Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My First Bookclub!

Tonight, I attended my very first book club meeting and I must say that I throughly enjoyed it. I've never really seriously sat down with people after reading a book and discussed it. We usually just tell each other if we liked the book or not and why and that's about it.

A the book club meeting, it was great to sit down and really explore some topics from the book and to voice my opinions on certain things in the book. Tonight's book was Audrey Niffenegger's "Her Fearful Symmetry". I certainly like the book a whole lot more now after chatting about it for two hours. Yet, I still much prefer Niffenegger's first novel, "The Time Travelers Wife". If you haven't read that one, I strongly urge you to rush out this moment and purchase it! It's an amazing book with beautiful characters. The movie certainly did not do it justice.

Well, here is a synopsis of "Her Fearful Symmetry"that I found online that I hope will encourage you to read it:

After Elspeth Noblin dies, she finds herself a ghost witnessing the toll her death is taking on her boyfriend Robert Fanshaw, whose grief is shattering and all-consuming. Before her passing, Elspeth asked him to help with the execution of her will, which included removing all papers and diaries from her apartment. The London flat, which resides right above Robert’s, has recently been left to Elspeth’s nieces, twins Julia and Valentina.

Meanwhile, in Michigan, Edie, Elspeth’s twin, learns of her sister’s death and is not entirely sure how to act. Her husband feels he cannot help, and her twin daughters, who were left everything by Elspeth, are excited about their new life in London. But despite her children’s happiness, there is a secret looming over Edie, a secret so powerful that it kept the sisters apart for years. Scared that it all may be revealed, Edie becomes more withdrawn and fearful.

Julia and Valentina move to London and begin residing in Elspeth's flat there. Looming over all of these characters is Elspeth, she observes the girls and finally grows strong enough to reveal herself. Her sudden reappearance causes much strain for many of the characters, and soon it's not just the secret that becomes problematic.

"Her Fearful Symmetry" is full of interesting characters who all seem to be waiting for something in their lives --- a love to return, a secret to be revealed, or a love to be found. Martin, the twins’ upstairs neighbor, waits in vain for his wife Marijke to return, Robert desperately wants Elspeth back, Julia never wants to be apart from Valentina, and Valentina wants nothing more than to have a life of her own. And hovering over everyone is death and disappearance, symbolized by the ghost of Elspeth. While the ghost fades into their lives, they all end up fading out of their own in a strange way.

When the deep, dark secret is revealed, it is sad, deceptive, and has the power to ruin the lives of everyone if discovered. Without giving too much away, I will say that I didn't feel completely surprised --- all of the twins in this book are perplexing --- and while the secret itself is unexpected, I could easily see how the two individuals involved could have pulled the deception off. Regardless, in the end, you will feel sad for all the characters, even the ones who manage to find themselves again. But you may not get over the poignant final act that brings everything full circle."

So, do you want to read it now? If you have read it, what did you think?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Californian Resident

As of today, I am by DMV standards a Californian resident and my car is fully registered to legally drive here permanently!! It took a lot but I finally got it all done! I can say that they definitely do not make it an easy process for out of staters here! Whew! I passed the written test at the DMV and now must wait 3 to 4 weeks for my Californian drivers license to come in the mail.

Honestly, I was kinda sad when they punched a hole through my AZ license. That's the only one I've had my whole life and it's weird thinking that I won't have that anymore. Wow.. I am no longer legally/officially connected to Arizona. It's a brand new life! Here we go, ready or not! : )

Music Alert #2

I know I just had a music alert last week but this is my blog and I'll post about more music if I want to! : ) Plus it's Tuesday and new music always comes out on Tuesdays. So, here ya go:

Erykah Badu- She is such an amazingly talented singer and songwriter. She is best known for her role in the rise of the neo soul sub-genre, and for her eccentric, cerebral musical stylings and sense of fashion. She is known as the "First Lady of Neo-Soul". She has had several incredible albums that have done well in the charts but sadly, not enough people know about her. I highly recommend checking out the following albums, "Baduizm", "Mama's Gun" and "Worldwide Underground". Her newest album, "New Amerykah Part 2 (Return of the Ankh)" was released today and I am sure that it be nothing short of outstanding. Her music is great background to studying, reading or just chilling out with friends. Her music always mellows me out. I have been lucky enough to have seen her twice in concert and they were really great shows. She is known for just letting it all there and totally getting into it.

