(The Blog Formerly Known as "Countdown to 30" and "30 is the New Twenty")

Monday, December 31, 2007

What Not to Wear: the Home Game


In honor of the New Year's Resolutions, I bring you, "What Not to Wear: the Home Game." I think everyone needs to do this at least once a year. Maybe more Even if you have good fashion sense, you still need to purge your closet. My closet was so full, I didn't think I could I fit another article of clothing in it. I know, I know. I do work in retail and I can never pass up a good deal. After 5.5 years of retail, I accumulated a lot of interesting articles of clothing. I also have a hard time parting with some of my favorite articles of clothing--even though I know I will never wear them. The key to playing "What Not to Wear: the At Home Game" is to be in the right mood to get rid of stuff. And a really honest friend, who can tell you that you're never, ever going to wear the ugly pink and grey herringbone blazer even though you only paid $5.82 for it (yes, I really did have that lurking in my closet). With my friend, Steve's help, we what not to weared my closet and filled four big bags of clothes and shoes.

I really like the brown fairisle poncho peaking out of the red bag. That was such a great purchase. I never wore it. I was planning on wearing it as a skirt over jeans. Yikes.

I am so excited to start the new year with a well-organized, room to grow closet. My fashion resolution for 2008 is need to stop buying crazy patterned shirts. More solids.

If only I could have the $5000 Bank of America card to fill my closet with more clothing.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Shoes!

Aren't these just the coolest sneakers ever? They really take me back to when I was 12. I was a bit of tomboy and loved Nikes. I had a pair of navy and grey ones for basketball. I loved those shoes. In 8th grade, I saved my baby-sitting money to buy myself a pair of black and red Air Jordans for basketball even though my dad assured me that the shoes would not help my game. I recall being a total trend setter of the middle school set. None of the other girls wore boys shoes. I took a fair amount of flack for it, but looking back it was one of the first times I took a fashion risk and didn't care what others thought. I just loved my shoes. Yesterday I was so excited to find the perfect NIkes that make me excited and happy like I felt when I was a preteen. I found them at Journey's (of all places). A perfect use of my Christmas money from my grandparents. I can't wait to wear them. They're a nice change from my chucks. So pretty, yet very tough.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Nevermind

Gilda Radner played a little girl on "SNL" who always was doing something she shouldn't be doing like running around her bedroom. Whenever her mom asked her what she was doing she'd reply "never mind." The other day I totally had a "never mind" moment. I somehow got into my head that I wanted a Chloe purse. It was a random thought. The more I thought about it, I decided I really wanted and deserved a beautiful, leather Chloe purse. A Chloe purse is sort of fun, yet timeless and classic. The Chloe website only had pictures no prices, which lead to me using my imagination and guessing what the purse cost. I'm a good shopper, I have to be close. Wrong! I pegged the one I liked at $300. After doing more research, I discovered that it cost $2000. Never mind. No Chloe purse for me. Seriously, I should know better. I am, however, going to look for them at thrift stores. You never know.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Very Special White Trash Moment at the Mall

Yesterday at work I happened upon one of the funniest white trash family moments that I've stumbled upon in a long time: a woman pushing a Marshall's shopping cart (not in Marshall's) with three rugrats in it. Wow. Seriously. How did they get the cart out of Marshall's without the alarm going off? The kids were totally out of control; crawling all over the cart and shoving french fries into their mouths and wiping their greasy fingers on each other, all while mommy and her friend shopped. Of course, they didn't pay any attention to the kids until one of the kids hit the other and screaming ensued. Then it was the typical white trash response of "shut up!" That always works. Being the seasoned retail veteran that I am, it really takes a lot to shock me, and this scene made me want to go laugh in the corner and I felt appalled at the same time. I just don't get people. At the same time, whenever I see something like this, I can't help watch them like a bunch of animals in the zoo. It just looked so tacky and trashy and very Brittney Spears to see this woman with the shopping cart. It was classy. Klassy with a K.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Heart Flossing

Today I had my six month cleaning at the dentist. Given my lovely luck with my teeth, I was anticipating a mouth full of cavities. Guess what? All of my extra flossing and brushing has paid off. Woo-hoo! I am so excited. I have to admit, that I've been more cautious of eating and drinking bad stuff like sugar. For once, it's paid off. It's the best Christmas present ever!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

TV That Sucks Me In

Why is it that no matter how many times I've seen an episode of a show, I'll always get sucked into it? The other day I caught an episode of "The OC" on the SOAP net. It was from the first season. I've seen the episode probably half a dozen times an I even own the season on DVD. I still sat there and watched it like I'd never seen it before. I got sucked in because it was an episode with Anna in it. I loved Anna. She was so smart and had great fashion sense. Plus, it was the one where Oliver goes all crazy and holds Marissa hostage. Awww.... I miss "The OC."

Screenplay Inspiration

Inspiration hits me at odd times. Last night I was browsing You Tube and I found lots of videos of people trashing department stores on Black Friday and other crazy sales. It was hilarious. Shoppers waiting outside in herds, pushing and shoving to get to the good deals, women ripping garments out of other shoppers hands,and the empty fixtures after the pillaging. The later was my favorite image. It was amazing how in 2 minutes and thirty second how much destruction occurred. I definitely want some crazy scene like these in my screenplay. It was really funny to watch people turn into animals and go nuts for shirt. Plus, these crazy moments fit with what I am trying to accomplish in my screenplay. I want to evoke this feeling of comedy to point of drama. There was a Wal-Mart video where a women is trampled by the crowd. She ends up having to go to the hospital (as a side note, I don't think she was seriously injured). I found this hysterical. I was practically rolling on the floor laughing. Which is horrible, I know, but I couldn't hold it back. Here's this women at Wal-Mart at 4 O'clock in the morning and she's trampled waiting to buy a $10 DVD player. That is comedy to the point of drama. It's sad that she's hurt, but funny given the circumstances.

I love how inspiration hits me. The past two days I took a break from my screenplay, but now I feel like I've got an arsenal of scenes.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What's Wrong with People?

Today I went to Caribou to work on my screenplay. I feel like I should've just stayed home. The first tip off was a girl wearing her slippers in public. Ew. That is so gross to me on so many different levels. Not to mention a major fashion don't. Later on, I felt like someone was staring me down. I looked up and a hipster was staring me down for my table. I was polite and sat at the little two seater table and not the big four person table. I had every right to sit at that table. I went back to my script and she continued to bore holes in my head until another table opened up. She made her boyfriend run for the table and claim it before the people at that table had a chance to move. Seriously. It's a table, not a life or death situation. People like that make me crabby. Especially at a coffee shop that supposed to be a laid-back place. Grrr....

As for my screenplay, it's stuck towards the end of the first act. Ugh. I can't get into the second act. At all. Grrr... I don't force myself to write, so if I'm not feeling it, I stop writing.



Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Heart Free Coffee

My dad sent me a gift card to Caribou Coffee to help me get through the retail craziness. I love when he does this. It's nice to be able to treat myself to a latte instead of a plain coffee. Today I stopped by a Caribou while I was out running errands. The barista was such a Grinch. She made a comment about how everyone is using Christmas gift cards early and how people can't even wait for Christmas. I muttered something about how it wasn't for Christmas. It is none of her business if I want to use a gift card on December 13th or March 22nd. She should simply be happy for the sale. It sort of put a damper on my free latte experience.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What I Did on My Winter Vacation, Part 1

For the first time in weeks, maybe months, I actually feel well-rested and I've worked on my screenplay. My creativity is back. This time around, the screenplay actually feels like it's going somewhere. I've just spent the past two hours working on it. I needed a break, though. I'm a little stuck with a scene. It feels good.

