Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Funny this is

You must check out this set of Flickr photos that details the saga of a prank involving one co-worker's prized Yoda backpack (not a co-worker of mine).

I could barely contain my laughter as I flipped from photo to photo.

Start from the beginning - each photo is numbered.

Regret it you won't.

"Marge, you're as beautiful as Princess Leia and as smart as Yoda." - Homer, The Simpsons

Fanfare

Last night I attended the filming of the Maroon 5's Nissan Live set, which will be shown on Yahoo! Music. And not only did I attend the filming, but I also submitted a question to ask the band - and was selected! I arrived early to do a sound check and practiced standing on a stage in the middle of the audience to ask my question.

They played a few songs - including some new ones, which were awesome - and then it was my turn to get on the mic. I stepped up, smiled, waited for my cue and asked...well, you'll have to wait until the show hits Yahoo before I'll tell you what my exact question was, along with their response. Dahahaha!

The entire show was a blast and it was exciting to be in the first large crowd as they tried out songs from their upcoming album. I can't wait for the new album and the accompanying tour!

Brent was such a good sport and allowed me to drag him along to the show, seeing as how my Maroon 5 concert buddies have now moved to other states. He earns Husband of the Year points for that.

"Pushing forward and arching back. Bring me closer to heart attack. Say goodbye and just fly away. When you come back I have some things to say." - Maroon 5, Sweetest Goodbye

Sunday, March 25, 2007

We be illin'

I had a feeling last night as I went to bed that I wasn't feeling 100%. Then I woke up this morning with a cold. Unfortunately I had to drag my butt out of bed at 8:15 to make an early appointment with my hair stylist, especially because I had already rescheduled once before.

Despite my runny notes and foggy head, my haircut turned out fabulously. My hair grows quite quickly so it was already a couple of inches longer since my last cut, but I liked the short style so I asked to have the new growth cut instead of just a trim. And I realized that I never posted a pic when I made the initial 6" chop, so here's a pic from today.



So I spent the rest of the day on the couch. Brent was a fabulous husband, making dinner for me and letting me sleep peacefully even while I pinned his arm for an hour. I hope my two hours of napping don't keep me up tonight.

And I'll continue to give thanks to the makers of Kleenex for inventing a tissue with lotion in it. My nostrils and I appreciate it.

"You find a guy that can sit with you when you're at your absolute worst, when your face looks like a punching bag and you're elbow deep in Kleenex, and he can still look at you, and tell you that Ray is not the last man you're ever going to love." - Jane, Someone Like You

Thursday, March 22, 2007

More about my Office romance...

(That is, my love for The Office and Tuesday's visit to the set!)

I made cookies for Dave, Jodi's friend who gave us the tour, as a thank-you-for-spending-part-of-your-day-indulging-some-crazy-fans-who-promise-to-keep-it-calm,-cool-and-collected. I used this recipe, which has more than 3,000 reviews with a 4.5/5 rating. It turned out really well and it made a ton of cookies. While we were watching the filming of a couple scenes on one part of the set, Dave finished editing some scenes in his office. Mindy Kaling, who plays Kelly, saw the cookies in Dave's office, ate one and then came back for more because she thought they were delicious! Score!

Someone asked me if we took anything from the set as a memento. The answer? No. I wouldn't want to hurt my chances for a return visit. (And Dave did mention that we should come back next season. Woo hoo!) I had thought, however, about leaving something on the set, perhaps on Jim's desk. Something very small that only we'd notice while watching future episodes. But we didn't. We're good little set visitors who left things exactly as we found them.

And while we did see and meet a bunch of the cast members, we didn't ask to take photos with any of them because we were trying to limit our super-fan tendencies. We wanted to just blend in, even if we were, "OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD!" on the inside.

