Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nothing Profound to Say

Don't really have anything to say. I could philosophize how my life would be different if I were born a Southern belle: how I'd wear three inch heels to navigate two miles over a brick-paved, hilly campus, always smiling with grace even though I'd want to scream; or how I'd paint my face with ten layers of liquid foundation to fill every single pour on my face so it could melt off in the 99+ degree heat and humidity. Nope, not going there...

I will remind you lucky air travelers to read my tips for maximizing your time in the airport before heading out to the terminal.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Simpsonize, Don't Super Size

Coinciding with the release of "The Simpson Movie," Burger King (yes, led by the Freaky King) and the Simpsons have teamed up to let you, yes YOU, be part of the hype. Head on over to simpsonizeme.com and become your own Simpson character. I think yellow looks good on me.

Philippines’ Got Talent!

Have you seen this video? It gave me a good laugh. It's a clip of the inmates at the Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Cebu, Philippines performing Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Nice to see their being productive during their spare time. My office is always looking for cheap talent for our events, wonder if we can afford them? Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Got Snakes? Boy! I Miss Working in the Parks!

If you've been keeping up on Everglades National Park news lately, you'll know pythons are an issue. They aren't native to the park but growing in population. South Florida residents are apparently adopting python baby snakes as pets then releasing them into the Everglades when they grow too big.

I can picture it, a family of four going to the pet store, picking up a tan and brown snake, hugging it and saying, "oh, isn't he so cute? Mom, can't I take him home?" Little pythons grow into big pythons, don't people realize this? Do they think they can turn them into belts when they outgrow their aquarium?

Today, the New York Times ran an article about the discarded beasts, making me slightly homesick for the 'glades, slightly I emphasize - it's summer, which means mosquito season, all 47 species. Anyway...

Peter (the ex) emailed this photo of a python found in an employee dorm at Flamingo. Now, potential employees don't be getting nervous, the employee found the snake on the side of the road (that 38-mile stretch between the park's entrance and Flamingo) and decided it'd make a nice pet. (Flamingo is pretty isolated and can get lonely; I can see where a cold reptile can look like something warm to cuddle up to).

Well, the 10 foot-long python has been confiscated (its girth was 6 inches) by the National Park Service extraordinaries. If need be, they could have used force if it got unruly (a bullet to the snake's head because it's not native to the park) . Luckily (or unluckily) the snake cooperated. Not sure of its fate but from reading the New York Times article, I'm guessing he's already been dissected.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Got Harry Potter?

My friend Kathy's in town this weekend (see what else we did last night) and we were at the Tallahassee Barnes & Noble until 1:15 this morning getting our Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows books. This was the first time I've attended a Harry Potter bash and figured this would be the last one so may as well.

Muggles, self included, were giddy with magical excitement. I just can't believe all the people who came out dressed up. It does make sense that the young adults who were kids a decade ago grew up with the story and are totally entrenched in Harry. The books, movies and merchandise have influenced a generation. Plus, it's good seeing kids getting excited over a book.

The most excited person of the evening was a little boy who purchased the first book (he also happens to be the son of a B&N employee). As soon as he made his purchase, he told his mom, "Okay, let's get outta here."

Upon getting home, I immediately read the first two chapters and fell asleep. Although a bit sleepy now, must...read...more...Harry Potter...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Where in the World is Farris?

No, not Ferris Bueller but Farris Hassan, the young adult with an insatiable hunger to see the world and make it better. Remember a few years ago when he ended up in Iraq?

According to USA Today's On Deadline, Hassan recently called home to tell his mother he was on his way to Afghanistan with a group. I wonder if he traveled with Global Exchange, the group I traveled with? He should be home (South Florida) by now, can't wait to read his impressions and see his photos (I assume he'll post images). He has a pretty thorough plan outlining enriching Afghanistan's educational system and references Afghans4Tomorrow, the group I met with. Check out his site, read about his 2006 research project and be inspired. If only I were younger...

Avoidance Issues

Argh! I have avoidance writing issues - so much to write yet haven't written anything constructive lately. Suppose I can tell you I'm happy Dick won HOH on Big Brother 8 tonight, especially since Jen had nominated him for eviction. She is STILL annoying. Was sad to see Joe get evicted.

Eric is America's player - another twist in the game. He basically has various tasks to accomplished as directed by the American people. I'm sure he was chosen because he told producers when he auditioned for the gig he's seen every season of BB and studied. Perhaps a bad move. If you're not a Big Brother junkie like me, get caught up here:

Who should Dick put on the eviction block? Me thinks Amber for being such a cry baby; Jen for being a self-centered drama queen or Kail for referring to Dick as "Evil."

Anywho...enough about train wreck reality television...My friend Kathy will be visiting for the weekend. Should be fun. She's the one I visited the spiritualist camp with.

Oh! But the most exciting thing about this week is that I THINK I found an occasion to wear my tiara again - the office photo shoot...

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's Not a Stye in My Eye...

