Tuesday, December 30, 2008

LION!

Steve and I spent Christmas Eve in Las Vegas. I surprised Steve with a bottle of champagne waiting in our room when we arrived. After we finished the bottle, we took a shuttle to the MGM and wandered around. This was the first time Steve had been inside the MGM so I took him straight to the LION exhibit. Here is what we did at the exhibit:





Steve really wanted a cigar to enjoy while sipping on his Bud and meandering around the casinos and of course there was an entire cigar shop right in front of us. Only in Vegas. We walked around New York New York and the Excaliber, and ate dinner at The Rainforest Cafe. After a few dollars wasted in the slots, and several $7 beers, we called it a night and took a taxi back to the good ol' Doubletree to get some sleep for our early flight to Bozeman on Christmas morning.

We decided that we need to go back to Vegas for a whole weekend. It's only about $60 round trip from Santa Maria and less than an hour flight. Why didn't we think of this before?!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Twenty Six

My twenty-sixth birthday was a perfect day. I slept in until about 11:00. Steve went downstairs to get me some coffee, but instead surprised me with strawberries and raspberries with Nutella chocolate dip and a lovey card. I opened presents from my mom (which I stared at for over a week - I have so much self control, don't I?), and let me just say - I have A LOT of shopping to do! Wahoo! :) Then we took a bike ride downtown and walked around, shopped a little, and went home for lunch. Napped, relaxed on the couch, and got ready for dinner.

We made a reservation for a seafood place on the water in Morro Bay. When we arrived, the entire place was empty and the host informed us that the kitchen was closing down. WTF?! It was 8:00 on a Saturday night! We walked out and the host came running after us saying we could stay if we wanted to and the kitchen would wait. Wahoo! So, we had the entire restaurent to ourselves, with a view of festive boats, all lit up for Christmas. I got filet mignon (had to!) and enjoyed the meal by fireside.
After dinner we went out for a drink at Vienni Vai. Steve told Giovanni it was my birthday, and he came out with a big piece of Tirimisu and a candle and sang happy birthday to me :) It was soo cute. It was the perfect night to go with a great day. Thank you all for the birthday love. You made me feel so special.

Steve and I will be flying to Las Vegas on Christmas Eve, spending one night and then flying to Bozeman early Christmas morning for a few days. We are SO excited! (and a little nervous about flying in this weather!!) But, really - Christmas is about spending time with family and loved ones, so no matter how hard it is to get there, you should try because the holidays don't mean much without love.

For New Years I am making time to see my Heather bug in Santa Cruz. We've tried every year to get together and I refuse to meet at the In-and-Out Burger parking lot for 5 minutes in the rain again like last year. I mean, how pathetic and rude am I to even suggest such a thing?! So this year, we decided we are going to SPEND time TOGETHER. When there are hundreds of miles between friends, it is easy to just forget about how meaningful that relationship is. But, Heather is one person I could never forget about. :) Sometimes you have to decide who is most important in your life, and keep those relationships alive. It's always difficult to share time between families, boyfriends, girlfriends, relatives, and friends, especially with limited time off work. It is impossible to go everywhere and see everyone, but if you do it right, and most importantly, you do what makes you happy, then no one will get their feelings hurt.

Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Liter Beers and Holiday Cheers

I don't want to say too much about work on here, but we had a great time at the Christmas party, including COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET! Yes, we did it!! After almost two years :) And no one cared. Duh!


Oh, and I won a Nintendo Wii!! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Peace on Earth

A birthday gift from my aunt



PEACE ON EARTH

make a wish and put on this necklace
let it be a reminder that peace is within our reach.
the time has come to spread harmony throughout the world.
if we all work together, we can make it happen!

 Dogeared jewelry. 


(also, I need to dust?!)

Friday, December 05, 2008

MANhair

Steve has the best hair of any man I've ever known. It can do anything you want it to do, and it even does fun things all on its own. See?



Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving Used to be Easy


This year, I cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner for 4, on my own! It was quite the challenge trying to figure out how much to make, what to make, and how to make it! Thanks to my mom for all of her patience and help...I probably called her about 500 times during the week with questions and she saved me when I nearly had a panic attack at Vons scouring the aisles for water chesnuts and Knorr Vegetable Mix. Anyway, the dinner came together perfectly and my guests were very happy.

Since Steve doesn't like very many veggie dishes, I had to be creative coming up with something to serve besides a salad. So I put together a fruit and veggie appetizer spread with fresh veggies, dip, guacamole and tortilla chips, cut up apples, pears, and raspberries, and spinach dip served with a warm baguette.


