Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I also love live music. And the very best next thing to being there is a good live recording. I adore them. I love hearing the background noise. I love the subtle differences of a song performed for people instead of a sound booth. I love that invariably, you hear more passion and guts in a good live version of a song than you do in the album track. I love the audience interaction. I am a sucker for a live album and will buy them even if I already own all the songs. This might blow every bit of credibility I have but I have a two-disc set of James Taylor live that I regularly put in my "desert island" top five. It's really that good.
So imagine my great joy this evening when I was catching up one of my favorite music blogs and I stumbled upon live Beth Orton plus special guest M. Ward. If you like either of these artists then you must check out this link. If you aren't familiar with either of them but you do like good indie/folk/acoustic stuff, you should give this a try. I especially recommend "Comfort of Strangers". It's the title track from an album she put out last year but with more teeth than the CD version. I'm telling you-music is made to be heard in person.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Yesterday I got up relatively early for me-10:00-and went for a run down by the beach. I run by the beach at least three or four times a week and it never ever gets old.
Then it was off to lunch with the girls.
Brooke brought her cute as heck little Sydney along. She is such a glam mom, she was dressed to the nines, hair perfect, totally stylish diaper bag and even had a hip looking scarf to cover up when she was breast feeding. She makes motherhood look so good.
I know I said I wouldn't trade my life for a two year old but that doesn't mean I didn't momentarily consider trying to steal Brooke's child. There is something about babies that makes you want to kiss their little faces off.
Instead of getting dessert at the restaurant, we walked over to Sprinkles, this very trendy and obscenely decadent cupcake bakery in Newport. I hold Corey completely responsible for introducing these things to the craving center of my brain afer she bought me some for my birthday. I drive right past the place on my way home from work and it is a miracle I don't stop every night.
I said goodbye to the ladies, took about ten more pictures of Sydney and headed to Target.
I could spend the entire day at Target. There is just so much to do there. I tried on clothes, I bought a binder and supplies for my new inspiration book, I found a treasure trove of travel size toiletries that will save me countless luggage carousel hours this summer, I looked at frames and pillows and furniture and all manner of home improvement items just for fun. Somehow I managed to kill three hours and hardly spent any money at all. I just love to wander.
I went home and watched a little TV with my roommates while I made dinner. Then I got ready to go hear some live music with my friend Laura.
She enjoyed some peach cobbler. I'm in full support of a venue where I can get good music AND good dessert.
We ran into my friend Ellie and her husband Scott.
And then we got to hear about two hours worth of really great music. My favorite being a really slow and sexy cover of "You Can't Always Get What You Want."
Then I came home early enough that I still had time to work on my Relief Society lesson for the next day.
All in all a rather perfect day. And since the next two weeks will consist of a three day trip to New York followed closely by a three day trip to Wisconsin and a day in Portland, it was nice to just chill out a little.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I had a performance review at work a few weeks ago. It was quite fantastic, one where I felt really great about my talents and abilities and my future at my company and beyond. I left the room feeling like after five years of pouring my soul into this job, moving across the country twice and racking up a disgusting amount of frequent flyer miles, we are on the verge of something huge. That this is the year for my little brand and all our work is going to see some truly remarkable results.
As I was flying home that day though I was thinking about the conversations I often have with single women my age in my church. How often we will be talking about work and someone says bitterly, "I didn't even want a career, I should be a mom by now." I always get uncomfortable with the chorus of "yeah! this is never what i wanted" responses that comment will usually provoke. Um, is it OK that I did? That my biggest fear as a teenager was that I would get married and have babies before I got to start a career. I had plans. And while those plans changed from veterinarian to actress to writer to lawyer to advertising exec as I grew up, I always wanted to grow up to be something. I did always want to be a mother as well but I guess even from a young age, I knew that marriage and motherhood was something over which I had little to no control. I had parents who encouraged all of us to study and go on missions and believed in our abilities to be whatever we wanted. So I grew up wanting more than just a job, I wanted a career.
