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My friend Ant had to work, so I ate Empire Cake treats (chocolate chip cookies and mini red velvet cupcake) at his apartment and watched Wizards of Waverly Place. This is how I pre-game for a TS Concert.
We Path-trained it over to Newark and got to the Prudential Center at 6:53.
I have to apologize for the photo quality.
We had awesome seats, but the super bright lights made everyone on stage ghostly white.
The Florida Georgia Line were the first opening act. They were great. I wasn’t super familiar with their music but it was infectiously fun.
Ed Sheeran was next. I enjoy his music but he tended to extend every song by double its original play time.
And he had the audience so confused telling one section to sing the high melody and the other the low melody. They still loved him though.
My favorite part was when the mom of a a couple tweens started doing tai chi moves to his song. The kids kept grabbing her and trying to get her to sit down.
She refused to stop until his set ended.
But Taylor. OMG she was amazing. Ant turned to me and said, “She’s one of the few artists who’s actually better in person.”
Her show was an extravaganza!
She even brought Ed Sheeran back out for a duet at the back of the concert venue.
She makes sure everyone has a good seat regardless of where they sit.
She closed with a bang. Lots of fireworks and confetti. No encores so we wrapped up at 10:30.
The show was pretty on time. Ofc taking the Path at night meant we got back to Chelsea around 12 am.
Just in time for dinner at a diner.
The next AM, I broke up a catfight.
And headed back to CT.
I’m surprisingly pleased with my Q1 results regarding my New Year’s Resolution Implementation Program. Call it something serious and you take it more seriously–at least I do.
Here’s my quarterly update:
- Lose 35 lbs and keep it off.–Since last December, I lost a total of 10 lbs which I have kept off to date.
- Exercise 4-5 days per week.–More like 3-4 days a week. Two days of cardio, two days of toning.
- Follow a low-carb eating regimen.–Hit and miss. But getting back on it again. It works, it’s just hard to limit sweets. They are my favorite reward.
- Self-publish my novel, The Six Train to Wisconsin.–60% done. Createspace is formatting interior, book cover is created, ebook is being formatted by me. Blog tour and book tour are being set up. Reviews are being requested.
- Find a full-time job and move back to a major or minor city.–This got back-burnered while I work on #4.
- Submit my third manuscript to agents and publishers.–After I finished revising in January, I sent out to a few agents and editors from the SCBWI Summer Conference because they had a time limit on submissions. I’d like to get beta reader feedback before submitting to a wider range of agents.
So this is me…after a trip to Mr. Joseph’s. There are no before images because I destroyed them. Kidding. Let’s just say the day-to-day look of this writer is not documented.
Except in laughs between my parents and me.
Because on most days, I’m in my pajamas at 4 p.m. Haven’t brushed my hair. And am likely sporting a scarf because when my neck gets cold it crinks up.
Leopard print slippers complete the ensemble.
But every 8 weeks, I go to Mr. Joseph’s in Southington.
And slips into stylist Pamela’s chair for some much needed fixing.
I get my hair highlighted and lowlighted and trimmed and styled. I swear she sprays pixie dust on me because I always leave feeling and looking better.
The wild and untamed Einstein eyebrows are trimmed and waxed. The village of chin hairs is removed.
And I feel like a pretty person again.
‘Course I’ll be working into the wee hours to catch up on all the stuff I didn’t do during my three hours of getting prettied up.
But I think it was worth it.
Do you notice how much better you feel after a trip to the salon? Do they have magic brushes? It is the luxury of letting someone else take care of you? Or the joy of spending time on yourself?
This was the view from my private balcony. My friend Anthony calls it my $300 view. From my $150 Hotwire booking. Room 3807 in the Ramada New Yorker. I spent twenty minutes out on my private balcony snapping shots.
My room was nicely decorated and perfect for 1-2 people. The bed was comfy and I slept well. For the 4.5 hours I actually slept.
