Friday, September 30, 2011

A Promise Kept and a Burgeoning Girl Group

Every now and then, I like to take a picture that someone else has posted and comment on it for defense or just for fun. This is one of those posts.

I'm about 18 years old and my friend Amanda says "I want you and Anne to sing at my wedding. Will you do it?"

Anne and I said yes because 1) we were 18-ish years old and didn't foresee anyone of us getting married any time in the near future, and 2) Amanda was our best friend.

Fast forward about 3 years later, that promise and a late night that may or may not have been influenced by cocktails spurred this picture. Taken in 2000, it is Amanda's wedding Anne, far left, and I had already kicked off Amanda's rocking Karaoke reception (which was hands down the most fun I've EVER had at a wedding reception) with the classic ballad "Almost Paradise" from Footloose (which I HOPE and pray they don't remake for the movie remake next month).

This picture was the very next ditty which was "I Think We're Alone Now" (the Tiffany version) sung by our girl group, Royale with Cheese (two points if you're NOT in the picture and get that reference). At this point in my entertainment career, I had not only mastered singing, but interpretative dance. And on the aforementioned night of inbibing had convinced Brooke and Lara to join Amanda, Anne and I in performing this masterpiece for Amanda and Ryan's wedding guests.

All of us in the picture are now married (some with children), but I still think the group needs to make an encore performance. Who's in?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Car Looks like a Miami Vice Rerun

The award for bonehead move of the week definitely goes to me. I was getting breakfast for co-workers yesterday and while in the grocery store grabbed  a few items for another recipe. I put everything in my car and when I came in to work, I was loaded down with stuff so I left the groceries for later in my backseat until I could get them.

I should've known better because as soon as I set my stuff down, I got whisked into an impromptu meeting, had calls to return and BOOM! The day started. I forgot about my car groceries, which sat in the not so hot, but always sunny backseat of my car, Liam Nissan. 

One of the groceries: a pound of butter. 

So I drive home in a car that smells like it should be used to coat popcorn and my back passenger side seat is an oily mess. I research online and see that after wiping up what I can, the recommended thing to do is coat the area with baking soda or cornstarch to absorb the mess. So I do, but then I wonder if passersby will think that I had an accident and that I have a big pile of cocaine in my backseat. I know it's not likely, but my neighbor is on the cusp of an area where that probably isn't too big of a stretch, so I covered the pile of cornstarch with a towel.

So now my car is retro because it's in to coke. Or at least it feels that way. It seems like its a prop from Miami Vice (the TV show not the horrible movie). 

Does anyone have any better ideas on how to get melted butter out of  car upholstery?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Should I Google+?

      All week I've been getting invites to Google+ and seeing other people on it, but I'm not quite convinced I should do it. I know they just hit 43 million users and all, but is anyone out there on Google+? What's good about it? I'm thinking I'm about at my social media limits right now, but as a marketer and PR person, I'm curious. 

      Anyway, on to what I've done for the week!

      • Pages of fiction read: 59% of a 384 page book. So, that's technically 226 pages. That's one thing you lose with a Kindle. The actual page count. 
      • Fiction read: The Hunger Games. I'm an idiot. I should've listened to my friends months or years ago when they told me to read these. Very entertaining.
      • Fiction listened to via audiobook: None. Still enchanted by Pandora. 
      • Five pages written: Yes!!! I revised a section of the novel that went from 6 pages to 12. Which is good because I tend to write at too quick a pace.
      • Calorie tracking: Check. But I ate horribly. I really and truly am back on it this week. And the whole week. Not just Monday through Thursday as I have been. (She writes after having half a bagel today.)
      • Exercise: 290 minutes of exercise in the last week. But I missed two work outs because I was sick.
      • Friends and family: Done. Komen walk time brings us all closer. Or at least me more nostalgic.
      • Weight Loss: Zero. But this week will be different!
      • Story submission:I did it. I submitted an edited version of my short story for the NPR Three Minute Fiction contest. I'm already a winner because I actually accomplished something. 
      • One revised section of novel per week:  Check! Now I'm reworking the beginning of the novel. I've read beginnings of six of my favorite books to see what it is about them that cpatures me. Now I'm trying to do it. 
        • Anyone have any examples of good fiction beginnings they'd like to share? (Other than "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.")

