Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two Years Ago Today...

Two years ago today, I married the love of my life, the other half of The Santa Monica Luskeys, the man who made me a Luskey and taught me the true meaning of sharing your heart with someone else, Brian Luskey. Even though we have been together for eight years, I still look at Brian and can't believe I have a man who inspires, pushes, loves, annoys, supports and makes me laugh as much as he does.

For our anniversary this year, I have asked for words - in two forms. The second year anniversary gift is "cotton" and to avoid receiving a pack of Hanes t-shirts, I asked for what really matters most to me anyway - a message of love from my one and only. Brian has been asking me for weeks what he can get me for our anniversary, and I know that he wants me to have everything I want (I know, I am a lucky gal) but I also understand that we are just now finding our financial footing as a young couple and don't need anything at this point in my life. My true love language is words of affirmation so why not ask for love in the language that means most. I asked that he write me a love note (yes, I asked for one, sometimes you have to ask for what you really want!) and Brian's first contribution post to our family blog!

Stay tuned to see how The Santa Monica Luskeys celebrate our two year anniversary. No matter what we do, where we go or which gifts are exchanged, I know it will be filled with love, laughter and food!

Besides, I think the third year anniversary gift is diamonds, anyway! :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Max's Bar Mitzvah!

Max's Bar Mitzvah!

This past weekend, The Santa Monica Luskeys were in Dallas, Texas for the Bar Mitzvah of Maxwell Kreisler Harberg! We flew in mid-day Friday (which, of course, means we missed the Friday night service and dinner due to the time lost traveling eastbound from LAX) and went straight to the hotel. After a quick binge in the fully stocked hospitality suite, we were off to our Westin Dream Bed for the night.

Saturday morning we were early to rise and on the bus to Shearith Israel. I was not only proud that we were up on time (which apparently is up for debate) but perfectly coordinating on precisely zero hours of sleep. Dream Bed, my tuchus! Max did an incredible job during the Saturday morning service. He read in both English and Hebrew with confidence and ease. Max's talent and love for music were woven throughout the entire weekend - it was so nice to see his interests showcased in the service and later at the party!

Saturday afternoon, we were thrilled to spend time with Grandma Rosalie (Brian's maternal grandmother) and Aunt Carla & Uncle Michael (Shelley's sister and brother-in-law). It worked out perfectly that between the luncheon and the pre-party pictures we were able to see more family. Grandma Rosalie was so sweet to host us for some iced tea and pool side chatting - she even gave us our anniversary present: a Lladro bride and groom I'd been eyeing in her apartment for years!

We headed back to the hotel just in time to shower (again - it was so hot we had to shower twice) and head down for the family picture hour. It was so funny because all of Max's cousins on the Harberg side are older (we range from 29 to 17 years old, not including Max's siblings) and his cousins on the Kreisler side are very young (ranging from 11 years old to 18 months). It was much easier and faster to take our side's pictures pictures so, luckily for everyone, we had more time at the bar!

The party was a blast. There was a make-your-own-flip-book station, a t-shirt decorating booth and tons of food (including a popcorn bar). Max, Ben and Michael were the hit of the party when they performed three songs as a family band!

Here are some of the highlights of the weekend:

Mimi wanted a t-shirt with Max's face on it.
Whatever Mimi wants, Mimi gets!
(photo credit for above & top picture: Michael Harberg)

The Santa Monica Luskeys on the way into the party!

Brian, Michael, Dad, Ben, Dan & Mac
The Boys giving Dad their "Thank you for taking us to Vegas" gift - dice cufflinks!

The first party guests to arrive learning Thriller for the flash mob!

The Harberg Family Band
Max on guitar, Ben on drums and Michael also on guitar

Proud parents, Amy & Joe, watching the band perform!

A musician's gotta eat after a live show!
(Yes, he has 3 sliders, 3 pieces of pizza and a taco on that plate.)

The weekend was wonderful - full of food, family and fun! We always love being with our family and feel lucky to describe both sides as our family. It's hard to believe my Bat Mitzvah was 13 years ago and that 13 years from now I will be... old! We're looking forward to the next time we are all together celebrating life's blessings.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

Two days ago, on my "day off" from work, (I say "day off" because I work on a freelance basis so sometimes I have more than one day off and sometimes none at all) I decided to get a manicure and pedicure. I like to get my nails done before big events or time with my family. I guess it's my subconscious way of showing them how well I take care of myself when they aren't around.

