Saturday, December 27, 2008

Let's Reminisce

Is that how you spell reminisce? I am still in Colorado (we finally escaped the icy clutches of Grand Junction), enjoying soup, babies, hot buttered bourbon (oh yes), and all around good times. Last night we were watching an old SNL episode (the one with Josh Brolin), and the fantastic Will Forte was on Weekend Update doing his bizarre and awesomely hilarious Tim Calhoun personality. This brought back memories of one of the funniest things ever, which Kelly, Ross, and I promptly found online (or rather, a version of it), and laughed hysterically at. Also, note to NBC: STOP TAKING YOUR SNL CLIPS OFF YOUTUBE. You're only hurting yourselves, because your own website stinks. Thank you. Now, enjoy:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Guess Who's Stuck in Grand Junction?

That's right, The Wendels. Sigh. It's almost 7am in Colorado, and the pass over the mountains through Vail is closed. So, we sit in our hotel, hoping it opens soon. We're so very close to our final destination...but no cigar. Melt, snow, melt! Plow, plows, plow! Also, stop snowing, sky. Thanks.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Oh hi there. It's been a very hectic few months, all filled with fun things. An engagement, two weddings, a protest, and 60 miles of walking, and it's been a busy fall. I'm going to write a longer post (I swear) about the 3-Day, but I'm sitting here eating ice cold chunks of 70% Scharffen Berger chocolate, so I thought I would discuss some of the sweet treats I whipped up this holiday season.

There was a Cake Walk at City College (for what, I'm not sure), so I thought I would make some cupcakes and try and participate in my campus community. I'll spare you the longer tale of how my gorgeous cakes were greeted with indifference (an outrage! i even wrote an indignant e-mail!), but I'll happily share a blurry picture of my marzipan leaves:

I visited the monkeys in Colorado for Thanksgiving, and managed to leave my camera there. Alas, I was unable to document this year's co-worker treats. Thanks to my idol/mortal enemy Martha Stewart, I had a delightful time learning how to use a candy thermometer when I made Fleur de Sel Toffee. And Deb at has a fun recipe for Orangettes that I modified just a skoosh. I only dipped half of each peel in chocolate, and I also rolled a batch in superfine sugar. Yummy stuff.

And now, some random observations. Unless you are a professional soccer player, a homosexual, or a 15-year-old boy, you should please stop doing your hair like this:

Secondly, I'm watching some sort of Celebrity Skifest on CBS right now, and they just BEEPED out Larry David saying the word "testicles." This is what we've come to, Focus on the Family?? IT'S A BODY PART!!! Thank you.

Thirdly, this guy needs to be stopped:

You may know him from the cable company commercials, his featured role as Agent Cho on The Mentalist, or his two-episode arc as Chaplain Alan Lantz on The Unit. Or maybe you were minding your own business, pumping gas at the Shell station at the entrance to the 163, and this clown "knocks" on the glass of the TV that is perched above the pump. Thanks, NBC "Fuelcast" for forcing this guy into my life even more than he already is.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Love...Kaiser?

No, I haven't hit my head. And I still yearn for the day I can throw my Kaiser card in the trash and go back to being a Sharp baby. However, I must say, the commercial I saw for Kaiser last night is brilliant, inspiring, and just plaing awesome. I thought "I want to be THAT kind of old lady! How fun!" Then I said to Shane, "See!! People with TiVO miss these awesome commercials!!" So, for my DVR-loving friends (of which I'm sure I will be one soon), I post my new favorite commercial:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This Was Much More Fun

This was my 4th Presidential election, and oh boy was it the most fun. My first one in 1996 was super anti-climactic. I was voting absentee while at UCLA, and I truly couldn't decide who to vote for: Clinton or Dole. I decided to skip it and work through the rest of my ballot, thinking I would go back at the end. Well, I forgot, so I never did vote for President that year. I still feel like a total dope.

2000 was very different. I had been working for Congressman Gephardt in DC for less than 2 months, but had decided long before then that there was no way I was voting for Dubya. I was excited when my co-workers invited me to tag along to The Mayflower Hotel for the big DNC viewing party in one of the ballrooms. When they called Florida for Gore--HOORAY! But then they took it away--BOOOOO! Well, it was a long night, as we all now know. The ultimate outcome then, and in 2004, was...well...beyond frustrating. But let's move forward, hmmmm?

