Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

We had a super-great day today. Started with some orange juice, fresh squeezed by my hubby. Then, we piled #TheTeen and @kelseythedog into the Swaggerwagon and headed for Placerita Canyon... but not without a stop at Starbucks for my mama's day mocha!

It was a ridiculously gorgeous day at Placerita. Lots of wildflowers, and -- at the risk of sounding too poetic -- the rich scent of sage in the air!

A lovely Mother's Day. :-D

Saturday, April 16, 2011

17 Years!

It's our anniversary!!!

Yes, seventeen years ago today, Mr. Siegel and I took our vows to love, honor, and cherish. IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE IT'S BEEN THAT LONG!!! How can we be this OLD?! HA!

We planned a super-fun day, including visits to Starbucks and the puppeh park. Since it was Record Store Day, we made sure to hit Freakbeat Records, one of the best (if not THE best) independent record stores in the Valley. Ironically, we purchased a bunch of DVDs, and no records.

Next, we headed for our dinner destination: Valley landmark Vitello's, where we've always wanted to go! It was absolutely LOVELY, on a charming little stretch of Tujunga Avenue in Studio City. The food, ambience, and service were all terrific. Even The Boy found a dish to his liking! (Who can resist a restaurant that has a dish named for Steve Lukather, I ASK YOU!!!)

It was a wonderful day. I think we should start planning NOW for our 20th!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

BRAINZ! We haz dem.


My beautiful boy has received yet another stellar report card.

I am SO proud of him... I could BUST!

He is also thrilled by these grades... especially the "A" in math.

He's having such a great middle-school experience... I feel very lucky. And grateful.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hiking Eaton Canyon

One of our very favorite places to hike is Eaton Canyon, out in Altadena. This is the perfect time of year to go, as spring wildflowers are beginning to emerge and the stream is full with mountain-snow runoff!

We also love it because it's dog-friendly! So few places welcome puppehs, which is a real shame...

For the more ambitious hikers, there is a beautiful waterfall you can hike to as well.

Please note that if the water level is high in the stream, as it is now, you might fall in trying to cross like I did. :-D

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Westwood Village Memorial Park

I'm trying to squeeze in as many cemetery visits as I can right now, before it gets too hot! My girlfriend D'Meaux and I decided on Cesar Chavez day to head down to Westwood Village Memorial Park -- she had never been there, and I am always delighted to go to this beautiful cemetery.

I was super-thrilled that D'Meaux had done some internet research and found the exact location of Sebastian Cabot. I had not been able to find him for at least a decade! We also got to see a few relatively new tenants of the park, including Alexander Courage and Jonathan Harris.

Someone told us that Elizabeth Taylor will indeed end up here, and there was an empty crypt next to her parents, which would seem to support that theory... I guess time will tell!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Post-rain Trek through Aliso Canyon

We're fortunate to have several nature walks, not too far from our home. One of them is located at Aliso Canyon Park, which you may recall reading about in a previous post.

Kelsey loves this walk, but we have to watch her to make sure she doesn't jump in the stream. Today she tried, nearly taking her daddy with her!

The rain has wreaked havoc on the trails. They quite clearly turned into streams during the recent heavy rains. But we braved them anyway!

It looks like we weren't the ONLY ones... check below for a photo of the wild-animal tracks we saw. Not sure if they're from coyotes or mountian lions. Seemed too small for a mountain lion, but the claws look sharp enough... :-\

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jury Duty

This week, I had jury duty at the Van Nuys courthouse.

I LOVE jury duty. I think it's absolutely FASCINATING. I've served on 3 juries: 2 civil and one criminal. The criminal cases are certainly the more unsettling ones, and introduce you to people and walks of life that you might not normally encounter. Even the witnesses can be pretty dicey. But that in itself is fascinating.