      Tuesday, September 27, 2011

      My New Favorite Commercial- Thanks, VW!

      This has been blasted all over lately because of the Star Wars thing coming out, but it is so cute that it gets me every time. Enjoy!

      Monday, September 26, 2011

      Stupid Triathlon

      It's not enough that people actually volunteer to run, swim and bike all over God's creation in the name of fun, but do they have to shut down the roads too? (Chef to me yesterday: You know you'd do one if you actually could.  He's probably right.) Yesterday as Chef and I were leaving to go see Moneyball, we were confronted with a big problem. We were on one side of Olympic Avenue and the movie theater was on the other.

      The thing about this movie theater is its awesomeness and the fact you prepay for your tickets to select your seat. So we couldn't change theaters. And the triathlon route ran from Santa Monica to downtown LA, so there was no easy way around it. Keep in mind that had we lived one measly block further north we'd have had no problem.

      After having a near panic attack (those of you who know me know that I cannot stand being late to movies, theater, basically anything that starts on a schedule gets me anxious--I want to be there, in my seats, waiting), Chef called the theater, told them we weren't going to make our early sinner showing and got us in to the next showing 50 minutes later.

      In the end, we got there just in time. And it was totally worth it. Moneyball was everything and nothing like I expected it to be. In the end, it was just great storytelling, and isn't that what any good movie or book is supposed to be?

      Saturday, September 24, 2011

      Our Own Little Walk

      I called my stepdad this morning and he and his special lady, Sara, were walking in the rain. It was the first year that I can remember that the Evansville Race for the Cure got rained on.

      It was hard being here instead of there, but Chef and I had a great walk on the beach this morning. It was not sunny at all, but not too bad. A bad day on the beach is better than most any other day, right?  Here are some pictures and thoughts to go with them.

      I wrote this and almost immediately it got washed away by a wave.
      So this is take two.

      There were so many surfers out this morning. I told Chef I wanted to try surfing.
       His response: "We'll sign you up for classes next spring."
       I think I really want to do it!

      The beginning of our not quite 5K in honor of my mom.
      A view from Santa Monica towards Venice beach.

      I kept saying to Chef "Let's just walk to the next lifeguard station."
      That only worked for so long.

      Friday, September 23, 2011

      Walking From a Distance

      My mother gave me this picture in October of 1999. She had just done her first Race For The Cure event as a survivor.

      "I'm the one in pink," she said with a smile. Then went on to talk about how nice the event was, how many people were there and how she liked walking with other survivors.

      "Why didn't you call me?" I said from my campus apartment at IU. "I would've loved to have come down and walked with you."

      "We'll walk together next year," she said.

      My mom died in August of 2000. Just a few weeks before the next Komen walk. It was too hard to walk that first year. Too much anger. Why did all of those ladies get to parade in with their survivor pink hats on, but my mom couldn't?

      But the next year, my stepdad and I did the walk. I even got to walk with my friend Amanda, her mom (who would also die far too young from cancer) and her sisters. And from that first walk, I've been back every year. Wherever I've been I've made an effort to get back to walk with Jack. We have others who join us for the route and they're always welcomed guests, but it's really our time together. Time to remember my mother, his wife, but also a time for me to remember how much my step dad means to me. He was so key in helping me keep my shit together at a time when I was trying not to fall completely apart.   He doesn't get Christmas or Father's Day or any other holiday for us alone, but the walk has always been our special day.

      Except this year, I have to walk it from a distance. I knew it would probably catch up to me one of these days and this year's the year. I just couldn't get from California to Indiana to do it, but that doesn't mean I'm not doing it.

      So tomorrow morning I'll be up with Chef at the Santa Monica beach walking our 5K at the same time that everyone in Evansville is doing their 5K. If you're at the walk, text me. Send me pictures. Walk in honor of my mom and everyone else whose lost the fight or is battling breast cancer.

      Because you never know when there might not be a next year.

      Thursday, September 22, 2011

      Get Sick or Don't: I wish I could decide

      My hands are freezing. My face is hot. My head is cloudy. My body has the chills. I'm tired as hell.

      But I'm not truly sick. At least my definition of truly being sick. I'm not so debilitated that I couldn't drive or sit in on a conference call. I'm just so tired and slightly sick that I don't feel good doing any of it.

