Wednesday, June 28, 2006

All the cool kids are doing it

As inspired by recent posts by Hil and jenn, I want to turn the tables and find out about YOU, especially the lurkers!

- Where ya from? Married? Kids?
- What do you do (for work and play)?
- How'd you find this here blog?
- Tell me one of your other favorite daily reads!

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Kick it

You know those daydream scenes that Ali McBeal and JD on Scrubs have? The kind where they stop and think for a second about some crazy scenario that is only remotely related to the situation they're in? Well, lately I've been daydreaming about kicking doors in - like bathroom stalls, office doors, house doors. I think it'd be the funniest thing ever. Maybe I have a subconscious desire to make a memorable entrance everywhere I go.

This has replaced my daydream of sliding everything off someone's desk in a fit of rage.

Perhaps I'll combine the two and kick in someone's office door and then slide everything off their desk. Too bad my work doesn't cause me to "rage." Would it have the same result if I did it while laughing?

"Kick it! You wake up late for school man you don't wanna go. You ask you mom, 'Please?' but she still says, 'No!'" - Beastie Boys, Fight for Your Right (to Party)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Driving me even MORE insane

When I wrote this blog entry a couple weeks ago, little did I know that I'd have enough gripes for a sequel!

- Thumping base on your stereo. I don't need to hear your thump, thump, thud.
- Not using your blinker. I hate when cars just cut me off without any warning. I'm happy to let folks in when they use their blinker.
- Leaving your blinker on. I don't know which is worse, but I hate getting behind a car that has its blinker on, leaving me wondering if they are about to change lanes when it's really just their obliviousness.
- Not acknowledging you just pulled an asshat driving move. You just veered across three lanes, landing right in front of me, almost hitting my car. An apologetic wave would be nice. Hell, I'd be content with at least a glance my way.
- Getting mad at ME for something stupid YOU did!
- Not waving/acknowledging that I let you in. I can't tell you how many times a day, after letting a car squeeze in front of me and the 50+ cars, Brent and I mutter under our breath, "You better wave, Motha Fucka." And nothing.
- Why do I attract all the cars that want to rush to get in front of me only to slow to a crawl? Why, why, why?

Not that I'm bitter or anything. I'd like to think that I'm a courteous driver living in a rude world. At least that's what I'll keep telling myself.

"I'm headin' down the Atlanta highway, lookin' for the love getaway, love getaway." - B-52s, Love Shack

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Weekend defined

Scary: Arriving at a restaurant for dinner only to find out that it's been closed for "emergency kitchen repairs" as directed by Department of Health Services. Gulp.

Awkward: Talking to a Filipino car salesman about my being half Filipina while hubby prepares to testdrive one of his cars. Accidentally respond to a compliment about how pretty I am from salesman with "Mahal kita" instead of "Salamat." Salamat = thank you. Mahal kita = I love you.

Entertaining: A Saturday night show at the Greek Theater featuring Damien Rice and Fiona Apple. Damien's set was amazing and magical. Fiona was really great, although she did look like something straight out of a psych ward or The Ring with her outfit that resembled a night gown and her funky movements and dancing while performing. Her music is haunting and her moves were a bit scary. This was the third time I've seen her and was definitely the best.

Sadness: Throwing out two leftover red velvet cupcakes because Brent and I can only eat so many. I've never thrown a cupcake out in my life.

Lustful: These William Sonoma cupcake tins. I want them. Two of them, actually, because who makes make less than a dozen cupcakes? Even Brent thought they were cute.

Anticipation: Tomorrow night I'm seeing Julian Velard with Tori at Hotel Cafe. His baritone voice draws comparisons to Lou Rawls, Ben Folds, Bob Segar. Having soaked in his album, I'm expecting a great show.

