2006 Summary Of All The Crap I Didn't Blog About – Part One: Trips & Visitors

December 20th, 2006

Welcome to my three-part 2006 review. As much as I like to share my year with you all, I must admit that I am blogging this entry just as much for myself. Having this online journal is making up for my terrible memory. Warning, I may provide more information that you ever wanted to know. Again, more for me than for you.

Traveling was a huge part of my year. I think this may be the most I have ever traveled in one year.

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The year started off slow, but it eventually picked up. Here is a list of my adventures:

March – Snowmass, CO

AspenDeutsch and I had a wonderful 4 day ski trip in Snowmass, Colorado. We met up with Deutsch’s family, his parents, Imbi & Rein, his brother, Ravo, and wife, Alexa, and family friends, Ruth & Peter. This was the first time I had ever been to Aspen. We actually didn’t ski in Aspen, but we visited the town. Not quite as glamorous as I had expected, but very quaint. We enjoyed our large room, which we affectionately named Club 101, at Snowmass Inn.

April – Las Vegas, NV

This was the first out of four visits to Sin City. On this occasion, we celebrated Deutsch’s birthday. We met up with ourDeutsch Tearing It Up With The Girls drinking buddy, Erin. Erin brought her friend, who brought her friend, who brought their friends and so on. To Deutsch’s surprise, he enjoyed his birthday with five females. A nice treat for him since he is usually stuck with just me. I won’t go into details because as the saying goes, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I will just say the evening involved high speeds, an interesting Score and a pole. Take that as you will, but a good time was had by all. Dinner was at Border Grill and our hotel of choice for the weekend was the Monte Carlo.

Deutsch And The Girls

May – Napa Valley, CA

Sue and Angie in Napa ValleyNapa Valley was another first for me. I met up in San Francisco with my friends Sue & Angie. Deutsch was supposed to go, but due to a medical emergency he stayed home to take care of our ailing kitty, Tippit*. We spent the first night in SF. We lucked out with a great rate at a fantastic hotel, The Vineyard in Napa Valley Stanford Court in Nob Hill. The next day we rented a car and drove out to wine country. Again, we were lucky to stay in another great hotel, River Terrace. We had a weekend filled with delicious meals and tasty wines. Vinyards we visited: Andretti Winery; Darioush Winery; Goosecross Winery; Domaine Chandon and Van der Heyden Vineyards & Winery.

* Tippit made a full recovery.

July – New York, NY

Dim Sum in New YorkWe met up with my cousin, Krissy, and her hubby, Paul. First, I would like to give kudos to Krissy for conquering her fears and getting on that plane, even in horrible weather conditions! We had a fantastic time eating our way through NYC. We are all vegetarians and we searched out all the great veggie restaurants. My favorite restaurant was Red Bamboo in The Village. Fortunately, it was worth the ourtragous two hour wait. Next time, reservations! Just a few highlights of our trip: our excursion to Williamsburg, breakfast in Bryant Park, the Central Public Library, MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) and all the food. Check out Krissy’s blog part 1, part 2 and part 3 for more. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in Mid-Town.

Cake at Teeny in New York Bryant Park in New York

August – Toronto, Canada

Imbi and Rein DancingIn August we were off to Deutsch’s parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party. It was an enjoyable night celebrating with loved ones on such a wonderful occasion. As usual, the champagne was flowing and we danced till dawn (well, not really, but it’s fun to say). I only hope we are as happy as them on our 50th! We also took the opportunity to visit the rest of our family and friends.

September – Las Vegas, again

If I recall, this was a last minute trip. We were expericing serious Vegas withdrawls. We stayed at The Excalibur. We also did research for our new and upcoming website, VegasHotelBuffets.com.

Seafood Buffet Sushi Buffet

October – Chicago, IL

Me and Erin on HalloweenHalloween in Chicago! Our visit to Erin was long overdue. What better time to go to Chicago that Halloween? Well, maybe St. Patricks day, perhaps next year. As usual, Erin showed us a grand time.Me and Deutsch on Halloween Let’s just say a lot of Vodka was consumed. We finally saw her cool condo. I was extremely envious. A gorgeous place. Halloween was an evening of bar hopping, with more treats than tricks.

