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Sunday, October 31, 2010

give me back my boa

I didn't ask permission to post this picture of my friend (the one and only JW) from Halloween 2008, but somehow I think he'll laugh when he sees it, so no real need to ask permission. I absolutely crack up when I look at the pictures I took at his house party that night. This was the classic JW chow-down as he was finishing off a pan of chili. I have a video of him dancing with the jailbird suit and rainbow boa too. Lets just say I'm saving that for his wedding reception.

Here's to friends that never fail to crack you up. Especially boys dancing with boas.

JW Halloween 2008


Saturday, October 30, 2010


I took this photo a few weeks ago when I was at a roadside farm stand in California:

Fall scene in Napa, CA

This was that scene that got me missing those homemade Vermont Apple Barn hot cider doughnuts. I haven't stopped thinking about them since. I do have to say there are few better places than the VeeTee during fall. All the foliage and those spots to get apple-infused treats? YUM. I'm so thankful I grew up as a country kid there. This is the first year in 32 I didn't see New England foliage at all. Looks like I'll have to make a date with The Apple Barn for next year. There's no way I can go two years in a row without those doughnuts!

If you're ever making your way through Massachusetts up to Vermont, stop at this place. You're sure to leave stuffed and smiling.

Friday, October 29, 2010

if only there were more hours

I'm here! I worked 15 hours the past 2 days and it has been GREAT. I am loving being busy and learning. Of course making some cash is lovely too. I keep talking about the irony of me doing all the reading and research, etc. I have done the past couple years on company culture because I have landed on a company that just gets it. They take care of us, we take care of them. It works all around. More stories soon. My roommie made homemade lasagna and it just came out of the oven...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

this is the story of a girl

She drove to Alaska from the east coast.

Came to Napa, CA as a last stop before heading back east because awesome friend suggested "Work here for harvest season!- and stay with us!"

So she looks feverishly for a job thinking that'd be swell.

Even though companies tell her they love her and they need help desperately- they don't hire her.

She tries, and tries and interviews and interviews and tries again.

Still does not get hired.

She is bummed, confused, and just doesn't get it.

Decides she needs to listen to the world and clearly west is not where she's meant to be right now.

Picks a day to leave.

Then person calls out of nowhere; (Friend of friend) "Please! stay! Come work for us! We think you're great!"

She says: "Ok, fine, I will work for the two weeks before I leave."

She works for this company, falls in love with the people, the product, the owners, and all the possibility and opportunity there could be ahead.

She still says/plans to leave.

5 days before she leaves she thinks she needs to get her head examined; Leaving would be a huge mistake.

She says to the company: "I lie! I love you guys! I am so staying and I am so in!"

They tilt their heads juuuuuuust a little thinking; Ok, is she going to want to leave again next week?- but mostly they dance, cheer and high five as they are so happy for her to be a part of the crew. They welcome her to stay.

She is happy. They are happy.

Good things are here, better things are coming and they both know this for sure.

In the ongoing battle for east or west, the west has finally won for now.

This is going to be very, very good for her life.

She will miss the east, and all her peeps, (she already does), but duty calls and she feels like from here, things can only go up, up up.

She is smiling.

Here's to the adventure she thinks.

She is very, very excited to keep collecting good stories and fantastic experiences.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

gasp! this should be ME!

I am going after this guy! And Groupon and any other company like it that wants to give me $100k for not spending money for a year. God I could do that with my eyes closed! Grrr...can't believe I didn't know abut this contest. I'd give this guy a run for his money (or be his partner in crime.)

I just contacted Groupon telling them they need me. Lets see what happens. I love knocking on doors until my knuckles bleed. I have to believe eventually one will open.

have yourself a trick-or-treaty...

...help yourself but don't be greedy!

(I remember a note saying that on a written sign in the bowl of candy at my neighbors house when I was 9 years old.)

I drove by this house today:

Halloween house in Napa

I'm not sure I have ever been really "creeped out" by anything Halloween. Lets face it, the "scary" is more funny than scary most of the time. I had to laugh when I saw this place, (it was a wrong turn by the way. I love finding fun things by taking a wrong turn) I thought of my Mom screeching and screaming. She FREAKS when she sees so much as a fly. This photo doesn't do this house justice. It indeed had that creepy feeling of gross, hairy and creepy spiders just in time for fright night.

Happy Hallo-SCREAM!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010



My little sister, who is at least 100 times cuter and smarter than I am wants to go live and work in Spain for a year. She'd love to be an Au Pair for a family, teach English or at this point she is up for whatever options to consider. She has spent weeks scouring the internet and looking at agencies and come up empty handed. Anyone out there know someone living in Spain, working in Spain or have any thoughts/ideas/resources for her to use? Even better; Might anyone have some big-wig corporaty brother working in Madrid who needs someone to tend his kiddies while he jet-sets for work and makes his billions? She's be great at that.

