Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Question of the Day #763

Yesterday was Cyber Monday. I heard lots of talk about crazy good online deals. But since I've put a moratorium on gift giving this Christmas, I did not partake.

Did you get into Cyber Monday?


Monday, November 29, 2010

Question of the Day #762

Yesterday, a lot of my Facebook friends updated about decorating for the holidays. I do not decorate, but I do enjoy other people's festive flair.

Do you decorate for the holidays? If so, how?


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Question of the Day #761

Last night, in the middle of a movie, the house went dark and still at the same time. When I went to the kitchen window, all the neighbors' houses were dark too.

I stepped outside and walked toward the main road. To the north, lights shined in the distance.

Then I looked up. Stars sparkled. Stars we can rarely see with all the city glare.

It's been a long time since I've experienced a blackout. What about you?


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Question of the Day #760

According to how you're feeling at this exact moment, would you rather:

1. Sit on the couch or go for a walk?
2. Eat or sleep?
3. Sing or dance?
4. Laugh or cry?
5. Talk or listen?


Friday, November 26, 2010

Question of the Day #759

I'm settling in for a Law and Order SVU marathon with a hot, bubbly bowl of leftover Spinach Artichoke Dip.

What's your favorite holiday leftover?


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Question of the Day #758

1. As always, first and foremost, I am thankful for my roommate.
2. My upcoming date with eggs, bacon, M and football.
3. Soso, Juliet and their parents.
4. Friends to cook for and give thanks with.
5. Suzie Foods clients.
6. I'm thankful that my life is my life. Because the grass is not always greener.
7. My smart, funny, crazy, unconventional family.
8. High heels, Chapstick and YA novels.
9. Stories. Yours, mine and ours.
10. H.
11. The badass gravy I made last night.
12. Vitamin C and garlic.
13. Knowing when to let it go.
14. H. Did I mention H?
15. A well executed, much needed roadtrip.
16. November's beach and blue sky.
17. This afternoon's dance party in the kitchen.
18. Giggles. I'm thankful for many, many giggles.

I could go on all day. But then people would go hungry. So I'm handing it over to you. What are you thankful for?


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Question of the Day #757

Bacon. Heavy cream. Butter. Sour cream. Cheese, cheese and more cheese. Turkey drippings.

Just some of the ingredients I'm cooking with today.

If you could eat any one food for the rest of your life and experience no negative affects whatsoever, what food would you pick?


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Question of the Day #756

Driving to Las Vegas from LA takes about 4 1/2 hours. And when you're all psyched about getting there and the music's pumping and you're chatting with a buddy, it feels like you get there in five minutes.

Driving to LA from Vegas feels like you're going backwards.

That's exactly what H said when I told her we'd only gone 86 miles after what felt like three days.

What drive lags for you?


Monday, November 22, 2010

Question of the Day #755

"I'll take a five." The girl next to me tapped the table in front of her cards.

The dealer gave her a five of hearts. That, plus her 10 and six, totaled 21.

"Nice," she said.

"Where are you from?" I asked.

The dealer dealt me a 17.

"Connecticut," she replied. To the dealer she said, "I'd like something small. Less than a six."

The dealer handed her a five. Her cards totaled 20.

The dealer showed 19. I lost. Connecticut won.

"I like how you just tell her what you need," I said.

"You gotta ask for you want," she said as she took a gulp from her Miller Lite.

"So where are you from?" she asked.

"I live in LA, but I'm originally from Jersey," I said.

"Oh, I grew up in Jersey too," she said.

"Of course you did," I said. Then I studied my cards. A ten and a 7.

"I'd like a four please," I said to the dealer.

Going forward, I'm going to take a lesson from that Jersey girl. What about you? Do you ask for you want?


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Question of the Day #754

Last night, when I got up to go to the bathroom, I heard crazy whooshing outside. I shivered up to the window. Was it raining? No. The wind was blowing like crazy. Remember on Gilligan's Ilsand, when a "typhoon" would hit the island all the palm trees would bend over in the storm?

That's what the palm trees looked like last night.

I got back under the covers and lay there listening until the rain started slapping the roof. Then I drifted off to sleep.

What sounds do you like to sleep to?


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Question of the Day #753

"The little nibblets in butter," said L.

"Huh?" I stared at her blankly.

"You asked what my 'must haves' are for Thanksgiving dinner. They're the little corn nibblets in butter. Oh, and cranberry sauce in a can."

"In a can?" The cook in me was horrified.

"Yeah, I love it when it comes out shaped like the can." She grinned.