The main course was a 12 pound turkey stuffed with my mom's homemade stuffing (with apples!), garlic mashed potatoes, gravy (made by Steve's mom), cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls. We had TONS of left overs which was good because one of my favorite things of all time is warm leftover turkey sandwiches smothered in gravy.


For dessert, Steve's mom baked a homemade berry pie. I usually don't like pie, especially the crust (unless of course, the crust is made from crushed Oreos), but this crust was amazing. It tasted like cookies. So, the pie was incredible, and Steve and I were left with 3/4 of it for leftovers :)

So there you have it - little me, hosting my very first Thanksgiving Feast. I actually had a blast preparing everything and I learned a ton! Hopefully next year I can cook Thanksgiving for my family! :)

Thanksgiving Used to be Easy

This year, I cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner for 4, on my own! It was quite the challenge trying to figure out how much to make, what to make, and how to make it! Thanks to my mom for all of her patience and help...I probably called her about 500 times during the week with questions and she saved me when I nearly had a panic attack at Vons scouring the aisles for water chesnuts and Knorr Vegetable Mix. Anyway, the dinner came together perfectly and my guests were very happy.
Since Steve doesn't like very many veggie dishes, I had to be creative coming up with something to serve besides a salad. So I put together a fruit and veggie appetizer spread with fresh veggies, dip, guacamole and tortilla chips, cut up apples, pears, and raspberries, and spinach dip served with a warm baguette.


The main course was a 12 pound turkey stuffed with my mom's homemade stuffing (with apples!), garlic mashed potatoes, gravy (made by Steve's mom), cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls. We had TONS of left overs which was good because one of my favorite things of all time is warm leftover turkey sandwiches smothered in gravy.

For dessert, Steve's mom baked a homemade berry pie. I usually don't like pie, especially the crust (unless of course, the crust is made from crushed Oreos), but this crust was amazing. It tasted like cookies. So, the pie was incredible, and Steve and I were left with 3/4 of it for leftovers :)
So there you have it - little me, hosting my very first Thanksgiving Feast. I actually had a blast preparing everything and I learned a ton! Hopefully next year I can cook Thanksgiving for my family! :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tore

Just to show you what kind of nights Steve and I have, here is a short video of Steve after our drunken night at the Of Montreal show in San Francisco. I took this video in our hotel room before going out in search of pizza. All night long, Steve kept saying, "we are so tore" so I tried getting him to say it on camera because it sounded really funny. Oh, and sorry that the video is sideways, but I couldn't figure out how to rotate it...so if anyone knows how, let me know! :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

Steve and I went to San Francisco last weekend to see Of Montreal and visit with Jillian and Chris. The weekend was full of my favorite things: romance, music, and weird people. Before dinner on Friday, we enjoyed a wine reception with live music (an awesome keyboard player with a side job as the front desk employee). We went to dinner at our hotel restaurant, Saha. It had amazing ambiance, great service, and the food was incredible. We shared a bowl of lentil soup, a crab stuffed artichoke, and chicken skewers, merguez and kofta (lamb and beef). YUM YUM YUM.

The show was kooky and wild, but the musicians are very talented and it was one of the better shows I've been too. The lead singer had his body painted red, dressed as a satyr, threw mashed potatoes into the crowd, and was joined onstage by tigers, egyptian men, cowboys, dinosaurs, wild boars, and ninjas, and finally ended up prancing around the stage in his underwear.

I can't even count how many bevs we drank that night, but we were in dire need of some carbohydrates to suck up all the alcohol. With a pit-stop at the hotel, we made our search around the city blocks for something good to eat. PIZZA BY THE SLICE! It was the best pizza we ever had. And thank god for that pizza because otherwise we would have spent all day Saturday in bed.

Saturday, Jillian and Chris picked us up and we went to Pier 39 for lunch at Bubba Gumps. We browsed the shops, Jillian got her tarot cards read, and Chris and Steve ate fart candy and belch powder from the local magic shop. We walked around the Fisherman's Wharf looking for Bush Man, but only found the silver robot dancers and homeless people with signs that said, "I'm not gonna lie - I want some beer".

Saturday night we were heading down to Union Square for dinner and ice skating, but were unexpectedly taken off course when a homeless guy asked us if we wanted him to show us to a great restaurant. I do not know why on earth we decided to follow this guy. He kept blabbing about having gone to USC, and that Vacaville is full of rednecks, and that SF is just a bunch of yuppies. Meanwhile boogers were oozing out of his nose, and his water bottle full of beer was becoming empty quickly. After about 20 minutes of walking through Union Square we made it to an Italian restaurant where he told us to eat and then asked for "a tip" for showing us such a great place. We didn't even want to eat there and he pretty much wasted our night, so we begrudgingly gave him a few bucks and tried to get him to leave us alone. 10 minutes later he was still talking our ear off. Finally, we acted like we were going inside the restaurant so he would leave.

