Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cardio Barre with Movie Stars

Yesterday I decided to step out of my comfort zone and go to Beverly Hills. I typically take a series of complicated freeways and shortcuts to bypass when going any point West.

But I was given a month of free classes at this tony work out barre joint. You know it's uptown when they validate, the foyer is marble and frosted glass and the receptionist looks like Emma Stone.

I'm in decent shape so I thought, whatever. A few ballet kicks, a plie? Please. I wore my usual work out attire, old gym pants and a moth bitten T-shirt. Boy was I surprised.

After chatting with Emma Stone look-a-like, walking toward the studio, I saw rows of pictures;  movie stars all over the walls. Not the cheesy signed ones, but actual photographs showing their off buff bodies.  Apparently tons go through this place.

Reese Witherspoon must be an investor because she is featured prominently on a number of walls.  Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johannson, Emmy Rossum, Denise Richards and Kathy Ireland (I can't tell the difference) Katherine Heigl,  Paris Hilton, Megan Fox, all looking incredibly healthy, great. You get the idea.

There are only two workout rooms, it's that exclusive  They can afford to do this because each class is $45.00 or $600.00 for the month.

The instructors are all model gorgeous, with crazy perfect figures. I will say they are kind. They came to my aid countless times to adjust my position in order to make the workout hurt even more.

"You're still doing this wrong. You must be from Hollywood." ^ ^ ^ ^

In all fairness, I did stand out given everyone wore designer LuLuemon outfits and were already in perfect shape. The age range is say 18 to well, I'm guessing 68. Because it's Beverly Hills and impossible to tell.

In my class that was a spattering of celebrities, all of their faces heavily made-up. Almost professionally. I was surrounded by 50 pounds of collagen. One woman had a full pound in her lips alone because they had a life of their own. I couldn't stop staring. I know that's rude, but as she was bouncing her boy sized frame around, those lips looked so heavy I would venture to say they added resistance to her workout.

Before the class began, the woman next to me was frightening. I say this with great compassion. She had the face of a 68 year old, but it was as though all of her lines had been magically erased. It was startling. And distracting. I wanted her wrinkles to be where they belonged.

I  don't even know how that's done. Is there a magic surgical eraser out there? And why? Why erase your face when you look 68 anyway? I know she was going for the Joan Rivers look but what is that? ^^

I actually love Joan Rivers and don't care what she did or did not do. I just care that she is happy.

The Old Lady spoke and her entire upper face got involved, moving upward like a slab a cement being hoisted.

Old Lady:  First time?
Me:  Yes.
Old Lady: Mandy is a killer. I've been coming for years and it's still so hard.

Well maybe because your pushing 70 and should be taking walks on the damn beach!

Me:  Look at that girl across the room. She's anorexic. I feel the need to save her.
Old Lady: Oh, my youngest is skinnier than her. Don't give a thought. So working off babyfat?
Me: Yeah. He's 21. But I also have 9-year old twins.
Old Lady: Oh, you had children later in life? New, younger husband? I understand.They always want their own. One way to keep them.
I was in another world.
Me: No. That wasn't the situation. A sister wife bore the girls. We're very modern.

She actually gasped. How dare she assume anything. Sometimes I'm taken off guard when someone over 50 can still be a bimbo, but they exist in Beverly Hills.

Now we are in full work out mode, squeezing our glutes so hard I almost vomited. The old lady didn't even break a sweat! I should mention she also was a size four and had huge diamond rocks on half her fingers.

Old Lady:  You keep coming and you'll get back into a bikini rocking Ibiza in no time.

This was really happening.

Me: Well maybe you should embrace your face?
Old Lady:  What?
Me: I'm about to do a face plant.
Old Lady:  Ah. Just keep at it.

We were on the 200th leg lift. Both of my thighs were shaking. I was jello. My heart was giving out. My blood sugar was dropping. There are no clocks in the room. I hate Beverly Hills.

