Saturday, December 31, 2011

Question of the Day #1,161

On a scale of 1 - 10, how would you rate your 2011?

I give mine an 11 because it was the best year I've had since my 20's and because an 11 seems appropriate for 2011.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Question of the Day #1,160

What are you doing New Year's Eve?


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Question of the Day #1,159

After everybody packed up and hit the road, we found a random gift here and a forgotten toothbrush there.

In the past, I've forgotten computer power packs, phone chargers, toothbrushes and socks.

What have you left behind?


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Question of the Day #1,158

"Who has a question?" I asked in the kitchen full of family.

"I got one!" my brother said.

"What?" I looked up at him doubtfully.

"What's the best age?" he asked.

"Hm," I said.

"That's not bad," said V.

"It's good. Listen, is it the two year old whose biggest concern is having an awesome time in the snow?" He pointed out the window where the little ones rolled around outside. "Or is it the 40 year old who has a job to keep, mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay but can at least make all their own decisions?"

"I can work with that," I replied.

"See, that wasn't hard. You need questions? You can call me everyday," he said.

I rolled my eyes and began typing.

So, what's the best age?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Question of the Day #1,157

Over breakfast, I challenged the family to come up with "would you rather" questions. This is where we shook out:

1. If you were caught stealing in a foreign country where you had these two options for punishments, would you rather have your hand cut off or spend three years in that country's prison?

2. Would you rather have a tropical vacation napping on gorgeous white sand beaches or an African safari adventure?

3. After leaving the grocery store, and arriving at home, you discover a snack treat you didn't pay for in your bags. Would you rather keep the treat or return to the store to pay for it?

4. You're on a first date with someone you're crazy about. You clog the toilet and cannot find a plunger in the bathroom. Would you rather ask your date for a plunger or simply suggest you go out to dinner immediately?

5. Would you rather bacon or sausage with your eggs?

How would you answer these questions? And what do these questions say about my family?


Monday, December 26, 2011

Question of the Day #1,156

After hunching over a puzzle for hours, H and V crawled the carpet searching for a final missing piece.

Out of nowhere, N waltzed over to the puzzle and popped it in.

"Here's the last piece. Puzzle's finished!" N announced.

"Noooo!" V yelled.

"You can't doooo that!" H said.

Every family has that guy. Who is that guy in your family?


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Question of the Day #1,155

It's like this
We craft images of ourselves
That tell more than we know

We arrange our family
Once again
So much easier than last time
Because now

Laughter brings promise
For what's next
Sustains the fun
Faith in who we are
Positions us as a team

Love makes us a family

What makes your family family?


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Question of the Day #1,154

My mother has been talking to elves.

Last week, on the phone, she said, "The elves are driving me nuts!"

"The elves?" I asked.

"Yes, they're being very naughty. I keep telling them to behave, but they don't listen."

"I see," I said.

"Oh, you'll see," she said.

Turns out, she's right. They're hanging from the chandelier.

And swinging from the railings.

What holiday decorating detail do you obsess over?


Friday, December 23, 2011

Question of the Day #1,153

The mailman just came to the front door loaded with packages, wearing a Santa hat, singing Silent Night.

Who's jolly in your neighborhood?


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Question of the Day #1,152

"Mommy?" I said.


"I need a question," I said.

"Where is everybody?" She pointed upstairs at the attic I was supposed to be helping her pull boxes from.

"But I need to write a question," I said.

"That's the question!" She pointed at my sister, who stared intently at Facebook.

My mother threw her hands in the air and dashed out of the room.

So, um, where is everybody?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Question of the Day #1,151

I cannot wait to see my mommy!

And I'm almost 40. Does that ever change? (Not that I want it to.)


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Question of the Day #1,150

"So you're going to be a daddy?" I asked E.

"Yes." E's eyes lit up. "It's pretty amazing too, because I'm a testicular cancer survivor."

"Wow. That is pretty amazing," I said. "Like one in a million."

"Exactly," he pointed at me. "And you know what? It happened naturally. You see, I had frozen sperm before my cancer treatment. But it was very expensive for them to store it. So I decided to have a talk with God. I said, 'God, I trust you. If I'm meant to be a father, you will make me a father.' Then I tossed the frozen sperm in the toilet and flushed."

"You did what?" I asked.

He smiled wide.

"And now, my baby girl is coming."

What huge life-changer have you left up to fate?


Monday, December 19, 2011

Question of the Day #1,149

I've been scrambling to cook holiday food, do laundry, attend a zillion Christmas parties, finish a big project and buy gifts. The To-Do list is long and I kind of feel like a hamster on a wheel.

And I know I'm not the only one. What are you scrambling to do?


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Question of the Day #1,148

William Shatner - The Good King Wenceslas by KROQ What twist on a holiday classic makes you laugh? xoxo, Suzanne

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Question of the Day #1,147

"I'm ready to kick 2011 out the door," said P.

"Really? Was it bad for you?" I asked.

"It was weird. Not so bad for me personally, but a lot of bad things happened to the people around me. Lots of deaths," he said.

"Wow. That's not good."

I turned to M, on my other side.

"How was 2011 for you?"

"Up and down. I'm ready to see it go too," she replied. "I'm ready for change. Ready to let the good stuff in."

"What about you?" she asked.

"2011 was my best year since I was in my 20's," I said.


"Really. And I'm ready for more good," I said.

How has 2011 been for you?


Friday, December 16, 2011

Question of the Day #1,146

Jimmy Kimmel challenged parents to give their kids a Christmas present they wouldn't like and record their reactions. Although some of these kids seem like they may need to spend some time with Nanny 911, other reactions are pretty cute.

Have you ever gotten a present you didn't like?


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Question of the Day #1,145

The Christmas cards are rolling in. Cute pictures of my friends, their kids and their families. Beach scenes, shots from Disneyland and other family vacations.

I like getting Christmas cards. I like that people take time to have them made or write them out and actually stamp them and drop them in the mail. I like getting something other bills in the mailbox. I like that Christmas cards are a tradition technology has yet to squash.

Do you send holiday cards? If so, what kind?


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Question of the Day #1,144

I'm cleaning out my closet. I pulled out a pair of platform strappy sandals that I wore once. In the store, where they were half off, I thought they cute and that I could handle the height. And I was sure I would never find other shoes at such a good price.

But when I wore them out, I found myself teetering.

And now they're in the donation pile.

What dumb purchases have you made?


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Question of the Day #1,143

I just received a package of earplugs in the mail. I can no longer find this particular brand in stores. But they fit perfectly and they block out just enough noise and they don't hurt my ears like other brands. So I went online and hunted them down.

What item are you willing to do some serious searching for?


Monday, December 12, 2011

Question of the Day #1,142

If you could have anything you want for dinner tonight, what would you have?


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Question of the Day #1,141

When little kids are asking for American Girl dolls, iPods and X-Box's for Christmas, how do you make sure the focus of the holidays is love, family and fun and not stuff?


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Question of the Day #1,140

I grew up in an illdyllic little historic town called Basking Ridge. Named for the deer that basked in the sunlight on the ridge. And every Christmas Eve for most of my life, my family and I enjoyed a tradition of crowding around the lit Christmas tree in the center of town with hundreds of other Basking Ridge natives and singing Christmas Carols.

Unlike the other idyllic families, before we joined the other carolers, we scoured the attic and delved into closets to find the ugliest hats we could. Lopsided cowboy hats, hideous, wide-brimmed, 80's fashion statement gone awry hats, orange hunting caps complete with ear flaps - whatever we could find. Then we'd head down to the event, a little noggy, and sing very loudly.

Our favorite song was "We Three Kings," thanks to Ruthie. One year, after a wee bit of wine, she approached the upswing of "ohOHHH star of wonder, star of night" with such gusto that we mad-hatted hooligans could only join her in uproar. Which in turn, caused the sober town natives to turn around and glare at us.

Thus creating a tradition within a tradition.

So, this Christmas, you can be sure that after my dear sister exercises her mixology skills at Happy Hour, there will be some serious wailing of, "ohOHHH star of wonder, star of night."

What's your favorite Christmas carol?


Friday, December 9, 2011

Question of the Day #1,139

My awesome sister in law sent me this article asking which Muppet is most like you. I am a bit of a Muppet FANatic. I remember watching the Muppet Show in my jammies as a little kid and getting super excited when the theme song began.

