Pink Trash Travels

We Love U Maddie

Two days ago, our beloved dog Maddie wasn't able to walk. So we rushed her to the hospital for a check-up. Today we learned she had bone cancer near her spine accompanied by heart troubles. As a result, we laid her to rest this afternoon. She would have been 13 years old in January.

Maddie has essentially been with Chris and I since day one. She traveled to Europe with us for our overseas adventures - living in Paris and Munich, crossing borders, visiting castles. We are ever so grateful to her for what she brought to our lives. She will never be forgotten. We love you Maddie.

And in her honor, until the first of the year, the blog goes silent.

Who Knew?

There will be a blue moon on New Year's Eve. But it has nothing to do with the color of our celestial neighbor. "Blue moon" refers to the second full moon in a month. And because a full moon occurs every 29.5 days, every two years there will be an additional moon with New Year's Eve getting one every 19 years. Did that make sense? If not, read it again. I did at least four or five times.

It's all about money. If you're rich, you can see Lady Gaga on NYE and Pee Wee Herman in LA. I'm just sayin'.

NYE with Gaga

We have no plans for NYE. But if I could chose one destination, I'd select Miami for the LADY GAGA EVENT at the Fountainebleu hotel. For just $425, I could get one general admission ticket to witness Lady Gaga perform and countdown at midnight. That, or I could spend $25,000 for a Gaga Magnum Stage Front Table. With the house, I don't think that's happening.

Sunday Morning

It's Sunday morning and instead of going to the gym, I've decided to take a day off as it's been over a week since I've rested. It's tough to do, but with an 80s weekend on the Encore channel, I easily get entertained by the likes of Pee Wee and Madonna in Vision Quest

But as I watch these classics, I pop on the computer to learn more about each one as my head apparently needs to be filled with useless tidbits such as:

1) Madonna's Gambler from Vision Quest was never released in the U.S. as her record label thought it would detract from subsequent singles released from Like a Virgin. All of which I find funny as I thought back in 1985 that it was a "totally" cool song. Check out the video below along with Madonna in all her "teased up glory" and Lucky Star swaying.

Holy Vampire

Joe Manganielo is the newest cast member of HBO's True Blood. Nice addition! We're still trying to watch season one as our DVR has been keeping us busy this year. But with announcements like this, I'm thinking we need to devote more time getting caught up with the vampire series. Thanks to Ohlala for the photo.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 25

I've been supporting her since June 2007 when I first heard her music in Munich, Germany. So tickets to Lady Gaga's Monster Ball tour is day 25 of PTT's Advent Calendar 2009. Of course, I feel as though Lady Gaga herself should send me tickets to say thank you for promoting her for over two years. But unfortunately, I have a feeling she's busy.

Merry Christmas!

When growing up, we celebrated Christmas Eve with my father's side of the family. We'd gather for dinner at 5 or so. The table would be loaded with ham, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, buttered rolls, green bean casserole, marshmellow salad and (unfortunately) potato sausage. Then, once the table was cleared, and the chocolate pie was served, we'd wait to hear Santa's bells followed by a knock on the door. We could never catch Santa. He was too quick. But there waiting for us would be a giant bag full of presents.

So, on this Christmas Eve, I hope Santa is good to each and every one of you.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 24

As I'm sitting here watching the Star Wars trilogy on Spike TV, I'm making note of my 24th day of the PTT Advent Calendar. Why is what I'm watching important? Because the second to the last day of the annual holiday showcase features the new Family Guy movie, Something Something Something Dark Side - a retelling of The Empire Strikes Back.

Merry Christmas!

The best way I can say Merry Christmas to each and every one of you is gifting you a special unreleased dance remix of Rihanna's Hard. Mixed by Jody D Broeder, the track is something fierce with its tribal "B-B-Beat." The best of the bunch by F-A-R. So take a LISTEN and Merry Christmas!

Avatar Defies Conventions

We just arrived home from seeing Avatar in IMAX 3D. I'll spare you a full review as I'm sure you've read the critics assessment of the film. All I can say is James Cameron has created a world unlike anything we've ever seen. Besides that, he actually makes you care for the tall, blue creatures with cat like features. You truly forget you're watching animation. Now that deserves an Oscar.

