Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Into the great wide open

Tomorrow we leave for Shelby's wedding. The wedding is Friday, on the beach in Carmel (in Northern California, for you non-local folks). After brunch on Saturday morning, we're heading down to San Luis Obispo (Central California), the city where Brent and I first met in college seven years ago, where we'll spend Saturday night.

I'm, of course, very, very excited for Shelby's wedding. It's going to be a beautiful occasion and I'm honored to stand by her side as she says her vows.

And I'm very excited about our trip to San Luis Obispo, but I'm a bit conflicted. On one hand, I love all the memories the city holds: the young-love jitters of getting to know the man I was destined to spend forever with, the learning to stand on my own feet, the becoming an official adult. On the other hand, something about the city pains me. Each time Brent and I go back, we're excited for about five minutes. Then we look at each other and say, "What the hell did we do here for all those years?" Also, despite often feeling bored, the city has lost much of the small-town charm that we enjoyed. They now have big box stores and brands like Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, Cost Plus and Pottery Barn -- all of the places we have here in Los Angeles. (The thing I love most about Los Angeles is the stuff beyond those brand stores, all the fun things we have here and nowhere else.)

Yes, we'll make the most of our trip. We'll enjoy the city. We'll go to our favorite restaurants and have our favorite meals. We'll appreciate the city for everything it has to offer and we'll enjoy each other's company, as always. And I'll try to suppress the little twinge of sadness.

"While we are focusing on fear, worry, or hate, it is not possible for us to be experiencing happiness, enthusiasm or love." - Bo Bennett

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Review from the top

Tomorrow is my annual review and I've been working diligently on the self-evaluation. I've had no issues answering most of the questions, but I'm a little stumped by this one:

What would you most like to change about your job?

I love my job, but if I had to change something, it would be:
- Monkeys, lots and lots of monkeys. Only the cute ones, though. None of those poop-throwing monkeys, unless of course I could aim the poop they throw at someone other than me, like the building management or the woman in the bathroom stall who insists on talking on her cell phone.
- A never-ending supply of cupcakes and cherry 7UP.
- 4 hours of working out each day with a personal trainer to burn the unlimited supply of cupcakes and cherry 7up.
- Goose-down everything. Goose-down chairs. Goose-down desks. Goose-down mouse pads. Goose-down kitchen sink.
- If there's no goose down available, then I want everything covered in Velcro. And I'd like a matching suit for myself so I can spend work through writer's block like this.
- TVs streaming episodes of The Office, Sex and the City, Grey's Anatomy and Cops. Yes, Cops. It keeps me off the streets!
- Hello Kitty-themed kitchen appliances.
- Marshmallow Mondays. Tulip Tuesdays. Waterslide Wednesdays. Pajama Thursdays. Fruit Roll-up Fridays.
- On-site masseurs.
- John Mayer, Maroon 5, Michael Buble and Jamie Cullum piped through a sound system. Even better? Rotating live performances!
- My new title would be Queen of Awesome.

I doubt any of those suggestions will happen, but a girl can dream, can't she?

What would you change about your job?

"How would I describe myself? Three words — hardworking, alpha male, jackhammer. Merciless. Insatiable." - Dwight, The Office

Monday, January 29, 2007

Fashion sense and sensibility

I love when Brent wears button-up shirts.

I love when Brent wears button-up shirts with the sleeves rolled up.

I love when Brent wears sweaters, which he does only on rare occasions.

But what do I love even more than all of that?

When he wears a long-sleeved thermal shirt under a t-shirt. I don't know what it is about that particular combo on my hottie hubby, which he's worn on occasion over the past few weeks, but I. LOVE. IT. My guess is that it's such a departure from his usual Polo shirt. I joked that it's like I'm with a new guy. His response? "Hee, hee...wait a second..."

I don't know of any of my fashion choices that Brent is over-the-moon excited about, but I do know that I shocked him tonight when I came home with this nail polish on my toes. When I bought it, I thought it was dark brown to go with the dress I'm wearing in Shelby's wedding, but on my toes it looks nearly black. Oops. But it's cool in a maybe-my-friend-was-right-when-she-joked-that-I-must-have-been-Goth-in-a-past-life kinda way.

