Sunday, February 19, 2012
College boy Brandon is in Boise, Idaho this weekend for a three game series with his college BEARCAT baseball team. It's 22 degrees as he heads to the mound to start the game.
Since I can't travel to every game, the next best thing is watching the game stream on line with all the stats. So for two hours today I sat screaming at my computer monitor with every play.
Wish I could be at all his games. It was a sad day as the Bearcats lost 6-5. Brandon pitched great, but the team left 11 players on base. This is a picture of what I watch. See the little diamond... and see SIMON on the mound.
Just seeing his name makes me happy and feel connected. Every pitch I scream "make it a strike baby!" Looking forward to traveling to Willamette in Salem, Oregon in a few weeks to see him play in person.
Friday, February 17, 2012
SIMON SAYS - It will come as no shock to readers of CityWatch that candidates seeking elected office or even those already in office and running for re-election, pander to constituents for votes and money. No revelation here, that’s for sure. But what makes the offense even more egregious is when a candidate is an out and out poser.
A poser is a candidate who bounces from one constituent group to the next saying how much they support that group and its mission, yet when given an opportunity to advance the organization’s agenda, the candidate is nowhere to be found. Give it a rest political poser; we know what’s up with your behavior.
Let me elaborate.Let’s take a look at some women candidates and elected leaders who have been posing, resulting in a disturbing scenario brewing at LA City Hall. Their posing has sadly contributed to the reality that after next year we may not have one single woman serving on the LA City Council. You say what!?
Electing more women has been a passion of mine for a lifetime. I have a demonstrated track record of recruiting, training, and supporting women to run and then sticking with them the entire way, regardless of their chances of winning. I’m sometimes loyal to a fault. I have run for political office in my hometown of Los Angeles twice and know exactly who’s been truthful and who is a poser.
As an active Board member of the National Women’s Political Caucus, an organization striving to reach 50/50 by the year 2020 (50 percent representation by women and men by 2020) I am heavily submerged in encouraging women to run and I put my money and time behind them if I believe they are a formidable candidate who meets my bottom line issues. Yet, sadly, this is not always true for my fellow sisters who have been elected and who don’t reciprocate the love to those who helped propel them into office. So what gives?
This past weekend I received a phone call from a recently elected US Congresswoman from the LA area asking me for money and my support. Before I hit the delete button I had to chuckle at how out of touch this woman is with her own past conduct. I hope Washington is treating her well, because her inaction to cultivate a woman to replace her has contributed to us potentially not having one woman out of fifteen council members fill the LA City Council horseshoe come 2013.
When I was a candidate for the Los Angeles City Council (5th District) this very same woman barely met with me let alone lend her endorsement, even though I had been endorsed by every prominent women’s organization in the community – the same organizations that had endorsed and stood by her all these years. When she was a candidate she would attend the NWPC endorsement meetings and pontificate about how we need more women in public office, yet when given a chance to ensure that our LA City Council would not be left absent of a single woman, she chose not to engage.
She of course is entitled to support whomever she chooses, but she should know that her inaction has consequences. Several trips to the community that has helped put her in office with her hand out, without reciprocating the love, even if it means using up some of her political capital along the way, has left many of us who work hard to elect qualified women, shaking our heads with disbelief.
It should be offensive, not just to women, but to all Angeleno’s that not since 1953 when Roz Wyman was first elected to the Council that we may not have a single woman serving on this governing Board. How did this happen? Well, several of the women who have occupied a seat there recently share the blame in this sad commentary. They too will face consequences as they ramp up for their next campaign and push back from stalwart women leaders who are tired of financing campaigns to not see their goal of more women in office realized.
If you truly support the mission of organizations such as NWPC, which believe that it’s good public policy to include women’s voices at every level of government, then do what it takes to ensure this happens. Identify a woman in your community, cultivate her, encourage her, offer her the training necessary for assembling a competitive campaign, raise her money, support her and see her through to the finish line. That’s what true leaders do who support those people and groups who have been there for them when they were candidates.
