Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Happy Anniversary to Us!

He walked into our journalism class each day, just a few minutes before class started. He wore headphones and I wondered what kind of music he was listening to. I read his weekly opinion columns in our school paper. They were hilarious. Sometimes our professor even took time out of our class for all of us to read his columns and appreciate his writing style, his wit and his journalistic sensability.

My roommates and I had a party, so I called him up and invited him. I had only chatted with him a few times during class. Surprisingly, he said yes and dropped by with his roommate, Matt. Across a crowded room I told my friend, "See that guy over there in the red shirt? That's my future husband."
A week or so later, I found his e-mail address and sent him a quick note. He responded and invited me to dinner. (We still have those e-mails.) On May 31, 1999, he picked me up for our first date. He took me to Big Sky Cafe. We chatted about family, school and hometowns. We continued our conversation at Starbucks over apple cider and then strolled along the bank of a small creek that ran through town.
Over the course of the next six years, we've hardly been apart. He continues to floor me with his sense of humor, his intelligence and his compassion. My friends and family adore him, as do I. I can't imagine life without him and am looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together. I only hope that everyone else in the world gets to experience half of the laughter, love and life that I've experienced with him.

Happy anniversary, Brent.

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, it's what you are expected to give -- which is everything." - Anonymous

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorable Memorial Weekend

We left Friday night to drive up to San Jose (technically Mountain View) to see Matt and Nicole. We typically don't travel on three-day weekends because of the crazy traffic, but we braved it to visit our friends. Having said that, I shouldn't have been surprised when I fell asleep for an hour when we first got in the car and woke up to find that we were still in LA.

Despite a couple detours (car troubles and getting lost), we made it up to Matt and Nicole's to celebrate Matt's double-masters graduation (congrats again, Matt!). Had a blast with lots of friends, including darling Baby Samuel, Mary and Mark. Memorable quotes from this weekend include, but are not limited to:

"Good day, sir....I said good day!" - Nicole's impression of Fez from That 70s show

Matt: "You're going to get deeked."
Brent: "What?"
Matt: "You know, DQed."
Nicole: laughing - "As in Dairy Queen?"
Matt: "No, disqualified!"

On the way back, Brent decides to follow a sign leading us to San Luis Reservoir and Dinosaur Point. "There better be dinosaurs there," Brent says. "Live ones. And if they're on a break, they better just be off to the side smoking a cigarette."

For the record, there are no dinosaurs at Dinosaur Point. Not even anything in the shape of a dinosaur!

We also saw a documentary, Mad Hot Ballroom. As one reviewer noted, it's like Spellbound meets Strictly Ballroom. What's better than a bunch of New York 11-year-olds competing in ballroom dancing? Nothing! I wanted to adopt all of them and put them in my pocket; they had me in stitches. A couple of them were like 40-year-olds trapped in a kid's body! Definitely check it out.

"What's disco?" - Fez
"It's from Hell. And, not the cool part of hell where all the murderers are either, but the lame-ass part where accountants are from."- Hyde, That 70s Show

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money

As I'm paying for some items tonight...

Cashier at Rite Aid Pharmacy: Debit or credit?
Me: Debit, please.
Cashier: Any cash back?
Me: $40, if you have it.
Cashier: (smiling) Girl, I'm ballin' over here!
Me: Good to know...

I know firsthand that working retail can be boooooring. Glad to see someone enjoying themselves!

"Money talks...but all mine ever says is good-bye." - Anonymous

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Going Back For Seconds

Note to self: blog about food for lots of reactions! I decided to post some foods I really like to counteract the negative food karma from my last post.

Foods I Love
  • Cuban food, specifically roast pork and fried plantains
  • Filipino food, especially my mom's cooking
  • Kumquats
  • Coffee Bean's Vanilla Latte
  • Banana pudding
  • Lemonade
  • Cherry 7-UP
  • Jell-o
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pineapple
  • Sushi
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Pasta, lasagna, raviolli - anything Italian
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad from California Pizza Kitchen
  • Mac and Cheese (has to be Kraft!)
  • White rice with eggs (over easy)
  • Corn on the cob with mayonnaise

"We can outsmart those dolphins. Don't forget - we invented computers, leg warmers, bendy straws, peel-and-eat shrimp, the glory hole, AND the pudding cup." - Homer Simpson

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Feast Your Eyes On This

I'll try most foods at least once (unless it's spicy). I don't think I'm a picky eater, but you can decide for yourselves.

