Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Things I've Learned Lately

1) That "the patch" version of birth control has been shown to lead to an increase in blood clotting, among other serious side effects. (Source: my awesome doctor)

2) That my favorite alcohol, vodka, can be used for more than just imbibing. Apparently it can be used to get out that stale smell from new clothes (or that smell when they come from the vintage store) if you spritz on a bit and then let the clothes hang out in a well-ventilated area. Who knew? (Source: And for someone like me who bargain shops quite a bit, its a super helpful tip.

3) That it's okay, really okay, to donate/throw out the jeans that just don't fit right anymore (or perhaps never did). I think I've finally come to grips with this, especially now that that particular drawer in my dresser is beginning to be quite stuffed! Its not like I spend a fortune on them in the first place, anyways. To self: breathe, Trude, in and out...

4) My local Planet Beauty kicks ass. I found all kinds of cool stuff when I went in there for some nail polish. Plus, their employees are actually helpful and friendly. Amazing!

5) I. Hate. Comb. Binding. For anyone who's ever had to copy and bind a 200+ page report and didn't want to tear their hair out, huge props to you.

On Thursday night, I got to go shopping at H&M - finally, FINALLY the good lord above answered my prayers and brought a location to southern California. I've been shopping there for years, but only got to when I was either on the east coast or in Europe. Got a cute casual top, plus a cute silk dress.

I had a pretty fab weekend, especially since I got to spend Friday with two of my favorite people, Nikki and Nancy, at one of my favorite places - Glen Ivy spa! We had really warm, beautiful weather, and spent the whole day lounging in the various pools. They also got to witness what I would look like if I ever got a tan, thanks to the amazing mud treatment they have there. :) After we got all glowing and pretty we headed back to the OC for dinner (yet again) at Honda Ya. Yup, the perfect cap to a fabulous day!

The excitement at my parent's house this weekend was the latest addition to their menagerie (I've declared that's now the official name for it). Already they have 2 dogs (Hershey and Ted E. Bear), a cat (Elvira, or Ella) and a turtle (Victoria). And as of Friday morning, they've added a kitten. My mom was out walking Ted E. when she heard mewing coming from the bushes, and upon investigation discovered this little guy/gal (its really hard to determine the sex on a kitten so little!!):
Seriously, look at that face! How can you say no? Granted, my mom put up flyers and everything around the neighborhood to try and find any original owners, but nobody had called by Sunday night. But Nikki and I had already made a bet that they would keep it - my dad loves cats, plus Ted E. kept following it around like his life had no other purpose. But that's probably because he was raised with barn cats (he was originally my grandmother's dog out on her farm in Kansas), and Ella won't give him the time of day.

Please feel free to suggest names for the kitten! I still like Henley, but since they overruled me the last time I don't think it'll fly this time either. Now, beware the cuteness invasion:

Way too much cuteness. Even though the kitten makes me sneeze every time I pick it up (even though I've never had pet allergies before...I think its the long hair, or maybe kitten dander?), I can't help myself!!

Saturday morning found me up far too early for a weekend to take a test for my notary license, and then I headed over to my parent's house. From there I left Jacopo in dad's capable hands, and mom and I headed down to Del Mar for the dressage weekend (dressage = something like horse ballet, where the horses are trained to do special kinds of walks and runs) of their annual horse show. My mom used to ride competitively with Arabian horses and won a jillion awards, but pretty much quit once she got married and my parents lived in Norway. So this was way cool for us to go do, even if we froze our bejangles off. You'd think it would be warm there, since it was April and at the beach, but oh no. So we both wound up with commemorative sweatshirts. Oh well.

I think the coolest part of the day was seeing this rider, Hilda Gurney, who's something like a living legend in the dressage world. Even to a know-nothing like me, it was obvious compared to the other riders that she was in complete control, that she was working with the horse rather than at the horse. Here she is receiving her award:

Beautiful stuff to watch - really! Very cool to go and do, but mom and I were so tired on the way home late that night that we sang at the top of our lungs for half the drive. :) Good times.

Sunday was a day to play catch-up. Caught up on time with the puppy, laundry, time with the family, sleep, etc...

Hope everyone had a good weekend too!

Quote of the day: "Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Monday, April 23, 2007

Weekend Update

I'm happy to report that I wound up having a very satisfactory weekend. :) Hope everyone else can say the same (or better)! Friday night Chris wound up getting off of work earlier than I had thought he would, so we met up at home and, after feeding the pup, went out to rent a movie and pick up some takeout. Gotta love our local Hollywood Video - the kids that work there are barely able to vote, if that, so nobody says anything when we walk in carrying our dog. ;) Except to say "Oh, what kind of dog is that?" or "Can I pet him?" Its a funny thing about American culture that having a dog automatically makes someone more approachable, or acts as a conversation catalyst.

