Sunday, March 6, 2011

Academy Awards, My Birthday, and Finding "new" in "old" traditions.

This week was full of lots of traditions.  I LOVE tradition.  My family taught me, through example, how important, fun, and full of blessings traditions are.  I treasure opportunities to celebrate and carry on old traditions.  I also am grateful for opportunities to start new ones.  The definition of the word 'Tradition' is... an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or as a social behavior). does my resolution to try "New" things fit into that?  This week I decided to look for the 'new' in the 'old'.

- Last week began with Oscar Sunday.  Hollywood's biggest night and a good ol American tradition.  I have lived in the Los Angeles area for 12 years now.  It has become a tradition to celebrate the Oscars every year.  I love, love, love, love carrying on this tradition.  To put it simply it is just a ball of FUN!!!  It is full of glamor, excitement, passion, and it reconfirms that America is a place where everyone has the choice to live their dreams.  We began our traditional Oscar celebration by having a glamorous champagne brunch on the Queen Mary.  The Queen Mary is an old cruise liner from the 1930's.  People like Clark Gable, Laurel and Hardy, Spencer Tracey, Betty Davis, and the Queen of England use to cruise on her.  The Queen Mary is now permanently docked in Long Beach, CA.  Her decor is kept as she was when she was sailing in the 1930's and 1940's.  Walking on board the Queen Mary is like stepping back into time.  I always LOVE going aboard this beautiful time capsule.  Yes, I have been to the Queen Mary and her Sunday brunch many times.  It is one of my favorite things to do in Southern California.  So, not new to me.  But, I took with me a few friends who have never been on the Queen Mary.  Much to my surprise, it created a new experience for me.  I got to see the Queen Mary once again through the eyes of people exploring her for the first time.  I even saw things on the ship that I have never noticed before.  For example, they had one of her gigantic propellers on display.  Oh my goodness, just one of her propellers is three times the size of my car!!!  
                                                            The legendary Queen Mary 
 While on the Queen Mary, I had another new experience through an old tradition.  The Queen Mary has been voted as having one of the BEST Sunday Brunches in California.  I would have to agree whole heartily.  The Brunch is served in what use to be the Grand Ballroom.  The food is elegant, delicious, and endless.  Free flowing champagne and caviar.  All this for just under $40.  Here is where the fun 'new' came in.  I have tried caviar before and quite like it.  My friends have never had caviar and did NOT want to try it.  I encouraged them to embrace the idea of trying something new and giving it a shot.  I have never laughed so hard in my life!!!!!  Watching each one of my friends try caviar for the first time and taking a picture of their first reaction to it, was not only a new experience for me, but tons of hysterical fun!!! 
Pictured below are "THE MANY FACES OF CAVIAR"
                                                      Melinda says...'Caviar is yummmy'
                                                          Caviar makes Adam smile.
                                                        Ramon gave Caviar a try...but......
                                                              Duane gives a thumb up
                                                              Sandy gives a big NO!!!

-This week ended with my Birthday!!!  Yeah...Happy Birthday to me!!!!!  Of course, I have celebrated my birthday many times.  Every year I look forward to celebrating my birthday at my favorite Italian restaurant with my dearest friends.  This year was no different.  My heart just had to carry on my birthday tradition.  I also knew in my heart that I would find many new moments in this cherished tradition.  HAHA....and yes I did!!!  I did everything from inviting new friends that I had not invited in the past years, to trying a new item on the menu, to trying a new wine.  Then a super 'newbie' occurred.  There is a nightly tradition at this restaurant.  Once a night they play Dean Martin's 'That's Amore'.  All the guest and all the waiters sing along with glasses of Chianti in their hands.  This is always my favorite part of the night.  I always join into the singing with full commitment.  This year, for the first time, one of my friend's video taped me singing and participating in this joyful, wine induced, tradition.  Then my friend immediately posted it on FaceBook.  God bless social media.  I actually enjoyed watching myself.  Who am I kidding?  I almost peed myself watching this video.  I would love to share this 'new-moment' video on my blog.  I'm in the mist of trying to figure out how to do that right now.  I figure, why not share good 'new' comedy.  HA!  Stayed tuned.
                                                                 My birthday dinner
-Speaking of social media, I am really in the 'new' with this one.  I just started Tweeting for the first time this year.  I have also just started really using FaceBook as a way to do some business net working.  The whole thing is rather new to me.  My resolution to try more new things, has really encouraged me to explore this new way of socializing.  I'm not only getting the hang of it, I am starting to enjoy it and make some great business contacts.   This week social media added something new to an old tradition.  On my birthday I always get birthday cards in the mail from my family and some close friends.  I have always enjoyed the tradition of giving and receiving birthday cards.  This year I experienced a new twist on this old tradition via social media.  I woke up on my birthday, made some coffee, and sat down with my lap top and logged into FaceBook....HOLY COW!!!!  I had dozens upon dozens of the nicest birthday greetings.  I had birthday wishes from childhood friends, highschool friends, college friends, friends that I spoke to yesterday, and friends I haven't spoken to in so long I almost forgot about them...ooops.  I had birthday greetings from my parents, my brother, aunts, uncles, first cousins, second cousins, third cousins, second cousins-once-removed.  I even had birthday wishes from a few celebrities.  If that is not a 'new' way to hear Happy Birthday over and over and over and over again, I don't know what is.  Happy 'social media' Birthday!!  Fun new stuff!!!

-This week I tried another new food.  I only had a few minutes, so I was running through the grocery store trying to find a vegetable to make for dinner.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw the oddest looking thing in the produce section.  It was Romanesco broccoli.  I was like...what the heck is that and where are the carrots? Then, in the name of 'new', I stopped and said to myself, 'that weird thing is going to be dinner'. was pretty darn good.  It tasted like broccoli with a mild hint of cauliflower.  I drizzled it with a bit of olive oil, sprinkled it with garlic, and baked it in the oven for about 20 minutes.  I not only really enjoyed this new veggie, I googled some Romanesco broccoli recipes.  
                                 Romanesco broccoli, first discovered in Italy in the 16th century.

-For those of you who love the combination of salty and sweet.  I made another great new food find.  Chocolate brownies with sea salt.  I had to sit down to eat these.  Talk about a delicious weak in the knees experience.  Of course, this was another Trader Joe's find.  Lots of new surprises in that store.  Thanks Joe.

This week just goes to show, there is new everywhere.  Even in the oldest of tradition.  You just gotta open your eyes, your mind, and your heart to the possibilities.  


  1. You are a gem and I am so proud to be your Mom. I continually try to develop your positive attitude and love of life. Our Little Melinda has grown into such a wonderous woman. I am so honored that you keep our traditions and have learned to apply them to your life. xxoo

  2. Thank you, Mom. You are sincerely the wind beneath my wings. Although I do tend to fly to the beat of my own drummer. :)