http://mendpoverty.org/
Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz

My Oscar Experience: Part One @MendPoverty #MENDOSCARS #MizOscars

My Oscar experience 2013 began when I saw The Sessions and I considered it to be “Oscar-worthy”.  When I see movies I always try to predict the nominees for the Academy Awards.  Once the nominees are announced, I try to see as many of the films as possible.  This year, I think I out-did myself!

I enjoyed seeing quite a few of the Oscar nominated films including:
The Silver Linings Playbook
The Master
The Sessions
Frankenweenie
Brave
Skyfall
Snow White and the Huntsman
The Avengers
The Hobbit
Paperman
Lincoln
Life of Pi
Django Unchained
Zero Dark Thirty
Argo
Les Miserables

Here are a few I missed but would still like to see:
Flight
Amour
The Impossible
Beasts of the Southern Wind
ParaNorman
Anna Karenina
Mirror Mirror

Tonight I have the privilege of attending MEND’s Oscar® Experience Los Angeles.  MEND is a charitable organization.  With dignity and respect, powered by volunteers, MEND’s mission is to break the bonds of poverty by providing basic human needs and a pathway to self-reliance.  Meet Each Need with Dignity, MEND, is an organization that my family has supported over the years by donating and volunteering.  This is the first time I am able to attend their annual gala event.

Oscar® Experience is the Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts and Sciences’ program that enables local charities to host glamorous Oscar® viewing parties and raise money for their organizations. Only one charity in any given media market may participate in Oscar® Experience. MEND is honored that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has designated MEND as the only official Oscar® Experience charity in the Los Angeles area.

The whole thing takes place at Universal Studios, here is the “invitation”:

MEND invites you to join us for our third annual

OSCAR® EXPERIENCE LOS ANGELES CELEBRATING THE 85TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS

Universal Studios HollywoodSM – the Globe Theatre Sunday, February 24, 2013

4:00 pm: Red Carpet Arrivals 5:30 pm: Program Begins 6:00 pm: Gourmet Dinner by Wolgang Puck Catering Begins

Evening includes celebrity guests, silent auction, casting your own awards ballots, and an Oscar® trivia contest.

Attire: Red-carpet appropriate

http://youtu.be/P4TB9MQMpeI

So, now I have to decide on what to wear and do a little more fact finding to participate in the trivia contest and make my final decisions so I can cast my ballot! I am so excited!  I will be Tweeting and posting on Instagram so you can follow along in the Social-Media-Sphere and join in the fun!

#MENDOSCARS @MENDPoverty @mizmeliz #mizoscars

Hopefully, I can help raise awareness for this special organization that does so much for the people of Los Angeles. If you want to volunteer or just find out more, click here VOLUNTEER NOW.

MEND – Meet Each Need with Dignity
(818) 897-2443
10641 N. San Fernando Road
Pacoima, CA 91331

Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz

Fantabulous Friday

It’s a “Fantabulous Friday” according to the kids that make morning announcements at the school where I work.

Urban Dictionary ( http://www.urbandictionary.com/ ) defines fantabulous as  . . .  Sort of like “fabulous” but much more fabulous than the word “fabulous” can convey. Like supercalifragilisticexpialidocius but shorter and easier to spell.  It is an adjective which describes something fantastic and fabulous, generally beyond belief or expectation. Fantabulous is an adjective meaning something is of the highest quality. It is a combination of fantastic and fabulous, which was commonly used in London in the 1960s and 70s to describe various aspects of pop culture and fashions. It was especially popular with Chelsea girls like Joanna Lumley. It is still in use in England today, but not as much as it used to be.  (TMI?)

