I Heart Pop Culture Tuesdays.
{Jen Aniston's Zen Fabulous Home.}

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hello, friends. Welcome to a lonnng overdue edition of just a small town girl's I Heart Pop Culture Tuesdays! Let's be honest, things have been a little heavy here lately. Surgeries and disappointments and politics. I think it's high time I sprinkle my little corner of the blogosphere with some pop culture pixie dust... If you've read my blog before (um, ever) you know how much I love Jennifer Aniston. What you might not know is that I sort of unofficially use her as my role model for taking what life hands you with a big ol' smile and a great big heart. Cheesy? When it comes to Jen (yeah, I call her Jen around these parts), this small town girl likes to keep it over the top. Forgive me.

This particular post isn't about how I will never understand why her latest movie got such bad reviews. Honestly, I loved The Switch and, as much as I love JA, I don't always like her movies. (Ooh, except The Good Girl. I adore that movie and think her performance is just brilliant.) No, no, no, this post is dedicated to her Zen fabulous living space.

I knew that Ms. Aniston's home was featured earlier this year in Architectural Digest, but hadn't yet seen the issue or the photos. Well, friends, when you fracture your kneecap and have subsequent surgery, you find yourself with some new found downtime. Oh, geez, and am I ever glad I did. The moment I laid my eyes on these photos, I fell madly in love with the Balinese, retro vibe to her house.

I am absolutely dying over her bedroom, especially the silk and wool shag carpet. My version of heaven will be carpeted in just this. You know, if heaven has carpet.

I am an absolute nut for all things water - maybe it's the Pisces in me. Really, ask my boyfriend. If it was possible to be a professional floater, that would be my job. The fact that this home has an entryway over a koi pond just captures my heart. Oh, and the soaking tub off her master bedroom? Stop, Jen, you're killing me.

My favorite thing about this house is that it is just perfect for entertaining loved ones. One of my very, very favorite things in this world is to host parties in my home. My current residence doesn't exactly afford me this little luxury for several reasons - especially the crazy bird lady on the other side of the wall - but I can't wait to revisit this passion of mine. In this article, Jennifer talked about her love of entertaining and how she chose this house, in part, because of that.

Best part of this swoon worthy article? Jennifer described her house as "vibrating with the love that created it." I can't think of a better way to feel about your home. It makes me happy just to think about a home vibrating with love.

I hope, whatever your house looks like on the outside, it is filled with love on the inside. Happy Tuesday! Xoxo!

Our Friendship Made Me Better.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This last Saturday, my one and only Daniel P came to visit me here in Las Vegas. This was his second trip to Vegas and, unfortunately, I was far less mobile this go round. Luckily, when you share a love with someone like the one Danny and I do, a little handicap can't slow you down.

This trip brought a MUCH needed visit to see Frank Marino's DIVAS. This was my second time seeing this fantastic show and I immediately knew upon first viewing that I HAD to come back with Danny. That night we shared a 32 ounce pina colala (see video below for reference), sang our little hearts out to Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" and oohed and ahhed at the Britney impersonator (honestly, that man does Ms. Spears better than Britney herself). Fan-effing-tastic, I tell you. This trip also brought a meal at our beloved Firefly and an introduction for Danny to two of my very favorite spots, Yama Sushi and Don't Tell Mama.

Most importantly, this visit brought some long overdue bonding time with my favorite beautiful boy. You see, Danny and I go back to junior high school (although I vividly remember him rocking a parakeet yellow jacket in the third grade). He and I share a love for R&B music, makeup and all things Sex and the City (he will always be the Samantha to my Carrie). Oh, and let's not forget Madonna. Mr. P and I have taken two of my all time favorite trips together, to Miami and Hollywood, to see Madge in concert and we held hands and cried throughout both shows. Daniel is also my skincare guru and I really don't know how many times I've had to repeatedly ask him if I steam or mask first when giving myself an at home facial. More than that, though, Danny and I share an ability to crack each other up like nobody else can and a deep love for Whitney Houston impersonations, cosmopolitans and each other.

