Sunday, May 30, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

05.28.10


the wetlands at the outerbanks

05.27.10



remember that time that Liz passed out at the airport when we were on our way to duck beach and I took a photo of her while she was lying on the ground?? Yeah, good times.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I need your help

I am looking for a few good songs to add to my weekend playlist.

What is on your summer 2010 playlist?

I'd like your suggestions!

Here are some examples of what I already have:

Alejandro - Lady Gaga
All the Pretty Girls - Fun.
Your Love Is My Drug - Ke$ha

Leave your suggestions in the comments. Or if you don't feel comfortable being a public stalker, shoot me an email - stephzundel at gmail.

Deadline for this is 7pm PST tonight, May 27.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

05.26.10

view from my boss's office. alcatraz and angel island are beyond the hotel roof.

It isn't my fault

Last night Amy and I went to an Afro-Cuban dance class. Here are my thoughts.

This is generally what Afro-Cuban dancing looks like:


This is what we did at class. In that video, the women are all talking about the way their ancestors danced and how they feel the rhythm that way. So I thought to myself: "Let me see what beat my ancestors were feeling..."

Please see exhibit A, traditional English dancing:


Exhibit B, Norwegian folk dancing:


And finally, exhibit C, Swedish folk dancing:


From now on, I'm blaming my ancestors.

05.25.10



what most of the people were wearing at my Afro-Cuban dance class tonight.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I wish I were still there.

Thanks to Derek and his amazing camera for these great photos on Sunday.




More photos to come soon.

Monday, May 24, 2010

05.24.10

my new obsession.

In Case You Were Wondering

I've been getting a lot of personal questions lately about Darrel.

Since he reads my blog, I've been wary of putting much information out there, but I've come to a point where I have stopped caring. I realized last week that for the last 7 months, I've been busy caring about a man who only cares about himself. He says he wants me but is unwilling to make appropriate changes to make it happen. Biggest cop-out I've ever heard.

So.

Yeah.

In case you were wondering, we're no longer in contact.

GOOD. DAY. TO. YOU.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

05.23.10

In the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Saturday, May 22, 2010

05.22.10

just one of the amazing things you can buy in puerto penasco, mexico.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Thank You For Being A Friend

I know that I say that I have the best friends out there, but I really do. Need proof? Of course you do.

Example 1: Last night Amy used the epilator on the back of my thigh so that I could stand the pain.

Example 2: Last night Tracy waxed the rest of my thigh where I wouldn't allow Amy to use said epilator. I didn't even flinch with the waxing after using the torture device. Seriously. And she was waxing a more sensitive area, if you know what I mean. And you do. Right?

Example 3: This morning I sent an email to about 9 of my girlfriends with some personal drama which naturally lead to the planning of my funeral, as follows:

Me: Kristy is already working on my eulogy because I think I might have an anxiety attack sometime soon and die.

Nice knowing you all.

Me to Kim
:
Please start preparing a song for my funeral. If you and Zach could collaborate on Beyonce's Halo, that would be amazing.

Thanks in advance.


Silvia:
Oh my gosh even my heart beat faster now ... I am having a heart attack ....
what are you going to do Steph? I am so nervous now

Me: Kim has already agreed to sing at my funeral. If you and Justin could dance, that would be great.

Kristy:
HAAAAA HA HA HAAAAAA

that's all I have to say.

oh and this
BAHHAHAAA HA HA HA HA AAAAAA

Lanae:
Let's chat soon, I need more details.

p.s. I can take care of the floral arrangements ;)

Silvia:
ok I think we can manage to dance for sure !!! Maybe some salsa to make it more fun ...

Kristy:
Steph does like herself a mean Salsa! Can you do it on the casket is the question!? With Lanae's flowers in your mouth?

Liz:
After the salsa I volunteer to properly wail and scream and fall into
your grave after you.

Jackie:
along those lines....i know a great photographer.

Steph:
Steph, this is shaping up to be the best funeral I will have ever attended and I am staring to look forward to it (not the you dying part but the entertainment). This will surely beat out the motorcycle gang/christian revival out door concert funeral I went to a few years back in the middle of nowhere, ID.

Veronica:
I'm envisioning feather boas and sequins. Lots of sequins.

Lanae:
With guac too! I think what also would be nice is an ice sculpture.

Me:
Don't forget about serving tacos. And v, I'm glad I've been working out so that I can throw myself into that vat of chocolate in a string bikini and stilettos.

