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Thursday, October 21, 2021

definitely not a professional game show contestant

way back in, like, june i had responded to a casting call for a new show on the game show network - because i still felt like i needed redemption from my first (losing) game show appearance.  it was for some sort of word game, and when they asked me for a teammate i knew just who i wanted to play with.  it took just one text to my friend weezermonkey, who said yes immediately.  i gave her contact information to the casting producer, answered some questions and then we were set for a joint interview via zoom.

for the background, they wanted a clean, quiet and well-lit room with us dressed and camera ready.  i put makeup on my face for the first time in ages and propped my laptop up in the gym with a blank wall behind me.  super professional setup, no?


the interview went pretty well, i thought.  we spent almost an hour talking to one of the producers, answering questions about how we knew each other (haha), what we did when we hung out, what we'd do with the prize money if we won.  and then he gave us a quick overview of how to play the game and we went through a few mock rounds.  it was fun, and i felt pretty confident that we'd do well if we were chosen to play on the show.

it took a few more weeks before we heard back from the network, and this time they wanted us to provide them with some wardrobe options that we'd bring should we get a taping date.  it proved to be a little harder than you'd think for me to come up with 3-5 options - they wanted bright colors, no big prints, no black or white, no logos.  you know...something that would look good on camera.  i managed to scrounge up a few different dresses, snapped some selfies that i'm not sharing because i looked kind of a hot mess in them, and sent them on over.

and wouldn't you know it - less than a week later we heard from them again, this time telling us that we'd been selected as finalists with a date to tape the show a few weeks later.  i was a little surprised to find myself not only excited but also really anxious about the whole thing.  sheesh.  and then we were given instructions to come to the studio to get tested for covid within 48 hours of our tape date.  since the studio is out in culver city, we decided to make an afternoon of it and scheduled our tests together so we could grab lunch afterwards.

it was a little weird to pull up to a studio again, especially knowing that i'd be back a few days later to actually go inside and film a show.



the testing site was right in the parking structure, and it was a quick and easy process.  weemo had already scouted out the area for the best place to have lunch and we headed over to the platform shopping center to enjoy a meal together, something we hadn't done in a very long time.  it was really nice to hang out with her and just get caught up and chat in person after so many months of separation.  we had a little time to kill before the restaurant opened, so we stopped in at the boba guys for a drink.


we were able to grab a table outside at roberta's for some delicious NY-style pizza.  the umbrella we sat under was red, so it cast a really weird light on everything we ordered.  oh well.  we started out with a lovely prosciutto plate, which was super delicious despite its rather odd appearance in this picture.


and then we each ordered a pizza to share.  she went with the "bee sting" - a unique-sounding combination of tomato, mozzarella, and soppressata...with chili, basil and honey (hence the name).  you wouldn't think that honey belonged on a pizza, but i (even WITH my weaksauce tolerance for any level of spice) was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.  like, my mouth is watering just remembering how good the flavor was.  and now i want to go back.


mine was called "cheezus christ," which i'll admit was partially why i ordered it.  but it was also really tasty - several different kinds of cheese topped with fresh cracked black pepper and a cream sauce.  very indulgent and worth every calorie.

we were originally scheduled to check in for our taping at 6:30am on a monday morning.  i toyed with the idea of staying in a nearby hotel just to make it a little easier on myself, but ultimately decided that the drive at that hour wouldn't be bad at all.

and then the day before we were notified that our call time was pushed back to 9:00.  talk about a double-edged sword - not the ass crack of dawn after all, but right in the middle of rush hour traffic.  ugh.  but it was fine.  i gave myself plenty of time to get through the freeways and pulled into the studio right when i needed to get there.

it was a pretty long day of doing a lot of sitting around and hanging out, which we were prepared for.  we met with some of the other contestants for practice rounds, had snacks, ate lunch, got hair and makeup done, and then headed over to the set to sit and watch the first few teams of contestants play the game while we waited for our turn to play.

