Saturday, December 27, 2014

Our Egg-Cellent Discovery

The other morning, I opened up the fridge, took out the carton of eggs and made myself an egg white omelet. I had the carton open, next to me by the stove the entire time and didn't notice anything strange. About a half an hour later, Anthony decided that he wanted to make an omelet as well, so he opened up the fridge and got out the carton of eggs.

He immediately started laughing and asked me why I didn't tell him that there was something strange about one of the eggs in the carton. I looked at him puzzled as he picked up one of the eggs, held it up and started laughing again. I had no idea what he was talking about, so I walked over to the carton of eggs, looked at them and busted up. One of the eggs was ridiculously bigger than the others. How I didn't notice it blows my mind. Duh!!!! One of these things does not belong here...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Adventures With Stella

About 7 years ago, Alicia, Ryan and I decided to leave Los Angeles and begin a new chapter in Boston. But in order to do that, we had to sell/give away/pack all of our crap and drive across the country with our pets Stella and Sampson. Alicia's English Mastiff, Sampson (God rest his soul) had quite the setup in the back of her Jeep with his dog bed sprawled out for him to rest the entire trip back. But my cat, Stella was not so lucky and had to ride in her crate in the front seat of my car all the way back to the East Coast. We stopped frequently to feed them and let them do their business but when we spent the night at various hotels across the country, they hated us. First of all, both of them had no clue what was going on for the entire week it took us to get back home and second of all, they were MISERABLE. Poor babies. At least Stella didn't do the extremely loud, "MMRREEOOWWW" that cats in stress love to vocalize for the entire ride back. Anyone who has a cat knows exactly that type of meow I am referring to. It usually occurs when the cat is in the car, bathtub, or on the way to the vet. It is freakishly loud and you never thought that type of sound would come from their body! But she did stay up all night when we were trying to get some much needed sleep, jumping from my bed to Alicia and Ryan's bed driving all of us nuts. And then when we did attempt to lock her in the bathroom she would "MMRREEOOWWW" all night long. When we checked into the hotels, we told them that we didn't have any pets as Stella's crate was easy to sneak in, but sneaking Sampson in? That was another story. Don't ask me how we managed to get a 150 lb. Mastiff in and out of tiny motel rooms all across the country without anyone noticing, but we did. It was quite an adventure that we endured with our pets and I don't think they ever forgot it.

Although I miss her every day, Stella now lives with my parents in Maine, as I didn't want to risk putting her on a plane when I decided to move back to Los Angeles in 2010. I would have been that girl that everyone hated while my cat was "MMRREEOOWWW-ing" the entire flight. But lucky for me, Stella never lets me forget that I 'gave her up for adoption' or that I made her ride shotgun cross country with me for an entire week. I swear, she is seeking a kitty revenge on me. Last time I was home, I woke up to her on my head chewing my hair....

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Baby Jesus...

When I was little, I adored my Cabbage Patch Kid my mom went to such trouble to get for me. This was in the 80's when people actually killed each other over those silly dolls! If I remember correctly, my older sister, Amber and I would do anything to get our hands on one of those dolls for our Christmas gifts one year and I believe my mom ordered a generic Cabbage Patch Kid doll out of the J.C. Penney catalog (I used to love that catalog!). We would have no idea what the doll would look like or what sex it would be until we tore into that brown paper bag that it came in on Christmas morning. They were the real deal with Xavier Roberts' signature on the butt and the green and white birth certificate from the cabbage patch but they just wouldn't come in the yellow and green boxes for some reason. Amber opened hers up to reveal a boy with light brown hair named Paul, who she immediately renamed Paula and dressed only in girl clothes. It was basically a quick, easy and painless sex change operation. I opened my bundle of joy to find a bald boy with some name I clearly didn't like because I promptly renamed my new best friend 'Baby Jesus.'

If you remember anything about the Cabbage Patch Kid dolls, some of them came with a small hole in their mouths so they could suck on the bright yellow plastic pacifiers that came with them. Well 'Baby Jesus' apparently didn't like his pacifier because I would only feed him peas and Kix cereal, making for a very messy cleanup for my mom. I would take 'Baby Jesus' everywhere with me! He even accompanied me to my first day of Nursery School. But I especially liked to take him to the store with me when I would go shopping with my mom. The only downfall? There were a few times when I would drop him on the floor at the supermarket and I would yell 'JESUS!' so my mom would stop the cart to pick him up. My poor mom, mortified and red in the face would have to explain to the other shoppers who stared at my outburst, that I was just yelling for my doll, 'Baby Jesus.' They just didn't get it...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm Going To Be Rich!

It seemed like when my friend Alicia and I lived in our apartment in Hollywood, weird things always happened around us. Maybe it was the area we were in or the company we were surrounded by, but Hollywood was (and still is) a strange place. I swear there was about sixteen people living in the two bedroom apartment to our right and our landlord drove a Bentley and a Range Rover and was once threatened by our upstairs neighbor with a machete. Alicia and I were clearly on the patio spying on that drunken shenanigan. We were also on the patio spying on our neighbor across the street one night when his girlfriend busted in yelling at him, threatening to tell his wife about their relationship until he picked her up and threw her over the fence. The neighbors to our left were always throwing crazy Quinceaneras every weekend with flashing neon lights and such loud music that Alicia and I had to scream to talk to each other in our living room. Every morning a guy would sell tamales on the street out of the back of his pick up truck, and one day I came home from work to find a quarter of our living room carpet covered in termites....but the best thing that ever happened in that place was when I thought I discovered a new type of bug.

Alicia and I were out on our patio one night when I saw something moving around on the ground. I turned on the patio light to find a giant bee/ant like creature about two inches in size. Of course I screamed and called Alicia over to check it out. I'm pretty sure we had both been drinking which heightened the excitement of this whole experience but we had never seen anything like the critter we were staring at. I immediately grabbed a Tupperware from the cabinet and captured it, convinced that I had just discovered a new species. I honestly started to look up different museums that may be looking for new types of insects and was already planning out how I would spend my millions after I received some prestigious, scientific award.  Not knowing what to do with my little moneymaker, I stuck it in the freezer to preserve it like any great scientist would do. I even called over our friend Brian to inspect him and ensure me that I had in fact uncovered something fabulous. He agreed and told me I needed to get that thing into the National History Museum or something. I was so proud that I snapped a picture and sent it to my friend, Beth. Of course that girl knows every time of flower, tree, bird, cat and bug and wrote back, "that's a Potato Bug (also known as a Jerusalem Cricket) you dummy!" So I Googled 'Potato Bug' and sure enough that stinking bug was all over the Internet already. Obviously we had never seen such a bug being from Maine because they are native to Western United States and Mexico. I'm actually glad Beth was the one who called me a dummy and not the editor of the scientific journal whom I was already drafting a letter to....

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Damn You, 'Parenthood!'

My mom and I are the biggest fans of NBC's 'Parenthood' but we are usually on different coasts while we watch it every Thursday night. Last weekend, I had a chance to watch it with her for the first time and as any other fan of the show knows, we cry every time. This time was no different. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Oh Honey, Put Those Glasses Back On!

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Halloween......and that I also have extremely sensitive skin. (Thanks, Mom!) For the most part, those two don't mix well together, especially when it comes to my love for the holiday and my desire to go all out when it comes to my costumes every year. So, it made me really sad  a few weeks ago when my eyes started to get a little red whenever I used a certain eye makeup remover. So I switched to using Coconut Oil as an eye makeup remover because I had heard so many great things about it! You can eat it, slather it all over your body and whiten your teeth with it...You can pretty much swim in it and it will transform your life. After the first few days of using it to take off my eye makeup, my skin was looking fantastic!
And then I woke up one morning and my eyelids were bright red. Although it hurt to put on makeup, I had to so I wouldn't scare off my co-workers. Then the redness spread to under my eyes and it started to get dry and itchy. I immediately made an appointment with my dermatologist knowing that Halloween was around the corner and my Miss Argentina (from Beetlejuice) costume required a full sea foam green/blue face and body paint and heavy dark makeup around my eyes. What was I going to do? I then started to do some research on the Internet thinking that it had to be the coconut oil. I read an interesting article that said if you are of European descent, DO NOT USE COCONUT OIL ON YOUR FACE. There it was, practically shouting at me! I was of European descent and I was using coconut oil on my face. BINGO and CRAP! So I stopped using it and canceled my dermatologist appointment, apparently thinking that I was now a doctor who could solve this herself by slopping on a mask of cucumber, yogurt, honey and oatmeal every night and it would go away. Although, it was getting a little better around my eyes, the redness was not completely gone. Mind you, I was getting a lot of compliments of how great my skin looked!

