Thursday, September 29

Who looks at you on FRIENDSTER?

Remember when Friendster was all the rage a few years back? You could reconnect with long lost friends. You could see if any of your acquaintances somehow knew each other. If you wanted to know what your friends were up to, you would simply click on their profile to view the new pictures they'd posted. And then... it was all slowly and quietly forgotten.

Oh, you'd occasionally hop back on to "Friendster" someone new you'd met (maybe a potential date), and that was usually after you'd Googled them. It was a good stalking-friendly tool. Or maybe you would sporadically check in on people you already knew whenever you remembered. But that initial fascination really fizzled.

In recent months, Friendster has done a lot to try to win us back. It realized we'd fallen out of love, so it got a makeover to make itself appealing again. The blogs were a good idea, another way to get updated on the latest and greatest. (I'll admit I was tempted to use theirs, but now I'm loyal to Blogger.) I'm diggin' the birthday reminder emails. It's all luring me to log back in to Friendster now and then. The last time I checked, I noticed another new feature: profile views. In just a couple weeks, my profile had been viewed over 100 times. I wondered, "Who the heck is looking at my profile?" I knew it wasn't just my friends. If you pondered the same question, then wonder no more! Now you can find out specifically who has accessed you on Friendster lately.

My first thought was, "Cool, now I can see who's been stalking me!" My 1.5 thought was, "Uh oh, now ___ will think I've been stalking them!" Oh, well. Whatever. Whether it's stalking or not, it's a fascinating find. Check it out!

Hey, to my friendsters out there who have looked at mine - and now you know I know who you are - send me a real hello or leave a comment here. Let's not lurk in silence. Reach out and touch someone!

*update: In response to Laura's question, here's how to do it. When you sign in, you'll see a box in the upper left corner with "My Inbox, Update My Profile, My Profile Stats..." Just under the number of times "your profile has been viewed," there is an orange link for "Who's Viewed Me." I should also point out that you can continue to stalk or be stalked and remain unnoticed. On the "Who's Viewed Me" page, there's a link in the upper right corner to turn On/Off "Viewing profiles anonymously." And there ya go.

LOST scares the living bejangizzles out of me, and I love it!

I'm a total geek. I joined the Lost Yahoo! Groups. (I'm also a Prius Groups member. Double geek. So what?) You can't access anything unless you sign up, so I did. I HAD to! OMG, the "Others" freaked me out so much last night! I thought I might wake up my roommates, or even my neighbors! Anyway, if you don't want to join but want to check out thoughts of other Lost fans, check out the livejournal site. One Yahoo member listed a bunch of other great links. Here are a few of those: The Numbers scare me. (This site was activated after Hurley's Episode.) Turn up your sound when you go to this one. Whoa! You've probably already seen this one. "The official site of the creative team behind Lost, sponsored by J.J. Abrams"

Not to just list and leave, but I do have work to do. I just needed to put this out there for other Lost lovers. And if you're not watching yet, what's keeping you??? Gotta get lost now.

Wednesday, September 28

Chicago pizza and Baby names

Everyone knows that if you want to get good Chicago-style pizza in the bay area, Zachary's is the place to go. Even my friends from Chicago have admitted that Zachary's is just as good, if not even better than their city's claim to food fame. Now if south bay'ers (bay'ians? bay'izzles?) get a stuffed pie craving, they don't have to trek all the way to Berkeley anymore.

I had dinner at Patxi's (pronounced Pah-cheese) in Palo Alto with Rita, WuWu, Claude and Linda, and it was goOod! I heard that someone previously from Zachary's is involved in Patxi's, and I believe it. Yummm! We had the Chicago style Favorite (pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives) and the thin crust Spinach-pesto (spinach, basil pesto, parmesan - duh), and both were scrumptious! I've had pizza in Chicago, and I have to say that both Patxi's and Zachary's are way better.

We caught up and chatted about the people we knew who were getting married and/or having babies. Being the youngish yet mature age that we are, we had a LOT to talk about. Before anyone starts thinking THOSE thoughts, I should let you know that none of us are in need of any baby naming of our own at this moment... at least that's what everyone claimed. The Baby Name Wizard's Name Voyager is just fun to play with, whether you're naming a baby or not. Just type in a name or place the pointer on the graph, and see what happens!

