Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A New Me...Is An Unapologetic Me.

Can't say it any plainer than that. I will not apologize for being odd, quirky, or goofy. I will not apologize for wanting to read instead of hang out and gossip.

Of course, when I write "unapologetic," I don't mean that I won't even apologize if I hurt someone's feelings; that's not the case. I will always apologize then. But for the simpler things and for who I am? It's me, baby. Take it or leave it.

A New Me in 2012?

This is a blog I rarely post at, but I'd like to have some type of online journal to record a project for 2012. Reading about the #reverb11 project on Twitter has been inspiring, and I think I want to give it a go, or do something like it.

For those who aren't familiar, it appears it's a project to focus more on the good things in life with daily prompts to write about, which can't be a bad thing, right? It's here I want to focus my efforts a bit more. Probably no one will read this blog as anyone who knows me, knows I write the Coffee and a Book Chick blog. I wasn't sure if I wanted to direct these thoughts over there since that's more a blog for readers, fellow bloggers, publicists, authors, etc., to read and enjoy. This site is for me.

I plan to be more creative in 2012. Whether that's writing on my blogs, or diving more into scrapbooking or journaling or cooking. I just don't want to be tied down to my computer for work and then reading and then calling it a day. I need to get more active and make sure my mind is a little more open to welcoming a different and more creative angle into my life.

So that's what I'm planning. I hope it works.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

iPad or MacAir?

So, this is me trying again to blog successfully on the iPad 2 through the BlogPress app. At this point, some of the things that I enjoy about blogging on the iPad are that I love the keyboard, and the seeming flexibility of writing much more comfortably, instead of formally sitting with a regular computer or laptop.

Here are my issues with the iPad app or being able to blog through the Blogger dashboard... The Blogger dashboard normally has two tabs available for posting. The first tab is the HTML tab, and this can be handy to go into this section to fix any glitches that might pop up through the regular posting. It is not the preferred method to write your post in, though. It's clunky and ugly to look at the font in Courier font. And if I want to bold something, I have to use the HTML code and insert it in that way.

The second tab is the one that is user friendly, and I can type away as though I'm in Microsoft Word or Pages. If I want to bold my font, I click on the icon for it, and there it is. Much easier to format this way. The only issue is, the Blogger editing options are severely limited on the iPad because Blogger doesn't have a mobile editing device set up yet, so if I want to use my Safari web browser to edit my posts, I have to do it in that yucky first tab, which is the HTML.

The BlogPress app, which is what I'm using now, is just "meh." I do have to be savvy with HTML in order to bold my links, etc. And then when I save a draft, when I go back into it, it's got all the HTML inserted into it, that is programmed which I didn't originally include, such as the breaks between paragraphs, etc. And when I want to include the link to the author's site, Facebook page, etc.? Do you know how tough it is to write out how the link should look if you don't want it to be read in the http://yadayadayada.com format? Ugh.

And if I want to include a picture of the book cover, or the author's picture? If I haven't saved it in the photo section of my iPad from a download through email, then I have to take a picture of the book itself like below (which can be nice to be different), but the author photo would be tough if they haven't sent it to me...

I also can't preview my posts in the BlogPress app. I guess I could hop back online and pull the Blogger dashboard up and then hit preview from there, but who wants to go back and forth through all of that?!

So I'm debating exchanging the iPad for the MacAir, which provides everything I need in a regular laptop, without the encumbrance of Blogger not having a better tool in place to blog away at... It's also just as light as the iPad almost, and although the MacAir doesn't have a hard drive, I can bring a flash drive with me. Sigh...what to do?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So I'm practicing using the iPad

Not sure how this is going to look, but I wanted to try using the iPad to log, hence, using my "no one visits this blog" site. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, May 16, 2009

5 Months to Go Before the Big Wedding Day

So here I am, on a Saturday night, not out, not watching some great movie with friends, or reading a book... I'm mindlessly sifting through a thousand different magazines trying to find the most perfect hairstyle, the most blissfully rendering magnets, and oh what about a photographer...? That's right, the chicks out there have guessed it. Men are sitting there playing a PS3 hockey game, completely oblivious to whatever the hell I'm talking about as I pull out my pink binder, oh so especially reserved for all items WEDDING. That's right, bitches. I'm getting MARRIED.

