Saturday, December 31, 2011

Stuck in my head

What does it say to me that I have had the whistling song that plays behind Tate's murderous rampage stuck in my head for the last two days? (Tate from American Horror Story, not a real person). The song is called Twisted Nerve and has been used in many other movies, TV shows, etc. When I looked up the song (after Chef had sent me one version), I found this mashup that "RavenclawRose7" did on YouTube. It gave me chills and so I had to share. It creeps me out in that delicious way that the whole show did this season.  So my gift to you for the last post of 2011 is the gift of American Horror Story. You're welcome!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nice Things About Vacations

Being lazy like Genghis
I'm off of work this week and trying to take full advantage of my time away to recharge. Errands and running are being kept to a minimum and it's been awesome. Here are some of my favorite things about being off of work:

  • Extra Chef time (and time with the kitties)
  • Could go and get my brakes fixed without stressing about conference calls or being on time for meetings
  • Email is optional
  • Can respond quickly to moves on Words with Friends games
  • Ice skating at 2 p.m. on a Friday? Sure!
  • When I see 5 a.m. on the clock, I just roll over and go back to sleep.
  • I can take naps every day at 3 p.m. (if I wanna)
  • I can clean the interior of my car and dust my house and clean my cabinets and organize my shoes without thinking I should be lounging in my free time
  • I can read all I want
  • I can even read trashy magazines all I want
  • I haven't driven as many miles in the last 5 days as I do on one day just getting to work
  • Thus I have 80 percent of the gas left in the tank I filled on Saturday
  • Football is on nearly 24-7
  • Writing feels like a daily necessity and not a habit I'm trying to form
  • I can go shopping on "off" hours (if there is such a thing in LA)
  • I get to see and soak in the sun
What have you done with your time off?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Holiday Spirit Quest Complete

16. Attend a Holiday Party
(Me at work party)
27 days ago, I wrote 25 things I wanted to do before Christmas to help get into the spirit. To be honest, I didn't think that I'd actually do all of them. The list seemed a little hokey and a little daunting (I couldn't possibly have time to celebrate the holidays. I was way too busy). But in the end, it was really fun and yesterday morning when Chef woke me up at 7 a.m. and said he was ready to open presents, it actually felt like Christmas. I know some of his enthusiasm (okay, most) was for my benefit, but that didn't matter. I had a blast getting into the spirit and while it wasn't like the old days (to be honest, I know it probably will never be and that's cool), it was great fun. I'll do another holiday spirit quest next year (perhaps with a few holiday cocktails on it).

Here's my spirit quest in pictures:

6. Resurrect one holiday tradition from my past. 
(We used to have Cinnamon Rolls every Christmas morning)
4. Go ice skating.

10. Bake Christmas cookies.

20. Go looking at Christmas lights and decorations

22. Make chocolate covered pretzels (and give most of them away too)

5. Make a Gingerbread house.

11. Send holiday cards.

8. Buy something tacky just because its seasonal.

21. Make puppy chow (and give most of it away).

23. Buy something that smells like Christmas. 

7. Put out at least one holiday decoration.
14. Stuff a stocking (or two).
I gave a gift to someone I didn't know (toy drive) and to someone without expecting one in return (you're gonna have to trust me on this one as I'm not doing a call out on the blog). I listened to Christmas music and appreciated the "12 days of Christmas" as well as the stamina of those who can sing this holiday version of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."

I hope your holidays were just as spirited and fun as mine were.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"Let's Make Christmas Last"

"Christmas goes too quickly," my mom said. I don't think she was saying it to me. I think she was saying it to my dad at the other end of the table. "Let's make Christmas last this year."

He moved the casserole around on his plate and took a swig of the cola in his glass. "How do you suppose we do that?"

"Well," she said. Clearly she'd been waiting to unveil this idea. "I think on Christmas morning we should only open one present per hour. That way we won't have everything open in a few minutes of wrapping paper flurry. We can enjoy the day."

Whoa, whoa, whoa. She had perked my attention at the mention of presents. "Wait?!?" I cried. My brother had also caught on to this. "One present every hour?!?" he said.

