Thursday, August 30, 2007

Small and Funny and Fine

Is this the most ridiculous bathing suit you've ever seen? It was in a sidebar ad on facebook the other day, and I just about peed my pants laughing. So odd. So very odd. Almost as odd as those full-body bathing suits I posted about a while back. I can't find the link to the post, because my little google search box isn't working very well (hmmm), but here's a link to the bathing suits. Quite a difference if you ask me. Oy.

I like this article from Real Simple about putting your pack rat qualities towards organizing--there's something I can really learn from!!

Today is a short day in blog posting, and that's about it for now. I'm borrowing a fancy camera from work so I can take nice pics of my apartment this weekend...score!

Monday, August 27, 2007

List Failure, and That's Actually Ok.

Last week, I made the following list of weekend goals:
  • finish unpacking
  • clean apartment
  • take pictures of apartment
  • spruce up back porch
I accomplished none of those things. Well, that's not totally true. I cleaned my apartment. A little. A little little. I did put my papers/bills away and reorganize my file folders, which needed to be done. A lot of outdated stuff (Curves membership, UCLA things, old student loan papers) to shred and recycle. So there's that.

But I didn't actually clean.

And I didn't finish unpacking, and I didn't take pictures, and I didn't touch the back porch other than to water my basil plant.

But I'm ok with that. Why? How is this possible? I spent the weekend helping The Boy clean and organize his room. It really needed to be done, and he wanted my help. Because if there's one thing I'm good at, it's home organization. And I (freak that I am) actually enjoy it. We got about halfway done, and it's already a serious improvement! The room looks so much bigger, cleaner, and more spacious, and maybe I'm being a control freak (maybe?) but I think he'll like this having "a place for everything and everything is in its place" (does anyone else remember that song?) thing. I know I do. Maybe he'll let me post before and after pictures up here--I'd like to maybe have a little home organization side business, and it would be nice to have a portfolio of sorts.

Anyway, the other reason I'm ok with having totally failed my list? I can do it this weekend. This weekend is the Cal vs. Tennessee game, and The Boy will be at the game with his family. I will be keeping a safe distance until I know that A) Cal has won or B) it has been approximately 24-48 hours since the game. The emotional connection to sports is something I can never understand firsthand, but it is something I can respect and try to understand from the outside. And I even enjoy going to games now that I understand a bit of what's behind it (and how it's played. That helps.) -- I just know that on gameday, unless it's not one of the Important Ones, my Saturday will be less stressful if I let him do his thing. This weekend, that means I get to stay home organizing my apartment. And watch the game on TV if it's on.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

How-To Explore the Sky

Here's a very detailed demo of how to use Google Sky. Ummm the sky's the limit?

Seriously, it rocks.

Google Sky!

I just learned about this at work on Friday, and you should really check it out. If you already have Google Earth, download the new (still free) version and explore the sky!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Busy Busy Busy Bee

I just realized I haven't posted in almost a week, and really, I have just been busy! Things that have kept me occupied, in list form of course:
  1. An impromptu camping trip to Yosemite this past weekend. SO not my usual style, and it took a little talking to myself and forced relaxation every once in a while (like when we were about an hour away and still hadn't gotten in touch with the car we were meeting there to find out where exactly we were camping and when we were meeting them and how we would find them with no cell reception!), but mostly, I let the naturally relaxing beauty of my favorite national park take over. I somehow found it difficult to get stressed out there. There was the brief moment or two of "how the heck are we going to find them!?!?!" panic, but I quickly dismissed it, telling myself that if we didn't find them, we'd make up a backup plan and just enjoy being in nature for a night. While we didn't do the hikes I really wanted to do due to time (Bridalveil Falls, Mist Trail, Tuolomne Meadow), we explored areas I'd never spent much time in (Tuolomne Grove, Rainbow Pool, and Hetch Hetchy). All in all, a very successful trip for my sanity, my happiness, and my trying-to-be-less-of-a-planner goals.
  2. Catching up to the present at I recently decided I was going to read ALL of Dooce's backlogged entries, starting at the very beginning and working my way up to the present day. Yesterday, I caught up. And I'm a little sad.
  3. Going to really cool things at work, like an author talk with Greil Marcus (who wrote Lipstick Traces...) and a cooking class wherein I learned to make potato gnocchi from scratch!
  4. The Google Dance.
  5. Still getting settled in my apartment--I have about 3 more boxes of stuff to put away, and my goal is to figure out where it's all going and put it all away by this weekend. I just made up that goal. Literally, like just now.
  6. Organizing my finances. Thanks to The Boy, I now have a spreadsheet with a fancy formula detailing my pay periods/rent/bills and how I am going to pay back my parents within that time frame. He is awesome. I was totally freaking out about this because I am very bad at math, and numbers scare me a little. He is good at math, and is very patient and good at explaining mathy things to me in a way that is non-threatening, not overwhelming, and mostly understandable (I sometimes understand when he's explaining and then can't repeat it back to him at all). I sure like him a lot.
  7. Wanting this. It would be so perfect for my back porch. Which I totally need to clean out and spruce up. Maybe this weekend.
  8. Making a new list of weekend goals:
    • finish unpacking
    • clean apartment
    • take pictures of apartment
    • spruce up back porch
I think that's a reasonable list. I had to stop myself from adding to it...I tend to do that. Make lists and just keep adding things to them for the sake of organizing Every Last Inch Of My Life. I'm starting to realize that I can't (and shouldn't!) put everything into a category. Some things should be organized, some should not. This is a life lesson I am trying to learn and work on every day. I want to just chill out, take things as they come, and be an anal-organized-planner only when necessary. Cause I am damn good at it, but it's damn stressful to live every minute of every day like that.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Good Blog, Heather