"Goth Juice... The most powerful hairspray known to man. Made from the tears of Robert Smith." - Vince Noir, The Mighty Boosh

Sunday, January 28, 2007

She's all that

Yesterday was Shelby's wedding shower that I was honored to co-host along with her mother. Shelby looked absolutely gorgeous and glowed just like a bride-to-be should. Her family and friends were eager to celebrate her upcoming nuptials.

Her mom handled location, food and decor. The food was delicious, including some lumpia and puto that my mom made. And the decor? Well, I don't have any pictures to share yet, but Shelby's mother and her mother's friends went all out, providing items from an antique store that one of them owns. There were feather boas, rose petals, candelabras and two antique bridal gowns on dress forms. It was a great way to celebrate the occasion.

I was in charge of games (a wedding word scramble and a trivia game about her fiance's life/likes, etc.), as well as favors (a candy buffet filled with tons of Valentine-themed candy).

After the shower, a bunch of Shelby's friends and I went to dinner and then ended the night with some drinks.

Everyone seemed to have a great time and as always, I had a blast hanging out with Shelby's friends.

And thankfully I was able to enjoy it all, despite suffering a cold that I caught from Brent. Here's hoping to a speedy recovery so I won't be sick at Shelby's wedding in Carmel next weekend.

"The road to a friend's house is never long." - Danish proverb

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Strength in numbers

Wow. I'm amazed by the number of folks who have found my blog via searches having to do with this post. My assumption is that there are countless others who were touched by that episode, or at the very least, the conversation of those two characters. At least enough to search it out and revisit the quotes. I'm also assuming that most of the folks who sought out the quotes are, sadly, members of the Dead Dads Club.

I'm by no means a founding member of the Dead Dads Club, but I'm an active member. When my dad passed away, I sought comfort on the shoulder of my good friend who lost her father while we were in high school. She cried with me. She listened to me when I needed to vent. She talked to me when I needed to fill the silence with something other than my sobs and my own voice.

While planning my wedding, I spent a lot of time on a wedding message boards. I participated in a few posts about how to tastefully honor deceased loved ones. After my wedding, I remember getting an email from another bride whose father had passed away before she was able to walk down the aisle with him. She was so upset at the thought of having to celebrate the day without him and she wanted to know how I was able to make it through. I gave her my words of wisdom, based on how I approached the day, how we honored him and how I was able to celebrate the new part of my life without letting the sadness of my absent dad overcome me.

So what the heck is my point? To the members of the Dead Dads Club who stumble across my blog-- you're not alone, even though if may feel that way at times. You can find strength from others who have gone through similar situations, who share the void you have inside, who understand your loss. And although I may not know you and you may never make yourself known, fellow members of the Club, please know that you are in my thoughts.

"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world." - Anon

Monday, January 22, 2007

That's so fetch

As you've probably seen mentioned on here a few times, I'm a big fan of Whitney, USA Today's Pop Culture blogger. Her job seems like such a blast, she's a great writer and so on top of everything pop culture. Lucky duck.

Imagine my delight when I saw my little ol' name mentioned on one of her entries today. When my buddy Sharon invited me to join her network of friends on iLike, a social network based on musical tastes, I immediately thought of Whitney and sent her an invite. Getting mentioned on Whitney's blog feels like the coolest kid in class -- the one with the red Trapper Keeper and the perfectly-coiffed hair -- asking me to sit at her lunch table.

Check out iLike for yourself, and if you decide to join, be sure to add me to your network!

