the mother shoes

I look particularly awful in this video, but it cracks me up.  Also, the shoes you see at the end, the Danskos I’m still wearing.  Well, in summertime I’m wearing flip flops and because of global warming summer is now 10 months long, but I have thrown the cloggy shoes on.

One moment in the last year where I thought, I have to start wearing better shoes …. I was in a business meeting ( I work on my husband’s restaurant/ catering biz) and a cute young guy looked down at my shoes and said, “oh, are you in food service as well?”  Ah, yeah I said.  But, I wanted to say, no, I’m over 40, married with kids and I’ve given up, but you Mr. Full lips are going to make me at least put on my Stuart Weitzman low heeled pump.”

I clomped away.

Mysteries of motherhood

When did that brown spot appear on my face?  Who stole my old knees?  Things I wonder about.  To promote Debra Messing’s new show “The Mysteries of Laura” I was asked to speak about my own mysteries of motherhood ( and to include a successful you tube couple called NiveNuls.I have see odd stuff in my house and I bet you have in yours.  What’s up with that?

 

 

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making mom friends

So, two weeks ago I lost a dear family member and I’m really too laid out to address it.  As I wade through my grief and examine the life of the dear one I have lost I am helped greatly by my family and friends.  A good friend can get you out of your ditch, or hold your hand while he lay face down in the ditch until you are able to get yourself up.  When Rex started kindergarten I told Mark he was nervous.

“Why?” Mark asked

” He is afraid he won’t have any friends.”  I loved Mark’s candid response.  “I’m still afraid of that.”

So, I went into my archives where I talked about making mom friends.  It still holds up today.

kids “help” in the kitchen

I hide mixers like I would rat poisin from Rex.  We have been cooking and baking a lot lately, but sometimes I don’t want the “help”  ( Cut to child screaming, “I wanted to crack the egg, I wanted to crack the egg.”)

Here was very simple little exercise in cooking and economics with my kids ( note my slippers.  Could I be more white trash?)

I was making a pound cake and playing beat the clock yesterday.  Must- get -this-done-before-Rex-sees-mixer.”  If he sees it then he wants to do stuff and I’m worried about his little fingers going in the kitchen aid, and keeping track of who put in what last.  Plus, putting in baking powder does not have the same cache as 1) cracking eggs or 2) pouring in sugar.  The latter because he snatches some back for himself.  Then he and Vivien fight over the chairs they are standing on and I think, hmm, what’s a matter with buying a box of factory made cookies?  Oh, that’s right I’m giving them a great childhood memory.

Joan Rivers: a moment must be paid

I loved her when I was a little girl watching Johnny Carson.

So  brave.  Such guts.  I know people got made at her sometime, but guess what if you don’t have an edge you are Josh Groban, you aren’t a comic who makes people pee in their pants.  She always made fun of herself as well.

AN ORIGINAL

AN ORIGINAL

I was the direct beneficiary of her talent.  After she and her daughter left TV Guide where she blazed the trail of red carpet review they started another red carpet show The Fashion Team with my co host David Evangelista.  Later they brought in Lawrence Zarian.  The show was a blast to do.  fashion team with daphne brogdon and lawrence zarian Did I get to ever live coverage like she did?  No, I never got why, however it was a cushy gig.  Sitting in a studio all made up making fun of people.  I made jokes about celeb clothes and fashion trends.  Looks for less, fashion mommy must haves.  My kids both modeled on the show.  vivien peel modeling on tv

Rex and his mom "Kate Gosselin"

Rex and his mom “Kate Gosselin”

But, there was only one Joan.  Her daughter came on once in one of our early episodes.  It was not a warm event.  But, it didn’t change how I felt about Joan.

I saw her live in a play at Geffen playhouse not that long ago.  She was great.  So much energy.  Back in the ’70’s my parents interviewed her– they did some freelance journalism.  They loved her.  She was very smart.  She was promoting the film she directed Billy Crystal in “The Rabbit Test” about a pregnant man.

