Friday, November 30, 2007

Random Post about Photos

As I foster and develop my interest in photography, I find that I particularly enjoy taking photos of people, nature and interesting architecture. When those three subjects can be combined, I am especially pleased with a shot.

This is one of my favorites, taken at Wayfarers Chapel in Palos Verdes at Audrey's baptism, a special day.
It's almost museum worthy, no? ;-)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanks, Char!

When I move I know I'm going to miss those last minute phone calls from friends inviting me to come over, especially ones where the friends say "Come over and get your Christmas present!" like Char did this afternoon.

It was a fun visit. And a fun present expertly chosen off my Wish List.

Thanks, Char! I HEART my umbrella, which I'm sure that wherever I move, will come in handy! (Even though, judging by these blue skies this afternoon, I won't get much use of it until then.)

(Update 11/30: It's raining today. (Hurray!) Too bad I left my cute new umbrella in the car. Perhaps I have the powers to conjur things up merely by my statement that it won't happen?)

I'm having fun...I'm having fun...I'm having fun...

Right? Yes, I'm having fun, I swear it.

No really, it's not that bad. I had my first real shift at W-S last night, 6pm-close. Can I just say that I would much rather stand at a cash register for 4.5 hours than do the closing thing, where you have to restock stuff for half a shift? That's not fun. That's not what I thought I'd be doing when I signed up for this. Unfortunately my real job's schedule doesn't allow me those mid-day shifts, so I'm sorta up a creek.

It's only for the holidays...It's only for the holidays...

Minutes after clocking in last night, I got my first visitor. Well, this person didn't actually know that I was working there, and so didn't come shopping intending to find me. Which is probably a good thing since this person is married and expecting his first child in May (something I learned as we somewhat-awkwardly stood there catching up). It was interesting, to say the least.

PS. My schedule next week is: Tues 12/4, Fri 12/7 & Sun 12/9, all 7pm-close. Free samples to all who come visit me!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It. Is. Finished.

So I'm driving home from APU tonight, cruising along Huntington, singing at the top of my lungs (I do that when I'm alone) and as the song (from the Martin Guerre soundtrack) reaches it's crescendo it hits me: I have my Bachelors Degree. I start to cry.

I know, I know. This may sound very strange considering that is what I've been working my butt off these past two years to complete. But in some weird way, it was as if I had only just realized that all the hard work was for that. A degree. I suddenly felt as if I was part of a club. For so long it's been something I've worked toward, put off, and griped about. And now it's over. I ask in all seriousness: what will I do with all the extra time?

Tonight was my very last night of class at APU. My very last class toward my BS. My very last class until I move and start a graduate program. My very last class until August 2008.

I realize I'm repeating myself, just in different ways, but you guys--this is all kind of crazy to think about and it keeps hitting me. Although I have another academic goal in mind that will take 5 solid years to complete, it feels as though getting this BS has been just as hard and time consuming.

Tonight was a fun night. Our cohort gathered for a last meal. We honored and encouraged each other. We visited another cohort who was just starting their 15-months tonight. We tried to assuage their fears. We bought sweatshirts at the student store. I had to give a speech upon receiving the "Outstanding Student Award" as voted by the faculty, staff & my fellow students. I was honored, truly. We laughed. We cried. Afterward some of us even stood outside for another half hour just talking.

We started with 30 and ended with 20. We survived. We succeeded. We gained weight.
Christmas 2006..............................................................Last day of class, November 27, 2007

For those of you who always wanted to put faces to the names I mentioned in my school stories, here are a few...
Sarah, the girl who still has textbooks in shrink wrap. Rhonda, my partner in crime. Mary, the encourager.
Diane, the helper to all.... Moy & James, the troublemakers.... Julia, my lead professor and mentor.
It is good to be finished. No wait. Let me rephrase. It is GREAT to be finished. GO COUGARS!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A few items of business:

  1. In case you're interested in planning your shopping trips to the Santa Anita Mall in advance, I'll be there to ring up all of your W-S purchases this Wednesday (11/28) 6pm-close and Sunday (12/2) 7:30pm-close.

  2. Don't forget: December 15th...If you don't know what that is and want to know more details (and you're not a stranger) email me.

  3. I'm getting my Christmas tree on Thursday. When will you get yours?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Ooh, too big of a gesture."

Pretty much everyone is aware of my keen interest in Hollywood and the stories & scandals of celebs. One year, a friend gave me a subscription to People Magazine, something I can't justify buying for myself but salaciously enjoyed each week.

