Block Party

Guess who has volunteered to help plan her neighborhood’s block party?! We moved here May 1 and I had heard from the neighbors that our street had a block party this year. Each section takes turns: one year it’s the 100 block, the next year the 200 block, and so on. I kept saying to anyone who would listen, “Let me know, I’m a joiner!”

Well, now it’s here, and I am teaming up with two neighbors across the street to plan.


MY DUTIES

My job was to get the petition signed so we can close the street. I got everyone’s signatures except the two houses at the end of the street. I have NEVER seen anyone come out of either house, and most people don’t seem to know the owners, either. Isn’t that strange? There always seems to be a few houses like that in every neighborhood, right? 

I’m also in charge of food. They usually get a local burger place to do it, but I asked Mark if, as a loss leader, would his restaurant do something. He agreed it would be fun to help. So, Campanile is doing its grilled cheese sandwiches – which they are pretty famous for, I have to say. Then I will need to get to Smart & Final to buy a bunch of drinks and get ice, etc.

They were thinking of doing it right before the election, but as that’s right after Halloween and I might go to Florida, we moved it to a week later.

MY QUESTIONS

If anyone has ever done block parties, here are my questions:

1.    We are charging $25 a head for adults, $15 for kids. This includes a bounce house and all that kid stuff and food. Some neighbors say I should ask people to bring a pie or something else to share, to round it out. Is that okay if there is a charge? I think so, because it’s festive, it’s a party.
2.    How many people buy tickets beforehand and how many show up day-of? Gotta plan the food and drinks.

Having lived as the lone ranger, single in an apartment for most of my adult life, I’m so excited to live in an area that has such folksy traditions. Party on!

My Week So Far: From Sprained Arm To Ice Cream

Well, I’m now wearing a splint (see picture below). And if one more guy asks me if I have a bowling injury…

Sometimes I have to take it off to get stuff done, like right now, as I am writing. I skipped my 9 holes this week, and I’m trying to be good, but it’s hot and this splint bugs me.

Also, I’m suppose to do hot-and-cold immersion a few times a day… I barely do it once. Need to get on that. Vivien hates the sling and wants me to take it off; I can’t pick her up as easily with this injury. But, it is a reminder to keep it on.

I take it off when I shot my show. Yesterday, I did a shoot with Nate Berkus (the decorator who goes on Oprah) – what a doll. We talked about trends in home furnishings. He has a new line on HSN (Home Shopping Network) that is vintage-inspired, and I collect vintage pieces so, oh my, Nate and I, we got along! He also said stone was a hip trend, like polished stone table. It “grounds” a room. I thought, “Just keep giving me those blue eyes and you had me at ‘table.’”

PLAY TIME

My dad’s “home” took a field trip to an outdoor food market right near us, so I got to have lunch with him, which was great (and I got to skip the long drive to see him). He seemed good and I told him about the post I did about elder abuse. He said, “Glad my girls looked out for me.”

Later Viv and I went to Giggles N’ Hugs, an eatery on the Westside of LA that caters to kids and parents. Great magic tricks and the BEST balloon-animal maker I have ever, ever seen. The guy made Vivien a monkey on a tree, with a face, all in a balloon! If you live in the area and want to use him, email me and I will hook you up. As a bonus, we were joined by Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy) and her young son, so between that, the fries, and Jersey Jim’s magic act, Vivien was in hog heaven. I was trying to pull her out of there so I could watch the debate.

We had most of the family together for the debate: Both of my stepsons, hubby, and mother-in-law, but after about 30 minutes, I started to nod off. It was a snooze. They both did fine, but I was missing the Bill Clinton emotion, which Obama doesn’t have. I wanted him to feel someone’s pain. And there was no wacky audience member who made people uncomfortable, asking questions like, “Senator McCain, I have HIV; will you share a sandwich with me?” I think whoever you started liking in the beginning, you still like. The economic downturn isn’t starting to make them both seem a tad irrelevant. It only seems to be getting both candidates more FREAKED.

