Tuesday, March 22, 2011

not so guilty pleasure...

There it is. One of my all-time favorite t.v. shows: iCarly.

I love news, CNN, CNBC, BBC, NPR. I LOVE the History Channel.

I enjoy British comedies and dramas. I love Mystery and Masterpiece Theatre.

I adore a great comedy; Modern Family, Friends, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

But Nickelodeon's iCarly? I never saw that one coming. Yet, here I sit with no fewer than 16 episodes of iCarly on the TiVo.

My favorite episode, iFix a Pop Star, has a character that seems to be inspired by Britney Spears mid nervous breakdown. Here's a pic of 'Ginger Fox,' Britney's altar ego:
Hil. ar. i. ous. Truly. If someone with cancer can say how great a diversion this show is, there's gotta be some truth to that.

The addiction to this sitcom is becoming pervasive. As my daughter and I watch an episode right now, we are accompanied by my mother who's laughing responses elevates the entire viewing experience; her hysterical laughter serving as a soundtrack. Her laughs sound something like a breathless, 'Keh. Keh. Keh.'

So now I'm off to try a version of the show's famous entree, spaghetti tacos and rock myself to sleep.

Wait. I think I hear a, 'Keh. Keh. Keh.' Looks like I'm staying up a bit longer ;)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


You know when you see something that makes you laugh? You see some clever t-shirt or an outrageous headline on some tabloid (not that I would ever read such refuse....;o)) and you think to yourself, "I wish so-and-so was here so he/she could see this!"

Sometimes it's possible to whip your camera phone out and snap a shot, but other times, there's no discreet way to take the picture; no way to mask the cacophonous shutter sound most cell phones produce. That's why I take a point and shoot camera so many places with me, nestled in the cavernous depths of my unwieldy purse. Just because I'm not a Boy Scout doesn't mean I can't adhere to the motto: "Be prepared." It is for this reason that I carry everything I could possibly need from a 72-hour kit to jumper cables in the aforementioned purse at all times. Okay, maybe I don't generally have those items on hand, but I did wind up carrying a meat thermometer for a couple of weeks. Why? I have absolutely no recollection. It would have made a great weapon though, had the need arisen. (Ever seen A Perfect Murder?)

This state of perpetual preparedness has come in handy more than once. I consider the greatest benefit of always being prepared is having my camera constantly at the ready. To capture the fleeting moments of joy life brings my way? No. I love having it with me to take pictures of people at their weirdest. I think you'll enjoy a few of these memorialized on my SD card.

Shirt? Check. Shoes? Check. Crap, I forgot my pants again. Seriously? Is people coming in without anything on their lower half really enough of a problem that it merits having a sign in your business' window? And more importantly, are any of these scantily-clad patrons hot men? Oh no she didn't! Oh yes, I did.

So here's the question: Is the author of this charming graffito stuttering? It is a questioning stammer? Are they unsure as to whether or not the food is good? If so, why not wait until one reaches a greater level of certainty regarding the cuisine before scribbling on some random wall?

Or, as I suspect is far more likely, are they completely unaware of the fact that the word is, 'yum,' not 'um?' Or maybe it's supposed to be 'mmmmm.' Which is almost worse as there's really absolutely no way to misspell a word that consists of the repetition of one letter. Really?

I think this has a typo. Clearly it's not referring to children at play. I think "Elves Playing," would be more accurate. Unless, perhaps, you and yours are often found sporting lederhosen and fur-trimmed caps, then this might refer to you as well.

No, in answer to the question you're undoubtedly on the verge of asking, this is not a Victoria's Secret store window. Oh no. Much better. This was some store I saw in LA from the confines of Rick and Kath's (my parents) Buick rear window.

The store clearly caters to the older set carrying such hot items as geriatric lingerie (that has to be the loosest interpretation of the word, 'lingerie' ever) And I love that there are two versions of these sexy support undergarments for the ladies and even one provocative one-piece ensemble for the fashion-conscience gentleman.

Even if I was in the twilight of my life and in need of everything in this charming window display, I would shy away from shopping there due to the incredibly unappealing skivvies exhibited here. It's just...odd.

So I think you'll all agree with me as to the need to carry a camera with you at all times; to capture all the hilarity the world has to offer. Because in these days of a poor economy and a gulf steeped in oil, sometimes we just need a to take a break to laugh at ourselves. ;o)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hitting a brick wall...

So I was rifling through the 600+ pictures on my phone (yes, I'm that bad at actually cleaning out my poor little SD card.) And I ran across some pics I love.

Here are my kids, Ali and MacDuff. And they're sitting before the eighth world wonder. I had always wanted to have a house with exposed brick--ever since I saw it on My Two Dads (wow did I just really date myself like that?)

So in a classic Hollie fit of rebellion, I decided if the Universe wasn't going to comply and grant me with said exposed brick, I would just make my own. So I painted an entire wall of bricks; an entire, fairly expansive wall. Mostly just in an effort to prove something to myself.

