Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Goodbye, Charlie

Did you know PetCo does pet adoptions?  I didn't until May 2007 when we went in for some Carefresh and saw a little guy needing adopted.  His name was Charlie, and he stole our hearts.  We walked out with Carefresh, and Charlie.

He was a great pig.  We had three others at the time we got him, and all were older.  He seemed to know that they demanded more attention at the moment but his time was coming, and boy did it.  Near the end he would be out sitting on us well over an hour each evening.  (Some nights it would be more like 2 hours.)

He was always a happy pig, and until the last seven weeks (or is that wheeks) of his life, he was quite healthy.  He lived with three roommates, but needed to be seperated because they were starting not to let him eat as much.  He lived seven weeks by himself, with LOTS of attention from us.  Since he was alone and had been used to living with other pigs, I had to help take up the slack on his socialization. 

Charlie always enjoyed helping when he could with my contests.  He co-starred in a video I made for an eBay contest.  He was in a photo of "How do you tailgate" for a chip company.  He was even in The National Examiner.  That was a funny story.  I spread a Fisher Price Noah's Ark around him and captioned the photo "Charlie enjoys playing Noah's Ark."  When the woman called to tell me it would be printed she asked "Exactly HOW does he play Noah's Ark?"  (Um, okay, he's a guinea pig sitting in the middle of a Noah's Ark set, doesn't that give someone a clue?  LOL!)

I miss that little guy looking for food as I pass by (his last home was right by the kitchen and even if I went to fill up my tea glass, he still hoped for some goodie to be tossed his way.)

He was a good pig and will be missed.

Charlie Dickens
May 2007 - September 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Las Vegas trip

I won a trip to Las Vegas from Home Shopping Network.   When I was in high school, a friend and I used to watch HSN by the hour over the phone.  (Let's just say when I got to Vegas, the HSN reps ate this story up.)  :)

I always wanted to be an actress when I was little.  That is, when I wasn't dreaming of being an English professor.  :)   The weekend in Vegas gave me a taste of television as HSN was taping.  My cousin went with me, and she commented on how peppy I was during the taping.  Even Bill Green, HSN celebrity, commented to me about how I was "perfect" during the taping.  My face hurt after the first session, I'll tell you that!  :)

When we landed in Vegas, I immeditately called my friend Chris.  She lives near Baltimore, which is only about four hours from me, but we've never met.  We've been on a message board together for about 12 years, and it felt like I knew everything about her.  My cousin joked about this, and she asked Chris' husband "Boxers or briefs".  Would you believe I answered correctly!  (When I say I feel like I know everything about them, I meant it!  LOL!)

Chris, Cathy, and I walked around the strip, and I saw a place that served Phillipino food.  I had just been saying on the plane I would love to have some again.  I taught English in China one summer, and often ate Phillipino food but haven't had any since 1998!  So, of course, Cathy and I ate there that evening.  I had pancit, a mano smoothie, and a Diet Coke (and in true Asian style, the lady pointed out to me where the lemon was located for my Diet Coke!  That is a habit I picked up in Asia, and I do enjoy lemon in my colas!)

After that, HSN sponsored a cocktail party, and it was fantastic.  The food was delicious (I wish I had known how much food there was going to be, I would have skipped my pancit!)  It was open bar, and I was able to meet some other winners I had connected with prior to the trip.  We had a fantastic time.  Then one of the ladies, her son, and I went to the casino.  The hotel gave us a $5 voucher to play in the casino, and I came away $58 richer from playing penny slots.

The next day was taping.  The first session was Wolfgang Puck.  Three different dishes that he suppossedly made were brought out, and they were amazing!  Then Joy Mangano and her huggable hangers.  (We all received gift bags which contained 12 huggable hangers, a Serious Skin Care robe, and a sample of Serious Skin Care.) 

Here I am with Wolfgang Puck

In between tapings, I visited the "Be An HSN star" booth to record a spot about how my friend and I used to watch HSN over the phone (hmmm, shouldn't have done that, I would have been interviewed second taping session.  Bill Greene pointed me out prior to taping and said to interview me.  Another HSN star said, "But she's already been in the HSN Star booth, we need to pick someone else."   (When I said HSN reps LOVED my story of watching over the phone in high school, I meant it!)  :)

Before I went in the booth, a professional make up artist did my makeup!

After my makeup was done professionally.

During the second session, there was an hour of Wolfgang Puck (which I enjoyed this hour immensely.  Again, more food, and I must say the man is hillarious!)  Then there was an hour of Serious Skin Care with Jennifer Flavin-Stalone (Sylvester Stalone's wife.)  Finally, Criss Angel did a 30 minute session selling his magic kit.  A friend of mine is a professional magician, so I was very much looking forward to seeing Criss Angel.  However, I was disappointed.  I realize he was doing magic tricks I could have done at eight years old, and it was an informercial, but he didn't engage the audience the way I expected.  I texted my friend right after that session and said that I enjoyed his show more!  :)

By the time that session was over, my friend Chris and my cousin Cathy and I went out for dinner.  Then we walked around the strip, went over to Chris' hotel and hung out for a while, and then Cathy and I headed back to the casino at our hotel.

The next morning, we flew home.  I will say, this was an extremely enjoyable weekend.  I loved the lights, camera, and coming home with more money than I took with me!  :)  Other celebrities I saw but didnt' get my photograph with were Tori Spelling and Susan Lucci.

Some more pictures:

Bill Greene, or as I thought of him "Guy Smiley". :)

M&M world.   Look at all that candy!

After recording my "Be an HSN star" spot.