I was doing my usual reading of backlogged entries at this morning, when I happened upon this entry relating to the book Good Dog, Carl. If you have ever read a Good Dog, Carl book, read this entry.

Read it.

She makes me laugh. So very much. I literally half-snorted, half-laughed...right here at my desk while I was trying to eat my breakfast. Good thing none of my cube-mates are here yet. The combination of cereal, orange juice and snorty-laughy-Kim might have been annoying.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kitchen Gadgets I Totally Want

  • This table grill. Sometimes the George Foreman just doesn't cut it (sorry, George!), and I really want the taste and experience of grilling something (meat. meat. meat. veggies. meat.) over an open flame. Really. Thank you, dad. Too bad this cute little totally-safe-to-use-indoors grill costs around $300. Thank you, Daily Candy for making me Want What I Can't Have.

  • This cutting board set. Now, I'm not ridiculous. I'm not going to spend almost $100 on cutting boards. But if this happened to fall in my lap, or on my counter, I would not complain. It is so neat with its interchangeable surfaces, so hygenic, so colorful. I know they'd just look lovely in my kitchen. Not that my $10 Walgreens (wooden) or $2 Bed Bath and Beyond (flexible plastic) or free (wooden block) cutting boards aren't cutting it. Ha. Cutting it. I cut things. In the kitchen. Sometimes I chop things too. And my cutting and chopping surfaces sufficeth. But these are just That Much Cooler.

  • These cupcake carriers. Or should I say, cupcake couriers? Fun colors, and totally useful. I really need some sort of cake/cupcake carrying/storing device, as leaving it in the pan and covering it with foil just Doesn't Cut It with me...then I don't get to frost the sides and put it on a decorative plate and DUH, what kind of Suzie Homemaker would I be then? My god, I am only 23. Why do I care so much about this stuff? Because I am a total nerd. Whatever. One day, I'll be in my late 30's or early 40's, and I'll have the kid who always has friends over because his/her mom makes delicious cake/cupcakes/cookies. All the time.

SO, I like kitchen things. I also like IKEA. I also like my new apartment. Strike that. I LOVE my new apartment. And I promise I'll post pictures soon as it's presentable enough to present to the internet. The end.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Little List...

A few snippets from Daily Candy that I thought were worthy of sharing:
  • Sephora has lipstick that grows flowers. There are even some celebrity-designed colors. Normally that wouldn't excite me, but one of the (classy, if I do say so myself) colors was designed by Mariska Hartigay, only one of my favorite females in the acting world. So...yeah. Neato. I'm not going to spend $20 on lipstick any time soon (even if $2 goes to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Am I a bad person?), but it's kinda cool that you can plant the lipstick tube after you use it (who uses a whole tube of lipstick?!? I don't think I've ever done that EVER in my LIFE!).
  • I totally want to make heart-shaped eggs. Just for the novelty of it. Ha. Ha. Ha.
  • Ha.
  • One day, I would like to have enough "fun money" saved up so that I can look at Travelzoo's top 20 list and just pick one and go. Or go on a cross-country road trip. That would be nice too.
And this article from The Simple Dollar is particularly useful for those just graduating from college...or those just trying to get a handle on their personal finances.

