Thursday, December 30, 2010

Celebrate, good times, come on...

And don't forget to get kissed at midnight. Legend has it, a kiss at midnight on New Year's Eve brings luck for the coming year. I don't know if it is true but I am happy to test the theory. We have a fun long weekend in store. I hope you do as well. And I hope 2011 holds something amazing in store for all of you. 



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rewind: So Jimmy Buffett walks in to a bar



Ahh, the year in rewind. Already? I hope you are all enjoying a great holiday season. I am. And I enjoyed two weeks of time off, family, snowflakes (short and sweet), eating great food, drinking great wine, and watching a few bad movies (Sorry JMac). I am also moving office buildings this week so don't be jealous. I lose interest in packing once I have packed a box that shoes can fit in but it is required chore. So let's do a playback of some of my favorite and most popular posts of this year. Hopefully, they will make you laugh again. This one is one of my all-time favorite family stories. The original post and comments here. Feel free to laugh AT me.

____________________________

My parents gave me some surprising news my freshman year of college. My Mom and Dad were moving. And not to a house across town either. [Point of clarification: I have two Dads. My Father (retired police officer) and my StepDad who is referred to as SD or Dad.] My Mom and Dad were moving to the great frontier: Alaska. I am sorry...what's that you say? Yes. Alaska. This photo is an aerial view of where they lived. The biggest import /export point on the entire Western Seaboard.
That following summer, I returned to our house in Seattle. By myself. The summer without my parents was not comprised of raging keggers and frolicking in the hot tub either. I missed them and didn't actually enjoy staying in an empty house. Foolish, foolish girl.

So the summer after my sophomore year, I accepted the invitation to brave it in Alaska for three months. My Mom and I literally passed each other in the atmosphere as she flew to Seattle the same day I flew to Alaska. First to Anchorage, and then three more hours on a small plane to the island my parents were living on.

When I arrived, I was shell shocked. Both gorgeous in its beauty and more desolate than anything I had ever seen; the Aleutian Islands are as phenomenal in their topography as they are bleak in their social and cosmopolitan offerings. While I might like all kinds of perfume and pretty clothes, I am also not a priss. Big coats and boots the name of the game? I am in.

My SD picked me up at the airport with very interesting news.  Jimmy Buffett was in town. Jimmy Buffett on this tiny island was like a figurative needle in a very wild haystack. But it was true. He was researching for a book he would later publish titled Where is Joe Merchant? And he was performing that night at one of the rowdiest bars in the United States, The Elbow Room.

We take all my luggage home and after the quickest of turnarounds, we head out for a night on the town. Being all of 18 at this time, I am ballsy at dinner and order a cocktail. I wait to see if my SD is going to put the foot down like I KNOW my Mom would. He does not. I think he is super cool. He is secretly laughing inside because I ordered a White Russian. I will likely never get drunk from it. And to me, after a semester of drinking Natty Light and Flaming Doctor Peppers, I thought a White Russian was the epitome of sophistication.

We phone my Mom in Seattle prior to going to the bar. She is mortified. She does not like the idea of her precious child within 100 yards of such a watering hole. Why? Because in addition to having a very low surplus of fashionable heels, this island also has a very low surplus of young college-age women. She perhaps attempts to put her foot down. Good luck. That foot in Seattle was a thousand miles away from me. Put it down all you want, sugar! I am going to The Elbow Room!

Before entering the bar, my SD says, "I don't care if you have a few beers but you don't need to talk to a single man in this bar, and none of them better speak to you." Did my SD not realize that college was a wonderland of opportunity to practice certain skills? I mean, in addition to increasing my base of valuable knowledge, I was becoming quite adept at how to drink beer and talk to boys? But he meant business. And rightfully so.Once inside, I changed my tune. From the outside, an unassuming beat up old blue shack. This is an actual picture. Inside, it was like Roadhouse. Only less tame. When I asked the giant man behind the bar for a White Russian, he said, "Sure sweetheart." Then laughed. Then place a bottle of Bud in front of me. I knew better than to toss my hair and sass.

The bar was filled with the most motley of crews, peppered with East Coast based CEOs in town on business, family men working hard towards their children's futures, college boys spending the summer on fishing boats, and more than a light dusting of convicts. I stayed glued to my SD's side the entire night.

But listening to Jimmy Buffett play from only 3 feet away, in a bar with about 150 other people, on a remote island in Alaska was one of the coolest things I have ever done. I mean besides getting to have a cocktail with my Dad when I was not quite 21. Oh, the liberation.

Leaving that night my thought: THIS PLACE ROCKS. THIS IS GOING TO BE AN AMAZING SUMMER. Into the wild...nothing quite like it.

And today is my SD's birthday. Some of the greatest memories of my life involve you and when I said at ten years old that one of the best gifts I ever got was you as a second dad, I still mean it today. Happy Birthday.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I played my drum for Him... pa rum pum pum pum

As the year ends, I am thankful for so many things but the friendships and paths I have crossed with so many of you from around the world is one of the greatest aspects of blogging I could never have anticipated when I started. Thank you for being a great part of this experience for me. A toast from me to you, JennyMac

And a bit of real jingle bell rock from our favorite Little Drummer Boy.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A positive and negative of holiday shopping

Scenario 1:  I visit a swank boutique last week. A girlfriend recently bought a gorgeous Kill City leather jacket and I wanted one. The boutique hunts one down for me and I am delighted to go and try it on. A beautiful and uber sassy boy behind the counter helps me. I try the jacket on and return it to him. The following conversation ensues:

Him: Uh oh. (Makes a sad face.)
Me: I love it but I did not realize it is cropped in the back.
Him: Girl, who cares! Everyone loves cropped!
Me: Everyone? Maybe Mary Kate and Ashley but not necessarily everyone.
Him: Didn't you say your friend wore this jacket the other night?
Me: Yes, but I did not realize it was cropped only in the back.
Him:  (with venom) PROBABLY BECAUSE IT LOOKED GOOD!

Me: 1. Jacket: 0. Final verdict: Negative. There are various methods to sell me a gorgeous garment. The verbal betch slap method is not on that list. But bless that sassy heart.


Scenario 2: Shopping in Bloomingdales for possible holiday gifts for JMac, I peruse one section of the men's department. An older, well-dressed, distinguished- looking man appears to be looking for something. From about ten feet away, he politely calls to the Associate with whom I am speaking.

Him: and says, "Show me to your pants, please?"
Her: Brief pause. Then: Excuse me?
Him: Ma'am?
Her: My panties?
Me: WTF?
Him, very slowly: Show me to your pants. Please.
Her: Hand over mouth, mortified look on face. Then: Oh, I am terribly sorry. Men's pants are one section behind you.
Me: HAHAHAHAHA.

Yes, he phrased the question in an unusual way. BUT even the randiest codger does not walk into Bloomingdales during the holiday shopping frenzy and ask one of the Associates: Show me your panties. Poor girl. She needed a cocktail on the spot. Final verdict: Positive because I witnessed it and it was hilarious. And you know she laughed her arse off later. At least I hope she did.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Santa has NEVER seen this on his wish list...

