Thursday, September 30, 2010 4 comments

Disney Day 2

by Brittany Geragotelis

Disney Day 2:

Our day started off pretty early (around 8ish) when I forced Matt out of bed and over to get breakfast at the resort cafeteria. We were both exhausted from the day before; when Matt laid down the night before, he passed out nearly instantly and didn't wake up again until I practically shook him awake the next morning. I would've let him sleep in, except I was craving my gluten-free Mickey waffles (take a look at the pic here!) and I was eager to get over to the Magic Kingdom for some good old mousey fun!

So, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom and made our way around all the good rides: Pirates of the Carribean, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain. And in between going on rides, we shopped. And shopped. And shopped some more. I bought a few presents for people back home and Matty was sweet and bought me a really awesome sweatshirt.

We worked up an appetite going on all those rides, so we ate at a nice Italian food restaurant
near the front of Disney called Tony's. Matt and I feasted: me on a cesaer salad, gluten-free spaghetti and meatballs and a TO-DIE-FOR pistacio creme brule. OMG, soooo good (take a look here). While we were there, the couple next to us were celebrating their honeymoon. I snapped a pic of the happy pair as they were blowing out their candles at lunch (pic below!)!

When we were finished with lunch, we decided we were done with the Magic Kingdom for the day and headed back over to Hollywood Studios for a little fun. We were going to go on the Tower of Terror and the Rock n' Roller Coaster again, but we both wanted to check out the backlot tour first. This turned out to be really cool and fun, as we learned a little about how Disney does special effects in movies. I was even chosen to be a part of one of the shows. I played the captain of a boat that was being shot at by imaginary airplanes. It was awesome! Matt took pics of the whole thing, which I'll publish once we get home. The whole tour was really neat and I took a LOT of have fun checking them out below!

By the time we were done with the tour, we'd actually run out of time at the park and had to head back to the hotel to shower and change for dinner that night. This time, we were eating at Epcot at a hibachi grill called Tempen Edo in Japan. This was the first time I'd ever eaten at a place like this and was excited for the chef to cook our meal at our table (check out the pic!). Unfortunately, they seat you with other parties, and there was a family across from us, with two little boys, one of which partway through our meal, fell off his chair and cracked his head on the ground. He hit so hard that they called the paramedics to check him out. Luckily, the kid turned out to be fine, but that sort of put a damper on the night.

While at Epcot, we managed to drag ourselves to a few of the attractions there including: Mission: Space and Soarin'. Both were a ton of fun...though the rides left Matt's stomach feeling a little queasy.

By the time we made it back to the hotel (around midnight), we were both exhausted. Matt even described me as "a military task force of fun." Well, yeah, okay. That sounds about right!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 5 comments

Disney Day 1

by Brittany Geragotelis

Matt and I got up at 4:45 yesterday morning to catch our plane to Orlando...and though we were both wiped out by the end of the day, it was totally worth it. The flight went by pretty fast, however, there was a TON of turbulance (not sure if you heard, but Hurricane Nicole is sending aftershocks our way), which left everyone just a TAD uneasy about being in the air.

When we got to the airport (in one piece), we hopped on the magical express and were driven straight to our hotel, The All-Star Music Resort. We were both excited to check into our room, drop off our stuff and get to the park, but when we finally got our room keys, walked over to one of the furthest hotels in the music resort, we ran into an unpleasant surprise. Apparently, Florida is INFESTED with what the locals call "Lovebugs." And I've gotta tell ya, there's NOTHING to love about these pests.

First off, there are thousands of them; walking from the main building to our hotel room was like being in a bug war zone...we were just trying to avoid being hit by these gross, big, flying bugs. But the worst part was when we got into our room, there were about 35 in there already. Some were dead on the floor, others were alive and crawling around. It was beyond gross. So, we called the front desk, and they told us to come back to the front desk and that they'd move us to a new room. The nice Disney peeps ended up upgrading us to a King Size bedroom that's right next to the food court and main office, and is right alongside the pool. And the best part? No bugs.

We decided to start off at the Animal Kingdom and went straight to Expedition Everest and got a fast pass (so we didn't have to wait in line) and then went to eat. Have I mentioned that Disney's great about food allergies? I just had to let the fast food cashier know that I needed to eat gluten free and one of the chef's came out and talked me through the menu. Most of the food places have gluten-free buns so people can have sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, etc. Some places even have gf chicken fingers and pizza! The thing that made me laugh though, was when I was waiting for my food and the cashier woman called out to one of the people behind the counter and referred to me as "Allergy Girl." Okay....a little weird, but I'll take it if I get to eat a pulled pork sandwich ON a gf bun, french fries and gf cookies for desert. YUM!

As we were leaving Animal Kingdom, Hurricane Nicole reared her ugly head and it began to downpour. And we're talking too heavy to be real, must be fake like in the movies rain. Good thing I knew it was supposed to pour all week and had bought us ponchos. We still got soaked (it was raining A LOT), but in a way, the rain was a blessing in disguise, because we were able to go straight through to the front of the lines at Hollywood Studios for The Rockin' Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror.

