Thursday, August 28, 2008

black widow spiders

This weekend I am taking the 6 student leaders (for the college group) away on a two-day retreat, so I have taken yesterday and today off. has been so lovely. I've been getting caught up on errands, laundry, cleaning my room, sleeping. Good times.

The big news in our house this week is that we came upon a flippin' black widow spider in the downstairs bedroom! What the crap! I mean, I know we have them in the area and they probably have congregated in our shed and garage...but to come inside the HOUSE? What gall!

Copey (the roomate who lives in that downstairs room) said that is the second one she has seen in her room in 2 weeks! Nah-uh, not okay. So we called our landlord and the pest control peeps in the area. The guy is here right now checking inside and around our house. He just informed me we have a "bad spider problem". Not just with the widows (he found several of their webs outside) but all other types of spiders.

So, my friends, it looks like we will be getting the "spray". We all have to leave the house sometime tomorrow so they can come in and spray around our house. Ewww! But hopefully it will take care of the problem.

Before I go, let me leave you with a picture of our friend we found the other night. We captured her in this jar and left her on the porch to die. But she didn't. So then I tried drowning her but she hung on. It finally came down to the last resort. *FLUSH*

She is now in spider heaven and I feel no remorse.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I am really excited. For the past year I have had this big blank space on the wall above my bed. I have purposefully kept it blank because I knew I wanted to find the "perfect" something to hang there. It would be the first thing I (or other people) would see when they walked into my room. I've gone back and forth about what to put there (framed pictures? a painting? and of what?) until finally I decided what I really wanted was an ocean picture. I love living near the ocean and I love sunsets, so what if I could find a picture that had both?

I've been keeping my eye out for one (either photograph or painting) for awhile now...but the search is over. This weekend, sister Liz and a couple friends came to visit and we went surfing on Saturday. As we came up the stairs with our boards, we noticed a guy was selling paintings on the street. And they were beautiful! All of them had the ocean in it somehow.

There was one specifically that caught my eye. It had yellows and blues, just like my bed comforter. And it was a sunset at the beach! Perf! So we chatted with the guy. He was super nice. His name is Brook and he lives 8 months in this area and the other 4 months of every year in Bali (Indonesian island). He has a house there and he sits on his balcony every day and paints. Amazing!

He also showed us pictures from Bali. It looks so beautiful. There are pictures of him on his balcony looking out at the ocean and painting. And then he showed us pictures of how he and some other men in the village hand-carve the frames for his paintings. The frames are worth the price alone! They are so cool looking.

After we chatted awhile, I finally pointed to the one I liked and he packaged it up for me. I was so glad I finally found something great to put on my boring, blank, white wall. And I felt good supporting a local artist.

I took it home and nailed it up.

I love it.

What do you guys think?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

got 42 minutes to spare?

Another week of me clinging desperately to summer, not ready to admit it's over and kids are back in school and Halloween crap is out in all the Rite Aids.

I feel like this week has been filled with a lot of good-byes. Many of our students from the summer are going back to college or moving out of the area. So that's been kind of hard. And then Intern Jeff (who is now "College Ministry Associate Jeff" - woohoo promotion!) and I are gearing up for fall, so that's keeping things busy at work.

Outside of work, I am totally addicted to the Olympics! I wish it was on earlier, because I've put in some late nights and I definitely feel it the next day. But it's so worth it. GO USA!

Ok, so once in awhile I like to share whatever I'm obsessing about at the time. This week it has been "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog". Would you like to join me in my obsession? You won't regret it. It will be the best 42 minutes of your life.

The background is that Dr. Horrible was created during the writer's strike back in the spring. Joss Whedon (the guy who directed Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, etc) wrote, directed, and produced this mini-musical exclusively for the internet. It premiered last month and now word of mouth is spreading. And so my dear readers, I share it with you.

The premise: Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris aka: Doogie Howser!) wants to join the Evil League of Evil but the leader wants him to prove he is worthy. And Dr. Horrible's plans always get thwarted by his arch-nemesis, Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) who is a conceited, narcissistic superhero. Meanwhile, Dr. Horrible falls in love with Penny, the shy girl at the laundrymat. See what happens!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sarah's summer movie reviews

With summer coming to a close, I figured it was time for my annual summer movie review (well, it's only my second time doing it, but I think it will become an annual thing). If you haven't seen these movies, skip the explanation so I don't ruin it for you. Without further ado, here's what I thought of 10 movies I saw this summer...from worst to best:

10) Mama Mia. Biggest disappointment for me. I went in, hoping this would be 2008's summer musical! (Like Hairspray was last summer) No no and no. Where do I start? First of all, the singing was not that great. With the exception of the daughter, everyone else was pretty bad. Don't even get me started on Pierce Brosnan's singing voice. Arg! I cringed every time. You were JAMES flippin' BOND, for goodness sakes, Pierce. Another thing, hardly any dancing. That's half the fun of a musical. During most of the songs they would just stand there or stay in one room (That's where I think it should have just stayed a theater production). The plot was dumb, some of the characters were in half of it and gone the other half, Meryl Streep was too old for that role (even though I love her), etc. So, sorry Mama get the lowest score of the summer. Dud.