As an adult, I'm still a fan. And I really want to go see the Muppet Movie!

Anyway, which Muppet are you most like?

kermit-52.jpgKermit: The Everyman, and the glue that always holds the rest of the gang together. Slightly high strung (and given to moments of frustration), but generally warm and gracious, with a tender, sentimental side. Probably happiest in quiet moments, playing banjo on his lily pad.

misspiggy-52-reut.jpgMiss Piggy: The Diva, both feared and adored for her independence, confidence, chutzpah and occasional temper tantrums. She is all about the fine things in life - Chanel outfits, fine dining (no dieting for this pig) and, of course, Kermit. Just be careful: this pig will high-kick you if you betray her in any way.

fozzie2-52.jpgFozzie Bear: An extrovert and avowed attention-seeker, he is the life of every party. Probably happiest onstage, where he can regale an adoring crowd with his string of "Wocka wockas" and cornball jokes.

rowlf-52.jpgRowlf the dog: A talented musician and quick with the pun, Rowlf might be considered the old-fashioned gentleman of the Muppets. Usually found tickling the ivories or cutting up audiences with his side-splitting puns. Loyal friend to Kermit and esteemed ballroom dancer. Happiest flopping his ears while sitting at the piano.

gonzo-52.jpgGonzo: The Artist (or misfit, depending on how you look at him), Gonzo takes pride in the fact he is different - a skill he learned early while growing up with buggy eyes, blue fur and a long nose. Is not afraid to try strange new things like eating rubber tires, all for the sake of his performance art.

waldorf-52.jpgStatler and Waldorf: The Critics. Described by some as curmudgeons, they beg to differ. They only heckle and grouse because they know best, and have more refined tastes than the other philistines in the room. Their gruff outlook hides a sentimental yearning for simpler times past.

scooter-52.jpgScooter: Highly efficient and a people pleaser, Scooter is happier behind the scenes than hogging the spotlight. Not afraid to use some family connections to get ahead in the theatre world, he derives the greatest satisfaction from his career.

animal-52.jpgAnimal: A walking Id, Animal is not afraid to give into his baser temptations and impulses, often living purely on instinct. Happiest when banging away on the drums and letting his freak flag fly.

I think there are pieces of all of them in me, but if I had to choose one, I'd say I'm most like Kermit. I pride myself on keeping the gang together. Yes, I can be high strung and all those other characteristics. But I'm completely content when I'm hermitting up too.

What about you?


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Question of the Day #1,138

I'm reading a book called Change the Way You See Everything. It focuses on Asset-Based Thinking versus Deficit-Based Thinking, which is exactly what it sounds like. Focusing on your attributes, skills and accomplishments versus focusing on what you don't have or what you're not getting.

Sounds like positive thinking, but what's different about it is that it's active. It's not just about thinking positively. It's about focusing on what positive actions you can take to improve your quality of life.

The book quotes a Mayo Clinic study which reported that people who expect misfortune and see the negative side of life (the Deficit-Based Thinkers), don't live as long as Asset-Based Thinkers. In addition, the Asset-Based Thinkers had fewer problems at work and in other daily activities, less pain and fewer emotional problems and increased energy.

As I read this, I thought about my question for today and how I could relate my reading to this blog.

"They already know this," I thought. Meaning that the blogging community, for the most part (at least the bloggers who visit QOTD), are constantly focusing on what they have - not on what they don't have.

You post about gratitude, accomplishments, goals, family, love, things you're looking forward to and lessons you've learned. You cheer other bloggers on. And you rarely complain.

You're a pretty amazing crowd.

What else have you noticed about bloggers?


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Question of the Day #1,137

At the risk of sounding like the lamest aunt ever, I ask, where can I find super cute kids clothes?


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Question of the Day #1,136

"We went to this place called 'The Sugar Factory'," said R.

"Sounds dangerous," I said.

"That's like naming a restaurant, 'The Fat Shop'," said J.

"Don't get me wrong, I'd probably go to both places," I said.

"Yeah. But they're kind of weird names for eateries," said R.

What oddly named establishments have you seen?


Monday, December 5, 2011

Question of the Day #1,135

Saturday night, I met a girl who just moved to LA two weeks ago from Idaho. She oozed excitement about LA, the weather, new opportunities and new friends. Who was the last truly joyful person you encountered? xoxo, Suzanne

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Question of the Day #1,134

This question is brought to us by the fabulous Rosy Prose.

Rosy Prose was babysitting her grandson and they went to pick up a pizza at Bertucci's. They had a Toys for Tots box out with some donated toys in it. So her grandson was thinking maybe they were there for him to select from!

She explained that they were for kids whose parents couldn't afford to buy them toys and he said, "But Santa Claus doesn't charge for toys. He brings those free. So why do they need these?"

Rosy Prose, of course, had no answer to this question.

So, here's the Question of the Day - what has a child asked you that you had no answer for?


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Question of the Day #1,133

What's the worst movie ever?


Friday, December 2, 2011

Question of the Day #1,132

This morning, this was posted on my FB wall by my friend E:

"Dear Suzzie Q -
You know I never talk about dreams and crap like that, but felt the need to tell you about the most awesome one I had last night:

I was watching TV (awesome so far, right?) and was watching my favorite TV Show... only problem was it doesn't exist. It was a show about you... in a mormon family... only the twist was that instead of you being one of five wives... YOU had five husbands... all beefy fitness models. You were like the queen bee, keeping your soldiers in line with awesome food and nookie galore. Best show ever!"

Heh heh heh.

E's got some solid ideas there. Do you realize how much stuff could get done with five husbands? Leaky toilet? No such thing. Unmowed lawn? Pshaw! No one to play Scrabble with? An impossibility. Money woes? With six incomes? I think not. Lack of cuddling or affection or love? Never.

I think I could get used to that.

What do you think life would be like if you had five spouses?


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Question of the Day #1,131

Did you engage in any Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales?


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Question of the Day #1,130

This morning, I got out of bed an hour and 45 minutes before I am supposed to leave the house. Here I am, 17 minutes until lift-off and I haven't eaten yet and I'm frantically posting a question.

It could be that I usually attend meetings at the kitchen table in jammies, but that's ridiculous.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Question of the Day #1,129

I have a doctor's appointment today. It just so happens that my friend needs a ride to a doctor's appointment. So the plan is to pick him up, go to my appointment and then go to his appointment.

Then maybe we'll hit the Early Bird Special.

Seriously, what's aging you?


Monday, November 28, 2011

Question of the Day #1,128

Well, that was fast.

And by that, I mean Summer. And Fall. And while this Thanksgiving was one of the best ever, it flew by. And now, Christmas is coming up faster than a Monday morning.

And before we know it, it will be Summer again.

When I was a kid, it felt like it took centuries to become a "big kid." And it didn't stop there. High school was the longest four years of my life. And I really liked high school.

But now, as an adult, I just want to grab time and wrestle it down. Make it stop for a bit. Just slooow down.

What do you wish you had a little more control over?


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Question of the Day #1,127

What's for breakfast?

(Yes, I know it's 1:49 PM.)


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Question of the Day #1,126

Here's a ridiculous question for you:

Would you rather have no hands and feet or have everything you touch turn to Skittles?


Friday, November 25, 2011

Question of the Day #1,125

Yesterday was one of my best days ever. Sure, the turkey cooked at supersonic speed and was ready two hours early. And I freaked a little when I thought the gravy was going to be a floury disgusting mess. And how was I supposed to know that the electric mixer was in the "on" position when I plugged it in?

And all that smoke? That was just mac and cheese drippings burning on the bottom of the oven. It wasn't the actual macaroni and cheese.

It was funny. Really, really funny.

And fun. And yummy. And warm. And cozy. And grateful. And fun.

Oh, how I love Thanksgiving.

How was yours?


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Question of the Day #1,124

I gather pens and paper
So we can document what we’re thankful for
Exhuming a 17 year old tradition
Started well before I truly knew what it meant to be thankful
before life smashed open
and showed me what was really inside
This morning, I know that gratitude is what I’m most thankful for
The wisdom to stop and thank God
and the universe
for everything and everyone that makes it, and me,
JC, whose kindness is unmatched
My mother
Who teaches me every day
That nothing is out of my reach
Her husband, the best dad I know
“Intense conversations,” big ideas and insane giggles
My speedy crawler and her big sister
The Mansfielders
because one can show up after two years and make it feel like we never left the backyard
Late night ice cream
Crashing waves
My voice
The return of confidence
And do-overs
Because everybody loves a good comeback

What are you thankful for today?