The second dumbest part? I decided, on a lark, to do it on Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays, Holl. (Hey, that's alliteration. Yay, me!)

The first dumbest part? After twenty some odd hours, I had finished and guess what... I didn't like it all that much. :o(

Do I have to learn everything the hard way? Apparently. Keep me in your prayers...;o)

Friday, June 11, 2010

California Girls!

So, we took a road trip. 'Road trips are fun,' you say. And they are....for the most part.

Ali and packed our much-beloved summer-themed garb into matching coal-black pilot cases and crammed them unceremoniously into the trunk--or boot for those British friends out there--and we made for the Golden State.

Riding in the back seat of my parent's sedan, (Yes, we went with my parents. :o/) we hopped onto southbound I-15 with palm trees in our eyes. Wedged into the rear confines of the car, we were unable to feel the air conditioning (though my dad insists that if he aims it at the ceiling, the air will ricochet and hit us square in the face providing us with a refreshing coolness. This does not work, which I consequently attempted to explain to him on numerous occasions throughout my childhood. All it serves to accomplish is making the fabric of the ceiling ice cold and making the rear passengers a wee bit testy ;o))

We sat surrounded by every essential item that either didn't fit in the trunk/boot or was deemed to be necessary during travel, such as Easy Cheese (I'm the one that determined the necessity of this particular item. :o))

Not twenty minutes into the trip, however, I realized I had left my dad's credit card at home. ( I had been in charge of booking the hotel and had left it on my desk beside my laptop. Oops.) This should have been a heeded omen. It was not.

Driving through seemingly endless miles of barren desert landscape, we finally arrived in Costa Mesa? (Yes, that's a question mark as I am not entirely sure where our hotel was.) We met up with my brother, his better half, Ashley and son, Kaeden, who all had the foresight to fly there; perhaps they're just less masochistic. ;o)

We spent a few days there, visiting my dad's old stomping grounds, showing the kids the ocean--which is almost as cool as The Great Salt Lake (insert sarcasm.) And all in all, enjoying being somewhere different; somewhere new. I got some darling new gladiators and purchased a matching pair for Miss Alixandra and got to eat the world's best fresh Mex at Sharky's.

We had a blast! And my dad, who usually eschews all things technologically advanced, grew to love the Google Nav app on my phone!

Ali and Kaeden at Balboa Beach. Note the aforementioned gladiators.

Then there was the ride home. It was a trial to test even the most tolerant of souls... Which--consequently--I am not. By the time we hit Vegas, the car was overheating and strangely enough smelled a lot like overcooked lasagna. Really, really overcooked.

Rolling into a mechanic's shop, we were assured we'd make it home with no problem. Lies lies lies. Between the omen at the beginning of the trip and the car smelling like burnt Italian food, you'd think we'd just have thrown in the towel. But no--we're Hoffmann's and we are nothing if not notoriously stubborn.

So we soldiered on; passing St. George and the southernmost portion of Utah determined to make it with little to no car issues. No one's gonna tell us we can't make it home.

Fast forward to Cedar City where plumes of pewter-colored smoke were to be seen billowing from beneath said sedan hood.

The damage? A new engine, which fortunately had been the problem since Vegas and hadn't resulted from our stubborn hope to arrive home before addressing the problem. We were just given poor advice by our liar mechanic. Jerk :o) In short, another day was added to our journey and the car took about five weeks to be towed and repaired. Don't even ask what the cost was. I didn't.

The moral: never take a trip in the back of your parent's sedan at the ripe old age of 32. What did I think the best-case scenario would be? No I'm kidding. It was fun and definitely memorable! :o)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hollie and her iPad: an ill-fated love story...

Some people fall in love easily. They flit from one person to the next plunging deeply, fervidly into passionate, reckless love affairs; offering themselves heart and soul to whomever has recently caught their attention. They pursue romantic attachments with feckless abandon full of hope--albeit naive hope--that this person is the ever-elusive, exalted, often dietized object of intense interest or perhaps more appropriately: obsession. They discard all rationale in pursuit of this ideal and then shatter with despair as the attachment fizzles and finds itself filed away into the dust-laden recesses of the person's heart until someone else arrives to garner that interest once again. While it's not a ubiquitous problem, we each know someone who suffers from this strange addiction to love.

I experience this with electronics. I love new toys and some of you may recall a prior post in which I referred to my phone as my boyfriend.(His name is David; an explanation for another day...) Well, we're still together, though there have been some rough patches in our relationship...

And then there's IchaPod, my iPod. He's pretty hot and sports an impressive 160 GB of storage, because let's face it: size does matter. ;o)

But, alas, my relationship with my iPad was not to be. As many of you know I suffer from a condition for which there is no known cure: I read FAR too much. And that's where the sexy iPad and I conflicted and were forced to part ways. Due to its LCD screen, you can only read comfortably for about an hour at a time.

