Friday, December 31, 2010

One Last Thought for 2010

Well, probably more than one thought. But it is in there under the wire. Technically it's 1 a.m. on the east coast and after midnight in my old time zone. But it's only 10 here, so I'm under deadline.

2010 wasn't too bad of a year. It started out hectic and the first six months were trying, but the next six months were a whirlwind of change, excitement and adventure. After years of inertia, I made the move. And while only time will tell how successful it turns out to be, I know that I'll never regret moving but I would've eternally regretted NOT moving.

So as 2011 approaches, I look at where I am today and I think "where do I want to be next year?" and then I work backwards to see what it's gonna take to get there. Looking at where I want to be, here are some ways that I'm going to get there (aka my resolutions):
  • I will watch what I eat and track it at least 6 days a week.
  • I will exercise and work exercise into my daily habits in some form or another.
  • I will do work I truly love.
  • I will blog at least 3 times a week.
  • I will write for at least an hour a week.
So, let's hope those work! Happy New Year's everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm Starting To Feel Good About Myself

Let me rephrase that title as I've always felt good about some aspect of my life or another. And because I have a very supportive family, I don't think I've had a day in my life that I haven't felt smart. I might not always feel pretty or thin or like a good cook, but I've always felt intelligent. And that's a great trait to have. Especially when you're job hunting.

Because I have good friends and colleagues that have given me good references on linkedin and via phone, and who have helped me craft my resume, I'm actually getting some really good traction in LA. As previously blogged about, I've had an interview already. It went well. As well as those things that go. One thing I learned from doing interviews myself is that sometimes the most qualified candidate is not necessarily the best fit for the other personalities on the team. It's really a crap shoot and now that I've been lucky enough to be on the other side, I know this and don't get pissed off. Before when I'd interview for a job and didn't get it, I'd be really mad--like "how could they NOT like me?". They might very well have liked me but already had someone like me on their staff. It's not personal and I'm mature enough to know that now.

But today was a good day. I got a phone interview scheduled for one position, got a second online personality assessment for another position, got an email reading that I will be scheduled for a face to face interview for another position AND got a freelance gig that's gonna be fun in the mean time. Not too shabby for someone who doesn't know a lot of people in LA. And next week I'm heading down the LA American Heart Association office to offer my services and time to volunteer. I didn't think I'd do it, but after thinking about it, I realized it could be a great way to meet some new contacts and get an expert's (aka the Communications Director's) opinion on ad and PR agencies in the market.

So, I'm feeling good about myself and my future here. Although right at this second, the only thing making me feel sad is the incessant "Visit Music City: Music Calls Us Home" ads that are playing during the Music City Bowl right now. The photos are all from places within 3 miles of my old stomping grounds. Damn you, ESPN, for your nostalgic intros! Miss you, Nashville and Nashville Friends!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

He's Still Cute, even in a Fringe Jacket

Last night Chef and I went to the movies last night to see "True Grit." We had originally planned to see it on Christmas, but laziness got the best of us (laziness and mimosas and roast turkey and pumpkin pie to be honest). So we went last night. It was our first LA theater-going experience and my first case of sticker shock. It cost us $12.75 to see a movie here. That's the FIRST time that I was a little perturbed at a price. But I got over it for Matt Damon.

I have long since broken my streak of seeing every Matt Damon movie on the weekend it comes out, and even broke my streak of seeing every Matt Damon movie in the theater. However, it does go to show that if I'm going to pay to see something on a movie screen that is frankly on a little bigger than our gaudy large TV at home, then my dollars still vote for the big Matt Damon. It is a crush that started more than a decade ago, reached some pretty embarrassingly high (or low depending on the perspective) levels of addiction and has since mellowed to a manageable amount of adoration. But I have to say that the Matt Damon horse was a pretty good one to pick. He's stood up pretty well over time and has only seemed more normal with age. Two things I look for in a Hollywood crush.

We laid out the bucks to see "True Grit" and the movie was pretty good. And Matt Damon still looked good with weird hair, a long ass moustache and fringe leather jacket. Not too shabby. The only odd thing was the man sitting next to me. No, not Chef. There was a guy sporting a leather man-purse ("There's skittles in there!"-name that movie), a bag of popcorn and a drink. He was alone and got up twice to get the free refills (on a side note, I love that this theater has the fountain drink stations that allow you to serve yourself. I mean, nothing holds up a line longer than filling up the large jug of Coke Zero that I require to sit still for 2 hours). All of that--not so weird. He just had an odd look about him and it made me lean myself towards Chef a little more than normal.

