Friday, July 31, 2009

Question of the Day #268

It's FRIDAY! So, I'm going to do some work this morning and then head out to deliver some Suzie Foods and visit with my amazing writer/editor friend, Nancy, for lunch. Then I'll wait some tables at the pub.

Tomorrow, N is going to smoke a brisket again. So I'm all over that. And on Sunday, I'd like to catch up with some friends who will be out celebrating since the Professional Bridesmaid is coming to town.

What are YOU doing this weekend?


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Question of the Day #267

I was just on the phone with my friend M, who was actually saying she has too much time on her hands. (Lucky M, huh?) So I tossed out the idea of volunteering since it always makes me feel good when I do something for other people. She agreed that it was a good idea.

I've been pretty wrapped up in my Suzie Storm lately, so I haven't volunteered in a long time. But in the past, I've collected clothing to transition women from homeless shelters to the workplace, read to kids, cooked for the homeless and walked for Breast Cancer.

Each event was rewarding in its own way, but as a writer, I gotta say, reading to kids was the most fun. Volunteers go to local schools on Saturdays and parents drop their kids off. And for an hour or so, we read to the kids. Sometimes it's picture books, other times chapter books, all depending on their ages and reading levels.

They're sooo cute and enthusiastic. And anything that nurtures a love of books is a hit with me.

What kind of volunteering do you do? And if you don't, what kind of activities do you think you'd like to get involved with?


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Question of the Day #266

Today, I'm meeting with someone who needs help starting an online community that focuses on green living. I like to believe I do my part. I don't use chemicals or pesticides in my garden. I conserve water like crazy. I unplug appliances when they are not in use. I use CFLs and never leave lights or TVs on if I'm not in the room. And I try to buy local produce.

But I'm sure there a zillion other things I could do. What are some ways in which you go green?


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Question of the Day #265

Have you ever sky dived or bungee jumped or leapt off a cliff or done any kind of crazy thrill seeker activity? If so, what did you do? f not, would you like to?


Monday, July 27, 2009

Question of the Day #264

I've looked through every scrap of paper in my purse. Read the back of all the Suzie Foods business cards, perused each receipt and piece of register feed.

I'm out of questions. Prepared ones, that is. Whenever my friends and I think up a great question, I jot it down on something and stow it in my purse. Or I text it to myself. Then when I need a little inspiration, I dig into my bag o' tricks.

My empty bag o' tricks has inspired a question on its own. How do you remind yourself of important things? Do you text yourself, write it on a calendar? Use an electronic calendar? Tie a string around your finger?

What's your solution to staying on track?


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Question of the Day #263

This morning, N and I went to breakfast at the Good Neighbor Restaurant. It's become habit to go there whenever we spend the night in Hollywood. It's completely unnotable. (Is that a word?) But seriously, no decor or ambiance, it's all about getting your eggs and getting them fast.

And I always order the same thing. Two eggs over medium with polish sausage (Hey, it's Sunday. Why not?) cottage fries, rye toast and Diet Coke.

Is there a place you go where you don't even have to look at the menu? If so, what's your fave "regular" meal?


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Question of the Day #262

The girls are back in town! The Mansfield girls, that is. Well, not all of them, but two. And that makes me pretty happy. (Although don't get me wrong, we are missing the rest of you.)

It's always fun to have friends come and visit. So...are you having guests this summer?


Friday, July 24, 2009

Question of the Day #261

Years ago, I had a horrible breakup. The can't eat, can't sleep, walking around shaking kind. I spent a lot of time driving, because driving soothes me. And I'd play Prince's "Pink Cashmere" over and over again. Odd song choice, I know. But somehow it worked to settle my shakes, stave off tears and calm the burn in my stomach.

Even now, years later, that song can still calm me when I'm a mess. I don't know if it's the strings or the mid tempo beat or what, but it works.

What song soothes you?


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Question of the Day #260

As a new Fairy Godmother, I've been thinking a lot about granting wishes. I don't have a magic wand yet, but when I get one, I'd like to think I'll be able to zap things into fruition. (If anyone knows where to get such a magic wand, please let me know.)

If I could have one wish, I would wish for peace. Not necessarily world peace, although that would be nice, but unwavering inner peace.

So, if you could have one wish, would what it be?


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Question of the Day #259

"She gets that from me!" That phrase has been repeated a zillion times in the last 36 hours.

But in reality, it's hard to tell from whom my fairy goddaughter got what...yet.

I am lucky to have my Granny's beautiful Italian skin. I'm grateful that I inherited my mother's singing voice. I'm proud of the curly locks passed down from her mother.

What family traits have you inherited? And from whom?


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Question of the Day #258

We approach the nursery window all at once
But your eyes pop when you see me
And you smile
Like somehow you knew I'd be there
Then you look down and hold out your index finger
A tree trunk in your daughter's tiny hand
The nurse pokes
And your baby cries
So you sing song her name
Her head moves
and her eyes focus up
She knows your voice
Her grip tightens on your finger
And there's no more crying
Daddy's here.

