Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sesame Street Alphabet Song

My mom sent this to me to see if I remembered watching it as a child. I wasn't sure when I saw the link, but as I started watching, it all came back to me. I love the dreamy, dancer-y, sort of fairytale feeling of it. Enjoy.

Warm Weather, Not A T-Shirt

As the weather has been getting much warmer lately, I have been shying away from the long (even 3/4 sleeve!) shirts in my wardrobe. This is problematic, as the majority of my short-sleeved shirts are T-shirts, tank tops, or shirts that used to be my "nicer than a t-shirt" shirts...which are no longer as nice, due to overwearing them last summer. Apparently, when I had my shopping spree a few weeks ago, I neglected to buy spring/summer shirts. So...on my to do list is now nicer-than-t-shirt type short sleeved tops.

Any ideas? Naturally, I love Anthropologie, but I feel weird paying $50+ for something that is just slightly nicer than a T-shirt.

Carole King on Colbert

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday: In Review

So, in yesterday's post, I wrote about all the things I want to do this weekend. I've been doing so well so far, that I just thought I would post about it. Self-serving, sure, but I'm having a good time relaxing.

Last night, I did indeed make pizza and watch The Philadelphia Story. There was no popcorn, but I did shower and put on PJ's as soon as I walked in the door, and I even got in bed at 10:20! 10:20! And that's after sort of falling asleep on the couch at the end of the movie! I know. Amazing.

This morning, after approximately 12 hours of sleep (12 hours! WHAT?) I awoke to this (see picture). My downstairs neighbor deals antiques, and he was having a bit of a yard sale. Or, I should say, a driveway/parking space sale. As you can see, none of the other neighbors had their cars parked in the parking area this morning, and he set up all of his antiques on tables there...forming a nice little blockade around my car. He was incredibly nice about it; he moved things out of the way so I could get out, directed me so I didn't hit anything (it was a very narrow pathway), and even gave me a really nice vintage poster and cool box free of charge to make up for it. Still, I thought it was kind of funny.

After easing my way out, I headed to the farmer's market. Much success. Dropped off tickets for someone at Berkeley Rep, cashed a check, and off to Bay Street I went. Turns out, a few of the things I bought at Banana Republic were on sale, so I got some money back, and I bought a pretty shirt that was on sale. I couldn't help stopping at Teacake for those orange peel cookies, and what do you know, they had some day-old mexican chocolate brownies on almost 50% off sale. Sold! After a stop at Trader Joe's, I was done.

I had planned to do the big dusting/Swiffering tomorrow, but I ended up doing it today. I usually end up dusting in the late afternoon, when the sun hits all the surfaces in my apartment at the right angle for seeing every spec of I just did it. It doesn't take very long; I don't know why I don't do it more regularly. Once a week is my goal, and really, I should just do it.

Megan came over for craft night, which consisted of us eating some veggies and dip and knitting/crocheting a bit while watching tv and chatting. Pretty low-key, but very nice. It's almost 11pm, and I'll probably go to bed soon. Ah, this is what I call a weekend.

Apologies for the sort of annoying "and this is what I did today" post, but I just felt like getting it out there. Maybe someone is interested. Maybe not. Whatever, it's my blog.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Evening Wind-Down

It's been a long week. Every day has literally felt like Friday; even by noon on Monday I felt like I had already been working for 5 days. It's been busy, and it's had its slow points (which in my opinion are just as tiring as the super-busy hours), and I am looking forward to this weekend more than I have looked forward to a weekend in a long time.

I haven't posted a personal to-do list in a while, so I'll post one now. What I really want is to have a weekend that feels like this Jon Carroll article. Reading it just put me in a good mood - definitely in the mood for Spring (which it is, officially, as of yesterday).