But then Halloween night came around and there was no backing down- I was painting my face no matter what! I had two parties to go to that weekend and both involved face paint. It was a chance I was willing to take! After the weekend was over and Sunday night came around, I scrubbed the crap out of my face, moisturized like crazy and put a few tea bags on my eyes before bed. But when I woke up on Monday morning, I was horrified! I looked like Quasimodo from the Hunchback of Notre-Dame wearing the red Ninja Turtle's eye mask. 
There was no way I was going to work looking like this! I put on a pair of sunglasses and drove to my dermatologist's office....Although I didn't have an appointment, the receptionist told me that the Doctor would be able to see me right away. Actually, I took off my sunglasses to show her my face and she gasped and said, "Oh honey, put those glasses back on!" When my dermatologist came in to see me, I told her what I had done to myself and she just kept saying, "poor thing!" I wanted to whip out the pictures of my Halloween costume and show her that it was well worth it but I thought it would be a tad inappropriate. She gave me some cream and pills and that was that. The next day when I woke up, the swelling was completely gone and the redness had certainly subdued a bit but it was still obvious that my eyes were not normal. I wished I could have worn my sunglasses to work but I sucked it up and for the first time ever I didn't wear a stitch of eye makeup that day. I am now almost completely healed and I have to say the best part about those pills are that they make your skin so dry that it feels as though I had a face lift. I may be on to something here....

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

We're at Broadway Gymnastics!

When I was single and a newbie to L.A., my friends and I loved to go out, party and meet new people. Now I'm an old lady who enjoys her Friday nights on the couch with Dateline. But the other day, I passed a sign that read 'Broadway Gymnastics' and it made me laugh out loud because I thought of the time that my friend Jeri and I got stranded in Playa Del Rey and got saved by that damn sign.
If I remember correctly, Jeri, Alicia and I all went out somewhere and Alicia drove home and left Jeri and I with our other friend in Playa Del Rey. At the time we were fine and figured we would take a cab or know, one of those drunken decisions? So we stayed out late and ended up crashing at our friend's apartment. The next morning when we woke up (in the same clothes we wore the night before, makeup smeared and teeth not brushed mind you), we wanted to get the hell out of there immediately. We didn't want to wake up our friends and figured it wouldn't be that hard to hail a cab out on the street. So there we were- Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee looking like the walk of shame rejects out on the corner at 7:00 AM, trying to catch a cab. We tried calling Alicia to come pick us up but even after we bribed her with a delicious McDonald's breakfast, she said there was no way she was going to come get us idiots. Dammit! So we tried calling a cab but the cab company wouldn't come get us without an exact address. We tried telling him that we were outside of the 'So-and-So' apartment building but without an address, they couldn't help us. So we walked about a half a mile down the street until we spotted the first address we could see- 'Broadway Gymnastics'. We called the cab company back and told the dispatcher that we were in fact at 'Broadway Gymnastics' and they sent the cab to pick us up. The driver looked extremely confused when he picked up two girls dressed in going out clothes, reeking of booze and sitting in front of this random gymnastics center on a park bench but he didn't say a word and drove us home...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Welcome to the Batcave!

My college years were probably one of the best times in my life and when I think about them now, I can't help but laugh at all of the good times my friends and I had. Looking at pictures of my sophomore year dorm room that I shared with my best friend Tori sparked so many memories, including our keen sense of home decor. What can we say? It was the year 2000, the Millennium, Y2K, the year of the hot pink zebra? Needless to say, we were super girly girls who loved to match and had to keep everything in order. I don't know about Tori, but I am still the exact same way now that I was back then. I get home from work, a trip, shopping, etc. and I have to put everything away in its place immediately. That's how we were as roommates- everything had its place and everything had to be put back in that place no matter what. Even when we would come back from the bar drunk, we managed to put our clothes and bags away. And yes, it amazed us every time we would wake up the next morning. Our parents would be so proud!

But for some reason we were always so jealous of our girlfriends who had clutter everywhere. You know the get into this friend's car and have to move aside a few pairs of shoes and a tennis racket to find your seat belt. Or you walk into their dorm room and see books, clothes and makeup all over their bed and desk. For some reason, this was always so appealing to Tori and I because it was the total opposite of who we were, You know the old saying, 'you always want what you don't have' and goddammit, we just wanted to be messy! So one night we decided that for an entire week, we wouldn't put anything back in its place. We also felt the need to pull down the blinds for that whole week and rename our dorm room 'The Batcave.' Don't ask.

We stuck to our plan for the next few days and when we got back from class, we would drop our books in the middle of the room and throw our jackets on the bed. After we would go out, we would toss our clothes on the floor and leave our makeup sprawled out all over the dresser. It felt nice for the first day or so but then I could tell Tori was becoming anxious and I was ready to crawl out of my skin. Almost simultaneously midway through the first week, we looked at each other, screamed and started cleaning our room like crazy. We pulled up the shades and the Batcave was no more. Who did we think we were? Our experiment failed and we never spoke about the few days of clutter again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Bar Is Open......In My Trunk!

Because our parking garage is a few blocks away from our loft downtown, we can't always bring everything into the house after our bi-monthly Costco run. And since I refuse to buy one of those old lady carts to wheel my groceries into my apartment, we usually leave a few non-perishable items in the car and bring them in the next day. Trust me, I have tried to gather and carry EVERYTHING into our place a few times by myself and ended up looking the Jesse and Chester from Dude, Where's My Car? when they were cleaning up the Twins' apartment and drop that damn bottle cap...(Even when using my Click & Carry, Kim!) The other day, we took my newly detailed car to Costco to get some groceries and like usual, left some popcorn, cups, grapefruit and two bottles of vodka in my trunk for me to bring in later. Everything was fine and dandy until I opened my trunk on my lunch break the next day to grab a reusable bag and almost passed out from the overwhelming vodka stench that slapped me in the face. I looked at one of the bottles and noticed that it had completely cracked in half and the entire contents had spilled ALL OVER my trunk (1.75 liters to be exact). What the hell was I supposed to do? And is it bad that I was more upset over the lost vodka than my trunk? They say that there's no use crying over spilled milk but crying over spilled vodka? Perfectly okay!

I tried my best to clean up the shards of glass and sop up the vodka with the blanket that was already soaking wet in my trunk but I couldn't get rid of the smell. When I got in my car to leave work that day and shut the door, it was as if someone put a rag saturated with rubbing alcohol over my mouth and I was about to pass out. I'm pretty sure that if I were to get pulled over I would have gotten a DUI just because the officer would have a hard time ignoring the vodka stench coming from my vehicle. I drove the hour commute home with all my windows and my sunroof open and when I got to my parking garage, I cleaned the trunk again with everything and anything I could find under the sink. But the next morning when I got in my car, the alcohol stench was just as bad as it was the previous day and I got a little lightheaded/drunk immediately. Screw it, I had to drop my car off at the car wash again...there was no other option! When I brought it in that morning, I told the guys that I just had it detailed but an entire bottle of vodka spilled in my trunk so they should just concentrate on that area. They looked at me like I was crazy! When I picked up the car, it was significantly better but now it smells like an alcoholic who is trying to hide the liquor smell with a flowery perfume. After this stint, my car definitely needs to go to rehab.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What Do You Mean- Retire That Purse?

You know when you have that one accessory that you absolutely love and no matter how many times it breaks and you fix it, you find a way to keep using it? Well, that's how I feel about this purse Grace gave me from Goodwill. (All you snobs can stop gasping now....yes, I said Goodwill!) About 5 years ago, Grace was Sally O'Malley from Saturday Night Live for Halloween and needed a small, vintage looking purse that she didn't have to carry. She needed something she could kick, stretch and kick with all night long.

