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    Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    Me holding my 2 hr old niece!! :)

    Me holding my 2 hr old niece!! :)
    Originally uploaded by marcailgaelyn

    Yeah, that's right, that's ME holding my (almost) 2 hr old niece, Chloe!

    Which means I *finally* got pics from my camera from when my niece was born onto the web! :)

    Name: Chloe Lynne Cornthwaite
    Born: Saturday, November 28, 2009 at 10:56pm
    Details: 8 lbs, 9 oz, and 21 inches long

    Monica got a *bunch* of photos on her really cool camera (HD and everything)...but I don't have any of those pics. Just got the ones on my camera.

    Flickr Photo Set:

    Tommy & the High Pilots Pics online

    Originally uploaded by marcailgaelyn

    I've now got my pics and all 8 videos from Tommy & the High Pilot's concert at Rusty's Surf Shack (Santa Monica Pier) on 11/27/09 online.


    (Videos will also be posted to Youtube...eventually :)

    In Need of Phone Upgrade Advice/Feedback

    ok, I am SO overdue for upgrading my cell phone. I'm tired of putting up with my broken Motorola Razor (a flip phone). It works 'ok'...its certainly not the best for texting, but I manage...that is until the camera button is accidentally pushed (either external button on side of phone or the camera button on the keypad) and then the *whole thing freezes* and I have to take the battery out to reset the thing. And since I let my phone contract expire (I'm now on month to month)...I *could* switch to a new service provider if I wanted to.

    But do I want to? Don't know. All the plans I've looked into so far are *worse* than my current plan (even if expired, I still continue at that plan/rate until something is changed, like a new phone). However, if I get a new phone - either with same carrier or switching to a new carrier - I'll get less minutes for either the same amount of money (or more money). And for ANY of the phones I want, I'll need to add on a Data Service plan, so that means more money spent too. (And I'm on a budget. May not seem like it some times, but I am :).

    Currently, I'm with T-Mobile and have had decent customer service and cell service ever since I switched to them years ago. (I think sometime around...2002 or 2003? wow! Was it really that long ago? Time flies!) I called last night to find out what my options with them were, and they do have a plan where I don't have to sign a contract (can continue month to month and get a similar minutes plan with unlimited texting and data service) without it being TOO much more expensive than I'm already paying a month, but I would have to pay for the phone (or, well, a discounted portion of the new phone price).

    If I stay with T-mobile, I *could* get the myTouch, their/Google's version of the iPhone. I need more info on the phone though. (FYI - I'd have to pay like $120 for the phone.) So, anyone heard good/bad things about this phone? Anyone now of a reputable site that reviews it?

    Feel free to share thoughts on switching/staying with various service providers and the benefits/drawbacks of some of the different new phones offered right now. I'd welcome the input. :) Thanks!

    Thursday, December 03, 2009

    That time of the year again...for Christmas Card Mailing Update

    Yup, its that time of the year again...time for Christmas Cards! 

    Yay!!! :) 
    I love sending/receiving actual mail...such as cards...don't you? 

    So, IF you'd like to be included in this year's Christmas Card mailing list, please drop me a line with your current mailing address so I can update my address list.

    You can email me at: Rebecca (dot) Thelin (at) gmail (dot) com
    (email spelled out so its not as easily picked up by spam :).


    -=-Rebecca / Becky

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    Thanksgiving 2009

    So this year, Thanksgiving plans were kinda up in the air for a while. Sara (my sister) was due to give birth any day (her official due date was Nov 17th, but that date had come and gone). My folks and I then made tentative plans to do a small family dinner (them, my youngest bro Kyle, and myself)...maybe even invite my Grandma Doris & Aunt Jody over (assuming they didn't end up accepting one of their other Thanksgiving invites). We didn't want to do anything super big in case the baby decided it was time to come, and we all would be disrupting our plans to go to the hospital.

    Then on Tuesday (Nov 24) got an email from my dad saying that mom had badly sprained her ankle (not broken, they went to the hospital to x-ray it and make sure). Thus, I ended up cooking dinner for my folks and Kyle. We kept it fairly simple since it was just the 4 of us. And it turned out great.

    My very first attempt at cooking turkey (by myself) turned out wonderful. Fortunately, earlier this year (a few months ago?) while flipping channels randomly, I stumbled across PBS's airing one of Julia Child's tv shows on how to roast poultry (including cleaning & trimming, trussing it, etc.). I thought it was interesting stuff at the time (you all know how I like to cook :), and though I had no plans to utilize the info in the immediate future, I filed her advice away for later.

    And it came in handy for Thanksgiving! :)

    The turkey was about 13 lbs (fresh), and I stuffed it with fresh sage, rosemary, & Parsley, a thinly sliced lemon, 2 large shallots (also sliced), a couple of cloves of garlic (smashed & then cut into large chunks), and a large pinch of salt. I also rubbed the outside of the turkey/skin with some butter. Cooked it for about 15 minutes at a high temp (500 degrees) and then lowered it to like 325 for the rest of the 2-1/2 hrs of cooking time. ( I did baste the bird a few times throughout the cooking process, but not *every* 20 minutes.)

    I also made mashed (red) potatoes. (Discovered that they didn't want the skins on after I had chopped most of the potatoes, so spent next number of minutes slicing/peeling off skins from potato chunks. Oh least I got them all. :) I also cooked some fresh green beans (so spent a while trimming & cutting green beans after I washed them). Oh, and I can't forget the stuffing/dressing! Used the Trader Joe's cornbread stuffing (just breadcrumbs & seasoning) which I cooked on the stove and then finished in the oven. (I added a bit of turkey flavoring to it too...and some of the chopped giblets).

    AND, of course, I made gravy. While I did use some Trader Joe's Turkey Gravy (comes in a small box/carton - no funky stuff/preservatives, etc added), I definitely made some gravy from scratch using the turkey drippings, some of the chopped giblets (and using the broth from the water/herbs that they cooked in), and some flour/butter. My homemade gravy was WONDERFUL, but obviously not much, so I added it to the Trader Joe's gravy, and it mixed very well. (Didn't loose the flavoring, cause mine was strong enough - I had cooked it down before adding it in to the other stuff). So we definitely had plenty of gravy, which is always nice.

    I think the best compliment was my youngest bro, who is a picky eater, giving the Thumbs Up approval on the food...especially the gravy. :) He took plenty of helpings of that (for his turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing). Not that my turkey *needed* gravy (it was flavorful and moist), but it is nice to have a bit of gravy with your turkey. :)

    So the four of us (Mom/Kathy, Dad/Greg, my bro Kyle and I) sat down to a simple but yummy dinner at about 2:30/3pm and enjoyed the food and each other's company. :)

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Ludo Concert @ Troubadour Pics now online

    Originally uploaded by marcailgaelyn

    Pics from the Ludo Concert (with Without a Face, Ha Ha Tonka, & Meese as the 3 opening acts) are now online at my flickr account.

    (Well, all but *one* pic that the Flickr uploader just didn't seem to like...oh well...I'll fix that when I get home tonight :).