A candidate and an elected official’s inaction have consequences sometimes greater than their actions. So for me and my like minded friends, we’ve been hitting the delete button to demonstrate we don’t support political posers, male or female.
(Robyn Ritter Simon is a CityWatch contributor. She ran for Los Angeles City Council, 5th District, in 2001 and again in 2009. She is a champion for ensuring more women serve in public office and spends her time actively supporting candidates who meet her bottom line issues. She is a sought after empowerment speaker encouraging young girls and women to engage more in the political arena. She was recently nominated as a Forward Thinker by the think tank, California Forward. To learn more about the NWPC 50/50 By 2020 Project visit www.NWPCLAWestside.org.)
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Who knows but did we eat our way to the New Year or what! I gotta say though it sure was fun.
Pictured above are Robyn & Brian at our annual Lawry's Holiday dinner. And to the right are friends Melody Roset & Ken Erlich at our holiday open house party!
There was a big family Hanukkah celebration, a holiday open house at the Simon's, the annual Lawry's dinner with Suzee and family ... and it just kept going! Here are some gorgeous pictures that captured all our fun!
The best holiday gift of course was having all the boy's home and under one roof... we partied with friends and family, we held to traditions, and we ate really scrumptious holiday dishes!
Look at these beautiful teenagers... above are Lisette, Brandon B., my Brandon and Kalli, all smiles and full of love.
To the right is proud mama with her teenagers Harrison & Spencer!
Pictured above are Robyn & Kalli and to the right are Suzee & Brian ... all smiles with full bellies of love, food & wine!
Whatever you did over the holidays or whomever you ushered the New Year in with, I hope it was full of love, laughter and gratitude!
Here we come 2012!
Monday, January 2, 2012
Well, Brandon will be in Idaho playing baseball on his 21st Birthday as the season will have begun. So he received an early birthday present... a trip to New York with his girlfriend Kalli to visit Aunt Jennifer.
Wow did these two kids have a wonderful time and we were so happy for them.
Something about New York in the winter and around the Holidays. So festive & sparkly and cozy. Aunt Jennifer and beau Kevin of course showered them with food & fun and they tooled around the city exploring and mastering the subways.
Pictured above is Brandon with Kalli and pictured to the right is Brandon with Aunt Jennifer.
They ate slices of pizza, visited the Statue of Liberty, checked out ice skating at Rockefeller Square, and absorbed the holiday spirit that is so prevalent in the city that never sleeps.
Jen and Kevin were wonderful hosts and the big kids had a great time ushering in the New Year with them.
There's a 12 year age difference between Jennifer and I. When she was born both my sister Michele and I treated her like a doll and an extension of our toy collection. We took her everywhere and she was part of our clique as the cute little baby.
It's wonderful to flash forward all these years and watch her relationship with my boy's. They are close enough in age that while they are not in the same stage of life, they certainly can relate to one another. Makes for a special bond.
What a splendid way to ring in 2012!
Sunday, January 1, 2012
I have missed sharing my daily musings with you all and look forward to re-connecting. As I close the chapter on 2011 I must acknowledge some milestones that shaped this past year.
I ran a Marathon, yes that's 26.2 miles! I turned 50 years old as did my life partner, Brian. We also celebrated our 24th Wedding Anniversary. I ushered our three teenage boys into their Junior years of school, one in college, two in High School. I worked on several political campaigns for rockin' women, some who won, others who sadly lost their races (other than losing their bids for office, they are truly winners for just running!)
Pictured here are me and friend & athletic trainer Melody Roset crossing the finish line of the LA Marathon in pouring down rain.
I helped my niece Olivia navigate the college maze and welcomed home my other niece Zoe from Utah; I cheered as my friend Eka re-kindled and married an old flame from years past; I lost my voice countless times chanting GO PALI as my twin sons Harrison & Spencer rocked the baseball field and ended the season making All League Conference; I traveled to Salem, Oregon to rally my son Brandon as he pitched his way to All Conference as well; and surprisingly for the first time since I was a child we spent two weeks in our beloved Bass Lake vacation house with a rotating door of fabulous friends & family.