We all know this particular time of year, while steeped in tradition for many, has also become extremely commercial and consumer based. As parents, we attempt to balance the reason for the season with charitable giving and also the pure joy our son who is only 3 maintains for all things Frosty, Santa, and Rudolph.  In fact, the other night MiniMac asked me to say his prayers with him. I thought it was very sweet. He got to his "God Bless" section and said, "God Bless.....Santa." I asked if there was anyone else. He replied, "Oh, and Daddy." Usually the list is quite a bit longer. Usually the list includes me. He is apparently praising his male role models this time of year.

But the balance between the purpose of Christmas and the commercialism will become more and more challenging as our son grows up. We are constantly asked what our son has on his list so this year he made a small list and I know I am personally looking forward to seeing the look on his face when "Santa" brings the new bike he requested. And we hope that teaching our son about gratitude will shape the way he views things. But there is no shortage of items especially created for children, and our son's list is very short.

Perhaps you too have lists of things to consider and select. With so many choices, it is a buyer's world. I have seen commerical after commercial with the newest toys, games, electronic equipment. But I did spy something I had never seen before. I am a proponent of learning and we introduce a variety of learning tools to MiniMac throughout the year.

But the giant stuffed eColi? Ummm, please don't put that in my stocking.It makes me think I would rather have a Care Bear.


Drew Oliver, a former Harvard Lampoon editor has created a company called Giant Microbes. His stuffed germs, popular amongst doctors offices as a teaching tool, now have their own Facebook Fan page.

And apparently there is a subculture of fans ever eager to buy the new releases. This year's version of beanie babies? Oh my. The newest release includes stuffed measles and stuffed rubella. The intent to help children understand illnesses and hygiene is a wise idea.  

They even have a line of STD toys (clearly not marketed for children.) So if perhaps they can teach one person the importance of using a condom, congratulations.  And maybe a few people you know deserve a giant stuffed version of VD under their tree.

An opportunity to enhance learning ? Great. And making science fun? Well, that would have been great to introduce to me 30 years ago. I applaud anyone who can create entertainment out of eColi but I am certain Santa has never seen this on his wish list. And we are likely not quite ready to bring it to our house. We will stick with the characters from Toy Story for now.

And yes, now you have heard it all, I know.

Monday, December 20, 2010

It is innate to males all things that go fast are a turn on.


There is a crocodile farm in Golan Heights which sits below an airspace used to train Israeli Air Force Pilots. In this air space, Israeli planes frequently break the sound barrier. While it might be hard on the ear, apparently, it is also a sexual charge. For the crocodiles.

Approximately 100 crocodiles live on this farm and the frequent sonic booms heard overheard have stimulated the male crocodiles. These males have initiated their mating calls months earlier than the typical spring ritual. Apparently, it is innate to males that all things that go fast are a turn on.

A man working on the farm believes the male crocodiles believe the sounds are males encroaching on their domain. Apparently, it is also innate that some males are up for a good fight. Especially when it involves females. 

So while the male crocs are busy getting bowed up for love and other shenanigans, it has been reported there has yet to be an increase in actual sexual activity in the group. Proving once again that just because males ask for it, does not mean they are going to get it. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Apparently, your snow lady better not be a hussy

It is officially cold. Everywhere, including Georgia. We were sprinkled with approximately 200 flakes of snow. And then freezing rain last night caused more than 1000 accidents in a very short time frame. We do not know how to do cold, let's be honest. However, two years ago we did have snow which provided the opportunity for us to demonstrate something essential to our son: a snowball fight. It was short lived but everyone can have fun in the snow. Unless you are a dirty little snow lady. OR you are not dirty at all but your neighbors are either super conservative or they simply suck.

In New Jersey, Eliza Gonzales and her 21 year old daughter and 12 year old son created a tribute that puts your fat round balled snowman to shame. They created a Venus de Milo.


Until the local police department was called. And an officer was dispatched. And told them to cover up her snowy lady bits. You know, the fake lady bits that don't actually look like lady bits at all. Yes, those snowy lady bits. So they found a bikini and a sarong for their creation.

I understand the need to protect children from certain imagery but this seems like a big white stretch to me. Perhaps I am too liberal. 

Said Gonzalez "[She is] curvaceous, bodacious and booty-licious,"  And you have to love a Mom who not only can make the world's best snow art but also one who knows the word booty-licious.  She also knows the word douchelicious because that word applies to the tattler.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What I have learned from Disney

I will admit that Disney (both Land and World) were not big attractions to me as a child. In fact, I never went to either until I visited Disney World for a work event in 2003. I have a friend who visits Disney multiple times a year with family who proved to be a great guide. However, this friend was also the liar that told me Rock and Roll'er Coaster was "not that bad." But now that we have been multiple times including twice in the past three months, I can see many reasons why people love it. And I can also see why some people do not and never will. This is what I call What I have learned from Disney:

1. You better be patient. Even now that we are self proclaimed experts on navigating Disney and its widespread terrain, you better be patient. At all times.

2. We met a family in Disney visiting as part of Make A Wish. Nothing will humble you more quickly than to see the beautiful face of a child with terminal cancer. Often, that child is the happiest child you will see all day.

3. You will meet some wonderful people from all over the world.

4. Do not wear high heeled shoes of any kind. Really. People do this. Have fun being sad and crying because your feet hurt. I am a committed high heel wearer and could wear heels for 24 hours straight. Not at Disney. 

5. When your child finally reaches the height requirement, it is like they won the lottery. MiniMac could finally go on Soarin' and Test Track. And he LOVED Test Track.

6. Even the nicest person on Earth is going to encounter certain families whom cause you to think...wow...those kids are brats. Oh, ditto for the parents of those kids.

7. Disney has some fantastic restaurants like Todd English's Blue Zoo, Flying Fish at the Boardwalk, California Grill at Contemporary, and Jiko at Animal Kingdom. You also have multiple great restaurants around Orlando. You don't have to eat corn dogs and stale chips with fake cheese.

8. All day at Disney is hazardous to your child's energy level. Or what I like to call Why THANK YOU Disney and Hallelujah!

9. I will never, and I do mean never, be down with Disney apparel made for adults. Apparently I am in the minority. Same rule for the crazy Minnie ears with veils or fake hair attached. I am also in the minority there.

10. Sometimes the greatest lift you can get in your day is witnessing other people's pure and unfiltered happiness. It abounds at Disney. It is an amazing thing to see.

11. Spending all day going on rides is fun. Especially when that day is a day you would normally be at the office. Even better when this is the FIRST trip all year I left my Blackberry in the hotel room. All day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Take A Bite Of: Gingerbread Trifle

Well hello from Disney. In all of our family adventure time, guess what I found thanks to the Chefs in the Magic Kingdom? The perfect holiday recipe for all your entertaining. This Gingerbread Trifle layers vanilla custard and gingerbread cake with whipped cream and raspberries. OH MY. You can even get your little kitchen helpers to pitch in to help. It does have some chores involved but they are simple and worth every minute. And it will put you at the top of everyone's "NICE" list. From Mickey's kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite.

