Sunday, October 31, 2010

Question of the Day #733

Today I'm working at a haunted house and Halloween party. I'm not sure what my responsibilities will be. Maybe I'll get to pop out of a coffin and scare people. Or maybe I'll hand out candy. I have no idea. So I'll have to report about it tomorrow.

What are you doing today?


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Question of the Day #732

Last night, over delicious Mexican food and slammin' Cadillac Margaritas, D and I discussed writing and the entertainment industry on the whole. It can be pretty discouraging and confusing. One agent or development person will tell you your plot isn't good enough while another may tell your voice isn't strong enough.

I had a similar conversation with one of my writergirls yesterday. She's considering turning a novel in verse into prose because an agent and an editor suggested she do so. But I love her verse. Every word is perfectly chosen. It sings.

D and I discussed the fact that after awhile, we writers don't know who to believe. And as a result, there are moments when we don't feel good enough.

"But I don't want to worry about whether or not my work is 'great enough,'" said D. "I want it to be great for me."

And that is what keeps us going.

So, what craft/art/activity do you partake in just because you want it to be great for you?


Friday, October 29, 2010

Question of the Day #731

Last night, as H and I sat on the deck and talked out the week, a star streaked through the dark sky behind her.

"Oh a shooting star," I said, waving frantically.

But by the time she turned around, it was gone.

"Make a wish!" she said.

And I did.

When was the last time you saw a shooting star?


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Question of the Day #730

I slept through my alarm. The alarm right next to my head. It woke my (poor, innocent) roommate up, in the next room, but I just kept on snoozing.

This 9 to 6 thing is a little hard to adapt to.

What are you having trouble adapting to?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Question of the day #729

One of my friends is going to be the Mystery Reader at his daughter's first grade Halloween party and he's looking for book suggestions. Friends have suggested The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White and Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper.

Do any of you fabulous readers have any other suggestions?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Question of the Day #728

The family I cook for is koo koo for Halloween. I'm talking ghouls hanging 20 feet from trees, skeletons that actually move and give you creepy looks, creatures in coffins and ghosts flying in front of the house.

It's cRaZy.

How do you feel about Halloween?


Monday, October 25, 2010

Question of the Day #727

Last night, I attended a small birthday dinner for Little J. Somebody brought red velvet cupcakes.

I'm pretty good at avoiding sweets, but I'm a sucker for cupcakes. Chocolate with vanilla icing are my all time faves. I go gaga for carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese icing and red velvets make me swoon.

What's your favorite cupcake?


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Question of the Day #726

Tomorrow, I'm going to work in an office. I haven't worked in an office since 2002. I'm nervous about:

  • Fitting writing time into a 9 to 5 life
  • Not having cool enough office-like clothes (During my interview, the people in that place could have held an impromptu Monday morning runway show.)
  • Gaining weight because I won't be able to take my daily walk
  • Making poor food choices because I won't be able to whip up something healthy whenever I feel like it
  • Being the new kid
  • Hitting that 3:00 office dead zone where you can't keep your eyes open

Because I just re-read what I wrote and almost choked on the negativity, let me focus on the positive:

  • A paycheck
  • Meeting new people
  • Work creates more work
  • Exploring a new industry
  • Stretching my comfort zone
  • Learning something new

What negative will you turn into a positive?


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Question of the Day #725

Last night I attended my friend N's birthday party at a club in The Valley. I guess I got what I deserved, but wow, the butt clenching tight stone washed jeans, the spandex, teal, one sleeved dress with the hip cut out and hair bumped and the three dudes in flannel doing the running man in the middle of the bar area were seriously stunning.

It was like The Valley meets The Jersey Shore.

When have you been a in situation that made you feel like the most stylish person in the room?


Friday, October 22, 2010

Question of the Day #724

Yesterday I received an AARP membership card in the mail. Twelve years too early.

What has presented itself lately that you're totally not ready for?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Question of the Day #723

Blogging is awesome, but it takes time. It doesn't take all that much time to post a question every day - although it does takes a lot of thought to conjur up something blog-worthy. It's visiting other people's blogs that can suck up days at a time.

I love to read other people's musings, thoughts on writing and cool links but I feel like I never have enough time to read them all.

What do you feel like there's never enough time for?


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Question of the Day #722

I love road trips. I've driven cross country five times. I've stood over red canyons in Navajo Territory, waded in the Smokey River in Tennessee and soaked in New Mexico hot springs while snowflakes fell from the moon.

But one of my favorite road trips is California's coastal Route 1. The road curves in, hugging mountains, and turns out to expose sheer drop after drop to an ocean so blue. I used to drive it every year, but it's been a while.

Maybe it's time to get in the car.

What's your favorite road trip?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Question of the Day #721

"They got married at Disneyland. The bride arrived in a pumpkin carriage and everything," said L.

