Friday, November 30, 2007

God help us all!

Thanks to Jill, this video confirmed that most white men cannot dance nor rap, and it is not an enjoyable experience to watch. In fact, I found it rather disturbing!

Thankfully there is Barack Obama, offering free dance lessons on the Ellen DeGeneres show:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

Okay, here goes: (Note: Pictures are from the internet as our digital camera is stinky. Picture here and below is courtesey of Uncle Jim and Aunt Beth's lovely working camera.)

Wednesday: Woke up sick as a dog and called in sick to work. Spent the rest of the day sleeping and slowly packing for our upcoming overnight drive to Fairfield. I gabbed all day to Matt about possibly canceling our trip but then I didn't like the idea of bailing on relatives and being alone on Thanksgiving. We were really looking forward to our trip, aside from Sicky McGee feeling, well, sicky.

Thursday: We left the kitties with plenty of food and water, and took off about 3:30am. We got on I-5 with zero traffic - I remember at one point there were just 4 cars on our side of the freeway. I didn't fall asleep until after breakfast at Jack in the Crack somewhere over on the other side of the San Fernando Mountains.

I woke up around 5:30am to Matt pulling over near some orchards and mumbling how he needed a nap before he could continue driving. Totally ok! No accidents please! So he pulled over and fell asleep. At this point I was wide awake, enjoying the peace of country life. I really wanted to go out and walk around but brrrrrrr!!!! It was cold. Wish I had my stinky camera, there were some great shots that would have made for good blogging.

We arrived in Fairfield, CA around 10am (I think?) exhausted and full of drive-thru food (blech). Our legs needed to be stretched and I just wanted to go to bed. I was completely impressed with Jim and Beth's home. It was beautiful! Sweeping views of Green Valley included nearby vineyards, beautiful homes, and farmland. Jim said it was his dream home and he would be sad to leave next year (he commutes 1.5 hours to Sonoma every day). They also had a hotub which Matt took advantage of every night.

After an hour of gabbing and catching up, Matt and I headed to bed, becoming unconcious almost immediately. I slept as long as possible because I was feeling worse. I made myself respectable and headed out to the family room full of people and more arriving by the minute. (Family tree: Jim is Matt's Uncle on his mom's side, Beth is Aunt by marriage, and everyone else was from Beth's side of the family). I think there must have been 20 people over for dinner and it was really fun to get to know all of these new faces. I think my favorite guest was Beth's mom, Grandma Peg. She was a hoot and such a kind woman. She made me realize how much I missed having a grandma in my life. She also made me think about how you can never be too old to travel - she is in her 80's and going to Egypt next year!

Around 7:30 I had started to fade, and by 8:00 Grandma Peg told me for the third time to go to bed. I obeyed, and fell into a deep sleep, waking up only to take care of cold related issues.

Friday: I woke up feeling much better, and Matt felt very relaxed. We hadn't watched TV, checked our email, or even listened to a radio in over a day. A life without technology - it was great! After some discussion over breakfast (homemade oatmeal, pears, and tea), we decided Napa Wine Country sounded like the best plan. Low key, close by, and of course, wine! We had so much fun going in and out of Beth's favorite stores, including a little clothing boutique where I was allowed to indulge in a new pair of jeans, a scarf, and a pair of earrings. Matt and Jim tried on a few hats...We ended our day in Napa with a great dinner at Taylor's Refresher which included yummy garlic fries. When we got home, Jim and Matt hit the hot tub while Beth and I talked and read books by the fireplace. We can't wait to go back and try out the Napa Wine Train next time!

More details to come on our day in San Francisco - I need to get back to work!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Real quick

We had a great Thanksgiving with Matt's side of the family. We headed up to Fairfield, CA to visit Uncle Jim, Aunt Beth, and cousins Leah and Kaitlin. We were the only family from Jim's side at dinner. Everyone else was from Beth's side but it was great to meet them and get to eat some fantastic food. Friday we went to Napa Wine Country and Saturday we spent in San Francisco. We ended the weekend with a side-trip to South San Fran to see the Dickens Fair and visit with friends Jeremy and Katy. We got home this morning around 3:30.

Unfortunately I woke up with a bad cold on Wednesday and was sick for the entire weekend. I started feeling better on Friday and by this morning I realized I had been through the worst of it. I'm still stuffy, but the only thing I mind is having to go back to work tomorrow. UGH.

I will post more details about our trip later. Right now it's time for more rest.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Little Ballerina

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company in Seattle. I danced there from 2nd to 5th grade, and even got a part in the battle scene in their annual Nutcracker show. Every night, my parents would take me to the Seattle Opera House (which has since been demolished). I would walk backstage and through the corridors to see the Seattle Symphony musicians gettin their instruments from their lockers. I'd find my mirror and my costume in the dressing room, get my hair in a bun on the top of my head, and go through the make-up line. My mom even volunteered to help with make-up and put on my round-red cheeks (created by cutting a hole in a tupperware lid and smooshing it on my face) one night. It was a magical and memorable experience that will stay with me for a very long time.

