From the Runway to the Fairway… Who Knew?

France Fashion Raf SimonsI lost my interest in golf about the time Tiger Woods lost his front tooth (and there are STILL details to that story you know we’re missing) — but thanks to a big screen TV in a hotel room with a broken remote, I had nothing to watch but golf on a recent business trip… When did golf become so fashionable? Seriously! Yeah, that green blazer’s gotta go at some point, but the men of the fairway definitely have it going on… Aaron Baddeley, Jonathon Byrd, Thomas Bjorne, and my fav, Trevor Immelman were all profiled way back in 2012 here, in Marty Hackel’s PGA’s Fashion Hits & Misses. 2012. What else have I missed? In addition to sites like TrendyGolf and FairwayStyles keeping us completely on trend? Clearly, a lot!

625x519[1]I was intrigued, so I dug a little deeper, and found that Golf Digest’s John Iaciofano closed out 2013 with a humorous POV on 5 Golf Fashion Trends That Hopefully Get Left Behind in 2014. He’s not kidding. He wants them left behind. And he has some words of encouragement for the fairway fashion wannabes: Don’t buy a golf shirt that looks like a wounded alien splattered his fluorescent blood in incongruent geometric shapes on it. Have to respect the man for watching out for the rest of us. It’s a good read. Check it out.

625x519[2]Wonder what was waiting on the PGA fashionable back nine in 2014? The Master’s Gallery holds the answer, and the images. Thank you Rory Mcilroy, Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel, Jonas Blixt, and yes, Arnold Palmer, for a little fashion inspiration. No guts, no glory, right?

Don’t buy a golf shirt that looks like a wounded alien splattered his fluorescent blood in incongruent geometric shapes on it. Also, if you show up to the first tee looking like Under Armour is sponsoring you in the upcoming NFL Combine, you better be either Jerry Rice or on the losing end of a bet.
Don’t buy a golf shirt that looks like a wounded alien splattered his fluorescent blood in incongruent geometric shapes on it. Also, if you show up to the first tee looking like Under Armour is sponsoring you in the upcoming NFL Combine, you better be either Jerry Rice or on the losing end of a bet.
Don’t buy a golf shirt that looks like a wounded alien splattered his fluorescent blood in incongruent geometric shapes on it. Also, if you show up to the first tee looking like Under Armour is sponsoring you in the upcoming NFL Combine, you better be either Jerry Rice or on the losing end of a bet.

Does this  mean I’ll embrace the sport that always gave me serious family agita ever since we lived adjacent to the back nine of Bountiful Ridge Golf Course (which I SWEAR was named something else when we lived there)? Nah… Don’t hold your breath Dad, Dave, Paul, Bruce, Mike and Russ. But I might just drive the golf cart the next time I’m home — and look damn good while doing it!



Delta: Literary Punch Line

DeltaI couldn’t let more time go by without posting about Delta (I know, you’re just wondering why I let so much time go by without posting at all)…(wait, that’s assuming you actually care when/if I post)… (daring assumption)…(daring over-use of multiple parentheses)… But back to Delta.

Yes, Delta. Just when you thought it was safe to open those over-head bins, another snafu by the airline comes tumbling into your aisle seat. In this case, it came in the form of art imitating life. Now using “air travel” — and specifically Delta — in the same sentence with “art” solicits arguments of its own, but this occasion was just too perfect.

Jacket Image SILKEN PREYI recently finished “Silken Prey,” a crime thriller by John Sanford, which I enjoyed. But what I enjoyed more, was this excerpt from Chapter 20… The protagonist sent a colleague to Albuquerque, NM, to do some recon, and knowing the man should actually be on a plane, but finding him here at his kitchen table, broached the topic:

“How was Albuquerque?”

“You got me a ticket on Delta. What do you think happened?”

“The plane broke?”

“Exactly. They’re bringing another one from Chicago. Revised departure time is 10 PM, assuming that the replacement plane makes it this far. They’re probably bringing it on a truck.”

Beautiful. Just beautiful. Delta Airlines has become so synonymous with poor customer service, flight cancellations, and maintenance issues, that it’s become a target for humorous dialog  in pop culture crime fiction. And given the 4 hours I spent at O’Hare in Chicago last week waiting for a flight to Minneapolis, I’m inclined to agree. And laugh. Now, if we could all just bank Sky Miles for the hours we have to spend waiting in terminals courtesy of Delta, we’d all have Platinum Status by now!

Just for fun, let’s take a poll… 

Bromances, Chick Lit, and Other Escapes of the Mind

imagesYears ago, when life got pretty intense for Chris, he discovered a Second Life. Literally, Second Life. That particular virtual world was on the rise at the time, and he would escape for hours and hours designing, teraforming, building, flying, and losing himself within an avatar of his own creation. I actually created my own avatar and opened a virtual art gallery in the game, just so I could spend time with him.

images (1)Now, finding myself faced with a few intense scenarios of my own over the past months, I find that my version of virtual escape is “chain-reading.” Nose down in the pages and my mind on the run. And the more intense the real world scenario, the more fantastical the genre I choose. And if its a series? Even better. Won’t stop till its complete.