The wet bar was a delight. Providing me with a Keurig coffee/tea maker and mini-fridge.
The bathroom was small, but clean.
Then off to tapas and white sangria at El Cid to celebrate the playwright’s success! We found out the next morning he made the semifinals in the Strawberry One Act Festival. Congrats Anthony! Well deserved.
My view at night circa 1:30 a.m.
5 hours later, I awoke to this splendor. Realized you can rent the greatest experiences and own the memories for life.
Bye bye, New Yorker. Thanks for the memories.
Chrysler, it was nice to see you again. Hey Grand Central, I’m ready to go home.
For years, I’ve had skin on my arms and legs that felt like sandpaper to the touch. It fluctuates from tiny pink dots to dark pink bumps to raging red hills.
This winter, it mounted an intense resurgence. The worst of my life.
If you’ve never seen it, Wikipedia has a great picture under its explanation of the condition: Keratosis Pilaris.
Sounds icky, but it’s just clogged hair follicles caused by your body’s excess production of keratin in the skin.
The good news is it’s very common; the bad news is there is no quick fix. It’s something that requires constant care.
My doctor prescribed steroid cream to bring down the inflammation. And gave me the following advice about it:
- Never scrub your skin in the shower–no loofahs, or washcloths. Just gently wash with your hands.
- Never rub your skin with a towel. Just pat it dry with the towel.
- Use a cream with ceramides on a regular basis.
- Never pick at the clogged hair follicles, it only aggravates the condition.
I tried Curel Itch Defense (it has ceramides but is made for eczema skin), which helped soothe my skin, but I still got some of those angry red bumps.
On my followup visit, my dermatologist suggested CeraVe SA.
It’s been a complete game-changer. My skin is back to normal–pale beige. There are far fewer bumps and it’s the softest to the touch it’s ever been. It’s still a little rough but what a difference from December!
CeraVe SA is the only cream specifically made to deal with Keratosis Pilaris. It contains ceramides and salicylic acid (SA). The SA helps exfoliate the skin and helps the hair follicles not get so clogged up.
It really works. I use it after every shower.
And I’m not worried about wearing short sleeves anymore.
Sometimes your friends do something so kick ass and so fearless you have to brag about it…
This is one of those times.
One of my oldest and dearest friends, Anthony Dvarskas, has a one act play, The Commitment Cure, premiering on March 1 during the Strawberry One Act Festival at the Riant Theatre in NYC.
In The Commitment Cure, Susan discovers a solution to her boyfriend Jason’s relationship reluctance, bringing their bond to its ultimate test. Deciding on something has never been so easy.
I cannot wait to see his play performed and celebrate in his success.
And if you happen to be free and love one acts, might I suggest you check out The Strawberry One Act Festival. It runs for almost two weeks, premiering several one act plays each night. from February 27-March 10.
Today, I’d like to share some life lessons from a woman who inspires me, who continually teaches me how to be more comfortable in my own skin, who owns who she is and invites others to do the same:
1) Grandma H knows exactly what she wants and isn’t afraid to demand it.
We went to the drugstore to get Ambesol to help with her toothache. I suggest Orajel, but she overrules me. She tells me she wants the gel, not the cream. I try to recommend a few, but she wants to know about every type of tooth pain reliever there on the shelves.
She grabs one and demands, “What about this one?”
“Um, well it’s for braces pain.”
“Put it back.”
When we get to the check out counter, she tells me, “Get three cents.”
She pulls out a ten dollar bill and checks three time to make sure it’s only a single ten. Then she tells me to check it again.
Finally, we complete the transaction and the saleswoman says, “Have a nice day.”
Grandma H responds, “Whatever.”
2) Grandma H selects a phrase of the day and employs it throughout our adventures.
“Mother of good God.”
3) Grandma H loves being appreciated
As we drive to the mall, I tell her, “All my blog followers love you. They want me to say hi to you from them. They rush to read your posts.”
She replies, “Oh, my public likes me.”
