Friday, December 29, 2006

Why Bother?

I don't know why I even bother with resolutions, they're always the same, which means I must be bad at keeping them. But for some, unknown reason every year I do it again - in a journal, blog or diary. So, in the interest of consistency, here goes - feel free to join in if you know the words...

1. Lose weight (this has held the #1 spot since I think I was 10.)
2. Write more. Ok, I guess I technically did "get published" this year, writing for Pop Culture Junkies, but I need to write more towards my "GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL".
3. Less TV - except for work-related viewing. I need to stop watching crap reality shows like "Wife Swap"!
4. Less soda. For real. I need to stop being a "Coke Addict" in a big way!
5. Go to church more often. Time to stop feeling like a heathen and time to turn in my membership to the Christmas and Easter Club!
6. Be a better wife.
7. Be a better friend (sound familiar?)
8. Ok, this is a new one, start my third blog. Content under wraps for the moment.
9. NEW JOB! (This should really be #1 this year.)
10. Less procrastination - I'd like to get our wedding album done before our 2nd anniversary!

That's it - let's see how I do this year! Happy New Year and a great 2007 to you!

The Last of 2006

Well, I promised I'd catch up! Here are some of the cool things that have happened to me since August - in words and (mostly) pictures...

I finally got to spend some "quality time" in California. I went out to take part in the Disneyland Half Marathon and visit my friend Rose. I detailed the race over at Runnin' Fitz, so I won't reiterate it here. We did do some other awesone stuff. I did see Disneyland and it was a blast. We terrified Rose's son Matthew by going on every single dark ride in the place (he was especially scared of Mr. Toad.) He loved Pirates of the Caribbean though. We actually managed to go out after our 13.1 mile trek and saw The Groundlings in L.A. (for the uninitiated, they are a Second City-like sketch/improv troupe whose alums include Phil Hartman, Pee Wee Herman and (my favorite) Jennifer Coolidge (aka Stifler's Mom.) We also stopped by a Los Angeles institutionfor after show cocktails - Jumbo's Clown Room. All I can say Google it. The few days I spent there went by way too fast. I'm hoping for a return trip in September of '07!

In October, I met my new brother-in-law, Tom (far right, seated). We had kind of an unofficial reception for them at my parents' place in Naples. He is a very cool guy and a perfect match to my sister Keirnan (who just got her esthetician's license in Illinois. She works at a spa called Egea in Evanston - so if you are in need of a facial, look her up!)

Also in October, I went to what should have been my 20 year high school reunion (Long story - in a nutshell, we moved to Boca Raton when I was starting 8th grade. I had to leave my childhood friends in Miami Shores. The reunion was for the high school I would have attended had we stayed in Miami.) I hadn't seen a lot of these people since 1982. Scary, huh? It was so much fun and in addition to the gals in this photo, I saw a guy who always invited me to be the sole chica at his birthday parties. Explains a lot - if you know me and my past (fraternity little sis, more male friends than female, etc.) I saw the pictures from my high school's reunion, and this bunch had way more fun than they did (besides, all of my remaining high school buddies vetoed attending. I was really actually looking forward to it. Despite the fact that I didn't have the best of experiences in high school, I did have the potential comments of my smart-ass husband to look forward to!) I have to thank Rose for inviting me to this shin-dig!

Mexico. Yeah....those of you who know me are aware of my previous Mexican adventure. Those who don't, sorry, but I'm not recapping. Suffice it to say, I am lucky to have had the chance to make a return trip - "The Redemption Tour"! This time around, I was pretty much under the weather for the whole damn trip (at least it kept me from drinking too much!) And, no, it wasn't Montezuma's Revenge sickness - just in case you were wondering! We fished, we partied, we hung out with some very cool guys from California (who were in the same frat as Will Ferrell at USC) and yes, we did make a return visit to see "Mexico's Finest Showgirls" - who weren't quite as fine this time around, if you ask me. This is Paul at Cabo's Smallest Bar - all of the pictures of me are blurred for some reason (and no, they weren't self portraits!) All in all, nice, uneventful fun...well, except for me losing my tourist visa! Thanks, Mrs. Kagalis and Spanish 5!

Wine Fest Weekend! Ok, we headed back to O-town for EPCOT Food and Wine Festival for (I think) the 5th time. I have a bad reputation about this event. In the past I have lost my car keys, fallen down (twice) and haven't made it around to all of the World Showcase countries in the past 2 years. (I blame the sake room in Japan.) This year my friends Susan and Christine came along for the ride. I actually made it around not once, but TWICE! I made t-shirts that needed to be signed by a representative of each country, so I knew I had to collect all of my autographs or carry around a souvenir of my failure for 365 more days! I only had one glass of sake (see?) Sue really liked the champagne! My poor friend Johanna was the recipient of quite a few drunken phone calls that day. We also managed to piss off an entire busload of tourists on the way home!

The night before, Paul and I went to Monsterween - a huge Halloween party in Kissimmee, sponsored by my all-time favorite radio show. We had to do something "adult" for Halloween because Paul wanted to wear his flasher costume - complete with frighteningly realistic looking "member." Since I don't want to offend anyone, no pictures here - email me if you'd like to see it. So insted, here's me in my "Naughty Cop" ensemble with "Flavor Flav" (most popular costume of the evening, with Hunter S. Thompson a surprising second...)

Speaking of radio shows, I was national in December on the Opie and Anthony show (well, on XM and some stations across the ol' US and A.) It was a lot of fun. Here's me with Opie...

...and Jim Norton (who, by the way, is a phenomenal comedian).

2007 promises to be a great one! 2007 WDW Half Marathon next week and audition for VH1's "World Series of Pop Culture" next month. Keep reading for all of the recaps and (hopefully) photos - maybe BellSouth will give me a break soon!

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I feel like a part of my youth is gone. R.I.P. Godfather of Soul - peace, unity, love and havin' fun...

Playing Catch Up!

Happy Holly-days! Thought I'd catch up on my blogs (as a prelude to my New Year's Resolutions post - which ought to prove amusing, to say the least!) So, expect a number of posts recapping the past few months over the next few days - and put your laughing hat on!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Getting into the Holiday Spirit!

Ok, I've decorated the house, addressed my Christmas cards and watched "Elf". But I'm still not 100% in the Christmas spirit. So, thanks to You Tube, I found some Christmas cheer from the 80s, when I was young and impressionable, and still believed in holiday magic. First up - Billy Squier. Here's a chestnut from a time of innocence (free from "The Real World" - when they actually played videos on MTV)...

Next up, Hall and Oates. I was reminded of this when I saw ads for their new Christmas album last night. John Oates is in his full porno-stache glory in this one, and Daryl Hall couldn't look dorkier. But, I defy you not to enjoy this rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock":

In determining my favorite Christmas video, this one comes in a close second. It's actually from the 70s, but it's classic Elton - enjoy!

Ok, this is my all-time favorite and a classic of early MTV. Pee-Wee, Bryan Adams and the original VJs (R.I.P., JJ Jackson). Since my favorite Christmas song of all-time ("Slick Nick" by Fishbone, if you're curious) does not have an accompanying video (a damn shame, if you ask me) take a virtual trip to Kingston and have a Reggae Christmas...

I'll try to dig up some more faves...happy, happy, merry, merry!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I am the GWAR-rior!

Many, many boyfriends ago, I was forced to attend DragonCon in Atlanta. Not a big comic collector, I spent the bulk of my time hanging out with the cast of the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” at the autograph area (the lady who played Veruca Salt was really cool.) The one indelible image I took away form the Con was that of walking down Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta (from the registration area to the expo center) behind GWAR. I knew the band from their appearances on the Jerry Springer Show and Beavis and Butthead, but to have them standing right in front of me was a sight that has been burned into my retinas. Foam rubber, latex, platform boots, codpieces and the whitest asses I have ever seen in my life (oh, another nice touch was the painted-on six-pack abs. I need to remember that for next bikini season.) I don’t know how this motley assortment of musicians didn’t cause a dozen accidents on the street, as cars screeched to a halt to see the bizarre parade. Fast forward to my first date with who is now my husband. I told him I had always wanted to see them perform live – which pretty much cemented my place as future wife (well, that and a slightly off-key but enthusiastic karaoke rendition of Pat Benatar’s "All Fired Up".) So, when we found out that Oderus Urungus and the gang were coming to Florida, we couldn’t buy tickets fast enough.

The Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale is located (as far too many businesses in Florida are) in a strip mall. The crowd was eccentric – to say the least. Lots of black attire and tats, boys in eyeliner, chicks in patent leather boots and one boy with pink hair wearing a nurse’s outfit. There were 2 opening acts – The Red Chord, who were pretty darn good (best song title “The Thrashin’ of the Christ”). They also dispensed beer bongs to audience members, so much coolness abounded. Of course, there was also much stage diving, crowd surfing and moshing. The second band was called Municipal Waste, and I couldn’t get into them. The lead singer, who looked vaguely like Elliot Yasmin from American Idol was one of those singers who puts the mic really close to his mouth and makes all of the song lyrics sound like “Unga unga unga rowrrr” (or something like that.) The guitar, percussion was cool, but I like my lyrics somewhat decipherable. They weren’t really winning over the crowd – I’ve never heard metal fans giving a golf clap before. Then, it was time for Oderus, Beefcake the Mighty, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Jizmak da Gusha and Flattus Maximus (more like Flat-Ass Maximus from what I saw lo those many years ago in Atlanta!) – the Scumdogs of the Universe themselves, GWAR.