When I was among 85 jurors summoned to a courtroom on Tuesday, I was pretty sure we were looking at a criminal case. I have never been on a case where that many potential jurors were called. I discovered why soon enough: The charges in this case were multiple counts of child sexual abuse, along with other related charges. The child in question was expected to testify.

As you might imagine, no one wants to sit on a jury like this. No one wants to hear this case. I certainly did not. But as voir dire progressed (the questioning of the jurors by the judge and attorneys), I was amazed and saddened to learn how many of my fellow jury-duty peeps were abuse victims themselves. I was impressed by their candor and composure. After the first day, I decided that I WOULD do my best to buck-up and serve on this case if they wanted me, because I knew that with all these abuse victims in the prospective pool, they'd need me.

As it happened, we all lucked out, and the case settled the next day. ::whew::

Wow. What a nightmare case THAT woulda been.

We don't know what happened to the accused. I don't know how you "plea-bargain" on a charge like this...

I'm glad I was available to serve, and a little disappointed that I didn't get the opportunity to see a case thru to its conclusion.

If YOU get the chance to serve on jury duty, I recommend you take it. It's an experience you'll never forget, and you'll be the better for it

p.s.: I "live-tweeted" what info I could at: #K8sJuryDuty2011 ! It was fun!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Great Big Sea!

Some years ago, when I was in a heavy celtic-music phase, I was introduced to several awesome bands by my music peep and then-coworker Rusty. One of those bands was Newfoundland's own Great Big Sea. They are among Newfoundland's best-known (and most handsome) musical exports.

Great Big Sea is different from your run-of-the-mill Irish, Scottish, or general celtic music. It's alot more in the folk-rock vein... And boy, can these fellas ROCK! Check out one of their music videos here.

ANYhoo, last fall I learned that Great Big Sea would be playing a show at the Carpenter Center in Long Beach at CSULB. I knew then and there I had to go. I bought tickets immediately! Usually, when GBS plays around here, they play little clubs like the El Rey. I am not a fan of said clubs. I require the comfort provided by a cushy seat, and maybe some wine in the concession area.

One thing I did not consider, though, is that Great Big Sea's music lends itself to STANDING UP. And, quite often, JUMPING AROUND. So, you can give these people as many cushy chairs as you want, and they are still gonna be up and jumping! And indeed they were. I didn't blame them one bit, but it did make it tough for me and my family to see the stage. I got up a few times, but I didn't want to stand the whole time, as previously indicated.

Be that as it may, let me tell you that it was a FANTASTIC show. These boys are professional, charming, and fabulous musicians. Their music is GORGEOUS and fun! I would highly recommend catching a show of theirs if you ever have a chance. Also, the Carpenter Center is a lovely venue. I would go there again in a heartbeat.

Thank you kindly, lads, for a lovely evening!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Let's talk about me. :-D

I have had a rough ... month, I guess I'd say. Unemployment mind-fuck, kitten death, aunt-in-law death, other stuff... Doing better now, but still feeling kind of like I'm in an emotional cocoon. Not sure when I will come out. But I wanted to say something, because there are several people I feel like I should e-mail and say, "Sorry I haven't been in touch, but I'm just not myself right now." I know I won't send those e-mails, so this blog post will have to serve. ;-)
I appreciate those of you who opt to bear with me in life. You are the pier that survives the tsunami; I am the unmoored boat that is always floppin' around and crashin' into stuff. :-D

Speaking of tsunamis: Let's talk about this motherfucking earthquake in Japan. This has JARRED. MY. PEACHES. Y'all know we live in NORTHRIDGE, pretty much ON THE FAULT that blew in '94. It's been eeeeeerily quiet since then
, so I think it's safe to say everyone here in the SoCal is on edge because of what's happening in Japan. When I'm not fretting about those poor people, I'm fretting about what ultimately awaits us here in SoCal... I hope everyone in a quake zone has an up-to-date earthquake kit. I do not. But I WILL.