Jennifer was the #1 female name in the '70's. That's no surprise. My mom named me based on Ali MacGraw's character in Love Story. I like my name, but I sometimes wish my parents would have been a little more original. When I was a kid, I LOVED "Linda" so much, they almost renamed me. I don't remember this, so I don't remember why I was so enamored, but I'm guessing it had to do with my fascination with Wonder Woman. (By the way, Linda was at its height of popularity in the '40's, ranked #2. Lynda with a "y" was also popular.) I'm going to name my kids something more unique when the time comes. Don't worry, you won't have to call my baby Apple or Ga-linda or anything like that. Maybe Gongju...

I can't end this without at least mentioning deep dish pizza in San Francisco. Little Star Pizza is the place to go. (Apparently there IS a difference between "deep dish" and "stuffed" - stuffed has a top crust, and deep dish does not.) Now I must go watch my TiVo'ed Lost.

Tuesday, September 27

March of the Penguins: chick adoption?

I just got back from March of the Penguins. GO WATCH THIS MOVIE! There's love, heartache, hardships, triumph, and the most adorable critters you've ever seen. Seriously, when the first baby chick poked its little head out from under its daddy, it was so cute, I couldn't stand it!

We're told that Emperor Penguins are semi-monogamous; they have only one mate for the entire season. Sometimes the women even fight each other to win their men! ("Girrrl, are you lookin at MY tuxedo? Oh, no, you did'unt!") The mother and father take turns traveling miles for days to bring back food for their young. Unfortunately, not everyone survives, and my heart just broke every time they showed a loss.

The question is, if one or both parents don't make it or they abandon their penguin baby, then what happens? Is there chick adoption? I found two possible answers:

1. Some dude who's been living with penguins for more than a year says, "Unfortunately no, the chick will starve and die since they are still too young to swim for their own food. Adults already have a hard time feeding one chick. Sometimes lonely females (those that failed to mate that year) grab abandoned eggs, but those eggs are frozen and dead in the first place and they abandon them quickly. If the mother doesn't return, the father doesn't have a choice: he and his chick will die if he stays. If he leaves he can always try mating with more success the next year..."

2. The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour has a slightly more positive view. "The researchers found that adopted chicks were either 'kidnapped' by adults other than their genetic parents or were found wandering around the colony by other adult birds and then adopted. When kidnapping takes place the researchers observed that the biological parent always fought the intruders (either by pecking at it or striking it with a flipper) but that if the kidnapping was successful the parent almost never tried to re-capture its chick.... The scientists also found that most adoptions are only temporary, however. For example, in 1993 the mean length of time that adoption lasted was 1.89 days."

There's a suspenseful attempted kidnapping in the movie. I won't tell you if it's successful. You'll have to see for yourself. And you should. You SO should.

Monday, September 26

RELISH the best shopping AT HOME!

Relish at Home opened a retail location; they had their grand opening this weekend, so of course the girls had to go. The last time I wore one of my Chan Luu scarves, I kept getting compliments all day. Someone even went out of their way to pat me on the shoulder and tell me, "You've got style." I really do relish my Relish goodies.

If you're not familiar with Relish at Home, here's how it works. Claudia hosted the first event. When we got to her house, it had been transformed into the cutest boutique ever! Claude served yummy little sandwiches, and all the girls got to hang out and eat while we shopped in her living room. That day, I came home with a scarf, bag, earrings, candles, body wash, and even a stylish umbrella. Their stuff is cute and affordable, often below the retail prices you'll see in stores. Nobody walked away empty-handed. I knew I had to host my own trunk show so we could do it again.

I made empanadas and opened a bottle of champagne, and we shopped and ate some more. (Yes, I realize empanadas don't exactly go with the bubbly, but at least I served strawberries too.) So here's one cool thing about hosting: I got a 10% hostess credit. Because my guests spent around $1200, I got $120 to spend on whatever I wanted. Here's another cool thing: because I hosted from Claudia's referral, she got $50 credit to spend at my party. Now Wuwu's planning to play hostess next month, and I can't wait.

I was supposed to go to the Folsom Street Fair afterwards, but we spent more time at the store than I expected. That was ok; I added a great necklace to my collection. Since I missed it this year, though, here's a VERY TAME photo from last year for your viewing pleasure.

I saw enough penises and leather last year to last me a lifetime.

