The Day We Met Ramona Singer

As we waited in line a few weeks back I told my friend Chris that I kinda wanted Ramona Singer, star of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York to insult me I was only half kidding. After all, I had left my nearly 2 month old daughter at home with dad to drive 45 minutes in rush hour for her wine signing at a liquor store – I wanted something memorable out of this whole thing.

We got there promptly when the signing began all primped and ready- after all, we knew these pics were going in frames. Nobody loves watching Real Housewives like Chris and I. We text back and forth during the shows and then dive straight into Watch What Happens Live just to hear more about the craziness and text and tweet our opinions on the crazy lives of these total strangers who we feel we know. We were so worried about our on-time arrival since we figured the line with fellow junk TV-lovers would be around the block. Not so much. Only 15-ish people stood in line before us, half that being husbands and boyfriends just there to act as cameraman. It’s not Oprah, people, but to us it was exciting all the same The low turnout combined with the dozens of people shopping who were not there to see Ramona had her visibly unhappy. I didn’t hear her signature laugh once, nor could I hear her talking to anyone. Didn’t matter. We were there and making the very best of it.

I was so determined to get a good picture of the three of us that I schooled some guy in line behind us there with his wife on how to use my camera. ‘Take a few practice snaps’ I told him. We had to get this right. So he took this riveting pic of the dismal line ahead of us.

Fascinating, no?

Then I got this one of her mindlessly signing bottles of wine (which you were REQUIRED to buy, natch) without talking, laughing, or appreciating people who came out to see her on a Friday afternoon.

People from Colorado? Ugh! Don’t make eye contact, I might become middle class.

Then it was our turn. My head was spinning with questions. I wanted to ask her like what her favorite mascara was and if she did her own makeup for events (which was a noticeable yes since she wore just the essentials and her skin was perfect), and if the girls were all friends in real life, but instead I asked her nothing. I choked out a quiet ‘you look great’ (which she did), then asked meekly for a photo since the warm ‘come on around here’ invitation never came. ‘Make sure to hold the bottles up’ was all she said. She was so bored she couldn’t be bothered to look at the camera.

I’m purposely not holding up my bottle. Take that Ramona!

But the silver lining was upon us. Mario. Graciously standing out from behind the table and wandering around greeting people and taking photos. Smiling, enjoying, talking. You know- things that she’s actually supposed to be doing. There was no reason for him to be so available since he wasn’t selling anything so photos and niceties weren’t required. Maybe he was, you know, just happy? Imagine that.

Thanks for taking a pic with me Mario!

..And with Chris!

Minutes later it was over. Photos snapped, wine in hand we scurried off to the car to talk about what a totally weird experience it was. Assembly line, totally generic, but worth it. We got the picture! More of a friends moment than a celebrity one really, which for us is really what it’s all about.

My Video For Ellen’s Mother’s Day Dance Dare!

If you watch the Ellen show then you know about her dance dares where people dance like maniacs behind some poor, unsuspecting person in a public place. She asked pregnant women to get in on the action for an upcoming Mother’s Day show and of course I had to do it. Even though it’s only 7 seconds I can assure you it’s not just awkward for me, but for my husband who looked like a weirdo following me around with his phone pointed at people. We’re lucky we didn’t get kicked out of a few stores. At last though, I found my prey – a young guy so involved in a mag that I could expose and embarrass myself properly.

Here’s the vid below- enjoy!

Chelsea Lately

We’re still out here on our monthly-long California hiatus from cold Colorado that we take every year and we wanted to do something we hadn’t done in the past – attend a live taping of a show. Why not? It’s fun, it’s free, and it turned out to be a total blast. Yesterday we saw Chelsea Lately whose guest was Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child and at the round table was the real star of the show Ross Mathews who I was most excited to see. He killed it like always and was the funniest person on the whole show. Including Chelsea.