So, she went to Goodwill and found the perfect bag that kind of looks like a fake Chanel. A 'Fanel' if you will. I was eyeing that purse all night and snatched it from her the next day when I knew she wouldn't be needing it any longer. Low and behold, that little purse has stuck with me over the years and has even received many compliments to which I smile and say, "thanks! It's Amanda Smith from Goodwill!" But lately, it has managed to break every time I take it out. Either one of the clasps breaks, or the black pleather (let's be honest here) straps come unraveled. As much as Anthony pleads with me to throw that thing out, I love it and continue to fix it anytime it breaks with my pliers and/or sewing kit. There are just some things that you can't let go of...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Couple Who Sleeps Together, Stays Together...

You know what they say- 'a couple who sleeps together, stays together,' right? And I literally mean sleeping together as in dozing off, catching some Zzzzz's and conking out. One thing that Anthony and I share a passion for is sleep. (Ironically I am writing this at 6:30 am on a Saturday morning- but I did fall asleep last night at 8:30 pm on the couch.....) I'm not sure if we over exhaust ourselves during the day (occasionally with day drinking on the weekends) or if its a touch of narcolepsy, but there are many times when both of us (together and separately) have fallen asleep in places where it is just not normal for people to pass out.
Here are a few place where one or both of us have fallen asleep at one time or another....standing up and leaning against a wall at a bar in New Orleans, the movie theater, a famous pizza restaurant in Chicago during dinner, the beach, at work, a friend's couch during a party, a Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas, the back of a taxi, a San Francisco Giants game and a Chicago Cubs game. We can only hope that when we have children, they will take after us and sleep through the night. Every night.....I can dream, right?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yankee Doodle Went To Town....

This past weekend, Anthony and I, along with our friends Phil and Ivanna, went to Chicago for some baseball, hot dogs and Shenanigans. I absolutely fell in love with the city and am currently trying to convince Anthony that we need to move there. Even though he hates the cold weather, he loved the hot dogs so I think I have a 50/50 chance. Yeah right Erin, keep dreaming! On our first night in the city, we went to The Green Mill, a bar know for its Jazz and Mobster ties. Perfect! We had a few drinks in our hotel room first, then took an Uber to the bar (our driver's name was 'Campendi' or something but we thought we would call him Camp Pendleton). We scored a booth by the door and immediately noticed the sign on the table that read, 'No Talking!' Confused as to whether that meant during the performance or at all, we called our waitress over and whispered her our question. "So, can we not talk to each other at all?" She laughed and told us that we just weren't able to talk during the performance. Duh! And let me tell you, people were not afraid to 'Ssshh' you at this place if you broke the rules! (Clearly I am familiar with 'Ssshh-ing' - see my prior blog cleverly titled 'Ssssssshhhhhhh!') Another fun/uncomfortable thing about this place was that the bathrooms were literally on the stage, so if you had to pee, you had to walk to the front of the room, scoot by the bassist and do your business. Once inside the two stalled restroom, we noticed that the doors to the stalls were not made for anyone over 5'0" and would only safely shield you if you were a little person.
While Ivanna and I were in there relieving ourselves (since we unfortunately broke the seal), we saw a girl walk in who also needed to pee. And yes, we saw her walk in since the doors were so short and it immediately got awkward because the bathroom was the size of a shoe box. She was wearing a white hat with a giant feather in it, so I naturally called her 'Yankee Doodle' and tried not to maker eye contact with her as we switched positions so she could go in my stall and I could wash my hands. She was a chatterbox though and wanted Ivanna and I to know all about her life as she peed, so we felt the need to stay in the tiny bathroom with her because we are too nice. The people in the bar/the band must have thought we were going #2 because we were in the bathroom for so long! When 'Yankee Doodle' came out of the stall (still nonstop talking) she was struggling to put the feather back in her hat (I wonder if she called it macaroni?) so we offered to help. It was as if we had tried to steal the hat because she actually got mad at us and eventually stuck it back in HER WAY and walked out! Well, you know what Ms. Doodle? We both know that you didn't wash your hands and we told Anthony and Phil- so there! And next time you decide to ride into town and lose your feather, don't expect us to help you! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Keep Those Checks Coming

My sister Grace informed me this week that she was finally selling her Ford Focus and upgrading to an SUV. My first question to her was, "do you think Ryan Tedder from One Republic will continue to send you residual checks?" You are probably wondering what the hell that has to do with anything but Grace knew exactly what I was talking about and died laughing. I will give you the back story on that crazy tangent she and I went on one day...
I'm not sure if it was just her Focus or all Focuses (or is it Foci?) manufactured but the blinker on that car was ridiculously loud. Like loud to the point that I would be on the phone with her and I could hear it more than her voice. We would have to crank up the radio not to hear it when she was making a turn. It was one of those things we would always laugh about when we were in her car together. One day we were listening to "Apologize" by One Republic when I distinctly heard a familiar sound on the track. We played that part of the song again and there it was- Grace's blinker was featured in the song! I swear it was exactly the same sound, which made us laugh so hard we almost peed our pants. Every time we heard that song (which seemed like every second when it was at the top of the charts) I told her that she should start collecting some residuals from Ryan Tedder (the lead singer of the band). 

One day when I was feeling incredibly creative and bored at work, I drafted up a letter from Ryan Tedder thanking Grace for the use of her car's blinker in the track and apologized ("It's too late to apologize...") for not paying her the residuals that were due since the song aired. I put it on 'One Republic' letterhead and signed it from Mr. Tedder himself. Then, not to deny my sister of the money she deserved, I got out my checkbook, made a copy of a blank check, then whited out all of my info and my account number and filled in Ryan Tedder's info. I made the check payable to 'Grace Demchak' for an obscene amount and folded it up with the letter. I had always read that any residual check received usually came in a green envelope, so I went to the store and finally found a green envelope after looking in the card section for about an hour. I didn't want her to suspect it was from me (like she wouldn't know) so I had my co-worker write Grace's name and address on the front and some random address in LA as the return address for Ryan Tedder. After I mailed the thing, I sat by my phone for days waiting for Grace's call. When she finally received it, I didn't say a word when I answered the phone- we both just died laughing and started to sing the song. Now if only I could put as much effort into writing my book as I did into that gag letter........

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Throw Your Hands In The Air If You Just Don’t Care

A few weeks ago, Laura, the temp at my office had me sign her time card for her. Immediately, when I reached for the pen, she gasped and said, “Wow, you have beautiful hands! You should be a hand model!” I smiled and smugly said, “That’s not the first time I have heard that! I may actually have to do something about this….” My friend Mary used to tell me all the time that I should be a hand model, to which I would just say, ‘thanks.’ But maybe these people were onto something. Maybe I had my calling right in front of me this whole time!

After Laura gave me the email address of the body arts agency that her friend worked for and confident that I had something going, I asked Anthony if he would help me take pictures of my hands. Believe me, I felt like the biggest loser having him snap pictures of my hands, holding wine glasses, lemons, iPads and whatever else we had laying around the house. Then I composed my email to the lady who ran the agency, attached my pictures and pressed send.  A few days passed until I received what seemed like a generic response of “Great, thanks. We will let you know when we have our next casting call.” Bummed, I put my hand modeling dreams on the back burner and decided that if it was going to happen, it was going to happen and there was nothing I could do to change the course of my destiny. But just in case, I was very careful with my hands. I felt like David Ducovny in ‘Zoolander’ or George Costanza in the episode of ‘Seinfeld’ trying not to touch anything with my hands or ruin my nail polish or cuticles while I was doing everyday tasks.
Then, the next day I got an invitation to a private casting call at the agency. They wanted to see my hands! Again, I felt like the biggest loser. They gave me all the instructions for the casting call- what nail polish to wear, how to present my hands, what to wear, etc. Wow, I thought, this may be it! As I planned to go to that casting call in October, I received another email from the president of the agency asking me to come in earlier so she could look at my hands. Was this really happening? The hilarious thought of me walking onto a movie set dressed in sweatpants and gloves with absolutely no makeup on crossed my mind and I immediately thought I found my dream job. Could you imagine? I would die!

