Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Never in December

Time has flown this winter and the blog has suffered much. You can bet on finding many-a-new post following January 1 as improving and updating my blog will be a priority on my new year's resolution list.
Until then, Merry Christmas. God bless whoever may stumble upon or diligently read this blog and I send love to you all!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Belly Up with Landon Pigg & A Fine Frenzy

I almost didn't go, I was feeling so rotten, but then a red-haired angel named Sarah Shreves came and picked me up in her 1992 white Saturn and whisked me and her friend off to Belly Up in Solana Beach (on Cedros Avenue, the design district, which I very much intend to visit) to go hear Landon Pigg and A Fine Frenzy. Landon Pigg opened with "Falling in Love in a Coffee Shop," a song with this contrived a theme has no right sounding that gorgeous. It was fabulous.
He called out to the crowd after that song asking if we were a more rock or folky crew. I yelled "Folk!" about four feet from him in front but I was drowned out by the rockers. He apologized to the folkies and proceeded to perform a song that featured the band's fantastic drummer, she was ah-mazing. Afterword he looked down and addressed me directly, "Was that too 'rock' for you?" I laughed and called up, "I'm a believer!," and he sang a line from the song written by Niel Diamond.
We're pretty much dating.

Then A Fine Frenzy came up and Alison Sudol gave an outrageous performance, I had no idea what a fantastic entertainer she is! I also have to admit that she's one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. Seriously. She is striking with her long lush bright red hair and the personality to back it up. She wore a fantastic outfit, brought tons of energy and dramatic flair to each of her pieces and her voice was absolutely amazing. I would totally pay to go hear her again and highly recommend you do so if you like this group's music. Enjoy the videos and have a harmonious day!
P.S. These photos are just space holders until I get the jpegs from Miss Sarah Shreves, photographer extraordinaire. Can't wait to see them!

This is her live-only cover, I loved it and wanted to share the video I found of it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Short Shots

If you had been me this last week, here are some things you would've seen:

[—My dad, the world traveler, looking at the ocean as if he'd never seen it before; it makes itself new to him everytime he visits it.
—]An extra-slow-moving school bus with the words "NEVER TARDY" stenciled on the side.
[—An old lady dressed up as Michael Jackson on Halloween (she had everything right except that she had on a Jewish costume hat on (a fedora/top hat with two large brown curls coming out at the temples of the hat on each side, separated out to look like Michael's.
—]This guy position his skateboard on the sidewalk just so, then push off to ride it sitting down all the way down this huge hill by Rose Canyon.
[—A small section of my morning commute where there's not a palm in sight and a few of the trees are turning. When it's cloudy, it could be Nebraska.
—]You would've felt first then seen a little boy walking with his mom at the mall, and stick out his arm just in time to brush your calve as you passed one another, look down, then back at him as he looks back at you too grinning and waving.
[—My coworker coming into my cubicle to feel her baby doing flips in her tummy, my face and hand on her belly.
—]The scottie dog, Angus, I'm going to dog sit for the rest of the month who has a haircut that leaves his tail fluffy, his face hair long, and his back buzzed with a fringe of hair like a bed's dust ruffle that swings and swishes when he walks (not sure there are even feet under there.
[—A little kid ordering chocolate at See's Candy at the mall.
Kid: I need one chocolate cream.
See's Lady: Just the one?
Kid: It's not for me, it's for my Mom (as he counts out change from his pocket)
See's Lady: Do you like milk or dark chocolate?
Kid: I like mil...I mean, my Mom likes milk chocolate.
See's Lady: Got it! Here you go.
(She sets down the milk chocolate on the counter and slides the change into her palm and starts the arduous task of counting it. The kid spins the chocolate in its wrapper on the counter, rustling the wrapper paper and squeezing the chocolate through it as the lady slowly counts the change. She watches him.)
See's Lady: You know what? A girl can never have enough chocolate, why don't you give her this one too.
(The kid just looks at her.)
See's Lady: It's free.
(Kid smiles broadly at her and uses a cupped hand to slide the new chocolate next to the one he's been fussing with and stares at his wealth of chocolate.)
See's Lady: Ah, ah, ah...don't mix them up. I made sure to get one with nuts for your Mom. She'll want to know which is which when you give them to her.
(Kid nods sagely and puts one in each hand and thanks the lady and leaves.)
See's Lady: Welcome to See's Candy, what can I do for you?
Meg: I need a quarter pound of key lime truffles, and they're for my mother too.
(And they were, but I did got a delightful sample for me (dark chocolate shell around pineapple truffle.))

