Monday, December 22, 2008

If I had all the money in the world and a fabulous house (ok, maybe just a place with a dining room rather than slightly larger kitchen) this would be the table I'd have to have.

$1800 for an impractical dining room table isn't that ridiculous, is it?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Friday Andy came home from work and really wanted to go see Slumdog Millionaire. I didn't know anything about it, but why not? After all, it's not like I had schoolwork to worry about (and yeah, I'll pull that one a lot).

I really liked it! Of course, if I liked it, that probably gives away the ending.

If you go see it, be sure to stay for the credits. I like big bollywood dance numbers - all movies should have one.<

Why I am not able to cook at home right now:

And that's only about half of the gingerbread army, the rest that's behind me in the picture cover the rest of the counters! I made most of these Saturday and just about wore me out completely!

This year:
  • Gingerbread cookies
  • Poinsettia cookies (which I make with a holly cookie cutter, and are corn starch based)
  • Buckeyes (with rice crispies - who knew no one makes them with rice crispies???)
  • Peppermint bark
  • Butterscotch cornflakes
  • Cream cheese cookies (with red velvet cake!)
I didn't think I would get to make all these this year, as there's so little time between Thanksgiving, finals, and Christmas.

The shopping is all finished, and I'm pretty happy with the gifts I've picked out. Of course, this year, I really don't want anything (yeah, I'm the obnoxious person on your list like that). I've already gotten my gift from USC. And I'll enjoy the big surprise I have for my family as much as I hope they will.

We're leaving Wednesday and really hoping the weather doesn't ruin the trip.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 15, 2008

Well, that's it. Three years over and done, as of last Thursday. It's still a little hard to wrap my brain around the fact that I won't have to take more classes in the spring, and of course it's a little anticlimactic as there is no graduation ceremony until May. But, regardless, it seems that I've finished my MBA (I have one grade already, which is insanely quick, but to be fair my other class's final wasn't scheduled until tomorrow so a lot of people haven't taken it yet).

Thursday night I pulled the last number off of the closet door countdown, had pink champagne, and even talked to my mom although it was crazy late there. Friday I went for a nice long run, decorated the Christmas tree, and went to dinner & a movie with some friends. Saturday was Christmas shopping and a going-away party (that was fun despite the circumstances), and Sunday I made buckeyes and spent most of the day at Disneyland. That's right: all fun, all weekend. I'm re-integrating into society!

Of course, I still worry about discovering a big red F in my transcript, or that there was a certain class I was supposed to take and didn't, or some other kind of mistake. Other universities make you apply to graduate, but I have to say the PM office has really taken care of most everything for me.

I don't really bring it up at work unless it's important (I had to leave the holiday party a little early to fight traffic for my last exam), and someone even asked me today where I was going to school. It makes me feel a little awkward to talk to people about it sometimes - it's this enormous part of my life, a lot of people I know are getting or already have post-graduate degrees, and yet really very few people (9.4%) do.

Either way, it appears to be over with, but there is quite a bit that will keep me busy for a while!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OK. I have 16 days left of school. And I'll be spending Thanksgiving in Las Vegas (don't judge! my homework is almost done!).

Meanwhile I started thinking about making a turkey ... today ... I have 3 ladies who need some sort of blue dress and are kindly waiting for me to pick it out, I have invitations to order, a musician to pay, and a list of things to do when I get to be a human being again. And THEN I will blog some more.

Friday, November 21, 2008

This is such a neat little gadget.

I have such an (un)healthy obsession with how many calories I burn. I think it's the little accountant synapse that gets all excited - "it's like a bank account for your body!!!" There just aren't too many formulas you can apply to yourself.

It's probably something that would get old after a week or so. But at least you don't have to wear one of those heart rate monitor bands around your chest for it to work.

Also, the display reminds me of my old cell phone. I kind of liked it.

This is so cute/pretty/sweet...And expensive. And not silver.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Stand by. I found out Tuesday that I can optionally take my finance final exam almost a week early - that would move my graduation up a week.

12/10 - Finance final
12/11 - Supply chain final
12/12 - First day off on alternate work schedule
12/13 and on ... I see cookies in my future.

This dramatically increases the insanity for the next three weeks (from today, to be exact).

UGH! Geeksugar unveiled (to me at least) fantastic new gmail skins ...I couldn't decide if I wanted the giraffe, ice cream cone, or cherry blossoms more. And then I found out it hasn't been rolled out to me yet. MEAN!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It may or may not be all over your news about the fires out here in SoCal. Of course, it's all over our news. This time they're really close to where we live - fires in Brea, Corona, and Anaheim Hills. They're also close to my aunt- and uncle-in-law-to-be's home ... and I never would have thought a wildfire would get that far into civilization!

The wind changes pretty often and to be fair it looks clearer now, but it looked something like this all day yesterday:

(from the kitchen window)

(the crap that's falling from the sky - yes, big chunks like that! and who would have thought it would snow in southern California...)

Posted by Picasa

(from our patio. remember the nothing from the neverending story?)

I saw one facebook status update of someone who lost their house - it sounds like they might have lived in the area that firefighters didn't even try to save, because for some odd reason there was no water pressure. The whole thing is pretty horrible. Seriously, we had the shake-out the same week as wildfires?? Who would want to live here?? (I don't really, at least not right now.)

I dare you to find something cooler than this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm really happy for this article, but it's a shame it's only in Esquire. I mean, how many people really read that?

Why I'm Happy the Stock Market Crashed

If I were more eloquent, or intelligent, this is what I would say to people. My parents know better than to bring up the current state of economy or politics because I really get fuming.

And then I read articles like this in the news. Now, I know times are rough, and people have lost their jobs. I've lived paycheck-to-teeny-paycheck before ($40 for insurance a paycheck??), and I even got offered food stamps the first time I filled out my tax forms with my fancy new post-college job (that's a little demoralizing).

Here's the thing: I didn't take them. You know what? These people don't need food stamps, or public aid. If you've worked and accumulated unemployment, by all means, use it! But don't cry over struggling to pay your bills when they include cable TV, cell phones for your kids, or your leased SUV. Grow up and learn to budget! Ugh!

The only way the economy has affected me are the number of available houses to buy. I'm picky, and I want to live in a certain neighborhood (although no one is going to want to live here, including me, if you've seen this). Just after the market tanked in October, almost every house went off the market. Now, a week after the election, there are a few coming back on. Believe it or not, we could have always gotten a mortgage during that time, and I can still get a 0% auto loan.

This should be a sign to you: lifestyles of convenience and easy credit are over. And that's OK. In fact, it's better for us all.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I have to admit I was a little bummed to register for plain white dishes. The popular red flower pattern was really calling to me and I love pretty dishes (hm, wonder where I got that gene?). And then in comes Pier 1 with these:
Love! That got me thinking - I like seasonal dishes too. But who can justify (or store!) snowman plates? So why not have the basic set, and pull out some fun holiday or seasonal dishes when the time comes?
I haven't been to Pier 1 in ages, despite having a store right across the street. Their current Christmas decorations are making me want to go in if for nothing else but to look at all the pretty ornaments.