The To-Do List For A Happy Weekend
  • Tomorrow
    • errands galore.
      • I'm going to go to the Berkeley Farmer's Market, to stock up on fresh veggies and the pepper jack cheese I've been thinking about all week.
      • I'm possibly going to go to Anthropologie, even though I know I can't really afford anything there, just to look...
      • ...and I'm going to go to Banana Republic, because not only are they having a 40% off sale, but I also have a coupon for 20% off. I'm pretty sure the coupon cannot be combined with a sale, but I have to admit that I've kind of fallen in love with (most of) their clothes, and if there's something great at 40% off...well...yeah. It's also a great excuse to go to Bay Street, which means a visit to Teacake Bake Shop. And Saturday's specialty cookie of the day includes candied orange peel and generous chunks of really good chocolate...mmmmm.
    • I will also be stopping by Trader Joe's for some non-farmer's market basics. Pasta, sauce, chicken, tofu, salami, various sauces and the like. Oh, and raspberry sorbet.
    • Saturday night is my monthly craft night, although I think only one or two people will be coming. I won't make my traditional onion dip with potato chips, because I've learned that it's just not a good idea to make it unless I am positive that there will be more than 4 people there. I absolutely will eat an entire bowl. I'm not even exaggerating. It has happened.
  • Sunday
    • Because it is Easter Sunday, and I'm pretty sure most stores will be closed, I'm going to make Sunday be a day of cleaning. There are boxes on my dining room table that I've been meaning to collapse and recycle, the floors are begging for a Swiffering, and there is some general clutter that I'd like to clean up. If I had a washing machine, I'd be doing laundry, but instead I'll wait until Monday and do it at work.
    • I would also like to start exploring my backyard and planning for the gardening that I want to start in the upcoming month. Last week I noticed a large line of ants marching back and forth along my back staircase, apparently leading to/under/inside a sort of gross flower pot. The previous tenant did a somewhat awful job of keeping up with the small collection of potted plants, and some of them are just dead, or are just old pots of dirt, or worse, murky water. I'm going to get rid of anything that's not good, somehow (without ecologically unfriendly poison) get rid of the ant brigade, and replenish with lovely things. I don't know what, yet. But they will be lovely. Any suggestions for a somewhat humane ant-killer?
    • I was going to see Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking on Sunday night, but I gave my tickets away to a coworker, since I had two tickets and nobody to go with. I didn't want to go alone, because I think this show is something you need to experience with somebody (she's a bit crazy). I forgot that it was Easter Sunday, and had thought it would be easy to find someone to go with. I was wrong.

My shuttle just drove over the Dumbarton Bridge. One of my favorite parts of the ride to/from work (when I'm not sleeping) is to look out at San Francisco from the bridge. It just looks so tiny from here, and sort of peaceful. Like what you might draw if you were a small child told to draw a tiny city. Because that's what it is; geographically speaking anyway. It doesn't take up much space, and there's an awful lot crammed in there, so I really like looking at it from a distance. It's like I'm a giant, looking out at a tiny, bustling city from which I am totally separated. Because lord knows, once you're in the middle of it all, San Francisco doesn't feel so little.

I'll leave you with this Mark Morford article: his take on the Catholic Church and the new sins that have been created/assigned (what do you call it?) by the Pope.

In a New York State of Mind

Maybe it's because I saw Fancy Free the other night, which got me thinking about On The Town, and New York, New York, and Wonderful Town, and Shall We Dance...and maybe it's a sign that I really should use a portion of my bonus money to send myself to New York for a long weekend...but I just can't stop thinking about NYC today! I haven't been since senior year of high school, after all, and I didn't fall in love with it then. I think I should give it another chance.

Here's an article from the NY Times about taking children to Broadway shows. Personally, I feel that if you're spending that kind of money, they should be old enough to remember the experience, and hopefully old enough to appreciate it. But old enough to remember it at least, so if they don't fully appreciate it at age 10, at age 20, they can say, "Wow. My parents were awesome. They took me to some damn good theatre. I wish I had appreciated it more when I was younger. I'm going to do the same for my kids some day." Or, you know, something like that. My parents always took me and my sisters to theatre (the first performance I remember was a version of the King and I, performed in the round), dance, concerts...and coming from an artsy family, I always loved it. I can't remember a time when I felt I was being dragged against my will...but I know there are kids out there that do feel that way, and I hope they get to experience a show that will change the way they see theatre.

Off the soapbox.

