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.

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

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.

…and I played the wife

Mark was asked to be on a chef competition show.  He was a bit wary as Top Chef Masters was NOT his favorite experience, but his manager ( me) said he should do it.  It’s “Knifefight” on Esquire channel. Use to be G4 channel and before that I am sure it was two other channels before that.  He had been a judge on an episode on the last season with Exec. Producer Drew Barrymore next to him and had a good time.  (“She took my card!” Um she is never going to call you dude.  She didn’t)

Mark clapping behind his new BFF

Mark clapping behind his new BFF

“Knife Fight” is more irreverent than Top Chef with it’s super serious, jib shots of chefs waiting to be judged with the dum, dum, dum music and the “Go pack your knifes” blow off.  It’s demoralizing.

this sucks

this sucks

The producer of “Knife Fight” asked who Mark wanted to compete against and we both said, “Sal Marino”.  He is our friend and a great chef, unsung really.  Owns Il Grano. They would have fun.  It’s shot at Gorbals where the chef/owner/ Ilan Hall is the host.  He is a nice guy.  Also, it’s a shorter shoot than Top Chef which drags on and on with them plying the chefs with cheap booze in the hopes of some “Big Brother” meltdown and for no pay.  All unscripted exploits the hell out of people in general.

So, I trucked down to watch the shoot and then ended up being part of it.  That is if they show my back shucking peas.  It was fun to see both Sal and Mark cook.  They had one hour to cook with the surprise ingredients.  Great to see them both in action.  I can’t say what they made ( or Drew Barrymore will come and beat me)  and I didn’t get it to eat it, but it looked fab.

Maja, Sal’s wife, was also there.  She is my friend so it was a fun outing.

...they all laughed, except for Josiah in this picture

…they all laughed, except for Josiah in this picture

The chefs had known each other before, but we all became good friends when our daughters were going to pre school and they became friends.

With a judge on the show Chef Josiah Citrin who helms the BEST French restaurant in LA, Melisse

With a judge on the show Chef Josiah Citrin who helms the BEST French restaurant in LA, Melisse

As the shooting went on they were placing Maja and I for reaction shots.  So when it finally airs, think May, you might see my “wife” visage.  In the meantime, it inspired Mark and Sal to finally cook together for real.  This weekend and next Mark is going to jam with him at Sal’s restaurant.  A special menu they collaborated on.  It’s going to be good.   I will play the wife and eater. MORE INFO HERE

Perfect blouse

When I was co hosting the Fashion Team my TV husband Lawrence Zarian use to say to me often, “I think you would look great in a crisp white blouse and a black pencil skirt.”  Being from LA for a second I thought he said, Crip’s white blouse, but no, that’s something for gang members.

Always up for a good makeover I bought a black pencil skirt pronto. BTW, LZ does make overs on Kelly Ripa’s show ( I don’t what it’s called now, but she looks so tiny next to the Regis replacement I find it odd), Entertainment Tonight and just about every other syndicated chat show in America.  He is the “The Fashion Guy” and I love him, ALTHOUGH  he did not send me a review copy his first ever book.  ”Lawrence Zarian’s 10 commandments for a perfect wardrobe.”  I’m sure one of them is a crisp white blouse.lawrence zarians book

But, with my ample bosom and big ribs the crisp white buttoned blouse often looked slatternly.

June, or Daphne, is busting out all over

June, or Daphne, is busting out all over

I love the tailored look, but the tailored look didn’t love short waisted me.  While my ex TV husband  did NOT send me a book or a white blouse In Style Essentials  did.  A  fantastic white blouse for the well endowed.  It’s a great choice for gals who want to look crisp, professional, classic, but aren’t built like Lauren Bacall.  Here is the KEY: you order it based on your BRA SIZE.  Because I can be anything from a 4 to a 10 in a blouse.  It so depends on how it is cut.  This blouse covers my ta- ta’s without pulling.

a selfie of instyle essential blouse

a selfie of instyle essential blouse

NOW, my one ding on it is this:  I think I need the lower waist measured too.  They sent it to me right before Christmas and I looked great.  But, after two weeks of holiday parties, eating, treadmill gathering dust it did pull a bit on the muffin bump.  But, over all it fit better than other tailored shirts I have tried. I’m a 34D for those keeping track at home. (was not paid for review, but did keep the blouse)

on set with LZ, Vivica Fox. I didn't need a make over that day

on set with LZ, Vivica Fox. I didn’t need a make over that day

One of my commandments is the spray tan.  Takes ten pounds off.

Flu flew in

Like a dumbass I didn’t get a flu shot.  Earlier this week I felt it coming on. Came on fast.  I got in the car to go to a home improvement store and by the time I was asking for vinyl mesh (so my dog doesn’t crawl out of our gate) I felt sick.  Aches, thick head, chills, cough, etc.  It’s been years since I had it, but I remember.  It truly sucks.  Fortunatly, I knew to call my GP and left a message asking her to call in a prescription for Tami Flu.  If she had made me truck cross town to be examined by her, honestly, I don’t think I could have done it.  She did not ( cancel plans to change doctor).  Mark picked it up for me and by the next day I felt a wee bit better.

how I feel and I feel I look

how I feel and I feel I look

The other issue was Rex.  He is getting his annual in a couple of weeks which will include the flu mist.  I called his doctor and got an appointment for him first thing in the morning for the flu vaccine.

