Monday, January 30, 2006

Eye Sore

My eyes are sore from too much computer time. I need to back away. Between work, wedding planning, reading blogs, blogging, messing with iTunes, it's a bit much. I think I need to step away from the computer...and towards the TV! Mu-wa-haha!

Seriously, I need to go to sleep. Ugh, let's see if I can get up early enough to make it to a 6 a.m. spinning class.

"Watching football is like watching pornography. There's plenty of action, and I can't take my eyes off it, but when it's over, I wonder why the hell I spent an afternoon doing it." - Luke Salisbury

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Know When To Hold 'Em, Know When To Fold 'Em


This weekend while Shelby was in town I joined her and some of her former co-workers for a girls' night of poker. I'd never played before, other than some occasional handheld video games or a couple video poker slots at casinos. And I'd definitely never played Texas Hold 'Em, a more communal version of poker. Shelby regularly has girls' poker nights where she lives, so she's basically a pro.

We each put in $10 and got the same amount of chips, which had no relation to the pot of cash. Whomever had the most in chips at the end of the night got to take home the pool of cash - a total of $60 as there were six of us playing. It took me a while to catch on to the game as I was shy about betting too much and taking risks. I finally got into the swing of things and started betting big and taking chances, especially when I realized that the chips I was hoarding wouldn't do me any good beyond our game of poker.

The game dwindled down to three of us after the other three lost all their chips. I was about to fold my last hand, but the others convinced me to stay in because after all, it was the last hand. We started betting big and low and behold, I ended up winning the hand. We counted up the chips and to everyone's surprise, especially me, I had the most in chips and won the pool of cash! I left with $50 more than I came with! Talk about beginner's luck!

Now I have to convince some of the gals in my circle of friends to try out our own ladies' night of poker!

"Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker. " - Mike McDermott, Rounders

Thursday, January 26, 2006

iPod Playlistless

After I finished uploading all of my CDs to iTunes and my iPod, I found myself getting really overwhelmed by my listening options. For whatever reason, choosing something to listen to from approximately 4,500 songs isn't an easy task. It's quite different than choosing a CD from the 50 or so I'd keep in my car. I had to create some playlists to fit my mood and make it that much easier to quickly decide what to listen to, especially in my car where I do most of my iPod listening. My playlists include:

Workout - cardio: I need really upbeat music to keep me going. I tried to listen to a podcast and watch an episode of Desperate Housewives that I'd missed, but I only got about 75% of my usual workout intensity. Some of my favorite cardio workout songs right now include "Tear You Apart" by She Wants Revenge, "Technologic" by Daft Punk, "Age of Consent" by New Order, "Lose My Breath" by Beyonce and "Wanna Be Startin' Something" by Michael Jackson.

Workout - weights: This is the place for music that makes me want to kick someone's ass, just what I need while lifting weights. Current favorites include "Jesus Walks" and "New Workout Plan" by Kanye West, "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails and "Army of Me" by Bjork.

Workout videos: This is what I watch while I'm on the elliptical machine. Videos include "Beat of my heart" by Hilary Duff, "Harder to Breathe" by Maroon 5, "Since You Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson, "Dare" by Gorillaz, "Around the World" by Daft Punk and "Boyfriend" by Ashley Simpson. Yup, lots of teeny bopper stuff. Don't knock it till ya try it!

20-something boys: When I'm in the mood for my "boys," I rely on this list. It features lots of John Mayer, Gavin Degraw, Maroon 5, Marc Broussard, Howie Day, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Josh Kelley, James Blunt and Death Cab for Cutie. I'm about to add some Ben Lee, my latest discovery. His songs are amazing - it's like listening to a hug!

Car dancing: I'm the girl you see in the car next to you rockin' out, especially at stoplights. Favorites for this list include Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Something" and "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough," Salt N Pepa's "Shoop" and "Whatta Man," and Van Morrison's "Wild Night."

Crooners: This is the playlist when I feel like having a honey voice dripped all over me. My crooners include plenty of Harry Connick Jr., Jamie Cullum and Michael Buble.

Girls: Last, but certainly not least, I give some props to the ladies. This list includes Sarah Barailles, Rachel Yamagata, Gwen Stefani, Jem, Fiona Apple, Joss Stone and Tori Amos, among others.

