The Bird Lady Strikes Again.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

{For the record, my bird lady looks nothing like this. Unfortunately.}

If you know me, then you know I live next to a crazy lady. Yeah, it's true. If you live on my street, you know exactly what I'm talking about. All you have to say is "bird lady" and people look at you with sympathy because you're the poor s.o.b. who has to live next door to the infamous woman. At first, I was cool with it. I mean, I work in mental health. Not only do I know crazy, but I honestly kind of like it. We've all got our issues, right?

Sure, she feeds all the pigeons in Las Vegas. Yes, she lets them in her house and they poop all over mine. It's annoying, but quirky. However, then she started calling me names (names I won't say here because my mother reads this blog and she raised me better than that) and calling my neighbors names and threatening any and everyone who came across her path.

Then the world's cutest children moved in across the street and she started bringing her crazy to them. Oh, no she didn't. (Oh, yes she did.) If you know me, you know I'll do anything to protect kids. Don't mess with them while I'm watching or you're going down. Got it? I guess the bird lady didn't get the memo. Well, I sent her a copy and as you can probably guess, she didn't like it one bit.

Earlier today as I was pulling up to my house, the bird lady struck again. My newest little friends, the neighbors, came running up to my car trying to warn me, but the bird lady was too fast. She flew around the corner cursing and screaming at me. Luckily I had my sister on the phone who now knows my stories about the bird lady are not in fact exaggerated (like a lot of my stories). Needless to say, it got a little heated, but just a small town girl knows how to stand up for herself.

This story ends with a little visit from the police. We had a nice little chat and the bird lady got herself a stern warning. I will tell you, however, I am afraid of the lady next door. Afraid of her erratic behavior and what might happen next. So, if you don't hear from me for several days, it's safe to assume the bird lady has struck again.

We've got it on paper now, though. And little does the bird lady know, I've got the blogosphere watching out for me.

In other news, I quit my job today. Oh, and in other-other news, I got my "before" bikini photo in the mail today. I immediately texted my trainer that I wanted to jump off a bridge, but she suggested I jump on the treadmill instead. Needless to say, tomorrow has got to be better. Right? Right.

I Heart Pop Culture Tuesdays.
{Saying goodbye to LOST.}

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sunday night was a big night. A fond farewell to a good friend. Yes, I'm talking about LOST. Don't worry, for those of you that are still catching up via DVDs, there will be no spoilers here. Back when I was on your team (the non-caught up, please don't you dare talk about the current season team), I had one too many spoilers revealed via the blogosphere and wouldn't do that to you.

What I will say here is that saying goodbye to a beloved show is hard. It actually hurts, doesn't it? Now, I didn't hop on the LOST wagon until last year. Sure, I caught the first episode when it aired, but I didn't want to watch a show about, ... wait for it, dinosaurs. Hmmph, imagine my embarrassment now. To be honest, and this is no less embarrassing, I just didn't want to watch a show that I had to think that hard in. For the record, however, I was in graduate school at the time and just couldn't spare the extra mental energy. So, when all of my family got together to have LOST parties, I opted out. (Honestly, what was I thinking?!) However, I did have the good sense to not let people talk about the show in front of me. I was reserving the right to watch it later... when I was ready.

Then last spring, I got a bad case of the flu and decided to give it a go. I think I knocked out the first three seasons in a couple of weeks. I was hooked. And why wouldn't I be? LOST was brought to me by the same man who brought me one of my favorite shows ever, Felicity. And even though there were plane crashes and polar bears and smoke monsters and dead people inhabited by smoke monsters, like Felicity, LOST was about relationships. The relationship we have to other people and to ourselves.

Sunday night, Jenner and I cuddled up at his Mom's house to say goodbye. Like most all of the episodes that preceded it, the finale left me with questions. Maybe that's what was so great, and so different, about the show... There are no clear answers. Everyone is good and bad. The ending, like the show, is left to interpretation.

