Tagged: The Bold and the Beautiful

My 2010 Thanksgiving Adventure At Rhonda’s

Oh, my. As I explained in yesterday’s post, I drive down to L.A. every year for Turkey Dinner at the home of my friend Rhonda, the Emmy-winning producer of “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
Rhonda.emmys.jpg
Rhonda (Cubs fan) hosts about 15 people and the food is always to die for, but the experience can be fraught with peril for a Yankee fan. Among those present again this year were Mary Ann (Yankees/baseball hater), along with her son Antonio (Dodger fan). 
Rhonda, MA  & Antonio.jpg
Also in attendance were TV show host and interior designer Jennifer Farrell and her TV producer boyfriend Mike (Cubs fan).
Jenn & Mike.jpg
Two newcomers/innocents this year were Rhonda’s friends Alison and Gail, who read yesterday’s blog and thought it was hilarious but had no inkling of the truly bad blood to come.
2 friends.jpg
As in past years, Rhonda set a magnificent table for us.
table.jpg
And the meal was better than ever – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, Brussel sprouts, string bean casserole, salad (and that was AFTER the hors d’oeuvres that consisted of shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs and all sorts of delicious cheeses, plus copious amounts of wine and champagne). I don’t remember ever stuffing myself the way I did last night.
PigArt.jpg
It was during the dessert buffet that things turned ugly. As I mentioned yesterday, I brought a chocolate fudge cake instead of my usual apple pie/tart/crisp because Mary Ann decided to make an apple dessert herself and one-up me. My cake was a big hit, especially with the side of whipped cream. But….well, let me show you.
First, Mike, the Cubs fan, irked me when he brought up Jeter in a taunting, thoroughly irritating way.
He did go on to say that he thought the Yankees should offer Jeter another year and more money, given what he’s meant to the team, but the damage was done; he had raised the dreaded Jeter-as-Red-Sock issue. And so I dragged him over to the dessert buffet, lowered his head into the bowl of whipped cream next to my chocolate cake and made him pay. He’s a nice guy, but a girl’s gotta do…
whipped cream in face.jpg
I was back at the table, minding my own business and enjoying my dessert, until Mary Ann and I had a testy exchange. She has a lovely smile, but don’t be fooled; she speaks pure poison.
Since she liked my chocolate cake so much, there was only one way to punish her for her Yankees bashing.
Chocolate face.jpg
She retaliated by shooting some whipped cream AND chocolate cake at me.
blonde.whippedcream.jpg
Even Rhonda’s cat Tooey looked a little frightened.

Rhonda's cat.jpg

Just another Thanksgiving. Can’t wait till next year, although I may not have to. Rhonda invited us all back for Easter. Oh boy.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone

As I spend this Thanksgiving eve preparing for tomorrow’s drive down to L.A. for my friend Rhonda’s annual shindig, I thought I should give newcomers to this blog a taste of what went down in 2008. In a nutshell, Michael and I were the lone Yankee fans among a table full of naysayers and I got into it with…Well, take a walk with me down memory lane.
***

My Thanksgiving Saga/Yankees Brawl

My family lives back east, so my husband and I drive down to L.A. every Thanksgiving and celebrate at the home of our friend Rhonda Friedman. Rhonda not only takes in strays like us but prepares a fabulous meal and sets a very elegant, tasteful table – flowers, crystal, candles, the works.

thanksgiving_Formal_Table-Setting_w609.jpg
Rhonda is the supervising producer of the soap opera daytime drama, “The Bold and the Beautiful.” She is frequently seen walking the red carpet at Emmy Awards and such.
rhonda.jpg
Rhonda always presides over a really nice group of people, but occasionally, as on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” there is drama.
This year, along with her family members, we were joined by her friend Jennifer Farrell, who until recently hosted the TV show “Find & Design,” which was like “Extreme Home Makeover” without the “Extreme.”
jenniferfindndesign.jpg
Jennifer’s boyfriend Mike was there too. He produces/directs a reality series called “My Big Redneck Wedding” on Country Music TV. I had never heard of it, so I made him say the name of it about six times. Apparently,
it is hosted by this man.
Tom-Arnold.jpg
Also in attendance was Rhonda’s friend Mary Ann, the ex-wife of actor John Saxon. Does anyone remember him from the movies or the zillion TV series he was on?
JohnSaxonFantasyIsland.jpg
So there I was, sipping champagne, eating turkey and minding my own business, when Jennifer’s mom, who was visiting from Florida, said very animatedly, “Jane’s got a book coming out about how she loves the Yankees! I went to my Books-a-Million in Gainesville to buy it, but they don’t have it in stock yet!”