So we rented Children of Men, which I have been eagerly waiting to see, and I was not disappointed. I highly reccommend it. Gorgeously filmed, stayed true to the book (which I also reccommend, PD James is awesome) and of course Clive Owen was great. Brilliant, in sum. And we ate delicious Indian takeout along with it...double mmmm.

Saturday I accomplished at least one of my goals for the weekend, which was to introduce my mom to the Wide World of Digital Scrapbooking. Needless to say, it was overwhelming. I feel her on that one - even now, 9 months after my first foray into it, I still get overwhelmed by all the options I have and making choices for a layout can be tough! I'd like to do everything at once, please. I brought Jacopo along since Chris was at work, and to get him out of the apartment for more than an hour. He wore himself out. He slept so hard when we got home! But he made me very proud, he was so well behaved. I just wish the natural lighting in the kitchen was better so that I could have captured the glares of pure hatred that the cat was giving him the entire time, from her perch on the tallest part of the counter. Soooo funny! You can just see her thought process of "Two freaking dogs was enough. This young idiot is the last straw!"

That night Chris and I were both so wiped out from the week that by the time we got home we didn't feel like doing much, just hung out and went to bed at a decent hour. Sunday morning we got up and headed over to Chris' parent's house, where he proceeded to do about 3 weeks worth of laundry. The best part of the day was taking Jacopo and walking down to Nick's Deli on Main Street in Seal Beach (only about 5 mins walk from his parents house) to get some of Nick's famous breakfast burritos. Its this great hole-in-the-wall just up from the beach that we used to eat at a lot more before we moved in together. From there I drove Chris to where he had to meet everyone for the vanpool out to Coachella, and Jacopo and I said goodbye to him for the next two weeks! Just thinking about it makes how much I depend on him all the more poignant. We'll be okay, but it will sure be interesting!!

So the pup and I drove home in the driving rain (it was a Gloomy Sunday, how ironical), and soon after Nikki and Heather came over so we could all go to Honda Ya, the bestest Japanese restaurant around. Literally. Just try Google-ing it! Further proof: ran into people I know there, which can be very rare in Orange County! Plus it's in adorable old town Tustin, and it rarely costs more than $15 per person. I always wind up eating my weight in sushi. Nikki and I were both seriously craving it, so we used my excuse of the boyfriend leaving town to go. :) Whatever works, right? Its also one of the few restaurants in the area open past 10.

The nice cap for the weekend actually arrived today, when this came for me:
Aren't they gorgeous?? Wednesday is Administrative Professional's Day, apparently. I feel so appreciated! :)

Ok, after proofreading I see just how much takeout I ate this weekend. I guess I was making up for eating every meal at home last week - even lunch!

Quote of the moment: "I think it would be a good idea." ~Mahatma Ghandi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization


Friday, April 20, 2007

Good Day

Today has been a good day. Although I am tired as all get-out and currently resisting the urge to go to Starbucks (yet again this week), this gorgeous rainy weather we've had today has been awesome! At the moment the parking lot looks like a bad 80s hairband video because it was raining up until a few minutes ago when the sun came out, causing great amounts of mist and steam. Too cool. [See, non-Californians, we here in SoCal have to appreciate it when we get actual variations in our weather. It happens so rarely. Especially this year, I think our current rain level is negative or something.] Plus, I got to wear my kickass pirate-y birthday boots.

Goals for this weekend include introducing my mom to the wonderful world of digital scrapbooking, fleshing out my Flickr account that I started this week, taking Jacopo to the dog park (keeping my fingers crossed that it will be nice and I can get photos) and spending time with Chris before he leaves Sunday evening. We'll see how I do.

In world news, I read this article in the Guardian today. Is it just me, or does that sound like the dumbest thing you've ever heard? It reminds me all too much of other such walls in the past...and we know how great those all worked out. And of course I haven't heard anything about it in the American press.

But I digress. To end on a happy note: Its FRIDAY! Hope everybody has a wonderful weekend!

Quote of the day: "I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace." ~Helen Keller


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Today's Funny

After Miles and Joanna couldn't stop laughing about this video last night, I had to go see it for myself - gotta love randomness!


