Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pssst! Pass it On! XOXO Gossip Girl

I write a pop culture column for the Cape Cod Times, so I am no innocent in writing about celebrities. While I'm no Perez Hilton, I have been known to make my snarky remarks about people in show business. It's part of my job. But, I have to say, I do try to be accurate, and not report untruths, or fan the flames of innuendo and rumor.

So, I have been really interested to follow the trail of a remark made by George Clooney during a Newsweek Magazine round table discussion (click on living near Britney Spears)with several Oscar winners and nominees.

I greatly enjoyed the videos, and it was fun to see the adorable Ellen Page seated between Daniel Day Lewis and George Clooney, clearly in awe of her new-found status as Oscar nominee.

The discussion took a comical turn when the stars began talking about dealing with the paparazzi in their everyday lives. Clooney was encouraged to tell a recent tale of his own, when he'd come home to a war-zone-like scene of helicopters, police cars and chaos. Clooney goes on to say that he grabbed a baseball bat, ran outside in his robe, fearing for his assistant's safety in the guest house, but after calling her discovered she wasn't there and safe and sound. In the end he discovered that he lives about 300 yards from Britney Spears and that was the night she'd refused to hand over her children to her ex, Kevin Federline.

At the end of his story, Clooney, always the jokester said, "So, now I have to move," in a deadpan delivery, but clearly smiling.

What has amazed me, is in the days following this statement is the headlines that keep ending up in my inbox. It really got me thinking how a. It seems few journalists and bloggers have a sense of humor, and b. Never underestimate the power of spin and the sullying of the truth.

I found the evolution of a false rumor just so fascinating! And that wasn't the only Clooney one this week. There was another one that started by Clooney saying he admired the humanitarian work Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell had been doing, and ended up with a headline of George Clooney To Hook Up With A Spice Girl. It all starts with one simple statement and then, like that old game of telephone we played as kids, (and National Enquirer cover stories) it morphs into something with perhaps a small grain of truth, but no longer has the original intent or meaning.

I get sucked in just like anyone else, but I've learned a valuable lesson this week about rumors and how they just take on a life of their own. I just wish I had a way of finding out if Angelina Jolie really IS pregnant with twins! Not for any other reason than I'm having kind of a slow week.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The High Cost of Beauty

I am a sucker for women's magazines, specifically the beauty tips within them. I'm always looking for a new way to improve skin tone and luster, get rid of cellulite, or do my make-up like a pro! (every magazines offers this promise, usually resulting in me looking like John Travolta in drag).

But, there is a downside to this however, there is a dark, even dangerous side to the beauty that no one talks about, and well, I'm here to warn you about the troubles I've seen.

This past week for instance, I read a tip in Cosmo about using an eyelash curler, something I use every day. They had a tip on how to get those eyelashes to really keep their upturned flair - they said you should heat the curler for a few seconds with your hairdryer - thereby turning it into a mini-curling iron, and it would make your eyelashes super-curled. Brilliant I thought! Why hadn't I thought of this?! So while doing my make-up a few days ago, I excitedly picked up my hair dryer, warmed the METAL curler for a few seconds, and then clamped it to my lashes. Well, what I didn't realize, and most people would, it that when you heat something metal it's going to get freaking hot, so I promptly scorched my eye lid. And, being the genius I am, I did it again, thinking somehow it had magically cooled in those fleeting seconds. Yes, there is a reason I am a writer and not cracking the code of cold fusion. I still think it's a viable idea, I just have to find the balance between skin-peeling heat and warm enough to work. Once the swelling abated my lashes did look super-cute though!

I have to admit to a history of stupid beauty choices, this episode is not completely unprecedented.

About five years ago I decided that daily summer shaving was a drag, and that waxing would be a great way to go. And, being the frugal gal I am, I thought, why spend big bucks at a salon when I could do it myself?

