Archive for August, 2013

Is it already Saturday?  I suppose working around the clock, literally, without break (except for champagne of course!) or fail causes its share of confusion.  Or do you think it’s the champagne that causes confusion?!  Gasp!!!  No, def not the champagne.  It’s the clients.  I’ll blame the clients.

What a full on few weeks it has been.  I think I hit mental capacity.  This libertine lifestyle is the most amazing thing to witness but it’s a bit tough being the creator, writer, marketer, editor, contracts, PR, admin and executor.  Hey why don’t we throw a bunch of travel, sites, industry shows, a wedding and potential NYC carriage horse protest in there for fun!?  I can’t help but think, too, about how many people, in all different capacities I’ve had to touch in such a short period of time. My life truly has turned ‘global’.  For me!!!  I realize to some of my bestest friends and savvy bankers this pace is all old hat, and I thrive on it too.  I am off fucking about in Dubai, rebranding my company, in Vegas ‘puttin’ on the ritz’, with Ashlee in NYC and am just now trying to chill myself down until the next wave of crazy surfaces… um, that would be next week.  Who do I think I am!?  Unlike the VP, I do not think I am Zeus, nor Poseidon!  At least I ran five miles today.  Sigh… I ran 4.92 miles okay, not a FULL five.  😉

I’m disappointed to have the first moment whatsoever to tune back into the world, after weeks, and turn on BBC filled with news of America on the verge of another attack.  I am very excited to be heading out of the US next week, and soak up the insight from a whole different part of the world while America jams its congress bullshit down the throat of the people who don’t have the luxury to know what an outside insight even is.  I digress.

A client call interrupts my train of thought.  Phew!  The tele goes off and music takes over.  Foster The People !!!

I feel reluctant to complain, as I am merely towing the fine line between being a whinger and a braggadocio.  When I started 2013 off, I simply had a conversation about a new logo, and booked myself a trip to China.  Honest!  But as the year goes by, every spare day on the calendar populates with more events, over and back and around all different time zones… waaahhhhh… this is hard!!!  Okay, so maybe I am a bit of a whiner.   😉  I will be home for three days from China, before my girl from Santa Barbara comes to stay.  Well Ashlee just left 🙂 but my high school girl will be in the UES.  And we know the name of that tune.  Lots of late, fun nights at JG Melon.  Beware of the ‘Mind Bender’.  The city will be alive and vibrant after Labor Day, all my clients will be back in full force and hopefully America will not be involved in a war with Syria.  I’m sure clients will be in the city that week, wanting to meet my little bundle of Virgo positivity for drinks.  I’m not clear on the details of exactly how I talked my way onto the next gig, but I think it was my trying to put some positivity of my own onto the previously pointless side-trip to Frankfurt in March.  The gig will be amazing, Rocco Forte and CEO dinner at the Museum where I had lunch… perfection.  Prior to that, I have China followed by a houseguest in NYC.  Straight from those events, without break I now have to pack for the following: London, Frankfurt, London, Santa Barbara for the gay wedding of the century, to Riviera Nayarit south of Cancun for a FULL on 4-day conference that I fought to get myself invited to.  When will I run and spin!?  I can’t breathe without it anymore.  Plus I’ve got just 15 days at home to explore the new flirt with the cute Tall Jew, before Ashlee is back!  We’re on another event, and then fly home together for a pop over in San Fran just for Kelly, then down south for Grandma’s 95th!  Mind you, I’ve still got to sort out my pitches with the rebrand, web, legal, social media, banking, etc.  It’s so full on.  This schedule rivals last year’s NYC event, Cannes, Amsterdam, London, Amsterdam, Berkeley for a wedding before getting back home.  That one was 15 or 16 days away and if you remember, ended with yet another duck-taped Tumi.  This next one is only 13 days and will be in phenom weather I am sure.  Touch wood!  🙂  If anyone can bolster my insecurity, it will be Tina.  But if our night out in Vegas a couple weeks ago is a prevision of any kind, I envizage us having quite the good time.  We must re-enact the infamous photo!

I can no longer imagine life without Ashlee, she worked her tail off for us in Vegas, New York, Santa Barbara, LA, you name it!  I gave her two days off next week.  :/  sniffle… sniffle.  My life is my crazy and has been for some time now.  But I often think (when I have time to actually think) back to what it was like to be introduced to my kind of crazy.  Oh my gosh: travel, time zones, parties, meetings, schmoozing, politics, image, social fucking media and oh, let’s not forget THE business!  The decision to hire Ashlee for London last December, was one of the best things I’ve ever done.  And even the bumpkin gets cred for planting the seed in my head to hire her permanently.  Or as permanently as I can  😦  sniffle… sniffle.  And WTF the bumpkin just text me: “no happy birthday.  tut tut.  x”.  What is with these Brits?  WTF does tut tut even mean?  I’ll take it as tsk tsk and not reply… again, let’s see how long before I get another random message.

Off to get new contracts sorted and sent now that end-of-month is over.   It’s never dull in my world.  However, if anyone can pull it off, it’s me.  Just need a massage, a Red Bull, a jog through the park and my village.  And maybe to spend a little more time at Hooters in NYC.  😉  Ha.  Ha ha.

Circa 1992, the picture that must be retaken!!!

Circa 1992, the picture that must be retaken!!!

I survived Virtuoso’s Travel Week

Posted: August 18, 2013 in Travels
Ashlee, two hours after she left for airport, and her flight canceled!

Ashlee, two hours after she left for airport, and her flight canceled!

This year, I was prepared.  This is just my second time at this conference, and the networking that takes place at Virtuoso’s Travel Week is truly remarkable.  But I’ve been totally bed-ridden all weekend as a result!!!  I can barely move from my bed, with my thighs so Louboutin-sore, it’s not even funny.

Typically, I’d have ‘written home’ from the plane on Friday.  But instead I sat next to a very interesting and intellectual Greek by-way-of Jersey man the whole flight home.  With what Greek male exposure I’ve had thus far, I’d say they’ve all been good, sincere people… so we shall see if tomorrow night’s plan holds up!  We spent the entire flight home realising freakish similarities, truly admiring one another’s philosophies and, um… his firm should probably become Envizage’s first new client under the exciting new rebrand.  On a personal level, I’ll have to choke on the Jersey element a little bit, but he claims to have an apartment on the upper east side as well, so that redeemed him a bit.  😉  Ugh, the west side could have been a deal-breaker.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t turn into an ‘FT2’ one day.  (AJ you might be able to read between those lines)  Stay tuned!

