Table Topic Tuesday 4/8. Meet the team.

Today, I’m introducing y’all to my Table Topic Tuesday peeps. I started this little game without proper introductions. Now you can connect a face to the funny.

Every Tuesday, I’ll pull a table topic conversation starter and send it to my pals to get their take.

To help you get to know the panel that will be answering a weekly question, I asked my friends to answer a few, yup, questions (I get to answer first).

What song do you listen to more than any other song? (Me? Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby. Foolproof for any mood. Dare you to try it.)

What’s your favorite writing utensil–pencil, sharpie, etc? (Purple pens. I don’t like slippery, smudgy ink. Black and blue are too legal and red is way too angry. Purple is just right.)

What’s your favorite quote? (I have a bunch of favorites.)

What’s your favorite dessert? (Pecan (that’s pee-can) pie, salted caramel, coffee ice cream)

What’s your biggest pet peeve? (mouth noises, pity parties, mean people)

And the best for last: What is your all-time favorite Disney ride, attraction or movie?
(Magic Kingdom: Big Thunder & Wishes. EPCOT: World Showcase. Hollywood Studios: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest. Movie: Beauty & The Beast)

Now, the panel’s up.

Meet Javi.

Meet Javi
Meet Javi

Javi says:

Song? U2’s For the First Time.

Writing utensil? A keyboard, headphones and my iTunes library.

Best quote eva? Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. – Calvin Coolidge

Yummiest dessert? Cookies and milk.

Pet peeve? Any denial of my right to failure Disney highlight? Peter Pan:  “think of all the joy you’ll find, when you leave the world behind and bid your cares goodbye.”

 

Meet Lindsey.

 

Meet Lindsey
Meet Lindsey

Lindsey says:

Song? That’s really tough. It varies all the time. Right now “stronger than me” from the Nashville soundtrack.

Writing utensil? Blue ink pen. (distinguishes originals from copies). Lawyer thing.

Best quote eva? “be a best friend, tell the truth and overuse I love you. Go to work, do your best and don’t outsmart your common sense. Never let your prayin knees get lazy. And love like crazy”

Yummiest dessert? Root beer float or pecan pie

Pet peeve? When people don’t follow through with what they say they’ll do.

Disney highlight? Because I can’t decide: Ride: rockin roller coaster, attraction: world showcase, movie: Cinderella

 

Meet Lynda.

 

Meet Lynda
Meet Lynda

Lynda says:

Song? Who Wouldn’t Want to Be Me…Keith Urban

Writing utensil? Definitely a black roller ball pen…always. Unless I’m doing a crossword puzzle, then pencil all the way.

Best quote eva? “What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived.”

Yummiest dessert? Rice krispie treats, because who doesn’t love a little gooey marshmallow in their life

Pet peeve? People who don’t know how to drive. Road rage is a fault of mine, which is why I maintain a 5-minute commute to work.

Disney highlight? Spaceship Earth…hands down. With the Norway movie coming in a close second.

 

Meet Matt.

 

Meet Matt
Meet Matt

Matt says:

Song? Probably a tie between “Carousel” by blink-182 (My friends and I all take our hats off during the intro, out of respect), “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” by Brand New, “Pursuit Of Happiness” by Kid Cudi and “Halftime” by Nas

Writing utensil? Whatever is in front of me. I do usually write out scripts, headlines and posts on paper before typing them out.

Best quote eva? “You’re not useful to me until you’ve made three momentous mistakes.” – Dan Wieden; “Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.” – Chuck Klosterman; “You idiot, the Boston Tea Party was in England” – My friend Noah; Everything Bill Murray has ever said

Yummiest dessert? Pinkberry original with fruity pebbles, almonds and gummy bears

Pet peeve? Having to declare one pet peeve as the biggest. (A few highlights: People who call the Nike ‘swoosh’ a check; cotton balls; cats; drivers who don’t use blinkers; every person in every airport, ever)

Disney highlight? Somewhere at my parents house I have a full set of Disney trading cards, every issue of the short-lived Chip N’ Dale Rescue Rangers comic book series and a 3rd grade yearbook picture of me wearing a homemade Pluto Christmas sweater. Top 5 Disney movies: 5. Peter Pan 4. Snow White 3. The Great Mouse Detective 2. Beauty and the Beast 1. The Rescuers Down Under

 

Meet Lindsay.

 

Meet Lindsay
Meet Lindsay

Lindsay says:

Song? This changes every few months, but I love Burn It Down by Awolnation

Writing utensil? Black pens because I’m boring.

Best quote eva? “If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.” –Andy Rooney

Yummiest dessert? Cookie dough ice cream

Pet peeve? “Literally”

Disney highlight? One from each park:
Epcot — Spaceship Earth
Magic Kingdom — Space Mountain
Animal Kingdom: Everest
Hollywood Studios — The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

 

Meet Erika.

 

Meet Erika
Meet Erika

Erika says:

Song? Depends on the week!

Writing utensil? My laptop. How unromantic, right?

Best quote eva? “I don’t think any day is worth living without thinking about what you’re going to eat next at all times.” ― Nora Ephron

Yummiest dessert? Publix’s Carrot Cake. To. Die. For.

Pet peeve? When my husband throws his towel on the bathroom floor instead of the hamper.

Disney highlight? The Little Mermaid!

Your turn! I want to hear about your favorite song, writing tool, quote, dessert, pet peeve and Disney highlight.

Table Topic Tuesday. 3/11.

It’s Table Topic Tuesday.

Party People–this one’s for you.

3.4

Costume parties, theme parties, last-minute parties. I love them all.  And grown-ups don’t have enough parties. We save them all up for the holiday season. Remember in college when breathing was an excuse to celebrate?

A great party needs the right location. Enough rooms that you can spread out (or hide), patios or balconies and a mile-wide dance floor. If money were no object, I’d have a party here.

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

Themes are great, too. What about 80s get-up? How can you not want to party in a side pony and slap bracelets?

