Rock of Ages: if Chuck Norris and Clay Aiken sang hair metal on ‘Glee’ (or “Why is that monkey dressed like Muammar Gaddafi?”)

Unless you live some strange ascetic life, there’s little doubt you’ve heard a little something about the new movie musical Rock of Ages. Based on a hit Broadway musical, RoA (as I’m calling it, pronounced “Row-ah”), is seeking to following the footsteps of such hit movie musicals like GlitterXanadu, and the tour de force From Justin to Kelly. [side note: I think I’m one of two people to actually pay money to go see FJTK. The other? Probably my friend, Nathan. But seriously, how could we NOT go see it:


But really, RoA wasn’t really a bad movie. In fact, somewhere in there is a pretty terrific movie (but more on that later)

Let’s start with the good:

Paul Giamatti (playing a greedy manager), looked suspiciously like Gallagher (but without the watermelons), had a sweet bald-ish/afro-ish ponytailed mullet, enough sweet suits to make Sonny Crockett jealous, and Zach Morris’s cell phone. He was every bit the opportunistic sleazeball and even belted out a few bars of Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again.” It was fabulous. And I couldn’t get enough.

“Hello, Stacee Jaxx’s manager’s phone.”

Also good? Mary J. Blige, who  proves again she is the Queen of Awesome and can do no wrong. She’s not the best actress, but let’s be honest. When you can sing like that, who cares if her acting chops are a little lacking. And as the only real professional singer of the lot (Sorry Julianne Hough. One shitty country song does not make you a professional.), I expected her to be amazing.

Catherine Zeta Jones (aka Mrs. Douglas), Alec Baldwin and the former Mr.Katy Perry were also bright spots in their (brief) time on screen. In one of the strangest scenes CZJ belts out “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” with a chorus of women that look like they robbed a Laura Ashley Store in a church, while her husband (the ever delightful Bryan Cranston) proceeds to get a little 50 Shades of Grey with his mistress nearby. Uncomfortable to watch? No more than actually READING 50 Shades. Besides, CZJ is actually a pretty good singer. And the clothes are so hilarious, it makes the scene worth it.

I’m not entirely convinced Baldwin and Brand did much acting. Baldwin paraded around in a leopard print shirt and a TERRIBLE wig. He also attended the “Chuck Norris Vocal Academy” as his “singing” was more in the vein of Chuck Norris than say Chuck Berry.

The crew gave Russell Brand an equally terrible wig, for reasons I can’t comprehend. I’m pretty if the director had said “Hey, Russell. We need you to cut your hair into a feathered mullet,” I’m pretty sure Brand would have been game. This is the guy who once dressed up like Osama bin Laden. I think he could have handled a bad haircut.

Now for the GREAT:

Tom Cruise. In a word: fantastic. In a few words: completely bloody fantastic. No, really. He was. I wanted to think he was terrible and/or wrong for the part. I wanted to laugh at him. But I couldn’t. He was just too good. He played aging rock star Stacee Jaxx with a little bit of Axl, a little bit of Keith (Richards) and a little bit of a cult leader speaking only in “wise proverbs” (maybe he got some inspiration at the Scientology Center in LA?). He was just the right amounts charming (for all of Tom’s weird personal faults, he’s effortlessly charming on screen), bizarre, and oddly sexual (seriously. The guy’s pushing 50 and looks bangin’, yo.)  Plus, he had a monkey named “Hey Man” that he dressed like a little Muammar Gaddafi. Because why WOULDN’T you want to have a pet monkey that shared the stylin’ ways of a horrific Libyan dictator?!

“Sweet hat, Muammar. I have one just like it at home”
image courtesy of perez

Which brings us to the bad.

The two leads. In a word: unnecessary. In a few words: completely and totally unnecessary. I was more interested in Stacee Jaxx, Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin’s strange relationship, and even CZJ’s turn as Head Tea Partier (I’m pretty sure she prepped for the role by watching a lot of Glenn Beck. Minus the crying.)