I would say that I am verging on feeling fantabulous.  I am no longer sick, thank goodness!  I have my energy back.  It is sunny and beautiful here in SoCal.  We managed to stick it out through the cold (freezing for a California girl like me) weather this week.  I refused to put the top up on my Jeep as long as it wasn’t raining.  I expect to be rewarded with mild temperatures this weekend.  I love my life!
It’s Super Bowl weekend.  We were invited to two, possibly three, parties this year.  I haven’t committed myself to anything yet.  I promised Lito that I would make some of his favorite “Super Bowl Food” if we stayed home.  He likes to watch the game on our tv.  No surprise since he isn’t much of a party-goer.  I think he enjoys watching the game with the boys and my brother.  It wouldn’t be fun watching it alone.  For years my Dad would come and watch it with him and the kids.  We miss that!  This year Julian and Colin both have been invited over to their friends houses for the game.  I think it makes Lito sad that the boys have their own “lives” now.  Even Roman wishes he was invited to a party.  I can already see Lito and I as empty-nesters.  It doesn’t look pretty.
After being sick, I can think of many things I should do around the house this weekend.  I know I will be happy if I am at least somewhat productive.  Since I am on the verge of feeling fantabulous I want to have some fun!  Doing housework and completing projects are not exactly my idea of fun.  Maybe I can come up with something that will make it a funtabulous weekend! (Look that up @urbandictionary!)
Now I ask myself, what should I do?  I am almost caught up on all the Oscar nominated movies that I want to see.  I still want to see True Grit (http://www.truegritmovie.com/?gclid=CPK-07u676YCFQYnbAodRUkLEA ) and The Kids Are Alright ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgwjTy_cohg .)  But since I have seen many movies recently, going to the theater doesn’t sound so funtabulous to me.
Here are the nominees for Best Picture:
  • “Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
  • “The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
  • “Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
  • “The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
  • “The King’s Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
  • “127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
  • “The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
  • “Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
  • “True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
  • “Winter’s Bone” Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

I will need to see 127 Hours (http://www.foxsearchlight.com/127hours/ ,) Winter’s Bone (http://www.wintersbonemovie.com/ ,) The Rabbit Hole ( http://www.rabbitholefilm.com/index.html ,) and The Town ( http://thetownmovie.warnerbros.com/dvd/ ) if I want to be completely informed.  Maybe a DVD movie fest is in order!

It is no coincidence that I began writing about the Super Bowl and ended up writing about the Oscars!  The Academy Awards Show is my Super Bowl. There are 23 days left until the big event.  I love it!  I always know what my plans are on Oscar Night.  I make everyone leave me alone.  I make a nice dinner and stay in.  I like to watch it uninterrupted, live, from the beginning of the pre-show and red carpet interviews, to the last “what were they wearing” and “the winners” talk shows! (Big sigh!  It’s still 23 more days!)

Since I am expecting a sunny and warm weekend ( http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/boatandbeach/weekend/91311 ) I want to do something outside, at least go somewhere that requires a drive.  Tomorrow I am taking Roman downtown to a rehearsal at the Music Center.  (http://www.musiccenter.org/?gclid=CNihhYnq76YCFQRvbAodaA2GEg ) He is going to be performing with his school choir in a production of Noye’s Fludde with the LA Opera ( http://www.laopera.com/production/0809/flood/synopsis.aspx ) We are very excited for him!  It is a great opportunity.  Tomorrow he finds out if he will get to operate a puppet.  The choir is performing as the animals on Noah’s Ark.  We are imagining something similar to the animals in The Lion King’s stage performance.  But we really have no idea what it will be like.

While Roman is in rehearsal, I will have some time to hang out in the downtown area.  I used to work there, so I know my way around and I have some favorite hang outs.  There is so much to do there!  I might go to Olvera Street and grab lunch at Phillipe’s.  Or, I might go to the Central Library ( http://www.lapl.org/central/ ) and see the Forty Years of Sesame Street Illustration Exhibit.  I could swing over to MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art.  ( http://www.moca.org/index.php )   Every time I went there when I worked downtown it was closed.  It is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.   My friend Victoria and I would go to lunch at the Arco Food Court and then stroll through the MOCA gift shop.  I would love to go to my favorite restaurant in that area, Ciudad.  But I just found out that it has closed!  I am so sad, that was a terrific restaurant!!  It is now a Border Grill owned and operated by the same people,  ( http://www.ciudad-la.com/ ) so I might check it out.  However, in the same location as the Border Grill ( http://www.bordergrill.com/bg_dtla/bg_dtlawel.htm ) is one of my favorite lunch spots, La Salsa.  If I end up in that part of town, I am certainly having some Mexican food.  It’s ironic that I would go to Phillipe’s ( http://www.philippes.com/ ) if I hang out  at Olvera Street ( http://www.olvera-street.com/html/olvera_street.html ) which is a little village with a traditional Mexican style plaza area full of shops and restaurants.  But I love Phillipe’s Original French Dipped sandwiches!  I am partial to the pork sandwich with blue cheese, double dipped of course!

That sums up my potentially funtaboulous weekend. I may end up doing laundry and watching tv, but the very fact that I have options and the ability to do these things makes me very happy!  Have a fantabulous weekend my friends!

Everything Miz Meliz

There is Significance in Everything

Quote “It started out as a Mardi Gras party!”

