the new awesome

whatever we are blogging about, that's the new awesome

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Russian Consulate is the new awesome

So, I had to pick up my Russian Visa today because I am going to Moscow and St. Petersburg next month to attend to some business and take a lot of personal photos with Emily Cox.

As it turns out, there are a lot of things you need to do before they will even think about letting you come into the country.

First, you need to be invited. To the country. As in, someone has to send you an official form telling you that they would love to have you come visit them in Russia. (Luckily these can be obtained by just slipping someone at a Russian travel agency $20).

On my official invitation to Russia, I know I didn't want to check the "Male" box, so I checked the only other option, which I can only hope means "Female."

The application also demands pretty much your entire life history, including some probing questions about any special arms training you may ever have had. They don't give you a whole lot of room to explain yourself, though.

Of course, they want a passport sized photo attached to your application too. I decided to just take mine myself and print it out on my computer, but I managed to get the size wrong the first try. I tried to use the same paper to print out another one, but I put the paper in the wrong way the second time I ran it through and ended up printing on top of my first photo. I caught it before it got too far along, but not before I gave myself an awesome bang beard.

I didn't want to bother printing another one so I just left it, thinking maybe the Consulate guys would appreciate it. After all, this is Russia, right?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Registering is the new awesome

Steve and I went to Target to register the other weekend and it was quite an adventure. It was one of those things where I thought we'd get there at 9am and be outta there by 11am. Turns out it's hard to pick things for an apartment you don't even have yet. After about three hours we had to recharge at the Target Snack Shack (do not waste your hard earned dollar on a soft pretzel).

My conclusion: Registering is one of those things you think will be really awesome. And it is. For about 30 minutes.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Scherenschnitte is the new awesome (right Cindy?)

I hosted a Ladies Activity Club party this week!

Ladies Activity Club (aka LAC) was started by my friend Emily, and is a lot like Relief Society Enrichment meetings, just without anything religious involved. Basically, it is a fun way to meet other SFsters by getting together once a month to teach eachother something new and fun, and since there hasn't been toll painting as an activity even once, I keep going back.

As inspired by the lovely and talented Cindy Ferguson, I decided to host a Scherenschnitte (pronounced shair-en-shnit-teh) party and teach the Ladies of the Activity Club the fine art of papercutting. Cindy was nice enough to send me some templates, and I got some designs and inspiration off her Scherenschnitte site and around the internet. I equipped everyone with xacto knives and sharp scissors, made everyone promise that they wouldn't sue me if they cut a finger off in the process, and then we all started cutting!

For a bunch of first time cutters, the group really tackled some intricate stuff.

Jordan got a little frustrated with her super skinny birds on a wire cut, and ended up creating a cutting of her own design, right there on the spot.

The instructions that I downloaded from the internet told us to "rest your eyes frequently by looking away at the horizon," and it was probably the only thing that got us all through the tough times. Emily's photos really captured what we were all feeling after staring at these tiny cuts for several hours.

In the end, nobody ended up stabbing themselves or their neighbor, so I'd label this party a raging success.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Eyelashes are the new awesome

So I went and visited my most fabulous hair stylist & friend Preston Nesbit this past Saturday and while I was waiting for my hair to process I decided to go crazy and have him dye my eyelashes. I know...insane right? But if you're a blond like me, that means you have blond/invisible eyelashes unless you're wearing mascara. Here's my eyes with my favorite mascara:

Don't get me wrong, mascara is great. I love it. It's my favorite item of make-up. But what if I want to rub my eyes because I'm tired? Or what if I want to watch Steel Magnolias and cry for two hours? Or go swimming all day long...then what?

Well, here's my solution...not as dramatic and "made up" as mascara, but still so nice to have the option to go without!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

French dips on Sunday for Cindy are the new awesome

So maybe you've read on Cindy's blog that once a month, on the first Tuesday, she eats a french dip sammy. Steve and I have been meaning to do this in mutual celebration with her for a few months now. Even though it wasn't a Tuesday, we decided to go for it last Sunday and make our delicious dinner.

I decided to make them the way my mom use to make them for us when I was a kid. I bought a london broil and broiled it in the oven. About 10 minutes on each side. The london broil is a fairly inexpensive cut of beef but if cooked properly, it's delicious. And it's perfect sliced thin for a french dip sandwich!

I didn't realize until I looked at these pictures that I dip my french dip the french way...with my pinky sticking up. It's very proper of me.

Steve on the other hand prefers the slightly less refined caveman method. Me dip sandwich in Au Jus!

Me take big bite of beef sandwich!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Making out with Nature is the new awesome

I went to Tahoe this weekend with a bunch of outdoorsy people:

I know what you are thinking. I called that group outdoorsy and then showed a weird picture of them, exposing them as a group of people that also passes the time by trying to stack their heads on top of one another and then photograph it. Well. People often surprise you. Like this gentleman I saw at the 7-11 in Tahoe, eating a slurpee for breakfast. He probably looks all tough until he shows his tounge and it is blue.

