Thursday, June 30, 2011

Make People Like You

Being on the road this week has left little time for blogging, though I have several draft posts started and patiently waiting to be posted.  Who knew that between work and lots of socializing with my dear AZ friends and family wouldn't let me catch up on Netflix and magazines and blogging?

I'm headed back to CA this afternoon to meet my brother and sis-in-law to enjoy the long weekend and find some fireworks.  So yeah, I doubt I'll get any blogging done then either!

But here, you mind find this useful. Sizing is kinda weird on here - I hope you can enlarge it.

Enchantment - Increase Likability

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Opening the Vault

Let's go back in time for a few minutes, eh?

I finally got a scanner as part of my move/work from home situation, and after packing and going through all my things, I unearthed a small photo album from high school.  Time to scan!

Most people who read my blog are friends from college/post-college life, so here's a little peak into my past, back before you knew me.  Don't worry - I'm prepared for any ridiculous comments you might have.
My high school really was like Friday Night Lights.  Live, breathe, die Pirate football.





Bon Iver Gorgeousness

If you only watch one music video this week, it should probably be this one.  I know, I know, I gush a lot about this band and some other ones too...

Holocene's been on repeat for the last couple weeks on NPR streaming, and I'm happily surprised to see Bon Iver play this live.  With a french horn!  And clarinet!



Ok, maybe you can watch this one too.

Friday, June 17, 2011

SYTYCD

Or prance, as MCB says.


So maybe I went to the live taping last night....

I got an email that seats were available about 30 minutes before seating started.  I rushed!  I made it!  It was fun.

I'm hoping to try again for the performances show over the results show, but hey. I'll take what I can get.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Trivia Mayhem

New town, new trivia venue - whoa, I was kinda worthless last night.

MCB and I headed out for trivia, unsuccessful in recruiting more team members (LA traffic really does prevent people from getting places on time), so the two of us showed up to the back room of the bar and clearly - we were the outsiders, the new people, the confused ones.

But soon all the regulars found us a table (there were none to be had and we were 30 minutes early) and bar stools and three other regulars welcomed us to form a team with them and voila!  We were in for a good, yet intense, two hours.

This pub quiz doesn't come from a master company that hosts multiple trivia nights around the country, no, this one was written by the long-time local trivia patrons, who've been through a vetting process and are deemed worthy of quizmaster status.  They rotate each week and all apparently have different question styles and topics, etc.  And not only are you answering questions (15 questions each half, 2 minutes per question first half, 1 minute per question second half), you are also completing a challenging handout during each half.  It could be a crossword puzzle, vocab quiz, etc.

Let's see how well you do:
Handout #1
You are given two of the following three - Song Title, Original Recording Artist, Cover Artist.  Fill in the blanks.


Handout #2
The residents of Boonville, CA, an isolated ranching and logging community in Mendocino county, speak a dialect of English that draws heavily from Scottish and Gaelic.  Match these Boontling words to the correct definitions.
I think I'll be back next week.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend Warrior

Finally, after completely dismantling and starting over three more times, my desk is complete.  I promise that I'm not a moron and have successfully assembled plenty of other furniture on the first try, though somehow this one was quite difficult.  The chair and file cabinet proved much easier, and voila!  I have a real home office area.  Looking forward to this upcoming week of having a dedicated space instead of my kitchen table!

Friday I saw Friendly Fires in Hollywood.  They rocked.  I danced.
Saturday I had a delicious ham, egg and cheese sandwich from a small bakery in Brentwood.  I really want to bump into Reese W there one day.
Saturday evening I had the craving for fondue, after reading that the Vitamix can make hot fondue.  I sadly had to return my aunt's Vitamix to her before moving to CA, but I feel a purchase coming on soon!  MCB and I spent the night in eating cheese and watching an intense German flick that I'd highly recommend.
After good church on Sunday, I looked like the Clampetts, helping MCB move to his new apt in Santa Monica.  His moving only took two car trips; we probably could've even made one.  Compare that to my large Budget truck that couldn't even hold everything. Mattress on top - no rope, just rolling down the windows and hanging on.  Easy.
Tomorrow night - The Civil Wars.  I'm sure I'll cry, it'll be so good.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

And breathe...

So happy to be in Cali now near Becca so we can resume workout nights, food, and bad tv.

I tried this at Yoga FHE.  I can barely move today.  It feels so good!

We ditched the usual sushi and had salads and cheesecake instead.
 And then we watched the masked man reveal himself - eh - and then witnessed the meltdown with Bentley's exit.  Thank goodness!
 I've missed the Bachelorette nights and now that Becca and I live close-ish, I think I have a new Monday tradition for the next few weeks.  We all need a little yoga and bad tv in our lives.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Farewell, Phoenix

Writing to you from my new home in Los Angeles - I still can't believe I'm a California resident. Well, not officially yet in the car registration and tax sense of things, but we'll get there.  So far, yeah, it's pretty amazing.

My last week in Phoenix was quite a good and memorable one for me, however.  I think I left in the best way and got to see most of the most important people that I've enjoyed during my AZ stay.  I'm over the days of throwing a party and inviting everyone I know to come over and bid me adieu.  Instead, a small series of events is the way to go.

My parents, brothers and sister-in-law flew in the weekend before I moved for my cousin's wedding to this super cute girl.  We started the celebrations with family reunion at a Macayo's somewhere - table for 17?

After stuffing ourselves with Mexican food, we crammed all of us into a hotel room to celebrate my aunt's birthday.  Grandma made a delicious cake, we had some ice cream and laughs, and then Grandma went into photo mode.
We seriously need to get her a new camera.  This one's probably a decade old.
Saturday was the big day for Clint and Alexis, while the siblings and I waited in the hot sun outside the temple.  Tanner clearly didn't get the sunglasses memo, as his eyes are closed in half of the day's pics.
Finally, they're married.  Congrats!
It's always funny to watch my parents around their siblings.  I think my dad gets funnier.  All the laughter makes me miss being around my family.
By the look on Tanner's face, my dad either just did something hilarious or is about to.
The reception had delicious Mexican food (I can never get enough) and a candy bar that I had helped set up earlier in the day.  Katie made an appearance at the reception and also probably in some of my family photos.
There goes my dad again, cracking up with his siblings and parents.  I often wish I could go back in time and watch them growing up.  I don't know how my grandma kept my dad and uncle in line.
Towards the end of the night, the grandparents had had enough of the loud booty-shakin tunes and wanted to get outta there.
I spent the rest of the weekend hanging with the family, ignoring all the packing that needed to be done at my house.  Priorities!  I also paid a visit to see my new cousin, and amazingly I even held him.  If you know me and babies, that is kind of a big deal.

On Tuesday was a stop at my dining farewell tour of Phoenix - The Windsor.  That town has some seriously good food, some of the best in the country.  I am slightly concerned about finding my Postino substitution out here.  Anyway - the food!  A southern slant, and everything sounded good.  I opted for the chopped salad with fried okra on top, Meghan got the brown bag chicken sandwich and we shared.  Shannon had the mixed grain salad, which also looked delish.  I am still dreaming about that chicken sandwich.  Amazing!
Dried tomatoes, toasted hazelnuts, avocado, goat cheese, herbs...the flavors were amazing.  Side dish of church potatoes.  Oh, wow.  I think I may try to recreate the potatoes this weekend  I had really hoped to eat at the Windsor a second time before I left Phoenix, and be assured that it's on my calendar when I'm back at the end of June.

The next night was my final trivia night - sniff!  I've really enjoyed going regularly, and thanks goes to this one for setting it up.  I've already looked for a good place to go here in LA and MCB reminded me the other day that both of us were on the academic bowl team together for a year in high school.  I guess I really am a trivia nerd.  We tried out a new venue, since we were sick of the food at another place, and while I found it a little loud since we were competing with TV, we still managed 2nd place.
Finally, moving time came.  My aunt, cousin and mom came over to help me pack and clean on Thursday night.  By late Friday afternoon, my place had gone from this:
to this:
Three long years in that apartment, four years in Phoenix.  It's kinda of strange to think about.  I had some good times and met wonderful people that I will miss.  Phoenix and I didn't get along well for a good part of the time, though it was good to me and for me, I think.

MCB flew into PHX on Friday evening and with the help of a few friends and my mom, we loaded up the truck and said adios to La Terraza.  We stayed the night in Mesa with my grandparents, and on Saturday morning, mom was off to the airport and MCB and I took off on our drive - me in the truck, him in my car.

The trip started out very well.  Little traffic, and the truck, despite being fully loaded in a tetris-like way (otherwise it would not have fit) was able to hit 70mph.  We stopped in Blythe for refreshment then kept going, straight into a crazy wind storm in the Coachella valley.  Eeek!  I really felt like the truck wasn't going to stay on the road, even though I dropped speed to about 45mph.  Semis put on their hazards and were going really slowly too.  I had to pull over into a gas station for a mental break and to psyche myself up again.  Not fun.  I had also planned to skip the shortcut by taking the 60, since it has a curvy mountain pass, but MCB told me to face my fear and do it, so I did.  6+ hours later, we pulled off I-10 onto Overland and watched the steeple of the temple guide me home.  Yay!

My new roommate (who I'd never met in person yet) was at work and left a key for me in the lockbox.  MCB and I unloaded all the small stuff then found a bacon avocado burger for dinner.

I managed to back the truck down our skinny driveway, leaving an inch to spare along the top.   I'd better get good at backing in; it's the only way to park at our apt complex.
The gas stove wasn't turned on for a few days, and heaven forbid I try to turn it on myself and blow something up.  We've been eating a lot of take out.

And I'm still living in the midst of boxes, even though I made friends with the cable guy and he took some off my hands for his own move.  
Oh, and here's the desk I put together completely backwards and upside down.  I'll fix it soon, I hope.
Met my new roommate, she's lovely, went to church, kinda strange, and am still living out of suitcases, but this is the life!  You can visit me anytime you'd like.  I'll try to get my things put away before then.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

This is Amazing

Thanks, Celisse, for showing this to me, and thanks, Mormon Child Bride for writing it!

If you watch the Bachelorette or have heard about Bentley, by all means, have a read.

Skop-meh and the good parts of Macedonia

We arrived back in Skopje after that early bus ride from Prizren, and while we had to check out of our Airbnb apartment that morning, we we...