November – Las Vegas, yet again

This was actually a business trip. We attended Pubcon, a web publishing conference at the Convention Center. It was 3 full days of speakers. I learned a lot about the business, but it was long and exhausting. The 4th day was easier, free drinks at the Nine Fine English Men pub. That was tiring too with the pressure of networking. At least the Guinness helped out. We stayed in a nice Spa Suite at the MGM Grand. We went a little overboard with the room because we were also celebrating our wedding anniversary.

December – Can You Guess…. Vegas!

Ice Skating in Las VegasThis trip was strictly pleasure and last minute. THEhotel, a botique hotel in Manadalay Bay, offered us a complimentary 2 night stay in a suite. They also gave us other perks like a $35 in dining credit. It was on my birthday weekend, so how could we say no? The weeked was fun from beginning to the very end! On my birthday we went ice skating at The Hard Rock. Yes, an ice rink in Vegas. Ah, the magic of Ice Skating with Santa technology. I hadn’t been skating in over 10 years. At first, I was a disaster, but slowly it all came back to me. I was skating like a pro (not) in no time. Then Deutsch surprised me with an evening of dinner and theatre. We saw Phantom Of The Opera and then dined at an Italian restaurant, Zeffirino. At dinner I was presented with a fantastic dessert with a candle and was even serenaded “Happy Birthday” by a troubador (is that the right word ?). It was a great night at The Venetian. The entire weekend was fantastic. Even at the airport on the way home a certain video poker machine was very, very nice to me. Thank you for a fun and memorable weekend Deutsch.

Toronto for Christmas

Since this hasn’t happened yet, I can’t write about it. However, I’m sure it will be a very Merry Christmas!

We always love having visitors. Thanks to Ruth & Riina, my Mom, Sue, Chris & Sonia, Ravo & Alexa, and Ema & Isa for taking the time to see us this year. We hope you will come again in 2007!

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Where The Crap Have I Been?

December 12th, 2006

I must admit that I don’t know how to answer my own question. I am embarrassed to say that I just haven’t had the inspiration to write. I have done a lot of crap in the past months and most all were blog worthy. I just didn’t write any of it down. Once I fall off a wagon, it’s tough for me to get back on. Like most break-ups, “It’s me, not you.” Don’t panic, all is not lost. As it turns out I just needed some space and required a break. A very, very, very long break.

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I am back Baby, and ready to burden you again with all my crap. Visit soon for my next entry: “2006 Summary Of All The Crap I Didn’t Blog About.”

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My New Addiction

March 24th, 2006

I have come to the conclusion that Ebay.com is evil. The website should be required by the government to have a warning page flashing “Ebay.com is dangerously addictive.” Thankfully, I am on the selling end opposed to the purchasing side. I can only imagine that the purchasing / bidding is even worse.

It all began when the owner of our building decided to convert our apartment building into condos. Before we knew it, we were tossed out on our derrieres (okay, it may have been a 1 1/2 year notice, but this makes for a better story). Now homeless, we went in search for an apartment that was as large. Celebration erupted when we found an almost comparable apartment. It was perfect with the exception of the decreased size.

Now we were faced with the long, over due reduction of our unused belongings. This is where I was introduced to Ebay. I was a little desperate and going through an experimental phase, so I thought “Why not? I will only try it once. It’ll be fun. What harm can it do?” They say many addicts have spoken those exact same words in the beginning. I started cautiously at first, selling only a few items. I started checking the status of our items only once or twice a day. Once I started getting a few hits, I began status checking at a furious rate. Almost over night I was hooked. How many hits have I had? How many watchers do I have? Do I have any bids? Has a bidding war started? These questions kept repeating in my head over and over again. The only way to feel better was another trip to the PC. It only got worse after that. I began scouring the apartment to see what I could sell, sell, SELL! Deutsch is afraid to go out of town. He fears that upon his return, he will step into an empty apartment.

