Friday, October 14, 2011

Movie Review: The Thing

I've been told that I do fantastic movie and book reviews – in person, that is.  I think it's because I tend to get excited (read: drunk), flail my arms like Kermit The Frog, and ramble on about what happened, what should have happened, and my opinions on both.

Sometimes this involves voices.  Usually this involves an obscure reference to something elese that isn't even relevant to the movie or book currently being discussed.  Example: Comparing the weird Italian Vampires in that second "Twilight" book to Eddie Izzard's impression of The Queen trying to figure out what a plumber does ("A Plumber?! What on Earth is that?!")…  Really, it only makes sense in my head.  All that being said, I've been told that while people might not have any idea what I'm on about, I'm at least amusing.  So… mission accomplished?

For October, I've decided to try to do some Horror Movie reviews here.  The criteria is that I wanted them to be either pre-1990s and/or B-Horror, and preferably ones that I haven't seen before.  Oh, and I am going to be intoxicated while watching and taking notes.

The first movie we watched was John Carpenter's 1981 version of The Thing.  I had never seen this, but it's one of Boyfriend's favourites, so I decided it would be the first on our list.  Honestly, I didn't even really know what it was about.  Hell, I didn't even know Kurt Russell was in it.

The Thing is about a group of American scientists in Antarctica (there for unknown reasons), who witness a Norwegian man in a helicopter trying to kill a dog.  The helicopter crashes and the man dies with no explanation as to what he was doing, and the team take the dog in.  During the night, the dog mutates and attacks the other dogs.  The team realizes that The Thing is a shape-shifting alien who can take over a body and assume it's form. They no longer know who to trust, if anyone.

I admit that I was a little off-put when I realize that this was Sci-Fi/Horror.  Not that I have a problem with that genre in general, but that wasn't what I really wanted to write about.  Still, I ended up finding this movie intriguing.

First off, the idea of total isolation is very scary.  Not only are they in Antarctica, but a giant storm has also cut them off from any radio communication.  Couple that with the fact that there is a shape shifting alien on the loose and one or more of your companions may be said alien. 

Secondly, the cast is entirely male.  I once had a scriptwriting teacher that said every movie has to have a love story (someone asked "What about Master & Commander" and the teacher said "It's about a man and his love for his boat."  What a load of crap, but I digress).  There really isn't a love story here, no love interests, no damsel in distress, no Femme Fatale, no BAMF!Female, no all male oh-god-were're-gonna-die love affair… The only love here is the characters' love of life – their desire for their own survival.

And finally, the open-ended ending.  I won't spoil the end, but it was done in such a way that you aren't really sure what happens after the credits roll.  You're still not sure if you trust anyone.  You're not sure if the the movie ends on a high note or a down note (like Empire).

So, that's my sober review.  If you are interested in my drunken note taking while watching, you can continue on.  If not, I'll leave you with a shot of Kurt Russell from The Thing.  He still manages to be dead sexy in the middle of an alien attack. In a snow storm. With a beard.  I mean look at his eyes!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dresstember Weekend Recap Part 2

September happens to be the birth month of Boyfriend.  He doesn't make as big a deal of his birthday as I do, which is ok.  But we had an awesome party at his place an I had been saving my Kate Spade dress for the occasion.  I am so stoked on this dress – it looks like it was custom made and I never even tried it on!  I jumped a lot.  And I also discovered a zebra wine.

The next weekend Boyfriend, Michael, and I drove down to Ventura to go to our friend Nick's 33 1/3 birthday party.  About 4 hours of our drive down from the Bay Area was surrounded by a lightening storm, so naturally we blasted storm music and tried to take pictures (and ate our weight in tortilla chips, but that's neither here nor there).  And once we got there, my "cousin" Kate showed up and I got to meet the most amazing new friend, Ash.  Again, you're jealous of us.  I mean, just look (and not the lens flare. hott).

And that's a wrap on Dresstember.  Now we'll move on to October and I'll get the first few movie post up soon.  Huzza for October!

Dresstember Weekend Recap Part 1

So, strictly speaking this first part isn't from September, but it was right before when we went to Vegas.  I had been meaning to write about the trip anyway plus I wore this crazy skimpy Vegas dress.  I mean, the front was so low and slouchy that it's a good thing I don't have a big chest and the back was so short that I couldn't bend over.  So, it was pretty much perfect.