I had grand plans last night of an Election Party, complete with patriotic foods and Uncle Sam hats for everyone! But then I realized I was far too busy and tired to get my act together. So I headed up to the bastion of progressive politics known as Menifee. To my utter delight, my fiance (who I was previously grumpy at for NOT being into my brilliant Uncle Sam hat idea...costume scrooge that he is) had put together a collection of patriotic meats and cheeses: red salami, white goat cheese, and stinky blue cheese.
We baked up an apple pie, fried up some chicken tenders and watched history being made. All this after going to the polls in the morning and having a jolt run through me when I opened up my ballot. I've never had a voting experience like it, what a thrill. In the words of The Tipsy Historian: BEST VOTING EXPERIENCE EVER!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



Monday, November 3, 2008

Vote for These Babies!

The stomach flu claimed another victim today: Benjamin. Everyone else has recovered or avoided the scourge. Poor Benjamin, he's such a good boy, and has hardly been complaining. I'm including a picture from Halloween, a happier time, a few days ago. Samuel is on the left (he was much more tolerant of the glasses than Benjamin), Ben on the right.

Those little guys are so funny.

I couldn't be more nervous about tomorrow. I'm about to go over the rest of my ballot to figure out all the Propositions. I just want it to be over, but at the same time, am dreading the possibility of an outcome that would just boggle my brain.


Sunday, November 2, 2008


Hello doves.  Sorry to be so absent.  I had a horrendous pledge drive from the 17-24th, then a busy weekend recovering and doing various wedding-related preparations (hello, Ascension Catholic Parish Engagement Coordinator people!), then I was off to Denver on the 29th, where I am right now.  Grandma came with me as a surprise to my sister, which was fun and delightful.  Benjamin and Samuel were also pleased, particularly Samuel, who loves Ross' mom (Nana), and my mom (Grandma) more than anything.  We pulled into the garage from the airport and Sammy was writhing out of his car seat trying to get to Grandma.  We have taken to calling them Gramuel, a la Brangelina, or Speidi.

Sadly, the Casa de los Twins has been taken down by the stomach flu. Samuel projectile vomited all over Mama, Grandma, and me yesterday, which was quite a sight to behold.  Also, horrendously disgusting, and so very sad.  He managed to sleep through the night, and fingers crossed, is on the road to recovery.  But they've been tricked before by babies not puking and then BAM, they getcha again.  Poor Ross was taken down around midnight last night, and has just emerged to try and get some water into his belly.  Grandma and I are just praying we don't get sick before our flight--this vomit-phobic author is horrified by the thought of being stuck in a flying tube while doing the technicolor yawn.  But such is life sometimes.  Mama and Benjamin seem to be fine as well, but none of us want to jinx it, so we're just holding our breath.

I'm looking forward to updating everyone on some fun new recipes I recently tried, all very delicious and autumnal.  And I have a book review, so I better update that column...  I also have some delightful pre-puke pics from Halloween of S & B.  I think I may even share some fun memories from my friend Claudia's recent wedding in Idyllwild.  Good mountain fun.

To the Pepto!   

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Whoa, whoa, WHOA. HOLD ON.

I was just getting ready to shut this bad boy down and go meems, but then I thought, "hmmm, I haven't checked in a long time, and I'm not super tired, I think I'll waste a few more minutes on the glorious internet." Little did I know that there's an angel somewhere in this crazy mixed up world of ours who took the most amazing picture, just for me:

Monkeys! In a wheelbarrow!! Thank you.

Moon Chaser

October in San Diego means every time you get out of your car, you'll forget that it's bone dry outside, and as soon as you touch any teensy piece of metal on said car, you're going to get shocked like there's no tomorrow. It hurts, and it gets old real fast. However, there are some good things too. For you PB-expats, here was the view looking east down Chalcedony as I got home tonight:


It smells faintly of smoke, and the moon is gigantic! It's almost Halloween!
On a totally unrelated note, here is my latest Shindy episode. Supposedly a new one, wherein I get a manicure at a boutique in Little Italy, should be posted any day now. But they've been saying that for going on 3 weeks, so who knows. In the meantime, enjoy The Fleetwood, and know that the guy who looks like Sean Astin was as douchey as he seems.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This One's For Kevin

Right now, I'm chowing down on a delicious Lentil Soup with Sausages concoction that I made last night. Please enjoy the recipe here, it was a fun first soup to make since the weather has cooled a bit. (My adjustments: I used half chicken stock and half water. Also, don't skimp on the salt and pepper. 1 1/2 tsps. of salt is just silly, in my opinion.)

