Beyond thankful the lives of my family were spared and I am so eternally saddened for those who cannot say the same

Every year when I’m reminded of the events thirteen years ago today, my only thought is how thankful I am for guardian angels. My mother had just been in the city, helping my sister move into her dorm (apt building) and get her ready for her sophomore year at NYU. The dorm (apt building) is in the financial district of the city, blocks from the Trade Center. My sister, mom & friends ate at Windows Of The World, atop the Trade Center the week prior to the attack . My mother stayed at a hotel that week that ended up being reconstructed from all the damage. My mom left NYC the day (?) before the attack.

My sister and her colleagues were homeless for two weeks after September 11. When they arrived back to their place, their things were covered in ash. When they left their place for classes that day, they had left their windows open. I am so thankful, everyday, but especially today, that the lives of my family were spared and I am so eternally saddened for those who cannot say the same.

After ten years of living in other states in this great country, my sister moved back to the one and only New York City.  Not a day goes by that I don’t worry about her.  Not a day goes by that I don’t forget how proud I am of her overcoming many difficult challenges in her life, including this hard time in her life.  She has moved her career to new heights, and seems incredibly happy doing what she does.  Not a day goes by that I don’t stop to think how thankful I am for my siblings, my family, my family of friends and to be grateful for how important each day is.

‪#‎Remember‬ ‪#‎September11th‬  ‪#‎MySurreaLife‬ ‪#‎SoThankful‬

MySurreaLife TBT Sept 11 didn't take them

Since September 11 happens to fall on a Thursday this year, I am posting this #TBT photo to accompany my written portion of the post. #SoThankfulThisDayDidntTakeThem


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…

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.

Dog Days of Summer in Aspen

While in Aspen last summer, I saw these dogs thoroughly enjoying their lives.  I just had to share such preciously adorable photos of these cute beasts.

MySurreaLife Dog Days in Aspen MySurreaLife It's a Dog's Life in Aspen

Happy summer everyone!

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

4.4 Earthquake Shook Us GOOD this morning!

To be shaken so hard by an earthquake and the subsequent shattering of glass, right before I was about to be alarmed by my alarm clock is definitely one of the scariest things I’ve experienced, recently at least.  At around 6:30am this morning, my husband and I were literally forcefully shaken awake by a 4.4 earthquake that was cenetered not far from where we live.  We live on the top floor of a condo building, but from what I’ve heard from people’s reactions online, most everyone in the near vicinity felt it, whether they were on the ground or a few floors above it.

It was an earthquake that was not far below the surface, only 5.3 miles, according to news reports this morning.  I have never even thought about depth of quakes before and how that might make the shock feel stronger.  It certainly did in our experience today!  I’ve experienced a few small quakes in my ten years of living in Los Angeles but this one took the cake of the strength of the shake.  I’m a poet.  I know it.


As soon as the shaking calmed down a bit, my husband and I both jumped out of bed; I ran to our three year old daughter’s room, he ran to his eighty-three year old mother’s room.  Our three year old started crying and said, “I don’t want our house to be shaking mommy!”  I held her tight and told her it was okay and that the earth just went scribble scrabble.  That’s something the teachers say at the school she attends when children draw frantically and scribbly all over a page.  She understood, I stayed calm and she quickly followed suit.

MySurreaLife Los Angeles Earthquake March 17 2014

While my husband was in with his mom, I walked down the hallway with our little lady in my arms and was in awe at how nearly all of our framed art on the walls was drastically tilted.  It was very surreal.  I was half awake and entirely dumbstruck.  It’s funny how when your brain knows what’s going on, it also still acts completely stupid and takes a long time to process everything that’s going on.

MySurreaLife Los Angeles Earthquake 03 17 14

Our one window that faces the atrium of our building was open.  I heard one of our kind neighbors stick his head out of his front door asking, “is everyone okay?”  Another neighbor peeped her head out and said, “was that an earthquake?!  wow!  We’re okay.”  I stuck my head out, waved and said, “we’re okay too!” Los Angeles Earthquake March 17 2014

I kept looking around the house for what could have possibly broken.  All the bottles of wine were in one piece *THANK GOD*, none of the framed photos had come off the wall. I cracked open the door to the guest bathroom and saw broken pieces of white ceramic.  I went inside, like a fool because I didn’t have shoes on, and saw that one of fancier toilet brush holders (this is actually a possibility) I had gotten at IKEA and installed on our walls had jumped off the wall in an apparent nervous attempt to make a run for it.  I guess it didn’t realize it didn’t have legs and couldn’t get too far.  Even the toilet looks surprised that this thing came off the wall.  I have two other ceramic brush holders installed in our other two bathrooms and they didn’t go anywhere.  So curious.

