Archive for Celeb stuff

My Behind the Scenes Experiences of the ACM Awards 50th Anniversary Show

I got to the airport Wednesday morning and was surprised to be going through airport security without any familiar faces. I knew of at least four other women who would be traveling on the same flight as I to Dallas, Texas for the 50th anniversay award show for the ACMAs (Academy of Country Music Awards).

I cleared security (phew! ha), put my shoes back on and and gathered everything I absolutely couldn’t live without while on a plane for 3 hours.  I walked through the airport, found my gate, and more importantly, I found a placeto eat. Being the sleep lover I am, I didn’t leave any time to eat anything before arriving to the airport. Being the food lover I am, I had to find something to eat sooner than later.

Stomach and brain growling, I got some eggs and breakfast potatoes, jalepenos and salsa. I only became excited about eating once I also had the hot and spicy stuff. Salsa and hot peppers would save for me the bland food that looked like it had been prepared days earlier. Whatevz. I was hungry and feeling adventurous.

Upon walking up to the cash register to pay outrageous airport prices for very un-outrageous airport food, at eye level in the refrigerated drink cooler, I noticed a familiar sight, glimmering; Angry Orchard, gluten free, yeast free, slightly alcoholic apple cider available for sale. It is so rare for me to have an opportunity to enjoy alcohol. Even though I still quite enjoy it, my ever aging self just can’t tolerate alcohol like I could in my younger years.  I had a half day of travel ahead of me.  “Nothing” to do on an airplane for a few hours. This was the opportune time to have at least one drink.

I got my million dollar tray o’ food, my glorious drink, and my $37 bottle of water, found a table, but before setting everything down, I looked up and saw three of my four work colleagues sitting at a table at the end of the restaurant, also drinking and eating. This day was proving to really be off to a nice start.  I made my rounds of hugs and sat with my back to a wall of TVs talking about the guilty verdict of former NFL guy something Hernandez.  I joined my pals and tore into my foods and drinks alongside them.

MySurreaLife breakfast at Bob Hope

We were excited to see each other. Working on award shows together for the past few years, a good number of us have really solified a nice extended family for each other. Through illnesses, relationships and their problems, children and everything that comes with having children, this group of us women have been there for each other, on the phone, in prayer and in person when we have needed each other. These award shows have proven to be a fun way to work, meet and make friends.

In addition to being together, we were also excited that we were headed to Dallas to work this show. We had been working on the show for years and it had most always been held in Las Vegas. We knew the layouts of the Vegas hotels where the two simultaneous shows ran. We knew how to get from point A to B easily enough. We knew the time it would take to expect talent to arrive to the destinations we needed them. We knew from working with country musicians  and their crews in years past that they were easy to work with and polite to us, unlike many mainstream artists and their entourages. We also knew the AT&T Stadium we were about to be working in for the next week was massive.

MySurreaLife free night in Dallas

A lovely sight as a friend and I drove to dinner

Once we landed in Dallas, I was fortunate enough to have a friend from college, who now lives in Dallas, come to pick me up.  She took me to say hello to her children, my three goddaughters, and then we ate a lovely meal together and caught up on our lives, face toface for the first time in over a year.  Not-okay.com that it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other. Beyond-okay.com that we we able to squeeze in time together before I had to report for work.

MySurreaLife in Dallas the night before my work on the ACMAs 2015

A friend from college and my view while we ate dinner together in Dallas at LTO.

My friend dropped me to the hotel where the production had us staying.  The next morning the ordeal that was the ACMAs 50th anniversary award show began for me.

MySurreaLife ATT Stadium

As we were driven on the shuttles to the venue, the enormity of AT&T Stadium was apparent from miles away. Instant anxiety brewed in my gut and intensified as we walkedinto the loading dock, down into the belly of the beast.  We met our team leaders and were taken on a tour of the space where we would be spending the next long, stressful four days.

MySurreaLife ACMAs rehearsals

I am a part of what’s referred to as the the “talent flow” team. We are the go-between of our team of talent escorts and the team of stage managers who essentially run the entire on-stage part of the show.  If talent isnt where they need to be, myself or a collegaue get ahold of the escorts to find out where the talent they are assigned to are in the venue or elsewhere.

