Thursday, July 31, 2008

Adventure Bowl
Holy S*%t! Roller Coasters!

So you've thrown out all your copies of useless self-help books and committed to the Adventure Bowl way of life to squash the blues and reinvigorate your life.

Now whaddaya do?

OMG, go ride a roller coaster!

That's what I did as this week's Adventure Bowl and it was a blast. You know me, a little rigid, a splash Type A, an obsessive compulsive planner. I know I'm not living my "best life" (as my girl Oprah would say) that I can and that's why I need to jump out of air planes and ride roller coasters.

Because when control freaks like me let go - we have a ridiculously fun time and then we learn to let go some more.

So, for this assignment, I made my sister go with me because riding roller coasters by yourself makes you look like a lunatic. Besides, she's a teacher so she knows all about stress and having absolutely no free time. "I have no free time," she said. I thought, "How sad! Let's ride roller coasters."

I'm sure she would have rather gone to a spa but the point was to have REAL fun. Massages are a necessity. Laughing, screaming and hurtling into the air is real fun... and come to think of it a necessity, too.

Because she needed more than a little convincing and cajoling, I offered to pay. What does a theme park cost anyway, like $25 -$30 bucks?

Yeah, in 1985.

It was $65 bucks to get in Universal Studios. Holy crap. But I didn't care.

INSERT RANT: Dear Universal Studios, After you financially rape people to get in your theme park - do you really have to have every ride literally end IN A GIFT SHOP???? Haven't we spent enough money? And why is it that their are more places to spend money than there are rides??? For every one ride there must be ten shops, kiosks, lame games and places to buy food. Though the beer carts were a nice touch. So thanks for those.

Anyway, I'll quit my bitchin' to get to the ooey gooey good stuff. First stop, Jurassic Park ride. I deemed this a "baby ride" until the end where we the roller coaster unexpectedly took an AWESOME drop and then we were doused with water.

I literally, could feel myself "let go" after that. i had to. I was literally soaking wet in my clothes and laughing my ass off.

Of course, we rode it again. Mostly, so I could make fun of people that bought rain ponchos so they wouldn't get wet.

Next up, the Mummy Ride. The Mummy Roller coaster was fantastic but incredibly short. But I love a ride that warns you not to ride it if you have 1 of the 75 conditions they had posted. That just leads to the build-up of how scary it must be if you can't ride it if you have, you know a case of... "excessive sneezing" or something.

The Mummy Ride also has a weight limit, which I made the cut. Side note: If you want to feel thin, walk around Universal Studios. I was feeling like a frickin' model there. My sister kept telling me to stop sticking my boobs out but even soaking wet from the Jurassic Park ride, I had not felt this thin and attractive forever in forever!

Saving the best for last, we then went on The Simpsons Roller Coaster. All I can say about that is - IT'S UN-FRICKIN' BELIEVABLE. It's the future! Like nothing I have been on before. Which is why I had to ride it three times.

The day was incredible and amazing. It reminded me why I do this Adventure Bowl even though it's challenging, time consuming and expensive. I do it 'cause I need to, because I have to - because I saved a lot of money laying in bed.

Because sometimes we need to schedule time for big belly laughs, do things that are crazy and make us scared and then thrill us.

I think it would be really hard for me to get depressed again, because I'll be carrying the memory of this day with me and know, all I need to do to get out of it is a big upside down ride and a splash of water in the face.

This blog is dedicated to snow cones with four flavors.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Importance of Thrilling Yourself
Part 2

I am all about thrilling myself... I say, defiantly, as if 8 months ago I wasn't laying in bed despairing over the extraordinary downfall of my life with just a tubful of Twizzlers and a Chihuahua to comfort me.

Okay, so I haven't always been all about thrilling myself. It's just that for a while, I was all about being down in the dumps and then I realized, that was not working for me. If this blog serves as anything, it's a journal about a girl who's spent a lot of time being bogged down, overwhelmed, certainly stressed out and not so psyched that life can be a big fat monotonous routine.

And then doing something about it.

(Here's a kicky, little story about "boredom": I took my little nephew to Griffith Park today. It's the biggest park in the US with beautiful trails, play grounds, an Observatory. It's spectacular.

