Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Under pressure

Before my boss knew that I was a blogger, she asked me to become a blog guru, as it relates to our industry of public relations, and send an overview of helpful blog information to our staff. I had been asked to do this last month, but I was taken aback by all the information and speculation and guidance there is out there for applying what I do to the gazillion blogs in the blogosphere. However, today Merriam-Webster Inc announced that "blog" was one of the most looked-up words on its Internet sites this year, forcing me to finish my e-mail overview to distribute to our staff tomorrow. The pressure! I've just completed it, though, so the pressure is somewhat relieved. I mentioned in my e-mail that "Trying to sum up in one e-mail what blogs are, their many uses and the 'rules' associated with them is like trying to corral two dozen three-year-olds into a Ford Escort – virtually impossible." Hopefully, I'll still come off as our resident blog guru.

And thankfully I was able to relieve a bit of that stress with an oldie but goodie. Enjoy!

"When I had that, there was too much pressure to use it. All I want out of life is to be a monkey of moderate intelligence who wears a suit. That's why I've decided to transfer to Business School." - Gunther the Monkey, Futurama

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I'm in with the "in" crowd

I was recently chosen as one of the new bloggers for blogging.la! This site includes various bloggers who post about the wild, wacky and thought-provoking events/trends/happenings in the Los Angeles area. It's actually part of a larger network of sites called metroblogs. Lots of big cities have sites like these now, but it's not so easy to get in as a blogger. I had to go through a timed obstacle course, including a race carrying the Atlas stone, dodging tennis balls, and preparing a feast with blogs as the main ingredient a la Iron Chef.

So when my friends, like the one I saw this week while I was in Visalia for Thanksgiving during his hiatus from medical school, tease me about my "internet site," not only can I post info on here for my immediate readers to see, it has potential to get spread much wider. Much, much wider. Those cross-dressing, porno-watching, Swamp Thing-kissing, prostate exams stories don't seem so secret anymore, do they? I kid!

Please note that I'm not supposed to cross-pollinate my posting, so at least twice a week you can count on my directing you to my blogging.la posts, in addition to my posts on this site.

In other news from my jaunt home, I had a little incident on Friday night. I sat in bed, around midnight, reading a book of short stories. I was having a bit of an asthma attack, but had left my inhaler in Los Angeles. I remember my dad telling me that sucking on ice cubes can help an attack, but half a dozen cubes later, I was still wheezing pretty badly. It was nearly 1 a.m. After calling the local Walgreens to ensure they were open, I ran out of the house clothed in my gray Cal Poly sweatshirt, my flowered pajama pants I made in my sewing class and vowed never to be seen in public in, and some brown striped flip-flops - I was definitely a vision of loveliness. I jumped in my car and hoped that my windshield would defrost faster. I arrived at Walgreens, still wheezing, only to find that the only asthma medication left on the shelves were the inhaler refills for Primatene Mist. Ya can't use the refills without the main inhaler! I asked the pharmacist if that's all there was, but thankfully was told that the Primatene tablets were kept behind the front counter. I think she could sense the panic in my eyes and my breathing. I get to the front counter, where I was greeted by an 18-year-old clerk who wanted to flirt.

"So, you went to Cal Poly?"
"Yes. I'm looking for Primatene tablets!!!" (trying not to panic as panic induces worse asthma attacks)
"Did you graduate?" (with one eye brow raised and his best hey-baby smile)
"Yup. Journalism degree. In 2000." (read: I'm way too old for you.)
"Nice. Total is $13.83"

I grabbed my tablets, made it home, and was breathing easier shortly after.

"There is no more difficult art to acquire than the art of observation, and for some men it is quite as difficult to record an observation in brief and plain language." - William Osler

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

reeeeeeachhhhhh........ Posted by Hello

As I mentioned in my Nov. 12 post, I took a ballet class taught by my old roomie and dear friend, Jen. Well, what I didn't mention because I didn't want to spoil the surprise is that a group of us took it because Jen was going to be part of an article about adults taking ballet as an alternative to the gym! The article was published last week, but we didn't find it until today. That's me in the brown top and pink pants, struggling to reach my foot while the graceful Gumby next to me makes it look so easy. :) You can see another picture, as well as read the article here. This was written by the AP, so it was picked up in a few papers across the nation. Fun, ain't it?

