Friday, July 31, 2009

Counting Down

I would like to thank everyone for their wonderful birthday wishes!  The Glen Ivy trip was a wonderful way to relax.  Ahhhh.... and all that leaves is a move across town...

I have decided that the next time I move, I will be moving into a fully furnished house.  FULLY.  I will be leaving behind everything at the old place- the furntiure, the dishes, my toothbrush.  I guess I'll take the cats and Craig, but that's it.  

The countdown is coming to a close in our deadline of being out of the old place by the end of the month.  I've been off work this week and Craig and I have typically been making a few trips to the old place to pack and clean, and then repeate.  I'd post pictures, but I don't even know where connector cables are at this point.  Even though we have a ton of unpacking here, I'll be thrilled to be all done with the old place and working on a more relaxed time frame.  While it's been stressful to move during school (getting migraines almost everyday!), I'm excited to have a the chill time after school where were are happily moved into our lovely loft!  Anyone want to come over for a pool side bbq?  We just need to find our towels, swimsuits, and get a bbq... at least we have a pool!

But despite the freak outs, pains, and the extra expenses, I'm can't wait to be settled it.  A little home with my fiancee and the kitties.  Yay.  Both Tesla and Curie are doing well with the new digs, and really enjoying scampering up and down the stairs.  Kelvin is doing ok, but like to spend a lot of time in the mattress frame of my bed.

My dad unfortunately, is not doing so hot.  They have to check his lungs, since he still has some flu-goo.  So they are bringing in the experts.  That's good at least, these people should at least know their shit.  Guess we can just take it one day at a time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Are We There Yet?

I'm amazed at how cluttered my room looks, despite the fact that 90% of the stuff that used to live there is now in boxes in the living room. Just over a week till we have to be out of the house, and I'm darn glad it's not February. We need the extra three days at the end of the month. So much stuff has yet to be moved. But I will not panic (a lot...). I think the stress is triggering a string of migraines I've been getting. Oh well, it will be over soon! Craig's friends and brother are coming over tomorrow to take care of the big stuff. I hate moving, but am actually looking forward to decorating the new place. There was a 'yard sale' we had at work after cleaning out storage. I have a great variety of vases and pillows for the new place.

The flu my dad has is like Swine Flu. And he might have pneumonia. Never a dull moment. My mom flew back to Chicago yesterday. We can only wait and see how things turn out.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Few Of My Favorite (Tiny) Things

Despite, or perhaps due to, the current things stressing me out, it's always good to remember why life rocks.  A few of my favorite things...

...are tiny!  Maybe it's cliche, but I love tiny foods, animals, and people.  

Tapas, hors d'oeuvres, prix fix menus, and especially sliders - I love small foods!  I think it's because I fill up fast, but love to try different foods.  A friend once said he figured out women, and that they love tapas and sangria, and that is pretty true. 


So small and so tasty!

And kittens!  Especially my kitten.  I don't have much to say here- but I wanted an excuse to post a video of Curie.  It's from right after we got her.  My roommate found her in the street, and she's a tiny, dirty 5-week old kitty.  But she was so sweet, even then.  I instantly melted and let Craig know we had another member of the family.

video

And babies!  I don't have time/money/maturity to care for a tiny person, so I do the next best thing.  I play with friend's babies!  A bunch of us went to see our friends Jessica and Zach's new baby, William.  He was 6 weeks old, and quite a bit bigger than Curie when she was that age (he's also less furry- is it unusual to compare a kitten to a baby?).  Us girls played 'pass the baby' while the boys played video games.  My favorite part was giving him a baby mohawk.  And he totally rocked it!

The Baby-hawk

Ahh yes, life is good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Seriously?

It's been a pretty smashing full day.  Full of what, you ask?

Data entry all day for a rush project at work.  So much data slowly turns my brain to mush.

However, leaving work, things must get better.  That's what I thought.  On the drive home from work, I talk to Mom and Craig, both on the phone.  I find out Dad still have a fever, and the flu.  Not sure what kind of flue.  Further tests needed.  But the hospital said be may be able to go back to the hotel soon- which is a good sign.  You have to stay at the hospital if you're really sick.