Anyway, I decided to really treat myself and get a manicure and pedicure since it had been so long since I had taken care of either. I discovered a little place on Main Street called Zumaniwhich gets mixed reviews, but offers a killer deal - $20 for manicure and pedicure. They have great massage chairs and an impressive selection of gossip magazines. The way the salon is set up actually allows for the oh-so-luxurious, simultaneous mani/pedi: the multi-tasker's dream! The catch of the low price, however, is they strategically try to tack on hidden fees, so buyer be ware. Want me to remove the callouses on your feet? ($5.00) Want me to rub your neck a little longer? ($5.00) Want me to use exfoliating scrub? ($5.00) Want special quick try polish on top? ($5.00)

After my standard (how plebeian, I know) manicure/pedicure, I left Zumani feeling ready for the weekend ahead! Until about an hour later when I realized my manicurist didn't do such a hot job on my cuticles (after I had asked her twice to really "get in there"). Maybe she thought I meant paint over my cuticles? As anyone can imagine who has ever received a decent manicure, if the nail polish gets on the cuticle or surrounding skin, when the skin is moved, it can move the paint - off of your fingernail. I went to bed hoping for the best, but when I woke I was disappointed to see my time spent (and hard earned money - I don't care if its $20 or $200, I had feeling like I didn't get what I paid for) was all for nothing. My manicure was ruined.

So, believe it or not, I marched right back into Zumani the very next day and had the following conversation:

Me: Hi! I was here yesterday and got a manicure & pedicure and this is what my nails look like today. (I placed my hands on the reception counter.)
Host: Um, did you want to get a polish change?
Me: No, I want the manicure I paid for and since it's been less than 24 hours I want you to redo it.
Host: Well, who did this? Which manicurist?
Me: Oh, I have no idea. (I didn't want to begin to describe her since the business is Vietnamese owned/operated and all employees wear the same outfit. I knew I'd be treading on thin ice...)
Host: Well, can you go find the person who did your manicure yesterday? She can redo it.
Me: No. I don't want to get anyone in trouble and I want someone who is really good at cuticles. (Clearly she is not!)
Host: Okay. I'll do it!

The host, Jack, did an excellent job and took great care in removing every last cuticle he could spot. I appreciated his patience and professionalism. He had the power to turn that situation into an uncomfortable one - for both of us - and I will now go back (but not on Mondays because that is Jack's day off) for my next pampering session!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stefan's on Montana

California Halibut
(Served with vegetable-potato coulis and thyme & champagne sauce)

Truffled Turkey Burger
(On a pretzel bun with swiss cheese, arugula & sweet potato fries)

Tonight, The Santa Monica Luskeys enjoyed a lovely dinner at Stefan's on Montana. We have dined at Stefan's before - a few times for brunch and a few times for dinner. The food is always outrageously delicious and the service is always outrageously terrible. Tonight, however, the food was fabulous (as expected) and our waitress was not only adorable but somewhat attentive! This was a pleasant surprise because we have actually had the pleasure of being waited on by said waitress and have actually had the following conversation:

Me: How's the Crab Cake Benedict?
Waitress: It's an english muffin with a crab cake and an egg on top.
Me: No, not what is it, how is it?
Waitress: Yeah, it also comes with hollandaise sauce.
Me: Okay, nevermind. I'll just give it a shot.

Sheesh. Right?

Anyway, tonight she was much better helping to guide us through the specials and house favorites. We started with the Golden Beet Salad (featuring arugula, cucumber and an herb vinaigrette) and then split the Truffled Turkey Burger and the California Halibut (both pictured above). We arrived armed with our $25 Restaurant.com gift certificate and left completely satisfied and energized just in time to catch sunset on our post-dinner walk home.

Ah, the good life!

Little Black Clutch

I've been on the hunt for a LBC (Little Black Clutch) for quite some time now and have found little to be desired. I am in that transitional phase of life coming from the days of the all-purpose-purse into the status of accessorizing and swapping handbags. This, of course, leads to the my-lipgloss-is-in-the-other-purse moments and the my-cell-phone-won't-fit fiascos, but I feel ready to take the extra time and appear more grown up.