We ended up going out to a club inside/outside the Wynn.  It was kind of a mind-trip because it was like 90 º out at night, so whenever I was under the lights I thought I was under heat lamps.  Also, I spent way too much on gin & tonics.  It was an experience, but you know, not really for me.

Two weeks later my "cousin" and one of my best friends, Kate, came to visit.  Kate and I have a curse that whenever we try to go visit one another: "snow storms," cancelled flights, county wide power outages, you know...

ANYWAY, once she did make it here, we got our Karaoke on with Boyfriend on Friday, and then on Saturday we went to Alcatraz, hit up the Ghirardelli chocolate festival, and finally danced the night away at Bootie.  It was amazing. You're jealous of us.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the Weekend Recap – The Party Weekends!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Catching Up with a Double Post

September was a crazy month, you guys.  Especially the last week – hence this getting posted so late.  But I did it!! I made it through Dresstember!! I just have to do the Weekend Recaps.

September 26 – 28

Monday – So, I wore this grey dress (Target - again) and this fantastic stripped blazer from Express to work.  Then, we had plans to go the Giants game so I came home and threw on tights and coat.  Of course I ended up putting on purple.  What are the odds that the one time I go to a Giants game we're playing the only purple team?  Yeah... I changed.

Tuesday – This is my first Kate Spade dress.  I was shopping with my best friend and "Our Mom" over Christmas and fell in love with this dress.  It was on sale, but it was still just too much... so "Our Mom" marches up to the sales lady and goes, "My daughter loves this dress but there's a loose string. What can you do?"  And you know what?  I got a discount.  It was a very Phyllis Nefler moment.

Wednesday – One of my favourite vintage inspired dresses from Banana Republic.  I love their jewel tones and they bring out my eyes... Also, this has like a flap that I can flip up and not have as much cleavage (as if I have boobs, right?!) at work.

September 29 & 30

Thursday – Boyfriend got me this Shabby Apple dress for Christmas last year.  I feel like a starlette when I wear it, but I don't wear it all that often.  Fabulous butons. 

Friday – A J. Crew strapless dress to celebrate the last day of Summer.  I love how it fades from dark pink at the bottom to white at the top and it reminds me of Gwen Stefani's wedding dress.  One last light and airy dress before the rain started this week.  Perfect timing. 

Stay tuned for the Weekend Recap and then my introduction for my October Theme!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Belts, belts, and more belts

So, three belted dresses in one week and all for less than $20!  Yeah, that's how I roll.  Plus I'm getting into the last of the summer dresses since it's officially Autumn now... Oh, right.  Except for the crazy heat wave we're having right now.  So, yeah one more week of Dresstember and then all of my Dresstember Weekend recaps!  So, you've got that to look forward to, which is nice.

September 22, 23, and 25

Thursday – One of my favourite $4 Forever21 dresses.  It goes with tights or leggings, boots or sandals, and obviously really fun belts.  I love it.

Friday – I usually pair this Target dress with a teal sweater and earrings.  I love that it goes from casual to fancy.  And it's super comfy.

Sunday – Target again!  I swear that this was longer when I bought it.  But damn, I love striped dresses, especially ones that I can now add tights to and wear for the rest of the year!!

This feels kinda weak tonight. Meh.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blocks of Colour

WTF, September?  Why is it suddenly 6 billion degrees?  I'm not really complaining because a) I prefer warm weather, and b) I get to keep wearing summer dresses a little bit longer.  Though, I won't lie – Autumn is my favourite season and I kinda can't wait for that change, too.

September 19 – 21

Monday – Back when I live in downtown Palo Alto, I used to walk past Anthropologie every day on my way to work.  Good news for my body, bad news for my wallet... their visuals are so awesome that I kept stopping to try things on.  Luckily, since I was there often enough, I managed to score quite a few sale items like this one.  Seriously, I would almost never buy anything there full price.

Tuesday – Another Target dress, great for laying around on a crazy hot day when you're dead from gluten poisoning.  Oh, yeah.  Good times.

Wednesday – Another sale Anthropologie dress.  I didn't even realize that until just now.  For some reason, I got a ton of compliments on this dress today.  And on my hair.  Huh, that's what happens when you skip the gym and have time to get ready at home in the morning.  Noted.