We got there by 12:30 as we were instructed and stood in this waiting area (shown below) where we were placed in 4 separate lines. We were in the first ‘priority’ line because we reserved our tickets in advance while those who just showed up to see if they could get in (most did) were in the last few lines. We transitioned after about 40 minutes from that line into another one where we waited to be seated in the studio hot-or-not style. See, your party is called forward and looked over by someone who places you in the audience according to (I believe) how you look and what you’re wearing. Single blondes in the front row, guys peppered in throughout so they aren’t too concentrated, one side with the better looking people where the camera went most, and the VIP’s (Kelly Rowland’s friends etc.) prominently placed in another front row but where the cameras don’t frequent. Now of course this is just my observation, but if you watch the show you know that the audience is shown quite a bit so getting it to look a certain way would be more of a calculated decision rather than just luck.

Holding area where you wait in line to get into the studio, also where Chuy did his meet and greet after the show.

Now we’re finally sitting in the (freezing) studio which is surprisingly small sitting third row back where the less attractive people sat because of Mike’s penis and my pregnancy. There was another dude ahead of us in line who was sat with his wife on the good looking, camera-grabbing side of the tracks so the guy quota was full for that area, and pregnant chicks (though now chic thanks to Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham and the like) are still not the makings of a hip audience. We still had a killer view with our padded folding chairs so close to the tiny stage, just feet away – I mean I’ve been to high school plays with bigger stages so the intimate nature of the whole thing was pretty cool, I’m glad it wasn’t bigger.

Our warm up guy did his ‘hey where ya from’ bit for a few minutes, but he was really there to spell out the sign language he’d be tossing up throughout the show to let us know when to laugh, clap (including how loudly to clap at different times), and the all important laugh/clap combo which we practiced several times. ‘No, that was just a laugh – not a clap. Let’s try it again.’ No shit, this went on for about 30 minutes. He even told an intentionally crappy joke instructing us to give a loud laugh/clap afterward just to get that awkward feeling of cheering at something really lame out of the way. Mike dropped the ball and forgot to clap and was promptly called out by the warm up guy, ‘sir, you aren’t clapping.’ Turns out these tickets weren’t free, there’s a price. And that price is your undivided attention, claps, and LOL’s for 40 minutes to keep the show lively. It’s also why the studio is freezing cold, to keep your ass wide awake.

So the round table guests come out, (Ross gets the biggest applause of course) followed by Chuy and then Chelsea. She does her quick monologue then heads to the table with the guys. Up close you can see her visible annoyance when someone says something that isn’t funny, they all have their responses to the topics written ahead of time which they reviewed on breaks. You could see that Ross’ hands were literally shaking but there were no nerves in his delivery – although he has been on TV a zillion times (on much grander shows, natch) his nervousness was sweet and made me love him even more.

There were 3 breaks that lasted from 30 seconds to just a few minutes where the warm up guy would have us clap to loud pop music – like blaring loud – while Chelsea gets her makeup touched-up, pretends to read things and ignores everyone. There is no, ‘hey, how is everyone’ type interaction from her during the break or even afterward, for whatever reason she’s simply not interested in that type of thing so the music creates a wall where it would otherwise be awkward given the audience’s close proximity to the stage. It’s too intimate to simply ignore a small group of people sitting so closely to you so this is a perfect way to go about it without many people noticing what’s really going on. Her lack of interaction (coldness?) was what we liked the least. She could’ve taken the time to make us feel like we were part of the show, but instead we were simply lined up, coached, frozen (seriously), and molded into props – a real-life laugh track and really nothing more. One cool thing that deserves a mention- if you brought in one of her books she personally signed it for you. They were collected when you walked in, signed with a message that included your name, and returned to you when you walked out.

After the show Chuy threw a few squishy balls out into the audience that read ‘I caught one of Chuy’s balls!’ And Mike caught one (yay!) Check it out.

Chuy’s ball’ that we caught and a note card he autographed afterward.

It was cool to see and worth checking out especially if you like her and her show.

Now for the fun part.

We were told that Chuy would be available for a meet and greet right after if anyone wanted to stay. Hell ya! About 10 minutes later, he motored out in his scooter and signed personalized notecards using a signature stamp. He seemed to really like interacting with the crowd – he was nice, appreciative, warm, and genuine. He didn’t rush people through and honored all requests like for instance stamping (and squishing his head against) women’s breasts. No really, a girl posing for a photo with him grabbed his head – which was conveniently boob-height – and pressed it into her huge new rack that she was very proud of. ‘Just got em!’ she proudly proclaimed for all to hear. Others were more subtle in their approach asking him to stamp their cleavage which gave me the idea of him stamping my 6-month pregnant belly. I immediately started to think about how appropriate the request was and how much I’d have to expose in the name of fun that I started second guessing the idea as soon as I said it out loud to Mike. Whatever, I went for it.

