Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Question of the Day #237

The sun is shining. June Gloom is officially gone. It's 80 degrees and up from here on out. It's Summer. And people are packing up and heading out on all sorts of vacations.

What about you? Where will you enjoy a summer vacation?


Monday, June 29, 2009

Question of the Day #236

Saturday morning, at 5:45, N climbed out of bed and began to make dinner.

That's right, dinner.

N is a BBQ enthusiast. He's judged competitions and just purchased a smoker. And Saturday was brisket day. He began by arranging coals, hickory and pecan chunks in the smoker.

He applied his favorite rub to the brisket and put it on the smoker.

There were all sorts of gauges used to chart the smoker's temperature and the meat's temperature, not to mention the outdoor temperature. For the following 14 hours, he dilligently assessed and adjusted.

Meanwhile, I eventually woke up, went to work, came home, enjoyed some cocktails on the deck with friends and co-eaters, while N worked at perfecting dinner.

And perfect, he did. It was delicious.

But it wasn't just about the food, it was about figuring out how to make it well - unraveling the secrets to the right temperature, timing, smoking, rubbing and basting. So that he not only achieved a great end result, but created a solid process along the way.

What hobby or activity have you perfected a process for?


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Question of the Day #235

Yesterday, a couple friends of mine told GB that he looks like Tim Robbins. I've known GB for over 10 years now and I've never thought that. But looking a little more closely, I sort of saw what they were talking about.

Apparently, other people have told him that too.

So what famous person do people say you look like?


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Question of the Day #234

H and I used to work together. We shared an office. We drank way too much Diet Coke, ate a lot of sausage mcmuffins and hung a postcard on the wall that read, "You scream, I scream, we all scream for pork loin." And every day, we checked our horoscopes.

Jonathan Cainer was our man. As fellow taurians, we trusted him to guide us through our daily lives.

I haven't checked out his site in years. But as I tried to drum up a question this morning, "What's your sign?" popped into my head. Which made me think astrology and I'm sure you can see how I got here.

Anyway, here's my forecast for the week ahead:

Challenge an old assumption. Question conventional wisdom. Be a little outspoken. If you get back a really good reason to accept what's being put forward, at least you will have removed the element of doubt. And if not? Then you'll know your suspicions are well founded. People only tend to go on the defensive when they inwardly recognise how vulnerable they are to attack. If you're talking, this week, to someone who is comfortable in their confidence, they'll calmly communicate that. If you stir up a sharp reaction, you won't actually make things worse. The right thing has to happen. Your courage can help make it happen. It's going to be an amazing month.

An amazing month, huh? I'm down with that. I'd like a little amazement.

How do you feel about horoscopes?


Friday, June 26, 2009

Question of the Day #233

This question comes from L.D.:

What is something about yourself that most people around you do not know?

I'm pretty much a what you see is what you get kind of girl. And most people would probably say that I'm "sunshiney." In fact, a college friend once told me that she ran into someone we went to school with and when my name came up, the girl said, "I can't stand Suzanne. She's so fake. No one is that happy all the time."

Funny reason to be disliked, huh? Anyway, I digress. Back to the point.

But if you really know me, you know that I've got a bad temper. I've been working on it for a long time. But unfortunately, it still explodes every once in a while.

Sooo...back to L.D.'s excellent question. What is something about yourself that most people around you do not know?


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Question of the Day #232

Yesterday, as I was out walking, I spotted a young guy, parked on a bike, staring up at the house in front of him. As I approached, he said, "Excuse me?"

"Yes?" I replied.

"Do you know if this is Kathy Griffin's house?"

"Yep. It is," I said.

His face bloomed in a huge smile. He giggled, stared back at the house and said, "Oh cool!"

Then he slid off his biking gloves, removed his helmet and settled back into his bicycle seat for what looked like a long wait.

I kept on walking and wondered, what celebrity would you sit on your bike and wait for all day?


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Question of the Day #231

Pssst. I have something to admit. It's kind of embarassing, but true. I'm going a little StiRcRaZy.