Yes, I am surprised to be 30 and still single. It never occurred to me when I was younger that maybe I can't even count on getting married. Maybe I will be single forever. But I don't feel like the life I do have is a Plan B. Or a consolation prize. Or a thing I'm doing until my REAL life starts. I have an interesting and fun job that challenges and excites me. I work hard at it. And I'm good at it. I feel incredibly blessed to have it. To be as passionate about it as I am.
I firmly believe that raising children is just about the best job a person could have and I sincerely hope I get to do it someday. But in the meantime, developing my talents and abilities and being a dependable, trustworthy, hard-working employee is a really satisfying life as well. I know there are other LDS women who feel the way I do but I think sometimes we think we are supposed to feel a little bit cheated because we don't have husbands or kids. Like somehow we are not good Mormon girls if we are enjoying our jobs and our independence. I hear myself saying to my married friends, "I'd gladly trade my job for a two year old!" when I don't mean that at all. I will trade my job for MY two year old when the time is right but I wouldn't trade anything about the last 30 years of my life for a different experience. I like this one, I feel in my heart that I saw and chose this particular path.
So that is my rant. I'm saying it here so I don't go off at the next poor girl who whines about being single. In addition to my goal that in my thirties I wasn't going to say boys are dumb anymore because girls are just as difficult, I'm also done whining about what has or hasn't happened to me yet. As my friend Damian so wisely said," i have been able to meet and see people who in their best year can only envy my worst." There are better things to complain about in this world than my semi-charmed life.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I was born in a Year of the Dragon. As with my western astrological sign-Libra- the characteristics of the Dragon do a pretty good job of describing me. But I didn't know that the years are broken down even further by pairing them with a Chinese element of metal, water, wood, fire and earth. It was not much of a shock that my birth year was fire, making me not just a dragon but a FIRE DRAGON.
I think there are several people in my life who could tell you that this description is not far from the truth:
The Fire Dragon is a powerful force to be reckoned with. This is a Dragon doubled! The Fire Dragon can move from calm and collected to combustible in a matter of seconds. In some ways the Fire Dragon is his or her own worst enemy. These Dragons cannot help feeling they are valuable and all-knowing. When they are right their vehemence and vigor is an asset to the cause, and though they value objectivity, they do not always employ the best decision-making measures, and sometimes jump to the wrong conclusion. They also suffer from recklessness and quick tempers. Yet, when they do keep their temper, emotions, and rivaling spirit under control, they emanate a commanding influence on other people.
Apparently my best love match is the Rat. Although supposedly I have my best chemistry with the Horse. If you were born in 1972 or 1984, we should totally get married. If you were born in 1967 or 1979, just come on over.
I went to LA tonight for the birthday party of two boys I like quite a bit
I wasn't sure who else I might know since I'm not really up on my LA crowd these days.
A familiar face showed up pretty quickly though. A familiar goofy face.
and then! The internet broke open and Michelle and Bex fell out of it
They were with Steve, who I know better by a screen name from my secret internet club
and Jeff The Dentist, who is not pictured because I was too busy being star struck at meeting someone who is so famous on the world wide web.
As a present to the boys, everyone had to perform Michael Jackson songs for the camera. For a girl who spent all her high school years on a stage, I was suprisingly self-concious. But I did manage to muddle through "Rock with You", by far the best song for coed roller skating ever written.
These guys however, did a really entertaining stage fight to "Beat It"
They also looked familiar. I'll give you one guess where I had seen them before.
This was a Keith party so of course there was plenty of dancing.
plenty of girls
plenty of silly
and this guy, who my freakishly good memory for faces allowed me to identify as the kid my sister kept elbowing on the dance floor at Mike and Kim's wedding.
All in all a successful outing. The internet just got smaller!
Friday, February 16, 2007
My friend Damian wrote one of the loveliest Valentine's Day posts ever. In the running for "best human", Mr. D is as always, both hilarious and wise.
You need to have speakers to appreciate this ninja and maybe don't watch it at work. But watch it. And weep.
Cindy posted a list of television crushes, all of whom I wholeheartedly endorse.
It might help if you know the people involved but this might be funny anyway.
