Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Most Interesting Woman in the World

Yesterday my husband and I went to the The Mellow Mushroom for pizza. It was an off hour, so we were able to sit in a rather secluded table away from the noisy families with kids and the groups of flirting high school students. During the course of conversation, my husband brings up Jonathan Goldsmith, the actor that plays the “The Most Interesting Man in the World“ in the popular Dos Equis commercials. He had read on Adweek.com that when Mr. Goldsmith auditioned for the role of The Most Interesting Man in the World, he did so barefoot.

“Out of the hundreds of actors who auditioned in cities countrywide to make a case for why they should play The Most Interesting Man in the World, only one took off a shoe and sock to audition barefoot. Why? He wanted to leave a lasting impression. That actor was 73-year-old Jonathan Goldsmith, who, in casting, had mentioned he lived on a boat in Beverly Hills (an impossible feat).“

This started a wonderful conversation about our own personal trivia list. If IMDb asked us for a personal list of trivia would we have anything interesting to tell them? It turns out we both had some pretty interesting line items. Here’s my top 15 in no particular order:

1. I once embalmed a body.

2. I’ve ridden a mechanical bull.

3. I was standing behind Oliver Stone when he was filming Al Pacino’s locker room speech in Any Given Sunday.

4. I wrote a complaint letter to President Jimmy Carter when I was little, asking him not to interrupt my favorite shows which at the time were Scooby Doo, The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. (Several weeks later, I got a package from The White House that included a nice note from the President’s secretary stating, “the President really enjoyed your letter“. As an adult, I have no doubt that he actually read that letter and found it amusing.)

5. I knew Humphrey Bogart’s mistress.

6. I once intentionally ate a bug.

7. I can’t whistle.

8. When I was about 10 years old and out to dinner with my parents, two NBC executives at a nearby table, overheard me saying that I thought Tom Brokaw was cute. They sent me a free dessert with a business card asking for my address so they could send me an autographed photo of him.

9. I’ve done the Can Can on stage.

10. I’m a certified canoeing instructor.

11. As a lifeguard, I once rescued a toddler that had fallen in the pool face down.

12. Halloween is my favorite holiday and Fall is my favorite season.

13. I was a Girl Scout leader.

14. My dog is named after Richard Dreyfuss‘ character in Jaws, Hooper.

15. I’m a horror movie buff.

My goal now is to have more and more interesting experiences so that I can grow my personal trivia list. Maybe one day I will become “The Most Interesting Woman in the World”. LOL

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Where’s My Freakin’ Bonbons?

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The toilet has been running for months. I’m sure our water bill would be 50% less if it was fixed. Not to mention the scare it gives me when it starts to “run“ while I am sitting on it! I’m sure I levitate at least three inches off the seat each time. My urgency to get this fixed has just not seemed to register with my husband, and I know why—neither one of us is very “handy” when it comes to home repairs.

Last night I hit the breaking point. I was sick and tired of the new “toilet flush assembly” (a.k.a. the damn toilet do-dad) sitting on my kitchen counter and mocking me. I mean seriously, it hadn’t even made it to the bathroom and we bought it weeks ago! Rather than wait any longer for my husband to fix it, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I put on an old tee-shirt and grabbed all of the tools required to do the job and headed to the bathroom. After all, the Home Depot man said this was an “easy” plumbing job. I can do this! (Maybe.)

Step 1: Turn off water and flush toilet. Check.

Step 2: Sponge out any remaining water from the back of the tank. Check.

Step 3: Remove old toilet flush assembly parts. (Hmmm…everything? Okay, yank, yank, yank!) Check.

Step 4: Get husband—now! (Where is this water coming from? Oh, crap!)

I admit that my timing wasn’t the best. My husband was watching the last few minutes of the NCAA Tournament, when I trotted into the living room and announced that he had better come help me if he didn’t want the house to flood. He didn’t move. He just looked at me in wide-eyed disbelief. Then he went back to hooting and hollering at the TV and texting his buddies.

I tried again, using more colorful language. “Ummm, I have 4 large bath towels sopping up the water on the bathroom floor. I don’t know where the water is coming from and I can’t get it to stop. Maybe you should hit pause and come help me before the house floods!“

All I got in response was an angry look and a furrowed brow.

And then I said the absolute worst thing I could have possibly said and it hung in the air for what seemed to be an eternity, “This is more important than any stupid basketball game!”

Well, that got a reaction! And I think I may have actually seen a blood vessel burst in his forehead. The good news is that after a lot of expletives being thrown about the bathroom, the toilet finally got fixed. Turns out I just hadn’t turned the water off completely—nothing major. My husband is still speaking to me even though the repairs took several hours to complete and I giggled and smirked during “One Shining Moment”. (That’s just a really cheesy song. I couldn’t help myself.)