Hubby is a long-time GWAR-rior and was looking forward to being covered in blood and doing a little moshing and stage diving of his own. We crammed ourselves into the middle of the (really hot) room and prepared ourselves for a full-on metal assault. The guy behind me was desperate to start up a chant, but was having no luck (he started with “O-DER-US! O-DER-US!” AND WENT TO “GWAR! GWAR!”) The rest of us were trying to get the lone girl on her boyfriends shoulder’s to “get the f*** down!” The band came out and the first decapitation ensues, spraying everybody with fake blood. The crowd couldn’t break up to form a mosh pit, as it was so tightly packed, so the end result was more of a fleshy wave ebbing and flowing over the floor (sounds sweet, but in actuality it was much more sweaty and aggressive than that.) I lost my footing and hit the floor (and no, I was not drinking or wearing my requisite 4-5” heels.) Someone fell on top of me and I bent in a way I never had before. My hubby finally pulled me out of the fray and I moved to the side to enjoy the show from a less claustrophobic vantaqe point. I have actually only ever heard a few GWAR songs, and the acoustics of the venue were such that I really couldn’t decipher what song was being played at any given moment. The show was pretty much foam rubber-covered character comes out (George Bush, the GWAR “super fan", Adolf Hitler, a cop, a T-Rex, etc.) gets dismembered, disemboweled or suffers some other obscene indignity, spews blood or some other viscous fluid on the crowd and then the band launch into song. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. My husband said he only recognized about 4 of the songs (one of which was called “Sadaam A Go-Go” and the other was “Sick of You”, which they ended their set with…I liked that one a lot), which makes me feel good, as I recognized none of them. The band were musically talented – if you could get past the spectacle on stage, but we have a bunch of their tunes in our shopping cart on I-Tunes, and I’m looking forward to checking them out. Despite the mob, the sweat (I think I lost 2 pounds last night), the smoke (tobacco and the “other” kind) and the risk of being trampled, the big question remains - did I have fun? Hell yeah! Would I do it again? Hell yeah!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Enough is Enough!

Ok, "The Man" (aka BellSouth) is no longer going to keep me down! I have to work out the right brain ASAP! You know, you can have it all (great hubby, devoted pooch, awesome house, close family and friends) but there's always going to be a dark lining on that silver cloud I like to call life. This time it's the job. Yeesh. I just wish that whole "fairy princess" thing could've worked out for me, because I just don't know if I'm cut out for the advertising biz. Last week I had to supervise a 2-day commercial shoot with 20-plus kids and a cantankerous Southern lawyer who couldn't read the teleprompter, no matter how big the type was on it (I do believe Stevie Wonder could have read the damn thing!) Those of you who know me, know how much I do not enjoy the company of children. So, you can probably figure out what kind of an experience I had - especially when (unbeknownst to me) my boss cancelled lunch for the young'uns. That and having to deal with a bunch of poilte-but-pushy stage moms (can my child have a close up?) and you can see why I pretty much wanted to shove my head in the oven last week. At least a nice, relaxing family Thanksgiving calmed me down a bit. I promise to update this thing on a much more regular basis - as it is one of the few things that's keeping me sane. As I'm still on dial-up (and an antiquated computer at work - no USB ports!), you will have to paint pictures in your mind, until such time I can add them. But, starting tomorrow - recap-o-rama!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hey, remember me?

I still hate BellSouth. They suck. A lot. I'm still a prisoner of dial-up and it stinks. I am trying to figure out a way to get pictures up here, as I have a lot of exciting adventures coming up in the next few weeks (and I'd love to post some recent pics from California.) My work computer doesn't have USB ports (I feel like I'm in the first segment of the "Carousel of Progress"!) and it takes for-ever to upload pics to my email at home. Yeesh! I am creatively stifled - big time! AAAAAIIIIIGGGHHHHHH! Ahhh...better...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Damn You, BellSouth!

Just wanted to give a brief update. I have dial-up now, so it's impossible to post all of this witty banter and pictures! We're settled into the new digs and I have a new job with an ad agency in West Palm (and I'm still blogging on Pop Culture Junkies.) I'd write more, but I'm still recouperating from my California adventure (details and - hopefully - photos to come!) and "Female Trouble" is on IFC (can't resist a li'l old school John Waters! Later!

P.S. Congrats to the new Mr. & Mrs. Wintrow - one of my best FSU friends, Teej, just got married last week!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Alaska Adventure Recap - The Exciting Conclusion!

Day 4
Today we left Valdez and headed to Seward. I had my first wildlife encounters today. As we were driving,we saw a moose on the side of the road. P. is fearless, and got some nice photos of the creature. They are really big. I guess they are used to having tourists (most of them in RVs - I swear I have never seen so many of those things in one place in my entire life!)pulling over and taking photos of them - kinda like Paris Hilton and the paparazzi (or something.)

Anyway, our second encounter occured at a nature preserve. You could drive from animal to animal (we dubbed it the "lazy zoo"). We saw more moose, elk, deer, foxes, owls, an eagle, and, at last, bears (yay, bears!) Of course, I took a million pictures, so if you'd like a million pictures of bears, email me!

Seward is a lovely town. The marina area is filled with quaint shops and restaurants (as well as the obligatory glacier tour companies and fishing charters.) We stayed at an adorable cabin that one of P.'s friends owns - definitely the best accommodations we had on the trip. We had more yummy seafood - including a superb crab bisque - for dinner (good thing I'm not 100% vegetarian anymore, huh?) and hit the hay.

Day 5
Today we went out fishing for salmon and halibut (with Crackerjack Charters - had to give them a plug!) This trip also marks the first time my seasickness (which I only get occassionally) made me take a nice long look overboard (if you know what I mean!)As they say in the Gilligan's Island theme song, "The weather started getting rough..." It was cloudy, cold and windy out there. We had been blessed with some beautiful weather the first few days, so this wasn't unexpected. We were out wityh a bunch of execs from Red Bull, which was cool (again, I was the only lass on board). For me, fishing was tough (for P., not so much!) I caught a few Red Bull execs, which frustrated me to the point that I had to take a break. After the weather calmed down, I managed to hook a salmon, a halibut and a few dogfish (small sharks). P. managed to collect about 30 lbs of halibut for our freezer (yum!) Wewent out to dinner that night with Andy (the charter captain) and his wife Nici (who owns the cabin) - very nice people (Fun Fact: Andy looks like Tom Wopat from "The Dukes of Hazzard"!) The next day was our early day, so off to bed...

Day 6
Today we went fishing for sockeye salmon on the Kenai River. We were up before 5, and it took us an hour to get to the lodge. From there it was another 45 minutes to the boat launch. I got to wear waders for the first time (not a good look for me, I'm afraid!) and use a fly rod (I felt very "A River Runs Through It"!) I did ok - I actually landed a fish (no surprise, P. landed quite a few - the guy behind him in the photo that looks homicidal is actually our guide). All in all, another 15 lbs of fish are headed back to Florida!
Day 7
Today we made our way back to Anchorage. We were supposed to go fishing, but the weather was pretty grim. Besides, something captured my attention the minute we rolled into Seward, and I couldn't stop thinking of it the whole time we were there. There is a training facility for one of the Iditarod teams in Seward that's open to the public. So, you know what this means - SLED DOGS!! They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so here's your "awww moment of the day"...

Oh, alright, here's another one...

I got to dress up like an Iditarod racer, see one of the dogs from that movie "Eight Below" and go on a sled ride (oh, and, of course I took a million pictures. If you'd like a million sled dog photos, email me!) On our ride (we used a summer sled - with wheels on it that they use to train the dogs in the off-season) I leraned that not all sled dogs are Huskies or Malamutes - they are a bunch of different breeds (and a lot of mixed breeds) that are put together as a team based on their unique attributes (some dogs are faster, some stronger, some have more endurance, etc.) Here's the team we went out with:

After we got back to Anchorage (our hotel had a walk-in freezer for fish - only in Alaska!) We headed (once again) to the Sea Galley for the "Last Supper" (more crab!) and then ventured into downtown for a little fun with P.'s new friend, who just happened to be in town that day. Ryan is a Blue Angel, and he and his fellow Angels were in town for an air show. So I got to party with the Blue Angels - pretty cool, huh? Here's a photo from one of the local watering holes - you will only "get" this if you saw "Bubble Boy"...

We went to a few bars (one of which was called Platinum Jaxx - which sounded like a nudie bar, but wasn't) and P. intorduced the boys to his world-famous Backdraft shot. Here's a photo of one of the guys in the process of enjoying this fine libation...

What a way to end a great vacation, huh? The next day, we took the long, uncomfortable flight back to Florida. Next up - California!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Alaska Adventure Recap - Day 2 and Beyond

Since I'll be Internet-less until Monday, I figured I'd better finish up this recap, so here goes...