Sunday Steve and I went to IKEA before heading home. We got a new tv stand for our new tv!! (We're trying to get a good deal on Black Friday) IKEA rocks my world.

Anyway, San Francisco was just what I needed. A nice weekend getaway with time to play, relax, and just have some fun. This week, Steve's parents are coming for Thanksgiving and I am cooking us a T-day dinner!! Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Memory

Happy Birthday to my brother Ryan who shared a birthday with my grandma Ladonna who would have been 69 years old today. I just want to take some time to remember a few things about my dearest grandma who passed away three years ago:
  • She always said that I should NEVER ride on a scooter because they are so dangerous and you won't be able to get out of the way quick enough. Every time I see someone riding one, I think of exactly that.
  • Whenever my grandpa would say something silly or stupid, or if he was being stubborn she would say, "Oh, Roger!" 
  • In the summer, my brother and I would go visit her in Lake Havasu and she would always make us chocolate malts and stock the freezer with snickers ice cream bars.
  • If we were visiting during St. Patrick's day, she would make green 7up and gave us cool green visors to wear.
  • She taught me how to color and would always spend time coloring in Suzie Zoo coloring books with me. I thought she was the most talented colorer in the world. 
  • I saved one of her last letters to me because whenever I read it, it makes me feel good. It says, "Dear Jaime, the bad news is that I missed your phone call. The good news is that I've been able to listen to your message a number of times. You have a voice that brings a smile. I hope you will always give the gift of your sweet personality to those you love." I am so glad I kept her letters because then it seems like she is still here.
  • Miss you!!!!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Change We Need!!

Today is the day that America will make history. Go out and vote, no matter what side you're choosing because if you don't, you will look back at this election and regret not being a part of it!!
Besides votes for the President, it looks like the majority of people in California are either idiots, or they didn't read the full proposition.
I cannot believe Prop 8 passed. Marriage is a personal right. It shouldn't matter who is getting married, but that they love each other and want to be committed to a life partner. THAT is what marriage should be defined as. Those of you who voted YES should be ashamed. You just denied the freedom of your son, daughter, friend, grandchild, cousin, uncle - all moral, responsible, goodhearted, smart people. And, don't tell me, "well it says in the bible that marriage is between a man and a woman" because guess what? I don't believe in the bible. But hey, I won't ever be disrespectful or discriminatory and try to tell you not to believe in it. It's your life and has nothing to do with me. Just like Prop 8 has nothing to do with you.

And why is it necessary to spend millions of dollars on making sure animals who are raised for food are comfortable? Does a chicken really care if she can stretch her legs or make a 360 degree turn? Probably not. And if she did, then she is in the wrong business. Why would you try to improve the lives of animals that are destined to die? That's like giving death row prisoners a pillow top mattress, downy fresh sheets, and a cashmere uniform...you know, just to make their life a little bit nicer before they die. What a waste of money. I know, I know, its different because prisoners deserve harsh treatment, but THE BIBLE says that humans are supposed to eat animals. Don't you guys do everything that THE BIBLE says?!Here's the bottom line people - do you realize that this is going to cost farmers and dairies tons of money to implement? And guess what? WE are going to pay for it with higher grocery prices. Well done! Those eggs better be golden.

Lastly, did you even read the description of Prop 5? Or did you just see "Drug Offenses" and check NO? Well, it's too late now, but let me show you what it says:
A YES vote on this measure means:
  • Prevent crime and addiction with early intervention and drug treatment for youth;
  • Provide rehab, not prison, for nonviolent drug offenders;
  • Reduce prison overcrowding, saving $2.5 billion;
  • Keep violent offenders in prison; and
  • Free up billions for schools, health care, and highways
Wish you would have voted Yes? Thought so.

Anyway, enough of my rant. MOST IMPORTANTLY I want to say how proud I am to be a part of such a historical election and I am very excited to see what Barack Obama has planned. I have a good feeling about this and I think it's pretty obvious that that most of the country does too! YAY OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

They Have Awakened My Soul

    On Monday, October 27th at 9:30pm I had an out-of-body experience. I've been to a few excellent concerts in my life, but none have unraveled my emotions or liberated such fire from the depths of my belly to the center of my heart, quite like Death Cab for Cutie did last night.