“I want to cuddle with you mommy.”

keep this kid healthy

must keep this cutie healthy

” Baby, I want to cuddle with you too, but until you get your vaccine you need to stay away from mommy. Here, you can play with my Ipad. Wash your hands a lot”

I’m still a bit sloggy, aching, stupid in the head.  But, Tami Flu arrested the symptoms considerably.  I don’t care that even with insurance it cost $70.  It’s worth it.  Thank you modern medicine.

Now, if you haven’t already get your flu shot!

Skipping the Super Bowl

Couldn’t care less about the Super Bowl.  I don’t think I’ve watched since the Janet Jackson episode.  That one I was at gathering in San Francisco and I was so irked with the placid, fleece wearing group of watchers.  They lacked dynamism and reinforced my decision to move back to LA where the quality of life can be harder, but people have more pep.flag football

Instead of rooting for big corporations to injure young men’s bodies I’m hosting a seminar on Sparkling wines with two other moms from Vivien’s school as a fundraising event. A sommelier wine friend of mine is educating us while we get soused.   We didn’t mean to do counter programming, but after checking for religious holidays, national holidays who knew we had to worry about football?  Two ladies dropped out and I was left to think… why?

Isn’t it kind of a feminist issue the amount of time, money, energy that is put into propping up sports which offer NO advancement to women?  One dad chided one of my co host for holding an event on Super Bowl night. We have to watch all your action movies on date nights and feign interest in football?  Would he reschedule his beer night for figure skating finals?  What message do we as moms send to our daughter’s if we follow along the hubby to watch his game of men?  Shouldn’t we be going to a Take Back the Night rally?  Or in my case, Take back the wine lounge.

I’ve gotten into the particulars of a game when I was being paid to understand football for a show I hosted.  But, otherwise the enjoyment of Super Bowl parties is lost on me.  Let’s sit around, drinking beer and eating mediocre food, no one looks good, not much conversation is going on and watch a TV.  If I liked football I’d watch from home.  Of course some women on their own enjoy the game.  But, plenty don’t and feel they need to cozy up to their dude.  I’d the like the time back I spent sitting next to some dude I thought was Mr. Right on his couch eating pizza and acting like I gave a shit.

If you don’t like Football don’t pretend.  The Football Industrial Complex doesn’t need you.  Thoughtful feminist who think for themselves and raise girls to not fixate on men’s needs do need you.

 

Recent nostalgia

I’m looking at pictures of my kids when they were younger like they just got married.  Rex is near 5, Vivien 8 and my stepson is 20. Okay, with him, big difference, but it’s not like Rex still doesn’t need an overnight diaper.  Yet, I’m gazing at their little pictures.

Rex’s sausage legs and curlsfamily trips

Vivien pre braces

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Or her round face babyness.cute baby

Not sure why it’s hit me, this looking backward.  I was in Inglewood this morning for a vet appointment and it hit me, “Aren’t I near Grandma’s old house?”  My grandma died when I was in high school.  I liked her very much and have fond memories of her ground floor apartment next to an Astro burger.  No, not like having Rose Kennedy as your grandma, but we always had a great time.  She would make us penny hot dogs.  Hot dogs, cut up in slices.  She always had a pot of Irish stew on the stove.  A big stack of old computer paper that we could color on on the unused side.

Inglewood in the 1970's

Inglewood in the 1970′s

I looked up Astroburger.  It is still there.  So was the building with the apartments that my Grandma Maxwell lived in. a house in inglewood The neighborhood was not great 30 years ago, it looks worse now.  There is a big fence in front of her building.  No plants.  But, otherwise, pretty much the same.  I wish we had taken pictures of our time there.  I only have the images in my head to go on.

You know when you get off the freeway and you see a little house or apartment, or maybe it’s next to an auto part part store, or next to Astroburger and you think, jeez, that sucks to live there.  Glad I don’t live there.  Well, people are living full lives in those non pinterest post worthy abodes.  Kind words, good smells, and lots of crayons.  Sausage legs and round faces.

 

Not like the old times.. hanging with Mayor Garcetti

Ah, remember the good old days of calling supporters from Eric Garcetti’s kitchen while he munched on leftovers?  Well, I do and the I miss the jazz of the campaign.  Sure I worked a lot for no money, but I met some great people and it was an exciting atmosphere.  Well, we won which meant other people got jobs in City Hall and I didn’t have to drag my kids to canvas on Saturdays.

"this is where you say, 'and I couldn't have done it without Daphne Brogdon'"

“this is where you say, ‘and I couldn’t have done it without Daphne Brogdon’”

So, I was pleased to recently be invited to city hall with other supporters for a quick photo with the Mayor, Mayor Garcetti.  As luck would have it I was walking toward the wine table just when The Mayor walked in.

“I miss you!” he said as we hugged.  Ah, with running the second biggest city in the world do you remember the old days?  You know, 7 months ago?  We quickly caught up on family and my work, he wanted to hear about Mark.  As he walked away to get in position to greet the throngs I said aloud to no one in particular, “I got a moment!  I got a moment!” I got my picture… Daphne Brogdon and Mayor Garcetti

My first picture with EG as Mayor!  There is a difference between a candidate and office holder. There just is.  One can’t help being a little more formal and deferential.

I worked the room and met other civic minded people.  Interesting people who have been nibbling at the edges trying to create a better city longer than I. All of us either on neighbor councils, commissioners, volunteers in social organizations.  So, in that way the campaign continues.