Then, Matt and I ended our night eating at the California Grill. The food was pretty good (but way overpriced, with a very selective menu), but the highlight of the night was that we got to watch the Disney fireworks show while we were eating! It was truly a magical experience.

So, that was our first day in a nutshell. I've attached pictures from our safari in Animal Kingdom, as well as a few other candids, in case you want to take a look. Enjoy!

Monday, September 27, 2010 2 comments

I'm off to the happiest place on earth!

by Brittany Geragotelis

photo credit: Disney
Got another rejection for Painless today...but no matter, because I'm heading to Disney World! Yep! My vacation is finally here, and Matt and I are spending the next four days in beautiful Orlando, FL, to get our fill of fun in the (not so) sun. Several months ago, we planned our trip and paid for it all ourselves; it's all-inclusive (hotel, flight, park hopper passes, meals, etc), and we're going to have a blast running around the resort, going on rides and eating our weight in yummy gluten-free food (they offer it practically everywhere in the park!). We're even spending one of the days at Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I can't wait to see how they were able to bring the magic of that book to life. And to drink some butterbeer (also gf!)!!!!

Don't worry, I'll be taking pics the whole time and I'll try to post them while I'm there. Have fun wherever you are and I'll be talking to you soon! Hopefully I'll even be able to bring a little bit of magic back with me!

Sunday, September 26, 2010 0 comments

DELETE—Dates, Kissing and Frosted Lipstick

by Brittany Geragotelis

Okay, we've got Mrs. Sassy Pants back in the house and she's chock-ful of plenty of DELETE's for your amusement. Take a look at what made her list this week!

This week my motto is: be careful what you delete, because it may come back to bite you in the ass. For example, dating in New York City isn’t easy, but once in a while you will find that gem. The one who can actually string two sentences together with ease. The one who can shoot off a quick, witty response to an e-mail exchange. The one who's actually taller than a bridge troll. The one who's employed. And finally, the one who, at the end of your first date, sucks your face off in the middle of the street…wait a minute, did that just happen?

Why yes…yes it did. I’m sure my date and I gave quite a show to all the unwilling passersby (more like "street victims," actually). No one should have to bear witness to a game of tonsil hockey—where you can actually SEE the guy's tonsils! So you got it folks…he has been DELETED!

Other things that got the DELETE button this week:

Anyone who thinks it’s okay to suck your face off at the end of a first date…DELETE!
photo credit: The CW/Gossip Girl
People full-on making out in the middle of the street. I know this was on last week's list, but it deserves another mention because apparently people are not getting it…DELETE!

People who hold the elevator door open to finish a conversation. Either step in or step out, fool! I’m not on your time…DELETE!

Not responding in a timely manner. That’s just plain rude…DELETE!

Talking on the phone in a public bathroom. Really!?!? No one on either end of that conversation is benefiting, and quite frankly, I really don’t need to hear about why the guy you were dating dumped your ass. Maybe because you had all your conversations with him while you were taking a dump, ya think?! DELETE!

Frosted lipstick—unless you're trying out looks for Halloween…DELETE!

So we shall see how this week goes. You never know, after the way last week went down I may be rocking a stellar shade of frosted pink lipstick by the week's end.
Mrs. Sassy Pants signing out…

Thursday, September 23, 2010 0 comments

Fun Facts Friday—9/24/10

by Brittany Geragotelis

Here's what's going on right now in the writing world. The good, the bad and the ugly. You choose which is which!

*Gwen Cooper, author of Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, donated $10,000 to the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary. The author has a soft spot in her heart for the "special needs" kitties—her own cat is eyeless, but managed to scare off an intruder in Cooper's home once. If you'd like to follow in Cooper's footsteps, you can donate your own amount to the cause here. (Warning—once you click on this link and see these kitties, it may be hard NOT to want to help!)

photo credit: Back Bay Books
*Danielle Steel claims she doesn't write romance novels. "They're not really about romance," says Steel. "It's an element in life. But I think of romance novels as more of a category, and I write about the situations we all deal with. Loss and war and illness and jobs and careers, and good things, bad things, crimes, whatever. And I really write more about the human condition."
*Shania Twain is putting down the mic and picking up a pen. The country crooner is writing a memoir that will come out next spring and word has it, it's full of lots of dirty details...including the ending of her marriage in 2008 when her husband left her for her BFF, pushing Shania straight into the arms of the "other woman's" ex-husband. Sounds like this book will be in the "scandal" section of B&N.

*Author of The Accidental Billionaires doesn't get why Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg doesn't want to see the movie The Social Network. Check out this interview with the drama writer here.

*David Sedaris' latest book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, is being described as "bedtime stories for children who drink." So that's what was in their sippy cups!

