Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Life's a drag, but that's okay!

Well, I've been a bad girl, now haven't I? I can explain...and I will, soon. Until then, please enjoy my interview with the fierce Raja, the winner of "RuPaul's Drag Race"!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Mandatory New Year's Post

I really don't know why I bother! Yes, it's been almost 11 months since I posted, but since my number one resolution is to write more, I figured, what the heck? A lot has been going on in my life (catch-up post to come...I promise!) but this is the time of year when I really start considering how to make things better. So, here are my resolutions for 2011...

1. WRITE! I have 5 (count 'em) blogs and affiliated Twitter feeds - probably too much, but I should at least give it the old "college try" this year. If I can get enough material together, I can, at the very least, self-publish.

2. STAY IN SHAPE! I only need to drop a few holiday-gained lbs., but I'm doing the Princess Half Marathon in February and need to train hard (I'm already way behind). The gym is going to be my BFF this year. I also need to reduce my carb 'n' junk food intake this year. I toyed with the idea of going veggie again, but I can't give up my sushi and chicken wings! Moderation (in everything) is going to be key for me!

3. Get my s--t together. For real. This resolution needs more details, I know, but I'm not ready to share all of that quite yet. Just know that I'm working to be a better me - and a happier me - this year.

Okay, that's it. I'm off to the chilly northeast to see Paul's family and friends. Happy New Year and let's make 2011 a great one!

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's Amazing What You Can Find on YouTube

(I know! Two posts in one day! Amazing!)
I was trolling around the Internets the other day and found a little something I'd share with you (although, maybe I shouldn't). Back in 2002, before I was a "Mrs.", I happily volunteered to be a bachelorette on a dating game on a radio show. It was on a show out of Orlando called the Monsters of the Midday (they're now the Monsters of the Morning, and I'm still a devoted listener.) I had a blast on the broadcast, which was filmed for a cable access show (the actual episode never aired, but some of the clips ended up on the DVD for the radio show - this clip is all that's left of my "15 minutes of radio fame").

WARNING: the clip is slightly NSWF. You'll see me around the 2:20 mark, and you can stop watching (unless you're still curious) after about 3:30 or so.

I'm sure my folks are so proud.

More Non-Winning Contest Writing!

Ok. I'm back. I really need to get crack-a-lacking on this blog - and in my non-work writing as well. I entered a contest to win $1000 on a site called My Very Worst Date. The site was looking for the story of the worst date ever. I've had a lot of terrible dates (if you'd like to read something I wrote a while back about my misadventures in the wacky world of Internet dating, you can do so right here), but the only one I could seem to wax poetic about in time for the contest deadline was one unfortunate night was the one you're about to read about. So, please enjoy...

My very worst date was pretty awful, but at least my tale has a happy ending. Through a former employer, I had access to VIP tickets for a New Year’s Eve concert by one of my favorite groups - a quirky Canadian band whose name promises something that’s never delivered on stage – much to the dismay of the uninitiated. The tickets included unlimited food and an open bar.

My date’s musical interests ran the gamut from Brooks and Dunn to GWAR, but he had no love whatsoever for eccentric alterna-pop from the Great White North. He did, however, have love for me, free food and free-flowing booze; and since we had no other options for ringing in the New Year, he agreed to accompany me to the show. Since the venue was over an hour from our house (and also because it was New Year’s Eve, the holiday when no one should be driving after…oh…6pm or so), we opted to get a hotel room. My date decided the only way he was going to endure the evening’s musical entertainment was to drink copious amounts of alcohol prior to the show – which he did. Within about an hour’s time, he proceeded to down an entire fifth of Ketel One vodka.