Fall has arrived in San Diego, with really crisp, dry days on Saturday and Sunday. It made for beautiful beach weather, no marine layer, no smog, and you could see all the way to the Coronado Islands. I think that's what they're called. I walked twelve and a half miles on Saturday--oof. I was supposed to do 17, but got off to a late start, and since I was hosting part of Ali's Bachelorette Party at The Madrid that night, I had to cut it short. I cut it even shorter because my feet were killing me. Gotta get some inserts or something for my fancy new shoes.

I think the heat will be back soon, the Santa Ana's are about to descend on us, and over the past few days my lips have just shriveled up from the dryness. S is remarkably un-busy at work, which is a bummer for him as he is bored out of his gourd, but the potential for him to become scarily busy in the next few weeks is building. Plus, he is not at camp, so even when he's bored, he's in a healthier environment.

And now, for your enjoyment, a Frog and a Bear, seeing America (try not to smile):

Friday, September 5, 2008

Jon Stewart for President

Sweet holy monkeys, I love Jon Stewart. Please, please PLEASE can we stop having cable news channels?

My favorite line: "But in Dick Morris' defense...he IS a lying sack of s***."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Walking the 3-Day--Can You Help?

Hello doves!

You may have already heard from me via e-mail, so you probably know I'm walking the Breast Cancer 3-Day. I'm hoping you can help me, not only with the fundraising portion, if you should feel so inclined, but with SPREADING THE WORD. I'm telling my network of friends and family, could you tell yours?

I'm walking the 3-Day in honor of Jessica, and if you read this blog, you probably have a personal connection with her as well. But even if you don't, you probably know someone who has fought breast cancer. I'll do all the walking, but if you could help me by forwarding my e-mail to as many people as you can, I would really appreciate it.

Here's the link, too, if you want to guide people to this blog.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Walking, and a Tupperware Tragedy

So I've registered to do the Breast Cancer 3-Day in November, and I am quite excited. I'm part of the "Jazzebelles" of Jazz88.3. I've been walking about 3-4 miles every other day, with longer walks on the weekends. Last Sunday I walked 6 miles, tomorrow I'll be walking 8. Ouch. I've come to the conclusion that I need to get a fanny pack to carry water and sustenance for these longer jaunts. Fanny pack aside, I am so very excited to be doing the 3-Day. It's been a goal for awhile, but it's a pretty big time and fundraising commitment, so I've kind of danced around actually doing it... It took a good friend being diagnosed with breast cancer the same year a co-worker said "let's do the 3 Day!" for me to stop making excuses. So walk I shall! More on this very, very soon. I have lots of homework to do in terms of setting up my fundraising page, but it's not long until you'll hear all about that.

In other news, Benjamin threw up in the tupperware drawer yesterday. And you don't want to know what he did ALL over my sister's white couch on Wednesday (4 of the cushions, and the base), but needless to say, it wasn't the throw up part of a stomach virus. Ewwww. Poor Benjamin Bear. (Kelly, was this what you had in mind in terms of a blog post?)

S continues to work and work, with limited days off, but he has 2 weeks of vacation coming up in less than 3 weeks, with camping at the beach during that time for his birthday.

That's all I got, peeps.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Had Lunch With an Oscar Winner

And to think that when I got up this morning, I was just excited that not only did I not have to worry about packing a lunch, but I was going to be eating at Top of the Market, one of the better seafood places in San Diego. Our conference is here next year, and we'll be one of the host stations, so the boss and I were meeting with the guy who plans the whole thing.

Top of the Market is right on the water, between the Midway and Seaport Village, with a great view of whatever aircraft carriers are parked at North Island (today: The Stennis, The Washington, and a secret one covered in tarps or something. Maybe the soon-to-be-decommissioned Kittyhawk?) It's also next to the giant statue, "Unconditional Surrender", sometimes colloquially known as "The Kiss." This was the first time I had seen the statue in person. I had heard about how polarizing it was, and wasn't sure what to think of it. I am a huge supporter of public art, and actually appreciate art that's occasionally controversial and thought-provoking, and get annoyed when people want to immediately take stuff down just because it's "ugly."'s ugly. What it represents (the jubilant kiss between a sailor and a nurse at the end of WWII) is beautiful, euphoric, and American. And don't get me wrong, I am NOT on the side of taking it down. Keep it up, talk about it, create more art, discourage everything always being in bronze. But man. That thing is tacky.