All the ladies were super serious,

not even sweating, positioned in front of mirrors so they could stare at themselves and admire their unblemished faces. I'm certain secret selfies were happening all around me.

I was a wreck. I had NO interest in seeing what I looked like.

Finally it ended.

Old Lady:  You made it. Pretty soon you can throw away your fat pants.

Who asked you? I seriously wanted to deck her, but I felt so bad for her. This burn victim actually believed she looked hot. This look has become the norm in Beverly Hills. The no- line, flawless skin freak face, held in place with cheek, lip and chin implants. Throw in some downy feathers and blood transfusions.  I sometimes get certain actresses mixed up when they use the same surgeon.

 I'm not against minor cosmetic enhancing, but it's a slippery slope. These are all beautiful women in my opinion and maybe leave themselves alone. Aging gracefully is a good thing.

Walking toward my car, I noticed the old lady meeting up with her husband who did not have face work done and looked like my grandfather. I bet in her mind she comes off as the young trophy wife. How sad is that?

I will go again because it's free and frankly who doesn't want to tone up. But now I know what to expect. Maybe I'll wash my shirt before I go next time.

Rhonda Talbot on cardio barre and working out with the movie stars. Made it home. ^^^

Saturday, January 12, 2013

School Days - NOT

I'm certain my kids go to school about 15 days a year. I should probably sit down with a calculator, but it seems unnecessary since they are home seemingly everyday. After a very looooong holiday break, I thought, great. Kids back in school, hit the books, learn a few things. My time is more expansive, finish a stack of projects, maybe even see a friend or get a facial.

As soon as the kids got back into their routine and completed a week of school, I opened one of the 25 email weekly updates that come from the school. I rarely open them. I did this one because it was in bold. Hmmm.

Here is what I see:


14       Safety Meeting for all Families   School closed

This safety meeting was news to me. First, I thought the school was not going to bring up anything regarding the events that took place in CT.  Second, now I will have to attend to see exactly what they are telling my kids. One of my daughters has recently developed a whole loaf of new fears. We might get hit by a tsunami, therefore she suddenly never wants to go to the beach. Also if we were to be hit with such a wave, surely a shark will ride all the way to our house and eat her animals. Shark attack!

The moon might fall out of the sky, a comet could hit at any time, we could have another Noah's flood but there is no Noah to help us, I could spontaneously combust walking down the street leaving her motherless, a mean ghost might decide to take up residency in her bedroom, therefore she no longer sleeps there. She sleeps at the foot of my bed. The planet might run out of water, oxygen, food. The polar caps might be melting faster than we think and we will all soon be underwater. 

My girls love to read factual books. E happens to read them too much. Even if there is 00001% chance of a tsunami hitting Los Angeles, it could happen. It goes on and on. 

So far, with the unspeakable acts regarding CT, she has not shown much concern. She knows bad things happen and there are bad people. But now, if the school starts teaching them to hide under desks, run for cover, and so on, I fear this is all she will think about. Sitting at her desk, not paying attention but instead, staring out the windows, glancing at the door, listening for unusual sounds. I know her very well.  I just have no answers yet.

She may never go to school again. Not that it matters because it's apparently never open for business.

21        Martin Luther King Jr, Day—School closed

21-25   National No Name Calling Week

BTW:  There is only ONE WEEK of No Name calling, so I'll assume here, the rest of the year anything goes.

Marnie: Hey Bob. You're a jackass.
Bob: Shut your face slimeball.
Marnie: Your mom.
Bob: Well your mom is shaped like fungus. And you're stupid.

8          Coffee with Bitsy and Heidi.   School Closed WHO? And why is the school closed? Is this an all day coffee thing? What?
15        Lunar New Year  - School Closed   Why? Did parents request this? Will they be lunar gazing all day and night? Why not go to school, learn about the Lunar New Year, then later have a glimpse of the moon after dinner. It will still be there.
18        President’s Day—School Closed
20        Deadline to apply for 2013-14   School Closed   Here I will assume because we all need huge amounts of time to deal with this. And we need the kids home to help us fill out a half-page form.

