Saturday, September 30, 2006

"Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian."
-- Dennis Wholey

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Run Gorilla Run!

A real race for a real cause... Check out this video (it's a little long, but watch it to humor me, the former gorilla keeper):

New Disney Movie

I understand rides at amusement parks modeled after movies. But movies based on rides? Disney seems to think it works for them (The Country Bears, Pirates of the Caribbean), and they're setting out to do the same conversion again. Does anyone remember riding "Jungle Cruise" - the one where animatronic animals, like hippos and crocodiles, randomly emerge from the water and trees to surprise the "cruise" guests? I'm looking forward to seeing how Disney creates an actual plot line based on this.

Jack Bauer: Superman?

In our (very involved) watching of the first 2 seasons of 24, we have noticed something about Jack Bauer... He is invincible.
In the second season alone, he gets stabbed in the leg, smacked around, tortured, shot at, falls in a plane crash, his lungs collapse, his heart temporarily stops... AND YET he continues to run around shooting scores of bad guys without taking any bullets himself and has the clarity of mind to out-decipher every other good character on the show. Even when he gets physically injured, the obvious signs (hobbling, holding the injured part) only last about 30 minutes for the episode, then he's back to being Super-Jack.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


According to annual FBI statistics, the large city with the highest total crime rate this year was Dallas, with about one crime reported for every 12 people. Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest city, ranked third safest, with about one crime for every 26 people.

Guess we moved to the right city! (My apologies to those reading this who live in Dallas.)

Killer Hermit Crab

Those of you who read my husband's blog know about our hermit crabs. Right before we moved, I picked out two new crabs - Tex and Cali - named in honor of the state we were leaving and the one we were moving to. Last week I realized I hadn't seen either of them in awhile... I know they like to bury themselves, but the food and water bowl hadn't changed levels, so I was a tad concerned. I picked up the water bowl, saw one out of its shell, and quickly decided to wait a couple days in case it was shedding its exoskeleton. A few days later, I was more suspicious and lifted the water bowl again...

I was horrified to see the same hermit crab was out of its shell, missing several limbs and starting to mold. Blech! The empty shell belonged to Cali, so I assumed it was her that died... until I looked into Tex's shell and saw a much smaller crab alive inside. Cali killed Tex and stole his shell!!

Jon pointed out the irony of the sticker I'd had on the cage for the past several years... Ha ha!

So now our question is... what does this signify about our living situation? I guess Texas is no longer a place we'll live?
Some friends who we told this story to over the weekend suggested getting 49 other hermit crabs, name them after the other states, and see where we're "destined" to live by who survives!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blue Eyes

A recent msn article discussed a survey done determining people's eye color preferences. Apparently, young people with blue eyes are generally seen as being more flirtatious, sexy and kind. When the young people being surveyed were asked if they would change the color of their eyes if they could, only one in ten blue-eyed people wanted to - significantly less than people with other eye colors.

Jon's first day of class!

It has finally arrived! The main reason we moved to California - for Jon to attend Fuller - began this morning at 8am. It was suggested that I take a picture of him on his first day of school (trust me - it wasn't his idea!), and of course I made him pose for me. :)

Dinner for Eight

Last night the Eloes, Reeds, and Raymers visited us in Pasadena. The Eloes are considering a position for which the Reeds flew them to the headquarters in the L.A. area, so of course we wanted to see them all.
We walked them through the Fuller campus and dined at the California Pizza Kitchen. Mmm...

It's easily evident when you have close friends - when you get together after having been apart for a long time, it feels like you never missed a beat. Natural. :)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Parking citation

Ergh, our first one happened this morning... Every first and third Monday the city does street cleaning in front of our apartment (because we're exempt from overnight parking, so it's the only time the city can clean our streets). So every car has to be off our street starting at 8am those days. Well, unemployed as we are, we weren't together enough to remember this until 8:15am. Unfortunately, by that time, the officer had already been down the row of remaining cars... ours included. :(

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Erin's visit

Some of the touristy highlights of Erin's visit were our two star sightings. While waiting in LAX for Erin's flight to arrive, Jon pointed out Greg Behrendt (author of "He's Just Not That Into You" and now a TV talk show host) at one of the luggage carousels.

Later in the weekend, we were driving through a Beverly Hills neighborhood when a silver BMW convertible pulled up and parked on the opposite side of the narrow street. We looked at the driver, then at each other... "That's Matthew Perry!" He was apparently meeting with someone who came down the sidewalk to greet him. (He was super tan with a bit of a gut and poofy hair, which made him seem very normal and out of context.)

We also looked at the newest print in front of Grauman's we had seen Kevin Costner make on the news a few days earlier. And Erin found her boyfriend's prints there as well. :)

Even though our beach visit was cut short for a free movie screening, Erin enjoyed our favorite spot - Manhattan Beach.

