Monday, February 28, 2011

Buddies Out West: You know you've made it when you can blow off LeBron...

I'd like to take a quick moment to apologize for the delay between postings.  We have been very busy over here.

Back to our trip:

If you remember back to our list, after Chelsea Lately, the LeBron James Party was scheduled.  The 3 of us being the celebrity-obsessed ladies we are, were very excited to attend this party.  With the NBA All-Star game in town, we were sure the party would be chalk-full of athletes and celebs.  Buddy and I packed dresses for the occasion and everything. 

The day before the trip, I asked Buddy if she had any idea what the point of the party was.  Apparently, LeBron has created a cartoon called The LeBron's and this was the screening for the party.  My interested faded slightly, but I was still excited at the prospect of many celeb spottings. 

After the excitement of seeing not one, but TWO Chelsea Lately tapings, we were exhausted!  All of that screaming, cheering, and the heart racing induced by meeting your personal idol, can wear a girl out.  (By the way, did anyone see us when the episodes aired???  I have already been signing autographs!  This girl got some serious face time at the end.)  We rushed back to the house and got ready to head to LeBron's.  Spectators would have quickly picked up on our exhaustion as we were all whiny, grumpy, and self deprecating.  I have never felt so fat and ugly in my entire life.  Part of that may have been caused by current physical state, but most of it was sheer exhaustion.  To top it all off, we were running very late, and having never been to an event like this, were unsure as to how late is fashionably late, and how late is just rude.  We were "ready," walked downstairs, looked at each other, and quickly decided this was a terrible idea.  How would we be able to do our best celebrity-mingling when we were self conscious, tired, and miserable?  We walked ourselves right back upstairs, put on more comfortable clothing, and decided to just go to the bar. 

After our 14.7 mile walk in -47 degree weather to the first bar, we enjoyed some yummy Mexican beverages, were assaulted by a drunk girl wandering around asking to grab every girl in the bar's tatas, and headed to another bar.  Our second stop was a place called Bar Food that only serves beer, wine and high end whiskey.  This place was great.  We enjoyed a few glasses of wine, made the bartender take our picture, and headed to our next stop.   
The next place was called South and, lucky us, it was Karaoke Night.  We did not sing, but instead had a few too many drinks and stuffed our faces.  This place had the most amazing gourmet grilled cheese, delicious fried pickles, and the hottest chicken fingers with every single dipping sauce they have (per Buddy's request). 
All in all, a great night.  Surry LeBron, that we couldn't contribute to your evening.  Hope the cartoon was a hit.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Buddies Out West: One of the Best Days of my Life

If you look at the list for Thursday, you will see that we planned to go to the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, the puppy store (didn't make that one...darn!), the leather purse store (Buddy was in heaven), Chelsea Lately, In N Out Burger, and the LeBron party.  This was the day I had been waiting for my entire life!!!!
The promenade was fun.  We had breakfast at a place that served potato skins for breakfast (think bar food filled with eggs and veggies....delish!) and then did a lot of shopping.  After the promenade (and not a single celebrity spotted), we stopped by the leather purse store to see if Buddy saw anything she liked.  You could smell the leather from about 3 stores away.  There were lots of cute things but we couldn't justify paying those prices for an off brand just because it was leather.  We made a quick stop by the house to freshen up for Chelsea, then a run to Starbucks where I introduced Jill to the Iced Venti Unsweetened Green Tea (aka best drink on Earth), and then drove to Chelsea's studio which was only about 5 minutes from Jess' house. 
As we walked up to the studio, the giddiness set did the butterflies.  I could not believe I was about to see her in person (and not from the back of a venue like I did in Miami.)  There was a long line in the parking lot waiting to get in and I was so bummed that we didn't get there earlier..."there goes the front row seats" I thought.  A guy named Vernon was standing in the parking lot and stopped us wanting to see our passes.  When he saw our VIP pass he said, "Oh, I'm the guy you are supposed to ask for.  Just go inside and wait in the lobby."  We asked what the perks of VIP were exactly and he said we didn't have to wait in line (yippee!) and we got "better" seats.  At this, Buddy said, "Better as in front-row?"  He said there were some people he needed to make sure got front row and so he wasn't sure.  Buddy then said, "Why can't we be some of the people that NEED to get front row?"  His reply to that was, "I'll see what I can do." 