I would love you forever for any help to get her there, mostly because she is super responsible, trustworthy and fun. She deserves a great experience like living in another country. Also? Hellooooo! If she lives there then I can visit her! (Um, have I mentioned I love food, wine and Europe?)

Thanks anyone!

Oh wait...Ok, we just decided we wanted to make a video while we were on the phone together talking about life and work and Spain. Here's some babbling fun:

...boy do I need to get out of my yoga clothes and get some heels on!

I love my little sister. She's the bomb.

one week until east or bust!

I started out in July with Alaska or bust, now I go east or bust. I have decided I am going to make a bunch more videos this go around to add to the text and photos for posting here. Videos are fun. Road tripping is UBER fun.

I am finishing up my work during harvest season in wine country. It's been quite a ride and learning experience to say the least. In the fun words of the one and only Erin Martin and the perfect motto for my time here that will be burned in my brain forever:

"High-fives and ass-slaps all around!" (Just wait until the going away par-tay on Saturday night Erin. A VT throwdown it shall be indeed.)

Stay tuned all; Middle America here I come!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

i think there's something wrong with me

I'm laughing after calculating mileage and looking at maps for getting back east in a couple weeks. Only I could be thrilled about it. The things most would find torturous, I get so excited I want to jump out of my skin. Things like:

1.) Driving 3,000 miles by myself, for hours on end each day. (And no, I don't listen to music. I drive in silence.)
2.) Knowing that I'm going to be blasting through middle-of-nowhere-no-mans-land America. (When I mention this to other people, the usual reaction is "UGH! That is soooo boring. An awful drive!") My opinion could not be more opposite on this. I'd give my left arm any day of the week to be in a car, in the middle of random state X exploring around some "boring" town talking to strangers.
3.) Having a car with 145,000 miles on it that needs a brake job and has had a "maintenance required" light on no for weeks. Am I worried? Nah- I'm resourceful and I have AAA. I'll be fine. I haven't even told you all the story about riding tow truck to tow truck all the way from Vegas to Barstow, CA 6 years ago after Christmas in the middle of the night because my car broke down after dropping off my family at the Sin City airport. I didn't have the loot to repair my car then and I figured it out. that stuff makes for good stories.
4.) Knowing that over my dead body will I pay for a hotel room. That means no showers for several days again. (I'm sorry, but dropping a hundred bucks on a skeevy roadside hotel to sleep for 4 hours on a bed that could be a science experiment with all those random fluids is a rip-off and turns my stomach.) My Civic is spotless.
5.) I will have zilch $ to stop for entertainment, good food, etc. and it's just fine with me! This will be a get moving to get there kind of drive. It will still feel like winning the lotto, my birthday and a big vat of melted chocolate to me- my heaven.

Do I really think there is something wrong with me? Nahhhhh. I do realize though after all I have done, being on the road is my true religion. I can't wait to see some tumblin' tumbleweed!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

i have a crush

As promised, here is my video of the crush some friends and I happened to walk into:

The guys that were managing the crush walked over and gave us some of the grapes to eat. Once you're fortunate enough to nosh on some of these incredible little fruits fresh off the vine, you'll never be satisfied with another grape again! This action was all happening last night at Merryvale in St. Helena, California. I snapped a photo of one of the many bins of grapes too. The photo didn't come out great, but I wanted to give everyone an idea of what goes into those delish bottles of wine we all love:

Cabernet Sauvignon at Merryvale Winery 10.23.10

I felt like jumping in!

While I type this I am sipping on some 2006 Petite Sirah from Swanson Vineyards. Yum. After my stay in the Napa Valley during harvest season, I will forever have a higher appreciation for wines I drink. I take a bow to the brilliant winemakers of the world. The devotion and patience it takes for them to make their magic is beyond impressive. What a fantastic experience it has been for me to be here during harvest season 2010!

crush video

My postings have been sparse lately as I have been spending so much time sending resumes, connecting about potential jobs, researching, walking dogs, and actually work-working too. (I got a gig at a most fabulous winery for these last 2 weeks before I head east.) I promise I will be coming back and posting full-force, especially once I get on the road and start blazing across the country, you know there's plenty of story that always comes with that!

On quick thing I wanted to share:
Last night after work I met up with a couple friends to grab a drink then dinner. When we were walking from the bar to the restaurant we walked straight into a crush!!! Yes! That means buckets and barrels of cabernet sauvignon being put through machines to de-vine them and get them on their way to becoming delicious vino! I took some video I am super excited to share. Uploading seems to be taking forever this morning, so I'll have to post the video after work today as I'm running out the door it was the coolest thing to see!

Come back later for the video. Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

random thoughts and things

1.) Today I had the most fabulous day working at a winery. The owners, staff, wine, chocolate (yes! I said chocolate!), guests, actual work and place was all around just fantastic. A good day of work makes me so so very happy. Am I a geek or what?

