Wednesday, December 24, 2008

In the air there's a feeling of Christmas.

The only time I changed out of my sweatpants yesterday was for a night-time dip in the hot tub. There has been fudge and claymation Rudolph and niece-chasing and peppermint bark and Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol and old home movies. It's good to be home.

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

California, here I come.

The "feels like" is the operative number there.

Even though it's clear today, it was stormy all weekend and there were airport shenanigans all over the place, so my hobby for the day is obsessively refreshing the flight status updates out of Newark Airport. So far, so good. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dream come true.

From Overheard in New York:

Conductor: Hello, and welcome to the Hogwarts Express. This is platform 9 3/4, and we will be leaving shortly for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Preteen holding Harry Potter book, to suit holding Harry Potter book: Oh my god! I knew they would come for me!

Suit holding Harry Potter book, to himself: I did too.

--C Train

I ride that train every day, and it never takes me to Hogwarts. :(

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Simple pleasures.

So Joofy Joof was in town this week for PWC training, and as you may recall I got us tickets to see a taping of Late Night with Conan O'Brien. I took off from work around 3:00 to meet Jeff at the studio. (I was telling my friend Tim, an accountant/slave to overtime, this story on the phone last night... Tim: "How did you get work off?" Me: "I... told them my brother was in town and we were going to see Conan, and they said, 'Have fun.'" Tim: "WHAT?")

After a little waiting around, we got herded into the studio. Jeff and I were on the left side in the front row, directly in front of where Conan would do his monologue. We scoped out the nearest microphone and prepared our most distinguishable shrieks. After some Best Of clips, the warm-up guy came out (who I swear has been a minor character in some shows and/or movies, but I can't think of who he is), and then Conan himself came out to chat with the audience a little. I don't know what that guy does before shows to get all hyped up ("Cocaine," suggested the warm-up guy) but man, it works. Anyway, the show was awesome--seeing Stephen Colbert and Conan O'Brien on stage together was everything I could have hoped for. They did "In The Year 2000" and sang a duet of "Jingle Bell Rock" and did a kick-line with some Rockettes. It was fabulous.

After the show, Jeff treated me to a really nice dinner for my birthday present. We managed to score a walk-in table at Del Frisco's Steakhouse and let me tell you, it's times like those that I wonder why I ever eat anything other than steak. (Oh right, because it's expensive. Also scurvy.) Anyway, it was absolutely delicious. I'm dreaming about it right now. And it proved once again that I am a girl of simple pleasures, getting optimum happiness from television and a steak dinner.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

City lights.

Things I enjoy today:

1. The Hanson Christmas album
2. Starbucks salted caramel hot chocolate
3. The image stabilization on my new camera
4. Christmastime in NYC

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas miracle.

You guys, Santa Claus must have heard how amazingly good I've been this year and couldn't wait until Christmas to reward me. Not only do Jeff and I have tickets to the Conan O'Brien show on Monday, but the special guest has been announced.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Long weekend.

At dinner on Thursday night, I thought about how the next day was Sunday, after which it would be back to work. And then I remembered - not Sunday, but Friday. Four day weekend! I don't think there is any better feeling in the world than that, other than sliding into clean sheets with freshly shaved legs.

Things I did with my weekend included (but are not limited to): reading, adding new songs to my iPod, listening to Christmas music, Skyping, lots of cleaning and organizing, getting a library card (my mom will be so proud), drinking Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, and seeing Four Christmases (meh) and Slumdog Millionaire (excellent). Fun fact about the latter: it's in limited release and was only playing at 32 theatres last weekend, and its per-screen box office average was higher than Twilight on its opening weekend. Anyway, it's beautiful and poignant and funny and sad, and visually it's absolutely gorgeous. I wouldn't be surprised to see it get nominated for a few Oscars. It's a little hard to describe the premise, so here's the trailer.

Oh, and both the trailer and the film itself use fantastic music, so there's a win right there.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving thanks.

I've only spent two Thanksgivings in my life away from my (blood-related) family. Some people dread going home for the holidays, but that's only because their family is not as awesome as mine. My first time away was in 2004 at the BYU London Centre. We played football in Hyde Park, I got tackled by a 300-pound guy, we had an amazing feast cooked for us, and then we dragged our mattresses into the classroom and snuggled in our pajamas while watching Shrek 2.

The second was today. We went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. We bought delicious hot chocolate from some kids on the steps of a brownstone for $1. We took a nap. We got dressed up and went to an excellent Thanksgiving dinner at a nice restaurant on the Upper East Side. We ate home-made pie and lounged around watching Home Alone and listening to Christmas music and laughing a lot.

I'm thankful that when I can't be with my biological family, my other family is there to take care of me. Though we meant to go around the table and each say what we're thankful for, we kept getting distracted and never actually got around to it. But that's what I would have said.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rock star.

Today there was a special conference for the NYC area, in which I got to hear this man speak: this place:

"When harder times come, stay with Him. There may be temptation to say, 'Well, I guess God doesn't care about me.' But when the winds and waves are unexpected and fierce, stay in the boat. This is no time for you to try your own little doggy paddle." - Jeffrey R. Holland

He also quoted Bryan Adams.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


On the phone, around 12:30 in the morning.

Becca: So, when are you coming home for Christmas?
Me: The 22nd. And my flight gets in at like midnight, so I'm guessing Mom will make you and/or Dave pick me up.
Becca: Ooh, okay. Oh! And then afterwards, we should go do something crazy. Like... get milkshakes!

