Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Like it was yesterday

Each year as May 31 rolls around, I get a bit giddy. It's the 8th anniversary of my first date with the man who...

...makes me laugh until I cry

...makes me laugh when I cry

...lets me sleep while he drives

...impresses me with his smarts friends and family adore

...opens my door

...quickly hops out of bed from a peaceful slumber when I nudge him and say, "I think I heard something in the living room"

...encourages me in all my endeavors

...knows what I'm thinking before I do

...endures my quirky habits

...compliments my cooking

...enjoys being silly with me

...comforts me when I feel ill (like tonight!)

...buys me fun gifts like Guitar Hero II, just because (like tonight!)

...looks YUMMY in anything, especially a suit.

Hottie hubby

Jim: Pam. (To camera) Sorry. Um, are you free for dinner tonight?
Pam: Yes.
Jim: All right. Then it’s a date.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A memorable weekend

I'm pretty exhausted from this weekend's trip up to Northern California for Stacie's wedding, but it was so worth it.

Friday and Saturday night we stayed with our friend, Nicole, who live close to the wedding location. She and her husband, Matt, who was out of town this weekend, are always such great hosts and there's never a shortage of fun.

Saturday we had hoped to see The Ex, but every theater seemed to have pushed most other movies out to make room for Shrek 3 and Pirates. Instead we saw Spider-Man 3, which turned out better than I expected. I think I had such low expectations that it could only go up from there.

Sunday morning we had a nice breakfast with some other No. Cal friends of Brent's, then we headed over to get me all dolled up as a bridesmaid in the wedding. Stacie was a stunning bride!She looked amazing in her white gown, with her veil, gorgeous blonde hair, killer bod, shining personality... we were all blown away. I was so excited and honored to be a part of her and her husband's big day. (Sorry, no pics yet.)

We drove back this morning. And now it's time for bed.

"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved..." - George Sand

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I couldn't stand it anymore...

I'm so impatient waiting for a high-quality version of the Mastercard ad with the three dancing boys to appear, so I busted out the video feature of my little digital camera tonight for your viewing pleasure!

(And my apologies for the crappy quality. I did what I could.)

Jack Cheng is my hero! He got his hands on this high-quality version. Score!

"All commend patience, but none can endure to suffer." - Thomas Fuller


**Updated August 22 - If you're looking for the Mastercard commercial, it's posted on this post.**

Please tell me you saw this! During tonight's Lost, approximately 1:32 minutes into the two-hour finale, they aired a new Mastercard commercial with three little boys, probably in kindergarten. It starts with one breakdancing to "We Want the Funk." Then another boy joins in, followed by a third. It's all about "not caring what people think" as priceless.

Brent and I watched it no less than 7 times! It was hilariously adorable! We were both in tears! Did ya see? Did ya see?

I tried to find it on YouTube and MasterCard's to share it with you, but I think it's so new that it hasn't been posted yet. I'll keep looking, though, because you MUST see it! I'm also on a quest to adopt those three little boys so they can keep us entertained with their smooth moves.

By the way, the end of Lost? Lame. I enjoyed most of the episode, but it was so anti-climatic.

Update 1: I've had at least 50 people find my blog today by searching for that commercial, so I know Brent and I weren't the only folks who enjoyed it!

Update 2: In one of my dorkiest moves in a while, I totally tracked down Mastercard's advertising contact to encourage them to hurry up and post the ad on their site or on YouTube. I told him about the plethora of folks looking for it and I also threw in some marketing-speak about the power of word-of-mouth and viral marketing.

Update 3 (August 8): If you're looking for the Mastercard commercial, please check out this post.

"Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance." - Oprah

Monday, May 21, 2007

Fun and fearless

This weekend I visited my mom. We shopped, ate and vegged. We also spent lots of time with my nephew, Jayden. My mom was a crack-up, as always. And my nephew was adorable, as always. I only see him every few months, so I'm always in awe of how much he's grown in between visits.

One thing I noticed is that he had a lot of scrapes. My first thought was, "Folks must not be keeping a close eye on him." Then, after spending the day with him, I learned firsthand why he's all scraped up. That boy is FEARLESS! And he's indestructable! He has no problem leaping off a toy, smack on to the ground. He would run after a bubble outside, trip, hit the concrete and then get up like nothing happened. He'd bump into a wall and not think twice about it. The only time I saw him cry from a fall was when he thought he was pushed over. Thinking back, my brother was the same way. He'd get spanked when he was little and thought it was a game. His pain threshold growing up was unbelievable.