    To view the entire set:

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Remembering Remembrance Day (aka Armistice or Veterans Day)

    Today is November 11th, which means its the anniversary of the day that World War I officially ended (or at least major hostilities did) when an Armistice treaty was signed between the Allies and Germany on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. (Or at least that last part is what tradition tells us :).

    While here in the US, these days most people know this day only as Veterans Day (for honoring veterans of all wars)...and as a federal holiday, an excuse for many to take a day off of work, I like to also remember the original purpose of marking the end of the Great War and a hope for peace.

    So whether or not you are working today (like I myself am) be sure to at least take a moment today to remember our veterans , the sacrifices they have made for our freedoms today, and of course remember Remembrance Day (Armistice Day).

    In Flander's Field

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow

    Between the crosses, row on row,

    That mark our place; and in the sky

    The larks, still bravely singing, fly

    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the dead. Short days ago

    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

    Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:

    To you from failing hands we throw

    The torch; be yours to hold it high.

    If ye break faith with us who die

    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

    In Flanders fields.

    — Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

    And for those of you wondering, Yes, when I 'hear' this poem in my mind, I often think of Linus (from Peanuts) reading it. (from the What have we Learned, Charlie Brown? tv special) ;-)

    Monday, November 09, 2009

    Rossum Corporation (Dollhouse)

    Something cool for Dollhouse fans like myself....
    The Rossum Corporation has new website.

    Pretty slick website, huh?

    Not bad considering its for a corporation that doesn't really exist (except for within a TV show :).

    Saturday, November 07, 2009

    Ludo in Concert was AWESOME!! :)

    Ok, I had SUCH a blast yesterday going to see Ludo with Gretchen Foltz and Elizabeth Ray at The Troubadour. Truly a Fun Evening. :)

    We all met up a bit before 4pm at my work and carpooled up to West Hollywood, grabbed some food, and then found the theater and some parking. (Garmin/GPS kept telling us to go in the wrong direction - odd - but we had the address, so we looked for the street number and eventually found it :).

    Only downside to the parking we found for the evening - found a 'public parking' area, but no guy in booth (all closed up), and no signs up anywhere saying whether or not it was free or paid for the evening. HOWEVER, when we got back to our car, there was an attendant, NEW signs were up saying a parking rate - which were NOT there when we parked - and a note was on my car saying that we had to pay the Max. Rate of $15.00 for the parking lot. What?!?! We argued with the guy about it. Said that when we arrived it was 7pm, there was no one around, and there most definitely were No signs up saying there was a fee for parking. He argued back that HE go there at 7pm and there were signs around/at the driveways and you had to pay for overnight parking past 7pm. Considering we walked out of the driveway/entrance where one of these New signs were standing (upright sign holder out on the side walk) - the three of us all agreed it certainly wasn't there when we walked by at 7pm. UGH!! Dude!! What a rip-off! We would have paid for our few hours of parking when we got there IF there were signs posted and a guy around. We looked! But we got into a stalemate argument, and there was no 'supervisor' to complain to or anyone to take the issue up with over his head...and we wanted to go we finally gave in and paid the $15 cause it was like 1am and we all needed to get on the road for our hour drive back to the OC.

    Back to the FUN part of the evening. :)

    Both on Twitter and Facebook, Ludo had posted that the doors to the Troubadour would open at 7pm that there might be 'free stuff' available.
    Facebook: "LUDO Is rocking the troubador in Hollywood tonight. Come early for free stuff and Without a Face. Doors open at 7. Tickets still available!"
    Twitter: "In Hollywood tonight at the troubador. Doors open at 7. Tix avail at the door. Come early for free ludo crap and @waftweets !!!"

    So we (and a bunch of others who read the messages) all got there early...only to find out the Troubadour WASN'T opening early...and their staff was pretty annoyed with all of us fans showing up early and keep walking up to the (unlocked) door and inquiring about them being open. They had a line queue up a bit down the street (and there was no signage or anything to say "stand here to wait for concert" so you walk by w/o knowing what the line is actually for...since its a decent distance away from the Troubadour). Basically, the line started at an abandoned building at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd & Doheny, on Santa Monica, and wrapped around the corner back along the sidewalk on Doheny. Eventually (like almost 8pm), they opened the doors and started checking tickets and IDs.

    Got my nifty little orange wristband that says "Troubadour" (proving you had a ticket and could go in and wander around, I guess. Hmm....perhaps they were color coded for those over/under 21?...though I didn't look to see if there was another color. The Troubadour has a bar, so its possible).

    We checked out the front bar area, where they had some merchandise set up, but they had a bunch of stuff for the other bands/acts that I didn't recognize and and who were apparently the groups leading in to Ludo's act....and I didn't spot (at that time) much Ludo stuff out. (A couple of T-Shirts and posters, mostly). Maybe they had more Ludo stuff there...just not out. They people working the area were all trying to quickly eat some food - not focused on hawking merchandise, really. ;-)

    So we headed into the main area. Checked out the bleacher style seating in the upper area, but eventually just kicked it in the main standing-room-only section near the stage. Of course, considering who I was hanging with, the three of us were great at entertaining ourselves and cracking ourselves up. (We broke out into spontaneous movie quotes often throughout the night - even in line outside - and even the occasional Song. "Brave, Brave, Brave, Brave Sir Robin" (Monty Python's Holy Grail) was one of those songs while waiting in line outside. :)

    1st act finally started and it was some guy who called himself "Man without a Face".
    Um...we were not impressed. I got a Guinness and drank it while we waited. He kinda got his target audience with his first couple of songs. Some of which had some potential, but he needs more work/help/pointers.

    2nd Act was a group called "Ha Ha Tonka". I actually liked this group. Better than the 1st act by far, though they were not to Liz and Gretchen's taste. (Too country-ish for them...even if it was a *Rock* Country influence). They said they were from the Ozarks, so a bit of a Country influence makes sense (to me). I loved the A Capella song the guys did. Their voices blended well together. These guys were drinking beer while performing (had beer bottles instead of water bottles to take swigs of between songs :), and its influence definitely showed on at least 1 of the guys soon enough. And wow!, the guitarist was REALLY talented! Liz thought so too - and mentioned that no matter what happens with this band, that guy could probably make it with probably any band. Oh, and overall, this band had good stage presence. (Kudos to them :).

    The very last song they performed they were joined by members of the next Act, Meese. It was a rip-roaring good time. They were all having a blast on stage, which the audience loved. Fun.

    3rd Act, "Meese", got set up after a bit and started in on their set of songs. They're from Denver, CO, and the reason they're called Meese is cause their two main band members are brothers with that last name (lead singer/guitarist/keyboards and a guitarist/signer...or was he base...I forget now). I enjoyed the songs (the beat mostly, cause with the sound as it was, it was sometimes hard to understand the actual lyrics :) Liz mentioned that they were a bit too monotoned for her taste. (Playing style). And we both agreed that they're stage presence could use a bit of work. :)

    And funny enough, some of Ha Ha Tonka members came back on stage for Meese's last song to play with them. (Ha Ha Tonka lead singer & guitar player joined Meese's drummer in the back...helping out on drums ;). It was fun to watch.

