Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Let's talk TV

I'm sad that this is the time of year when the TV lineup is all about reruns. However, I have been able to catch a few interesting programs.

In the Womb: Animals - This is a documentary about the development of a dog, dolphin and elephant fetus. Using computer-generated images along with 4D ultasounds, they followed these animals as they developed in the wombs. Did you know that it takes 24 months for an elephant to develop? YIKES! This documentary was very interesting and I learned quite a bit, but it took me three attempts before I could watch the entire thing because the warm, comforting nature of the wombs they featured lulled me to sleep. Seriously. The same thing happened with the human version of this documentary a while back. Knocked me right out. I'm interested to see the upcoming multiples version.

I Shouldn't Be Alive - This is a series on Discovery Channel, featuring reenactments of those who managed to surivive life-threatening situations. Imagine being lost in the Grand Canyon during a freak heatwave, or stuck on the top of Mt. McKinley during a blizzard, or stranded in the ocean while scuba diving. Brent and I have become hooked on every episode. We usually start (and end) by complaining, "How could these people do that?" in awe of their thrill-seeking, their stupidity in getting caught in the situation in the first place, and their ability to get out alive. It also encourages us to count our blessings, and reaffirms the reasons we don't try to climb mountains.

"Maybe it was the eleven months he spent in the womb. The doctor said there were claw marks on the walls of her uterus. But he was her 'miracle baby.' " - George Sr., Arrested Development

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Season's eatings

I had a very carbo-licious Christmas, stuffed with cookies I made, pastries my mom made (and I finally learned how to make them myself) and carb-heavy Filipino food. It hurt so good. Last night after dinner I got up from the table and had to lay down. STUFFED! Thankfully the scale isn't showing too much damage.

I got to spend time with my adorable nephew. He's 17 months old and cracks me up. His personality continues to emerge. Unfortunately I don't see him enough for him to really remember me yet, but I got a kick out of watching him interact with "Grandma." We'd tell him to "go get Grandma," and he'd run full-speed to her when she least expected it, throwing his arms around her legs while she did the dishes. They both laughed and laughed.

Is he not adorable?

My creation


In addition to spending time with wonderful friends and family, I received some very thoughtful gifts this year, including a plush new bathrobe, a Bluetooth headset, gift certificates for Victoria's Secret, Target, Amazon and Ticketmaster, a Wee Ninja (and Brent got the Son of Moustachio), among the other gifts I've previously mentioned.

I hope everyone had a relaxing holiday!

"I added food coloring because it's a holiday. But it turned black, because I added all the food coloring I had. Then I ate this butter straight out of the tub, because it tastes good. There's a reason behind everything." - Meatwad, Aqua Teen Hunger Force

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Let them eat cupcakes!

I had all these grand plans to bake 2-3 kinds of cookies tonight to give to my co-workers tomorrow. (I am one of the few fortunate folks who actually like their co-workers.) However, I felt uninspired to do all the work, make a huge mess and clean up said mess, so instead I picked up cupcakes from nearby Le Cupcake.

I do, however, plan to bake tomorrow or Saturday before Brent and I head up to Visalia on Sunday to spend Christmas with my mom. While discussing holiday plans with my mom...

Mom: Do you want me to make cornish game hens?
Me: NO! I want Filipino food!
Mom: Are you sure?
Me: YES!

There's no need to be Americana with me, especially when it means I can get the "good stuff" instead. Lumpia, pancet, adobo...mmmm...

"He was already dead, and we Schrutes use every part of the goose. The meat has a delicious smoky rich flavor. Plus, you can use the molten goose grease and save it in the refrigerator, thus saving you a trip to the store for a can of expensive goose grease." - Dwight, The Office

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tag! I'm it!

Celia tagged me with this meme, so here goes!

5 Things You Don't Know About Me

1. I've recently recognized that I have a strong fear of falling down stairs, which is especially unnerving because I regularly use the stairs at our condo and at work. It's even more scary in heels. I did lose my balance once, but luckily I was holding onto the rail so I just swung (fairly hard) into the railing instead of falling down the stairs.
2. I think Brent has gotten even hotter to me since we got married. Mmm hmmm.
3. Out and about, I feel naked without my cell phone (fear of getting stranded with a flat tire somewhere), iPod (I like to play games on it while I'm waiting for appointments, and like to listen to music in the car and at work) and earrings (I'm a girlie girl). At the gym I feel really off if I don't have a towel, bottle of water, iPod and ponytail holder.
4. I've never seen any of the Godfather movies, It's a Wonderful Life or Schindler's List. (And it's not because I don't want to. I just haven't gotten around to it.)
5. I'm considering joining the local community college jazz band so I can play the vibes again, but I don't know if they'll let me join as it's been more than six years since I've played.

And I'll tag anyone who wants to do this, along with Jenn, Keely and Jodi.

"I invent nothing, I rediscover." - August Rodin

Monday, December 18, 2006

(Late) weekend in review

Tonight while I stopped to get gas, a station attendant came over and asked if I'd heard about their latest promo. I humored him, said that I hadn't, and allowed him to demonstrate. It was some sort of car-wash-in-a-bottle that didn't require any water. He cleaned a few spots on my windshield, side and wheel. I told him thanks for the demonstration and when asked if I wanted to purchase a bottle, I told him no thanks. As he walked away he said, "That's the problem with you Honda owners. You don't want to take care of your cars, unlike Chevy owners, like me! A Chevy Camero, that is!" I gave him an uncomfortable laugh and got back in my car.

If I'd have thought about it at the time, I would have responded, "That's the problem with you asshats. You don't have common sense and courtesy, unlike nice people, like me!" Ugh.

It was hard to face a Monday today, especially after a great weekend. Well, an almost great weekend. Friday I was home sick because of a sour stomach. Bleh. But Brent made dinner for me Friday night and we cuddled on the couch, which is always nice. Saturday morning we got an invite from Jenn to meet up at Bay Cities for sandwiches. She brought along the World's Cutest Kids and delicious cupcakes for Brent and I.

Saturday night we went bowling, then came home and enjoyed the suprisingly funny Saturday Night Live. We especially enjoyed the "Dick in the Box" digital skit (I know what I'm getting for Christmas from Brent now) and the "Hip Hop Kidz" skit.

Sunday morning I met up with a bunch of gals for a Secret Santa & White Elephant exchange. I scored an AWESOME cupcakes cookbook, a much-needed baking spatula, the new Incubus CD, Pocky and Lichee candy, along with other various favors. Sunday afternoon we went Christmas shopping, returned some shirts I had bought Brent a while back, but didn't find anything to buy. As we left, I told Brent, "We actually made money shopping!" His response? "That's womanlogic."

"That's a stalactite, JoJessica. You gotta recognize your sedimentary rock formations!" - Hip Hop Kidz

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Yelp, I need someone

Imagine my surprise when I awoke this morning to discover that one of my lil ol' reviews on Yelp.com was chosen as the Review of the Day!

I joined the site a few weeks ago, at Jen's suggestion, after the infamous Big Mamma Jamma Incident at Victoria's Secret so I could complain to local folks about what happened.

I've written a few reviews on Yelp since I joined, and have participated a bit on the Yelp Talk threads. Folks there seem quite friendly, supportive and fun -- just what I like in an online community.

So that's my attention-whoring for the day. You may return to your regularly scheduled blogging.

"Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community." - Anthony D' Angelo

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ho, ho, ha, ha!

Consider yourselves warned. Flickr has an "easter egg" where folks can add a Santa beard or hat by adding a note with "ho ho ho beard" or "ho ho ho hat."

No one is safe! Not fellow bloggers (here and here), not babies (including my nephew), not a couple at a Christmas party, not a wedding guest, not dogs (here, too), not monkeys! No one! Well, I won't hack wedding photos (of the bride and groom), pics of people I don't know or their friends. As you can see, I already made the rounds through my contact list. And feel free to erase my hacks to your photos if...YOU'RE A GRINCH!

"Why is he such a Grinch? What makes him tick? Why is his Grinch brain sick, sick, sick? Oh, boy, if I had a psychiatrist couch, I'd find out what's wrong with that Grinchy grouch." - The Cat in the Hat

Monday, December 11, 2006

Blog jam

The bank did a bit of investigating regarding the 6 fraudulent charges to my check card and learned that the numbers were manually entered. I'm hoping they can find out more info soon and catch the rat bastards!

In other news, I think the part of my brain that's supposed to come up with witty, creative, Nanette-esque blog ideas blew a fuse after November's blog-every-day challenge success. I was hoping to keep up the pace as much as possible this month, but I'm grasping for interesting blog content. Maybe I should adopt the blog-or-die mantra and just blog. I'd prefer to give you quality content all the time, but you may be subject to my rambling... like now.