"I'm not making that stuff," I said.

"Fine. I'll make it. But you asked!"

She was right. I did. And because she piqued my curiosity, I'm gonna do it again.

What are your Thanksgiving "must haves"?


Friday, November 19, 2010

Question of the Day #752

"The world's going to end anyway, right? In 2012. That's what they say," said N from the cubicle next to me.

"Do you really believe that?" I asked.

"I'm ready. I got my bag packed!" he said and slugged some more coffee. I think it was cup number four.

"If the world was ending, why would you pack a bag? I mean wouldn't we just dissolve into ether?" I asked.

"I'm talking about survival stuff. Canned foods, weapons, tools. Stuff like that. Other people would be like, 'I'd pack pictures, keepsakes' and dumb stuff like that."

"You know, I write a blog and every day I ask a question. Maybe I could make a question out of that," I said. "Although it doesn't really make sense, if we're all gonna die it doesn't matter what's in the bag."

"Here's a question," N's head popped up over the side of the cubicle. "If you were in a plane crash in the middle of nowhere, would you eat the other people to survive?"

"Um, I don't know if my readers are that kind of crowd," I said.

"Not ready for cannibalism?" He asked.

"No. Probably not." I laughed.

He sank back into his chair and began typing on his keyboard. I began to type too.

"How about, 'should marijuana be legal?'" He said a couple minutes later.

"I try to stay away from politics," I said. "But I have to ask, if your plane crashed and you were stranded in the middle of nowhere, would you eat people?"

"Of course. I'd pick out the ones who were the least likely to survive and eat them."


"Seriously, if it was about survival, you would too."

Maybe he had a point there, but preying on the weak seemed a little heartless.

"Okay, what if you and your girlfriend..."

"I'd eat her." He said before I could finish the question.

I erupted laughing and put my head down on the keyboard.

"Must be true love," I said. "By the way, I'm never getting on a plane with you."

What do you talk about when you need to put a giggle in your work day?


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Question of the Day #751

This morning I dreamed that J (one of my Jersey Girls) and I drove a bank robber away from a heist in a getaway car. Except the getaway car was Bessy, the brown station wagon J drove in high school.

Bessy was old in 1989. So the dream of leading a criminal to freedom via Bessy's wheels is hilarious. Unfortunately, I woke before we could get the job done.

But I'm thinking Bessy might have been able to pull it off. There was that time J and a couple other Jersey Girls and I piled into Bessy and drove off school grounds (ILLEGAL!) and headed out to lunch. We belted out Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" as J spied her mother, (who, by the way, was like a CIA agent, somehow always catching us when we were up to no good) in the rear view mirror.

"Holy Sh*t! That's my mother!" J screamed.

"No!" I spun around in the backseat. And there was J's mother, leaning over the steering wheel of the car behind us, squinting at Bessy.

"I gotta lose her!" J yelled and slammed on the accelerator. Bessy lurched then sped up, if only a bit.

"Turn into the church!" Another Jersey Girl said.

J yanked the steering wheel to the right. All the girls the backseat crashed into each other as Bessy turned hard into the church parking lot.

Honking blared from behind us. J's mother's car was practically attached to Bessy's bumper.

A defeated Bessy rolled to a stop.

"Get back to school!" J's mother yelled.

We shrank in fear.

What kind of wheels did you roll around in when you were in high school?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Question of the Day #750

Let's rev up Wednesday with a Speed Round:

1. What is the first thing you drank this morning?

2. Who is the first person you thought of this morning?

3. What are you doing right now?

4. What are you wishing you were doing right now?

5. What will you do next?

See my answers in the comments. Wanna play along?


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Question of the Day #749

I cannot believe it took me 749 questions to ask this:

You are stranded on a desert island. (Oh, how I would love to be stranded on an island right about now. Well, except that I might end up talking to a coconut like Tom Hanks in that movie.) So wait, let's revise the classic desert island scenario. Why not? After all, this is a game, isn't it?

Okay, you and a bunch of your BFFs and / or family (whoever you wish to share your tropical paradise with) are on an island of plenty. You've got cool huts to live in, sunshine, lots of coconuts, pineapples and plenty of fish. And one of your genius buddies has figured out how to make rum!

Life is perfect on the island, except you only have one iPod/stereo/or whatever musical gadget you use. And unfortunately, since you are on a desert island (even thought it's the coolest one you've ever imagined), you can't access any additional music.

What music would you want to be loaded on that sound system?