    When they were done, it was a flurry of activity as the stage was fixed up for LUDO! (Last 2 bands had to get their gear off-stage, and Ludo's gear had to get on and set up how they wanted/needed it for their performance). As each Act had performed, the Troubadour was getting more and more Crowded. Now, as Ludo was just about ready to go on, it was pretty packed! Definitely standing room only in this downstairs section between stage and bar. :)

    Eventually, everything was set up how they wanted it (the band members were down there working away with the stage hands, making sure guitars were tuned, levels were ok on mics, etc.). The band members left the stage for one last gathering (up in a box office area, stage right up a flight of stairs along the wall leading from the stage/corner of the room) and then made their grand entrance.

    Woo-hoo! Everyone was ecstatic! Opening song for the night - "Go Getter Greg".

    This guy recorded some pieces from few of the songs (from his cell phone) at last night's concert and posted them on his youtube account

    Go Getter Greg:
    Hum Along:
    Saturday Night:

    While the first songs were great to sing to, and they played to the crowd (the energy of the crowd was really high!), the Band REALLY kicked it into gear once they started playing Broken Bride. (Entire album!)

    That was AWESOME. If you don't know about Broken Bride, the entire CD is one long story. Its a Rock Opera about this guy (known as The Traveler) who's wife died in May of 1989, so he builds a time machine to go back and save her. Only he shoots too far and ends up in pre-historic times, is attacked by Pterodactyls and ends up hiding in a cave. Next song on the album is "Save Our City" where we go back to the 'present/future' and where the world is in chaos due to a zombie apocalypse and we follow the story of a young boy trying to get people to rise up and help fight the zombies (and their evil leader, known as the Dragon). Then we head back into pre-historic times with the next song to catch up with the Traveler. He makes a run for the Time Travel Machine and manages to reclaim his machine (narrowly avoiding a pack of pterodactyls). He then activates the machine and tries again to get to 1989 to save his wife...only this time the machine malfunctions again and he shoots too far forward and lands in the zombie apocalypse. The Traveler, faced with a decision to help save mankind or to go back and rescue his wife....and I'll stop there. (But I will tell you there's a twist in the end :).

    Note - when they perform Broken Bride, I mean they perform it *all* w/out a break... straight through. Just one song into the next. Like I said...AWESOME!!!

    They performed a bunch more songs after that, including Hum Along, Druken Lament, Topeka, and (I think I recall) a few other songs from "Your Awful, I Love You" album (which meant I could sing along cause I KNEW those songs :). Oh, and Andrew Volpe sang "Horror of Our Love" before the band started in to Broken Bride. (He had the stage to himself for that one). Great song, so couldn't forget mentioning it. :)

    Lake Pontchartrain was DEFINITELY a fan favorite. The crowd ate it up and they were having a blast on the stage. (I really started getting horse by this time, shouting/singing along...along with everyone else in the audience).

    It was really fun when the band would stop singing on some of the songs throughout the evening and let us just sing for a bit while they played. (Testing us to see if we would continue/know the lyrics).

    One of the last song of the night: Goodwill Hunting by Myself. (Yay! Crowd loved it)
    AND final song of the night: Love Me Dead!
    YES!!! Definitely one the crowd was waiting for. Such Fun! :)

    Oh!!! And at the very end of the night, after all the songs, they said they have one more CA show (tonight - Sat, 11/7 - at the Glass House in Pomona) and announced that in January/the new year, they'll be back in CA to work on a new album. YES!!! :)

    After the concert, most of the people headed in to the front are to buy merchandise, and Ludo's band members came out to meet the fans, autograph stuff, take pics with fans. It was great. I got 4 signatures, and got one pic with Andrew Volpe (and got to say to each of those guys how much I enjoyed the concert - totally fun seeing them live).

    RE: my 4 signatures - They signed my copy of "Your Awful, I Love You" cd liner :). Forgot the CD in my car (doh! thought I grabbed it) and my sharpie marker (also in the car), but at least I had the case so I could get the liner signed...and I had a regular gel/ink pen in my purse that worked for one signature, and others either had a sharpie on them, or a fan lent them theirs :).

    Souvenir for the night - besides tons of photos and autographs - Liz got me a copy of the Broken Bride album as a Thank You for driving and such. (You're awesome Liz. Thanks!)

    Members of Ludo:
    Andrew Volpe
    Tim Ferrell
    Tim Convy
    Matt Palermo

    Links for Ludo:

    Overall - Wonderful, Wonderful time. I'm SO glad I went. Totally recommend them live. If you Like Ludo's stuff - Go see them in concert!

    (p.s. - I'll upload my pics in a few minutes...and will post again to here when they're all up on Flickr...and I'll add at least some on facebook too :)

    Thursday, November 05, 2009

    The Islander (song by Nightwish)

    A friend shared the youtube link for this music video on my facebook acccount yesterday...and I gotta say I really like this song (and the music video). I listened to it a few times last night/this morning, and the song is still stuck in my head.

    So *I'm* going to share the link and post the lyrics here.

    "The Islander" - by Nightwish


    An old man by a seashore at the end of day
    Gazes the horizon with seawinds in his face
    Tempest-tossed island, seasons all the same
    Anchorage unpainted and a ship without a name

    Sea without a shore for the banished one unheard
    He lightens the beacon, light at the end of world
    Showing the way lighting hope in their hearts
    The ones on their travels homeward from afar

    This is for long-forgotten light at the end of the world
    Horizon crying the tears he left behind long ago

    The albatross is flying, making him daydream
    The time before he became one of the world`s unseen
    Princess in the tower, children in the fields
    Life gave him it all: An island of the universe

    Now his love`s a memory, a ghost in the fog
    He sets the sails one last time saying farewell to the world
    Anchor to the water, seabed far below
    Grass still in his feet, and a smile beneath his brow

    This is for long-forgotten light at the end of the world
    Horizon crying the tears he left behind long ago

    So long ago....

    This is for long-forgotten light at the end of the world
    Horizon crying the tears he left behind so long ago

    - - -

    Wikipedia link for info on the song:

    Remember, remember the 5th of November

    "Remember, remember the fifth of November.
    Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
    I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
    Should ever be forgot."

    For those of you wondering what this rhyme has to do with anything...well, it cause I'm a history buff, an Anglophile and today's the 5th of November. :) The Rhyme basically a warning aganist treason (and not to forget its consequences.)

    For more information on Guy Fawkes Night, the Gunpowder Plot, or even the nursery rhyme itself here are a few links:

    Guy Fawkes Night Wikipedia entry:

    Britannia History: The Gunpowder Plot (Overview)

    Gunpoweder Plot Wikipedia entry:

    Rhymes: 5th of November

    Monday, November 02, 2009

    Jane Austen Evening Tickets Now On Sale

    Passing along the info for the Jane Austen Evening 2010.
    I've already bought my ticket (dance portion of the evening only)




    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Dance & History <>
    Date: Sun, Nov 1, 2009 at 8:57 AM
    Subject: Jane Austen Evening Tickets Now On Sale

    The Jane Austen Evening

    You are cordially inivited to the Jane Austen Evening, a civilized afternoon and evening of tea, entertainment, pleasant company and dancing. It will be held at the Pasadena Masonic Hall (200 S. Euclid) on Saturday, January 23rd 2009.