"Yes. That way we have a whole day of Christmas instead of just a few minutes." She had put her fork and knife down and folded her hands together over the plate.

"But we'll still get Santa's presents in the morning, right?" said my older brother. "Because Santa doesn't wrap gifts."

"Why would Santa not come in the morning?" I said. "Santa doesn't have anything to do with this."

"Santa will be the same as always," mom said. "But our family presents are one per hour." And with that, it was decided.
The carcasses of new toys lay strewn about. Wire twist ties that had held legs down and oddly shaped cardboard lay about in the aftermath of Santa's visit. After the excitement of Santa had worn off , I was already jonesing for another present high. 

"Mom, can we open presents now?" I whined. She sighed and rolled her eyes a little. 

"Yes, pick one, and make it a good one because it's gotta last for the next hour," she said. I made my way under the tree and immediately started feeling boxes. I had learned a few Christmases before that I could identify a Barbie by feeling for the flexible plastic front on the box. I found one and chose it as my present.

My brother started crawling under the tree but then my dad got up in his bathroom and ubiquitous moccasin slippers. "Let me chose yours, Matt," he said. He crouched under the tree and pulled out a clandestine-looking box. "This is it."

We made a mad dash through the paper. Ripping as fast as we could. I caught glimpse of a glittery skirt and knew I had an evening Barbie, one of my most covetous kinds. My shrieks were only outmatched by my brother's.

"Now this is for both of you," my dad said. My mom looked less than amused. It seemed this her idea was taking a turn she hadn't anticipated. 

I peered over his shoulder. It was a Nintendo. THE Nintendo. The first version ever made and probably the only one in a three-hour radius.  My brother took off running for his room with the Nintendo box under his arm. My dad got up to follow.

"I should probably see if he needs any help," he said. I soon ran after them both. It took my brother a few minutes to set up the Nintendo but once he did, we were mesmerized. It came with controllers and gun and Duck Hunt. We took turns shooting our virtual Christmas dinner. My mother came back what seemed like a mere minute later.

"It's time for your next present, kids," she said. We barely looked up.

"Um, right now?" Matt said. His eyes never left the duck that floated across the TV screen.

"Yes." she said through gritted teeth. "Now."

We spent the hours in the day running back and forth from the tree to the TV in between games. We opened our last presents about 14 hours after we began, each hour our enthusiasm dwindling and my mother's eyes less shining. 

The next year, we tore through the presents like usual. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dear Santa. . .

P.S. It's nice to see that you're
an IU fan again. :)
I have to admit that you've always been pretty good to me. Even when I was just pretending to believe because my brother asked me to string the "Santa thing" along for another year. If I am being a completely honest (and therefore "nice") girl I have to say that I was eager to suspend disbelief until I got my loot.

To me, Santa, you are more than just someone who brought me stuff. You were my first link to magic. The first character that made me think that things that aren't supposed to happen actually could. Flying reindeer? Sure-so much more environmentally safe than jets. Visiting all children on one night? Perhaps you are the first cloned person and therefore can be in multiple places at once. All the cookies you can eat once a year? I totally get that.

To be honest, Santa, I could use a little "you" in my life. Who doesn't want to believe in magic? That good things can happen for no reason and no need for logic. Who doesn't want to be genuinely surprised? Or to go to bed dreaming of things that you know you'll touch in a few hours? When was the last time your biggest wishes got granted by sleeping? I think that's an adult's dream for sure or at least part of mine.

Even to create some magic seems fun enough. I remember trying to help my aunts and uncles convince my younger cousins that you existed just to be a part of the action. And now, I still want to help make your magic happen. I played "Santa" for some kids, donated to food drives and pet food drives. I even have small items ready to stuff some stockings (mine included) and surprise some cats. Yes, Santa. I so miss your presence that I'm willing to recreate it with pets that can't comprehend or appreciate it.

I'm glad that others still have you to hold on to. (Although I do hate seeing you shill for companies in your off time, but understand that all those toys and elf labor don't come for free). I hope you have the best Christmas, Santa. Thank you so much for all those years of magic and the many more you give others.