And halfway through the movie, I knew my suspicions were true when the chick on the OTHER side of the guy (he was there by himself) said in a normal voice "Quit touching me and trying to touch me!" and then moved to sit in the empty seat on the other side of her friend. The guy then got up and left the theater. I was thankful that the woman sat with another woman. I think if it had been a man with her, there might've been a fight. And that would've interrupted my Matt Damon viewing, which in the scheme of things, is way more important than some potential sexual assault. (You know, I'm kidding).

So bottom lines:
True Grit-worth the price.
Creepy guy sits next to you in the theater: hope there's a single woman on the other side of you to take the brunt of the creepiness.

Monday, December 27, 2010

IKEA, you almost got the best of me

I went to IKEA today. I have to block out the day to do it. IKEA is about 30 minutes away, not that far in the scheme of things, but still in Burbank. Plus it's IKEA. I always get sucked in for longer than I think I'll be.

Today was no exception. I was wavering on what to buy because Chef wasn't with me and I knew if I bought something he didn't like, I'd be heading back. So, I ended up getting some things we wanted to help make the place look like a home. Some shelves, some plants, some rugs, some glassware. All the little things that add the "someone really lives here" look to a place. I mean, I'm sure the clutter on our bar does that just fine, but it's nice to have a plant do some of the talking too.

But what I gained in finishing touches, I lost in precious time on earth. I mean, it's nice to get out of the house, but the IKEA experience is not designed for easy in and out trips. Damn you, Swedes, for your clever weaving designs so that I HAVE to walk down every square inch of your store before I leave. Damn you, for having not one but TWO places for me to get something to eat. One for lunch and one for dinner, apparently, because that's how long it takes to get through the store. Going to IKEA today was the only time in recent memory that I knew to pack snacks in advance. I knew that a baggie full of salt and vinegar almonds would curb the hunger and help me avoid the meatballs and ice cream.

So without Chef, I did not have enough manpower to load my car in one trip. I had to go across the street to the parking garage, drive around the block in two different directions to get into the already packed loading zone. Thankfully,because they think of everything, IKEA has a cart bitch. No, not someone to wrangle the empty carts, but someone whose sole job is to stand by your already paid for items while you go get your car. There's no excuse not to buy a shitload of Swedish designed, Chinese made stuff.

Other than IKEA, today has been noticing all the diet-related things that are going on. Oh, New Year's Resolution, you have become a multi-million dollar boost to the diet and fitness industry. Jennifer Hudson Weight Watcher ads everywhere (she does look fabulous though). A new Hungry Girl TV show premiering in January. A new Biggest Loser. Heavy on A & E. I Used to Be Fat on MTV. Stories in US about Mila Kunis being 95 lbs for Black Swan (which to me seems NUTS).

Even MTV has drank the Kool-Aid. They're replaying a "True Life: I Can't Stay Thin" on these two people that yo-yo diet. Like crazy diet--400 calories a day for months on end and then 4 burgers and 3 orders of fries in a binge. How can they even eat that much food without feeling full after a few bites or even two burgers?

Next up a new "True Life"-- "I'm addicted to food." Every time I start to think I'm addicted to food, I see something like this that makes me realize that while I've had a problem, it's nothing like it used to be. Now, it's about getting back on it.

I've lost about 4 lbs in the last two weeks. A good start, but I'm finding that if I haven't eaten close to my calories by the end of the day, I'm popping in some pumpkin pie. It's not putting me over the calorie count for the day, but I'm struggling with needing something sweet to end each day. If it starts getting me off track, I'm going to have to cut it out.

The family weight loss challenge starts on Saturday!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Gift To You

Merry Christmas, Everyone! My gift to you is my favorite skit from last week's Saturday Night Live with Paul Rudd. It's my favorite skit because it also features Paul McCartney and Adam Sandberg. And because I find myself singing this song all week.

Here are the top 5 reasons I like "Stumblin'":
5) Paul McCartney's Tiny Harmonica
4) I can imagine the pitch meeting to get Paul McCartney went something like this "Well, you get to wear a puffy shirt AND a satin cowboy shirt."
3) The music is Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 which makes me smile.
2) I love three different types of Bears.
1) Paul Rudd's hips during the tiny harmonica solo are mesmerizing.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Need To Find My Freak Flag

I've been thinking the last couple of days about how normal I seemed to have gotten. And I'm not so happy about it. Maybe "normal" isn't the right word. What I think is that I've become too much like who I thought I was supposed to be at 30 and not enough like who I was at 20. Or something like that.