I laughed so hard I cried.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


This morning I was running late for church (surprise!), which was more unfortunate than usual as I was supposed to be there early to run through a song. And of course MTA's weekend subway shenanigans meant that the train I usually take wasn't running. I knew I'd already missed the bus I needed, but was hoping to catch the next one and salvage a little rehearsal time. I rounded the corner as fast as my high heels would carry me, only to see the bus pulling away from the stop down the street. I don't know if it was my exasperated groan or the dramatic slumping of my shoulders that signaled my distress, but as the driver pulled up to the stoplight right in front of me, he opened the doors and waved me onto the bus.

"Thank you so much!" I gushed as I fumbled in my bag for my Metrocard.

"I only stopped 'cause you look like a princess," he replied with a grin.

I'm glad someone finally agrees with me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The reports have been rolling in today from around the world--victory parties in Paris, cheering crowds in India, shouts of "USA! USA!" on the streets of London. Nations around the world are celebrating because of what happened yesterday in our country, and the significance of that is impossible to deny. Last night the streets of New York, like so many cities across the country, were filled with people. There were crowds of thousands and pockets of a few, cheering and honking horns and hugging complete strangers. On the news today they were comparing it to the scene on V-J Day, when people swarmed Times Square in jubilation over the news that World War II had ended. Perhaps I'm being overly sentimental (I am), but I find it hard to be cynical about that kind of joy, that kind of hope.

Of course, I'm not naive--I know that Obama's victory does not mean it will be sunshine and puppies from here on out. He and we still face a long, hard road to build up a country beset by enormous challenges. But to know that we have just made history, and that so much of the world is once again standing with us, it feels, even for just this one day, like a great day to be an American.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election night.

It sounds like New Year's Eve outside, and doesn't show any signs of letting up. I don't care who you voted for--this is an important moment in United States history, and I am thankful to be a part of it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

False alarm.

You know what's embarrassing? Finishing up the decorating for your Stake YSA Halloween party around 10:30pm and accidentally setting off the fire alarm. And then you're frantically fanning the smoke detectors while someone else calls the bishop to ask what we should do and others suggest just running away. And when you finally get the alarm to stop for good, you freeze on your way to the elevator to go home--are those sirens? And you get down to the lobby and there are half a dozen firefighters coming through the front doors, and not only are there two fire trucks parked right outside, but there are two more blocking the intersection at 3rd avenue, and people are milling about across the street to watch the spectacle. And all you really have to say for yourself is, "Sorry, officer, it was an accident. Things just got a little out of hand with the fog machine."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


After two unsuccessful attempts at the standby line:

DATE/TIME: Dec. 8, 2008; 05:30 PM

CONGRATULATIONS! In response to your ticket request to attend a live taping of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, we are pleased to confirm the above reservation.

This time, Jeff and I have opted to go with sleeping in warm beds in lieu of standing in the cold rain outside Rockefeller Center at 6:30am. Good decision.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This is just getting cruel.


P.S. You must watch until the very end.

Yes, I am a (nearly) 24-year-old professional adult woman, why do you ask?

Saturday, October 25, 2008


"No Drama Obama. We gotta have No Drama Obama. 'You're insane if you vote for McCain.' I made that one up. 'No Drama Obama.' Sounds good, right?"

From now on, I am taking all my political advice from random dudes on the bus. This guy sounded exactly like Louis Armstrong.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Autumn in New York.

On my run in Central Park on Saturday, I noticed that the leaves are finally starting to change color. It made for a nice palette to enjoy and to distract me as I ran. By the time I got to the reservoir (one of my favorite places in the park), the sun was starting to set. The light was shimmering brilliantly on the water with the red, orange, and golden trees lining the edge and the Manhattan skyline rising up behind.

You know, New York, there are times every once in a while when I think that maybe I'm falling out of love with you. Mostly it's at 1 in the morning when I am willing the train to come so I can get home, or when I realize that half of my income disappears into my rent check, or when I am just so tired of there being so many people everywhere all the time. But then you inevitably pull something like this that reminds me of how amazing you are, and I know that I didn't really mean it at all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"He is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage."

I'm not usually one to blog about politics, but I thought this was an interesting turn of events in this election. Colin Powell, a Republican and former Secretary of State under George W. Bush, as well as a long-time friend of John McCain, endorsed Obama this morning on Meet the Press. The video is worth a watch if you have a minute.

Monday, October 13, 2008


So I've been on a random period piece kick, what with the books I'm reading and the movies I've been watching lately. It started with The Duchess and continued when I rented Tristan and Isolde for funsies (in case you were wondering, it is not good). As you can see, the actual time period matters little, as long as there are costumes and preferably some sort of connection to the British Isles. Anyway, my Netflix account is on to me, and has started making suggestions based on recent additions to my queue. Which brings us to today:


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Money laundering.

This morning on my way to work, I dropped my laundry off at the laundromat near my subway stop. I've been doing this for months, because it's only a few bucks more and it saves me a lot of time and I figure, my precious time is worth a few dollars. At work, I get a voicemail from the lady who runs the place (please imagine in a thick Dominican accent for full authenticity):

"Hi Laura [the 'au' pronounced like 'ow'], I am from the cleaners. We have your credit card here, okay? Bye."