Fortunately I have other friends who share this same morbid curiosity. With one friend in particular, let's call her "Schmenise" to protect her secret, we will remark at how involved we can get with their lives, being sad and disappointed when we learn of an impending divorce of a couple we actually thought had a chance (i.e. Reese & Ryan). We have similarly strong feelings about Ben & Jennifer Garner, whom I initially did not like together (Ben had just been in his Jenny-from-the-block phase with greased hair and an arrogant attitude to match. As a side note, both he and Jenny-from-the-block seem to have settled down nicely and appear happy) but am now pleased with.

I came across part of an interview with Glamour Magazine & Jen G. that made me laugh and like her even more.

Glamour: You’ve landed on plenty of “Beautiful People” lists, but you’ve also referred to yourself as a “huge dork.” How is that possible?
JG: Trust me, I can be awkward. I tend to make big gestures. Ben and I went to a Red Sox game, and when the mascot came up to us, I hugged it. The pictures showed up everywhere. Ben and I were both like, “Ooh, too big of a gesture.” Why did I have to hug the sock? Just say hello like a normal person.

It's funny because a.) she does always seem so happy and enthusiastic, and b.) I could imagine myself doing something that was "too big of a gesture" and then later feeling like a dork. Glad some women in Hollywoodland are keepin' it real.

Friday, November 23, 2007

4. No wait. Make that 5.

2 Birdies
2 baby rats/mice
1 grasshopper
5 presents that Quizmo has brought me since I moved in less than one month ago.

The 5th "arrived" this afternoon.

I'm a winner. (Literally.)

Through my usual blog-hopping, I found Absolutely Plum a while back. (She's one of those insanely talented & inspiring folks, like Oh Happy Day. This, my friends, is why blogging is addicting.)

But guess what! You know those contests & give-a-ways that some blogs have? Well, I WON!

I'm just not one of those people who wins things. I'm one of those people whose name is called for a raffle while I'm in the restroom and by the time I return they've called another name. (Seriously, this happened to me with a television a few years ago. Bummer.)

I can't wait to see it in person. I love the colors and the overall spirit of the piece. And I got it for free! Thanks, Pepper, the optimist!

Notable Quotables

I like quotes. I'm a collector of quotes, of sorts. On Quoteland this morning I noticed that they had some interesting categories, including bread, eggs & homosexuality. (Who knew quotes about such topics would be so notable?) I was of course curious about what might be contained in these sections, so I thought I'd give you a sampling:

On Bread...
"Bread is like dresses, hats and shoes -- in other words, essential!" (Emily Post)

On Eggs...
I'm frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me. That white round thing without any holes have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? Blood is jolly, red. But egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I've never tasted it. " (Alfred Hitchcock)

On Homosexuality...
"I became a lesbian out of devout Christian charity. All those women out there are praying for a man and I gave them my share." (Rita Mae Brown)

So on this day after the day of giving thanks, I want to thank Rita for her sacrifice. Unmarried 30-somethings the world over thank you!

Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!

Crate & Barrel would have been my second choice for a holiday retail job. So many great things at great prices! I want this and this and this to add to my seasonal decor.
I LOVE the holidays!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I am thankful for...

Today was a good day. Alternative, yes, but a good reminder of how great friends are, and how extremely thankful I am for them.

Charlyn & I went on a hike in Monrovia Canyon Park where we were surprised to see so many people out and about enjoying the fresh air and trying to work off a few calories before the massive amounts they would consume in a matter of hours.
Turkey consumption (& other goodies) took place at Rama & Dave's, along with Dave's family. The homemade boysenberry pie (fresh picked from Oregon) was my favorite, along with homemade vanilla ice cream. It was so good. Really good. I ate a really big piece.
Thanks, dear friends, for including me in your holiday celebration. It was fun getting to know all of you through "IMAGINEIFF" and hearing what each of you were thankful for. I am certainly thankful for the three of you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Word of the Day: OVERWHELMED

As in, "I am overwhelmed."


Just had to get that out there. A couple of tasks before me loom as large as the Himalayas. I never wanted to be a mountain climber. Sometimes I just want to give up, change my plans and find something easier to do.


Monday, November 19, 2007

On being an "extra"

Having lived most of my adult life geographically close to my family, going elsewhere for the holidays was not an option (unless I wanted to be excommunicated from the family, which doesn't always seem like such a bad idea...I kid, I kid! I joke with you!).

But sometimes life happens and you just need a change of pace. Like last Christmas, which I spent with my friend Lauren, her parents and her brother. It was so nice to be able to just sit and be an "extra" person in someone else's family's festivities. La's parents even made me a little stocking, which was so sweet of them. I napped, I read a book, I helped with dinner. It was lovely. And though not the sort of holiday that brings back memories of my childhood, it was just what I needed at the time.

This year's Thanksgiving holiday will be a similar experience, minus the nap & book reading. Again, due to life, I'll be celebrating with my good friends Dave, Rama & Raja, along with Dave's siblings and parents. I'm looking forward to, once again, being an "extra" without great obligation or need to play my part in a family. As a perpetual student of humanity, it's also so interesting to observe the different dynamics between family members, and I'm sure Thursday will be no different. And as an added bonus, I get to stare at Raja all afternoon.