Looking 4wd 2 Spartacus

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 23

Within the scope of just two weeks, I've now expanded my car wish list to include the BMW X3 in platinum bronze metallic. I spotted one driving down the street the other night and it was gorgeous. And with Chicago winters, I'm thinking a sporty compact SUV is the way to go.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 22

We like our art to feature quirky characters. So when we stumbled across Michael Madzo, an artist who appropriates images of historical paintings which he then cuts, alters, rearranges, paints, and stitches back together, we were thrilled. His works, "Portray figures in isolation that appear in large open landscapes or interiors devoid of clutter, a device to place focus on the hidden souls of these enigmatic people." My favorite is "The Moments We Chose." Check out his work HERE.

Tom Whetstone OTB Kitchen Cabinets

Consider this a test. We've had problems with our kitchen cabinet guy finishing the job (small island detail but not none-the-less). So, I'm threatening to not only place his name with the Better Business Bureaus of Illinois, but also Angie's List and other referral websites. In addition, I'll be writing a blog entry where I'm hoping to log his name numerous times in Google and Yahoo. So, I'm testing this entry to see how long it will take to post to the search engines. This way, I can clearly state to him what the consequence of his actions will be. Tom Whetstone. OTB kitchen cabinets. Tom Whetstone. OTB.

Update: Wow, within five minutes, by entering "Tom Whetstone OTB" into Google search, my posting appears at the top of the page. Great to know as I can now state to Tom our experience with him and his company will be available for the world to see - especially those considering doing business with him in the future."

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 21

Pee Wee makes a return visit to the PTT Advent Calendar in the form of his Christmas special from 1988. The video is available on iTunes for purchase but not rent. And because my computer is too old for me to load it up with more gigabytes, I'll have to hope someone either finds a hard copy or gets me that new computer I asked for on day four.

I've been hunting down this version for quite a while. I had the radio edit, but I prefer this longer cut as it features more instrumentation and energy. Check out the "sexy" track by a gal from Bristol that's high on BPM's playlist - and mine. Listen HERE.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 20

It was bound to happen (if you watched my previous blog entry). Thierry Pepin is the 19th entry on PTT's advent calendar.

Just Because...

Tonight, as I sat eating my barbacoa burrito from Chipotle while watching Family Guy, with a roaring fire in front of me, I realized how fortunate we are to have our house. I'm just sayin'.

Drag Race Returns Feb. 1

I'm happy to report one of our guilty faves, Ru Paul's Drag Race, returns to Logo on Feb. 1. If you didn't watch last year, don't miss out in 2010. It's a mess but worth every crazy minute.

OMG! Brittany Murphy!

Brittany Murphy, the actress who gained fame with the words, "Rollin' with the homies" in Clueless, died today of cardiac arrest. LAPD confirmed they opened an investigation into her death. Sad.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 19

Ralph Lauren's Black Label is currently my design line of choice. The label's modern silhouette fits my frame amazingly. So I'm sure the Luxury Shawl Cardigan would also.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 18

It's hard to keep up with the PTT Advent Calendar. So, I'm actually one day behind! Today, however, I'll get caught up depending on what finds its way into my head. But for the 18th day of opening doors, it's all about the Orange Glo Hardwood Floor Everyday cleaner. With two dogs and a backyard, I'm always quickly cleaning the floors. So, I'm whipping through a 12 oz. bottle every two weeks. So a year's supply of the stuff sure would be nice. Heck, I'd even take six months worth.

Looking Good Sam

He's DAY 15 on my Advent Calendar. So of course I wish I would have been in LAX this week when Sam Worthington passed through on his way to the Avatar premiere. Looking good Sam. Looking G-O-O-D.

Another Reason 2 Love the Vampires

I love The Vampire Diaries. But now that Sean Faris is joining the cast, I'll love it even more. And according to THIS People Magazine article, Sean packed on 15 pounds of muscle for the role. Considering I've been trying to do this for 6 months now, and I'm only around nine, I'd like to know how he did it. Then again, I'm sure I could guess - especially if the studio was behind his weight gain.