Back to last week in Vegas… oh gosh we started the week with a bang!  What fun!  It was Sunday, and relatively calm so cocktails and catch up and hilarity was def on the menu for Tina, E and me!  There are so many funny moments from our short time, I can barely remember them!  All I know is that I had $200, we had an unbelievable time, and woke up with exactly what I started with.  So much random in between.  A random $20 throw down somewhere on the roulette table between the 29, 32 and some other bizarre liz numbers (17, 23, 9, etc), turned into a 7-second later $105.  We were on fire.  It was really fun.  I was with the best little posse, all just down to earth people, not gamble-obsessed and FILLED with positivity and laughter.  Then they left and the reality of the conference set in.  :/  And who’s idea was it for Red Bull Total at 3:00am!?

Monday I exercised hard and relaxed as best I could, got work as sorted as best I could.  Tuesday, Ashlee arrived and the shenanigans of my agency’s appreciation party commenced.  These lovely people have known me since I was age 19.  Come on don’t you all remember Flanagan!?  Yeah well… it was in those days!  I feel very fortunate to have the extreme support and feel truly loved by my agency’s leaders.  After their appreciation party, there were several supplier cocktail parties that it is only in good form to show up for.  I fell at one of them.  But I am totally blaming that little marble edge, as that was nombres soiree une.  Apparently there was some late night room service involved, and lots of potato wedges consumed.  Despite all our debauchery, the next day, Siegel woman and I, along with a dear SB travel friend… well, we rocked our 86 meetings of the day!  I have to imagine that Ashlee’s head was spinning a little, but she did excellently!

For the sake of not making this too hilarious and long (or divulging), we had another epic night, hosted by ARIA.  Then Thursday was the last day of the conference, the big end to my second Virtuoso Travel Week.  If you remember, I had been chanting regularly for karma to remember me and have all my elephants facing my doors lately.  But, whilst at this conference, my new beloved website domain has somehow become malware.  Or suspicious.  Or something I clearly don’t understand.  I hate technology more than anything.  Ashlee wasn’t flying home until 8:00pm and worked from my room, getting Envizage Travel l Events l Concierge dialed in on Facebook and Instragram.  Serendipity hit me, as I spotted the key guy for future very important industry shows; i.e., Cannes every December.  Not sure he was so keen on my aggressive out-of-left-field pitch but at least there was Vueve to make up for it, right?  😉  Then we sent Ash on her way to airport, as I got ready for the 25th year celebratory gala.  While at the gala, Ashlee texts (as she’s updating Envizage’s social media – way to multi-task girl!) that her flight has been cancelled.  She’s been told she’ll be given a voucher for hotel and to go wait in the line.  Well, my COO and I would have none of that!  The COO had a two-bedder suite with its own bathroom, and I could change her flight from my iPhone 5.  🙂  No brainer: get back to the hotel, someone will meet you with my badge, room key and get ready, come down to ballroom in time for dessert and awards!  We were heroic.

Thursday night was random in several ways, but all I know is that my COO and I know how to have fun.  Two hot chicks capable of ruling the world, come on now… Berlin will be unreal next year.  😉  We were on the dance floor, watching all these reps I’ve come to know over the years, just getting their groove on ALL NIGHT LONG.  So much fun.  Then, after a brief and unnecessary virtual argument with the VP (WTF!?), breakfast with Armani Boy, and a sunglass-necessary walk through the lobby to check out… I arrived the lounge and got my work that had accumulated for the week done.

Then I met the Greek by-way-of-Jersey.  I wonder, are we really having dinner tomorrow night?  Our rufier flight attendant would be so disappointed if we didn’t!  He lectured me on the importance of chemistry and how most people don’t focus enough on it.  Ha… sound like me at all?  Besides, I think he should want the credence of being Envizage’s first elite client, and well… we must talk swag bag and music for the highly anticipated 40th!  Ha yes, already!  Plus… I really think he needs a nickname.

Such a productive weekend, even if it did take place from the bedroom.  Chinese visa complete, bills paid, Envizage’s photos updated, inner-China air booked, new business license forms done, future conference registrations complete, Grandma’s 95th birthday invitations ordered, Le Steak’s chocolate delivered, house-cleaner on the books this week, potential date tomorrow night, dinner and chaos scheduled pre-Ashlee arrival on Wednesday.  Damn… I am good in bed!  😉


My Lady Gaga moment?


Welcome to the American desert

What an absolute delight, to have an early, prepared-for and drama-free introduction to Virtuoso Travel Week, in my oh-so-favorite Las Vegas.  😉  En route from New York, the crass and rather hefty passenger-mates ensure that yes indeed, it is Vegas I am headed to.  Quite hard to choke on after watching one of the most amazing international films… ever.  Anton, your mind and taste are truly beautiful and brilliant.  I suppose I should have realized that at the ‘Oppan Gangnam Style’ moment we shared last year. 😉

This week is going to be chalk full of chaos, contacts and who knows what else!  Tonight alone carries with it several fabulous commitments with people I love and communicate with regularly, but don’t get to see so often.  😆  I’m super excited!  Me excited for Vegas, which I know is quite a stretch… but it’s been a full year.  I’m locked and loaded this time around. Watch out Vegas!

Earlier this week I was helping a client get to Beijing, from London… last minute of course.  Sorting through logistics of the new 72-hour chinese transit visa logistics for travel within 24 hours, quite honestly IS my idea of fun.  My life is typically random and last minute… and I just love it so much.  I never know what the next moment is going to uncover.  With this particular Brit client, as is so often the case, we tend to randomly share film recommendations and he has never steered me wrong.  It’s so strange.  I’ve barely spent much time with him in person, but we clearly share the same artistic taste! I’ve even been told he slams a red bull before pitches, just like I do before my daily exercise… I hope it’s at least a sugar free one! His latest recommendation for me, during our Beijing logistics coordination was a French film called ‘Intouchables’.  I downloaded it last night knowing full well United would not have WiFi on my flight.  And oh how I love the French.  Watch the film and you’ll know what my subject line means.  And your heart should dance with levity and laughter. I’m definitely moved. Can’t wait to watch it again without the subtitles!!! The lead character’s relation to music is so familiar to me, recently. Spinning and it’s relation to music has officially change my life, not to mention: the circumference of my thighs.