2.) One reason why I didn't sign up for Facebook until very recently; People are weird and can stalk you and I don't trust anyone. For instance, some creepy guy just friended me and wrote this long note telling me I am "pretty." He then went on babbling about his foot fetish and how he'd like to see my "soles." EW. Dude, really?- Go find someone else to be creepy with. I won't get into the things I carry with me on a daily basis such as mace and a knife. Care to find out if I'm kidding?

3.) I was gifted an absurdly expensive bar of chocolate and I just ate half of it. I will never again feel bad about spending bunches of money on chocolate if it tastes that good.

4.) I'm not sure I will ever want pets or kids. I mean they are lovely and cute and all, but I sincerely have zero desire to have any of my own. Talk to me in 15 years. Then again, that's what I said 15 years ago, I'm thinking my mind isn't going to change.

5.) I love wearing heels.

6.) I'm watching a rerun of Project Runway right now as I catch up on emails and such. Every time I see NYC on TV or a movie I fall in love.

7.) I think it's a bummer that most the time, the vibe, people, job, weather, family, friends, landscape are never in one place. Hmmm...so what's best to chose when?

8.) I love that every day is a crap-shoot. This means life really is like a box of chocolates; You never know what you're gonna get. Sometimes that's really annoying, mostly it's really exciting. Nothing ever makes sense but I'm not sure it's supposed to.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

everybody's girl friday

I did some office work for a lawyer in Saulsalito last week. It was interesting and different thing to throw in the mix of my recent professions during my stay in California. I've been a baby sitter, a house sitter, a dog sitter, a bartender, a lawyers assistant, financial organizer, home organizer and a will be spending the rest of my days until I head east working at a couple different wineries. All very sporadic, but welcomed and help me to scrape by until I land something full time elsewhere.

When I was working in the gorgeous little city of Saulsalito, I had lunch one day at a joint of a spot with yummy Asian food. I had to take a photo of my plate because this was the most odd looking friend egg that topped my meal I had ever seen:

Asian lunch and odd fried egg in Saulsalito

I also went to a place for coffee called Taste of Rome. Oh my fantastic. Tried and true cappuccinos here. I didn't nosh on anything, but this little sidewalk, open air cafe' would be the first place I'd hit up if I was in the mood for Italian eats and treats. One of the most fabulous things about California is the fresh food that you can get, around every corner. Restaurants, grocery stores, roadside farm stands, ahhh....you know I love that. Even with the odd looking eggs!

it's nice to share

(Thinking about this as I sit in a waiting area and the dustiest but friendliest California auto shop getting my oil changed and the big once over in prep for heading to the east coast. The lovely older man (Owner) and I have just shared travel stories and talked about how traveling indeed is the best education...)

Sometimes I forget how many resources I have because it's normal to me to stay in touch and send birthday and anniversary cards to hundreds of people a year. It all started because I just like people, places and fun things and connecting with all types of humans. Years later I have a pool of people and place knowledge from keeping in touch I can do everything from contacting 10 friends off the top of my head to ask the best route to obtain a foreign work visa, to connecting my fresh college grad cousin with real estate and business peeps in the Big Apple, to recommending a yummy pizza joint in Wisconsin.

Several times during my travels this summer and before, I have handed my card to someone and offered that if they found themselves in a odd/off place, or ever needed inside scoop for good eats or a couch to crash- to please let me know. So many people and cities have been good to me over the years. I have BUCKETS of people, insider info. and resources to share. What good does having all this info. do if I can't share it/pass it on?

If you're ever out there traipsing and wandering, wondering where to get the best breakfast is in Vermont, what National Park will most knock your socks off out west, or where to get coffee in Minot, North Dakota, consider me Blue Lollipop Road Google. Even better I have incredible friends and amazing strangers that would totally put you up and feed you a good meal in every state in America (and some beyond.)

I like to share. People share with me, I do my homework, I share with you. Pay it forward is lovely.

Next time you find yourself scratching your head trying to find the way to yummy food or fun...shoot me an email or post a comment here. I'm happy to share thoughts, resources and opinions!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

oh the memories

...and stories I still have to share. What a journey it has been...

Entering into Alaska; 8.8.10

who's up for another road trip?

-or should I say, finishing my road trip?

Westward ho!

Um, I mean...Eastward.

Looks like I'll be back on the east coast in time to eat some turkey. Here continues the great job search of 2010!