My favorite lyric of her's is from "Appletree":
"See I pick my friends like I pick my fruit. My ganny told me that when I was only a youth. I don't walk around tryin' to be what I'm not. I don't waste my time tryin' to get what you got. I work at pleasin' me cause I can't please you. And that's why I do what I do. My soul flies free like a willow tree."

For more info, check out her website: Erykah Badu

Monday, March 29, 2010

F-ing LA Traffic

I've been fairly lucky since I moved here and haven't really dealt with the dreaded LA traffic...much. This is because I'm not out on the freeways at rush hour time. I'm running my errand in the late morning or early afternoon mostly.

However, coming home from San Diego this past Sunday evening was an absolute nightmare and I found myself screaming a few times. I'm usually a pretty patient person but this bout of traffic was certainly testing me. I was especially annoyed because I needed to be home by 6:30 to get to that delightful penis show that I told you about in my last post... ; )

Every song on my iPod just wasn't cutting it and no freeway lane was faster than the other. So, I'd like some helpful advice from my readers... What do you do when the traffic is that bad? I tried calling a few people (using my hands-free device of course) but no one was answering, the commercials on the radio were giving me a headache, the sunset was right in my eyes so I was practically blinded, no eye candy in any nearby cars to gawk at and of course I needed to pee.... So, all in all, I was super uncomfortable!! Blah! AND the thing that really kills me is that there was really no explanation for the horrible traffic!! There were no accidents, no distractions at all on the road!

So, what was the problem?! Grrrr! I think a big reason why most people can't stand bad traffic, me included, is that you can't control it. We have no control at all how many cars are out there and how fast we can go. I don't know but I need to just figure out what the busy times on the freeway are and remember to not be on them at that time.. Oh wait, this is LA, that time is all the time! YIKES!!!

Genital Origami!?!

Yes, I do mean exactly what the title of this post says! Last night, my roommate Gina and I ventured into the unknown art of genital origami. She heard about this show through a colleague of hers and I was just as intrigued by it as she was so we got tickets to it last week. The show is called Puppetry of the Penis and the name pretty much says it all.

Puppetry of the Penis is a Tony-Award winning performance show. The show was initially conceived by Australian Simon Morley as the title of an art calendar, showcasing 12 of his favourite penis installations (known as Dick Tricks). On New Years Eve in 1997 he had a garage full of calendars to sell, and with requests for live demonstrations mounting he finally decided to create an act with fellow Aussie David "Friendy" Friend. The show involves two nude men who bend, twist, and fold their penises and scrotum's into various shapes. Crazy, right? This theatrical contortion of the male genitalia (penis, scrotum and testicles) into various positions along with comedic narration has since spread internationally. It is humorously called "Dick Tricks" or "genital origami," referring to the flexibility of the human penis, testicles and scrotum. The show has appeared in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe, Canada, the U.S., South Africa and Argentina.

It was absolutely hilarious and shocking all at the same time. Gina and I couldn't stop laughing through the entire show and we kept saying to each other, "I can't believe we are watching this right now!" My eyes have certainly seen a lot of wild things these past few weekends here in LA! : )

Check out this list of their tricks..... Use your imagination..

