Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend recap - bounce with me

This was a nice and relaxing weekend. I'm sad that it's already Sunday night.

Here are the highlights:

- Lemon ricotta pancakes from Coast, one of the restaurants in Santa Monica's Shutters. Although we live within walking distance, it was our first time dining there. The prices were $$$ but the portions were huge and it was nice to eat with an ocean view.
Breakfast

- Watched Blood Diamond. Meh. I don't understand all the hype, although I will admit that Leo looked pretty good. I don't usually get his appeal, but he reminded me of Eric Dane. Rawr.

- Got a long-overdue pedicure. I even went for some cute little flowers. Sadly, it's already chipped. Boo!

- We tried the new nearby location for Red Mango, the originator of the tart yogurt Pinkberry is famous for. I'm looking forward to even warmer weather so I can really enjoy fro yo.

- Attended Hallie's 4th birthday party. Lemme tell ya - you haven't lived until you've seen a dozen 3-4-year-olds screaming with glee while bouncing in a Disney Princess bounce house. Brent and I overheard this conversation during the celebrations.

Girl: I can bounce higher!
Boy: No, I can bounce higher!
Girl: How old are you?
Boy: 4
Girl: I'm 3! And I can bounce higher!...Boys don't wear dresses. Have you ever seen one?
Boy: I did once.
Girl: When did you see that?
Boy: One time, a king was wearing a dress.
Girl: Well, maybe the dress was too small for the princess so the king had to wear it.
Boy: (laughing in disbelief) Um, no. THAT definitely wasn't it.

We also overheard the birthday girl and her birthday declaration. "As the birthday girl, I get to eat my cake first!" (looking directly a party-goer in her princess dress) "And YOU are going to need to take that dress off."

"Michael is awesome, jumpin’ off the roof, bouncin’ on a bouncy bounce, show ‘em who’s boss! Rip a hole in the sun!" - Dwight, The Office

Monday, March 24, 2008

Show business

My company hosts industry events throughout the year. We had one last week, and as usual, half the editorial team went to cover the event while the other half stayed in the office to man the fort and put our newsletter together. I was part of the fort-manning crew this time around, which isn't typically bad -- until I get a text on my phone from one of the team members at our event.

"Holy f*ck! Brett Dennen is playing the [insert our company name] event!"

My response?

"OH MY GOD!"

I'm obviously a fan, but he's not well-known so I was fuming with jealousy that he was playing to a room full of folks who probably had no idea who he was. If I were there, you bet that I'd be in the front, singing along.

The worst part is that at previous events our company has hired cover bands and impressionists as entertainment - not people I actually really enjoy!

So. Freakin'. Unfair.

I'm going to have to get into the inner circle of our event planning, which is based out of another office, to make sure I don't miss out on other kick-ass acts.

It's all ok, though, because at the end of last week Brett Dennen announced a new tour, with two shows in Santa Monica!

I was also able to score tickets to see Teitur in May. And Maroon 5 announced their summer tour, so I'm banking on seeing them in September with awesome seats, thanks to my fan club membership! Jamie Cullum is playing a show at the Hollywood Bowl in August, which I'm hoping to get decent seats for. So I suppose I can't cry to the Concert Gods too much - they're still sending plenty o' my favorite acts my way!

"We're no longer called Sonic Death Monkey. We're on the verge of becoming Kathleen Turner Overdrive, but just for tonight, we are Barry Jive and his Uptown Five." - Barry, High Fidelity

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller

Scene: Watching UCLA vs. Mississippi Valley St. with Brent. The score is something like 53 to 22, UCLA is kicking ass. Not realizing that Brent has just changed the channel, I look up.

Me: [seeing that the score is now 30-something to 50-something] Oh! It looks like Utah is catching up to LA!
Brent: [silence]
Me: Oh, wait. This is the Lakers game now.
Brent: [bursting into laughter] Yes, this is not the same court and their uniforms have changed.
Me: [giggling] Hey, at least I noticed it myself and you didn't have to point it out.
Brent: Yup...See that guy? His nickname is "AK-47." He's Russian and his initials are "A" and "K." Ya know, like the gun.
Me: And the number on his uniform...
Brent: [silence, followed by surprise] Wait! WHAT?!?!?! It is!?!?!?!?
Me: [laughing] DAHAHAHA! Who's the observant one NOW????

"And Whitney! Why can't she be like every other teenager. For prom night she stayed home and field stripped an AK-47." - Jack Slater, Last Action Hero

Paley Festival - part 2 - aka That's what she said

The fun thing about going out with another blogger --especially one who is known for her extensive, photo-filled, thoughtful posts -- is that when it comes time for ME to tell you about an event, I can just say click here, y'all.