Then Mark was a stud and made homemade vanilla ice cream with a peach swirl for Viv’s preschool potluck, where it was nice talking to the parents. Good folks. But phew, I’m tired, and my arm needs a rest.

The Palin Saga: An Attack On Motherhood?

Well, it’s hard not to snicker and find humor. The governor looks like Tina Fey, so the sketch could write itself.  Kind of a Clampett’s comes to the White House and since Palin is a hunter the family can even have a shot gun wedding. Crabmommy had a good post on the comedic side of “choice.”

It’s so ugly and sexist what is going on?  My husband said, “the Democrats have to be careful or it will seem like they are attacking motherhood.” Obama’s statement almost made me cry when he said that families should be off limits and that this was a nonissue.  “My mom had me when she was 18,” Obama said. Yeah, and look how badly he turned out.

Other pundits, talk show host, columnists have been very mean about Palin and her family. If I hear one more woman say that she shouldn’t be vice president because she can’t take care of her kids I will scream. NO ONE says that about a male politician. Say she shouldn’t be VP because she is anti choice, thinks global warming isn’t man made, has no foreign policy experience, in other words issue that are relevant to the work, but don’t piss on working moms. The only “oh my ” to come out of this is that Palin opposed sexual education in schools.

I do think they shouldn’t pick on the kid, or hold Palin to a higher standard of parenting then a male politician. But, between Jamie Lynn Spears and this soap opera in Alaska I fear an over glorification of teen pregnancies will be the aftermath. Teen mothers and their children have a brutal economic hole to dig themselves out of.

This from G-CAPP:
“The poverty rate for children born to teen mothers who have never married and have not graduated from high school is 78 percent.”

Now, I’m all for sex-ed. I was raised in a school where in 4th grade we were practicing putting a diaphragm in a plastic vagina as part of our sex-ed. I think condoms should be passed on street corners. I would take to the streets to protect Roe V. Wade, or if outlawed help ferry women to a country that would perform a DNC (not the convention, the procedure). If this Christian family believes that they can handle whatever life brings them, Down Syndrome or a teen mom, then leave this family alone.

Even Fun Makes Me Tired

Here is Vivien in a dress that hasn’t been worn since the ’60s, as we were walking to dinner in Chelsea last Friday night. My brother-in-law Mark’s sister was in some kiddie beauty pageants and would get dresses as prizes. One dress was presented to her by none other than the girl who played Buffy on “Family Affair.”

Vivien in NYC

When I go to NYC, I always love it. The excitement, the energy… to a point. I have about 6 or 8 friends I really like to see out there, so even trying to see a few of them takes up some time and it’s stimulating catching up. Plus, I am often doing press for whatever TV show I’m on at the time–which is fun. This trip, most of my press calls were for Cool Mom. Also, I usually do a 48-hour child-free trip… yeah, I’m free and not gone so long I feel guilty.

This trip, I had 36 hours solo and then Mark and Vivien arrived. By the third night, I started to slow down. Mark went bar hopping with friends as Vivien and I met up with a friend at a nice restaurant, walking distance from where we were staying. (Sidebar: instead of a crazy-expensive hotel room we were lucky to be in a two bedroom apartment in Chelsea of friends who were out of town. The best.)

As we walked to dinner, Vivien said, “Mommy,” pointing to the sidewalk, “This is dirty.” I’m sure she was wondering, “When is the clean-up time?”

Um, that was Giuliani, I guess, and he only got so much done. I still saw not one but two gentlemen brazenly peeing on the street. And mind you, not homeless guys with shopping carts, but people who probably had an option.

Sadly, I figured out why I am still dragging even now that we have been back home for a bit. 1) I’m not a spring chicken and 2) I have to exercise. It does help my energy level. But if I don’t do it before 9 am, forget it. I like the recreational exercise of being home, not that constant walking-in-shoes-that-hurt NYC thing. It makes me so tired.