Actually, the title is not a reference to U2 even though I am going to see them later today. The title is a reference to my themed Sunday gatherings that began June 26th, which are comprised of New Orleans-style bloody mary with pickled green beens and okra, and True Blood. Now you understand…
June 26th began like a typical day, but when nightfall came, I found myself tuning into HBO at 8pm for last season’s finale of True Blood, which was kind of like tailgating…pumping me up for the main event. At 9, the land of psycho fairies, shapeshifters, time lapses, and vampires came alive. Ooooooooooo Alexander Skarsgard. Sookie, if he wants you for his girlfriend, what’s to think about? Pam gave you all the solid reasons: hot, rich, cares for you as deeply as vampires can. Come on Sook!
Bill’s king. Sam has friends. Jason’s a cop. Andy has a drug problem. Tara is in a gay relationship (like we couldn’t see that coming). Lafayette is with a wiccan. The wiccan is part of a crazy little cult. Ah, Bon Temps, it’s good to have you back.
And…if you didn’t catch it at the end of the show…HBO has a little something called HBOGo.com, that you can access through the internet or download as an app on your i-Instruments…and you get to watch an extra episode. Guess who saw the second episode in the season? I did.
Really? Jason as a panther? Really? Wiccans controlling the world? Really? Eric with amnesia? really? Oh, Eric, you’re breaking my heart.
I personally enjoyed the first episode of the season much more than the second. It’s True Blood, so I’m hooked regardless….
Here’s to Sunday Bloody Sundays! 4 light fruits for the kick off to the new season!
Bubble-gum smell. Humor. Cool glasses. Good music. It’s not a 3-D movie or a ride at Disney…it’s my dentist’s office…Ariel J. Rodriguez, D.D.S. in Glendale, California.
I arrived with my luggage since this was my last stop before my return flight to MIA. I was greeted by two lovely women, who asked me about my trip, were genuinely interested, and then gave me a tour of the office. I was then escorted to one of the rooms towards the back for my cleaning.
Music started playing (a little compilation of Tori Amos, Jem, and 80s music…love him!). Dr. Rodriguez handed me some cool glasses to wear, at which point I was confused…was I giving a cleaning? Was I welding something? Well, this doctor firmly believes in safety first, and these glasses prevent spit, flying toothpaste and other things in flight from landing in your eyes…
Then my nose caught the scent of bubblegum, and I was intrigued. I had the urge to sniff all around their hands like an anteater searching for food, but it might have been a strange thing to do…then I realized…bubble-gum scented gloves! I love this guy!
Then the fun began…the water pik, the sucker thing (I love) that extracts the collection of spit and water from your mouth so you don’t ingest that healthy mixture of bacteria and blood, the little tools that pick at your teeth.
With that little u-pick tool in my mouth, my dentist began asking me questions and smiling since he was well aware I could not answer. Then, he told me, “Remember how I told you that your daughter has to use that fluoride rinse?” I nodded. “Well you need to also. Will you?” I nodded. “You’re not agreeing because I am holding this sharp instrument inside your mouth, are you?” I started laughing, which involved spitting and drooling.
We were done. Well, not really. I had cavities. He couldn’t let me return to Miami without caring for it so…
New room. New chair. Filling time.
At this point, my jaw was tired, and apparently I have a small bite to begin with (I’m not proud), so he used what I like to call a little yoga prop for my mouth that kept my right side open while he worked on the left. 30-45 minutes later he was done. He asked me to keep in touch in case I had any sensitivity. He actually gave me a follow-up call for the next couple days…what dentist does that? My dentist, Ariel J. Rodriguez, DDS, that’s who.
So, if you’re near Glendale or even if you’re in Miami and want a vacation and a filling…here’s how you can reach Dr. Rodriguez: 428 W. Arden Avenue, Suite 201, Glendale, CA 91203. Phone number: (818)243-4287. Email: email@example.com.
I give Dr. Rodriguez 5 bubble-gum scented gloves!