Day 2
Today we left Anchorage and headed for Valdez (yes, as in Exxon Valdez - remember that?) I won't bore you with my slightly blurry photos of the scenery on the loooong drive there (mountains at 55 mph don't look as good as the real thing), but will show you a very cool (literally) sight - the Worthington Glacier. These things are all over the state and they are breathtaking. Valdez is a really small town. It's probably only a few miles around. There's a market (it's too small to be considered super) a video store, a liquor store, a few gas stations and diners and a Subway. The marina was the center of activity here, with nature cruises, kayak tours and fishing charters. Our hotel was right next door and it was really nice (for the second night in a row we were upgraded to suites, for no reason whatsoever. I like this place! We ate dinner in the hotel and it was surprisingly good (finally sunk into some delicious Alaskan salmon. Mmmmm...)Since we had a long day ahead tomorrow (and there really wasn't much to do - we did get to see "Flavor of Love" though!) it was off to sleepy-land for us.

Day 3
Today we went Salmon Shark fishing (I had never heard of them before either). We were out on a party boat with 4 other men. Yes, this was a close as I got to an Alaskan cruise. At least I was on a boat - but I did miss Isaac slinging fruity cocktails my way as I relaxed on the Lido deck. Oh well...

Fishing was tough. I got a shark nibbling at my bait - he even came back 3 different times, but I couldn't hook him. P. was having problems getting the fishies to bite as well. There were 2 sharks caught on the boat. I didn't like the fact that the sharks were killed, because they were beautiful (sorry, that was your PETA-approved moment of the day)so it's probably just as well I didn't get one. P. has photos, but I don't think you'd want to see dead sharks, so here's a shot I took in the hotel parking lot of a bunny's tush...

More to come...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

At long last - the Alaska Adventure Recap!

I have to get this done before I no longer have Broadband (new house is dial-up - ewwwww!)so, without further ado...

Day 1
Wel, obviously, the bulk of day 1 was spent on the plane. We flew Alaska Airlines, which was ok, but they didn't have an in-flight movie, per se - they had a individual set-up where you had your own little monitor (that you had to pay for, 'natch) where you could choose from such fine films as "Phat Girls" and "Curious George" - thank God for my iPod! Once we landed, we strpped the Alaskan feed bag on for the first (of many) delicious dinners. We went to a place called the Sea Galley. Tacky name, great eats. We had Halibut Nuggets, which upon seeing them, we dubbed them Halibut Boulders! Halibut has now overtaken grouper as my favorite fish. We also got crabs (get your minds out of the gutter - we had a delicious assortment of snow, Dungeness (spelling?) and Alaskan king crab. But enough of that, I'm making myself hungry! As Paul and I are creatures who crave culture, our obvious next stop was the local adult entertainment establishment. Yeah, strip clubs are pretty much the same wherever you go (in the states), but you can't pass up a place called The Great Alaskan Bush Company, now can you? The place definitely takes the prize for ambiance - it's done up like an old, wild west saloon, but the ladies are far from Miss Kitty. Mixed among the patrons of the establishment was a ladies (and I use the term loosely) softball team, who apparently had just won a tournament and were out for a night on the town. They upped the people watching ante to a whole new level. One of the ladies looked like Erik Estrada (I swear). Too funny. We decided to cut out around 11pm, and when we stepped outside, it was still light out (the whole week I was there, I never got used to that!) Fortunately, the hotels have those thick, light blocking curtains, so slumber came quickly.

I have to go pack some more. I'll be back later with day 2 and beyond...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hey, aren't you...?

No one tells me I look like anyone famous. When I was in college, I got Jodie Foster and Ellen Barkin. I didn't see it. The worst was being compared to Tina Yothers from "Family Ties" (by a guy I used to date!) So, after that crushing blow, if I looked like someone famous, I didn't want to know - it's better that way.

So anyway, my hubby has told me that a few people have mistaken him for Tamap Bay Bucs coach Jon Gruden lately. Hmmm...let's see...

Here's the hubby doing something unusual (sure!)

Here's Gruden.

I can kinda see it, but since fishing is involved, I think this pic may prove a stronger resemblance...

Oh, yeah - it's him! (Sorry P., couldn't resist! At least no one said you looked like Andy Reid!)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Colleen!

My sis is 34 today - she has already informed me that's she's going to Chili's for her birthday lunch so I'm confident she'll have a good one!

Well, it's Friday - the end of a kind of slow week at work. I'm in the process of phasing myself out at work and I have less things to do during the workday (that and the whole office has been slow.) So I decided, just to get the right brain going, to do one of those cute "I-Pod Shuffle" pieces. 7 (usually it's 5, but I have that kind of time. If things continue to be slow it could be 10 or even more) random songs that pop up on the pod and my thoughts on them. Sounds like fun, huh? Here we go...

"Shambala" - Three Dog Night: "Joy to the World" was the first 45 I ever owned (and my favorite sing-along at Howl at the Moon) and I love this band. I have Joy and it's B-side, "I Can Here You Calling" (very funky for a bunch of white boys) as well as this song on the ol' I-pod. I need more Dog - at least "Old Fashioned Love Song".

"Get Set" - Taxiride: This is one of those faux psychadelic songs that came out in the mid-90s. I think it was in a movie. The whole CD is pretty good. I have nothing more to say about this one, sorry.

"One Way Street" - Go West: I loooove Go West - especially that guitar player - I think his name is Richard Drummie. Let me check...yup. My college roomate and I fantasized about marrying them - Richard for me and lead singer Peter Cox for her (yes, pathertic as it is, I fantasized about celebrity relationships long into adulthood). This is one of their mellower tunes - I think I'd have to pick "Goodbye Girl" as my favorite - oh, and the remix of "Call Me" from "Bangs and Crashes". Ok, getting a little music geeky here...

"Burning Up" - Madonna: I remember when I hated Madonna. My gay friend forced me to listen to her first album every time we got in the car (a gay man who loves Madonna? Who woulda thunk it?) I thought she was whiny - but it didn't take long to become a big fan of the Material Girl - I dressed up in the "Lucky Star" video get-up for a high school costume party (complete with knock-offs of her boots from Desperately Seeking Susan which I still have (again, pathetic - isn't it?)

"Hung Up" - Madonna: 2 by Madge in a row? I like this one because of the ABBA sample. That's pretty much it. I kinda gave up on Madonna after "Ray of Light", but this one is catchy.

"Good Morning, Good Morning": Peter Frampton, the Bee Gees & Paul Nicholas: I was hoping my baby Peter turned up! This is from the soundtrack of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the movie that I have seen more times than any movie ever. I remember when we got cable for the first time, and watched every single viewing of this movie the month it was on (it had to be over 20 times.) I lost count around 50 or so viewings. I also watched it on my 21st birthday, when my purse was stolen (as in no ID) and I drank Heineken that someone had to buy for me with my friend Patrick (who's an actual movie star now!) It obviously holds a special place in my heart!

"Show Me the Way" - Peter Frampton: What could be better than a Frampton 2-fer? Not much! Of course this is the "Frampton Comes Alive" version. I (obviously) have a lot of his songs on my I-pod. Favorite? "Baby, I Love Your Way" (which would have been our wedding song if I'd had my way) and "Penny for Your Thoughts", but his songs are kind of like your children - it's so hard to pick a favorite.

"Mr. Blue Sky" - Electric Light Orchestra (yeah, it's number 8, but I'm exquisitely bored...) These guys had me at Xanadu. This is such a peppy song, great for morning workouts!

"Belief System" - Double Drive: I saw this band a few years ago at Music Midtown in Atlanta. My then-boyfriend and I got in a fight during their set. Ah, sweet memories...Actually, this song rawks.

"Rhiannon" - Fleetwood Mac: Peter Frampton and Stevie Nicks - my 70s idols. "Dreams" is still my favorite karaoke song of all time, but this one is cool as well.

Ok, the guys from Clerks II (a must-see) are on Opie and Anthony now. Later 'taters!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Every comment in my high school yearbook - the video

Yeah, I was a geek in high school, and I'm proud of it. Most things from high school (jokes, music, fashion - thank GOD for that) have long since been forgotten, but there's one thing that we just can't seem to let go. So that being said, here's a li'l old school video for my PJPII homegirls!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Nothing from 'bout some more Frampton?

I love YouTube. I figure if I put enough Peter Frampton references here, maybe the man himself will check the site out and - who knows? And for those of you who aren't Peter, enjoy...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Guess I'll never learn...

Yup, once again, I am surrendering my body for charity. Just yesterday, I signed up for the 2007 Walt Disney World Half Marathon. This one (along with Disneyland Half in September) concludes my "Farewell Tour" - as in I am hanging up my running (oh, alright, walking) shoes after this. As in 2006, I am taking part in this race for charity. This year, the charity I'm raising money for is near and dear to my heart.

Joints in Motion is a part of the Arthritis Foundation. The Arthritis Foundation is the only national not-for-profit organization that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions with advocacy, programs, services and research. Those of you who know me know that my Dad has dealt with arthritis and, thanks to the wonderful world of genetics (and my current weakening state) I'm a prime candidate for it in the future. So, now commences the begging...

