Archive for October, 2010

I’m Growing Up, I’m 57!!! (said with a kick like Molly Shannon on SNL)

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

me with my dad, "Duke" at the beach house in 1992

My husband has heard my stories so many times he’s given each a number.   There’s the hilarious # 12, the poignant # 8B, and the surefire crowd-pleasers #2 and #33.  Rather than hear them again, at this point in our marriage he prefers I just call out the number.  This one I’m going to tell you is kind of a celebrity-sighting story – it doesn’t have a number yet, but here goes.

Eighteen summers ago when the show my husband had worked on was ending — well, not so much ending as the host was retiring —  he treated himself to a summer in the “bu.”  (Malibu, for those not in the know).   After all the years of experience with my dad blowing big wads of cash on summer rentals, I decided to help with the negotiations.  My dad would always start his rental on Memorial Day and end at Labor Day.  So, I suggested the same and we got the real estate agent to agree on a lower price for the longer term.  My husband moved into a wonderful home on Old Malibu Road the very night of the show’s last taping.

The summer of ‘92 on Old Malibu Road could have been its own book or at the very least a good short story.   Suffice it to say, it was a grand summer.

The (meant to be) Wedding of the Summer

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Tory, the bride, Augie the bridesmaid

In August, I attended my daughter Augie’s best friend’s wedding. In fact, I call Tory my surrogate daughter. When I travel with Augie and Tory, I refer to them both as my daughters.
We met Tory, or rather I spotted Tory, one day when Augie was in first or second grade. She was a tiny thing, a lot like Aug, but she also looked a little lost and in need of a friend. I insisted Augie invite her home that first day. When we called, her mother said yes, provided we also bring home Tory’s brother Jeremy. After this, Tory spent most of her time at our house, on weekends and on plenty of school nights. We “adopted” her as our own.

my daughters, Augie is the birth daughter

Her mother moved to Hawaii with all three of Tory’s brothers and during those years she would spend most of the summer with us. Then her mom moved all of her kids to northern California. But whenever Tory got the feeling that she wanted to be with us, she would hop on a bus and a plane, all alone at 13, leaving a note behind for her mother.
Tory was always the most independent and capable thing; she emancipated herself at 16 years old, graduated college at 19, and just bought her first home at 24. No help from anyone, not ever.
I feel I have to be discreet with Tory’s life in the way that I am not at all with my own life, which is a big open book. The book, “Glass Castle” comes to mind. Should she read it, I know it would resonate with her. Suffice it to say that the family she might not have had then, she has now created in her adoring husband Brian and all of their mutual close friends.
Though Augie had cancelled her wedding this summer (refer to earlier blog piece, “No More Trouble in Paradise or to Marry or Not to Marry,” June, 2010) and was still faintly stunned from her breakup, we rooted and cheered (crying a lot) our Tory along as she put on the most incredible wedding; everything orchestrated perfectly by—who else?–Tory.
The wedding was held at her uncle’s big-ass lakefront home in Tahoe. What a setting! But what a hellacious drive from Reno. Screaming from frustration in hours of senseless traffic while searching for bathrooms…. we finally arrived at our oh-so-groovy hotel in Truckee and were happy campers. On the drive there, we spotted what would become our local spot — and we went there every day for a well deserved meal. It’s the really cool, retro Jax Truckee Diner. It is housed in an original 1940’s diner in downtown Truckee next to the railroad tracks. It appears to have been either updated or really well kept up. Every night after the long day of wedding festivities ( Augie was a bridesmaid, and I was introduced as “the second mother of the bride” ) we would end up at Jax, hungry and fatigued. I would always order the same thing because it was so friggin good — sliders. The menu has all kinds of gourmet choices as well as your typical diner comfort food. I wondered why they would be filled to capacity at 9:30 every night while my own hometown of Pacific Palisades is dead by 9:00, and is starting to resemble a ghost town with all the restaurant & retail store closings. I discovered that Jax was featured on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” hence its immense popularity. The day we left Truckee we ate elsewhere — and speaking of ghosts, we met a real one — but that story will have to wait for another blog.

in Hawaii with my daughters, Augie and Tory

with the girls in Hawaii