Have you ever lost a contact lens in your eye socket? I have and it happened again this morning. Every day I realize the risk of popping a round piece of plastic onto my eyeballs at 6:30 a.m. but I usually make out OK. For some reason, this morning was different and after popping in the left lens, it disappeared into the hallows of my head and just wouldn't come out. Last time this happened, it took about four days before it made itself out. How annoying!

And speaking of annoying, where have Corporate America's manners gone? As hard as I tried, it's no secret I'd been (notice, PAST tense) pursuing other opportunities in my career. In order to do this, I used vacation time, put miles on my car, stayed in hotels and ate. One potential employer asked me to do this TWICE. I followed up with thank you notes and more. The least an interviewer can do is send an acknowledgement when promised, even if it's "thanks, but no thanks!" I ended up invoicing one of the interviewers mileage for the second trip and received the check.

Everything happens for a reason, at least that's what I'm told. But, I have a feeling my career in tourism has peaked, which scares me because I don't know what else I can do. I took a chance at taking two steps back in order to advance down the road and it looks like that philosophy has failed.

For now, I'm staying put where I am. I've dropped my land line and Sarasota *sigh* cell number for a Tallahassee number. I've given up on my pursuit so I can figure out where my life is going and have resigned myself to liking it here (but I still miss the water). Guess it's time to get serious with writing the next great American novel...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

UPDATED: Nov. 29, 2009: FTC Disclosure Policy

This policy has been updated November 29, 2009

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bow to the Yard Sale Queen

So the "big" sale was today. Garage/yard sales put into perspective what your stuff is really worth. While I understand haggling is part of the game, I KNOW the value of some things and won't budge on them.

Case in point is my tiara. I didn't earn it by winning some pageant, but picked it up at a Tallahassee boutique after I first relocated here. With the exception of this afternoon, it's been worn twice and I wasn't ready to let it go for five bucks. I just need to find somewhere to wear it.

As for the sale, it began at 5:00 a.m. and was a typical hot and humid Florida July day. The "feels like" temperature felt like 103 degrees.

Items have been dropped off at Goodwill, I've showered to scrub off the day's slime and need to put away my few undiscovered treasures...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Stuff, Stuff and More Stuff

It's not because I thought I was relocating, but only because I want to downsize the amount of "stuff" I have. A co-worker and I having a yard sale tomorrow to hopefully unload these misfit treasures and make some cash for the trip to Italy this November.

I'm learning that yard sales/garage sales aren't just something you "do" here in the Deep South, it's an event. Hotdogs, brownies and cold beverages will be served, along with the goods. At one point there was talk of selling pies and BBQ chicken dinners - WHAT??? Up North when we Yankees held garage sales it was: dusting off the junk, pricing it, posting signs, placing an ad in the paper and that was it. We sold things we already HAD, we didn't make things (i.e.: food) to sell. That's just too much work and to me, defeats the purpose.

To say the least, tomorrow's going to be "interesting."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Gotta Camping Story? Tell Your Tale!

OK, I posted this over on my Tallahassee blog, but I'm reposting here...

I received info on this today and it's up my ally. Even though I'm going to enter (and win; I have a great story!), I'm still sharing this with my outdoor writing buddies. But hurry, submissions are due Aug. 31, 2007. Good luck!

Calling campers, wannabe campers, and writers with a sense of humor. Have a run-in with a raccoon? Forget your camp stove at home? Wake up to find your tent pitched in the middle of a trail and piss off a lot of hikers . . . wait, that happened to me.

To celebrate the publication of Let’s Get Primitive, Ten Speed Press is running a 500-word essay contest. Tell us your worst camping trauma. Share your backcountry disaster. Spill the beans and you could win a nifty 2-person Coleman tent, an unbreakable camp cocktail set (complete with shaker), and a copy of Let's Get Primitive: The Urban Girl’s Guide to Camping!

Essays will be judged on originality, humor, writing style, and degree of calamity by the Queen of Camping Mishap, me! (That would be Heather Menicucci)

No purchase (or chest-beating) is necessary, just email your very best camping disaster story of 500 words or less to camping@tenspeed.com between July 1 and August 31, 2007.

Visit www.tenspeed.com for more details and www.letsgetprimitive.com to read more about the book.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

'Tis the Season for Weddings

Summer's here, which means it's wedding season. I have one myself in August back in Buffalo. By "myself," I don't mean that I'm the one getting married, just that I'll be attending one....

anywho...the plane ticket is purchased but haven't received my invitation yet but have been told it's en route. I really can't WAIT to get on another plane, flying these days is so enjoyable.

Better yet, I have plenty of time to brush up on wedding etiquette, check out my latest article called,"Tips on How to Be a Rude Wedding Guest." Enjoy...

CBS's Big Brother 8: Can You Say Annoying?

OMG! Can this season of Big Brother be full of more annoying women??? I missed the premier last week but caught a bit over the weekend (I know, an exciting life) and am watching now. Here's who I find annoying on Big Brother Eight:

Jen, 23-year-old nanny from Beverly Hills: OK, the "Jenius" thing is annoying (she made a bunch of tight t-shirts and tank tops with Jen-sims). On Saturday's show (or was it Sunday?) the nanny was crying over her Big Brother photo! Blabbering something like there was a shadow on her eye making her look terrible. She's a pretty gal, get a grip! She thinks a bit too much of herself telling tales that Nick, 25-year-old, tried to kiss her. She's gotta go!

