Saturday, October 28, 2006

I'm singin' and dancin' in the...SHOWER?

I don't think I've made it a secret that I love "Dancing with the Stars".

Call me shallow, call me what you will.

I have racked my brain about what it is I find so irresistable about this show.

Is is the stars themselves? Is it the professional dancers? Is it the live band trying so hard to do their own special rendition of songs we all know? Is it the amazingly skimpy, sexy costumes that I could only fantasize about wearing? Is it Joey Lawrence's bald head?

Perhaps it's all of that.

Mostly, I just love to watch dancers. I am awestruck by how one can move and contort their body in such a way, that it becomes a beautiful dance. It seems unfair that only a select few have the true capability to do this.

Are you born this way or is it training?

The other day, I told a friend that I have two be a dancer, and to be a singer.

Now, mind you, I have no aptitude for either. When I sing, my kids ask me to please "SHUT UP" (but very politely, mind you). When I dance, well, let's just say Jerry Springer and I would make perfect dance partners.

This friend told me "you can do both Cruisin'...all it takes are some lessons". I laughed, rather loudly, in her face.

Really...can you make a silk purse out of a sow's ear? Can you make Audrey Hepburn out of Mama Cass? (of course Mama Cass could sing, couldn't she?) Can you make Fred Astaire out of Herman Munster?

I mean, come on, they couldn't even make "Britney Spears" out of Britney Spears.

So, no...I don't think you can make Paula Abdul out of Cruisin-mom.

But one can continue to fantasize, right?

So, this morning I'll go into the shower, like I do every morning...and put on a great concert.

(oh you don't do that?)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

would you like that warmed up?

(this post inspired by Wendy)

I love coffee.

I started drinking it when I was 16 and never looked back. I suppose at the time it was the one thing I could do to feel mature...sit in Dupar's coffee shop and drink coffee...just like a grown-up .

My little Russian Nana (grandmother) used to ask me: "Honey, vhy do you drink that dirty vater?"

Yeah...tell that to Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks. Who knew, that 20 years later that dirty vater would become an industry unto itself. (well, not that coffee wasn't already an industry, it's just that who knew it would become a "designer" industry).

And why is it that Starbuck's is so popular?...How come people flock to pay $3.00 for something that was only 50 cents, with free refills to boot, not so long ago?

Now, this may surprise you, but I like my coffee black. That's right, you heard me; BLACK. None of this wussy cream or sweet and low or sugar for me...uh uh; oh no.

What is it about coffee that makes it so irresistible? I can't get enough of coffee flavor.

I love:

Coffee icecream (yeah, now there's a surprise)
Coffee candy
Coffee yogurt
Coffee cake (does that count?)

Now, I'm sure the caffeine has nothing to do with it. That morning jolt and rush, that comes after those two mouthwatering cups that I savor each morning means nothing to me. Really.

It's simply the magnificent flavor that beckons me back everytime.

But I started to think, what has coffee meant to me throughout my life? As I approach the ripe age of 51, I realize that my coffee habits are simply a reflection of my life stages.

As a teenager, coffee was the gateway to dating. It meant staying up late, talking, giggling, and flirting. Yes, drinking coffee was just part of the early mating ritual. If you drank coffee at 16, it signaled to the boys that you were "mature" enough to date.

On to college. Of course, coffee is mandatory in college. How else can you pull an "all nighter" that it takes to start and finish a 20 page paper that's due the next day? In fact, I'd have to say that through my twenties, coffee was essential.

Coffee got me up every morning to face a treasure trove of jobs all through my twenties. It kept me going at night so I could stay up late, while my girlfriends and I were on the hunt for the perfect man each weekend. Did I just say that out loud?

thank goodness Mr. Cruisin came along when I was 27...that hunt was getting pretty old. Perhaps having Dick Cheney along would have sped things up.

Coffee shops were where some of my most memorable conversations with friends about life, love, politics, and religion were held into the wee hours of the morning.

Marriage and then babies came along. You know, those sweet little beings that, although under 2 feet tall and often less than 8 pounds, control every move you make. Within a few months, I actually began to look like I could've auditioned for a part in Michael Jackson's Thriller video.

But once again, the faithful java was there...waking me each morning, so I could perform my motherly duties.

And all through my forties and now into my, ahem, choke, cough, has been a social bridge.

The local Starbucks on a Sunday morning, for many years, was the place to be. After the movies on a Saturday night, let's go out for coffee. Now, I'm too lazy to go out to Starbuck's on a Sunday morning, and who bothers with the movies anymore...finding a good one is almost impossible.

But the last several years, coffee has continued to perform a very important function.