"I'm sorry that people are so jealous of me... but I can't help it that I'm so popular." - Gretchen Mean Girls

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Weekend ups and downs

- Lots of relaxing time at home.
- Attended justJENN's Kid's birthday party. Tons of delicious food (mini-sausages wrapped in bacon? YUM!). Tons of cute kids. Tons of good times. Jenn's friends are really nice, and her "O.G." is a sweetheart. When I told her that I had heard so much about her, she laughed, not at all surprised. I also brought a little gift for Jenn.
- Had a long overdue facial at Dermalogica on Montana. Wrote a great review of my experience on Yelp.
- Learned that although my skin is overall dehydrated, I have "tight pores and great elasticity." I can probably thank my Filipina mother for the good genes.
- Left Dermalogic with a TON of fabulous new products to beautify my skin. At least that's what I'm hoping for after 5 products purchased, 6 samples and 3 bonus products as "gift with purchase."
- Speaking of fabulous new products, I discovering a beauty product blog called DeLush. Imagine my surprise when I realized its co-founder is one of my favorite bloggers, Melissa from Sarcomical.
- I'm 85% sure that Dominic West walked right in front of my car as he crossed the street. The other 15% is keeping in mind that many hot guys in LA with wavy brown hair can look like Dominic West while wearing sunglasses.
- Working on my preparations for Shelby's upcoming bridal shower next weekend. Lots of surprises in store, so more to come later.

- The hubby is sick with a cold/flu-like thing. Started on Friday and he's been stuck in bed all weekend. Luckily he has Nurse Nanette! Last night I was really tired much earlier than usual, so I was fearful that I was catching his illness. Feeling better today, but excuse me while I go knock on some wood.
- I had a long list of stuff I wanted to get done this weekend, but ended up only crossing off a few things. Oh well.
- Realized that the majority of the dry skin issues I've been having could be alleviated by drinking more water. I wish it came naturally, but I just don't have the urge to drink a lot of liquids. Boo.

"I forgot to tell you the plan for this Saturday: you, me, bar, beers, buzzed. Wings, shots, drunk. Waitresses, hot. Football, Cornell/Hofstra, slaughter. Then quick nap at my place, and we hit the tiz-own." - Andy, The Office

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Congratulations, universe. You win.

*Spoiler alert for Grey's Anatomy*

Cristina: There's a club, the Dead Dads Club. And you can't be in it until you're in it. You can try to understand. You can sympathize, but until you feel that loss...My dad died when I was nine. I'm really sorry you had to join the club.
George: I don't know how to exist in a world where my dad doesn't.
Cristina: Yeah, that never really changes.

That hit close to home. So close, in fact, that I was literally sobbing. We're talking tears rolling down my face, my body shaking, my eyes turning bloodshot. Despite my attempt to not really pay attention to the episode, knowing that there was a strong possibility that one of my favorite character's father was going to die from cancer -- like my dad did -- it still got to me.
And unfortunately it was one of those rare times when Brent wasn't here to console me, tell me it's ok and not laugh at me for crying during some silly nighttime soap. But sometimes the plot lines just bring the sadness up from the depth of my soul, where I try to stifle despair that comes from losing a parent way too early.
Brent is on his way home now, so soon we'll be immersed in tonight's 30 Rock and perhaps watch The Office, which I enjoyed earlier tonight before the sadness of Grey's.
"My father hated radio and could not wait for television to be invented so he could hate that too." - Peter De Vries

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Let it....snow?

It snowed today in Los Angeles, including usually sunny Malibu. Apparently the last time it snowed here was 20 years ago. I didn't get to see it in person, but it's all everyone was talking about. Hard to believe that last Wednesday was like a freakin' heatwave.

If it snows again tomorrow, I'm going to go out and make a snow angel. If it doesn't, I'm going to the beach to make a sand angel instead.

"Advice is like snow -- the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper in sinks into the mind." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Monday, January 15, 2007

He said, she said

Two years ago today, he asked...
...and she said, "Yes!"

Two years later and I am so proud to be his wife.

"You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love." - Henry Drummond

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Weekend in review

Friday night we went to see the new Clive Owen film, Children of Men. As we approached the theater, Brent discovered that they were inviting folks to see the upcoming Jennifer Garner film, Catch and Release. They were trying to fill the empty seats at the theater where they were doing a screening for press.

I was hoping to see that film when it was released, so I jumped at the chance to see it for free. And kudos to Brent for willingly sitting through a "chick flick."

