Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

Man oh man, this was a crazy year. It really got away from me! I didn't blog much, I know, but I promise I didn't just sit around and stare at the wall all year! So here are some highlights:

Rang in the new year with our New Years Eve pajama party! It was our first New Years party and I had a total blast!
My cousin Natalie got married and I danced the night away with my sister and cousins.
Finally got to meet my Internet friend Rachel!
Attended foster care orientation, and Craig and I decided to go for it!
Got to meet up with my other Internet (and now real life I suppose!) friend Jess from Arizona.
Went to the Hollywood Costume Exhibit at LACMA, which was AMAZING.
Started our monthly film club, which we lovingly named "La Lune Film Club," our first selection being a documentary of sorts called What Is Cinema?
Valentine's Day, awww. We actually had reservations this time!
Oscars! I lost this year, dammit.
Went to see some stand-up comedy with my coworkers, hooray for being social!
Went to see the premiere of the new season of RuPaul's Drag Race at Hamburger Mary's, which was a hoot.
Saw the ballet of Sleeping Beauty at Segerstrom, so beautiful!
Sunset Boulevard on the big screen!
Some Like it Hot on the big screen! In a cemetery!
Super Pi Day!
Went to my first yoga class, taught by my friends and coworker Ally (went to MANY more yoga classes after this in 2015!)
TCM Film Festival! Saw Rebel Without a Cause and Adam's Rib.
Definitely not a highlight, but Craig's grandfather Tony passed away. So sad to lose him, but his memory will live on through his amazing family that I'm beyond privileged to be a part of.
Started our TIP classes for foster care!
Got to meet blogger/designer Joy Cho and her family at a book signing. I fangirled a bit.
Also met actress Illeana Douglas at a screening of Ninotchka at Cinefamily in LA
Saw Vertigo with live orchestra, which also kicked off my Sight & Sound Top 250 Greatest Films challenge. I'm currently 87 films in!
Saw "Sideshow" at Segerstrom with my mom and Dri on Mother's Day.
More movies, more classes
Started rereading the Harry Potter book series
Went to my cousin Christina's student art show
Threw a MOST EPIC Harry Potter birthday party. I went as Harry Potter, of course.
More movies, more classes, more paperwork
Reunited with high school friend Josh who I hadn't seen in forever.
Celebrated six years of marriage to my amazing husband!
Jaws on the big screen for Father's Day!
Summer program at work means Crazy Hair Day, Pajama Day, etc. I wore a long red wig for Crazy Hair Day and everybody told me I looked like Ariel.
Celebrated Independence Day with fireworks, the Huntington Beach parade, and lots of good food.
More classes, more paperwork
Finally FINISHED the Harry Potter series, which was everything I'd hoped it would be. Why didn't I finish them years ago??
Jamey turns three!
"Tarzan the Musical" at Plummer Auditorium with Mom and Dri! Super fun.
The Sandlot and Little Shop of Horrors on the big screen!
Got in my first car accident, booo. But my car is okay now.
Found out we were being transferred to Riverside for our foster care stuff.
Met writer Francesca Lia Block at a podcast recording in a beautiful Eichler house. Basically a "pinch me" moment!
Started babysitting at yoga squared in Tustin in exchange for free yoga! Not a bad gig at all! Thanks, Casey!
Saw my cousin in a production of "Jesus Christ Superstar"
Met Bobcat Goldthwait at a screening of his film Call Me Lucky and he's a total sweetheart.
E.T. on the big screen, and a meteor shower the same night!
Went to my first midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and it was madness.
Threw a Beetlejuice screening and pool party! SO much fun.
Barbecue at Dee and Scott's, made new friends!
Colin and Rachel started hosting monthly bad movie nights they call "Disasterpiece Theater." I love it!
Daniella turns 3! I made her a Paw Patrol ice cream cake.
Home inspection! We passed with flying colors.
Our first Dapper Day at Disneyland! I dressed as fancy Cruella DeVil.
Sophie's first birthday party!
The fall movie marathon begins!
Met Ted Neeley and Barry Dennen at a screening of Jesus Christ Superstar and I lost my mind. Definitely star struck.
Had a mini "blood moon" party, with werewolf movies and Melies films about the moon.
Officially got our foster care license!
Announced our intention to foster/adopt on social media, received LOTS of love in return!
Guillermo del Toro art show, followed by visiting screenwriter Larry Karaszewski and his wife Emily at their beautiful home. It has a conversation pit! I want one!
Saw "Addams Family the Musical" at Plummer Auditorium!
The Birds and Psycho double-feature at a cemetery screening!
Went to a Christian Scott jazz show
More interviews, more paperwork
Threw our annual Halloween party! I was Pinocchio, we won Best Group Costume at work. Craig was a killer bee again, of course.
Saw Nightmare Before Christmas at the Hollywood Bowl, with a live orchestra and Danny Elfman, Ken Page, Catherine O'Hara, and Paul Reubens in person! It ended up being an Oingo Boingo reunion of sorts and it was SO awesome!
Dia de los Muertos party at the Duffys!
Saw my cousin in a production of "Little Women the Musical"
Home Alone on the big screen, and Ally's baby shower!
Met Elijah Wood, Devin Faraci, and Amy Nicholson at a podcast recording of "The Canon" discussing The Goonies. Met my friend Daniel and his girlfriend there and it was awesome catching up.
So many Thanksgivings! We hosted our own little vegetarian Friendsgiving which I always enjoy.
Christmas decorations! Christmas movies!
Went to a former student's 3rd birthday party, and all my favorite students were there being cute.
Saw "The Nutcracker," my mom's first trip to the ballet!
NEW STAR WARS! So exciting!
Star Wars Holiday Special at Colin & Rachel's. Not so exciting.
Miracle on 34th Street on the big screen!
Fiesta Navidad mariachi show at Segerstrom!
Christmas Eve! Christmas!
Home study interviews, done and done!
Another New Years Eve pajama party! Wahoo!