      Chef convinced me to go to bed early last night and skip my morning workout for extra sleep this morning. I woke up feeling okay but as soon as I got to work, it started to creep up on me again.

      I left work early today in an effort to get some rest, snuggle up in some pajamas, ingest some soup and let my body figure it out. I just wish it would decide quickly because I've got things to do.

      So, get sick or don't, body. Just make a decision already! (I'm hoping for the latter, but if it's the former, make it gentle, please.)

      Wednesday, September 21, 2011

      I Have a Fever. . .

      . . .and I wish more cowbell could cure it. I woke up this morning feeling okay, but tired. More tired than normal. I chalked it up to getting to bed later than normal. (Kinda glad new TV is on!). But by the time I got to work and got started on my day (which had only about a 30 minute break from meetings, interviews and webinars before lunch and not much more time after lunch), I realized I was a little under the weather. Fever yet still cold and a craving for soup for lunch. Add to that other coworkers (who sit in close proximity) who've been sick and I think I'm doomed.

      But I will fight it tonight with soup and rest, and not doing too much of anything. The only benefit of being not quite sick yet.

      Despite any pending illness, I have managed to do some things right.
      • Pages of fiction read: 93. I'm under for my second week, but my excuse this week is that I finished one book and the book I'm starting next is on my Kindle, which was dead and my charging cable recently broken. So I'm on hold until my new charger comes today! 
      • Fiction read:  Finished Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman. Am starting the much anticipated The Hunger Games tomorrow. 
      • Fiction listened to via audiobook: None. Ugh. I need to load up my ipod or have my memory erased about the awesomeness that is Pandora. 
      • Five pages written: I'm gonna say yes. I wrote three pages for a story and am revising another so I don't know the exact word count.
      • Calorie tracking: Check. But I was just over my daily average for weight loss for the second week in a row.
      • Exercise: 355 minutes of exercise in the last week.
      • Friends and family: Done. Everyone's having babies. Makes the reaching out easier!
      • Weight Loss: Lost 0.8 lbs. (Total since LA move: 26 lbs)
      • Last week's NEW goal: Have 600 word story for contest completed, edited, and submitted.- It's Completed and Edited. Will submit this weekend. 
      • New Goal: I've decided to focus on FINALLY finishing the novel. So I'm now committed to combining feedback from my old Writers' Group (I miss you guys!!) and revising one small section at a time. Goal is to have at least one sectioned revised per week.  

      Tuesday, September 20, 2011

      Stumbling a Little

      I haven't gained any weight. I haven't lost any weight.

      Both are true statements, but at this point, I'm more impressed by the former than the latter. It's been a little bit of a bad couple of weeks for me. I'll start out Monday-Wednesday eating pretty well, but by Thursday I'm like "I want fried zucchini." or "I've been good, I should have some cake."  (side note: I think I'm the only one who ever orders fried zucchini from Carl's Jr's so they end up making it fresh every time I'm there. Fresh fried zucchini does me right every single time).

      My saving grace has been that I've been working out a lot. Or at least enough to mitigate the impact of my indulgences. I've had no real excuses. A few work lunches, but nothing that I couldn't handle. It's mostly my lack of will power. How do you get motivated again when you've fallen off the wagon?

      I haven't gained any weight, so the idea of not fitting into clothes isn't really an issue. In fact, my clothes are still mostly too big for me, so losing more weight would only make me look worse than I'm looking right now. Not that I look all that bad, but the fit on my ensembles isn't the best.

      It's that awkward phase of being caught between two sizes. My pants are too big, but when I try on smaller ones they give me muffin top. So which would I rather live with: muffin top or droopy looking booty?


      Monday, September 19, 2011

      Movies I Can't Wait to See

      Being in LA (or New York too, actually), one thing you see a ton of is movie posters. They're on billboards, plastered on construction sites, bus stops, and buses themselves. They are EVERYWHERE. And they start about 2 months before the actual movie comes out, so by the time the TV ads kick in, you feel like you've seen the movie almost.

      My PR theory on why this is done is that the majority of those people who make movies or act in them live in NYC or LA. If you want to make someone think the movie is being promoted heavily everywhere, promote heavily where they are. They'll never know that there's not one damn billboard in Nashville for The Cape or not an out-of-home campaign running in Indiana for Drop Dead Diva.