I am puzzled. Why would she have my card? I never take it out of my wallet unless I'm using it, and the laundromat only takes cash. And anyway, I don't pay until I pick up my clothes, so I wouldn't have even opened my purse when I was there. But I get out my wallet and sure enough, my debit card is gone. How could this have happened? And then I remember: yesterday, when I was home sick, I had put my debit card in my jeans pocket when I made a quick run to the store for some tissues, orange juice, and ice cream (what? it felt good on my sore throat). And those jeans are now at the laundromat. I also remember there is a $20 bill in the pocket as well. Crap. So I call back:

"Hi, this is Laura, you just called about my debit card?"
"Yes, yes, Laura, we have your card. I keep it here for you."
"Thank you! There was also a $20 bill in the pocket, did you find that?"
"Hmmmm, no. No 20 dollars. I will check, but I am busy right now." *click*

So I figure, awesome. There's 20 bucks I'll never see again. That's what I get for being careless. A few minutes later, I'm calculating how many more containers of ice cream I could have bought with that money (the answer is eight - Breyer's is on sale this week) when I get another call:

"Hello? This is Laura."
"Hi Laura, I find your 20 dollars in the wash. I have it here."
"Oh great, thank you!"
"Yes, yes, I washed your 20 dollars for you!"

Heh. She seemed extremely amused, and then asked, "You just have too much money?" Exactly. I can't keep track of all the money overflowing from my pockets, my wallet's too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight.

Monday, October 6, 2008


You guys, it is #1 at the box office. I weep for humanity.

In related news, I saw Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist this weekend, and I really liked it. Cute and hilarious, a sort of Juno-ish feel (and oh, hey, it has Michael Cera too!) but with more natural, fresh writing. Then we wandered around the East Village and ended up at 16 Handles, which... I want to pay them rent and I want to live there forever. Self-serve fro yo (16 different flavors) with tons of toppings; you cram whatever you want into your bowl, and then they weigh it and charge you accordingly. I got cookies and cream, chocolate, and cheesecake fro yo with... well, I can't remember all the toppings I got, but I'm pretty sure there were Cocoa Krispies involved, among other things. Heaven.

Saturday night, Rachel and I tried (successfully!) for the In The Heights ticket lottery, and found ourselves in the front row. I was seated next to a young man with such beautiful blue eyes and shaggy dark hair that it made the Australian accent almost superfluous. His name was Edward (of course) and he was smiling and flirting so much that I was convinced marriage was imminent. By the end of intermission, we even had inside jokes about the groundbreaking french horn-based rock band we were going to start. And then as the curtain closed at the end of the show, he leaned over and said, "It was lovely to meet you," and walked away without a backward glance. Tragic. I will therefore assume that he was either gay or a vampire. One of the two. But the show was good! And as I actually live in The Heights I expected to see a pale red-headed character walking by and getting called "Snowflake" at any moment. Maybe they need extras?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

World Class.

Thank you for calling Ticketmaster. All of our agents are currently busy helping other customers. Your call will be handled by the next available agent.

[several minutes of irritating lite-rock guitar hold music]

“Thank you for calling Ticketmaster, how may I help you?”

“I bought a ticket two months ago for the Ben Folds concert at Terminal 5 tonight, and along with the ticket purchase there was an iTunes pre-order for his new album. I was supposed to get an email yesterday telling me how to download the album, but I never got it.”

“Okay, let me find out what’s going on with that. Please hold.”

[several minutes of irritating lite-rock guitar hold music]

“Okay, ma’am. It looks like when you bought the ticket, you were taken to a page where there should have been a banner that you could click to download your tracks. Did you not see that?”

“No, those were the two bonus tracks I got when I pre-ordered the album. The actual album came out yesterday, and the confirmation email said I would receive instructions to download the album, which I’ve already paid for. I did not receive anything.”

“Okay, let me transfer you to Customer Service.”

“I thought this was Customer Service.”

[hold music]

“Thank you for calling Ticketmaster, how may I provide you with World Class Service today?”

[repeat entire explanation of problem]

“Let me look into that for you. One moment please.”

[endless eternities of lite-rock guitar hold music]

“Okay, what you need to do is email Customer Service, and they can send you the information you need.”

“Isn’t THIS Customer Service? Are you saying you can’t help me at all?”

“I can email them for you right now, if you want to hold for a few minutes.”

“[Sigh.] Never mind. Thank you so much for your ‘help’.”

Upon reflection, I don’t think she could sense my sarcastic air quotes over the phone.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Latest purchase.

Yesterday I made an impulse buy. Actually, I don't think it can really be considered an impulse buy, since I've been wanting a new digital camera for a really long time now. And yesterday afternoon I found a really awesome deal, so I jumped all over it.

Don't get me wrong, I love my old digital camera. Even though it's over 4 years old and sort of big and boxy and the LCD screen is tiny and the "zoom" is laughable, it still takes some great photos. And it's documented fabulous times: two stints in London, four Christmases, two Hawaiian vacations, friends' weddings, a cruise, Harry Potter midnight showings, graduation, moving to New York City...But now it's time to say goodbye, camera. We had a good run, but we always knew this wouldn't last forever. I'm trading you in for a younger, sexier model:

Sleek design, image stabilization, better zoom, double the megapixels, and a nice LCD display. And the best part is, this camera cost less than half of what I paid for my old one 4 years ago. Technology!