"When I dance, people think I'm looking for my keys." - Ray from Everybody Loves Raymond

Monday, November 22, 2004

Happy Holly Homemaker

Posted by Hello

I did something a little weird tonight: I cooked. (GASP!) Tonight I was inspired enough to make a salad with lettuce, dried cranberries, glazed walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and red raspberry vinagrette. That was just the starter! Then I made angel hair pasta with a ground beef and tomato sauce! And you know what I'm doing right now??? BAKING COOKIES! (Yes, they are the store-bought ones that you just break apart, put on a sheet and slide in the oven.) Regardless, I actually spent time in the kitchen. Tomorrow night I'm making this to bring to our company potluck Thanksgiving celebration. Someone's gotta take over for Martha while she's in prison, right?

[pulls out an aerosol can] "What? Is this cheese? How are you going to clean up the kitchen with cheese, Shake?" - Frylock from Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Picture this

Brent took pics of our condo today to show his mom, who won't be able to see our place until January, so I thought I'd post them on here for my friends who haven't made it over to our new place. They're out of order because I was being lazy. Enjoy!

futon in guest room/office Posted by Hello

giant bed! Posted by Hello

barstools Posted by Hello

balcony Posted by Hello

living room Posted by Hello

view from giant bed Posted by Hello

me chillin in the guest room/office Posted by Hello

living room Posted by Hello

Friday, November 19, 2004

Crazy-go-nuts over here!




Thursday, November 18, 2004

To tree or not to tree

I'm starting to get into the Christmas spirit and it's not even Thanksgiving! Last night I turned on the Christmas lights on our balcony, which we keep up all year long. I lit some candles, including a new one I just got from Pier 1. I bought it because it smells like cherry Jell-o. And somehow the combination of the warm glow of our lighting and the cherry Jell-o scent reminded me of Christmas. (I've never equated cherry Jell-o to Christmas before...)

My biggest dilemma at the moment is whether or not I want to get a tree for our condo. On one hand, I like the idea of decorating it with white lights and gold bows and having a place to put all the presents, but on the other hand, I don't like the idea of dealing with pine needles as an addition to all the other stuff that collects on our floors (i.e., my hair and red fuzz from our shag rug) and having to figure out how to get rid of the tree after the holiday season. It's also nice to think of a tree enjoying its life in the woods as nature intended rather than on a tree stand in my condo. And is it really worth the money? Trees were freakin' expensive when I last bought one about 6 years ago - I'm sure they're even more outrageous now.

"They can't evict you on Christmas! Then you'd be ho-ho-homeless!" - Simon in the movie, "Go"

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'm a bad friend

I have a bad habit of letting too much time go by in between conversations with friends. Last night I got a call from my oldest friend, Andrea. It was the first time I'd spoken with her since March (which was over instant message, so that doesn't really count) and prior to that in September 2003, at my dad's funeral, which she unbelievably flew across the country for. (She lives in the Washington D.C. area.) We've known each other since we were 4 and usually don't let so much time pass in between visits, but somehow we both got caught up in being adults and doing adult things like working, buying condos, going back to school and dealing with families.

I think these scenarios are common with lots of folks: there are the friends you have and don't talk to for awhile, but when you do, it's like you were never apart (such is the case with Andrea). And then there are other friends whom you don't talk to and things kind of fizzle out. That's NEVER my intention when it comes to making friends and meeting new people, but that sometimes happens.

Tsk, tsk. I promise, right here in front of all of you readers, that I will keep in better contact with my friends! I actually have a couple more that I need to track down. I'll make it my mission to do so before Thanksgiving because I can't think of a better way to start off the holiday season.
"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow grow, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation." - George Washington

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Weekend recap

I got bored again so new template with new picture - even though I'm not blond like the girl in the cartoon.

I saw a couple celebs this weekend. Yesterday at Bay Cities Deli we saw Randall Batinkoff, who I knew best from "For Keeps" but was also in "School Ties" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" movies. Last night while we were getting dinner at the Promenade, we saw DMC of the rap group, Run DMC. He's the one with the glasses, although he wasn't wearing them last night. He was in the full black outfit, complete with hat, though, so it was really easy to identify him.

Today Brent and I went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Didn't buy anything, but had fun people watching. And we didn't touch anything, but we felt dirty regardless. I got to have a soft frozen lemonade and a churro - yum!

I saw Bridget Jones on Friday night. Very cute, but as some of the reviews pointed out it was more of a remake than a sequel. But I'm not complaining - ya can't go wrong with Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Continuing the romantic comedy/Colin Firth/Hugh Grant theme, I made Brent watch Love Actually with me on Saturday. That movie is so warming.

