Wednesday, April 25, 2007


On Saturday evening, eSuitor and I went out for a seafood dinner at Gladstone's in Malibu. The portions are ginormous, so a doggy bag is practically obligatory. The cool thing is that when they pack up your leftovers, they wrap it up in a foil sculpture.

My fish 'n' chips were wrapped up as a whale, complete with spouting water!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Restaurant Meme

J at "Thinking About" tagged me to do this meme. This will be a fun exercise for me, because I have definitely lived in LA long enough to eat at some terrific restaurants!

Here are the rules:

1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the state and country you’re in.
Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, USA)
J (California, USA)
Starshine (California, USA)

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location (locally). Some of these are really nice, special occassion type place. Others are good date places. While others are inexpensive staples.

Cafe Flore - My favorite little restaurant in Beverly Hills. When I first moved to Los Angeles, my mom, sister, and I discovered this fabulous restaurant. It is owned and run by French staff. I would describe the food at Franco-Californian. Every dish I've ever tried there has been delicious. The prices are reasonable, and the ambience is quaint and tres French! I really like the lentil soup, the fresh fruit platter, the veggies julienne, and the raviolis. The artwork on the walls of the Eiffel Tower and the Moulin Rouge let you imagine, if only for a moment, that you are dining in Paris. Be sure to check out the ladies room when you go. It has the most adorable signs on the wall that read, "Ooo La La" and "It's all about moi"!

The Restaurant at The Getty Center - The Getty Center in Los Angeles has a cafe (cafeteria style) and a lovely gourmet restaurant. I'm talkin' about the restaurant. This place has special significance for me because eSuitor took me here on our fifth (yes, I counted) date. The Getty Center is a free-admission art museum and garden. Parking is $7. Upon arriving at the Getty, eSuitor informed me that he had made lunch reservations for us at the restaurant. I told him how thoughtful and generous that was of him, and his response was, "Tracy, it's part of the full Getty experience.... I'm not going to bring you to a place like this and then buy you a burger." Holy Yum!--both the food and the company. Succulent lamb on my plate and delectible eye candy sitting across from me. Mmm, mmm, MMM! Don't forget to make reservations!

A view of the Getty Center from the gardens.

La Vie En Rose - A lovely special occasion/romantic dinner restaurant in Brea (North Orange County). eSuitor took me here for my birthday dinner, which was also the night he became my hero. The food was incredible-I had a filet mignon with mashed potatoes and asparagas. The atmosphere romantic. An accordian player meandered through the restaurant. I really hope we can go back there one day under, ahem, less gassy cirmcumstances.

Oui, oui! Tres romantique!

IHOP - eSuitor and I have a weekend tradition of eating out for breakfast. I love it! My favorited dish is the Pancake Combo: Harvest Grain 'n' Nut pancakes, egg white scramble, and two strips of bacon. Yessiree!

Ole! - A rockin' tapas bar in Studio City. Candle lit atmosphere with lively music. Artwork of Spanish scenes. They really captured the essence of Spain here. The tapas are off the hook, and the sangria ain't bad either! This is a great place to have a lengthy conversation, as you linger through a lovely evening of good company and good food.

A mural of the running of the bulls hanging in "Ole!"

3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Sharon in Texas

The Cachinnator, because I really want to read about the cuisine in Waco, TX.

Buttercup in New York City (when she returns from India)

Anyone else who is interested! I'm having a hard time thinking about which of my blog buddies have already done this one. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thoughts from the very top o' the morning

Last night, I got together with a group of Texas friends that meets once every other week to discuss a book. I didn't read the chapter, but I was really in the mood be with people last night, so I went anyway. As it turns out, the hostess of the group was leaving to go out of town early this morning, so she was back in her bedroom packing during the group discussion. Since I didn't have anything to contribute to the discussion, I went back to her room and we had two hours of much-needed girl talk. My one major missing puzzle piece out here in LA is girl friends! So whenever I get the chance to connect with another woman and have a heart-to-heart, it is like water to my soul!