I need to find my freak flag again so I can fly it. And I think part of that goes into finding what it is that I like to do and doing it. Which means that I need to get back (again and always) into the habit of reading and writing. The writing is all on me. I can do that by getting my butt in gear and getting in front of the computer.

The reading is a different matter. I read every day. But right now I've been reading magazines. And not particularly creative ones. I can't give up Business Week. There's a part of me that just likes to be prepared for when I might need to know that TARP bailout money is being paid back quicker than expected and will produce a multi-billion dollar profit.

But I need to take more time to read some weird, fun, funny things that I used to. Suggestions are always welcome.

Once the reading and writing start, the juices start flowing and my mind starts going to weird places. It's those weird places that I miss right now. I miss the odd things that pop into your head and stir up even more odd things. My thoughts are way too vanillla right now. And not in a delicious way.

I'm going to start with the books and reading, but also am actively looking for ways to find my freak flag. I'll write about them as I figure them out. But if you have any ideas, let me know.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gym and Laundry but No Tanning

It seems as if my days have gotten into a routine. Maybe not the type of routine that I'd like (as I'd prefer to have the routine dictated by a job), but a routine nonetheless. I get up about 9 or so (later than I normally would, but I'll explain that later), pull on my gym clothes, brush the teeth, and pet the cats. I get to the gym and pray that there's no one in there. It doesn't happen very often.

Usually I'm stuck watching The View or Regis and Kelly. It totally befuddles me that guys will turn it on those shows. I understand the women who watch it, but if I want my time on the treadmill, I don't want Elizabeth Hasselbeck in the background mocking me with her skinny ass and uptight views. Or Sherry Whatever her name is that is an absolute idiot in all forms of the word.

I prefer my time on the treadmill watching SportsCenter. The stories are bite-sized and break up my routine. It also helps that there's a plethora of fit dudes egging me on as I sweat. That always helps. In fact, I'm fairly certain that's why I was successful with my boot camp.

But I digress. After the gym, I wash the pools of sweat off and slap some stuff on my body. Some days I go out and about. I make a run to Target or the grocery store or just driving around an area that I'm curious about. Other days I stay in the complex and do laundry (like today). By mid-afternoon, I'm back to hang out with Chef. The last couple of days, we've either watched movies or played Lego Harry Potter on Xbox (which cements my role as a geek).

I also enjoy the mail coming every afternoon. We put our Christmas cards on the wall near the bar and it's a little festivity to the place. I have gotten two packages so far and I'm holding out until Friday to open them. While we aren't celebrating the traditional way, it still IS Christmas and I want to have something to open. It's killing me though. I'm not a patient person by nature.

Then cooking some dinner, watching TV and more Harry Potter game. It's about 2 or so before we head to bed. Or at least I head to bed. Then it's up again to start a new day.

At this point, I'm still checking the employment listings and submitting resumes every day. However, I know that between now and the new year, I don't really expect to hear much. It's the dead period. So, I'm going to enjoy it for now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Things to Remember When It's December

As I've gone out and about LA (or at least West LA), the last couple of days, I've come to realize a few things for those of us who dare to leave our houses to shop, eat, live or browse during December.
  • There's no reason to stop short in a parking garage. Seriously, if there's a sign that says there are 2 spaces on level 1 and 251 on Level Two, just drive on up. Don't circle level one and then stop short in front of the cute little Sentra behind you because you see someone with brake lights on. There are elevators, so there's really no chance of you having to exert yourself any more by parking on level 2. Yes, gray Mercedes SUV, I'm talking to you.
  • You can't circumvent a line at the cash register by pretending you don't see the partitioned off line. Well, I guess you can try, but expect to be yelled at by the 15-20 (if you're lucky--50-60 if you're not) people waiting in front of you. You can try pretending like you don't speak English, but the lady speaking Korean behind me seemed to understand the concept.
  • Candy Canes have calories. I personally think its bullshit that ANYTHING mint has calories. Or gum. Anything that's used to freshen your breath--even a candy cane--should be a free pass. I think that's actually in the Bill of Rights near the life and liberty part.
  • I don't know why Parking Garages have attendants. There's a lady that works at the parking garage at the Target I go to and literally ALL she does is wave her arms at the cars. She doesn't vary the wave or use the wave to direct cars in the direction of empty spaces. She's literally waving them along. I think the lines and arrows painted on the floor and signs are enough for me.
That's all I have for now. I'm sure I'll have more as Chef and I are heading to the mall on Christmas Eve. Not really because we want to, but because I got an email today for $200 off a second pair of prescription glasses. That means Chef could get two pairs of glasses for the price of one. And since his last pair is irreparably warped from falling asleep with them still on, it seems like this deal might be one we can't pass up. But he needs a new prescription, the coupon expires after Friday and the only appointment for an exam we could was for Friday morning. Merry Christmas for us!

