One more reason to go to the Hollywood Bowl

As if I need one more reason. There are so many! The main reason to go is for the food. Yeah, yeah, there's good music and all that, but the food!! The Hollywood Bowl is maybe the last remaining excuse in Southern California to pack an honest to goodness gourmet picnic. Okay, maybe they're not always gourmet. But they're always good. And we all know that food tastes better when eaten outside, so that doubles the goodness. Here are the contents of a really good Hollywood Bowl picnic:

Turkey sandwiches with lots of meat and swiss cheese on big fresh rolls
Carrots with Ranch dip
Crackers and more cheese
Pepperidge Farm cookies
Homemade brownies or chocolate chip cookies
Sparkling lime flavored water, red wine, or champagne (depending on who I'm with)
One jar of green olives with pimentos

The olives are the most important part. And if you have a whole jar, they'll easily last you through the whole performance. But here's the thing about eating the olives. They're just so hard to get out of the jar! I'm passionate about green olives, so I get really mad when I can't get one as fast as I want. First of all, if you buy the tall skinny jar they pack them in so tight (four to a layer) that you can't get your fingers around them. Then, even if you don't buy the tall skinny jar, almost no one has fingers long and skinny enough to get to the olives in the bottom. You can't tip the jar to get to them, because all the brine will spill on you. And if you use a spoon to get to them, they will inevitably roll out of the bowl of the spoon before you get to the top of the jar, because the jar's too deep and the bowl's too shallow. So the last dozen or so olives languish in their brine sea because no one can get to them.

AND THEN. Then I went to Crate and Barrel the other day. And Christi, dear sweet Christi, spied and bought me an olive spoon! It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. It's a little silver scoop on the end of a long slender handle. The scoop is exactly big enough for one perfect olive, and it's slotted so that the excess brine runs out. Oh, the joy of it! I can now eat olives down to the very bottom of the jar.

I'm going to the first Hollywood Bowl concert of the summer. I don't even care what it is. I might not even go in. I might just find a grassy picnic spot and eat my olives. Anyone can join me, but if you come, bring your own olive spoon. I'm never putting mine down. Unless you bribe me with goldfish crackers. Then I might consider it.


I think I might know where Jimmy Hoffa is....

Last night I went digging through the trunk of my Mustang to find something. For those of you who have seen my car, you know already what a joke that is. As if I could find ANYTHING in that mess. Well, as it turns out, I could actually find ANYTHING I WANTED in there. Here's what I ran across in my search:

1 leopard-print gift bag from one of my bridal showers
1 pair of olive green Nikes
2 pairs of shoes that are at least three years out of style
2 quarts of motor oil
1 sticky notes pad in the shape of a K
1 roll of white tulle (???)
1 Sting "Brand New Day" album that I've been looking for FOREVER (housed inside the missing cover of the latest U2 album - BONUS! two finds in one)
2 barbells weighing two pounds each
1 book about the Capital Group that I never read
1 biography of John Steinbeck made up of the off-color stories of a friend named "Dook"
18 super high bounce balls (don't ask)
1 knee high argyle sock (where's the other one, dang it?!?)
1 other gift bag
1 bottle of gelled fuel (missing some fuel - Thomas thought it would be funny to use the fuel to spell out his name on the cement behind my parents' house, then light it on fire. And it was funny, and kind of cool, but what's not so cool is that it wouldn't wash off, so his name is permanently engraved there)
7 (or 8 or 9) books bought at the La Mirada Library book sale at least 4 sales ago
Various packages of tissue paper
1 pair of scissors
1 bucket full of fishing equipment (Nathan's)
2 hats bought on impulse (I love buying hats but I never wear them)
1 free shirt I got from PetCo
All the paperwork from when we moved out of our last apartment (by which time I was too pregnant to consider carrying any weight besides what I actually HAD to, so I have an excuse for that one)

And all of that was just in the trunk. I haven't even told you about the inside of the car yet. I'm sure that in the event of nuclear holocaust, if my car and I were the only things to survive, I could live for years just on its contents, and have good reading material besides. I know there's at least one diet Pepsi bottle in there with some diet Pepsi left in it (flat, no doubt), and I'm thinking that the package of Thai noodles I lost is probably in there too. In fact, probably everything I've ever lost is there. Oh, and all those socks you always thought your dryer ate? Call me. Because they're in my Mustang.


Thanks Clint!

Four jobs you've had in your life:
Frozen yogurt girl, salesgirl at Maternite (and sometimes model of their clothing, which just looked wrong since I was 19 at the time and looked 16, and they had me wearing maternity clothes around), story time director in the children's section at a bookstore, account rep at a mutual fund company.