Here’s the brief video Mike took of Chuy stamping my bump. I believe I asked ‘will you stamp my baby?’ I liken the footage to when Demi Moore posed pregnant for Vanity Fair but without all that glamour. And bronzer. And dignity. But, like, pretty similar otherwise.

Now a photo all covered up: me, Chuy, and Mike.

Click to enlarge

I’ll spare you the photo of my stamped, pale belly that was all lined from my BeBand and jeans digging into me. It was smudged anyway, but totally worth it and really random.

Here’s the clip from Kelly Rowland’s appearance where she talks about her ab workout vid that we all got a copy of. Yay! I was just thinking about how unruly my abs have been lately. I’ll get right on that.

Next time you’re in L.A., check out a live taping! You can find tickets to Chelsea’s show and many others right HERE.

Food Truck Heaven

Because Mike and I love nothing more than to dive into a fresh plate of food handed down from a mini restaurant on wheels, we were excited to see that the OC Fair and Events Center has a Food Truck Fare every Wednesday night! It drew a steady crowd, thankfully not too busy like some events we’ve been to where you wait in line 30 minutes to get your food – just the right amount of people to create a cozy atmosphere. There were all kinds of people there, young and old – even a group of women who brought their own wine and glasses and just sat and gabbed while they shared their munchies. Really laid back and friendly.

I had already looked at the menus online for every truck there and knew what we’d be ordering ahead of time which took all of the fun out of walking around and checking out menus for Mike. I didn’t care – I was on a mission.

We were most excited to eat at Seabirds, a vegan truck known for their yummy tacos and creative menu. We watched The Great Food Truck Race last season and cheered the girls on, they were really sweet and took time to chat with us. People loved them.

We ate pretty much everything on their menu: kale salad, potato leek soup, jackfruit asada tacos (which had a consistency that was just like shredded meat), and our MVP of the night – their signature beer battered avocado tacos. I wish I could show you our feast, but we were so excited that we ate it first, and thought of photos after.

The Lime Truck was there too.

And right next to them was the Border Grill! We’ve always wanted to eat there since we saw owners Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger compete at a live Iron Chef competition in Beaver Creek a few years back. They brought the food they made into the audience and shared it with everyone after they got beat by Ming Tsai – they were so fun to watch and their food looked great.

A glance at Border’s specials, another avocado taco- guess that’s all the rage now.

Again, we were too excited to snap a shot of the first round of food from Border which was an avocado taco (on the left) and a pablano quesadilla, so here’s the second round. For those keeping track of dishes we had, this would make 8. Before dessert. They rolled their avocados in what looked like help or chia seeds before frying them – totally different from anything I’d ever had and really yummy.

Other trucks included Short Stop,

and Home Skillet.

Monster Burger and Lobsta Truck were both busy making burgers, sliders, and lobster rolls.

Soho Taco had veggie-friendly options, but we were too full. There’s always next time.

I’m tired of cupcakes, I think the whole trend is dying down anyway – the Bakery Truck had only a few cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies. Their big draw was cream puffs stuffed with different spreads, fruits, and of course Nutella. We were pretty full already, so we went for chocolate chip cookies and they were warm, gooey, and amazing.

Next week The Grilled Cheese Truck will be there which I’ve been wanting to eat after seeing them on a Food Network special last year, along with a whole new batch of trucks with menus I need to look over. I’ve got some serious work to do.

Hooked On Beauty Gets a Facelift

If you receive my posts via email, click HERE to check out Hooked On Beauty’s brand new look.

Thank you to Verve Creative Design and Graphik for putting my vision on the screen.

My Denver Post Write Up; Local Makeup Artists

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays, I unplugged for the weekend so I could enjoy Christmas but now I’m back.

The Denver Post gave me a nice Christmas gift yesterday in the form of this great write up about local Makeup Artists. If you’re looking for a lesson on how to better wear the makeup you have, or if you have a wedding or special event coming up, you can learn more about us Denver based artists HERE.