I'm done with my revision - for now. And the follow up novel is sort of moody. My main character is being very stingy with her story. I don't have pub work until tomorrow. And after answering all applicable ads for writing work, there are only so many walks a girl can take. I don't have the cash to go out and I've read every book on my shelves. So it's come down to some seriously shameful activities.

That's right, on Sunday, I watched six episodes of Charlie's Angels Season Two, back to back. Pathetic, I know. But that show was my childhood favorite. And any time I come across a re-run, I can't help but watch it.

What old TV show are you a sucker for every time?


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Question of the Day #230

Well, now that we've discussed our sins, perhaps we shoud highlight the good things we do. So, here are some questions focusing on our, ahem, saintliness:

1. Q: What was your last random act of kindness? A: I gave a homeless man $5. Which these days, is a big deal.

2. Q: What have you shared lately? A: Food. I've been sharing lots of food with people.

3. Q: Who was the last person you complimented and why? A: B.S., for always coming up with good ideas on how to improve my life.

4. Q: Who do you pray for /send positive energy to? A: Lately the focus has been on Hurricane and Sofia, U.M., N's grammie, H's friend, A. But the list is so long.

5. Q: How do you plan to make someone's day better today? A: By smiling. It's amazing what a smile can do.

How about you?


Monday, June 22, 2009

Question of the Day #229

I’m borrowing shamelessly today. Yesterday, I came across some questions at Tricia Obrien’s blog, Talespinning, and once you read them, you’ll agree that they are perfect for the Question of the Day. Thanks Tricia!

Seven questions regarding the Seven Deadly Sins:

1) Pride - Q: What is your biggest contribution to the world? A: Stories. And, of course, my sparkling personality. (What?!?! The question is about pride.)

2) Envy - Q: What do your coworkers have that you wish was yours? A: More shifts.

3) Gluttony - Q: What did you eat last night? A: Tons of potato chips and a vat of onion dip. With beer.

4) Lust - Q: What really lights your fire? A: Kissing.

5) Anger - Q: What is the last thing that really pissed you off? A: An obnoxious guy at the pub who took my girlfriend’s seat and then wouldn't get out of it. I got a little Jersey on him.

6) Greed - Q: Name something you hoard and keep from others. A: I hoard food. But then I share it with everyone. Does that count?

7) Sloth - Q: What's the laziest thing you ever did? A: Stole these questions from Tricia Obrien so I didn’t have to come up with my own.

How would you answer these seven questions?


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Question of the Day #228

My friend S has pursued acting for a long time. She attends acting classes and workshops. She's always rehearsing some scene or another. But last night, she was in a play.

And she shined.

When she flipped out and threw a steak at her husband, I thought, "Damn. I wouldn't mess with her!" I cringed when she was hurt by a put down. I teared up when she cried out of frustration and held a gun to his head.

She was really good. And I was surprised. Not surprised like I thought she couldn't do it. Just surprised like, "Wow, I didn't know you could do that..."

Like years ago, when I went to see my boyfriend at the time play guitar. I wasn't expecting much, after all, everybody in LA wants to be a rock star or an actor or something. And that certainly doesn't mean they're any good at it. But his fingers worked that guitar so fast I couldn't follow them. He looked amazing up there on that stage, confident and cool, like he was born to play.

I stood there, shocked and thought, "Wow. I didn't know he could do that."

And that's one of the coolest feelings in the world. When someone takes you by surprise. Shows you a special piece of them that you didn't even know was there. And from then on, your perception of them is just a little different, forever.

When have you been surprised like that?


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Question of the Day #227

Last night, I worked at the pub for a little while. It wasn't crazy busy, so when S took over around 6:30, I sat with H for a little bit. Then C came in and had some dinner with us. Then an anniversary party for some regulars started.

At that point, I started to think about going home so I could cook the 8 lbs of mac and cheese for a party I'm catering today. But then Tom and Brendan (the guys who threw Thursday's beach party) came in and I got sucked into their malarchy.