"Love that Andy, right? Solid fellow, seems smart enough. Likes me a lot. A lot. Too much. Like a crazy person a little. Not super crazy, just … there’s something about him that creeps me out. I can’t really explain it. He’s always up in my bidness. Which is Ebonics for 'being in my face and annoying the bejesus out of me.' I don’t understand how someone could have so little self-awareness." - Michael, The Office

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Best. Day. Ever.

I took the day off from my office to visit The Office. THE Office. THE OFFICE! I know! I can hardly believe it myself!

Jodi is college friends with Dave, an editor on the show and a really nice guy, who offered to take the three of us (Jodi, Jenn and I) on a tour of the set. We watched them film a couple of scenes, met some of the cast members including Oscar, Kevin, and Stanley, who were all super friendly. We also spotted Ryan, Creed, Kelly and Angela. (Jim, Pam, Michael and Dwight weren't around, but it was still quite exciting to be there.) We toured the set, ate lunch with the cast and crew, and got to take plenty of pics.

Here I am at Pam's desk
Me as Pam

In Michael's office
Me in Michael's office

And us, hard at work (Jenn doesn't like her picture online, so here she is incognito). She doesn't actually have a head like Charlie Brown, covered in text.
Work it, girls!

More pictures here.

I'm still in an euphoric haze after the entire visit. It was such a great experience and a dream for any fan of The Office.

Oh, and we stopped for cupcakes at nearby Leda's Bake Shop. Seriously the best...day...ever!

"I don’t want somebody sucking up to me because they think I’m going to help their career. I want them sucking up to me because they genuinely love me." - Michael, The Office

Monday, March 19, 2007

YouTube tops

If you were born around 1977 and indulged in TV nearly as much as I did, you may remember these next two intros.

Today's Special


Pinwheel


"Do not trust your memory; it is a net full of holes; the most beautiful prizes slip through it." - Georges Duhamel

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weekend, what, what

I was very sad Friday afternoon when I learned that there were no tickets available for the upcoming Los Angeles John Mayer show. This was the first time in all my years as a fan club member that I was unable to get tix through the pre-sale. I'll try again when they go on sale to the public, but the fan club has always been my key to kick-ass seats. Lame dash o, I say. Lame dash o!

Friday wasn't all bad, though. I thought about my upcoming Maroon 5 concert and got the best news ever from Jodi. (More on that later.) And a few minutes before the end of our work week, a co-worker and I discovered a new use for a long, empty space separating two of our departments: chair races. The race consisted of scooting backward in our chairs, pushing ourselves to the finish line with our feet while sitting down. I wasn't surprised that I met with defeat, seeing as how my co-worker has plenty of training, scooting around our office while I prefer walking. But I will point out that it was close. And I plan to have a rematch.

On Friday night Brent and I hung out with Josh, Jami and their oh-so-cute kids. Makes my ovaries hurt every time.

Saturday we hit the gym and then caught a matinee of 300, which we've been excited to see. It did not disappoint. I loved the look and feel of the movie. I loved watching Gerard Butler as King Leonidas. It also included my boy Dominic West. And although I'm a big fan of chick flicks, I also enjoy watching the occasional ass-kicking. There was plenty of that in this film. Even better, the ass-kicking involved the world's most beautiful army of men, straight out of the gym. (Read: the buffest men in red undies carrying swords and shields.) We enjoyed the rock-filled soundtrack and the slow motion blood splatters. If you're at all interested seeing this, see it on the big screen. It just won't have the same impact on your tv.

We spent Saturday night at a great restaurant not far from our place called Musha. It's a Japanese tapas place. I wrote a review of it on Yelp, so check that out if you're a So Cal resident. In a nutshell, it was amazing and we'll definitely be back.

Today we tried out a new nearby cafe called 3 Square Bakery. It's in this uber-hipster part of town called Abbot Kinney (in Venice). The food was delish. (I also Yelped it here.)

We came home and cleaned. I'm pooped but ready for the week!

"I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." - Diane Ackerman

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Luck of the Irish!

