Saturday, October 20, 2007
Fortunately my roommate is an early riser and was able to help me in my time of need. Kind of. Her suggestion was for us to go do The Stairs in Santa Monica. Hating stairs as I do (seriously, I can't even count the number of times I've fallen down stairs), I didn't think this was too awesome a suggestion, but since it's a beautiful day out and seriously what do people who get up in the morning do because I have no idea I couldn't come up with a reason not to go, so I went. And I'm glad I did, because the scenery really is very pretty, and the people there are a really eclectic group. There are hardcore athletes, people there with their trainers, moms who look like they wanted to mix it up and do stairs instead of yoga this time, college kids, and people just there with their friends. People are doing a loop up and down one set of stairs (they kind of look like lemmings), stretching on the grass, doing pushups on the street. My favorite sighting was a group of 5 women all walking along carrying what looked like yoga mats, all different colors but clearly made by the same manufacturer.
After my seven minutes of exercise (one trip up and down each set of stairs), three minutes of situps and fifteen minutes of lying on the ground and staring up at the palm trees, I was starving. And because I am somehow still not tired of Baja Fresh, I hit it up at 11 in the morning to get a bean and cheese burrito. Still in workout clothes. And was gratified to see three other people exactly like me, in workout gear, ordering food at Baja Fresh.
And on my way home, I passed three girls in USC gear, clearly heading to a friend's house to watch the game, all carrying the exact same cup from Starbucks.
This place is so LA. I'm learning to embrace it. Particularly when I just see sunsets like this in passing on the 10 and 405 interchange:
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Tonight: dinner out at Napa Valley Grille in Westwood, followed by George Gershwin Alone at the Geffen Playhouse.
Both meals were absolutely delicious, and George Gershwin Alone was fantastic. The music was wonderful, and the venue so small and the acoustics so good that you could actually hear people wanting to sing along to 'Someone to Watch Over Me'... and restraining themselves. Like a collective bated breath. And then at the end we all did get to sing along--the performer took requests for favorite Gershwin songs and played them all, recruiting soloists from the audience and prompting us with the words and when to sing, and the music just swelled all around, with so much energy.
Definitely nights to remember.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
This weekend was one of those weekends, too. Saturday I biked the 20 blocks to the beach and met a coworker and his family there--I'd forgotten how much fun the beach could be. Grownups just have the wrong idea. Left to myself I lie as still as possible, listening to music on my iPod, and every so often I decide I've gotten hot enough that I need a dip in the ocean to cool off. So I tiptoe into the water, eventually get myself completely submerged, spend another minute or two out there (cuz it takes a lot of work to get in past your knees and not feel cold anymore), and come right back to my towel, where I lie down on my other side. Repeat.
But with kids, the ocean is an experience: not a single wave escapes your notice, because to people that are only two and a half feet tall, even the ones that barely hit my knees are a triumph for them to withstand. We go into the water, then back out, then back in again, and back out again. Finally we persuade them to come back to the towels, where everyone rests for maybe five minutes before someone has to go to the bathroom, which means a hike back across the sand to the bathrooms (ew) and, thankfully, the showers (yay!). Then back to the towels, where it's time to, obviously, build mountains out of piles of sand, name them, and then destroy them all. And then back into the water. I'd spent four hours at the beach, and my friends five, by the time we finally decided to head back up the cliffs to El Cholo for some mexican and margaritas (mmm, cheese enchiladas...). I can't remember the last time I was that tired, or had had such a satisfactory time getting that way. I tried to follow the day up with a trip to Hollywood Forever for a screening of His Girl Friday that night, but by the time I got there, they'd closed the parking lot and I had to just head back home. Probably just as well--I doubt I'd have been able to stay awake through the movie. I came home, watched Philadelphia Story (which I first saw at Hollywood Forever last summer), and was asleep by midnight.
