Archive for July 2014

It’s the Little Things in LA That Are Hard to Get Used To

Not growing up here, yet having lived the past ten years in LA, one would think I would be used to the way things work around here.  But every so often, I marvel at how life in Los Angeles is more than a little surreal at times.

My child goes to school with children of one of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”  It is not uncommon for me to see a celebrity at Bed, Bath & Beyond and Ralph’s at least once a week.  Yes, I go to Bed, Bath & Beyond and the grocery store kind of often.  It is not often however that I see two “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” in one day.  I don’t watch the show so I didn’t know this was Kim Richards in front of us until my friend pointed her out to me.  Kim was extremely friendly and talkative with us, letting us know there was a great sale going on at Pier One Imports and that she had just come from there.

MySurreaLife Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Bed Bath and Beyond

Kim Richards, one of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”

That ^ was a couple weeks ago.  Last week I went to the Dr’s office.  See photo below. Pulling into the parking garage in the Beverly Hills office building, I had to wait for a TMZ van to leave.  The van was just outside the parking garage I was trying to drive into.  I watched as the tourists gawked and snapped photos of Mr. Chow’s restaurant.  Then I made a right turn and made my way to my doctor’s appointment.

MySurreaLife TMZ in BH

Paying $20 to park while in Dr office is definitely NOT something I have gotten used to, nor will ever likely get used to.  Most Doctor’s offices don’t validate and there is not ample street parking and the meters are typically limited to two hours.  I was going to be at this particular doctor’s appointment for at least three hours so I had no choice but to park in their parking structure and pay the friggin twenty bucks.

MySurreaLife Rite Aid BH Frangrances

MySurreaLife Rite Aid BH

In my frantic hurry to get to the doctor’s appointment on time, I had to forgo picking up a prescription at the drug store close to our house.  Fortunately it’s a chain so I called the pharmacy close to the doctor’s office in Beverly Hills to see if I could pick up my prescription there.  They could.  Joy of joys.  I love when things work out like that.  I went into the Rite Aid in Beverly Hills. I had been there before, but not in years.  I could not believe the updating done.  It is like walking into a spa / department store / vitamin shop.  I stood in shock at the the perfume display at the entrance.  I smelled a few fragrances and noticed they had one on display and for sampling that I wear often.  I went to pick up my prescription and decided to douse myself in my perfume since I didn’t have any on that day and I needed to get to a work commitment at the Sirius XM offices.  #Win

There is such a dichotomy about my life in LA that I haven’t gotten used to, and may never will.  It’s difficult to easily get to things like my doctor’s appointments because of tourists blocking me, yet getting clients onto a Sirius XM show & getting tickets to exclusive parties like ESPYs after party are easy.   I know, I don’t get it either.

MySurreaLife Liane V

Making A Stuffed Animal Dance

A fun lesson she has recently mastered


This Past Tuesday On Tujunga

This past Tuesday, I was surprised at how happy I was when I woke up.  I woke up and was just happy.  It’s not that I often wake up miserable.  In fact, I typically simply wake up tired but yesterday, I woke up expressly happy.  It is a good way to wake up.  I am hoping to remember to slam myself into that first morning mindset on a daily basis from now on.

After such a hectic Monday, Tuesday seemed easier, but only by a bit.  Maybe that’s why I was so happy when I woke up?  I had stuff to do – I had to call lawyers who could represent us in court, I had to go down to the Children’s Courthouse to file paperwork to make our standing with our little girl’s case more secure, but it was less to do, which was nice. After I did both of those things, it was lunch time.

Driving home from the courthouse, I was on the phone with my most favorite Big Rob for most of the ride.  I asked him where I should go eat.  I told him I wanted a big delicious salad, or just anything tasty that I could actually eat.  Being intolerant to gluten and dairy often makes dining out a bit difficult. He suggested Aroma Cafe on Tujunga.  This is one of the many reasons why Big Rob rules.  He has the most perfect ideas. Everyone thinks Aroma is great, because it is.

I drove up to find the line out the door, per the usual. I decided not to get discouraged or frustrated with my belly’s seriously grumbling situation.  I parked across Tujunga from Aroma, fed the meter, answered a return phone from one of the three lawyers I placed calls into earlier, and walked up to Vitello’s to read the menu.  Once I saw gluten free options, I made eye contact with the hostess, was seated and prepared to decide what my feast would consist of. Build your own pasta, with gluten free pasta as an option.  Score.  Arugula salad?  Yes please.  Mojito?  Uh huh. I sat back, enjoyed having five minutes not worrying about the many things I had to take care of.  This guy pulled up and made me smile until he got out of the car.