PLEEEEEEAAAASSSEEEEEE! No, I will be more subtle. Last year, the response for my efforts with Team in Training was overwhelming - those who gave donated what they could, and if it weren't for everyone's help, I would have never made my fundraising goal (by the way, it's $2500 this year.) No donation is too small, so if you are feeling charitable, please click here. And hey, it's tax-deductible! As with last year, I am chronicling my training efforts on Chariots of Fitz, so enjoy and feel my pain!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Starting the Holiday Weekend Off Right

I was looking for clips from America's Got Talent on YouTube (for my Pop Culture Junkies column) and I found what has to be the biggest laugh-out-loud moment on TV I have ever seen. I have seen this so many times and it makes me cry - it is that funny. Now, laugh, cry and enjoy...

If you don't know, that's Ryan Stiles and that's improv. Hope this clears the whole stand-up vs. improv thing once and for all!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Things I Want

Ah, the summer blahs. 2 months to vacation, hubby out of town, friends incommunicado, move date up in the air and to top it off, a severe case of right-brain atrophy (as in my creativity is lagging, big time!) So, here's a list of some miscellaneous (mostly non-tangible) things I want.

- A TiVo (ok, that's a tangible one). I have a lot of the other high tech goodies (iPod, Razr phone, digital camera) but somehow, the TiVo has escaped my grasp. I initially didn't want one, as I feared it would render me a useless couch potato. If I had a TiVo, instead of a VCR that we never have seemed to be able to program correctly, I could record and watch all of what I dub my "unemployment greatest hits" - the daytime judge shows I love (Judge Mathis is my favorite, but I also like Judge Milian from The People's Court, Judge Joe and, of course, Judge Judy) and watch them when I got home from work - while recording the evening shows for later viewing - thus causing a never-ending cycle of TV watching...not good. But I think I may obtain a TiVo soon for the following reasons:

First of all, I have so many VHS tapes laying around that it's ridiculous. When "House" used to be on the same time as "My Name is Earl" and "The Office" (my 3 favorite shows) we obviously had to tape something; and now that I'm doing recaps for two shows over at Pop Culture Junkies, I also need to tape those. Mount VHS is growing at an alarming pace.

Secondly, TiVo would come in handy when there's nothing else on TV - which is quite often. We have gone through just about every "On Demand" movie and show, and it would be nice to take some time off from channel surfing (husband is a master of this.) So that's enough about this. Now on to the intangibles...

- I want more people to read my blog - all of them. I want people to realize that I'm a pretty decent writer.

- I want to do some cool celebrity interviews for Pop Culture Junkies. Not the typical Brad/Angelina/Vince/Tom (Hanks or Cruise) ones, but some people that I've always wanted to talk to - like Chris Atkins and anyone from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. I'd also love to talk to Gina Gershon, Henry Rollins, Janeane Garofolo and Margaret Cho. Of course, I think it's been pretty well established that the ultimate would be the one and only Peter Frampton!

- I want a nice new house with a big kitchen (with pantry and island) and a community pool. I want to be in a neighborhood where they have get-togethers and such. I want to live somewhere where there are not NASCAR stickers on the back of every car and truck. (Ok, another tangible, sorry...)

- I want to be a full-time writer - maybe an arts critic/columnist for a newspaper (I couldn't be a restaurant critic - I'd be as big as a house!)

I want to stay at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego just once - as that was where they filmed my all-time favorite movie "Some Like it Hot".

- And the last one for now...I want Peter Frampton to play at my 40th birthday party. I fully intend for this to be a reality. Don't know how, but I'm going to do everything in my power to make it happen!

That's all I can think of for now...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

On-Whee! (Say it out loud...)

Oh my God. I am so bored. I can't even come up with something interesting to write about for any of my blogs (at least I have my show recaps at PCJ for the next few days.) I am sick of surfing the 'net - I know way too much about Lindsey, Paris and the gang. I am slightly ashamed and feel slightly dirty. I have made a few "celebrity connections" since I started writing for PCJ. Got an email from Doug Benson from "Last Comic Standing" and even cooler, Harrison Page (from "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" and "Sledgehammer!") emailed me today - I am hoping to do an interview with him sometime soon. I am trying to hone my journalism skills, as I am really enjoying the writing thing, and may be able to parlay all of this blogging into a real career. It would be awesome if the hubby and I were both doing something we enjoyed!

I am really at a loss. I need some sort of right brain jolt or something. I've been reading other blogs to get some sort of inspiration, but it's not helping. Since I'll be a single gal for the next few weeks, maybe I can (gasp) actually work on my book concept for a while! Kick me (figuratively - I'm not into the kinky stuff!), I need it!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Movin' On Up to the East Side

Great news for your friend Sugar. We have officially put our Hooterville estate on the market! I am beyond excited. With this excitement comes stress (of course!) as we now have to kick the packing thing into high gear! Our real estate agent, Barry, came over last night and told us what to do to make the house more sellable. We know we have to fix the obvious, like the laundry room Boo trashed during that "let's see how she does without her crate" period (a complete disaster) and the chunk of stucco I took out on the side of the garage with my car (no, I was not drunk. I was headed for the gym. Who knew?) When Barry got to our bedroom, he took one look in my closet and said "oh no."

My closet is a disaster. I blame the fact that the only dresser I have to speak of looks like it belongs in the Barbie Dream House. It's small, but then so was my apartment in Atlanta, where I bought the thing. So now comes the painful reality of having to get rid of a lot of stuff in a short amount of time. This could be a good thing, as I'll have little time for sentimentality and quiet reflection on things that really need to go, like my extensive collection of "stripper shoes" (5" heels in a variety of patent leather colors.) I never go anywhere that would call for stripper shoes, so I will ace those (but save one pair for "special occasions" - hubba, hubba!) I also need to cut down my extremely huge t-shirt collection. All the shirts that have been relegated to the drawers under my bed I believe will soon be the latest in Goodwill fashions (except for any of my Frampton tour shirts, for obvious reasons.) I can at least get rid of my business suits, because who really wears them anymore; but I am not parting with my Madonna "Desperately Seeking Susan" boots that I've had since high school, because I can't. Period.

More moving adventures coming soon! In the meantime, if you know of anyone looking for a house in Hooterville, let me know!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sugar - Broadway Impresario?

I'm posting this here, 'cause it might be a little too obscure for Pop Culture Junkies. I was thinking, since Jersey Boys, a musical featuring the songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, did quite well at this year's Tony Awards, why not revive the music of some other bands that may have lost a bit of their luster over the years? Here are some suggestions...

"I Wanna Sex You Up" - The Color Me Badd Experience

"Brandy and Other Fine Girls" - A Look Back at Looking Glass

"Shambala Boys" - The Music of Three Dog Night

"Flint Guyz" - The Songs of Grand Funk Railroad

"Saturday Night Scots" - A Musical Revue Spotlighting the Music of the Bay City Rollers

"Afternoon Delights" - A Musical Tribute to the Starland Vocal Band

and...wait for it...

"Do You Feel Like He Do?" - The Peter Frampton Story (Oh please, oh please!!!)

I thnk these are all viable properties, don't you? I mean, look how long Cats was on the Great White Way? Just a thought...

Monday, June 12, 2006

That's My Time...Tip Your Waitress...

Since my other site is down right now, I thought I'd return to my home blog - and write about something that's been on my nerves for a while. Those who know me know that I have a pretty extensive background in Improv comedy. I honed my skills at FSU, when I was in the Moving Company, the school's children's theater troupe (yes, Miss "No Kids" did children's theater!) You have to think on your toes to keep 3rd and 4th graders amused, and I must say we did pretty well (I also got to rap in the show we did, so I immediately endeared myself to the young'uns.) My Improv background also helped out immeasurably during my stints as a tour guide (both at Universal and CNN.) We had a script for the godawful tram tour at USF, but as you are carting a load of tourists around closed, empty soundstages for 15 minutes, you have to come up with something, and boy, did I (we also would do the tours in different accents, to liven things up.) CNN was another story. Fortunately I had worked in television production before I got there and could riff endlessly about the neat-o things that went on in the newsroom and studio (which came in especially handy on the VIP tours, where people paid a lot of dough for the occasional face-to-face with a Headline News anchor (Chuck Roberts, my friend (and twin sister at the time) Toria Tolley, and the late, great Don Harrison) and the chance to watch (former) CNN anchor Lou Watters incessantly spray his hair (my parents got to witness that, and they still talk about it.) I could write a book about CNN, probably will someday...

So why the walk down "memory lane"? What does this have to do with anything? I was talking about Improv. I did some in Atlanta and had a really good time doing it. Unfortunately, the 2 troupes I was in there broke up (little ego-clashing problems and the like) and I haven't found another outlet here in Florida, so I haven't had much practice as of late. But what really steams my buns is that whenever people hear I did Improv, they instantly say "Tell us a joke!" (a few of my co-workers are guilty of this - in fact it happened again last week, which prompted this entry.) I don't know how many times I have to say it, Improv-ers and Stand-Ups are 2 totally separate groups. I have nothing against Stand-ups, in fact I dated one for a while. It's hard work. It's just different. I met Jeff Foxworthy (shameless name dropping) at a charity event (which a friend and I snuck into, but that's a story for another time) and told him I did Improv. He said, and I'll never forget it, "I could never do that!" I thought that was awesome. Improv is hard too, especially because more people hate it, so that's another battle we need to fight. I love going to see stand-up comics (like Jim Gaffigan, who is my favorite, Margaret Cho, Lewis Black, Dave Atell, the aforementioned Jeff Foxworthy, and so on...) but I also had a blast seeing Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood do improv live. We can all live together in harmony, doing our own thing. Kumbaya.