Love. Hate. Good. Bad. Right. Wrong. Life. Death. Science. Faith.

What I loved most about LOST is that in its very best moments, it made you feel closer to your own humanity. Oh, and that it brought me one of my favorite (and, by god, best acted) characters of all time, John Locke.

Right along with Sex and the City and Six Feet Under, LOST will forever be one of my favorite shows. It just may have been the show of the decade and I'm so glad I was wise enough to tune in before it was too late.

In the end, I think we're all stranded and searching for a way to get home. If for no other reason, this show will never be forgotten. As Jenner said as the credits rolled, "I watched all six seasons of LOST and didn't lose a thing."

Bloggers Do It Better...
and one BIG weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hey everybody... Guess what? This is my 200th post! Hooray! For my 100th post, I did it up, but this time around, I'm going to do things a little different. You see, in so many ways, blogging has changed my life. I know that sounds really corny, but I'll bet if you have a blog, you feel the same way. All of a sudden, I was writing just for me... just for the love of it. At the end of my graduate studies, when the last thing on earth I wanted to do was write another paper, I fell in love with writing. That alone was amazing. That alone was more than enough. Then, almost magically, I connected with and met other bloggers. Trust me, I never even knew that was possible. A few people I've met through this crazy thing called blogging have become some of my closest friends. I've gained a Bug, a little sister (who I get to celebrate with next week for her 25th birthday!) and someone to stalk until she agreed to be my friend. How lucky am I?

And tonight... I get to meet 68, count 'em, new bloggers/soon to be best friends. Yep, a little something called Bloggers in Sin City is this weekend. I'm super excited and only a little nervous to walk into a group where I know no one. There is lots and lots of fun planned, however, and I'll be sure to recap it next week.

Also on the agenda this weekend... A big ol' family wedding at Mandalay Bay. I can't tell you how excited I am to reconnect with members of my family I haven't seen in years. It's going to be a busy weekend with a whole lot of me running around and trying to decide if I should adhere to the rules of my new eating regimen or just say to hell with it and have that glass of champagne/jello shot/vodka redbull. We'll see...

I know it's only Thursday, but... Happy, happy weekend to you!

{image via}

I Heart Pop Culture Tuesdays.
{Eat, Pray, Love on a bad, bad day.}

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

You know those days when you've just had enough? Of course you do. Well, I'm having one of them. A big, fat, terrible, no good day. I have had it. Up. To. Here. At the gym a little earlier, I almost started crying. I probably should have just gone with it and let it out, but I sucked it up. You see, I'm mad. Why? Because nobody puts Bailey in the corner. (Get it? Kathleen Bailey? Yeah, I though you would.)

Anyway, moving on... On days like today, a person needs a little inspiration. Like you, I'm sure, I loved the book Eat, Pray, Love and was really excited to hear it was being made into a film. Then I saw the trailer and then I saw it again. And again... and again. Something about it just soothes me. (Not to mention the fact that I am in love with this song by Florence and the Machine.) So, when I'm needing a little something extra, I watch this trailer and think about the things I want in my life. Not the little things. Not the petty things at work. The big stuff. The stuff that makes our lives. Love. Adventure. Experience. Travel. Spirituality. Life. Oh, and, yes, food.

"If you could clear out all that space in your mind, you'd have a doorway... And do you know what the universe would do? Rush in. Everything else will take care of itself."

Working Out, Eating Healthy,
Giving Up Cheese & Getting Angry.

