I Made It For Myself

 

Savory Cheesecake

 

This is a savory cheesecake I made for a holiday party. I’m not blogging the recipe. I’m just letting you know that I got up early to make it, took my time and tried to make the final dish not only presentable but also festive.

 

This is the damned social season, whether we like it or not. And that very often means bringing something to our hosts. Some folks specifically ask that we not bring anything. Some request a contribution to the table. Some attendees (such as myself) struggle with walking in empty-handed, no matter what our hosts have requested. For us, if we’re bringing a bottle – easy. If we’re bringing treats for a friend’s beloved pet – no problem. If we’re cooking something, well, that isn’t always convenient. And sometimes it can be stressful AF.

 

So when making the savory cheesecake, I finally learned something that’s escaped me all these years: I made it for myself. That’s it. Yes, I was gifting the dish to the party I was attending. But I didn’t need or expect praise. I wasn’t trying to garner appreciation for the preparation and steps I’d taken. I wanted to make that cheesecake because I wanted to eat that cheesecake! Plain and simple. And y’all – some things are meant for a group. Gi-normous, savory cheesecake is one of those things.

 

During this holiday season, as you go about your harried, hurried way, please don’t knock yourself out to try and impress others. You don’t have to lose sleep and you don’t have to stress. Not over attending a party, for cry-eye. Store-bought is not only acceptable, it can also be fabulous. And if you choose to make something that takes time, blood, sweat and maybe even tears, do it for yourself. View it as art. Create something you appreciate. The joy you glean from your experience will more than satisfy.

 

One last thing… When you do create a delectable dish that makes you happy, it’s easier and more fun to make than if you’d felt pressured and strained in completing it. Because of all your positive energy, it’s also bound to be well-received. That savory cheesecake? Oh yeah. It was devoured.

Thursday Memories – Christmas

 

 

This photo was taken some 20-odd years ago at a Christmas Pajama-Jammie-Jam Party. Mister and I threw the bash and darned near every single guest showed up in their jammers. (A few wore next to nothing, so be careful what you wish for when throwing a themed party. I’m just sayin’.)

 

As you can see, I am asleep. And not fake asleep, either. I am full-on, smile-on-my-face, dead-to-the-world asleep. Here’s what I remember: I did a walk-through to pick up stray cups and trash. By the time I went into our room, I thought how appealing and comfy the bed looked. I thought I’d just have a lie down, to confirm how appealing and comfy the bed was. My intention was to simply enjoy the moment, then return to the party. There was a party, remember? And it was going full-swing. There was music and drinking and other stuff, noise and revelry and laughter. It was a good time and I was enjoying the heck out of myself. But then that danged bed caught my eye. Within seconds of lying down, I was out and that was it. Later, I was told that Mister and a whole bunch of people had come in, found me asleep, taken various photos, laughed and made fun of me. Then they all went back out and resumed the party. I didn’t wake until the next morning.

 

Here’s hoping the parties of this Christmas will leave us all filled with joy and good spirits. And, when the time is right, may we all find appealing and comfy beds for our winter slumber.

Fairy Down!

 

 

Last week, at the end of the night (for us) at a fabulous Halloween party, I went  to retrieve my purse and saw this…

 

 

There were no children at said party and I’m not sure how this fairy came to be on the host’s bed. I’m also not sure if the fairy was trying to make it into my bag or not. But it’s sweet to think so. I mean, she certainly would have had a mild experience if she managed to live with Mister and me. But is that what fairies are after? Somehow, I don’t think so.

 

I’ll probably never know what was up with that fairy down.

Public Transport

 

 

The other night Mister and I were slated to attend a party. He was driving from one side of town and I was coming from another. As I can’t stand to have two cars out in one location, I took public transport. Like I do. It wasn’t the fastest option, but it was efficient. While I waited at a bus stop by MacArthur Park, I spotted the dude shown above.

 

As I was going to a party, I was wearing party clothes. (I was wearing kicks, though, as I had to do some walking. I brought my heels along and changed later.) At the bus stop, I not only drew a few comments about my clothes, I also got some long looks from the po-po. Someone at the party suggested the coppers must have thought I needed a ride. I had a different theory, however. I think the cops looked at me and thought I was so very wrong in those surroundings that I must surely have been up to something. Which I was. I was going to a party.