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Not You, California, It's Me. I'm Fat. . . Again

Because of the stereotype of California and the supposed abundance of great looking, skinny people, I was ready to feel bad about myself for weeks on end. That was wrong. There are plenty of good looking people here and a higher ratio of them than in Tennessee (not that there aren't plenty of hotties in Tennessee). But it wasn't the plethora of good looking people that made me feel bad about my appearance.

It was me.

When it comes down to it, it is always you that makes yourself feel good or bad about yourself. Whether its appearance, intelligence, affluence or status, its really your choice what you strive for and how you judge yourself. And normally, I feel pretty good about myself. After I lost the big chunk of weight a few years ago, I've been happy with my appearance. Some days happier than others. My weight goes up. I start paying attention again. I count calories. I find some exercise regime that I like. The weight goes down.

This time the weight went up too far. I'll be honest. Last week I was 34 pounds heavier than my lowest weight (post-puberty). That was a wake-up call. I was still pretty far from my heaviest weight ever, but that's not the best measurement stick. So, I started paying attention again.

I can't say I didn't enjoy putting on the pounds. It's hard not to when you're moving, especially across country. I had to have "one last meal" at all my favorite Nashville restaurants (that added about 14 of the 34 pounds). Then I just couldn't pass up all the great places we ate at as we were driving across the country. I mean we might NEVER eat at Sophie's Mexican Kitchen near the Grand Canyon ever again, right? (That added another 10 pounds). Plus breakfast is a soothing meal on the road and especially when you're "depressed" and "sad" for leaving, so a Croissanwich and hash rounds become you're morning hit of crack to get through the day (another 5 pounds). And lastly, there was the joy of the thousands of new restaurants to try here in LA. I mean, you HAVE to find the best cheeseburger, pizza and Chinese takeout in town, right? Right! So that was the last 5 pounds. And some of that weight can easily be attributed to last cocktails, first cocktails, wine, beer and the abundance of social drinking that comes with a farewell, as well.

So, now it's back to counting calories. Eating fruits and veggies at home. Hitting the treadmill at least 30 minutes once a day, if not doing some extra walking or running a second time. I'm determined to get lower than my lowest weight by next Christmas, so that I'm not complaining about my clothes being too tight. I'm complaining about them being too loose. I also don't want to be relegated to stretchy leggings and oversized shirts, cardigans and sweaters, like I tend to be sporting now. I'm only thankful that those types of clothing are in style now.

So for my own peace of mind and piece of self-confidence, I'm back in full force. Yes, it's a little crazy to do it before Christmas, but I'm going to take a break for ONE meal so that I can enjoy a celebratory meal out with Chef. But only that meal. I am determined that that meal will not become a trend or that the holidays away from home will not be an excuse to eat whatever I want, whenever I want.

Wish me luck.

Or join me! I'm using the My Fitness Pal App on the iphone--it's also a free logging website ( My username is Awrye.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rain Makes Me Nervous

It started raining yesterday in LA. Not that rain is exceptionally noteworthy, but it was the first overcast day since we moved here. And the sprinkles started and then some heavy rain, but nothing I'd consider a downpour or anything of that nature. '

However, it was about 4 a.m. when I started hearing what sounded like waves outside our bedroom window. We're close the ocean in a sense that we are only about 15 miles away from the coast, but 15 miles is not nearly enough to hear the lapping of water on sand.

I looked out the window to see cars on the road next to our apartment slowing down (if they had enough time) and skidding through flooded street. The wave sound was the sound of the water lapping against the parked cars on the side of the street. We live near a busy street. It's 3 lanes on each side. We've also come to realize that we live with people who aren't used to flash flooding.

