Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm Back and With Baby

It's been over 2 months since my last blog, but you know what, get over it! I am lucky if I get a shower every day with Sophia, so Tom is happier when I am clean than if I have time to rant about my day.

Let's start on October 16th when I was admitted into the hospital because the little munchkin was due on the 11th and was holding on for dear life inside my belly. It took 28 hours of sitting around doing absolutely nothing except being pumped full of drugs for anything to happen! The worst part, I could not even eat. Really? The doctors were afraid something would happen, hello, I wanted something to happen!

Epidurals are heaven! Once they get it in correctly. It took them 3 tries (3rd time is a charm), an hour and me screaming, "I told you idiots I did not want students doing procedures on me!" only to find out they weren't students, just not very good at it. It's time to push. Oh really? I can't feel anything, might want to back off the drugs just a wee bit.

Maternity Leave can be very boring. I watched so many Christmas movies, it was not even funny. How many Christmas Carol variations are even possible - Mickey's Christmas Carol, A Diva's Christmas Carol, Ebbie, Cupid Christmas, Three Wise Women. I watched them all!

I also took time daily to pose Sophia with different things (see picture above). She has now mastered the phone, the remote, had a cupcake, hosted a tea party, hung out at the beach with her tropical umbrella and parrot. My favorite was the tea party where she was hosting a pink poodle named Fifi with her poodle tea set!

I love her onesie that says "This is my little black dress." Despite my attempts, my husband would not let me add "This is my little black dress, bitch." I thought she needed some attitude!

Getting into a routine has been a challenge. She does what she wants, when she wants. She must get that from her father!

Friday, October 15, 2010

If Patience is a Virtue, I am a Demerit

Definition of Patience: an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
My Definition: An excuse people make when they do not live up to your expectations.
I have never been a patient person. Shocking, I know, but true. I don't need immediate gratification but I do not like to be subjected to unacceptable wait times for no apparent reasons.
Like when I need a Sales Associate at a store. They either fall into 2 categories - those that work on commission or are bored, and have pounced on you like a puma before you fully step across the thresh hold of the store entrance or those who don't like there $7.50/hour job and could really give a rat's ass if you buy anything.
The other day, MJ and I were at Toys R Us. That store scares me, it is like a playground for those with ADD, there is to much to take in. I was looking for a particular item for the Twinkies birthdays, so I was on a mission. After failing to find someone to assist, and having wandered around the entire store 9 months pregnant, I made my way back to the front of the store, to track down a cashier. I walked up to Customer Service on one side and was told "I can help you over here." Are you f'in kidding me? I am 9 months pregnant and you are not. You can move your lazy ass over here and wait on me, I am the customer. Once we got the fact established that I was not moving, we could move on to securing my item and getting the hell out of there.
Last night, Scottie, Fay and I went to Palm Palace for a Past President's Party. We were slightly proud of our evening of alliteration. Lo and behold, Scottie arrived first, with me following about 5 minutes late. Fay was running 15 minutes late as she and Tom had just finished buying her a new car, so we took our booth. The waitress was on us in 30 seconds demanding our drink order, not understanding we were waiting for a 3rd person and trying to get us to order our food. After interrupting us 3 times in 5 minutes, it was enough.
Once Fay got there though, she was no place to be seen. We had to hail another waiter to get a drink and food order placed, and get the bill. We had to literally hunt her down to get her to take the payment so we could leave. Is cutting citrus really more important that your tip? Apparently, the answer was YES!
Now let's talk about the latest - Mimi being almost a week late. Really kid? We waited 4 months
to be able to tell people about you. I have schlepped you to 4 countries, 9 states and 2 rock concerts. We want to meet you! Could you throw us a bone here? Who knew my belly was so cozy!
Screw patience, maybe I am a fan of instant gratification!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wedding Wackiness - The Big Day

To recap so far, Vegas has been an adventure. We survived the scary marriage license office, my Dad ended up in the ER during the rehearsal, unexpected friends showed up to surprise us and my niece was flippin' hysterical as usual.

Wedding morning, it was off to find some chocolattes at Starbuck's (as KellieLynn calls them) before heading back to the crazy beauty salon to get our hair done at the crack of dawn. As my hair was being teased about as high as Elvis's pompadour phase, KL comes over and declares "Auntie, you have to do something about that poof!" Hysterics ensued and it was off to the country club.

At the country club, the wind was still whipping like we were in the midst of a tropical storm, the decision was made to move the wedding ceremony inside. As Fay, MJ, Helen, Kiki, KL and Mom ran around like chickens with their heads cut off to make sure everything was done, I chilled in the dressing room with some snacks and champagne. KL was so chic drinking her Sprite from a champagne flute.

The wedding went off perfectly in a blur that seemed to last about 3 minutes, when it actually lasted 20 minutes! We had a birthday cake for Mom, Dad was heard mumbling obscenities along the lines of "I am paying for this and all I can eat is applesauce and not drink". Wendy and KL kept throwing rose petals and then collecting them and throwing them again so it was a rose storm through out the entire reception! KL danced with Bryan with a 'Y', helped Scottie secure his vest clips and after a mini-meltdown that led to a plate of chicken fingers to appear, was the life of the party.

After some spilled wine, a very happy best man (who is not used to drinking a lot of red wine) and a lot of fun, Tom and I were off to cruise the Strip in a limo. It was fun - people were trying to look in and see if we were famous! Of course, it would not have been my wedding if I did not hit a Starbuck's replete in my wedding dress! We were too big to go through the drive-in in the limo, but we did get free drinks.

Then, it was back to the hotel for showers and to get ready for the after-glow with about 30 friends!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why The End of Summer Sucks!

While Summer officially ended on September 23rd this year, it has been flitting away from us for several weeks now. The end of summer sucks! It means trading in the shorts, tank tops and flip-flops for jeans, sweaters and boots. Since I am 9 months pregnant, this end of summer also shows that I have no fall clothes that fit, so that makes it all the more fun! Mimi needs to come soon as I will look ridiculous walking around in shorts and a winter jacket!

Summer also means the closing of all the pools, but that does not help when Indian Summer comes around. Last Tuesday, Tom and I had the day off, it was 87 degrees and we could have used a pool. We were stuck with the options of sitting inside in air conditioning or becoming sweaty messes at a Corn Maze. There is something wrong with this picture!

The end of summer means socks! I detest socks, I love to wear flip-flops and cute sandals. It is a 6-month waste of pedicures that are still necessary so your feet do not turn in cow's hooves.

Football takes over as summer ends. While it is fun to tailgate and watch the games, it is not fun to have to plan your day around the traffic patterns of 109,000 something fans who forget how to drive weekly in their search for affordable and close parking. It is not fun to show up at the tailgate dressed one way only to realize you are boiling or freezing and have made a bad wardrobe choice. You need to carry a duffel bag of clothes with you where ever you go so you can be prepared like the Boy Scouts!

Summer signals the end of baseball, something I follow with the passion of a fat kid who loves cake! It means the playoffs (yeah), but also the 5 long months before spring training where there are no good sporting events to watch on TV every day.

While Fall is fine, summer rocks! With summer ending, we are just a quick blink away from dreaded winter!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stadium People

Every time I go to a baseball game or other event at a large venue like a stadium, the people watching is almost better than Grand Central Station at rush hour. The diversity of people is astounding, yet somewhat predictable.

First, you have your beauty queens. Women on dates or looking to impress and definitely not dressed for the occasion. Who thinks it is a good idea to wear 5 inch heals to a baseball game? If I see you in the upper deck, you are not going to get noticed by the players and get rich quick.

Next up, the partiers. These people (predominately men) really could care less who is playing as long as there is beer to be imbibed. I am all about having a good time, but when you decide to puke on the steps or pee on the railings in our section, again, I need to draw the line. How do you think this is acceptable social behavior?

Now you have the uninterested - why bother? I find it sacrilege for you to come to a game and read your book the entire time. Why deal with the crowds, the heat and the chance of getting beaned on the head, when you would rather be home with your Danielle Steele novel?

What about the idiots - by and far the predominant population at every game. The people who keep sitting right next to you infringing on your space even though the rest of the row has been empty for the 1st 3 innings. How about the people who stop in the middle of the concourse for no apparent reason? Step aside dumb ass! Or the people who get up and down 57 times in a game (refer to the partiers) - sit your ass down.

Crazy Outfit wearers are always interesting, as are ugly, fat men who take their shirts off on hot days and decide to dance for the cameras. Really? There is a reason you were not hired as a Chippendale!

Finally, there are those there for the love of the game. They were their gear, they get upset when their team is losing and they actually know the names of their players (and might even have nicknames for them). If the stadium was only filled with these people, life would be good!

Monday, September 13, 2010

More Pregnancy Ramblings

Well we talked about the basics before, no alcohol, stupid people making comments that they should really keep to themselves and unexpected alien movements. But as the time ticks down (less than a month to go), let me tell you a few more of my pet peeves.

First of all, what is with the feet swelling? I am still exercising, I am still walking around, why does water seem to accumulate - I have permanent cankles! Really, you would think I was drinking 10 gallons of liquid a day. On top of that, note to self, dropping a pineapple can from the highest shelf in the kitchen onto your foot does not help matters.

Next up, incessant, useless Dr. visits. Please tell me why it is OK to keep me waiting 20 - 40 minutes to tell me how many weeks pregnant I am and to tell me I have gained more weight. I am acutely aware of how pregnant I am and they have these inventions called scales that are miracles of modern technology. Also, I can get up off the exam table (see above, I still do sit-ups at exercise class), I do not need your assistance. Maybe there are other lazy a**es out there who enjoy hanging out at the doctor's office, but I am not one of them!

I want to be able to paint my toe nails without feeling like I hiked a set of stairs - in July when I was home, I conned my sister into painting my toe nails. She thought I could not reach toes and she agreed to it, but got mad when she realized I could reach my feet when I applied the clear coat myself. I was just being lazy and wanted to be pampered. Now I could use some help, where are you Kiki?

