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?