Catch and Release tells the tale of Gray (Jennifer Garner) after her fiance unexpectedly dies. She deals with his death and learns about some very unexpected aspects of his life. She also has the support of her fiance's friends, including Fritz (Timothy Olyphant) and Sam (Kevin Smith). Timothy Olyphant is dreamy and Kevin Smith is hilarious! Of course, there's romance - what self-respecting chic flick would be complete without it? Brent and I both laughed throughout, although he might deny it if asked. And although the movie seemed a bit long and scattered at times, I'd recommend seeing it in the theater if you're a chick flick kinda gal.

Today we went to see an art show at a nearby gallery. Even though I made Brent check the website to double-check the hours, we were sad to arrive and find that it was closed. So then we went to try a bakery that we'd heard raves about, only to arrive and find it closed. On the hunt for baked goods, we headed for a different bakery. En route I checked the internet on Brent's phone to make sure they were open. Nope. Closed. We finally found a bakery that was open, and we enjoyed some pretzel croissants.

I'm about to enjoy an abundance of Sunday night TV - 24 (2 hours of Jack Bauer kicking ass!), The Apprentice & Desperate Housewives. Too bad I have to work tomorrow. Unfortunately that's what happens when you work for a British-owned company. Bleh.

"Let's get one thing straight: the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you." - Top 100 Facts About Jack Bauer

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Childish behavior

As you may have seen mentioned on blogs like Jenn's and Jen's and others around the web, it's National Delurking Week, so hollaback, yo!

To entice you to lose your veil of anonymity, read on. I told you about the adorable little girl I'm tutoring. At the end of our session last night, I presented her with three pencils I picked up at the Sanrio store. I told her she could choose one of the three and that she'd get another one after next week's session. One pencil featured cherries (no character), another featured Cinnamoroll, and the last featured Hello Kitty.

She chose the Hello Kitty pencil.

"I like Hello Kitty," she said.
"I like Hello Kitty, too," I replied. "Although I'm probably getting too old to like Hello Kitty."
She turned to me, with her big, brown 8-year-old eyes, smiled thoughtfully and said, "You're never too old to like things."

At that moment I realized that I might have sounded like a bitter, old lady, which is very, very unlike me. The reason I gravitate toward children so much is that I enjoy the way they look at life. They see the fun in the mundane. They find the silly in the sad. They like to look past the weeds and see the dandelions.

While I understand that life can't always be this way, that there's reality to be faced and that sometimes you need to deal with the weeds, I look for the chance to pick a dandelion, blow and make a wish...for more Hello Kitty pencils!

If your heart needs some more warming, check out these two videos:
Free hugs campaign (I loooove this song so much.)
A kiwi's journey (watch it till the end!)

If your heart needs some silliness, check this out:
Spiders on drugs (watch this one till the end, too!)

"Okay, I'm - okay, seriously now. It's in the meat of my butt, just below the Hello Kitty tattoo." - Hannibal King, Blade: Trinity

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Java junior

Tonight I met with the new little homeless girl I'll be tutoring. She's 8 years old, adorable and, if I do say so myself, reminds me of myself when I was her age.

The organization I tutor through has a worksheet that you and the child can use to get to know each other when you first meet. One of the questions for her was, "What do you want your tutor to help you with the most?" Her answer? "Word problems." Doh! I still hate those! Lucky for me, second-grade word problems are pretty easy. "17 children enter an ice rink. 13 more children enter an ice rink. There are ___ children in the ice rink."

Another part of the questionnaire had to do with our favorites: color, music, teacher, food and drink. My favorite drink is lemonade. Hers? Coffee. Wait, what? Coffee? Seriously? She likes it with whip cream. I didn't start drinking coffee until about two years ago, if even that. She's probably really a 16-year-old with stunted growth. Next week's lesson: Coffee Bean kicks Starbucks' ass.

"This coffee is great! Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Where do they get this stuff?" - Cosmo, The Fairly OddParents

Sunday, January 07, 2007

It's like being grounded for 18 years*

I know, I KNOW! I'm awful! You've been checking out my page each day, hoping for new, Nanette-ified content. And I haven't given it to you! Tsk, tsk. Here's my wrist - you can slap it. More regular content on its way.

