Mister’s Daddy



Mister’s Daddy is in town. He’s helping us work on the new pad.


That’s his hand above, next to a giant hole in our wall. He taught me how to patch giant holes in walls, and now it’s just, well, a wall. Learning stuff is good, y’all.


Anyhoo, we’ve been working away on the place. But we’ve also climbed The Beast, drank some good wine, eaten some good food, bobbed in the good pool and hung out. Mister’s Daddy is good at hanging out.


He’s good at a lot of things, actually. And I am more than grateful to be a beneficiary of his knowledge. My hole-y walls are grateful, too.




Mister and I saw a Patty Griffin show this past week, at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. This was at least my 8th time seeing her in concert, and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed each show.


There’s something about her. Yes, her voice is sublime. Yes, her songwriting is top-notch. Yes, she’s funny and humble. But there’s something more. I can’t describe it really, but it’s there. She’s one of those performers who gives to her audience. It’s lovely. She’s lovely. What a talented lady she is.


Oh! By the way, she brought out some dude to sing a song with her at the show’s close. His name was Robert Plant. He did alright. He may have a future in music, too.


Need I Say More?



I saw this on Hollywood Boulevard the other day. Need I say more?

Live at the Greek!



Mister and I went to a couple of concerts this week. The first was a lot of bang for the buck. The first dude up was Boothby Graffoe…



He was a very talented guitarist with a deep, resonant voice. But one didn’t notice those things so much, as the dude was funny. Between songs he was funny. During songs he was funny. His set was short, and I’m not sure a lot of folks knew what to think of him. But I knew what to think. I thought I should laugh. And so I did.



Between acts, I chatted with the teenagers next to us. Those girls were wondering why the side seats in the back were camouflaged by a fabric cover. I said that I’d heard it was because the Greek tries to disguise unsold seats, so when the artists look out, they see only fans and greenery. We talked a bit more, then came my dudes: Guster…



I love Guster. I’ve loved them for quite a few years and I was super-psyched to see them. And y’all, they were awesome. At some point, Ryan Miller pointed out the camouflaged seats, saying that he appreciated the Greek’s efforts to hide unsold seats, and even called out the one lonely tree placed between rows. It was an expletive-laden stream of gratitude, and I laughed so much I nearly gave myself the hiccups. I really do love this band. If I could be a Guster-Luster and follow them around the country, I would. Alas, I have a life. (By the way, I don’t know what devoted fans of Guster call themselves. I made up Guster-Luster because it sounds right. Don’t judge, y’all.)


Next up was Ben Folds Five…



These 3 guys make a lot of gifted noise, and their brand of geek rock is appealing. Especially to geeks. There were a lot of geeks in attendance. Did I mention that? And for the record, the bassist – Robert Sledge – was the most enthusiastic bass player I’ve ever seen. I would see these guys again just to watch him. That’s saying something.


Then the main event: Barenaked Ladies…



I’ve been a BNL fan for eons, but this was my first time seeing them live. They did not disappoint. (Why are Canadian musicians so danged good? Seriously.)  All members of this band are super-talented and they somehow manage to combine their skill with comedy. I had the biggest grin on my face for most of their show, and they just kept bringing it. They deserve every accolade they’ve received. Truly.


It was a great night at the Greek. It’s one of my fave concert venues in L.A. I’m so glad this particular night offered such fantastic music and fun. Can’t beat that with a stick, y’all.


Yoga Mind



Mister and I are still P90-X-ing (halfway through!), and one of the workouts in regular rotation is an hour and a half of yoga. The first 45 minutes bite, I won’t lie. After that, I’m usually just grateful to have survived. I could go into a critique of the danged workout (a jillion downward dogs, y’all), but instead I’d like to tell you of a memory triggered each and every time we’re doing this routine…


In my mind, I go back to the gym at Flo Valley in St. Louis. That’s where I first discovered yoga, taught by the lovely Hildegard Rochman. I can see the dimly lit, cavernous room, filled with wall-to-wall mats and several bendy bodies. Hilde’s sweet voice sashays through my mind and reminds me to protect my lower back during the asanas. I can smell her perfume and see her hand-knitted leg warmers. Her blue eyes scan each body, making sure we’re doing our proper best. And then I smile.


So far, I’ve experienced yoga mind each P90 session. It’s a lovely memory, and I’m grateful it’s filed away in my brain. I loved Hilde then, and I love her now.


And no matter how hard he tries, Tony Horton is no Hildegard Rochman. Word.

Lamp Project



Remember a couple of days ago when I wrote about the Hotel Surplus Outlet store? The lamp bases shown above were picked up there, for a song. They’re not too attractive, and I imagine they weren’t too attractive when they lived in a hotel room somewhere. But they were cheap, functional and a good size. The urn shape is traditional, and that’s exactly what I was looking for.


So I brought the drab urns home and taped the hardware and cords. I got out some cardboard – to protect the area – and got to spraying…



The gloss turned out great. Now if you’re saying to yourself, “Mikki! Why white? Why so boring, man?” I can answer that. You see, not only did I pick up the lamp bases for a song at Hotel Surplus, I also scored 2 green silk lampshades, also for cheap-o. Put it all together and let there be light!