5x5, B.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 2 comments

Majoring in "Evil"

by Brittany Geragotelis

photo credit: New Line/Austin Powers
I was talking to a friend of mine who recently headed to NYU for her freshman year and she was telling me how there's a school offered there that allows you to create your own major. The Gallatin School of Individualized Studies lets students really zero in on a specialty. And apparently, according to NYU admissions, one guy decided to major in EVIL. Yep, that's right. His degree was actually in EVIL and now he's become a pretty successful lawyer, who's considered an expert on the subject.

How cool is that?

I wish I'd gone to a school that had allowed me to really tailor my education to what I was actually interested in learning. I can honestly say all the math and science I use today, I learned in grade school. Imagine all the stuff I could've learned in school had I been given a little more freedom to choose. I mean, wouldn't students be more excited about learning if they were taking classes they were actually interested in? In fact, it would seem like it would take some major creativity to come up with an original major and then have to plan out all the courses you'd need to achieve it.

photo credit: Universal Studios/Heroes
But the idea of majoring in EVIL brings up a great question. What sort of major would you want if the sky was the limit? Me, I think I might have majored in something like "HEROES" and I'd take a look at the history of heroes in fiction, film, music and real life; the psychology behind what drives a person to want to do heroic things; the definition of a hero and what constitutes one. And that would just be to start.

Or maybe I'd major in "FEAR" and study the history of the horror film; the psychology behind people's attraction to fear; a deep look into the physical ramifications that fear can have on a person; delve into the most common fears and ways to overcome them.

Or maybe "SUPERNATURAL STUDIES" and then I could look into ghosts, demons, vampires, werewolves and other supernatural topics, discovering their origins and their impact on society.

Man....the prospect of coming up with my own degree is actually kind of making me want to go back to school (and I hated school). Maybe I could just start by taking one class: The History of Zombies, perhaps?

If you could create your own major, what would it be? Leave your comments above!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 5 comments

Thank God "Glee" is Back!

by Brittany Geragotelis

So, I'll start off this post by letting you know that I got another rejection (ominous duh, duh, duuuuuh!!!). A bit of a bummer, but I'm moving on....because "Glee" started back last night! I was so worked up about it being back on that I practically had a Glee-gasm. That's right, I said it.

Last night's episode did not disappoint on the music front. With songs like "Empire State of Mind" by Alicia Keys, "Telephone" by Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce, and "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars. But the act that really stole the show was a newbie on the scene, Sunshine Corazon (played by Charice). Man can that girl sing! She's like Christina Aguilera: tiny in stature, big in presence and voice.

And speaking of newbies, we've got three new faces walking around McKinley High. I already mentioned Sunshine Corazon and trust me, she's going to give Rachel a serious run for her money when it comes to the spotlight. Next, we have Hottie McStud-Muffin...errrr, Sam Evans (played by Chord Overstreet; yes, that's his real name. When I first read it, I thought it had to be his character's name on the show. Nope...real life.) who plays the new kid in school who has natural talent both in the music room and on the football field. Again, his voice is awesome and I'm looking forward to hearing (and seeing) more from him. Lastly, there's the very masculine yet emotional new football coach, Shannon Beiste (played by Dot Jones), whose heart is as big as her arms!

So, since they're new to the "Glee" world, I thought it was a good time to get to know them a little better. Here are some fun facts about our new favorite gleeks:

photo credit: FOX/Glee
1. Her real name is Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco.
2. She's a tiny thing, standing at only 4'11" tall.
3. It's no coincidence that her character, Sunshine, sang a song from the movie Dreamgirls for her glee club audition. Apparently a young Charice sang "And I Am Telling You" from the Dreamgirls soundtrack on "StarKing," a Korean variety show, which pretty much launched her career.
4. The first talk show Charice was ever on in the U.S. was "The Ellen Degeneres Show." Check her out back then in the video at the bottom!
5. After meeting her, Oprah called famed music producer David Foster who took her under his wing.

photo credit: FOX/Glee
Chord Overstreet
1. He got his name because his dad's in the music biz. He's the third kid in the family and there are three notes in a chord. And thus Chord was born.
2. His first instrument was a mandolin.
3. He's originally from Nashville, TN.
4. Songs he'd like to cover on "Glee?" "Losing My Way" or "Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake or T.I.'s "Dead and Gone."
5. Dancing isn't his strong suit, but he's willing to work on it, if they have him dance on the show.

photo credit: FOX/Glee
Dot Jones
1. She's a 15-time World Arm Wrestling Champion.
2. She's currently a towering 6'3", but she used to be 6'4".
3. Dot scored her gig on "Glee" after running into co-executive producer Brad Falchuk at a Whole Foods about four months ago.
4. She was first "discovered" at a body building tournament.
5. She worked at Juvenile Probation Services before making the switch to acting.

What do you think of the newbies? Like, Love, Hate? Let me know in the comments above!


Monday, September 20, 2010 3 comments

Three Requests and a Rejection (and a half)

by Brittany Geragotelis

I have to admit, I was a little worried when I started out this round of queries with a big fat rejection (and not even a personal that actually said, "We're sorry for the impersonal nature of this standard rejection letter..."). But I wasn't going to stress over it. In fact, I let it roll off of me and kept my attitude set to "Positive."

