Monday, April 1, 2013

Do More Things: Passover, fish tacos, Westeros, and sleep

I still have to get my post up for Hawaii, I had a blast, though I came home sunburnt (the curse of being casper white). However, I've been keeping up with my Do More Things lists since arriving home, go me! I don't have any real pictures from the past week, so this is a short post. I need to start getting in the habit of taking pictures of things (even if it's just food, FFS, seeing as I feel like my whole week was food oriented).

Monday Night - Headed back to the airport to drop Holly off, then booked it back to meet my aunt, uncle and cousins for the seder at their house. First time I've ever liked brussel sprouts! And the best Passover desert I've ever had, which I must get the recipe for. I need to spend more time with the fam, they are only 8 minutes away now!

Tuesday Night - I tried to assuage my Jew guilt by going to a second night seder at the temple. Only I'm cheap, so I didn't go to the more expensive adult only seder, I went to the family seder. Which did nothing for my Jew guilt. (I feel like people understand what I mean when I say Jew guilt right? I can't be the only person that uses this phrase, people talk about Catholic guilt all the time). The actual story was like 5 minutes long and yeah it's for kids, but there's such a thing as sanitizing the story too much. Anyways, waste of my money, but people were nice, which is always good, and the food was good. Matzo ball soup is always a plus, the chicken was delish and there was a really good flourless chocolate cake. Are you starting to sense a theme for my week?

Thursday Night - GrubwithUs dinner, only my second time going. I totally recommend checking it out if it's available in your area, it's a great way to try out new places and meet new people. Plus, if you are like me and have a hard time in situations where you don't know people, having food and a topic to focus on can take the edge off of the social anxiety. The topic was Game of Thrones, which was the reason I did this one, but we really only talked about the show for 10 minutes, the discussed somehow turned around how to scam people on Kickstarter, but I had a good time.

We ate at James' Beach in Venice. If you are ever in Venice and craving tacos, this place is yummy. Make sure you look up, they've got hanging lamps made out of boardshorts that my fellow grubwithus diners had never noticed before, even though they'd been there quite a few times. They are apparently famous for their mahi mahi tacos, which despite me not being a huge fan of fish tacos, were really good. Also, their iced tea is really good if you aren't going to drink anything alcoholic (I was keeping kosher for passover, so I didn't drink anything). Also, their tacos aren't served on the tortillas, so it's alternative eating friendly. If you are into the whole "what film was that place in" this one was apparently the taco place in I Love You, Man (I never ended up seeing that whole movie so I don't really care). I don't know that I'd go so far out of my way for this place on any sort of regular basis, especially given the prices, but it was good.

Sometimes you just need a BREAK, you know? After Hawaii and a busy week back, I needed down time. So this weekend was sleep and TV for me. Season premieres of Doctor Who and Game of Thrones and lots of Zzzzzs. I NEEDED IT.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A lack of bread and the joy of your own bed - or I got home JUST in time for Passover

Chag Semach! If you celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful first night seder and have a good Passover holiday. I'm super grateful to my aunt and uncle and cousins for squeezing me in last minute last night, I had possibly the best homemade passover desert I've ever tasted last night and I NEED to get that recipe from my aunt! With the Hawaii trip I WAS NOT PREPARED for Passover at all. but I am HOME SWEET HOME and back to my own bed. Oh my glorious bed. I love my bed, my bed and I are in a very serious relationship with each other. As much as I love traveling, I do so hate cheating on my bed and love the joy of sleeping in my own bed that first night back. Hawaii was fabulous, I overcame so fears, saw a lot of beauty, ate a lot of good food, and will make a post about the trip soon, but the first few nights and days of Passover are always a flurry.

I actually really like Passover. I used to have a "ugh, Passover" feeling when I was a kid but still really looked forward to it and I only have fond memories of all the seders I've had in my life, surrounded by my family and family friends and eating wonderful food. It's different here, and that's not a bad thing, but I'm not at the house I grew up in, eating the foods I grew up eating, and doing the traditions I grew up surrounded by and there's something about that that makes me appreciate it all the more. Which is why next year, I'm having my mom fly out to LA to help me throw my own Passover seder in the apartment. I took it for granted when I was actually at home and I want to start having these traditions on hand, learning how to do it in my own home, so that when I can have kids I can pass that on.

I am going to a second night family seder at the temple tonight, which... I mean, is good, but I don't know anyone there and am a 20-something with no children, so we shall see. There was an adult only second night seder as well but it was more expensive and I wasn't feeling it.