I smiled, eternally grateful that I would have at least one sale, and said, “It doesn’t come out until February 3rd. Maybe you could go back to the store then.”

I resumed eating, this time diving into the stuffing.

“The Yankees are losers,” said somebody down at the other end of the table. It might have been Rob, Rhonda’s brother. Their family is from Chicago and they’re Cubs fans. Or it might have been Mike, Jennifer’s boyfriend, who also roots for the Cubs.

“They had a down year, yes,” I admitted, feeling my blood pressure spike.

“A down year?” said Antonio, the dashingly handsome son of Mary Ann and John Saxon. “They sucked.”

I laughed. Well, it was Thanksgiving. You’re supposed to laugh and be jolly and forgiving.

“Yeah,” Mary Ann chimed in. “What do you think went wrong with them, Jane? Besides the pitching and hitting and fielding.”
O.K. That was downright sarcastic! Never mind that she and her son are Dodgers fans. No excuse for picking on my team during a lovely holiday meal.

I set down my fork and eyed her. “We had a new manager,” I said. “And there were injuries. A lot of injuries.”

“Plus, they sucked,” said Antonio.

Everybody at the table laughed. LAUGHED. Including my husband, a Yankee fan, or so I thought. Would no one but me defend the Pinstriped Ones? 

“We’ll bounce back and be very competitive next season,” I said, my heart thumping now. I was trying to keep it civil. I w
as.

Antonio smirked. “How? You can’t even sign Sabathia.”

Uh-oh. I gripped my champagne glass tightly and said through clenched teeth, “Then we’ll sign one of the other free agents. Lowe, maybe.”

“Lowe?” he said mockingly. “You can have him. He’s garbage.”
“Face it, Jane. The Yankees aren’t what they used to be,” said Mary Ann.

That did it. How dare she? How dare any of them?

I should have attempted to calm myself, done some deep breathing, shoved more food in my mouth. Instead – I’m so embarrassed to tell you this – I threw my champagne at Mary Ann. In turn, she grabbed a handful of candied yams and threw them at me.
foodfight.jpg
In the blink of an eye, she and I were really going at it.
foodfightbig.jpg
Needless to say, Rhonda’s beautiful table was ruined. My apologies to her. I can only hope and pray she’ll overlook my boorishness and invite me back next year.

***

No, nobody got hurt. It was a “fun fight.” When we went to Rhonda’s last year, the Yankees had just won the World Series so you’d think everybody would have been a tiny bit more respectful. Instead, I got an earful about how the my team “bought” a championship, blah blah blah. Enough is enough. This year I’m going armed with the chocolate fudge cake I baked earlier today.
Thanksgiving.cake.JPG
It’s a recipe from my friend Diane Worthington’s cookbook, Seriously Simple, and it’s incredibly dense with a chocolate walnut glaze. If anyone at Rhonda’s says even one negative thing about the Yankees I’ll pull it off the buffet table, stick it in my car and take it back home with me – plus the whipped cream that goes with it!

Here’s hoping my Thanksgiving – and yours – is full of laughter and good food. (I’ll report on this year’s ad
venture on Friday.) Before I sign off, in the spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude, I’d like to give a shout out to Tom Kackley, the equipment/clubhouse manager for the Trenton Yankees. Tom emailed today to tell me about a fantastic auction he runs every year on eBay to raise money for the domestic violence shelter in his hometown of Canton, Ohio. Tom’s wife’s sister was murdered by her husband in ’97 and he felt powerless to help – until he came up with the idea for the auction. This year, it’s going on  until December 1st and there’s all sorts of Yankees memorabilia for sale. Check it out:


For more on the shelter he helps support, here’s the link for it. http://www.domesticviolenceproj.org/

 Enjoy!