Literally every show there is an issue with our walkie talkies. The issue is either that the walkies dont reach everyone who needs to talk to each other or they are static-y or there are just too many people trying to reach each other. In recent years I have learned to instead rely on my cell phone to communicate more effectively with those I need to be intouch with. Having a cell phone service that is not AT&T, I was not surprised when my cell service didn’t work as well as it did elsewhere. It worked enough for me to call and text escorts; that was all I cared about.

MySurreaLife Texting Escorts at ACMA 50th

What my screen o’text messages typically looks like after an award show. This is exactly what it looked like after the ACMAs 50th.

All three days of rehearsals, and even the dress rehearsal the day of the live show (day 4) were all stressful. We asked escorts specifically where to go with their assigned talent but a couple of the talent who were needed with me in the “holding room” immediately when they arrived, instead wanted to go elsewhere, such as, to stage, or to their dressing room. The problem with those requests was that the stage was being used for someone else’s rehearsals, there were no dressing rooms being used on rehearsal days and when people decided to go elsewhere in the massive stadium, it really set the time back getting them where they needed to be.

Many of the escorts at this show were new to the job. Escorts are typically sourced from the area where the show is held.  Since we rarely, if ever, do shows in Dallas, new people had to be recruited for this event. It is rare that new escorts have the confidence to tell someone they’ve only ever seen on TV that they’re needed somewhere other than the place they requested to go. This was the case for this event. The two times that really set us back were two times an escort didn’t firmly, but kindly let the talent know where they were needed and why. I put the walkies and my cell phone to good use this show! I used both so much, the battery on both my cell and my walkie died. Fortunately, we had extra batteries charged and ready for this situation and a colleague let me use her portable charger, saving the *my* day.

MySurreaLife inside ATT Stadium for ACMA rehearsals

Being gluten and dairy intolerant leaves me few choices for quick go-to foods on show days. I pretty much subside on these during the days of rehearsals leading up to an award show.

I was fortunate enough to have a family member of mine who works close to the stadium come pick me up (and even treat me!) to lunch at Chipotle on of those first days of rehearsals.  Not that Chipotle is not delicious, but it was literally the most filling and wonderful meal of my entire time in Dallas. I digress.

The rehearsal day before the show was horribly stressful. After a long ten (twelve?) hours, my colleagues and I got back to our hotel and went downstairs to eat in the hotel restaurant. To my extreme delight and surprise, the restaurant bar had Angry Orchard on tap, and they also had Fireball. Not even a month before this jaunt to Dallas, my aunt taught me about the delicious pleasure of mixing Angry Orchard cider with a shot of Fireball. Although I do not condone drinking to fix problems, on this night, this drink was how my day ended on a good note.

Show day came early that next morning. Not feeling super rested from the previous long days, the alcohol in my system certainly did not help with getting a restful night’s sleep.  Oh well. Win some you lose some.

After a small snafu about what time to bring in a big name talent and where to take the rest of talent upon their arrivals, dress rehearsal actually started on time. As i mentioned earlier, there was only one elevator coming down to the stage / field area from the bus area where most all talent would be waiting. It was a terrible oversight on the part of the production planning people. There also didn’t seem to be a way around it, so there was that to be dealing with, and did we ever have to deal with it.

For the actual live show, I was again assigned to be stationed at the holding room, making sure on-stage talent was where they needed to be at certain times. On more than one occasion, more than one stage manager would ask me for updates of where our escorts were with their talent and on more than one occasion, for five to ten minute stretches I would report back to the stage managers that the escorts were with their talent, either waiting for the elevator or on it.

Besides the elevator debacle, and a missing escort or two for some key on-stage performers, after all of the ridiculously long, stressful rehearsals, the show went smoother than I had expected, thank goodness.

I took an hour or so to watch parts of the show on TV the other day. After all the headaches and stomach burning I caused myself from stress during those days working that show, as I watched it on screen from the comfort of my own home, I was filled with such pride and even a smile or two, thinking how insane it was behind the scenes getting people where they needed to be to pull it all off.

Don’t Ever Work for Christina Milian

That time I worked for Christina Milian to secure items for gift bags to be given to guests of her daughter Violet’s first birthday party, and didn’t get paid, or thanked.