Wind Up
Atomic Mushroom
Hot dog
Loch Ness Monster
The woman
Baby Bird

Saturday, March 27, 2010

One Nephew and lots of Wild Animals

Well, what a fun day I've had today in San Diego! Tonya and I took Lucas to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. It was such a nice relief from all the worrying I've been doing about the job search. While today, my biggest worry was whether or not Lucas was happy. San Diego is known for for their animal parks so I am glad that we went to it. Lucas seemed to really enjoy seeing the elephants and all the crazy birds everywhere. We even put him on a carousel and he loved that! We got many cute pics from today's wild animal adventure!

"All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it."
- Samuel Butler

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
-Mahatma Gandhi

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms."
-George Elliot

Job Opportunity

So, I received a little promising job news last night... My old boss in Phoenix would like me to freelance a bit for him and his company in LA. Here's what he says in his last email to me last night:

"...By the way, I’m going to attach our most current “Jazz” flyer (we will soon fix it up to read “Arts & Music” and then I’ll resupply you). If you’re over there in L.A. freelancing, you can feel free to email this to various venues or whatever. In fact, if you’re trying to network to find a job, you could use this as an excuse to build an L.A. Database in File Maker Pro, then later use it for personal reasons and so forth (like to make job inquiries). If you went about the process in that way, it almost looks stronger because they’ll see you as working with a quality project long before you try to inquire about part- or full-time work."

It's just a thought but I like where his head is at! : ) I will definitely look into doing this and seeing what I can do to help him out in LA. I'll keep ya posted! LA music world look out!

"In the music business bigger is not necessarily better. In fact, I believe smaller is actually better."
--Chuck Kaye, Dreamworks, SBK Publishing

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's Bittersweet

Yesterday in Palm Springs was really nice and it was just wonderful getting to see Leslie and her family. Despite my horrendous experience at the DMV (I won't bore you with that awful experience, just believe me, it was terrible) and leaving LA much later then I had anticipated, I had such a pleasant little visit with the Brennan family in Palm Springs. I was only there with them from 4 pm Thursday to 8 am Friday, so not long at all. Yet, they were all so kind and hospitable to me. We hung out at their hotel for awhile, Leslie's mom made a batch of yummy margaritas and Leslie and I caught up on each other lives. Then at night, we went out for Mexican food. We all crashed for the night pretty early which was totally fine by me. It had been a stressful day for with the DMV adventure and all so I was ready to get to bed early. I really do enjoy spending time with my friends and their families. There's nothing quite like it, usually you get to see them at their most comfortable. With most of my friends, they become super laid back and extra relaxed around their parents. It's nice to see them this way but it makes me miss that feeling that I got around my parents too. I still feel this way around my sister though. : ) It's bittersweet.

There was a part of me that couldn't help but be incredibly sad and jealous that Leslie gets to spend time with her boyfriend and family altogether. I'll never get that chance. My parents will never be able to bond with my boyfriend. Her bf, Charlie, gets along really well with her parents and I overheard them talk about future trips to take together. It hurt a little to see him watch a March Madness basketball game with Leslie's dad. My dad loved watching sports and he would have loved to watch a game with my boyfriend. I am so sad that my parents will never get the chance to joke with my husband and tease me together. I guess I'm just sad that this guy will never know my parents. He will just have to take my word that my parents were two very awesome people and they they would have been amazing in-laws. I wonder if my friends even think about things like this... Do they know how lucky they are to have these precious moments still to come with their significant others and their parents? I don't even think I thought about it much before my parents died. Despite these sad emotions that come along with being with my friends and their parents, there's also much joy too. Because I don't have my parents anymore, I really look forward to being with their parents. I enjoy talking to them about things that my parents would have wanted to discuss. It's bittersweet.

It's still hard sometimes to hear a friend on the phone catching up with their mom or dad or hearing parents chat with their children about something funny they did as a baby or hearing parents tell their wedding day story for the millionth time. I don't get to have those moments anymore and it breaks my heart. I would give anything right now to call my dad and tell him how frustrated I am with the job search and get his words of wisdom or to go shopping at a fancy LA mall with my mom. Heck, we would probably break for a movie even.. : ) It's probably strange for people on the outside to understand, but I honestly do sometimes get so busy with stuff going on in my life that I forget that my parents are gone. Then when I remember, it's like a hard slap in the face. And I'll think, damn, how did I not think about them today or what brought on this tears all of a sudden? I will be sad that I've gone however long without thinking of it but I'm also thankful for those hours of relief. It's bittersweet.