Wardrobe - really it needs to say above 65 until Mimi is born. I have no pants that fit, only skirts and capris and I don't need frost bite waiting for her to arrive. That would just be the icing (pun intended) on the cake!

The nursery is ready, Tom is infant CPR certified and we are off to Daddy Boot Camp and Mommy Survival classes this weekend. Now, we just need you to hurry up and come hang out with us!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Screwballs at Starbuck's

Wendy and I spend several Saturday mornings a month at Starbuck's, gossiping, drinking coffee and playing Scrabble. We go there to hang out with each other, not to make friends, not to influence others and surely not to get unnecessary commentary from wackadoos.

First of all, the music selection there is crazy! It ranges from Jazz, to moaning to indistinguishable sounds that are very distracting when trying to lay down Scrabble Bingos. I want to just give them my I-Pod and say, let's play something recognizable please.

The people watching is great though. One day, no less than 7 cars in a one hour period pulled out of the drive-thru, up to the garbage can and started cleaning out their cars like they were at the car wash. I am pretty sure these garbage bins were meant for Starbuck cups, straw wrappers, etc, not the collection of fast food bags that you have accumulated in the past month that litter your floor.

The nutters that feel the need to stop at our table and comment, "So you are playing Scrabble?" are always great! Unless you are Helen Keller, you can see we are playing Scrabble. It certainly does not look like rummy, so please acknowledge this to yourself and move along, Mr. or Miss Obvious!

Then we have the people who are really nosy - who's winning? what's the best word on the board? have you used the Q or Z yet? Are you kidding me? I am not playing Scrabble with you, I do not like strangers, it is still early in the morning and I am not a morning person, the list goes on and on. In other words, take a hike bozo!

We also have the people who decide they are the fashion police. Granted Wendy and I do not dress for Starbuck's and we often roll in there in work out clothes, lounge clothes, with or without a shower, but if our odor is not offending you, again, please mind your own business. We are not celebrities, you are not the paparazzi and you have way too much free time on your hands.

You have to love the time when the guy behind Wendy taps her on the shoulder and says "Your hair is sticking up." When she gave him the WTF look, he started gesturing with his hands to indicate her hair was sticking up, like she was deaf. She was just dumbstruck that some dumb ass would tell her what she already knew - she had rolled out of bed and went to Starbuck's and had not combed her hair. Again, why do you care bucko? Paul Mitchell you are not!

We still look forward to our jaunts to Starbuck's for if nothing more, a good laugh, and a yummy latte!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is This Museum Real or a Joke?

I love quirky museums. The more bizarre, the better. With all my travels, I get bored with art museums, historical sights, unless there is some gimmick to the attraction. Let's take a look at some of my most memorable ones:

- The International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago - features exhibits dealing with various aspects of Eastern and Western medicine - lots of torture like medical instruments from the past, along with lots of body parts in formaldehyde.

- Call of the Wild Museum in Gaylord - The whole museum is all dead animals native to northern Michigan, tanned and stuffed. Really rather disturbing but less stinky than a zoo.

- Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi - showcases the essence of India’s ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual messages. This is where we took a It's a Small World boat ride through the temple and learned that an Indian invented gunpowder, antibiotics, fire and the wheel, contrary to what we have read in books!

- Liberace and Elvis-O-Rama Museums in Las Vegas - these museums more glitter and neon than anyplace in the world!

- Sake Tasting Museum in Berkeley, CA - interesting and gave me flashbacks to too many sake bombs and Korean bombs with my JCI Friends.

- The Christmas Story Museum in Cleveland, OH - where else can you go and live out the marathon TNT movie that plays for 24 hours ever Christmas? I want that leg lamp!

The Newseum in Washington D.C. - here I got to be a new reporter for the Washington Nationals, which was pretty cool!

Well there are probably a lot of other "interesting" museums that I have visited, these are at the top! Let me know the quirkiest place you have ever visited :)!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Followed Instuctions - So Why Am I Being Badgered?

To Badger: to harass or urge persistently; pester; nag (please hold this definition for later use)
Last night Fay and I were enjoying an eclectic dinner of hot dogs, crab stuffed mushroom caps, baked potatoes and pickles while watching the hot vampires and the not-so-hot werewolves fight on The Gates when there was a vigorous knocking on the door. Hoping it is another Baby Shower gift for Mimi (a girl can dream), I went to the door to be confronted by a census worker.
"I sent in my census months ago I stated." She said she knew but the people in the condo next to me did not. And how is that my problem? Then the barrage of questions came: When will they be back? Do you know their names? Are they on vacation, as we were here earlier today and they we not at home either?
To which I responded in my most non-smart ass voice I could muster - I don't know when they will be back. Last time I looked (and not closely), none of them wore an ankle monitor that I was in charge of tracking. No, I don't know their names, we say hello in the hall, but we are not BFFs. I don't know if they are on vacation. If you were here only 6 hours ago, maybe they are at work!!!!
After a another round of assaulting questions, in which Fay giggled from inside the condo, while I gave her the finger behind my back, the census worker said she was done and then she proceeded to hand me a confidentiality notice. I am sure the extensive knowledge (or lack there of) of my neighbors was Top Secret.
I was finally able to lock the door, shoo away the crazies and get back to my vampires and werewolves!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Glow of Pregancy is BS!

For all the women who go around telling you being pregnant is the best thing that has ever happened to them, they are complete liars. Their noses should be growing like Pinocchio. While parts of pregnancy are cool (like feeling the baby kick and hearing the heartbeat), most is not.

Let's start at the beginning when you do not know you are pregnant. Say you are tromping around the Paraguayan jungle in 100 degree heat in a suit, and you feel like dying, not too much fun! Or when you are at Carnivale jumping and dancing in a penned area for several hours, and you feel like passing out of exhaustion, the excitement of being at freakin' Carnivale is somewhat tempered.

How about the not drinking for 9 months punishment? Absolute torture! Definitely the hardest part of being pregnant! I like my apple martinis damn it and a club soda and cranberry juice does not cut it. I mean, I have resorted to non-alcoholic beer for the taste, how pathetic is that? Birthday Extravaganzas, Bar Crawls and German Park definitely lose some of their appeal!

Now the unsolicited comments: "You look like you have popped." "Wow! It's a hot summer for you to be pregnant!" "You look a little fuller." First of all, I am not a balloon. I have not popped anything. News Flash, babies take up space in your body as they get bigger. Do you need Sex 101 again? Second, this summer has been hotter than normal for long periods of time, for EVERYONE, not just for pregnant people like me. Deal with it, the weather sucks! Finally, refer to comment #1. I am pregnant bitch, that is why I look fuller, what is your excuse? Too many cupcakes?

Don't even get me started on when the baby decides to run a marathon when I am trying to sleep, the alien like movements that appear at random times during meetings and are clearly visible through your shirt or the fact that I cannot play softball like I have for the past 23 years of my life. I can't go on amusement park rides, can't go ziplining, can't go white water rafting and I am sure to get weird looks at the upcoming Eminem/Jay-Z concert.

While I am super excited to meet Mimi, could you you hurry up and get on with it? Thanks!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It all Started with a Convertible

This week, I wearily approached the rental car counter at 11:30 at night. I was tired, and I had an early morning the next day. As the representative was typing away, he says, " we don't have the mid-size car that you reserved - can we upgrade you to a convertible?" Um, let me think about that. Yeah! You certainly aren't going to give me a Yugo!

So fast forward to the next day, it is 75 degrees, not humid and the sun is shining. After figuring out how to get the roof down, I was ready for the hour ride from Augusta, back to Portland. Wishing I had a scarf to look like Jackie-O as I drove down the highway, my mind started to wander back to my days in L.A. and our convertible adventures. A couple of things not to do with a convertibles - 1) Don't try to put up the roof quickly at a stop life (even if you are the ghetto of Compton), it is nearly impossible and nerve racking; 2) Don't put your mocha frappacino on your rag top white roof - it makes an awful mess and attracts attention at the rental car return counter!

As I went by the many lakes and the bays in Maine, it brought me back to a childhood vacation to Old Orchard Beach, while even though it was July, the water was freakin' cold! One day there was a special current that came in, the water was tolerable and there were hundred of thousands sand dollars all over the sand bars. So Kiki and I decided to collect sand dollars to make ornaments, magnets, give to our friends, etc. Over the course of the day, we collected ~500. We packed them up and left Maine for our next destination in our motor home.

All was fine until Day 2, when the smell of sewer was unbearable. My Dad was stumped, the toilet tank had been emptied the night before, but even cruising down the highway at 55 mph, I was gagging! We finally figured it out - the Sand Dollars were dying and rotting in the outside compartment of the camper! A quick trip to the local grocery store in whatever city we were in and a couple of bottles of bleach later and we had the odor issue under control and the sand dollars could once again be our craft projects for the next several months!

It's funny how something as simple as an free upgrade can take you back to a long forgotten childhood memory!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where Has 2010 Gone? A Look Back at 2nd Quarter

2nd Quarter which means we can tell people that we are having a baby! Fay named her Mimi for Mini-Michelle and Tom announced it to world on Facebook!

Our 10 day trip to Argentina for fun and JCI was amazing! We must have ate a cow, walked 20 miles and toured 2 countries! We climbed a 125 step light house, sweated off at least 15 pounds, got a couple of massages and had 1 car accident on the long drive to Rosario. Home for 4 hours and then it was off to Maine! Never a dull moment!

In May, we went to see Jen Lancaster in Birmingham, one of my favorite authors and my new BFF! This reminds me of our other celebrity adventures - chasing Ethan Hawke down a NYC street, running into a mean Renee Zellweger on a flight from NYC to DTW and helping Grasshopper pick up his papers that were spread all over first class cabin floor.

Now, it was time for the Yankee games! It reminds me of Spring Training, when Tom and I were sitting in the 9th row of the Yankees - Tigers game and I kept waiving at Derek every time he looked my way. I must have intrigued him so much, he finally tipped his cap to me and the teeny boppers behind squealed in delight!

USJC Convention in New Orleans was a blast! I got to finally go to Mardi Gras World! There is something about lots of bright floats, free cake and lots of picture opportunities that make me giddy!