Jump to today at 11:30 (yes, after eleven and a half glorious hours of sleep), when I realize that I'm too sunburnt to make good on the beach plans I'd made with another friend of mine and decided to cast around for other ideas of stuff we can do together. And hit upon the idea of going to the newly-reopened Griffith Observatory. I was able to get us reservations for today, so we drove over around 5 (I spent most of my afternoon doing stuff for work, trying to redeem it by accomplishing it on my laptop on the outdoor patio at Coffee Bean) and caught the shuttle up at 6. It was a great day for going up: not a cloud to be seen, warm, breezy. And the view up there is one of the most amazing in all of LA. We were too far inland and it was too hazy to see the ocean, but we had an unsurpassed view of the Hollywood sign and the hills around it, and all the way to downtown in the other direction. We wandered around the observatory and into one of the new exhibits, where we saw a film on the history of the observatory and learned that it was named after one Griffith J. Griffith (which my friend and I found to be unaccountably funny) and got more facts on its renovation, which was actually pretty impressive: all the underground exhition space is new and had to be dug out from under the existing structure, which necessitated them putting the entire foundation on hydraulic lifts and raising it so they could dig under. To look now, you can't tell such a thing ever even took place.
We came out of the history film to find the sun was in the middle of setting, which made waiting in line for the planetarium show a lot more enjoyable, as everyone was outside on the west side of the building. The planetarium show was really good as well, if a bit cheesy (there was a woman narrating it live who seemed to have an appreciation for the melodramatic). By the time we got out of that, it was dark, and the moon was rising--full moon, too. Our last stop there was the big telescope, where anyone can go in free of charge and have a look, which is pretty cool. It was trained on Jupiter and its moons, and one of the astronomers there was lecturing on the climates of the different moons, and space missions, and other related facts, and taking questions from the people waiting in line. Altogether a really cool experience--I recommend a trip up there to anyone.
And the icing on the cake: our night ended with burgers from In-N-Out.
I heart LA.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
the people who know what they want:
- a bathing ape
- a folding stroller for adults
- a glass of milk
- a happy new year
- a man a can and a plan
- a real lightsaber to buy
- a real pirate ship for sale
- a trap
- a very small monkey
- a woman s brest
- beeping golf balls for sight impaired golfers
- big brests and big pences and viginas
- girls that start there consert and end with no clothes on vidios
- ladies bube
- a paper on citizenship
- answers to earthworm worksheet
- guy buffet
- hamster thongs
- a chinese mathamatic tool with beads on a wire
- a chocolate sweet with a u in he second letter
- a diary of a kid in a life of a kid in tunisia
- need to buy or see some cricket bats ball and other stuff
- place to buy things
- this oven frys food like a deep fryer but looks like a microwave
- a pangolin is a type of reptile
- babies are angels sent from above
- bags of water really repel flies
- boys get wedgies
- a girl giving a guy a head
- baby cars eats
- plague remover
- are any more captian underpants books coming out
- are hoverboards real
- are leather pants in style for 2006
- are pantyhose with closed shoes out of style
- are penguins birds
- are plants living or non living
- are there some major waters in france
- are unicorns real
- are vampires scared of crosses
- is bb king alive
- is cheerleading a real sport
- is dancing a sport
- is godzilla real
- is kelp an animal
- is matt retarded
- is my phone tapped
- is there a bat called demarini explosion
- is there famous painting in itly
- is there really a santa claus
- is there such a word as rheam
- is tweety bird a boy or girl
- is water organic or inorganic
- what material are fingernails made of
- what's what
Saturday, April 28, 2007
I didn't even find out about him on YouTube. I found out about him after reading a story about how a bunch of other people found out about him on YouTube. His video of him going around and just dancing in a bunch of different places is great, mostly because so many of these places are so cool: Norway, Bolivia, Namibia, Antarctica... I watch it and just think "no fair!!" Because when you're a mature 25 year-old, that's how you react to stuff.
Anyway, I'm interested in all things travel-related, and Matt has some interesting stuff. He's documenting his travels through Africa right now, pictures and all, and doing a great job of it.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Now I don't know about you, but I think that's a pretty fabulous-looking shoe. Add to that the fact that my friend assured us the shoes were comfortable (that! comfortable!), and I was sold. (And not just me: another girl we were out with caved last night and bought them too.) We made her take off her shoes so we could see the brand name and go take the credit for her good taste. I ordered them from Nordstrom.com the following morning.
They showed up on Friday, just as gorgeous as the shoe in that picture, size 8 1/2, my size. Well, not quite: they were just small enough that I knew they'd murder my feet, but not so small for me to be certain the 9 would be the right fit, and not too big. (Every so often you're between sizes, and if you want the shoes you just have to suck it up and go with the one that will stay one but chafe, or the one that could fall off when you walk too fast.)
