Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I don't drink...

...which is why this photo is so funny.

What the?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Days Were Golden

Last weekend I had the pleasure of playing hostess to a couple of friends from very different parts of my life. Damian, who I have known since the fifth grade, and Bev, who I worked with at the Olympics.
Saturday morning we went to breakfast and then to American Apparel to buy some t-shirts for Damian to draw on for us. Although Bev got a little side tracked.
Then I fell in love with a pair of wildly sexy shoes that were just a little too big. The good news is that later that week I went back and found them in my size. I know you are all really relieved
We headed back to my house and flipped through Damian's sketch book to find designs for our shirts
Then Damian drew the designs we picked onto the tees with a bleach pen
And then he rinsed them off and put them in the washer.
While our t-shirts dried we went to Balboa Island to get frozen bananas
Chocolate covered frozen bananas that is
Here Bev models her one-of-a-kind-dinosaur-on-her-side-bleach-pen-shirt-extraordinaire
After we enjoyed fish tacos at Wahoo's, Keith came down from LA to say hello. Look at Damian and Keith innocently catching up.
But as soon as you turn your back on these two-your kitchen will never be the same
Seriously, is this a face you should trust?
The boys made us laugh for a bit and then Damian had to leave to meet up with his parents who also happened to be in town. Keith lounged around on my couch for awhile.
The next day Bev and I went to the beach, did some work, and ate some yummy sushi
Bev left late Sunday night to get back to Atlanta. One of these days I'm making good on my plan to make everyone I love live in a giant compound somehere. This whole only seeing them every once in awhile is really starting to get on my nerves....

Friday, May 26, 2006


This day started with me getting all the way to work before I realized I had left my computer at home and had to go all the way back for it. I caught a cold from a sales rep in Indianapolis this week, my Outlook Express had a meltdown, and now blogger won't let me upload my images.

Good thing today only has 30 more minutes.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

How it Ends

I had a really delightful weekend and a more in depth post will follow when my iphoto program gets fixed but for tonight, I just wanted to share the picture that is wreaking all manner of havoc with my emotions. I worked for the Olympics in Salt Lake in 2002. I was a Sport Coordinator for Short Track and Figure Skating. My little team was responsible for anything athlete and official related in the competition venue. Bev, who was part of that team and remains a dear friend of mine, was visiting this weekend and she gave me a bunch of photos from the Games. All of them have had me either laughing or crying but I have a particular affection for this one.

First of all, I love Short Track Speed Skating. I didn't even know what it was before I got my job but in my two years at the organizing committee, I fell in love with it. My boss was a four-time Olympic short tracker who was incredibly passionate about the sport and was very respected in the short track community. It was sort of like if you didn't know a thing about basketball and you got to learn about it from Michael Jordan. So I love that this picture was taken on a short track night. But the thing I really love about it is the two girls dressed in black there in the right hand corner with the dorky headsets. Those girls are Bev and me. We were pretty vigilant about making sure that volunteers and staff didn't take photos during competition. Take them all you want outside the venue or during a medals ceremony, but during the competition, we wanted the athletes to be able to do their best, and not feel like circus animals. And because we were so strict about it, I have hundreds and hundreds of Olympic snapshots logged in my brain, but none that I can physically hold in my hand. Nothing to prove that I was there and that I did that. Bev got these from a guy on the event services staff who had worked enough Games to know that there were ways to be unobstrusive in your photo-taking, and also knew that you would be sorry if you ended up without a photo of yourself behind the big blue curtain.
I love this picture because although I have no idea which night that was, or what I was doing right then, I know that I was enjoying absolutely every second of it. I was with coworkers I adored, dealing with athletes I admired, doing a job I loved like I'm not sure I can ever love a job again. I love that I have a little souvenir of the tiny tiny part I played in a big world event. I love that four years after the Games ended, seeing them again can have me as worked up as I am right now.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

One reason I like my job

is that sometimes you get to hire your incredibly talented friends to do a project for you.

And then after your big meeting you go out for milkshakes.

And you see that they are pretty much still the same boys you have known since you were 12.

Grownup jobs are awesome.