By the time I woke up and got out of bed, the flooding had subsided and the street was wet, but passable. The rains had dwindled and it looked like a soggy day. However, around 11 a.m. they kicked back up again and by early afternoon, you couldn't see road for about half a block. The water was standing about 8 inches high.

As entertaining as it was to watch all these cars come to a screeching halt in time to see their cars under a huge spray, it also made me nervous. Anyone who lived in Nashville in May knows what I'm talking about. It was during the flood that I learned it only takes a foot of water to sweep away a car. That rains can become raging rapids in less time than it takes to get to the supermarket 4 blocks away. There's a point when you start wondering if you have flood insurance. Realizing that even if you do have flood insurance, the roof might collapse from all the rain collected on it. That while being a part of history is fun, it's much more enjoyable in, say, a witnessing a no-hitter kind of way instead of a being a part of a 100 year flood kind of way.

They say Los Angeles hasn't had rain like this in a decade. Well, I'm tired of being a part of memorable weather. The next history-making weather I want to be a part of is the longest streak of consecutive 72 degree and sunny days in Southern California history. Of course, I'll have to wait another 4 days for that to begin as the rain isn't supposed to let up until Thursday.

I know those of you suffering in snow have little sympathy, but I thought I'd vent nonetheless.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It Doesn't Really Feel Like Christmas

First of all, let me say that I'm not complaining about weather. I mean, one of the reasons we moved here was to have some nice weather. However, when it's December 17th and there are palm trees around, it seems weird to think that in a week it'll be Christmas and it's rainy and 60 degrees out. There's no chance of a white Christmas, and I'm okay with that.

It's just the lack of acknowledgement that it is Christmas time. I knew this one was going to be a weird one anyway. It's my first Christmas in California and my first Christmas in my life that I won't be with my family. Well, not all of my family. I would be remiss if I didn't recognize that Chef is my family too. A very important part of it.

But anyway, aside from the crowds in shopping complexes and some decorations around retail outlets, it's not a very spirited place right now. Some decorations on houses, but that's about it. No snow or cold chill or mistletoe or office parties. And it's not like Chef and I are tearing up the decorating spirit either. I have my IU Santa out, but we've never had a tree or many decorations. There's just no place to put them and I'm sure the kitties would tear up a tree.

So, no Christmas spirit yet. We've already planned to go to Ruth's Chris (our place of celebration) on Christmas Eve and to see a Matt Damon movie (which is a western, so really the best of both worlds for satisfying the two of us) on Christmas. Hopefully that will be enough to get us in the spirit. If not, there's always next year. . .

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Back to the Work World

I got a call Monday morning from a sporting goods company that has an availability for a PR coordinator (and no, it's not Gus Doerner's LA). It was a surprising call because I had only submitted my application on Saturday night. I did, however, mention that I'd seen more basketball games than any woman except Coach Krzyzewski's wife. That might've helped.

I was ecstatic that I got the call. Don't ever get me wrong about that. I was mostly shocked. I wasn't expecting to hear from people so quickly, as I just started looking hardcore last week. Whether or not I get the job, it has already been a boost in my confidence that I got an interview already. Of course, after being out of the work world for the last couple of weeks, I have to remember how I'm supposed to act. I've done my company research. I've driven the route to the place to know how long it's gonna take me to get there. I've prepped some answers to commonly asked interview questions. I even have my favorite basketball player of all time picked out (Bill Russell, for those who care).

So now I just need to not psych myself out. Remember my experience in interviewing people. It's so weird how personality, some answers and timing play into getting a job or not. I just have to be who I am (which is awesome) and hope that the position is a right fit for me and vice versa.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

When in Doubt, Cling to Sports

I watched the IU game today. It was simultaneously happy and sad. Happy that they did so well. Sad that Kentucky (and particularly Calipari) is still winning.

On Thursday, I watched the Colts-Titans game. It made me simultaneously happy and sad. Happy that I was able to watch the game when I was clearly out of market and happy for the win. Sad that the game was in Nashville and I thought of all my friends who were there. Also a little sad that the game got so close.

My love of sports has been strong since I was a kid. It grew exponentially when I moved to Nashville. Part of it was out of the new, strong Football environment. Part of it was out of necessity to stay away from boredom. I didn't have cable TV for the first two years I was in Nashville. If you know anything about TV on Saturdays on your big 4 networks, you know that sports is on AT LEAST one of them. When you have nothing else to watch, you don't mind pro tennis so much.