I just tasted the BEST olive oil I have ever tasted. In my LIFE. You should go to and order yourself a bottle of the basil, lemon, and regular (the ones I tasted)...if you like spicy, try the jalapeno. They don't just infuse the olive oil, they actually press the lemon/basil/etc with the olives. At one point, I believe after tasting the basil, I actually uttered the words "holy crap that is amazing." After tasting the "regular" olive oil, I swore I would never buy from a supermarket again. It's a little pricey, definitely more pricey than at the gro' sto', but really? I might be totally un-frugal and stock up on a few varieties. Seriously, check it out. They sell it at the Google Farmer's Market (yes, we have a small farmer's market on campus once a week), and I'm sure the website will tell you where else to sample and buy.

So good.

Also, last note for today: I was just informed that we are having a Google Dance. Yes, that's right. A freaking DANCE. Food, drinks, video games, some sort of tech talk "meet the Google engineers" thing...I don't know if I can contain my excitement. Emily The Awesome has just told me about my new favorite dance-related game. This is going to be amazing. April 21, here we come!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Two Very Different Views On Weddings

I know about a bajillion people who are recently engaged, recently planning weddings, or recently married. Seriously, it's getting weird. Hey, weddings are fun and all, and it's not like I'm invited to (or required to attend) all of them, so I can't complain about buying a bajillion gifts or anything, but it's just weird. I have a list of about 20 people I have known since college/high school, many of whom are in their early-mid 20's, who are about to embark upon this whole marriage thing. I'm certainly not ready for it, but I am a girl, so I do get swept up in the excitement of the whole shebang...talking about dresses and flowers and wine and dresses and music and dancing and dresses and rings and dresses and you get the idea.

But I digress. The point of this blog is to share two little articles I dug up from reading other people's blogs.

1: How I feel about weddings. They should be simple, and more about the joining of two people (and two families) than about spending money or matching linens. Though I do like matching linens. And cake tasting sounds like a LOT of fun (though I hear that when you actually want to purchase a cake, you should never mention the word "wedding" or they will jack up the price by about 30%). Whether or not I am ready for a wedding of my own, I don't know a girl who hasn't thought about her wedding, or designed an engagement ring online (just for fun), regardless of whether or not she is currently in, or has ever been in a serious relationship. In fact, I find that more girls (myself included) tend to do such fantasy wedding planning when they are not in a we-could-one-day-possibly-in-the-future-become-married type of relationship. I don't know why. That's not the point. The point is, I don't want to spend so much on the wedding that I can't afford a house. Or kids. Or to not be in debt for the rest of my life. I'd like to stand with my partner, in front of our families and close friends, exchange vows in a ceremony that reflects us as a couple, and then celebrate with good food and drink and dancing late into the night. And I want to wear a pretty dress.

2: This wedding (and proposal and relationship, really) kind of makes me want to throw up. Just read it and you'll see. If you think it's just the most magical thing you've ever heard of, and that the extravagances are small prices to pay for the most perfect day of your life, then we probably aren't friends. Or we're friends, but you have a lot more money than I do...and we probably don't hang out. Like, ever.

Bottom line: I'm a tightwad and a romantic, and I don't think I need to spend a million bucks (the national average is apparently $37,000) to prove or express my love. Honestly.

Also...I think many people take themselves too seriously. I try to spend every day doing what I can do be happy, not fill my life with stress, and in general, to just enjoy the day. I don't want to feel like I need to come home and go out to "unwind" or "have fun." I want my whole day to be fun. Shouldn't that be the way of the world?