I stopped dancing at PNB when I was 12. They wanted me to come to class 4 times a week and I wanted to be a kid. So I started taking jazz and tap at a small studio in the neighborhood. It wasn't much. I actually gained weight while there. My mom did her homework and found another neighborhood studio that taught jazz and ballet, and would I like to audition? I jumped at the chance. I was promptly told that my turnout was too "turned out" and my fingers created the "wrong" sillouhette. But I decided that this was the place for me, and proceeded to sign up with Ballet Arts Magnolia. I was with them for 4 years before I was told that even though I wanted to be a dancer, I didn't have the body for it. With that, and my grades going down, my parents and I decided to just stick with the 1 day a week jazz class.

To this day I miss ballet terribly but won't go back. I have tried ballet classes in the past and it's rough on my joints. I have ankle and knee issues due to all the jumping, pointing, leaping, and for whatever reason, I can't stand up straight to save my life. But I'll never forget those days in the Opera House, or my final solo with Ballet Arts. There was something magical about the expression of dance that will always stay with me.

The above video is from a movie that PNB put out years ago. The featured clip is the Peacock Dance from their Nutcracker production. When I was little, that was the role I wanted.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Say what?

I'm not a huge Celine Dion fan, but this is pretty entertaining!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A good weekend so far

Last night I went to Yoga and it felt really good. I was a good girl and kept myself hydrated all day, and it really helped with my overall workout. I still had to sit down and escaped to the air-conditioned bathroom a few times. But within the first few minutes, I was already sweating and by the time class was over, I had a nice glow. I was so proud of myself for going and the best part was that there weren't very many people in the class. Since it was Friday night, I guess everyone went out. I also enjoyed the instructor's pace of the class. She kept the room a little cooler so we were able to go a little faster which meant we ended a little earlier. :) I was home by 8:15.

Tonight I get to see friends which will be fun. Amanda, Kari, and Paul (Kari's fiancee) are coming over to see our place and then we're heading out to thai food down the street. Then we're off to Magic Mountain for a special roller-coaster evening. Apparently, Paul's employer has worked out a "magic" deal where employees and their friends can enjoy the park by themselves for 6 hours! I'm really excited to go as I haven't been to Magic Mountain in over a year and I hear they have some amazing roller coasters. It will also be nice to spend some time with Amanda and Kari as I rarely see them anymore. Hopefully Matt will still be able to come. Poor guy has a migraine right now. :(

I've been asked quite a few times about the writers strike and how it's affecting us. I will blog about that later, perhaps when I feel a little more positive about the situation.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Smile for the camera!

Attempting to "vogue" at Curt and Laurel's wedding.

Paige and I in wine country. I think this was our 2nd winery? :)

Our friends Don and Cindy. Aren't they a cute couple?
I "borrowed" these pictures from Cindy's blog. She has more posted on her site, including some of her very cute doggies!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's good ? to be back

I went back to Bikram Yoga on Sunday morning at the ungodly hour of 8am. And it felt great! The bonus was that I got a super parking spot right outside the studio. I was barely with it on my way to my car, but with Tom Petty singing on the way home, I felt very calm and at peace which I haven't felt in such a long time. I couldn't wait to go back.

Another bonus to Sunday's practice - my favorite instructor was there! His name is Tavi, and he is just amazing. Which reminds me, I need to call the studio and find out which classes he teaches. He makes the session so enjoyable and relaxing and I feel like he really cares about each person in the class.

Come Monday afternoon at work, I stood up and almost had to sit back down again, the pain was so intense! I must have pulled a muscle in my calf that makes it difficult to stand and walk after a few hours of sitting at my desk, watching tv, etc. So I'm trying to get up once an hour and just walk around. Stretching doesn't seem to help. I'm so miffed. I was hoping to go back tonight but I think I'll wait. I don't want to antagonize this little injury any further. I think I'll go back on Saturday morning. Even though 8am is ungodly early, the studio is not humid which make the practice much easier for me. Hopefully my leg will be feeling better by then. Even if it's not, I may go back anyway as it would be good to stretch it out and as long as I listen to my body during practice, I should be fine. Just being in that hot room is enough to get a good work out!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Inspired by someone I barely know

About a year and a half ago, my friend Celena introduced me to a wonderful workout called Bikram Yoga. I fell in love with it almost immediately, despite the naseua from the heat and the sore muscles the next day (later I found out it's one the poses that makes me feel ill, so I just started skipping that particular step until I felt stronger). Anyway, I recently found a blog written by an old aquaintance and theater buff I knew in college (what does SB mean?). I found out that she practices Bikram Yoga too! I thought to myself "If she can do it, so can I. She commutes from Tacoma to the eastside every day, for petes sake. And remember it helped you lose 10 pounds in 6 weeks?"