Sunday, September 25

bbq, 500 Club w/ Erotic Photo Hunt

My roommates held our semi-annual birthday bbq. (Last year, that involved pizza. But that's a whole other story.) Blaine and I are the September bday kids. Gabe and Courtney are March babies. We met on craigslist, but it just worked out this way. We all get along famously. Isn't that cute?

Here's Lee on Santa Blaine's lap.

Gabe, our other roommate, wanted in on the action on Blaine's lap. They both look awfully happy, don't they?

I had to school Lee on the rules of 4 Square. Can you believe she's never played???

She doesn't quite seem to get the 4 Square concept here...

Nate isn't getting it either. Oh, well.

Here's Julie and my bruddah! Jimmy's all wet because our mean neighbor decided to spray us from the other side of the fence.

EROTIC PHOTO HUNT is the best game ever! Remember Highlights magazine from when you were a kid? And remember the "what's different in these two pictures" section of that? Now add in boobies and other body parts, and you've got E.P.H. If you haven't played, get your butt over to the 500 Club! Here's Claude showing Tommy what's up.

At the 500 Club, you can partake in many other activities outside of Erotic Photo Hunt. You can play music on the juke box, challenge Santa to a game of pool, and DRINK. Blaine + alcohol = Blaine - clothes.

When Lee puts on the glasses, we both mean some major bid-ness.

When Claude puts on the glasses..... well, I'm really not sure what actually happens. But be afraid, be VERY afraid.

What's better than one Lee? TWO Lees!

Bandit is a 5hundy regular, and she does the coolest trick. If you throw a coaster at her, she'll catch it in her mouth, and THEN she'll throw it back at you!

LL says Peace Out, y'all!

Saturday, September 24


It's a bird... It's a plane...
...It's stellastarr*! We caught them last night at the Independent. Margie put this together for us, and I'm so glad she did! I'm not always into the whole new wave-y/punk-ish scene, but it was a really fun show. I also decided I liked the opening band, Every Move a Picture. Here's a shot of them (not that you can tell much by these dark photos). Tommy thought that the lead singer of stellastarr* looked like Rob Lowe. Or Chris Klein. He kept asking all of us to vote, "Rob Lowe? Chris Klein?" I thought neither, but he insisted, "If you had to pick?" I guess I'd say more Chris than Rob, but I still say neither. What do you think?
We were really into the whole pointing thing last night. The people in the background here crack me up! The guy on the left is doing Blue Steel. The woman on the right looks like she's ready to kill me. Scary, but that didn't stop me from snapping more photos! Love this pic!
Tommy's trying to pick our noses. I'm afraid my shrug may look better on Teddy than it does on me. I don't know who should feel worse about that: him or me?
We caught afterparty sushi at Tsunami (yum!), and at the end of the night, we were all more than ready to go home.

Friday, September 23

Wine Spectator's FOOD issue

I can't put down Wine Spectator's current issue, "The Encyclopedia of FOOD With Exclusive Wine Matching Advice" (dated Sept. 30). I first saw it when I was in Seattle, and I kept meaning to pick it up. I was afraid I was already too late, but I just snatched up Adel's last copy. There are probably still more of these floating around out there, and I definitely think it's worth hunting down for anyone who relishes good food and wine. Beyond the usual wine pairings and recipes, there's a practical reference section on different meats, produce, dairy, bread, oil & vinegar, coffee & tea, and even chocolate! Food, wine, chocolate - all in one place! Pure bliss.

Do you know how to carve poultry and fillet a fish? There are pictured instructions (including both round and flat fish). Do you have a hard time keeping track of when certain produce is in season? There's an easy-to-read chart of fruit and vegetables on page 116. Here are just a few more notes of interest.

Are you weary of fish that can be harmful to your health? There's a list of "Fish to Buy" and "Fish to Avoid" with a reference to Environmental Defense's Oceans Alive. A few that are noted as potentially harmful are: Grouper, Mackerel (Spanish), Marlin, Orange Roughy, Rockfish (from the Pacific - rock cod, bocaccio), Salmon (from the Atlantic), Tuna (bluefin).

Do you know how to determine the freshness of an egg? "Crack one open on a plate. If the egg is not very fresh, the white part will spread out, and the yolk will be flat." Also, they point out that eggs should be stored in their original container in the coldest part of the 'fridge, not on the door.