"He'll hitch a ride with any guide as long as they go fast from whence he came but he's no good at being uncomfortable so he can't stop staying exactly the same." - Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine

Friday, June 23, 2006

Red velvet, if you please

As I've mentioned previously, I'm a "cake mix and pre-made frosting" kinda gal. I've always aspired to make cupcakes from scratch, but was intimidated by the sheer number of ingredients, effort and increased potential for disaster. Last night, however, I threw caution to the wind and decided to not only make cupcakes from scratch, but red velvet cupcakes AND cream cheese frosting from scratch. Go ahead and "ooooh" and "aaaah." I'll wait. Done?

I got the cupcake recipe from a friend, who happened to get it from AllRecipes.com, and found a frosting recipe online. In hindsight I realized that I probably could have gotten both from Hil's baking blog, but it was too late. Next time, Hil, I promise!

As I started to cream together the butter and sugar for the batter using my handmixer, I realized that I hadn't softened the butter enough and that even the lowest setting on my handmixer was to quick, resulting in clumps of butter and sugar flying out of the mixing bowl, onto me and the counter. Oops. A box mix was still within reach, but I couldn't let myself give up yet. I continued. I added the cocoa powder and red food coloring to the batter, thinking that the food coloring wasn't going to be red enough. Wrong! It was quite red.

I reached the portion of the recipe where I was supposed to mix the baking soda and vinegar together first before adding it to the batter, but must have gotten sidetracked by the memories of childhood volcano experiments and ended up adding those ingredients directly to the batter. Oops.

When it came time to scoop the batter into the cupcake wrappers, that's when things got really out of control. I poured the batter into my large measuring cup to make it easier to pour into wrappers. All this transferring of bright red batter turned my kitchen into a murder scene. On my counter, on my floor, on my stove, on me... Oops. (Does William Sonoma sell crime scene tape?)

The recipe didn't have a cooking time for cupcakes (it's designed for cakes), so I had to guesstimate. And I made regular-size cupcakes, along with some jumbo ones, so my guesstimating was pretty tricky. They came out just a little bit crispy on the top, but not bad at all. With the yummy cream cheese frosting and fun, heart sprinkles, my experiment was complete.

Cupcakes

Cooking from scratch wasn't as difficult as I'd imagined. I'm not quite ready to stake a claim at the top of Scratch Mountain, but I'm certainly not waving a white flag of surrender...yet.

"I got the idea in a dream. I was back in cooking school, and I was late for my final, so I run over to an oven and I open it up and sitting there is the s'mores wedding cake. And I present it to my teacher, and he starts weeping, and the whole class starts applauding and cheering. And then, of course, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise come leaping out of the cake screaming about how amazing it is, so that made the whole thing a little creepy, but up until then..." - Sookie, Gilmore Girls

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Happy blogiversary to me

Two years ago today I sat at a computer and decided it was time to put thoughts to keyboard and start this blog. My first blog words ever were, "So I've been toying with the idea of a blog for a while."

To celebrate this two-year landmark, I enlisted the help of Ali from Alley Cat Designs, who recently redesigned blogs for Jen and Keely. I commissioned the amazing illustrating talents of Leslie at Rubber-Sol to develop a new cartoon version of me, as seen in the new blog header. Isn't she (or me?) fabulous? The result is this fun and creative new design you see.

So let's take this time to revisit some of my favorite posts over the past couple of years:
The one where I live-blogged while Brent cooked
The one where I worked out with the drummer of Maroon 5
The one where I found myself in a horror movie
The one with the praline shaped like a cat

Here's to two more great years of blogging filled with great blog friends!

"Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life." - Norton Juster, Phantom Tollbooth

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Post-er child

I recently rediscovered the "Best of Craigslist" section, which includes posts nominated by Craigslist readers. Last night while Brent played video games (specifically Grand Theft Auto), I read him some posts included on the Los Angeles page.

Some of the subject lines alone were hysterical, including "You: Girl By Your Pool in Manhattan Beach. I was on the 747 that flew over. m4w" and "Free VCR with Porno Video Stuck in it."

However, two posts in particular had Brent and I in hysterics. The first was "I accidentally molested my cat." The second, "She shit on my dog!!," had both of us in tears. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard.

Apparently everyone in LA needs to hide their pets.

