Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 28: Doppelganger-Giada De Laurentiis

In ode of "Doppelganger Week" [The word "doppelgänger" has come to refer (as in German) to any double or look-alike of a person.], I would like to pay tribute to my proposed "twin," Giada De Laurentiis.

Me and Giada go way back. And by "way back" I mean since 2003 when her show The Everyday Italian aired on the Food Network. Then me and "G" (I call her "G") really got to know each other well when she published her first cookbook in 2005.

This is when people started asking me for my autograph.

It all started with cashiers at the grocery store mistakenly thinking that I was Giada...then people at airports...then friends...then my family. I think I may have caused a few family members near heart attacks when they turned on the Food Network and saw "G" making her crazy chocolate and brie paninis and thought it was me! I've been told that we not only look alike, but we have similar mannerisms too (which really freaks my mom out).

After about the 418th person to tell me I looked like Giada, I started to think that maybe they might be onto something. So, naturally, I had to be prepared. ;) And it was a good thing that I was... because I got to make an elderly couple's day.

I was hiking in Sedona, AZ, adoring an orange hiking hat, and stopped for a quick lunch with a friend. I noticed an older couple in the corner of the restaurant who kept peering over their booth in my direction and giggling. I was feeling significantly awkward until the waitress came up to me and said, "Ma'am, they think that you're Giada De Laurentiis from the Food Network." It took all of two seconds for me to realize that this was a moment too good to pass up. So, I leaned in, put my finger up to my mouth, and whispered to the waitress, "Shhhhhh...."

You should have seen her face. Priceless.

Then, as I was leaving, I walked up to the elderly couple's table, knelt down on the floor to be at their eye level, and asked if they had a pen. They starred at me for a second or two and then handed me a pen. I grabbed a napkin and wrote on it, "Enjoy your time in Sedona. Bon Appetit, Giada." [Good thing I had "prepared" ahead of time and memorized her signature!]

I know that this probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, but you should have seen this couple! I've never seen two people more excited in my whole life. Then the older man shook my hand and said, "We love your show." I smiled and replied with a quick "thank you," walking out the door before my friend had the chance to burst out laughing.

"Operation Shock and Awe" was complete.

Some other Giada-Look-Alike Perks:

1. I got to go to the front of the line at Disneyland (I wore sunglasses and had friends taking pictures with me----so the Disney staff took me right to the front of the Indiana Jones ride to get away from the "paparazzi").

2. A photographer in Arizona contacted me and asked if he could take pictures and enter me in the TV Guide show "Celebrity Look-Alike." Nothing ever came of it and to get on that show requires you to fly to Canada for filming, etc., but it was fun nonetheless.

3. People automatically assume that I can cook.

4. When I have children someday my birthing picture will OF COURSE look just like this (perfect makeup and all):

5. My Dad offered to fly me to LA with him this year to go to the filming of "Giada At Home." You can bet that there will be a blog post about that one. Stay tuned.

This is Doppelganger Week. Day 28 of 2010.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 22: The Element of Surprise

In the midst of all the cool things God is doing today, a friend sent me this little nugget of inspiration via e-mail:

Justine McKnight destroyed the periodic table, because Justine only recognizes the element of surprise...

I'm pretty sure that they stole this from my friend, Chuck Norris, but whatever. It changed my whole day. Thought it'd do the same for you.

This is my Friday...not in its entirety, but at least in part. Day 22 of 2010.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 21: Three Random Dudes in Starbucks

Poor Rexy (the truck that holds all of my love for automobiles) was running on fumes as I rolled into the gas station this morning. She sputtered up the pump not having any idea where her (too expensive) off road wheels would take her this fine Thursday.

Normally Rexy finds herself parked in the same spot in front of the same coffee shop every day, but today I felt this slight tugging in my heart to drive her to a different location. And let me tell you- it was a good thing I went because I had an appointment with the Lord in a BIG way. Actually I had three appointments to be precise.

1. Mike the Barista-I walk into Starbucks, order, and then I hear, "Justine?!" At first I was confused because it was early and I thought my hot java was talking to me. Then I realized that it was Mike the Barista. Who is Mike? I used to see him almost every day at a Starbucks 2.5 hours away. I live in a city of 1.3 million people. What are the chances I would see him? To make a long story short...Mike the Barista and I used to play worship together and he loves Jesus a lot. This leads me to man #2.

2. Random Tattoo Man- Two minutes after talking to Mike this biker guy, covered in tattoos, stands next to my table and says, "I heard that you love Jesus. Mike told me. I do this ministry thing and I feel like I need to know you." Then he hands me his card and says he'll be back to talk to me. He doesn't come back to talk to me after all, but I think he's right---I do need to know him. His ministry looks seriously cool and I can't wait to see what God is going to do. Stay tuned.

3. Sonnie the Glory Guy- Hours later (yes, I was still sitting in the same spot), this surfer guy in his 60's with long, curly gray hair walks up to me and says, "You love Jesus don't you?" Taken aback a little bit, I smile and say, "Very much." He says, "I can tell." "Really?" I say. "I heard you talking on the phone a little bit ago," he says, "I wasn't really listening [note to self: he was definitely listening], but I saw you talking and you were smiling really bright. Then you said something about the Holy Spirit and I just KNEW."

