Sunday, August 30, 2009


It's been a mostly quiet weekend around these parts. On Friday night Tim's official Blizzard paperwork arrived, and we rejoiced. Then we went out for sushi and frogurt, and I made him watch Top Chef and Project Runway with me.

On Saturday he went down to the OC, and I mostly lazed around with the cats. I took a nap, I cut up a Vogue magazine, I read my book, I went to the gym... it was all good. I am still a little shocked about the move to the OC, but I have been promised a moving bribe, and I hope that by the end of the year we'll have our first home, and all will be well. The thought of trying to buy a house, living separately, moving and adjusting to Tim's new job makes my head explode a little in the meanwhile. But intact heads are for BABIES! (except for the whole soft spot, I suppose.)

Saturday night we went out to craftbar, which is owned by Tom Colicchio, the head judge of Top Chef (and therefore, Tim and I's boyfriend. Seriously - if anyone knows how to be a food taster for Top Chef competitions, let me know. Tim and I are ready to eat!) We ordered a bunch of little plates and shared around. Tim got this fabulous smoked chicken raviolo, and we had this beautiful goat cheese, but let's be honest, dessert was the best course! Afterwards we went to the Culver Hotel, which is a historic landmark just down the street for our house. It was where many of the actor stayed while filming the Wizard of Oz - most notably, all of the Munchkins stayed there - three to a bed. We've been talking for a long time about going to "the munchkin bar" but finally made it last night, in our fancy clothes. It's very cool on the inside, and we were glad we stopped by. Definitely would go there again to chill out and have a cocktail.

Today we met up with the Fords for my birthday celebrations (slightly belated.) Eileen arrived with an "Orange County: Then and Now" book, which absolutey cracked me up. At my work's summer Bingo party, I won tickets to the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum in Hollywood, so we took advantage of them. The "museum" is quite the weird place - definitely not somewhere I would visit if I had to pay real monies, but it was fun to scoot through. We also wandered through the Chinese theater and the mall. Got a great view of the creepy wildfires. The cloud of smoke in the sky is pretty ominous, and at night we can see the flames on our side of the hill.

And then off to Bottega Louie, to cap the night off with absolutely delicious dinner. I am stuffed and happy!

Tim is so happy to be offered a job.

One of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.


Delicious beyond words...

Future Orange County residents at the Munchkin bar.

Portrait made of butterfly wings from the Ripleys museum.

The reason my sinuses have felt stuffed up and horribly painful.

BEWARE! You have angered the fat one!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

BIG news!

I have a confession to make. We have been lying to you recently. Tim and I are not looking at houses in Los Angeles. We stopped six weeks ago. But yet we continued to tell the majority of our family and friends that we were house hunting. Remember when you asked about it a week ago and I was like, "eh, it's alright." That was a lie. We felt bad about it - having to lie to those we love most (except in the case of our parents - we've been crafting fibs to tell you our whole lives. That part wasn't hard.)

But there is a reason for this deception. We stopped looking for houses because Tim started pursing a new job opportunity. In Orange County. And we found out this week that he is going to be Blizzard Entertainment's newest Senior Gameplay Engineer. Yes, we are moving to Orange County. I know - I can't believe it either, because I wasn't kidding all of those years when I said I would never live behind the Orange Curtain. It's amazing what you do for love!

We are so happy and excited about this prospect. Tim has wanted to work for Blizzard for as long as he's wanted to make video games. The job truly excites him and is something he's wanted to do for a very long time. Moving to Orange County will allow us to buy a lot more house for a lot less money, which means the future Wolfie Von Focker will have a bigger yard. And mommy Von Focker will have more free childcare, because we'll be closer to all of the grandmas and grandpas (who are thrilled and chomping at the bit for us to move closer and produce an heir.) Wolfie will also have access to better schools, which apparently is important.

It is, of course, all very sudden. We were actually in the process of putting together a counter-counter offer on a house in LA when we decided to take the call from Blizzard and explore the possibility and literally, at 2pm, I had to call our realtor and say that we wouldn't be making our 5pm appointment fill out paperwork - the appointment we'd made at 8pm the night before. There's definitely a little bit of whiplash involved!