Gingerbread Trifle

Ingredients
  • FOR THE GINGERBREAD:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark molasses
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • FOR THE VANILLA CUSTARD:
  • 9 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar and
    1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • FOR THE FILLING AND GARNISH:
  • 3 (12-ounce) packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed and drained
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar and
    2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
Prep Time: 70 minutes        Cook Time: 45 minutes (plus chilling)
Instructions
  1. Make the Gingerbread: Heat the oven to 350°. Generously grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the butter until it's soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the sugar and molasses and beat again until the mixture is well blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition. Slowly pour in the buttermilk and beat well. Reduce the mixer's speed to low and slowly add half the flour mixture to the bowl and beat until blended. Repeat with the other half.
  3. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack, then cover it tightly with plastic wrap until ready to use. It can be stored in the pan at room temperature for up to two days.
  4. null Make the Custard: Divide the egg yolks and whites by carefully tipping each yolk back and forth between the shell halves, letting the whites spill into a bowl. Place the yolks in a separate bowl. In a large bowl with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour.
  5. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Slowly pour half the milk into the egg mixture and beat until blended then pour the mixture into the remaining milk in the pan. Over medium heat, bring the ingredients to a boil while whisking constantly. Allow the custard to boil for 1 minute as you continue to whisk. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  6. Let the custard cool slightly, then cover its surface with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Let the custard cool completely, then refrigerate it until ready to use (up to three days).
  7. null Assemble the Trifle: In a medium bowl, toss the thawed raspberries and sugar. Remove the gingerbread from the pan and use a serrated knife to slice it into four equal wedges. Turn each wedge on its side and slice it into three equal pieces. Stack them, slice the pile in half, and cut off 1 1/2 inches from the tips, reserving the pieces.
  8. Arrange a layer of six cake wedges over the bottom of a 2 1/2-quart bowl. Fill the center with a few of the trimmings. Spoon and spread 3/4 cup of the raspberry mixture over the cake, then top the fruit with 1 cup of custard. Repeat the layering three more times with the remaining ingredients. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours to let the flavors meld (the dessert can be stored overnight).null
  9. Before serving, make the whipped cream. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip the cream with the confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Use a spatula to spread the whipped cream on top of the trifle, and garnish it with the fresh raspberries.
Now go in that kitchen and be Food Network worthy. Comments are off since we are still playing. 

      Thursday, December 9, 2010

      Scaredy Cat

      I have already told you before how I feel about roller coasters. Oh yes, the spinning, whirling, twirling. I used to love them like I loved scary movies. What happened? Oh, I know, I think there is a medical term for it called Scaredy Cat.

      How much of a baby am I? Well. I decided on our last trip to Disney I would ride the Rock and Roll'er Coaster. This fast ride surrounded by blaring Aerosmith music is really about 2 minutes long. JMac rides this ride about 5 times a day. I decide to put on my big girl pants and ride it. Since I have ALREADY ridden it before, how bad could it be?

      This bad: I get to the front of the line and decide to let a few people pass me. Then a few more. I am standing next to two girls who appear to be about 12. They are PSYCHED to go on the ride. I decide to get on and the split second that claustrophobia bar snaps down (also known as harness) I start getting antsy pants. The sweet 17 year old boy working says to me in his chipper sing-songy way, "Are you ready for fun?" And I reply "Is it too late to get off this ride?" He tries to give me a pep talk. Bless his heart.

      How about LET ME OUT OK? PRETTY PLEASE? He kneels down to talk to me in a soothing voice which I find as soothing as acetone poured in my eye. Do I have to beg? Cry? High kick? Karate chop? He then flags someone down to unlatch me so I can pounce out of there like a cheetah. WHEW.

      As I am walking down some dark bleak 'emergency exit' hallway, I hear two other very young Disney employees laughing and one says to the other, " I love adults who are actually big babies."


      I am not a baby smartass, do I look like I am wearing a diaper? NON FRERE. I would only need one if I WENT on the ride. And it is actually what is referred to as a scaredy cat. BIG DIFFERENCE.

      But I have no idea from where this scaredy cattishness stems. I used to be braver apparently. My BFF MarciaGarcia was shocked I backed out of the coaster. Even her sweet sister mocked me. 

      Now I will determine if I outgrew that scaredy cat fever. Why? Because we will be standing in front of that exact roller coaster in a few hours. JMac and I are taking MiniMac to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party tonight in DisneyWorld where I will thoroughly enjoy watching him thoroughly enjoy himself. Oh, and he is finally ready to "meet" the characters. Mr. Incredible is his new favorite. And as special treats for the Mom and Dad on this trip, JMac has planned some killer dinners in some of the uberfab restaurants in Orlando. And I will surely be sipping wine and watching fireworks on our balcony at night as well.

      Five days in Florida where is currently 72 degrees? Perfecto. Have a gorgeous weekend. See you next week.

      Tuesday, December 7, 2010

      Involuntary Abstinence. Or why you won't be invited to PantyTown

      Last weekend was a fun weekend in Atlanta. It was chillier than the North Pole to us tenderlings but it was also the kick off of holiday party season which I like. Oh, I like it a lot.  Friday night my friend BK hosted a cocktail party at an uber-swank lounge in midtown. My fab friend KW and I put on our sassy party frocks and attended. Sipping, and noshing, and laughing, oh my!  I then think it is a good idea to extend our party time and go to a fun joint down the street for some live music, festivities, and additional cocktails. And were there ever additional cocktails and festivities. One highlight of the night: KW and I singing with the band.

      But there were other festivities too. What kind? Well, the SEC Championship game between the Auburn University Tigers and The University of South Carolina Gamecocks was Saturday night. This meant all the game revelers were out in full effect on Friday night. Listen, I LOVED college and was a game day reveler many, many times. But I don’t do that now and here is the reason: When you drink ALL day and then go out at night, you are not invisible. In fact, you are as prominently displayed as fireworks on a dark night. 

      Furthermore, when you have been drinking all day and then later continue to drink and parade in your college paraphernalia, no one notices your college paraphernalia. In fact, most people see you and think WOW someone has clearly been drinking all day.  This particular bar of our choosing was fully loaded: Loaded with people in college, fresh out, people who wished they were still in college and a giant combination of all three from Auburn and USC specifically. Oh, and loaded with loaded people.  

      But this scene was very reminiscent of college for me and did remind me of two very important things. In college, boys go out to meet girls. And I don't mean meet to talk about chemistry lab. In college, girls go out to: talk about their feelings, dance, or meet boys with whom to talk about their feelings and dance. As we watched the melee, I observed the boy brigade in full effect doing what they came to do: Randomly bellow out their team names and fraternize with women.  

      Since I now have a much better view on this ritual, I would like to offer a bit of advice based on years of assessment (and a few stories I have heard). Boys, pay attention, because here are signs that Involuntary Abstinence is in your future, or what I like to call:

      Key activities to ensure you will not be invited to PantyTown:

      1. Needing an inanimate object like a jukebox or barstool to prop yourself up.  No one thinks you are merely sleeping. Or praying. You aren't fooling anyone there DrunkySmurf. Hope no one moves that prop or you will be teeth down on the dirty floor. Time for the cab.

      2. If your team mascot is a Gamecock, oh we get it, they have a nickname. But if you are a wasted boy, best not repeatedly shout that nickname out with glee. Calm down Rudolph. PS: If you want to yell “GO COCKS” it is one thing. Yelling “I LOVE the COCKS” is a completely different message.

      3.      Attempting to start a wet t-shirt contest by shaking your beer and spraying it. Oh, this will also earn you a punch in the face from the bouncer. Extra boo: Calling girls “sugar t*ts” while you try to get the party started. 