Diego Boneta is a cute kid with a great voice. If the Z GuyEE-Z (the supremely terrible boy band Giamatti-Gallagher put together) had been a real group back in the late 80s, I totally would have been obsessed with them, writing “I ❤ Joshy Z” all over my notebooks. Had he a better co-star that he had actual chemistry with, he probably would have been even better.

Which brings me to Julianne Hough. Forgive me, but I can’t figure out why this girl is A- famous and B – still getting acting/singing work. She’s a gorgeous girl and a phenomenal dancer. But her acting and vocal ability is about as good as you’ll find in a community theater production of Oklahoma (and I know. I’ve seen such productions.) Halfway through the movie I wished she’d just pack up and take her “Sister Christian” ass back to Oklahoma and leave the movie to the grownups. I didn’t like her character, not because the character was unlikeable, but because Hough just isn’t a good enough actress or singer to make me care about her.

Like I said before, there’s a terrific movie buried in here. Tom Cruise, Malin Ackerman (who I love love love! seriously adorable, that one), Baldwin, Cathy Jones and Queen Mary J were all woefully underused. I would have preferred some character development from Stacee and explored him a bit more. Make HIM the central figure. Diego and Julianne could really be cut and the movie would have still worked. It just would have been about an aging rock star trying to stay relevant in the age of boy bands. Keep CZJ and Cranston, Baldwin and Brand and expand Mary J’s role. Maybe she and Stacee strike up an unlikely friendship after he starts coming to the strip club. I’m totally just spitballin’ here.

The big problem (aside from a completely miscast Julianne Hough) is that the movie isn’t quite sure what it wants to be. Is it a serious musical (like Jersey Boys) or a parody (in the vein of Spinal Tap)? I don’t think the cast was even on the same page. The leads were so earnest that you really bought they thought they were in The Graduate: The Musical rather than Xanadu: the Sequel. However, Baldwin, Brand and Cruise all seemed to realize the movie was ridiculous (and a farce) and played their characters accordingly. The result was a disjointed (and at times painful) 2+ hours.

But all is not lost, there were some great performances (particularly Tom Cruise) and some terrific–and terrifically funny—moments (the Baldwin and Brand duet. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s HILARIOUS). The music, for the most part, is really fun. Queen Mary J SLAYS on Pat Benatar’s “Shadows of the Night” (my wish is for her to actually release it as a single. It’s that good)  and Tom Cruise was a surprise vocally and sang his ass of. While his “Wanted Dead or Alive” isn’t quite as good as Bon Jovi’s, it was good enough to make me want to hear it again. With some tweaking, rewrites and editing, Rock of Ages has the potential to be a great film. Unfortunately, the reality falls flat.


“In the future everyone dresses like Katy Perry”

Oh sweet little blog, I have neglected you for FAR too long. And you, my dear readers, I’ve neglected you too. I’m sorry. If I could send you all fountain diet cokes and chocolate chip cookies as “I’m sorry presents”, I totally would. Because, really, is there anything better than fountain diet coke and homemade chocolate chip cookies? I think not.

There’s a LOT going on in my life at the moment and rather than bore y’all with the details, I’m going to gloss over everything. Because, frankly (ugh, I’m starting to sound like Newt Gingrich. Minus the Tiffany’s line of credit. And the megalomania), I’m entirely exhausted of talking about it. But I DO promise a post in the near future explaining everything. I just don’t have it in me right now. Besides, the weather is way too nice to be talking (or even thinking) about depressing things.

The long Easter weekend was just about perfect. I caught up with friends and family in the C-L-E that I hadn’t seen in forever (but there are still many many more that need to be remedied!) and had some much-needed downtime to relax.

Let’s recap.

Thursday was Cleveland Indians Opening Day, which happens to be one of my FAVORITE days of the year. Terry Pluto, one of my all-time favorite writers, wrote an excellent column about the tradition of Opening Day last week that I can’t even begin to sum up. Just click the link and read it, even if you’re not a baseball fan. If you’re a fan of family, traditions, history or have any sort of heart at all, you’ll appreciate it.

