On a trip in the US, Saturday night was a birthday bottler!
Amy Schumer featured in a DVD. I laughed so much I thought I might lose the cooked fresh lobster, the grade 1 steak, the excellent French champagne, the white string mushrooms poached in ponzo and lemon, the creamy mashed potato and the asparagus a neighbour cooked for us.
What I like about Amy is that she breaks boundaries. She says things we all know about but usually avoid because of some misguided idea about what is ladylike, and she makes fun of what is secret.
Remind me if I am brave enough to tell you what she said about Michelle Obama (you've probably seen the DVD?).
I think the other grandma and I added another layer to everyone's else's experience.
Watching us respond to everything they may have thought we didn't understand, or at least had never EVER known, seemed to surprise and delight them. Maybe it was worry? I had tears running down my face, and both of us grannies were rolling off the supersized couch with our legs in the air.
It was a fun night in the valley. The valley for anyone who has not visited, is a long stretch of flat land behind the LA that you've seen on TV, on which the remains of orange trees grow.
It is a very suburban area, with gated communities at the top of the social pole.
The hills, at a distance, look like rough raised desert stretching for miles in each direction. They are bisected by incredible canyons that take you to LA proper. They also hold in the heat, which I think is unendurable in summer.
The flat land is crossed from left to right (or right to left) by huge overhead freeways that shoot people off into suburbs. These are the ones that come down in earthquakes. Needless to say, it often looks beautiful as night falls. The view at the end of each flat street is of the dusty mountains glinting in the sun, palm trees and twinkly lights. Gorgeous, really.
We are located in a old 1960s suburban area with half-acre blocks, low flimsy looking ranch-style houses some with ancient Greek or Hacienda references. Three cars in each driveway, and amazing gardens looked after by Latinos who also wash cars, fix roofs, clean pools and trim hedges. Their wives clean and mind other people's children while the resident women have their weekly manicure and pedis, yoga, morning teas and school runs. I'm not saying I approve.
My daughter spends most of the day in the car as chauffeur, because children here apparently have no legs. There's no public transport and all the sporting venues and schools are far away and the demands to attend frequent training and sport meetings are HUGE. Just so you know if you have read this far, I have now had sea bass twice. If anyone knows of a source or different name in Melbourne, please let me know.
ON A DIFFERENT NOTE
Like many others, I have strong views about who should lead our country.
My (and our) views mean little though when cutting immigration is used to suggest that it's the cause of city congestion, when financial handouts occur to help the strugglers (who used to be called the workers) with childcare costs, and when there is inequality in our education system. We are talking about minuscule but important issues compared to climate change, as an example.
Clearly, individuals are affected by small changes, however grudgingly things improve for them, and business looks to government to honour its superior position. But to whoever thinks our political system is in real disarray could think again.
Two males are squabbling about power, trying to raise fear and, tragically, all they are doing is what leadership has always done in Australia. Which is to sit on a seesaw that barely moves.
So we have safety, predictability and righteousness instead of pride, generosity and bipartisan responsibility. It's not an inspirational position.