Bidding for spring semester classes starts today. And I don't have to.

Instead of just registering based on seniority (and speediness!) the business school uses a bidding system. You have something like 300 points to allocate among the two classes you want to take, and you can bid as many as 300 or as little as 0. If you want to take more than two classes, you have to sign up once open registration begins at the end of the year.

It seems to confuse people to no end. Of course, get a bunch of business school students together, and they're going to come up with all kinds of strategies to get the classes they want. Popular ...ahemeasycough... classes get a lot of points, but fear makes people bid just 5-10 points on that other class they really need to take. I never had a problem because I took dorky classes - and you know what? They were a lot less work and easier than my finance classes!

Don't ask me how this is more efficient or fair than just having a free-for-all based on hours earned. I'm done.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Posted by Picasa

This is our front closet door. Andy made this countdown and 9 is the number of class periods I have left in my program.

There are 6 weeks left.

38 days.

New meem for you:

Remember how excited I was about the 100 push up challenge? Yeeeeah. I sort of fell off the training program. It turns out one probably can't actually go from 0 to 100 push ups in six weeks. Bummer.

At the same time, school has been really busy, and the sun sets really early now, so I can't really go out and run. That, and about a week or two after I ran the half marathon (with no problems at all!) I hurt my knee and couldn't run more than a mile or two without it hurting. Sigh.

That being said, my knee is better, and it's not like I stopped with the push ups altogether. As I was resting between sets, I thought, "maybe I should be doing some sit ups while I'm at it? I don't want to wear a corset under my dress... " To be fair, the reason I started to do the push up program was because I thought it would be cool to do 100 push ups; shortly after I learned about this horrible problem that I didn't even know I should be worried about. (FYI - it's nearly gone. I didn't notice it there, and I only recently noticed its disappearance.)

So Friday consisted of:

  • Treadmill: 15 minutes at 6 miles per hour
  • Stairmaster: 8 minutes (I was tired - and on a really high level)
  • Push ups: sets of 10/10/8/8/20 (yes, 20 in a row)
  • Teaser: sets of 10 in between push up sets
  • Expert boxing on Wii

Friday, November 7, 2008

This year I went to the Women's Conference. Each year I forget about it, kind of hear that it was really great after the fact, and think about getting around to going one day. But this year I was sent, and I went despite having a midterm the next day.

I wasn't sure what to expect. A bunch of women in a conference? 14,000 to be exact? That's a lot of estrogen. Between that and the election, I expected a lot of protesting, political pushing, and man-hating.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I met a friend of mine and we carpooled to the convention center at 6:30 in the morning. But traffic really wasn't bad going in or out. You first go in and they give you a giant bag full of stuff - to be filled with more free stuff as you go through the exhibit hall. And the exhibitors literally force free stuff on you! A lot of it is sample-sized, but there were an awful lot of full-sized products given out (Dancing with the Stars for Wii, reuseable grocery bags, light bulbs) and coupons (some of which I used, and some samples I plan on buying).

The first session was everyone, all in one arena, for the first speakers. The most memorable was Arnold Schwarzenegger, Warren Buffett, and Chris Matthews - they didn't really talk about the economy, but all three talked about how important women are (especially in their homes!) and all three were quite funny. Christine Amanpour spoke, but she was just a little too political-soapbox-y - we went back to the exhibit hall.

One bummer of the day were the breakout sessions. They tended to fill up quickly, so you almost had to leave the general sessions early to get in to the popular ones. I wanted to see Madeline Albright, but that was full almost instantly. Instead I went to the session on entrepreneurship. I'll just say this: Heidi Klum really is perfect in real life. Even her wrinkles are perfect. She is also very upbeat.

Over lunch Maria Shriver spoke, and she really is an amazing speaker. She was so personable, and it was so easy to relate to her, that regardless of politics I have to say I like her a lot. There was not a dry eye in the arena and I was really in to it until she read a poem that she and her mother wrote while her mother was in the hospital. Um, what?? Condoleeza Rice, Indra Nooyi, and Campbell Brown also had a little discussion that was entertaining but Indra Nooyi really stole the show. And then I saw Campbell Brown on the TVs at school that play CNN constantly! Of course the best part: thinking about the logistics of 14,000 boxed lunches that were very, very good. Mmm... logistics.

In the afternoon, most of the sessions were full. But I wanted to see Michael J. Fox anyway, and he was great. Very funny, and very sweet - of course it was probably more interesting to me for a variety of personal reasons.

Afterward, though, was kind of a snafu. The conference hours were extended this year, and while they served a boxed lunch there was nothing to do about dinner! Sure, you could have left, or gone to one of the concession stands that were open throughout the convention center, but somehow this didn't seem quite right. Anyway, it didn't really matter. Safeway and Pepsi had exhibitor booths right across from each other, and had plenty of snacks!

The evening session was very exciting. I'm still not sure what a Minerva is, but the awards winners were great. My favorite, and probably the most popular, was Betty Chinn - you should read her story. I wasn't really looking forward to Bono speaking because I don't really agree with his politics either - but he was so charming! I learned a lot about his organizations. The night ended with a concert by Bonnie Raitt, but by 7 pm who had the energy left to dance?

Next year I think I am going to try and volunteer, since I won't be in school and likely bored out of my mind by then. Even if your workplace doesn't send you, and even though it's hard to get tickets, and it's a little bit pricey if you're on a budget, you should try to go at least once.

The Women's Conference

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A couple of weeks ago I saw three movies in the theater in the span of one week. Thank you discount work tickets!!

I really wanted to see this. We went to the very last showing at our local theater at about 10:30 pm (which I am otherwise not keen on because of the neighborhood). The reviews weren't good, but you know how that can be - and anyway, the trailer was so funny! I could not have been more disappointed (or disturbed). There were only one or two really funny parts. For the record, I don't remember if I liked Fargo. I only remember they fed someone through a wood chipper.

I did not want to see this. I just wanted to go out with everyone and escape some school stress. Maybe I'm just getting too old for this kind of movie - although no one I went with seemed to think the same. There was more eye-rolling than laughing, and the only thing I really liked was that it kind of reminded me of Illinois and the Amish town south of school. I mean, honestly? Do 18-year-olds act like this? I sure didn't, and no one I know did.

Out of all three I liked this one the best. It was a little scary at some points, but otherwise very exciting. They really put a lot in to the visual aspects. But it sure does snow a lot in New York! Anyway, this isn't really my kind of movie, but maybe my expectations were really low given the other two. By the way - is this a comic book? Is Max Payne a superhero? I thought I saw something about a video game somewhere, but it sure did have that comic-book-on-screen kind of look.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I need these.

