Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Open Letter

Dear Women-

So it's Halloween today. Which means all across the country, you guys are putting on the fishnets and bustiers that go along with your "naughty nurse" or "sexy school girl" costumes. To you I say, seriously? Isn't that SO played out by now? Don't you feel like a giant cliche when you say to yourself, "I'm not just a policewoman, I'm a SEXY policewoman!!!" Can you still do it with a straight face?

Let's just set aside all the feminist and social implications of the hordes of women who use Halloween as a time to wear costumes inspired by the sex trade industry, shouldn't we as a gender be embarrassed at our complete lack of imagination when it comes to this holiday? Those costumes are not interesting, they are not clever, they are not funny-they are obvious and boring. I realize that for many of you out there, Halloween has become Slut-oween and you just can't wait to play out your long held dream of being a pole dancer but I'm asking you, as a fellow female, to think about what kind of message you are sending about ALL of us when you choose to wear something so completely devoid of imagination.

If you are super attached to the idea that Halloween needs to be Show-some-skin-oween there are still plenty of options that will at least show the world that you put a little thought into your costume beyond "what would a porn star do?" I'd rather see 1000 Wonder Women costumes than one more cleavage bearing nurse. At least Wonder Woman has serious super powers right? Not just the ability to attract men using a naked upper thigh. I am not advocating pioneer costumes for all, observe for instance the ladies from the apparel department here at work:

Still attractive, still feminine. But also creative. And awesome. Girls that are more Project Runway than The Real World Las Vegas.

Ladies, let's stop being the props in the Girls Gone Wild version of Halloween. Let's be the kind of sexy that is smart and strong and confident. Let's give the men some credit that while they might get a short-lived rush out of a half naked "teacher", the good ones just really want to see you show some personality.

the girl getting laughs in the frog costume

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Afternoon Diversion

I've done this before but my brain is frozen right now and I need something creative to thaw it out a little bit. So I'm going to play that, "press shuffle on the iPod and talk about the next 10 songs no matter how embarrassing they might be."

1. Aeroplane-The Everybodyfields
What a relief that I get to start off with something GOOD. I got this song off some music blog because they promised if I liked Ryan Adams I would like these guys. Turns out the blog didn't lie. I love a good boy/girl harmony and I REALLY love a beautiful melody. I suggest you head over to that My Space page I linked and check them out.

2. Sunrise-Simply Red
Corey put this on her Valentine's mix this year and I became OBSESSED with it. Like put on repeat 10 or 12 times in a row several time a day kind of obsessed. I can't explain it, nor can I explain how much Simply Red I now own because of it. The chorus feels like it should run over a montage from some movie in the 80's where the heroine finally decides to grow a spine and get the job/throw out the man/be the best she can be. I love it.

3. Muzzle of Bees-Wilco
My little brother calls this the prettiest song on earth. Wilco can do no wrong as far as I am concerned and this song really is the kind of thing that will inspire you to lie in a hammock with a hot boy on a perfect autumn evening. Or something. It's not like I have thought much about it.

4. Can I Stay-Ray LaMontagne
Funny that I mentioned him in yesterday's post. It was at that show that I first heard this song. LaMontangne had asked them to turn out the lights early on in the show because it was hotter than Hades in the venue and he didn't want them shining on him. So it was dark and he sang really softly and then I couldn't find the song ANYWHERE for about a year. By the time I did find it I would have paid anything to get it so good job there Ray.

5. Heavenly Day-Patty Griffin
If I could steal the talent of one female musician, it might be her.

6. Wait for You-Nelly Furtado
I have a healthy, healthy love for Nelly Furtado. I think her lyrics are really smart and authentic and I appreciate how much she experiments with her style. Some of it is more commercial than others but I get a sense that she still just does what she wants.

7. Dashboard-Modest Mouse
I resisted listening to Modest Mouse for years because they seemed like the epitome of indie snob music. Then someone put 3rd Planet on a mix for me and it was like I woke up from a dream where I was dumb enough not to like something for artificial reasons. Thanks the heavens.

8. Good Life-Kanye West
I hate Kanye West. He's such a whiny, egotistical, self-important jerk. I wish that meant his music wasn't very good but it is. It really is. And I sort of like how much hometown pride he has for Chicago. Because Chicago doesn't get enough credit for being a fantastic city.

