Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Volunteers of joy

It's hard to believe that the devastation of Hurricane Katrina was only a year ago. I saw a news special last night about the inequalities in the response for the victims. Brent and I separately and together donated money to help the victims, but I was still overcome with a sense of sadness and guilt for not giving more of my free time to better my community.

I started researching potential organizations where I could offer my time, skills and energy to make a difference. I had considered something having to do with cancer victims, but I don't think I would be able to separate my emotions enough to make it a viable option. I think I've found one that's a good fit for me, have submitted my application and will move on to the background check/fingerprinting to continue the application process.

Whether it's with this organization or another, I hope to do something that'll improve someone else's life.

"If you can't return a favor, pass it on." - Louis Brown

Where's my gold star?

I woke up this morning at 6 a.m. to go to the gym. I did leg exercises and the eliptical machine. It's very strange to have done so much before the work day starts, as opposed to rolling out of bed five minutes before I have to leave for work, grabbing the closest clean shirt and getting in the car.

I think I deserve a cupcake for all my hard work. Oh, wait...

Hugo: I do exercise.
Carmen: Falling down is not exercise. - Lost

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Weekend recap

Friday afternoon I told my friend Jenny about my upcoming session at Dream Dinners. Brent and I had received a gift certificate at my bridal shower for this service where we assemble ingredients for six pre-selected meals. We stick them in our freezer and pull them out to thaw and cook when we're ready. Each meal is enough for 4-6 people, so it'll end up being plenty of meals for us. "When is it?," my friend Jenny asked. "In a couple weeks. On Aug. 25." "Um, you mean tonight?," she noted. D'oh! Luckily we hadn't made any other official plans, so Brent and I enjoyed assembling:

- Steaks with Garlic & Herb Butter
- Pork Carnitas
- Cashew Chicken
- Salmon with Creamy Lemon
- Herb Crusted Flank Steak
- Crispy Sesame Chicken

I think we're trying the steaks with garlic tomorrow night!

Saturday we went for a jog....well, Brent jogged and I powerwalked for 45 minutes. Later we hung out with some friends of mine at their new apartment.

Today we bought our favorite heirloom tomatoes from the nearby Farmers Market. We'll probably have them as a side dish with one of our upcoming dinners. Shortly after we came home, Brent took a nap and didn't get up for more than six hours because he's feeling under the weather. Hopefully he'll feel better by the morning.

And in an effort to learn more about cooking and access lots of fun recipes, I signed up for a new social network called BakeSpace. You can find my profile and add me as one of your "kitchen helpers" here.

"We are sick of your cost cutting, we want our cream back - and our forks, knives and spoons! No more sporks, spknives and knivoons - it's like a Dr. Seuss kitchen down there!" - Jessica, Andy Richter Controls the Universe

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Continue to amaze me

John Mayer "leaked" his new album Continuum on an LA radio station last night, but I missed it. I was happy to discover this morning that Clear Channel is streaming it online here.

I've spent the past three hours listening to it - first in its entirety and then in its entirety with John's commentary about each of the songs. I was giddy because it felt like I was just kicking back, chillin' with John. Sad, but true.

My review of the album? It's awesome. I haven't been this impressed by an album in a long time, and it's not just because I think he can do no wrong. John pulled out the sexy card with songs like "I don't trust myself (with loving you)," "Gravity," "Vultures" and "Slow dancing in a burning room." I'm sooo making Brent a romantic dinner and using this album as background music!

And I learned from John's commentary that he brought in James Valentine from Maroon 5 to play acoustic guitar on "Slow dancing..." You mean he added EVEN MORE awesomeness to the album? Suh-weet!

Some of the songs, like "The heart of life" and "Stop this train," are the types of pieces I'd want to add to my cross-country driving soundtrack a la Claire in Six Feet Under. And he does his first cover with Hendrix' "Bold as love." I've never been a huge Hendrix fan, but this song is great.

I got worried when John came out with his last album featuring his trio. The album itself was great (and some of the songs are featured on Continuum), but I was afraid that he was only going to be play with his trio from now on in little venues like the nearby House of Blues where it's impossible to beat scalpers for tickets.

So when I heard about his upcoming big tour with Sheryl Crow, I quickly bought my John Mayer fan club (shut up!) tix for Sept. 30 up in Northern Cal with Stacie. And now, having heard his fabulous new album, I'm massively excited to see him live again.

He can make whatever goofy sex faces he wants while he plays as long as he keeps on creating music like this.

By the way, check out my relatively new calendar section under my profile (on the right side). So many awesome shows coming up!

"Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn." - Charlie Parker

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Piece of cake

My nephew turned 1 year old last month. It was in the middle of the massive heatwave, hitting 113 degrees in my hometown that day, so I decided to skip the party. I was afraid my car would overheat on the way there or back.

I did, however, get to enjoy fabulous photos from his big day.

CAKE!

I want to gobble HIM up!

[on discovering that 'Happy Birthday' was composed in 1924] "What did people sing in 1923, for goodness' sake? They got the cake out and everyone just stood about in a slightly awkward silence?" - Alan Davies, QI

Monday, August 21, 2006

On a lighter note...

I mentioned that the wedding we attended on Saturday night was beautiful. Everything Sharon and Po had planned turned out absolutely stunning and it was an unusual and fun venue. You can see some of their great pics here. And the amazing-looking cake? It tasted even better than it looked!

Someday soon I'll tell you the story about how I know the bride and some of our mutual friends.

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow grow, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation." - George Washington

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Weekend woes

My grandmother (on my mom's side) passed away this weekend at the age of 82. She is in the Philippines. I wasn't very close to her because of physical distance and her severe Alzheimer's, but she was the one who helped me learn to read before I entered kindergarten. She was there when I learned to ride a bike. She gave me words of advice when I was little to make sure I was the best daughter to my mom that I could be. My mom is leaving for the Philippines in a couple of days to attend the service. While I won't be there physically, I'll be there in spirit.

The grief that comes with the death of a parent is inexplicable. Sadness can hit at the most random moments and as described above, during a very happy occasion. As most of you know, I lost my dad in Sept. 2003. And during the "dad" stuff at weddings (e.g., speeches, father/daughter dances), I either leave the room or more often, just tune out and concentrate on something else, like the cake, the music, the bride's dress. These are some of the hardest moments for me to get through because I'm overwhelmed by the absence of my own father.

Last night Brent and I attended the very beautiful wedding of a friend of mine. During the dad stuff, I didn't leave or focus on anything else, which I blame on the alcohol. I found the tear or two in my eyes turn into a mini-meltdown. Luckily I had Brent and a bunch of other fabulous friends there to comfort me and cheer me up quickly. And I did my best to keep my meltdown to a minimum because, well, it really was a beautiful wedding and a wonderful occasion; it wasn't right (or easy) to be a Debbie Downer (like I am in this entire post).

The groom, whose mother had passed away shortly before he and his bride met, mentioned in a speech that he knew his mom was with them last night, enjoying their big day. I know the feeling. When I need him the most, my dad is with me. And now I have my grandmother to watch over me, too.

"I live now on borrowed time, waiting in the anteroom for the summons that will inevitably come. And then - I go on to the next thing, whatever it is. One doesn't luckily have to bother about that." - Agatha Christie

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Nanette-to-English dictionary

Bestie (best-ee) - n. A really good friend who must be awesome at all times. Must also be funny, smart and fun to be around. Not to be confused with the elite "best friend."
Example: I enjoy hanging out with Jenn. She's a fabulous bestie.

Tidy (tie-dee) - n. A word invented by Matt that has become part of my regular vocabulary. Something to tide you over until your full meal.
Example: Dinner isn't for a few hours. Let's stop for a tidy.

Asshat (ass-hat) - n. A jerk. A brat. A punk.
Example: That guy who just sideswiped my car is an asshat.

Crazy-go-nuts (crazy-go-nuts) - adj. As heard in cartoons on HomeStarRunner.com. Used to describe things and people who are not sane.
Example: That man wearing a tube top, boa and Kleenex boxes on his feet is crazy-go-nuts.

Timbukthree (tim-buck-three) - n. An area far past Timbuktu.
Example: The lot was full so I had to park in Timbukthree!

"It's a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water." - Franklin P. Jones

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Snoop jobby job

Today I mentioned something about my job to my mom and about not missing my career in public relations.

"Wait," she said. "You don't work in PR anymore?"
"Um, no."
"What are you doing now?"
"Mom, I haven't worked in PR since January. I'm an editor for an online trade publication."
"Oh, hell. I don't know. You work in LA. There are so many companies there."

I love that she says that like if I worked in a city with only two companies then she'd know what I did for a living.

I shouldn't be surprised, though. When Krispy Kreme was one of my (many) clients for just a few months, my parents still thought I did PR for them years later - long after I left that agency. I get a kick out of it, though, especially when it results in conversations like the one above.

Do your friends and family understand what you do for a living? Or are you something that people understand, like a teacher, policeman or exterminator?

"My name's Kevin. My stripper name is Krispy Kreme. They call me that cause I'm round and sweet and empty inside." - Kevin, Rock Me Baby

Monday, August 14, 2006

Here kitty, kitty

I want that. And while I'm at it, I want that and that.