And right as I was about to make my getaway, Wendy blasted onto the scene, without her cast. I couldn't leave without hearing her retell her superhero story. But then it was clearly time to go. So I bolted for the back door and found that my car was blocked in.

Maybe it was a sign. For about 15 minutes, I walked the pub yelling, "Does anybody have a black jeep wangler parked in the back? You need to move your car." And finally, somewhere around midnight, some guy let me out.

Now I'm up and ready to make some serious mac and cheese. I probably should have gone home earlier and gotten more sleep, but every time I tried to leave something else sucked me in.

What place or activity always sucks you in?


Friday, June 19, 2009

Question of the Day #226

So last night, after a fabulous party on the beach, H and I stopped at CVS to pick up some Diet Coke. As we stood in line at the register, Peter Cetera's "Glory of Love" played on the muzak system. So I gripped the Diet Coke bottle like a microphone and serenaded H, quite dramatically.

A guy at a register started laughing. Then he said, "I was singing it too! I couldn't help it!"

After reading your comments about bad movies, I thought about bad songs. Like "Glory of Love." Tthroughout the 80's, that cheeze laden ballad inspired tweens to drape all over each other at dances. In fact, I remember that power ballad playing as I did that slow dance sway thing with my 7th grade BF, BK.

And last night, every sappy word came back to me in an instant. What bad song will you belt out every time?


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Question of the Day #225

When I was in college, my friend Waldo and I were invited to a screening of Bad Girls by another friend. Think Tombstone for girls - but worse. It stars Madeleine Stowe, Andie MacDowell, Mary Stuart Masterson and Drew Barrymore and the premise is that these four prostitutes are on the run for killing a colonel. They encounter all sorts of bad guys and steal their guns, kidnap one of them, break out of jail, jack a guy's ranch and somehow make it out alive.

It's hilarious.

Mind you, it's not meant to be. But when Drew Barrymore leaps over a wall on a horse and shoots a man, dead center, in mid air, you can't help but burst out laughing.

And that's exactly what Waldo and I did throughout the entire screening many years ago. So, this weekend, when Bad Girls aired on HBO, I couldn't help but watch the entire film, cackling every time the Bad Girls shot up some creepy cowboy dude or blew up a bad guy's wagon.

What awful movie will you watch every time you notice it's on?


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Question of the Day #224

Somehow, N's iPhone ended up in the cat's water dish. Completely submerged. Zapped. So after some searching online, he put the phone in a bag of rice in hopes that the rice would draw the water out of the phone and restore it. It had worked for a blogger, so why not?

And it worked for N too! After a 24 hour rice bath, the iPhone is up and running.

What crazy solution to a problem have you found online?


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Question of the Day #223

How about another fill in the blank? Let's try:

If I weren't so ________________, I'd ________________.

Here's mine:

If I weren't so late, I'd try and come up with a better answer.

How would you fill in the blanks?


Monday, June 15, 2009

Question of the Day #222

Yesterday, N and I went to meet his sister and fiance for breakfast. We drove to their house and then we all rode bikes to a beachside restaurant.

I hadn't ridden a bike since I was a teenager. I'm guessing 20 years. And you know what? It was just like riding a bike! Sure, I had wobbly moments, like when I almost hit a fire hydrant or when instead of using my brakes, I instinctively put my feet down to stop. But I didn't crash. Or fall. Or embarrass myself in any way.

It was really fun. And we rode past a marina and over canals and took in gorgeous water views.

What activity have you recently enjoyed after a long break?


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Question of the Day #221

Last night, N and I raced cars, bowled a few frames and played some tennis on Wii. I have only played with a Wii once before, so I was completely lost as I gripped the steering wheel and chose a green spikey roaring monster named Bowser as my race car driver.

Bowser came in 12th out of 12 each time. I smashed into guardrails, plummeted into pools of lava, went soaring off cliffs into water, and a few times, what looked like eternal darkness, and I'm still alive to write about it this morning.


