Sunday, July 31, 2011

Feeling Panic and Paranoia

I'm wondering if I'm either priming myself for an unneeded panic attack or am just having bits of paranoia. Probably a little bit of both. Lately, I've had this feeling like I'm going to have something happen to me. Or maybe I've just fallen asleep too many nights with the 48 Hours Mystery playing in the background.

Or maybe i'm finally coming to terms with the fact that I'm at an age now where dying would be sad, but not necessarily shocking. I mean people die in their 30s all the time. It's sad, but not unheard of. No one has quite as drastic a reaction when someone in their 30s gets cancer as when it's someone in their 20s. It's just how it works.

I think it's just that I'm starting to get healthy (again) and perhaps that's brought some of this to the forefront. I'm eating fairly well, getting veggies and fruits in, sleeping well and without medical aid, my psoriasis is starting to clear up nicely and I've started feeling relaxed in most ways. So of course, my skeptical nature says something must be looming.

Instead of running from the dread, I've decided this time to use it as motivation. When the feeling comes over me (and it does in minor spurts), I use it to say "Well, if I did actually die today what would I be most sad about not having done." And lately the answer has been "finishing the novel or any collection of work." So, I've started writing on the novel more and am trying to get some short stories polished so I can throw them out into the world. I'd like to see how many times they could get rejected before I say "Whatever" and just start posting them on the blog. I'm saying 12 is the over / under number. Bets anyone?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

You Always Want What You Can't Have

For me, it's good deep dish pizza. Or even just good pizza. And nothing fancy. Although Greek pizzas have been a favorite as of late, I'd totally just take a great slice of pepperoni. Doughy crust, but not too doughy. Nothing cheese-filled or with garlic and herbs baked in. Just a good slice of Pepperoni pizza. One where the Pepperoni is crisp at the edges and the cheese has some nice brown bubbles.

But that's something that I can't have. Mostly for two reasons: 1) I'm still watching what I eat and trying to avoid no-no food as much as possible. More than seven pounds in three weeks is a good start. I think another week and I'll be in a different second number which makes me happy. It's been a mental hurdle since I've been in LA for some reason. And while I indulged in a burger yesterday I also went back into th
e gym and put more time in to compensate. 2) I still have yet to find what I'd consider to be good pizza in LA. We've kind of given up trying lately. One because we're both dieting and two because we faced lots of disappointment. If we're gonna splurge on calories, we've been veering towards the safe bets.

Speaking of us dieting, I've got to give a shout out to Chef. He's lost
about 40 pounds since we've moved to LA. Yes. That's 40. Like four zero. He's looking super hot. Even more than usual.

But I digress. If anyone knows of a great pizza place in southern California, please let us know. At this point, I'm even willing to travel to get a slice of heaven. If you need a reference point, I love Jet's pizza. Especially the deep dish kind. I'd probably kill someone for a slice of that. Okay, maybe not kill, but seriously injure. The pictures should also help. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Yelp hasn't done us very well so far.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Odd Thing About the Social Security Office

Today I had the best commute: 30 seconds. From the bedroom to my couch. I worked from home. I have a great job that allows me to do that every once in a while when I have appointments in LA. Today's appointment was at the social security office. It's the first step in officially changing my name to Loar. Hooray!

It wasn't that bad. I love the number system that's automated, and it only took about 30 minutes for my number to be called. It also only took another 10 for the process to be complete. I get my new card in 2 weeks. At which point, I can go wait in line at the DMV to get a new license. Ugh. All kinds of lines.

After the social security office, we were feeling indulgent so we broke our diet for the first time in a while and went to McDonald's. It was in the middle of McDonald's that I realized that for the last two hours, Chef and I had been the minority every where we went. Now that's not something you feel everyday. Wait. Scratch that. That's not something white people do every day. Clearly someone is always in the minority. It was just odd that it was me. I probably wouldn't have noticed it if the workers at the SS office hadn't been fluent in Korean and Spanish.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Least Shocking News of the Football Season

Who saw this coming? (Um, everybody including me). Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler broke up. He called it off, but not before their wedding registry and a photo shoot of her modelling wedding dresses were already made public. Perhaps Hollywood could learn a thing or two about long engagements.

