Baby Bean is Growing

 BabyFruit Ticker

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

feelin glam

1. I transported two dresses worth $400,000 from our photo shoot back to the Oscar suite in Beverly Hills that the boss lady borrowed them from.

2. I handled and took the tags off of $425,000 worth of jewelry for said photo shoot.

3. I glad-handed and shmoozed in the Oscar suite, meeting the stylists for Access Hollywood and the stylist for Marissa Tomei, all while sipping on my free mojito from the Bacardi Limone suite next door.

I'm getting better at pretending to be way cooler than I am.

Monday, February 27, 2006

weekend roundup

Yesterday, I spent the vast majority of the day at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in downtown LA rehearsing for, and then performing in, a concert with 1200 other singers.

Yeah, that's the right number of zeros. Twelve hundred.

To answer your first question, yes, the cathedral is large enough to hold 1,200 singers and still have room for almost 3,000 audience memebers. Three thousand. It was packed. Standing room only. Really, it was unreal.

The whole thing was put on for a foundation that was started last year for the cathedral's resident organist who was in a terrible car accident and lost his right arm. The original intent of the foundation was to keep him economically viable in the face of his tragedy, but they raised so much money that now they fund scholarships for students to study to play the organ.

ANYWAY. The concert was... An experience. We rehearsed for almost four hours. It was intense. The main problem was that the space is SO BIG and the two sides of the choir were SO FAR APART that the sopranos (my section) were hearing the basses and altos almost a full beat after they actually sang, which made it sound to us like we were off, although in the audience, apparently, it sounded fine.

Ah, the physics of sound. It was incredibly challenging to sing in time with the movement of the director's arms, and not in time with what you're hearing. I'm not sure if we ever really got it right.

But it was definitely an experience.


In other news, this is the week from HELL. We have a client with a suite at the Beverly Hilton all week for Oscar week who wants to have her hand held, and a huge photo shoot taking place today, tomorrow and Wednesday. If I survive to Thursday, we will consider it a success.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I've been having some VERY strange dreams lately.

For instance, two nights ago I woke up and told Brandon that I was very mad at him because he'd bought two new cars without telling me, and only as I said it did I realize that it was actually a dream. The jury is still out on whether or not he was actually even awake when I said it to him.

Then, last night, I dreamed I had a little yorkshire terrier that fit in a handbag, and I was taking him to the dog show, and I went up to my car (my new car) and there was somebody parked really close on the driver's side, and it looked like there were people inside the other car kissing. So, I decided to put the dog in on the passenger side and make a lot of noise so they would notice and go away, only, when I opened the passenger side door, I realized that they were actually trying to break into my car. I very calmly told them that they couldn't steal my car because they'd have to have the key with the chip in it or it wouldn't start (true!), but then they very calmly told me it was OK, because I had the key.

And then I realize that they all had two heads.

It was very disturbing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

pic spam

You can see pictures from our Santa Barbara trip here!

On the Road Again

Our random road trip was a success! We made it to Santa Barbara on Sunday with a whole afternoon stretching out in front of us and headed to the beach. It is a beautiful beach with big green mountains framing everything and a long, fabulous wharf that has restaurants and tchotchkie gift shops. Unfortunately, we hadn't really planned on it being Southern California's approximation of cold, and hadn't packed accordingly. I had a blazer, but Brandon had nothing but his short sleeved tee shirts, so we ended up buying him a souvenir sweatshirt on the pier. Then we had a bread bowl of clam chowder to warm up, and I can honestly say that it is the ONLY clam chowder I have ever enjoyed. It was made all the better by the fact that we kept having to threaten a fearless seagull to keep him from stealing our bread bowl right out from under us.

Our next adventure was finding a hotel. Unfortunately, the quaint little hotel we'd read about in the guide book was full up, so we spent the next half hour or so driving around Santa Barbara looking for a place to stay. We ended up at a place called The Lemon Tree Inn which looked promising. It had real lemon trees out front.

After snagging a map from the hotel lobby, we headed downtown. Downtown Santa Barbara felt a bit like the Champs Elyssee -- all manicured trees and posh shops -- but it did have a bit of a small town feel to it as well. We meandered along the street doing our usual "What do you want to eat?" "I don't know what do you want to eat?" until we got to the end and Sharkey's bar. Feeling that we were up for a little grease and alcohol, we went in.

Sharkeys is kind of like a sports bar with about three dozen TVs hung on every possible surface of wall all around the room. They have a pretty extensive food menu, but you order everything at the bar. So, Brandon had shrimp and lobster enchiladas, I had lobster tacos, and we both ordered margaritas. Much to our surprise, it was two-for-one happy hour, so we both ended up with two very LARGE margaritas. The food was good, as were the drinks, and there's a station with as many chips and salsa as you can eat, so we were ok. We watched bull riding and motor cross and got really really toasted. It was fun.