We proceed to talk about the GLORY of God for the next hour. He loves Jesus too and tells me all about the cool things that He has seen God do. I got REAL excited. I told him that I thought that this year specifically that God was just looking for people to say "Yes" to Him regardless of embarrassment or fear. He confirmed this and then said, "Justine, your obedience to God radiates from you. As you say 'Yes' to God you will see many amazing things."

Now, to you this may sound like a fortune cookie, but for reals this was exceptionally cool. He then hands me a book about the GLORY of God and says, "I feel like I'm supposed to give this to you." Then the dude takes off.

To some this may sound weird and creepy, but Sonnie the Glory Guy was seriously rad and I wish all of you could meet him. We talked about God stuff a lot, it was a weird encounter, and of course it was a little funny (which is what this blog is all about!). So, naturally I had to write about the experience.

I think that God wants to speak to us just as much as we want Him too (maybe more so). I think that He is looking for people who are willing to embrace His surprises and His voice and not be so weirded out that we miss out on the cool, random things of God. Just a thought for today.

This is my Thursday. Day 21 of 2010.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 18: My Living Room Caught on Fire.

Today I woke up thinking that it was going to be an ordinary day. I'm usually wrong about these kind of things, so naturally the day was weird.

I was sitting on my couch enjoying a particularly pleasant rainy day (which basically don't exist in Phx, AZ) when I immediately thought, "Ya know what this day needs? A roaring fire!" So, I proceed to make the perfect fire- precisely placed logs, easy-to-light kindling, recycled paper. The whole thing was utterly beautiful. At this point one of my roommates, Elaine the 1/4 Asian, comes into the room, plops down on the floor, and anxiously awaits my masterpiece of a fire.

Needless to say, it didn't light.

Try as I might, reciting Thomas the Train "I think I can, I think I can," as I went---the fire just wouldn't erupt in flames like my little heart desired. Then walks in Hannah Long Hair, my other roommate, who proceeds to start making fun of me for not making it correctly (I'm actually not sure if this really happened, but this is what USUALLY happens, so I'm including it here.). So, Elaine the 1/4 Asian gets up and tries to stir the fire to no avail...then Hannah Long Hair attempts to fan the flame.

Note: I SHOULD have been supervising this entire endeavor, especially knowing my roommates' extreme lack of knowledge regarding all things outdoorsy, but I didn't. Please note my regret.

Then comes a phrase that came pouring forth from my mouth that will forever live in infamy at the 852 (that's my house). I said, "Hannah, go get some nail polish remover and put it on the fire." I can almost hear you gasp as you read this...I know. I've done this probably 8,000 times safely (give or take a few) and my roommates have watched probably 2,000 of those times (again, a rough number estimate), but I guess it didn't quite stick with Hannah Long Hair.

The next few moments are really a blur, but what I do recall quite vividly are the screams.

First Elaine the 1/4 Asian screamed...then Hannah Long I looked up from my work (yes, this was in the middle of my workday) to see Hannah's hand on fire. And by "on fire" I really do mean completely engulfed in flames. She had proceeded to slowly pour the nail polish remover directly from the bottle onto the hot embers, which of course bursted into flames immediately. The fire then traveled up the stream of nail polish remover and into the bottle, which of course ignited instantly, sending Hannah Long Hair into complete hysteria. She began running around the living room screaming while holding the fiery bottle in her hand, leaving a trail of flammable liquid behind her. This all of course burst into flames within seconds.

My entire living room was now flaming like a hot dog on the 4th of July. Lets keep in mind that at this point I was still nestled on the couch with my computer and my tiger print Snuggie.

We all sprang into action (not immediately I might add). I leaped off the couch in one swift move, Elaine the 1/4 Asian was still screaming, and Hannah Long Hair suddenly noticed that she was on fire. So, naturally, she dropped the flaming bottle on the floor, spilling the contents of the nail polish remover all over the floor once again. More flames. More screaming.

We had to put out the flames somehow obviously. So, Elaine ran to the kitchen and got dish towels. Hannah got our rice cooker and filled it with water. I ran to the pantry for flour. Elaine put the dish towels on the floor to put it out. The towels caught fire. More flames. More screaming. Hannah attempted to pour water from the rice cooker onto the flames, but I screamed to prevent this action (yes, that would've made it worse---see this terrifying 34 second video for a brief demo Then I dumped flour on the fiery mess which basically put out most of the flames. Hannah then came racing around the corner with a fire extinguisher (WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?!). She then screams, "IT WON'T WORK!" Note: fire extinguishers only work when you pull the pin from the handle. I then grab the extinguisher, pull the pin, and blast the rest of the flames.


We survey the damage.

Then we burst into uncontrollable laughter. This goes on for quite a while (I recall my side hurting and face streaming with tears). We continued this laughter for the next few hours as we cleaned up the ashes of dishtowels, flour soaked nail polish remover, and fire extinguisher dust. Believe it or not, there was virtually no damage other than a charred corner of a rug and the horrendous burning chemical smell that permeated the house and couch. Other than that (and maybe some of Hannah's arm hair) everything remained untouched.

This was my Monday. Day 18 of 2010.