Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Travel must-haves

Sorry for my absence! I spent the last two weeks in glamorous Detroit, MI at the auto show. Detroit sucks, guys. Avoid it at all costs.

As I'm sure you've gathered I travel a ridiculous amount for work. Some times of year are much busier than others; right now is the busy time and I'm barely home at all between now and May. I wish it was the other half of the year so I could enjoy the mild Arizona winter and beautiful East coast summers, since I end up being sent there so often.

Living out of a suitcase and in hotel rooms necessitates a nice collection of goods to keep one sane and comfy. Here are some things I never leave home without so I don't lose my mind on the road:

* My fluffy pink slippers. Never walk on a hotel carpet in bare feet - they are never cleaned!
* Burt's Bees pomegranate lip balm (a must on dry planes)
* Boots Restore & Renew Serum
* My DKNY cozy. A convertible sweater that can be configured in a multitude of ways; also makes a perfect blanket on the plane.
* Uggs. Usually my tall black ones, best for getting back and forth to the convention center in my black auto show outfits. Not fashionable y any means, but they feel like I'm walking on a cloud after spending hours and hours in 5" heels.
* Oil blotting sheets
* A real nightgown and a real pair of soft PJs
* Antibacterial wipes. I wipe down every single surface my hands will touch in the hotel room - all door knobs, shower and drawer handles, the remote, wall switches, lamp switches, curtain openers, etc.
* Isagenix shake mix. It's so hard to eat right on the road, and these give me the peace of mind of knowing I'm having at least one nutritious meal. I pack a travel-sized mini-blender, too.
*A solid piece of classic literature. This will last the length of my time away, unlike a lot of modern work which I can devour in a day or two. (I don't own a Kindle because I like having real books at home and want to have a dedicated library room one day.)
*L'Occitane travel-sized hand creams. My personal faves are cherry blossom & lavender.
*My black patent leather Coach Poppy tote. It's shocking how much I can fit in this bag, including my laptop, shoes, a book, wallet, and sundry girl stuff.
*A favorite hat. Sometimes it's my burgundy flannel, sometimes the black and white houndstooth. Perfect for hiding travel hair.

What's in your travel kit?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Love TKO

Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhh yeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh.... How many of you were made while this song was playing in the background? (Not me - my father assures me it was Sweet Caroline, hence the name). Teddy Pendergrass died yesterday at 59 from colon cancer. He was paralyzed in 1982 in a car crash but continued to make smoooooooooooooth love tunes for another 25+ years.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Improv Everywhere throws a wedding

Photo courtesy Improv Everywhere.

Improv Everywhere is one of my favorite entities ever. They have brought staged performance improvisation to the streets in a funny, joyful way. You may have seen people in NYC riding the subway without pants on today - that's the work of Improv Everywhere.

Last spring, the group arranged one of their best events yet. They grabbed a random couple on their way out of City Hall who had just gotten hitched and threw them a wedding reception! They had everything already set up across the street. The couple had several family members with them, and Improv Everywhere brought 50 "guests", including an entire wedding party and a DJ!

Check out the video:

How sweet is that? And how lovely is it that 50 people gave up their Monday afternoon to bring joy to a couple of strangers? Check out the whole website; this group does some really cool stuff.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Resolutions, Part 2

In my last post I discussed my set of fitness resolutions. My second set of resolutions for 2010 are creative.

I am, as you know (I hope you know) a writer, a photographer and a model/actress. I have a resolution for each of these aspects of my career.

#1: I will send out at least one book proposal this year, if not two. I have already started on the legwork for this project!

#2: Enter at least 3 photo competitions.

#3 Learn my new camera inside out! It does so much that I don't know how to access yet!

#4 Work closely with my agent to land at least two TV or film gigs.

Then there are the desires...
My husband and I have been married over a year and still have not gone on our official honeymoon! We will be heading back to South Africa next December so he and his father can race together (they are both pro drivers) and we're hoping to first take out honeymoon in South America, then fly to Africa from Brazil. Ideally I'd like to see Tanzania and Namibia (the Skeleton Coast in particular) on this trip; our last trip we stayed in-country.

We spent the New Year in San Diego, as I mentioned in my previous coast, and it just reinforced how utterly ridiculous it is that we both love the water so much yet live in the desert. He loves it here, but I'm over it. Perhaps we should live someplace we both love? Neither of our careers dictate we live anyplace specific. Maybe by this time next year we'll be returning from our global jaunt to a new house on the beach! (As tempting as San Diego/La Jolla is I'd prefer to be closer to family, so the East Coast would probably be more in line...)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Resolutions, Part 1

Aaaaaaaaand we're back! Sorry for the disappearing act. We had a guest for Christmas, as you can see in  my last entry, and just a few days after we left for San Diego, where we spent the New Year. By the way, if you really want to usher the year in right, do it while sipping mimosas in La Jolla Cove at a cozy breakfast spot on a cliff overlooking the Pacific. That, my friends, is what we call perfection.

I'm not normally big on resolutions because hello, no one ever really keeps their resolutions, do they? But this year, I've decided, is the year. This year I have two sets of resolutions - not just two resolutions, mind you, but two sets. One is a fitness set, and the other is a creative set. Let's talk about this fitness set.

It's actually relatively straightforward. I don't need to lose weight, but I certainly do need to tone up. Things have gotten awfully jiggly around here, and I do not find that amusing. I'm also not getting any younger, and the healthier I can stay now the better. Where does today's modern woman turn for fitness motivation? iPhone apps, of course! Couch to 5K, 100 Pushups and 200 Squats are my fitness resolution set monitors.

Couch to 5K is awesome, by the way. I started it last year and got about halfway through before my gym closed in the heat of the Arizona summer when running outside is a suicide mission. It basically gears you up from being a lazy slug to being able to run a 5K in nine weeks. Part of my fitness resolution set is to not only finish the Couch to 5K program, but actually run a 5K race sometime this year. This is a HUGE deal for me. I have never, ever been a runner. In fact, I often used to joke that I would only run if someone was chasing me with a knife. However, I hear this rumor that running is one of the best ways to  firm up a jiggly hindquarters, which is motivation enough for me at this point in my life!

100 Pushups and 200 Squats are programs that work in a similar manner... You gradually work your way up to the prescribed number after completing a baseline strength test. I'll end up doing 100 Pushups twice, I think. The first time I'll do it with girly pushups, because frankly I can't even do two regular pushups. Once I complete it that way, gaining tons more strength, I'll do it over again the regular way. 200 Squats should be less challenging. The other day I did the baseline test, then followed that up with my Day 1 set, and wound up totally 90 squats that day! Of course, directly before I had completed my Week 1 Day 1 of Couch to 5K, so as you can imagine walking has been rather difficult for the last two days. All three of these programs have very user-friendly iPhone apps that are easy to use at the gym.

And that gym that closed last summer? A new gym has opened in its place. I'm really happy about this because the other gyms in the area were either crappy or a further drive than I would be motivated to make (or both), and also more expensive. This gym is a 5-10 minute drive from my home, depending on traffic, has beautiful brand new equipment, a gorgeous studio for fitness classes, a huge pool and two saunas. Hopefully they will offer more yoga classes soon - the one they have now is very basic and beginner, and after practicing for ten years I want more of a challenge! Plus, this gym is in the same plaza as my hairdresser, the spa where I get my monthly facial and tanning salon. One stop shopping!

Next up: the creative set of 2010 resolutions!