The next article
I read this morning that I really liked was this one about dressing room decoration. I've always found the backstage, behind-the-scenes world to be really fun and exciting, possibly my favorite part of the theatre (and not just 'cause you get to feel connected and like an insider and all that...which, admittedly, I do love). This article takes you inside the dressing rooms of several big-time performers, and it's really interesting to see how different they all are.

The New Yorker Is Good.

The Boy has a subscription to The New Yorker. From what I've observed, it is impossible to stay on top of one's subscription, unless one is unemployed and wont to sit around reading all day. Which doesn't sound half-bad to me, honestly, except for the whole no-income part.

Anyway, I don't always have interest in all (or most, really) of the articles, as they are pretty dense and I'm sorry, but if the subject doesn't interest me, a densely written article about it won't interest me either. However, I am almost always interested in the Arts & Culture articles, and of course, I love the cartoons - when I understand them, anyway. Sometimes I will flip through a recent issue (The Boy always has at least 6 recent ones on his desk) just to see if anything catches my attention, but recently I've started reading the Arts & Culture section via the internet. I set up a subscription on my Google Reader (I mention it a lot, but seriously, I love this thing), and I'll read whatever articles look interesting (judging by the title and first couple of sentences).

Recently, I found this article on Sarah Ruhl, one of my absolute favorite playwrights. She's relatively new (relative to my other favorites anyway, Shakespeare and Arthur Miller), and is just extraordinary. Berkeley Rep is doing her newest play, The Vibrator Play, in their 2008/2009 season, and I have to toot my horn a little and say that I got to help with a teensy bit of the dramaturgy for the script. Yes, part of my job last year was to research the early vibrators, how they worked, why doctors used them as part of treatment to cure women's anxiety, and how they developed over the years. And Sarah Ruhl emailed my boss to tell her how great my research was. Oh yeah. I am awesome.

Anyway, I can't even tell you how excited I am to see The Vibrator Play - and no, it's not as dirty as it sounds. It's actually quite beautiful and simple (well, as simple as a Ruhl play can be) and is just all around lovely. I can't wait.

Also New Yorker-related, this article (courtesy of Emily) made me laugh and smile. It's about the job of a cultural attache (accent on the e), and that's all I'm going to say about that. Except that it would be a very difficult, but totally awesome job to have.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

After the Ballet

Last night, the lovely Shonelle and I went to see the San Francisco Ballet's tribute to Jerome Robbins. Being a big fan of his choreography, I was very excited about the show. The show featured three pieces: Fancy Free, In the Night, and West Side Story Suite, and I'm not gonna lie, I was probably the most excited about West Side Story Suite. West Side Story was one of my first musicals, definitely one of the first that I knew inside and out; I have memories of listening to my original Broadway cast cassette tape (yes, cassette tape) on my Walkman in the car on family trips when I was a little kid. I loved that show then, and I love it now.

But I digress.

I think the best way for me to review this show will be to talk about each section separately, so, well, that's what I'm going to do. You can read the program notes here.

Fancy Free: Definitely a great way to start out the show. Upbeat, recognizable, great choreography with just enough of a plot to keep you interested. And who doesn't love those three sailors who would later become the sailors in On The Town? [side note: Did you know that the term "fancy free" comes from one of Oberon's speeches in A Midsummer Night's Dream? I didn't, until now. And I'm a Shakespeare nut! And a Broadway nut! Anyway, rad.] The dancers were great, the music was great, it all worked. I'm a big fan of On The Town, and I'm a big fan of Fancy Free. And I love that a ballet was the inspiration for a musical...and that both stand up well on their own. It's such a simple story (three sailors on 24-hour shore leave in NY try to meet girls) that it works well as a one-act ballet, and with the charming lyrics of Comden & Green, it works well as a full-length musical (and, um, movie musical with some of the best performers of the time). I think it's safe to say that Fancy Free is a classic. And while nothing will compare in my mind to ABT's version, the SF Ballet did it justice.

