Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010, Day 181

I am wearing a top by BCBG Max Azria I bought at an outlet and a skirt with the tag cut out* I bought on sale at Theodore a long time ago. I am sitting in our outdoor living room. We spend a lot of time out here. On most pleasant Sundays, you can find us lounging on the sofa behind me and reading the paper. When the kids were younger they made forts out of the sofa with blankets and pillows. It’s wonderful place to be in the rain.

Also behind me, you can see two pieces by Yuval Pudik (see May 3) through the window into the house.

I ran errands today and worked on our plans for the rest of the summer.** Tonight we are seeing John and Rachel for dinner. We’ve all been traveling lately so it’ll be a good chance to catch up.

*I cut them out when they are itchy.

**As the family’s social secretary, I am responsible for planning birthday and dinner parties, travel itineraries and coordinating invitations to other events. It’s always a busy time of year!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010, Day 180

I am wearing a skirt by Diesel I bought at a little shop on Melrose and a sweater by Cris I bought on sale at Planet Blue in Malibu.

I am standing next to a wonderful piece by Mel Bochner. He has been working with words lately and many of his pieces, while clever, are not suitable for hanging in a house with minors. We really liked this one because it captures the overall feeling of this body of work without being too adult-oriented. It’s hanging in the library next to my desk and is a good reminder to move forward with strength and courage.

One time when I was in the desert with Gary’s sisters and mom, Gary called me all excited. He was having dinner with Omid at Mastro’s and wanted me to guess who he ran into. “Who?” I asked. “Mel Bochner!” he said. We had just bought this piece and sitting across from Gary was Marc Selwyn (see May 15) and Mr. Bochner. Gary acted like he had just met some rock star and in a way, to us, he had.

I spent the day catching up in my office from our recent travels. I am looking forward to my massage from Cynthia at four.

Can it really be day 180 so soon? Wow. How long will I keep going? No one knows…not even me!

Monday, June 28, 2010, Day 179

We went for our favorite workout this morning (see April 17) and ended up at the Boulangerie on Fillmore for breakfast. Then it was back to the apartment to wait for the car to take us back home. The weather was magnificent and it seemed a bit of a shame to leave.

I am wearing an old pair of Juicy Couture sweatpants and a TSE cashmere sweater I bought on sale at Theodore. We love it up here so much, but are looking forward to being home with the kids.

Sunday, June 27, 2010, Day 178

Gary made us oatmeal with fresh berries this morning and we spent many blissful hours reading in our apartment. We were excited to see that The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo was playing so close (walking distance on Fillmore) and planned to see the 4:30 showing. I had just finished the book and Gary was racing to see how far he could get before the movie started. We took a break around noon for brunch at Choquet’s. Then it was back to the book for Gary while I worked on this blog until show time.

The casting was terrific. The Swedish are more authentic in their view of beauty so the actors and actresses were not all perfect looking. I hear they are making a Hollywood version and Natalie Portman and Kristin Stewart are up for the leads.

I am wearing a beautiful Tracey Reese for Plenty dress I bought at Anthropologie many years ago. I wore it to our very first Holiday Party back in 2005, before I started changing during them (see February 26).

After the movie we had a delicious dinner at Jackson Fillmore, came home and fell straight into bed.

Saturday, June 26, 2010, Day 177

We slept late and Gary made a delicious egg, bacon, potato and avocado scramble for breakfast. We went to Baer Ridgeway to pick up our new piece by Travis Collinson (see April 20 and May 28) and then met him up the street for a coffee and tour through Frankael Gallery. It was the last day of a great show made up of all kinds of wonderful photographs that didn’t fit into other shows. We saw works by Diane Arbus, Bruce Davidson, Helen Levitt, Richard Misrach, Irving Penn, Sol Lewitt and many others. There were terrific pieces by unknown photographers too.

I am wearing a pair of velvet AG jeans and a sweater set by Beautiful People.

We went back to the apartment and then out to dinner at Nick’s Crispy Tacos. We made last minute plans to have a drink with Gary and Adelle from Mureta’s on Fillmore and then came home and watched most of season one of The United States of Tara on DVD.

