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.”


I am going to play Sun City

Suck it “We are the world”  for my money the best superstar, cause anthem was and is “Ain’t going to play Sun City.”  It has terrific energy and even though the haircuts look very ’80’s I think it holds up well after all these years.

It was also one of things that started to make me aware of apartheid. Sun City was a white only resort smack dab in an impoverished black homeland. ( ironically the guy who created it went on to do a casino on Indian land in the US….hmmm)

This is one of the awkward times when I have to admit the age I really am.  I was no child when the divestment issue was going on in the ’80’s.  I was sitting in and got arrested.  It’s easy to see things as black and white when you are a teenager.  Youth can be insufferable in their righteousness, but with Mandela’s passing I find myself glad I was not detached.

I would not have been asked to play Sun City and I doubt Run -DMC would have been either (Frank Sinatra did, ouch).  My sister and I use to change the lyrics to “ain’t going to play Culver City.” And put in our own hometown references like this:

flashing red light on Overland

lines at Alpha Beta I can’t understand

Sorrento Market isn’t open late

We are driving to the Marina, just to get a bite,

Say it, I I I I, ain’t going play Culver City-tay.. ahhh

But, the song created by Steven Van Zandt did the job. (full story here) Apartheid wasn’t cool and only unhip people participated in it.  Love the references to Reagan in the video, the whole thing screams my youth. Some notables who are gone  performed on it, like Lou Reed, Joey Ramone and Miles Davis. There is a lot of “wait, who is that guy?  Oh, yeah Peter Wolf.”

On the occasion of Mandela’s passing I think of the other greats like Martin Luther King or a nameless protestor sentenced to death after  Tiananmen square who did not get to grow old and continue to seek liberty for all. We are fortunate that Mandela was able to fullfill his mission. To survive prison is a feat, to come out and not want to knock heads when you do is inspiring.

This is about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.  Nelson Mandela dancing to some Irish music and these two dudes start dancing with him.  A rainbow world rejoicing in song.

So, I’m going to be cranking “Sun City” because it’s a good song, reminds me that sometimes it’s good to be naive and think you can effect change.  Because you can. Mandela would want us to dance.  Dance together.


soccer weirdos

What is the matter with you AYSO?  Let me explain.

Blessfully, soccer season is OVER.  It was a struggle this year.  I made a mistake.  Vivien is young for her age group ( September bday) and she is not the most ambitious player and she had no school friends in our league. So, I moved her to a different league, a younger group.  My thought was she would have less pressure.

"Kids, listen up, when the parents start yelling, kick the ball right at them."


We went from a coach who played tag as warm up to one with a whistle.  We went from a team where she knew a couple of the girls for years, albeit not from her school, to a team where she knew some girls from her school, but they didn’t connect to about 3/4 of the way through the season.  We went from a small group where all the parents had at least facial recognition to a very large group and I’m still not sure the names of the girls let alone the parents.  Mind you I give a lot of love and respect to those who volunteer to coach, it’s a big time commitment and their heart is in the right place.  But, some veer a bit farther from what I expect .

I was the assistant coach the last couple of years, but since I bring people skills, not ball skills I bowed out.  Let someone who really knows the game take the lead.  Mistake.  Sometimes it’s better to ask girls what their favorite ice cream flavor is.  Does it make them great players? No, our old team resembled the Bad News Bears in our success ratio, but like the Bad News Bears, Everyone played.

Which brings me to my indictment of AYSO.  Yes, it’s all volunteer and hard to run an organization like that, but there needs to be stronger controls to combat human nature.  Because adults screaming and yelling at tiny little girls on a Saturday morning is really disagreeable.  The say this on their site: 3. You’re Enthusiastic and Supportive
Your AYSO kids set their own goals and play the game for themselves. Because you don’t impose your own standards and goals on your child, him/her doesn’t have the heavy burden of having to win games to feel good about themselves. Did you know surveys reveal that 72 percent of children would rather play for a losing team than ride the bench for a winner? Your enthusiasm and support definitely does not go unnoticed.

But, some of these parents can’t help themselves.

One day our opposing team had a mom and dad coach team who  I nicknamed, “Mr and Mrs Great Santini”.

The ref should have red carded for their obnoxious shouts.  “ah, c’mon Susie ( name changed to protect the innocent) you can do better than that.”  Constant haranguing.   Not of the “Go Apple Rockets!” variety.  One of our parent/coaches and I ( guest co coach for the day) exchanged horrified looks of the  “Shut up, they are 7 years old” variety. At one point their kid got hurt, was crying.  I counted to three before the put downs of her perceived kicked in.   Another dad who looked like pre father hood he was probably doing blow in a club on Sunset strip was equally charged screaming at his daughter. In 1992 at the Roxy did he really think this was a good use of his energy?

Vivien has to be cajoled to go to soccer this year.  She missed her old coach, her old team.  Never a jock, my switcharoo was partly at fault for her lack of drive.  So I made it clear to her that this behavior was wrong.  I asked the ref if she could eject them.  She declined.  I would understand it if the college scholarship was on the line, but

1) they are LITTLE kids

2) most, like my daughter are not natural born athletes, look some of them are even hopeless as players, but I thought the point of AYSO is to have fun.  Get out, move your body in the open air.

3) Shut up you big loud mouths.  Who wants to hear you scream at someone who comes up to your thigh?