As of today, I have sold & shipped 1 item. I still have several items up for auction, due to end in two days. Some have bids and some are still bid-less. I have come to terms with my addiction and more importantly, I admit I have a problem. I have given myself a deadline. Once in the new apartment, I will quit Ebay.com cold turkey. With that said, I am ending this entry. It has been an hour since I have checked the status of my auctions.


An Evening of Culture

March 21st, 2006

Last Monday night, Deutsch & I decided to forgo our usual exciting evening of television watching to see a play. Believe it or not, it is possible to obtain some culture in Los Angeles. You just need to seek it out.

An evening of culture would not be complete without dinner before the show. Since the theatre was in Westwood, an area we are not familiar with, we ventured to a new restaurant. Deutsch performed his usual restaurant search through the internet and found us an Italian place, Tanino. It was nice, a little stuffy, but nice. We shared a half bottle of a red wine blend. To our defense, we only had a half bottle because it’s never a good idea to consume a lot of alcohol right before a sit-down performance. I learned that the hard way when we saw “The Producers” (on Broadway no less) and almost fell asleep during the first act. Anyway, I digress. Both Deutsch & I had the bland pumpkin tortellini in a sage cream sauce. It sure sounded good, but was a let down. To make up for our disappointment, we indulged in flour-less chocolate cake. It was an improvement, but nothing to shout from the mountain tops. I think we will continue our Westwood restaurant search.

Boston Marriage CastWe went to the Geffen Playhouse and saw “Boston Marriage”, written and directed by the great David Mamet. With only a cast of three women, it is an interesting ensemble of Rebecca Pidgeon, Mary Steenburgen and Alicia Silverstone. This Victorian period comedy took place in only one setting, a drawing room. In the usual Mamet way, the dialogue went at a furious rhythmic pace. Steenburgen & PidgeonBetween the accents, cryptic dialogue and quick pace, it was easy to miss something. Which I’m sure I did, more than once. On the heels of Brokeback Mountain, this play deals with unconventional relationships in an unforgiving time. All three performances were enjoyable, but Alicia Silverstone was the stand out of the women. I must admit, I was not expecting much from her theatrical abilities. However, Alicia was a pleasant surprise. She had great comic timing. She may have had the smallest role and the shortest stage time, but she took her character and ran with it.

It was definitely an enjoyable evening, especially for a Monday night. We even had celeb spottings at the play: director Kevin Smith and actor Dennis Haysbert. We are even thinking about seeing the production “1984” this week. Hey, this culture thing is kinda fun.

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Oscars On The Go

March 10th, 2006

Oscar and me 2006Last year we enjoyed the Oscars with a lavish spread of room service in a Westin hotel room in Palo Alto, California. This year’s hotel of choice was Snowmass Inn located in Aspen, Colorado. After a wonderful full day of skiing, I had the pleasure of sharing the award night with Deutsch, my in-laws, brother & sister in-law and a lovely couple who are family friends. At the beginning of the evening we had wine flowing, pizza sharing and all eight Oscar ballots completed. Skip to three and a half Oscar hours later… we had four missing viewers who vanished one by one throughout the evening, four coma-like state bitter enders, two slices of cold pizza, seven tallied-up Oscar ballots (one mysteriously went M.I.A.) and a winner (me). As for my acceptance speech, a special thank you to the hosts of this soiree, my in-laws and to the rest of you who humored us with our crazy Oscar obsession. I know it was a long night, but it was so enjoyable to spend it with you guys. As for Deutsch, it looks like he is in the kitchen again for the Oscar Challenge. Bad for him, but really good for me.

Congratulations to Brokeback Mountain, Crash & Jon Stewart. Brokeback Mountain was the expected winner for most of the categories it was up for. However, it was a happy moment when Crash was the surprise winner for Best Picture. Both Brokeback and Crash were my favourite* movies of the year. Even though Jon Stewart had mixed reviews, I thought he was great. I hope he is invited back next year. Kudos to the show for trying to inject more humour* throughout the evening. That is a keeper. However, what was up with ALL the film montages? They can definitely lose those.