"Girls love musicians, don't they? Even the really weird ones get girlfriends." - Sam in Love Actually

Friday, November 12, 2004

First meal of the day

Today's LA Insight from LABlogs.com is all about breaking the fast.

1. General question, where is your favorite breakfast in LA?
John O'Groats
2. What do you order?
The applesauce or pumpkin pancakes
3. There is great Mexican food in LA, where do you go for huevos rancheros or a breakfast burrito?
I don't really eat those - sorry.
4. For a quick bagel or donut, where do you stop?
Hmm...I don't really eat bagels or donuts very often. I guess Winchell's for donuts.
5. Any greasy spoons that you brave or would like to?
We tried Norm's a couple times, but the food isn't great and we don't necessarily fit in with the oxygen-tank elderly crowd.
6. Over priced breakfast?
We haven't tried it yet, but I'm betting that Lemon Moon is probably over-priced.
7. Coffee, tea, or juice; where is the best spot?
Panini Coffee in Marina Del Rey has the best chai tea, but I don't get over there very often. Coffee Bean is my coffee place of choice.
8. You have guests from out of town, where do you take them for an overall great breakfast?
John O'Groats, although we just tried a place in Santa Monica called Blueberry, which was pretty good.

Butterfly in the sky...

...I can go twice as high...take a look...it's in a book...Reading Rainbow

As I mentioned in my last post, we took Brent's mom out to dinner for her birthday. We went to a hip restaurant called Crustacean. While we were there, we (or Brent, actually) saw the "evil guy from Karate Kid 3." For those of you who don't know, Brent LOVES Karate Kid movies. He can recite lines and probably tell you who the third guy from the left when they walk into the mall was (not that I know that they even walk into a mall in any of the KK movies). But even better, we then saw LeVar Burton, former host of Reading Rainbow and Kunta Kinte from the Roots mini-series.

Last night I took a ballet class that my friend, Jen, teaches. Man, that girl has more grace in her left pinky than I've EVER had in my entire life! It was great to watch her do what she does best - she's a great dancer and a great teacher. Some other friends were there, too (Tori, Angie and her roommate, Katie) and we enjoyed the class so much that there's talk of taking it again. It was a really great workout - I can feel the wrath today in my out-of-shape body.

"Of course, you don't have to take my word for it." - LeVar Burton

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Hairy situation

I just don't get it. I hardly blow-dry my hair and I wear it up a lot of the time, but somehow we always end up with my hair all over our condo! I love our fake hardwood floors, but they're light and my black hair shows up so much. Sigh...I guess there could be worse things in life, so I'll quit complaining.

Tonight is a great TV night: Lost, The Bachelor, Wife Swap. Thank god for TiVo. We're going to take Brent's mom out to dinner to celebrate her birthday. Yay for nice restaurants!

I'm keeping this post short. I gotta go to work and do the deeds for da' man!

[talking on the phone] "And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were merry, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire." - Milton Waddams, Office Space

Monday, November 08, 2004

It IS easy being green

I got bored. I changed my template and my profile pic. I may change them again.

And to keep Nicole busy at work, I present.....some of my favorite sites!

OddTodd.com - He's the funniest unemployed guy I don't really know.

Homestarrunner.com - I used to check this site all the time, but it's been a long time. I still love it, though, especially the Teen Girl Squad cartoons.

BoingBoing.net - I blame Brent. I check this site all the time now. Damn him. Edit: Sorry! Had the wrong link. The correct one is up now!

OldNavy.com - Come on. Ya know ya need some new pajamas for your upcoming jammy jam.

LABlogs.com and Blogging.la - I realize you're not in the LA area, but these are still good reads.

Craigslist - Again, the LA version. I like the discussion boards and the missed connections. Oh, those poor lost souls who actually believe that the hottie they saw at Borders will read Craigslist, too.

Hip Clicks via USAToday - This woman is hilarious!

Ok, Nicole. I hope this helps your days go by much faster. When all else fails, page yourself on the intercom and see if anyone recognizes your voice.

Friday, November 05, 2004

We are family

This week's Los Angeles insight from LABlogs is fun. See my responses below.

1. How far do you live from you family? I'm three hours south of my hometown, Visalia, where my family lives.

2. How often do you see them? When my dad was ill, I was up there everyother weekend. After he died, I went about once a month, but now that we've been so focused on our condo I haven't been there for a few months. I'm going back soon, though. Probably Thanksgiving.

3. Do you have a large or small family? Small. Mom, Dad, bro, me, grandfather, uncle. Everyone else is in Sac or other places.