So what have I been doing? Well, Brent and I happily baby-sat almost-3-year-old Hallie and her baby brother Brendan on Saturday night. We danced, we played freeze tag, we read stories, we colored, we played with stickers, we spit up and pooped...ok, we didn't all do that last part. I started to tell Hallie a bedtime story about the time I fed a hot dog to a squirrel (it was actually a gopher but I didn't think she'd know what that was) when I was a little girl but then realized that an almost 3-year-old is impressionable and might try it. Therefore I altered the story a bit and told her that I asked my mom if I could feed the squirrel a hot dog, but my mom said no. Hallie agreed and said, "Squirrels eat nuts. And squirrel food. Not Big Girl food." Phew. Crisis averted. And this time we didn't put the diapers on backwards!

Today Brent and I searched for a dress for me to wear in Shelby's upcoming wedding. I think/hope I found one from, so cross your fingers that me and my "big mamma jammas" fit in it.

*Regarding this post title, anyone remember this PSA poster about preventing teen pregnancy? Anytime I'm in charge of watching a kid, I think back to that poster. Hee, hee...

"We tried everything. We fed him. We changed him. I even read him bedtime stories about the F.B.I.'s illegal collection of internet surveillance data." - Langley, The Lone Gunmen

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Busy bee

I was fortunate to have today off before heading back to work tomorrow. As I basically did nothing but veg on the couch all day yesterday, I was sure to make the most of today.

I rejoined Weight Watchers this morning. It's time to lose these post wedding lbs! Then I hit the gym. I grabbed some lunch and later went to the dentist. Then I got my hair cut. My camera is dead so I don't have any pics, but let's just say that 5 inches makes quite a difference. I then stocked up on healthy goods from Trader Joe's. (That place is a MADHOUSE!)

I feel well rested and ready to take on the 3-day work week!

"Sorry I'm late. I was supposed to get a haircut but when I looked in the mirror, I realized my hair was already perfect." - Davis, Digimon

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007!

On our wedding day, I had my bouquet split into four pieces so I could toss three pieces and give one piece to my mom for my dad's grave. The three pieces for the single ladies was to help spread the "next-to-get-married luck." Two of the pieces were caught by my best friends Shelby and Stacie.

Anyhow, as I mentioned last month, Stacie got engaged to her wonderful guy, Scott. And this weekend Shelby's fabulous boyfriend proposed to her! I'm glad to hear that our marriage wishes worked! (And the third part of my bouquet was caught my brother's girlfriend (now an ex), and according to Shelby, that girl didn't actually catch the piece - she picked it up after it fell on the ground, and therefore doesn't truly get the marriage luck.)

Stacie & Shelby
Stacie and Shelby

So, congrats to my great friends and their upcoming marriages!

Also, my friend Purita welcomed their baby girl on Thursday, so congrats to her, too! Lots of exciting, exciting changes for everyone! Looks like 2007 is going to be a very exciting year.

I hope everyone had a safe New Year's. New Year's Eve is a strange holiday for me. My dad stopped celebrating it because it's the day my grandmother passed away. I think about that each year. New Year's Eve was redefined for me in 2000, when Brent told me he loved me for the first time.

We decided to go out and celebrate, as opposed to our typical kick-back-at-home approach. Our friends rented out a nearby dive bar, where we happily celebrated. The strangest thing happened, though. Brent and I aren't big drinkers, but we decided we'd both imbibe a bit more than usual. We took a cab so we wouldn't have to worry about driving. I started with one drink...then more...then two shots (because our friend Jen didn't want the one I bought for her)...and a small glass of champagne at midnight. And you know what? I didn't even feel buzzed! Not that I was going for a drunken New Year's, but still. Because I don't drink much, it usually only takes a drink or two - at most - to get me buzzed. And I know the drinks weren't watered down because Brent was feeling it from the two he had. A strange medical mystery.

"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