In making my decision to continue east, I got this email from a business person I know. It was a humbling and flattering email to say the least and very unexpected. I wanted to share it not to pat myself on the back (we all know I have made plenty of mistakes in my life), but because it reminded me that everything I (you) do makes a difference. People really are paying attention. I met this person years ago, I've had very sporadic interaction with them, and sure assumed we had a mutual respect for each other, but certainly did not think that he "saw" me/thought quite as high as this about me. This is a person who has been around the block, is much older and lived X10 of life and business than I:

" I knew you had to travel the pipe line; wrestle a few Carribu; smash a few grapes; and find some hunk under a rock in Cassablanka. There is no doubt that "the killer chick" will find what she wants right under her nose - what usually happens. When one is as industrious, independent, smart, beautiful, and hardheaded as you are- one has to hit the right wall hard enough to know what direction to take. Keep hitting walls; it will come"

I suppose this is also important for me to share because I hope it encourages you to stay true to yourself. I have tried harder to do that than anything else in my life. I've had an inclination to throw in the towel a few times since I've been an adult. Life throws you curve balls and serves us challenges sometimes that are debilitating. That and lets face it, it is not an easy road to find your feet and foundation as you grow up. The truth is, how you maintain and stay true and steady to yourself and your beliefs during those tough growing times- those are what people remember you for. There's no way everyone in the world is going to like me, or you. It's impossible to please everyone. The best people will see you for who you really are and stick with you through the good, bad and ugly. (AKA; "Finding yourself through your 20's, growing into your own, etc.)

Here's to the journey, paying attention, staying in touch, and being flexible, but holding steady to what and who you are.

Monday, October 18, 2010

in a van...down by the river

(A little bit of Chris Farley for your Monday morning anyone?)

In my case, I won't be in a van, but my car, down by some river.

After 28 legitimate leads, 13 interviews, 3 staffing agencies/recruiters, countless events, meeting people left and right with a smiley face, a bunch of other efforts I can't even keep track of anymore and 6 weeks...well, I'll just make you guess the rest.

Stay tuned for the next chapter of BLR:
Adventures of a girl on the road going town to town to learn how to make the crispiest french fries in deep fryers.

I know some people out there think it'd be fun to not work a ton, have no stress, pressure, etc. Good on those folks, to each their own, That's just not me. It never has been. I like to work and be busy. As in- a lot of work and busy. I'm ready to crush it. I'm not going to stop trying until I have gone to every city in America to get myself busy and making money. Someone will smarten up sooner than later and see that I can make them a lot of money. Then they will hire me for more than one day of work a week, they will treat me well and I will crush it for them.

Until then, I will fill time by drawing pictures on pieces of cardboard and sitting outside gas stations with signs that read something like:
Dog died
Truck broke
Husband left
Need beer

...and people with throw their extra pennies in my cup.

And you think I'm kidding.

Look, all bets are off. This has reached the point of absurdity. I have figured out my stripper name; Bandit Hidden Valley so I've got to get crackin'. At least those places are always hiring.

Is this all as entertaining for you as it is for you? It's not worth crying over. I mean sure, I am really pissed off that my talents are going unused in a lot of ways right now, but I swear I have more material for blogging and book writing than I could ever use in one lifetime.

Everything happens for a reason. I love every minute of it. Even the pissed off ones. I was fortunate enough to learn a long time ago that anything really is possible. When you learn that, you get this perpetual fire inside you and nothing can shut you up or stop you. (Maybe that's why that nun in that religion class I despised when I was about 12 years old hauled off and smacked yelling at me that I was a "Bold little girl!") I guess she saw my fire.

Off to keep the good fight fighting!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I cannot believe it's been 2 years. Today is a proud and incredible day so I'm off enjoying and taking in some peaceful moments of reflection. I'll be back with some thoughts and stories in a while...

Cheers to sticking it out through all the madness and smiling at the other end with many more years of adventure to come!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

i'm not on vacation. i live here.

Sponsored By

Cheerios® is giving you the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, your ultimate family vacation. As part of a paid promotion for their “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, Cheerios® is sponsoring my post today about what my ultimate family vacation would be. Read mine and Enter the Sweepstakes for a chance to actually win your own fantasy family trip or one of a bunch of other great prizes.

Did somebody say dream vacation?! I am IN! You all know I am a lover of road trips, so I naturally would plan a big ol' road trip for my dream vaca. (Ok, so I haven't been to Australia or New Zealand yet and I have been dreaming of feasting in Italy lately too...) I was joking with my little sister last week about taking her on the road and making the Diane and Erin Show. How fun would that be? I've recently updated the "bucket list" in my head from learning fluent Spanish and becoming a killer Salsa Dancer. I've added going x-country in/on:
1.) A convertible
2.) An RV
3.) A train

...and if you know me, you know I will make these trips happen. What do you want to make happen? I want to hear your story!

If I attempt to complete my mental bucket list I am in a good spot: My sister is trying to score a gig being an Au Pair in Spain so she will be able to teach me Spanish. My little bro is a Farmer and travels during the winter so I'm sure he could teach me some mad Salsa or other Spanish style sassy dances from all his South American adventures. I'd throw these two cuties in an RV or convertible and we'd hit the road Jack on June 1st one summer and just go go go until September 1. Full on top down, music blaring laughing and blowing through miles. We'd feast and explore. We'd go to National Parks and visit friends and talk to strangers. We'd take a million photos and videos and blog all of our stories. Oh how fun that would be. Here's a photo of my two cutie-pie sibs that could be my partners in crime:

Brad and Erin at Vermonster Feast May 2010

Aren't they adorable?