The leg portion of the show went pretty well, a little painful, but nothing unbearable. Where things took a really ugly turn was when I decided to do my underarms as well. I took the warm wax, and coated both underarms with the wooden spatula and waited for it to harden. As I tried to pull some of the now-cement-like wax from my pits I suddenly realized just how tender that area is. I didn't know what to do - there was no way out - the wax had to be removed, but ripping it off and tearing the hair out by its roots proved just too painful. So, after an hour of picking it off bit by bit, and putting a warm face cloth on it to soften the wax where I could, I was finally wax free. Thankfully I was home alone so this became my secret shame, well, until today.

You'd think I'd learn from doing these things, but I never seem to. I've used mayonnaise to condition my hair (only to find that even daily shampooings for a week won't cut that much oil) rubbed coffee grounds on my thighs for cellulite, and almost bought it slipping in the shower last summer after using a body scrub I bought at a discount store that contained not just sugar to scrub your skin, but oil to soften it, and in turn made my shower floor into a skating rink that no flying camel could save me from.

Luckily I mostly read entertainment magazines these days, and not so many beauty ones, so the tips are fewer and farther between. I think it's probably safer that way.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Don't Wanna Eat, Drink, Man or Woman

I came across this Web site that had a quiz about how likely you are to eat your friends in the event of being stuck in a blizzard, and of course had to go take the test.

According to the quiz, I am 17% likely to eat my friends in the event of a blizzard. Really? I'm amazed that I am even that likely since I can't even eat veal.
I did ask a couple of friends what they thought about this topic and got some interesting feedback. My friend Lou said she'd have no problem eating someone, she joked that she carries a spit in her car - just in case. I sure hope I never twist my ankle when we're out walking.
My friend Mary said I was welcome to roast her if we were ever stranded on a mountain during a blizzard, but to make really sure she was actually dead first.
This did get me thinking about some of the weirdest things I have eaten, or would be willing to eat. I'm nothing compared to my daughter - the most adventurous eater ever, but I managed to come up with a few things.

Chocolate covered bees - I ate these when I was a kid. They were crunchy and pretty bug-y. I vowed to never eat them again.
Venison - I didn't know until I had eaten an entire bowl of this stew that it possibly contained Bambi or his mother.
Kimchi - my daughter is Korean, and we almost always have a jar of this spicy pickled cabbage Korean staple in the fridge. A couple of years ago my brother brought us one the the hottest varieties I'd tasted - ever. I thought my mouth would never stop burning. Or that the smell would go away.
All right, I have to admit that my adventures in eating are tame at best. I am a total loser in the eating wild things area. I would never survive "Fear Factor" even though the outcome of being a contestant can be very positive.
So I will continue on with my non-friend, non-bug eating ways, and fill myself with lovely pastas and cheese, and any bugs that I consume will be completely by accident. As for the friends? I think I'd rather starve.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stand By Me

I seem to have food on the brain, because after writing two days ago about eating your friends, here I am writing yet again about my eating habits.
This is because I realized something the other day that I hadn't really thought about before. When I'm alone I eat an average of two meals a day standing up. I don't know why, it's not like I don't own chairs, it's just...easier somehow. I take a bite, move some papers around to make me feel like I'm organizing. Take another bite and wash a pan in the sink. Before I know it I've eaten my lunch, and not sat down for a second of it. Of course none of this seems nearly as fun as the tapas scene to your right. Those folks look they're having a blast, there's not a pot-washer in the bunch.

It seems to totally be a single thing. When my kids are around I usually sit, but I did notice that my daughter was exhibiting a lot of, "I learned it by watching you!" behavior while she was home, often eating breakfast and lunch standing in the kitchen. And of course, she blames me.

It seems to be mostly an issue amongst the eat-to-survive types like me. As far as breakfast and lunch go it's an act of necessity and an effort to stop my stomach from growling at me. Dinner is another thing. I spend some time making something yummy, and do actually sit down and eat, sometimes in the company of something I've DVRd, like "The Daily Show," or an old episode of "Gilmore Girls" It's not dinner at the Ritz, but it's not a pan over the sink either. Though in the interest of full-disclosure I've been known to do that. Well, it saves on dishes!