He looked at it in all it's green mountain splendor and said, "This looks so boring." I gazed into his little five year-old eyes and said, "Wait until you have a job, have to pay bills, buy and maintain a house, worry about advancing your career and if you're ever going to find someone to love you. Then I think being chauffeured around in an air conditioned car to a beautiful park where you are bought anything you want on a whim by your guilt-ridden aunt who never sees you, will then, NOT SEEM SO BORING."

My sister asked that I please stop scaring her son.)

Back to my original point. As most of you know, I resurrected the Adventure Bowl as a way to force myself out of a major state of bummed-outted-ness after my cousin died, ETC.

The "ETC." is capped 'cuz, ya, know, it reflects so many things that went wrong in such a short amount of time after that.

The Adventures are a way to keep life a little unexpected, a dash of fun and a whole heaping of THRILLING. I pulled the Bowl out today, just swished around in it to see what's in there:

GET PINK HAIR: This one scares me a bit. I mean, pink hair to me is like the ultimate act of rebellion for a good girl like me. But I have been having so many meetings lately. Would pink hair be a funny story to tell or am I just going to look like a lunatic?

RIDE A ROLLER COASTER: Yay! Can you think of a better idea as an adult of feeling like a kid again? I picked this one today and I have to say, the idea that I have to stop what I'm doing sometime this week and ride a roller coaster ROCKS MY WORLD!

Um, yeah, I know who this one is. I met him when I was 14 and we were gaga over each other. I can't help wondering what happened to him. When I pull this one out of the bowl, I guess I'll find out.

GET A NOSE RING: See "Get Pink Hair"

CROWD SURF AT A CONCERTS: I have seen a ton of shows and I have watched a ton of people, with absolute abandon, jump up and crowd surf. To me it's the most spontaneous, crazy, ballsy, life affirming, fearless thing a person can do. And I've never done it.

Because, I've let that part of me slip away. I need to get it back. If I do these things, if I thrill myself, I know I will.

Don't let the things you love slip away from you. I don't care if you're a Mom or you have a 60 hour work week. You have to still have fun. At the very least, it's good for your kids to see and I promise it will enhance your work. And your "adventures" don't have to be these big crazy things. They are just the things that come to you when you have a moments peace and think, "I wish I could..." Whatever that is - WRITE IT DOWN.

So what is it that comes to you? I would love to know. Maybe I'll just have to borrow it and put it in my bowl!

This blog is dedicated to NOT throwing up on roller coasters.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Every Thing I Know About Love, I Learned From Reality TV

This blog is UPDATED for your viewing pleasure.

I once went out on a date with an aspiring TV writer. He asked me what TV shows I like and I guiltily admitted my secret love for reality TV. That's right. "Survivor," "The Bachelor" (not all cycles), "Real World," "Top Chef," etc. He scrunched up his face like I had just told him I like to eat baby Panda bears and then he said, "You're the reason I can't get a writing job." Ouch!

What he meant was, I represented all the people all over America who like reality TV and the more we like and watch reality TV, the more scripted TV goes away and it makes it harder for aspiring writers like him to get jobs. Then he got up in a huff and said he needed to have a smoke (aspiring writers are very stressed out).

He seriously kept me waiting for like twenty minutes, I guess so I could "THINK ABOUT WHAT I HAD DONE," so I had no other choice but to pay the bill and leave. That's when I found him, the stressed out aspiring writer who smokes, out in the parking lot. We said good-bye but not before he asked me to read his spec script.

The reason I love reality TV is it gives such awesome glimpses into the human (boy) mind that I really, really need.

Take "Flipping Out" on Bravo. Do you watch it? Because if you do, then you ended up LOSING your mind just like I did over this last episode. In the episode, Jeff the Boss, uses a nanny cam on his workers. It's then that he finds out that his house manager Chris has been goofing off all day on his computer and shuffling around in his personal stuff.

That would be no big deal to BUT...

After Jeff fires him, he has to explain to Chris' wife, Jenni, who is Jeff's assistant, what he caught her husband doing. When Jenni confronts her husband (who she has been DEFENDING all this time) Chris says he's not happy and NO LONGER WANTS TO BE MARRIED TO HER!!!


Here the lesson is clear: We as women cannot take hot guys (Chris) and knowing they have other dreams (he wants to act) try to domesticate them by putting them in a mind numbing office job where their main responsibility is to pick up dog poop and NOT think they aren't going to punish us by breaking up with us on national TV.