The only things I'll add are:

- I was sad when Kyle Chandler (who plays Coach Taylor) and Jesse Plemons (who plays Landry) weren't able to attend as previously scheduled.
- I was hoping for a surprise visit from Taylor Kitsch (Riggins), but alas, there was none. As Jami noted, Riggins is totally the new Jordan Catalano. Hellooooooo nurse!

"For as long I've known Tim Riggins, there's only two phrases that put a smile on his face: number one, 'We goin' to State!' Number two, 'The results are in. You are not the father!'" - Brian "Smash" Williams, Friday Night Lights

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Paley Festival - part 1

Last night Brent and I joined Josh and Jami for our first Paley Festival event of the season. For those of you not familiar, the Paley Center (formerly Museum of Television and Radio) hosts a series of events annually, typically focused on current TV shows. They show an episode or two of the show, and then a moderator discusses the show with some of the writers, producers and cast members. It ends with a brief Q&A from the audience.

We've been to previous Paley Festival events, including The Wire and Entourage (and another that I can't seem to remember at the moment). However, the real queen of Paley Festivals is Jodi. Check out all of her previous events.

Last night's event was a little different as it wasn't focused on a specific show. Instead it focused on producer Judd Apatow, best known for his work on Freaks & Geeks, Undeclared, Knocked Up, Superbad and 40-year-old Virgin. He and a panel of friends discussed Judd's career, their involvement and his influence on them, along with a series of clips from some of Judd's work.

His panel of friends at last night's show started with Garry Shandling, one of Judd's mentors since his work on The Larry Sanders Show. It was then followed by Tom Arnold, another comic Judd worked with early in his career. (He was crazy drunk, by the way. He was slurring, his face was red -- still funny, but alllll over the place.) Then he brought up folks from Freaks & Geeks, including Busy Phillips, Seth Rogan and Jason Segal. Shortly thereafter Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd joined them. (Have I mentioned that Paul Rudd is my boyfriend? Because he TOTALLY is. We had dinner together at The Farm last year. Ok, so we weren't sitting at the same table. Tomato, tomahto...) Last to join them was Andy Dick, who was a bit batshit insane, if I can be completely honest.

Overall, the event was entertaining and there were no shortage of laughs from us. I brought my little point-and-shoot camera as I didn't want to lug around our new giant SLR, but I haven't uploaded the few pics I took. Our seats were a little far back for me to capture any good ones anyway. Instead, check out these photos that another attendee took.

After the event, while Jami and I were in the line for the restroom, a cute little gal came up to me and asked tentatively, "Are you Nanette?" I smiled and said, "Yup!" She introduced herself as Celia, one of my long-time blog buddies! We'd never met, but she's probably the fourth blog I ever read! I had no idea she was going to attend the event, but she had seen my previous post and/or my calendar listing and knew I would be there. Hopefully we'll run into each other again when I attend Wednesday's Paley Festival for Friday Night Lights.

We also ran into Jodi and her husband. After chatting with them, we ended the evening with some dinner at nearby Swingers (yup, the one from the movie - No! Not the one from the movie! I stand corrected! Doh!). Nothing like a late night dinner of mac 'n' cheese to top off a fun evening. Yummy!

"Judith has very particular tastes. About the only thing she ever wants is scented oils and plenty of time with her man." - Harris Trinsky, Freaks & Geeks

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weekend recap - with photos!

This was a nice weekend. It was crazy-go-nuts windy, but that made for gorgeously clear skies, free of smog.

On with my laundry list of crap, with my first attempt at pics with our new camera and lens.

Friday
Brent and his dad went to the UCLA/USC game (yay, UCLA!) and I relaxed at home. I watched August Rush, which was cheesy, but I still enjoyed it because it was all about music and how that can connect people.

I also played with my awesome new phone. It's a red Blackberry Pearl. It's shiny and fancy and makes it insanely easy to check my Gmail on the go. Don't worry - I'm not one of those people who texts while they drive. *cough - Tori!* Safety first!

Check it out:
New phone!

Saturday
We had breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien where I had deliciously tart mint lemonade along with my breakfast staple - steel cut oats. Every time I order oatmeal, Brent notes, "It's like you've discovered something! I always forget how good oatmeal is!"

Then we headed over to Target. I've decided to redecorate our living room. We currently have red accents, which I'd like to replace with yellow, green and white. So we picked up:
Pillows

Candle & holder

After Target, Brent and I continued "Operation Find Me Some Damn Girl Scout Cookies." I checked out the Girl Scout's website and discovered that this Sunday would be the LAST DAY of the GS cookie season.

We hadn't had any luck over the last couple of weeks during our grocery store drive-bys. Saturday we finally hit pay dirt after four stores. It was at an Albertson's in the same mall as a a hectic Costco, so Brent waited in the car while I ran up to buy some cookies. All he asked for were some Thin Mints. I came back with those AND THEN SOME!

