Monthly Archives: September 2012

Shadow of Night – USC History Prof Nails It

   Deborah Harkness, local USC professor (history), has done it again.  I picked up the book on Friday and could not put the sucker down.  If her lectures are as good as her fiction, sign me up for a class.  Why is this trilogy s not being made into a movie or a series?  The storyline is addictive and much better written than similar historical fictions ala The DaVinci Code.  If you liked Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer or The Other Boleyn Girl, then you will love Shadow of Night.

Shadow of Night picks up where A Discovery of Witches (book one) leaves off.  Only this time, our main characters are time traveling to Elizabethan England in a time of poets, philosophers, and intrigue galore.  Love it!  I cannot tell you how many things I had to Google, which for me is a prerequisite for success.  I mean who wants to read about something she already knows?  My favorite Google was the Hungarian Guard Dog otherwise known as the Komondor, otherwise known as a moving mop.

King Henry, Catherine the Great, Ferdinand and Isabella – these are all names I remember from school.  But Rudolph II,  Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Bohemia, and Archduke of Austria…not so much.  So I Googled him.  He’s bringing sexy back.  The point is my dear readers, I’m a fan.  So if you’ve got time for 584 pages and you like thrilling trilogies involving history, time travel, star-crossed love, the occult, and witchcraft, then Shadow of Night is the read for you.  And Deborah Harkness?  Chop chop.  I’m ready for book three!

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Weight-Loss Plateau, Insanity Style

Dear Shaun T,

While I have loved (not true) your Insanity workout, I find myself plateauing.  I’m in week 7 now and I’m stuck at 144 pounds with 19 left to lose.  It’s been five months since baby came and I’m ready to be back in my jeans.  My husband says I need to cut chocolate out of my diet – hard to do when it’s the main source of keeping myself awake.  (you have no idea how long a day can be until yours starts at 3am!)

So today, in an effort to hurry along my weight loss, I am starting a food journal to record just what unhealthy foods I’m sneaking in.  My hope is that the last 19 pounds will melt away with this MAJOR effort on my part and I’ll be back down to 125 in no time.  Today so far read as: 1 cup coffee, 4 bites of oatmeal (it was all I could squeeze in before Baby started to cry)…

56 pounds gone, 19 to go.  Come on Shaun T, this Insanity thing has got to work!  I’m not killing myself for nothing.

Yours truly,  Hot Pants

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Friday September 14th, 2012 – The Last Day of a Tax-Free Amazon

Well, the good times have ended and for those of us who have neglected our brick and mortar local businesses…the time has come to go back.  Tomorrow, Amazon will begin charging California residents our state tax fees.  No longer will Amazon be the huge money-saver that drew us to it in the first place.  Pop. Crash. Fizzle.  Here comes 8.75%.  (or is it 9.75%?  I can never remember)

The New York times wrote an ARTICLE today exposing Amazon’s attempts to stay in the game by promising one-day free shipping.  I don’t know, Amazon.  I just don’t know.

So if anyone has an in on tax-free diapers and other costly baby goods – send it my way.  Mama wants her score.

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My Virtual Babysitter

Oh the guilt.  The horrible horrible guilt.

My two-year old has begun watching TV on the computer.  It’s all my fault.  I’m a terrible mother.

From 0 to 2, our daughter had no access to TV, computer, DVDs, Skype, phone apps, movies, you name it.  Basically, she was like an Awá-Guajá baby, but with fancier footwear.  And then she turned two and it all went downhill.  For the past month I have been using Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and to babysit my daughter every time I need to take care of our new baby.

  • Baby needs to be coaxed down for his morning nap – Big Girl gets to watch a DVD about farm tractors
  • Baby needs to eat a bowl of delicious rice cereal – Big Girl gets to watch an episode of Sesame Street
  • Baby has somehow crawled under the sofa, gotten stuck, lit the curtains on fire, and fed the dog a giant chocolate bar – Big Girl gets to…well, you get the point

In my own defense, at least my virtual babysitter is educational.  It’s not like I’m letting her watch Reservoir Dogs or Showgirls.

Oh the guilt.  The horrible horrible guilt.



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Insanity Workout – Month Two, It’s a Killer

On Monday I began part two of the Insanity 60 Day workout – Max Interval Training.  I have one word for you, AyeYieYie.

Shaun T is trying to kill me.  Please note this for when the police find my body in the back house, drenched in sweat and stuck in a sideways push-up.  Yes, sideways push-up.  I didn’t know such a thing existed and yet yesterday I found myself jumping in and out of them.  Most of my workout with Shaun T has one mantra running through my head:

#@%$$*&^*&%^%%$& you, Shaun T!!!

Shaun T used to be fat.  Did you know that?  It’s true.  And then he changed his major in college to sports fitness and the rest is history.