Right before we put her back on the plane to DFW (which ended up being very delayed), we had Erin sample some In-N-Out (the fries, of course).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Baby's Daddy

Well, this morning I received an email from a friend (in good humor, of course) tipping me off that perhaps the TomKitten is really Chris Klein's baby. I can't deny a few similarities in appearances, but let's figure out the timeline:

Chris and Katie broke up in early 2005. Weeks later, Tom and Katie made their first public appearance together on April 29th. May 23rd was Tom's historic couch abusing on Oprah. June 17th is when they became engaged in Paris. And on October 6th, they announced they were expecting. April 18, 2006 documents the birth of Suri, though she never made a public appearance until September 2006.

SO, for there to be any truth to this rumor, she would've had to be at at least 7 months pregnant by the time she and Tom announced they were expecting. With an April 2006 birth, Katie would've been pregnant for more than a year for Suri to be Chris Klein's baby. (Feel free to correct my hypothetical math.) Though the typical human gestation period is around 266 days, Katie's would've been greater than that of a llama's (330 days), but less than that of an elephant's (640 days).

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

the "TomKitten"

Anyone who knows me knows that I follow the "celebrity gossip". So it is no surprise that I had my curiosities about why Suri Cruise had yet to be seen... deformities? disabilities? Upon seeing the Vanity Fair pictures yesterday, however, I changed my mind. Suri doesn't have any obvious birth defects, but she is very unique looking. Though both Tom and Katie have dark brown hair and hazel eyes, Suri appears the have jet black hair and bright blue eyes. While eye and hair colors can change over time, Jon and I joked that there's really a large cover-up by which the baby was really a blue-eyed redhead, and they dyed her hair black.

(And is it just me, or does Katie's neck look unusually long in this photo?)

Friday, September 01, 2006

24 in our mailbox

Jonathan and I used our free Blockbuster rewards monthly rental coupon to start watching the heralded 24 television series. We rented Disc 1, Episodes 1 through 4... and watched all four in one evening! They are seriously addictive, as we were warned, and everytime one ended we were like, "No way! They can't stop it like that! Do the next one." It was a little sad to end at only the fourth episode until our next free monthly rental coupon came...

Today, in our mailbox, the next two discs of the series appeared. We found two Netflix envelopes, and, knowing we weren't a part of that program, we just thought they were some kind of advertisement. Upstairs, Jon opened them and smiled. These were no random discs... they were the exact ones we wanted to see. :)

We seem to have a pretty awesome mystery movie renter. Thank you for our two discs!!!

Erin made my day!

She booked a last-minute flight deal to visit us NEXT WEEK! Very unexpected, and very exciting! (Especially since we aren't yet within the throes of school and work...) Yay for a familiar face. :)

Grete the Tutor

Well, I found a part-time evening job as a tutor. I'll be teaching math, science, and possibly a little English and Spanish in a 1-on-1 setting to middle- and high-schoolers. The hours are really flexible, so it should work well with whatever fulltime job I find. I seem to be in the "waiting" period of job-searching... lots of places have my resume, but are still waiting for more resumes to accrue and/or are in no rush to complete interviews quickly. I've had a few seemingly hopeful interviews, but so far nothing is really working out yet… *sigh* Patience isn't my best virtue. :)

On the Job Front

Still no jobs to report, though it hasn't been for lack of looking. I feel like I've sent my resume hundreds of places - it's hard to find places that pay enough and aren't totally boring positions. Know of anything I should try?

I finished going through the hoops to be an animal keeper volunteer at the Zoo in Los Angeles, but I've had to pull a few strings just to get that moving. The Zoo is run by the City, who requires tons of paperwork, fingerprinting downtown, background checking, a paystub to verify my previous work experience, proof of a TB test, references, and a three hour orientation just to be a volunteer! I was able to bypass the interview part (which they initially said wouldn't be scheduled until December or January) because I've been in contact with a current keeper and several other inter-zoo referrals to convince the volunteer guy I was experienced enough. At least all these formalities have a good payoff - I get to stay around animals! :)

Beach bums

So far, we’ve decided that Manhattan Beach is our favorite. It has that touristy-beach feel without being overcrowded or trashy. Up the hill from the beach are lots of little shops and restaurants, and at the beach are lots of surfers and body-boarders. Plus, the parking was only $2.50 for 4 1/2 hours – definitely the cheapest we’ve found!
One thing to consider when there, though… wear sunscreen all over your body – not just on the places you don’t want to get darker. That may come as “no kidding, dummy” knowledge to most of you… but today my sunburn is in the gross-peeling-itchy stage.

Our best TV taping thus far...

Jon and I went to a taping of Twenty Good Years (which is a sitcom with John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor that has not yet aired). It was very neat to see the TV-taping process… it was basically like watching the show live with some retakes and mess-ups periodically. The “crowd motivator” (that’s what I’ll choose to call them for lack of the correct title) guy was WAY better than the one at the Craig Ferguson show. In fact, afterwards, Jon and I went up to him to let him know how funny and engaging he was… We told him we’d been to a few tapings – the Late Late Show, etc. – and he has been by far the best audience host we’ve seen. He was like, “funny you should say that… I used to work at the Late Late Show. You guys just made my day.”