Also, can we just say how cute Boyfriend's set ups for these quick shots are?  I love the colours in the background and yeah, my house has a lot of colours.  We're festive.  Or indecisive.  Whatever.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

High Maintenance Machines

I'm learning a lot from Dresstember so far.  For one, I don't own nearly enough dresses with pockets.  This is an issue at work when I need to carry my phone around, but even more so because I have nowhere to clip my security badge unless I'm also wearing a belt.  Secondly, I'll never regret wearing tights (you can always take them off), but I pretty much always regret not putting them on.

September 14 – 16

Wednesday – This was a holiday dress from Target last year or the year before...?  The only problem is that it basically does not have a back, so I always have to wear a sweater when at work.  This time it was a problem because the office seemed to make up for the broken air conditioner on Tuesday by cranking up the air on Wednesday, so no back and no tights... freezeville.  But cute, yeah?

Thursday  – God, I look tired in this picture.  The dress is H&M and  I learned my lesson the day before and packed tights so that when I went to my class in The City I could be warm enough, which was good since I got into a row with the ticket machine at the BART station and missed a train to the city and then again on the way back.  But at least I was warm.

Friday – Again an H&M dress, which I only have a few of because I generally think it starts for Hit/Miss.  I actually really love this dress with the flower tights.  It make me feel whimsical and fun.  And perfect for unintentionally spending 3 hours at my favourite mexican restaurant with some of my favourite people on a Friday night.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I need a new pose

So, I'm jumping around a bit because I had one of the most awesome weekends I've had in a long time.  And because of that, I have dress photos from last Wednesday, Thursday, and today.  This weekend will be covered when I get the pics back from Boyfriend and my amazing photographer friends, and suffice to say that Sunday and Monday were lost in a haze of a partial hangover and then pure laziness (I didn't ever change out of my yoga pants or leave the house...).

September 7th, 8th, and 13th.
Wednesday – this was a thrift store gem I found 10 years ago.  It originally had these hideous bell-sleeves that my Mom helped me remove.  It's light and flattering and one of my all time favourite dresses.  Also, please note Bunnydict Cumberstatch – my bunny with a mustache.

Thursday – Speaking of my Mom, this is her favourite outfit that I wear.  The dress is a Jessica Simpson (that reminds everyone of a Spirograph) and the jacket is is People's Liberation – both from (such a shopping problem for me!).  Of course, my Mom thought this was actually a dress Jessica Simpson wore at one point, so I stopped explaining brands to her.

Tuesday – My Kate Spade giraffe dress came last week and I got to rock it today.  Everyone loved it and lucky for me the air conditioning in my building was broken so I didn't have to put a sweater over it or anything!  Seriously, I could just wear her stuff forever.

But seriously guys, I need a new pose for these pictures.  I should work on that.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Photo Envy

Considering Boyfriend is a photographer, I do seem to end up with some lame photos.  It's not his fault, of course.  I always wait until the last possible moment before I ask him to take a picture of the dress I'm wearing.  Over the past 3 days, only one of these has been durring daylight.  I should work on this – I get envious of all the fancy fashion blog photos I see!

Well, as usual I'm late in updating, so here are the past 3 days worth of Dresstember outfits.

September 4 – 6

The first dress is from Target – I have it in 3 different colours, which you may see soon.  It got suddenly cold on Sunday and so we added tights, boots, and a sweater. Ta-da! Fall clothes!

The second is either from the GAP outlet or the Banana Republic outlet... I have no idea which because it was years ago.  I think it was actually marketed as a sweater dress.  It has a giant ribbon, which is good to hide my ice cream tummy when needed ;)

Finally, the third dress is from Ross as picked out my mom, The Queen.  It's warm and springy (as suddenly it was summer again on Tuesday).  You know I'm a sucker for purple of all shades.

Well, so far so good.  This would be way harder if I had to wear pants for a month!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Introducting Dresstember!!

Well, I'm back!  I needed a short break after Awesome August – turns out that committing to write an entry for 30 days without anything really planned was harder than I expected.  My only goal was to post something which was both freeing and limiting as I didn't want to bore anyone with what I had for lunch, so often it was hard to find something interesting to write about.