MySurreaLife Christina Milian daughter Violet 1st bday

MySurreaLife Violet 1st bday Christina Milian

MySurreaLife Violet Christina Milian

Big Rob Little Lady Jeepin

Big Rob, Little Lady

I am so blessed to have been friends for the past decade with one of the most incredible men, a man who has become my big brother.  I was introduced to “Big Rob”, as much of the world knows him, back when I was just a twenty something child (over a decade ago).  Ever since then he and I have kept in touch and in doing so, we became the best of buddies.  A time came when Big Rob needed a place to stay and I just happened to have a vacant room and so we became roommates, off and on, for the next seven years.

Big Rob is awesome, for many reasons, but mostly because he takes the time to see people in his life who matter to him.  Last year, he was in LA for work, and we planned a night of he, me and our little lady.  Ever since then, our little lady now considers Big Rob her buddy, as evidenced by the photos here.  I love that I’m able to introduce her to, and have her understand that people I introduce her to, are safe and that it is safe for her to be kind to them.

Thanks Big Rob for being the best Big Brother to me and such a wonderful Uncle to her!!!

 

Big Rob Little Lady poolside

 

 

Big Rob Little Lady Jeepin

Big Rob Little Lady

Big Rob Little Lady My SurreaLife

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.  Not-okay.com

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

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, Pollstar.com, 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.

images
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…

Growing Older Does Not Suck, and Other Inevitable Realizations

There was a point in time, not so very long ago, when i was really having a hard time with the realization that I was in my mid-thirties and not getting any younger.  I was a bit mad coming to realize that my body couldn’t recover from drinking alcohol like I could in my twenties.  I was not terribly joyous when we were on the hunt for a single family home. I loved the condo we lived in for the past few years, a condo I bought as a single person seven years ago and I wasn’t yet ready to move.

Our daughter’s school had offered to stay open, for extra money of course, late the Friday night before mothers day. So sweet & so something we jumped at. My man and I went to dinner and a movie. We saw the Seth Rogan film, “The Neighbors.”  It was raunchy, hysterical and actually really sweet. I felt like their dilemma was on course with mine; new house, new parents seeing young people partying & being slightly sad and mad about the fact that they could no longer be living that lifestyle.  The end was a scene with the two new parents in bed together. Seth Rogan’s character said something to his wife the effect of enjoying their private party in their house and how that’s the party he’d rather be at. It really struck a chord with me.

MySurreaLife Mother's Day delivery

Plants received at my door for Mother’s Day, from my mom and siblings. Thanks guys!

That past week was nonstop, 12 hour days of hard work. Monday and Tuesday I worked with the talent flow team at the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon. Those were long, hot days working with talent including Jason Derulo, Jordin Sparks, Fallout Boy, Kevin Frazier, American Authors and others.  The talent were all super easy and nice to work with but it was a television production, and those all have so many facets to make sure work together; they were long days of work.

MySurreaLife Jason Derulo Jordin Sparks MDA Telethon 2014

Jordin Sparks and Jason Derulo doing an interview with an MDA ambassador at the 2014 MDA Telethon at the Hollywood Palladium

We had scheduled movers to come Wednesday to move us out of our condo to our new house a few miles away. There was a heat wave rolling through Los Angeles that week, and it was 100 degrees that day.  Not that I was moving heavy furniture or anything, but doors were open, heat was everywhere, was directing traffic, and it was another long, hot, productive day.

Thursday was spent working my “main job” as a house manager readying two homes for arrivals. Another long day of work, I came home to a house filled with boxes to unpack & a child to feed and bathe. Im not complaining at all, in fact I am very aware of how blessed I am to have a house, food and a beautiful child to raise. However, it is all exhausting to this thirty something me.

Friday morning I headed to the fantastically small Bob Hope Burbank airport to catch an equally fantastically short hour long flight to Las Vegas to work with talent flow for the Billboard Music Awards. I had never worked this show and i had always wanted to attend the show growing up. I was excited to go to Vegas and excited to be around my work colleagues, not have to drive, not have to cook and not have to worry about unpacking for a couple of days.

While in line to board the flight, I stood behind a group of twenty somethings en route to Vegas for one of their bachelorette party. They were talking about what they were all wearing and how to drink to be able to keep drinking and not pass out. Their plans were clearly so much different than mine, but our excitement was likely quite parallel and that was when it hit me how much I love my life in my mid-thirties.  When I was their age I loved doing all the things they were pumped to do.

MySurreaLife Tom Green Southwest Airlines

Tom Green, asleep on the Southwest Airlines flight we were on from Las Vegas to Burbank. Creepy to take a picture of someone asleep, I know, but I couldn’t resist. “Your bum is on my lips.”

