Saturday, January 31, 2009

Question of the Day #87

You know those records that define a period of your life? Soundtracks to your coming of age? Or your coming of wherever it was you went. If you had to list them, what records would make up the soundtrack of your life?

Mine, in chronological order, are:

1. Annie: The Musical

2. U2: The Joshua Tree

3. Guns and Roses: Appetite for Destruction

4. Alanis Morrisette: Jagged Little Pill

5. Sarah MacLachlan: The Freedom Sessions

After that it's all about a mix-up of iTunes. What about you?


Friday, January 30, 2009

Question of the Day #86

Hey bloggers, I really like that you really like so many of your body parts! And since we're all feeling groovy about our physical attributes, I think we should move on to our personality traits.

What's one personality trait you like about yourself?

I'm spontaneous. If you called me right now and said, "Hey Suzanne, wanna head up to the central coast/Big Bear/Vegas/San Fran/San Diego or anywhere north of the border?" (Insert flashbacks of very bad spontaneous midnight trip to Mexico with a stranger here and rethink whether or not spontaneity is good.)

I'd say, "Okay."

And I like that about me. What personality trait do you like about yourself?


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Question of the Day #85

Let's focus on the positive today, shall we?

I have great hair. It doesn't require color or fancy $200 haircuts and I don't need to spend hours styling it. Plus, it's curly, so it's different.

What's one physical attribute that you like about yourself?


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Question of the Day #84

Shout out to Kristen, Jersey Girl Extraordinnaire for sending me one of those "Getting to Know You" emails where there's like 10 questions and you answer them and reply all to them and then everybody else answers the same questions. Because of her, and because you guys seriously enjoyed listing five things about yourselves the other day, I have five questions for you:

1. Where are you right now?

I'm in my office, sitting at my desk.

2. What are you listening to?

"The Screamer" on the playground. She seriously screams throughout the entire recess - start to finish. Maybe her pants are on fire...

3. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?


4. Can you drive a stick shift?

Absolutely. Have most of my life.

5. Are you wearing socks? If so, what do they look like?

I am wearing white socks with white fuzzy slippers over them. It's chilly today!

Wanna play questions?


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Question of the Day #83

Last night I met with my critique group. They gave me great feedback about the revision I'm working on and strong suggestions as to how it make it better. Which is fantastic because I'm trying to bang this thing out fast. I don't mean I'm slapping it together carelessly, I just mean I'm hittin' it full steam ahead.

What goal are you charging towards?


Monday, January 26, 2009

Question of the Day #82

So last night, we had girls' night over at H & S's. We ate loads of food, drank wine and discussed everything from giving cooking classes to pole dancing.

Then we logged onto Facebook at gawked at pics of C's boyfriend's crazy long 80's hairdo. As we giggled and posted a silly message about him being prettier than we were in high school, I got a invitation to be "friends" with my ex.

Now, we've definitely debated the good, the bad and the ugly about F-book before. And it's not like I'm not on good terms with this ex, because I am. But after accepting his invitation, I clicked on to his page and saw that he was already friends with his other ex. You know, that ex. (We all have the one that scrambles us so badly that we still can't think straight.) And the cheery trail of messages they'd been typing back and forth popped up for the whole word to see.

And you know what? I don't want to see that.

So of course, the girls' night conversation immediately changed to whether or not it's possible to really be friends with your exes.

I used to think it was. I remained friends with G, my college boyfriend for years. Then he got married and really, what else was there to connect about? And if I ran into R or S, we'd be cordial, but would we go bowling from there? Probably not.

And as for my scrambler, I want to lob eggs at his car.

But I know people who do it. There are people who remain BFFs after long relationships. And on one hand, I get it, they must be great people if you were willing to invest so much in them. Why not remain friends? And on the other hand, aren't they exes for a reason?

So we girls of girls' night put it out to you, oh loyal readers, to friend or not to friend?


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Question of the Day #81

Question: What do you get when you cross a romantic dinner, a birthday celebration, a wall to wall after party chock full o' sk8er dudes, two complete strangers holding a 4:00 AM dance off in your house and waking up three to a bed?

Answer: H and a bunny.

How was your Saturday night?


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Question of the Day #80

Oh how I love satellite radio. 60's, 70's, 80's, alt country, blues, aternative rock, whatever you want - you got it.