My favorite things about this are as follows:
  1. TMZ calling the wedding dress photo shoot pictures TRAGIC and SAD. Showing a kid a burnt down house and telling him its Disneyland is sad (Thanks, Jack Handy). What happened in Norway is tragic. This is just bad timing and poor planning.
  2. You could tell from the registry that it wasn't going to work. Too many items to make baked goods in (muffin pans, cookie sheets). Dude has diabetes. Ask for the salad spinner. Just saying.
  3. Sports Pages are following this. I always knew that sports were men's version of gossip pages, but when the two intersect, it not only reaffirms it, but it's glorious.
At least Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard breaking up can take some of the heat off them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Whatcha Doin'? Oh Me? Just Hittin' Some Goals

I've decided for the sanity of myself and anyone else who might read this that I'm going to combine and condense my updates on the status of my goals. But I have to say that I'm pretty stoked so far.
So SUCK IT any doubters out there.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trader Nos (and Some Yes Stuff too)


Chef and I have become fans of Trader Joe's since we moved to LA. They had opened a few Trader Joe's in Nashville but honestly, laziness got the better of me when we lived there. Mostly because although the Trader Joe's was only about 5 miles away, those 5 miles were going into Green Hills. And anyone whose tried to get anywhere in Green Hills knows those are the WORST 5 miles in the town.

The Trader Joe's in LA is across the street from our Ralph's (aka Kroger West) so it makes it much easier. We've been trying out some new items as I've been lowering my calorie count and Chef has been lowering his eating. Here are some winners and losers.

Losers:
  • Chile Lime Chicken Burgers: I was looking for a lower cal alternative to a beef burger. This one had some weird spice and peppers and-GASP-cilantro. I had to use a lot of ketchup to drown out the taste.
  • BBQ Teriyaki Chicken: It just seemed weird that you make this in the microwave and it's supposed to taste good. And that was the big difference. It didn't taste good.
  • Falafel patties: Crumbled too easily when you stick a fork in them and the spice is off. Not horrible, but I got them a few months ago and haven't got them again.
Winners:
  • Mandarin Orange Chicken: Gets crispy in the oven. Need I say more? Okay, the sauce is pretty damn good too.
  • Soft & Juicy Mango Slices: This is one of Chef's favorites. They only carry it every so often so when he sees it, we stock up. Nice, sweet dried fruit.
  • Peanut butter-filled pretzels: Haven't gotten these lately not because I don't like them, but because I can't control myself when I eat them. They're crazy good. Shout out to Michelle for introducing me to these bad boys. And curses too because there's a dimple of fat that I blame you for.
  • Chicken Tikka Masala: Haven't gotten it in a while because I always get the Naan too and that makes the meal a little calorie crazy and carb heavy, but this is DELICIOUS for a quickie.
That's it for now. What are your favorite Trader Joe's finds? Always looking for a new culinary adventure. Or ready made meal. Depends on the night.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What's Bigger than a Quarter and Reminds me of Wolverine?

Khubla's paw. Look at that thing. And while it seems all cute and furry now, in the wrong circumstances, it's quite scary.

For instance, let's say that you're furry little wolverine likes to have his cuddle time at 6 a.m. and ONLY while you're sitting on the toilet. And perhaps he makes his intentions for cuddling known by smashing his head against whatever you might be reading until you're forced to pet him. But then petting him isn't enough, so as soon as you stop, he decides it would be charming to put that monster claw on your cheek in the way a small child would.

Adorable, right? Of course. Until he then gets startled by another cat and that innocuous little fur pad goes from cute to cutting before you even know what to do.

Or perhaps on the rare occasion when you are cuddling said cat outside the confines of a bathroom your husband likes to startle you both so that cute cuddly cats instantly goes into attack mode and sinks all of his little claws into your shoulder.

Now who did you learn most about in that post? Me, Chef or Khubla?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Harry Potter is Dead. . .Kind Of

More than a week after it came out, Chef and I went to see Harry Potter: The Dealthy Hallows Part 2. While we certainly could've gone last week, I wanted to wait a week for a couple of reasons. 1) I'm never a big fan of watching movies in large crowds. Cell phones, texting and annoying conversations are more likely the more people are involved. Hence my love of the sinner showing. 2) I wanted to hold off on the last piece of a long era. It's like saving favorite gummy bear flavors in a pack until the end.