I also learned that as much fun as the challenge was, I didn't want to put my life on hold just to make sure I posted something, hence the missing 3 days at the end – Vegas was just too distracting!  But having a goal did help me get in the habit.  And so I introduce my new challenge:


My friend Di challenged me to wear a dress every day of September and document it.  An excuse to wear nothing but dresses?!  I accept!  I have so much going on this month that the dress challenge just seems to add more excitement to it.  So, we shall see how that goes.

September 1 – 3
Banana Republic is doing this gorgeous Mad Men line right now.  OK, so I've never seen Mad Men, but that doesn't mean I don't LOVE everything in the line.  Especially this lace white dress... but I didn't love it $100+ worth.  So, I bought the $13ish version at Forver21.  I'm rad like that.

The second dress I bought at one of those little shops in downtown Santa Cruz years ago when shopping with Bear.  I asked her if it made me look like a gumdrop (because I usually think I'm fat).  She said no (because she usually tells me the truth about when things make me look fat).  My scarf has giraffes on it because my Bestie gives me wonderful birthday presents.

The third is from Express (and wow, I didn't think I'd wear Forever21 and Express in one week. How odd).  It has 3/4 sleeves and evoked the coveted "You've got a Jackie O. look today" from my co-worker.  But then I got cold and put a H&M blazer over it.  (and yes, to anyone who is reading this that I haven't seen in a few years – I wear blazers now. what up.)

So, now I'm back to trying to get this updated more regularly and perhaps with less randomly blocks of text. Happy Labor Day everyone!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Awesome August : Day 30

Wow, what a fail.  I make it all the way through and then forget to post this... ah well.

Tonight Boyfriend and I meet up with an ex co-worker and her boyfriend to make gluten-free homemade Pop Tarts.   We experimented with different fillings, but the fan favourite seemed to be the maple and brown sugar one (which we only made one of for some reason).  Others included peanut butter & jelly, Nutella, salted caramel, raspberry, and lemon curd.  I don't like jams, as previously noted, so I didn't try any of those ones, though I hear they were good...

the salted caramel kind of exploded...
Well, August has been fun, guys.  It's been an interesting challenge to do this every day and I'm not sure I can keep it up.  But I do want to keep doing regular posts – at least 2 or 3 times a week.  But September is looking crazy so far: friends visiting, travel, a billion birthdays (including Boyfriends), and I'm taking a class on Thursday nights now.  Of course, looking my calendar for September, I realize that I won't be lacking in things to write about.

Happy September, everyone!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Awesome August : Day 30

My best friend T lives in Orange County, so since high school we really haven't gotten a change to spend as much time with each other as we would both want.  But when we do spend time together we are awesome at eating frozen yogurt and shopping.  And it's T that I blame for my newish Kate Spade addiction.  T's always been a fan and either the Kate Spade line has changed or my tastes have changed, but I LOVE it all now.  And T knows this.

Which is why this morning, I got an IM from her with nothing but a link to a Kate Spade sample sale.  And then she asked why I hadn't bought the giraffe dress yet – good question!  So, I may or may not have bought two Kate Spade dresses this morning...  But I will say that with the 75% off, both dresses combined were less that either of them full price!

The one on the left is the Two By Two Dress – it's so ME isn't it?!  And the second one is an Ikat Caroline Dress that I hope to transition from summer to fall.  I swear, I should just not buy anything at all and just wait for these sales to come around.  I'm smitten with both (and more to be honest)!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Awesome August : Day 29

Have you ever known one of those couples that is just so cute they are annoying?  My co-worker's birthday was today and as usual, I came prepared with some baked goods (m&m's cookies), but then his girlfriend had to steal my thunder by sending him a cake AND balloons AND chocolate covered strawberries.  How annoying!  But his manager brought some of the awesomeness back to the co-worker team by bringing in big bowl of wild animal and ninja figurines.  So, this is how we spend part of our day at work...

But it's all OK.  Tonight I got to be part of my own annoyingly cute couple.  After spending part of Saturday night watching the boys play Pai Gow Poker in Vegas and my quick mastery of that game once we got home, Boyfriend has decided that he needs to teach me how to play Texas Hold 'em.  So, we played with another couple – also one who knows how to play and one who doesn't really.  I kept arbitrarily changing the denomination of the poker chips, claiming they were anywhere between $1 to $1 million.  (I may have also stolen from the bank when no one was looking...)