So, in summary, if you ever run into me, please don't ask me to tell you a joke!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

2 Legit 2 Quit!

Believe it or not, the fine folks at Pop Culture Junkies have given me a chance to write on a site that is seen by more than 2 people! I'm a writer! Check out my hilarious review of Last Comic Standing. If you suffered through it last night, you will probably think the recap was much funnier than the show itself (hell, I laughed more at the "Office" marathon promo!)

In other news, my sister-in-law just had a baby early this morning. Congrats Lynne and Mark! This means I am now an aunt. I am someone's aunt. Scary, isn't it? I want to be a "hip aunt" like my aunt is. She introduced me to rock n' roll (still have the LP's) and Oyster Bars, among other things. By the time my new niece is ready to be RAWKED, the only thing "hip" about me will be a hip replacement. Of course, the li'l chica will have to learn to fish first (from both Dad and Unca Paul!) Speaking of fishing...

I never detailed the excitement of the PTTS Ladies Day Tarpon Tournament down in Boca Grande a few weeks ago. I was on a team with Dena and Beth (it was the "wives and girlfriends crew".) In keeping with the long tradition (which started way back in 2005) of dressing up for the event (as no one, including the event organizers, take the ladies seriously,) we decided to do a "pimp n' ho" theme. Paul got he and Cap'n Ozzie those silly pimp hats that you find at Spencer Gifts or other fine retail locations. We gals had to bring the sexy. Last year I was in an oversized fishing shirt and baggy shorts. This year, it was a black bikini with matching mini skirt and (optional) red feather boa. At least the camera boat was around us more this year! We dropped lines at 9am and had 3 hours to land a bigg'un. I thought I had one on 2 occasions, but I merely had hooked the bottom. Beth got one hooked, but we couldn't keep it. If you've ever seen the Tarpon Tourney on TV, you'd know how hard it is to actually land a fish - boats are stacked thick and are almost on top of each other. Result? No fish (only 3 were caught in the whole tourney - 60-something boats) and a slight sunburn due to negligent sunscreen application. It was fun though!

Not much else is going on right now. If I were a psychic (which I'm totally not), I would predict a lot of changes coming up this summer and beyond....

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Score One for the Goobers!

Yay! Taylor won! Goobs represent! I'd like to think I had something to do with this victory, so hey guy, you're welcome. They did give a scary statistic at the end of the show, over 60 million people voted, to which Ryan "I'm not gay, really, I'm not...but that Simon..." Seacrest said something along the lines of that it was more people than voted for A.I. than they did for the last presidential election (to my credit, I did vote in the last presidential election too, I just didn't pick a winner like I did tonight. 'Nuff said.) Noticed they let the gospel singers out from their backstage confines for one last performance until next year. How nice of them. I did finally realize, as I whooped and hollered on the couch when they announced that Taylor won, that I don't have anything to root for this time of year (no football!)and that's probably why I got involved woth this whole "Idol" thing in the first place. At least that's what I'd like to think...

Congrats Taylor!


Ok. I officially have no life. I stayed up last night so I could call in and vote for Taylor Hicks on "American Idol". He was my second choice even (I really wanted Chris - the "rock guy" - to win), but for some reason I was compelled to battle the busy signals (for 2 hours, no less) just to hear "Hi, thanks for voting for me!" I even watched the whole shebang (my defense remains that "A.I." is on right before "House" - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) Some things struck me as funny while I wasted an hour of my life. One of the judges (probably Paula, the mistress of fluffy comments) said Taylor's dancing style was "contagious" and I thought to myself "More like he has something contagious!" maybe that's why I like him - he's a goob and has no problem with it. Yeah...that's why. I also hated the last song - how schmaltzy! Why do they do that to these poor kids (even "Boobie McBooberson's" song sucked.) And what is it with the gospel orchestra. I guess they helped out BMB, but why drag them put for Taylor? I guess the producers figured, "Well, we've already paid for them..." Yikes. So anyway, congrats Taylor and sorry to my hubby, who hates him!

P.S. Look at that picture (thanks Cold Hearted Truth for the image). He is kind of cute. But then again, I have always had a thing for kinda nerdy guys (and the complete opposite, like the hubby!)

Monday, May 22, 2006

What's Your Favorite Color?

Ok. I am in a slight quandary. I get restless about any number of things – I tend to have a "gypsy" mentality – I am never completely happy where I am – both physically and spiritually. The spiritual thing is more of an issue as of late. (Physically, if we actually pull up stakes and head out of P.R., that’s great. If not, I am going to do a 100% overhaul of the house, so it will be a change of scenery in some shape or form at least.) As many of you know, I am hopelessly insecure about my looks, and to ask anyone to be honest about matters of looks is essentially futile, as no one is completely honest about such matters (although my husband said he "wouldn’t mind" if I got a boob job.) So, next best thing…I need your help - it’s time for an exciting new poll…

Find Fitz’s Perfect Hair Color!

I am taking suggestions as to which color is best on me. Here are your options:

1. Blonde – Yes, I was born blonde. Those who know me know I can be pretty dinghy, so it’s easy to believe that I have “blonde roots”! I have always wanted to emulate my role model, Marilyn Monroe (except for the bad marriages/choice in men and drug problems) and since I don’t have the bod, at least I can have the hair (although, Christina Aguliera has been doing her take on Marilyn (a slutty take, but an obvious nod) lately, and I wouldn’t want anyone think I was paying tribute to her!) I was blonde when I met and married my hubby, and I have spent the most time this color. Since I’m so pasty, I don’t now if this color works as well on me as I thought it did. When I “fake bake” (tan-in-a- can), it looks better, but I can’t afford to keep myself in fake tanners year-round! This always seems to be my “go-to color” – I think I might be too old for platinum, but who knows?

2. Brunette – This was the first color I chose when I wanted a change from the blonde. It’s my “I want to be taken seriously” color. The first time I experimented with brown hair was when I graduated from college (the first time). I thought I’d get a better job if I looked more responsible because, in my 21-year-old brain, blondes were perceived as being dumb (not that there were any dumb brunettes anywhere…) My first go-round with the brown was not too good – my hair was resistant to the change, and my hair ended up as kind of a dingy, almost gun metal color. It was pretty bad. I went brunette again in my early 30’s – just for a change (I was going through a lot of other “changes” at that time as well…) I added a few blonde streaks in the front – the overall result was kind of cool. Of course, I desired change, so it was back to blonde after a few months. See? Fear of Clairol Commitment!

3. Red – The current shade. Bowing to Ann-Margret, not Lindsay Lohan! I actually kind of like this, but if I need a change, I can’t stay this shade. Again, I came here from blonde (this was my post-wedding change. Most girls cut their hair, I opted for a different route), and my hair didn’t want the red. It still is a battle to keep it red, it mellows out pretty quickly. I just don’t know!

If you’d like to help, leave your comments here for me. Don’t know if I’ll change, but input is always appreciated!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Don't Hate the Player...

I hate to admit it, but I have been following "American Idol" this season (it's on right before "House" for pete's sake!) I can't believe it. I spent so much time trying to avoid it, but it's everywhere - even in Australia, on our honeymoon, it was on. It was on in Costa Rica too! It is too powerful to escape...

So anyway, like most of the country, I was rooting for Chris (the rock guy). After he was (gasp!) eliminated, I moved on to my second choice, Taylor (the guy with the grey hair). I like his Joe Cocker-esque voice, the fact that he hasn't dyed his hair (I'm one to talk...) and, sorry, I love his dorky dancing. My husband (also drawn in to A.I. because of it's pre-"House" time slot) hates him, pretty much for the same reasons. He had not one good thing to say about the guy. He (of course) is rooting for Boobie McBooberson (the only chick left and the reason that girls can get their husbands/boyfriends to watch the show!) I am rooting for Taylor even more now, although I don't think he needs my help! Go Taylor!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Wasabi!

I really don't have a whole lot to say, but I feel obligated to type something. Paul just got back from Japan for business meetings and brought back about $100 worth of Japanese snacks (my obsession). I've been unhappy and stressed a lot lately (for a wide variety of reasons) and nothing puts me in a better mood than a bag full of sweet and salty treats from the Far East. One of the highlights of our once-yearly trek to EPCOT Center for the Wine Fest is the mandatory stop at the store in the Japanese section of World Showcase, where I inevitably...
a) Spend around 30-40 dollars on snacks
b) Eat most of said snacks before I leave the park
c) Drink waaaayyy too much sake

I will also stop at any Asian market I see, no matter where I am (New York, Australia, Georgia) and not be able to escape without dropping at least a $20. For the uninitiated, here's a brief summary of some of my favorites (old and new):

- Wasabi peas: Classic. My absolute favorite. Small fried peas with a crunchy wasabi coating. There are actually places in the US where you can get a decent bag (current favorite is at Wild Oats). Paul bought me an assortment of peas and beans, which kick butt! The more wasabi there is, the happier I am. I have eaten so many in one sitting that I lost the use of my taste buds for 2 days. Yummy!