Oh, did you want to hear about the Oscar winner? Well, I had the foresight to consume 3 glasses of lemonade within the first hour of lunch. I excused myself to visit the ladies lounge and did a double-take (a sly one, as I am very subtle, like a secret agent) when I floated past Ms. Meryl Streep. MERYL STREEP!!!! There she was, with her messy ponytail, and her lavender-tinted glasses, looking and sounding exactly like Meryl Streep! And look, she's eating seafood too! And sharing a basket of bread with normal looking people! I played it cool, until I got back to my table and announced her presence in an exaggerated stage whisper. Don't worry, she didn't hear me, she was on the other side of the room. Although I was admonished by our waitress to leave Meryl (that's what I call her) alone. Yes, thank you, I know.

Alas, I was not able to get any sort of surreptitious picture of her, but I think we all know what she looks like. So here's a picture of a pensive Samuel pondering his very first swimming lesson.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Can I Love Chris Collinsworth?

Because I just think he's adorable. He's clearly having so much fun at the Olympics, and he and Michael Phelps' mom (isn't she awesome?) sitting together in the stands going crazy during the races are just hilarious.

I love the Olympics, but it's killing me that they go so late each night. Actually, the lateness wouldn't normally bother me, but I've begun training for the 3-day, so 6am is when I have to get up and moving. Ouch.

This past weekend was delightful. S actually had some days off, so Friday we met up with J&M for Happy Hour, and then cocktails (the highlight: the scrumptious Summer '08) and the Opening Ceremonies at their pad. Saturday we headed back to J&M's house for a Coffee Cupping--kind of like a wine tasting, but with coffee. Fun, informative, interactive, and tasty. Please enjoy The Tipsy Historian as he expounds upon this passion of his, and details how the whole morning went down. The rest of the day involved a walk on the beach, and more Olympics. Yay summer!

And now, for your enjoyment, Benjamin & Samuel:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Happier Note

The simple pleasures of summer:


Prayers & Good Thoughts

I almost threw up at my desk when I saw the headline "9 Firefighters Presumed Dead in Copter Crash", then I remembered that S doesn't go to NorCal in his helicopter, and also, he was at home taking a nap. I was freaked out, then relieved, then really sad because 9 firemen are most likely dead and 4 are in terrible shape. Coincidentally, the crew was based out of Grants Pass, Oregon, the city in which S was born, and about 30 miles from his childhood home. Anyway, as relieved as I was, a lot of people are devastated right now, so please and thank you to keep their loved ones in your minds and hearts. Here's an article about it:

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pie Success!

At least, we're almost there. The Chocolate Caramel Cream pie is in the fridge waiting for its caramel cream topping, that'll go on tomorrow. Lemon Meringue is cooling on the counter and looks muy bonito. Who knows how any of them will taste, but they will at least be edible, and at the very worst, if the cream topping doesn't come together (I've never made caramel, and tomorrow I'm attempting it right before work. Smart.) I've got a delicious chocolate cream pie.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Garfield Would Be Delighted

My favorite TV chef is Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa. She is this funny little lady who lives in a big mansion in the Hamptons and has a snobby laugh, and terrible pants that are intentionally 5 inches too short, like she is trying to irritate me through the TV. And yet, I love her. She seems so genuine about her passion for delicious food and cooking for people she loves. Plus, she has a charming wee husband named Jeffrey, who according to the dedication of her Family Style cookbook, "makes all her dreams come true." Awww.

She whips up delicious menus of always-recognizable meals, but she does them so well, and usually with real butter and heavy cream. I tried her Turkey Sausage Lasagna tonight, and it was just scrumptious. I couldn't find turkey sausage, so I used sweet Italian pork sausage from Siesel's--mmmmm. Also, it calls for a layer of fresh mozzarella, followed by a layer of a mixture of ricotta, parmesan, and goat cheese. Cheesy wonderfulness!