Partygras! 2008 Melissa’s 40th ‘Academy Awards’ Birthday Party

You might as well know how it all started, in case you weren’t there.  Many of you were there – but maybe I never told you why Lito and I had the first “PartyGras.”  There is significance in everything.

After I had my third child, I suffered from severe postpartum depression.  And unlike Brooke Shields – I didn’t have friends like Tom Cruise and Oprah Winfrey to tell me how to live my life.  But I did  have a great supportive family and amazing friends who gave me sound advice.  I was bored at home having not worked at a “real” job for six years.  I was doing the mommy and me thing for the third time around and I felt stuck.  Of course most of my feelings had more to do with the postpartum than reality – but it is extremely difficult to separate the two at the time.

I needed an outlet, something to look forward to, something creative and fun.  Lito and I had attended an event at Julian’s school that had a Mardi Gras theme some time back and we loved it.  We talked about having a theme party or going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans ourselves someday.  We recalled being at Disneyland when they had a New Orleans style parade and they called it “PartyGras!”  We love anything and everything Disney!

So, the goal became having a theme party.  Something we can repeat for years that would become our “signature” event.  We tried for many years to gather our friends together by having Christmas or New Year’s parties and open houses.   But people always had other obligations.  We wanted something that our friends would look forward to every year.  It was something that I looked forward to every year!  I loved thinking about it, planning it and attending it.  It wasn’t a kid’s party or a birthday party, or tied to any religious milestone.  It was a party just for fun, that anyone could enjoy.  Well, almost anyone!  PartyGras is for adults only!

Why only adults?  Well, that was a no brainer at first!  I was surrounded by little kids and babies and everything I did at that point in my life had to do with children and/or other parents.  Mommy & Me, tumbling class, Karate class, Indian Guides, preschool, kindergarten, Barney, Blues Clues, diapers, feedings, snack time, nap time . . . And I had been focussed on this stuff (and loving it most of the time) for six years!  I needed and wanted to go out and have fun – adult fun, dressing up, having a cocktail in a glass, listening to loud music, singing, dancing, hanging out with friends, staying up late – very late, and letting loose!  One liberating thing was being able to say anything without being guarded.  In other words – I didn’t have to spell out things I didn’t want my kids to hear me say and I could use some “colorful” expletives, if I wanted!

“If the mountain cannot come to Mohammad, Mohammad will go to the mountain.”  Or in this case, vice-versa!  If I can’t go clubbing – I will bring the club to my house!  Luckily, with a little pleading, Lito agreed!  And so it happened.  It was a blast!  PartyGras!  The first one was a Mardi Gras theme.  Everyone came dressed in their best Mardi Gras costumes, there was a prize for the most creative.  It was a potluck – a Cajun Cooking Contest – with a prize for Lito’s favorites.  We knew he would try everything!  We had beads for the flashers, lots of drinks and karaoke.  That was the entertainment.  It was a blast!

I already planned on having one every year and the name of the annual event would always include “PartyGras” (pronounced pardy-graw.)  We crowned the couple who put their best foot forward with enthusiasm and zeal as “The King & Queen of  PartyGras!”  We started in 2001 which made it easy – something not planned – to remember the number of years we have been doing this!

1.  Partygras! Cajun Cookoff

2.  Partygras ’02: Flamenco/Spanish

3.  Partygras III:  I dream of Jeanie Pajama Party/60’s Convenience Foods

4. Partygras IV:  Club 10532 70’s Party/Fondue

5. PartyArgh V:  Pyrate Party/Potluck

6.  Partygras VI:  Vamp Night/Potluck

7.  Partygras ’07:  The Godfather/Italian

8.  Partygras! 2008:  Academy Awards/Hor d’oerves

And the winner is . . . everyone!  I hope you enjoyed it.  It was by far the best one ever.  I’ll remember always your acceptance speech, as you were given the Academy Award for what you are best at – friendship!  Everyone had their 45 seconds of fame!

I would like to thank you, my friends, for making these memories the highlights of my life!  No amount of medication, exercise, and counseling could bring me out of depression without your support and love!!!

Shannon and Sean The 1st King & Queen of PartyGras
Ole'
The Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
Lito Tuxedo!
Arrrgh!
Vamp Fright!
Ahh, my godson has arrived!
Kelly gets snapped by the Papparazi
Maggie & David on the Red Carpet
Mark Burford as "Oscar"
Jonathan & J-Lo with . . . Fabio!
Karen Marie - What a DIVA!
And the Oscar goes to . . .