Flash Required to view this area.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out With The Old, In With The New

Dear 2009,

Even though I happily proclaimed on this day one year ago "2009 is my year!", I knew by that I meant the hardest and most intense growth year of mine yet. (Kind of like when you have that feeling you're about to watch a train-wreck.) Well 09, you certainly proved to be just that difficult and then some. As dramatic as it might sound, there were a few points I really questioned whether I'd actually make it through to ring in 2010. 

Well here I am. 

Thanks for doing whatever you did to show me that indeed I can and will be able to handle anything that comes my way now. Even though I wouldn't tried to convince myself otherwise- I wouldn't have been able to hack it all before now. Thank you for that.

~Diane 

Dear 2010,

I am so, so totally ready. 

Bring it!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Time Stamp

Living in the past doesn't do us any good, but looking back in reflection is good for us all. I spent time today reading some things I wrote on this day one year ago in this notebook. I then promptly threw it in the dumpster outside my apt. Accept it all/own where you have been and what you've done, then toss it and move on. It's always motivating to be able to see how far you've come, humbling to see how far you still have to go and thrilling to think about all the things that are possible for tomorrow.

One year from today? We'll all be even faster, smarter, better than we've been this year. You've got to love that. It doesn't come easy but it's sure worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears.

Here's to looking at yourself in the mirror and not running away. 

Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm Danika Patrick

Moving to different states, starting new jobs, next chapters, etc.- all mixed in with the holidays tends to put a wrench in the writing plans. Sorry to have disappeared. In my absence I have certainly collected lots of stories.

I'll tease you with a scene that might be in my book someday. I'm back to writing regularly again as of today too. Here's a story to start:

It's Christmas night, freezing and pouring rain. I am in the middle of nowhere and get to a friends house in the country. (They were gone for 2 days to see family.) It's pitch black about 8pm and I am alone. I tried to be a bad-ass and wheel up into their snow covered icy driveway. (Have I mentioned how much I hate the snow and cold weather? I mean hate it. LOATHE it. If I never saw a temperature below 75 again in my life I'd be happy.) Because I am more stubborn than an ox, even though I don't make it the first 3 times, I try for a fourth and then...yep. In the ditch I go. I get out and start pushing my car, in flip flops, in the snow and rain- soaked and laughing at myself because I knew damn well that I'd end up in the ditch but I tried anyway like an idiot. After realizing that unless I was going to suddenly become the Incredible Hulk, all 120lbs of me was probably NOT going to be able to push my car out alone. I got back in the car. Took a deep breath, channeled my inner Vermont, put my poor civic in reverse and burned that little thing out of that ditch like you read about.

I then left the car it in the middle of the road and walked in the house.

Merry Christmas to me. 

I love that I can appreciate these adventures and the fact that a year or two ago in this situation I would've been spitting and cursing. Now I sit here typing shaking my head and smirking. 

What's it all worth it if you can't laugh at yourself?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thanks Lukie

Love the med-school schmegma couch, love the fun times and I actually somehow think it's cute and charming that you are always so effin late.

Here's to rookies and smiling through it all.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lick It, Slam It, Suck It

That's what you do when you're leaving town and saying goodbye.

Here's to surprisingly amazing and unassuming friends.

Ugh. I hate tequila.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dessert Trays At Holiday Office Parties

This was before we hosed the entire thing while having an argument as to why one person cannot make two cappuccinos at the same time. 

I love you dessert tray.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Learned And Realized Today:

1.) I don't have breast cancer.

2.) I have the best auto insurance agent ever.

December 17th- you have really been something.

...Stay tuned for more on the above...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just Pee And Exit Please

Should they really have to tape this up on a bathroom wall in a Doctor's office?

I always love the random hand-written signs like these in various public bathrooms. It seems a lot of humans are having quite the little parties with themselves in these places, stuffing things where they shouldn't, not understanding how to flush, locks the doors, etc. 

Entertaining.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Whatcha Thinkin'?

I saw this "Community Issues" board on the wall at a coffee shop in Vermont. I like it. What a great way for people to voice thoughts, concerns, opinions in a simple and peaceful way.

I think things like this should be up in every place of business or anywhere people interact. Wouldn't it be great if we could share information like this anonymously on a regular basis? Maybe we could all open our minds and see things from someone else's point of view a little bit easier that way...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Only 600 Teeth Were Broken In The Making Of This Video

Just as I was finishing up writing about how random friends and followers send me links to cool stuff, this one came in.

These guys are ridiculous. I mean, holy hours of practice and holy awesomeness. I will so never be this cool. Compared to these fearless dudes I still have my training wheels on!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It Takes A Village

I sometimes delay in getting posts up every single day, but it never means I have a lack of things to write about. I have pages and pages of random notes to self, newspaper articles, saved links in email folders and on and on. Some favorites in my stack of to write-abouts though, are the links friends and followers often send me. 

Here's a link just in from a friend on how to become a good writer. (We were talking about this last week.) I'm liking #2. Then this one he sent just for a funny. Love it.

Thanks chocolate and fried green tomato buddy. Can't wait for our shots of tequila. Keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

You're Creeping Me Out Sanny-Clause!

I don't think it'd take long for any of us to dig up a hilarious kid flaming out with Santa photo. We all have them. Until you find yours, check out Sketchy Santas, a blog chucked full of good ones. I especially love this one. This poor little girl is running for her life as this particular Santa looks on thinking; Mwahh-ahh-ahh....I'll get you my pretty!

The Christmas season wouldn't be complete without at least 90% of kids completely losing it and breaking out in tears dressed in their finest dresses and sweaters. Can you say photo op?

(I just had to scroll back to that one picture and can't stop laughing...)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Kind Of Diet

I'm on more of a "live it" than a diet in life. It's just a whole lot more fun. So I have to run a few more miles, so be it. Here's a diet I'm a big fan of that I've just been reading about for all of you out there who think you can't have it all! Eating 6 cookies a day as part of the deal? Oh yeah, sign me up. Just throw a salad and a run or two in your week along with a few apples and you're healthy as all get-out.

Thanks Doc!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hmmm...

It took me months and months after writing here to ever start listing "I write" when people asked what I did or what my hobbies were. I've never taken a writing class or thought that I could be a writer. What I have always thought though, is that I have seen so many amazing things, met so many incredible people and had far to many eye-opening adventures in my 31 years not to find a way to share them somehow. Why not just start babbling and hope some super-experienced official writer doesn't show up someday to rip me a new one about how I am a disgrace to "real" writers everywhere.

As of today- no one has come to rip me a new one yet.

Whew.

And so I babble...

One great lesson I've learned in fumbling through my words here is that no one really gives a hoot about me having a vocabulary that could reach the end of the earth or perfect punctuation. People want and like something they can actually relate to. I have had countless; "I can relate Di!" or "Me too!" It's such a treat because not only does it make me feel like- great, I'm not some crazy freak after all who's the only one who thinks/feels this, but other people think/feel it too! When I saw Malcolm Gladwell's latest book; "What The Dog Saw" and this quote of his- I thought it was perfect to share on the subject of relatability:

"Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head."

Some of the best gifts I've received in my life are those experiences and people who make me stop and think; think differently and openly. I hope by me struggling to find my strengths, security and voice in my life and in this crazy world, then sharing them here with you- I've been able to make you think differently and openly about your life too.

Here's to things and people that make you stop and think.

Friday, December 4, 2009

"Oh Dear, Did I Break Wind?"

We love you Aunt Bethany.