Last night I became a Fairy Godmother. What a bright spot. What's more amazing than a newborn?


Monday, July 20, 2009

Question of the Day #257

As we drove to the mountains on Friday, N stopped for ice and a 100 Grand bar. I did a quick little gasp at the sight of it. Caramel, chocolate and little crunchy rice crispy like thingies. What could be better?

Maybe a Charleston Chew. But that's just me.

So what are some of your favorite candy bars?


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Question of the Day #256

This weekend, a supercool girl nicknamed "Boogie" came camping with us. (And unfortunately, she was not nicknamed as such for her dancing abilities.) N and I gave Boogie a ride back to the OC, and on the way, we started talking about bad nicknames.

"I know someone nicknamed Lumpy," said N.

"Is he lumpy?" I asked.

"No," N said.

"So why is he called Lumpy?"

"I don't know," said N.

And I have a friend named Fruitcup. Because once, while out with his buddies, he ordered a fruitcup while everyone else ordered manfood like hot wings and potato skins.

But seriousy, it would suck to be a guy nicknamed Fruitcup, don't you think?

So what are some of the worst nicknames you've heard?


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Question of the Day #255

Since I'm camping this weekend and bringing along a laptop and seeking wifi from my tent might highlight my writer geekness a little more than I'd like, I'm creating this post ahead of time and scheduling the question to appear on Saturday.

I didn't even know I could do that.

But with a little help from my buddy google, I think I figured it out. And if I did it correctly, this question should appear at 8:00 AM PST on Saturday:

What cool techie thing have you figured out how to do lately?


Friday, July 17, 2009

Question of the Day #254

When I was 12 years old, in an attempt to unite our stepfamily, my mother and my stepfather packed up my stepfather's camper, loaded us into my mother's station wagon and took us up to the Adirondacks for a week.

My mother, my brother and I had never been camping. We didn't really "get it." And on the shores of Lewey Lake, quite a few memorable moments occurred:

1. Continual rain. So much that we wore rain slickers. Somewhere, there's a picture of me looking like a miserable duck.

2. My stepfather bet my brother a dollar that he couldn't finish an entire pot of weirdly starchy spaghetti. (I think there wasn't enough water or a pot big enough or something to do with the camping stove.) My brother, not wanting to lose a bet, ate every bit and then puked everywhere.

3. My stepbrother chased a bear cub up a tree. Thank god mama bear didn't kill him.

4. Someone got a hold of fireworks, set them off and we were almost kicked out of the park. I may be revising what really happened, but I think there was a bribe involved.

5. I got 67 mosquito bites. (An actual number - not just a guess.)

Clearly, my parents weren't experts at uniting a stepfamily. But the point is that my first camping experience didn't exactly evoke a love for it.

Nonetheless, I'm going camping this weekend. I've gone a few times since the Step People incident and it's been fun and thankfully uneventful. I'm heading up to Big Bear with N and a bunch of his friends. Last year we went camping at the beach and had a blast, so I'm expecting more good times with this crew in the mountains.

How do you feel about camping? And why?


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Question of the Day #253

Last night at my writing group, the other writers discussed the latest Harry Potter film. People are updating about it on Facebook and reviewing it on their blogs. It seems to be quite the summer sensation.

I, of course, have never read a Harry Potter book or watched a Harry Potter movie. I know. A YA writer who knows not of H.P.? Blasphemous!

I've been called worse things.

So, I want to know about you, oh fabulous, dedicated bloggers. How do you feel about Harry Potter?


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Question of the Day #252

Last night, H, L.E.O. and I went to Fat Fish, this awesome sushi restaurant in Koreatown. The ridiculously inexpensive sushi comes out on a conveyor belt and when something yummy catches your eye, you just grab the plate and eat it. We gobbled tempura shrimp, complete with heads and legs, spicy tuna on crispy rice, crab rolls with jalapenos, salmon eggs, and all sorts of delicious treats.

But at one point, H pulled off a plate of some kind of cooked salmon and then said, "Darn. I kinda want to put it back."

L.E.O. said, "Ooo, good Question of the Day. What have you chosen that you'd like to put back?"

Soooooo, what have you chosen that you'd like to put back?


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Question of the Day #251

My friend B.C. wrote and shot a film. Part of it takes place at Mansfield, the "compound" where I used to live with a bunch of friends during my 20's and early 30's. So last night, a bunch of Mansfielders came over and we watched B.C.'s film.

It looked great. Good color, well lit, well shot. And the scenes and dialogue were reminiscent of the ridiculous debates we used to have poolside, mostly regarding the differences between men and women. The actors said things I'd heard out of B.C.'s mouth a zillion times.

It made me miss that place.

What past home or way of life do you sometimes miss?