I'm in San Diego now with my sister and Lucas. My brother in-law is out of town and Tonya asked me to come stay for the weekend. I was more than happy to oblige. I love coming here and I love seeing Lucas even more. The drive is not bad at all from LA (I came straight from Palm Springs this time) and it would be worth it even if it was a long drive. Lucas started crawling last night so it''s very exciting! These are the moments that life is all about. I wish my parents were here to see all this. They are missing out on so much and it's just not fair. I want them to be here for Lucas, and for Tonya and for my children and for me. But I suppose that I have to just be content in the thought that they are here in some way. My thoughts on the after life and religion will have to go in another post. Perhaps one of these days Lucas will do something so sweet and amazing that I'll just have to believe that my parents are around... that too will be bittersweet.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day in Palm Springs

Today I am headed to Palm Springs to meet up with my friend Leslie and her family and boyfriend that are all staying there this week. I have been to Palm Springs a couple times before but with my family so I am looking forward to being with a friend there. We are planning on laying by the pool during the day with a couple Pina Coladas and going out to a nice dinner tonight. I have only been around her parents and brother once before so I am happy to be able to spend more time with them. The same goes goes for her boyfriend, Charlie. They've been dating for awhile now and I've only met him once.

Leslie and I have friends since college. My other very good friends, Tracy and Alyson, actually went to high school with her in Minnesota. Leslie was unhappy at George Washington University so Tracy convinced her to transfer to University of Arizona our junior year. I couldn't have been happier about this. Since I lived with Tracy for two years I got to know all about Leslie. So, when she finally did move to Arizona, I felt like I already knew her really well. We instantly became friends. I adore her honesty and realism. Her fashion ain't bad either! Haha! She was even photographed for a fashion piece in a NY magazine!

I haven't seen Leslie since I met her and another mutual college friend in Miami about this time last year. My, how a year flies by! She is a dear friend to me and I am so happy that her family decided to spend their family vacation so close to me that I could drive to meet them there. What a lovely way to spend a Thursday! : )

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Music Alert #1

So, I've decided that from time to time, I will use my blog to alert all my adoring readers (haha) of new music that I think it's imperative that you check out asap! Here are my top two bands for today:

The Bird and the Bee- They are an indie/synthpop/alternative musical duo from Los Angeles, consisting of musicians Inara George ("the bird") and Greg Kurstin ("the bee"). George and Kurstin met while the two were working on her debut album and they decided to collaborate on a jazz-influenced electro pop project. Their debut album was released on January 23, 2007 on Blue Note Records. I got to know them because they have had a number of songs on various soundtracks. This week they released an album dedicated to their interpretations of well known Hall & Oates songs. I absolutely love it! For more info on them, check out their website: The Bird and the Bee.

She and Him- They are an American indie folk band consisting of Zooey Deschanel (vocals, piano, banjo) and M. Ward (guitar, production). The band's first album, Volume One, was released on Merge Records in March, 2008. Today I purchased their second album, Volume Two, which was released on Tuesday. I first became interested in them because I just love Zooey! After watching 500 Days of Summer, I became instantly in love with her, firstly, her hair and later on her style and image. I mean, I actually got my bangs because of her!! Then I started listening to her band's music and totally got into it. It's got a very light and fun sound. I encourage you to hop over to itunes or amazon and listen to a song or two and I am sure that you'll enjoy it. If you don't...well, just don't... For more info, go to their website: She and Him.