What else have I done today? I made some Pumpkin bread. I've been a little obsessed with Starbucks Pumpkin loaf since Halloween. I decided to make my own. It's not as a good, but it'll do.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Almost There

After today, my time will me my time for almost a week. Wow. So unheard of. I almost don't know what to do with myself. I will manage, though. I am in such a good mood today--nothing can ruin my good mood. Not even stupid people or the parking ramp at work.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Gloves are better than Mittens for Driving

Today was one of those days where I really wished the Black Hole of Death aka the Mall of America had special parking for employees. I don't think it's fair that I have to risk my life with the idiots to find a parking spot. People seem to forgot how to drive and be courteous. It's like turning into the parking ramp sucks all the common sense out of their brains. Although, I sometimes question if they have it to begin with. In order to save my sanity and to arrive at work in a timely fashion, I always allot more than enough time to find a parking spot and get to work. I have discovered that it is just easier and I am less stressed out. I've got it down to a science. I usually circle the first level a couple of times before I give up and go up to another level-- sometimes the roof or sometimes screaming and parking in the over flow lot at IKEA. Ninety-nine percent of the time I find a spot on the first floor. Today was of the one percent variety. Why? Because people are rude and morons. After circling for about five minutes, I saw an open spot in the next row. I quickly drove over there and put my signal on when I saw this big SUV driving about 40 miles an hour and aced me out of the parking spot. How rude! Of course, it was some white trash suburban mom with nothing better to do than shop. I didn't try to go for the spot because an SUV will always beat my tiny Focus. This really annoyed me. I was clearly there first. All I wanted to do was park my car and go to work. I continued circling the wagons. Next up a car was blocking the main lane to the aisles because they were waiting for a parking spot. This resulted in lots of horn honking. You don't block an aisle! DUH! That was minor compared to what happened next. I was going down a main aisle when a car turned out of no where and narrowly missed hitting my car. All I could do was lay on my horn and pray. There was no way I could even swerve out of they way because I'd hit a parked car or a cement pole. The guy was not paying attention because he was on his cell phone. I doubt he even realized what happened. The guy behind him sure did. He laughed at my reaction to the situation. I flipped him off with my glove covered finger. Glad I didn't wear my mittens, like I usually do. Of course, that wouldn't stop me from flipping someone off. He would've gotten an angry mitten. I just don't get why he felt the need to point and laugh. It's not funny that I was almost in an accident. Not funny at all. It was at this point that I gave up on the first floor and drove up to the second where I quickly found a spot in the second row. I immediately ran to buy myself a cup of coffee to calm my rage. All I wanted to do was go to work. Is that too much to ask?

I really hate people and I hate the holidays.

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Trick to Surviving the Holidays

For the first time in five years, I feel like I'll make it through the holiday retail season without arriving at the grandparents ready for the holidays to be over with and ready to go retail on the next person who asks me for a gift receipt. My secret? I have a lot of vacation time that I need to use up before the end of the year. Hooray! That will be my savior.

I can already feel the Holiday spirit being sucked out of me by ungrateful people. It's taken all my strength to be nice to customers and to hold back my sassiness. I just hate how commerical the Holidays are and how people get bent out of shape over trivial things like not having a sweater for grandma in her size or a gift box that doesn't fit the socks for sister. As a nation, we've lost sight of what is important. One of my first retail seasons, I recall this middle aged woman yelling at me because she could only get instore credit for grandma's gift. Poor, poor grandma had taken the time to get nice socks, underwear and a pair of jeans for her grandson. The middle -aged woman didn't see this. She just saw how out of touch grandma was because she didn't know that they didn't shop at JCP. WOW. How ungrateful can you be? I envisioned a nice, sweet little old lady going to JCP to buy her grandson something he could use. She put lots of thought into this gift. Plus, there are kids out there that need these basic items. I unleashed my attitude on the middle-aged woman and told her that all I could do was give her instore credit and maybe she needs to tell grandma that they don't like JCP. I also challenged the woman that there has to be something in the store that she would like/use. She left in huff and went to find my manager.

I just don't get it. I hate how greedy people are. That is why I am glad I have vacation to use. It will save my sanity. And it gives me six days of working on my screenplay. I am hoping to have a super, super rough draft of "the Fashion Void 2.0." Did I mention I can do some reading for fun? That's on the agenda as well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

natalie dee
nataliedee.com

I am getting ready to leave for my grandparents for the next couple of days. Not only do I have two days off in a row, I get to see my rellies and stuff myself full of good food. Life is good.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ugly Betty

I love "Ugly Betty!" I know it's been on for a year, but I just recently got into the show. I missed last season because I had to watch the last season of "The OC." Now, with "the OC" gone, I can watch Ugly Betty. Although, it's not as good as "the OC," it's better than most of the other crap on television. I love the comedic timing and the fashions. Especially Betty's style. It's much cooler and stylish than the critics have made it out to be. The show's funny. It's dramatic. I love the over the top telenovela drama. I'll have to catch up on Season 1.

Thanksgiving

natalie dee
nataliedee.com
I am so excited for Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. Mainly because it's one of the least commercial of all holidays. Oh, and the food. It's the one day of the year where I can eat my weight in cranberries, mashed potatoes, dressing, and turkey. This year I am excited that I have Weds. off and I don't work until 5 on Friday. My Dad thinks this means that I can partake in the Black Friday shopping craziness. I am hoping to avoid that. The only exception might be an amazing deal at JCP. That is my only exception. It would seriously have to be Fire Sale prices, though.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Project Runway's Back!

I am so excited that Project Runway is back! I love that show! This season looks like it will be good. I like that the contestants are slightly older and have more real world experience. Plus, they seem slightly crazier than usual. And that's always good. I thought Elisa should've been auf'd. Seriously, that train was so poorly made and out of control. I guess she squeaked by because the dress was well-made. And Simone's was all-around bad news bears.

Frida Khalo

Today I finally had a "real" day off. I decided to check out the Frida Khalo exhibit at the Walker. It was awesome. I have loved Frida since I was in high school and I learned about her in Spanish class. As a teenager, I was drawn to the bright colors and how she wasn't afraid to expose very personal feelings and emotions with a public audience. Plus, as an angst filled teen, I was drawn to her tragic life. Frida was such a strong woman, too. She really challenged women's roles in the early 20th century. Today seeing those same pictures in person was such a powerful experience. It's hard to explain, but when you look at her paintings you literally see the pain and suffering that she endured. It was amazing. Such beautiful works. I love "Los Dos Fridas" (the two Fridas). It is the biggest painting in the collection and just shows so much of her pain. I liked that there were some of her lesser known works like her still lifes and small self-portraits.

The only downside was not the paintings themselves, but the screaming children that were there. I purposely went early (11:30-ish) so I didn't have to deal with the crowds. I am sort of snobbish with my appreciation of art. I like it when it's quiet and not so crowded, so I can spend as much time as I want taking in a painting. It wasn't that crowded, but the moms were there with their screaming kids. I totally understand why, too. Two and three years olds don't have the patience for something like that. At least no one was yelling into a cell phone or being too disrespectful.

Anyways, this exhibit is worth checking out. It runs until January 20th.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Breakthrough

No, I am not going to blog about Mary J. Blige's album, "the Breakthrough;" (although, it is a good cd) I had a breakthrough with my screenplay today! For the first time in months I worked on it and I feel like it's moving in a direction that is workable and more realistic for me. I don't know what inspired me, but I am hoping I can keep up the momentum. I spent about an hour working on it and it has a completely different direction and focus. I've got rough ideas for the three acts. So excited. For the past three years, this has been the one project that has helped me to keep my sanity. It was really stressing me out that I had this huge writer's block that I couldn't kick. And that is not what writing should be. It's my therapy. It's what makes me happy. Hopefully, I can continue this momentum.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Free to a Good Home: My Favorite Coat

It's time for me to part with my favorite coat of all time. This photo doesn't really do it justice. It's free to whoever wants it. The coat is from JCP (yes, they do have stylish clothes every once in a while). and is two years old. It's a size small, although it runs a little on the big side. It's more of a misses fit than a juniors fit. The fit is pretty boxy and sits right at the waist. The coat is made of 50% wool, 20% acrylic, 20% polyester, and 10% nylon. The coat is in very good condition, even though I pretty much lived in this coat . The coat isn't really heavy, but it's perfect for fall or a Global Warming winter.

You're probably wondering why I'm getting rid of my most favorite coat of all time. It's time to move on. The coat doesn't fit as well as I would like it and it doesn't look as cute on me as it used to. I went through a period of total denial, but I decided that it should go to a good home. Someone else should enjoy my coat. Farewell favorite coat. Sniff. You will be missed.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Chicks and Tools


nataliedee.com

This cartoon really made me laugh. It made me think of my dad. Growing up, I always wanted to learn how to use tools and fix cars . My dad's response: "Find a guy to help you." Thanks, dad. Thanks for setting women back 75 years. We really appreciate it. I remember the Christmas I asked for a tool set. My dad wanted to know why I needed that. Uh....to fix things. I am really surprised that I didn't get a pink tool kit. Most of my home improvement skills, I have picked up on my own. It's really good that I'm stubborn. And that my mom taught me how to be feisty and sassy. That helps, too.