And in surprising news to myself and anyone else for the last few years, I'm keeping kosher for Pesach this year. I keep the Sphardic traditions now, even though I was raised Ashkenazic. Here's a handy thing I just made:

Please note that all families tend to vary in their observance and that you should always check with your host. Here's a really good layman's explanation of the two types in more detail at

I remember berating at people about corn syrup a lot when I was a kid during Passover. Passover was awesome because you could by kosher for Pesach soda that was made with actual sugar. Now I live in LA and all the Mexican soda is made with cane sugar which is awesome and regularly available all year and I'm not supposed to drink soda anyways, so all that is moot. I do not keep regular kosher during the year or during Pesach. The post I linked to above also had a good write up one what kosher for Passover means versus regular year around keeping kosher. I was raised reform and we never kept kosher and now I'm not really a religious person (despite the context of this post). My family sort of fell half way between Ashkenazic and Sphardic as far as keeping kosher for Passover when I was a kid and by the time I was a teenager I had fully embraced the Sphardic tradition in this aspect. It's less restricting and I have a problem with the reasons kinyot were added to the no go list in the first place.


I feel like this week is also a good way to transition into eating less carbs in general. I have slowly been transitioning into getting healthier and I have an extreme carb dependence and a family with lots of cases of diabetes on both sides. Granted, while not partaking in my cold oatmeal concoctions this week as per the past few months (greek yogurt, milk, oats and as many different combos of mixings as you can conjure, I will post links at a later date, doesn't seem fitting this week) but also cut down all the extraneous low glycemic index carbs that I am extremely addicted to. I'm not going low carb again, but just making better choices.

Words of the week (are they words? THEY ARE NOW!):
Jewery - anything and everything Jewish related, "we were discussing jewery"
Kosherized - to be made Kosher
Espressed - How you turn coffee into espresso. This is from when I was a kid and the passover song became this: "Espressed so hard they could not grind, let my coffee goooooooo! G down coffeeeee, waaaaaayyyy down in COFFEE LAND" *sung loudly in varying pitches with lots of intonation* I never did understand espresso okay, but we had a machine and it made lots of noise and I sang this song with my brother a lot.

And why yes, I get Go Down Moses stuck in my head for the entire holiday every year, yes I do. And start singing it at random times, yup.

Friday, March 15, 2013

It's a good week to be a Veronica Mars fan

Veronica Mars fans made history this weekend, and I'm so super excited about the whole thing, but even MORE excited to be a part of it.

On Wednesday, March 13th, the Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell put up a Veronica Mars Movie Project on Kickstarter, setting the largest goal ever set on Kickstarter. They have both been trying to get this movie made since the show was canceled, although it never got off the ground and this was their last ditch attempt to get it made as schedules worked out for filming summer 2013. If you don't know what Veronica Mars is, you are missing out, it is an AMAZING show about a teenage PI that is way more than that. Here's the kicker, the show ended on May 22, 2007.

Then Veronica Mars fans made HISTORY. Fastest time to $1 million, largest goal ever met (in under 12 hours no less) of $2 million. And that donation counter just kept going up. 

There's been a lot of discussion in the media and on blogs and facebook pages and phone conversations and gchats everywhere about this. One of the concerns here is that studios will see this success and use it to offset costs. To which I say: I don't think that'll be a problem. By which I do not mean I don't think they won't TRY, I do think they will try, but we are savvy consumers. And while I think this sets the stage for similar future projects, the Veronica Mars Movie was also lightening in a bottle.

This is a show that was om the air for 3 years before it was canceled and with fans who have been clambering for a movie for years Rob still gets this question from reporters all the time because the fans were so avid about it It had a solid hardcore loyal fanbase already long established and a cast and crew who all blatantly LOVED the show and were completely on board and working towards this project. And willing to work for minimum on a minimum budget it just to make it happen. Your average film does not have any of that going for it.

The other big thing people are criticizing is that if the movie becomes a box office success, the people who funded it won't be getting any of the back end. As one of the people who funded it, as someone who spent most of this week EXCITEDLY flailing with other people who funded it, WE DO NOT CARE. What we are is that we are a part of something we love, we are a part of making something we've wanted for a long time happen, with a cast and crew who love these characters so much and love the fans of the show even more. And if you chose a reward, you are getting something out of it. But even if there wasn't a reward (a lot of international backers had no promise of a reward) they would still put down money because of their love of the show and the people who make it. Also, I don't think it will make big bucks. It'd be awesome if it did but I doubt it.

