Friday, December 30, 2005

2005 Meme

While surfing the blogosphere tonight I stumbled upon the following meme and had to do it myself.

1. What did you do in 2005 that you’d never done before? Started planning a wedding. Lost nearly 30 pounds.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Most of them.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My brother's wife and a close blogger-friend jenn.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Thankfully, no.
5. What countries did you visit? For the first time I left the U.S. to visit France, England and the Netherlands!
6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005? The only thing I can think of is a new car. Other than that, I don't feel like I'm lacking anything. And I'm not lacking a car; I'd just like a newer one.
7. What dates from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Jan. 15, when Brent and I got engaged.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? My weight loss.
9. What was your biggest failure? Not cooking more than I did. :)
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Thankfully, no.
11. What was the best thing you bought? At this moment I'd have to say my iPod, but that technically was from my mom and Brent. Perhaps all the smaller-sized clothes.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Brent's. He never ceases to amaze me.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Hmmm....President Bush.
14. Where did most of your money go? Probably the house, planning the wedding, and new clothes.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Planning the wedding, needing smaller clothes and my new nephew!
16. What song will always remind you of 2005? Gorillaz' Feel Good or anything by Black Eyed Peas
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? HAPPIER b) thinner or fatter? THINNER c) richer or poorer? RICHER
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Kept in better touch with long-distance friends, sleep, reading books
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Laundry :)
20. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve? I think we're going out to dinner and then having a nice quiet night at home.
21. Did you fall in love in 2005? Yes, even more in love with Brent.
22. How many one-night stands? None.
23. What was your favorite TV program? If I had to choose one, I'd say Grey's Anatomy.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Um, no.
25. What was the best book you read? I didn't read as many books as I would have liked so I can't remember too many.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Damien Rice, Michael Buble and Jack Johnson
27. What did you want and get? An engagement ring :)
28. What did you want and not get? Tickets to see John Mayer's Trio, and KROQ's Acoustic Christmas
29. What was your favorite film of this year? Probably Shopgirl
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Had a picnic lunch, a nap and then dinner with Brent's parents
31.What one thing made your year measurably more satisfying? Our lovely little condo
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005? It evolved from trying to hide my fat to choosing fashionable outfits that showed off my new svelte figure
33. What kept you sane? Brent, as always
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Hmmm...I think Jennifer Aniston is pretty awesome, as is Gwen Steffani. Harry Connick Jr.'s reaction to Hurricane Katrina was amazing, too.
35. What political issue stirred you the most? Perhaps the Terri Schiavo debate.
36. Who did you miss? My dad
37. Who was the best new person you met? Loads of new bloggers
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005. It's important to stand up for yourself and make yourself heard.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "Love is the answer at least for most of the questions in my heart." - Better Together, Jack Johnson

Top 5 Posts

As 2005 comes to a close, I thought it might be fun to take a look at my most popular posts of this year based on number of comments. It's interesting to see what got people's attention and some of the milestones of my life this year.

When Brent and I Got Engaged - 18 comments
My 100 Things List - 17 comments
Debating Honeymoon Registery - 15 comments
My Dad's Battle with Cancer - 14 comments
Our Engagement Photos - 14 comments

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Memoirs of a Movie Review

Since I'm just not good at movie reviews, I'm limiting my review of Memoirs of a Geisha to five words:


Having seen it, I'm sad I never read the book. Oops! I just made the review 15 words. While I'm at it, I'll add that the movie makes me wish I could still wear my blue-colored contact lenses.

"Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful. " - Jacqueline Bisset

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ring the alarm and I'm throwing elbows

I've lowered my level of tolerance for stupid people. I'm not sure how it happened. I'm usually quite patient and non-confrontational and perhaps even let people walk on me a bit more than I should. However, something must have clicked in me and I've been getting more and more pissed at stupid people.

For instance, early last week I went to Target to finish up some holiday shopping. As I was walking back to my car, I noticed a Suburban pull into a compact spot, or should I say, two compact spots, which coincidentally were right next to an open full-size spot. I stood there in disbelief and shook my head at the Suburban driver as I watched him park. Parking in compact spots when you're obviously not a compact (and when there are non-compact spots available) is so not cool, especially when even tiny cars like mine have a hard time getting in and out of spots next to the non-compacts in compact spots. A few weeks ago we were in a parking garage and walked past a Range Rover that had just pulled in to a compact spot. I said loudly to Brent, "That's not a compact car!" He replied, "Um, the driver's window is down. They heard you." "I know! They should hear me!"