I bought a fabulous gold clutch for my rehearsal dinner and wear it all the time with warm colors, but have been on the lookout for a silver or black one to unite with the other half of my wardrobe. In my search, I have been disappointed to find very expensive items that I simply cannot justify price - especially since I get dressed up in an outfit that requires a coordinating clutch all of once every sixty to ninety days. I had all but given up until I came across this beauty (pictured above) in Target, of all places! I'd like to intrude - standing 5 inches tall and a hefty 10.5 inches long, at only $16.99 - the Merona Clutch, my newest adult accessory. Aint she a beaut?!

This just goes to show that with a little patience - and a trip down Target's handbag isle - you can have whatever you want!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If you have to ask, the answer is, "No!"

My new SKETCHERS Resistance Runners

Last February, my parents and in-laws visited The Santa Monica Luskeys to celebrate my (and my Mother-in-Law's) birthday! At one point during the weekend, we waltzed into the SKETCHERS store. My Mom and I bought a pair of matching Shape Ups and I have been wearing them - daily - ever since.

I think it's funny when I am wearing my Shape Ups and people ask me, "Do they work?" Call me sensitive, but I just feel like this is such a loaded question. I mean, do they think I used to be morbidly obese and bed ridden and I have whittled myself down to this size by simply wearing Shape Ups? Are they staring at my least favorite asset and thinking, "If that's what a tush on Shape Ups looks like, count me out!" Isn't this a prime example of, "If you have to ask, the answer is NO!" Now, I'm sure Shape Ups have a different effect on different people depending on their initial fitness level, etc. but I don't really wear them because I think if I sleep in them they will continue to burn calories by way of osmosis. (Although I would totally do it if that would be the result.) I really wear Shape Ups because I am on my feet all day at work and that extra cushion under the soles makes a huge difference.

Last night, my most recent purchase arrived in the mail. My new Shape Ups, called SRR (SKETCHERS Resistance Runner) and touted as the "Cadillac of Shape Ups" will hopefully be just what I need to add that extra pep to my step. And if it burns a few extra calories while I'm running around my office - great!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Luskey/Narayan Weekend-'O-Fun!

This past weekend was a B-L-A-S-T. My college roommate/bridesmaid, Alison Rae Hardin Narayan (aka Ali Rae) and her darling husband, Rishi Narayan, came to visit the Santa Monica Luskeys! It had been over a year (shameful, I know) since we'd seen each other and it was a blissful reunion from the moment we saw them waiting under the Delta sign in Arrivals to the moment we watched them disappear into the Departures security line. (The latter was definitely the worst part of the weekend.)

The weekend was an epic eat-fest starting with an evening of tapas at our newly discovered Bar Pinxto and continuing the next morning with some gourmet coffee from Caffe Luxxe followed by lunch at Malibu Seafood - all the while catching up, discussing the future, solving the world's problems and partaking in some good ole fashioned jewelry shopping! Saturday night we were treated to a romantic double date by our gracious house guests at Gjelina and in the spirit of keeping the eat-fest going until we had to leave for the airport, we brunched at Jack N' Jill's Sunday morning!

We finished the weekend committing to an annual (if not semi-annual) weekend reunion, promising to begin a master cleanse on Monday, and signing an arranged marriage document for our future children. All in all, a huge win for The Santa Monica Luskeys!

A trip down memory lane...
The Luskey/Narayans in 2006
On the Campus of UC Berkeley
The Luskey/Narayans in 2010
Bar Pinxto
On my Wedding Day, 2008
Ali caught the bouquet!
Ali's Wedding Weekend, 2009
I escorted Ali to her Mehndi!
Freshman Year, 2002
Ali's Bachelorette, 2009

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


When I think of how far I've come (career wise) since August 2008, it blows my mind. In two short years (I say short now, but they've actually felt like closer to five years) I've gone from knowing few, feeling overwhelmed on where to even begin to meet people in the biz, and doubting my potential to accomplish anything in this town to having an amazing day job that keeps me connected to a warm community of actors and casting directors, being represented by one of the top commercial agents who believes in me and beginning to create my own contacts via all of the above.