The other thing about my nephew is that he's overcome his fear of bugs he had last time I saw him. Now he'll run to pick them up off the sidewalk or out of the dirt. It's cute when it's a rollie pollie, but scary when it's some unknown bug with yellow stripes. "That's a mystery bug! Put it down!!!"

And although he's not talking yet, he definitely understands what we're saying. He has a one-word vocabulary of "eh," which he uses in response to everything we say or when he wants something. I wish there was a Jayden-to-English dictionary because I'm soooo excited to hear his voice. It'll make being a long-distance aunt easier if I can hear his cute little voice over the phone every now and then.

"Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs." - P.J. O'Rourke

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Kiddin' around

Too tired to blog, but this cute pic should hold you over.

This is from my weekend visit with the world's cutest nephew.

My nephew's grin

He's part of the reason I'm so tired. Being Fun Auntie Nanette takes a lot outta ya.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sharing is caring

I've been crazy-go-nuts these days. And today was one of those few days at work where I was able to cross off every single thing on my to-do list. I had a stack of things to edit and then either send back to the authors or off to the rest of my team. Done. All of them. Done. Off my plate and onto someone else's. We'll see how long that lasts.

Here is a fun read for you to check out when you've crossed everything off of your to-do list.

It's an excerpt from a collection of Chuck Klosterman essays called, "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto." Brent bought the book and suggested that I read this particular essay called, "This is Emo." It speaks especially to John Cusack fans (me!) and (sorry Jen) talks some funny smack about Coldplay. More than anything it's an essay about life, love and expectations.

"She's gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen." - Lloyd Dobler, Say Anything

Monday, May 14, 2007

Belated weekend review

I had a great time playing hostess this weekend during Shelby's visit from Iowa. I took Friday off and we enjoyed being "ladies who lunch." Or in our case, "ladies who tea." We started the weekend off with tea at Jin Patisserie. A pot of tea each, along with a sampling of tea sandwiches, quiche, scones and other pastries - delicious! I can't believe it took this long for me to try a place that's so nearby!

After tea we did a bit of window shopping and then took our sore selves for 80-minute massages. I was sore from six workouts that week; Shelby was beat from all her hard work on her new Iowa home. My massage therapist massaged out knots in my back that I didn't even know were there. Apparently they were like "rice krispie treats," along with muscles that were tight like "guitar strings." He did an awesome job and even though I was sore up until today, I think he's my new favorite therapist.

At the request of Shelby, we happily took her to our fav Cuban restaurant, Versailles. It's been too long since we partook in their sangria and roast pork. Mmm...

Saturday we started with pedicures then grabbed some sandwiches from Bay Cities Deli, again at Shelby's request. (There's never a shortage of great LA food for our out-of-town guests, lemme tell ya.)

Then we saw Waitress, starring Keri Russell. The film's writer/director, who is also in the film, suffered a tragic death shortly before the film's debut at Sundance. It's bittersweet that the film was so good, seeing as we won't have the opportunity to see another her films. I didn't know much about the film other than Keri's character likes to bake pies (awesome!) and is stuck in an unhappy marriage (not awesome). Other than the extreme desire to try to make some delicious pies, I was sad thinking about the unfortunate women who are stuck in loveless marriages to men who make them feel like crap. I had to quiet the urge to yell at the screen, "You don't have to stay! You can be happy!" Anyhow, I highly recommend this film. Great story line, great cast, great baked goods. What else do you need?

After dropping Shelby at the airport for an early Sunday morning flight, Brent and I spent Mother's Day at his parents'. We stuffed ourselves with bagels and lox, coffee cake and other goodies, then enjoyed an episode of Planet Earth in high-def on his parents' gigantic tv.

I'm looking forward to celebrating Mother's Day next weekend with my mom.

"Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren't bad people; they're just acquaintances." -Jay Leno

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mom's Day

I hope you all had a fabulous Mother's Day!


"A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary." - Dorothy C. Fisher

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Shy, shy, hush, hush, eye to eye

I'll occasionally get emails from folks I don't know in real life or whose blogs I've yet to discover, introducing and almost apologetically "outing" themselves as blog readers. Usually they'll tell me how much we have in common, which fills me with glee at the thought of other Nanette-ish folks roaming the earth, and that they've been anonymously reading my site for quite a while.