Yesterday we saw an afternoon showing of Munich. There was a huge line outside the theater for the movie. When they started to let the line in, a couple women cut right next to us to get in line after having just bought their tickets. Brent asked them what movie they were seeing, but they ignored him. As one of the women passed me to get in, I said loudly, "Thanks for cutting!" She tried to pretend not to hear me, but she did. Then I ran ahead of her as we climbed the flights of stairs to the theater. I walked slowly in front of her. I heard her sigh. She tried to get around me, but Evil Nanette was already revealed, so I kept moving in front of her, keeping in her way. I made it seem like it was coincidental because there was a pretty large crowd moving up the stairs, but it wasn't. Then when they opened the other door for the theater, I was sure to move slightly to the left so as to block her rapid entrance. Brent witnessed the entire thing and we both rolled with laughter once we settled in our seats. I'd like to think I was enforcing the bad karma she earned - she's a wanker to everyone who waited patiently in line, therefore she deserved to be messed with.

By the way, I thought Munich was ok. It was way too long, although I did enjoy Eric Bana's intense performance. The ending left a funky taste in my mouth. New Yorker-reading Brent was able to point out little nuances in the film (the guy who eventually becomes prime minister, the various terrorist organizations characters referred to in passing, the guy from Amelie, the housekeeper from Sex and the City) that I otherwise wouldn't have gotten. Hopefully I'll enjoy Memoirs of a Geisha more tomorrow night.

"Munich can't decide where to end, so we get six or seven possible finishes, exhausting." - Michael Booth, Denver Post Critic

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Chrismahannakwanzakah

I made out like a bandit this holiday season. Presents include (but are not limited to, in case I forgot any): my video iPod, my new cell phone (technically not a gift, but we'll count it as one since I got it during the holiday "season"), Karaoke Revolution Party from Brent (combines Karaoke AND Dance Dance Revolution; also includes Gavin's "I Don't Wanna Be"), a gift certificate for Sephora, lip gloss, tons of DVDs from Brent, an iPod case/arm band for my workouts, a Transpod (a charger that enables me to listen to songs from my iPod through my car stereo), tons of candles, Burberry perfume, a music trivia game called "Riff," money for our 401K (from Brent's parents), really, really cute Paul Frank slippers, and a gift certificate for one of our favorite restaurants.

We visited my family in Visalia, three hours north of here. I didn't think it was possible, but my nephew got even cuter since I saw him at Thanksgiving. On our way there and back we enjoyed the SNL Chronic of Narnia skit, which NBC posted for free download on iTunes. We also enjoyed all three podcasts of The Ricky Gervais show. Any podcast that includes "Monkey News" is the podcast for me.

"Parked in our seats movie trivia's the illest! 'What Friends alum starred in films with Bruce Willis?' We had the dope facts, it was scary. Everyone stared in awe when we screamed Matthew Perry!" - Chronic of Narnia

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bridging the Old Navy Gap with a Banana

All roads in my life seem to lead to Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic. For instance, during our office holiday party last Friday, a co-worker asked how this year's party compared to last year's. (He started in mid-2005.) I told him that if last year's party was Banana Republic, then this year's was the Gap - not the highest quality, but still very enjoyable. And he understood exactly what I meant.

When Brent and I tried a new restaurant a couple of weeks ago, I said it was the Old Navy of fancy restaurants - trendy, sufficient quality and very reasonably priced. He countered about the quality of the food and we agreed that it was the Gap of fancy restaurants.

We're still working on booking our honeymoon. Brent has found some hotel packages and was trying to explain our options to me. We went round and round with my not understanding his explanation. And it all came down to these options: starting at the Old Navy of hotels for half the honeymoon and ending at Banana Republic (to balance out the cost of the Banana Republic hotel), or staying the entire time at the Gap hotel.

I think I'd care more about politics, sports, wine and cars if they just put it in terms of Gap Inc.

