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