The Coop

funky chickens

a bunch of funky chickens

Yes, I know they are roosters. But they are cool, and represent me and my flockies perfectly. So there.

Anyway, when I was asked to guest post** over on ‘It’s Fitting’, I stalked the blog a bit to see if I had something worthy to share. Ashley had me at CHICKENS. Why? Because I’m still very close with a couple of the girlfriends I’ve had since college. Whom I sort of  convinced to move out to Los Angeles a year after I made the trek. What can I say? I’m a charming and persuasive trendsetter…lol. Besides, it’s HOLLYWOOD, and both are performers, so it was the natural progression of things. Oh, and not only did I convince them to follow me to the West Coast, I set one of them up with my single FIL 10 years ago, and now she is my step-MIL. That’s another story entirely though 🙂

The thing is, We are Chickens. Always have been…always will be, and will no doubt be sharing a ‘retirement coop’ one of these days, having long out-lived our male-Rooster mates, and doing our best to live life to the fullest….together forever…covered up with grandbabies. To say that I remember how the chicken reference came about, would surely be a lie. I don’t. Probably out of a drunken night of playing Scrabble at 1321 N.Vista. Or maybe one day at FMP in West Hollywood. Or….hell, I don’t know. All I do know is it stuck, and that’s how we’ve referred to each other for almost two decades now.

Why am I choosing today to talk about this, you ask? Well, because it’s The Spring Chicken’s “big” birthday today. As in, the last of us is turning the big FOUR OH. We are, 42, 41 and now 40…respectively: Mama Hen, Middle Clucker, and Spring Chicken.

Since I technically met Mama Hen first, I’ll start by dishing about her. She happened to be in the Beginning Modern Dance class I was a TA for my junior year in college at Bama. It was a class based on the Graham Technique, and it was for neither beginners, nor pussies. Anybody that knows anything about modern dance, knows that Martha Graham–The Mother of Modern Dance–was rigid in her form. We had football players come through the class thinking it would be an easy ‘A’, only to drop it in the second week, because they just couldn’t cut it. Anyway, after the second class, Mama Hen strolled up to me and asked if I tutored students. She was desperate for a good grade, but wanted to earn it and offered to pay me (cha-ching!). The fact that she was genuinely interested in learning the proper technique cinched it, and I agreed…despite the fact I was taking a full course load of 18 hours, had numerous pieces to choreograph for various concerts, had been cast in others’ work which involved rehearsal, AND had 3 other jobs–bartender, Budweiser beer girl, and art class model. What was ONE more iron in the fire anyway? 

So it began.

Mama Hen and Spring Chicken knew each other from working together at a local restaurant…I think? Not certain. I knew of Spring Chicken because we were all part of the Theatre and Dance Department, although I’d not met her formally. That didn’t come until later. After she’d dated my ex-boyfriend briefly while “we were on a break”, and I ended up face to face with her AS MY TRAINER when I showed up for my first day on the job at the same restaurant where she and Mama Hen worked. I couldn’t figure out how to tie my tie, and she offered to help.Talk about an awkward moment! It was either let her do it, or quit on the spot. One beautifully tied red bowtie later….the tension had cleared and we’d become fast friends by the end of the day.

And for the last 18 years or so, you haven’t been able to pry us apart with a stick. Okay, well…that’s not entirely true. We’ve had some moments, the 3 of us. Good, bad, and smacked-every-branch-on-the-way-down-the-tree-UGLY. Fortunately now, they are all water droplets under a great big, gorgeous bridge with support beams rooted straight into the center of the Universe. True friendships like that are really hard to come by, so when you fall into one…don’t let it go. Seriously. And if you are lucky enough to have more than one, take the time to water them with love, kindness, loyalty and respect. Otherwise, just like plants that have been neglected for too long, they will die….

Which reminds me of something funny that happened just after Spring Chicken and I moved in together when she arrived in LA. We ventured out on a mission to Ikea to pick up a few things for the condo. Despite me telling her I had a BLACK THUMB, she decided to invest in a plant. No…a tree. In a pot. She thought I was bluffing. For awhile, it was fine. I stayed a good distance from the green, living thing with leaves and branches, and it remained alive. However, at some point, it perished. Spring Chicken noticed, and immediately asked what I did to it. So I had to tell her: I watered it. Yes, that really happened.

There are too many memories and shared jokes to specifically pinpoint, so I’ll just let them stay ‘on the inside’. What I will do though, is tell you ten great things about The Coop.

1. We are brutally honest. In other words, if we utter the words “Does this make me look fat?”….we must be prepared for the answer.

2. There isn’t very much (if anything) we don’t know about each other. In fact, I’d venture to guess that we know a tiny bit more about each other than any of our respective mates know about us.

