Sunday, November 30, 2008

Question of the Day #25

There's a tornado watch in central Florida. So the shuttle won't be able to land here. I'm pretty bummed about missing my tentative once in a lifer. But I'm also hoping I don't experience a tornado. (That's a once in a lifer I'd like to avoid.)

I'm going to make a segue now so we don't dedicate another post to natural disasters.

Anyhoo, on to other things. Like food. It's Sunday morning and oh, how I enjoy a good Sunday breakfast. I'm a traditional girl (Well, half of me is. The other half deems me a walking contradiction.) so my fave Sunday feast is two eggs over medium, hash browns (Always shredded. None of those lame mushy breakfast potatoes for me.) and delicious, crisp bacon.

Although, I do have a friend who makes a mean bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and somehow manages to scramble all the gooey bacony cheesy goodness inside the eggs. When you bite into it, it explodes decadence. So, I've kind of been cheating on tradition lately. (See what I mean about being a walking contradiction?)

So what's your favorite Sunday breakfast?


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Question of the Day #24

Florida fun continues! The Space Shuttle is scheduled to land here tomorrow. (Unless the predicted thunderstorms roll in. Then it will detour to New Mexico.) So we've decided to head out to the Kennedy Space Center to witness the landing. I think it's a once-in-a-lifer.

What once in a lifetime events have you been fortunate enough to enjoy?


Friday, November 28, 2008

Question of the Day #23

My dad and I LOVE rollercoasters. We want to bolt like lightning and scream down a track so steep that we can’t see it beneath us.

It all started when I was 11 years old. Dad took me and my brother to Six Flags outside Chicago. An old white wooden coaster stood center stage at that park and I remember pointing to it many times that day, asking, “Hey Dad, do you think it’s scary?”

After we buckled in and the cars began to crank up, up and up, I clutched the bar, braced my feet and waited for the first free fall. The train soared, my feet rose off the floor and my stomach felt like I'd left it on the platform.

I was in love.

So today, we’re determined to find the ultimate coaster in central Florida. (No loops please. They make Dad loopy.) We’re open to suggestions.

How do you feel about roller coasters?


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Question of the Day #22

It’s like this
I cuddle underneath a blanket mountain and listen to the clamor of pots and pans
In somebody else’s kitchen
Savory scents wake my belly
And I shake off the dream I just woke from
In which I struggled past hundreds of people to get what I want
only to be stopped
It’s Thanksgiving
The day we purposely choose to think positively
And really look at the good around us
So I close my eyes and give thanks for
The family around me
The steppeople
My cheerleader, who told me to turn it into a “10”
A swept garage, an unstopped sink and steaks on Sunday nights
Tally’s story
The invitation for gray potatoes
The friend who asked to read my novel
My home and my garden, budding with promise
Answered prayers
Lives growing
And Hope
because although she’s been hiding
I know she’s still there

What are you thankful for?


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Question of the Day #21

I'm heading to Florida for all things family.

How will you get your Thankful on?


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Question of the Day #20

Yesterday's question certainly revealed some interesting information. We've got a fantasy shoe designer/forensic obsessive, a chef, mom/architect, a couple serious do gooders, the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and a whole lotta singers and/or rock stars.

Which of course, begs the obvious question - who's your favorite rock star?

Mine is Bono. It all began the first time I heard The Unforgettable Fire and wrote the lyrics to "Bad" all over my bedroom wall.

Mom loved it.

PS - Regarding Lisa D's question about why we don't have a female Santana yet, I must say I have no idea and I think she should get on it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Question of the Day #19

If you could have any other career than your current one, what would it be?

I, of course, would be a rock star.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Question of the Day # 18

I went to a wedding last night. I love weddings. I cried at the first peek at the bride and that proud look glowing on the groom's face. We clapped, danced and sang out our "Amens" with the slammin' gospel choir. The bride and groom floated during their charming first dance.

I was in cohoots with the people at the "party table," who pretended that Barbara (whose seat was empty) had actually showed up and ordered tons of food and cocktails for her. Then we collectvely consumed all of it. All the while asking the empty chair if it would like some more champagne.

Ohhhh Barbara.

Every wedding has its moments. Like when after recently breaking his foot, my brother began the first dance with his wife clutching a cane. Then after the first few frustrated measures, he tossed it across the dance floor and grabbed his bride. The crowd roared.

At my friend Krista's wedding this summer, she brought in a photo booth. The pictures are hilarious. People packed in there in crazy poses. And the favorite question of the night was, "Did you get in the photo booth yet?"

And at a lot of weddings I've attended, I've crashed the band and sang. The guests go crazy cheering for one of their own.