Monday, May 17, 2010

{Do you guys ever forget, or lose sight of, why you started your blog in the first place? I know I sometimes do. You see, when I started this blog it was just for me and my closest friends and family. It was both an outlet and a way to stay connected to the people I love most. Then, somewhere along the way, I started reading other people's blogs and some of them started reading mine. How crazy is that? Although it's nothing short of amazing to have people outside of your family read your words, it can also be somewhat daunting. Anybody with me? Anybody? In some ways, an increased readership can change the landscape of the way we write. Sometimes the things we want to express aren't especially exciting or charming or witty, won't garner many comments, will put some people off, etc. My goal is to remember that I started this blog for me... and my mama. :) I know this is a little out of left field, but I needed to get it off my chest. Thanks!}

Last week, I started working out with these people. (Check out their client's before and after photos and you'll see why I had to join.) In our first meeting (where they weighed all of us and took our body measurements), I almost cried. They told us the ins and outs of the program and like the rebellious gal that I am, I took issue with most of it.

"Wait, you want me to give up bread?"
"You don't want me to drink for 30 days?"
"How strict are you about this whole no dairy thing?"

Yep, there's always one of me in a group. I find it very hard to follow rules unless I understand exactly why I should be adhering to them in the first place. So far, eight days in, my lack of bread is pretty painful. I find it hard to concentrate and I'm super moody (just ask my poor boyfriend). The no drinking thing would usually be fine because although I love a good cocktail or three, I'm not a big drinker. However, once you tell me I can't have something, I immediately want it. I swear, I almost took the group out for shots after that first meeting. Why? Because we weren't supposed to and that's reason enough for me. As far as the no dairy rule, let's be honest, I'm pi**ed off. I could easily trade in alcohol for the rest of my life if it meant I could have cheese. When I asked about this I was told, "Try going without dairy for a month and then try it again. I bet you won't feel very good." Um, yeah. That man clearly doesn't know me very well. My body might not like the cheese after 30 days, but my spirit sure as hell will.

{I should add that these rules won't apply after the initial 30 days. They will still be much more strict than I am used to, but not nearly this crazy. Supposedly, I'm in a detox phase and I believe it because, at least from a diet perspective, I think this might be what rehab feels like.}

Oh, and then there's the working out. I meet with my super bad ass trainer 3 to 4 days a week and am supposed to get around 6 hours of cardio a week on top of that. It's a major life shift and, to be perfectly honest, is taking all of my energy. I told Jenner this week, "I'm sorry, baby, I'm just too tired to be polite." Luckily for me, he's very understanding. As I told you in my last post, I had to text my trainer to ask her if it was normal that I'm in the exhausted, cranky, angry phase. Turns out, it is.

Last week was filled with humiliation at the gym. I hurt so badly one day that I got stuck with my sports bra up around my neck (sorry for the visual) in the locker room. I was literally stuck half naked for a good five minutes because it hurt too much to lift my arms up and pull the damned thing over my head. Oh, and then there was the swimming debacle. Yep, the first time I tried lap swimming. I actually turned to the woman in her 70's in the next lane and said, "My god, it's harder than it looks!" She just looked at me funny and kept swimming. Oops. Oh, and don't even get me started on getting my "before" photo taken in my bikini. The fact that I didn't immediately go and get myself a strong drink should be commended. Seriously, it should... Maybe you could clap for me. Just a little. Think about it.

All in all, it's been one hell of an experiment so far. In some ways I feel amazing, in other ways I want to punch myself in the face. Here's the deal though: these next three weeks are going to pass just as quickly whether I'm being good to my body or not. Why not try and see what happens? That's where I'm at with it all. Well, that and trying to finally pull myself out of the giant Cheeto bin I had fallen into in the last few months. So far, so good.

{photo via}

You Want Me To Shake What?!
{My intro to Zumba.}

Thursday, May 13, 2010

So, here's the deal. I am in a lot of pain. A. Lot. Of. Pain. Got it? Great. You see, I started working out with Real Results this week and those jerks (I'm totally kidding - they are super nice!) are doing a complete overhaul on my diet and exercise. It's crazy and it's exciting and, quite honestly, it's hell. I had to text my bad ass trainer today and ask her, "Is it normal that I've hit the angry, cranky, exhausted phase?" Turns out..., it is. Oh, and - supposedly - things will get a lot better in the next couple of weeks. This post, however, isn't really about that. What is it about? Well, I'm glad you asked...

