Monday, August 31, 2009

Question of the Day #299

The winds have shifted and it's pretty smokey here. I'm expecting it to snow ash soon. (Yes, seriously. That happens.)

I'm still praying for the fire victims. But I'm also praying for the firefighters - big time. I cannot imagine working in 100 degree weather, fighting a raging fire in rough terrain. Must be really scary and really exhausting. Beyond anything I can imagine.

I really admire them.

Who do you really admire and why?


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Question of the Day #298

The beach was amazing. It's been crazy hot in LA - like 110 in the Valley, 105 in Hollywood and 95 in Santa Monica. When it's 95 at the beach, you know it's hot.

It felt sooo good. The water was warm and the waves weren't superbig so we got to swim and stay in the ocean for a long time. All was perfect on the beach.

Except when we turned around and looked back at the city.

There's a huge wildfire in Angeles Crest Forest. 32,000 acres have burned and it's only 5% contained. Three homes have been lost, three people have been injured and the temperatures are rising.

It's fire season in LA. And while it comes every year, there's still something incredibly unsettling about lazing around on the beach and bodysurfing when people are in danger so serious that you can see it from 30 miles away.

A blatant reminder that while we're out having a good time it's important to think of and send good vibes to the people who aren't.

Who are you thinking of and wishing good things for?


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Question of the Day #297

You're never going to believe this. Or maybe you will. But, I never got to the beach. I wanted to go Thursday. Guilt killed me. Yesterday, I decided to take a stand against my guilt, but then I ran out of time.

Today, I'm going. Like after the "xoxo, Suzanne" I'm shutting down the computer, putting on my suit, spritzing on my Coppertone and heading out the door.

What have you been wanting to do but just haven't been able to?


Friday, August 28, 2009

Question of the Day #296

I did not go to the beach.

I let guilt win.

But not today. Screw guilt.

What are you going to take a stand against today?


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Question of the Day #295

I'm thinking about going to the beach. Crazy, huh? I don't have to be anywhere until 5:30. Then why do I feel so guilty about having a beach day? I'm not even there and I feel guilty.

What are you feeling guilty about?


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Question of the Day #294

With all the catering and waitressing I've been doing lately, there's an odd shift in my schedule. Like last week, on Wednesday, I cooked for Spaghetti and Meatballs Night at Sonny McLean's. Thursday night I waited tables. Friday night I waited tables. Saturday morning I cooked for the Fantasy Football Draft I catered on Sunday. Then I waited more tables during the Red Sox / Yankees afternoon game. Saturday night I cooked. Sunday morning I cooked and delivered the food.

And suddenly, Monday and Tuesday have become my weekend. (Although I did work on a writing assignment so there was some work involved - just a different type of work.)

This is totally odd. I have been a Monday - Friday girl my whole (post college) life. And right now, although I'm thankful for the work, I'm a little turned upside down.

What's got you feeling upside down?


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Question of the Day #293

Last night I curled up with my TiVo and watched this week's episode of True Blood. Set in a tiny town in Louisiana, a vampire and his mindreader girlfriend tried to save her BFF, as she was possessed by the devil, who had taken residence there in the form of a woman. But the task was rather difficult, because the devil had possessed all the residents in town, except for Sam, the shapeshifter who can transform himself from human being to animal in seconds.

And the devil is after him, in particular, because she wants to cut his heart out and sacrifice him.

I, of course, was completely riveted. But when the show was over and I shut off the TV, I did ask myself, "Why in the world don't these people leave that creepy little town?"

You gotta love suspension of disbelief. When it's done right, it's done right.

What crazy alter universe/world/setting are you totally willing to read about or watch even though its existence is completely ridiculous?


Monday, August 24, 2009

Question of the Day #292

If you could rename yourself, would you?

I would not. I think my parents did a lovely job naming me and "Suzanne" and "Suzie" really seem to fit me. But there are some people who don't like their names. I've often heard people say, "I wish I'd been named something else."

Just wondering...


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Question of the Day #291

Yesterday, I had a question about Twitter, so I asked my friend Sarah how the heck it works. When I couldn't figure out how to blog, she explained that to me too. When it comes to anything computerlike, she is my go to girl.

She would make an excellent technical tutor. And I sure as heck need one.

What do you need tutoring for?


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Question of the Day #290

Tomorrow I'm catering a Fantasy Football draft party. So the next 24 hours is all about creating manfood. But what's weird is that it's been chilly and overcast and all sorts of weird. It feels like November and football is starting and the summer is slipping away and I only got to the beach a couple times.

I'm bummed about the change of seasons and we don't really even have seasons! Are you feeling the change of seasons where you are? How are you feeling about it?


Friday, August 21, 2009

Question of the Day #289

It's Friday. You're sitting at your desk or working your job or doing whatever it is that you normally do on Friday. A magic genie pops up out of nowhere and says, "Hey, you! It's your lucky day. You get to go wherever you want to for the weekend. All expenses paid, with one guest. But you have to be back here, on time, Monday morning. So where do you want to go?"

I'd head to Cabo with H. Close enough that we could get back in time for Monday and hot enough that we could do nothing but laze on the beach and enjoy the scenery.