It makes me see that I think we all have our SSBs, otherwise known as, "secret single behavior." I won't reveal ALL of mine, but I do have a couple:

1. I'm a little obsessed with my feet. I rub them with a pumice thing I bought at The Body Shop every morning when I shower , and I put lotion on them twice a day.

2. I have become obsessed with my Nintendo DS, and have to use it everyday. I don't know that this is bad, it's just a quirky little thing.

3. There are certain movies that no matter how many times I've seen them, I will watch them when I stumble upon them, and they're not all winners. "Steel Magnolia's," - though only until Julia Roberts gets sick, I can't watch her die. "Mystic Pizza," yeah, I don't know why. Any 80s John Hughes movie from "Pretty In Pink" to "The Breakfast Club." What Can I say, I am a total movie slut...

That's all I want to share for now, and fear I've already revealed way too much. It's time for lunch and I need to go stand in my kitchen.

A Mid-Winter's Days Tale

This is a photo of Cape Cod in the winter. It does have its charms for sure. It's quiet, it's serene, and quite beautiful, and it can also drive you crazy. And you might find that this is what passes for big-time fun.

Anyone who lives in a resort area knows that the off-season can be a time to restore and brace yourself for the onslaught of tourists, and it can also be so quiet that it make you a bit loopy. My son Ben says the Cape is bipolar - it's happy and upbeat in the summer, and dark and depressed in the winter. This is why my favorite season is the more emotionally balanced fall. We have Septembers here that I challenge any other place to match.

But that brings me back to winter, and the arduous process of getting through it on this peninsula. I could sight the dark side of drugs and alcohol, which we surely have in spades here, but thankfully, that is not the route I choose. No, my drugs of choice are more along the chocolate and bad TV variety.

I swear, I think shows like "Scott Baio is 46 And Pregnant" and "Celebrity Rehab" get decent ratings because there are people living where there's not a hell of a lot going on tuning in because well, frankly it's more interesting than re-caulking their bathtub.

Every year I have great plans for what I will do during the winter - repainting my bedroom comes to mind, but instead I seem to fall into this carbohydrate-induced semi-coma that negates anything that ambitious.

Even the way I dress changes. No longer do I stand in my closet thinking about what cute top to wear, no, it becomes all about how many layers I can put on and still move my arms well enough to type and raise a cocoa mug to my mouth.

There are things going on of course; art openings, concerts and movies. As a matter of fact I went to the movies last night. There were four other people in the theater.

Living on Cape Cod in the winter isn't for sissies, but it does have its advantages. Without lots of social distractions I do get a lot of work done - despite myself. Now that my daughter has headed back to college I have no more excuses for not slogging away at my rewrite of my novel, or pitching all those great story ideas I've been sitting on. Well, all right, I will now COME UP with great story ideas to pitch.

Moving somewhere else at times does seem appealing, someplace where you would see more people than the five you always see at the coffee shop, but then I go visit my son in Boston and I don't know, it's a little overwhelming. There are so many people, so many cars,and people actually sit next to you in the theater.

So I'll stay here for now until something lures me to the mainland. I will ride the tide of the seasons - overwhelmed by traffic and crowds in the summer, and lulled into hibernation in the winter. All things considered, it's kind of cool to feel like a movie star who just bought out the whole theater for themselves. That's my fantasy and I'm sticking to it. Until Memorial Day anyway.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Crush crush baby...

For anyone who knows me, or reads me with any regularity, you know that I have sort of a thing (along with about a gazillion other women) for George Clooney. The fact is, I am a bit of a Jezebel when it comes to my celebrity crushes and well, George isn't the only one. Hey, maybe if he actually called me I'd be faithful, but until then, I consider myself a free agent able to love whomever I want.

Which brings me to someone I quite frankly have been overlooking for a little while because he hasn't been in the news, and just been doing some more supporting roles as dads to girls like Lindsay Lohan and Katie Holmes. But, when I saw that Michael Keaton had brought a film he directed and stars in, "The Merry Gentleman," to Sundance I remembered how much I have always liked him.