Date Night without spending money!

We were given gift cards to restaurants and movie theaters as going-away gifts (thanks again for those!), so a few nights ago Jon and I went out to eat and then to see Little Miss Sunshine. Have you seen it? It was VERY enjoyable - I highly recommend it! Now everytime I see the movie posters, I understand what they’re doing, and it cracks me up!

All by ourselves...

August 11th: Jon's parents just left on Friday, and between their visit and my parents leaving from helping us, Jon and I really only had 3 days to work on becoming "legal" in California - fixing my car so it could be SMOG tested and registered ($500 later - ah!), getting licenses (please excuse my horrible picture - it was a long day), etc. So, this weekend is the first time Jon and I looked at each other and were like, "Well, it's just us now... guess we'd better start finding a job, a church, and some friends." There were a few tears, but then we were okay. :)

Grete's 15 seconds

August 10th: Thursday was a great improvement in our TV tapings. We not only got excellent seats at "America's Got Talent" (because of some friends we made in line who pulled us up with them), but we also made it on live TV multiple times! Jon's aunt left him a message as we were leaving (since it aired live in Central Time)... "Hi Jon. We were watching America's Got Talent, and we thought we saw a girl that looked like Grete. And then they showed her again, and it WAS Grete. So I don't know if you're there, but Grete is." :) They had taped my perplexed reaction to the stripping jugglers. (We taped it later when it aired in Pacific time.) We saw Regis (he walked up our row within inches of me - he looks exactly the same as on TV, but maybe a little older with lots of makeup), Brandy, and David Hasselhoff (who is a very huge man with a hairstylist that sprays up the front of his hair during every break - that was pretty funny).

Our first TV taping...

August 9th: Wednesday was a little disappointing. We went to do a Craig Ferguson (Late Late Show) taping down at CBS studios. We went early to eat lunch first and arrived at 1pm to their parking lot (our instructions said not to arrive any later than 3:30), but the guard told us we weren't allowed to park there until 2. So, after lunch, we drove back over, and even though it was after 2, the new guard told us the lot was full. Good grief. We ended up with plenty of waiting time (at the beginning of the line to get in), and had no problem getting seats in the center of the second row of the studio. The crowd-pumping-up guy had us clapping and screaming like crazy and laughing loudly at stuff that wasn't even funny before the show started. When Craig came out, it was pretty obvious we were giving him good reactions because he kept almost laughing himself. He did his monologue, a quick skit, and an intro to the band... and then said "You were a great audience! It's a short show today, we pre-taped the guests, so thanks for coming." And that was IT. We were only there for 30 minutes, tops, and everyone couldn't believe that we weren't even seeing any of the guests. It was quite a bummer - we all felt used, especially after we'd been so pumped up at the beginning. Talk about underappreciating your audience... tsk tsk Craig.

Later that evening we watched Anna Nalick perform for free in The Grove – we’re all about the free entertainment!

Rob Bell

August 8th: On Tuesday evening, we all went to hear Rob Bell speak on Fuller's campus. It was pretty incredible how he navigates through the Old Testament with such historical perspective and modern relevancy. He has a great vision for how the church engages their community and other nations (very similarly to NorthWood). Too bad his church isn't in southern California! (It's Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan.)


August 7th: On Monday we went to Universal Studios, which was very fun! You can view more of our photos from that day here.

Venice Beach

August 6th: On Sunday we went with Jon's parents to Venice Beach. It was crowded and touristy, but pretty neat to see. We walked by the "muscle beach" area where testosterone-filled men lifted weights just to show off. We saw many rollerbladers - and a cement area where several people were hip-hop dancing... on roller skates. :) (There was also a really old guy there doing his own little jig, without skates.) We then walked all the way down a sandy stretch to see why a huge crowd was gathered there... several people had brought out their percussion instruments and formed a drum circle around whoever wanted to dance in the middle. Very hippie-ish. :)

Visit with J's 'Rents

August 4th: Later in the week, when Jon’s parents arrived, we dove into the painting process in our apartment. Even though we just were painting three walls two colors, the deciding and painting process took almost two days. But look at the difference it made:

Visit with G's 'Rents

Most of the rest of my parents’ visit centered around making our apartment livable, but we were able to do fun, touristy activities with them as well. We did a driving tour of celebrity homes (See my photos!), and we all did our first Cali-life beach trip to Will Rogers State Beach. We even saw a wild dolphin swimming along surf!

A funny story that day: Jon and I had our towels spread at the top of a sandy “hill”, which dropped down into the sloped beach area. My parents were testing the ocean temperature on the lower part of the beach. Suddenly, we heard my parents yelp and immediately felt ourselves being surrounded by cold water. We leapt up and tried to snatch up as many of our belongings as we could, but everything was already soaked from a rampant wave that splashed up the side of the hill. Because we were the only people affected by the wave, everyone else was smirking at us as we laughed hysterically, but se la vie – we had a funny moment. Unfortunately, my parents’ camera still has not returned from the camera repair shop since their return to Oklahoma on July 31st!