An ugly, ugly rut

Lately I've gotten into a bit of a rut. I go to work and come home and that's about all I do. I've been working quite a bit lately and that seems to have zapped all of my creative juices. My screenplay? I haven't looked at it in months. This has made me incredibly restless. I need some sort of change. I need to find a way to write again. Aside from blogging, I haven't done any writing. Writing is truly what I love to do. I've always done it. Ever since I can remember. I need to find some way to have an outlet for my writing. I would love to do freelance writing for a magazine. I've been looking for something like this, but I haven't found much. I feel like I've lost my passion for writing. I wish I could go back to my college years. I had so much passion for writing and I was still a bit of dreamer. Now, I find myself being way more practical. Almost too practical. -SIGH- I need to get myself out of this funk.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dia de los Muertos

Tonight I went to the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, for the non Spanish speakers) show at Altered Esthetics. It was wonderful. And totally just what I needed. I've had a long week and I didn't get to do anything for Halloween, which bummed me out because I love Halloween. This, though was a much better way to celebrate. I've loved Dia de los Muertos since I was 12 and I learned about it in Spanish class. As I've mentioned before, what I like about this holiday is that you celebrate someone's life and not their death. In Mexico, people build an alter on their loved ones' graves and bring ofrendas (offerings) of their favorite foods and posessions. They put marigolds on their graves, as well. Vendors sell sugar skulls and dancing skeletons. It is such a beautiful way to remember your loved ones. This just makes sense. I don't think our loved ones would want us to be suffering because they are gone. Since my mom's death, Dia de los Muertos, has taken on more personal meaning for me. I look forward to it each year and usually use it as a day for quiet reflection of memories of my mom. So, tonight, it just really seemed appropriate for me to go to an opening of a Dia de los Muertos show since the anniversary of my mom's death was this past week. I haven't had much time for any sort of reflection, which was slowly eating away at me.

The artwork was great, a wide variety of interpretations of Dia de los Muertos. For me, the most powerful was the alter that someone had built for a loved one. It was just very touching. I felt like I knew this woman. Lots of bright colored paintings of skulls and flowers. The photography of Mexican Dia de los Muertos celebrations were cool, too. There was also pan de los muertos (bread of the dead), which is bread that is shaped into a skull. I haven't had it in years. Probably since high school Spanish. It is such a good mix of sweet and plain (I'm not describing it very well). The gallery was decorated with marigolds and tissue paper flowers that added to the affect. There was also a candle light procession around the block. This is was such a good time for my quiet reflection.

Even though, I've worked through my mom's death, I still need to have my yearly closure of reflecting back on what a great person she was. It is just something I need to do every year. This show gave me the chance to do this and to see that I am not alone in celebrating a loved one's life.

The show is extremely well done and worth taking a look at. It runs through November 29th. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Hunt for New Shoes




The other day I had some time to kill before work, so I decided to go look for some new shoes at DSW. I really, really, really need new shoes. Most of my flats have seen better days. Especially my black patent leather flats. I don't know why I ended up at DSW, of all places. I really hate that store. It's not so much the merch that they sell, it's the horrible warehouse arrangement of the store. I really have to be in the right mood to wander aimlessly down the aisles. I also think it's better to not have a specific shoe that you're looking for. Well, Sunday was not the day for the DSW wander. After going down three aisles, I'd had it. I was crabby at the selection of shoes. The white trash customers were really getting on my nerves and the sales people were equally annoying. I went to look at the sales shoes. I found the Steve Madden flats that I'd been wanting: cute grey ballet flats with purple polka dots. And they were only $23.00. I talked myself out of them. Seriously, I don't need another crazy pair of shoes. I have plenty of those. I really wanted something unique and I knew I wouldn't find it in DSW. I left in a really crabby mood.
I went into Urban Outfitters to do a little comp shopping. I wandered back to the shoes section. I started digging through the pile of the Urban Renewal Shoes (these are vintage one of a kind shoes sold at not quite vintage prices). I tried on a pair of brown boots that were just ok. As I was putting the boots back, I found just what I had wanted for two years: cowboy boots! And they fit me perfectly. So meant to be. They were exactly what I wanted. I didn't want too country cowboy boots, because that's not me. I didn't want them to be too flashy or cheesy, either. I think that's why it took me two years to find them. And they are one of a kind. Yay! So excited to wear them. They'll be perfect with jeans or skirts or dresses. Hooray for Urban Outfitters!







Sunday, October 28, 2007

Celebrating Life and Not Death

(A tigerlily from my dad's garden. One of my mom's favorite flowers).


Today is the 10th Anniversary of my mom's death. It is amazing how it sort of just snuck up on me this year. Previous years, it's been this feeling of heaviness and depression that hits me in September and doesn't leave me until November. It honestly feels good to be past that. It's not like I don't get sad or have days where I just feel out of it, but those days seem to be fewer and far between. I have comes to terms with my mom dying. I am not bitter nor do I feel robbed of my mom. I do miss my mom everyday, but I am more at peace with what happened. It's one of those things that have made me a much stronger person. I am a lot tougher than I used to be. I try very hard not to sweat the small stuff.



I am sort of sad that my mom never got a chance to know me as a real adult. I was 19 when she died and just a quasi-adult- still sort of a teenager, but kind of an adult. I know she would've been very proud at the person that I've become. She was always proud of me no matter what I did.

She was encouraging of my crazy ideas, like the time my best friend Jenny and I wanted to turn our neighborhood into a Disney theme park. That was ok, but she drew the line when we tried to sell tickets to the neighbors. She never made fun of these schemes and she always supported my creativity. She loved to have fun and was always let me be silly. I always feel very fortunate that I was able to have 19 years with my mom. I rarely took her for granted and we always got along well. There were a couple of the typical totally teen moments. My favorite was when I didn't want to wear my boots to school. I was 12 and it was so totally uncool to be seen wearing boots in the snow! Ohmygod! If someone saw me, I would've died. I thought I was being sneaky and smart by taking my boots off at the bus stop, but my mom caught me. The bus stop was in front of our house. Duh. After that time, I learned to just take the boots off on the bus, where my mom couldn't see me. But, every kid has those moments with their mom.

Ten years later, I am glad that I can reflect back on silly things like the boots not with sadness but more of nostalgia and humor. I can celebrate my mom's life and not focus on her death.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Not everyone is blessed with common sense."
My wise friend Jen said this today. It is so true. The older I get, more I agree with this. I used to think that common sense was well, automatic, a skill that everyone had. Now, I tend to think that those with common sense (myself included) are blessed with a special skill. In our society having common sense isn't all that common. It's a rarity.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Used Underpants= Gross


nataliedee.com


Ewwww.... I just don't understand what would possess people to purchase underwear from a thrift. store. Underwear, bras, socks, tights, and swimsuits are the items that I would NEVER, ever purchase from a thrift store. Even if I went home and sterilized them, I still would be weirded out. It might be all the years of retail and all the awful things I've seen people do to clothes that creeps me out. Yuck. Not to mention that used underwear is just nasty.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Favorite Part of Living in MN

You know what I enjoy the most about living in MN? The passive aggressive MN Nice. It really makes communications so much better . Can't everyone just speak their mind? Seriously.


NOTE: Just in case my sarcasm isn't coming through loud and clear, I am being sarcastic.

Friday, October 19, 2007

BURPLE!


nataliedee.com


I heart Burple! That was such a cool thing back in the 80's. I loved the sound that the plastic accordion bottle made. The juice inside? I have no idea what that tasted like...it was all about making the Burple. If I recall right, Burple didn't last too long. People must've caught on that Burple tasted just like Kool-Aid.

Grrr...

I need a vacation. A super long one.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rip Van Winkle

I am not quite sure how this happened, but I've been getting way more sleep than I normally get. I've been averaging 11+ hours a night. It annoys me because I have stuff I need to get done before I go to work, but that doesn't seem to make me get up early. Maybe I really need it or maybe it's the weather. Whatever it is, I am tired of being Rip Van Winkle. I don't need 11 hours of sleep everyday. Once in a while, yes, not everyday. Grrr...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Move Over, Martha

I am not Martha Stewart. I'm often seen as the anti Martha. because I am not very domestic. The first time I brought a cake I made to work, I shocked everyone. It's not that I don't like to cook, I just rarely have the time. Today I took the time to make some chili using my mom's recipe. It is seriously the best chili I have ever had. And it's so simple to make. Did I mention that there's lots of leftovers, too? That's best part.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup green pepper
2 15 oz. cans drained Kidney Beans
1 Tablespoon chili powder
dash of salt and pepper
3 cups tomato juice
Add a couple of drops of lemon juice
Dash of cinnamon

Directions
1. Brown meat and onion.
2. Add everything else. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes, stirring frequently.

Serve hot-- I like to top mine with a bit of shredded cheese and oyster crackers. It is the perfect meal for fall.

