Saturday, February 28, 2009

in retrospect

I don't even remember what I was looking for in my email, but I had typed in a couple of search words and before I knew it, that email was staring me in the face. Yeah - that email. The one that I thought I had deleted a long time ago.

I hadn't talked to him in months and then one day in my inbox, there was an email. It wasn't directed at me - it was a general email inviting me to a general goodbye dinner. Those go around every few months or so - but seeing the email from him was what made the difference. I was feeling sassy and replied that I wouldn't be going.

Looking back, I'm not sure what got me in more trouble - his email or mine. What ensued in the hours after those emails were sent was nothing but trouble.

Some good friends gave me some advice at that time that I'd look back and see the good that had come from that. For the record, I have. In abundance. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My World Is Too Small To Not Go Exploring.

Today I bit the bullet and decided that I have to take advantage of situations as they present themselves. I'm pretty good at it already, but this time, I had to be serious. A common misconception is that I have an enormous amount of vacation time at work. Don't be fooled - I'm just great at taking weekend trips and maximizing the time that I have. (And I have about a month including Christmas break)

Just within this past week, I secured not only two, but three vacations for myself. As if my trip to Greece wasn't enough this November...

Go ahead. Hate me, but I'll be in Duck Beach, Mallorca and Mexico with or without you, so I'd recommend just loving me instead.

If you're looking for me come May, you can find me at the beach. Until then, you can probably find me doing this:

or using this:

So pretty much, I'll be hating myself.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Give, Said The Little Stream of Consciousness

During the day I think of all sorts of things to blog about. I think about how I'm seriously lacking in the cute coat department. How the jackets I wear to work every day tend to look more like this:than this:

or about various other things like if Blair grew a mustache, he would look like this:

and how when I saw Swan Lake last night, I honestly thought to myself, "This reminds me of a story I've heard before..." True story - but I'm not too proud to admit it.

Really though, the ballet was wonderful. So so beautiful.

and how funny kids are...

But other than that, my life is fairly mundane.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why the hate?

My friend Jill from college has a blog that I wish you all had access to. She inspires. In fact, she halfway inspired the post you are about to read.

Last weekend when I was in San Diego, we ate dinner at Aaron's sister's house. Dinner was great, and I felt lucky to be included on their family reunion dinner. The host, Amy, put cards on all of our plates, which were conversation starters. Halfway through dinner, we all took turns reading our cards and talking about our answers. My question went something like this: "What is the best fast food restaurant in your opinion?" Well, in case you forgot, my love for Taco Bell is enduring. As soon as the words left my lips, I was booed and the crowds went wild saying how disgusting it is.

Why the hate??

The question wasn't "What is the best restaurant ever?" That would be a much more complicated answer. I mean - if the question was "What is the best taqueria down the street from your house?" Easy - Taqueria Buen Sabor. Duh.

Stop hating on my Taco Bell, people. I know it isn't "real" Mexican food. I also know that a hot dog is composed of some of the most disgusting things ever. I still eat those at sporting events. And let's be honest. Hot dogs are WAY worse than Taco Bell.

And another thing. Why the hate on Duck Beach? My roommate and I were discussing this today on our 5 mile run. I hear it often "Oh I would NEVER go to Duck Beach."

What do you have against Dippity Dippity Dip?

Or sand castle building competitions on the beach?

I could go on - but really? Why the hate? There are few things in life that I love more than Memorial Day at Duck Beach.

And on a completely unrelated non-hate issue, I got tickets the other day to see the following person in about 5 weeks:

Oh, there are good times to come.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

San Diego Recap

I had a problem the other night - my shift key wouldn't work, which prevents me from logging into my blog and somehow at work they've figured out how to block the blogger dashboard. Dag nabit! Ah well. So here I am blogging on Saturday for your weekend enjoyment.

