Thursday, June 30, 2011

Question of the Day #976

My neighbor's windows are covered with architectural plans. At night, only tiny edges of light glow from inside.

Sometimes I wonder if there are bodies in there.

At Mansfield, Creepy Bob lived next door. He used to invite the girls over for free headshots, claiming he was a photographer.

We later learned he was a registered sex offender.

Then there was Syd, across the street. Her windows were covered with aluminum foil. We'd sit on the porch and watch while men driving fancy cars parked and entered her house. One would stay about an hour then leave. Ten minutes later, another guy would pull up.

Have you ever had any shady neighbors?


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Question of the Day #975

Has there ever been a product you were crazy about that was discontinued? If so, what was it?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Question of the Day #974

B's Facebook status update reads: "What tragedy to come home from vacation and find your refrigerator door open."

I've been surprised a couple times after a trip. There was the time M & A had been assigned to water all the flowers by the pool and I came home to shriveled, droopy plants. And there was the time I came home and S had taken over my room. Moved in. Totally.

I gave her about 43 seconds to get out.

And I do recall, after a cross country drive, coming home to a fabulous surprise welcome home party.

What surprise have you gotten when you arrived home from vacation?


Monday, June 27, 2011

Question of the Day #973

Yesterday, the Mansfielders and I played round after round of Marry, Fling, Kill.

To play, you choose one of the following people to marry, have a fling with or kill. For example, of Rhianna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, the guys decided they would kill Katy Perry, have a fling with Rhianna and marry Lady Gaga. Get it?

But my favorites came via text, as M & K on their way home, were still playing. This time with famous trios:

1. Rachel
2. Monica
3. Phoebe


1. Jerry
2. George
3. Kramer

I couldn't get past Jerry George and Kramer. Can you imagine marrying one of them?

Ohhh. Too funny. Anyway, out of those famous trios, who would you marry, have a fling with or kill?


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Question of the Day #972

My friend D's birthday was yesterday. D has always been a fan of my meatballs, so I cooked some up, along with some sausage and peppers and packaged them up like a birthday present.

Around midnight, I received the picture above.

What big hit gift have you given?


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Question of the Day #971

I don't have a yard, so I potted some herbs, cherry tomatoes and gerber daisies. Summer is not really here yet, so thus far, I've only had the opportunity to pop a couple tomatoes in my mouth.

But my mom's garden in Vermont is exploding in blooms. And Green Girl is Wisconsin has grown perfect pink peonies. My sister in law posted gorgeous pictures of her garden too.

What's blooming in your world?


Friday, June 24, 2011

Question of the Day #970

Maybe I'm a sap, but I could have cried with relief when I got home last night. Traveling is good, but coming home is one of the best parts for me.

After a long trip, what is coming home like for you?


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Question of the Day #969

Nashville is full of live music. I got off the plane and heard a guy singing and playing guitar in the airport bar. Yesterday afternoon, downtown, a band or a singer with a guitar played in every bar or restaurant I popped my head into. In the middle of the day on a Wednesday.

It's awesome! Like the whole city is pumping music.

What was special about the last city you visited?


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Question of the Day #968

My friend M posted this Facebook status this morning:

"Wondering how much money you need to just disappear and start over. Just something that I think about from time to time."

How much money do you think it would take? And do you ever think about it?


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Question of the Day #967

My coworker, T, and I are going to facilitate a customer service training today. She usually starts the presentation, then I join in and we sort of ping pong off each other. We try to keep the participants laughing and it's not that hard because T is really sharp and funny.

We got thrown together, but it turns out, we're an awesome team. Working with her makes work fun.

Who do you enjoy working with?


Monday, June 20, 2011

Question of the Day #966

My question of the day is "early."

What's yours?


Okay. I'm back. I orginally posted that question above at 3:41 AM before heading to the airport. I was so tired that it doesn't make sense. What I meant to write was, "My word of the day is 'early'. What's yours?"

Aye aye aye.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Question of the Day #965

"Look at her. She's gorgeous," TY said.

I twisted around and checked out the blonde with the perfect body behind me. I smiled awkwardly at the man next to me.

"Sorry," I said to the man. "It's all part of being a good wing girl."

"Oh, she's your wooden duck?" He asked TY.

TY and I laughed.

"Yep," TY said.

"I guess I am," I replied.

"I had a wooden duck for 20 years," the man said. "But just three weeks ago, everything flipped."

"Seriously?" I asked.

He showed us a picture of him with a pretty woman on his camera phone. His whole face smiled.

"So what happened?" I asked.