From Craig I learn my roommates and landlord are freaking out about rent.  I could have sworn we paid first and last month rent when we moved in.  I swear that's what the landlord said.  And damn it- turns out that what I thought was last month's rent was actually a security deposit.  Was not planning on paying rent this month- not with rent and deposit on the new place.  Just hoping to get most of the deposit back.

Then on to an unproductive conference call with my study group.  We attempted to meet on a call to save time.  Instead, the call was so ineffective, we're meeting tomorrow, in person.
I process to spend the next few hours packing and am a wee bit tired.

And yet....

Craig has been wonderful.  In addition to feeling better, he's taken charge of the move.  He will deal with roommates, landlords, the majority of the moving, and utilities.  What a guy!  Now it's true that he has more time without school and work, and I have to foot the bill with some of the larger checks, but he's really reduced my stress.  Always a plus for me!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hot and Sweaty Toil

Ok, so here is what's going on, in a nutshell:

  • Craig and I are moving
  • Summer class stared Saturday and already have a paper due in less than a week...
  • Work and figuring out long term plan (what I want to be when I grow up)
  • Dad was re-admitted to the hospital yesterday with a fever
  • Mom's back in CA for a week to make the house livable and 'stem cell safe'
  • Craig has been feeling ill on and off for a month now.  

I just need to take deep breaths to avoid a panic attack.  Actually, I'm not too panicked at the moment, but that may be from fatigue.  Got up early for a dentist appointment, then stayed up late for class.  Plus, yesterday was toiling around all day.

Mom is in town for a week, and Craig and I offered to help Mom get the house ready for my parents to move back in.  Having to leave for Chicago, in addition to my dad's untidy (I use the term very loosely) nature, has left their house looking like it just survive a tornado made out of paper.  So we moved boxes, shredded papers, and Craig did the heavy lifting.  It was pretty tiring - a lot like moving (which reminds me - we need to move OUR stuff...), but well worth it.  I think my mom seems a bit less stressed with the house a bit more clean and cleared out.  While we would have come down just to help, my mom fed us, in addition to other treats- such as odds and ends of things we picked up from the house.  Plus, we made out well at a Costco trip when we went there to pick up a battery for one of the cars.  All of the cars had dead batteries when we got to my parents' house from being idle for so long.

But I'd have to say the best part was being attacked by some guy in a jester costume.  He looks a lot Craig in an outfit that looks a lot like one of my old Halloween costumes we found in my parents' garage.

video

Note to self about tilting the camera while recording.

The worst part was finding Playboy magazines from the 70s... Some things a daughter never wants to find in her parents' home.

Unfortunately, we got an unfortunate call from an extremely groggy Dad as we were on our way to a well-deserved dinner (and for me a well-deserved cocktail).  He spiked a fever of 102 and had to be re-admitted to the hospital.  His sister is out with him in Chicago this week, but it seems the shit always hits the fan the moment my mom leaves him.  Or maybe the shit just hits the fan a lot.  Either way, my mom hadn't been gone 48 hours before a crisis.  Never a dull moment.

Since my mom has scheduled appointments for the house all week (cleaning, floor installations...) I asked Craig if he'd stay at my parents and deal with all that if the situation with Dad got works worse and Mom had to book an emergency flight back to Chicago before her original return date next week.  He said yes, and we told my mom.  There have been emergencies before where such trips were necessary.

That was last night.  This afternoon I got an update- Dad is still in the hospital with a fever, but it's less of a fever and he's doing better.  I just hope he'll improve, and my mom can stay out here for the week.  In addition to all the stuff around the house that needs to get done, she really needs a break.  If all goes well, I'll be dragging her out to Glen Ivy this Sunday for a much needed day of rest.  It's a precarious balance game of making sure Dad is ok, and that we don't all go crazy or get too worn out making sure he is ok.  As Mom says, "It's a marathon, not a sprint."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Hour Lost Souls


Getting out of work slightly early on Thursday, I decided to be semi-responsible. Responsibly, I went to the cafe Lost Souls and did some reading for school. Irresponsibly, I went during their happy hour. Because what goes better with Operations Management homework than a $3 sangria?