Friday, June 25, 2010, Day 176

As we did after London, we are following our week with the kids with a weekend without them in San Francisco. Our friends Brian and Mia were originally going to join us, but had to cancel so it is just the two of us.*

I am wearing a pair of Jane Norman pants I bought at Harrod’s on our honeymoon.** I’ve thought about getting rid of them a few times, fearing they were outdated, but couldn’t bring myself to, somewhat out of nostalgia, I suppose, but also because they still fit nice and you can never have too many pairs of well-tailored black pants, right?

On top I am wearing a black velvet camisole and a little black jacket, both by Ghost. The boots are Buttero and I bought them at regular price (I loved them that much!) at American Rag on La Brea at least six years ago. They were my favorites for a long time and I’ve had the heels replaced more than once. They were demoted to San Francisco when I bought another pair of cute short black boots at Gimme Shoes on Fillmore (see January 25). I definitely wear them more often because they are here and am always glad to see them.

The necklace is from Mureta’s and is from the 1930’s. It is made of blue and copper glass beads.

I would never wear this outfit in Los Angeles and have never worn it outside, not even tonight. The overall effect is very dowdy, even with the necklace to perk things up. I feel like an old lady. It’s time to let the Ghost tops go, but I’ll keep them for Elodie. I’ve started a little collection of pieces for her for when she’s older. I’ll probably keep the pants up here though. Like I said, I can’t seem to shake them.

I am standing next to a magnificent screen by Jonathan Hammer. He made it from leathers from exotic animals like stingray and shark that he cut by hand, without an overall plan or template. He started at the upper left area and wound his way down toward the lower left. The design is based on Bosch’s triptych, “The Garden of Earthly Delights.”*** It has direct and indirect references to the piece and the images blend into each other and can be ambiguous. We bought it in Madrid on our first “art trip” with Brenda and Michael in 2005. There is a very long story attached to its purchase which can be boiled down into another reason why the man I married is the best in the world. We love it in this spot in the dining room. It blocks the unattractive wing of our apartment outside, but still lets in light from the south-sided window.

*We aim to visit San Francisco once a month and alternate trips with and without Graydon and Elodie.

**August 30 to October 15, 1999

***We saw the actual painting at the Prado Museum in Madrid on the same trip.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010, Day 175

This was a travel day so I am posting a photo of the dress I wore to dinner* with Gary on Tuesday night. It is by Monique Lhuillier and I bought it on that birthday trip to Neiman’s** specifically for the night we were honored at the Our House*** gala in 2007.

Gary and I looked at many dresses with an eye to the night when I was to give a speech in front of six hundred people. Many were too sexy or too long or too much. This dress was absolutely perfect and I love wearing it. It fits like a glove and I feel like a 1959-era Barbie in it – sexy and demure at the same time. The upper portion is covered by a fine netting and the neckline has delicate, origami-like folds. The bottom part is a light stretch wool that hugs without being tight. The upper back of the dress is open, exposing some skin and keeping the overall look from being too buttoned-up. But it’s really the intricate beading on the detachable belt that just makes the whole dress sing.

The evening of the gala, I wore a pair of Manolo Blahnik sling backs that were particularly painful, but looked great. In Washington, I chose a more comfortable pair by Loeffler Randall I bought at Gimme Shoes on Fillmore.

As with London, we enjoyed our trip this week and were happy to be on our way home.

*We went to CityZen (pronounced "citizen") at the Manderin Oriental Hotel.

**What a day that was! The Manolo Blahnik shoes were purchased then as well.

***The grief support group where Gary and I met and where I was on the Board of Directors from 2006-2008. See, “speech” to see a video clip of the actual speech I gave in this dress and “links” for more information on Our House.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010, Day 174

It was so hot yesterday and was going to be even hotter today so we got up pretty early for our trip to the zoo. It had been years since I had been to a zoo,* but a few people recommended the one in Washington D.C. as a great place to take the kids. Alas, the zoo in D.C. is just like all zoos in my opinion: sad, depressing confinements for exotic, bitter animals.