Well, these had shown up in the mail, and I wasn't keen on going through all of the effort of returning them, getting a 9, and finding the 9 didn't fit either. I decided to go find a Nordstrom that had them, or at least similar shoes by the same designer, and try the 9 to see if it was right or not.
Sunday I was down in South Bay to run an errand, and noticed a Nordstrom on my way. I stopped in on my way back home to settle my sizing issue. I explained my situation to the sales guy and asked if they had this particular shoe. They didn't, but had others by the same designer. I asked to try on an 8 1/2 and a 9 so I could decide. The 9 fit! There was hope my red shoes and I might stay together.
The sales guy asked if I had the shoes with me: I could return them there and order the replacement pair online, or he could check and see if other stores had them in my size. I decided that beat the hell out of having to mail them back (honestly, mail: how antiquated), so I went back to my car and retrieved the shoes and the box they'd been shipped in.
Upon my return I wandered around looking for my sales guy, hoping I'd recognize him--I mean, all the sales guys were in similar-colored jackets, going through similar shoe customer-service motions; how am I supposed to pick my sales guy out?--holding onto my oversized box from Nordstrom.com (you'd think they'd have shoebox-sized shipping containers by now). I stand near the register and look around, making sure it's easy to see me so I won't have to go find him. No one approaches me. A guy behind the register who I'm pretty sure wasn't the one who helped me asks if I need help with anything and I explain I'm looking for someone I'd been talking to earlier. (Like that narrows it down.) He calls in back, and a couple minutes later, my sales guy comes out.
"Look what I found."
One pair of red Linea Paolo "Babe" (shut up, yes that's their name) shoes, and they were in my size.
We're going to live happily ever after.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
8:30 pm last night
Get a call from my friend who I've been catsitting for and learn she's going to be out of town until Sunday, so I offer to continue looking after the cat until then.
Leave the going away party I've been at to head home and go to sleep (have been exhausted for the last couple days); remember I have to go take care of the cat, decide I'll just crash at my friend's place so the cat has someone around.
Finally get to friend's apartment after stopping at my place to get essentials and make another stop to get something to eat.
Finally get into bed.
Finally get to sleep... nocturnal cats are something of a distraction.
Alarm. Mmmph. Snooze.
Alarm. Mmmph. Snooze.
...ad infinitum until...
Mmmph. Whatimeizit. Fuckinshit.
Cannot possibly get up. Eyes hurt. 3 days now. Work from home day.
9:01 am - 10:30 am
Log onto im, remote desktop connection, etc. Check email, get to work on a data request, make some discoveries, send more email, etc.
Hmm, might like some music while I'm poring over this. Nice thing about working at home is I can just open iTunes and voila.
Oh yeah, wasn't there that song I wanted to buy? How'd it go? Had the word 'dare' I think...
Google is amazing. I typed 'lyrics dare' and the song I wanted (turned out it was by Switchfoot) was just below the fold.
Buy song on iTunes.
Hmm, haven't synched my iPod lately, I should see what the podcast situation looks like these days.
Scanning podcasts to download... get all the Ask a Ninja, disappointed that there's no stock of Onion podcasts going further back than 5 days, Slate Explainer.... hmm, read that... ooh, that sounds interesting... yeah, why does it take hours to evacuate a sinking vessel? Think I'll just go read these now instead of downloading them.
Have read about how advertisers can pull spots from shows (inspired by Don Imus), why David Sedaris' "exaggeration" in non-fiction humor writing is being defended, story on the allure of Twitter, which I'd seen mentioned in another blog I read. Have not read about why it takes hours to evacuate a sinking vessel.
Twitter article is pretty interesting. Favorite find is the link to Twittervision, a mash-up of Twitter and Google Maps. Pretty hilarious to watch tweets come in from all over the world, generally in the local language, too. The kind of thing you could just stare at for hours.
Someone just tweeted that Kurt Vonnegut died. Kurt Vonnegut died?!
Sigh. It's true.
