Pink Trash Travels

Being Creative

I just got home from an all day creative meeting with McDonald's bigwigs (and when I write bigwigs, I mean the VIPs of McDonald's). As I told Chris on the phone, I was so nervous before making my first comment. After all, I didn't want to look or sound stupid in front of all the talented people in the room. Hopefully I didn't.

I suppose we'll see how my collaboration with them unfolds over the next few weeks. I've been trying to secure them as a client since April. And today, they asked if I could suggest where I would fit within their team. I've got some more thinking to do.


Speaking of Jesse Pavelka, I believe I stumbled across his email address. Boy how I'd love to send him a note to ask him out to lunch.

Jesse's Return

With Diet Tribe set to return to Lifetime in a few weeks, the promos have begun. With them comes the return of my infatuation with Jesse Pavelka. Check out a promo shoot for the first season (from last January) below.

My friend Lisa who lives in LA just saw Lebron James and P-Diddy at the film Fame. All we get to see in Chicago are cracked out whores who talk through the whole movie.

Just Wondering

I'm sitting at home watching the episode of The Brady Brunch where they go to Hawaii, and the Brady's are rowing in the ocean. Bobby and Greg have their shirts off while the girls are fully dressed. This made me think to myself, "When did it become taboo for women to go topless while men and their nipples can air dry with no worry?"

The Puma Index

Have you heard about the Puma Index? If you want to watch stocks rise and fall, as well as a hot model's pants, check it out HERE. As the website describes, "If you lose your shirt, at least they do too." All of which makes watching McDonald's stock, and the Dow, that much more fun.

The remixes to this 80s pop duo's latest offerings haven't been good. But my favorite Chicago resident DJ creates a smooth dance track that blends perfectly with these "West End" boys' newest single. Check it out HERE. For promo only of course.

The Housing Report: September 24, 2009

Landscaping. Light fixtures. Wall paint. Wall paper. Kitchen cabinets. Hardwood floors. Master closet. Shower doors. Check. Check. Check. However, with just over one week remaining until we start to move in, we still have a lot to do. But we're down to the wire. And we're more than thrilled. Gilly really. Make that Giddy.

PTT Entertainment Report: ABC's Modern Family

It's been promoted for months. And last night ABC's Modern Family premiered with fairly decent ratings - 2nd in its timeslot with almost 8 million viewers. I have a feeling the show will grow as the months progress (as it was quite good in a subtle comedy kind of way).

I'm so happy I can now participate in these fall premieres. There's something to be said for experiencing the show along with the rest of America instead of waiting for Sky One out of the UK to launch the show in Europe. Chalk up one for being home.

Chatting Up Ronald

Because the job market still hasn't fully recovered, I've been trying to secure additional clients for freelance work. Specifically, I've been chatting with McDonald's Creative Services over the past four months about somehow joining their team. Today, I find out if my business cards and tomato plants paid off as I'm talking with them at 4:30 (on what appears to be a cell phone from 1996 in the image to the right) about working on worldwide convention. If all falls into place, I'll secure a contract for the next seven months in some type of creative/project management role. Full time? Part time? I'm not sure. But, either way, it will be good to establish myself within the department so I can either continue in a freelance role or grab something more permanent down the line.

Letting Loose

I don't like it when I have to get nasty. But these past few weeks, it seems all I'm doing is punishing our design firm and vendors for mistakes they've made over the past few months. Usually, I try to soften my comments with kind words, etc. But this morning, after a glitch with door hardware, I let loose my frustration on their lack of attention to details. We'll see today how it's resolved. Either way, they know I'm not happy. And when I'm not happy...grrrr...

Looking on the Bright Side

Good thing we've robbed our bank accounts to pay for the new house. It looks as though the FDIC might run out of MONEY.

The Big Bang Theory Takes Off

I've said many times (even while living in Europe) how I'm a big fan of The Big Bang Theory. Jim Parsons may not have won the Emmy this year, but look for him to take the prize next year - especially as more people are watching the show. The Big Bang Theory premiered to a 28% increase in viewers last night with over 12.8 million watching the best comedy on television. Check it out if you aren't already.

