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Monthly Archives: May 2008

M.I.A.

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Really, I have no great excuse for being a terrible, terrible blogger when it comes to new posts this week. I have been completely wiped out this entire week, having had a very fun, very event-filled Memorial Day weekend (the short version: GP’s graduation and ensuing luncheon and dinner, trip out to Half Moon Bay, and then some Santa Cruz Mountain wine tasting), and developed this sleep thing where my body likes to wake up around 5:30a rather than a more reasonable time. Blame stress, blame activity, blame earlier sunrises…I am just exhausted. But not too exhausted, it turns out, too do some Friday Fill-Ins!

1. For me, data entry is the opposite of creativity. I was recently reminded of a summer job that I had while home from college one summer, in which I learned that one truly can spend too much time reading gossip blogs– in between soul-crushingly boring sales data entry. Thanks, though, stepdad, for employing me when no one else was interested in a motivated and organized UCLA sophomore! Seriously, that job, though…
2. Heat, by Bill Buford was the last excellent book I read. The foodie nerd in me relished (ha!) every word of his descriptions of working in various kitchens in NYC and Italy, and made me envious that I may never get to do the same. But at least it’s not data entry, right?
3. I like fill-ins because sometimes there is simultaneously too much and too little interesting crap going on in one’s life to be able to craft a well-thought-out post.
4. In nature I like looking at the ocean. Luckily, I get to do so fairly often, and am always mesmerized by it, to the point of being completely dazed.
5. Obama should win the US elections. …but that’s an entirely different post. We can still be friends if you disagree, though, I promise. I don’t want to shy away from talking politics, but I just don’t have the energy right now.
6. The last time I laughed with all my belly was at The Office last night. Yeah, yeah, it was a rerun, but Michael Scott rarely disappoints. Well, actually, that is untrue. But the disappointment is the funny kind, so I am all right with that.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to drinking some wine and watching the rest of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (thanks, dvr!), tomorrow my plans include checking out a new pedicure venue (and potentially the place that I want to do a hair trial before GP’s sister’s wedding) and Sunday, I want to have the obligatory weekly dinner with my mom and stepdad! (In reality, I may end up skipping it because I have to go to a conference for work in the afternoon…but we’ll see)

Have a great weekend, internets! I promise that I’ll be more interesting soon…

My favorite kind of Monday

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…is one on which I don’t have to work. Instead, there may be some wine tasting. Go check out my guest post on Life in Pink if you need a break from all the sunshine and barbecuing. I’ll be back tomorrow, with a recap of all the graduation and family activity that has filled my weekend!

Domestic goddess

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Because I couldn’t be bothered to be PT today, I figured I would earn my Girl Points by whipping up a fantastic dinner that did not consist of hot dogs (my immediate response when GP asked what we had for dinner). Rather, I concocted this, which was my first foray into the world of frying things in my own kitchen. All in all, it was pretty successful– despite the fact that I got to experience My Very Own First Grease Fire. Yes, friends, olive oil will ignite if you try to tidy up with a paper towel when the burner is still on. I can’t say that I recommend it. Oh, and you know there was an apron involved…I have ruined far too many shirts being spattered by wayward pan contents.

This weekend will be mercifully cooking-free, I believe, but more on that later. I am way too busy drinking wine to talk about the laundry-list of things that will be done this weekend.

Just keep swimming

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This poster hangs on the wall in my office, and serves as a more stylish reminder than, for instance, a “Hang in there!” poster, that I need to keep plugging away at the interminable phone calls and emails that constitute the majority of my job. Now, for instance, I am in a tangle of CC’s, unreturned phone calls, and multiple scheduling conflicts, and I want the hell out! Good thing the British Empire is there, encouraging me to maintain the stiff upper lip of my forefathers (well, Granny, at least).