The whole incident also brought up some questions about gender roles in modern society. In my parent’s day, the husband was in charge of earning the sole income to provide for the family, doing home and car repairs, cutting the grass, and managing financial investments. The wife was in charge of decorating and running the household, taking care of the kids during the day, cooking the meals (except grilling on the BBQ pit) and planning the social calendar.

Today we have a lot of lifestyle options, which is fantastic, but can also be a bit confusing. The roles and responsibilities within a marriage/partnership aren’t as clearly defined as they were 50 years ago.  In my home, planning social engagements, vacations and doctor visits is my job because it’s easy for me to keep track of such things. I also do all of the grocery shopping and cooking because I don’t mind it and I have the time to do it. My husband is currently the only one working a full-time job, so that’s his big contribution. He also gets to lug heavy items into the attic for storage because he’s stronger, and I’m afraid of ladders.

We are fortunate enough to be able to hire people to cut the grass, fix the car and advise us on our financial investments.

But fixing toilets, clogged drains, and broken garbage disposals—well, that’s definitely a team effort. And nobody is getting to sit on the sofa and eat bonbons until it’s done!

“I Spy…”

“I spy…something red.” – Parent

“Is it the apple?” – Child

“No.” – Parent

“Is it the lady’s shirt?” – Child

“No, but you’re close.” – Parent

“Is it the Exit sign?” – Child

“Yes! You got it! Good for you!” – Parent

I think we’ve all played the “I Spy” game at one time or another. It’s a parental favorite, right up there with “The Quiet Game”, which much to my mom’s chagrin, I never won. I did however, excel at “I Spy”. I’ve always been very observant and I enjoy a good puzzle.

Lately, I’ve felt like the universe has been playing a game of “I Spy” with me. I keep finding clues everywhere, except I don’t have someone to tell me if I’m getting close to the right answer.

I’ve been trying my hand at writing lately—the blog, children’s stories and the occasional freelance job. My husband and I have been tossing around the idea of designing, marketing, and hopefully selling our own line of products and books—perhaps even starting our own publishing house! I‘ve been thinking a lot about this possibility lately.

The other day, while flipping through the TV channels, I happened upon the second half of the movie, “Wanderlust”. In this movie, starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, a couple in their 40s loses their corporate jobs and finds themselves in search of employment and a new place to live. (Hmmm…strikingly similar to my situation sans the new place to live part.) Along the way, they meet a very interesting and comical cast of characters, find themselves in some absurd situations, and eventually end up OPENING A PUBLISHING HOUSE. (Whoa.) Also, the wife writes a children’s book, which they self-publish. (Is this a sign that I’m on the right career track?)

But the “coincidences” don’t stop there. They are popping up everywhere, and about everything I am thinking, considering or pondering at the moment. Thinking about my dog, Hooper, I see an ad with his name in big bold letters in the headline. Considering going back to school to become an Art Therapist—I randomly meet two different therapists that week. Up all night with an aching back and thinking about making a chiropractor appointment the next day and—POOF!—I run into an old friend that I haven’t seen in months, and he now works at a chiropractor’s office!

Now, I do believe in fate—sort of. I believe we have certain “check point destinations“ that we are supposed to reach in life, but how we get there is up to us. We are graced with certain talents to help guide us on our way and helpful people and “signs” appear as needed to steer us toward our destiny or confirm that we are “on the right track”. Case in point, I was driving and listening to Oprah radio and the topic was “following in the path of grace”. Just then, I realized that I was driving behind a giant white truck with the word GRACE written across the back. I was literally following in the path of GRACE! (GRACE is a non-profit relief agency which provides food, clothing, financial assistance, and other vital necessities to people who are struggling with a limited income or recent emergency.) 

I love the movies, “Serendipity” and “Jeff Who Lives at Home” which both deal with the topics of fate and synchronicity. In “Jeff Who Lives at Home”, Jeff, at 30, lives in his mom’s basement, unemployed, and looking for signs about what to do with his life. He answers a wrong-number call for “Kevin”. Later, on a bus, he sees someone wearing a jersey with “Kevin” on the back. He keeps searching for and following the signs that the universe is providing until his destiny or “special purpose” is ultimately revealed.

It all works itself out in the end, but he runs into quite a few problems when he greatly misinterprets some of the “signs”.

I would very much like to learn to reduce the amount of signs I misinterpret in my own life. I can definitely spot the signs, I just need the universe to say, “Yes! You got it! Good for you!”

(Photo Credit: www.redbeacon.com)

(Photo Credit: http://www.redbeacon.com)