    The high tea begins at 4 PM. The dancing at 7 PM. Tickets may be purchased to the tea and dance or for the dance alone.

    Live music will be provided by the "Philadelphia Academy of Music". Our dance mistress will be Marsden Macrae.

    Formal attire or military uniforms (any nation) of the time of Jane Austen is suggested. If you don't have period attire, please wear modern formal wear (tuxedo, coat and tie, long dress etc.). Formal wear of some description is a necessity in refined company.

    Classes to teach the dances for the Jane Austen Evening will be held on the two Sundays preceding the dance on January 10th and 17th.

    For more information, and to purchase tickets online or through the mail, go to the website at

    Saturday, October 31, 2009

    a day in the life of crazy busy Friday afternoon

    so My Twitter Update from around 1pm (and imported to facebook) said:

    "seems like over half the office took the rest of the day off. ;) Not me, though...still working away..."

    and THEN I discovered a voice mail left from a broker for me, wanting to move forward with a deal that wasn't even put together on our side...and both our in-house leasing agent for that property (who's also the property manager) and the managing partner for that property were GONE for the afternoon. ACK!!!!

    Here's the situation: This broker and his client had toured 2 available units that were next to each other in one park, and he liked both of them, but wasn't quite sure which one to take. He finally told us Unit A, so we rushed to put paperwork together (this guy wanted/wants to move in this weekend, of course) for unit A. Wasn't able to finish it Thursday afternoon (cause paperwork turned into us Lease Admins so late in the day), so it was finished 1st thing Friday morning. Only when we told our guy that it was ready (been approved by the managing partner and everything), he said to hold on sending it/printing off the hardcopies for the client/potential tenant to sign as the guy is now waffling on which unit! Gah!! He may want unit B after all.

    Ok. Hold on that. Sure, I can do that. No problem. If it changes I'll just get new paperwork for the new address (suite B) with instructions for a different lease. (They were different square footages and different floorplans, so while the rental rate would be the same, I would have different $$ amounts to enter into the lease, different Lessee's Share % to calculate out for the new lease, new floorplan to draw up, etc...a trickle down effect where I would have a lot of changes to make and not just simple swap out one address for another on the already drawn up lease).

    I came back from my lunch break and discovered:
    1) The Managing Partner for this property (think ultimate boss that all deals go by since he signs off on them, literally) was out for the rest of the day, [Call him "T" for this narrative]
    2) the Listing Agent/Property Manager for this property was out for the rest of the day, [Call him "J" for this narrative] &
    3) I had a voice mail from the Potential Tenant's Broker saying they decided they wanted Unit B after all, and how quickly could that lease be gotten to him (& email him a copy) cause his client wanted to sign and get keys today?


    I never even GOT a new lease request for unit B for this potential tenant from "J" (the Property Manager/Listing Agent) before he left for the I had no numbers, etc.

    Twitter update around then (not imported to facebook):
    "Frantically scrambling to keep a deal from falling through. Ack!!!"

    On our Internal electronic In/Out Board (system's called Gatekeeper :), the "T" (Managing Partner) had at least said that he'd be available by cell, if needed. So I called him and updated him on everything that's happened.

    He had me check our listing to verify that both units were listed at the same rental rates (and that they were different square footages), and told me to go ahead with writing up the new lease (but I would obviously need to calculate out all the various differences, figure out what the percentage increase bumps in rent were for this guys Options to Renew cause I would have to duplicate that percentage with the new rental numbers, calculate out the new Lessee's Share % of the park - individual unit Square Feet divided by entire park's Square Feet - and use that % to re-calculate Base Year amounts,...etc. )

    So I begin pulling all the necessary documentation together, working on the new calculations, found an original floor plan for the unit in our Plan Room and re-drew it in Microsoft Visio so I could then use the drawn image in a Word Document Exhibit, and just in general being frantic busy all afternoon.

    Outside Broker, of course, called about and hour after I picked up his voice mail message in order to follow up on his previous message. I gave him an update (not exactly the one he wanted - he wanted it all done and ready right then & there, of course), and told him that both our broker ("J") he was dealing with was gone for the rest of the day and that the Managing Partner ("T") who signs off on things was also gone, so I had to scramble to get approval of the deal (cause I have no authority to sign off on deals - whew!! :) and was now working on it. And that it was more than a simple switch of the address cause this unit was a different square footage so I had to re-do a lot of the work from scratch (including various calculations) and that I was actually in the middle of re-calculating the rental schedule when he called. So, he left me to my work with my promise to keep him in the loop.

    About an hour or so later (I'm still frantically working), I get a call from "J" checking in to see if we had ever heard back from the outside broker. Boy, had we ever! I filled him in. Not much that he could do for me, though, being unavailable to come back to work. He thanked me for stepping up, though. Oh, and I think it was that call from "J" saying he had just talked to the outside broker. And I'm like? What?!? Why is he calling you? I TOLD him you were off for the rest of the afternoon, and *I* just spoke with him/gave him an update like an hour ago.
    Needless to say, "J" said he didn't realize that the outside broker & I had already talked, and that we were working on fixing the deal...and basically apologized for not getting me the paperwork I needed before he left.

    I go back to working on the stuff.

    The one remaining Managing Partner (I have 4 in my office, and they cover different properties, so we always try to have 1 around at all times...just in case) - let's call him "F" - was in his office, so I went over to him and filled him in on the situation and asked if he would be around to sign the deal, assuming I got all this paperwork done in time. He said Yes, that he could make sure he was around, and then proceeded to leave the office to check out the unit himself (to verify its move-in condition) and retrieve the key in the lock box. (Yay! :)

    Around now I called the Insurance Broker for the potential tenant (we had spoken yesterday, cause the guy was trying to start the insurance process in advance so he could have it when he signed the lease - we require proof of Commercial Liability Insurance that covers the premises leased before we hand out keys) and left a message with the guy saying I know he was working on an insurance policy for his client covering unit A, but the client now wants Unit B, so while we're re-drawing up the lease documents, we need him to change the policy to cover the correct unit. About 5 minutes later, I get an email from someone in their office sending me a copy of the Insurance Certificate (for Unit A). Wow! So I email her back with my request, and she's like "no problem, here you go!". AWESOME!! One hurdle down. :)

    Back to frantically working....I get the other Lease Admin to double check my numbers on my calculations for the new unit. Yay, we match. :) "F" comes back from checking out the unit, I get him to verify that the floorplan I just drew up is correct and matches what he saw (yay!), and then I finish putting all the pages together of my new DRAFT of a Lease Agreement (with all its supporting paperwork too) . "F" then reviews the new lease and says its good to go. So I finalize it all, including printing to PDF files...and then compiling the various files down into 2 PDF files - one for the entire Lease Agreement with Addendum and Exhibit Pages and the other for the various lease supporting docs like the initial bill statement, a memo re: our late rent policy, Utilities and maintenance information, etc. - and then emailed off those PDF files to the broker. Then I called him to give him the good news.
    By now is was just after 4pm, so we were calling it close to get this deal signed, but he was very happy that the lease was ready for signature and said that he'd call his client and let me know if/when they were coming over to sign.