Oh yeah, I've been down this road before. I've wedded before, and divorced already, and I feel freakin' old. Who plans a bigger wedding the 2nd time around? Why, when you're older than the groom, of course. And it's his first (and last, dammit) wedding. Thank God he's patient with me. So I'm plowing through all of the magazines, I've watched all of the wedding shows on everything from WEtv to the Style Network -- I'm a flippin' expert at this point. Granted, I dream about being a wedding planner, but after the week I've had, who wants to get all of these nasty crazy headaches for someone else's wedding? I might be the one yelled at, after all. I do not do well with that nonsense. Oh you don't like the programs I put together?? Bring it! Let's do this, I can throw down! (Me = Never been in a fight before).
Here's the timeline: less than 5 months before my wedding date. I jump onto my wedding website, and the handy-dandy timer that they have on the site kindly tells you how many actual days you have left. Like a poor man's shuttle launch countdown, for cryin' out loud. The intent is to just give you a quick little reminder that oh, no worries, you dumb crazy moron, YOU HAVE 147 DAYS LEFT AS OF TODAY!!!! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?? WHAT CAN YOU CHECK OFF OF YOUR STUPID LIST?????? WHY DON'T YOU HAVE A COLOR SCHEME AND THEME YET????????

Not the least bit stressed out. Not one. (SUCH BS). In fact, I'm doing okay on my list: - Venue for ceremony - check. - Venue for reception - check. - Caterer - check. - Officiant secured - check.

Okay, I went easy on myself, venues and caterer are the same for all three. That's right, every Catholic in the world can now shudder in complete and utter disappointment that I am getting married at a hotel, and not a church. Ugh. A hotel? (Did this song just go through your head, "Whatcha doin'? Nothin' chillin' at the Holiday EEEN....") And as far as the officiant? My good buddy from college and friend for the past 12 years. Asking him to perform the service felt just as nerve-wracking as I'm sure Jason (the fiance) felt in getting ready for proposing to me. Thank goodness he said yes.

I'm trying to save some dollars since I'm paying for this little shindig myself, but one thing I was not skimping on was the venue for the hotel and reception. I didn't want my guests schlepping all over kingdom come to see my old, sorry ass get married. So, I booked it at a resort and spa, and said F- OFF to crazy decorations. Rent linens?? What linens? For what? I mean here's the scenery! The beach is right behind the hotel, the guests can comment on the beach all dang night long, no one's going to give one hoo-hah about whether or not I had just the right color linens.
The details are in the freakin' beach and you can dang well enjoy the sunset, sunrise, cool breezes, gourmet food and free alcohol... although there's always ONE guy. ONE guy who's going to turn to his date and brilliantly spit out that "Oh really, what the hell are those in the center of the table?? Are those seriously a centerpiece?? Looks like the beach threw up in a vase, stuck a candle in it, and called it a wedding!" (Please note that more than likely it would be a chick saying this, and I know which bitch it is. And no it's not YOU. Okay, maybe it is you). So okay. 147 DAYS UNTIL YOUR WEDDING, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE???? Wedding and reception location, caterer, and officiant -- check. Wedding dress -- check. I would describe my dress but my nosy fiance keeps looking over my shoulder as he plays his hockey game (yes, that's the dude I was talking about earlier that wouldn't get I was talking about) and he actually has a pretty good visual mind's eye that he would probably know exactly what my dress looks like. I mean, we've been together 5 years, I thought for sure we would be Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell forever. But, 5 years into this, he really can read my mind. Freaky. So no dress description for you. So here's the week:
  • I called a close contact of mine to get a number of a referral for flowers. No call back from the close contact. None.
  • I called the wedding coordinator for the site to ask about some additional details. No call back.
  • Because I have not one single ability in putting make-up on myself other than eyeliner and cherry chapstick, I called a make-up artist that comes highly recommended. Ring, ring, ring, crossing my fingers, pick up, up, up. Answering machine. Leave message (2nd freaking message for this one).
  • Oh! Here's another make-up artist that is recommended from one of those wedding referral/resource websites! Ring, ring, ring, crossing my fingers, pick up, pick up, PICK UP!! Voicemail. And she's on vacation for two weeks. I'm sure she deserves vacation, not questioning that. It's just that hello, I have 147 days left until my wedding, and if I have to do my own make-up, I will look like a Wahlgreen's advertisement gone BAD, and there will be pictures that will forever document the reality of my lack-of-being-a-chick-abilities....!! Oh, please come back from your vacation, I need to check this off of my freakin' list...
The only saving grace that I had this week was that I selected a photographer. She's young, she's hip, she's modern, she studied high fashion photography and now does these modern wedding photos, I've seen her portfolio (OMG she's totally perfect). Of course, because my fiance can never say yes to anyone selling anything the first time around, I had to walk away with the contract in my hand, unsigned, promising that I would Facebook connect with her, and hint hint, please block off your schedule for October 10th. Oh, yeah, that's right, babe. I know you want to "research" other photographers, but come on, she just gets me. (I have secretly signed the contract, and will be emailing it to her tomorrow. Mwahahaha).

