Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Come into my house, Mr. Kreme

This little pin-up came in the mail yesterday:

When did Krispy Kreme get brilliant new Marketing brains? First their own coffee and now this--two of my favorite breakfast desserts rolled into one. I'm in.

Donuts + Coffee Cake = If I could eat my iPhone it would taste like this

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A bright side

Despite Irene wrecking my sister's and Augie's visit to SoCar, I am grateful that Irene was not as nearly as devastating as prepared for and came and left New York without much fanfare.  Though my sister lamented that after the earthquake, this was another reason for the rest of the country to laugh at NYC, I said that the over-preparedness sure beats the opposite situation.

The other plus this weekend is my friend, K, in North Carolina decided to came down for a visit.  We all went out to a nice dinner at Motor Supply Company:

Paul and the girl took our leftovers home and then K and I toured around the Vista, checking out various locales and bars.  We had a fun Ladies' night though, bless K's petite loveliness, when it's just the two of us, I can't help but look extra big and butch next to her. If it was a movie, she's totally the main character and I'm that sidekick that somehow got the nickname "Moose" and you go "Awwww" when I get paired up with an equally awkward, yet sweet, sidekick (most likely a guy named "Doughboy" or "Ogre") in a feel-good minor subplot at the end of the movie. But regardless--a really, good night with a good friend:

Also the girl wanted to dye a blue streak in her hair this weekend.  It turns out you have to first bleach the streak first.  I got a little gunshy when it came to leaving the bleaching mix in too long and we rinsed out it out too early (it's recommended that the hair be very light blond) where it's still a bit too golden to add the blue coloring.  But it turns out that the girl is kind of digging the little swatch of caramel coloring so we'll wait a bit before bleaching the streak again and adding color.

Looking forward to a week without any weather traumas!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Damn you, Irene

For canceling my sister's and Augie's flight.

It's not even raining here or in New York!


Come on Sunshine

Hurricane Irene be darned, looking forward to this bit of sunshine headed my way tonight:

Augie time!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Can a visual make or break a song for you?

Every once in a while, I get hooked on a song and just love listening to it but then I see video for it and all of a sudden, I fall a little out of love.  I wonder if that says that I'm easily influenced by visuals or if the visual presented is simply incongruous with the imagery I have for the song (if any). 

The analogy I thought of was the Dirty Vegas song, "Days Go By".  The song itself is in my opinion, very catchy in a mellow night life-soundtrack sort of way.  It was used in a Mitsubishi commercial years ago, highlighting a dancer in the front seat:

Personally, I thought this commercial captured the ambient, anticipatory night feel of this song pretty well and to be honest I thought the dancer was fine.  But when the commercial came up in conversation, it turns out a lot of folks really hated the dancing featured.  To me this sentiment was most efficiently and memorably captured in this David Chappelle parody of the Mitsubishi commercial:

David Chappelle just nails the concept of how a visual can kill a moment or song when he tells the dancer to leave his car and driving alone, he mutters, That crazy dancin's making my pen!s soft.

So one of my favorite songs from the late 90's is Noreaga's "Superthug (What! What!)".  The first time I heard it, I was watching some kids doing amazing double-dutch to it on "Showtime at the Apollo".  But the song alone has one of the catchiest beats and I had listened to it constantly.  And even now, I'll play it occasionally and just get hooked on the beat again.  But it was only recently that I caught the video for it (if you're unfamiliar with the song, please try listening to it without watching it first):

omg.  I immediately thought of the David Chappelle quote because I guess I had ranked this song so high in my mind, that seeing the vague plot, the scantily-clad women somewhat dancing for no reason, and his overly vigorous gesticulations--is making my passion for the song go down.  Now I get that this is the typical quality/style of music videos from the 90s and I would even hazard to guess that Noreaga himself watched the video and thought to himself, what the pluck am I doing with my arms?!  But the point is that seeing the visual after loving the song aurally for so long is now making me fall a bit out of love for the song.

I'm pretty sure there are other songs where the visual doesn't work for me.  Off the top of my head, I can think of the Buggles "Video Killed the Radio Star"--love hearing the song, but the video...ugh. Does this happen to anyone else? 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Funny, when I moved to the East Coast, I braced myself for big weather changes from mild, temperate Southern California where my comfort zone had compressed down to about six degrees (73-78 degrees to be exact). And in my first year here in South Carolina, I've experienced snow, rainstorms, and miserably humid heat waves, but wait...there's more! I managed to bring a little bit of California with me here--earthquake.

Truth be told, though I felt the movement, the last thing I thought was earthquake. I happened to be in a Starbucks at the time after dropping off Nana to visit with a friend in North Augusta. I felt the swaying but my first assumption was that the couple in the corner must have enthusiastically started dancing and jumping up and down. But when I looked up, they weren't. Then my next assumption was that the screws in the chair I was sitting on must have gotten loose and made my chair suddenly wobbly. But it stopped, so then I just reconciled that it was my imagination or some majorly huge invisible truck had passed by and I was over it.

