Sunday, January 27, 2008

My One and Oly.

Greetings from the Pacific Northwest! Here's a little recap of what we have been up to since touching down Friday morning:

We left the airport Friday morning and Josh and his dad dropped me off at Bellevue Square to meet Taryn for lunch and a little shopping. As always, it was wonderful to spend the afternoon with Taryn. We both got some good shopping done, each leaving Nordstrom's with new shoes.

Friday evening, we went to Josh's brother's house, and I went to bed super early (I was exhausted having only slept two hours the night before). Josh and his bro, Kitt, hung out, caught up, and drank a little beer.

Saturday morning, we headed down to Olympia bright and early to set up "the grange" for the anniversary party. I had no idea what "the grange" was (despite a few covert google searches on my Blackberry, with no luck). For those of you city girls like I, "the grange" is an association of farmers. The association usually has a little social/dance hall for its members. This particular grange was built in 1928 and reminded me of 1940s dance halls my grandma used to talk about. It was really very cute and rustic.

Josh's whole family was there, and Josh's grandparents seemed so happy. They danced and mingled with the rest of the family, and Josh and his brother selected some great Big Band music that seemed to complete the whole feel. Oh, and there was lots of wine. :)

Happy 65th anniversary!

After the party, Josh, Kitt, Kitt's wife Arian, and I headed to downtown Olympia to celebrate Arian's 30th Birthday!

We started the night off at McMenamins Spar Cafe. I had been here before McMenamins took it over, and it looks pretty much the same. We found a little table in the back, ate tots, and Kitt and Arian played pool.

After leaving the Spar, we went to The Royal, a bar set up to look like a trendy living room from the late 1970s with bocce ball games set up on either side of the bar. I really loved this bar. It was cozy but hip. Who knew such cool bars existed in Oly?

I'm not sure what's up today. Guess that's all part of the adventure of hanging out with Josh & family. :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pre-teenaged sensations

If you are reading this, then I just figured out how to blog from my Blackberry! How cool is that?! (It makes me feel like singing that song from Napoleon Dynamite: "Ohhh, I love technology. But not as much as you, you see. But I still love technology. Always and forever. Always and forever.")

So, where were we? Ah, last time I blogged, Josh and I were about to pick up the most adorable creatures on the planet for the evening. Well, I ended up picking up the girls (Josh had a rugby game), and they wanted to go to the mall (insert 12 year-old-girl-squeal here), so that's where we went. Come to find out, my little cousins are in love with Juicy Couture. This came as a bit of a surprise, probably because at their age my idea of "designer" was Arizona Jeans and The Gap. Whatever. So, we look at all things "Juicy," and then head to Claire's where they begged me to let me get their ears pierced. Funny, girls. They settled for magnetic earrings.

Of course, one mall was not enough for my favorite pre-teen mall rats, and since Josh and I are huge suckers, we agreed to take them to the Camarillo Outlets after some begging. Our first stop? The Juicy Couture outlet. Good Lord, those are some expensive sweat pants! I mean, I love a good splurge, but this is one store I do not get. I guess that makes me officially old. Before I know it, I will start complaining their music is too loud.

Next stop was my favorite spot at the outlets: the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet. The girls were convinced once I told them Saks had Juicy Couture. Although, they kept calling it "Stacks 5" which was cracking me up. Turns out there was a big sale at Saks, and the girls ended up finding deeply discounted Juicy Couture zip-ups, so we bought them for their birthdays. I know, I can't believe I bought designer items for two little kids, but what can I say? I am a sucker who cannot say no to those two little things. However, as a public service, I am adding this inability to the list of things to fix before getting knocked up so my children are not spoiled brats. You're welcome. :)

After the mall, we grabbed dinner and then headed back to the house and met up with Bug (my sis) and Jackie. We all went into the hot tub and chatted before putting the girls to bed.

Monday we went to see 27 Dresses. It was pretty much what I expected. Then, we went to Grandma's for dinner and dropped the girls off.

The rest of the week has been busy at work and kind of stressful. Ah well.

