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Archive for December, 2009

::cough:: I’m (sorta) back

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

I swear, I want Santa to bring me a better immune system this year.  I managed, right before my birthday, to get this terrible cold.  Despite RESTING and taking warm foods and medicine, it still lingers in me for over a week now!  My dear husband tried very hard to make the holidays a bit cheerier for me.  I do have some thing to blog about.  I ended up getting my Zune HD, and despite it being produced by Microsoft, the device has managed to impress me greatly.  I got a bunch of other awesome presents, and I also ended up going to the Langham for my birthday dinner despite being very ill.  But I’m back, though I really need to spend more time at lab and not blogging…but I will… 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Favorite Cover Songs

December 17, 2009 Leave a comment

The other night, after I picked up my husband so we could carpool home together, I was excited to find the new Anberlin cover of the New Order song “True Faith” playing on the radio.  It’s one of the better covers I’ve heard in a while, and I had been wanting my dear hubbie to hear it as well.  He agreed that it was a pretty decent cover, which then prompted us into a discussion of what makes a good cover song.

The cover, or a new rendition of a song by a different artist, is pretty popular in modern music.  However, while it can be nice to hear artists sing other artists’ songs, I can’t say that I’m all that impressed with most covers.  A truly good cover transforms the previous song into a new one — and a good one, too!  You can certainly have a cover that sounds totally different but totally terrible, i.e., No Doubt’s version of “It’s My Life” or Jessica Simpson’s version of “Take My Breath Away” or Madonna’s “American Pie.”  Sometimes, the change can be achieved by just altering the tempo of a piece or having an amazing voice with a passion not heard before in that song.  I’m not saying that all covers need to transcend their originals such that the original fades out of memory and the cover becomes the de facto version of a song (best example: Diana Ross singing “You Can’t Hurry Love”).  But a really good cover needs to be a legitimate, positive evolution of that song.

So, I got to thinking — what were the best covers of my time?  I’m not even 30 yet, so I realize I’m using a small set of time, but it was fun nonetheless to sit down and really muse over it.  Here’s what I got: Read more…

Your local pet store!

December 15, 2009 1 comment

(Well, my local pet store!)

I’m not one of those people who will *only* buy from local and independent retailers.  Supporting my local business isn’t my top priority.  I like it when I can do it, sure, but that’s just not the first the thing that comes to mind when I go shopping.  It’s price.  (I’ll say it again: STILL IN GRAD SCHOOL!)  And frankly, often the big chain retailers can buy items in such mass that they can afford better discounts than smaller stores.

The best example comes from a colleague who gave me a hard time for buying a bike from REI (which acts as a co-op, BTW).  She sung the praises of the local bike shop.  One weekend, I agreed to go shopping with her.  The last place, at my urging, was Sports Chalet, which had a Diamondback bike she’d bought previously… only she’d paid 25% more for it.

Now, when the local store carries special product lines that you can’t get at the bigger chains, exceptional return policies, and outstanding service — sure, it’s worth more!  But is the same exact bike really worth 25% more (so we’re talking more than $100 here) at your local bike shop that doesn’t give any additional guarantees?  To some people, it sure does.  Not to me, and I think in this economy, that’s most people as well.

But imagine my delight when I can both save like the competitive shopper I am and STILL support my local businesses!  I’ve been lucky to find a couple places like that since I moved; today, I’d like to share with you my local pet store, Centinela Feed and Pet Supplies. Read more…

Top Five Exercise Gifts

December 15, 2009 2 comments

Let’s face it.  There’s at least one person in your life who couldn’t hurt from getting a little extra encouragement to get them fitter in the upcoming year.  Right now, I’m staring down some poundage that snuck up on me in the last season, after I’d diligently worked my routine the whole year.  I’ll be getting STS Shock Cardio soon, though, so I’m set on my motivator for the new year.  But for those of you who are thinking about getting something for yourselves or your friends and loved ones, but don’t know where to start, here’s my Top Five Exercise Gifts. Read more…

Categories: Reviews, shopping Tags: , , ,

Choose my birthday dinner!

December 4, 2009 2 comments

My birthday is coming up in a couple weeks, my husband and I tend to go out to a fancy place for dinner.  (We literally go out to a fancy place three times a year — one for his birthday, one for mine, and one for our anniversary.)  Because of our recent home purchase and the financial strain that came with it, we haven’t really gone anywhere.  So, I really want to go someplace nice for my birthday and to end the year as well.  Despite knowing that very few people read this blog, I thought I’d take a poll from whoever for their input.  You can add any of your own choices as well.  I starred the places I haven’t eaten at before.

If you’d like to see the restaurants’ websites, click on these links: Yamashiro, Daily Grill, The Dining Room at the Langham, Scarlet Tea Room and Fine Dining, and Gyu-kaku.

Categories: Dining Tags: , ,

My High Heel Experiment

December 3, 2009 3 comments

Does anyone have any good ideas to teach me how to walk in high heels?

I’m openly jealous of my sister for a lot of reasons…she’s frankly amazing.  She’s smarter, funnier, sexier — if I could be half as cool as she was, my self esteem would sky rocket.  However, I’m used to her rocking for the most part (I have been her sister for almost three decades).  There is *one thing*  she does that often can make my jaw drop as she does it.  Despite the fact that she has three kids that she’s is refereeing around most of the time, she manages to do them in these amazing shoes, specifically insane high heels.  She always did have a bit of an issue being short (I suffer the same fate as well) and I guess she compromised her issues by being able to sprint in high heels.   I’m often floored how she can stand in some of them, let alone be a mother of three in them.

And she gets me these gorgeous shoes too with heel heights half of hers…and I look like a moron walking in them.  I have feet issues in general (hence why I have prescription orthotics), and I have no desire to where high heels every day, but I see no reason why I shouldn’t be able to wear a sexy pair of shoes once a week at least.  Thus, I’ve decided to treat this as a type of endurance training.  I’m thinking of making a rotation system where I try to lengthen the time I wear high heels.  I was thinking originally to wear the shoes for 10 minutes in my home while doing some standing chores.  Everyday or every other day, I would increase the time by 1-2 minutes.  I figure I’m doing well if I can do house work in them for two hours straight I’m doing well.  After that, I would try to go to work in them as well.  I have a bad gait in general; I tend to drag my heels as I walk since I was a child (because I’m LAZY).  Stiletto heels though prevent me from doing this without meeting an untimely fall.  So, hopefully, not only will I be able to walk in high heels after training, I won’t walk around like a bum either.

Not the most exciting experiment ever, but maybe one of the the more sexier ones.  So, any advice?