So, if you’re wondering where I’ve been since my last blog entry? Living in someone else’s world rather than my own… And here’s a list of those worlds:

The Super Natural, Fallen Angels, Shape Shifting, Zombie-Infested, Vampiric, Animalistic,  Just Beyond Our Reality World:

  • Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz (still one of my all time favorite characters)
  • The Demon Trilogy (soon to be a series of five) by Peter V. Brett — The Warded Man, Desert Spear and The Daylight War
  • The Wolf Lake Series by Jennifer Kohout — Legend (Book 1) and Untamed (Book 2)
  • Voice of the Blood, Jemiah Jefferson
  • The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs — Books 1 – 6, Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed, Frost Burned, and Silver Borne
  • The Soulkeeper Series by G.P. Ching — Books 1 – 3, The Soulkeepers, Weaving Destiny, and Return to Eden
  • Dark Moon by Rebecca York
  • Z2134 by Sean Platt and David W. Wright
  • Divine Misdemeanors and Swallowing Darkness, two more from the Meredith Gentry Series by Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Extinction Point, Paul Antony Jones

The Rock ’em, Sock ’em Find ’em, and Solve ’em World:

  • The Forgotten, David Baldacci
  • The Devil Colony, James Rollins
  • The Black Box, Michael Connelly
  • Six Years and Stay Close by Harlan Coben
  • More of the Jack Reacher Series by Lee Child — Worth Dying For, The Enemy,  and Second Son
  • Shall We Tell The President?, Jeffrey Archer
  • Inferno, Dan Brown

The “Am I Ready for Real Literature Again” World:

  • Tell the Wolves I’m Home, Carol Rifka Brunt
  • The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey
  • Wilderness, Lance Weller
  • Snow Fall, a short story/documdrama by John Brand
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein

So now, back to my own life. And very much looking forward to it!

Thay Hello to Thamthon!

Samson just found another way to endear himself to us. A quick trip to the vet for teeth cleaningIMG_1135[1] and he’s a new man — but missing his two front teeth, along with two molars. Thay hello to Thamthon. It’s tragically comical, and, yes, once we got him past the pain, we actually laughed out loud. No, not with him. At him. Yes, we’re probably going to hell.

I mean, Samson was cute as a button before, but now? Just too darn endearing. Come on, a dog with no front teeth? Trust me, he’s got plenty, so the guy’s not gumming his food to death, but it cracks me up just to think of it. He was already nicknamed Ding Ding for his, er, lack of skills outside of anything but chasing a ball 24/7, so when you add the Toothless Joe moniker, it definitely paints a picture.


Graphic, yes, but you KNOW you were wondering…

Now, it took a while for me to get to the humor. A 12-hour day for both dogs, undergoing anesthetic, and getting four teeth and two teeth yanked, respectively, and then extracting a cool $1,000 of our own for their good health (Ouch!),and we were close to grouchy. Then to discover it’s more or less hereditary, so while Chloe kept her front teeth for now, we can count on them going within a year or two (they actually had identical molars removed). Oh, and then there was the bloody drool in the car on the way home was an interesting challenge. If you thought texting and driving was dangerous, trying keeping the leather seats protected from a dizzy little pair of doxies still shaking of the last remnants of anesthesia while on Lake Shore Drive at 7 PM. Add to that the all night whimpering and crying that made me feel the guilt of any good pet lover — yes, parent — who feels they’ve let down the little creature who looks to them for EVERYTHING, and you get the gist.

But, it’s three days later, and everyone’s on the mend. The only question still to be answered  is whether or not Samson will lisp when he barks? To be continued…

Making “Life” Three Syllables… At Fifty

The Dreaded AARP Card

I’m still two weeks away from the big 5-Oh, but between the AARP card that arrived in the mail and the new progressive-lens eye-wear that were actually ready the same day, denial was  no longer an option. Oh, and the fact that Chris has basically created an advent calendar to remind me, I’ve decided to welcome the day with open arms. Fifty? Bring it! And to celebrate, I thought it might be interesting to resurrect a blog post from April, 2009, titled, How Do You Make Life Three Syllables?, and augment it with a few life adventures previously omitted, and a few I’ve encountered since… Read on…

“…There’s no point in taking stock unless you do something with the stock you’ve taken. Whoa. Heavy. But seriously, how many times have I taken stock of my life, resolved to make changes, edits or revisions, or just to slow down? And I make those changes, edits and revisions, and even slow down, and then find myself facing the same dilemma months or years later.  Taking stock again. So, back to square one, aren’t we. Does that mean that all my angst from previous stock-taking was misplaced? I don’t think so. I just don’t think I let it take. Just didn’t sit with it long enough.