Today was an especially exciting day because I was on set for a TV pilot and was not background!

In true Hollywood fashion, I can't say the project title, production company name, who's involved or the premise of the pilot, but I can say that I am not only in it, but was upgraded to have an actual speaking role! From here on out, I'll refer to the pilot as UNDISCLOSED.

The majority of the projects we work on at Liz Paulson Casting (my "day job") are commercials, but every now and again we cast television pilots. The past few weeks we have been working on UNDISCLOSED and the best part has been the producer and writer have been in the casting room with us! I am trained to run camera in the audition sessions, but usually do more office assisting - until recently. The past week I ran camera for the auditions for this UNDISCLOSED television pilot and THANK THE LORD. It gave me an opportunity to get to know the writer (we would spend the entire day together watching bad acting), audition for the project and then, sure enough, book it!

Today was my first day on set. Late last night I received a Mission Impossible style email with directions (that's right, no address) to a parking lot where an unmarked van would pick me up and take me to location. It was pretty funny because the map was of the Venice Pier parking lot and the van literally drove us from one side of the lot to the other. Hollywood. I was booked today as a restaurant patron (the original role/scene I was "on avail" for were both cut, but I was just happy to be booked as anything) and once I arrived on set (post wardrobe approval and being wired for my mic) the writer (whom I had spent those long casting days with) upgraded me to Restaurant Manager! I then went back to wardrobe (that experience is another blog post) back to sound and then onto set.

I love being on a set. I especially loved being on set with a purpose. Being an extra (although many make a nice living from working background) is not for me because all I can think of is how I don't want to be in the background. It was so invigorating and self-inspiring to receive my direction from the director (not the assistant director or background wrangler), to have my own production assistant placed solely to cue my entrance and to have wardrobe futzing with my blouse and hair between takes. Call me a diva, but I love that. So as soon as I can disclose any more information about my first television credit in Los Angeles, rest assured you'll be the first to hear!

I'm already hungry for my next opportunity to do it all over again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Very Merry Unbirthday!

Today I turned 26 and a half. Yes, I realize I am a little old to be saying, "I am this many years old," while holding up my peanut butter and jelly covered fingers, but sometimes it's nice to do a mid-way assessment between birthdays. I'm a big birthday kind of gal. I love to celebrate other peoples' birthdays, I like to make a big deal out of my own birthday - basically I love birthdays.

Birthdays, for me, start at midnight the night before when I usually receive my first phone call from my brother, Michael. That phone call is followed by text messages from friends on different coasts and then the mass-facebook-wall-attack from every facebook friend I have. This is one of the many reasons why I love facebook. It's always great to hear from the people you remain in contact with, but what I really love are the messages from the friends with whom I have completely been out of touch. The rest of the day is full of fielding phone calls, text messages, facebook wall post alerts, celebrating with coworkers during lunch and looking forward to dinner with friends.

For my 26th birthday, I celebrated with a small group of close friends at El Cholo for Mexican food and margaritas. I never do anything super LA like chose a swanky West Hollywood bar, have a guest list, get all dolled up and drink 'till the sun comes up. I've always been a quality over quantity kind of broad, so dinner with close friends is usually my action.

For my 27th birthday, (yes, I am aware that my 27th is in 6 months... what can I say, I'm a planner...) I want to do something fun and during the day. February 17, 2011 is a Thursday so I'm thinking maybe the following Saturday I will invite my friends to Malibu Seafood for some seafood and sun! Super fun, right?

Good thing I have a few days to think about it...

Monday, August 16, 2010


This past Sunday, The Santa Monica Luskeys enjoyed a delicious brunch at Huckleberry Cafe. Although we've passed this adorable bakery/cafe a million times we have never been inside and what we found when we entered was an awesome surprise! The case in the above picture was the first thing I saw and immediately I felt at home. I would have been fine having a few items from the bakery case, but Brian reminded me that wouldn't have been the healthiest idea so I ordered the cured salmon sandwich with a side salad. (And a caramel latte pictured below.)