Then there’s the music. Essential. You want songs that everyone can sing to. And you need dancing music–slow jams to shakedowns. Enter the world’s best party band.

Boyz II Men

Motown Philly back again.

Now we just need party snacks. A sangria fountain and butler-passed Mickey ice cream bars? Check.

All the rides would stay open, of course, and I’d have a fireworks nightcap, too.

My friend Javi had some ideas for a party.

What kind of party would I throw with unlimited money? An underwear party on the international space station. Yup.

“But, I feel insecure in my underwear. I’m not space underwear party ready.” You say to me with furrowed brow and trembling hands.

And, I take your hands in mine, and look with stoic confidence in your eyes, like a father would to a child, and speak with quiet wisdom, “Oh my precious, naive, little lamb. The international space station is anti-gravity…”

“So, you mean, my saggy bits –”

“They will rise on cherub wings my pudgy pal. Everything looks sexy in space.”

Suddenly, the realization of space sexification washes over you like a soothing ocean wave of sexy space logic. But, a new question bubbles behind it.

“What if someone gets into a fight at the party?”

Sensing your anxiety, I cup my hands beneath your chin, and quiet the roaring winds of worry behind your eyes as I let these words unfurl from my lips: “Have you ever seen anyone fight in their underwear? Of course not. It can’t be done. Being angry in your underwear is instant hilarity. Nothing can be taken seriously when you’re in your underwear. When the walls are down, compassion is set free. And by walls, I mean pants. The Dalai Lama is the embodiment of kindness, because the man pretty much just wears a sheet. If the UN would check their pants at the door, we’d have world peace in less than six months.”

And, the world peace potential of space underwear rejuvenates your faith in this party and in humanity itself – and you RSVP with sexy spacified zeal.

Oh yeah. I’d also probably play a lot of 90’s Hip-Hop. Keepin’ it G in zero G, you dig?

Okay. Your turn. Tell me what kind of party you would throw.

Table Topic Tuesday. 2/4.

It’s Table Topic Tuesday time. And the survey says:

WHAT FIVE FOODS DO YOU WISH WERE BANISHED FROM THE EARTH?

It’s a little absolute, I know. So I apologize if I banish something you can’t live without.

#1. My first answer (read: gag reflex) is eggs. Ew. The thought of them, smell of them, taste, texture, existence of them as a food source, completely icks me out. I don’t remember when I first hated on eggs, but I’ve never looked back.

I do love cake—cupcakes, breakfast cake, birthday cake—as much as I hate eggs. I’m just in denial that those globes of gross have ever been cracked into any batter.

#2. Milk. I just don’t dig it. Cold. Warm. Chocolated. Strawberried. Just no.

But I heart ice cream, yogurt, cheese. Hello, cheese. And I also take a little coffee with my half & half. Go figure.

#3. Bologna. What a mystery of a meat. Just look at the way it’s spelled and pronounced. A hodge podge of rejected meat pressed together into a perfect circle? No, thank you.

#4. Bone marrow. I tried it. I didn’t like it.

#5. Candy corn. Okay. I’m the kid who would often trade her sandwich for a friend’s dessert in the lunchroom (sorry, Mom). I love cake for breakfast (see #1). I have sweet teeth. So, I haven’t met many sweets I didn’t want seconds of.

Candy corn does not equal candy. Or corn. Is it even edible? It’s colored, triangular wax posing as a treat. Beware, kids.

Now, to detox from all that yuckiness, here is some delicious food for thought:

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 1.07.14 PM
Disney Digression

Lindsay‘s up! She says:

There aren’t a lot of foods that make me squeamish. None that I’m truly revolted by except one: Olives. Nothing is more offensive than a bowl full of olives. Strike that. State fair funnel cakes are pretty foul. But I can live with those. Olives, on the other hand, are sneaky little buggers that have been ruining salads for the history of ever. Did you know that olives are actually in the fruit family? That poor, poor family. A perfectly delicious reputation stained by the ugly little step children. And they really are ugly. The green ones have eyes. If I had to banish a certain food from the universe, that’d be the first to go. I can’t even think of four more that I’d get rid of; all this olive talk has messed with my brain.

olives

Javi says:

I love to eat. I eat without question. Without emotion. Without judgment or prejudice. More machine than man, I have the power to devour. However, there are foods that do not belong. They have coerced their way into the realm of human consumption without warrant, purpose or function. But, no more. I’m taking a stand. For myself. For my children. For my food, my future… my freedom. These five foods… I banish thee.

Candy Corn: It is neither of those things. How can you name something two NOUNS and that thing is neither of those things? People get sued over that stuff. It’s more of a lie than it is food. Plus, what kind of monster names a candy after a vegetable? Who exactly do you think you are fooling candy corn? The jig is up. You’re gross. And, for those of you who refuse to join me in my crusade against candy corn ask yourself one question: In the next few hundred years, when the world candy treaties are signed across a unified globe of nations, what side of history will you be on?

Tea:

ME: Hey, watcha’ drinkin’?

YOU: Tea.

ME: What’s that?

YOU: Well, I brought some water to a boil. Then drop this small bag full of leaves and twigs in the water to soak, and then I drink it.

ME: You put a bag of mulch in your water?

YOU: It’s not mulch. It’s leaves and sticks and…

ME: [staring]

YOU: It’s not mulch!

ME: So, you’re drinking scalding hot, dirty water?

YOU: It’s not dirty water. Well, it is, technically… but not the way you think it is.

ME: I don’t understand… did you lose a bet or something?

YOU: No! Stop it! Tea is good for you. Want to taste it? It’s called Green Dream Baby Laugh.