Tomorrow night, I'm making two pies: lemon meringue & chocolate caramel cream. What now? It sounded like a good idea when I volunteered to bring dessert to an office potluck. Fingers crossed!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Comic Con!

I was lucky enough to get to go to Comic Con this past Saturday (despite a cold and terrible skin issues--more on that later), and I even had a Press Pass for Shindy TV! It really gave us only one big perk, in that we got to stand in the press section right next to the stage for both the "Heroes" and "Lost" panels. We still had to wait in line with everyone else, and I am not exaggerating when I say the line stretched from one end of the Convention Center, all the way along the backside of the building, PAST the Marriott, and almost to Seaport Village. We walked for 10 minutes before we got to the end of it. This was the line just to get into the big Hall where all the cool TV panels would be. Insane.

The Heroes panel was very fun, the Q&A consisted of 3 nerds totally screwing up their chances to ask the creator any decent questions. Nerds booing other nerds equals hilarity. Then they showed us the season premiere for next season in its entirety. GOOD STUFF. That is, if you like Heroes. Following Heroes was the Lost panel, also known as, my moment to completely geek out. The two exec producers, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, are so into the fandom behind this show, and they are both very funny and engaging with the audience, so it made the whole experience very entertaining. Oh yeah, and Matthew Fox walked out on stage and was like 10 feet from me looking super hunky and dreamy.

The rest of the day we cruised around the exhibit hall, which was so crowded it got kind of tiring, but the people watching opportunities were delightful. My highlight was getting to play the "I went to college with Kumar" card, and getting to interview Kal Penn and John Chen from the Harold & Kumar movies (among many other things). That was very fun, and an exciting moment for little old Shindy. I also got to talk to Wonder Woman AND Batman, who both stayed completely in character. Good times.

Now I'm trying to recover from some sort of horrible rash that has spread from my torso to my arms and legs, which is just awesome. I went to the doctor this morning, and as predicted I was told they don't know what it is, and then I was prescribed something that won't make it go away. With all due respect to any doctors that may be reading this blog (ahem), what the heck is it with SKIN that baffles the medical community? It's really frustrating, and extra fun when helpful people suggest that maybe it's "measles" or "smallpox". Thanks?

Now I'm off to read about Lost and scratch my belly.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tap Water in Florida is Gross

So I just got back from Orlando, where I thoroughly enjoyed (as always) my public radio conference. Besides the stinky, sulfur-tasting water (seriously, Florida, how do you deal with that stuff?), it was a delightful 4 days in a really nice hotel.

Highlights included the opening night party, which was very tame, and very fun, particularly when Erica and I had half the dance floor doing the Electric Slide. I do believe the evening's band, The Landsharks, appreciated all the nerdy enthusiasm.

Well, that's all I got, so let's go to the videotape:


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Kiki Von Triki!

I remember the day so well, when they brought my sister home from the hospital. I knew we would be best friends forever! Wait. No. I wasn't born yet. Whatever. Today is my sister's birthday, and I'm so proud of her! Since her birthday last year, she has figured out how to juggle two hilarious little boys, feed them, entertain them, and educate them, all while furnishing, decorating, and organizing a 3 story house from top to bottom, entertaining a never-ending parade of guests who are there to "help with the twins," and remembering that even though it's been really hard, it's also been a really fun year. (Right, Kelly? Lots of fun?) Now go grab life by the lapels, you strong, dignified sister-mother-dancer.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Odds and Ends

So my plan to "just write" kept getting foiled by me. I just haven't felt particularly inspired or interesting enough to click the "new post" button. But, there have still been some fun tidbits that I did want to share.

Well, first, ahem, the latest Shindy episode is up, this time featuring the delightful Whisknladle in La Jolla. M&J first mentioned this place to me, and I was so glad I got to check it out. I had a really fun time interviewing their pastry chef, including a solid 10 minutes off camera grilling him about why my buttercream hasn't been working lately. The owner and staff couldn't have been nicer, and the food and cocktails are exceptional. Their whole philosophy of locally grown quality food is easy to support too. Oh, and if you haven't yet seen me thwacked with leaves, here it is.