Last night at home was a bit fun.  Packing carefully, dodging wine invites from the recently resurfaced ‘boy who lives beneath me’, getting the final details on grandma’s 95th nailed, and growing more excited with the various texts from all the Saturday night Vegas arrivals which ensued, from all over the globe.  Plus I’ve got a special bonus from my very own Santa Barbara!  Can’t wait to finally meet E tonight!

In usual Liz-fashion, I’m strumming up a bit of a hurricane… already! But it just comes effortlessly. I love people, especially their differences, and I adore being in such an aware state of mind I gravitate toward those of a similar ilk, yet can still tolerate the others. Will be fun to see Hope! 🙂 I work alone from my apartment… and quite a few of the relationships I’ve focused on this last year make me feel like a whole newly enlightened person. For the girl with enough infectious energy to buzz the room up all night long (until I hit a wall and must be scooted by my armpits), this is quite the statement!

So round two of speed-dating for luxury travel awaits… in one of my least favorite cities in the world.  For those of you with upcoming travel, please know the time spent this week with travel suppliers has proven itself to be ridiculously beneficial for all of you.  Hence, upon the City of Sin I descend once again.  If you’ve got anyone or a place you’re heading to soon, now’s an ideal time to let me know!

If this fat, white haired Sodoku man in seat 1B does not stop hacking and coughing openly, I’m going to scream. Now he’s positioned himself (as he rubs his massive buddha belly) so his phlegm might be directed toward me. Nice. At least he’s not ‘sandel-guy’. There’s nothing I despise more than open toe shoes or flips, on an airplane. And while I’m at it: why do so some men feel like its appropriate to frequently adjust their penises out in the open? Note to men: It does not go unnoticed and is freaking gross. Please stop.

I am feeling in tip-top shape to see the Armani Boy, my beloved SB girl, then polish it off with a one-hour-limit casino sesh with someone I can just be myself with, so easily.  Leave the marketing schtick for tomorrow.  I hope I can collect a little posse!  Don’t worry, if there’s one thing I know, it’s how to make a table fun… or how to move on to one that I can!  My Raytheon BFF’s passionate coaching will never be forgotten.  Besides, it’s all about the intuition.  We either got it or we don’t!


PS: I miss ‘my person’ already and hope your entry to Dakota went well.  Still a little ambivalent but I’ll def see you in Fargo.

PPS: I miss you Jetsetter, and thought I’d sealed the deal on your participation!  See you in December, my lovely.

Oh!!! PPPS: Baby-stepping it to the book and would love for you to follow this on A fabulous designer is twirking it soon but the content is now finally up-to-date.  More excitement for Envizage’s Liz (now say that 5 times fast!).

“Envizage’s Liz, Envizage’s Liz, Envizage… oh fuck it…”.

Burj Khalifa from Sheikh Rayed Road (I think)

Burj Khalifa from Sheikh Rayed Road (I think)

Goodbye Dubai!  I’m en route home and I’m not quite certain how I feel about it.  What a week!

I’ve lived through a few shockers and various emotions while in the UAE, in one short week.  People surprise me.  Just when I think I’ve got ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ is) all figured out, the curve balls start flying… and I still don’t have the reflexes to duck quickly enough!  🙂

Travel.  Perspective.  Friends.  Realism.  Love.  Acceptance.  Maturity.  Generosity.  Risk.

If I weren’t an actionary person, I don’t believe any of the above words would apply to what makes me Liz.  It might have been a few rough months – and took AJ and the ex-boyfriend to bolster my spirits and psychoanalyze me a bit, but I don’t seem to wander too far off the course these days.  I’m never quite sure who to thank properly and how to express myself well.  It’s just this wild and exciting journey, of which I am always open to, that keeps me going.  I’ll never forget ‘keep on keeping on’ from Will’s funeral.

I was reminded today (and for some reason it makes me tear up to write) about humanity in its most vulnerable form… here in Dubai amidst so much fake.  Bezu, the lifeguard at Vida Downtown really did bless me.  I had a crazily-insightful village of people help me through an intense week on several levels.  I definitely used the late mornings to my advantage while NY still slept.  And I swam a lot.  Practically every day.  It is Ramadan… no one is at the hotel pools.  And, it’s 109 degrees outside.  I don’t know… this Pisces fish needed to be in the water, and reflect.  Anyway, Bezu was so genuinely kind.  Like a kindness I hadn’t seen or felt in a really, really long time.  He’s in Dubai, on a ‘work plan’ from Ethiopia.  He sends most of his earnings to his mum and sisters back home.  He asked about my religion and I told him that I don’t believe.  I’ll admit that his infectious smile as he said “really!?” and “I’m going to pray for you” without even an ounce of judgment, question or further persecution why… it struck me.  He knew I was leaving the next night late, and said he’d be back to work (from his work-related bus from apartment or dorm-like suburb) at noon the next day.  Today I swam on and off for hours, but was thankfully still there when Bezu came back to work.  He had that lit up smile instantly when he saw me- the only blonde out at the pool in a bikini during Ramadan, but it wasn’t like that.  He had a gift for me!  He gave me a wristband, with the original flag of Ethiopia, which, apparently is controversial.  But it’s where his family’s loyalty stands.  For once, I have no words to describe how having that connection felt.  x

Much like the gang from ‘It’s Always Sunny’ would, I had a ‘plan’ for this trip.  And boy oh boy, it did not go as expected.  But that’s the bit I love about my life most.  It’s certainly not the easiest path, and to quote my heart and soul: “It takes a village”.  And to quote myself earlier tonight during my second unexpected call with the VP: “I am who I am [literal and exacting], you can either accept it, or just stop calling me.”  Sounds harsh maybe, but I don’t think he ‘gets’ me so easily.  And obviously I am sometimes not so easy.  😀  That’s why I need people who ‘get me’.  In our defense: constant time zone craziness x2 doesn’t help.