Monday, November 15, 2010

Question of the Day #748

So I've had my new phone for 48 hours and I can barely accept a call. I have managed to send a couple texts but not without concentrating really hard. I have no idea how to take a picture and linking the phone to the bluetooth in my car may take a miracle.

My technological dorkiness skyrockets off the 1-10 scale. It's embarrassing.

What about you? How are you with gadgets?


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Question of the Day #747

It's gorgeous out so I'm going to lie on the beach for a bit.

What does Sunday in Autumn look like at your house? Is football on in your living room? Is somebody cooking in the kitchen? Are you running errands like crazy?


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Question of the Day #746

A couple weeks ago, I dropped my phone (in the rain) and it scattered into three pieces.

"Ut oh!" said my friend M.

"I can put it back together," I replied. Then I popped the battery back in and slid the back panel on.

M eyed me in disbelief.

"Seriously. That thing is ridiculous. You have get a new phone," he said.

"What's wrong with it?" I asked.

"What's wrong with it? It was made in 1998 and right now, it's in pieces," he pointed at the phone.

I pressed some buttons on the key pad.

"It's fine. Look, it's working," I said.

He shook his head at me.

"I'm taking you to the phone store and you're getting a new phone." He stared me down. Suddenly, I felt like a little kid who was about to be sent to her room.

"Okay," I replied. Then I put my old, cracked, flip phone in my pocket.

Today is the day. We're going to the phone store. My beloved, ancient, outdated, archaic flip phone is going to cellular heaven.

But M is right. I need to upgrade.

What do you need to upgrade?


Friday, November 12, 2010

Question of the Day #745

My in-home cooking gig has made me realize how much I miss cooking for people. So I decided to add some new recipes to Suzie Foods.

Last night, while writing a post on how to make my Spicy Chicken Soup, I thought about how recipes are sort of like the "How To" corporate training guides I've written over the last ten years.

If you were to create a "How To" guide, what subject matter would you choose?


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Question of the Day #744

As the "mmm's" and "ahh's" resounded from my client's dinner table last night, I knew my pan roasted filet mignon over sauteed onions and roasted mushrooms with scalloped potatoes and sauteed spinach with garlic was a hit.

"This is my favorite thing you've cooked so far," said the dad.

"Suzanne, these potatoes are incredible," said the cute teenage girl.

"Thank you! I'm so glad you like them." I smiled as I washed pots and pans. My otherwise low mood lifted. Funny how doing something really well can change everything.

What have you done really well lately? How did it make you feel?


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Question of the Day #743

B and H have presented a challenge. Write down 20 things you could be happy doing (to earn a living) for the rest of your life.

Twenty things? Twenty is a lot. Heck, five is a lot. So let's start with one.

Obviously, I'm a writer. I've made a living writing magazine and newspaper articles, training materials, newsletters, brochures and web copy. You name it, I can write it. I can't imagine doing anything else as a career.

But if I had to make a change, I could cook for people. I really enjoy the in-home cooking I've been doing for families. And I like preparing Suzie Foods. So I guess that's one other thing I could be happy doing for the rest of my life.

What about you? What, besides what you currently do, would you be happy doing for the rest of your life?


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Question of the Day #742

Last night was cold. I bundled up in pj's, piled extra blankets on my bed and fell asleep at 10:00. When my alarm woke at 7:00, I realized I had seriously slept. Like deep, awesome slumber. I said a little prayer of thanks before I got up.

When was the last time you really slept well?


Monday, November 8, 2010

Question of the Day #741

Every morning I go to the office, I pull into the parking garage and the woman in the attendant booth waves at me. Sometimes she's singing. Other times she's dancing. She's always smiling. A big, huge, joyful smile.

This woman stands in a booth, in a parking garage all day and she's having the time of her life.

Who or what reminds you to maintain a positive attitude?


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Question of the Day #740

I'm going to D's sister's house today to hang out with him and his family for a bit. The thing is, they have a trampoline.

Yup. A trampoline. And I gotta admit, I'm pretty excited to jump around on it. Almost as excited as I was when my friend K rented a bouncy house for her birthday party. I arrived early, plopped down a try of mac and cheese in the kitchen and went running for the backyard where I squealed and bounced like an 8 year old all afternoon.

So once again, I'm ready to bounce.

What "kid" toy gets you all excited?


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Question of the Day #739

As daylight streaked gray across the sky this morning, I walked along the cold sand. Dolphins curved up out of ocean. One jumped up high and splashed back in. The others charged north.