I can't say I have ever been that person who watches movies over and over and over like some people, but this one? Oh yes. I have watched it twice in the past three days. (Channel flipping for background noise and I just can't help myself.) I still laugh my a** off through the whole movie. Of course National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation will probably play another 58 times before Santy comes, so don't worry if you haven't gotten your fix for the 2009 season yet. Just power on your TV and it will be there on just about every channel. I'd argue that this movie rivals all others on the funny. 

Here's to fruitcakes, full shitters, and family madness. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

'Tis The Season

Somehow the "Oh my god- stop!" your friend Chelsea blurts after stuffing your face with the most amazing food ever is way more fun than just driving by a house like this yourself on a rainy Wednesday night in Richmond, VA.

Happy Holidays folks. Here's to the tacky light tour!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Seth And Amy Say It Best

I'm sitting in a coffee shop, which is often my office happily sipping a de-lish morning java and working away. I'm can't help but watch and listen to this professionally dressed attractive woman babbling and pacing on her cell phone. (Clearly she thinks she's either at a NASCAR race or surrounded by four of her own walls she's so loud.) I could care less (actually, I love it) considering this is a prime example of why I'll always have endless writing material. I'm all about people being able to do whatever the hell they want, when they want, however- as well-dressed and attractive this woman might be, she just looks like a complete obnoxious idiot. She is so "that guy." As the other people around us are having friendly chats with pals and work meeting with other physically present humans, they are shooting her looks of death. You know- that "Shut up before I smack you lady! I'm trying to relax and talk to someone here!" 

Boy is it entertaining to go in public. I could make a career out of just sitting in coffee shops studying people's behavior from the hours of 9 and 10am. Talk about writing material. 

Anyway, the point to all this is to see if anyone out there has a clue as to what goes through "that guys" head as he/she is cluelessly disturbing the peace of the other 65 people in a public place. (I'm laughing) All I can think of is the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update; Really?!? With Seth and Amy.

Dear Well-Dressed Lady,

Really?!?

We all can hear every word you're saying. We now know all of your business. Thanks. I was actually wondering which coworker of yours was pissing you off today and what time your next meeting is. (Yeah- not so much.) Well, I still have to say good for you for having the confidence to think you are so important you can be that disruptive to everyone else in a public place. Intrepid. I love it, I'm just not sure the others her quite appreciate it like I do- but go on with your bad-self. Just don't be surprised if someone throws their grande skinny peppermint mocha in your face.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sassy Granola Bars

I saw these in a grocery store yesterday. I can't say I have really been itching to take photos of many boxes of granola bars  in my life (I mean really- how many granola bars are that thrilling) but I thought this one was brilliant.

On the subject of fun; Please tell me- why aren't more companies branding themselves like this? This is hilarious. I love it, and I hate apple granola bars- but I'd still buy them. Just because. 

The guy who thought this up deserves a raise. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fun

This is post # 400 for me. 400! Holy moses! I guess time really does fly when you're having fun. 

Ever notice that most of the time adults look like they're not having a bit fun? I mean- kids have it down pat. They run, they laugh, they play- all without a care in the world about what's going on around them. Why are kids smarter than us adults? At what point is it so uncool for grown-ups to laugh out loud, run and play or joke with someone that we just stop or give up? 

I was fortunate enough over Thanksgiving weekend to spend time with fun people. I mean really fun, act like idiots, just don't give a damn what anyone thinks- friends and family. Sitting with my grandparents who are almost 80 years young yesterday morning for breakfast, I was laughing out loud having a blast talking about absolutely nothing important, just loving the moment. All I could think of was, wouldn't the world be even better with a few more people in it like my happy, smiley, loving, portly grandparents. They're just doing their thing, not hurting a soul and completely not giving a damn about anything other than enjoying life. 

Genius.

How appropriate that I happened to spot this sign yesterday too.

Lets have some fun people. Act like kids. Or maybe I should say; If you are a fuddy-dutty and don't want to have fun on a daily basis- please stay away; You're cramping my giggling, everything is possible and oh you better bet your ass I am going to get it - style. You can go find Debbie Downer, She wants to hang out. I don't.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm So Glad I Suck At Reality

I'm going to be that annoying person and keep posting quotes, lines and other babble here from a book that I want to eat I'm so in love with right now; The 4-Hour Workweek. I typically underline words/lines I think are interesting or fantastic as I read. I've practically underlined this entire book. Here's one for you today:

"Does your life have a purpose? Are you contributing anything useful to this world, or just shuffling papers, banging on a keyboard, and coming home to a drunken existence on the weekends?

Yeah, I know. 
Are you suddenly thinking; For the love of god are you really going to make me think about this?! If I do, I might want to make some big changes in my life and god knows shaking things up like that is just "unrealistic", scary as hell and I might- gasp!- make people think I'm crazy...
Jesus. Thanks Di. 

Ahh...you're welcome. Isn't it great? Hey, don't shoot the messenger. I'm just hanging out on this Blue Lollipop Road of life doing things like passing on words from other people so I constantly keep myself in check too. 

There's another part in the book that the author Timothy Ferriss writes that his high school admissions counselor told him to be more "realistic" to which he concluded he was just not good at reality. Me either Tim! Wahoo for that! I guess neither of us would've learned to start contributing anything useful to the world if we'd ever been very realistic. Thank goodness we don't listen very well to some people either.

Here's to being unrealistic, asking questions and shaking things up.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Who Wakes You Up?

I'm very excited to report that I get to hang out with a fellow coffee-lover as he finishes up his roasting session Tuesday this coming week. I've only spent a small amount of time with him in the past, but when I learned of his project; Origin a couple months ago I was excited to contact and congratulate him. I was instantly intrigued about his project. That with combination of his happy and genuine personality and two of my favorite things; Coffee and stories about where things/people come from, it was a no-brainer I'd find a way to catch up with him sooner than later to learn all about what he's been up to.

Check out Drink Up Give Back and read about what Tom is doing. He started out as a barista some years ago. It's neat to see how his love for the delicious brew has progressed. How cool is it that his organization is improving "...the quality of life for the farmers who wake us up every day." Just like in a lot of our daily routine, I'm sure most of us don't even think about the story behind how the delicious cup of java gets into our hands. Tom is helping tell the stories.

It thrills me to meet, read about or spend time with anyone who is living their passion/following their dreams in general- no matter what the subject. Even better when that person is giving back or doing good. The energy poured out into the world from someone who completely grabs the thing they love or believes in- and runs with it, is totally inspiring. 

Tom- you are one of these people. I'm looking forward to our time together!

Everyone else- I'll report back soon on my time with Tom. I'm sure I'll have some fantastic stuff to share!

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Version Of Thanksgiving Leftovers...

...for breakfast, with coffee.

Chocolate fudge. Oh yeah. 

Notice the available bananas in the background. 

Poor neglected bananas.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

So Thankful for this Year

Yeah. There aren't enough hours to even begin typing why, so I'll leave it at that.

Thanks 2009. I've never had my ass handed to me like you have this year and I've never been happier either. (Crazy how that works.)

HAPPY FEASTING!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

There's No Place Like Home


What am I thankful for during the holidays this year? Oh so many things but to just scratch the surface for what I was able to do today:

*Stuff my face for breakfast with my family at this place. (My favorite diner in the country that I've written about before of course.) 

*Relax and work, not from a cubicle but in this fabulous little coffee shop.