Each and every morning, Mr. Cruisin and I sit at the kitchen table drinking coffee. This is where we quietly, calmly discuss:

our lives, children, politics, work, what's broken and needs to be fixed, who is ill, and who is doing great things, will we always stay in this house, should we go out with so and so next weekend, didn't you love Grey's Anatomy last night dearest (yeah, he really says that to me), what's for dinner tonight, and what's on your agenda today.

A simple cup (or two) of coffee in the morning has become our anchor. Every morning is spent connecting through coffee. It's the time we simply talk, with few distractions. Our children have left for their day, and we are free from responsibility and duty. Okay, maybe it's only for 50 minutes...but 50 minutes without distraction is like 500 minutes in dog years (or something like that).

And so it seems that coffee has done more than provide that extra jolt needed to get going in the morning.

It has provided the stability, routine, and warmth necessary for two people's hearts and minds to connect each and every day.

Hmmmm...maybe Howard Schultz knew exactly what he was doing.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


When you hear the word flashing, what comes to mind?

Well, of course, your local pervert in the latest London Fog trench coat, right?

Unless you happen to be a 50 year old woman. Then the word flashing takes on a whole new meaning.

And it ain't pretty (not that your local pervert flashing his wares is, mind you).

Yes, it's finally happened. You perimenopausal ladies know the mantra...the dreaded question that we can't seem to stop asking...

"Is it hot in here, or is it me?"

I can hardly stand hearing myself ask this question...I can only imagine how my poor husband feels.

But, alas, this is my new reality.

Of course Mr. Cruisin is sure I'm hot all the time because that's what naturally happens when women are near him. I, of course, lovingly assure him that is not the case.

With my new found condition, I seem to be up most of the night, shall we say, glistening.

And figuring out what to wear for the night's retire, has become quite the challenge. I start out cold, since temperatures here in L.A. are dropping to a low 50 degrees at night (sorry east coasters).

A nice pair of sexy flannel p.j.'s call out to me. I climb into bed, fall asleep, only to be awakened by a cold sweat. There. I've said it...


My next move is to change into something more comfortable. Out comes the summer sleepwear, and all seems right with the world again.

Back to sleep...only to awaken a few hours later...FREEZING.

And glistening again.

Back to the sexy flannels. This quick change of costume continues throughout the night.

All the while, my husband is comfortably "sawing logs" next to me. How nice for him.

Before I know it, the alarm is sounding off, and it's time to wake up. WAKE UP? When did I ever sleep?

Now, the good new is, I have the television to soothe me while I drip. Who knew that T.V. in the middle of the night could be so educational. I have learned more about diets, exercise, hair products, Suzanne Somers, and GIRLS GONE WILD than I ever thought imaginable.

All the while, I try to grasp the purpose of this nightly shvitz. After spending years experiencing the joys of our once a month visitor, this is our reward? Why does mother nature want us to glow and drip at this particular time of the lifecycle?

I would have to say the answer to that one, is the answer to everything else in life...SEX. I mean, come on, what's sexier than a woman in flannel p.j.'s sweating profusely? Let's not forget the fact that I'm up all night, ready to go.

But, there's more:

Why, sweating is just like being on vacation in Hawaii all the time. In fact, I've added a blue drink with a little umbrella to my nightly regimen.

And you know what? My skin has never looked better. It's like a free facial every night.

Getting up to change outfits all night long, is better than aerobics.

I guess this flashing thing isn't so bad afterall.

My message to menopausal women everywhere is this:

Don't worry, enjoy the drip and don't sweat it...

turns out...

this is our shining moment.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sagging and Loose

It is the day before Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. The day when Jews around the world ask God's forgiveness for sins committed over the last year.

My beloved husband comes to me on this day to announce:

"Cruisin...your front end is sagging".

Now, I realize that an important component of atoning is a willingness to be honest with yourself and your loved ones. So I decided that I must be one lucky woman to have a husband who is willing to be this open and expressive.

As if that isn't endearing enough...he continues from there.

"...and your bushings are loose".

Wow, at this point my heart is all a flutter, and quite frankly, I'm feeling pretty hot.

"I've got a brand new part that's strong and erect, not like the last one that was all floppy and flimsy. Give me about 5 hours and I'll have the job done".

That was it. I knew I had to prepare, and fast.

I ran to the drawer to pull out the little Victoria's Secret number I had purchased for my colonoscopy, because afterall, how often does your husband of 21 years announce that he's going to spend 5 hours getting the job done?

While I spent the next 1/2 hour readying myself, Mr. Cruisin was in the garage tending to who knows what.

I showered, powdered, put on a little lipstick. I even brushed my teeth. A dab of perfume, and I was ready to go! Why this almost 51 year old broad was feeling 38 1/2 again!

I waited patiently until I could wait no longer.

I stepped into the garage only to find Mr. Cruisin on his back. the garage? Well, that would be a new one, but hey, you only live once, right?

Except for the fact that he was on his back...underneath my car.