 

 

After a while, I arrived at the party location, took off my walking shoes and put on my tasteful heels, then went in and had a great time. It really was a swell soiree, and Mister and I had a fabulous time. Gracie the cat seemed to have had a great time, too. But once she had gotten her fill of the party and the guests – us – she made her feelings known by turning her ass to us. And don’t think for a second she didn’t know what she was doing. She knew. Oh – she knew.

 

Near the end of the party, I excused myself and went to the loo. I had a secret mission to carry out and my timing had to be just right. Several weeks ago, a friend gave me some hilarious and ridiculous toilet paper. Odd gift, I know. And this is a really good friend, y’all. When I opened the gift, I knew immediately that I would have to pay it forward. Cut to me at the party the other night. I snuck the toilet paper into the loo with me and left it as a parting gift. After completing my mission, Mister and I took our leave, along with everyone else. It had been a swell night and an awesome party. Hope the hostess had a great time, too…

 

4 Parties, 3 Days, 2 People, 1 Crazy Weekend

 

 

Well I don’t know how we did it, but somehow Mister and I survived the weekend.

 

The partying began on Friday evening. We found ourselves at a gorgeous soiree in the Hollywood Hills. Yes – the hosts were gracious. Yes – there was plenty of food, drink and entertainment (an a capella group performed). Yes – the guests were fun. But the house. The house! As I understand it, the home once belonged to Howard Hughes. It has been redone, of course, and it is probably the most opulent abode I’ve ever had the privilege to visit. That party was a sophisticated start to the weekend and I had a swell time.

 

 

 

On Saturday, Mister and I attended our neighborhood block party. We happen to live in a friendly, social area of L.A. And our neighbors love a good get-together, as do we. So a good get-together was had. The party was only slated to last a couple of hours, but when the appointed end time arrived, the joint was packed and folks were still arriving. After the previous late night, I was running on fumes. So Mister walked me home and we went to bed at such an early hour, I’m embarrassed to even tell you. So I won’t. But I will say this – I must’ve needed all that sleep and I’m mighty grateful to have gotten it.

 

On Sunday, there was a cookie party that started in the afternoon. I had handled my baking duties the day before, so I was able to simply show up and hang out. The majority of the guests were comics, so my time there was spent laughing and having fun. And I could have kept the good times rolling, but Mister and I were due at one more party that night. So I said my good-byes at the cookie party, then headed to the home of friends for a full-on holiday shindig. And shindig we did. Food, drink, laughs, more food, more drinks, more laughs… That party was the perfect bow tied around the weekend. And Mister and I were sufficiently exhausted when we hugged our friends goodbye at the end of the night.

 

 

I’m not gonna lie. This weekend wore me out. And I had so much fun! But I can’t keep that pace up throughout the rest of the holidays. I’m too old for this kind of celebrating. Partying is hard work, y’all.

Popular

 

 

Recently someone asked if I was available for a get-together in early December. After hearing the date she had in mind, I told her I was already booked for that night. And then, after going over a few more dates, it became quite clear that I couldn’t make any of her suggested days. She then asked, “Wow! Are you and your husband popular or something?”

 

At this time of year, everyone I know is crazy-busy. There simply aren’t enough days for all the soirees, parties, lunches, get-togethers and happenstances. I know I say it every year, but it bears saying again: Why is the Social Season compacted into a few short weeks at the end of each year?

 

I can’t remember it always being this way, but maybe it has been. Maybe I’ve just not noticed. Whether long-term or a recent habit doesn’t really matter though. The truth is we are all too busy right now. Speaking for myself, all these commitments only serve to fuel my inner desire to hunker down and stay home. That isn’t really an option, but it is a strong-ass yearning. And when I am home, I am happier than a denuded lark in a thistle patch.

 

Anyhoo – after my friend asked about our being popular, I looked her square in the eye and said, “Yes! We are popular. You might not know it to look at us, but we are a lot of fun.” And I sincerely meant it.

And So It Begins – Again

 

 

The invites have begun their yearly trickle and already there are conflicts.

 

It is The Social Season, once again, and I am actually excited. If that sounds ungrateful, I don’t mean it to. It’s just that I’ve not felt very social for quite a while. And now that I’m feeling more comfortable in my skin, I’m looking forward to visiting with people I adore. And make no mistake – I only visit people I like.

 

I’m over 40. I don’t have to socialize with ding dongs. So there.

 

If your Social Season is also gaining momentum, I wish you lovely soirees and charming to-dos.

