Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Time Tradition

This past weekend we attended our 4th/5th(?) Atascapalooza. Our friend Molly (AKA Miss Wild Child) came down for the second year from Sacramento for the festivities. I don’t think this year was quite as eventful as last year, and I think that is due to the fact that there was less misgiff for Miss Wild Child to get into. I wouldn’t necessarily say she was more well-behaved I think there were just less items for her explore.

They had a piƱata again which I think Hans gets the most enjoyment out of. They also had the egg toss again, and I really wanted to decline because I did not want to loose. We won last year…why not go out on top? Yeah it wasn’t that easy. I swear I had never been that nervous for an egg toss before…granted it was only the second one I’d ever been in, but still! There was a lot more riding on this because EVERYONE wants to beat the best right? Lucky for us Miss Wild Child was not in the race this year so I thought we had a chance. It got down to 3 couples and what do you know? We won again! I still can’t believe it. Now I really hope John will let me retire. He also decided to smash our egg (again) before our victory photo. Oh well…I guess a new tradition has started.

Other than that it was a lot of lounging around in the nice North County heat. I guess I should call it warmth because it really wasn’t that hot. Here we are relaxing:
I think Molly is throwing up a 'M' for Molly?
Us with the hostess and her latest addition.

3 Things

Lots of small things have been making me smile lately which has been much needed. Here are just a few that have and will make this week a good one:

1. Julie and Julia - This past weekend we went and saw this movie and was SO good! I was really surprised with how much I liked it, (since I really don’t know anything about Julia Childs) I am a huge Amy Adam’s fan, so I guess I shouldn’t have been that surprised. I am also a fan of Meryl Streep and she did such an amazing job playing Julia that most of the time I even forgot it was her. I really hope she gets some sort of recognition for this role.

Both story lines were really clever and I would actually get mad each time they would switch from one to the other. Of course I couldn’t help but relate a bit to Julie since her goal was to blog about her cooking/baking experiences. I now wish I would have thought of some gimmick to have been blogging about over the last 2.5 years. Even though I know my life is SO captivating, I wish I had come up with something like she did. Dang.

One thing I did not like about film was that the actor that they cast for Julie’s husband was not a good fit. What was with that dude? For one…I have never seen a grosser eater in MY LIFE! I was getting so sicked out by listening/watching him eat. Thank goodness his gorging scenes were only in the beginning of the movie. It’s bad enough to listen to someone behind you smacking on their popcorn, but to have to see it in front of you and hear it in THX? No thanks!

I was so inspired by the movie that right after we went to the bookstore and I bought Julie and Julia. I can’t wait to read the story because the book is always better than the movie, right? It’s actually killing me that I can’t read it right now as I’m supposed to be reading my latest book club book. I’m also going to be on the hunt for a good Julia Child’s biography. Do any of you have any recommendations?

One last complaint…Amy Adam’s hair was ATROCIOUS in this film! It looked like she was wearing the worst little boy wig. I understand her character wasn’t rich, but you can still be poor and have cute hair. Good thing she is such a cutie and her face distracted me from the mop top.

2. NY Giants Football – Yes I did mean to write that…and yes I am still a 49er fan. However…Cal Poly’s awesome receiver Ramses Barden got drafted by them this year and I got to watch one of their preseason games on TV last night. John and I were both so excited to see him out on the field in his Giants uniform and he even made a sweet catch. After the catch they then showed a few highlights from last year, including his touchdown in OT against Wisconsin. (Damn you field goal kicker!) It was really cool to hear the announcers talk about him as they all had good things to say about him. Even if this one dude pronounced his name as Ramse Barden from Cal Poly, Saint Luis Obispo.

I was really hoping that the Giants would be playing the 9ers this year, but no such luck. I was even considering traveling to NY, (twist my arm), if the 9ers were scheduled to play them back there, but it’s a no go. Maybe next year.

3. Project Runway – Just in case some of you were not aware, PR is premiering this week!!!! The fighting between the networks was SO lame, and there is no way we should have had to wait this long for the next season. They are even bringing back some of the past designers for a special challenge which I think airs right before the premiere on Thursday. Let's hope there is a contestant as fabulous as Christian is. Set your DVRs!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What was that? I can't hear you!

A few weeks ago Forever 21 opened here in SLO filling the old Gottschalk's building. Two of my friends checked it out and were pretty impressed with the selection and prices so we went to go check it out yesterday. We walked in and it was HUGE! The entire building as well as the old home furnishing section was FILLED with clothes and accessories. It was SO overwhelming.

Once the shock wore off I then wondered why I had an instant headache…oh right!! It was the MUSIC PLAYING AT A LEVEL 11!!!! My god! Do they think young women are deaf? I know this isn’t a new trend…when I walk by Abercrombie I get knocked over by the sound waves and that awful perfume smell. But for some reason I didn’t expect it at this store.

I’ve heard they play the music that loud so that the parents will just hand their kids their credit card and wait outside. I’m sad to say that if I were a parent I would probably do that, but the loud music has never been a concern for me because most of the stores that use that sales tactic are out of my price range. Forever 21 however is a bulls eye for my price range.

I understand if the man behind the curtain wants to give his consumers the feeling of partying while shopping…I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is that you have to SCREAM at your shopping companion to communicate. Um…what fun is that? I guess they don’t want you to get advice from each other of which pair of jeans looks best. They just want you to buy them both...am I right?