    So while I waited, I called both "T" & "J" to give them the updates. (And also let them know that "F" would be able to countersign the Lease and give keys to the new tenant).

    Outside broker called back and said his client (and himself) would be there in like 15 minutes. He wanted to know if his client needed to stop by the bank for a cashiers check first or not, but we ("T"s & "F"s decision) said it wasn't necessary as his client had such good credit. (We generally require that if you want to take possession immediately upon signature, you give us a cashiers check. You wouldn't believe the number of initial checks we've gotten that have bounced. Sad, but true).

    The client/potential tenant arrived first, and I put him into our small conference room to start going over the paperwork with him. His broker arrived a few minutes later and joined us. And then I got "F" so he could answer the questions that were starting. (Better that answers were coming from a more 'authoritative' source than myself)

    One last thing to figure out while they were going over the Lease - "F" asked me if Trash was included in the Common Area Operating Expenses or if the tenant was responsible for his own services (as he wasn't the managing partner so he didn't know). I wasn't 100% sure myself, I quickly scrambled to look through various past CAOE reconciliations and asked our Accounts Payable gal. I called "J", since he IS the property manager, but he was no help and couldn't recall off the top of his head if it was or was not. (Doh!) Fortunately, after talking with Accounts Payable gal, we verified that Trash was NOT included in Common Area stuff, the tenant was responsible for his own trash service. (And therefore my Tenant Utilities & Maintenance information sheet was still correct! Whew! :)

    My Twitter Message when they were signing:
    Woo-hoo! My scrambling paid off and the deal is being finalized (signed) right now. Yes!!! :)

    By 5:00pm, the lease docs were signed, keys handed over, and the new tenant was walking out with his executed copy of the lease, ready to start moving in this weekend.

    What a rush! But a good one.
    Great way to start the weekend!

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Curse your Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal! (Firefly quote)

    wash dinos
    Originally uploaded by TiLT creations

    How Cute! :) Someone hand embroidered that quote and some dinos!

    I just have the t-shirt :)

    For those of you not in the 'know' about this quote, the quote & dino images have to do with a scene in the pilot episode of Firefly (tv series - ).

    Here's the clip on Youtube:

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Golden Bough's Program (10/26)

    As promised, here's the program from Golden Bough's performance on Monday night (10/26) for the North Orange County Community Concerts Association.

    Golden Bough: Margie Butler, Paul Espinoza, & Kathy Ross Sierra.

    "America Bound"

    "Set sail for the land of freedom and opportunity. Tonight, the popular Celtic trio, Golden Bough, performs a new musical concert, America Bound, capturing in song the experience of millions of Irish and Scottish immigrants who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in search of a better life in the New World. Margie Butler, Paul Espinoza and Kathy Sierra trace that journey in haunting ballads, humorous songs, sea chanteys and rousing jigs and reels and demonstrate how the songs these immigrants carried in their hearts to their new home became the foundation for some of American's best-loved folk music."


    Mursheen Durkin
    Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore
    P Stands for Paddy
    When the Boys Come Rolling HOme
    Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears
    Froggy Went A'Courtin'*
    Frog in the Well**
    When New York was Irish
    The Little Beggarman / The Red Haired Boy***
    The Bard of Armagh / The Streets of Laredo
    Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye
    Real Old Mountain Dew / The Arkansas Traveler

    *Popular American Folk version of an (originally) Irish song, according to the performers.
    **The Irish Version
    ***Went from Irish song to an American Appalachians/Bluegrass song. :)

    - - INTERMISSION - -

    The Water is Wide
    The Scottish Soldier
    Green Grow the Rashes-O
    Black is the Color
    Charlie is My Darling
    Banks of the SAcramento
    Irish Eyes Are Smiling / Too-Ral-Loo-Ra*
    My Irish Molly-O
    Bonnie Highland Laddie
    Cape Breton Tunes
    Donal, Where's Your Trousers?

    *According to the performers, though these 2 songs are usually known as Irish, they' actually written by Americans. :)

    Joy of Spontaneity (Celtic Concert)

    Yesterday, around noon, I got a text message from my friend @Candai which said something to the effect of "tell me your available tonight?!?"

    After being on the recipient end of many of her last-minute invites too cool things (mostly where she got free tix through work), I've learned to say "Yes". :)

    I asked her what was up, and she responded that it was a Celtic band performing in Fullerton (7:30p) and that FREE tickets had just fallen in her lap. Woo-hoo!

    We BOTH love our Celtic/Irish/Scottish music! So carpooling plans were made, and we met up after work to travel straight over to Fullerton, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the concert.

    Though we missed one transition from 55N to 91 (too busy chatting, I know :), it turns out that it was all in the best as by taking our detour route to get back on the 91 fwy we COMPLETELY missed the car fire that shut down the other side of the fwy. (If we had made the transition, we would have been stuck in that horrible mess). Whew!

    Walking about Downtown Fullerton, we spotted an 'early bird' special (2 for 1 entree price, w/purchase of 2 beverages...any beverages, even soda/tea :) at an Italian place so decided to chance it. Food was yummy, and the service was good (except when it came time to pay - the server was a tad slow at noticing that we were ready to to pay :). And best of all, it was w/in walking distance of the concert location.

    The concert was part of a series put on by the North Orange County Community Concerts Association (NOCCC). Apparently, the NOCCC is celebrating its 64th season/year. WOW! Impressive. Though I've never heard of them before now...and its no wonder! @Candai & I were the *youngest* ones there! :) But it was all good. :) The evenings concert was by Golden Bough, a Celtic band (trio) who's been around for 30 yrs.

    From the North OC Concerts website:
    "Golden Bough, Celtic Trio Monday, October 26, 2009, 7:30 PM - A musical exploration of the Irish and Scottish folk heritage and its influence on some of the best loved folk music of America today. Golden Bough features spirited vocal harmonies and instrumental numbers performed on Celtic harp, guitar, pennywhistle, violin, recorder, octave-mandolin, accordion, and bodhran. Enjoy rousing instrumental music, ballads, humorous songs and sea chanteys, plus the stories behind the music"

    Group's website:
    Besides concerts & special events (and educational programs), they also perform at some festivals (like Highland/Scottish festivals). Last night's concert was called "America Bound" (1st time they performed this particular concert) and featured a selection of Irish & Scottish tunes (ballads, humorous songs, sea chanteys, & of course jigs & reels).

    The Irish set was up first, and then after the Intermission, it was time for the Scottish set.
    All in all I really enjoyed the music. I personally would have loved to hear more reels & jigs (more traditional instrumental only songs) thrown in the evenings concert, but I did enjoy all their singing songs. They did occasionally ask for the audience to join in on some of the choruses, and of course, @candai and I acquiesced...enthusiastically. :) (Ok, me possibly more than her on a few songs...since I knew a few more of the sea chanteys, etc.).

