Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell 2010!


It's a New Year in a new city with a new life!  2011...you're MINE!

Happy New Year everyone!  May all your wishes and dreams for this decade come true!

And don't forget...be kind to one another. 

Until next year...peace...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Banning the Buzz

I attended yet another holiday gathering last evening. Look at me; I’m becoming quite the social butterfly! As I sat serenely, sipping my glass of red wine, some of the other guests were getting giddy in the kitchen and decided to mix the abominable combination of Red Bull and vodka. Ya know…get the buzz and stay awake while doing it. Frankly, I was surprised simply because I associated that type of beverage with a college frat party and not with the sophisticated intellectual types that I was partying with. Hahaha!

Anyway, the alcohol/energy drink combo got us talking about the recent controversy regarding the drink Four Loko. The controversy being the fact that many states across the nation are banning the sale of this supposed “lethal” beverage. It makes me a wee bit nervous when folks start talking about banning things. I would like to think that we live in a country where we can make up our own minds about what we should and shouldn’t put into our bodies.

The Four Loko drink is the latest craze to come down the pike. If you believe the media, college kids are guzzling it by the truck load which is why it was originally marketed to this age group by packaging the cans in bright and shiny colors and offering the drink in delicious fruity flavors. I know college kids are known to drink and party heavily, but I would also like to give them a little bit more credit. I’m not sure that every college kid these days meanders around campus all day in a drunken stupor.

The drinks that were made by my fellow party guests were abandoned after one or two sips. They all returned to the sublime flavor of the Cabernet. I felt relieved. I was no longer at a frat party. I was once again among sophisticated intellectuals. Ahhhhh…..

Friday, December 24, 2010

Single Gals and the Bridal Registry Conundrum

Suddenly I am inundated with engagement and wedding announcements. Lots of friends are deciding to tie the knot in the upcoming year. It feels like an epidemic or something. So, with all these upcoming nuptials, I find myself online checking out the bridal registries and seeing what these people want/need/want. I, myself, as a single gal have always wanted to register for gifts. My audition monologue for grad school was actually about a single woman who wanted to register for gifts because it wasn’t fair that all her married friends got to have nice stuff and she had to buy her plates and flatware from the Dollar Tree. But, I digress…

I have noticed a common request among my engaged friends and it is for Mikasa dinnerware. Now, my mother has been talking about Mikasa for as long as I can remember. And now I know why. It’s beautiful, quality stuff. It’s simple, which I like, but it is also elegant. My mom sure knows what she’s talking about.

They also sell very reasonably priced home d├ęcor. Candleholders and picture frames, and really beautiful glass vases. I have now become a Mikasa fan. I know there was a Sex and the City episode where Carrie registered for gifts even though she wasn’t getting married. It’s not exactly an original idea (just like the monologue I used to perform.)

Would it be so terrible to allow single gals to register for the beautiful things they long to have? Really? Would the saleswomen at department stores across the country leap back in horror at a single woman registering for dinnerware and flatware and candlestick holders? The rules need to change. And with that being said, Mikasa has this beautiful cobalt blue bowl on sale for only $20. I truly love it. Anyone?

Update as of 1/12/11:
Guess what? Since being encouraged to write this post, I actually received the coveted cobalt blue bowl from one of my very generous readers. I’m not kidding. Here’s a photo of my beautiful new Mikasa bowl on my kitchen counter. I’m so pleased. Thank you readers! You don’t all have to send gifts, but if the mood strikes you, I won’t argue. It sure is nice!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Technological Peace of Mind


Like most people, I’ve become increasingly dependent on my computer for just about everything. And as a writer, my livelihood obviously depends upon the use of good equipment. I remember the days when I kicked and screamed and said I would only write long-hand. Ha! Who was I kidding? Nothing compares to the convenience and speed, not to mention the mobility, of a laptop computer.

I know the fear of getting into my car when the engine won’t turn over. It is pure unadulterated panic. I get the same feeling when my computer crashes. I break out into a cold sweat and think, “No! No! Not today!” To prevent this anxiety from occurring on a regular basis, I knew I needed to implement some IT services into my life as a precaution for any fatal computer disaster. And here’s what I found. A friend of mine recommended this computer whiz guy who can help me with any and all of my computer snafus. He uses a desktop support service that allows him to fix my (and other clients computers) software malfunctions remotely.

My tech support guy uses secure software by Bomgar. He doesn’t need to be anywhere in the vicinity of my location; he simply taps into his Blackberry remote access software and before I know it I’m wiping the beads of sweat off my brow and feeling my pulse return to normal. I don’t even need to leave my house and my tech support is with me every step of the way allowing me to smooth over the glitches and get me and my laptop back on its feet. It’s a miracle. It’s modern technology at its best. All I know is that I am in good hands, technologically speaking, and that in itself is worth its weight in gold.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Never Too Late to Improve Yourself!


