Monday, December 22, 2008

Holidays . . .

I have been baking up a storm. In addition to baking and decorating sugar cookies with the lovely ladies from my program, I also made gingersnaps for a family for whom I tutor (and ridiculously overtipped me for the holidays) and some goodies for my lab. I've also had way too much interaction with the malls in recent days - although I tend to finish my shopping several weeks before Christmas, I get suckered into going with others.

Speaking of the mall, I've realized that:
- Some people really just shouldn't be allowed to have children
- Why do moms with strollers get so excited when you hold the door open for them? Is it really that uncommon? If so, that makes me sad . . .
- I really, really, really dislike Z Gallerie. It's sort of like a disco ball and a flea market had a baby. A not-cute baby.
- All good presents are edible or soft. Seriously - how do you go wrong with goodies from Williams-Sonoma or microplush blankets or slippers? (I bought these for myself)

And on one final note, if you're throwing a Christmas party, it's fine to keep some cultural traditions present, but a noodle dish complete with tongue and intestine is probably not the best choice. Not that I was served that this weekend, or anything ::cough::

Friday, December 5, 2008

Essentials, part two . . .

Several days ago, I saw an article in our local paper about organizations that sponsored families for Christmas. Upon further investigation, I looked up one up that is FABULOUS (provides food, healthcare, job connections . . .) and found that you could "adopt" a family for the holidays. Being a measly graduate student, I can't afford a lot, but I knew I could definitely do two kids.

I got my family assignment yesterday. The children are 4 and 5 (a boy and a girl, respectively), and the boy is developmentally disabled. His requests include Tonka trucks, legos, and shoes, and the little girl's list is a doll, a dress, a lunchbox, and a backpack. The (single) mom asked for blankets, and possibly a "gift card for food."

Suddenly our essentials aren't quite what we thought, no? I plan to go on a massive spending spree at Target this weekend for this family so that they can have a holiday to remember.

Perhaps photos of this endeavor will come as well :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


While we all personalize our living environments to suit our individual tastes, there are some things that function in our humble abodes as the little black dress does in our closet. No matter the day, they seem to be the perfect choice, and never go out of style. Style At Home just published a list of the top ten essentials for a home, and I've got to say, the list is somewhat eerie (but maybe that's just because I'm a boring, pearl-wearing scientist).

The full list:
• A leather club chair - when I make a spare room into a study, this is top on the list.
• A decorative throw - Check. It's cashmere.
• An ample sofa - Haha. If you've had the pleasure of watching campy tv at my place, you've been sucked into the giant sofas. Quite possibly, it was difficult for you to get back up again.
• A wool area rug - Check. It's chocolate brown.
• Quality stainless steel flatware - Check. It's Wedgwood, and was purchased for 75% off (oddly enough, because it's a very simple pattern). I have received many, many complements on my silverware.
• A crystal vase - Check. My mother is best described as a Waterford whore.
• A 48-inch round pedestal table - Check. Crate and Barrel. Love it. My favorite thing downstairs.
• Crystal or fine glassware - sort of . . . I have a set of Waterford, but it's at my parents' until I have a real place to live (aka not graduate student housing).
• 500-thread-count cotton bedding - Check. From Costco, naturally.
• White dishware - Check. Pottery Barn, and it holds up like steel. Really. It doesn't even get scratch marks from angry knives.
• A pharmacy lamp - Yup. It's nickel, and I rescued it from the clearance rack of Restoration Hardware. Provides some great light at my desk, which I sadly don't use much because I mostly stay camped out at my desk in my lab.
• Original art - Absolutely. Well . . . they're prints hand-created from seaweed and kelp. They're gorgeous, and I adore them :) And they're much prettier than they sound.

What on this list jumps out at you?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Current Yays and Nays

Thumbs up:
Decluttering your apartment
Bath and Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel handsoap
Homemade gingerbread
Phone calls from the boy who is in D.C.

Thumbs down:
California wildfires (the photo below was taken from my balcony last night)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Alright, alright!

5 things I was doing 10 years ago

1. Learning to drive
2. Taking pre-calc through extention
3. Being really atrocious at soccer
4. Taking piano
5. Was on student government

5 things on my To do list today

1. Unpacking my shipment from Pottery Barn (Christmas decorations!)
2. Make and eat carnitas with Greg
3. Take nap
4. Make list for Target
5. Go to the midnight showing of the new Bond movie!!!

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire

1. Buy a wonderful house outright. Not a McMansion and not a super old house with plumbing problems, but just a great house. Preferably on the beach.
2. Buy a new car. Mine is nice enough, but it does have some issues.
3. Buy Manolos
4. Buy a washer and dryer to go in my house. Damn, that would be nice.
5. Travel Europe

5 places I have lived

1. Santa Barbara, CA
2. Westwood, CA
3. Irvine, CA
4. Nope, that's it
5. I want to move to San Diego after grad school - does that count?

5 jobs I have had

1. Sales Clerk at Trinkets 'N Trims, Hallmark
2. Sales associate at Express
3. Intern in a breast cancer lab
4. Grad student extraordinaire (ok, not really)
5. TA

Monday, November 10, 2008


So . . . I hate to admit it, but I like the theater. I love dramatic performance, and I love comparing scripts to original novels, and seeing words play out on the stage. However, this is not to say that I am a huge fan of musicals, by the way.

I dragged my good friend Nick (an investment banker who was petrified of anything Broadway) to see Doubt in New York in the spring of 2006. It has now been made into a film, and I couldn't be more excited to see it, and compare it to the stage version. I sincerely hope that they maintain the sterility of the play (and I mean that in a good way), because it leaves you focusing on the words, and room to play with the intentions of the characters. It's worth noting that we both left the play with very different interpretations of what the actual conflict was (the work revolves around whether a character is guilty or not guilty). I hope that the film doesn't choose sides, but in fact leaves it up to the audience.

What's the best film adaptation of a play or novel you've seen? Why?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Good Intentions

NO REALLY, I have magnificent plans to become a great blogger! Really I do. The problem is, my graduate program is sort of all-consuming, as I am trying to write a paper and hopefully get it submitted before I turn 92 and they kick me out of the program.

But, on a more pleasant note, some people from our department are having a pumpkin carving party on Friday, and I have decided that I want to bring gingerbread. Does anyone have a particularly fantastic gingerbread recipe?

Happy Fall!