Random Friday Thoughts

I know—it just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Random Tuesday Thoughts, but I’m three days behind and I have a bunch of randomness rattling around. So sue me. Besides, Bill, who has apparently assumed the role of my manager/mom was reminding me that I haven’t written and if I don’t post soon you’re all going to stop coming over here. At which point I suggested he start his own damn blog. But I digress…

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Monday night I got the chance to go to the premiere of Julie & Julia, which opens next Friday (August 7). It was awesome. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about reading My Life in France, the biography of Julia Child’s years, um, well, in France. Her story is so fascinating to me as I approach decrepitude, because she really didn’t find her niche until she was almost 40. The parallel story in Julie & Julia is the story of Julie Powell, who spends a year cooking every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking while blogging about it. No small feat. The movie could have been a recipe for disaster (ahem), but Nora Ephron, who wrote and directed it, really did an amazing job blending the lives of these two women who never met.

And really—anything with Meryl Streep just rocks.

Side note: In Los Angeles, it’s not uncommon to run into “celebrities” (I put that in quotes because I couldn’t give a shit about the likes of Speidi), but every now and then you have the exceptional luck to see someone really worth seeing. The other night I had a great spot along side the red carpet and at one point was less than five feet away from Merle Streep. I might have swooned.

Special screening of Julie & Julia, Mann Village Theatre, Westwood, California

Picture by: Russ Einhorn / Splash News

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I’m a little pissed off at Nissan right now.

Last September I bought a brand-new 2008 350Z convertible. Otherwise known around our house as my Midlife Crisis. It goes Vrooom. It’s fast, it’s pretty, I can feel the breeze blowing through my hair, and it’s the perfect antidote to a shitty day at work. I leave the office, put the top down, blast the stereo and instantly feel transported out of the stress and drama.

However…I do have a couple minor problems with the car. The more minor issue is that the reflector on the front driver side has cracked and broken. It’s totally gone. And the car isn’t even a year old. For the amount of money we’ve spent on that car, shit shouldn’t be breaking off.

The bigger problem is a pain in the ass. Nissan is known (apparently to everyone but me) for having faulty motors for their windows. At some point they start to give out and you can’t close the window. It started a couple of months ago, and it didn’t really worry me too much until they failed at the car wash.

I pulled up to pay and grab my ticket, and when I tried to roll up the window, it went up and then went down about half way. I hit the switch again and it went up and then opened halfway again. I did this about a half dozen times until it seemed to stay up. Until I drove into the car wash. And it rolled itself down again. I had to hit the switch quickly and hold it until I was through the wash.

I did some research and it turns out this is common. The most common solution offered is to not roll down your window. Um, yeah. Not going to work for me. Especially because if you put the top up or down, the windows automatically go down.

Nissan says they’ll replace the motor but that’s a faulty solution, too. Because if you haven’t actually fixed the problem in all of the motors, I’m just going to have to go back in and replace it all over again. But the really insidious thing is, most of the time they don’t actually replace the damn thing anyway. The mechanics reset it.

So Nissan. You’re on notice. Fix your window motors and stop screwing your customers over. I can’t imagine in this economy that they can afford to lose any business.

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Tomorrow night I’m going to a soccer game. It’s the Los Angeles Galaxy (with the hot but obnoxious David Beckham) versus FC Barcelona. I’m a little scared because Bill said soccer is a little crazy (like throwing cups of pee kind of crazy). I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

Grace Face

There are few things in life that Gracie loves more than her soccer ball. She sleeps with it, she plays with it, she chases it and she squeeks it until it makes my eyes bleed. It’s funny to watch her play because she drop kicks, dribbles and does headers better than David Beckham (seriously, have you seen him play lately? Hawt, but totally losing his edge). She’ll chase and fetch this ball for hours—with our without us. And sometimes at random times—um, 3:00 a.m., really? This is a rare photo of her not in motion with her beloved ball.

Look at this sweet smushy face

Look at this sweet smushy face

I Met Guy Fieri In Vegas And All I Got Was This Lousy Post (UPDATED with pictures to prove it!)

