Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Farewell, Melrose Place

For almost 6 years now I have enjoyed living alone in my cozy little apartment. The nice thing about where I lived was the fact that several long-time friends from junior high and high school lived there as well. It was a regular 'ol Melrose Place.

Today I said farewell. Although it was just a 1-bedroom apartment, to me it was a home. A place where friends gathered, nieces and nephews had sleepovers, and four Turkey Parties took place.

I will miss my home and all of my neighbors. Susan, the first person to welcome me to the neighborhood with a beautiful fuschia orchid. Sara, the closest thing to a roomate these past years, who would bring over her coffee on Sunday mornings for a weekend gossip chat. Brad & Matt, the go-to guys when I needed power tools. Brandi, my comrade in the seemingly never-ending pursuit of higher education. Florence, who I hope to be like when I'm 102 like she is. And all the others who have made Linwood Ave a great place to live.


Doesn't this make you want to die your hair red and take up ballet? It does for me!


Remember the cinnamon rolls I mentioned previously? The yummiest, softest, yeastiest, glaze-covered cinnamon rolls EVER? No? Allow me to remind you.

I just scored the recipe from the restaurant.


I still have to clean my cleaning cupboard. Is that an oxymoron? I think you get what I mean.

Cleaning the last of the dregs in a home is just about the worst thing ever. Except maybe having rabies, or lice or something. I tried to finish off the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room Monday night but after throwing 8 black trash bags of stuff away, with a few more on the horizon, I had to leave. It was too depressing and overwhelming. I had the inescapable desire to just bury my head in the sand, a la ostrich. Instead I ate jambalaya rice at Kir's and checked out the kids' jack-o-lanterns.

But now I have to return to finish it all tonight; it is, after all, the last day of the month and I'm technically supposed to completely vacate my apartment before tomorrow...

BTW, I feel I should give a great big SHOUT OUT! to Jeff, Pops & Lalen for their OUTSTANDING and sacrificial service this past Sunday in helping me move. And a big thanks in advance to Ginger who has agreed to tackle the last of the last with me tonight.

"I've got a friend(s) in you (all)!"

And one last note on cleansing...should you find me in a less-than-patient mood over the next 17 days, it's only because my colon is being cleansed, which requires me to eat, like, nothing good. But never fear, I'll finish just in time to muck it up on the occasion of my Turkey Party. Great timing! The Dr. will be so pleased.

Happy Halloween, all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Aisles. Alters. Husbands.

"Someone once said that when the wedding march begins, a bride sees three things—the aisle, the altar, and him—and from that time on her motto is: 'I'll alter him.'"

Let it be known that I do not subscribe to or intend to subscribe to this philosophy. I just thought the play on words was clever. :-)

(From Leadership Weekly/Bob Russell)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mini Donuts

Wouldn't this be so much fun to have? If it made yeast donuts instead of cake, I would put this on my Christmas Wish-List for sure. It doesn't hurt that they are miniature size; I love almost anything mini like this.

And I love Williams-Sonoma! I'm thinking of getting a Holiday job there, just for fun.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Chi-town Wrap-up

Phew! I just flew in from Chicago and boy, are my arms tired!

For some reason that was literally the first thing that came to mind as I began this wrap-up post. Perhaps it's because I really am just so tired. Between roaming the streets of Chicago one last time before heading to the airport yesterday afternoon, and then being re-routed to a different airport because our flight was cancelled, and then having to shuttle to our original airport where our car was so I didn't get home until almost 1:00am, and then getting up early this morning to pack and move...Boy are my arms (whole body) tired!
I am however, longing to return to Ann Sather, a Swedish cafe with some of the yummiest, softest, yeastiest, glaze-covered cinnamon rolls EVER.
Oh, Chicago! You are truly a great city--varied & interesting architecture, quaint neighborhoods with a sense of community, arts and culture, fantastic food galore. Once again I must say, this decision of where to go will not be easy.