And so Chef and I packed up this morning and went to The Grove. It's not our favorite movie place Arclight rules), but HP7 wasn't being played at the Arclight Hollywood, so it was either hit The Grove (about 10 minutes door to door) or drive 35 to the next nearest Arclight. Of course, the tipping point was that I thought I had gift certificates to the Grove theater, but it turns out, I did not. Oh well. We'll definitely use those on another occasion.

In the end, I loved the movie and thought it did just as well as the others in capturing the Harry Potter spirit. In the end, I was thinking about all my Harry Potter memories and one in particular came to mind. It was the summer just after I graduated from college. I had gone home to help take care of my mother while she was ill and that summer wasn't the best in my life.

One of the high points was that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came out. I had pre-ordered my copy through Amazon and unfortunately had to go to my day job at GE when it was supposed to be arriving at my house. My mom had ordered something from QVC too, as was her past time. She decided that she'd make something special out of our packages arriving, so she said she'd wait until I got home and we could open them together. Kind of like a Christmas, even if we both knew what we were getting.

So I got home, and we tore into the packages like it was Christmas morning. I danced around the living room so excited and a few minutes later hole myself up in my room to read. I don't remember what was in the box for my mother. I do remember it was a surprise to her because she opened it and said "Oh, that's not what I thought it was going to be!" and was excited genuinely as well.

Now Harry Potter is over and I think about those kinds of memories. The story was great, but the context of where i was in my life when I read or watched the story progress is something different and special altogether. I mean, I know I'll remember this movie because it was the only Harry Potter I saw or read for the first time as a wife.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What Should I Do This Weekend?


It's Friday which means that two glorious days and three nights of time away from work are just a few hours away. The question now becomes "What should I do this weekend?".

There's a word in there that complicates things a little. The word is "should". Here's what I should do this weekend (productive version):
  • Organize drawers and weed out too big clothing items once and for all.
  • Work out for an hour each morning.
  • Stretch after said workouts.
  • Shop for nutritiously sound food with Chef.
  • Play with the cats.
  • Write for at least an hour each day on my current projects.
  • See Harry Potter.
Here's what I should do this weekend (take advantage of California version):
  • Go to beach.
  • Go to the farmer's market.
  • Try a new ethnic restaurant.
  • Find a flea market.
  • Explore a new neighborhood.
  • Work out each day at least 45 minutes.
  • Shop for local foods with Chef.
  • Cook healthy meals.
  • Browse a local book store. (Get the Confessions of a Prairie Bitch book that Anne recommended).
  • See Harry Potter.
Here's probably what I'll end up doing:
  • Sleep in late.
  • Work out for 45-60 minutes.
  • Go grocery shopping at Ralph's and Trader Joe's with Chef.
  • Eat somewhat healthy but highly processed meals.
  • Watch crappy TV and good movies while lounging on the couch.
  • Put off doing any kind writing until I feel guilty about it.
  • Think about going to the pool but then decide it's too much trouble (it's about 40 yards away).
  • See Harry Potter.
What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

When Good Shows Go Bad


If only TV shows were like food and started to smell when they went bad. But no, instead the keep cranking out week after week of plot lines that make you wonder why you continue to waste your time and watch them. Here are my current top five that I continue to watch but each week question my own judgement:

  • The United States of Tara: Love Toni Collette, but how many seasons can get out of watching Tara's alter egos wreak havoc on her life. She was molestered (yes, I meant to misspell that) by a stepbrother who she doesn't remember. That's it? That's the big reveal? Seems like a cop out and I'm getting less interested as the seasons click on.
  • Weeds: It stopped being interesting when Nancy and gang left Agrestic. Mexican drug lords, homicide, prison life, more kids? It was better when the biggest tension, aside from getting caught, was whether Nancy was going to sleep with Conrad. Sometimes less is more. Two words on why I keep watching: Hunter Parrish.
  • Law & Order: SVU: Double now that Christopher Meloni is going to leave, but I think I've previously outlined the depths to which the writers will go to weave three story lines together. One great case of this was a season finale entitled "Zebras" where Stabler famously tells Stucky not to look for zebras when he hears hooves. The whole show's premise is now one big zebra.
  • Entourage: Last season was atrocious. Sasha Grey? Really? Drugs? I only kept watching (and will tune in this weekend) because its the last season. Sasha Grey made me miss the days of Mandy Moore and the AquaMan plot line.
  • Glee: I admit it. I was originally a Glee-tard, but lately it's hard to defend. The plot doesn't move, songs are used as plot devices but the songs are only in the episode because they're featuring a particular artist, and I've been catching some of The Glee Project on Oxygen. Ryan Murphy thinks he's a God and that just bugs me. I'm fairly certain after Brittany "graduates" I won't watch any more.
Other shows that are on notice and a few words why:
  • Trueblood: Fairies.
  • Breaking Bad: Move it along.
  • The Big C: repeatedly making bad decisions.
What shows can you not believe you still watch?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This is the Carrot. Not the Stick


I've been focusing on my weight loss hardcore since the honeymoon officially came to an end. It's been calorie-counting, no mindless eating, fruits, veggies, all of that stuff. Still doing the morning exercise and trying to quit doing any fast food simply because I'm too lazy to spend the time cooking or going to the store. Not that I won't revert back, but at least I hope to maintain some semblance of order when I go to order instead of saying "Super size it" and avoiding looking at the calorie count.

Of course, it's not only fun to lose weight, but having goals makes it that much more fun. And having rewards at the end of achieving those goals is the motivation to hit them. Or at least it is to me. So, in an effort to put a literal and figurative carrot out there for my weight loss goals, here they are and my rewards for them.
  • When I lose 5 pounds from now, I will treat myself to a pedicure.
  • When I lose 10 pounds, a new bra.
  • When I am lower than I've ever been before (which is approximately 13 lbs from now), I will get a massage.
To earn the rewards, I will have to maintain the weight for at least 7 days before redeeming the reward. Chef and I are debating whether or not to do another weight loss challenge between the two of us. I'm reluctant because of a couple reasons: 1) he's a dude and loses weight faster, 2) it took me a while to pay up last time because I was bitter, and 3) I still think he totally cheated.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Damn you, Matt Damon


I still heart Matt Damon. Even more than a decade after my borderline psychotic passion of him, I still have a special place in my heart for him. I'm not nearly as psychotic. I don't insist on going to all of his movies on the day they open, or even going to all of his movies (there were a few that I think I was the only one there for-- All the Pretty Horses, anyone?). With the exception of some voiceover work, I've seen all his movies and most of his TV appearances.

Last night I watched The Adjustment Bureau. And for the first time I cursed Matt Damon a little in my head. It was kinda billed as The Matrix meets Last of the Mohicans or at least that was my take on the marketing campaign. The fact that the movie went from billboards to movie shelf so quickly should've told me something (and honestly it did), but I'm still a sucker.

There are more holes in this weird ass plot line than in Roger Clemen's grand jury testimony. I don't really believe the chemistry between his character and Emily Blunt's. For the record, I also don't believe in her chemistry with John Krasinski, but that could just be me. It's just kind of a boring mess of a movie. I wouldn't waste your time. Even if you are currently in the throws of a Matt Damon obsession. Just watch Good Will Hunting again. Or his stint on 30 Rock (thank you AGAIN, Tina Fey).

Monday, July 18, 2011

But I'm too young to have arthritis. . .


What do Phil Mickelson and I have in common? A penchant for taking risks? A plethora of green jackets in our closet? A loved one who had breast cancer? Tired of guessing?

Psoriatic arthritis. Or at least we probably do. I haven't been to see a rheumatologist quite yet but got my first referral today after my visit to the best dermatologist ever. My psoriasis medicine from Nashville finally got used up after months of me trying to squeeze every bit out (in my defense that ointment costs a person without insurance nearly $700, so I was being more than lazy--frugal).