Let’s remember her delivery.  Someone can write a good joke, but the way she delivered it.. and would just not let up.  So funny.   I’m really going to miss her. Her nearest creative heir is Kathy Griffin.  But, she doesn’t make fun of herself the way Joan did.  But, creativity is so personal.  I really thought Joan Rivers would go on longer.  But, there never would have been a good time for her to leave the stage and I’m glad she was working till the end.

I can’t help but think…The last few weeks have been really tough on great comics.  Shouldn’t someone go check on Jim Carrey? Does someone need to walk Billy Crystal home?

when do boys sit down for dinner?

“My family always sits together for a family meal.” You will NOT hear that coming out of my mouth.  More than once  a week and Mark and I would be opening a vein.  Why?  It’s unpleasant.   I remember a few years ago when I was so happy baby Rex settled down for a restaurant meal.

But, it was rare enough that unless we owned the restaurant I didn’t try it much.  But, even worse is at home.  He throws off his clothes, refuses to eat, starts bugging his sister.  Why did I think his development would be on an upward trajectory?  Naive again! If he would keep his clothes on I could get that on video too.

I think he actually does better with the pressure of a public situation.  It’s just a more expensive alternative.

Hold me I’m frightened…

Rex started kindergarten.  I was surprised by my reaction.  Felt fine.  Till we crossed the threshold of the campus that was filled the chaos and crowds of Kuala Lumpur right before the Japanese approached. Then I wanted to cry.  Sob.  My tough boy was gripping my hand as I said my hellos.  I kept indicating without words how I felt so as not to upset Rex. ( Finger from corner of eye down, tear).

on the way to school.  Support from his sister

on the way to school. Support from his sister

At one point a nice mom spoke to me about something unrelated.  I nodded politely, but she might as well have had burning hair on her head as I couldn’t make out what she said.  “I’m in CRISIS right now”  I thought.

The last few days he had been saying “I want to stay in pre school.”  I can’t say the truth.  I do too. You are right.  It’s all down hill from here.  Until you get your drivers license and feel someone up sexually.

Happily They only have half days for the start.  So I took him out to celebrate.  Sweets, natch.  cupcakes

I was squeezing the last bit of summer I could out of this truncated season.  I do not believe it is right that children begin school before Congress is back in session. Totally messed up.  So, now that Labor day is no longer sacred we traveled till the 11th hour.  We spent the last 10 days glamping it through California.  A family reunion with American and Dutch family was like a dream commune existence, but with continental breakfast.  Kids jumped out of bed to safely play with extended cousins while we slept in and leisurely made some coffee before we hiked, swam, drank beer.

a few of us who discovered some vineyards

a few of us who discovered some vineyards

" eat this, my dad's a chef

” eat this, my dad’s a chef

in case Mark and I lost each other, we had name tags.

in case Mark and I lost each other, we had name tags.

 

Off to my family’s annual pilgrimage to Yosemite.  I love it so.

Rex finds his own perch

Rex finds his own perch

That $600 in swim lessons paid off.  First summer with out a float vest.

always somewhere to climb

always somewhere to climb

Side bar,  one interesting thing I noticed in Yosemite this year.. no, not low water, brown grass and over priced bland food, I expected that, but there were so many foreigners.  I don’t mean to sound Archie Bunker, and I know it’s  a world wide destination, but there were more Europeans there than any year I can remember.  I offered to take photos for so many German tourists I was afraid the French and British visitors would brand me as a collaborator.  Later when we were at the Lodge in the valley a French woman was complaining to the hostess at the Mountain Room Broiler ( they call it grill, but whatever it was called in 1978 is what I call it) Oh, I’m from Culver City and I know it’s not great.  If you were from France, oy!  I had to interject.  “It’s not good, no where around here is going to be good.”  The hostess smiled, while French lady looked unbelieving.  I found her husband outside, “I just talked to your wife.  Tell her we all know the food is not very good in the park.” Blank face.  I should have just offered to take their picture.

Rex loves the cafeteria there.  He calls it the “Room with all the food.”  Me:” the cafeteria?”  ie, that dump?  “Yes, mommy I love it!”