*Have dinner with an elementary school friend at this gorgeous spot. (Yes it really looks like this. I know, it is indeed like a postcard. Exactly what you'd expect. About 3 doors down from tonight's dinner spot is the Norman Rockwell museum. How so Vermont. 

I love snapping photos like these and acting like a tourist where I grew up. Somehow it just never gets old. Funny how all you can think about when you're a kid growing up in a small town is how the heck to get out of there because- "ugh- it is sooo boring." Then when you're old enough to know better, you realize that boring small place was actually pretty perfect, totally charming and that you can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Up And Atem!

I snapped this shot at a Caribou coffee in the airport. (Hey- I think it's funny:) Shortly after taking this photo I got on my plane where I couldn't stop giggling with the lady next to me because the guy behind us was snoring so loud it could've moved a mountain. (This guy was snoozing away before the cabin door was even closed!) Next up was the lady next to me grabbing my leg and hand as we took off because she was deathly afraid of flying, and finally out of nowhere this little voice starts belting out tunes. Beat It was her first song. Word for word. What a nice tribute to MJ from a kid thought- as I turned around to stare straight at the most adorable little munchkin singing away. She could not have been more than 4 years old. Too cute.

All of this above before 6:15am this morning.

Who says getting up at 3:30am and traveling during the holidays is a hassle and no fun? Love this stuff. I'm actually considering asking Jet Blue if I can live on these comfy couches here at the brand spanking new JFK terminal. Talk about never be bored...

Monday, November 23, 2009

You Got That Dress For How Much?

Have something fancy-schmancy to go to? Feel like looking sassy or smoking-hot for someone? Your bank account not as fat-daddy as it used to be? Think it's crazy to spend hundreds on a dress you might only wear one time?

Yep. Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too.

Here you can rent the runway for $50-$200. This means you can pick a dress of your dreams in your size, have it mailed to your house, wear it to any place, soiree, "thing" your little heart desires, toss it back into the included dry cleaning bag and send it right on back only spending a fraction to rent it instead of buying it.

Brilliant and perfect timing for that upcoming holiday party.

No matter what kind of girl you are (even if you are rolling in the dough) this is just a smart alternative to packing yet another LBD into your closet to collect dust. How else are you going to be able to wear that uber-pricey gorgeous designer get-up you've been dreaming of for cheaper than this? Bonus; consider it environmentally conscious! Several fashion-loving gals get use out of one dress. Less material used. Less waste. Love that.

Rent it, wear it, and shake your groove-thang.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

One Year Ago Today...

...I stepped off a plane in Delhi India to see "Namaste" painted across the airport wall. 

This is the photo of a little girl touching her lips and scratching at the window begging for food. It was the first scene and shot I saw on the taxi ride from the airport. Soon there after at our first stop- yep, that elephant walked by.

Lets just say this was the beginning of quite an adventure. Nothing says Thanksgiving week like the Taj Mahal, being fitted for my very own Sari and stuffing my face full of naan.

Wow. What a difference a year makes.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm In Love With A Guy Named Max Brenner

No, he doesn't know. I haven't had a chance to tell him yet. 

I've written about his NYC store before and how I look forward to the day I will walk in and get my very own Hug Mug of hot cocoa. Recently I ran across a book of his called Chocolate: A love story. Between that title and what he's put on the first page of this read, I'm convinced he is the man for me. (In case you can't read it clearly, it says; It is so simple, you just need to really love CHOCOLATE.)

Sigh. The man of my dreams.

Dear Max,

Will you marry me? :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Spread Hope

December 7th. Leaders from 192 countries will gather in Copenhagen to help solve our climate crisis. 

Hopenhagen.

Sign the petition here. Change powered by all of us. We CAN build a better future for our planet and a more sustainable way of life. Jump on the bandwagon with me and spread the word.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

OOh! Pick Me!

It's so fabulous when a reader/follower from here (whom I still have never met but we have become quite good pals after many months via email. Love modern technology.) sends me a link to Yokmok to try to hook me up with some free travel. Thanks G! I'm emailing them and pitching why they should sent me on some random walkabout adventure so I can write about it. I figure that eventually after sending emails, making calls, etc. to these cool and interesting companies telling them I'd be happy to scrub their toilets, carry someone else's luggage or dance naked on the street to be able to write this for a living, travel, interview people, etc.- someone will scoop me me up and take me in. If not I'll keep trekking and figure it out on my own, then maybe someday they'll be asking me for a job.

A thought just popped in my head about how I got one of the most excellent jobs I've had thus far. I waited on a bunch of the management team for this company lunch during one of my uber-glamourous restaurant jobs. As soon as I saw they worked for Red Bull I blurted out (exact quote); "When the hell are you Red Bull people going to smarten up and give me a job anyway?" I had never even met them before.

I got a job that afternoon, and worked for them for 3 years.

So I didn't beat out thousands to become Ms. America, qualify for the Olympics or make a million bucks but I did beat out 65 people to score the awesomely-fun job. How? By not keeping my mouth shut. I didn't do anything special, just clearly stated what I wanted. Never hurts to ask, or in this case- lightly demand...

Quiet women (or men) rarely make history right?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The 4-Hour Work Workweek

"What does an igloo dwelling millionaire do that a cubicle dweller doesn't? Follow an uncommon set of rules."

"What is the pot of gold that justifies spending the best years of your life hoping for happiness in the last?" 

Hmm. There are a couple things for you to think about today.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Well Halle-freakin-lujah!

Yep. It says Sea Gate Community Chapel. 

I was zoning out driving tonight and passed this sign. I almost swerved off the road, I said "oh hell yes!"- out loud to myself, and U-turned as if I was on a NASCAR track. I was absolutely thrilled I'd be posting this photo here. I'm not even gay and I'm amazed at how one little sign like this could make me feel hugely victorious. 

This is dedicated to my incredible little brother and anyone else out there who has ever been told it was. 

We love you.

Treats Found At The Dollar Store




Gross.

You've Got Mail

I got a piece of mail this weekend that left me speechless. Completely speechless. (In a good way.) The kind of speechless that it takes a day and a half to even be able to type on my computer about it.

I am quite sure I have written about this before but I'll mention it again now after receiving this certain piece of mail; If you ever ever have those thoughts along the lines of "Why bother doing extra? Who's going to notice anyway?" or "What does it matter? It's never going to get me anywhere." -Just stop yourself, because that's just simply not the case. 

You may never get that piece of mail, or "notice" as you might like, but know that everything you do has an impact on some one or some thing. I guess this means we should try to always be on our best behavior eh?

Dear B,

I don't think I have to tell you what that stamped envelope meant to me. You know. I could never thank you enough. 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Revolutionary Road

If you haven't seen this movie- watch it. It was fantastic. I wanted to share part of a pretty powerful scene/quote that I had to stop, rewind and listen to a few times:

"You know what's so good about the truth? Everyone knows what it is however long they've lived without it. No one forgets the truth- they just get better at lying."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Local Dirt Tastes Delicious

Got an excuse as to why you can't find or don't buy from farms close to your home? Here's a solution! I recently found Local Dirt. Whether you're a farmer trying to sell your wares or a hungry for fresh deliciousness consumer- ready to buy, here's your hub. Poke around the site and find all the local food to fill your belly you'd ever need. 

Why buy local? Here's a couple interesting facts, in case for some reason we actually still have to convince you that it's the best idea ever:

*A typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table. 
(Um, that's like clear across the flipping country. Absurd. Lets not promote that.)

*Farmers' markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer. 
(Incredible! Up and atem with your coffee in your travel mug this Saturday morning and head on down to your local market. Stock up and throw a bunch of stuff in a crock pot for a yummy get together with your family and friends.)