NYC at any time! Running around the city visiting favorite haunts - Dashing Diva for pedis, Ruby Foo's for Chinese and Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes! Memories of the Puerto Rican Day parade with Amanda and Jamie, the Gay Pride parade with Wendy and trying to hobble around NYC on crutches spring to mind! This trip had some new adventures also - a Carnegie Hall tour with tour guide Bennie Goldstein and a fun trip up the Rock with some friends!

Let's hope Mimi has the travel bug like her parents!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where Has 2010 Gone? A Look Back at 1st Quarter

January 1st started right - playing Beer Pong with Ray, Meghan and Meghan's parents. Reminds me of the snow storm when I was in college when my Dad and I set up a liquor cabinet on the floor and decided if we are stuck at home, we might as well drink. Picture my Mom standing over us, shaking her head in disbelief, but finally joining us.

Birthday Extravaganza on January 3rd where there is always too much Chandon involved. It usually requires a driver to take us the 2 miles to PF Chang's for a drunken Chinese lunch, followed by Starbuck's, Sephora and then passing out of exhaustion.

JCI January Board Meeting - karioke, too much sake, freezing my a** off as they prance us around STL and make us take pictures outside. Oh, and don't forget the Korean bombs!

National President's Meeting in Paraguay - tromping around summer camp in 95 degree heat, not feeling well. Learning that Carnivale was a full contact sport!

February 1st - Finding out we are pregnant and having to keep the secret to ourselves - cruel and ununsual punishment! Also, explains how crappy I was feeling tromping around the Paraguan jungle (see above).

Superbowl Party at my employee Tom's in Maine - eating about a pound of freshly cooked scallops and wondering why I did not feel well. Using the Designated Driver excuse as a reason not to drink.

Birthday Party at Rojo Mexican Bistro - using the "I gave up alcohol for lent" excuse as I was not drinking at my own birthday party. Do you see a theme here?

Bon Jovi Concert on St. Patrick's Day - Kid Rock showed up - do I need to detail how I turned into a stark raving lunatic when that happened?

Tom's Birthday Party - a bonfire in March, not our smartest idea ever, but fun, none the less!

A real vacation - non-JCI - can you imagine how geeked we were! 4 baseball games, swimming and sun burning and loads of putt-putt. Were we in heaven? No just Florida!

A busy and first quarter - it was just the start of a whirlwind year!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another Crazy Night in the City

Well for my last night in White Plains, Amanda, Jamie and I decide to go see the play "39 Steps" at the New World Stages Theater. We met at Grand Central where I had just ate the most expensive club sandwich of my life at Cipriani Dolci for $19.95. This experience left me cheated. In what universe, does a club sandwich not have bacon? Well apparently is this hoighty - toighty world, a "club" sandwich (I use the term lightly) is really a chicken salad sandwich. As I said, I was pissed and unsatisfied.

We stepped out into the oven that is Manhattan and started our quest for a taxi. Apparently, taxi stands at Grand Central are really rickshaw stands and there is no such thing as a true taxi stand. As Amanda and I played Frogger, back and forth across the street, it took us 25 minutes to get a cab up to the theater.

The theater was really a warehouse with 5 theaters all showing plays at the same time. We should have known we would be in for a treat when some of the other plays playing were Avenue Q (the porno puppet show), the Gazillion Bubble Show and Naked Boys Singing. We headed to the basement, the land of no cell phone reception, secured some overpriced snacks and took our seats.

First up, the man in front of us had huge hairy plumber crack. Eyes could not divert as the train wreck continued to get up and down several times through out the night. Next up, the 2 girls who crawled across to their seats, sat for 5 seconds, crawled back across up and were never seen again. Then, we had the prerequisite old couple who decided that the row and seat numbers on their tickets were just recommendations and proceeded to take people seats and then act shocked when the true ticket holders arrived and demanded them to get the f*ck out of their seats.

This was not Broadway. There were no elaborate sets. There were 4 people playing 150 characters, transforming props from 1 thing to another. There were references to other Hitchcock plays, there was a plane chase scene that involved planes on a stick diving and weaving chasing a stick man on a horse. But at least it was memorable!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Raucous Restuarant Week in NYC

Last night, we went into NYC for Restaurant week. We were excited to check out the Davidburke Townhouse. Once we were able to secure a cab from Grand Central Station, which was like a marathon as we shifted from corner to corner scurrying to nab a cab before someone else took it, we were off to the restaurant.

We arrived on time with a reservation for 4 but only 3 of us were there so they sat us at a table for 3. 10 minutes later, our 4th person arrived so we were shuffled to a 4 person table, leaving our bread plates behind :(.

That's when the fun started! The new table was in the bar area, which was very crowded and noisy. We were sat by an old married man (in his 60s) lounging on the banquet with a very tanned younger woman who was not his wife. Whatever, until they decided to examine each other tonsils during our dinner. Needless to say, it was very distracting. We were never so happy to see other diners get their food.

Next up, a girl fell down one of the steps into the restaurant and hit her head on the hostess stand. They gave her ice, got her up and then made her go recovery outside on the bench. Seemed a little odd to me to send a possible lawsuit out into the heat to recover instead of getting her a freakin' table and comping her dinner.

Finally, came dessert. Our 4th member got his dessert before the rest of us. The waiter was trying to explain why he got his dessert first and it looked rough. The ice cream was melted all over the strudel and the dulce de leche sauce was already poured on the dessert. It looked like a drippy mess, something not quite right for this chi-chi restaurant. Things got more interesting 5 minutes later when our 2nd apple strudel came out like a piece of work, ice cream in a nice ball, sauce poured on the dessert at the table.
A little Nancy Drew work and I found out that our 4th person got a recycled dessert. The lady next to us had ordered the same dessert and when it arrived, she said she did not want the ice cream or the sauce. They brought her a new one and the one our friend got was obviously taken back to the kitchen, sat for 5 minutes and then was tried to be passed off as a new dessert. Are you kidding me? It was an apple strudel swimming in juice and it was totally unattractive. The waiter is glad he did not put THAT dessert in front of me, I might have stabbed him with my fork!
All was forgiven though when the Lollipop Cheesecake Tree arrived (see the picture below). This yummy Dr. Seuss concoction made us forget about all the crazy misadventures of dinner and the bubble gum whipped cream made me feel like I was Willie Wonka!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is This Truly Happening to Me?

Maybe it is because I am six months pregnant, maybe it is because I think 95% of the world is stupid, but my trip to NY for work was one crazy ride. First, we get on an airplane in 85 degree heat and the air does not work when we are on the ground. WTF? I was melting like a Popsicle at the pool. I was jammed into a commuter plane with no first class, sitting next to huge woman who should not have been able to sit in an exit row because you could not even see the door no less jump out of it! The stewardess then decided that an hour and a half flight was not long enough to serve drinks to 50 people so there was not even a drop of water to be had! I was parched like the Sahara!

Once we arrived, it was a wrangle with the GPS who thought we were in NJ, not NY and we finally made it to the hotel. I dropped my co-worker off (kicked her out of the car) and I was off to get Amanda and go to a Yankees game. The train was packed with a bunch of yuppie families going to Yankee Stadium, as well as a few guys drinking 40s from paper bags.

Once we got to the stadium, the real fun began! We were in front of 2 women who talked non-stop about everything but baseball. Do you think I care that the teenage daughter is reading to dyslexia patients this summer, I don't think so! The guy next to us started to nod off as his Philly cheese steak sandwich was ready to fall over Amanda. Then him and his buddy rushed to get up, walked down the steps, where he promptly threw up and blocked traffic for a good 15 minutes when they got it cleaned up. We saw our buddies in the parking lot on the way out. Still not sure what happened there as there was no alcohol that we saw.

Once that drama was over, the chatty Cathy behind dropped an entire pretzel with mustard down Amanda's back and then proceeded to rub her like crazy trying to get it all off her. Amanda smelled like mustard the whole way home!

The piece de resistance of the evening was we were set by a midget! For those of you who know me, I am deathly afraid of midgets, so that could be a whole separate blog. That just capped the chaos off! Only in New York (and to make matters worse, the Yankees lost 10 - 2).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Feel Like Carrie Bradshaw

Recently, I was in NYC for a meeting and had half a day to wander around the city with no clear direction/activity in mind. What does that really mean? It means I ended up tired and hot with blisters on my foot from my swollen feet rubbing against my Skechers but you know what, it was awesome!

I left my hotel on 57th and 7th with 2 goals in mind - lunch and then a pedicure at Dashing ch Diva on 71st and 2nd. First up, lunch at Dean and De Luca where I had a pastrami panini which to me embodies NYC. It could not have been any better if I was at Katz's Delicatessen. From there, I started wandering, passing by my favorite haunts. I passed Dylan's Candy Bar where Wendy and I ran around getting hopped up on sugar. I passed Bloomingdale's where I had a total makeover before Molly's wedding in the city. I went into Serendipity 3 to get a frozen hot chocolate to go only to find out that they don't do To Go. They are missing out on a whole new market!

I finally made my way to Dashing Diva, an oasis in the 90 degree heat. This reminded me of my trip to NYC with Mary Jo (but that itself is it's own story). As I drank my complimentary bottled water, sat in my pretty pink chair and had Social Climber lacquer applied to my piggies, I had to sigh at the fact how contented I was. I love NYC. It gives me so much energy and the possibilities are endless!

As the week progressed, I alternated between tourist (going up the Rock), avid fan (soaking up the atmosphere in Times Square) and an old friend (going to Ruby Foo's, finding a Starbuck's on every corner, cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery). Even though I am married and having a baby, the city brings me back to my single days and my crazy trips to the city with Wendy, Mary Jo, Lori, Scott, and Tom. It is like a friend that no matter how long you have been away, it welcomes you back with open arms.

While Carrie Bradshaw might be more glamorous in her Jimmy Choos and Manolo's, I guarantee she can not be any happier than I am when I am wondering the city reliving great experiences with friends and trying new and exciting things!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wedding Wackiness - T - 1 Days

So, it's Friday in Vegas and we have lots to do. We started off with manicures and pedicures at the salon doing our hair for the wedding. Wow! It was like a strip club in the daylight. There was more cleavage than a Miss America beauty contest. After taking bets on whether a wardrobe malfunction was going to occur and laughing through our services, it was off to have lunch and hang out in Vegas.