Yet Another Reason to Hate Disney

I was so sad when I found out that the Satellite Sisters are parting ways with ABC Radio. I know this might make me seem dorky, but I really enjoy listening to them. For those of you not familiar with the show, it's five sisters that talk about pretty much everything-music to movies to current events to literature to everything in between. I really like how smart and savvy they are. It's not the typical stupid chick talk. But of course, anything smart and funny doesn't last. Unfortunately, stupid chick talk prevails in our society. I know that after November 9th, I can still download the podcasts, but it won't be the same.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

So Over Summer

Where the heck is fall? I am sooooo sick of this humid weather! Seriously, I've had enough of the heat and the humidity. Ugh. I was so looking forward to a nice, crisp, fall. Not to mention, we're back to the lovely weather where you can't cook anything. This annoys me because I stocked up on soup the other day at Rainbow--they had Progresso soup 10 for 10 dollars. I think the sale is still going on today, too. Oh well, soup keeps well and I can save it for winter, I guess.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Sky is Falling!

In the 11 years that I've lived in Minnesota, I have never understood the coverage of the weather during "storms." Tonight it finally hit me: the excessive coverage of storms is so they can show off their fancy storm tracking equipment. It is the only logical reason. Tonight's storm was pretty heavy, I will admit that. It is important to tell us about the impending storm, but when the storm has passed, we don't need to continue to cover it. Also, the entire weather team at KARE 11 was reporting. Plus, Mike Pomerantz was out in the backyard showing us the debris (tiny leaves and twigs) and the 1/2 inch of water. Oh my gosh! That is so informative! I don't have windows. It seemed a bit excessive. But, KARE 11 does have Viper 8D to show off.

This is such a Minnesota thing. Milwaukee and Chicago don't over do it on the weather--unless it is warranted. I know I was a lot younger when I lived in WI and IL, but I think I'd remember my favorite television show being interrupted and my parents ranting about the weather coverage.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Vera Wang Fashions for All

Over the weekend, I went to Kohl's to check out Vera Wang's Simply Vera Collection. It's a great collection, but of course Kohl's had to find a way to make it look cheap. My main complaint is how the merchandise was displayed. If I was running the show, there would've been stricter guidelines as to where and how the products were displayed. Her clothes were wedged in next to the Daisy Fuentes Hoochie collection that was on clearance. Not exactly where Vera belongs. The shoes were the worst: just thrown with the rest of the shoes with a little display. The signage and posters needed to be bigger, better, and more Vera. The signs just looked Kohl's. I think it needed to be more glam, sophisticated, and classier. I know this costs a lot of money, but they needed special fixtures that said classy Vera, not leftover Kohl's shelves. A build up of mannequins in the front, and a big flashy sign would've been a nice touch.

I know that the average Kohl's customer doesn't care about things like this, but little things like this make a difference. I had to walk through a big chunk of the shoe department just to find her stuff. You should walk into the department and instantly see her collection. Vera Wang is a wonderful designer that deserves a more sophisticated presentation.

Despite the less than stellar presentation, the Vera Wang collection is worth checking out. Although, the sizes were picked over in the clothes.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Deserve an Emmy...

I think I deserve an Emmy, not for my comedic wit, but for sitting through three hours of the Emmy Awards. Granted, I've been doing other things while it was on, but it's been pretty painful to watch. Super boring. I don't know what it is, but it stinks. Maybe it's the fact that I don't watch a lot of television. Or it is just bad. The best part has been the ads for Macy's featuring the celebrities that have lines at Macy's. I love the one where Martha's daughter is hunting for a dress and Tim Gunn takes some of Martha's bedding and makes a dress. That should be a sign when an ad is better than the actual show.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Straight Forward Music Snob

natalie dee
nataliedee.com

Time to Put the Tube Tops Away *

I am so excited that it is finally cool outside. Hooray! I can finally wear sweaters and sweatshirts again. Today I am wearing boots with my sweater! I can't even remember the last time I was able to wear boots. The best part is not sweating while standing still. And I can finally layer. So long summer! I'm bring out my jackets and drinking hot coffee.

*For the record, I do not own a tube top. Just thought I should clarify.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Gawkers, Go Home!

I was excited last week when I found the 10th Ave Bridge was opening up again--it would make getting around town much easier. My excitement quickly faded after I drove across it. It is now gawker central. I understand that some people might need to see the bridge first hand, but it doesn't seem to me like these are the people that come out to the 10th Ave. Bridge. It's the people with their video cameras and cameras taking pictures and video of the reckage. It is also very apparent that these people are bussed in from the burbs and aren't simply walking across the bridge to get to their destinations. It's turned into this giant super circus. There were a couple hundred people crammed on there on Labor Day. All they need to do is add a Pronto Pup cart and it could be like the State Fair. To me, it just seems sort of rude and inconsiderate to the victims and their families. Do we really need to come stare at the mess? I still don't like looking at ruins. It freaks me out. It scares me. To see people skipping over to the bridge is so nauseating.

The traffic is horrible on the bridge, too. The other day the car in front of me stopped (without giving me any notice) just to look at the ruins of the 35W bridge. I easily could've been in an accident. I laid on my horn. This didn't stop the people, they kept stopping all the way across the bridge. And I continued to honk on my horn. It really makes my drive to work a road rage filled drive.

I am hoping that the novelty wears off very,very soon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

This is so Totally Me

From Nataliedee.com
This is so me! I would make sure I was fashionable for going out for a run. In fact, I'd put more time into my outfit than my running. In college I really wanted to become a snowboarder-- and it wasn't because I thought snowboarding was cool. I wanted a cute snowboarder outfit. I quickly thought otherwise after I tried snowboarding. I love Natalie Dee! And fashion.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Much Ado About Nothing

Last week the big story in MN was the baseball player on the Coon Rapids Little League team who spit in his hand before shaking hands with his opponate after loosing the big game. Everyone was so upset about this. The horror that the boy would do something so appaling! He ruined his teams image... Not to mention Coon Rapids. What will people across the nation think of Coon Rapids and MN. Not so MN nice anymore, are we?

It really must have been a slow news week. Seriously. The boy didn't kill the other boy. He spit in his hand and shook hands with the other kid. Yeah, it's disrespectful, but as far as the spectrum of awful things that kids do, it's not that bad. He probably should know better, but it's just kids being kids. Maybe he was dared by a team mate or just thought it would be a funny thing to do. It wasn't something that was done with malice. If you watch the clip of it, the kid was laughing. I think everyone has several memories of dares gone bad or doing something stupid from their own childhoods. I know that my own childhood was full of these experiences. The earliest one I can recall is being the lookout in kindergarten when the teacher left the room. That ended in me spending the afternoon in the hall thinking about my behavior. Or when I was in 8th grade and someone got the bright idea of pouring water on a bag from a player on the opposing basketball team. I was suspended for two games (even though I just watched) and my entire class thought I did it. I just don't think the spitting incident it's as big of a deal as people make it into. It's part of growing up to do things like this. I am sure this kid learned his lesson. And that's really all that matters.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cringe Worthy Television

Ahhh! Right now I'm watching a Project Runway marathon! I think I've seen this episode, "Everyday Woman" at least half a dozen times. It isn't one of my favorites because it just makes me so angry. In the episode the designers have to create an outfit for one of the designers' moms or sisters. Jeffrey has Angela's mother. He is just such a jerk to her. Very disrespectful. Angela's mom is a lovely lady. Totally a typical Midwestern mom. She seems very nice and sweet. All she wants is a long dress in dark purple or dark green. What does Jeffrey do? He creates one of the worst outfits I have ever seen-- a long navy dress with some weird Periwinkle button down shirt collar. It belongs on the clearance rack at JC Penney. It is so cheap and tacky. Angela's mom needs a dress that she can feel confident in, not self-conscious. What makes me so crabby and angry is Jeffrey has no compassion for Angela's mom. He doesn't care if it looks good or she likes it. The way he treats her makes me cringe. No one's mom should be treated like that. Every time I watch this episode I end up having to cover my face and my eyes fill with tears because I feel so bad for Angela's poor mom. ARGH.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Writing Exercise

I've been having a horribly hard time working on my screenplay lately. I don't know what it is, but I haven't been able to even write a sentence. Well, last night, I made an attempt to break the writer's block cycle. I went through my old journals and wrote down ideas for scenes. It made me feel a lot better. It was kind of funny to read what I wrote three and a half years ago. I did such a good job being honest and not sugar coating anything. It was all there-- anger, happiness, frustration, etc. I almost felt like I was reading a stranger's journal. I am such a different person than I was back then. I definitely think it will help with my main character. I am so glad that I used to journal everyday. I am feeling a lot more at ease with my screenplay. I am in a much better spot with it .

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

They're Baaaack!

