“The sun is shining, the grass is green…”

“…the orange and palm trees sway!”

A Very Merry Christmas to everyone from sunny L.A.! I know I’m a couple of a days late, but technically I haven’t really celebrated Christmas yet, so I reserve the right to be a little behind. My Christmas won’t really take place until after New Year’s, when my whole family will once again be together. However, this doesn’t mean I haven’t been in the appropriate holiday spirit!

Every Christmas, there is a line-up of films that I must watch. Two of those are White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life. This year, I discovered that digitally remastered versions of both movies were playing in movie theatres! First, I saw White Christmas at the Arclight in Pasadena, then a week later I caught It’s a Wonderful Life at the Egyptian in Hollywood. I find that when I’m used to watching movies on my t.v. or even my computer, seeing them on a big screen changes the experience entirely. It’s like watching a completely new and different film! But what was really amazing about both experiences was sharing them with an audience. I’m so glad I left my personal Christmas cocoon to share a little of the spirit of the season with others.

one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies:

So a very happy holiday to you and yours! George Bailey rules.

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red lights

A few months ago, I visited the Getty Center by myself. When it came time to leave, the freeway was inexplicably backed up, so I decided to take surface streets back to Pasadena. Well, if any of you have ever tried this, you know that it takes a LONG time! Also, once you’ve made the decision, you pretty much have to stick with it, as there aren’t very many places to get onto the freeway once you’re in the midst of the West side. Well, I had made my decision, and despite the fact that the traffic was worse on surface streets than it had been on the freeway, I stuck with it. BUT I realized I had my camera with me, so resolved to entertain myself by playing a game. At every red light, I took a picture of something I could see out of the window. It was a beautiful, clear day (the kind we only really have in the winter when the smog is lying dormant) and I actually ended up really enjoying myself! So, I wanted to share some of the photos.

** this one was much better when the flag was waving, but I couldn’t tarry when the light turned green!

This is one of my favorites

and I LOVE this one

I never regret carrying my camera with me wherever I go. You just never know when you’re going to come across something you want to remember or share.

For bonus points, does anyone know what street I was driving on?

p.s. I absolutely love how invested LA people get when it comes to conversations about how to get somewhere. It inevitably leads to an argument, as someone swears by taking Wilshire, while another prefers 3rd street… And someone always takes to 134 to the 5 and someone else can’t imagine taking anything but the 110. Just one of the lovely quirks of Angelenos 🙂

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power down

Hello friends,

I have been MAJORLY delinquent the past month or so, and for that I apologize. My life got a bit crazy in November, and I’m just now getting it under control. And wouldn’t you know it, I signed on to post a couple of days ago and right at that moment, my house lost its power! As those of you in the Pasadena area know, we had a super crazy windstorm a couple of nights ago, and the entire area looks like it’s been hit by a massive hurricane. I still have no power at home, so I’m typing this from a coffee shop that I’ve visited at least once a day for the past couple of days to keep in touch with the rest of the world.

I’m sure that many people can see the benefits of losing power: a forced disconnection from our overly-connected lives, a bit of peace and quiet in the midst of holiday craziness… I’d like to see the bright side of this, but I admit this power outage has affected me rather negatively. My house is absurdly cold. After the sun goes down at 5 pm it is completely dark, and there are very few options at that point… Can’t watch a movie, can’t go online, can’t read by candlelight (I tried, and I have the headache to prove it). Can play games by candlelight, but that gets old fast when no one will play with you. All in all, it’s terribly easy to feel sorry for myself in this situation. However, in the spirit of this blog, I feel compelled to see the bright side of things.

1) A tree didn’t collapse on my house (a house down the street was not so lucky) or my car

2) when my bedroom window imploded in the middle of the light, none of the glass flew into the room/ my face

3) I have an excuse to treat myself to coffee and tea while I answer emails at internet cafes

4) I have an excuse to not answer emails

5) In the midst of disasters, people are suddenly friendly. Yesterday morning, as I was dragging branches and scooping up glass from the front yard, my neighbors actually came up and spoke to me! I swear, it was the first time I’d even met some of them, and it made me want to have a block party or something.

6) probably the most important point: no one I know was hurt or had their property badly damages.

I went to see The Muppets with my mom last night, and was blown away by how much I loved it! I was absolutely sobbing by the end (though admittedly “Rainbow Connection” always makes me sob). I thought it was well-written, witty, charming, with great songs (by one of my favorite Conchords Bret McKenzie) and appropriate cameos (especially enjoyed Emily Blunt as Miss Piggy’s assistant at Paris Vogue)! It also greatly increased my existing love for Jason Segel… Anyway, GO SEE IT! You won’t regret it 🙂

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everybody dance

So, as some of you may know, I’m a total sucker for movies that have choreographed dance numbers. Tonight I watched a new film that I’ve been wanting to see for months now, called Bran Nue Dae. It’s about an Aboriginal teenager who runs away from Catholic school to return to the girl of his dreams, complete with singing, dancing, technicolor scenery of Western Australia, and Geoffrey Rush as a Catholic Priest! It’s just as charming as it sounds, and so I decided to do a post on some of my favorite musical scenes from films. Here’s the one that inspired it!

Did I mention it’s pretty irreverent?

For the rest, I’m automatically eliminating any that appear in a traditional “musical” film, as if I don’t, there are just too many good ones!

A classic from Heart and Souls. The best part starts around 1:05

[500] Days of Summer. Definitely not my favorite movie, but I LOVE this scene!

Remember Heath’s debut? With the marching band?? So good.

This movie introduced me to this song, and for that I am eternally grateful!

