Tuesday, July 29, 2008

10 things

I’ve been tagged to list 10 things about me that you may not know. Since this sounds better than working on the website, I figured I’d play along…

1. In addition to the piano, I also used to play the French horn and the cello. I even marched in marching band for two years with the horn…which is just as difficult and dorky as it sounds. I was never very good at the cello—I played in college and just didn’t have enough time (or motivation) to really practice. Now I would like to learn the guitar. And I wouldn’t mind taking jazz piano lessons, either.

2. I danced for most of my childhood/teenage years. Mostly jazz and tap, with some ballet thrown in. (But I was terrible at ballet, so the only ballet lessons were those forced on me.) The pinnacle of my dancing career was playing Dorothy in an all-dancing version of The Wizard of Oz.

3. Throughout college I worked as a technical writer for Compaq/Hewlett-Packard. It was awesome and a total blast, except for the technical writing part. (Seriously, my division’s beach volleyball team was unstoppable!) I worked every summer and even telecommuted my senior year of college, but ultimately decided I didn’t want to take all the programming classes necessary to really make a career of it. And thus began my quest to find a job I actually liked…

4. I almost ALMOST went to graduate school at the University of Chicago. I visited the campus, loved the program, loved the people and professors, and decided to go. Everything was settled—I even had my housing arranged—but in the end I realized that it wasn’t what I should be doing. Although I’m sure I would have loved it, I’m really glad I didn’t go because I think I would have ended up with a lot of debt, and a not-very-marketable degree.

5. I am (was) a certified personal trainer, and I also had certification to teach Pilates. I loved the schooling, and loved studying for the exams—I’m an exercise fiend and found all of the scientific explanations fascinating. Turns out, I don’t love training folks—I am really not a people person, and I found the actual work of drumming up clients and the sales side of the business distasteful. Another career bites the dust!

6. London is my favorite city I’ve ever visited. (This probably isn’t a secret to anyone, but whatever.) I would move back there in a heartbeat, if it wasn’t ridiculously expensive. Everyone comments on the lousy weather, but I greatly prefer cool temperatures and cloudy skies to constant sunshine (are you listening, LA?) And the city vibe, culture, and omnipresent Indian food can’t be beat.

On top of the world, London's Primrose Hill

7. I really, really value my alone time. Jason is more social and always likes company, but I find that I need at least an hour or two by myself each day in order to stay sane. This is partially why I don’t think all of his research trips are a big problem in our relationship—I love being alone! Keep ‘em coming.

8. I have a secret hippie past. I used to be obsessed with jam bands, and the first concert I went to was The Other Ones (aka the Grateful Dead once Jerry Garcia died) and Phish in high school. I spent many happy summer days shopping the thrift stores on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. Fortunately my music taste and fashion sense have improved since then.

9. Recently I’ve developed a new reoccurring nightmare: plants or fungus-like things growing on (or out of) people, especially my loved ones. It may sound silly but these dreams are very vivid and disturbing. Anyone wanting to play Dr. Freud is welcome to tell me what it means!

10. This last item is a tie of three things I really, really hate: adults dressed as children (and talking like children, like in movies or plays), animals dressed as people, and babies dressed as animals or plants. The madness must END.

The unholy trinity

I’d like to hear 10 things about Jason…especially because something needs to break his 3-month blogging drought!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008


To-Do List When Unexpectedly Not Working:

Work out like a crazy person. Ideally twice a day. Go to the gym; hike in the park; hit those yoga classes you've been neglecting; curse your rubber-band tight hamstrings; sweat more than you've sweated in a year.

Do a full grocery shopping run, not just little things here and there. Make real dinner. And even better: eat real dinner, at a normal dinner time, with husband. Marvel at how it's still light when you're eating dinner.

Fiddle around in the kitchen making unnecessary desserts. Take lots of pictures and begin blogging on the neglected dessert website.

Watch movies of middling quality. Ponder how in the world Atonement got all those Oscar nominations. Wistfully recall the time when you did not have the warbling of Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep to haunt your nightmares.

Make lots of work-related phone calls. Be sure to not get ahold of anyone who can actually provide answers.

Calculate how long you can legitimately not work before changing your profession from "pastry chef" to "bum-about-town."


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Four years!

Six years ago this October, we started dating.
Five years ago last month, we were engaged.
Four years ago today, we were married in the Oakland Temple.

I never imagined I'd find someone who fit me so well, who could accept and even celebrate all of my (delightfully charming) high-maintenance quirks.
These past four years have been a blast. We have literally never had a fight, although I cannot take any credit for that. I keep trying to pick fights, and he keeps being awesome and mellow and peaceful. Hmph!

But seriously, how could I not love this boy? To quote Homer Simpson talking to his pet pig, "Oooh, you have soooo many looks!" Behold his versatility:

King Jason keeping a stiff upper lip

Model fierce but still "smiling with his eyes"

Thug life

Nutty Professor (this is what I have to look forward to)


Ice Cream's #1 Fan

we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph


Monday, July 14, 2008

Dial "L" for Listiness

3 jobs I wish I Had In The Summertime Instead Of Working Inside A Blazing Inferno Bakery:

  • On-site camerawoman on March of the Penguins II: Revenge of the Penguins
  • Inventory Control Supervisor at Ben & Jerry’s Headquarters
  • US Ambassador to Greenland

3 foods currently comprising 75% of my diet:
  • Cottage cheese
  • Macadamia nuts. The saltier the better.
  • Half-price berries from Fresh & Easy. Mmm, spoilage makes them sweeter
3 Delightful Procrastination Tools:
  • Ask Metafilter. I especially enjoy the anonymous questions…other people’s lives are so screwed up.
  • So You Think You Can Dance, taped via my computer doohickey. Can I get a ticket on the Hot Tamale Train?!
  • Oh No They Didn’t! Surfing and consolidating all of the juiciest celebrity slander.

3 Songs I Can’t Stop Playing:

3 Books I’m In the Middle of Reading But Will Most Likely Never Finish:
  • Italo Calvino, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler. The fact that I found this at the bottom of a pile of books under my night table does not bode well for the completion of this masterpiece of postmodern fiction. The fact that I didn’t even remember that I owned it, much less that I read over 100 pages, is perhaps a more damning sign.
  • Don DeLillo, Underworld. Pro: It’s DeLillo. Con: It’s 1000 pages of DeLillo.
  • Orhan Pamuk, Snow. No “most likely” about this one. After eight months of forcing myself to read this one torturous page at a time, I finally gave in (just 50 pgs from the finish!) and read the ending on Wikipedia. I am now convinced that I’ll never be chosen as a Nobel judge.
That last list got me all riled up and reminded me how much I hated slogging through Snow. To make myself feel better (ie, justified in my loathing) I checked out the Amazon page for Snow, and found some corroborating reviews. Check out some of these brilliant review titles:
  • “Did they like it because they're supposed to like it?”
  • “pretentious, vacuous, and down right boring”
  • “Mud would have been a more apt title because this was like a slog through it”
  • “Just Say No to SNOW”
  • “What's the reason behind the Nobel Prize?”
  • “tedious to the bitter end”
  • “Wooden Characters Make for Tortuous Reading”
  • “I challenge you to stay awake”
  • “Dry as toast”
  • “After a certain point, it's unreadable”
And, my personal favorite:
  • “Complex novel made me feel stupid”
Morrissey and his pompadour agree: Snow was rubbish!