At least I am out of the office today. Josh and I are in Seattle/Olympia for the weekend to celebrate Josh's grandparents' 65th wedding anniversary. (How amazing is 65 years?!) I love being back in the Pacific Northwest where, ironically, it is not raining. Glad we left the fugly weather behind!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Puppies, yoga, and yogurt.

Friday was pretty mellow. I made it home from work after a somewhat hectic day in the early evening. Josh and I puppy-sat for Jackie's new puppy, Rocko, Thursday through Saturday, so we spent the evening playing with Rocko and our two dogs. We left the house to grab some Golden Spoon, but other than that, we were pretty lazy.

Saturday, Rocko woke us up at 5 a.m. (!!!) and would not go back to bed. I ended up going back to sleep and slept through my alarm, missing lunch with friends. Bummer. :/ After I woke up, the rest of the morning was filled with more excitement: bills, taxes, and cleaning. Yeah, it's a thrill a minute at our house. In the afternoon, I went to a yoga class. I drug Josh along with me, and he really enjoyed the class, which surprised me. The class killed me. Man, I am out of shape. Just when I thought I was going to die, class ended. Oh, and guess what's next door...Golden Spoon! So, yeah, there was a bit of a detour after class. In the evening, I picked Jackie up from the airport, and she came back to the house for a bit.

This morning, I am heading out to Pasadena to pick up my two cousins (10 and 12) who are going to spend the night with us. They usually beg their parents to let them come over and spend the night, and since my uncle and aunt are under the weather, we agreed to take the girls for the evening.

I adore these two. I'm sure they will wear me out, but I am looking forward to running around with them.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

New Kids on the Block.

A few of my nearest and dearest have started blogs, so I thought I would "introduce" these fabulous ladies to you all:

My lovely friend, Taryn, started up her blog, The Girl With Two First Names, a few weeks ago. Taryn and I were in the same sorority, and after rooming together one quarter, became instant friends. We were both bridesmaids in each other wedding and have seen each other through a lot. Taryn is a huge crack-up, a force to be reckoned with on a dance floor, and has the heartiest, most infectious laugh of anyone I have ever met.

The wild, bachelorette days...

Another sorority sister and roommate in law school, H, started The Gift That I Am a few months ago (playing off Paula Abdul's line). H made Ithaca somewhat bearable for me, and she and I traveled to Brazil together, rivaling all senior citizens tours with how lazy and sober we were while we were there.

H and me on a jungle tour in Brazil

My law school war buddy, Margaret, jumped on the blog wagon, too and just started her blog, Moosings. If it weren't for Margaret, I probably never would have made it through law school. Seriously. Margaret and I were in each other's wedding, and Margaret had to listen to all my crazy Bridezilla rants while we were 3Ls. She is a patient one. Margaret is also in D.C. and was married last year in Portland (recap here).

The (second) happiest day of my life!

A few other friends have revived their blogging, including my sorority sister, Schwee. Sadly, I don't have any pics of us together to complete this post (which is really messing with my OCD). But, word is she is coming to visit in February, so maybe there will be pics then.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More Adventures in San Jose (alternatively titled "Another Boring Day")

Another titillating day in San Jose . . .

My co-worker, John, and I are sharing a rental car and managed to get lost going to Initech again this morning. Oh, and we got lost on the way home, too. Now, I have a pretty terrible sense of direction, as, apparently, does John. Yes, we are quite a pair, driving through San Ho, circling the same streets like lunatics.

The interviews themselves were pretty uneventful. However, I did see something pretty funny in the new building I was in today. So, keeping with the "Office Space" vibe, I noticed that someone had removed the walls from their cubicle so they could see outside.

I passed this, cracked up, and then did a little backward jig so I could look again. It reminded me of that scene when Peter removes an entire cubicle wall, and then sits back in his chair, hands behind his head, to enjoy the view of the parking lot. I couldn't not sneak a pic!

After the interviews, a bunch of us got together and went out for dinner at a steakhouse nearby. Then, it was back to the hotel bar. This old lady decided to drag her tired butt home about 15 minutes ago, but I think the rest are in for a long night (and, likely, a crummy morning).