And good thing too, because the day after I received that rejection, I got a request for my full manuscript from one of the other agents I'd queried. And then a few days later, another agent wanted to look at it, too. Agent #4 (who's actually a friend of a friend) let me know that Painless wasn't for him, but that he wanted me to send the summaries of each of my other books. So, not exactly a rejection, but not exactly a "yes" either (to this book).

Then yesterday, I received another request, this time for the first 30 pages! People seem to be generally interested in the book, which is awesome! Now, if only one of them (or more; I certainly wouldn't mind if there was a bidding war over representing me) would fall in love with it and take me on as their client!

So, since last time I kept a positive attitude about this whole thing and got some positive feedback, I figure this is the way to go. Though I don't want to get ahead of myself (or become overconfident), a little bit of faith couldn't hurt...I think I can, I think I can....

What do you guys do to stay positive? Leave your comments above!

Sunday, September 19, 2010 2 comments

Guest Blogger: DELETE

by Brittany Geragotelis

I have this friend of mine who's really very funny. Let's call her Mrs. Sassy Pants. As I was saying, she's a funny girl and although she can be incredibly patient most of the time (case in point: she's friends with me!), she also has a low tolerance for people wasting her time. So, we were sitting having coffee a few weeks ago and Mrs. Sassy Pants was telling me about a few things that happened at work that annoyed her and she mentioned that she has these rules and if people don't follow them—they get deleted. Yep. Duh-leet.

I thought the idea was both hilarious and intriguing, so I asked her to start writing a weekly guest blog about the situations that make her reach for the delete button. So, enjoy. And if you don' know the drill: DELETE!

I’m a big fan of the DELETE button. And in my opinion, it should be used more often. Bottom line: I hate people. Period. I just don’t understand asinine behavior and if you insist on being an idiot…just don’t do it in my presence. Because if you do, you got it—DELETE.

In an ironic twist, I’m in the people business, so I have to interact with them on a daily basis (and on a very personal level). Which in turn provides me with plenty of opportunities to hit DELETE. For instance, if your voicemail message is longer than 30 seconds…DELETE. I don’t need to know your life story, this isn’t an audition. I don’t care who you know, where you’ve been or why I should call you back. Just, for the love of God, tell me what you want and how to reach you. I’m not your therapist. Bottom line: if I can finish my lunch in the time it takes you to leave a message…DELETE.

Every week I'll provide a list of recent encounters that require a big fat DELETE. Here's my first batch.

*If you insist on leaving numerous messages (my favorite) after I’ve told you that it’s not going to be a match…DELETE!

*Couples full-on making out in the middle of the street. Ew. If I can see your tongue…DELETE!

*Really hot guys with hideous girlfriends. WTF?!?!…DELETE!

*Anyone who wears those sandals that look like your feet are in jail. You're not a Roman warrior, so don't dress like one…DELETE!

*People who stand in the middle of the subway turnstile and dig for their metro card, holding up the line when the train is pulling in the station…DELETE!

So go get your DELETE on! And if you don’t like what you read, too bad. You’ve been DELETED!

What would you delete? Leave your lists below!



Saturday, September 18, 2010 0 comments

Answers to life's riddles

by Brittany Geragotelis

Here are the answers to the riddles from Thursday's Post. Congrats go to our winners: Jenni, Rusty and Diane! E-mail me your addresses ( and I'll send out your prizes!

1. How could the 22nd and 24th U.S. Presidents have the same parents, but weren't brothers? They were the same person (second term anyone?).

2. How can you use the letters in NEW DOOR to make one word? One Word

3. There was an airplane crash, every single person died, but two people survived. How is this possible? They were a couple.

4. How could all of your cousins have an aunt who is not your aunt? If it was your mom.

5. How far can you walk into the woods? Halfway. Any more than that and you're walking out of the woods.

6. Johnny's mother had four children. The first was April, the second was May and the third was June. What was the name of her fourth child? Johnny

7. Railroad crossing. Look out for cars. Can you spell that without any R's? That

8. What came first, the chicken or the egg? The dinosaur laid eggs.

9. Imagine you are in a sinking rowboat surrounded by sharks. How would you survive? Stop imagining!

10. "That attorney is my brother," testified the accountant. But the attorney testified that he didn't have a brother. Who's lying? Neither. The accountant is the attorney's sister.

11. A father and a son are in a car accident. The father dies instantly. The boy, in critical condition, is rushed to the nearest hospital for emergency surgery. The surgeon looks at the child aghast and says, "I can't operate on him—he's my son!" How could this be? The surgeon is the boy's mother.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 4 comments

Should I stay or should I go.

by Brittany Geragotelis

So, originally I bought the apartment I'm living in now because my former living situation was not so good. The apartment I was renting had mice and bugs and was a little run down. Then, my living room burned down (due to the negligence of my roommate's douchey ex-boyfriend, but at no fault of my roomie—she's the BEST!!!! Hey, Darcy!) and a lot of my stuff was destroyed, partly due to the fact that the building didn't have fire alarms installed—ANYWHERE in the building.