      4. Telling women you like to "rock out with your _____  out. (Hint: Fill in blank with word that rhymes with rock).   Umm, how about you like to limp around when you get a knee to the groin. Same thing goes my friend for referring to ANY part of your body as a "Situation."  If a man nods toward any part of his body below his neck and claims to have "a situation" I think of ouchiness and things that require antibiotics.

      5.      Trying to start a relationship with a girl on the dance floor by simply dancing as close to her as possible. Well, not really dancing, more like dry humping.  That is a no no. Back up a few feet. By the way, some women believe that how you dance is indicative of how you will be in bed. GOOD JOB, no one wants to have sex with Mr. Awkward Bodyheave.  (PS: Multiply this rule by 10 if you EVER start clogging in the middle of the dance floor. I have seen drunk men clogging. Scary memory.)

      6.      T-shirts with clever sayings printed on them. And by clever, I mean idiotic. For example: I heart Cameltoe. Good for you if Cameltoe is your most prized treat on earth. Guess what Foolio? NO girl is going to parade out of there on your arm. By the way, do any women in your family know you have that shirt?!?! Have fun getting a sh*tbox from "Santa" this year.

      7.      Boys wearing skinny jeans. S-s-s-stop it. Oh, I know you are a big Twilight-loving-Jack-Kerouac-reading-chain-smoking-Clove-cigarette-hipster but you are not the Jonas Brothers. And two more words about the skinny jeans: Christian Siriano. He is adorable but not projecting animal magnetism.

      8.      Standing in line for the bathroom and you start chatting with a girl and you mean to say, “I really like your boots” but instead you say, “I really like your boobs.” You try to correct yourself but it comes out the second time as " I really like your tubes." Best to cease yapping at that point.

      9.      Fist pumping. Ever. Especially while yelling FreeBIRRRRD. PS: The band does not EVER want to hear someone yell Freebird again.

      10.      You are thin ice with a hat on. But if that sucker is on backwards or heaven forbid, sideways, enjoy talking to no one. Oh, and you can give away alcohol all night. NOT helping. Enjoy going home alone. 

      11. Approaching women, in your coy (obvious) and sly (deliberate) way and serenading them with Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw.  You know the only person that can sing that song? Jimmy Buffett. And when you acquire his carefree attitude, his youthful looks, his fab house in Key West, all the Margaritas in Margaritaville, as well as the Cheeseburgers in Paradise, you can try again.

      12.   And lastly: Ed Hardy. If you are wearing Ed Hardy and you are not Dennis Rodman, get a stylist. When you have more sparkle than a Disney tree lighting ceremony, you wardrobe is suffering. Why not just buy a bedazzler and save yourself some coin. PS: If two or more of your friends are wearing this at the same time, you should all be forbidden in public.  


      Disclaimer: None of these rules apply to the girl wearing a trucker hat drinking JagerBombs.

      Monday, December 6, 2010

      Apparently, not everyone is in the holiday spirit....

      In Long Island, officials are citing people with elaborate holiday decor. REALLY LONG ISLAND? Bright colorful lights are the primary issues you are facing? A resident received a citation for "unlicensed electrical wiring" because she used extension cords to light the display. The display she and her family have built for years. The display they receive donations for which they then give to charity. You will keep Buttafuoco but forbid the gingerbread men, Long Island officials? NICE. 

      Now listen, I love holiday decor.  I love nice and festive holiday decor. Not Branson, Missouri style but still nice and festive. At least at my own home. However, I love Disney during the holidays because I do not have to live at the Mouse House so of course I can love it.  And I am lucky I don't have neighbors who go Guerrilla Griswold. The type of neighbors who settle in on holiday lights like it is the Super Bowl. 

      As kids, we had a house about 1/2 a mile from us that were those people. You know, the people who kept lights up all year long. And this was back when there was one style of lights. Giant multi-colored lights. Not twinkling dreamy lights resembling icicles. Not delayed-timer lights flittering like angel wings. Just giant lights in either red, green, or blue.

      But  when I was a teenage girl, there was a house in our town that did the most elaborate and amazing display. Their son had special needs and has passed away and the parents continued the tradition in his memory. They also hosted a Santa every year and families could take their photos as the homeowners passed out hot chocolate.

      But I know some people aren't down with the festive light brigade. And in some cases, the holiday lights are so intense, even the animals get restless. The Mayor of Braintree, Massachusetts had the town holiday lighting party derailed when they discovered squirrels have eaten through wires of many of the strings. The Mayor said the lights were left on the trees since last year to save money. Apparently, a mistake he won't make again. However, perhaps it was just the rodent like varmints way of sending a message.

      Dear Mayor Tacky. TAKE THE CRAP DOWN AND NO ONE GETS HURT.

      Hope your holidays are shaping up brightly.

      Friday, December 3, 2010

      10 simple life lessons, as learned from Cinema

      Last year was a great year for movie theaters. It marked the first time in seven years consumer actually spent more dollars watching movies out than in.

      Will 2010 be the same or better for the theaters? I doubt it.

      There seems to be a declining number of five star productions. Where are all the blockbusters? The competing titles? The fervor over new releases? It has dissipated culminating in some good movies and a lot of flops including the paltry sales of the much awaited Sex And The City II.  But if consumers are spending top dollar at the theaters, it must be for more than pure entertainment.Perhaps, it might also be the vast knowledge one can glean from a simple two-hour visit to the cinema.

      The top 10 simple life lessons I have learned over a box of popcorn and some Twizzlers.

      1. If it is late at night and you are frightened by an unknown sound outside, simply strip to your underwear, and run outside. The culprit will appear instantly. You do not need a knife, you can simply carry your Swiffer. And when it is time to run away, the most efficient way to do this is wearing high heels.

      2. If you want to be a professional basketball player, it matters not if you are 5 feet tall, all you need to do is dream.

      3. If your dog gets lost 2,000 miles away from your home, do not fret, your dog will make a friend, hitchhike toward home, and be at your front door in a day or two.

      4. All important meetings between underhanded men will occur in a strip club. All employees of the strip club are "working their way through medical school."

      5. All important meetings between gossipy women will occur in the spa. All male employees at the spa look like The Rock.

      6. All important meetings between two lovers, who are not supposed to be lovers, will take place in the elevator. There is never an alarm bell when the STOP ELEVATOR button is pushed either. When the elevator resumes, all disheveled hair and clothes will reveal nothing to the people getting in the elevator.

      7. All offices in the world have blinds that can shut when a young fraulein steps in the boss man's office. All disheveled hair and clothes will reveal nothing when the blinds are opened, often 4 minutes later.

      8. All children who run away in anger from their parents are found on a busy street by a kindly stranger who will provide incredible wisdom to set that child straight. A stranger can do in 5 minutes what parents cannot do in 15 years.

      9. If you are female and heartbroken, simply visit a lake or a beach and stare off into space. A sweet love song will automatically start playing and it will soothe your broken little heart. While you are being soothed, another man will appear, much hotter, wearing no shirt but likely riding a horse or coaching a team of underprivileged children, your eyes will lock and you will forget all about that first guy.

      10. If you are male and heartbroken, all you have to do is go to a bar, get wasted, hook up with some girl that is not the girl you really love, wake up the next morning feeling lonely and disheveled, and you will instantly write a poem even though you have never written one in your entire life. That poem will be about the girl you really love, which you will accidentally leave one day at Starbucks, she will find it, not know you wrote it, be smitten, and you will get back together the following week over a pumpkin latte.