Get dreaming peeps! It could happen! I left the east coast with barely a dime in July and made it to Alaska safe, sound and jumping around like an idiot. If you dream it and enter it- it will come! Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

ooh! i want one.

Is it too late to get one of these on the x-mas list for Santy?

A friend sent me this link today after I had been talking to him about the Honda Civic design I have. After making a perfect little house out of my Civic all summer, I've got the specs for a perfect travel-friendly mobile that could work for anyone. Basically a personal RV that gets better gas mileage than those big ol' ones. Until I can convince Honda they need to create the BLR Honda Roadtripper, I'll gladly take one of these other personal hobo-mobiles. Ooh, doesn't just talking about it get you jazzed up for all the summer 2011 road trips that are possible?

i took this photo today

I had to post it here to give it props:

Sign in Napa 10.13.10

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

i love local fresh tomatoes

Especially the ones with funny signs:

Local tomatoes in Maine

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

blr turns 2 in 3 short days!!!

Get ready for a PAAARTAAAY!!!


We've come a long way baby :)

a perfect time to share this photo i took a month ago

Bumper sticker on car in Emryville, CA

i believe in transparency, and i'm not afraid

A fun interview story. A short from my life:

I got a call at 8:40am as I was racing out the door for my 9am 2nd round interview with company X. The woman on the phone:

"I'm so glad I caught you. We have decided to go in another direction so we won't need you to come in."

Really? Thanks. We scheduled this interview 5 days ago. Don't wait until the last minute or anything. Would it have been asking too much for you to shoot me straight from the get go?

There's more.

As in trash talking.

I don't think I paid much attention when my interviews first started weeks ago. I typically try to ignore rude, immature, negative and unprofessional people in general, but it suddenly hit me a couple days ago: Every single one of these people and companies that I have interviewed with has talked trash about each other! I'm not talking one little mention of "Oooh, gosh, I don't want to spread rumors- but I'd just be a bit careful of X, Y, Z." No, it has been a full-on "Oh god- I'd NEVER work for that guy, he's a psychopath!" and "Ugh!!!- I am telling this because I like you; that place is a nightmare." and "Yeah, that place is awful and the woman who runs the office is a total witch." Furthermore; (This one totally blew me out of the water upsetting me) When I shared the name of the recruiter I have been working with commenting that she has been lovely and very helpful to me- someone trashed talked her up and down too! Awful!

OUCH! Is this high school? Are we 16 years old? Am I on Candid Camera? These are people who make money and run successful businesses? It makes me sad and disappointed to think that adults/professional business people in a small fabulous community throw each other under the bus left and right like this. EEK! What does that mean they'd do to me as an employee? How would I be treated and who'd throw me under the bus for the fun of it?:( What happened to honesty and transparency? What happened to say it to my face and not behind my back? Why are people afraid to be honest and straightforward? Isn't anyone else afraid out there that if you treat people like garbage, lie, try to knock people down just to be awful that karma will come back and bite you in the ass 10 times over?

I have to have faith that good people win, honesty is the best policy and when you are straight up and real, people with respect you. That's how I was raised. My Mom reads this, my family reads this, lots and lots of people read this blog. I consistently get far more respect, thumbs up, love, fans and followers by throwing and eff-bomb here and there, telling true stories of my life, keeping smiles on my face and never giving up, than I ever would by being elusive, closed off, mean for the sake of being mean or telling half of reality and my life story.

I've talked a lot recently about how everyday as I grow older I love and respect those people more and more who shoot it straight. That's the non-shit talkers, the people who will say things to me instead of behind my back in the purest and most honest way and respect and love me for saying the same to them. I don't think there should be a separation in this kind of thing personally OR professionally. Wouldn't we all get more done if we just gave it straight up from the get go or do we all really want to waste that much time skirting around issues to save face or because we fear pissing someone off? If I have to tip-toe that much around anyone or anything, clearly that someone or something and I are never going to get along. I was raised to work hard, be respectful, honest and care. To be considerate, try my best and treat others how I want to be treated. I work my ass off to do what I was taught. I've sometimes wondered why others don't do the same or at least try. I brush off the occasional harsh reality and keep moving on with a smile. Recently I have experienced a bit more than normal of this harsh reality. What do I do to deal with it? Put a bigger, fatter smile on my face, feel proud of myself for simply trying and continue to piss people off with my honesty.

I figure if someone else is afraid of transparency and honesty- good for them. This girl? - Not so much afraid. If nothing else I'll be able to fall asleep at night happy, knowing that I'm still doing all I can to practice what we all learned in Kindergarten.