See? It's so easy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Are You Having The Greatest Day Ever?"

That's what a cute young Barista just asked me as she was ringing up my dark-roast drip coffee this morning. I am usually the chatty, smiley one- but she beat me to the punch. I just laughed and replied "Yep! I am having the greatest day ever!" 

So funny. I think that's awesome. I mean- even if your day was totally sucking, if someone randomly asked you that question, how could you not smile?

Thanks cute, young Barista. Today is indeed pretty great.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

To you all who constantly protect and serve, there are not enough words in the world- so to you and your families:

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

My friend Julie sent me this link a few weeks ago and I thought it was perfect to share on this day. The little girl in the pink? Talk about make your heart melt. What an incredible moment and scene.
 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nice Hair

A friend and I walked past this Glamour Shots studio in a mall last week and both stopped dead in our tracks, looked at each other and said; "These places still exist?!"

Hilarious.

Get your shoulder-padded dresses and Aqua Net out people. It's on. 

(Ok, so when I just Googled "Aqua Net because I couldn't remember if it had a hyphen or not, this photo popped up. Oh my god. Cracking up...)

If you're feeling confident about your super sweet old hair-do, email it to me; diane at (@symbol of course) bluelollipoproad.com and I will post it. Oh this is goooood.

Does Simply Being Friggin' Awesome Count?

I was invited to and joined some people at a "Steelers Bar" watching the game last night with a business contact/mentor of mine. I don't typically watch football very much and don't have a team. I am however all about going to a random dive bar to get in the mix and people watch. Last night was one of those perfect mixes of the uber wealthy and uber country. I love that stuff. 

This mentor and I were spending time together to catch up and so he could offer some thoughts and advice on work for me. So between beers, a buffalo chicken sandwich and screaming Pittsburg fans, we got some good chatting in. One question he asked me was; "What added value do you bring to a company?"

You know those times when someone asks you a question that seems so easy to answer, but somehow stumps you or makes you think in a way you never have before? Yeah- Im sitting here still thinking and it's been 15 hours. Does this mean that simply being fun, smart, reliable and nice isn't enough of an added value to impress anyone in HR to get you a job?

Well that's a bummer to find out after all these years. 

Eh, I still think it's possible.

If this question stumps you too- ask your friends and family what they think your "added value" is. You might get some pretty interesting responses. I'm still waiting for mine...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Find An Ounce

I have been thinking and talking a lot about the people going nuts around this country and blowing each other away. (I am sorry if that line is too graphic for you, but that's what's happening and I think it's appropriate to write it as that to show the severity of the problem. It's awful.)

My initial reactions to the shootings happening last week were sorrow for the families who've lost loved ones and how horrific that must be, then anger at the shooters, then just an overall complete confusion and sadness. 

What the hell is going on in people's heads?

It seems we simply just don't care about, nurture and listen to each other as much as we could or should. Economy schmonomy. I am so over that excuse. Are Americans all that simple? Is it that simple in general? I think not. I hope not anyway. Are we really that bummed we had to sell one of our 4 cars, can only afford 3 lattes instead of 7 this week or that we can't peruse the mall every other day? That seems so shallow and easy. What ever happened to taking care of your neighbor? Saying a friendly hello? Holding the door open for someone or taking an extra minute to do something nice for a stranger just because? 

Ever have those lonely moment missing your family that lives far away, annoyed feeling that maybe you haven't exactly figured out that dream job yet, anger because you can't afford to decorate your apt. even though you work so hard or that pit in your stomach when you stare at your laptop watching your bank account dwindle thinking to yourself wtf am I going to do? Then you breath for a minute, take 2 seconds look around and say to yourself; Holy crap! I have a family even though they're 4,795,867 miles away- I have job even though it's not super awesome right now, I have an apt. and safe place to sleep and I have a laptop to use to be able to see the lack of funds in my bank account! Damn I'm lucky!

I'm with you. When life feels like every last thing sucks ass and it's a lie when people say "It will get better" it's not fun. We have one of two choices; be miserable, give up, hate, punch, shoot someone or find one last ounce of whatever goodness life hasn't beaten out of us yet and feed that.

Hate makes people give up and think there are no other options. There are always options. I really hope we can all start loving ourselves and each other a whole lot more and hating ourselves and each other a whole lot less. I wish everyone would stop using things like the "bad economy" as an excuse as to why people are often so hateful. Come on. We are so much smarter and better than that.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Baby Steps

Sitting in the sun today, having a conversation with my Mom, I realized truly for the first time ever that I have been trying to change the world. I realized it's simply impossible to do alone. I guess I thought that if I put my heart into everything 110% that somehow bagillions of people would believe and practice right along with me that everything is possible and the world could be perfect.

Clearly I've been biting off way more than I can chew.

Reality Bites. 

Although it bites, allowing this reality hit me today, it felt like a thousand-pound weight lifted off me that I have been carrying around for my lifetime. Whew. It feels pretty amazing to allow myself to finally believe that simply doing the best I can is good enough. Understanding the world is never going to be perfect and while it's great- it sometimes just sucks is actually a relief somehow to me. Moving forward I will take mini bites. Maybe then I'll actually start making that difference I've always wanted, while actually taking care of myself too.

Thanks Mom.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stand By Me

I love it when worlds collide...

In peace of course.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Did You Know?

This is very old news at this point, but I wanted to share it anyway in case anyone out there hasn't seen it.

Crazy.
Scary.
Interesting.
Informative.
Mind-boggling.

Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Do Whatever You Want

A friend just sent this quote from an REM band member:

"Basically we didn't really know what to do so we decided we could do anything we wanted."

Love it. That's right folks. The world is our oyster...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Run Forrest Run

I was talking about running this weekend and injuries that come with along with it. It only took me about 13 years of pounding the pavement for fun and occasional race to discover that it's true; the shoes really are the thing that damage your legs. I have researched and read articles, been advised by coaches, followed programs, bought insanely priced running shoes, learned about my arches, pronation, done hundred of dollars worth of gait training, changed my stride, heard opinions from x-professional runners and I think I even tried to run sideways once. (Kidding.)

I haven't been able to run more than 4 miles in 6 years because the pain I have in so intense, I cannot walk after. Even when I only do 4 miles I have major swelling and unbearable pain. Every single run. For someone who likes to beat feet like me- this is a total bummer and has ben a hard pill to swallow. So imagine my thrill last week when I randomly decided to go to my first barefoot long run on the beach ever, because where I live it's been 80 plus degrees. I had been told NOT to do this because "It's uneven and will hurt your knees, etc more." Well- guess what? Not only did I get to run on the beach, on a gorgeous and warm October night- but I had absolutely zero pain or swelling.

What?!

After all this time that's all it took?

So in honor of the NYC Marathon yesterday, I thought I'd share this. If you have to/are going to wear shoes, I would recommend nothing but Newtons. I tried them on a couple months ago. They were pretty incredible and are essentially designed to make your body think you're running barefoot. I don't know about you, but if I can have one of my 2 favorite sports back in my life and all I have to deal with are a few blisters, sore calves (because yes, running barefoot kills your calves at first) or some pricey running shoes- I'll do it.

As for the NYC marathon? Male and female winner both Ethiopian. I'm moving there before my next race to train- clearly they are the pros. Congrats Meb and Derartu!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth

I think the founders of AFAR Magazine, Greg and Joe were dropped out of the sky from the same stork as I was. Or we were hatched from the same egg. I am not kidding. I need to work with these guys. Holy moly.

