We survived the Survivor party. You haven't seen postings in a bit because a) um, there was a party going on and it needed my full attention, b) I posted the Quinn Cummings interview and folks seemed quite interested in reading that so I left that as the "lead story" for a couple o' days, and c) I had house guests and limited energy!
But here, in no particular order, are some of the Survivor party highlights:
1) it was 106 degrees and people were melting. I was astounded at the number of people who showed up nonetheless, and many even came out from the air conditioned house to enjoy Michelle's spectacular yard. In the first photo is STACEY ALDSTADT, LAUREEN PITTMAN and RORYANN CLEMENTS, aka part of the world's greatest party planning committee. They had been working for 2 days straight by the time this photo was taken. (Oh, and Rory refused to be considered "staff" so she didn't wear her "Survivor" t-shirt; she's all management, all the time).
2) The travelers (photo #2) were author LORI LACEFIELD (Denver, Co; buy her book The Seventh Survivor!!), MICHAEL WAKEFIELD (Portland, OR), and JANE GIDEON (who drove down from foggy, cool San Francisco and withered in the heat but never stopped smiling)
3)We managed to avoid it for 5 years, 1 month, 1 week and a few hours...but eventually, Chris's parents met my parents (or a sub-set of "parents" anyway--my father and his beautiful wife Nancy). There are no photos of this monumental occasion as Chris and I both stood rooted to the ground unable to move in fear that there would soon be a breach in the time/space continuum. There wasn't.
4) Many friends from my many years on this planet showed up and melted with me. Photo 4 is from left to right, my dad JIM MCELHANNON (please don't mention that his shirt is hot pink; I gave him the shirt for Father's Day and told him to wear it to the party. He's color blind. He may think he was in a very sophisticated navy blue.) TOM DEGREZIA (dine at Pizzaioli and buy all your wine from Napacabs.com because they're good people and it's good food and wine!!), RICH GOLD and GARY BERG (Gary has been my friend for longer than BRIEN CLEMENTS--the awesome chef of Omakase--has been alive; but we tried not to discuss that fact!)
5) Beautiful young girls who I've known since they were born showed up and smiled when all of us old people gasped at how much they'd grown (that's MIMI DEGREZIA and LOREN DEGREZIA--my goddaughter, god help her!)
6) Not to be outdone by the group that broke through the Orange County curtain to appear in Riverside, there was an L.A. contingent making a strong showing. In the left photo: DAVE and JUDY DEL BOURGO (buy his book Prague Spring now!!), the good and great DR. AMER KARAM (yes, he is old enough to be a surgeon and apparently pretty outrageously tattooed; I'm still wondering how all the ladies at the party knew this!); and EILEEN AUSTEN (a fellow breast cancer survivor!). The photo to the right-ish is ASHLEY SMITH (who ran the LA marathon recently. Seriously!!) and COURTNEY KERN (Chris's sister, who nicely covers the Orange/ LA divide by being raised in the OC but living in LA currently).
7) And then there were my nieces, ELISHA on the left and NATASHA on the right, who were perfectly willing to accept pink cupcakes (with, ahem, Good 'n' Plenty centers that made them look suspiciously like boobies...in the cold. Thanks, RORYANN CLEMENTS!!), but did wonder where the pinata was, thus making us realize we had overlooked one awesome Survivor party opportunity: The Boobie Pinata. But, really, haven't the girls been through enough?
(Special programming note:there was indeed a significant Riverside contingent; and yes, JACK CLARKE appeared and closed the party down again. Those photos will have to come later as others were acting as photographer and I am anxiously awaiting the results. As is Jack, I'm sure. Let's just say the "hair-off" was a close call, but there was a clear cut cleavage winner. Enough said.)