Edit: OMG IT JUST ARRIVED! I ordered it yesterday, with regular (free!) shipping. My life is a totally kick-A fairytale.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Today marked the official beginning of Autumn. I decided a while back that autumn is my favorite season. I don't especially like extreme temperatures (so why I left California for Utah, Colorado, and now New York is beyond me), so Summer and Winter are both out. And Spring seems to get a lot more rain, which wreaks havoc with my hair. Autumn means crisp air, beautiful colors, cute outfits, and the return of sweet, sweet television shows. A few days ago, autumn cemented its place in my heart when I woke up in the middle of the night - windows thrown open, a sheet barely covering me, as has been my wont all summer - and I had a peculiar sensation. I was COLD. I marveled at the feeling for a moment and then reached for my long-scorned duvet and snuggled down in a moment of pure bliss. I will say this: I am proud of having somehow survived an entire sticky, humid, oppressive New York summer without air conditioning. But I will never do that ever again.

Today I celebrated the new season by registering to vote in the state of New York. I thought of an autumn four years ago when I sent in an absentee ballot from London. I thought of last year's autumn spent living with my bebes. I thought of countless beginnings of school years that were inexplicably exciting even though they would inevitably become torturous all too soon. That feeling of possibilities still manifests itself, and is, I think, yet another reason why I love autumn (that, and caramel apple cider). I'm looking forward to seeing how the season turns out this year.

"Autumn" doesn't even look like a word anymore.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Sexaaayyyyy! WOO!"

If you ever feel like maybe your self-esteem is going downhill, all you need to do is come visit my neighborhood and take a walk from my building to the subway. Satisfaction guaranteed!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend jaunt.

This weekend I took a 4-hour coach ride down to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the arrival of a true champion and BFF (and one of the few people who loves TV as much as I do), Timothy Bruce Whiting. After nearly a year of separation, Tim opted to sufficiently reduce the 2,000-mile distance between us. I encourage all of you to do likewise. We gallivanted around his new city, and I have to admit, I fell a little bit in love with it. I'd been there once during my senior year of high school, but I'd forgotten how nice it is. Too bad there's not exactly a booming music industry in D.C. I love New York, but it was nice to get away from the intensity, at least for a weekend.

I also got to see another long-lost friend, Cory Cozzens, though I apparently didn't think to get a picture of us together. The White House will have to suffice. The Cozzens lived in the Bay Area for 3-4 years when I was in elementary school, and Cory and I hung out occasionally at BYU as well. back in the day, Cory and I had great fun getting into trouble for talking during class all the time. I got a B in citizenship in 5th grade because of him. But honestly, if socializing with your peers doesn't make you a good citizen, I don't know what does.

On Sunday, I went with Tim and his roommates to church, and I think I knew more people in that ward than they did. Heh. At least now I'll have many more excuses to make the trip. And since the coaches have free wi-fi, you can look forward to future blogs en route.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Being in New York City today felt, in a way, like being at a funeral for a friend's loved one. I felt sad for the loss, acknowledging the tragedy that occurred 7 years ago. But I was only ever an intruder on someone else's grief, because I couldn't truly have any idea how it must feel.

I'm sure everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. I wrote in my journal that night - a journal that had gone neglected for months prior, and was forgotten again soon after. Over pages and pages, I related a detailed account of the day's events and the way the world felt at that moment, because I knew on that day that it would be changed forever.

I was 3,000 miles away on September 11, 2001, watching history unfold on a television screen. Tonight I stood at Ground Zero and looked up, knowing that I will never really know what those towers looked like up close, or the horror that gripped the city that day. But as I did my best to remember, I was able to experience a small part of the mourning of a city and a nation, as well as hope and the resolve to rebuild. And for that I am grateful.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

OMG! (the remix)

Forget Michael Phelps, my stalking energies will now be focused in a more red-delicious-eating, kebab-buying, business-timing, bird-flipping, awesomely-accented direction: Flight of the Conchords has begun filming its second season here in the city.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I found out this weekend that Rent ended its 12-year Broadway run on Sunday. I kept meaning to go see it, but I never got around to it. This makes me sad.

Another thing that closed this weekend was the Astroland amusement park at Coney Island. Luckily, I managed to get a piece of that action on Labor Day. Mariah, Rachel and I trekked down to the southern border of Brooklyn to bask in the wonder of carnies (Rachel won two goldfish!), Shoot the Freak, Nathan's hot dogs, the beach, and an 81-year-old roller coaster. It was everything I hoped it would be.

Oh, and thanks to all the people (including my anonymous book fairies) who recommended stuff for me to read. I went to Barnes and Noble and wandered around for the better part of an hour, reading the backs of a lot of those books and others that looked interesting, and got entirely overwhelmed. I decided it would be prudent for me to look into a library card, so until I get around to that, I fell back on an old favorite. Any additional recs are still appreciated - now that I'm out of school and actually have time for leisure reading, it gives me great satisfaction to add to my list.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