So the other night, I was driving and CSNY's "Southern Cross" came on. I was immediately transported to a dark room on a cold winter night at P's house. I was 15 years old, immersed in a semi secret society, where three other girlfriends and I were repeatedly invited to tiny parties with a group of eternally stoned, yet beautiful, soccer boys. We'd huddle down, sip stolen Bud Light from cans and smoke and listen to music late at night, after making curfew and sneaking back out.

I also remember the first time I heard the scratchy picking in Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here," and how it sent chills through me. And how at that moment, everything that mattered in the world seemed to be right there, in that dark, cold room.

What songs send you right back to being a teenager?


Friday, January 23, 2009

Question of the Day #79

So I've been busy revising. (Which I am thrilled about.) And it's funny, once I get my butt in the chair (a writer's biggest challenge, no?) it's amazing how fast I fall into that teenage voice. My girls are blabbling away a million miles a minute and it's like I'm just taking notes. I surprise myself with their sarcasm and witty phrases. Sometimes I laugh out loud and think, "Where do they come up with this stuff?"

And then I think long and hard about the weirdos I hang out with and the strange vernacular we've developed. For example, the Jersey boys call hair "lettuce." Here it is in a sentence:

"Suzie, that's some crazy lettuce you got goin' on this morning."

We also use the word "melon" as a synonym for head:

"H, look at the size of that girl's melon. It's enormous!"

And when one of us wants to bail from a sticky situation or disappear into a shady one, we call it a "houdini." Used as a verb:

"Gregg Bell, I cannot believe you houdinied again last night! Where did you go?"

Sometimes these words pop up in my work. And sometimes they just riddle my real life. What wacky terms are in your vocabulary?


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Question of the Day #78

Last night, I caught a bit of a new Showtime series, The United States of Tara. The premise is that Toni Collette is a wife and mother with multiple personalities. As I watched her shift from a regular mom into "Buck," a smoking, drinking, cussing biker dude, I thought (looking past the tragedy of such an actual illness), "Maybe that wouldn't be so bad - just being able to change personalities..."

You know, shake off the Suzie shyness and turn into a completely fearless woman who never worries about what people think of her writing, never fears being hurt by a crush, never obsesses about where she'll end up or how she'll feed and house herself. A fearless, strong, amazing version of me.

Yes, if I could change personalities, I'd be fearless. What would you change about yourself?


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Question of the Day #77

A friend of mine tagged me on Facebook with a "25 Things You Don't Know About Me." She wrote out 25 very cool things about herself and I thought, "What a great idea for The Question of the Day." Except who REALLY wants to hear 25 things about me or come up with 25 things about themselves?

Blogging is much like writing for teens. Get to the point fast before your readers lose interest. So let's start with five things (most of) you don't know about me:

1. I grind my teeth. In fact my front teeth are still killing me from last night.

2. I have lived in 15 different homes.

3. I love roadtrips and I'm usually willing to take off anywhere with no notice.

4. I make the best guacamole I have ever tasted.

5. I used to read in a treehouse as a child. That's where I learned to love books.

Okay, what are five things I don't know about you?


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Question of the Day #76

We all get how this works by now. I ask a question every day, you fabulous bloggers answer it.

Today I'm sick and my only plan is to get under the covers and watch the inauguration. Yet even though my head feels like a bowling ball and I can't stop coughing, I'm am here, coming up with an obvious question.

What is something you do every single day, no matter what?


Monday, January 19, 2009

Question of the Day #75

Jimmy, my friend from high school, has a meeting in LA today, so he's taking me to breakfast. I've been looking forward to seeing him all weekend.

What's a bright spot for you today?


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Question of the Day #74

I'm thinking about running away to Rome. Why not? I can write anywhere, right?

I casually threw out this idea during my last meeting with my critique group. The other writers cheered at the idea. I waved it away, saying I wasn't really serious. Just a crazy idea.

Then as we walked to our cars, J put her hand on my arm and said, "You know Suzanne, the only things I regret are the things I said 'no' to."

What are some recent words of wisdom that you can't get out of your head?


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Question of the Day #73

When H and I go our favorite bar, sometimes the Question of the Day comes up in conversation. So I take notes, jotting down questions that might work. I usually find crumpled scraps from the register feed in my purse, but this morning it's a napkin.

It reads:
  1. What's something you know better now than when you were younger?
  2. Who owns the bicycle? (Yes, seriously.)
  3. Am I right?
  4. So why aren't you doing it?
  5. What's your favorite drink to order in a bar? (Figures we'd come up with that.)
  6. Mr. Wonderful or Mr. Natural?
  7. What's your theme song for today?
  8. Where do you find comfort?
  9. What's the coolest thing on two feet?
  10. Where would you bury the body?