What are your playlist categories?

[about a vintage Wurlitzer jukebox] "And here, another rarity - according to the archives, this was called an iPod. It stores classical music from humanity's greatest composers - play on!" [jukebox plays Soft Cell's "Tainted Love"] - Cassandra, Doctor Who

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Why my new job is awesome

1. My workday doesn't start till 9 (as opposed to my previous 8:30).
2. My workday ends at 5 (as opposed to my previous 5:30).
3. My new boss took me to one of my favorite little hole-in-the-wall restaurants for lunch.
4. Another boss actually encouraged me to blog at work, as long as I'm not creating more blog content than content for my company's site. (I probably won't. I do my best blogging at home.)
5. This is the first time I wore jeans to a new job on the first day as it was the most apropos.

"Would I rather be feared or loved? Um... Easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me." - Michael Scott, The Office

Monday, January 23, 2006

Recent Randomness

- Walking through a local bookstore, a 30-something guy said to me as I walked by, "I bet you're a party animal." Um, no.
- My hair has been filled with static! It's nice and straight and shiny... and stuck to my face!!! It's not a good look for me.
- I had today off before starting my new job tomorrow. I took a 9:15 spin class this morning and couldn't believe how packed it was! Don't people work 9 to 5?
- My florist and coordinator both (separately) noticed my 30-lb weight loss. Yay!
- I think my hands and feet are shrinking, too. I've been a size 7 ring since high school, yet I got sized today and I'm now a size 6.5! I bought some really cute shoes at Target today and had to buy size 9, when I normally wear 9.5/10. I hope it's just those shoes. I don't think I could handle having to replace all my shoes. Yikes!

"OK, so... so... sometimes I lie. I mean, I'm weird, man. About random stuff too, I don't even know why I do it. It's like... it's like a tick, I mean sometimes I hear myself say something and think, Wow, that wasn't even remotely true." - Sam, Garden State

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Voices Carry

I've been meaning to post, but everytime I start to, I hit this crazy writer's block. I think it's because I "outed" my blog to a bunch of co-workers who I'd like to keep in touch with before my last day, so now I'm really self-conscious. I'll deal, though.

Friday was my last day at work. It was very surreal. I had worked really, really hard over the past two weeks to ensure that I wouldn't leave my team cursing me in my absence. My completing projects was similar to a hot-dog eating contest: I shoved as many hot dogs into my mouth (ok, I realize this is starting to sound dirty), dipping the buns in water until I was declared the champion, much like Kobayashi. Hmm...that analogy sounded much better in my head. Oh, well. I'm so excited to start my new job on Tuesday! Can I tell you how happy I am not to have to keep track of my career in 15-minute increments for the first time in 6 years??? And I get to go back to Microsoft Outlook rather than the asshat Lotus Notes (e-mail systems). :::doing the happy dance:::

Moving on...

We're in full-force wedding-planning mode. We ordered our wedding rings yesterday from a really nice family-owned jeweler in Los Angeles' jewelry district. We had gotten quotes from a few places for my custom ring, but Brent didn't decide what exactly he wanted until yesterday so we didn't really shop around. We felt like we were getting a good deal, really liked the jewelers (others had been snooty) and took advantage of their 20% off sale. Wouldn't you know it - we got home, Brent did a search online and found his ring a lot cheaper. He's still determining if it's the same quality, but he's going to call the jeweler and ask him about it. I'm sure the jeweler will cite the price difference as something about quality, but we'll see. They were really nice and I can't imagine they'd be asses. If worse comes to worst, we have two business days ('til Tuesday, like an 80s band whose lyrics justJenn probably knows all of) to refund Brent's ring.

Today we're meeting with our day-of coordinator and florist to finalize the timeline and flowers and decide on rentals. It'll be a few hours of Brent feigning interest, which he does so well.

My dress arrives Monday or Tuesday! Shelby is visiting next weekend and bringing her dress for the wedding, so we're going to play dress-up. I have my shoes (they're really fabulous, by the way) and some potential earrings (haven't decided if they're too heavy). We've secured our cake place, which blew away the other six places where we tasted. We're going to order some samples of the two wedding cake flavors we're deciding between and taste them with Brent's family.