Friday, October 26, 2007


(Original title, no?)

Today started with a yummy little brunch place that Liz had been wanting to try. To start, we went with the 'fruishi'--strawberry rice with bananas and coconut rice with pineapple & mango. Tasty! For the main dish, there were several delicious sounding dishes, so rather than choosing, we split three: omelet with ham, swiss cheese & carmelized pineapple, cinnamon roll pancakes with a maple/pecan paste and icing drizzle, and pan-seared apple cider oatmeal with dried fruit compote.
Suffice to say we left with full tummies and our sweet tooths quite satisfied.

All of those carbs gave us the energy to head downtown and take the architectural boat tour of the city (pictures to come in another post) and then walk down to Millenium Park with the famous mirrored "bean."

With little time before closing at the Art Institute, we made do with a lengthy perusal in the Museum Store (where I found my Christmas cards!) and some shopping along State St. A diner dinner at Clarke's, ice cream from Baskin' Robins and a cozy evening back at Liz's apartment with the rain sprinkling outside was a nice way to end our second day in Chicago.

First things first

When you think of Chicago, the skyline and deep dish pizza probably come to mind. So of course that is what we had to do on our first night in the Windy City (and yes, it really is windy!). Rather than pay $15 to go up to the observatory deck of the Sears Tower, Liz had insider info that the view was just as good from the Signature Lounge in the John Hancock Building. Sure, that same $15 was spent on mediocre cocktails and appetizer, but the view was phenomenal.
. .
For sustenance, Giordano's famous stuffed crust pizza was on order. And can I just say, Oh. My. Goodness! It was some of the best pizza I have ever had. Although I'm not normally a fan of deep dish pizza, this was layer upon layer of cheesy goodness with pepperoni, sauce and crust, all mixed together like a trifle. YUM.

I suggest you try it if you're in town.

The Chicago School

Why, oh why, does the good Lord not make this decision-making process just a smidge easier for me?

Yesterday I had my appointment with the admissions department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Of all the campuses I have visited, this one wins hands down for both location (see below--in the middle of downtown, on the Chicago River) and facilities (which are new, professional & extensive). So that was a great first impression. However, I was disappointed to be greeted by two counselors who immediately identified themselves as having been with the school for two months and four days, respectively. They informed me of this, so as to explain in advance their inability to answer any of my questions. Sure enough, their friendliness did not make up for their lack of knowledge. Although this does not rule out the school, it does make me wary, wondering why the school doesn't at least ensure that one more senior and knowledgeable (i.e at least 6-months, perhaps??) admissions counselor trains/co-counsels with one of the newbies.

It is interesting to note the different ways that schools handle these visits by potential applicants, and what that says indirectly, to me as a potential applicant. So again, pros and cons on both sides of this list.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Is it just us or...

...were there an unusually large number of STRANGE people in the Chicago airport this morning? Or perhaps we were just loopy from a lack of sleep on our overnight flight to Chi-town what with the cabin lights that wouldn't turn off and the incessant beeping coming from someplace unidentifiable.

(Oh, by the way...I'm in Chicago!)

Here is a selection of our fellow passengers for your amusement.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This makes me want a house

So that I can hang this wallpaper somewhere.

Just on one small-ish, interestingly located, backdrop wall.
It'd be such fun to amass pictures and other articles to place "in" the frames.

(First seen on Oh Joy!)

Willow Creek Repents?

This morning I was sent a link to a blog by Christianity Today's Leadership Weekly with a headline that proclaimed, "Willow Creek Repents?". The article linked to two interesting videos that I suggest watching if a.) you have the interest in churches and how they develop mature believers, and b.) you have the time. What the well-known Executive and Senior Pastors at the 30,000-strong Willow Creek church outside of Chicago discovered, was that they were doing a poor job at helping believers grow in their faith.

