I have friend who I refer to as “my hyper-connected friend from New York.” To avoid confusion of initials, I’ll call her H (for Hyper-connected, I guess). H knows everyone, as was demonstrated today. She was in Manhattan Beach, trying to get to UCLA. As she was sitting at the bus stop, a car pulled up and the driver said, “H, is that you?”

Three thousand miles from home, and she runs into someone she knows, who was driving in the same direction and gave her a ride to her destination. Now that’s networking.

Organizing Principles

We have too much stuff. Actually, J says that we have a normal amount of stuff for where we are in life–but we have it in an apartment that is just too small. I think he may have a point.

Regardless of how much stuff we have overall, we do have a lot of bookcases–and they are full of books. The tallest one has been double-stacked, with the books in front blocking the view of the books in back.

There are also sundry items on the shelves: candlesticks and holders, a tape dispenser and stapler, and–for some reason–a pair of 1983 Campagnolo Super Record brake calipers. For more information on those, you’d have to check with J.

But the assorted items weren’t really the problem, because you can see through or around them. Sure, there’s more on the bookcase than I might normally like, but it’s manageable. The front row of books, though, were a problem.

So I finally went through the books and made two stacks (because one would tip over) that will go to the local library. There are quite a few that I won’t read again, or won’t read. I mean, if they’ve been sitting there unread for all of these years, how likely is it that I’ll read them in the near future? And if I do want to read them, well, I can go to the library. It’s a beautiful system, really.

But the best part is how much better I feel when I look across the room at that bookcase. I can see what’s there, and it’s surprisingly calming.

You know, I really should try this on my desk at work. Now there’s an idea.


There Will Be Blood has been sitting on top of the TV for–I kid you not–two months. Clearly we are not maximizing our Netflix subscription.

Or maybe we’re just not in the mood for drama. Enchanted has been here for less than 10 days, and this afternoon I watched it. Twice.

It’s an adorable movie, and I’m really impressed with how well Disney made fun of itself. They did a great presentation of how insane the animated hair and costumes would look in the real world, and if New Yorkers ran into Giselle’s fairy-tale sensibilities, they’d be convinced she was crazy. The performances were spot on; Amy Adams is endearing as Giselle, and James Marsden makes the clueless, self-involved blowhard Prince Edward a surprisingly sympathetic character. Patrick Dempsey plays Robert as McExasperated, which works–I’m not a huge Patrick Dempsey fan, but I liked him here. And once again I’m sorry that I didn’t see Idina Menzel in Wicked when I lived back east. She doesn’t sing here, but she’s definitely got presence.

By the way, if you get the chance, see Wicked. J got me tickets for Christmas, and we both loved it. But do not read the book, which is muddled and kind of gross.

I’m not sure what we’ll wind up doing with the rest of the evening. But I’ll bet it won’t involve watching There Will Be Blood.


This week seems like it has lasted forever, but it’s finally done! J took the day off but is working this evening. I guess that’s not much of a day off. But the result is that I got home and have been lazing around ever since. At some point I should probably figure out what I’m going to eat for dinner.

Lunch was a bit of a challenge, too. There’s a new falafel restaurant in Westwood, but the line was too long for the level of hunger I was feeling (apparently I need to eat more than one packet of oatmeal for breakfast). However, I was in a falafel kind of mood. About two blocks away was a longtime denizen of Westwood–Falafel King. I remember eating there in college, although it was in a different location at that point.

What I can’t tell you is whether Falafel King serves good falafel. I liked it–salty, slightly spicy, and fried. When you put it that way, what’s not to like? Certainly I walked away full, which itself was an improvement. And I figure that now I have a baseline for comparison, when I finally do get to the new place.

Dinner, for the moment, remains a mystery. Also, I should probably make a run out to Whole Foods, so that I don’t have to go in the morning. In the meantime, though, I’ve stumbled across a TLC show called Say Yes to the Dress. What is with all the lumpy wedding gowns that seem to be out there? Yet another trend I do not get. Good thing that J and I are already married!

Mission Accomplished

Achieved: two meatless days. This one was pretty much like the other, except that I didn’t realize until I was on my way back from hula that I hadn’t eaten any meat.

Oh, and instead of ice cream I ate a bunch of organic fake Oreos. They aren’t Oreos, but they aren’t bad.

What Kind of Shoe am I?

You Are Clogs

You are a solid and down to earth person.
You seek – and almost always achieve – a really sound balance in your life.

You are stylish yet comfortable. Mellow but driven. Excited yet calm.
You are the perfect mesh of contradictions.

No matter what happens, you have the ability to stay well grounded in your life.
People know that they can truly depend on you.

You should live: In Europe

You should work: At a company dedicated to helping the world

The irony is that I have never owned clogs.

Air Conditioning and Refrigerator Maintenance

I could have studied this in high school, but I did not. Perhaps that’s why I’m not entirely sure how to get at my refrigerator coils. However, I’m going to overcome that lack of knowledge, as I have accepted another Carbonrally challenge: the Air-out Your Fridge challenge. I’m not sure why it’s hyphenated, but it seems like a good idea. Look out, refrigerator. Sometime this week, I’m coming for you.

The air conditioner is working fine, although I probably need to clean out the filter there as well. Mostly, though, I wish we had air conditioning throughout the apartment, and not just in the bedroom. Where’s my June gloom?

And while I’m asking unanswerable questions, when did Dana Carvey become a low-rent Robin Williams? Low-rent Robin Williams. Now there’s a depressing thought.

Meatless? Aimless?

So today was the first of my two meatless days for the week. Here’s what I ate:

  • instant oatmeal
  • boiled egg
  • cheese
  • macaroni with alfredo sauce (from Whole Foods, in a box)
  • pecans
  • raisins
  • yogurt
  • Cheerios with milk (the dinner of champions)
  • a whole lot of ice cream

Does it necessarily count as vegetarian, though? Or is it just a random collection of foods which does not happen to include meat? I’m not even sure if it’s healthy.


We just got back from a trip to the grocery store. I bought the groceries while J filled the 5-gallon water bottles at the machines outside. I hope he’s okay with this distribution of labor, because I know I really appreciate it–I can lift the filled bottles, but it’s not easy!

As for hair, the groceries were bagged by a very nice young man who had hair like a faun. Seriously, between the sideburns so long that they were just locks in front of his ears, and the clumpy spikes, it was as if Mr. Tumnus had decided that now that he has been redeemed for obeying the White Witch, he would assist people in supermarkets.

On my way out, I noticed that Kid ‘n Play are back–or at least Kid’s hair is. Or maybe it was Play’s hair.