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...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Writer's Line

Here's a piece I wrote as an "audition" to work on the site The Impulsive Buy, a food review site. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Full Throttle Blue Demon Energy Drink Review

In my early-morning, post-workout haze, I mistakenly grabbed a can of Full Throttle Blue Demon Energy Drink instead of my usual sugar-free Rockstar Zero Carb out of the cooler at my local gas ‘n’ sip. (Both beverages are packaged in a blue can…how devious of you, Coca-Cola.) It wasn’t until I put the open can to my lips to realize my error. Mercifully, the taste didn’t cause me to do a messy spit take across the inside of my car’s windshield.

Surprisingly for me, the drink was not an entirely unpleasant experience. It had a crisp edge, a slight citrus tang and only a teeny bit of an aftertaste. The can announces that this Blue Demon is “Blue Agave Flavor”. From my vast experience in the spirit world, I was aware that blue agave was used to make tequila. I only wondered if swigging this liquid would result in an overly interesting drive to work for the amount of time it took me to read the ingredients on the can and, sadly, there’s no actual blue agave in the drink (I’m thinking this would be a good mixer for vodka though. In the comfort of your home, kids – don’t drink and drive…especially to work.) If there’s such a thing as “sugar flavor”, it would perfectly describe the taste of this drink.

Since I haven’t had an energy drink with sugar in it since the days when I thought Red Bull and vodka was a good idea (it wasn’t), I was hoping for the lightheaded, euphoric buzz once experiences on a successful first date. Sadly, this was not to be – all that resulted was a slight headache and the concrete fact that I had just consumed 220 calories of pure guilt. It was more like one of those bad dates, when you go to the bathroom, call your friend and have them call you back with some excuse that affords you the chance to abruptly end the date. (I’ve unfortunately had more of the latter rather than the former.) I guess the Blue Demon’s “Full Throttle Blend” of guarana, ginseng, sucrose (oh, who are we kidding? It’s SUGAR.), carnitine, caffeine and taurine just left me in neutral. All in all, it was a fun experiment and I learned an important lesson (don’t grab things willy-nilly out of the cooler at the gas ‘n’ sip. Reading is fundamental.) Tomorrow, however, I fully intend to return to my Rockstar – grasping that can as I head into my office makes me feel kind of like Debbie Harry. Today. At 64 years old. But she’s still way cooler than I’ll ever be.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 can – 220 calories, 0 grams of fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Full Throttle Blue Demon Energy Drink
Price: $2.59
Purchased at: BP
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Crisp, light flavor, would mix well with vodka, didn’t have to clean my windshield, good first dates, Debbie Harry
Cons: Lack of satisfying energy drink buzz, deceptively packaged to look like Zero Carb Rockstar, not reading labels, no tequila in it, 220 calories per serving

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Always Something There to Remind Me

Everybody who knows me knows that I love music. I'm kind of a goober that way. As I've gotten older, my musical tastes have started reverting back to the songs I grew up with in the 70s and 80s (my Peter Frampton obsession is more than enough proof of this, I'd say.) I try to jump on every opportunity to enjoy some great tunes (and nostalgia) whenever I can (especially when it comes at an affordable price.) You can only imagine my delight when I learned that Naked Eyes were coming for a gig at the Norton Museum in West Palm. The band was probably best known for their hit "Always Something There to Remind Me" (they also had a hit with "Promises, Promises".) I recruited my two best buds from high school, Susan and Johanna and we all met up on Thursday night for an 80s flashback.

The concert was part of an event called "Art After Dark" at the museum, and it drew what can only be described as a decidedly mixed crowd. Kids, cotton tops, the up-and-coming young Palm Beach society set and ironic hipster douchebags. Yeah, I'd definitely call that "mixed". After we chugged a glass of wine (we found out we couldn't take them into the theater only after we bought them.) Johanna is tiny - she should never drink wine rapidly, but the results were kinda amusing. We went into the tiny theater and sat down. I didn't realize until later that one half of the band, Rob Fisher, passed away in 1999 (he had a hit with his own band, Climie Fisher, called "Love Changes Everything" - I still love that song.) The remaining member of the band, Pete Byrne, performed a fabulous "unplugged" session. I'm pretty positive that a large percentage of the people in the theater had no idea who this guy was - it was just a nice place to sit down for a few minutes. The group of "close to cotton tops" in front of us provided us with some good laughs. When Pete did a cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man", he told the crowd that he performed it for Elton at a concert at Carnegie Hall. There was much conversation going on between them, and I could only think they thought he played at the Carnegie Deli. I did actually overhear this when Pete launched into a stirring rendition of "Peace Love and Understanding" by Elvis Costello: "Oh, not Abbott and Costello...." Yikes. The hipster douchebags set up camp in the aisle next to us and wouldn't shut up - I finally asked if they could move their riveting conversation elsewhere. Don't people have any respect anymore? It was like going to the movie theater. Sheesh! One sad thing I realized was that we used to go to concerts where women would sit on their boyfriend's shoulders and flash their boobs at the band. Now, I'm at a show where a man is holding his infant granddaughter over his head so she can see what's going on. What happened?