Monday, October 11, 2010

and you think i'm kidding

I know I have loosely joked about having to go home to Vermont and live with my parents before. This is becoming a quick reality as I start week 5 of busting my ass to find a job here in CA and nothing working yet. (Perhaps a sign that I should've followed my initial instinct and heart to NYC?) I've been trying to get my parents divorced for years, I DESPISE cold weather and piles of snow and they live in a town that everything closes at 6pm. (Can you say one flashing stop light and a country store? A regular metropolis.) Clearly not the ideal situation for a single 32 year old like me who wants to bust ass to move back to that for the first time since I was 17.

I totally suck at waiting for people to call and offer me work after I have applied and interviewed. I just move fast. It's in my nature. I suck so badly at not working 60 hours a week or driving 800 miles a day it's absurd. This is the way I was born and I just can't help it.

This week should be interesting to see what potentially pans out here. If a comet doesn't drop out of the sky soon with 3 jobs or a bunch of cash, it looks like the BLR mobile will be heading east to stay with the folks until I can make enough money selling my soul to the devil so I can move to New York City.

Stay tuned. If the shackin' up with the folks thing happens, I will officially rename this blog How Many Days. (As in how many days will it take for me to jump off a cliff.)

Don't worry, I'm not suicidal. Just trying to be funny and entertain myself so I don't become suicidal while I apply and interview for 96,000 more jobs to places that need help but never call back.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

chocolate balls make me happy

Saying and writing "balls" makes me laugh. (We discussed this at length at the dinner party.)

Here's a photo from Friday night. The double chocolate Oreo balls were a hit. Look at the hands reaching in!

Birthday dinner party and chocolate Oreo balls- yum

Leftovers are sooo good.

can a girl get a job already?

I wrote a few days ago that I was totally annoyed and pissed off, so instead of punching a wall, I was going to go for a run. I do that a lot. I went for that run, put the smile back on my face and kept swinging the bat. That's life right? Fall down, get up, get really pissed, keep trying and "it will all work out." I really do believe that. That whole quitters never win thing? Yeah, I completely think that's true. Sometimes though, things just build and build and then you want to punch a wall and scream FUUUUUUCK!!!!!!! to the high heavens.

That's how I felt when I woke up this morning.

I didn't write yesterday when I was feeling pissed off. I am all about shitty days, accepting and understanding when you feel like garbage. That's normal. If something in life isn't working, we all have the right to vent in whatever way works for each of us. As much as I say that, the last thing I have ever wanted to be is a complainer. I haven't wanted this to be a bitch blog, or become that person who pisses and moans and never gets off their ass to fix a problem. We all know we don't want to be around that kind of bad energy. Moreover, I generally do not feel sorry for anyone who just complains and sits on their ass. In fact I find that really friggin' annoying. I mean, people who don't have effing legs run marathons- get off your ass and do something complainers.

Why am I so pissed off and why do I have the desire to punch a wall this weekend? Because sometimes I feel like I do EVERYTHING BUT sit on my ass, and STILL things don't click or move. In this particular case, what's pissing me off is work, as in- a job, a way to make money, a way to pay bills.

For anyone who talks about some bullshit that the economy is bad, there are no jobs, no opportunity, etc., this is simply NOT the case. I have never in my life had more people offer to help or connect me, seen more "we are hiring" signs, been asked to send my resume, invited to interview, networking events- all that stuff. It's out there for the taking. I've answered all that by putting a smile on my face, dressing my not so ugly body in killer outfits, I've shaken hands, kissed babies, worn "I'm a badass chick" heels and practically flown into meetings in a hot air balloon to multiple spots/places/businesses to try and get a job. I've gone to places and met with people who "desperately need help." I'm overqualified for most positions. This is not a case of "we aren't hiring at this time" or "I'm sorry, you have don't have enough experience for this job." Quite the opposite. The straight and dirty is this: I have found people and businesses to be totally inconsiderate by not returning calls or communication when they say they will. They also all seem to move at a freaking snails pace. I'm going on 5 weeks here. (By the way, for everyone out there who says things like, "these things take time, be patient, it will all come, etc- give me a goddamn break. Yeah, "it will come" when I'm 90 or when the bank repo's my car. Jesus christ already- please stop saying those obvious and annoying, patronizing statements in an attempt to make us feel better. It doesn't work.)

What person or company in their right mind, that "desperately" needs help either A.) Never calls back even though they tell you they will or B.) Would be willing to let a person like me (32, single, experienced, honest, reliable, driven, smart, energetic, DYING to work 90 hours a week, who has a laundry list of references and will even scoop shit with a smile) out of their sight without hiring them on the spot?

I have had COUNTLESS conversations with educated, amazing, experienced 30-somethings who are in the same boat as me in this. If I had my own business, I'd kill to have kick-ass 30-somethings that are out there unemployed crushing it in my company.

