Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow....

there'll be sun. And just in time for Mom's wedding on Saturday. 75 degrees of sunshine-y love is the forecast.  And it's about time. Now, all we have to do is make it through today. Hang in, everybody.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What I know for sure...

With apologies to Oprah, here are some universal truths I learned today:
1) It is a bad - no, a very bad - idea to shop for swimsuits after work, especially if you haven't been to happy hour;
2) You should remove your black crew socks BEFORE trying on swimsuits but, if you forget, for God's sake, don't look in the mirror;
3) It is impossible to "look 10 pounds lighter in 10 seconds.' Sorry, Miraclesuit, but you're full of it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Richard Simmons: "Fit to Fly"

This genius video makes me wish we were flying Air New Zealand, but I don't think they go to Nice:

Mini Kittour: Traveling in style

Many thanks and kudos to the makers of the mini kittour who sent me their Jet Setter, a deluxe travel train case, to take on my trip in three short weeks.  Featuring 6 TSA-approved custom bottles and 2 medium jars, makeup brushes, a mirror, pill case, key ring plus waterproof label kit and Sharpie, this kit will accommodate all my beauty essentials, and then some.
Plus, it looks like something Gina Lollobrigida might have carried.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Crackberry OS 6: The upgrade

Speaking of diversions, I took an hour to update my Blackberry to the new operating system over the weekend and - voila! - it's like having a brand new phone! Better camera, better integration, better everything. The first thing I did was bump up my font size. So easy! So legible! And to think I almost didn't bother. Get onboard, BB users. You won't regret it.  (Now, maybe I'd better get busy doing those "Best of Bust Exercises.")

Design too delicious for the bookcase

On a day like today when there's snow on the forsythia and heaviness in my heart, any pleasant diversion is a welcome one. Thanks to my friend, Debbe, who passed these spectacular book covers along from one of her favorite blogs, besides mine .  : )
I told her they would look terrific framed on the kitchen wall, which I might be tempted to do after I buy the whole series, coming out in April.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Well, that didn't work.

Clearly, Coach Bill Self was not aware I was sporting my lucky pigtails this afternoon. Otherwise, I'm sure the outcome of the game would've been vastly different. Oh, well.  At least, we will have no scheduling conflict next Saturday when my mom gets married at 5:30 pm.  Small favors... sigh.

Lucky pigtails: A Glamour "don't"?

Today will be the third time in a row I wear pigtails in public. Why? Because they're LUCKY pigtails, just like the lucky KU shirt and lucky yoga pants I've been wearing throughout the NCAA tournament. Now,  I realize a gray-haired woman of my age should probably not be sporting the hairdo of my adolescence but, at this point, I'm afraid to change it up. (And, you thought Stevie Wonder was very superstitious.)
At least, my pigtails aren't quite as horrifying as Donna Douglas', seen above in - let's hope - her old Elly May get-up.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Basketball detox

As much as I love March Madness, it is hard on the old diet.  Last night's watch party featured free-flowing booze and a bountiful buffet of enchiladas and all the fixings. (I contributed Mexican spoon bread because, you know, there weren't enough carbs already.) That's why I am flushing myself out today with my favorite sipping tea: Yogi Berry DeTox.  It's the most fragrant, fruity-tasting tea around. The perfect accompaniment for a chilly day of staying inside and watching more basketball.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Love the Jayhawks; Love the USA.

We Kansas fans are insanely committed. And, this piece in the Atlantic explains why better than anything I've read to date.  So, for you out-of-state readers looking for a team to latch onto, consider the Jayhawks. It's the patriotic thing to do. Rock chalk!

At least, it's not Motel 6, oui?