Opening Day always makes me think about my family, particularly my siblings and my dad (and by extension, my super-amazing late grandfather). Baseball for us, like many families, is special. It ties us together. Some of my earliest memories are going to baseball games at the old Municipal Stadium with my dad and grandfather. Because I was a picky eater as a kid, my mom ALWAYS packed me a sandwich (I hated hot dogs) and two orange Kool Aid juice boxes. Why two? One for me and one for my grandfather, duh (why I didn’t insist on three is beyond me. Sorry, Dad!). Now, I’m sure the last thing he wanted to drink at the ballpark was orange flavored sugar water and would have MUCH rather preferred a beer (these WERE the 1980s Cleveland Indians. Boozing was required to get through a game), he always humored me and acted like he couldn’t imagine sitting through a baseball game without one. Now that’s true love, people. I wish I had some pictures of the three of us at a game, but, sadly, the best I can do is the memories in my head. Or perhaps draw a picture. I’m very good with stick figures.

This clip from “Field of Dreams” (a Casa D staple growing up) that says it all. Baseball is a constant. It ties generations together. History is respected. There’s a reason on Opening Day you see so many families sitting together, three (or more!) generations laughing (usually at the Tribe’s expense) and cheering. I know one day if I ever have children, I’ll be taking them down to Jacobs Field (whatever, it’ll never be Progressive Field to me), each April, molding them into the sad little creatures the rest of the world knows as “The Cleveland Sports Fan”

Thursday also meant dinner with m’bestie, Sarah (or Kres, or Mama-to-be. She answers to them all). We hit up Angelo’s Pizza in Lakewood for a much needed catch-up session and some yummy margarita pizza. If you haven’t been there before (and live in the CLE), I highly suggest going. The dining area is quite small and fills up quickly in the evenings, but no worries. They do take out and delivery.

And, on Saturday, I FINALLY got to see THIS with my friend, Rachel.

I was so excited and so spastic about FINALLY getting to see Katniss and Peeta (and Cinna! Heart you so bad, Lenny Kravitz), I knocked my diet coke into my purse. So for the remainder of the day, I walked around with wet handbag that also smelled like diet coke. But it didn’t matter. I was too pumped about the movie to care.

I normally don’t get this excited for books-turning-into-movies (the Winona Ryder “Little Women” is an exception. I think I talked about seeing that movie for six months until it came out and my mother was forced to take me—and sit with me while I cried my little eyes out). We’ve already discussed my hatred for all things “Twilight” and I’m not huge on Nicholas Sparks/John Grisham/Whatever-Chick-Lit-Is-Being-Optioned-Today. That’s not to say I don’t like reading those books (with the exception of Nicholas Sparks. I can read one of his books and feel like I’ve read them all). I do. I might make an exception if my girl Jen Lancaster ever options one of her books into a movie. But normally, I’m a book girl. Always have been, always will be.

But, “The Hunger Games” won me over. And I’m happy to report Rach and I were NOT the oldest people in the movie theater.

However, we WERE the snarkiest. We can’t help it. It just happens. It’s innate in us. We BREATHE snark.

Not ten minutes into the movie, Rachel leans over to me and whispers (in a scary, futuristic voice) “In the future, everyone dresses like Katy Perry.” (if you’ve seen the movie—or even previews—you’ll notice that most of the people in it look like extras from a Katy Perry video or, at very least, like they’ve raided Lady Gaga’s closet).

I laughed so hard, I choked on my popcorn.

I’m sure we annoyed everyone else sitting around us with our running commentary: “Think that kid will turn into a werewolf now?” “Ohh, I wonder where Lenny got his gold eyeliner. I wonder if the girls at Sephora can help me later” and “There should definitely be an ‘Avengers’ type movie with Katniss, Peeta, Edward Cullen and Bella. And the ‘Babysitters Club’ can show up too. You know, to get our generation into it” (I should preface by saying that Rach and I have long ago said goodbye to our teenage years).