So I went in search of a dermatologist in LA, which is a hazardous affair considering the amount of cosmetic procedures that get done here. I wanted someone who knew their shit. And so I went to get a referral to the best place I knew: yelp. Okay so it probably wasn't the best idea to get a doctor's referral from the same place that recommended several shitty pizza places, but most insurance providers won't do it and I forgot the rate-a-doc site address.

I called last week and found the guy was booked up for a while, but was taking new patients. I called again today and BAM! Cancellation. I slipped in at 2 and for the first time in a long time wanted to kiss yelp square on the lips. Dr. Liu asked me questions about my history with psoriasis, asked me about what medications I was on, what worked, what didn't, my biggest concerns, what my previous medicine application process had been, etc. It was awesome. He spent more time with me in one visit than my previous dermatologist did in two years worth of visits. And then he asked the magic question:

"Have you had any joint issues?"

YES! YES, I have!! I had seen a physician in Nashville about my joint problems and even mentioned my psoriasis, but he just brushed me off (he tended to that unless you were a very attractive female). So I've never had a proper referral. Dr. Liu referred me to a rheumatologist and even gave her permission to view his records of me for my appointment with her. I got loaded up with 6 prescriptions for my various types of psoriasis (my old doctor used two and they never really worked) and gave me discount coupons for all my prescriptions, PLUS generic versions of everything he could. The dude saved me $40 with one prescription and at least $35 each for three more PLUS saved the insurance company.

Clearly the proof will be in the results but when I told him that I had never had a remission in my scalp psoriasis since it first happened he said "Well, I'm going to do the best I can to give you some relief." It just felt nice to be listened to, to have someone willing to above and beyond, and willing to help me. (Did I mention he gave me his personal--not office--email address to ask any questions-- PLUS he actually took a few minutes to ask about my personal life?). Seriously, there's very little this guy could do in the future to ruin this first impression.

Now to see if my hip pain is actually arthritis. While I wouldn't be excited about it, it would be nice to be able to have some relief and maybe even use a treadmill again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Do you take plastic?


I was pumping gas last night on my way home from work and a man approached me, squeegee in hand asking if he could clean my windows for some money. It's not an uncommon occurrence and my response was not uncommon either: "Dude, I don't have any cash?" I said.

"How about any change? Anything at all? I'm just looking to get dinner," he said.

"No cash. Nothing. That's why I'm using my debit card at the pump," I replied.

And it made me wonder. How has the ease of credit card transactions and the rise in debit card use affected panhandling? I'm sure that I'm not alone in not carrying cash, so there has to have been a drop off in donations, right?

Then I wondered about Girl Scout cookies and the Salvation Army. Those approaches outside grocery stores have been documented to have been hurt by the rise of the credit card. So much so that both organizations are testing out ways to take credit cards. I wonder if some entrepreneurial homeless person will do the same thing? In Nashville they have a paper (The Contributor) that the homeless sell and get to keep the money from. I wonder if they'll ever equip their sales force with the ability to take credit cards. The money could be loaded onto a gift card Visa and then used at any reputable store.

Apparently I wasn't the only one thinking this, as it was posted elsewhere for pondering too. But I think my suggestions are more creative. What do you think? Do you give less now that debit cards are ubiquitous?

Blogger's Note: Apparently I wrote about this in December 2008, as well. And no, I didn't remember it either. I think this post is much better though, so you should read it too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Valet at Villa Vicente


The good news: Our apartment complex is continually updating its appearance and amenities for residents.

The bad news: this typically means weeks of messes and inconvenience on end.

The latest case of this is the parking lot resurfacing project going on now. The parking garage is a two deck lot with gated entry. The top deck (where I park) is cheaper because it's not covered. But honestly it's California. It's not like I'm going to have to shovel snow off my car or something. Anyway, the lot is being resurfaced so it's cut down to half it's normal size. To accommodate this hazard of parking and to eliminate any parking related homicides that might occur, the complex provides a valet service.

The valet service parks the car for us and gets it when its time to go--free of charge, of course. They're on site 24 hours a day and the complex even sprung to have extra valets during the peak periods. The pain is that I have to wait. I'm not big on waiting. They ask me every day when I get home if I'm going to be leaving again that night. I don't know that. I barely know what I'm having for dinner let alone if I might want to leave again.