"I don't know. One night, things just flipped and the next day we didn't know what to do about it. So I said, 'let's go on a date.' We did and we had a great time and we've been crazy about each other ever since."

"Wow. After 20 years, huh?" TY asked.

"So does that mean one day things will just flip for us and we'll fall madly in love?" I asked TY.

"Maybe," he said just as I said, "No way."

Have you ever known buddies who fell in love?


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Question of the Day #964

I just spilled water on my nightstand. That forced me to pick everything up and analyze it. There's an alarm clock, a picture of me and my mom, a picture of me, my mom and my stepfather, a picture of my cutie niece, a little wooden pig given to me by Lady A for luck, Granny's rosary, two pieces of iron, for strength, given by my friend, Nancy and, of course, earplugs.

What's on your nightstand and what does it say about you?


Friday, June 17, 2011

Question of the Day #963

My friend, M, is a massage therapist. Last weekend I complained about constant pain in my shoulder. As she began to rub it, my knees buckled.

"You need to stand with your shoulders back. Look at you, you're slouching," she said.

"I am?" I'd never thought of myself as a sloucher.

"You're holding everything in here. Did you know that the left side of your body represents your father and the right side represents your mother?"

"What?" I asked.

"The stress you hold for your parents physically manifests itself in your body. Father on the left, mother on the right."

"Seriously?" I asked.

"Seriously," she said. Then she hit another pressure point and I yelped.

We took a quick poll among the people around us and her theory seemed to hold up.

Does that theory stand true for you?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Question of the Day #962

Kristen, Question of the Day Regular, emailed me, "I think you should follow yesterday's question by asking what habit people are glad they have."

What an excellent suggestion!

I'm glad I go for walks. A daily walk gives me time to plan, plot, pray, focus on what I'm grateful for and figure out where I'm going.

Definitely my best habit.

What habit are you thankful for?


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Question of the Day #961

I can't sleep again, so I got up to do some work. After drafting a document, I turned around to my bed, saw it buried under paperwork and decided not to get in it. Instead, I walked to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. I looked at the food in it, and thought, "Thank god I am not a night eater."

Being awake in the middle of the night is hard enough to work through or pray through. Eating through it would be really bad.

What habit are you thankful you don't have?


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Question of the Day #960

I had trouble sleeping last night, and not so smartly, turned to the television. While scanning the channels, I came across a show called Freaky Eaters.

The episode featured a guy who was addicted to eating raw meat. His worried brother arranged for him to meet a therapist and doctor.

Now, I love a good carpacccio or steak tartar every once in awhile, but once he started devouring chunks of the Manager's Special from the supermarket, I had to turn the channel.

A while later, I skipped past TLC again to catch a kid who was addicted to eating glass. As he bit into champagne glasses and chewed, I got a little disgusted.

Not so much at the kid with the issue, but at TLC for exploiting these people and turning their deep emotional death wishes into a freak show.

What freak show goes too far for you?


Monday, June 13, 2011

Question of the Day #959

I'd like to thank O. and J. for getting this ridiculous song stuck in my head.

What song can you not get away from?


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Question of the Day #958

My friend, M, is fixing my front door. He has also fixed my heat lamp, the toilet, and the icemaker.

M is my go to guy when it comes to home repairs.

Who is your handyman?


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Question of the Day #957

Shortly after breakfast, I got a text from Little J. "I'm randomly having a mimosa party right now, should you come over?"

Bloggers, I ask, why wouldn't you?


Friday, June 10, 2011

Question of the Day #956

Who's your all time favorite cartoon character?


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Question of the Day #955

On a recent business trip, I spotted the latest Sarah Dessen book in an airport bookstore. I read the first half eastbound and the second half westbound.

I've read every one of her novels. Her subtle tone and well drawn characters suck me in every time.

In What Happened to Goodbye, Mclean moves from town to town with her father, creating a new identity in each spot. Drama girl in one town, sporty girl in another. But in this latest "home," she inadvertently finds herself being herself. And when another move looms, she cracks open at the possibility of tearing out the tender roots she's planted.

For me, a Dessen novel doesn't always provide the most riveting storylines or surprise endings. It provides comfort. The inner dialogue makes me feel like I'm listening to a good friend. And the subtle sense of community never fails to develop.

Good stuff.

So, now that I finished that novel, I need a new pick. Can you help me out? What are you reading this Summer?


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Question of the Day #954

Above Hollywood, trails carve up the hills in a park called Runyon Canyon. When we lived at Mansfield, a lot of the roommates would hike up there.

Jeannie began hiking it years ago. She found a path less traveled. One that where you start, you can't see the top. And every time you summit, you think it's the end, but then you see there's another peak.