Pictured here is my son Brandon & niece Olivia at Brandon's baseball game.
Of all the beautiful memories created in 2011, there were also pains and losses along the way. Mimi Martin, beloved mom-in-law to my dear friend Lisa Martin, lost her battle with cancer and we all had to say good-bye. Never easy to lose a loved one...
But of all the sorrows this past year the one that weighs the heaviest and is the most painful for me to reconcile, is having to console a dear friend whose one month old baby passed away from SIDS. There are few words to be uttered when such a horrific tragedy occurs. All I can say is rest in peace sweet baby Ethan, we all miss you.
Each of these reflections hold a special place in my heart and as we enter 2012 I may circle back to each of them to add more detail to the stories that touched me this past year. In the meantime, today is an opportunity to look forward, move forward and implement my intentions for 2012. For now it's off to hike with Brian, our trusted companion-dog Bailey and dear friend Suzee Markowitz. Great way to start the morning!
Pictured here to the left is me & Brian celebrating our joint 50th Birthdays!
PS The photo above captures Brandon, 20, Harrison, 16, and Spencer, 16, jumping for joy to ring in the New Year. They are my life & pride and joy!
Monday, May 23, 2011
Thanks for writing about an issue near and dear to me. As a former candidate for the Los Angeles City Council in 2001 & 2009 (5th District), I am one of the brave women who did put it all on the line to run for an office I believed I could bring value to. As a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, an active community member, a parent, and a passionate champion of more women in office, I applaud you for covering what our political landscape will sadly look like come 2013.
All the women you spoke with and had comment in your article are friends, colleagues and supporters of mine. I have spent a dozen years involved with and serving as a Board member with the National Women’s Political Caucus, a group committed to recruiting, training and supporting more women to run for office. The obstacles are huge for a candidate running in Los Angeles, money probably being the most challenging. Second, is that women still carry the primary responsibility of their families and are unwilling to jeopardize their family for the grueling scrutiny that accompanies a candidate on the campaign tail. I might also point out, that women don’t always support other women and it’s terribly frustrating.
Several of the women you quoted or write about in your article are in office because the women’s community backed them wholeheartedly, and not because they were female, but because they were the best candidates in their respective races. However, many of them do not stay true to the core values that helped elect them which included a commitment to more women in office. They do not mentor women in their communities to fill the pipeline when they move on, thus leaving a void when a seat becomes available. It is a recurring theme and one that now presents us with the possibility of no women on the LA City Council, a town that prides itself on being inclusive and progressive. Where will my voice be on the council?
NWPC’s mission is 50/50 by 2020, 50% men, 50% women representation in all branches of government by the year 2020. We will not achieve this goal at the rate we are progressing. This being said, I will continue working tirelessly to support women candidates with my energy, experience, money and encouragement that while the road may be brutal, and it is, the outcome of having her voice in the political dialogue, is well worth it.
Thanks again for writing an article that speaks volumes to me.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Yay! The college boy's are home for the summer! My son, Brandon Simon, and gal pal Suzee's son Brandon Bank both returned this week from their respective colleges.
In honor of their completion of two years of college mama bears Suzee & Robyn took the big boys to their favorite meal of sushi!
Check out these beautiful boys. Here's Suzee with my son Brandon... Gorgeous!
If you haven't heard the story over the past twenty years... here goes... Suzee and I gave birth the same day twenty years ago, both to beautiful sons and we both named them Brandon!
Pictured here is me with Brandon Bank... what a handsome young man!
They've been pals ever since and Suzee and I have shared a bond of raising them together. I feel as if her son is like my son and I know the feeling is reciprocated on her part.
We laughed, talked about the time we took them skiing when they were barley three years old, how they have grown, how proud we are of them... it was a moment... our Brandon's out on a date with their Mama's...
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Duchenne Muscular Distrophy only affects boys. Not sure why, but only boys. A missing gene contributes to muscles not developing and eventually the body breaking down and ending in death. There is no cure for Duchenne. No cure for a disease that is so ugly.