Monday, May 15, 2006

can i get get get

One of the many reasons I am glad to be back on the West Coast is being so much closer to family. And being closer to my family means it's not a big deal for Emily to come visit for a long weekend. So thursday morning I picked her up at the Long Beach airport and we went to L.A. to check out E3. Emily works for a company that does packaging and POP for video games so they hooked us up with passes.
We were very excited to go in!
Right away it was pretty much mass chaos. Every video game company in the universe is there showing off their latest systems and games. There is ALOT to see.
For example, this giant screen kept us entertained for a good 20 minutes.
There were some very questionable things on display
Emily won a t-shirt playing a fishing game on the new Nokia phones
I was hoping to discover what it is about x-box that can turn even grown men into drooling teenagers but the booth provided no answers. Just new games.
The truth is that E3 is less about gaming and more about sexy video game vixens. We walked by a booth where a bunch of chubby guys were having a dance contest on a small stage. Then the announcer came out and asked if we would like to some "real" dancers. And then 10 scantily clad video game women came bounding out. All of the sudden every guy in audience whips out his digital camera and starts snapping. It was truly awesome.

We worked up a pretty healthy appetite walking around E3 so we headed over to a little italian place in Marina Del Rey and met up with Keith. The food was yummy and Keith kept us well entertained. But soon it was time to say goodbye and shoot over up to Sunset Boulevard for a show!
The lighting in the club was perfect for taking weird pictures that somehow turned out really cute.
The opening act was sort of yawn so I tried my best bored hipster look. I think all I accomplished was to look like my brother Logan.
John Vanderslice, however, was not boring at all. I would highly recommend trying to catch him if he comes to a dark club near you. We finally got back to HB around 1 that night and I think we were asleep before we actually got into my house.

The next day I was getting a haircut in Beverly Hills (it's a long story but one where a friend was using me as a student, not one where I usually get my haircut in uber-expensive salons) and Emily graciously agreed to let this eat into her vacation day.
It ended up taking us two full hours to drive from Huntington Beach to the hair salon. I can't talk about traffic like we were stuck in without getting a little violent. Even Emily was starting to feel it.

My haircut also took a really, really long time and poor Em had to keep herself busy for another two dull hours. I still think she should have taken her camera to Rodeo Drive to look for shots of Lindsey Lohan shopping that could have paid for college but hey, that's just me. We had been planning to have lunch with our friend Greg but at this point it was much, much too late so we decided to just go visit him at work.

If you know anything about friday afternoons in Los Angeles, you know that 3:00 is not a great hour to try to get anywhere. When we FINALLY got to the Promenade, we found Greg outside the Apple store and he joined us for a refreshment break at this hip new convenience store that sells candy and sushi and will even heat up your egg salad sandwich for you. When the last time anyone heated your sandwich at 7-11? We got treats for the long, long, deadly long drive home and Greg was overjoyed to discover that they carried ginger beer.

We had dinner plans with some friends in HB so we rushed back to change our clothes and meet up with them. Well, "rushed" is probably not the right word. The 45 mile drive took another two hours. Fortunately, the four boys we met for dinner must have been eating sugar all day because they were F-U-N-N-Y. So funny in fact that we were too busy laughing to take any pictures. After dinner there was a big church activity at a skating rink that we thought would be fun. But then when we got to the rink and realized we really didn't feel like roller skating.
So we went to meet up with my friend Chris at the Harbor House for shakes instead.
Emily had a tough time choosing between chocolate and oreo so she ended up with a chocolate oreo shake. May I just say that I have never seen my sister leave half a shake on the table but this thing was out of control.
Saturday morning I really needed to do a six mile run for my marathon training. So we invited my friend Sean to come along and the three of us had a great run down by the beach. Sean was a good sport to run with two fairly slow girls but I was glad to see he really did break a sweat by mile four. Then we went out for a well deserved breakfast. That may have entirely negated all the calories we ran off but hey, I've told you before about these macadamia nut pancakes.
You have to love a city where you see as many of these parked at you do cars.
Em's one requirement for the trip was to fit in some thrift store shopping. When I go to a thrift store by myself, I typically root through a couple of racks, everything looks old and faded and I just throw up my hands in despair and go to a store that sells new clothes.
However, when you go with Emily the fashionista, you spend $70 and end up with two shirts, three skirts, two dresses, a set of dishes and a candle holder.
So then we took showers and got all dressed up in our new finds.

On our way to dinner we saw a vintage store so we decided to look around. It was a great store but the best part was when we both tried on the blue hair and actually couldn't tell which one of us was which. I guess we do sorta look alike.
The food is nothing to scream about but if you are going to come to Huntington Beach on vacation, you should go out to Ruby's on the end of the pier at least once. When I was a little girl and we would come here for vacation, we always went to Ruby's and I thought it was the only one. I was a little disappointed when I came as an adult and found out they have them in malls. But this one is still fun.
Sunday morning we got up and went down to check out the best thing about my neighborhood.

We went to church for an hour and then met up with Jeanine and Nate for dinner.
Emily and Jeanine were mission companions
and Nate and I served in Switzerland together. Emily introduced them and now they are married with a baby on the way! It was really fun to see them and we only embarrassed Nate with gross girl talk a few times.