I ran across this magazine while on a typical night of perusing Barnes & Noble. Those nights are ones for me that I want and need to feel inspired and that all things are possible. Book stores are my favorite for that. The night I spotted AFAR was typical visit for me. I intend on walking in and picking up the latest business book or novel but then my body instinctually turns; The magazine or book travel section. I'm not sure why I try to deny my biggest passion or why in my head I say to myself "Dammnit Diane- can't you be normal and just go get some other book?!" Perhaps it's because I always end up finding myself standing there with a magazine open like AFAR and feeling completely alive and excited in a way that nothing else feels to me and then a bit peeved at myself for not yet figuring out a way to make a living in the travel world. Hmmm. Guess it's time to put it all out there and stop denying myself.

Watch this video. Every single word these guys say I agree with, have thought about and preached a million times over. Yes, I have just contacted them asking them if I can scrub their toilets, or be their coffee runner. Anything I can do to get my foot in that door. I'm not afraid to do whatever it takes.

Dear Greg and Joe,

Someone once told me that a perfect way to find out what you're really passionate about or would be great at for work is to listen to conversations around you at a cocktail party or outing. When you overhear someone talking about a certain subject from clear across the room that makes you not only want to leave the conversation you're in, but knock over the hors d' oeuvres table or an old lady, just to get in that conversation- perhaps that's your "thing." For me? Yep- my thing is travel. I literally got up from a business meeting (maybe this is a bad thing to tell you? Hey- I'm being honest) I was in last week that was completely boring me and lasting too long, because I heard the owners of the little coffee shop we were in- talking about their home country I spent a month in this year; Argentina. I couldn't help myself. I just couldn't wait to talk to them (Mom, Dad, grown daughter and her husband all working together) about chimichuri and Iguazu Falls among other incredible things I was lucky enough to experience in their country. 30 minutes later I had to force myself out the door to go back to my "real" work day. I could've stayed there and talked for hours with them, but promised a return visit soon. I can't wait.

Since my return from the first big trip I took 16 years ago, my mother has always said; "You never came back the same." She was right. How could I have? I haven't stopped traveling since. 

So guys- I'm for hire and I get it like you do. That "place" where travel takes you and that everyone should be lucky enough to experience. I love promoting and spreading that message. How about giving someone just like you a chance? 

Thanks. Congrats on the magazine and your amazing company. I look forward to hearing from you :)

Yet Another Reason To Love Chi-town

Check out the Skydeck Ledge on the 103rd floor of the Willis- ahem SEARS Tower. How cool. Clearly the glass has been made strong enough to hold plenty of weight, but it still seems you'd have to have some big kahonays to step on out. Looks like they serve cocktails there too. Having one or six or more of those sure wouldn't hurt for those afraid of heights!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

From A Confederate

Below is an email sent to me by a perfect stranger who became a follower here. Someone I met via email with work I do and then happened to be lucky enough to meet in person about a week ago. I wanted to share this with you because of those times we all have when we think our words or actions don't matter or that they might go unnoticed- we couldn't be more wrong. Someone, somewhere is watching. 

Thanks B. Having someone like you who has lived and experienced many more years than me write this- certainly means a lot. It's especially great to know that we all can relate to each other because we all have our own rocky roads. Life is oh so good- isn't it? Don't you worry. I will never stop believing it's all possible. Glad you're a fellow walker down the Blue Lollipop Road.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Damn girl, you are good! No matter how hard we try, no matter how caring we are, no matter the depth of our acquired knowledge and skills as we learn about this rather bizarre planet, sometimes it just seems to rain ferrets.

For days on end, f'ing ferrets. 

After reading portions of BLR over the past couple of weeks, I flashed back to times and people I have known - good people with fire in their eyes and that desire to see and do it all - who have been caught in multiple ferret storms. (A few they conjured up themselves:) Some went down. Many changed to a safer course. After the clouds lifted a few emerged stronger, more than just survivors, still on course. They became hope for us all. I decided then you were one of those.

Nothing I saw Friday night of you doing-what-needed-to-be-done changed my mind. But I worried. You all worked your asses off to make a great Wilmington evening that would not have otherwise happened. I hoped then that the lack of a sell-out would not dishearten. I was already concerned for my Richmond transplant (and honorary Virginian) when I thought of her sitting in a furniture-less apartment, broke, with a mouthful of gummy mac 'n cheese. The halfway through "Bring It" I cringed; "holy shit," I thought, "what next?" Then Diane reappeared, laughing. Then, "Chillin," she demonstrated the considerable power that comes from whatever is the inverse of "kick, scream, cry and fight." No, the externals still may not be "absolutely perfect," but the internals are close. I really admire those internals.

So happy Tuesday Diane. Things will be better. Probably uneven, but still better. You have confederates along the Blue Lollipop Road, some you barely know.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Getting In The Halloween Spirit...

...here's a good word for the day: 

Tenebrous:
TEN-uh-bruhs\, adjective:

Dark; gloomy.

Mwah-ahh-ahhhhh...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

National Chocolate Day

Declared by the National Confectioners Association; today is National Chocolate Day. A holiday for chocolate?! Love that. Twist my arm- I'll have some please. How could I, the everyday eating, can't shut up about chocolate-loving girl have not known about this until now? I would've had a sweet soiree planned if I did. There's always tomorrow. Every day is a chocolate celebration for me.

Here's some information on the health benefits chocolate- (You know I had to throw some good reasons to eat my favorite stuff in here) so make sure your well-balanced diet of fruits and veggies include something chocolate. That and a glass of red one and BAM! You're the pillar of health.

Do you think there's some irony in me deciding to call South n' France out of nowhere yesterday and just happened to set up a meeting with them for today? I can't wait. What serendipitous timing.

Off to eat a bon bon or twelve...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Be Good

I got an email from an older, wiser and much more experienced person than I about our company/events we have done recently and a portion of it said the following:

"No one will hire you because you are rich- they will hire you because you do good work."

When you're in your younger professional years, hungry for success and still believe in "old-fashioned" stuff like being an honest and hard working person- in 2009 you sometimes find yourself feeling a bit crazy, like you're living in the twilight zone or that you're out-dated because apparently "things are different these days." 

What does that mean? We are supposed to be lazy and entitled? Hmmm....

Thankfully the combination of wonderful friends, family and a random email like the above from a professional who's been around the block and then some in the business world- pop into the inbox to help give that little push to a young professional so they will keep believing that yes indeed, doing good work means everything. 

Thanks M.W. Glad we snubbed you first (HA!) so you'd ask us why and the conversations could start. Now we can be friends and do good work together. Everything really does happen for a reason.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sugary Oink Oink

I just heard the average American eats 12 pounds of chocolate a year. Come on people! Open up and say ahh. We have some catching up to do! The Swiss are putting us to shame eating double that per year. I must have some serious Swiss blood in me because I easily eat 50 pounds of the sweet stuff a year all by myself. 

I never met a chocolate I didn't like. I'm not sure about chocolate covered bacon though. Ok, ok I lie. I've said even if chocolate was on a sock and I would eat it, so hats off to you for creativity Vosges. I guess I'll have to try this stuff with my pancakes some morning.

Chillin'

Sitting here this morning working on a productive start to the week and thinking about my last post about the piles of, well- lets call them challenges that have been going on in my life this year, I have never been happier or felt more positive about things. Isn't it weird how that works? Perhaps it's something about getting older, feeling more at ease and peace with things and really understanding that you can't control everything. People have told me to relax my whole life and while I've tried, I've never been a bit good at it until now. 