Here's a question for those of you who own those awesome Kitchen-Aid mixers. Does your lever that's supposed to keep the tilt locked feel like it doesn't go all the way to one side as intended?

Also, the little homeless girl I was tutoring keeps missing our sessions, so I'm being reassigned another one. I hope everything works out ok for her and her family. And I hope I get to help out another kid soon.

I'm done with most of my Christmas shopping, but that credit card debacle has stopped me from doing any online shopping. I have another card, but I'm not ready to move on from cash-only.

And lastly, I have a mile-long list of people I need to keep in touch with, finally make those "let's get together soon" plans and follow through with already-made plans. We have some fun plans for New Year's and some fun couples to hang out with before then. Being a grown-up is fun!

"Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training." - Anna Freud

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pour some sugar on me

I'm recovering from the sugar coma from today's BYOC (Bring Your Own Cookie exchange) that Jenn and I hosted at my mother-in-law's house. Highlights included:

- 11 kinds of cookies. We asked everyone to bring 4 dozen so we could pack half of them up for everyone to take home and leave the other half out to taste.
- 10 great gals (and one adorable 2-year-old son) gathered together.
- A secret ballot to determine the winner of an awesome prize that Jenn put together for the "Best Cookie." And the lucky winner was the self-proclaimed non-baker, Jodi, for her molasses cookies!
- My mother-in-law's wonderful decorating and fabulous supplies to throw a great party.

Kookies


You can see pics here!

And speaking of cookies, check out this clip from Family Guy.

"You didn't love me. It was my cookies! Well, sugar, the bakery just closed. Go get your fill somewhere else, you oatmeal-raisin-loving freak!" - Stewie, Family Guy

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Son of a bitch

I discovered tonight that someone stole my ATM/check card number and made purchases in Carson, CA and Long Beach equaling $250. Luckily Bank of America noticed the suspicious activity and put a hold on my card, which by the way was not fun while trying to do some Christmas shopping tonight.

Who the fuck spends $100 at Starbucks and another $100 at Johnny Rockets? I want these asshats to get what's coming to them, which I hope involves glass shards, lemon juice and other agony.

I'll get everything back that they charged to my account, but I feel so disgusted. I'm seriously shaking and enraged.

UGH!

"Crime, like disease, is not interesting; it is something to be done away with by general consent, and that is all about it." - Anonymous

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My cupcake runneth over

I suppose when I have two cupcakes for dinner and find myself still awake at 1 a.m., I have no one to blame but myself, right?
My review of Le Cupcake, a new shop in the Santa Monica mall can be found here. (Thanks, Jami, for the heads-up!)

"My mom thinks it's very necessary. I'm hypoglycemic and hyperactive. I'm a hyper-hypo." - Phillip, Saturday Night Life

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I just like to smile! Smiling's my favorite.

Click here to see me as an elf.

Make one for yourself, too! (And post the link in the comments section so I can see them, too!)

"Well, there are some things you should know. First off, you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn't free candy. Second, there are, like, thirty Ray's Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one's on 11th. And if you see a sign that says 'Peep Show', that doesn't mean that they're letting you look at the new toys before Christmas." - Santa warning Buddy the Elf, Elf

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Weekend rewind

FIRST - congrats to my wonderful friend Stacie who just called me to tell me she's ENGAGED! And I get to return the favor and be a bridesmaid!

This weekend started with dinner at a nearby English pub called Ye Olde Kings Head. (You can read my review on Yelp here.) Saturday while Brent and his dad rooted for UCLA at the game against USC, I spent a couple of hours at the gym. It was the perfect time to go as the gym was completely empty. That night after dinner we checked out the newest location for Pinkberry, which happens to be just a few minutes from our place. (My Yelp review here.) Last week I discovered that a sushi place near my office sells the original "sour" yogurt. Went there twice and started to spread the sour yogurt gospel to my co-workers.

Today we started at the gym, where we both wore ourselves out. (We spent the rest of the day complaining about how sore we are from recent workouts.) After our workouts we stopped by the "frutas" vendor so Brent could have his favorite post-workout meal. The vendor chops up a bunch of fruit from his cart, throws it in a bag and adds lime, chili powder and salt. I hear it's quite tasty, but I can't stand the spice of the chili powder so I've stayed away. Someday I'll try it sans chili powder. My post-workout treat was...Pinkberry. Addicted much? Good lord, please don't let it end up like that Seinfeld yogurt episode.

Tonight I tried out two new cookie recipes as I need to decide on one for the BYOC (Bring Your Own Cookies) Exchange that Jenn and I are hosting next weekend. Us and a dozen or so of our baking friends and family are going to gather at my fabulous mother-in-law's house to eat, chat and exchange cookie recipes.

The two recipes I tried were Mexican Wedding Cookies and Peanut Butter Munchies.

Here are the Wedding Cookies:
Mexican wedding cookies


Here are the PB Munchies:
Choc/Peanut butter cookies

They were both delicious, if I do say so myself. I think I'll be making the Wedding Cookies for the exchange. And I think my co-workers will be enjoying these trial runs tomorrow.

"I thought maybe we could make ginger bread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands." - Buddy the Elf, Elf

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The one where I talk about Barenaked Ladies

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy live music? Seriously, there's nothing better in the world.

Last night we saw Barenaked Ladies at Gibson Amphitheater. Shelby and her boyfriend Rob came down to enjoy the show with us. We stopped by the candy store at Universal Citywalk before heading to the show. As security eyed the candy in my purse, she asked, "What are those?" I told her, "Raisinettes." "You better not throw those!" "Ooooh, no! I'm a very good concert-goer, I promise!" Apparently she hasn't seen my blog posts where I complain about poor concert etiquette. She had good reason to ask, as I learned today that BNL fans have been known to throw macaroni at the stage during the "Kraft Dinner" lyrics of "If I had a $1,000,000."

The show's opener was Mike Doughty, whom I was very excited to see but ended up not impressing me as much as I'd hoped. My co-worker said he's probably one of those acts who's better in a smaller venue. I think she's right.

As for BNL, they were amazingly entertaining as always. This was my third time seeing them. In addition to being extremely talented musicians (Steven Page's voice floors me every time), they're obviously intelligent (referencing obscure Russian leaders) and can come up with such entertaining improv songs on the fly. I can't think of a more hilarious band/musician that I've ever seen. And don't get me started on their occasional choreography.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Jodi and her husband. She's the biggest BNL fan I know, so it was the perfect place to finally put a live face to a blogger name. She was just as sweet in person as she is online!

And I'm happy to report that this post ends my contribution to the NaBloPoMo challenge. Hard to believe that I was able to blog EVERY DAY in November, even over the Thanksgiving break where the blogosphere seemed to grind to a halt. And my everyday-blogging may even land me a fun little prize, so send me some winning vibes!

"It's the perfect time of day to throw all your cares away. Put the sprinkler on the lawn and run through with my gym shorts on." - Pinch Me, BNL

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Does this make my S look big?

A fellow participant in the NaBloMoPo challenge is reviewing the titles of all the participating blogs, alphabetically. She recently finished taking a look at the blogs starting with "S" and has deemed mine one of her top 10 favorite titles in that letter group! Her judging process was rigorous, and I'm honored to be a part of the elite 10 from the 200 or so in that letter category. And she even made some fun badges for us top 10 to add to our sites, if so inclined.

I don't know if in the 2+ years that I've been blogging that I've ever discussed how I decided on the title, "Say it, don't spray it!" When I first created this blog, it was actually called "Sinus Headache" because at the time I had one and wasn't feeling my usual creative self. I don't think that name stuck for more than a few days. As you probably know, "Say it, don't spray it!" is a common taunt amongst kids when someone spits while speaking. It's also the name of a song by 2Gether, the parody boyband that MTV created during the pinnacle of NSync and Backstreet's popularity. (Trivia: the lead singer from that parody group was Evan Farmer, who is now the host of While You Were Out on TLC.) Brent became a fan of 2Gether and would constantly serenade me with their songs, including "Say it, don't spray it."

That's how that saying became top of mind for me, and made its way to the title of this blog.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle...

"You gotta embrace your worthlessness. You know, just think about all the greatest losers throughout history: UPN, the metric system, Kevin Costner... " - Doug Linus, 2Gether

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pimp my wedding photos

Here are most of the pages that I created for the wedding albums that we're giving to my mom and Brent's parents for the holidays. (It doesn't include some of the pages that have our last name on them.) I'm by no means a graphic designer, but I think they turned out pretty well. And it only took me eight months to get around to creating them...




"Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man." - Edward Steichen

Monday, November 27, 2006

Dear Santa...

I want more diamonds! More jewels! More ice! These ice cube trays are adorable! Remember the Wee Ninjas I mentioned a couple months ago? They now have smaller friends called Pocket Ninjas!

I'd like to see if I can get these in bulk because, here in LA, I could use them quite often.

I got some of this in a great wedding gift from Nicole's parents and it's fabulous! The only problem is that it's $$$. We'll see if Santa will bring some to me anyway.
I think this speaks for itself. Freakin' hilarious!

"Presents are the best way to show someone how much you care. It is like this tangible thing that you can point to and say, hey man, I love you this many dollars worth." - Michael, The Office

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving leftovers

A few other highlights from Thanksgiving vacation.

- We saw Stranger Than Fiction, which I really enjoyed. Will Ferrell was great, more dramatic than any of his other movies. Brent wasn't as impressed, but I think he still enjoyed it.
- I took Brent to his first yoga class yesterday morning. I hadn't been in forever. It was nice to get a little bendy. He and I are both quite sore today.
- We attended the baby naming for Josh and Jami's son, Brendan. It was a beautiful ceremony and we were honored to be a part of this tradition. I had missed Hallie's baby naming a few years ago, so this was especially exciting for me.
- Brent TiVo'd March of the penguins yesterday as a surprise for me. Brent had seen it in the theater ith his parents while I was out of town, and he had warned me that Morgan Freeman's voice was very soothing (aka tiring). We both nodded off for a few minutes during the film today, but I still thought it was great. I'd adopt a baby penguin if I could.
- We finished all the hardcore cleaning I wanted to get done, including organizing drawers and closets.
- I'm putting the finishing touches on the wedding albums for our parents.
- And I started some online holiday shopping! It's not easy ignoring all the fun stuff I could purchase for me. Damn these holiday specials!

By the way, hard to believe that there are only 4 more days left in the NaBloPoMo challenge! I haven't missed a day yet!

"No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one." - Elbert Hubbard

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Mad mamma jamma

You know what a cashier at Victoria's Secret shouldn't say to me while buying two bras? "Man, those are some big mamma jammas!" Um, no. Even if it is true, even if I do have big breasts, somebody I don't know doesn't get to comment on their size. Little did she know that Brent and I? We write letters. It's what we do.

Ask La Salsa when we were the only customers in one of their franchises and it took 15 minutes to get two tacos. When we complained to the manager and the cook got mad at us (we watched him as our order came up and he decided and take his sweet time messing with a bunch of ingredients that had nothing to do with our tacos), what did we do? Corporate got a letter from us.

Ask Coffee Bean when it took them four attempts to get my drink order correct. And no one there seemed to care as the employee would get my drink 90% done (at a snail's pace, might I add) before he realized that he had messed it up again...and again...and again. Corporate got a letter from us.

And now Victoria's Secret is added to the list. I sent an email last night. I also called to speak to the store manager, but she was "too busy" to talk to me. Hmph.

We don't write letters to get free stuff (although I admit that that happens on occasion). Complaining at a local-store level rarely gets things done. And when corporate finds out what happens when they're not around, believe me, somebody notices. It's less likely that our complaint will get swept under the rug. We're not out to get anyone in trouble; we just expect adequate customer service. Having worked years and years in retail and knowing that Brent and I are not difficult customers, I know that it's not hard to be nice to someone and to not say something as inappropriate as "Man, those are some big mamma jammas!" So watch out, customer service world. Don't make me take pen to paper.

"What are these? Oh, my God! Breasts! How does anybody practice medicine hauling these things around? And what have we got back here? Lets see if I remember my anatomy." - Izzy, Grey's Anatomy

Friday, November 24, 2006

Gobble, gobble!

My mother-in-law went all out last night for Thanksgiving. She loves to cook and entertain, so she served a turkey (based on an Italian recipe in my honor, she said), cheese/corn casserole, stuffing, two kinds of cranberries, yams with apples, pumpkin and pecan pies - all made from scratch!

Here's the bird:
turkey


Here's my hottie hubby carving the bird:
Brent carves it up


On our way to my in-laws', we stopped to pick up some sparkling apple cider. We had to go to four different stores before we found one bottle, which was actually hidden behind something else. Brent considered reselling it for $$$ seeing as how the street value would have been quite high yesterday, but we didn't.

"You know, I really think I can put together a great Thanksgiving dinner. This'll be the second one that I've cooked, and believe me, the first one was not the disaster that my family said it was. Those kids had a pretty good time in that ambulance." - Rebecca, Cheers

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey for me, turkey for you, let's eat turkey in my big brown shoe

In high school Shelby and I were obsessed with Adam Sandler's comedy CDs, which included this song. Every year around this time I get it stuck in my head, but it's just so fun!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

"What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?" - Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Vacation, all I ever wanted

Today kicks off the start of my four-and-a-half days of Thanksgiving vacation, which I've been so looking forward to. After a half-day at work, I came home with visions of grandeur. I wanted to start the heavy duty cleaning and organizing I hope to get done on my days off. But what did I do? I plopped down on the couch and haven't moved much at all.

I started to watch the Denver Real World, but I had to turn it off partway through. I think, after never missing a season since it started eons ago, that I'm over the Real World. I think I'm too old to be engrossed in their early-20s drama. This season starts off with at least four of the castmates making out, having known each other less than 12 hours! I was repulsed. I just couldn't do it. I had a feeling this would happen before I even started watching. I didn't tune into the third season of Laguna Beach for similar reasons. They're in high school, live uber-privileged lives and I was not compelled to watch. I don't remember getting the Maturity Memo, but it's a strange feeling.

And even though I didn't get started on the housework as planned, I did get started on the wedding album that I hope to give my mom and Brent's parents for Christmas. I'm creating an album using MyPublisher. I've been working on it for essentially 7 hours and I think I'm 60% done. It's fun but hard work. I'm excited to see how they turn out, that is if I I don't go blind from all the hours at the computer.

"Give me a break. You grew up in the '60s, I've seen the photo album. I mean those clothes had to have some pharmaceutical explanation." - Darlene, Roseanne

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I admit I...

- sometimes use the handicap button to open the doors of our office building because I'm lazy
- listen to my ipod way too loud
- on occassion will pretend not to see the car next to me that tries to get into my lane
- need some new bras
- need new workout shoes
- am long overdue to see the dentist (I'm scared of them)
- recently rationalized that I could count onion rings as part of my recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables
- think my grammar skills have gotten much, much worse
- am bad about returning emails
- never take the stairs up at work, even though it's only three floors. I do take them down, though.
- can't tell ya the last time I drank the recommended 8 glasses of water
- decided not to bake some yummy turkey-themed cupcakes to take to work tomorrow as originally planned

“I did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible, thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death.” - James Hurst

Monday, November 20, 2006

War of the words

Chances are you heard about Michael Richards' (aka Kramer) racial outbursts at the Laugh Factory this weekend. We watched the video this morning and were pretty shocked at what we heard and saw. It's hard to believe that with us much as society has moved forward in blurring racial boundaries that we still have so much work to do.

I'm still taken aback when I encounter insensitive racial comments. A few months ago someone said something to me about "chinks." I shook my head and said, "I can't believe you said that!" They realized later what they had said and perhaps even technically that as a half-Filipina that I could be considered a "chink." They apologized profusely, with tears in their eyes. And after telling them that that's not something I'd ever expect to hear from them, I accepted their apology because it was seemed so out of their normal character to say that. (I know, though, that a person can still be a "racist" without always displaying such behavior.)

It'll be interesting to see how this Michael Richards thing will turn out. I'm happy to hear that people are so upset over it and intolerant of his unnecessary slurs. As Brent said as the video ended this morning, "And that's the last time Michael Richards was ever seen..."

"I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain." - James Baldwin

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Weekend highlights

This year we're spending Thanksgiving here in LA, so we decided to visit my family this weekend. This, of course, included a lot of quality time with my 16-month-old nephew Jayden. Even though he's recovering from an ear infection, he was in very jolly spirits and we had fun playing together.