Ah in the good ol’ days you could be a lady of the night on Hollywood Blvd, and offer your services to a wealthy man (like Richard Gere for example) who will put you up at the Willshire and take you shopping on Rodeo Drive baby! Hollywood has undergone a change geared more towards inviting families, and less ladies of the night.
I must tell you that I felt like a pretty woman at several points earlier this week as I strolled along the Walk of Fame in Hollywood Blvd, and my earlier outing at the Willshire in Beverly Hills.
I was accompanied by two other ladies, and our walk began in Beverly Hills, on Rodeo Drive at Cartier, passing the original Cheesecake Factory, taking us through a charming, little village-like area where you can find Tiffany’s and other stores. We, however, stopped at Tiffany’s, where the three of us, tried to fight the urge to eat croissants with dark glasses on, and extending our necks a la Audrey. Ah, the blue boxes…I just love those boxes. I think I scared off any ideas my beloved had of ever giving me one of those boxes because he thought I wanted a pricey ring in that box…Honey, if you are reading this, it’s the box I want…you can put a life saver in there and we can live with my mother (just kidding Mom!)…box. blue box. Enough of Tiffany’s or my weird box fetish.
So we exited onto Rodeo Drive, facing the Willshire Hotel, and we all had to pee. Girls, I said, if we’re going to pee, we should do so in 5-star facilities. We crossed the street, the doorman held the door for us, we went to the marble and granite bathroom, used the restroom and then we discovered the hand soap, and the body lotion…well, it was hand lotion, but we applied it to our bodies. The Willshire is the place to shed excessive liquid if you are in the area. I kept hoping Hector Elizondo would take me under his wing or that I would be offered a red box (love the boxes!), but no such luck so we kept moving, traveled back towards our car, passed La Perla, where we dreamt of panties, Harry Winston’s shiny love, and then on a side street we discovered paper monkeys at the Paper Source…ooooo Wonder Woman lunch boxes, swear cards, unusual journals…we were in stationary heaven (you know that feeling you would get at Office Depot during back to school days)!
Sadly, we had to leave because next on our journey was…the La Brea tar pits and Tim Burton’s exhibit at the LACMA.
I give the Willshire 5 yummy-smelling hydration points, Tiffany gets 5 life saver-filled blue boxes, and the Paper Source gets 5 paper monkeys!
Not only does Sookie have the ability to listen to your thoughts, but she also has the ability to impair my ability to blog. Why you may ask? Well because her creator, Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, also the basis for a little show we know as True Blood (whose new season begins, ummm…June 26th! Who’s sitting in front of the TV, waiting to be bitten? I am! You should too.), pulls you into a world set in Bon Temps, Louisiana. A world of vampires, shapeshifters, and other supernatural creatures. Who has a Harry Potter void? I do! My void, however, has become smaller, largely due to Ms. Harris’ series.
So, I am traveling through Southern California, and I did want to share my experiences with the meerkat and the panda at the San Diego Zoo and the Kansas BBQ aka Top Gun bar in San Diego, the Bubble Store and Taco Loco in Laguna, Betrali’s B&B restaurant in Vegas, the kayaking experience with the seals I didn’t go on in La Jolla, watching “Heathers” at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary next to Johnny Ramone’s plot in duh? Hollywood, the Griffith Observatory and Say Cheese in Los Feliz, the medical marijuana pushers and canals at Venice Beach, the Asian workers walking on my back for $20 at the Reseda Foot Relaxology in Reseda, the haunted Colorado State Bridge known as the Suicide Bridge in Pasadena, Rodeo Drive and the Willshire Hotel and Tiffany’s where I wanted to eat a croissant with dark glasses in Beverly Hills, Tim Burton’s exhibit at the LACMA, Musso & Frank’s and the Chinese Theater and hooking on Hollywood Blvd…I wanted to share those experiences with you and I will. But I couldn’t. Why? Sookie.