Feeling a little hopeful, we walked to the lobby of the studio.  Parked right outside the front door sat Chelsea's burgundy Bentley and Chuy's red Yaris with the license plate "L Nugget."  Of course, I posed for a picture:

We got inside of the lobby where the receptionist (who was just as nice as I would be if I worked there!) told us we could have a seat on the couches and Vernon would be back to get us before the show.  As we walked toward one of the couches, Josh Wolf walked by with his lunch.  I was stopped dead in my tracks and rendered speechless.  He must have felt me staring at him cause he turned around as he started up the stairs to Chelsea's offices and said, "Hi."  We had a seat on the couches at the base of her stairs and waited patiently for our new buddy Vernon.  Suddenly, Chelsea's assistant, Ryan Bassford, came down the stairs with her dog Chunk.  He is even cuter in person and was such a good boy.  He ran straight outside and then came back in looking for Ryan who had stopped to talk to some people.  At the top of the stairs there was a window and we got a glimpse of Brad Wollack's red hair, and Chelsea's stylist picking out her outfit for the show. 
The lobby was also equipped with the cutout I had taken a picture with in Miami with Melissa, so Jess and Buddy got a picture as well:
Finally Vernon came into the lobby and he said he was going to take us in a back entrance and that the warm-up guy was already getting started.  He said there were 2 groups he needed to take in first and everyone else needed to hang tight.  He announced a group of about 5 and the said, "Lynn plus 2."  Holy Cow!  He walked us in the studio and sat us right in the middle of the front row on the center aisle.  Seriously the best seats in the house!  Vernon is the nicest man on the planet! 

After we were seated, one of the security guys came around giving us post-its to write our name on and put in our books so Chelsea could sign them.  He was collecting the books on the other side of the studio so she could sign them backstage, and when I went to hand mine to him he said, "No, she will come sign yours at the end of the show."  No way!  The warm-up guy cracked some jokes and walked us through how the show would go.  Then he introduced the comedians, then Chuy (who brought along his rabbi for the show), and then the lady herself....Chelsea!  She is sooooo beautiful in person!  The beginning of the show was a bit of a blurr because I still could not believe I was sitting in the front row watching my favorite show.  Oh, I forgot...right as the show was about to start, Josh Wolf, who was sitting right in front of me, recognized me from the lobby and waved.  I could have died.  During the breaks, the warm-up guy was giving Chuy stress balls to the audience members who were cheering the loudest and I got one!  It says, "I caught one of Chuy's balls" on it....classy!
When the show was over, Chelsea walked over and I handed her my books.  The guy had said not to hold her up with conversation but while she was signing both of mine I seized the moment.  I said, "I brought 2, I hope that's OK" and she said "Thanks for buying them."  I said, "I left the 3rd one at home not wanting to be too obnoxious" and she laughed.  I made Chelsea Handler laugh!  Who cares if it was a pity laugh or she was just being polite...I'll take it!  Then Chuy came by and shook our hands; his little mitts are so soft and squishy. 
Before we were kicked out of the studio, Vernon announced that there were extra seats available to the next taping (they normally only do one a day, but she was going to Canada for the weekend so they needed to film Monday's that day) and if anyone wanted to stay to raise their hands.  My hand shot up right away!  He told us to go back to the lobby and wait and this time we saw Chris Franjola taking pictures for the show with his man-purse.  For the second show, Vernon sat us in the front row again but this time all the way to the left so our hands were the first ones Chuy shook at the end of the show. 

By the end of the second show we were completely exhausted!  I still can't believe it all happened.  Thank you again Sean Finnegan!!!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Buddies Out West - The List

When we arrived at Jess' house in Santa Monica, we poured ourselves some wine, broke out the hummus and pita chips (first things first) and composed a list of everything we wanted to accomplish in LA.  I don't remember whose idea this was (I only know it wasn't mine...due to the wine and the aforementioned vodka creative juices were not exactly up to par), but it was the most brilliant one of the trip.  Once we came up with our wish list, which included changing the Hollywood sign to say "W BEV HI 93" like they did in 90210, we figured out a rough schedule of when all of these could be done.  Somehow, my top activity did not make it on the list...maybe due to high lumber costs. 

Here is a picture of the list:

I highly recommend doing something like this on your next vacation.  We didn't feel our trip was being dictated by the list, it was just more of a guideline which helped us do everything we hoped.  All that we missed was Big Deans and the roller coaster on the Santa Monica Pier, and that was because of rain. 

When we would wake up in the morning, Jess would read us what was on the list for the day.  Friday morning, she got really excited and said, "Yes!  We get a nap today!"  The nap was such a success, we threw one in on Saturday too. 