ME: …

Black Licorice: It’s just melted down old tires, right? It’s what’s left over and gathered in landfills when environmental criminals burn piles of tires. It’s not even food. It’s a byproduct of illegal behavior. Besides, food has to give your body something of substance or value. The only thing I’ve ever experienced after mistakingly eating a bite of black licorice was a week of night terrors. When people accidentally eat black licorice they react like they’ve been shot with a poison dart in the tongue. But, there is always someone you know that has some crazy second cousin or distant relative that loves black licorice, and that family charges the neighborhood kids a nickel each to watch him eat it without dry heaving.

The Pecan: No one can pronounce it. Say pecan. Nope, you’re wrong. Keep saying it. You’re still wrong. God forbid you say pecan in front of another living soul. Say pecan in earshot of anyone and that person will be whole heartedly compelled to correct you in some overly pedantic way like they have a PHD in nut grammar.  “Its not pecaaaahhhhaaannnneeeee. It’s peeeecccooouuugghhhnnneee.” Pecan has 5 letters in it, is pronounced with 18 letters (6 of which are silent), and is broken down into 12 syllables.

Banana Now & Laters: Not now. Not later. Not ever. It’s not a candy. It’s not a food. It is a personal affront. If someone presented me with a banana flavored Now & Later, I’d fight them. I would slap that horribly offensive gelatinous square out of their awful little carny hands and challenge them to fistacuffs. Imagine if a panda cub approached you riding the back of a baby elephant. Think of how incapably cute and arrestingly adorable that would be. And then that panda cub extended its wonderful little panda cub arms, and opened its little panda paws to reveal a rainbow of light. And then, the elephant, with it’s baby trunk reaches into the rainbow of light and presents you with a banana flavored Now & Later. Imagine the spectacular nature of it all. The indescribable beauty. The joy that such an event might bring to children. To adults. To the world. I’d punch that panda in its adorable panda face.

Your turn. Speak up. What food would you banish?

Table Topic Tuesday. 1/28.

Happy Tuesday, y’all.

It’s Table Topic time and, with Winter Storm Leon barging through, this question is apropos:

1.28

Would I? Heck-to-the-yeah. I would live in summer all the days. Summer means there’s no school bell to beat in the mornings, sangria is in season and there are no cold toilet seats (I’m looking at you, Winter).

Right now, I’m on a plane, wearing two pair of socks and high-top tennies because, when I land in New York City, it’s going to be 17 degrees. That just sounds like an immature, angry, awful temperature. I can’t feel my feet. And feet were meant to be free!

Each season does have its redeeming gems. Winter means boot slippers. (I know I just said that feet should be free, but they should never be freezing). Spring has red clay and peanuts and cracker jacks. And Fall? Mickey. Pumpkins.

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

But no other season promises as much fun and mischief and warmth as summer.

I love my friends’ responses this week and I know you will, too.

Javi says:

You can argue with me all you want on this. You can state your case with science and facts. But, believe me when I tell you that the ONLY season that is not actively trying to kill the human race… is summer. Summer is the only acceptable season.

If you say you love the winter, then I’m concerned for you as a person, because obviously you don’t have skin on your body. There are animals that spend a whole year preparing to sleep through winter, just to avoid it. Imagine actively trying to double your body weight all year so that you could pass out like a coma patient to AVOID A SEASON because that is what nature intended. I know we, as people don’t do that – because somehow we’ve evolved beyond it or whatever – but more and more, year after year, hibernation looks like a viable option. All I’m saying is why don’t we just kick it biologically old school for a year… and see what happens.  Could it be any worse than… you know… WINTER IS! Winter is attacking us right now with a Polar Vortex. I don’t know what that is, but with a name like that the streets should be filled with people fleeing in horror while others stand paralyzed in fear. It sounds like a super villain invented it. It sounds like the title of a show J.J. Abrams is producing. Why is no one hitting the panic button about something called a POLAR VORTEX!? I wore a Tauntaun to work on Friday!

Spring is round two of the assault – advanced now by chemical warfare. Have fun not breathing properly for eight weeks. There is so much pollen in the air that I don’t even go outside anymore. Why waste time slowly setting my lungs ablaze when I can do it in one shot! Instead of wheezing like Vader for eight hours, I just start my day by huffing a bag of flower until I have a coughing fit and pass out. Then, I wake up the next day on my kitchen floor and do it again. Natural law has somehow made spring the time of reproduction, where we should be cozying up to our loves, flourishing with romance, vigor, and life. Yet, everyone around us looks like snot covered 3-year-olds… making snorting noises like a beached manatee with asthma. All spring long people just ooze from the face like they opened the Ark of the Covenant, and for all that is good and holy people just blow their noses on anything they can get their hands on – napkins, sleeves, kittens… babies. How is anyone supposed to want to make out with the person next to them when their face is a yuck waterfall?

And, the fall is not a season at all. It is ALL the seasons. In one day during the fall you can experience every temperature in 12 hours. There is no fall coat or jacket. It doesn’t exist. All you have to cover yourself with is the enveloping sense of failure you experience as soon as you walk outside and realize everything you’re wearing is wrong. And, by the time you change, it won’t matter. The weather will have changed so much, you’ll be wrong again. It’s hot, it’s cold, you’re roasting, you’re freezing – you’re sweating buckets while sleet comes down from the sky.  Fall is not a season. It’s malaria. But why should any of us trust the weather during fall? Fall gives us no reason to believe in it. Because, really, how can we trust a season that has two names. Autumn, anyone? Fall is so shady, it has an ALIAS! Dr. Jekyll is less bipolar than fall.

 Summer is the only acceptable season. The sun’s rays actually give you vitamins. Nutrients from the sky! It’s true universal healthcare… because it comes FROM THE UNIVERSE! Global warming is a very real thing… and I’m all for it.

Lindsey says:

If by season, the reference is weather, then yes; spring time all year please. I love the hot but not too hot climate.

Any other season; probably not.

I like to divide my year into sports seasons: and it’s nice when they merge from one to the next. Baseball season, football season, the smidge of time we are in now which I call the in between baseball/football when all we have to watch is hockey and basketball (well until
NASCAR starts back in February anyway).