"There are 42 pressure points on the human body which result in death. I will teach you 41. The 42nd I may one day have to use on you!" - Hello Kitty, Robot Chicken

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Weekend delight

I spent Friday afternoon having coffee with Jenn and her beautiful family. Her two little boys are adorable. I especially enjoyed the conversations with her oldest. I love talking to kids. The way their minds work amazes me.

Brent and I saw Talladega Nights. I love, love, love Will Ferrell, but this movie didn't really do it for me. I just don't enjoy Nascar and there wasn't enough parodying of it to make it enjoyable. I much prefer Anchorman or Old School.

Saturday we attended Angie's birthday BBQ, where I ran into an old co-worker who recently started a clothing company. Lots of cute stuff. After the party, we went to the Tofu Festival. We saw Blackalicious perform, and ate pad see ew, beef satay, fried tofu, fried bananas, chai ice cream and lobster balls. Apparently Jenn didn't enjoy the Tofu Festival, but I did. I'll still be besties with her.

While at the festival, I found a clothing company recommended by my old co-worker at the BBQ. Coincidentally, I had admired one of their shirts a few days ago on someone at lunch. So I bought it, along with another one. They're so cute!

We almost bought a shirt for Brent from Black Lava, but they didn't have it in his size. The company has lots of really fun shirts. I'm tempted to get this one for my nephew.

Today South African Ballerina Jen and I saw Step Up. We both had low expectations going in, but we were pleasantly surprised. Definitely not Oscar material, but it was entertaining.

"I read Sylvia Plath, I listen to Bikini Kill and I eat tofu. I am a unique rebel." - Janey, Not Another Teen Movie

Friday, August 11, 2006

Glamour girl (and guy)

Brent and I are included in the latest issue of Glamour. Check out the "Couples" section (around page 240-something, I think) to read about what it was like to lose weight together for our wedding. And believe me, I didn't want to talk about our sex life, but I did it in the name of journalism.

"She wants to lead the glamorous life. She don't need a man's touch. She wants to lead the glamorous life. Without love, it ain't much." - Glamorous Life, Sheila E

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Whatcha, whatcha, whatcha want

I got tagged by Jenn.

What were you doing 1 second ago?
Throwing out the most disgusting latte from Starbucks. It's God's way of telling me to stick to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. My co-worker's coffee was foul-tasting, too.

What were you doing an hour ago?
Blow-drying my hair.

What were you doing yesterday?
Working and laundry.

What were you doing a month ago?
Celebrating my 29th birthday!

What were you doing a year ago?
Planning my wedding. Meeting bloggers in person for the first time.

What were you doing five years ago?
Working at my first PR agency.

What were you doing ten years ago?
Enjoying living on my own as a sophomore in college.

Who would you like to tag?
Hil, if she's in the mood. Keely, if she's not busy making babies and laughing at her dogs. And anyone else who feels like doing this.

"We don't see things as they are. We see them as we are." - Anais Nin

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Selfish in the city

One of my favorite all-time television series is Sex and the City. I love the story lines. I love the beautiful New York scenery. And I love how much of a family Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and Carrie are.

Once the series ended, I started catching the nightly reruns on the WB. Seeing them in rapid succession rather than spread out with a week in between, I realized something: Sarah Jessica Parker's character Carrie is pretty damn selfish.

Carrie treated many of her many boyfriends like crap. In particular I felt bad for Aiden, her furniture-designer boyfriend. She cheated on him, expected him to take her back and then freaked out when he wanted to marry her.

She threw a hissy fit when Charlotte didn't offer to lend her money to buy her apartment back from Aiden. Carrie was broke because instead of saving, she spent her money on ridiculously over-priced shoes. Charlotte said she didn't feel right lending friends money, and I don't blame her.

While dating Russian artist Alexandr Petrovsky, she moved to Paris to support his art career. Yet, on the night of his big art opening, Carrie got pissy when he mingled with the crowd and in her eyes, ignored her.

When Samantha was diagnosed with cancer, Alexandr tried to talk about his friend who died of cancer. Carrie wasn't having any of it.

And to top off her selfishness, I really, really, really don't like about half of Carrie's outfits. She's either perfectly gorgeous from head to toe or absolutely hideous! No happy medium. Ugh-gly.


Now, I am well aware that this just a cast of characters. They're not real people. They're not friends of mine. They're just a bunch of people on TV. However, a part of me wonders how I ever thought Carrie was so awesome. She's not. I'll keep watching reruns, but I'm finding it more tempting to watch House Hunters instead.
Samantha: There's no such thing as bad publicity.
Carrie: Of course you'd say that, you're a publicist.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

What a rec

Bored? Check out my latest recommendations for film and internet stuff.

