Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thank goodness...

... Handsome K didn't react this way to marrying me!

I may have forced a couple boys to be my "boyfriends" back in the kindergarten day, though...

Monday, July 25, 2011


I will get back on track next week... We're in the middle of moving hell.

Here's a photograph to tide you over until then. It's of thousands of rose petals being dumped via helicopter over a temple during an Indian wedding. I snagged it from a friend of mine via their Facebook...

See you all soon :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

The End of an Era: Harry Potter

I have a confession to make. I love Harry Potter. And when I say it’s true love, I mean it.

It wasn’t always this way, you know. My sister started reading the series when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out in the U.S. in 1997. My family and I were thrilled because it was the first time she had experienced the intense joy of a good book on her own, holed up in her bedroom until she had finished it cover to cover. When she eventually emerged and exclaimed, “You HAVE to read this!” 

I scoffed at her.

It was a book about wizards and I was thirteen. What can I say?

As the years went on, and the series continued to gain a feverish notoriety I’ve never witnessed before, I continued to avoid it, but cannot deny I was intrigued. How good could these books possibly be that adults and children alike were such diehard fans? Sidenote: in the wisdom of my twenties (hardy har har), I've come to realize if I pick up a book and read the back description more than five times, not only will I eventually read it: I'll devour it page by page. Such was the case with HP.

I threw in the towel in 2005. My grandma had died at the end of my winter semester and I was looking for any excuse not to study in spring. Sadness can do that to you sometimes, especially when it’s sadness over grandmas. Thus, it was the week before finals that I decided to give the first book a go. Then the second… then the third. I completed the first five books in just under eight days and still managed to finish out the year with a 3.4 GPA (no thanks to the grades I achieved on my finals). Go figure.

And for the record, I apologized to my sister for doubting her for nearly a decade.

In a way, I’m glad I waited up until book five because I soon realized the agony of having to wait for the next book to come out. It was torture.

Fast forward to 2007 when the conclusion, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released. I spent the month leading up to it knitting a maroon and mustard Gryffindor-inspired scarf and went to the midnight release party at a Borders with my now sister-in-law, Lindsay, and our friend Kelly. We wanted to celebrate the life and times of the boy who lived in style, naturally.

Pretty sweet shirts, I know.

I savored the last of the series that weekend. Only fans understand the bittersweet excitement that accompanied finishing it all together; there would be no new adventures: this was it.

However, the movies weren’t done and fans took solace in that fact. There were still four more to go, as they had decided to split the last book into two separate films. And I’ve relished watching them, excitement building at the opportunity to see if the way I envisioned the novels, the stories, the characters, the settings, was the same on the big screen.

That all came to an end this weekend… it was time to say goodbye for good. 

And what a sweet ending it was.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

For any soon-to-be-engaged friends:

Please do something like this! 

I watched this video on 100 Layer Cake this morning and was smitten from the get-go.

One, I love Hall and Oates' "You Make My Dreams." It is such a killer 80's song and anyone who chooses to disagree can, well, disagree. I discovered it when The Wedding Singer came out in 1998 and I dorkily used to dance by myself in my bedroom to it over and over again. I'd start out with the bop, synching myself to the ultra-cool electric piano beat, work some back and forth finger action into the mix, then hit replay and start the fun all over again. I know how to have a good time at a one person party.

Two, watching videos like this makes me wish I had similar creative abilities. Do you know how much I would love to present a stop action film that has romantic relevance in my life? Handsome K would never agree to it, but a girl can dream. The scene where they're enjoying coffee together in a cafe on their "first date" and then the creamers assemble a save-the-date message on the table...?! Genius and so sweet. 

Three, when you watch this short, it is evident that the couple are head-over-heels for one another and seamlessly collaborated to achieve this superb little invite. Actually, that might be my favorite part of all: 

I love it when people wear their hearts on their sleeves for all to see.   

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Whilst Surviving Moving Madness

I returned home to find our once perfectly put together apartment in complete shambles. Yes, friends, packing has begun.

