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A pie pan, a spoon, and a gun

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I was making dinner tonight around 6:00 and heard a bunch of coyotes howling outside. So what’s new, right? I went out to make sure they weren’t in the yard again and it sounded like they were behind the next door neighbor’s house. I went back to my broiled salmon with rice and broccoli.

We have a tradition here that we walk every evening after dinner and we do it in the back yard. It’s a big yard and we have a path we use for our regular 20-minute after-dinner walk. After dinner we were getting ready to head outside when I saw this coyote on the hill behind our house. He was walking past, stopped to stare me down, and kept going.

It was time for our walk. We’ve both agreed that we will never use excuses not to walk after dinner and today was not going to be an exception. No excuses. That doesn’t mean no fear. I’m still haunted by the dozen or so coyotes that invaded our back yard a few weeks ago. We needed to feel safe with something that makes noise. The neighbors use an air horn to combat the coyotes but we don’t have one. So Denis got a metal pie pan and a wooden spoon to bang it with.

That was okay for one or two coyotes but what if the whole troop comes back? I got my gun. I put it in my pocket just in case and we went walking… with a pie pan, a spoon, and a gun. It’s just life in California.

Happy Mother’s Day

00390028My mother’s  name was Sophie. She was a pretty woman who liked music, played the guitar, and had a big collection of albums. Her favorite singer was Jerry Vale.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms.

Just another Saturday night… NOT.

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We bought tickets to benefit a fundraiser on Saturday and went to the Pantages Theater to see the show. I was excited to see the headliner, Neil Young, but did not expect to see Brad Pitt in the audience. Brad Pitt!! So here’s the rundown…

The tickets were benefiting Autism Speaks, which is a wonderful cause, but I thought it was just a concert. Then Jack Black walked out as the host. Then Christina Applegate came out after that. And we saw Ed Asner in the audience, too! The best part of the night was an auction for a guitar signed by everyone involved that people in the audience were bidding for and Brad Pitt was one of the bidders, which is how I got this picture that was put up on the screen.

The highlight of the concert was definitely Neil Young. Everyone was thrilled to see him perform. Also on the bill were Stephen Stills and Shawn Colvin as well as The White Buffalo. That’s the band you hear if you’ve ever watched Sons of Anarchy. They were great! Here’s the best picture I could take with my phone of (left-to-right) Stephen Stills, Jack Black, Neil Young, and another artist.

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I thought it was going to be just another Saturday night but it was way beyond our expectations to see all these people. By the way, the auction was for a signed Fender Stratocaster and Brad got it for $25,000.

It’s baaack!

Remember in the summer of 2012 when a tomato plant started growing in my rose garden? And by the time it was done, I had picked over 8,000 tomatoes? Well it’s back! If you’re new here, listen to this: I did not plant it. I did not feed it. I don’t know where it came from. It just started growing in between my roses and never stopped. The following year it didn’t come back so I thought that was it. Then about 3 months ago we noticed it coming up between the roses but it looked pretty small and we didn’t expect it to survive. Here’s what we discovered back in December…

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Now, less than four months later, it’s grown into the roses on both sides and well over the top of the fence. It’s  ten feet across and taller than I am. Look at this photo taken today…

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And it’s already loaded with tomatoes…

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It’s crazy! But here’s something even more crazy: It’s in a different spot! I know my roses and it’s about five feet over from where it grew the first time. And it’s growing incredibly fast. As if that’s not enough, these tomatoes were the best I’ve ever tasted. They are large cherry tomatoes, organic of course, and as sweet a tomato as I’ve ever had. I’ll keep posting the progress of this crazy tomato plant and counting the ones I pick, not counting the ones eaten by the mangy rat-faced, no-good, low-life, beady-eyed, scum-sucking, tomato-stealing squirrels! 

My New Website!!

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It’s finally here! My new website!

More cow bell! More party balloons!! I’m celebrating the launch of my new website and I’m so excited! It’s been a long wait but it’s so worth it. Plus, it’s now mobile-friendly, too! A big thank you to my friend and website developer, Robert Avedissian (Avetar Interactive) for his fabulous work on this new site and also to my assistant, Damon, for actually understanding what Robert was doing.