Did you know you can make your own vinegar? "Stop pouring leftover wine down the sink - you can make it into vinegar. Simply pour a cup of non-pasteurized red wine vinegar into a half-empty bottle of red wine. Cork it, shake it up, and then just let it sit. Uncork the bottle for a few hours every other day. Start tasting it after two weeks. Within a month, you should have a tart and very winy vinegar... Run all the liquid through a coffee filter and store it in a clean bottle."

Did you know that there's a difference between scallions and green onions? "Scallions are milder than green onions. Green onions are immature onions that curve slightly due to the growing bulb at the end." I was just talking to Lee about the recipe for the steamed sea bass I made, and she commented, "You say green onions instead of scallions?" We both thought they were two different names for same thing. But now we know. And knowing's half the battle.

Thursday, September 22

Books are SO InStyle in October (and always!)

Wouldn't you love to be in InStyle? It's been my favorite magazine for a long time, but now it's even higher on my list! (Uh, what's better then "favorite," anyway?) Lisa, who has been one of my dearest friends since high school, IS being featured in InStyle!

Her story is just so inspiring, and it shows that with talent and hard work, anything is possible. Lisa always had an eye for design, but she didn't formally study it until after college. She eventually started her own business,, and one of her fabulous ideas was an adorable birthday book. Lis was ALWAYS good at remembering EVERYONE's birthday, but I think she realized that most people weren't like her. And now that's in October's issue - with the lovely SJP on the cover!

Lis has such a great life too. She recently got married to super great Nick (and she let me do her wedding makeup). She loves her super great Boston terrier, Pixel. She loves her family and friends. And now she's famous. I hope she still talks to us little people. Just kidding. I know it won't get to her head because to top it all off, she's one of the nicest people I know. Gross, huh?

Wednesday, September 21

Range + Zuni + Deep Sushi + Mitchell's = YUM!

I could sit around and just talk about food for days and days. Luckily, I'm surrounded by some of the best restaurants anywhere, and most of my friends share my love of the scrumptious, so I can keep on keeping up my opinionated views of San Francisco restaurants.

We ate at Range on Friday, which is a great new foodie find. I've been trying out a bunch of new spots lately, and this one really stood out to me. We started with the tomato salad with sheep's milk feta cheese. I ordered the chicken, which was served over a salad with beets and walnuts, and it was just delish! Both Lee and Margaret had the coffee-rubbed pork shoulder, which was also fantastic. Everything was fresh and so tasty! There was a pretty long wait, and people were still waiting when we left past 10pm. I already can't wait for my next visit.

I took a picture of our wine again, Stephen Ross pinot noir. It was a decent bottle of red, though I won't necessarily be adding it to my favorites. It's not bad for those times when the rest of the wine list isn't familiar. (Thank goodness for my camera phone!)

Zuni is a San Francisco staple and always a solid meal. I remember seeing it all the time when I was younger and less gastronomically educated, and my family used to drive down Market Street. I didn't know what it was back then, but I sure know now. The fact that it's been around for so long speaks for itself. The chicken for two is a must. It takes a long time, so you may want to consider ordering it as soon as you're seated. Their fries are some of the best in the city!
*BTW, if you're a fan of fries, I'd also recommend them at Slow Club (sexy and dark space, no reservations taken), Burger Joint (really casual) and Oola (topped with truffle oil - yes, I said truffle oil! - and parmesan).

Lee and I finally tried Deep Sushi before Aqualung yesterday. They have this amazing and unique spicy sauce which is divine! It tastes like a hot version of sesame oil, and they use it in their spicy sake nigiri. There are some interesting rolls on the menu. Don't miss the G-roll (scallop, tuna, tobiko, mayo). I'm not always a fan of mayo, but I loved they way it was done here.

At Mitchell's Ice Cream, I had a new flavor called Grasshopper Pie: mint ice cream with Oreos, fudge and chocolate. YuUumm! I usually get Thai Tea, which tastes how it sounds, like thai iced tea. The line is always so crazy that you have to take a number, but because we went early, I actually parked in their lot for the first time ever and did NOT need a number to get served. Maybe there is something to this whole eating early thing after all.