Boyfriend is ridiculously patient, tho.  I stayed in for stupid cards and bet for no real reason mostly.  However, I think I eventually got the hang of it and I actually won a hand or two.  And through all of that, Boyfriend didn't get annoyed (until we started pushing all of our chips in for no real reason). 

I think it's safe to say that I'll never be a poker player.  For one, I'm scared to play for real money.  For another, I am never sure what I'm supposed to do on each turn.  But if I do ever play, my strategy will be to seem distracted all the time – oh maybe I shouldn't have told you that... Oops.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Awesome August : Day 26, 27, & 28

One thing I learned over this weekend, is that I didn't want to let my devotion to this Awesome August project prevent me from doing the things that I would actually want to write about here... So, I am 2 days behind because Boyfriend and I were in Vegas this weekend!

Sort of unintentionally, we've gone to Vegas once a year since we've been dating (before that, I had never been).  The first time was to see my favourite band, The Hold Steady, play in a bar the size of my living room at home.  The second time we went and saw The Beatles' LOVE.  This time, we went clubbing question mark.  But then we ended up seeing a show and running into friends on The Strip.

Friday started with Blood Orange Mimosa from Grand Lux Café.

Then we hit up Surrender at The Encore.

After seeing Phanom on Saturday, we ran into our friends Thom and Andy.  This was an unintentional reunion from when we all used to work at the same store.

And then I learned another lesson today... Don't bake cookies when you haven't had enough sleep.  They don't always turn out right.

I only have a few more days of this project, so I'm going to try to end it with a bang!  So, look forward to a proper post tomorrow :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Awesome August : Day 25

I stayed up way too late watching Project Runway considering Boyfriend and I have to leave the house at 5am tomorrow to get our 7am flight to Vegas, baby!

So, since I need to sleep now, here is a picture of my dog, Jade.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Awesome August : Day 24

I love getting my hair done, don't you? Someone to wash your hair and style it... And if you're lucky you have someone who gives you a bit of a head massage while making you pretty.

I'm that lucky, plus Jen is totally awesome and she thinks I'm funny. I trust her way more than anyone else who has ever done my hair. And she does Bear's hair, too, so she has the coveted sister stamp of approval.

Tonight I got my hair cut and coloured. I had highlighted it blonde at the beginning of summer, but now we've added red highlights, too. And I got a much needed bang trim - they were so long it was ridiculous. (Also, who would have thought that the bangs I cut on an angry whim and dubbed "Breakup Bangs," would now be my regular hairstyle 3 years on...)

I'll have to get a picture of the colour in sunlight. But I'm in love with the touchups she did to my cut!



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Awesome August : Day 23

I am run off my feet, guys. I was so exhausted this morning I slept though my training alarm, so I had to go to the gym after work. What I didn't know was that it was going to be 90 degrees at 5pm.

I should also mention that I somehow got it into my head that I was going to make gluten free lasagna for dinner. So, a dish that take a long time to prepare then bake in the heat, after a workout. I'm a genius.

But I guess it worked out OK. I made a spicy lasagna with ground beef and hot sausage. And since Boyfriend doesn't like parmesan cheese, I used pepper jack instead. It turned out great, but we didn't eat until 9:30.

Is this what parenting will be like?!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Awesome August : Day 22

I met my friend Gordana when I was a computer trainer.  She started off as one of my students, but our lessons soon digressed into drinking tea, gossiping, and one time, driving her BMW Z3.  Gordana is one of those amazing souls that draws people to her.

Tonight we got to hang out for the first time in a long time.  We decided to make dinner and dessert at her place and since Gordana is a designer, she has this fabulously amazing home and kitchen.  As we got things ready, she poured us glasses of Kir Royale while we munched on peanuts and started work on a flourless chocolate cake that we dubbed a Megana Cake.

We had a beautiful dinner on her patio: salad with fresh herbs from her garden, chicken (for me), salmon (for her and Chaz), and corn on the cob.  There were laughs and stories and a debate over the best condiments for corn on the cob.

When dinner was finished we brought out the Megana Cake.  This cake is deadly – it's literally just chocolate, butter, sugar, and eggs.  It was actually a Paula Deen recipe that I found on Bakerella.  I figured the combo of Paula Deen plus flourless could do no wrong.  Boy, was I right!  I will be making this one again!