And while I love Christmas and the holiday season I think I might go bananas with year round lights, music and mall Santa Claus.

Matt says:

You know that saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side”? Or that other saying , “you always want what you can’t have”? Or that other other saying, “Every great love starts with a great story.”?
The last one is from The Notebook and it doesn’t apply. Also, if anyone asks, I’ve never seen The Noteb… actually, screw that. I have seen The Notebook and I was super suave. It was my third date with my ex, THE EX, the one that hovers above all future and ex-exes, and we were planning on seeing a movie. When we got in the car I looked at her and said, “why don’t we just grab a pizza and I’ll go buy The Notebook, since I’ve never seen it.” Speechless, she nodded in agreement. Awesome story short, we cuddled as the Gos won, lost and re-won the McAdams. Then, you know that part where future-old lady McAdams finally remembers non-cenile Gos and asks her to dance? I turned to my girlfriend and asked her to dance. And we did. By the side of my bed. Hashtag romance.
That’s called going off on a tangent while simultaniously playing to your demographic. (Ladies, I’m currently single.)
Where I was going with the first two phrases is that I always want to be in the season that I’m not presently in. Right now, like most people, I can’t wait until I’m able to break out the tank top (though, not in the office because they have been banned by my SVP). In the Fall, I can’t wait for Spring, and vice versa.
I’ve lived in one season in two different places; L.A. and Florida. It’s not great. Sure, it’s sunny all the time, there’s no -20 degree temperatures and I can always feel my toes, but I always find myself wishing a leaf would change color or that I could buy some cool winter clothes like a vintage Starter jacket.
I want to live in all of the seasons.
Except for Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall.
Lindsay says:
Can we all agree on something? Fall is not a season. It’s a time of year. Fall is much bigger than a season. The way it feels, and the way I feel in it makes it bigger.

The best Fall exists just outside Buffalo in my hometown, East Aurora. My favorites are the familiar faces bundled up in scarves they probably knitted themselves. The thick boots that find their place in the mudroom again. The misty breath you can see before you begin speaking. The crunchy brown leaves in my favorite park that we have to step on because that’s what Fall sounds like. The full mugs of early-morning coffee that feel like something special rather than routine. The best running is in the Fall when the muscles are the perfect temperature of chilled but strong. When you’re in shorts and a tank and a hat and gloves. It’s a runner thing, and I miss it. I feel at home in Fall. I could write a book about Fall. Gush aside, I think I answered the question. I would live in Fall forever if I lived in East Aurora, and I would bring everyone with me so you could feel it, too.
Okay. Let’s hear it. Would you, could you live year-round in your favorite season?

Table Topic Tuesday. 1/21.

Tuesday is such a sneaky booger–especially after a holiday Monday. But I have a fun Table Topic to celebrate. Ready for the question?

WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL? WHAT ANIMAL ARE YOU MOST LIKE OR WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO BE?

Did you ever do that thing when you were first dating your person–and the two of you were like a shiny, just-minted penny– and you asked silly questions of each other to, you know, concoct some kind of deep bond? (Don’t do that thing).

Way back in my doe-eyed dumbness, I asked Jeff what kind of animal he thought I’d be if I were an animal. I was hoping he’d name something shrewd or beautiful and sleek or powerful. Like a cheetah. But he said, if he had to pick, that I did kinda look like a koala. (Is it the nose?)

koala

His answer still comes up all the time.

I’m also taken by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator because it so perfectly sums up (the best of) you. And now there are spirit animals associated with your letter combo. Here’s what this Buzzfeed article said about my Type. You can find yours, too.

Creative and contagiously happy, ENFPs have boundless energy and an appetite for learning about new things and meeting new peope. They bring joy to others and are keenly perceptive to the needs of those around them. They are vivacious and popular enthusiasts. ENFPs tend to get bored easily, and they are always ready for the latest and the greatest in friends, relationships, experiences, and ocean jumping.

dolphin

Koala or dolphin? Fear me.

At the end of the day, I’m really not much different than a mutt pup. Loyal, wired to please, eager to be petted and fed the best bits from the table. Bliss.

This is what my friends think.

Javi says:

My spirit animal must be regarded as both noble and majestic. An animal that stands for something bigger than just it’s collective self. A revered animal, who’s mere essence is praised by the communities it inhabits, and whose presence is marked by the laughter and joy of children. An intelligent animal, aware of its surroundings and purpose. An animal that has a special connection with the rest of the ecosystem and the universe as a whole. An animal that embodies confidence, poise, grace, and strength. An animal who’s call is sweeter than molasses. An animal that loves cereal.  That animal is Sugar Bear. Sugar Bear is the smoothest, coolest, most unruffled bear that ever did bear. Don Cornelius wishes he had as much soul as sugar bear. Billy D Williams once had his lady wooed out from under him by Sugar Bear. Sugar Bear co-wrote all of Al Green’s early stuff. Sugar bear is so classy, he eats his cereal while wearing a turtle neck, but at the same time, has a complete disregard for pants because he believes in freedom. I once ate so much Golden Crisp that that I blacked out, and, when I came to, I was wearing a smoking jacket and an ascot and I had a rose in my mouth. If I could handle every aspect of my life like Sugar Bear, I’d probably be running a chocolate factory with a tenacious crew of little people by now. Sugar Bear, I channel thee to keep me going strong. 

Lindsay says:

spirit animal

Okay. I need to hear from all of you on this one. What’s your spirit animal?

Table Topic Tuesday. 1/14.

Hey, hey. It’s Tuesday. And today’s Table Topic is:

1.14

This is how I feel about travel.

travel

But here are the top 5 places I’d like to experience if I have to pick right now. I want to:

1. Watch the sun sink into the sea from Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, CA.

2. Sip through wine country with a head that’s happy, but not so hazy that I don’t remember every whiff and inch and taste.