5          Exam prep   School Closed   Naturally. Because certain parents are so freaked out their kids might not get into Harvard, they need to spend a full day and thousands of dollars to guide their child for the upcoming one hour test.
8-9       Run For Fun Money  School Closed  Yes fundraisers are important, but two days of running?
11        Staff Grading Day  School Closed  I've never understood this.  Can't they work on the weekend like the rest of us?
18-22   Parents Conference Week  (Short days—11:00 Dismissal) This may as well as say School Closed given school starts at 9:00. They don't even give them lunch!

Oh... then here we go. School Closed for TWO WEEKS and change.

25-31   Spring Break—No classes

1-5       Spring Break continuesNo classes
8          School resumes   Thank god!  But No!
10        Student assessment day   No classes   Shouldn't the student be there if an assessment is taking place?

I had to close the email. Can you imagine if it snowed in LA? As is, the only month left was partial May. When you break it down, the kids will actually be in school from now until mid April for about one full week. Then of course a month later the School Closes for the summer.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Kim Kardashian and Channing Tatum!

After a much needed break from my kids, I am finally back. Though I traveled from LA to Miami to New York to Aspen to St Barts to LA, I will keep the piece short and focused on highlights. 

One of the things I love about being a jet- setter is I never actually know what the point is or why someone garners great attention.  For instance, why do the paparazzi hound the Housewives of Beverly Hills but not Gill Gates or me?

I might pay the same amount of attention to George Lucas as I do a random parent at school.  Speaking of George, here he is NOT having a good New Years Eve. It's possible this man never smiles, but I thought since the new romance with cool woman Mellody Hobson, things may have changed. But you decide:

Me:  Hi George. Why the sad face?
George: I can't get off this fucking boat.

We were all required to wear those stupid hats. Like George, I tossed mine. And we were trapped.  The boat in question is actually the largest privately owned yacht in the world. The owner being this Russian dude Roman Abramovich, who looks and acts like a gangster. I've seen my fair share of gangster movies and look forward to seeing The Gangster Squad, so I know the face of a madman. In fact, he kind of looks like Sean Penn doing Micky Cohen.

The boat has 890 rooms and 1000 bathrooms or something. I got seasick, so think I hit them all.

Before I went to St. Barts I did some skiing and chortling in Aspen where celebrities have taken over.  It's no longer Beverly Hills in the mountains; more like a Parisian catwalk in the snow. Everyone is all, "Hey! Look at me! Look at me! I'm walking down the street!"

For example, the Hilton sisters. After my fast run on a black diamond and nearly killing all the AARP members on the bunny hill, I bumped into the hotel twins.

Paris:  Hey, Rhonda, will you be at Roman Polanski's New Years Eve party in St. Barts?
Me: You betcha.

Paris actually meant Roman Abramovich. But one gets tired and jet-lagged after a while. Continuing up the street I walked past so many actors for a second I thought I was at Sundance.  Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Jack Nicholson, Melanie Griffith, Kevin Costner, Alec Baldwin, Uma Thurman with some old dude, Demi Moore with some young dude and Ralph Lauren who probably dresses all of them.

Aspen would be a perfect place to cast a few movies for the neglected 50-75 demographic.

I was so bored I called home to check on the girls.

Me:  Are you having a good Christmas?
E:  Hi Mom!  Dad is so much fun. We got 3 more lizards, 2 snakes, a huge laptop and an automated helicopter!  It goes really high.
A: It's awesome! Technically it's not a laptop. It's a desktop but it's big. You got a present I think.
E: Lets not get OT.
A: You're so randomly epic, E.
E: Anyway. Bye, Mom.

They're super sweet girls. Trudging through the streets a flurry of snow hit my face, blinding me for a second, then I looked up and it was as though the heavens had openend. There stood Johnny Depp, being ushered out of a car by Ralph Lauren. I adore Depp, and could tell Lauren didn't dress him.