3. Having a close girlfriend as your MIL really rocks (once you iron out the wrinkles of the situation).

4. We consider the 5 collective children between us ‘all our own’, even though only 2 of us birthed the lot of them. It’s nice to know, when The Beans misbehave at either household….they will be disciplined in the same manner I would do it myself. Maybe it’s a Southern thing?

5. We keep each other grounded. This alone is worth it’s weight in gold.

6. We harbor secrets, both big and small. Except between each other. Information is usually shared freely, even if at different times. There’s a lot of ‘oh, yeah…she told me that’, without any feelings of betrayal. Hard to swing those conference calls, ya know.

7. We are supportive of each other’s careers, goals, dreams, hopes, etc. Even if we don’t understand them completely.

8. I lent my underwear to one of them at a music video shoot one day, because she decided to ‘go commando’ that morning and ended up in wardrobe that was not conducive to that situation. I pulled off a surprise bday party for the other one year by calling and telling her I was in labor, so she would drop everything and show up at my house immediately. How many people can say that?

9. There are only a few people I would help bury a body. They are two of them.

10. We are doing what we said we would: growing old together.

Happy Birthday, Chicken! Let the celebrations begin 🙂

 

The Chickens, circa 2003...at a favorite spot of ours. Good times.....

The Chickens, circa 2003…at a favorite spot of ours. Good times…..

 

 

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**This post was originally published over at It’s Fitting. If you’ve never visited Ashley and her chickens, go there….now 🙂

The night I was styled by a ‘hooker’ :-)

Admit it…the title sucked you in, didn’t it? LOL. 

So you should know, she’s not REALLY a hooker. It’s a term of endearment that dates back to 2007, when I met a great circle of mommy friends on a (now defunct) website known as CityMommy (oh how I miss that site!). Anyway, after chatting night after night in THE RANT ROOM (thanks, Nicole), about everything from sex and parenthood, to fashion and celebs….we all had the grand idea to meet IN PERSON! And that was the night, one Heather Lerner started calling us ‘her hookers’, and it just stuck. Since then, we have all referred to each other as hookers. A merry band of mommies who have absolutely zero in common with the real women who can rightfully claim that title, aside from the fact that we’ve obviously all had sex at one point or another in our lives.  Go figure.

In the 6 years that have passed, the lot of us have either become more successful at the job we already had, or taken on other jobs in addition to the very important one of motherhood. I’ve become a voice-over actress and writer, Andrea’s now a chef, Kate has a floral design business, Alexandra is THE BEVERLY HILLS MOM, Shemaine has a successful scrapbooking business, Roxanne has an online boutique and Heather..is now our fashion and jewelry stylist extraordinare! 

So I ask you…do have my shit covered, or what? And these women just make up a handful of my talented friends! I’m one lucky bee-yotch 🙂

Anyway, it’s Awards Season here in Hollywood, and if you are in any way (including 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon) connected to the industry, chances are you have either been to a ceremony of some kind already, or you are gearing up for THE BIG ONE this Sunday night! Such was the case with The Man and me last Sunday night. We attended the Motion Picture Sound Editor’s Guild Awards (aka The Golden Reels). A great networking opportunity to mingle with talented colleagues and marvelous people in general, as well as a helluva an excuse for a much-needed date night (and some even more needed hotel sex). But of course I needed something to wear, and I knew just the hooker to call! Now, without further adieu..here is what she hooked me up with. And no, the irony of ‘hooked me up’ is not lost on me.

Can I just say how much I LOVE this ensemble?

Can I just say how much I LOVE this ensemble?

Now, to tell you “what I’m wearing”, so you can get the look too 🙂

My dress is by Lavender Brown. You can visit their Facebook page for information on the line, and to see pics of other pieces in their collections. I. LOVE. EVERYTHING. THEY. MAKE.  Gorgeous clothes in beautiful colors and fabrics at reasonable prices. You can’t go wrong here, ladies!

OH…THE JEWELS….. are all by Stella & Dot. If you don’t know Stella & Dot, then shame on you. Consider this an introduction and invitation to get cozy and become obsessed like me. Oh, and I can help you with that, btw… Just click here.

Around my neck, I am wearing the Gitane Tassel Necklace in silver and the Maya Pendant Necklace in labradorite  and on my right wrist is one of favorite pieces….the Bardot Spiral Bracelet in silver….which I wear almost everyday. Even with yoga pants and flip-flops. That’s how much I love it!

Here’s a close-up shot of the fabulous jewels I was dripping in

To die for. All must-haves.

To die for. All must-haves.