Your Elf,

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Moment on the Ice

I like this one because it
makes it look like I was going
fast (not so much).
As part of my Holiday Spirit Quest, I wanted to go ice skating. I haven't been in a really long time, but was suckered into taking ice skating as a class in college. My friend Schultz convinced me that it would be fun (and it was), but when I admitted that I hadn't been skating in years, she neglected to tell me that she had taken figure skating lessons for years before.

Anyway, it was a fun class and I wanted to get back on the ice to get in the holiday spirit. As you can imagine, there aren't a ton of places to go ice skating in southern California, but there were two outdoor skating rinks that were put up just for the season. One was at a mall near work and one was at LA Live the entertainment area near Staples Center. I choose LA Live.

Good shot of Staples Center
behind me.
Chef and I went together. He had said he would skate with me (having not skated himself in quite some time), but when he saw the size of the rink (tiny) and the amount of skaters on it (more than enough), he bowed out. And I don't blame him. I shouldn't have expected much, as how many Southern Californians have a ton of ice experience (the answer was very very few). So there were a lot of bad skaters in a small space. I couldn't get going as fast as I wanted, but only stumbled a few times, got plowed into from behind from an asshole skater who didn't know how to stop (or apologize apparently), and did not fall once.

I want to go skating again, but on an actual regulation rink with as few people on the ice as possible. It was a nice (albeit odd) experience to skate outside when it was 68 degrees and sunny, but a ton of fun.

My face wincing because the girl on the right had just cut in front of me and I didn't want to hit her.

Can you see the kid behind me? He fell about 2 seconds later.

I just like the sun shining here.

Me smiling because I'm having fun.
 The guy over my shoulder on the left is the one who ran into me and didn't apologize. (not that I hold grudges)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ready to Be Off For a While

Only one more day of work and I'm working from home to avoid the commute. (It's my Christmas present to myself). I'm totally ready for some time off. Who's with me?
My Christmas Cookies:
can you spot the two non-
holiday ones?
  • Pages of fiction read: 93% of a 320 page book--27 percent more than last week (The Family Fang)That's 86 pages. Uh oh.
  • Fiction read:  The Family Fang  (a Greg recommendation).It's getting to the end and has given me lots of ideas.
  • Fiction listened to via audiobook: None. Want to wait until after the holidays to start the next one.
  • Five pages written: nope. I suck.
  • Calorie tracking: Check. 
  • Exercise: 150 minutes of exercise in the last week. 
  • Current 5K best (on elliptical): 23 minutes, 32 seconds (same from last week)
  • Friends and family: Yup. Called two friends and actually talked to one. 
  • Weight Loss: 0 lb.
  • One revised section of novel per week: Edited 11 pages and sadly am now changing a ton of stuff. It's gonna be a long process, but hopefully the end product will be better than before.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What I'm Loving Now: Cookie Butter

So normal looking,
but so great tasting.
Reading the title of the post, you might think to yourself: What is this cookie butter you speak of? It's a valid question. Without seeing a picture, you might think: Is this butter made especially for use in cookies (a Paula Deen invention to be sure)? Is it a butter that is sweetened to have a sugar cookie taste? Is it body butter or some other lotion labelled to lure you into thinking something delicious and then being super disappointed because it's just another lotion product?

I'll tell you what it is: HEAVEN.

Peanut  butter consistency.
Yes, I have eaten half the jar
 in 10 days.
Don't judge me!
Speculoos Cookie Butter leaped out at me from the shelves of Trader Joe's a few weeks ago and I immediately went back to get more. That was not as easy as I had anticipated. I tried two stores that were completely sold out (and told me their warehouse didn't have any either) before I found out that one store in my area had 5 dozen jars. I promptly went back and bought nearly a dozen. This stuff keeps for a year and is seasonal, so you can't blame a girl for stockpiling like the Unabomber.

Cookie butter is the consistency and color of smooth peanut butter. It spreads like it and can melt quickly if it's on something warm. I know this because I put a tablespoon of cookie butter on my English Muffin each morning and it can be messy eating this in my car on the way to work. Don't worry. I grab a napkin and don't let licking my fingers of cookie butter prevent me from merging with oncoming traffic.

