Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Post Number 100 - Sara's New Video

Sara's new video was just released (if that's what you call it) online, and I thought I would share it with you in honor of my 100th post. Or something. Here it is. It's really fun, super cute, and pretty fun to watch. Plus, there are some pretty sweet dance moves from a man with glasses.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Having Just Returned from LA

The sun was setting so nicely over the green-brown hills, touching them with a simultaneously spectacular and soothing golden haze. But then I realized that the reason I could take advantage of this stunning view was that I was on the 405 South, stuck in traffic. And perched on top of those otherwise rolling hills are the McMansions of the stupidly rich.

Such is Los Angeles: at once breathtakingly lovely and terrifyingly unnatural.

Being in LA stresses me out; there are just too many people trying to get to too many places too fast. And they all seem to be angry. There's a sort of understood violent subtext in the air, where if you let your guard down for even one second, you will be cut off, nearly killed, or at the very least scowled at. And that's just merging from the 405 to the 101. Oy.

The weather was (and generally is) lovely...until the Santa Ana winds picked up (at one point, they were blowing at 83 mph!) started a few really bad fires through Malibu, Castaic and other areas of the coast. Last night I heard there were upwards of 700 firefighters working on the coast, and Pepperdine was being evacuated. They lost the big Presbyterian church and Castle Kashan which had always been driving-to-the-beach landmarks (for me anyway), schools are closed, you can smell the smoke from miles away. Driving back up the 101 N yesterday afternoon, we drove through thick clouds of yellow-brown smoke for at least an hour.

Nothing too out of the ordinary for October in LA, but every year fire season surprises me anyway.

In happier news, my friend Sterling just booked a 4-year contract with All My Children. His character's name is Dre, and apparently he is in a garage band. I want to get TiVo just so I can watch it. You may also recognize Sterling from Disney 365, when he was with High School Musical the stage show (on tour). So funny.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Things I Think

  1. I think it is interesting that when I am upset, anxious, or out of balance in general, I engage in Retail Therapy. Now, Retail Therapy is common among women (so it's not too interesting I guess), I'm told, but my particular form of this activity involves a one Bed, Bath and Beyond. It has also been known to involve the kitchen/tupperware aisle of Walgreens. Or baking supplies. Or other home-related things. I know a lot of women buy shoes or purses or clothes or makeup or jewelry etc etc etc...but buying an oven thermometer and a silicon baking mat are my comfort foods of shopping. There's just something about walking into that haven that is the floor-to-ceiling racks of kitchenware that brings me to a more peaceful place. Maybe I'll bake some cupcakes tonight.
  2. I think that eventually, someday, when I get married, I will have a simple wedding. Very, very simple. Of course, I say that now, right? Yesterday I helped with my friends' wedding, and it was just so crazy that I can't imagine going through that again. And it wasn't even a terribly elaborate event! It was an absolutely beautiful wedding, and the party was totally fun, but it sort of reminded me of being backstage at opening night...even once the curtain goes up, there are a million things to do! I was sort of acting as the P.A. of the day, carrying purses, glasses, makeup, shoes, shawls, programs, cameras, bobby pins, wine glasses...ushering people to the dining room, finding people for pictures, directing an RV to the freeway, decorating tables, not to mention the eating/drinking/dancing...whew! Oh, and did I mention that the bride's grandfather almost died during the brunch reception? All in all, it was a 19.5 hour, beautifully exhausting day. I'm glad I made the decision to go home and sleep in my own bed. It felt good to finally slide into bed by myself, close my eyes, and just relax. It was the first time since 6:45am that I had really sat still, and I could feel my pulse throughout my entire body! I mean, my head, feet, arms, everything was just in that part-throbbing part-relaxing state. It was nice to be finally laying down. So yeah. Weddings are a lot of work. No wedding for me for a long time. :-)
  3. I think that a good friend comes over to hang out with you when you need to clean your apartment, and helps you to stay motivated while you do it. While my TV does "hang out with me" when I need to clean my apartment, it does the opposite of helping me stay motived. My apartment is a mess. But I suppose I deserve a day of lounging around like a lazy bum, right? I've been eating well all day...that's a plus.
  4. I think I will be able to buy my new couch sooner than I thought. AND IKEA is having a special couch deal right now where you get an IKEA gift card worth 20% of the price of the sofa if you buy before December 22nd! (for me, that's about $80!!!)

I think I'm done thinking for now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


My friends' band, Elevaters, is steadily rising to success. That's not the important thing though. What matters is that they are really, really great. Check them out on myspace, or on iTunes and CD Baby. Insomniac Magazine calls them "one of the best new hip hop acts right now."

LA2DAY magazine has a really great 2-part interview/article on them. Check it out!

Part One: Disciples of Light, Purveyors Of The Groove

Part Two: coming next week...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Street View: Six New Cities

We're Live!!!

This is my first 20% project at Google--the geo-marketing team was nice enough to let me act as a "creative consultant" on this video--I hope there will be more to come!

I think I've found a way to apply my literary management/dramaturgy background to Google...

UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! Now YOU can download the mp3 of the song and make your own video response!!! For more information, go here (it's in the description to the right of the video).

Friday, October 5, 2007

Change your name to Rainforest and start a hemp farm in the Netherlands

I've got some delightful links for you out there this morning. I've been saving some of them up all week, so they might be outdated, but here they are anyway. Enjoy!
  1. I got the title of this post from this article in by Mark Morford. Britney vs. Blackwater. You decide.
  2. Morford's other article from this week uses phrases like "mountains of pornographic produce" and "culinary orgasm." It's about Whole Foods.
  3. There is a teacher in NY that is making parents do homework. It actually sounds like a brilliant idea, and I hope it proves successful. Read the NY Times article here.
  4. Radiohead is so cool, they're practically GIVING AWAY their new album! If I was more cynical, I'd make a comment about how a pay-what-you-can record is like, the ultimate in trendy hipster behavior. But I'm not (I guess), so I'll just say that it's pretty rad of them.
  5. There's a fabulous thing going on in Oakland called the Urban Releaf program, where this group is planting free trees all over the city in an effort to make it a better place. Nature!
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Two Video Wednesday

This is video number two.

So sad I missed it live. So happy it's on YouTube.

Two Video Wednesday

This is video number one. I watched it this morning.

Best line: "anyways, you guys want to go walk somewhere?"

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Google Maps: Getting Started

This video is brought to you by the Google Maps team...with whom I am working on another maps-related video (coming to YouTube soon!) -- check it out!

Go Google Maps!

Post Number 91, Ta Da!

I am sneezing. I am sneezing because of the sun. The sun is shining in my eyes, through the big glass windows of the shuttle. The shuttle that I ride for free. Ok, I'll stop complaining about sneezing. Sometimes I forget to put things in perspective.

But still, sneezing is kind of annoying.

Oh well. I haven't written a real post on here in a while--it's been a lot of lists and re-posts and such, and I feel like I haven't really been contributing any interesting life tidbits lately. Which I guess doesn't matter because there's really no format to this blog. Well, the format is "whatever I feel like posting whenever I feel like posting it." Ah, freedom.

Anyway, I just thought I'd include a few life updates today. I'm in the mood.

First on the Agenda: Finances. I haven't been doing as well as I'd like in the money department. My income has significantly increased since my internship (duh), but so have my expenses. I can afford all my bills, and even to pay my parents a bit of what I owe them every month (and I should be done paying them by late January), but I just hate the feeling of wanting more. I want to be putting money into savings, which right now I'm just not doing at all. I say it's because the money I'm paying my parents will eventually turn into money I put into savings, but right now I'm just frustrated that I can't do both. But paying my parents back is more important, so I just have to be patient. Nobody wants to be in debt--even if it is to an interest-free, late-payment-forgiving, nice and understanding source like your parents.

Anyway, I've been thinking about sticking to a budget for a while. I have definitely succumbed a little to the "ooh I have new money!" thing, buying a new shirt here...spending $100 on food for a housewarming party there...etc. Not that I'm going nuts, and I can still pay my bills, but I have certainly not been as frugal in the last few months as I'd like to be. Maybe it just took 2-3 months of being excited about my newfound steady income and now the excitement has worn off? Maybe it's finally hit me that pay increase + bill increase does not = tons of disposable income? Do you have any experience with this, readers?

Item Two: Knitting. I have joined a weekly knitting group at work. We meet for an hour at lunch on Fridays. I'm excited to have a regular (whenever I can make it, anyway) knitting time...and some of the ladies in the group are very experienced! Hopefully I'll finally finish the scarf that I'm making with the yarn Reed gave me for 2006. It's going to be a lovely scarf, soft and warm and wide, even if I did mess up the seed stitch every once in a while. Gives it character, no?

Also, a few of the girls at work and I have been talking about starting a biweekly craft night, where everyone brings a craft she (or he, I suppose) is working on, be it knitting or crocheting or scrapbooking or beading or basket weaving or celebrity gossiping...and we will sit and eat and craft and watch cheesy-but-classic movies (Dirty Dancing, Return to Oz, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, etc). Sounds like fun to me!

Perhaps I'll post a picture from my housewarming party later--I, of course, did the cheesy thing where I take a picture of my tablescape. It was not so much a tablescape as it was a lovely display of food with one vase of flowers, but it was (I thought) deliciously impressive. So I took a picture. If I get it uploaded, I'll post it later.

Item Three: Fun. This weekend was really great. Friday night housewarming = really nice. Saturday Cal beating Oregon and moving up to be the #3 school in the country = awesome. Splurging on dinner items (fresh salmon, yukon gold potatoes, lemon, strawberries, gourmet cheese) and having a mini-wine sampling (had small amounts of a few bottles left over from Friday) and cooking a delicious meal at home with The Boy = truly wonderful. It was so nice to hang out and spend the day shopping at Market Hall (pricey, but fun to splurge), wandering around the "Out and About in Rockridge" festival, tasting fruits and cheeses. Then to come home and prepare a delicious meal together...just one of the best ideas we've ever had.

Happy Tuesday! May Tuesday be better than Monday!