A few more weeks of me stating, “Let’s finish what we start.” As I walked her into the park promising a cookie afterward.  She had some good games, fun practices, but she was ready for it to be over, as was I.

My straw was broke on the second to the last game.  While her parent / coaches of that game were individually nice to the girls I didn’t like what they yelled from the sidelines.

“We’ve got to win it!”  No, we don’t.  We aren’t even suppose to keep score.  One little girl heard my grumbling and said, “He means win the ball.”   “Fuzzy distinction” I retorted.   Both of the adults in charge yelled repeatedly, “If you don’t hustle we are going to pull you.”  Keep in mind Viv was placed on a team where she was the oldest so there were 6 and 7 year olds on this team.  They were not played equally as they are suppose to be.  It’s one of the reasons our old team didn’t “win”.  We could have played our 2 ringers the whole game, but we kept swapping them out for those who might have been the bench warmers.

I decided we would pull ourselves.  I didn’t say anything.  I just knew it was time to move on.  As we walked away, Vivien’s hands full of her post game snack.

“That’s it Vivien we are done.” She brightened.  “Really?”

“Yes, you did a good job, you finished what you started, you really improved your skill set, you made a big effort.  I’m proud of you. But, this is not our place.”



News of the day on Mid Morning with Cool Mom and Rex

I don’t have to be on “The View” or “The Talk” to get into hot topics.     I do have the cutest sidekick in the biz who has great comic timing.  Rex and I shot this before I had my breakfast.  We had a lot to discuss.    I like to do a bit more old school talk show.  Mike Douglas, Dick Cavett, Merv Griffin.  They didn’t just have actors on but occasionally had on people with real thoughts and ideas.

I just wish I had a key light.

Dr. Dean Edell in retirement, an interview

A huge part of my life were the 6 and half years I spent as the producer of the Dr. Dean Edell radio show(’93 to ’99).  Dean brought me on as side kick, I had “Daphne’s corner” and even a theme song thanks to Amy Turner!  He and Jeff Fischgrund gave me my first ever TV job as his on screen “screener” for his TV show “Hey, Dr. Dean”.   So I would love the guy for the breaks he gave me, but I really love him because in the words of my mom  “he re-raised you.”  He has been an incredible mentor, friend, second dad. Whether listening to my drama unfold on some dating situation to career advice he was there for me.  I relied on him so much that when I gave notice, because I wanted to spread my wings creatively, do more TV, probably return home to LA ( we were in San Francisco) I gave him a years notice.

Now the syndicated radio show, the syndicated TV, the local TV are all behind him as he enjoys retirement with his wonderful wife Sharon.  My kids ( and Mark and I) love visiting them at their sprawling country spread in Mendocino.  We are as close as family, but as relaxed as friends.   On our most recent trip I said, “Hey, let’s do a video.”  You can hear the sounds of the country.  Dean said, “we could prop the camera up over there.”  But, someone volunteered to be the camera person.


I’m filled with joy that our friendship continues.

Royal Baby and fingers

I am a Royal watcher and I was uninterested as soon as I heard “It’s a boy.”  I’m glad Kate and the baby are well, but this would have been the first future monarch of the UK that got the job regardless of genitalia.  That would have been cool. Then I had to make it all about me.   I had a very sad, sobering thought.  After Queen Elizabeth passes it is unlikely that I will ever see another Queen.  It was a rare mortality check.  I don’t like it.  I better go gaze at my British china collection to perk me up.

I agree with cynics that say, oh, enough about this rich, white baby already.  However, when I saw his little fingers moved I let out an “ahh”.  I felt that richness of seeing a newborn life.  How much my mom said she loved my fingers.  How I love my children’s fingers.  They look the same as the second they were born to me.  It made me think off all the babies born at any minute of anyplace who will not have the support that this baby has.  I thought of the terrible Nick Kristof story from Sunday of  a baby in Sudan being thrown by soliders.  The baby lived, but is not the same.  Or the many babies being held in refugee camps all over the world.  Or one born in America to a young mom who has no money and no resources.  So, yes, I delight in the little fingers, but I pray for the other babies.

On a lighter note:  How did they get such a closer picture this time?  When Princess Diana came out in her ’80’s tent dress holding William the camera wasn’t so up and close.  Yes, vividly remember that too.

So, they have named him.  George Alexander Louis.  Again I am disappointed.  I thought it would have been so cool if one of his middle names was Spencer.  As in Lady Diana Spencer.  I’m always thinking of the dead mom and all she is missing out on.  Like fingers.

No surgery facelift, say what?

Ah, the good old days.  My dear show “The Fashion Team”.  I just stumbled over this clip from my ( no cancelled) show.  This was fun to do and it’s impossible not to try it along with me.  Dare, you not too.  This nice gal Cynthia Rowland led my co host Lawrence Zarian, TV star and good sport,  Finola Hughes and myself through the magic of facial exercises.

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.




Down on the town with Abbey

I had resolved to catch up with pop culture trends I have missed.  Thankfully, before I could watch the Twilight movies, Downton Abbey stole my heart.  It’s like they are trying trick us with a word that is so similar to downtown.   No Petula Clark, but lots of other Brits in an addictive show.  Here is my story…

(Um, this thumbnail looks like I’m smoking or kissing my fingers)