I’m addicted to the Food Network. One Saturday morning about six or seven years ago, I got totally sucked in. I was awake early for some reason and there wasn’t much on TV. As I surfed around I found Paula’s Home Cooking and she was my gateway drug. I love her down-home cooking style—with lots ‘o buttah, naturally—and her food was delicious. Watching the Food Network and trying new recipes allowed me to actually enjoy cooking again.

Over the years I’ve added plenty of Food Network shows to my roster of regularly watched/Tivo’d programs. Giada, Barefoot Contessa, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay—anything they do, I watch. These chefs are like rock stars to me.  I’ve also become addicted to Iron Chef America and, of course, The Next Food Network Star.

I have no idea how I missed the second season of The Next Food Network Star with Guy Fieri but after watching him on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives I became a fan of his other shows—Guy’s Big Bite and Guy Off The Hook.

Which is why I was totally excited this weekend when we saw Guy Fieri hanging out in the pool at our hotel in Vegas.

Bill and I were lounging in our chairs when I suddenly saw the unmistakable platinum blond spiky hair bobbing in the pool. At first I wasn’t sure it was him, but then I heard his voice and knew it was Guy. I nudged Bill and tried to subtly point him out. Bill didn’t see him right away so, of course, I pointed:

“There. In the middle of the pool.”

“Where? I don’t see him.”

“See? Right there. In the center. With the spiky hair. Look! [stands up and points because I’m totally subtle like that]

Bill finally spots him and says, “We should go tell him he needs to go visit that place we love in Hollywood for Diners, Drive-In and Dives.” (Which is a great idea except the place is so busy already that you have to wait an eternity to get in.) It’s only open for breakfast and lunch and the food is amazing. The pancakes are bigger than a dinner plate and the French toast is like crack. But better. Like crack with vanilla.

Oddly, after making sure half the pool saw the poor guy, I was the one who was like, “Nah, that’s obnoxious. He’s probably on vacation and trying to relax.”

Bill’s like, “Aw, c’mon, he’s probably cool about it.”

So Bill got up and got in the pool. I was on the phone and wasn’t totally paying attention, so Bill’s side of the story is that he was easing into the pool and Guy made a comment to him first about the water being cold. For all I know, Bill walked right up and pitched him the idea. Either way, they started chatting.

After a few minutes, I got in and swam over to them, and Guy introduced himself and he was very nice. We were talking for a few minutes about different shows and restaurants and what it was like to win The Next Food Network Star. Guy also hosts The Ultimate Recipe Showdown so we told him that a friend of Bill’s won the first episode with his Mac ‘n Cheese recipe.

Finally, Guy looks at us and says, “My name really isn’t Guy Fieri. I’m an impersonator.”

At first I thought, “Okay, right, he’s sick of talking to us, so it’s a nice way of cutting us off.”

Then he points to his tattoo—he’s got the WSU logo on his arm—and says that Guy went to UNLV, not WSU, and that he’s really an ER nurse and bleached his hair to look like him for Halloween and never changed it back. He told us he felt bad because we seemed really nice and he didn’t want to mislead us.

Bill was laughing because he realized when he was talking to him about our friend winning Fake Fieri was a little fuzzy on the details. Fake Fieri said he gets stumped every once in a while on certain things but can usually play along.

Of course, I immediately turned to Bill and told hm that this was going into the blog. Duh.

So Fake Fieri offered to take a picture with Bill for the post.

It’s funny because after that, we ran into him a few times over the rest of our stay. At one point he came up to us to tell me he read my blog and would look for the post (hi Paul!). The second he walked away the people sitting around us were whispering “Was that Guy Fieri? Staying Here! In our hotel!” We just smiled.

Over the next couple of days we’d hear people talking about Guy sightings. Everyone was giddy over it.

At least we weren’t the only ones who were fooled! (Of course, if I had followed Guy on Twitter before today, I would have known it wasn’t him.)

Update: Paul read this and sent some pictures to me. See? Dead ringer.

You'd have to do a double take, right?

You'd have to do a double take, right?

He even dresses like him...

He even dresses like him...

This was taken a week ago at a fundraiser. The real Guy supplied the food.

This was taken a week ago at a fundraiser. The real Guy supplied the food.