MySurreaL Tuesday on Tujunga

Who wears jeans AND leather knee high boots on a ninety degree day?  My feet started to sweat as I watched him feed the meter.

MySurreaLife on Tujunga

I happily ate my incredibly delicious arugula, almond salad and was super excited when I saw the gorgeous plate of pasta.  I was even more excited when I started eating it.  It was really delicious.  As I reveled in the glorious food, I noticed a table top sign about the restaurant’s game nights.  I had been to a restaurant in the area that also offered board games to patrons while they ate, but that restaurant is now closed so I was thrilled to find this available elsewhere.  I took a pic of the small sign, with my delicious food in the foreground and sent it via text to a girlfriend of mine who is also gluten intolerant and lives in the area.  I told her we should have a date night some game night and eat some more delicious gluten free pasta.

MySurreaLife A Tuesday on Tujunga

She promptly texted me back that, “Vitello’s is where Robert Blake shot his wife!”  Of all the luck.  Of course I then had to research what happened there and then drove around the scene to check it out when I left. I posted about my new found knowledge of a Hollywood crime scene on my FB page, and stayed on FB for a little while.  I noticed that Nickelodeon actress Madison Pettis, someone I have worked with in the past, posted that it was her birthday and that she and her girlfriends had brunch at Aroma earlier that day.  See? Everyone really does like Aroma. 

MySurreaLife Madison Pettis Aroma Cafe Tujunga

It’s always something that makes life seem so surreal.   #MySurreaLife trips me out constantly

My Most Manic Monday

Anyone who knows me knows I cannot accept not being busy.  Even when I go on vacation, I take a book, a magazine, paper to take notes on any and everything.  I’m just a do-er.  I have a hard time ‘turning off.’

Apparently I also take some sort of extreme masochistic delight in burning the candle at both ends.  I love having projects.  That being said, I currently work managing two private family homes, I am handling two public relations projects, I am consulting for a new digital checkout application company and I have a four year old foster child we’re trying to adopt, I also have a husband and a house.  Yes, I’m exhausted, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As fate would have it, my husband who works as a bodyguard, got called to go to work with the NBA in the Philippines for 4 days and left on Saturday evening.

MySurreaLife Husband and Daughter LAX July 2014

With him out of town, it is a little more work to care for our little one, but not much.  She’s a really great child and fairly self sufficient when it comes to entertaining herself.

One of my PR clients is the agency who discovered the legendary James Brown.  The part of the agency’s founder is played by Dan Aykroyd in the new movie, “Get On Up.”  The premiere of that movie was July 21, this past Monday night, at the Apollo Theater in New York.  The week prior I was working to get publicity about the company surrounding the premiere of the movie.  I also spent all of Monday morning doing follow up calls and arranging for interviews to happen with media outlets and my clients on the red carpet…until I got a call from our foster daughter’s lawyer that shifted all of my focus and energy.

I was told that our foster daughter’s bio mom had regained her Reunification Rights.  In California (I don’t know if this is the case elsewhere), parents in the social services system have two sets of rights; their reunification rights and their parental rights,  Their reunification rights allow for services to help them to be reunified with their children.  These are the first to go if they don’t go to therapy, or rehab or leave an abusive situation.  Our foster daughter’s mom had those removed long ago, so there was no worry by anyone that she would do what she needed to do to earn those back.  Somehow apparently she did and she was granted custody of her four (of 6) oldest children.  According to our daughter’s lawyer, those children are old enough to speak about what they want.  I’m confused that they said they wanted to live in a home that was unsafe because that is where they are now living, back in the abusive home they were removed from four years ago.

I became slightly freaked out at this information that wasn’t seen coming by anyone who knows the situation with our little girl.  I posted a status update on Facebook asking my FB friends to put their energies in the world that she would stay with us forever.

MySurrealife FB post asking for all good energy to come our way for our little lady to stay with us forever <3

While processing all of this information I was given about social services putting four of our daughters’ siblings back in the home they were removed from, I had to continue making phone calls and sending emails about the movie premiere.  One media outlet, a great industry resource,, said they’d be happy to run a photo of the agents at the premiere.  I got in touch with a couple photographers who would be attending the red carpet.  One requested photos of my clients so he could be sure to take their photos when they arrived.  I called Dan Aykroyd’s publicist to ask if he would pose with them.  She got back to me sooner than expected and said that Mr. Aykroyd would be happy to pose with them.  Score.  One outlet secured.