Because the cake was so strong, we also tested it with 3 different kind of preserves.  For the record I a) don't typically like preserves (or jams and jellies for that matter), and b) I believe in a separation of fruit and cake.  However, all 3 that we sampled were from places like France and Belgium, so I figured if I was going to try any these would be the ones.  The Plum preserves were too dark to do anything to the flavor; the rose hip preserves were mild but not really impressive; and the pomegranate-raspberry were sophisticated yet understated with just a hint of naughtiness...

Gordana will be out of the country for a month, but once she's back I'm sure I'll have another amazing evening to write about.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Awesome August : Day 21

Have you ever had one of those dreams that is so realistic and awful that even then you wake up, you feel weird for the rest of the morning?  Especially if that dream involves someone you love and someone you have to interact with.  That was me today... So, to counteract the yucky feeling, I ended up doing things that I love.

The Queen and I went to a morning showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 since she hadn't seen it yet.  The theater was surprisingly packed for a Sunday morning nearly over 2 months after the release.  And since I hadn't seen it since the midnight premier (which was fun but very loud), I was able to pick up lines of dialogue that I missed the first time (since we were all laughing or cheering or crying), like this one:

I've always loved the way the films have portrayed Seamus.  I thought that he was kinda shafted after about book 5 and he was always a fun character.  This scene just proves it.  But I digress...

Then I ended the night by seeing Cowboys & Aliens with Boyfriend and his dad.  I feel like that whole movie is the set up for a joke like, "James Bond and Han Solo walk into a saloon..."  But I actually enjoyed it way more than I thought I would.  I should probably mention that leading up to the film's release, every time I saw the trailer in a theater I looked around to make sure I wasn't hallucinating and that the film really existed.

All in all the movies and the company cured me of my bad dreams. :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Awesome August : Day 20

This is my friend Peter, aka The Mayor of Tasty Town.  Today he had a waffle and mimosa brunch to celebrate some good news, but mostly to have a party where we eat waffles and drink mimosas.

Peter has a tradition of wearing vests when we are at parties together... I can think of at least 6 parties that he's worn a vest to.  It's very Mayoral of him.  He also used to work at Starbuck and can still rock the apron when needed, such a when manning a waffle iron or drinking mimosas. 

So we spent a lovely morning eating waffles (mine were gluten free, of course) and bacon, drinking mimosas, and playing Apples to Apples.  Then I may or may not have fallen asleep on the couch while the boys played video games.  Great morning and a happy Saturday.

Awesome August : Day 19 (one day late)

Yesterday was insane and I did not have a second of downtime to actually update this thing.

First off, I woke up at 5:30 for Warrior Dash training, then to my desk at 8:00am.  After work there was a quick run to the store, then I whipped up a batch of chocolate chip rice krispie treats for Kate, whose birthday part I was running out the door to get to.  Don't get me wrong, it was a great day filled with fun and friends and board games, but it was loooong. 

Plus, I got to wear this amazing outfit to work.  It was my take on Casual Friday and a nod to my training and my favourite super hero.

All the superheroes live in the city.  Spiderman, Daredevil, and Captain America.  But Thor’s the best.  He fights the forces of darkness.  Forces of darkness beware!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Awesome August : Day 18

I'm coming to the end of my second week of training for the Warrior Dash – a mud-crawling, fire-leaping, extreme fun run from Hell!  It's 3.15 hellish miles, where I will conquer extreme obstacles, push my limits, then celebrate with kick-ass music, beer, and warrior helmets (according to their website anyway).

The website also provides a training plan for the participants with 3 different Warrior Levels: Virgin, Casual, and Ultimate.  I picked Casual based on this description: You don’t want to win the Warrior Dash - you just want to beat the guy wearing a dress.  So true.  And the training is going well.  I already feel stronger and more warrior-like, which is the point, I think.  Although, I'm not sure it's warrior-like to be so wrecked from training that I want to fall asleep at 10pm...

I'm running with two girlfriends because we are crazy people and this seems like something that needs to be done by crazy people.  You should come cheer us on.  Take pictures.  Laugh at us covered in mud and jumping over fire.  Drink beer and be jealous of our helmets. 

The race itself is on Oct 29th, so besides the training, I think we now need focus on costumes!  Warrior! Huzza!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Awesome August : Day 17

Boyfriend gave me The Silmarillion for my birthday.  My love of The Lord of the Rings is well documented, but aside from The Hobbit, I haven't read anything else from Tolkien's universe.  Honestly, upon the first look, I was a bit intimidated.  It has small type, lots of long paragraphs, very biblical looking...