Ataque de Pánico

They say the short film below was made for $300. If that's true, amazing as now the producer has a $30M production deal in Hollywood - after just four days on YouTube. Wow. Check it out.

This week's Club One entry comes from last year's winner of the X Factor. Her second single, remixed by the "electronic woof woof," is the perfect dance single to jump start your weekend as it retains the original's bop along beat while adding a hint of electro. So ENJOY!

Bus Tales

I've lasted almost a year without a car. But as a result, I'm forced to ride the crazy bus at times to and from the gym. Check out one rider who apparently doesn't feel the need to brush her hair. I'm sure it hadn't been washed either.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 17

My mom bought a Union Blow Molded Elf in 1964. She still has hers. Now I want one as well. But unfortunately, they aren't easy to find - in good condition. I have discovered one on EBAY, but for $250, I can wait until after the holidays when the seller realizes they over priced their gem. So for now, I wait...

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 16

You knew it would happen. How could Jessie's cousin, Jake Pavelka, not make Pink Trash Travels' annual Advent calendar? As the new BACHELOR, I look forward to many more steamy scenes with his shirt on the floor.

Jake and Jessie Pavelka

For avid readers of the blog, you know I'm a huge fan of Jessie Pavelka. In fact, he's my number one subject matter on Pink Trash Travels. And why shouldn't he be? Just look at him. Well, it turns out he's a distant cousin of Jake Pavelka - the newly announced Bachelor for season 14. Can I go for a climb in that family tree?

Help Make Chris' Christmas Bright

If you're a fan of GILT, then you'll be interested in joining Rue La La. As noted on their website:

Rue La La is... an exclusive, invitation-only online destination where Members discover premier-brand, private sale Boutiques, each open for just a brief window of time. Our focus is a well-edited collection of sought-after offerings from the best brand names in the world - combined with helpful service.

Membership is free. It's also invitation-only. Members shape the community by inviting new Members - and getting a $10 Rue La La Credit when each new friend places their first order.

So if you'd like to join, follow this LINK. Not only is it free, Chris will get $10 credit for everyone who joins! Now wouldn't that be a nice holiday gift for him! Check it out!

Bus Tales

I charged my CTA card today with $10. So of course I was surprised when the bus driver said my card was invalid. "I just loaded it," I said. She rudely replied, "Don't tell me you don't have any more money on you." Then after a sigh she said, "Go ahead." I wanted to advise her it's not my fault the machine can't read my card. But I thought an exchange of words wasn't necessary so I just moved along. As I sat down, I thought, "How dare she treat me like some crazy person."

My New Vacation Hot Spot

When living in Chicago, it's a good idea to escape the cold weather during the dreaded winter months. One destination I've been eying is St. Barts. Now that I know Hugh Jackman does yoga on Shell Beach there, I'm thinking St. Barts has just moved to the top of the list.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 15

I really didn't know much about Sam Worthington until the ads for Avatar started exploding all over the airwaves. Now I'm a big fan. With that shaved haircut, he looks quite hot. So add him to the reasons why I'm excited to catch the flick next Wed.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 14

Pee Wee Herman is making a comeback! If only I could grab a ticket to his new show at the Nokia Theatre in LA beginning in January. I've heard rumblings he may take the show on the road, but I doubt it. It's all part of his master plan to show the movie executives people still care about Pee Wee. So far, I think it's working.

CTA Story

After my business dinner downtown tonight, I rode the red line home. Of course, there was a strange and somewhat drunk crazy person on my car asking for money. As she shuffled up and down the aisle, I could only think of how I would protect myself if she opened fire. First, I thought I'd drop to the floor and rush her as she most likely would be shooting up vs. down. Then I changed my safety plan as I realized it might be better to duck behind the metal chair in front of me. My leg would stick out but at least my head and chest would be safe.

Waiting 4 Avatar

I'm happy to report I bought our tickets to Avatar on IMAX 3-D for December 23rd at 3:30. Because if I'm going to the see the movie everyone in Hollywood is raving about these days, I want to watch it in "bigger than life" style. Can't wait.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 13

For the 13th day of PTT's advent calendar, I have only one word. WORK.