      So regardless of profits made inside the theater, think of everything you can learn. Had only I known #9 when I was a teenage girl.

      *This is my third published post on Technorati!

      Wednesday, December 1, 2010

      31 Days of Goodness....

      Last year, I wrote a post called 31 Days of Goodness. That post had a record number of views because of you. Yes, it had a lot of great information but it was shared and viewed because YOU are great and interested and willing to do great things for other people. I believe most people, given the opportunity or information, contribute to the goodness of the world and the happiness of others. There are new charities formed every single day so let’s refresh our options for this year and present 31 Days of Goodness Part Deux with some old favorites and some new favorites mixed in.

      By nature, I am a person who includes thankfulness and gratitude in every day. The economy has been challenging enough for so many people but it is heart breaking to see the list from the family our son’s class adopted for the holidays because it does not include toys. It does not include DVDs or games for the Wii. It includes basic things likes shoes, toothbrushes, and blankets. It is the state of affairs for many families and a clear reminder hard luck can hit anyone, but also that kindness and generosity can (and should) be easily shared. It is not the amount that is given, it is the act of giving itself. So many people donate, contribute, and volunteer to causes throughout the year; I think it is outstanding to see human kindness in action.

      And now with the turn of December, there are an abundance of opportunities for every person to contribute. It’s the 31 days of goodness, and easy exercises (and many of them free) to put a smile on someone else’s face as well as your own. And to lean over that blade of grass and whisper: grow, grow.

      FREE GOODNESS:

      1. One of the best thing I personally did all year: I donated eleven inches of hair to Locks of Love. They make wigs for children with terminal cancer.

      2. You can also donate your hair to Matter of Trust where environmental experts have learned hair and other natural fibers can clean up oil spills.

      3. Get involved. To start, visit Do Something which is a fantastic website which  can help you find service projects in your zip code. They also encourage you to engage your teenage family members to get involved in philanthropy. Their aim is to inspire the next generation of “doers”. You can also find local events/charities/nonprofits to support at Do Good Channel.  

      4. Mentor/coach/tutor a future John Grisham, Louisa May Alcott, or Chelsea Handler at http://826national.org/ which is 7 nonprofits working to celebrate and advance creative writing in students age 16-18.

      5. Go to your book case and clean it out. Instead of donating to the library, take those books to a local literacy program.

      6. You can also join Books For Soldiers for free and send them to troops.

      7. Give blood. To find a local blood bank: Visit Give Life.

      8. Send a holiday card for FREE to a soldier abroad through a Xerox sponsored program called Let's Say Thanks A very quick and easy way to show support and solidarity.

      9. Save all of your magazines from the month and donate them to a local women’s shelter.

      10. Call a local retirement community and schedule a visit. You can spend an hour or two calling bingo. We have done it and it is a total hoot. One of the elderly ladies won and yelled “OH SWEET JESUS”. I crack up now thinking about it. (You can also take your sassy OPI or Essie nail polish instead and do some fun manicures.)

      11. You can donate baby blankets, stuffed animals, and children’s books to Project Night Night  which helps homeless children.

      12. Donate your old cell phones to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Go to the site and click under Take Action and then Donate.

      13. Donate shoes (you know you have more than you can ever wear!) to Share Your Soles.


      14. Mentor an at-risk teen online at I Could Be

      15. Become an online reading mentor and penpal for kids in 3rd – 5th grade at http://www.in2books.com/ (They do a background check: Use promo code: SAV2449 so it won't cost you a cent.)

      16. Play Free Rice and every correct vocab word you identify, 10 grains of rice are donated to the UN World Food Program. You can also play Free Kibble and for every correct answer, they add 10 pieces of dog food for an animal shelter in need. You need a break from playing Word Mole or Farmville right?

      17. Put your favorite charity on your  Facebook page or Twitter account. You are on there all the time anyway.

      18. Donate gift cards you won’t use to Plastic Jungle.

      19. If you knit, you can send squares to Warm Up America. The squares will be knit into afghans and donated to battered women’s shelters.

      20. Sign up to volunteer at http://www.keenusa.org/  and become a one on one volunteer to teach kids with disabilities about noncompetitive sports.


      SMALL DONATION RELATED GOODNESS

      21. Give a $35 Gift of Hope to women and children rescued from Sex Slavery and Sex Trafficking at http://www.sharedhope.org/.

      22. Donate a minimum of $10.00 to www.pajamaprogram.org which provides jammies and books for kids in orphanages, group homes, and shelters. To date, they have given almost ONE MILLION books and pjs to kids who need them.
      J

      23. A small $10.00 gift to http://www.helpamotherout.org/ will give a supply of diapers to a struggling Mom.

      24. Lend $25.00 to http://www.kiva.org/ which takes your loan and helps woman all over the world start businesses. You can choose your cause and the money will be paid back. So many people did this last year, it was incredible.

      25. Donate to The Wounded Warrior Project  which provides benefits, services, counseling and more to men and women who have risked their lives to protect our country and our freedom. This is my Mom’s favorite charity.

      26. A $10.00 donation to Noah’s Ark helps abused children rehabilitate abused animals. I know someone very involved in this program and it is amazing.

      27. Help the teachers who are educating our children! At http://www.donorschoose.org/, you can views long lists provided by teachers regarding classroom needs. Everything from writing utensils to science equipment.

      28. A $35.00 donation to Sleeping Children Around the World  provides a Bed Kit that consists of a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net (if applicable), clothes outfit, towel and school supplies for a needy child.

      29. $35 dollars will also feed a needy child for one month with Share Our Strength


      30. Go to Best Friends and make a small donation to help this organization dealing with thousands of displaced pets. Your money can help set up shelters, prepare furry friends for adoption, or have microchips put into the animals.  

      31. And finally, and of critical relevance: Go and buy a new super-fly cold-drink canteen for $19.00 at Water.Org. EVERY dollar goes to help people around the world gain access to clean drinking water. 1 in 8 people DO not have this access.  

      If everyone we know did just one of these things, consider the benevolent impact. We can make December beautiful for people who need it the most.

      Monday, November 29, 2010

      Tis the season....

      I hope you all had a great long weekend whether that meant TurkeyFest or BlackFridayShoppaPalooza. I had a fantastic five days with my family. The menu for Thanksgiving turned out beautifully. Oh, except for the turkey. I did at one point call the turkey an inappropriate name. The turkey wanted more time. The turkey said, " I am not predictable." The turkey wanted to ease into our relationship. I despise that turkey. BUT, everything else was gorgeous and it is just one more reason I don't really like turkey. But the hours of cooking were worth the 30 minutes of eating. Believe it. And again, apologies to my Mom who happened to be in the kitchen when I upbraided the turkey.

      And the weekend also marked the kick-off of holiday decorating. Since my family was in town, we spent yesterday afternoon decorating the house and tree, and talking to MiniMac about going to see Santa. We are members at Atlanta Botanical Garden which  is also a location of interest because we were married there. Santa was visiting yesterday afternoon so we mentioned it to MiniMac multiple times over the past few weeks. Why the prep? Oh, because our son has NO interest in meeting Santa or engaging in parental paparazzi photo sessions with him either. At one point yesterday he indicated he would say hello to him but did not want to sit on his lap. He already wrote him a letter but I could give it to Santa instead. He would get a photo taken if he sat next to me, and I sat next to Santa. I did not have high hopes of a warm engagement and was fine with simply being outside in a gorgeous venue on a beautiful albeit brisk day.