So I am watching Project Runway just now, minding my own business, when Megan comes home and suddenly I hear a SHRIEK from the hallway. And I'm like, "Are you okay?" and Megan is all, "THERE'S A COCKROACH IN OUR APARTMENT!" AHHHHHH! I have heard war stories from most of my friends about the battles waged against cockroaches, but thankfully I have never even seen one in my apartment before. I'd actually never seen one anywhere before, and was quite content to continue in my ignorance. So there it is, just chillin' on our wall, lazily swishing its antennae, cool as a cucumber. (I thought they only came out in the dark and you had to surprise them? I don't know.) I immediately get all twitchy and sort of reluctantly ask if there's anything Megan wants me to do, but I can tell she is already hatching a plan so I'm not too worried. She just wants moral support, she says, as she gets a cup and prepares to trap it. I follow her into the hall, cowering in the kitchen doorway, and shifting from foot to foot with my hands half covering my face. After disarming the little guy with some small talk, Megan lunges for it with the cup, but it is too quick and goes skittering across the wall, and I shriek and Megan shrieks and it is all around a championship scene. She tries again, and this time it gets down to the floor and takes off in a sprint (seriously, they are FAST) and things are about to dissolve into full-out mayhem when Megan slams the cup down and captures it. We stare at the cup for a few seconds, and after weighing different disposal options, we opt for the kitchen window. Megan scoops up the makeshift cage with an envelope and carefully scoots over to the open window. We are both very tense, and the little guy is running around like crazy inside the cup and just generally freaking us out even more. Megan squeals again as she flicks our friend out the window and we both shriek some more and then Megan, in her hysteria, throws the cup out the window too, but neither of us cares because at least the cockroach is gone. I never really liked that cup anyway.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Things I like.

I don't often recommend books unless someone specifically asks me to, but I just finished The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and I have to say: if you have not read this book, read this book. It is absolutely stunning.

The other day, someone at work expressed surprise that I seemed to enjoy reading so much: "So, you just... read? For fun?" Um, yeah. I actually sort of look forward to my 30-minute commute, because rather than fighting traffic and getting stressed, I get to sit and read. (And maybe occasionally end up in Queens.) Which is all to say, I need more book recs. So if you can think of something I should read, let me know. I'll probably stop by a bookstore after work tomorrow (partial day, woohoo!).

Apropos of nothing, I recently got Quicken and started using it for the first time in my life, and it is like my new favorite thing. It takes my love of spreadsheets (no seriously, I love spreadsheets) and planning to the next level. It puts your expenses into a pie chart! It downloads information straight from your bank account! It tells you when to pay your bills! I am going to budget the crap out of EVERYTHING.


My roommate saw Michael Phelps on 5th Avenue this morning. My mission is clear. Sarah, it's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Most people in my office have music playing at their desks during the day. The guy a couple cubes down enjoys a sort of fusion of pop/punk/rock, while the girl who used to sit behind me preferred R&B. Brian, whose cube is next to mine, usually alternates between Howard Stern, Phillies games, and classic rock. And if I don't have my own music playing, I can still usually tune out the surrounding noise.

Yesterday, as I was going about my business, I suddenly felt a little subconscious thrill of excitement. As I tried to figure out what could be the cause of this reaction, I focused on the sound coming from Brian's speakers - it was the intro to "The Heart of Rock and Roll" by Huey Lewis and the News. Much like my Pavlovian response to Mannheim Steamroller, hearing this song caused a flashback to childhood glee, when my Dad would put it on for us kids to dance around to. I would be sitting in the family room or somewhere in my night gown, and from the living room there would suddenly come the deep, steady pulse of the heartbeat. The volume would be cranked up so you could hear it from pretty much anywhere in the house. The excitement it created was immense. We'd scramble into the living room from wherever we were, and jump and dance around in anticipation of that first huge swell of synthesizers that never failed to whip us into a frenzy.

I guess it proves Huey's thesis that, all these years later, "It's still that same old rock and roll music / That really, really drives 'em wild."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Honeymoon phase.

Did you ever get that feeling when you were in school, and there would be a holiday weekend, where you'd kind of forget about it for a little while, and then on Sunday night or something you'd suddenly remember that you had the day off and it was like a mini surprise party in your mind? That's how I feel, living in New York. Sometimes, when I'm sitting at my desk on a slow afternoon at work, or just watching TV in my apartment, I sort of forget that I live here.

And then I remember, and it is awesome.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Okay, forget the mosquito-bite-on-the-toe fiasco. THIS is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drown my sorrows in mass amounts of Ben & Jerry's and ample footage of shirtless Michael Phelps.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Two good things.

I came across this article - The Girl in the Window - yesterday, and it's one of the most incredible stories I've read in a while. Heartbreaking, but also full of hope. If you have a few minutes, it is very much worth a read.

Also, a HUGE shout-out to my sister Becca who just got accepted to the University of Utah nursing program! She has worked incredibly hard to get where she is, and to get accepted to a very competitive program. I have really admired her diligence and the passion with which she has pursued her goal. I know she will excel in her program and be an absolutely fantastic nurse. I am so proud of her, and if I hadn't been at work when she called with the news, I would have been screaming right along with her!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Saturday was supposed to be a beach day. But when I wake up and roll over and see the ominous gray skies outside my window, I think maybe that will not happen. So after eating breakfast and watching The Soup, I decide to go with the next best plan: seeing Mamma Mia and picking up my copy of Breaking Dawn.

Around noon, I get out of the subway a few blocks from the movie theatre that is conveniently located across the street from Barnes and Noble. It has started to sprinkle, and I congratulate myself on my good sense in putting on closed-toed flats instead of flip flops, despite the heat. I've also brought my umbrella with me. I am a genius.