Then we have "The Real World." And oh, it's real! On this last season, in Hollywood, Will falls for Janelle until hottie Britney enters the house. Britney, knowing he has a GF, comes on to him anyway (I call her Bitch-ney 'cause I'm clever like that). This is what we call girl on girl crime, people. Don't do it ladies, it just makes you look desperate and ugly.

But that's not where the learnin' comes in.'

Will goes to Mexico with his room mates and hooks up with Britney. He calls Janelle to confess and she hangs up on him. Good girl! But then she calls him a few days later so they can "talk." Honey, you don't need to talk, he already told you everything you need to know!

But noooooo, Janelle needed to find out about his talent to fake cry to get out of trouble and his love of four-somes (yeah, I spelled it right) on national TV before she could kick him to the curb.

That's the next lesson, we all know it - actions speak louder than words. And when your man has his "actions" all over another woman, he's not serious about you. So move on before you are humiliated further.

Oh, if you are not watching "The Two Coreys," then you are literally giving up a half hour of free therapy every week! Those two have the best therapist and you can just take everything she says to them and apply it to your life. I know I do!

I especially love her "one on one" sessions to the extra fucked up Corey. "I'm not asking you why you want to be in love, I'm asking you why you DON'T want to be in love."

Precisely! You don't have to be a meth, crack or heroin addict with self-destructive issues and no chance in hell to ever work again to glean answers from questions like that. Just pull out your journal and get to it!

This blog is dedicated to getting to the real, that is you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Adventure Bowl
I Like Guns!

First of all, I loved all the comments in the post "The Weekly Ranting of A Delightful Lunatic." I'm so glad I am not the only one who has to get something off my chest about babies, ice coffee, cell phones, tip jars, dog doo and Vespas!

Next time, if you find banging madly on a key board to an anonymous blog doesn't get your inner rage out and throwing the tip jar at Starbucks across a room seems just this side of crazy, I've got the perfect way to blow off steam.

Let's shoot guns!

I used to be a wuss and the closest thing I wanted to a gun experience was wearing a t-shirt from this place called "Gun Heaven." I thought it would make me look tough until someone asked me if I ever "shot" there and I had to confess, "No, I... i just have the t-shirt."


I pulled this lil' adventure from the Adventure Bowl and I was so excited. Maybe I was just ready to embrace my inner Angelina Jolie after seeing "Wanted," I don't know, but I wanted to shoot something, something bad!

I can't believe they just let any ol' person walk into these gun clubs and start shooting but luckily they do. And if you go on a day that's not busy, they'll spend a good amount of time with you, give you some instruction and let you pick out a gun that suits you best, ("Do you have any that are pink? I'm kidding. Okay, I'm not, do you?").

Then you throw on your "eyes and ears" - that's gun club talk for protection, line up and blast away. It's totally fun and completely empowering in a way that shooting squirt guns is not. Though I did wonder if I needed a hepatitis C shot after being in my little semi-grimy area. But it wouldn't be cool if it weren't a lil' grimy.

So go shoot guns people. Because you never know when you might want to switch jobs from an lifeless office worker to a highly skilled assasin.

And if you're not going to do that, do something else that makes you feel a little fearless this weekend.

This blog is dedicated to being a stone cold fox.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Weekly Rantings of a Delightful Lunatic

I feel like writing something fun. My friend does the best rants. THE BEST! He hates everything but the great part is he can totally justify it. He's not so much complaining (I HATE COMPLAINERS) as unburdening himself. The thing about him too, he is literally, the most stress-free person I know.

So, I think he's on to something. Maybe if we all ranted and just completely got off our chests the things that are taxing our minds, then we could be stress free, too.

So, here are my rants for the week:

THE TIP JAR - Can we talk about the tip jar? It's at every Starbucks, every sandwich shop, my friend even says there is one at his dry cleaner. It never really bothered me. BUT NOW IT'S MAKING ME CRAZY. Where it really makes me insane is at Starbucks which gives it's employees stock options and benefits. And on top of that, they want a dollar tip on my $2.00 coffee.

Um... no. And to drive home my point, I am now walking around with my own tip jar. YEAH, that's right, I am. Here's my thought process. The economy is in the crapper. Right now, when I come in for a cup of coffee, I am keeping you working. So technically, you should be tipping me for your job.

Too harsh?

ICE COFFEE - And while we're on the topic of coffee shops, why is it that the price of ice coffee is 30-50% more than regular coffee? They fill the whole cup with ice so technically you are getting HALF the amount of coffee for MORE money.

