Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hello Kitty Does Fortune Cookies

Spotted at Target (but not by me)

One of my favorite things about this blog is when I'm unexpectedly contacted by someone who saw something fortune cookie-related and thought of me, especially when it's someone I didn't know read the blog or paid attention to the links I post on Facebook and Twitter. LTK posted the above pic on my FB wall, saying she saw the Hello Kitty Fortune Cookie Maker at Target and thought of Not-a-Fortune. Seeing this made my day!

 If you see something and would like to share it with me, please don't hesitate to visit the Not-a-Fortune Facebook page (link located on sidebar on the right); tweet me (Twitter information included in my "About Me" section on the right); post a comment here; or contact me via email/text/fb if you know me IRL.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Fortune Cookie Proposal

People Magazine, July 5, 2010

I did a little "light reading" while I ate lunch today, during which I came across this delightful story. The latest issue of People Magazine, on stands now, profiles five couples who met online and whose "love stories are real, moving, and a little unusual." The couple featured above had plenty of opportunities to meet IRL (in real life)- his dad is her grandma's doctor, his parents know her cousins, he went to high school with her sister, they attended the same Hebrew school, they lived three houses apart. Yet they never did meet until jdate.com. Fast forward eight months and countless nights of TV-watching and takeout-ordering. He proposed with - you guessed it - a fortune cookie that read, "Will You Marry Me?"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cookie Inserts and Car Decals

I've got a handful of reader fortunes and not-a-fortunes to share today. Two fortunes, the first from my good friend Bea Dazzler (whose visit to Austin's Chinatown with yours truly is chronicled here):

"Those who seek will find." 
However, Bea Dazzler just informed me that she doesn't believe her fortunes unless her lucky number is included on the insert. She did not share what that number is and, judging by the negative tone in which this was conveyed I'm guessing said number wasn't there.

"You could prosper in the field of medicine."
Abbey, an Army wife and mom of three (check out her fun blog here), received this fortune from a Panda Express fortune cookie. Her response: "Uh, what?"

Three people shared their not-a-fortunes with me. My friend Matt received this:
"You cannot love life until you live the life you love."

Frequent contributor Blonde Birdie was none too happy upon breaking open her fortune cookie to find what she deemed a "super lame not-a-fortune":
"The best mirror is often a good friend."

And finally, a colleague of mine deemed this not-a-fortune a "fun play on words":
"Your greatest fortune is the large number of friends you have."

My Twitter friend Dani shared these printable fortune cookies with me. They look like a fun project!

From the You-Don't-See-That-Everyday File, Laurie saw a car decal that read, "In memory of Corey [last name]" and had a fortune cookie where you would typically see a cross (or something similar). Things like this spark my curiosity. Thanks for sharing, Laurie!

Thanks to all of my loyal readers and contributors. If you'd like to share a fortune, not-a-fortune, or a fun, interesting fortune cookie-related object you spot, you can comment here or on my Facebook page (see the FB badge on the sidebar on the right). You can also find me on Twitter (see the "About Me" section on the sidebar).

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Timely & (Not-a-)Fortunate Reminder

"You are what you think about all day long."

I found this not-a-fortune floating around in my wallet today. I haven't the first clue where it came from or how long it's been there. I can't even remember the last time I had a meal that ended with a fortune cookie. It wasn't even in the place I normally reserve for fortune cookie inserts in transit. Nonetheless, its message is a welcome reminder of my motto that life is too short not to be happy. A serendipitous find, to be sure.

*A note about the image at the top of this post: It is an oil painting by Sandra Romashko, found here. It is titled "Serendipity" and when I first saw it I thought it was a fortune cookie instead of a seashell. Also, I wish I was back at the beach.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Answering my Awardees' Questions

I see it's been almost two weeks since my last post. Without going into detail, let me just say: It's been a looong two weeks!

As a way of wrapping up the award my friend and fellow blogger Rachel gave me back on May 29th, I'm going to answer a select few of the questions my awardees posed for their own awardees. If you're reading this and wondering what I'm yammering on about, click here to read my original post and click here to read my follow-up post. (For those of you who are sick of this whole "blog award" situation and just want me to get back to blogging about fortunes and not-a-fortunes, rest assured that this is the last post related to the award Rachel gave me.)