How It Went Down

 

 

A few days ago I told you I was recovering from a late-night Easter outing. Here’s how it went down…

 

I received an invite from my friend, DJ Lance Rock. He was having a birthday blow-out. I told Mister I was so honored to have been invited, I just had to go. No matter that the soiree didn’t begin until 9 pm. (That’s right – 9 o’clock-o – at night.) Mister said he expected to have early Monday morning work commitments, and that he’d better beg off attending. I understood and asked my friend Betro is she was game. Because she’s awesome, she said yes.

 

 

Now – I had an Easter dinner commitment that lasted until about 8 pm. Once that wrapped up, I headed home and changed clothes jiffy-quick and put on some glitter eyeliner. (Because that’s how I do.) I drove to pick up Betro and we headed to Downtown Los Angeles.

 

For the record, DJ Lance Rock and I went to the same high school. A couple of years later, we both worked at Streetside Records in St. Louis. I’ve been to a jillion concerts with Lance and his friendship was terribly important to me during some rough years. I have smiley photos of him at Mister’s and my wedding and to this day, when I think of him – I smile. However, I do admit that we’ve grown apart. Each of us goes about, living our lives, and our paths rarely cross. It happens. It doesn’t diminish my affection for Lance, though. Not one bit.

 

 

Anyhoo – once we arrived downtown, Betro and I snagged rock-star-parking (something that seems to happen a lot when we’re together). Then we made our way into the old factory building and followed the music upstairs. The joint had been transformed and it was awesome. “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” was playing on a couple of giant screens and the DJ was really crushing it. It didn’t take long for one brave soul to kick off the dancing (not it) and after a while, Betro and I joined in. Between songs, we talked with DJ Lance Rock and snapped a few pics with him. After noticing we’d crossed the mark of midnight, Betro and I started planning our exit.

 

We didn’t say goodbye to Lance, as he seemed to be having a great time. Betro and I danced toward the door and down the stairs and made our way across the deserted street to our car. There was no traffic (duh), so we got back to our ‘hood pretty quickly. I dropped Betro off and drove the short distance to the homey. I went in to wash my face and brush my teeth, and noticed the clock: 1:04 am.

 

 

Earlier that day, a couple of friends asked if I seriously planned to leave my house at 9 pm. They couldn’t believe I was willing to go out at the time when most of my peers are settling down for the evening – especially on a school night. I didn’t know how to respond then, but I’m clearer on everything now. There are some people in life who really matter. And for those few souls, you show up. You just do. And you always will. For me, DJ Lance Rock is one of those souls. And I’m grateful I know him.

 

 

And another thing – I’ll tell you what I wrote in his birthday card: There is no such thing as too much happiness. No truer words, friends. No truer words.

WEXMAS XVI

 

 

This past weekend was WEXMAS XVI! What? Not clear on WEXMAS?

 

 

WEXMAS is our friend Tiffany’s Armenian White Elephant Christmas Gift Exchange. It is one of the oddest and coolest parties ever and Mister and I are fortunate enough to make the cut.

 

 

Some years the recycled gifts are run-of-the-mill. Some years battles ensue over primo gifts. This year’s gifts leaned a bit toward run-of-the-mill, and that was okay.

 

 

The food, friends, is always aces. Tiffany prepares an Armenian feast, from scratch. I don’t know what to tell you. I look forward to this food all year and it always, always, always satisfies.

 

 

I know Tiff stresses out over putting this party together. There’s a lot of decorating, a lot of cooking, a lot of party stuff to manage.

 

 

And for those who live elsewhere, L.A. is a land of flakes. People don’t RSVP, so a hostess is left guessing how much food to prepare and never knows just who might show up. (Even those who do RSVP often don’t show.)

 

 

With all the fretting involved, Tiffany has threatened to put an end to WEXMAS. Personally, I understand the temptation.

 

 

But I also love attending this party and hope it keeps going. Tiffany really is the Hostess With The Mostest and she is adored. And if this year’s soiree turns out to have been the last, I will be forever grateful to have attended for so long. And to have such a swingin’ friend as Tiff.

 

And So It Begins…

 

 

It’s on, y’all. Oh, it’s on.

 

The Social Season has kicked off and for us it began with an outdoor soiree, featuring a lovely jazz band. Not only did we enjoy the music, we also got to talk with the keyboard master, Mr. Bobby Pierce. And he was a real gentleman.

 

Here’s hoping your Social Season is kind, lovely and swingin’!