So. Wedding photographer - check. (Unbeknownst to Jason, though.) Tomorrow, it will be 146 days.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ernest Hemingway Look Alike Contest 2008

90 miles from Cuba.....
So Dad (short Hemingway look-alike on the left, the tall one on the right won the contest later that night) made finals of the Hemingway Look Alike Contest held at the world-famous Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West, Florida. If you've got white hair and a white beard, chances are a Key West local may pass by and say,"Morning, Papa" at any time of the year. But every July, Sloppy Joe's holds the annual contest, and it is a privilege to be a Papa. Previous winners judge the contestants and it is quite an exclusive club.

This would be Year Number 4 for Dad, and Sloppy Joe's has a streaming camera set up on the stage 24/7/365 so you can always see what's happening at the bar at any time of the year. As I was watching the camera on Thursday night, all I could do was cross my fingers and wait for Dad's moment of only 15 seconds to speak about why he should be the next "Papa." After all, the winner of this contest is interviewed on Good Morning America every year.

Thursday Night Semi-Finals
Well, he got up there and took just a few moments to point out that, it really didn't matter what he was going to say since no one would remember him because the next contestant after Dad is notorious in his 19 years of competing to be the complete shock value of the contest, and always generates a tidal wave of booing. The crowd cheered and laughed for Dad, and out of 100 contestants on Thursday night, apparently the Papas DID remember him, because when the announcer called his name as a finalist for Saturday night, I about fell out of my chair! My hands were shaking, and I believe I was screaming, Roma the Stray Dog was jumping up and down, Puppy the Cat stared at me with complete disappointment, and my boyfriend was giving me a hug -- I jumped onto the computer again, and bought a last minute ticket to Ft. Lauderdale, rented a car, and reserved a hotel room (which last minute in Key West for this contest ain't the cheapest!). My flight left 8 hours later at 6:00 in the morning.

Flying Solo
I flew solo on this trip as our dog, Roma, just got spayed so Jason had to stay home to monitor. I was able to see our family friends, Bob and Mildred, and with Dad and Jean Ann, it was a fun Friday night in Key West -- although HOT. (It's Key West in July!!!! Key West automatically means curly hair, so pardon my 'do).
Sloppy Joe's Bar runs the Look Alike Contest every year from Duval Street, and from all of the application entries, the contestants choose to take their 15 seconds to talk on Thursday or Friday. From those two nights, 24 are selected to move onto the finals on Saturday night. It dwindles down to 6, and then to 1. Each night, the bar is packed, and with no air-conditioning, good luck -- there's hundreds of people in the bar, cheering for their "Wanna-Be Papa."

Hemingway's Still Alive -- Just Took My Picture With Him!
Saturday afternoon is an absolutely fun and hilarious day -- all of the contestants gather at 12 noon for the pictures -- this consists of a bunch of white-haired bearded men gathering around metal bulls (in honor of Ernest Hemingway's love of bull fighting), and the crowd can donate to the Hemingway Society scholarship fund, which allows them to get a picture sitting on the bull with the Papas surrounding them -- absolutely hilarious! Dad is in the red t-shirt and beret with the sunglasses. (Or, I could say, Dad is the guy with the white hair and beard, can't miss him).