Me:  Hey Johnny! What are you doing here? Didn't you have a gig in Arizona?
Johnny: Hi! No. I was just getting some tacos. You look great. (I was wearing red Patagonia, so..) I came out here to be with the kids.
Me: Daaw. You're such a good dad. Well have fun!

Depp salvaged the entire Aspen experience so off I went to St. Barts. I picked up a snow globe at the airport for the girls.

This is St. Barts:

This was my villa:

This is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I love him. He's with his dad. I'm sure he's a great guy, but they were not there. Last year's movie boy crush was Ryan Gosling. This year it's Joseph. What a talent.

Anyway, my villa mate neighbors were loud. And for some reason they kept their snow gear on from Aspen. Maybe because they are so worked up all the time. I know Rosie Huntington- Whiteley may be a bit young for Jason Stratham but somehow they are so cute together. They were inseparable.

Stratham is coming out soon in a film called Parker, that co-stars Jennifer Lopez. I bet he couldn't wait to get away from that bitch face.

Finally, on a stroll to the ice machine I noticed they were sitting by the pool with their coats off! She really is gorgeous, you just want to touch her skin.

I wandered out to the beach to see what was what and saw the Roman dude.

Me: Hey, Roman, ballpark.  How many heads have you buried here in the sand?
Roman: What?

Me: Have you seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt?
Roman: Who?
Me: Never mind.

He didn't even notice my brand new bikini, whatever. The guy seems completely self involved.  Lying in the sand, I was in perfect position to see the hordes of celebrities.

An onslaught. Puff Daddy, P-Diddy? or whatever his name is and a few of his kids riding a banana. Then I looked around more.

Not to name names, but to name a few, Russell Simmons and someone's teenage daughter, Harvey Weinstein who shouldn't wear a bathing suit, Ellen DeGeneras and Portia Rossi and oddly Martha Stewart. Maybe she was going to cater the New Years Eve party.

Before I could strap my top back on, the beach was packed. Stephanie Seymour doing yoga,

adorable Channing Tatum hanging with his pretty wife,

Naomi Watts and Liev Shrieber were making waves with their kids, Orlando Bloom parading that gorgeous Miranda Kerr around, Kim Kardashian leading a pack of cameramen by their noses,

King Kayne a few steps behind, Beyonce bouncing baby Blue on a beach ball while Jay-Z drank beer.  Even Lindsey Lohan made the cut.

Me: Hey Lindsey!  Remember me? I took you to some AA meetings a while back.
Lindsey: Oh my god. How cool you're here. Wanna a drink?
Me: I'm good. Have fun.

I'd seen enough. I had to get ready for the big Russian bash so after I saw this girl, I asked myself why bother. Go eat some fried codfish.

Allessandra Ambrosia, like that's her real name. She was sitting next to this girl, Candace Swanepoel.

Candice was about to take a swim. I mean, look at her. Don't these girls ever think about how they might look in public? She could easily loose 15 pounds.

I haven't a clue who this poor girl is, but she seemed lost. Like Tom Hanks in Castaway, despite being only 20 feet away from shore. It was sad.

I wanted to get a bullhorn and tell her to drop the paddle and just walk to the sand but I got distracted.

Though I have never seen X-factor or American Idol or any of the dozens of reality shows this guy owns, I couldn't help but notice how he was being serviced.

On my way back to my room I talked to a couple of the girls.

Me: Hey ladies. You here with Simon Cowell?
Ladies: Well, we're sitting on his boat with him aren't we?

They laughed at me. I don't mind. People mock me all the time. Usually I don't even notice.

Me:  Think you'll land a billionaire this year?
Ladies:  That's the plan.

More giggles.  I already wrote a piece on old rich men, young girls in St. Tropez. It's exactly the same at St. Barts.

After my quick chat with George Lucas, I took a dingy back to the villa and watched the fireworks.

Rhonda Talbot reporting in from St. Barts

Sunday, January 6, 2013