As for the fashions, I was very underwhelmed. Nothing stood out except Charlize and her parrot, oops, I mean bow. Everyone looked very nice and safe (= boring). If you missed the fashions, check out In Style, E! Online and the Oscar website.

By the way, the Oscar picture above is me holding the real thing, an actual Oscar. Let me tell you, those suckers are heavy! I never thought I would ever get my hands one. Oh yes, I have my ways!

*Favourite & Humour – Alexa, that was just for you (sorry y’all, it’s an inside joke).


Happy Valentine’s Day

February 22nd, 2006

I know it is a little late, but I hope you all had a happy Valentine’s.

My wonderful husband, Deutsch, made me a very special Valentine/Oscar dinner. The reason why it was also an Oscar dinner is due to our annual Oscar Challenge. The Challenge is simple. Before the Academy Awards, we both vote for a winner in each category. At the end of the show, we tally up the numbers and the person with the most predicted wins is the “Dinner Guest”. The person who has the least predicted wins is the “Host/Chef”. The Host is required to serve a several course meal with two rules: 1) Make dinner from scratch; 2) Prepare something that he/she has never attempted before. Unfortunately for Deutsch, he has been the Host more times than the Guest.

This year he out did himself with a fantastic African meal. The menu consisted of three courses. For the appetizer, he started with West African Peanut Soup.
West African Peanut Soup

It was so rich and flavourful. A perfect soup for a cold winter night. A meal on it’s own with a smooth blend of peanut butter, tomatoes and rice. He garnished it with some roasted peanuts, that gave it an additional texture. It’s a definite keeper.

For the entree, he prepared a terrific Marrakesh Vegetable Curry served on a bed of couscous.
Marrakesh Vegetable Curry

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This dish had so many wonderful vegetables: sweet potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, spinach, zucchini and carrots. It was definitely colorful. It even had some odd (but great) ingredients like cinnamon, raisins and orange juice. He was worried about the success of this dish, but he shouldn’t have been. It was delicious!

His final dish was dessert, Eastern Africa’s Kashata.

It is described as something in between candy and cookie. I found it to be more similar to candy. In fact, I thought was very much like peanut brittle. It is a mixture of sugar, coconut, peanuts and cinnamon. Deutsch was most concerned with this dish, fearing that the final product was a total disaster. Obviously, he did not try it before he made his assumption. It was fantastic. A great little snack to tame that wild beast known as the Sweet Tooth Monster.

The final note is to my Valentine. Thank you for your wonderful gift. I am aware that you were fulfilling your Oscar Challenge duties, but I also know that all your love went into your meal for me. I am a very lucky girl. I love you. My only wish is that on March 5th (Oscar night), I am victorious once again. The challenge is on, baby!


Tag, I'm It!

February 15th, 2006

Last week my cousin, Krissy, tagged me. The following are questions and answers to get to know me better.

4 Jobs You've Had In Your Life

  1. Issuing Visa credit cards
  2. Software & hardware purchaser
  3. Website publisher (current)
  4. Actress (current)

4 Movies You Could Watch Over and Over

Remember, these aren't nessecarily my favorites, just ones I can and have watched over and over and over and over….

  1. Pretty Woman
  2. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  3. Moulin Rouge
  4. Desperately Seeking Susan
  5. Grease (I added a 5th, I had no choice)

4 TV Shows You Love to Watch

  1. Gilmore Girls
  2. 24
  3. Arrested Development
  4. The Office
  5. Twin Peaks (I know added a 5th, but since it was on the tube over a decade ago, I figured it was okay)

4 Favorite Books

  1. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  2. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  3. Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen
    Native Tongue
  4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kyiosaki

4 Albums You Can't Hear Too Often

  1. Culture Club – Colour By Numbers
  2. Sinead O'Connor – The Lion and the Cobra
  3. Fat Boy Slim – You've Come Along Way, Baby
  4. Morphine – Cure For Pain
  5. She Wants Revenge – She Wants Revenge (Another 5th, I know. Rules were made to be broken)
    She Wants Revenge CD Cover