3. See Disneyland–the mother ship of the magic–though I’m positive no other location could ever replace Disney World.

Disneyland
Disney Digression

4. Eat my way through Italy, south to north–so long as I wind up climbing a Lake Como staircase, high enough to see into Switzerland.

5. Linger in The Lakes of England. Write something on the same parcel where the greats poured their bliss into poetry.

And everything here. Wowza.

Here’s where my pals want to go.

Lynda says:

Ah that is the question, isn’t it?  I love to travel.  Always have.  Probably always will.  I keep a running list in my mind of the places I’d like to go, see, and experience.  Perhaps I could even go so far as to say the World Showcase at Epcot (a Disney Digression as my blogging host Mindy would say) helped spur those travel dreams on?  Perhaps.  Or perhaps it was my dear friend, Rick Steves?  His European travel show on PBS was a staple in my house growing up, and I’ve relied on the guy many times to get me from place to place as well as for advice on the best things to do and see.  Perhaps.  Regardless of the inspiration, I got the itch in high school and never looked back.  My very first “big” trip was with my French class, to where else?  France.  It was tres bien, bien sur!  I absolutely loved it.  The culture, the atmosphere, the walking-in-the-steps-of-history, the language, well, just everything.  I’ve been back quite a few times, but I’m always open to going someplace new.  Norway.  Argentina.  Australia and New Zealand.  Those happen to be in the top three, and I’ll get there one day.  It’s just a matter of time.  And money.
And why do I love to travel?  Well, the Type A planner in me loves the thrill of the planning, probably more than anything, as this little entry in my own blog can attest .  It can be hard work, frustrating, and just downright tiring, but the experience itself is worth all the blood, sweat, and tears of putting together an amazing adventure.  I firmly believe your experiences are the result of your passion in making them happen.  And never is that more true than with stepping outside your comfort zone and stepping foot in a land not your own.
So get out there.  See the world.  Bring back an experience or two that will last in your memory forever.  I think it’s a mark of a life well lived, and a soul fulfilled.
Matt journeyed off to dreamland.
I fell asleep at with my hands on my keyboard…
And Lindsay is running around Europe as I type. Take a peek at her adventures.
What about you? Where would you go first?

Table Topic Tuesday. 1/7.

It’s the first Table Topic Tuesday of 2014. Ready for the question?

1_7

This is a hard one for me because I’ve never been an athlete (unless you count cheerleading and I don’t. Sorry, pom squad sisters).

I do love sports, though–the names of mascots, the grown ups singing silly cheers (low, deep and serious as drunk Gregorian chants), the way you have to watch with your whole body because your nerve endings will short-circuit if you’re still.

fans

I’m a rookie fan, so I don’t have a deep knowledge of historical sporting events. I’d love to see a tied series broken or a record broken or a curse broken in person. But, what I’d really like to see is the launch of a legend.

Once, a piece I worked on flopped. Belly flopped. And I was bummed. My Creative Director asked me: Know who had the most hits in baseball, all time? Pete Rose. Know who had the most outs? Pete Rose. The more you’re up to bat, the more chances you have to fail. The more chances you have to be amazing. You just have to start.

What was Pete Rose’s first at-bat like? Did he ever shiver in his cleats? How was Michael Jordan’s first shot? Muhammad Ali’s first punch? That’s what I want to go back and see–the promise of greatness.

Now my friends–sports superstars–will weigh in the smart way.

Lindsay says:

In my opinion, no sport takes greater strength, perseverance and downright badassness than professional cycling. As a runner, I feel I’m obligated to tout my own sport, but it’s just not true. A Tour de France event is 19 days of cycling through France. Two thousand fourteen’s course goes like this: 9 flat stages, 5 hill stages, 6 mountain stages with 5 altitude finishes, 1 time trial, and 2 rest days. The stages range from 54km to 237km. In one day. Roll that around for a second. These athletes are in a saddle for hours and hours each day. I can barely sit in a chair that long, let alone pedal a bike 40km/hr for hours on end. And then they get up the next morning and do it all again. Unfortunately, doping scandals have been around since the 80s-90s, but even so, I don’t doubt for a second that these are some of the fittest men on Earth. All that said (sorry), I would love to see all the Tour de France races, starting with the first in 1903. I would die to see Lance destroy his competition on an uphill. I want to feel the peloton whizz by like a high-speed train. I want to see the pain and triumph on a stage winner’s face as they cross yet another finish line. And I really want to see the last stage as the tour winner hoists the traditional bouquet above his head and gives each lady delicate les bises on each cheek. What a surreal moment.