Here are a couple pictures of our first outing to the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica:

Leeetle Dark...
Seesters in Cali 
 So Pretty!
 West Coast Buddies
 Baby Buddy!
 Might be the best picture we have ever taken.
You can see the end of the pier in the background.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Buddies Out West - The Buddy Pass was NOT Friendly to This Buddy

This is the first installment of a series called "Buddies Out West" that will walk you through my trip to Los Angeles with my bestest Buddy, Jill, to visit her sister Jess (Buddy Jr).
As soon as Jill (to be referred to henceforth as Buddy) suggested we visit her sister in LA before she moved back to Chicago, I was 100% on board.  Having never been to Cali and LA being the home of my personal
hero, Chelsea Handler, this experience was destined for greatness.  Then Buddy upped the ante; her client Finny, got us VIP tickets to a taping of Chelsea Lately.  Needless to say, I hadn't been this excited for a trip in a long time.
Flights to LA were starting at $600, so Steve suggested I use a friend's buddy pass on Continental.  The first flight was oversold by 8 seats (how do they do that?) and had 20 people on the standby list...this was not good for me.  The panic began to set in when I found out that the last flight that night also had 20 people on standby as did every flight the next day.  Apparently, the NBA all-star game was in LA this weekend and I was completely out of the loop.  The Chelsea taping was at 2:30 the next day so there was only one flight I could get on in the morning to make it in time.  I spent the next 2 hours near tears (OK, I admit I cried a little out of desperation) on the phone with Steve who was looking online for tickets while I raced around the airport trying to find the US Air ticket counter to try to buy a spot on the morning flight.  By the time I finally found it, they were closed...naturally.  That flight was going for a cool $1000 and I was very conflicted with if it was worth it. (My amazing husband said I deserved to go no matter what, so I was seriously considering it.)  I told Steve I would go back to see if by some miracle I could get on that last flight out, and if not, I would come home and we could figure it out.
I sat at the gate not expecting anything, feeling hopeless, desperate, depressed, nauseous, etc. when by some miracle, they announced "Passenger Callaway."  I scooped up my stuff and practically tackled the ticket agent.  About halfway to LA, my nerves started to calm down (which may have been a result of time or my 2 vodka sodas...not sure) and it hit me that I made the flight.  The decision was made in that moment, that if faced with this situation in the future, I will pay the extra money to have an assigned seat on the plane....this "buddy pass" stuff is too stressful for this Buddy.
Let's hope the trip home is easier...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

International Date Night

Wednesday night in the Callaway house is Date Night.  We started this when I moved here, and proudly, haven't missed a week yet.  The idea of Date Night quickly became tedious because I am incredibly indecisive and Steve always wanted me to choose where to go.  This resulted in us driving around until we found a restaurant nearby and then had a mediocre meal...thrilling huh?  Last week I told him I wanted to go to happy hour at a sushi restaurant on Washington.  This street has all of the up and coming bars/restaurants so a good time is inevitable.  (We also happened to get married at a place on this street...guess we are trendy.)  After enjoying some great sushi, a couple cocktails, and then watching a movie, we both agreed it was our best date night yet.  All week I was looking forward to the next place on Washington we would try. 

Yesterday Steve mentioned he wanted to go get tacos at this Mexican restaurant his client recommended on LongPoint.  If you know Houston, you know LongPoint is the polar opposite of Washington; one might call it the "Little Mexico" of Houston.  I figured at least the food would be authentic (even though I am completely over Mexican food since 4 of every 5 restaurants in this town is Mexican) and I would have a margarita, so it couldn't be that bad...right?  When I tell you I was afraid to drink the water or eat the ice because I literally felt like I was in Mexico, I am not exaggerating.  We were the only two Gringos in there and hardly anything on the menu was recognizable.  There were bright colored murals all over the walls and signs that I needed a translator for.  At least they had the Mexican version of MTV on so I could catch up on the latest music videos (I need to call DISH to get that channel).  When we tried to order chips and guacamole, we were told they didn't have chips.  A Mexican restaurant with no chips and salsa???  Is that a white people thing?  We both agreed we checked that one off the list and won't be crossing the boarder again any time soon. 

After dinner Steve thought we needed to try to save this date night by going for dessert.  Since it is -47 here, we decided ice cream was out of the question.  We started to do our usual "drive around till we find something that looks good" and found a brand new Italian restaurant right next to our house.  We ventured in and I immediately scheduled this place as the location of our next date night.  The waiter told us the list of desserts and much to my surprise, Steve skipped right over Tiramisu and went for the Mississippi Mud pie.  Huh?  I went with it thinking maybe he knew something I didn't.  Well, he didn't.  The thing was frost-bitten.  Not being the type to send food back, we both nervously giggled when the waiter asked how it was and then confessed it wasn't good.  He quickly whisked it away and brought back a serving of Tiramisu which was DE-LISH!  Add a couple glasses of wine and date night was resurrected!

Although last night was an adventure, I think we will stick to our plan of trying places on Washington...after we go back to the little Italian place, of course.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What kind of a day care am I running here?

If you have spent much time around kids, then you know the look/actions of mischief about to happen.  My nephew (one of the two cutest boys in the world) would get pretty quiet and get this look of suspicious innocence as he moved "supplies" to his latest "project" piece by piece so as to not raise suspicion.  If you know what's good for you, while this is taking place, you go check out what is going on before you end up with half of your house burned down.  Well, that was happening tonight in my house...only there is no toddler present, just a 47 year old man....same difference. 