Boy have I been missing out. 

For all of you out there like me, who instinctually want to kick, scream, cry and fight- all the time and about everything; Just relax. The sooner you do, the sooner it will all work out. Promise, and no- I didn't believe it either until now.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bring It

You know that saying "If I didn't laugh I'd cry?" Here's one for you:

Recently I have worked my fingers to the bone and body to exhaustion on a couple of events that were a wild success in every way, but still made no money. Yesterday I was stuck outside in a downpour with shelter far away as it rained cats, dogs and ferrets, this after last week being delivered a slip from the sheriffs office informing me that a guy who I was potentially going to rent a room from was taking me to court (what?!) and a woman had smashed into my car, ripping the front end off on Friday- I just laughed.

Yep. 

Laughed.

Because why? That moment when you've cried enough after life has told you to screw off a hundred times and you realize it does no good and it makes you feel worse anyway- standing drenched in a downpour, wondering how you're going to pay your rent, what you're going to say in a court debacle or how you're going to get your car un-smashed; you're still somehow a happy, proud person and believer in everything- and laughing feels just perfect.

Absolutely perfect. 

Whatcha got next world? Throw it here. I'll spit you back some sunshine:)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gee I Wonder...

...why this book was on the clearance shelf at Barnes and Noble tonight. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Need To Pay My Bills...

...plus Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are pretty much just totally incredible musicians, it's going to be 80 and sunny in Wilmington, NC tomorrow, hanging out with random people is fun- especially at an amphitheater- on a lake, we're sponsored by a local micro-brewery and cold beer is delicious, not to mention we're raising money for a local nonprofit. 

Um- can you say, win, win, win, win? 

Please buy yourself a ticket at our website and get ready to rock and roll. We will be there with bells on along with 900 other people. Yeah baby! 

VERMONT GIRLS RULE.

(Yes, this is my shameless plug. Actually, there's nothing to be ashamed about loving my job and encouraging people to get out and spend a little dough so we can keep bringing awesome music and events to our cool little city to help it grow:) 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just Wait

Sometimes when you just don't think you can wait a second longer for something to give...a minute passes and something surprises you. Or- you surprise yourself. Just when you want to give up, someone steps in your life and challenges; "Are you kidding me? Screw so and so and such and such that says you shouldn't or can't!"

Resilience. A great thing.

My friend Scott calls me Phoenix, as in- rising. I think that is awesome and flattering, but I often look forward to the day I won't have to "rise" from anything. Then again while being "there" already would be a little less exhausting, that would mean the journey and adventure would be over and that would just be boring.

Here's to fighting through the exhaustion and being able to say screw it, I'm doing it anyway.

Serenity Now

I would just like to officially announce that I am at the end of my rope. Ok, so like the end of about 6,998,873,8576 ropes. I mean seriously. The end. Not giving up, just officially feel like...well...serenity now. J*susf*ckingchr*standsh*t! ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

Dear Life, 

Dammnit can't something just give. Please. Just one ounce. One. 

....and back to keep trying...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Homesick

Imagine that! Both places in the NY Times travel section today are my homes! (My old ones and those close to my heart anyway.)

Here's to the R-I-C and those delish Cuban sandwiches and to the V-T and that incredible landscape. Oh how I miss you this fall.

Friday, October 16, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

I'm laughing because I just looked at my first post ever, exactly one year ago today. One of the lines says "Forget Starbucks for a day..." 

How funny that I am sitting in Starbucks now writing this.

Today Blue Lollipop Road turns 1. Looking back at this year, I can't help but think that if someone had told what this year was going to be- I wouldn't have believed them for all the money in the world. Wow. 

I often talk about the ride" of life and madness of it all. I get that I am the kind of person to sometimes make the ride a bit zanier than it has to be. I just can't help it. If there's one thing this past year and being able to babble my thoughts here has offered me, it's the lesson that we are what we are. Some things just never change about us each as individuals. We learn and grow some during the cycle of life. It's human nature, but there are some core things inside of us that no matter how hard we try to avoid and or run away from, always stay. This is a good thing. It's what makes the world this never ending beauty that is unexplainable and perfect. 

I am 31 years old. I've lived far away from where I grew up for 13 years. I grew up in the country in the tiniest of towns in a place where often people are lifers. My father built the house he and mom still live in when he was 18. (Yes, I know- that is wild.) Most of their neighbors have been there equal amounts of years or longer than them. One of these includes the only dentist I went to through all my years growing up. I haven't seen Dr. B in years. Since I left the hood I have traveled around the world and back, moved 6,987,435,876 times, had 8,593,9826 jobs, relationships and good times and bad. As far as I know he doesn't know about any of them other than the assumed occasional small town chatter like; "Did you know Duane and Ann's daughter is living, doing, such and such these days?" Even though I haven't seen him in years, and I could never begin to catch him up on the stories and experiences I have during that time, somehow the following is what he said just yesterday to my mother when she was getting her teeth cleaned:

"With Diane, it might be hard to hang on but it sure would be one hell of a ride."

My Mother sent me this in an email and it was the first thing I read this morning when I opened my eyes. 

What complete and perfect timing for this post. The dentist who cleaned my first tooth ever said this yesterday to my mom after years and years of not seeing me. It's the same thing people would say today and have for years. It's official; I am me and that's that. Clearly it's just never going to change. Instead of any more trying to change who I am, after this year I can finally own who I am am. It's an incredible relief after years of trying to find and fit myself into something else, when what I needed to be I have been all along.

I don't think it gets any better than finding people in life who know exactly who you are and still want to hang on for "one hell of a ride." On the other end, it is equally as incredible and rewarding to be the kind of person who can hang on to someone else's "hell of a ride." That to me on both ends is true friendship and true love. 

Here's to true friendship and true love:

Happy Birthday Blue Lollipop Road. You have been one hell of a ride. You have saved me. You have let me be me. You have given me a place to come during times when nothing else was safe or felt good. You have been my heart and soul. Most importantly you have turned out to be exactly who I wanted you to be; Truth, honesty and a place to find myself.

Dear M and B, 

While I haven't seen you for lots of years and lots of days, you are my spirit and I can feel yours. I am always hanging on to you for the one hell of a ride. I can feel you hanging on to mine too. Thank you for the true friendship, true love and for giving me this incredible gift.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Really?

Why is it so hard for people to tell you opinions or what they are thinking- even when you ask them and leave the door wide open? The kicker is when you tell someone consistently "Please let me know if such and such" and then somehow, somewhere weeks later something you have asked about previously comes out and comes back to bite you in the butt.

Lets all put our big boy and girl pants on and shoot it strait people. Lets save each other lots of time and energy....isn't life busy enough already? If there's something I am missing and it's really that hard to be honest- someone out there please explain it to me. Clearly I am crazy.

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Hand In My Pocket

Right now I'm sitting on my floor in my new apartment (because I have no furniture) and shoveling in boxed macaroni and cheese. (Because I am starving and it was only .57 cents at the grocery store on the way home and I am broke.) As I scarf I'm watching the NBC Nightly News. Wouldn't you know the exact moment I started scarfing, the journalist on a segment about the 2.5 million American grandparents raising their grandkids holds up a box of the stuff I just made. While talking to a volunteer from a food bank that donates to these grandparents, he holds up the box and says; "What's in this box will be somebody's dinner tonight." 

