Friday, April 22, 2011

What Money Can't Buy.

Money can't buy...

The warmth of sunlight on your face when you're laying at the beach.

That moment of ecstasy at 4:59 p.m. on a Friday.

Friends who will drop everything to come over and do nothing with you.

The connected feeling you get at a concert with 5,000 strangers when you all know the words to a song.

First kisses. 

Fireflies (which I can't seem to find in California).

Funny texts from your parents.

Waking up to the sound of rain on your roof. 

This Friday playlist I made for the Last Days of April.

So here are 16 songs to get you through the day, and in case you still aren't sold on my musical tastes, here are a few samples of what you'll find there. (P.S. that last song is in honor of StageCoach next weekend even though T-Swift won't be there).





Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don't Call it a Bucket List.

April is a busy month in my life. My Dad, my sister and I all have April birthdays, there's Easter, and Spring, and it always get me thinking about the passage of time and getting older.

One of my favorite things to do around this time of year is to think about what my younger self would think of my current self. As a child, I couldn't wait to grow up. There was something that seemed so alluring about being an adult and doing things on my own. As I got older, I quickly learned that it wasn't all buying whatever you want and eating ice cream for dinner (although I did do that last week on Ben & Jerry's Free Scoop Day), and I realized when you're a kid, you have a lot of funny ideas about being older.

For example:

  • When I was five, I thought that as long as you had checks in your checkbook, you had money, and when I was told that I couldn't buy something in a store, I would frequently ask my mother "Well, can't you just write me a check?"
  •  When I was in 5th grade, I was convinced that by age 24 I would be fashion designer or run a magazine, and I spent countless hours drawing dresses and outfits. I also frequently wore multi-colored windbreakers and turquoise sweat pants. The kind with the elastic at the ankles. Irony. 
  • My sister and I both started tumbling classes at around age 3; by age 7, I was convinced I would be a world class gymnast and/or figure skater. I did a back bend at yoga last week, and I'm fairly sure I almost cracked in half. I clearly owe my 7-year old self an apology for not staying limber.
  •  At thirteen, I saw my first women's college volleyball game at UH with my Junior High volleyball team, and immediately decided I was going to go to Pepperdine. Ten years later, I'm still worthless at volleyball, but I've graduated from Pepperdine!
At age 4, I thought that dress with the bows and polka dots was the classiest outfit ever made. Part of me still does.

So as you can see, life doesn't necessarily turn out the way we think it will when we're kids (although sometimes it does), but that doesn't mean it's not great, and furthermore, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't strive for things or make plans. When I got to thinking about all of my dreams and goals from childhood, I realized that there are still so many things that I want to do! So many, in fact, that I had to make a list (act surprised):

1. Write a book. Probably a cookbook. (working titles: Holy Grilled Cheesus! or Mmm! YOU Made This?!)

2. Ride in a hot air balloon.

3. Own and operate a bed and breakfast. Or a design firm. Or a giraffe farm.

4. Get married and have kids.

5. Learn French or Italian. or both. Or maybe just brush up on my Spanish...

6. Visit New York. (I think I've only been in the airport, which doesn't count.)

7. Go back to the Dominican Republic and visit the little girl I sponsor there (aaand probably live there for a few months? I love the DR).

8. Take some more art classes.

9. Take some more dance classes.

10. Go hang-gliding.

11.  Go zip-lining! In the forest! Or the jungle!

12. Get a dog.

And all of those things are in addition to my goals of solving the energy crisis, saving to buy a house somewhere in California, and becoming the first black pres.....oh wait. Anyhow, you get the gist.

In four days, I'll be twenty-four, but I'll be darned if that means I'm going to stop making big plans (and sometimes eating ice-cream for dinner). It's easy to get weighed down with the everyday burden of being an adult: grocery shopping, waking up early, writing stupid checks to pay stupid bills... but it's never too late to keep making plans, and to hope for the future, and somehow knowing that the best times are ahead of you, makes getting older way more fun.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mid-week Vacations on the Westside

It's April on the Westside, and everyone knows what that means.... SUMMER!

Okay, so maybe it's not quite summer, but it's starting to get warm, and the Santa Monica/Venice area has no qualms about embracing the season as early as possible.

It's only a short month or two until we have things like Tuesday night bocce tournaments on the beach in Venice, Ditch Days at the Shangri La pool, and concerts on the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday nights to make us feel like we're in high school and it's summer vacation without a care in the world (except waking up for work the next morning).

But if you're like me, and you're impatient for those fun mid-week activities to spice up you're Monday - Friday grind, then here' s a little something I recently discovered to tide you over:

Outdoor movies on the Dining Deck of Santa Monica Place.

First of all, if you haven't made it over to Santa Monica Place, you should really go check it out. It's the brand new mall that just opened at the end of 3rd Street Promenade, and it's gorgeous. Not to mention it has lots of cool stores, and great food, and a Nordstrom's (which I know for a fact one of my readers prayed for every night of her life in college while this mall was being built).

Last week, I headed over with some gal pals to watch Sixteen Candles. This particular movie was neat, because it was sponsored by designer Tory Burch, and they gave out cookies, cokes, and $25 gift cards to the Tory Burch store (before you get too excited, nothing in that store costs under $100. Seriously, I checked). But still, the swag was a fun touch. To top it all off, they had Liane Curtis* there to pass out the cookies!

It was balmy out, but they had heat lamps set up and there were people sitting outside ordering food and wine. It's pretty much the most laidback free activity you could be doing on a warm Wednesday night in Santa Monica as the sun sets behind you.

So here are the details: They show movies on the deck twice a week; on Wednesdays they show classics, and on Mondays they show indie films (last night I saw Vicky Christina Barcelona). The movies start at around 7:30PM. For more information and to see what movies are coming up visit

Happy Mid-week Vacay!

*I'll save you the trouble of googling her. She is Samantha's best friend in Sixteen Candles. Obviously finding somewhat out of date celebrities in Santa Monica is not a hard feat to pull off. Exciting, nevertheless.

No Bad Days.

So life's been a little...rough lately.
Nothing terrible just the usual, run-of-the-mill, slightly crappy things:

I'm fighting a cold (and losing).

My NCAA bracket is just shot to pieces.

I got hit in the head with a volleyball (more than once) this weekend (this is not news because it happens frequently, but its still not fun).

The City of Hermosa Beach sent me an early birthday present: It's a parking ticket.

My bike has a flat tire.

Glee is a rerun again this week. 

I locked myself out of my apartment.

Gas is $4.19 per gallon.

But you know what? I really can't complain.
I'd like to complain, but I watched Sixteen Candles last week, and if I learned anything from that classic 80's film, it's that complaining is not attractive, and generally makes you no fun and disagreeable to everyone (except for the highschool quarterback, who doesn't yet know what an awful whiner you are). Furthermore, I'm far to lucky and loved to complain about the above things which are really just small nuisances in the grand scheme of things.

In case I needed another reason to appreciate life, when I go for walks in the evening in my neighborhood, this is what I get to see:

Even if I had a terrible day, it almost always ends with that view, and the fact that tomorrow will be better. So like I said, no bad days.