Last week I needed shoes for my Halloween costume, and more importantly, a pair of brown shoes for general work-wear. I basically have a pair of shoes in heels, flats, and boots in either black or brown and just wear them in rotation (how exciting, I know).

So I went to Payless with a friend of mine since I just wanted something cheap - shoes just don't seem to last very long for me. OK, it's probably because I wear them in to the ground. Anyway. They have so many cute shoes right now, and I've been looking for so long! I ended up with a few pairs, but these are the real winners:

That's right. Green shoes. These were the ones I got because they just went so well with my costume, but they've worked out in more ways than just that. They have a really ... um ... sturdy? heel, just a little padded for the balls of your feet, and oddly enough, they match with everything I'd normally wear my brown shoes.

Payless is always hit-and-miss with me. Sometimes I find shoes that I like that are just horrible; uncomfortable, ugly, and not worth it. And then sometimes there are these. So go buy green shoes!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This is all I have to say about the election:

Yikes. It's like watching a USC football game. Not very exciting when the other side is getting hosed.

Let's all hope for the best.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Me: "Ooh, can I have a sucker?" (Cause a sucker sounded better than Joint Juice)
Jack FM Girl: "Sure, if you'll take a picture with us!"
Me: "OK ... wait, is this going to show up all over the internet?"
Jack FM Girl: "Oh ... well ... yeah, we'll probably put the pictures up next week ... "
Me: "COOL!"

Nope, I have no issues with silly costume pictures on the internet.

Oh, and my time for this year's pumpkin run was 31:14.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This picture just cracked me up something fierce.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I made Martha Stewart's spice cookies because: a) I really wanted to make them and b) our apartment manager died very suddenly a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to give them to her husband (who also happens to do all of the maintenance in the complex).

They came out really well! I highly recommend them - they're a lot like gingerbread cookies, but much softer. Usually my gingerbread comes out pretty soft, but these were a lot more manageable.

Warning: the recipe is for 9 1/2 dozen. That's a lot! I halved the recipe and it still made a ton of cookies ... not that anyone is complaining.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

This picture cracks me up. I don't know where it came from but it sure looks like a lol to me.

I've been a business student for a long time now. Particularly in finance. I wouldn't say I'm an expert, but I would like to think that I'm relatively educated. Here is what I think:

  • You would be amazed by the difference in discussion between the media and my current finance class, which includes people who currently work in the banking industry.
  • It's going to get worse before it gets better. Sorry.
  • It's not the end of the world, or the end of the American economy as we know it. (Sorry again!)
  • A "bailout" is a really, really bad idea. OK, that might be just my opinion - I'm a laissez-faire, pro-deregulation kind of person. Only because it's the better alternative. Have you ever worked under Sarbanes-Oxley regulations??

Things have been totally insane in my household the past couple of weeks. And are sure to be busy in the upcoming month as well.

We've gone from dream house to no house in just one evening. So much for my dreams of no more walking to the other end of the block to my car & having to wipe the windows in the morning ... a real kitchen with a full size refrigerator and room for a stand mixer ... or space to put anything for that matter ... a dining room and patio for having friends over ... non-communal washer and dryer ...

I know, I'm so demanding.

I looked at the bottom of the perfume I've been wearing lately. How bad can life be when you spray yourself with pure joy every day?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Today we stopped at the Target that could be our new neighborhood store. We had a little time so we perused the Halloween section, and who was there looking back at us?

Apparently, Domo-kun is Target's Halloween mascot. He's on displays, signs, toys, candy, everywhere!!!! We left with Domo-kun in a pumpkin costume. No, I really couldn't live without it. And no, he did not come house shopping with us (although he did an extensive amount of dancing on the way to our agent's office and on the way home).

Just in case, for your entertainment:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Last night I got an email:

Dear Emily:

During a routine review of student records for the MBA.PM program we discovered that you are likely to qualify for graduation at the end of the fall 2008 semester.

Best. Email. Ever.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ah, if I had all the time (and money) in the world, I'd sign up for this.

You do three races: Surf City (Huntington Beach), Long Beach, and San Francisco, either the full or half marathons, within 2 years. Then you get some kind of finisher's medal and I think a jacket. I would just use it as an excuse to run officially and go to San Francisco.

I was thinking of doing the Surf City half marathon this year instead of the 5k. But at $80 for the half marathon, and $50 for the Long Beach half - seems like a lot of time and money I need to put toward all the other stuff going on lately...

Maybe someday I'll go to England, and buy one of these shirts on the cheap. Cause with the exchange rate and overseas shipping, I think it'd be a $100 shirt. Flying over there myself makes so much more sense.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I've never been a big Jennifer Lopez fan. But she may have just changed my mind.

Can you believe that's her? No makeup, no designer wetsuit ... just doing the triathlon thing. I read all about it on the Daily Mail.

If she keeps it up, I might entirely change my mind. And I still feel guilty for not doing the Danskin triathlon this spring. Think I can get to be a good swimmer by next year?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Can you guess what kind of cupcakes these are?

Friday, September 12, 2008

The other day I got an email from Allure Experts asking me to try some new mascara. Since it had Chanel in the name, I blew it off. I used to be a rabid Allure reader; I bought it every time I went to the store. When they started an online review panel sort of like the Harris Polls I do, I signed up right away. Let's just say ... it sounded better in theory than in practice.

The last time I tried a product, it was Kerastase day and night cream. I had to go to the nearest Sephora (South Coast Plaza) to pick up a sample. I liked it a lot, but at $110 a bottle it's not something I could buy on my pre-MBA budget (it's not sold any more).

Today I got a little puffy envelope in the mail from Allure with a trial of Exceptionnel de Chanel mascara. Now this is how you conduct a trial!

I haven't tried it yet but I'll let you know. It's $28 at Neimann Marcus, so it's not likely I'll be giving up my Maybelline Great Lash any time soon. BTW: it smells awful.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy little star-shaped Parisian macaroons ...

I wish I didn't have class tonight, and that I had more time to cook.

I'd love to make Martha's baked pasta and peach cake.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Vice President of Student Affairs is Michael Jackson.

Every time I get an email from his office, I'm confused - and then I laugh. Michael Jackson is emailing me!

Yesterday evening, as soon as I got home from work, I started on the case analysis that's due for my new finance class. It's supposed to be done in groups, but I got the idea that if I did a really amazing analysis on my own, the professor would like me and give me a good grade despite missing the first two weeks of class and the first assignment …

So I worked until 9:30 (only because once you start on this sort of thing, you start thinking up all these possibilities and it gets overly complicated). Did a little 10 minute workout, and went to bed. More like, laid in bed. I was so anxious last night I could hardly sleep. Sure, it's a little silly to worry so much at this point, but that's what I do best.

Today I printed my assignment and spent the whole morning wishing it was over with. I can't remember the last time I was so nervous about a class! Then, this afternoon, all of a sudden I was over it. Hopefully it will go well anyway!

