Eiffel

Eiffel

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Things You Find on the Street

As most of you may have already guessed, I'm all about entertainment. Whether that means being entertained or entertaining people myself, it doesn't matter. It's all about having a good time, being silly, enjoying yourself. You usually don't have to look too hard to find amusement. It's all around you. Just like a good photo opportunity. I can never pass up a good photo op. Nope, those are all around me too. I'd rather have a disc filled with random photos than blank nothingness. Nothingness does not entertain. Every day on our adventures we look for new and interesting things that we can use for our viewing pleasure. Like signs. Love 'em. Highly entertaining. Some signs are just old clippings recycled for fun. I'm in. Pose, smile, click. Others, well, the ones that aren't supposed to be funny, those are even better.

I've also learned not to waste an opportunity. There have been too many times in the past where I've wanted to do something and I've worried how it might look. Now, I'm all about what I want to do and I don't care how it looks. That's right people, I've said it. It's all about me. Just in case you didn't hear that I'll say it again. It's all about me. And the fun. Don't forget that part. It's always all about the fun. Quite often people forget to enjoy themselves. They worry too much. So relax people and take in the sights. They're all around you.


We met some friends at a bistro in L.A. over the weekend. Had a great time. We always do. After we left, we were walking down the street and saw this little gem of a sign. Really? Best meat on a stick? Award winning food and yet the sign had to brag about the meat sticks? I couldn't pass this up. I've been known to get in trouble for taken pictures. Yes, I've gotten yelled at before. I wasn't sure if this restaurant would be too keen on me snapping pictures of their excellent promo but I didn't care. I was throwing caution to the wind. I took my chances and got down on that sidewalk. Mike captured me and the meat sticks in our glory. It was a double win. For me, because I got my picture. For the meat sticks well, you can read how they favored.


Always be on the lookout. You never know what you'll find. And when you least expect it, those little beauties will fall right into your lap. And I'll be there with my camera.

A Grand Day in L.A.

This was it - the day we had worked towards for the past 5 months. I was so excited that I didn't sleep much. I tried, really I did. I planned on getting up at 6:30am. Keep that in mind, I said planned. We were staying at my cousin's house. They live a few blocks away from an Arboretum. This means birds. Specifically peacocks. Lots of 'em. Which means natures alarm clock. I'm talking an early alarm clock.

I was already excited on my own, I didn't need any help from nature. Really, I didn't. At the sound of the first peacock I jumped out of bed. If they were up, that must mean it's at least 6am. I could do that. I could get up a little earlier and start getting ready. I was raring to go, go, go. Mike was still out cold. Weird since it wasn't that early but ok. I reached over to look at the clock and what?? It was not even 4am. How could that be? The birds were chirping away. Ugh. I lay back down. There was nothing I could do. Mike was down for the count. I knew he wasn't getting up early. He's not on my hyper train. He needs his sleep. I had to wait it out....

The time had come. Finally we were ready to go. I could barely contain my excitement. I was hopping around, bouncing in the car, moving to the music. Go, go, go. When we got there Mike had to hold my hand so I wouldn't run off, just bouncing down the street. I wanted to get to the Grand Club. We were so excited. Last year we took our oath - a few members of our team vowed that we would raise enough money to make sure that we got into the Grand Club. Ah, The Grand Club. Wait, I don't think that sounded good enough so let me try again. I mean, THE GRAND CLUB. This is for walkers who raise more than $1000. It was pretty cool. No, actually, it was freakin' fan-tab-ulous.

Now, here's the thing - I raise money for charitable causes because I love to do it. Even if there was no Grand Club I would still strive to raise as much as I could. Now that I've made that clear......woohoo being under that tent was fantastic. It felt so good knowing that we worked hard and now we could sit down and enjoy our goodies. Continental breakfast, swag bags filled with lots of items to enjoy and the best part - talking with so many other people who work with Autism Speaks and hearing what they do to raise money or why they are involved in the cause. It always leaves us feeling more inspired so that we start planning our goals and what we can do to hopefully raise more money.

Oh wait, I'm sorry, did I leave out a part? Silly me. The massages. How could I leave out the massages? Ahhhh. After a walk well done we headed back behind the velvet ropes. Yes, it was time. I was in a pretty good mood. I let Mike go first. I know, I know. I'm too kind. Well, that and I think I was so hyper that if I actually got on that massage table I might squirm too much. I needed time to mellow out. This was definitely a nice way to cap off a great day. I hopped off the table and we met up with our team.