Yes sir, it sure will. Mine's not from a food bank, but it serves as a belly filling dinner when it needs to and you have no money. I just stopped for a minute to look around my new home. I then looked down at my sad and unhealthy mac n' cheese boxed din din (that lets face it- really does taste delicious on occasion) and had to chuckle. I then said aloud to myself; "Well- I'm broke but I'm happy!" It reminds me of this portion of an Alanis Morissette song:

I'm broke but I'm happy
I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded 
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby

That's me. Totally and completely me.

It's a rainy night and pretty cold out and here I sit finally after a very long time, in my very own home again- no roommates, no sharing, no one to answer to, just in peace and quiet with a numb butt from my hardwood floor- and I love every minute of it. Peace and quiet on a floor, with very scarce belongings, eating cheap food after a year like you read about (yes- one of those overwhelming ones) and it feels just perfect to me. 

I'll get all that fancy nice furniture I had once before and probably lose it all again too because that's what happens in life. I'll likely at some point be sitting back on a floor somewhere eating mac n' cheese out of a box, simultaneously being a bit peeved, wondering to myself how the hell I got "there" on a rainy and cold night and loving every minute of it too.

I'm not afraid anymore to admit I've felt lost a lot of the time but I'm always hopeful baby.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Life Calls

Yeah- yeah- excuses excuses right?

Nope, no excuses- I've moving, working like a nut, coaching and playing and on and on and all while trying to fight the swine flu. (Kidding- but my god have I been one sick cookie! Ugh. Not fun.) The Blue Lollipop has gone ditched:( I am here though. I'm kicking it live and uncut" as my VT boys say. Dare I admit that I have hit a time in my life where I just cannot do it all?
Sigh.
This is true.
But! I have plenty of material and posting dates saved and you will see them very soon when I get through some of this other busy goodness that's going on. Promise on that because guess what!?...

BLUE LOLLIPOP ROAD TURNS 1 ON THE 16TH! My year anniversary is coming fast and furious. 

Happy weekend wherever you are. Where I am it's 88 and HOT (kind of crazy for October- but I like it) and on the flip side my pumpkin picking friends in Wisconsin just said it was SNOWING.
Huh?
Little early for that I think, but have fun B & J!

More soon...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thanks Mom

My mother has been sending me random articles, books to read, etc. lately. Here's one I thought I'd share. Thanks Mom. I agree. Thanks.

I had to read an article for school and it talked about what will guide your success in life. The NO.1 predictive trait is perseverance, along with the ability to influence and motivate others in a sophisticated way. 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Open Mouth

So if you've never heard the band Railroad Earth, live- you are totally missing out. I mean totally. They were incredible tonight at the Greenfield Lake Park Amphitheatre in Wilmington, NC.

I love music and have been to 5,789,756,987 concerts/shows and all, but have never been a big "music geek". I ashamed to admit I have not been any bit versed in who sings what/who's who, etc. in the music world yet in my lifetime.

That is now going to change.

Let's just say 5 minutes listening to these guys live tonight in an amphitheatre on a lake on a gorgeous night made me officially want to become that music geek and follow them around for the next, well- 5 years. Wow. The night couldn't have been more perfect. One hiccup; me putting my foot in my mouth. As I was running around coordinating and planning and helping, trying to make everyone happy and everything just so (my company hired them to play) a young guy walked toward me. I smiled and exclaimed; "Hey! Are you one of my volunteers?!" To which he replied; "Nope, I'm in the band!"

GULP.

I apologized, we both laughed and chatted for a few. By the end of the night Johnny (the "volunteer") the rest of the band and our crew were BFF's. These gents were just straight up cool, fun, friendly, chill guys. They all could not have been nicer. We completely worked our butts off for this show and by the end of the night I felt like I had been beaten I was so tired, but what a fun job I have! So worth it the weeks of prep.

Thanks Railroad Earth. You guys were AWESOME! 

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oh Ferret My Ferret


Saw this sign up last week. These people aren't messing around looking for their pet. Tabs with phone number to rip off and all. 

How do you lose a ferret by the way? 

Friday, October 2, 2009

She's A Pisser

Today is a day that I'd like to take a minute and say thanks to the people in my life who have stuck by, loved and always supported me. There have been certain times in my life (sometimes these are torturously lengthy times) where I have probably been...well...lets say a bit difficult. I sometimes have to stop, shake my head at myself and say; Boy am I pain and the ass. I'm lucky I have one friend let alone many. Thank god (insert friends and family members here) has never given up on me. Don't get me wrong, I think I am actually pretty stupendous. I also realize I am so far from perfect a thousand compasses wouldn't be able to lead me home. That and there is quite possibly a long list of people who love me dearly, but would often feel they'd like to choke me:) 

So! Thank you to those who have taken me for every bitty last ounce, good, bad and horribly ugly. I know that you see even though I make lots of mistakes I try so so hard at all that I do. I'm glad you've been there for the laughs, fun and easy times and when I have been a giant jack-ass and flailing idiot too. You have taken it all in stride and stuck by me never running away. I hope you know that I do notice and will always notice. I also hope you know I never have and never will give up on you either.

Here's to perfecting the art of falling flat on my face, feeling like screw up is sometimes my middle name, but also having the biggest heart in the world and having the ability to stay excited about all the possibility. To you who see these things in me, watch the rat race and never give up me- I love you guys. Thanks for understanding, knowing I only ever have the best intentions and hopping on the crazy-train to ride with me...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Triple Threat

I thought I loved Bev's Homemade before last weekend as much as I possibly could. 

Until I walked in and saw on the specials board; Nutella Gelato.

Um. Yes please.

Of course I saw the specials board after ordering what I had driven 4 hours for and was on my list to eat during the weekend; An espresso Oreo sugar cone with chocolate sprinkles. Fortunately though, as I slurped down my cone down like a 4 year old, the friendly gal behind the counter gave me a sample of the Nutella gelato too- just put me over the edge of sugary bliss

Bev herself came out from the back and started chatting with my friend and I. She's probably 65 years old and I have seen her in her little ice cream shop working 90% of the time I go. I think that is pretty cool. Who says treats don't keep you young? I guess ice cream makes everyone smile and that must make people want to keep working. Between the friendly chatter, the funky colors on the walls and overall vibe in this de-lish spot, I say the whole experience is 100% edible. If you haven't been- do yourself a favor and go get your slurp on!

Espresso, Oreo's and Nutella. Can you say heaven? The world could be falling apart around me and I'd be standing in the middle of it all just licking my lips. YUM. 

Dear Bev's,

Won't you start an ice cream of the month club? I'll be your 1st subscriber.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paxton Is Cool

My friend Matt was on TV Monday night for the second time this month. A show called Hoarders on A&E. His company Clutter Cleaner does a lot of cleaning up and organizational stuff I could babble on about, but to black and white it, he and his crew do serious dirty work that helps people live better and healthier lives. It's amazing. They do the sh*t (literally lots of times)- that no one else would ever want to do. Lets talk about gettin' down and dirty....sheesh. Matt has busted his butt more than anyone else I have ever known. He's grown his company, blood, sweat and tears like a true entrepreneur. He has an audacity and drive that I admire immensely. I can't say I have never been this proud of a friend or family member for their great accomplishments before, because I have, but for whatever reason, seeing Matt on TV this month thrilled me like I can't explain. Perhaps it's the exact understanding of trucking on with what you want out of life and doing things you believe in that he practices and we share. Maybe it's because of all the support and advice he has given or the fact that he has the heart of the kind of person everyone should be lucky enough to know. Probably all three. I wanted to give a far more than well-deserved shout out here.