Moments later, so suddenly that I think I must either be on the set of Lost or that God is mocking me, water is pouring from the sky. Civilians are running for shelter anywhere they can find it - under construction scaffolding, inside ATM vestibules - but I will not be deterred from my goal of an afternoon of mindless girliness. I soldier on, becoming soaked from the waist down (thank heavens my umbrella was there to keep my shoulders dry) and sloshing around in my stupid shoes. People are peering out from their havens, looking at me like I'm some sort of crazy person. Or a hero.

I stop at a crosswalk, willing the light to change. Barnes and Noble is just across the street now. As I wait, a man jogs up beside me in a t-shirt, shorts, and running shoes, probably having just come from the park. Normally I wouldn't notice, but we are almost the only people left on the street. He is soaked to the skin, and I am not in much better shape with my sad little umbrella. I look over and realize the man is Dennis Quaid. As the light changes, he smiles ruefully in a moment of sopping wet camaraderie and then jogs away.

By the time the movie is over, my clothes are dry and the sun is out, but my shoes are still moist and make little sloshing noises as I walk back to the subway. Stupid shoes. I bet Dennis doesn't have to put up with this crap.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


1. If there were a reality show starring Cat Deeley and Tim Gunn, doing something - anything - for an hour every week, I would watch it.

2. SYTYCD is the lamest show in the history of time.

(I don't really mean it. I love you, show, I do. I just don't like you very much right now.)

3. This morning I did a very silly thing. I went early in the morning to the Good Morning America studios to shriek with a bunch of fangirls for Stephenie Meyer. (For those who may not know, she is a BYU grad who writes books about sparkly teenage vampires and the whiny emo girls who love them. Also, shirtless werewolves.) My old roommate Jenny emailed me on Tuesday saying that the publisher was looking for Twilight fans to be in the studio for Stephenie's interview, and all you had to do was email them with your name. So I thought, why not? And I did.

Let me first explain the way I feel about the Twilight books. They are like cake. I know that cake contains way too much sugar and has zero substance and will probably make me feel kind of ashamed after I finish it, but if you offer me a piece of cake I will eat it, and I will love every minute of it. Because I don't eat cake for the nutritional value. And you know what? If the inventor of cake was on Good Morning America, I would go on the show and thank that person for bringing the sweet, delicious nonsense into my life.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, although Jenny and I were probably the only people who didn't have t-shirts and/or posters. BUT I did bring my Twilight book and got it signed. Stephenie's rep said she probably wouldn't have time to stick around and meet fans after the show, but Stephenie actually came out before her segment and spent time signing autographs and taking pictures with the 150 or so fans that were there - she was really nice, and made sure she didn't miss anyone. Also, she said she loved my hair.

Also, Diane Sawyer was there, and she is lovely.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oh, hello.

I was going to post last night, but then I saw that the Harry Potter trailer was finally released and I forgot everything else in the universe.

But now that I've watched it a not at all unreasonable number of times, I can turn my full attention to updating. I realized I haven't uploaded pictures in quite some time, and who doesn't love pictures? Am I right? So please to enjoy any or all of the following albums:

Noelle's wedding
Denver trip (Caution: photos may contain an alarming number of redheads.)
Billy Joel

I went home to CA too, and it was awesome, but I somehow neglected to take photo documentation of the endless hours spent playing Rock Band and Wii Mario Kart. I did, however, get to bask in the wonder of my parents' new house in Pleasanton, which is enormous and beautiful. Looking forward to Christmas, with the whole fam home and enjoying the outdoor kitchen and hot tub in the backyard.

I also have a few videos from the Billy Joel concert, which I will post at a later date.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ryan started the fiiiiiiiire!

Tonight I was in attendance at the last ever concert at Shea Stadium, starring one William Joel (have I mentioned that I love my job?). Musical guest appearances included Garth Brooks singing "Shameless", Steven Tyler rocking "Walk This Way", and Roger Daltrey doing "My Generation" (during which Mr. Joel smashed his guitar). Tony Bennett and Billy Joel did a duet of "New York State of Mind" and I figured it was probably one of the coolest moments I would ever witness at a concert.

And then Sir Paul McFreakingCartney came on stage to the deafening cheers of 50,000 fans, and the two of them sang "Let It Be" as the final encore and totally blew my mind.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Play it cool, boy.

I am going to go see this next year. Who wants to come?


I have a mosquito bite on the bottom of my foot, right at the base of my big toe. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Holiday weekend.

My 4th of July plans include playing on the swings with her...

And riding scooters with him...

And meeting her for the first time.

What will you be doing?

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Oh, hello.

I hope none of you actually avenged my death, because as it turns out, I survived, so that would be kind of awkward. Anyway, Becca and I had a fabulous time together last weekend. I think she was a tiny bit disappointed with the city at first ("It's a lot like San Francisco." Yes, in that it is a city and it has homeless people and garbage...), but as we saw more she really liked it, and we are already discussing the cute apartment we will share in the Village someday. Heh.

Anyway, I feel like there isn't a really interesting way to catalog everything we did in one post, since we did a lot. But here's the rundown, and if you want, you can go straight to the photos here.