My 2009 Thanksgiving Saga

As always, my husband and I went down to LA for Thanksgiving at our friend Rhonda’s house. And as always, she set a beautiful table.
Thanksgiving Table.jpg
It’s hard to see in the pic I took, but this year her centerpiece was the Daytime Emmy she won for Best Show. (She produces “The Bold and the Beautiful.”) Talk about hardware. I think it weighed more than this.
world_series_trophy_2.jpg
Speaking of the Yankees, no sooner did I sit down at dinner when Mary Ann, my nemesis from last Thanksgiving, started trashing the boys in pinstripes. I had asked her if she wanted to take back what she’d said last year (“The Yankees can’t hit, pitch or run the bases”) in light of our World Series triumph.
“No,” she said. “I still hate the Yankees. They didn’t win the World Series. They bought it.”
OK, I was ready for that. I did my whole speech consisting of all the arguments I’d rehearsed, many of them suggested by readers of this blog. Nothing made a dent.
“Arte Moreno is a much better owner than the Steinbrenners,” she said.
“How many championships have the Angels won?” I asked with a straight face.
“That’s not relevant,” she said. “The Angels are a better team.”
“But the Yankees beat them,” I reminded her.
“If you spend enough money, you can beat anybody,” she replied.
At this point I wanted to leap across Rhonda’s beautiful table and strangle Mary Ann. Instead, respecting my hostess, I asked her if she wanted to take it outside.
“Sure,” she said. “Why not?”
Here’s the result. I’m not proud of what I did, but I had to stick up for my Yankees.
foodfight300.jpg
Yes, that’s me lying in a giant puddle of cranberry sauce. Mary Ann’s son Antonio is sitting in the chair joining his mother in a chant of “Yankees suck.” I wish I could show you the video of the confrontation, but I’d had a glass of champagne and it caused me to inadvertently hit the delete button after I recorded it. Luckily, Mary Ann and I made up before Rhonda took the turkey off the table and we were able to finish dinner without further incident. Except for her Yankee bashing, she’s really a very nice person. And the turkey was exceptionally tasty and perfectly carved.
turkey carved_450.jpg
As luck would have it, there was a new guest at the table this year – an actor named Robert who lives in LA but who was born and raised in New York. He turned out to be a Yankee fan, thank God, and while everybody else was cleaning up in the kitchen, we talked about our favorite team. He told one story that had everybody laughing, especially given the recent news about the White House party crashers.
party.crashers.jpg
Here’s Robert. I’m very excited about my assignment with him at the 2010 All-Star Game. You’ll understand after watching the vid. I hope everybody had a Happy Thanksgiving – or, as Robert said, a Happy Yanksgiving. 🙂

And The Yankees Lived Happily Ever After….

The Yankees’ regular season came to a close with a 10-2 drubbing of the Rays. Call me a romantic sap, but I do love happy endings. And here’s why it was a happy ending today for the Bombers.
* AJ gave up two runs (one earned) in his final tune-up.
aj.rays2.jpg
* Joba looked like the old Joba in his one inning of relief.
joba.rays2.jpeg
* Mo retired the side in order in the ninth, so he’s ready to go.
jeter.mo.rays.jpg
* Jeter had a couple of singles and Damon had a couple of doubles. Even Molina had a double and he can’t hit to save his life.
The season concluded with such a happy ending vibe that I won’t even mention how Joe Maddon walked Mark Teixeira in the sixth, loading the bases. Did Joe do it to keep Carlos Pena tied with Tex for the most home runs in the AL? Oh, wait. I wasn’t going to mention it.
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The intentional walk brought A-Rod to the plate for the second time in the sixth. He’d already hit one home run in the inning. Would he hit another? A granny? Absolutely.
a-rod.rays1.jpg
Talk about a happy ending. A-Rod missed the month of April, rehabbing from hip surgery, and then came back to the team on May 8th and lined a homer off the Orioles’ Jeremy Guthrie.
arod.o's2.jpg
His first pitch of the season = homer.
His last pitch of the season = homer.
Not only did he break an AL record with his seven RBIs in that sixth inning, but he broke a major league record by tallying 30 homers and 100 RBIs in 13 seasons. And yes, he also tied Mark McGuire with HR # 583. Happy ending.
arod_kate.jpg
(OK, who knows about the last pic. Those two could be broken up by the time I finish posting. The main thing is that the Yankees finished at 103-57 for the best record in baseball.)
Now the Yanks fly home to await the winner of Tuesday’s deciding game between the Tigers and Twins. Which team will be their opponent? Who will be the leading characters in the ALDS? How will the plot twists go? What will the cliffhangers be?
A wise person (can’t remember who) once said, “Baseball is a soap opera with box scores.” My sentiment exactly.
P.S. To celebrate the Yankees’ great season, Kevin at Zell’s Pinstripe Blog has gone through the vault and rounded up every SI cover to feature a Yankee or Yankees related theme on it. Here’s the link. If you’re a Yankee fan, it’s definitely worth a look.