I also have friends (or friends of friends) who will drop me a line or mention during a get-together that they're avid readers. Again, with a hint of shame. "I admit it! I'm your blog stalker!," they say, as though I haven't welcomed readers from all over the web and parts of my life to my blog during the nearly three years I've had it or that I haven't constantly told folks, "I have a blog. You should read it." (Ok, not constantly... that would get annoying for them.)

So let me lay it out for all of you who read my site, whether it's regularly, occasionally or every 12th Friday that ends in an odd number during leap years - it's perfectly fine for you to read my site! I welcome it! Don't be ashamed. It may feel like you've stumbled across my personal diary that I accidentally left unlocked while you were house-sitting, but that's not the case.

I blog to keep connected with current friends (even if it's a one-sided conversation), and I blog to make new ones. (Ok, I may not purposely blog to make new friends, but it's fun perk of the hobby.) I blog as a record of how fulfilling my life is or what might be lacking. I blog to get my wacky thoughts outta my head. I blog as a creative release. And you are welcome to enjoy, question and freak out about any of it. I wear my blog on my sleeve. It just happens to be the same sleeve I wipe my snot on. (Oops... did I go to far with that last part?)

Feel free to take this post as an opportunity to "out" yourself if you haven't already. I always appreciate it.

"Happiness hates the timid! So does science!" - Eugene O'Neill

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I sore

I've been working my butt off this week. Seriously, heavy-duty legs weights and cardio on Sunday, heavy-duty arm weights and cardio on Monday, kickbox cardio last night (which showed me that I'm not pushing myself as much as I should during my own cardio), and a bunch of cardio tonight.

There are a few reasons I'm hitting it hardcore. In addition to trying to generally get in better shape, I have a weekend of good eating ahead of me. Shelby is visiting (YAY!!!!) Friday and Saturday and we have delicious meals lined up. While moderation is key, I still plan to partake in some yummy food.

Another reason I'm doing this is that I'm a bridesmaid in Stacie's wedding at the end of the month. This is the dress I'll be wearing. Cute, huh? Just a few weeks left to tighten (and loosen) things up a bit.

Good thing Shelby and I have massages planned for Friday because I've never needed one more. Strangely I don't mind being sore. It's a reminder of all my hard work and a reminder to keep it up because it seems to be doing something.

"The Japanese have this thing called shiatsu massage, where they dig into your body, very hard. And it is very painful. And apparently, some people throw up. But the next day they feel great. I’ve never had one. They sound awful." - Michael, The Office

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Weekend highlights

- I weighed in at Weight Watchers before work and was happy to learn I was 1.4 lbs. down. I hadn't worked out a lot, but I was mindful of my eating.
- We hung out with Josh & Jami, our regular Friday night dates.
- I let their 3-year-old daughter play with my hair, one of her favorite activities when I'm around. It cracks me up, and I don't mind having to remind her every now and then to "be gentle," especially when she leans over and kisses the top of my head before declaring her work of art (mostly just my hair piled on my head) as "nice!"
- We had sushi take-out, which was delicious. It's hard to imagine the days (before college) when I didn't love sushi.
- We watched The Good Shepard. I fell asleep. Enough said.

- I decided to try out Merry Maids for a deep cleaning of our condo. Brent and I do an ok job of keeping things tidy, but I thought the bathroom, in particular, could use a good scrubbing. The two folks who were here for 2 1/2 hours did a good job, but I was surprised that they didn't actually scrub our tub or shower walls. They cleaned the fixtures and the glass doors, but didn't seem to touch the other parts. The main office called after they left to see what we thought. I explained my surprise and they offered to send them back out, but it was going to be a hassle to reschedule so I let them take off some of the charges instead. I don't know if I'll be using them again. They seemed to have spent an inordinate time cleaning the blinds in our bedrooms, which was also weird to me.
- We didn't leave our place while the cleaners were here. Instead we sat outside on our communal patio. Brent and I both got a bit of a sunburn on our arms. Oops.
- Brent and I both needed new workout shoes. He needed them for running. I needed mine for, as I described to the sales guy, "Mostly for weights and cardio machines like the elliptical, but they have to be ok in case I someday decide to actually start running." I chose some cross-training ones that are quite cute and comfy.
- I also got new eyeshadow from Benefit (a la Sephora). I love the color (Get Figgy) and have never used a cream eyeshadow before. I'm excited to officially try it out tomorrow.
- We tried a new bakery that opened up in Santa Monica called Yummy Cupcakes. I should have paid more attention to the warnings from my friends who tried cupcakes from Yummy's location in the valley. The frosting was way too sweet and the cake was dry.
- We were strolling through Sur La Table when I heard someone yell out, "Hey! I know you! You're on the Knot! I've seen your pictures!" It was the cashier, who was planning her wedding around the same time as us. She recognized me from my postings on the site's message boards. She and her husband also used our photographer, Next Exit. We chatted a bit. Brent was a bit mortified.