I told my boss last week that I’m going back to school, and that I had been searching for library-related internships so that I can have some experience in the field even before I begin school in the fall. He took it pretty well (maybe there was some degree of relief? At any rate, he knew that what I am doing for him is not something I want to make a career of), and gave me a good reference for the internship woman, who called the day after I broke the news. The reference, along with that of a former boss (who is now a friend), sealed the deal– I am starting an internship in a special library after we get back from Paris in July! That’s not “special” as in “needs to wear a helmet at all times,” just “special” as in, “a very specific collection and management system.” I am pretty excited, but a bit apprehensive about being in over my head…I hope there’s someplace to hang my poster at the internship place.

(Post) Weekend Update

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While I can’t claim to have been overwhelmingly busy last weekend, I still managed to be occupied enough not to blog. This, then, is what you are left with: bullets! What I managed to do in two days, aside from blog avoidance…

– entertain! Technically this was Friday, but I am including it because I am amazed that I was able to stay up past 10pm. I have been falling into the “in bed by 9:30” routine, which, while not bad in itself, sort of hampers one’s social life. Oh, and I made a very popular (what? There were three other people eating it!) avocado mango shrimp salad (even though I ended up using papaya instead– result of a very boring grocery-store tale). No heat required, and very refreshing. You have to try it!

– finish two library books! I am terrible, generally, at getting through books that I check out before they are (over)due, which is pretty shameful considering I am going to library school in the fall. This time, however, was different! I managed to finish Heat and One Perfect Day, both of which I highly recommend, especially the former, as I am food and cooking-obsessed these days.

– do a Major Apartment Clean-Up! We are not categorically messy people, GP and I, but we tend to have a bit of clutter in key places, including leaving drinking glasses (him) and shoes (me) in our wake as we go about our apartment business. I managed, through the weekend, to tackle the kitchen floor (thanks, Method O-Mop!), vacuuming with out teeny-tiny vacuum cleaner, dual bathroom cleanup, and balcony organization. Since the balcony (re) construction, there has been a ton of debris and whatnot due to further roof construction. It is a regular three-ring circus of construction crap and noise in our complex! If only we could…you know, enjoy it being done.

– get through two loads of laundry! Well…one and a half? We have big dryers, and each load is $1 wash and $1 dry. We are not Rockefeller, you know.

– spend less than $100 at Target! This is a big deal, folks. I finished birthday shopping for my mom, snagged some Jergens Natural Glow for me, and grabbed a full-length mirror so I have nothing holding me back from participating in Mission: Put Together but my own morning indecision and subsequent donning of jeans and a sweater. (Why yes, it is upwards of 80 degrees outside. I am completely insane.)

– was able to watch live television again! So, remember that week where the DirecTV tripod lived in our living room? Yeah, that week ended, and we were able to have it re-erected…only to have the dish knocked out of alignment by a wayward roofer. They said that they “might” be able to pay for the realignment, and I think I “might” kill them if we end up having to pay for something that we did not do (!!!!!). Anyway, the DirecTV contractor showed up a good 90 minutes after the 4-hour window during which he was supposed to arrive had elapsed, but at least he fixed our tv. To celebrate, I went home for lunch today and watched Access Hollywood and felt some of my brain disintegrating.

– hopped back on the Lost bandwagon! GP and I watched “The Shape of Things to Come” last night, and I am conscientiously avoiding spoilers so that he doesn’t kill me during any of the ensuing four episodes we have to watch so that we’re caught up. While we are obsessed with television, we manage to be obsessed on our own terms.

How was your weekend, internets?

Officially a wino

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Better late than never, right? As you know (or should, at least, because I couldn’t shut up about it), we went to Sonoma last weekend for Mother’s Day with my mom and stepdad, my brother, and GP’s parents. We had been planning a fun weekend full of wine tasting and delicious food, and that is exactly what we got! Oh, and all my worrying about mom competitions? Certainly for naught. I don’t think that our parents are going to be forming drum circles or anything, but having them get along for a period longer than, say, a meal (which was the length of their previous exposure to each other), was encouraging.