The only thing I can say about Virginia Tech is this: being a college grad and in the process of pursing my masters, I can't even imagine what it would be like to have a maniac burst into my lecture and open fire. I simply cannot imagine. Can any of you? It would be totally surreal. The whole incident is insanity - especially trying to blame the school for not locking down campus or something after the first shooting. Who would possibly guess in their wildest mind that it wasn't just an isolated incident? The real problem was that there were all kinds of people warning the administration that this student had "potential threat" written all over him, and yet there was nothing they could really do. That might be the real policy they need to review, rather than emergency procedures. (Ok, so maybe I had more than one thing to say. Surprise.)

*steps off soap box* In other news, it was rather amusing listening to Alberto Gonzalez being verbally pummeled by the Senate on NPR this morning. If he's not a liar, I'll eat my shoe. Seriously, it reminds me of a kid about 5 years old that has newly discovered lying and thinks that their parents will believe whatever they say.

I love this comic strip. I get their daily email, and it cracks me up. Such random Brit humor, gotta love it! With all the internet browsing and editing I've been doing lately, yesterday's comic in particular made me laugh:

Last night we had a bunch of people over that Chris used to work with at Disneyland back in the day. They were so much fun! Although it was 10 before anyone showed up, which we were expecting, but Chris and I are on such a mundane schedule this week that we were totally ready to crash by then! :) Especially since we had been cleaning and straightening since we got home at 6. Nothing like company to make you clean like you've been meaning to! But it felt good to get everything nice and clean like I like to have it. I wish I had more energy to always keep it that way!

So anyways, we had a great time. I learned a new card game called Phase 10, which is totally complicated but fun because of it - I didn't get bored like I usually do with cards. Once we got to be a big crowd, though, we gave up the cards and just generally hung out and (sort of) watched "Grandma's Boy". I think Jacopo was the real hit of the party - but who can resist his charm, really? No one has thus far!

Next Friday I'm taking the day off work and heading out to Glen Ivy with Nancy and Nikki for Nikki's birthday present. I'm so looking forward to that - will definitely follow up with photos!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

First Post!

Who knew it would be so difficult to write the first post on my blog, after finally deciding to put one together?? Turns out it is. Maybe it has something to do with the grey and dreary weather we've been having...or my own hangups. Either way, its been interesting thus far. I have to give Peter Chen huge props for his awesome blog, Blogger Tips and Tricks, and his personal help which were critical reference points for me in getting this blog to look the way I first envisioned it! At least I can say I've definitely learned a lot about editing HTML code in just a short time. :)

As for the Deckner-Ellingsen household, Chris is working all this week on setup for an ancient Japanese fire ceremony that's going on up in Yorba Linda this weekend. It actually looks pretty cool, I even heard a blurb about it on NPR - apparently its never been done outside of Japan. Who ever thought Yorba Linda would be the location of choice for that?? After that he heads out to the IE to work both the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals. He'll be gone for two weeks...anybody feel like coming over to keep me from insanity entertain me? :) I'll definitely do a follow-up post if he gets more awesome backstage and up-close photos like he did last year.

Jacopo, our endless source of entertainment, is still working on potty training. But we're getting there, accident by accident. Poor thing, you can always tell when he feels sorry. And we're slowly working back up to long walks to the park, as its now been more than a week since he lost his manhood. He's also finally started that classic dog behavior in that he gets all excited whenever I so much as touch the bin where we keep his leash and collar and everything. He's just too cute!! Need evidence? Either click on the Flickr slideshow on the right, or go here.

Sunday night a bunch of us went out to celebrate Mindy and Nikki's birthdays (they're a year and a day apart). I love these people - I always know that I'll have a good time when I'm out with them. Thanks to Buss's boisterous behavior and hysterical sense of humor, we managed to laugh until we turned red and offend half of the surrounding tables, all at once! But it's cool, because the place we went to is this awesome Italian restaurant in Ontario called Vince's. It's deliciously chock full of garlic, inexpensive, and the decor makes you think you're back in Little Italy. I fully expected to see the stereotypical mafioso guy sitting in the darkest corner being fed by two beautiful women.

Here's Nikki with Sergio and Bussman:

Katie and Colby, with their everyday faces on:

Mindy and Whitney, gorgeous as always:

So that was fantastic. We finally managed to roll ourselves out of there and Nikki, Heather and I continued on to go see Disturbia. Now I love Shia LaBeouf as much as the next girl (and boy has he grown up!), but this movie had some seriously creepy moments. Not to mention the killer suspense (no pun intended). At least Nikki and I were able to squeeze the hell out of each other's hands in fear. But it was still a good movie! David Morse did a great job at scaring us to death.

So I think that should cover it for now - will definitely be adding more to this blog, and now that I've started a Flickr account (why oh why did I put up with Photobucket for so long?) I'll be adding to that as well!