Let's start with Pardon My Dust's Erin. Visit this page to see Erin's response to my award. I have chosen the following five questions (from her list of ten) to answer here:

1. Would you rather have a hook for a hand or a peg leg? Why? 
I have to answer this question because, as Erin specified in her post, she wrote it for me. I cannot adequately explain why this is the case; it just is. And just so you know, in the "would you rather" game, "Neither" is never an option. My choice would be a hook for a hand. I would also equip myself with other useful accessories, such as an umbrella.

2. If you could travel to any place you wanted, in any time period you wanted, when and where would you go?
Since I love not camping and I consider anything without electricity and running water akin to camping, I'd stay firmly planted post-1900s. However, you might find me at Berkeley in the '60s (the whole loving not camping thing would keep me away from Woodstock), or New York City in the '20s.

3. If you could resurrect one canceled television show, which one would you choose and why?
Anyone who knows me at all knows I would resurrect F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Could there BE another option?

4. What is your favorite curse or insult to hurl at someone?
For the past several months my favorite curse has been "mother bitch!" but I realize now that this does not qualify as a "curse or insult to hurl at someone." In thinking about it, it seems I overuse "jackass" for this purpose, which isn't very creative but seems to get the job done.

5. What is the most valuable lesson you've learned so far in life?
The past few years have taught me that life is too short not to be happy.

Next we'll pop over to Single Blonde in the City. Click here to view SBITC's response to my award. Here are the five questions I selected from her list:

1. If money were not an object, what would you do with your life?
This one is easy for me: I would live on the beach and write. Lest you be confused given my "I love not camping" motto and all, let me explain that by "I would live on the beach" I mean that I would have a fantastic house worthy of Architectural Digest on a beautiful, white sand beach where I could walk barefoot along the shore while my dogs ran ahead or behind me (or, let's face it, straggled along beside me). I would eat locally grown food and, because I wouldn't have to worry about my income, I would be able to spend as much time as I wanted to preparing meals for myself and my loved ones. And I would write. I would write and write and write.

2. Describe the perfect sandwich.
The crab roll at Fish Cafe in Sausalito, California. It was $18 the first time I had one (in 2006) and was $25 on my last visit in 2009. But it is, hands down, the best sandwich I have ever had. I would pay that much and more to have it again (and I will as soon as I can get back!). Fish is dedicated to sustainable seafood; their cafe is located on the harbor in Sausalito with a gorgeous view of San Francisco. And as if the amazingly fresh crab roll with a glass of a Californian sauvignon blanc wasn't enough, that view along the harbor makes the entire experience, well, perfect.

3. When was the last time you tried something new? What was it?
I've been trying a lot of new things lately. I'm quite proud of this, actually. I've gone to concerts, I've tried new restaurants. Most recently, though, I've tried new cuisines. I had Ethiopian food for the first time on my last visit to Washington, D.C.

4. What makes you smile?
My father. He is the world's greatest joke-teller, even when he doesn't enunciate or when he tells a joke I've heard a hundred times before (I'm not exaggerating). His smile is infectious, pure and simple.

5. What is one of the best gifts that you have ever received?
The theme of my thirtieth birthday party was "breakfast-for-dinner and boardgames"- two of my favorite things. My Audriella got a Scrabble board and tiles and asked everyone to create a word for me. This is a personalized memory I will always treasure.

Please also visit Lisa Adams's response post as well as LT's response post. They didn't offer up questions of their own, but their answers to my questions are insightful and funny.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Twitter Not-a-Fortune

To say the last thing I need to be doing right now is writing this post is very close to the understatement of the month, at least. However, my Twitter friend Judy - an amazingly insightful writer - posted her most recent blog entry over on Zebra Sounds and it contained a link to this:

This image is from the blog Unique Scoop, whose tagline is "Daily Entertainment in a Unique Way." The post is titled "33 Wonderful Pictures of Twitter Addiction."

As my faithful readers know, this is more of an instruction or even a demand rather than an actual fortune. Those of you well versed in the art of Twitter will notice that the first "lucky number" is 140- the maximum number of characters one is allowed to include in one tweet. Clever, huh?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Fortune of an Eight Year Old

"Your aspirations are met with success soon."

The eight-year-old light of my life (whom I affectionately nicknamed The Boog) received the above fortune after dinner last night. I think it's especially appropriate this week, as he's attending a day camp for video animation. He and the other nine students in the program are learning computer programming via a software program created for kids. All of his hard work will culminate in a final project, to be presented tomorrow. Good fortune, indeed!