As soon as we got to the show, my date immediately hit the bar, just to ensure that his rapidly increasing buzz wouldn’t wane. He managed to choke down some meatballs and other such hors d’oeuvres in between further lubricating himself with more spirits. We were talking (well…more like slurring) and I jokingly (completely and utterly without a trace of malice in my heart) remarked to my date that his super-nice family members (who I knew quite well) were all a-holes. This didn’t sit well with him, and he proceeded to throw his drink in my face and call me a bitch – just as my favorite band took to the stage. Obviously, I couldn’t enjoy the show – not only was I probably quite flammable at this point (as, by this time, the vodka and sodas my date had been drinking were all now 100% vodka), my date was also nowhere to be found. I found him somehow (I think I could feel the chill coming off of him across the venue) and we attempted to head back to the hotel. The city was deserted – not a cab to be found – so we started walking, completely unaware of the location of our hotel. In the process of stumbling through the streets, I learned the hard lesson that high heels and poorly paved roads didn’t mix, and I took a tumble not once, but twice. Someone was looking out for us, because we eventually made it back to the hotel. The next morning, I woke up hung-over and bruised. My date was contrite and, after a greasy, nasty breakfast at a local all-you-can-eat buffet, we kissed and made up – and got married three months later!

Sorry, Paul. It's one of those "we can look back on this and laugh" kinda tales now, but I was really hoping it would have been one of those "I just won $1000" kinda tales (but, hey, I wrote something!) Oh well, c'est la vie!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The (Mandatory) New Year's Resolution Post

I'd love to say I've been too busy to post because I got the gig with The Impulsive Buy...but I didn't. I'd say it was an honor to be in the running, but we all know that's BS - the only honor is actually getting the gig. Oh well, real job has kept me busy enough (especially since my job role has expanded to analysis and such...sadly, my salary has not.) I'll write an update of these past few crazy months soon, but I need to get this out of the way first.

Like many misguded people, I have a compulsive need to post my new year's resolutions somewhere (not like it aids in my keeping them or anything.) Since I'm about to eat my annual new year's Hoppin' John (a tradition I believe came from my parents' friend Nikki, who embodied a modern-day Scarlett O'Hara in her "fiddle-dee-dee" glory), I need to get these out into the universe. Let's see how many I keep this year, shall we?

I'm adding a new component to my annual weight loss/get in shape resolution - severely reducing my carb intake. This is going to be a tough one, kids. My "thinspiration" for this is the fact that my parents dropped a bunch of weight by doing just this. I can probably survive for a little while based on the residual carbs still in my system from all of the delicious soft pretzels I ate in Philly. Saying buh-bye to my beloved potatoes is another thing entirely. I miss them already. I have to miss the Princess half marathon this year because it falls on the weekend of my fifth wedding anniversary (can you believe that?), so my only race I'm definitely doing this year is the Wine and Dash at EPCOT in October. I need to do some 5/10Ks before then. This involves actually going to the gym once in a while. This one resoultion alone is already wearing me out!

Writing. Almost as tough as working out. I am going to write something this year. I swear. I'm getting interested in documenting my ancestors, and may tryo to do something with that (combining my nerd love for research with my passion for writing). I found a documentary online today which basically blamed my grandfather and great uncles for the sorry state of public transportation in the US (Grrreat...), but I think I need the other side of the story! I'd also like to work more on this blog, the Frampton blog and some short stories. I was trying to follow the "write something every day" advice of my idol Augusten Burroughs, but it's not seeming to work. Damn.

Organization. Ouch, this is a tough one too. Three resolutions is all you're getting! It would be nice to have a wedding scrapbook in time for my fifth anniversary! Since P.'s traveling so much, I should be able to get some of this stuff done (it's gotta be done before our inevitable move - P.'s doing so well with his job, I'm sure his company will relocate him within the next few years.) Maybe I need to address my DVR/Netflix obsession first?

Ok, I'm hungry. Hoppin' John, here I come. Happy 2010, y'all!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Writer's Line, Part 2

Well, out of 44 submissions to "The Impulsive Buy", my first review earned a spot in the top 11 finalist positions to be the new reviewer for the site. So, here's my follow-up review. I sent it on August 4 and still haven't heard back (sorry for the delay in posting - but you know how it is...). Enjoy!

REVIEW: California Pizza Kitchen Flatbread Melts – Five Cheese and Spinach

It seems one of the hot new trends in the food industry is to find as many different ways to stuff as many different kinds of bread as possible with meat, cheese and veggies. From Quiznos introducing a limitless variety of starchy options to house your filling of choice (including the recently introduced torpedo and bullet sandwiches) to Lean Cuisine and frozen fare introducing paninis and flatbread sandwiches, there’s something out there to fulfill any sammich-related desire. And now, venerable restaurant chain/frozen food upstart California Pizza Kitchen has entered the fray, with a line of Flatbread Melts. The wannabe vegetarian in me (which I’ll never again be thanks to spicy chicken wings and Cuban sandwiches) immediately took notice of the Five Cheese and Spinach variety and added it to my cart.