This last weekend in San Diego was good. Really good. I was pretty busy though, and didn't find a whole lot of time to take pictures. I spent the better part of Friday in a car with the bride and groom and not to say that wasn't riveting, ...ahem..., but car pictures aren't so exciting. So I decided to spare you. One of my favorite things about being a bridesmaid is that even though you're there because you're friends with the bride, you typically don't spend much time with her. There is much more quality time spent with bridesmaids. Usually, these are people that I've never met before, but because we have good friends in common, it isn't hard to become fast friends. Of course this happened with Arianne. We were quite the dynamic duo for the big wedding weekend. Printing 8x10" pictures at Wal-Mart minutes while the luncheon was going, check. Giving the photographer attitude because she didn't listen to the bride's request for picture taking order and then proceeded to take forever long with the photos, check. Yeah - when you need someone around who isn't afraid to give someone attitude when they deserve it, bring me along. ...

So yeah - here we are at Blair's parents house, with San Diego sprawled out behind us. Quite an amazing view, isn't it?

Serendipity stepped in and two of my dearest friends from SF who now live in LA came to the reception. It didn't even dawn on me that they would be there. After a stressful day with hair issues and wardrobe malfunctions, this was exactly what the doctor ordered. Oh how I heart Todd and Dan. Really, really heart them.

After the reception, my best friend from high school who also happened to be vacationing in San Diego picked me up. I saw this little guy last July in North Carolina, but to get a smile from him like this was one of the highlights of my entire weekend:

As you all know, I've taken up running over the past few years. Jacque is my running idol. I've been at the finish line for a few races that she's run over the years and so when I told her that I'd taken up running as my new hobby, she was shocked. (To say the least.) On Monday afternoon, she asked me to go for a run even though rain was eminent. We only went about 4 miles - (yes, Jacque, I looked it up) but we had to get a picture for proof. I'm pretty sure she's still in shock that we went for a run together.

And what have I been up to the last few nights? Sewing patches (WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING PATCHES) on my friend's bag. He's been allowing me to schlep his bag around the world the past year and so in exchange, I got patches of all the places I've taken his bag so that he can have proof. After 3 days, I finally getting feeling back in my pointer finger from pushing the needle through all those *(&#(*$&! layers of fabric.

Also - here is a picture of my incredibly straight hair. I am loving every second of it. If you'd like more info on where to get this done - for only $120(I paid over $550 the first time) I can totally hook you up. Because I'm generous like that.

Have a fabulous weekend. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And it isn't even Tuesday...

guess which office needs to go on a diet? ha

guess what time it is?????

My life - it can be so complicated.

Today at work I sat in a small conference room for a long time. My boss calls it the submarine because it has no windows and you might as well be underwater if you're in there all day long like we've been for the past few months. I checked the news on my random mental breaks and found these two articles on the news: One and Two.

My Dad just left London yesterday - and he flies around in helicopters fairly frequently and believe it or not, my Mother is on a cruise right now between Chile and Argentina. For a few minutes, I thought I might be an orphan. The email I sent my Dad went something like this:

"Are you alive? Is Mom OK? If Mom is stuck in Antarctica for too long, she might come home with a penguin coat or something. Please write me back ASAP."

My mother, as it turns out, is not one of the passengers on board the stuck cruise ship - they are a few days ahead of her in their route, I suppose, so unless the captain of the boat would like to have a Titanic reenactment, my guess is that they will be staying far away from any possibility of hitting land. From my Dad's response, it sounds like she is having a good time with her friends at the bottom of the globe.

I have few pictures from this last weekend, but I will do my best to put them up tomorrow. Just so you know what is coming:
  • I had to get my hair cut today to repair some damage done by the woman who did my hair for the wedding.
  • I took no pictures of the bride and groom. I was too busy handing out bridesmaid bouquets and corsages/boutonnieres - and fixing my malfunctioning wardrobe.
  • I had an amazing time with my fellow bridesmaid, Arianne. Together, we are the best bridesmaids ever.
  • I spent two great days with Jacque, Aaron, and miscellaneous family. With Jacque, any place feels like home.
Along with getting my hairs cut today, I got my hairs straightened also. Ah, the bliss of having straight hair and no fly-aways. To those of you with naturally straight hair, a thousand curses on you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm still recovering from this weekend. My flight was delayed 4 hours on Monday evening, so I haven't been the most chipper today. In fact, I'm spending my evening in piles of laundry with an early bedtime looming in my future.

Pictures from the weekend to come.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sunny Diego - I hope

This week I felt like all the creative juice for blog posting was zapped out of me since I was stuck in meetings for the majority of the time. There were some highlights and some lowlights, but over all, it was a busy week and I'm excited for this weekend to finally get here.