      But the introduction did take place and while my son confirmed my presence was of the utmost importance, the conversation between my son and Santa was one of the best conversations I have heard all year.



      As we left, MiniMac shook Santa's hand and said, "It was really nice to meet you. Travel safely..." and my heart bloomed with pride. We highlight the importance of manners and communication in our house and to see our son so readily demonstrate this was awesome. I take my tiny son's hand in mine with a giant smile on my face. We walked away and when we were about 25 feet from Santa, my precious son turned around and yelled back at Santa, "Oh, and NO GIRL TOYS."

      Thankfully Santa and his elves laughed uproariously. As did MiniMac's uncle and Grandmother. His Mom still has not a single clue where the "no girl toys" concept derived from but something tells me, this is just the beginning.

      Wednesday, November 24, 2010

      I hope your Thanksgiving is this lively....

      My family is here today, my menu is ready, and we are going to have a fantastic Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for, there is not a blog post long enough to demonstrate my gratitude. Be safe and well wherever your holidays finds you. And since I can't send you a cocktail, I can share one of my favorite Thanksgiving stories in the event you need some humor injected into your weekend. 

      True Story:

      During our sophomore year of college, a girlfriend of mine, KK, went home for a week over Thanksgiving break. Her boyfriend was invited home with her for the holiday. Her parents had agreed to this arrangement only if he stayed in the younger brother's room. Right.

      Upon his arrival days before Thanksgiving, he placed his overnight bag and backpack in their entryway. Later, in effort to help him take his bags upstairs, KK picked up his backpack by the bottom. Unfortunately it was only partially zipped and overstuffed with books he would never take one look at during the break. Gravity and weight working against her, the zipper flew open and the contents emptied into the foyer. To which her younger brother, about 12 at the time, spied some contraband and shouted, "MOM, ROB HAS RUBBERS IN HIS BAG." KK was mortified as most 19 year-olds would be. Rob's mortification doubled hers. Her Mom, walking in from the kitchen, spied the bedlam as well and then decided Rob could sleep in the basement.

      On Thanksgiving, with a slew of family over for dinner, the group has a great dinner as KK’s Mom and Dad are both fantastic cooks. For the dessert bonanza, her five year old little sister presented a pie she had made as a special surprise. Mom assisted in most of the utensil and ingredient assembly. The 5 y.o. called around the corner to ask the Mom where she could locate the main ingredient, pumpkin, which her Mom said “look for the orange can in the cupboard.” Surprise pie made, she was so proud of her creation. When it was cut open and plated, her Dad was the first to sample. After one bite, the Dad halted all other taste-testers. “Honey, what did you use to make the pie?”
      “Whip cream!”
      “What else?”
      “Punkin!”
      “Can you show me the Pumpkin can?”
      All eyes at the table ever so curious….the little sister returns from the kitchen with an empty can. Canned pumpkin not the ONLY orange can in the cupboard. Was the surprise the pie itself? Or was the surprise that her sister had made a pie of wet cat food and covered it with Cool Whip?
      Thankfully, after the laughter subsided, there were other pies to eat. At least the spilled rubbers in the foyer were forgotten about...

      And finally, after dinner and ready to be strewn about the downstairs den watching football and family games, KK’s Mom opens the basement door to let the dog up who had been sequestered during Thanksgiving dinner revelry and Cat Pie a la mode. The dog races up ever so enthusiastically as the family files downstairs. KK’s Father, first in line, is quick to discover someone didn’t leave the guest bathroom door closed and the dog got into and traipsed the garbage can contents about like tinsel on a tree. He was also the first (of many) to discover that certain visiting holiday guests apparently didn’t learn in college that you flush used condoms down the toilet and DO NOT put them in the garbage can wrapped in tissue.

      KK instantly wished they were back at the table eating cat food pie. Rob planned to pack his bags and immediately vacate the household. Nothing like observing evidence of someone's active sex life to combat the tryptophan.

      What was KK most thankful for that year? When Thanksgiving ended. And of course, in later years, she could appreciate three very memorable stories all of which summarized by her family as the "Poor Rob" weekend. Even long after Rob was but a memory.

      I hope your holiday is just as lively.

      Tuesday, November 23, 2010

      10 simple steps to know if you are Vegas Dirty

      Vegas...the world's best free carnival. We had a gorgeous time complete with incredible meals, some gambling luck, some delicious wine. We thoroughly enjoyed an adults only weekend. It is truly a combination of Sin City and the City that Never Sleeps. The hotel and casino business in Vegas is in constant motion. With the opening of City Center and the much anticipated The Cosmopolitan, the draw is no longer a 19.99 room rate and a 3.99 All You Can Eat Buffet. The restaurants are incredible including three 5 Star locations and there are more sommeliers in Vegas than any other US city.

      But there is so much more to do than drink, gamble, and participate in shenanigans. I know, I know, many people trek there specifically for those purposes but for the many great people comprising the actual permanent resident population of Las Vegas, sorry. I think it is the many visitors that give Vegas its reputation as a stateside Caligula's playground. We love Wynn, Encore, and Bellagio. Ditto on Palazzo. But we went to see Rod Stewart (who at 65 is still rocking and doing it well) at the Coliseum at Caesar's Palace on night and a few pre-show cocktails and a stroll through the casino presented some serious characters. For most visitors, they might have a little dirty going on under their countenance anyway but when they go to Vegas, all that dirty gets highlighted and magnified. A phenomenon I like to call Vegas Dirty

      And listen, I like to prance about and sip extra cocktails on my visits to Vegas just like the average girl. But Vegas Dirty is not about being average. I think Vegas can bring out the dirty in everyone, I after all put on lip gloss before I went to the gym one morning to work out. After brief contemplation, I decided the fact I even went to the gym, IN VEGAS, negated my silly glam move of slapping on shiny gloss at 9 am to go sweat it out in the pilates studio. But I still have a long way to go to get Vegas Dirty.

      You are Vegas Dirty if:

      1. You wear a bright yellow track suit jacket and matching pants, with the jacket unzipped, no shirt, sunglasses, and a hat on sideways. You also refer to everyone as "Bra" or "Son" and announce sweet sentiments like "I'd hit that..."
      PS: Unless you are under the age of 20, in Eminem's music video, or Blossom (or Punky Brewster), wearing a hat on sideways as a grown adult is a universal sign of D-Baggery.

      2. You play blackjack with your child in a stroller parked next to you. 

      3. Your dress is so short, all your nether world is on display the minute you sit down. I know the Kardashians taught you that but not everyone wants to see your doo dads. 

      4. Whatever make up is not left on the pillow from your crawl home to bed at 5 am is not rinsed off when it is time to later start your day but simply slathered over. 

      5. You are out at 2 am with your fully awake infant and since you don't want to choose between beer, cigarette, or baby, and you only have two hands, you simply hold baby in one, cocktail in one, and let the cigarette dangle from your mouth.

      6.  You agree to a tryst that would likely be illegal in certain countries because you believe "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Just because you saw that mantra on TV does not make it accurate. Don't believe me? Remember seeing The Lion King on TV? Lions don't really talk.