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Question of the Day #1,123

1. Make and deliver two veggie lasagnes to client. Done.
2. Make cranberry sauce for Beach House Thanksgiving. Done.
3. Make Butternut Squash Soup for Beach House Thanksgiving. Done.
4. Make and deliver two mac and cheeses to client. Not done.
5. Make and deliver one string bean casserole to client. Not done.
6. Bid on storyboarding project for business client. Done.
7. Write a QOTD. Almost done.
8. Cook and cook and keep on cooking until it's time to eat tomorrow afternoon...

What does your holiday to-do list look like?


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Question of the Day #1,122

The fridge is packed. I couldn't stick a soda can in there if I tried. The counters are covered with baking pans, onions, potatoes, butternut squash and everything else that doesn't require cooling.

I feel like an elf in Santa's Workshop. I'm making my list, checking it twice. In a few minutes, I'm heading out to the fourth grocery store in two days.

From this morning until Thursday at 4:00PM, I'll be cooking. And I'll be loving it.

I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. As you know, bringing people together, especially over food, brings me joy. So to bring people together and feast while focusing on what we're thankful for is like the Superbowl of gatherings for me.

What is your favorite holiday? Why?


Monday, November 21, 2011

Question of the Day #1,121

The other day, we discussed how we would romance ourselves if we were dating ourselves.

Let's back up a step. If you were to approach yourself, how would you "pick up" on you?


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Question of the Day #1,120

This question should be easy for Los Angeles residents. What do you do to occupy yourself in traffic?

I sing or I pray. Depending on my mood.

What about you?


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Question of the Day #1,119

This genius question is brought to you by the letter H.

What, besides money, would you take as acceptable payment for something?

For example, I would accept payment in Whole Foods gift cards, since I spend most of my money on food anyway.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Question of the Day #1,118

If you were dating yourself, where would you take you? What would you talk about? How would you romance you?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Question of the Day #1,117

My friend T posted this picture on Facebook with the caption, "So a pig walks into a casino..."

How would you finish that?


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Question of the Day #1,116

On 11/11/11, I wrote question #1,111. I just realized that everyday since then, the question numbers have correlated with the date. For example, today is 11/16 and the question is #1,116. (Quick, aren't I?)

That's some serious synchronization for somebody who feels pretty unbalanced lately, trying to juggle multiple projects, cooking, and a semblance of a personal life.

What about you? What part of your life is actually lining up?


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Question of the Day #1,115

What do you feel like you can never catch up on?

This question popped in my head when I spotted the clothes mountain in my laundry basket. Didn't I just do lundry on Friday? How can there be more?


Monday, November 14, 2011

Question of the Day #1,114

My computer is driving me crazy. last week, it suddenly decided it hates PowerPoint. Which is a problem because I'm working on a very big PowerPoint. It keeps "not responding" and shutting down. I checked for viruses. It's virus free. It just hates PowerPoint.


The truth is, it's old. It's tired. It's slow. It's cranky. I think I have to suck it up and get a new one.

What do you need to trade in for a new model?


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Question of the Day #1,113

My mother called me yesterday, totally perplexed. She didn't understand yesterday's question, "What would you do if you weren't afraid?"

I laughed.

"I knew you wouldn't get it," I said.

And, the thing is, she really didn't get it. I had to give my mother three hypothetical answers before she said, "Ohhhh."

My mother is fearless. And I am the luckiest girl in the world to have had her as my first and greatest teacher.

Who do you know who is fearless?


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Question of the Day #1,112

What would you do if you weren't afraid?


Friday, November 11, 2011

Question of the Day #1,111

Today is 11/11/11. Notice what question we're on?




Thursday, November 10, 2011

Question of the Day #1,110

I just got a renewal notice for a subscription to a cooking magazine my mom bought me. It's the only magazine I subscribe to. Which made me think about how years ago, seeing an issue of Seventeen in the mailbox was thrilling. And in my 20's, receiving that fresh copy of Jane was a treat to savor.

But now, I wonder if people subscribe to magazines that much anymore. Do you?


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Question of the Day #1,109

Is Justin Bieber the father of an infant? What happened to Kim Kardashian's marriage? Lindsay Lohan goes to jail for 10 minutes - again.

Who cares? Can somebody tell me why this "news" is so pervasive that even I, who, unless we're talking about an icon like Julie Andrews, could care less about celebrity, have heard these stupid stories?

Seriously, can you help me make some sense out of this?


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Question of the Day #1,108

This question was pulled from Dawn's awesome interview with Jessica Bell.

If I opened your refrigerator right now, what key ingredients would I find?

In mine, on any random day, you'd find:

Mixed Greens
Heavy Cream

What staples would I find if I peeked in your fridge?


Monday, November 7, 2011

Question of the Day #1,107

Yesterday, I met a girl who had broken both her legs in a skiing accident. She had spent five months in a wheelchair and now, a year later, was fully recuperated.

"I know this is a little deep, but how did the experience change you?" I asked.

"Well, first, I went through a deep depression. I felt sorry for myself. Kept asking, 'why me'? But now, I'm just so thankful that I can walk. I can even wear heels!" She smiled and waggled a boot at me.

I laughed.

She looked away and got quiet for a moment. Then she looked back at me.

"I realized that it's really important to be grateful. The whole experience made me a better person. And as awful as it was, I'm really glad it happened."

What tough experience has made you a better person?


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Question of the Day #1,106

My father grows fruit trees. Right now the figs are booming. So this weekend, I ate figs for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dessert and even dinner last night.

My fruit of the day is definitely figs.

What's yours?


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Question of the Day #1,105

When I was about 30, a lot of my friends were getting married and getting pregnant. I went through a weird loathing period full of thoughts like, "What's wrong with me?" "Why doesn't anyone want to marry me?"

I should have concentrated on being awesome. Like I do now.

What period of your life do you wish you'd handled better?


Friday, November 4, 2011

Question of the Day #1,104

"I stopped in at a dance studio to see what they were offering," S said. "And as soon as I hit the door,the boom boom, thump thump took me over. They had a live DJ bumping tunes!"

"The crazy thing is," she looked at the floor. "I didn't know how bad I'd been feeling until I felt that music. The energy was unbelievable. It made me feel like a firework."

"It was amazing." She smiled.

"Joy rising," I said.

She looked at me like I was kookoo.

"Have you seen Oprah's Life Class? Every Friday, she focuses on Joy Rising. The idea is that when real joy comes out, it's palpable. The feeling is euphoria," I said.

"Exactly," she said.

"This could be good for a question." I dug in my purse for a pen and wrote, "Joy rising."

"What elates you?" H added.


I've always been elated by bringing people together. Parties, Sunday night dinners, BBQ's. Any time I can bring people, their ideas and dreams together I feel joy.

But the one time I felt absolute joy rising was on my mother and my stepfather's 20th anniversary. My brother his wife, my stepbrother, his wife and daughter and my stepsister and I planned a surprise weekend for our parents.

We traveled from LA, NJ, Ottawa, and Boston up to Vermont. We met in the tiny village they live in and then began our caravan up the mountain. My sister and I blasted The Scissor Sisters in the car, singing louder and louder as we elevated up the mountain, watching our siblings cars following in the rear view the whole way.

We wailed on car horns, trailing down the driveway. Lights popped on in the house and our parents crept on the porch, not believing what they were seeing.

"We thought we'd stop by to say 'Happy Anniversary,'" I said as I hugged my teary, shaky mom.

We laughed a lot that weekend. We healed a lot that weekend. And we cried a lot that weekend. Tears of joy rising.

When have you felt joy rising?


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Question of the Day #1,103

When you were a kid did you ever sell something for a cause? Like Girls Scout Cookies? Or I remember kids selling peanut brittle for Little League. Or was that Pop Warner?

Anyway, what have you sold for a cause?


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Question of the Day #1,102

If you had to be famous, what would you like to be famous for?


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Question of the Day #1,101

Last night, I worked the craziest Halloween party. Hundreds of people toured the Haunted House where invisible hands grabbed at visitors, zombies lurched with chainsaws and psychodelic lighting and music played tricks on minds.