What an amazing feeling.  It took a village, but I finally got myself back.  And sure, maybe people cringe when they see my call come through during these times.  But if we don’t take risks, don’t love our friends and value their perspectives, isn’t that just a bit robotic?

Clearly, I’m emotional on-a-plane Liz right now.  And no I’m not drunk!  I had one vodka in the lounge and then was asleep on the tarmac.  I slept seven hours straight on a plane.  It was a long and enlightening week!  In so many ways.  I completely respect the differences in people, and what works for me may not be the right recipe for anyone else… but if I’ve learned anything at all these past few years, it’s the following:

1. Those who never make mistakes, typically don’t achieve much.  Taking risks is imperative.

2. The best way out is always through.

3. Karma and the bigger picture are ever-present.

4. I genuinely love my friends.

5. Life is too short to be too hard on oneself.

My week in Dubai and Abu Dhabi closed in a way I would have never imagined.  But it is so fabulous.  I’m so proud of myself and so grateful for everything the incredible people in my life have contributed to my goal.  I’ve been pushing the date out, but on Monday, I launch the new kick-ass rebrand of my company!!!  I am not perfect.  I am not as organized as I’d like to be.  But I am definitely driven.  Trust that the book dedications will likely be longer than the book itself.  x… wait a minute: ooo.  I am still always confused the x is a kiss and the o- a hug?  I had it the other way around for about 31 years, as F Tom pointed out.

On my way to the airport, something magical-like happened, after my spiritual emotionally-charged days.  Clarity at last!

Traveling these distances can be trying, as I have to manage meetings locally and then run the business at night, not to mention my clients are all over the globe anyway.  One called me at 4:00am Dubai time last night, he was en route from Seattle to Delhi and had some stupid United issues.  All I really did was take the call and empathize.  Then tonight at dinner (about 11:00am NYC time), I got a random call from someone that client was sitting next to on the plane today, he was told that I am the absolute best in the biz (in several ways) and he’d like for me to consider taking on his boutique firm’s travel!

As for me and the VP… I think I’ve just collected another ‘friend-for-life’.  Who saw that coming!!?  He sealed the deal on Wednesday, when he texted me “xxxx”.  I texted him back: “the number four, or anything in fours means death in China”.  To which he replied: “xxx”.  Acceptance, there you have it.  I think he we ‘get’ each other finally!  Happy girl.

So… here’s to my village: you guys are freaking amazing and I couldn’t succeed or survive without your truly awesome perspectives and support.

Next stop: Virtuoso in Vegas, which is far more exciting now that I’ve decided to (hopefully) pass some of this experience and exposure on to Ashlee.  No one deserves it more, having to put up with my chaotic style.  The girl has a mind of her own though and takes smart risks.  Watch out Vegas… here comes Envizage!

Love to all.

Oh yeah and the picture is of Burj Khalifa, the ‘world’s tallest building’, just outside the ‘world’s biggest mall’ and ‘world’s largest fountain’.  Whatever.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque


Karma.  Karma?  O karma, where art thou!?  I’m banking on tonight’s full moon to reset the crazy.  We all know I’m a bit OCD, a weird ‘numbers’ person, and have a massive belief that doing good will bring good.  I delivered generous good deeds to several last week.  Things have been fabulous ever since I pulled my head out of dreamland.  I’ve been busier than ever the last few + weeks (months) yet somehow Wednesday evening, things started to go awry.  My IT went down the night I was meant to pack and then trying to get to Dubai the next day was hugely intense and expensive.  Stupid United.  Rock star that I am though, I heroically got myself to the UAE.  Truly heroic.


Mrs Jetsetter picked me up from the airport Friday.  Leading up to our long-anticipated trip, she was very sweet and had a full on list of activities for us to indulge in!  Nails, restaurants, spa, and Louboutin shopping, oh my!  Was so nice to relax a bit and just be.  So grateful to feel so pampered!  We had ourselves a bit of a well-deserved girlfriends’ weekend, Ramadan or not!  Two blondies jetsetting about in her convertible ‘hottie car’.  😉  We did hammam yesterday, far later than originally scheduled due to a bit of Vueve poisoning from the night before.  Which actually worked out well, as I had a little space to have a drastically needed heart-to-heart call with the VP.  Clearly I felt achingly hurt, but it turns out he’s def not a prick!  In fact, quite the opposite… we were just severely misconstrued.  x


Ramadan is a holy month in which Muslims believe brings many blessings.  I am thinking often of my sisters-in-law, even though I’m not religious.  🙂  The country fasts from sunset to sundown daily and it is 100% disrespectful to drink, eat, chew gum or smoke in public during this time.  Quite interesting really.  Dress is meant to be more conservative, plus public affection of any kind is banned.  At dinner last night, I learned that playfully giving my friend ‘the bird’ in public was also a jail-able offense!  Not just during Ramadan.  Oops.  Fortunately nobody else saw me.  And knowing me, I likely followed it up with an f-bomb or two.  :/


As fascinating and mystic as Dubai may sound, I’ve come to realize there is no way I would ever live here.  I’m fortunate to have made several close friends and do cherish those relationships.  But this 109 Fahrenheit weather must do something bizarre to the brains of all the expats that live here.  Let’s just say there’s a lot of ‘drama’ in Dubai.  It’s very incestuous and I think the expats live sort of in a fantasy world (no personal offense mates!), people here seem to be very involved in everyone else’s business!  Gossip, politics, secrets, live-in maids and cheating.  I know… it sounds like B&B (haha), but I didn’t fully grasp it before.  Anyone who knows me knows I don’t operate well in that type of environment.  Someone call Ryan Seacrest to get on it with ‘The Real Expats of Dubai’.


Now I am in Abu Dhabi.  Just for the night at the amazing new Ritz.  It’s just gorgeous and I wish I could go swimming in the fabulous pool but I’ll have to leave that for tomorrow.  They’ve put me in a fantastic club room but now America is waking up, so to work I will go for the night.  Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest Emirate of seven, and maybe the most conservative, but I’m not sure on that fact.  I hope to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque tomorrow with the big camera.  It’s truly beautiful but I’ve not gotten close yet!  I need to brush up on their Ramadan rules first.  There aren’t any impressive mosques, that I’ve seen, in Dubai.