9. Everlasting-Remy Shand
I don't know why this is still in here. Reminds me of someone I don't need to be reminded of. But now I know I need to delete it.

10. Wedding Song-Andy Stochansky
Oh my gosh! I forgot this was in here! This is such a gem of a little song. I discovered this guy from the Felicity Soundtrack (shut up!)years and years ago. It's a tragedy that his album "Five Star Motel" didn't get more notice. Anyway, when I was living in Boston my sister Emily came to visit just after my 28th birthday. She had made me a CD called "22 looks at you" which was perhaps one of the sweetest collections of songs ever. I love what a bunch of songs can tell you about the way someone sees you. I knew right about I would love this song... "dark eyed girl, this is your're not invisible, sometimes the world's upside down, you feel like you're drowning, you feel like you've gone too far." I guess that looks sort of cliche when it's just written but that's where music gets a free pass I suppose. The melody and the way a lyric is sung can take it from "ew!" to "ahhhhhh". I often lament the fact that I have not a musical bone in my body so my cliches have to lie there and look like the lazy writing they are.

That's ten. Number 11 is New Edition so I'm all for quitting while I'm kind of ahead.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Reasons Why

I've seen Rachel Yamagata live twice-once when she opened for Ryan Adams and once when she opened for Ray LaMontagne. She seems like she might be the kind of girl you think is really awesome when you meet her but then she turns out to be kind of crazy. There are more of those out there than you think-of both genders.

But her music is another story. I have listened to this song about one million times and I'm still not tired of it. Letting go of someone you don't want to lose plain old sucks and I think this song does a pretty spot on job of capturing the way it feels.

Reasons Why
Happy Monday.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Time Machine

Sometimes the universe feels your pain over turning 31 and gives you a weekend that makes you feel like you are still pretty young after all.

Friday night my friends Nikki and Darren got married and their reception was brimming with people I hadn't seen in ages. There was a surprise appearance by a good Salt Lake friend and all kinds of people with babies and spouses I hadn't seen in a long time. A whole slew of us ended up going to a movie afterwards and then I slept until an obscene hour the next morning. If I ever have offspring, I hope hope hope they will get my sleeping gene. If I end up with a bunch of morning people in my house I will be so disappointed.

Then last night I got talked into going to the church Halloween party. By some lucky stroke of fate, it ended up that a lot of my favorite HB people made appearances. It sort of felt like I had dropped into a party in 2003(a stellar year in k8 history), complete with late night trip to Harbor House. It managed to soften the blow a bit of going to the new old people's congregation today. (I might have cried a little bit when I asked the bishop for the form to move my records, but that is a post for another day. Or not. I'm really trying to have a good attitude about this.)

So this is a little bit of Halloween 07:Back to the Future Edition.

Good times.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Wow, so it turns out you really DO start falling apart in your thirties.

In the last 48 hours I have thrown out my back, gotten a root canal and fitted for more crowns than I would like to talk about.


But sometimes getting older makes you is the case with some good friends who just had their first baby. In an unusual twist, Daddy has been doing most of the blogging about their new arrival and he is not only enormously entertaining but also really good at gently tugging at your heart without veering off into cheesy. His post
yesterday was particularly nice.

Have a good weekend folks!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fall in Line

My sister sent me her annual Fall compilation CD yesterday and as usual, it's really good. There are quite a few standouts but this one in particular has captured my current mood.


My horoscope last week said "you don't need a change of scenery, just a change in faces." I have been feeling terribly restless lately and I think it's because I am coming up on 24 months of being back in California. I haven't been anywhere much longer than two years since I graduated from college nine years ago. So I'm sort of used to having some new adventure on the horizon around this time. But there isn't really anything I'm dying to change on my job or living space front so I'm just left with this general feeling of, "is this it?"

Is it?

Unreasonable fears

1. Spiders
2. Sirens
3. Santa Ana Winds (this one is new)

As many of you know, Southern California is on fire. I spent the day trying to joke one of my coworkers out of worrying about his house in Lake Arrowhead that may or may not still be standing and there was nothing he could do about it.