This is the first Kickstarter I've ever contributed to and I am fiercely proud of that little green backer banner. I spent all of Wednesday excited watching that number go up and I am still checking it every few hours. 

I'm super happy to be a part of a piece of film history in my own little way. We met the goal in under 12 hours. That's over 2 MILLION DOLLARS in under 2 hours. And a movie that we never thought would really happen is going to get made. 

A few good articles:
*The Huffington Post: The Veronica Mars Kickstarter Isn't Charity, It's An Omen
*LA Times: 'Veronica Mars' mission is a stunning success
*Forbes: How Exactly Did Veronica Mars Fund a Movie in Ten Hours?

Favorite Moments:

Favorite tumblr quotes: 
"And in that moment, I swear we were all Veronica Mars blogs."
"The sleeping fandom has AWOKEN"

Chatting with non-fan (but awesome BFF) Amy:
Amy: cool! i heard 10 dollars gets you a copy of the script? 500 was a k bell voicemail but you already had one!

Yup, yup I did, it was my voicemail message for a year after Kristen Bell recorded it for me at Wizard Con. She's awesome, fyi. And kind of tiny.

Monday, March 11, 2013

T-Minus 6 Days and Counting

It's almost Hawaii time!!! And given what I've read recently about the anticipation of a vacation making you happier than the actual vacation, I am trying to make the most of the count down and the days leading to it!

So, 6 days and counting and I will be in beautiful Hawaii! Hanging out with sea turtles, spending a whole day at the Cultural Center, luau included! Snorkling (everyone should be so proud, because I hate being near fish, I have a THING about fish. I'm just to pretend I'm in Finding Nemo 3D). Seeing the sights, basking on the beach (while wearing SPF 100), etc.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

DO MORE THINGS - Sunshine, Emerald Eyes, and Geek Gods

DO MORE THINGS was my 2013 New Years Resolution. I kept thinking I wasn't really living up to it, but then realizing that's blatantly untrue. I've done a lot of things this year, they just mostly related to moving. I mean, apartment hunting is definitely doing something and requires a lot of energy and time. Packing and actually moving is totally doing something too! And then there's the unpacking... and the IKEA hauling, and the decorating, and so on and so on and so on.

This past weekend though, I was determined to DO MORE THINGS in relation to what I had actually been thinking with regards to the resolution. 

Staturday, March 2nd:

First of all, it was in the 80s here on Saturday. It was a stunningly perfect and gorgeous day, the sort of day that I would point to whenever anyone asks me why I moved here.

Met Holly at the 3rd Street Promenade, after grabbing some Jamba (I had a free smoothie gift card, yay free smoothies!), we made a West Elm and Pottery Barn run. Made a GREAT find in West Elm of blue tooth speakers, which were in the sale section (plus Holly's discount = HELL YEAH!):

We lunched at Wolfgang Puck Express Grill, because I've been CRAVING my favorite soup (possibly EVER), their butternut squash soup and if we were on the promenade I had to have some. Seriously, if there is a Wolfgang Puck Express Grill near you anywhere, go get some butternut squash soup. Granted, it won't be as awesome as it would be if you were sitting out on a patio in the sun listening to street performers on the promenade, but still, it'll be yummy.

Then headed down to the beach with Holly, sat down next to Santa Monica pier and soaked in the sun. For the record, the beach next to Santa Monica pier is my actual favorite place on Earth. There was a woman walking around with Mango slices, so mango slices and sunshine and beach air, what else does a girl need? Life is good, everyone.

Walked down the promenade after Holly left to head down south, killing time before I headed to my evening plans and wandered into Sephora and found out it was their Pantone Color of the year event. The Pantone color of the year for 2013 is emerald, which I was pleased at punch about when it was announced because of thigns like this, collaborations and lines inspired by the color of the year have gotten really popular the past few years, and I love love this color. I got my eyes done and snapped up the eye liner set.

I had brought a change of clothes with me as I had nabbed $8 tickets to the Revoltuion panel at Paleyfest this weekend from Goldstar. If you haven't signed up for Goldstar, go get an account! I've gone to see quite a few things for discount rates, it's how I was able to afford a few Broadway shows out here, as well as tons of cool other events. No affiliation for me, just me trying to get you all cultured okay! It's great.