9) Prince Caspian. Another disappointment. First of all, Caspian and Susan? What the crap!?! Ew, she's like 13. I was also bummed because we saw a lot more of Aslan in the first movie, but he was barely in this one (and not until the end). I liked The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe more because everything was new, magical, meeting Mr. Tumnus and Aslan for the first time, etc. This one seemed bland and long. And the actor playing Caspian had the funkiest accent. It wasn't British, that's for sure.

8) The Incredible Hulk. I didn't see the 2003 version with Eric Bana. But I like Edward Norton so I thought I'd check this one out. Eh. It was all right. I liked Liv Tyler because she's not your typical skinny model - she looks and acts like a real woman. =) This movie had way more violence that I was expecting. I left the theater with hunched shoulders.

7) Kung Fu Panda. I think the coolest thing that came out of this movie was the word "Skadoosh". It was also just all right. Not fab, not bad. Just ok. The animation was pretty good. Moving on.

6) Sex and the City. Yes, I saw it with some girlfriends. Don't judge. Let's just say it certainly lived up to its title. But it was fun and had some great girl moments (Charlotte in Mexico anyone??) However, it felt a little long.

5) Indiana Jones 4. Entertaining. I think we'd all agree that Indy is getting a bit...old. But he did a great job, nonetheless. Definitely a summer popcorn movie. The only part that made me laugh of embarrassment - Shia swinging on the vines with the monkeys. You have GOT to be kidding me, Spielberg.

4) Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Very very cute. I loved the 4 girls' stories and how they weaved together (Carmen's story was my fav). It's movies like this that make me glad I'm female. =)

3) Iron Man. I went into this one with low expectations (I didn't know what to expect). And I was pleasantly surprised. I thought Robert Downey Jr. was great. I liked his cool outfit and the talking voice inside that guided him. Jeff Bridges was kind of a lame villian though.

2) The Dark Knight. Speaking of villians! Oh Heath Ledger. RIP, indeed. He of course stole the show from Christian Bale. I was mesmerized in every scene he was in. I hung onto every word the Joker said. He was a complete pyschopath. I thought Aaron Eckhart did a good job as Harvey Dent/Two-Face but he also got overshadowed by Heath. Side note: has anyone else noticed that Batman's voice is getting lower and more raspier in each movie? Is Batman a smoker? Does he need a cough drop? What's the deal?

1) Wall-E. Favorite movie of the summer. I had no idea a Pixar movie could make me cry. But it did. Twice. I think it is amazing that an animated movie can be so well done that about halfway through, you forget it was animated. I was so caught up into it. I loved that Wall-E liked "Hello Dolly" (one of my favorite musicals). Did anyone else cry at the end? Did anyone else leave the theater and think, "I need to go on a run!" after seeing what humans look like hundreds of years from now? =)

So there you have it, friends. Summer 2008 movies counted down from 10 to 1. One movie is missing, because I didn't get to see it but plan on renting it: Hancock.

Did any of you see these movies? What did you think? Agree or disagree with the above comments? Or if you saw some that aren't on the list and would recommend them for renting...which were they?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

another year

it's my birthday.

i am old.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Southern California, yo

I am home from a lovely mini-vacay in Southern California. 4 days to be exact. The main reason for going down there was to see the one, the only Eddie Izzard live at the Kodak Theater.

Flew in Thursday evening. Elissa and Mike picked me up. Friday they had to work and I had the whole day to myself. Ahhh....slept in, went shopping, read, went swimming and hung out by the pool. It was lovely and very relaxing. Elissa'a parents came to their house that night and we all made dinner and played Rock Band (my first time!)

On Saturday, Elissa's aunt came into town from the Midwest. She is also a big Eddie fan. Party! More swimming and lounging by the pool. We left around 5 to drive into Hollywood. We found this amazing Italian restuarant near the venue and then we walked around Hollywood Blvd. looking at the Walk of Fame and Mann's Chinese Theater. We saw Harry Potter! Well, a guy dressed up as him and taking pictures with people. We also saw Yoda, Elvis, Batgirl, Captain Jack Sparrow, Darth Vader, Barney, and many other costumed friends.

And then...finally we went inside the Kodak Theater. SWANK. I was a bit giddy. "This is where the Oscars are filmed!" We had great seats. Second section back on the left.

When Eddie came out, the crowd went flippin' NUTS! We were on our feet! I have to admit - it was very surreal. I have listened to his CDs, and watched his DVDs and clips on YouTube. In all of those, the audience is screaming, clapping, cheering. And now I was in the audience doing the screaming, clapping, and cheering. There he was...right in front of us. Doing his funny bows and smiling.