I have blogged about this before, but the Goodwill radio ads are back and more annoying than ever. My least favorite is the one with a guy and girl talking about her jeans at a party. The guy tries to guess the finish of her jeans until she becomes so ticked off she yells, "They're just jeans. I got 'em at Goodwill." YUCK. I just don't get it. It's Goodwill. Everyone knows about Goodwill. Word of mouth should be their form of advertising. They don't need to spend money on these cheesy ads, just to get people in the door. Maybe getting better merchandise in the stores would be better than spending money on ads. The last couple of Goodwills I've been in, have been less than impressive. One had Target Dollar bin stuff and the other had a really poor selection of clothing. I am hoping that after back to school the ads will stop.

New phone

Today I finally broke down and bought a new cell phone. I always wait until my reception goes to hell and the battery is so shot, I have to charge the phone everyday. My old phone was to the point where it ran in its own time zone. I don't know why I do this. I think I get really attached to my phone and I don't want to get another one. Call me crazy. Also, I don't want a phone that can teleport me to the moon and cook me a five course meal. I am very simple when it comes to my phone. I want to be able to make a call and that's about it. I do enjoy crazy, silly ring tones. I know, I know, so Totally Teen of me. My old phone's ring tone was "California" by Phantom Planet. New ring tone: "Love Song" by the Cure. Slightly more sophisticated. I was able to find a simple, basic, flip phone. It does have a camera on it, so I'll be able to take pictures and shoot videos where ever I go. I think I can play mp3's, too. I doubt that I will ever do that. I just wanted a phone. Is that too much to ask for?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Please Go Back in the Closet

Yesterday I was watching MTV and I saw an ad for R. Kelly's new DVD "Stuck in the Closet: the Next Chapters." I am not making this up. I thought it was a joke or something, 'cause why would there be more chapters of possibly the worst song ever made. The ad made it seem like it was a parody a la SNL or Mad TV. Alas, it's not a joke, it's coming out on DVD soon. And you can buy it at Target. Why R. Kelly, why? "Stuck in the Closet" has to be the most annoying and longest song ever made. It goes on forever. And pretty much makes no sense. I love the line: "I'm stuck in the closet, got no phone in the closet." It's really funny to watch R. Kelly perform it like he's doing Macbeth. Not to mention it came out around 2005, I am sure that no one cares about R. Kelly being stuck in the closet. I'd like to meet the genius record executive who thought this was a good idea. Perhaps it's a way for R. Kelly to make some money to pay for all of his legal fees. Just a thought. If only he could stay trapped in the closet.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Ah-ha Moment of the Day

Today while defusing my hair, I had a the best idea for my screenplay: I need to change the p.o.v. / story telling method. Right now it's some sort of ensemble comedy that is sort of focused on the main character. Well, it's all about to change. It is going to be told through Sarah's perspective- with voice over. Maybe even tying in something with her thesis that she's working on is what we see. Or she's reflecting on the past a la "the Wonder Years." I've been stuck on page 59 for months and something has got to change. I am hoping to work on it this weekend.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tim Gunn's Guide to Style

I am so excited for Tim Gunn's new show! I just saw a preview for it on Bravo. I love him! He's seems so fun. He's always so honest and yet so nice to the contestants on "Project Runway." Plus, he's sorta shark like how he sneaks in on them. I love fashion makeover shows a la "What Not to Wear." Hopefully, he won't disappoint.

What? There Was A Storm Last Night?

Last night I went to bed before the storm hit. I was really tired from work and I was annoyed that the finale of "Hell's Kitchen" was interrupted by Fox 9 news with a storm update. Was it really that necessary to have all that coverage for a thunderstorm? I think it's a MN thing. They don't do that in WI. Sure, run the message at the bottom, but interrupting should be for emergencies only. Back to the impending storm. I saw some lightening, but that was about it. When I left for work this morning before the sun was up, all I saw was some small branches on my front steps. I came home tonight and I noticed that there's two huge tree branches (about 6-8 feet) in my yard. And a third lying on the roof. I never even realized the storm was that bad. I am such a sound sleeper. If I can get to sleep before something happens, I'll never hear it. Although, it is really kind of scary that I can sleep through a big storm. It's sort of dangerous. I've always been like this, though. I recall a vacation where there was a fire drill at the hotel and if my mom hadn't have been there, I'd have slept through it. It was like that in the dorm, too. My roommates had to wake me up. What can I say, I'm a good sleeper.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There

Yesterday a check arrived in the mail from State Farm. Since their business is so good and I'm a safe driver they decided to reward me. Wow... I've never had that happen in all the years I've been driving. I love surprises like that. Things like this rarely happen to me. I am so excited! I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the money, so I put it in my savings account for a rainy day. Thank you, State Farm.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

35W Bridge Collapes

Tonight at about 6:00 pm the I35-W bridge collapsed at University Ave into Mississippi River. So far, there is only 1 fatality and many others hurt. It's a pretty grim situation. I am ok. I was at home when it happened. What sort of freaks me out is I was in that area (not on 35W, but on the 10th Ave. bridge right near by) about an hour before it happened. It's surreal. I've driven on that bridge a million times. Wow... I am speechless. About all I can say is my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

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Soccer Moms and Starbucks

Today on my break at work all I wanted was a nice iced coffee from Starbucks. I hadn't had enough caffeine this morning and I was feeling sorta cranky. Usually there isn't much of a line at Starbucks when I go on my break, but today it was sorta crazy. I can deal with that because it moves fast, however, it quickly became one of the most painful waiting in line experiences of my life because of the woman in front of me. She had three children--two walking and one in the stroller. The kids weren't the problem, it was the mom. I'm patiently waiting in line when she decides it's time to back up her Hummer-like stroller with saying "excuse me" to me. Without warning the woman and the stroller start moving backwards rapidly towards me. I ended up having to wedge myself sideways next to the table of coffee paraphenalia in order to avoid being crushed to death by the weight of the stroller and the soccer mom. All she wanted to do was get her darlings out of line so grandma could watch them. I am apparently invisible. I didn't say anything because I was so in shock from seeing my life flash before my eyes. Soccer mom gets up to the counter and orders a Grande Mocha with no whip. She inquires about the number of shots of espresso. Duh.... three shots. That was too much. She wanted one of the shots decaf. Hello? That makes no sense. She could've asked for a Grande Mocha with only two shots and not three. The barista looked sort of confused but complied with soccer mom. I ordered my drink and moved over to the side to wait for it to be made. Because my drink isn't all foo-foo like soccer mom's beverage, mine was ready before hers. Ha. It was like karma was on my side. The dumb woman took up the entire counter waiting for her drink. I said, "excuse me" to her, but she didn't budge. I ended up having to crawl over her to get my drink. She glared at me. As I was adding cream to my coffee, soccer mom was inquiring about the status of her drink and making sure there was one decaf shot of espresso. She was upset about waiting. I rolled my eyes at her.

Did I mention that I had to order a Venti rather than a grande iced coffee because I was so annoyed by the woman's behavior? Just because she has kids does not give her the right to practically run me over and show zero manners to me and the baristas. Having kids does not make her entitled to better service than the rest of us. As I've said before, if you don't have time to wait in line, don't do it. Go to Holiday and get your coffee.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Road Construction+ A Race= Road Rage

Yesterday morning all I wanted to do was get to work. Nothing major. I allotted more time than necessary because this stupid city is all ripped up. I should've just slept at work to ensure that I made it to work on time. Everything was going fine until I hit the Lake Nokomis area. For some reason, they decided that it would be fun to block off Cedar for a race. There was no warning of this. All of a sudden--bam-- street closed. I was forced to weave my way in and out of the neighborhood. Did I mention that all of the side streets were either blocked off or under construction? I went in circles for about ten minutes before I pulled over and asked a construction worker how to get back to Cedar. He was full of attitude and directed me back to the road blocked portion. I gave him attitude back and told him I couldn't get through that way. I ended up driving off in a huff. At this point, I started to panic. I had 15 minutes to get to work. I started to swear and scream. I continued to go in circles, until I ended up back where I started. I asked the State Trooper, who was blocking off the road, how to get around this. He said, "go up this street, take a right at Bloomington, take a left at the tee, take another left at the park and go straight at the stop sign." Huh. I was so confused. He was talking way too fast for me. I asked him to repeat it and he got all crabby with me. I was at my wits end. I told him to speak slower since I wasn't familiar with the area. Major rudeness followed from him. I went back the way I came and called work and told them I would be late. I was at the point of tears until I saw a nice looking couple walking their dog. I asked them how to get out of the mess and they nicely and slowly gave me good directions. Yay! I hauled ass to work and found myself dealing with idiots who can't drive. I can't even tell you the last time I used my horn so much. Long story short, I ended up getting to work 6 minutes late, which isn't bad, but still. I was so frustrated. And angry. I left my house a hour before work. On a Saturday morning. I shouldn't need a hour to get to work. I couldn't believe how unhelpful the construction worker and the trooper were. I wasn't asking them to break rules and let me drive through the barricade. I just needed to get myself to work...somehow. Is it really that hard to be pleasant and give good quality directions? Stupid Minnesota Nice. If you're going to block off a major road, please put up a sign ahead of time that informs people when the road will be closed. If you don't have the courtesy to do that, put up signs for a detour that won't take me on a tour of South Minneapolis.