Finally, when my apartment was broken into while I was away for Christmas vacation (I know, Happy Holidays to me!) and my DVDs and Jewelry were all stolen, my parents and I decided it was time for me to move into a place that was more secure. A girl can only booby-trap her front door (by balancing a cup on top of the doorknob so that if a robber was to break in, the cup would fall onto the floor, thus making enough noise that I would be alerted and would be able to either get out or hide before aforementioned robber was able to attack me) for so long before she says "enough!"

So, with the help of my super-awesome parents, we decided to buy an apartment in the city as a joint venture. A safe place with a doorman that didn't have rodents and that I wouldn't have to worry about feeling uncomfortable in my place of residence. And I loved my place. It's pink (as you can see to the left), totally comfy and girly. And I feel safe...mostly.

Well, the time might be coming for me to make another move. First off, the thing about owning a place in NYC is that most apartments are co-op's, which means that although you technically own the place, what you do in your apartment and to your apartment really isn't your decision. It's the board's decision. Want to renovate? You have to get the OK from other tenants. Wish for one of your friends to stay at your place while you're away on a trip? Well, you may not get permission for that.'re paying to own, but you're still controlled by someone else.

As I've gotten older (over the last 5+ years that I've lived in my place), my priorities have begun to change. I'm 31 years old and it's no longer acceptable for another person to tell me when I can have friends over and how I can decorate my apartment. I'm getting sick of paying more a month for my 14x16 apartment than my sister does for her three bedroom house. I don't want to deal with nosy neighbors and mean superintendents and the gossip mill that goes on in an apartment complex.

Did I mention that I think my super is trying to kill me? Yeah, I'm not so psyched about this fact either. My super and I don't exactly see eye to eye. In fact, ever since "Stretch" replaced the building's "Hot Super," I've had numerous confrontations with him...most of which have ended with him yelling at me (He claims he's not yelling and that this is just how he talks. You may "talk" that way all the time, but make no mistake, it's still yelling.) and me bursting into tears out of frustration as I complain to my mom. So, you can see how I was a little bit freaked out when I got home the other day to find that the gas was on in my apartment (by then the whole floor reeked). My super had been in my place that day to fix a leak in my sink and Matt and I had definitely NOT left the burner on. So, it only leaves one possible scenerio....

And then tonight, halfway through my workout of circuit training while watching Wednesday's episode of "Hellcats" (how awesome is that show, btw?!?!), I get a buzz from my doorman, telling me that my downstairs neighbor was complaining about my exercising. Apparently she was wondering if I was jump-roping (I wasn't, but I was jumping around) and was making too much noise. I was furious when I heard this, because I only work out for 40 minutes a day and you're telling me that this girl couldn't chill out for that short amount of time and let me have my workout? After all, the apartment complex IS a shared space and there's GOING to be noise. But you don't see me complaining about the woman across the hall whose cat meows all day and night. Or about the couple down the hall that makes cabbage soup and stink up the place once a week. Or about the family around the corner who have kids that yell and scream. No. I get that we all live in a small space. And besides, that's what fans are for—to drown out the noise of your neighbors.

Long story short, I'm wondering if I need to consider a relocation. This time out of the city and into a real house. Sure, I'd have to commute in and get a car and I'd spend more on transportation, but it might be worth it for the peace and serenity the environment would bring. I don't know....What do you think? Should I stay or should I go?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3 comments

The Riddler

by Brittany Geragotelis

Do you think like a third grader?
No, I'm not talking in the, "I know you are, but what am I?" or "Boys have cooties!" kind of way (but since I brought it up, I'm awesome and boys totally have cooties!). I'm talking about a child's ability to think simply without "intelligence" and "logic" getting in the way. In other words, adults can be too smart for their own good sometimes.

Here are 11 simple riddles with simple answers. Now, think like a third grader and take a wild guess. The person with the most correct answers will win an awesome prize pack. Just e-mail your answers to by the end of the day on Friday, Sept 17th, and I will post the correct answers in Saturday's post.

Good luck!

1. How could the 22nd and 24th U.S. Presidents have the same parents, but weren't brothers?
2. How can you use the letters in NEW DOOR to make one word?
3. There was an airplane crash, every single person died, but two people survived. How is this possible?
4. How could all of your cousins have an aunt who is not your aunt?
5. How far can you walk into the woods?
6. Johnny's mother had four children. The first was April, the second was May and the third was June. What was the name of her fourth child?
7. Railroad crossing. Look out for cars. Can you spell that without any R's?
8. What came first, the chicken or the egg?
9. Imagine you are in a sinking rowboat surrounded by sharks. How would you survive?
10. "That attorney is my brother," testified the accountant. But the attorney testified that he didn't have a brother. Who's lying?