This really is a bizarre country.  You’ll go to jail for embracing someone on the street, yet can have multiple wives.  We had to sneak sips of water laying down in the car, inside a car park, before going into the mall.  I shouldn’t say it’s bizarre, I wholeheartedly respect their values and culture.  I imagine they look at me flipping the bird in a tank dress and red soles at an influential non-royal ‘figure’ in the emirate, and think perhaps I’m a bit bizarre.  🙂


No worries..... I've been to duty free!

No worries….. I’ve been to duty free!


The Painted Ladies, behind AJ and Renea's old house

The Painted Ladies, behind AJ and Renea’s old house

Well, if you’re not counting my move 3,000 miles across the country… which was less the end of era and more the creation of a monster?  Perhaps!

What an incredible San Fran trip this has been!  And we all know that statement does not cross these big ass lips lightly!  I am currently on my way home (or possibly to my friend’s hotel bar), but to NYC nonetheless!  I had an action-packed, dog-spit-and-hair extended weekend.  The timing just worked and I am a big bundle of love and excitement, despite my Prick VP phone call two nights ago.  Thankfully I had my aunties nearby, and apparently a “thank you for flying united, bye bye” voice on.  Dreamy turned Prick.  He’s quite self-absorbed although aren’t we all ‘all about me’ to some degree?  But add egotistical and Pisces (!!!) he is clueless his nickname has been altered, but I don’t even think he’s noticed.  So that’s the name of that tune!

I love the photos below.  We were taking a series.  The ‘sad face’, crying.  The ‘happy we’re all together’ one.  And of course the ‘everybody touch eddie’, which is my personal favorite.  I feel slightly responsible for the fact that at Eddie’s wedding or 40th birthday, we will have an entire ‘everybody touch eddie’ deluxe collector’s item bootleg album of photos: inception date 2009, I am thinking.  Thanks for the reminder AR.  😉   Look at AJ.  She is so O-V-E-R all our sorry asses in her house being the pack-a-holic that she is!  And a damn good one she is!!  Packed up my house in a couple days!!!  Hmmm.  Wait a minute.  :/

Am oh so sad to not be able to combine botox with aunties in the future but am so very excited for their next phase (see you and MY own drawer in October!) and we’ve been fortunate enough to spend some time together prior to their move down to SoCal.  AJ and I were together a LOT after I moved up to SF and got (thankfully) unengaged.  Again, I feint sadness but am over-the-super-moon for those two and to to be honest, ‘I am like gum on your shoe!’  (love that quote).  So I’ll be seeing you.  Somewhere in the Med I think, I’ve got the dates in my calendar, not to worry.

I’m headed back to Dubai next month.  BUT I do have a legitimate excuse to go.  And by legitimate I mean a small window of non-travel time, a new worldwide travel/biz venture, more UA miles and an ‘awesome night out’ being planned by Mrs Jetsetter with her other entire Dubai posse.  Tickets are bought and I am super excited.  The Armani Boy has a brand new hotel he’s putting me up in for two nights, called Vida, I think?  I’ll stay two nights at my Jetsetter’s house on the beach with her pool and a live-in maid.  It’s just the standard of living there, as is the lingo.  I mean, my ‘house-cleaner’ isn’t coming until Thursday!!!  🙂  I’m genuinely excited, and I need this trip, given I am admittedly a little jacked up over the VP.

What a whirlwind life.  I had the best time with my Kelly and finally met her husband, who completely reminds me of someone a lot of us know (or know of, at least).  Was hilarious.  We met for drinks which turned into several, before we headed to their friends’ Colombian house-party in the mission, complete with a bonafide taco truck and salsa band!  What a blast!  Most hilarious and also familiar to some, we bellied up AFTER the taco truck party to probably the only place open in SF at the wee hour of 1:00am… and the bartender wouldn’t serve us.  (hey why didn’t I just offer to kiss him!?  duh)  So we put our tri-marketing hats on and ordered food, so they would serve us.  I feel like meatballs might have been involved.  Red wine and absinthe most certainly was.  What fun though!!!  Thank you, to my new SF peeps, and for not ‘pulling a Francl’ which has no real validity other than it means being flaky SF, but purely for comedic reasons.  Nothing really to do with the real Francl.  But I think it’s funny.

Not sure what the broader point of this email really is other than to update my beloved as I am ‘fast and furious’ to NYC, early enough to meet friends.  And early enough to be well for spin class at 12:15pm tomorrow!  I self-spun whilst in SF this time.  I set up a 3-day pass at AJ’s gym, and with my own music and was able to burn 796 calories one day and 937 yesterday to my own moves!  Amazing.  Who knew the charity I was talked into participating in (rather than merely donating) would change my life… and how my jeans fit.  Seriously.  Forever grateful.

I’ve got a two-pound box of See’s for Ivo and the restaurant on my corner.  Two whole pounds!!!  I can’t wait to bring it to them.  I love my neighborhood.  And for those of you who’ve been a bit concerned, I am back!!!  I was vortexed into a surreal place for a couple months… what can I say.  It happens.  But I’m back with fervor and Envizage is launching soon!!!  (don’t worry Ash, it will be really fun, like excel is!)  So long LMC.  I will forever love the story of me, Kath and Lor on Nikki Beach in Cabo poling passers-by on catchy company names for my unemployed 35th birthday.  With Chelsea freaking Handler’s empty cabanas.  Hilarious.  Who knew then we’d ALL be where we are now.  Sigh…

It’s going to be a busy last seven months leading up to my 40th  🙂  and spare time will be, um… sparse!  That just means there are several funny adventures to report along the way!  I wonder if I could 1) get bob dylan to have dinner with me, and 2) be mistaken on a plane for Claire Danes one more time, and 3) get Pulp to play at my 40th.

Love to all.  x or ooo: you decide!  🙂

Crying Face Family Happy Family Faces!

Everybody Touch Eddie

I’ve got to hand it to United, this aircraft between Newark and Honolulu is pretty dialed in.  It has iPod connectors at every seat with three little cubby holes and a nice sized screen.  International adapters, USB port… this plane is similar to the 777 going over the pond but def newer.