Aqualung: "like Coldplay, but more boring"

I just got back from Aqualung's show at the Great American Music Hall, presented by VH1. KFOG was recording the whole thing, and they'll be broadcasting it in a few weeks. Aqualung is just getting so BIG!

Margie, my top resource for hot and less-discovered music, introduced me to them months ago. Lee and I went to their first performance in San Francisco, which was sometime just this past May or June. It was at the same venue, but it felt more intimate back then. This time around, there were a lot more people in the audience who were snapping pictures left and right, and they all seemed awfully young.

The youngest fan there was this sweet little girl in front of me who must've been seven years old. I asked if she liked Aqualung, and she nodded gravely. Throughout the entire show, she gazed at Matt with such admiration. It was too too cute! I guess that's what happens when you get big enough to have VH1 back you.

I should clarify the whole "like Coldplay, but more boring" comment, since I don't want any fans out there getting mad at me. This is a quote directly out of Matt's mouth. He was talking between songs in his adorable British accent, and that was his self reference. He was kind of joking, but I'm sure the comparison is out there. He does a similar voice thing. If you like Coldplay, you will probably like Aqualung. A female audience member was quick to point out, "You're cuter than Chris Martin!" No offense to Gwyneth or Apple, but I have to agree.

Matt stuck around to sign cd's, shirts, ticket stubs, napkins, and pretty much whatever you put in front of him. I offered him a Shiseido oil blotting paper to take the shine off his nose before Lee and I posed with him, and he used it! I should've asked him to sign that. Don't worry, I didn't do it. But I was thinking about it.

Monday, September 19


If you're not watching Lost, there's still time to go rent Season One before season two starts on the 21st. Everyone's hooked, and rightfully so.

A Newsweek article on MSN reveals that you can get a sneak peak about the season premiere on ABC's message boards for Lost. I chose not to look at the spoilers, but it's out there for anyone who wants it. I can't wait for Wednesday!

Sunday, September 18

Sarah Jessica Parker addendum

(*If you haven't read about my encounter with the Lovely SJP, you should probably review that first.)

I just got back from a B.B.Q. held in Margaret's honor - she's leaving for the Peace Corps, and we're all going to miss her! Su hosted the shindig, and she's also the friend I mentioned who works at Slanted Door.

It turns out that Su wasn't working the night SJP ate there. When she returned the next day, however, everyone at the restaurant approached her with, "Uh, so someone was looking for you yesterday. It was Sarah Jessica Parker! Why does she know you? Who the heck are you anyway???"

I can't believe SJP actually paid attention to what I said to her! She even remembered and asked for Su several times specifially by name when she got to Slanted Door. I thought she came across sincerely nice, but I figured she was still a celebrity who got bombarded by fans all the time. Especially on the day that I met her, she was signing autographs and chatting for two hours, so I didn't think she would care about the words coming out of my mouth. But she does care; she really does! Isn't that the cutest?

I've always liked SJP, but now I love her! I'm going to wear Lovely every single day for the rest of my life.

Saturday, September 17

Sarah Jessica Parker, so Lovely

Sarah Jessica Parker was at Macy's promoting her new fragrance, Lovely. I am a huge fan of SJP, so of course I had to go!

She was supposed to be there from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. to sign perfume bottles for the first 300 customers. I realized that it might be a little crazy, but I thought I would give it a try. Denise was meeting me there, and we were going to hang out and just make a fun day of it all.

We got there slightly before noon to discover that we were already way too late! The list had been filled by pre-sales orders. We put ourselves on the waiting list, which gave us a small chance to meet her if the first 300 passed quickly. Neither of us wanted to deal with the ridiculous crowd - it was INSANE! It felt like all of San Francisco was there. So we caught a quick glance of her loveliness in person, and then we left for lunch.

It was almost 2pm when we finished our meal, and we were debating whether or not it was worth our time to go back. With five minutes to spare, we decided to give it a try.

Thank goodness we did! We were the LAST ONES they allowed. Literally, we were the last two people left in the now short line to meet SJP! I don't normally get star-struck, but I found myself gushing when it was finally my turn.

me: I love you! I have to tell you; my friend, Su, used to work at Nobu in New York, and she used to talk about the celebrities who came in. When I asked her who the nicest ones were, she named you and your husband!
SJP: Really? (both hands to her heart, as you can imagine Carrie doing) That's so nice! Was she one of the girls in front or a waitress?
me: I think she was a waitress, but she's not there anymore. She's at Slanted Door now.
SJP: Oh, I'm going there for dinner tonight! Tell Su I'll see her there. We're going early, at 6, because we have a flight to catch.
me: I will! Thank you so much! (I immediately plotted in my head how I, too, would conveniently be at Slanted Door for an early dinner, around 6pm...)