It tastes like a cross between a sugar cookie and a gingerbread cookie. Lots of the spices that I love from the season (ginger--clearly--nutmeg, cinnamon, everything else needed to make pumpkin pie spice, etc). It can make a whole wheat English muffin taste like a sinful treat.

Bad picture of the nutrition label-
if you care about that stuff.
Good new is that it's only 90 calories per tablespoon and you can effectively use one tablespoon to cover an entire English muffin.

Bad news is that it doesn't have any of the protein or nutritious values that peanut or almond butter have. And Trader Joe's (if you have one) is probably sold out.

Because I am selfish and evil, I waited until I had secured my stash before blogging about it because frankly, I didn't want to tell the world of Cookie Butter's deliciousness without knowing I could have some for months on end. You're welcome.

Monday, December 19, 2011

From Christmas Past: Oregon Street

For years when I lived in or around Evansville, I would make an annual pilgrimage to the best, tackiest, most over the top display of Christmas decorations that I have ever seen in person anywhere.

Growing up in Big Vin City of Sin (aka Vincennes, IN) I was accustomed to large Christmas displays. A local doctor had life-size moving exhibits of Santa in his workshop, checking his list, etc on his front lawn. The year I learned to read, I figured out that my brother's name (Matthew) was on Santa's list on one of the exhibits but mine wasn't. I cried. My dad called the guy and two nights later my name was on the list. The decorations are long gone, but the memory remains.

After that, I didn't think Christmas decorations could be topped. Until my friends Brooke and Lara introduced me to Oregon Street. This was YEARS before people really knew. We used to drive by late at night and a couple of times got to talk to the guy who did this every year. He started out with one home with a free lot and then the display grew so much he had to buy the house across the street to house the decorations. Of course, that also gave him another yard to decorate. He mentioned that people would just leave that year's latest decorations on his doorstep with notes of goodwill.

The girls and I loved this place. We even exchanged Christmas presents outside the display. In years when we were apart for Christmas, I would take the gifts they had sent to Oregon Street and open them there on my own. It just made my holiday brighter.

So in an effort to make your holiday brighter, and to give you a baseline of the type of Christmas extravagance I've come to expect out of life, here's a video done a few years ago and posted by the Evansville Courier & Press.

You're welcome.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Little Holiday Magic

Santa's sleigh flying over the Christmas tree
at the Grove.
Earlier this week I tried to find a place around LA that had some good Christmas lights. This proved to be a  harder task than I had imagined. I'm guessing because most of the large, elaborate houses in LA having matching large elaborate fences that Christmas lights aren't the most visible from the street. There are a few neighborhoods that are called out, but none are that close to our place. Apparently there's a Christmas light display at Griffith Park each year that has been cancelled the last two years because of major construction. So, that's was a no go too.

I had to think differently about what I would allow myself to count as "Christmas lights and decorations." I found two shopping areas--both outdoors--that have elaborate displays that include time periods where it snows. They had me at "snow."

Casa di Santa at The Grove
So I chose The Grove, a very popular outdoor mall next to the Farmer's Market, where Mario Lopez films "Extra" each day. It also has a Anthropologie and good parking, so it was the winner. It was fun to hear all the different languages (it's a destination shopping area). Apparently "Santa" is "Santa" in many languages because as we neared his house, I heard many languages spewing words I didn't understand and "Santa" plugged in the middle. I did, however, understand "Casa di Santa."

Chef and I headed to the Farmer's Market after wondering around the Grove and had our favorite LA pizza--a white pizza from Deano's-- and a pitcher of beer. While Chef walked away, I spied a very tall blonde guy that was wearing a baseball hat and cool casual clothes. He looked dead up like Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood fame. I swear it was him, but I'm not going to count it as an official sighting. The guy was hauling ass through the Farmer's Market, so I couldn't confirm. But it was nice eye candy either way.