Weeks earlier, I had made an appointment for our little girl to go to a doctor who was hard to get in to see, and who was also an hour’s drive away from us.  That appointment also happened to be on this same Monday that was oh so wide open on my calendar just weeks prior.  Ha.  Try to plan life and life just plans itself sometimes.

By noon I had sent enough emails that I felt secured leaving the office, with a few more to be sent, to go get our little beauty from school and make the hour drive down to the doctor in Newport Beach.

By that time, my phone was on the verge of blowing up from the amazing amounts of supportive text messages and phone calls from so very many of our friends and family.  Not that I was surprised, but it really makes me stop and shake my head in disbelief sometimes at how blessed we are with the people in our lives.  I really could not ask for more incredible, caring and supportive friends and family.  Mine are the absolute cream of the crop.

I picked up our little beauty from school and we got on the road.  She promptly fell asleep.  Because I am a genius, I scheduled the Dr appt during a time I knew we would be driving during her usual nap time.  I’m a genius multi-tasker actually!  Driving to child’s Dr appt an hour away while child gets an hour long nap. #Score

I called my mom back, talked to her a little about what’s going on and fifteen minutes into the drive on the amazingly not-so-crowded 405 freeway, I got a call from my husband.  Knowing he is literally across the world, I tell my mom I have to answer his call, hang up with her and pick up his.  He asks me if I am home.  I told him where I was and he said the alarm company called because the alarm went off.  The alarm company called him and woke up up.  It was 4am in the Philippines.  Of course.  I told him I couldn’t turn around and to let the alarm company dispatch the police if need be.  So that’s now also on my mind. Sweet mother of all things holy.

We get to Doctor’s office, I turn my phone to vibrate, text our daughter’s biological mother to find out some questions about our little lady’s history and details of her birth asked on the paperwork for the Dr and I manage to also frantically respond to various emails coming in about the movie premiere.  It is three hours later in New York, and the red carpet of the premiere was not far away.

Calls, texts and emails make my purse rumble through the entire Dr visit, worrying me that they are about the premiere but convincing myself that they were simply calls and texts from loving friends and family.  We finish at the Dr’s office just after 3pm, which is just after 6pm in New York, just thirty minutes from the time the red carpet arrivals begin.  Successful doctors appointment, including my remembering to have doctor fill out all necessary paperwork required by social services.  #Boom  I’m getting good at this adult stuff, slowly but surely.  Before we get back on the road, I make sure my clients know the names of the reporters who wish to speak with them.  I hop back in the car with our little star and I am pleased with my job as a circus performer today; I can juggle with the best of em.

We get back on the freeway and make it home in good time considering it was closing in on rush hour in Los Angeles.  We stop and pick up some food before we get home.  I needed food in my system in case I had to deal with a broken window or police situation back at our house.  I get home to find no police notices and no broken windows.  That is how you spell “minor relief.”
Around 7pm Los Angeles time, I got a few text messages from the agent who hired me to do PR for the agency.  He said the two other agents who went to the premiere were interviewed by the outlets I arranged for them to talk to, Variety and THR, but that they didn’t see Dan Aykroyd so they didn’t get a photo with him.  UGHHHH!!!!  The ONE major thing I was sure would be a perfect publicity tool was a photo of Mr. Aykroyd who played Mr Ben Bart in the movie and Ben Bart’s son.  So much for that.
Turns out Mr. Aykroyd didn’t show at 7pm, when his publicist said he would.  He came at the very end of the red carpet and rushed into the movie.  Oh course he did.  By the time he arrived, my clients were already inside.
Dan Aykroyd Get On Up Premiere July 21 Apollo Theater
I got our little lady bathed, teeth brushed, read her a story and got her into her bed.  I was so exhausted with everything on my mind that I myself just wanted to pass out.  Before I could I made a couple mental notes as to what I had to do the next day; file more paperwork at the children’s court house, put calls into as many lawyers as possible and follow up with the media outlets at the premiere.  Just another day in MySurreaLife I guess.  Sometimes none of this seems really real.  It seems too surreal and I feel like I must really be in a pod somewhere, while my life is computer programmed into my brain like in the Matrix.  Makes me wonder…