My Thanksgiving Saga/Yankees Brawl

My family lives back east, so my husband and I drive down to L.A. every Thanksgiving and celebrate at the home of our friend Rhonda Friedman. Rhonda not only takes in strays like us but prepares a fabulous meal and sets a very elegant, tasteful table – flowers, crystal, candles, the works.

thanksgiving_Formal_Table-Setting_w609.jpg
Rhonda is the supervising producer of the soap opera daytime drama, “The Bold and the Beautiful.” She is frequently seen walking the red carpet at Emmy Awards and such.
rhonda.jpg
Rhonda always presides over a really nice group of people, but occasionally, as on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” there is drama.
This year, along with her family members, we were joined by her friend Jennifer Farrell, who until recently hosted the TV show “Find & Design,” which was like “Extreme Home Makeover” without the “Extreme.”
jenniferfindndesign.jpg
Jennifer’s boyfriend Mike was there too. He produces/directs a reality series called “My Big Redneck Wedding” on Country Music TV. I had never heard of it, so I made him say the name of it about six times. Apparently, it is hosted by this man.
Tom-Arnold.jpg
Also in attendance was Rhonda’s friend Mary Ann, the ex-wife of actor John Saxon. Does anyone remember him from the movies or the zillion TV series he was on?
JohnSaxonFantasyIsland.jpg
So there I was, sipping champagne, eating turkey and minding my own business, when Jennifer’s mom, who was visiting from Florida, said very animatedly, “Jane’s got a book coming out about how she loves the Yankees! I went to my Books-a-Million in Gainesville to buy it, but they don’t have it in stock yet!”
I smiled, eternally grateful that I would have at least one sale, and said, “It doesn’t come out until February 3rd. Maybe you could go back to the store then.”
I resumed eating, this time diving into the stuffing.
“The Yankees are losers,” said somebody down at the other end of the table. It might have been Rob, Rhonda’s brother. Their family is from Chicago and they’re Cubs fans. Or it might have been Mike, Jennifer’s boyfriend, who also roots for the Cubs.
“They had a down year, yes,” I admitted, feeling my blood pressure spike.
“A down year?” said Antonio, the dashingly handsome son of Mary Ann and John Saxon. “They sucked.”
I laughed. Well, it was Thanksgiving. You’re supposed to laugh and be jolly and forgiving.
“Yeah,” Mary Ann chimed in. “What do you think went wrong with them, Jane? Besides the pitching and hitting and fielding.”
O.K. That was downright sarcastic! Never mind that she and her son are Dodgers fans. No excuse for picking on my team during a lovely holiday meal.
I set down my fork and eyed her. “We had a new manager,” I said. “And there were injuries. A lot of injuries.”
“Plus, they sucked,” said Antonio.
Everybody at the table laughed. LAUGHED. Including my husband, a Yankee fan, or so I thought. Would no one but me defend the Pinstriped Ones? 
“We’ll bounce back and be very competitive next season,” I said, my heart thumping now. I was trying to keep it civil. I was.
Antonio smirked. “How? You can’t even sign Sabathia.”
Uh-oh. I gripped my champagne glass tightly and said through clenched teeth, “Then we’ll sign one of the other free agents. Lowe, maybe.”
“Lowe?” he said mockingly. “You can have him. He’s garbage.”
“Face it, Jane. The Yankees aren’t what they used to be,” said Mary Ann.
That did it. How dare she? How dare any of them?
I should have attempted to calm myself, done some deep breathing, shoved more food in my mouth. Instead – I’m so embarrassed to tell you this – I threw my champagne at Mary Ann. In turn, she grabbed a handful of candied yams and threw them at me.
foodfight.jpg
In the blink of an eye, she and I were really going at it.
foodfightbig.jpg
Needless to say, Rhonda’s beautiful table was ruined. My apologies to her. I can only hope and pray she’ll overlook my boorishness and invite me back next year.
In the meantime, I’ve sent her this video just to show her how bad things could have gotten.