Before my casting, I went to my nail salon to get a manicure and pedicure in the suggested ‘Mademoiselle’ color by Essie, for the big day. Here is where the craziness begins...I went to the salon after work so I was wearing a dress, tights and boots. After my pedicure, I asked the salon if they had any of those paper thin temporary flip flops that I could wear to my car and then home. They gave me a pair of bright yellow ones and I walked out of the salon to my car. When I parked my car at my garage I contemplated putting my boots back on or walking the two blocks on the streets on Downtown LA with those flimsy flops on. Of course I chose the easy way out and walked in the bright yellow paper flops. I got about 100 feet from the front door of my apartment when the left flip flop completely broke off my foot. Great! Anthony would kill me if he knew I was hobbling half barefoot on the dirty streets of LA. Just as my flip flop broke, a homeless man asked me to spare some change and I looked down at my barefoot, looked back at him and nodded. Just like truck drivers and/or motorcyclists nod at each other when they pass as if to say, "Hey brother, we are in the same boat here!" That's how I felt. Knowing that this wasn't the first time this shoeless thing has happened to me (refer to my blog titled, 'Shoeless in Los Angeles') made me laugh.

After washing my foot like crazy, I headed to the address listed in the casting email to a house off Coldwater Canyon. Thinking I was going to get murdered, Anthony asked me for this lady's number and address and told me to text him when I got there. What can I say- we watch way to much 'Dateline.' Of course when I got to the house and parked, my cell had crappy service so even though I texted Anthony, I was convinced that he wouldn't get it and he would soon think I was dead. When I walked through the gate to the house, I saw a few other people sitting by the pool in the backyard filling out paperwork. I met Linda, the president of the agency who come to find out was one of the biggest leg models in the industry. Everything seemed legit, so I sat down next to two other potential hand models and a hair model to fill out my paperwork. One question on the form was 'what are your special talents?' Great! I hated those types of questions that test your self esteem. Linda told me to write anything I could do with my hands so I started writing 'dealing cards', 'throwing softballs', 'slicing vegetables', etc. That's what they wanted, right? Because I had been unfortunately been scratched by my cat, Stella when I was in Maine (she is still bitter about me giving up my parental rights and handing her over to my parents), I asked Linda what I should do about the scratches on my hand. She told me to go in her house in the bathroom down the hall past the guest room next to the gym to get some foundation. Huh? Okay...I walked in her house and started roaming around trying to find this elusive bathroom but soon found myself in her master bedroom going through her drawers. Was I in the right place? I felt as though she was going to come around the corner and think I was robbing her and call the cops. Feeling defeated, I walked down the hall and spotted a workout room with an adjacent bathroom. Bingo! I opened the medicine cabinet and found a few bottles of foundation, covered up my scratches and walked back outside.

By this time there were a few other people who had joined our group- another hand model, a back model, an abs model and a body double. After another hour or waiting, it was finally my turn to go into the studio/garage to get my photos taken. I walked in with my slate in hand and said hello to the photographer who gave me directions on how Linda wanted the hand models to pose. Awkwardly holding my hands in positions that I would never normally do, he snapped his shots and told me he was done. That was it? I said goodbye to Linda and the other potentials and walked out to my car. Now all I have to do is wait to see if my hands have what it takes to make it in this business. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mrs. Gordon No More

I experienced my first NASCAR race when I was 12 or 13 and it is a moment that I will never forget. It must have been tough for my dad trying to bond with his three daughters as we all loved Barbie, My Little Pony and anything girly. Luckily, I agreed to check out the Loudon, New Hampshire race with him one summer and became hooked immediately. The loud noises, the crazy fans and of course, the bonding time with my Pops. We started the tradition that summer of making a weekend trip out of the race, where we we would camp out behind the track with all the other crazy NASCAR fans.

Since I had never been to a race before and wasn't familiar with any drivers, my dad handed me the program and told me to pick my favorite and he would get me a t-shirt. I skimmed through the drivers and my eyes got wide as I caught my first glimpse of the young gun that year- Jeff Gordon. I was in love. That was the t-shirt I had to have considering I was convinced that I would be Mrs. Gordon one day. Ever since that moment, I have held a special place in my heart for Jeff and took my love of NASCAR to the extreme for a girl that age.

My collection of Jeff Gordon gear grew and grew over the years from model cars to sweatshirts and t-shirts to a binder full of NASCAR trading cards. And speaking of binders, I also kept a separate binder that held all the personal information about every driver on the circuit. This was way before Google and the fact that I had spreadsheets (pre-Microsoft Excel as well) full of the drivers' names, hometowns and their wives' and children's names was pretty impressive! I was a proud member of the Jeff Gordon Fan Club and even got to meet my hero one summer at the Loudon race track. I remember being so nervous when he walked in and I think I was even shaking when we snapped the picture together. And my obsession just kept blooming. For some reason, I thought it would be cool to have a pair of white boxer shorts signed by Jeff, so I sent them to the fan club to have Jeff autograph them. When I got them back, I framed those boxer shorts and hung them proudly in my bedroom. One summer, I made my mom wait in line with me for hours in the heat at Beech Ridge Speedway in Maine, just so I could meet him again. I even made my man a gift. If I remember correctly, I framed a collage that I had spent so much time on and handed it to Jeff thinking, one day that will be atop our mantle at our home in Charlotte, North Carolina. I will always be Team Gordon and even to this day, when I watch races on TV, I get all the memorable emotions rushing back. But as far as becoming Mrs. Gordon? I'll be way happier when I become Mrs. Gudino! And at least I will have the same initials...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Beantown State of Mind

Enough said....Grace and I recorded this song in Boston about 5 years ago as our little remix to Jay Z and Alicia Keys' "New York State of Mind." Shout out to Jamodi for all of your help and patience with our 'amazing' singing voices! Enjoy....

Faux Cell Phone

People are funny. I was just in the elevator at work and both people standing in there next to me were glued to their cell phones. Neither of them ever looked up as we rode the elevator together or even acknowledged each other's presence. What happened to the friendly nod or hello to your fellow human beings? I admit that I have relied on my cell phone at times of boredom or when I am waiting for something just to amuse myself but it seems like people aren't personable anymore towards each other. And yes, I am one of those people that if I am traveling on a plane alone, I will put in my headphones immediately (even if they aren't connected to anything) just so I don't have to talk to the person I am stuck sitting next to. I get it. But ease up a bit on the cell phone usage people! It reminded me when I was in high school when cell phones first came out and if you had one, then you were the coolest kid ever. Even though I was pretty popular anyways, I still wanted to up my coolness with a cell phone. And in my case, it was a faux cell phone.

My brother-in-law Jon was one of those first cool people to have a cell phone and when he got an upgrade, he gave me his old one to activate and use. Well, of course I didn't have the money to activate it and use it but I still wanted it to look like I had a cell phone so I carried it around with me. It was a huge brick that didn't even work and I thought it would make me look cool? Wow! At my high school, the driveway leading in and out was about a half a mile long and when the bell rang to let students out of their last class, we would all get in our cars and wait in traffic to leave the grounds. It's similar to what I do now everyday on the 10 Freeway in LA leaving work. Anyways, sometimes the cute boy would end up being behind you in his car or while you were waiting to leave school, some of the older kids would be coming back for practice and would pass you while you were waiting in the line of cars. So, of course I had to look like I had a lot of important people to talk to that just couldn't wait until I got home, so I would hold up the brick of a cell phone and talk. Yup, I talked to myself while holding the cell phone to my ear to make it look like I was actually on it. I can't even imagine now what I would say out loud to myself while 'talking' on the phone but it should have gone something like this: "I am a big loser!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Freaking Love You, Danny Zuko!