Friday, October 23, 2009

Five Great Things Friday

My cheap $10 earbuds look like a chihuahua got to them and outright unsafe as the plastic bits are clumping off (let's hope not in my ear!) so I went online to try to find a quality pair for cheap and here are some of the fun earbuds I found:
Ah-dorable, I'm totally digging this tongue-in-cheek set (I wonder if the angel side is louder??).

Too punky for me, but I do love these.

Will these make my ears fat?

I am LOVIN' these! But at $52 a pop, they're over my budget by about $32. I like these best, but I wouldn't say no to...

5)...these! YES PLEASE! For someone who doesn't have pierced ears, I'm thinking some genuine diamond ear bling is still within reach thanks to these babies.
Here's another pair, these would cost $3k...small price to pay for music, right? Sure.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Five Great Things Friday

Here are five great Web sites I'd never heard of before this week that are super great.
Ever kind of wish you were back in school sitting back and soaking up knowledge? I confess, sometimes I really do. I love a good lecture (they were sometimes few and far between in certain college subjects) and at this Web site, I can pretend I attend Yale, Princeton, Harvard, or MIT by sitting in on these classes by the best in their respective fields. After all, what's the difference between a Stanford student and me if we're getting the same lesson? I paid a whole lot less (i.e., nothing)!
I live and die for, however, every time I first glimpse the site I always thing "Huh, they still haven't prettied this up, huh?," not quite so. At you get all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a site so widely used and loved and it convenientely eliminates the old posts and gives you more surfing options in the side bars. You'll never craigslist again after visiting their site like this.
In case I haven't made it abundantly clear, is everything and the kitchen sink. Inspirational, entrepreneurial, home-grown, handmade bliss in a Web site. I admit I haven't purchased anything from the site yet but browsing makes me so dang happy I hardly need to thus far. Not like yo mama's craft fair, this site sells everything from one-dollar finger felt finger puppets, to mid-century pristine condition furniture; priceless antiques; one-of-a-kind diamond wedding rings; huge oil paints by soho artists, anything beautiful a person can make with his/her hands is here. Plus I love that they share the love and talent with instructional videos on the blog and interviews with the artists.
I'm proud (a little overly so) to say that I'd discovered Pandora about three years ago before it accumulated much praise (and before commercials filled every other minute of listening...ah I miss those days). I have not found its replacement yet, but I did find a fun site called Like most streaming music sites, it's better if you're a member (not that I would know b/c I'm too cheap to spend the cash, but this site generously reminds you at every click that it's better if you pay). Anyway, this site works like a mood ring for music; tell it your favorite song or artist of the moment and tell it whether you're feeing calm, positive, dark, or energetic and it will match music to your preferences. Give it a whirl, it's better than pandora commercial pandamonium.
This is what living in the 21st century is all about. Period. This is science fiction. You type in whatever you have in your fridge and this site comes up with recipes for what you've got. This is the best thing since sliced bread, end of story. I know what I'll be doing this weekend!

Hope you enjoy these, if you end up using one, let me know what you think. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Something in Commune

After living alone for almost two years now (is it possible it's been that long?), I think I'd be amiable to the idea of living the kind of life style the folks in the video below have created. I absolutely love people, but it's not always easy to get along with those individuals who aren't my particular cup of tea. But I'm learning to look for the good things in them rather than the bad (thanks, Lindsey—you make me a better woman).

My pastor did a sermon not long ago saying that community wasn't real community unless it had people who were off beat, annoying, or even volitile; these people bring things out in others that wouldn't otherwise be seen/known.
He told the story of The Inklings, a literary discussion society in the 1940s that included famous Christian thinkers three of whom included C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. When Charles died, Jack (C.S. Lewis' nickname) mourned his friend sincerely but confessed to be privately pleased to finally have Tollers (J.R.R. Tolkien's nickname) all to himself and not have to share him. However, after a few visits with his friend, Jack discovered that rather than having more of Tollers, he had, he was surprised to learn, less of him. For only Charles could tell a Charles joke and make Tollers laugh a certain way, Jack couldn't wring out certain convictions from Tollers the way Charles could, nor could Jack inspire the same sort of discussions Charles may have conjured up provoking a one-of-a-kind response from Tollers. Life wasn't the same without "the extra."

So I've been trying to appreciate the "extras" in my life and not despise their strange habits, loose tongues, careless comments, and idiosyncracies...besides, who knows? More than likely I'm someone's extra, and if I am, I must say that I am admirably tolerated.