Around dinner time, was when the fun began! Off to the rehearsal where Dad decided it was time to get sick and start spewing all over the parking lot! The winds were over 50 mph so we tried to conduct the rehearsal outside while holding onto our dresses for dear life! We started discussing contingency plans for the wedding. When finished here, Dad was off to the ER with Kiki and Ronnie and the rest of the group was off to the Golden Steer for the rehearsal dinner.

We pulled into the Golden Steer and I had a major freak out. It was in a strip mall. What did Tom's Dad choose? But when we walked in, it was perfect! It was a former Rat Pack hangout with the large red velvet booths. The martinis were flowing, Mom was worried about Dad, Dad, Kiki and Ronnie missed dinner but KL exclaimed "this is the best Filet Mignon I have ever had!" as she has had so many filets in her 7 years of life! It took her less than 10 minutes to devour a 8 oz. filet!

From there, we went off to Rouge at the MGM Grand to hang out with all our friends, drink a bottle of champagne in E and Corina's room in like 10 minutes, and have a lot more martinis! Scott G showed up (when he was supposed to be in Europe) so there was lots of screaming and carrying on with excitement.

What a great end to a crazy day!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wedding Wackiness - T - 2 days

Let's set the record straight - we had a destination wedding in Las Vegas. We DID NOT have a married by Elvis wedding at the Little Chapel of Love. None the less, 51 people trekked to Las Vegas to see Tom and I get married and we had a fabulous time!

The bridal party left Thursday morning (early!) MJ and I stumbled to our gate with Starbuck's in hand, while Scott was raring to go with a complete poker chip set, his tuxedo and only a duffel bag of clothes for a 4 day trip. Come to find out, he had 2 pairs of shorts, sneakers and some t-shirts, along with 1 nice outfit, so we saw all of Scott's wardrobe several times that weekend.

When we got to Vegas, the bridal party went off to secure there mini-van for the weekend and Tom and I headed to the shady area of Vegas to get our marriage license. Now, this place could have been it's own reality TV show! We were sandwiched in line between a toothless wonder and his hoochy bride whose kid was hanging all over, misbehaving and make lots of noise and some "normal" looking couples. After being there for a couple of hours, we emerged victorious with our marriage license, ran to our car (to avoid getting mugged) and hit the acceleration back to our hotel to join the rest of the group.

We got back and found Kiki's luggage missing, Liz's umbrella broken, an In and Out Burger run occurring without us and general chaos all abound. Thursday night was our Bachelor/Bachelorette party. We started jointly at MIX at the Hotel at Mandalay in our pink boas overlooking the city from the 63rd floor. Mike showed up and surprised me and then the party broke apart and we went off to Burger Bar for dinner and then to Forty Deuce for a burlesque show and some debauchery. The boys, Kristen, and Meghan were off to the strip club in a limo. All was fine until Meghan's purse was taken, the night went downhill from there and ended with too much Crown Royale for Tom and some late night poker!

What is in store for the day before the wedding?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dear Summer

Dear Summer -

Hello, are you here to stay this time? It is May 20th for fu*k sake and I am very disappointed in your visitations so far this year. You have made me wear a winter parka to 2 regular baseball games this season. You have seriously cut into my cute skirt and comfortable capri wearing season. You have really made me mad and I think you owe me an apology.

I love you summer for many reasons including:

1) Flip - flops - these are the best show invention ever! I am a huge fan of the Havianas, I have at least a 1/2 dozen pairs. They go with everything. However, when they break in Babies R Us, they are trouble. You look like you are a cripple instead of a pregnant lady trying to register for a crib!

2) Baseball Games - the best summer entertainment ever! Unless you have to wear a winter parka (see above) or the Yankees blow 2 saves in 1 week!

3) Hanging out at the pool - except when you rush all pasty white from the airplane in Florida to the pool and proceed to get lobster red within an hour and emit heat like a volcano for the next 3 days!

4) BBQs - it's all fun and games until the fireworks come out with the beer and certain friends burn their eye brows off.

I appreciate that you have come to visit today, but I think you should make this an extended visit. Don't make me turn to Fall as my favorite!

A Disgruntled Fan

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My New Favorite "Bestie"

Jen Lancaster is my new favorite author of all time. She does not write fiction, business books, serious books or even chic lit books. She writes about the crazy shit that happens to her in everyday life. She was my inspiration in creating this blog in the first place, I figured crazy shit happens to me all the time, why can't people think I am cool and interesting as well.

Why do I like Jen Lancaster so much? Well even the titles of her books are awesome - Bitter is the New Black; Bright Lights, Big Ass; Such a Pretty Fat; Pretty in Plaid and her newest My Fair Lazy. How can you not fall in love with these interesting book titles? Wendy, Fay and I recently had the opportunity to attend a Jen Lancaster book discussion and signing and let me tell you what a marathon event this was. It was not for the weak.

We were up at 6:30 AM for the 7:00 PM book discussion and signing. We were off armed with snacks, Starbuck's, folding chairs, umbrellas, books and the saying "It's Girl's Day Bitches." We arrived at 8:30 am at Borders which opened at 9 am (Sadly, a husband who works for Border's corporate is absolutely no help here) and quickly made friends with the girl's from Grand Rapids in the line in front of us.

All was fine until Clueless Cathy bypasses the line and stands by the door. I muttered "it is too early to go gangster, but I will if I have to" and our new blond friend from Grand Rapids added "I might be small but I am mean" as we were sure no one was going to get a coveted wristband BEFORE us. Finally, Clueless Cathy said "are you here for a book club?" WTF? Yes, we are standing outside a closed store on a weekday with NO children for a book club. Are you for real? We assessed she was not a threat to our wristbands so we did not open a can of whoop ass on her.

As we swarmed through the door and received our coveted silver wristbands, our new mantra of the day became "We are silver bitches!" Once in possession of the wristbands, it was off to spend the day wandering around rainy Birmingham. Yes, it rain the entire day, it never stopped! We had breakfast at Toast where we had Toast Juice. Who knew that White Grape Juice would be so enthralling? We had manis/pedis, did some shopping, had some more Starbuck's (like any of us needed to be more hopped on caffeine) and then off to the movies to escape the weather.

We headed back to Border's at 4:30 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. discussion and were promptly greeted by Clueless II aka Ken. Ken looked at us incredibly that we were there 2 1/2 hours early but we were so late, we got 2nd row seats! We promptly compared our days with our Grand Rapids friends and made new Yankee friends behind us.

It took us 5 minutes into the book discussion to know the marathon day was worth it! Jen is hilarious! She answered all our questions, including mine on why did she hate the Kardashians when she loves reality TV and then we got in line for our autographs. Our coveted silver bracelets guaranteed us one of the 1st 50 signings, where over 250 people queued up. Poor Mindy had a blue bracelet and Murph was in the basement with a pink wristband never to be heard from again.

When we got up to meet Jen, we got our pictures taken, promptly told us we wanted to be her "bestie" (best friend) and told her to come visit Ann Arbor and us toute suite!

As we left Border's we did the adult thing, we went home instead of stalking the Yankees at their Birmingham hotel. We had had enough adventure for 1 day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is This a Fantasy?

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to go to Reno for work. It was a Friday morning meeting so I decided to stay and take the red eye home Saturday and check out Lake Tahoe. A friend of mine knew a friend in Lake Tahoe that owned a hotel and he offered to put me up free for the night. Being single (and frankly cheap), I was all over the offer. After spending a tranquil day exploring the majestic scenery, I checked into the Fantasy Inn. Turns out the hotel was a couple's retreat. Being by myself, I immediately checked in, slinked quietly upstairs to my room, locked the door.

Then, I was in for a surprise! The bed was on a raised platform in the middle of the room with mirrors on the ceiling. There was a fireplace that you could buy wood for. There was an assortment of bath oils, champagne, and bubbles that could be purchased from the mini bar. The shower was an open structure in the corner. It was extremely interesting, but hey it's free, so it's for me!

I slunk back out of the hotel and spent a fun evening at the Hard Rock Casino watching Yankee baseball, drinking martinis in the roof top bar and getting an aqua massage. I returned back to the hotel, slunk back to my room, locked the door, placed a chair in front of the door for good measure and put some ear plugs in. A girl can never be too careful - you have no idea what could be going on in the other rooms!

Everything was fine until 3 am! I woke up disoriented and thought there was someone in my room. As I started screaming and swinging my arms to "fight", I finally realized, I was looking through my contact-free eyes at the reflection in the ceiling mirror! FFS! After some deep breathing to get my heart rate out of the cardiac arrest range, I went back to sleep for the rest of the night.

Saturday was fun, more exploring of this awesome place before the red eye home to Michigan. The moral of the story: Sometimes free is NOT for me!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Unlimited Opportunities

"You will soon be confronted with unlimited opportunities." - I found this old fortune cookie tucked a book that I was getting ready to sell. This is a pretty good fortune compared to some of the lame ones that are often in the cookies. Unlimited opportunities got me thinking. Over the past few years, I have had many cool opportunities. A few that pop to mind include:

- Parasailing in Tunisia - where else in the world do you not have to sign a waiver, get a 30 second steering instruction and then let loose to come in and land over a 4 lane road?

- Emergency Airline Evacuation in Sabadell, Spain - the simulator gave us turbulence, smoke and the chance to slide off a wing onto the ground in a skirt suit.

- Segway tour in Vienna, Austria - again, why are other countries so trusting? Give me the equivalent of a motorized scooter with 30 minutes of training as we are expected to weave in and out of city rush hour traffic at dusk. It is a miracle that a few bruises and bumps are all we got. We narrowly avoided an international traffic incident or 2, but what can I say, we are stealth like, like spies. Not! More like the Tasmanian devil where people rush to get out of our wake.