We booked our honeymoon (10 nights in Hawaii - Kauai and Maui, baby), so now I'm working on our honeymoon registry. By the way, if you're a Costco member and are planning a trip, check out their travel agency. We saved $1,000 on the package AAA was offering.
By the way, does is smell like updog in here?

Michael: They say a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind. Well I say an empty desk means an...
Dwight: ... empty mind ...
Michael: No,no, that's not what I was gonna say...
- The Office

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Work it out

Things that annoyed me at the gym tonight:
- The guy in spinning who does the complete opposite of what the instructor asks us to, all the while wearing his iPod earbuds
- The guy in spinning who's buddy kept interupting the class to talk to him - twice
- The girl on the bike next to me who had to be told to get off her cell phone
- The girl on the bike in front of me who kept leaving and coming back
- The guy who came in 10 minutes before class ended, obviously had no idea what he was doing, proceeded to get on a bike next to me without adjusting it
- The substitute instructor for hip-hop class, which I took after spinning. His routines are way more male cheerleader than hip-hop and he spent more time teaching the routine than letting us actually get a workout from dancing.

Things that I enjoyed at the gym tonight:
- Perhaps all the frustration manifested into a better workout during spinning. I think I worked 25% harder than usual.
- Because it was the substitute teacher in hip-hop, lots of people left, leaving me with more room to dance.
- Sweat, lots of sweat.

"Okay, for the bizillionth time, yes I see other women in the shower at the gym, and no I don't look." - Monica, Friends

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Invading My Space

I'm officially a fan of MySpace.com. When I first signed up, I looked up a few people, but didn't really find anyone. Then people started to find me. People from high school who were fellow band geeks. High school classmates who shared the same English class. Junior college classmates. University classmates. Someone from high school decided to look me up after seeing my engagement announcement in my hometown paper last weekend. She sent me a really nice note to congratulate me. And tonight one of my cousins, who happens to attend a local college, found me. We're going to try to get together soon.

It's been fun connecting with folks from the past, even if it's just virtually. That, combined with the new folks I've met via my blogs (and theirs) makes the Interweb so much freakin' fun.

By the way, you can add me to your list of My Space friends via: http://www.myspace.com/nannersp

"Baking a cake is a lot like friendship. You put a lot of work into it, and sometimes it doesn't turn out the way you thought it would, but it still tastes good." - Brink, Brink

Monday, January 16, 2006

Three-Day Weekend Highlights

First, I'm apparently the only person in the world who doesn't know about this world-famous photo from Martin Luther King's assassination.

Second, my three-day weekend was nice and relaxing. It included:

- Dinner with Josh, Jami and Hallie
- Addressed wedding invites
- Went to the gym, where I was on an eliptical machine next to a woman wearing white gloves (and not the workout kind). I thought she was a germaphobe (or a hand model) but she took them off half-way through the workout. I think she was a little crazy, though, because she started hitting and cursing at the machine for no apparent reason.
- Dinner at PF Changs with Tori, Jen and Toni
- Watched Red Eye on DVD, which was surprisingly good
- Woke up in the middle ofthe night last night again thinking it was an earthquake. Alas, a search this morning didn't indicate any nearby earthquakes.
- Went to the LA Zoo with Josh and his daughter Hallie, where we saw the CUTEST baby red ape. Lemme tell ya - ain't nothing cuter than experience the zoo through the eyes of an almost-2-year-old.
- Shopped for wedding rings
- Started knitting again
- Enjoyed the start of the new season of 24. Actually, "enjoyed" doesn't fully cover it. I screamed, my heart was pounding, and I kept yelling, "OH NO!!!"

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Very Engaging

A year ago today Brent surprised me in Santa Barbara with a massage at a fabulous resort and a very sparkly ring. We officially became "betrothed." It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year since he got down on one knee, I burst into tears while some onlookers scurried away to give us privacy. One year since I called my mom, who could barely hear me because of the so-so cell reception at the secluded resort, and I had to yell, "HE GAVE ME A RING!" And she replied non-chalantly, "What? I can't hear you. Call me back."