Make the construction stop! For my sanity. I don't know how much more of this I can take.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Revenge of the Writer's Block


It's back. Just when I think I'm in the clear, it hits me. ARGH. Yesterday I was so ready to work on my screenplay and I just felt so trapped by it. It is very hard to explain. I wanted to come up with a three act structure. I've got Act I down, but it's II and III that need help. I guess I really need to just come up with an outline of some sort. I've got an ending in my head, but I'm not sure that I like it. I just don't know how I want it to end. I don't want the super happy ending--that doesn't fit with the story.


Part of my problem is I've been working with this story for two years. A lot has happened to me in two years. I am not the same person I was when I started writing. I'm having a hard time getting back into the head of old Michelle. I'm not sure how I can do that. I do really want to reflect this change somehow in the screenplay.


-SIGH- I guess for now, I am embracing my writer's block. My next day off I need to leave my apartment and head to Dunn Bros to see if I can't end my writer's block.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sidewalk Watering

I have stumbled upon a weird phenomenon: sidewalk watering. The past couple of days every where I go, there's someone watering their sidewalk. It started on Sunday when a friend and I were driving back to her house from lunch. At first, I thought it's just a coincidence and shrugged it off as an oddity that I haven't seen since my Grandpa was still alive living on the South Side of Chicago. Last night I went for a walk and I saw a minimum of three people watering their sidewalks. It's all over the Twin Cities. What is the point to this? I just don't get it. It seems very wasteful and there doesn't seem to be a point to watering the sidewalk. Most of the people doing this are older. I wonder if this is their secret way to be nosy and see what's going on in their 'hood. That has to be it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Best.Shoes.Ever

Aren't these the coolest shoes? I am so excited! Sparkly silver space age Chucks. I found them on super clearance at the Gap (of all places) for $9.97. Such a bargain. They were regular price $60. I am not sure what I am going to wear them with, but I couldn't pass them up. I think pretty much anything. They would be cool with a dressier outfit... like a skirt or a party dress. I can't wait to wear them.

I love my Chucks. I've been wearing them for half of my life. In high school I wore black high tops and my beloved black one-stars. They're just such classic shoes and always so comfortable. I can wear them for 8 hours at work and my feet never hurt. If the stopped making Chucks, I'd be very, very, very sad. I can't think of anything else that I still like from high school. They're also the one thing that I don't really mind if everyone wears. Usually, this makes me mad, but with Chucks, I just don't care. And they're my thing. My trademark shoe that I now own in silver. Hooray!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Finding the Off Switch

Ever since I can remember I've had a problem with thinking. I am always thinking. My brain never turns off. This was wonderful when I was in school, I could always be working on papers in my head. It's not so much fun now that I'm done with school. The constant thinking and over analyzing things. I just wish I could turn it off. Nothing seems to work. I've tried journaling before going to bed, but that doesn't work. I think it's a lost cause.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Make the Construction Stop!

I don't know how much longer I can take the constant construction all over Minneapolis. It is driving me nuts. I would really like to have my usual two options of how I want to go to work, instead of being forced to take the side streets since 35W is ripped up. Not that I don't enjoy taking the side streets everywhere I go, but I like to have options. Construction on its own isn't so bad, but I don't like it when it causes traffic jams at 9:30 at night. Like tonight. It was horrible. I almost needed some anger management classes after dealing with the traffic and the dumb drivers. My trip home was 45 minutes, instead of 20. Oh, Minneapolis, I wish you had a better public transportation system.

And I am going to stop blogging about this right now before I sound even more like a crabby old lady. At least I haven't taken an active interest in the Weather Channel.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Stop the World I Want to Get Off

The title of this post was one of my Mom's little sayings. She would say this whenever she saw something just so ghastly and appalling. Lately, I feel like I have a "Stop the World I Want to Get Off" moment just about everyday. When did we become such a rude nation of idiots who push and shove, flip someone off, and generally lack basic manners and courtesy for others? I just don't get it. I don't remember people acting like this ten years ago. Well, I am sure some people did... but not everyone. I know that living in Minnesota there's the lovely passive aggressive Minnesota Nice, but it goes beyond that (don't even get me started on MN Nice). We have become a nation of selfish impatient rude people. No wonder other countries hate us. I hate us, too. It just gets so old. It wears me out. I am tired of seeing people behaving like a bunch of baboons. I am tired of leaving work and thinking I would be happy if I never saw the general public ever again. I having evenings where I don't want to go out, because I don't feel like being around people. I frequently have to bite my tongue when I see someone treating another person poorly. I have become so desensitized that it doesn't phase me when someone calls me a bitch. It actually makes me laugh.

What does this come down to? We've become a society of people who are impatient and self-centered. No one bothers teaching manners to their children. People think they have this sense of entitlement that allows them to treat the poor barista like crap when he or she can't make their half caf grande soy mocha fast enough or makes it ok to plow their SUV into another lane without checking their blind spot. If everyone would just take a step back and think about their behavior and calm down, I would be a lot less crabby.

Friday, July 13, 2007

El fin to Permanent Writer's Block

For the past couple of months, I have felt like I am suffering from permanent writer's block with my screenplay. It's horrible. I want to finish it, but it seems like this hopeless train wreck. The was a fleeting moment a couple of months ago when I honestly thought I would never finish it. I felt like such a failure. This indescribable feeling of crappiness.

All of that is over! Lately, though, I have felt more motivated to work and finish my screenplay. I don't know what made that happen, but I will not be over thinking it. Maybe I have more angst. The bad, evil thoughts are back in my head. Whatever it is, I am going with it. It's a lot better than nothing. I am taking this new found interest in my screenplay and putting it towards constructing an actual plot. I have to stop just writing these scenes. I am coming up with a timeline. I think that will help. As abstract as I can be, I do need to some sort of planning. I need to just write without editing as a I go. I need to give myself more time. Hopefully, this will get better results. It just has to. My current method of just writing stinks.

I am still so serious about this. My screenplay is not another silly pipe dream a la my childhood when I had all these projects that I abandoned. I will finish it. I must.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

So Exciting!

Today I finally arrived at the party: I bought myself an iPod. Woo-hoo. I must admit that's pretty cool. So very slick. I am so excited to download podcasts onto my iPod. And it appeals to my randomness. My musical tastes range from Bob Dylan to Mary J. Blige to Oasis to the Dixie Chicks to Radiohead. And pretty much everything in between. Except for the crappy stuff. The shuffle feature was made for me.

It was family day at the iPod store. I was so focused on buying my iPod that I almost didn't notice the herds of children drooling and banging around on the iPhones and iPods. Seriously, people get a grip on your offspring, or keep them at home. I also wondered why there were so many people in there at two in the afternoon. Doesn't anyone work? Although, now that I have an iPod, I can go run errands and not have to listen/ deal with the rest of society. Yay for technology. I can go around in my own personal bubble of good music! I heart technology.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

My 1 Year Old Keds

I got an email this morning from Zappos letting me know that the Keds I bought a year ago are still available in my size. Great, huh? I've really been wanting to replace my canvas fashion sneakers that are still in good condition because I only wear them in the summer. But, maybe I should have a second pair on blocks. So odd. At first I thought they wanted me to fill out a survey about how I like the shoes. That would make sense. I generally don't buy the same pair of shoes unless it's chucks.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Wow...

I think it is so cool that Prince is playing at First Avenue tomorrow night. I really wish I could find a way to get a ticket for that... it's not like he plays there everyday, heck or even once a year. I really like Prince. What makes him so darn cool is he does stuff like the show at First Ave. that's sorta sneaky. He hasn't forgotten his roots.

I found out that the Smashing Pumpkins are reuniting and coming here in October. That is very cool. I haven't decided if I want to go or not. Fifteen year-old me says, "Oh my gosh! You have to go! Billy Corgan is god!" Twenty-nine year old me thinks that maybe it's not such a good idea. It might be better to leave that back in 1994. It's not the complete original Smashing Pumpkins, either. Still, I am sure it would be a great show. If I went I'd have to wear Converse one-stars with a ratty flannel complete with three shirts underneath and some loose fitting jeans.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday America!