To summarize: People dancing exuberantly in a Starbucks, chair screws suddenly coming loose, and invisible truck were in my realm of possible explanations. Not earthquake.

Then I got a call from my concerned sister in New York.

Turns out that buildings were swaying and everyone was told to evacuate. No one knew what what was going on and as folks made their way down a packed stairwell, one woman could be heard panicking loudly about how her cousin in Philadelphia was telling her on her cell phone that they all better get out of the building ASAFP. On top of that no one seemed to be getting service on their cell phones. And when someone would ask, what service are you on? and a person would answer, say, Verizon, a shout would go out that Verizon was down. As one could imagine, this only increased the alarming confusion. Finally, an announcement went out that everything was fine and all should go back to their workstations, that there had been an "external disturbance". Frankly, I can't think of a better vague, code-sounding term to be expressed in post-9/11 New York that would send people out of the building and into the streets faster.

For better or worse, it turns out that half of New York didn't even register the earthquake and had no idea of the panic the other half working in tall buildings were going through. It turns out the 5.8 earthquake was hundreds of miles away near Richmond, Virginia--the residual Californian in me reflexively remarked, "only" a 5.8?) Nana enlightened me that apparently the bedrock on the East Coast (versus, say, California) is more solid and less fractured so that instead of dissipating, earthquake energy travels much farther.

Bottom line, yes we're all fine. West Coasters can stop rolling their eyes about our puny 5.8 earthquake and in return, I'll try to stifle a snide snort when Southern Californian tv stations label nearly every rainfall "StormWatch".

We ended our day with an awesome dinner at Baan Sawan for Nana's last night here in SoCar:

It was also the last night of Grizzly Paul's beard from his Wyoming camping trip!
Wishing Nana a safe flight back to a hopefully earthquake-less SoCal as we look towards our next weather adventure this weekend:  Hurricane Irene!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just what this girl needed

Had a great weekend--got to see some live fights here in Columbia at Caged Chaos:

I know four guys who'll want to get back into that ring and will be right back into training and working out real soon.  N for one, I'm sure...

Also got to spend a day with Erik and Tonya Paulson, which was amazingly surreal and inspiring. Surreal because I haven't seen Erik in years since working out at his old location in Yorba Linda so it was wild that I would see him next in South Carolina. He was in town teaching a seminar at Columbia Martial Arts--unfortunately I didn't work out, but it was great catching up. It was also inspiring to see how much Tonya (a mixed martial artist in her own right) has refined and sharpened the business and program part of Erik's school--seeing his new facility and website just wows me.

And the capper of the weekend--Nana came to town and brought me these caramelly treats:

Like I said, I got just what I needed this weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to School

Isn't it amazing how the mind works? What is it about Back to School that briefly fooled me into thinking it was fall? I actually drove around yesterday with the windows rolled down in some waking hallucination that it was a New England autumn. It wasn't until I saw the big laundromat thermometer advising that it was 93 degrees that I realized I had soaked through my shirt. When I glanced at my reflection in the rear-view mirror, I was sweating so much, you'd think my brain was crying out of my pores.

On the plus side, school has brought a sense of routine and purpose to the house. I actually crossed off some items from the huge "to-do" list--tedious stuff like filing/trashing piles of paper, unpacking a couple of the few remaining boxes, etc. As tedious as they were, they felt so satisfying when done and there was a clearer sense of order/less clutter too, which was also extremely satisfying. And I'm finally making a dent in this book I borrowed over 2 months ago:

Guess I'll never be too cool for school. Which is probably a good thing for me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thanks for the reminder

And I also try not to forget that good friends are gifts, in the good times as well as the hard times.

Monday, August 15, 2011

First day of School!

Still not quite used to school starting in August, but I'm sure we will be by the time the girl graduates. I crawled out of bed at the crack of dawn to pick up some Krispy Kremes to feed her spirit for the first day of school. Don't worry, I also fed her veggie breakfast sausage to feed her brain:

With some hot coffee, the combo wasn't too bad for the old lady either.

Just like last year, the girl was unthrilled for me to take her first day of school picture:

High hopes that she learns a lot this year!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Where Them Girls At

Paul has been on a 10 day hiking/camping trip in Wyoming so it's just been the girl and me. I'm chagrined to report that I've been a little less-than-stellar-mom when it's come to our meals. We ate pancakes for about 3 meals (and they weren't all breakfast):

But we lucked out and were able to spend some time this weekend with some friends up in North Carolina. We enjoyed a superb lunch at Vinnie's on Lake Norman. The girl was enamored by this twist on the classic claw game:

We also had our first tubing adventure:

It was a blast, though I nearly lost my suit bottom when I slipped half off the tube while the speedboat was still jetting.

But I'll spare you that picture.  To top off a great day, a great meal at Enso:

Needless to say, it was like a great vacation in a weekend!