"Bush did some things you could never get away with at your job. When Bush started his job, there was a budget surplus. Now there's like a $70 trillion deficit. Now just imagine you worked at the Gap. You're closing out your register and it's $70 trillion short. The average person would get in trouble for that. Then he started a war? Now just imagine you worked at the Gap. You're $70 trillion behind on your register and you start a war with Banana Republic because you know they're selling better tank tops than you. So now you've got employees bleeding all over the khakis. Then you finally take over Banana Republic and you find out they never made tank tops in the first place." - Chris Rock, Chris Rock: Never Scared

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

There's still hope for SNL

I've read about a recent SNL skit a few times but only had the chance to watch it tonight. It's freakin' hilarious! Go check out the Chronic of Narnia.

Monday, December 19, 2005

iPod People

If you need me over the next few weeks, I'll be attached to my computer while uploading all my CDs to my fabulous new 60GB video iPod, the Christmas gift from my mom!

It's hard to believe that I waited this long to join the iPod people, but it was definitely worth the wait.

In addition to all the MP3s I already had on my computer, as well as the dozen or so CDs I uploaded, I purchased some videos from the iTunes store because I just had to check out the video capabilities. My first purchase was Harry Connick Jr.'s "I Only Whispered Her Name," and then some that I'd enjoy watching at the gym while getting my heart rate up - Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice" (the one with Christopher Walken), Black Eyed Peas' "Lumps" (even if everyone but me hates the song) and Maroon 5's "Harder to Breathe" (so I can really scare Ryan, the drummer, the next time I run into him at the gym).

While I was busy playing with my new toy tonight, Brent was plenty occupied with his new phone, which he used to snap the photo of me. Ed note: I'm not wearing a blue neon earring. It's silver, with a funky glare from the flash. My new phone should be arriving this week. I've never been so gussied up with new gadgets!

"So Phyllis is basically saying 'Hey Michael, I know you did a lot to help the office this year, but I only care about you and oven mitt’s-worth.' I gave Ryan an iPod!" - Michael, The Office

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Happiness Is... (Weekend Edition)

  • A sighting of Ron Howard and his brother, Clint
  • A stroll to the Promenade to avoid the hassle of parking
  • Great sales at the Gap, including $68 pants for $19.99
  • Finally seeing Chronicles of Narnia, having just finished the book and avoiding all trailers, teasers, reviews, etc.
  • A holiday party at my friend, Tori's
  • Catching up with lots of friends at above party
  • Making plans to see lots of movies (i.e., Pride & Prejudice, The Family Stone, Memoirs of a Geisha) with above-mentioned friends during the holidays
  • Sleeping in until 11 a.m.
  • Two really good workouts at the gym
  • Finishing six loads of laundry
  • My new cell phone, which is scheduled to arrive this week
  • Looking forward to a 4-day work week and a 4-day weekend

"Nobody really cares if you're miserable, so you might as well be happy." - Cynthia Nelms

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Now That's What I Call Music

I have some new CDs in my heavy rotation. The first is John Mayer's live CD, Try!, featuring his blues trio. It's definitely not your cookie cutter John Mayer. I read recently that he's trying to break out of his pop/swooner image and wants to bring blues to the masses much in the same vain as Eric Clapton has. If that's his goal then I think he's on his way. I haven't had an opportunity to really evaluate all the songs, but I've enjoyed what I've heard thus far.

The other CD I'm really digging is a compilation CD I got from Target a few weeks ago called "Sound Response." The CD is no longer available online, but I think there are some copies left in the store. Proceeds from the CD go to Hurricane Katrina aid. In addition to awesome live songs from artists I already know and love (Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Velvet Revolver, Jason Mraz, Ben Harper), it features a couple new artists who definitely appeal to me. The first is Annie Stela. She's got a very haunting voice, similar to Sarah McLachlan. The second artist I've checked out because of this compilation is James Blunt. His song, "No Bravery," is featured on the CD. I picked up James' entire album shortly after I bought the compliation. He has a single, "You're Beautiful," that I haven't heard on the radio yet but as I understand is starting to get lots of airplay. You can see the video here. (He's really easy on the eyes, too.) I'd describe him as the lovechild of Damien Rice and Tracy Chapman. He's apparently blowing up in London and is starting to become very popular here. Jen also mentioned James Blunt on her blog today, too. And wouldn't you know it - I JUST missed a Los Angeles show with James Blunt as the opener for Jason Mraz.