      7. You sit down at the black jack table after you have clearly been overserved. You introduce yourself to the dealer first as Kimberly, then as Jessica. And you later knock your drink over before you compliment him on his hair. He is completely bald. When you get up to leave, you leave your shoes behind and proceed through the casino barefoot.

      8. You wear a shirt that reads Gold Diggers. Just like wh_res, only smarter. Or if you are a man who wears a shirt emblazoned with The Legend with an arrow pointing to your bits.

      9. You are the reason my receipt from one of the boutiques at Wynn included this disclaimer " Undergarments may NOT be returned."

      10. You wear a t-shirt that reads Instant Sl_t. Just add alcohol. That is colossally DIRTY.

      Allegedly, or what I heard from a friend: You are NOT dirty if you try to instigate some hanky panky while your husband is watching the Patriots game but you are certainly not using womanly wiles to deter him from the game by any means. He offers to turn it off and you say, no need. He is not dirty either for showing his sheer appreciation at being able to engage in aforementioned hanky panky AND watch the Patriots game, he is merely a smart opportunist because this show doesn't go on at home.

      Friday, November 19, 2010

      Luck be a lady (well, maybe not an actual "lady" but more like a harlot, a super easy, sure thing harlot) tonight

      Historically, I am a very lucky person. Right place, right time seems to be a recurring theme. And it is a theme I truly appreciate. And love.

      And while I think I am very lucky, this is lucky:

      JMac's best friend, Hendo, went to Vegas. He had a standard room at The Hard Rock Hotel. Upon arrival, The Hard Rock Hotel informs Hendo there has been some errorts and there is no room available.As in: No sir, there is not a room available, we are overbooked. Hendo is a formidable man. 6'5 and and a Sales Director. He is personable. He is hilarious.  His case further strengthened his real name is not Hendo. The sorry, no room available soon turned into well, we do have a suite available. A suite? Yes, the Hugh Hefner suite. Two stories and requiring that all temporary tenants sign a waiver. A waiver? Hopefully not against contracting an STD but I didn't ask. But a two story suite? Comped? Now that is luck. 

      However, my own lucky recently revisited in the following way: One recent weekend in Florida, at one of our favorite resorts, I am lounging on a chair reading while JMac and MiniMac play in the pool. I discover I have lost one of my diamond earrings. Disheartened to say the least, I do not even know where to begin to find it. I furrow my brow but this clearly produces no luck. HOURS later, as it is my turn to tag in and play with MiniMac in the pool, I step on something. My diamond earring. I stepped on my diamond earring in a giant pool filled with people. HALLELUJAH!  Later, I found the back of the earring in a separate location. More hallelujah. Even our friends sitting next to us could not believe that find. "Go buy a lottery ticket," said one friend.  "I just might," I replied. 

      Why is this relevant? Well, JMac and I depart on a plane to the City of Sin also known as Las Vegas in a few hours. An adults-only trip which includes one set of Grandparents taking MiniMac for a long, long weekend. 

      Our weekend: sinful, cocktails, sinful cocktails, gorgeous dinners including Carnevina, Strata, and Jean-Georges Steakhouse at Aria. We are seeing Rod Stewart. And we have a fabulous suite at Wynn. Oh, and hopefully we will work in some sleep. (I talk big but I like to go to bed at 10:30. I have to get my strong on.)

      MiniMac's weekend: Filled with delight to be at the grandparents.

      The Grandparents weekend: Filled with love. And exhaustion. 

      AND hopefully during our visit to The Meadows, luck will enter if we save her a seat. And I don't mean luck be a lady, I mean Luck, I hope you are a harlot, a super easy sure thing harlot. That certainly sounds like more fun than toting a rabbit's foot around.

      Have a gorgeous weekend. See you Tuesday.

      Wednesday, November 17, 2010

      Walk O' Shame

      Back in the day, before I was a wife and mother, I may have had an adventure or two (hundred.) While I was certainly no wild trixie, I was with as much certainty, no daughter of John Winthrop either.

      Perchance a few of these adventures caused the inability for me to arrive home safely to my own bed. In college and grad school, I am sure it was primarily from all that studying which led to sleepiness which led to guest over-nighting somewhere. Or it was the cocktails. And the libido. Whichever. Might you too have a memory bank filled with such circumstances? Some memories we reminisce about with a glimmer of joie de vivre. Others, well, more like a going through turbulence on an airplane. You can manage it...but it is not much fun.

      The highs and lows of over-nighting which produce the inevitable trajectory back to your own abode. Ahhh, also known as The Walk of Shame. Haven't ever done it? Shine that halo, little angel. You will be one of the few I know.

      I was recently chatting with a girlfriend from college. The beauty of good friends, amongst many things, is their ability to recall certain memories of you that you intentionally deleted from both your cortex and your hippocampus. BUT, since such shenanigans are infinitely more humorous to me now, why would I resist sharing? You are right, I won't resist. PS: You have to look at some of your antics and laugh. If you don't, you are likely the only one who has not so in an definitive measure to laugh at myself, here you go:

      The Classic Walk of Shame: Sophomore Year of College

      My roommate, Action Jackson, and I went to a fraternity formal. We wore ball gowns. We had big hair. (All praise 1990.) We had big fun.

      We apparently studied too hard during the day. I got very sleepy at some point. Lights out.

      I wake up the next am. In my date's bed. The last time it had been cleaned? Maybe 1980. I am thankfully fully clothed. Royal blue ball gown and all. I actually wore white pantyhose. EGADS. I get shivers thinking about them. Luckily, these were also still on my body. I might have been sleepy but at least I wasn't being a dirty vixen.

      Waking up hurts my feelings. I do not feel my best. I feel like a bag of hammers. Must. Exit. IMMEDIATELY. I realize to my dismay, I have no shoes. In the current state, I could not debate the pros and cons of leaving such shoes. Until I recalled the shoes were dyed to match my dress. I can NOT leave blue shoe evidence behind. I search high and low and over many other sleeping bodies. Not a shoe to be seen. I must not tarry.

      I haul arse out of there, down stairs, and to the street. I know most of the boys in this fraternity so am highly interested in not being spotted. I get to the street. Nothing says class act like bright blue ball gown with no shoes meandering down the road. I have about 10 fraternities and sororities to pass. MUST MOVE QUICKLY.

      As I cross the parking lot, I hear voices exiting the annex where several of the Seniors lived. I duck across the lot hoping the blueness of this dress is so bright that it serves as a distraction from my face. A guy and girl come outside and they are engaged in full on argument. She does not want him to drive her home. He insists. She is mad, he is mad, I am merely dodging bullets here. I scurry, and I do mean scurry, across the street. Seen a rat scurry? This was my method. Only to hear him say in an acid tone, "At least you aren't that girl, walking home BY HERSELF." No one needs a highlighter pen or a spotlight to know that girl he mentions is me.

      I tuck my head down and duck in between two buildings. I think I am scot-free when I spy my house nearby. Only to discover, my roommate AND her boyfriend asleep on our daybed in our room. WTF. I quickly change and head to the sleeping dorm but not before seeing this note:

      JennyMac: Sorry I left you. You would NOT get up.