Other fun things:
  • Upper Left Trio at work's Jazz Live series. Nicest guys, pretty progressive jazz, but so fantastic live.
  • Samuel knows where his feet and his nose are.
  • Benjamin can meow like a cat, but only when he feels like it, because he's not your monkey.
  • Claudia Russell, continuing her reign as a most-exceptional lady broadcasting LIVE LIVE LIVE from the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. She even made Bobby McFerrin say "wow". Then he made a bunch of popping noises and slapped his chest a whole bunch.
  • I JUST finished watching the end of last season's Prison Break. Man, that show is so terrible, and I love it. They almost buried Sucre alive! And now he's in Sona, what?? And Michael, revenging Sarah getting her head chopped off?!? Good stuff.

Wednesday morning I'm off to Orlando for the big nerdfest public radio conference. Yippee!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Experimental Pie

Chocolate covered strawberries are delicious. How could you go wrong dipping a tart, juicy, sweet little berry of goodness into scrumptiousness. However, I'm partial to a less traditional way of eating strawberries. First, dip the berry in sour cream, then in brown sugar, then eat it. Beyond fantastic.
But let's back up a bit. Many Fun Times ago, I was in charge of dessert. Lately, I've been into making puddings. Easy and comforty. I found a recipe for Brown Sugar Pudding on Epicurious and knew I had to try it. It was also yummy. Why not make it into a pie, I ask you?

So I made the pudding, thickened it up with some extra cornstarch, then spread it around the bottom of a baked pie shell. Then, I layered some sliced strawberries all over it, and topped the whole shebang with a sour cream whipped cream. It was....a big shrug. Everything tasted fine, and it held together so-so, but it was just kind of a let down. Keep in mind, I was already trying to figure out how to enter the Pillsbury Bakeoff, and thinking about what I would do with the winnings.
Oh, Experimental Pie, you were a letdown, but your ingredients are so delicious.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Santa Rosa Plateau

Other than S's house and the new BJ's Pizzeria in Temecula, there aren't a lot of cultural gems in Southern Riverside County. But there is a natural delight there called the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. It's a massive natural space just off the 15 in Murrieta, hidden behind the hills west of the freeway. There are all sorts of different hiking trails that take you over undulating hills, past little creeks lined with tiny wildflowers, and across acres and acres of old ranch land. (I haven't fact checked that it was actual ranch land at one time. But there's a ranch house. And it sounds good.)

When S and I feel motivated, we like to try and get there early in the morning for a little hike. We've lucked out in spotting wildlife: coyotes, hawks, snakes, and the teeeeeniest little frogs you've ever seen. Pull out a dime (go ahead, I'll wait)...that's how big the froggies are. They hang out by the vernal pools. The best part of the hike is when we reach the historic old ranch house about 2.5 miles into the reserve. We realize a) that there STILL isn't a bathroom there even though we learned that the last time we came here, and b) we now have to hike BACK to the car.

I have since discovered that there is a Foundation that supports the Plateau, and they have a Cowboy Jubilee! Somebody's found the theme to her next birthday party!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Loves Me Some Aunting

I love being an aunt, probably (ok, definitely) to the point of being a wee bit obnoxious. I could not WAIT to be Auntie JJ. By the way, for the record, my sister and I have always referred to each other by odd nicknames, rarely "Kelly" and "Jenny/Jennifer." My nickname for the past few years has been J.J., or the full version, J.J. Jumpy. It doesn't really mean anything, it just sounded fun to my sister. However, she did also say, a few years back when she bestowed this nickname on me, that she was going to start calling me J.J. because she thought the name Auntie JJ would be cute when she and Ross started having kids. She recently told me she doesn't remember this conversation, but I remember it quite clearly as the genesis of my Auntie JJ title. And I love it. But back to the babies. Here they are when they were one day old:And here they are just a few weeks ago (in their cute little shirts from Aunt Janine):
Good job, babies.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Babies!

One year ago today Benjamin and Samuel were born, and it was just one of the best days ever! I love being an aunt, and I love these little boys. I'll post some pics tomorrow, but before I go to sleep, I had to make sure they got an official bloggity birthday wish on their actual birthday. I love you!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just a Typical Wednesday Night

So as a jetsetting host for a slightly-viewed local entertainment internet sensation, I'm getting to go places and do things that I normally wouldn't go out of my way to experience. And this is a good thing. Because my curiosity and enthusiasm for San Diego nightlife and other extra-curriculars often doesn't translate to getting off of my couch. (It's red! And squishy! And there are books next to it!)