And I'm for sure not the only ones. Just look at this amazing couple who is getting hitched on Saturday. From the moment I met Blair, I knew that he was the right one for Deb. Seriously - any guy who would be willing to wear a mullet wig the first time he meet's the friends of the girl he is dating has to be cool.

And just to give him a break, here's a picture of the two of them in San Diego a few months ago. They sure are in lurvvveee.

So yeah - that's where I'll be until Monday night. And since you know me - I'm a pro at making the most of my weekends - I'm also spending some quality time with these crazy folks. How ironic that they planned a trip to San Diego over the same weekend that I'm a bridesmaid for the tenth time. Even if it rains - this trip is going to be good. Real good.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm So Happy To Be A Woman

Recently I've been listening to a lot of This American Life. This morning, I listed to an episode specifically on Testosterone. How incredibly enlightening. Have you heard it? I think that you should listen to it - especially if you are a woman. Fascinating!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In Which I Want My House To Be Clean With Minimal Effort

Sometimes, the thought of deep cleaning my living space is slightly overwhelming. A few years ago, I saw this chart over at Real Simple and I think about it all the time. Is that weird? In an effort to make cleaning an easier task for me to undertake, I put all these cleaning items in a google calendar so that most days, I have one cleaning task. {You all use your google calendar, right? Maybe I should make an entire post about using one - but really. Amazing. Life changing.} If you already have a google calendar that you use(but why wouldn't you use it if you had it?) then feel free to email me at stephzundel at gmail and I will share mine with you. I didn't put every single little thing on my calendar since I don't have hardwood floors or fabric shades, but if this would help you organize your life, I am more than happy to help.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

In 2009, dreams still do come true. I saw the Chinese New Year's Parade in its entirety on Saturday - and what a great parade it was. I'm not sure what it is about parades that I love so much. Maybe the crows, the sense of community, the singing, dancing, etc. All of it. So great. I was having problems locating my camera battery charger for a few days, so here are the mobile pictures...

After the parade, I went with a few friends to see "He's Just Not That Into You." When I read the book, all I could think was "Why am I reading this? It is making me feel like crap about myself." I really hated it. The message of the book is that "you are the rule - NOT the exception like you want to believe you are." Then, of course at the end of the movie, all the women turn out to be the exception instead of the rule. Lame, lame, lame. And more than lame, this movie will have the ability to make you feel more awkward than you ever have been before in a theater. Yikes.

Needless to say, I bolted out of church yesterday before I could talk to any males because now I have a complex. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

And now for some good news - my friend Kristine was in London this past weekend and happened to be in Liverpool station when a reenactment of this happened. Awesome.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Play it now, Play it now.

This weekend should be fun - I'm planning on attending the Chinese New Year's Parade for the first time since I've lived in San Francisco. For various reasons, I've been out of town or unable to attend every other year. I'm not letting anything get in my way this time. I'm not even sure if it will be that exciting. Regardless, I'm going, rain or shine.

I'm also hanging out with some lovely ladies tonight - which may or may not include brigadeiro. There goes my healthy eating. I can't resist the stuff. If you ever come across it, you shouldn't even try. And for your viewing pleasure, here's our friend Matt More - I mean Neil Diamond singing my favorite song of the moment.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday Links

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'd Much Rather Be, Forever In Blue Jeans

It seems that a frequent topic of conversation for me lately is that my life isn't quite what my blog portrays it to be. Or not even that - the conversations revolve around the fact that my blog normally portrays my life to be so fun - not a care in the world, that I'm always happy, etc.

I know that we've covered this before, but that was a while ago, so let's have a reminder.

While I do have a yellow personality which lends itself to me finding adventurous and fun things to do instead of *gasp* work, my life isn't always hunky dory. Because I know that a lot of people read my blog - family, friends from high school, friends from church, coworkers, etc., my posts can't just be about whatever is going on in my life.