I don't think anything is more American than the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile. This is the original wiener mobile that I saw at the Henry Ford in Detroit. The kid crawling over the railing is a nice, classy touch, too. What's a trip to a museum without an out of control child?

I hope everyone had a relaxing 4th of July. I went to my Aunt and Uncle's for a classic 4th of July BBQ-- hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, and beer. Yum! Nothing tastes better than a hot dog on a grill.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Always Late to the Party


from nataliedee.com


It seems to be a trend throughout my life: I am one of the last people to get the latest greatest tech gadget. Not that I really mind it, it's just how I roll. I think it comes from having thrifty (not cheap, there's a difference) parents who taught me how to manage my money. Plus, I over analyze everything to death. I can talk myself out of buying ANYTHING. I am also very cautious with how I spend my money. I nursed along my dying computer, nicknamed the Death Computer because it ran in it's own time zone, for a good two years before I caved and bought a new one. My cell phone? It's really old, but it still works.
For the past year, I've been contemplating buying an iPod and I've finally decided that I do need one (See? I am so behind the times). I have a ton of cds and I don't listen to them because I forget what I have. I have a bunch that I keep in my car, but I am so random that I'll be driving along wishing that I had Nirvana 'Unplugged' or Radiohead 'the Bends' with me. An iPod would help me organize all of my music. Not to mention, I'd be able to watch all of the episodes of "the Office" I download on it. It could be back up storage for my screenplay. The possibilities are endless.
The other day, I visited the Apple store at the mall. I was so excited. It was going to be the day that I finally got an iPod. Upon entering the store, I was annoyed by all the people in the store, just taking up space and letting their children play around with the iPods. After standing around for five minutes, little Johnny finally dropped one and I was able to play around with it. Thank goodness, I was just getting ready to go up to the parents and ask them if I could have a turn since I was actually in the market for buying an iPod, not destroying it. Well, I didn't buy one. Why? Not one salesperson came up to me and either greeted me or ask me if I needed some help. Plus, I was confused if I need the 30g or the 80g. Strike two, Apple store. Working in retail and customer service has turned me into a bit of customer service snob. They just lost a $300 sale for not acknowledging me and answering my questions. Before leaving, I did take about 10 minutes to play around with the iPhone (really slowly, too) as the herds of people stood behind me tapping their feet and giving me the death stare.
I think I am going to go back later in the week (on a weekday) and buy my iPod. Hopefully, it won't be family shopping day at the Apple store.



Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sage Advice from My Dad

Tonight my Dad shared some of his classic Dad advice. He told me to not "mess around with any firecrackers on the 4th." I am such a pyrotechnic. I can't get enough of fireworks. I stocked up on them today at Target, so I could put together my own display on the 4th. Does my Dad realize that I've only played with sparklers about half a dozen times, and I don't mess around with fire? I don't even like playing around with matches. He means well, but seriously, I don't need the 'fireworks are bad' lecture. I just wonder how he comes up with these things. There must have been the traditional 'fireworks are bad' expose on the news. I love that! They show dummies playing with fireworks and starting themselves on fire. It's always a feature on all of the newscasts in WI around the 4th.

Just remember everyone, to avoid playing with fireworks on the 4th, they're dangerous. And the last time I checked, they're illegal in MN.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Flashback to 1994

I swear everywhere I look I am reminded of my childhood. It started yesterday with the boys beating on the desk with the baseball bat. Today it was witnessing a Chinese Fire drill on my way home from work. For those of you not in the know, a Chinese Fire drill is conducted at a stoplight. Everyone exits the car and runs around the car one time and gets back to their original spot in the car before the light changes. My cousin Kevin taught me about these when I was a young teen. My friends and I attempted it on several occasions, but never really pulled it off. I had to laugh when I saw it today. It is dangerous, but funny at the same time. The teens were doing it at a super long light, too. I know it's not very adult of me to find these things funny, but I just do. I remember what it's like to be 16 with an active imagination and crazy friends. And I am always impressed with kids having good, clean fun. Hooray!

Monday, June 25, 2007

When Summer Is Just Too Long...

I was just washing dishes when I heard this loud banging sound outside. I looked out the window and two boys (probably around 12) are taking turns hitting a metal desk with baseball bats. I just had to laugh. It made me think of summers from my childhood, I could've been found engaging in a similar activity. Except in my version of banging on a desk, my mom would've put an end to it and I would've spent the rest of the day in my room thinking about my behavior. I spent a good portion of the 80's thinking about my behavior. I think that's one of the reasons I love my neighborhood--there's always kids outside playing and actually being kids.

Double Feature

Last night I was able to catch a Woody Allen double feature of "Manhattan" and "Annie Hall" at the Oak Street Cinema. It was great. I am a huge Woody Allen fan and "Annie Hall" is one of my favorite movies of all time, so it was cool to see old school Woody Allen on the big screen.

I hadn't see "Manhattan" in it's entirety before. It is wonderful. I really enjoyed how Allen makes Manhattan into a character in the movie. The cinematography is great. Great witty dialogue. Wonderful cast.

I never get tired of "Annie Hall." I think it is one of the few movies that I could watch on a daily basis. I love it that much. It's such a great story and I love Diane Keaton's outfits in the movie. And you can catch a young Christopher Walken playing the creepy guy. That is always a bonus. He does creepy so well.

I was thinking about why I enjoy Woody Allen movies so much. Here's the short list: his female roles are always good, meaty roles. For the most part, the women are smart. The dialogue is smart and witty. Plus, his endings always seem to be very realistic and true to life. There isn't a pretty little Hollywood ending. I always feel inspired after watching one of his movies to go work on my screenplay.

If you get a chance the movies are playing there until June 28th. It is definitely worth it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Worst Live Performance EVER

I would like to give that award to Adam Levine from Maroon 5. I saw them on "SNL" last night and I was in shock with how awful Adam is live. At times it was often inaudible. "Makes Me Wonder" what they do to his voice in the studio. They must have some great engineers. Seriously, he missed half of the words and the words he did sing were waaaaay off key. It was hands down the worst live performance ever. I was in shock. Even if I don't like Adam's voice, I can normally see the pop appeal. Last night it looked like some local bands night at a dive bar. I was shocked. I don't think this is a one time isolated event. When I saw them on "Idol" it was a similar situation. Although, it was far worse last night. Perhaps, Adam should look into lip syncing his way through performances.

Music I Can't Get Enough Of

Part of me will always be totally teen obsessing over songs for days and listening to them on repeat 24/7. There are two songs right now that I cannot get enough of--even after repeated listenings. Here they are:

"I'm Not Ready to Make Nice" by the Dixie Chicks. I love this song! It's perfect mix of take- that girl power with this odd touch of sadness thrown in. I can relate. I'm never ready to make nice. The Dixie Chicks always stand up for what they believe in.

Anything by Peter, Bjorn, and John. I saw them a couple of months ago on Conan and they are awesome! So fun. A little bit of a throw back to the 60's. Plus, they're from Sweden and have a great sense of style.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The King

You know what really creeps me out? The Burger King commericals featuring the King. The King is a grown man dressed up like a king and has this big plastic head with a super cheesy grin on his face. This series has been going on for at least a couple of years and features the King doing a lot of creepy things. In the latest installment he's doing this bizzare solo square dance in front of a background of the country. The ad is effective from the standpoint that I remember it's for the new BK Western Whopper. It's just so odd and bizarre. The creepiest of them all was one of the first King ads where he's standing outside of a couple's bedroom and living room windows. They just laugh it off and take the breakfast sandwiches and french toast sticks that the King offers them. If someone was outside my window dressed up as the King, I'd call the cops and he'd get a breakfast sandwich in the face. Yuck. The only one I thought was remotely non creepy was the one where the King (thanks to the magic of computers) jumps into the middle of football game in the 70's/80's. He makes an interception, scores a touchdown and does a silly touchdown dance. That was funny. The other ads leave me feeling like the King is this big creep and I don't feel like going to Burger King. Well, I normally don't go to Burger King, but the ads really make me want to avoid BK at all costs. I will give the ad agency credit, cause I always remember the ads and they are creative in a really bizarre sort of way. I don't see too many other fast food restaurants having an ad that's as remotely creative. The King just scares me.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wooden Teeth

Sometimes I think it would just be easier if I replaced my teeth with wooden ones. This week I had my sixth month check-up and I have three new cavities. Yes, three. Don't ask me how they magically appeared. I'm clueless. I have excellent oral hygiene skills. I brush my teeth a minimum of twice a day and I actually floss several times a day. I don't drink a lot of soda and I don't eat a lot of candy. I actually make an effort. It's not like I'm just pouring sugar and Mountain Dew into my mouth. I am blaming it on my parents and their crappy teeth. Oh, and my English ancestors. My mom always claimed that she put the dentist's children through college. She also referred the dentist as "Crocodile Dentist." I don't know how else this is possible. Yeah, I was sort of lax in dental visits in my early 20's, but I corrected that. It makes me angry. I told my Dad about this and he wanted to know what I was doing. What am I doing? Taking care of my teeth. I don't brush my teeth with sugar covered fun sticks and floss my teeth with gummy worms. Sheesh. I told him it was his fault since he has bad teeth. That didn't help the situation. Might I add that he had his 10th crown put in this week. Who's got the bad teeth now?