While hanging out and having one of our infamous catchup sessions, Danny asked me a question that I've been thinking about since. He said, "Kathy (and, please, know that only four people in this world are allowed to call me that), how do you think being friends with so many gay men has affected you?" We both thought about it and then made some less than blog appropriate jokes. The question has stayed with me, however. What I didn't say then, but will say now, is that my friendship with Danny has made me better. I was fortunate enough to always have gay and lesbian family friends growing up and my parents stressed that, no matter what, love is love. However, once Danny became not only one of my best friends, but also a part of my family, his struggles became my struggles. And if Danny is refused certain rights, I am not only angry, but my heart aches. You see, I want him standing up there next to me when I get married and, by God, I want to be up there for his wedding. That's what true friendship is. You celebrate each other's successes and you fight for each other. I will fight for Danny. Always. I can't imagine who I would be without him because he is an integral part of my heart and everyone would be lucky to have a friend like him.

You see, when I meet homophobic people, I always think the same thing, "You just don't know. You just haven't been lucky enough to love an incredible gay human being. I hope you are that lucky someday."

So, to Danny, thank you for making me laugh for almost twenty years. I miss you already. As you said when you were here, the three of us (that includes our girl, Carina Jean) saved each other.

Your love is my love, Dan.

To end this post, I have to leave you with Danny and my very favorite skit. Nothing - and I mean nothing - makes us laugh harder.

A Little Friday Fun.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I sat down to write a long overdue post about one of the most fantastic weekends ever (when my best gal, Carina, came to Vegas a few weeks ago and we rocked this neon town), but I just don't have the energy. This shouldn't come as a huge surprise. I am now two weeks out from my knee surgery and I am beginning to get back to my normal activities. The only difference is that my normal activities exhaust me in ways I can't even put into words. Yesterday, at one of my part-time nanny gigs, I was left for several hours with a four year old, a one year old and a three week old. I was hobbling around with my one crutch (I'm just starting to wean myself from my crutches) and let me tell you, it was a CIRCUS. Really fun, but a circus nonetheless.

Earlier today I found myself doing what I always do when I need a good laugh, looking at the photo above. It never fails to crack me up, ever. I even had to use it as my profile pic on facebook for a few weeks. You see, I just could not love Kristen Wiig anymore than I do and, if you know me, you know I'm always trying to nail my impersonations of her. (Her Suze Orman is one of my best. Be sure to ask me to show you over a couple of drinks sometime.) So, in honor of the fact that today is Friday and I'm so freaking excited about the upcoming weekend with one of my best friends in the world, I just had to post this photo. I hope it makes you laugh as much as it does me. Happy weekend! Xoxo!

You Are Welcome Here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

{amazing image via}

The many recent gay teen suicides have left me - and so many of us, I hope - heartbroken. If I'm correct, there have been at least five in the last few weeks and each of these losses have followed bullying and harassment targeted at the deceased due to their sexual orientation. This epidemic is outrageous (at best) and demands that we come together in kindness, tolerance and love. In these dark moments, we have to ask more of ourselves and both step up and stand up for our friends and neighbors when they need us.

In these last few weeks, I've been asking myself what I can do. And, honestly, I don't know. I am involved with organizations that fight for LGBT equality, but in light of these recent events, that doesn't feel like enough.

So, here I am. Pulling out my laptop and doing the only thing I can think to do, write. Perhaps to an audience of zero, but maybe - just maybe - this post will get passed to someone, someday, who needs it.

Yesterday was National Coming Out Day and what I want to say to those of you who may have recently come out or who dream of someday feeling ready to, you are welcome here. It may not feel like it everywhere, but there are parts of the world, and parts of this country, and people that will welcome you with open arms, will say to you, "Thank you so much for coming. We've been waiting for you." Let me say that now...

I've been waiting for you and am so happy you've come. Thank you. Thank you so much for being you when people told you to be someone else. Thank you for being so much braver and stronger than you have been recognized for. The world would not be complete without you and we rejoice in your arrival.

I may not be the most religious of people, but I know like I've never known anything that you were made to be who you are and that who you are is perfect, just as it is. So, again, thank you. Thank you for fighting for yourself all those years to be here today. You were - and are - so worth it. Welcome.