We had a great few months with so many amazing and supportive people. It's an incredible feeling to know that there are so many businesses and people that have wanted to help support us in our fundraising efforts. It's nice to know that there are still good people out there who follow through on their word. We are so grateful to everyone that supported us and as a result of their generosity our team was able to raise $13,105.00.

The final total on the day of walk is shown on the right. Volunteers from the GAP were on hand to hold up the numbers. Why the Gap you ask? Because the GAP was also a huge supporter. They matched funds. But wait! There's more! Even though the walk is over, fundraising is still ongoing and the numbers continue to rise. If you'd like to make a donation go to http://www.autismspeaks.org/ to find out how. Thank you!

Monday, April 18, 2011

An Acquired Taste?

The other night Mike decided to have a Scotch tasting. He was super excited. Wait, let me re-iterate with feeling. He was super excited. Me? Not so much. It's not that I minded having people over. That part I liked. But scotch? Have I mentioned that I'm not a fan of scotch? No? Well, let me start by saying that drinking scotch is kind of like sucking on a band-aid. I know, you're probably asking yourself if I've ever actually sucked on a band-aid.

Well, no. But I know you'll know what I'm talking about. The smell. Take a whiff. Taste and smell are intertwined. We all know it. It's like wine. When you go wine tasting you'll smell that glass and say hhmmm, hints of pepper and then you taste and BAM. You can taste the pepper. It's the same theory. You stick your nose in the scotch glass, take a whiff and ah, band-aid. Take a sip and it's like you stuck a band-aid in your mouth and started sucking away. Let me give you a brief history on me and scotch. We go way back.

Like many people, I am a mutt. I have many different backgrounds. Spanish, Cuban, French, German, Polish and Scottish. I'm not ashamed to admit that I favor some of these heritages over the other. For those of you that know me, you know that I'm way more biased in the French section. I don't know why. I've always been obsessed with France. Nothing personal, it's just the way it happened.

However, my goal has always been to visit all of the countries that are part of me. Yes, even Poland. I'm halfway there. France, Scotland & Germany. Check, check & check. It's not my fault that I keep returning to my favorite. Spain was next on the list but life got in the way & I haven't been able to make it. Cuba is high up there but, well, you know how that goes. Someday. Even though I kept returning to France, I will admit I loved Scotland. Everything about it. Well, almost everything.

When I got to Edinburgh I was fascinated by everything I saw. The churches, the bed and breakfasts, the buildings, the castles - it was all so picturesque. I took my time strolling everywhere. I didn't care if it was misting or sunny, I strolled along the streets and took pictures of everything. The best part were the bagpipes. They had bagpipers playing in the squares just like we had musicians playing in the subway in NYC only this sounded so much nicer. I would sit on a bench and listen for what seemed like hours. It was so peaceful and relaxing. There was even a scotch factory.

Now I thought this was pretty cool. Take a tour, get a free drink. Nice. I thought I would take the tour but I'm beginning to remember that perhaps I didn't. I had yet to sample scotch. At this point I was beginning to think it was a good thing. There must have been a reason I didn't take that tour. I continued on. I went to a restaurant where my waiter, who looked like Luis Sojo of the NY Yankees, insisted that I try scotch on the house. He said I couldn't come to Scotland and not try scotch. Um, yes I could. But I couldn't insult him. And hey, how weird was it to hear faux-Luis Sojo speak with a cool Scottish accent? I kept seeing him with his Yankees pinstripes. Out came my scotch. I took a sniff. I almost died. Really I did. I was alone, no one to go to bat for me. I had to drink it. Ugh. I was polite. I smiled and thanked him. I pretended it was good. It was then that I realized not all was great in Scotland.

And now we were back to that night. All the bottles were lined up for tasting. No, I did not partake in the band-aid fest. I was the "pourer". All of the guys were pretty excited to be trying so many different scotches. There were 11 different labels lined up on the counter. I made sure after each pour to wipe my hands on the towel. I couldn't chance an accidental lick of the finger.

By the end of the night the guys were in a scotch induced haze of happiness. They had their favorites. I was still in awe. Mike is jealous of my Scotland story. He wants to go to Scotland and tour the factory and see all the different scotches up close in the homeland. I'm all in for a return trip. I'd love to hear those bagpipes, see the castles, tour the haunted underground vaults again and of course go shopping. But as for the scotch? I say buy a box of Johnson & Johnson and save yourself a couple hundred bucks and suck away. Same taste, cost less.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Cautionary Tale

I don't have a problem with getting older. Really, I don't. I just don't want to look like it. This means everything - body, face and hair. Now, the body, well that's a little harder to fix when age grabs a hold of it. Gravity is not too kind. If anyone knows of a good plastic surgeon willing to do a little pro bono work please send them my way. I know, I'll be waiting a while for that one. But in the meantime there are matters that I can take into my own hands. Or so I thought.