Enter the latest in my harem of technological suitors: The Kindle, or Ken-Doll as I've christened him. (Ken was hot, even if he was a tiny bit gay. And he always knew when to keep his mouth shut. What's not to love? ;o))

We hit it off immediately. It's e-ink technology allows for endless hours of reading entertainment. We have a wonderful relationship and are madly in love....

I'm a lucky girl ;o)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Burger Tour 2010!

I have over the last week consumed more beef than I probably did in the entire two months prior. Aside from the visit to In and Out, we also made a pilgrimage to the new Smashburger. While I had been to both, I had never been to the ones that recently opened near my house. I will say this: I had forgotten how good a Smashburger was. It was almost a religious experience and, while I'm a lover of good food, I'm not obsessed with it. I opt for the mantra: "Eat to live, don't live to eat." But Smashburger could very well change that. It reminds me of why I ended a six and half year stint as a vegetarian; because life was meant to be enjoyed, not endured. ;o)

This burger alone probably should have accounted for my total calorie intake for three-four days and it definitely does not make you feel light on your feet, but it's a darn good burger with a better-than-average dining atmosphere. How good can the atmosphere at a burger joint be? Well none of the furniture was composed of the obligatory hard plastic McDonalds and the like have nor is any of it bolted to the floor. Imagine that. And, while the color schemes at such classy establishments as Burger King and Wendy's run toward the vibrant primary colors or tacky, 80's pastels, the hues employed at Smashburger are more urban with sultry shades of crimson and jet black being prevalent. (Yes I just described the color scheme as sultry.)

It's sort of like burgers for the chic.

So move over sushi--slaughtered, processed cow has never been so hot! ;o)

The above shot was taken by my personal assistant/photographer. "Mom," she called. "Rub your stomach and say, 'mmmmmm.'" So I did. Not the most flattering picture, but fun nonetheless... :o)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Couch Potatoes

The other day my nephew came to visit. I heard his arrival, but noticed the lack of rambunctious laughter and hearty guffaws that generally accompany his entrance. As any parent will attest, silent kids are scary kids. As much as we yearn for peace, it terrifies us. When you become so completely accustomed to the melee; the never-ending din of child rearing; quietude is something to be feared. It seldom, if ever, indicates a wholesome, preapproved activity is being embarked upon.

I don't want to say thoughts 'raced,' through my head. Let's say they, 'jogged,' or possibly 'sauntered.' Possible scenarios included an image of my nephew falling down the stairs that descend into the family room. I saw his tiny body, arms outstretched, grasping for anything with which to steady himself and my daughter vaulting across the room to his rescue; pinning his toddler body to her chest and rolling across the floor in some Matrix-inspired, suspended-animation move she saves him. (My imagination's impressive!)

Then there was the thought of my ever-inquisitive, terminally-curious nephew seeing something inedible and discovering it's size/shape are perfect to fit within his mouth. His face, turning every shade of purple from lavender to plum, exhibiting an expression of unadulterated horror. My daughter (ever the heroine of my insane, mental hypotheticals) charges to his rescue, attempting to mimic the life-saving Heimlich maneuver.

I knew better, but I'm a writer. A vivid imagination is a requirement! Or maybe it's just indicative of being a huge dork....;o)

At any rate...Upon entering the room, I spied them cuddled together on a family-room chair. No broken bones or charred remains of furniture were to be seen. No asphyxiation seemed eminent. They were fine. Imagine that. And when I beheld them nestled together I had to capture the sweetness of the moment on camera. There the two of them sat snuggled close, utterly spellbound by what they were watching on the television. After snapping the picture, I turned to the TV to see what had them so completely enthralled...


That's right--Oprah. My daughter and nephew have become mesmerized by day-time television. I never thought this day would come. Okay, so I knew it would come, but I just thought I had something close to a decade to prepare. I assumed it would correspond with later-life events like applying to colleges and having a first job, etc. I never imagined that as early as the fourth grade, Ms. Winfrey would already have indoctrinated yet another generation of loyal followers. That she'd have her diamond-studded hooks firmly embedded in the likes of my daughter. And how old is my nephew? Not even two. I gotta hand it to the woman; that's some effective media! That the two of them would opt for Oprah over Disney Channel or Nickelodeon says a lot about her incredible mass appeal!

To be fair, my daughter has met Oprah. She was even kissed by her following Ali's appearance on her show. So, I think that adds to Oprah's mystique in my daughter's eyes. And with Oprah's keen observation in proclaiming that my daughter was, "so cute," I have to say I find myself partial to Ms. Winfrey as well ;o)

Also worth mention, is the fact that Oprah's guests that afternoon were some of the funniest people on God's green earth! Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan (LOVE him) and Betty White. I'm sure that was appreciated by the younger set!

So, in short, the kids were hale and hearty and free from certain disaster and, as of April 6, 2010, The Queen of Talk had acquired two new followers. She couldn't have done better! ;o)