- Visiting North Korea - sure it was accompanied by both good military police and bad military police watching our every move, but I know my feet stepped over the line and I was in enemy territory. Made me think I was in a Rambo movie.

- Sitting in a wooden shoe in Amsterdam that fit me. Where else could you find such a thing? I guess the city where pot is legal and the Red Light District is alive and kicking!

- Attending cocktail parties for JCI in various historic locations - in the catacombs of the Teatro Circulo in Rosario, Argentina, in the G20 site of Busan, Korea and the old chateau where the European Union was formed.

- Climbing the smallest stairs ever in the lighthouse of Colonia, Uraguay - Tom scrapped his back, broke his glasses and I hiked the 120 steps pregnant in 95 degree heat. Never let it be said they we are not up for an adventure!

- Biking a volcano, going on a submarine ride and navigating the road to Hana in Maui - we didn't have time for zip lining or snorkeling, but oh well, it gives us something to do next time we are there :)!

Unlimited Opportunities abound, all I need to do is say "Yes!"

Monday, May 3, 2010

Adventures on the Way to Argentina

First of all, I am a bad blogger. But here are my excuses - I was gone the last 30 out of 35 days, I was sick for 2 weeks straight and I am pregnant and have a million and 10 things to do before the baby arrives in October. So, unfortunately, that's the story. Deal with it. I am.

First of all,the trip there was an adventure. I get a random, cryptic text from Lori ranting "I hate Delta" and nothing else. Does that mean she is going to miss our connection in Atlanta, does that mean they made her sit in a middle seat, what? Could we be a little more specific here? Of course, when I call and text her paniced when we arrive in Atlanta, she is no where to be found. Turns out, they made her check her carry-on roller bag, she created a scene on the plane and the lady next to her was scared to ask her if she could get up and go to the bathroom Hell hath no fury like a woman who's "stuff" is taken away for the next 15 hours!

Next up, the shi**y plane to Buenos Aires. I mean this tin can was so old it is lucky it could get airborne. It did not have movies at our seats, the arm rests did not go up and they retrofitted sounds systems into the seats, taking about 3 inches of the precious width of the chair. Let me tell you, pregnant, I needed this. I did not realize how my body was changing until I had to wedge my a** into that little seat like a jack in the box in a can. This madness has to stop. I keep telling the kid to eat my chub (Lord knows, I had extra before we started), but so far, he/she has not been listening. This outright willfulness is going to have to stop toute suite!

Once we arrived at the hotel, we almost didn't get a room at 9 am because it did not have a view and was on the 1st floor. After traveling for 18 hours, do you think I give 2 shakes about a view? There was no beach out the window, we were in the middle of the city for crying out loud. Just give me a shower so I can turn back into a semi-functioning human being!

Now that we have arrived and have showered and changed clothes, watch out Buenos Aires, here we come!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Florda Fun

I know, I am a slacker. It has been 3 weeks since I have written a blog. It is not because I did not want to, but things have been nuttier than a fruit cake lately. Work is in overdrive, we took a vacation and then I had 36 hours at home before heading out to California. I know, wha, wha, but add onto that a fever, a cold and lack a sleep, and that makes Michelle a very cranky girl.

Our trip to Florida was fun. We were all over the place, went to the pool, did fun things and saw friends and family. Here's some things I learned while I was on vacation:

1) No matter how overcast it is, wear sunscreen. I know, seems pretty obvious. But I was shivering so I figured, how is that even possible? Well it is and Tom and I looked like ripe tomatoes our 1st 1/2 day in Florida.

2) Shuffleboard is dangerous - you can easily lose a foot, or at least a toe, if you do not pay attention.

3) Miniature golf is a misnomer when the course looks like a moguls ski hill, the holes are over 100 feet long and it is a par 61. Did I also mention it took over 1 1/2 hours to play? I had the shot of the night though, a whole in one, where I promptly did my rock star pose.

4) Baseball rules do not apply in Spring training. It was thundering and lightening for 3 innings before the game was finally called in the 5th inning. Who knew that thunder and lightening is not dangerous in Florida?

5) Where but Miami can you be parking your car, when you spot the paparazzi chasing after Kim Kardashian. What really has she done?

6) Golf cart rides daily are a must. We went searching for alligators every day. What if we found one on land right near us? Really, I'm not sure we would have wanted to find them at that point.

7) The blue hairs flood the restaurants at 4:30 and the line is out the door. Go at 6 pm and you have the place to yourself!

8) Private Zoos are interesting. We were walking by the free roaming flamingos when we stumbled into the Jesus gardens. And you can't wear high heels to this zoo, because they apparently scare the birds. Who knew?

9) WT people are everywhere. While on Naples Pier, we ran across a shirtless wonder with a tattoo that said "Lady Luva." Are you kidding me? I am sure that is a positive role model for the kid you were dragging around with you.

10) Derek Jeter loves me! After waving at him like 5 times, he tipped his baseball cap at me during the inning at me. All the girl's behind me were jealous!

Oh, good times!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Just Wanna Live While I'm Alive

Last night, Tom, Scottie too hottie, Fay and I trucked out the Palace to see Bon Jovi in concert. Now, I love Bon Jovi. I have seen them at least 5 times in Saratoga at SPAC even flying home in the summer of 2005 especially to see them with 9 of my closest family and friends. They just rock! I never get tired of screaming along to "Born To Be My Baby" and "Livin' on a Prayer." I do the head banging, fist pumping, dancing whenever I hear Bon Jovi.

After our 1 1/2 hour trip to get 50 miles in rush hour traffic on St. Patrick's Day, we headed in to grab some food, played a quick game of Comcast trivia and listened to the opening act Dashboard Confessional which wasn't half bad. We however, did not, buy souvenirs. T-shirts were $45 - are you kidding me? That's more than what we payed for fairly good seats. I am not paying $45 for a t-shirt unless it is Juicy Couture or Ed Hardy. FFS!

The people watching was almost better than Greenwish Village. We had a man dressed head to toe like Wyatt Earp. He obviously liked Bon Jovi's Young Guns phase. We saw women with tie dyed jeans (1982 called - come home in the Hot Tub Time Machine), shredded one shoulder shirts (hello, I did not think we were here to watch Flashdance), mullets, feathered bangs and lots of middle-aged women in 1987 concert t-shirts trying to relive their youth. It was awesome!

Once the concert started, it was a non-stop frenzy of 2 1/2 hours, 24 songs from the years! The piece de resistance came during the encore when Kid Rock came out to sing Wanted Dead or Alive with Bon Jovi!

I've been everywhere
(Ohh, yea)
Still I'm standin' tall
I've seen a million faces
And I've rocked them all
'Cause I'm a cowboy
On a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted(Wanted)
Dead or alive

I sprang to life as Tom said, this is the most awake you have been all night. Screaming ensued, more fist pumping and head banging and when the song was finally over, I sunk into my chair spent.

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I'm alive!

What a fun night!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What the F?

I am back on my favorite rant, the lack of customer service in our society. Here are 3 new examples of just how truly stupid people are:

My Mom and I were in Bath and Body Works the day after Christmas and I was shopping for these fluffy, awesome lounge socks. When we got to the store, the signs said 75% percent off. I veered to bins leaving browsers in my wake. I grabbed my 3 pairs of socks and rushed to the registers. When they ring up, they were only 50% off. When I inquire, the cashier says the signs are wrong. I calmly say (ask my Mom, I was truly nice to start out) "well I think we should get the 75% off price since that is what they are advertised at." She said, "Ma'am, no need to cop an attitude." That is when I lost it! First of all, do not call me Ma'am. I am not 80! You want to see attitude b*tch, well you are going to get the mother of attitudes now you little twit. I wanted to snap my fingers in a "Z" formation and say you haven't seen anything yet, but I controlled myself.

After I got the 75% off and all the surrounding shoppers did as well ( I staged a coup), I spoke with the manager and let her know that her cashier needed some customer service training.

A couple of weeks ago, Tom, Tracey and I were at Red Lobster for dinner. I got the pick 2 - lobster alfredo and salmon. The salmon was horrible - so fishy, I could not even eat it. As the waitress took my plate away, she inquired about why I did not eat the salmon. I told her it was awful, fishy and unpalatable. She said "Salmon is fishy. Have you ever had salmon before?" I looked at her dumbstruck. Is she for real? Yes, I have had salmon you dumb ass! I have had salmon at some of the best West Coast restaurants in the country and I know how great salmon should taste. I am not your typical middle/lower class customer, you tool! Now, take this plate away before I throw this salmon at you!

Next up, the recent Delta Debacle. They cancelled my flight for no reason (they could not tell me why) and wanted to get me home 3 hours after my birthday party started. They would not pay another airline to get me home, they would not connect me through different cities, they were unhelpful for 45 minutes. Finally after a bunch of F word expletives and the phrase "your airline is a piece of shit" I called AMEX after hours who lo and behold was able to get me home only 4 hours after I was supposed to get home. The results of my nasty gram to Delta are not it, but I am going to make them pay!

I always say that I think 95% of the population is stupid, which makes it hard for us 5% that actually have a clue. What ever happened to the customer is always right? I guarantee you I am the wrong customer to mess with!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's Time to Go Old School

During the Oscars the other night, they did a tribute to John Hughes who recently died. It got me thinking about some of my favorite old school movies. They showed clips from The Breakfast Club which was a favorite movie of mine when I was in high school. I loved Judd Nelson. The bad boy who fell in love with the middle class good girl. I so wanted to be Molly Ringwald!

Then they talked about 16 Candles. Another Molly Ringwald movie. I did not have a crazy foreign exchange student like the Donger. I had cool foreign friends like Axel and Mauricio. No one forgot my 16th birthday. If they had, they would not have lived to see the next day. I had the huge party with over 70 people, the multi-layer cake with a staircase, a DJ and all the rest of the works. I was even styling with my very fashionable blue, white and orange parachute pants. I was even a fashionista back then!

