Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mardi Gras Flashbacks

After five blurry days of Mardi Gras-ing in the Deep South, I have returned with a suitcase full of beads and bruises in strange places. The deal is, every other year, my stepsister, Julie, and I head to our brother and sister-in-law's place in Mississippi to celebrate. And if there is anything my family loves to do together, its drink, eat, laugh and sleep in, which is why I love them so.

I took over 200 photos, most of them blurry or otherwise unpublishable on the advice of my lawyer. However, there are a few choice prints. Here we are on the occasion of our first cocktail, Bloody Marys, at the Carousel Bar. We look so healthy and innocent.

It didn't take long for it to become this:

The floats were huge and amazing though Mary Ann tells me they were much bigger before Katrina came and destroyed a bunch. This Louis Armstrong float was my favorite:

Other than the floats and the booze, it's all about BEADS. It's amazing what people will do and say to get some colored plastic around their drunken necks. Julie was especially good at spotting what she wanted and then begging a bead thrower a block or so until they relented. There is a saying that New Orleans is sinking not because it is a swamp but because of all the beads in everyone's attic; I believe it.

This year in New Orleans, it was unusually cold so there was very little boobie flashing going on. Amazingly, I did not see one bare breast - plenty of 'nippy' jokes though.

Still, there was no shortage of crazy people willing to give in to the moment - in this case - a nearly naked drunken sweaty guy. I'm actually the multi-colored person on the left, fleeing the scene and trying to retrieve my camera, no doubt:

And finally, balcony decor that answers the age-old question: Can one own too many boas?

No. Definitely not.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Week in Review

So I' m leaving tomorrow, on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again .... Thursday. That's right. I'll be back Thursday. I had high hopes of blogging about these incidents individually but sometimes a girl can't keep up with herself, capiche? Snippets will have to suffice:

I hung out with my wingwoman, Laura, while she got her fourth tattoo on Valentine's Day. Like the typical single gals that we are, we also went shopping, enjoyed cocktails and went to see "He's Just Not That Into You" which was surprisingly funny. (It played to a packed house too.) It may have been one of my favorite non-romantic V-Days ever. She nearly convinced me to get my own but being tattoo-free, I'm my own new trend and I love being cutting-edge.

I went to hear Elizabeth Gilbert (blonde lady at right) speak at my church (note: that is the first time I have typed the phrase 'my church' in my entire life.) She's the author of 'Eat, Pray, Love' and I enjoyed the hell outta that book. It was emphatically recommended to me by a woman - a staunch Catholic - that I'd assumed I had nothing in common with spiritually. Out of curiosity I read it anyway, expecting some re-cooked version of that horrible 'Secret' book but again, dead wrong. Ms. Gilbert is hilarious, real, honest and incredibly flawed and her writing reflects that. She's a self-described "white hot mess" and did I mention she's hilarious? Totally worth it.

Thankfully, the job stress of the week was abated by doing comedy improv with my fellow comedians. It was further treated by a post-show visit to Steuben's, my favorite Denver hangout. The Monkeys (Howard and Krupa) had malts and milkshakes, while us Rodents (me, Jeff) went straight for the alcohol. Truly, stiff drinks are the backbone of comedy. Also, french fries and macaroni-cheese combined with almost anything, like green chilies. Funny friends - that helps too.

Must go back to packing now for Mardi Gras - leaving for New Orleans bright and early Are three boas too many?

Monday, February 16, 2009


Is there a better way to cap off Presidents Weekend than to read about your shiny new President coming to your very own neighborhood to do Something Big and Important? I think not.

That's right, President Obama - already sick of Washington and looking for every opportunity to get outta Dodge - is coming to Denver tomorrow (Tuesday) to officially sign the landmark economic-stimulus bill. He's coming to one of my favorite spots in the city, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, to do the deed. Other than Colorado being a leader in science, technology and alternative energy thinking, I'm thinking it's because the DMNS is one of the largest public institutions covered in solar panels.

Sadly, the Big O event is by invite only and closed to the public. Still, it's just 5.2 miles from my home so I'll just have lean northward tomorrow and send my love and support vibrationally.

Random Presidential Factoid Needing a Home: Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was the son of a poor, illiterate frontiersman and lost his mother as a child? And that he had barely 18 months of a formal education? That's true grit, baby.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Your Kid on Drugs

Poor David. He's just had dental surgery and the drugs are giving him a new perspective. Lucky for us, his dad was there to videotape the whole thing.

My favorite quote: "Is this real life?"

Monday, February 09, 2009

Oz on Fire

(Photo credit: Mark Pardew,AP)

During my year abroad, I spent four months in Australia. Except for the town of Broom in the upper west corner - which I missed - I'm pretty sure I covered it all. I drank a lot of beer, sang "Waltzing Matilda" about 8,000 times and nearly married one of those yummy Aussie men. I made "heaps of mates" and feel like Oz still lives in my heart, like a familiar love.

So, to watch it burn and see so many people die and suffer - it's like a personal hit to the gut. Last death count I heard was 188. I've contacted my Aussie peeps - all but one accounted for.

My dear friend, Kazza, tells me:

"It has been (and still is) a catastrophe. Most fires are under control now. I can’t imagine what it would be like. We have had extremely high temperatures in Adelaide. Walking on the pavement, my feet were getting burnt through the bottom of my shoes. 45 degrees (Celsius) is very hot. The kids at Ryan’s school were kept inside for 2 weeks – too hot to play outside. And then we hear from Tim’s family that their schools have been closed in UK because of high snow falls. What a topsy turvy world."