Go Here: The Neon Boneyard.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Since my move to Las Vegas, I have found some truly amazing places to visit. When my best friend, Carina, was here last week (Wait, was that last week... ? The combination of having recently had knee surgery and taking pain medication makes everything a little blurry. Please excuse my fogginess.), we paid a visit to The Neon Museum, also known as The Neon Boneyard. We had been wanting to go here since I moved to Vegas, but didn't realize that we needed to make a reservation to be part of the tour. So, finally, we made our reservations and looked forward to this highly anticipated neon adventure.

The Neon Museum is a non-profit organization that preserves, restores and collects what they call "the classic Las Vegas art form", neon signs. I can't urge you strongly enough to make your reservation and visit The Neon Museum. The tour embodies the Vegas retro spirit and I just know you'll love it. (Just take our advice and bring water. In the summer and early fall months, this is one hot hour.) Oooh, and the good news is that the museum will offer night tours in the future that will really allow the tour to shine.

PS) Carina and I were also lucky enough to visit the FABULOUS Liberace Museum. Unfortunately, after 31 years of operation, this sequined shrine will be closing on October 17th. If you happen to be in Vegas in the next ten days, you have to put on a feather boa and go to the museum. Trust me.

Anesthesia Makes You Say
the Darndest Things.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Well, friends, I made it through surgery. Thank you so, so much for all your kindness, comments, texts, calls, emails and love. I really felt an abundance of support and can't tell you how much that meant to me.

On Friday morning at 6am, I went to the Institute of Orthopaedic Surgery here in Las Vegas with my sister Monica and my childhood stuffed lamb. (My boyfriend had a really important test at school that day, so I had already said my "I love you and hope I don't die" emotional goodbyes.) When they called me back and prepped me for surgery (this included drawing a smiley face with the word NO on my good leg), the tears started flowing. I kept repeating, "I don't know why I'm crying. I'm sorry," but they explained this was pretty typical and was just a result of my nerves. They called my sister back to sit with me for a while and she told me I had the "little deer caught in headlights" look I sometimes get. During this time, I may or may not have brought up Michael Jackson one or four times and everyone assured me I would not meet the same fate as the late King of Pop. They next warned me how cold the operating room would be and then, before I knew it, it was time to hug my sister and get taken back. Unfortunately, right before walking down the hall to my surgery site, my nurse told me she would see me "on the other side" and then immediately corrected herself when she saw my face go pale. (Hey, it was an honest mistake!)

To say I was scared is a huge understatement. To say it was freezing in there was an even bigger understatement. The anesthesiologist then showed me the medicine that would put me to sleep. You can probably guess that my next question was, "Is that what Michael Jackson used?" Yep, it was. I then said with an urgency I may have never used before, "Please tell me you'll be more attentive than Dr. Conrad Murray (MJ's less than fantastic doc)!" He assured me he wouldn't be sneaking out to the parking lot for a smoke break and I started to relax. I then asked if it was normal to feel burning in my throat and arm. That's the last thing I remember...

I woke up over two hours later to everyone around me saying my name. All I can remember is how much it hurt. They asked me, on a scale of one to ten, how much it hurt and I emphatically kept saying, "NINE!" They brought me some crackers and Sprite and I remember asking several times if I had snored during surgery. Still not clear on the answer to that one. :)

When they called my sister back, she came with a good story. You see, the doctor explained to her that as soon as I woke up, I sat up straight and yelled, "I LOVE TECHNOLOGY!" I guess I gave everybody a good laugh and, if you know me, you know that makes me really happy. After that, everyone did a lot of talking that sounded like Charlie Brown's parents. Being the pop culture enthusiast that I am, I expressed concern over pulling an accidental Heath Ledger with all my drugs. (Rest in peace, Heath.) After that, we were sent home. Um, er, we were sent to the Hilton. (In my defense, I live in a two story condo where the bathroom is upstairs and this didn't seem particularly manageable post-surgery.)

In closing, if there is anything I can stress to you, dear reader, never take saucy Santa photos in the snow (I can't mention this enough) and... You haven't arrived until you've been wheeled into the Hilton wearing paper pants.