As I was flipping through the channels today, I came across the movie Reality Bites. We were obsessed with this movie in college. Molly and I watched this movie time and time again. We thought their slacker college lives were cool because ours were crazed. As we shuttled from class to practice to play practice to our RA duties, there was never a dull moment. One of our first weeks as RAs, we were on rounds together when we heard noises coming from the scary Butler basement. We screamed, ran back to our rooms and got the billy club that Molly's Mom had given her for protection. The adventures continued as we dealt with unruly residents and their male visitors, a guy living in the attic, a streaker running around campus and residents who were hiding their microwaves during room checks while leaving their bongs lying about.

Movies bring back memories like looking at a photo album. You never know what phrase will spark a story!

Monday, March 8, 2010

False Advertising

Friday night, Tom and I went to see the movie Brooklyn's Finest. We went in part because it takes place in NY and I love movies that take place in NY. We went to see it partly because it looks ghetto and I am on a ghetto kick and have been since 2002 when we started hanging out in LBC (Long Beach Central) and avoiding CPT (Comptom). We also went because the trailer plays Rihanna's song "Run This Town Tonight" which is my favorite song of the moment.

After the movie, I felt cheated. It was ghetto, but it was Training Day Part 2. Why didn't they just name it that? I mean Ethan Hawke was in both of these movies. You saw none of NY beyond a 15 block section of the projects and Rihanna's song was not even played in the movie. Not even in the credits! What false advertising!

That got me thinking about false advertising and how people/companies will say and do shady things to trick you. Like Target this weekend. I asked where the shorts section was and pointed to 1 rack. Since when is one rack a section? Good grief! That is barely more shorts than what my closet holds!

Don't even get me started on Delta. When the Northwest - Delta merger was announced, they vowed that our Platinum benefits would not change. I have to tell you, that is a crock! My complaint rate is even higher now than before, if that is even possible. I must be topping 95% at this point! They have a private line dedicated to dealing with me instead of a private line because I am a frequent flier! I have yet to give out one of my 'Service Award' coupons they gave me to recognize outstanding service.

Maybe it is my no bullshit attitude, but tell it like it is. I can take it. If you told me I was off to Training Day 2, I probably still would have went but I would have had different expectations. The same with the shorts and with Delta. The truth always comes out - don't try pulling the wool over my eyes!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Where to Next?

The other night, I was cleaning out my file cabinet. I know, how much fun can one person have?But I came across my Travel folder, where I have clippings of places that I want to visit. I've had some great experiences and have been all over the world but my list of places to go is still long. First up, the Greek Isles. I want to eating flaming cheese in Santorini and ride a Vespa all over the island.

I want to go to Italy. I want to pretend I am a fashionista in Milan, chat with the Pope when I am in Rome, ride down the real canals in Venice (I have been to the one in the Ventian in Las Vegas, but I imagine it is a little different) and I want to explore Florence. I want to go to the walled city where Bella saves Edward to the 2nd Twilight book and I want to drink wine and eat bread in Tuscany.

Germany is on the list. I love German Park in Ann Arbor and I really want to go to a real Oktoberfest eating bratwurst's in a beer hall. I want to see Auschwitz and Berlin to understand world history.

I want to eat tapas through Spain. Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, a few cities where I can see Gaudi's work and practice my bad Spanish.

I want to go on Safari in Africa. I want to sleep in a luxurious tent lodge where the animals roam free. I envision it being a little like Survivor, yet a lot cleaner.

Other places - Rio - I need to sing at the top of my lungs the song Copacabana on Copacabana Beach. I want to drive from San Francisco to Monterrey to Carmel to Big Sur in a convertible, big sunglasses and a flowing scarf. I want to spend some time in Champagne and Burgundy France staying at quaint Bed and Breakfast's. I want to Montreal (again) and Quebec City - I mean, Canada is our neighbor, I should stop and say hi!

I love vacations. I love the planning, the scouring over the guide books and planning our sightseeing schedule to be in the right neighborhoods at the right times with minimal back tracking. I like to take private tours where someone drives me around to what I want to see. I do not like bus tours, but I like segway, bike and walking tours. I like to find unique things to do (parasailing, biking down a volcano, riding in a submarines, taking a rickshaw through Old Delhi). I don't like to dilly dally, when I am sightseeing, I mean business! I love tall buildings and observation towers - if the city has one, I am there!

I want to be Rachael Ray or Samantha Brown and get paid to travel to interesting places!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm Bored

My mother always used to yell at me when I said "I'm Bored" as a child. Well I turn 36 next week and I can tell you that I still suffer from boredom. It is an incurable disease that has flared up violently this week. My niece, KellieLynn was suffering from it this weekend and I could relate. It sucks. It makes you feel crappy and I want it to go away. Why am I bored? Because I am doing the same thing day in and day out - get up, work, some sort of event in the evening and then bed. Where is the adventure? Where is the drama? Where is the new experience?

Over the years, my boredom has fed my obsessions. It made me join the Jaycees 12 years ago and keeps me traveling all over the world. It made me spend hours making cakes for my co-workers as I frosted my way through 4 cake decorating classes. It made me read the entire 12 books in the Gossip Girl series in 1 month as I waited for winter to end. I started this blog cause I was bored last August. It makes me do "crazy" things in my quest to escape boredom.

So what am I going to do this time to cure my boredom? I have no freakin' clue. Maybe I should try to do 2 new things per week. Watch out Tom, this could get interesting.

Not sure what it will be but I think I the following could help:

1) Sunshine - I am sick of the Michigan gloom. How can we have day after day of no sunshine? Who dropped a massive cloud of the state?

2) Flipflops - they just make everything better. Maybe I can crank up the heat and run around the house in them.

3) A Mental Health Day to figure our my next conquest.

Now to just figure out when I have time!

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's The Start of My Birthday Season!

One day for your birthday is not enough. How are you supposed to pack a ton of fun into 1 day while you are still expected to work? I mean I have too many friends, it is not possible. Anyone who says it is, is either delusional or has no friends. Looking back over the my birthdays the good ones involve family, friends and multiple parties per birthday season. Yes, it is a birthday season, similar to a debutante season for rich teenagers. So what are some elements of a great birthday season you ask? Well, I will be happy to tell you (in no particular order):

1) Crab Legs from Real Seafood - a must to recognize that your birthday is occurring. They are the best meal at the restaurant and are free on your birthday (just don't forget your license!)

2) Multiple parties - there is the big one with the whole fruit loop troop, the one with close friends, the one with friends who don't hang in the fruit loop troop and then one with your significant other. All are critical to a successful and blissful birthday season!

3) Acknowledgement on your birthday at work - who wants to sit there 9 hours of your precious 24 hours of birthday and have no one know. The decorated cube, the coffee celebration and a lunch date are all essential for a happy day!

4) Multiple phone calls, e-mails and Facebook messages with well greetings - everyone feels special when people contact them to say hey, we are glad you exist!

5) Cake - No day is complete without cake, need I say more?

6) Presents - Not to be greedy, but it is all cool to unwrap pretty packages and try to guess what is in them. Bad presents beware - you will be dealt with summarily!

7) Fun - Who wants a crappy birthday? I don't and everyone will hear about if I do!

Only 9 days till my birthday, yeah birthdays!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Perky People Piss Me Off and Other Pet Peeves

Perky People Piss Me Off. I am not perky and have never been. I am motivated, energetic and maybe even high strung occasionally. I am a realist, my glass is half empty and I could possibly be described as pessimistic but at least I am always prepared and I am not naive. Even as a cheerleader, I was not the stereotypical one. I was also the valedictorian of my class.

Yesterday, I was at the doctor's office and the perky nurse escorted me back to the exam room and she asked me how my day was going. I said, "Fine. I'd be better if you had not kept me waiting for 25 minutes." Then she was blabbering on and on about the day, the weather and everything else. Really? We are not BFFs. I do not like new people. I am not hear to chit chat. Give me the information that I need so I can get back to work! Do you think my time is less valuable then yours? I really doubt it.

This made me think about some of my other pet peeves. Stupid people annoy me. I can't even describe all the examples of this that I encounter on a daily basis so I am not even going to try.

People who slam on their brakes make me mad. When I rear end you because of your stupidity you will be upset as well. This happened on Wednesday when people forget how to drive in the snow. We live in Michigan for God's sake? We have snow all the time!

So, I think the best thing is for people is to stop acting stupid, drive like a normal person and stop being perky. If you do, we will get along fine!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Love New York

The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps. Empire City. Gotham City. New York City.

Frank Sinatra sings about it in New York, New York, Billy Joel talks about a New York State of Mind and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys describe an Empire State of Mind. Movies want to Escape from New York, express their infatuation in New York, I Love You, detail the grittiness of the city in Gangs of New York and show romance in Autumn in New York. I've always had a love affair with New York City since my first trip when I was 4 or 5. Here are some highlights:
  • Going up the World Trade Center and looking out the glass bottom floor when I was 4 or 5 with my parents, aunt and uncle thinking the cars looked like match boxes.
  • See my first play "Nunsense" when I was in junior high.
  • Having Helen Keller threaten to "open a can of whoop ass" on Nick on a street corner in Greenwich Village.
  • Hanging out with artists who lived in a garage with no running water.
  • Being mortified when my parents started singing Happy Birthday at Planet Hollywood on my 21st birthday.
  • Hard core shopping at the now defunct Warner Brothers store.
  • Skating in Central Park with the Alpine Club (aka, Molly, Amanda and Me).
  • Swips and cankles with Mary Jo on our Central Park rickshaw tour.
  • Losing an EF student on a Central Park bike tour.
  • Trying to go to the Met during the Puerto Rican Day parade. It is not possible, don't even try it!
  • Stumbling across the Gay Pride Parade as we toured the city while I was on crutches.
  • Drinking my $18 drink atop the Marriott Millennium.
  • Having a stomach ache at the Fancy Food Show after trying way too many samples, but pushing my way to the front of the line to meet Paula Dean.
  • Hanging with Al Sharpton in the LGA World Club.
  • Flying to DTW with the bitchy, unfriendly Renee Zellweger.
  • Hanging with Randy at Tao - need I say more?
  • Mary Jo's meltdown at Jay-Z's 40/40 club.
  • Feeling like a superstar at Spice Kitchen and Curtains with the Pedro.
  • Chasing Ethan Hawke down the street.
  • Cursing Woody Allen who was filming in Time Square while we were running late for a show.
  • Stopping at a light and running into The Bachelorette Trista and her husband Ryan.
  • The majestic feeling of Yankee Stadium.
  • Being pissed that the summer I lived in the Bronx was the same year as the MLB strike.
  • Almost dying in the Bronx when my father did a u-turn in 6 lanes of traffic!
  • Derek Jeter, enough said!