It's also hard to believe that there's only 83 days until we say, "I do." As I check-off my list of things to do, such as addressing invitations (which I did yesterday), I'm trying to remain calm and very, very excited about the big day. And e-mails like this from my future mother-in-law also make me very happy: This is so exciting !!!!!!!! I love you dearly and am ecstatic that you are marrying Brent. Am I lucky, or what !

Yay for awesome in-laws!

"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

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lurk Around You


Hey, you! Lurker! As Yvett and Jen pointed out, it's National De-Lurker Week. That means that if you're reading this, you have to comment. All you lurkers who read but never comment, you must or you will be cursed with a lifetime of Nickelback, pimento loaf and bad hair.

"That doesn't mean anything. They're freaky little creatures. They lurk." -John Munch, Law & Order, SVU

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My Depot Doppelganger

Brent called me into the living room to show me something on tv. He prefaced it with, "I saw this girl and thought she was cute and then I realized why. She looks just like you!!!"

Here's a comparison shot so you can see for yourself.

The Home Depot girl:
Home Depot Girl

Me (Brent had me pose just like her so you can really see the similarities):
me

"So I go to the doctor, and he did the bio... the b... the... the bios... the... b... the 'bobopsy.' Inside the lump he found teeth and a spinal cord. Yes. Inside the lump was my twin." - Aunt Voula, My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Monday, January 09, 2006

Freak On A Leash

I like dogs, as long as they're not barking or jumping on me. I completely understand the appeal of taking dogs out with you when you're going to dog-friendly places, like the park, certain outdoor cafes, etc. What I don't understand, which runs rampant especially here in Los Angeles, is taking dogs shopping with you. Inside the stores. And not carrying them. I was at Banana Republic this weekend when a woman walks in with her Yorkie on a leash. A long leash, at that. I caught the eye of one of the sales people there, who seemed to be thinking the same thing I was: "What the???"

Brent and I have also had too many recent encounters with dog owners on very busy, small sidewalks in a shopping area, where they've let their dogs wander a good 15 feet away from them, all the while we're trying not to trip over the excessive leash while they're on their cell phone or chatting about poser-hipster stuff with other poser-hipsters. Brent has threatened to start carrying scissors with him - for the leashes AND for haircuts that offend him. I'd pay to see that, as long as I could pretend he wasn't with me.

In other bizarre-o neighborhood encounters, we were at a restaurant patio this weekend having breakfast when a man pulls out two packs of cigarettes and a lighter. He grabs one of the packets of Sweet N Low. "Wanna see how bad this sweetener is for you?," he asks his friend, who also just pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He proceeds to rip open the package, light his lighter and sprinkle the sweetener over the flame. "It's flammable!" Irony, anyone?

"Is it fair that Pluto has to wear a leash and sleep in a doghouse while Goofy, who is also a dog, gets to drive around in a car and play golf with Mickey?" - Louis Stevens, Even Stevens

Saturday, January 07, 2006

New Year, New Career

It's been too long since I last posted. I've been busy, ya know, with wedding planning, decompressing from the holiday season, welcoming the new year and oh yeah, switching careers. I've decided to shift gears from my career as a public relations executive back to my roots in journalism. I'm really excited to start a new position in a couple of weeks as an editor for an online trade publication about interactive marketing. I'll get to immerse myself in the world of blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other ways that companies market themselves to their key audiences online.

Stay tuned for blog posts about me calling my new co-workers by the wrong name, parking in the "reserved" spots by accident, learning to use a new phone system while everyone wonders who keeps calling "911," and stapling my sleeve to important documents in front of my new boss. All of you know I'm not EVEN kidding about these potential Nanette-ified antics, all of which I'd do with a big ol' smile on my face.

"So you got the fax. So why didn't you add it to the resume? What do you mean? Of course martial arts training is relevant. Oh excuse me, I know about a billion Asians that would beg to differ. Uh, yeah, I get a little frustrated when I'm dealing with incompetence. Well, you know what? You can go to hell and I will see you there. Burning. Fine. Oh, wait, so you'll let me know when you've made a decision?" - Dwight Schrute, The Office

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

1-800-TECH-SUPPORT

Sometimes technology can be a savior. It can connect us with long lost loved ones. It keeps us up-to-date on the latest news worldwide. It helps us get our work done and let's us order bizarre trinkets from across the country. In other instances, it's not so helpful. Brent introduced his parents to the wonderful World Wide Web a couple years ago. When we lived with them, on a daily (ok, hourly) basis, we'd hear their requests screamed across the home for "TECH SUPPORT!" This request was usually followed by, "I can't get my b-mail to work." "Ya mean e-mail?" "Tree-mail?" "No, e-mail." "Me-mail?" AARG!