Great chunks of the place were closed, either for renovation or new construction. The few actual animals we did see were mostly birds confined to glass cages in a (thankfully) air-conditioned “bird house.” We did manage to catch a glimpse of a few elephants (remarkable that such large animals could “hide” out of the view of their human visitors), the back of a cheetah (head obscured behind a “rock wall” partition) and a fat Panda eating his way through a pile of bamboo.

We called it a day shortly after this photo was taken of me with this peacock. Apparently my friend had opened his beautiful tail just moments before as I was returning from the bathroom and could not be convinced to do it again. I am wearing a pair of Hartford shorts I bought in Virginia at Eloise and a James Perse tank top.

After the zoo, we had lunch at a New York-style deli close to our hotel. Elodie and I had our nails done. Gary and I took the kids back to BLT** for dinner.

*Gary and I took the kids to the Santa Barbara Zoo about five years ago. That one too was disappointing with many areas closed off. Before that, I hadn’t been to a zoo since 1988 when I went to the London Zoo and saw all of the animals huddling miserably in the wet, freezing cold.

**There is a BLT in Los Angeles too. They serve great bread and salted butter -- yum!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010, Day 173

So much to see! This morning we walked to one end of the Mall from our hotel. We saw the Lincoln Memorial first and it is HUGE! This photo was taken on the steps looking out toward the Washington Monument. I am wearing a pair of Roxy shorts I bought at the Sports Chalet in Canoga Park and a top by Vince I bought at Brown’s in London.

The day was hot and humid, but we managed to see the Vietnam and Korean War Memorials before hopping in a cab to the Air and Space Museum. We couldn’t believe all the cool stuff in the museum! There were a few small “re-entry pods” that the astronauts flew back in after visiting space. It never ceases to amaze me how we sent actual humans into outer space so long ago, before there were even personal computers, fax machines or iPods.

We also saw the actual plane the Wright Brothers flew and a plane flown by Amelia Earhart. Then it was time for lunch and back to the hotel for a nap before dinner.

Monday, June 21, 2010, Day 172

We usually stay in Virginia for a week when we visit, but today we drove to Washington DC to see our nation’s capital with the kids. We are staying at the St. Regis Hotel which is walking distance from the White House. The kids wanted room service tonight so we got a nanny and Gary and I went on a little date.

I am wearing a pair of Levi’s I bought in San Francisco at the Levi’s store in Union Square and a top by Seven For All Mankind. The shoes “antelope” and I bought them on sale at Scarpa last Saturday. My hair is naturally curly in all of this humidity and I love it.

After walking around and having a drink at a little café, we had dinner at BLT and walked back to our hotel.

Sunday, June 20, 2010, Day 171

This is actually the dress I wore to dinner last night with Tony and Patty. It’s by Left of Center and I bought it at Anthropologie yesterday in the same shopping center as Scarpa. It’s hard to see, but the shoes are the Marc By Marc Jacobs pair I bought in London (see April 2). I am wearing a blue leather “rose” belt I also bought yesterday on sale for ten dollars.

I am walking through the Wilson’s yard toward where Elodie found a huge rock filled with "crystals" and Maddie took this picture.

Last night we ate at Ventana in downtown Charlottesville. We had Tony’s famous skinny pancakes* for breakfast this morning and then worked them off at the Boar’s Head.** Tonight we had grilled chicken and shrimp kebabs and rice. We watched two "Bourne Identity" movies and were asleep by eleven.

*Basically crepes. I like mine with melted butter, fresh fruit and powdered sugar.

**The Boar’s Head is an athletic club with tennis courts, a pool and gym. We usually workout their at least once per visit to help combat with all the great food we eat when we are in Virginia.

Saturday, June 19, 2010, Day 170

There are a few stores I love to visit in when I am in Charlottesville.* I love Scarpa for shoes and accessories and Eloise for clothes. I also love walking around the Mall in the center of town and seeing what’s new.

This is me standing on the Wilson’s porch ready to go. Isn’t it beautiful? Did I mention I love Virginia? I am wearing a Marc By Marc Jacobs dress and my Frye boots.