Here are my answers:

  1. I'd like to think I know when to shut up, but I apparently, I don't.
  2. Doc.
  3. Usually.
  4. I'm tryin'.
  5. Bud Light.
  6. Mr. Real.
  7. Gimme Shelter.
  8. In my writing.
  9. H.
  10. I better not ever have to answer that.

Your turn! How would you answer our tipsy stabs at philosophy?


Friday, January 16, 2009

Question of the Day #72

If you look at a weather map of the U.S. you'll notice that the entire midwest and New England are purple (like the natives' toes) reflecting negative temps.

Did I mention that it's been 80 degrees in LA for the last week and it's forcasted to last through the weekend? (Which I will be happily spending with GB at the beach.)

What's your weather like? And how are you dealing with it?


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Question of the Day #71

Now that we've discussed all sorts of bad kissing, we really should try to focus on the positive. So what about your best kiss?

Deciding this is tough. I've had some amazing kisses. Moments where it's like the kisser and I were going to a whole other place, but I'm not going there, here. I'll leave it at the one that stands out the most.

J and I could never figure out if we were crazy about each other or BFFs or what. After a routine breakfast at Rock and Roll Denny's, where we did more newspaper reading than acknowledging each other, midway to the car in the parking lot, he turned around, grabbed me and kissed me. My stomach flipped. Stunned. But then my hands rose to the back of his neck and I kissed him back.

It was a movie kiss. People walked and drove around us and we were totally unaware of anything but kissing.


Okay, your turn. What was your best kiss?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Question of the Day #70

Oh, you knew it was coming. How could we play Questions without asking about your first kiss?

My first kiss took place in my driveway, playing spin the comb. Yes, comb. We didn't have a bottle, but because it was 1982 and everyone stuck combs in their back pockets so they could insta-feather their hair, we improvised.

KV, the boy I was madly in love with at the time, spun that comb. I pomised God I'd be good forever as it whizzed around and then stopped, shockingly enough, pointing at me. I braced myself for the fireworks. Then KV leaned forward, pecked me on the lips and readily wiped his mouth.

Romantic, huh? How was yours?


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Question of the Day #69

My friend, P, once set me up with his friend. I met P, his girlfriend and my blind date outside a comedy club. I knew immediately that I would never be able to make out with the guy. (Crazy barometer, but it works. If there's absolutely no shot, I always know within two seconds.) So we stood in line and attempted awkward small talk.

My date mumbled a reply to some mundane question I asked, like, "What do you do?" When I spotted an ex-boyfriend of mine approaching with a gorgeous girl.

He looked superhot, as usual. Definitely kissable.

I started to shake. The ex and his supermodel came closer. As I tried to shrivel into the wall, the ex called my name and then hugged me. He introduced his girlfriend. I introduced my unkissable date and could not utter another word.

Then the girlfriend squealed, "Oh my god! You guys are on a blind date!"

My stomach lurched. I almost hurled on her Manolos. I probably should have.

The line began to move. I death marched into the club. We sat on the opposite side of the theater. I don't remember anything about the show except running out of there afterwards.

What was the worst run-in you've ever had?


Monday, January 12, 2009

Question of the Day #68

How do three Mikes and a gaggle of girls get adirondack chairs from an upper deck to a lower deck without walking them down the stairwell they won't squeeze into?

They use the only rope like material they can find, a telephone cord, (yes, seriously) tie it to the chairs, and drop them over the side.

Three Mikes and a Gaggle of Girls = HGTV: The Circus Version.

But it worked!

What creative solutions have you come up with lately?


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Question of the Day #67

Yesterday, three Mikes and a gaggle of girls helped me with a little home improvement. We painted, scrubbed, scraped goo, sanded and discovered all sorts of amazing tricks.

For example, I had anticipated having to paint a hallway, but my home improvement guru friend, Krista, came over with the "Magic Eraser" and soon, every scuff in the house disappeared. Then she figured out how to install new doorknobs all over the house.

I learned how to squeegee windows two stories up while still on the ground. And the Mikes showed us how to repair lighting fixtures, replace toilet "guts" and switch out the wheels on sliding door screens.

What fix-it tricks have you learned lately?


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Question of the Day #66

If you could play anyone in a movie, who would you play?