We stumbled back to our car and back to the hotel (it wasn't that far, honest) and sat up in bed and watched Hotel Rawanda on Showtime. It was pretty damned depressing, but a very excellent film.

Unfortunately, the Lemon Tree Inn did not live up to our first impressions. The bed was uncomfortable, the windows in the bathroom would close all the way, so it was cold, and it faced the street, so it was also quite noisy. We didn't sleep all that well, and when we got up in the morning, we realized that the shower would either do freezing or scalding but nothing much in between, and it vacillated between the two at random. Joy.

But we more than made up for that with breakfast. After reading a bit of the menu in the in room magazine, we headed back downtown for breakfast at the Tupelo Junction Cafe. The food was excellent and different enough to be really kind of exciting. I had a breakfast scramble with spinach, caramelized onions, tomatoes and Gouda that came with really excellent banana nut bread, and Brandon had poached eggs with some sort of really neat jumbalia type stuff that had chicken and andouille sausage and lord knows what else in it, but it was quite good.

After stuffing ourselves, we headed up into the hills, past the Santa Barbara mission, to the botanical gardens where we spent a really nice couple of hours tromping around looking at all the pretty plants. There was also a really cool sculpture called "Toad Hall" made entirely out of (some living, some cut) pussy willows. Very very cool.

After the botanical gardens we took the scenic route up to Ojai, hoping to see the miraculous view that Frank Capra cast as Shangra La in the film "Lost Horizon," but unfortunately, the scenic turnoff where you could actually stop was blocked off by what I think was a film crew. Maybe they're remaking "Lost Horizon..."

Staying on our scenic backroads, we made our way back to the freeway and back into town. I've got loads of pictures to upload, so expect some picture spam in the next couple of days!

Sunday, February 19, 2006


The hubby and I decided last night at around 7:30 that we should take a road trip, so we are leaving after church this morning and seeing where the road takes us. We'll be back by Monday night cos of the work and whatnot, so it won't be a long journey, but I thought I'd let y'all know.

In other news, we have ants in our dishwasher. How did they get there, and how do we get rid of them??

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Our Daily bread

Brandon and I have been eating out too much lately. I realized this last night when we were debating where to go, and we kept realizing that we'd "just had" chinese/mexican/american/whatever.

So, I've made the executive decision (as executive chef chez Boggs-Renner) to plan, prepare, and cook a little more often at home. This isn't a sacrifice; I actually really like to cook. But I get into these ruts where I didn't plan very well before my last grocery trip, so we have really random ingredients on hand, and I really can't be bothered to figure out how to make something edible out of them.

I think the planning is the key. I figure there's one of two ways to do this: either you can buy the same basic ingredients at the store every week and cycle through a repetoir of a dozen or so recipes, or you can sit down with your cook books and plan out a week's worth of meals, write down the ingredients, and buy. (Or, I suppose, a combination of the two.)

The latter is obviously more labor intensive, but I tend to get bored easily. And hey, I'm young and strong, I don't have small children, I have an overabundance of cookbooks and a husband with a fairly adventurous palatte. This shouldn't be too difficult.

In fact, I got THREE new cookbooks for Christmas that I've been dying to try out. Only problem is that two of them, The Barefoot Contessa in Paris and Nigella Lawson's Nigella Bites, are definitely NOT "healthy" recipes.

So, I came up with a plan: once a week, when I sit down to make my menu and my grocery list, I'm going to ask Hubby to go through the new cookbooks with me, and we will pick out one fabulous meal to make. No holds barred, no substituting low fat ingredients for their full fat counterparts. We will make it an Event. A Sunday Dinner, if you will (regardless of when we actually eat it.) And Brandon likes to help me cook sometimes, so it will be a culinary adventure for us.

I'll keep you posted on what we choose and how it comes out. Maybe I'll even take a digital picture. Gotta love the digital age.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

what? The internet won't surf itself, you know.

I am sitting in a French cafe near my house, enjoying cafe au lait and a croissant avec des oeufs and surfing the internet working on my writing.

Does it GET any better than this?

Friday, February 10, 2006

To Blog, or not to blog?

So, I know I have a small but devoted audience for this blog, and I appreciate that wholeheartedly. The only problem is that my life isn't really all that interesting. OK, the car was interesting. And yeah, I could probably write a novel a day about how crazy my boss is, but that really isn't very healthy and she might sue me for libel (which she would LOSE because it would all be true, but). But other than that? Not so much going on in my life.

So I have been looking for things to blog about lately. I mean, really LOOKING. Hard. I've even started jotting down notes in the little notebook I carry in my purse to remind me of things I think I might want to blog about later.

Unfortunately, even my notes are boring.