I liked this video exemplifying communal living taken to an extreme but beautifully, I think. For a place this gorgeous, I think I could pretty much put up with anyone though!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Five Great Things Friday

Today I'm recommending five great Halloween reads. I feel I'm especially well suited to do this as I am a weenie when it comes to the scary stuff and, therefore, won't be recommending anything too errie or dark.

1) Dracula by Bram StokerI just finished this book and I am obsessed with it! It was so very different than I thought it would be and even hotter than I expected. Recommendation: read "sex" into pretty much everything that transpires between the humans and the vamps and you won't even believe this thing got published at the turn of the century! Well done, Victorians, well done. NOTE: If I'd had my choice and a little extra cash to burn, I would've read Jae Lee's illustrated version of the book, (its cover is seen here in the picture); it's magnificently done.

2) Frankenstein by Mary ShelleyPrepare yourself, this is a slow read but the rewards are great. You have to wade through a lot of mental meandering (not all of which is absolutely necessary) but you'll notice as you're wandering around the rich, well-written prose that all the sudden stuff starts happening. This is a wonderful science fiction piece, in its essence that was so far ahead of its time it's not even funny. If you want to really do your homework, check out the circumstances under which this story of a modern Prometheus was written.

3) In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteWhat's spookier than a true story? This is the story of a cold blooded murder of the Clutter family in Kansas. Super, who wants to read that? Consider the author. Truman Capote had just had raving success with his short novel Breakfast at Tiffany's and wasn't being taken seriously by his cohorts in the NYC literary society so he and his bestie Harper Lee (of To Kill a Mockingbird) headed to the midwest so Capote could write his harrowing piece about the grisly murder that forever changed the town of Holcomb. The book is spooky on many levels, the stories of the murderers before they committed the crime, the crime itself, the town's reaction, and Capote himself as he observes the whole event cooly, envoking emotion at will and arguably exploiting the murderers (they're just a couple of killers, right? What else are they good for besides wringing the story out of them, it's not like they're people...).

4) Wicked by Gregory MaguireI actually really enjoyed this book, for all its hype. It's a lot more twisted than its on-stage counterpart and it's an adult read with regards to language and vocabulary (keep the dictionary by your side!). This book makes you feel like The Wizard of Oz conspired to only give you part of a much richer, more politically charged story.

5) The Turn of the Screw by Henry JamesThis little read is freaky! It's short, so it packs a punch; one of the original psychological thrillers, this book is scary (or is it all in your head?). It was brilliantly interpreted for film and renamed The Innocents starring Deborah Kerr, HIGHLY recommended even if you don't make time to read the book.

Other good Halloween Reads:
For a shorty, read The Lifted Veil by George Eliot
The play, The Crucible is absolutely fantastic by Arthur Miller
If you want to play it really tame, check out Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and get wrapped up in this gothic romance.
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter is a great collection of retold fairy tale stories that are quite twisted, don't read if you're not a little weird yourself.
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is always good
Finally, read at least one Frank Peretti novel in your life; this Christian thriller author manages his craft if not brilliantly then at least with skill as a writer balancing spirituality with the horror genre. When you contemplate the spiritual world, the two are not so distantly related as we might like to think.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Five Great Things Friday

I'm never as homesick as I am in the autumn here in San Diego. The mornings are brisk but toast up to the 70s or 80s by noon, no cloudy days, no wind, few changing trees, and San Diegans generally revel in their still-constant fair weather (go figure).
I miss wind too. Big gusty, stingy wind that makes you grateful to be indoors with a hot cuppa.
So, today, I celebrate five great things about San Diego to remind me why everyone and their boyfriend wants to live here:
1) I love the military presence, although it is a grim reminder that we are a nation at war whether we act like it or not, I feel safe when helicopters hover, indestructable ships float in our harbor, and men in uniform guard the city.

2) The big blue bridge to Coronado is a beautiful feat of architecture and I almost can't keep my eyes on the road whenever I'm driving by it.

3) I love the Mexican influence in the city, only thrity short minutes from Tijuana, and I've never had better Mexican food in my life. Here's Alison from her visit last year, we were in a traditional tin shop where you find these glorious stars so indicative of Mexican decor.

4) I drive by the San Diego Mormon Tabernacle every day (it's simultaneously creepy and beautiful...doesn't it look like it's made of paper or foam board?), ironically, I don't have my own photo of it—I had to go to a mormon Website to get one and the site wouldn't let me go "back," "forward" or click out of it which I thought was pretty funny. Yikes!

