William Shatner Clangs Our Bell

Published on Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Were you wondering why I was having lunch with William Shatner last week? Let me tell ya, he is an ICON. Not since I posted this picture of the lovely Dahm Triplets have I gotten such feedback! Funnily, the first thing people would say after “William Shatner? For real? Awesome!” would be “what are y’all holding in your hands?”

That, my friends, would be an adorable hand knitted lovey-creature called a Clanger:
“Clangers is a Sprout Original series that follows a family of pink, long-nosed, inventive and inquisitive mouse-shaped creatures who live on a small blue planet, out in the starry stretches of space not far from our world. The Clangers have many friends that make up their community but welcome creatures from outside planets as well. Kind and generous creatures, they communicate with distinctive whistles, and a narrator–William Shatner–comments on the thrilling and often hilarious events which occur in every episode.”
I think we can all agree that Clangers will be far out! Premieres tomorrow on Sprout – check your local listings.
A very special thanks to the folks at Sprout for such a memorable afternoon, and thanks to Courtney for my poached photo below. I was actually sitting so close to Bill (yeah he’s Bill now), I couldn’t get a good shot (see my ring and my pursecase strap photobombing.

Binging Brings on Creativity (with side effects)

Published on Monday, June 15th, 2015

Binge watching is nothing new to me. In my college days I loved to rent six (the limit) VHS movies from our local video store, pick up Chinese takeout and live off the two for the weekends my mom might be out of town. Once I had my own apartment, I carried on this ritual for many years, devouring one movie after the other. Following these binges, I would have huge spurts of productivity and creativity, accomplishing all the things I had guilt over not doing while I was watching the movies. Over time this has become a part of my creative process, the movies setting the tone for what comes next.

The first television series I can recall binge watching was cable series about two brothers. I knocked out an entire season in three days, and coincidentally ran into one of the lead characters in Trader Joe’s the day after I completed the season finale. I approached him and told him that I loved the show, and that I watched all the episodes back to back. He seemed really surprised that a person would do that, so I deduced that this was not something everyone does.

But now we have Netflix. No commercials. No waiting for a new episode! I started my love affair with Netflix by watching Arrested Development – all four seasons – in eight days. I am now having to check myself occasionally(frequently), because when I binge watch a show, I tend to take on the attitude of the program and need to remember that I’m NOT IN THE SHOW. I’ll have you know that I started watching season three of Orange is the New Black at eleven pm on Thursday night, and finished at 3:30 am Sunday. I have to make sure I don’t backhand anyone, make my own wine in a jar, give myself a tattoo, or start smoking again. I’m pretty tired, but at some point in the fourth episode I figured out how I want to sketch a design for a silk scarf in the collection I’m doing, so now I can’t wait to get to it. I guess my system still works.

I’m really happy Netflix chose me as a #StreamTeam member, which has allowed me these indulgences that I so love. Recent binges include Grace and Frankie, Bloodline, and the Critter is nuts for All Hail King Julien. Now that I have outed myself, y’all wont be able to stop me from chatting the things I’m watching. I am already planning to watch Sense8 when I go into my next creative torpor.

Caitlyn with a “C”

Published on Monday, June 1st, 2015

Wow, this is a game changer across all playing fields. As unfathomable this is even to a person like me who has always had friends and colleagues who challenge gender roles, I look at it as a mother. Things will be really different on the playground now that a well respected Olympic decathalon winner can step up and say. “This is the real me”. I wonder what the future will hold now that Bruce is Caitlyn, not Kaitlyn.

Art Catching Up to Life

Published on Saturday, May 16th, 2015

I’ve been obsessed with Instagram this year and how easy it is to post my latest moments in time. If you’re missing my longer musings, don’t worry; My Perfect Husband slipped a new MacBook Pro in my carry on as I left for Austin, and it makes blog posts really easy. I love that the tech is catching up to how I want to spend my life – more time doing things, less time worrying over technical things that take away the joy of sharing something cool. More to come…

“Ready Jet Go” Will Teach Your Child the Solar System!

