Monday, August 30, 2010

Miss Make a Deal

Yesterday, I went on Let's Make a Deal. I wasn't a fan of the show nor was I terribly familiar with it. I  did it to make money. I mean deals!

The ticket said to dress in costume, so I got out an old bridesmaid's dress, made a crown out of tin foil and a sash from a pillowcase. I was Miss Congeniality. Maybe if I had been Miss Make a Deal it would've gotten me picked.

Sadly, I didn't wow the producers so I wasn't one of the 6 people selected to play. But, I was seated in the second row and apparently got some good camera time. I take it as a good sign that they keep seating me in the front. After all, I was Miss Congeniality!

I'll have to wait until episode 2044 airs to see how silly I look. One girl won a car, a guy dressed as a flower won $4,121 and a couple won a big deal of the day which was a tour of Italy and a car. The lady next to me got a Zonk so maybe our zone had bad energy.

Next time, I'll be a little smarter and go as Miss Make a Deal!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The I of the tiger

My spirit guide is a tiger. A silent tiger that imparts no information.

Yesterday, I decided to get my Groupon/Living Social/Tippr on and take advantage of a surfing lesson and hypnotherapy session. Believe it or not, both would lead me to the same goal: overcome my control issues. And if you know me, you certainly know I have them.

I'm great when I have a plan. I know what to do and I will execute flawlessly. When I'm in control, I'm in my comfort zone. Surfing is about letting go and enjoying the experience, which is a perfect challenge for me. But the waves were Bodie-style-at-the-end-of-Point-Break-ginormous and so we decided to reschedule for next week.

Onto hypnotherapy! I think my control issues are preventing me from exploring new career and romantic options. My rational self keeps saying, "Won't work" or "I won't be good at that." I need to break through this barrier. 

Well, the session was for a group which was a little weird. We had to lie down on yoga mats, visualize a beautiful place and listen to our instructor creating crazy vibration sounds with bowls. I had a hard time lady got up to move, one lady started snoring and my brain kept wandering to think about errands. The instruction was general to account for everyone's issues (pregnancy anxiety, migraines). My issue is about control and fear of the unknown. Obtuse in comparison. 

Halfway through, we were asked to visualize a guide, which was supposed to be an animal. Nothing came to me, so I decided on a tiger. I like tigers. When I shroomed in college, I believed that I had 2 pet tigers sitting beside me. They protected me.

In this session, the tiger stared at me. The instructor told us to listen to the guide. For me, the tiger stared at me placidly. It had nothing for me. Didn't speak or take me anywhere. 

At the end, everyone was relaxed except me. They all had breakthroughs. The hypnotherapist was disappointed in my experience but told me to look up the symbolism of the tiger. They represent power, majesty, energy and wealth. 

My takeaway is that the tiger is within me. I have the power and the energy to create my wealth. Imagine, the control is mine! The problem is, I still have no idea how to get there. If anything, I'm more frustrated than before because I still don't have the answers.

In the immortal words of Tony the Tiger: Grrrrrrrrrrrr-eat! 

Monday, August 23, 2010


I have 2 wards in my care. They're white and have brown eyes. One is male and the other one female.

They both have black noses and 4 paws (for a total of 8). They're two little terrier mixes (I think?). And they've been living with me for a week.

The first night was a little scary for them...there was a lot of stress induced scratching. Not a lot of sleeping, for anyone. Some urination and vomiting on the carpet (luckily, I get a free carpet cleaning for renewing my lease!). There was a lot of barking at people walking in the hall, but after the first 24 hours and lots of "Quiet! It's ok" they got over it.

All in all, we've seemed to bond nicely and they are in a routine with me.

It's like a military operation:
Breakfast: 08:00 and 08:30
Walk and bowel emptying: 08:30 to 09:10
I hit the gym and shower: 09:15-10:15
I leave to run errands, they take the first of many naps: 10:15-18:00
Dinner: 18:00-18:30
Long walk and Bowel emptying #2: 18:30-19:15
Nap number 30/bedtime

Only downside, I'm allergic to them. But cuddles and a healthy dose of Benadryl make it easy to forget. Their stint in my house ends tomorrow and then I'll be a warden of none.

So if you need a pet sitter/dog walker, I'm available!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jet Blown

I live my life without regret. I'd rather experience something and discover that it's a mistake rather than wonder "What if?!"

Well, I have a regret.

I saw the JetBlue All You Can Fly ticket, considered buying it, felt guilty about spending money and decided to think about it. I then realized that I've never really been able to travel. I could go to Costa Rica, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Chicago and visit NYC (home.) I could crash with friends and in cities that I don't know anyone, crash in cheap hotels or hostels. I'd have my backpacking trip, just 15 years after college graduation.