I’ve got five weeks done and four weeks to go in the Insanity Challenge.  My husband has given up, my neighbor’s co-worker has given up, and the girl down the street tried it and said Hello To The NO.  But I’m not giving up.  No matter how tired I am (And trust me, I am tired.  My baby gets up about 5 times a night!), how hard Shaun T pushes, how lonely it gets out in the back house – I am finishing this challenge.  It’s not pretty, but I need to do it.  I need to reclaim my body after having two children back to back and feeling as if I’ll never get rid of the circles underneath my eyes.

I just hope it doesn’t kill me.  I cannot have the police find me in the back house dressed like I am.  Note to self: buy new workout clothes.  Ratty sweatpants and stained sports bras is not how I want to go.

Shaun T?  If you’re listening?  The next workout plan needs to involve cocktail dresses and awesome necklaces.








(thanks to for her workout inspiration!)

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Vegan Love: Online Dating for Herbivores

At the Hollywood Bowl last week with some gal pals, we began discussing love and other national disasters.  Seems to be that finding “The One” these days is like finding Tom Cruise a beard who will stick; mission impossible.  So when I heard about online dating geared specifically for vegans, vegetarians, and discriminating omnivores, I was intrigued.

Veggie Connection boasts. Join like-minded vegetarians, vegans, raw-foodists, and macrobiotics for dating, friendships, and penpals.”  Penpals?  Like Dear Broccoli, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways?  Hmmm…no thanks.

Single Vegetarian sells itself as, “Vegetarian Singles looking for love online. Vegetarian Guys and Girls who have come to the internet searching for their soulmate are online now in your area. Stop searching in the wrong places for single vegetarian men and women. Join Vegetarian Singles today and get the best dating platform and the easiest to use tools that help you find your vegeterian match today!”  

Veggie Date says, “Vegetarian dating for Vegetarian singles. Try vegetarian dating. Our vegetarian single members include lacto vegetarians, ovo vegetarians, fish vegetarians, those who are becoming vegetarian and macrobiotic diets through vegan vegetarians. Our free vegetarian personals allow you to meet veggie singles and share organic vegetarian and healthy vegetarian dishes. VeggieDate also provides searches if you are a raw vegan or raw foodist who would enjoy eating raw foods with other raw vegetarians and raw foodists. Eating raw food, especially organic raw food.”  Ummm, Booo-ring.

Vegan Dating Service is a hip site geared more towards young people if their photos are anything to go by.  Their sell is about sacrifice = vegans = picky eaters = picky daters.  I like the concept and were I a vegan, I’d check this site out for sure.

Vegan Passions writes, “If the thought of kissing a ‘meat eater’ turns your stomach, Vegan Passions is the site for you.”  Yikes!  That’s a little extreme isn’t it?  It’s not meat eaters smell like ashtrays or anything.

Vegan Dating looks like an advertisement for eating in the Garden of Eden.  I’m going to pass…I like my apples sans snake.

Planet Earth Singles – aw jeez.  A dude with a rose in his mouth who looks like an exchange student from Belgium.  Pass.

Vegan Come is the same site as Vegan Dating!  I don’t know about the play on words, but now I’m definitely thinking this site is connected to the devil.

And last, but not least is Perfect Match.  “I met my Perfect Match, and he’s a Vegan too!”  I like their logo – and I like that the site supplies a page for members to share recipes for Vegan Date Night.  Plus, on the bottom of the page they list all of their subsidiary dating websites.

So long story short, if you eat meat, you’re screwed…but if you don’t, or if you  love dogs, gays, Republicans or the Navy…love is just a macro-micro-gluten-free click away!

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Bachelorette, the Movie

Before I say another word…may I introduce, Bachelorette:

Thanks to the genius that is iTunes, Sam and I were able to watch Bachelorette last week before its official release date.  Now so far, the critics aren’t digging it and you know, I’m going to have to say fudge the critics on this one.  Bachelorette stars the amazing and very very bitchy Kirsten Dunst, the idiotic Isla Fisher, the tortured coke-head Lizzy Caplan, and the bride, Aussie comedy queen, Rebel Wilson.  Now while the movie’s no Bridesmaids, it does paint a fairly humorous and dark picture of being a bridesmaid.

Okay so funny wedding movies – Bridesmaids, Wedding Crashers, Meet the Fockers…this is isn’t really one of those.  It’s sadder and shorter; the whole premise takes place in about 24 hours.  And though the movie’s not laugh of out, there’s something there that hooks you right from the start.  (I didn’t take potty breaks and I watched it from my sofa)  But perhaps that’s because I’ve been a bridesmaid in about a half a dozen weddings and it’s no glamour job.

So Bachelorette – watch it on iTunes while you can.  It’s a perfect treat for those who have donned the taffeta dress.

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