"Wow. That sounds crazy," I replied.

"My friends got married in a cemetery. Now that's crazy," E said.

I, of course, immediately texted, "Wedding in a cemetery" to myself so I'd remember to ask the following question.

In what unique locations have you heard of people marrying?


Monday, October 18, 2010

Question of the Day #720

I talk out loud to my Granny. She died in 2003, but on a daily basis you can catch me babbling to her. It usually happens when I'm cooking, because I have a lot of her cookware and we used to cook together and somehow when I get in a kitchen, I feel like she's around. I'll ask her "Should I add more garlic to this?" or "What do you think of this so far?" Stuff like that.

I pray to her too. Every night before I sleep. Sometimes while I'm driving or taking a walk.

At various points this weekend, the conversations were about loved ones who have died. And when I mentioned my talks with Granny to friends, they also admitted they talk to angels. In fact, pretty much everyone I asked this weekend (and of course I got curious and asked everyone), said they talk to angels.

Do you?


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Question of the Day #719

"There's a color the sky turns right before a tornado," said J.

"You've seen a tornado?" I asked.

"Oh yeah. I grew up in the midwest. I saw a lot of them," he said.

"Wow. What are they like?"

"Loud. The whirring of the storm is deafening."

"So if one was coming, what would you do?" I asked.

"Get in the basement. But once, when I was 12, my dad let me stand with him out on the porch and watch the funnel touch down. Then when it got really close, we went down to the basement with the rest of the family."

"Wow. So it was like a rite of passage?"

"Exactly, I was 12, the oldest kid in the family. Old enough to stand outside and watch."

"Very cool," I said.

J smiled.

At what moment did you realize you weren't a kid anymore?


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Question of the Day #718

Last night, H and I went to see a friend play country music. As the dancers kicked, twirled and slid, I watched with envy. They moved with confidence, grace and sass, almost by rote.

What badsass skill do you wish you had?


Friday, October 15, 2010

Question of the Day #718

Whatcha doin' this weekend?


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Question of the Day #717

Yesterday, I walked by a parked car with a dashboard covered in stuffed animals. First I thought, "What is wrong with that person?" But then I thought about a certain stuffed hippo I sleep with every night.

Which made me think, what is wrong with me? I'm 38 years old and I sleep with a stuffed hippo?

This sparked a lively conversation last night. I found out I'm not the only 30 something with a stuffy tucked under her pillow. Someone else, who shall remain nameless, still cuddles a security blanket. And another cherishes a childhood toy.

Okay, so now that my hippo is out of the closet, what about you? What are you holding onto?


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Question of the Day #716

Recently, I began cooking for a family a couple times a week. With three kids who have football practice, piano lessons, violin lessons, dance class, cross country practice (and those are only the activities I've heard about so far) these parents are running about a thousand carpools a day, not to mention running their own business.

So it's easy to see how they have little time to cook. Meanwhile, I'm having a great time cooking up Suzie Foods at their house. So everybody's happy.

If you could have someone come and help you with one household chore, what chore would you choose?


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Question of the Day #715

Sunday night, while out with friends, TY retold a friend's story about being circled by shark while surfing this summer.

"Screw that sport," said N. "I'll try anything in which I might kill myself. But leave it up to a shark? No way."

Everyone laughed as I began scribbling on a napkin.

What animal do you never want to come face to face with?


Monday, October 11, 2010

Question of the Day #714

The delicacy pictured above is the Taylor Ham, egg and cheese sandwich I ate for breakfast yesterday.

It's freakin' delicious. And it's a Jersey thing. Taylor Ham is pretty hard to find in other states. I'm guessing that's because its sodium and nitrate levels are probably lethal. You can buy it online. But you probably shouldn't.

What food is indigenous to where you're from?


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Question of the Day #713

It’s like this

YOU glow
Eyes the brightest blue
Belief in your words
Finally sure
That you’re good enough

YOU are the luckiest man in the room
And you don’t even know it
No one to protect
You can apply the brakes
Make a u-turn
And change your route

YOU curled your hair
Shed your weight
Lightened your heart
Rocked the dress
Fought for equality and won

YOU somehow grew when growth was done
Hoisted up your slouched shoulders
Swiped the hair from your eyes
Made us wonder how we missed out on that

YOU rub your wife’s shoulder
Avoid her eyes
Mine too
Dance the fine line of "good"

YOU almost did it
Almost signed the papers but panicked
Because you didn’t know what life would be like

YOU are the 2.0 version of the hottest girl in school
Tiara traded for confidence
You feel it
You show it
You own it

YOU face things I can’t imagine
Lies mountains high
Hope even higher
Brave enough to love anyway

YOU forgot to make me a name tag
Then told me it didn’t matter
That nobody could forget me
YOU were right

YOU spent your Sunday with me and your beautiful wife
Connecting the dots like they never disconnected
Seeing things my way
Or is it your way?
Like we always did

I type these words at 30,000 feet
Thankful for the opportunity to peek into your worlds
And go home
to mine

What did you learn at your reunion?