In the Night: This piece really impressed me. I had no idea what to expect - I had heard it was romantic, and that's about it - and it was truly spectacular. First of all, the music was Chopin. I'll admit, I'm not terribly knowledgeable in the canon of Copin's work, but his nocturnes are just beautiful! The dancing was perfectly suited to the solo piano, and honestly, I found myself gasping or whispering "oooh" and "wow" to myself several times. It was just so beautiful. I'm glad I read the program notes before seeing it, too, because they explained the structure of the piece, and I think that helped me to appreciate it even more. The basic structure is this: there are three couples (dressed in "evening wear"), and four movements. The first couple/movement represents young love: the couple is all over each other, happy, careless, in love. The second couple/movement represents a more mature love: the couple seems to communicate without words (or touching/visual communication, since this is dance), and they seem to have a deep connection that has lasted over the years. The third couple/movement represents a fiery love: passionate, vitriolic, angry at times; they run away from each other, but always return. The fourth movement incorporates all three couples as they interact mildly as if they were greeting each other after a dinner party. It is apparent that they recognize something in each other, but their interactions are somewhat stifled. I have just realized that I am NOT doing this ballet justice in my review. I'm sort of babbling about how it was structured and am not at all capturing how absolutely lovely it was and how much of an effect it had on me. Easily, this is one of the favorite ballet experiences of my life. Highly, Highly Recommended.

Ah, now for the West Side Story Suite. It's always easier for me to write criticism than praise after a show, so this should be a breeze. There was just so much about it that didn't work for me, so let's start with a basic rundown of what it is, for those of you not unfortunate enough to witness it. West Side Story Suite is basically an abridged version of West Side Story, originally created to bring younger audiences to the theatre. It features highlights from the show, sort of bridged together with singing (more on that later), but not really in a fluid way. Scenes/dances end with a pose that often feels like a photo-op, the lights fade, and the next section begins. Much of the story is lost, because honestly, you can't capture West Side Story in a 35 minute dance-based piece. Part of me thinks that's ok, because it's not meant to tell the entire story, it's supposed to be sort of a highlights-type piece. But it still just didn't rub me the right way. Ok, and on to the singing. I read that in other productions of this piece, the ballet companies hired singers to perform the songs. The SF Ballet decided to be crazy and use dancers from their own company. Now, dancers are not hired into ballet companies because of their singing voices. In traditional West Side Story productions, directors are more likely to cast singers who can dance than they are dancers who can sing. Why? Because it is a vocally challenging show. Those songs are not easy. And if they're sung badly, it can sound like a little kid singing in the shower. Which is exactly what last night was like. For most of the songs, the dancers who were dancing didn't even sing! There were two dancers (male and female) who stood on the side of the stage and sung the main songs! I don't know...I guess the novelty of "look! our dancers are SINGING!" just didn't appeal to me. I've seen too many really great dancers who are also really great singers to be excited by really great dancers who are mediocre singers at best. Sorry, SF Ballet, but this just didn't work. Also, there was a certain cheese-factor to the whole thing, especially when it came to the ending. Tony didn't die (which, um, kind of a big deal, right?) and instead danced a dream ballet (oh the dream ballet) with Maria and various ensemble members from both the Shark and Jet sides. I've seen many a cheesy dream ballet in my day, but this one takes the cake. There was skipping. There was hand-holding. There was swaying. There was facing the audience to suddenly sing "there's a place for us" en masse. The only redeeming part was at the end, after the dancers warbled there "somehow, someday, somewhere," the orchestra played those final haunting Bernstein chords and the dancers raised their arms slowly and lowered them, which I thought was kind of pretty. They did look a little crucifix-like for a second, and I hope that wasn't intentional, but overall, it made the ending not so miserable. Which isn't saying much.

Needless to say, I didn't enjoy the West Side Story Suite as much as I had hoped to. Maybe if I had read up on it more first, I wouldn't have had such high expectations...but it was just so presentational and not engaging at all. I would have liked it so much better without the singing, even if it did feel sort of like a dance recital. With really, really good dancers. Oh, and they had Anita in a dress very similar to the original purple one from the musical/movie, which was nice. And, um, that's all I have to say about that. This review from the SF Gate seems to like the singing more than I did (and says the singer for "Somewhere" was hired? WHAT?)...but I have fairly high standards when I'm seeing a professional show. Check out Shonelle's review here.