Kim:
Hold it...this is beginning to sound more like a bachelorette party than a funeral.

Thanks to my good friends, I am going to have the most awesome funeral ever. Hope you all can come. I, for one, will be sad to miss it.

05.18.10

torture device closeup. i am now a hair removal expert. if you would like details, just ask me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Epilator Review

So I've tried all sorts of things for hair removal: threading, waxing, home waxing, etc. I'm going to Mexico this weekend and had been growing out my leg hair so I could get waxed. Unfortunately, the lady who regularly does the job was unavailable before I leave, so I had a few options.

1. Shave
2. Go to someone else to get waxed - this scares me and to go to someone professional who is also cheap is unheard of (except for my usual lady).
3. Use Nair or Veet.
4. Home wax - very messy and not very easy to do on your own.
5. Use an epilator.

Now - lets get a few things straight. I was doing a product review of Nair & Veet when I came across the review for an epilator made by Braun. This specific machine received over 950 reviews on Amazon and got 4.5 stars out of 5. Yep. That's pretty good. So I did some research and here's what I found.

For less than the cost of a wax job, I could buy an epilator. So I called up Bed, Bath, and Beyond to make sure that they had what I wanted, and picked it up after work and within a few hours, I was ready to go.

I knew in advance that it was going to hurt, so I just told myself that I could take it. If I can handle waxing, I can handle this. After doing my own leg for about 15 minutes, I let Amy take over since it seemed easier for me to bear the pain that someone else was inflicting. Below is a photo of both my legs after one of them had been done. Yep, my right leg is super hairy. And my left leg is swollen from the epilation. And pink.

I took a photo of my leg right before I went to bed last night, and although you could think that this was a photo of the Thanksgiving turkey, it is indeed my leg.

And to make you feel a little better, here is my leg today. See? Not red at all and quite smooth.
In all of the product reviews, it was said that the underarms were the worst and I actually did most of that myself without too much pain. I will need some help finishing up the back of my legs later tonight though and it takes quite a bit of time. Remind me in a few weeks and I will let you know how my leg hair is growing out. I am pretty convinced that if I use this thing about twice a week, it will be a lot less painful and keep new hairs at bay. All in all, much like waxing, but a lot slower.

But in case you are wondering, it did hurt. Tonight I will be taking some advil before I begin to help ease the sting a bit. And...AND...many thanks to Amy for her help.

If you'd like to read the reviews on Amazon, click here. They are quite entertaining.

05.17.10

now that is a true friend.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend!

Last weekend was a blur for the most part. Where do my weekends go?? Not much different than work days; just parties during the day instead of just at night. I was in Monterey for work on Friday and you know me - not enjoying myself at all.

Exhibit A: Bonfire on the beach


Exhibit B: Sufing. With clothes on, apparently.

I also spent time with lots of friends this weekend - and you all know how much I love that. And then I spent hours reading that book, too! Oh, that is heaven.

And now for hell:

Some say it is a medieval torture device. Tomorrow, I will report back and tell you myself. Until then, maybe you should pray for my soul. Or for the pain I will surely feel in my legs.

05.16.10



i think everyone should read this book, but kim, i'm thinking especially of you.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

05.14.10



these are supposed to be chocolate but I am skeptical...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

05.13.10

yep.

Thoughts on a Thursday

1. Went to see Peter Pan last night. It was great. If you are here in San Francisco, you should go. Other than seeing the 3D action and feeling like I was in London and having emotional pain, it was one of the best things I've seen in a while.

2. Last weekend Kristy & Heidi were in town. On Saturday, we went on a walking tour of China town & the California Academy of Sciences with Erica & Silvia.

That evening, we went to see Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla at New People in Japantown. Last showing is tonight, so get on it, people! We were loving the movie so much that we were taking photos of the screen. Rare. Very rare.

And of course we ate at a lot of the hot spots around San Francisco - Bob's Donuts (Please feed me a buttermilk donut on my death bed), MarketBar, La Taqueria, Milano's, BiRite, Gott's(formerly Taylor's Refresher).

3. I signed up for 8 passes at the ODC Dance Commons. I can take 8 classes of my choosing for the next 90 days. Bhangra anyone?

4. I think that Amy and I are going to sign up for a Duathalon. Who is in?

5. Going to Monterey tonight for a work thing that I have tomorrow & Saturday. Good news - I get to see Derek & Angie tonight. Bad news - I'm working in Monterey for the next few days.