Movies
Little Miss Sunshine - I was very excited to see this indie flick. The cast looked amazing and the premise seemed very entertaining. And it didn't disappoint. I highly recommend it.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - We rented this Friday night. I hadn't laughed that hard at a movie in a long time. What I really enjoyed was its smart sense of humor. It didn't include a gross toilet scene and there was no one peeing on anyone's head (oh, wait, yes there was). Regardless, it was a hilarious flick and I definitely recommend it.

Fun ways to waste time online
- Check out this cute singer. She should start a band with this little girl.
- Never look at your treadmill the same way. This may be my new favorite band.
- You know what he did?
- Dave Chappelle on 2Pac.
- "My cubicle," a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful." I'd seen this online a while back but hadn't watched it until recently.
- My friend Eric Schwartz created this hilarious song about Mel Gibson.
- Send your friends a message via email or phone from Samuel L. Jackson, telling them that they have to see Snakes on a Plane.

"I'm for Genaro's, but then, what do I know? I'm a bear. I suck the heads off of fish." - Bear on TV Ad, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sugar high

Last night I surprised Brent with a birthday dinner at a Los Angeles restaurant called Aphrodisiac. The restaurant has designed its menu with - you guessed it -- aphrodisiacs in mind.

We ordered the prix frie menu, which was a GREAT deal! For $39 per person we each got two cocktails, a salad or soup, intermezzo (sherbert), entree (I had crispy penne....yum!) and a dessert.

For dessert I ordered the cotton candy, one of my all-time favorite foods. Imagine my surprise when they brought out this HUGE plate with a foot-tall thing of green cotton candy.


Cotton candy (with flash)

It was amazing! It was apple-flavored and yummy! We took half of it home, but strangley, a few hours later it shrank to 1/16th its size! Whoa!

Also, the restaurant's valet was this really pretty woman, which I thought was strange because usually valets are short, sweaty men. When we left we noticed that she had left a business card in our car. The valet service's name? Valet of the Dolls! I just about died! If I ever lose my job, I wanna work for that company. Well, if I pass their "hot valet" criteria, of course.

"Cunnilingus. I've been reading that word since I was 13 and I still can't seem to wrap my tounge around it. Wait... was that a pun, or just bad taste? Wait... that may have been another pun." - Adam, How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog

Thursday, August 03, 2006

29 reasons why I love Brent

Today is Brent's 29th birthday. In his honor I've compiled this list of 29 reasons why I love him. Happy birthday, sweetie!

1. He's one of the smartest people I've ever met.
2. He cooks for me.
3. He comes from a great family that has taught him well.
4. He quotes movies at the most opportune times.
5. He's hot.
6. He likes to try new foods.
7. While I'm busy trying not to stare at strangers, Brent can identify A-, B- and C-list actors from a mile away.
8. His sense of humor keeps me in stitches.
9. He doesn't like to look sloppy. More often than not his shirts have collars and he hates it when his sneakers get dirty.
10. He likes to surprise me.
11. He's really great about taking care of himself. He works out regulary, eats right and encourages me to do the same.
12. He's crafty. For the anniversary of our first date, he gave me a king-size afghan. He crocheted it HIMSELF.
13. He loves The Karate Kid, Back to the Future, Pee-wee's Big Adventure and The 'burbs.
14. His laugh is infectious.
15. He hates birds, too.
16. He loves to read.
17. He gets along great with my friends.
18. He can be a bit shy in front of new people, but it's a nice balance to my outgoing personality. And once he breaks out of his shell, people really love him.
19. He is an amazing writer.
20. Have I mentioned how hot he is?
21. He's not a big drinker. I've never seen him drunk. He's never that guy at parties.
22. He enjoys my wackiness. He's wacky, too.
23. He gets upset when people make racist comments.
24. He understands politics and world news.
25. He's great with kids and is going to be a wonderful father someday.
26. He's diplomatic.
27. His smile is heart-warming.
28. He gives great hugs.
29. He chose me.

"One of the good things about getting older is you find you're more interesting than most of the people you meet." - Lee Marvin

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lost and found

Search terms that led two people to my blog recently, within minutes of each other:

- how to say thank-you to co-workers for throwing you a party
- please pray for me my co-workers don't like me

I think the second person needs to get a job at the first person's place of employment.

"Last week I would've given a kidney to anyone in this office. I would've reached right into my stomach and pulled it out for them. But now, no. I don't have the relationship with these people that I thought I did. I hope they ask, so they can hear me say, 'Uh, no, I only give my organs to my real friends. Go get yourself a monkey kidney.'" - Michael Scott, The Office