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.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rebecca Jane.

Today is a very special day for a very special someone.

She is without a doubt the loudest person I know. She is responsible for some of the funniest text messages I've ever received. She shared a room with me for more than 10 years, which included thousands of shouting matches as well as time spent choreographing awesome dances to Backstreet Boys songs. She is incredibly smart and helps sick people all day. She co-invented the Harry Potter Guessing Game (aka the greatest game known to mankind) on an 11-hour drive home from Utah with just the two of us. She has to "get all of her words out" at the end of the day. She is the subject of two of my songs. She is my buddy. She sometimes makes me want to punch her in the face. She usually makes up for it by being sweet, hilarious, and thoughtful. Her nicknames include Hoven, Poops, Bacon, Pet, and Schwester.

She is my sister, and she is turning 21 today. Happy Birthday, Becca.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Okay, so I've had a few people ask me about what I listen to when I run, because obviously I am the authority on both running and awesome music recommendations. Although, if we're being honest, my playlist does kind of rock (it's not considered boastful if you're being honest). Which is necessary for me, because I cannot run without good music to keep me going. There has definitely been more than one time where I've gotten all ready to go out, and then found that my Shuffle's battery is dead, and I've just given up and watched TV instead. Music is essential to my workout. Plus, making playlists is one of the true joys of my life, and I would like to share that joy with you.

Anyway, I won't post the entire thing as it contains over 4 hours' worth of music, but here are the top 20:

Reverend and the Makers - "Heavyweight Champion of the World"
Frou Frou - "Must Be Dreaming"
The Killers - "When You Were Young"
Kanye West - "Gold Digger"
Scissor Sisters - "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'"
Natasha Bedingfield - "Unwritten"
The Dandy Warhols - "Bohemian Like You"
Kate Nash - "Pumpkin Soup"
Guster - "Amsterdam"
The Hives - "Tick Tick Boom"
The Envy Corps - "Rhinemaidens"
*NSYNC - "Up Against the Wall"
Mika - "Lollipop"
Timbaland - "The Way I Are"
Lily Allen - "LDN"
Muse - "Supermassive Black Hole"
The Faders - "No Sleep Tonight"
Fatboy Slim - "Because We Can"
Snow Patrol - "It's Beginning to Get to Me"
Beastie Boys - "Body Movin'"

And honestly, you might mock me for some of those choices, but I guarantee you they will keep you going. Download now, thank me later.


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