4 Places You Have Lived

  1. Mississauga, Ontario CANADA
  2. Toronto, Ontario CANADA
  3. Dallas, Texas USA
  4. Los Angeles, California USA

4 Places You Have Been On Vacation

  1. The Netherlands
  2. Spain
  3. Italy
  4. France

4 Websites You Visit Daily

  1. My Yahoo! Homepage
  2. Bloglines
  3. L.A. Casting
  4. Yahoo! TV Listings (I'm a TV junkie)

4 Of Your Favorite Foods

  1. Pad Thai – Thai
  2. Pizza – Italian
  3. Malai Kofta – Indian
    Malai Kofta
  4. Cold & Hard Dark Chocolate – Any country that makes it!

4 Places You Would Rather be Right Now

  1. In Canada with my family & friends
  2. On a cruise ship to anywhere with Deutsch
  3. Backpacking across Europe w/ D
  4. Laying on a beach somewhere tropical w/ D

4 People You'll Tag

Since I do not have many blogging buddies yet, I will pass on to only two people:

  1. My hubby, Deutsch
  2. My friend, Erin (however, now that I have tagged her, she may never speak to me again)

Super Bowl Sunday!

February 9th, 2006

Four reasons why I love Super Bowl Sunday:

  1. Empty movie theatres
  2. Empty shopping malls
  3. Super Bowl parties
  4. Super Bowl commericals

One reason why I hate Super Bowl Sunday:

  1. Football

I Should Be Sent To The Blogging Corner.

February 7th, 2006

Hello to all my readers. First, my sincere apologizes for not posting sooner. My only excuse is that life got in the way. FYI, this will probably be my most common excuse for future posting negligence.

For the past two weekends (including Fridays), I have been busy shooting an independent film. For reasons unknown to me, I have been sworn to secrecy regarding any details of this film. One would think that I am working on the set of super secret TV shows like Lost or 24. All I can tell you is that it's an high action drama. These past two weekends have been filled with long hours and terribly cold evenings wearing nothing but a little black dress. As cute as I may have looked, I was freezing my butt off. You may be thinking, “California doesn't even have a winter.” Well let me tell you, along the coast we may not have snow, but some nights it sure feels like we do.

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Unable to avoid the inevitable, all of us female actors proceeded to get sick after the first weekend of shooting. By the second weekend we were all Hollywood starlet material with our ever sexy hacking (all in various phlegm stages), our attractive red and snotty noses and our barely there cheerful demeanor's. Thankfully, the executives were better prepared for the second weekend's evening shots. They provided us with heaters and enclosed the area with walls and roof of plastic sheeting to keep the ocean breeze out. We have one more full weekend then we are off on location to Las Vegas. That's where the real fun begins!

With all my grumblings aside, we are having fun (well, most of the time). I will be sure to tell you all about our Las Vegas escapades.


She Wants Revenge

January 25th, 2006

A local Los Angeles band, She Wants Revenge, is my band obsession of the moment. My husband, Deutsch, and I have gone to see them live at The Troubadour a couple of time now. They have yet to disappoint us. Their sound is a mix between Bauhaus and Joy Division. I believe that they are going to be the next big thing in 2006. Their debut CD hits the shelves on Tuesday January 31st.

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They are heading out on a North American Tour January 28th.

Congratulations to She Wants Revenge on their appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. As much as I want success for them, I must admit that I will be a little sad to see them make it big. Of course, my reasons for this are completely selfish. I enjoy seeing them perform in small, intimate venues. With their CD release and TV appearances, I'm sure they are going to be more difficult to see live and their venues will only be getting larger. All my selfishness aside, I wish them best of luck and hope that their CD soars to the top of the charts. My little band is growing up.

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Should any of you want to sample their sound before their CD is released, check out their MySpace page. You can also view a couple of their videos on the She Wants Revenge website. To our Toronto friends, they will be playing Lee's Palace on February 9th. Go check them out.

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