Tim has given his notice at work and will start at Blizzard on September 14th. We have our fabulous Ireland trip with the Fords scheduled for the end of September, and will start the house hunting process after that. Our initial plan is to keep the apartment until we find a house. I am planning to stay at my job as long as possible (including taking the train from the OC when we move down there) so I'm in no hurry. It's also easier to stay in the apartment than it is to move into storage, live out of a suitcase and keep our cats locked in a bedroom at someone's house, IMO. Tim will probably stay with either Jake, the Thiels or the Fords and then come back to LA on the weekends. Or I'll come down and we'll househunt. But for me, I'd like to keep my life, and the cats lives, as normal as possible until we're ready to become full time Orange County residents, and home owners.

My boss knows about the change in our lives and is super supportive, so I'm hoping that they will work with me as I figure out a new schedule. I anticipate that I'll be able to take the train from San Juan to Union Station for a couple of months, and then I anticipate that at some point, maternity leave will make my employment a moot point. Our development team is a small but mighty team of three and we're leanly stretched as it is, so I don't want to do anything that will leave them hanging out to dry. And more importantly, I love my job and value what I do, so I'm not desperate to quit and take up a live of leisure any time soon (unless I win the megamillions - my boss would accept my resignation on the spot if it also was accompanied by a check for a million dollars!) So, in the near term, Tim will commute. Hopefully before the year is up, I will be the commuter, and then in a perfect world, by the end of 2010, I'm a stay at home mom and Tim is the best engineer Blizzard Entertainment has ever seen.

Or I win the Megamillions and we're living the life of luxury. With a vacation home in Door County and a private jet, naturally.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I had an amazing birthday last year. The fun part was that for the majority of the year, I thought I was turning 29 (because Tim is 29, and I think we're the same age) but I'm only 28. My coworkers decorated my cube with sparkles, and a bunch of us went out for lunch, and then my friend Ingrid and I went for pedicures after work. And then I motored down to mom and dad's house for the real celebration. Lisa and Kate were in town and they made me a bee-yew-ti-ful crown to wear!

It was a perfect lady weekend. We did a lot of antique shopping, and regular shopping, and floating in the pool. What more could you want? I got a tan, and a fabulous party dress from Talbots (on super mega ultra sale. I am going to be sad if they go bankrupt and out of business.. not that I buy their stuff when it's not on sale.) We also had charm bracelet time, which is always fabulous. Plus, the older I get, the more I just want to see my mom and my dad on my birthday. I mean, they're the ones responsible for this whole mess!

The birthday party fun continues this week (and the last party isn't actually until next Sunday!) On Tuesday, my boss took a couple of people out for my birthday, to my favorite restaurant, Bottega Louie. They sent out free pizzas, some ravioli, and then cupcakes with candles in them and happy birthday written on the plate. I love Bottega Louie forever and ever. Tomorrow I am going with a bunch of my pals to see the Dodgers play the Cubs.

The crap news of the past week is that my EX-boyfriend, Brett "the Jet" Lorenzo Favre is turnin out to be an even bigger jerk than originally anticipated. All I have to say is:
And I wouldn't be sad if he suffered a career ending injury ASAP.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Little This, Little That.

We had a lot of unexpected fun this weekend. On Saturday I got up and went to kickboxing, and then made a pilgrimage out to Glendale to visit a vintage store. When we'd gone to see the King and I, the woman who did the intro before the show talked about this fabulous store in Glendale, where she'd gotten her outfit for the evening. She also mentioned that the store had a penny rack out front. I figured, since I have a car and some gas and a penny or two, I should definitely go check it out. Oh, how I love pre-owned items. Garmon tried to get me lost, but I arrived safe and sound and was not disappointed. The store is called Patsey's Closet, and it's on a little main drag in Montrose. Very cute.