We played in the river.  We saw deer. deer in yosemiteyosemite with kids

Rex ran naked through the fields and woods. I brought my wine, so it was all good to me. I got no cell reception–yippiee!  That’s living.

One day we went to the pioneer village and watched a Blacksmith work. kids and blacksmitth I have rarely seen my kids so fascinated and focused on the 3 dimensional world.  I didn’t prattle on about my love of Laura Ingalls Wilder, just in my inner voice.stagecoachWhen I take the winding road in or out of Yosemite I marvel at the people of yore who came there on horseback and coach.  10 minutes in a stage coach and I needed a kidney transplant.  How did they do it?  When we left I offered to take my kids to the Mariposa Grove to see the big redwoods.  Rex has been talking about big trees for two years since we went through a deep forest near the Oregon border.  “NO”  They screamed.  They were worn out.

45 minutes later.  “You guys let’s say we get lunch in Fresno and go back to school shopping.”  The back seat cheered.  I cheered to be in a smaller scale city with a Macy’s I could practically park in front of the door, everything was on sale and they called me ma’m.  Big city living can be tasking, nice to be in  a medium market.

So, we are the brink of day 2 of Kinder.  “How was it Rex?”

“Horrible and sort of awesome.”  I told Mark that Rex said he is afraid of not having friends.  Mark looked up, ” I’m still worried about that.”  I think that’s why it does choke me up.  We all feel uneasy going into a new space, new people, but as we age we learn to shove the feelings down, or mask them.  But, we know our little ones are still open, vulnerable.  Will he be ok?  Probably.  But, it’s also the beginning of me not being able to fix things in his life.  The separating.  My heart breaks a little. Wish we could get back on the road where I feel somewhat in control.

 

Picked another winner

Last night GeorgeMckenna won the school board seat in LA for District one.  Mark and I were there.daphne brogdon and george mckenna victory

My cute partner in crime

My cute partner in crime

Happy the experienced guy won and the Mark Ridley Thomas machine did not prevail.  But, what did we eat?  They served some good Caribbean food.  Good we ate before we walked in the room because it was Louisiana hot in there.

when it looked like victory...  ah, where is the media consultant.. why the blank wall?

when it looked like victory… ah, where is the media consultant.. why the blank wall?

Think they didn’t have the campaign funds for A/C.  But, good vibes mixed with the heat as the results came in he was ahead from the start– barely, but never lost the lead.

with our friend retired Councilman Nate Holden

with our friend retired Councilman Nate Holden

Of course hardly anyone voted so in the end though he won by about 6%, that was only 1,800 votes. In a city our size that’s tiny.  But, hey, a special election in summer?  To be expected.

"Mey Ms. Waters can I get a picture?" We use to live near her. "Where are you now?" She asked.

“Hey, Ms. Waters can I get a picture?” We use to live near her. “Where are you now?” She asked.

The event we had for him a couple of weeks before went well. I was sweating with A/C trying to  get bodies there.  Summer vacations, apathy and resistance to a nuanced political strategy made it hard to get people to commit.  But, in the end I got the numbers I wanted.

The candidate speaks in my family room

The candidate speaks in my family room

It was a fun party and it was good mix of people. Folks were charmed and impressed by Dr. Mckenna when he spoke and everyone loved Mark’s grilled cheese.

grilled cheese fuels democracy

grilled cheese fuels democracy

Daphne Brogdon's mckenna event

The opening act

I was really touched by a few old friends who came or volunteered and loved seeing new faces.  I think it’s great for our kids to see us involved in our community. But I won’t kid you, I’m glad it’s over.  Oh wait… this was just the special election!  Next year it happens again.  Honey, warm up the grill!

Me, Nate, actress Lisa Raye McCoye, Mckenna, Mark, Jan Perry

Me, Nate, actress Lisa Raye McCoye, Mckenna, Mark, Jan Perry

Accelerated Math Summer

Was on the fence about pushing Viv into this… but once we got going it’s like going halfway around a lake, you got to finish it!  It’s been a chore for all involved.

I’m not sure, is math harder now, or is did I have such an alternative education that I was at Bette Davis double feature when this stuff was being taught?

almost at the end...

almost at the end…