4. Are family gatherings something that you look forward to or dread? I hate to admit it, but I dread it. I don't like my mom's family much. They're really unfriendly and sometimes even mean. I love seeing my grandfather (on my dad's side), though.

5. What kind of support to you get from your family? Well, I consider mybrother estranged. I don't like him for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of the way he reacted to my father's illness and death. So, I get and give no support to him. I hear a little about what's going with him through my mom. My mom is very supportive of both my bro and I - she's an amazing, amazing woman.

6. Have you adopted any local family, either because you or they are from out of town? Brent's parents have adopted me. They're a great family-away-from-family.

7. Who do you love more, mom or dad? Ha, just kidding. What did you learn from your mom?

  • Gay men make great friends.
  • You don't turn on the light - you "open" it.
  • You don't turn off the light - you "close" it.
  • Just because you don't think your mother has an accent doesn't mean that your friends can understand her.
  • Slippers are not only articles of clothing but weapons for spanking.
  • Bingo isn't just for old people.
  • Always tip waiters/waitresses very well - if they deserve it.
  • Don't be afraid to complain (although I find that it's better to do it nicely - people are more apt to give you what you want.)
  • Computers are only good for one thing - playing solitaire.
  • It's ok to buy something at a cosmetic counter to get the free gift.
8. What did you learn from your dad?
  • The Three Stooges are cool; so are Laurel and Hardy and Bugs Bunny.
  • Puns are fun.
  • You need to periodically check the oil in your car. And the water. And the air in the tires.
  • It's ok to be silly with your friends, even when you're adults.
  • Men can and SHOULD be romantic. (Every year he celebrated the day he and my mom went on their first date.)
  • You don't have to be over-protective of your children if you trust their judgment.
  • Getting in trouble at work/laid off/fired isn't the end of the world.
  • It's ok to "fight the power." (He ran for local office once, which I thought was really cool even though he didn't win.)
  • You can make a difference in your community and your country. (He was VERY active with his veteran groups and very proud of his military service.)
  • Dads should help their daughters with moving, auto repair, cooking lessons and sometimes....boys!
  • It's ok if you don't get A+ (not because your dad never get A's) as long as you tried your best.
  • Musicians are cool, especially bass players!
  • It's ok to like wacky music. For instance, I just found this last night and I think it's my new favorite song.

"The unexamined life is not worth living." - Socrates

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I see London, I see France

I still can't believe these election results. Right now I'm happy to be a Californian amongst fellow Democrats, but not that proud to be an American. Why would America keep an asshat monkey who has kept us in a war for way too long, among other crimes against humanity? And don't get me started on the 11 states who voted to ban gay marriages! Free your mind, people!

On election night I was taking out my aggression on a pair of pajama pants in my sewing class. I actually started sewing! With a machine and everything! It's too early to tell if this is something I'll want to invest in, but I'm liking it so far.

Today I booked my first international trip. Shelby and I are going to London and France in March! (Sorry, Brent - we'll honeymoon somewhere international, I promise!) Shelby is going for two weeks and I'm meeting her there for one. Now I need to learn some French. How do you say, "I'm from Canada"?

This weekend I'll be vacationing somewhere a little closer to home and at this moment, my heart. Good ol' San Luis Obispo! I've only been back a few times since I graduated from Cal Poly so I really look forward to the opportunities to see my college town through adult eyes. Brent and I are going to have a blast showing off wacky attractions like Bubble Gum Alley, as well as some of my/our favorite restaurants (Firestone's, Splash - technically in Pismo Beach, and maybe even Margie's, if our stomachs can handle it).

"Hey, buddy," this guy says. "America...love it or leave it!" And I go, "What? And be a victim of our foreign policy?" - Barry Crimmins

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I voted!

I just got back from voting. I feared long lines, so I got there right when the polls opened (7 a.m. - ugh). I'm still registered at Brent's parents' address, so my polling place was in Cheviot Hills. I was the youngest person there, not counting the kids on the scooters who were there just to hang out. It was in a resident's garage. And instead of poking out chads, they gave us these little ink-stamp things that filled in the little circles, like an SAT test. Sorta like bingo dobbers! (My mother would be so excited!)

Now comes the waiting. I doubt we'll know by the end of tonight because I'm sure something crazy will happen in at least one of the states, like the ballot box was abducted by Bat Boy or the polling places are stuck in a strange space-time continuum hiccup. Don't know why I assume it'll be something sci-fi...it just sounds cooler that way, I guess.

"The ballot is stronger than bullets." - Joseph Schumpeter