The Puppy Report

We're hoping we've kicked the kennel cough - or at least we're past the most contagious stage. Because we're ready for Maddie to return home. We somewhat feel like bad parents as we shipped her off so the new one could heal. Sure, it's for Maddie's own good. But that guilty seed keeps growing inside us everyday she's not around.

Instead of the usual Fat Sally Sunday meal of pizza, pasta or Mexican, we prepared fish sticks, baked beans and cheesy hashbrowns. It was a pleasant white trash departure from the norm. I'm just sayin'.

Missing Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest began yesterday in Munich. And even though I wasn't a big fan of the drinking, I dearly miss the event and energy that overtakes the Bavarian city for two weeks. I especially have fond memories of Maddie and I walking down to the gigantic festival in the early evening - enjoying the ferris wheel lights, smelling fresh baked pretzels and watching drunk people of all ages fall down all around us.

Pink Trash Travels to: Cougar Town

On Saturday night, Chris and I ventured out with a group of friends to Chicago's new Club 33. The restaurant in Chicago's Gold Coast is a throw back to 1933 and somehow related to prohibition. Once you get past all the "cougar" boobs popping out, you can absorb the mahogany rich decor and Titanic staircase that leads you to the second floor balcony (where fortunately our table was located).

The American menu is loaded with meat and potato dishes (such as my pork chop and macaroni and cheese) and the desserts are just what you'd expect with an apple pie option, red velvet cake and brownie sundae. So of course, this is my kind of restaurant - except for the price tag (I suppose they need to pay for the gym conversion). Needless to say, we'd return. It's always fun to watch middle aged women with overflowing breasts and their badly dressed Chicago male companions having a good time in the big city.

Crazy Bug

This crazy bug landed next to me at the house today. Amazing how it looks just like a leaf.

Not Always the Case

THIS article goes to show that just because you're a Democrat, doesn't mean your completely supportive of gay rights - something many should consider when they cast their vote. Not to say Republicans would be any better, but I find it interesting when many AUTOMATICALLY assume Democrats will serve the gay community more positively than other parties. It's just not always the case.

The Housing Report: September 17, 2009

The front sidewalk was completed today. Exciting.

Giving Ina a Try

We're trying Barefoot Contessa's cookie mix tonight. We stumbled across the package in our Treasure Island grocery store (America's most European grocery store). It's $10 for a box that makes 18 cookies so it's expensive. But when I broke it down it was about $.45 per cookie, so it didn't seem too bad. Besides that, Ina has given us plenty of pleasure over the years so we don't mind funding her new kitchen.

The Puppy Report

Even though Whinnie has Kennel Cough and a parasite, she seems to be quite happy. Combine that with the fact that we haven't had any accidents in the house, she slept through the night, she knows how to sit and she heals on a leash, I'm quite happy too.

As for Maddie, she's visiting our friend Patrick through Saturday. From there, she goes for a country excursion until Whinnie gets better. We hated shipping her off, but it was best for each of them. And Dennis, well, he sits in his perch with a watchful eye.

Whinnie's Arrival

Puppy Update

We thought our new addition, Whinnie, would be coming home today. But sadly, her kennel cough has returned and she's developed a parasite. So now I'm waiting to chat with the vet to determine next steps.

Whinnie Wednesday

We weren't expecting to adopt another puppy anytime soon. But for some reason, the topic came up last week. So I called the humane society where we adopted Dailey - our second pup who passed away before moving to Europe. I asked if we were still on file so down the road, when we decide to adopt again, they would have all the paperwork. We weren't as it had been 10 years since we adopted Dailey. The shelter then asked what we were hoping to find. I explained a larger breed, puppy, who would get along with other animals. Kristy, the volunteer, then noted they had a 4 month old Leonberger puppy in foster care who needed a home. So, a few days later we drove to Downer's Grove, along with Maddie, to see if the Lutman/Young family would be making a new addition. Turns out we are as we pick up "Whinnie" on Wednesday after her spaying. Good thing we'll be moving shortly. We'll need all the room we can get.