I could go on and on but New York Rocks! As Frank says, "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere, It's up to you, New York, New York!"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Where Have All the Good Ones Gone?

I am a social person. I know, shocking! As I move through life from high school to college to grad school to work life, people come in and out of your life. Sometimes you lose touch with people, not because they have pissed you off, but because your lives have gone in different directions. As I approach my birthday, maybe I am feeling nostalgic, maybe I am being sentimental or maybe I just need a drink, but it got me thinking about good friends from times long ago.

First up high school - my best friend and cheer leading partner Angel. We made it through high school, big hair, cheer leading injuries together. We cruised the Caribbean together and even danced a choreographed routine to Janet Jackson at the cruise talent show. Now, that is friendship! I remember practicing in the yard at my grandmother's house. We had our cassette tape player and our matching shirts and we thought we were so cool!

Next up, my friend Robbie, now known as Rob to the rest of the world. We starting hanging out senior year even though we had spent the first 11 years of school together. He crossed into my college years - we toured NYC after a rough night with our friend Jim (Bean), we hung out on breaks and spent lots of time talking about what we wanted to do when we grew up.

In college, there was my friend Mehul from my internship in the Bronx. My first fake-o boyfriend (sorry Scottie) we spent the summer exploring NYC. We went up the Empire State Building, we got stuck on a crowded subway on our way to Chinatown and he even convinced me to sit through Les Miz for a second time!

In Grad School, I had a trio of boys - Drew, JJ and Sal. The first two had gone to school with Helen Keller so they were safe and fun. Drew was our DD as we partied it up in Buckhead. JJ was our upstairs neighbor that made it seem like we had boy roommates (but without the mess) and Sal was another girlfriend. He was my wing man as we tried to find people worth dating!

Since moving to Michigan, people have come and gone. My friend Jen moved to Chicago and into an abyss. Friends left the Jaycees and I was too busy to keep up. Regardless, all these people contributed to my crazy life story. I wonder who will be here over the next 50 years? I know you and your cats will be Wendy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Things that Make Me Happy

As the winter rages on here in Michigan (thanks Puxatony Phil for nothing), my mood deteriorates. There is nothing to do. I feel unsettled, blah, logy (a new word Scottie is using meaning sluggish) and just downright pissy. So as I try to cheer myself up, I decided to think about what makes me happy. Here we go (in no particular order) -

1) Sangria at Dominick's - even though a gallon costs more than a movie for 2, it makes me think of warm weather and the U of M students being gone for the summer.

2) Vacations - I love the planning, organizing and executing a vacation. It is time to start planning our Buenos Aires trip that is in a couple of months. Florida in 6 weeks is already well planned out.

3) Putt -putt - It just rocks! My goal is to play the semi-pro course with the longest fairways at Disney World in a few weeks. Did I mention that I am obsessed?

4) Dinner and Drinks Outside downtown - just don't stick me under a buggy tree, but the people watching is out of this world!

5) Baseball - spring training here we come! I miss you Derek, I miss you Tex, hurry back Swisher! I might be a little stalkerish in Florida, but I will get your autographs!

6) Wine Tours - going from winery to winery in Traverse City, singing "Papa Don't Preach" at Madonna's Dad's winery and eating way too much cheese!

7) NYC - We weren't there for JCI last year, but we will be this year, so I need to find the latest and greatest things to do. The city that never sleeps makes me crazy happy!

8) Flip-flops and Tank Tops - my summer uniform - need I say more?

What I don't like? Snow, Cold, having to stay indoors, no sun, all typical characteristics of Michigan winter. All things that have occurred in the last week in old Ann Arbor.

With it being Valentine's Day weekend and all, I probably should say my husband makes me happy, my family is cool, all that mushy stuff. While they do, I said I was focusing on Things that made me happy, so sorry you did not make the list! There will always be another list!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Extreme Shopping

One weekend a long, long time ago, before I was married, Wendy, another friend of ours and I went to Chicago for a girl's shopping weekend. We brought the Orange Vue (not the green one or the black one, as we had them in every color). As we started our long drive to Chicago (4 hours), we decided to stop in Michigan City, Indiana (honeymoon capitol of the South Siders) to do some outlet shopping. As we parked, we looked up to see a nuclear reactor as the scenery. After a bit of freaking out, someone screaming "It smells like nuclear energy. That can't be good for us!" we went about our shopping. 12 hours after we left Michigan, we arrived in Chicago to our ghetto Marriott far from downtown. Hey, we used points, what can we expect?

Off to Michigan Avenue and to do shopping. As we pushed our cart around TJ Maxx, it quickly became overburdened. We had too much stuff to use dressing rooms so we took turns guarding "base camp" (our cart) as we tried close on in the corner of the room. All was fine until a lady decided to start shopping from our cart. We nearly had a showdown but we let her leave with the ugly pumpkin sweater that we were carrying around and making fun of! By the time we left we needed a personal assistant to carry our bags. Just like P Diddy has an umbrella carrier, we needed a bag carrier and immediately thought of our friend Mike. Our boss Tom told us this is why people get married - good to know.

Off to a bookstore, where we found a woman bathing in the sink. We peed and ran out of there as quick as possible, When we told customer service, they said that they knew about here, she comes in often to shower. Really? Do you think that is wise?

After an exhausting day of shopping it was off to the bar where the drinks were flowing and we were an hour early for dinner. Apparently, we were having time zone issues as we rushed to Sugar to have dessert. At some point during the night, we called the Oreo hot line. Our oreos were defective and we need to check on their quality control standards.

As we cabbed back to the hotel, we realized just how lucky us single girls were and how much fun we had had!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fancy Parties

I have always loved parties. I like going to them, throwing them, planning them, and keeping a full social calendar. As I have gotten older, parties have changed from traditional college keggers to more sophisticated affairs, but I still sort of stand in awe at Martha Stewart type parties. The first grown-up party I think I went to was at Tom and Trudi's house for a summer on the lake party. Shrimp, lots of wine and great steaks filled the menu. I felt so grown up at 25, like this is how parties should be. It quickly deteriorated when Wendy and I passed out in the hammock with the new nickname "The Sonoma Sisters." More parties at Tom and Trudi's again felt adult-like until Tim broke my croquet mallet while chasing a duck and my ex-boyfriend tipped the kayak and we had to perform a water rescue.

I went to Charity Preview event at the North American Auto Show in 2006. I was set up on a blind date who pulled out all the stops - a hired car and driver, appletinis in the car and dinner at the Detroit Athletic club. I met the Governor, snuck past the ghetto posse of Kwaime Kilpatrick (former mayor of Detroit) and went to the Time Life after party. But no matter how fancy the party, I still rode in a bumper car in my formal dress and had absolutely no chemistry with my date.

Finally, our birthday extravaganzas that Murph, Mindy, Fay, MJ and I have start out fancy with chocolate covered strawberries and Chandon. But after 6 bottles of champagne, I can bet we are not as fancy when we are being driven to Somerset since none of us are able to drive or when we eat all the Chinese food in sight at PF Chang's.

So I think I've figured it out. It does not matter how fancy the party is, the fun is more important!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Travelisms - the best souvenirs of a trip!

About 7 years ago, my friends and I started "Travelisms" - basically funny sayings that occur while we are out and about. As I was cleaning out my desk today, I came across some funny sayings from 2003 and I thought I'd share a few of the best ones with you.

Tim, Wendy and I went to the Dodger's game and Tim's seat was in another section. How did that happen? We bought all the seats at the same time!

- Mitzi, watch the posters - as we are crammed in the crowded section with LA Dodger posters that keep poking us.

- The game has started with little fanfare - apparently going to a baseball game in LA is more about being seen than watching the game. We were halfway through the first inning before we realized the game had even started.

- We assimilated easily and the locals embarrassed us. What? Are we a little dramatic or what? Just because someone talked to us? You'd think we were filming a cheesy Lifetime movie!

- If I could get to my pants, I would pay you - did I mention that we were very crowded at the game? I think this also lead to the phrase, "This feels like being in a middle seat in Northwest coach." We got really spoiled traveling so much for work.

The piece de resistance for this baseball game - you can buy crack cocaine 2 blocks away from here, but you can not buy more than 2 beers, you hear Tim muttering as he has to stand in the beer line for the 4th time of the night!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Random Ramblings from the Road

My travels take me all over the world from very luxurious places (Monaco and Hawaii) to some not so nice places (you know where you are). Here are some top Travel Dos and Don'ts:

  • Don't ever take an airline again that puts you on a plane where the air conditioning is broke and it is 90 degrees out. Thank you Argentina Aeralinas!
  • Don't ever take an airline again that keeps the cockpit door open the entire trip. Have you not heard of September 11th? The bird's eye view makes me nervous. Thank you Argentina Aeralinas!
  • Don't over indulge in local specialties or else you will pay later. It is irresponsible to put a gravy boat of yummy peanut butter in front of me when I am starving. Thank you Trader Vic!
  • Be careful of your rental of convertibles. They are not good when you get lost in the ghettos of L.A. and you try to put the roof up at a stop light. Thank you Hertz!
  • Another warning on convertibles, the tops are very unstable. Putting your frappacino on top of the car when getting out of the car is a messy idea. Thank you Hertz!
  • Don't every where tuxedo t-shirts. You know the t-shirts where the design is a tux. Don't think that makes you worthy of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Thank you Randy Quaid!
  • Don't ever take a day long bus tour in a foreign country where bathrooms on the bus are optional. People are stupid, late and slow. Thank you London for making sure I never do that again!
  • Don't ever go on vacation with Sean and Christa if you want to relax. Sean gave me a pre-Sean arrival list of places to see before they arrived so I would be up to speed with the touring in Seoul. Homework on vacation, now that is hard core. Thanks Sean!
  • Don't go to a Steak restaurant during a Mad Cow Outbreak. It makes your dinner choices very limiting. Thanks Witchery (in Edinburgh)!
  • Don't drag your significant other across town to esoteric museums that are hard to find like the wine museum in Paris. Especially when you get there and the placards are all in French and your significant other does not speak French. Thank you Paris!