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the fires cease and the hardy, lovable people of Australia will heal and move forward. As they say Down Under, "She'll be right, mate." If you are moved to help, visit the Australian Red cross here.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

500th Post!

Hey, wow, look at me! I'm still here. Never thought when I started with that initial post ("Hear that? It's my Blog Cherry popping!" - 8/9/05) that I'd still be at it.

Today's landmark post is dedicated to my wonderful mother, Mama Iva, for she exemplifies the idea that the longer you stay around, the more fabulous you become. (Here she is, cooking with champagne at left.)

Sure, she grew up a shy, only child in North Dakota but today she is every inch a California girl. She is 76 but looks 65, still works 40 hours a week (by choice, not necessity) as a secretary and is wildly popular with her friends, my friends and my brother's friends. She is also the longtime Membership Chairwoman of 'Young at Heart Singles.' (Their tagline: 'Young at Heart ... Older in Other Places.') They were originally called 'Life Begins at 40' but had to change it once all their children hit 40.

So, I spoke to her briefly last night. First, I asked about her annual Superbowl party last weekend. "Yeah, it was fun - about 35 people," she said, with some disappointment. Superbowl parties of the past have had 90 or more people but her peers are aging and starting to die off, which is unsettling.

I remember trying to get in to one of her parties in the past and some woman with a clipboard met me at the door. "Hmmm, I don't see your name on the list so I'm sorry but ..." Seriously? I'm like, "Lady, I LIVE HERE."

As a result of the party, she also somehow ended up with more TVs than she stared with - most were upgrades. I think she now has at least six.

Anyway, as we were chatting, I asked why she was home from work early. She laughed. "Well, the guys are work are being so careful with me because they think I'm an old lady. So, when it started raining, they said, 'Iva, you should go home before it starts raining too hard.' Ha!"

This is true. The guys at her job love her so much that the word 'retirement' is verboten in her presence, lest she get any ideas. Her boss has also made it clear that even if she couldn't walk, they would build her a ramp or whatever else they needed to do to keep her around. I have heard these sentiments with my own ears when I visited her office.

So, Mom getting sent home early - because she's so old and delicate - is hilarious because it simply gave her more time to pack for her weekend. She's heading to Palm Springs - by limo.

With some buddies, she's off to see the Follies - a spectacle described as "a world-famous, Broadway-caliber celebration of the music, dance, and comedy of the 30's, 40's, and 50's with a cast old enough to have lived it!"

"Okay, let me get this straight," I said. "You've got the guys at work convinced that you are a frail old lady, when, in fact, you have a weekend of partying planned? Love it. I'm picturing you standing by the curb in your bikini holding a six pack."

She thought that was funny. I told her I'd give her a call on Sunday to review her weekend. "Just make sure you call in the late afternoon," she said. "We're stopping off at Knott's Berry Farm on the way home for brunch."

"Well, of course you are," I said.

I can only hope to 'grow old' like Mom. Likewise for the blog.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Lines of the Times

I hate to be Darcy Doom here but I'm starting to think that a Depression - that's right, the 'D' word - is in our near future. I was discussing this recently with my neighbor, Tim, and said, "When I start to see photos with people in long lines, that when the imagery will start to become eerily familiar."

Then, the next day I see this photo by Tim Chapman of the Miami Herald showing over 1,000 people lined up TWO DAYS EARLY to apply for 35 firefighter jobs. Yeesh.

Or this from Kentucky:

And let's not forget all those shameless folks lining up in their pajamas for a free breakfast at Denny's:

I also heard there was a line at the Returns Desk of Neiman Marcus but no photo available.

Bale Out

I never, ever seem to tire of celebrity tirades set to dance music. Here's a winner created by Los Angeles–based composer RevoLucian based on the F-bomb tantrum of Christian Bale.

Bale's rage was directed at cinematographer Shane Hurlbut who’d committed the sin of walking into the actor’s sight line while on the set of Terminator Salvation last summer. Since the video will probably get taken down soon, here is also the link.

F**king enjoy! (Thanks for VSL for the tip!)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Just Funny

Saturday night's show, 'When Animals Improv III' was a raging success. In an ongoing experiment of inter-species comedic mingling, my comedy improv troupe, The Rodents of Unusual Size combines forces with Monkey's Uncle for an annual group show. It's always a raging success and this weekend was no different. We packed the house and made 'em laugh.

In one episode of Recast, Larry was recast as Woody Allen and I as Phyllis Diller. We had to re-enact the subway sex scene from Risky Business. Hilarity ensued.

Then there was the episode of Dye My Bitch (stereotype designers compete to makeover a celebrity pet) where Krupa played Johnny Carson and Larry jumped in as Ed McMahon. My only complaint was that it was much too short. I wanted more.

I also wanted more of Shari playing an Emo, which brought down the house. (I didn't know what an 'emo' was - apparently, it's an emotionally disturbed child. I played a cougar - an idea that I am warming to in real life.)

And here's Mateo playing a gang member and pretty much pulling it off. (He's always pulling things off, ifyaknowwhatImean.) Mateo is hilarious. They all are. I'm so blessed that they let me regress and play with them. Otherwise, I'd be forced to do improv on the streets of Denver, alone and without protection. Or even worse, without an audience. Yeesh.