    The first few songs they played were (surprisingly) from older albums. I was a bit worried that they would play most songs from their recent album, Narrow Stairs. Lucky for me, since I am a seasoned Death Cab fan, they chose a handful of older songs that could have been hand-picked by Yours Truly. (It's Fate!) In fact, the first surreal moment was when they played "Your Heart is An Empty Room", which is pretty much my Go-To song whenever I power up the Ipod. This song brought me comfort and Ben Gibbard's lyrics brought a sense of clarity and simplicity to my life:

    The flames and smoke climbed out of every window
    And disappeared with everything that you held dear
    But you shed not a single tear
    For the things that you didn’t need
    ‘cause you knew you were finally free

    These 5 lines of lyrics that I've listened to over and over are finally making their way to my tiny brain yelling, "JAIME! DO YOU REALLY NEED ALL OF THOSE SHOES?" Material possessions are fleeting! And immediately I get it! Thank you Ben Gibbard for setting me straight and forcing me think about life in a new way. Ever thought a concert could change your way of thinking? I know it all sounds sorta lame, but it really hit me.

    Anyway, the second surreal moment was when they started playing "We Laugh Indoors". Most of the audience probably hadn't even heard this song before last night, but when Steve and I first started dating, I locked him in my cottage and forced him to listen to Death Cab all day and all night and eventually brainwashed him into claiming a favorite. He calls it "Gwenevere", but regardless of the name, it is an amazing song with that build-up (you know, where it starts out slow and steady and then creeps up on you, and before you know it, you're jumping on the bed, shaking your ass, and singing at the top of your lungs?). This song has the power to draw me into its depths to escape my troubled thoughts.

    So, obviously, 15 minutes into the concert and I'm like a hyper teenager screeching for more! MORE!!! GIVE ME MORE DEATH CAB!!! Oh, and did they! Not only was the sheer power of each and every beat making it's way to my inner core, but the lyrics were making my mind dance and the movement on stage was causing my eyes to bulge with excitement! Chris Walla, a guitarist for Death Cab, is an insane dancer. He has these skinny legs that are like 10 feet long, and long shaggy hair that hangs straight so when he dances, his hair sorta vibrates up and down and side to side to the beat of the music. But, the best part about his performance is his crazy feet. I tried finding a video clip of his moves, but you'll just have to see it for yourself. You won't be disappointed. Next time I'm on the dance floor, look for the girl with the nutso feet.
    There were two more moments during the show that really moved me. As fate would have it, their last song was "Marching Bands of Manhattan". This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE Death Cab song so when I heard it begin my heart raced and I gave Steve this look like, "are you fucking kidding me?!" This song brought me to tears. But I didn't scream and holler. I just sat there silently singing along. Thinking of how simply wonderful this music is and how the song is more than just words and instruments.

    If I could open my arms
    and span the length of the aisle of Manhattan
    I'd bring it to where you are
    Making a lake of the East River and Hudson
    If I could open my mouth
    Wide enough for a marching band to march out
    They would make your name sing
    And bend through alleys and bounce off of the buildings

    I wish we could open our eyes
    To see in all directions at the same time
    Oh what a beautiful view
    If you were never aware of what was around you
    And it is true what you say
    I live like a hermit in my own head
    But when the sun shines again
    I'll pull the curtains and blinds to let the light in

    Sorrow drips into your heart through a pinhole
    Just like a faucet that leaks and there is comfort in the sound
    But while you debate half empty or half full
    It slowly rises
    Your love is gonna drown

    After much stomping, yelling, and squealing, they ended the show with a triple-song Encore, finishing off with "Transatlanticism" - the very song that got me hooked on these guys. I remember driving up Highway 1 for the very first time. I was by myself, listening to this song on repeat. If there is one song to download after reading this, it has to be Transatlanticism. Its poetic grace and soft notes build-up to a powerful climax that will leave you intoxicated and breathless. This is exactly how I felt during that drive on Highway 1, rounding the cliffs overlooking the ocean, teasing you at every turn. The perfect soundtrack for that drive. Monday night brought me back to that colorful place. Now, THIS is love.

    Set List (and videos!):

    Monday, October 27, 2008

    I LOVE Autumn

    Some good things:
    • Death Cab for Cutie concert TONIGHT!
    • $500 bonus from work for being so cool
    • Halloreunion in 4 days
    • Brisk weather!
    • Pretty pillows
    • Gummy worms
    • New clothes
    • Giant maps
    • People who can sew
    • Foggy nights
    • Tap shoes
    • Cocoa Krispies
    • Art projects
    • Edit: Sex in a Cup (Thanks Helya!)

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Hippie Sacks Galore!

    My friend Heather has been working hard creating new and improved Hippie Sacks! She has added new designs and colors to her line and the sacks will now have a Hippie Sack label and an inside pocket! She also created some really cute Hippie Headbands!! Go check them out!