tour_1684046c
Lindsey says:
The first Olympic Games. Would love to see the difference from then to now.
And Matt says:
This was tough. Sports have been my life since I had a basketball in my crib that was roughly the size of my head. I’ve attended World Series games, NBA playoff games, great college match-ups… I once trip an NBA official while sweeping the floor in my short time as a ball boy.
But, with all that, there is a never-ending list of historical sporting events that I would love to be able to get my Marty McFly on and go to. Any Pistol Pete game at LSU. Jordan’s flu game. Super Bowl 3. Game 1 of the ’88 World Series. The Miracle on Ice. Even game 6 last year’s NBA Finals when Jesus saved the Heat.
There’s one clear answer.The gold medal ice-hockey game of the 1994 Junior Goodwill Games: Iceland vs. the United States.Led by coach Gordon Bombay and All-World Center Adam Banks, Team USA was a heavy underdog going into the match-up against the bigger, stronger, faster Team Iceland, led by captain Gunnar Stahl, the tournament’s points leader.
Though the team came in with much fanfare, which featured a large corporate sponsorship from Hendrix Hockey, one of the nation’s leading sportswear companies, the wheels had fallen off after a loss in the round robin round to the very same Iceland team. Banks had gone down with a wrist injury, there were reports of revolt within the locker room, resulting in Bombay being 2 and a half periods late for their semi-final match-up. Eye witnesses report him roller blading on Venice Beach shortly after the drop of the puck.This seemed to be a come to Jesus moment for the team though. They came into the gold medal game with a aggression not seen since their opening game against the overmatched Trinidad and Tobago. Iceland took an early lead, but the resilient Team USA battled back, using seldom used tactics like the alley-oop and a lasso. For every hit laid on them by Iceland, the US hit back harder. Banks returned to spark the offense, with captain Charlie Conway, a long-time Bombay disciple, giving up his roster spot. Why would he do that? So newcomer Russ Tyler could stay on the roster. This would pay major dividends.
They trail going into the third and final period. Then… it happened. As the Americans skated onto the ice for the last 20 minutes of hockey, the red, white and blue they donned earlier was still in the locker room. Across their chests was the logo of the Ducks, the name of the team Bombay had coached two years prior in Minnesota, which featured many of this team. This changed sent a surge of electricity through the arena a a rush of adrenaline through this underdog squad. Down a goal late in the game and Tyler being double-teamed whenever he stepped on the ice, Bombay called on the seldom used hockey time-out and devised his greatest play ever. With the clock ticking, Team USA The Ducks making no push and Iceland Coach Wolf ‘The Dentist’ Stansson trying to get eyes on Tyler… Bombay screamed, “Now, Guy!” Center Guy Germaine skated to center ice, followed by Greg Goldberg, the goalie, which is odd. As he passed it back to Goldberg, the former deli-cashier shed his mask to reveal THAT IT WASN’T GOLDBERG BUT TYLER IN GOLDBERG’S JERSEY! He’s handed a stick and unleashes his unstoppable knucklepuck to tie the game and send it into a shootout.Back and forth they go. Goal. Save by Golderberg. Back and forth.With the shootout tied at 3 going into the last round, it’s time for Adam ‘Cakeeater’ Banks to go. And he does not disappoint. In one could only have been a move to throw the Iceland goalie off, Banks puts his versatility on display and handles the puck left-handed for the first time in his career. 4-3 Ducks.Before Stahl takes the final shot for Iceland, Bombay, in another legendary coaching move, pulls Goldberg to insert seldom used Julie ‘The Cat’ Gaffney in goal, who, earlier in the tournament, had become the first female to take her place between the pipes in Junior Goodwill Games history. Stahl went to his patented triple-deke, stopped short and went high, glove side. As the crowd held their collective breath… the puck bounced up out of the confident glove of Gaffney. USA DUCKS WIN! DUCKS WIN!No sporting event has ever topped that. It’s hard to believe that one ever will.

What do you think? What historical sporting event would you like to witness?

Table Topic Tuesday. 12/31.

To celebrate the last Tuesday of the year, I have a fun Table Topic question.

WHAT SONG SAYS IT ALL ABOUT YOUR LIFE CURRENTLY?

My life or my current mood?

There are a few songs that always say it all to me, if not about me.

NeedToBreathe’s Slumber: Wake on up from your slumber and open up your eyes. Hello.

Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe”:  Oh, I’m a lucky man to count on both hands the ones I love.
Some folks just have one, yeah, others, they’ve got none.

Stay with me…
Let’s just breathe…

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see.
No one knows this more than me.

For giggles: “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and  Otis Redding’s “Shama Lama Ding Dong”.

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

For nourishment: “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing” (written by Robert Robinson). I love, love, love this old hymn and new renditions stir me up every single time. Have you heard Mumford’s version?

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.

Here’s my heart, Lord. Take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.

But, because it’s the very last day of a very challenging year, I’ll pick this one: “It’s Time” by the Imagine Dragons (Plus, I heard The Railers cover it live last night and my ear drums are still tingly. Check them out. I have a feeling they’re gonna make it big).

So this is what you meant
When you said that you were spent.

It’s time to begin, isn’t it?
I get a little bit bigger, but then I’ll admit.
I’m just the same as I was.
Now don’t you understand
That I’m never changing who I am.

Two of my pals weighed in, too. Here are their tunes.

Lindsay says:

When I graduated high school, our teachers asked all of us seniors to pick a quote to accompany our yearbook photos — a quote that summed up our favorite moments or ones that brought us to that point. “I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens.” It was almost impossible for me. I thought and thought and thought for weeks. I ended up choosing a couple lines from one of my favorite John Mayer songs. Sappy. Lofty. Vague. I was 17. Now at 24, my life is a bit different, but John has remained one of my favorites. He’s a really smart dude {despite what Javi thinks} and I dig him. He sings a song called “Badge and Gun,” and I listen to it on repeat. It gets under my skin a little bit. It finds its way to my soul as so many of his other tracks have. It reminds me of all the great times behind me and the ones I can’t wait to meet in the future.

Matt says:

If there was just one song that could describe my life right now, my life would be easy.
My just strained my mind grapes trying to narrow it down to one. So, I’ll break it down in a few different ways. My favorite song of 2013: “Favorite Song” – Chance the Rapper ft. Childish Gambino
This one made my life easier. So much easier. When I was trying to figure out my favorite song of the year I looked at my iTunes number of plays function and, sure enough, “Favorite Song” topped the list. This makes “Favorite Song” my favorite song and I love how life works out.
Easiest song to relate to: “It Never Snows In Florida” – New Found Glory
I used to be super into New Found Glory. I also used to be super into snow and Christmas and all the stuff. My first Christmas in Florida has thrown a wrench into my Christmas Spirit. Not only does it now snow, it was like 80 today. 80 degrees. Maybe when I get to Oklahoma, where today is was 11 degrees (69 degrees left
if I can still do 2nd grade Math), it’ll all come back to me. But, right now, I have no faith in snow or my Christmas Spirit returning. At least not like it was. At least I know that Santa Claus is real and delivers in any climate. The song that’s really my favorite song even though I said “Favorite Song” was
my favorite song because it’s a cool story and was #1 on my iTunes for the year:
“Step” – Vampire Weekend

I love this song. I could listen to this song every day. I love this song.
The song that could actually describe my life right now: “V. 3005” – Childish Gamibno
Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino has been the artist I’ve most identified with over the past few years. Everything I’ve ever done (screenwriting, stand-up, hip-hop) before advertising, he’s excelled at. He’s also open, honest and lets his emotions spill into the pen. “V. 3005” is about his insecurities. His battle with success and fear of success. It’s his acknowledgment that he’ll never be alone, even if he’s alone. I don’t know, it’s just deep. Really deep. It makes me feel all of the feels and I need that in my life. Because I feel all of the feels all of the time and there’s no cure. And I love it.