Thank you to Lauren & her family for providing me a place to rest my weary head last Christmas, and to Dave & Rama, for allowing me to crash their Thanksgiving dinner this year. It's so nice to have friends that I consider like family.

I am your Chicken Man.

This makes me laugh each and every time I see it. It's genius on multiple levels.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Well, I gotta say, this year was another winner. The turkey and resulting drippings, which were turned into a tasty gravy were oh so delicious, if I do say so myself. And all of the accompanying dishes contributed by each of my guests were consumed with enthusiasm.

It was a great time with great food and great company. And as I sit here, sad to realize this was the last time I'll have this party with these friends, I am simultaneously enormously grateful for each and every person here tonight (Clockwise below: Rama, Dave, Tim, Sarah, Julia, Jeremy, Adam, Charlyn, Kirsten, Jeff, Mike, Matt, Brandi, Denise, Lauren & Molly). They are among my most favorite people in the entire world, and I'm going to miss all of them, as I do those unable to be here tonight because they live far, far away, in places like Portland.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Turkey Party Prep

What started as just an early Thanksgiving party with friends 5 years ago has turned into an annual tradition: The Turkey Party. Today is my 5th and final LA-based Turkey Party and all but a few of my closest friends are able to join me this year.

Two in particular will be missed, Abby & Tim. Faithful attenders these past years, tonight just won't be the same without them. So to make them feel as though they were there, I thought I'd document the process (or at least the highlights) of the day.

I had this brilliant idea to make cookies and write everyone's name on them to serve as place-card holders. After baking and icing them late last night, I realized that decorating cookies is not a talent I can really claim. So the cookies were used as party favors instead.
One of the most time-consuming tasks for any dinner party is setting the table. It's also one of the most fun; choosing linens, dishes, decor. This year I decided on copper/pumpkin linens, Ginger's china (my dishes are in storage), mini glass turkeys & taper candles, dried leaves and green glass gourds.
No matter how beautiful a table, the piece de resistance, my turkey, has to taste great. Two years ago I made the most delicious turkey EVER. Seriously, no matter how great your turkey may be, I promise this was a gazillion times better. Even I couldn't believe how amazing it turned out. But I digress.

This year's turkey theme is honey butter, one of my favorite flavor combinations (especially on cornbread or biscuits--Yum!). The turkey is brined and now in the oven, and will be liberally basted (and I do mean LIBERALLY) with honey butter every 20-30 minutes and then topped with a brownsugar glaze at the end. In the meantime I'm watching E!.
I can't wait to taste they turkey. I can't wait to taste what everyone else brings. It's going to be a good night (minus the missing friends, of course).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wish List

For some reason, whenever anyone asks me what I want for birthday/Christmas/graduation/other-gift-giving-occasion, I find myself at a loss. I think this is due in part because I have so much stuff, that I'm hard pressed to think of let alone justify asking for something that isn't really needed, and would just be a.) fun to have (but again not needed), and b.) yet another thing to pack/move/store/wash/dust.

But just in case you are going to ask me this or have already asked me this question, here are a few ideas:

  1. Stainless Steel Water Pitcher from Crate & Barrell (I want 2 and I believe that someone has already purchased 1 for me for Christmas...)
  2. From Brocade Home, two satin pillow shams in "leaf" color
  3. One Retro Foulard & one Medallion Jacquard pillow cover from the Parisian Blue/Leaf collection, also from Brocade Home (and they are on sale!)
  4. I adore these ornaments from Beehive Kitchenware Co., especially the Partridge and the Pear.
  5. Carrie Bicycle Basket in any of the colors (I can't decide! I lean to the fun green, but white & black are cute too...)
  6. This adorable umbrella. Or maybe this one. (UPDATE 11/29: This umbrella has been purchased & LOVINGLY received :-) THanks, Char!)I also really love this one.
  7. Acme Made's Slim Cargo computer bag in Bloom White.
  8. I like this console table from Brocade home. The multiple levels are interesting
  9. This French market basket makes me want to stroll through farmers markets collecting fresh fruit, flowers, a baguette and a bottle of wine. (UPDATE 11/18: If you're actually looking to this list, I just received this lovely basket from Sarah & Molly as a hostess gift. Thanks, girls!)
  10. And the granddaddy of them all...a Nikon D80 camera (or equivalent) for taking really good pictures that will allow me to explore my creative side. (Samy's Camera & CNET approved!) And an accompanying 4.0+ GB memory card, pretty please. And any extra lenses you want to throw in.
Happy Shopping!

Isn't this pretty?