  • Rockefeller Center - We tried, unsuccessfully, to get into Conan on standby. At least it wasn't raining like it was when I tried with Jeff.
  • World Trade Center/Ground Zero - I am always amazed at how huge it is. We also saw the plans for the new tower that's being built.
  • St. Paul's chapel
  • Trinity Church
  • Wall Street - Becca was in love with Wall Street. "There's just... so much MONEY here!"
  • Staten Island Ferry
  • Battery Park
  • Grand Central
  • New York Milkshake Company - best grilled cheese sandwiches EVER. And I know grilled cheese sandwiches. Becca got American with ham, I got cheddar with bacon. Delicious.
  • United Nations - somehow I didn't take pictures as we strolled by? Oh well.
  • Times Square
  • Chinatown - here, we went in search of filming locations from Flight of the Conchords, including Bret and Jemaine's apartment, the fake New Zealand Embassy, and Dave's Pawn Shop. Side note: we did this when Jeff was here as well, and someday I will tell you the amazing story of how I found the exact location of Bret's angry dance scene in the season finale episode. Also, Becca decided that some Chinese food is gross.
  • Little Italy - We went to a restaurant that one of my coworkers had recommended, that's owned by a guy that produced The Sopranos (my coworker used to work on that show in LA). We ate dinner next to this guy.
  • While I worked, Becca did the Circle Line tour and rested her little feet. She met me at the office at 5 and we walked down to Bleecker Street to experience a little bit of Greenwich Village and find some food. We ended up picking a random place that turned out to be awesome! Becca had a chicken caesar salad, and I got some excellent macaroni and cheese (yes, people, I love cheese) and we kept being amazed at how delicious it was. We also saw Jean Grey strolling around.
  • Beard Papa's - As luck would have it, this cream puff (and other desserts) place was right next door to the restaurant we'd chosen. I LOVED this place in London, and I knew there was one on the Upper West Side, but this was a pleasant surprise.
  • Columbus Circle - with some time to spare before the show, we got off at Columbus Circle because I think it's cool (Becca immediately recognized it from Enchanted), and then walked to the theatre.
  • WICKED - It's a great feeling when you plan and try really hard to get good seats to a show and you hope the person you're with likes it as much as you do, and then they turn to you at intermission and say, "This is the best. Show. EVER!" Heh. She also loved Kerry Ellis.
  • Times Square, again - I wanted Becca to experience the wall-to-wall people she was expecting from NYC. Times Square on a Friday night is a good time to do that.
  • Columbia - we walked around this area a bit, mostly to see the outside of Tom's Restaurant, which features in Seinfeld.
  • Cathedral of St. John the Divine
  • Crepes on Columbus - AMAZING. See photos.
  • Central Park - Belvedere Castle - Bethesda Fountain (we almost staged our own reenactment of "That's How You Know" from Enchanted)
  • 5th Avenue
  • Tiffany & Co. - I'll take the $700K engagement ring, please. Also, their bathrooms are really nice (this is important, because it is no easy task finding a bathroom in Manhattan, believe me).
  • Trump Tower
  • FAO Schwartz
  • Grimaldi's - this little pizza place under the Brooklyn Bridge is purported to be the best pizza in NYC (as so many are). Having only eaten there once before, I was concerned I might have hyped it up too much, since the line to get in was an hour long and we were already really tired (we passed the time playing Harry Potter Guessing Game and listening to Wicked on my iPod). But then our pizza came and Becca took a bite, and the look of bliss on her face chased all my anxiety away. We were in heaven. By the time we realized we should have taken a picture of our pizza, we had eaten the entire thing.
  • The Promenade - nice view of the Manhattan skyline.
  • Brooklyn Bridge - walking back to Manhattan across the bridge was the perfect end to our sightseeing. It was a beautiful, warm night with a nice breeze, and the city lights looked gorgeous. Becca said, "If I lived here I would do this once a week." I might need to take that into consideration.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Conan O'Brien standby line: 2, Laura: 0.

The rest of the day was fun, though.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


In a few minutes I’ll be leaving to pick up Becca at JFK airport. When I talked to her yesterday to discuss our plans and expressed some concern about the amount of things she wants to do/see, she claimed she wants to see the city “Dad-style.” For those who may not be familiar with my dad, that’s basically code for “Walk until you are dead.”

As previously noted, my dad plans the best vacations ever. What I didn’t mention is that his favorite part is actually planning them, with his yellow legal pad out and dozens of potential activities scheduled and crossed out and moved around. Sometimes the vacations are low-key and relaxing, like a trip to Hawaii or hanging out at Lake Tahoe. More often than not, on one hot summer day you end up going all around Versailles and up the Eiffel Tower and down the Champs Elysees, marching through the streets of Paris until you finally collapse on a bench in the Rubens gallery of the Louvre. (Metaphorically speaking.) But it’s worth it, because you see everything and have some awesome experiences and memories to take away from it, and also you are rewarded with an awesome night cruise on the Seine where you get to sit for a long time.

So per Becca’s request, we will be tearing this city apart over the next four days. Tonight we’ll prepare for the surge by carbo-loading and watching SYTYCD. Starting tomorrow at 6:30 am, all systems are go.

If I haven’t blogged again within like a week, avenge my death.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


So Becca is coming to visit this week, and I bought tickets a while back for us to see Wicked on Friday. She's never seen it, and even though I saw it twice in London, I loved it and will gladly see it again. Part of the reason I saw it twice was because of the girl playing Elphaba, Kerry Ellis, who was absolutely amazing. We even considered going a third time, but she was on holiday that week so we decided not to. And guess who I just found out will be joining the Broadway cast today as Elphaba? Kerry Ellis. I love my life.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I remember one time when I was a freshman in high school, I went on a "date" with my dad, where just the two of us went out to dinner and saw a movie. When I told one of my friends later that I'd hung out with my dad, she was like, "Uhh, okay. That sounds fun." And I couldn't figure out why she sounded all sarcastic, because it WAS fun. But I guess if your dad isn't as cool as mine, that might be hard to understand.