In front of the fountain and lights
Anyway, after dinner, we walked through the elaborately decorated Grove. It was pretty and enough of a twinkling light affair for me to cross that one off on my Holiday Spirit Quest. I also made chocolate covered pretzels yesterday and am making Christmas cookies today. Only a few more things to get done and I have to say that I do feel more in the holiday spirit this year than in recent memory. Ice skating this week! Chef said he was going to join me. I'll post pictures of my bruises. :)

Have you done anything to get into the spirit lately?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where I'm at This Week

Harry and David delights
I got my first Christmas present about a week ago and am very thankful for it. My waistline is less thankful, but I have managed to not have eaten the entire thing  and still have quite a bit left. Hooray!
  • Pages of fiction read: 66% of a 320 page book--34 percent more than last week (The Family Fang)That's 108 pages.
  • Fiction read: Began The Family Fang this week (a Greg recommendation).Still quite awesome. 
  • Fiction listened to via audiobook: Finished Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.
  • Five pages written: nope. I suck.
  • Calorie tracking: Check. 
  • Exercise: 110 minutes of exercise in the last week. 
  • Current 5K best (on elliptical): 23 minutes, 32 seconds (broke previous best on 11/25)
  • Friends and family: Yup. a few emails to miscellaneous people and a call with my brother/niece/nephew.
  • Weight Loss: 0 lb.
  • One revised section of novel per week: I edited a short section, but came upon a revelation that's making things better, but delaying my process. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

All I Want for Christmas Is. . .

My Christmas Display
Here's to ticking one off of my Holiday Spirit Quest and to giving anyone who is looking for ideas. Plus it's sometimes fun to write out your wishes, right?
  • Massages once a month for a year
  • Pedicures and manicures every other week for a year
  • A bluetooth headset for my iPhone so I can stop having to plug in my headphones to talk to people on my commute home
  • Gift certificates to
  • an iPad 2
  • My car's brakes fixed and dents out and detailed
  • A year's worth of gas
  • Gift cards from any or all of the following:
    • Sephora or ULTA
    • GAP
    • Ruth's Chris
    • Trader Joe's
    • Nine West
    • Marshall's or TJ Maxx
    • Nordstrom
    • Coach
  • 20 pounds whisked off my body
  • a new toaster (ours broke)
  • a new hairdryer (broke the day after the toaster broke)
  • Christian Louboutin shoes
  • knee high black leather boots
  • a Hermes Birkin bag
  • new jeans
  • my hair cut and colored for the year
  • beachfront property
  • a delicious, soft calorie-free bread
  • Good pizza in LA
  • Clip-on hair extensions to add 6 inches to my hair
  • Ridiculously long hair extension that will allow me to live out my childhood fantasy of being Crystal Gale
  • a literary agent
  • a month without work or distractions to get my book done
  • For the Hoosiers and the Colts to be obligated to play on the West Coast at least once a year and for tickets to those games
  • Either the ability to teleport myself (and my luggage) anywhere or plane tickets wherever I want to go with upgraded frequent flier perks like early boarding and free bags
  • To live in a more walkable neighborhood
  • a personal trainer or workout classes to something that I'd do like boot camp or crossfit
  • My body clock to not urge myself to go to sleep at 9 pm every night
  • A tropical honeymoon with Chef
  • A Cracker Barrel in Southern California
  • A second bedroom
  • Girl friends in LA
    • The ability and will to find girl friends in LA
  • The ability to do good British, Australian and French fake accents
  • A big brown leather purse
  • For Ralph's Diet Black Cherry Cola to be available in something larger than a 6-pack
  • To kick my Sims addiction
  • Fridays off for a year :)
  • A trip to Disneyland

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Spirit Quest: Almost Halfway Home

Shipping off the cards    
Last night I went to my company Holiday Party. It was fun. I sat with friends and ate good food and had a nice pomegranate cocktail. I was convinced I was going to win a door prize. I didn't but two of the people I met up with did. I got over the disappointment by reliving  the IU-UK game in my head. (You can do it for reals through this link.)

