer of ’11.

Tonight I will stand behind him on stage at the celebration party.  I hope it’s a victory party, but for me it will be a celebration no matter because I have experienced so much.  Met so many great people.

Fingers Crossed.

Mama chat : LA Mayors race

I am a guest on this podcast. Donna Schwartz Mills and Cynematic of Momocrats host.  Since it’s audio this the kind of thing you listen to while you walk or clean up the piles in your house.  Oh, maybe that’s just me.

I’m  extremely partisan, of course, for my friend Eric Garcetti, but I really tried to be as even as I could in this.  Sometimes that meant putting my hand over my mouth so I didn’t blurt out “Oh, come on Eric has a proven track record in his district and he is a super sweet guy!” I could go on…

 

Etiquette time with Lizzie Post

What do you do if you lost the list of gifts and givers for your son’s bday?

now, where did I put that list with the gifts Rex got??

Yes, it happened to me.  So I asked Lizzie Post, etiquette lady.  What should I do?  She said I should tell them I lost the list and to remind me of the gift.   Then I can write a proper note.  She also said if I lose a scrap of paper maybe I should write the list down digitally. I guess so.

Then I asked, what her thoughts are on thank you notes where the parent acts like they are the kid, “I loved my truck”  when we know the kid can’t read or write.  I use to do this, but lately I’m thinking, who are we kidding.  So my notes have been “Rex loved the truck”.

Though this year I have been really bad about sending notes out.  I seem to go in manner waves.

Ms. Post wanted to talk about summer manners which lead into weddings.  She disspelled something for me.  The gift doesn’t have to be the value of the dinner they are serving.  My mom told me that it did.  I said, If I don’t go I can send a cheaper gift, right?  No, Said Ms. Post.  The gift should be based on your budget.

My last question.. is it in the water or what?  But, lately I have had the experience of offering my hand when I’m meeting someone , I say, “Hi I’m Daphne.”  The new person says hi and doesn’t tell me their names.  “I’m sorry are you George Cloony or something and I should KNOW you?”  I think.

“Yes,” said Lizzie “This happens to me too.”

shaking the hand, saying her name

She does what I have done, “I’m sorry, what was your name? OR Can I ask you your name?”  But, it is so odd not to profer your name upon meeting someone.  I can’t figure out why people don’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do I have to vote with my vagina?

This was originally posted on Momocrats.com earlier this week.  I have touched on this subject on coolmom.com, but I think this was a more thoughtful exploration of the issue and bit less “bloggy”  for me at least. I added a couple of personal snap shots to this.  Thanks to Momocrats and Donna Schwartz Mills for having me on as a guest.  I’m also going to be a guest on the Momocrats podcast this Friday the 17th.  

Back in the ‘90’s when I was a budding young professional I got a call from EMILY’s List. Their pitch was they helped elect pro choice female candidates nationwide. Since as a child in the ‘70’s I participated in ERA rallies, had an account with the first Women’s Saving and Loan in West LA, wore my “Keep Abortion Legal” button in marches I participated in Junior High. I gave them money that day and continued to periodically give them money here and there over the last 15- 20 years.

But, I’m not going to any more.

When Hillary Clinton ran in ‘08 for President I was a lukewarm supporter until the media seemed to be positively howling with delight in her Iowa defeat. After her comeback in New Hampshire I was on board, even going to Texas to help work the caucus.

greueladFront side of Wendy Greuel campaign mailer, funded by EMILY’s List. View the ad in its entirety here.

Now in the Los Angeles Mayor’s race it has come down to two pro choice candidates. One was born with a penis. One was born with a vagina. The latter is getting support from EMILY’s List. Well, that is their mandate, so that makes sense. What doesn’t make sense to me is that they spent money, money that people like me gave them, to send out a mailer smearing the candidate with a penis.

All those years I gave money to EMILY’s List I assumed that my money went to NOT electing anti choice, anti woman conservative men. Some guy who pats the waitress on the behind, loves his guns and cuts funding to for day care.

Not sure why I assumed I was defeating this cartoon Archie Bunker. But, this mailer that EMILY’s List sent out against Eric Garcetti is such a comic. It depicts an attractive blonde women in a slinky dress getting out of a fancy car. “Not everyone in LA lives like this, but Eric Garcetti does,” it says.

Politically, this hate mail doesn’t jibe with the man I know at all. He is a pro choice feminist endorsed by NOW, who as a councilman put aftercare programs in all the schools in his district and unlike his female opponent says there should be no age barrier for getting Plan B. I know this doesn’t jibe with the guy I know personally. He has a Prius, never wears dresses and has brown hair with a little grey at the temples. The other night I was at his house while I and other volunteers phoned for his campaign. Eric came in tired after a day of campaigning. He went upstairs to put his little girl to bed. When he came back down he looked at the fridge for something to eat. I felt bad for him. He was pooped. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were going to be here or I would have brought you some food from Mark.” I said. My husband is chef Mark Peel who first met Eric when his sister worked at my husband’s then bakery. Not a job of privilege, by they way.