Monday, July 13, 2009

Question of the Day #250

N has a funny cat. When I talk to her, she meows back, like we're having an actual conversation. She also likes to stare me down. Hey, I'd probably be territorial too.

I'm allergic to cats. But she doesn't really bother me. Sure, my eyes get a little itchy and I wheeze here and there but it's nothing compared to other incidents with cats. So, I'm kinda digging the fact that I'm able to hang around a pet.

Which makes me wonder about all you bloggers. How do you feel about pets? Do you have them?


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Question of the Day #249

Yesterday, for a BBQ, I fried up tortilla chips, smothered them with tomatoes, spicy beans, scallions, jalapenos, cheddar cheese and sour cream and baked it all up. I just discovered leftover ingredients. So, H and I are having nachos for breakfast.

What weird foods have you enjoyed as your first meal of the day?


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Question of the Day #248

Where do you go when you're on the web? For example, I frequent my blogger friends' blogs, I look for recipes on I google incessantly. I check news at I look out for work on a slew of job boards. I check out what my friends are doing on Facebook.

So when you're in cyberspace, where do you hang out?


Friday, July 10, 2009

Question of the Day #247

Thanks to Le Nez, we're going for the Either / Or today!

1. Chocolate or peanut butter?

2. Summer or winter?

3. North or south?

4. East or west?

5. Wild party or quiet night in? (Another quiet night in might put me over the edge.)

6. Roses or tulips?

7. SUV or convertible?

8. Song or dance? (How can you not want both? They go together!)

9. Mountains or beach?

10. Hot or cold?

My answers are in italics. What are yours?


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Question of the Day #246

What would you ask if you were me?


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Question of the Day #245

Before settling down at my desk, I went downstairs, grabbed a glass with ice and a Diet Coke. Like I do every morning. I know it's bad for me and I know Diet Coke shouldn't be my morning bevvie of choice, but it is.

What's yours?


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Question of the Day #244

MotherReader's beach recap made me daydream this morning. I'm betting you'd like to join me.

If you could enjoy a summer vacation anywhere in the world and not have to worry about how many days off you could take or how much it would cost, where would you go?

I would visit different friends throughout Europe. I'd love to enjoy traveling with people who know local secrets.

Then I'd relax at the beach on the central coast for a while and do absolutely nothing but absorb the ocean and write.



Monday, July 6, 2009

Question of the Day #243

KGM is clearly a genius. She showed up at M & J's fabulous Cuatro de Julio fiesta with super long sparklers. She showed us how to wave them around and then take pictures with her camera's "fireworks" setting.
We made an "S" for me and our other S friend.

A G for GB.

An H for H.

And a heart because love rocks.

How did you light up your Fourth of July weekend?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Question of the Day #242

It's Sunday. It's ridiculously sunny and clear. H and I have decided to go to the beach.

Where do you go when it's deliciously summery where you live?


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Question of the Day #241

Tally, one of a trio BFFs in my WIP, plans an Independence Day Blow Out after her parents leave her alone for the summer. She hooks up fireworks, kegs and a DJ to demonstrate her independence, but underneath all the good times, her independence is actually something she detests. She'd give anything to not have been left behind.

I've been thinking a lot about her today. About how independence is sadly soured for her and how interesting it is that the word, theme and day can take on so many different meanings.

So, I ask, what does Independence Day mean to you?


Friday, July 3, 2009

Question of the Day #240

The holiday weekend is here! Most people have today off, so I'm wondering how everyone will be celebrating.

Tonight, I will serve some food and drinks and then meet up with friends. And tomorrow, my friends, M & J, are hosting a Cuatro de Julio Fiesta. To which I say, "Bueno!"

What are you up to?


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Question of the Day #239

I just finished reading Julia Alvarez's Before We Were Free. This YA historical fiction takes places in the Dominican Republic in the 1960's when revolutionaries were plotting to murder Trujillo, their dictator.

It's written from 12 year old Anita's point of view and Alvarez does a fantastic job of deciphering clues through a 12 year old's eyes. She exacts Anita's fear, anxiety and joy.

I've read other "adult" novels by Alvarez, including Yo!, In the Time of Butterflies and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. They are all amazing depictions of strong women of Dominican descent whose culture impacted them long after leaving the island.

My grandmother was Dominican, so Alvarez's work has always interested me. But if I had to label myself with a "type" when it comes to reading, I'm all about mainstream YA. Give me a Sarah Dessen novel and the shade of a palm tree and I won't move until the end.

What's your book "type"?


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Question of the Day #238

Last night, waaaaaay late, I consumed almost an entire bag of salt and vinegar potato chips. I write "almost" because they were purchased by a friend over the weekend and, at the time, I think she ate about 10 of them.

I hoovered up the rest.

I couldn't help it. Those chips were like crack. I savored every chip and crumb. And then I licked my fingers.

What snack is your crack?