Published on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Oh hello there – I’m in Austin right now attending PBS Annual Meeting. There’s SO much more great programming  coming this year! I will share more soon, but for now listen to this awesome ditty from the new PBS Kids series Ready Jet Go! performed by the folks who brought you Dinosaur Train. This will stick in little minds like the Schoolhouse Rock of your childhood. I really wish I’d had this to help me through Astronomy 101…

Our Case (In Case You Wondered) – What Beverly Hills REALLY Wants From Metro

Published on Friday, December 5th, 2014

Beverly Hills has been greatly demonized as trying to hold back progress and this tells the truth of the matter. I am sure no one in the Greater LA area would want to take the risks with their homes and children that Metro is asking of us. Special Thanks to the Beverly Hills High School’s KBEV for producing this very enlightening series of videos. The Beverly Hills Courier reports “We hope the community will join us in our campaign to prevent a tunnel from going under our high school by sharing these videos,” said KBEV producer Ashley, 17, a senior at BHHS.

Please view and share these videos so the truth can be told!

Feeling ODD and Grateful in the ‘Hood

Published on Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Fall is my favorite time of year – I’m starting to learn that there’s a certain amount of hullabaloo that the Critter and I have to go through the first month of school and once we get the hang of everything in his new grade, including all his extracurricular activities, teacher meetings, open houses, volunteer scheduling, crafting and wardrobe finessing, it’s time to party. It starts with my birthday and our anniversary at the beginning of October, and then we are back to back holidays until New Year’s Day! When I sat down to write about how excited I am that ODD SQUAD is premiering today on PBS Kids, I realized how much stuff we’ve been up to recent days. It seems like a week ago that I was at the PBS Annual Meeting learning about the new show, thinking that November is so far away, and now it’s here, just before Thanksgiving. Santa sneaked into the ‘hood on Sunday, so it is ON!

Looking over these photos I am incredibly grateful for my life as a wife of a GREAT guy and mother to a force of nature. That my profession led me to Beverly Hills where I could meet people who would invite me to experience amazing things like to work with PBS Kids, to hang out with Tim Minchin before previewing Matilda, to go to THE premiere of Dumb and Dumber to, to be tapped as part of the new Netflix Stream Team, to be able to call fabulous creative people my friends who inspire me like Shannon Colleary and Susan Lambert, spend time with my bffs poolside on a rooftop with a view of the city, to be confident that my child is in a wonderful school with caring awesome teachers who will dress like characters from Alice in Wonderland, and last but not least I am grateful my mom is here to celebrate her birthday and Thanksgiving with us.

Here’s hoping you and yours have a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING – I know I am counting my every blessing.

Confession Friday – My New Boobs

Published on Friday, October 24th, 2014

I slid into the pew next to my pal Alfred at church recently and said “I’m not wearing a bra!” Being the old friend and Southern gentleman that he is, he just sort of nodded. I’ve been weirdly expressive that way lately because I’m so happy with my recent cosmetic surgery procedures, I feel compelled to tell everybody.

I have always wanted a breast reduction, as even before I gave birth I had been granted a generous bra size of 34DD which has always created back and neck problems. After pregnancy my whopping size 34gg size breasts were causing some real havoc on my life, including pinched nerves in my neck, migraines, and an inability to exercise. I’ve been stuck in a yoyo kind of situation with weight loss and gain because I couldn’t exercise with any frequency because I’d have neck pain and debilitating migraines. I’ve been entertaining the idea of the procedure by interviewing doctors over the last couple of years and with the big birthday I just celebrated this month, I was at a point where I thought “enough” – I just needed some relief. Then my friend Jennifer told me about Dr. Nikolov. Jennifer is a serious beauty insider, and she said “Just look at his book. He is an artist.”

