Just me, my guy, our cats, & the other 18 million people in the LA area...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What a difference 40 degrees can make...

My plans for today were supposed to include a bit of swimming & sunning (after finishing a job application of course) but then my mom told me it's 40 degrees cooler here than in Kansas today. I think 69 is a bit too cool to get in the pool. Are you having a hard time imagining that right now? Because she did.

Good news for Kansans though...give it another 6 months & it'll be at least 40 degrees cooler there!

Dodgers 3, Rockies 2

Moving out here, Jacob & I knew we had to answer a very important question...were we going to be Angels or Dodgers fans? Because you all know how important baseball is to me, right?! What, you say you didn't know I was an avid baseball fan? Haha, yeah...but I do own a Royals t-shirt...so that counts for something?

Seeing as we scored free tickets, last night we were Dodgers fans.

We met up with Jacob's cousin & her fiance (who actually are Dodgers fans) before the game, grilled some burgers (& a fake burger), ate dinner, & headed to the game. Our seats were awesome...I've never dodged so many fly balls at a baseball game!

The game was great...meaning innings didn't last forever, people actually got on base which kept my attention, the fans were excited, & the Dodgers ended up winning. So successful night!

It was GREAT to meet more of Jacob's family & I look forward to spending more time with them. We all got free tickets to another game so we're planning on that soon. We hadn't really planned on it, we'd actually decided the opposite, but maybe we will be Dodgers fans! Or maybe we're cheap fair weather fans...either way, we'll have a good time!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This one's for you, Robert

Last Thursday, as Jacob was coming home from work, the bike hit a pretty special mile marker...All Two's All Two's! (22,222.2)

"All two's, all two's" is a phrase Robert Lipson is known to use during K-State baseball games (when player number 2 is at bat with two balls, two strikes, & two outs for example). Robert is a super fan who never misses a K-State game (he has been to every home football game since 1972 & every conference game since 1973). He is a tailgate staple who cheers for the Wildcats with all his heart...& heckles the opposing team with even more zeal.

So this, Robert, is Jacob's homage to you: 22,222.2. All two's, all two's!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Go Go Gryffindor!

Last night Jacob & I went to see the last Harry Potter movie & it was a bittersweet thing. It's difficult to say goodbye to characters I've spent so much time with between reading (& rereading) the books & watching (& re-watching) the movies. And with the exception of this movie, I always watch HP movies with my sister before watching with anyone else. Jacob, I love you, but you aren't my sister...

To give this momentous event the respect it deserved, I knew I had to dress up! I didn't go all out (like I did with Pirates of the Caribbean - check out my FB for a picture of that one), but I made myself a Gryffindor scarf! I don't know how to knit (or crochet...never can remember which is which) so I stuck with what I do know: sew! I bought some Dupioni silk & roughly followed this tutorial.

Please forgive the awful quality of this picture. My phone can only do so much in a dark theater.

The atmosphere in the theater was great. Everyone cheered as Mrs. Weasley called Bellatrix a ... & when she ... People giggled when Ron & Hermione ... And the theater applauded Neville as he ...

In hind sight, I should have used some of the extra fabric to make Jacob a Gryffindor tie! Alas, I did not. But maybe I can have one made by the weekend my mom & sister come visit...& we go see the movie again!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


The news has been full of reports on Carmageddon lately. (Carmageddon = the horrible traffic conditions caused by the construction closing of 10 miles of the 405 between the 10 & the 101 the weekend of July 16th & 17th. - check out Google Maps to find out where those are, Mom.)

To prepare, Jacob & I bought extra bottled water, topped off our gas tanks, stocked the pantry full of MREs, put new batteries in the flashlights, & made sure we had some cash on hand. Wait, that's what we would do in Kansas in anticipation of tornadoes & ice storms!

I understand this closure may make life difficult for people who work on the weekends & rely on that stretch of the 405 to get to their place of employment or for those trying to get to LAX...but to everyone else, use common sense & stay home! It's not really that difficult...take time to clean out that closet, or play with your kids in the backyard, or read a book. Hell, just sleep in & watch tv!