You know what I do? I ask for a hot coffee and then a cup of ice on the side and then I defiantly mix my coffee and ice together. Sometimes, I bring my own big cup. Who has time to think of these things? I do.

PEOPLE WITH STROLLERS - This might be an unpopular one because you thought I was so nice and then I revealed my somewhat strong dislike of children. I just don't understand when a couple is walking towards me with their stroller and I have the right of way, why I have to get out of the way. Also, babies are messy and they cry.

PEOPLE WHO TALK ON THEIR CELL PHONES IN COFFEE SHOPS - I'm trying to drink my three dollar coffee! (Yes, I tipped a dollar even though I didn't want to.)

PEOPLE WHO RIDE VESPAS - That's cute that you're saving on gas and stuff but 1) You don't look like you remotely know how to drive that thing and 2) If I hit you, I might laugh a little.

PEOPLE THAT NOTICE ME NOT PICKING UP MY DOGS'S POOP - If I wanted to pick it up, I wouldn't be pretending to look the other way.

Wheeeeeewwwww! Do I feel better. So now I want to let your fingering rip over that key board and gimme your rants.

This blog is dedicated to meat ball pizza.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Skinny Bitches

Can we talk about skinny bitches?

You know, I used to be one, prancing around in my size 6 jeans and feeling like there would never be a day when I would have a voluminous extra ass and jiggly hips and thighs... and arms. Then I got hella down in the dumps and foods I would never even eat before, like bagels and croissants, started to be my staples for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I'm not sure where the turning point came (if it has come) but I thought, do I really want to gain more? I mean, this has REALLY gotten out of hand. (When you have labored breathing getting into your car, it's time to examine your life and diet).

So I decide to sign up for a boot camp in my neighborhood. Right. A normal person might start taking long walks or say, ride the bike at one of her three gyms she pays memberships a month to.

Not me. I may have my "Before" body, but I want my "After" life.

I go to the Pilates bootcamp (yeah, I'm rolling my eyes at my extreme pretentiousness, too). What I remember about pilates is that it's exercise you can do laying down. I'm in! Can we watch TV, too?

Oh, but then the Skinny Bitches who are taking the class with me walk in, each in a more fabulous and more Juicy outfit than the other. Are you kidding me? I'm wearing bright blue Target (half price sweats), a red Gap t-shirt and mismatched socks.

The Skinny Bitches scoff at me. And I scoff at myself. This is not my Burbank pilates - this is a Kick Your Ass and Hand It Back To You workout. I rustle through my purse making sure I have my insurance card with me.

The only comfort I have is that a Very Famous TV Star is in class and he cannot keep up either. I won't say who he is, because ya know, I want to be respectful of his privacy. Okay, it's totally TR Knight from "Grey's Anatomy" and I'm kicking his ass but that's not saying much. He keeps reducing the weights whenever the instructor turns around.

I leave, every inch of me drenched in sweat. I now feel immense compassion for any self-defined big girl who returns to a work out class after not going in like, forever. It's hard. I wonder if people made assumptions about me. I wish I had a t-shirt that said, "I Used To Be Thin Like You."

Hmmmm... it couldn't be much to print one of those up?

I always said, this wouldn't be a diet blog. It's my journey back to the person I used to be. And that person was fit and kick ass. She might have been a Skinny Bitch, too. Someone who wore her perfect outfits to exercise class and took her sensible weight for granted.

I will never do that again.

I will say, when I gain weight, I am in total denial. Even as I'm going from my jeans, to bigger jeans, to sweat pants - I kind of have no idea that I am changing. I think, I'm just me and somehow when I'm ready, I'll (snap my fingers) just go back to a size 6.

Yesterday's insanely, brutal wake-up call in the form of a woman screaming at me to "Get that butt, up! Up! Do you want those saddle bags??? DO YOU WANT THAT JIGGLE BEHIND YOUR ARMS????", told me, this is going to be a frickin' lot of work.

(P.S. I did wonder what would happen if I told her that Yes, indeed, I did want to to keep my saddle bags, but I was too scared. So was TR.)

I went back again, today. I could almost feel tears coming to my eyes, it was so INCREDIBLY hard. Why did I do this to myself? UGH!

But I also felt immensely proud. I didn't let the Skinny Bitches deter me. And I got my butt up, a little higher and my instructor even screamed at me a little less today.


This blog is dedicated to Big Girls who take big chances.