4) Grandma H isn’t ashamed of where she came from
“Is that the pond you swam in as a kid?” I ask.
“We’d come out of the water covered in bloodsuckers.”
“Why’d you keep swimming there?” I ask.
“It was so refreshing and so close to home. You just had to yank them out.”
5) Grandma H doesn’t give up
We have a routine at the mall. We go in and immediately hit the lotto seller. Then we sit on a bench so she can scratch them off. If she wins, we buy more. If she loses, we buy more. Then we make our way to Ihop.
At Ihop, Grandma H and I split a meal. I start to place the order and realize this breakfast doesn’t include pancakes. So I ask her, “Is that okay?”
She says, “I don’t want the god damn pancakes, they’re usually cold.”
The waitress says, “It comes with toast.”
I’m lowcarbing and Grandma H has a toothache so nothing hard to eat. “No toast.”
Grandma H says, “I’ll take the toast.”
“With your teeth?” I ask.
“Just bring lots of butter to soften it up,” she tells the waitress.
6) Grandma H isn’t afraid to make a mistake
We are talking about Grandma H’s teeth problems.
I say, “Mom said you had scarlet fever when you were younger.”
Grandma H says, “Two o’clock.”
“When you were two?”
“Yes, when I was two years old,” she explains like I’m the ninny.
Later she tells me, “Your uncle went into the tunnel.”
“He went where?”
“The tunnel. For his back.”
“You mean the MRI machine?” I ask.
“Yeah that tunnel thing.”
7) Grandma H can joke about anything
Grandma H keeps repeatedly taking ice cubes from my glass.
I tell her, “If it falls in your cleavage, I’m not going to get it out.”
She looks at me, “I’d rather stick it in your cleavage.”
We both burst out laughing.
In celebration of the Beauty of a Women BlogFest, here’s a list of the other bloggers participating in this epic event! If you have a second, please check them out.
- Amber West: A Beautiful Stream of Consciousness – Beauty of a Woman BlogFest
- Liz: The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest
- Bill Parker: On the Multitudinous Beauties of Women
- Coleen Patrick: Service Chic vs. Soul Deep: The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest
- Barbara McDowell: Beautiful Things Blossom From Caccoons
- Kassandra Lamb (Misterio Press): You Are Beautiful and Strong, Sweet Child of Abuse
- Marcy Kennedy: What Would You Trade to Look Young Forever?
- Rebekah Loper: 2013 Beauty of a Woman Blogfest – Comfortable in My Own Skin
- Lissa Clouser: Beauty of a Woman BlogFest: Part 2—An Unlikely Role Model
- Jennette Marie Powell: Beauty of a Woman: Don’t judge us by our covers!
- Amaryllis Turman: Beauty BlogFest 2012 – What is REAL BEAUTY?
- Kathryn Chastain Treat: The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest II
- Donna Galanti: Beauty is the Place Where Love Resides
- Linda Adams: My Relationship With My Glasses
- Ellen M. Gregg: The Beauty of a Woman: Inside Out
- Audrey Kalman: I want to be like Carol Winfield even when I’m dead
- Catherine Johnson: Beauty of a Woman BlogFest and Giveaway!
- Tameri Etherton: Shakespeare Totally Knew the Beauty of a Woman
- Catherine Krummey: Beauty (tumbler)
- Jenny Hansen: Beauty of a Woman BlogFest: Do Breasts Define a Female?
- Lindsay: Chronically beautiful…
- Inion N. Mathair: Beauty of a Woman’s BlogFest
- Jennifer M. Zeiger: The Eye
- Michel King: BOAW Fest – Eye of the Beholder
- K.M. OSullivan: Beauty of a Woman BlogFest 2013: The Beauty Box
- Kate Wood: The Beauty in Me
- Sabrina Garie: Owning Your Own Beauty
- Kerry Ann: Beauty of a Woman: Beyond Skin Deep
- Kim Jorgensen Gane: The Beauty of Women Friends
- FactoryMaid: Lying in the Mirror
- Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson: The Beauty of a Grandmother
- Jess Witkins: What Makes a Woman REDHOT?