Monday, August 6, 2007

A Little List of Thoughts

Because I've been reading a lot of lately, here are some thoughts. In list form.
  • Sometimes, you're just really in the mood for milk chocolate. I am not usually, being a preferrer (I know it's not a word) of dark chocolate, myself. However, just now, at 3:04pm on Monday, August 6th, 2007, I wanted some. Thank goodness I, for reasons previously unknown to myself, grabbed a disc of milk chocolate in addition to the semi-sweet (just in case) and bittersweet (heaven on earth) discs I grabbed from the microkitchen at work.
  • I had a very large breakfast (feta, spinach, bell pepper, mushroom, and more unnecessary cheese omlette, everything bagel with the insides mostly scooped out and filled with lox spread, pineapple, boysenberries, strawberries and grapes) and most of an Organic Guatemalan Low Fat Mocha at approximately 9:00am, and thus was not hungry for lunch. Go figure. So around 2:30, when the hunger started to arrive, I grabbed a chicken Cesar salad (and aforementioned chocolate) from the microkitchen. I didn't even eat all the chicken; I wasn't that hungry. So for lunch, I ate lettuce, onions and Parmesan cheese with dressing and croutons. Mmm. Healthy. Not so, although it was made at No Name, our organic-natural-hippie-dippy-so-delicious cafe, so I'm sure it couldn't have been THAT bad for me.
  • My apartment is coming together. Now I just need to put some stuff away. In a big way. Really, I feel that I will not feel that my living room is complete (nor will it be, damnit!) until I have purchased my beautiful new couch (pictured here), and a bookshelf or two (so many boxes of books taking up so much space!)
  • I really like having my own apartment.
  • No matter how much I purchase, there is always a list of things I need to buy. I hear that's called "having your own apartment."
  • Watching HGTV (incessantly) has helped me to become more motivated in the process of cleaning up, unpacking, and getting organized. I know it's totally dorky and housewifey of me, but I really do love a clean, organized place. As much as I am prone to clutter, I don't like it.
  • I really need to start going to the gym again. Not for "losing weight" purposes (though that would be ok), but because I'm starting to feel lethargic and unhealthy.
  • I really, really like cheese.
  • In a discussion with a friend the other day, I realized that as far as relationships go, I'm pretty easy to please. Low maintenance, if you will. All The Boy has to do to make me giddy with delight is plan a date. Nothing fancy, either. Just a "let's go out for dinner tonight. Let's go to X Restaurant." He doesn't even have to pay. Just the pure act of him making plans for the evening makes me feel all warm and gooey. Don't let this fool you into thinking I won't sometimes whine about being hungry (oy. I have done that.) or sneak into the bathroom with a paper towel and 409. And a Swiffer. And Windex. And I will return triumphant--and the bathroom will be clean (this can be applied to many rooms in the house). And I will be made fun of. But that's ok. Because...
  • ...I love a clean house. As I've mentioned before. I subscribe to Real Simple. It was a birthday present. It was on my birthday list. I purchased it from the newsstand (for about $5 a pop) for almost a year before I got the gift subscription. I also frequent the website for tips...and just for fun.
  • I really like making lists, but I'm going to end this one now, because I'm sure it's long enough. And repetitive at this point.
Addition: I just read Emily's blog, and THIS is making me excited. Very excited. I really hope there's singing, and that it is good. UPDATE: It is a musical. "Tim Burton himself has confirmed that this will be an adaptation of Sondheim's musical."

Friday, August 3, 2007

Friday, Friday, Feelin Fine

Ok, so that's kind of a lame title, but I am feeling pretty good, if not a little (tiny bit) tired. This week has seen my brain (finally) catch up to my body, crash in a messload of anxiety, nervousness, stress, exhaustion, giddyness, among any other range of brain-emotion you can think of. Mostly it was the exhaustion and the stress. There were a few high-stress scheduling things at work, but nothing impossible, and I think that had I been well-rested and not in a state of brain-numbness, I wouldn't have taken them so hard. BUT that is not the point. The point is that it's FRIDAY and I just drank a glass of wine and ate chocolate covered strawberries and sat on a heated toilet and also ate cake and listened to Sergei and Larry discuss the last week at Google and this tradition of TGIF (a happy hour of sorts with food and drink and Sergei and Larry and Q&A and go team go!) is pretty darn excellent. While I don't love my job (ie: it's not my life's goal or passion or anything), I like it pretty well. And I do love my company. And my coworkers. And really, life could be a heck of a lot worse.

I thought to myself today, you know you're spoiled by Google when you sit on a toilet and are disappointed that the heated toilet seat seems to not be working. It's just a regular toilet seat. Oh darn. Before Google, I never even knew the joy of the heated toilet seat. It's such an absolutely ridiculous luxury. But gosh darn it, I love it.

Also, I never stop thinking how amazing the food is. Really, come visit me and I'll take you to lunch. It's just so good. And it's truly been helpful in this time when I've been moving and have had either no fridge or no food (or both) at home. I haven't had time to go to TJ's and stock up on dinnerfood items or baking goods or just little staples for the weekend or nighttime (or dinner time, because I do actually want to cook!), so for now I've been eating Googlefood, or eating out. I figure, since breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks are all free, I can afford to go out to dinner (or get takeout) while I'm moving. And it's nice. Mmmmm greasy thai food from Thai Basil. Mmmmm Steve's Korean BBQ. Mmmmm pizza that I didn't make. Not as healthy, but sometimes, it's just such a relief after a day of work and moving and all that to just pick up some food that someone else made and relax at home with a nice, hot meal.

So, the moral of the story is, I love this company. I'm currently writing this blog from my shuttle, taking some time to unwind on my way home. When I get home at 7pm, I'll be relaxed and will have taken care of email and blogging and reading other people's blogs and all that internet business that normally I'd have to do when I get home. And if I were getting home at 6pm like I used to, let's be honest, I would just be watching TV.

Have a great weekend! In the next edition: Low-Flow is a No-Go! Get me some water pressure!