I didn't buy much, but I did a TON of browsing. There were a lot of fun rhinestone necklaces, and a whole case full of hankies and gloves and other ladylike things. A pair of pink mules that were covered in fur on top - and not like sexy little marabou mules, but like "oh, I just stuffed my foot in a rabbit's behind and then stuck a pink heel on the back." They were a little outrageous. I also tried on a few goofy hats and LOTS of coats. Seriously - I was made for cold weather climates. If you saw me in a vintage store, you'd notice me bleating like a lamb each time I put on a beautiful jacket, and then crying like a lamb being weaned as I was forced to return it back to its hanger. I already have... let me see... four winter coats that I can only wear once a year in California (twice a year if we go to Wisco for Thanksgiving.) I can't really buy more, much as I love them. The other thing I tried on and then regretfully returned was a 60s era coral-colored dress. It had an empire waist and then a beaded bodice with a high collar. The sleeves were sheer and then had beaded cuffs (subpar dressing room photo below.) Even though it was only $25, I don't really have any place to wear it (and again, I have several wild dresses in my closet that I can't wear out of the house. At least I know that I can wear my Old Yeller dress when Judy gets married - she's already pre-approved it as a bridesmaids dress.) I did end up getting a little brooch, and a hand-beaded and embroidered pink sweater, much like the friend I bought in Door County. Apparently I am amassing a vintage sweater collection now as well (those I am able to wear all of the time though, so it's a sound investment.)

thrift store hat!

Awesome dress. I feel like I sort of look like a dude in it, but it was a fabu outfit.

Saturday night Tim and I grabbed sushi and frogurt (dinner of champions) and then headed up to the Getty to see the Dodos. Well, we tried anyways. We hit the line for the Getty Center Drive exit at 5:45, and were still had not reached the offramp by 6:30. And there was a loooooooong line of cars on the street towards the parking lot. I don't know what was up - if the Dodos were that popular, or if there was some other local event going on, but at 6:30 we gave up and just headed home. I figured by the time we got into the Getty, and parked, and rode the tram up to the museum, it'd be 8:30 and the show only ran until 9. Plus it was the Dodos and another DJ, so we could have easily arrived just in time for the DJs last set and missed out on what we'd come for. Disappointing! Instead we went home and Tim played video games and I read two books, because I am so smart.

Sunday morning when Tim got out of bed, I convinced him to go run and get milk and eggs, with the promise of pancakes if he delivered. So I made pancakes (from scratch) with peaches on top, and we lazed around for a bit. We headed out to Chino around noon and took his younger cousins Trevor and Joey out to see GI Joe. The boys are a little young to remember the cartoons, but they seemed to enjoy it. After we dropped them off, we made the decision to swing by home to say hi to mom and dad and Sara and Lisa and Kate, who are in town. It was really nice - we had dinner and then just goofed off until far too late.

This morning I had a staff meeting. Our HR director wanted to do a little piece about people turning down their music and putting their cell phones on vibrate (it's a cube farm here and EVERYTHING carries, so with a bunch of people rocking out to their music, and cell phones going off, it can be incredibly distracting.) But instead of just lecturing, she set it up so that she would call me during the middle of her HR update portion - I put a specially obnoxious ring tone on my phone and then when she called, actually answered it. It was pretty funny to see the looks on everyone's faces.

This week is busy! I have some dinner dates and am turning the ripe old age of 28. I am holding out to get a kitten as a present, but I fear it will not come to pass. I will just have to squeeze the ones I've got. They are pretty okay.

Me and Charles. I know he looks pissed, but he's purring.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Julia Child.

Even though it's a gazillion degrees out, I came home from work today, pulled on my apron and went to work making a chicken pot pie. I don't know - it seemed like a good idea when I was grocery shopping yesterday. It came out the way it usually does - the first two pieces fall apart and I curse a lot and WHY is there so much damn liquid inside this thing and then Tim and I eat and it's delicious (though fragmented) and then the other four pieces come right out of the pan, looking beautiful. And then I dump them into tupperwares and they break apart. No one will ever see my true artistry.

I have decided to make a carrot cake and some carrot cake cupcakes for my birthday next week. I am already getting excited about baking and frosting (ginger cream cheese!) I am also excited for Tim and I's Friday night date to see Julie & Julia. I really enjoyed Julie Powell's book, and Julia Child's My Life in France, both of which inspired the movie. Plus it's Norah Ephron - so what more could you want? Reading those two books was part of what inspired me to start learning how to cook.