"Oh, when it hits me all I can do is just breathe again and breathe through." - Breathe Through, Annie Stela

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Lying in bed just like Brian Wilson did

So much to blog about...

Friday we saw a screening of Match Point, the new Woody Allen film starring Scarlett Johannson and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, the hottie coach from Bend It Like Beckham. Based on the trailers we were expecting a younger Fatal Attraction, but it wasn't. It had a great storyline with some unexpected twists. The movie was also very intense, sexually.

And as you may have seen from my earlier posts, we spent Monday at Disneyland. We had an awesome time. My favorite part? The fireworks show, followed by a fake snowfall. The fireworks were REALLY COOL! I don't think I've ever seen a better display. The Haunted Mansion with the Nightmare Before Christmas makeover was great, too. The most surprising thing? All the little girls dressed like Disney princesses! Some even with a crown! (There was one little boy we saw dressed as Buzz Lightyear.) Apparently all the cool parents let their kids dress up.

Last night we saw Barenaked Ladies at a little venue a few blocks from our place. We met some co-workers, along with Josh and Jami, for dinner first and then did the short trek to the show. (Yay for avoiding parking jams!) BNL was really great, even if they didn't play "Another Postcard" or "Call and Answer." Apparently BNL bassist Jim Creegan lives in Santa Monica! Hopefully I'll run into him someday as I've had such good luck running into musicians I love. Fellow blogger Hilary was also at the show and wrote a nice little review, too.

"Some chimps in swimsuits. Some chimps in Jackboots. Some chimps in hard hats. Some chimps who love cats. I've got some shaved chimps; that's chimps devoid of any hair. I've got depraved chimps dressed up in women's underwear." - Another Postcard, BNL

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Close Encounters of the Groupie Kind

While Brent and I were at the gym today, he came over while I was on the eliptical machine and said, "I think that guy over there is the drummer from Maroon 5. Or maybe just some guy I've seen here like five times so now I think he looks familiar." Not expecting it to be Ryan, the drummer from one of my all-time favorite bands, I casually strolled by. It was him. I tried to be non-chalant, but I think he saw me see him. I continued with my workout, ending in the free weights area of the gym. A couple minutes after I started with the weights, low and behold, Ryan comes up and starts working out right next to me. When I see celebs out and about, I never say anything. I don't want to invade the little free time they probably have. However, he was standing RIGHT NEXT TO ME! I'm a fan club member, I've seen them perform probably 10 times, I have "Maroon 5" as a search term on my TiVo. I had to say something! I turned off my MP3 player and they were playing Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" on the gym music system. It was a sign! I REALLY had to say something!

I asked, "Are you Ryan?"
He smiles and nods, "Yes."
I point to the ceiling, indicating the music of his band overhead, "Is this weird for you?"
He smiles and says, "Yeah."
"Oh, but you're probably used to it, huh?"
"Well, yes, but only in certain settings."
"Ah, I see. Hey, how's your shoulder? Are you getting better?" (He hurt his shoulder like a year ago and hasn't been playing with the band.)
He gave a big smile and said, "Yup! That's what I'm doing now."

He left the free weights area shortly after, but started to come back just as I was finishing up my reps. We smiled at each other once more before I gushed to Brent how excited I was to have that chance encounter. I almost didn't say anything because although the gym was virtually empty, I'd hate to draw any attention of any nearby teeny-boppers. Brent was sure to point out that I AM the teeny-bopper.

"We are not Groupies. We are here because of the music, we inspire the music. We are Band Aids." - Penny Lane, Almost Famous

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Alarmed About My Clock

If $5 for an alarm clock seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Who knew that Target sold time warp machines? 9:J5? That's not a time - that's something out of a funky time/space continuum where trees grow upside down, cats bark and the water is polka-dotted. Looks like I'm going to have to take a quantam leap to the returns line.

