Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Parisian Valentine

Chris and I have been talking about going to Paris forever. We dream about it all the time, just waiting for the right stars to align so we can make it happen. I can just see us alternately hoofing it around town to hit every museum and taking leisurely sidewalk-cafe breaks.

Since Paris is probably a ways off for us, Chris created a mini City of Love for Valentine's Day.

Breakfast was crepes with lemon and sugar. (Go Chris! So well-made!) Treats for later include yummy cheese with French bread, a madeleine, macarons, and bubbly, all from Monsieur Marcel at The Grove Farmer's Market.

Plus, some literature to facilitate our dreaming...and a cute little jar to help us save for our trip.
Update: We also had a delicious dinner at Meet, a great French bistro in our town. We had made reservations ages ago so that we could celebrate Valentine's with a shared order of mussels and frites! We got a cozy table nestled against the wall and opted to try the "bisque" mussels, which were new to us (I'm sorta boring and usually just love the regular old white wine-and-shallot broth). They were incredible. Plus, the combination of the cold night and the small restaurant gave me NYC flashbacks (in a good way). I daresay this was my favorite Valentine's ever!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Teleflora Super Bowl response

I know this has been over for a week now, but it's still bugging me, so I have to vent it out on my blog. Did anyone see the Teleflora Super Bowl ad featuring Adriana Lima? I've been torn about venting because I don't want to give them any more publicity for producing such disgusting truck. But I can't help it. So that their STUPID ad doesn't get any more hits, here's the gist: Sexy model is getting dressed in lingerie and tells guys they just need to "give" (flowers) to "receive" (sex) on Valentine's Day. GROSS.

So wrong in so many ways, but to be real short about it, not only is this sexist and degrading as all get-go, it's also DEPRESSING as hell, presenting intimacy as a transaction.

Even though about half of Super Bowl viewers are women, advertisers still go the sexist route. I am used to this and prepared myself to roll my eyes at a handful of scantily-clad cheerleaders handing dudes a beer. This truly went above and beyond gross, so I felt compelled to write those jerks a letter. Here's the response I got:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about our commercial. We have
passed your comments along to our management and advertising team.
Despite the fact that we have been around for 75 years, we are a small
company and we are trying innovative ways to break through the clutter
with our advertising. Teleflora is proud to support our network of
16,000 local florists around the country. These are small businesses
who make up the backbone of our country.

We are sending you a $10 gift certificate to thank you for your
feedback. We hope that you will see for yourself the Teleflora
difference of a hand-designed and hand-arranged bouquet, delivered by
your local florist.

THIS is even more disappointing for several reasons:

1) It does not apologize.
2) It actually sort of insults/places the blame with ME: You must be un-American, because WE support small businesses. And by not getting behind us, you fail to support your country.
3) Their excuse utterly fails. They're trying "innovative" ways to break through the clutter of advertising? Degrading women isn't even innovative. It's been going on since forever, and this is 2012. Get with the program.
4) I found almost the exact same response to someone's ad complaint from 2009. They are NOT EVEN LISTENING.

So, next time you're thinking of buying flowers, for V-Day, Mother's Day, Easter, whatever, I urge you not to buy from these jerks. That is all.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Love for Lauren Graham

Parenthood is on a break until January, but I just had to post some love for Lauren Graham. I think she might currently be my favorite actress, due to her turns as the (granted, somewhat similar) characters of Lorelai Gilmore and Sarah Braverman. But, just like Carey Mulligan, the tiniest movement of her face just conveys so much emotion. She completely rocks.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lily ring

This is random, but I just stumbled upon the Lily Royale Ring at catbird and had to post it. I think it would make such a delicate and unusual engagement ring! (Conflict-free stone, too.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Recently, we helped some high school seniors raise money for college by buying a weekend subscription to the LA Times. Last time I was poring over an interesting story, I had a realization. I'm going to go ahead and say it, even though it is an unpopular view in many circles:

I freaking hate reading the newspaper.

By this I don't mean that I hate reading news; I mean that I now hate the physical experience of reading the newspaper. It is large, it is awkward, and I suck at folding it correctly. I get ink all over my hands. If it gets spread out on the beige carpet, ink will get on the carpet, too. By the time it gets to my door, a zillion more things have already happened that will be reported online. Plus, on the weekend it's like, 80% ads and useless coupons.

This might surprise you, because I really love print in many ways and have thus far made print my livelihood, but I just can't get behind newspapers. I don't know if I ever would have come to this realization before there were other options, but when this subscription runs out, I'm all iPad, all the way—at least in terms of news.

[Apparently this space is becoming a home for my random thoughts lately. Sorry!]

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oh, the Interweb...

I feel kind of strange. I just filled out an online "dating-esque" profile...except to meet platonic female friends. I'm wondering if Girlfriendsocial.com might help me meet some more West Coast folks, since working at home is not conducive to broadening one's social circle!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I'd like to write a bit this morning about driving, and I feel more comfortable doing it in this space than the joint space. This is a matter that pertains only to me, and is something I'm really grappling with.

Making the change from 100% walking and train-taking to 100% driving has probably been the biggest shift in my lifestyle since moving out West. I know how to drive—I started at 15 with my learner's permit, and passed my driving test the first time. However, I haven't been driving on a regular basis since about 2002. That's when I graduated high school, moved to New York, and gave up having a car. During the first 2 summers of college, I drove to and from summer jobs and to see friends. During the second 2 summers, I spent most of the time working at a camp, sans car. Driving is like riding a bike—you don't forget how—but it becomes much, much more nerve-wracking.

I've had a couple scrapes in my day, and my family members have liked to keep things interesting for us with more serious accidents. (Thank God they are OK.) And if living and walking in New York taught me one thing, it's that people are entirely oblivious to everything going on around them. So, picture a busy New York street, where a careless fellow might bump into you, and then give everybody—including that careless fellow—a one-ton, high-speed vehicle full of explosive, flammable gasoline. Combine this with the personal history of accidents, and I am just terrified to get behind the wheel. I walk whenever I can, mostly to the supermarket, the park, the ATM, and the drug store, all close by. (Oh, and Yogurtland. Obv.)

As time wears on, I force myself to drive more and more. I have tackled the giant LA freeways on a couple of occasions, and I have routes I know really well, to places like the library, the bank, and Target. But beyond that, I've been leaving the driving to Chris.

Not driving much is starting to make me feel trapped. On Sunday, I couldn't take it anymore and forced myself to drive (alone) to Abbot Kinney, a hip avenue in Venice that always seems to be busy. I went slightly off-course, but found street parking in a neighborhood and walked about 10 minutes to my destination. A wimpy solution, but the parking was easy and free.

I think I just have to do more solo trips like this to conquer my fear, and to start feeling like an independent person again. Last week, I checked a nearby store for something I needed, and, when they didn't have it, I considered just driving home instead of checking their other location (because I didn't know how to get to the other location). I was disgusted at my own wimpiness, so I whipped out the iPhone, pulled up directions, and forced myself to find the other store, even though it was getting to be rush hour.

I don't want to force myself into situations I can't handle, but I think I can handle most of these things and have to overcome this mental block. It's just that every time I'm accidentally stuck in a turn-only lane or someone pulls a bold, no-blinker cutoff maneuver, my blood pressure goes through the roof and I start sweating buckets.

It's only been 4 months, so I'm trying to be patient with myself. After all, I went from no driving to big-city driving in no time flat. Also, I'm thinking of getting a bike, but that comes with its own set of worries...

Were you ever afraid to drive? How did you get yourself over it?