    Hippie Sacks Hawaii




    I have two Hippie Sack beach bags and absolutely love them! They are perfect for taking on bike rides and putting groceries in and anything else I need for a day outside. The colors are vibrant, and the fabric is hearty and comfortable! I can't live without my Hippie Sacks.

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Deep Sea Bioluminescence and Octopi

    This video captures a unique perspective of life underwater. If you're interested in color change in the biological world, this is the video for you! It is simply AMAZING! (Video ~5 minutes)

    Note: The speaker talks about "bioluminescence, like fireflies" which is exactly what we use here at work for our products that give off light :)

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Lick Obama

    Have you ever wanted to lick Obama's face? Well, now you can!  Kai's Candy has created special political candies to help you express support for your candidate in a unique and fun way. After all, candy is much tastier than bumper stickers and buttons.

    The art on these traditional Japanese candies are simple, purposeful, and most importantly, comical!  Go take a look!

    www.kaiscandy.com

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    Shows!

    Two weeks from today, DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE! my most favorite band, is playing at Cal Poly and I am going! WHOO HOO! I can hardly wait. I missed the chance to go earlier this year when they were playing in Minneapolis, but didn't want to go by myself. This time, I have my sidekick to go with who absolutely loves them too. It's going to be amazing.



    In November, we are going to an of montreal show in San Francisco. It's going to be wild, quirky, insane, and probably a little bit spooky. But, oh my gosh, it's going to be quite the experience. They are playing in the Regency Grand Ballroom and HELLO! we get to spend the whole weekend frollicking around SF. What more could you want?!



    Thursday, October 09, 2008

    New Project

    Our dining room wall is completely blank, so I came up with the idea to get large prints of some of the photos I've taken over the past year, frame them, and hang them on the wall.

    Here are some ideas for the pictures. I need your help deciding which pictures are the best. Please practice your voting skills and vote for your top 6 choices in the comments:

    #1: Squirrel

    #2: Spikey Cactus

    #3: Artichoke Look-a-like

    #4: Symmetrical Succulent

    #5: Succulent blooms

    #6: Palm Trees

    #7: Miniature hens and chicks

    #8: Goat on a stump

    #9: Blue flowers

    #10: One-legged Seagull

    #11: Aloe Flowers

    Thursday, October 02, 2008

    Palin vs Biden

    The Palin vs. Biden debate is TONIGHT! Watch it! Here's a clip from Showbiz Tonight describing this event as "the best reality tv show". It's a long video, but if you are rooting for Palin to screw up tonight, you'll enjoy it.

    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Colorful

    And when I see you, I really see you upside down.
    But my brain knows better
    It picks you up and turns you around.
    Turns you around.

    If you feel discouraged
    When there’s a lack of color here
    Please don’t worry, lover
    It’s really bursting at the seams!
    Death Cab for Cutie ~ Lack of Color

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    The Perfect Weekend

    Helya came to visit last weekend and was my first official house guest since we've finally gotten settled. We had a wonderful, girly weekend. Finally someone to talk about boys with, someone to go shopping with, and someone who enjoys chick flicks as much as I do! Helya is a friend for life, and I don't know what I would do without her.

    After a late (10:30pm), and wild (two drinks) night out Friday we had to wake up early to go pick up my car that we left downtown - only to find out that I got a ticket anyway!! ROOAR! Since we were up, we went to Starbucks for breakfast and saw Craig T. Nelson, aka, "Coach"!! I couldn't believe there was a celebrity in our little starbucks, but he was a completely normal guy doing normal things like getting coffee at 9am. How cool though!!!!?? (this is what he really looked like - balding and glasses and regular dad clothes). Why am I so excited about this???

    We went on a bikeride downtown and Helya found her balance and did quite well! Except for the time she almost crashed into a parked car. Exercise AND entertainment - can't beat that! We went to Gus's for lunch, shopping, and to see the new Kate Hudson/Dane Cook movie..oh my gosh it was soo funny and so ridiculous. It was the type of movie that makes you embarassed for the old people in the theatre. Go see it! Without your mom!

    Other than that, we spent a lot of (glorious) time on the couch cuddling up with Bali's, Grey's, ANTM, and a few eps of Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill. HEAVEN! Absolute Heaven!

    Thanks for coming Helya. It was the best weekend ever and I can't wait to see you again!

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    Beauty + Brains = <3

    Today at work, I was reading C&E News (Chemical and Engineering News) magazine and there was an interesting article about a blog called The Beauty Brains that helps women untangle cosmetic myths. Apparently the site was developed by a group of women cosmetic scientists who wanted to answer beauty questions from a scientific perspective. Their goal is, "to help you cut through the confusing, misleading and sometimes false information that the beauty companies bombard you with."