Monday, June 7, 2010

You are so FORTUNATE to Learn More About Me

As my loyal readers know, I recently posted answers to ten questions as part of an award I won from my fellow blogger Rachel. Beyond answering Rachel's questions, this award also required me to choose some of my favorite blogs/bloggers AND pose my own questions for them. In her infinite wisdom, my friend Erin over at Pardon My Dust (one of my five award recipients) decided her readers deserve to know how she would answer her own questions. This is an excellent idea, as we choose these questions because they mean something to us, and we probably create our own answers in the choosing.

Here are my ten questions followed by my own answers:

1. Would you rather give up wine or cheese for the rest of your life?
This is tricky, even for me, as my favorite food groups are wine, cheese, pasta, bread, and coffee. However, if push came to shove, I would sacrifice the cheese.

2. Do you believe in soulmates? Why or why not?
I do not believe in soulmates in any sort of romantic, we-are-only-meant-to-be-with-one-particular-person-in-the-world kind of way. However, I am inclined to think there are times in our lives when we encounter people who fill voids or know us in certain ways that can only be understood through this concept.

3. Where is your favorite place?
Almost any beach, barefoot.

4. Recommend one book for me (and my readers). Tell us why we should read it.
This question sends me running to my bookcases, searching for the most important book I have ever read. Whew, now that that's over...I recommend Amanda Davis's Wonder When You'll Miss Me. While it's not "the most important book I've ever read" (because no book is- making that claim would require me to stop reading), it is one of those unexpectedly delightful books I was unable to put down when I happened upon it several years ago. The continuation of a short story Davis began in an earlier collection, Wonder When You'll Miss Me is an exploration of an unpopular girl's choice to - literally - run off and join the circus.

5. If you had to choose one singer/band to listen to for the rest of your life, who would it be?
I can't sufficiently answer this question, but I am loving me some Jackopierce right now.

6. What is your favorite walk?
The walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

7. Describe your favorite smell.
The Nickel's paws, which are best described as Frito paws.

8. Name your five favorite TV shows.
Mad About You
The Wire

9. Word association: When I say "fortune cookie," what comes to mind?
Not-a-fortune. This question was meant for other people, clearly.

10. Cat or dog?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Theatrical Fortune Cookies- UPDATE

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Follow this link to read that post.

The reason I originally blogged about this theatre was because they're offering fortune cookies in celebration of their thirtieth anniversary. The fortune cookie inserts correspond to the plays the theatre is producing. The inserts pose questions; patrons can visit the theatre's website and post their answers.

My Audriella and her boyfriend, Mr. Jones, went to the Woolly Mammoth Theatre to see "Gruesome Playground Injuries." According to Audriella, the play was about a boy and a girl who meet in a nurse's office when they are eight years old. It follows their relationship as it develops over the next thirty years, as the boy suffers injuries until he ends up in a wheelchair. The girl struggles with mental health issues. The two never "hook up."

This is the bowl of fortune cookies that is offered after the performance:

Audriella's cookie insert asked, "Are there any loves that you left on the playground or let get away?"

This is the handout that accompanied the fortune cookies:

Audriella answered, "Fortunately, I let all the bad ones go! Except for the religious freak who wore bow ties...kidding!"

AND...her response made it onto the Woolly Mammoth website: click here to view. (Scroll all the way to the bottom, look under the heading "When You Look Back On Your Loves..." Audriella's answer is the fourth from the bottom.)

I have been informed that there is a play about the invention of the vibrator coming up. This might require another trip to D.C.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm an Award Winner! (Click to Learn More About Me)

I hope you read yesterday's post. If not, do it now. I'll wait. 

My friend and fellow blogger Rachel passed on an award, which she explained on her blog, www.rachelintheoc.com. This requires me to answer these ten questions, provided by Rachel:

1) What movie will you not turn off whenever it comes on?
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Wait, wait- don't leave quite yet. James Garner, in this film at least, reminds me of my father.

2) How old were you when you got (or gave) your first kiss?
Since I can't recall my exact age (nor can I recall the circumstances), I'm just gonna say that I was in elementary school. Also, I'm fairly certain the recipient of my first kiss was this guy. But don't quote me on that.