He tried to ride his horse...backward.
jayden


He held still long enough for me to capture his beautiful blue eyes.
Jayden


And then we made him a bed of giant stuffed animals, where after much tossing and turning he finally napped.
Naptime


Last night Brent and I saw Happy Feet. Brent was hesitant until he read a few glowing reviews. Plus he probably wanted to stop me from pointing to every Happy Feet billboard in LA, noting, "I want to see that!" All I knew about the movie was that it featured cartoon penguins. And isn't that enough? It's been a while since we've seen a kid's flick. We used to enjoy seeing the computer-animated films when it was basically just Pixar. They were rare and usually quite interesting. (Monsters, Shrek, A Bug's Life, Toy Story, etc.) Now they seem to churn out so many of them and frankly most of them are just not that appealing. We both thought Happy Feet was very cute and well-done, though. And Robin Williams wasn't uber-annoying!

"We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing." - Anon.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Too close for comfort

This morning I decided to stop by the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf just around the corner from my place. The one stoplight between my house and the coffee place was green. I started to speed up in order to make the light, but for whatever reason, I slowed down.

The next thing I know a big rig truck barrels through the red light on the perpendicular street. If I had sped up as originally planned, he would have nailed me and my little car. The worst part? I wasn't wearing my seatbelt. I never do this (I feel naked without a seatbelt on), but I somehow rationalized in my head that it was only one block away. "What's the worst that could happen between here and there?" *Gulp*

So, thankfully everything (and everyone - especially me) is alright, but that close call has had me a bit shaken all day. And I will never, ever leave my parking garage without wearing my seatbelt again.

"Prepare ship for ludicrous speed! Fasten all seatbelts, seal all entrances and exits, close all shops in the mall, cancel the three ring circus, secure all animals in the zoo!" - Colonel Sandurz, Spaceballs

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Welcome to our little kingdom. We have a bag of nifty gifties for you.

I got stood up again. I was supposed to tutor L tonight, but she didn't show up at the shelter. I even had a bunch of really cute Sanrio pencils to give to her because last week I noticed that she only had one pencil and it seriously less than 2 inches long. And next week is Thanksgiving so I probably won't see her until the week after that. I hope she and her family are ok.

Last night I tried out a lowfat muffin recipe from one of the Weight Watchers message boards. I tried it with pears, but I didn't cut them small enough so the recipe - originally for 6 muffins - ended up making 10. It turned out really well, though, and Brent even had a hard time believing they were lowfat.

Check it out:

Fall Muffins

1/4 c. oatmeal
1 c. dry cream of wheat
2 or 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. shredded pear or granny smith apple
1 egg
1/2 c. Splenda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. skim milk
4 tsp. canola oil

Combine first ingredients up to the shredded pear/apple. Combine second part of ingredients. Stir together. Bake in 6 sprayed muffin tins for 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees. Before putting in the oven, sprinkle about 1/2 tsp. dry oats over each muffin.

"Now me, I could eat a muffin a day, some days even two knowing they'd be free. So that'd be... ten a week, fifty-two weeks a year, for at least another... forty years, which works out to... Twenty thousand muffins! [pause] My life suddenly seems long, measured in muffins." - Daphne, Frasier

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How to play mind games with yourself

Watch a two-hour documentary about an eating disorders clinic on HBO, immediately followed by NBC's The Biggest Loser.

"The mind grows sicker than the body in contemplation of it's suffering." - Ovid

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Break it down

I did a quick analysis of my readership, based on the 23 of you who responded to my reader survey.

Of the respondents:
47% of you are in your 20s
43% are in your 30s
8% are in your 40s
4% are in your 50s

96% are female
4% are male

91% are from the US
9% are outside the US

61% have blogs
13% used to have blogs

35% know me in real life

The range of ages was the most surprsing to me, as was percentage of you who used to have blogs but have left the blogosphere for lurking pastures.

Thanks, everyone!

"There's nothing wrong with my verbal skills. It only seems that way because my math skills are so high." - Dilbert

Monday, November 13, 2006

Say it, don't spray it - demographics

My blog's traffic has gone up quite a bit over the past few months, especially since I've been blogging every day this month. I know I did a survey a few months ago to find out more about my readers, but I'd like to do a not-so-scientific analysis of my enlarged pool of readers. So, take a moment and enlighten me about the following:

- Male or female?
- Age?
- City, state?
- Do you have your own blog? If so, what is it?
- If this is your first time here, how did you find my blog? Someone else's blog or a Google search?
- Do you know me in real life?

"Good questions outrank easy answers." - Paul A. Samuelson
I dare you...

to watch this and NOT laugh! I dare you!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Come over Saturday and we'll have a Sunday

Is it just me or did this weekend go by amazingly fast?

Today, after sleeping 10 glorious hours, Brent and I went to a little hole-in-the-wall dim sum place with Josh, Jami, Hallie and Baby Brendan. The food wasn't bad, but we had some serious language barriers. The waitress/cook brought us iced tea when we asked for water and kept insisting that we eat more scalion pancakes, after we'd finished our first order. She brought us a second order, then after we paid the bill, she motioned something about bring us more...to go. We thought we'd misunderstood her, so we made our way to the parking lot. As we approached our cars, out she comes, holding three more orders of the scalion pancakes.

After emerging from our salt-induced comas, Brent and I finally saw Borat. It was freakin' funny...NOT! Seriously, we compared notes after the show and were both very underwhelmed. I only laughed a couple of times. I don't know why, but I keep comparing it to how funny Jackass 2 was, a film in which I laughed until I cried. Maybe I was just expecting too much from Borat.

You know what was surprisingly funny? This week's Saturday Night Live. Alec Baldwin was the host. I haven't watched so much of an episode in forever. I only knew about Beck's fun puppet/dining room performance a couple weeks ago because Nicole told me. Brent's theory to why SNL might have been so much funnier is because the writers are taking notice of the criticism in and of Studio 60 and therefore trying harder. Interesting, if it's true.

Anyone a fan of Fresca? I'm trying the new peach flavor now, one of our purchases from grocery shopping tonight. I realized that we have a tendency to buy a lot of liquids. Tonight, for example, we came back with Fresca, Coke Zero, drinking water, sparkling water, milk and soy milk. Our fridge looks like we're stocking up for our own episode of MTV Cribs, yo.

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." -Sir Winston Churchill

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Dress you up in my love

Today I volunteered with Brides Against Breast Cancer, a charity sale of bridal gowns donated by designers and brides, including me! A part of me was sad to see my dress go, but it's not like I have plans to wear it again. Plus 100% of whatever someone pays for it will go directly to granting wishes of a metastatic breast cancer victim.

For six hours today I helped brides with dresses. It was exciting to see the hope in their eyes, especially when they found the "one." And all the volunteers were so nice, cheerful and friendly. Even though the organization had an entire trailer of donated gowns stolen last week, they received an outpouring of donations from local shops and brides. I'll definitely volunteer next time they come to town - and I'm bringing all you locals with me! They need all the help they can get!

I was surprisingly tired after the event, but I managed to make a stop at Pinkberry in Westwood, thanks to an awesome parking spot and no line. I've been excited to try the much-hyped yogurt, which I'd heard was sour rather than sweet. (It's real yogurt, not frozen yogurt.) I got the original flavor (they only have original and green tea), with fresh kiwi, pineapple and mango. It's delic! Very refreshing and light! Finally - a yummy treat that isn't too sinful.

"I'll be in the neighborhood later on, and I was wondering if maybe you wanted to get some frozen yogurt, or perhaps a whole meal of food, if that would be agreeable. Damnit. [calls back] This is Frank Ricard..." Frank, Old School

Friday, November 10, 2006

My postcard post

Very busy today, so my recap of last night's activities will be in postcard mode.

Tutoring was fun. Got scared by the level of math we were working on, but managed to get through it. Powers of 10 are scary. Learned that she likes chocolate with peanut butter. And she has 5 brothers and 5 sisters.

Concert at the Orpheum was amazing. Ray LaMontagne's opening act, David Ford, had an innovative performance - layering his song like a one-man band. Ray was incredible, even with a cold. Wanted to punch the couple in front of me who liked to slip each other the tongue. I hate being a makeout magnet.

Swung by a karaoke place to meet up with old co-workers. Got there just in time to jump on stage with them for a rendition of "Come on, Eileen." Forgot to wear my overalls.

"I found myself face down in the ditch, booze on my hair, blood on my lips. A picture of you, holding a picture of me in the pocket of my blue jeans." - Jolene, Ray LaMontagne

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Harder than it sounds

Blogging every day? Not so easy after all. But I'm determined to make it work and stick with it. It's made me even more aware of potential blog topics in my everyday life. And I'm trying to develop some blog posts with more of my opinions rather than observations. Problem is I'm not that opinionated. I tend to just go with the flow. We'll see, though, what I can get fired up about.