Who would you take on a free weekend jaunt and where would you go?


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Question of the Day #288

I can't do math. Simple math. I stink at it. Dividing scrambles my brain. Multiplying makes me nuts. I barely made it through core Algebra and Geometry in high school. In college, thankfully, we artsy students didn't have to take a bunch of math courses - just one core course, for which I had to have my father tutor me.

But I enjoyed English and Literature and Writing and did pretty well with them. When you were in high school, what was your best subject?


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Question of the Day #287

When standing rib roasts went on sale a couple months ago, I bought one that regularly would have been like 50 bucks for about $15, vacuum sealed it and froze it.

H and I like to gnaw on bones. Pork chops, lamb chops - any kind of chop. And prime rib is like the holy grail of bone gnawing. So we decided to save the roast for a special occasion. And after some crazy calendaring, the special occasion arrived last night.

We chose R and J as our dinner mates. There are no two funnier men. Especially when put at a dinner table together. We cackled about dating experiences, contemplated when to drop dealbreakers, discussed who's getting what and who's not, giggled through plenty of below average plans to obtain what we want and then broke into J's car.

It was very entertaining. And I think, that as a foursome, we are perfect dinner mates.

When you need to lift your spirits, who do you turn to?


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Question of the Day #286

Last night, while meeting with my fabulous writer's group, someone mentioned how during the SCBWI conference, one of the speakers asked whose career the writers would want. I immediately answered that I'd want Sarah Dessen's career.

She writes novels about characters who feel so real. And they're not "high concept" books, they're just stories about people trying to figure things out.

I'm into that. (Plus is it doesn't hurt that she's a steady bestseller.)

So, if you had to choose someone's career, whose would you want?


Monday, August 17, 2009

Question of the Day #285

I want a burger. It's that kind of day. So I'm going to Fatburger. It is what it sounds like. A fat burger. No thin patties that you have to search for between the buns.

Fatburgers are thick, delicious, juicy, loaded with cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and I pair mine up with delicious skinny fries. (They have fat fries too, but I'm into the skinny fries.)

When you're dying for a burger, where do you go?


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Question of the Day #284

Today, we're having our first Sunday pool day of the summer. That's right, on August 16th. It clearly took us a while to uphold one of our favorite Summer traditions.

What summer activities have you not quite gotten to yet?


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Question of the Day #283

My friend S moved back to Boston a few years ago. Every year he visits during the summer and a bunch of us get together and have an annual brunch/breakfast. We're doing that this morning.

It's fun bunch of people I went to college with. It usually consists of tons of loud laughter and wacky storytelling.

I'm looking forward to it.

Do you have any annual get togethers? Who are they with?


Friday, August 14, 2009

Question of the Day #282

Last night, Ted and Suzi, two regulars at the pub sat down for dinner. My friends GB and K sat down with them. I squeezed into the booth beside GB.

"For 35 years..." Suzi said.

"You've been together 35 years?" I asked.

"Oh no...because this man made some very poor decisions, we were apart for 35 years." She smiled and reached for Ted's hand. He took hers and smiled back.

"What happened?" I asked.

"Well, we dated for a while in the 60's. But I had a son. And he wasn't ready for all that. So he ran off with a woman who made leather clothing for rock stars," Suzi explained.

"Like Cher?" I asked Ted.

"No, like Jim Morrison," he replied.

K's eyes bulged.

"Did you know Jim Morrison?"

"I sure did."

"Wow," K and I said.

"So then what happened?" I asked.

"Well, then I got married and we lost touch."

"You married the leather woman?" I asked.

"No, another woman," He said.

"So how did you finally find each other?"

"When I got divorced, my sister asked 'whatever happened to Suzi?'"

My eyes welled up. GB shook his head and handed me a napkin.

"Meanwhile," Suzi said. "I thought I'd die never having the chance to tell him how much I loved him."

More tears.

"So then what?" K asked.

"I called her brother and asked what Suzi was doing. He said, 'She's still in LA waiting for you.' So I called her. She didn't answer, so I left a message. I told her I wasn't going to leave my number, that I'd just keep calling until I got her."

"How did you feel when you got the message?" GB asked Suzi.

"I didn't even hear the words. I just heard his voice. I couldn't believe it was his voice."

"So what happened when you finally got on the phone?" I asked.

"I told him, 'I thought I was going to die without ever getting the chance to tell you how much I love you,'" Suzi said.

"And I told her I'd always loved her too," Ted said.

I sobbed.

"I think I see a Question of the Day in here somewhere," said GB.

I nodded. How could I not ask? I'm a sucker for love. True love. Love that doesn't start out crazy and then fade. Love that doesn't pale when things aren't going well. Love that's so important that you'll go back and search for it after 35 years.

Do you know any love stories like that?


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Question of the Day #281

I'm hungry. I think I'm going to pan roast a pork chop and some veggies.

What's your favorite thing to eat for lunch?