Speaking of cooking, I shared my mom's pie crust recipe with my friend Anne, and her pies won second place at the Ventura County fair. YEAH BOY. It looks like I am turning into an old lady who exchange recipes. I am looking forward to cookie swap parties in the near future. I'll bring the snowballs!

After all of my cooking was done tonight, I walked over to the library. Strolling to the library is one of my favorite things to do. It's about a mile, and I pass by the community center, the pool, the park, a couple of little churches and a coffee shop. And Sony Pictures Studios. I returned three books and got three more, including Kristen Chenowith's autobiography, which I am enjoying thus far. I stopped and got frogurt on the way home from the frogurtarium across the street.

In other news, I have signed up for another 5K. Ugh. But I have been feeling a little soft around the middle lately, and having a race seems to be the only thing that consistently lights a fire under my ass. I am not paying $30 to go and embarrass myself on a race course! I also figure that if we do in fact get pregnant this fall, and if I do in fact want to have a sub 30 minute 5K to my name, I better get my buns in gear. I went running last night at the gym and am slightly crippled today. The good news is that I can still run 3.1 miles without needing to stop (okay, I stopped last night when my shoe came untied... but then I ran 3.15 miles to make up for it.) Even though I hate running, I also loved knowing that I could run, and run far, and run pretty fast, back when I was pounding out 10Ks last summer and fall. Now when I get on the treadmill, I can't even imagine managing that distance, but I know I have it in my somewhere. Deep down past my lazy-genes and my overwhelming need to skip the gym in favor of a nap.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Four Years of Awesome

Well, it's official. Tim and I have been married for four years now. Who knew? (well, obviously we did, or we wouldn't have gotten married.) I am very lucky to be married to him, and extremely happy with how our life together has turned out so far.

The night before our anniversary, we went to see Fiddler on the Roof, starring Topol on his farewell tour. It was a great show, though I wish I'd known beforehand that it was three hours long (I would not have gotten up at 5am that morning to go to the gym.) We were also sitting in front of a bunch of bluehairs, who complained loud enough for me to hear them about how tall Tim is. He can't help that he has a giant melon, ladies, but you get to choose your seats. The $20 seats are not known for their fabulous sight lines. Poor Big Head.

He sent me flowers at work the next morning, which was very sweet. The night of our anniversary we made dinner and had some cham-pan-ya and watched a movie and then went to get frogurt. A full evening indeed. This weekend was the real celebration. We got a room at the historic Biltmore hotel downtown. Checked in yesterday afternoon, relaxed for awhile and then walked down the street to Bottega Louie for dinner. I had pasta, Tim had steak, and we split portobello fries and a caprese salad. Of course, I had the peanut butter terrine for dessert. If I could figure out how to make that myself, I would eat it for every meal. I am not kidding. After dinner, we wandered around the hotel, caught a glimpse of a bride in a big fancy dress, and then parked ourselves at the bar, where they have a lot of great cocktails and a live jazz trio. It was a really nice night - we just sat and chatted, and slow danced a little and goofed off.

This morning we lounged around, and then went to Philippes for french dip sandwiches. I'd never been, but it is apparently an LA institution. We were not let down. I had a beef sandwich with blue cheese and a slice of blueberry pie. It was so fabulous. Since we were in the area, we also wandered through Olvera Street and historic core of downtown. I love downtown LA. If I could afford some ritzy loft apartment downtown, I'd buy one (in addition to having a regular old house.) I feel like even though I've been here ten years there is always something new to discover. Much like being married, I guess.

Garnish stands no chance against Lulabelle.

It's chocolate caramel peanut butter true love.

My purse matches my dress!

Tim and I and our cocktails. The bassist in the jazz trio pointed out that I look like I came from the 20s, and Tim looks like he comes from the 50s. The flapper, and the suburbanite.

The gorgeous lobby.

Original home of the french dip sandwich!


Lucha masks at Olvera street.

My head fits in the child's size. Tim can never borrow it.

These guys have better feather headdresses than I do. Sad.

These shirts crack me up. The one on the right says "soy tu padre, mijo," which is basically Luke I am your father.

Let's not forget how cute Thory is.