A wave washed over my feet. The water was not as cold as I expected. Warm for November. But then again, it's been warm for November. Maybe the lost summer had finally arrived.

"Did you see the seals?" Asked a girl with her hoodie pulled up.

"You mean the dolphins?" I asked.

"No. The seals." She pointed out into the water. "They were over there."

"No way," I said as I scanned the smooth swells.

"I see dolphins all the time..." she said.

"But seals - that's odd." I added.

"I know. It was really cool. They were just floating on their backs, popping their heads up."

"I'm sorry I missed them. So do you live around here?" I asked.

"No. I live in the valley. I'd like to live closer but my husband thinks if we moved to the beach that I'd never come out here."

"How often do you come now?" I asked.

"Every Saturday morning," she said.

We stared out at the horizon where sunlight cracked between the green-blue water and the gray sky. I pictured this girl, crawling out of bed in the dark each Saturday to drive an hour to get to where we stood.

"You know, I walk on the path almost every day. And when it's warm, I lay on the beach. But I rarely walk on the actual beach. If you can drive out from the valley every weekend to put your feet in the sand, I can certainly cross the street."

What beauty in your back (or front) yard do you not enjoy enough of?


Friday, November 5, 2010

Question of the Day #738

I'm not very good at math. (If any of you writers are good at math, please note that in the comments. Anomalies like you should not be overlooked.) So I didn't realize until right now, that at question #738, that means I've been writing a question every day for over two years.

Besides, eating, sleeping and necessities like that, I can't think of one thing I do consistently every day besides write a blog post.

It's like a diary. If you go back to Question #1 and start reading, you'll follow me through writing struggles, lots of philosophical talk, surveys, a massage that nearly killed me and H (and is one of my all time favorite stories), the end of an era, love stories, and of course, late night musings.

I love having a record of what has happened. Otherwise, I might have forgotten. And good or bad, I don't want to forget.

How do you keep track of your life? Do you take pictures? Blog? Journal?


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Question of the Day #737

On Tuesday night, there was a birthday party for one of my friends. Tons of people who hadn't seen each other in long time got together and caught up, had some drinks and, of course, sang some really funny karaoke.

Since I've been working in an office, I haven't gone out on weeknights. And on Tuesday, I was having so much fun, I didn't go home when I should have. As a result, yesterday, I was cross-eyed at the computer.

So I updated my Facebook status to, "Suzanne Casamento needs to get an "Off" switch." It's no surprise that I'm usually the last person to leave a party. I'm the last person to stop eating-even after I'm full. I'm always the last person to stop indulging. Period.

What kind of switch do you need?


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Question of the Day #736

Last night, I left the house I cooked at, walked out to the car and could not find my keys. I went back into the house and searched the kitchen. No keys. I searched my reusable shopping bags. No keys. The clients thought perhaps the housekeeper put the keys in the "key drawer." It held plenty of keys, but not mine.

As I retraced my steps with a flashligh, I stepped in some mud which sucked up my flip flop and slathered all over my foot. No keys in the grass or around the car. I finally concluded that my keys had to be in the trunk of my car. I must have dropped them in there when I was taking the groceries out.

So I called H. She happened to have a key to my house. She picked me up and drove me to my house where I got my spare car key. We drove back to the client's house and I opened up the car and the trunk.

No keys.

That's when I heard a voice. (No. Not that kind of voice.) It was the client saying, " Hey, Suzanne, I found your keys in the bathroom."

Good lord.

Are you one of those people who always loses their keys?


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Question of the Day #735

My friend N and I have a history of going to see cheesy dance movies together. Years ago, she first dragged me to see Center Stage. Then Bring it On I and II.

They're cliche, predictable and funny when they're not supposed to be. We grab each other's hands and cackle like crazy people at the most dramatic climactic moments. We're your average movie goer's worst nightmare.

So next on our cheestastic list is Burlesque. How in the world could we miss out on Cher and Christina Aguilera making it big in the burlesque world? Last night, when the commercial came on and I heard the line, "Watch out for the girl from the farm," I immediately jumped up and emailed N.

What cheesy film did you just have to see?


Monday, November 1, 2010

Question of the Day #734

Last night's haunted house was like a Disneyland attraction. Hundreds of parents and kids lined the sidewalks, waiting to enter a maze of terror. Kids with bloodied, scarred faces stared me down as strobe lights mangled their images. Hands flew through hidden holes in black walls and grabbed at me as I walked by. Screams echoed from all angles.

It was like a Hollywood production. In someone's house.

What "over the top" Halloween event/costume/thing did you experience yesterday?