All in all, not a bad night at the ballet. Honestly, I would have paid $25 just to see In the Night.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Barack and Roll

While his name is conducive to puns, and I'm sure he has a good sense of humor, this speech is totally serious. Seriously awesome. I heart Obama.

and Emily both pointed me to this speech, so thanks to both of you out there in blogland. It's about 40 minutes long, and I couldn't believe it was over so quickly. He really is a good speaker...and rumor has it, he wrote this speech himself. Check it out.

If for some reason the video isn't working, you can watch it on his website here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jon Carroll, and Why I Like Him

I finally got a chance to catch up on my Jon Carroll feed in my Google Reader today while eating lunch at my desk (oh joy!), and I have to say, though I've said it many times before, that I really, really enjoy his column in the SF Chronicle (by the way, why is the website, but it's called the San Francisco Chronicle? I think I missed something...SF Gate: Home of the San Francisco Chronicle? What?). I really do.

His column is for the newspaper what I had kind of hoped (dreamed, wished, in that "this is what I'm aiming for, but I know it's not nearly the same" kind of way) my blog would be for the...non-paper? Interesting to read, personal, humorous, and often pointing to other interesting things/websites/people/articles, it is truly a fun read.

Here are some of my most favorite of his recent articles:
Carroll will be at Berkeley Rep on Monday night, in conversation with Leah Garchik, whom I also adore (though I don't read her as frequently), and I just purchased myself an $18 student ticket (thank the UC for student ID's that don't expire!). Proceeds benefit Park Day School, and I actually know a few kids who go there, so that's cool.

And in the style of the wonderful Mr. Carroll, I'll close this blog post the way he closes all of his articles: with a song lyric or movie quote that he ends with his name.

Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose

My Oprah Theory

I just read this article in the New Yorker, and I am convinced that the woman we know as Oprah is actually a set of triplets. Or maybe septuplets. Because it is just not possible for one person to do so many things. Maybe she's a robot.

A Good Invention

Thanks to Daily Candy for linking to this. Looks like a pretty smart invention to me...especially since it comes in lemon-honey flavor too. Brilliant. And not expensive. And pretty spiffy.

Basically, it's dried (non-sticky!) honey, pure and delicious, in individually-sized portions, travel-friendly and kind of pretty.

All-natural honey, minus the mess? So smart!

Famous Friends: A New Tag

So, I've decided to do a better job gushing/talking about my friends who are having success out there in the world...and I am hereby resolving (a little late for New Year's) to write more about my friends' successes. Because I am proud of them. And am maybejustalittlebit living vicariously through them. I will be labeling these posts "Famous Friends," and if you want to know all about the cool things my friends are doing, you can just click that little label and read all you like.

To kick things off, I've gone back through my old posts and labeled all the ones I could find. I'll also make a short list of recent developments that have made me smile, right here, right now:
  • Sara = everywhere. I was at H&M the other day, heard "Love Song" on their music system. Girls in the dressing room were singing along. Crossed the street to Old Navy. Heard "Fairytale" playing on their music system. Thought I was in the Twilight Zone. Yesterday, "Love Song" was playing at the gym at work. This is so cool-weird. It should really stop surprising me at this point, but it doesn't. Oh, and Whoopie Goldberg loves Sara, too.
  • Lady Danville (Formerly Mikey G and Dan From Danville) is doing really well. This week, they finish their month-long residency at the Hotel Cafe. I remember a certain other musician who used to do month-long residencies at the Hotel Cafe...I'm just saying is all. Personally, I cannot stop listening to them. I love it, I love them. I'm so proud.
  • Passing Strange is doing well; I keep seeing glowing reviews pop up on these here internets. If you missed them on NPR, like I did, click here to listen.
  • Brett is going to be on House. I don't watch the show, but that is effing cool.

In other news, I think I'm going to go to NY in May. Yeah?

Six Word Memoirs

These wonderful people came to speak at Google a while back, and I'm pretty sure I mentioned them already...or I meant to, anyway. The book is a compilation of six-word memoirs, from "writers famous & obscure," and really is an interesting phenomenon. Read this article from the National Post, written by Rachel Fershleiser (one of the book's editors, and an all-around awesome chick) for more information on the book and how it came about. Or just visit SMITH Magazine's website about it. Or both.