I also watched two Christmas movies this weekend (Love Actually and Four Christmases) AND the Lifetime Christmas movie (12 Men of Christmas starring Kristin Chenoweth). So this is what I've gotten marked off my list thus far:
Yes, that's tape holding it.
  1. Listen to nothing but Christmas music on one commute home. (did it twice, actually)
  2. Give a gift to a stranger. (bought Christmas dinner for a family at our local Ralph's)
  3. Make a Gingerbread house. (pictures to prove it!)
  4. Put out at least one holiday decoration. (IU Santa is now a lucky charm)
  5. Buy something tacky just because its seasonal. (Snooki. That's all)
  6. Watch a Christmas movie. (Love Actually --totally counts--and Four Christmases)
  7. Send holiday cards. (In the mail)
  8. Give a gift to someone without expecting one in return. (Donated a toy to our local CASA)
  9. Read The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris. (Technically listened to it on audiobook but I realized while listening that I had actually already read this.)
  10. Attend a Holiday Party. (Last night's work party).
  11. Watch a Lifetime or Hallmark Holiday movie (counts separately from one above). (12 Men of Christmas--it was. . .predictable)
  12. Make puppy chow (and give most of it away). 
  13. Buy something that smells like Christmas.  (Peppermint Holidays candle--not exactly peppermint but much better).
The infamous candle

No. A Child did not make this. It was a grown adult, but it was my first time,  so lay off. 

Chef and I are wondering how long the Gingerbread House will last with the cats around. At least I have photographic evidence that I did it. 

Friday, December 09, 2011

What I Ended Up With: Fashion Update

I got a lot of good advice on my fashion dilemma last week. And considering how little I gave people to work with, it was surprising the results. From twitter to Facebook to emails, I got a lot of ideas. Enough to wear the shoes several more times.

So, I actually decided to bust them out today on casual Friday with a different look than the skirts. What I ended up with is to the left. Orange check blazer from Goodwill, white Ellen Tracy t-shirt that feels like heaven on my skin, dark skinny jeans and a colorful necklace to accompany the shoes. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

This one worked so well that I plan on throwing up another pair of shoes onto the blog for some more help. It apparently takes a village to dress me.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I Found My Tacky

I went to Walgreen's today during my lunch break to grab a few things and thought that it would be a good place to search for #8 on my Holiday Spirit Quest list:
Buy something tacky just because its seasonal.
I knew Walgreen's wouldn't let me down and boy, they didn't. There were a few things to choose from until I saw it. The one item that screamed to me "YOU MUST BUY ME!". The rejected items that I've seen that were almost, but not quite, tacky enough were:
  • A Christmas carol singing Sock Monkey
  • A dancing Christmas tree (felt a little 1992)
  • The leg lamp from A Christmas Story (been done before--a lot)
  • Mickey Mouse ears with a Santa Hat headband (didn't want to wear the tacky--just admire it from afar)
  • Two coconut balls that were packaged together as "Frosty's balls" (tacky but it was edible and not something for display)
While all those did scream to me, the winner was this:

Yes, that is a Snooki Christmas ornament. I debated on whether to get Snooki or The Situation and settled on her because her ornament looks least like her actual self plus there's a giant butt on her that has "Made in China" imprinted on it. 

Look closely for the Made in China.
It made me chuckle. Clearly, I couldn't get a J-Wow or Pauli D ornament (which they also had) because we all know they won't have the longevity that the Snooki has. 

And to help spread the tacky Christmas cheer, I'm going to put the names of some of my closest friends in a hat and draw out one to send this lovely ornament to after the holidays. You're welcome in advance.

Can you out tacky me? I double dog DARE you!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Need For Speed

With My Race Face On!
Today I had an off-site with my team at work. I gave them four options for our activity and they chose go karts. I think they choose wisely. I didn't realize how competitive I could get until I was stuck behind someone and wanting to pass so badly. I took everyone on the inside and it rocked. I came in first. I'm proud, but mostly was just glad to get some time with my team. They've been rocking so hard this year and they deserve some celebrating. 