    Their last song of the evening (not counting their encore) was "Donal, Where's your Trousers?"... was of course fun to join in on the chorus!

    (I apparently left the program at home today, so I'll type up the full list of songs covered in the concert later).

    Afterwards, most everyone moved to a smaller room off the side where some light refreshments (fizzy punch!! and cookies/brownies :) were served while the performers sold and signed their cds and just generally chatted with people. @Candai & I struck up a conversation first with their Violinist, Kathy, who came out and asked us how *we* ended up coming/heard about the concert, as we were obviously the youngest ones there. (That got a laugh :) We explained, and then started chatting about various things. @Candai asked how Kathy went from training/playing violin the Suzuki Method to playing Celtic...and she actually gave us more than a quick & simple answer. (It was great!) She performed on both the Viola and the Violin during the concert (and sang too). Both were wonderful (especially when they performed reels. Superb playing!).

    The other musicians were multi-talented as well.
    Margie, who's one of the co-founders of the group, played a wide variety of instruments throughout the evening (tin whistles, recorder, bodhrán , a Celtic style harp, spoons - 'the bones', guitar, etc.) as well as performed vocals on I believe every single song that evening. Her father apparently was an Irish Tenor, and she learned many a song from him. Paul, the other co-founder of the group, played guitar and sang most of the songs, but occasionally he'd break out another instrument. Occasionally he'd use the Mandolin, and for at least one song he used a banjo and for one or two others an accordion made an apperance. :)

    It was hard to choose which cd to purchase, since they had a bunch of them available (including a new one they just put together called Celtic Love Songs), but I eventually settled on their "Songs of Scotland" cd and got their autographs on it. :)

    The crowd had thinned out a bit by then, so we all chatted some more. (Though Kathy was drawn off by some people in attendance from the Ross clan, who apparently wanted to interview her since she had some ties to the clan :). Margie told me that she really appreciated my enthusiasm in the audience. (Hey, we were 2nd row, front & center - and the youngest people there - easy to spot :). When you're at a Celtic concert, you gotta clap (and sing) along whenever possible. (And smile at the performers....there's nothing worse than performing and staring out at a sea of deadpan faces. I know! :)

    Soon, though, @Candai & I called it a night as we had to drive back to my work (where I we left my car) before either of us could drive home. Great night of music, overall! YAY! :)

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    December's Dollhouse Schedule Confirmed

    Just passing on some info for the other Dollhouse fans out there :)

    Fox has apparently confirmed that the official schedule for the next Dollhouse episodes to air.
    (Yay! :)

    "Fox rep tells io9 that this is the airing schedule for Dollhouse between now and 2010:
    Friday, Oct. 23 (tonight) - Episode 204 (9PM-10PM et/pt)
    Friday, Dec. 4 - Episode 205 & 206 (Summer Glau episodes 8PM-10PM et/pt)
    Friday, Dec. 11 - Episodes 207 & 208 (8PM-10PM et/pt)
    Friday, Dec. 18 - Episodes 209 & 210 (8PM-10PM et/pt)"


    And *Don't Forget* that tonight's episode was directed by Jonathan Frakes. (Yes, THAT Jonathan Frakes...the one of Star Trek fame :). And if I heard/read correctly, tonight's ep is focusing on Sierra.

    If you want to see a Clip from tonight's episode (&/or a Promo spot), go here:


    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Wednesday, October 07, 2009

    Soup's On!

    Since I tweeted about planning (and then making) soup and biscuits tonight, here are a couple of pics of tonight's dinner (made from scratch)...

    Chicken & Vegetable Soup with Dirty (Whole Wheat) Biscuits

    The Soup was really just something I threw together - I tend to do that most of the time. :)
    The Herbs & Seasonings were picked by what I felt like would taste good, and the amounts were completely by guess (dash of this, pinch of get the idea :).

    Herbs & Seasonings that I used:
    Fresh Ground Pepper
    Kosher Salt
    Garlic - (about 6 cloves - 1/2 chopped & 1/2 crushed)
    Parsley (dried)
    Rosemary (dried)
    Thyme (dried)
    Tarragon (dried)
    Bay leaves (1 med & 1 small)
    Ground Mustard (dash)

    I also sautéed some finely chopped onions and celery stalks in butter before adding in the rest of the soup ingredients. (I used both chicken stock and vegetable stock for the broth)

    Other ingredients:
    Onion (1 medium sized one - finely chopped)
    Chicken Breast (1)
    Red Potatoes (sm-med, about 4-5, diced)
    Carrots, chopped (around 6)
    Celery (5 stalks, 2-1/12 chopped finely, 2-1/2 chopped in chunks)
    Mushrooms (about 6? - roughly chopped)

    The Biscuits are a simple Soda Biscuits recipe. For the flour I used a mix of whole-wheat flour and regular flour (1 cup of each - it wasn't a very large batch of biscuits).

    And Yes, it does taste as good as it looks (or sounds).

    Leftovers are first come, first served! ;-)

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    September Wrap Up (pics online)

    Well, pictures from September are finally uploaded to my flickr account (if you haven't noticed already ;-).

    Sara's Baby Shower (9-12-09)
    This was the OC baby shower. Sara's in-laws were throwing another one on October 3rd (which I didn't end up going to). I only have a few photos as I soon was drafted to take notes while presents were being opened, but that was ok. :) Monica (my sis-in-law) was taking tons of photos throughout. (Official photorapher for the party and all that :).

    The Match-the-Nursery Rhyme game (don't know if it had an official name or not, since I think my mom made it up - rules were based on the game of Pit :) was a lot of fun. It was definitely a mixer and got people moving about.

    I didn't have time to make anything as a present (perhaps later), but two of the presents I gave were from :) I got my sister (as an early birthday present) this shirt: and for the baby (my Niece!), this Onsie:
    Awesomeness, I know! :)

    My 31st Birthday (9-18-09) at Disneyland
    I spent the day with two friends, David and Elizabeth (Betsy) and had a great time. Got soaked on Spalsh Mountain, but it was a hot day, so it felt goo. Crowds weren't too bad, since it was a Friday (yay!) and we pretty much got on any ride without much of a line. Space Mountain & Haunted Mansion were down (both being 'fixed up' for Halloween/Holidays, I guess). Even had a break from the rides (and the heat) by sipping a Mint Julep in New Orleans. All in all, it was a good day. :) I also got sucked into the great deal they have for Annual Passes and went ahead and turned in my "Get In Free on your Birthday in 2009" ticket towards their cheapest annual pass: the So. California Select. Pretty much no weekends and July and major holidays are blacked out, but no biggie. :) Who wants to go in July (heat) or crowded weekends anyways? :)

    HCA's 1870s Summer Afternoon Picnic (9-20-09)
    (held at the Banning Residence Museum, in Wilmington, CA)
    A lot of sewing was done to get ready for this event. I converted my sheer 1860s gown (with help from Maegen) into my 1870s outfit. But I still needed to make a bustle (undergarment) and the underskirt. And of course, besides small setback with sewing and working with a new (to me) pattern, there was the fact that my machine broke right when I was in the middle of the project and the deadline looming (1 week out). Fortunately, between having some PTO time left (able to take 1/2 days and a couple of full days off…one of which was used for my Disneyland trip :) and Maegen & Charlie allowing me to basically camp out at their place working (and using Maegen's sewing machine), I was ablet o get the outfit done in time. Yay! (Maegen threw together the hat I'm wearing in the pics, and made the brown straps for my overskirt the pull it up into an ‘apron’ in front, and also the brown belt).