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Quarter Life Crisis Queen

I think I am starting my third Quarter Life Crisis. Or I am just really, really tired. One of the two.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Dying Dresser

I am in dire need of a new dresser. The one I have right now is on it's last leg. The bottom of one drawer is about to fall out and another is so badly deformed that I can't do much more than open it. This was bound to happen sooner or later. My dresser is 15 years old and wasn't the best quality to start. I have way too many clothes crammed into it, which doesn't help. Plus, it's a kids dresser that was designed for smaller clothes. Because I can't use one drawer and I can't over stuff another, I have piles of clothes all over my room. It looks like early dorm room. Ugh. I think I'll be making a trip to IKEA in the near future.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Getting My Coffee Fix for Free

Wow...I was just sitting here watching television when I saw a n ad for Mc Donald's. Normally, Mc Donald's ad do not excite me, but this one did. Apparently, you can get a FREE small coffee weekdays from 5-7 am. Who knew? I am all about the free stuff. Now, that it is really early, but totally worth it if I have to work at 7 am. I'll have to check it out-- when it's not 100 degrees out and I work at 7 am. A free cup of coffee would make my day. The marketingside of my brain wonders why Mc Donald's is doing this. Are breakfast sales down? Do they think the free coffee will get people in and they'll buy other food? Whatever it is, free coffee= yum.

Nancy Drew

Is it wrong that I'm really excited that the "Nancy Drew" movie comes out this Friday? I loved reading Nancy Drew books as a child. I am curious how they translate the books to the big screen. From the previews, it looks like this Nancy is a little truer to the original incarnation of Nancy. I recall this Nancy Drew/ Hardy Boys shows on the Disney Channel in the late 80's where Nancy was a bit of a hooch. She's too smart to be like that.

As a kid, I was all about being a spy myself. I secretly wished that there would be a big mystery in my neighborhood for me to solve. Alas, the suburbs are boring and that never happened. I tried to make up my own drama by creating stories about the neighbors involving UFO's and witches. Ahhh.... my poor, poor parents. I kept them on their toes. To this day, I love a good mystery a la Nancy Drew.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

RIP Mr. Wizard

I just read that Mr. Wizard or Don Herbert, has passed away. He died of Bone Cancer. That really makes me sad. Growing up, I loved Mr. Wizard's World. I always wanted to recreate his experiments, which caused my mother added stress. I was the kind of kid who needed to be supervised at all times. Asking for odd things like a bike tire, a hammer and baking soda would send my mom into panic mode.

Mr. Wizard did a great job at engaging non-science loving students, like myself in cool science experiments. He had this way of making you learn without really knowing that you were. That I think is one of the great traits of a good teacher. He will be missed. As a side note, I didn't know that he was from Waconia, MN.

I Hate Summer



I know, I know. It is so wrong to hate summer, but I still do. I don't like the heat and I really don't like the fashion options of summer. I am much more of a fall or spring sort of girl. I love wearing sweaters and little jackets. Not to mention, I love to layer (hence, the above picture). A long sleeve tee with a short sleeve tee over it. Throw on a scarf and I am good to go. Summer is not conducive to layering. At all. Believe me, I've tried. About all I can do is pair a tee with a tank over it and maybe a cotton scarf. That is only an option when it is below 80. Anything above that, and I can't do it. You can't wear scarves, boots, tights, leggings, leg warmers or lots of necklaces when it's 90 degrees out. I don't like to wear tank tops without a layer (either over or under it) because I sweat--- a lot---a tee shirt gives me that extra layer of protection. Also, I have the wonderful gift from my mother of broad shoulders. That adds to the fun of wearing tank tops. I look like a linebacker. Wearing a tank top means having more exposed skin to put sun screen on. As for bottoms, that's not quite as bad, I guess. I like capris and skirts. I do not like to wear shorts. I am 5'2" and shorts just make me look, well, shorter. Plus, I have yet to find shorts that aren't hoochie or come complete with room for my mom pouch.

I know I am coming off as an uber crabby summer hater, I do like the nice weather. I love to go barefoot. It's fun to spend time at the beach or playing tennis outside. Running through a sprinkler or going to the pool. Outdoor dining when it's not 90 degrees out. Beer outside. I just don't like how limited I am with my fashion choices.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Beer




Last night I really, really, really wanted a beer. Alas, I had no cerveza at home. Sad, I know. Since it was Sunday night, my only option would've been to walk over to one of the bars by me. That seemed like too much work. That is one of the things I miss about WI: you can buy beer on a Sunday from your local grocery store. Seriously, who can predict when you'll want a beer. I certainly can't, as evident by last night. I was too tired to walk the couple of blocks to the bar, so I went without beer. There's something about beer in the summer that I love.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Maroon 5

This post is in honor of Maroon 5's show tonight at the Fine Line...

I really, really, really, cannot stand Maroon 5. Ugh. Their new song, "Makes Me Wonder" drives me up the wall. It's so adult contemporary wannabe Bee Gees lite. Not to mention that when they perform it, they're not having fun, it's like a funeral dirge. They look like they are all too cool to have fun. It's a song that's meant to not be taken seriously.

Their last album, "Songs About Jane" has got to be one of the most over played albums ever. I admit when it first came out (four years ago) I thought they were OK. I could tolerate them. I wouldn't go out of my way to see them play, but they were tolerable. That was before I heard "This Love" played over and over and over. There's something about Adam Levine's voice that makes me want to rip on my eardrums. It's too nasally and the falsetto thing is awful. Plus, he's a man whore. He has a wannabe Morrissey haircut, too. Now, if Blake Lewis wanted to record an album of nothing but Maroon 5 covers, I would be all over that. I thought that when "Makes Me Wonder" landed, it would be so much better if Blake sang it. It all comes down to Adam Levine's horrible voice. That's what makes me abhor Maroon 5 so much. Their songwriting is pretty decent, it's just that Adam's voice is so annoying. It's not like Nickelback where everything is just horrible.

I think it's just me, though. Everyone else seems to really like Maroon 5. I guess I am just a music snob.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Last Beer

As I am writing this, I am having my last beer. No, not my last beer forever, but the last beer at home. At least for a while. I have noticed lately that I've been consuming way too much beer. I figured if I didn't have it at home, that would drastically cut down on my consumption. Originally, I was going to stop drinking beer all together, but that seemed to drastic. Especially since I love beer. How much do I love beer? I had beer on my Frosted Flakes for my 21st b-day (I don't recommend doing that). I don't remember the last drink I had other than a beer. My main goal in doing this is to not turn into the chick with the big beer belly. No one wants to be that chick with the big beer gut that she acquired through one t0o many frat parties and keg stands. I noticed that my metabolism isn't what it used to be, so I need to lead a slightly more healthy lifestyle. Ever since Christmas, I've been a junk food-beer drinking junkie and it needs to stop. Gone are the days where I can pack away the food without any consequences. Let's face it, I am not 25 anymore. Hopefully, this works out. It is so tough, though. I love drinking beer outside during the summer. Cerveza, no es adios, es hasta luego...

What's wrong with this picture?

Take a good look at this picture. Did you figure out what's wrong with it? Take another look.... Ok... give up? The LINGERIE department is right next to the FURNITURE department! HA. Hey, I'm getting a new couch, let me pick up a powder blue negligee to go with it. I find it really funny that there's a wall of silk negligees and robes right next to the ugliest, most bachelor appropriate furniture ever made. The lighting (which is hard to tell in the picture) was odd,too. Way too lounge like. Darker than normal. Odd spot lights. This whole set up wouldn't have been quite as bad, had there not been a wall of negligees. That was the kicker for me. Plus, this entire display is just way too provocative for JCP. They are such a family -friendly company. How family-friendly are they? They won't feature a man and a woman together in an ad unless they have wedding rings on. And here they are promoting a romantic rendezvous to shoppers in suburban Detroit. To see a display like this was shocking. I had to stifle my giggles. Leave it to JCP. It's all inside. Unwrap the magic.