unfortunately, it was not to be.  since it was literally the first day of taping this brand new show, there were quite a few hiccups during the first couple of tapings.  and it was probably around 4:00, after a bathroom break, that we learned from the casting manager that the rest of the day had been cancelled.  SUCH a bummer.  we gathered up our stuff, hopped into a golf cart for a ride back to the parking structure, and headed home.  WOMP WOMP.

even worse?  we never did get a single selfie together.  d-oh!  i guess it'd been such a long day and we were both really tired...which sounds funny since we didn't actually do much.  but for me at least, having to be "on" for hours on end - peppy, cheerful, excited, blah blah blah - especially after months of mostly being home with just my family around me was utterly exhausting.  the bright side was that i got to spend a lot of time with my friend, and hey - it's a story to tell, right?

(you know i had to take at least one selfie because i had a full face of makeup on)

and back home, i snapped one more in my full outfit, just for shits and giggles.

so yeah, my game show losing streak continues.  i didn't get my shot at redemption.  and after the level of anxiety i was feeling that day...well, who knows?  maybe i never will.  but hey, it won't be through lack of trying.  heh.

Monday, October 11, 2021

the long way home

it all seems so long ago now, but i still have one final hawaii recap to share.  our flight home was originally scheduled to take off at noon, but while i was up in the gym for one last hotel workout the hub texted to let me know that we'd been delayed four hours.  

flight delays are always such a mind game - you're already resigned to the fact that you're heading home from a fantastic vacation, but now you find yourself having to kill time until you get to board that plane.  ugh.  so i made one last coffee run, picking up a bag of beans to take home to my friend lilcee.

this also meant that we didn't have to rush around that morning as we'd anticipated.  i had time to sit down and enjoy my coffee while taking in the view from our room one last time.

below us, the hub was taking his last morning yoga class.

we took our time getting our stuff all packed up and ready to check out of our room, but when we couldn't stall any longer we made our way out of there and took one last look around. bye for now, moana surfrider!



we decided to grab one last delicious poke bowl from ono seafood, taking the scenic route and enjoying the views along the way.






we stopped at starbucks for a bathroom break and while i truly didn't need them, i scooped up a set of hawaii-themed reusable cups to take home.  i managed to do some shuffling around in my carry-on to accommodate them, despite the glares i was getting from the hub.  eek.

because we still had time to kill, the hub swung into the driveway for queen emma's summer palace so we could check it out.  there really wasn't much to do though, aside from browsing in the gift shop and saying hello to their resident pooch.


and since we hadn't been yet on this trip, we stopped at waiola shave ice for a cold treat.  i, of course, had to recreate a photo from about six years ago...because why not?



another text from the airline told us that we'd been delayed even further - now we weren't taking off until 7pm.  ugh.  and with nothing else really to do, the hub pulled into ala moana shopping center and we got out to do some window shopping.  we knew we didn't have any room to actually buy anything, which was probably a good thing anyway.  but it was fun to browse around and suck up some free a/c, which we earned while waiting in line to enter some of the stores.


when we got hungry, we headed in for some korean bbq.  that pretty much killed most of the time we had left, and then it was time to head to the airport at last.

we dropped off the rental car and then made our way into the terminal to check our bags and find our gate.

when we got there, we found a cart full of free snacks and bottles of water - their attempt to make up for the delays we'd had to work through.


and then it was finally time to board the plane.


this was dinner - it looks terrible, and i'm not gonna lie and tell you it was better than it looked.  luckily i wasn't super hungry, but i ate the parts that were somewhat palatable and then settled back to nap for the rest of the flight.  we didn't luck out with those awesome pods this time around, but we were still fairly comfortable in our seats.


the flight was uneventful, just the way we like it, and it was nice and cool in the plane so i got to put on my new favorite sweater - from the gift shop at turtle bay resort.


welcome home to us!


until next time, hawaii.  thanks for a wonderful week.

Friday, October 1, 2021

the bean...is 14

 it's hard to believe that this little nugget turns 14 today. 


