Archive for the ‘Irish’ Category


But I have to yap in spite of it. Renee Tracy is my best friend, we have known each other for 24 years under very strange circumstances.  When I married my first husband, Scott Grusin, she and her fiancee Scott Warner and their infant daughter Rio came to the wedding.  I knew Scott Warner from my days as a film apprentice at Universal Studios in the trailer department. 


Fast forward about six years, my marriage long gone (If you are interested in some soap-opera-esque dirt, read the book, I’ll be shamelessly self promoting it soon enough) Scott Warner and Renee had long broken it off, sharing custody of six year old Rio, when I ran into Scott Warner, and we wound up in a year-and-a-half, on-and off relationship that ended badly.

Out of this bizarre paths crossing came the best longtime friendship I have ever had – Renee Tracy.

When Tomas, myself and our crew decided to come back East, Renee was engaged to be married – this is the ONE wedding I wanted to attend, and unfortunately, as you can tell from earlier posts, we were in a 26 foot Penske truck heading across country five weeks before the event.  There was  no way to stave off the trip – the timing was what it was. But here she is, with the now adult Rio, who walked her mother down the aisle, carefully scrutinizing her mothers makeup.


Rio supervises, and seems to approve.

Rio supervises, and seems to approve.










In front the of their Historical Building, where they bought a condo In Long beach

In front the of their Historical Building, where they bought a condo In Long Beach

In the last 7 years, almost all of the people I had as friends just fell by the wayside, for one reason or another.  I have a handful of enduring ones, and Renee Tracy Springer is like the sister I do not have, and has been for years. Opinionated yet non-judgmental, smart as a whip, GORGEOUS, funny, curious, honest….I am really, really lucky.  We are both Irish, but she is one of those really weird calm ones.


Out of the blue, she found a cheap flight out here, hopped on a plane, and  stayed with us for almost five days.  She wanted to experience snow, and the weather complied.  Sadly, her new husband Rodney, who is so perfect for her he was worth the wait – we love him, could not come out.  Maybe in the spring….Rod and Renee love to wine-taste, and we have been doing our research and are starting the tempting campaign about the local wineries.

The three of us had so much fun, and the fact that she made the effort to come out and visit us touched me deeply – the are both always on the go, incredibly busy, but she carved out the time. I have done that for years with people I care about.  Not many people in my life have reciprocated.  I guess it raises the friendship bar a bit.

Below are a few photos of Renee, Tomas and myself, goofing off at home and downtown.


Renee and Kel peering into the lobby of the Heinz Hall, downtown

Renee and Kel peering into the lobby of the Heinz Hall, downtown


Renee on the outdoor pulpit of a historical Catholic Church, downtown

Renee on the outdoor pulpit of a historical Catholic Church, downtown


Next morning, back at the house, the snow starts to get serious

Next morning, back at the house, the snow starts to get serious


Tomas and Renee before the Volvo gets buried

Tomas and Renee before the Volvo gets buried


This is what we do while we wait for the coffee to heat up?!

This is what we do while we wait for the coffee to heat up?!

Pauline next door attacking the snow - it's fruitless.  Time for Coffee.

Pauline next door attacking the snow - it's fruitless. Time for Coffee.


What are those two old guys behind us thinking?

What are those two old guys behind us thinking?




Who has the Championship Steelers Terrible Towel hidden in layers?

Who has the Championship Steelers Terrible Towel hidden in layers?


What more to say?   I love her, I miss her, and I am ecstatic that she has finally found the happiness she has fought long and hard for, for so many years. Nobody I know deserves it more than she.

I love you, Renee Tracy Springer. And yes, you are the healthiest person I have ever met.

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What more can be said?  We are here, the city has gone insane, I am excited, and I don’t even give a crap about sports.  But this is different.  I have never seen anything like it, and I am loving the crackle of energy in the air.  It is infectious.


Cold? What cold?

Cold? What cold?

We are going to kick John McCain's ass again!

We are going to kick John McCain's ass again!


The cherry on the cake?  Springsteen is playing at halftime, and Obama is a Steelers fan.

What more can anyone ask for?

‘Tis a mighty foine day, lads and lassies.  Mighty Foine.

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Tomas and I recently moved to Pennsylvania, along with the family, Bobby the Crow, and Vinnie and Vito the cats.  Back in Los Angeles, we lost our other two cats, Fritty and Monkey, and in Ojai our rabbit, Billy “the Bullet” Mahan, died.  So our family is a little light, and we miss our other three every day.  Fritty and Monkey died within two weeks of each other.

So, in making our trek across the country, our hearts were heavy only for our animals, and we were a bit nutty when it came to making sure that Bobby and the brothers were safe and comfortable on the trip – at the expense of our own comfort at times.  Totally worth it.

The reason I give backstory is because we were heading into unknown territory – we had an idea of where we wanted to live, but in the meantime we were camped out with friends and family quite far from our destination.  We finally found our house, and it took a bit of  time to get settled. We left Ojai, California at the end of June, 2008, and got somewhat put together in our house in September of ’08. Once we were, the issue of registering to vote was NUMBER ONE on our list.