You should also read this review from the New Yorker, written entirely in six-word sentences...which, admittedly, I did not realize was on purpose until reading Rachel's NP article. Don't I feel foolish.

Oh, and buy the book. It's around $12 at a bookstore near you, or get it used for around $6 on Amazon.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Savings, Yeah!

I just transfered a hefty $500 into my HSBC Direct savings account. Yeah. I knew I would be using part of my bonus check to put a large chunk into savings, and I hadn't planned on a number, and just now, on a whim, I decided I should do it. So I did. I picked $500 because it sounds like a lot, but it's a number I feel totally comfortable taking out of checking (which, by the way, is ridiculous to me -- I've never even HAD $500 in my checking account that wasn't already designated for specific bills/rent!), and it feels somewhat substantial.

I'm planning on adding more soon -- I'm trying to figure out my plan for savings. Now that I've paid my parents back, I get to really kick the savings plan into gear. But I'm not sure yet if I want to do one account or two. I definitely want to make my existing account into my Official Emergency Fund, but I might want to have a separate fund that's a "for fun" account. Savings for vacations, shopping, etc. I'm pretty sure that's what I'll do (provided I can do it at HSBC, which I'm not sure of...may need to call customer service), but I haven't 100% decided yet, nor have I decided how much $$ per paycheck I'll allocate to each account if I do split them.

Thoughts? Do any of you out there have multiple savings accounts? If so, how do you allocate money across the accounts?


The Amazing Jessie posted this on her amazing blog, and I couldn't resist re-posting. Thank you, Jessie, for letting me see this.

Google Book Search

I liked this post from the Official Google Blog so much, I'm just copying the entire thing here. Enjoy!

"Book info where you need it, when you need it

Here at Google Book Search we love books. To share this love of books (and the tremendous amount of information we've accumulated about them), today we've released a new API that lets you link easily to any of our books. Web developers can use the Books Viewability API to quickly find out a book's viewability on Google Book Search and, in an automated fashion, embed a link to that book in Google Book Search on their own sites.

As an example of the API in use, check out the Deschutes Public Library in Oregon, which has added a link to "Preview this book at Google" next to the listings in their library catalog. This enables Deschutes readers to preview a book immediately via Google Book Search so that they can then make a better decision about whether they'd like to buy the book, borrow it from a library or whether this book wasn't really the book they were looking for.

We think this API will be useful to all sites that connect readers with information about books, from library catalogs to public libraries to universities. To see more implementations in action, read this post on the Book Search blog."

macworld video

This video was made at Macworld -- we asked visitors to our booth to talk about their Google experiences, what programs they use, what they like about Google etc. There were some great people that stopped by the booth, and it was really exciting to have so many people be excited to talk about what they love about the company, even knowing it would be broadcast on YouTube! :-)

PS - you can see me for .0101240214819 seconds at the beginning, barely, kind of. I'm at the schwag counter at the front of our booth ;-) ha.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I am not a huge coffee drinker. In fact, I pretty much only drink it when it's mixed with chocolate; and even then, I only drink it on occasion. However, we have this brand of iced mochas at work, and oh good lord. This stuff is delicious.

It's not as bad for you as a Starbucks Frappuccino, and not nearly as sweet, which I appreciate (not that I don't have a sweet tooth). Plus, it's from a company who prides itself on being friendly to the environment. Fair trade, organic, sustainability, all those good keywords.

Drinking one of these reminds me of road trips, and something about the way it tastes feels kind of...woodsy. Maybe it's the Guatemalan coffee and the organic bittersweet chocolate.


And side note: Yep.

A Mighty, Mighty Weekend

Even though Sunday was the accursed "bad" daylight savings time change, I managed to have a very productive weekend. Very. Now, because I'm not a huge fan of the "here's a detailed play-by-play of what I did every minute of the day" type blogs, I won't bore you with the details. Instead, I will provide a list of the highlights (with short descriptions, because I mean really? Sometimes you need a little extra.), so that you may celebrate with me a weekend of productivity.