      That being said. There are several movies coming out that I'm itching to see. Here they are:

      • Moneyball (Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman and baseball? WINNER!)
      • The Ides of March (It's a movie about a press secretary that messes up. Love the idea. Did I mention Ryan Gosling is that press secretary?)
      • Twilight: Breaking Dawn (no judgement people. My only hope is that Kristen Stewart is mute for most of it)
      • We Bought a Zoo (interesting premise and Matt Damon) 
      I'm sure more will pop up as the (brace for it) holiday movie season gets hopping. 

      Sunday, September 18, 2011

      Sometimes Guys Can't Write Women

      It's been a week since the series finale of Entourage and it took that long for me to really think about what bugged me about it. I've liked the show for a while and it's probably because I'm part dude. Not literally, but I've never been exceptionally over-feminine. I like make up, looking pretty and baking, but I also love nearly all sports, hate throwing parties, and can't stand the usual BS that comes with interacting with a lot of women.

      But in the end, it was being a woman that bugged me most about Entourage. I can get over the hordes of women throwing themselves at a celebrity, as I've seen it happen on a much smaller scale. It was two things:

      • Sloan and Eric: He sleeps with her former stepmother, knocks her up and her family hates him, but she can forgive him enough to run away with him in the end? I know he's the father of her unborn kid and all, but it seems like a little stretch. What mostly got me is that all the important scenes that happen between the two characters (breaking up, making up, etc) are either cut off by the end of the episodes are aren't shown on screen. There are few pivotal scenes that are actually shown. It could be that the actors aren't strong enough to pull it off, but honestly, I'm thinking the two male writers don't really know how to pull that scene off.
      • Sophia and Vince: Seriously, Vince gets married to a chick he meets for a couple of hours? I actually might believe that because his character is so weird. But how am I supposed to buy that a serious "journalist" who went to Oxford and has a "i don't date actors" moral belief throws everything away to run away with a nice, but dumb actor? Entourage did not sell me on that at all. Mostly because We see NOTHING of their relationship together. Just her saying no and then all of a sudden we're seeing her show up on a plane to elope. Not believable.
      I realize that this show is about the relationship of dudes in Hollywood. The finale should've been about the relationship of dudes in Hollywood. When they bring the women in, it just rings false.

      Wednesday, September 14, 2011

      What I did this week. . .

        Between locking myself out and being busy at work, my personal goals are taking a hit this week. There are times that that's just the case, aren't there? Here's to doing better next week!

      • Pages of fiction read: 71
      • Fiction read: Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman
      • Fiction listened to via audiobook: Still none. Pandora.
      • Five pages written: Nope. I'm slacking.
      • Calorie tracking: Check. But I was just over my daily average for weight loss :(
      • Exercise: 370 minutes of exercise in the last week.
      • Friends and family: Done. One good thing about the Colts loss.
      • Weight Loss: Lost 0.2 lbs.
      • At least 5 pages types on a new story/ essay: Nope. Only one page done. FAIL sauce.
      • NEW goal: Have 600 word story for contest completed, edited, and submitted.

      Tuesday, September 13, 2011

      How is Footloose gonna work?

      I'm personally a little tired of remakes of 80s movies. Mostly because they don't change a damn thing about the movie except the cast and expect us to buy it. Lately I've been seeing the Footloose ads everywhere and I'm a little concerned. Is it because I can't imagine anyone playing Ren McCormack other than Kevin Bacon? Or that remaking a movie seems like a bad idea when you don't change anything (except the women get sluttier dance moves and fewer clothes)?

      Mostly it's because I'M NOT BUYING IT. It was hard enough to swallow the idea of a town that banned music and dancing in 1984. It's damn near impossible to believe it would happen in 2011. And if they push the date of the movie back to the 80s it goes back to my "Why the hell?" theory.

      If you're going to do a remake of something, make it contemporary. Change it up. Don't get tied to the iconography of the original. Or better yet. . .Be original. Easy A is an example of something loosely based of a historic novel (The Scarlet Letter). It's updated, it's not literal and it's pretty well done.

      People my age will not go see Footloose because we prefer our Ariel to be wearing godawful sweaters with red cowboy boots and skintight jean. And young people aren't going to see it because they didn't see FAME or the Hairspray remake or any other godawful thing that's been thrown at them as "new" or "updated" lately.

