Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My son the actor

Time to be a bragging mom. Here’s my boy, Ben, the actor. Of course he’s way more than a boy. He’ll be 34 in July. The age I was when he was born. I just had to show off his new head shot and hopefully, someone out there will see it and offer him the acting job of his life. After all, I’m the mom. I can still dream the big dream for my son.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Love after sixty

I must comment on a friend I've known for over 30 years. After the age of 60 – maybe even after the age of 70 – he’s found the love of his life. He wrote: “Every day just brings us to new heights of love and friendship. We never cease to be amazed at each new discovery of how we share beliefs and likes in every area of life...”

As Bob said, it’s never too late to find true love.

Just look at how happy he looks even after all he’s been through. He too lost a young son, and very soon afterward his wife became ill with cancer and died. Like two of my other friends, she too couldn’t survive the loss of a child. I’ll never forget her at her son’s funeral. She spoke so bravely and eloquently and seemed so strong that day. There was no way I could have done that. I thought she would be okay, but I was wrong.

But, all that is in the past. He is moving on and marrying his new love in October.

Mazel tov to the two of them.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


About my book. The manuscript and other sundry pieces are on their way to New York. And for the next four to six weeks I’ll be doing the equivalent of biting my finger nails – whatever that may be. I’m very excited and of course nervous. But, in the meantime I’m about to embark on my next writing project – an updated version of the book I co-wrote, Blue Collar Women, that was published in 1994. A daughter of one of my colleagues came across it while researching possible jobs on the internet. So, the topic is still relevant. Hopefully, the publisher will agree. It’s really perfect timing. I definitely am leading the writer’s life right now – I’m even writing brochure and webpage copy at work – which may come in handy when I finally leave my day job for good.

A little wedding celebration

About this weekend and our party to celebrate Ann and Wizard’s marriage....

There we are the six classmates still looking not too bad considering we’ll be attending our 50th high school reunion next October – that is all except Wendy. She was in the class behind us, although we’ve made her an honorary member of our class.
I’m on the far left – looking a little tired from all the hostess-y work. Next to me is John – the script writer of our group. He and his wife Judy have lived in Brentwood for years – probably the first of us to move to California. Ann is next looking her cute, perky self. She has that Tucson tan – it sure makes her look healthy. She has just become a docent at the Tucson zoo, and is very proud that she got the highest score on the docent admittance exam. She also sells clothes at Chico's. Next to her is Wendy – the head of the California State University at Long Beach Women’s Study department. Besides she’s a professed witch and a member of a drummer’s group. Then there is the couple of our group – Lee and Chris. They both graduated with us – he was the editor and chief of the New Trier News – but only met at our 40th reunion. They married soon after, he retired from his job at the San Jose Mercury paper, and they moved to be close to her family of five adult children in La Habra. Before he worked at the Mercury his claim to fame was traveling with the Merry Pranksters and Ken Kesey, writing letters for Penthouse Magazine, and being the Editor of Hustler magazine.

So at dinner, my husband decided we should go around the table and say how many times we’ve each been married. And considering that my son and his girlfriend said zero times and John and Judy have only been married to each other, our average as a group was way over three. Wow – we are a much married group. And, no, I won’t go into the details.

I must say that the food was delicious. Judy brought an artichoke dip that got rave reviews, and I made a wonderful chicken recipe that I got from the Real Simple magazine. Also, we had a cake made especially for the occasion from our local Becker’s bakery – with a wonderful southwest period photo of the newly wedded couple on the top – they sent it out on their Christmas card, and I couldn’t resist. The cake only said, “Whoopdeedoo,” courtesy of Lee.

Here's the recipe, courtesy of Real Simple:

Mustard-roasted chicken with vegetables
Hands on time: 15 minutes; total time: 1 hour

1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 T whole-grain mustard
2 T low-sodium soy sauce
Kosher salt
4 small carrots, cut in half crosswise
1 medium fennel bulb, cut into wedges
1 red onion, cut into wedges
8 sprigs thyme
2 T olive oil

• Heat oven to 400 deg F
• Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Combine the mustard, soy sauce, and ¼ t pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat
• Combine the carrots, fennel, onion, thyme, oil, and ½ t salt, and ¼ t pepper in a roasting pan
• Nestle the chicken among the vegetables
• Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 45-50 minutes

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ready, set, go

I’ve finally gotten it all together. The manuscript is printed, the synopsis, market statement, and biography are ready, and I’ve drafted a brief, to-the-point cover letter.