Side notes:

  • Happy September! Can you believe there are only 3 months left in 2008?
  • I need to get my car smog tested and washed.
  • Also need to put together the save-the-date cards.
  • Any ideas how to make carrot cake cookies?
  • I'd like a pair of nice brown pants now that it's fall. And still a pair of jeans. Why don't pants fit any more?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Whew. The past few days have been just so crazy.

I had to drop/add a class. It's late in the semester, but a lot of things were going wrong. As it's my last semester, I was hoping to save some last little shred of sanity. I replaced my consulting project class with good old, tried-and-true corporate finance. The professor gave me some doubting Thomas excuses, but I joined up anyway. Prerequisites? It's a required core-year course. Background? My undergrad, if there had been an emphasis as such, would have been corporate finance. Really, how could I not be prepared at this point??

That being said, please send a few positive thoughts my way that all goes well the next three months. It's so close, it almost seems like it's not really going to happen.

Work was especially crazy with both managers in. Sometimes I wonder just how many jobs I have.

This weekend, though, was wonderful. I mostly had the school business worked out by Friday night, and Saturday we got up and went to SeaWorld. No kidding! I've never been, so it was especially exciting for me. We spent most of the day soaked in dolphin splashes, and saw Shamu (of which there were three, and they looked like they were having a pretty good time). The park was starting winter hours so we cleaned up a little and hung out at a bar just off the ocean. We left after breakfast the next day. I was so bummed to come home - back to laundry, catching up in class, work, work, work. I don't want to associate home with work.

Well, time to finish the writeup. Or start it. Although I was thinking, "Why don't they have almond M&Ms?" They do. Now I'm craving them, along with every other kind of junky food you can imagine.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hm, today was a rough day. I've been working intently on learning a very big monthly project at work, which took me all of Tuesday and today until the very end of the day. And I'll be doing it again at the end of this month. I know I should be flattered, but why do all of my managers like to leave me "in charge" when they're gone?

On top of that, I've fallen behind on my 100 push up challenge. Well, I was on top of it. And then week three hit, and I certainly wasn't ready to do 16 at a time. So I guess I'm stuck demoting myself to week two, until I can do those with some ease. Although I've lost some of my chicken wings!

Then, I got a letter from USC and Illinois. I thought both were hitting me up for money (Illinois was). And actually, the letter from USC was to "the Family of" me. Erm ... USC, I'm a little too old for you to be sending letters to my mom & dad (although I'm sure they would love it). It was a letter for graduating seniors to have their yearbook picture taken.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Not old enough to drive? Don't have a car?

Unfortunately they do not sell an accompanying bed subwoofer. Although I am sure all the ladies love it.

One of my friends from work sent this quiz out today. And yes, the email notice popped up while my boss was at my desk. Oh well! I have friends!

What kind of shoe are you?

I think my results are pretty accurate. I had to get rid of my last pair of clogs, but I'm game for a new pair ...

You're a sandal by summer and a clog by fall.
Less is more as far as you're concerned, but you still manage to look beautiful all the time. You don't really care about the latest trends, but you're psyched that all the stores are carrying the latest yoga clothing now. The new, fashionable flat sandals for spring have your name all over them, and you can't wait to start wearing yours. They're functional and comfortable, and best of all they look fabulous. Inner beauty is just as important to you as outer beauty, and it shows in the natural glow you radiate.

Monday, September 1, 2008

What a great 3 day weekend. Just what I needed before the semester gets in full swing.

  • I had fun making cookies with my new cookie press/icing gun. I made almond macaroons with my standard buttercream frosting filling. It didn't quite work the way I expected (don't ask me what I was expecting) but it was really great. The reviews are right!
  • Had a great run Sunday. I feel like I'm really making good improvements. Not much pain today, although an Advil PM and Stopain helped with that (even if I do smell like an old lady ... sweet cold relief!). I have the nagging feeling it's time for new shoes, though. I do put them through a lot more than the average person. Also, need to recalibrate my running stride so Nike+ doesn't get confused again.
  • Had dinner with a friend in LA that I don't get to see often and haven't seen in ages. We hobbled around together; it was fun times.
  • Lovely, lovely engagement pictures. I can't wait for the wedding photos!
  • Managed 15 push ups toward the 100 push up challenge!
  • No work and no school on Monday! And a short work week, so next weekend is all that much closer!
The one complaint I have is that I couldn't go running except for Sunday. Maybe it's similar to how Olympians get depressed after the games are over? Probably not.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Today was my thoroughly exciting Disneyland Half Marathon!

Sorry to ruin the suspense! I had in the back of my mind (since last week, and halfway through the race) that I could beat 2:30. Which is a big improvement from last year's 2:47. But I didn't find out I had beaten my goal until I talked to my parents, who were confused because they had my actual chip time. I figured I had a 10 minute late start on the clock ... didn't know it was almost 15!

Here's the recap. Everyone seems to want to know, "How did the race go?" Honestly, I kind of block out the whole middle of the run ...

Saw Andy right out of the gate. He got some great pictures (check out Facebook)!
Mile 2: Discovered running + drinking = too hard. Made mental note to actually drink at the next station.
Mile 3: Ran through the castle. Always a highlight. And, my Nike+ was now noticeably off.
Mile 5: Actually walked so I could get some water. At every stop, the water tasted ... gritty. Ew.
Mile 8: Ow.
Mile 10: Andy again! It was fun looking for him. Kind of like Where's Waldo.
Mile 12: Nike+ says "Congrats! You're done!" People were probably wondering why I was running along saying "shut up."
Mile 13: Everything hurts. I walked just 2 steps until a woman passed me and said, "Don't stop now!!" It was just outside the Rainforest Cafe. And she was super right.

What a fantastic day. Good weather, a consistent pace the whole time, beat everyone's expectations (especially mine), and a shiny new gold medal to add to my collection.

Oh yeah, and I can't walk.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Remember the first day of school, when you had all your new supplies and were all excited to start brand new classes that weren't more of the same-old you suffered through last year, you got to see all your friends again, and it was all so very exciting?

Today's the first day of school. And I am getting way too old for this.

I trekked all over campus after work today to buy my books (amazing how lax you get with that), stopped by the business building to ask about graduating (for reals!) and finally made it to the odd, outcast building in which one of my classes will be held this semester. Campus is filled with the 20-and-under set, making me feel really, really old.

Plus, my one solitary week off was super hectic. Between obsessively watching the Olympics, my parents visited and did a ton of my wedding planning (thanks mom & dad!), I ran a ton, picked up my dress and stashed it at my very generous aunt- and uncle-to-be's house, took engagement pictures, visited with some similarly off of school friends, and basically spent no time just relaxing. And I still didn't get nearly everything done!

Speaking of, my grandmother's birthday is in a couple of days. I didn't forget - but I am just now going to get to send a card ... now if only I can find a picture and make it in the next 10 minutes ...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Finally broke down and created a sparkpeople page. I'm so close to the next trophy and it was an easy 25 points. Lame.