That is all I have for you at this juncture. I hope everyone is well. xoxoxoxo

Monday, March 14, 2011


Do you see her there on the left?! She's in there! Then she pops her little head out! She almost turned herself into a Goodwill donation!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

2011: The Year of Losses

We just found out that my husband's beloved aunt Lois passed away.

We lost her husband Marshall just a few months ago, and she was in failing health, so it was not a surprise, but, still... These things are never easy, are they. You're never as ready as you think you are...

Lois was a lovely person and I feel so lucky to have known her.

I'm especially grateful that Ev got to meet both her and Uncle Marshall.

We'll miss them so, so much...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Being 45 is AWESOME!

Can I just tell you people how much I'm *loving* being 45?! OMG, it is SO awesome.

I think my favorite thing is the proliferation of liver spots on my body. Oh, yeah. They're EVERYWHERE! My hands, my arms, my thighs, my FACE! Where's my Esoterica?! Do they still make that?! ::cry::

I also have developed a WADDLE! You know, that poochy skin that hangs right beneath your chin! But it's different from a double-chin -- it's a WADDLE! AAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!

And finally... Abe Vigoda eyebrow hairs. Yup, Even if you've had normal eyebrows your whole life, all of a sudden, you hit a certain age, and BAM! Abe Vigoda eyebrows! The hairs are twice as long as normal hairs, wavy, and often gray. Oh yeah, Baby -- they are HOTT!

Srsly. I had adjusted to the gray pube hairs and the belly pooch that my late 30s had brought me.

But this shit is JUST. TOO. MUCH.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Healthcare Clusterf*ck, Cont'd...

Oooh, you guys! I have another lame-ass health-care story! Check this out:

Last week, I called my GYN's office to get him to switch my birth control. As I may have lamented previously, my NuvaRing Rx had gone up to $50/month under my Aetna health insurance. So, okay, fine, I thought. I'll just have him switch me to a pill, and that'll be cheaper. Insurance companies always seem to charge alot for NuvaRing (probably because it is easy and convenient for women).

First of all, I had to wait 48 hours for someone from my GYN's office to call me back. By this time, I had already refilled the NuvaRing and shelled out the $50, because it was obvious this would not be the quick & easy switch I'd hoped for. Secondly, the nurse I ended up talking to was giving me attitude over the phone. She's all, "Well, what do you want to be switched to, exactly?" and I said, "Just something other than NuvaRing, which is really expensive under my insurance." Her reply: "It's not OUR job to know what your healthcare does and does not cover." (Did I say it was? No.) I say, that's fine, just call in an Rx for a pill. "What pill? I don't know what pill to give you." (For crying out loud! Do I need to go down there and do her freakin' job for her?!) I politely say, "Whatever pill has a dosage comparable to NuvaRing will be fine" (thinking, naively, that any standard birth-control pill will have a comparable generic). She agrees to call something in to my pharmacy.

Alrighty. Half an hour later, my pharmacy peep Teresa calls (I'm the Walgreens mayor on Foursquare, so Teresa *tewtally* knows me, LOLz), and says, "Your GYN's office just called in a $50 birth-control Rx for you. Do you want that?!" BWAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH! I love it. They managed to find the one pill for which there is no generic. I thank Teresa for calling and let her know that I do not want the $50/month BC pills.

Welp, you bet your sweet bippy I'm not dealing with the office girls anymore. I'm gonna go down there and talk to the doc himself, tell him exactly what I need, and get him to write it out for me then and there.

But srsly. This should NOT be this hard, people. And there is no need to talk to me like I'm an idiot.


Furthermore: Why on EARTH, under ANY health plan, is birth control for women $50/month?! Do they WANT this 45-year-old woman to get knocked up so they can pay for THAT instead?!?! ARRRRRGGGGHH!!!

/ rant

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Luna Siegel, 6/13/10 -2/26/11

Goodbye, sweet baby Loonz.

We loved you so much.