Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween at the Office

How awesome do we look as the Baseball Furies? Perhaps the tags on the pix will be lost on you if haven't seen The Warriors but you've got to give us props for looking spot on:

Let me just tell you that these were no "off the shelf" costumes--these were culled from various sources and built from the ground up. Are you not loving the attention to detail paid to the uniform--getting the "away" colors of gray and black pinstripes like in the movies (costumes sold online were the white and black pinstripes), the belts, etc? I borrowed real wood bats from neighbors and I even cut my hair the night before to shape it into the classic 70s Travolta hairdo!

We printed the logos on transfer paper and ironed them on ourselves--they came out amazing (much better than any online costume):

Needless to say, we won the best costume at work. Now to get the ideas going for next year...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

iTunes - can I enter the clubhouse?

Last spring, I lucked out and got an iPhone through work. I have yet to load songs on to it because God help me, iTunes is a b!tch. I'll take the blame and say I must have done something wrong on this uber "user-friendly" application, but right now, I'm pretty sure I want to wipe that smug smile off Justin Long's face on those Mac commercials.

I thought all I had to do was install iTunes and go through their steps to put the music currently on my computer into the iTunes library. For some reason, some of my songs were put on their twice--I'd open an album and each song was literally listed two times. Plus I've got a number of songs with exclamation points saying I've got to point them to the song's location and when I do--it disappears from the album (yet starts playing).

And I still haven't gotten the songs on my iPhone yet--because it says I've got 34 GB of music (when I originally had 18). So now I'm combing through each album and deleting duplicate files from my iTunes library. And by the way--it's listing a lot of single songs as an album, which adds an extra step. Isn't there an option to sort these by album, artist, or song instead of simply just "music"?

Look I am ready to heart Apple (mad love for the other features on my iPhone), but iTunes won't let me. It's like I'm missing some steps or passwords.

I want in! So if anybody has insight on my user errors, I'm all ears.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Casualties of vacation


I forgot to ask someone to water my plant while I was away from the office. Kind of makes me wonder what else I forgot...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We heart Instax and Daddy

Like all the other folks who took it for granted because we figured it would always be around, I joined the "aw, I miss Polaroid" bandwagon after Polaroid decided to stop making their instant film in 2008. So now, of course, Polaroid cameras and films are now at a precious premium.

Fortunately, Fuji makes their own version of instant film and cameras. Check out the Instax we got (it's almost as big as the girl's head!):

I like the wide format of the Instax and of course, the handy place to scribble a note:

Holy cow! Breaking news today: Polaroid is going to relaunch some of their famous instant cameras. Pretty amazing what a bunch of people with a whole lot of dedication and ambition can get done.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cake pops for CHOC

Every year I've been doing a fundraiser at work for our TeamWalk called "Breakfast at your Desk", including this year for CHOC. For a donation, a group of us would make an assortment of things and deliver a breakfast of say, quiche, sausage, potatoes, fruit salad, hot beverage, and juice. Also I would make a sweet little treat for later.

This year I wanted to try to make these mini-cupcake bites and cake pops. They were featured on Martha Stewart and in theory, were easy to make. So I bought all the stuff--ingredients, molds, lollipop sticks, and all.

Holy crap. These were totally a pain in the a$$ to make.

First, shame on me for trying something completely new the day before they needed to be made. Second, I don't have a working microwave, so I was trying to keep the candy melts liquified the old-fashioned way--in a hot water bath. Do you have any idea how fast hot water goes tepid? Let me tell you: maddeningly fast. I never got the chocolate beyond a soft margarine consistency and instead of dipping into it, I had to practically spread the soft chocolate on with a knife. And finally, each step was sooo time-consuming, though I'm not sure if my melted chocolate issue was the key cause of that. I started around 2 in the afternoon on Sunday and was still smearing thick chocolate after midnight.

Anyhoo, here are cake pops--the girl helped me decorate a bunch:

She channeled her inner Tim Burton and managed to give some of them a spooky sock puppet look like this one:

And these were the mini cupcake bites:

Not quite like the picture, but they were still delicious. I'm selling the extras as a fundraiser--wish me luck!

Go Jets!

And by that I mean, please win by 2 points over Miami with a total combined score of 44 or above.

If that all happens, I will be making it rain in Panera again.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Please support my efforts for CHOC!

Hey all, I have been an organizer of a charity walk/fundraiser every year for my office since 2005, including for the March of Dimes and AIDSWalk. This year we are raising money for the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

I realized the impact of this hospital when I realized the large number of people I personally know that have had to have their children taken in for procedures, from an extensive neonatal stay to toddler and young child surgeries. On a slight but related tangent, I currently have an adult friend in a regular hospital for an extensive stay and it hit me hard that the hospital experience can be quite daunting and overwhelming. To think of a young baby or child in such a situation is a fairly agonizing thought but the folks who experienced it at CHOC only raved about the care there.

I'm embarrassed to confess that I'm a little behind in posting this as our company is fundraising through Wednesday, October 14.

There is a lot going on in my life right now that has me cooking on all burners, but I couldn't face myself if I didn't try to make a difference despite the fact that my reaching out is embarrassingly late. I also realize that these are still tough economic times so I'm certainly not asking for anybody to do anything that puts them in an uncomfortable spot. But please know this: if you can donate even $5 or $10, believe me, these amounts add up and I greatly appreciate any level of support!

Here is my donation page.

Thanks everybody!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day off with Frost/Nixon

I took the day off and we went to the iHop for breakfast. On a school day-hee!

I also watched Frost/Nixon. I have to confess that though I know the gist of Watergate, I don't know the complete details, the names of each person involved, etc. I was kind of expecting another lesson on Watergate but it was much more interesting character study of the two main characters, British tv host David Frost and former President Richard Nixon. Obviously, there is no surprise endings so the movie relies on the performances of the two key characters and the two deliver. Michael Sheen as the shallow go-getter of a tv host who, his producer points out, just interviewed the Bee Gees, sees stars in his eyes of becoming a success in America by interviewing Nixon, is great. We see the layers of insecurity under the showman's exterior, struggling against the faith and belief of the hoped success of the project. But my tip of the cap goes to Frank Langella. When I think of Frank Langella, I think of his daunting size and his imposing voice. In the commercials for the movie, I saw him play the blustery lines of Nixon as I imagined he would. But he really brings out the other facets of a man who was easy to vilify for his actions and to dismiss that he's still human. Moments such as petting a neighbor's dog and exercising really evoked a man who bore the weight of his actions. The supporting cast was great especially Toby Jones and Sam Rockwell. I heart Sam Rockwell in pretty much anything.

My other observations: 1) I totally needed to put on the subtitles while watching this movie on DVD. Is my hearing going? The voices of everyone talking registered so low and I had the volume pretty dialed up. 2) R rating? Really? The DVD box says it was for "some language" which was frankly, not much worse than watching an episode of . It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. 3) Kevin Bacon is not aging. For reals.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dinner of champions

It's been one of those weeks. I think I ate cereal for dinner last night. I can't even remember the last time I ate a vegetable.