In honor of the upcoming St. Patrick's Day and a co-worker's weekend birthday, I made some cupcakes. And not just any cupcakes - Irish Cream cupcakes! I got the recipe from the Crazy About Cupcakes cookbook. It's a cake batter, filling and frosting all infused with Irish Cream liqueur.

They turned out really well. In fact, Brent says they are his favorite cupcakes of those I've ever made!

Hopefully my co-workers will feel the same way.

(And sorry - no pictures. My camera is dead and I can't find the charger.)

"Irish whisky. Your mother always filled it with coffee and Irish whisky. We just called it clam chowder in front of you kids." - Martin, Frasier

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

You've got questions. We've got answers.

Thanks, everyone, for your responses to my post. Here are most of my answers.

From Michelle:
I can't find those Fiber bar thingys ANYWHERE!! Where do you get them? I get them at Vons, in the cereal aisle.
Have you purchased any cute things lately? Thanks to Jesser pointing these out, I bought this pendant and another one featuring a bird that is no longer available. I love them!
What did you have for lunch today? Brown rice, tofu, kale and marinated mushrooms from a great little deli. Then a few pieces of fruit salad.
What kind of toothpaste do you use? I think we're using Crest Total Health, but we don't like it so we're probably going to switch soon.
What did you have for dinner? Homemade burritos made with whole wheat tortillas, non-fat refried beans, fat-free cheese, fat-free sour cream. Really, they weren't as tasteless as they sound!
Have you ever been to Joans on 3rd? I don't think so, but a friend is talking about gathering there one of these days. I think I need to go and try their cupcakes.
Have you ever heard of GEN ART? Nope, but do tell!

From Jodi:
Have you ever had any pets? We always had dogs growing up, and a cat once that I surprisingly wasn't allergic to. (I have pretty harsh reactions now.) I also had some pet frogs for a few years, the kind that lived underwater.
If so, do you have a favorite species or a specific favorite pet? I absolutely adored my parents' basset hounds. They had such great personalities and were so loving. They had one left when my father was sick. (The dog was named Quincy, after the basset hound on the sitcom Coach.) Quincy was great company for my dad, and perhaps not-so-coincidentally Quincy died shortly after my dad did.
Any funny pet stories? My parents also had cocker spaniels. I remember one, named Bandit, who freaked out the first time I swam in my parents' newly-built pool. He thought I was drowing, so he jumped on my back to try and save me!
And if none of the above, would you ever like to have a pet and if so, what kind? I keep joking with Brent that I want a mini yorkshire terrier, but I'm not ready to be a pet owner. Plus, I'd only want a dog if we had a yard for it.

From Eileen:
i'm not creative so i have no idea what to suggest for your blog ... except maybe family? so cliche and predictable of me huh? (Eileen is my cousin, by the way.) Um, the only thing I can really say about family is that outside of my immediate family, I'm sad that the extended family isn't closer.

From Anonymous:
"What's up my ninja?" Hee, hee. That reminds me. I need to take my Wee Ninja to work! He'll make a great addition to my shiny new cubicle.

From Felicia:
Go through your fashion phases over the years...oh and post lots of pics of that! I'll have to work on this one! I don't have many childhood photos of me here. They're at my parents' house. I can tell you that I went through an awkward style phase in the 6th grade (and kids can be so cruel!).
"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." - James Thurber

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

If you call, I will answer

I'm at a loss for some good blogging material, so I'm opening the floor to questions from my lovely blog readers.

Anything you want to know about lil' ol' me?

"All right, all right. Wait, wait, wait! I have a question! What is the point in having a door that has a horrible death behind it? Huh?" - Tony, The 10th Kingdom

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weekend drive-by

Even though it feels like it's only 10:30 because of the time change, I'm going to make this post quick so I can try to make myself go to bed at a reasonable time.

