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Jag’s Birthday Dinner; Turkey at the Rays

Jon Lindsay and LT

Met Jaguar Jon Lindsay at Houston’s in Century City Sunday night (about 25 miles away from my place) night for his annual birthday meal, courtesy of yours truly. We both passed on steak this time around, feasting on chicken instead—so we had less guilt, natch, for the ice cream and cheesecake desserts that put a fitting end to a nice evening. In February, Jag returns the favor, driving to Pasadena’s version of the renowned eatery for my treat.

It’s been a great year for Jon; he’s had a record number of competitors at most of his shows this year, including the 467 at the USA last summer. And, the season will end on a familiar note at the Excalibur on Saturday.

As of Monday night, Lindsay had 189 signed up for the show, and by game day he’ll easily surpass the all-time record of 190, set last year. The contest should be a dandy; it’s always produced a high number of major caliber winners in the past–Curtis Bryant, Trey Brewer and Isabel Turrell are three that immediately come to mind.

I’ll be meeting Yogi Avidan, Bill Comstock, Alex and Nga Azarian and the gang at the prejudging Saturday morn at Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium in Culver City. Not sure at this point if I’ll come back for the finals, but will have the crew keep an eye on potential “Rising Stars” stepping on stage.

Also had a nice Thanksgiving, making the 45-mile trip to Corona to grub at Shawn and Kristi Ray’s impressive abode. Kristi extended the invitation a week earlier; I had to make sure Sugar Shawn wasn’t making me pick up part of the tab.

Only moments after entering the house, it was time for the Asia Monet Diva Ray show. Asia is quite the showman–4, going on 14. Has the old man’s muscular wheels, and her mother’s rhythm. Inherited my sublime singing voice somehow. Asia put on quite an impressive display of cartwheels, splits and dance moves…for the next 5 hours. Although I loved watching the kid perform, I welcomed the chance to tackle the turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie that provided a wonderful intermission. If only I could have been given a shot at a second round. Guess Shawn wanted to get his money’s worth out of the meal, which lasted throughout the weekend, he admitted.

Xmas card with Asia Monet and Bella Blu

Oh, can’t forget Bella Blu, Asia’s kid sister. I hadn’t seen Bella since her first birthday party at the end of April; she’s a real cutie, and is now trying to imitate Asia on the dance floor.  She’s getting there, although the balance is a little off at this point. And, Shawn showed me he can do a lot more than play by play on his trusted computer; I really enjoyed his movie slide show, Meet the Rays. If I wasn’t allowed to watch football on the big screen, this was a good second choice.

Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving; as far as Christmas goes, I’ll accept gift cards and cash. Damn, been hanging around Sugar Shawn too much!

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