According to this NPR article listing the Top 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy books, The Silmarillion contains "creation myths of Tolkien's Middle-earth, for those who found The Lord of the Rings too breezy and slight." While I might not have used the phrase breezy and slight, I was ready for more...

And then I read the prologue and the first story...

What the fuck is going on?  I have no idea.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Awesome August : Day 16

I think I'll let this one speak for itself...

Hope everyone had as happy of a Tuesday night as I did...

and now some sleep so I can do a proper post tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Awesome August : Day 15

I made it half way through the month before I got behind... damn!  But at least I have good reason!

Every Monday, I join Boyfriend and some of his high school friends (and their significant others) for dinner.  They've been doing this since high school and they used to go to the same hotwing place each week.  More recently, we've been exploring different places each week for variety.

Tonight, one couple hosted us at their house and we had a homemade pizza feast!  There were at least 4 different kinds of pizza plus two gluten free ones for me.  I was only able to try the pepperoni and the BBQ chicken ones, but everyone was raving about how good they all were.

We then spent hours playing Scattergories and Catchphrase, and since it was our friend's birthday – and keeping with the pizza theme – we had a giant pizzookie (and a tiny gluten free baby pizzookie for me).

I love games and when you have such a great group of people it's so easy to lose track of time playing.  Luckily for me we were close to home, I don't have to go to the gym tomorrow morning, and I was having so much fun that I didn't realize how tired I was.

What are your favourite games?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Awesome August : Day 14

Food that I can eat without getting sick? It's a wonderful thing. 

So, I've been 100% gluten free for over 6 months.  It is so wonderful to have "normal" stomach aches again – as opposed to the nasty food-poisoning type stomach aches I used to get before I knew what was causing them.  Anyway, as baking has always been one of my passions, I've spent as much time as I can experimenting with gluten free baking.

I love, love, love baking and I like to think that I'm pretty good at it.  However, gluten free baking has presented a new set of challenges to me.  For one, not all recipes are easily adapted.  And finding the right blend of non-wheat flour to match the taste of the rest of the ingredients is tricky.  On top of that, when I do find the right taste, the batter/dough seems to bake differently...

So, today I tried out a Brownie mix that was kindly given to me by my friend Karina (at her own birthday nonetheless!).  I tossed in some extra chocolate, white chocolate, and butterscotch chips for fun.  And now I'll test it out on Boyfriend before I subject it my co-workers tomorrow.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Awesome August : Day 13

I spent a beautiful, clear, warm day in The City with Boyfriend and our friend Michael.  The boys took pictures, I wandered around the Union Square shops, we ate fancy burgers, and we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time in ages.  Once across, the boys took more pictures and I wandered around old Sausalito (where I feel I should brunch soon).

I live so close the San Fransisco that I really should spend more time exploring "my city," so to speak.  There are a handful of places I could get to in my sleep and that I know like the back of my hand, but honestly, The City isn't huge and I should be more familiar with it.

Of course, today just got me more excited at the prospect of re-introducing SF to my "cousin" Kate when she comes to visit next month!  I just hope we get a day that's half as nice as today and I'll be happy.

And I know I'm going to wish later on that I wrote more today, but I am so exhausted, this is the best that I can do.  Sorry, folks...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Awesome August : Day 12

Tonight we had our first band practice since, gosh, June maybe?  There's been vacations, sickness, family obligations, and product launches keeping us apart for over a month. So, of course we had to chat (read: gossip) for a while about all of those things that were keeping us from practicing.  Then we had to have in depth conversations about a) how the Beach Boys concert was and the everlasting awesomeness of the band, and b) comic books (yeah, we get sidetracked by things I don't even care about.  How strange). 

When we did get around to picking up instruments, we didn't do anything too serious – some old stuff, some playing with effects, a cover of "Sloop John B" since we're on a Beach Boys kick still.

But that's the best part of band "practice" for me.  It's getting together and, yeah, if we play music it's awesome, but even if we don't it's always a good time.  I just with the others were around, too.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Awesome August : Day 11

Sometimes the best nights are the ones you least expect.

