Friday, May 31, 2013

Links I Like

Since I'm traveling and probably not blogging, here are some links I've liked lately.

  • Apparently I live in number one! Does this mean I should stay here?
  • Have you ever wondered how long it would take you to get to Mars? Well, now you can kind of know. 
  • I've read a few things from this guy recently, after he came back from a year away from the internet. How did he do it? Go find out. All his journal entries are there, or you can browse a general story
  • Kinda creepy
  • This is kinda creepy, too. I did this survey a few weeks ago to see how much online advertisers know about me and what information is relevant. I fell in line with the general results, that only about half of the info they have is correct. If you want to take it, you can install a little plug in, it'll read your browser cookies and throw some questions your way to see how much advertisers know. Or if that freaks you out, just read the results. And turn off your cookies. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Checking In

I haven't felt much like blogging lately. Work's been crazy busy, life's been kinda busy.

Honestly, it's been a hard couple weeks. And as I was reminded last weekend at the Huntington Beach Midsingles Conference, there is a time and season for all things, even a season of sadness. I've kinda felt like that's where I am lately.

My roommate will be gone a good portion of the summer, and a few other people that I spend a lot of time with won't be around either.  One of them I've grown especially close to over the last 6 months, but it's no longer a good idea to continue our relationship. We cried and said goodbye last weekend. It's been really difficult not to talk to him any longer, but it's for the best.

I feel like just running away for the rest of the summer, getting out of here.

But in all of this, with a lot of prayer, I've seen a lot of little blessings this week, and I know that God is looking out for me.

My favorite little grocery store splurge was on mega sale this week, so I bought 3 packages.

Christine was so lovely and stopped by my house with flowers and chocolate, even though she's not having the best few weeks either.

Corey arranged a fabulous group of people to hit up a show, and I was grateful to get out of the house.

Scott arranged another fabulous group of people earlier in the week for a progressive taco dinner in LA. It was delicious, even though I had to miss the last stop for a late night work meeting.


Katie arranged a girls night at a delicious restaurant, and I was glad to get to know those ladies better.

A ton of people showed up at my house to watch the Duck Beach documentary last week. I had no idea so many people would want to see it, but we had a hilarious time, and I loved playing hostess.

I've run into old friends recently. One from elementary school, that I literally haven't seen in 20 years. We finally  reconnected here in LA and have summer concert plans together

I saw a man stop his car last night, block LA traffic, and help a homeless man pick up his overloaded grocery cart that had fallen over.

An old Georgetown friend checked into Dodgers Stadium on Facebook. I noticed since I was there, too, and we were able to reconnect after a few years. I love technology.

Friends have texted, called, dropped in for last minute lunches, taken me out to dinner and frozen yogurt.

I'm very much looking forward to nearly 3 weeks on the east coast, starting next week. I'll see my college friends at our 10 year reunion (ack!), head down to North Carolina to see some dear friends, and spend a few days in the ever awesome NYC. I'm so excited that I'll get to see so many people, and I'm especially grateful for those friends who are letting me stay with them along the way.

Time heals, right?

And all this is fairly minor, compared to my high school friends Cara and Matt (and their 3 young children), who lost their house this week in the Oklahoma tornado. These are photos from where their house was. If you want to help them, send me a note.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Thursday, May 09, 2013

More March Madness

Okay, back into March. I went to see Frightened Rabbit. I've enjoyed their music for a few years, and it was like hopping into a neighborhood pub and having a sing along. I also decided that I kinda like the view from the balcony at the Fonda.  It's easier than dealing with the masses below. I always end up behind the tall people.

I came home late night and found an expected visitor! He was pretty cute, so I didn't mind.

Kirsten left the sandy shores of Santa Monica to head back to DC and we had a little goodbye dinner at Umami. Cameron and I will miss her, especially since she was a big reason that Super Fun Weekend turned out so well. I'm glad I get to see her again in a couple weeks.  There's just something really nice about moving to a new place, yet having friends that you've known for a long time. It's funny that we both ended up in California around the same time.

I went on a walk through the hills with Christine, and fell in love with this house. It belongs to a sports agent of a very famous NFL player.


Someone's got a compound!

Gold Fields played a free show outside Staples during a college basketball event, so Marcello and I checked it out. Lead singer still wears that black hoodie, and one of their drummers is just so pleasant to watch. You can tell that he loves what he's doing.

