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Saturday, May 12, 2012


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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Go Willamette BEARCATS

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

Political Posers

In case you missed my post today in CityWatch, I'm re-posting it here so you can all see what's on my mind today!

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, trainin
g, 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 m
ember 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 C
ouncil 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

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Are We Full Yet?

What is it with the Holidays and all the gorging!?

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 Ros
et & 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

New York at Christmas Time

So the college boy turns 21 in February. Like many folks do, they celebrate this milestone occasion in Las Vegas or a place where the kid can order a drink legally.

Well, Brandon will be in Idaho playing baseball on his 21st Birth
day 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 thes
e 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 Rockef
eller 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 ye
ars 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

2012 New Beginnings

Ah it's been so long my dear followers of my Birthday Blog! But I'm back and fired up for the New Year, new beginnings, new friendships, new adventures and anything new that will contribute to my health, wealth or happiness. Doesn't that sound magical?!

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 mem
ories 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 bac
k 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!