FOURTEEN.


we have some really fun stuff planned for her this weekend, all of which is still a surprise - but i'm pretty sure she's gonna be stoked.  hell, I'M stoked.  she got to open a few presents before school today and she brought in some fun treats to share with her class, so the day has already gotten off to a great start.

and now i'm off to get ready to shower our girl with love and fun all weekend long.  i have a lot to recap still, but i'll definitely report back soon on how it all goes!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

coffee and poke and malasadas, oh my

on our last full day in hawaii, i managed to snag one of the peloton bikes and take a beginner-level ride that i really enjoyed.  

when i was done, i decided i deserved one more delicious island latte from island vintage coffee.  it was drizzling as i made my way down the street, which of course didn't matter since i was already all sweaty anyway.

and of course, when i got there the line was longer than the last time.  yikes.


it was a full hour before i finally got to this point:


success!


when i got back to our room, the hub had just finished his yoga class and we decided to forego our free hotel breakfast and take a drive out to boots & kimo's for the very best macadamia nut pancakes on the planet.  they'd relocated since our last visit, but thanks to online ordering our breakfast was ready and waiting for us once we arrived.


we'd left the sleeping bean at the hotel, and as we were on our way back she texted us to let us know she was up and ready to start the day.  the hub told her where to find the chairs and umbrella he'd reserved on the beach, and then he dropped me off to meet up with her while he headed back out to find some fresh poke bowls.  the macadamia nut cream topping on our pancakes had melted a bit by the time we finally got to sit down to eat them, but it didn't matter.  they were still super delicious.


and then as soon as we were done we grabbed our floaties and got right in the water to spend some time bouncing around in the waves.  




we spent a good amount of time relaxing in the water, and then i glanced back towards the shore and saw the hub waving at us from our umbrella.  he'd been gone for awhile, and it turned out that he'd gone on quite the quest for those poke bowls.  it actually took driving to three different spots before he found what he deemed the best on the island - from ono seafood.


and not only that, but he'd also battled a ton of traffic and stood in a long line to secure a box of fresh malasadas from leonard's for us.  i felt so bad that he'd spent so much time driving around on a wild goose chase just to satisfy our cravings instead of just staying with us and relaxing at the beach.  and yet he does this kind of thing for us all the time, and those are the moments that always stick out in my head...the ones that really bring into focus how much he loves us.  he always volunteers to do whatever it takes to make us happy, never complains about how much of a pain in the ass those things can be, just does it all because that's the kind of man he is.  that's love, plain and simple.  i don't know what i did to deserve him, but i'm pretty damn grateful.



a little later, when we got back in the water, we had a handful of sea turtle sightings.  i was always half a second too late to catch them with my phone, but if you look really closely here you can see him splashing around in the distance.


after we'd had our fill of sun and surf, we headed upstairs to get cleaned up and take a walk to find something for dinner.  i was pretty dismayed to take off that striped rash guard and find that i'd gotten myself one hell of a weird tan line.  lineS, more accurately.  ugh.


we headed across the street to a familiar spot, one we'd also visited on our last trip to maui.  we dined on simple but tasty fare - wings, sliders, fries, fish & chips.






later, while the hub slipped away to enjoy a cigar outside, i remembered our box of treats.  it was our last night in hawaii and i knew we weren't going to take them home, so i did what any normal person would do:


oh yes.  i took bites out of each and every one of those bad boys.  after all, there were six different kinds - original sugar-coated, cinnamon sugar, li hing mui (a salty/sour powder), custard, chocolate and haupia (coconut cream) and i needed to do them all justice.  the bean just shook her head and smirked at me, taking just a couple of bites that satisfied her own craving.  they were all super delicious, but i have to say that my favorite was the haupia-filled one.  mmmmm.

it was a pretty lovely, relaxing day that finished off our hawaiian vacation on a great note.

definitely not a professional game show contestant

way back in, like, june i had responded to a casting call for a new show on the game show network - because i still felt like i needed redem...