I can't even believe how random it is that I learn stuff in this fashion. If I hadn't been checking out Twittervision I wouldn't have heard that Vonnegut had died; I wouldn't have been on Twittervision if I hadn't read about it in that Slate article; I wouldn't have been on Slate in the first place if I hadn't seen the Explainer headlines in iTunes; I wouldn't have been in iTunes if I'd actually been at work today; I wouldn't have worked from home if I hadn't slept poorly due to catsitting for the darn cat; I wouldn't have been catsitting if I hadn't heard from my friend that she was staying in Texas through Sunday... it keeps going on and on.
I realize hearing news of Vonnegut's death doesn't seem like the kind of event that has enough import to merit this kind of retrospection, but his books did have an impact on me and I'm saddened to learn of his passing. And it was in thinking about that that I realized how chancy it was I came across this information myself, working from home, with no coworkers around to keep me informed. I think it was an interesting exercise to go through that because so many things are the result of lots of little what-if events like that. Big things, like how I ended up at my current job, or small things, like this. Our lives feel so much less chaotic than they really are.
I think it has to do with our sense of control. We feel as though we're in control of our lives: we don't know what the other what-if option was and we don't care, because it didn't happen, did it?And we're ok with not having control over that because we didn't know it was something we wanted control over: you can't know that unless you know the difference your power over the outcome could make. In those cases where we do have control, e.g. you know all of your options and you select what you think is the best one, there is no sense of chaos because you knew all the facts. It's only when you think about all those what-if moments, all the times there were things that didn't happen, things you didn't know, and how those made a difference in your life that the possibilities really start to overwhelm you. Which is yet another reason why life seems less chaotic than it really is: we just don't think about the chaos.
Hmm, I think that's enough philosophizing for today. (I don't want to think about the chaos anymore.) Back to work.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I never know what my number one movie is, so I've left that slot blank to be filled in by whatever movie I'm in the mood to see at that particular instant. But I always announce "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" as my number two movie, because while it's not something I want to watch everyday, there's something about it, about what it says about relationships, plus how it was made (Michel Gondry's directorial style is like nothing I've ever seen before and I love him for it--"Science of Sleep" is another by him that's great, though the story hasn't a hope of measuring up to the likes of Eternal Sunshine), that made an impression from the very first time I saw it. I'm all the more impressed by this film because I saw it for the first time in less-than-ideal circumstances: on an airplane, on one of those tiny screens that are at least eight feet away from you, and I missed the beginning. And despite that, after seeing it, I promptly bought it when I next came across it. I adore this movie.
Slots three, four and five (and I suppose six, since I should be naming my top five movies and leaving out number one entirely is kind of a copout... I'll go out on a limb for the sake of this post and just rank Eternal Sunshine at #1) are much harder. Part of the problem is that I'm a bit shaky on my criteria. I want movies in my top five to be able to withstand the test of time, so that I think it's just as compelling five or ten years from now as I do today, but does it have to be a movie that I'm always in the mood to watch? That's generally been my criteria with books: favorites are those I can read over and over and never get tired of (yes, I'm one of those people who rereads books and rewatches movies, and as such I have a large collection of each). But movies... the movies you really love make it onto that list because you have some emotional connection with them that you treasure, and don't want to lose by desensitizing yourself to the movie by watching it too many times. And so the other movies on this list are films I love, and talk up to other people as something they have to see, but watch very infrequently myself. I'm taking a gander at my DVD collection (favorites can only come from within these ranks, as I can't feel very strongly about a film if I'm not even willing to buy the damn thing), other candidates for these other four slots are, in no particular order:
- Thank You for Smoking
- All About Eve
- LA Confidential
- The Sting
- The Incredibles
- The Hudsucker Proxy
Other movies stand out as ones that I really like: The Fifth Element, Anchorman, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Pride & Prejudice... these are movies I've been able to watch over and over without getting tired of them (and yes, I said Anchorman--there are just too many good lines in that movie). But none are of the caliber of those first seven... and since I can't decide amongst them right now, I guess I'm just going to have to revise "top five" to "top seven". It's not like I'll ever remember all of those anyway.
I was going to go on about what it is about all of those that I find so compelling and whatnot, but I'm kinda tired now, and have to get up early tomorrow to actually finally go to the gym (it's been months, for one reason or another, and it's really getting on my nerves).