- Pretz: These are like very skinny Japanese breadsticks, but the flavors are awesome. I love the salad and tomato flavors. The regular Pretz is slightly sweet, like a plain cookie. I found some roasted chicken flavor on a web site, which I think I have to try.

-Pocky: These are Pretz dipped in chocolate or various other sweet substances. Men's Pocky is dark chocolate flavored (I don't know why...) Paul got me black sesame flavor this time around - which looks odd, but tastes like peanut butter. He also got me green tea flavor (everything comes in green tea flavor over there, and it's not bad!) strawberry, framboise (raspberry), caramel and melon. He also bought me some called Fran (a Pocky knock off), but they're named after one of my best friends, so you can't pass it up. I also got my first 2 boxes of Giant Pocky - about 10" long and thicker than your average Pocky stick (Pocky on steroids!) I will be eating these for months...

- Melty Kiss - these are chocolates with green tea filling. The prospect was a bit frightening, but these are great (this is the confection I predict will be the first gone - Paul loves them too.)

- Miscellaneous candies and salty snacks: I don't speak Japanese, so I have no idea what they are - all I need to know is that they're good!

Paul had a very interesting trip. He saw a lot of cool stuff and went to a lot of cool places. I went to Naples. Oh well...I am actually supposed to go along on the next trip, so I should probably learn more than "My name is..." in Japanese! More later...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Exciting Conclusion...

Sorry, I have been updating my "professional site" so I've neglected my blog - I apologize to my faithful readers that I've left you hanging! So, where was I?

Day 6 (continued)
So there I am at the top of this platform, with a beautiful panoramic view of Lake Arenal, the volcano, and the vast rainforest. It would have been the ultimate experience if it wasn't for the knot in my stomach that came about when I realized the velocity and angle at which I'd be returning to land. I was petrified. You could chicken out, but had to make up your mind during the first two lengths of cable, which were quite tame (they were used as the training part of the journey - one to learn how to use the clip bar/equipment and how to position your body as you go down and the other was to learn how to slow down - mainly for the heavier people.) I was in this position (chicken out or not) once before. I was in Destin, Florida on vacation with a friend who was also in my improv group (a real smart ass). For whatever reason, I wanted to go on the Skycoaster (I'm sure you've seen it, thy have them at carnivals, theme parks, and all over Orlando - you get strapped into a harness, get pulled to the top of a tower and then come screaming down, like you're flying.) There was no line and I had a few beers (aka "Liquid Courage") prior to this, so I paid my $30 and strapped in. On the Skycoatser, you control your own destiny, you have to pull the cord that sends you down. I got up to the top of the tower and thought to myself "I can't do this". Then I thought of the massive amount of ribbing I'd get from my friend and figured death was much less awful than having all of my friends find out that I'm a big wuss. So I pulled the cord and had one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. It was awesome (I don't know that I'd ever do it again, but I'd recommend the experience to anyone.) Back to Costa Rica, on this trip I was also accompanied by a smart ass - my hubby. I knew I had to do it. Paul went down first. I watched him speed down the line, his figure disappearing rapidly from view. Then, my turn. I was shaking as they hooked me onto the cable. If there was ground, I couldn't see it. The guy who was hooking me up asked "Esta listo?" (Are you ready?) I wasn't (I wouldn't ever be, really), but said "Si" and away I went. Oh my God. It was the coolest thing I've ever experienced, topping the Skycoaster and even the Sydney Bridge climb in Australia. After the initial run, I was yelling "Estoy listo!" every time I got ready to take on another line. (I ended up being a translator on this trip - a few of the guys who worked for the Sky Tour didn't speak much English, and of course all of the turistas didn't speak Spanish - there are so many English speaking tourists over there now that most Costariquenos (or Ticos, as they're also called) are pretty fluent in Spanglish. So I am translating instructions to the other turistas and teaching the staff how to say things like "side to side" and "slow down". 5 years of Spanish helped, I guess!) I was really sad when it was over!

The ride back to Tabacon was amusing. There were a bunch of middle aged guys from California with us, and their pseudo-"leader" was this guy who vaguely resembled Gary Busey. He was kind of (loudly) recapping the information the tour guide provided on the tram, and I don't believe he got any of it right. It was only an hour ago...geez! No wonder other countries hate us...

After all of this excitement, we had a traditional Costa Rican buffet dinner (lots of pork, rice and chicken - and tres leches cake for desert...mmmmmm!) We heard the distinctive rumbling that came from the volcano and got to see lava coming down the side of the volcano - it was truly spectacular. The next day was "GUAPOTE!" and we had to get up early, so we made it an early night.

Day 7
GUAPOTE! Yes, we hit Lake Arenal for a little fishing. Our guide took us out on the lake and we caught a variety of bass - none were really impressive, we've caught bigger (ok, Paul's caught bigger) in our lake - but Paul did finally get his GUAPOTE! so it was a good trip. (Don't ask me what I caught - I think a tiger bass (?), some sort of Costa Rican mullet and, of course, a GUAPOTE! (actually, Rainbow Bass) of my very own! Oh, and a horrible sunburn on the tops of my legs - first one of the trip.)

We went back to the resort, grabbed lunch and then headed out on our ATV tour (no sitting around for us!) It was only my second time ever on a 4-wheeler - the first was when I was 15 and went out with my friend Suzie, I got on, started up, went a few feet and promptly crashed into a bush. Needless to say, I was a little nervous. After a few minutes of getting used to the ride in a big empty field (no bushes!), we ventured out and had a nice 2-hour journey. Since we were off-road quite a bit, I got really dirty. And we had already checked out. Great. I had to grab a washcloth and try to clean up as best as I could in the ladies room before we got a ride back to San Jose. We stayed at the Ramada Herradura, which was really nice. When we got in our room, we flipped on the TV, and imagine my delight when my favorite show, "House" was on (it's called "Dr. House" over there - if it were literally translated it would be "Casa" which really doesn't work. By the way, most North American shows have Spanish subtitles, but I did get to see the "Trapped in the Closet" episode of "South Park" dubbed (surprisingly well) in Spanish as well as "Los Simpson"!) We had dinner at Sancho Panza, a Spanish restaurant. We had a delicious paella and a few Imperials as the hours ticked down to burfday #37 (I managed to translate the first bit of 50-Cent's "In Da Club" to Spanish for the occasion - it is....)

Yo pequeno, es su cumpleanos

Vamos a celebrar como es su cumpleanos

Vamos a beber Bacardi como es su cumpleanos...

...and that's all of the song I know (even in English!)

Day 8
We got up early (again) and jumped on a bus at 6am to head out on a whitewater rafting adventure (See? I am an action figure!) When we got on the bus, there were a bunch of loud, boisterous guys (about our age) already there. They were loudly boasting of their maids and Porsches, so I was not looking forward to spending a few hours with them. Then we went to another hotel to pick up another group and they were late. Real late. They finally got on the bus, we pulled out into the street and immediately turned around and headed back, because one of the new people had the wrong kind of shoes! (I never thought we'd ever be leaving San Jose!) We drove for a few hours to the "operations base" for the river rafting company, loaded up on breakfast (I'm not even going to tell you what I had!) and made our way to the Pacuare River. Since there were only 2 of us, we had to go with some of the loud guys...great. Our tour guide was named Abel and as we headed out, he became less of the friendly tour guide and more of a drill sergeant ("What part of paddle forward do you not understand??") The loud guys became our allies (the ones on our raft were actually nice - they were from Ft. Lauderdale) as our hatred of Abel intensified. At least he was a good guide. We never got caught up on any rocks. The scenery along the river was beautiful - there were tons of waterfalls and cool grottos. There were also some very intense Class III and IV rapids. One group did actually hang themselves up on the rocks and Abel went out to help them, while we waited on the shore. Abel swam back and was floating in the water, asking us to come out in the raft and pick him up. We all just looked at him for a moment - and in that moment, Abel realized what a jerk he had been all day and his demeanor magically changed. The whole ride was 14 miles and took us about 3 hours. It was a lot of fun! We went back to our hotel and dined at the sushi restaurant there (pretty good). Of course, you can't seem to go anywhere in Costa Rica anymore with out some loud North American bragging about his business acumen, finances, golf game, whatever - no wonder they hate us....All in all, an excellent birthday!

Day 9
Sniffle! Today was our last day in this beautiful country. We had an early (of course) flight, but had time for the obligatory souvenir shopping (the coffee there is awesome, so we picked some up, as well as gifts for family and friends) and no trip overseas would be complete without a stop at the duty-free store! We went from paradise to hell in a matter of hours...Miami Airport was a zoo (as always) and the traffic (on a Sunday, no less) was awful. When are we going back? Soon I hope!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Christine's Costa Rica Adventure - I'm an Action Figure!

Ok. Now, where was I...