From "Beetlejuice," to "Clean and Sober," "Batman," (he was totally my favorite "Batman," - sorry George) and as the hapless dad in "Mr.Mom," Michael always brings an energy that is fun and engaging.

I actually tried to reach him to interview him a couple of years ago. I had taken a lesson in fly fishing for a story and had heard he was a big-time fly fisherman. I thought hey, I've had one lesson, I can fly fish, let's talk fly-fishing! Yes, I am just that optimistic and naive. I think I got as far as his PR person who I'm sure thought this reporter from Cape Cod was insane, but I thought it was worth a shot. I would have been sure not to share with him that I was so terrible at casting that the young guy subjected to teaching me didn't let me have a hook on my line - a very good move I think, but I would have won him over with my charm and wit. That was the plan anyway.

So I'm thinking that since he has this new movie to promote, and it's winter (not prime fishing season - I hope - unless God-forbid he's into ice fishing) that I have my opening to try to talk to him. I've been working on my life list, and I'm kind of thinking being brave enough to talk to Michael Keaton should be on it. I don't know, what do you think? What are the odds that I could actually get through to Batman without a Batphone?
I think I have just thrown down a gauntlet to myself. Can you do that?
Hmm. I think I have some research to do.
I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lazy Sunday -but no Magnolia cupcakes

All right, so this isn't me. I don't sleep in a bed covered with rose petals, but it's a pleasant thought, I guess. On second thought it could be pretty weird.

But I did do something today that almost felt luxurious, and almost like a day off. I woke up and stayed in bed reading for over an hour. It's Sunday, and I wasn't planning on going to church, so I just did...well, nothing. I read about Matthew McConaughey's "love child," what shoes I should be wearing come spring, and saw on VH1 that "Idol" alumn, Jordin Sparks had the number one video of the week. It was lovely.

The thing is, days off are pretty non-existent when you work for yourself. I'm not complaining because it's my choice, and I love what I do, but a day without writing is well, something I can't even remember. It's not always easy wanting to conquer the literary world, being a parent and finding some way to keep a path clear in the house.

The down time didn't last too long, just long enough to make it through this week's People magazine and take a shower. Then it became just another day of going to the dump, doing little cleaning and trying to finish an article for tomorrow's deadline.

That little break did give me an idea of what a perfect lazy Sunday would look like, and I took some notes, just in case it ever happens:

A perfect day off does not include any of the following: trash,cat litter,dishes or removing scum from the shower drain.

It also doesn't include anyone calling with a meltdown, a problem with an ex, or telling me they have the best idea for a story EVER.

It does however include a long,hot bath, the softest sweater and most comfy pants ever. It would also have hot tea, (can you tell I live in New England and it's January?) warm brownies (that inexplicably don't have calories) a bed covered with the most poufy comforter and pillows ever, and the best novel I've yet to read. Yeah that would pretty much do it.

The only thing that would make it better is sharing it with a man with the smarts and looks of Clooney -without the commitment issues,and yeah, that would pretty much do it.

Unless they could come up with some calorie-free cheesecake. That would be just perfect.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Brideswear Revisited

I'm working on a newspaper story about bridesmaid dresses to tie in with the movie, "27 Dresses," and as part of my research my daughter and I went to see the movie, and we also went to check out some real bridesmaid dresses at a local bridal shop today.

I have to admit, I found the selection surprisingly not awful. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but there wasn't a cowgirl or Scarlett in the bunch. After I'd gotten all the information I needed for my story, I put my pen and pad away and we ventured upstairs to see THE dresses.

There was one room for white wedding gowns, and one with ivory. We gravitated toward the ivory because they looked softer, and well, as the mother of three, a white wedding dress doesn't seem to be in my future, and my daughter didn't like them for herself either.

As we waded through yards of ivory taffeta, satin and tulle, I thought about how for so many girls and women this is Mecca - the Holy Grail, the ultimate goal.

The first time I got "married" I was five. I walked down a make-believe aisle in Kathy Porter's back yard carrying a bouquet that consisted of a large hydrangea flower, with a tea-towel on my head. The groom was someone's unsuspecting little brother lassoed into our world of pretend who surely would have preferred to be back with the guys (some things never change, do they?). The fantasy started early for sure.