So what gives?

***Please note here that I take FULL responsibility for myself and I first and foremost think the what could I have done better? What could I be doing wrong? I even ask friends and mentors. Then, when all lights seem green and things STILL aren't working? -Yeah, I want to punch a fucking wall. (Ok, so not really, but it makes me infuriated confused.)

This is why I have said for years that I want to work for myself.

Do I think I am the smartest, coolest, best ever or have a killer product? No. Do I think I know more and am some kind of business whiz? No. Do I want to struggle to build everything from the ground up, pay for my own health insurance forever and never get a paid vacation? No, but I do want to just fucking work a job that I can use my experience and talents for and in turn be paid and respected. These opportunities don't seem to exist in America, or I am looking in the wrong 50 states.

It all leaves me baffled, disappointed, and with little faith in EVERY one/thing/business out there. Perhaps this is a sign for me to gather all those 30-something's. We will band together and create a business that kicks everyone else's antiquated and inconsiderate, unorganized ass. Green Eggs and Ham says: "I will not, will not anywhere!" Well, I am: "I will I will! and ANYWHERE!" and still no takers. That deserves a giant WHAT THE FUCK.

(Wow, it's a good thing I'm not religious. A Sunday post like this full of cuss this and that would surely land me in hell otherwise:)

To people and businesses out there missing out on the 30-something talent that's available like me and so many others, who want to bust our asses for you: Congratulations. You are idiots. To people or businesses in any city, state, country who want young blood ready and willing to crush it and make YOU money. Send me an email (dianeATbluelollipoproadDOTcom) or post a comment here and I will send you my resume and laundry list of experiences and references. Clearly I JUST WANT A FUCKING JOB and I know a big ol' list of others like me ready too.

I could always start seriously considering prostitution. I mean, I am really friendly so I'd probably do well.

I know- GASP!-right? By now you are probably rolling your eyes, shaking your head and mumbling something like "My god this girl thinks she's going to get someone to give her a job after writing something like this and using the word fuck 100 times?" or "No wonder she can't find a job with a mouth like that!, she must be crazy!"

Yeah there's a time and a place for everything, but I also think it's perfectly acceptable to be no bullshit.

I love having a blog.

Friday, October 8, 2010

if your name is aimee and you posted a comment...

....here today, please send me contact information for you or email me:

I'd love to help you/your brother out with finance stuff. I posted a reply to your comment too.Thanks for checking out my blog and I hope to hear from you soon!

friday night dinner parties...

...are so fun. Especially when it was your roommies birthday this week so you're celebrating and your other roommie has made Beef Bourguignon. Hello Julie Child! I'm making 2 ridiculous chocolate desserts (recipes stolen from 2 gal pals of mine.) I was also gifted a yummy bottle of Pinot Noir after an interview with a winery today (I know score!- right?) I'm fairly confident the night is going to be a blast and it hasn't even started yet.

Did I mention I'm on a diet and that I'm a vegetarian?

Yeah, yeah, insert laughs here.

I've never had many recipes to share, but this one is a must-pass from my friend Holly if you are a chocolate lover like me. Double chocolate Oreo dessert balls:

*Chocolate or vanilla baking bark (baking chocolate bars of some kind, 4 large bars.)
*1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened.
*1 pkg. Oreo cookies

Melt chocolate in double boiler and add solid vegetable shortening, ½ tsp. at a time as needed to make the mixture smooth. (Do not add liquid oil or water as the chocolate will clump). Chop the entire package of Oreo cookies with a food chopper or put in large Ziploc bag and crush them. Mix with cream cheese. Scoop out balls of mixture using a small scoop. Place in freezer until firm (30 min. to 1 hr.) Dip in melted chocolate, one a time, and place on parchment paper or wax paper until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (Freeze the balls until they are solid, dip them and get them out of the chocolate right away.)

Other tips:
If you do some them in white chocolate, you can drizzle some dark chocolate over them to make creative designs.

Sweet! (In every kind of way.)

Let the dinner party begin.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I'm staying in Napa for now and I still dream about NYC every single day.

Try to figure that one out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

c casa su casa?

I'm coming up on 4 weeks in Napa and things are ROLLING. By that I mean I have met a ton of incredible people, had some of the best food and wine I have ever in my life and now have had an absolute awesome furry of work stuff rushing in too. Obviously all that takes me away from here but fear not- that is part of the plan.

BLR is getting a facelift (in more ways than one), I now have a few clients for my financial and life organization project, and I've got other work in addition to that too. I like paying my bills and I totally suck at sitting around doing nothing so this delicious bit of total productive and learning chaos is just what I've been looking for.

I might just take over the world. If only more hours were in a day.

Here's a photo of my REEEEEdiculously delicious taco from lunch today in between running around like a madwoman at C Casa in the Oxbow Market in Downtown Napa:

Taco lunch at C Casa, Oxbow Market, Napa

Finger potatoes, fresh tomatoes, queso fresca, cilantro and ahh....