And the real doozie:

A father and a son are in a car accident. The father dies instantly. The boy, in critical condition, is rushed to the nearest hospital for emergency surgery. The surgeon looks at the child aghast and says, "I can't operate on him—he's my son!" How could this be?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 0 comments

Go see Zach Booth in "Me, Myself and I"

by Brittany Geragotelis

My good friend Zachary Booth is an actor—and a damn fine one at that. Having streaked across the big screen (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist and Taking Woodstock) and killed it on the small screen (Damages and Royal Pains), it was only a matter of time before he took to the stage, conquering that medium as well.

photo credit: Me, Myself & I
Matt and I headed out to the Playwrights Horizons theater Saturday night to see Zach star in (Pulitzer Prize-winning) Edward Albee's latest show, Me, Myself & I. As talented as he is good-looking, we had fun seeing Zach up-close and live on stage.

In Me, Myself & I, Zach plays OTTO (notice the caps), a 28-year-old who's officially had it with being a twin and having to put up with his crazy family. Insisting he's the evil brother, he spends the whole play trying to push his twin away—also otto, only this time lower-cased (played by Preston Sadleir)—by insisting that lower-cased otto no longer exists.

But it's not just otto that OTTO wants to get away from. He also has issues with his frazzled mother and her live-in boyfriend (who just happens to be her doctor). So OTTO announces that he plans to move to China and become Chinese because the future is in the east. OTTO manages to turn everyone's world upside down throughout the course of the play, but really crosses the line when he poses as lower-case otto to sleep with his girlfriend (HINT: It's not the first time, either). I don't want to give everything away, but Me, Myself & I will leave you seeing double—and you know what they say: double your pleasure, double your fun!

photo credit: Me, Myself & I
I for one loved Zach's performance and thoroughly enjoyed the fact that his character interacts with the audience throughout the play (although I was a bit worried that our being in the front row would mess him up; imagine being surprised by a familiar face mid-show! Luckily Zach's a pro and didn't even flinch when he saw us.). And although Sadleir couldn't look more different than Zach in his everyday life (Check them out at left; Zach's on the right!), the transformation onstage was uncanny.

If you live in the NY area and are looking to see a fun play with some amazing actors, check out Me, Myself & I before the show ends October 31st! Here are the details:

Me, Myself & I
Playwrights Horizons
416 West 42nd Street

Monday, September 13, 2010 1 comments

Your life could change in the blink of an eye...

by Brittany Geragotelis

Last week I got a phone call from my mom with some bad news. A boy I used to know back in high school was killed in a head-on collision after being thrown from the vehicle he was a passenger in. Francis Malloy (Fran to the rest of us) and I used to both take ballet at my mom's dance studio (The Ballet Slipper) in Oak Harbor, WA, growing up. He was one of those really happy guys...totally secure with who he was. I mean, not many guys would have the guts to do ballet and actually tell people about it. Point is, he was a very sweet kid. The kind of guy you hope your younger sister would date one day.

That's why it was sad for me to hear that years later, Fran found himself struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. Not too surprising (given that plenty of good kids with the potential to make a positive impact in the world fall prey to the diseases of alcoholism and drug addiction), but still very sad. Apparently Fran had been trying to get sober and had even recently gotten out of rehab, only to find himself in the car that ended up claiming the lives of three men, including his own.

According to police reports, Fran was in the backseat of a car being driven by a young woman when she went to take off her sweater and asked another girl to take hold of the wheel. The car began to veer off and the driver panicked and over-corrected, sending the them into oncoming traffic and hitting another car head-on. Fran, his friend who was seated next to him as well as the driver of the other car were all killed. To add to the devastation, the man who was driving the other car, swerved at the last minute in order to save his pregnant wife from injury. An investigation into the accident found heroin, cocaine, marijuana, syringes and a gun in the car and the female driver was discovered to be under the influence at the time of the collision.

My heart goes out to all the families, especially the young mom-to-be who should win a medal for her strength in the face of adversity (Check out an interview with her on "The Today Show" below). But if there's anything people should take away from this situation, it's that addiction is a serious disease with serious consequences. Though people can recover from a seemingly hopeless state of body and mind, not everyone's so lucky. The important thing to remember is that for those out there who do have a problem, there are places to get help. If you know someone who may have a problem with alcohol or drugs, encourage them to visit or depending on their specific problem. And lastly, though you can't always control what other people do, you can choose not to get into the car. Be safe out there.


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Sunday, September 12, 2010 2 comments

Go get your GROUPON!

by Brittany Geragotelis

First thing's first, right after I got my first rejection for Painless last week, I promptly received a request for a full look and synopsis from another agent! So, WOO HOO! Can you say glass half full?!

So, since I'm riding the high of my first manuscript request, I thought I'd bring all of you a little glass half full news too! Anyone ever try Groupon? Well, if you go to, you can sign up to receive daily deals that will knock your socks off! Each day the site has a super deal (like a month unlimited membership to YogaWorks for $15 or a $50 gift certificate to the GAP for $10) that you can get in on. The deals are so good that the other day I purchased 6 sessions of laser hair removal for $100 (this usually costs anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000!)!