Right now, I am thrilled to be on a plane back home from Vegas, not in the slightest bit hungover, on the flight with Tom Green, some of my colleagues at the show, and the dancers of the Michael Jackson hologram performance.

MySurreaLife Carrie Underwood Miranda Lambert

Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert hanging out after the 2014 Billboard Music Awards

MySurreaLife Miranda Lambert Wanda the Wanderer Airstream

The interior of “Wanda the Wanderer,” Miranda Lambert’s airstream tour trailer

I am excited to have stood around the day before, after the Billboard Music Awards show, amidst Miranda Lambert and her airstream Wanda the Wanderer, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan.  

MySurreaLife Wanda the Wanderer Miranda Lambert

Wanda the Wanderer and her awesome gynormous tiara

MySurreaLife Wanda the wanderer Miranda Lambert Blake Shelton Luke Bryan

Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert standing around after the 2014 Billboard Music Awards by “Wanda the Wanderer,” the tour trailer of Miranda Lambert.

Of all of that, I was most excited at how gorgeous the sky looked that evening.

MySurreaLife Las Vegas Skies

The gorgeous sky in Las Vegas, May 2014

I am excited to go unpack more boxes and get our new house together.  I cannot wait to go pick up our little girl from school and take her to the park. This is totally the party I want to be at right now. I’m so thankful to have been to the other parties, the drinking parties and I’m so thankful to be at the party that is my mid-thirties life.

Adventures in Aspen

When you have the time and money to go to Aspen, I STRONGLY recommend doing it.  Make sure you bring extra money just for the food and drinks in that town.  I have not consistently eaten as  well as I ate in Aspen the four days I was there.  Wow wow wow.  Can’t say enough good things about the food & beverage industry there.

My sister has lived in Aspen and worked in the restaurant industry for the past seven years.  She has been a sommelier for the past four years and she really kicks ass at what she does.  I went with her when she went to test for one of her sommelier tests and that process seemed completely brutal to me.  It’s a three day long test, covering more information that I could ever hope to make time to read about, much less study and retain.  It makes sense everything they study; their educated opinions on the selections they chose have never been less that extraordinary to my meagerly educated self.  When I went with her to this test, it was held in Vegas.  That night we ate at Jean Georges, which, in and of itself, is an amazing restaurant, but we ate with three of her colleagues who had also just taken the test and the wines and champagnes they ordered to accompany the food we had was beyond incredible.  I am a lightweight in the drink department, and I drank 4-5 glasses of various wines and champagnes which would typically make me sick, but the next day I was not the slightest bit hungover.  #Score. I digress.

MySurreaLife Snow Piled High in Aspen

Back to Aspen.  It was cold.  The snow was PILED high (see above) but it was beautiful; sunny skies and beautiful scenery. My sister, being so connected in the restaurant scene in Aspen, was able to get us reservations to accommodate our times and the number of people in our relatively small parties this past February.  The first night we went to an amazing steakhouse, whose street address is 316, and is therefore aptly named Steakhouse 316.  My sister had worked there two weeks prior to us going so when she walked in, it was like she came home to a living room full of family happy to see her.  We got a great table right by the door, albeit a bit too large for our party of 5.  We sat down at a table where my back was facing the entrance.  We got settled and placed our drink orders.  My brother was seated facing the door.  When I saw the look of complete joy and surprise on his face, I nearly broke my neck to see what he saw.  To my siblings and my surprise, my mother, being the master planner of surprises, had one of our uncles and one of our cousins surprise us by coming up to Aspen from Grand Junction.

The table for seven made sense now.  Needless to say, the company was outstanding, the service and ambiance incredible and the food?  It really was everything and more.  I have a few food intolerance issues and am “that person” at the table who needs to make sure things are cooked in this and not that. Not only did the chef and the servers know exactly what my food intolerances are, the food tasted incredible, even the food I could eat!  It is not the easiest task to cook tasty food that is also gluten and dairy free.

MySurreaLife Kickin it in Aspen MySurreaLife Dog Days in Aspen

The next day we toodled around town.  I saw a dog thoroughly enjoying being outside and a cute “artsy” statue in a window of an art gallery.  My mom’s super fun friend who was walking with me named the masterpiece “kickin it.”  I burst into laughter.  Right on Sharlee, right on.