After the group finished their discussion of the book, several people stayed to watch American Idol and LOST on TiVO. I have to say that I was rather sad that Sanjaya was voted off Idol. He won me over with his quirky personality. I became so intrigued each week at his wonderful ablility to be himself. His voice may not have been the best one on the show (although it was still a good voice), but I couldn't resist his reinvented hairdos each week. Or his smile. Proof that accepting and being yourself is a powerful gift to the world. I much prefer an underdog with quirks to a polished "cool" with no depth to one's personality. His tears at the end of the show were beautiful.

Needless to say, I got home late last night, and fell into my comfy bed. I love my memory foam pillow! I awoke this morning with that wonderful feeling of restedness and continued to lay there for another half hour, drifting in and out of consciousness--and thinking that the wonderful sense of rest that I felt in my bed is the same way I feel in my relationship with eSuitor. Thank You, Lord, for the precious gifts You give! Thank You, also, for the rest and peace I find in You.

Have a great day, y'all!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I do apologise, Mr. Knightly. It's that I'm already spoken for!

Emma is possibly one of the most loyal characters of Austen, always wanting better for those around her and doing all she possibly can to make it happen. Her motives sometimes get in the way of her good intentions and her own opinions can end up ruling her actions, but she has a good heart. She loves to be social and is welcoming to most, unless they are too silly to tolerate. While she sometimes changes her behavior to make others feel comfortable, she knows who she is and is always bettering herself.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pondering Weighty Issues

Have you guys been seeing Dove's newest ads? It's their "Campaign for Real Beauty", and it features models that look like real people. If you'd like to meet the six women chosen to be the new models for the campaign, click here. I first saw the six of them in a magazine ad, posing in their bras and panties--some with full figures--all with tummies, thighs, arms and legs of normal proportions. Immediately, I breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, one company in this media-saturated world is putting images of beautiful women out into the market place that are at least reasonable!

This video--a part of their campaign--brought tears to my eyes. Probably because something about it resonated with something deep inside of me.

I want to give Dove a standing ovation for this fantastic campaign. I hope they will continue advertising in this life-affirming way, and that other companies will follow in their footsteps.

I am a curvy woman. I am now, and I always will be. I have wide hips. I have cellulite. I wear a 36C bra. I have red hair and fair skin and more freckles than I can count. I feel beautiful just the way that I am. I may weigh more or less in the future than I do right now, and it really doesn't matter much to me. I want to be a healthy person who lives a healthy lifestyle.

Do I struggle with self-image issues? Sure I do. And I realized when I breathed that sigh of relief how much the media influences our cultural ideal (and my own) of what beauty is.

The truth is that beautiful women exist in all ages, sizes, shapes and colors. And our true beauty eminates from deep within.

What does beauty mean to you? When do you feel the most beautiful?

Because Sunburn and Honeymoons Don't Mix Well

eSuitor and I are going to Hawaii for our honeymoon, which means that this slice of wonder bread will be out in the sunshine! I'm a fair-skinned redhead. So that means that I will need some heavy-duty sunscreen. I'm wondering what you recommend in a waterproof sunblock (I prefer at least an SPF 50). Also, do you know of a good waterproof sunblock for faces that doesn't burn your eyes?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Halfway There!

Guess what, y'all? I'm halfway to my weightloss goal! Yep, I've lost 7.5 lbs! Operation String Bikini is well underway. I've already bought two bikinis for my honeymoon! I found my favorite one at Target--it's an itsy bitsy teeny weeny turquoise polka dot bikini! And it has a cute little ruffle on it.

I've found that The South Beach Diet is working for me. I also joined Curves, which has been a good exercise solution for me.

I have about two months and a few weeks to work on the second half of my goal. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Engagement Pictures!