This post is about what may have either been the best or most demoralizing hour of my life. Yep, my first hour of Zumba. Have you guys tried this crazy class? I hadn't until Monday and, truth be told, I was nervous. I have never been the most coordinated gal. In fact, I'm almost always the least coordinated gal and, no, I am not exaggerating. You know the person who was chosen last for the team in elementary school over and over? You got it, that was me.

So, on Monday I walked into class and nervously started shakin' my thang. Honestly, it was pretty embarrassing because initially I couldn't get the steps down to save my life. However, I was keeping up more than the woman next to me and, for some very screwed up reason, this made me feel good. (Um, did I mention that said woman was at least 75?) Luckily, the instructor kept taking pity on me and giving me a thumbs up. It was pretty funny. Oh, and while we're on the topic of the instructor... He looked like Charles Barkley, but danced like JLo. I'm still trying to figure that one out. That and if he was perhaps on some type of stimulant. Just watching him was exhausting.

Overall, it was kind of fun to basically have an hour at the club in the middle of my Monday at the gym. While I wasn't necessarily prepared to shake my hips while trying to express that "the roof was on fire," it was an experience. At the very least, I've never danced like that before without a very strong cocktail and that's got to count for something.

I Heart Pop Culture Tuesdays.
{Drag Queens and Divas.}

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This is a post I have been meaning to write forever. You see, I have a confession to make... I am quite convinced that a gay man lives inside me. It's true. My sister always tells me I'm a gay man in a woman's body. I won't attempt to try and tell you what she means by that statement, but I have a few guesses. If you really want to know, you'll just have to ask her. For the sake of the blog, let's just put it this way... If the gay (flamboyant) male persuasion usually likes something, it's a safe bet to assume I'm right there with them.

"I'm coming out... I want the world to know, got to let it show. "

So, when I was invited to attend Frank Marino's Divas a few months back, you better believe I was in. I even dragged Jenner along for the sequined ride. Needless to say, the show had me dancing in my seat with my arm around the older gay gentleman seated next to me. That man and I laughed and cried together and, at one point, had runaway feathers all over us. My favorite part of the night was when my new friend would turn to me and exclaim, "My God, that looks just like Liza!" And you know what? It did.

Frank Marino brought all the divas to us. Madonna. Gaga. Beyonce. Cher. Dolly. Diana. Tina. You name it, she was there. Ooooh, girl, and the crowd. There was a young woman in her early twenties crying with excitement to see the Brittney impersonator (and for the record, he killed it... he also was blowing kisses at my boyfriend which only made me slightly nervous because he was so damned sexy as Ms. Spears). Oh, and the older ladies seated in front of me? I'm still convinced they really believed that was Tina Turner.

The next time you're in Vegas, you have to see this show. If you're anything like me, you'll turn to your boyfriend and excitedly shout, "Who knew I loved Cher this much?!" What can I say? I heart drag queens, the historians of pop culture. Oh, and the ballad at the end, "What Makes a Man a Man?" Heartfelt and incredibly touching. My new friend and I were crying our eyes out.

There you have it. Long live the queen.

No Other Love.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

{Wasn't my mom gorgeous?}

Of all the loves in all the world, there is no love like the way you love your mother... Or the way your mother loves you.

I don't know if I can put into words my own appreciation for my own mom. {Especially this week, when she has been in the hospital recovering from ankle surgery and the only place on Earth I wanted to be was in that hospital room with her, holding her hand.} The love I feel for this woman - my mother, my best friend, and, at least on most days, my very favorite person in this world - cannot be expressed adequately on a blog that devotes itself in large part to mourning Brad and Jen. So, instead, I will direct you to what I wrote to her last year, which remains one of my favorite posts.

What I will say here, to you Mama, is that I would not be who I am today if I hadn't known "love of a tremendous magnitude" and for that I thank you. Happy, happy Mother's Day. I love you so much more than I can say.