I wondered why, by the bus stop, there gathered a collection of obnoxious kids. Turns out they hang out in front of a city youth center. If they only knew how many people work hard to provide them the space, as well as how much was donated, maybe they wouldn't be so rude and loud. I'm just sayin'.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 12

With as much money as we spend on supplements, it would be nice to have Santa bring us a year's supply of N.O.-Xplode. The stuff ain't cheap! It would also help if we'd cycle off the junk. But I find when I don't take the pre-workout igniter, my lifting session just isn't as good. So to help ensure it's potency, I'm now trying to drink the fizzy stuff only on days I lift weights. As for the few other cardio days, it's easier for me to push through on just green tea.

Jason Nevins appears to be the "go to guy" these days in regards to remixing pop or R&B tunes. His latest for the girls from across the pond is a high energy romp. Check it out HERE.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 11

I haven't seen much of him, but tonight I spotted Daniel Cudmore on X Men - The Last Stand. His portrayal of Colossus was amazing. Well, at least the scene where he's shirtless.

It's 32 degrees outside. If you've just worked out at the gym, and you're a bit sweaty, you shouldn't run out the door in just shorts and a t-shirt (and shoes of course). It's a good way to catch the flu - and give it to the rest of us. I'm just sayin'.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 10

I'm not a big fan of Zac Ephron. But, I do like his shoes. I've seen him wearing these Yves Saint Laurent hi-top patent leather sneakers around town. I'd love to have them for a business dinner this Monday. Instead, the reliable Chucks will just have to do.

Lazy Mag

The latest cover of Men's Health exemplifies exactly why we stopped receiving the monthly publication. As noted in the picture above, the information inside is exactly as it was two years ago. I think it's time to hire new writers - or a new editor.

What a Shot

My friend Steve snapped this shot of downtown Chicago today. Even though it's barely above zero degrees, the Southeast tip of the Windy City looks amazing.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 9

Click on the image for a closer look
Who doesn't love a good game night? This season, there appears to be an influx of board games on the market - including Pictionary Man! I assume it has something to do with the fact that (1) Nobody can afford to go out and (2) People want to feel a sense of tradition.

Christmas Don'ts

Not everyone is a master Christmas decorator, but you should know when it's not a good idea to illuminate a tree by running a bright orange extension cord out your window. It just looks tacky and unimaginative.

New & Noteworthy: Private's My Secret Lover

I love me some 80s. So when I discover a band that harkens back to the days of big hair and excessive spending, it makes me happy. Check out Private's My Secret Lover video below.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 8

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When we returned from Europe this year, I once again began work on my children's book. A new idea came to me one day so I've been trying to write a bit everyday. But there are times I need inspiration. So, I turn to Dr. Seuss as my writing style is very similar (as noted by an editor who was interested in my work a few years ago). All of which means I'd love to have Your Favorite Seuss on my bookshelf to assist me in time of need (like today when I seem to have hit a bump in the rhyming road).

Pouring Opportunities

When it rains, it pours. Beginning last Friday, I had four calls regarding employment opportunities. I spoke with a recruiter last night about one gig. Unfortunately, we both realized I wasn't a good fit. Then today, I chatted with a creative research agency about the possibility of joining their team as a freelance agent - working on the generation, sorting, and presentation of ideas to their clients. And actually, I'm quite excited about the latter as it's a good fit for my "strategically creative people skills."

In short, I'll work with a team of consumers to generate ideas for clients, narrow them down with the help of a project team, then present to the client the ideas in a workshop setting with support illustrations, mock-ups and such. We'll see what how the calls go tomorrow and Thursday, but as of today, I'm looking forward to continuing my conversations with the creative research agency.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 7

Refresh magazine has been on my radar ever since Sebastién Moura, also known as Frostylocks, graced the cover back in 2006. But for some reason, the rag didn't make my wishlist until this year. I suppose its because I finally realized how incredible the "articles" must be.

PTT Advent Calendar: Dec. 6

Click on the image for a closer look
Now that I'm growing out my hair, my mop is in that odd stage where it looks like a Rick Springfield haircut from 1983. So of course I wish I could ask Santa for hair as long as luxurious as that of Jared Padaleckii. I suppose all in time. That or a hair extension or two.