But many companies have taken advantage of the marketing opportunity set up by Carmageddon. JetBlue had tickets for $4 to get a flight between Burbank & Long Beach. There were weekend getaway packages to Las Vegas: $405 for two people & two nights. Carwashes have advertised specials for $4.05 to hand wash your car. Etc. Etc.

So far traffic doesn't look too bad. Reports are saying that travelers are having no trouble getting into LAX. Construction & traffic both appear to be running smoothly but people are being cautious of LA Saturday afternoon traffic.

We live further south (we're not Angelinos) & maybe that's why I'm not feeling at all affected by Carmageddon. But as for Jacob & me...we'll stay home to watch Harry Potter on DVD (in preparation of watching the last movie in the theater tonight), hang a few things on the walls, pot some plants we bought last night, & maybe venture out to the beach.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Jacob update...

His first few weeks, Jacob had to work longer hours than we had expected to be normal. And I missed him! (Yeah yeah...insert "aw" or "gag" here.) But it made me realize how spoiled we were when we lived in Manhattan. We lived together & worked in the same building so we could pretty much see each other anytime we wanted. And we're only two years into this so I still like him & enjoy getting to see him!

The reason he had to work longer was to prepare for the HP New Hire Olympics & Bridge Building Competition. It's an event the company holds every summer for the newbies in the company. All the new hires & interns on Jacob's job site competed against those on other job sites in 4-way volleyball, 4-way tug-of-war, an obstacle course, a rock climbing wall, Frisbee golf, & other games. But I think the highlight was the Bridge Building Competition. Jacob's "Alaska" team took 1st place in architectural aesthetics. So we are now the happy owners of a video camera that is waterproof...yay for videos at the beach!

Culture Day was also part of Jacob's week. The company booked rooms for all the new hires & interns at a hotel that is close to the District Office in Irvine & took some time to explain company history, goals, current projects, & backlog (looking good by the way). I remember talking to Jacob after last year's Culture Day. He was so excited to be working for HP then & had the same enthusiasm this year. I'm so glad he's found a job he truly enjoys for a company he really respects (not to say he didn't love working at K-State...don't worry Greg, Rob, Kenny, & JJ...he loved working with you all, too...but you know that.)

Side note...we found out that the 2nd company president was Robert Tointon. All the Manhattanites out there should recognize that name. It appears outside the KSU baseball stadium...Frank Myers Field at Tointon Family Stadium...the one & the same! This company has an awesome relationship with K-State.

So Friday I drove down to Irvine to stay the night with Jacob. While he was at work I took a little time to visit a FANTASTIC fabric warehouse (the warehouse of purlsoho.com) & do a bit of window shopping (only bought a $4 set of bangles). Friday night we went out to an adorable Cuban restaurant. The food/drinks/ambiance were wonderful! I can't wait to go back.

Saturday we went to Newport Beach. We walked around a bit & happened upon a farmer's market. I love farmer's markets...all the produce, flowers, food, people, etc. Such a great atmostphere.

We picked up some delicious strawberries, chile & sweet corn tamales, fresh pasta, pesto, & freshly squeezed orange juice. All were yummy & not much is left...it's only Tuesday!

Then we went to Corona del Mar beach. While it was beautiful...

...it was also awfully crowded.

I'm not so sure we'll go back if it's always that crowded. I loved that at Huntington Beach we had enough space to spread out & toss the Frisbee (lots of space is required for me to play Frisbee...I'm a little unpredictable) without bumping into people. But I'm all about continuing the search for our favorite SoCal beach!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July at the beach

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

The 4th was always an important holiday for my family. For years we lived across the street from the golf course where the town shot off fireworks. My memories are of family & friends coming over for the evening, making red-white-blue JELL-O cake, cheering for my favorite fireworks (the crackles, the wheeping willows, the HUGE booms), & teering up while listening to "Proud to be an American." Because the holiday goes hand in hand with all of my family getting together, I was afraid of a huge wave of home sickness this weekend. While I did miss you all terribly, I also discovered how much fun it is to spend the day at the beach!