Day 5
Today we left Crocodile Bay and headed back to San Jose. We were headed for Tabacon, a resort and spa that are very close to the Arenal Volcano. The place is about 3 hours from San Jose. We took a cab (!) there, as there was only one (inconvenient) flight there via puddle jumper. It was a beautiful drive however, as we wound our way up and down the mountains, passing through small towns, souvenir stands and one very odd toll booth (it was a rickety little shack with hand painted information on the side. Our cab driver stopped, said hello to the lady in the booth and drove on, without paying a dime (or a colon, the currency in C.R.) We deduced it was probably a toll only for the gullible "turistas"! And then we were there...and it was beautiful!

The place was gorgeous - lush landscaping, beautiful architecture, friendly staff. Our room was luxurious as well (really comfy bed). This part of the trip was dubbed "mine" as there was nowhere for Paul to fish. Until...

If there's an opportunity to fish, Paul will find it. He went over to the concierge to make sure all of our eco-tours were booked and discovered he could go fishing in Lake Arenal for indigenous Costa Rican rainbow bass, or Guapotes. So, of course, he booked this and this part of the trip became "ours". (And "GUAPOTE!" was Paul's battle cry for the next 3 days!) One thing I noticed while Paul was talking with the concierge was the video running behind her desk. It featured all of the eco-tours that were available through the resort. They showed zip line tours (which we were going to do) ATVs (which we also were going to do) horseback riding and such. The video also spotlighted the hot springs - which I guess sell themselves, because the folks in the video did not provide any additional temptation! It was 5 minutes of pasty, old, fat white guys shuffling along and sitting like a lump on a log in the water. Eeeewwwww! But I digress...

As soon as we settled in, we walked down to the hot springs. "Hot springs" is definitely not a misnomer! The scenery was breathtaking, with natural waterfalls and even more beautiful flora and fauna (and one little iguana scooting across the walkway.) The volcano was awesome, I had never seen one before. It's an active one, so we could see smoke coming out of the top of it. The springs are hot because of the volcano - some were so hot, I couldn't even get in. Paul, of course, plunged right in to each and every one! The swimming pool was really the only place where I could stay in the water for more than a minute or so (maybe it was because it had a pool bar? Yay, pool bar!) We had a light lunch there because we were having our big dinner that night (it was also my birthday dinner.) The restaurant was lovely, and very fancy-schmancy (with the 9 million forks, knives and spoons on the table - "Oh, that's your asparagus fork!" and even sorbet!) The food there was so good (we didn't have a bad meal on the whole trip actually.) We were sleepy after dinner, so it was off to sleep and onto our next day's adventure.

Day 6
Today was my favorite day on the trip. We had a bountiful breakfast buffet (more gallo pinto for me!) and were off to the Sky Tram tour. This was the canopy tour through the rainforest. I always thought that they were laid back affairs, where you move yourself leisurely across zip lines from tree to tree. Imagine my surprise when I got to the base and found out that "laid back" was definitely not happening today! We had to get into harnesses and those helmets that would even make Albert Einstein look like the "Ding, Fries Are Done" guy. We the got into a tram that took us waaaaaayyyyyy up into the mountains. That part could have been laid back, if I wasn't starting to freak out about how we were going to get down. You could see the zip lines - they were long and, instead of taking you on a horizontal, tree to tree path they did an almost 90 degree drop from platform to platform (guess that's why they're called zip lines, huh?)Guess what? I'm spent! I will give you a be continued...

One more...

I know most of you couldn't care less about Peter Frampton, but I adore him. Posting the videos I find of him here is so convenient for me - I can watch these a million times - so the heck with you all if you don't like it! I am still clinging to the hope that I will actually be able to meet the man before I die. So if you Googled "Peter Frampton" and ended up here, and you actually are Peter Frampton...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ahhh...You Tube...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get harassed by many people about my obsession with one Mr. Peter Frampton. But, hey, he rocks! Thanks to the wonder of the Internet, I can now share his genius with you! (Isn't it amazing the things I can find to fill my blog in lieu of actual writing?) So anyway, here is the song that I tried to have as my wedding song not once, but twice! I will post another song I found in the next post...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Christine's Costa Rica Adventure - As Many Days As I Feel Like Recapping Here!

At long last! I am back to relaying my adventures in paradise! So, here goes...

Day Two

We head off from San Jose to Puerto Jiminez, which is on the southern end of the country. To get there, you have to take a puddle jumper. The first time I went to Puerto Jiminez was right after Aaliyah died in that plane crash. I was a little nervous to be getting on a small plane. Before you fly on Nature Air (Costa Rica's puddle jumper airline), they weigh you and your luggage (at least they don't yell out your weight to everyone in the tiny terminal), the owner of them lodge and his wife were on that flight and had what appeared to be 10 tons of luggage with them. Needless to say, I was a little nervous. Add to that the plane was about a big as a van with wings and our pilot looked to be about 12 years old. I survived that (obviously), so this time was no sweat. The "airport" in Puerto Jiminez is basically a landing strip and what looks like a bus stop. One interesting, but slightly disturbing thing is that it is right next store to a cemetery! We were picked up there and taken to the beautiful Crocodile Bay Lodge (about 5 minutes from the airport). The place is beautiful - airy and bright with no TV's in the room (so relaxing!) We got there in the early morning and had enough time to grab breakfast (I had Gallo Pinto - the typical Costa Rican breakfast, which is basically beans and rice, but it's so good!) and then we were off to do some inshore fishing. Our captain's name was Wilbert and he was awesome. We caught a lot of fish - the most of any of the boats that were out there that day - lots of snapper, jacks and needlefish. For some reason a full day of fishing really wears one out! It was Easter Sunday and the Lodge had quite the spread for dinner - a full buffet featuring some of the snapper we caught! Delish! After dinner and a few pina coladas it was off to bed and our next adventure...

Day Three
We woke up early (of course), scarfed down some Gallo Pinto and headed off for some offshore fishing. I caught my first sailfish, which weighed in at a hefty 80 lbs! Of course, Paul caught a sail too - it was a great day! Went back to enjoy libations at the swim-up pool bar (if I ever get a pool, I am so having a swim-up bar!) and another great dinner. Then (pooped again!), off to bed...

Day 4
More inshore fishing at the Lodge. Went out with Wilbert again, and Paul caught a fish he had never caught before (very rare for him!)- a Cubera Snapper -which also proved to be quite good eating!

More to come...

Sunday, April 30, 2006

We interupt this travelogue...

I am (I promise) going to write the next installment of my Costa Rica trip soon - but in lieu of that, enjoy my favorite You Tube video...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Christine's Costa Rica Adventure - Day 1

I'm sure my 2 (or so) loyal readers of my blog have been dying to know what happened on my recent trip to Costa Rica. Well, I finally have gotten all of the pictures developed (yes, we actually used those old-timey (non-digital) film cameras for part of the trip!) and I have kind of gotten caught up with work, so I can begin to share my experiences with you. So, here goes...

We ventured out of Miami on Saturday, April 15th - we had a brief layover in Panama City (no, not that Panama City!) We wanted to grab a bite and thought we should probably hit the ATM in the terminal. When we approached, there was already a lady there using it - so we ventured closer to see what kind of unusual currency they used in Panama. Imagine our surprise when U.S. $20 bills came out! We didn't need any money there, the food in the airport was really cheap. P. got a hot dog, 2 sodas (one for me) and some chips for two bucks! We then flew into San Jose, the capital of the country. I had heard tales of a certain notorious hotel in San Jose and I knew I had to check it out for myself, so P., coolest husband ever, arranged for us to spend a night at the Hotel Del Rey. P.'s fishing buddies were quite surprised that I requested to stay there, but I couldn't resist. Just to clarify, the Hotel Del Rey (and accompanying bar, The Blue Marlin) is, to put it nicely, a brothel. The available ladies pack the bar and casino at all hours of the day, looking for "dates". If they end up making a "Love Connection", they will bring their "date" to their "manager" to arrange terms, then either head out of the Blue Marlin to parts unknown, or head up to one of the (actually quite comfy) rooms upstairs in the hotel. It was a fascinating evening of people watching. I, being what I assume was the only gringa in the place, was actually looked at a few times like I was "working" there (the working girls actually were pretty much dressed the same way as I was - low cut jeans, small t's and such - no outrageously slutty outfits to be found.) Of course, P. made sure I was not on the market (I think he did find it slightly amusing that men were checking me out and wondering what my asking price was!)It was really a much more benign experience than I was expecting - I've seen worse behavior in the bars in Orlando and Atlanta - but interseting nonetheless. Of couse we gambled a little, we blew a whopping $40 between the two of us (no worries about gambling addiction here!)and had a few Imperial (Costa Rican) beers (I'm not as much of a beer drinker as I used to be, but for some reason, when I'm in a country where Budweiser is considered an import, the availability of "exotic" beers at bargain prices is irresistable!) We also spent a little time around downtown San Jose, which offers pretty much what you'd expect to see in a third world country - numerous homeless folks and incredibly zippy street vendors, who could pack up in less than one minute when the threat of law enforcement was near (we witnessed this - they hustled at a speed I hadn't ever seen before once the signal was given that la policia were near.) From what I saw, Costa Rican steet vendors had few unique wares to offer - to me it looked like the same tired necklaces and designer sunglass knock-offs - but hey, they're trying to be self-sufficient, so more power to 'em!