"The thing is, Adam, time travel is like visiting Paris. You can't just read the guidebook, you've got to throw yourself in. Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, get charged double and end up kissing complete strangers... or is that just me?" - The Doctor, Doctor Who

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Girl on Girl Action

There was a girl in front of me in spinning class tonight who had the most amazing body. She had really buff arms (but not body builder gross), a tiny waist and buff legs. On top of that, she had really great hair. After spinning, I lifted some weights while I waited for hip-hop class to begin. (Yup, I did a 2 1/2 hour workout tonight. I'm tired.) I saw the girl from spinning about to start her arms routine and I was so tempted to ask her about her regimine, but I had to get to hip-hop. I think it could have been weird. She looked like the kind of girl who gets approached a lot. The men around me in spinning were definitely checking her out.

Sometimes I think I check out girls more than Brent. I'm always pointing out parts I'm envious of. "She has awesome arms!" "Did you see her tiny waist? No fair!" "Ugh, I want a flat stomach like that!" He probably doesn't mind, though, as it's me giving him permission to check chicks out.

"Think about it. You walk into a video store, you see 8-Minute Abs sittin' there, there's 7-Minute Abs right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?" - Hitchhiker, There's Something About Mary

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Retail Tales

Friends tease me about the numerous jobs I had in high school and college. Thought it'd be fun to take a trip down memory lane.

Shaved-ice Stand: I worked here with Shelby. It was a little cart outside of a grocery store where we endured the crazy Central California heat (105+ degrees). I enjoyed tasting all the shaved ice and flirting with the grocery store bag boys. They were cute!

Movie theater: I started here in high school (Shelby and Stacie worked there, too!) and then transferred to a franchise where I went away to college. I ate way too many Hot Tamales, Sour Patch Kids and popcorn. I remember joking with our manager when Disney's Pocahontas came out that I should dress up like Pocahontas to promote the movie. We'd do anything to get out of wearing those annoying polyester vests.

Leather Loft: This retail chain is no longer in business, so I can refer to it by name. It's not my fault they're out of business, by the way. I got this job from a roommate who worked there. I worked at this store off and on throughout my entire college tenure. We sold leather purses, wallets, jackets, bags, luggage, etc. I can tell you everything there is to know about leather - the quality, the grains, the finish, how to take care of it. The best part about this job was the folks I worked with. My manager was the sweetest ol' man named Noel. He was in his early 60s and passed away unexpectedly one night. No one that close to me had ever died before. It was an intense time and I was so sad when he was gone.

Accessories store (found in malls everywhere): This is where I got my first managerial experience. This is also where I met Jen! I pierced ears here (the youngest - 2 weeks old, the oldest - a 60-something mall security guard). I probably spent half my paycheck at that damn store!

Sporting goods store: This place was so much fun to work! I was a cashier and all the sales guys were really nice, like a bunch of brothers. I lived in a really great house nearby, so we'd have lots of parties there. Sometimes the guys would plan parties at my place and I'd be the last to know, but it was totally fine with me. "Hey Nanette. I hear there's a party at your place tonight." "Huh? Um, ok!"

Housewares department of a regional department store: The only good thing about this place was the employee discount, which applied on top of the sales price. I had virtually no training. I couldn't answer questions about bread makers or tea kettles or skillets. And they'd put me in the department by myself. What I remember most is my co-worker who was arrested for charging bread makers as returns to her department store credit card account, and then spending it in other departments. They took her away in handcuffs and then she had the nerve to come ask for her job back! Crazy!

Music store: Although it wasn't quite like the crew at Empire Records, I did enjoy my short stint here. I got paid to talk about my favorite hobby - music! Everyone there was pretty melancholy, though. I guess that comes with the territory. Part of my job requirements included selling Ticketmaster tickets. I can't believe I was a pawn in Ticketbastard's game!

I left the music store to go back to the Leather Loft after they offered me a manager position. I stopped working retail when I started writing for my college paper, which took up tons of time. (18 stories in 10 weeks was the requirement. I think I ended up writing 25.) My retail gigs taught me a lot about dealing with people (sane and crazy), problem-solving and fake smiles. A fake smile can go a long way, especially when someone is screaming at you about a bread maker.

"Studies show that more information is passed through watercooler gossip than through official memos, which puts me at a disadvantage because [picks up water bottle] I bring my own water to work " - Dwight, The Office

Monday, December 05, 2005

We're THIS many!