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Question of the Day #712

As a precursor to tonight's 20th high school reunion, last night I went to dinner with five girls I went to high school with. I hadn't seen most of them in years.

C passsed out a middle school yearbook and a high school yearbook.

"Suzanne wins the award for biggest hair in both books," she said.

"Hey now," I reached for the middle grade yearbook and said, "If I recall correctly J had some serious bangs."

We flipped to J's page.

"Ooo, she could be a serious contender," C said.

Everybody laughed.

We caught up on marriages, kids, careers and everything in between over food and drinks. At some point someone said, "I can't believe we're almost 40."

"I hate the way that sounds," T said.

"Really?" I replied. "I like it."

"You do?" asked K.

"Yes. I loved high school and college and my 20's were great. But the 30's were hard for me. I'm looking forward to my 40's. As silly as it sounds, I'm hoping I'll finally blossom," I said.

Through the night, I talked with different classmates. Some of them glowed with newness and reinvention. Others are facing incredible challenges, but even so, are very self aware.

I think that's the beauty of getting older. Figuring out who you are and who you want to be. Being able to set boundaries and use the word "no."

What beauty do you find in getting older?


Friday, October 8, 2010

Question of the Day #711

Yesterday, C and I went for a walk as her four year old peddled a pink bike with training wheels next to us. When the little one didn't want to ride anymore, C and I each grabbed a handle of the bike and began doing arm curls.

Next, we pushed back and worked our triceps. We giggled as we pushed the bike high over heads and then switched arms and did the same sets all over again.

"You gotta work out however you can!" C said as a car passed by and the person in the backseat turned around to stare at us.

How do you manage to squeeze a workout into your day?


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Question of the Day #710

This morning I logged on Facebook and saw that my friend, B, had linked to her brother in law's new website where he's launching a line of guitars he designed.

I've never met a guitar designer. In fact, I don't remember anyone I know ever saying, "My friend designs guitars..." Pretty interesting talent, right?

What unique talent does someone you know possess?


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Question of the Day #709

Now that we've analyzed how much we text, tweet or update our status on Facebook, how do you unplug?

I unplug when I walk. I don't bring my phone. When I walk, electronic communication is the furthest thing from my mind.

H drives. She goes for long drives, blasts music and gets lost in the road.

My friend, B, goes for bike rides. For those couple hours every day, that usually super plugged-in guy completely goes dark.

How about you? How do you unplug?


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Question of the Day #708

Remember how we recently discussed whether or not gadgets and communication devices help or hurt us?

How plugged in are you? Are you constantly updating, texting and emailing? Or are you like my friend M, who doesn't even have a cell phone?

My cell is an embarassment. A cracked, old, red flip phone that takes and receives grainy, tiny pictures. I text quite a bit, actually, but when I send texts, they don't get saved. So I can't see what I sent. There's no text thread. It's like operating with half the technology. Which probably prevents me from being ridiculously addicted. If I had a fancy phone, I might google constantly, take pictures everywhere I go, text my whole life away.

What about you? What's your technical communication style like?


Monday, October 4, 2010

Question of the Day #707

If you were to put something in a time capsule, what would it be?

I'd put my latest manuscript in it since it feels rather timely to me.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Question of the Day #706

Last night, I saw a friend, who, the last time I saw her, was a disaster. I mean in a low place, caught up in some ugly cycles, unable to break out of destructive patterns. I've been in those spots, so they were easy and awful to recognize.

But last night, she was back.

Her smile was bright. Her tone light. She stood taller, more confident. She laughed. A lot.

It was awesome. So, if I could, I'd give her an award for executing an amazing comeback. Something to say, "You seriously rock."

If you could give someone an award, who would you give it to and why?


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Question of the Day #705

This morning I woke to booming thunder. I mean crazy loud thundering thunder. That NEVER happens in So Cal. In the 16 years I've lived here, I have witnessed less than 10 thunderstorms and none of them have been booming loud.

I'm so used to not having real weather that when it comes, it's a shock.

Does it rain where you live? Do you have real weather? If so, what's it like right now?


Friday, October 1, 2010

Question of the Day #704

I'm stealing from the "If" book again. Openly admitting to dialing it in today. Here goes:

If you could discover one thing in your family attic, besides money, what would it be?

I'd like to find the rest of my Granny's cookware. I have a couple pieces of her pieces from the collection pictured above, but I'd love to have the rest. She wore a lot of red and the fact that her cookware was also red was so Granny. And when I use it, I feel like she's cooking with me.

That said, your turn!