I had spent too much time in Sephora, I hadn't really realized how long, ran into the bathroom in Old Navy next door, did a quick change and make-up retouch, then headed towards Beverly Hills. 

The Revolution panel was great, I love the show, so of course I loved the panel, and the hints at the rest of this season. However, the biggest geek-gasm was being in the same room as Eric Kripke, Jon Farvau, and JJ Abrams at the same time. Met most of the cast, got autographs and photos, and oh yeah, just happened to grab a photo with a picture of the guy who basically co-owns my geek soul with Joss Whedon:

Sunday, March 3rd:

I actually paid full ticket price for the Once Upon a Time panel, which was packed! I got to see the show on the big screen, hints to the rest of this season, and the wonderful cast, who kept almost giving out spoilers they weren't supposed to! Great panel, I didn't push towards the stage after, too many people and that wasn't why I'd come to this one really. I get my first real run-in with paparazzi and professional autograph hunters - just ugh, waiting at the exit where the cast was coming out. Sadly none of my pictures came out, the joys of my only camera being my galaxy s3. It has a decent camera, but not for that kind of setting.

During the Week:

Keeping the momentum going on Tuesday, I had dinner with Kiwi at Tender Greens on Culver, DELICIOUS! Wish I'd gotten to spend more time with her, it's so odd not to see her all the time since I moved out! We need to get together more for sure. Then sped over to The Grove for A Good Day to Die Hard with Holly. Did you realize that the original came out in 1988? Daaaaang. 

I also nabbed tickets for the Dallas panel and Arrow from Goldstar, that's part of my DO MORE THINGS for the upcoming weekend! Only one week until Hawaii!!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Internet Clutter, real life clutter, and vacation planning...

In trying and getting this blog setting up, moving, and everything that's going on right now, I'm more than ever realizing just how disorganized my online life is. Actually, no, not so much disorganized as very very cluttered. I have 5 google accounts and all of the extended google things that go with them, like plus, drive, play, and obviously here, blogger. It's confusing, I have to have a cheat sheet with passwords, and I really need to get that stuff under control.

It'd probably be best to just tie everything down to 3 accounts. Seems simple right? If you've ever changed email addresses, you know this is NOT the case. That shit is complicated. So I keep getting frustrated by how cluttered it is and then frustrated because trying to clean it up is a giant hassle.

I feel overwhelmed with clutter in general right now. Now that all my furniture is put together, what's left is finishing up the unpacking and it's driving me bonkers. There are piles of miscellaneous stuff everywhere. I have a brilliant storage solution that's great but I have to figure out how to make it actually work (time for the dollar store, anyone?) .

I'm leaving for Hawaii in 2 weeks and 3 days and that's awesome! But suddenly I am realizing I'm not at all prepared, realizing that I want to  go snorkeling and I really need contacts for that, but my contacts samples hadn't come in yet, ahhh! Was just told they'd been ready for a while but no one called me. Thanks guys.

I just feel like I'm running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. In semi-related news, if you aren't watching Go On on NBC you should be, it's hilarious and a wonderful ensemble cast. I may have marathoned all of the episodes up to date this past weekend. (Spell check needs to stop telling me marathoned isn't a word, pfft).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day - My Three-Way date, be jealous!

I can't believe it's already February 14th, how'd that happen!? Time files! I have a lot of great memories from childhood of Valentine's day, which is what the holiday most brings to mind, to be honest.

My plans consist of having a three-way date with Holly and this fine gentleman:

Holly's schedule got bumped, I originally was going to go to the special event at LACMA, but we have decided to spend the holiday drinking Moscato, enjoying the always entertaining Mr. Bond, and hanging up curtains (I'm getting desperate for them).

As our lovely special treat (well besides the Moscato, which to be honest is the only wine I have a true appreciation for), I will be baking these:

I'm going to tinker with the receipe (food dye for red cupcakes or heart sprinkles) a bit to make them on theme. Of course once I decided this I realized I don't own any muffin/cupcake tins and apparently Holly doesn't either! These are kind of a necessity in general because MUFFINS okay, so I'll pick them up along with a whisk (we have no real idea what we do and don't have kitchen wise really yet).

As for love, well, right now it's all about me loving myself. I had my first Weight Watchers meeting last night and signed up for an extension course at ULCA for the spring. All steps towards me being a happy healthier version of myself. And hey, each cupcake is only 2 WW points! SCORE!