I didn't actually stalk dear SJP that night (though Slanted Door is divine). But I must say that she really is absolutely fabulous, just as you would expect! She is TINY, and the entirety of that tinyness just exudes sincerity and niceness.

The verdict's still out on Lovely's scent. It may be a bit floral for my taste, but I'll have to give it couple more tries on my skin. I am, however, even a bigger fan of the oh so lovely SJP than I was before.
(*My SJP Addendum explains why I became yet an even bigger fan the very next day.)
Thanks to Denise for telling me about this and for joining me!

Thursday, September 15

FindYourSpot - Mine is Baltimore?

I was born in San Francisco, and I have lived in the bay area my entire life. I think of myself as a bit of a San Franciscan snob. By the way, please DO NOT call it 'FRISCO! Outside of it's-not-Frisco, New York has been the only other place in the U.S. where I've wanted (longed, yearned) to live - except D.C., of course, which has grown on me during my visits over the last three years.

I always wondered where else I could or should live. Many of my friends have moved away to other cities, and even other countries, which made me ponder whether I would want to live there too: New York, Boston, Seattle, D.C., Chicago, Portland, L.A., Korea... Kris is one of those relocated friends who is now living in wedded bliss in Arizona. She was back in town this week, and we were having dinner with Gene and Heishin tonight when they mentioned After a quick quiz about various lifestyle preferences, the site provides a list called Your Top Spots.

  • My #1 "top spot" was Baltimore, which is where Taer grew up as a kid! He doesn't necessarily speak too highly of it now, and I can't say that I was terribly impressed the one time we visited. I will admit anyway that I found this amusing, and I did have a corny "we're meant to be" thought.
  • #6 on my list is Orange County. Like, oh my GAWD! I could like SO totally be like on Laguna Beach!
  • San Francisco is #14. I'm not sure what that means. But it's still #1 in my heart!
  • And New York is NOT on my list at all! Sadness! My secret confession is that I re-took the quiz and geared my answers toward getting N.Y. to show up (Sure, this California girl loves cold weather. No, I don't need to golf anymore. Crime is fine!), but to no avail. I tried twice!

