Friday, July 31, 2009

Food, Inc.

David and I saw Food, Inc. tonight. If you've not heard about it, it's a documentary identifying the rise and decline of food production in our country. Go see it. And sign this.

I'm not a revolutionary. However, with the government spewing nothing but Healthcare Reform for the past several months and obesity being the number 1 news story since the clock struck 2000, I find it shocking to believe that no one is making the connection. Food is a business in our country. It's like any other major Wall Street crisis or Ponzi scheme; the rich get richer at the poor's expense.
I'm shocked at how little I knew about food. I knew it was better to buy organic, but I had no idea how unbelievably more important it was to buy locally, grass-fed, antibiotic-free, and the list goes on. And you know what? It's hard to buy this kind of food! It's hard because it's expensive, it's not always accessible, and it's confusing as hell! Who can keep track of the labels on food?! We just trust that when it says "organic" or "all-natural", it's better for us. And why wouldn't we?

The truth is, my friends, that I've been misled. It isn't anyone's fault but my own. And now that I know better, I'm going to do better. Every locally grown vegetable I buy, every gallon of milk that's rGBH-free, every tomato I eat from my little garden casts a vote against a system that was built to take my money in exchange for genetically modified food, grown without respect for the workers who harvested it or the planet that grew it. It's expensive. But I'll bet you that if I took the same $100 that I spend at Publix once a week and spent it in the aisles at Whole Foods and at my local Farmer's Market, I'd end up with less food; and I probably wouldn't starve.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Group Fitness

David and I joined the Jewish Community Alliance; the J.C.A. This sounds like a big deal, like we had to take a vow or get knighted or something, but it was mainly signing on the dotted line. Turns out, the JCA has an amazing community center including an indoor and outdoor pool, 8 group fitness classes a day, a huge gym, tennis courts, indoor basketball courts, handball courts, spin classes, and even a sauna!
I've been going to the Ball Pilates class this week. This is a class in which you do all the pilates moves, except you do them while balancing part of your body on a big bouncy ball. It's kind of like those ball jumpers with the handles we had when we were kids, but totally grown up.

I used to go to Bally's, and on occasion I attended one of their fitness classes. These included several of the most intimidating and miserable moments of my entire life. Beautiful, fit people walking around with their tall bodies and bare midriffs. And, of course, they all know the instructor by name. And have taken the class a billion times before so they know all the moves and equipment and they don't walk around in the middle of the class to get a mat or a block. The instructor even calls out their name during class. "This one's for you, Sharon!" And you're facing the wrong direction so you think she says, "Erin" and you flip around and laugh and say, "Thanks girl!" And then you unzip your skin and crawl out of the room in your invisible shield.

When I walked into my first class at the JCA, I was the youngest person in the about 40 years. I was the fittest, the most flexible, and the strongest by far. I was bouncing around on that ball with one leg in the air and my head touching the back of my thigh. I was single best Ball Pilates student there! People looked to me for pointers and it was only my first day! The instructor even said, "Great job!" as I elongated my legs with my pilates ring (that I promptly grabbed at the beginning of class because I took the immediate inventory of everyone in the room when I first walked in). And I know it's not really fair to compare my pilates abilities to that of a 65-year-old man in a unitard, but who cares? I was the best. THE BEST.

And I popped into the dressing room after pilates where all the old Jewish women were showering and dressing and chatting. They didn't really say anything or acknowledge me, so I figured they just didn't relate to me because of my age. I smiled at them as I opened my locker. I grabbed my bag and washed my face and pranced around like a star. Look at me ladies! Mmhmm! Star pilates student!
As I walked out the door, one of them shouted, "You looked great in there!" I flipped my hair while I held open the door and shouted, "Thanks, you t--" and before I finished I realized she was talking to her friend. I think I ran out the door fast enough that she never saw me.

Still, joining the JCA was totally worth it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

...and do you promise...

(David and Erin are watching 48 Hours Mystery)

Erin: Do you promise to never kill me?
Dave: Yep.
Erin: And do you promise to tell me if you ever did think about killing me?
Dave: Yep.
Erin: Good, because if you did kill me, I would just come back and make super sure that you went to jail forever and had to share a cell with someone who is big and scary and smelly and likes boys.


Dave: Are you going to finish your sweet potatoes?
Erin: No. You can have them.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