- Sue: Beauty of a Woman BlogFest: Skin Deep
- Misty Dietz: The Paradox and Beauty of a Woman
- J. Keller Ford: The Beauty of a Woman
- David N. Walker: Beauty of a Woman
- Erin/Lux: One sees clearly with the heart
- Reese Ryan: Phenomenal Woman – That’s Me
- Maggie Amanda: 30 Years of Learning About Beauty
- Lena Corazon: Beauty of a Woman Blogfest: The Power of Natural
- Subtextreadalwaysnew: Moments of Beauty
- Nicole Basaraba: Beauty of a Woman – Body Culture
- Ingrid Schaffenburg: The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest
- Clearly Kristal: Mirror, Mirror
- Kristine Erickson Parker: Woman, love thyself!
- Patricia Sands: She Walks in Beauty ~ Beauty of a Woman BlogFest
- Vivian Kirkfield: Martha Washington: America’s First First Lady
Jenna Bennett’s blog post on her life in books made me want to join in. It’s fun to answer these questions based on titles you read in 2012 and try not to repeat any titles.
Describe yourself: Fortune’s Hero (Jenna Bennett)
How do you feel: Between Shades of Gray (Ruta Sepetys)
Describe where you currently live: The Fault in Our Stars (John Green)
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The Future of Us (Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler)
Your favorite form of transportation: If Fried Chicken Could Fly (Paige Shelton)
Your best friend is: Second Sight (Cheryl Klein)
You and your friends are: Immortal Beloved (Cate Tiernan)
What’s the weather like: The Book of Lies (Brad Meltzer)
You fear: Market or Die (Jennifer Fusco)
What is the best advice you have to give: Live to Tell (Lisa Gardner)
Thought for the day: Deadline (Chris Crutcher)
How I would like to die: Nightshade (Andrea Cremer)
My soul’s present condition: Timeless (Gail Carriger)
Lots of amazing books didn’t make it on here because the titles didn’t quite work as responses. Made me realize how many books I got to in 2012 and how many more I want to read in 2013.
If you decide to play the My Life in Books game, let me know. Or if you have one perfect title for a question, please post it below, I’d love to read it!
1. Keep Calm but assume the worst (that power is off indefinitely)
2. Don’t believe the estimated fix time on the website. It will only upset you more when it’s pushed back repeatedly.
3. Even if it’s still light out and the house is warm, your battle against the cold starts now. Begin lighting candles to produce heat and maintain house’s warmth. More comfortable for you, safer for your pipes.
4. Make sure candles have nothing that the flame can catch nearby–give them lots of free space around flame width and height.
5. One flame produces a small amount of heat; a dozen is like a mini-fire. Safest way to do this? Get a glass bowl and fill it half-way with water, then light 10-12 tea light candles and let them float in the water. Serious heat safely delivered. I had 4 set up to keep downstairs warm late into the night.
6. Use computer, iPad, and Iphone sparingly. Once the battery is dead, it’s dead.
7. Accept that your plans for the day are derailed.
8. Realize that time moves so much slower without technology. Read. Do exercises for spine. Realize only an hour has passed. Read some more.
9. Make sure to check the candles often. At least every 20-30 minutes. Only keep candles burning on the floor of the house you are on.
10. To keep light and heat in the bathroom and kitchen safely, burn a votive candle in a holder inside the sink. No way that flame is going anywhere.
11. Don’t open the fridge or the freezer. Even to get your frozen bread–because the toaster doesn’t work. Food should stay for 24 hours if you avoid the fridge.
12. Pray the power comes on in 24 hours so you don’t burn through all your candles and lose hundreds of dollars in food.
13. Be grateful for electricity.
14. When the power comes on after midnight, cheer and then clean up all the candles.