I can see how it could get addicting. I can understand how children never put down their remotes and fail to ever converse with family members.

So I ask, do you play video games? Or am I alone with my urge to race Bowser until he's #1 forever?


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Question of the Day #220

When I was 12 years old, my father took me to an outdoor amphitheatre outside of Chicago to see Neil Diamond. It was my first concert.

The crowd danced to "Sweet Caroline," roared to "Coming to America," and sang along to "Song Sung Blue." Neil belted out "Forever in Blue Jeans" in a sparkly white Jazz Singer suit. And 25 years later, I can still picture the whole venue and hear that beautiful noise.

I loved it.

What was your first concert?


Friday, June 12, 2009

Question of the Day #219

Here in LA, we are experiencing the worst case of June Gloom that I can remember in my 15 year residency. For the past two weeks, every day has been cloudy, gray and it's looked like it would rain. It actually did rain a couple times last week, which is as rare as snow in Jersey in June.

We had one sunny day. That was last Sunday. I drove with the top down, blasted music and sang down the freeway like an American Idol before entering the dark pub and serving drinks all afternoon.

H just told me that she's been tracking the weather and it looks like we may get some sunshine next Thursday. NEXT THURSDAY???

Something has gone awry in Sunny Southern California.

I am "dying for" a sunny day. What are you "dying for"?


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Question of the Day #218

Wowee! You bloggers certainly have TONS of stuff to be thankful for! Thanks for sharing all those good thoughts. Just reading your comments made me feel fortunate that we all have so much to be thankful for.

So...while we're riding the thankful wave, how about setting some goals? My goal for the next 24 hours is to easily transition all tables enjoying the Yankees vs. Red Sox game and the Lakers Finals to the party of 30 that's coming in afterwards. I'm aiming to close checks quickly, create happy customers, evade chaos and, of course, do it all with a smile.

What is your goal for the next 24 hours?


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Question of the Day #217

I'm a big believer in prayer. I believe that when I put positive thoughts and energy behind someone, that those positive thoughts and energy actually help that person in some way.

In the same way I believe in prayer, I believe in giving thanks. So before I go to sleep or as I'm waking up or as I'm walking in the hills, I think about all the things I'm thankful for and say "thank you" for them.

This isn't about a god or religion. This about being aware when good things come my way and appreciating them. Because if I don't appreciate the good, I'm pretty sure the bounty will stop flowing.

That said, here's a list of ten things I'm thankful for this morning:

1. The fabulous critique my writing group gave me (and the fabulous group, itself)
2. Pub shifts
3. Long walks
4. Becoming a Fairy Godmother
5. Impending housesitting
6. My mom
7. H
8. My health
9. My agent
10. Hope

What are ten things you're thankful for?


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Question of the Day #216

Last night I met with my critique group. After getting some suggestions from my agent, I had revised and submitted the 31st draft of my WIP to them. And I was thrilled to hear that they love it!

Sure they had lots of ideas about what to change and how to make it better, but overall, they think it's great. And this morning, I woke up all excited thinking about how I'm going to improve it before sending it back to my agent.

So what's got you all pumped up?


Monday, June 8, 2009

Question of the Day #215

I'm going to meet up with H and L.E.O. for lunch. They work for FOX Sports and are responsible for all the cool graphics you see during games, like players' pictures, stats, scores and the game time facts that "whoosh" across the screen.

They've got pretty cool jobs. And there are perks. Like when we tell guys we meet that H and L.E.O. work at Fox Sports, their eyes get all googly like we just told them they'd won a date with a supermodel.

They work on the FOX lot which has lots of sound stages, production offices and a New York street scene which you'd probably recognize from commercials. It's always fun to visit.

What cool jobs do your friends have?


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Question of the Day #214

I've been defeated. Creamed. Cremated. Obliterated. Taken down. Crushed. Beaten horribly.