This past Wednesday was one of my more interesting experiences. We were profiling this fancy-pants spa in La Jolla (wait, everything in La Jolla falls under the category of "fancy-pants") called Gaia Day Spa. The employees were all very nice, and very nervous, to the point that they prepared typed answers to all of my potential questions, and were practicing trying to memorize them when I arrived.

As the host I had to experience one of the treatments (the Banya!), but in the interest of time, I didn't REALLY get to have the full 80 minutes of pampering. Sigh. However, I did get to partake in the "best" part of the whole thing. I lay down in a 160-degree sauna, and a nice lady named Sarah thwacked me all over with branches of Eucalyptus leaves. Allegedly this is good for the immune system, or for waking you up, or for your kidneys? I don't know, I was distracted by the thwacking.

Fortunately for you, dear reader, this was all caught on camera, so watch for it soon on!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

But He's So Important!

That's what my sister said when I called and told her that Tim Russert died. It might seem odd to be so saddened by the death of some media figure we've never even met, but Tim Russert and Meet the Press was just the best.

I'm not profound enough to write anything that interesting about Tim Russert dying. But I'm really sad about it, and feel like our country has been completely ripped off by losing him, especially this year. Please check out Tom Shales' column in the Washington Post, I think it sums that feeling up perfectly.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Even the Swedish Brush Hook?!?

S and I rolled down to Barrio Logan this morning to go pick up his car from the scary impound lot. Luckily, I was wearing my J. Crew-iest, "Hi-I'm-preppy-who-wants-a-chai?" outfit, so I blended right in.

They wouldn't let me go in the lot with S to check out the car, but I could see him and the impound lady (who kind of looked like Tom Cruise in Collateral with that odd gray hairdo), as I eagerly watched through the razorwire fence. Though it was somewhat obscured from what I could see, Grimace looked ok. He didn't appear to have any physical damage, though I would imagine the emotional toll from being driven by strangers will keep him from being able to trust for awhile. S started him up with no problems, and I jumped up and down in excitement.

They took most of what was in the car, including the delightfully-named Swedish Brush Hook, which as you probably already know, hooks brush. I have no idea how the Swedes got involved. The worst loss was all of his work certificates, which may not be replaceable, and even if they can be, will be a long and tedious process.

S is still feeling pretty down about the theft, but it's a huge relief to have the car back. Still hoping that somewhere in the city, some very itchy thieves are suffering from poison oak rashes.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Great News, Team Sizzle!

This just in! The po-po called S this evening and informed him that his car has been found! We have no idea where it was found or what condition it is in at this point, but Grimace the Purple Car may live to see another day. After the indignity of having your car stolen, you then 'get' to pay $300 to have it released from the impound lot. Terrific. At least it's been found though, right?!?

Huh. Why Are My Eyes Watering?

I love politics. I wish I could say that it's because I have passionate feelings about the major issues of our time, or a burning desire to change the world. That's not to say I don't have opinions or questions or frustrations about domestic and international issues. But what fascinates me most about politics are the characters that make it up, the actions they take, the motivations behind those actions, and the way they react to, make, and change history.

I am so looking forward to watching Obama and McCain duke it out, and though I'm pretty confident I know who I'm voting for, I'm curious to see if there will be one statement or cause or event that might change my mind.

And then there are the Clintons. I think Bill is brilliant, charismatic, and was a very effective president. However, he's also, in my opinion, quite sleazy. As for Hillary, I wanted to like her for so long, I really did. I was offended and alarmed by people's hatred of her not for her stance on fill-in-the-blank, but because she didn't dump her husband after he cheated on her. I don't have a problem with ambition in a woman, even when it's as naked as it is in Hillary.

However, I just couldn't ever warm to her. Her repeated lying about dodging sniper fire in Bosnia realllllly bugged me. (It's weird how certain things can get under your skin, while you can forgive other transgressions) I just started feeling more and more uncomfortable with the whole Clinton clan. (Except that Chelsea; who's doing her hair? Fabulous!) But what most turned me against voting for her was the aforementioned hatred of her. Our current President is, um, somewhat divisive. I'm exhausted by how divided we've become over the past 8 years. I don't think either McCain or Obama will inspire such division, but I think Hillary does, and I didn't want to vote for that.