Sadly, I would definitely watch a ‘Babysitters Club Hunger Games” (No doubt Kristy Thomas would win. She’s a cutthroat bi-oytch, that one).

Easter was lovely. Lots of food and family. My mom, sister and cousins made my Aunt Carol a scrapbook (like the one we made for my grandmother) and we FINALLY finished it on Saturday. We were so pumped to give it to her and, no surprise, she loved it. Being away from family really makes you appreciate the time you do have.

So that’s it. I have to catch up on tonight’s episode of “The Voice” (Tony Lucca better be safe, or I’m blaming Christina Aguilera. But, whatever, I’d blame her for something else).

misadventures with Lisa!

Sometimes the only thing you need in life is pizza and quality time with your girlfriends.

Last night I got to spend some time with one of my favorite people on the planet (and one of my closest friends to boot), Lisa.

I love this girl. We met on election night in 2008 & clicked immediately. On a night that was pretty horrific (from my viewpoint, anyway), meeting her was the bright spot of the evening (well, that and drinking Shooters dry of any red wine. Oops.).

In the past 3 years she has become one of my fiercest allies, closest confidents, and favorite partners-in-crime. I met her at a time in my life when I needed someone to remind me that life could be fun. Our misadventures are legendary: hanging out with Jimmy Dimora—pre-prison—at Stone Mad, creating our own “fake St. Patrick’s Day” in May (because we were both wearing green and went into the back of the bar we were in and pulled out all the St. Paddy’s day decorations. That is a true story, my friends), countless political events/meetings/door-knocks, impromptu sleepovers, festive fourth of July “Drunky McNoPants”, and an unfortunate night when my car died & she and I had to push poor Trudy into a random parking lot.

As cheesy as it sounds, I do believe things happen for a reason. And God was lookin’ out for me back in ’08 when the two of us met randomly at an election night party. And I’m so thankful every day that we did. I don’t tell her NEARLY enough, but having her friendship is truly a blessing. It’s hard to make REALLY good friends post-college, but having Lisa made me realize you actually can.

Here’s one of my favorite pictures of the two of us:

I’m thumbs-upping and she’s trying REALLY hard not to laugh at me. I think this was at the Reddstone (obviously during the summer).

Anyway, we ended up going to Angelo’s for pizza. If you live in Cleveland and have never been to Angelo’s, you are missing out. We ended up ordering salad and the Acapulco BBQ Chicken Pizza

Again, sorry for the crappy iPhone camera, but I forgot my actual camera. But look how yummy. Cheesy, bbq-y, bacon-y goodness (and the salad was pretty good too).

And while we were there, Santa Claus made an appearance. Of course, Lisa hopped on his lap.

It was strange that a random Lakewood pizza joint had Santa coming in, but we went with it. Maybe I should have asked him for more blog-readers for Christmas…(oh, and a job too).

After dinner, we met up with her boyfriend, Dave, and his friend Mike at a bar around the corner from Angelo’s.

There are lots of things that I love about Lakewood—it’s right on the lake, there are tons of great restaurants and bars, lots of my friends live there, etc. But my FAVORITE is the abundance of neighborhood corner bars—you know, the completely un-fancy, dive-y, hole-in-the-wall bars. I like getting glammed up and going to a nice restaurant or bar as much as the next girl…but there’s also something really awesome about local “watering holes” that are without all the frills: just cheap drinks, people you know, and a jukebox that can be controlled by your BFF’s cell phone (touchtunes, I love you!).

I stuck with water, but everyone else was drinking Christmas Ale (since they had it on tap). We made friends with the girls sitting next to us at the bar and proceeded to belt out every conceivable 80’s song that we knew the words to (also, sidenote: “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 has some mumbly words. Just sayin’). So.Much.Fun.