So, the way groupon works is that there's a deal of the day and if enough people sign up for it, the deal is on! Seriously, check it out...signing up is free and you may just get a wicked deal on a deep tissue massage or a boat trip around NYC!

Thursday, September 9, 2010 5 comments

First rejection: doesn't hurt as much

by Brittany Geragotelis

As you all know, I sent out my first round of query letters for my latest book, Painless, on Wednesday—Well, I just received my first rejection.

Yeah. Bummer.

What's surprising me though, is that the sting doesn't hurt as much as it did with my last book. Painless is the sixth book I've written. Let's say that each book has averaged about 20 rejections, then that means I've already received approximately 120 letters essentially telling me I'm not a good enough writer, that people didn't "connect" with the characters in my books, that they didn't believe in my writing enough to give me a chance.

Each of these rejections hurt. Because writing is my passion, because it's all I've ever wanted to do, to have strangers tell me it may never happen...well, it's hard thing to take. And I haven't always dealt with these "opinions" well in the past. I've cried, thrown fits and asked my boyfriend (on far too many occasions according to him) why it's not happening for me. I've even given up. Not something I recommend, btw.

But this time, the rejection didn't hurt as bad. In fact, I'd describe it more as annoying than upsetting. Do I want an agent? Of course. Am I going to die if it doesn't happen right this second? No way. Is my life going to be over if I NEVER get an agent? I used to think so, but not anymore. Why? Because one way or another, I will be published. I already have people asking to read my books, well-known authors willing to write blurbs for them, so the only thing really stopping my books from being available to the public What a revelation that is!

So no, another rejection isn't bringing me down. If anything, it'll make the victory of seeing my book in the hands of readers that much more sweet.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 5 comments

Disney World Countdown...D-Minus 20 days

by Brittany Geragotelis

all photos credited to Disney
I got home last night to a new package from Disney! Upon opening the thick padded envelope, I was delighted to see our Disney luggage tags, basic itinerary and a book full of vouchers for things like discounts on mini-golf, spa visits, Planet Hollywood souvenirs and free games at the hotel arcade.

And then it hit me. In 20 days I will be embarking on my first adult vacation...And we're going to Disney World!

Yeah, I know, that may sound backwards. Taking your first "adult" trip to a kids park. But you have no idea what Disney means to me. Ever since I was old enough to remember it, my parents used to pack us up in the car and we'd head off in the middle of the night to Disneyland (a few times we drove from Washington to California, but mostly we flew. For some reason I always remember taking off when it was still dark out. My mom always warmed the car up for us before taking each of us out to the car wrapped up in our own individual blankets and buckling us in for the ride.). Once we were there, we'd spend a few days riding rides, eating food and spending some quality time together. My mom even used to make us get up early, so we'd be at the park when they cut the ribbon in the morning. Then she'd make us all run from one ride to the next. These are some of my favorite memories of growing up.

So, can you see why Disney is such a magical place for me?

This is why I felt it was apropos that Matt and I spend our first real vacation together (and not the kind where you're surrounded by family. That's nice too, of course, but I'm talking couple time here.) at the happiest place on earth.

And although he'd never admit it to anyone else, Matt's excited to be going too. He's even the one who convinced me we should take a day trip over to Universal Studios to check out Hogwarts. To say I'm excited about this trip is an understatement. I made our dinner reservations at some of Disney's finest dining areas about three months ago, and plan to wake up early every morning to have my gluten-free Mickey waffles (yes, they have them!). I'm going to line up at the ribbon in the morning before they open the park and then I'm going to (try to) convince Matty to run with me to the first ride. I've even been working on getting him to agree to take silly pictures with me while we're there (I think he still needs convincing on this one though).

Either way, we're looking at an opportunity to build some new memories, just the two of us. And I can't think of a better place to do it than the magic kingdom!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 0 comments

Author Stacey Jay talks Zombies

by Brittany Geragotelis

photos courtesy of Stacey Jay
Few authors over the past couple of years have really made me excited to read their stuff. Not that I don't like a lot of the stuff I read and review, but it's rare to find those authors who are so unique and have a voice that just makes you say, "OMG, I'm in love with this book" or "Wow. This author and I could totally be BFF's." Of course, this list starts with my fave author EVER, Meg Cabot (how awesome is she?!?!). But another author who recently made my list is super-fantastic zombie slayer, Stacey Jay. Her books You Are So Undead to Me and Undead Much? were to die for. Equal parts clever, funny, creepy, smart and way fab. Very reminiscent of "Buffy."

Anyhoo, being the Stacey fan I am, I just learned on her blog that Razorbill has decided not to publish her third book in the Megan Berry series. To say I was sad to hear this is an understatement. I loved the character and the voice was dead-on (Get it? A little zombie humor here.). But lucky for us, the lovely Stacey has decided to publish the last book, a novella, herself. Now, we may have to wait a few years (she has other projects she has to finish first—ones that have been greenlit by publishers, so we probably won't be reading it until Spring of 2011), and it'll only be available in ebook form, but we WILL get to see what happens to Megan Berry. And that's all that really matters, right?