      Save the money. Watch the Julianne Hough Pro Activ commercial and rent the original Footloose.

      Monday, September 12, 2011

      Things My Husband Will Sleep Through

      I locked myself out of the apartment this morning. It was one of those slow motion moments when I looked down and saw my car keys, not my house keys. With my hands full of my water bottle, my car keys, my iPhone, headphones and trash, I was in too much of a clustered hurry to pay close enough attention. And I paid for it.

      I went ahead and worked out because I figured it was closer to Chef's time to get up (well, a little closer) and therefor I might have more of a chance of him waking. Oh how wrong I was. My quest to get into the apartment began at 5:45 a.m. Here's a list of things I did, yelled or tried to get in or wake my husband:

      • 15 phone calls to his cell phone
      • 21 text messages including some of these gems:
        • Wake up, please!
        • I'm locked out
        • please please wake up
        • Knuckles are raw
        • I'm getting desperate here. Please please wake up.
        • Going to see if security can let me in.
        • No luck.
        • Need to get to work.
        • Still trying.
        • Mondays suck
        • I'm sure our neighbors hate me
        • How are you not hearing any of this??
        • I think you might be dead
      • Cop knocks every two minutes (aka that three knock rhythm that cops use when trying to alert people they're there)
      • Kicking the door
      • Going to our windows (which were open. However, there was a large embankment and a large fence separating the embankment from the sidewalk) and yelling Chef's name.
      • Throwing pretty large stones at the window screen so that I got the fan knocked out of the window.
      • Asking the security guard to try and hike me over the fence.
      • Trying to squeeze under the fence.
      In the end (and by end I mean TWO HOURS after I first started trying to wake Chef up), it was a few more stones thrown at the window and me yelling his name again.  His first response after I walked through the door: "Why did you try to call me? You know that never works?" It was only after a few minutes explaining the steps above that we both started laughing.

      Two things:
      1) I must have chilled out a little because I didn't cry, scream or have a nervous breakdown even being 90 minutes late for work. 
      2) If Chef and I choose to have a kid, I hope that kid will inherit Chef's ability to sleep through things (among other things).

      Sometimes I feel like the honey badger

      I do all the work and some jackyll comes by and eats it. But much like the honey badger, I don't give a shit. Okay, maybe I really am not like the honey badger at all. I just really like this video. It makes me (and about 16 million other viewers apparently) chuckle.

      Sunday, September 11, 2011

      Because we remember where we were

      I remember my mom and dad talking about where they were when they heard that President Kennedy had been shot. I remember people telling me again and again how important it was and how everyone could remember that moment in history. I also remember a history teacher telling me he kind of felt sad that our generation hadn't had that moment.

      Of course ten years ago today that moment actually came and I can't say that I feel all that better for it. It's nice to remember where you were for something (and I actually remember where I was when the Challenger blew up-take that old history teacher), but let's face it: if you and multitudes of other people --or even a whole country-- remember where they were when something happened, it probably wasn't a good thing that happened. It was probably catastrophic.

      Here's where I was when the towers went down: in my first apartment that was all my own. I had just moved to Nashville two weeks before and was about 3 weeks into my job at the American Heart Association. I was listening to my giant boombox--specifically listening to the Bob & Tom Show because it made me feel like I was connected to Indiana. Kristi Lee came on and said that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers and then Tom came back on a few minutes later to tell the audience about the other tower.

      What happened next for me and most Americans that weren't in New York or Washington DC was a lot of confusion. Hours of who did this? What happened? Why would someone do this? How many more sites were up for grabs? What would happen to other plans in the air? Could you imagine being in the air and finding out this news?

      Clearly time unfolded the answers to those questions but one thing remains certain: If you and a collective nation all remember where you were for a moment, chances are good that something horrible happened. For that reason, I hope that the generation born after 2001 never remember where they were when. . . at least for a really long time.

      Saturday, September 10, 2011

      Oh Project Runway, You Do Give Us Divas!

      I'm loving Project Runway this season. Mostly because the characters are just outrageous. The casting on this one has been pretty damn good. The clothes--so-so, but the drama has been top notch. Maybe I was just missing the show after what seemed like a long ass hiatus.