I love it when coffee houses make artistic designs in the latte foam. It makes it feel so special, especially since I don't always treat myself to a coffee drink when out to brunch. I'm trying not to drink too much caffeine (something I have been "trying" to do for several years now) so the easiest way to do that is ex-nay on the offee-cay. However, when I do order coffee I do so in the form of a non-fat, decaf latte or cappuccino (no flavors, no sweeteners, the smallest size available). My days in Florence (when I studied abroad my junior year) introduced me to the art of drinking cappuccinos, but I save them for when I have the time to savor and enjoy them. Just my own way of taking the time to smell the roses... and roasts!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

White Linen Nights

Last night The Santa Monica Luskeys attended a themed housewarming party thrown by one of our friends who just moved to our old 'hood, West Hollywood.

The theme was White Linen Nights and everything from the flowers to the food to the drinks was in full New Orleans motif. The menu featured muffalettas (and a veggie freindly version of the olive tapenade topped sandwich), hominy salad with edamame and fresh peppers, a creamy and indulgent shrimp dip and beautiful strawberries and blackberries for dessert... or so I thought. It was half way through the night of munching on the Na'Leans fare and sipping on my Pimm's Cup when the home made cheesecake and carrot cake were revealed!

The hostess requested that her guests wear white in honor of the party's theme - check us out (in the above picture) in all white! It was fun to go to a themed party, fun to meet new people and hear about their LA experience (which is somewhat unique to LA - the whole "what has your LA experience been?" conversation), and then finally returning to our treasured Santa Monica.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Garmajesty: Princess of Navigation

One of the very first things Brian and I owned together was a GARMIN. It was like our first child and we took care of her as such - naming her ("Garmy" - creative, I know), removing her from the windshield on hot days and updating her programming regularly. About a year into her life (and several trips, including our honeymoon, later) Garmy's health began to fade. She would reroute unnecessarily, refuse to listen when we typed in addresses and sometimes decide to take naps during confusing routes. What can I say, like mother, like daughter.

Still learning Los Angeles and now our beloved Santa Monica, we decided to replace Garmy with a new addition when she passed. We decided to name our second, Garmajesty after the late Michael Jackson's nephew, Jermajesty, and in his honor we pronounce her name the same way even though it's spelled differently.

Garmajesty, like all new family members, took her time getting used to us. Like her predecessor, she would take her time finding satellite signal and would often tell me to turn left when she really meant right. But we were patient and now Garmajesty has earned the privilege of going on family trips, etc.

Yesterday, however, when I was on my way to my second callback (woohoo!) Garmajesty decided to play a little trick on Mommy. My callback was near the Burbank airport (which I've been to a million times and should have just let Garmajesty have the morning off) I decided to allow Garmajesty into the celebration of my morning success and guide me to victory. For those of you familiar with the journey from Santa Monica to Burbank, you know that they are not close, but fairly easy to connect via roughly 35 highways. What I would have done was taken I-10 East to I-405 North (or "the 405") to US-101 South to CA-134 East and then followed some side streets to my destination. Garmajesty, however, thought it wise to take me on a tour of Los Angeles via I-10 East, exit La Brea somehow get onto Highland, Cahuenga Pass, Barham Blvd., Olive Ave, bla bla bla...

Bad, Garmajesty.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bar Pintxo

Last Saturday night, The Santa Monica Luskeys dined at Bar Pintxo, an authentic Spanish tapas bar serving up pintxos, tapas and fine wines. We were introduced to Bar Pintxo through the Santa Monica food tour we went on in July. Pintxo literally means thorn or spike (referring to the toothpick stuck in the center) and is a name for a certain snack eaten in a bar with friends and family in the Basque region of Spain. There is a strong socializing component with pintxos as they are related to tapas and meant to be shared in good health. Needless to say, not only did Brian and I have a great time socializing with each other, we made friends with the patrons dining on either side of us as well as the chef, Joe! (Joe also owns Joe's on Abbot Kinney.)

We shared the above roasted peppers, a squid ink risotto with seafood, some mushroom stuffed mushrooms, two "cuartos" of wine, and finished the evening with churros con chocolate. After dinner we went to see standup at 3rd Street Comedy. The comedians were so-so, but it was nice to do something different on a Saturday night. And for the record (and by "record" I mean Brian's ego) I'm glad we ended up doing dinner and a show instead of my idea. My idea was going to IKEA to pick out fabric from their textile department and recovering our dining room chairs. You win some, you lose some.