Something Eddie is famous for: his rambles. Here are some things he talked about: giraffes, Moses, monkeys, jam, Hitler, appendixes (at the back of books), Obama, Wikipedia, hashashins, Noah's Ark, languages, Lord of the Flies, dinosaurs, God, how mean it was for people to spell "dyslexia" the way it is (he is mildly dyslexic), Romans, the Stone Age, water, tigers, history, science, religion, philosophy, and much more. It was hilarious to hear him talk about one thing, go off on a random ramble about badgers for a few minutes, and then be able to find his way back to his original joke. He is very intelligent. How can he keep up with his own brain??

The show was about 2 hours. We didn't want it to end! He came back for an encore and then the lights came up. We got home late but it was so worth it.

The next morning we had a pleasant surprise. We were going to Disneyland AND we were going to stay overnight at the Grand California Hotel. It's a new one that is right inside Disney's California Adventure. Elissa's aunt had a bunch of "Disney Points" from different vacations she's taken and she was treating us all! Woot! So we packed up and drove to the park.

We checked our stuff in the hotel and then headed out into DCA. We spent the day on rides, watching musicians and characters, and of course eating lots of junk food. ( cream)

In the evening, we went back to the hotel and I got to see my room. Sweet! I had two big ol' queen beds, a huge bathroom, and a balcony that overlooked the park. The monorail went right under my room and I could see the Tower of Terror from my window. This is crazy!

I had to fly back Monday but not before having breakfast at a place downstairs in our hotel where Chip, Dale, Pinocchio, Terk from Tarzan, and other Disney characters come by and interact with you. The 6 of us were all adults, but we didn't care. We loved it. My fav was Pinocchio. You know how the characters can't talk but just make hand gestures? Well, Elissa was eating a Mikey Mouse waffle and Pinocchio was eyeing it and rubbing his stomach like he was hungry. And then someone at our table asked, "Hmmm...why don't they make Pinocchio pancakes?" Pinocchio motioned like that was a great idea, but then Mike said, "Because the pancake's nose would keep growing and growing..." We all groaned super loud and Pinocchio shook his head and then made a gagging gesture into his mouth. I DIED laughing! It was awesome.

So yes, a little Eddie time, a little D-land time, a little pool time, a little rest time, and a lot of friend time. All in all...good times! =)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

bullet points

* This past weekend was great. There was a good-bye party for our dear friend Scott who is moving to Boston for grad school. We'll miss you Scotty G! Then on Sunday we celebrated the marriage of another dear friend Holly and her (now) husband Andrew!! Woot! The wedding was outside at a beautiful park right next door to a national park full of redwood trees. I am so so happy for them!

* The dance-off between AC/DC and the M&M Cru was last night at the Teen Choice awards. If you didn't see it, check it out here. I love watching the dancing! I can't wait to start going to my hip hop class again in the fall.

* This is random, but I have started getting into the "Jumble" in newspapers. Ya know, it's next to the crossword and sudoku. You unscramble words to figure out the answer to a riddle. I guess that means I'm a nerd. I think it's because I like the feeling when I figure it out. "AHA! Got it!" It makes me feel really smart for that nano-second. But then that is soon followed by exasperation because the riddle is so dumb and I feel silly for getting all excited.

* I am going through a Jane Austen phase. I have always loved her novels but lately I have been Netflixing all the film and TV adaptations of her books. I know everyone's favorite Jane Austen male character is Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy (he's mine, too). But I found a close second! In 2007, the British station BBC made "Northanger Abbey" into a movie for TV. I watched it the other night and LOVED Henry Tilney! He is so great. His character is witty, clever, teasing, flirty, and very kind. This was one Austen book I have not read so I plan to see if the film portrays him accurately.

* The Olympics start this Friday!!! 8-8-08 dawg.

* Intern Jeff and I only have two more weeks of college program for the summer. So we've been in the midst of planning for the fall: Where are we going to go on our fall road trip? What is our teaching series going to be? How can we encourage our students to invite their friends to the college group?

* The other day I went creekwalking and picked blackberries. There are millions! And then I came home and made blackberry milkshakes for myself and the roomies. That is a little slurp of heaven, my friends.

* I get to see Eddie Izzard in So. Cal THIS SATURDAY NIGHT!!!! Ahhhh! I have been looking forward to this for months. I hope my stomach hurts from laughing too hard.

* I would love to take a nap right now.

Friday, August 01, 2008

HP and PD

Two trailers came out this week that got me pretty excited.

The first is for Harry Potter 6. It comes out in November. Book 6 was one of my favs so it will be cool to see the film.

The second trailer is a promo for season 2 of my new favorite TV show "Pushing Daisies". SWEET!

La dee dah dee dah.