I'm not normally afraid of wind. Or any weather really. But just like a really loud clap of thunder, or a big big black dag getting a little too close to me, certain things can take me right back to being a little scaredy-cat third grader who was worried about pretty much anything big or loud. The Santa Ana's blew hard last night and they woke me up every few hours with a vague sense of panic. As if they were blowing in Armageddon or something. Even as I was leaving my office today I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something ominous in the smoky haze outside. It was nothing a little socializing and trying a new pumkin cookie recipe couldn't shake but here I am again, alone late at night with the winds raging outside my window.

I kind of wish my parent's room was down the hall.

Friday, October 19, 2007

La Ti Da

It has nothing to do with crows feet, slowing metabolism or the need for more sleep-a sure sign you are getting older is what you choose to do with a couple of days off.

I have been a traveling maniac the last six weeks so when I left New York on Wednesday I asked my boss if I could take a few comp days so I could go back to actually having coherent thoughts again. I made a list of all the things I was excited to do with what feels like an obscene amount of time to myself. My 25 year old self would have been so depressed about my list.

2. Dry cleaning
3. organize bathroom drawers
4. get a haircut
5. blah blah more boring cleaning stuff

So that is what I did yesterday. I cleaned, I organized, I finally took some jeans I bought in JULY to be hemmed. My new living space philosophy is one I read in Real Simple a few months ago-"Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." I am a packrat by nature and I hold on to just about everything (there are 1098 email messages in my g-mail inbox if that tells you anything.) I just can't part with anything that might have a shred of meaning. I did a major closet overhaul a few weeks ago and finally threw out a suit I haven't worn in FIVE years but have kept because it was my first grownup suit.

Anyway, except for a few hours of TV watching and lunch with a friend, I spent the whole day catching up on all the little tasks that build up when you are never home. And it was really, really nice. I have a couple little project to finish up today before another lunch date and a nice long run at the beach and then I will feel like all the garbage in my life is GONE. I can feel my younger self shaking her head that I didn't spend two straight days at the beach but she clearly doesn't realize how much better you sleep in a spotless house.

You feel like this.
The Icicles
(stolen from Mike's blog, I'm such a thief lately!)

Monday, October 15, 2007

I stole this from my friend's social networking profile. I'm in New York right now and although I've never seen anything quite this awesome on a subway, I kind of love that it's a possibility.


Sunday, October 14, 2007


The number is a little off but this song is going to be the theme for the coming year.

32 Flavors-Alana Davis

I was going to make a list of all the good things that had happened this year but then I got embarrassed about how much really has happened and how much I've been complaining lately. So I'll keep the list to myself and I'll read it next time I think I need to spout off about how rough it is to be a middle class, educated american with a good job, great friends and a nice family.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lucked Out

One thing for which I both envy and pity you gentlemen out there is the picking of formal wear. One the one hand, you are spared all the pain of trying on dress after dress after DRESS in search of something flattering and also sexy and also unique but also classy and age appropriate but not boring. Something that even when it looks good in the fitting room may end up being a complete flop on the dance floor. Connecting with a dress is at least as frustrating as connecting with a boy. However, it's tough to outshine the perfect girl to dress combo no matter how dapper your tux is.

Which leads me to today, and the task of finding a dress for a big fancy party next week in New York with our number one account. This is the kind of fancy party where they invite athletes and celebrities and hold it at a restaurant I only know from articles about P. Diddy's birthday bash. Clearly, my regular wardrobe is not equipped to handle this sucker. I've known about this party for six weeks but it's been six weeks of solid weekend travel for work and I haven't had a moment, or really a bank of patience, to get a dress. I am traveling again this weekend, don't shop on Sundays, and leave for NYC at 6:45 on Monday morning so today pretty much needed to be the day. This is when I love California and it's abundance of sketchy little shops that sell designer knock-offs at normal human prices. I am pleased and SHOCKED to report that I tried on exactly ONE dress in ONE store that fit like a glove and paid less for it than I will for lunches this week. I feel almost guilty.

So when the dress and I got home I downloaded a CD by a band called Lucky Soul-I posted their little gem "Ain't Never Been Cool" last week-and discovered to my complete delight that for the bargain price of $9.99, I just got myself 13 perfect little pop gems. Pop gems that happen to be the perfect companion to trying on my new dress and picking shoes and accessories and maybe just maybe pretending for a moment that I can sing just like Ali Howard. If I had one ounce of musical ability, I hope this is the kind of music I would write.