Saturday began early, as we wanted to get on the road by 8 in order to make it to our northernmost winery destination by 10, which is when they open. After picking up GP’s parents at their hotel, we made our way up the East Bay, past Berkeley and Oakland, and then over the Richmond-San Rafael bridge into the North Bay. As we got closer to the wineries, my brother called and told me that they were two cars behind us, so our planning worked out really well. The first winery we went to was St. Francis, which had a beautiful backyard-type area behind it, as well as a pretty gorgeous main building. Their wines were all right, but the girl who was pouring was basically ignoring us. If you haven’t been tasting, you need to know that it isn’t like going to a bar; of course, you are drinking, and have the potential to be quite smashed by about noon, but the people pouring are supposed to interact with you, as it is their job to make you want to buy the wine.

Winery number two was the polar opposite, though. We got there right at the time that they were beginning their cave tour, so we got to see the caves where they keep their barrels, which are really cool. It didn’t hurt that it had started to heat up and the caves were at least 10 degrees cooler than outside. Going into their tasting room, we noticed that they had a specific area for a VIP-style tasting, and being the snobs (and cheese enthusiasts!) that we are, we seated ourselves on their classy leather sofas and sipped our four tastes (for a fairly-steep $20, but come on! There was cheese involved!). This was when the buying started, too. When GP and I go tasting in Napa, we might come home with half a case or so, total, of wines that we tried and liked. When we go to Amador County wine events, we might bring home a bit more than a case, because it is cheaper there (but still good wine!). When we were there this weekend, we came away with three cases of wine. I blame the parents– my parents are huuuuge wine collectors (we’re talking hundreds of bottles here, multiple winery memberships), and his parents are members of a couple Sonoma wineries, even though they live in New York.

We stopped at a cute Italian deli/cafe place for something to soak up all the wine we’d consumed (we are not apt to pour anything out unless it is pretty gross), and then headed off to another winery, where I got to hang out with the Official Winery Dog while we tasted. Being the smart animal that he is, he had decided to take a nap on the cool, tiled tasting room floor to escape the heat…right on one of my feet. Thanks, dog.


The families split after this, because my parents wanted to visit just one more place and then go to the hotel to rest before dinner, so GP and I and his parents headed, ambitiously, to three more places.

Pretty exhausted, we tucked into dinner at a place I had been eager to try, and made the (totally too-long) drive back to our hotel, where I am proud to say I passed out before 9pm. It had been a loooooong day.

The next morning, after having presented both moms with presents and spending some time hanging out at the hotel bar for mimosas and Bloody Marys, we made our way to , where GP’s parents are members. We skipped the tour, having chosen some morning drinking instead, but got there in time to sample some Blanc de Noirs before we were seated for brunch. The brunch was surprising– I had expected maybe a buffet or a range of options, but we all ended up with the same salad with bay shrimp, lamb, and fresh fruit trifle (no beef sauteed with peas and onions, sorry!). Other than the lamb being so rare it was near-bleating (woo, homonyms! Get it?), everything was very delicious. After our meal, we sat outside and tasted while enjoying a great view of the entire valley.

All in all, a successful weekend. Carrying the wine from the car to the apartment was a bit of a pain, but I’m pretty certain we won’t need to buy anything until we go back to Amador for their Fall Crush event. The only problem now is that we have all these nice wines and only a couple “occasions” coming up… I’m sure we’ll manage, though.

Thank God for the beef

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I read somewhere a long time ago that that is roughly what Shia LaBoeuf’s name means, and I am a bit jealous because Megan Elise Lastname? Doesn’t mean a darn thing, probably because lastname is some mashup of multiple generations of slutty ancestors adapting their names to their new language. Anyway, on to the show– it is Tuesday night, so I assume the more responsible of you have already gotten it out of your Tivos…

Our cold open this week is Hillary C. as the President, or in a message “brought to you by the President.” Superdelegates, blah blah. I am bummed that the primaries are going on so long, but I am hopeful about the outcome, come November. Oh, and Hillary will be a great president because she is a “sore loser,” her “supporters are racist” (I damn near died after she said this), and she “has no ethical standards”– apparently they are having to back up the fact that they are not Hillary-biased, after having portrayed her more favorably earlier this season. The strange thing is, I am sure that they will make fun of whoever ends up winning, and whoever ultimately becomes President in the fall (cough Obama cough).