If you haven't already read Stacey's books, go out and get them today. I promise, you won't be sorry. And in the meantime, check out this interview I did with her...After you're finished reading, you may just want her to be your BFF, too!
Q: You’re the brains behind the zombie-riffic Undead book series! Growing up, did you ever think this is where you’d end up? Stacey Jay: No way! Acting was my major in college. I thought I was going to be an actress, but acting’s not a dependable career when it comes to putting food on the table. I wrote plays and screenplays in college, but didn’t start writing novels until my first son was born. Becoming a mom made me get serious about earning a living. And since I’m not qualified to do anything but play pretend—I got my B.F.A. in acting—I decided I’d write books and make money to support my precious baby. Once again, not a very well thought out plan on my part—writing is another undependable career—but thankfully it worked out!
Q: Have you always wanted to write for teens? Stacey: I started out writing romance novels for adults, but I love writing for teens more than any other age group. The teenage years are such an exciting, drama-filled time, and some of the most enthusiastic readers I’ve met have been young adults.
Q: How does it feel to see your labor of love out on bookshelves and in the hands of teens? Stacey: It’s unbelievable. I’m so grateful to my readers. As cheesy as it sounds, continuing to write for a living is a dream come true for me. No matter how hard I push myself, it’s a dream that would have ended after my first book if it weren’t for all the awesome people picking it up off the shelves and taking it home.
Q: Why zombies? Were you always a fan of the lore? Stacey: Because they’re so scary! Just thinking about them freaks me out. And I love being scared almost as much as I love reading about people falling in love—both are a big part of the Undead series. I write romantic stories, and I’m not afraid to put that out there. Romance rocks!
Q: Where do you get your zombie intel from? Stacey: I did a lot of research on voodoo and the history of zombies—both on the Internet and at museums across the south. Also, the voices in my head are very helpful, too. (Kidding!)
Q: Do you remember having your first “I have arrived” moment? Stacey: I’m not sure that I have arrived, but it was pretty strange to come across a yahoo question page where a slew of people were discussing how old I was. (I’m 32.) I couldn’t imagine that anyone would even know my name, let alone care how many years I’d been wandering around the earth making stuff up.
Q: What inspires you? Stacey: My two little boys and my amazing husband (pictured left as zombies), my mom and dad and everyone who enjoys reading my books. Also cheese. I really love cheese. I find a good feta or a well-aged gouda quite inspirational.
Q: For Megan, high school has been a pretty dangerous place. What was it like for you in high school? Stacey: I loved high school. Junior high was terrifying and stressful, but high school was so much fun. I loved getting to take classes that I actually enjoyed instead of the same old stuff all the time. I loved the friends I made—friends from all different social groups that all got along and had great times together. Sure, there was drama, but life is full of drama. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop once you get out of high school. But I choose to remember the positive things about my teen years as well as my twenties. Hopefully I’ll feel the same way about my thirties!
Q: Are you a fan of other books that go bump in the night? Stacey: Of course. I’ve always loved paranormal books. I only wish I had more time to read. With two little boys and work, it can be a challenge. Though my 5-year-old and I are really getting into Halloween picture books. We read them all year round.
Q: What’s your writing process like? Stacey: Very methodical and goal-driven. I set word goals for each day of the week and work my hardest to meet them. I always tell my kids that a dream isn’t something that comes true because you sat on your rump wishing for it. I try to be a good example of that—though I do have to sit on my rump to type…
Q: Can you describe your journey to being published? Stacey: I started writing fiction in 2005. After 16 rejection letters from various agencies, I signed with my agent in the summer of 2007. We got the offer for You Are So Undead To Me from Razorbill in October 2007 and it was published in January 2009. (It takes an astoundingly long time for a book to go from submitted manuscript to pub-ready book!)
Q: What advice would you give aspiring writers? Stacey: Read and write. Read everything you can get your hands on—each book will teach you something about storytelling. Write every day—because you can’t get better if you don’t practice. (Something every cheerleader knows, of course.)
Q: In your journey to being published, was there ever a time you wanted to give up? How did you push yourself to go on? Stacey: There are still times when I want to give up—like when I get a bad review, or a mean email from someone who thinks that writing about zombies is “evil” and “weird.” Or when I read over my latest work in progress and think it stinks and have to delete everything and start over.
But in the end, I really feel that writing is what I’m best at. It’s a career that suits me and I’m committed to continuing to push myself to improve at my craft and write even more entertaining books for my readers. Also, this is how I earn money. My kids are big eaters (as you can see by the pic), and the little one uses a lot of diapers. Diapers, I’ve come to find out, are very expensive!
Q: When the zombie apocalypse finally happens (and we all know it will eventually), can you give our readers any tips to being one of the survivors? Stacey: Totally! Move to a zombie-free island. It’s a known fact that zombies are very bad swimmers!
Check out the full interview at