Another gorgeous piece I picked up while being styled for the Awards ensemble, and am now wearing with my Maya pendant on a daily basis is the  Interlock Cross Necklace  pictured below, on my very-much-in-need-of-a-spray-tan-neck.

Isn’t it just DIVINE?????

IMG_1366

Of course no recap of the evening would be complete without showing you MY BEST ACCESSORY…….

The Man and me in front of the step and repeat. So glamorous...lol.

The Man and me in front of the step and repeat. So glamorous…lol.

**Oh, and if you were wondering, I didn’t go barefoot. My shoes were nude, leather pumps with a hidden platform by Steve Madden. They are great and all, but hey…I don’t know him personally, and had to pay full price for the kicks. Sadly, no hook ups for this hooker.

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I’m giving in. Sort of.

Enough said.

It’s November 5th. Five days into the ‘thankful month’. Seems like all I’ve seen on FB and  Twitter for the last five days,  are people participating in these ’30 days of  Thankfulness‘ challenges.  That’s a great mission to partake in….if it’s your thing. And it’s also good to read…..if that’s your thing.

But I’ll be honest. It’s not mine.

You want to know why?  Chances are you don’t, but I’m telling you anyway. Probably also thinking ‘what a bitter bitch’. That’s okay too. Whatevs. I’ve got my big girl panties on, and I hiked up my skirt and grabbed my balls before I decided to write this post. So, I’m good.  Anyway, here’s my thing.

Being thankful all 365 days of the year. Not just for the thirty days in November.

Not to sound sappy or cheesy, but I wake up every single morning, thankful I woke up. Then I go about my day, silently thankful for the many things I have that others don’t, and reminding myself not to take those things for granted. Because I’ve learned from past mistakes, and know very well that all of it can be gone in the blink of an eye. Life is unpredictable and full of surprises, and is even shorter than we all believe it is when we say “Life’s too short”. It just doesn’t seem fair to be thankful for only 30 days out of the year, when the other 335 are just as important.

There’s also a flip-side to this. Some days I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and I’m sure Satan himself is saying “God help us all… She’s up.” Those days, I’m thankful I’m not a violent person. Other days I’m thankful ‘my mama taught me better than that’ when I plot revenge against someone I feel has wronged me or The Man or worse… The Beans. ** There are also those days when I feel thankful for my resentment. An odd statement, I know, but it keeps me on my toes and thinking about how I can be a better person, free of resentment or regret. Don’t get me wrong. I have few regrets, and little resentment, but I’m only a human, work in progress.

But, in the spirit of November, I will list a few things I am thankful for at this moment, and in all the other moments of all the rest of the 364 days of every year:

1. A husband who tries his best, and is perfectly imperfect….and who can ‘fix it in post’ and make movies sound better than anyone I know 🙂

2. Daughters who are breathtakingly beautiful, and don’t know it; humble and compassionate. Who are wild and too loud and drive me crazy, but melt my heart with random ‘I love you’s’ whispered in my ear when I need them most.

3. A bunch of ridiculously talented and creative siblings, nieces and nephews who can paint things like this, make cool things like this, and write stuff like this and this. Oh and there are others….they just don’t have websites. Yet.

4. A circle of friends stronger than diamonds who ALWAYS have my back, and would walk barefoot, across an ocean of fire and broken glass to get to me if they knew I was in trouble. Even when I forget to call them or text them , or withdraw into a shell when I need them most. And they always know when I need them most, because they pay attention, and they know who they are.

5. Being a graduate of THE University of Alabama, who has the #1 football team in the country, and who will be BCS Championship winners once again this year. ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!

6. I am thankful for all my new bloggy sisters and brothers, in the Theme Thursday crew, and especially for Lori, over at The Next Step, for thinking this post, was worthy of a guest feature on her blog yesterday. She even did it without my knowledge, which made for a nice surprise! The traffic I got from it put me over 14,000 views up in here since I started writing in January…woo-hoo 🙂

7. I am thankful I have the right to vote tomorrow today, and I will be exercising it too. And proudly wear that sticker all day. On my forehead.

Okay, that’s enough for now. You see, it’s late, and if I don’t go to bed right the fuck now, I’m going to fall asleep and bang my head on the keyboard, causing a gash which would no doubt cause me to be ‘thankful I have health insurance’ when I end up in the ER having it stitched back together. And then I’ll have one of those mornings where my feet hit the floor, and everyone says…..“OH SHIT. SHE’S UP, and INJURED. And can’t wear her sticker on her forehead. We’re screwed.”

Lights out.

**FYI, I have decided to refer to my girls as The Beans aka Sugar Bean, Butter Bean, and Sweet Pea, respectively, from this point on. Sorry for any confusion this may cause. It just seems more fitting a description for them. LOL. 

 

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