Another romantic date night for the Santa Monica Luskeys!

Bike Ride to Venice

Brian on the California Ave incline. Yes, we live here.

Sunday afternoon, The Santa Monica Luskeys decided to ride our bikes to Venice beach for a casual lunch with our cousin, Daniel. Daniel moved to LA about 6 months ago and has been campaigning to become a Santa Monica Luskey ever since. We see Daniel a couple times a week and feel so lucky to have family close to us! We chose a lunch spot closer to him (he lives near Abbot Kinney in Venice, California) so that we could incorporate a bike ride into the adventure. We have done a similar ride before, but this one was especially challenging. And then we realized I had cycled the entire way on two flat tires. Awesome.

Look, Ma, I'm wearing my helmet!

Lunch was great! We went to Flake and split "The Great Greek" wrap and "The Tasty Turkey" panini. Daniel ordered the daily special sandwich and we all enjoyed the food and company. After lunch (and filling up the tires with some air from a local bike shop) we stopped in front of the Santa Monica Pier to take the above picture. The ride back was a million times easier with air in the ole tires. After showering and changing, the boys went to play poker and I took a well deserved nap.

What a great way to end the weekend!

Willow Spa; An Urban Oasis

This morning my lovely boss, Liz, took her harem of assistants to Willow Spa - a tranquil oasis nestled between two office buildings on Santa Monica Blvd. After a busy several weeks in the office, Liz decided to treat us all to a morning of relaxation and massages! We all arrived giggling like it was Christmas morning, so excited to be together for fun. After filling out information forms, changing into our spa attire and sliding on our Zendals, we were greeted by one of the massage therapists carrying a tray of ginger tea!

Liz, Terry, me & Mary Ellen enjoying our ginger tea pre-massage!

Carolyn, Corrinne, Liz, Terry, me, Mary Ellen, Cassandra

Cassandra soaking her feet before the massages!

After a moment of relaxation in their Zen garden, each of our massage therapists brought a wooden bowl full of warm water, grapefruit slices and flower petals to soak our feet before the massage. After a brief yet relaxing foot treatment, we were off to our private rooms for an hour of bliss!
The group post-massage - every felt so relaxed!

Our Sunday morning massages were much appreciated. It was so nice to be with the women I work with on a daily basis and spend some time as friends. I felt so lucky to be in their company and hope we make a habit of spending more time - out of the hectic office - together!

Thank you, Liz!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Am I 26 or just 6?

Sometimes there's nothing better than staying home on a Saturday afternoon and watching the abc family lineup. Today, for your viewing pleasure, you can choose from the following timeless classics:
  • Freaky Friday
  • The Parent Trap
  • The Princess Diaries
  • Mean Girls
  • Step Up
  • Ella Enchanted
Although I am not the biggest Lindsey Lohan or Anne Hathaway fan, I do love their movies - especially their early, Disney movies.

Aaah, to be young again...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Weekend Plans?

I start every Friday morning with a burst of energy - WOOHOO! IT'S FRIDAY! At some point during the day, I am asked if I have any fun weekend plans and that's when my mind starts racing... What will I do this weekend? How much can I accomplish? Will it be a productive and action packed two day break from work or will I lounge around eating bon-bons by the pool?

Most likely it will be a combination of all of the above, this weekend, here are my thoughts:

Friday August 6: Depending on when I get out of work (it could be anywhere between 6:00pm - 8:00pm...) and how much energy I have at that point (which is dependent on the time I get out combined with how my afternoon goes) I'd like to check out Abbot Kinney's First Friday.*

*The first Friday of every month, the stores on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, California open their doors to the public (for free!) between the hours of 6:00pm and 10:00pm. This results in a Aliyah-style flocking of food trucks and the good people who live on/around Abbot Kinney for some good ole fashion walkin', eatin' and merriment!