3) What movie star is your dream date?
I can't come up with a satisfying answer to this question. Paul Rudd? Ooh, Josh Lucas. (Sweet Home Alabama, anyone?) I'm open to suggestions...

4) What food will you absolutely not eat under any circumstances (and why)?
Foie gras. I disagree with the practices behind the production of this so-called delicacy.

5) How many hours of TV do you watch each week?
The invention of DVR/TiVo has made this question unanswerable for me. Why? Because DVR enables me to watch more TV, more efficiently.

6) Do you get your five servings of fruits and vegetables every day?
No, which is a shame since I am a pescatarian. But I try.

7) What is the first rule of Fight Club?
I can't talk about it.

8) Did you really like the Dennis Hopper (RIP, dude) movie "Blue Velvet?"
I can't talk about that either (mostly because I haven't seen it.)

9) Do you read the last page of a book to see how it ends?
No, because while I am a pessimist, I am not Harry Burns. Also, when I am not enjoying a book, I stop reading it. Life is too short to read all of the books I want to read.

10) What is Joey from "Friends" signature phrase? Bonus: What is the name of their coffee shop?
"How you doin'?" 
Central Perk.
Could this question BE any easier? ;)

Now, the only rules that go along with this "award," are that I "pay it forward" by selecting some blogs that I enjoy and giving them ten questions of my own. Here are my selections:

Single Blonde in the City - This chick is one of my best Austin gal pals. She's saucy, surprisingly insightful, and she always knows where the fun is. She especially knows how to write about it.

One Cat Away From Crazy - Another Austin gal, I've known LT since high school. She blogs about her outfits and her crazy pets - well worth your internet bookmark!

Pardon My Dust - I met Erin my first year of graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin. Almost seven years and two marriages later (one for each of us), we each have stories to tell. Visit her blog and read her story.

Lisa Adams - One of my favorite tweeps, Lisa is an inspiration. She's witty. She's encouraging. She's dependable. And that's what we're all looking for, really- inspirational, witty, encouraging dependability.

Colleen Conrad - My first true friend in Austin, Colleen is an exceptional teacher with a hippie bent. She is also a writer and her blog is a testament to the tension inherent in this dual calling.

And finally, here are my ten questions for you five superstar bloggers:

1. Would you rather give up wine or cheese for the rest of your life?

2. Do you believe in soulmates? Why or why not?

3. Where is your favorite place?

4. Recommend one book for me (and my readers). Tell us why we should read it.

5. If you had to choose one singer/band to listen to for the rest of your life, who would it be?

6. What is your favorite walk?

7. Describe your favorite smell.

8. Name your five favorite TV shows.

9. Word association: When I say "fortune cookie," what comes to mind?

10. Cat or dog?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Friends & Fortune Cookies

One of my favorite Twitter friends has given me a shout out on her blog, which is so ridiculously awesome and unexpected I can't even begin to explain how much it made my day. Actually, when I think about it tomorrow and the next day (as I invariably will), and it makes those days as well, it will have made my week. Go to www.rachelintheoc.com to read the post (and while you're there, bookmark the site and go back frequently- you'll thank me later). 

The way this works is that Rachel (of "Rachel in the OC" fame, which you should have visited by now) won an award for her fabulous blog (the one you've already visited, remember?). This award required her to answer 10 questions and to then "pay it forward" by selecting 5 of her favorite blogs/bloggers
who then answer 10 new questions of Rachel's choosing. As I carefully consider my responses to her 10 questions, please enjoy this post about my friends' recent fortunes and not-a-fortunes. And check back soon for my award-winning post!

The four-year-old daughter of my very good friend (and former neighbor) received this cookie insert last month. Although it's technically not a fortune, I feel loved each and every time I see her, as she always runs up, throws her arms around me, and gives me a giant hug.


A girlfriend of mine whose blog I've recommended before and who is a loyal reader and frequent contributor - Single Blonde in the City - sent me this not-a-fortune after a recent meal at P.F. Chang's. Not the best cookie insert. HOWEVER...

When she received *this* FORTUNE she deemed it the "Best fortune. Ever." for reasons that should be obvious to those who read her blog. And if you are not one of those people, you should be. Immediately.

Continuing the trend of good fortunes - yes, actual fortunes - another loyal reader and frequent contributor, Blonde Birdie, received the following fortune:
"An unexpected windfall will soon be yours."
As she said, "Good, huh?"