Lee, please write more of these.
As all the coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death has me convinced that celebrity worship has finally hit rock rock bottom, I was glad to see this and know that I'm not alone.
This is perhaps the cutest blog in all of blogdom.
And finally, it's been a dramatic few weeks in my hometown of SLC. Amid the tragedy of the Trolley Square shootings, I'm relieved that an old friend was safely returned to his family.
Happy President's Day everyone. I have several fun posts on the way but this weekend I intend to just enjoy this.
Living here never gets old.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
So last night I decided I would celebrate the holiday by taking advantage of one of my favorite perks of living single-a schedule that is completely my own. I drove home the long way along PCH, played my music too loud, goofed around for awhile when I got home and then bypassed the chick flick/calorie fest my roommates were having and went to the gym for the hard workout I've been looking forward to for days.
It turns out that the gym can be a soul crushing place on Valentine's Day for even the most confident variety of female. I live in a beach town. In Southern California. My gym is mere blocks from the water. It is ALWAYS full. ALWAYS.
But not on Valentine's Day. Apparently I am the only gym-going female in Huntington Beach who did not have plans last night. Because it was me, two trainers, a desk attendent and about seven weird dudes lifting weights. I think there are more people in there on Christmas Eve. I had my best run since the Half-Marathon because all I could think was, "really? I'm the ONLY one???? I know sometimes I FEEL like I'm the last single girl in America but AM I??"
I hate the gym.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
What I really like about Tyra Banks though is her willingness to tackle the issue of female body image and the media head on. I was thrilled to see her standing up for herself when some tabloid published some really unflattering photos of her in a swimsuit. Instead of whimpering about how mean that was (which I think it was), she put the same suimsuit back on and showed her audience a) that yeah, she's a little bigger than she was in her modeling days but b) i'd still sell a kidney to look that good in a bathing suit and c) tabloids feed us what they think we want to see, regardless of how true or fair it is.
Not only that, she did an interview with People Magazine where she said yeah, I'm 20 pounds heavier than I was when I was walking the runway for Victoria's Secret but that is a standard that is unrealistic in the real world. You know there is something wrong with the way women's bodies are portrayed in the media when a supermodel can't even maintain it when she begins to live like a normal human being. It was oddly liberating to read a Victoria's Secret Angel admitting that her post-modeling body sometimes gets muffin top in a pair of tight jeans.
I already thought her honesty and confidence were so cool and so brave but then today I read that Tyra is recreating her famous SI Swimsuit Issue cover in this year's edition. And she's doing it with her 20 pounds heavier self.
In the AP Radio interview, Banks said she considered going on a crash diet before the Bahamas shoot to look the same as she did 10 years ago, but then thought better of it.
"I think there's more power in embracing what I am now and showcasing that," she said.
As a normal red-blooded American female, I have of course fallen victim to hating my body at different times of my life. I feel lucky that when I started running consistently, I learned that getting strong and healthy and concentrating on what my body was capable of, I became alot less critical of the imperfections. But it can still be tempting to think that if I had thinner thighs or a flatter stomach, life might be just a little bit better. I am glad to have public figures like Ms. Banks who are willing to throw some cold water on that dream and help us realize that what our mom's told us is actually true-it's what's inside that counts. Give me Tyra with muffin top over Paris with no panties anyday.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
This is why it's worth it to stand in a trade show booth for two days and present your line nine hundred times. Because Runner's World might decide to call you one of the most exciting products at the show. Our CEO was making fun of me for watching it about ten times in a row and shrieking like a kid on Christmas morning.
(our shoe is the first one. In the age of HR folks who google, I don't want to mention the name of my company here.)
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Except when it comes to my car.
When I was at the DMV yesterday I was thinking about the last five years and how rarely I have been a fully legal driver in the state in which I reside. Here is a synopsis of just how irresponsible I have been.
1. When I moved from U___ to CA the first time I didn't want to stop paying my crazy low UT insurance so I continued to register my car in U____ and never got a CA drivers license.