Anywho, all is well with us in SoCal; just shaken, and slightly stirred.  😉

Fashionable Pumping?

I wanted a catchy title to this blog post.  Did it work?  Are you intrigued as to what in the world I’m talking about?  When I started this blog a year or so ago, I always knew I wanted to incorporate the element of living with Type 1 diabetes and how, having to live with this disease, is a daily, if not hourly job.  I’ve also always wanted to somehow incorporate fashion into the blog discussions.  Over a year later, I am now, for what I think is one of the first times, writing about living diabetes and also talking a bit about fashion.  Talk about a two-fer!

I have had diabetes for thirty years.  Yipes.  Thirty years.  That’s a long time.  Living with diabetes is exactly the phrase every diabetic understands and a phrase everyone who knows anyone with Type 1 diabetes should try to understand as best they can.  One must live WITH this disease, as if it were another person.  This disease is so difficult to manage at times it seems the two of you (diabetes and the person with it) can’t get along, even with counseling, clergy support or drugs and certainly not alcohol.  Drugs are required with Type 1 diabetes as our pancreas is not capable of producing insulin, a vital a peptide hormone, produced by beta cells in the pancreas, central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. It causes cells in the liverskeletal muscles, and fat tissue to absorb glucose from the blood.  (< all this via Wikipedia) Without insulin, our diabetic, non-pancreas working bodies become toxic.

Ten years ago I decided it was time to begin administering my insulin via insulin pump and I’m so glad I went ahead with that decision.  It took some time to get used to, having constantly being connected to a small pager like device.  At times I really hated it, like REALLY hated it for being so inconvenient because it was ALWAYS there.  Always.  When sleeping, when awake, and when doing all things awake.  Fortunately one can unplug herself from her pump for about an hour, but not often or, what’s the point of having it connected?!

I have finally gotten more used to dealing with how to handle my life and being attached to an insulin pump.  That wasn’t always the case.  I remember in Vegas once many years ago, two of my girlfriends and I went down to the pool and at that time I had an insulin pump that was waterproof.  I wore a cute blue bikini with cherries on it and red, short board-shorts to clip my pump onto something without completely pulling down my bikini bottoms.  Some frat-type boy saw me, in my get up and pointed as he walked by me laughing, drink in hand, “don’t get your pager wet!”  I snidely retorted, “thanks man.  It’s an insulin pump.”  He smiled back my way.  I guess maybe he didn’t want to express feeling bad for being an ass, or looking like an ass in front of a pool full of people.  Smiling still makes you look like an ass, you ass.

Anywho, it is often the case that my insulin pump somehow interferes with my outfit of choice on any given day.  I have decided to let others see how good I have become at concealing my secret weapon.  Ha.

Below is the outfit of the day, without a pump to be found.  I’m wearing Rock & Republic Victoria Beckham jeans from AGES ago, jeans that used to be nice and snug and have transformed into the very hip “boyfriend” jeans.  Boyfriend jeans are my favorite because they’re oh so loose, and also because I can sit easily and without having to rearrange my pump or without it jabbing into my hip bone.  The only place I ever wear my pump anymore is in pockets of my pants or, if I’m wearing a skirt or dress, I wear my pump in a slip with a custom sewn pocket.  I’ve also outfitted all of my sleepwear with little pockets for my pump.  How very glamourous, I know.

MySurreaLife Fashionable pumping

I’m also wearing a super fun t-shirt that you can’t see from this pic, but I just got it from JCrew and it says “Amour Amour Amour” allll over it in black and grey.  Click the link to see it on the JCrew site. The blazer is from Bebe and the Melissa & Campana shoes are from my neighbor’s awesome Studio City boutique Mimi & Hy.  While getting our little lady dressed, she saw the scarf in her closet and decided I needed to wear it. At first I was going to come up with an excuse as to why I wasn’t going to wear it, but after she put it on me I walked into my closet and saw the pink mini Bebe blazer and voila, outfit ensemble du jour.  It can be done!  Fashion, comfort AND an insulin pump.

I have no idea if this delightful of an outfit will come again anytime soon.

Wish me luck.