- We lazed around most of the day. I read a lot. Currently I'm quite into Little Earthquakes.
- We tried out our new shoes at the gym.
- After the gym we swung by Pinkberry. We were both adventurous - Brent ordered a smoothie. I ordered the shaved ice. They only offer one size. When they brought it out from the back, I heard Brent dying of laughter and a collective gasp from the yogurt shop patrons.

Giant shaved ice from Pinkberry, 2
It was freakin' HUGE! Granted most of the cup was filled with shaved ice, it was still quite a sight. And truthfully I wasn't a big fan. I know shaved ice, as my first job ever was at a shaved ice stand. I'll stick to the regular yogurt/fruit combo.

Probably the biggest accomplishment of the weekend was that Brent and I finally decided where we're going for our big trip this year - Italy! Brent declared after visiting our favorite nearby Italian deli this weekend, "We're going to Italy. All those olive oils and pastas and cheeses at the deli sealed the deal for me." And it's the land of (some of) my people. We're soooo excited! Andif feels great to have come to a decision. We'll probably go at the end of September/early October for 7 or 8 nights. We haven't decided exactly where we're going, although we're hoping to make it to Cinque Terre.

For those of you who have visited Italy, any recommendations? What were your most/least favorite cities? Keep in mind that Brent and I appreciate history, but we're not big museum people.

"There are four kinds of business. Tourism. Food service. Railroads. And sales. And hospitals/manufacturing. And air travel." - Michael, The Office

Friday, May 04, 2007

When Muppets met Pulp Fiction

I love Muppets. I love Pulp Fiction. Check this out if you do, too.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A child's eyes

Thank you, everyone, for all your kind words and support. Although it's been nearly four years since he passed, I realized that the pain doesn't disappear - it just spreads itself out. I'm still amazed at how easily the tears can come, if I'm caught in just the right mood.

My mom visited my dad's grave yesterday. She brought my 2-year-old nephew with her as she was watching him for the afternoon. She said that my nephew had a great time, which threw me off at first. Who has a great time at a cemetary? But as Brent pointed out, when you're two, there's not much difference between a park and a cemetery. Both are grassy and both have colorful things that kids gravitate toward (bright jungle gyms in a park, bright flowers in a cemetery). Apparently pinwheels are big in gravestone decor these days, so he had fun trying to blow them round and round even if he didn't have much success.

I liked the juxtaposition of a carefree kid finding joy there, a kid who doesn't yet know what a great person his grandfather was nor the wisdom and kindness that we learned from him. We'll make sure he finds out.

"There's no use in weeping, though we are condemned to part. There's such a thing as keeping a remembrance in one's heart..." - Charlotte Bronte

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dear Dad

If you were here...

you'd be excited to hear that my first year of marriage has been blissful.

you'd be proud of my career choices and success.

you'd get phone calls from me asking why it's illegal to not have a front license plate, and that I wish I'd known that before I got a fix-it ticket.

you'd would absolutely adore my nephew (your first grandchild).

you'd be surprised to know that I'm trying to cook more. And I'd crack up at the recipes you'd suggest. (Coke in chili? Seriously???)

you'd tell me it's ok to miss you as much as I do.

you'd tell me that although you're no longer with us, you are never far from my mind.

you'd have a happy 53rd birthday.

Dad in the snow

My dad - May 1, 1954 - Sept. 12, 2003

"I wonder whether they have rum and Coke in Heaven? Maybe it's too mundane a pleasure, but I hope so -- as a sundowner. Except, of course, the sun never goes down there. Oh, man, this heaven is going to take some getting used to." - Desmond Tutu