Of course, I realize that this site is not highly scientific, but it's still fun nonetheless. Here are my complete - and original, first time around - results, if you're at all interested:
Baltimore, Maryland The Sparkling Harbor City. This Atlantic seaboard city is home to the National Aquarium...
Population: 4,750,000 Average Home Price: $215,000 Precipitation: 40" Snow: 18"
Boston, Massachusetts America's Walking City. Here in "America's Walking City," you can stroll down to famous Franklin Park for the annual Kite Festival...
Population: 3,400,000 Average Home Price: $461,500 Precipitation: 43" Snow: 41"
Providence, Rhode Island New England's Best Kept Secret. This Rhode Island spot is the home of the award-winning flaming sculpture WaterFire, installed on the three rivers of downtown...
Population: 1,213,000 Average Home Price: $242,000 Precipitation: 48" Snow: 32"
New Haven, Connecticut Home of Yale University. The first hamburger was cooked at Louis' Lunch in this Connecticut spot in 1900...
Population: 542,000 Average Home Price: $175,000 Precipitation: 43" Snow: 30"
San Diego, California California's First City. This highly livable city is home to one of the finest zoos in the world...
Population: 1,266,700 Average Home Price: $540,000 Precipitation: 9" Snow: 0"
Orange County, California Live The California Dream. Home to 42 miles of sandy beaches and some of California's best known attractions, this spot boasts great surfing, sunning, and sailing...
Population: 2,958,000 Average Home Price: $550,000 Precipitation: 12" Snow: 0"
Oakland, California East Bay Living. The area around this now-famous city was once owned by Don Luis Peralta, a Spanish soldier granted the land to help settle and secure it...
Population: 2,465,000 Average Home Price: $522,000 Precipitation: 18" Snow: 0"
Long Beach, California LA's Ocean Playground. Thanks in part to the introduction of the Pacific Electric Trolley, this spot became the fastest growing city in America in 1902...
Population: 475,000 Average Home Price: $500,000 Precipitation: 12" Snow: 0"
Hartford, Connecticut The Insurance Capital. This Connecticut city is home to America's oldest State House, oldest public art museum, and oldest continuously published newspaper...
Population: 871,500 Average Home Price: $148,000 Precipitation: 41" Snow: 42"
Little Rock, Arkansas Where America Comes Together. All Maybelline products distributed in the U.S. are made in this fashion-conscious spot...
Population: 595,600 Average Home Price: $177,000 Precipitation: 48" Snow: 5"
Honolulu, Hawaii America's Tropical Paradise. This state capital has long been an important port city; its name is Hawaiian for "protected bay"...
Population: 876,000 Average Home Price: $445,000 Precipitation: 23" Snow: 0"
Portland, Oregon City of Roses. This Oregon city has the nation's largest forested municipal park, the aptly-named Forest Park...
Population: 2,000,000 Average Home Price: $259,000 Precipitation: 36" Snow: 5"
Los Angeles, California The Dream Factory. This West Coast town was the first to coin the word "tourist" to describe the people that came to enjoy the beaches, mountains and weather...
Population: 3,820,000 Average Home Price: $550,000 Precipitation: 12" Snow: 0"
San Francisco, California The Golden Gate City. The towers of this city's Golden Gate Bridge are purposely out of alignment in order to compensate for the curvature of the earth...
Population: 751,700 Average Home Price: $785,000 Precipitation: 21" Snow: 0"
Washington, District of Columbia The World's Greatest Capital. This most patriotic of American cities was laid out by a French architect...
Population: 572,000 Average Home Price: $300,000 Precipitation: 39" Snow: 16"
Worcester, Massachusetts The Heart of the Commonwealth. This city at the heart of New England is home to the EcoTarium, a science center for all ages...
Population: 502,500 Average Home Price: $215,000 Precipitation: 48" Snow: 45"
Las Vegas, Nevada Entertainment Capital of the World. Ladies' Home Journal called this one of its Best Cities for Women, citing skyrocketing job growth and shriveling crime rates...
Population: 1,722,000 Average Home Price: $250,000 Precipitation: 5" Snow: 1"
Chicago, Illinois The Windy City. This big city has more shopping center space per capita than any other American city...
Population: 2,869,000 Average Home Price: $237,000 Precipitation: 32" Snow: 40"
San Jose, California The Silicon Capital. This city is home to Lou's Living Donut Museum, a combination donut shop and museum with tours and a secret recipe...
Population: 898,350 Average Home Price: $640,000 Precipitation: 16" Snow: 0"
Sacramento, California The River City. This state capital is the oldest incorporated city in California...
Population: 445,000 Average Home Price: $319,000 Precipitation: 17" Snow: 0"
Norfolk, Virginia Heart of the Hampton Roads. This spot was the only American city completely destroyed and rebuilt in the Revolutionary War; a British cannonball in St. Paul's Church wall is a reminder...
Population: 1,606,000 Average Home Price: $182,000 Precipitation: 45" Snow: 7"
Milwaukee, Wisconsin The Genuine American City. This Wisconsin "City of Festivals" celebrates its diverse ethnic heritage all year long, with over 20 major cultural festivals...
Population: 1,500,000 Average Home Price: $136,000 Precipitation: 31" Snow: 47"
Gaithersburg, Maryland The Park City. This town is home to a "Latitude Observatory" - one of five in the world - built in 1899 to measure the wobble of the earth's axis...
Population: 53,000 Average Home Price: $300,000 Precipitation: 40" Snow: 18"
Charlotte, North Carolina The Queen City. Home to First Union and Bank of America, this spot is renowned as a financial center...
Population: 1,335,000 Average Home Price: $232,000 Precipitation: 43" Snow: 6"

Tuesday, September 13

Making up Makeup

When Lisa asked me to do her wedding makeup, I was honored. Considering I'm not Trish or Bobbi or Laura, nor do I have any other experience with makeup outside of playing with it because I think it's fun, I thought it was a huge compliment that she considered my "work" good enough for her big day. Have you ever heard of a non-practicing lawyer/practicing makeup artist?