Everyone has that one actor/actress that they are a tad bit obsessed with, right? Well, ever since I saw Saturday Night Fever, GreaseUrban Cowboy and basically anything John Travolta has been in, I have been obsessed! From his blue eyes, to his Jersey twang to that butt chin...I freaking love him!
The summer after I graduated high school (15 years ago), I got a job at Abercrombie and Fitch in Freeport, Maine where I was a cashier and an official t-shirt folder. Freeport was always busy in the summertime and most of the time I was stuck behind the register for my entire shift just pounding away on the cash register because the line at the store was never ending. One day, as I was helping someone at the register, I noticed someone familiar next to the dressing room. I don't care if he was wearing sweatpants and a hat- I knew exactly who it was! My best friend Alicia (she is still my best friend and is in my upcoming wedding) was bagging the clothes for all of the customers I was helping. I turned to her, white as a ghost and mouthed the words, "John Travolta!' Since he had a house in Maine, it was not odd that tourists and many of the outlets in Freeport often reported Travolta sightings. She looked at him, then looked back at me and shook her head. Was she in doubt of my celebrity sighting? I was determined to prove that it was John and luckily he got in my line to check out. By the time he stepped up to the register, I hadn't taken a breath for about 30 seconds and I'm pretty sure pee was streaming down my leg. Alicia gave me a kick under the counter as if to confirm that I was right in identifying him. I couldn't take it any longer. I leaned over the register and exclaimed, "I love you!" That's it. That's what I said when I was faced with my idol- "I love you?"
Alicia and John laughed and she told me to calm down. My face beet red, I asked for his autograph. He signed an Abercrombie receipt for me and to this day, I still carry it around in my wallet. And clearly he loved me back because it says so on the receipt- "Erin. Love, John Travolta."  Or is that a squiggly line? Nope, it definitely says 'love.'

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ice Cold Sparky

Lately I have been reminiscing about my childhood and remembering all the good times I had growing up and some bad times (like choking on the LifeSaver). While I was thinking about the moments my older sister Amber and I have shared in the past (some good, some bad), I thought about a traumatic moment that occurred when I was little that has scarred me for life. Again, THANKS AMBER (I still love you though).

When I was younger (not sure the exact age but it was pre-Grace) we had a Dalmatian named Sparky. And because my father was a volunteer Fireman, we occasionally got to ride on the fire trucks with him and Sparky in the local parades. It was the best, and Sparky was the best too! We couldn't let Sparky in the house though because when she was younger, she got hit by a car and the poor girl couldn't hold anything in that bladder. So, she had a runner outside in the backyard and a nice, cozy dog house that she called home. Amber and I loved going outside to play with Sparky. One year, on Christmas Eve, Amber suspiciously came in from outside like nothing was wrong and asked me to go outside and check on Sparky. Okay, I thought, I'll go play with Sparky. So, I bundled up and trekked through the snow to Sparky's dog house. When I got to the opening of the dog house, I called Sparky's name but she didn't move. Then I tugged on her runner to see if I could get her out. She wouldn't budge. Now, my memory is a little foggy because it was so long ago, but I remember Amber was either right behind me or peering outside at me through the sliding glass door- again, suspiciously. I peeked my head inside Sparky's dog house and she was curled up in a ball, dead. I was devastated and horrified because I had 'found' my poor dog and had to run inside and tell my parents. But the real story? Sparky had died the night before and Amber was the one who came out in the morning to discover her, then acted like nothing happened and made her little sister Erin ultimately discover Sparky. What a B*$#*, right? Again, I still love you though Amber...

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Life Saver Saved My Life

As I have previously explained, a lot of my childhood memories involve food. I remember eating Cabbage Patch Kids cereal at Nana's house, and Atomic Fireball candies at Grampy's house. But there was one incident that involved food, me and Grampy's house that I will never forget. I was maybe about five or six years old when I was snacking on a LifeSavers candy and playing with my older sister, Amber. Mind you, at this point in my life I was a little scared/intimidated by Amber because she used to want to punch me in the nose because it was 'big and ugly' and had previously watched me plummet down a hole in the garage during the building process while she was supposed to be watching me. I still think she may have pushed me....

Anyways, so there I was eating my LifeSavers candy at Grampy's house, most likely playing Lincoln Logs and getting bossed around by Amber, when the little bugger slipped down my throat and got lodged in there. Naturally and due to my intimidation by Amber, I didn't want to tell her because I thought she would get mad at me. And because I was very shy when I was little (I know, right? Erin, shy?) I didn't want to tell my Grampy. So I literally sat there playing Lincoln Logs, blue in the face and breathing through the tiny hole of the LifeSaver that was lodged in my throat until it finally dissolved. To this day I don't think Amber ever knew....well, she does now.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Last week a group of us had dinner at Pomodoro, a tiny Italian restaurant in Westwood to celebrate my friend Beth's birthday. Beth, Kari and I had been to this restaurant once before and to our shocking surprise we were 'Ssshhh-ed' even though our voices were normal restaurant speaking voices. Well, Beth does have a naturally loud voice but I'm not pointing any fingers. Nonetheless, we loved the food so we thought it was safe to return with a group of nine on a Thursday evening, about three years after the infamous 'Ssshhhh-ing' incident. Boy were we wrong!
There was a table in the corner consisting of a young boy wearing headphones (apparently he was whistling really loudly when they first sat down mind you) and maybe 4-5 older men and women. As we all sat down and began chatting we did notice that since the restaurant was tiny (no bigger than your average living room) everyone who was dining was talking over each other to try to hear themselves. So naturally, our voices increased a bit- and Beth's got a bit louder too. We were having a grand old time when all of a sudden the table in the corner 'Ssshhhh-ed' us! Oh Lord, here we go again! I hate confrontation so I usually shrivel up like a shrimp and hide anytime something like this happens (I get this from my crustacean mother) but the group I was with was not afraid to voice their opinion. First of all, how rude!!! (In Michelle Tanner's voice) Beth's husband, Kris and her friend, Laura 'Ssshhh-ed' them back and told them how rude they were. We tried to continued on with our dinner but were 'Ssshh-ed another 4-5 times throughout our meal. Not without Kris and Laura giving them a piece of their minds though and me shriveling into my shrimp shell and retracting under the table. I'm still not sure why they were singling us out because every table in the restaurant was as loud as we were...maybe it was because we were directly in the center? It was funny though when another table next to us started laughing loudly and my friend Kari 'Ssshhh-ed' them as a joke but they didn't seem to notice. Really? Were we the only ones who even noticed the corner table and their 'Ssshhh-ing?' Just as our check came (along with a few more 'Sssshhhhs') I was ready to take my shrimp-ish self back home to my fish tank. But as we stood up and left, that dumb table started to clap and hoot and holler! Again, how rude!! Kris told them to turn down their hearing aids and not leave their house next time if they couldn't handle an evening out. He then went outside to the window that was directly next to their table and pressed his face up against it for ten minutes. I peed. Us 1, Table in the corner 0.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Talk To Me Goose

Sometimes I think I have a sign on my forehead that reads, "you can tell me anything." Seriously! People love to talk to me about everything and nothing at all. Like last night when I got into the elevator of my building (I was wearing heels) and the guy who was already inside said, "Wow, you are really tall! You must have trouble meeting guys!" Then today at lunch, I was happily and quietly eating my salad from Trader Joe's when an old lady asked me for the time. Apparently when I told her it was 12:27, it opened the 'talking up a storm' flood gates. At first I wasn't sure if she was talking to me because I had no part in the conversation at all (I'm a really good listener), but the fact that she was standing directly in front of me and staring into my eyes was a big clue. She said she was waiting for her cab to come so she apparently had some time to spare to enlighten me on a few topics.