Your turn. What song says it all about you today?

Table Topic Tuesday. 12/17.

Hiya. Didn’t want Tuesday to sneak away without a little Table Topic fun.

Today’s question is apropos for this December Tuesday.

12.17

Really, I love any gift I get because it means that someone thought of me and acted on that thought. What’s sweeter than that?

Disney Digression: This is always a good gift idea.
Disney Digression: This is always a good gift idea.

I did get a bad gift once, so I’ll call it the worst. It was a wedding gift. It was a wedding re-gift. Yup. One of our guests was a newlywed. He gifted us a lovely set of champagne flutes. I was tickled pink when I opened up the box–until I saw that a scrap of the original wrapping paper was still taped to the underside of the box. Just a wee triangular piece wagging at me like a 4-year-old sticking his tongue out. Nanni nanni boo boo.

Seriously? How do you wrap over old wrapping paper and not notice? Plus, if he had scrapped the scrap, I would’ve never known it wasn’t handpicked and purchased just for me.

I’ve had my fair share of gifting groaners, too. I gave the worst gift ever just last year. I thought I’d be all cute and sweet and plan a horseback riding adventure for Jeff and me. I’ve known the man for 14 years, we’ve been married for 10 and in my mind, he was a horse whisperer. His dad grew up on a farm, grew up riding horses, grew up to raise them and show them. I thought horse-love thundered through Jeff’s blood and I’d be wife of the year for orchestrating this romantic trail ride. Cowboy: take me away.

It was supposed to be a surprise. But he saw the signs as we got close to the farm.

Are we going horseback riding?

Maybe, I grinned and shrugged and batted my eyes.

I really don’t like horses, babe.

Colossal gifting fail. I felt so awfully silly, I called and cancelled right then.

Those are my worst gifts. My friends weighed in, too.

Lindsey says:

Unsolicited advice.

Lindsay says:

First off, I’m an awesome gift giver. Homemade this. Crafted that. I even made a spiral bound book once. The happy tears pour every birthday, Christmas and Mother’s Day. It’s a gift, really. But don’t get me wrong. There are doozies in my past. Let’s start with the elementary school Fruit Loop ornaments… that my mom still has. That says a lot about one of America’s favorite breakfast foods, yeah? Should I tell you about the time I re-gifted an entire soaps & lotions basket? Thoughtless. But time was of the essence. How about when I went all ‘nature’ on my sister and stuck some fallen leaves on wood and called it a picture frame? She probably forced herself to forget that one. I know I’m not alone, though. While I can’t remember ever receiving any truly horrible gifts, there was one time when I got a heinous shirt from a family member. Ever see those tops that are the size of wash cloths but stretch out to 8x their size when you put them on? They’re usually in loud, offensive colors that resemble the texture of bubble wrap? A walking funhouse, if you will. You know the ones I’m talking about. I almost laughed until I realized this was, in fact, a serious gift. Memorable, to say the least.

What do you say? Worst gift you’ve ever gotten or given?

Table Topic Tuesday. 12/10.

Happy Tuesday! It’s Table Topic time.

I let Lindsay choose this week. She picked a doozy (smart girl). You ready?

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD?

My answers are valid today only. I’ll be wondering about new wonders tomorrow.

Here are my seven.

1. THE ELF ON THE SHELF

This footless, frozen-faced sprite freaks me out a little bit. I mean, let’s call him what he is. He’s a spy. A bribing spy. And there are entire Pinterest pages and blogs and sites encouraging this mischief.  We’re drinking the eggnog, too. The boys love our Adam Winston Adams. So far this season, he’s wrapped an entire toilet in Christmas paper, gone fishing for goldfish in the sink and taunted me with unblinking, plastic eyes to one-up yesterday’s stunt. I kinda want to send him to tinsel oblivion. Can I get a witness?

elf

2. MACHU PICCHU

The most haunting corner of the universe I’ve ever seen.

3. LEFTOVERS

Does this sound like a let down after Machu Picchu? Well, on a day when you had a banana for breakfast on the way to the office and you work straight through lunch and don’t realize it until 4pm, you come home to find that you have enough leftovers to feed all of you for dinner? Like, dinner’s done. You just have to heat it up.

Boo-yaka-sha.

4. SEX

(And I’ll just leave that one right there.)

5. SALTED CARAMEL

It’s salty. It’s sweet. Crunchy. Gooey. It’s everything.

6. WALT DISNEY WORLD

Where else can you walk around the world in an afternoon, ride a safari, ride a monorail, eat a turkey leg, eat a dole whip, see fireworks and every matching T-shirt ever made? Where else can you take a seat in the dueling piano bar, a pool bar, on a roller coaster, at a show or by a Swan? Where else can you complete the ultimate Grand Slam? You can bike, you can boat, you can fly. The music, the detail, the magic. The spell of the place is real.

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

7. LOVE

Love that has a work dinner and stops on the way home to get you a chestnut coffee—the kind you would never get because of calories and pennies—the kind you love the most.

Love that sees you come in the door and drops everything to run towards you, full-speed, arms wailing, towards you.

Love that finds your hand before putting one toe on the parking lot asphalt.

Love that always pulls the sun up each morning. The Love that lights the way. Wonder-full.

Lindsay says:

Seven wonders? I wonder about a lot of things. Here are some that break the top ten.