While waiting for my unemployment check to arrive today, I decided that I'd go for it. While I couldn't necessarily afford it, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Who knows what I'll be doing next year when they offer it again?

Well, as soon as I got back from the bank, I jumped on my computer and...dun dun dun: SOLD OUT.

Feeling a little like Steven Slater, I'm Jet Blown.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rut Busting 101

Some days I feel super positive and that there are a dozen opportunities awaiting me. Other days, I feel like a lump of dirt in the middle of the road getting run over by lowriders driven by kids dressed like the Jersey Shore cast.

For the latter, my solution is Rut Busting 101: Force myself to do something I've never done before. Considering that I'm a creature of habit, this takes some ingenuity, causes anxiety and features a coupla doubts.

When I was almost literally run over by a clown car of guidos, I did not get mad. Instead, I viewed it as the bat signal for some serious rut busting. Time to step up my game.

In the spirit of Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, I figured food would be the easiest/cheapest/least time consuming way to bust out. Granted, I am on the "Kerry Quinn Journey to Weight Loss Victory" eating plan and barred from exercise due to my knee, except the stationary bike which does not count, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Food it is!

1. Eat brisket
There is a "NY-style deli" in Hollywood that is pretty good. I typically go "white girl from CT" and have a turkey sandwich. This deli is known for it's #1, which is brisket, horseradish, mozzarella and arugula. I felt like Columbus ordering the #1; Frank Bruni eating it. My review: "Meh." Back to the drawing board.

2. Spanish Latte
I had heard about the elusive Spanish Latte at The Urth Caffe. I always think of Columbians when I think of coffee, so my expectations were low for the Spanish/Castillians/Catalon version. Well, let me tell you, Juan Valdez should be erased from memories, record books, etc and replaced with the guy/lady who created this drink (Rafael Nadal? Penelope Cruz? Javier Bardem!). I'd give up booze for the rest of my life if I could have one of these delivered to my door everyday. I'm Irish in case you don't realize the gravity of that statement. But this lady cannot subsist on lattes alone.

3. Mongolian BBQ/Intelligensia
I have not had Mongolian since 2000 in NYC at The World Cafe located on E. 52nd Street (between 3rd & Lex). Every day I'd have the same meal and every day I'd be happy (chicken, noodles, brocoli, green onions, green beans, soy sauce, lil bit of oyster sauce and hot chili sauce). And then, for some reason, they stopped offering Mongolian BBQ. That is the day that The World Cafe died (for me.)

Anyhoo, I'd gotten some email deals for this restaurant. It's in Silverlake, which is not far but, in the past,  felt like a trek to Mongolia itself. A few friends joined me and we journeyed to the delectable plains of Mongolia. I got my usual from NYC and it was delicious. I felt transported to the hallowed culinary halls of deliciousness, yet hadn't even left LA.

Now time to jump on the stationary bike to work off my food. This is rut busting, not gut busting. Can't make myself a bigger lump and an easier target for those lowriders.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

At least I have hiking shoes

This week, I saw Joan Rivers' documentary A Piece of Work. Joan is fascinating, not as nice as she appears on The Apprentice and is so driven it is awe-inspiring and, for me, unnerving.

Joan says several times in the movie that she was always destined to be on stage. She knew it at a young age and will do it until the day she dies. She has had many low points in her career and, despite being 75 years old, she is desperate to do whatever it takes to get back on top.

Like Joan, I'm in the process of reinventing myself. Unlike Joan, I have no idea what I was destined to be. When I was little, I'd say "When I grow up, I want to be a lawyer, an artist, a doctor and a ballerina." In a word, unfocused. I'll throw in overachieving and overly ambitious.

Until now(ish), I have always done everything "right" and hit every goal. I excelled in school, studied for my SATs faithfully from 7th grade on, got into an excellent university, studied hard to win academic awards and graduated with honors and a 3.75 GPA. As an employee, I worked hard and climbed up the ad agency ladder. All reflected in my transcript and resume.

But in reality, I was simply lost the day after college graduation. I'd mastered the school game and now I needed to embark on a new journey. I had no idea where to go, no idea what to do career wise. For long and involved irrelevant reasons, I fell into advertising. Despite not really caring about this industry, I threw myself in and advanced, just like I did in school.

Now that I'm FUNemployed, I have the opportunity to follow my destiny. But like at the age of 22, I have no idea what I should be doing. Right now it's writing, but I just wish I could be sure.