To the left of me, there are boxes filled with books. To the right, more books, dog toys and office supplies screaming to be packed away. I've decided to ignore their incessant badgering until the evening hours roll around, when I can pop in a movie and mindlessly sort through things that need to be donated, packed or re-gifted (kidding... unless anyone wants a couch covered in black and white dog hair, that is).

I've gotten to the point where I've stopped buying real groceries; just the necessities now. We are trying to get through contents of our cupboard that we often ignore, which has made for some creative lunches. On today's menu: homemade hummus, pita chips and sugar snap peas.

I had to laugh when I realized how many cans of garbanzo beans we have in our pantry... we never eat garbanzo beans! Who keeps buying these? K? Me? Moe? I wouldn't be surprised if one day they simply appeared, like dust bunnies or lost socks.

And what else have I been doing? Aside from searching for apartments and jobs, and working on a few freelance projects, I've been dog-sitting.

Meet Eddie and Emma.

Our neighbors are on vacation to celebrate their anniversary (congratulations, Mark and Monica!), and luckily, I get asked to watch this gorgeous pair every time their parents book it out of town. I wish they could stay with us when we watch them, but unfortunately, Moe hates Eddie and Emma hates Moe- it's a vicious cycle. Thus, there's a lot of back and forth between apartments, and the three of us had a pleasant picnic in the garden.

I've taken to calling them "Eduardo" and "Emmilou." I think they like it.

Wherever this finds you on this lovely summer afternoon, I hope it's with something delicious and someone you love.

The ingredients for homemade hummus are few, and many would be surprised to discover they have all of them in their kitchen at any given time. You can use a food processer, blender or Vitamix to make this recipe.

One can garbanzo beans
Juice of one lemon
Two cloves peeled garlic
One teaspoon sesame oil
Three Tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste

Finely chop garlic in food processer (you may need to wipe down the sides with a spatula). Add garbanzo beans and lemon juice. Blend until it looks like a choppy paste. Drizzle sesame oil while blending, then olive oil until texture is that of a smooth paste.

Season with salt, blend a bit more.

Move hummus to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and top with fresh herbs or spices if you prefer. Serve with fresh veggies, pita chips or warm pita bread. This recipe makes a great spread for burgers, sandwiches and wraps.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Memories of a Lovely Wedding

We have arrived home in one piece from northern California and cannot stop talking about the Santos-Coy nuptials! I could talk for hours about these two, their love, their wedding, their photogenic abilities... but I think these say it all.

Enjoy (from the beginning)!

i carry your heart
with me
i carry it in my heart

i am never without it
anywhere i go you go, my dear; 
and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling

i fear no fate
for you are my fate, my sweet
i want no world
for beautiful you are my world, my true

and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
here is the root of the root
and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; 
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart
i carry it in my heart

-e.e. cummings

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dear Photograph

Need a reason to cry on a Friday afternoon? Better question: who doesn't? Check out Dear Photograph, one of the coolest sites I've seen in a long time. Essentially, readers submit pictures of a picture from the past in the present.

Some of these seriously moved me to waterworks:

Dear Photograph,
I'll never let go.

Dear Photograph,
Her love was my chemo. I beat cancer.
Eric Richter

Dear Photograph,
Can you tell him to turn around? I wanna see that cute little baby face again.

But the one that really got me?

Dear Photograph,
Thank you for everything we had.
Jonathan Stampf

GAHHH! I'm bawlin' over here!

Isn't this something you want to be a part of? I think it's an amazingly beautiful project. I have my work cut out for me and I already know what photo I want to use, but tracking it down is going to be the challenge.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Wedding on Golden Hill: What to Wear

I’m off to the wedding of my brother and his bride-to-be in northern California this weekend. They’re really quite a gorgeous couple, those two.