At first she starting talking about salads because I was eating one and how she can't eat them anymore because of some sort of colon issue she had. Then she went into a rant about her Doctor's appointment and how physicians don't know shit. She advised me to tell my Doctor everything because if you go in and say that you are doing okay, then your appointment is over. She then told me that she saved her own life last week because she knew there was something wrong with her so she marched (with her walker) right into the Doctor's office and told him. Next, she got onto the subject of children and told me when I had kids I need to talk to them daily even if they were too little to understand because that is how they learn. She said that her three tall and handsome boys are smart and healthy men because all she did was talk to them when they were babies (doesn't surprise me). She said most parent's now-a-days don't do shit when it comes to parenting. She loved the word shit, by the way. When her cab finally did come, it wasn't a United Cab, Beverly Hills Cab or Yellow Cab but a generic orange and yellow 'Taxi.' She let out a huff and said, "of course they can't send a good cab when I call- they have to send me a Gypsy!" Then she asked me if I had ever been to New York City (I couldn't even utter an answer) because all of there cab drivers there are Gypsy's. She then crinkled her nose and said 'Gypsy' one more time. When the driver got out and tried to help her with her grocery bags, she pretty much hit his hand and told him that she would do it because her walker folds in a special way. Then she looked at me and said, "he doesn't listen!" As she was climbing into the front seat, she reminded me to talk to my babies and told me it was nice talking to me. Again, I didn't get one word in during her entire conversation. At that moment, a car with really squeaky brakes came up behind the cab and the old woman yelled, "what do you think you are doing?" Then she turned to me and said the most powerful closing line, "80% of the population is stupid!" I just couldn't make this up.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Big Baby Bunting

About 6 years ago, when Grace, my friend Alicia, her boyfriend Ryan and I lived in Boston, we rented a two story house near the Museum of Science. We loved the house but we weren't very fond of the landlord. When she alerted us that she was going to sell the house and start showing it to potential buyers, we were annoyed because even though we were moving out anyways, it was a nuisance on our part. What made it even move of a nuisance was the fact that our landlord didn't know that Grace was a tenant in the third bedroom, that I had a cat, or that's Alicia's dog Sampson was that large. (He was an English Mastiff but we told her initially that he was a Mastiff/Lab mix). So every time she would tell us when a showing would be, we would have to load Sampson, Stella (my cat) and Grace in the car, make it look like the third bedroom was a guest room and drive around the neighborhood for hours. Everyone was miserable- especially Grace!
We were convinced it was going to be on the market for a long time which would give us ample time to move out because the house wasn't a real gem. It was nice and all but there was no closet space (mine was in the hall upstairs) and Alicia and Ryan's bathroom (in their bedroom) was the only bathroom in the house with a shower. The upstairs bathroom had a severe ceiling slant and only had a tub. For the first year we lived there I would take a bath every morning before work (what was this, the 1800's?) until I got fed up and had to walk in Alicia and Ryan's bedroom while they was sleeping in the morning to shower. Awkward! The stairs leading up to the second floor were as steep as Mt. Everest and Sampson would frequently climb them, get stuck because he was terrified to come down and howl until we assisted him on the descent. And the basement was a whole different story- it looked like it was straight out of a horror movie and I used to hate it when Stella would sneak down there and cry to be rescued. Then who was going to rescue me when I got scared? But when the house surprisingly did sell and we had to move out sooner than we had expected (refer to my post titled "Living in a Frat House") we were sort of in a panic.
And then I became convinced that our landlord was trying to get us out faster by doing weird the time I came home from work to find a giant baby bunting/dead body wrapped in plastic wrap in our driveway. Was she trying to frame us for a murder? Was she trying to bomb us out? This mysterious package was addressed to 'Eric Hammer' at 13 5th Street. We were 15 5th Street and our neighbor was 11 5th Street, so unless this Eric guy lived in the trash can in the alley between our houses, he did not exist. Alicia, Grace and Ryan also had no clue who this package could belong to and after we asked all of our neighbors and called the sender (I am pretty sure it was a disconnected number) we had no clue what to do with it. It's not like it was a small box that we could write 'return to sender' on and hand it to the mailman- it was literally taking up the entire driveway. What the hell was this? A giant plastic cigar? After about a week of this giant monstrosity sitting in our driveway, it was magically gone. Nice try landlord, nice try!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sears Models Club

Besides your typical girly girl hobbies like Barbies, boy bands and biking, I loved anything to do with modeling growing up. In my 'School Days' book, it asked every year what I wanted to be when I grew up and every year I said 'model.' Well, in Kindergarten through 2nd grade I think I actually wrote 'modle' but that's besides the point. I was always filming Miss America pageants on the video camera with my friends when they came over (it was tough when there were only two of us and we each had to be 25 states) and I would always show off my new school clothes to my parents by doing a fashion show. But I needed to feed my passion more. When I was about 12, my mom and I discovered that the Sears in Brunswick had a Sears Models Club and if you signed up (I'm pretty sure they accepted anyone into this club) you could attend meetings every Saturday and you could even do live modeling in the store! So I proudly marched my lanky legs into the Sears one Saturday and signed up. I was officially a model! (Or 'modle') It was probably my most favorite thing in the world. Each Saturday we would meet in the back room at Sears in our Sears Models Club T-shirts (I still have the T-shirt
today thanks to my mom), talk about skin care and how to pose for the perfect picture and then we would venture out into the store. If we going to be live modeling in the store that day, we had to pick out an outfit to wear on the 'runway' that would compliment our partner's outfit. Once we were dressed, we stood in different sections of the store for hours modeling the clothes. (It was probably only about 10 minutes but it sure felt like hours). My cheeks would get so red trying not to laugh, especially when old men would stand in our faces trying to get us to smile. My older sister Amber even joined the club after she heard how much fun it was! We were known as 'the blonde sisters.' I even got to be in a parade to boot.  Oh, those were the good old days...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Baby Bye Bye Bye

When I was in college, I was obsessed with 'NSYNC, like obsessed. I bought every CD that was put out, dreamed about marrying Justin Timberlake and still hung posters on my bedroom wall. It was like I was living my New Kids on the Block days all over again but this time I wasn't 10 years old. To my defense, my little sister Grace was also obsessed with 'NSYNC so I felt that I had to support her and her love for them by loving them myself. She needed a good boy band influence in her life. (I still feel bad forcing her to like Danny Woods back in the New Kids on the Block days and then obsessively teasing her for liking Danny Woods).
If being a good big sister and boy band supporter wasn't enough, I had to join the fan club to show them my love, right? So here I was, in college, and signing up for the 'NSYNC fan club. Can you say loser? To put the icing on the cake, Grace and I would learn all their dances and make our mom video tape our performances and submit them to the fan club. (Did I already say I was a big loser?) My summers home from college (when I wasn't working at the hot dog stand) would consist of learning 'NSYNC dances by watching all of their performances with Grace and then performing them for our video camera. Last Christmas when I was home, my mom thought it would be funny to dig out that old video and show it to my family and my brother-in-law's entire family. During this specific video (which I will never reveal to you or my future husband thank you very much) Grace (JC) and I (Justin) danced to 'Bye Bye Bye' alongside three cardboard cutouts of Lance, Joey and Chris. Yup, we pasted their faces on cardboard and dressed them up......again, did I mention the word Loser??

Monday, June 30, 2014

Blame It On The Rain...

As most of you probably already know from my overwhelming Facebook and Instagram posts, Anthony and I just returned from an impromptu Hawaiian vacation. While we were there, we decided to rent a Jeep Wrangler so we could explore the island on our own time. We got a cherry red Jeep with a soft top so we could make it an airy convertible whenever we wanted to. We took advantage of this amenity for the first day right away (once we drove back to Thrifty Car Rental to ask them to show us how to do it) and loved every minute of it. Although one side was a little bit busted and it took about ten minutes to snap it back into place, we didn't mind as it made us look like cool locals. As anyone who has been to Hawaii may know, it tends to downpour for about ten minutes at a time and then it magically clears up and is beautiful and sunny again.
After we hiked Diamond Head on the third day of our vacation, we took the top off the Jeep and decided to cruise around the South Shore, being the tourists that we were. All of a sudden, it started to sprinkle and before we could turn to each other to utter the words, "we have to put the top up" it started to downpour. Hard. Coincidentally, at that very moment, we were also stuck at a traffic light that was literally the longest light in history (I swear it's in the Guinness Book of World Records) and there was absolutely nothing we could do. The interior of the Jeep (along with Anthony and I) were soaked, the cup holders started to fill up with water and I thought the Jeep was going to fill up like a bathtub. We both just looked at each other and busted out laughing. It was very romantic and funny in a Lucy and Desi kind of way. Finally the light changed and we drove to the next clearing we saw, pulled over and attempted to put the top on. After the typical ten minute chore, we had success! It took the Jeep at least two days to fully dry out and still slightly smelled like mildew when we dropped it off...oops!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I'm Doing a Survey For My Girl Scout Troop...