As of yesterday, we cleared out one of our guest bedrooms (mostly because I HATED the furniture that was in there) and now Steve's mind has been reeling with what we could put in there.  The phrase "Man Cave" has come up several times but I explain that we have an entire 3rd floor that we never use so that would be a perfect cave for him.  Then there was the idea of a work out room.  Great idea in concept but the only exercise equipment we have are dumbbells and an ab roller.  I told him that doesn't really make sense unless we bought a treadmill or something. 

Well, tonight he had a revelation.  For months I have been parking on top of his net he hits golf balls into when he doesn't want to go to the driving range.  Well, he decided it would fit perfectly in that room.  There was a lot of noise coming from upstairs as he assembled the net and then came down very proud of himself.  I questioned him about where in the room the net is placed because I am afraid of balls hitting the wall (wouldn't that be cute?) and curious I'm if that room can be used for anything else now.  He assured me the golf balls would never hit the wall. 

The next step was to take his clubs up there and try it out.  Apparently he forgot to close one of the pockets on his golf bag though because when he was about half-way up the stairs, I heard the noise of about 10 golf balls bouncing down the stairs and on to the hardwoods.  I made a comment and got no response, then turned around to find him sneaking around trying to pick them up.  As if I didn't hear them!?!?!

Now he is up there trying it out and I am afraid to go look.  I am hearing 2 loud noises.  I figure the first is him making contact with the ball, but am very nervous about what the second sound is. 

If there are holes in the wall upstairs....he's grounded!
Seriously?  I guess that answers one of my questions!

I'm going black...

...and by "black" I mean black smoke!

I am so over this cold weather. (Yes I know it is only Feb 8th, but I live in Houston!)  Damn Al Gore and his "Global Warming," which seems the past 2 years to have simply been a waste of money, has everyone so afraid of the melting icebergs that they are walking around on egg shells to protect this planet.  Well, how is that working out for you this winter?  I, for one, am in favor of global warming.  You can keep your Prius...I'm driving my gas-hog SUV to the beach!  This cold weather is bad for me on many are a few:

1.  My productivity greatly decreases.  When it is cold, similar to when it rains, I have to use every bit of strength that God gave me to get out of bed in the morning.  I just want to stay indoors where it is warm all day.
2.  My skin dries out.  This is good for my complexion, but terrible for my hands and feet. 
3.  I HATE artificial heat.  When I lived in Chicago people would laugh and say, "What other kind of heat is there?" and I would reply, "The kind from the sun!"  Artificial heat gives me nosebleeds and makes everything miserable with static. 
4.  I am pale.  I don't remember the last time I was this pale.  My happiness and self-esteem are directly related to the hue of my skin....needless to say, I'm grouchy right now.

So, as President and Founder of the "Think Black" campaign, I will be hosting the first annual Black Tire Burning fundraiser (like the play on tie / black tire...hahaha).  There is a vacant lot across from my house we can use (which will conveniently place the hole in the ozone directly above my house).  Refreshments will be provided, just BYOT (bring your own tire).  Don't live in Houston?  Don't fret; I encourage my out of town readers to have a burning of their own in their back yards. 

I am headed to LA in a couple weeks to recruit some celebrities to help this catch on.  As we all have learned in the recent years, if you want to accomplish something, you must get Hollywood behind you. 

We will also be selling tshirts featuring our logo and slogan:
Let's Warm This Joint Up!

Before I get hateful responses....this is loaded with sarcasm.  ...ish

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ice Storm 2011

So Houston experienced their own "Ice Storm" last night.  What a joke.  The news when I woke up made it sound like there was a major blizzard outside so I was expecting to see my street covered in snow and ice.  Instead, it just looked like it had sprinkled.  The dramatics of the event have been absolutely ridiculous!  I understand they are not prepared for snow and ice down here but seriously...

This is severe weather:

This is not: 

This is a terrible traffic situation:

This is not newsworthy...its called a fender bender:

I feel like making a big deal about our little bit of ice after the Chicago Blizzard is like giving birth to one baby in the hospital next door to Octo-mom delivering her gaggle of children and expecting to receive the same attention.  Yes, what is happening next door is disgusting and you are not jealous seeing as you would never wish it on yourself or anyone you know; and giving birth to one baby is certainly significant...but not quite newsworthy. 

Houston was a ghost town today and the news was screaming to stay home because of the roads.  Hey guys, I have known for a week that we were expecting snow and ice, so I KNOW you have been aware.  Why weren't they out salting the roads last night before the traffic started so people could get to work???

Attention Houstonians: Drive carefully and still go on with your life...the ice won't bite you.