So, it comes as no surprise that I'm clinging to sports once again. When everything else changes in your life, the consistency of NFL Sunday is at least something to cling on to. Sports Talk radio in a different market or just tuning into Sportscenter. Its the same. The stories are the same in Tennessee or Indiana or California. Plus I know more about sports than the average girl. I know WAY more about sports than the average California girl. Not even close. That wasn't so much the case in Tennessee. Most of the girls there at least know SEC Football. The guys here in California don't really know football. Maybe pro football or USC (which is essentially the same, right?). Anyway, I like the element of surprise. It takes guys aback here when I spout out anything sports related. I'd missed that a little.

Maybe I can use it to my advantage. . .

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

It Was My Mistake From the Onset

It was my mistake. Chef had gone to bed early which meant that I got to have the TV all to myself. What do I do? I land on the last 30 minutes of "Marley & Me" on HBO. I've seen "Marley & Me" so I knew that the last 30 minutes are like cry-a-palooza on steroids. And it was of course enough to set me off.

Marley reminds me of my dog, Pepper. Not the best dog in the world, but loved and loving nonetheless. And less than a month after I moved with Pepper to Nashville, he was too sick to go on. One year after my mother died of breast cancer that metastasized to her liver, our dog had gotten cancer in his liver. It was too much of a coincidence. I finally realized that this dog that I thought was mine, was actually hers. Years of her threatening to make him into Chinese Food was nothing in the end but frustrated rhetoric. When she died, he spent his nights in my bed comforting me and his days in her spot on her bed remembering.

My dad often calls the picture I took of Pepper and I just before going to put him down at the vet's one of the saddest pictures he's ever seen. I can't say that I disagree. The moment was one of the hardest in my life. There aren't many times that you decide whether or not something lives. At least not something larger than a bug. And I know others have had to make that decision too. Never a fun or easy thing to do for animals, people or anything in between.

So, "Marley & Me" ends and I'm in a crying fit by myself in the living room when Genghis and Mila come over to me and snuggled in deep. They're not dogs, but in a pinch, they'll do just fine.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Things that Are Different

There are inevidently things that are different when you move across state lines. Those things you notice right off as being completely odd. The last time I moved to Tennessee, it was odd that you couldn't get your car registration and your driver's license in the same place.

In California, it was the license branch. We got there when it opened, waited maybe 20 minutes, and then had to submit my passport and Tennessee license, pay $31 and go get my picture taken (which for the record is not as nice a picture as the odd license, but I digress). After the picture, I had to take a written test. Yes, that's right. I had to take a 36 question test about traffic laws. Traffic laws in general, I aced. It was the California specific laws that I had trouble with. For example, I didn't know that they had passed a law making it illegal to smoke in a car with someone under 18 inside. Why would I know that?

I passed the test, but just barely. It probably would've helped if I had had the test booklet to study before we went in, but I didn't know we would have to take a test. I mean, in Tennessee I just had to fill out some paperwork. No test. Take your new picture and leave with your license.

That's the other thing that is completely bizarre about California. Chef and I didn't leave the DMV with new licenses. We'll get in the mail. . .7 weeks from now. WHAT?!?! And the lady punched a hole in my old license. So, I have my old ID with a hole RIGHT THROUGH THE BIRTHDATE (which is the only thing people need to see on the license) and a temporary paper license for the next 7 weeks.

After the DMV experience, Chef was done for the day. I had the pleasure of opening our new checking account (we went with Wells Fargo), taking back a defective purchase from Best Buy, buying my niece and nephew their Christmas presents and the nephew's birthday present, getting a manicure and going to Trader Joe's. The last two were just for my enjoyment. The manicure was okay. Cost less than Nashville, but I didn't get a drink offered when I came through the door, the towels were kind of shabby, the nail polish was NOT OPI or Essie, but some off brand that didn't provide any kind of coverage. So, I will continue the search for my nail salon.

The thing that sucked was that I love pedicures, but couldn't even attempt it. Today was the first day that I could put shoes on with my busted toe, but that was pushing the limit. I know the nail is coming off. It's not really attached to my toe. I would love for it to come off, but I'm too chicken to pull it off.