6. Bay to Breakers is on Sunday and I still haven't run in it yet. I even made plans earlier this year to run it with someone and surprise - he bailed! Story of my life, people. If you are running in it and love me, call me. We'll work something out.

05.12.10

saw peter pan tonight.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

05.11.10

not really in a bad mood, but appropriate anyway.

Monday, May 10, 2010

05.10.10

amy hoding the weights by her showder.

05.09.10

who needs a man when you've got an uzi?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

05.06.10

prayers are answered. sometimes, right when you need it.

This Week's Report

This week has been fairly low-key, for which I have been super grateful. I finished reading the book Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner on Tuesday. Have you read it? Definitely one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. No major drama, no major crisis to resolve - just a good story about two couples who are friends. I really can't recommend it enough. If you are looking for a good summer read, try it. You won't be sorry.

I think that one of the reasons this book brought me a lot of comfort this week was that it shows the beauty of friendships that last through the years. I have felt strongly recently that change is coming. I've been in San Francisco for almost six years and although nothing has happened yet that would call for any type of announcement, I can just feel things churning internally and externally. Get ready world, here it comes. Sometimes the only thing that is constant in our lives is change. Relationships constantly change and even though a relationship might still exist over the years, it morphs and becomes something new every day along the way.

Last week my mom called me to say that my Grandma's condo sold in Salt Lake City. She and my grandfather only lived there for a few years before he died and she moved into an assisted living center close to my mom. My mom asked me if there was anything that I wanted from the condo before they cleaned it out. I already have a painting of my grandmother's and I do have two small blue chairs from her living room, so I declined to take anything else. I just have a photo of my grandparents on my wall at work as a small reminder of the happiness they've given me. Small reminders that I am getting older and that my grandmother is never moving back to the condo are just tugging at my heart strings today.

One minute things feel all nice and stable and the next second, everything is all up in the air again. ...

Anyone want to quit their job and move to Spain with me for the summer?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

05.05.10

today i am wearing a side braid and a track jacket to work.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

05.04.10

my house.

Ironman St. George

Last weekend was Rita's Ironman in St. George. And because I like to be supported when I need it, I flew out to support Rita in her time of need. Maybe I also was itching to leave the state and hang with Kristy for a day.

Kristy and I stayed with some of her brother's friends and when we noticed that they had 2 couches, we immediately pushed them together to make a "hot tub" a-la Zach Pond's house. Unfortunately, this tub was a great deal smaller than Zach's, so Kristy dubbed it "The Birthing Tub". Imagine the two of us sleeping in that thing. Also imagine legs and arms hanging off the sides while we slept for about 3 hours.

We had to get up at 5:15am to make it to the parking lot in time to catch the bus that took us to the startling line for Rita's race. The gun shot went off at 7am on the dot, right after the National Anthem was sung karaoke style in the early morning light. Then the scene looked a little like this...

...and this. I know for a fact that several people got hypothermia in that water. Brr!

a few hours later, we got a huge smile from Rita as she moved on to the second event.

And off she went to start on her 112 mile bike ride.

And then we were off on our 183 mile tour around southern Utah.
Aren't the mountains there beautiful?

Of course Kristy and I had to go to Colorado City. I've dressed like them before, so I wanted to see them with my own two eyes. So strange!

Turns out that people don't quite finish their houses there since it is a way to avoid paying taxes on them. Yet again, strange.

It was a Saturday morning, so we saw lots of people out and about. My boss says this looks just like it does in "Big Love." I guess I'll take her word for it. :)

Other than strange people in unfinished houses, there's nothing else to see in Colorado City, so we were off to Kanab and to Frontier Movie Town! Yeehaw!

Behind a little tourist shop there is a yard with old movie sets and props. Reminded me of Portugal Dos Pequenitos, but for Country Westerns or something.

"Go faster, Bessie!"

And maybe it is because I have "Gone With the Wind" on my mind, but I fear that I look a little like Belle Watling in this photo.

Kristy enjoyed the porch and watching her cows go out to pasture...

And all I could think was that I was making Rachael jealous, by being dead.
(inside joke? was it funny for anyone but me or rachael?)