I am also WELL aware that I am getting older, which is only 10% of the problem. I wouldn’t say this store is 100% a teenybopper store either and they should really think of ALL of the ages of people that shop there. Here is my solution…on certain nights of the week they should turn the volume down a tad. Just a tad! I would be much more willing to spend an extra hour or 2 in there perusing if I wasn’t so irritated by the blaring music. However I hate to admit that even with the music I was able to find quiet a few things to purchase.

Thanks to my Facebook buddies I was told to shop on their website. DUH! Although I was excited to have an actual new store in town vs. shopping online…oh well…I'm supposed to be in on a spending freeze anyway.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fastest Weekend Ever

This past weekend John and I headed up to Fortuna for our shortest visit to date. I think we were in town for 31 hours. No joke. Needless to say I have been so tired all day today.

One of the main reasons we headed up north was for my friend Katy's baby shower. She is due in 2 months and let me say she looked like she was maybe 5 months! Here she is setting up an AWESOME cheese spread.Here is a group shot of all the ladies.Here is a good shot of Katy's belly and our super cute cacti party favors that she made.It was so great to get together with my old high school friends. Normally we are lucky to meet once a year at Katy's Christmas Cookie Party so this was a real treat. I'm just sad that I live so far away from them.

While I was partying it up with the ladies John got to spend some time with his family out at his parent's cabin. I did get to see all the kids that evening, but I didn't take any photos. I did however receive their latest professional photos which I will hopefully scan.

On our way out of town we drove by this sign:Not that exciting right? Well it wouldn't have been if I hadn't of designed this logo for a local business that looked like this:

Look familiar?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fair Time!

Two weekends ago I headed up north for the Mid State Fair in Paso. The first venture was to see Kelly Clarkson in concert. When I bought the tickets in March I signed up for her fan club which allowed me access to the pre-sale. After I purchased the tickets they did not give me the location of the seats, but said they would be fairly close to the stage, which was fine with me!

As the concert grew closer I was getting more and more anxious to find out where my seats were. FINALLY the day arrived and I got my tickets. Guess where they were?? FRONT ROW! NO joke. I thought we might be within the first 20 rows or something, but the first row?? Was I even a big enough fan to deserve front row? I didn't think so. I’m sure there were some bigger fans out there than me that deserved them more. Oh well. Tonight was my lucky night.

When we made it to our seats I was still in shock at how close we were.

Right when my friend Sam and I sat down we looked behind us to see one of our old co-workers in the row behind us! Then a few people down to our right was another old co-worker! I couldn’t believe that we were all sitting in the same area. I'm normally shocked to see one person I know, much less two sitting right near me!

Sam and I patiently waiting. (extreme close up I know).
So the show starts and Kelly is RIGHT THERE. I mean RIGHT THERE and not the size of an ant. I probably had perma grin for the first half hour because I could not believe we were in the front row and she was RIGHT in front of us. The whole show felt like it was a private concert. At one point she even looked down at Sam and I and smiled. We both looked at each other like ‘did she just do that?’ It was also really weird to know that the band members could actually see us...like our faces. You definitely didn’t want to get caught zoning out or texting while they are standing there in front of you.

Kelly and her band put on a great show. She sang all of her hits and a lot of my favorite songs from her new album. She even sang songs written by Rod Stewart, Patsy Cline, and Janet Jackson which was a total plus. I think more musicians should do that. Why not? Pay homage to the ones that have helped them.

At one point the super cool guitarist went all rock star on us and threw his pick in the audience…only to have it hit me in the head! However he threw it at the end of the song and when the song ended the arena went completely black and I couldn’t see anything. I told the dude next to me what happened and so we both were looking at the ground when the lights came on and he spotted the pick first and grabbed it! He said I could have it, but in the end I let him have it. Now of course I wish I would have kept it. Oh well. I really did deserve it having to listen to his wife think she was singing duets with Kelly all night. I should have told her that I didn’t pay $75 to hear her sing butcher Kelly's hits..

The next afternoon I headed back up to the fair with John for our annual visit. After we had our first round of fair junk food we decided to let it settle a bit before round two so we checked out the exhibits.
I once again entered a photo this year, but was very hesitant after losing last year, and I was feeling lazy. I probably wouldn’t have entered but I was also entering a photo from Sydney so I thought I might as well print one of my own if I was going to have to drive up to Paso anyway.

During the annual Steinbuck visit this past May Sydney had her new birthday camera in tow. A few weeks later when I went up to Ukiah we picked up her film from the trip. In the midst of photos of our garbage cans and many self-portraits, there was this one great shot of her flip flops on our deck. Right when Rebekkah and I saw it we both had the same thought…it was a total fair photo! I was more than happy to enter it in for Sydney and what do you know…she got first place!!
We actually ventured into a new hall this year that had a ton of baked goods including a cake decorating category! How crazy is that? It really felt like you could enter just about anything that was homemade.
We even saw some Christmas decorations, but I am tempted to enter in my award winning fudge next year. Who wouldn’t like the title ‘multi award wining fudge’?

After our exhibit perusing we were finally hungry enough for some more fair food. First stop….cinnamon rolls!
We normally don’t eat the whole thing, but for some reason we finished it all this year. Not good. I also wanted to get a license plate frame for the mini while we were there but we couldn’t think of a good saying. I should have planned ahead for that one.
After our traditional photo booth photo I then got to get my traditional shaved ice. I even checked and they did make it from a block of ice. It was pretty good, but the ones in Hawaii were still better.
They even had the slush puppy booth again so John scored another sweet slushy mixture. I even think it was the same dude who was working the booth last year.

Overall I think it was one of our best fair visits yet. I'm actually kind of sad we only get to go once a year. I guess it makes it that much special.