So remember plan before you go!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Laminated List

Remember the Friend's episode where Rachel and Ross discussed their laminated lists? The premise is if you meet anyone on your list, you get a free pass even if you are married or in a relationship. Ross ended up meeting his #1 Isabella Rosellini and he acted like such a dork she did not want to even talk to him.

Tom and I have had conversations about our laminated lists. I think Kate Beckinsale and Jennifer Connelly are on his list, but frankly I don't give it much thought. I am too busy reordering, adding and removing people from my list. I mean 5 people isn't really that many when there are so many to choose from.

So as of February 3, 2010 at 4:08 p.m. my list stands as:

1) Derek Jeter - Tom better watch out as we are going to 3 Spring Training Yankee games this March and I heard you actually have a good chance of meeting players. Derek will take one glance and me and Minka will be packing her bags.

2) Wentworth Miller (aka Michael Scoffield from Prison Break) - But he has to have the tattoos on because that is part of his allure.

3) Keanu Reeves - He has been on my list since the movie Speed. I just can't let him go. It also doesn't hurt that I met him in the L.A. World Club and drank with him. He's pretty cool!

4) Bradley Cooper - how can you not like him? I am still mad for him not being nominated for Best Actor. He killed in the Hangover, but alas, that is another story.

5) The guy from White Collar - Matt something or other. He rocks a fedora, enough said!

So the ideal situation - Michael, Keanu, Bradley and Matt would all star in a movie together which was filming in Detroit. They would get bored, go to a Tiger's game (who were playing the Yankees) and I would be there. You would next see me on the 11 o'clock news as I was being wrestled to the ground by security!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

But What Were You Thinking Oscar?

Yesterday, we dispensed with the big Oscars, but now let's look at the Best Supporting Actress and Actor nominees:

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, Invictus - Or as I like to call Inviticus. I just don't buy Matt with a South African accent. A Boston ghetto accent, yes, but not an African accent.

Woody Harrelson, The Messenger - Why not for Zombieland? He totally rocked that part! He is still a crazy mother f'er. And we thought he was so normal as Woody on Cheers.

Christopher Plummer, The Last Station -Has anyone seen this movie? Enough said.

Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones - Another movie I refuse to see. What about a nomination for Julie and Julia? He was awesome in this movie!

Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds - Definitely the leader in the pack. A crazy Nazi, how could he not win?

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, Nine - Not her best role. I can roll around on a bed, am I going to be nominated next year?

Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air - She was such a b*tch in this movie. She gives women a bad name. I do not think we should reward that behavior.

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart - I want her to win. She deserves it for her entire movie career. This movie reminds me of The Wrestler - a has been and a white trash girlfriend = Oscar to me.

Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air -Come on - Jessica the bimbo from Twilight and New Moon? Nominated for an Oscar? Not this year honey.

Mo'nique, Precious - I am really sick of her winning though she will probably win again. But I beg you, please get a stylist, you need better clothes!

The Oscar's make me so happy. I watch them religiously. I watch the Red Carpet pre-show, the post show and scour the magazines for the best and worst dressed at the event. Wendy and I searched high and low to find a place to watch the Oscars in Las Vegas. Apparently the Oscar's are the only thing that people can not bet on in the Vegas! We met Robin Williams in LA the day after the Oscars when he was a groggy mess! We make our Oscar picks (sometime for $, sometime just for bragging rights), we have our Oscar parties and we stampede to the movies before the event to see as many movies as we can. Our award season is a long one, but we are up for the challenge!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Heart Oscar

Do you know that I am obsessed with movie stars, celebrity and paparazzi? Well I do. Shit, now Lady Gaga's song will be going through my head for a week!

The Oscar Nominees came out this morning and in less than 30 minutes after they were announced, Bob, Wendy and I had our picks in for voting and bragging rights for 2010. Let's talk about the nominees:

Best Picture
Avatar - Seriously, where there any real actors in this movie? It should be up for a CGI award, yet the stupid votes will probably give the Oscar to this movie

The Blind Side - My pick for best movie. Finally a "based on a true story movie" that was not of Lifetime TV caliber.

District 9 - Slipped in and out of consciousness while watching this movie on the way to Buenos Aires. Looked like a bunch of ugly aliens eating people.

An Education - Probably pretty good but seems to be a British movie. Let it win at the British Oscars.

The Hurt Locker - Sitting on my TV Stand waiting to be watched. But probably too realistic and depressing for this economy.

Inglourious Basterds - Slipped in and out of consciousness while watching this movie on the way to Buenos Aires. Brad Pitt with a bad 'stache who can not spell.

Precious - Too disturbing for me besides Mariah Carey looks uglier than normal.

A Serious Man - Never heard of this movie. Were they scrapping the bottom of the barrel for this movie? They should have stuck to 5 nominees.

Up - Good but should win the animated category as there were absolutely no real actors in this movie.

Up in the Air - Depressing. But it gets 2 thumbs up since it was filmed partly in Detroit and I was at the airport during filming.

Where the hell is The Hangover?

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart - Another story of a has been. Need to see the movie but my guess to win.

George Clooney, Up in the Air - Being snubbed so far, but I actually did feel sorry for George in the movie. He plays ice cold dick well, at lease at the beginning of the movie.

Colin Firth, A Single Man - I do like Mr. Darcy, but too limited of a release. Try again next year!

Morgan Freeman, Invictus - Tom liked the movie, I refused to see it. You've won before Morgan, time to allow someone else a chance this year.

Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker - Who? See my comments of the movie above. Be happy with the nomination.

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, Blind Side - Who I want to win but who won't. But shit, after over $300 million in box office this year, she can laugh her way to the bank.

Helen Mirren, The Last Station - Just because it is British movie, does not mean she should be nominated every year. Enough already. Go to the BAFTAs!

Carey Mulligan, An Education - Sorry, you are not going to win. I do not like your hair!

Gabourey Sidibe, Precious - From what I can gather (since I will never see this movie) Monique outshines you. At least you will get a free dress out of the night.

Meryl Streep, Juli and Julia - I loved her in this movie and I think she will win. I wish they could co-Oscars to her and Sandra. All I can say is "Bon Appetite" whenever I eat out now!

We'll see what the Oscars show brings, but I have to go now. I have a bunch of movies to watch before then!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lost in Translation

I admit I am language challenged. I took 6 years of French and did not think I remembered anything until I started learning Spanish and then I realized I retained way more French words that come out of my mouth when I am searching for the Spanish word. My language challenges often result in interesting situations.

This language issue has led to unrecognizable food in Korea, a week worth of carbonated water in the Netherlands that caused major stomach distress and countless wandering around a town looking for a street or museum and having to ask a bunch of people for the same location and never getting a direct answer that I understand.

Last July, our lack of a command of the French language led to a one hour boat ride that went to 5 ports instead of a 20 minute with 1 stop. That problem was OK as we were tired of walking around the city and were cruising on the beautiful Lake Leman.

This trip to Paraguay led me to be in a car on the side of the road thinking I was being kidnapped. After pointing and yelling "Jota Cee Eee (JCI)" over and over and repeating the hotel name, a call was made to Fredrico (the head of the conference) who told me in English that I was with his body guard and a police officer and we were waiting for an escort that would be there shortly and we would head directly to the hotel. If only I understood Spanish, I would not have been looking for sharp objects in my bag!

So, I can tell you, when I have a kid, I will be sending them to language lessons as soon as they say "Mommy!" It certainly will lead to less confusion!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Random Thoughts from 2009 - Day 9 aka The Top 10 Cities (continued)

As I get ready for my next trip for JCI to Paraguay for 2 1/2 days, I have to stop and wonder, what would happen if I had actually time to hang out and explore the city? I would probably get bored if I did not have to cram 10 things into 12 hours.

5) Monte Carlo - home of Princess Grace and Prince Albert and the mystic that is royalty. As I went to the casino, I felt like I was in a James Bond movie. I was waiting for James to come and pick me up in his Porsche and drive me through the mountain side. What I got instead was a Rose Garden that closed 5 minutes before we got there, a bus ride to nowhere and a lot of walking.

Word to describe Monte Carlo: Mystical

4)Maui – Kannapali Beach - the place where Tom and I spent 10 magical days on our honeymoon. Adventures abounded - biking down a volcano, riding in a submarine, exploring a Buddhist temple and even watching a movie about Hawaii!

Word to describe Maui: Breathtakingly Beautiful

3) London - the best place to visit when you are a new traveler. They speak English, it is easy to get around but it is freaking expensive. What did I learn? Never take a bus tour ever again! They suck - they are long, crowded and people are always late. However, there are some super cool places to visit including Harrod's, the Sherlock Holmes House and Madame Toussard's.

Word to describe London: Familiar

2) Las Vegas - besides the multiple girl's trips to Vegas, the site of our wedding, the most memorable day of my life so far. From the bachelor and bachelorette parties at the top of Hotel Mandalay to the great reception at Stallion Mountain and dinner at Mesa to the brunch at the Bellagio, the weekend was awesome! Despite the trip to the ER with my Dad during the rehearsal dinner (what is a vacation without someone being sick?), it was a blast. Don't forget the trip to Starbuck's in our wedding attire with the limo!

Word to describe Vegas: can't, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas......

1) NYC - the city that never sleeps - to me the best place in the whole world. From the Village to Yankee Stadium, every step is an adventure. Nothing can compare. As Jay-Z and Alicia Keys sing
In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can't do,
Now you're in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
Big lights will inspire you,
Lets here it for New York, New York, New York

I so wish I lived the Sex in the City dream!

Word to describe NYC: Unparalleled

Let's see what my 2010 travels bring!