Where shall I start. Ah yes, the hair. For years I've had to deal with that fact that I would be going grey. When I say for years I mean that. I'm talking since I was 9. My Nana, who I got my red hair from, used to tell me that I would be completely grey by the time I was 25. I don't think she was trying to scare me. Well, maybe she was but she was only speaking from experience. She went grey by this age and figured I would too.

Thankfully she was wrong. Not to say I haven't found grey hair. Actually those little buggers are white and while I am far from completely covered I definitely have more than I would like. Especially when the sun hits them. Ok, and when you lift my hair. But they are there. I swear. I have mentioned before that I have found my exact shade of hair color in that genius of a hair master, Frederic Fekkai. Which leads me to my first cautionary tale:

Cautionary Tale #1: When you find your exact shade, make sure you always stick with your exact shade.

Ah, yes, sometimes, in desperation, we do stupid things. I did a stupid thing. Look, the grey was creeping in. Creeping in fast. I was desperate. They ran out of my exact shade. I panicked. I bought the next shade up. First of all, who the hell lets non-natural redheads buy these home kits anyway? Shouldn't there be a stipulation on the website that these are strictly for natural redheads only? Don't they know that we are the ones that need these the most? We are the ones that need to keep our natural color the way it is? We are the ones that are only trying to cover grey, not change our color for fun? But no, apparently not. So I was left no choice.

Honestly, I had no choice. It was grey or next shade up. I held off for a long time. I still couldn't bring myself to do it. Plus, I needed help and I didn't know who to ask. The box arrived in the mail. It sure was off from my exact shade. A little more copper than my auburn. I waited. And waited. The sun was shining on my grey. I mean my white. Damn. Then one day I chopped my hair off. It was an accident. It just.....happened. But hey, now that my hair was short maybe I didn't need help. Nope, still did. I couldn't take it anymore.

I was torn. Torn between my hate of grey and my hate of having to actually use color on my hair. I used to be anti-color until those damn grey hairs planted a garden on my head. It made me panic to think that I might be lying when someone would ask if this was my color but here's how I look at it - when the color washes or grows out, I'm still a redhead. True story.


I held off for a long time. I still couldn't bring myself to do it. Plus, I needed help and I didn't know who to ask. The box arrived in the mail. It sure was off from my exact shade. A little more copper than my auburn. I waited. And waited. The sun was shining on my grey. I mean my white. Damn. Then one day I chopped my hair off. It was an accident. It just.....happened.

But hey, now that my hair was short maybe I didn't need help. Nope, still did. I couldn't take it anymore. I was torn. Torn between my hate of grey and my hate of having to actually use color on my hair. I used to be anti-color until those damn grey hairs planted a garden on my head. It made me panic to think that I might be lying when someone would ask if this was my color but here's how I look at it - when the color washes or grows out, I'm still a redhead. True story.

Everyone says when you need help just ask. So I did. I asked Mike. He turned me down. That's right. He told me I didn't need his help. He said I could do it by myself. Well now, if I thought I could do it by myself I probably wouldn't have asked. Since he turned me down, I knew I was in it alone. I looked at the box. How hard could this be?


Cautionary Tale #2 - When someone asks you for help, it means they need it. Help them.

Apparently when I was doing my coverage, I missed a spot. It didn't look like I missed a spot at the time because I had my whole head covered in slime. Yes, I made sure my whole head was covered. As I did not have a second set of eyes to review my work I must have misjudged. I am now that rare breed of redhead known as two-tone. You can't find us in many places. We're a dying species. I'm a striped two-toned redhead with golden red highlights. Most are natural. Some are from Fekkai. Most importantly there is no grey.

Was is worth it? At the moment, I'm not too sure. This is what Mike had to say for himself, "Even though I said I wouldn't help you, I didn't think you'd do it when I wasn't home". Hhhmm. So, take heed of my tales. Remember to ask yourself the golden rules - Can I live with grey? (um, not so much) and Do I need help or does someone need help? (yes, Mike, if I'm asking, the answer is yes, yes and yes). Now please, move along and don't comment on the two-toned striped redhead. We can be a nasty breed when provoked.