What are some of your favorite wedding moments?


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Question of the Day #17

The one benefit of not feeling well is that you get to lie on the couch and watch bad TV all day and not feel guilty about it. Yesterday, I cuddled up under my fuzzy red blanket, watched a couple TiVoed Oprahsodes and then accidentally came across Fried Green Tomatoes.

I cried when Buddy got hit by the train. I blubbered when Ruth died. I cheered when they killed Ruth's batterer husband. I sobbed at the end when Iggy's house was gone and the town was just a crumbling memory.

When it was over, I felt crappier than when I laid down in the first place.

Next came Atonement. I know, I know. But I didn't know what it was about. I just heard my father's voice in my head, "Great movie. You should see Atonement."

I thought I'd blubbered at Fried Green Tomatoes. As the credits rolled, I clutched my soaked pillow and realized that love was impossible. A fairy tale. It would never happen.

And then, the most amazing thing happened. A yellow legal pad filled the screeen and a pencil scratched out the words "Almost Famous."

Thank god for movies that don't evoke suicidal thoughts. Thank god for Almost Famous, one of my favorite pick me up movies ever.

Not to be confused with my number one favorite - that's Beautiful Girls. There's nothing better than the ridiculous familiarity of returning home to your high school buds after years of living in the big city and falling right back into your native banter without even thinking about it.

Okay, so I told you mine. What are your favorites?


Friday, November 21, 2008

Question of the Day #16

What do you think it means if it's 80 degrees and I'm freezing?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Question of the Day #15

Lisa D's mention of her well-loved brown jacket yesterday reminded me of my favorite red puffy coat. I got it at Jet Rag for a buck, stitched up the slash in the sleeve and began relying on it to get me through porch talk on late chilly nights.

Other people relied on it too. So much that when I came across a white puffy with a faux fur hood on clearance at Macys for $11, I picked that one up too.

Then on a trip to Jersey when I showed up somehow thinking the weather would be just like Cali, I purchased my final puffy in desperation - at full price.

But the insulation is totally worth it. Like the other night, I stayed all toasty in the gray puffy while Helen snuggled in the red one.

Above are some of my fine friends sporting their fave puffies on my deck. So, I ask you, what's your puffy style? And why? Is it white fluffy faux fur? Steady red? Or steely gray? You can vote on the left, leave a comment or do both.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Question of the Day #14

For the last couple weeks, a bunch of glass tabletops have been sitting out by the garbage at one of the houses I pass on my walks. And yesterday, after seeing them yet again, my couch surfer, Todd, and I drove back up there to get them.

Once he saw them propped up just inside this person's gate, behind the garbage cans, Todd said, "We can't take those. That's stealing."

"What do you mean 'it's stealing'? They've been out by the garbage for weeks."

"But they're inside the gate." He pointed. Like five times.

"Would you leave them here if you wanted to keep them?" I asked.

"I don't know." He shrugged, then sighed loudly. "I don't think this is right."

I laughed. If you knew Todd, you'd laugh too.

"Then let's ask them." I rang the doorbell.

He shook his head.

Nobody answered. Then I noticed the lockbox on the gate and pointed at it.

Todd instantly grabbed the table tops and stashed them in the car. As we unloaded them at home, we brainstormed about how we'll use them to make the perfect coffee tables for my deck. All we need are some supercool bases.

What are some treasures you've found in somebody's else's junk?


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Question of the Day #13

Good morning! Okay, it's barely morning for me, which means it's definitely not morning for most of you. My apologies for my tardiness. And here's my lame excuse: I couldn't think of a good question.

Dumb stuff came to mind. Like, "What's your favorite color?" (Not kidding. That was before I drank my Diet Coke.) Then my brain starting swarming with all sorts of questions about men, but let's face it, they might be better answered on a different blog.

So just like I do whenever I have to figure something out, I headed up the hill. I waved to George as he tiled his house. I chatted with David about finding film work. I stopped at Felicia's and discussed the best way to keep critters out of her garden.

I love my neighborhood. I love the fact that I don't need to join a gym because these hills kick my butt better than any treadmill ever has. I love the banana trees, the giant hills, and the contrast of a Bavarian house with turrets next to a Mediterranean style home.

The smoke has cleared. (At least here. I send many prayers to the people who have lost their homes.) And I stopped to enjoy the view and realized that today's question was obvious:

What do you love about where you live?


Monday, November 17, 2008

Question of the Day #12

The leaves are falling off my money tree. What do you think that means?