We went to Huntington Beach for the day. Let me tell you, that place goes all out for the holiday! Everyone on bicycles decorated in red white & blue streamers, an outdoor party at every house, closing down Main Street for pedestrians, vendors, etc. We got to HB around 2 & parking wasn't great but we found a spot & the beach was a lot less crowded than I had expected! Sam & I visited the vendors & she did a bit of shopping. We waded in the water while the boys went further out & fought the waves. Deb collected shells & watched all the people walking by or playing with their families. It was a beautiful sunny day with plenty of fun & sunscreen! Here are some pictures of where we spent our day:

There are few things that mesmerize me more than fireworks. We were super close to the pier where they shot off the fireworks. The wind blew the smoke so it kind of obstructed our view...but it was an amazing show nonetheless.

Not the best picture...but it was amazing in person! Come out next year & see for yourself.

*oops...I forgot I wrote this post weeks ago. I just found it & figured I had better post it!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Duuun dun....Duuun dun...

Last night we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific. I had heard amazing things about it & was not disappointed. I was a little jumpy at first...see I have this weird fear of things that live in the water. I blame this on two women whom I love very much: Vi & MyLindsey.

Vi was my babysitter when I was little...the woman who raised my sister & me while Mom was at work during the day. It was at her house that I drank milk every day for lunch, played space rocket under the kitchen table, first hammered a nail into a piece of wood, & first watched Jaws...at a very young age. How does one not walk away from that with issues?

And MyLindsey...my dear MyLindsey. First to explain why she's MyLindsey. I have two friends named Lindsa(e)y. One (Lindsay) who is in my tight circle of girls (more of an OurLindsey) & the other (Lindsey) who is not in this circle. Therefore, she is MyLindsey when I talk to others about her.

Back to the point...MyLindsey & I met the summer we studied abroad in Costa Rica & were roommates. Our weekends were spent on various excursions around the country & on one of these excursions we were hanging out in the ocean minding our own business when I felt something brush my leg. MyLindsey asked what happened & then told me with a laugh "that's funny, normally small fish don't travel that fast inland unless a bigger fish is chasing them"...remember Jaws? I panicked, swam as fast as I could for the shore, & haven't really been comfortable in the ocean since.

Because of these two women & my experiences with them, going to the aquarium was something huge for me. So what if I squeezed Jacob's hand as we turned every corner? I still touched a moon jelly (following the two fingers only rule)...

...a ray, & a shark (a little shark like these)...

...not a big shark like this...

We also saw less menacing sea creatures...

And for some reason the Aquarium of the Pacific had fish from Arkansas...go figure...

Freudian Toss?

We have had our first family visitors with us this week! Jacob's mom (Deb), his sister (Sam), & Sam's boyfriend (Derek) are here for the holiday weekend.

I was a little nervous about their visit. For one, we haven't been here that long & I wanted to have everything unpacked & organized & clean. Not that they are judgey people, but I consider that my job for the time being & I want to do my job well (at least when company is here). Also, I was nervous because Deb & Sam are the two women that Jacob has known the longest in his life & it's so important to me that we get along well.

We've had a great visit so far. The day they got here (Thursday) we went out to dinner in Huntington Beach & Derek saw the ocean for the first time. Jacob had to work Friday so the rest of us went shopping at the Citadel (lots of outlet shops). Yesterday we hit the pool early in the afternoon & I finally figured out what Jacob's sister thinks of me...

We were swimming & tossing around a pool toy, soaking up the sun (I now am enjoying my first California sunburn), & having fun. I was laying on a floaty, minding my own business when I got pegged in the eye with the pool toy...think "Ow, my nose" a'la Marsha on The Brady Bunch. Though Sam swears it was an "accident" but I can't help but wonder... ;)