When my in-laws go out of town, they usually send their cleaning lady to our house for a good once-over.
This woman can talk. She can tell me about the garbage truck on her street, her dog's hereditary mange, or the fact that she's peri-menopausal without missing a beat.
This week, she walked in with dog treats and passed right over "Hello!" to "I just found this raw food treat at the feed store and I've been feeding it to my dogs and they love it because..." So I stood and talked to her for what turned into 30 minutes while David dodged us, walking from room to room with "things to do."
Finally, I excused myself and went to work while she started cleaning. About a half an hour later, she came in and asked if she could show me something in the kitchen.
"You see this stuff on the stove top? You've got to do a better job of cleaning it. This has probably been on here for week...I've been standing here rubbing it and I don't have time to get it all off. Maybe you should ask David if he's strong enough to get this off."
I stared at her for a minute, wondering if she was for real. I quickly realized she was dead serious and halfway between being offended and getting pissed off, I said, "Oh. Ok. Thanks."
I went back to work and a while later she came in and said, "Do you really need me to clean here in the office, too?"
I thought for a second and decided I didn't really need her to be in the same room I was in. It was already weird enough that she was walking around looking at the dirty things in my house. "No, that's ok."
A little while later she walked into the office and said, "It's so hot in here! Do you usually keep the air at this temp?"
"Oh, um, yes. This is what we normally keep it on. Would you like me to turn it down?"
"No, it's fine. I was just wondering if it's usually this hot. I'm going to go outside and cool off."
Outside to cool off? Really? It's 91 degrees outside.
I watched as she sat in her car and lit up a cigarette.
About an hour later: "You know, Erin, these floors are way worse than they were the last time I came. With two dogs slobbering and shedding, I've had to change my mop water 4 times. I don't know if I'll have time to do the upstairs."
The first thought that came to mind was, "Time? You don't have time?! It's noon!! You've worked 4 hours and spent a quarter of that time 'cooling off' and criticizing my dirty house! Your only job is to clean and your complaining that you're spending too much time cleaning?!"
But I actually said, "Oh. No problem! Do what you can!"
At about 1:30pm, she walked into the office, obviously exhausted, and told me she needed to be finished. She said she didn't have time to vacuum or do the upstairs. She then proceeded to talk to me for another 35 minutes about absolutely nothing.

In all of this, I had a flashback to when I was 8 years old and my mom hired a cleaning lady to come once a week. I'll never forget when she would tell me to clean up my room because the cleaning lady was coming. I didn't understand why I had to clean before the cleaning lady came.

Now I do.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Florida Childcare

I saw this sign as I came off the freeway today:

What the hell is "24 Hour Childcare"?!

Isn't that just being a parent????

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The 7 Types of Redneck : Part 2

The Women

Type 5: The 4-H
This breed of Redneck can tell you the worth of every boar and cow in the tri-county area. She typically wears a large straw hat, Wrangler jeans, and a lot of plaid shirts. More often than not she is married to her high school sweetheart (usually Type 4) and weighs more than him. She is a proud member of the FFA and aspires to win first place in next year's Redneck Games (she is excellent at bobbing for pigs' feet).

Type 6: The Pregnant Bride
This breed takes no issue with marrying her boyfriend in a Waffle House or on a small mound of dirt after letting out her best friend's wedding dress (her best friend is now single). She often already has a child from a previous relationship with a "sum-bitch" who "worked all the time." Typically still on probation from her DUI last summer, this Redneck works as a full-time "mom" and breeds daschunds (which she calls wiener babies).

Type 7: The Thong
This Redneck thrives on attention. She is usually the first one at the bar and the last one to be dragged out (typically by her hair or g-string) by a Type 1 or 2. If her thong does not peek through the top of her jeans to reveal the jewel or charm hanging from the back, then she has purchased jeans that are too large. She is most commonly shouting: "Who wants to buy me a drink?" and "Y'all are stupid if you ain't think I'm sexy."

Monday, July 13, 2009

The 7 Types of Redneck : Part 1

The Men

Type 1: The Camo Redneck
This Redneck breed wears camouflage; a lot of it. Anything from hats to pants to boxers. He has never been, nor does he every plan to serve, in any form of military. He owns several guns, though has never shot anything that is edible. He drives a truck capable of getting flattening every mailbox and decorative tree in the neighborhood with ease. A decal sticker often adorns the front windshield donning slogans like, "Ducks Unlimited" or "Git 'r Done." He has never been in a situation that required hiding in jungle foliage or even shrubbery.

Type 2: The No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem Redneck
This Redneck breed rarely wears a shirt or shoes. His skin is mainly a reddish shade until his pant line. Normally his arms or back display tattoos of half-nude women, large fish, or trucks. His pants of choice are usually black or stone-washed jeans. Despite never wearing a shirt or shoes, he always wears a hat. Buttocks cleavage is a favorite among this breed.

Type 3: The South will Rise Again Redneck
This Redneck is easy to spot by his mullet. He's typically between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. He does not know anyone who was alive in the 1860's and didn't serve in WW-II. Neither did any of his relatives. He enjoys talking about his "heritage", George W. Bush, and threesomes. He favors Busch beer over water and most foods. He typically "displays" a Confederate Flag in his window in place of curtains.