1. Two “Us” in the word Vacuum. It’s not right, it’s downright confusing, and it’s the reason I was ousted from round one in the third grade spelling bee. It still hurts.
2. Spinners on a ’91 Impala. No.
3. Unsubscribe confirmation emails. Thanks for reminding me I don’t ever want to receive emails from you again. Again.
4. Kids on leashes. Pay attention to and love your children? Or, rope them up like bomb-sniffing K-9s?
5. Drivers that leave their blinker on for 15 miles after switching lanes. Are you going to make use of the shoulder in a little bit or are you purposefully taunting me? I might seizure right there at 10 and 2.
6. English tutoring flyers with spelling errors. Let’s pretend like I didn’t do this once. Or twice.
7. Phone calls on speakerphone. In public. The best use of a cell phone for these people is in off mode, buried in a pocket, never to be turned on, ever.
Lindsey says:
1) Cinderella’s castle
2) Common sense. I wonder every day if it exists.
3) Akashi kaikyo bridge in Japan. Scary stuff.
4) The Grand Canyon
5) The Chanel tunnel (Chunnel)
6) The Great Pyramids
7) The Internet
And Javi says:

The Seven Wonders of the World are an ever-evolving list of amazing feats of man. Even with all of our technology, knowledge, study, and documented history, man still struggles to explain how many of these wonders in fact came to be or what there original purpose was.  They are as follows.

  1. Every John Mayer Album

It’s the same album every time, right? Has someone been smashing crazy pills into my pop tarts in the morning? It’s the same song over and over on every album! Every song is barely audible guitar and the creepy whisper of John Mayer saying things about your body being compared to ferris wheels or something. The fact that a man can consistently dupe the world into somehow buying the same thing over and over and believing it is something different is amazing. It’s crazy. It’s baffling. I don’t understand it. Scientists who have spent their whole careers studying auditory effects on the human brain don’t understand it. I mean, play two John Mayer songs right now. Do it. It’s the SAME SONG! He’s like some kind of whispery warlock. A WONDEROUS whispery warlock… with a touch of creepster … but none the less A WONDEROUS whispery warlock.

  1. Wyoming

It doesn’t exist. Have you ever been to Wyoming? Have you ever met anyone from Wyoming? Have you even heard of a news story out of Wyoming? No, you haven’t. Because it is not there. Wyoming is Native American for “empty land”, or “wendigo valley”. Some of you might rebuttal with statements you feel in your heart are compelling arguments like “I drove through there” or “I’ve been to a ranch there.” False. You’ve been lied to. You were in Montana. Maybe, Nebraska. Wyoming is not a place. It is a square. Look at it! It is a perfect square. That’s not a state. It is just a shape. A WONDEROUS shape.

  1. Candy Corn

All candy corn was made in 1956. All of it. Every kernel of corn. Candy corn is made of equal parts orange candle wax, melted mannequins from the 40’s, and a touch of broken dreams of children to add the flavor of something that tastes sweet, yet horribly sad and inedible. After candy corn is bought it is traditionally displayed in pastel porcelain dishes in the most depressing environments imaginable – a doctor’s waiting room, that dusty table in your office building that so few people use you would think it was freaking haunted, or a DMV window. The pastel dish helps trap in the surrounding sadness, and harness it to the candy corn to preserve it for the following years distribution. Nothing is a better natural preservative than sadness. After a few months, the candy corn is collected by candy corn associates in the shroud of darkness, and repackaged for the following year.

  1. Stonehenge

Possibly the biggest and most famous henge ever. It is a henge among henges. The bar that all other henges must compare themselves. And, the main reason Stonehenge has earned it’s rightful place on this list is because of the deep mystery surrounding it – often inspiring soul defining questions raised when people visit and stand in its majestic hengy presence. Questions heard time and time again by those who come and visit the henge year after year. Questions like, “Dude, does this place make your brain just go (explosion noise)… or what?” or “What button do I press on this camera… seriously I feel like I’m disarming a bomb?” or “Why did your father take us here?” and “I bet these people were ‘Stoned-henge’, get it?”

  1. Bounce Houses

Do you know what goes on in bounce houses? The bending of all things known in thermodynamics. Know these facts: It is almost impossible to follow the movements of a 3- to 4-year-old. Now give them the gift of partial flight! Plus, kids that age have this innate ability to increase their own gravity ten fold when they do that thing where their bodies go limp, and picking them up is more difficult than trying to hoist an oiled bar of gold. If we, as a species, could harness the power of a room filled with flying children, crashing against each other with the weight of a thousand suns we could solve the energy crisis. Bounce houses are like the Hadron Collider, but made of children. So much danger. So much wonder.

6. Miley Cyrus’ Tongue
Where’s it going? What’s it doing? Did you see what it did there? Oh jeeze, no please don’t do tha – GROSS! Why can’t I stop looking? Eeewwww, look! If I cover my eyes will you just give me a play by play of what it is doing? Ugh. It’s doing it again! It’s still doing it? Make it stop! No! NO! I’m not looking anymore. Someone keep an eye on it. What do you mean it disappeared? Oh god no. Is it gone? It’s GONE?! Are we safe? Seriously, did someone see where it went? I don’t want make any sudden moves until we know it is for sure gone. I think it was pointing me out… I think it might know where I live. What if it shows up at my door, you guys? C’mon, that’s not funny! Alright, fine. I’ll relax. But, just please keep an eye out for – AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

  1. The Internet

Rushing you info like a beer bong for your brain, the Internet is our teacher, mother, friend and lover. It does nothing but give. We choose what to receive and, in turn, give back. The relationship you build there, cradled in its cyber arms, is of your own doing. It is at fault for nothing. It merely provides us all entry into something greater. All that has been, could be, and will be. It is pure. And, when I send these words off into the ether, and sully the wonder of the Internet with their inane constitution, and someone stumbles upon them, and in turn, becomes less of a person for doing so, the Internet allows me to give a pre-emptive apology. I’m sorry.

Okay. Your Seven Wonders. Go.