Tonight I'm tutoring my homeless kid. (From here on out I will no longer call her my "homeless kid." Although it's probably not a social faux pax, I still feel weird saying it. I'll just call her "L.") Directly after tutoring L, I'll head to the Ray LaMontagne show, which I've been looking forward to for a while. I skipped out on his last show because I was ill. And this is one of the rare concerts with assigned seats, so I hopefully won't have to worry as much about poor concert etiquette.

"Your dad's dating a homeless real estate lady? Whoa, that's weird. She sells houses, but she doesn't have one." - Lilly Truscott, Hannah Montana

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I will remember you. Will you remember me?

Thanks, everyone, for all your responses to the iPod shuffle and bunch-o'-questions post! I'm always excited when folks give me some comment love! I still haven't figured out why my font shrinks randomly, but I'll see if my company's web developer can help me out. I'll bribe him with Sour Patch Kids. Update: Jess is awesome! She pointed out that my tiny font issues were because of <> tags!

On a not so happy-go-lucky note, can I just complain a bit? One of my biggest pet peeves is when I see someone whom I've met at least a couple of times before....and they don't remember me. Granted, I may not be the most memorable person in the world, but after half a dozen emails, meeting in person a couple of times (including an all-day event), I'd expect at least a hint of recognition. Here's what happened the other day:

Him: Hi, I'm John!
Me (knowing exactly who he is, but figuring I'd play along): Hi, I'm Nanette.
Him: Oooooooh. Um, did you dye your hair?
Me (I have only dyed me hair once, back in 1998): No.
Him: (silent)
Me: It's ok. We've only met... a few times before.

Ugh.

"If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them." - Francis Bacon

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Questions for the peanut gallery

I'm interested in your responses to my questions below.

- Did you vote? I did. If not, why not?
- Any idea why the font shrinks in some of my posts? Like the bottom of this one and this one? Aaarg, and apparently this current post. DAMNIT!
- What perfume do you wear? I'm in the market for a new one.
- What's your favorite new show of the season? Mine is 30 Rock.
- Which artist/album is in your heavy rotation these days? I'm always on the lookout for new music.
- Are you going to see Borat? We tried to on Sunday but it was sold out.
- Favorite foreign country that you've visited? We're exploring options other than Italy for our trip next year.

"Yakshemash! In US of A, democracy is very different from Kazakhstan. In America, woman *can* vote, but horse - *cannot*! [wondering gesture] I find out more. Chenkuye." - Borat, D Ali G Show

Monday, November 06, 2006

Song sung blue, everybody knows one

One of Whitney's readers at Pop Candy asked her what are the first 10 songs on her iPod's shuffle mode. I decided to try it for myself. What I got was better than I expected:

Crush by Dave Matthews Band
Live it Up by John Legend
I only have eyes for you by Jamie Cullum
Beeds on a string by Jungle Brothers (this is from Brent's stash of music)
Booty Call by Blackstreet (I have no excuses for this, other than I was experimenting with musical tastes during my college years.)
Broken Drum by Beck
Light My Way by Rage Against the Machine
Players Ball by Outkast
Like a Feather by Nikka Costa
Yellow Submarine by The Beatles

Your turn!
"I keep a lighter in my back pocket all the time. I'm not a smoker, I just really like certain songs." - Demetri Martin, Comedy Central Presents

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Commercial comedy

When Brent, his bro and dad were in Chicago a few weeks ago for the UCLA/Notre Dame game, they had the following conversation:

"I saw this ad for a new show the other day. Have you seen it?" their dad asked. "It's some reality show about a couple living in a small house."

Brent and his bro, knowing full well what their dad was referring to, wanted to see what else he had to say.

Their dad continued, "They look really frustrated! I think they fight a lot! It looks ridiculous!"

Brent and his bro laughted their asses off while their dad kept saying, "I know! It's ridiculous!" Then he noticed they weren't laughing with him. "What, what's so funny?"

"Dad! It's not a show! That's part of a Geico commercial!"

Brent loves that commercial! Everytime it airs, he notes that if the show were real, he'd watch it!

I'm a big fan of Geico's caveman commercials. They make me chuckle without fail. The latest one is especially hilarious.

"Not so fast, you ingrates. Public News Team is taking a break from its pledge drive to kick some ass. No commercials, no mercy." - Public TV news anchor, Anchorman

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Par-tay

Brent and I had the pleasure of attending justJENN's son's 1st birthday party today. And it was a blast! We shared a table with other friend's of Jenn's, including Leslie and her beautiful family. (Leslie is the fabulously talented artist who did the caricature of me in my blog header.)

She put so much effort, time, blood, sweat and tears into the party. Jenn went all out with the favors, the food, the games, the centerpieces - everything! I'm going to her from now on for all my party planning needs, whether she likes it or not!

"It's her 75th birthday party. This is where she kisses you on the mouth." - Reed, The Last Frontier

Friday, November 03, 2006

A helping hand

Last night I finally got to meet the homeless kid I'll be tutoring each week. She's living in a nearby shelter with her family and is in the 8th grade. She's very soft-spoken and has an amazing smile. Last night was just a meet and greet, while next week will be our first official session. I learned a little about what she's studying, what her favorite classes are and about her last report card. When asked if she had any questions for me, all she wanted to know was, "Are you in school?" I felt old when I told her I graduated from college six years ago. Bless her heart for thinking I could pass for a college kid.

The non-profit organization I'm doing this through, SchoolOnWheels.org, has a one-page feature in this week's People magazine. I hope it'll encourage more people to volunteer; they have a definite shortage.

"But you know what I've learned in my seven years here at Coolidge... Timmy? I've learned that you can't treat every situation as a life-and-death matter because you'll die a lot of times. Write that down." - Van Wilder

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Coolest SNL performance ever


I may like this even more than when Will Ferrell joined Queens of the Stone Age.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Added incentive

Ok, ok, I'll do it. I need an excuse to write more.

I've been meaning to ask: Where do single people here in LA meet other single people? I have some really awesome single girlfriends. Know any nice, smart, single 20/30-something guys in the area? I may have to intervene and play virtual cupid. These girls are amazingly sweet, nice, smart, funny and yes, cute.

"Michael, you are quite the cupid. You can stick an arrow in my buttocks any time." - Tobias, Arrested Development

This is Halloween

When someone gives you one of these and someone else gives you Halloween-themed cupcake wrappers, you have no choice but to make Halloween cupcakes! Not that anyone has to twist my arm to bust out the baking tins.

Below are my Halloween creations:

Skeleton close-up

Milano gravestones

Skeleton milano



After I finished the baked goods Monday night, Brent and I hung out with "The Hoff," Pamela Anderson and other Baywatch cast members at the Baywatch DVD release party. Brent's old PR agency was in charge of the party and got us on the "list." The party happened to be within walking distance of our condo, so we figured we'd go check it out.

We were in the VIP section and Brent was shoulder to shoulder with David Hasselhoff, who is surprisingly tall and skinny. We saw Pamela Anderson from afar. She's short.

We also spotted Beth from The Real World, who is also surprisingly skinny. And probably 40 years old at this point. Sadly this isn't the first time I've seen her in my neck of the woods. Hollywood parties are not our scene, but it was definitely worth the people-watching. The free desserts weren't too bad either. You can see some of the red carpet pics here.

"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up -- they have no holidays." - Henry Youngman

Monday, October 30, 2006

Everybody's workin' for the weekend

I'm exhausted. I spent yesterday, from 10 a.m. to nearly midnight, at work because we relaunched our website. I can't complain about the long hours, though, because we rarely have to work beyond the 9-5 schedule. So on the very, very rare occasions where we do have to pitch in a little longer, it's all good.

Unfortunately the weekend workday meant that I had to miss out on a night of karaoke with a bunch of my girlfriends. When they realized that I wasn't going to make it, they called and left a song in my honor: Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer." I was so sad that I couldn't be there and so touched that they thought of me that I was caught between crying and laughing. Those girls are the sweetest.

I've been pretty good on Weight Watchers the past few weeks, but our office had been stocked yesterday with so many dangerous snacks. This is what I ate yesterday:

- Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf latte
- Blueberry muffin
- Bits of danishes (cherry, cream cheese, etc.)
- Funyons
- Oreos
- Chinese chicken salad
- Coke Zero
- Mac N Cheese (only a few bites, though, because I had a stomach ache - no surprise)
- Tums

I didn't have any of the popcorn or Red Vines, though, because that would just be gluttonous.

On Saturday, Brent and I saw The Prestige. I have a semi-spoiler plot question in my comments for those of you whom have seen the movie, so please check that out and respond if you can.