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Question of the Day #11

When I logged onto my computer just now, I had seven friend requests on Facebook. Now, I like the idea of connecting. I found my dear friend, Helena, in Sweden. I haven't seen or talked to her in almost 20 years and with just one message, we were 17 and (virtually) Vogue-ing again. Then after being thrilled to find her, I was contacted by an old high school boyfriend who, sometimes, when I think about him, can still make my stomach flip.

But some other friend requests have made me think, "Really? Don't you remember that time you accused me of stealing your boyfriend?" Or "You never talked to me once in high school and you want to buddy up now?"

And then there are the people I don't even know. I know I'm supposed to know them, but I can't figure out who the heck they are. I look them up in yearbooks, study their pictures and still don't recognize them. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, but the truth is, my memory bank is on overdraft. And that makes me feel crappy.

So I'm torn. How much connection is too much connection?


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Question of the Day #10

Last night, after going out with friends and arriving home at 2:00 AM, I practically ran upstairs, snuggled into my favorite reading chair and devoured the last 50 pages of Alyson Noel's SAVING ZOE.

Fourteen year old Echo, a year after her sister's violent murder, unravels the truth of what led up to her sister's death by reading Zoe's diary. Alyson Noel nailed both sister's voices. Echo's in real time and Zoe's through diary entries. (So hard to do!) The voices are funny while dealing with a tough subject. And I definitely teared up in spots, because they were totally real.

Of course I stayed up until well after 3:00 AM and have quite the little sting in my head this morning as a result, but what a great read.

So what was your last great read?


Friday, November 14, 2008

Question of the Day #9

My friend, Beck, does a happy dance in the middle of her office every Friday. She's broken out the Sprinkler, the always popular Moonwalk, and a vertical version of the Worm. (I think I need a pic of that one!) She has also attempted the Cabbage Patch, but admits that some dances are better left to people with more rhythm.

Anyway, the whole point of the Friday dance ritual is to feel the "happy."

My version of a happy Friday ritual might just be plain and simply, happy hour.

What about you? What are your Friday rituals?

PS - Beck reports that today's dance is The Hustle.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Question of the Day #8

All right. I'll admit it. I'm a closeted karaoke freak. Okay, maybe not that closeted. There usually are other people in the bar.

Some of you may say it's hokey, but when my friend Tom and I get to be Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow and belt out "Picture" for four minutes, we're really rockstars in our minds.

Or like last night, when Billy and I killed Bon Jovi and Sugarland's "Who Says You Can't Go Home?" Every harmony was pitch perfect. The crowd cheered, and for those fleeting moments, this Jersey Girl felt like she was center stage at the Meadowlands.

It's my guilty pleasure. What's yours?


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Question of the Day #7

My friend Todd needs a place to crash for a while. He is an excellent carpenter who installed a fabulous, non-leaky, not squeaky front door for me a couple years back. And yes, he does look good in a tool belt. ; )

Since we can all use a little help from our friends right about now, we cooked up an exchange:

Suzanne gets an outdoor coffee table for her lower deck, a little molding around the sliding door in the kitchen and the securing of some boards on the upper deck.

Todd gets an aero bed and a roof over his head.

And everyone's happy.

What fabulous tips can you share to conserve cash and still get what you want?


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Question of the Day #6

The other night, I was out with my friends, Helen, Kristine and her little people, O and Z, who are 6 and 3 respectively. We ate pizza while the girls wiggled all over us and our booth. Then they chased after our friend Stacie, who happened to be that night's waitress. All this before Mommy played "Barbie Girl" on the jukebox and the dance party started.

Their energy was adorable, electrifying and exhausting. They made the Energizer Bunny look like a slow poke. As I silently said prayers for Mommy Kristine, we discussed the fact that those girls can stay up all night.

"Maybe it's because they were born in the middle of the night. I was born at night too. And I can stay up all night," Kristine said.

"You think that has anything to do with it?" I asked.

"Well, when we were you born?" Kristine asked.

"I was born the morning. Maybe that's why I can't stay up past 10:00."

Helen elbowed me.

"That is," I cleared my throat, "When I'm not out with Helen."

"What about you, Helen?" Kristine asked.


"Well, that explains your cheerful morning sunshineyness." I grinned, fully knowing that although we both do our best work in the morning, the cheerful sunshineyness only revs up after breakfast.

"Explains yours too."

So, does it? We want to know. Before we launch an official scientific experiment, we figure we should do a little survey. Are people who were born at night "night owls"? And are people who are born in the morning, morning people?


Monday, November 10, 2008

Question of the Day #5

I'm hungry. I'm about to blend an organic blueberry/strawberry smoothie, complete with raw wheat germ and ground flax meal.