Finally, the first and last nights of our trip (in Nice, France) are booked.  "Where are you staying?" you ask. "The Best Western," I reply. "Yes, really."
I have it on good authority from a seasoned traveler that Best Westerns are great choices in Europe since they're usually close to train stations and have good, but not extravagant, accommodations.
I figure, on both nights, we'll just want a comfortable and convenient place to flop, close to restaurants for a memorable meal, and won't care so much about amenities like gym, pool and room service.  Since I couldn't spot any bedbugs in this photo (and, of course, our room will look JUST LIKE IT), I pulled the trigger. But, from now on, I'm calling it the "Hotel Riviera." "Best Western" sounds more like Branson, not Nice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

R.I.P. Liz

Elizabeth Taylor (1932 - 2011)

Irreconcilable differences

I was excited to find two new products at Costco: an OTC Allegra two-pack and ultra-delicious red grapefruit sections in convenient take-along cups.  Unfortunately, I soon discovered that the two are incompatible since grapefruit (and other citrus juices) cut the effectiveness of Allegra in half.  My solution? Have the grapefruit for breakfast; take the Allegra in mid-afternoon.  So far, so good...but the pollen assault is just beginning.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My new guiltless pleasure

I've been on a serious lemon kick, of late, and had been going through the pricey fruit like crazy.  Enter this bottle of organic Sicilian lemon juice (40 lemons per bottle) from Costco.  The taste is ever so much better than those funky plastic "Real" lemons and the price is only $3.95.   It doesn't look as pretty in a bowl on my kitchen counter, but I'm loving the convenience!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hay fever...which has nothing to do with hay or a fever.

This is tree pollen. It is kicking my butt today. That is all.

Shooting the supermoon

I didn't see it, due to being crashed out after my mom's bachelorette party.  Fortunately, some lucky folks who witnessed the supermoon Saturday night took some awesome photographs.  Check them out.

Here's to the "season!"

It's the height of the social season here in my little world of Lawrence, Kansas. But, instead of attending fancy balls or croquet matches on the lawn, we gather for basketball parties - adorned not in pearls or white tie, but crimson and blue t-shirts. Last night, our beloved Jayhawks advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, meaning we will gather again Friday night, cocktails in hand, our stomachs in knots. The question is, what to do for the four nights in the middle?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

When you gotta go, you gotta...well, you know.

 My column today is about my increasing sense of urgency.

What happens in Leawood, stays in Leawood.

I reluctantly agreed - under pressure - to refrain from revealing the details of Mom's bachelorette party last night.  (At least, until my column comes out next week.) I think I'll just let the pictures tell the story.  Above, is the bride-to-be at home, before going out to dinner with her four daughters.  Below is the scene at the end of the night:
'Nuff said.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I came, I judged. I had 2 beers, I went home.

My fellow judges and I had a long, but enjoyable afternoon at the St. Patty's Day parade.
Here was our choice for first prize....
with this one coming a very close second...
After the awards ceremony, I sipped two Bud Lights and moseyed home, content to watch basketball on my couch and leave the partying to the amateurs and wannabe Irish.  Cheers!

Wearing o' the green, sure. Drinking it? Not so much.

I've never been a fan of artificially-colored foods and beverages.  Especially green beer. In general, I think green foods ought to be of the leafy, good-for-you-variety.  That said, this will be my beverage of choice at the big post-parade party this evening:
 But, just one. Two, tops.  (Ol' great grandpop, Pop Sweeney, would be proud.) Erin go bragh, friends!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Here comes da judge....

I am taking my duties as a 2011 St. Patrick's Day Parade judge very seriously. Especially after discovering that a limo has been secured to take my five fellow judges and I to the awards ceremony at the local strip club after the parade tomorrow. I'm thinking a black robe with lace collar might give me the gravitas I need.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

6 nights until the bachelorette bash!

I had a blast at the party store, buying this bridal tiara and 'Bride to be' button for the big doe party (isn't that the gender-opposite of stag?) next weekend.  The way-too-chatty clerk asked: "Is your daughter getting married?" "No," I replied. "My 77-year-old mother." After that, it was no talk, just quizzical looks.