Also, even funnier? The handsoap in the bathroom

Yes, that is the hand soap. In a mustard container, clearly marked “hand soap”.

I’m still laughing.

wednesday thankfulness

Today, in lieu of spending the day studying, I headed down to the Cleveland Ronald McDonald House to help out for the day.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Ronald McDonald House (any of them, not just the one in CLE), I HIGHLY encourage you to click the above link and check them it. It’s an incredible organization whose aim is to provide families with a sick child (receiving treatment at a local healthcare facility) a “home away from home” during what’s often the worst time in their lives. The name is misleading though—they are NOT affiliated with McDonald’s. And while lots of individual McDonald’s owner-operators are involved with their local houses, RMH is not funded through McDonald’s.

Bit (just a little, I swear) of history for you—the VERY FIRST RMH was opened in Philadelphia in 1974. Fred Hill (former Philadelphia Eagles tight end) had a daughter, Kim, that was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was 3. The Hills, after spending three years in and out of hospitals, watching other families deal with similar situations, wanted to do something about it. The Eagles then-manager, Jim Murray, was so moved by the Hills’ plight that he wanted to do something as well. When he approached the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia about making a (sizable) donation, he was referred to Dr. Audrey Evans who had been floating the idea of a “home away from home” for years, but was lacking funding. After getting the Hills and the Eagles Owner, Leonard Tose, involved, the idea of the Ronald McDonald House was born. The name, however, didn’t come until later. Murray had contacted the local McDonald’s and asked about their next promotion, which happened to be a then brand-new product…a little something called the “Shamrock Shake.” With the help of McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, a fundraiser was set-up. For an entire week, all proceeds from the sale of Shamrock Shakes in the Philadelphia area would go to Dr. Evans and Jim Murray’s cause. The amount of money raised was enough to purchase the very first “Ronald McDonald House.” The name was chosen as a thank you to Kroc and the local McDonaldses (is that even a word???) for not hesitating to jump on board of a brand-new cause.

Since then, there have been thousands and thousands of families helped through RMH and RMH Charities.

So there you have it: RMH in a nutshell.

I’ve been volunteering at the Cleveland house for what feels like a million years (but is probably closer to 4 or 5) and I can honestly say it is one of the best non-profit organizations I’ve come into contact with. They take their mission (helping families) very seriously. It’s an organization that you can feel really good about supporting (whether monetarily or volunteering).

And (guess what!) there IS a way you all can get involved with this super amazing fantastic organization!

Every year the Young Professionals Group of the Cleveland RMH has a cornhole tournament to fundraise for the house. It’s always a REALLY fun event—lots of food and drinks and, duh, cornhole. Even if you don’t play (I was tricked into playing ONCE and I swore, never again!), it’s a great event just to attend. This year it’s going to be at the Cavaliers practice courts at Quicken Loans arena (we had it there last year and it was AWESOME!).

It’s going to be on December 4 (a Sunday) during the afternoon. We’ll have the Browns-Ravens game on (so you won’t miss it). Food and drinks (including beer) are included in the price PLUS you’re donating to a great organization. I’ll be there, rocking my Browns jersey (praying that Peyton Hillis is healthy and playing well!), so you should be too! You can register your team of two (names and matching jerseys are totally welcome!) but we definitely encourage you to register as a single (we’ll match you up!). Or if cornhole isn’t your thing, but watching the Browns and hanging out with some awesome people (and maybe Ronald McDonald??) is, then this is your event. You can sign up here or email me at

Everyone should SERIOUSLY come. It’s going to be a great event and what better way to get into the holiday spirit by giving back (and maybe having a beer or two!).

weekend adventures

So this weekend is going to be exciting. My former college roommate, Mollie (a mother blogger) is coming to visit today with her adorable little girl (!) and I’m SO excited to see them. I’m not sure what all will be on the agenda for the weekend, but I’m thinking it might be the zoo. I don’t have kids (shocker), so I’m not exactly sure what’s kid-friendly in the area. But I figure the zoo is a safe bet and maybe dinner at Melt? I don’t know. In any case I’m more excited to see them than anything. We could hang out at my house and it wouldn’t matter (but would probably be horribly boring for “Mini Mollie” as I’ve taken to calling her).