And cool and funky and chic?
I think so. I wish Shebang had it in my size but alas, it is a one-of-a-kind-piece and only in ring size 6.

Where would you...

...want to have a holiday job at? For the pleasure of the products or the discount?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


But it's worth it for the fun (yes, I actually think a holiday retail job will be fun) and, of course, the 40% discount. Orientation will be Sunday or Monday.

I'm considering the following:

And don't even get me started on the options here, here or here.

PS. You may think I'm crazy but I really want this:


Kids say the funniest things (as Abby can attest). Here are a couple from my almost-5-year old nephew Lance:

1. Passing an ambulance with an emblem that had a sword and a snake, Lance exclaimed, "Look Mom! That is an ambulance that rescues worms!"

and my personal favorite...

2. As he and Kirsten drove past a brand-new jaguar, Lance commented: "I usually like trucks but that is a thing of beauty..."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dun, Dun Du-Dun, Dun, Dun-Dun, Du-dun dun dun.

Or perhaps more correctly written:


Yep, that's right folks, I am DONE. Three weeks of class to go but I just wrote the last words of my APU career. (Unless someone--GOD FORBID!--springs something on us at the last minute...)

It feels good.


Phoebe is indeed fabulous, or shall I say, "Phoebulous." In honor of her 30th birthday she made a cd with songs from her first 30 years. (I wish I'd thought of that.) Unfortunately for me, I don't currently live in Portland, and so was not one of the recipient's of this soundtrack. In comment to her blog post, I wondered whether I could qualify for a copy since I distinctly remember when and why some of the songs included in her mix were so special.

Lookie what came in the mail for me this weekend.

Lucky me! And because I'd "ordered" within the first 24-hours I received a bonus disc, titled "Phoebe goes pholksy." Can't wait to listen!

Thanks, Phoebes! I love surprise presents.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fun with cats! (Or alternately titled: "Look at what the cat drug in! Literally.")

Ginger is out of town this weekend so I spent a lazy Sunday morning on the couch reading a book with the sliding doors opened to let the cool fall air in. The dog lay upstairs napping and the cat, sweet little Quizmo, wandered in and out, occasionally coming by me begging for a scratch behind the ears.

At one point he brought me a little present.

The present made sounds.

Like "Chirp! Chirp!"

Unfortunately for the bird, Quizmo had it in mind to play with his new friend a little bit. Unfortunately for Quizmo, the bird wasn't too keen on the "batting" game, and tried to fly away, succeeding twice until he was captured once again by the swift and agile Quizmo who jumped on many a chair and cabinet to reach his feathery friend. The bird flew at me at one point, hitting the mirror above me head as I jumped out of the way!

Suffice to say I was freaking out.

With the bird in Quizmo's mouth I quickly picked the cat up and dropped him outside, shutting the sliding door. Quizmo, however, was determined to get inside and from the backyard headed toward the doggie door. Wise to his plan I managed to shut the laundry door just in time to hear the slap of the plastic door hit shut. The next several minutes brought a flurry of sounds in the laundry room as Quizmo tried to push his present underneath the door. Much to his dismay, all that made it through were feathers.
That's when I headed to Molly's for leftover cake.

I truly had no idea what to do with what I assumed was a now dead bird in who knew how many pieces in our laundry room. When I arrived home this evening, Quizmo meowing up a storm from inside the laundry room, I tepidly opened the laundry room door, afraid of what I might see. Feathers galore, but no blood or bite-sized birdie pieces. Thank the good Lord! With my dustpan and mini broom in hand, I managed to sweep up the dead body of Quizmo's latest victim without too much fuss.

I left the feathers for Quizmo's mommy.

Une Grande Soire

Molly must really be a Queen. She certainly knows how to throw a party like one!

To celebrate her 30th in grand style, Molly & Adam hosted a cocktail party with plenty of the good stuff (and by that, I mean alcohol). Oh, and tasty nibbles too, including spanakopita, baked brie, cheese & crackers, chicken satay and some of the yummiest spinach artichoke dip I've ever tasted. (Ok, ok. I made the dip.)

Oh! And the cake! Lauren outdid herself on the decorating once again. And it tasted divine, if I do say so myself. (Ok, fine! I made that too.)

The remaining few danced till the wee hours (i.e. midnight) to the sounds of JT, Coolio, and, of course, Britney. As Molly danced away we joked how strange and yet funny it was that her 1-year old daughter slept just 2 rooms away. Oh, how life has changed!

Molly, dear friend, you were celebrated like a Queen because you are worthy of the title. Your friendship, however, will always be more valuable than your ability to throw great parties.

PS. The pictures included in this post are justification alone for the purchase of a "real" camera. My trusty Canon point-and-shoot simply doesn't do well in dim lighting. Visit Sarah's blog for more pictures, and Molly's too.