Ups
- Hung out with Josh and Jami. I love our nights when we just grab some food and chillax at home, chatting about this, that and everything in between.
- A great workout. 500 calories gone!
- Following that great workout with some delicous Pinkberry yogurt.
- Yummy Italian food. I enjoyed some pumpkin ravioli.
- Enjoyed Black Snake Moan. It wasn't as predictable as I thought. And I might add that Justin Timberlake did a surprisingly good job.
- Grabbed some sandwiches from our favorite nearby deli.
- GORGEOUS weather! It feels like summer, and not in a oh-my-gosh-it's-so-freakin'-hot kinda way.
- Took the sandwiches, our bikes, some reading material and hit the beach. Can you believe that in the 2 1/2 years we've lived just blocks from the beach, this is the FIRST time we actually went to the beach and sat on the sand? We've gone for dozens of bike rides along the beach, but we'd never really gone to the beach. Strange, but true.
- Did five long overdue loads of laundry.
- Cleaned out my closet and dresser drawers.

Downs
- Didn't get tickets early enough to see 300 like we'd hoped. Maybe next weekend.
- Put sunscreen on my face and ears, but didn't cover the rest of my body. And I didn't give both sides of my arms equal sunshine time, so I'm now dealing with a bit of a sunburn. Oops!
- Having to get used to this freakin' time change.

"Live. And live well. BREATHE. Breathe in and breathe deeply. Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now. On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun." - Kyle Lake

Friday, March 09, 2007

Come on, get happy

There are a lot of good things happening these days.

This morning I was down 1.6 lbs at my Weight Watchers weigh-in. I'm so happy to be in "the zone" again.

And last week I won tickets to see an exclusive Maroon 5 show at the end of the month. (Fan club membership has its privileges.) It's been way too long since I've seen them live and way, way, WAY too long since they released their first album. (5 freakin' years!!!) Their new album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long, comes out May 22. I've seen them perform some new songs I'm assuming will appear on the new album, and if so, I can tell ya that they're different yet still amazing.

I was asked to increase my volunteering role with the organization I tutor with. Instead of just a tutor, I'll be coordinating the tutors for one particular shleter. I'm excited to help out with just a couple of extra hours a week.

And it's Friday. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

"But things just get so crazy living life gets hard to do. Sunday morning rain is falling and I'm calling out to you." - Sunday Morning, Maroon 5

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bounce with me

Tonight I tutored the 8-year-old girl at the nearby homeless shelter, which I've been doing weekly for the past few months. She was in rare form tonight, though. She was hopped up on sugar, sucking on a candy cane as we worked on her assignments. She couldn't sit still and I kept having to refocus her attention on the work. She told me how she wouldn't be able to sleep tonight because she's so excited about seeing a Cinderella play tomorrow in Downtown LA with her class. She was uncharacteristically unwilling to work on her assignments and I had to convince her that if she finished tomorrow night's homework tonight then she wouldn't have to do it tomorrow. I was amused more than annoyed as she tried to convince me that she hadn't had more sugar than the candy cane that day. Then she admitted to the chocolate chip cookies and chocolate-covered strawberries.

The shelter staff member complimented me on what I great job I did with her tonight, so at least I appeared to know what I was doing.

I got home and told Brent the tale of the hyperactive child. He looked at me, smiled and said, "Good! Now YOU know how it feels!"

Yes, I'm known for my exuberance and enthusiasm, although I'd like to think I'm more focused than an 8-year-old hopped up on sugar. A co-worker did ask me today, though, where I'd been all morning. When I told I'd been in meetings most of the day, he jokingly replied, "Ahh, that explains why it's been so quiet today."

It's funny 'cuz it's true.