Thank you, Robert, for my awesome new home!!  See you at our celebration lunch. I’ll be the one with balloons!!! And a cow bell. Big hugs!! xoxoxo

p.s. My old (vintage) website is still available. Just click here.

Why I’m Grateful

Happy-Thanksgiving-
First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
It’s a day to be grateful and I have much to be grateful for.
1) Squirrels are hybernating.
2) I don’t have to wear Spanx.
3) I have never bought anything “as seen on TV.”
4) I can still drive at night.
5) There’s a TV in my bathroom.
6) TMZ doesn’t know where I live.
7) I will always be older than Cher.
8) I will never be a vegan.
9) No one recognizes me at Target.
10) They make 3-ply toilet paper.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone. I’ll be cooking all day and loving it.
Coming soon: A brand new website… I can’t wait!! :) :)

Oops, you’re back early.

We went on a road trip! It was so much fun. We drove all the way to Vancouver, British Columbia and I learned a lot on this trip. I learned that sitting in a car for eight hours is not that hard. The hard part is getting out. My first few steps out of the car, I looked like someone recovering from a bad fall… who was just learning how to walk again. But that aside, we really had fun.  Denis and I were together 24/7 and we were still friends when we got back.

What I missed most of all was my cooking, and my beautiful house. We came back a day early and the first thing I did was go out to the backyard to see my garden. I wasn’t surprised to see a  squirrel but he was definitely surprised to see me. He froze for a moment and stared at me thinking, “Oops, you’re back early. And yes, I have one of your apples in my mouth. Goodbye.” He didn’t run. He flew across the yard so fast all I could catch was his tail flying by faster than we drove on our trip.

He ran up a tree, looked back once (I’m pretty sure he thumbed his nose) and disappeared. Seeing him made me realize I needed to check my pomegranate tree because the fruit will be ripe soon and I don’t want this mangy, rat-faced, no-good, low-life, beady-eyed, scum-sucking, apple-stealing squirrel to get my pomegranates. Too late.

I know squirrel teeth marks when I see them. But the pomegranates were still green! So now I was forced to pick all the green ones off the tree and try to ripen them in a window. There were only two that even started to turn red but he hollowed them both out. It’s too painful. I decided to remove the tree and buy my pomegranates at the store. I can plant some flowers there and at least there will be something nice to look at… until the deer show up.

Joan Rivers dies at 81

We all hoped Joan Rivers would pull through after she suffered cardiac arrest during a medical procedure on her vocal cords but it was not meant to be. She was a brilliant comedian. She had to be to break through all the barriers faced by women comics back in the 60s. By succeeding she paved the way for other women comics, including myself, but no only that, she was an incredibly kind and supportive entertainer.

I appeared on Hollywood Squares with her in 1988 when I was just starting out and she sat with me during a break, was so nice to me, and even gave me advice about writing. Then in 1990, I was a guest on her daytime talk show and again, she was gracious and just as kind to me again. When she did stand up, everyone talked about it. “Did you hear what Joan Rivers said? Can you believe what Joan Rivers said?” She was fearless. She pushed the envelope and that’s when she was at her best. She was always outrageous and we loved her for it. All the brilliant comics who had us falling down laughing were outrageous, just like Joan.

I am so sad for missing all the great things she still had to say and sad for her family dealing with this unexpected tragedy. Joan may have been 81 but she was full of life and just as funny as ever. Even when contemplating her own death, Joan has managed to make us laugh again. Here are Joan’s final wishes:

“When I die (and yes, Melissa, that day will come; and yes, Melissa, everything’s in your name), I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action…. I want Craft Services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene!

I want it to be Hollywood all the way. I don’t want some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents. I don’t want a eulogy; I want Bobby Vinton to pick up my head and sing Mr. Lonely.

I want to look gorgeous, better dead than I do alive. I want to be buried in a Valentino gown and I want Harry Winston to make me a toe tag. And I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyoncé’s.”

Rest in peace, Joan.