Jen Disney took these engagement photos of us a couple weekends ago in Laguna Beach. It was a fun location because it reminded us a lot of La Jolla, where eSuitor proposed to me. The photo in the header was the last pose of the day. Right after she snapped it, a chilly Pacific wave got me! I just wanted to share some of my favorites with you. :)

This is the obligatory "display the ring" pic.

This one was taken in front of the door of a church.

I love this photo because it looks like we could be walking down a street in Spain.

eSuitor calls this one the "kiss and giggle".


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." ~John 3:16

My church held our Easter service at the Hollywood Bowl today. It was fun to be there with eSuitor. Last year, we went there together, as well, and it was the day after he asked me to officially be his girlfriend (and kissed me for the first time!). We were talking about how this day last year felt so full of promise--like we were setting out on an adventure that felt like it would lead to something important. It was cool to be at the same place one year later. We remarked that it feels like we've grown so much together over the last year. At the same time, we are still in a "starting off" place that feels full of promise. Just in a different way. Now we are embarking on a new life-adventure together!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Monologue for a Southern Manicurist

I had so much fun playing this character in The Chronicles of Hernia that I want to keep working on material for her, so I thought I'd write her a monologue.

Hey sweetie. You want 'em round or square? Square? Good choice. Edith Mae was in here earlier today, and bless her heart, she insists on rounded nails. Square are so much more attractive. Mmm. Hmm.

So, how's Ray? (waits for response.) He did? What a sweetheart! You know, not every man takes care of his woman that way. Just last week, Cindy, bless her heart, told me that she caught her man cheatin'. Well, of course, I told her I'd keep in it the strictest confidence. I'm just telling you because I know you're discreet.

I told Jim Bob that if he ever even thinks about cheatin' on me that I will drop kick him so far, he won't know what city he's in when he lands on his boney bottom. Of course, Jim Bob would never cheat. I don't think. I mean there was that one time I found Emma Lou's majorette boots under our bed, but Jim Bob swore up and down that she left them at the stadium after the game and he was just holdin' onto them until he saw her next. I trusted him because what's a marriage without trust, right? That's why I didn't even bat an eye when I found lipstick on the collar of his shirt last Saturday when he came home after the Kiwanis club potluck. He said that Odelle Bisby got a little cheeky during the meet 'n' greet, so I didn't press him on it further. Bless her heart, old Odelle's vision is so bad, she probably thought Jim Bob was her late husband. Then there was that time two Christmases ago when he came home smellin' like Chanel Number 5. He told me I shouldn't ask questions around Christmastime, that he just got attacked by the perfume ladies at the mall. Well, who am I to ask a gift-horse questions when 'tis the season and all. Right? Bless his heart, his sniffer don't work too good because I got a bottle of Charlie in my stocking, but it's the thought that counts right? Mmm. Hmm.

What color sweetie? Plum? Nice choice. Yesterday Louise was in and she chose the most awful shade of fuchsia. I wanted to tell her that no one has chosen that shade since 1986, but she was so enthusiastic about her choice, bless her heart, that there was no stopping that train wreck. With each nail that I painted, the more she "oo"ed and "aah"ed. I was cringing on the inside, but my mama told me that if you can't say somethin' nice, take a bit of good advice and don't say anything at all. So I just smiled and pretended that I was painting Madonna's nails for her "Holiday" video. What else could I do? Class is an important character trait to possess, and I like to think that I got it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Iggy and Jet

In an effort to get my creative juices flowing, I decided to write a short story for today's post:

My name is Iggy. Stop laughing. I mean it. My parents thought it would be a good idea to give their baby girl a good Catholic grown-up name. So Mary Ignatius is on my birth certificate. I guess that after my mother's post partum endorphins wore off, she realized what she had done and tried with all her might to make a cute baby girl name out of it. So Iggy I am.

Some of the great gems I heard growing up were "Look! It's Icky Iggy" or "Ha-ha! Iggy is married to Ziggy!" Because we all no that nothing is as insulting as hearing that you are married to an adorable comic strip character.