"You know what, they’re going to be screwed once this whole Internet fad is over." - Dwight, The Office

Friday, October 27, 2006

A pointless nostalgic - that's me

Last night I had the pleasure of finally seeing Jamie Cullum in concert. I happily accepted the invite from Tori and we had a blast! Even though I wanted to turn to the couple behind us and tell them, "If you don't stop screaming those blood-curdling screams during every song I will dig a dull knife into your abdomens and laugh as you try to collect your intestines," it probably was (as Tori noted) one of the best shows I've been to all year.

Why?

- Jamie is an amazing performer. He has a stage presence like no other I've seen. Dare I say that he even beats out Marc Broussard, who up until last night was my favorite live performer?

- He is BIG on audience participation! He would guide the audience through certain parts of the song to teach us certain riffs that we should sing. At one point his crew threw out a bunch of tiny kazoos so half the audience could be the "saxes" and the other half could be the "horns." And it worked out great! During another song he had the crowd pull out their cell phones, open them, hold them up in the air and jump up and down. It looked soooo cool!

- He can go from 0 to 60 and back to 0 in no time flat. He'd literally be on top of his piano one minute, with the crowd jumping up and down for one song, and the very next song he'd be crooning away at his piano. The crowd was so quiet at times that you could hear a pin drop, or Tori chuckle as she realized the song he was singing was "If I only had a brain."

- He's down with his fans - literally. He jumped into the audience and danced through the crowd. Tori and I were standing near an aisle and as a result, he danced just a couple feet from us. (He's very wee, by the way. If I had to guess, I'd say he's probably 5'3".)

- He's very appreciative. He thanked us all for being there probably a dozen times throughout the show.

- That boy can sing! His upbeat songs had the crowd dancing, while his slower tunes were like being enveloped in an audio hug. I often closed my eyes and just absorbed his honey voice. And damnit, why didn't I ever take piano lessons?

- He sang my favorite song of his: a cover of Radiohead's "High and Dry."

- This was the last show of his US Tour, and we could tell that he went all out.

I'll definitely catch him when he comes back to town. Unfortunately that won't be for another year. Until then, I'll enjoy his CDs as he's now moved into my heavy rotation of 20-something singer/songwriting boys.

"I'll never know what made it so exciting but all at once my heart took flight." - Jamie Cullum, I Could Have Danced All Night

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Father figure

First, thanks to everyone for the encouraging comments to my previous post! It's good to know that I'm not the only one who's had bad luck with new cars. And remind me to never let any of you drive our new car! Heh.

I think I've mentioned previously that I've adopted my mom's theory on dreams featuring loved ones who passed on. She believes that that's their way of communicating with us. Sunday night I dreamt that my father and I were walking one a sidewalk on a campus or near a library. We walked, arm in arm, and I was overcome with the most comforting, warming sensation I've ever felt. There really are no words to describe exactly how I felt. He was healthy and vibrant and comforting.

We had a conversation about something, but all I recall from it is this word: stepfather. You see, Sunday my mom told me that her boyfriend proposed. I really like him, so I have no qualms about his asking. He adores my mom and treats her like the queen she is. He's Filipino and connects my mom to her heritage in a way that I can appreciate (i.e., he makes my favorite Filipino food everytime we visit). And he's always quick to demonstrate how much he wants my and my brother's approval. My mom showed me a picture of him before I met him, and I joked that I didn't like his mustache. I didn't mean for my mom to tell him, but she did. As a result he shaved his mustache, which he had for the past 14 years! For the first year or so that they dated, he'd shave his mustache before I visited them.

So while I'm happy that he's decided to spend the rest of his life with my mom and that she's agreed, a part of me was sad to see that she wasn't wearing her wedding ring anymore and that she officially won't be my dad's wife anymore. But I take comfort in knowing that my dad approves, at least in my dreams.

"We all dream; we do not understand our dreams, yet we act as if nothing strange goes on in our sleep minds, strange at least by comparison with the logical, purposeful doings of our minds when we are awake." - Enich Fromm

Monday, October 23, 2006

Scratch that

Brent's new car had a squeak in its gearshift console ever since we bought it. The dealer we bought it from didn't know how to fix it, and when we tried to take it to a nearby dealership they had no clue either. They asked Brent to bring the car back again so they'd have time to research the problem. Brent brought it back to them last Tuesday and voila! It's quiet as a mouse!

I had the new car this weekend while Brent was out of town. It's quite a change from the 14-year-old car I drive. It's a hybrid and very, very quiet. Brent and I both have taken a lot of pride in the car. Neither of us have ever owned a brand new car. As soon as I returned from my trip to Visalia yesterday afternoon, I headed straight for the car wash to get the squished bugs cleaned off. I took the shiny car home. And then I left to pick up Brent, his dad and bro from the airport.

Here's where the drama starts.

Our condo's parking garage has a gate that connects to the side of the building. It's a tight fit. And it's at an angle. Do you see where this is going? That's right. I scraped up the side of our BRAND. NEW. CAR. One of the backseat doors and the panel behind it, to be exact. I jumped out of the car, already late to the airport, cursing like a sailor and trying to hold back the tears. I hopped in the car and tried not to sob as I drove. I had to keep reminding myself to exhale because I was holding my breath. Stunned, absolutely stunned that I had just royally fucked up his car. It was only perfect for 5 days before I ruined it.

I got to the airport, got out of the car and when Brent noticed my tears, he panicked. "What's wrong?" I gave him a hug and let out my sobs. He told me it was alright, not to worry, etc. He wasn't mad, but I wanted to vomit.

The damage is done and as they say, it's no use crying over spilt milk, but I'm still horrified. No, no one is hurt. No one other than our bank account, that is. Sigh. I suck, but my hubby still loves me.

"You know what they say about a car wreck, where it's so awful you can't look away? The Dundees are like a car wreck that you want to look away from but you have to stare at it because your boss is making you." - Pam, The Office

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Weekend review

Brent spent the weekend in Chicago with his dad and brother, watching the UCLA/Notre Dame game. Friday night I hung out with Josh, Jami, Hallie and 8-day-old Brendan. I got to spend a half hour with a sleeping Brendan on my lap. And it was so touching to see big sis Hallie try to sooth Brendan as he cried by whispering, "Calm down, baby boy. Calm down."

I spent Saturday and Sunday in Visalia, visiting my mom, brother, his wife and my nephew. My nephew is now 14 months old. He's running around and such a cheerful baby.

I cracked up when he would start to do something that he wasn't supposed to, like stand up in his high chair. He thought that if he smiled his 1,000-watt cute smile while doing what he wasn't supposed to, we would be distracted enough by his overwhelming cuteness to notice. And honestly, it's hard to get upset with a kid when he's that cute.

I had a blast getting into full auntie mode with a trip to Target for some toys and new outfits for him. And when I got home tonight I ordered a shirt online for him that says, "If you think I'm good looking, you should see my aunt." It's funny 'cuz it's true. Heh.

"What guides us is children's response, their joy in learning to dance, to sing, to live together. It should be a guide to the whole world." - Yehudi Menuhin

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Reason #84 why I'm a big ol' dork

I just downloaded 15 short podcasts called "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." I'm going to listen to them as I drive to Visalia this morning.

"Michael always says 'K-I-S-S.' 'Keep It Simple, Stupid.' Great advice, hurts my feelings every time." - Dwight, The Office

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g

First comes love...
I've had at least two dreams about John Mayer in the past week. The first was very racy, although I somehow knew it was a dream (think lucid dreaming) and therefore ok to be "cheating" on my hubby. It goes without saying that I'd never hurt my hottie hubby. The second dream involved me spotting John Mayer hanging outside a Target. I stopped to tell him hi and that I was so happy to finally meet him. We had a nice conversation until he was mobbed by a gaggle of girls who spotted him.

Then comes marriage...
Congrats to Angie, who received a fabulous marriage proposal this weekend from her oh-so-romantic now-fiance!

Then comes the baby in the baby carriage...
Congrats to Josh and Jami who welcomed their new baby boy Brendan to the world last week! If he's half as cute as their daughter Hallie, we're all in big trouble. (And from my short meeting yesterday, I can tell ya that he's insanely cute already.)

"It wasn't my one and only marriage proposal. In second grade, a guy proposed to me and besides the fact that he ate paste, he was quite a catch." - Caroline, Caroline in the City

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sleepy head

Where have I been? I've been sleeping, that's where! This overcast fall weather makes it so dark in the morning and impossible to drag myself out of bed. I found myself sleeping till past 10 each day this weekend. While I love sleeping in, I also like to actually enjoy my days off.