Like Joan, I'll pick myself up and fight another day. Maybe my journey is to be a hyphenate: writer/face serum seller/dog walker. For some reason, I have this amazingly confident feeling that all will end up ok. Life and fate will give me my path. And a map. Plus some hiking shoes? Ok, I'll take care of the last part.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Watch it!

Watch it! I said that twice last week in completely different contexts. One experience good, the other bad. First, the good.

Watch it #1: Big Brother 12 Live Show Taping

I love going to TV show tapings. It's amazing to see the magic of TV...all of the shots being set up, the PAs running around, the hosts manically preparing and rehearsing their lines. This time it was the live show of Big Brother. My friend and I didn't see any of the house guests but it was awesome to be so close to Julie Chen and all of the action. The best part was that we were seated in the front row and I got some excellent screen time. I was happy that I made a last minute Facebook post so a few people got to see me. ("Watch it!") You never now if you're going to make it in, much less where you're going to sit (no phones are allowed). It was exciting to see myself in so many background shots. Thank God my hair looked good. It was fun and strange at the same time knowing that friends, family and strangers could see me.

Watch it #2: The Stalker
I went on a blind date, which it started out decently. He told me he was a perfect gentleman and gave me a lot of compliments. Then, 5 minutes into the date: Bam! Sex. (as in, "What are some of your favorite things to do? "Sex.") I lost count over the course of the date how many times he worked sex into the conversation. And, honestly, it was a major turn off. I'd generally change the subject and ignore his comments. The point, for me at least, was to get to know him. Until, out of the blue, he asked me about my "flow," as in menstrual cycle (NO I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP. I'M USING KANYE STYLE CAPS BECAUSE IT'S THAT APPALLING). 

I cut the date short and when he got handsy as we were leaving the restaurant, I told him to "Watch it!" He was about to lose a hand. 

So, who calls me and emails me several times the next day? And the day after that? And the next day? Etc? And asks me to go out with him AND PAY FOR THE NEXT DATE? I ignored him but he didn't stop. I finally emailed him and told him that I absolutely didn't want to see him again and to leave me alone. Or else. And then I wished him luck. I didn't mean the last part but I thought it may keep him from hacking me to pieces. So far, success!

So.......where's Scott Speedman when I need him? Especially now that I'm a fellow TV star? :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Redefining boredom

"Aren't you bored with nothing to do? No purpose?"

Only if boredom's definition has been replaced by the one for inspiration.

I look at each day as a challenge. What will I do today? What will I accomplish?

Last week, I made an artichoke for the first time.

Today, I made a turkey burger (also for the first time), put it in a whole wheat pita with spinach and onions.

Three days ago, I was on a conference call about a new entrepreneurial business opportunity.

This morning, I was having an email exchange with a top 20 literary agent who likes my book proposal.

Tomorrow, I'm going to post old clothes, a printer that I don't use anymore and some scarves on eBay.

By next week, I should be done watching DVDs of every season of MI-5. I won't have any way to fulfill my obsession with Adam Carter so this one is actually a negative. (Can't win 'em all.)

When I was working, I was ridiculously busy but always bored because I wasn't challenged. Now, I am inspired to figure out my next step. And hustling is anything but boring.

So, if learning to cook healthfully, explore ways to make money, selling my book idea, catching up on excellent entertainment and dating up a storm equal boredom, then so be it. Take heed Webster dictionary editors.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I am not my job

Whenever you meet someone, the inevitable ice breakers are "Where do you live?" and "What do you do?" The former provides a window into someone's personality and the latter gets someone talking about themselves. Except they're not really talking about themselves, but their jobs.

Employees spend at least 40 hours a week at work. That's more time than you spend with your family (at least awake). Who really wants to talk about work when you are trying to enjoy your precious free time?

Being FUNemployed, I am not my job. Because then I'd technically be nothing by these standards. So, I'm experimenting with new ice breakers:

"What's your favorite food?" Everyone's gotta eat so this is universal. Except for anorexics.

"What's your favorite color?" This one garners confusion or amusement. And, one-word answers don't provide a jumping off point for more.

"Have you ever done a cleanse?" Surprisingly fruitful. Best reserved for LA only.

"Do you have any pets?" This is a good one, and self serving since I'm looking for dogs to walk.

When all else fails, "Who's the bigger trainwreck: Lindsay, Britney or Courtney Love?" Ironically, consensus is NOT C. Love. Guess they don't read her tweets.

Have any good ice breakers you want me to try? Hit me with your best shot.