Also, my BFF growing up, Libby, is ALSO home for the weekend. She’s my cool friend. You know. Everyone has one. The friend (usually a really old friend) that is so awesome that you find yourself talking about them to other people to boost your hip factor? Lib’s that friend for me. She’s a marine biologist (which in itself is awesome) and lives in Seattle (double awesome points) on top of literally being one of the funniest and coolest chicks I know. I haven’t seen her in FOREVER (again, I’m a terrible friend), but I am definitely going to be taking some time to make sure I see her this weekend. Our other BFF (there were four of us growing up that were best friends), Chelsea and her husband, Joe, are having a party tonight that I am going to try to make an appearance at (but with Mollie in town, I’m not sure I can).

I’m the worst at keeping in touch with people. I’m an excellent friend-maker (is that even a word? if it isn’t, I’m adding it to “urban dictionary”), but I suck at keeping them. People get busy and sometimes so much time has passed that I’m convinced that people have forgotten who I am! (it’s silly and stupid, I know). I’ve started making a more concerted effort to keep in touch with people. I’m so lucky that I’ve been blessed with SO many wonderful people in my life and I need to do a better job of keeping them there.

That’s it for now. I’m sure I’ll have more to say later, but for now I need to make sure the house is child-proofed (I don’t remember the last time we had someone over that had kids). Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend (and Go Bucks!)

“I don’t know why you’re in the middle. You’re the most accident-prone”

So said my lovely mother last night when she and I (and my sister, Nicole) went to a beading class. The groupons we used had been purchased last Christmas. It’s November. So we went to the Lake Erie Artist’s Gallery (

In any case, we headed off to the Eastside. For those of you not from the Cleveland area, there is a definite rivalry amongst people that live on the Westside of Cleveland and the Eastside. I am a Westsider, born and bred. How I explain E v. W to people is this:

The Eastside is where a majority of the old (and SERIOUS) money is. There are a lot of really wealthy areas, a lot of quirky ‘artsy’ neighborhoods and a bit more diversity. Most of the Jewish population of Cleveland lives on the Westside. The museums are on the Eastside, the major hospitals and a lot of the “culture” is located on the Eastside. However, along with a lot of good, there is a downside. Besides having some of the nicest areas in the GCA (greater Cleveland area), it also has its worst. I’m not kidding. East Cleveland is famous for being one of the most dangerous places in the country. Yay, Cleveland!

The Westside’s income disparity is not so drastic. It’s still a mostly blue-collar area of the city, with a few “nicer” suburbs. But you probably won’t become a victim of violent crime in a majority of the the Westside. It’s mostly bars and Catholic churches. You think I’m kidding but take a drive. Bar, church, bar, church. I love the Westside.

So the three of us headed out to the weird little shop in Shaker Square (a seriously cute little area of Cleveland with shops and restaurants). I’m not sure what I expected, but when we got there, we were the only 3 people in the class. The “instructor” was a nice enough lady but we could tell she would have rather been working on her own designs than teaching us anything.

Also, the phrase “teaching” should be used loosely. She essentially handed us a few boxes of beads and said “have fun!” Don’t get me wrong, she had some lovely beads, but I think for what it was, it was INCREDIBLY overpriced. And we got ours 50% off. And it was STILL overpriced.

We had a lot of fun, though. Mostly because I love hanging out with my mom & sister. And it’s always funny to see how differently the three of us create. My mom decided to make a very simple. very tasteful, patterned bracelet in very neutral shades. Nicole made a very tasteful, patterned bracelet in lovely purples and greys. Me? I made a very obnoxious bracelet with about six different colors (including HOT PINK PEARLS! woo! be jealous) that had absolutely no rhyme or reason. If I liked it, it went on the bracelet. Again with the rampant narcissism. I don’t care if other people like it. If I like it, everyone else should like it too.

finished product! (notice the fabulous hot pink pearls)

The finished product. Notice how awesome the hot pink pearls look.