Another recent one. This just makes me so incredibly happy every time I watch it! The best part is when they’re standing together alone on the platform and he kicks her playfully. JAI HO!

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some, but I think that’s enough for tonight

Oh, and the title of this post is a reference to one of the BEST musicals ever– Waiting for Guffman!

(it’s at 2:26, but you should really just watch the whole film. It’s amazing!)

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off my trolley…

Life has been a bit crazy the past few days, what with finishing up on the Film Festival I’ve been working on. It’s tonight, so I’m looking forward to things calming down a bit tomorrow.

This weekend, I found myself missing jolly old Britain, so today I wanted to share some of my favourite* photos from my time there.

(* keeping in the spirit, I shall also be spelling everything the British way, which apparently my computer prefers anyway)

I’ve spent a lot of time all over the UK, certainly the most in Oxford but also in London, Wales, and Scotland, as well as other random parts of England. I’ve always felt comfortable there, and truly think of it as a second home in a way. That said, there are many things about the British that absolutely crack me up, and I raaaaather like to document these as I travel! Enjoy!

this is absolutely one of my favourite photos ever! Taken the day I moved into my apartment in Oxford, as I was exploring my neighbourhood. Walking along, enjoying my surroundings, when all of a sudden I spied a young man carrying an ARMFUL OF SWORDS! Because of course he was…

The English do love their knick-knacks…

Well of course Mr. Potter has to be in this post! These Latin translations seemed appropriate somehow

Knife bin = a bin for knives… Um, what?

Morris Dancers. the dog’s bollocks.

If I had a knight’s outfit, I’d wear it to scoot around Blenheim also

Even the rain SHALL NOT hamper tea time!

PUNTING PIRATES!

Well, why WOULDN’T you have a pinny for your dishsoap? We all do have to stay clean, right?!

The British are absolute MASTERS at naming desserts. Eton Mess! Syllabub! Flummery! Knickerbocker Glory! Bedfordshire Clanger! Whim Whams! Jammy Dodgers!

Absolute geniuses!

love it.

And what goes better with pudding than tea?!

~~~

A lovely friend once gave me a packet of flash cards containing British phrases and words and their American equivalents. I treasure this gift, and will leave you with one of my favourites, because I am…

which means:

and that’s that.

 

(oh, and by the way, while it seems a though it may have slipped my mind, I assure you it has not! So I say to you, SPOTTED DICK, good sir!)

 

 

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whiskers on kittens… and other favorite things!

Hello!

Ok first things first, I decided to have a movie on in the background while I “worked” today, and The Lost World: Jurassic Park was the best option on offer. At this moment, there’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex drinking out of a swimming pool as he prepares to terrorize a residential neighborhood… so basically, it’s decidedly an entertaining movie.  But seriously, this is a pretty interesting cast: Julianne Moore? Richard Schiff? Vince Vaughn? (and, duh, Jeff Goldblum, who was actually on my flight from L.A. to Toronto once. true story– I’m basically a celebrity) Ok right now Julianne Moore is carrying a baby Tyrannosaurus…

ANYWAY, ok that was a bit of a ramble through ridiculousness, but then again I didn’t make the movie…

~~~

I wanted to share some delightful developments in my life!

As some of you know, I applied to take part in a Rotary-sponsored trip to Chile next Spring, and yesterday I found out that I GOT IT! I will be going from March 17- April 22, and traveling mainly in Northern Chile with 3 other young professionals and a group leader. I haven’t traveled in a group since the days of LACC, and I’m excited! I’m pretty much excited about everything in this situation, actually! It’s basically a cultural exchange trip, so we’ll be visiting sites that relate to our vocations, as well as meeting and staying with Chilean Rotarians and generally exploring the country. My hope is to extend my trip at the end and visit Patagonia (not the store, though I could use a nice new coat…), so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Copahue Provincial Park, in Patagonia

 

(btw, Julianne and Jeff are now trying to reunite mama and baby at a gas station…)

So that was my big news, but I also wanted to share a couple of little things that have made me smile the past couple of days. Strangely, they both have to do with cats…

 

 

this is Amy. She’s a 3-legged kitty who likes to come visit sometimes.

the first time she came by, I was terrified of sending her back out there, as I thought she would be vulnerable with only 3 legs. Then I realized that Amy is a total hardass, and can totally take care of herself. awesome.

 

Also, I saw this sign when I was out walking yesterday

How great is that??

Isn’t it supersad when you see a sign for a lost animal, pleading for its safe return? It’s so nice to see that sometimes there IS a reunion! I’m glad Jackson is home and happily lazing on his back.

and p.s. Is he or is he not an awesome cat? I might go steal Jackson…

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I. Am. Job.

Alert! I have been hired! Thank goodness.

As of the beginning of November, I am a Sales Associate at Anthropologie in Pasadena… I swore that I would never work retail again, but I’m actually quite excited about this! I like the place, it’s close enough to walk to, and the people seem really nice. So yay!

On another note, my new employer sent an email out this morning (to the entire subscribed list, not just to me) that heralded the start of what I like to call “sweater weather”, along with this image:

I’m not really sure why her head got cut off…

While this may seem like a timely and appropriate email to receive on October 12, I would like to point out that the temperature today is a crisp, chilly… 98 DEGREES!

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS WEATHER?!

Ugh. I hope Fall comes to visit soon.

 

p.s. If anyone actually got the reference made by the title of this post, you deserve a big early-90s- themed gift basket! Or at least a British Nanny who is actually your Father in drag… (whose name is not Mrs. Featherbottom…)

 

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