    The picnic itself was fun. I arrived about a ½ hr late (was getting ready with the Hensleys), but there were others still arriving so no big deal. It was a nice day, and we had lovely grass to picnic on in a large shady area – perfect! Downside –after a little while, I asked someone to take a picture of me with my camera, and to get a better shot for the picture I was asked to take a step backwards….which I unthinkingly did. Bad idea, as I quickly fell backwards (stepping on my trailing skirts and slipping on the slick grass with my 1860s boots – slick soles, no tread). Of course, the natural thing to do is throw out your arms to break your fall backwards, which is a BAD idea in my case, as I have repeatedly injured my left arm (around the elbow), so this fall re-injured the arm. (Elbow started to pop out of joint, and fortunately I was able to get it back in place as people assisted me up into a sitting position – the movement upward helped). Someone fetched some painkillers for me from her car, and Gina gave me a bag of ice from her cooler, so I could try to mitigate the pain. (Both helped, so thanks!) Maegen (and a few others?) joked that it isn’t an HCA event with me getting hurt in some way. :) Unfortunately, SO true!

    At 2:00pm I joined in the tour of the house, since it intrigued me. A tour (with 4 Brits) had already started, but they and the tour guide kindly let me join in. While the rooms were neat, I was left feeling a bit disappointed as we went through very slowly and there wasn’t as much information given on some of the things I was interested in. (Also – I’d like to double check some information that my guide gave as ‘fact’, as I have never heard of it before in all my research…and I must say that I do like to research things for fun and know a lot of random and generally ‘useless’ knowledge). Between one thing and another (some confusion as to which order the rooms should be toured in with another tour guide flustered our tour guide, and getting off on a few tangents with the other people on the tour), I was starting to look forward to the end of the tour (and wondering if I should duck out early as I had been absent from the picnic for quite some time).

    As I rounded the corner of the house, after touring the Garage/Stables/Blacksmith shop area in the back, I discovered everyone was assembled on the steps of the Front Porch to the house for a group picture! Ack! Barely made it back in time to join in! (I did miss a picture that was taken on the lawn just prior to this one, sounds like). No one apparently knew where I was. A couple people remembered I had gone on a tour, but didn’t realize it took SO long and thought it must have finished a while ago. Lana/lily was also arriving just as I rounded the corner, so we both got in the group picture (yay!).

    Not too long afterwards, as there was no one for a 3:30pm tour, the docents started closing up the museum, and hence they’d start closing the grounds shortly afterwards…and we had to start packing up and saying goodbye.

    Truthfully, I felt a bit cheated ‘cause I barely got to participate in the picnic itself (cause I decided to go on the tour – so my own fault – but that was part of the draw of this place, to see the historic buildings). But it seems like *everyone else* had a really good time, so that’s pretty much all that matters – it was a good event with a good turnout, which means we’ll likely repeat this event in the future. (Maybe same place, maybe somewhere else, we’ll see).

    Sound of Music Sing-Along at the Hollywood Bowl. (9-26-09)
    No pics, unfortunately. (Brought my camera, but never did end up taking a single picture). I met up with a few costumers and friends for the Sound of Music Sing-Along at the Hollywood Bowl. Now *I’ve* never been to the Bowl before (that I can remember, at least), so it was a totally new experience. Since I was in the area, I visited for like 20 minutes with some friends in West LA (that I hadn’t seen in a while) before driving over to the Bowl. One person suggested that I park at Hollywood & Highland (in the parking structure there) as there’s a shuttle that leaves every 15-20 minutes for the Bowl. Sounded like a good idea (instead of trying to navigate the Bowl parking on my first visit) so I took surface streets to get there and got stuck in congestion on Highland trying to get to the intersection of Hollywood & Highland. (doh!) Besides Bowl traffic, something was going on at the shopping center and at one of the nearby places. (They had closed off a portion of Hollywood and I saw some banners saying “Jimmy Kimmel Live” hanging off a building). After getting into the parking lot, I kept asking for directions to the shuttle, but only got vague directions. Got my parking validated (bought chocolate at the Rocky Mtn Chocolate Factory :) and then I went to the 2nd floor where I was told to go for the shuttle…but then couldn’t figure out where to go from there. Wandered for about 20 minutes, and asked more people (who were clueless), and finally ended up going to Guest Services down at street level at the front. She knew what I was talking about, but then told me that since the Show (really was the Pre-Show) already started, she thought the shuttles were done until afterwards. ACK!!! I pestered her until she *finally* called over to the Shuttle area and asked if shuttles were still running…and the WERE, much to my relief. So I finally got good directions and made my way to the Shuttle stop, paid my $4 (ticket) and entered the bus (which was almost full). We were off within a few minutes and shuttled over to the Bowl. Upon arriving, I made my way to the stands in order to seek out my seat and my friends. (Phone calls to one friend were just going to voice mail, but with the noise in the Bowl, it wasn’t *that* surprising she didn’t hear my calls). I eventually found the section in which my seat was and joined the others who had already arrived. (I wasn’t the last to arrive, though – Rizwan & Hollee showed up like 5 minutes later, and their seats were next to mine) Turns out I hadn’t missed much by being late. The “Pre-Show” pretty much as a Costume/Fashion Show in which practically anyone that had dressed up for the performance was allowed to line up and take a walk across the stage, announced by the Host for the evening. Ok in concept, but BORING. Perhaps if it had been whittled down to only a small number (of really good/outstanding entries), it would have been interesting, but for a whole hour – definitely not!

    The experience of seeing the movie on screen with a bunch of people was fun. (Though the jerks with the lazer pointers did make a nuisance outta themselves ‘announcing’ the arrival of each new character with fresh bursts of laser pointing at these screen/characters. Grr. Worse, though, was the angry rumbling from the crowd, as I’m sure that only was egging on those attention-seeking miscreants.)

    I could have done w/o the crowd ‘boo’-ing or hissing at the Baroness, as the crowd was instructed (paper ‘invitation to the ball’ enclosed in the gift back we received upon entering). The Baroness really didn’t deserve that. Yes, she was looking out for herself, in trying to secure the Captain’s affections and getting rid of a potential rival, but when she realized that she didn’t have a chance, she bowed out gracefully…and that’s the point. She actually had class! Now Rolfe, however…TOTALLY fine with booing/hissing for his character! (Little Hitler Youth/Nazi-in-the-making, after all).

    Overall, I really liked seeing it on the big screen, with a lot of people. (But I liked seeing White Christmas in the LA Theater, dressed in 1950s better :).

    The Crosbys (and Amy C., since she carpooled with them), gave me a ride to my car so I wouldn't have to figure out which bus/shuttle was mine (in the mass of people crowding near the busses). Thanks guys!