I booked an appointment immediately. Some of the things that I worried about were complications of anesthesia, post operative infections, scarring, and frankly, disappointing my wonderful husband, who liked things just as they were. The good doctor and his gorgeous staff put my mind at ease and made it simple to make the decision that is been a life changer for me.

On July 9th Dr Nikolov removed 500cc of each breast on the front, and kindly also took away 300cc on each side underneath my arms, and for extra refreshment, he also lifted my seriously sagging upper eyelids. I could not be happier with the results. The doctor and his staff were fantastic – I had a very clear understanding of the procedures beforehand due to the comprehensive preparation by the staff, and my recovery has been SO much less painful than I had imagined. The scarring is already fading and and the shape is perky but very natural. I attended PBS Press Tour two weeks after my surgery! I was so delighted when I didn’t have a horrible neck ache and headache from the weight of bra straps and with how easily I moved around.

It really has been a blessing. My advice to fellow self improvement seekers? Know what you want out of the procedure and ascertain that you and your doctor are on the same page. I had interviewed some highly competent surgeons in my quest for ‘lightenment, but when I met Dr. Nikolov, he understood exactly what I wanted and I could see from his photo book of past surgeries he would be able to deliver. I still have an ample bosom (so my Perfect Husband wouldn’t be disappointed), but they are no longer pressing down on my torso and pulling down my shoulders. I can go without a bra, something I have not been able to do since 6th grade.

Regrets? I only wish I had the procedures sooner. And, for the record, here is a 500cc breast implant that some people have put IN, not taken out…

Summer Wedding Weekend in New Orleans

Published on Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Since I have been missing New Orleans an awful lot lately, I was thrilled to receive an invitation to a wedding from my friend Danette and her longtime love Randy. Met through mutual friends in Los Angeles, I’ve known Danette since I lived in New Orleans, where she brought her musician friend Phil (who plays nine instruments) to stay with me in the Garden District and play around town in order to launch her cd in the early 90s. Randy and Danette are bonded in their love for music so they would bond as man and wife at the historic Preservation Hall in the French Quarter and take us on a Second Line to my favorite cocktail spot the Carousel Lounge.

I immediately bought my plane ticket, made arrangements to stay at the Omni Royal Orleans, which has been my goto hotel in the French Quarter since I was five, and started figuring out how many friends I could visit in between wedding festivities and if I could fit in meals at all my favorite places.

First on the list was to have lunch at Galatoire’s, which is always especially lively on Fridays and did not disappoint, which included a table for twelve wedding guests I met and befriended that day and my dear friend Lori Mac, with whom I was a fledgling art dealer when I first moved to New Orleans in 1994. The wedding guests were charmed like everyone who ever had lunch at the French Quarter institution, and we cocktailed and ate amazing creole seafood dishes like one does in the Big Easy.

Up the next day was to have breakfast at Cafe du Monde, stop by the French Market for the Creole Tomato Festival, and go by Fifi Mahony’s for something unique in a wig or hat, which I managed to accomplish in time to get back to the hotel in time to dress for the wedding. My friend John, who has been escorting me to weddings since we were in high school picked me up and we were off to the Hall. The wedding was a music lover’s dream, packed with the love and personal touches that I have come to love from the bride. I made many short clips of the wedding because I knew it would not be easy to find words for it. A couple of hours later, we were lined up to parade in our Second Line. My gift to the couple was a few gross of pearl Mardi Gras beads, which were flung by the guests from our moving block party through the Quarter into the cheering crowds – it was truly the BEST Second Line I have ever participated in. People were joining in and dancing to the fantastic band Danette and Randy chose, parading with us all the way to the Carousel Lounge. Note that I have not complained about the heat yet, but it was hotter than Hades. Being (very) damp did not dampen our spirits – we partied at the lounge, then John and I grabbed po boys to go from Felix’s and I went back to the Royal Orleans to take my third shower of the day and rest up for the brunch and reception the next day.