Come join spark and be my friend.

I'll try to keep my health freakishness over there, but I'll warn you now: I've finally ordered the Nike+ system, and I think once I get my account set up I can post neat little widgets about my runs. I'm excited!! I know you're not!!

This was posted on the daily spark ( I only kind of watched it the first time, but it's great.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Guess who has a new hero ...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Last Tuesday I finished my penultimate semester of grad school. Whew! Who takes two classes over the summer??

  • Consumer Behavior could have been more interesting, but the rough part was that I didn't fit the demographic of the class at all. No luxury cars, face creams, gourmet cupcakes here. Plus, the group project was pretty tough just to get the members to fill the requirements! It's really a different group than my IOM classes. On the other hand, it was nice not having a final exam (as I didn't read the book).
  • Financial Statement Analysis was just plain brutal. It's listed as an accounting class - I checked and double checked pretty often. It was taught as a finance class. I've taken both versions before, and they were pretty difficult, so I figured I could work my way through this too. But if you thought financial statements were subjective, wait until you hear some of the analysis "methods" out there! It's almost an entirely subjective class. The homeworks were long (but shorter toward the end), and I can imagine a project added on top would have made it insane. Luckily, the final didn't seem too awful, although I still couldn't venture a guess as to how well I did.
Both classes typically filled the four-hour time slot (when most everyone else I know got out early), and both classes I imagine would have been a lot more work in the full fall/spring semesters. But, since there weren't any IOM classes to be found during the summer (why offer the specialization if you're not going to offer the classes??), they were OK substitutes. After all, they make me look much more well-rounded.

Since I bid for fall classes, I've changed my mind on my second class twice. My first class is digital industry strategy class. For the second, I bid and won a finance class, because I felt like I should be taking a finance class and I've already got the finance degree. Then I switched to a high-tech business strategy class, because I'd heard it was good and I really haven't been happy with the finance classes. After this summer, I think I'll stick with IOM classes, so I've signed up for the available two. Why not take classes that will advance your career plans? At least I'll get to see some of my IOM buddies!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sigh ....

I really did pick the wrong profession.

Look how they use buttercream frosting! It's so perfect but it still has that little swirl. You'd think they'd paid me to advertise ... I wish!

I think my books for next semester will have a little stowaway icing gun in the delivery...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Things I learned this weekend:

  • China has come a long way, and I'm kind of proud of them.
  • I like watching the Olympics for all of the happy people. Although, it makes me wish I put in a little more effort. Also, Olympians are something above human.
  • Stress makes learning something all that much harder.
  • If you're going to binge, do it on popcorn. "Accidentally" eating a whole bag is only 105 calories.
  • Marketing is not for me.
Monday I have a big presentation and project due, which I didn't think my group would be able to pull off (it looks like they did). Tuesday I have an exam that is worth 50% of my grade. Then I have about a week and a half before I start my last semester (hopefully, barring any unforeseen disasters).

Thursday, August 7, 2008

In a mere eight months, I'll be getting in to a strapless dress. Not to mention all of the arm-baring activities before then.

So who wants to take the 100 pushup challenge with me?

I did the test last night and could do a paltry three.

Friday, August 1, 2008

What a weird week. I'm so glad it's over!!!

Monday: Fine, except for a ton of crazy drivers out. I guess the things to come were why everyone was acting odd. That, and my school group decided to have a group meeting - after class! Until 10:30! I'm too old for that.

Tuesday: That was the "big one," of course. It had started out fine until the big earthquake around lunchtime. I was about to stand up, stretch, take a little break and hit the ice cream social when it started. All I could do was sit in my cube and watch the modular cube walls and hanging fluorescent lights sway. We've had little earthquakes since I've moved, but nothing worth anything more than just giggling and saying "that was crazy!" I was utterly convinced the building would collapse - it felt like it was rolling on balls. I even got motion sick; it lasted at least a full minute. I tried to be cool like everyone else, but I've never been so scared in my life! The whole world isn't supposed to move around you like that - I'm used to the ground being where it is, without fail. No damage and no injuries, of course. But, it seems that my work had it worse than Andy's; odd, but definitely not an award I want!! At least traffic wasn't bad that night, and my class didn't go all the way through to 10:30 as threatened. Just a homework assignment and final left for that class!

Wednesday: It was a long, long day. After yoga some friends went to a happy hour in Long Beach. I was horribly tired, but it was fun. Until half the group left and the rest of us remaining were stuck $300 short on the bill. No kidding. If anyone was there who left before that happened just know: we are not friends right now.

Thursday: Arrived at work to a snippy email, got a call from someone in my former rotation arguing about what I did then (four months ago - and wanting me to explain to them what they had been doing since then!), left work late, called home, ran, had dinner, and slept. Totally unnecessarily high-stress day.

Friday: At least today was more ... chill. Maybe things are going back to normal now that the earthquake is long over?

This weekend I need to arrange our engagement shoot with our photographer and start looking for a pair of jeans that actually fit (I tried on 10 today, and not a single one fit). I've got a bucketload of schoolwork to do, and July was over so quickly and it's hot hot August, but I'm still dreaming about that white Christmas.

This made me miss Christmas something terrible. When I was little, I was lucky to grow up seeing these little snow-covered towns, all cutely decorated for Christmas. I know it's special because it doesn't happen all year, like Starbucks holiday drinks and Fourth of July fireworks, but I could really use something simple and cheerful like this right now.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wednesday: Running, 4 miles
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: Running, 4.5 miles
Saturday: Biking, 7 miles
Sunday: Yoga

... whew ...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I finally think I'm closing in on a decent chili recipe! It kind of reminded me of "dump" cake, as unappealing as that sounds - literally, open cans, dump, cook on stove 1 hour.

1 can beef broth
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 (little) can tomato paste
steak ... or ground beef ... or really, whatever your heart desires
cayenne powder

Notice - no measurements. That's because it's incredibly similar to the recipe I found in my Betty Crocker. But, their recipe called for 2 tablespoons of chili powder. I put in one, and it's on fire!! So, the moral of the story is, season it to your liking. If you like spicy, then by all means, use the whole jar of chili. If you're like me and cry over pico de gallo, maybe do less.

Next time I'll put in more meat (I thought I'd put in too much) and less cayenne; maybe another can of different beans. Yay for meals that don't take 6 hours to prepare & cook!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ah, cars. They're a pain, aren't they?

As my car is about to fall apart, I've been thinking about what kind of car I want. It's tough, though. I mean, I've driven the same car for 10 years now. How on earth do you replace that?

Ha, just kidding. Although, if money were no object, I think I'd really like this one. I saw a middle-aged woman driving it in Huntington Beach once, and it certainly was a beautiful car. But, it's not really practical to spend more money on a car than you make in a year. An this is where I begin: start at the top, and work down.