Maybe the good news is that despite the hard-knocks of life, divorce, painful breakups and bad first dates, is that hope does indeed spring eternal. Maybe there's something about the prospect of possibility that all those pristine and perfectly lovely dresses hold. And perhaps that's why I still cry at happy endings; because I think that as hokey as it sounds, my own could be right around the corner.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Working Out (More Than BreakingUp) Is Hard To Do

So all right, after a couple of month's hiatus from the gym I returned yesterday. I wasn't being a total slug during my absence, I did walk every day, and I did some yoga, but mostly I spent ridiculous amounts of time right here, sitting, in front of a computer screen. Somehow that does not create a six pack or a bottom like Kim Kardashian's.

I was sort of excited to go and see my gym friends, and hoped I wouldn't be too shamed by the new softer version of myself. Most everyone was lovely, save one woman who snarled, "Haven't seen YOU in a long time!" I wanted to create some horrific tale to tell her that would make her feel guilty, but I thought of "The Secret" and didn't want to wreak havoc on my life by telling her that I hadn't been there because I'd been battling a rare plague,I was scared the Universe might think I wanted the plague.

All was going well, I was enjoying my time, I was working my triceps, glutes and biceps, then out of the corner of my eye I saw him. I couldn't quite believe it, but then he walked past me and I couldn't deny it. It was the guy who comes to the gym in tiny bordering on inappropriate mesh shorts, I think every gym has one, and it's kind of disturbing. Mostly because it's never the guy who looks like a Spartan, no it's always the guy who looks more like the Pillsbury Dough Boy - pale and squishy.

I did my best to avoid him, but then he came over to where I was lying down stretching, and with his back to me, he bent over. From my prone position I saw things that will give me nightmares for weeks.

It's going to take some courage to go back to the gym now,but it's worth it to try to get some tone back and to not have to squeeze into my skinny jeans.

I'm just going to have to steal myself for whatever shows up. Or falls out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

If You Don't Want Us To Be That Girl, Don't Be That Guy!

I was interested to see former "Bachelor," Travis Stork, M.D. on television hawking a new book he's written about dating called, "Don't Be That Girl."

I am also always very excited to hear what new insights I can gain about what we women do wrong by listening to a guy, well,telling us what's wrong with us.

According to Stork, there are lots of categories of single women, like the Agenda Girl, the Working Girl, (I'm hoping that's better than what it sounds like, because even I have to agree that a "working girl" might not be the safest bet for a relationship)and others.

Now if I was a guy I'd be pretty wary of a woman who looks like the one on the cover of the book, she looks like Britney Spears on a not-so-great day, and well, most guys (unless you're a paparazzo seeking a green card) wouldn't want to go near the drama.

This is just the newest tome in a line of books by men telling us how to snag them. Stork at least doesn't seem as misogynistic as Steve Santagati, the guy who wrote, "The Manual" and it's certainly a step up from that book of the obvious, "He's Just Not That Into You." Seriously? Are we single women so stupid that we needed a 165 page book telling us that if he doesn't call us back, if he's sleeping with other women, if he doesn't call, maybe he doesn't like you?! And, written by a former stand-up comic?

So all these books got me thinking - what would I want a guy to know about what not to do? I came up with my all-time top-five things men shouldn't do.

1. Don't be the guy with this list for one thing. I doubt you want to be categorized any more than we do. Though I must admit it might be tempting to judge, and sure I have - the guy who hadn't heard of "High Fidelity"? Yeah, no second date.
2. Don't say one thing and mean another. If after a date "you're just not that into us," don't say, "Let's do it again!" because you feel guilty - grow a pair! Be honest, but kind.
3. Don't curse a lot, ogle other women, burp or pick your teeth. No further explanation needed.
4. You don't have to wear a tux, but please, shower and put on some clean clothes. Most women put a lot of thought into what they wear on a date, at least try to look like you made a little effort.
5. Unless you're a member of the Soprano or Gambini family, don't wear jewelry. Bling is one thing if you're Jay Z, not so cool if you're Jay Smith.