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Question of the Day #280

Okay, so we all creeped each other out yesterday. Let's try and counter that with things that make us feel all warm and fuzzy. Here are a few for me:

1. The smell of roses. Reminds me of playing (and eating everything I could snatch off a plant) in my grandmother's garden as a kid.
2. The smell of food slow cooking. Makes me feel safe.
3. Happy little kids being playful with a parent.
4. People who take the time to stop and chat with older people.
5. Sunsets.
6. Finding a tiny new veggie sprouting on a plant.
7. Sittng fireside with my crazy family working on puzzles at Christmas.
8. Holding my Fairy Goddaughter.

Those are just a few few for me. You?


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Question of the Day #279

Yesterday I encountered a man with long fingernails. I mean, Jersey Girl circa 1980's length fingernails.

I cringed and repeated to myself, "Don't look. Don't look. Don't look." I focused on anything but those fingernails.

This was not the first time I have run into men with long fingernails. Collecting grocery carts. Fixing my computer. Ringing up a purchase.

Men with long fingernails make my skin crawl.

What makes your skin crawl?


Monday, August 10, 2009

Question of the Day #278

Do you have trouble sleeping?


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Question of the Day #277

This weekend is the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) annual summer conference. It's held in LA every year and over a thousand writers, illustrators, editors and agents gather to learn about what's going on in children's publishing, network and meet blogosphere friends in person.

It wasn't financially possible for me to go this year and I'm totally bummed about it. All weekend I've been wondering what's happening. Who met who. Who said what, etc.

I feel like I'm totally missing out.

What do you feel like you've missed out on?


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Question of the Day #276

I'm giving a cooking class tonight. I will instruct fledgling cooks on how to pan roast. I sear something in a pan and finish it off in the oven just about every day. So it's interesting to me that something so automatic to me is mystifying to others.

But I guess it's kind of like when my brother, the football coach, taught me how to toss and catch a football. I was pretty darn scared and doing that scream and duck girly thing at first, until he showed me how to hold my hands and grab for the ball.

If you had to give someone lessons, what skill would you teach?


Friday, August 7, 2009

Question of the Day #275

Finally. My computer is fixed. I'm heading down to the Geek Squad to pick it up as soon as I type "xoxo, Suzanne." I have been waiting all week for Friday. Not because I'm dying for the weekend, but because I'm dying for my computer.

What has you saying "Thank God it's Friday?"


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Question of the Day #274

Last night, I prepared a vat of Suzie Foods meatballs and offered them as the special at Sonny McLeans. Who would have thought Italian food at an Irish pub would have been such a hit?
We sold out. And as it turns out, I even have fans! The biggest little fans ever.

Sure, I love to cook. I've always loved to cook. But I've never had any training or illusions of culinary divinity. I'm a writer. That's who I am. But lately, I've been doing a lot more cooking than writing. I'm not unhappy about that, just surprised.

Have you ever surprised yourself by working at something you never thought you would?


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Question of the Day #273

Your comments to yesterday's post fascinate me. A lot of you answered that the one person, dead or alive that you'd like to spend time with is your grandmother. Isn't it amazing what an impact grandmothers have on our lives? 

I just think that's so cool.

And the other cool thing is that I got an email from one of my favorite regulars, Kristen, who suggested a couple questions for today. I think they are great follow ups to yesterday's topic.

1. What celebrity would you like to have dinner with?

2. Who is your favorite person to have dinner with these days?

I'd like to have dinner with Sarah Dessen. She's my favorite YA novelist and I'd like to think that if we shared a meal, her success might rub off me. No, seriously, I'd like to hear her tell her story.

And my favorite person to have dinner with these days is H. Doesn't matter if it's cheeseburgers and beer or foie gras and a Flowers blend, it's always a great time.



Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Question of the Day #272

I've got some cooking to do. And I'm feeling quite frustrated lately. Grumpy. Like I'm ready to get off the hamster wheel I'm spinning on. And if I could, I'd like to spend the day cooking with my Granny. Listening to her tell stories while we cut, chop and stir would really help to calm me.

But the closest I can get will be to keep her in mind and talk to her while I cook.

If you could spend the day with any person, alive or dead, who would you spend it with?


Monday, August 3, 2009

Question of the Day #271

I'm having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I'm at the Geek Squad with my virused-up computer and H is actually typing this up. So, what's annoying you today?

Suzanne (H)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Question of the Day #270

So Cal is teeming with vanity license plates. Personally, I think they're kind of dorky. Like how many times to I need to see"STARGRL" or "OCSRWNR"? But let's say you had to have one? You had to choose a license plate that meant something. What would yours be?

Mine would probably be SUZIE C. I am who I am.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Question of the Day #269

Confession: I am thumbing through the "If" book. The truth is I do not start every day with profound questions in mind. Sometimes I need a little help. And I just found one I like:

If you were to select a food that best describes your character, what would it be?

I'm going to go with my favorite food, cheeseburgers. They are my favorite because they are a consistently satisfying, dependable choice, a little decadent, and totally fulfilling.

On the other hand, too many of them can be a health risk.

Let's replace the cheeseburger with Suzanne: She is a consistently satisfying, dependable person, a little decadent and totally fulfilling. On the other hand, too much Suzanne can be a health risk.

I completely agree with that. How about you?