I was a good kid when I was younger. Like good to the point where I think I was only grounded once because my friend made me sneak out of her house with her to see her boyfriend in middle school. Besides that, the only thing I really got into trouble for was slamming Grace's head in the door once (Amber assisted thank you very much). No one wanted their little sister in the room when we were making our Barbie dolls kiss! My typical Saturday mornings (when there was a sleepover involved) consisted of waking up early, making my mom cook pancakes shaped as Mickey Mouse (sorry Mom!), watching cartoons and then finding something constructive to do until my friend's parents came to pick her up. Usually it was Barbies or bikes and even the occasional Mario Brothers or Contra game. But one Saturday, we got very creative. In the days before cell phones and caller ID, we had the good, old fashioned phone book. My friend and I thought it would be funny to call everyone in my small town (approximately 2,500 people), tell them we were doing a survey for our Girl Scout troop and ask them if they had any cats and what their names were.

We figured that we needed to get organized for this so called survey, so we got a notebook and pencil ready and started the spreadsheet (pre Microsoft Excel mind you). We also figured that we may get hungry while vigorously calling and tracking everyone's cats in the town, so we made sure we had plenty of lemonade and fish sticks handy. Equipped with all the necessary tools, we pulled out the phone book, turned to page one and started dialing. Of course I was scared, so I made my friend go first. She started out by saying that she was calling from her Girl Scout troop and wanted to know if the person on the other end of the phone had any cats. If they did, we would write their names down in our notebook. I have no idea why would found this fun, but soon enough we had pages full of 'Mittens' Smokeys' and Princesses' at our disposal. Who knows what the heck we ever did with those notebooks and the cat roster for the town of Durham but it sure kept us out of trouble and out of my mom's hair on Saturday afternoons. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Easy Peasy Alpaca Squeezy

As I have mentioned in my previous post, I have had many odd jobs- some may call me a 'Jack of all trades.' Frequently I forget past jobs I have taken on until something reminds me of them. Like the other day when I was driving and an alpaca crossed the street in front of me. Just kidding, I have no idea why I was reminded of this unconventional job, but I just was...

About 5 years ago, while I was living in Boston, a modeling agent who I worked with in Portland called me to see if I was available to do a little promotional work at the Newport (Rhode Island) International Boat Show. Get paid to walk around and talk to people? I'm in! My job for the day would consist of walking around modeling an alpaca fleece sweater and trying to convince people to go to the booth to buy them from the nice people who raised these large, furry creatures. I think I was supposed to arrive at the show at around 9:00 AM and stay until about 5:00 PM, which was a long day for that kind of work but the pay made it worth it. What I didn't know was that it would be freezing and raining all day and I literally had to walk around the entire time. No hiding out in the tent with Mr. and Mrs. Alpaca. Thank goodness those alpaca fleece sweaters were warm, otherwise I would have been in deep trouble!

I met the alpaca team at the booth, put my sweater on and headed out to talk to all the yuppies in their boat shoes who probably had no idea what an alpaca was. It started off lovely! I was walking up to everyone telling them about my fleece, letting them feel how soft and comfy it was and then leading them to the booth so Mr. and Mrs. Alpaca could close the deal. After only about an hour of that, I was exhausted. I snuck away to Starbucks to get a latte and continued to stroll around (I was literally creeping around as to waste time) but the time just wasn't on my side and neither was the weather. All of a sudden it dropped about 10 degrees (I wish I could have tripled up on my alpaca fleeces) and it started to pour. And on top of that, I still had about ten thousand hours left in the day! It also seemed like no one new was browsing around so I kept seeing the same people over and over again. By the end of my day, I was miserable, freezing (I think I was actually blue) and soaking wet. Alpacas quickly moved to the bottom of my favorite animal list...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blonde Moments

Even though my hair seems to get darker and darker, I still have my embarrassing blonde moments which Anthony is never shy to point out! Yesterday was a bad day for me- two blonde moments back to back and both incidents were in front of Anthony. After the first one, I immediately turned off E!, picked up a book to give my brain cells a jolt (it was Tori Spelling's latest book so that may count against me) and asked Anthony if he was still going to marry me. Thank Goodness he said yes!

Incident 1- We are constantly making green smoothies in our beloved Nutra Bullet in which we use a ton of spinach. We have one of those salad spinner thingys to clean the spinach and I swear I am filling that thing up everyday! Usually I load in the spinach, douse the leaves with water, put on the lid and pump the handle to spin it. I wait patiently (sometimes a full minute depending how aggressive I am with my pumping) while the inside bowl stops spinning so I can open the lid and dump out the water. There have been a few times though when I took the lid off too soon sending the still spinning spinach leaves flying all over me and the kitchen. The other day I was watching Anthony use the salad spinner and like magic, he pushed the giant green button on the top to immediately stop the spinning! That's what that button is for?

Incident 2- I went to fill up my (Bob) Audi's gas tank yesterday and the gas tank lid wouldn't open. Usually you just press on the lid and it pops open but here I was at the 76 Station for 5 minutes now forcefully pushing on the lid and even hitting it a few times. I walked back to the driver's side, opened the car door and checked to make sure there wasn't a gas tank button that I needed to push (I knew there wasn't because I have had the car for almost a year, but maybe I was going crazy!) and sure enough there was no button. When I walked back around to the gas tank, it was open! I literally thought that maybe it just popped open when I walked away because it was playing a trick on me. Nonetheless, I pumped my gas and headed home, taking note to call the Audi dealership to have them fix it right away. When I got to my parking garage, I got out of the car, locked up and tried it again. It still wouldn't open. What the hell!? This car was a 2010, things couldn't be falling apart already, right? I told Anthony and although he thought that was odd, he told me to tell the Audi guys when I went for my routine maintenance appointment at the end of the month. This morning when I was walking from the elevator to my car with Anthony, I unlocked it and when I got next to it, I noticed that the gas tank was open again! Finally it clicked, and at the moment, I realized what the problem was. And so did Anthony because he walked away so he didn't laugh in my face. The gas tank won't open when the car is locked...Duh!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Engagement Photo Day!

My amazing friend Ashleigh and her very patient husband/assistant Grant came downtown yesterday for my favorite day (but certainly not any man's, Anthony included). Engagement picture day! Of course I started getting ready about two hours in advance while Anthony sat on the couch getting excited, surely. I kept checking in on him to make sure he had an outfit in mind that would go with my new blue dress and he kept shrugging me off. Ugh, men! At least he had helped me scout locations earlier that day but I was all ready with my prop bag and a handful of smiles and poses that I had practiced in the mirror all week. Who am I kidding? I practice in the mirror daily! Alas, about ten minutes before Ashleigh and Grant arrived, he jumped off the couch and asked me to help him pick out an outfit. I assisted as I could, trying not to ruin my hair/tan/nails/makeup and we finally got him spiffied up in no time.
Without ruining too many details (pictures are coming soon, I promise) we had an amazing day running about downtown through the streets (literally), in parks that were closed to the public (who says a girl in a dress can't hop a fence?) and on rooftops (why does that sound like a video game?) catching the perfect moments of our love. At least that is what I was thinking the whole time but I could tell Anthony was holding back inside all day but he put on a brave face for me! Not because he didn't like taking pictures or anything but because as I mentioned before, he has a moderate case of OCD. A little piece of me laughed every time we had to sit on the ground, or lay on the grass or sit on those dreaded park benches (and now we were wearing street clothes by definition) as I saw Anthony's face wince in horror! My favorite part? When we were in the park (surrounded by homeless people who acted as if we were shooting a scene from America's Next Top Model) posing in a lime tree and a homeless lady continued to cheer us on, giggle and repeatedly tell us that those fruits were limes, not lemons. Thanks, Tyra Banks!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

One Of These Things Does Not Belong Here....

After Memorial Day weekend, when I got back from New Orleans, I unpacked all of my stuff before going to bed that night. That's just the thing I do- no matter what time of day I get back from a trip, I have to unpack everything before I go to bed. You can call it OCD but I call it unwinding. When I was unpacking the section of my luggage that had all of my jewelry in it, I noticed that my new gold crescent moon ring I had just bought was not in the pocket. Although I was bummed, I figured that I would chalk it up as a $5.00 loss.