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Actually, I didn't really have anything to post about: I spent my Saturday in Palm Springs and then drove back to LA today and spent the afternoon at Santa Anita with the social club I joined, at our Father/Daughter Day at the Races. And all of it was great: the weather is absolutely fantastic; there's not a cloud in the sky and it's that perfect not-too-hot-not-too-cold temperature. Much fun was had drinking margaritas in Palm Springs and then drinking Bloody Marys at the track and placing the occasional bet (I broke even, my dad came out ahead after making a big win in the second race). But I don't really have any comment on any of it except to say that it's effing great living in LA sometimes. Oh, and I'm glad my car was able to make it out to Palm Springs and back without incident. My renewed confidence in my car's tenacity plus my proximity to work (about 2 miles, which is maybe a 15-20 minute bike ride) means I have almost no reason to buy a new car anytime soon. I've been thinking about what kind I might want to own and I got nothin'--my favorite car, the very sexy Infiniti G35, is probably within reach but when I think about how much money I'd have to pay and, on top of that, the fact that I'd have to take care of it and be paranoid about where I park and stuff, I just don't want any of that hassle. By keeping my current car (a very unsexy 1988 Jeep Cherokee), not only do I have no car payments but the benefit of having rubber bumpers (which I don't think they even put on cars anymore) means I can run into all kinds of things and not leave a mark on the car. It's just so fantastically low-maintenance that I'm not sure I'm ready to give that up. So the new plan is to drive it into the ground because, even when that happens, I'll still be able to bike to work for a few weeks while I get over what happened to my old car and in the meantime really build an appreciation for the benefits incumbent upon buying a new one.
But I digress. My reason for posting today was to share the following very funny new inventions from our friends at Google, all brought to my attention by my friend Sean. The first one is currently featured on Google.com and I don't know how he came by the rest of them, but all are worth a look:
Google Copernicus Center
Happy April Fools' Day!
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Reading back over some of my old posts I kind of wish now I had that record, but the problem is I'm still not sure just how public I want that record to be. Do I need to post for posterity the fact that I made an ass out of myself at the company party? Everyone at my company already knows about that (ironically, they're the only ones I wish didn't know about it... I have no problem relating these stories to friends that already know I act like a jackass. Such is the risk of over-imbibing at the company party. Everyone stay tuned to see if I've learned my lesson by next year.) So I suppose that's fair game. There's my recent trip to Sweden which was pretty cool (haha, see what I did there?)--pictures of Stockholm, Copenhagen (yes I know that's not in Sweden), the Ice Hotel and me in one of those awesome furry hats are here. New Year's was great too, what with the fan-friggin'-tastic New Year's Eve party and then the fan-friggin'-tastickier Rose Bowl game where we beat the crap out of Michigan. Again.
But aside from the odd noteworthy event, I feel as though I'm too busy to post about industry issues, books, and other topics that are actually worthy of discussion that I accidentally spend time thinking/reading about. And what's left bears uncanny resemblance to the diary I kept in middle school. The only real sign I've made any progress at all since then is the more complex sentence structure and a larger vocabulary.
So I suppose my writer's block stems from the fact that the stuff that's easiest to write about is stuff that I don't feel I can write about, at least not in a public forum. All my favorite conversation topics revolve around work and friends from work (a.k.a.: gossip) or things that I don't necessarily want work or friends from work to know about, and guess what, I work at an internet company. In the search engine marketing department, no less. Query my name on Google and this blog is the first thing that comes up. As a result, scrubbing my writing of anything I don't want publicized takes up enough time that it becomes prohibitive to posting on a regular basis, and is particularly detrimental to the generally on-the-fly style of writing that usually characterizes blogging. Hence my prolonged silence.
Given my attitude, one wonders why I ever started a blog in the first place. Back in grad school, there wasn't as much of a need to censor myself, and I had enough free time to get to know the Chicago bar scene, skip reading assignments, watch every episode of Law & Order: SVU ever made, show up to class an hour late, and blog. And when I posted complaints about how school was going, it was generally railing against the dictates of graduate school assignments and idiosyncrasies. Even when school was hard work, it was still fun and different. But no one wants to hear you complain about your job, particularly when there's precious little to complain about ('ugh, our catered lunch was from [insert caterer name here]
I think that concludes today's musings. In our next episode, find out if our heroine is in fact able to resolve this conflict! Tune in in another six months for a post that will probably be a whole lot like this one! Until then, this is Adra, signing off.
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