Overall, the concert was great...too short, but great. Pete had a CD signing after the show and, being the famemongering whore you all know I can be, I just had to meet him (and see if he knew Peter Frampton - he didn't.) He was awesome and very friendly. And I have a new photo for my celebrity wall!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bad Indeed

I figured if anyone could put a period on this never-ending Michael Jackson memorial, it would be me. So, please enjoy this little gem I unearthed especially for the occasion...

Ironically enough, I've pretty much got the same hairdo now. This video, by the way featured yours truly and my FSU buddies Mags and Donavin. We shot this in one of those cheesy (like I had to mention that) "make your own video" stores at Disney MGM Studios, during one of our countless college road trips to Orlando. I guess all I can say now is rest in peace, our little Moonwalker.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

All the Twitter Posts You Missed from Abaco

Since I don't have the crazy, disposable income that allows me to send text messages from our weekend in Abaco, Bahamas (here's where we stayed, by the way), here's a compliation of the tweets I would have sent. I did send one before we left - when we arrived at Ft. Lauderdale airport late, huffed and puffed to the ticket counter and one working. It's never a good thing when there's no one at the ticket counter, especially when you're dealing with a charter airline company. So, without further ado...enjoy my trip in segments of 140 characters or less...

Friday, July 3
- I've never approached a runway at a 90 degree angle - until today.
- Now it's Paul's turn to be bagless!
- Welcome to paradise! It's raining!
- Conch! Nature's perfect food...
- Paul off to get his bag, it was actually on our flight but misplaced at the airport/shack.
- Paul back from the liquor store with Fire in Da Hole and (Ricky) Ricardo rum. Party is on!
- Went snorkeling. Saw HUGE lobsters. Where's my lemon?
- Piano player in the restaurant looks like Samuel L. Jackson.
- Apparently, no one applauds for the song stylings of SLJ. Except me.
- There's a band playing saws. It's called a "rake 'n' scrape". I call it AWESOME.
- I've been dancing like a fool...and according to Paul, a velociraptor.

Saturday, July 4
- Bahamian rum drinks = yum. Bahamian Bloody Marys = meh.
- Just made the sweatiest trek to the bank ever.
- Kalik Light beer, a comfy bed, frosty A/C and Tropic Thunder. Can it get any better?
- There's a wedding on the beach. I'm not crying...there's something in my eye...
- SLJ asked if I was a musician, because of the clapping thing. I asked for a Peter Frampton song.
- Don't bet on a crab named Michael Jackson if he's up against one named Elvis Presley.
- What's with the foreign countries and racing animals anyway?
- Someone really ought to do a reggae version of "Killing in the Name"
- First 4th of July I've ever had to watch fireworks on TV

Sunday, July 5
(I actually didn't write any tweets in my notebook after Saturday, so I'm making these up on the spot.)
- Another sweaty bank trek. At least we had some pina coladas to make it a bit more bearable.
- I've never seen Paul chill out as much as he has this weekend.
- SLJ played "Baby, I Love Your Way" for me. I love SLJ. Clap, clap!
- I wonder if I'll ever tire of conch...

Monday, July 6
- Good half day of fishing - Nassau groupers, turbot and snapper-a-go-go!
- Somehow, we missed the message that our flight was leaving early.
- Eating lunch in the cab as we scurry to the airport/shack.
- After all the effort, flight delayed.
- One more Kalik for the road.
- Heat, flies and mosquitos - the delights of the Marsh Harbor airport/shack.
- Watching the propeller on the plane attempt to sputter to life.
- Had to make a stop. Sigh. Maybe we can have A/C to Ft. Laudy?
- Customs. Ack.
- Home, sweet home - after 90 minutes in line!

Let me know if you like this short 'n' sweet travel recap. It just seemed to fit the quick getaway so well!