I know I’ve blogged about this before, but since the New Year is upon us it’s time for reflection, resolutions and thinking about ways to improve our lives in 2011. The economy is still in the toilet and unemployment rates are still way too high. Is going back to school the ultimate answer to our money woes? If I increase my skill set, will I be more valuable in the marketplace? Hard to say, and the competition is tougher than ever out there.

Even though I’ve recently moved out of the area, it’s tempting to think about going back to school at a Southern California college. I love my new city, but let’s face it…nothing beats the climate and all the other amenities that So Cal has to offer. I fondly remember my days at the University of Redlands, and sometimes wish I had a time machine to go back and take the classes I should have taken in the first place. Please don’t get me wrong. I love being an artist. I’m not the 9 to 5 cubicle type. But the old adage “if I knew then what I know now,” holds true, and I would have been more practical at the ripe old age of 20.

If I could turn back the hands of time, perhaps I would have continued down the path with my love for theatre but maybe I would have double-majored and gotten a business degree as well. Now more than ever, artists need to be savvy when it comes to business and taking care of themselves when it comes to contracts and negotiations and such. Some of us learn the hard way, so it isn’t at all unreasonable to get your degree in what you love and in what you need.

It’s never too late to learn. It’s never too late to go back to school. It’s never too late to do anything. 2011 is upon us, and it’s not too late!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tis the Season for Some Holiday E.L.F.

I am a down-to-earth kind of gal and proud of it. I don’t care to wear fancy dresses or stiletto heels in order to look good. The best part of my writing occupation is I get to wear what I want…including my pj’s! But obviously, there comes a time when I have to spruce myself up, especially during the holidays when there are lots of social gatherings to attend.

Budgeting is always an issue, and since I don’t wear makeup that often, I didn’t want to invest an arm and leg to buy some basic necessities. Thank goodness I discovered a brand of cheap makeup that combines affordability with good quality.

E.L.F. (It stands for eyes, lips, face, and what a perfect name for the holiday season) is my latest discovery to help me get rid of my puffy eyes and sun-damaged freckled skin when I want to look my best. Their stuff is mineral-based which smoothes out my complexion—because lately, I hate to admit this, but my skin is looking a little blotchy. Maybe it’s the winter blues, but the E.L.F. concealer and pressed powder makes me look like a Victoria Secret model. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but I really liked the way my skin looked after using this stuff.

Even when I’m not wearing makeup, I typically like to wear lipstick. For some reason, all I need is a dash of color on my lips and people usually think I’m wearing more makeup than I actually am. Lip color seems to make my eyes pop or glow, or something scientific like that. I love the E.L.F. sticks because the color lasts a long time and doesn’t feel icky or waxy when applying. They have a great choice of colors too, especially for redheads like me. I dig their Rosy Raisin lipstick because it goes really well with my coloring.

So, I got myself some cool new makeup. I guess it’s time to put on my party dress (or party pants as the case may be) and go do some holiday celebratin’. And I’m wishing all of you a very festive holiday season!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's ANYWAY, not ANYWAYS!!!


It has been very insidious...creeping up on us before we even knew it.  But suddenly...it's EVERYWHERE!  I'm talking about the misuse of the word ANYWAY.

I have no idea when it began, but I started to notice a few years ago that people were adding the letter "s" to the end of the word "anyway."  I noticed it mostly with my teen students, and of course, being the good teacher that I am, I always corrected them. 

I remember one of my students was doing a monologue without the script in her hand.  As she actively engaged in the piece she said, "So...anyways..."  I stopped her.  She thought I was going to give her an acting note.  I said, "Get the script," which she did.  I said, " What does it say in the script, EXACTLY.  Read from where you left off."

She looked, found the spot and said, "So...anyways..."

I said, "Really?"  Read it again."  She did.  The same way.  And then I said, "look at the words very, very carefully..."  So she did.  And she saw.  And she realized.  And she laughed.  And said, "There's no 's' at the end of anyway." 

No, there isn't!  There is no "S" on the end of "ANYWAY!"  But suddenly it's everywhere.  In film scripts, in television sit-coms and much to my dismay, it showed up in a book of short stories that I've recently been reading.  UGH!!!!!  This is an author I really like.  And don't tell me to chalk it up to the way her character speaks.  No.  This wasn't her character.  This was HER! I was so disappointed.

Why does this bother me so much?  People who should know better say it.  Intelligent, well-read, well-spoken people who I know and respect say it.  When I hear it, it is akin to fingernails scratching on a chalkboard.  I don't know why but it just kills me. Go ahead...call me anal retentive...I don't care.  I just don't like it!

I'm not perfect.  FAR from it.  And I'm no grammar diva either.  I make plenty of mistakes, believe me.  But come on people...this is just laziness.  How did this happen?  How did it become so pervasive? There are so many other things in the world today to be upset about.  But for now...this is my rant.  Do with it what you will.  And maybe, if you're guilty of this little English language faux pas, this post will help you see the light of day.  And you'll drop the "s."  Maybe. Hopefully.  I'm begging you!

So, anyway...