With fall just busting its way through the city, I wish we had enough storage space to decorate a little bit with some seasonal stuff. I'd love to have some fun pumpkins and faux leaves to put out for fall/Thanksgiving, but our closets are brimming with enough crap. I don't need to add anymore.

This weekend we returned to our latest culinary find - City Bakery, home of the Pretzel Croissant. I don't even like pretzels but I looooove this. Brent and I split it while we enjoyed The Departed, for which I had low expectations. I am not a Leonardo Dicaprio fan (really, what's his appeal?), but Brent wanted to see it. I'm more of a comedy or romantic comedy kind of gal, but I really enjoyed this. The cast was amazing. Matt Damon plays a bad guy very well. Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg were freakin' hilarious! And Leo? He wasn't bad at all!

I'm getting my haircut on Thursday. I've been thinking about chopping it off from its mid-back length to shoulder length, but I think I'm going to keep it long for a little while. I'm trying to appreciate the length I have now by actually doing it instead of just pulling it up all the time. We'll see what happens between now and Thursday, though. I've been known to change my mind at the last minute.

"That is just not the way a Dunder Mifflin manager should go, I’m sorry. Alone, out of the blue. And not even have his own head to comfort him." - Michael, The Office

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's not a silly little moment

Lots of little things to mention.

- My video iPod went kaput. Luckily it was still under warranty, so voila! I got a new one. As annoying as it was to have to switch out for a new one, it's a blessing in disguise because I took bad care of my old one and the screen was really scratched. I'll take much better care of this one, I promise! I got the clear plastic protector for it.
- I got stood up by the homeless kid I was supposed to tutor last night. Ok, not "stood up," per se. His dad forgot we were all supposed to meet. Next week we'll remind him the day before.
- I have this annoying eye twitch that's been bugging me off and on for the past two weeks. Ugh!
- I picked up some donuts at Winchell's yesterday for a co-worker's birthday. I was suprised to find that they now offer raspados, the Mexican snowcones that Brent, Josh, Jami and I recently discovered. I tried one out today at lunch and while it wasn't as delicious as the ones from the mom and pop place we frequent, it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated.
- On the way home from work tonight I accidentally cut off a motorcycle cop as I pulled out of my work parking lot! But it wasn't my fault! He was coming the other way, around a corner and was seriously going 10 miles above the speed limit! Luckily he didn't pull a u-turn and pull my ass over. I don't know how I would have convinced a cop that it was HIS asshat fault (at least in my eyes). Brent said he probably realized that he was in the wrong and that's why he didn't pull me over. Phew.

"It's not a silly little moment. It's not the storm before the calm. This is the deep and dyin breath of this love we've been workin on." - John Mayer, Slow Dancing In A Burning Room

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Shave and a haircut...two bits!

Nanners: do you need anything from Rite Aid?
Nanners: I'm picking up my prescriptions tonight
Brent: ummmmmmmmmm
Brent: i dont think so
Brent: no
Brent: i do
Brent: some sort of shaving cream
Brent: you can decide
Brent: i have no preference
Nanners: hee, hee
Nanners: ok
Brent: manly shaving cream
Nanners: LOL!
Nanners: you said you have no preference!
Brent: manly!
Nanners: Ok, ok
Brent: like you have to put twice as much on because it makes hair grow at the same time
Nanners: I got it...

"I think you should, yeah. You should wash your beard, then shave it off, nail it to a Frisbee and fling it over a rainbow." - Bernard, Black Books

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hostess with the mostess

This weekend Shelby came to town for one of her fun-filled visits! It started with a trip to Coffee Bean, where I'm somewhat ashamed yet proud of myself at the same time for recognizing the girl who starred in John Mayer's "Your Body is a Wonderland" video. All I could think was, "She got PAID to make out with John Mayer!"

On Saturday we went shopping, saw Employee of the Month (funny, but more of a renter) and saw Jason Brooks shopping. Shelby knew him as Peter on Days of our Lives while I remembered him as the guy Phoebe bit during a massage on Friends.

We went to Susie Cakes to get cupcakes and banana pudding. Heavenly! I've confirmed that I enjoy their cupcakes more than Sprinkles. We got those treats to follow our dinner of sandwiches from Bay Cities. I'm pretty sure the counter guys recognize me now.

Sunday we hit the gym to burn off some of those treats. Then we strolled The Grove/Farmer's Market shopping area, where we spotted Mr. Jackass himself – Johnny Knoxville. He was in the Apple store, returning a computer.

We ended the weekend with the obligatory trip to Versailles, this time with Josh, Jami and daughter Hallie. Mmmm…roast pork.

And somewhere along the way, I discovered that my iPod is not happy. I tried to update to the latest software and it now continuously freezes. I have an appointment tonight to get it fixed. Let's see if these Apple dudes know what they're talking about.

Dwight: Why do they call him “The Bus”?
Michael: Because he’s afraid to fly.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The 10 Commandments of Concert Attendance

Thou shalt not makeout with girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband/random guy/random girl.

Thou shalt not take up more than space than the rules of concert etiquette dictate. This includes seizure-like dancing when the crowd is standing shoulder to shoulder.

Thou shalt not ignore the fact that your huge mass of hair is touching other people.

Thou shalt not bring huge handbags that hit other people. Thou shalt find a smaller purse to carry.

Thou shalt not scream out, "I LOVE YOU, [INSERT NAME]!" because honestly, they don't love you back. And if they happen to respond, other concertgoers shalt not scream out"I LOVE YOU, TOO!" in order to achieve additional responses from the artist.

Thou shalt not talk loudly, especially during quiet songs.

Thou shalt not scream out song requests. If they really liked that song, they would have added it to the playlist.

Thou shalt not yell, "WHO ARE YOU?" to an artist when you can easily ask someone around you who probably knows.

Thou shalt not get shitfaced and run into fellow concertgoers.

Thou shalt not stand directly in front of someone who is 5'4" if you are 6'4", 6'3", 6'2", 6'1", etc., especially if they were there first.

"You can be in charge of the women." - Dwight, The Office

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Peanut butter me up

Tonight I busted out the baking tins and my new sprinkles to make cupcakes in honor of a co-worker's birthday.

I got the recipe from here. In a nutshell, it's chocolate cake batter poured over Double Stuff Peanut Butter Cream Oreos, with more Oreos crumbled on top of the batter before it bakes. I used this recipe for the chocolate cake, which was more than enough for 24 regular-sized cupcakes and 24 mini-cupcakes! (Be forewarned that the recipe is really runny, but it bakes up nicely.)

The best part is that the cupcakes turn out a little crunchy on the bottom because of the Oreos! I think I'll try it with the Double Stuff Mint Oreos next time!


Ready for frosting!

Mmmm, cupcakes

Cupcake courier


Another excuse to bust out the oh-so-gigantic-yet-oh-so-useful Cupcake Courier.

"You bet your Bibby Babkas I'm bitter, baby! I busted my butt baking these itty bitty binkis, and believe me, I banked on a bit of basic brotherly bolstering!" - Balki Bartokomous, Perfect Strangers

Monday, October 02, 2006

No love

I'm not feeling the comment love, despite an increasing number of readers. Looks like I'm gonna have to spice it up a bit. I'll try to give you more interesting fodder to comment on, I promise.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Awesome gif courtesy of Tacos Rebellion.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Weekend in review

I spent the weekend in Sacramento with Stacie. We went to the John Mayer concert at the Sleep Train Amphitheater in Marysville. We got there during John's first song (stupid traffic!) but no worries because it was an amazing show and we had 9th row, center seats! Before I get to the awesomeness of the show, let me complain about the two asshat girls who were trying to share one seat next to me. (Apparently they couldn't get seats together.) Well, I didn't really care about it until they started to block my view of the stage. I politely asked them to move over and they started to throw a hissy fit. I'm very non-confrontational, but they pushed the wrong button and I had to put them in their place (verbally - I'm a lover, not a fighter). They moved to empty seats in the row in front of us shortly thereafter. Asshats.

Anyhow, the show was fabulous! John is an amazing performer and for the record, I love the long hair. He has a really powerful voice and can work a guitar like nobody's business. He writes songs that capture the essence of life and yes, I'm being cheesy. I'm a huge fan, needless to say.

We decided to forgo Sheryl Crow's performance (they're touring together and thankfully he was playing first last night). So after John's set we found a woman with her 6-year-old daughter who were sitting in the nosebleed section and offered our seats. She was understandably hesistant at first, but once we explained that we were leaving, she and her daughter were very thankful.