State Change

Tomorrow I am going to the DMV to switch my car registration from Arizona to California and to also get a California drivers license. Since I have the time now, I figured it would be smart to just go ahead and get it over with. Here, you can make an appointment online at the DMV which is awesome. I am hoping that I don't end up waiting around there for the appointment.

Supposedly, you only really have a month after you move to a new state to change all this stuff so I'm already behind on all this. Plus, I feel like I get stared at more often in my car since I have an AZ plate which is the opposite of what I want-I want to blend in and appear to be a true Californian. Despite having all CA stuff, I know that that doesn't instantly make me a Californian but it certainly gets me closer... right? : )

I thought the following joke was too funny not to add to this DMV post!

After spending 3-1/2 hours enduring the long lines, surly clerks and insane regulations at the Department of Motor Vehicles, a guy stopped at a toy store to pick up a gift for his son. He selected a baseball bat and took it to the cash register.

"Cash or charge?" the clerk asked.

"Cash," he snapped.

He then apologized for his rudeness, telling the clerk that he had spent all afternoon at the motor-vehicle bureau.

"Shall I giftwrap the bat?" the clerk asked sweetly. "Or are you going back there?"

Monday, March 22, 2010

LA Tourist

Besides our ridiculously crazy Saturday night, Atalaya and I had a great touristy weekend and saw many typical LA places and things. Since she had never been here before, I really tried to do a good job of showing her a little bit of LA. And because I am huge dork sometimes, I even typed up a little itinerary for us. This helped us stay on track and get to things on time, like dinner reservations and Dreamgirls.

On Friday morning, we drove to the infamous Santa Monica pier and enjoyed a leisure walk up and down it. We also just sat on a bench watching the waves and chatting for a bit too.
Next, we headed to the beautiful Getty Museum. It was such a lovely day to be outside and really delight in the gardens there and to really see the amazing view from up there.
After the Getty, we drove through several fancy neighborhoods and famous streets; Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, Melrose, Rodeo Drive, Wilshire, and a few others. In Bel-Air, we stopped at the house where they filmed "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air". That was cool since we actually were able to drive all the way up to it.
Other highlights of the trip that I haven't mentioned in this blog yet was going to the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. and checking out all the prints in the cement there, getting a few good pics in front of the HOLLYWOOD sign, seeing a celebrity at a bar next to us-Hilary Duff, enjoying yummy chicken and waffles at Roscoes, spending a day in San Diego with my sister and Lucas and visiting with a friend of Atalaya's that lives here. All in all, it was a full weekend that I think covered most bases. She will just have to visit again to check out other awesome LA hot spots! Now, I'm off to bed since I am exhausted from it all!

A Lingerie Party?!

Ok here goes...I really wasn’t sure how to begin explaining our Saturday night's activity, but the beginning is the best place I guess....

First, you gotta know the back story- After picking up Atalaya up from the airport on Thursday night and going back to my place to change clothes, we head out to a bar called The Saint. We have a couple of drinks there and then we move on to the next place called “Happy Endings”, which I've talked about before on here. While waiting at the valet, a guy runs out of the bar and approaches Atalaya to introduce himself. For the sake of this story we shall call him Charlie. Charlie is an actor, but aren’t they all in LA, but he really is an actor and Atalaya has actually seen some of his work so whatever. He gives her his card and tells her to call him this weekend so he can convince her to move to LA. Yeah, that's exactly what she needs-a random guy telling her what's so great about living here.

So Saturday comes around and we are sightseeing on Hollywood Blvd. Atalaya gets a text from Charlie inviting us to a lingerie party that night. At first, we think of course not but as the day goes on, we start considering it as a possible option for later on in the night. It's the last night we can party and Atalaya wants to live it up! So we head over to Victoria Secret to pick up a couple of things just in case.

Ok, 7:30pm rolls around and we are getting ready to hit up our first stop and Atalaya's phone rings and it's Charlie asking if we have masks (why in the hell would we have masks?). We tell him no and he says he will find us some. He told us we needed to be ready to go by 9:30 because the limos will be leaving by 10pm. Side note: We are just thinking we are going to the Playboy mansion or something like it just…just to celeb watch.