*Shopping. I elaborated on this adventure in an earlier post, but I just want to reiterate the existential complexity of this activity. I brought all of my clothes with the intention to try them all on again to make sure they look as good at home as they did in the dressing room (am I the only one who feels sort of pressured when trying things on in the store?). I can think of one or two things that might end up getting returned...but we'll see. Dana was incredibly helpful when I tried stuff on at the store, but I feel like I need more guidance/opinions now that I've brought the clothes home. The Boy is usually good at this, though he may need to be bribed with cookies.

*Organizing. I got a new hamper this weekend. I had been wanting the kind that has separate bins (aka a sorter, not a hamper, apparently. who knew?) for a while, and I thought it might be time to replace the big basket-style one with the broken handles I've had since my freshman year of college (it is now up on the shelf in the closet, storing ski pants and painting clothes -- basically, things I don't use very often). The only problem? The new sorter is longer than the old hamper, and doesn't quite fit in the space where the old one was (I know, right? The terror!!!), so I had to do a little closet-rearranging. This was a multi-step process, that has left me with my empty hanging rod sort of hanging on top of the sorter until I figure out what to do with it. BUT WAIT!!! What about the clothes that were hanging on the rod? I know, that is the question on all of your minds. Here, my friends, is where it gets good.

I had been wanting to get all of my thick sweaters off of hangers (where they had been folded over the hangers so as not to get the little shoulder pucker that results from using cheap plastic hangers...taking up a lot of room) and into drawers for a while, but could not, due to the lack of drawer space. This new closet situation provided the impetus to do a big purging of Things I Don't Wear But Have For Some Reason Been Keeping. I gained the ENTIRE bottom drawer of my dresser, as well as the entire top drawer (when I bought one of these to go in the closet, where the old hamper used to be, and filled it with pajamas), which now house all of the Tshirts and camisoles that were unnecessarily hanging in the closet, as well as the bulky (and non-bulky) sweaters. It was like magic, I swear. I am still having problems with the bottoms of the drawers "sagging," but it's a cheap IKEA dresser. I don't know what I expected.

So yes. Organization Has Happened. I was going to take pictures and post them, but my poor computer had a delightful hard drive failure (the Apple Genius described it as such: "The computer can't find itself.") and I couldn't upload pictures. Maybe, if I still think it's interesting, I'll post a visual later in the week. Maybe not.

*Headboard. I purchased a headboard this weekend. I'd been wanting one for a while, sort of window (online) shopping around to see what was out there. I ended up with this one, which wasn't totally what I was looking for, but ended up working very nicely. Thank you, Craigslist!

*Cleaning. This did not happen. Maybe tonight.

On a side note, I think this might be the solution to my toilet paper "problem" (not so much a "problem" as an "inconvenience"). I currently keep a spare roll of tp sitting on top of the toilet seat, but I always knock it over (one day, it will end up IN the toilet, I'm sure of it), or forget to replace it (maybe if I had a real place for it I would remember?). Plus, this thing is pretty and would hold a magazine/catalogue. And I like it. Now I just have to measure to see if it would fit/make the bathroom look too cluttered. [note: why does the dictionary recognize "catalog" but not "catalogue" -- is it because I'm spelling it in the "british" way? stupid. "catalog" looks unfinished.]

And that's all that's fit to print, and some that's not.

PS - I got a shout out in Apartment Therapy. Go me. Check it out...let me know if you have any solutions to my burnt-pot-problem!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Emptying the Tabs (again)

  1. Really cool video from some Russians - they made a gigantic gmail model of sorts.
  2. I want to go see this Annie Leibovitz exhibit in San Francisco. Really.
  3. Sometimes I feel like I should be too young to identify with articles in Real Simple magazine. Eesh.
  4. This is really exciting to me. I had no idea you could do this with your gmail account, and I totally plan on using it!!!
  5. The Google Zurich office is RAD...according to these pictures, anyway. Damn, Zurich.
  6. Grad Girl (of This Writer's Wallet, a blog I subscribe to) listed me in her recent "favorite blogs" article series. I think that is really, really, really cool. I'm always shocked when I get a comment from someone I don't know, and most of the non-friend-readers have found me through blogs like hers, or An English Major's Money. I've even noticed myself in the "favorite blogs" sections of some of these *random* comments! So cool! Totally blogalicious! (go ahead, Jessie, love that word. I know you will. And, um, if you could incorporate it into an episode of The Soup, and give me a shout out, I would feel even cooler. Just kidding. About the request, not about feeling cooler. Cause I totally would.)