Celebrities and California Royalty roamed the backyard, eyed the shipwreck for pirates and skirted around the skeletons in the front yard car crash.

Police shut down the streets. Secret service surveyed the scene and I ran around for hours.

As a result, every muscle in my body aches. I'm moving like an elderly woman.

When was the last time you worked so hard your whole body hurt?


Monday, October 31, 2011

Question of the Day #1,100

Do you enjoy carving pumpkins?

Happy Halloween!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Question of the Day #1,099

A while back, I made an iTunes playlist of "spooky" songs for a Halloween party. "Werewovles of London" and "Runnin with the Devil" played with "The Addams Family Theme" and "Jaws Theme."

Right now, around Halloween, those songs are a little like Christmas Carols at Christmas.

What's your favorite "spooky" song?


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Question of the Day #1,098

The east coast is experiencing some freaky Halloween weather. Anything weird going on where you live?


Friday, October 28, 2011

Question of the Day #1,097

A werewolf, a zombie and a vampire walk into a bar.

Who orders what?


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Question of the Day #1,096

What's your favorite Halloween candy?

I love Nerds. And jellybeans. Although they're traditionally more of an Easter thing.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Question of the Day #1,095

In a zombie apocalypse, what would be in your survival kit?


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Question of the Day #1,094

Is anyone else totally addicted to American Horror Story?

I'm aware that I'm totally contradicting yesterday's post about not being into scary stuff. But this show is different. It's more creepy and twisted than gory and horrifying.

I can't explain. I just know I can't wait to watch what's next.

Who's with me?


Monday, October 24, 2011

Question of the Day #1,093

In honor of Halloween, I'm going ask some scary questions this week. [Insert scary cackle.]

When I was a kid, I loved all things scary. Horror movies, ghost stories, and Stephen King novels. I read Carrie, Pet Sematary and Salem's Lot before I graduated from middle school.

Now, as an adult, I find that for the most part, life is scary enough. I don't need to add terrifying books to it.

What about you? Have you read any Stephen King novels? How do you feel about scary stories?


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Question of the Day #1,092

Have you ever fired a gun?

Yes, I have. We do that for fun in Vermont. ;)


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Question of the Day #1,091

My neighbor has decorated with orange pumpkin lights and a skeleton that does a crazy Vincent Price "Thriller" laugh.

So every few minutes I hear, "A haaaaaa haaaaa haaaaaa! A haaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaaaaa haaaaa!"

Giggle inducing at first. But yesterday, when I had to shut my windows during a conference call, lest the participants hear the cackle - not so funny.

How do your neighbors decorate for Halloween?


Friday, October 21, 2011

Question of the Day #1,090

"I love this song," H said.

"This song kills me," I replied. "It has that raw desperation, that crazy yearning that you only feel in your 20's, you know?"

"Yes. When things are so dire and important that you feel like you'll die without him."

"That line 'I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited, but I couldn't stay away. I couldn't fight it' kills me. I think of the things I did when I was kid. Just showing up at a bar - out of the blue. Hoping he'd be there. Or those moments at Mansfield, when I'd walk out of the kitchen and boom - he'd be there. Standing in the backyard. My stomach would bolt. My knees would shake. I'd say something profoundly stupid. Those moments were everything."

"I know. But can you imagine doing that now? Just showing up at someone's house uninvited?"


"What if another girl was there? Or what if he didn't want to see you? You can't do that now. Now you have text or call or make a plan."

"Right. It's like those scenes in movies, where the person realizes they just can't live without that other person. So they run, through the rain, to the other person's front door in the middle of the night. Then they bang on it and profess undying love."

"Without texting to find out if that person is home? No way."

"That's so sad! It's like technology has sucked all the spontaneity and romance out of life."

"That's exactly what it's like."

What do you think? How has technology affected the way you live and love?


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Question of the Day #1,089

Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?

(PS-Before Kelly asks about my answer, I'll say, "no." But I wouldn't mind if someone inspired me to believe in love at first sight. ;)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Question of the Day #1,088

Yesterday's gray was the perfect backdrop for writing training manuals. I wore fuzzy socks and jammy pants for most of the day, sipped hot tea, ate soup and wrote about why it's important to own your work.

This morning is a gray, chilly repeat of yesterday. But while I'm thankful for the writing weather, I'm wishing for rain patting on the roof and an excuse to make more soup.

I'd love a storm. And the clouds are teasing me.

What's teasing you?


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Question of the Day #1,087

A Facebook friend posted this yesterday. And I while I completely agree with #1-4 (although I'm still working on #2), I am at total odds with #5, "Expect Less."

In the past, when I've expected less, I have actually limited myself. In a way, settled.

For me, expecting more is manifesting a better life.

How do you feel about these rules?


Monday, October 17, 2011

Question of the Day #1,086

While making breakfast, I listened to Hall and Oates' "Rich Girl," "She's Gone," "Sara Smile" and "You Make My Dreams."

Like scrambled eggs, they never get old.

What's your favorite Hall and Oates song?


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Question of the Day #1,085

Do you have a favorite football team? If so, which team?


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Question of the Day #1,084

Last night, my Internet connection went out. Since it was Friday night and I wasn't working, it was okay. Annoying, but okay.

Today it's spotty.

Now I'm super annoyed because I have to call Verizon and troubleshoot the problem so I can work Monday morning.

I don't want to call Verizon. I don't want to sit on hold forever. I don't want to waste Saturday morning dealing with a service I pay for that should be working.

Who do you hate to call?


Friday, October 14, 2011

Question of the Day #1,083

After Wednesday night's birthday party, I dropped R off.

"I'll see you this weekend," he called out as he walked toward the stairs.

"Oh god. I hope not," I replied.

He laughed, knowing my comment didn't mean I didn't want to see him. He knew it meant I didn't want to do the same old, same old hanging out at the pub where he works.

What part of your world could use a shake-up?


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Question of the Day #1,082

What's your stance on cuddling?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Question of the Day #1,081

Have you ever sleepwalked?


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Question of the Day #1,080

After hours of porch talk, cocktails, burgers and Scrabble, Little J got up to leave.

"Tomorrow, I have to get my life together," she said.

What would that task list look like for you?


Monday, October 10, 2011

Question of the Day #1,079

How much money would it take for you to quit working forever?


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Question of the Day #1,078

A few years ago, my parents gave me an outdoor heat lamp as a Christmas gift. Since then, that heat lamp has stood over endless hours of porch talk, heaps of mac and cheese and some serious Scrabble tournaments.

It's one of my favorite belongings. A perfect practical gift for me.

What practical gift have you been given?

(I'm already imagining someone replying with a story about her husband giving her a lawnmower or vacuum cleaner for their anniversary. Aye aye aye.)


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Question of the Day #1,077

It's like this
The moon shines white over dark rippled waters
Stars dot the clear after-rain sky
Waves thunder
And we wait
in the cold sand
As the white yellows
The shine fades
And the orange moon
Sinks out of sight

Did you see anything interesting last night?


Friday, October 7, 2011

Question of the Day #1,076

This might seem like an odd subject (Because most of the things we ponder here are so normal, right?) but I've been thinking a lot about rice.

I never make rice as a side dish for myself. In fact, the only time I eat it is in sushi or with Mexican or island food.

But the people I cook for are rice crazy. If I'm serving up steak and potatoes, they still want a batch of rice.

So, I'm wondering, what kind of role does rice play in your diet?


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Question of the Day #1,075

Have you ever:

1. Eaten frogs' legs?
2. Gone skydiving?
3. Been to Montana?
4. Seen a ghost?
5. Broken a bone?

(I'll post my answers in the comments.)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Question of the Day 1,074

It's raining. Like real rain. Not just 10 minutes of splattered drops.

I love the rain. I know. Everyone in normal climates must think I'm crazy. But go with me here.

I love waking to the patter on the roof. I love gray writing weather. A reason not to leave the house. An excuse to make homemade soup. Curling up under a blanket with a good book.

I could go on and on.

What do you love about rain?


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Question of the Day #1,073

A few years ago, I took a UCLA Extension writing workshop. As an icebreaker, the teacher asked everyone to share a crime they would commit if they could get away with it.

A couple people announced that they would rob banks. Someone said, "murder." But then one guy said, "rape."

Everyone shifted in their seats. The teacher cleared his throat and mumbled something like, "okay," and then moved onto the next person.

For the rest of the semester, that guy was known as "The Rapist."