When we moved to our condo, we thought we had given them all the tools they'd need to successfully navigate the internet. Nope. Now our phone rings at least daily (ok, hourly) with requests like, "This page isn't loading." "What's the Web site address?" "Huh?" "The Web site address? Ok, open another window." "What's a window?"

Brent tries to get me involved with answering their questions, but I can usually respond with, "If Brent doesn't know how to fix it, I certainly won't."

I've often thought of showing my mom how to use the Web so she could e-mail me and learn to order things online for herself, but then I'm sure I'd get tech support requests, but this time with a Filipiino accent. "Nanette, how do I get on da Beb?" "The Web?" "Dats what I said, da Beb!" "Just enter a Web address and click 'enter'." "But I don't know da address. And bear's the "enter" button? How do I play solitaire? Can I ebay?"

Next time you surf the Web, send an e-mail, upload an attachment or leave a comment (hint, hint), think how fortunate we are to know what we know about technology. And if all else fails, you can yell for TECH SUPPORT!

"I wanna wake up! Tech support! It's a nightmare! Tech support! Tech support!" - David, Vanilla Sky

Monday, January 02, 2006

4-day Weekend Highlights

- New Year's Eve dinner at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, C&O, followed by a lazy night at home to celebrate the new year
- Finally saw Brokeback Mountain, which I really enjoyed. The struggles that relationship had to endure were amazing.
- Post-holiday shopping at the Gap and Express (great deals!)
- Brent picked up his suit for the wedding! I won't see it until the big day, even though Brent taunted me while he tried it on. "Are you sure you don't want to see it???" Brat!
- Tried the yummy Sinless (fat-free, no-sugar-added) ice cream from Coldstone Creamery, with strawberries, bananas and graham crackers added in. Very delicious!
- Started to ramp up wedding planning again. Time's a ticking.

"Malcolm, you gotta help me. Is there a scientific way to prove if ice cream can be used as sunscreen?" - Francis, Malcolm in the Middle

Storm Watch 2006

Looks like we're going to be stuck inside all day today because of all this crazy rain. It's seriously raining sideways! We were watching the Rose Parade (those poor parade participants, drenched) and a flash flood warning scrolled across the screen. Good thing we're on the second floor.

Yikes - as I type this, the rain just got about five times worse! The sky just opened up and is POURING gallons and gallons! I should have asked Santa for a boat this year.

"Now let's go to Greg The Weather Mime. OK... it's going to be cold... lots of wind... and it looks like parents are going to throw human fecal matter from the rooftops onto their children... oh, GOD. That's awful. No wait, it looks like rain. Yes, rain." - Tom Tucker, Family Guy

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Random Questions For No One In Particular

- Can those peeps who have vowed to workout more during 2006 but will eventually give up hurry up and give up so Brent and I don't have to endure such a crowded gym?
- Why do old people insist on telling me, in explicit detail, all about their illnesses? It's not like the first thing I say to them is, "Hi, I'm Nanette. And I'm healthy as an ox!"
- Why did I wake up twice in the middle of the night, thinking there was an earthquake, only to discover this morning that there were no earthquakes last night?
- Is anyone else happily surprised that even though I ate like a mad woman for most of last week (Thai, Filipino & Chinese food, along with large amounts of holiday desserts) that I still somehow managed to lose a pound?
- Is anyone else addicted to their iPod?
- Do I have to go back to work on Tuesday?
- Why wasn't Family Stone better? And why did it make itself out to be a comedy when in fact it was much more of a drama?
- Will I get to see Brokeback Mountain and/or Pride & Prejudice this weekend?
- Have any of you Los Angelinos seen the new and improved Century City all? It's all fancy, schmancy.

"He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever." - Chinese Proverb