Fashion Friday: Cotillion Couture

Here are photos from my cousin’s 18th birthday cotillion / debutante ball last weekend. It was hella loud which means I am getting so old.

Here’s the beautiful birthday girl.


Here’s a pic of me in my new Zara Kids fur coat that was on sale for $25.99.


This is a picture of me and my sister, and 2 of my cousins who are sisters. My older sister Therese posted this on Facebook and asked people to guess which one of us is her sister. Hard to tell, huh? We’re like quadruplets. I think I look like my cousin Alane with the white dress. My sister Therese in blue looks like my cousin Candace in the black dress on the right.


Whoah, this is just part of the family.


Me and my handsome hubby Dean


Happy 80th Birthday Marty

Friend: Any plans for the weekend?

Me: I’m going to an 80-year-old birthday party.

Friend: You have an 80-year-old friend?!

Me: Yeah, he’s my friend from Burning Man.

I had the privilege of attending a glorious 80th birthday party today that not only celebrated the birthday boy Marty, but also emphasized family. Marty has 4 families: his immediate family, his Chinese family, his tennis family, and his Burning Man family.

Marty’s 4 successful kids organized the event at Cafe Arrivederci in San Rafael. The weather couldn’t have been better. We were there until the end, soaking up the Marin sunshine. I don’t know a lot about Marty’s history, so it was particularly endearing seeing pictures of him through the years, including black and white shots of a young, grinning Marty during his Bar Mitzvah. Marty was an only child which, to me, totally explains why he wanted to have a big family.

Guests had a chance to say a few words at the mic and one friend described the first time he met Marty. Marty, who was supporting his daughter at an LGBT parade, was stuck in the back, hauling water and ice for the rest of the crew. It was obvious how proud Marty is of all his children and grandchildren.

A Chinese woman spoke about how special Marty is that 25 years later, she’s going to her boss’s birthday party. Her family has become his family which he says is his Chinese family.

The tennis family was the most touching. A bunch of guys have been playing tennis together regularly for 40 years! They talked about how Marty is the one who organizes the matches and even when he was in the hospital undergoing triple-bypass, he was on his computer making sure the guys were still playing. Dick Cheney, I swear to God, is part of the tennis family. Once the pictures come out, I’ll have to post them. Dead ringer for Dick Cheney.

Lastly, there’s his Burning Man family. That’s me! I’ve gotten a lot of slack for going to Burning Man for 10 years in a row. The questions being, ‘Aren’t you over it?’ ‘Aren’t those days of partying over?’ ‘You’re going to Burning Man again?’ It’s not about the partying. It’s not about the music. It’s not even about the art. It’s always been, for me, the annual reconnection to my family. It’s those ties that have sustained me for this long. I am taking a break from going to the event this year, but the thoughts are churning around a simultaneous week long vacation with my Burner friends in Mexico instead of the playa.

It was such a beautiful celebration that people were saying they wanted to have an 80-year-old party just like that. Well, I want to have a 40-year-old party just like that! Why wait? Marty joked that the party was like being at his wake, except that he’s around to enjoy it.

75th Birthday

75 years old, now that is a major accomplishment. What’s even better? Looking good! You tell me if my uncle looks like he’s 3/4 of a century old.

Front and center is the birthday boy holding his granddaughter. He’s my mom’s brother and his wife (also radiant at 75) is to his left. The couple in the front on the left is my mom’s sister and brother in law. The couple in the front row on the right are my parents. The person to my mom’s left is her sister.

More family standing.

And for those of you who doubt the sheer magnitude of my ancestral ties, here’s even more family! See if you can spot the set of natural twins.

I Love So Many Things

During the homily, the priest talked about some of the things my uncle loved. A few of the things caught me by surprise and it made me wonder if people know what I love.


Books and libraries, fiction

Looking at great art, going to museums

Getting mail—the good kind, not bills or credit card promotions

My mom’s cooking. She cooks with a lot of fresh vegetables. Her food is healthy and good for you. But I especially love her lumpia. It’s the BEST. During the holidays, I could eat one after another, with big scoops of my aunt’s spinach dip. Amazing!

Oysters, foie gras, french fries, ice-cream cake, milk chocolate

Travelling, exploring, hiking

The Bay Area, NYC, Burning Man, Palm Springs

When others do the cooking

Pink flowers of all kinds—roses, carnations, whatever

Restaurants, wine tasting, happy hour, brunch

Steam rooms


My amazing family and friends

What do you love? Do people know?