He was a good writer and seemed like an okay guy. But that initial faux pas stuck with him like a disease.

Have you ever known someone to make such a bad first impression that they never recovered?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Question of the Day #1,072

I've been facilitating customer service trainings lately. Teaching how to set the tone of a customer interaction, how to deal with irate customers, how to ask effective questions - stuff like that.

It's a lot of fun. My goal is to keep them laughing and engaged. That way, the participants are eager to share their experiences.

It's weird to think of myself as a teacher, but that's what I'm doing - teaching.

If you were to teach something, what would you teach?


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Question of the Day #1,071

I love that it's 75 degrees and sunny. I love that I'm about to take a long beach walk. I love that after that, I'll probably sit on the beach and read.

I love where I live.

What do you love about where you live?


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Question of the Day #1,070

Last night I sang backup for a friend's band. I've sung karaoke many nights. I've performed at most of my friends' weddings. But I've never gotten on stage with a full band in a bar for an actual set of songs.

I was scared.

It didn't help that the harmonies were really weird. Not straight forward thirds like the harmonies that wail in an Eagle's song. I had to really fight to find these.

That fact that I was shaking didn't help.

But after the first song, I shook a little less. And by the time I sang lead, I was ready. And it was good.

Yesterday, when fear was taking over, I kept reminding myself that it's good to do something I'm afraid of. And it was.

What have you been afraid to do? How did you feel when you did it?


Friday, September 30, 2011

Question of the Day #1,069

As you know by the last 100 or so Questions, I had a crazy Summer. I took seven trips, hosted six different guests, ate way too much late night mac and cheese and ice cream, had a few too many cocktails and got nowhere near enough sleep or exercise.

This week, I shifted gears. No more food at night. I halved my serving sizes, chucked the remaining ice cream and cookies, started my week with a two hour hike and have walked every day since. I've been in bed by 10:00 PM each night and already, I feel better.

Summer is over. It's time to focus on work and everything else in moderation.

Do ever you finding yourself shifting gears? If so, how?


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Question of the Day #1,068

A friend posted this on Facebook. It caught my eye, because I had just finishing thanking God for all the good things in my life.

Every morning, either before I get out of bed or during a walk, I give thanks. This morning it was for a good night's sleep, a great training session yesterday, the well received dinner I made for my clients last night, the opportunity to make money and some other great things I'm looking forward to.

I find that starting my day by reflecting on what I'm thankful for usually (sometimes even prayer can't prevent days like Tuesday ) sets the tone for a positive, productive day.

How does giving thanks impact your life?


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Question of the Day #1,067

Yesterday was one of those days that starts out disastrous and just keeps going.

Early in the morning, I went to pick up materials for the training I was facilitating and discovered that the printer had made 25 copies of the wrong file. After 35 minutes, she handed me the right pages and I ran to the car. Then, of course, I hit a traffic jam. So I arrived to participants seated and waiting for me.

The opening video wouldn't play. (Even though I'd tested it the day before. When the IT guy was there, it worked fine.) Then the audio didn't work. Thankfully, that came at the end of the session, so I just told participants we'd start there today.

I teach about setting the tone of an interaction between a client and a customer. And yesterday was a good analogy of how the way you start out can sometimes determine the way you end up.

How have you been able to turn a bad start into a good ending?


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Question of the Day #1,066

Thanks to KPA for posting this intriguing question:

Would you rather be able to create anything for one day OR know everything for one month?

I think I'd rather be able to know everything for one month. That way I could know how to create everything I want to and then create it after I've gobbled up all the knowledge I can during that one month.

But that's just me. What about you?


Monday, September 26, 2011

Question of the Day #1,065

I need to focus on the positive today. Like:

Yesterday's hike in the morning mist.
A quiet weekend.
The ocean.
My family and friends.
What I can do. Not what I can't control.

What positive things are you focusing on?


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Question of the Day #1,064

Every morning, I'm stunned to find my kitchen looking like there was a party in it. For example, this morning, the blender is center stage, the pitcher part dirty, top tossed aside. A baking sheet speckled with crusted cheese from last night's nachos pokes out of the sink. A couple pots sit on the stove. Oven mitts lay on the counter next to half a lime, remnants of a jalapeno and a fistful of cilantro.

But no, there wasn't a party. All that mess came from me.

Other mornings, empty bottles will compliment an even bigger mess. Just Friday, when I woke to a similar scene, I stepped in a drop of chocolate syrup before putting my hand in some ice creamy-counter goop.

I don't know why I don't clean it up before bed. Just like I don't know why I'm continually shocked to find a mess every morning.

What repeat offense are you continually shocked by?


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Question of the Day #1,063

Today's mission: Quiet.

What's yours?


Friday, September 23, 2011

Question of the Day #1,062

This question is brought to you by R:

Does a shark think faster than it swims?


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Question of the Day #1,061

If, financially, you never had to work again, what would you do with your time?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Question of the Day #1,060

If you were to play hooky today, where would you go?


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Question of the Day #1,059

My brother, Nick, posts what he calls "Great Polarizing Issues" on Facebook. Here are the last few:

1. Camaro or Mustang?
2. Boxers or briefs?
3. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
4. Beer or wine?
5. Dark meat or white meat?

Where do you stand on these polarizing issues?


Monday, September 19, 2011

Question of the Day #1,058

My friend, A, decided to move to Australia. She got her visa, found a job and bought a ticket. Last night I took her to the airport.

And then she was gone.

I'm dazzled by her courage. Moving to the other side of the world, with the intention of learning all she can, seems pretty brave to me.

Who seems brave to you?


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Question of the Day #1,057

Lady A and I have the attitude of gratitude.

How would you describe your attitude?


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Question of the Day #1,056

Last night, I pan roasted 8 pounds of salmon for a dinner party. This family loves salmon. That pink fish is by far their favorite sea treat.

I like it too. But if I were planning a seafood feast, I'd probably go for a white fish, like sea bass or a thick cut of cod. Or I'd saute garlic, tomatoes and white wine and toss in every shellfish I could find and serve it over pasta.

Spicy grilled shrimp is always a fave. Oh and let's not forget seared tuna with avocado, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Yum.

Clearly, I'll be eating some seafood today. Anyway, back to the question, what's your favorite seafood?


Friday, September 16, 2011

Question of the Day #1,055

What habit of yours would you like to eliminate?


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Question of the Day #1,054

I'm in love.

With a breakfast sandwich. It contains two fried eggs, thick bacon, gruyere cheese and spicy arugula on crunchy fresh baked bread smeared with a zesty aoli.

It's amazing. So every time a friend comes to town, we indulge in one of these amazing breakfast sandwiches. And every time those friends come back, they ask to go back to Huckleberry
so they can enjoy the breakfast sandwich again.

When your friends visit, where do you take them to eat?


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Question of the Day #1,053

This one was scribbled in my notebook during giggle fits (over absolutely nothing) that just wouldn't stop:

You know you're good friends when __________________.

How would you fill in that blank?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Question of the Day #1,052

This question comes from my favorite 6 1/2 year old, east coast girl genius, S.

She asks, "What clothes do you wear?"

(To that she added, "Write it down baby, write it down.")

I like her style. What's yours?


Monday, September 12, 2011

Question of the Day #1,051

How would you fill in the blanks?

1. Football ____________.
2. September ___________.
3. Friend comes to town ____________.
4. Yellow ______________.
5. Giant _______________.

I'll answer in the comments.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Question of the Day #1,050

I'm having a tough time with the concept of Remembering 9/11. To that, I think, "Remember? How could I forget?"

How are you feeling about it?


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Question of the Day #1,049

A few months ago, I treated myself to new cookware. Metal handled, overproof, dishwasher safe, hard anonized (for perfect heat distribution) cookware.

I cook. A lot. For myself. For friends. For clients. So, this major purchase was a major purchase, not just monitarily, but emotionally.

I'm so excited about my new cookware that I'm almost eager for the rainy season so I can braise some short ribs in my amazing new dutch oven.

New cookware is the biggest treat I could possibly give myself. What is the biggest treat you could give yourself?


Friday, September 9, 2011

Question of the Day #1,048

Special thanks to Michellay for posting this video on Facebook yesterday.

What's giving you the giggles?


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Question of the Day #1,047

Yesterday, while walking down a big hill towards the beach, two women stopped me.

"Did you see what that woman is doing?" One of them asked as she pointed at another woman, farther up the hill, fiddling around a mini van.

"No. What is she doing?" I asked.

"She's taking all the license plates off the parked cars."

I scanned the cars lining the road. About 10 of them were missing front license plates.

I had passed her on my way up the hill, smiled and said, "Good morning." And I'd passed her on my way down too. But I didn't actually look at what she'd been doing. I assumed she was unpacking her car for a beach day. Milling around, taking her time.

Not committing a crime.

The three of us watched as she walked toward her minivan. The lights flashed as she unlocked the door and leaned in.

"Well, that must be her car. Let's get her license plate number." I marched back up the hill towards the thief.

After about 30 seconds, I thought, "She could be crazy. She could have a weapon."

I turned to the two women trailing behind me.

"Do either of you have a cell phone?" I asked.

"Yes," they said.

"Okay, let's pretend we're buddies and I'll babble as we walk by. We'll get the license plate number and we'll call the police when we get to the top, okay?"

So that's what we did. Then my two cohorts got in their car and I was left alone to pass the crazy lady again.

I made it almost to the bottom of the hill when the police arrived. I walked back up, told the officers what I'd seen, gave them my phone number and went home.

Needless to say, it was all very weird.

Have you ever witnessed a crime in progress?


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Question of the Day #1,046

It's no secret that I'm a salt lover. And I do like sweets. The occasional cookie hot from the oven or a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing delight me.

But there's only one sweet I go dizzy for. Ice cream.

Plain vanilla or White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle? I don't discriminate. I love them all.

Offer me a Creme Brulee or two scoops of chocolate and I'm going for the ice cream every time.

What's your favorite dessert?


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Question of the Day #1,045

During this weekend's barbeques, reality TV came up several times.

On Sunday, there was huge talk of American Chopper and the father and son war that developed over time. Was their falling out a result of the show? Money? Over-exposure?

We asked the same about Jon and Kate Plus 8. That show was like documenting a disaster. Frame by frame.

On Monday, the girls babbled about The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

"I want to punch Teresa in the face," I said.

"I want Caroline to be my mom," K said.

"Me too!" I squealed.

"I've also been watching Jersey Shore." K said.

Her husband rolled his eyes.

"I don't watch Jersey Shore. But I do watch Jerseylicious," I said.

"What is Jerseylicious?" S asked.

It went on like that. We talked about who we liked and didn't like and questioned how much editing was at fault for making these people look so stupid and mean.

"The thing is everyone wants to be on television," M said.

"I don't want to be on television," I said.

"Then I'm going to make it my life's goal to get you on TV. I'll just bring a camera crew here and we'll film everyone eating macaroni and cheese..."

Aye aye aye.

Anyhow, during two seperate cookouts on two separate days, reality TV was a big part of the conversation.

What is it about reality TV that makes us watch?


Monday, September 5, 2011

Question of the Day #1,044

This question is brought to you by yesterday's BBQ: When you eat corn on the cob, do you roll it and eat it or do you munch typewriter-style?


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Question of the Day #1,043

Signs of a holiday weekend:

1. No traffic in LA.
2. Minimal blog comments.
3. I'm cooking my friends' favorite things.
4. Everything is quiet. For now. ;)

What signs of a holiday weekend do you see?


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Question of the Day #1,042

My friend, K, is pregnant and working from home for a weeks before she goes on official maternity leave.

K is a very driven person. She's worked hard since she was kid. Her sharp focus and drive has gotten her far, fast, traveling all over the world for her career.

But now, she's like, (and I quote) "Whatevs, work, you bore me!"

Which is a total shock to not only me and her other friends, but to her.

Have you ever discovered a side of yourself that you didn't know existed?


Friday, September 2, 2011

Question of the Day #1,041

UPS just knocked on my door.

I took the box and smiled at the delivery man.

"Ooo! It's a present!" I said.

The weekend before last, my friend, B, came to visit. When I saw her, the first thing she said was, "The good news is, I fixed your toilet. The bad news is, I broke it."

"I doubt you broke it. It's been malfunctioning since the day I moved in."

The toilet is my home's one downfall. When I host BBQ's, it doesn't fill fast enough. Or the handle falls off or the chain becomes unlatched. It's not unusual to find my friend, M, leaning over the toilet rigging it, a Budweiser in his free hand.

He'll look up at me and say, "Suz, get me that stupid little tool box you have."

What's funny about the tool box is that it's an actual little cardboard box stuffed with mismatched nails, screwdrivers, a tape measure and such.

It's a complete disgrace to a handyman like M.

So I laughed when I opened the UPS box to find a real, serious toolkit. It holds pliers, wrenches, a hammer, even bits and a bit driver.

And even funnier, it's pink.

Which will be a whole different kind of disgrace to my handyman, M.

I love my new toolkit and B for sending it to me.

What was the last surprise gift you got?


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Question of the Day #1,040

The little Vermont village where my mother lives was devastated by Hurricane Irene. It sits in the middle of the White River Junction and all the surrounding bridges were destroyed. Roads were washed out. Homes blew over. Coffins rose from the saturated earth. Tennis courts were picked up and dropped down hundreds of feet of away.

Telephones, water and electricity have been out for days. The town normally doesn't get cell service. People have to hike to mountaintops to get a signal.

So to communicate and plan, meetings are being held at 1:00 in the church each day.

A few days ago, the National Guard air-dropped prepared meals and water. The market and local restaurants have also been providing free food to community members. And when an army of electrical technicians and doctors arrived from Canada, Ohio, Illinois, Kansas and other states, the townspeople cheered them on.

Together, the villagers are building footbridges over swollen rivers, setting up a makeshift medical facility and clearing out storm-ravaged homes.

It may take months for roads to be repaired, bridges to be built and for life to get back to normal. But the people in that tiny town will do it together.

How have you seen tragedy unite people?


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Question of the Day #1,039

I love Facebook. It's entertaining. It keeps me clued into what friends are doing. Facebook provides a fabulous tool with which to disseminate information, ideas and news.

But you know what kills it? The whiny people. The people who post about how tired they are or how terrible life is. The people who criticize our country or different cultures. The people who make fun of people.

Sure, I "hide" them. But the whole idea of this incredibly powerful tool being used to spread negative stuff is totally aggravating.

As a result, I'm complaining about it. Right now. In my own forum. Because energy is contagious. Whether it's positive or negative.

I'm tempted to delete this. Because if you know this blog, you know it's a not place for rants. But for discovery's sake, I think there is a valid question here.

What energy is rubbing off on you?


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Question of the Day #1,038

This question is brought to you by GB:

Would you rather eat a pound of mashed potatoes or a pound of macaroni and cheese?


Monday, August 29, 2011

Question of the Day #1,037

"This song reminds me of Mansfield," I said.

"I don't really know the lyrics," H said.

"It's called 'Last Friday Night.' Basically, she wakes up to tons of evidence that some crazy stuff happened. She's not quite sure what it was, but she's pretty sure it 'ruled.'"

"Ruled. I want to bring that word back."

"That's a good word."

What word would you like to bring back?


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Question of the Day #1,035

A hedgehog, an octopus and a fox get in fight. Who wins? Why?


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Question of the Day #1,034

What are some things you do to prepare for a natural disaster?


Friday, August 26, 2011

Question of the Day #1,033

Hurricane Irene.

I don't like the looks of her.

While I watch from the safety of the west coast, I'm a little nervous for my east coast friends and family. (Not to mention the economic impact a storm like this will have on the country when we really can't afford it.)

What does Irene have you thinking about?


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Question of the Day #1,032

I eat a banana every morning. This morning, all the bananas in my fruit bowl are still slightly green. I bit into one. It was tart and the consistency was off. Kind of stringy or something.

Just not good.

What was the last not good thing you ate?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Question of the Day #1,031

The marine layer has ventured back into my bay. Kids are going back to school. My friend, K, posted this on Facebook,"I want to grab Summer by the leg and beg her to stay!"

I feel the same way. Like she's slipping away and there's nothing I can do to stop it. Sad, sad, sad.

How do you feel about Summer winding down?


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Question of the Day #1,030

My word for the day is "rushed." (And I'm not liking it.)

What's yours?


Monday, August 22, 2011

Question of the Day #1,029

My friend B calls anything warm and comfy "fozy." That's a combination of "fuzzy" and "cozy."