I was so happy that my sweet friend Marcie and her husband David (and son Max!) made the drive from their home on the Gulf Coast so that we could visit and have brunch at the Palace Cafe’ which will now be on my list of favorites. I started drinking Bloody Marys and that became my drink o’ the day. It was hugs all around and then off to the reception, held at my friend Michael’s mother’s home in Uptown – the perfect place to have more Bloody Marys and eat more – corn muffins, summer salad, hot boiled crawfish and two kinds of wedding cake! I stayed in the air conditioning and we had our traditional sing along where Michael shows that he can play anything on the piano and we sing along. It was so much fun to be in the familiar and share it with new friends. Back at the hotel I had another shower and called it a day.

My last day came too soon, but not so soon that my friend Hal whom I adore personally and professionally, as he is the best designer I know and has the most gorgeously decorated historic home in the Garden District. We had so much fun catching up on New Orleans, our families, the work, and of course we had an amazing meal complete with brandy milk punches at Antoine’s. More hugs and then I had to do one last thing before I left.

I had one hour before the taxi picked me up to walk the Quarter one last time and say a little prayer for my friend Robby in all his favorite places. The anniversary of his death was near, and it was the perfect place for me to do my last goodbye to him and to get my creative and emotional mojo back. I hopped into the taxi and hugged the wonderful bellmen at the Royal Orleans goodbye, and from that point on couldn’t WAIT to get back to my sweet husband and the Critter.

Best Birthday Ever at Music Stars and Masters

Published on Monday, July 7th, 2014

I walked past Music Stars and Masters in the Westside Pavillion Mall many times and wondered “What happens in there?”. Well, let me tell you, I am SO glad I finally stopped one day to ask! Critter’s birthday was fast approaching and I didn’t have any plan yet, and of course there’s the added self induced pressure to top last year. So I stopped in to see what they offered for birthday parties. When I do a party for the kids, it usually needs to have a main attraction which hopefully has some physical activity, a little arts and crafts to take home, cake, food, and goody bags.

I spoke to Christael and she was so professional with the right amount of fun thrown in, so we decided to go for it. The venue was really spacious and had the flow of the party all figured out: Dressing room of rocker outfits, photo shoot, drumming and dancing with Teacher Roscoe, bounce house, and onstage performances. They thought of everything else – crafting back stage passes to wear with their rocker outfits, plenty of tables for cake and goodies and chairs for moms to hang out and watch. We were given a choice of colors for balloons, streamers, and table covers to coordinate with the cake and candy bar that I brought. One more call to Roni’s for pizza delivery and we were covered!

I was not prepared for how much FUN the kids would have! The dancing and drumming got the party mood elevated to level 10 and then the kids signed up to “perform” on a professional stage with lights and instruments. The kids chose instruments or singing and it was so adorable -when the lights came up and the music on, they sang and “played” along to some playlist favorites (the theme to Frozen was well represented). We definitely know who the divas and dudes who are stage bound. For those who wanted to bounce, voila! The bounce house was inflated in minutes in place of the drum and dance circle and bounce they did. I did less work on this party than any party we have had and SO enjoyed myself, because Music Stars and Masters engaged the kidlets so fully and timed things so well that I was able to visit with the moms and watch the performances.

I also wasn’t ready for the amazing bonding that happened while the kids put together their performances. The video you see above is at the end of the party with everyone onstage. They were all hugging and singing like a millennial Brat Pack. I got a text from a mom last night (SEVERAL weeks since the party) saying that as her son drifted off to sleep he announced that he wanted a party just like the Critter’s for his birthday. I think that’s some serious party validation. I HIGHLY recommend Music Stars and Masters for parties AND music lessons. They have graciously offered my readers a couple of wonderful promo codes this summer for parties and lessons:
50% off a 5-pack of group classes for new students (promo code: BHMOMCLASS831)
5 Free group classes for all Deluxe Rock Star parties held in July or August (promo code: BHMOMPARTY831)

***These special promotions expire 8/31/14***