However, planning what to wear has been a bit of a challenge, the reason being I hate dressing for hot weather. I’m a jeans and snuggly sweaters and oversized scarves kind of gal. I called my grandma this afternoon and got a bit excited when she mentioned how cold it was outside… in Sacramento… in the middle of summer.

I should point out she has dementia and the weather was, in reality, 99 degrees Fahrenheit when we spoke.

In addition, the rehearsal dinner is Western Cowboy themed, and while I love any excuse to dress up or bust out my gray Henri Beguelin boots, the rest has been a bit of a struggle.

Thank god for my wonderful sister and her fabulous ideas… Talking to her inspired me to whip up these little dream ensembles. Have a gander and let me know what you think.

Cavender Cowboy Hat, MiH Jeans Stonewashed Shirt, Paul Smith Bandana Scarf, Emilio Pucci Snake Bracelet,
Rupert Sanderson Military Boots, Ae Distressed Denim Shorts

I can't even tell you how difficult it is to outfit this round noggin' in a cowboy hat.

L'Agence Maxi Dress, Monique Pean Atelier Diamond Earrings, Alexander McQueen Flower and Skull Cuff, Anya Hindmarch Valorie Clutch, Calypso Antik Batik Akan Thongs

Here's to celebrating forever love and happiness in style, everyone!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Family That Stays Together: Part 1

No family is normal.

We all know this, yes?

In preparing for a wedding this upcoming weekend, and with weddings being an intense expression of love, family and friends, I think it’s time I told you the story of my family. Before I get into the nitty gritty though, I feel I should mention that writing well isn’t simply being able to string words together in a pleasant and readable way; it’s about being honest. Honest with yourself and with your audience. It’s about not fearing the consequences or the fall out from those who may be offended by your candor.

So here I go.

It starts with my parents. They met in the autumn of 1979 in San Francisco on what I imagine to be a foggy and blustery day. Both were 31 and physically in their prime; truly, they had never looked better and I have the photos to prove it.

Dad was working as the executive director for a nonprofit called Rescue Now, an organization that was sending doctors and nurses to refugee camps on the border of Thailand and Cambodia. If you need a refresher course on the situation in Cambodia in the 1970’s, Pol Pot became leader in 1975 and forced agrarian socialism on the country (essentially, he coerced the majority of the population into aggressive manual labor on farms and in the countryside... thanks, Wikipedia!). As dictator, he believed he was reviving civilization, and through his sadistic impositions, managed to kill about 2 million Cambodians in the process.

Mom was an emergency room nurse at Mount Zion hospital and had heard that Rescue Now was looking to hire medical staff that would be willing to go. She loves to travel, my mom, and decided to interview for one of the positions.

Her interviewer was my dad.

She was one of the selected nurses and had started getting everything in order when Rescue Now told her that unless she could stay in Thailand for a minimum of six months, she could not go. Mom knew three months was the longest she could take a leave from Mount Zion, and had to step down from the program. Being the person that she is, however, she decided to go to the airport and bid farewell to the nurses on the day of their departure.

This is where things get romantic.

My dad had come to say goodbye as well. He spotted the woman he had interviewed weeks prior, the one with the raven dark hair and long legs, outfitted in rolled up jeans, long socks and a pork pie hat, waving to the departing medical staff. He says she looked like Annie Hall. He was smitten.

He approached her and they started chatting. After a while, she offered him a ride back to his place; a date was suggested, accepted and things pretty much snowballed from that point on.

Within a month, my parents were head over heels in love. Not only that, they were still fixated on the idea of going to Thailand (crazy kids!). It was decided that my dad would fly out on his own dime and see if he could find positions for the two of them. He left soon after, and upon calling my mother back home to tell her the good news, threw in a marriage proposal as well.

This is the part of the story that manages to simultaneously shock and delight me. My parents are not the impulsive types. They analyze, they question, they take their time to think about the consequences of their decisions. Typically, they do not rush in. For whatever reason though, they did this time, and three months into their relationship, in a temple in Thailand, my parents were married.

And less than a year later, they would be divorced.
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