Here is the video for "Add Your Light To Mine, Baby." I dare you not to fall madly in love with this band.

And if that didn't do it to you, take this song, turn it way up and seriously, check and see if you even have a pulse because these guys are awesome.
One Kiss Don't Make a Summer

And so is my dress.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

30 Rocked

"Lemon if there are two things I'm certain of, it's that you will never finish that quilt and that you are not over Floyd."

So is it funny or sad or maybe both that the TV character I most identify with right now is the one who was glumly eating ham on an empty sound stage while wearing a wedding dress she bought on sale "just in case"?

I watched the 30 Rock premiere last week and although it was completely hilarious, it also reminded me that I'm turning 31 in five days and I'm completely terrified about it.

I love Tina Fey's character on that show. She has a great job, she's smart, talented, funny, respected by her boss and coworkers, but she's also kind of clueless and maybe a wee bit dramatic. I don't mind saying that I see some serious parallels between Liz Lemon and me.

In this episode, Liz has broken up with her super adorable boyfriend Floyd and is desperately trying to pretend she is totally over it. A trip to look for bridesmaid dresses ends with her writing staff finding her standing in her office in a wedding dress shouting "if needs be-I will marry myself!!". As I was watching the scene I thought, "Ok, so yes, she looks like a total loon right now but I think I know EXACTLY what she is feeling right there and I'm sort of afraid that given the opportunity, I might be in a similiar situation someday."

Like it or not, relationship status can often overshadow any other good things in our lives. Last year on my 30th birthday, my mother and sister were helping me pack for a week long trip that would take me to New York City for several black tie parties and PR meetings and then to San Francisco to meet up with some college friends and then run a half marathon. Mom and Emily had suprised me by coming to visit for my birthday and I had just said goodbye to the last of the guests at my super fun party where I laughed away the evening with a bunch of people I really love. But there I was, trying to figure out exactly how to fit 8 days worth of incredibly varied clothing into the suitcase, and sobbing, because I was 30 and single and the crush I had been nursing for a few months had proved that evening to be totally uninterested. I was at least smart enough to be terribly disappointed in myself for letting something so stupid and beyond my control cancel out the one million things in my life that were going right, but I'll admit that I did cry it out that night. By the next day I was laughing with a bunch of friend over dinner in Manhattan and back to feeling really at peace with my new stage in life. And the last year has bourne out my theory that my 30's were going to be just the beginning of all manner of new adventures.

Now 31 is roaring up and I'm finding myself a little worried. There is a very delicate line between, "I really do want to find someone to spend my life with and I think I'll be pretty sad if that doesn't happen," and, "I have a pretty great life whether or not I get married I have lots and lots to be thankful for." At 31 you start doing a little too much math and realizing that your baby-having years are fast disappearing and the pool of boys your age who share your religious leanings is getting shallower everyday. All of the sudden the idea of a grown women who is perfectly sane finding out her ex has a new girlfriend and then buying her dream wedding dress because it was on sale and trying it on at work and getting busted for being CRAZY seems less like thursday night on NBC and more like wednesday afternoon at my office.

So there it is. I'm not dealing well with this upcoming birthday and I'm actually OK with that. Because Liz Lemon is still funny and smart and successful and strong and capable and totally normal even if now and then she needs to sit on the sound stage in her $4,000 "ham napkin."

Friday, October 05, 2007


A sunny San Francisco afternoon, the Beatles blaring, indian takeout on the way, running into the new awesome in the hallway, friday night lights in and hour and a half and some quality time with the Kane's.

If only work travel was always this awesome.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Ok so yes, fishing through old emails can painful. It can also be awesome when you run across gems like this congratulatory message from seven years ago when I moved out of my parent's house and into my own apartment.

Look at our little girl. All grown up. I am beaming with pride. Let me
know when I can stop by and see the place and warn the neighbors about how
much you drink and how promiscuous you are. Have a nice day.

Yep, this is how the people who love me most talk to me. It's a wonder I'm not weirder.

Speaking of, this song is both awesome and rad. Give it a listen. I'm getting on another plane in 8 hours to watch the season premiere of Friday Night Lights in a secret location. Woot!