Amy & Chris Martin are our friends, neighbors, and community members and we love their entire family. We met years ago when their son Derek and our boys Harrison & Spencer all played baseball at Cheviot Hills Park. Those were some fabulous days watching all our boys play great baseball. Now they've all moved on to High School. The Martin's also have a beautiful younger daughter, Natalie, and son Will who has Duchenne.
The Martin's are desperate to find a cure. While it's not much, we believe that attending and giving what we can is our way of showing support for their beautiful family while also hopefully contributing to finding a cure.
If you are wondering whose in that picture with me above... it's Super Bowl Champs, Green Bay Packers football star Clay Matthews and gal pal Lisa Martin.
Clay is a huge supporter of finding a cure for Duchenne and was gracious enough to take pictures with all the fawning women who couldn't wait to get their arms around him! He's quite a hunk both in his physic and in his heart for giving his time to help eradicate Duchenne.
Kudos to him and to Amy & Chris for being such wonderful parents, friends, and fundraisers for a very important cause. To learn more about Duchenne or to make a contribution in honor of Will Martin, please visit www.cureduchenne.org.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Tonight Brian and I dined with dear friend's Lori & Steve Soll in honor of my big 5-0 birthday. What a lovely evening we shared.
The Soll's have been friends for more than 20 years... we have shared births, deaths, holidays, baseball and everything else life throws you, together!
There have been some beautiful memories made between our families. We have shared heartaches, challenges, illnesses, but in the end tonight was just a glorious celebration of life and health!
Thank you to the Soll's for honoring me and for being such wonderful friends.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Here's me with 16 year old Tanner... best pal of my son's Harrison & Spencer!
Jenny & Steve Savitsky and their children, Tanner & Nicole, Jenny's mom Pam, and Brian, me, Harrison & Spencer cruised in luxury in a limo to a delicious special dinner at Saddle Peak Lodge in the Malibu hills near Calabassas. We sipped champagne while cruising along the beautiful coastline and laughed the entire way!
It's so nice to spend your milestone celebrations with friends you love and doing something really different & fun.
Pictured here are all the lovely Mom's, Pam, Jenny, Me and lovely sister Nicole!
The boy's loved the Lodge and of course were adventuresome and tried game-type meats! We had a great evening celebrating birthday's and friendships!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
The Birthday celebrations continue... oh my gosh I'm going to be huge with all the luncheons, dinner's and cocktails being showered upon me for my 50th Birthday! Whew!
It's been so fun and I feel so grateful to have such wonderful people in my life that want to shower me with affection (and food & drink!).
Pictured here with me is gal pal Nancy Ross out on one of my Birthday celebrations!
Truly the greatest gift in life, other then your health, is the company you keep. The people you choose to spend your time with, share your lives with, and celebrate milestones together.
It's been one festive event after another and I thank you all for reaching out to me to spend time with me, honor me and celebrate how fabulous 50 can be! I'm feeling so good today!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I've been working hard over the past few days reaching out to our hopeful honorees for the 2012 National Women's Political Caucus Women's Leadership Calendar!
I love this event. It's an opportunity to profile outstanding women leaders in a fun & festive way. We produce an actual calendar and it's a great way to raise money for our organization's Political Action Committee, while also hosting a fabulous signature event.
Save the date now! We have secured Thursday, October 20 for the event and it will be happening at the fabulous The Mark for Events. I hope you will all reserve the night to be with me and honor these women while also feeding our PAC. I'll be announcing who the lucky "calender girls" are as soon as I've confirmed all 12 women... stay tuned!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Pictured here is Papa Jack with his six grandchildren.
Today I spent time with Papa Jack. He's pushing 83 now. Time has worn his face, his memory, but not his love for me. He brags to the waiter at the restaurant about how I just ran the marathon. He tells me how beautiful I am, how fantastic my husband Brian is, and how athletic my boy's are. He loves us all so very much and I feel his love to my core.