Stuff I Don't Like

  • Watermelon
  • Bell peppers
  • Pepperoncinis
  • Spicy foods
  • Tequila
  • Tea (unless it's chai)
  • Indian food
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Onions
  • Beans
  • Non-white rice
  • Dark chocolate
  • Garbanzo beans (although I do like humus)
  • Meat on pizza
"Well, once again it's time for Final Jeopardy and none of our contestants have any money. So here's the Final Jeopardy answer. You know what, this is too hard so I'll just make something up. Write down your favorite food; a food you like to eat, or something someone else likes to eat, or just lie. I don't care. Ok, let's go to John Travolta. He wrote down 'Miso', a type of Italian soup. What was your wager? You wrote down 'horny'; 'miso horny'." - Alex Trabek, Celebrity Jeopardy, SNL skit

Monday, May 23, 2005

Random Ramblings

Lots of little things to discuss...

Celeb sighting - Coincidentally, this is another one for 24 fans. And perhaps fans of Dead Like Me, which I never watched. And that cheesey Nickelodeon show, Fifteen, um, which I did watch. On our way out of a yummy breakfast place on Melrose, we pulled up behind Laura Harris.

Paid-for celeb sightings - Last night we saw a musical called "Applause" with Brent's parents. It starred Jean Louisa Kelly (most notably as Rowena in Mr. Holland's Opus and currently on Yes, Dear), as well as Sheryl Lee Ralph and James Avery (the dad on Fresh Prince of Bel Air). The musical is based on the movie, All About Eve. I'm such a sucker for musicals - you could probably put singing paper bags on stage and I'd enjoy it. Not to say that last night was bad - it was tons of fun! (And brought out that little voice in my head that says, "Damnit, Nanette! You should have learned to sing and dance!)

Wedding update - Booked our wedding photographer today! So excited! Other than our reception, it's the first real vendor we've booked! Also got our first wedding gift! (Thanks, Matt and Nicole!)

Traveling - Going to see Matt and Nicole in Northern California next weekend. Matt's graduating with his master's from Stanford! Very exciting!

Celebrating - Only eight more days until Brent and I celebrate our 6-year anniversary of our first date! We've lasted longer than some marriages!

"Our dreams, and they are made out of real things like a shoebox of photographs with sepia tone loving." - Better Together, Jack Johnson

Friday, May 20, 2005

It's Wonderful. It's Brilliant. It's where we're getting maaaarried.

I've had these pictures for a while (and just got permission from a bride on the knot who also took some of these pics), but didn't want to share them and spoil the surprise. Then I realized that I've shown/sent pictures to lots of friends already.

This is where Brent and I are getting married next year! We're so excited and I'm sure you can see why!


This is the entrance.

through the entrance...

Love the Spanish architecture!

This is probably where I'll probably throw my bouquet from. Or where Brent will do his Lord of the Dance dance.

Lovely fountain

Queens of the Stone Age Need More Cowbell!

Whitney at Hip Clicks pointed this out and I just had to share: enjoy!

"Guess what... I got a fever and the only prescription... is more cowbell." - Christopher Walken, SNL

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

How To Make Me Happy...

As I've mentioned on this blog previously, there was a point in my life when I knew how to play at least six instruments: French horn, trumpet and four different kinds of mallet instruments - the vibraphone was my speciality. I competed with our high school and college bands, and won numerous awards. However, I ran out of extra time in college, between working two jobs and taking 21+ units, so music fell off my list of priorities.

Since I stopped playing years ago (I think it was 1998 that I last played), I've always kept an eye out for an inexpensive mallet instrument. I came across the following on Craigslist...


It's a Musser Xylophone. I saw it a few weeks ago and when I learned today that it was still available, well, I sent the info to Brent. As of three hours ago, I'm the proud owner! It even came with mallets! Even though I haven't played in five years, I still remember all 12 scales (although I don't remember the actual names of the notes and I'm going to need a refresher in reading music). It's about three and a half feet long and in great condition. I've had a blast playing it. I have a bunch of sheet music from jazz band, along with some really nice mallets, at my mom's house. Once I get those, between Tivo, wedding planning and blogging, I don't know that I'll have time for work! Anyone know any full-time openings for a tv-watching bride-to-be who enjoys sharing her silly thoughts with the world and banging on a xylophone all day?

"In episode 2F09, when Itchy plays Scratchy's skeleton like a xylophone, he strikes the same rib in succession, yet he produces two clearly different tones. I mean, what are we to believe, that this is a magic xylophone, or something? Ha ha, boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder." - Doug, The Simpsons

Belated Celeb Sighting

This is a little late, but I saw Rosanna Arquette this weekend at Urth Cafe. She bought some coffee and other drinks to go and rushed right past me. She was wearing sunglasses, but I could tell who she was. If it had been her sister, Patricia Arquette, I might have been tempted to say something because, although I haven't watched it lately, I really enjoy her NBC show, Medium. (By the way, don't leave the Medium page up for too long. I opened it up and started surfing on other pages. It has some creepy sound affects and it took me a sec to figure out where it was coming from.)

