Dinner and a movie.

We love James Franco, my friend Gregory and I.  He attended our high school — Palo Alto High — and RISD for grad school. He’s a fascinating actor… and after we saw his art exhibit by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Gregory and I made plans to rent a James Dean classic and see how James…

In & Out Burgers, al fresco.

Sometimes the most genius idea is the simplest.  In & Out Burgers, brought in fresh straight from the fryer.   Outside on a summer day. Margaritas.  Chuck & Ava know how to do it. Please Share

Sometimes the note back makes it all worthwhile.

Did I mention one of the benefits of writing a “thank you” is sometimes I get a note back? After I praised Donna for nobly pulling together a last-minute family luncheon for her beautiful daughter Rachel during the busy Christmas season, she wrote me how much she appreciated my praise.  That made me feel great… although when I…

Hooking up alumni on both coasts…

As a Rhode Island School of Design Trustee (and parent of my daughter Jamie, RISD Painting ’11), I’m always on the lookout to connect RISD alumni.  Marissa is a talented painter in Los Angeles. I told a well-known artist (also from the school) about how she admires his work… then completed the cycle by letting her know….

‘Basheret’ brisket.

I ran a Seder once.  Halfway into the first day of prep I was already exhausted. As a converted Jew, I struggle with the prayers and can barely make a brisket. I appreciate my friend Darlene’s prowess with butchery… and since I don’t have my own Jewish traditions, I appreciate being adopted into her family…

Tiny tea cups and the school’s President.

When the President of Rhode Island School of Design broke into his day to personally pour porcelain cups of freshly-brewed tea for Vin and me, when I got back to California, I spotted some tiny sushi magnets and a cunning teeny-tiny teapot and cups — in a Japanese import store and promptly sent them to him…

Martha Stewart, watch out!

Karen K. baked lemon squares, fluffed the pillows, and Mark and Karen’s mid-century modern home was picture-perfect when we arrived. Her extra work was even more unexpected — since she had psych finals to get her master’s the next day. The fact of the pink sunset in Ojai only added to the scene. Please Share

I love that guy.

I’ve known John W. for almost 30 years, since we began our careers in television.  He was a publicist who pushed stories about celebrities. I was a segment producer who needed content.  Together we made the network and the studio happy, and John’s career took off.  Now his title is longer than one line and…

Wine country, no whining.

E.C. is a gourmet chef, an Associate Director, and was at a fundraising event when my husband bid on a day in the Wine Country. He won — quickest paddle in the room — and invited everyone at the table to join him in a day of tasting.  E.C., with her meticulous ability to “count…