Here is where it gets weird.  In September, we both filled out the voter registration form, and trotted off to the local post office and mailed it.  One week later, an official envelope arrived with not one, but two voter I.D.’s in it.  However, they were both for Tomas.   Nothing for me.

We called the Downtown Voter Registration office, and they said I was nowhere to be found. I resigned myself to the fact that we were going to have to drive downtown (it’s a five minute drive, a forty-five minute loop-de-loop to find parking), and fill out another registration form right there at the Voter Registration Office.  Tomas also brought along his TWO voter I.D.’s asking if it was normal to receive two.  They said no, and took one back.  They then looked me up in the computer, and said I was there, even turning the computer screen so I could see.  I WAS in the computer, ummmm, twice.

They promised me there was no problem, and I should be receiving my voter registration I.D. in a matter of days.  This was Friday, October 3rd.  I have as yet to receive my Voter I.D.  I called on Monday, Oct 13th and spoke to a very nice woman named D. She looked me up, and again, I was nowhere to be found.  I shared the details of what had transpired on October 3rd, and very nicely voiced my confusion and rising concern.  She gave a very loud sigh, started to speak, then said, 

“Never mind, never mind, let’s just see what we can do…,”

“No, wait, you were going to say something,” I answered quickly. “What was it?  It will be our secret, promise.”  I tried to keep my voice light, but it felt as if she were on the verge of telling me something, and I wanted to know.

“Oh who cares, I work here,” she said, annoyance in her tone.  Her voice then dropped almost to a whisper.

“I do not know what is going on – we are registering people, and when we send it to the Federal database, they are kicking a whole bunch back with no explanation.  It is weird, and I am getting tired of it.  Here, I am going to put you in right now to receive your Voter I.D,” I could hear here furiously typing away, “oops, nope, they wont let me, I just have to process you again, I am so sorry.”

“That’s okay,” I answered, “Let’s just do it again, no problem.”

We went through my information, and she said I should be receiving my card that week.  It is now Saturday, October 18th, and no Voter I.D. card has arrived in the mail.


(I just came from Helen Philpot’s blog, where she is saying that at 83 years old, she is tired and does not have the energy to fight anymore (I am paraphrasing), and she is urging us “younger folks” to fight.  Well, I have to say, I am 46 years old, and this shit is wearing me out, but I refuse to let it wear me down).   

Back to being on the phone with D.  

I asked her what should I do if it does not arrive within the week.  She told me to call again or come down.  I am going into the building on Monday, and if I am in the computer, I am going to request a printout.  If I do not get my card, at least I will have the printout.  

The printout will not be enough to get me into the polls, but if I do not have my Voter I.D. by November 4th, I am taking every shred of evidence that I have to prove I am eligible to vote, and if I am turned away, I am going to raise holy hell, and will most likely spend the night in jail.

I do not mind spending the night in jail if it brings voter tampering in Pennsylvania some media attention.  I will make damned sure it gets media attention.  I have a big mouth, an Irish temper, and I will go to every newspaper, every blogging site, the headquarters of both parties campaign, and I will not shut up until my vote is counted.


To everyone out there – I am prepared to fight for my vote, and make sure you fight for yours, too.  Do not let voter intimidation scare you, do not let voter tampering stop you.  Press through the corruption and get your vote in, even if it means spending the night on a smelly cot.


I am ready to do it, and I hope anyone else out there is ready, too.

Bobby just cawed loudly, showing his support.  He is ready to spend a night without his parents if that is what it takes.


Obama/Biden  ’08



If anyone reading this post questions it, go to this article in the Washington Post.

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Yes, I do, and I am sick of it. I had been saying for the last seven years that I wanted to visit my long-ago mother-in-law, Barbara W., who was not doing well. I kept saying it, and kept not doing it. I guess whatever I was going through was more important than visiting someone who is one of the kindest, gentlest people I know, a person who treated me better than I had ever been treated in my life, and I kept putting it off.

Thursday, I just got sick sick sick of myself and my poor-me bullshit, and my guilt that this houseful of animals and man won’t survive a day without me because I seem to think I am so important! It is the Irish Guilt at play, and although guilt is guilt, every background has a different delivery, I am guessing.

I used to brag that no one could guilt me. Look back to the Instant Karma post for that one – this time the Karma was not so instant, it is making up for lost time like it has a death sentence.

I went to the Motion Picture Country Home, which has expanded greatly since I was there, and refused to give into feeling bad about not loving up Bobby D. for the day. He was in my office today and he is fine.

Barbara is suffering a rare form of Alzheimer’s, but she remembered, due to a little bronze kitty keychain she gave to me 23 years ago. The reason I still have it on my keychain is because I lost the key years ago! Otherwise I would have lost the kitty. I told her she was going to have a roommate soon, and it would be me, do not worry.

She focused, remembered me, and we had a few good laughs. Then she would drift, then come back. We spent about 40 minutes together before she felt she should go back to the bingo game.

I went to my car and cried. I got home and refused to feel guilty over anyone here. Especially Bobby D. the Crow. He is Italian, and his ability to guilt far outweighs the Irish version.

I will be visiting her again, and again, until she is gone.

And no damned Irish Guilt is going to stop me.

Got it, Bobby?

(mean mother mean mother mean mother mean mother mean mother)

I can HEAR you……..

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