All of this excitement actualy occurred in the first day of our adventure. Bet you're chomping at the bit to find out what happens next...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

4 Years Older Than God

Yup. I'm 37. I'm in that blank spot before you hit the "big 4-0". Had an awesome birthday however - I was in Costa Rica as another year passed for me. Of course I'll share the highlights of my week in one of the most wonderful countries in the world (tied with Australia), just not tonight! Stay tuned - same Fitz time, same Fitz channel...

Monday, April 10, 2006

It hasn't really been 20 years, has it?

I was going to do a recap of my goings-on of late (at least I was going to a few weeks ago - gee, how time flies!) But another topic has taken over the blog for now. (And if you really want to know what's been going on, in a nutshell, Mom and Dad moved to the condo - after coming up here to see Dame Edna - where Dad (inevitably) got involved in the show, I won tickets to see Wanda Sykes in Orlando, and, having no one to go with, ventured out by myself and had an excellent time, and - being the good Irish gal I am - had a memorable St. Patty's Day, 'nuff said!)But I digress...

I graduated from high school in 1986. So for you math majors, this means that it's my 20 year reunion this year. It's no secret that my high school years were easily the worst 4 years of my life (overall - I did make, and keep, a few really good friends - good enough that I (Miss "I hate kids")actually attended my first baby shower a few weeks ago!) but, since I think I may actually look better than I did when I was in high school and have an adorable, wonderful, smart-ass husband, I thought it might be actually rather fun to go to my upcoming reunion. This idea was totally vetoed by my (3) high school buddies - who all had no plans of attending - I think they were still probably miffed that I missed our 10-year, but I had just (not even a month earlier) gotten promoted from CNN Tour Guide ("Where do Regis and Kathie Lee sit?" - obviously the bottom of the totem pole) to graphics operator in the main CNN control room (I had the worst schedule ever - 6pm - 3am, Monday and Tuesday off - but I knew I couldn't ask on my first day, "Oh, can I have a weekend off?" - I have tried to explain this a million times, to no avail - but I still love my girls!) Actually, 2 of my friends are preggers, and I can understand why they wouldn't want to go (I know I'd need at least a few drinks before I could see any of those people again!)Besides, I'll be moving closer to my friends by the end of the year (I hope, I hope) - so a reunion really is a moot point. SO (boy, I'm verbose tonight!), I had pretty much dismissed the whole reunion thing (besides, the organizer of the reunion copied me on an email about the soiree and the people she also sent the email to I had no interest in seeing whatsoever - which brought me to the conclusion - why should I spend (at least) $200 to spend the weekend with a bunch of people I never liked (and vice versa, I'm sure?) So, needless to say, my June calendar is open now!

But what I didn't really expect to happen is that I am reconnecting with my grade school friends. My absolute best childhood friend in the world found me on a while back, and I was so excited - we've been emailing, sending old photos back and forth, and actuially got together last year, and it's great. Well, she hooked me up with her high school reunion group, and today I heard from a girl I haven't taked to since 1982! It is so exciting and slightly overwhelming to see these people again after such a long time. As a whole, I am way more connected to the Curley Class of '86 than I ever was to the PJPII Class of '86. I've been trying to mask my excitement from my Mom, who blames herself pretty much every time we talk for moving me away from such a great bunch of kids and subjecting me to Boca Raton for my developmental years, but I'm so over all of that - still not gonna give my alma matter $200 though! It was awesome to relive, for just a moment, events like the one you see in the picture (the girl who I just heard from is the one I'm crushing in this photo!) Made me feel a little old...until I got carded tonight buying a bottle of wine!

We are off to Costa Rica on Saturday. Don't know if I'll have time for more entries before then. I am trying to promise myself that I'll return with a lot of cool travel blog entries. Let's keep our fingers crossed on that one!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My Dog Has More Friends Than Me

I'm back! Thanks to all of you who missed me (that would be you, Rose!)

I wrote a really lengthy entry yesterday, and thanks to the wonders of the Web, it has magically disappeared! I'll recount everything soon, but for now, I'll just get to the meat of the previous, lost post. I have a profile on MySpace - set up to help some of my single male friends tweak their profiles to meet chicks (apparently, I have a gift - it's how I met my husband.) So, anywhoo...I have about 43 "friends" - made up mostly of comedians and bands (as much as I'd like it to be true, Barenaked Ladies are not actually my friends!) I was able to reconnect with a few acquaintances from FSU, but only one real-life new friend (who my husband actually hooked me up with - no, we're not swingers!) I thought it would be cute to set Boo up on a site called Dogster - and wouldn't you know it, the bitch (literally) has more friends than me! Sad, really...

I'll recap the past few weeks in the next post!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Congrats to the Zimmers!

I don't have time for a proper post, but I just wanted to congratulate my sister and her new hubby on their nuptials. They did it smart - they eloped! All the best to you both! And to my (few) faithful readers, I promise many new exciting posts in the near future!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

If There's A Dive Bar, Yo I'll Find It...

I don't know what it is about me, but I can find a dive bar in any city I visit! Last night I went over to Orlando, to help sell the Orlando area to one of his reps' wives (they're moving from Minnesota, so it wasn't really a hard sell!) We were actually in Altamonte Springs, spitting distance from the house that my ex-hubby and I shared. Dinner was at Crazy Buffet (yum!) where we enjoyed 2-4-1 wine and loads of sushi. P. and I decided to have a nightcap, so I suggested that we check out the bars at a strip mall (in Florida! Quel surprise!) that was across the road from the restaurant. I had been to the sports bar there a loooooong time ago, and was fascinated with the bar next door to it - Cooter Brown's. Yes, Cooter Brown's. As I have an affinity for bars with "Cooter" in their name (as in the lovely bar we hung out in before my wedding), P. and I headed inside. There was metal on the jukebox (Motley Crue's "Dr. Feelgood") and the drinks were cheap and strong. The clientele, however, led me to believe that this bar could be categorized as a "place where someone's gonna get in a fight". The petite flower sitting on the bar stool next to me was fascinated with my hair color. She complemented me, asked for my hairdresser's name, and promptly fell off her barstool. Oh, and before the tumble, she almost got into a fight with a rather harsh looking middle aged woman with a cowboy hat and bad implants. Let the good times roll...

By the way, I miss Orlando. That's sad. I think what this really says is that I just don't like the Tampa area. I don't get a good "vibe" about the area. Could also be the huge image of my favorite anchor/crush from the tv station I worked for that was plastered on the "Super Duper Doppler" tower! Oh well...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Married? Yeah, married...sheesh!

I don't know why I get a kick out of the title of today's blog entry - I used this "Sixteen Candles" quote when telling a few friends that my youngest sis was getting married sometime soon (the wedding date and location have moved around quite a bit). First it was September in Illinois then March in New Orleans. If she can pin down a date, I'd love to go!

So anyway...I really wanted to write about my big weekend in Hooterville. I really didn't know what to do - we wanted to do something but didn't have the motivation to drive to civilization (Tampa), so we chose to make do with the cavalcade of entertainment that only Port Richey has to offer. Of course, we ended up at the movie theater (much more pleasant since they enforced the curfew!) Saw "Date Movie", which ranks up there with the worst movies I have ever seen (and that's really saying something!) It was just bad. Not "so bad it's good" - a la "Showgirls". Just godwafully bad. Usually chattering and texting teens annoy the hell out of me, but this time they were a welcome diversion from what was going on onscreen. I felt ripped off. So anyway, after such a promising beginning, how to end an evening like this? Why, the "Jale House (yes, that is actually whay the sign says - "Jale". Maybe the guy who owns "The Karl Reef" owns this one too -'s just that no one in Pasco County can spell) Karaoke Cafe"!

We approached the rundown building and saw a sign that said $10 cover. Since we were only staying for one drink, we didn't want to pay the cover. We started to head back to the car and a guy popped his head out the door and yelled to us that there was no cover. So we ventured, hesitantly, inside. There were about 15 people on the cramped dance floor doing "The Electric Slide", so things were not looking good for a lengthy cocktail stop. There was an assortment of motley folks in the club (about 25 in all) - there was the guy who looked like Greg Allman, the lady in the blue velour track suit (very tight and not too kind to her shlubby physique), a guy in a cowboy hat, and the obligatory black guy/fat white chick combo. There was a karaoke "host" floating around, wearing one of those dumb rasta wigs from Spencer's. He didn't sing, he just contributed a few "Awwwwyeah"s over the mic. Actually, for a karaoke bar, there was a strange shortage of karaoke. There were fat binders, full of songs on the tables, and a few people perusing them (Greg Allman for one), but no one took the stage. Until...finally..."Let's bring Rose to the stage." Rose, who was most likely in her mid 50s, proceeded to launch into "Roses Are Red" by Bobby Vinton. She got to about the second line when P. said "That's it" and made a beeline for the door. Guess we'll have to find another place to hang out. At least it was a concrete, tangible example to show P. what was wrong with Port Richey - and insurance that we'll soon be moving to civilization!