So I am going to commit to Bikram again. Twice a week - once after work and once on the weekends. They say you have to go twice a week minimum to get the maximum results and I can do that. The closest studio has a session late at night that I really enjoyed. There's also one in Studio City that has a session at 10pm, which my manager goes to. I told her next time she goes to let me know so that I could join her and experience a new place.

Now this yoga costs moolah. And we don't have a lot of it. I've been spending my allowance on eating out to lunch everyday, keeping it as cheap and as healthy as possible. If I'm to start yoga, I must find an alternative. I have found a room in our office that is not being used, has a great view of the lot and the park, and has no phone! I can easily eat in there and read a book. I'm also going to research nearby parks for when I have the car and need to escape. I'll allow myself to eat out on Thursdays, and maybe a Friday or two.

Save money and get healthy at the same time. I can do this!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Thanks, Cindy!

life would be simpler if... the writers strike was over and matt got signed by an agent.

i feel most beautiful... when i'm laughing.

the quality i like most about myself... how i can find the positive in the negative, no matter what the situation is.

the quality i like least about myself is... i can't seem to find the right words to express myself when i'm talking.

something that no one knows about me is... i have a hard time being around strong women sometimes because i want to be like them instead of my irritating self.

something I'm proud of... sticking out this job even though i've now been bored for hours. we need the money and at least i have a job!

guiltiest pleasure? cookies and milk after 10pm.

high road or low road? High

my favorite possession is... my new wool coat

when i was little, i wanted to be... a marine biologist. i was fascinated with the sea.

what surprises me most about my adult life is... that seeing your friends and family every so often is acceptable and how tired i am after a "long" day at work.

the big decision i'm currently wrestling with is... how to be a better human being and to put forth the postive engery i so desperately want in my own life. and what will we do if the writer's strike doesn't end before we have to pay back the loans?

It's cold for us!

Freezing at night, shivering under the sheets and wearing fleeces when I get home. Hot cups of decaf pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks, wearing my wool coat at work, and it's just barely enough.

I am a weather wimp and proud of it. When it's 100 degrees in the summer, 60 degrees in the winter is cold!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

So proud!

Last night was the end of a long day. We had to return the rental car last night and pick up our car from the shop (since we are driving an 800 mile round trip to San Francisco in 2 weeks we wanted to have the car looked at, thank goodness we did because there was a small oil leak). Due to traffic, we couldn't return the rental car by 6 but we could pick up our car. All of the sudden we were a two-car family! But only for a night. :P Anyway, Matt dropped me off at the dealer's to pick up our car and headed home, only to find traffic on Hollywood Blvd at a standstill (10 minutes later I had no problems...that is, until I got to Western). He was tired and frustrated and hungry. So was I. After a long day at work, the last thing I wanted to do was cook. He suggested ordering in but I was tired of the options and knew I could make something much better for him. So, I settled for me having leftovers and making him his own dish. Luckily, I had planned this dish out already and the bonus was it's one of his favorites.

Since our new blog is for new recipes only, I'll post it here. Enjoy!

Sausage and Peppers
from Cooking With My Sisters by Adriana Trigiani

Note: This is the "serves 2" version.

4 pre-cooked italian sasuage links, such as Addells, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1-2 green peppers, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced (optional, I haven't tried it yet but I will next time)

In large skillet, pour a little water on the bottom so that the sausages don't burn. Turn skillet to medium-high heatWhen ready, add italian sausage and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until slightly softened. Add vegetables and seasonings, stir, and cover for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low.

By now, I eye-ball this reciepe. Be careful to not overcook the sausages. Vegetables should still be a little crispy. Excellent with a tossed salad and a slice of hearty bread.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Feeling good

And taking advantage. I've been doing well with taking my daily medications of no-sneeze and no-sniffle. It's been really nice to be able to breathe at night again. Still working on "working out" when I get home but I'm up to once a week which is an improvement after nothing at all. Will try for twice a week soon - shooting for once after work and once during the weekend. The ballet DVD that I got for my birthday kicks my butt every time, but I know it's for the best in the long run.

I've been having so much fun with the new blog that Cindy and I created last weekend. It's really inspired me to cook more and try new things that originally I would say "no" to. I've also enjoyed seeing the difference in our styles of cooking and recipe choices.

Friday, November 02, 2007

No more weekly recipes here!

Check out Cooking Kama Sutras, a communal hot and spicy cooking site where (so far) Cindy and I share new recipes and the stories that emerge with them. I hope you enjoy it and if you want to contribute, let us know!

Hope to see you in our e-kitchen soon!