This thing looks BUCK when it's foggy, it's absolutely haunting.
5) The sunsets here aren't too shabby. They're as beautiful as those in NE, but they're just totally different.

Home is where the heart is, and I left mine in Nebraska, but I guess I can stand San Diego a little longer.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chillin' with the Crazies

No five great things Friday, I plum forgot. Whoops! But I've got something better: I've got some of Cali's prime crazies at the coffee shop with me right now.

First pair of crazies a guy and a gal at the coffee shop:
MexiBarista: We roast our own beans.
Sport Sandals with Skirt: You know? That is SO great because in this world where nothing is organic or real or lasting, at least you can come to The Blue Mug and get a real cup of coffee.
MexiBarista: I hear ya (nodding vigorously). I mean I heard the other day...
Sport Sandals with Skirt: Think about it, we're all done in 2012. The ice caps won't melt because they won't be around anymore, the magnetic forces will be enough that it will melt everything down, but we're killing ourselves anyway so whatever.
MexiBarista: Right? I mean, did you see Wall-E? It's like the I Ching. You know how everyone floats around on hover crafts b/c we're all too fat and lazy to even move? That's gonna be us in, like...I wanna say...two years? Maybe.
Sport Sandals with Skirt: I never saw it.
MexiBarista: It's my favorite movie, it's not as good as anime, but for Pixar, it's really good. Funny.
Sport Sandals with Skirt: But you're missing the point. We're not going to hover (using hands to demonstrate complex concept of hovering) because we'll all be DEAD in two years! Did you know a woman dies in childbirth every. Single. Minute. (Pause for reaction).
MexiBarista: (Eyes raised to ceiling as if counting) You know, I don't really think that's possible. Wait. Wait, no, you know what, that's true. I heard that on the History channel. (Both nod.)

Meanwhile, "My Hips Don't Lie" comes on while Sport Sandals with Skirt tears open sugar packets three at a time and pours them into her coffee.
Sport Sandals with Skirt: I love this song (the velcro making little ripping noises as she flexes her feet, dancing).
MexiBarista: Mmmmmmnow see, I have to disagree. She's a little cocky when it comes to shaking her hips.

They look at each other for a minute, Sports Sandals with Skirt sips her coffee gingerly while she uses the other hand to wave good bye. Without a word, MexiBarista waves back and Sport Sandals with Skirt slowly walks through the coffee shop and out the door never taking her lips of of the to-stay coffee cup. Gets in her car, and drives off.

P.S. I posted this totally lame picture b/c it turned out so bad I thought it was appropriate to the crazies theme. I look positively headless.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Five Great Things Friday

I've got some great videos for you today, enjoy!
Also, don't give up on Love Field in the middle, finish it!

Western Spaghetti
I absolutely love things like this that remind me to never stop using my imagination.

Black Hole

Open Doors
This is from a classic story called Open Window, and old favorite and I liked this rendition of it on film.

Love Field
Let's do the (plot) twist!

So stinkin' cute.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Um, 10 Hilarious Things Thursday??

I'm only posting the graphs that made me graph out, I mean laugh outloud.

This was me last night.

May or may not also have been me last night.

Or hangnails.

Ha! I love the outlier.


Or, in my case, "send" (as in sending to a client or my superior...and pretty much everyone I work with is higher up than me).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Five Great Things Friday—Vote!

Vote for your favorite tee!!

I can already feel my quarter-life crisis creeping up on me and part of it is the conviction that I'm not too crusty to wear cheeky tees (a la college students...hey, they can be worn off campus, right?).

Anyway, I'm buying a snorgy tee one way or another but I can't decide which one. Take a peek at this week's five great things/tees and let me know which you like best.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Spider that Went for a Ride

It's uncanny; if I park on the west side of the parking lot, I always have to clear out spider webs built up between my car and the one next to it and hope that the spider still isn't present. But if I park on the east side, no spiders or webs. Do you think I ever get home in time to catch the east-side spots? Of course not.

I'd learned my lesson early on last year. Orb weavers season begins in August and can extend well into winter here since we don't have frosts. Super. One morning last fall, walking to my car with my head down, finding the right key on the ring, I passed between my car and the next as my body pulled a huge spider web from its moorings, coating my face and arms in silk. I screamed in as undignified a manner as you might imagine and, somehow, it seemed logical that I chuck my purse as far away from me as possible. What probably looked to be a seizure, I high-kneed it to the middle of the parking lot and used my hands to wipe off every bit of skin exposed to the offending web.
When I finally regained some composure, I spotted my purse, which had bounced off the bank of bushes in front of my car, spilling all its contents, including my broken jar of apple sauce trailing out of it by the driver's door. I hugged my body and couldn't stop the sob that rose in my throat from the sheer injustice of being assaulted by my greatest fear before 8 A.M.