In other news, I finished Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Eat, Pray, Love is a memoir in which Gilbert recounts her adventures through Italy, India, and Indonesia. Basically, one day, Gilbert looks at her life, her successful career, house, husband, and, despite plans to get pregnant in the near future, decides she wants something else out of life. After a painful divorce, Gilbert embarks on a year-long trip, four months in Italy to eat and soak in "pleasure," four months in India for spiritual rekindling, and four months in Indonesia to find balance. Throughout the book, Gilbert is self-deprecating, candid, and pretty funny considering all she'd been through.

I really enjoyed this book...maybe because quitting my job and traveling for a year with Josh sounds like a fantasy that I want to experience, even if vicariously! (Well, Josh and I did buy lottery tickets, so here's hoping...)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Do you know the way ...

Ah, San Jose. It was not that long ago I was here for work, and, whaddya know....I'm baaack. Oh, I know what you're thinking. How come I get to go to so many exciting, exotic places on business? Hey now, don't be jealous.

I arrived here yesterday evening and have spent the day interviewing employees. These are not the normal witness interviews I do, where I get to sit down and chit chat with an employee or manager about certain events around the litigation. No, these interviews are for a big class action, so I have prepared questions, and I ask the employee about his/her job duties, hours worked, etc.

The company I am at is eerily like Initech. Given the nature of my questions and the fact that I am set up in a conference room, I can't help but feel like one of "the Bobs." ("What exactly would you say you do here at Initech?") In fact, there is even "executive" parking up front, no doubt reserved for Lumbergh.

So, I am here until Wednesday evening. My co-workers are off at a bar, and I am stuck in my room writing an opposition. Ah, well. Maybe I can come out and play tomorrow.

Oh hey, I haven't even told you what I did this weekend... Alright, here goes, the quick and the dirty:

Friday, Josh and I went to see Juno. Liked it a lot. Liked the sarcastic teen. Loved Allison Janney.

Saturday, Josh had his first ever rugby game in the afternoon, and I sat out in the sun, watching the game and enjoying the gorgeous weather. I know L.A. supposedly doesn't have seasons (a statement I disagree with -- they are subtle, ok?), but I swear it felt like the first day of spring. One of our trees even had a flower on it! Anyway, Josh's team lost, but I think he still had fun. In the evening, Josh and I met up with Jackie and PJ at Chimney Sweep. Interesting place. Feels like it should be a dive bar, but there were lots of "trendy" people there. Only in L.A. could there be a trendy dive bar.

Sunday, we went to church and then met Dad and Cathy for breakfast at Side Street. I tried to clean, I swear, but after scrubbing the kitchen, I ended up passed out on the couch watching "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." (Those of you who feared reading would interfere with my trashy-TV-watching, have faith.)

Okay, time to crank out this opposition...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Delurking Week.

I learned about this fun Internet holiday from Nanette!

If you are reading my blog and have never commented, please say hello!

(I took Wan's advice and stole this pic from here , in case any of you are looking for other delurking graphics!)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Books, Art, and Noodles.

This week has been pretty tame. Work hasn't been overly demanding, and I have managed to make it home every evening at a decent-ish time (8 or so) and spend time with Josh. Last night, we even went for a two-mile walk around our neighborhood with the dogs, which was pleasant and relaxing.

Yesterday, I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. (New Year's Resolution: Cut back a bit on TV watching and read more.) A Thousand Splendid Suns is a historical fiction that chronicles the lives of two women over the course of thirty-or-so years in Afghanistan. It was one of those books that picks you up out of your life and places you in a completely different world. Plus, I was surprised at how little I know about (and how much little thought I have given to) Afghani history and culture, which is somewhat shameful given recent events. The plot was rich and kept me engaged, although the stories are quite sad. Overall, it was one of the best books I've read in awhile.

This evening, Tater and the Monkey picked me up from work, and we went to the Murakami exhibit at the MOCA. The exhibit was great. I really enjoyed walking around and talking with Tater and the Monkey, both of whom are very funny and bright. Sadly, I have no pictures to show, but the Monkey was great about documenting the evening, and I suspect a picture-filled blog post will show up on her blog soon. After, we went to dinner. Now that I think of it, I cannot remember the name of the restaurant, but I had some spicy ramen with pork that was delish!