      You:
      drank almost an entire of bottle of vodka. Threw up out T's window. Onto the heads of people below. You actually did an awesome job though singing an entire version of "Blame It On the Rain" by Milli Vanilli. No one believed it was rain. I could not find your shoes. However, someone will. They are bright blue. Don't be mad I left you. T's roommate was pissed you passed out on him and wanted to put a bicycle lock around your neck. I stopped this from happening.  Your BFF, Action Jackson


      I promise you NOTHING like this ever happened again. That blue dress went to gown heaven.

      The shoes were never recovered. On a post-even visit to that same house, someone asked me if I lost a pair of blue shoes at the formal. I looked him straight in the eye and said, "No. I wasn't wearing blue." Unfortunately, photographic evidence to contrary could not be destroyed. Luckily, there were no pictures of me "sleeping."

      AND just to get that image of me in my ugly white pantyhose out of your mind, CONGRATULATIONS to Kristy M. the winner of the Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving Entertaining Book. Email me and I will mail your book. AND please let us know what time you are serving, we would love to see your feast.

      Monday, November 15, 2010

      Wh*re shoes. (She said it, not me.)

      I was recently perusing the Sea of Pretty, also known as the shoe paradise formally known as DSW. While there I observed the following:

      A 20-something couple walking down the aisles. Or, she was walking and he was trailing miserably. They are in the same trajectory of the aisles as I am so I hear all. He asks when they will be done because he doesn’t want to miss the kick off at Fox. (Fox Sports is a big sports bar in the same shopping sector.) She tells him she has to find a pair of shoes for the wedding that night. Suddenly, a light bulb goes off above his head.  Only he and I see it apparently. He offers to help her pick something out.

      He sets about looking and a few minutes later returns with bright red stilettos with about a five inch heel. She reminds him this is her cousin's wedding and will be very conservative. He comes back with a bright silver heel. She shakes her head no. He then picks a black heel that ties around the leg. She tells him they look like whore shoes. He said they are his favorite shoe in the store. She suggests he just leave and she will meet him when she is done. As he turns away from her to exit, he passes me. With the BIGGEST smile on his face imaginable. I think he wanted to high five himself.

      I laughed out loud. Why? Because she was duped? No. Because he used powers of manipulation to get his way? No. Because I know something she clearly does not: when shoe shopping, your boyfriend/mate/husband likely NEVER wants to join you? No. Because I think it is crazy to make someone go shopping with you when they clearly don’t want to? Yes.

      JMac has an incredible sense of style and is one of the best dressed men I know. He often buys clothes for me. But we STILL do not go shopping together. WHICH, by the way, here is how you tell if someone does not want to go shopping with you in case you missed it the first 100 times you should have noticed:

      You: Do you want to go shopping with me?
      Them: Ummm. Erggg…. Long pause. Sure. (Stated with a sad tone and a look on the face resembling a scalded dog.)

      It is about a lack of enthusiasm. How do you gauge. Try this:

      You: Do you want me to parade around the house naked, speaking only to inquire if you want a back rub, another drink or if you are ready for dinner?
      The other person: ABSO-F**ING- LUTELY!!!
      (That answer contains enthusiasm. PS: Invitation for a shopping venture will never garner that reaction.)

      And I laughed because he probably did LOVE those whore shoes. And he just saved himself from many, many future days of shoe shopping.

      Saturday, November 13, 2010

      Take A Bite Of: Mini New York Crumbcakes


      You know you needed something delicious to start your morning, didn't you ? There is a chill in the air outside so we need something warm. This recipe will make 24 mini crumb cakes. You can half the recipe easily if you only want one dozen. I used my Chicago Metallics Mini Cheesecake pan with removable bottom. Fill each well 1/2 way and put the crumb topping on thick.  MMMMM..your coffee has a new BFF. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy every bite.

      Mini New York Crumbcakes
      From the Foster's Market Cookbook.
      Topping:1.5 cups all-purpose flour
      2 cups light or dark brown sugar
      2 T cinnamon
      1 T nutmeg
      1 T all spice
      2 sticks butter, melted
      Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and blend well. Stir in the melted butter until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Set aside.
      Cake:
      3 cups flour
      1 cup sugar
      1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
      ½ teaspoon salt
      2 large eggs
      1 ¼ cup milk
      ¼ cup canola oil
      1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
      1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar to garnish, optional
       

      Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in a separate large bowl and whisk until well blended.
      Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture just until the dry ingredients are moist. Do not overmix. Fill each well 1/2 way per above. Follow with crumb topping. Bake 28-25 minutes until cake rises and topping bakes into the batter. Remove from oven and cool slightly in the pan. Try to share at least one or two.  Happy Saturday. Comments off. Go and bake. 
      And don't forget to enter my giveaway posted just below.

      Thursday, November 11, 2010

      Four words I love: Thanksgiving, Entertaining, Williams-Sonoma

      Fall is my favorite time of year for several reasons. And since it 74 degrees out as I type this, weather in the South contributes to the goodness of Fall. But I love the holidays as well and this year, we will embark on some new traditions as we are hosting Thanksgiving at our house for the first time. Oh, you know I am looking forward to it. We have hosted Christmas multiple times but it is a sign of the times when the grandmothers hand over the reins of Thanksgiving. I am ready to hold them and steer. And my family will be here too which makes Thanksgiving even more fantastic. Two words I love: Thanksgiving and Entertaining. And all the more reason to get the new Le Creuset pot I want. From another place I love: Williams-Sonoma.

      However, I think my Mom, who knows my penchance for the cooking, was briefly worried she might be served Rabbit Terrine instead of the standard faire. Worry not, I know better than to mess with the old stand-by lineup of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce. Since this is our inaugural Thanksgiving as head chefs, I am already pouring over menu ideas. And in my litany of great cook books, I have already put together a pretty fabulous lineup. Thanksgiving foods are not necessarily my favorite but with a few modern tweaks on the classics, like Chipotle smashed sweet potatoes, I hope our house full of family will love it. And my Mom has already asked what is for dessert. 

      I am looking forward to spending the week with my family who are flying in from various points to see us MiniMac. And since I am full of Thanksgiving cheer, why not share it with you. How do I combine Thanksgiving, Entertaining, and Williams-Sonoma into one great giveaway? Williams-Sonoma did it for me in their fabulous book Thanksgiving Entertaining. 

      Full of great recipes like chardonnay gravy, and butternut squash soup (which I will be serving) this book also includes great decor ideas. One of you will win this book as my special toast for you to have a beautiful holiday season. 

      Contest starts today and will end Monday. Winner announced Tuesday or Wednesday
      How to win? Easy breezy:

      1. Be a public follower and leave a comment here (for you non-bloggers, you can leave me a note on FB.) I would LOVE IT if you would share your favorite Thanksgiving dish or recipe. Help me build my arsenal.

      Additional Turkey Time love? You know I have some for you:

      1. "Like" Let's have a cocktail on Facebook. This easy  (1 entry)
      2. Follow me on Twitter like so  (1 entry)
      3. Give a little Twitter Turkey call about the giveaway and send me the link. You can do this daily for one entry per day.
      4. Post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to me. Leave me your link to show the post. (2 entries)
      Looking forward to a great holiday season. I hope you are too. 
      Cheers, 
      JennyMac


      And Happy Veteran's Day to the tremendous group of men and women who have served our country and to those who don a uniform every day to protect my freedoms. Amen.