I just finished “Dead Until Dark” in a few days because my friend loaned it to me and he wasn’t going to let me just take it back to MIA with me, and there was no way I was going to be in some sort of limbo until my return, so I’m done. Now I’ve moved onto the second in the series, which my dear child brought with her (have I mentioned that my kid hid the awesomeness of this series because I tend to get a little competitive with her? Just because I would ground her from reading the Twilight series we were sharing so that I could have them all to myself. Doesn’t every parent do that?!). Anyways, it’s awesome. “Dead Until Dark” was well written, engaging, and no, you don’t know everything that will happen because it is different from the HBO series, “True Blood” (June 26th!) despite it being the basis for the series. Read it. Love it. Fill your Potter void or if you’re a Twilight fan, your Mormon void.
I give “Dead Until Dark” 4 bloody fangs.
It’s 6:30 am, my beloved has set the cardiac-arrest-inducing alarm to snooze again. I walk over to the lobby whose architecture has a Spanish air to it, grab some much needed coffee, sit down next to a bougainvillea-adorned window overlooking the street below, and begin to write.
You can see the ocean from where I’m sitting. The tiny boutique shops showcasing the local art have not yet opened. There’s a central courtyard that is in bloom with a gazebo. Every step brings you to another breath-taking specimen of a plant. Even the Taco Bell across the street is pretty. This is Laguna Beach.
I cannot recreate the sensation of being in this picturesque town by the sea. Just go. Stay at the Holiday Inn Laguna Beach. Even the street signs are works of art. Every walk unveils another treasure within Laguna’s maritime mist of wonder.
I will leave you with two quotes found on the fence overlooking the ocean in Brown’s park, which you must discover for yourself. One sign has a border made up of “sight” written repeatedly, and it says: “In this fleeting moment what extravagant respite as promethean sunsets blossom, blaze, and secede from splendor to mystery”. Next to it is the other, the border has “sound” instead of “sight”, and it reads: “In this moment what extravagant respite as blooming surf speaks its mystical passage across the undreamed depths”.
Welcome to Laguna.
I’ll make this short given my love for theme parks (no, I’m not serious)…
Aaaah theme parks. Screaming, never-seemingly satisfied children. Parents that are exhausted both physically and financially. Searing sun. Long lines. No tranquilizers. And that’s just Disneyworld in Orlando.
The flowers are in bloom. The people are nicer. The weather is kinder. The size is more manageable. The rides are longer. There’s medicinal weed. It’s California. It’s Disneyland. It’s well-organized…and I mean the other park, California Adventures is a one-minute walk away not a 45 minute commute like Disneyworld. Heck, even Downtown Disney is a walk away instead of another drive. Even the expensive food is tastier. Disneyland is friendlier in every sense. The lines might be longer, but they move in a more efficient manner. The only complaint I have is that the Fast Pass for the major rides is exhausted within the first couple hours of the park opening.
If you have kids, you will probably have to go to some theme park throughout the course of their first eighteen years of life. Most kids and parents will not have an agreement on theme parks like my parents and I did. I was nine. We were walking towards the exit at the end of my first time in DisneyWorld. My mom turns to me, with a sympathetic hand on my shoulder, and said “I hope you enjoyed today because I don’t think we are ever coming back”. I looked up at her with adoring eyes and said “Thank you”. I knew that day while riding Big Thunder involuntarily, that theme parks were not for me. However, chances are that if you have a kid, you will not be as lucky as my parents were. If that’s the case, I hope you live in or near California and can take them to DisneyLand. And if you live in or near Florida, as I do, then I’m sorry…just get the time-share now because you will be in Orlando’s DisneyWorld nearly every summer, wondering how this all happened, and my answer to you: no birth control is how it happened.
Make a day of it…Go to the stunning Getty Villa overlooking the spectacular view of the coast in Malibu, drive by the location where Two and A Half Men are filmed to see what Charlie’s up to now…oh, sorry, I mean Ashton, and then continue on to a wooden restaurant located on your left hand side, and prepare to be delighted.
First, make sure you seat has a view of the ocean because you will probably see dolphins gracefully swimming by, surfers enjoying the thrill of the sea, and huge waves that reach up to the windows. It’s amazing…try to go around sunset with a Mai Tai in your hand.