He repeats himself often. Okay maybe more then often. He shares the same stories more then once, or twice, but I don't mind. I just enjoy his company and listening to him reminisce. We talk about what a bitch it is to get old. You lose your life pretty much. He was a brilliant attorney for some 50 years. Now he watches as many Dodger & Laker games as he can. Not a bad gig, I know, but it just doesn't seem fair.
You live an enriched life, then everything slows down. Your body, your mind, pretty much everything.
He tells me he spends a lot of time just thinking. Pondering. He believes in an after-life. That by believing in his God you could live for eternity. He wishes I shared his religious commitment so that I could live forever too with him. I think one of the kindest words someone ever told me was when he told me how much he'd want me to truly live forever because I am such a good person.
This was a really, genuine from the heart compliment and I've been joked up ever since he told me this earlier today. I feel really loved.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Well we were back at Palisades High School today for yet another game! We played mine & Brian's alma mater, University High School.
Amazing to think that it's been 30 years since Brian wore a Uni High Baseball uniform... isn't that just crazy to imagine that I used to watch my hubby play ball in High School!
The years fly by, don't they? I can see so clearly my High School years, my time as a TV reporter (best job I ever had) my children as babies ... it's been a very full & colorful life and I'm looking forward to the next 50!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Pictured here are gal pals Stacy Bell, me, and Lissa Solomon before we went out to celebrate! Don't we look fabulous & 50!
Most of my lovely lady gal pals are turning the big 5-0 either this year or in the next one or two so we are all facing the same issues of dealing with age, what we want out of the next 50 years for ourselves, our families, and who we want to spend our precious time with. No doubt this makes for some lively & truthful conversations.
I'm in a place where really I don't want to take bullshit anymore nor be in the company of people who are toxic. So this is my new mantra... I'm tired of being nice when you have offended me so I'm not going to pretend it's okay that you have disappointed me.
As I said in one of my Robynisms, I Expect A Lot Because I Give A Lot...
It's a new decade and I'm choosing my company much more wisely!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
So you thought the tournament all week in San Diego would be enough baseball, no way! We headed down to Palos Verdes Estates today for a game as part of the Redondo Baseball Tournament.
Didn't you know baseball never ends! Then tonight we joined terrific friends Ruthie & Chip Bailey for dinner and the theater in downtown Los Angeles.
The Bailey's treated us to the show God of Carnage playing at the Ahmanson Theater. Fabulous production and we all thoroughly enjoyed!
But more then the production, we enjoyed spending time with good friends who are at the same place in life that Brian and I are in... juggling kids in college, never ending schedules full of children's activities, marriages approaching the 25 year mark... we just all "get it" and it was wonderful to laugh and be together.
Spending time with precious friends is a true gift!
Friday, April 22, 2011
Wow, what a whirlwind it has been these past 7 days! The Birthday festivities kicked-off with the 50 for 50 event, hosted by NWPC in honor of my 50th Birthday.
Pictured here is me blowing out my birthday candle at the 50 for 50 reception! Fabulous evening!
It's been a week full of festivities to celebrate turning 50, including a get-away to San Diego for the boy's baseball tournament... and now we are finally home and re-grouping!
Started the day with a great well needed workout! Yikes I've got to get back on track with my running after a hiatus this past week. As I have written, I am going to attempt to run another marathon so I can have a more successful race and hopefully in dry weather!
So today was about a lot of housekeeping ... laundry, marketing, work, blogging, and re-grouping!
Whew it's exhausting having all this fun!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Pictured here is Harrison with his Dolphin Teammates.
So we headed back home today with two very exhausted teenagers. What a great 4-day get-away it was for us all. Harrison & Spencer had a blast with their teammates while Mom & Dad soaked up great baseball and enjoyed getting to know our fellow baseball families.
A great time was had by all!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Our baseball friends Lu & Ron Brazilli are staying here as well and in between running to the boy's games we are having fun eating, drinking and relaxing together.
Check out my boy Spencer! He's a grinder on the field that's for sure. Money is on Spencer, the boy can deliver. While he may not always receive the glory that his two brothers do since they are pitchers, there's no debating Spencer's contributions to the team. It's so fun to watch him hit and field.