I crammed too many clothes in a load of laundry tonight, resulting in a load filled with static. While folding the clothes, I mentioned to Brent that we should turn the lights off to see the static lightning bolts. He looked at me like I had just opened a treasure-trove filled with gold bars and Mr. T memorabilia! He'd never heard of the see-static-in-the-dark trick. (Ed. note: I'm from a small town. We ran out of things to do.) I turned off the lights and Brent marveled in the little lightning bolts. "Did you see that?!?!" he yelled. "That's so cool!"

We're taking our childhood tendencies to Disneyland next Monday and we couldn't be more excited! (Thanks for the tickets, Nicole!) The last time we were there was probably in 2001. I'm so excited to see the fireworks, have some fritters and mint juleps, and ride all the fabulous rides! Yup, we're THIS many and I have plenty more examples to prove it.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." - Isaac Asimov

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Keeping Up With The Joneses

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Brent and I can now host an at-home version of Fear Factor. Last night at Target he picked up the Jones 2005 Holiday Pack (on clearance), including the following flavored sodas: Brussels Sprout with Prosciutto, Cranberry Sauce, Turkey & Gravy, Wild Herb Stuffing, and Pumpkin Pie. It also includes a serving spork, moistened towelette, and wine list.

We tried the Pumpkin Pie last night and as Brent noted, it tasted like ass. (No, we don't know what "ass" tastes like. We're just assuming.) He tried the Cranberry tonight and said it was fine, like a regular soda.

Hopefully this Taste Bud Russian Roulette won't last too long. Luckily our taste buds now have something to look forward to because today we decided on the bakery for our wedding cake. Now we just have to decide on what yummy flavor(s) we want.

"Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind." - Samuel Johnson

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Number Crunches

Even though I basically had 2.5 pieces of cake today at our cake tasting, I still managed to easily fit into a smaller size pair of jeans. I'm now officially down 2 sizes since I started Weight Watchers five months ago, the same size I was when I graduated college five years ago.

I just had to share. You may resume your regular blog cruising.

"Weight is a glanduar thing, as well as an emotional thing." - Louie Anderson

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pimpin' Payless

After someone compliments a piece of my clothing or an accessory, I have a habit of just blurting out where I got it - sometimes disclosing how much if I got a great deal. When I became conscious of this habit, I tried to stop. Recently, however, I've gotten a kick out of doing this with some of my newest pairs of shoes. A conversation from today:

Co-worker (after strolling by my cube): Nanette! Did you get those shoes from JCrew?
Me: Um, no, actually....Payless!
Co-worker: Are you serious?!?! I've been drooling over a similar pair at JCrew and they're like $250!
Me: I think I paid $20. Actually, I think I got them during the buy-one-get-one-half-off sale, so they were probably $1o.

I have another pair that I bought from Payless recently, similar to these (which I may need to get now that I've seen them). I get so many compliments about them! Instead of feeling bad about telling peeps I got them from Payless, I take pride in removing the stigma associated with that store. I don't always find cute shoes there, and they often require a day or two of breaking in before they get comfortable. However, once in a while I'll find some really cute versions of trendy shoes that would otherwise cost me $75+ for a fraction of the cost. I do like to invest in some quality shoes, like tall boots I'll wear year after year or my yummy Coach flats, but it's nice to have a bunch of shoes that I don't have to love forever - just like for a while. I've also come across some fabulous shoe finds at Target.

P.S. Thanks for all the get-well wishes! I was pretty sick Tuesday, with the bulk of it hitting me Wednesday. I feel much better today. Hopefully that'll be the extent of my illness for the holiday season. Oh, crap. Did I just jinx myself again?

P.P.S. I saw Rent. I enjoyed it, but wasn't that impressed. I think I would have liked the stage version much better.

P.P.S.S. I have some new CDs I hope to review here soon.

P.P.P.S.S. Remember how cute it was in junior high to end your notes to friends and crushes with lots of post scripts? I think I'll start a new trend and start doing that in e-mails to my clients. I bet they'll LOVE that!

[Rachel reads note attached to shoe] "Dear suckers, do you really think I would hide presents under the couch. P.S.: Chandler, I knew they'd break you." - Friends