I, of course, would be a Von Trapp in a remake of The Sound of Music.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Question of the Day #65

Two people I care about just got dumped. There's nothing worse than falling from hopes so high. Trying to stand up straight under crushing feelings of hurt and hearing that horrible little voice repeat, "What did I do wrong?"

So my wish for them is that they feel less broken than yesterday. That they will heal quickly, and that when they are ready, they will have the courage to try and love again.

What is your wish for someone else today?


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Question of the Day #64

Okay, here's how you play. You have to choose one of the following people to marry, have a fling with or kill. For example, of George Clooney, Pauley Shore and Jack Black, I would kill Pauley Shore, have a fling with George Clooney and marry Jack Black. Get it?

So, I'll offer up a set of women and set of men depending on which gender interests you:

1. Paris Hilton
2. Whoopi Goldberg
3. Hillary Clinton


1. Ben Stiller
2. Will Smith
3. Carrot Top

Who would you marry, have a fling with or kill?


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Question of the Day #63

While I was in Vermont over the holidays, we not only played in the snow, bowled and made puzzles. We ate. And ate and ate and ate. We demolished blocks of creamy Vermont cheddar cheese, boxes of crackers, bags of nuts, and piles of chocolate between huge lasagna dinners, a turkey feast we all gave thanks for, and an amazing salmon slathered in a pistachio pesto grind.

We had happy hour every afternoon and concocted cocktails containing fruit and simple syrups. We warmed up with mulled wine and mellowed out with bubbly beer.

We in essence, wallowed in gluttony.

Now, back in the real world, I'm stunned to detect a little muffintop. But after a few days of grappling with the idea of cause and affect, I'm finally getting back to working out. My favorite form is hiking.

What's yours?


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Question of the Day #62

I need to revise a manuscript. I've gotten feedback from my critique group, taken the editors' comments into consideration and plotted out a few scenes. But I'm not sure I'm ready to jump in yet.

So I started thinking about the creative process and how there are many routes to beginning a project. For example, with cooking, sometimes I'll catch a Foodnetwork show that inspires me to work with a fish I've never had before. I might look through my grandmother's recipes or other cookbooks for some kind of twist before I attempt the challenge.

Or when I'm working on my garden, I'll sit out there for a while and stare at it. Imagine string beans in one bed, peppers in another and tomatoes on the other side. Then I'll brush up on my companion planting to confirm which plants like to grow together before I ever go to the store.

But other times I just jump in. Like when I fixed up my house. I flipped through paint cards at Home Depot and chose colors on the spot. (Thankfully they look fabulous.)

What does your creative process look like?


Monday, January 5, 2009

Question of the Day #61

A couple of friends and I are going hiking at Will Roger's State Park this morning. Trails hover over the city, offering views of the snowcapped San Bernadino mountains, downtown LA, midcity, all the way out to Malibu.

It's one of my favorite places to walk. Where's your favorite place to walk?


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Question of the Day #60

Here's the situation:

You have no job, no house, no spouse, no kids. There is not a single obilgation or responsibility in your universe. You have a little bit of cash in your pocket (just enough to invent the new fantasy version of yourself).

What would you do?


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Question of the Day #59

One of my fave blog followers and Jersey Girl extraordinaire, Kristen, is in LA with her husband. They strolled The Walk of Fame and cruised Rodeo Drive on their own yesterday. Last night, they went to LA paparazzi magnet, Koi, for dinner and hit the SkyBar afterwards.

They clearly don't need help navigating this town. But today, I'll pick them up and take them on my Malibu tour where we'll enjoy the beaches and watch the sunset. Later we'll attend a party at my friends' house.

My standard LA tour also includes the overlook off Mulholland, where guests can have their picture taken with the Hollywood sign in the background. Mann's Chinese Theatre, so they can compare their foot size to The Terminator's and the Roosevelt Hotel, home of the first Oscars in 1932.

That usually covers it. When guests come to visit you, what's on your standard hometown tour?


Friday, January 2, 2009

Question of the Day #58

If I could be anywhere right now, I would plant myself in a lounge chair on a tropical beach with ever-flowing umbrella-ed cocktails, a kind, beautiful man, blazing sun, warm breeze, steel drum band playing in the distance and no plans to ever return home.

Yep. That's where I'd be.

Where would you be if you could be anywhere right now?


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Question of the Day #57

I'm late. The celebration went long. 

So, today we discussed resolutions. I've never made them. Don't like them. I think resolutions are the things you should be doing all the time.

BUT, this year, I am going to change everything. Sounds like an exaggeration, but I'm serious. I have no choice.

So what are your resolutions?