The Running of the Bulls... in Key West?
The Running of the Bulls then commences immediately following the picture-taking -- that's right, these old guys take the 4 or 5 metal bulls and roll them around the block that the bar is on -- the thousands of spectators in tiny Key West are running after them, and regular tourists are pushing the seasoned Good Morning America crew out of the way, just to get a shot of the entire scene.

The Big Saturday Night Finale
So the big Saturday night finally came -- this was the night for Dad to share his reasons why he should be crowned the next Papa. As they called his name, my legs felt weak, my hands were shaking, and I was worried that he didn't have enough people screaming for him (after all, it was just Jean Ann and me, and two other women who just happened to be in Key West at the same time as the event and who weren't rooting for anybody in particular -- I asked them to cheer for Dad, I might have even bought them a drink to win their loyalty). Finally, Dad was up on Saturday night, and made the crowd laugh as he mentioned a woman fainting on Thursday night when he began to speak (a woman who was slightly overwhelmed with the alcohol did pass out at the same time Dad began to speak on Thursday), and he took a short part of his 2 minutes to make the crowd laugh and cheer. But he was again followed by the same guy from Thursday night who is pure shock value, and Dad made sure to mention that again to remind the Papa Judges to be prepared.

VIDEO of Dad's Speech (Click the PLAY Button to hear a FUTURE PAPA) 

Closer Every Year!
Unfortunately, Dad didn't make the final 6, but he is getting closer and closer...!! It is tradition and commitment every year for these guys to come on down to Key West and celebrate white hair, white beards and the Original Papa -- and it's such a blast, that you get quite the cast of characters! 

OPEN INVITATION!! Dad participates every year so if you want to cheer for him, plan to take a vacation to sunny and fantastic Key West. The history is amazing and the island is beautiful, and you will have a great time. You don't need to be a drinker (although that does help) since there are plenty of other things to do: jet skiing, scuba diving, museums, and not to mention the famous Ghost Walk Tour (that will not disappoint, I promise. Don't forget to bring your digital camera with a flash).

THANK YOU to all who did a virtual cheer and who also took a shot of good ole Jack Daniel's for Dad on Saturday night -- remember, every July Dad goes to Key West to participate. If you're interested in growing Dad's cheering section, email me and I will give you all of the details and event times, locations, best places to stay... Key West is a beautiful and fun place, don't be surprised if you leave your vacation trying to think of the many different ways to quit your job and move down to Key West and be a member of the Conch Republic...

The 2008 Papa -- Tom Grizzard, being interviewed by a crowd of reporters 

I know you're going to visit Key West one day so... in the past I've stayed at the: 
  • Speakeasy Inn (ask to stay in the loft over the storefront; there is no other room around there, so you walk through a small courtyard to get to the steps to take up to the room. This inn used to be an old cigar factory) 
  • Eden House (has a pool there and is much needed in Key West. I must have jumped into the pool 4 times in 2 days) 
  • DO NOT stay at some fancy hotel!! You're in Key West and you should stay at an Inn or a Bed and Breakfast, it's the only way to enjoy Key West -- don't like my suggestions above? Go to http://www.keywestinns.com/
For fun activities:
  • Sloppy Joe's Bar -- It's a Key West tradition since 1933. 
  • Captain Tony's Saloon -- This is the actual bar that Ernest Hemingway visited from 1933 - 1937. 
  • Hemingway Home -- The actual home-turned-museum, in Old Town Key West, where Hemingway lived for 10 years -- the house has approximately 60 cats, and these cats have extra toes -- they look like they are wearing mittens. Ernest Hemingway was given a 6-toed cat by a ship's captain, and some of the cats still living at the Hemingway Home are direct descendants of the original cat. 
  • Jet skiing -- head anywhere on Duval Street, there are a ton of kiosks everywhere to give you information. OR, you could head to Mallory Square and there is a pier where there are places to go jet skiing around the entire island, stop at a sand bar, etc. 
  • Ghost Walk Tour -- Take the late tour, put comfy shoes on, and bring your digital camera. You will walk by graveyards, funeral homes, and houses that function as bed and breakfasts that have quite a creepy history.
Roma the Dog -- aka Sloppy Joe's Key West Party Animal

Typical Key West Homes

See you next year, right?!