It also added about 7 minutes on to my door to door time this morning. Extra time to walk a new route to the valet station that required me passing my own car to get to the station where the keys were and then waiting while the valet walked the route back to my car. My mornings are hectic enough as it is, and my commute time doesn't need any help getting longer.

I lived for so long in an apartment complex that never did any upgrades that this is abnormal. Or maybe I'm just a spoiled brat.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Back to Reality


The free flow of food is over. The lack of working out has come to an end. The commute resumes. The avoidance of email is no longer an option. It is back to reality.

But reality isn't all that bad. I feel fairly productive today and not at all hyperventilating with the amount of work to do. In fact, I even took the opportunity to delegate some. Now if I only had more people to delegate too. Hmm.

The other "back to reality" moment will be tonight when I need to go to the grocery store. I avoided it on Saturday, our usual grocery day, because frankly by the time we checked out of the hotel, I had already decided to take the rest of the weekend to do as little as possible.

And know I must face the consequences. I noticed some flabby arms in my wedding photos and will be concentrating on eliminating those (and my belly) in the next couple of months. Anyone got some healthy recipes to share?

But the good news is that I have time and, at least for now, patience. Two things that you can never have too much of. Oh and money. You can never have too much money, but that's not one I'll claim.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

What a Great Week


So this entire week has pretty much been heavenly. The July 4th holiday which included a nicely cooked slab of red meat, a short work "week" of a day, then Wednesday. My dad flew in for our nuptials on Tuesday and we planned to meet up on Wednesday. While most fathers and daughters have a dance (which I'm sure we'll still have at our reception next year), my dad and I got a father-daughter baseball game. Frankly, the baseball game seemed more "us."

We watched the Angels and the Tigers at an afternoon game that was only about 1/2 full. I was a little hesitant of the seats that I'd bought on stub hub, but as it turned out, we were in the row closest to the field that had shade. It was a highly sought after row. Plus it meant that neither of us roasted to death. It was a close game with a few homers and some good defense. And it was a great day to spend with my dad. After the game, we met up later with Chef too and headed to Lawry's for some prime rib. We had a nice, leisurely meal and then went our separate ways to get a good night's sleep for the wedding weekend.

I've already detailed out some of the wedding ceremony and honeymoon, so I won't rehash. I will say that the hotel was spectacular. The only bummer was that Chef and I both fell ill on Friday. It was too much of a stomach thing to not be a little bug or even some minor food poisoning. Both of us had heavy stomachs and no desire to eat which is unlike us. At one point as we were in a grocery store buying some soft drinks to take back to the room, I felt so nauseous that I had to walk super slow and not move a lot. Chef got waves of that later.

It kind of knocked us on our butt so much that we ended up taking long naps and then sleeping on and off all night. But it was nice to have the luxury to be lazy too. And if you're gonna be sick, it's not too shabby to be sick with a beautiful ocean view.

We woke up this morning both feeling better, but sad that we were going to have to pack up and leave. We took advantage of another morning of room service (there's always something luxurious about having someone bring food to your room and eating in a bathrobe with an ocean view, right?). I think we've already decided that we're heading back to the Fairmont next year for our first anniversary celebration. It was just too damn nice! So even with late check out, we are now home and back to reality. A little sad to be out of the lap of luxury ("This has ruined me for other hotels," Chef commented), but happy to be newlyweds. At least for a little while longer.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

And then we were married. . .


I have to say that as I look back, the smartest thing Chef and I did (which was mostly his doing) was getting married at the courthouse. While I've never been exceptionally afraid of being the center of attention, I have to admit that I was mighty nervous going to the courthouse yesterday morning. And getting ready was shaky too. And I only really calmed down once I was at the courthouse window checking in. I was calm then because there was a really anxious bride behind me tapping her foot and making so many comments about how her wedding was so important and didn't the ladies at the window know she had an appointment!! (For the record, her wedding was the one scheduled after ours and she had so many people in the courthouse that the people almost blocked our way into the chapel).