2. Then I moved to Massachusetts and was traveling so much I flat out never made time to register my car there either. Then my registration expired. In U___. I kept driving. When I got pulled over the first time I managed to talk the officer out of towing my car. The second time I wasn't so lucky. Yes, the second time folks. And that was actually the third time in as many years that I was pulled over. The second cop took one look at my expired registration, out of state license and U____ insurance and called the tow truck.
3. Well I had no choice then so for a whole year I was legal. Fully insured, registered and licensed in my state of residence.
4. But then I moved back to CA. And when I went to get CA insurance so I could register here an get out of paying the Mass excise tax, there was some mysterious SUSPENSION on my record resulting in a $4500 premium. Also, several unpaid parking tickets that had to be cleared up before I could register.
I eventually cleared up that mess but it took me way longer then it should have because um, I'm vehicularly irresponsible. I would stare at the ceiling at night and worry about it but it never seemed to get me to actually act.
5. I also never got a California Driver's License. Why would I? Not until the thing was physically lost did I find the motivation to get to the DMV.
So now I'm finally fully legal again and there shouldn't be any more auto related drama this year (until I have to pay the state of New York $150 this fall for a speeding ticket I got three years ago. It's a long story. That would only happen to me).
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Saturday night I lose my wallet. After cancelling all my cards, putting a fraud alert of my credit report and making an appointment at the DMV for a new driver's license I go to the gas station. There is a five dollar bill laying on the ground when I pull up. It's only a five and it's cash-certainly no one is coming back for this money. But I think to myself, it's still not my money and the person who lost it probably experienced at least some degree of frustration. So I take it in to the attendent. I do realize he probably put it right into his pocket but I felt like there would be something really wrong with me raging against the world for the potential theft of my wallet and then keeping that money.
Yesterday I went to the bank to get cash because really no one takes checks anymore and I have neither credit card nor debit card and thus, no money. This morning I went to the DMV, took the writing test, passed the eye test (roast on you California because I actually need glasses), got my picture taken and walked out with a temporary license.
Five minutes ago the movie theater called to tell me THEY FOUND MY WALLET. Money and credit cards still inside.
Thank you My Name is Earl for teaching me the principle of Karma.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
But even worse, I lost my wallet at the theater. Not only did I lose my credit and debit card, my driver's license and my Costco Membership, but I had a bunch of cash left over from Vegas and all the receipts I need for my expense reports at work in there.
So not worth it.
Friday, February 02, 2007
The great thing about Vegas is that there is an endless supply of beautifully designed, really fantastic restaurants. You can walk around the forum for an hour looking for a place without an absurd line and still end up somewhere with great atmostphere and center cut ahi tuna that completely knocks your socks off. Somewhere that offers doughnut holes ON THE DESSERT MENU and they come out hot with a side of chocolate sauce for dipping. Ah the joys of an expense account.
Afterwards the guys decide that we should head over to the Hard Rock because it's only midnight and they aren't done drinking. I was tired but have never been able to bail if there if any remote possibility of fun being had without me so off we went. We get to the hotel, the two guys from our taxi disappear into the bar and one of the girls and I wait outside for the rest of our group. I yawn. I get caught yawning by a couple of gentlemen walking towards the exit, one of whom says to me, "come on now, none of that, this is Las Vegas for cryin' out loud." I'm a wee bit of a flirt so I make some smart remark about how late it was and how drunk I wasn't. The guys tells me I need a little spin to wake me up. He hands his drink to my friend, takes my hand and twirls me around. I ask him if that was really supposed to do anything. Before I have a chance to say anything else he grabs me around the waist, lifts me off the ground, turns me upside down and then sets me back on the ground. He looks at be and says, "feel better?". My friend Tram's mouth is wide open, I say "um, actually yes," as our other friends walk up and ask what's going on. The guys try to tell us that the bar here is dead and we should go with them to Tao. We politely decline and shuffle off to find the guys. As we walk away, Tram says to me, "you know those guys right?" "No." "You mean that was just some random guy??" "Yup." "Wow." "Yeah, wow."
Vegas baby. Vegas.