Tonight I met Boyfriend at a bar near his work for a going away party for one of his co-workers.  I figured we'd make an appearance because I wouldn't know anyone – since I've been gone myself for nearly a year, almost none of the people I worked with are there anymore.  But, I was wrong.  A bunch of people who I wasn't expecting showed up and it was great to catch up.

And since we were all drinking in a bar, the night started with the usual "So, what do you do?" questions and wandered into hook-ups, embarrassing stories, and trying to get the "guest of honour" to ride the mechanical bull (yes – it's that kind of bar).

And then the night ended with Yogurtland, complete with a Keroppi spoon.

Yeah, pretty decent Thursday night.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Awesome August : Day 10

I had to leave work early today due to a massive migraine and major nausea.  I went home, slept for about 5 hours and then watched a few episodes of Gilmore Girls once the headache went away.  All and all it seemed like waste of day...

But then the package showed up.  It was flat and square and it contained my copy of Harry and the Potters' Live at the New York Public Library LP – on vinyl!  I already have 2 Harry and the Potters 7", but this one is a full length live album.  Between the live recording and the fact that it's on vinyl (and the download code so I can listen to it everywhere!), it's such a fun album.  And it includes one of my favourites, "Phoenix Tears!"

I've been "collecting" records for a long time now, and by collecting I mean I try to get all of my favourites on vinyl as well as lost classics that appear in the Amoeba Records 99¢ bin.  I am one of those people who generally think that albums on vinyl sounds better than other forms.  I don't care if you think I'm pretentious.  Listen to Pet Sounds.  Listen to In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.  Then tell me that there's no difference.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Awesome August : Day 9

So, this is an embarrassing story...

Back in June I was doing a Cardio Challenge at work and during that month I managed run nearly all of the 150 miles that I challenged myself to run.  Due to some sickness and a vacation at the very end, I officially logged about 140 miles.  So close and yet so far.

Anyway, the challenge ended in July while I was in Hawaii.  What with the jet-lag, my weird mouth problem, antibiotics, and then birthday stuff, I somehow forgot to go back to the gym at all for a month!  Seeing as I was really getting in the groove of working out again, this was quite a blow to recover from.

And, honestly, I didn't recover very well this morning. 

Here's the scene: it's 6am at the work gym.  I don't have my regular water bottle with me because I'm a dumbass... I do, however, have a paper coffee cup filled with water.  I'm taking it easy on the treadmill because it's been a while, and it's a good thing, too because I haven't run very long before I start getting tired.

And then I go to get a sip of the water.

And my foot falls right off the edge of the treadmill.

And the water goes flying all over me.  And the machine.  And the mirror in front of me.  And the guy next to me.

The guy turns and says, "That's one way to wake up in the morning."

Oh yes.  That's how graceful I am. 

But I finished my run and did my weight work out.  And check me out, I'm back in the workout groove!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Awesome August : Day 8

For the past few years, I've tried to do something crazy and fun for my birthday.  Two years ago, we had Laser Prom – this involved dressing up in formal wear and playing laser tag.  Last year, it was a Golftail Party – mini-golf in cocktail party clothes.  This year, I wanted to have a karaoke party where everyone had to come dressed as a rock star or a musical character (or embodies a musical lifestyle, as you will see).  This year was Meg's Rock'N'Roll Birthday Bash!

I have this weird obsession with making my friends dress up for my parties.  And I have a special name for people who don't dress up for my themed parties: A Flounder.  This, of course, is taken from Animal House: Flounder is the only one who shows up to the Delta Tau Chi not in a toga!  Luckily for me, none of my friends were Flounders and everyone looked awesome.

I just got these pictures of the night from Boyfriend and I'll let them speak for themselves.  Enjoy and be jealous!

The night started with everyone arriving and lots of oohing and awing over costumes and getting geared up with Flip Cup and Spoons!

Then the Karaoke began.  The rule was you had to sing a song related to your character.
Cher did "If I Could Turn Back Time"
Sandy did "You're the One that I Want"
Wayne & Garth did "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Cassandra did "Ballroom Blitz"
Robin Sparkles did "Let's go to the Mall!"
And there were tons of other awesome songs plus an amazing rendition of "Come Sail Away" complete with interpretive dance.

Everyone seemed to be having a blast...

And then these these guys showed up and broke up the party! Thanks a lot, Yoko.