All that being said, I'm watching Hillary's concession speech (oh, sorry, "suspension" speech), and I'm truly sad to see the closest shot we've had at a female president leaving the race. I wouldn't vote for a woman just because she's a woman. But all things being equal, seeing a woman in the White House would be amazing. I don't like her, but I'm saddened. I'm saddened to think of the women who fought for the equal rights amendment, who feel that this might have been their last chance to see a woman president in their lifetime. It very well may be.

But hey, there's Ted Danson in the audience!

Friday, June 6, 2008

People Who Suck

So various friends who I love and respect have been encouraging me to write more postings and not fret about the brilliance and insight of each topic. I sure didn't want my first post in 5 months to be negative, but here it is, and I promise the next one will be much cheerier.

S got his car stolen from in front of my apartment last night. There are a few silver linings: it wasn't his truck, it didn't have the multiple sets of uniforms in it that he has to keep packed at all times. But there was some electronic stuff he just got for his new gig at the airbase; his beloved, expensive, and always carefully selected sunglasses; and all his work certificates that he has earned for various specialty classes that may or may not be able to be replaced. What an infuriating and absolutely violating experience. It's maddening to basically be left helpless, because there's really nothing the police can do. You just have to say "oh well!" to thousands of dollars of your things, your mobility, your better gas mileage, your connection to your grandma (it was her car), taken from you by some assholes who will probably just end up working for S at Rainbow. Ah, irony.

There was some wildland gear in the backseat, and I am praying it was covered in poison oak oils.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fromage (not to be confused with Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago)

My current favorite haunt in San Diego is Cafe Chloe on the corner of 9th and G in Downtown SD. Pal G has the good fortune of living across the street, so we pop in every once in awhile for the Fromage Plate (to share). Anyone who knows me knows I love cheese. I don't discriminate. The stinky, the rindy, the rolled-in-who-knows-what; I love them all. Last night was no exception. The blue cheese we munched on was from Wisconsin. It was crumbly, tangy, and looked like lapis lazuli. Mixed with the tupelo honey that was part of the whole fromage package and Holy Swiss Monkeys it was good.

But doesn't Cafe Chloe offer anything other than cheese? Well, yes, actually, they offer plenty more. I just get carried away sometimes... Anyhoo. What makes Cafe Chloe so special is its attention to detail. The brown and white palate could feel boring, but instead, it's bright and fresh without being cold and minimalist. Touches of marble and dark wood next to chalkboards and fresh cut flowers gives the atmosphere a charm that doesn't feel like it's trying too hard. Even your check arrives on a nice silver tray, weighted down by a heavy silver paper weight. Funsies! (sorry...)

Think classy and French, without the pompousness (is that a word?) or conflicting foreign policies. Dress to the nines, or wears jeans and a t-shirt; you'll fit in either way. The staff could be uppity and all we-only-cater-to-the-Gaslamp-Shiny-Shirt-Brigade, but they are incredibly friendly and welcoming. S ordered a specialty beer last night and our waitress said "oh...don't get that one, it's gross...everyone who orders it hates it!" She kindly directed S towards a much tastier selection. I love that kind of honesty from a restaurant.

The food's delicious too, don't get me wrong. Button mushroom soup that's smooth and creamy with a vein of something sweet running through it? Mmmmm... Something called a "tartiflette" (come on, people, you made that word up) that just involved putting potatoes, bacon, and onion together, and then cooking it with a huge hunk of brie-like cheese on top. Scrumptious.

Enough fawning, I have to go get my cholesterol checked.

Friday, January 11, 2008

It's a Start

Tonight we are going to opening night of Cirque du (de? di? can we get some uniformity on that, other languages? Please?) Soleil's "Corteo." S is hoping for free ice cream at intermission, my fingers are crossed for some odd display of juggling, like a person juggling another person while being tossed up into the air by a giant parachute held by bodysuited French Canadians. As I reread that last sentence, I realized this scenario is entirely possible.

The show is at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, so we're going to snag some din-din beforehand at The Fish Market right across the street. Last time we went there, we ate in their bar which is far more charming and less crowded than the restaurant, and no wait or reservations were needed. I like that option.

Tomorrow, who knows where the day will take us? Linens n' Things?? Probably. And Go Bruins.