“Oh, that’s okay” he smiled, sense of entitlement not be found. Tired, he sat down to answer his emails. A family friend started chopping onions in the kitchen. “I’ll make him something.” she said. What, no servants? 7 cars? Loot he collected from city services? He asked his friends about things in their life. Wait, Emily’s List said he is “in it for himself?”

Eric and my daughter Vivien. I cropped it so his daughter wouldn't show. (My policy I don't post pics of other people's kids.)

Besides being a mischaracterization of a friend, the mailer is divisive toward women. The attractive, slinky dressed lady is the “bad” one. The one who doesn’t take care of the citizens of LA. The other side is a picture of a slightly older lady holding a child. A mom or a nice looking baby sitter I assume. She is part of the verbiage of why Wendy Greuel is the better pick for mayor. Oh, that old saw. Sexual female is bad. Non sexual woman is good. That one takes care of the city.

I feel naive that I ever trusted EMILY’s List to do the right thing. Why couldn’t they have sent out a mailer with positive statements about the candidate with the vagina and not smear the candidate with the penis? Why should they waste their money on the LA Mayor’s race when women are systematically being denied access to reproductive freedom in Kansas and North Dakota? A candidate who isn’t pro-woman in LA would be run out of town on the speed train, whenever it’s built.

When I worked for Hillary was it partly because I wanted a women president? Absolutely. But, I also strongly believed she was the best, most qualified candidate. I went to Florida for Kerry in ‘04 as well. I work hard for people I believe in. I wasn’t going to hit the bricks for Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sarah Palin. Sometimes the candidate who was born with the penis is the best candidate. People speak of a Post Racial period, are we ready for a Post Sexual period? To paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr, I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, or by their reproductive organs, but by the content of their character.

As a mother of a daughter and a son I have this dream.

 

Dr Harvey Karp, the man who got me to bed

I was cruising through the mini meetings at Mom 2.0.  They were in a big banquet hall and every 15 minutes one was to run from one table to the next depending upon the topic.  The most popular subjects were something like this, “how to make some money, or how to get eyeballs doing something every body with an ovary is doing these days.” It was standing room only at those tables. Not on the table, but next to them.

“What did she just say?”

“um, something about optimization.”

When I spied  Dr. Harvey Karp sitting at a table with only two woman.  The rest of the room suddenly went into soft focus.   The guy who wrote the book that got me through the first terrifying months of mom daughter’s life was there. 

Mr Swaddle and “shoo- shoo” shimmy himself!   To heck with it, I can’t hyper link my way  to fortune right now, I need to talk to this guy.

pediatrician with the mostest

The way I remembered it I knocked these ladies aside and then it was just US.  Me fawing, “It all worked!  My kids loved being swaddled.  My husband was so good at swaddling.”

He smiled kindly and said, “Do you have Happiest Toddler on the block?” ( sub title How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful, and Cooperative One- to Four-Year-Old)  I said I did, but hadn’t cracked it open in a while.  Would it be helpful with my now 4 year old son?  He said it can help with tantrums up to 5, sometimes even a little older.  So we discussed it.  He said this book was more important than the baby book “Because this will help you make them into the people you want them to be.” Yes, I nodded, especially boys who can express their feelings.   He explained you use 1/3 intensity of their voice.  Too much in your voice means it’s now about crazy mom, not tantrum kid.  Describe what you see, “you are pounding your fists on the floor, you are banging your head.  You really want me to that was important to you.”   Toddlers are not mini big kids, they think differently, he explained.

the world dissapeared...

He said, “get the DVD if you and your husband don’t want to read the book.”  Yeah, guys are more visual, right?  I sensed my 15 minutes was almost up as 3 other woman had plunked down on my turf.  I turned my back on them and leaned into the doctor for one last nugget o’ wisdom.  “My 4 year old sleeps with me most nights.  I like the cuddling”

“Sure, it’s nice.”  he agreed.

” I haven’t made a big deal about it, because I have older step children.  I know soon enough he won’t want anything to do with me, however, sometimes I’d like a little space.”

Dr. Karp reached underneath his table and pulled out. He gave it to me!  Now he was smiling to those other bitches  moms.  It was time for me to move on to upping my social media presence, taking a picture in natural light or twittering for jam and wipes.

I gazed at him one more time.  “I would love to talk to you about how I’m an Intactivist
I called out as I was forced to give up my seat and he was passing out books and smiles.

He should put all his books together and call it the Happiest Mom on the Block collection.

 

 

Mother’s day, yuck

Please do not send me one more pitch about things to do for Mother’s day.  I never, ever liked it.  Well, not true I did enjoy the breakfast in bed last year and watching my political show in peace, but really, they could do that for me another time.

Sure, would I love a massage, ear rings, sitting on Hugh Jackman’s lap?  Yes, sure who wouldn’t?

Look around.  Is there someone near you who doesn’t have a mom?  Maybe a kid in your own kids school, or an organization that supports kids in foster care. The other week I sat next to a lovely lady at a charity lunch that my mother had helped with.  She works for an organization that brings kids to their moms in prison on Mother’s Day.  It’s called Get on the bus.   I’d rather spread the love around on Mother’s day and think of the people who feel like crap on it.  Where is Orphan Day?  Or,mommy dearest day?  Ha, what about that?

But, Hugh, the key is under the mat.