Girl Scout Cookies

Six boxes total. Holy moly, they're all so delicious. Those Lemon Cremes in particular were surprisingly good. And one box of Thin Mints currently resides in our freezer, saved for a particularly hot summer day.

After my sugar high, I took a two-hour nap. Then I wondered why it took me forever to fall asleep Saturday night. Hmmm...

Sunday
We had brunch at John O' Groats. I was in the mood for waffles, thanks to Jami's recent post, so that's what I had, along with the world's best biscuits.

After a visit to my in-laws' to help my mother-in-law with some computer issues, we did a little more shopping. I picked up the green candle in the white candle holder above, along with these green votive holders.
Votive candle holders

Last but not least, I finally bought a copy of Violet By Design. So excited to start reading it!
Violet by Design

"Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious." - Brendan Gill

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Denied by DeGraw

You know what makes me really happy? When one of my favorite artists comes out of hibernation to do a brief tour at small venues and I'm fortunate to score tickets to the sold-out show. Last night Tori and I went to see Gavin DeGraw at the Knitting Factory, a teeny tiny venue hidden in Hollywood.

We arrived shortly after the doors were scheduled to open, only to discover a sign that read, "Gavin DeGraw 'Cancelled.'" I was so hoping that "Cancelled" in the unnecessary quotations marks really meant "Hanging out with just Nanette and Tori for a private performance of their favorite Gavin DeGraw songs," but no such luck.

Instead we were directed to a sign with phone numbers to call for our refunds. Sigh... And to add insult to injury, we Tori had paid $8 for us to park in the parking structure below. Of course they wouldn't refund her money. Booooo. Hisssss.

We sadly left the parking garage and then drowned our no-show Gavin DeGraw sorrows in vats of Pinkberry yogurt.

In all my years of concertgoing, last night was the first time an act has cancelled. There was no mention on the Knitting Factory website, nor on Gavin's. Hopefully he'll overcome his illness and be back to grace us with his 20-something-singer/songwriter presence soon.

"So many people gonna say that they want you, to try to get you thinking they really care. But there's nothing like the warmth of the one who has put in the time and you know he's gonna be there." - In Love with a Girl, Gavin DeGraw

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weekend in review

Friday night I had a hankering for BBQ from Outdoor Grill, thanks to a recent post from Jenn. Thankfully Josh and Jami agreed to my suggestion and I was able to enjoy a tasty BBQ pork sandwich.

Saturday morning Brent and I had breakfast at Jinky's in Santa Monica, then we went shopping for some new clothes for Brent. He starts an amazing new job next week (congrats again, hon!) and it was time for him to spiff up his wardrobe a bit. We swung by Old Navy and Banana Republic. Lemme tell ya - my husband is dreamy as a sharp-dressed man.

That night we took it easy at home and while flipping through the stations I came across my old college roommate on a TLC show. I was completely surprised to see her have it all together with her husband and a new baby because the last time I saw her, she was a total pothead. Seriously, she was getting high at least once a day and I'd come home from work, smelling the pot as I walked up the driveway. So, yeah, she and I were total opposites. I'm assuming she's learned to "just say no," now that she has a little one to set an example for.

Yesterday Brent and I swung by our favorite Farmer's Market, where we ran into Randi and Mike. (Hey guys, let's do dinner soon! Frito Misto is calling our name!) We picked up some delicious baked goods from Rockenwagner's bread booth, as well as some tasty tangerines.

In the afternoon we FINALLY bought a new camera, after only 6 months of research. Brent is allllll about the research, which is overall not bad but I can get to a point of pulling my hair out - "JUST MAKE A DECISION!" He finally decided on a Nikon D40, which is a nice camera for folks just starting out. Even more exciting, though, is the swanky lens we bought, which is a fabulous investment that's an all-in-one lens we'll be able to use when the camera becomes obsolete and we upgrade.

Now believe me when I say I'm not trying to be a poser pro-photographer. I know my limits. I just want to learn to take prettier pictures, preferably without my thumb in the pic and with a little less blur and darkness than my previous work. So, stay tuned for some fruits of my photographic labor once I learn how to turn the thing on.

We ended our weekend at my in-laws' to watch the series finale of HBO's The Wire on their giant TV. At one point Brent and his brother, Tyler, were literally on their feet, screaming at the tv in disbelief. I've never seen Brent, Tyler and my father-in-law more into a show than they are with The Wire. The Wire is to them as what The Office is for me, if that gives you any idea. For Christmas I got them all the previous seasons of the show to split amongst them. A couple of years ago we saw the cast and writers on a panel at the Paley Festival, and last year Brent and Tyler attended another Wire event where they met the man who plays Omar. At that event Tyler gave him a sweatshirt he had made with a drawing of Omar on the front, which the actor seemed really touched by. Yes, they're THAT hardcore. I've enjoyed most of the series and can see why it gets the praise it does, despite not winning any awards, but my favorite part of the show? Dominic West. Rarrrrrrw.