Lost Souls is a funky little cafe in downtown LA with a strong indie vibe and a bookshelf full of books and games to amuse one's self while enjoying a beverage.













Down an alley, it looks pretty shady from the outside. 
Inside, are couches, chairs, and even chairs on the ceiling. While I've been plenty of times during my lunch for a quiet place to study while eating a sandwich or enjoying a cup of their Soul Drip (coffee with condensed milk and half and half), but this was my first happy hour there. 

During their Monday through Friday happy hour from 5pm to 7pm, they serve $3 beers in addition to the sangria. They also do other fun stuff during their happy hour, such as performances by DJs, or display art from the Downtown LA Art Walk.  My sangria was over ice and brimming.  It was tart and sweet, and a lovely way to commence a long weekend.

Sadly, this was not my cup.

If you ever find yourself in downtown LA, I highly recommend Lost Souls.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Home Sweet (New) Home

Apparently this is the great summer of homecomings. Dad got to go to the hotel last Saturday. It's not quite going home, but it's a hell of a lot more home-like than the hospital. And considering they've been in Chicago for so many months, the hotel is a temporary home. I've talked to my folks, and it sounds like the worst is over. It's been weeks of hell, but the greatest danger has passed. It will be a long time before my dad's immune system fully recovers, but it's heading in that direction. Both my parents are dead tired, and there is a lot left to be done. But we'll take the good news and keep going one day at at time.

As for other homecomings, Craig and I have decided it's time to get our own place. Several things factored into this decision- such as getting engaged and my desire to be closer to school. Is it really safe to drive 30 miles at 11pm after a 3.5 hour accounting final? I think not! Of course, I also don't think it's really safe to take an accounting final at all.

It's been a whirlwind. In the last two weeks, we decided to get a place, went apartment hunting, and signed a lease. The manager seems really nice- a vast improvement from the one place we showed up at for our 10am appointment, and they asked us to come back Monday. Our new places is a lovely 1 bedroom 1 loft with a rooftop pool, little fireplace, dishwasher and beautiful high ceilings. While Craig and I were originally going to each take a room (which is how we've been living), we might make the upstairs the bedroom with a loung/den of inequity downstairs. The neighborhood is only a little sketchy, but the parking is locked and gated. I'm very excited, though a bit nervous about fitting in a move with school resuming in a week... Housewarming party to come.


I was dying of anxiety to tell the roomies, since finding new roommates for them could be a pain. I was truly dreading the moment of, "Hey guys, we're getting our own place." But my fears were unnecessary. They pretty much said, "Ok. Thanks for the notice." Fortunately, with the odd way our rent was set up in the middle of the month, we're paid through mid-August. So that at least give them time to find other peeps. Just goes to show that worrying doesn't solve things, and often just wastes energy.




Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Hour Pops for Champagne

For another great happy hour Mom and I hit up was at Pops For Champagne. And I now my favorite food accessory is truffle oil. Mmmmm.... Nothing says decadence quite like truffle Gouda cheese. It explains the new plethora of truffle items on my Amazon wish list (hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more). A plate of that fantastic cheese started off our fantastic happy hour.

Vie en Rose
Of course, it wouldn't be proper to go to a champagne bar and not get champagne. Mom got a glass of bubbly, and I enjoyed their cocktail "Vie en Rose," which consisted of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, a sugar cube, Peychaud Bitters, and Brut Champagne. Indeed, life was good.

Blue Crab Packets
We ordered their truffle-Parmesan chicken wings, but they took over an hour. In the meantime, we munched on fries with garlic aioli, scallops, and blue crab packets- which consisted of crab, green tomatoes, avocado, and curry mayonnaise. It was bite-size 
heaven. Eventually, the wings came, by which I was on my second glass of bubbly.
Scallops