MySurreaLife shopping at JCrew in Aspen

Trying on a shirt at JCrew that I ended up buying (& loving!)

 

I bought a shirt for my husband, and a few things for myself and on the way to catch the free bus back to my sister’s cute little apartment, I saw this amazing sunset.  I am so thankful I was able to snap a photo of how gorgeous those colors were.  Two minutes later it was gone.

MySurreaLife Sunset in Aspen

That night, we went to eat at another restaurant that my sister used to work at. Again, incredible food, amazing service and the most fun, HUGE, square ice cubes I’ve ever seen!

MySurreaLife Ice Cube at Jimmy's

The next day I was due to leave to go home to LA.  I checked the local Aspen tv station with the flight information and saw that my flight status was “on-time.”  I got to the tiny airport, sat at the gate and sat at the gate for the next four hours while other flights continued to arrive and depart.  The incoming flight that was due to be our outbound flight was having too much trouble landing in the wind of the Valley.  Understandable. Better safe than sorry.  They finally cancelled our flight, I called my mother and her friend who were still in town and they picked me up and we all went to dinner with my sister and our cousin at another amazing restaurant, one that my sister has not worked at, not yet at least! Matsuhisa is a Japanese restaurant that is outstanding, but I had only ever eaten there before I knew I was gluten intolerant which was why my mother and sister had planned to go there after I left.

Being in the service industry in as small of a town that Aspen is, my sister knows everyone, almost literally.  We sat down, she and our server greeted each other with friendly hugs and she explained to him my food intolerances.  He responded that they had many options available that I could eat, and I began to invision a plate of sashimi, chopped vegetables and a salad with no dressing.  That is typically what I have to order at Japanese restaurants.  Boy was I WRONG.  I don’t believe I have EVER eaten such amazingly tasty, melt in your mouth food that was free of gluten, dairy, yeast and pork.  The food and beverage industry in Aspen is absolutely incredible.

At the end of the night, as we were getting up to leave, my cousin’s necklace got caught in the fancy table.  Funny ending to a great night.

MySurreaLife Dinner in Aspen

The next day I went back to the airport, alongside Robert Wagner.  This is not the first time I’ve been on an Aspen to LAX flight with him.  My sister is coincidentally named after Natalie Wood.  Serendipitous or just a grand coincidence for me to have just spent a lovely week with his “love’s” namesake and BAM, there he is, Mr. Number 2.

MySurreaLife Robert Wagner

I got to the tiny boarding area and went to buy a ridiculously expensive bottle of water when I saw the cover of that month’s Vanity Fair magazine.  There they were, some the people I was about to be around when I got back to LA.  Thank-you life/universe for prepping me for what was about to come; more of MySurreality.

MySurreaLife February Vanity Fair cover Aspen Airport

#ForeverThankful & #Grateful

Jason Charles Miller Is This Week’s US Weekly HOT STUFF co-host

This week, Jason Charles Miller, one of my pr clients, was this week’s US Weekly co-host with the magazine’s Entertainment Director Ian Drew.  Miller is in New York to perform TONIGHT, Saturday, October 12, at Comic-con New York’s After Party “Times Scare.”

Jason is on tour promoting his album, “Natural Born Killer.”  His third single, “Here To Kill the Pain,” goes to radio Nov. 1 and is on track to be at the top of the charts alongside heavy hitters Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, as his last two singles were.

Click the photo to watch the video of Ian Drew and Jason breaking down the hottest stories in this next week’s US Weekly magazine, on newsstands Tuesday!  They discuss Halle Berry’s new baby, Lea Michele’s steps to move onto a possible new love interest, Casey Kasem’s children’s fight to care for their ailing father and Robert Pattinson’s new love interest, Dylan Penn, daughter of Sean and Robin Wright Penn.

Oddly enough, two of these stories hit close to home: Halle Berry is diabetic like I am and I spoke to her about how much of an inspiration she was to be in having a healthy child back in February at the Golden Globes before anyone knew she was pregnant.  She also, oddly enough, goes to the same nail salon as I.

I did not realize Casey Kasem was so ill until I saw this HOT STUFF video. I also did not know his 2nd (?) wife is keeping his, not her, children from seeing their father. I used to handle pr for his 2nd wife for their line of baby cribs that was called Little Miss Liberty.  I am also in a battle trying to care for my aging and ailing father.