Summer Lovin'.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Okay, I know it's not yet summer, but it's sure feeling like it here in Las Vegas. Nothing, and I really mean nothing, makes me happier than sunshine. Last weekend brought one of my very best friends, Katie Louise, and a whole lot of warm weather. It was absolute heaven and, hopefully, a little preview of what summer has in store for me.

I picked up Katie and her boyfriend, Nick, on Saturday morning and drove straight for the Golden Nugget. If you know me, you know this made me happy. They checked in and before noon, we were lounging in the pool. There is nothing I would rather be doing than floating in warm water... ever. And if you can throw a fancy drink in my hand while floating, well, I am one happy girl.

The rest of the weekend was just as fantastic. Here's the lowdown... Firefly. Tapas. Sangria. Fremont Street. My 80's Bon Jovi dress. The Griffin. A very, very silly boyfriend. Sunday. A trip to Target for the necessities: sunscreen, fake lashes, a new straw fedora and The Carrie Diaries. More swimming at the Golden Nugget. Trying desperately to not let my magazines fly away in the crazy Vegas wind. Fake moustaches and giant drinks. The fountains at the Bellagio. Saying to my friend, "I haven't seen you this drunk since the 90's." Jenner texting me from Lavo and telling me he was standing next to Paris Hilton (why am I never with him when he runs into celebrities?!). Monday. More swimming and lounging and smiling. All you can eat sushi. A pretend wedding. Rides on top of the Stratosphere. Friendship. Love. Las Vegas.

You gotta love it.

Nothing captures the magic of a new romance like faux facial hair.

Older romances and fake moustaches? Yeah, not so much.

Just your average Sunday night in Vegas.

Katie and Marie. "She's a little bit country, she's a little bit rock 'n roll..."

<3 at the pool.

Nick's parents must have been awfully surprised when they heard news of their son's Vegas nuptials. (He loves a good prank.)

Sunshine and a good friend. There's no combination quite like it.

PS) Happy Cinco de Mayo! It should not come as a surprise that my heart lives in Mexico. If it is, read this. Or just read it anyway. I think it will make you smile. Happy, happy day!

I Heart Pop Culture Tuesdays.
New Beginnings and Happy Endings.
{Singing the Praises of Sandra.}

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

When I woke up last Wednesday and did my usual morning stroll over to with coffee in hand and a smile on my face, the headline read "Meet Sandra's New Baby!" I did a quick, "What the what?!" and kept reading. That smile on my face just grew bigger and bigger.

How could it not? Just look at this photo.

I've written about Sandra before on "I Heart Pop Culture Tuesdays" because she just seems like a really cool chick. The kind of person you wish was your real life friend. Then Jesse went and broke our girl's heart and, in turn, broke ours. I know, I know... I'm being awfully dramatic, but pop culture does that to me. You see, that's what I love about women. When our friends hurt, we hurt. When the news broke that Jesse was a womanizing son-of-a-gun with a penchant for homewreckers with face tattoos, women everywhere felt like their best girlfriend was in pain... and we were angry.

Now, after seeing this photo and seeing how happy the new little man in her life makes her, it's hard to be anything other than happy, too. And, call me crazy, but the look on Sandy's face makes me think she's never known a love like that before.

During awards season, Sandra's poignantly articulate speeches made me fall in love with her all over again. Now, looking back, it's pretty obvious that she had fallen in love herself with her new baby and, although she hadn't shared her good news with the world yet, she was a changed woman. She thanked "the moms that take care of the babies and the children no matter where they come from." She also talked about her own mom, "She taught us that there's no race, no religion, no class system, no color, nothing, no sexual orientation that makes us better than anyone else. We are all deserving of love."

Sing it, sister. So, even though it's only Tuesday afternoon, I raise my - symbolic, unfortunately - glass to Sandra. To new beginnings, happy endings and the love we all deserve.