After the show we met Stacie's boyfriend at a fun dive bar in downtown Sacramento where we danced and saw a transvestite (not in full get-up last night, but he's a regular there) get in a fist fight with some other guy who was making homophobic remarks. (The transvestite won, by the way, and I'm glad he did.)

Today we saw The Last Kiss, which I enjoyed although I wanted to punch Rachel Bilson's character. Stacie then dropped me off at the airport, where I discovered an outrageously long security wait. Luckily I got there an hour and a half before my departure time unlike some other passengers who asked to cut in line because they were there 7 minutes before their flight! What the? Who does that??? I also witnessed another passenger get upset when security told her to throw out her Starbucks drink. Um, hello Captain Obvious. No liquids over 3 oz. allowed, even if they're double-espresso, half-caff mochiatos with an extra shot.

"Oh gravity, stay the hell away from me. And gravity has taken better men than me. You see now how can that be?" - John Mayer, Gravity

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Story time

One Thursday night, Nanette had justJENN over to watch The Office, their favorite show. Jenn had her first sandwich from Bay Cities Deli. Nanette and Brent enjoyed delicious cream puffs from Beard Papa's, compliments of Jenn.

They laughed and gasped and cringed as they watched The Office. And then Jenn gave Nanette goodies brought back from her trip to Hawaii.

Goodies from justJENN

Look at all the treats!

In addition to the Hawaiian treats, Jenn brought an extra special gift from fellow blogger, Myra. As Nanette unwrapped the beautifully packaged gift, she giggled in anticipation as she hoped it was what she thought it was. Last month Nanette had asked Myra if one of her creations had any siblings that Nanette could adopt and bring to the mainland. Low and behold, Myra had given Jenn a gorgeous, hand-sewn (absolutely stunning) turtle for Nanette to have as her own! Nanette was thrilled! She decided to call him "Sam."

Sam watched Grey's Anatomy with Nanette.
Sam watches Grey's Anatomy with me


He also checked out photos of his brother Sebastian. (Sebastian lives in Hawaii with Myra.)
Sam & his brother


Sam also enjoyed reading Nanette's copy of the O.G. book Jenn wrote! (He thinks O.G. is HILARIOUS, btw.)
Sam reads O.G.'s book

Stay tuned for more of Sam's adventures. He's so cute, portable, photogenic and eager to explore!

"Some people need dozens of friends to say, 'Hey, look at me. I'm popular!' But not me. I'm very picky. I need 3, maybe 2." - Michael, The Office

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Unbearable

I saw this and sent it to Brent. Such a sad situation! Brent was quick to point out, though, that the bear does look sorry.

"That fabric softener teddy bear... oooh, I'm gonna hunt that little bitch." - Dean Winchester, Supernatural

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hey, hey baby

As I'm sure my married blogger friends can attest, the most frequent questions newlyweds are faced with have to do with babies. So let me answer your baby-related questions that you haven't asked...yet.

When are you going to start a family? Probably next year.

Why the wait? We want to go to Italy first because traveling is much easier without a baby in tow. We also would like to try to upgrade to a larger house.

How many? Probably two. We don't want anymore than we can afford.

What's your preference for boys or girls? No preference, although it would be nice to have one of each. Growing up I always thought it'd be great to have boy-girl twins, but I know better now.

Names? No ideas. I do know that Brent hasn't liked most of the names I've ever thrown out. I'm sure we'll have some interesting discussions when the time comes.

"So scared of gettin older. I'm only good at being young. So I play the numbers game. I find a way to say that life has just begun." - John Mayer, Stop This Train

Weekend by the numbers

Number of Marc Broussard shows I enjoyed: 1
Number of concert-goers I wanted to punch for poor concert etiquette: 5, maybe more

Number of Mexican snowcones (raspados) that I had: 1
Number I wanted: 4+

Number of times I watched The Office premiere again: 1
Number of times I'll probably watch it again: 2

Number of minutes I cried from laughter during Jackass 2: 5
Number of times I almost vomitted during Jackass 2: 3
Number of times I covered my eyes during Jackass 2: 4

"In business, it's about numbers. It's all about how much you bring in to the bottom line at the end of the year. Rather than, 'You should just buy this product because I'm cute.'" - Bill Rancic, The Apprentice

Friday, September 22, 2006

Don't say I didn't warn ya

I'm a little hopped up on a Coffee Bean Pumpkin Pie Latte as I forgot to ask for decaf (or half-decaf), like I usually do so please forgive my hyper rambling in advance.

Last night I had dinner with a fabulous bunch of my friends while I TiVo'd The Office and Grey's Anatomy. (Yay for great company and yummy food!) I think I drove lightspeed home (safely, of course) and Brent had to tell me to simmer down when I ran in, screaming, "Let's watch The Office! Let's watch The Office!" It was SO. FREAKING. HILARIOUS. I won't post any spoilers, but it was a really great way to start off the season. I was literally screaming at points, and had tears of laughter in my eyes. I also need to find some office supplies to encase in Jell-o.

I did watch Grey's Anatomy and it looked good, but I need to rewatch it because I was tired and was trying to get Jenn an email recap for The Office because she sadly missed it while she's in Hawaii. And as much as I love Grey's, The Office is my priority any day. I also TiVo'd 6 degrees, but haven't seen it yet.

This weekend I'm trying to talk Brent into going to the Lobster Festival in Redondo Beach, and we're going to see Marc Broussard and G. Love perform in Anaheim. Have I mentioned that Marc is one of my favorite live performers? Can't wait! Can't wait! Can't wait!

Oh, and earlier this week I saw Grease on the Santa Monica Pier, as previously mentioned. It was a happy surprise to see Sha Na Na (the band from the Bandstand scene in Grease) there, performing, along with a bunch of the cast to celebrate the release of a special edition DVD. Cast members included the folks who played Frenchy (Didi Conn), Kenickie (Jeff Conaway), Patty Simcox (Susan Buckner), Cha Cha DiGregorio (Annette Charles) and Eugene Felnic (Eddie Deezen). By the way, do you know the Hand Jive? My friends and I did, and we enjoyed doing it, but no one else seemed to know it. I thought this was a given for any Grease fan.

"Men are rats, listen to me, they're fleas on rats, worse than that, they're amoebas on fleas on rats. I mean, they're too low for even the dogs to bite. The only man a girl can depend on is a daddy." - Frenchy, Grease

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Look what I got

My hubby loves me. He proved it with this red Swingline stapler. (Notice the fun Kleenex box on my desk.)

"...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, Office Space

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ahoy, mateys!

It be National Talk Like a Pirate Day! Aarrrrrr!

Ahoy, i'm feelin' better. Me think my cold is finally gone. I decided t' skip Ray's concert last eve in order t' get better. I was sad t' miss Ray but happy that someone else who was eager t' see him got t' enjoy the show. Avast I hear the tickets war goin' for quite a bit, too.

Tonight I'm seein' Grease on the Santa Monica Pier. Goin' t' have good sandwiches with some good friends.

You landlubbers enjoy the rest of the day, talk like pirates or you'll be walking da plank and find yerself in Davey Jones' locker!

Kramer: You'll be the first modern-day pirate, Jerry!
Jerry: But I don't want to be a pirate!
- Seinfeld

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Weak weekend

Friday night Brent and I checked out famed graffiti artist Banksy's exhibit. You may have heard about him recently because he replaced a bunch of Paris Hilton's CDs with satirical versions. You can check out a recap and pics of the exhibit here. The artist is getting a lot of flack for using a live elephant in one of his pieces. The elephant was off the clock by the time we got there, so we didn't have a chance to see him.

We had planned to visit my family and friends in Visalia on Saturday and Sunday, but I woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat and flu-symptoms so we skipped the trip. I've gone through a box of Kleenex within 24 hours and my nose is red like Rudolph. And there's now a permanent outline of my body on our couch. By the way, weekend (day and night) tv SUCKS, even with a bunch of channels via DirecTV. And I reached the end of the internet - twice!

Luckily Nurse Brent took good care of me, providing plenty of Coffee Bean, mac 'n' cheese and orange juice.

Ooooh! Almost forgot about one of the weekend highlights. Today I decided to go to the grocery store with Brent. You know, to get out of the house.

Brent: A lot has changed while you've been inside.
Me: Really? Like what?
Brent: Well, Santa Monica seceded from California. It's now a part of Delaware.
Me: Oooh! What else?
Brent: Dogs can fly now!
Me: Wow!
Brent: Yeah, we did NOT see that coming!

"I'm either so sick in the head I need to be bled dry to quit. Or I just really used to love him. I sure hope that’s it." - Fiona Apple, Tymps