The above picture is, to me, the epitome of my dad. He is a lot of things: he is a successful lawyer, and a former bishop. He is literally the smartest person I know. He plans the best vacations ever. He will probably buy more Christmas lights every year until he dies. He is incredibly witty and charismatic. He has an actual bounce in his step when he walks. He makes killer air-popped popcorn, with the perfect amount of butter. He gives the best hugs (my sisters and I will actually line up to hug him). He is an excellent public speaker. He knows how to fix any problem. He has a fantastic vocabulary.

But on top of everything, he is just my silly, dorky dad. And I wouldn't have it any other way. To the moon, Pappy.

EDIT: By request...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer is here: Part 2.

Hello, lover. I've missed you so.

My Top 3 from last night: Joshua and Katee, Chelsie H. and Mark (I love you Mia Michaels!), and Twitchington.

Bottom 3: Rayven and Jamie, Susie and Marquis, Will and Jessica.

Also, some insight from my roommate Jenny, a first-time viewer, on Mary Murphy: "It seems like she's always yelling."

You don't know the half of it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer is here.

Growing up in California, we didn't really have much in the way of summer storms. I mean, we didn't really have much in the way of ANY storms, but especially not the crazy summer ones that seem to happen almost everywhere else. I mean, I remember when I was younger and there would be thunder and lightning, we would actually sit at the window and watch it, because it was such a novelty. And then I moved to Utah and it became a bit more commonplace. And now, like my sister in North Carolina, I'm trying to get used to the East coast weather shenanigans.

This picture was taken (not by me, unfortunately) during a storm on Sunday night, with lightning seeming to strike the Empire State Building.

Last night I went with some friends to the Death Cab for Cutie concert in Brooklyn. The venue was the McCarren Park Pool, which is actually a gigantic public pool that's been drained. It was a very cool venue, and the band was great.

A little over an hour into their set, however, things start to get dicey. The wind starts picking up, and we realize that the intermittent flashes of light are not just from cameras - we are in for another storm. The band looks more and more uneasy as their long emo hair is whipped around by the wind, and the huge lights above the stage begin swinging menacingly. The band finishes a song and exits the stage and moments later, a guy comes out and announces that it's too dangerous for the band to keep playing, and everyone should go home. The crowd seems near a riot, but honestly, there's no way I would want to be up there with the swinging lights of death.

So the thousands of fans herd towards the venue's exits, climbing and pulling each other over railings and up the walls of the pool rather than wait in line for the stairs. By this point, the wind reaches a gale force, and dust and debris are being blown everywhere, including into our eyes. As we crowd through the exit, thunder and lightning rage overhead, and the mob mentality combined with the extreme weather conditions causes people to shriek and squeal at random.

The masses cut through the park toward the subway as the intervals between lightning and thunder grow shorter and shorter. Suddenly, a lightning bolt flashes in unison with a deafening roll of thunder, and mass hysteria breaks out as huge drops of rain come in a torrential downpour. People are running, girls are screaming, and I almost lose my flip flop as we sprint for the subway station. It's pointless, though, as we are all drenched to the skin in less than a minute, and there is a line up to the street to get down into the station anyway. Somehow everyone crowds inside - a steamy, sopping mass moving like cattle through the three turnstiles - and as our clothes and hair drip generously onto the platform we are forced to admit that that was actually kind of fun.

Hair, again.

So I’m getting the feeling that some of you would be mildly interested in seeing a picture of my new hair. Don’t ask me how, I just sense these things. (Note: I'm sure there are many of you who don't actually care. I don't blame you.) In my defense, it has been 7,000 degrees here for the last 4 days so I haven’t bothered to actually do anything with my hair - when it’s 90 degrees inside your apartment, spending a half hour with a blow dryer and a flat iron is not all that appealing. Incidentally, taking a cold shower is. Anyway, this morning it was down to like 85, so here you go:

Please disregard the crazy eyes, the blurriness, and my dust-covered mirror that was the result of a manic storm last night (more on that in a minute), but I was in a hurry to get to work. You get the idea of the cut… the bangs are a little short, but luckily my hair grows freakishly fast, and I like the layers and everything else, so it’s good.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Self control.

It is 91 degrees inside my apartment with 90% humidity, and there is a Mister Softee ice cream truck parked outside of my building, its Siren song tempting me non-stop with the promise of cold, delicious bliss. To be honest, I don't know which is having the bigger influence on my not giving myself over to creamy oblivion: trying to keep the Sabbath, or the fact that I just ate like a pint of chocolate chip ice cream out of the carton not 20 minutes ago.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Girl talk.

I'm getting my hair done tomorrow (my first NYC hair cut, so this is terribly exciting), which is arguably one of my favorite things to do in the world. Guys will never understand the joy of the hair salon. I mean, you get to have someone basically play with your hair for a couple of hours, and at the end you (hopefully) look really cute. Bliss.

So this is the picture I'm taking with me tomorrow, but I need some input:

Can I pull this off, or would it look totally stupid on me? I'd probably keep the length longer than that, but I like the bangs and the layers. We'll see. I also like Anna Friel's hair in Pushing Daisies, which is basically the same idea as Kate Nash's (above), but with less intense bangs. Or maybe I'm just trying too hard to be a cute British girl? You decide.


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