Caution: Boomer nostalgia alert

A conversation with a friend yesterday reminded me of a fun little fad from the 60's: the autograph dog. Remember those? Someone would get one for her birthday (it always came with a matching plastic ballpoint pen) and have everyone at the slumber party sign it. I don't remember actually having one, but I put my John Hancock on several, back in the day.
 In later years, our slumber party activities became dark, like conducting seances to communicate with dead rock stars. I remember in 9th grade, sitting around my friend Roe's kitchen table trying to reach Jimi Hendrix. We were seancing in dead earnest, clutching hands and chanting: "Jimi....Jimmmiiii.... speak....to....us....." Suddenly, the air was filled with a haunting, familiar strain:
     Purple haze all in my brain / Lately things just don't seem the same / Actin' funny, but I don't know why / 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky.....
Screaming and crying immediately ensued. Then, we realized one of our so-called friends had snuck away from the table in the dark and put Jimi on the stereo.

Everyone can spare 10 bucks, right?

 If so, I urge you to give it to the relief effort in Japan.  Here's a fast and easy way to do it.

Don't forget.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Never send a man to do a woman's job

My husband decided to buy Lucy the Cocker Spaniel a doggie bed today.  This is what he brought home from Costco:
 Men.  Always thinking things are bigger than they actually are.

Historic disaster

The largest earthquake in Japan's recorded history struck while we were sleeping last night.  At this moment, a friend and former colleague waits in his car - with his wife and two kids, a half-mile inland from his hotel room in Maui - to see if, when and how hard the tsunami waves will hit.  Prayers to all.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is cannabis the cure?

I'm not buying this hook, line and sinker - by any stretch - but I did find it very interesting in light of my dermatologist suggesting I may want to suffer through six weeks of horrendous chemotherapy on my face as a prophylactic measure against skin cancer. (I have several pre-cancers removed every year by freezing. Damn those sessions under the sun lamp before prom!)

It is worth considering, at the very least, that cannabis (and, let's face it, how high can you get from rubbing hash oil on your cancerous schnoz?) may be what millions of people need and cannot get.  Just a thought.

A motley and spirited krewe

Rain mixed with snow couldn't put a damper on the downtown Mardi Gras parade today. Wish I could've stuck it out and gone the distance with them but it was too cold.  'Hope to catch up with y'all tonight.  Let the good times roll!

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Why, oh, why didn't I buy this fabulous mask in NOLA two years ago when I had the chance?  Now, all I've got to wear to our local Fat Tuesday parade is a bunch of Mardi Gras beads and a rain poncho. (Monsoon today.) Ah, Nawlins....wish I were with you.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Old dog. New trick.

How on earth did it take me 55 years to learn that you can make your vinaigrette in the bottom of your salad bowl, THEN add greens and other ingredients, toss, and - voila! - you've saved yourself from washing a smaller bowl or cruet? Thanks to friend and neighbor, Paula, for that one.

Italian itinerary: Done!

What a relief it is to finally have found lodging for the Cinque Terre leg of our trip. Today, I secured a room in Vernazza, the last place we're to flop before heading back to Nice, then home.  It's Eva's Room #2, a simple affair, but with a king-size bed (a must)....
and prime location, directly above the Blue Marlin bar which serves breakfast and, of course, late night cocktails:
This is the view from the window.
Said window.
The view straight down. I'm assuming those are Blue Marlin's umbrellas, lower left.
It will be a stark contrast from the elegance of Oceania's Marina...
Did I mention the grand staircase was fashioned after the Titanic?
or the sleek Hotel Rex in Rome...
 but variety is the oregano of life, is it not?

Baby trashes bar in Las Palmas

Based on the 5 million pageview stat, I'm guessing I'm the last earthling to see this hilarious video.  But, here it is, just in case you're the last one. (With the growing popularity of baby videos, I'd recommend that all these toddling actors unionize, if I didn't think the Tea Party would try to break them.)

Close encounters of the celebrity kind

My friends think it's incredible it took me five years to tell this story in my column. And, that I have yet to recount my Paul Newman encounter from 1976. In time, dear ones. In time.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let the breaking-in begin!

I have selected the shoes that will take me across Italy and they are - ta da! - Born Susy's! Incredibly comfortable and durable enough to conquer the cobblestones, these babies are an inch-and-a-half shorter than my regular footwear. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just that I look like Dopey the Dwarf in all of my pants now.