So absolutely happy for you Paxton. I'm proud and stoked and thrilled and jazzed and elated for you and all that is coming your way. You totally deserve it.

"Don't ever forget how much of a badass you are."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In Serendipitous Timing...

....to my post yesterday, I just clicked over and read this post by chance on my friend Erin's blog. Just reading her post and going away this past weekend alone to take space and just think has convinced me I've made the right decision to change some things in my life having to do with balance. Space from technology, work overload, constant connection, etc. Thanks for reminding me of the good stuff Erin. 

I'm off to be fat and happy and have lunch on a patio and work the afternoon there in the sun...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fat And Happy

You know those lemonade and iced tea commercials where the cute older gents are sitting on a porch just a rockin' in their chairs talking to a pal or two or their grandkids? Or in real life do you ever walk or drive by those houses where some peaceful looking elderly lady is just sitting on her porch and just watching? I have thought a lot about these folks this year and have had some great conversation with a few too. These people have "been some places-done some things." They've been through things like wars. They've seen the world change before their eyes 10 times over. They've experienced love and loss, joy and pain, birth and death- all of it. Stuff that most of us could not imagine and they are wise.

Wisdom:

Something you just can't get/don't have (no matter how hard you try) until you just live lots of time and experiences. 

In thinking about all the good and bad insanity and chaos of life and how to become wise, I've thought about how many times we say things to ourselves like; "This is the worst thing I can possibly imagine. How the hell am I going to do/get through this?" or "This is the most incredible thing ever! I can't imagine anything ever being better!"-then the bad somehow always works out just fine and the good somehow gets even better. If we can manage to find ways to practice grace and patience in all of the years of madness, choose to have a positive mindset during all the hard growth, take everything as a lesson and never stop dusting off and trying again, thats what makes us wise and leads to perfection.

Perfection:  

Perfection to me is being fat and happy. "Fat and happy" is the place where when you're up in years sitting on a porch with a belly, a cigar, a lemonade, some scotch-whatever your flavor, rocking in your chair watching the world go by or relaxing on a couch for hours with someone you love sharing time and just not giving a damn about anything else but that time. No thoughts about things called Blackberry's, laptops, meetings or Facebook. The place where you're too busy enjoying the moment just being in the moment to worry or think about anything else at all. You say things to us worriers and wonderers who ask you how you can just sit and relax like that without a worry; "Oh nothing could phase me at this point honey, I've been some places and done some things and all that matters is right here right now."

Then you wise and perfect ones sit there, take another sip, look at us worriers and wonderers and smile- to which we smile back with a sudden sense of content, thinking; I am so looking forward to being fat and happy someday.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Meet Scott


He likes to flash people. At least that's what his shirt says. See, he's a photographer- and a good one. You can see his stuff here and here. Scott is funny, talented and just super nice people. Whatta combo.

Flash on Scott. We love it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Boisterous Is Fun To Say

I like this word.

cavort \kuh-VORT\, intransitive verb:

1. To bound or prance about.
2. To have lively or boisterous fun; to behave in a high-spirited, festive manner.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

witty arborists


I saw this sign today and of course had to u-turn to take a photo. I just can't get enough of this stuff.

Love it.

I Do Not Like Green Eggs And Ham

I am hoping someone out there can clear this up for me. 

Why is it that even after you tell someone that you don't want (because you just don't), don't like (maybe because you've tried it before and you just don't like it), can't eat (maybe because you're on a diet, allergic, etc.) or have no interest in (because you just don't) something, they STILL ask you if you'd want to/like to/be interested in "it."

What part of "No way! Thanks anyway though, I appreciate it"- is foggy or questionable?

I read something a long time ago that talked about the word; but. I can't remember exactly what the article said, but it essentially stated that if/when you see/read/hear the word "but", everything written or heard ahead of it gets erased/is basically pointless. 

Example:

"I know you loathe carrots and cold weather, but..."

But what? Suddenly I am going to become Peter Cottontail and hop through gardens eating the orange stuff or want to buy a ski chalet in Aspen and hit the slopes?

Sigh.

No.

No.

No!

This reminds me of a portion of this classic. 

I could not, would not on a boat.
I will not, will not, with a goat.
I will not eat them in the rain.
I will not eat them on a train.
Not in the dark! Not in a tree!
Not in a car! You let me be!
I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I will not eat them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them ANYWHERE!

No means no today and it will mean no tomorrow. "But" good try. Thanks for asking yet again. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

13,957 White Gloves

I heard about this last month but didn't look at the links until today. Wouldn't the King of Pop be proud. Talk about some serious coordination!

And of course- the original video that we all just can't seem to get enough of.

Nike

I hate being MIA from here and then trying to make excuses as to why, because excuses suck. I will say though, that I have been busy scrambling to find and place to live, help launch a company and put and event series together and dive into/get involved in my community. (Among other things.) With all this I have tried to take a step back and observe my surroundings. Here's what I have found:

People like to talk about stuff, but not do stuff.

It's ridiculous.

I can't say I haven't been guilty of it at times myself, but overall I think I've gotten off my a** and made things happen when I've wanted to. I'm not a hero, just a woman who was raised to earn it and do it herself and never expected anyone else to do "it" for me.

I have lived in and spent time several cities at this point in my life. In them I have over-volunteered, been over-involved, been overly-concerned, had a huge bleeding heart. While being/doing these things I've met lots of those key community people/business leaders/"important" people as well as been invited to join and participate in, this group and that board of such-and-such. While I have met incredible people, learned immeasurable things and been fortunate to find a mentor or two- I have also found that so many people seem to like to sit around and talk about "making things better" and not actually make things better. 

I had to write about this today because it's part of the reason I've disappeared for a few days. I've been trying to take some time and space to have these conversations. I wonder why everyone seems to be so afraid to stand up/dive in and just do it. The common thread in every single conversation I have had in the past week personally and professionally seems to center around a "Yeah! We need to do this and that!" ...and then nobody seems to take action. 

Talk is cheap.
Put your money where your mouth is.
Well behaved women rarely make history.
(Insert 9,967,367,912,980 other lines here...)

Give me a task or challenge- I'll do it. Give yourself a task or challenge- then do it. Let's all try to practice a lot less sh*t-talking and a lot more doing. We do not live in a place where you are ordered to sit down and shut up- so why are we all sitting down and shutting up? If going after what you want and what you believe in makes you obnoxious- then sign me up for president of the obnoxious club. We've got one life. ONE. And the clock is ticking. What are we waiting for?

Thanks for lunch yesterday Malcom. You might not know this, but it was so much more than a good chat about work.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This Is Why We Do What We Do

Below is a portion of an email response from a ticket buyer for concerts we are putting on this fall.

People have told us that we are "unrealistic" and will drive ourselves crazy by trying to respond to every ticket sale email confirmation. We don't listen. We go the extra mile, we work our tails off to treat our "customers" how we'd want to be treated and we still email every single person individually and say thank you for buying a ticket. That's just how we roll. It takes a lot of time, we're tired, we do things like miss days of posting on blogs (like I have here:( ) and don't get to sleep very much, but it is so so worth it when things like this pop in our inbox. We love being "unrealistic."

Hi Back Diane!

What a pleasant surprise. Not only my two favorite bands, RRE & GPN at what looks like a wonderful venue, but a thank you email from the promoters with a link to a blog that made me feel really good. Don't get THAT from Ticketmaster.