This morning while I was getting ready for work, I thought I would wear my turquoise necklace (which was also in New Orleans with me) to spice up my all black attire. I put it around my neck, finished up my makeup, grabbed my coffee cup and headed out the door. It wasn't until about an hour ago when I went into the bathroom to refresh my lipstick that I noticed a little bonus ('a bone-y' as Grace calls it) intertwined in my necklace. Yup, it was my ring! How I didn't notice or feel that thing poking at me all morning is beyond me!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Erin and the Racially Inclined Mosquito

For the last few days, I have been waking up with numerous itchy, red mosquito bites up and down my arms, legs and even neck. Not only is it annoying to be taken advantage of every night while I am completely defenseless against this little bug, but it's even more annoying that Anthony (who sleeps next to me every single night) wakes up with flawless skin.
As I am scratching away at my body making it more and more red, I look over at Anthony and his beautiful caramel skin, which is completely untouched by this pest. Every morning for the past week I have a new red bump while Anthony wakes up fresh and unscathed. That damn mosquito's motivations are for sure racially biased. That jerk!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Habitat For Hottie

Anthony and I just returned from a nice Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans- one of my favorite cities in the U.S. I am pretty sure I gained 10 lbs. from overindulging in all things fried and drinking daily but still have amazing memories despite the fact that I puked in the sink on our last night. Even though our trip this time consisted mainly of partying and listening to great music, I was reminded of the times my family and I went to New Orleans to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity after Hurricane Katrina. Especially the time when Grace and I had the biggest crush on our Habitat for Humanity group leader. On the very first day we arrived on location at the site that we would be at the entire week, we met our team leader and Grace and I immediately got googly eyes. If we were cartoon characters, giant hearts would have popped out of our eye sockets and we would have transformed into firecrackers, floating into the air and simultaneously exploding in the sky spewing heart shaped confetti all over his head. But we are Demchaks so our cheeks just got all red and we looked down to the ground after he introduced himself to us. Since we were both single, we locked eyes after he stepped away and both knew that the competition was on. Operation: win over the hot guy in the tool belt.

Before we would get to work every morning, he would give us a brief lowdown on what we would be doing that day, what tools we would be using and who we would be paired with. He always asked if there were any volunteers to work with him and of course Grace and I would throw our hands up before anyone else. My arms are freakishly long (lucky for me) so he would usually see me first and pluck me out of the crowd of suckers (aka Grace). There was one day though when Grace got the luxury of working with him outside all day and as I watched them leave out the front door, she raised her finger under her chin and sliced it across her neck as if to say, ‘screw you sucker!’ Her eyes never left my gaze as the door slammed in my face. It was a good thing I didn’t bring my prom dress to New Orleans because I would have surely worn it the next day to work…“what, this old thing?” But sadly after a whole week of parading around like pathetic peacocks, both of our dreams came crashing down on our last day when he took us both aside to introduce us to………his fiancĂ©. Cartoon Erin and Grace would have fallen backwards after our pupils turned to black X’s and two tombstones with broken hearts on them would have popped up in our places.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hi, I'm Erin and I Work at CVS!

In 2007, when I briefly moved home to Maine from Los Angeles and before I moved to Boston, I worked for my brother-in-law at Jaiden Landscaping. It wasn't too bad when the weather was nice because I got to be outside all day but I dreaded the days when I had to suit up in the poncho to work in the rain. But I wanted to keep my constantly sought after 'acting/hosting/modeling/anything in the media field' desires filled so I was always looking for side jobs. Even though there wasn't too much in that field in Maine, I managed to make a few contacts and happily worked that summer as a promotional model at a few bars in Portland and Old Orchard Beach and was even in a bikini runway show (it was more like a handful of bikini models walking on a slab of plywood at a club in the Old Port). But the best 'opportunity' (if you will) that came my way that summer was a CVS training video to be filmed at an actual store in Haverhill, MA. I was excited (slightly more intrigued) but had no freaking clue what to expect.
When I showed up at the store for my call time I walked over to the 'film crew' and introduced myself. It cracked me up at how low budget this video was and how I was convinced it wasn't real the entire time. This 'film crew' consisted of one guy, his camera and his assistant. He explained to me and the other 'actors' what we would be doing and told us that the store would be open the while we were filming so to be conscious of the shoppers so they wouldn't really think we worked there. He then handed us our official CVS polo shirts and name tags and told us to go change. I remember the shoot took about 4 hours and it consisted of each of us taking turns being the CVS worker, then a customer and explaining different products to each other. "You need a great shampoo? Well, this shampoo right here on this shelf will really do the trick! It's exactly what you are looking for. Now follow me to the register!" Mind you there was no sound being recorded so we basically just moved our mouths and pretended to explain the different products that we were holding. After we wrapped I thanked the 'crew,' took my check for $200 and headed back to Maine, still wondering to this day if I am circulating around the break room at the Haverhill CVS in the new hire training video...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How Many Miles?

Four years ago when I was younger and much more ambitious, I decided to run my first half marathon in Miami. I had never been to Miami before and a few of my friends came up with the idea but ended up dropping out last minute so I dragged my little sister Grace along with me to accompany me on the trip. When I signed up for the half marathon I thought, "it can't be that hard right?" Then I thought a little harder and realized that not only was I not a runner but I actually hated running! Oh crap, what had I gotten myself into? It's one of those things that I felt I had to accomplish before I died so I said, what the hell, and began training. Since the race was in February and I was living in Boston at the time, I was forced to join a gym so I could run on the treadmill considering my peak training months would be the winter. I started off by running like 10 minutes, then 20 minutes and then increasing the mileage according to the handy dandy 'training for your first half marathon' guide I printed off of the Internet. But it wasn't getting any easier and I still hated running! And running on a treadmill? The worst! So my next idea was to brave the cold, bundle up and run on the streets of Boston. In my mind I was convinced that I could do it but in reality I would get through one mile and then walk. I think the most I ever actually ran before I flew to Miami for the race was 3 miles. Considering the half marathon was 13.1 miles I figured I was screwed! But who cares if I finished last? I certainly didn't! Off to Miami I went.

When Grace and I arrived in Miami, we went to the Convention Center to pick up my race bib, shirt and all the info I needed for the big day. I was so nervous and scared that I almost chickened out but figured since I was here and am physically able to do this 13.1 mile thing, I might as well go forth and conquer. That night, we went to dinner where I ate only pasta and bread (just like my high school  pasta parties before softball games) and I retired early to bed. Before I fell asleep, I checked my alarm at least ten times (we had to be at the start line at 5 AM) and said a prayer that I would be able to make it through every last mile of tomorrow's race. Yikes! 

My alarm went off the next morning at the crack of dawn and Grace and I got up, got dressed and walked outside to the designated meeting area for all of the runners. God Bless Grace's little soul for making that sign that said "Go Erin!' and sitting by herself for hours waiting for me to cross the finish line. She was the best cheerleader I could have asked for. And her reward after this was over? We were headed to Las Vegas then Los Angeles to finish up our vacation in style. I gave Grace a hug as she took her seat on the bleachers at the finish line and I walked off to meet the other runners at the start. Even though I was terrified, there was so much energy oozing from all the other runners, that I was actually excited to start the run. A wave of emotion came over me as the gun went off and I suddenly became Forrest Gump. 
The entire route was full of screaming, encouraging well wishers who would yell your name as you passed (at first I was like, "how the heck do they know my name?" until I realized 'ERIN" was prominently displayed was on my bib) and literally make you forget that you still had like 10 miles to go. Just running through the streets of Miami, looking around at the scenery made me forget what I was actually doing and even though I got passed by people who were running the full marathon, I managed to keep up with the pack that I started with, even passing a few of them myself! I don't know how I did it (a pure miracle if you ask me) but I managed to run the entire 13.1 miles (with an exception of one brief Port-a-Potty break) without collapsing. The minute I saw Grace at the finish line, I started to cry (I am so my mom) and even though I finished in just over 4 hours, it was still an impressive feat for me.