When I asked him what he was doing, he exclaimed:

"I already told you. Your front end is sagging and your bushings are loose.Those new parts arrived, and I'm under here fixing it for you. You'll need to give me about 5 hours to get it done".

"And by the way...why are you wearing that ridiculous thing from Victoria's Secret?...didn't you get that colon thing done already?"

Well, that was that. All my hopes, dreams, and fantasies thrown out in one fell swoop.

But, just as he had promised...five hours later, after a long hot shower and a couple of Advil, he had gotten the job done.

And there was Mr. Cruisin, sprawled out, waiting for me on the sofa...


Sunday, October 01, 2006


inspired by Neil's latest post.

We all know there are many things that influence who and what we become in life. That being said, I must confess, that the donut has played an important roll, oops, I mean role, in my life.

From the time I was a tiny girl, I can remember my grandpa giving me this advice:

"As you go through life, keep your eye on the donut, and not on the hole".

For years I wondered what this meant. I liked the sound of it. Afterall, what could be better than being told to look at donuts?

Well, in my estimation, being told to eat them would have been better.

But I accepted this sagely advice and went about my life.

I spent the first five years of my life in Inglewood, California. Some of you may know this as the original home of the Laker's (the Forum), but what you may not know is that Inglewood is the home of Randy's Donut's.

I always thought it was amazing that a donut shop had been erected in my hometown and named just for me. But I could never understand why they didn't spell it correctly (you know, with an "i"). When I was five, we moved to the San Fernando Valley. I never had a Randy's donut in those five years, and never have since.

The years went by, and Winchell's donuts became the consummate donut of choice. It was at Winchell's, that I would learn to truly love and respect the glazed donut.

In high school, as I have mentioned in a previous post, Westwood was the place to be, and many Friday and Saturday nights were spent leaning at the counter of Stan's donuts.

In my college years, I would master and perfect the art of donut eating. Going away to college was eye opening to say the least. You are afforded a new independence that extends to all levels of your of those, of course, the independence to eat whatever foods you so desire.

No longer could my mother tell me what to eat, how to eat, and when to eat.

And what better way for a 19 year old to manifest that independence than to eat donuts? (None, I dare say).

So, thus began my journey on the road of differentiation. In order to strike out, and be different from the generation before me, I knew I would have to eat donuts.

One might think that one donut a day would be enough to achieve this goal. But noooo...I would begin each morning of my college career with not one, but FOUR glorious donuts.

Yes, it's true. (oh...maybe that's why I had packed on an extra 20 pounds by the end of senior year).

When college was over, I moved back to West L.A. into a tiny apartment that was coincidentally (yeah, right) within walking distance to, you guessed it, a donut shop. Arlene's donuts. The most amazing donuts this side of the Mississippi.

It was there that I would learn about inner strength and control. I learned that it was possible to eat one donut a day, and still enjoy the independence necessary to differentiate from the generation before me.

(Arlene's donuts has since been torn down, and resurrected as none other than...Starbuck's)

I was beginning to understand the lesson my grandpa was trying to teach me, all those many years ago.

Imagine my confusion, though, when the donut "hole" was invented. Which was I to keep my eye on now?

As the years sped by, my donut intake would lesson. Diet fads would come and go as quickly as first dates...leaving me no choice but to dump the donut. No fat, low carbohydrate, no sugar, protein only...all of these were to leave no room for the donut.

But in my 30's all that would change. With the birth of my sons, the donut would re-enter my life.

For those of you who have children, you know that a sporting event, a birthday sleepover, or just a plain old Sunday morning, is not complete without donuts.

When my children were old enough, we began a tradition. I would take them to the local donut shop (as good as Arlene's by the way) the first and last day of school as a celebration of sorts...a rite of passage, if you will.

As we sat and indulged in our donuts, I would gently pass on the sagely words of my grandfather. I did not take this responsibility lightly.

It is a rare occasion today, when I actually indulge in a donut. But I stick with the donut that got me through those tender early years of life. The donut that taught me the lessons my grandpa so wanted me to embrace.

The glazed donut was and will always be the donut of my life.

And, I now know what my Grandpa's advice was all about.

He knew that to get through life, you must remain focused on what's real, solid, and not full of "air".

I suppose, that without really knowing it...I did just that. I've never been one for flighty dreams, or unrealistic thoughts. Some may call that boring. I call it down-to-earth. Some may call it unimaginative. I call it matter-of-fact.

Because I kept my eye on the donut, I attained much of what I had set out to achieve. That's not to say that life is not without it's ups and downs (some more down than up).

But I have figured out what's "real", and that's where I focus myself. My heart and soul center around my family, my work, and all that is real.

And that is my "donut" these days.

Now, if you'll excuse me, all this talk of donuts has made me hungry.

Think I'll go eat a...