Anyway. I went to Tahoe with a group of people that stacks their heads for fun, so imagine my surprise when they got up Saturday morning and announceed that we would be hiking. All I had on my feet were a pair of flip flops. No one told me to bring sturdy walking shoes (not that Brant's vans without socks is exactly hardcore hiking gear either) - but everyone I have ever come to Tahoe with in the past was mostly interested in sunning themselves by the lake with an occasional dip in the water, not hiking. I'm not complaining. I like hiking. I was just a little unprepared.

Is this my going to the beach outfit, or my going hiking outfit? Answer: they are the same thing.

As I prepared to flip flop my way along the trail, Brant and Matt made sure to stretch before this strenuous hike. Inadvertantly I think they did some sort of mating dance...

because after that, brant had to do most of the hike like this:

When we got to the lake part of the hike, everyone went swimming...

even though the water was just as cold as they told us it was going to be.

Since there were only signs about how cold the water was and not about feeding the wildlife, we shared our trail mix lunch with some of the natives.

Cindy. I am sorry to tell you this, but i sort of kissed your boyfriend's cousin, the chipmunk. One minute we were eating apples together, and the next minute? Well. It just sort of happened.

But seriously. When nature is this pretty, how can you not want to make out with it?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Envy is the new awesome

Awhile back bets blogged/bragged about her trip to the Estate at Brittan. Rich is Betsy's friend from when she worked at Genentech apx. 10 years ago. Well, the other night Doug and Rich deemed Steve and I cool enough to come see the Estate in its finished state, and made us dinner to boot!

I was nervous to meet Rich and Doug, until Betsy told me that they ALSO had matching scooters, just like she and I! The first thing Steve did when we arrived was go to the garage and pretend like Vespa's aren't as awesome as our Yamaha Vino's. I think he almost convinced himself.

However, they also have matching iMacs, which I think Betsy and I need to work on.

The part of the house that Betsy was most envious of was the secret passage, which she went and hid in, just like last time.

I was most envious of the beautiful matching washer and dryer that they had IN THE HOUSE! With no bums sitting in front of them. It made me remember that there is a way to do laundry that is not the Rising Star way of doing laundry.

You can't hate Rich & Doug for having such a great house though, because they are so awesome. Plus it is exactly the kind of place that you would expect the inventor of the frappuccino to live. Doug doesn't like to tell alot of people this about himself, but since Popular Mechanics wrote an article about it this month, I guess it isn't privledged information anymore. (Incidentally, Betsy made this same face when I broke the news to her that her favorite singer Amy Winheart had OD'd the other day on a cocktail of awesome drugs and horse tranqilizers.)

Rich is awesome too. I am pretty sure he invented this potato salad when he wasn't busy being the master of all things drug safety at his day job.

The inventor of the frappuccino also made us the most delicious hamburgers!

Basically Rich & Doug might be the best hosts ever. So much fun! Seriously.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Deep South is the new awesome

As I mentioned, my younger sister just married a southern gentleman from Mississippi a few weeks ago, so over the weekend my California-bred family made the trek into the wild unknown of the South to become better acquainted with our new in-laws and get a taste for where the newest addition to the family had grown up. Once I got over the radical temperature changes (sweltering humid hot outdoors and frigid over-air-conditioned indoors) I was able to just get a feel for the area and enjoy the southern charms that I had heard so much about.

My dad brought a guide book so that we would have the most efficient vacation ever.

Wait a second. Why on earth are we trusting a guide book that BRAGS about it's number of National Chain Restaurant listings? I did not come all the way to Mississippi just to eat at Arby's. le barf.

I almost changed my mind when I saw that the Church's Fried Chicken chain restaurant's marquee signs tended to rival those of the Baptist church's as far as their entertainment value.

But luckily, the new inlaws are a bunch of foodies and took us to all their favorite New Orleans restaurants. I fell in love with shrimp remoulade, po-boys filled with fried eggplant and red sauce, seafood gumbo, and these tasty beignets doused with powdered sugar and chocolate milk.

Most of my vacation shots are not of the antebellum homes we visited or the wrought iron gates of New Orleans, but rather more embarrassing shots like this one of me pigging out on something:

Besides good eats, there are several other things that I noticed the South takes very seriously:



(Like this hairy visitor on the roof of the hotel, or the junebug that crawled on my neck and made me confirm that indeed, i do scream like a girl when in contact with gross crawly buggy things)


Floods and Hurricanes.
Not to end this post on a bad note, but it was amazing to see how much of New Orleans is still in disrepair after Katrina. So many houses are still spraypainted with the X marking how many living and dead were found in each home, and we saw acres of FEMA trailers and many still in use. Still, it was also amazing how many places had been fixed up as well, and to see people getting back on their feet and making New Orleans home again.