I’m fairly tickled with the results. And once I paint the danged walls in that room, well, I’ll love it all even more. But I think the best part of this project was the fact that it was so danged quick. I started and finished in one hour. Not a lot of money, and not a lot of time. But a lot of cool. I can dig.

Life, The Universe and Everything



Sometimes stuff pops up in life, stuff that’s out of our control. Undesired stuff. Tough stuff.


Some people I adore are dealing with such stuff right now, and I can’t do a danged thing to help. And try as I might, I will never ever know how it feels to stand in their heavy shoes. So what does a gal do, in the face of that?


You pray. And you hope. And you have your feelings and you acknowledge all of that, and then you try to breathe. Then, I suppose, you start all over again. And again.


Loving people involves admitting how very little we actually control. It involves boundaries. It involves holding on and letting go. It’s work. Worthwhile work, to be sure, but work just the same.


As for these darling souls, whom I love so dearly, I’ll just keep loving them. I have no idea how their challenges will play out. I’m sure they don’t know, either. And that sucks. But it’s also just the way it goes. No matter the choices they make, no matter the choices made for them, I love them. And there you go.


Again, it’s work. For all of us. But worthwhile work, to be sure.

What a Find!



If you live in the L.A. area, you need to know about “Hotel Surplus” in Van Nuys.


I had heard of this place a while back, and finally made my way over a few months ago. What a find! Here’s the scoop, as I understand it… When hotels remodel (or shut down), Hotel Surplus buys their wares – furniture, art, lighting, mirrors, dishes, etc. – and sells it all at super-duper reduced prices. (I’ve seen sofas for as low as $125.) Some items come from, well, dumpy joints. But not everything. I’ve seen pieces from The Beverly Hills Peninsula, and not one was cheap! So yes, prices run the gamut.


And if used goods aren’t your keg of beer, know this: they have brand-spanking new stuff, too! Let’s say a furniture manufacturer cranks out a new line of sofas. Only the dye lot for the fabric didn’t turn out to be the exact shade of green they’d been going for. Hotel Surplus will buy up that line and discount it heavily. And I do mean major, y’all.


Mister and I have gotten a couple of new things there, and I just went back to find some old lamps. I was successful, and will be updating those pieces very, very soon. When I need something, this place is now on my go-to circuit. I’m so happy I finally checked it out.


If you’re local, you should stop by. It’s so worth it!

Super Moon!



Did you know that tonight’s full moon will be the biggest of the year? That the moon will be 16,176 miles closer to earth than usual? Me, neither.


But I’m gonna be looking up, checking out that old dude in the moon. I love that guy. He makes me smile.


And it just occurred to me that no matter where you may be on this planet, if you’re looking up at the moon, we’ll be seeing the same thing.


It really is a small world.

Are You Ready For The Summer?




Today is the first day of summer, and though it’s been quite warm here in Los Angeles, I confess I’ve not felt very summer-y. Yet.


But today I’m ready to start. And what better way to feel like summer than to listen to summer? With that sole thought in mind, here’s a list (in no particular order) of my top 10 summer jams, yo:


1. “Hey Ya” by Outkast – I can’t believe this song came out 10 years ago. It’s still fresh. Still sets a booty to shaking.


2. “The Way” by Fastball – When this song came out, I first heard it at the gym. And I loved it, through all the sweat. I don’t hear it too often anymore, but when it pops up, I stop to have a listen.


3. “Saints” by The Breeders – I flippin’ love The Breeders, and I could go on and on about how super-cool they are, but I’ll just leave it at this: this song rules. And they’re right when they sing, “Summer is ready when you are.”


4. “How Bizarre” by OMC – This one came out (gulp) in 1996 and it still makes me giggle. And it makes me want a drink with an umbrella in it.


5. “Suspended in Gaffa” by Kate Bush – This one is personal, and reminds me of swimming in a friend’s lake, darkness all around, the music tip-toeing across the water. Kate Bush is my musical idol, and has been since I first heard her, all those years ago.


6. “Always Alright” by Alabama Shakes – This is a new fave for me, and fave it is. Brittany Howard is the real deal, and I love the way she makes an entire chorus out of a “whoo.” She’s too cool for school.


7. “One Way or Another” by Blondie – This song will always remind me of “Six Flags Over Georgia,” and screaming the lyrics while riding “The Great Gasp.” Always, always, always.


8. “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” by Squeeze – I finally got to see Squeeze last year. They killed. And this song always will.


9. “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys – This song, for me, is inseparable from the video. And the video is so L.A., I can’t help feeling the palm trees. And the darkness. On the edge. Those things are L.A., too.


10. “Only the Young” by Journey – This is another one that makes me smile. Maybe as long as I react that way, I’m still young. Maybe.


This is my list today. Tomorrow could see an entirely different group (and probably will). And limiting music to only 10 titles is ridiculous. I mean, where do you put The Beach Boys? Bob Marley? The Go-Gos? Katrina and the flippin’ Waves, for cry-eye?


Summer music is an ever-evolving genre, as it should be. Personally, I can’t wait to see what sticks as this year’s jam. I just wanted to remind you of a few gems. And if you’ve not heard some of these, give them a listen. It’s summer. Time to prick up your ears and crank up your tunes. Hallelujah!


By the way, if you’re so inclined to share, what are your fave summer songs?