*Charlottesville is definitely not in California (see January 1).

Friday, June 18, 2010, Day 169

The car came at 6:45 this morning to take us to the airport. This is a picture of Elodie and me waiting for our flight in the American Airlines lounge. I am wearing a pair of Citizen For Humanity jeans I bought at Lolita’s and my favorite Marc By Marc Jacobs blouse.

We flew to Washington Dulles and then drove about two and a half hours to the Wilson’s house in Free Union, Virginia. Gary has been friends with Tony and Patty Wilson for over twenty-five years. They used to live off Laurel Canyon, but when they had kids, they decided to raise them back East where they have family.

Tony went back East first and spent six months renovating an 1880’s farmhouse on eight acres in Virginia, about ten minutes from Charlottesville. Gary almost moved there with Robyn* in 1993 before she was first diagnosed with cancer. He visited Tony and Patty there after she died in 1998 and then took me to visit them less than a year later as his bride-to-be. They are about ten years older than Gary and me and their kids, Riley and Madeleine, are about ten years older than Graydon and Elodie. It’s been interesting to see “our lives” projected into the future through them. I met Riley when he was younger than Graydon and now he’s just completed his first year at Boston College. It’s a good reminder how time flies.

I love going to Virginia.** We would probably never have visited there if we didn’t have such great friends and that would be too bad. We got to the Wilson’s just after nine pm and the fire flies were out.

*Robyn Orling Simons, 1960-1998. See for details.

**This was my sixth visit. The second was when I was pregnant with Graydon, the third was when Graydon was nine months old and I wasn’t yet pregnant with Elodie, the fourth was when we went out for Foxfield^ and Elodie was not yet two,^^ and the fifth was June 2007.

^Foxfield is a horse race that takes place five minutes from Free Union twice a year.

^^Little Graydon lost a few of his beloved Matchbox cars in the grass in front of the house on this trip and told us he thought he’d find them in 2007.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010, Day 168

I had my hair cut and colored by Jamie Leonard (see May 27) today. She works in West Hollywood about once a month and I went to visit her at a salon called Jeffrey-Kara. I brought along the latest edition of Elle Magazine with Kristen Stewart on the cover. I just loved her in The Runaways (see March 23) and wanted a rocker’s haircut like hers. I feel very Crissy Hynde from the Pretenders and I love it.

I am wearing a pair of Lux Lux Lux Lux shorts I bought at Lolita’s and a Marc By Marc Jacobs blouse. The boots are Florentine and Baker.

This evening we all went over to the Mumfords for a lovely evening. John’s parents are visiting and we ate pasta and watched the Lakers beat the Celtics.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010, Day 167

I am sitting in Graydon’s room. The painting behind me is by Robert Russell (see April 20). The photograph is of Gary driving a race car on a track at Laguna Seca. The red lamp is a Mark Cutler original.

In the bathroom mirror you can catch a glimpse of an original drawing from the children's book, Another Perfect Day, by Ross McDonald. Gary and I bought it at Storyopolis on Robertson (since closed) when Gradyon was just a baby. I love Graydon's room.

I am wearing a Marc By Marc Jacobs top and a pair of Theory shorts I probably bought at Lisa Kline on Robertson. The sandals are by Gucci (see June 8).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010, Day 166

I like the lotus embroidered on the back of these yoga pants by Be Present. My other pairs of yoga pants aren’t as fancy and don’t have any embroidery on the back. The top is Be Present too and both were purchased together at Inner Power.

Speaking of inner power, Jill gave Gary and I another yoga class in our gym this morning. I love yoga. It feels almost like flossing your teeth – getting into all the nooks and crannies of your muscles.

Today is the last day of school for Graydon and Elodie. That means no alarm clock for Mommy for nine whole weeks – yay!

Monday, June 14, 2010, Day 165

I bought this dress at the Los Angeles Art Show in Santa Monica a few a years ago. It’s by an artist named Tiprin Follett. Ms. Follett made it for a project started by Andrea Zittel called “Smockshop.”* It’s very “Cinderella before she met the prince” and is fun to flounce around in. I’m not sure I’d wear it out unless I was going to an art event or somewhere where I needed something very avant-garde.