Oh yes, last night N put on a clinic and thoroughly kicked my butt at Scrabble. He opened strong and battled steadily through the entire game, wrapping up the mockery with a final score of 284 to 205.

What an embarrassment. I want a rematch. Maybe after breakfast. ; )

What's your favorite board game?


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Question of the Day #213

Last night, my friend Bernie played guitar and sang at the pub. He broke down Backstreet Boys' "Tell Me Why," Boys II Men's "Motown Philly" and all sorts of other songs that should not be performed acoustically. It was very funny.

But his favorite was a song from a Jack in the Box commercial, "Mini Sirloin Burgers." He played it a zillion times.

Now that questionable commercial is stuck in my head. What jingle gets stuck in yours?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Question of the Day #212

The last couple nights, I've been helping out, waiting tables, at my friend's pub. They've been busy nights because of the Laker game, a cash raffle and big birthday parties. So it's a lot scrambling, running, and rushing.

Don't get me wrong, it's pretty fun. Joking with customers, laughing at my mistakes, (Who dropped that burger?!?!) that's good comedy.

But for the last eight years, I've sat at my desk and written all day long. That's been my job. And before that, I sat at a desk in an office and wrote. And before that, I worked at a newspaper and wrote in that office. And before that, I freelanced and wrote all day at home.

I haven't worked on my feet, running around, since I shampooed heads in a busy hair salon in the summers between college. Five hairdressers, one shampoo girl. Lotsa time on my feet.

So how do you work? On your feet? At a desk? Running around? And how do you like it?


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Question of the Day #211

Every morning I drink a Diet Coke. It's been that way for years. It's my version of coffee, my morning bevvie of choice. Not Diet Pepsi, not Coke, always Diet Coke.

When I binge on potato chips, they're always Lays.

When I buy toilet paper, it's undoubtedly Charmin.

I started wearing Eternity perfume as a big haired Jersey girl back in highschool. And I've been an Ivory Girl since there were toy boats in my bathtub.

Are you loyal to certain brands? Or do you mix it up? Buy what's on sale? Purchase a product because you're drawn to its pretty pink container? How do you roll?


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Question of the Day #210

Yesterday, some girlfriends and I took H out for a belated birthday celebration. We went to Half Price Sushi, where during the longest happy hour ever, from 4:30 - 9:30, most of the sushi and all of the beer and saki is half price.

I ordered salmon sashimi and a spicy yellowtail handroll. H ordered the same. C only eats cooked rolls. S enjoys cut rolls and K will eat anything.

Sushi is a funny thing like that. Some people freak over the idea of eating raw fish. Some people love it. Others will only eat certain kinds.

How do you feel about sushi?


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Question of the Day #209

Today I have to write a tough scene. It's a tough scene because it could look cliche, but the character who is orchestrating the scene is actually a sociopath. And because sociopaths don't have real feelings, they can't empathize, they only emulate. So, the cliche should work because this guy would only know to act out something that he's already seen.

Have I spun you in circles? Okay. Here's a good example of what I mean. Remember Scott Peterson, who killed his wife, Laci? When Diane Sawyer interviewed him and he cried and plead to get Laci back, Diane asked him what Laci meant to him. He replied, "She completes me."

Sound familiar? Well, of course, he heard it from Jerry Maguire. Because Scott Peterson was a sociopath and wasn't capable of his own real feelings, he would never understand what it truly meant to love someone. Therefore, he could only project what he thought he should say.

In light of the tough project, I'm going for a walk. Walking helps me to see a scene. By the time I come back down the hill, I'm usually ready to write it. Sooo...I'm going for a jaunt so I can spend some time inside my sociopath's head.

What do you do when you've got a tough project to work on?


Monday, June 1, 2009

Question of the Day #208

I have a PC on loan while my computer gets fixed. (So do not fear, there will be no lack of Questions.) Which is fantastic, because I need to get back to my revision. My keyboard disaster sidetracked me Friday through Sunday, and today I'm digging back in and getting on it!

What event has sidetracked you lately? And how do you plan to get back on track?