I hate to admit this, but I watched the Britney and Kevin show last night. As the title implies, it is chaotic but mostly because the footage is of Britney filming herself and she's a dork. Not a dork in a cool, lovable way, but a dork in a "stop making stupid faces and sounds into that camera or I'm going to shove it somewhere toxic" kind of way. And Kevin is just greasy, with and without long hair. I like that one of the bodyguards said, "I hated him the first day I met him. I didn't like the way he dressed, I didn't like the way he walked..." But I know it's going to turn out that the bodyguard gets to know the "real" Kevin and likes him after all. The theme music is also like something out of a Noxema commercial, as Brent pointed out. I don't know if I can handle another hour of that show next week, y'all.

"We all know what happens to celebrities when their time is up - rehab and then a stint on VH1." - Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bridal Planning Powers - ACTIVATE!

As my wedding is 11 months away, I've been approaching this whole planning thing with a very laid back attitude until I realized that before I know it, the wedding will be here! So last weekend I was in a flurry of e-mails, setting up consultations with photographers, caterers, florists. I've really enjoyed it, although I think I may have a hard time deciding between some really great vendors. A benefit of planning now, though, is I'm getting lots of 2005 rates rather than 2006. Fun, fun, fun!

Lord, please don't turn me into a Bridezilla. Please!

"Have a bias toward action - let's see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away." - Indira Gandi

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Dinner and a Movie with the Dead

Brent may kill me for telling you about this, although I have assured him that my blog audience is relatively small, especially in Los Angeles. Last night was the first night of the season for one of our favorite things to do, which we fear may be growing in popularity. Hosted by Cinespia, old films are shown at the Hollywood Forever cemetary. You get there an hour before sunset, bring a picnic dinner, maybe some wine and some blankets and enjoy a classic film. You don't sit on graves; there's a large plot of grass.

Last year we saw His Girl Friday, Detour and Chinatown. Last year they only did it once a month, but this year they're doing it every Saturday. (So all my out-of-town friends, be sure to visit on the weekend so we can take you.) Half of the fun is people-watching. Another big part is deciding what food to bring. We grabbed sandwiches from LA's best sandwich place, Bay Cities Deli. (Brent's going to kill me for telling you about that place, too...) Last night's film was The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the first Humphrey Bogart film we'd ever seen. Didn't love the movie, but of course, loved the experience.

"Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges." - Gold Hat Bandit, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

This is me on the phone. Shelby had called and asked what those Greek/Armenian grape leaves filled with rice were called. I didn't know. Do you?

This is the wall that they project the film onto. Works quite well.

This is the crowd behind us. Quite a few folks. That's why we get there early.

Brent, with his sunglasses for people-watching.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

A Picture Share!

I am somewhere fun. will post about it when i get home.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Mall-icious

Before I delve into the Mall of America recap, I wanted to mention something that occurred on my way to the mall. While driving through downtown Minneapolis, I saw a building with a silver version of the Target logo. I asked the driver if that was a Target store and he said, "No, that's the headquarters." ::cue the angelic chorus and beam of light:: It was my mecca. If I had time, I would have worshipped at its alter, lit some candles and sung my praises. But I had to get to the mall...

The mall is HUGE! More than 400 stores, a roller coaster, aquarium and wedding chapel! I had approximately 4 hours before I had to leave for the airport, so I made a decision to only go into stores that I don't have in Los Angeles. I must admit that it was difficult to not go into Old Navy, especially since that one seemed so clean and tidy compared to the always-messy versions here.

My mall excursion resulted in some earrings, a necklace, skirt and a pair of shoes. I bought some cute black ballet flats from DSW, which I'd always seen advertised on tv but never in person. I got some fun stickers for my Europe scrapbook for a huge store that specialized in scrapbooking supplies. I also had enough time to get a manicure. My last purchase came from the second kind of restaurant I'd open if I had the chance - P.B. Loco - which specializes in gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! (As you may recall, this is the first kind of restaurant I'd open.) I had the Yummer, which includes white chocolate peanut butter, banana & Nutella spread. I ate it on the plane and it was delic! You can check out more menu options here.