I can't exactly post about:
  • running into my crush and consecutively thinking about him nonstop for the next 5 days straight - even though we've already had the "let's just be friends" talk.
  • going on a bad date
  • the time I cried myself to sleep
  • all the amazing things I found on the interweb that I think you should buy even though I don't own them myself.
  • crazy things that happen in my family.
  • disagreements with friends.
There are obvious advantages to being an anonymous blogger - you can say what you want to say and no one "really" knows who you are. However, I am not one of those people. I don't blog about the mundane things - you know, like laundry, or how I'm putting myself on a strict budget after reading Confessions of a Shopaholic. Blech - no one cares about those things. So to my friends and family out there who make comments to me about my life being so fun, just remember that it is, but that I'm real. and that I hope I convey that once and a while without getting too personal.

And since you might be wondering what spawned this post, I was reading a blog recently of someone that I know and everything just seems to be so perfect from the outside. But is it? There is also a well known blogger out there that I've met on several occasions and let me tell you - NOT the person that everyone thinks they are. Maybe including themselves. Is that mean? Should I have said that? I think I just did. And to some well known bloggers out there who are hoping that I didn't just call you out, you can rest assured that it isn't you. I don't think this person reads my blog like you do. Whew!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Just a note.

I just have to put it out there.

Music on blogs - really? I can pretty much guarantee that if you have music on your blog, that means that you do not have a job. I mean, I love my job, but thank you for mocking me while I sit at my desk.

Also - summaries on Google Reader, I hate you. If you have a summary on my reader, I am deleting you by the end of the day unless you change your evil ways.

That is all.

You And Me, We Go In Style.

Heidi emailed me the pictures from this past weekend, so although I'm sure she will have her own post about the days we spent together, here you go. Seriously, the weather could not have been more perfect. That's the awesome/horrible thing about San Francisco. You cannot predict the weather or count on the weather to correspond with nationwide average temperatures for the month. In August it could be 30 degrees just like it was 70 degrees in January last weekend.

I really think that we enjoyed every last second of it though.

On Saturday morning, we made our way to Chinatown via Union Square and the Westfield Shopping Center. With the economy in the dumpster, there weren't many crowds like I thought there would be on a Saturday. We decided to fore go breakfast so that we could get dim sum in Chinatown. Anyone in SF have a good dim sum recommendation? The place we went wasn't bad, but I have a feeling that I'm missing out on something spectacular.

If you walk all the way through Chinatown, you finally get to North Beach, and one of my all time favorite spots, the City Lights bookstore. Heidi loves books almost as much as I do, and let me tell you - I have to convince myself to leave every time.

Then on to Washington Square to sit on a bench and enjoy the sun. While we were just sitting there minding our own business, some people in the middle of a scavenger hunt approached us, asking if they could take us for a piggy back ride. Um yes. Who am I to turn something like that down?

Ok so maybe when I said that we were just sitting on a bench minding our own business, we really weren't. We were really just watching people in fancy clothes walk in and out of this church. Definitely not our own business. We maybe even went in the church after the wedding was over to take a look at the bride while pictures were being taken.

We continued on our journey down Columbus St. and passed Bimbo's 365, where we had seen Super Diamond the night before.

And no, the journey didn't stop there -we continued on to pick up LaNae where she is living temporarily down by the Embarcadero. Here is the view from her living room. Seriously. That night we went to a dance down in Palo Alto. We stayed until I danced with my crush. After that, what else did I need to stay for? Yeah - nothing.

Sunday was a relaxing day - and before we could hit up any Superbowl parties, we went to Baker Beach to enjoy the weather some more - and my previous roommate from Provo joined us. I don't think life gets much better than this.

Or does it?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Good Times Never Seemed So Good

{So good! So good! So good!}

My weekend was fab. San Francisco couldn't have treated me better, thankyouverymuch. Having Heidi in town was so great. We explored, we danced, we sang, we laughed, we talked about boys, and we ate Mexican food more than once. Well, maybe there was more than that, but since Heidi is the only one who took pictures, you'll have to wait for her to post about it to get more details. In the meantime, I found this on flickr:

And if you think that seeing a Neil Diamond sound-alike (I mean - they don't really look alike...) was the best thing about my night, you'd be wrong. But don't misunderstand - singing Sweet Caroline in a room full of drunk people will go down in history as one of my favorite things I've done in San Francisco. You're curious now, aren't you?