One of those “great” nephews…

So I forced myself to sit with it for a bit tonight. And here’s what I came up with…I’ve knocked myself unconscious in Annie Leibowitz’s bathroom and been brought round again by the photographer herself with the very ice I dumped in her toilet. I’ve fallen 75 feet off the side of a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship and lived to tell about it. I’ve served Charlie Rose, Nora Ephron and Tom Brokaw dinner — and all at the same dinner party. I’ve para-sailed into the side of a Winnebego camper and survived unscathed. I’ve knocked on doors every day for a year and a half in Japan as a Mormon missionary offering something outside of the Big Bang theory to a people too kind and gracious to do anything but listen. I’ve understudied Tommy Tune for a July 4th Spectacular at Walt Disney World. I’ve moved 6 times within the last 18 months. (I refuse to update this statement to 2012 on the grounds it may induce an unsurvivable anxiety attack…)

I’ve performed inspirational vocal solos at church meetings where Quarterback Steve Young delivered inspirational talks — all while being asked to leave Brigham Young University for being gay. I’ve worked construction and stepped off the foundation of a house, fallen 15 feet to the concrete floor face-first with minor scratches and landed the rest of the day off. I’ve performed naked on stage for six months in New York City. I’ve been kissed by Sir Ian MacKellen. I’ve worked graveyard shifts at a 7-11 and hosed off the parking lot every night barefoot and loved it — the regulars called me Huck Finn.  I’ve succesfully pitched a multi-million dollar PR program over the phone to a bank executive on a Mexican beach. I’ve lived 22 months at sea. I’ve flown cross-country with two dogs and a bird — all in the cabin and under the seat in front of me — and only downed two drinks to get me through it.

June 22nd!

I’ve helped prep the random likes of Ozzie Osbourne, Sandra Lee, Kathy Gifford, Patrick Sharp, Dhani Jones, Jerry Rice, Solange Knowles, and Charlotte Ronson for media interviews for household brand names like Pepsico, Heinz, Gillette, Alka Seltzer and Absolut. I’ve body-doubled (off the court/on camera) for Utah JAZZ point guard, John Stockton. A la “A Chorus Line,” I’ve blown out my knee at a professional dance audition, and stopped the audition cold. I’ve witnessed wondrous “firsts” like the first African American President of the United States and the first female Secretary of State of the United States. I’ve watched 35 nieces and nephews grow up to become amazing people and bring 39 great-nieces and great-nephews into the world. And I’ve legally married the love of my life — and he’s a man!

Ah, and that’s just the tip of the half-century iceberg.  My  life is definitely three syllables. Nothing monosyllabic about it. And I plan to keep it that way. Hello Fifty! Oh, and Chris? Fifty’s nothing, but payback’s a bitch…

Um, Sandy Introduced Us

Questlove… won’t you be my neighbor?

As is typical in NYC, it often takes a random occurrence or accident for you to actually meet your neighbors. In this case, it was Sandy. While I could say that I knew “of” my neighbors on the 36th floor (and Questlove is apparently the reason for our locked down floor, but I’ve never seen him…), I  really couldn’t say I “knew” them. That is, until the lights went out during Hurricane Sandy. Nothing brings people together like a hurricane, a back-up generator, and hallway lights!

Chris and I watched the storm brew from our windows, and also watched the green glow of the transformers blowing across the river in Jersey, and then that fateful burst on the East River, followed by our own flicker and then extinguishing of lights and power. Then we lit the candles, brought out the lantern and flashlight, and, of course, poured the wine. And then we got curious..

I poked my head out into the hallway, and sure enough, at that same moment, multiple heads popped out of doors, glasses of wine in hand, and the introductions began. Before we knew it, we were about 16-strong in the hallway, introducing one another and our pets (there were 6 dogs in the hallway) and then moving to candle-lit apartment tours! Go figure it takes a hurricane to break down social barriers so much that people give impromptu tours of all  the apartments on the floor. Thank god Chris cleaned “for Armageddon,” as he called it. As the building has apartments facing every direction, it was actually pretty amazing — frightening at that height — but really amazing. And by the end of it? We knew each other’s names, apartment numbers, spouses, and yes, even figured out that the new face in the hall was actually a “hurricane hook-up” in progress at 36D. LOL! Hey, why waste candlelight, right? But that 36 floor walk of shame must have been a killer!

Ah, The HQ Bullseye!

Sometimes, living in a company’s hometown has its advantages. You can be fairly certain that the retail experience you’re getting is most representative of the mother ship. Want the latest flavor from Starbucks or consistent personal shopping experience from Nordstrom? Stick to Seattle. Want the most authentic dining experience from Bobby Flay? Stick to NYC. Want the cleanest restrooms and happiest employees from Target? Stick to downtown Minneapolis. I’m not saying that the reach, wrath or love of a CEO can’t be felt from afar, but I have noticed that on occasion, things can get lost in translation.

For example: “Ensure all bathrooms are cleaned and fully stocked with supplies” in a HQ city may be interpreted just a tad differently in a satellite location. Case in point? A trip to the Brooklyn Atlantic Avenue Target on a Sunday morning… Sometimes, it’s just tough to stay ahead of the game, as this photo suggests. And yes, I’m taking you into a bathroom stall. But it’s all above board… except the toilet paper… which is tragically humorous. MacGyver would be proud!

Ingenious use of a trash can liner…