Willow Creek has had an enormous influence on evangelical churches over the past three decades, inspiring others to make church something that non-Christians would be willing to come to, to hear the message of Jesus' love and sacrifice for all of us. They spent millions of dollars on programming, sure that this was how mature believers were developed. When they finally surveyed their congregation a couple years ago to confirm their belief, their worlds were rocked, resulting in REVEAL, a surprising look at modern churches.

"The people who love God the most, are most disappointed with their local church." Greg Hawkins, Executive Pastor

"We should have taught people how to become to read their Bible between services, do spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own, because what's happening is these people, the older they get, the more they expect the church to feed them." Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor

Monday, October 22, 2007

I wasn't dreaming (& bit of a disappointment)

A week before I was expecting them, my GRE scores arrived in the mail today. I must confess there was a part of me that wondered if I had imagined my scores on the verbal and quantitative sections (those they report immediately on the computer screen). But good news! I wasn't dreaming or hallucinating; I did indeed get the scores I thought. Hurray!

However, my score for the analytical writing section was the final unknown. This was one of those times though that I boldly & confidently acknowledged that I'd hit this one out of the park. I was so sure that I presented a supremely insightful, in-depth and thoughtful argument on both essays that was sure to impress the two readers whose combined grades would result in my score.

Apparantly they weren't impressed.

Rather than the score of 6 I was expecting (6 being the highest), I ended up with a 5, described as "provides generally thoughtful analysis of complex ideas..." Perhaps if 5 were the next best score I wouldn't be so disappointed, but alas its only the third best score. I realize I sound a tad petulant right now, and in reality, 5 isn't a bad score...Still, it's hard/frustrating/disappointing to do worse than one expects. Especially since I considered this area to be my greatest strength.

Mourn with me, won't you? Just a little. And then I'll move on.

Signing off,
Kelly with her 5


Clever, Clever

Aren't these LEGO ads brilliant? I admire such excellence & creativity in advertising.

Deciding what matters

Each year Southern California experiences crazy wildfires, which burn up homes and other buildings and change lives forever. My friend Phoebe's sister, Bonnie, and her family live in Malibu's "Las Flores" canyon and have had to decide whether to pack up and leave or stay and fight.

I will occasionally play that game, "If you had to take just 3 things with you in a fire, what would they be?" In anticipation of my move, I sorted through things determining what is essential to have with me for the next 9-months until I permanently move, what can stay in storage for that time, and what I could get rid of. These decisions were hard enough over a period of several days, let alone having to make them in the heat (figuratively & literally) of the moment like Bonnie & her family had to. As they gathered belongings, deciding what to take and what to leave to chance should the fire come closer, young Esme summed up her philosophy as she held her box of treasures saying she took, "What you can't buy with money." It's nice to see someone so young with such wisdom on what truly matters.

Not to make light of the frightening situation Bonnie and so many others find themselves in at the moment, but now I'm curious: What would you take in the event of such a disaster? What is worth those precious seconds?

Here are my top 3 (most of which can technically be replaced with money, but they contain mementos that cannot be replaced so easily):
1. Art
2. Laptop
3. Camera

(Photo by Los Angeles Times, of Pepperdine University in Malibu)

Sunday, October 21, 2007


After a busy day making money at my yard sale, I welcomed the time to shut off all the lights, turn off the TV, light some candles and just sit, conserving energy along with thousands of others across LA.

Shout out to BAM

Just have to give a great big SHOUT OUT to B, Mike & Audrey, who were such a huge help in the organization and execution of my yard sale yesterday. What I assumed was going to be just a few odds and ends turned into a garage full of things to sell. Sure, some things we had to convince people to take with them (see directly below, far right on top of the customer's box), but you can't imagine what people actually buy! (i.e. ziplock full of mismatched paper plates...$1.50) And an extra big thanks to Mike, THE trooper of the day, who also risked arrest to post a sign in the middle of Huntington Drive, so as to ensure maximum visibility of signage.

I have about $450 to add to the moving fund--not bad for "junk" eh?