Amber, 27-year-old cocktail waitress from Las Vegas: I feel bad for the chick, she could be the first one voted out of the house, but tears don't seem to stop. She seems to cry over everything (although, she didn't cry over her Big Brother portrait). I think she needs to go for her own sanity.

Jessica, 21-year-old college student from Haysville, KS: Like, when she talks, like, I expect her to like, talk like this with her like, annoying voice befitting to Barbie. But although her voice is annoying, she actually seems intelligent. So, I don't find her annoying, just her voice.

Who I like on Big Brother Eight:
Joe, 23 year-old-receptionist from Chicago: He's a cross between Will and Jack from "Will & Grace." He's the adorable gay guy that every straight gal has. Plus, I think he likes to stir the pot to make things interesting.

Eric, 27-year-old talent manager assistant from New York: He's just plain fun like the guy next door. Like to see him win the show.

Dick, 44-year-old bartender from Los Angeles: The twist this year is that three house guests are arch-enemies of three other house guests. Dick happens to be the father of 20-year-old Daniele, whom he hasn't had a relationship with. Going in, he had strikes against him so he's my favorite underdog. He seems to mean well but not sure if this tattooed, pierced boy can get along with the rest of the house guests.

I haven't formed opinions of the other house guests but when I do, I'll share. So, America, what are your thoughts? If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the link to CBS.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Does This Make Me an Alcoholic?

During my visit to Hilton Head last month, I did a little wine tasting at the Island Winery. I brought back two bottles and one's been chilling since then. About two weeks ago I attempted to open the bottle and for the life of me, the darn cork didn't want to come out and I gave up.

Yesterday I attempted again and started picking away at the cork. I'm not sure what I Googled, but landed on the blog of the Amateur Gourmet. I quickly read through his posts (and didn't read the comments with other suggestions until I was sipping my glass of wine).

I grabbed a butter knife and hammer and proceeded to hammer the cork into the bottle, until the bottle lip broke a bit! Doh! The butter knife was wider than the bottle! I found a thinner knife, washed off the glass and proceeded with hammering the cork in. At this point, I felt it was a conspiracy between the wine bottle and me and I wasn't going to let an inanimate object win!

The cork eventually gave free and like the Amateur Gourmet's experience, a bit of wine splattered about. I filtered the wine through a paper towel and strainer, to make sure there wasn't any glass (didn't find any) and poured the strained rest into a gallon plastic pitcher.

This is just one reason why all wine should come in a box...

Did Anyone Get Lucky Yesterday? 07/07/07

Yesterday was supposed to be a lucky day for love and riches. Well, neither Mr. Right (or Mr. Wrong) nor the Publisher's Clearing House Prize Patrol came knocking on my door, but it was a good shopping day.

I found a $25 Gap gift card in my wallet I forgot I had and scored some good deals - a top for $1.97! Better yet, I was able to fit into a size 12 skirt, which I find VERY exciting (and I don't CARE if their sizes run big).

Also had $15 in freebie coupons to go grocery shopping with including one for a free packet of the new Spam Singles. The last and only time I had Spam (that I'm aware of) was at a business function two years ago. The hotel was going for the Speakeasy theme and served spam with mayonnaise and wine in coffee mugs. I was not impressed. Anyway...

Over at Barnes & Noble, Starbucks was giving away free samples of an orange (or tangerine) Frappuccino - I'm not a coffee fan but LOVE (and I know too much) Frappaccinos. It wasn't as bad as I thought. I also noticed they were selling presidential voodoo dolls, almost like these:

And, testing your geography, have you checked out to see what the New 7 Wonders of the World are??? Guess a good thing about the trip to Italy is I'll see the Roman Colosseum, one of the NEW 7 Wonders.

So back to my original question, did anyone get lucky yesterday?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Likin' the Lyon on Discovery Health

I suppose one of the good things about summer television programming is that shows either go into re-runs or crazy reality shows replace them. This gives me a chance to discover new shows. Channel surfing tonight, I stumbled upon Nathan Lyon's cooking show, A Lyon in the Kitchen on Discovery Health.

I have to admit, I usually can't watch most of the shows on Discovery Healthy because they usually air shows showing the gory details of plastic surgery or gastric bypass. But I digress...

Nathan Lyon shops locally, like roadside veggie stands or farmers markets and prepares organic meals. Watching him is refreshing. He's not over the top, seems down to earth and prepares meals in an easy to follow method. From what I've seen, recipes are prepared simply to maintain the flavor of the ingredients.

Although it's nearly 10 p.m., my mouth is watering watching the yummy dishes he's preparing - like a roast beet salad and pan-seared scallops. Does he have a cookbook yet???

A Lyon in the Kitchen airs at 9 and 10 p.m. on Thursdays on Discovery Health. Check him out!