So there you have it guys - if you don't want us to be that girl, don't be that guy!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Jane Austen: The First Great Chick Lit Author

Like many women, I love Jane Austen. And like many fans I am thrilled about the new PBS series starting tonight which will be, over the next several months be showing productions of all six Austen novels.

I think what appeals to me about Austen is her humor, and her incredible ability to create such tension around romance. Well, there's almost always tension around romance, but she makes it entertaining rather than a painful, ice cream-binge-eating-inducing hell.

Over eight years Austen published an amazing six novels: "Pride and Prejudice," "Persuasion," "Emma," "Sense and Sensibility," "Northanger Abbey" and "Mansfield Park." Something a writer like myself can only dream of and look at in awe.

For a woman who never married, she had a keen eye and ear for love, and I think without Elizabeth Bennet there might never have been a Bridget Jones or a Carrie Bradshaw.

If you've never read an Austen novel, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot, if you're not a reader (then you're probably not reading this entry) try a movie. Reading Austen will restore your faith in love, and the ability of it to transform and inspire.

I know after watching the last "Pride and Prejudice" production starring Keira Knightly, that all my jaded feelings about dating and romance went out the window. When Mr. Darcy came walking through the mist, long coat flowing behind, high boots strutting toward the object of his affection, Elizabeth Bennet, I audibly sighed. Who doesn't want someone to love them like that?

I know I do, and I won't ever give up looking for, or writing about it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Network Time Wasters

Since I work for myself I have become a master at wasting time. Now, I never miss a deadline, and I work very hard, but it's awfully easy to get side-tracked - especially when there's something I really don't want to do, like writing about popular pet names or scents named after celebrities. In those times it takes a heap of discipline to stay on-task. Hunter Thompson once said, "Writing is the flip side of sex – it's good only when it's over." I think he said it well.

So now blogging has become yet another way to not do what I should be doing - shh - don't tell my editors!

Here are just a few of the things I've done in this week to avoid writing:

1. All right, I'll go for the classics - the phone, TV (it's so not fair that "Gilmore Girls" is on twice a day!). And now I've added Nintendo DS to the mix, the good news is I've gotten my Brain Age to 29. If I kept procrastinating at this rate, I will soon have the brain of a zygote.
2. E-mail. For the time I spend crafting witty, inspiring e-mails I could have written "Gone With the Wind" by now. I know it's a form of writing, but it's not what I'm supposed to be doing, ergo, it's more fun.
3. "Doing yoga" which has become code for lying on my floor in workout clothes either playing with my cat or seeing what's under my bed. Which I of course never do anything about.
4. Searching for fun and interesting music online. Sometimes this results in dancing.
5. Reading the screenplay for "Juno" and talking to my brother about how we should, "Diablo Cody-up" our writing.
6.Finding books that I want to write about. Today it was a new Sophie Kinsella novel, "Remember Me," and "Happy For No Reason," a book about how to be happy (in case you were wondering how).
7. Drinking tea. I drink at least two mugs of tea a day. While I wait for the water to boil I look through the paper, look for things in the near-empty fridge to snack on, and perhaps scoop the kitty litter. Later, after drinking a mug of tea the size of my head, I then keep running to the bathroom.
8. I write about pop culture so I spend a lot of time looking for items for my column, but I probably don't need to spend quite as much time as I do looking for items about George Clooney.
9. Going out for coffee on the premise of talking about work with other writers. Right.
10. Working on writing my life list. I did this a lot this week. It's not a bad thing, expect "furthering my writing career" is there on the list waiting to be crossed off.

All right, I have to get back to work now. And I will, right after I make some more tea and watch that Bill Gates video one more time because hey, George Clooney is in it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sweat Pants Redux

Okay, so I'm a full-time freelance writer. What this means is that I spend an inordinate amount of time alone in front of my computer. I have designed my work space to somewhat resemble a cubicle to give me the feel of the newsroom, though there are no cubicle mates to share pens, ideas or colds with. I have cork board on the wall to my left with all sorts of random photos, quotes and cards. I think it looks like a cool cube.

Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages. Amongst the advantages is nobody cares how I'm dressed when I interview them on the phone. I however do care, and everyday, after I workout, I shower, put makeup on and dress. Every couple of weeks or so though I feel like being cozy, and after the shower put on comfy pants, sneakers and a sweater. Herein lies a problem.

See, I'm single. Hard to believe that someone so totally awesome and witty could be single I know, but it's true. I also live in a very small seaside town where meeting someone to date isn't always easy. Add to this the working from home aspect of my life, and well, it's not surprising that some days the only living creature I interact with in person is my cat.

Several weeks ago at the post office - the epicenter of any small town, I ran into a very cute guy. We looked at each other and knew we'd met but couldn't place each other. Being the charmer I am I said something pithy like, "I know I know you, just can't remember how." It ended up I had interviewed him a couple of years ago for a story. I did the subtle glance for the ring, didn't see one, and thought hmmm, I wonder if he IS married?

The only not-so-great thing about the encounter was I was in fact wearing comfy pants and sneakers. Yeah, so not how I want to look when meeting a cute guy.

I forgot about the encounter, and a couple of weeks later I ran to the corner store to grab something for dinner. There he was. And there was I. In my comfy pants. Again. Why hadn't I run into him the day before when I was wearing my Lucky jeans and cute blazer? We exchanged pleasantries, I prayed he didn't remember I was wearing the same velour pants he'd seen me in before, but there was no way of knowing.

So, wouldn't you know, another two weeks later, on a Saturday at the dump, and guess who I see? Yes, Mr.I'm-Probably-Judging-You-But You-Wouldn't-Know-It-Because-I'm-Way-Too-Polite. And of course, since you don't exactly dress up to recycle and throw trash away, I was wearing what must have made me look like a woman in desperate need of a telethon thrown on her behalf to get her some new clothes.

By the fourth time I ran into him, dressed in, well, I'm sure you know, I just gave up. It's a lost cause. I don't even care anymore. To him I am sure I am etched in his mind as the woman who only wears sweatpants, and that's okay. If he can't beyond the sweatpants he'd probably never get past all the Hello Kitty stuff around my house either.

Well,I've got to run to the store now to get something for dinner. It's been a rainy, dreary, January day, and I've been home writing all day. I bet you'll never guess what I'm wearing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Award Crisis

I'm reeling. Completely beside myself. Over the last couple of days it's become evident that due to the Writer's Guild strike, there will be no televised Golden Globe Awards ceremony this year.

This is just the beginning folks, if those studio honchos don't get their act together and resume negotiating with the striking writers. Now I'm not a WGA member, I hope to be one day, and it seems to me that writers wanting a piece of the Internet and DVD pie is not unreasonable.

If you're not into "Award Season" this may not seem too serious, but say they decided to cancel the Super Bowl, yeah, maybe now you understand my pain.

What will I miss by not being able to watch Golden Globes this year? Here are my top five losses:

5.Watching E! all day long, listening to catty remarks by "experts" for hours on end. Sure there's nothing really happening, but it doesn't stop me from sitting there snacking away in my sweatpants.
4. Seeing how celebrities deal with real-life issues like someone asking them a stupid question, searing heat or someone standing on the train of their dress. I wouldn't handle any of it at all well, which is why I'm happy to be on my couch.
3. Deciding which interviewer won't be invited back next year. We've been through Issac Mizrahi feeling up Scarlett Johansson, Star Jones talking about herself more than the people she's interviewing and Joan Rivers being completely clueless. It may have a certain cruelty to it, but it's fun.
2. The clothes. I love to see what everyone wears - the good, the bad and the Bjork.
1. Since the Golden Globes is a more laid-back event where they serve food and alcohol, it's always fun to see how drunk folks get,(and who gets drunk) and who actually eats.

So there you have it. Let us all hope that this strike gets resolved before there's any more serious fall-out, like no Academy Awards and no E! Fashion Emergency after-show. Life would be just a little bit bleaker.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

My name is Candy and I am an...