"The most wasted day of all is that during which we have not laughed." - Sebastian R.N. Chamfort

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Costco is Latin for "awesome"

I dread visiting Costco on a weekend, when it's crowded and frantic and no fun. Last night I swung by to pick up some pictures I had ordered Sunday night via the Costco.com Photo Center.

On my way out of my office, I IMed Brent to see if he needed me to pick up anything in particular. His response? "80 lbs. of beef jerky, please. And a gazebo. Oh, hell. Get the gazebo 3-pack."

This trip was fun because:

1. There was enough space to navigate the aisles without playing bumper carts.
2. Their photo prints are cheap! I got one 8x10, 3 5x7s and 6 4x6s - for less than $4! And in less than 24 hours!
3. A ton of delicious, fresh, yummy cherries!
4. String cheese. Lots of string cheese.
5. A great WeightWatchers cookbook, "New Complete Cookbook," chock full of recipes that I'm excited to try.
6. Rotisserie chicken with a side of bruschetta sauce. (The sauce is only 25 calories for 2 tablespoons, too!)
7. While waiting in line at the register, I got "pre-scanned" by an employee so when it was my turn to checkout, I had my cash out, ready to go, and I didn't have to unload my cart onto the conveyor belt.

I managed to stay away from the $1.50 hot-dog-and-Coke deal, although I was truly tempted. Oh, and I did get some jerky, but they were out of the gazebo 3-packs.

"Well, you certainly haven't been shopping. The only thing I found in the fridge was a dead dove in a bag." - Michael, Arrested Development

Sunday, June 18, 2006

My bags runneth over

After we got off work early on Friday (woo hoo, summer hours!), I found some awesome purse purchases at Bath and Body Works big sale.

My finds included:

Big pink bag


It'll make an awesome carry-on bag! Regularly $45, got it for half price. Another shopper saw me with the last pink one and was quite jealous.

I also picked this up for $4. I love the lining!

Another great bargain



Love the lining

As I took pictures of these bags, I realized that I should jump on the handbag band wagon, as started by the wonderfully creative Jen and take pictures of my current bag and all its goodies. It's not usually so packed (I typically don't carry a novel around with me), but I had just gotten done running a bunch of errands.

We saw Nacho Libre on Friday night. Gotta love Jack Black. His sidekick was especially hilarious. Definitely full of quoteable quotes.

Saturday night we went to a BBQ in Long Beach, hosted by a former co-worker of mine. I wish I could take their newly renovated backyard, put it in my pocket and pull it out for my entertaining needs. We had a blast! (Thanks, Leslie!) After the BBQ we headed to Tori's bowling birthday party, where we hung out with more fun friends. Hopefully I'll be able to load the pics from my camera soon.

Sunday we test drove some new cars (note: car salesmen are sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiimy), but haven't necessarily made any progress toward a new purchase. Luckily Brent doesn't seem to mind biking the 4 miles to (and from) work every day. We spent the evening with Brent's parents to celebrate Father's Day. (Have I mentioned that I miss my dad?) His mom, out of nowhere, kept asking us if we had ever done cocaine. "Um, no." Although Brent's brother kept yelling, "Of course!"

It's just my allergies, I swear!

"I was wondering if you would like to join me in my quarters this night... for some toast." - Nacho, Nacho Libre

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Mentos, the fresh fountain maker

What do you get when mad scientists mix Mentos and Diet Coke?

You get this!

I'm soooo adding that song to my iPod!

"Because you're not quite evil enough. [audience boos] Well it's true! You're semi-evil. You're quasi-evil. You're the margarine of evil. You're the Diet Coke of evil. Just one calorie, not evil enough." - Dr. Evil, Austin Powers

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Happy InWeDay 2006




As you may have noticed in some of the comments posted today, it's International Weblogger's Day. I stumbled across this site a few weeks ago and thought, "Celebrating blogging? I'm game!" So I signed up. There are no requirements other than mentioning it today. Hey, every holiday has to start somewhere, right?
This year's theme is "The power of blogs....it's YOU!" (as in me, the blogger) to "see the blogging community that we've become, relying on each others thoughts, comments and ideas to enrich our daily lives."
Whether you regularly read my blog or anyone else's, take a moment and think about the person on the other end of the keyboard. I'm thankful for everyone who takes time out of their presumably busy schedules to post a slice of their lives for me to read. And in case I don't say it enough, thank you to all my readers who visit my little site and share my little words.
"Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." - Gene Fowler

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Driving me insane

Why can't people drive right? And I'm just talking about basic, common knowledge stuff that so many freakin' drivers just don't get!