It’s ready to go. It was a bit of a struggle, but now that it’s done and when it’s finally in the mail, all I’ll have to do is wait – and ONLY 4 to 8 weeks. That will be the hard part.

But, the powers that be must be shining down on me. My friends Alice and Richard have found a publisher for their wonderful book about aging and love with pictures of their gorgeous artwork. And in the midst of their search they met up with an agent whom they’d like to hook me up with. I’ve told them I’ll wait on that until I hear from this first agent. I'm telling her this is an exclusive submission. Still it’s nice to know there is someone in the wings if I have the need. It’s almost like the universe is telling me it’s ready for my book. Everything seems to be falling into place so nicely. Well, after over 10 years of work – starting from the first journal entries I made when Paul was first diagnosed as manic depressive – it’s time. I’ve worked hard. Now it’s time to see if the hard work will pay off.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Another plan in the works

Today, I had a Pilates private session at noon. I need to get back into Pilates more. It is much better for me than Yoga because it’s not as strenuous and it’s better for stretching and balance.

So, my Pilates instructor and I talked about both our desires to live in Italy. She has actually gone so far as to start Italian classes through the South Bay adult school. She recommends starting there and then moving on to El Camino City College. So, now that’s my plan. This next year I’ll fulfill my goal to climb down the Grand Canyon – and promote my book once it gets published – and take enough Italian to get by once I get there. The following year I’ll be ready to live in Italy. And hopefully, Bob will agee to this plan by then. I think we can rent out house for at least $XK per month which should more than pay for living in Italy and traveling from there into some of the other places in Italy and other countries that we choose to go to. This is a perfect plan. Now I've just got to implement it.

It seems like I’m a bubbling cauldron of wants and needs. Well, why not? I’m not getting any younger. It’s time to formulate and then act on these things if I’m ever going to accomplish them.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Buddha for my garden

I've been looking for a Buddha for my garden, and my sister, trying to help, sent me this photo. Unfortunately, I love it, but it's way too expensive. Pure marble, 200 years old. No. I don't need a Buddha that badly. A concrete one will do, one that will grow moss and weather my meditations from the window of my office. Right now I'm looking out at my little cement pond and fountain. Birds occasionally come by for a drink. The sun is out. There's a little breeze ruffling the leaves of the plants, but what's missing is a Buddha. It's not a religious thing. It's just my thing right now -- no explanations necessary. I just want a modest Buddha for my garden.

If anyone has one for sale, please let me know.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Time for an update

I’ve been working away at a Market Plan which I need to include with the manuscript submittal to my prospective agent, and in gathering statistics for the market plan I learned about the huge number of Iraq war vets who have committed suicide – called a silent epidemic because our government wants to keep these facts under wraps. When the news networks began reporting the names of those killed in the war I cried for the poor parents. But to have your child survive the war and come home so badly damaged mentally that the only way to take away the pain is suicide, must be beyond devastating. Even though I’ve been there to some degree, I cannot imagine how painful this new epidemic must be.

Also the statistics show an alarming rise of suicides of children aged 10 to 15 – with a greater rise for girls. It’s bad enough that children join gangs and kill each other because of gang rivalries, but to turn to suicide at such young ages is a catastrophe. I just don’t know how to deal with these facts. I guess that’s a whole other book. And, the moral of the story is that it could always be worse. I just know how badly I feel for the parents.

Another thing that’s been bothering me a lot lately is the number of intelligent and talented women who have been ragging on Hillary Clinton. Hillary has taken on running for the president as a way to open the door for women once and for all, and all the pundits can think to do is find fault with her every move. Sure, she’s made mistakes. But who hasn’t when in the midst of a hotly contested campaign? We need to give her some slack. She’s never done this before. No woman has ever done this before. She didn’t have another woman as a mentor to show her the ropes. So, instead of ragging on her, the powers that be should be helping her. Shame on people like Arianna Huffington and Nora Ephron! They could be so much help. Instead all they do is ridicule, criticize, and complain. I’ve had it with both of them.