    Yes, that's a potato.

    Another woman with a non-traditional science career (also noted in C&EN) describes her blog The Bird's Brain as "The world according to a hula hooping, TKD black-belt wearing, radio show producing physiologist with aspirations of science journalism". Her goal is to bring science to the masses in fun, engaging ways.

    YAY! These women are much more awesome than Sarah Palin.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    John Mayer

    Earlier this summer, my mom and I went to our second John Mayer concert in Marysville. We were going to see him at the Mid-State fair, but decided the expensive (and bad) seats weren't worth it, so I drove up to Sacramento where we had AMAZING seats.

    We got a couple of ice cold beers which warmed up immediately under the hot summer sun. But, the heat didn't stop us from having a great time. We also bought matching John Mayer t-shirts (which I tried finding online to show you because they are so damn cute, but couldn't find them anywhere) so I'll have to take a picture of me wearing it. I LOVE it. I wear it all the time - thanks mom!!

    The opening act was Brett Dennen, which in our opinion was much more entertaining than the lackluster Colbie Caillat. Although, I do applaud her for matching her dress with the set design, which was only slightly more interesting than watching her flirt with her guitarist boyfriend the entire time.

    John Mayer was even better this time than when we saw him a few years ago. His newly shaved head was hot, and he's learned to simmer down the awkward facial contortions. He played one of my favorite JM songs of all time, "Wheel", which absolutely made my heart melt. We were a bit disapointed that he didn't play "Stop this Train", but overall he did a great job of mixing in the old with the new. It really doesn't matter what song he sings, he's very talented and nice to look at, so we were happy either way. My mom knew neary every lyric to every song, which I found very impressive and awesome! As long as JM keeps making music, we're going to keep attending his shows!

    I took a few videos of the show, but I have to get them from my mom's camera when I go back to Montana. Unfortunatly I used up the memory card and battery during my filmmaking and only had a chance to snap a few photos.



    We even got a few with John Mayer himself!!


    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    Samba!

    We went to this new restaurant in downtown Madison tonight called SAMBA! It's a brazillian grill where instead of a menu, you're invited to gorge on a monstrous salad bar, featuring salad (of course), the best garlic mashed potatoes on the planet, grilled veggies (pretty much every kind you can think of), potato salad, rice salad, bread, cheese, curry, parmesan rolls, bean medley, and on and on and on and on, the options are endless. The main course was delivered by beefy men carrying even beefier swords. We were instructed to put a wooden club with the green (for GO!) side up and BAM! the meat-men appeared at the table immediately like moths to a flame. They each proudly carried their sword swathed with either chicken, duck, pork tenderloin, lamb, steak sirloin, flank stank, beef tenderloin, or sausage, and each swordsman would carve off a big juicy flab of heaven right onto your plate. I tried lamb for the first time and LOVED it. It's the perfect place to try new kinds of meat because you can ask for as little or as much as you want.

    Anyway, dinner was pretty damn awesome and the ambiance wasn't so bad either - besides the fact that I was dining with my boss and hired consultant whom I find revolting (at times). I managed to have a pleasant time, and enjoyed the live music, the decor, the awesomely flamboyant waiter, and of course my hazelnut Gelato.

    Oh yeah, and the fact that it was FREE!

    Ok, so being away on business isn't THAT bad.

    xoxo

    Monday, September 08, 2008

    Back in Madison

    I made it to Madison. We're going out for dinner soon - hopefully not German food. YUCK.

    Work all week - should be interesting and tiring, but at least I will have evenings to myself. I'm planning on going shopping for a dress to wear to the wedding next weekend.

    Anyway, just thought I'd let everyone know that I made it safely! Adios!

    Thursday, September 04, 2008

    A Poem


    There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
    There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
    There is a society where none intrudes,
    By the deep sea, and music in its roar.
    I love not man the less, but nature more.
    - George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

    Wednesday, September 03, 2008

    Slow Going

    I officially get the internet on Sunday, September 14th. Hopefully I get cable starting this Saturday, but I am not going to hold my breath. I have spent more cell phone minutes on the phone with Charter than with my mom this month, and I usually talk to my mom a LOT. In fact, she is probably wondering why I haven't had much time to chat lately - well, Mom, it's because I'm always on the phone with god damn Charter. I wish I could live without tv and internet - which I have for over a month now - but Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill are calling my name, LOUDLY, and I simply cannot go another week without the very latest in high school drama.

    My life is pretty much insane right now. I am flying back to Madison on Monday (which is a WHOLE different story) and coming home Friday, then driving to Stockton for a wedding on Saturday and staying the night. We are still spending evenings unpacking boxes, moving furniture around, and trying to get to the point where we can finally come home from work and lay down in front of the tv for 5 minutes. I can't remember what that even feels like.

    The good news is we managed to get half month's rent off from last month's debacle, which means we've only had to pay $2200 for two month's rent, which is a pretty damn good deal!! FINALLY something good is happening. Other than that, our condo is going to be so freaking awesome when it's completed. You MUST come visit and see for yourself.


    I am still promising to post pictures but I am waiting until the rooms are decorated. John Mayer and Labor Day will probably happen while I'm in Madison - trust me - I haven't forgotten!

    Friday, August 29, 2008

    Non-Stop Action

    I've been so busy this week with work that all I've wanted to do when I get back to the hotel is watch a little tv, surf the internet, and sleep. We leave at 3:30am, drive an hour and a half to Milkwaukee, fly to Phoenix, and then finally home at noon. I have a DMV appointment at 2:00, and then we hit the road for Tahoe. Phew, I'm going to be so exhausted by Monday.

    I promise I will post some more when I get back from Tahoe - John Mayer concert, before and after condo shots, and labor day weekend fun. Have a wonderful three-day weekend!! Summer is almost over, boo hoo!

    Thanks for voting in my latest poll, by the way. All THREE of you. Come on people, participate! Looks like we are going to the Beatles Tribute concert and then probably roaming around the casinos. Sunday, we might visit some beaches. Who suggested we go to the KISS concert anyway? Huh? Fess up! :)

    Thursday, August 28, 2008

    Thirty FIVE

    Today is my true love's 35th birthday. (Yeah, I know what you're thinking!) Anyway, I got him a card before I left for him to open when he woke up today since I wouldn't be there. The point of the card was to lead him on a scavenger hunt to find his present. It was the only way I could think of to surprise him with solo birthday fun.

    The card instructed him to go to the spare pillows in the linen closet to find his next clue. I used sticky name-tags (the ones that say HELLO!) to write the clues that would eventually lead to the prize. The linen closet clue read, "hi sweetie! Sorry there's nothing here, but go to the highest cupboard in the kitchen"...which led to, "dear Billy, you're almost there, but first you have to go to the pantry and find Rachael Ray." In the pantry he had to find the bottle of Rachael Ray's EVOO, and on the back of it was the next hint, "Oops! Nothing here either! You better go do some laundry instead". The next sticker was attached to the bottom of the laundry basket and it said, "You're getting warmer...but you might want to go look at my clean, pretty dresses and think of me". In my closet, he pushed aside my dresses to reveal the last clue stuck to the back of the closet wall with an arrow telling him to look to the left. On the floor in the back of the closet was a little succulent plant with a miniature "HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHAMP!!" balloon.

    He texted me after he found his present and said "GOT IT!! THAT WAS FUN!" Whoo, I am so happy he was able to follow my clues, and better yet, that he didn't find them Monday-Wednesday!

    Anyway, even though he doesn't read my blog, I'd like to say, Steve, I hope your day was even a little bit special. I know you spent the entire day in bed listening to the scrapes and bangs of the roofers, and dreading your first step towards that downward spiral staircase headed towards your forties. But, forget all that. I love you, even if you're old...because you have the face of a 20-something, a body built for nude still-life drawings, and a very young spirit. Pretty soon the painting, roofing, repairing, cleaning, unpacking, organizing, and settling will all be over and we will actually sleep, live, and breathe in peace. You are the most wonderful man in the world, and I am absolutely certain that you are going to be even more amazing at age 35 than you were at even 25. And most of all, I am very, very excited to get our cozy condo set up just how we like it and spend every day with you. In your words, it's going to be "hella fucking cool". I love you!

    Pop Deluxe!

    About to go to the coolest shop ever in downtown Madison. Pop Deluxe!

    Have I already told you about this store? I feel like I have, but that's because it's the greatest store ever.

    Saturday, August 23, 2008

    Quick Update

    We finished painting the living room/dining room finally! I've started washing all the dishes and loading up the cupboards. Tomorrow we finish bringing the furniture in and unpacking boxes. We have one dilemma: What type of bed should be put in the office? There's not really much room for my full bed in there, so I was thinking of a daybed instead. We also have a futon that is semi-comfortable. Should we do the daybed, futon, or squeeze the full bed? My vote is daybed, but then we really don't have a place for the futon. GRR!

    Monday morning I am flying to Wisconsin for work. I'll have internet access in my hotel room, so I will be keeping you updated then...maybe posting more condo pictures. I will be there until Friday, then Steve and I are going to Lake Tahoe to visit my dad for Labor Day weekend.

    Time to go order a pizza and relax this aching back!