- Hang up the phone! If you're not on an open road, do not be distracted by a cell conversation about your latest Saturday night escapades. Ya keep swerving into MY LANE or you're driving 25 MPH in a 45 zone!
- Eat when you get there! Yesterday I was behind a snail-paced car only to discover that the reason she was driving so slow was because she was eating...Chinese take-out....with a fork!
- Do your hair/make-up BEFORE you leave your house or when you get where you're going! This morning I was behind a woman who spent a good 30-seconds with both hands OFF the wheel while she tried to fix her hair. And don't get me started about women who try to do their mascara....on the freeway!

I'm sure there are plenty more examples, but these recent incidents stick out for now. And people wonder why the streets of LA are filled with road rage.

Brent is still working on the payment details for the accident he was in two weeks ago. He's definitely getting a new car and is trying to decide what to get. I'm probably going to be getting a new car in the near future, too, so I'm interested in the following:

1. What do you drive? (You can say what kind of car, not the exact make.)
2. Do you like it? Would you recommend it?
3. If you don't like it, why not? Or is there anything you'd change about your car?

"I am driving up 85 in the kind of morning that lasts all afternoon. Just stuck inside the gloom. Four more exits to my apartment but I am tempted to keep the car in drive. And leave it all behind."- Why Georgia Why, John Mayer

Monday, June 12, 2006

Who can it be now?

According to my site tracker, someone from Scranton, PA regularly reads my blog. If it's Jim or Pam, or even Dwight, I'd be the happiest blogger ever. If not, I'm still excited to have cross-country readers. Keep reading, Scranton!

"Your pencils are creating a health hazard. I could fall and pierce an organ." - Dwight, The Office

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Let the music play

Friday night we hung out with Josh, Jami and Hallie. Went to dinner and then watched Murderball on DVD. I highly recommend it. Unlike many documentaries, there weren't any lulls. Very entertaining throughout.

Yesterday we rode our bikes down the Santa Monica/Venice bikepath to C&O Trattoria where we stuffed ourselves with yummy garlic knots and omelettes. We sat on the patio, next to this married couple in their 50s. The wife had undergone way too much plastic surgery. Her lips were so filled with collagen that she couldn't feel the food stuck to her lips. Her boobs were huge and her bleach blonde extensions were gross, extending past her waist. The worst part? She was wearing a jazzercise-type unitard over nylons.

We thought we had seen the last of them when we left to check out the nearby Venice Canals. (Gorgeous, by the way.) However, when we returned to the bike path, we happened to pull up right behind them. I convinced Brent that we had to ride fairly close behind them because the reactions of people in the opposite direction was priceless. We saw jaws drop and heads turn in disbelief, and heard comments like, "extensions," "Did you SEE that?," "plastic surgery," "nice," "cat lady." We laughed and laughed.

Last night we saw The Break-Up. Cute, but more of a renter. If nothing else it made me again appreciate what an awesome hubby I have.

Today I made cupcakes to take to a gathering of girls from TheKnot.com. Even though I still haven't ventured away from box mixes and pre-made frosting like my baking idols justJENN and Hil, they still turned out pretty well.

More cupcakes

This weekend I also stocked up on concert tickets for some great shows, including Gnarls Barkley, and Fiona Apple with Damien Rice.

I can't decide what to do for my birthday next month. I'd love to go back to the piano bar at Universal Citywalk -- the same place we went for my bachelorette party. However, I also think it would be fun to do karaoke. (Apparently I want to spend my 29th birthday singing, in one form or another.) Thoughts?