One says *bread* -- and it pertained to the fact that I was appalled that the health food store where I was doing my grocery shopping yesterday didn't have ANY bread with more than one gram of fiber per slice. In fact? Their old fashioned wheat bread had 0 grams per slice.

See? BORING. Who wants to read a blog about bread for cripes sake???

Then I wrote down *CD* because I have made two really good mix CDs in the last two days. That's really the whole extent of that. I have no idea how I thought I could stretch that into an entire post.

And finally, I wrote *dreamcatcher* which was actually an idea for a short story, not a blog post.

In short? I LOSE at blogging lately. Apologies.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Sunday was our annual parish meeting at church. Brandon and I have been attending our church for about two years now, and we haven't gone to a single parish meeting yet. This one was different.

Let me start by saying that we attend a fairly liberal Episcopalian church, and when the gay bishop was elected, a few members left the church because our rector publicly supported him. According to insiders, some of the older members of the church have been wanting to get rid of the rector since he got there because they find him too liberal.

In addition, last year, the very conservative assistant priest resigned. I learned only recently that it wasn't really a voluntary decision. She was told she could either resign or be fired. It wasn't a happy time.

So. Apparently, when pledge time came around at the end of last year, a small but affluent group of church members refused to pledge anything to the church until "changes were made." The loss of their pledges caused a shortfall of almost $35,000 for the church's annual budget. That same group of people then apparently started showing up to vestry meetings, demanding that the vestry come up with a balanced budget, and saying that the only way to do so was to fire our choir director. Thankfully, the clergy stepped up to the plate: our choir director cut his salary in half, moving to half-time, another of our assistant priests volunteered to cut his salary in half, and our rector took another large pay cut to make up the difference.

Now, I know I am biased, because I love our choir director. He is an amazing man and a very talented musician. He is also an ordained priest and leads the high school youth group program. He is a wonderfully warm person with a passion for his calling. He is also gay.

According to my inside sources, no one ever played the gay card when they suggested he should be cut from the program, but I have a feeling it might have been a factor. What I was told was that many believed that if they couldn't oust our rector, they would oust his supporters, starting with the choir master.

It came down to a bloody campaign between the two camps. There were 13 people running for 5 spots on the vestry -- something I am certain is fairly unusual (especially when people normally have to be bribed to even run!). People were passing out flyers, campaigning, calling church members on the phone to entice them to vote a particular way.

The meeting itself was fraught with ill feelings and there were several shouting matches. Several people got up and said that they had heard rumors of a coup and did anyone want to answer them? No one did. No one came out and publicly said what their agenda was. The only person who spoke frankly was the Senior Warden when he announced that several people who were running for the vestry would NOT be found on the list of pledging households, and that it was his opinion that that was hypocritical. There was a great deal of shouting after he said that.

But, in the end, I think we prevailed. My inside source provided us with a cheat sheet of who was on which side, and our side was elected save one. Our choir director's job is safe, for the time being, and if our congregation can come up with just an 8% increase in giving, we can have him back full time.

I just have never felt LESS like a part of a Christian community than when I was sitting in that room, ready to cast my vote to save the job of someone whose work I believed in. Thank God for the power of democracy. I couldn't believe how cynical, how hypocritical, and how duplicative those few members could be -- not even owning up to their own agenda! -- and still sit there and say that they had the church's Christian mission at heart.

Our rector gave a very moving sermon before the meeting, and one part of it stood out for me. He said, this isn't my church, or your church, or our church, it's GOD'S church. And he will do with it what he will.

We just helped it along in the right direction.

Monday, February 06, 2006

There's a big fire somewhere in the national forest, and so the air smells of dust and ash, and when I walked out to the parking garage this afternoon, my beautiful new car was covered in a fine layer of grey ash.

Did I mention that I got a new car this weekend? Cos I did.

I was stuck in traffic in it for the first time today. Remembered really quickly what it's like to clutch in traffic. Mmm.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I got a new car! We've been looking for a car since before Christmas. I knew exactly what I wanted: a dark blue 2006 Civic LX. We were told by every dealership we visited that said car did not exist in the entire state of California.

Undeterred, my husband started emailing dealerships in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oregon to no avail. So, he called Honda corporate, and they gave him the name of a dealer that could order directly from Honda.

That dealer told him, "OK. If we order it, it'll take 2-3 months to get, so let me double and triple check first and make sure we can't get you one that's already built." We didn't have much hope.

On Friday, he called back. He told us that there was one -- EXACTLY what we wanted -- in Thousand Oaks and it would be here by Saturday and we would have to buy it on Saturday. We said great.

The only catch was, the money we were going to use to buy the car? Is in our ING account. And takes three to five days to transfer to our bank account. Hmm.

So! My mother and father agreed to lend us $15,000 until Monday so we could buy the car.

So, we did. I am EXTREMELY happy.