Return to the Scene of the “Crime”

During a recent heat wave I decided to head to the beach with the dogs. Since I have no patience for sitting on the sand, I thought that Santa Monica would be perfect. The pier is a tourist attraction with lots of activity. Even better, there’s a pedestrian path that goes down to Venice.

ELBEE That sounded good to me. I like the beach although I’m not much of a surfer. I was, however, a little suspicious when I heard that Venice was on the agenda.

As soon as we walked up the steps to the pier, Gus and Elbee, with all of their hair blowing in the breeze, were surrounded by people. I lost count of how many wanted to take pictures. All that was missing were the “puparazzi.”

ELBEE I knew she couldn’t resist that lame joke. By the way, I’m pretty sure I saw Kendall Jenner and another model type on the pier. They had their own professional camera man with them. Why didn’t I?

Things stayed interesting on the ocean path. An adorable toddler in big sunglasses came over to pet the dogs. Two seemingly drunk men asked if I knew where there was a liquor store. Someone yelled out “Look at those diva dogs.”

ELBEE He was obviously very astute. 




That last remark was our welcome to Venice Beach which is a crazy, fascinating place that has become even messier since the last time I was there.







Still, I couldn’t resist posing the Doods for these touristy photos.

As if!!
Just embarrassing!








ELBEE As for the one on the right, I don’t know which is worse, that she took the picture or that she’s sharing it here. And take a look at this one below. They’re opening a Muscle Beach History Museum! I think Pack Leader is hoping to secure a place. What is she? Arnold?

To be honest, I’m not sure if Venice Beach is the site of my former glory or of my former crime against “carpool momdom.” I had done a few bodybuilding shows before I competed there but they were sort of under the radar. The first was in Fresno. The other one or two were in places that no one in my daily life except my family would know about. Competing in Venice was like “Woo hoo, here I am.”

GUS “Woo hoo?” I don’t even say that.

To make it even better, Nicole, the middle daughter, was turning eleven and wanted to have her birthday party at the show. She probably wasn’t old enough to be embarrassed. To this day I wonder what the other parents thought about it. At least no one called child protective services.

Nicole had one special request. She asked if everyone could sing Happy Birthday to her if I won. I mentioned it to the emcee who loved the idea and brought Nicole up on stage as soon as I became Ms. Venice Beach.

ELBEE That was subtle.


Seeing the microphone in my face is probably disconcerting to anyone who knows about my singing. The good news is that with a thousand people in the crowd, no one could hear me.



THE DOODS Amen to that. Remember, we’ve heard her in the car.



More Celebrities I’ve Sort of Met

In my last post I shared about meeting “Sully” Sullenberger, but thanks to the Doods, there have been other celebrity encounters. There was the time when Charley and I were in the Hollywood Christmas Parade, and I was doing my fabulous wave, that we met the dog whisperer, Cesar Milan. I ran into him again  a few weeks later and was flattered that he seemed to remember me right away. Then he said, “You’re the one who looks like her dog,” but quickly caught himself and added that he meant it in the nicest way possible.


ELBEE OMG if he didn’t take a picture with her did she have to be so desperate that she photoshopped it?  And  by the way, that is the worst photoshopping I’ve ever seen! 




And do you recognize the blonde behind Harvey Levin in this non-photoshopped picture?


I was walking on Third Street in Santa Monica, a real tourist mecca, when I saw they were filming People’s Court. The normally nosy me would have made a beeline over but I had just worked with the Doods and was a little tired. I crossed to the other side of the street to avoid the congestion.

20150131_151713_1472427295661_resizedTHE DOODS Personally we were shocked that she didn’t run over. Harvey loves dogs, so seeing us, someone in the crew chased us down to ask if we’d be in the outside group scene. As for this photo, we were standing right in front of her and got cut out. Really? Who are the stars here? 

I also met the legendary Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers. If Vin had groupies I would be one. I am a huge Dodgers fan and have even taken the Doods to Bark in the Park, with Nicole, the daughter who actually likes them.


THE DOODS We enjoyed the games and we hate to complain but the seats were a little small for us. We also have mixed feelings about the term “Dodger dogs.”




At the games, I only caught  glimpses of Vin when we paraded on the warning track. My up close and personal was at an upscale mall in Calabasas, home of the Kardashians. Fortunately we didn’t see any of those. Vin was coming out of a store just as I was walking by with the Doods. He stopped to chat for a moment and was as nice as I’d hoped.

THE DOODS He had to stop and talk. She got so excited she almost ran us into him.

On a serious note, I just watched the Dodgers win their division as Vin broadcast his last home game after 67 years. I have never seen anyone accept accolades with more grace and humility. I was already a little teary eyed when they suddenly played a recording of Vin singing Wind Beneath My Wings, a song that reminds me of my parents who passed away when I was young. It was such a touching moment for me. Thank you Vin Scully!