"We are pleased to see that your enthusiasm for our product continues unabated, and would like you to know that the two thermonuclear missiles currently converging upon your vessel are merely a courtesy we extend to all prospective customers." - Ghostly Image, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Monday, March 05, 2007

Flavor faves

Check out some of my favorite food finds:

True Lemon - I have a difficult time drinking enough water, but I tend to drink more of it when accompanied with a slice of lemon. I can't tell ya, though, the number of times that I've repeatedly requested a slice of lemon at a restaurant for the yucky tap water they give you. It's also a pain to keep a fresh stash of lemons or lemon juice at the office. I was happily surprised to stumble across these little packets of crystalized lemon juice. 0 calories and easy to stash in my purse, I love these little suckers. I'll have to try the lime version next.

Fiber One Bars - I heard raves about these at my Weight Watchers meeting. While I'm not typically a granola bar kinda girl, I was intrigued. I bought a box and am now a fan. It's a great little snack to tide me over when I'm craving a bit of chocolate.

Wish-Bone Salad Spritzers - These things are fabulous! And they just came out with four new flavors, which I'm very excited to try. I keep a couple at work and a couple at home. They're basically 1 calorie per spritz, and you typically don't need more than 10 spritzes for a large salad. I've been doing the dip-the-fork-in-the-dressing-before-ya-spear-a-bite-of-salad trick for years, and this spritz is a nice change.

Pomegranate Blueberry Lattes/Ice Blendeds from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: These were recommended to me by Michelle, a new reader of my blog, so I checked them out. I tried the latte version and the ice blended. Both remind me of pancakes with boysenberry syrup. Mmmm....yum! And even the no-sugar-added tasted great. However I won't be having these too often because I'm on a weight-loss roll again and I don't want to jeopardize that. And I tend to do better when I keep away from CB&TL.

"It seems to me the only thing you've learned is that Caesar is a 'salad dressing dude.'" - Mr. Ryan, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Catching up

I've been a bad blogger, but I've been a busy little bee.

Thursday night Brent and I saw an amazing performance by one of my favorite little-known musicians, Teitur, at LA's historic Largo. You can either chance getting a spot at the bar or guarantee a spot by making reservations for dinner, which is what we did. You can read my review of Largo here on Yelp.

As for Teitur's show, he was freakin' amazing and quite hilarious. Listening to his music and lyrics is like coming out of the freezing cold and stepping into a nice warm bath. I found myself smiling, although no one could see me in the darkness of the club. The smile was just for me, just because I was enjoying the show so much. His voice reminds me of Chris Martin from Coldplay but with a thicker, different accent. He's from the Faroe Islands, near Iceland and Norway. I highly recommend checking him out, especially his surreal cover of Great Balls of Fire. Yes, THAT Great Balls of Fire. You can hear it on his MySpace page.

I was somewhat surprised on Friday to only have to work half the day. We moved into new offices over the weekend and my team worked dilligently to finish our work early in case we lost internet access. I'm excited to see the new, expanded space. I remember when I started a year ago that folks in our other offices were amazed we could fit anyone else in. And we've hired eight new people since then!

Friday night we hung out with Josh, Jami, their adorable 3-year-old daughter Hallie and baby son Brendan. I looooove playing with Hallie, especially when trying to understand her toddler logic.

Hallie (playing with one of the car seats): Let's pretend you have a baby.
Me: Um, ok.
Hallie: What will you name the baby?
Me: Um......Stephanie?
Hallie: I have a friend named Stephanie!
Me: Really?
Hallie: Yup. So what will your baby be?
Me: Huh? I don't understand.
Hallie: Tell me what your baby will be.
Me: Give me an example. I don't know what you're asking.
Hallie: Ask me a question.
Me: What?
Hallie: I don't know. You tell me.

Last night Brent and I saw Zodiac, which was pretty good. Although it was 2 hours and 40 minutes long, it moved fairly quickly. It featured a great cast. I knew very little about the famous serial killer, but the movie told the story well.

Today Brent and I enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather and picked up some fruit at the local farmer's market. We sat on the grass, ate lunch and watched the hipsters stroll by.

"Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them." - John Shirley