Saturday, August 7: I always like to try to sleep in, take my time waking up, lounge around in pajamas for a few hours, make breakfast or go out to brunch, order an indulgent coffee drink, then come home and take a nap - basically behave like a cat or a newborn. My wonderful husband, Brian, however, lives by the motto, "If I'm up, everybody's up!" He is up with the sun, on his computer before he can say good morning and in his hiking gear, shoes tied, before I even notice he's left my side. This, clearly, can be a source of tension in a marriage when one person loves sleep and the other loves to be awake. So we compromise! Some of the weekend activities we both love to do are:
  • Hiking Mandeville Canyon
  • Going on bike rides down the The Strand (Santa Monica's beach bike path)
  • Going out to brunch (or better yet, biking to brunch!)
  • Organizing our limited space (ie: closet clean-out, misc. house chores, going through books, etc.)
  • Walking to the 3rd Street Promenade and checking out the street performers
  • Driving up PCH and going somewhere fun like Malibu Seafood or Paradise Cove
Saturday night we don't have any major plans, but we like to get together with friends and go out to dinner. We aren't 100% lame yet, so we still enjoy the company of other humans and doing things like grabbing a cocktail or seeing a movie. You know, adult things.

Sunday, August 8: Sunday is always reserved to finish the tasks I had planned to do on Saturday. Depending on how productive I agree to be on Saturday, I am rewarded with more downtime on Sundays which I appreciate. I also would love to check out the Rose Bowl Flea Market which happens only once a month.

So that's a weekend in the life of the Santa Monica Luskeys! Stay tuned to find out what we actually do... :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010


As I've mentioned before, it's been years (13 to be exact) since I've eaten red meat. What started out as a political statement has morphed into a lifestyle I never felt the need to change. Until now. Last weekend, during my first acupuncture experience, Gretchen (our dear friend and now personal acupuncturist), did a diagnosis of my tongue. That's right. She read my tongue. Now, some of you may not believe in Eastern medicine and things like energies and signs from the body, but I do. And when - by merely looking at my tongue - Gretchen diagnosed some of my key issues, I was a convert.

Gretchen: Oh, wow. Okay.
Me: Omigosh, what?! What is it??
Gretchen: Are you tired a lot of the time?
Me: Yes, I could nap at any second. After I wake from a night's sleep, after a nap, after anything.
Gretchen: Do you wake up feeling energized?
Me: No...
Gretchen: Do you eat red meat?
Me: No...
Gretchen: Would you consider eating red meat if I said it might help with some of these symptoms of fatigue?
Me: Yes...

She went on to explain that most tongues are a deep, healthy pinky red color (like the color of red meat) and how mine was pale in comparison. She then took my pulse on both hands and said my pulse connected to my kidneys, etc. was extremely low resulting in my low energy levels.

So now I'm at a crossroads. To eat or not to eat? I asked her about taking a pill supplement and she said that although it would be better than nothing, there is nothing like the real thing. Certain enzymes and hormones just can't be replicated in a vitamin tablet. Could it be that my constant need to nap (my 13 year state of feeling tired and worn out) could have all been avoided if I had indulged at In-N-Out burger once a month?

This is a lot to think about....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wacky Wednesday

The above is what happens after a few cocktails at your brother-in-law's wedding when one person (Jackie) doesn't tell the other two it's time to recreate the iconic pose from Charlie's Angels.

The above is what happens when you are reunited at your cousin's Bar Mitzvah party and try to recreate a magical moment captured spontaneously at your brother-in-law's wedding when one person (Jackie) doesn't tell the other two it's time to recreate the iconic pose from Charlie's Angels.

Three bits of great news today:
  • I had my first commercial callback in LA!
  • Randy & Lizzy found out they are having a girl!
  • I have the day off, but am working the next two days as a camera operator!
Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Brunch and Acupuncture

This morning we went to an old standby, Interim Cafe, with our friends Gretchen and Ashir. Ashir and Brian work at Business.com together and Gretchen and I are Business.com wives. So Mad Men of us, I know. Interim is a favorite for both couples as they specialize in the healthy and natural foods, but we had actually never been there together so this was a nice treat!

Gretchen is finishing her last year of school to become an acupuncturist and after brunch we begged her to practice her skills on us. This was my first acupuncture experience and I must say it was awesome! Gretchen "needled" us in her home - I relaxed on the bed and Brian took the couch. We each had an opportunity to discuss with Gretchen our areas upon which we'd like to focus and then roughly 20 minutes of relaxation once the appropriate needles were in place. Gretchen made us mint tea and explained every step along the way. She was such a gracious hostess and we appreciate her company and services! :)