Friday, August 12, 2011

SoCal Visit

I was chagrined to realize that when I came back from SoCal that I didn't pull my camera out the whole trip and only took a few shots on my phone. It might have something to do with the sad reason of heading out there in the first place (the loss of an esteemed and all-around good man at the company) and I had little occasion or gumption to pull out my camera. And of course, the phone pix I did take are food related:

Enjoying an awesome lunch at Native Foods:

And a late night outing to Yogurt Land:

The only one with faces are the pictures from the Sticki Picki Booth:

Now I am really glad we crammed in there!

Here's to good friends and good people.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Best name for a Pit Bull

I had to smile when I saw this sign at the gas station this morning:

Not to stick to the stereotype that all pit bulls are vicious but one could probably say that this Karma could truly bite you in the behind if you're not careful.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

East coast visit

Despite my previous post, no, I didn't spend the whole time in the Northeast eating.  Though I could nosh on these sweet cheeks forever:

Was able to visit some good friends in Queens:

Including a good friend who met us there (Augie kind of makes the drive worth it, though, right?):

The beauty of extended family--a beautiful (and cool) place to visit in CT:

And other cousins to play with:

Somehow we managed to bring the humid heat with us to the Northeast but we still had a super time that went by too fast. Can't wait to see Augie again soon!

Monday, August 8, 2011

East coast eats

While we were up in New York a couple of weeks ago, I discovered this delicious grapefruit soda. Now I'm on the hunt to find it here in SoCar:

On our way to visiting Mom in Jersey, we had this huge potato Indian dosa--see my wallet for scale:

Perfect late night pit stop whenever we're in the East Village: Pommes Frites with Mango Chutney sauce, Cheese sauce, and their new White Truffle sauce:

Definitely hit Momofuku.  We had the Chilled Pea Salad:

Shrimp and Pork buns:

Their classic Momofuku Ramen:

Ginger Scallion Noodles:

And Cheescake and Carrot Ginger Soft Serve for dessert:

But the best eats are definitely when Augie's dad cooks up some seafood, like these delicious steamers:

He also cooked up an amazing lobster feast, which I neglected to take pictures of, but we were fortunate to enjoy more clams on our last day (along with some birthday cake)!

Due to an unplanned weather delay, the girl and I had a Italian takeout feast in our hotel room:

Needless to say, the diet went out the window with this vacation. But deliciously worth it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My kind of luck

I have a friend who seems to possess a lot of luck, the good kind--she has won SuperBowl Squares (the kind where you pick one of the 100 squares and hope your square matches up with a quarter-ending score), raffles, Bingo, and most recently, while attending a popular 90s band in a boutique venue, she and her friends were hand-picked in a crowd to hang out with the band at the bar after the show. And then of course, were front-row VIP guests at their next show.

My luck? I was glad to score an aisle seat on the long leg of my flights back from SoCal to SoCar, after sitting in the middle on the short leg from SoCal to Phoenix (and on my flights out to SoCal). (Tangential note: Don't you think the person in the middle seat should get the arm rests?) A large man sat at the window and the middle seat was promisingly empty for a while. In the final minutes of boarding, a woman and her 6 month old baby arrived and squeezed into the middle seat. I kind of dozed during takeoff but once in the air, woke when the mom needed to change the baby's diaper. As she settled back in her seat, we noticed the window seat guy clutching his head. Turns out he's a first time flyer and asked if either of us had a bag, "just in case". The self-centered and exhausted part of me wanted to just go to sleep but fear not, the sympathetic part of me won out and offered my aisle seat. As we shuffled seats, I somehow ended up in the middle. But we hadn't shuffled our floor stuff--so I had the lady's diaper bag and purse at my feet and my laptop bag (which doesn't close) at the first time flyer's feet. Selfish paranoia that he was going to vomit all over my open bag kept me awake. Also, helping amuse the teething baby kept me from sleeping as well (You're welcome, flight 1550!) All in all, the baby was a sweet cutie and the first time flyer didn't vomit, so really I was lucky the flight was much more pleasant than the possible outcome the factors alluded to.

But truly, I wouldn't mind winning a raffle or know, that kind of lucky.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

If I could turn back time

I happened upon a Lightning McQueen Pez dispenser and picked one up for this charmer:

Man, what I wouldn't give to go back in time and be his 2 year old girlfriend. Oli sure knows how to party.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Where have I been?

Holy cow it's been a long time!  I know I hate it when a blog I read goes dark for a while so shame on me--it's been weeks!

For starters, a good week was spent trying to do this as much as possible:

Me and Augie soaking it up in Montauk
Then, due to a sad turn of events, the loss of an esteemed member of our company, I was flying back to SoCal the following week:

Fortunately, my trip ended up an upnote--my fellow East Coast remote co-worker friend arrived the day I was leaving and I was able to leave with a smile on my face.

Because there is nothing that puts a smile on your face than cramming into a Japanese photo booth with seven of your good friends:

Now off to pay a ton of bills--hopefully this shouldn't take too long...