[explaining to Dwight why he needs his urine] "I went to a Nelly Furtado concert last weekend and I think I might have accidentally gotten high from a girl with a lip ring." - Michael Scott, The Office

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Two for one

As of today, Brent and I have been married for exactly two months. Hard to believe that it's only been two months since we stood up in front of our friends and family and said, "I do." He and I discussed how surreal the whole event was. It was as if it was happening to someone else, like we were simply guests at another wedding who happened to be dressed up in a big white gown and a nice suit. The day flew by, as everyone had warned us, but we managed to try to soak everything in and embrace each moment as best we could.

Now that we're living as man and wife, the most common question we get is, "How's married life?" While my immediate response is "great!," I'm always taken aback just a little because I don't know what answer would be most appropriate. Do I tell people that I wake up every morning and go to bed every night thinking how fortunate I am to have such a great husband? Do I tell people that I can barely contain how excited I am to grow old with this man, to see what a wonderful and loving father he'll be one day and to continue to build our lives together? Do I tell people that strangely, married life doesn't feel different to me because we've known for so long that we were going to continue our lives together so we've practically existed as man and wife for years anyway?

I have a feeling that if I went on and on about how married life is and what it means to me, I'd get looks like this or this. So for now I'll continue to say "great!," knowing that there is so much left unsaid.

"We will marry at... quarter past Wednesday on the 74th of November, and our anniversary will happily be... on those days where we both remember." - Alice Kinnian, Charly

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

There and back

As previously mentioned, I spent last weekend in Washington DC for Andrea's "surprise" bridal shower and bachelorette party. I was in cahoots with Purita, Andrea's matron of honor, who helped organize an elaborate scheme to surprise Andrea by having me and Christy, her bridesmaid from Florida, fly in for the weekend. Purita asked Andrea to pick her up at the airport Friday night, where she was instead greeted by ME! The look on her face was priceless! (I'm a bad friend as I've never once been out to visit her and she's lived there since '98! I should also note that this is only my second trip ever to the east coast, so it's not like I get out there very often.)

We stayed in DC at an awesome place called Hotel Monaco in Penn Quarter. It's a pet-friendly hotel that offers "Guppy Love, a complimentary goldfish to keep you company during your stay with us. Our housekeeping staff feeds and takes care of the goldfish - all you need to do is enjoy." We didn't take advantage of that service, but we were very tempted.

Andrea's shower and bachelorette party were supposed to be a surprise and we were going to play off Christy's and my arrival as a girl's weekend since we couldn't attend the festivities that were supposedly scheduled for next weekend. However, one of Andrea's friends had spoiled the event surprise, but she was still surprised with her out of town guests.

Purita threw Andrea an awesome shower at a tapas place around the corner from the hotel. They brought out course after course of yummy dishes, which we then topped off with delicious cake!

Yummy cake!

After the shower Purita and I strolled around the neighborhood while Andrea and Christy got ready at Andrea's for the bachelorette party. We saw the Capitol building, a teeny tiny piece of the White House from far away, the FTC and FBI buildings, among others. We also strolled through a park filled with sculptures.

That night we all gathered again for her bachelorette party, which started at Ruby Tuesdays with some appetizers (and a full glass of beer knocked over into one of the girl's laps by the waiter) and then were onto Coyote Ugly (yes, the same chain featured in the movie). We never got Andrea on the bar, but we still made sure she had fun. (Let's just say it involved Lifesavers and dollar bills.)

In addition to hanging out with Andrea on her stomping grounds, I'm excited to have made some new "besties." Purita and Christy - you rock!

"I love that bar. I'd sleep there, if I had the guts to walk around barefoot. Just a small town girl trying to make it in the big bad city." - Lil, Coyote Ugly

Monday, June 05, 2006

Where in the world is Nannersp?

Last night I returned from a long weekend in Washington DC (my first trip to that city!) to surprise Andrea with her bridal shower and bachelorette party. I have tons of stories and fun pics coming soon, so stay tuned.

You may now return to your regular blog surfing.