OK, this is another dream car. And I don't even dream about the convertible. But I've been a fan ever since (embarrassingly) Legally Blonde. Yet another dream car, but we're getting closer ...

Oh yes. The Mitsubishi Eclipse. I am totally obsessed with the orange, too. In fact, the big factors here are: 1) the color, 2) the shape, and 3) the price. It's within a reasonable price range for a car, in my opinion. It would satisfy my need for a sporty, fun car, before I get saddled with the SUV or (gasp) minivan for the kids. They're not the best of cars, and it doesn't get as good gas mileage as I do now, but hey, I'm getting an MBA, don't I deserve a little fun??

I was pretty dead set on this one. I have all the options picked out. And then, I remembered this childhood (OK, maybe teen-hood) dream ...
Oh yes. The iconic Volkswagen Beetle. When these first came back, I was all in to them; I'll admit, I totally fell for the advertising (remember Absurd?). Now, these are not technologically superior cars, either; the gas mileage is a little worse than the eclipse.

{edit: No, it does not come in pink. I'm not sure why the picture looks pink. The downside to this one is the colors leave something to be desired.}

BUT ... who would have ever thought I'd be able to afford a convertible??? I know, I never really wanted a convertible. And, I don't really like the soft-top look. But there's something about a convertible Bug, in my price range, that's wonderfully attractive. I haven't test driven one, but you better believe when I get a few free minutes, I'm going to!!

Are cars like wedding dresses and houses? Do you always end up with the exact opposite of what you thought you wanted? Or is there really just no car out there for me? I guess we'll find out after my test drive.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This ...

My one experience with Waffle House: a group of people went late one night during one of our high school trips, and the next day everyone was sick with some kind of food poisoning. But hey, this was 10 years ago ... they've probably gotten better since then.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ah, my first "but I have to have this for the wedding" item.

A long time ago, when Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro were getting married, I remember Carmen bouncing around on the big day in a personalized white track suit (similar). While the personalized ones I've found have been incredibly pricey, yet rather cheap looking, and sort of limited to pre-wedding wear, a plain white one has years of wear in it! Plus, I've always oddly wanted a pair of white sweatpants. Go figure.

But, $60 for a track suit, just so I can have something easy to get off without messing up my (likely expensive) hair and makeup? I probably have enough coupons to make it reasonable. Then again, I was really excited to get paid this week, because that meant I could make the photographer's deposit. With about $20 left over for ... you know ... everything else.

I hate money. Le sigh.

This is such a cute story.

People seem to forget all the good that goes on in the world. Yes, even Americans sometimes do right.

As for the commenter who said the Bush administration was neo-nazi-ism ... way to reveal your ignorance.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

See me trying to get better at blogging?? Here's the latest:

Lately there have been a lot of babies around. Really amazingly beautiful and cute babies! Usually they kind of scare me when they're first born - they look like pruny little old men. Heck, even I looked pretty pruny and red (funny how some things don't change)!

The past few days have been good shopping days for me. And yes, I know, the semester is over in just a month and I have quite a bit of work to do. But yesterday, exhausted as I was, I managed to get from across the street:

  • two pairs of shoes from Payless that I've had my eye on all summer, and on clearance!
  • a little gift for a certain someone's birthday coming up quite soon
  • jewelry findings for my someday, hopefully, bridesmaids, as well as the grand designs I have for my own necklace
Today after work, I purchased:
  • a pair of jeans that fit comfortably, without me wishing those last 10 pounds were off, from Old Navy of all places. You have to understand, this is monumental. Their pants haven't fit me in years.
  • a free pound of See's candy with a certificate I've had for over two years
  • Japanese food galore: buckwheat soba and short grain rice. I miss Japanese food.
Which, by the way, made for a nice bland little chicken and rice dinner for my delicate tummy. I even used one of Martha's daily dinner recommendations and put a little lemon and rosemary on it. Five emails a day, one good suggestion.

Andy has been getting the wedding website up, and so far it's looking great! Meanwhile, I've been still plodding toward securing our photographer, and thinking of things to do when my parents visit. I wonder if we can get some engagement photos done by then ... ? Although, it's not like ordering save the date materials off the internet is anything ceremonious.

All said, I'll leave you with this reminder: be kind to your IT folks. Chances are good that while you're thinking they're a useless idiot, they're thinking they same of you. I'll try if you do!

Monday, July 7, 2008

I saw this article on my favorite internet news (who got rid of their entertainment blogs ... ugh!) about how Walmart is profiting off your misery. Way to feed the fire, guys.

Anyway, there's a long list of things that are offensive about this article. Well, maybe only to me, as I've been too poor to snub Walmart my whole adult life.

  1. First we have the "it's too embarrassing/humiliating to shop at Walmart!!" I do it all the time. You will get over it.
  2. The amazement that it's cheaper. I mean, really, can you not read the prices from your high horse?? They have affordable eye exams and glasses/contact lenses, too ...
  3. Product quality. OK, I'll concede that one ... partially. I won't buy their clothes any more, nor would I buy electronics or furniture there. But Walmart is for staples! Toothpaste! Shampoo! They even have an amazing store-brand daytime and nighttime cold medication that costs $3. You can shop around for the other stuff. Correction: you should shop around for the other stuff.
  4. It's not a pleasant shopping experience. This, I'll agree with also. But then again, I don't find shopping for boring stuff pleasant anyway. I'm agoraphobic (OK not really, but internet shopping will do that to you). I shop at odd times, like right after work. Never on weekends. And don't even get me started on the "with such a large store, she said it can seem like a workout to get from the shampoo aisle to the milk case."
Sure, you could work really hard at finding things cheaper elsewhere. Gas prices are pretty much negating all the shopping around you might be doing. Unless you can walk to these stores, in which case I am supremely jealous. And no, they aren't really kind and gentle toward their employees. I'll be the first to admit, though, that I'm pampered by my benefits package. But, with so much turnover and who they're hiring, I can't imagine the headache that causes - it's beyond me. So, consider that before you judge. For some people, saving $10 ends up being a lot of money ... maybe you could use it, too.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Oh, what a cute, cute movie.

I'd give it 8-9 stars, but I was put off by the preachiness so I can only give it 6-7 stars. I mean, we walked to the theater, didn't buy anything but a ticket, and made microwave popcorn afterward at home (about 1/100th of the calories, cost, waste ...).

Ah, well. I still love my little guy.

{edit: Oh yeah. This was after the commercial where the family going on a road trip to the St. Louis arch, apparently located in wester Missouri about where you'd find Kansas City, waxed their car and got 7% better mileage. I always heard that was an urban legend, but now I can't find it! Argh!}

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I think I can officially say that I spend every living minute awake in motion. I'm hardly ever home, and when I'm home, I'm doing something, working on something, or getting ready to go.