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    Fingerpaint GREEN

    We finally started painting the living room last night. We picked out a color called "Wreath of Green". On the color swatch, it was a dark forest green. We were going to go even darker with a deep dark pine green, but decided we needed a little bit of brightness to it. Originally, I wanted to do an olive/sage green, but Steve said it reminded him of the army so he quickly vetoed that idea. Anyway, with the first brushstroke onto the white wall, that little bit of brightness turned into a LOT! of horrifying brightness. We called it "Pre-school green" and then as we brushed it along, it resembled "fingerpaint green" - you know, like when the crazy 5 year-old pointer finger is going nuts all over the white paper? That's what we had on our walls. At first, we talked ourselves into how "fun" and "wild" it would be (denial!) Then we sorta panicked and crossed our fingers that we would "get used to it". But, then, the more we painted, the darker it got. The white started to disappear, and our Wreath of Green emerged!!! Thank you, Green Paint Gods!

    So, here is a photo of an area with two coats, next to an area with one coat (especially the borders down at the bottom and fireplace). Also note my love letter to Steve - just trying to get in the spirit of pre-school walls. One more coat tonight and that should do it!

    Friday, August 15, 2008

    Declined!

    Last night, I stopped in at the Circle K Mini-Mart near my house for a couple of ice cold bevs. In line in front of me were two women with a little girl (about age 7) trying to buy a pack of cigarettes and a gatorade. They had a $5 bill and a credit card. The total bill came to about $6.50. The woman swiped her card, but to her dismay and confusion, the card was declined. The mini-mart worker asked her to swipe it again. Still declined. The two women looked at each other, shrugged, and said, "well, I guess we'll have to keep the cigarettes and put back the gatorade." One lady snatched the gatorade bottle out of the little girl's hands who looked up at her mom with complete sadness and horror, and pleaded, "why do I have to put it back?!" Well, little girl, it's because your mom is a total white-trash scumbag who doesn't have enough money to feed her meth addiction, and is in desperate need of a cigarette to hold her over while she scours the entire trailer for spare change.

    Poor kid.

    Faces of Meth - An informative website about Meth addiction and before and after shots of meth addicts when they were arrested, such as the woman below:

    Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    "Remodel" Update

    Yes, we are STILL painting. Still painting the upstairs. What's taking us so long, you ask? Well, a few minor things:
    1. Both S and I are perfectionists. Each line has to be perfect, there can't be any missed spots larger than a pin head, no smudges allowed on the baseboards, and definitely touch-ups during the daylight since we only paint at night.
    2. These rooms are pretty big, so taping every inch of baseboard, ceiling, and window is a chore in and of itself.
    3. Not only are we painting, but we are cleaning up years of filth. Wiping every baseboard, door, doorframe, closet shelf, light fixture (there's bugs in them!!), window sills, blinds (I don't think they've EVER been dusted), etc.
    See example of the filth passed down to us:
    It's been a week and a half since we first unloaded the Uhaul and Sunday night was the first night we slept in a real bed. Last night we painted both bathrooms, tonight we're prepping the upstairs hallway, touching up the bathrooms, and cleaning the kitchen floor. (We've been having to put on shoes just to walk to the fridge). Later this week we'll start on the entryway, and the living room as soon as we can decide on what shade of green to buy.

    This whole ordeal has really been trying on our relationship, but every night we still look at each other and laugh at all the crap The Universe has put us through in the past month. There's nothing that can tear us apart. The ONLY things we've been fighting about have been related to cleaning, painting, and moving stuff in. The only time I cried was last night when I smacked my face right into the shower door that was propped up against the wall. Fun times!!

    The good news is that I found my camera! I'll be posting before and after shots [hopefully] within the next two weeks. I'm also going to post some of the nastier photos we took for our move-in check list that we submitted to the property management. They're in for a treat with those.

    The other good news is that we're going to replace our old-fashioned electronic equipment with more modern technology. We're going to buy a stereo system with tiny speakers that controls the tv volume, the ipod, and plays DVD's, CD's, MP3s, and FM/AM radio. We're also going to buy a brand new flat screen LCD tv!! We've been shopping around looking for good deals and reading lots of reviews, but if you have any suggestions or advice, please comment!

    P.S. We've begun to realize how hard it is to have a normal day without some of the luxuries that are still packed away in boxes. For example, we haven't had internet or cable for two weeks - we're like the Amish! I haven't prepared a homecooked meal for a month or been to the gym so we're getting real FLABBY. But worst of all - I've been using BAR SOAP to wash my face!!!!!!!!!!!!! UGH! Oh, and I haven't shaven my legs in weeks! I am so unbelievably sexy right now. :)
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