Needless to say, if ‘The Voice’ and ‘The Derby’ hadn’t fallen on vacation time, and clear of our son Declyn’s sports conflicts, we would not have been going. (It’s like that old Marilyn Monroe quote, “Fame, I know it well, but that’s not where I live.”)  After 20 years of marriage, and my own career, I’ve learned what glamorous ideas we have about ‘this lifestyle’ don’t always match up with the reality of the life itself. For example, flying off to be with Cyn when she is working can be an endless waiting game for phoners with journalists to get wrapped up, stylist meetings to get wrapped up, hair, make-up, photo shoots to get wrapped up, meetings, sound checks to get wrapped up and…you get the picture. So one has to weigh very carefully the pros and cons of such journeys, because traveling out to see Mom doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to really see her. After all, we’re not fans, we’re family.

But then this is what we do, and there-in lies the rub of what we have to balance. Sometimes the means don’t justify the ends, and sometimes they do. My own sense of kids is that they don’t want to see their parents naked, and they don’t want to see them at work. They just want them to go to work and come home, like ghosts ships laden down with ‘the bacon.’ That being said, ‘The Voice’ was like a blur. We were in L.A. for two days, a blink, and then we were gone. It was almost like we dreamt it, just too short. But the Derby was another story. Putting aside the nightmarish fiasco of getting there (fourteen hours, after Delta canceled, and canceled, and canceled. We finally ended up flying out of Atlanta on a private jet which was very cool, but not so cool when you arrive at three in the morning, and have to perform the same day.) Getting past that though, the Derby lived up to its billing and fame. It was an incredible party. We had a workable chunk of time too, to get out and see things (like the Mohammed Ali museum) and experience local culinary delights (fried green tomatoes), and plenty of good humor from the folks in Louisville (can’t print here, but damn funny). It’s as great a time as Mardis Gras in New Orleans, or festival in Rio, and completely one-of-a-kind.

I loved it all. From watching Dec feed peppermints to the most beautiful and perfectly groomed animals in the world (if only my kid’s room could be half as clean as those stables!), to being awed by their physical power and athleticism come race time, to the colors and fashions, and hats of the Derby event itself, to my novice testings of the myriad bourbons engulfing me…it was a bucket list memory for sure. It was also satisfying, being a parent voyeur, watching Dec and Cyn do the red carpet together. Declyn was very protective of his mom, respectful and at once able to be himself. I would have been terrified at that age, but he is very much at ease in the limelight. And they really did have time to share between the cracks of the harried get-up-and-go schedules.

Would do it again in a heartbeat, even with all the traffic and Cyn’s ‘vocal malfunction’ which is now You Tube lore. Many thanks Kentucky, for your warmest hospitality!

In the end, we realize how lucky we are as a family to see some very amazing things up close, and in a very personal kind of way. To that end, we are aware of our good fortune, and also of my need to now go lose five pounds.

Erika and her fiancé, James, have been engaged for 11 months and are looking forward to their wedding. But between a traditional Samoan money dance (headpiece and all) and an overwhelmed bride, this wedding is starting to scare David.  Get to know this couple a little bit better by checking out some fun facts and stats below:

James’ family doesn’t like spicy Mexican food, which Erika wants for the wedding

Each month, YouTube’s Video Volunteers program chooses a theme (e.g. health, human rights, climate change), and asks you to make a video about your favorite organization working on that issue.

When I posted about the YouTube Video Volunteers program last fall, they were asking for videos about animal welfare organizations. This month, they are looking for volunteers to create videos about their favorite nonprofit that supports women.

Here’s how to get involved:

1. Choose an organization you love that supports women. If you can’t think of one, they have a list of nonprofits on the YouTube Video Volunteers home page. If you work for a nonprofit supporting women, and would like your organization to be added to the list, click on the “For Nonprofits” tab, and fill out the form.

2. Make a promotional video (under 3 minutes) about the organization.

3. Submit it to YouTube Video Volunteers by May 26th.

top three videos will appear on the YouTube homepage at the end of the
month next to Diane von Furstenberg’s video for Vital Voices.  (She is the
guest curator for the month).

For more information, check out the blog post, Diane

von Furstenberg’s Favorite Trend for May: Helping Women Thrive on Citizentube, and watch Diane’s video
about how to get involved.


Earlier this month, the YouTube Video Volunteers program asked people to create Puppy and Kitty Videos for Good on behalf of their favorite animal welfare organization.

According to the CitizenTube post, Today, Animals Take Center Stage on the Homepage, over 100 users submitted videos. The YouTube community voted for their favorites, and the top three were featured on the YouTube home page earlier this week.

Next month, video volunteers will be asked to create videos focused on hunger in America. Keep your eye on the YouTube Video Volunteers Channel, Citizentube blog, and @citizentube on Twitter for more information about next month’s topic.

You can watch this month’s winners below: