Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year in Review


  • Pairs of shoes purchased: 5 (2 pairs of boots, purple suede flats, red driving shoes, and a pair for my Halloween costume)
  • Visits to 800 Degrees: at least 15
  • Voting propositions studied: 13
  • Afterparties crasehd/comedians met: 1 (Demtri Martin)
  • Most proud moment: March Madness Facebook ballot ranked #14 in the whole country
  • Netflix movies I liked: Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Monsieur Lazhar, First Position, Lemon Tree, Footnote, Katy Perry, The Queen of Versailles
  • Theater movies I liked: Moonrise Kingdom, Argo, Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises
  • Concerts: 36 (why does that seem so low?!)
  • Races signed up for: 1
  • Countries visited: 4 (Mexico, UK, France, Italy)
  • Trips to Phoenix: 6
  • Nights camping: 1 (my annual quota)
  • Books: My list says 11 (that also seems low).
  • Times I read the Book of Mormon: 1
  • Magazines subscriptions: 6
  • Friends added on Facebook: 67
  • New things tried: Polo, abalone porridge, turning off all electronics at 1030pm 
  • Boys kissed: 2.5
  • Boys I didn't kiss that I should've: 2 (maybe)
  • Photos taken: 10,676
  • Trips to Disneyland: 13 (I think)
  • Blog posts written: 195
  • Trips to Utah: 3
  • Easter Eggs found: 13
  • Computers broken: 1
  • New Years Resolutions made: 3 (more on that later)
2012, you were pretty good.  2013, I think you might be good. Great, even.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Musical Monday

Caught Mercury Prize winners, Alt-J, a couple weeks ago and I definitely enjoyed their Dr Dre/Kylie Minogue cover.


Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

LA Eats and Eats

A few weeks ago the lovely Ms Carol came to LA, and I'm so happy we had a chance to catch up on lots of things that have happened since our DC days, over several amazing meals at spots that have been on my must-eat list for awhile.

Thursday night we snagged reservations at Michael Voltaggio's Ink, which is one of the best new restaurants in LA. We skipped the prix fixe menu and ordered a variety of things from the menu.  I'm glad we did.

We started with the ham and manchego biscuits with almond butter.  Remember how I love Spain and Spanish food?

I'd read  several reviews that said to order the carrot dish, and it came out steaming cold with coconut ice and cardamom soil.

Lots of pork here - pig ears, brussels sprouts, apple.  I have to order brussels sprouts if they're on a menu.

I'd also read that the corn porridge was a must-order.  It comes topped with homemade ranch doritos.

There's the chef!  We had a good view from our table, and Carol managed to sneak in a few words to him when he came outside as we were leaving.

Pork belly with pork rinds, charcoal oil, and petrified yams.

Dessert tasted like you're eating a fire.  Roasted apple, caramel, walnut with burnt wood ice cream.  So interesting in your mouth.

That's only meal number one of four!

As I walked back to my car down Melrose, I realize that Ace of Cakes, Mr Duff himself, has opened a cake shop on a corner.  Super cute place, looks like a lot of fun decorating your own cakes.


Meal two with Carol - downtown brunch at Baco Mercat.  It's definitely on my favorites list now, and I hope to return soon.  We had our waiter order for us, cause we're adventurous like that.  He didn't steer us wrong.

Remember how I love brussels sprouts?  Carol does, too.  Strong flavors with anchovy and pecorino.  Also had the hamachi crudo with avocado and a cheese fritter.  Delicious.  Doesn't it just look beautiful?


Our waiter usually encourages people not to split their signature bacos, cause they're too hard to cut up, but we wanted to anyway.  We had to try more things!  We had the 'toron' with oxtail hash, cheddar, horseradish and pickle.

I usually don't order dessert but I'm glad that Carol and I did for every meal.  We had two here: an apple crisp with ice cream that was really good, even though I don't love warm apples (yes, this means I don't care for apple pie - I'm not American) and a banana creme rice pudding that was alright.


Quick break for a sky picture - the sky was really, really orange one night.  Very strange.

Saturday night we went to Chego with Collin.  It's delicious and close to home, and since I've been there a few times, I didn't take photos.  But Carol did.

Sunday night dinner - Son of a Gun, since we couldn't get a reservation at Animal.  Carol took a few more photos here.

We started with a kale Caesar salad with walnuts and then trout crudo with peppers.  I'd been a crudo kick that week.  Then came the fried chicken sandwich with a spicy slaw.  I've really come to love the right kind of slaw over the years.

More pork! In cheek form, with cauliflower.

Dessert - frozen lime yogur with a toasted meringue.  Small, but tasty.

Later that next week, Darryl was in town again for work and we met up for a late dinner.  I still had to try Pizzeria Mozza, and after a bit of a wait, the hostess ushered us into the private dining room with only one other couple.  Score!  I sort of fell in love with our waiter that night, too.  He was charming and friendly, and full of delicious recommendations.

We had to start with some meatballs.


A bruschetta with burrata, Swiss chard, onion, and balsamic.  Delicious.

Crispy goat cheese (yum) with lentils.  So good.

Some cauliflower dish.

At this point we were getting full, and the pizza hadn't even arrived.  It had to be re-fired twice, so we got some fried little balls to tide us over while we waited.

Finally, the fennel sausage, red onion, and scallion pizza.  Great recommendation, I'd get it again.

After all that food, I was full for a week.  So happy I got to cross a few places off my list and find some favorites. LA, you've got some more things for me to love.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Musical Monday

I've liked Foals for a bit now.  New album out next year, and I'm already digging this track.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Musical Monday

I really enjoy the Blogotheque and of course, I love Local Natives.

The good stuff starts around 1:30 and the instruments slowly build in and it's lovely.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Off to the Common Inbox!

Remember how I have a common name and snagged that common name on Gmail and how I get a lot of email intended for other people with that same name?

Usually I write back and say - hey, you've got the wrong Lauren, hope you find the right one! and then sometimes I point them to my blog links that show that plenty of other people have done the same thing.

Well, one of those mistaken email senders told their intended recipient Lauren about my blog posts, and she wrote to me a few weeks ago, curious to read about it.  Funny!  We may actually meet up soon, since the intended recipient Lauren and the mistaken sender actually live near me.  When schedules allow, I wanna make that happen.

I realized that it's been over a year since I updated these types of posts, so let's dig through the inbox for some gems, shall we?  Here are previous posts, to refresh your memory:

Part I - http://drpepperchica.blogspot.com/2006/07/sorry-think-youve-got-wrong-one.html
Part II - http://drpepperchica.blogspot.com/2008/10/sorry-youve-got-wrong-personagain.html
Part III - http://drpepperchica.blogspot.com/2011/01/make-it-stop-already.html
Part IV - http://drpepperchica.blogspot.com/2011/09/little-visit-to-my-mailbox.html

My car is in pieces somewhere in a repair shop.

Apparently I have a South African lover?

I'm a crazy coupon lady!!

I'm trying to get rid of my apartment.

I'm going to Hawaii this month!!


I don't even know what this means.....but the sender's email address is cracking me up.  

I want to teach kindergarten!

I got a meeting invite to interview for a job.

My dad has a new email address.

Back to my car being in pieces, I guess I had a good enough wreck and my license is going to be suspended!





Thursday, December 06, 2012

Welcome, November.

Can you tell I'm out of original titles for blog posts?  Yeah...not so good with that.

November was a pretty stellar month with lots of good meals. Started off one night at Plan Check, which had been saved to my Foursquare bucket list.  After a service auction, a couple people rounded up for a late night meal.  

I think Nathan and I ordered a little bit of everything, and when more people joined the table, we sampled from their plates, too.  That smokey fried chicken was great.  Pickles, the burger special, waffles fries, etc, all well done.


Good friend Scott from high school left his NYC abode to work/act on a cruise ship for several months, and for his last week in town (actually more like 4 hours in Long Beach), I drove down for a quick brunch to catch up. I picked him up at this Seafarers' Center.


Then I rushed home to greet X10 who was staying at my house for the night, after being in town for a funeral that we had both attended the day before.  Sad reason to meet up, but I'm glad I got to see him.  We hit Malibu shores for that night's sunset.




This year at work I've done a lot with online shopping, and as you can see, it has affected my personal life (and my bank account).  Online is sooo much easier, especially with LA traffic.  I think I'm a convert.  

I voted!  At a synagogue!  Yay democracy and America!

Election party drinks - gotta keep it neutral.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Links I Like

Some links I like lately:

  • Did you know that you can get text messages from NASA that tell you when you can see the International Space Station in your sky?  I just signed up!
  • Next time you're in NYC, go visit an apartment building from one of these favorite TV shows. To this day, I have still never seen a full episode of Seinfeld....
  • I had some good laughs looking at the past - things from the 90s that we thought were sooo cool.  Lamesauce.  I totally had that Aladdin game.  
  • This guy tried following everything that's trendy, according to the NY Times.  We're talking British slang, numerous pillows, gap teeth and man buns and man waxing.  Ouch!  




Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Cars Land!

Cars Land opened at DCA this summer and I avoided the crowds for as long as I could.  Surely by November it wouldn't be so crazy?  Time to go!  As we speak, I'm there again...

The whole entrance to the park is great.


Carthay Circle - fantastic looking restaurant - I'll have to eat there next time.

To the main attractions, down Route 66!



We had to kill some time waiting for a couple people, so I finally toured the sourdough factory.  I love carbs.



To the big ride - Radiator Springs.  I'd heard the lines were horrific.  Sure enough, the main line was 90 minutes or so.  People - get in the single rider line!  Or please don't.  It was 20 minutes, max.  And we all ended up going at the same time.


Life-sized air hockey!



This ride is even prettier at night.  It really does transport you to another land.



This ride is so good, we tried to go back after dinner.  And lucky for us, the single rider line that had briefly closed, was opening up again right as we walked up.  Five minute wait, people, five minute wait.



Definitely a job well done.  DCA and Disneyland, I'll see you at least two days this week, maybe three!

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...