She began to see that trail as a metaphor for life. And as she walked it every day, she'd use that time to pray. And whatever she was wrestling with that day, when she got to the top, always felt a little brighter.

So she made what she called a Prayer Box and put it at the top of the hills. She left paper and pens there with instructions to take a prayer and leave a prayer. So that people could express a need and then pray it forward by thinking good thoughts for someone else.

Unfortunately, that first prayer box was destroyed. So she made another, stronger box. That too was destroyed. The third realized a similar fate. Then over Memorial Day weekend, she and some friends hauled concrete and other heavy materials up the steep hills and installed prayer box 4.0.

Yesterday, M, R and I hiked up to see it. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath, so I was amazed that people carried such heavy tools up those hills. All that dedication towards creating good energy was inspiring.

It's not hard. I pulled a prayer out and I added it to my prayers last night and this morning. Just like that, I'm sending a stranger positive energy.

If everybody who hikes up that trail participates, imagine all the good energy bouncing around as a result.

What creative methods of "paying it forward" have you encountered?


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Question of the Day #953

On Saturday night, I attended a launch party for my friend Freddy's new reality show, Hollywood Hunter. Since he was a child, Freddy has hunted all over the world. It's his passion.

But since he moved to Hollywood to be with his wife, Jeannie, he has encountered awkward silences and a lack of acceptance for his hunting. So, he and Jeannie created this show to inform people about the different aspects of hunting.

"My father always says, 'Chase your passion, not your pension,'" Freddy said.

I get that. So, my friends and I cheered Freddy on by posing for the photo above.

What good advice did your father give you?


Monday, June 6, 2011

Question of the Day #952

The family I cook for plays "Peaks and Pits" and dinner. Each family member shares the best part and the worst part of their day.

The peak of my weekend was that I got to see some of my all time favorite roommates and friends. I enjoyed delicious dinner and porch talk with J and C on Friday night. Then a reality show launch party with Mansfielders on Saturday night followed by a rollicking night of karaoke and mischief.

The pit is that as a result of that good time I am seriously tired today.

What about you? What are your weekend's peaks and pits?


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Question of the Day #951

Someone recently described our current work culture as "The Gig Economy." I hadn't heard the term before but it made a lot of sense to me.

The majority of my career has been based on contract jobs. I used to write for teen magazines, like Seventeen and All About You and at the time, selling a big story would pay for three or four months of life's expenses. Now, I may spend six months developing a training curriculum for one company and then move on to write and facilitate for another company.

I am very much a part of "The Gig Economy." I'll never get a pension, benefits or life insurance through the companies I work for. In return, I don't have to battle in LA freeway warfare and I get to work in my jammies.

What kind of work do you do? Do you bounce from gig to gig like me?


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Question of the Day #950

It's pretty chilly here. I like it hot, so I'm aware that I probably shouldn't live on the westside of LA. But I am where I am. In a sweatshirt, of course.

What's the weather like where you are? Has Summer arrived?

Go ahead, make me jealous. ;)


Friday, June 3, 2011

Question of the Day #949

My friend, K, posted this quote on Facebook yesterday, "I praise myself for big and little things. I am a wonderful being. I used to scold and criticize myself because I believed it would help me improve my life, yet criticism has not improved me over the years." - Louise L. Hay

I'll admit, I sometimes call myself names. Or I catch myself creating negative inner dialogue. Asking myself how I could have been so stupid or punishing myself by thinking over and over what I should have done.

When I catch myself, I stop. I know negative inner dialogue does nothing but reinforce negative beliefs and behaviors.

But the idea of praising myself, well, this is new. And I think I like it! Maybe I'll close out a day's work by saying, "Suzanne, that training you worked on today is great. You are AWESOME!" Why not, when I look in the mirror, think, "Wow! I look good!" instead of something negative like my hair looks too frizzy or my butt looks big in those jeans? Or what about giving myself props when I do something nice for someone else? How about telling myself, "That was a nice thing to do. Good job!"

I'm going to try it. Who wants to join me in praising yourself?


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Question of the Day #948

If you could eliminate one part of your job, what would it be?


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Question of the Day #947

I've been thinking about maybe starting to look for a new agent. (How non-commital is that sentence?) So I mentioned that to a friend of mine who had told me her agent is into edgy YA and isn't afraid of racy storylines.

She encouraged me to contact her agent. I responded with something like, "Well, I'm not really sure if I want to start agent shopping yet, I was just wondering about your agent..."

She then emailed her agent to let her know that I'd be contacting her and blind cc'd me.

When have you gotten an unexpected and well-deserved kick in the pants? And who gave it to you?