Go Pali Dolphins!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Pictured here are me and my darling Miss Rebecca Simon at the National Women's Political Caucus 50 for 50 Event!
Today the hubby Brian and I headed to San Diego for four days to attend Harrison & Spencer's baseball tournament. We are having a blast!
Nothing better then being with my boys and my man watching baseball! So much fun to watch all these teenager's play competitive ball! And who knew it would also be a little get away for the hubby and I to reconnect after a whirlwind of Birthday festivities!
It's been fun hanging with all the baseball families and getting to know everyone better! Long legged Harry pitched an entire game today against a tough opponent and he rocked it baby!
While the opposing team had an obnoxious coach and student athletes who consistently haggled Harrison, he never wavered.
True leadership on the mound and a real treat to watch. It was a victorious game and one of those moments for Brian and I ... just magical... life is really good today!
Monday, April 18, 2011
The festivities kicked off with the NWPC 50 for 50 event! If you missed this exciting evening, then it was your loss.
Pictured here are two of my most favorite women! Eka Ninuea, me, and Rebecca Sanchez. These ladies are not only big time gal pals, and business owners of Salon Dione, but they make sure my locks are always looking great!
I am so touched by all the accolades and words of accommodation from so many elected officials and community leaders. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, always a supporter of NWPC and of mentoring women to run for office, attended despite her challenging schedule as Secretary of State and as a candidate for US Congress.
She is a good friend to women and to ensuring that we have more women in office. If you live in her district, please support her for her bid for Congress.
My Assembly member Holly Mitchell attended and honored me with her generous words and I am proud to have supported her.
West Hollywood City Councilwoman Abbe Land, one of my favorite women leaders, attended and shared such an adorable tribute to me! It was precious, and so is she.
Former NWPC-California President Celeste Weingardt drove all the way from Ventura County to be with me tonight and to shower me with love & support.
I felt very special and blessed tonight. And I feel as if my Birthday had purpose... By using my 50th Birthday to raise money for our Political Action Committee I am ensuring that we have the resources to support our endorsed women candidates. What a cool way to usher in the next 50 years!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Pink is my signature color
When listening to Gospel Music I cry because I’m so moved
I’m obsessed with cocktail napkins & you having one under your drink
I light candles every night in my house even if it’s just me home alone
I say intentions for the day ahead every morning when I wake up
I drink gallons of water a day
I won most Vivacious in High School, Brian won most Understanding, they still hold true
I get anxiety going to Costco
I would have my hair styled everyday if I could afford to
I have worn the same fragrance for 25 years, Tiffany
My favorite designer is Coco Chanel
I’m obsessed with your beverage being served in the correct stemware
The more bling & glitz, the better
My favorite sport is of course Baseball
I hold a Master’s Degree in Broadcast Management from Pepperdine University
I expect a lot, because I give a lot
Fine is never acceptable, you should aim for outstanding
I drink vodka martinis up, cold and with olives
I believe in equal rights for all
I would die for my children
I hosted my own public affairs television show at the age of 27
I wish we could all be foster parents
I’m passionate about more women in public office
. I cry watching the news
I believe being graceful is always in style
I believe intelligence is sexy
I was born a blonde & believe we do have more fun
Peonies are my favorite flowers
I adore my big & blended family & feel blessed to have them in my life
I love my children to the moon & the stars & back again
I believe motherhood is a job, and the best one to hold
I love drinking champagne anytime of the day or night
I miss my mom Suzanne everyday
I believe we can all do better
I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without my partner Brian
I love to travel, but always miss home
I believe in Sisterhood
My daily beverages include coffee, water, vodka & wine
I am passionate about food
I love to dress up
I love to soak in a swimming pool with a cocktail
I’m too old to drink cheap wine & it must be chilled
I’m blessed to have a circle of friends who enrich my life
I’m grateful for my beautiful home built my builder hubby
I have no regrets about running for office, except maybe that I didn’t win
I feel like a winner in life because I at least tried
It has been a colorful 50 years
I have a long to do list for the next 50
I hope you will all be with me on the journey
I’m at peace, but not finished