The Housing Report: September 14, 2009

Sometimes it has to get unpleasant. Because of all the drama I had this morning with the house and the floor stain color, I sent the note below to the agency assisting us with the project. I'm anxious to hear their response tomorrow - if they mention the note at all. In the past, when they get in trouble, they seem to ignore the situation.

Good morning,

I wanted to give you an update on our stain issue from Monday as well as give our thoughts on how it unfolded.

In short, I asked for another coat of stain as it was lighter than we would have liked. Besides that, some areas of the house, especially the kitchen, were darker. Not a board or two. But a whole section. As I told Marian, I really needed a sample to compare the final product against. Without it, it wasn't fair to say, "This is what you approved." So they're adding another coat today and the varnish tomorrow a.m. and p.m. I'm told I need to walk through with Marian to ensure the floor is perfect before moving forward.

As for how it unfolded today, I have to say Chris and I are somewhat disappointed. If I wouldn't have been there this morning to supervise landscaping, the varnish would have been applied and it would have been too late to make any corrections (that or much more expensive). And considering how important the floor is to the house, we really think one of you should have been there to ensure that everything was correct. It wasn't appropriate for me to be sideswiped by the situation upon my arrival. After all, the managing of timelines and expectations is some of the reasons why we hired GPD. Otherwise, I'd be managing the process - knowing I needed to be there for such decisions. And yes, we are watching hours closely now that we've gone over the original estimate. But we've never asked for you not to be involved with making important decisions as a result.

So again, moving forward, I believe I'll walk through tomorrow night or Wednesday morning with Marian to ensure everything is good.


The Housing Report: September 14, 2009

I rode my bike to the house today to check on the initiation of our landscape work. While there, I was sideswiped by a dilemma with the color of our hardwood floors. In short, the floors were lighter than expected. And if I wouldn't have stopped by the house, Peter's Flooring would have applied two coats of varnish - and it would have been too late (or just too expensive) to fix.

I requested the floors should be darker. I was told the color I saw is what I approved so it would cost money to change. I replied, "Show me the sample I approved. If it's the same, we'll pay. If not, then we know the answer." Unfortunately for them, the sample no longer exists. All of which means we shouldn't be expected to shell out any additional dollars for the work. Just because you tell me it's what I approved doesn't mean that's the truth.

Hollywood Turmoil

I'm an entertainment whore. So when I read "behind the scenes" tales like the latest from a trio of crew members who worked with Megan Fox, I love it. CHECK OUT their thoughts on her comments regarding Michael Bay as well as their truthful opinion on the, "...thankless, classless, graceless, and shall we say unfriendly bitch."

10 Years Later

I need to get a new passport as mine is almost 10 years old. So today, I popped into Walgreens for a new photo. Of course, after I was done, I had to compare what I looked like 10 years ago to what I look like today.

Just Added

One of the best parts about being back stateside from living in Europe is our ability to experience the new TV season along with the rest of America. So this week I was excited when new shows hit the airwaves such as the CW's Vampire Diaries. I haven't seen the Twilight films or HBO's True Blood so I'm not influenced by all that craziness. Instead, I enjoyed the pilot episode's mixture of supernatural elements, brooding stars and rocking soundtrack. I'd say it's more Charmed than Lestat. As a result, we've now added the show to our DVR's favorite list.

Remembering 9/11

Color Correcting

Yep, it's happening. I'm returning to the salon today to have my stylist color correct my hair. I just can't get passed the red undertones in my new doo. Because not only do I feel like Sharon Osbourne, the color doesn't compliment my skin tone - especially when I'm a bit red from the sun.

Sometimes it's good to revisit the classics. In this case, it's all about Britney as I uncovered this Dave Aude mix from her days with the Neptunes. I must have glossed over the remix in its heyday (as I was over my head in Rand McNally map making). Check out the "snaky" song HERE.