Four movies you could watch over and over:
Singin' in the Rain, Bend it Like Beckham, Clueless, Office Space

Four places you've lived:
La Habra, La Mirada, Whittier, Yorba Linda.

Four TV shows you love(d) to watch:
Lost, Elimidate (it's a total train wreck thing), Saved by the Bell (and not ashamed to admit it!), MXC (if you've never seen this, head over to Spike TV RIGHT NOW and watch an episode or two). Oh, and a bonus one: Mystery Science Theater 3000. I've never laughed so hard in my life.

Four places you've been on vacation:
London, Phuket Thailand, San Carlos Mexico, Denver CO (by far the most confusing place in the world to drive, because every other street is named Arapahoe. Oh, except for Atlanta, where EVERY SINGLE STREET is named Peachtree).

Four websites you visit daily:
CNN, Barbara's blog, Dooce.com, jkrowling.com.

Four of your favorite foods:
Enchiladas suizas, Stubriks corn bread, Roy's calimari, Roman Cucina's chicken parmesan.

Four places you'd rather be:
Eating at Old Fisherman's Grotto in Monterey, clubbing in London, snorkeling in Kauai, watching the freaks on Third Street in Santa Monica.


Yeah, but what's it REALLY worth?

There's a guy at our church whose wife is a real estate agent. My dad overheard someone asking him the other night where his wife was and he said, "Probably out selling a $200,000 house for $700,000."

I've been checking out homes for sale in my area lately. And laughing. Because, you've got to be kidding me! There's not even a decent CONDO in this area, let alone a house, for less than half a million. Here's an example: a home for sale, 2 bed, 2 bath, 1200 square feet: $579,000. That's the size of our apartment. And my calculator tells me that it would be a monthly payment of $3200. If we put $60,000 down. How are we ever supposed to buy a house? Our apartment complex is full of doctors and lawyers (Nathan being one of them). If they can't afford houses, who can? Who are these people that are buying the houses in Covington Heights? The houses I've priced up there are going for 2.2 million. It's all location. The houses I see here selling for $600,000 would sell in Oregon for $125,000 or less. And they'd have a 5 acre lot, not 3,000 square feet. Something's gotta give around here soon, right? My friend's dad just bought 35 acres with a big house and a lake in Alabama. For $300,000. I think we're gonna pack up and move there.

The Yorba Linda city council has plans (that are being violently opposed) to tear down Old Town and build a "New Old Town." Part of their plan includes putting in some low income housing. With any luck, we'll qualify!


DJ KC (or, "Enough with the birthdays, already.")

If it weren't for my iPod I'd get no exercise at all. Really. What used to be a task is now fun, because it means I get to listen to music uninterrupted for about 40 minutes a day. And the iPod is the perfect answer, because I don't have to commit to just one album. I like making my own playlists depending on the mood I'm in, and I usually put them together while I'm driving to the lake where we take our daily walks. That doesn't help my driving much, but something's gotta give. You know? This is my most current playlist, and it amuses me because, like Barbara's books, some of the juxtapositions are just so weird.

15 Seconds - Ivy
Ask - The Smiths
Blame It On Yourself - Ivy
Bright Side of the Road - Van Morrison
Come Back Down - Toad the Wet Sprocket
Dog - Dada
Dreams be Dreams - Jack Johnson
Gypsy - Suzanne Vega
In God's Country - U2
Into Your Life - Nick Heyward
Perfect Kiss - New Order
She's in Love with the Boy - Trisha Yearwood
Skokiaan - Louis Armstrong
Stretch Out and Wait - The Smiths
Summerhead - Cocteau Twins
Taylor - Jack Johnson
To the Sky - The Cure
Tupelo Honey - Van Morrison
Wasting Time - Jack Johnson
Wild Horses - The Sundays

The Cure and Jack Johnson and Trisha Yearwood all in the same place. They'd probably ALL kill me if they knew.


Happy Birthday, Arla and Leah!

Late, as usual. I just can't stay on top of all these birthday.

And poor Zoe. Her mom, dad, and now little sister all have birthdays within ten days. Steve on the 18th of December, and Arla and Leah on the 28th. Bummer. Throw Cristmas in, and Zoe will spend every December from here to eternity being broke from buying presents.

Arla is my emotional sister-in-law. I love hanging out with her, because her responses are dependable. When I'm excited, she's excited. When I'm sad, she's sad. And when I'm outraged, she's furious. It's great to have a friend like that, who will stand behind you whole-heartedly and not try to reason with you. Arla and I have had so much fun together over the years, and I truly feel like she is a sister, I've felt that way since the very first time I met her. And now she has another sweet daughter (one that shares her birthday!) and we get to compare baby notes. :) Happy Birthday, Arla and Leah! I love you both.