But, whatev. I grew up and built some good character along the way, and now I've grown into my name and have even come to embrace it. I am, after all, the only Iggy I've ever known. And when people shorten it to "Ig" as a term of endearment, I nearly pee myself with glee. "Ig" is just plain cute.

You may be wondering what a girl named Iggy does for a living. I work at Macy's behind the MAC counter. Yep, I'm one of the freaks you see wearing all black with black hair and a fuschia streak in it. I love black eyeliner. And don't even get me started on the wonders of black nail polish.

I live with my husband, Jet. Bless his heart--his parents thought it might be fun to name him after their favorite space-age cartoon family. Jetson Riker are his first and middle names. (They were Trekkies, too.) Lucky for him, "Jet" is an incredibly cool knickname, and it is just as masculine as he is.

Jet and I met two Halloweens ago. He was bound and determined to win his office costume party. He thought it would be funny to go as a hangover. No, you did not misunderstand me. He wanted to dress up as a hangover for Halloween. One of his co-workers told him that if he really wanted to wow everyone, he should get his makeup professionally done. So in he walks and asks me to make him look like a hangover. We made small talk as I gave him dark circles under his eyes. We laughed as I drew a zig-zag down his forhead to represent his splitting headache. But things really started to heat up when I was attaching prosthetic pieces of throw-up to his face with spirit gum: He told me I had nice hands.


I do not have nice hands. They are the feature I have always loathed the most about myself. I can't grow my nails out worth a darn. My fingers are chubby. The only thing they have going for them is MAC's "Nocturnelle" Nail Lacquer. I told him that I didn't care much for my fingers. But he insisted that they were the cutest he'd ever seen and that they had a gentle touch. All he had to do at that point was ask me if I wanted to be the mother of his children, and I would have said "YES!".

Thankfully, he just slipped me his card with a generous tip, and went on his way. "Jetson Riker Jones, CPA". An accountant? How could an accountant have been that charming? I decided to take a risk and call him. We went out that weekend and we've been together ever since. We're totally wrong for each other--a real mismatch by the world's standards. No one gets it but us. But we're happy. Really happy.

We're expecting our first baby in May. A little girl. We're naming her Leia Ruth. A little bit sci-fi and a little bit Catholic. I think our parents will be proud.

Did you watch The Bachelor last night?

A new season of The Bachelor started last night. While the show itself makes me cringe, Lincee's fabulous blog The Bachelor Recaps is always good for a laugh!

Lincee started writing recaps of each episode of The Bachelor during its third season and would send them via e-mail to a handful of her closest friends and family. They thought the recaps were so funny that they would forward them to their friends. Last year, when Lincee had 1000 people on her e-mail list requesting her hilarious recaps, she decided to start a blog. Her blog has totally taken off, and is read by tens of thousands of fans every week.

Check it out!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Groom's Day

Today was so much fun because finally, eSuitor got to experience the rush of wedding planning and decision-making that I've been feeling during the past several weeks and even months. We did some groom stuff today.

First, we went to Men's Warehouse and picked out his tuxedo and the groomsmen's tuxedos that they'll be renting for the wedding. My Dad wants to wear a tux also. I can't wait to see eSuitor and my Dad in tuxes. I've never seen either one in a tux before!!!

Next, we went back to the jeweler where he bought my engagement ring, and he got to pick out his wedding band. It is really cool. It has a classic look with a modern edge. It's white gold and real chunky and masculine. It looks great on his hand. He was initially thinking that he'd get a ring with a brushed finish, but he ended up choosing one with a shiny finish. I really like it, and told him to let that ring shine as bright as can be, so all the ladies can see it and know that my man is spoken for!

eSuitor said that when he tried the ring on, he had an "oh-my-gosh-i'm-really-getting-married!" moment. I was glad he got to experience that feeling of excitement. So much of the wedding planning is all about the bride, but the groom is an essential ingredient, too, after all. So it's only fair that he get to have some of the fun, right?!