I've been using that word for years - every since I heard her use it for the first time.

What words have you or someone you know made up? And have they stuck?


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Question of the Day #1,028

Last night, at a roofdeck party in Venice, a long haired man with a ZZ Top beard sidled up to me.

"Pelo rizado," he half spoke, half groaned.

"Excuse me?" I said.

"Your hair. It's smiley."

"Smiley, huh? That's funny. My friend has the same hair and her niece calls it 'spicy,'" I said.

He grinned.

"It's smiley because it's spicy."

He looked up at the sky then turned back to me.

"You are so beautiful."

"Thank you."

"This night is so beautiful." He tossed his hand up at the sky. "Look at this amazing night. God made this amazing night."

He took a long sip from his cup and leaned in so close that I leaned back.

"How does God party?" he asked.

Thoughts, anyone?


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Question of the Day #1,027

I just read a poll that said 40% of Americans believe animals have a sixth sense. Some say cats can predict storms and dogs know when earthquakes are coming. Both are reported to have the ability to sense spirits.

What do you think? Have you ever witnessed an animal's sixth sense in action?


Friday, August 19, 2011

Question of the Day #1,026

Last night I went to a party at a speakeasy. The password was "Honey Badger."

"What kind of password is 'Honey Badger'?" TY asked.

"Well, if you were having a party in a speakeasy, what would your password be?" I asked.

"I don't know." He rolled his eyes. "What would yours be?"

"Some reference to Mansfield, probably. 'In other words,' or 'Higman' or 'Black Mamba.' Something like that."

What would your speakeasy password be?


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Question of the Day #1,025

I've been seeing lots of Facebook posts about Summer concerts. I haven't attended any this Summer, but I do remember the thrill of enjoying an outdoor theatre and a live band under the stars.

Have you been to any concerts this Summer? If so, describe them. Make us jealous. ;)


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Question of the Day #1,024

Last night, after picking up my car at the dealer, I stopped in at the grocery store.

As the bagger loaded my veggies into paper bags, he said, "Next month these will cost 10 cents each."

"Really?" I asked.


"That's great," I said.

The bagger cocked an eyebrow at me.

"I usually use the reusable bags. But since I didn't plan on coming here tonight, I don't have them with me."

"Uh huh."

"I think charging people for bags could be good incentive for people to reuse."

"Or good incentive for them to get mad."

I thought about that for a second.

"I'd say 'screw 'em' but that won't make it any easier for you, will it?"

He smiled at me and shook his head.

How do you feel about being charged for bags?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Question of the Day #1,023

For years, when it needs service, I've been taking my car to the dealership where I bought it.

It is NOT convenient to take it there. I live 40 minutes away without traffic. Which usually means I have to wait around while the work is being done. But while I wait around, I can sip free Diet Coke, enjoy a banana, write a Question of the Day and feel confident that Tony, the guy who has been managing my car's service since I drove it off the lot, is going to take care of everything.

When a taillight goes out, I bring the car in and Tony has it repaired within minutes. When I worry about a weird sound coming from the soft top, Tony explains why it might be happening. When I ask not so bright questions, he doesn't laugh at me. He answers me with a smile.

I drive all the way to the other side of LA because this dealership offers extraordinary customer service.

What business provides service so extraordinary that you will overlook inconveniences?


Monday, August 15, 2011

Question of the Day #1,022

I'm iPhone illiterate. I've been working on this post for 15 minutes.

Do you speak iPhone?


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Question of the Day #1,021

My aunt and I just set up her new blog. She recently began writing and decided she's all set to share her experiences and view point with the world.

Pretty cool, right?

Who have you been thrilled to witness stepping out of their comfort zone?


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Question of the Day #1,020

"What's a good question?" LD asked her six and a half year old.

"For what?" she asked.

"We need a good question. What do you want to know today?"

S looked up at the ceiling, deep in thought.

"What are we going to do today?" she asked.

"That's a good question," I said.

"Mom, can we go to Chuck E Cheese today?"

"Oh no," I said.

What will you do today?


Friday, August 12, 2011

Question of the Day #1,019

I love hydrangeas. Big pink puffballs. What's not to love?

Puffballs seem to be a theme with me, because if I had to choose a favorite summertime flower, I'd choose peonies.

What's your favorite summertime bloom?


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Question of the Day #1,018

If you could get rich by doing something you love, what would that thing be?


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Question of the Day #1,017

The last plane I flew on was electric green bearing the 30%-40% less emissions logo above.

I was surprised and pleased to see that airlines are making efforts to go "greener."

What new "green" have you seen?


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Question of the Day #1,016

Last weekend I went plum crazy!

My father has lots of fruit trees on his property. I fell in love with the plum tree above. The sweet juicy fruit explodes when you bite it into and the skin pops with tang.

They're amazing.

I ate about six of them each day I was there. Then I smuggled a bag back to LA.

What fruit are you crushing on?


Monday, August 8, 2011

Question of the Day #1,015

If you had to perform in a circus, what would you do?

I think I'd give the flying trapeze a whirl. Or a twirl. A flip?


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Question of the Day #1,014

A yellow jacket bit my foot while I was at my father's house. It burned at first and slowly spread into a quarter size red itch blotch. Annoying as it is, I realized that the bite was one of the only ones I've experienced this Summer.

(Have I mentioned that one of the reasons I love LA so much is because it pretty darn near mosquito free?)

So, instead of complaining about the itchiness, I'm going to rejoice in the fact that I'm enjoying a bite-free Summer.

What is (or isn't) biting you?


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Question of the Day #1,013

T threw out her back. I asked if I could get her a snack and she said, "No thank you. I don't need to eat anymore. I had a "feeling sorry for myself" bowl of ice cream late last night."

What's your go-to "feeling sorry for myself" snack?


Friday, August 5, 2011

Question of the Day #1,012

Every year, my father has a wine tasting BBQ in Sonoma. Every year, he asks me to make sausage and peppers. This year 120 guests are attending.

I've been crying, runny nosed, chopping onions for 30 minutes. Three giant baking pans of onions and peppers later, I'm ready to start on the sausages.

Anything for a good party, right?

What dish do people most often request you make?


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Question of the Day #1,1011

Expense reports. Timesheets. Travel plans.

This morning I'm focusing on the annoying parts of my job.

What parts of your job annoy you?


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Question of the Day #1,010

This question has been borrowed shamelessly from my high school friend, T:

What was the first album you ever bought with your own money?

Mine was a cassette of Men at Work: Business as Usual. I played it on my little red Casio tape player and memorized every word.

What was the first album you ever bought?

PS - Thanks T!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Question of the Day #1,009

After an hour and a half car ride to the airport, a two hour delay plus a one hour flight, topped with a three hour delay and a three hour flight, I finally entered my hotel suite somewhere around 1:15 AM.

Then I put the two diet cokes I had purchased for the morning in the freezer.

What kooky mistake have you made when you were too tired to think?


Monday, August 1, 2011

Question of the Day #1,008

My brother, N, is making pancakes. He's the family pancake expert. Since he usually makes them around Christmas, today feels a little like a holiday.

We even have fresh maple syrup from the neighbor's sugar shack.

What family breakfast says "holiday" to you?


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Question of the Day #1,007

Me: "Good morning."

My Six Year Old Niece: "Is there something wrong with you that makes you wake up so late?"

What question has a kid asked you that has really made you think?


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Question of the Day #1,006

"This is Aunt Suzie's room." I opened my eyes and saw my brother standing in the doorway holding my two year old niece.

"Hi schnookie," I said. I outstretched my arms.

Her daddy put her on the floor and she ran over to my bed.

"Wanna come up?" I asked.

"Yeah," she said.

I pulled her up into the bed.

"Tell Aunt Suzie what you want for breakfast," her Daddy said.

"Bacon and eggs," she said.

"Who's gonna make them for you?" Daddy asked.

She smiled at me, all rosy cheeked and cuddly in her pink jammies.

"Okay, I'm getting up," I said.

Who can you not say "no" to?


Friday, July 29, 2011

Question of the Day #1,005

If you had the opportunity to tell off one person, who would you choose?

PS - I know Kelly's going to ask about me, so I will state that I don't feel like there's anyone I should have told off who I haven't already.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Question of the Day #1,004

Do you ever feel like you're starring in a movie about your own life?