Row number one goes like this: Liz-seat 1A, 1B is empty (who’s better than me), Al Roker- seat 1D, 1E-Matt Lauer and 1F-Mrs. Pouty Lauer.  10+ hours to Honolulu.  I was a little agitated the other night when I received an email from the Royal Hawaiian informing me that the Today Show would be filming live from their beachfront at 1:00am this Monday.  So… really late on Sunday night after an all-day pool day.  Seriously, throw in a vicodin just for fun and we’ve potentially got another chapter of the book just writing itself.  I hope people don’t go all mental for these yo-hos.  I mean, Al Roker is so lame, he had all his shit laid out in the cubby holes before take off and it looks like Matt Lauer was sort of arguing with his wife already.  I bet he really is a dick to women.  He looks like a dick.  Didn’t he get named ‘Best’ or ‘Hottest’ something and it went to his head?  I’ll have the entire weekend to find out!  I now wish I had looked up who their on-show guests are to see what other celebs are going to be crowding my first 2013 attempt at a tan!  And yes, when we took off all Al Roker’s shit went flying.


Totally am going to try to hitch a ride to the resort with them though.  We’re going the same exact place!  Who knows, maybe this random trip, which the dates were recently shifted, will be symbiotic in some way.  Most of my randomness usually is, and today INSIDE the airport, I found a lucky penny!  And yes, I picked it up.


Today has been rather strange.  I was up late packing (drinking wine), sort of thinking maybe I’d get a call from the Dreamy VP who spent the past four or so days being rather attentive.  I did not.  I woke up early, did a bit of work and had an 11:45am car to the airport.  I got a random spurt of motivation (probably by the fact that my banker busted out with “you’re losing a lot of weight” yesterday) and huffed it up to 9:30am spin class. I rushed back home, got in the shower, final touches on packing, put on my little sparkly star earrings from my Kath xo and literally walked downstairs at 11:43am.  For anyone who knows me that is truly amazing.  The driver had a brand spanking new Cadillac and was listening to music I swear I haven’t heard since I was maybe five years old.  Most people know that I have little-to-no memory before age 10-ish, so it was weird.  Ronnie Milsap, Ray Pierce, Willie Nelson… So strange.  It was like the guy put on the XM Serious channel: ‘the music my dad used to listen to’.  I put my make-up on in the car, was dropped at the special section for United people at Newark and realized it was just 59 minutes before my flight.  I was shooed from the Premier line and got a little irritated as my boarding pass screamed to me ‘BOARDING AT 12:39’ which had occurred one minute earlier.  Turns out, I was TSA pre-checked!  How random is that?  The agent raised an eyebrow when I asked how I got TSA pre-checked and replied “you never filled anything out for this!?” but then she winked, giggled and sent me on my merry way.  I saw the gate, spotted my lucky penny, and arrived just as they announced boarding for people like me and Al Roker.  Who, by the way, ordered the steak and woofed it.  He didn’t touch his bread though.  Then the one empty seat in first is next to my window.  🙂


Anyway, my point is that today has been unusually blissful.  In getting back to ‘symbiotic’, perhaps I’ll meet someone, like a book publisher on this trip.  Or who knows, given the chaos I’m certain will be rampant at the Royal Hawaiian the whole time I’m there.  Dreamy VP… who?  No pre-flight call, no little Lizzie for you!  I’m feeling a bit ominous about the adorable ‘package’ I sent him, actually.


Currently over Cleveland.  Only nine more hours to go.  What the hell Roker is having an ice cream sundae!  So is Lauer.  He (Lauer) needs botox.  Kelly, you would cringe at his crow’s feet… come meet us in Hawaii, let’s boost your New York clientele!!!


As for me I’ve got my champagne, Bob Dylan and a plethora of international films ahead of me.  ‘Saturday Night Fever’ is on the movie-list though.  Aww yeah.


Dangling over Denver now.  Hi Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Billy boy!  Love you.  Seriously though, who has seen ‘Horrible Bosses’!!?  This film is so hysterical, I have been laughing out loud through the entire thing. I know someone recommended it, but it is absolutely classic.  A new fave and I usually don’t like those kinds of movies.  Although, maybe some of us remember ‘Very Bad Things’.  Classic.


Sentimentally over San Fran now.  I think for the rest of my life, the first musical note of any Stone Roses song, although ‘Sally Cinnamon’ is unbeatable, will forever perk me up. Time to step up your game, Dreamy VP!  😉  Or stop messing with me, please.  Fortunately,  I have amazing clients, family and friends who’ve helped me keep all that, including my self-worth, in check.  They also send me links to duck-taped humans.  Or wait… just cellophane-wrapped.  Not sure that tidbit accurately précises my ‘I have a great support network’ case.  🙂  but it’s still bizarrely hilarious.


Part way over the Pacific now, Lauer has now put on a scarf and well… we all know I have a thing for men in scarves.  He is pretty hot.  Granted I am three splits in now.  Saw him looking over a couple times.  The flight attendant (from Oz) and I are now pals and when we chat he def looks.  His wife looks kind of unhappy and bitchy.  But thou does not judge for thou was once trapped with F Tom.  Trapped within self-imposed constraints, of course!  The flight attendant informed Matt Lauer that I am at the same resort, how lovely I am, and told him about the resort’s email.  Would it be bad to ask for a fourth split?  It IS a 10-hour flight!  Aw sweet my sheila brought me another without having to ask.  Let’s see if I can get her to broker my transfer deal to the Royal Hawaiian in the Today Show van for when we land!  Gosh I do so love Australians.  And Roker just devoured a choice box snack.  What the heck!?  Poor joke but nonetheless true: he better not poop his pants!


Oh and by the way, have actually just read through ALL my stuff for my now bi-monthly newsletter, turns out United has been doing this pre-TSA check-in for Platinum and up since May 3rd.  Apparently, I should actually do my newsletter every now and again!  Whoops: just like that, Steve Jobs surprises me with ‘Blower’s Daughter’ and I’m literally catapulted into thoughts of the ex-boyfriend.  Sigh.  An ex-boyfriend who has just learned of the Dreamy VP, and dismissed it as ‘silly’… the whole concept, or irrationality of it.  Sigh.  But, to quote Pulp: “this isn’t chocolate boxes and roses, its dirtier than that…” Dreamy is pretty dreamy.  I hope I have a message or email when I land!  Two hours, 17 minutes more to go.