Anyway, once we checked in and started chatting with my dad who was awesome enough to come out to California to witness for us (more in a later blog post about our baseball game adventure), it was smooth sailing for Chef and I from there. The lady who officiated our wedding was spectacular. She was realistic, funny, and to the point. She made the occasion absolutely perfect and you could tell she loved doing it. Dad stood in the corner and took pictures on my phone for us (most of which we almost instantly posted on Facebook). It was over quickly and with a few tears, which was nice. I like being sentimental but not over the top.

And when it was done, we left the courthouse. Hugged Dad and I showed him the little packet I was carrying. It was a necklace that he had given my mom on their wedding day with a note from her to me explaining all that and hoping that I'd one day wear it. I wasn't able to wear it because the chain was so messed up, but I got to hold it and the note with me while I said my vows which made it more special. Plus I stowed in it the quarter that I borrowed from dad. Blue shoes with my sixpence and the new earrings from some Nashville friends and that old saying was checked off my list.

After the ceremony we ran some errands, had some carnitas tacos, picked up some cupcakes, and went home to pack. We checked in at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica (thank you, Jack) and was instantly upgraded to an ocean view with two balconies suite. It's super nice and where I'm typing right now in a plush white bathrobe as I wait for breakfast. We were greeted with champagne in our room, cocktails while we waited for our room to be inspected, and drinks at dinner. For dinner, we went to the highly acclaimed restaurant on the first floor called FIG.

As we sat down, I hear someone call my name and look up to see one of the few people I know in LA and one of the even fewer people that I know in LA that's from Evansville staring back at me. Turns out that a friend from high school, Gaby, had just started at FIG the week before. She was so nice and hooked Chef and I up with some champagne at our table. The food was wonderful. I mean, they had bacon wrapped bacon as an appetizer (it was as delicious as it sounds--thinkbacon around large pancetta) and chicken and prosciutto brochettes. I had a fancy meatloaf and mashed potatoes with brussel sprouts and Chef had a pasta dish with rabbit. We were stuffed by the time we left. So much so that I not only bypassed dessert but didn't even get to eat my cupcake last night. Oh well. More for today.

Think we're going to be lazy, lounge around, eat some breakfast and maybe hit the beach. Not too shabby of a honeymoon!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Six Pence...None the Richer?


I got a package from my Grandma the other day (which I have yet to properly thank her for, but will at least publicly thank her for now) of a card with a sixpence in it. Why a sixpence? Because the complete old saying goes:
Something old,
something new
something borrowed
something blue
with a sixpence in your shoe

And what's even cooler is that sixpences weren't made after about 1970, so it's rare. I think it's super cool that she sent it to me and am excited to put it in my shoe for luck tomorrow. While we aren't doing a lot of traditional wedding things, I'm happy to be able to do that one.

And also in preparation for the day, my dad came in. We had a great day today and instead of just having a father daughter dance, we had a father-daughter baseball game. It seemed very appropriate for us. We drove down to Anaheim and saw the Angels play the Tigers. We had good tickets that were perfectly under the shade and saw a few homers, a few good double plays and had a good tie. Mostly it was just nice to relax and talk for a few hours. And neither of us had been to a game in a while. It was a dream for me to play hooky and watch an afternoon game. Loved it.

Now I'm prepping for dinner at Lawry's (yummy prime rib) and then a good night sleep for our civil ceremony at 10 a.m tomorrow. I'm not nervous about being married, but I have to admit the whole idea of a ceremony kind of freaks me out. I was nervous enough about messing up just getting the marriage license. I'm sure it'll be fine. I only have one line to remember.

But I'll have to say it with a coin in my shoe :).

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Steel Myself For the Reckoning


Chef pointed out something kinda cool the other day. I'm near the top of a google search! Woo hoo!! Okay, it's not me per se, but the blog because my current name is unique and puts my info at the top of the search, but I digress.

The phrase "steel myself for the reckoning" is what landed me at the top. How did Chef figure this out, you say? He was spell checking me. Didn't think "steel" was the right spelling for the instance and noticed that when he typed in the phrase, it was a visited link that came up. And because he knows how much of a geek I am, I had the computer plopped on my lap the other day and he said "open a google tab and enter 'steel myself for the reckoning'". I did and instantly shrieked!

Of course, when I did it then, I was at the top of the list and somehow today when I tried it I was second behind a yahoo post from 2006. What's up with that? Let me know where I fall.