I think I met the most wacky folks on this business trip than ever before. It included:
- My shuttle bus driver, who is a physics major at University of Minnesota. He looked like Josh Groban.
- A cab driver who came over from Kenya after being offered a scholarship in high school. His sister's favorite show is Lost.
- A cab driver with a white mustache that had yellowed from all the cigarette smoke. He also kept chuckling to himself in a manner that was a little too maniacal for me. I didn't put my seatbelt on for fear that I'd have to flee the cab. Luckily this was the shortest cab ride of the trip.
- A very nice VW engineer from Germany. He has one of those cool U2 ipods and plays in an 80s/90s cover band. I couldn't pronounce his name.
- A woman who told me I looked Hawaiian
- Another woman who loved my last name and tried to guess its meaning. She also balked at the idea that I am planning to change it when I get married, but was reassured when I told her I'd use it as my middle name instead.
- A guy who told me he knew I wasn't from Minneapolis, whatever that means. I guess I didn't know the secret handshake.

From what little I saw, Minneapolis seems like a cool city, like a watered-down version of San Francisco. If you get the chance, you should go. Just be sure to learn the secret handshake.

"Just when you think that a person is just a backdrop for the rest of the universe, watch them and see that they laugh, they cry, they tell jokes ... they're just friends waiting to be made." - Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A Picture Share!

Testing new mobloging from blogger. I'm in Minneapolis. :-)

Greetings from Minneapolis

I'm sitting in a hotel in Minneapolis as I'm on a business trip, just arrived a few hours ago, heading back to Los Angeles tomorrow. The flight was a few hours, but then they had us sitting on the tarmack for about 15 minutes, citing another plane hogging our gate. After finally deboarding, I found out that two planes (both from the airline I was on) had collided while one was landing. That's just too close for comfort.

I've never been to Minneapolis before and just realized that the Mall of America is pretty close. I think I have five hours between the end of my event tomorrow and my departing flight. Muwa-ha-ha.

"I call it... Petoria. I was going to call it Peterland, but that gay bar by the airport took it." - Peter Griffin, Family Guy

Monday, May 09, 2005

24 Flavors of Gelato

Tonight Brent and I tried a gelato place in Santa Monica. It was delic! The best part of the excursion, though, was the celeb sighting. (Warning: this is only exciting for 24 fans. Otherwise, you probably won't care.) As we're leaving the gelato place, in walks the guy who plays Edgar, the big computer analyst on 24. I was this close to saying something to him, but I couldn't think of anything cool. For those of you who haven't watched this season, his character is an underdog but you root for him anyway.

My weekend trip was tons of fun. (Thanks, Stace!) Maroon 5 was amazing, as always. These were our best seats yet. Third row, center, baby! The band has really come a long way. Last year they were opening for John Mayer, with a vinyl backdrop displaying their M5 logo. Nowadays they pack venues as headliners and have amazing lightshow backdrops. I doubt I'll ever see them perform at House of Blues again. (You can see pics here. The girl who took these was standing right next to us.)

On Saturday night Stacie took me to a fun little piano bar in old town Sacramento. Her friends were freakin' hilarious and the bar employees know Stacie by name. She's the "Norm" of the place. The place features two piano players at a time, playing requests such as "Brown Eyed Girl," "Sweet Caroline," and "Country Roads." (Stacie and I were probably the only ones who knew that last song, thanks to our 6th grade folk-singing teachers.)

Our wacky night included...

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Stacie's friend, Mark, hamming it up after being pulled on stage and serenaded with a song about being a prison bitch.

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Some of the boys get carried away.

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Stacie getting serenaded. You have to look closely, but that's her sitting on the lap of one of the piano players. It was a riot!

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Stacie, her friend Mike and I wondering what's going on.

It was a blast. I need to go out more often.

"It's like all you need to do is, like, you know, kick the piano and do it with your cousin, and you'll be cool forever." - Butt-head, watching a Jerry Lee Lewis video

Friday, May 06, 2005

Shake My Groove Thang

Alright, kids! I'm off for the weekend to see Maroon 5 with Stacie! Don't get into too much trouble while I'm gone!

"Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart." - Pablo Casals

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Let's spice it up a little with some photos, shall we?

I just bought this Mother's Day gift tonight. I really want one for myself, too.

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I just ordered these notepads from justJENN. I love them. You should get some, too. (I'm a bad photographer so this photo doesn't do them justice.)

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The bird is back again tonight. Brent took a picture of it and I thought it was going to bitch slap him.

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Ever wonder what I looked like as a little girl? No? Oh, well. Here I am anyway.
Big eyes...

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This explains why I will be a back-up dancer in my next life.