In the mean time, here are my goal updates:

  • Pages of fiction read: 35% of a 320 page book (The Family Fang)That's 112 pages.
  • Fiction read: Finished Confessions of a Prairie Bitch last week (an Anne recommendation) and began The Family Fang this week (a Greg recommendation). Both are awesome
  • Fiction listened to via audiobook: going to start Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris but haven't yet.
  • Five pages written: nope. But I edited 20 pages last week.
  • Calorie tracking: Check. 
  • Exercise: 150 minutes of exercise in the last week. 
  • Current 5K best (on elliptical): 23 minutes, 32 seconds (broke previous best on 11/25)
  • Friends and family: Yup. Had a long call with my dad last night.
  • Weight Loss: 0 lb.
  • One revised section of novel per week: Not finished, but I did edit more than 20 pages.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Christmas Came early But I don't get my Gift for Four years

Overlooking the general vicinity of
Universal Studios Hollywood :)
We all know that I'm a geek.  I'll happily concede that and know that my nerdiness will shine through. This is one of those cases. I did a happy dance today in my office while reading an LA Times story that announced the building of. . . the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Wait? Don't they already have one of those?, you ask.

They do. In Orlando, which is umpteen million miles away from me in Hollywood. But today they announced they're building one at Universal Studies Hollywood. Hollywood--as in a mere 6 miles from our apartment. Hoorah!!!

That's the good news. The bad news is that it doesn't open until 2016. So, I'm gonna go camp out now. :)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Help, please! Reinvent my wardrobe

Okay, I need some help out there in the blogosphere. The interwebs and all that. I had a ton of clothes and a ton of accessories and just about the world's most fabulous collection of shoes (or at least that I've seen).  And while I appreciate these items in the collective, I'm having a problem putting everything together. Frankly, I'm boring myself.

Is there anyone out there who wants to lend their stylistic talents to helping me out? Or even in pieces or trade? (I don't know what I could trade, but I could try). Maybe the collective could help me out. I could post a few pictures of clothing pieces and then you could make the outfit for the day and I'd wear it and others could rate it. Anything to break the monotony of wearing the same combinations all the time or getting so bored that I spend more money than I need to.

Anyone want to help a girl out? (Full disclosure, I don't have many cute scarves--like three. So if you're a scarf-heavy stylist, you've been warned).

First challenge: The shoes pictured are some of my funniest and funkiest, but I haven't worn them in a while because I've been too lazy to find something to wear with them. The other picture are two boring skirts that could be used (but don't have to be). The lighter khaki is a straight skirt and the dark brown is a-line.

So there's the challenge: dress me. (Yes, I'm that pathetic).

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Working on my Holiday Spirit Quest

I didn't do a ton this weekend to get into the spirit. After my trip to the edge with the Christmas music on Friday, I just worked on the sweet treats end. I've worked on my cards, but they're not quite ready. So officially off the list now are the making of the puppy chow and the putting up of one Christmas decoration. Here's how that went in pictures:
My Christmas Decoration: IU Santa and Mini Stocking

Puppy Chow before its sugar bath

After the sugar hits it. Or is that crack? Felt like it as I couldn't stop eating it all day!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Without Stabbing My Eyes Out or A Gun to My Head

I forgot my iPhone at home today. I realized it about 5 minutes after I started, but I was hustling to get to work for a conference call so I knew I wouldn't be able to go back. No iPhone means that I didn't have any music or audiobooks to listen to on the way home. So I decided to tackle one of the items on my spirit list that I was kind of dreading: Listen to nothing but Christmas music on one commute home.

So I tuned in to BOTH of the stations in LA that I know of that are playing nothing but Christmas music. I was lucky because it wasn't a three-hour commute day. Just a little over an hour and I heard at least two songs on both channel. I don't know if this one thing helped put me in the spirit, but it couldn't hurt. Plus I'm thinking it's a cumulative effort that's gonna do the job. 

In that one hour, I heard Christmas music by:

  • Paul McCartney 
  • Gene Autry
  • Whitney Houston
  • Colbie Caillat
  • Wham!
  • The Chipmunks
  • Chuck Berry
  • Gayla Peevey (I Wanna Hippopotamus for Christmas)
  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Trans Siberia Orchestra
  • Many more
Here's one of my favorite's that I'd forgotten about:

Okay, what's your favorite Christmas song?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Geek + Christmas= This Awesome Yoda Christmas Video

In an effort to start my holiday spirit quest out with some cheer, here's a cute video that combines my love of small, funny talking green men and Christmas. Special cameo by Darth Vader. (Also, who knew that LEGO made a Start Wars Advent Calendar??)


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