Ok enough silly pictures from Frontier Movie Town and Kanab. Westward, ho! On to the Moqui Cave. I guess the cave was once a bar/dancehall in the 50's. Now it is a museum that pays respect to one of its previous owners, Garth Chamberlain. His son Lex now owns the cave and he has a lot of artifacts such as dinosaur tracks, glowing rocks, and other family memorabilia. Nice people, those Chamberlains.

The next stop on our tour was at Zions National Park. I didn't look at the map closely enough to realize that we had to drive through Zions to get to our next destination, but it was a super bonus that we got to drive through. Kristy had never been, and the last time I went was about 8 years ago, and I didn't remember just how amazing it was. What a beautiful place. If you haven't been, go. And here we are, looking our finest. (remember - 3 hours of sleep, no showers, up since 5:30, etc.)



Going west from Zions back to St. George, you drive through the town of Springdale, which was next on our stop. Bumbleberry Pie was something we both wanted to try. Don't ask what a bumbleberry is - something to do with fairies and giggling huckleberries. We even heard someone calling it bumblebee pie on our way out. This lady who served us the pie was quite upset that I wanted vanilla ice cream with my pie instead of bumbleberry ice cream. Lady, have you ever heard of bumbleberry overkill? :)

But it was delicious.

On our way back into St. George we stopped at the Historical Museum in Hurricane, Utah. The most disgusting/awesome thing in the museum is this piece of 103 year old fruit cake. Not even kidding. It was made in 1907 and apparently is here in the museum to show you how resilient fruit cake is? Or maybe to convince you never to eat it? Maybe they should be having a competition between a McDonald's Happy Meal and the Hurricane Fruit Cake. Wow.

And back to St. George to see Rita at mile 13 of her marathon. Still smiling. Since we are both at home now, we have laughed about how much caffeine she had that day because as she ran by us at mile 13, she yelled at us that she wanted us to all come over that night to hang out. hahaha. Let me just say that after running a marathon, I was not asking people to come over. hahaha! Rita is so awesome.

Cafe Rio for dinner and then back to the finish line to see her bring it home. 14 hours and 59 minutes of competition. And here she is, smiling and high-fiving the spectators as she crosses the finish line. SOOOOO amazing. She put in the hours, people. Only missed 1 workout the entire time she was training. And she didn't have just 1 workout a day - it was always at least 2. Can you believe that? Yep, she's awesome.

Here is our group of cheerleaders after Rita finished. Somehow this is the only photo of the poster Uzi and I made. But it was seen by Rita several times. :)

Sunday morning I decided at the last minute to go to the Grand Canyon. I mean - it is on my bucket list, and my flight wasn't until about 9pm that night out of Vegas. I was up and at'em at 6am Sunday morning and by 11am, I was looking at this. And yelling expletives, as previously mentioned.

I think my mom was sad that I wasn't there sharing it with anyone, but there were strangers there who took my photo. Plus, although you can't tell from the photo, it was snowing. And it was freezing. I did not want to be out of the car any more than necessary. May in Arizona and it was freezing. Yep. Believe me.

Then of course I pulled over at Flinestone-ville or Bedrock, or something on my way to Vegas because why wouldn't you? It is a hotel and little tourist stop. I didn't pay to go in, but I maybe should have. Maybe I'd like to stay at the hotel one day. Just because that would be hilarious.

And a few hours later, I was at the Hoover Dam, stuck in traffic for more than 3 hours. Damn traffic, I tell you! Seriously though - we were at a standstill for more than an hour, so I made friends with the car behind me and took a nap. Since I'm friendly like that. And when the traffic started to move, they came and knocked on my window and told me to wake up. Friendly people in Arizona. There is a new bridge being built over the damn dam to help traffic move faster, which is pretty necessary considering all the tourists and that it is BY FAR the fastest way to get from Arizona to Las Vegas. 'Bout time, people. 'bout time.

I was glad that I had driven fast enough to be able to put 3 extra hours into my schedule on Sunday and make it to the airport on time for my flight.

A few lessons I re-learned this weekend:
  1. Rita is amazing.
  2. Kristy is hilarious. We have the best time together.
  3. I run into people I know EVERYWHERE I go.
  4. Cheering for people based on what they are wearing is always the way to go. Screaming "Way to go deep V-neck tank!" or "Keep it up backwards visor!" can keep you entertained for hours. Thank you to Scott Porter for helping me see the light with that.
PS - here are some more photos that Ann took if you'd like to see more of how awesome Rita is. I know you do. Here are the rest of Uzi and I's photos if you'd like to look at them too.