I am so excited that tomorrow is Friday! I will probably work a little over the weekend because I found out today that I am spending Sunday night through Wednesday night in San Jose. Luckily, a few other friends from work will be there for the same case. But for now ... bed.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Lazy Sunday.

Well, good news: we seem to have survived Stormwatch 2008! Wow, that sump pump turned out to be a lifesaver. It sucked up our mini-lake and dumped it down the rain gutters. Flood and disaster averted.

Other than that, the weekend was remarkably slow. The grey weather made me lazy, and I slept in Saturday morning past noon. I haven't done that in so long, and it felt incredible. We went up to Camarillo to see my dad for the afternoon and then headed to Sherman Oaks to see Jackie and PJ.

Jackie, PJ, PJ's pal, Josh, and I headed out to a dive bar called Green Frog, also in Shoaks. The bar had a pretty interesting mix of people that seemed to match the weird variety of music played (Alanis Morissette, Pearl Jam, Snoop, Britney Spears). Pretty random, but I dug it. Also, I tried a black and tan (in this case, Guinness and Bass) for the first time, and it was pretty good.

Today was also pretty low-key. Church and breakfast in the morning in Malibu. Then, we headed to my sister's apartment. Bug cooked dinner and then we watched Blades of Glory, which made me laugh, despite its predictable jokes and silliness.

I am now parked on my couch watching Cashmere Mafia. So far, meh. A little too similar to Sex and the City, methinks. Ah, well. I should probably hit the sack anyway...

Friday, January 4, 2008

The kids aren't alright.

When I heard the forecast that torrential rains were about to assault California, I said, "Pshaw." Southern Californians and the news media often overdramatize the weather here, I think. After the many years in craptastic weather (Alaska, Seattle, Ithaca), a little Southern California sprinkle cannot get me down.

Yeah. Famous last words.

I came home today after sitting in traffic for two hours in the pouring rain. I mean, pouring. My little windshield wipers were doing double-time, but I was still squinting and peering over my steering wheel.

Anyway, I come home and find my poor little husband in our backyard, completely sopping wet, in the rain, barefoot, lodging broomsticks against our gutter to make those darn things dump. And the level of our pool has surpassed the spa and was creeping towards the top.

My two dogs looked up at me as if to say, "Uh, wtf?" Josh came in, soaked to the bone (hmm, where is his raincoat, I was wondering) and said it looked like the water was getting so high that it may leak into the house. And, that would be bad.

So, after a couple of frantic calls to the dads of the family, we learned we needed a sump pump. I called every Home Depot, Lowe's, and Ace Hardware store I could find in the phonebook. Most places were sold out (I had never even heard of a sump pump, but apparently everyone else had), but we finally found one. So, we hopped in the car and were in business.

Currently, out little pump is working its hardest to pump the water from our not-so-mini-lake into the street gutter. Hopefully, it is working. I also keep nervously looking at our ceiling. We could probably use a new roof, so I am praying for no leakage. Yeah, it's times like these I miss our apartment.

So, as we wait for our new little pump to do its business, I am sitting here watching Season Three of The Office and keeping my fingers crossed. Hope everyone else is keeping dry!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Caucus Ruckus.

This evening, I have been glued to the TV to watch the outcome of the Iowa Caucuses. For those of you who do not know, here is my nerdy confession: I love politics. I usually obsessively follow current events and will discuss them, much to the boredom of my family and friends. I like the discussion more than I like trying to convince someone I am right, so I will likely not express a lot of my political views on this blog.

However, tonight's events did get me to wonder: what are the political persuasions of the readers of this blog? So, to satisfy my curiosity, an anonymous poll:

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Ah, another year. Not much to report in terms of an exciting NYE. In an effort not to break our longstanding tradition of being lame on NYE, Jackie came over with PJ, and the four of us drank wine, played with the puppy, and watched the countdown. Is it just me, or has Carson Daly had plastic surgery? Hmmm.

I am actually pretty excited for New Year's this year. I am ready for a fresh start and a new year. Not that 2007 was bad, but I think it's time to break out of my rut. Oh, and finally lose the weight I managed to gain after the wedding. Yeesh.

Well, off to sleep since I am back to the office bright and early. Happy New Year, everyone!