So, we get to the rendezvous point and Charlie is an hour late! He shows up with these awful tissue paper cut-out masks. They were just horrible. Then he goes into the CVS and buys these headbands and cuts eye holes in them…which looked worse than the arts and crafts tissue paper Zorro masks. Any who, the limo appears and we get in. It is myself, Atalaya, Charlie and Steve (Charlie’s friend). We decide to take our chances without the masks. We pull up to this fantastic mansion in the Hollywood Hills. It was absolutely gorgeous! The security guard asks us for the password: We all look at each other like “password?” Anyway, the security guard goes ahead and tells us…it's ”fellatio”.... wow......

We proceed up the driveway and as we enter the house we were glad to see that some people were not wearing masks and everyone had on lingerie so we calmed down. We make our way to the outside pool area and the house over looks LA, I mean the view was amazing. I can’t put into words how nice the house was. We make our way over to the table for a couple of drinks and we begin to mingle. Then I hear “Ron Jeremy just arrived”. I wasn't familiar with who that was so Atalaya quickly informed me and we knew we were in trouble then.... I mean, what kind of a party does a porn star attend?!
We then look over to our right and see a lady dancing in the corner…with no underwear on. OMG. Atalaya's very first LA trip and we are at a SWINGERS party in the Hollywood hills, WTF???!!!!!

So, needless to say, I am instantly scared! What do we do? Are we going to be expected to do anything? Am I safe here? What the hell is going on?! Atalaya and I immediately find Charlie and ask him what in the hell was he thinking bringing us to a swingers party. He told us he had no idea but we knew that he was lying... How could you not know what you were going to if you knew the host?

Unfortunately, we couldn’t exactly leave because the limo ran in shifts, one every hour. The entire time we were at this party, we spent it ducking and dodging all sorts of advances. Other than the bathroom, there was no place we could hide. So we decided we were “with” each other. We weren’t physically with each other but for the purposes of that night, Atalaya was my girlfriend. Which turns out at a swingers party means NOTHING!

We saw so many more things that are just not appropriate for my blog but I think that you get the picture. What a night, right?! I'm still kind of in shock that it all happened in the first place. When I first woke up on Sunday morning, I really thought it was all just a dream. I couldn't seem to get clean enough either on Sunday. Despite feeling completely out of place, awkward, uncomfortable and just plain weirded out by that scene, I totally can respect what these 'swingers' are doing. They are all about free love and enjoying each other bodies very openly. I'm just not interested in that lifestyle myself. This was an experience and I guess it's more thing I can cross off my bucket list.... ; )

Thanks to Atalaya for helping me compose this post! Whew!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Night at the Theatre

Well, I'm not too sure where to begin... this was quite the eventful weekend! My visiting friend, Atalaya and I did a little bit of everything and by everything, I mean everything!

To start things off, on Friday night, we saw the Broadway show Dreamgirls. It was absolutely amazing! I had goosebumps from the incredible singing pretty much the entire show. Every performer on that stage had amazing vocal chops and I've never been so impressed by an entire cast before. We saw it at a downtown theatre called Centre Theatre Group and sadly, there were so many empty seats. We even were able to move up several rows which was awesome. I love all theatre and seeing shows so this was a perfect way to spend an evening.

Here is a little info on the show: Dreamgirls is a Broadway musical with music by Henry Krieger and lyrics and book by Tom Eyen. Based upon the show business aspirations and successes of R&B acts such as The Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown, Jackie Wildson, and others. The musical follows the story of a young female singing trio from Chicago called "The Dreams", who become music superstars. Dreamgirls opened on December 20, 1981 and was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, including the Tony Award for best musical, and won six.