As I live in the ‘burbs, with the closest California Pizza Kitchen restaurant over an hour’s drive away, I was slightly excited about having the CPK restaurant experience in my own home. Sadly, it was only the California Pizza Kitchen experience that you find at your local airport CPK location to be found with this sammich. Instead of fresh from the oven flavor, it was (obviously) microwaved and sort of bland.

This melt was easy enough to cook, but the directions on the box were slightly intimidating. After laying the unfolded melt on the special cooking tray, I read the directions on the box – which screamed at me in bold capital letters “CAREFULLY FOLD FLATBREAD MELT ALONG DIAGONAL WHITE LINE ON SILVER TRAY.” I felt a lot of pressure to get this right, and thankfully I managed to get it to look like the image on the box – only with a noticeable lack of filling. I do like that it’s cooked flat and folded afterwards. It alleviates the issue that one encounters with Hot Pockets, where the center is “boiling lava hot” (as Jim Gaffigan so eloquently put it) and reduces the inside of your mouth to shreds and singes the taste buds, rendering anything else you consume flavorless for a few days. Thankfully, I retained full use of my taste buds after consuming this hot ‘n’ toasty sandwich.

In trying to find a relatable way to describe the experience of eating this sandwich, I came up with this clever, topical analogy. I just saw the movie “Funny People” and this sandwich left me with the same feeling – great ingredients, just not put together well – enough for something to satisfy you for a short amount of time, but nothing to rave about to your friends. The bread was like the newly trimmed down Seth Rogen – firm and crispy on the outside and yet still slightly doughy on the inside (yeah, he’s lost weight, but he’ll always be the pudgy boy from “Knocked Up” to me). The toasted, crisp flatbread was the high point of the melt. The chopped red onions had the bite and flavor one would think would be associated with a saucy Aussie like Eric Bana (rowwwrrr!) The warm cheese sauce left me with a warm, comforting feeling that I would associate with a hug from Jonah Hill. Despite being touted on the box, it didn’t seem (or taste) like there was much spinach at all in the melt (I’m looking at you, Jason Schwartzman). The overall lack of substance and flavor in the melt was much like the film career of Adam Sandler. It filled me up, but the amount of sodium and calories – both bad for you – left me feeling slightly guilty that I ate the whole thing. I think that CPK may be jumping the shark (like I think Judd Apatow may have) by extending the CPK brand into territory better served by the big boys. Stick to what works…you too, Apatow!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 melt – 390 calories, 17 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 730 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 15 grams of protein, 20% Vitamin A, 25% calcium and 6% iron.)

Item: California Pizza Kitchen Flatbread Melts – Five Cheese and Spinach
Price: $3.49
Size: 6 ounces
Purchased at: Publix
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: crispy bread, tasty onion flavor, Eric Bana, hugging Jonah Hill, cooking tray cooks sandwich evenly, Jim Gaffigan, minimal inner mouth blistering
Cons: Judd Apatow jumping the shark, not enough filling, killing your taste buds, not satisfying, loads of sodium, lack of spinach, bland flavor, the box yelled at me

Friday, August 07, 2009

A Neo-Maxi, Zoom Dweebie Remembers...

This is all over the Internets today, but I just had to put it up, because it almost made me cry. A little piece of my childhood is gone. John Hughes is dead. I was 15 (going on 16) when "Sixteen Candles" came out, and it's one of my favorite flicks of all time. Being an outsider in high school, I came to identify with the characters in his movies (Anthony Michael Hall in particular) and hoped to someday marry my own Jake Ryan and live happily ever after. In a way, I did. Thanks, John...

Friday, July 17, 2009

My 15 Minutes of Fame!

I'm so excited today - I'm the featured "Reader of the Day" on the USA TODAY pop culture blog, Pop Candy. You can see the article here. I sure hope Peter Frampton reads Pop Candy...