      But when it came back, BAM!--you give us the latest Diva of all, Joshua. Joshua can take someone cussing and use it to create a full minute tirade. If you know anything about TV editing, you know that the real tirade must have been close to 10 minutes to be dwindled down to that much actual usable footage.

      I'm all about honoring dead mothers. I think I've proved that through my blog posts, but this guy makes grieving look like an art form. He's created an outfit in his mother's honor, blamed a tirade on her birthday, and had a crying breakdown on camera in the "confessional" because he couldn't afford to go home to visit her before she died. Did I mention she died two years before he was cast?

      "It's the not being able to go home" breakdown that sent me from being sympathetic to being like "come on, dude." If your family wants you home (they were in Austin, TX and he was in NYC), I'm sure someone, somewhere would pitch in for a plane ticket. At the very least a bus ticket. If you want and need to go somewhere, there's always a way.

      Second, instead of using that guilt for something, his argument was that he had better make it further on Project Runway to make the pain of not being able to go home worth it. (He said he was in NYC for his career and that he was bartending to make money, but couldn't use that money to get to Austin? Also, his bio lists a stint in Italy where he was doing design work. You can get to Italy but not Austin? How does that work?). I started feeling very manipulated by this guy. But I'm sure not I'm not alone on this and I'm positive Project Runway loves it.

      Hate equals ratings and I'm still watching.

      Friday, September 09, 2011

      What should I torture my cats with?

      I was at PetCo today and the kitty costumes were out. I am always tempted by them. See them and think of how cute our little fur babies would be all decked out for trick or treating. I feel like doing it would cross some invisible cat crazy line. My friend Greg says that every pet owner feels the urge to this one time or another. 
      "Just give into the urge and do it," he said. "Get it out of your system."

      I have still not given in, but I wondered: if I were to choose one of these, which would have the highest likelihood of being kept on longer than a few minutes. The shark fin that goes across the back or the Rasta hat for the head? Hands down, Genghis would be the shark and Khubla, our chill cat, the Rasta. 

      Have you ever dressed up your pet? How did that work out?

      Thursday, September 08, 2011

      Can we agree to pee in toilets please?

      There seems to be a strain of people that are peeing in completely unreasonable places. Namely airplanes. And not in the bathrooms.

      Look, I of all people know its hard to hold it. I specifically have aisle seats on long flights so that I don't have to crawl over people for the bathroom. I even had my first outdoor pee in forever while on a long drive, but I had napkins and a heavy underbrush to shield me.

      The same could not be said of Gerard Depardieu, who peed on the floor of a plane on recently. Or US Ski team hopeful, Robert Vietze, who peed on a flight, but also on an underage girl. I know the bathrooms are not the most spacious, but they do have some essential toilets.

      What's up with this, people?

      Wednesday, September 07, 2011

      What to Finish

      Here's my progress to this week's goals:

      • Pages of fiction read: 127
      • Fiction read: Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman
      • Fiction listened to via audiobook: Still none. Pandora comedy is doing me right right now. 
      • Creative writing every day: yes
      • Five pages written: Yes-- and then some!
      • Calorie tracking: Check. Averaged 179 calories under my daily goal.
      • Exercise: 310 minutes of exercise in the last week.
      • Friends and family: Done. mostly because my friend Julie had an adorable little son this week and I did some virtual cheek squeezing until I can lay my hands on those chubby cheeks in person. 
      • Weight Loss: Steady. Which is weird considering I think I ate everything in sight.
      • At least 5 pages types on a new story/ essay:I've got three on one story, two on another. Does that count?
      Okay, here's the most recent dilemma. I seem to have writing ADD right now. I've got a short story that needs some major work waiting to be reshaped, a novel that needs some good flushing out and an ending, a short story that is written in my head but no where else, and a new creative non-fiction essay that I'm dying to get out. And now I'm hankering to write a screenplay. It is LA, after all. Doesn't everyone have a screenplay? 

      So do I continue starting stuff or do I hunker down and finish a few things? Am I really this disorganized?

      Tuesday, September 06, 2011

      Four Products I'm Currently Loving

      I don't typically do a review post on things, but I've been trying out a lot of new products lately and decided it was time to share. Keep in mind that I've gone slightly minimalist in my morning routine lately. No longer doing masks and lotion routines. Just some regular items that are helping my solve some regular problems. You might like them too. Here goes:

      Secret Waterproof Clinical Strength Deodorant: Full disclosure: I got a year's supply of this deodorant through Klout, so it was free. But I have tried it for over a month now and I have to say, it's quite honestly rocking my socks. I have a problem, even with the clinical strength deodorants, of starting to smell halfway through the day. This deodorant has passed all my pit checks so far.

      Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Facewash in Pink Grapefruit: Started using this facewash a few months ago to combat my monthly pimple brigade and haven't had a major break out since. I switched to a Clean and Clear sample for a few weeks and BAM! Zit on the chin. I won't make that mistake again. I'm sure the better eating and perpetual water drinking have something to do with it, but still, why mess with a good thing?

      Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Cream: Bought this because I was getting tired of Skintimate and thought why not? Haven't bought any Aveeno products since my mom had to get the oatmeal baths for my brother and my chicken pox outbreak. Now that I have this, I'm not sure I'll ever got back. It actually does what it claims and slows down regrowth. Amazing.

      Urban Decay's All Nighter Make-up setting spray: My eyeliner runs by about 10 a.m. every day. Once had a co-worker ask me if I had a black eye. I tried new eyeliners, new primers, setting with loose powder. Nothing worked. And then I grabbed this stuff on a whim in line at Sephora and the rest is history. My eyeliner not only stays in place, but so does my entire face. When I get home at night, my make up is still in place. That's a win in my book.

      These are things that have worked for me. If you get them and they work for you, let me know! Got any products you love? Share!!

      Monday, September 05, 2011

      Is Jess a Boy or Girl? Burning Questions in Advertising

      I have seen the Domino's commercial on many occasions and thought: Is Jess a boy or girl? It takes a few moments before I seem mostly settled that Jess is a girl. Then I think: Why would an ad agency or Domino's put Jess in a commercial if they knew this would be debated? Is that part of the transparency or a ploy?

      Either way, I'm still kinda a fan of the idea of putting out good and bad stuff about your product, especially one so bemoaned. As long as there continue to be improvements to the product.

      What do you think? Is Jess a boy or a girl?

      UPDATE: Chef asked me to think higher on this blog post and not just to pander to the basic question. So, here's the updated call to action:

      Did Domino's add Jess to accurately reflect their employee base or was it a ploy to spark debate and appeal to more pizza buyers?

      Sunday, September 04, 2011

      Worse than a Hangover

      Yesterday Chef and I got out and about. Actually both yesterday and Friday we did. I took Friday off to get around Los Angeles and have some fun. The more I get out in the city, the more I love it. Mostly because there are so many different people and I get to see bizarre things that don't normally happen in Nashville or Indiana. For example, while getting my hair done, I was joined by two transgenders and two strippers, one of which requested the "Jersey Shore" which was exactly as it sounded. I had a blast just sitting back and listening to the conversation for future use in my writing. MATERIAL!

      On Friday we also went to the Farmer's Market. It's one of my favorite places in LA and I just always forget to go there. Friday afternoon early evening and it was pretty dead. We had pizza and beer and bought a wicked cupcake/ whoopie hybird I've never seen before which didn't taste as good as it looked.

      Saturday was our regular errand day, a long drive around town including some sightseeing on Mulholland Drive, and football. In between was some food that was way too fat-laden for my system. That's what feels worse today than any hangover I've had: my stomach ache. I was up at 3, 5, 7 and then just gave in. If I were to do it over again, I'd do it all. Except the food.

      Thursday, September 01, 2011

      I'm in Love With Pandora

      I'm probably exceptionally late to the party on this one, but Chef has tried and tried again to spark my interest in Pandora. Not the jewelry beads that I don't particularly care for, but the streaming radio app for my iPhone and website and all that jazz.

      I've tried using Pandora before and gave up because honestly, it just made me realize how crappy my taste in music is. It's bad enough that my friends know, but the thought of an online service that was crunching what song best went with Taylor Swift and the Backstreet Boys really just made me shamed.

      But I found my niche! Not music at all, but comedy. I always loved listening to raw dog radio when I had sirius and was delighted when I found that Pandora had live comedy bits. I typed in Jim Gaffigan and got him, Daniel Tosh, Jerry Seinfeld, Nick Swordson and Louis CK on my way home yesterday. It was awesome. What better drive home than laughter?

      Thanks, Chef.


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