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Monday, November 30, 2009


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. 


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.)


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. 


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


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:


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?!"


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.



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.


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!