On side note, the two PF (that's Personal Finance) blogs I just mentioned both have really nifty little sidebar-progress-things that track the progress of various savings accounts. I really like them, and have been wanting to make one of my own for a long time and haven't gotten around to it. How do you do yours, and how can I do one? And how do you update it? And is it ridiculously easy? Should I make one of my engineers do it for me? Can I be a big girl and do it on my own? Speaking of doing things on my own...I really need to do my taxes already!


I went shopping today. I spent more money than I have ever spent in one day. I am still in shock.

Let me explain. This week was "bonus week" at work, and I found myself with a (really) nice chunk of change. I'm going to be able to pay my parents back the rest of the money I owe them (woo!!!), put a nice bit in my savings account (which has been totally neglected while I pay my parents back), and hopefully save for my college roommate's wedding (to another college friend of mine) - which involves a long weekend in Phoenix.

And I decided to spend the "remainder" on new clothes (and maybe a trip to NY to see Passing Strange, but we'll see about that). However, I decided to buy (some of) the new clothes this weekend. Yes, spending before saving. Not my style. And to be honest, I'm a little scared.

The sticker shock was something I could have never imagined from the many hours of TiVo'd What Not To Wear I've been watching lately. Now, I didn't spend $5,000, but it was also my own money, and not money from the good people at TLC. And I did spend more than I've ever spent in my life on clothing.


It is quality stuff. And I got some good staples that will *hopefully* last me longer than the $20 pants I usually buy at Target (not that I'm knocking Target. I love that place).

Also, I am going to keep the tags on everything for at least a week to make sure I really love it. If I'm going to spend more than $25 on a pair of dress pants, I want to make sure I won't regret it in a week. Same goes for, erm, a $70 sweater. Or a $80 pair of jeans (WHAT!?!?!?).

So yes. I have been having trouble getting used to the fact that I am inching (or diving, as the case was today) my way into the world of "grown up clothes." I even got a pair of dress pants altered -- speaking of which, what happens if you buy a pair of pants and the store has them altered for you, and you go to pick them up and decide you don't like them anymore? Can you return it? Or is it a "you bought it and had it altered, so sorry" situation? Has anyone out there experienced this? Not that I'm anticipating this's just, you know, scary to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 on a (really nice) pair of pants without KNOWING you could return them (and no, I didn't think to ask the store until after I had paid and was on the way home).

Anyway. I haven't been blogging in a while, because the last week was rather hectic at work, but hopefully this rather long post makes up for it (I'm lookin' at you, Shonelle! Just kidding). There are a lot of parenthesis in this blog entry. But that's ok. I say so.

PS - Don't worry, I still have enough money leftover to pay back my parents and put a good amount in savings. Especially if I do end up returning a few things. But even if I don't...I'm still in decent shape with the allocation of bonus money. That is, I will still feel good about the amount of money I've spent in relation to the amount I've saved. Without too much attempted justification. :-) More updates when I've crunched the final numbers.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Proud to be a Reptile

As some of you may (or may not) know, Passing Strange recently opened on Broadway at the Belasco, and to rave reviews! And yesterday, the New York Times ran an article about how great Berkeley Repertory Theatre is, and how it's sent 4 shows to Broadway in the last 2 years. Lots of cool things going on.

Now, maybe you don't know this, but last year I was the Literary Management/Dramaturgy Intern at Berkeley Rep. Not only did I get to be a part of a fantastic theatre company for 11 months, I got to work on aforementioned Passing Strange, which had its world premier at Berkeley Rep. I'm thrilled about its success in NY, and now I just need to find a way to get myself there...

These days, I'm not working on much theatre firsthand, but I do try to get out there and see it whenever I can. Especially at Berkeley Rep., which is a pretty effin' cool place, if you ask me.