Hair Update

Yesterday was the day I finally cut my hair. I've been talking about it for weeks but was too scared to pull the trigger. So how does it look?

I'm actually happy with the result but am unsure of the color. We had to wash my highlights away with a darker color - more my natural tone I thought. But today, it seems quite dark with a hint of red.

I'm hoping that as the days go by, my normal color will return (as it's done in the past with these types of washes). If not, I'll have to place an emergency call to my hairstylist to add some more caramel tones to the doo.

The price we pay for beauty.

Who Knew?

Who knew my other half was a country star with a hit on the Billboard charts? If that's the case, we should have no problem paying for our new house.

New Addition?

Look at that nose!

I've been saying since our pup Dailey passed away four years ago that I didn't want another dog. Well, it turns out that my attitude has changed. So, we've been talking to the shelter where we found Dailey - the West Suburban Humane Society. They told me yesterday that they have in foster care a Leonberger, 12 week old mix who needs a loving family. As a result, we've completed the required paperwork and now will wait to see if the little pup becomes part of the Lutman/Young household. If not, another one may be just around the corner.

Update: Looks like Maddie, Chris and I will be visiting the shelter on Saturday to determine if the pup is a good fit for our family. If so, she'll be neutered on Tuesday and ready for delivery!

So Long "Bitch Pleeze"

One benefit of being back stateside from Europe is our ability to watch Saturday Night Live. Sure, most of the skits are terrible, but there were a few standouts last season - including Michaela Watkins' portrayal of Angie Tempura (aka "Bitch Pleeze). So of course I found it sad that her departure from the show was announced today. So no more Angie. And who's going to now play Hoda?

I walked into our temporary apartment's bathroom a few minutes ago and it smelled like my elementary school's cafeteria. I'm not sure why, but the unidentifiable aroma took me back a few years. I'm just sayin'.

Ghost Penis

Before tonight, I had never heard of a "ghost penis." You may not have either. But I know it's something I don't need to explore. As for its true meaning, I'll let you decide for yourself how to interpret.

Such a Baby

While the rest of the gang is celebrating an extended Sunday Funday, Chris and I returned home to get a good night's sleep. Not that we have much planned for tomorrow, Labor Day. But I'd like to catch-up on some Zs considering I didn't get many last night (as a result of being overserved with four cocktails). I'm such a baby.

New & Noteworthy: Robbie Williams

Some say he ventured off the deep end with Rudebox. I, however, think it was a brilliant record only marketed incorrectly with the wrong singles released to radio. Needless to say, the album was somewhat of a bump in the road for Robbie. Well, he returns this October and he's sounding like the confident Robbie the public expects. Look for Bodies to be massive in Europe (while America once again turns its back on the former Take That superstar).

My new fave this week is by an artist who hit it big in 1997 with Torn. Ever since, she's been bubbling around the European pop charts. Well, she's back and I'm lovin' the remix. Think Kate Bush meets Kylie Minogue. Check it out HERE.

The Housing Report: September 1, 2009

I sent a note to our house project team about moving into our remodel the first week of October - specifically by the 7th. I mention it's okay if we have to shower at the gym and dine-out for a few days. My contractor replied, "Its OK for me, if not bother you. I got to try best what i can do." He's a poet and didn't even know it.

Our Nu Fave

We bought a pumpkin pie from Costco on Saturday. And since you can't have pie without "Cool Whip," we've been replaying this bit from Family Guy over and over and over again.

This Explains Everything

I'm always a target for mosquitos. Apparently, I'm not stressed out enough. If so, I'd release a hormone that REPELS mosquitos.

And What Does Chicago Have 2 Say?

Congratulations Vermont!

Oprah Swarms Magnificent Mile

Oprah is TAKING OVER Michigan Avenue in Chicago on September 8th to tape a show that's scheduled to air on September 10th. Of course, a few around the Windy City are up in arms a bit as two blocks of the Magnificent Mile will be closed. But considering it's Oprah, she usually gets what she wants. Like Mayor Daley would tell her no. My only question is this: Should I try to attend the taping? Talk about crazy.