Second, order the Fisherman’s Chowder…it’s amazing. However, it is heavy so it could easily end up becoming your meal. If you are able to make it to the entrees, then try any of their fish. Duke’s only serves fish that is in season, and their selection is always delicious. Once you decide on the fish, you then choose the way you would like it to be prepared: parmesan herb crusted, firecracker, banana leaf steamed, and another one I can’t remember. I had the Opa prepared firecracker style, which simply means it’s spicy and scrumptious. The dessert menu is also quite delicious if you can make it to that point, which I could not…hello?! 2 meals in one sitting…I eat yogurt and I’m full!
So if you’re in Los Angeles, stay in Venice Beach (I’ll get to that section soon!), and take a drive…make a day of it in Malibu…go to the Getty Villa and then have an early supper at Duke’s.
Duke’s in Malibu gets 4 Mai Tai salutes!
So I’m a little timid about showing too much, despite having been raised by naked artists (I may be exaggerating, but I prefer my version!). Saturday night, surrounded by good friends and family, I decided to shed some of those inhibitions and take out that little revealing dress I love to hide and wear it. I threw on some hoop earrings, make up and I was ready for a night in Vegas. One charming young man walking past me, turned and said “I love that dress.” That was enough to pick up my strut and own my little hoochie dress. A couple cadillac margaritas later I owned it even more.
Five of us get into the cab. Minutes later we pull up in front of the Gypsy…a gay club off the strip. Now why a gay club if I’m a straight girl you might ask? Until you’ve been there, don’t knock it. But nonetheless, I will give you a few reasons…
1. Gorgeous men everywhere. (There’s a comprising picture of a dancer, a dollar bill and me!)
2. Great music. (What can I say? Gay men have great taste)
3. Freedom. (Throwing back tequila shots, and bootie dancing…it was like I was trying out for 2 Live Crew video).
What freedom? The freedom to be myself, dance how I want, and shed all inhibitions as though no one’s watching. It’s a liberating experience. I usually equate clubs with meat markets, and this one might have been as well, but in this market I was tofu and I was a happy little tofu at that!
So, if you haven’t tried it…take out that revealing outfit you never wear, go with good friends and just let go!
Bright lights. Trucks with billboards announcing hot babes that come to you. Slot machines and black jack tables. And shows. Comedy shows. Musicals. Peep shows. Pick a show. We picked the Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian.
Prior to making the commitment to see Phantom of the Opera, I received a variety of reviews regarding the show. I wasn’t sure what exactly I was walking into. The theater was made specifically for the Phantom…much like Vegas, creating an illusion…in this case the 1800s.
Once the show began, I was instantly hooked…a protoganist that is a pathological killer and hopeless romantic? I’m sold. My kind of guy. It was reminiscent of the Greek myth about Hades and Persephone…guy likes girl, guy is geeky and unattractive, guy is a bit of loner, guy woos girl, girl learns some cool tricks but she just wants to be friends, guy has a phat pad underground (he’s probably concerned about the end of the Mayan calendar), guy wants more so he keeps her at his place against her will, but girl has friends that persuade guy this might not be the way to forge a relationship. Guy lets girl go…although with Persephone she ate those pomegranate seeds, forcing her into a long distance relationship half of the year, and the other half she, like many others in today’s society, is in a loveless marriage, but unlike others she get to be the Goddess of the Underworld…who doesn’t want to have that title?!
Anyways, I found myself teary, and feeling sorry for the misunderstood Phantom. He is a bit of serial killer, but did you see how cool his place is?
I give the Phantom 3.5 chandeliers.
Two shots of Patron tequila (no hangover per a reliable source) and Grand Marnier differentiates a Cadillac from a regular margarita…two of those bad boys later I find myself sleepwalking to the Bellagio in Vegas…now, it’s Vegas so that is acceptable behavior, but narcolepsy isn’t sexy. So today, I have stayed true to my old faithful…the Bloody Mary…two later, I’m writing this blog so, I’m evidently a lot more productive (and awake) than yesterday.
Cadillac…I give you 4 blue agave! Bloody Mary…I give you 4 Louisiana hot saucy kisses!