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"All women should know how to take care of children. Most of them will have a husband some day." - Franklin Jones

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Bird Watching

Um...well...I don't know how to put this as I'm in a state of shock, but the bird....is....BACK! It's not outside our door. This time it's sitting on a fence in the quad area, staring directly into our office/guest room. It can probably see through our blinds, sensing that I'm typing about it. Brent has gone outside about half a dozen times to see if it's still watching our condo.

We're not sure if it's the exact same bird, but it's got the same exact coloring - blue with white tail feathers, a white spot on its head and a band on its leg. The theory is that the cops who picked it up a few nights ago didn't take it to the shelter and just let it loose outside our condo. Brent actually called the animal shelter on Monday to inquire about the bird's status and they said there was no bird checked in.

Sunday would have been my father's 51st birthday. A teeny, tiny part of me wonders if the bird is my father, reincarnated. On the very off chance that that's the case, I really don't want to tell him that I'm going to be out of town the next few days. Can you imagine? "I come back to watch over you and you're LEAVING?!?!?" I know it's not really my dad, though. He would have come back as something much cooler, like a bass guitar or a basset hound.

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one." - Albert Einstein

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hide and Seek

Because it's so easy to find me and my blog on the Web, I have a sneaking suspicion that there are people I know in real life who read my blog but haven't made their presence known. I'm absolutely fine with that as I have nothing to hide and I like my growing readership, but I'd like to make a request: if you read my blog and I know you from outside the blogosphere (and you haven't already made yourself known), please leave me a comment or drop me a line (there's a link on the right side). I'd love to connect with old friends (like Tori from Visalia!), as well as know who in my real life (like co-workers) might be reading this so I don't tell you a story I've posted on my blog to you in real life, sparing you the potential awkwardness of you having to fake a reaction.

Honestly, the biggest reason for this plea is the first rule in writing: it's important to know your audience!

For those of you whom read my blog and have blogs of your own, I'd be interested in knowing if you limit who knows about your blog. Do you try to keep it anonymous and if so, why? If not, why not?

Inquiring minds want to know!

"Superladies, they're always trying to tell you their secret identity. Think it'll strengthen the relationship, or something like that." - Lucious Best, The Incredibles

Monday, May 02, 2005

New Meaning To "Take Out" Window

Tonight I stopped at the Taco Bell drive-thru. Oh, you haven't heard about the new wedding diet? It's the Wedding (Taco) Bell diet. It's all the rage. Ok, not really. Anyhow, as I pulled up to the window, the employee looks at me for a second and says, "Do you have a date tonight?" I looked at him, flashed my ring and said, "Only with my fiance." He proceeded to get my food, take my money, and ask me again because he apparently didn't hear me the first time. "What did you say?," he asked, seemingly hopeful. I pointed to my ring and said, "I have a date with my fiance." "Oh," he said, "Have a nice night!" I wonder how many times he's tried that line on his drive-thru line.

I really didn't have a date with Brent as he had to work late, so I decided to be a good fiancee and not watch 24 without him. While I TiVo'd it, I worked off (hopefully) most of my Taco Bell with a little Dance Dance Revolution. One hour, 200 calories, and the equivalent of jogging 4.05 miles later, I am exhausted yet content. I made it to the third level, from light to standard AND scored a perfect 100 steps! I tried not to keep looking at my neighbors' windows in between songs, probably a good 200+ feet away. We have a balcony that blocks a lot of our living room, but I imagine the neighbors can still see the torso of some wacky girl jumping up and down as she scurries to hop on the arrows. Quite a sight, I imagine.

"The dance is tomorrow. She's a cheerleader, you've seen Star Wars 47 times. You do the math." - Neil Schweiber, Freeks and Geeks

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Fowl Play

After Brent came home from picking up dinner, he tells me to look outside our front door. I open the front door to see the following about three feet from me:

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So for the past hour, we've been trying to figure out a way to get the bird, which may be hurt, some help and most importantly, the hell away from us, self-proclaimed bird haters. It has a band on its leg, so somebody must be keeping track of it. It made its way to the open-air part of our complex, but doesn't seem to be able to fly. It's now back to outside our door. Brent tried to call Santa Monica Animal Control, which was closed, so he called the non-emergency police number to see if they had any recommendations. Strangely, they're going to send an officer out, even though Brent made it perfectly clear it's not an emergency. Apparently it's a slow crime night in our town, which is fine by us.

Maybe they'll cuff the bird and take him to the pen. "So, what are you in for?" "I held some folks hostage."

UPDATE: Two police officers just came by, with official animal shelter gear in tow. They pulled out a special bag/sheet and scooped up the bird to take him to the shelter.

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." - Marie Curie