I ask because some of my writer friends do feel that way. Almost Truman Show-like. Like cameras are around all the time.

Do you ever feel like that?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Question of the Day #1,003

After digging up all our childhood issues yesterday, I think we could use a pick-us-up! Let's name five things we like about ourselves. I like:

1. My hair
2. My voice
3. My brain
4. That people like me
5. That I'm not afraid of much

What five things do you like about yourself?


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Question of the Day #1,002

Last night, during my critique group meeting, G mentioned that she's terrified of public speaking.

"What's the fear behind that?" I asked.

"That people will think I'm stupid," she replied.

"But you're very smart. You know that," S said.

"I think it has to do with your role in your family growing up. When I was a kid, my brother was the smart one. He and my parents would have these intense conversations over dinner in which they'd discuss world issues or classic literature and I'd sit there like 'duh'." G stuck her tongue out of the side of her mouth.

"So because you didn't feel smart then, you question your intelligence now?" I asked.

"Exactly," she said.

What childhood feelings do you still carry as an adult?


Monday, July 25, 2011

Question of the Day #1,001

You may recall last Summer when I complained, complained and complained about how cold and cloudy it was.

This Summer is the total opposite. Gorgeous. Sunny. Splended!

How does this Summer compare to your last Summer?


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Question of the Day #1,000

1,000 days ago we started the longest running game of Questions. Since that first post on November 6, 2008, my life has changed. A lot. Here are some lessons I’ve learned over the span of the game:

• Sometimes you have to go through the same experience more than once to actually learn the lesson
Laughter heals
• The best kind of friend is so comforting that you don’t even have to worry about them when they’re there
• If your money doesn’t serve a higher purpose, you will lose it
• Some people will never hear your “no”
• Having that place to go is essential. So essential that when it’s gone, everyone around you can become lost
• The kindness and generosity of one friend can save your life
• Children are life-changing. Even when they’re not yours
• The ultimate goal is to love and be loved
• Walking provides a channel
• Late night dance parties can lift your mood for days
• Sometimes you have to smash wide open to put yourself back together
• Ego is hard to fight
• No one should ever go over 600 days without Sunday Night Dinners
Prayer is the most powerful form of communication
• Everyone has an arrogance of something
• “Good enough” is never good enough
• People want to help
• Ask for what you want. You deserve it. You really do

What lessons have you learned over the last 1,000 days?

PS - Thank you for playing Questions!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Question of the Day #999

On the way home from work today, I caught a re-run of American Top 40. This week in 1979 was airing and Casey Kasem's voice brought me back to being a kid and listening to the show as we drove to my grandparents' house.

On those Sunday drives, we either listened to the American Top 40 Countdown or ABBA Gold.

Let me tell you, my mom, stepfather, sister and I do a mean four part harmony on "Take a Chance on Me."

What were family car rides like when you were a kid?


Friday, July 22, 2011

Question of the Day #998

Yesterday, while driving back from a meeting, I caught a radio show about Numerology. I have visited a psychic (or 10) in my time. I remember a period when I checked my horoscope everyday. But I've never looked into numerology.

Apparently, in order to determine your Life Path number, you add up your date of birth until you get to one digit. For example, here's mine:

0 + 4 + 3 + 0 + 1 + 9 + 7 + 2 = 26

2 + 6 = 8

Last night, I discovered I have an 8 Life Path number. I looked it up and found that the description is pretty darn fitting.

Wanna try it? Just for fun?

If so, click here.

What's your Life Path number and does the description fit you?


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Question of the Day #997

How do you feel about a Smurfs movie?


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Question of the Day #996

We're a few questions away from 1,000! Crazy, huh?

Any suggestions on how to commemorate playing Questions for 1,000 straight days? Should I do something different that day? Or should it be like just any other day?

I'm not even sure how I could make it different. What do you guys think?


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Question of the Day #995

I have a super huge deadine to meet. This morning, I got up before the sun did and got to work. I'm still in my PJ's, stomach rumbling and slightly dizzy. But I'm pretty sure after one more quick read-through I can send in the materials.

And then eat!

Are you under any deadlines?


Monday, July 18, 2011

Question of the Day #994

I just received a text from a friend wondering if she left her sunglasses at my house over the weekend. She is not the only person who has left a pair behind. And I'm constantly losing mine too.

What item do you often misplace?


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Question of the Day #993

The following questions are brought to you from Wednesday night's live game of Questions:

1. Would you rather be Mick Jagger or Johnny Depp?
2. Is the glass half empty or half full?
3. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
4. Would you rather have fortune or fame?
5. If you had The Dolorian, where would you go?


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Question of the Day #992

It worked! The brilliant Carmageddon scare tactics created by Los Angeles officials has emptied the roads.

Yesterday, I drove to and from Orange County faster than I ever have. Today, the PCH is wide open. And according to all my Facebook friends, the entire freeway system is wide open.

Amazing that millions of people heeded the warnings and either left town or hunkered down in their neighborhoods. Absolutely brilliant.

I can't remember a city-organized plan ever working so well. Can you?


Friday, July 15, 2011

Question of the Day #991

Carmageddon. Sounds ominous, right?

This weekend, a portion of the 405 freeway is going to shut down for 53 hours. This may sound uneventful to a non-Angelino, but if you live in Los Angeles, the idea of closing a major artery in the already clogged heart of the city is akin to a complete shut down of the entire system.

On any given day, 500,000 vehicles pass through that section of freeway. So those 500,000 drivers will be displaced, traveling alternate roads and tilting an already fragile infrastructure into the crazy zone.

So, Los Angeles, the city of hypernews and gossip, did what it does best and created a genius marketing plan around the event. City officials have urged drivers to stay off the road. They asked people to stay in their neighborhoods for the weekend. People are planning block parties. Bars are scheduling pub crawls and offering $5 Car Bombs and Cadillac Margaritas. Celebrities are tweeting, "Stay off the roads!"

It just may turn out that all that manufactured fear will create less LA traffic than we'd experience any given weekend.

What marketing campaign strikes you as genius?


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Question of the Day #990

If you had to pick one person to be stranded on an island with, who would you choose?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Question of the Day #989

If you could visit the past or the future, which would you choose and where would you go?


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Question of the Day #988

Yesterday, while driving through Beverly Hills, C and I passed a house which had a giant Statue of Liberty on the front lawn.

I'm a big fan of freedom, but I'm not sure I'd choose to plant Lady Liberty on my lawn.

But if you had to put a statue in your front yard, what kind of statue would it be?


Monday, July 11, 2011

Question of the Day #987

If you could somehow jump into a book and actually become part of the story and live it for yourself, which book would you choose?


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Question of the Day #986

Quote of the night: "That's where I draw the line!"

Where do you draw the line?


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Question of the Day #985

When I stayed up last night for porch talk with H and TY, I probably should have remembered that east coast people wake up ridiculously early when they visit the west coast.

Since one of my favorite Jersey Girls is visiting, and she woke up during the 6:00AM hour, I'm feeling a little wonky this morning.

Hopefully a beach walk will work it all out.

Regardless, the question is, what nuances are you reminded of when you have visitors?


Friday, July 8, 2011

Question of the Day #984

My father just gave me a lovely compliment regarding my confidence and persistence. The fact that he noticed made me feel good.

Who was the last person who complimented you? What was the compliment? How did it make you feel?


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Question of the Day #983

One of the benefits of living with a guy is enjoying his subscription to Men's Health. (When they write about women's wants and needs and how we think, they're actually right on. So much so that I wonder if any men actually read Men's Health. But that's a whole other post.)

According to Men's Health, in a 2009 study from Germany, researchers asked people how they felt about their age. Those who were happy with their age lived an average of two years longer than people were bothered by it.

Apparently, acceptance of aging, rather than denial of it, is related to healthy behaviors.

I feel, smarter, better and healthier every year. How do you feel about your age?


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Question of the Day #982

Today has been cRaZy. It's after 5:00PM and I am only now writing a question. I really don't know what happened. I worked, cleaned the house in preparation for a visit from a Jersey Girl and then I went food shopping so she doesn't starve.

So maybe it's not so much what I accomplished but what I didn't accomplish. For example, I forgot to write a question. I also forgot to invoice a client and I forgot to pay an important invoice.

Then I just realized the craziest thing. I forgot to eat. I never forget to eat!

Clearly, I'm having a scatterbrained day. What kind of day are you having?