Monologue. Please, baby Jesus, no singing! That is all I ask. Shia LaBoeuf (who, if you must know, I have loved ever since the Even Stevens days) looks like quite the hipster, in his gray jeans and blazer and shit-ton of hair-product. The pants fit a bit oddly, and it leads me to believe that he may be wearing an adult diaper– I’m just sayin’. Oh, and he hosted before? I suppose I blocked that out, due to my hatred of the Dear Sister sketch. Not a fan. But I am an Indiana Jones fan! Dude, he and James Bond were totally my prepubescent crushes; what can I say, I love a Man of Adventure. Highlights: Sean Connery (oh, I miss you, Celebrity Jeopardy!) shows, and is greatly chagrined to have been left off the Last Crusade lunchbox, and then Amy P. is Short Round (whatever happened to that kid?).

Ugh, MacGruber. Now with added Son of MacGruber! Unfortunately, there is little added humor, though there is a trio of awesome wigs. Oh, and Son of Mac Gruber is gay.

It’s a Match, with Guy Lang! But Guy Lang has been murdered, and the six ’70s celebrities are left to make references to a game show that is significantly older than Shia LaBoeuf. While “making whoopie” is only marginally humorous, Fred Armisen does a killer Paul Lynde. Also, great wig work.

Mercifully, there is a commercial break. Guys, I am totally going to see Crystal Skull, and none of you can stop me! It is probably going to be lame, but my love for Indiana Jones knows few bounds…

Yellow-jacketed LaBoeuf beckons us into the 16th Precinct, where three Game Stop shoplifters are being given a stern warning by a Scared Straight Kenan Thompson. They stand up, sit back down, and repeat, and it is about as funny as it sounds… Also, Bill Hader, a Stussy t-shirt? That is straight retro biznass. Oh, and a Goonies rehash. Just how old is LaBoeuf, anyway? I am a cranky old lady today. My back hurts from the elliptical, I don’t know why.

MacGruber, again. I am having a hard time getting it up for this episode. I would so rather be watching crazy wedding programming.

But! Next week! Steve Carrell and Usher! I can’t wait to see Get Smart. How much do I love Anne Hathaway and want to eat ice cream sundaes with her? The answer is “a lot.”

Ok, we are into bulleted-list territory. Here’s the quick and dirty version of the rest of the episode:
Suze Orman Show. Crazy jacket, and where the hell is my stimulus check?
Digital Short. LaBoeuf and Samberg are talkin’ pantsless fashion in a locker room. Would this really be any more ridiculous than most guys usually look? At least it would be pretty funny, because, come on, naked dudes are pretty funny-looking.
– I watched My Morning Jacket perform, just for you, Jenn. They are pretty great, and totally not what I was expecting. SNL has been bringing the Pretty Sweet Music recently, what with the Vampire Weekend performance earlier this season and all…
Weekend Update, which GP hilariously referred to as “the news.” Always my favorite part of the episode.
La Rivista della Televisione, where Bill Hader smokes a lot and I realize how tall Shia LaBoeuf is. Damn, kid!
– Another g-d MacGruber. There is kiss-vomiting, or vomit-kissing, or whatever. It is gross, and I don’t like it one bit.
Awkward Glances Across a Restaurant. So, I am not someone who gets many glances in restaurants (or Safeway, or the gym, or Starbucks, or whatever), but I imagine that it is about this awkward. What’s up with that? I guess I would prefer staring to having to talk to them, though…because I am a Total Bitch.
– Again with My Morning Jacket. Loving it.
Exaggerated Southerners try on clashing patterns. “Funky” is rarely something to aspire to, folks. But there is totally a shout-out to Decatur! Represent! Shia LaBoeuf, by the way, looks like your confused little brother, raiding your closet and trying on your pinkest dress. And now I understand the True Meaning of “Bless his heart.”