Type 4: The Silent Redneck
This Redneck is by far the most elusive. He is rather shy and rarely makes his appearance known in public. When surrounded by friends, he often smiles or nods when asked any question. He can usually be seen wearing a flannel shirt in summer and scratching his beard and mustache with fingernails that are uncharacteristically long for a male.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ed Hardy

I suppose I knew it would be taking a step backwards on the progressive scale to move to Florida. I just never imagined I would have such an averse reaction.
During a film shoot for an industrial this past week, the director called me and asked me to bring in a few clothing options for the studio work. I asked if he preferred specific colors and he said no, only that it shouldn't be something that people would look back on in 5 years and find to be dated. He further explained that several folks had requested they wear Ed Hardy t-shirts on set.
Ed Hardy t-shirts.
He was worried that people would find the shirts to be dated in five years.
Now, I'm by no means pretentious about clothing. If I could afford BCBG or a shopping spree at Nordstroms, I'm sure I'd be tempted. However, most of the items in my closet are from Target, Old Navy, and the Anne Taylor Outlet store. So to hear that this many people were concerned about being able to wear Ed Hardy t-shirts on the set made me somewhat physically ill. I remember 3 years ago when Sara Ramirez wore Ed Hardy shirts underneath her scrubs on Grey's Anatomy. Soon after, I saw these shirts in a store and told David I thought they were cool. He made a face and said, "Eeh. They're kind of douchey." THREE YEARS AGO.
And here I am, sitting amongst the Ed Hardy-loving actors in Jacksonville thinking to myself, this is it. This is how I'm going to die.
No, that's not true. I was actually thinking this might be a really good thing: I will always be able to spot the people in a crowd who I do NOT want to hang out with. I'll never have to waste time with small talk involving the neon they've recently attached to their rims or how loaded they got the other night at River City. I can simply spot the Ed Hardy t-shirt and move on with my day.

So in conclusion, I never ever want to be friends with Jon Gossselin.

The Scammer Saga

After a few requests, I put up a blog with the entire Scamming a Scammer series from start to finish. Hopefully there's another unsuspecting scammer out there whose ready to be my next subject.
Scamming a Scammer Saga

Friday, July 10, 2009

Scamming a Scammer, Part FIN

So I have to, begrudgingly, end my relationship with John Doe.

Eliza wrote to John over a month ago and he has not written back. I can only assume he is finished with Eliza's ignorance and intolerance. I did, however, feel it necessary to share the final words Eliza wrote.

Dear John,

I'm not sure where to start. Over the course of this weekend, your activities have left me no choice but to file legal divorce procedures in order to protect myself and our children. While there are reasons why it was appropriate and necessary for me to initiate this proceeding, I do not wish to discuss those reasons at this time, in the hope that all issues will be resolved amicably between you and myself. As always, my first priority remains our children.

I'm not very fond of the idea, personally, but I know it's necessary. My goal is peace for the kids.

I don't hate you, never have and never will. I don't like your new diamond earrings and I'm not happy about the Ed Hardy t-shirts; no one is. But I can tell you that I will always cherish the times we shared as a team. I don't want to do this alone, but I'm not going to lay down a die. I'll always love you, but like a butterfly, I'll have to let you go once you get hungry.


You should know that this is a rough transcription of the final episode of Jon and Kate plus 8. I guess he hates that show.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Job is a Job is a Job

I arrived at the breakfast spot to meet the cast and crew before the shoot. The director told me it would be a great time to get to know the other actors. I arrived and sat at a table of people obviously younger than me who ate in silence, didn't watch Wimbledon yesterday, and weren't interested in running lines. I prayed for the end of breakfast while desperately reading every news article I could find on my cell phone.
I drove to a pretentious little clothing shop in 5 Points where the tank tops were $70 and the owner allowed his cats to freely roam the floors. I didn't take an allergy pill. I didn't think I needed to take one to go shoot an industrial about consumer awareness in a clothing store.

About 45 minutes in, a few of the other actors finally started talking to me. One asked me how much I was making and I politely lied and said I didn't know. Another gleefully revealed she'd already spent all the money she was going to make on this shoot. (I chose not to remind her the very industrial we were filming was about saving money and consumer awareness.) She asked me if I'd spent mine. I told her I hadn't but that I hoped to spend some of it on an upcoming trip to Vegas. She then got very philosophical. "Oh, wow. I've never been to Vegas. But honestly, I've come to a point in my life where I just don't really binge drink anymore so I'm not sure I'd go to Vegas right now. I might go and just have a few drinks or something."
One of the other girls found out I moved from LA and they all glommed onto me as if I'd come from the Motherland with a message from the leader. I explained I was not there to act and they very swiftly moved on to nail polish colors.

When it was time to move onto the next scene, the director gave me another color shirt to wear and told the other actress to choose something new to wear too. She responded rapidly with something like this:
"Oh my God, I didn't know it was that kind of shoot, that's really rowdy, nude? Wow, crazy, next we're gonna like make out, like girls just making out in a store, that'd be crazy and our director would be like WE NEED MORE NUDE GIRLS and we'd be like, no problem we can totally be nude. Anytime boss! No, I'm kidding, I know you meant nude like the color, like something more neutral? Like a beige or a taupe or something? I can definitely find something in my bag that's more like my skin tone or like more natural or something, I know you don't be nude like not wearing clothes or something, God!"
"Rachel. I said new."
"OH, oh, neeeeeeeeew, no problem!"

Then I pulled my ears off and blinded myself with pencils and small rocks and finished the last 3 scenes and went home.