But this isn't about last autumn.
This is about yesterday.

Objects in the Mirror May Be Closer than They Appear
I groggily shuffled to my car yesterday morning and after spending a blissful five days away from my home and car, several large webs had built up between my car and the one next to it which, evidently, had taken the weekend off too. I searched for lingering spiders in the webs and seeing none, began to swipe and kick at the vacant webs making girly grunts of disgust as I went. I finally cleared the path between the cars and approached the driver's door. I inserted a pen into the space between the handle of my car and the car door where spiders absolutely love to hide, clicked it around to make sure it was safe to open, and got in. The interior of a car is almost always safe from spiders, sharply contrasting with the outside which seems to attract every one from a mile away.
I started the car and began my groggy but short drive to work. I checked my right rearview mirror to change lanes and gasped as I noticed a huge spider right in the middle of it. When I came to a stop light I moved the lever that adjusts that outside mirror from the inside. I handled the button like a joystick but the spider just lazily crawled to the corner of the mirror and picked at its web nonchalantly.
I was pissed. I hate spiders. And I hate mornings. I revved my engine and took off as fast as my in-line four engine would let me. I took my eyes off the road to watch the spider go flying off the mirror but not off the car! Connected by an invisible thread it was flying next to the window making the faintest "tap...tap" as the wind whipped at it, knocking it against the car. It was big enough that I could watch its eight legs flail behind its bulbous body. When I reached a stop light, I stopped as hard as I could, safely. It smacked against the mirror with another faint tap and began scrambling wildly all around the perimeter of the mirror building a stronger web as quickly as it could.
(NOTE: this is not an actual photograph of the event, it's a reenactment on paper as produced by the witness.)
I admit, I was a little impressed. I almost wondered if I should drive a little less erratically and just let the little stowaway have a free ride. I imagined getting pulled over and trying to explain to the police that I was trying to lose the big spider creeping me out on the rear view mirror outside my car. The light turned and I drove as I usually would and the spider again, went flying though not as wildly as before. When I came to the next stop light it swung forward under and over the mirror landing comically with another tap on the top of the mirror. It slowly dragged its body back to the middle of the mirror and sat still for a moment. It wandered a little to the left, changed its mind. A little to the right, stopped. Then suddenly, it just dropped. I lunged for the passenger seat to see where it went, barely keeping my foot on the brake, but it was gone. It had just said "Forget this noise!" and let go.
Truth be told, I hope it died. However, if it did miraculously survive, I imagine he had a pretty good story to tell the other spiders about how one morning it went for a ride.

I didn't even realize it, but last week's "Five Great Things Friday" was my 100th post! So thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Five Great Things Friday...Early

1) I think these are simultaneously hilarious and gross.
"Bacon...Mother Nature's Remedy"

2) This is the only kind of Rubik's cube I would ever play with, the real deal drives me bananas—but as pepper mills, they're brilliant.

3) No one will ever steal your sandwich again when they're in these bags!

4) Gahahahaha, this is hilarious! I love this and I would totally give it as a gag gift or at a white elephant party! (Look at the note the guy is writing in the picture)

5) Be kind to animals, I want to get this for my next apartment and hang my jewelry from it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Folky Farewell

My friend Katie is moving to the East coast tomorrow (Katie if you read this, I send you with lots of blessings and I know you'll be great!), but before she'd gone, she went out in style.

At the sweetest house in San Diego, a organic-food, folky, family event took place Sunday night where all-natural, organic foods adorned the table as the meal and the decorations and we wore rosemary in our pockets and wildflowers in our hair.

Lots of thanks to Lindsey and Sarah for opening their home to us, it's one of my favorite places in all San Diego to be.

Katie did some work on La Milpa farm outside of Escondido, CA and learned all about organic farming, canning, and beekeeping. I'm super jealous of her experience but plan to attend one of their potluck dinners they hold every third Saturday of the month. If you're reading this and in S.D., let's head out there September 19 for a community dinner and an al fresco movie under the stars!

This adorable couple and I had the best conversation about why organic food growing is advantageous; thanks Beth and Shannon for being amazing and teaching me so much!

My girls, Lindsey and Tina are the best!

NOTE: The two large, centered photos aren't mine, a guy at the party did 'em.