A little on my two summer classes: yes, I realize now, that traditionally people take one class over the summer. Consumer Behavior is a nice, fluffy class, but it makes me feel awful. I don't shop at "TJ's," don't have a TV and haven't seen a lot of commercials, I don't drive a luxury car nor spend $800 in gas every month. It's like being in an alternate universe. And yet, these are the people who are going to be marketing products and services to YOU. I have one case writeup and one final project to go. My Financial Statement Analysis class is more financial analyst soapbox than accounting (it's listed as an accounting class). The weekly homework assignments are epic.

Plus, the schedule is 6-10, Monday & Tuesday. Talk about tired! Six weeks to go.

When I'm not in class or at work, we spend a lot of time looking at houses (condos). We have the most amazing realtor, and we're very fortunate in that respect, but I'm coming to hate looking at real estate. The house that we loved (albeit out of our price range) is off the market, the dealbreaker elements kept piling up on our second choice, and everything else is just … OK. I'd hate to buy a place just to be done, but it's looking really tempting. The whole thing is somehow much easier, and yet much harder, than I expected. It appears, though, that like the wedding, I've set my expectations way too high.

Speaking of, the wedding planning has been on hold for the schoolwork and house hunting. I have a living things-to-do Google document that, oddly enough, I'm glad to see grow - that means progress! I can also say that I've crossed off a few things, like picking up my veil (I knew about the groom not seeing the dress, but I didn't know about not seeing the veil!), and finalizing with this fantastic photographer that we got hooked up with through the six-degrees game.

What about work, you say? That place you spend 50 hours a week? It's going well. I seem to be doing a good job, making people happy, etc. And of course, I trade funny IT support stories with my neighbor. I know I said I'd be a bigger person than that … but people are really funny sometimes. It's a good job for me, and I'm bummed I'll be leaving next year, but then it's always onward & upward.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Happy birthday to me!

Here's to the year when everything happens.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We bought a lot of strawberries from the grocery store. This cake was inspired by an itty-bitty picture in a collage on one of the blogs in my Google reader ... that I can't find now.

Oh yeah, you want a piece.

On Monday, my great aunt died. It was pretty unexpected; she'd been very sick for a month, then seemed to be doing much better. Thus, the start of a very turbulent and sad week.

My mom called me about lunchtime on Monday, and even though I'm super-way-far behind at work, I couldn't even think straight. All I could think was, "how much are plane tickets? They'll be expensive on short notice. And what about work?" It ended up tickets were not cost-prohibitive (I flew on American with a compassion fare - thanks American!), my boss was very, very kind, and was there the next day.

I won't go in to the details (although, most of the people who bother to read my blog probably know them already), but my family is quite small. And ... unique. Which is why I had to be there.

That said, I've been terribly sad. So far I feel guilty about:

  • Not living closer to home, to help.
  • Not visiting the nursing home last Christmas.
  • Making jokes. (As in, any comment I've made. Ever. In my entire life.)
  • Not leaving the same day, because I was worried about turning in (OK, and finishing) my assignments for the week. (But also, thank you to my understanding professor.)
  • Making Andy make my arrangements for me, as I was a total basket case by midnight.
  • Missing work. A lot of work.
  • Feeling guilty about missing work, when my family really truly needed me.
I could go on, but then we'd be getting in to all of the things I feel guilty about, and my arm and hand are just too twitchy for that. Nothing like a semi-public shaming to ease the guilt.

On the other hand, I do not feel guilty about going. It doesn't exactly make me feel good, or holier-than-thou. I'm not even sure that it helped at all (although, it sure did seem to lift my dad's spirits). I'm still very sad over the whole thing. Hopefully all will be well tomorrow ...

Friday, June 6, 2008

The past two days I feel like my brain hasn't been running on all cylinders.

Work is really, really busy, only because I've proven pretty competent. Whoops! I like helping people. Someone told me today that I've been coming up on the report to the director (who knows how they found that out). Really, I don't like recognition; I just like doing a good job. I don't need someone to pat me for doing what I was hired to do. For the next two weeks I get to be a little bit more in charge of the system I help administer, which is a little worrisome but seems totally do-able.

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook.

Wedding vendors like to take advantage of you. Not only monetary advantage, but they also seem to like to taaaaake their tiiiiiime. I'm not talking about anyone in particular.

In looking for a house, Andy has wisely been looking at statistics for the area. Looking at the crime statistics for our current neighborhood, which I've always joked about being ghetto, is actually really scary.

Oh, I wish we could afford the first house we toured. I still like it.

For some reason, I've been hearing about women having miscarriages. It makes me sad.

Lately they've been playing those "Real Men of Genius" commercials on the radio again. They were off, for a little while. And to be quite honest, they aren't as funny this time around. Anyway, it reminds me of the first round, when they were "Real American Heroes." Anyone else remember the abrupt change after 9-11?

Instead of placing an order with my friends Harry and David, I decided to bake myself. I couldn't figure out how to ship a cake or cupcakes, so I was down to cookies.

Ugh, so much homework, & I'm exhausted. I'll post my baking efforts later ...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

For a very brief amount of time, I tried shopping in stores. I went to the mall a couple of times and looked at clothes. And discovered that shopping in a store is a great waste of time.

Because of this discovery, the next week or so means I'll be getting a lot of things in the mail!

  • One item came in the mail yesterday. My mom saw some pretty plates on our registry were going out of stock soon, and she bought us a set of 12! Guess we need to up the number of place settings accordingly!
  • Our videographer contract is in the mail. I'm dying to get that checked off.
  • I'll be discrete and just say this: I love not shopping the semi-annual sale in the store. And free shipping.
  • I ordered two of my textbooks, finally. One isn't quite out yet, but should be shipping soon; luckily no one else in the class will have it yet either. The other I bought from an Amazon seller because I refuse to pay $270 for books for one class, and it was $50 versus $170. So, please come through for me!
  • Finally, the object that led me to the realization that I don't even remember how to shop in stores: a bluetooth headset. Let's go back to the beginning: California is implementing the hands-free requirement in July, and since I get most of my family time in the car, and my freebie earpiece just doesn't cut it, it was finally time to invest in one. And then I realized I had absolutely no idea where to get one. Everyone I know shops in stores for the instant gratification, but ... did I go to the Verizon store? I'm kind of anti them, and their stores bug me (see below, rude people in large groups). Target? Did they even sell good ones at Target? Or just cheap ones? Even though I want it right nownownow, Amazon won out with a $30 pink Motorola set with good ratings.
On a side note: I wonder if the excitement of getting something in the mail, convenience of not having to drive somewhere, and dislike for rude people in large groups is coloring my opinion.

Yeah ... I recognized all my favorites too!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I can totally see why people like a 9/80 work schedule. Three day weekends are pretty easy to get used to!