Moya Angela, who plays the lead, Effie was just remarkable! After two and a half years on the road with The Lion King, Angela settled back into life in Indianapolis, working as a restaurant hostess. and was forced to lean on her family for financial help. “It was just a rough time,” she says. “I was struggling emotionally and financially. My phone was even shut off and my mother said, ‘You need to get this phone back on,’ and I said, ‘I don’t have any money. I’m Skyping!’” Thanks to Mom’s help, Angela’s phone service was reinstated just in time for a call from Binder Casting inviting the down-and-out diva to New York for a private audition for the national tour of Dreamgirls. “I was like, ‘’First of all, how did you guys get this number?!’” Many months of callbacks later, Dreamgirls found its Effie. Thank goodness they did because they show wouldn't have been complete without her!

Check out these fantastic reviews:

Review by Hilton Als
from The New Yorker
November 23, 2009
‘‘Dreamgirls is delectable. Wildly propulsive and brilliant as hell. There's not one misstep in this revival. It throbs with a lovely need to please.’’

Review by Joe Dziemianowicz
from Daily News
November 23, 2009
"It's lively and packed with talent. This production has an exciting vibe that the hit film can't capture."

Review by Elisabeth Vincentelli
from New York Post
November 23, 2009
"And I am telling you: You are going! I cannot emphasize enough how great it is to see Dreamgirls at the Apollo. It's a perfect storm of music and environment. The production has gusto, grit and guts."

Review by Roma Torre
from NY1
November 23, 2009
"I'm happy to report that the revival of Dreamgirls is pretty dreamy in its own right. The show hits enough high notes to make it Broadway caliber. Step over to the West Side of Harlem and see it now. As musical revivals go, this one’s Supreme!"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tips for Peace Management

I think sometimes we all get so busy and forget to breathe and take it easy. I know that it doesn't take much for me to get stressed out. So, anything that I can do to help that is great for me. Recently, I attended a short lecture on simple tips for peace management. I found the following list very helpful and I hope you will too.
  • Know who you are , what you value, what you wan and when you have it
  • Say "Yes" to what's important & "No" to what is not
  • Think gray, not black and white
  • Work in 90-minute intervals
  • Find quiet time & reflect daily
  • Write one page free-hand each morning
  • Drive without sound
  • Batch your calls and duties
  • Fill up your body with the right fuel
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Plan for the day and week
  • Belly breathe
  • Stretch
  • Appreciate others' challenges
  • Don't water a watch
  • Do it, delegate it or throw it away
  • When in doubt clear it out
  • Have one time management system and No sticky notes
  • Under promise and over deliver
  • Just say "No" to "go go" entertainment
  • Create disciplined dialogue
  • Give back
  • Swallow frogs and escort elephants
  • Connect with nature
  • Surrender

Thursday, March 18, 2010

First Phoenix Visitor!

Tonight my friend in Phoenix, Atalaya, is coming into town to visit me! Yay! She is my first official visitor so I am really excited! She is staying till Monday morning so we are going to get a lot of sightseeing done! She has never been to LA so I plan on taking her to a lot of the well known LA fun places. I have a whole itinerary written out so I remember all the museums, restaurant, theaters, historic sites clubs, parks, etc that I want to take her to. I haven't done any of these touristy things since I moved here so I'm happy that I have a visitor to go do them with. We are even seeing the show, "Dreamgirls" on Friday night which I've been told by numerous people is amazing.

I love being able to show friends my new life here in LA. It sort of proves that that this is really my new life and not just a temporary thing. Well, stay tuned for the details on what all we did this weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Interesting Facts

Ok, so I'm always fascinated by random facts and I found these two particularly interesting:

  • You miss 15 minutes of a movie by blinking! Crazy, right? Every time we blink, our brains pause for approximately 450 milliseconds. That adds up to six seconds of screen time for every minute of a 150-minute movie, according to a recent study by the University of Tokyo. But don't worry too much about missing any of the good parts. The study's scientists discovered that we blink selectively, meaning we subconsciously close our eyes when nothing important happen on the silver screen. So, you can only blame yourself for covering your eyes during the scary parts. Good to know, right?
  • 88% of lost wallets with baby photos get returned. Yikes! Lucky for me I have several pictures of my nephew in my wallet! The University of Hertfordshire psychologists planted 240 wallets in Edinburgh, Scotland, to see how many were returned based on their contents. None contained money, but each had a photo of either a baby, a family, and elderly couple, or a dog. Overall, people turned in 42 percent of the wallets, but the return depended on the contents. Eighty-eight percent of the baby-photo wallets came back, while the dog earned a 53 percent response, the family portrait 48 percent, and the elderly couple 28 percent. I'm definitely keeping those nephew pics in my purse!

Overlooked Blessings

Here is a list of 60 often overlooked blessings:

1. Faith. Faith is the ultimate goodness of Life. Faith in yourself. Faith that as your seek, your will find.
2. The dream that will not die because you were born to love it into full being.
3. The kindness of strangers.
4. The warmth and security of home. Crossing the threshold and closing the door after a hard day.
5. Expressions of unconditional love and support.
6. Your health. The health of those you love.
7. That moment of relief when you realize that the pain has subsided.
8. Sinking into a warm, softly scented bath after a stressful day.
9. The aroma of something delicious wafting from the kitchen.
10. Not having to cook tonight.
11. Your boundless imagination.
12. When hope is restored.
13. Following you intuition and being delighted that you did.
14. Daydreams. Reveries. Textured, technicolor nightscapes of happiness and good fortune that have you awakening with a smile.
15. Twelve hours uninterrupted sleep.
16. Seeing him and her and having your heart skip a beat.
17. An afternoon to do as you please.
18. Doing a great job and having it and your efforts appreciated.
19. The beach. The feel of the sand beneath your feet, the salty breeze, the warming rays of the sun.
20. Trying something new and loving it.
21. The desire for knowledge.
22. Meeting a kindred spirit.
23. Hearing a piece of music that instantly touches your soul.
24. Being able to add that music to your collection immediately.
25. Reading a passage in a book that expresses exactly how you feel.
26. Holding hands.
27. A nap.
28. Nailing the punch line in a favorite joke. Hearing the laughter.
29. Relishing a wonderful movie. Liking it so much you want to see it again as the credits roll. Seeing it again.
30. Laughing so hard, you can't catch your breath and your sides ache.
31. The sacred release of a good cry.
32. Bringing joy, happiness, and comfort to another person or creature.
33. Finding a parking space exactly when you need one.
34. Friendship that endures and thrives despite the obstacles of time and distance.
35. Speaking another language.
36. Reading a book that changes your life.
37. Receiving flowers.
38. The first morsel of your favorite comfort food.
39. The support and loving presence of sisters and/or brothers.
40. The first kiss.
41. Sharing the holidays with people you really want to to be with.
42. Finding, having and wearing something that makes you feel special.
43. The sense of relief throwing stuff out brings.
44. The person who believed in you when you weren't able to believe in yourself.
45. The precious lingering memory of your mother's sweet scent. The comforting memory of your father's hand.
46. Air-conditioning on an excruciatingly hot and humid day.
47. Receiving a love letter. Writing one.
48. A sense of humor during good and rough patches.
49. Perfect timing.
50. Sharing your aspirations for the future with a close friend.
51. Pampering yourself.
52. Family and friends who remember funny or uplifting stories about your past that you've forgotten and share them with you.
53. Rediscovering old family photos.
54. Waking up to perfectly beautiful day for a planned outdoor event.
55. An opportunity to interview for the dream job. Getting it.
56. An unexpected compliment that makes your day.
57. The sound of raindrops on your roof at night.
58. Coming up with the perfect retort at the moment you need it and not two hours later.
59. Listening to the oldies and recalling happy moments.
60. Friends and family who can both truly rejoice with you and console in times of sorrow.