    By the time I drove home, it was near 1am (I think I managed to fall in bed around 1:30am), so needless to say I was tired! The night air didn't help my already compromised system and I wasn't feeing 100% on Sunday. (Just was a bit off). I had coffee that afternoon with my friend Becca Metzger (who was driving home to San Diego after attending a meeting up in LA county earlier that day) and then I ended up bringing dinner over to Chuck (Hensley) - stopped at Paul's Place to pick up food for me and him...and Rhiannon since she'd snitch fries from both of us ;-) - and visiting with him and the kids for an hour or two. Ok, so maybe I mostly visited with the kids. But that was fine by both of us - allowed Chuck some time to work on leather stuff and I got to have kids time. (Rowan was bouncing with excitement when he saw/heard me enter...he loves my voice! :) We had a fun time, but I made sure to leave like by 9:00pm so I could get some decent rest before the work-week started.

    Unfortunately, I ended up sick. Started coming down with a bad cold on Monday, and ended up going home early from work on Tuesday (9/29) from how sick I was feeling - and not to share my germs with my co-workers (which they appreciated). Stayed home to rest/get better on Wednesday (9/30).

    And that's pretty much what's been going on with me since my last blog post in September.

    Friday, September 04, 2009

    anyone want to go to Disneyland?

    Hi all!

    So I've decided to join the Disney bandwagon and actually take advantage of the "Go to Disneyland Free on your Birthday" promotion, seeing as its my birthday in a couple of weeks.

    Anyone want to come with me (i.e. meet up with me there) for either part or all of the day?
    I would definitely enjoy meandering around Disneyland (and waiting in the various ride lines) more if I'm hanging out with friends - new or old - than wandering the park by myself. (Done that before, and its boring not having a friend to hang out with while waiting in line :).

    My birthday (9/18) is on a Friday this year, which means Yes, I'm taking the day off work.

    Let me know if you want to meet up with me. Hope someone (or a few people) can come along with me! :)

    Saturday, August 29, 2009

    Great Aunt LaVaughn's Dill-Parsley Dip Recipe

    This is a super easy (and simple) recipe, and its just SO yummy! One of my Grandma Doris' sisters (LaVaughn, if I remember which sister correctly) used to make this recipe for family gatherings and the like. Its perfect for serving with cut veggies.

    My Grandma, Aunt Jody, and I have no idea where she got this recipe, unfortunately. But that doesn't stop us from enjoying it!


    So, without further ado...the recipe!

    * * * * * * * * *


    2/3 Cup Best Food Mayonnaise

    2/3 Cup Sour Cream

    1 ½ Tablespoons of dry white onion

    1 Tablespoon Dry Parsley

    1 Tablespoon Dill Weed

    ½ Teaspoon Beau Monde Seasoning+

    Directions: Just mix all together, chill (overnight perferably), and serve!

    * * * * * * * * *

    +If you have never heard of Beau Monde Seasoning before, don't panic! Before I got this recipe *I* hadn't heard of it either. Its basically a blend of celery, onion, and salt. Spice Islands (spices & seasonings) makes it and its apparently an 'all-purpose' seasoning.

    Enjoy! :)

    Friday, August 28, 2009

    Time for a New Hair Color...well, semi-new at least ;-)

    Well, I managed to successfully dye my hair yesterday. Yay! :) Go me! Its been a while since I've dyed my own hair w/o help from a friend. (Its just easier to make sure that you completely saturate the hair all over...especially the harder to see/back of the head places...when you have another pair of eyes and hands helping out :). So I'm definitely feeling accomplished right now.

    While my hair has faded from the really neat reddish color I got back in July for the Molly Weasley outfit (it was professionally dyed), I just never found the time to go and get it touched up...what with prepping for Costume College and then the actual convention, and then Life afterwards...and since then I've been too busy to even dye it myself. However, the last week or so, I've been pretty fed up of having my roots show, I can tell you! So yesterday, when I managed to get off a few hours early from work ('cause work was slow), I made sure to take the time and dye my hair. Yay!

    So its back to a more 'normalish' look for me. (If I recall correctly, I'm pretty sure I used Garnier Nutrisse's "Brown Sugar 63" - which is basically Light Golden Brown. So hair is back to more of a light brown, but with reddish overtones...and, of course, some of the lighter highlights from before show through, which is nice).

    Don't have any pictures yet of my current hair color. But maybe in the future :)

    Friday, August 21, 2009

    HCA's 1870s Picnic (Sept 20th) - Location Update

    The Historical Citizens Association (HCA)'s Board is pleased to announce - we have a new location for our 1870s Picnic!!

    We shall be picnicking at the Banning Residence Museum! (The Museum is located at 401 E M St, Wilmington, CA 90744-2610, in the Long Beach area.)  Picnicking will be FREE and we will have a croquet course (or two) set up.  If you have other games that you would like to bring, such as a set of Graces, please let us know. (Please email Lily Cressman regarding games or questions.


    Also, we are pleased to announce that we have scheduled two docent-guided tours *just for our group*. Tours are approximately 1 hr each and our tours are scheduled for 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm.  Museum Tours are $5.00 per person (children under 12 are free, though the tour is not recommended for those under the age of 9). The $5.00 fee allows you to see ALL the public areas of the 16-room mansion, the barn with its vehicles and blacksmith shop, and the one room schoolhouse, plus you'll get *lots* of local historical information. (Great bargain!)


    Parking - you can park all cars/vans on M Street (1 block south of Pacific Coast Hwy), which runs east-west past the house, or on Banning Blvd, which runs north-south from M Street (directly in front of the house).

    As a reminder - 1870s dress is encouraged. Please bring your own picnicking items (blanket or table/chairs, as well as food and drink items). 

    Hope to see you there!


    The Historical Citizens Association Board

    Rebecca/Violet, Maegen, Jen (R.), Karen, and Lana/Lily

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    feeling accomplished! (Crock Pot Dinner :)

    So, this morning, I was determined to get some food into the crock pot before I left for work...and I did! Yay! :)

    I had some stewing meat (beef chuck) on hand that I browned (in butter, of course!) and seasoned with some Arroyo Grande Seasoning (basically a dry rub/seasoning mix consiting of course ground pepper, course ground salt, & garlic - one of my favorite seasonings!) and a bit of Lipton's Onion Mix. Added about 1/4 cup beef stock to the crock pot, then threw in some Red Potatoes on top and some brown mushrooms (both sprinkled with the above mix of seasonings) .


    Looks tasty, if I do say so myself.

    If I had a *larger* crock pot I would have made the effort to go out to the store and buy some carrots and add those to the pot....but I don't have a large crock pot. (Someday, perhaps). For now, though, I'll stop on my way home and pick up some veggie (possibly carrotts, we'll see) to cook tonight and serve with my pot roast. Hmm...I guess its still a pot roast even if the the beef is cut into chunks and not one large piece of meat. Whatever you want to call it, it'll be tasty. :)

    And no, this is not for any particular reason or for something special. (Just little ol me that will be partaking of this later on tonight). I just wanted to make something in the crock-pot so it'd be an easy dinner when I got home from work. :)