We came home and relaxed, watched a little Grey's Anatomy, figured out how to redecorate my room, talked about boys, talked more about boys, filled Tasha's iPod, looked at pictures and finally fell asleep. Em's flight left at 6:45 the next morning and I'm still not sure I was awake when I drove her there.

Thanks for coming Em. Hurry back.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Love all

Tonight I played tennis with some friends from church. It was the first time I'd played since last summer and um, it really showed. I spent a disastrous hour either missing the ball completely or hitting it wildly into the court next to us (where, embarassingly, another game was going on). I tried to pretend that inside I wasn't seething about the incredible level of athletic suckage I was exhibiting by reminding myself over and over of the great spelling test lesson of second grade. I was seven and brought home a great big F on my first spelling test. My mother's reaction was "I guess it means you will have to start studying". To which I replied, "what good will that do? If I don't already know it I don't see what studying will do!". My mother loves to remind me of that story everytime I'm tempted to quit something just because I haven't got the hang of it. I did in fact learn how to spell and amazingly enough, studying did help.

So after the girls left, I banished myself to the handball courts to practice hitting alone for a little while. I spent 30 frustrating minutes chasing the ball all over the place and not accomplishing much but wearing myself out. Next to me was a nice grey haired hispanic man playing handball alone who kept tossing them back to me when they would roll over to his court. A couple of times I hit a ball over the wall and he ran over to get it for me. It was very nice but you know, I was trying to practice, and I really needed to focus. So just as I was beginning to think that maybe I was doomed to be the world's worst tennis player, my friend from the court next door approached me, motioned to my racket and said "I show you?" in a heavy accent. Okay guy, show me how to play tennis in your neat handball gloves. Imagine my surprise-slash-embarrassment when he went completely Andre Agassi on me. I may be a terrible tennis player but I can recognize a powerful serve when I see it. Mr. Handball then spent the next 20 minutes working with me, showing me a better way to hold the racket, how to put more speed into my backhand, and most importantly how to bring a little control to my game. And then his son and grandson appeared and we shook hands, he wished me luck and off they went. I took all his advice for another half hour or so and was absolutely giddy with my progress by the time I finally forced myself into the car.

I know it was not really a very big deal, and there are plenty of nice people in the world and I don't need to be overly shocked about an old man giving free tennis tips to a girl in a short skirt, but it certainly made my night. So thanks Mr. Tennis Helper Guy!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Summer of Fun

I was saving some lifestyle imagery to my pics folder here at work today and ran across this

This photo was taken over Memorial Day weekend last year, a weekend also known as the kick-off to "The Summer of Fun". Playing off a New Year's Resolution Emily and I had made that "there is no reason every night can't feel like a friday", we decided that the summer of 2005 would be one where no reasonable suggestion of f-u-n would be denied. Lane and Matt had recently rejoined the group after teetering on the brink of eternal romantic committment* and the sun had finally decided to tease New England with a bit of it's presence. This particular night we had attended a wedding reception where the groom's father quoted maybe just a little bit too much Napoleon Dynamite and we all whispered and laughed just a bit too loudly at our friends making the toasts. The party was over early and we were all dressed up with nowhere else to go and thus ended up at a dueling piano bar down by Fenway Park. The place was jammed but we managed to find a table near the back and proceeded to get about as wild as a bunch of nicely dressed, sober, mormon kids can. Which as you can see, can get relatively sketchy when you take that whole "we were stone-cold sober" into account.
I am pleased to report that the Summer of Fun was a screaming success. Plenty of afternoon tennis, picnics on the Charles, sleeping on the porch, swimming in Walden Pond, speeding tickets in upstate New may have even beat out the infamous "summer of boys" from 2000 and definitely kicked the crap out of the failed "virgin no more in 2004". There is talk that this year might be the 'highly effective'. We'll see.

*to women you guys. to women.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

It was nine feet high and six feet wide

One of the first photos in my baby book is of me as a tiny baby girl sitting on the floor in front of my father who is singing and playing the guitar. I am sure it was either Neil Diamond or John Denver since some of earliest memories are my brother and I begging him to sing "Kentucky Woman" or "Grandma's Feather Bed" one more time. And I realize this just makes me like pretty much every girl in America but because my daddy played the guitar, a boy who can play has always been one of my favorite things.

So I was thinking about that when I got home tonight from an evening with friends in LA and imagining how much that little girl would have enjoyed this:

(note: neither Greg nor Jed actually played anything for us. They just strummed while they talked. Which makes these photos even more awesome.)