So, that was my day today. The gifts are wrapped and I'll head to get them shipped tomorrow. Still have about 13 more gifts to buy, but I've got a little time. :)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Things I Love/ Hate About LA. . .so far

1) Buying wine and liquor in the grocery store.
2) The weather- 72 and sunny on December 1 and 2.
3) There are literally 6 local restaurants in the block around our apartment, and many many more in a 1-mile radius.
4) Our place looks fabulous, or is getting there.
5) There's a HUGELY wide range of ethnic foods, all out our door. Oh, and a huge range of people behind those ethnicities. (aka Diversity)
6) Our complex is nice, well-lit, great laundry and has a vending machine for those late night peanut M&M cravings. The vegetation around the complex is ridiculously nice and well-maintained.
7) You can get just about anything or do just about anything 24 hours a day.

1) There was a crazy man screaming weird things on the sidewalk 50 feet from our window. (the flip side to diversity)
2) Yes, traffic. Fine. We hit a 90 minute fatal traffic accident that closed three lanes on our first morning. However, thanks to Garmin, we were able to cut about 60 minutes off the normal 90 minute back-up.
3) Laker fans. I'm going to be a Clipper fan out of spite. Plus I kinda like Blake Griffin and of course, Eric Gordon ---the former Hoosier, plays on the Clippers.
4) The lack of sports talk radio about something outside the Lakers. Seriously, LA sports fans, NBA basketball is about the worst sports product out there. I already feel a sense of sports knowledge superiority here.

Okay, that's enough for tonight. More the longer we are here, I'm sure.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

It's the worst kind of injury . . .or at least my least favorite

If you know me, you know that I have a major phobia of nail injuries. Not just my own, but I can't stand other people's either. When Mila bit through Chef's finger nail last week, I almost vomited in my mouth. I think it goes back to my first lost toenail. I was hit by a pitch in the foot when I played softball in high school. It made my toenail turn smurf blue and then it eventually popped off. I remember being upset and having a hard time wearing shoes.

Well, I think it might happen again. Two days ago I pulled the door over my foot and stubbed my big toe. . .hard. Really hard. I remember cursing for about 5 minutes and then hobbling on my way. It wasn't until I realized that my big toe was still hurting at the end of the day AND that I couldn't wear high heels because it made my toe throb, that I thought it might be something bad. The only thing is that I can't see my nail because it's painted. I'm guessing that I wouldn't want to see it because my toe is now twice its normal size and the nail is very tender. I think it might come off, which frankly has me a little skeeved out. I'm worse with my own nail injuries than anyone else's. I've resigned myself that the name might go. UGH.

On a brighter note, we are only one dresser away from having most of the boxes unpacked. I've got to unpack the office supplies for the desk area, but other than that, it's looking nice. Pictures to come! Of all the things, I'm really looking forward to sleeping with Chef in a king size bed instead of the Full sized we have been relegated to the last few years.

Nearly there. . .

Oh My, IKEA!

It started out as an innocent trip to get a desk chair and dresser. It ended up being a 4 hour ordeal of redecorating to the highest degree. I knew it would probably be a long trip, but didn't know it would take THAT long. I'd never been to an IKEA store before, so I didn't know how it was set up, but it seemed easy enough: check out the showroom, write down what you like, go through the "marketplace" for sheets, towels, non-large furniture, and then to the warehouse area to pick up the furniture. Didn't make it to the cafe, but maybe next time.

So, we had a list of things we needed, and a "game plan" to test things out. I can't say that I didn't feel slightly lucky that I had Chef to do a few things: 1) lift the heavy furniture from the warehouse section, 2) carry the big ass bag to the car and 3) give his opinion on lots of things. Honestly, there comes a point when you look at so many pieces of furniture that they kind of start blending together.

Anyway, we found desks, beds, couches, chairs, duvets, pillows, cabinets, dressers and bookcases we liked. We didn't buy everything we liked, but we did get quite a bit more than a dresser and a desk chair. And the great thing is that it's gonna get delivered tomorrow and we have someone coming to pick up the old furniture. It just makes me wonder if we shouldn't have just ditched the old furniture before we left and traveled with just a trailer. Oh well, it's over now. Pictures to be posted when we get things settled here. We still have a few items to exchange from Target and a few more to purchase. We're getting close to having everything here we really need. Except for food. Still haven't made a trip to the grocery. Mostly because the kitchen is still kind of a mess.

Four hours in IKEA in Burbank and an updated apartment. I'm ready to be settled, really. Not much longer now.


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