I miss Ashlee.  It’s hard not to when ‘Gangnam Style’ pops on.  Priceless.  This seat 1B was symbolically meant for her.  Let’s get something shaking girl.  It was awfully cute, Ash got a little pissy with me on the phone the other day.  Rightfully so, but Ash, oh my gosh I hope you realize that is part of why I love you so much, because you’re THAT real. 😉


Shout out to all my sisters out there I love SO very much.  I have amazing nephews and witness such incredible positive support on that end.  And then on my other side, I had an unexpected phone call from Kath the other day that I will never forget.  For my whole life.  Best news I’ve ever (and I sincerely mean this!) heard.  xo


Starting our descent!  Watch the Today Show on Monday!  It’s worth a shot, I DVR’ed it.  Never know where Sunday night in Hawaii will lead me.  Especially given I’ll be landing shortly ‘early’ on a Friday night!  It’s been 9 years since I was in Maui with F Tom.


And an o for AJ.  Wait, make that ooo.  Wait now there’s four of them.  The o’s.  No one ever said OCD was easy.  o


Al Roker Matt Lauer


Thinking seat 9A is the better way to go

Thinking seat 9A is the better way to go

I love the concept of a good surprise.  Though I’ve never really been patient enough to pull off a true up-to-the-moment surprise.  After over three years since my last hometown swing, pre-NYC, I think two days notice on a random Tuesday falls fairly close to ‘surprise’.

However, today is no random Tuesday.  April 23rd… it’s the anniversary of my official departure from Babcock & Brown.  Six years ago today.  This may cause some to sigh with elation in the memory as to how traumatic those days were.  I sure as hell do.

Keeping true to form, I decided to make this anniversary as spectacular as the circumstances it brought to my life are.  I am headed to Santa Barbara, then San Francisco… a bit of an impulsive fly-by.  Which clearly was meant to be as so many elements, and by that I mean business class upgrades, just fell into place.  As Lexi once told me after an impromptu piggy back ride to gym class in the tenth grade: “Everything good happens on a Tuesday!”.  I have a very exciting week lined up.

I’m so used to flying in and out of San Fran, I forgot I was on an LAX flight and started to notice a few old school b-list actors on my flight.  I am so terrible with names, this one guy in the seat just ahead of me to the right would be recognizable, like he was the cook on Facts of Life, or something like that.  Possibly The Love Boat.  Night Court?  His wife is pretty hot for her age, been asleep since the flight took off.  I’m looking forward to my time in the LAX lounge this afternoon before boarding my SBA flight.  I will be primed and well located to stalk out my next new client!  My marketing sense is beginning to return, now that I have this refreshing and incredible renewed sense of freedom, first time since the soon-to-be former LMC Direct’s inception!  I gave an analogy to the Dreamy VP earlier this morning when he called to wish me a good trip, which is hilarious, but might be a bit racy for this audience.  He laughed, so ‘tout va bien’.  Just think of me, actually showered, kleenex boxes at home (Howard Hughes reference) and in the club lounge, working away on her important travel endeavors.  Client bait.  🙂

I’ve said it a bazillion times and I’ve never been as sincere and serious about it as I am now: I have the two most amazing nephews that any human being has possibly ever had.  I would go on that game show in a heart beat: “How Does Your Nephew Match Up”.  And I’d be taking home the prize.  I envision the Cabin Log sty guy from “There’s Something About Mary” as the host.  This spontaneous trip of mine has taken on a sudden unexpected meaning, but I genuinely hope Santa Maria is on my menu for this week.  Though I’m respectful and understand if it doesn’t work for everyone.  Timing.  It’s really an interesting ‘friend’ of mine.  I’ve been known to refer to it as more of a ‘tricky f’er’, but I recognize its significance and work toward taking nothing for granted lately.

For the first time in a long while, I am incredibly excited to visit home.  Dinner at the Rose, lunch at Beachside, non-Palio pork chops…then 75 degree San Fran.  It will be a week full of culinary bliss and grand memories.  And spinning!

Watch out Santa Barbara, I’m about to sprinkle fairy dust over as much of you as I possibly can.  😉  I’m in a ‘dreamy’ state of mind.  An Empire State of Mind.  My surprise SB week was cut short but please trust I’m doing the best I can juggling the priorities, business and absolute musts.  I’d do more if I had the time and flexibility.  San Fran seems like it presently needs no fairy dusting, but I’m going to pop my head in just in case.  I’ll sprinkle birthday dust instead.  Damn, I forgot my red heart wand…

Wait… Charleston Heston is dead, right?  That can’t be him up in seat 8D!!?  Hmmm.

I’m feeling like a little Moulin action might be necessary.  Attencion, mi familia. xxx

o and a special o and ooo to my AJ.  Where’s my gun-to-crowned-head painting!!? 🙂

Come what may...

Come what may…

That was a quick flight!  Back upon NYC reality I descend!  Unless I decide to go out tonight.  Why let a little 9 hour flight stop me!!?  I’ve just gained five hours and have had only five vodkas.  Doesn’t that somehow make me even?  Without even taking into account the hollow left leg!  After the week I’ve had, I deserve it.  And, it’s Sunday.  Ivo works Sundays again!!!  Awesome.  So, to bide the time and distract my disappointed mental state, on the plane, I watched a few old favorites: Closer (swooned over my Damien Rice music), then Black Swan and finished it off with Moulin Rouge.  What a marathon!  And funny how two of my chosen movies end with the chick dying at the end!  I had a laugh remembering something I’d forgotten actually, that the ending of Moulin really happened to me, at Outback Steakhouse in Goleta, which is a Santa Barbara suburb. “Thank you for curing me of my ridiculous obssession with love”, throwing money at my feet, or in my case, on the table where I sat with three close friends.  Oh my gosh, wasn’t that like a grazillion years ago!?  All I remember is being so grateful to Andy, for cracking up because it was all $1 bills.  🙂  Seriously though, who HAS that kind of crazy happen to them in real life!  It was so long ago… I had completely forgotten, to be honest.  Hilarious.  Now.