I saw a segment on Weekend Today about addiction today, and I think I have a problem.

After seeing several women talk about their addiction, I decided that I too have an addiction. To lip gloss.

It's not something I'm proud of, but I suppose it's time I came clean.

I don't know what it is, the slippery moist feel on my lips, the taste (MAC tastes like vanilla - SO enticing) the way on a windy day my hair sticks to my lips - so attractive, or maybe it's ceased to be a choice, and become something I can't not do. That thought is a little scary.

Like many with addictions I secure my source. I have a Chap Stick by my bed, tubes of gloss in my purse, car and bathroom. If I can't put it on I can feel myself getting antsy, my lips getting dryer and dryer until it becomes all I can think about. I whip out my gloss during meetings, at church, while driving and shopping.

The good news is apparently there is no downside to this affliction, but I suppose it's a really good thing that I caught this in time. Before I move on to harder substances like facial masks and leave-in hair conditioner.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Am I Ready For My Close-Up?

All right, so today I made my first television appearance - ever. I'd never even stood outside the "Today" show waving madly as Al Roker looks on fearing for his life.

I was pretty nervous about it - visions of Albert Brooks in "Broadcast News" ran through my head. You know the scene - he finally gets his big break to anchor the network news and then the flop sweat starts. And it goes, and goes, and goes. He sweats more than you ever thought was humanly possible without collapsing from dehydration. Hair and make-up people scramble during commercial breaks trying to mop up the sweat and blow-dry his shirt to no avail, his appearance is a disaster.

I'm happy to say that no blow-drying was required, and I think I did all right. I was on to talk about my new-found-passion, life lists, because well, if I don't have a book of my own to sell I might as well sell someone else's - "The Next Thing On My List" by Jill Smolinkski.

This was just a local cable access show, but good practice I think for the time in the future when I do have a book to sell and am finally invited to "The View."

"Oprah," of course, is the ultimate goal, but I have this fantasy of sitting at that "View" table with Barbara, Joy, Whoopi and yes, I guess... Elisabeth.

Aside from the momentary whooshing of my heartbeat in my ears when the cameras started I think I stayed on point, and I didn't evoke one, "That's what she said" joke even when there was a perfectly good opening.

So essentially I proved to myself that I can be on television (something to check off the life list)and in all seriousness, it felt good to do something that scared me a little. Scared in a good way, not in that I-heard-a-scary-noise-and-why-is-my-cat-looking-freaked-out way.

So maybe over the next couple of days you can find something to scare yourself a bit - not big-scary, but push yourself just a little out of your comfort zone. Next for me? I'm not sure, but I do have a new tube of red lipstick taunting me to wear it out. I have to go to the dump tomorrow, who knows, maybe I'll wow the seagulls.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year, New Me?

I have ambivalent feelings about January 1 every year. Do the things I planned to change about myself start today, or tomorrow? I just never know what to do.

I decided this year because I was inspired by author Jill Smolinski's book, "The Next Thing on My List." ( to create a life list rather than make resolutions. A life list just sounds more fun, doesn't it?

The thing is, I already hit a glitch. I had written that I wanted to say "yes" more than I say "no" (not in an attempt to become slutty or anything, but to encourage myself to stop staying home and writing or knitting, (or eating semi-sweet chocolate chips by the handful)and as they say in dating lingo, "get myself out there."

So, I was out today and someone I know asked me out. Like a deer in headlights I froze because this isn't someone I have ever thought of in that way. We're as mismatched as my pathetic excuse for luggage, he's nice enough, but so not my type. and I'm certain I'm not his. So, I found myself composing little white lies - I have converted to Judaism recently and can't date a non-Jew, I have a limp that I'm self-conscious about (damn! he saw me walking perfectly well!)I'm so busy grooming my cat that I have no time for dates... it was quite sad. In the end I decided to go with the classic - "Thanks so much, but I recently started dating someone and am no longer single. but thanks for asking, I'm flattered!"

January 1 and I've already failed on my life list mission.

Yeah, I'm so going to hell. Alone.