I made homemade pesto from the basil in our garden. Gary made pasta and grilled chicken and vegetables. We had a delicious dinner.

*“Years ago as an assistant at Pat Hearn Gallery, artist Andrea Zittel didn’t have the cash to dress like a gallerina. Instead, she started sewing her own uniforms and made a version for winter and one for summer. The originals are now incredibly collectible, but Zittel is staging a resurrection of the line with her latest project, ‘Smockshop.’

Zittel designed a simple double wrap-around garment and asked other artists to reinterpret her original design. Zittel says the project generates income for artists whose work is either non-commercial, or not yet self-sustaining. The smockers include Tiprin Follett, V Smiley, Kate Hillseth, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Ashira Siegel, Molly Keogh, Ann Trondson, R.Scott Mitchell, Maude Benson, Mark Rodriguez and Peggy Pabustan, as well as some very special guest sewers.”

Sunday, June 13, 2010, Day 164

Today was a magical day. The Karlsens took our children (both of them) to see Karate Kid II and Gary and I were all alone until six pm.

Shortly after this picture was taken, I changed into real clothes and we drove (top down) to our favorite little Mexican place in Agoura. When we got back home, we went swimming (even me)* and read the paper by the pool.

Pictured is a pretty little nightie/house dress I bought online from Anthropologie. In the background is our new piece by Brad Howe (see May 25), blending in with its brother and sister trees.

*I usually require scorching hot weather for me to go in the pool so I’m not freezing when I get out. Today wasn’t that hot, but the pool was very warm and there was very little breeze.

Saturday, June 12, 2010, Day 163

I love this dress.* I saw it a few years ago in the window of the Planet Blue on Montana. I remember it was kind of pricey for Planet Blue, but I just couldn’t not buy it. It fits perfectly and flows so nicely when I walk. A few people have told me it looks Hermes or Gucci because of the little buckle in the front.

We were invited to a wedding the Karlsens generously hosted in their backyard. Coincidentally, purple was one of the wedding colors so I matched both the bridesmaids and the napkins.

Nicole is wearing one of my favorite dresses of Elodie’s. She was asked to be the flower and borrowed it for the occasion. Lynn gave it to us and we have a series of memorable photos of Elodie wearing it out by the swing set in the backyard.

Elodie is wearing a little Crewcuts sundress I bought online. Mika looks very handsome in his vest and tie.

*I have loaned it twice and my friends looked beautiful in it too.

Friday, June 11, 2010, Day 162

I am wearing a beautiful dress by Nicole Romano I bought from Jerell Scott (see March 27 and May 21). I first wore it to the MOCA Gala last fall. Lady Gaga and the Bolshoi Ballet performed.* The night was very surreal and this was the perfect dress in which to enjoy it. I felt sexy and beautiful all night. I love the sheer middle panel which shows off my legs and the black bottom panel which hides my platform shoes.** The earrings are Prada and were a gift from Molly Hall.

*Gwen Stefani was sitting right next to the stage, which really was a large table for those lucky few gathered around it. I was able to tell her how much we loved her recent performance with No Doubt at the Gibson Amphitheater, which was a real thrill for me. She is very lovely and has really long eyelashes.

**I mostly choose my outfits around a pair of fairly comfortable shoes on Gala nights where there is much walking around and a whole lot of standing.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010, Day 161

I am wearing a blouse by Borne I bought at Barneys and a pair of JCrew shorts. The sandals are Mark By Marc Jacobs.

I am standing next to another couple of fantastic paintings by Mike Bayne (see March 13). You can see our children's latest masterpieces behind me.

Gary and I had a private yoga lesson this morning from Jill Kennedy who also teaches at Inner Power Yoga in Calabasas. It had been awhile since Gary took a yoga class and he felt he needed some extra encouragement and individual instruction before practicing with others at the studio. He mountain bikes a lot and his hamstrings are particularly tight. It was a great class and a terrific way to start the day.

Later on we had massages and ate a yummy dinner of take-out from Blue Table.