These are the days of MySurreaLife…

MySurreaLife Jason Charles Miller Ian Drew US Weekly HOT STUFF

Returned Favors

In the (sometimes not so) great city of Los Angeles, there are tons of people saying they can do many a splendid and seemingly impossible things.  Publicists promise, for a modest fee, the glare of the media spotlight to fame needy singers and actors.  Directors promise a big budget movie will make big money at the box office.  Friends who work with someone you need an “in” with help you out only to not help out in return.  After too many years (10!) here in LA, I’ve grown to realize that this is just how this town works.

Over the weekend, my hope for humanity was restored when I did a favor for Jasmine Thompson.  Jasmine Thompson is a 12-year-old singer/songwriter from London. She plays the piano and guitar, and dances. Jasmine’s crystal clear, haunting vocals have led her to gain early support from the likes of BBC R1, Jacks Gap and The Best Of YouTube.  Jasmine’s recent covers have also caught the attention of artists such as Naughty Boy and Passenger. Her first radio play was in August 2013 on Edith Bowman’s BBC Radio 1 Review Show in which Jasmine won the weekly national online vote “This is my Jam”. I did what her manager asked of me, her manager did what I asked in return.

Perhaps it’s that they’re sooo far from LA that they actually behaved like humans and respected the return favor.  Regardless, I’m now a fan for life, all because of a little human decency. Thanks Jasmine and manager for making my Monday a happy and hopeful one!

Such A Small Modern Family World After All

Modern Family is definitely one of the funniest tv shows on right now.  The concept is a great one; one that is not explored by hardly any other tv series.  The concept of such a mixed family unit, consisting of a same sex marriage with an adopted Asian daughter, a “typical American family” of a mom, dad and their three children and finally, the divorced patriarch with a hot young wife and her son.  This family unit is a lot more mainstream than many other relationships seen in television programming these days.

MySurreaLife Modern Family bathroom

Anywho, the other day the board members of our HOA met to discuss some annual priorities and the subject of Modern Family came up.  One of our board members works for ABC and had a carry-all type bag with the Modern Family logo on it.  One of the other board members works in marketing at the Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, I freelance working with talent flow teams on award shows and the 4th member of our board works in health care.  The board member who works for ABC said not to miss the season premiere as, she said she couldn’t spill any other details besides that it is amazing.  My significant other and I DVR the show, so we watch every episode, not necessarily when each episode airs, but we watch them all.

MySurreaLife Modern Family all white

The board member who works for Saks said one of the actresses shops in their store a lot and that that person isn’t typically very nice.  I piped in and said another one of the actors on the show was not very nice twice when we worked with him at award shows.  The person who works for ABC just kinda gave us the sigh and nodding head, understanding who we were talking about and the personalities of both those people.

I’m not mentioning the rude people’s names as to not get any of my fellow board members in trouble with their jobs but I will say, when working the American Music Awards last year, I ran into Julie Bowen who plays Claire Dunphy on the Modern Family.  I complimented her dress before I realized who I was talking to.  She was so kind and told me the name of the designer and was all smiley and nice.

MySurreaLife Julie Bowen Amaerican Music Awards

Times like those make working around entertainers much more tolerable.  It really stinks when you meet a famous actor or singer in person, you previously admired them or their work, they’re not nice, then all of their art suddenly really sucks because it reminds you of how not nice they were to you or your colleagues.  This is the reason I will never speak to Will Ferrell.  I’ve been around him 3 times now and every time I dodge him like he has the plague.  The characters he plays in any movie he is in absolutely crack me up and take me out of my real life while I’m watching them.

MySurreaLife Old School Will Ferrell

I would hate to have to hate “Old School” after meeting someone in that movie and they weren’t nice.  I’ve actually randomly met Jeremy Piven at Veggie Grill and Vince Vaugh at a night club, both of whom were very kind so I’d like to stop there, although I’ve only ever heard the best about Will Ferrell in person, but I’m not taking any chances.

MySurreaLife Old School Will gymnastics

It is funny what a small world life is in general.  Typically, the same circles blend with the same types of circles.  The same cannot be more true of Los Angeles and especially of people in the entertainment industry. If people know what a small world it is, I don’t understand why they then don’t take extra precautions to be nice or polite at the very least.  They take their entire life building an image and being famous.  Do people really not care how they are known as a person?

Chances are, someone somewhere is going to hear that you were not so nice and then write about it online somewhere, like in a blog! haha.