On another note, I'm thinking of transferring my blog to wordpress. Any words of advice for me?

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Weird Things that Have Happened At Our Apartment Lately


Our apartment is in a pretty safe part of town. It took me rolling into the unsafe areas before I realized how safe it was. Plus having a security officer here from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. every night is a bonus, as well. And the gates and entry code system are enough to baffle in the most Native English-speaking delivery person, so I'm fairly certain they'd at least momentarily thwart a thief.

Despite the safety some weird things still happen in our or around our complex. Here are some instances that have happened lately:
  • While I was gone last week, Chef spotted Ron Jeremy (yes, THAT Ron Jeremy) outside of our complex picking up a "trashy" looking blonde. He then proceeded to pee in between his Honda Civic and the car behind it while sporting some sweat pants. He then got into the car with the awaiting blonde and drove away. This was 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
  • This morning I was jerking awake because we had our window open and an a-hole on a Harley decided that it was fine to rev his engine when he started the bike just a few feet from apartments. It was 7:15. On a Sunday. Harley drivers suck for the most part.
  • And last, but not least, we were chillin' this evening and our front door flew open. A guy took two steps in before Chef glared at him and said "Excuse ME?". The guy had been drinking and was probably on his way from the pool to a friend's apartment but he got the wrong apartment. To be honest the doors don't have numbers on them, only a little placard in the outside hallway, so I've been known to hit the wrong doorway. But I've never gone in. Our doors are generally locked, but I'd been doing laundry and its hard to unlock the door with arms of clean laundry.
And that's enough to kind of shrug and say "LA" with a "whatcha gonna do about it?" attitude.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Visiting Both My Homes


Last week I got to go home. . . to both of them, well, all three of them if you include my current home. I took a flight to Nashville and spent some time with my friends there. On my first night east of the Mississippi River in a while, I had dinner with some of my co-workers. It was so great to be among friends again. Not only that, but they were so sweet and threw me an impromptu bridal shower. Mostly it was just the opportunity to hang out with people who knew and liked me and whose lives I feel like I'll always be a part of or at the very least interested in.

The next day I got to hang out with my friend Greg and hit two of the places that I miss most in Nashville: Signature Nails and The Patterson House. I got a fantastic pedicure with a complimentary drink, a great foot massage and wonderful service. There are tons of nail places in LA, but I have yet to find the one that has all of those qualities. And the Patterson House. I think I've waxed poetic about the place and its drinks enough. It was the one place I visited last week that made Chef jealous. And the big bonus was that I got to have great conversations with Greg, which made me miss him even more.

The next day I went further north and saw my Uncle Ric and Aunt Deb, Grandma and my Aunt Mio. We had some damn good barbecue, which, along with quality pizza, is something I've yet to discover in LA. People don't just use smokers like they do down south. The history of barbecue isn't there. Then I visited my dad at his work, which was nice because it's always kind of cool to see friends and family members in their career element. Then I visited my Uncle Jeff and my other grandma, who didn't recognize me with the new hair and then when she did, she repeatedly told me how much she didn't like it. I also got to visit my mom's cousin and a family friend before heading off to New Harmony for the night.

Once in New Harmony, Robin and I went to dinner and then rolled around the city via golf cart. We picked out a location for the wedding reception next year (yay!) and then she showed me the coolest thing ever. We went down a dark path into the woods near the river and were surrounded by thousands of lightning bugs. It was like being in the middle of a twinkly light Christmas tree and looking out.

The next morning I had breakfast with Dad and Robin, took a tour of New Harmony and dad's office there, then headed to Evansville to hang out with Jack. We did lunch, then chatted and made muffins. Actually that's not a typo and I didn't make the muffins at all unless you count cheering him on from the sidelines. Did drinks and dinner with the Dicuses and Aunt Mio. Made tons more memories and was in bed at a decent hour to get up and in a car by 5:30 to catch my flight to New Orleans.

All in all, it was a packed but very much worth it trip to my previous two home states. I saw just about as many people as I could in the time allotted. Now I can't wait for them to come out West to enjoy some sunshine and the ability to be warm without being surrounded by air you can feel moisture in immediately.

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