What I really want are two eggs over medium, crisp bacon, shredded hashbrowns and free flowing fountain Diet Cokes.

If you could have ANYTHING to eat right now, what would it be?


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Question of the Day #4

Sunday. Twenty four hours of freedom before you're forced to be productive again. Time to curl up with a book, go on a hike, simmer a big pot of Granny Stew, work in the garden, hang out with friends, hit the beach, watch lifetime movies or simply nap.

Clearly, Sunday is my favorite day of the week. What's yours? And why?


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Question of the Day #3

November in Southern California is weird. Some years, everything's on fire and it sprinkles ash in your backyard. Other years, it rains so much that you realize you've needed a new roof for years but never got the heads up. And once in a while, you're blessed with an 80 degree, crystal ball-clear beach day.

Today was one of those days. So my wing-girl, Helen, and I started up the car, took the top down and headed to Malibu. Waves crashed sky blue, surfers stripped out of wetsuits highway-side and dolphins dotted the waters.

It looked a little like this:
As we drove, we grooved in our seats to Modest Mouse. Howled out Kings of Leon. Belted Pat Benatar and giggled over Rehab, MGMT, and Everclear.

Then, as we drove through a residential neighborhood, in search of a good view of Point Dume, we stopped to support the future enterprisers of the world and bought lemonade from a lemonade stand.

Now, we're aware that we chose to purchase refreshments in Malibu, but they cost $2 a glass. Maybe it was the fresh strawberry garnish?

Finally, we headed out to El Matador State Beach. So Cal's hidden treasure. And took it all in.
All in all, it was an amazing day. But it wouldn't have been quite as enjoyable without the music. So, we ask you, what's on your playlist?

Suzanne and Helen

Friday, November 7, 2008

Question of the Day #2

The vote is in! Based on all your blogtastic responses, you STILL love to play Questions! Yay for some things never getting old.

Although I must admit that there was part of me that freaked out when I read all your responses. That meant I really had to come up with a good question - every day. It's as much a challenge to me to think one up as it is for you to respond to them.

And of course every question I thought of this morning sounded dumb to me. So I stared at my computer screen. Did the dishes. Put my laundry away and finally did what I always do whenever I need to mull something over. I went for a walk.

Whenever I need to twist a plot, figure out why a character does what she does or come up with another verb to write a character from point a to point b, (walk? trot? dash? scramble? saunter? bolt?) I head up the hills.

I trudge up, up and up until I reach my favorite perch. It's an empty lot snuggled between celeb dwellings. Not a lot like you east coasters are used to, it's probably eight feet deep on a sheer drop to Mulholland below. But the right architect and the right kook could build a home there on stilts and enjoy the best view in LA.

So I slid out on my favorite rock, braced my heels in a crevice and saw all the way out to Catalina Island. To give you some perspective, my perch is about 18 miles from the ocean. A brownish filmy wall usually looms halfway through Hollywood, almost making it look like LA ends there. But today the ocean sparkled blue and clear. Beyond that, Catalina island is another 20 miles out. I have never seen it from here before.

I thought about how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place. To have the ability to walk, enjoy the landscape and let ideas simmer in my head. I wondered about other people and what they do when they need inspiration. Sure, I know some of your tricks. My friend, Helen, cranks music and drives up the PCH. My mother works garden soil with her bare hands. My father prunes fruit trees.

So here it is, the question of the day: What do you do when you need to get inspired?


Thursday, November 6, 2008

The First Question of the Day

So when I was in high school, my Jersey Girls and I used to get together and play Questions. On scraps of paper, we'd scrawl things like, "If you could order a pizza with anything on it right now, what would you get?" Or "Who's your ultimate prom date?" Then we'd crumple them up and toss them in a pile. One by one, we'd answer them, usually in Margie's bedroom, late at night by candlelight.

Night after night after night.

Then, when I moved to Hollywood and lived with 10 girls between two houses, (Melrose Place minus the murders and explosions) we played questions poolside. Instead of focusing on boys and late munchies, our questions shifted to things like, "What will you do if you don't make it as an author/actor/singer?"

And just recently, my sister in-law, Hurricane, (her name is worth a whole other posting) included me in a daily email blast among her co-workers called, "The Question of the Day." That round of questions dissected all things politics and world news.

The game is obviously timeless. So, in an effort to write daily and exercise my right to poke at your brains, I've decided to borrow shamelessly and create this blog, "The Question of the Day."

I think it's only right to start on a positive note, so here's my question: "What's the best thing that happened to you (or that you made happen) today?"

My answer is this blog.

Now who wants to go first?