“I’ll do what I can to help y’all. But, the game’s out there, and it’s play or get played. That simple” - Omar, The Wire

Friday, March 07, 2008

There goes my hero

Here's what I loved about last night's Foo Fighter's show at the Forum.

- Our floor seats - general admission for the floor, baby!

- Dave Grohl's energy, running back and forth across the stage and down the long catwalk

- The entire Foo Fighters band

- I asked Brent if we could take Dave Grohl home to entertain us. Brent said yes!

- Special guest Chad Smith (drummer for Red Hot Chili Peppers - aka the guy who looks like Will Ferrell) for a surprise percussion duel with Foo Fighter's Taylor Hawkins

- Surprise guest Lemmy from Motorhead, although I should be ashamed because I'm the only person in the world who didn't know who he was

- Our spot during the set on the smaller stage at the end of the catwalk. At one point we were standing a mere 10 feet from Dave Grohl.

- Dave's pearly whites shining through his mop of hair as he shredded on his guitar

- Everlong, the acoustic version

- Darling Nicky (cover of Prince's song) - awesome, especially since they rarely play it live.

- 2 hours and 15 minutes of rocking out

- When Brent noted, "I feel like I have a blister on my foot, which doesn't make sense because it's not like I was up against anything abrasive." I responded with, "Honey, you were up against some HARD ROCK!"

"There goes my hero. Watch him as he goes. There goes my hero. He's ordinary." - My Hero, Foo Fighters

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Page turners

2007 was the WORST year for me in terms of reading. While a bunch of folks breezed through a "50 books in one year" challenge, I think I read five TOTAL! I know! This is the same girl whose mother is convinced that I have poor eyesight from reading too much growing up. (And honestly, what kind of parent says that reading is bad for you? My wacky mom - that's who!) I was obsessed with V.C. Andrews books throughout jr. high and high school. I would read an entire one in a day and a half. I stopped reading them when I learned that V.C. Andrews was no longer alive and that her ghost writers were just copying her rags-to-riches-with-some-incest-and-forbidden-love formula.

Anyhow, I've tried to make reading more of a priority in my life, especially when I realize how much of my day I spend in front of a computer monitor instead of curled up with a good book. This is also why I haven't been as good as I typically am with comments on others' blogs -- I'm so behind on my blog reading because I've been reading books instead.

So, here's what I've read and enjoyed recently.

(Please note that I try my best not to spoil anything in reviews of movies, books, etc. I hate when I read reviews that have *too* much info and think, "Well, I don't need to see that movie because he/she just gave it all away!)"

Violet on the Runway
- The author of this young adult book happens to be Melissa Walker, my freelance contact at Glamour. I was so excited when her book was announced. When I bought it at the bookstore, I wanted to scream like Buddy the Elf does about Santa, "I KNOW HER!" I managed to keep my cool. This was the book that started my 2008 reading kick. I did not put it down the entire weekend! In a nutshell, it's about a teenage wallflower named Violet who finds herself recruited to be a model. I was so sad when I finished it, but then read an excerpt from her next novel, Violet by Design, coming out this Tuesday. The series continues! Woo hoo! These books are geared toward a younger audience, but it's also perfect for a kidult like me.

Good Grief
- This was about a young widow who becomes a Big Sister to a troubled teen. She also loves to bake. I enjoyed this book a lot and I just wanted to reach out and hug the main character. I can't and don't want to imagine becoming a young widow - or a widow at all, for that matter! Brent and I will live together forever! Screw death!

Everyone Worth Knowing - The author who wrote this also wrote Devils Wears Prada, which I liked. It's the same sort of take on a different career. This time, instead of fashion magazines, the protagonist's career was in entertainment public relations. My years in PR were nothing like the character's, but the book was still worth my time.

My Sister's Keeper - I'm probably one of the five people on the planet who hadn't read a Jodi Picoult book until recently. This was a great one to start with, although I had to put it down a couple times because it was making me cry! I can't tell ya the last time a book made me physically cry. The book is about a teen (maybe pre-teen?) who sues her parents to stop making her a medical donor for her older, cancer-stricken sister. Each chapter is told from a different character's perspective, which allowed me, as the reader, to really feel engrossed. They're making a movie out of the book, but I didn't look up the cast until I was done reading because I wanted to picture the characters my way.

I liked My Sister's Keeper so much that I borrowed two more Jodi Picoult books from the library. I'm currently reading Plain Truth, about a murder in an Amish community. I don't remember the title of the other, but I'm definitely excited to read it.

"There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it." - Bertrand Russell