Anyway, turns out that Lis really liked her how she looked, so she referred me to a couple other brides to be. I had my first real "trial" with a complete stranger, which you see in the before and after pictures here... and I just found out that I've been hired! Who knew that giving my friends "smoky eyes" all these years would one day lead to this? I even beat out real makeup people who do this for a living.

I told my mom about it when I brought her lunch today, and all she kept saying was, "Mal do ahn deh!" which is Korean for "Shut the f*%k up!" (Not an exact translation, but it's pretty much something like that.) She couldn't understand why anyone would give me money to do their makeup, especially on their wedding day, especially because I'm not a professional. In her mind, I will always be 12 years old.

I repeat that I'm not an expert, but some of the girls asked about my makeup faves/thoughts. Here ya go:

  1. Eyelash curler - This is a must, and the best ones are Shu Uemera or Shiseido. You can buy pad replacements for Shiseido, so I slightly favor that one. I think EVERYONE should curl their lashes. Even if you think it doesn't make a difference, let me tell you: it does. Press for a few seconds close to the base and then step your way up your lashes. Instant open eyes!
  2. Eyeliner - My new thing is to line right on the lash line, between the lashes. I use Laura Mercier, but any cake liner should do. Wet a straight brush, press and wiggle it in your lashes, and then step and wiggle again. Repeat until the line is complete. You can also use Bobbi Brown gel liner, which I like overall, but it doesn't make as much of a precise line.
  3. Eye Shadow - This isn't necessary, but if you choose to do it, an easy technique is use a dark color near your eyes, almost like a second liner. I like purples, dark browns and dark blues. Next, sweep a lighter shade across the lid. A lighter brown or even pinky, peachy, goldish shade works. Make sure you BLEND! Blending is key.
  4. Mascara - I have stick straight lashes which hang directly down in front of my eyes. Maybelline Full 'N Soft is one of the few which doesn't uncurl me. I also like Lancome Definicils, but it isn't worth spending a ton on something you have to replace so often. (By the way, I am NOT a fan of the supposed cult fave, pink and green Great Lash.) A lot of people say they don't like using mascara because it smudges under their eyes. Wiping wet lashes by sweeping up with a dry finger helps.
  5. Foundation/Tinted Moisturizer - I love, love, love Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation! I'm on my third bottle, which say a lot for a makeup slut like me. Lisa loves Becca, and I've heard a lot of good things about Tarte. You don't need to use it all over your face, just where you want to even out skintone. Once again, make sure that what you have used is BLENDED well. I prefer to use my fingers to apply it, which helps me avoid caking on the stuff.
  6. Brows - I don't fill in my own because I have plenty of color, but I do tweeze often. Brows make a huge difference, so make sure your shape is good (and not too thin)!
  7. Blush - Smile, concentrate the color on the apples of your cheeks, and then blend up and outwards. Again, I say BLEND!
  8. Lips - Lately, I've just been lining lightly and using a lip gloss. If you have defined lips - I don't - you can skip the liner entirely. (FYI, Wet 'n Wild #666 is a good and natural pinky neutral color, and it's only $1!) For gloss, I like Lip Venom, but it stings too much for a lot of people. I also like Stila's glosses. There are a lot of great ones out there now.

And that's that! It sounds like a lot, but the key is to keep things as natural as possible and to blend, blend, blend. For another great source of product reviews, check out MakeupAlley. Now go forth and make up!

Monday, September 12

Mind-Numbingly Stupid Quotes About Hurricane Katrina

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
–President Bush, on "Good Morning America," Sept. 1, 2005, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina

"What I'm hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (chuckle) – this is working very well for them."
–Former First Lady Barbara Bush, on the Hurricane flood evacuees in the Houston Astrodome, Sept. 5, 2005

"I also want to encourage anybody who was affected by Hurricane Corina to make sure their children are in school."
–First Lady Laura Bush, twice referring to a "Hurricane Corina" while speaking to children and parents in South Haven, Mississippi, Sept. 8, 2005

"A young [black] man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans..." "Two [white] residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans..."
–captions at Yahoo News, Aug. 30, 2005

Believe it or not, there are even more of these stupid quotes. Actually, you probably don't find that very hard to believe at all. To read those, click here.
(Thanks to Lis for sending this.)