Can I tell you how amazing it is to have so many noshing spots that use compostable products and serve grass fed meats, and locally grown stuff? Can I tell you how much I need to sign up to start racing again and up my miles? There's no getting away from feasting around these parts- ack! (Not that I am trying that hard to get away...) My dreams of being a size zero are so not happening in this lifetime. (Insert fake sigh here. I'm actually not that disappointed about that.)

Back to work I go. I had to quick post this deliciousness...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

meet lowell

Lowell was bellowing "Popcorn for beautiful ladies!" through his popcorn bucket megaphone as my friend and I walked by his stand on Friday night:

Lowell at Cheers St. Helena

He had us at popcorn. We got some of course. He cracked me up, so I asked if I could take a picture of him. "Only if you will be in it with me!" he said.

We couldn't argue with that:

Erin, Lowell and I at Cheers St. Helena

Strangers that make me laugh, Cheers St. Helena to kick off the weekend and good company in the packed streets of an adorable little town in wine country- I love it!

Monday, October 4, 2010

someone please clue me in

I might be an alien, but I was taught to say please and thank you and do what I promise to do.

Am I crazy?

I don't often get to the point I feel like I could punch a wall and today feels like one of those days. Instead of punching a wall, I go for long runs (which I am about to head out door to do now. I figure that's more constructive than punching things.)

I am currently going through a time where people who say they will call won't, promise things they don't do, and generally are disappointing me. People are busy, shit happens, I get it. It's not that. It's the point blank empty promises and complete lack of respect or consideration that gets me.

I just don't understand. Why bother with the bullshit? Who has time for that?

...off to pound the pavement instead of the wall. Perhaps while I am away from my computer and phone breaking a sweat, one of those promised messages will finally come in. If not I'll just have a really nice ass, which hey- I am not opposed to.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

jill won the makeover!

YIPPEE!!! Jill Campbell wins! (Well, one of the top 3 anyway. The Grand Prize winner will be announced the night of the makeover.)

I posted this last week asking you all to vote for my friend and she won! I'm convinced that the BLR followers helped tip her over the the line to victory! Thanks all! I am super excited for Jill. I'll be posting the before and after photos here in a couple weeks after the big makeover day.

Stay tuned to see results!

Friday, October 1, 2010

knotty yarn

So I have told you all I bartended at this retreat called the Might Summit a couple weeks ago. It was near the Russian River at an amazing little resort called Boon. It was a quick gig, and I didn't get to talk to many of the kick-ass women who were there. There were a couple of those women however, that even in our 5 second interaction I could tell were just NICE. The word nice, or kind to me is by far the biggest compliment. When someone can get a "nice" out of me, from a simple please and thank you, because it just hits you that they are a genuinely decent person- that's a big deal.

Danielle was one of those people. Her blog is called Knotty Yarn. It has just gone straight and fast into my bookmarks. On her about page (almost scary the amount of similarities between she and I) there is a line that I so, so so (can I say SO one more time?) agree with and live by:

"I strongly believe that every day is a chance to change your mind and change your life."

I will stop this post there. I can't imagine putting together a better line that i will toast a thousand times to.

Thanks Danielle. You are nice, you write great stuff, and you have freaking awesome hair too.

secrets revealed!

Guess who gets to go to Tahoe this weekend for the first time ever?

For FREE no less.

Guess who got to eat filet, 3 chocolate lava cakes and about 9 glasses of good wine at a castle last week?

For FREE no less.

Yep- ME!

Guess what else? I'm not even that smart, cool, and this stuff doesn't require me to get naked.

It baffles me when people ask things like "Wow, how in the WORLD did you ever get to X,Y,Z??!!"

You want to know the big fat secret? Ok. Drumroll please...

I ask, or volunteer. Period.

This means when someone I am around talks about something that sounds interesting, fun, or cool- I say "Ooh! I'd love to do that!" or "Wow, let me know if you ever need any help there."

If I calculated the cost of wine, apps, a meal, more wine, dessert and entertainment at a castle for a night, that'd be a decent amount of bucks.

If I calculated transportation to Tahoe, a wine festival admission, and a night in a hotel. that'd be a decent amount of bucks.

What do I contribute to get this? A few hours of my time. As in like 2 or 3 hours, not even 8.

What do I get? All of the above and meeting, networking (we all know that any little interaction with the kind of figurative company you want to be in matters) and fun.

Simple formula. Totally not rocket science. If you want to go to/hang with/see something but you're not sure how you can "get in" or afford to, try this system. It works every time.

I hope I haven't disappointed you revealing that I'm not really secret-spy tricky. I'd love to hear about cool things you get to do like this and how you got "in" so send me some stories!

Happy weekend all. I'm off to pack for Tahoe. Yesssssssss...