On to today.  Frankfurt impressed me actually.  The Dreamy VP had to cancel due to work but I’m glad I ended up going anyway.  Granted there is absolutely no reason to ever go, or ever go back, but I did have amazing meals, fab service, cute waiters and one of the best massages in a while.  Rocco Forte is the man… his hotels are perfection.  I did get to witness a fur protest and collected a couple new pieces of jewelry!  And the Eiserner Steg was so charming with all its ‘love padlocks’.  It was truly cold to the bone, which I think NY is meant to be the same.  And, out of maturity (let’s call it), I declined a sincere, random and so kind, invitation to hang out in Dubai for the week.  At Jetsetter’s house, on the beach, with a pool, and her live-in maid.  Yes, despite my attempts at ‘house-cleaner’, that’s what they all refer to them as there!  Never know where the days are going to lead me anymore!  However, I chose the path of conservatism (shocker!) and came home instead of being a waif!  Although no big surprise here, I definitely packed enough.  Shame that new lingerie from the new upper east boutique never made it out of the tissue paper.  Eat your heart out, VP.  😉

It’s been an incredible roller coaster ride the last TWELVE days.  (it feels like months, eh?)  This week sort of put me back into a truly uncomfortable territory, but with my ‘Liz-now’ caution and awareness.  Yet what happens!?  I landed just now, to over-the-top email, voice mail and texts… sigh!!!  At least I know that through the tender loving care of my core people, I can kept my shit together.  At least outwardly.  You know who you are and I love you like crazy.  I’m stealing this but it’s so true: IT DOES TAKE A VILLAGE!!!  This week has been a massive patience test, of which I have none, and a lesson that I can’t yet finger-point as to what it is exactly.

Anyway, I hope as I literally come down out of the sky, I get a little more figuratively grounded as well.  It’s been years (like 7) since I’ve been ‘spinny’ over a guy.  Yes, o AJ… ooo YEARS!  And thanks in advance for my new painting-in-the-works!  ooo  🙂

Disclaimer: bits of this were written at different stages of my day/night.  My attempt at grounding will be interesting!  Que sera sera.  Repeat after me, “que sera sera”.

Absolutely hilarious text, AJ knows exactly how to pull me out of my crazy!

AJ knows exactly how to pull me out of my crazy! Hilarious.

My future neighborhood, in the 6th arr

My future neighborhood, in the 6th arr


Feels like a lifetime since I was scattered and pathetically unedited!  Um… yesterday!  My journalistic guru taught me better… shame on me.  Je ferai mieux.


For me Paris has that certain je ne sais quoi about it, that New York has always had.  I don’t speak french well, or at all.  I can read and write it and if I connect with someone kind and pronounce “lentement, s’il vous plait” well enough I can get possibly hear it.  I have poor grammar and mix up the sexual tenses.  Seriously though, what are those called?  🙂  For instance, I said to the Dreamy VP “suis-je fou!?”.  And he replied, “are you a crazy man!?”  But it doesn’t even matter.  I fit here.  I know my way around, almost inherently.  I can meander through the left bank and find that one little shop on a corner, after a manicure and verre de vin rouge, without having ever looked up at the charming blue rue sign.


Just like all my trips to NYC before the move, I know my neighborhood already.  It’s in the 6th arr on the left bank where things are still really nice, but just a tad more gritty than the Champs Élysées or Etoile.  How boring those others are!  Sure, there’s the Arc de Triomphe and views of Le Tower Eiffel, but the left bank is where it’s at.  For a classy chick like me anyway… with her mini-bar Pringles and ridiculous bottle of Saint-Estephe from the wine shop!


I wasn’t able to sleep much on the plane, so yesterday when I arrived, I force-fed myself lunch, champagne and a xanax, showered, and was in and out of sleep all day and night.  Was absolutely perfect, as I woke up refreshed and watched the sun rise from my balcony this morning.  Then, just like someone who belongs more on the left bank, I threw my hair back and didn’t put on an ounce of make-up and tooled around with my camera.  How gauche!  L’horror!  But those French boys were def an ego booster regardless.  And yes, I did shower!  Sometimes it’s tough to know on that front… haha.


Je mange petit dejourner, took the metro to Montmartre, and was determined to actually see the Moulin Rouge.  Many of you would remember my 10+ year obsession with that movie!  And here’s a warning: I think it might be making a Liz-comeback!  So if I show up on your doorstep with a DVD in hand and a bottle of absinthe, (it is killing me not to say absince on purpose!) you’ll know what’s about to happen!  Kind of makes me sad its been so long since we’ve had one of those nights!  I tried to ‘make’ Ashlee do it, but I’m not sure it’s the same without my in-person zeal.  Hey, maybe I’ll bring it to Chicago next month!!?  😉  Anyway, after a few photos and a walk past more dildo shops than I’ve ever seen, I took the metro back to the Rue de Rivoli, crossed Il-de-Cite and made way to where I am coziest in Saint-Germain/Saint-Michel.  I found a local manicurist online.  She has her own shop tucked away tight on Rue Dupin.  There aren’t 30 people slaving away being barked at by a nail salon godfather.  Just her.  She is amazing.  She took more care than anyone has and I bet these €35 gel nails will stay for weeks!  She let me talk on the phone too which proved helpful with some dreamy fluent french translations.  I could easily imagine myself living in an apartement in one of the buildings in the photo above.  And, according to the nail salon lady, flats in the area run about €1500 per month to rent.  Uh… yeah, pas de probleme!  I shall be tri-continental one day perhaps!  😉  I was able to make that much out with our language barriers!  That, and she’s got a 2 year old son and married to a police officer.  Working that one out was a bit hilarious actually.  Lots of hand gestures.  And not for chicken salad.


I am feeling a bit more grounded now at least.  My intuition rocks, if I do say so myself!  (touch wood everyone!)  Still need to figure out where I will spend the weekend and how next week’s meetings play out.  I will try not to overstay my welcome in the form of these updates, I just had such an exuberant day!


Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!  Que sera sera…


Paris Mar 2013_09 Paris Mar 2013_12