Thursday, after my victorious Wednesday, I went over to Jinny's Bridal to order my dress. They've been quite good to me, especially being mom-less (although there were two girls there trying on dresses with their fiances - what a letdown!). It happened to be the day of our thunderstorm in the OC, which is greatly unusual for folks like us here. The saddest part was getting measured; I seriously need to do something about the junk in the trunk. Regardless, I have a lovely dress and veil on their way!

Friday we spent the evening getting ready for the party. We'd intended on ordering some platters from the nearby Chicago for Ribs - but they'd closed down a month ago! I remembered seeing fully cooked ribs at Sam's the last time we were there, so we swung by to see the situation. We got a rack just to try, and they were so good we went back Saturday morning and bought six racks and two chickens.

The party Saturday was so much fun, I can't wait to do it again!! Aside from the barbecue snafu, one lost guest, and the bummer of kicking everyone out at 3 to go to the movie, it seemed like everyone had a good time. Lots of food, lots of mingling, and nice, comfortable weather rather than the heat wave we had last weekend. I think everyone was kind of disappointed by Indiana Jones. After, we even had people come back for round #2 of food, and the party didn't end until after midnight! I realized, though, that all of my friends live in Orange County, and we'll be moving to Redondo soon. They're already so far away that it's hard to see everyone aside from work ... and that will likely change in the near future too. Before, all of my friends were in the midwest ... now, they're all going to be at least a half an hour away ...

Sunday we could hardly be bothered to do anything. Cleanup hardly took any time at all, and aside from a short trip to Ikea for centerpiece ideas and a visit to the bunnies at Long Beach Community College (really, why are all those bunnies there?), we didn't leave the house. No school, no work, no wedding, no house shopping. A nice, relaxing, absolutely no-pressure day.

Monday we went for what was supposed to be a 9-mile hike in the Santa Anita forest. The day started out with no water pressure, which happens occasionally, but this time it was just terribly low. It ended up that something had happened to the fire hydrant outside (probably someone hit it, the way they drive through there) and it had exploded and flooded the street. The police and fire trucks had the street shut down, and the firemen were wading around in knee-deep water. The hike was close by and very pretty with lots of waterfalls; things were all going well until we had to climb the side of the waterfall and walk across a steep rock ledge to the rest of the trail. Unfortunately, the trails weren't marked very clearly, we went the wrong way, and got to an elevation that was in the clouds and much, much colder than I'd dressed. 13 miles was just too long for me, and evidently my right knee doesn't agree with that distance any more. We couldn't do much else the rest of the day, and went to bed super early. I didn't sleep much last night because I was too uncomfortable, and ended up having really crazy dreams.

This week:

  • My last Rubio's taco Tuesday
  • Meeting with our potential photographer
  • Hopefully getting our videographer contract turned around in the mail
  • Going swimming? Ugh, I shouldn't have signed up for a triathlon.
  • Meeting with a realtor
  • Ordering books for summer (sigh)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mmmmmmmmmmm .... dresses.

I have a strong affinity for lovely lacy dresses. Target has really pretty ones now (in their bridesmaids section - eek!) for cheap.

French lace, just $30 ...
For just $5 more, I like the lace of this one better (and, in fact, sent it in pink to a friend for a themed wedding) ...

And of course, those bastards at the Gap had to bring back the dress I wanted desperately last year (I'll pay your stinkin $55! I'll never dawdle again!!) but have already sold out in my size.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Let's give a big hallelujah for today, good karma, and things not going south.

  • I encouraged someone to be nice and give someone else the benefit of the doubt. Not become best buddies, but just extend an olive branch of sorts. Surprise of surprises, it actually kind of worked out. Good karma abounding!
  • I marched in to a local bridal store after yoga class (nothin' but good karma there) and asked to see my dress, in multiple colors. Lo and behold, she took me right to it, in the color that I wanted. I'll be purchasing it tomorrow, although I really could/should have today. In the meantime, cue frantic excited call to mom. Emily: 1, wedding industry: ... ok, we'll not go there.
  • While on said phone call, I loaded my email in the off chance my grades were posted (they weren't). But, I had an email from the professor teaching my summer session class that the class will actually start June 3rd, not next week. That means: one more week of summer vacation!!!
Oh, the grand plans I have for tomorrow (videographer, dress) and next week (photographer, harpist, rehearsal, perhaps coordinator). Honestly, the past week has been just exponentially increasing stress and random things-going-wrong. I'm going to wish my good fortune on to you, because everyone deserves to have a totally awesome day like this.


If you want to encourage teens to donate more blood, this is not the way to do it.

Just a friendly heads-up.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wow, and what a weekend.

Friday, of course, was the going-away party. Since that went pretty late, we didn't get up any too early Saturday. By the time we did, it was super hot. We went for lunch at Chik-fil-a because we'd gotten coupons in the mail. It was really good, and the people that worked there were incredibly fast and nice. It was almost a surreal for a fast food place. Then we went over to Redondo, only to discover that most open houses are on Sunday. So many of the places looked far out of our price range, but we stopped and toured one condo that was absolutely beautiful. I think we both loved it enough that we could have moved in right then ... but, alas, the credit crisis is hurting even us responsible people. The realtor was a riot, and gave us a handwritten recipe for a Chinese mix of cereal that's supposed to reduce your blood pressure and help with constipation.

We came home and started grocery shopping at Sam's, and stocked up on wine and filet mignon, then took a nap. It was so hot, it was impossible to stay awake. But, we headed over to the new Fresh & Easy for the rest of our groceries, since we had a coupon for that also. What an experience - it certainly wasn't a full grocery store. They did have a lot of nice looking meat, and a stand giving away all kinds of snacks. On the other hand, I needed to go to the ATM, which they didn't have, and they only had self-checkout that obviously wasn't calibrated. At all. It was angry we used our own bags, we had to have the attendant unlock us each time we scanned something, the coupon got stuck in the reader, you can't use your credit card without having to be unlocked by the attendant for anything over $50, and even though they carded me, they neglected to take the security cap off the Kahlua and it looked like we were trying to steal alcohol. Won't be back!

We spend the rest of the night drinking cold white wine, eating filet mignon, and watching the Office. I think it was the season finale; I'm so disappointed!! (But, I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it.)

Sunday was Korean barbecue day with some of my classmates. Andy got to meet them, and my friend's adorable baby (who's a model now!), and I got filled in on all the gossip. Really, quite a bit of drama in graduate school. Afterward, we went back to Redondo to look at a condo, but ran out of time to see any more. We came home, did laundry, ran, and tried to stay cool the rest of the night (unsuccessfully). Why is it always cool during the week, and miserable during the weekend?? I guess to make us look forward to work, and the free and effective air conditioning...

As we were house hunting this weekend, this came up on Andy's latest Paste magazine CD. At first, it seems so innocent ...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Yay! A royal wedding!

It's absolutely beautiful from what I've seen so far, and it looks like it'd be worth picking up a copy of Hello! to see the details.

I'd make a bad British citizen, since I kind of assumed William and Kate would be the next royal wedding. I can't wait for theirs either!