Ain't Never Been Cool

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fairweather Johnson

It's baseball playoff time and I'm thrilled that my Red Sox started off the series against the Angels with a big fat win.

My friend was lightly ribbing me today about being a bandwagon jumper seeing as how I only became a Boston fan back in 2004, the year the Sox won the World Series. My knee-jerk defense is that I was actually a Massachusetts RESIDENT at the time and as a Utah native, it's not like I was abandoning a hometeam in favor of the world champs. And frankly, I was an Orange County resident when the Angels won THEIR World Series and I didn't jump on that fan train so obviously, I'm pretty authentic.

So that's the knee jerk. But there is a deeper connection then just geography between the Sox and me. I only lived in Boston for two years but they were two really dramatic years. In October of 2004 I was in the midst of a massively disappointing boy experience and there was an undercurrent of sadness to much of that fall and winter. However, there were also a few budding friendships at that time, looking for an excuse to blossom. Although I had lived in a World Champion city before, nothing prepares you for playoff season in Boston. I am not exaggerating when I say that EVERYONE is watching baseball in October. Everyone at work, everyone at church, my roomates, strangers on the T, every bar, every restaurant, every small child-they all get Red Sox fever. So you almost have to be an anti-social fun hater not to join in. Add to the fever the feeling that we were SO CLOSE to a World Series the year before and all the talk of the Curse of Babe Ruth and the looooong drought since the last Championship and well, there is a reason they set the movie "Fever Pitch" in Boston.

So you take one sad little girl needing a major distraction, a collection of random kids all sort of looking for a group to join, and a team you seriously couldn't help but fall in love with and the stage was set for one amazing month. I watched games in crowded Irish pubs, in college sports bars, in living rooms, on restaurants televisions. I got text messages from friends who actually went to the games. Corey and I had tickets to a concert the night of the famous Game 4 against the Yankees. We watched a couple of innings before the show figuring the Sox were cooked, then ended up going to the show for one song and coming back to watch our boys pull it out in the 12th inning. I danced in Harvard Square under a full moon the night the Sox swept the Cardinals. And somewhere in the course of that month, a bunch of people I only sort of knew became close friends that I'm delighted to say are ALL still in my life.

I won't say that the World Series cured my sadness because it didn't. There were still lots of dark months ahead. But I will say that there was something almost magic about what the Red Sox did that year and I think that magic rubbed off on all of us a little. No one thought they could come back from losing three games to the Yankees. But Boston was covered in "BELIEVE" stickers. It was like some kind of athletic revival meeting everywhere you went. Those fans who had rooted for their team in vain for years and years and years were simply unwilling to give up. The Red Sox happened to be a really great team that year but I'm not going to discount the effect of the collective faith of an entire city on their ability to pull off a pretty miraculous comeback. If that series had been a movie, we all would have rolled our eyes at the improbability. But it did happen and for me, it was a nice reminder that even seemingly impossible situations can have really killer endings.

Furthermore, I think my little teaser forgot that it was the 2004 Angels-Sox series and the bi-coastal e-mail fued it inspired that was the genesis of OUR friendship.

So yeah, I guess I'm unabashedly on the Red Sox bandwagon.

Here is a cover of The Standell's "Dirty Water' by former Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo. Cameos by several other Sox as well and a bunch of fun references to great moments from the 2004 playoffs.
Boston, You're My Home!

Watch it

Word on the street is that the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty isn't moving any product. But I applaud them for addressing the way the beauty industry can affect women. This latest edition is probably my favorite.

I'm a girl who loves make-up, clothes, hair products, skin care and on and on and ON. But I'm glad I grew up in a house where there was equal, if not more, emphasis on smarts and hard work and being a productive member of society. I think my sisters and I turned out OK.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


You know what I love on a boring Tuesday morning?

A random, meaningless coincidence.

I was listening to the radio on the way to work today and an old Prince song came on. And I thought to myself, "I like this song but I wish it was 'I Wanna Be Your Lover' instead."

Then I stopped to grab some breakfast and when I got back in the car and switched stations, guess what was playing? My song!

I know, totally meaningless. And also kind of awesome.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Do not try this at home

I love email but here is one reason sometimes I also hate it.

Because rereading old emails can sometimes rip your heart right out.

Good thing I have this on the same computer.