Anyway, as I was trying to finish off the bracelet and tighten the crimping bead (but without a crimper, apparently they are too difficult for us beginners to use) I ended up breaking the crimping bead and my ENTIRE bracelet ended up on the floor. I’m glad I didn’t have a pattern because I would have been even angrier trying to replicate said pattern.

But I did end up on my hands & knees under the table, collecting little beads and cursing under my breath (ok, maybe it wasn’t under my breath). This, after mocking my mom for being really slow & boasting that I was the first one done. Needless to say, I ended up as the LAST one done.

Since it was late & we were starving (Nic couldn’t eat anything they had at the class as it was all full of gluten), we decided to have dinner at Yours Truly. ( If you live in the Cleveland area & have never been to a Yours Truly, do yourself a favor and head to one. Immediately.

Here’s my mom & Nic outside the restaurant  I need to tell Babs she needs to smile more.

Yours Truly has one of the best (& most varied) menus. And the entire menu is available all day. I’ve been there with my girlfriends and have had meals that include omlettes, milkshakes and fries (either their ‘notso’ fries or the sweet potato). Healthy, probably not, but SO delicious.

The three of us ADORE sweet potato fries. And YT makes some of the best I’ve ever had (only Sweet Melissa’s makes better ones). And they serve them with yummy honey mustard. If I ever come back as a food, I want to come back as sweet potato fries.

Look how delish they look.  Washed down with an icy cold diet coke and you’ve got the beginnings of a perfect meal.

Mostly it was just nice to spend time with Nicole and my mom. Since Nic has lived in Columbus (and works insane retail hours), I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like and I DEFINITELY don’t get to spend as much time with her and my mom together as I’d like. I’m anxiously awaiting her return to the C-L-E.

Here’s the two of us, mugging for the camera. And no, we’re not drunk. We only had a glass of wine each.

 Nicole is trying to take a nice photo. I am trying to make her laugh.

Driving home, we started talking about what we consider the most quintessential “American” band. I picked the Beach Boys. Nicole wanted more perimeters. I told her the Spice Girls didn’t count (as they are British). Do any of you have thoughts on the most quintessential “American” band? Just curious.

She left this morning & I went to mass. I’m embarassed to say how long it’s been since I’ve gone. Also, I can’t really remember (so that gives you an idea of how long it’s been). I’m going to talk more about Catholicism & my thoughts on religion and spirituality at a later time. For now, I’ll just say that I had forgotten how much I love going to mass. I love everything about mass: the prayers, the music, the homily and (of course), the Eucharist. We have a new priest at my parish who is young (only a few years older than I) and I’m really excited about the direction of the church under Fr. Joe!

My (mis)adventure in writing a novel continues. I’m closing in on 9k words (seriously! it’s insane) & I love writing the story and I am so grateful to NaNoWriMo for introducing me to a fantastic community of other young, female writers that inspire me & make me laugh. Chick Lit Cheerleaders are the best.

“bodyguard, can you make me a paxelemonade? it’s my favesies”

I tried to write this via my iPhone, but my wordpress app kept crashing. Ugh, technology. So, in the spirit of Halloween, I’m sharing with you guys the ONLY picture I remembered to take this weekend (and it is via my iPhone camera so apologies for the quality).

Presenting, S-Dizzle as MK

“I’m sooooooo tired you guys. And it’s like freezing in here under all these layers.”

You can’t see my sweet ass legwarmers and sixteen layers of sweaters, but trust me, it was BANANAS. I tried to contort my mouth a la MaryKate, but it mostly just looked like I was puckering my lips. I’ll have to work on that.

Hope all you little ghoulies and ghosties have a fantastic (and safe!) Halloween!