I set out to make my first dessert from Milk Bar's cookbook. They're all fairly involved recipes, so I went with something simple that I knew I'd like - crack pie.

First, bake a cookie.

Chop up cookie and make a crust.


Make the filling.  You can't go wrong with butter, cream, sugar, and eggs.

Fill and bake once it's glossy and homogeneous.

Freeze overnight and then enjoy.  I feel like such a grownup when I use my mixer and my Vitamix.

I popped into Disneyland one night, cause Devin was about to move north to SF and we were losing the most dedicated of the mouseketeer gang.

I rode the ferris wheel and I remembered why I don't like ferris wheels.  I almost went on the California Screamin, but I didn't.

Buying swimsuits kinda sucks, but I realized I really needed a new one. It's getting warm and people here have pools. Oh yeah, and there's a beach here. I went online shopping.


Adios, Georgetown.  You failed out of the NCAA tournament in the first round, once again. To a school that no one's heard of. It's okay, I'll still cheer for you next year.

Blockheads shaved ice opened nearby, and I've found myself there quite frequently. I dig the black sesame with rice cakes.

Haleigh and I went downtown to watch auditions for So You Think You Can Dance.  Of course it started way late, and we had to leave fairly soon after we were seated. I do love this show.


I'd never been into the Walt Disney Concert Hall, so when I saw they were having a $3 music appreciation class, I thought, hmmm....maybe I should take them up on that offer.

I used to dream about playing a piano like that in a large concert.

We got in trouble about 6 times for sitting in the wrong section and trying to take photos, but it was a nice evening.


Quick stop at Yogurtland, of course.




Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Super Fun Weekend or The Thing That Took Over My Life

How could I have skipped over the biggest event in February and gone straight to March? The event that took over my life for a couple months?! I suppose I've blocked it all out by now.

A few months ago I was asked to head up a regional singles group at church with a trusty sidekick, Shaun. A  couple years ago a group put together a "Super Fun Weekend" that turned out really well.  Shaun and I were tasked with bringing it back this year.  We had a lot of people involved and we've got a great committee, but it was still a lot of work.

We started planning in November or December with the goal of making the weekend fun and affordable, with basically no budget. Whatever we charged people to attend is the money we had. I wish we'd had a financial modeling expert, but we ended up nearly perfect in the money realm. After a few arguments in December on venues and prices, we moved forward and got things going.

The week before, registration numbers were looking a little low, and given how many people love to wait until the last minute to commit to anything, I was nervous. Would we even make enough money to cover food and the band and this big Saturday night bash? How much food do you get?

We kicked off set up on Thursday night, shaky ladders and all, hoping to create a little ambiance in a church gym.


On Friday, the Phoenix crew showed up. Yay for friends coming into town! Slumber party at my house!

On Friday night, people showed up, we put them into small groups, handed them a restaurant list for the neighborhood, and sent them on their way for a couple hours.  Upon their return, we had a lovely hot chocolate bar, dessert and games.  




I think we counted about 250 people Friday night, and I'll consider that a success.

Saturday morning we headed over to Lincoln Heights in East LA for a service project. Jesicah is a vice principle at a charter school that's expanding, and they needed some help on a new building. She and the school were SO amazing in organizing workers, providing supplies, and the parents provided breakfast and a huge lunch for all of us. It could not have been a better project!  We just had to show up!



Some of the kids came and helped out.  They were adorable.


Time to prime!







I wanted to take this one home with me - could he be any cuter?!

Lunch was bounteous.



Okay, Saturday morning out of the way.  Two events down, two to go. I ran home to shower, then popped over to the stake center to see how the 1920s gala was shaping up and what I could do to help.  Julianne offered to put the event together for her portfolio, and she did such an amazing job. So much work, and it came out amazing.

This mocktail bar? She built it.


Props for photos.


Phoenix friends.  See how excited I am?


Utah and DC and Phoenix friends.

I don't think I took any photos of the band, but we had a classy band. And some dance lessons. And dance cards. And amazing food for dinner! Super great event.  How we could top this going forward, I don't know.

Sunday was still a little hectic. I woke up sick to my stomach, but managed to conduct a meeting during church, help prepare dinner for 325 people, and socialize a little.  All in all, it turned out to be a great event.  Did I have fun? Eh, a little. Did everyone else? I think so. And all that work was worth it.

Thanks for the parting gift, AZ friends. It was much needed, just like that massage I got the following Monday.

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