While this year definitely had its ups and downs, and was mostly full of classes and paperwork, I'm looking forward to a challenging but rewarding year. Let's see what this whole parenting thing is all about!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Officially licensed!

September flew by, didn't it? At least it does when you never update your blog.
Sooooo our home inspection went excellently and we are now officially licensed foster parents! Now the home study in Riverside begins, dun dun dunnnnnn!
I'm 57 movies into the Sight & Sound Top 250, but now it's October so that means my Halloween movies get top priority. As I'm typing this I'm watching the silent Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney. It's a good one!
My classroom is doing a Pinocchio theme for October and it's all coming together quite nicely. I don't expect to win any awards (the classroom decorating contest is rigged anyways) but I think it'll look quite cute. Of course doing a Pinocchio theme means that I'll be donning the little hat on Halloween...!

Hope everyone's Halloween season is a blast!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

So nervous! We have a home inspection date, and we just got our new adoption application (got transferred to another county for that part, ugh, REALLY?) so it seems like we're back on track and moving forward instead of stalling out. I just want my house and my life to be completely perfect, is that so much to ask?

My attendance at yoga classes has gotten sporadic, tsk tsk. I'm trying to go more regularly because that relaxed, proud, strong feeling I get after finishing a class is a feeling that I haven't been able to replicate with anything else. Feeling calm and capable is so important during these stressful and aggravating days of dealing with the foster care system.

In other news, I haven't been to the beach ONCE this summer and it's almost over. Nor have I had a frozen lemonade, done a cannonball in a pool, or gotten tan (much). I fail at summer.

Oh well.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Adieu, summer!

Feeling mostly melancholy these days.
A complication with our foster care application process has put our whole life on hold.
Got in a car accident this month.
Major drama at work.

The best way I can escape from all this is through books and film. Diving into somebody else's life for a while is a nice respite from my frustrating present.

Currently reading Frankenstein and making my way through the Sight & Sound top 250 greatest films. 41 in and going strong!

This summer hasn't been a complete waste. Threw a Beetlejuice movie screening/pool party last weekend, finally went to a midnight screening of Rocky Horror, read some good books, saw 2001 at the Hollywood Bowl, went to outdoor screenings of Little Shop of Horrors, The Sandlot, and E.T., celebrated summer with my toddler students. and got really into yoga. I'm trying to focus on the positive instead of the complete helplessness of this foster care stuff.

All I can say is hurry up, fall!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Life, and an announcement!

Oh my god you guys. What happened to blogging? WHAT HAPPENED???

I was going to be SO good about blogging this year. I was going to update at least a few times a week, filling in my (complete lack of) readers on my life which is SO INTERESTING. Augh. 

Anyway, at the moment it's July 4th, everybody else in the house is sleeping, and I thought why not now?

Life has gotten very different and exciting lately! I'm still a toddler teacher (hit my four-year anniversary at my current school last April! Now, about that raise...). Craig and I just celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary. I turned 29 and celebrated with an epic Harry Potter themed birthday party (speaking of Harry Potter, I started rereading the books and I am 100% obsessed with Harry Potter all over again!) 

I recently took on a movie watching challenge as well...I'm making my way through British film magazine Sight & Sound's top 250 as chosen every 10 years by multiple filmmakers and critics. I'm working off the 2012 list (which can be found HERE). I'm 23 movies in, and I expect it will take me a few years, but I definitely plan on seeing this through to the end. 

In the MOST exciting news...Craig and I are becoming foster parents! Hopefully, haha. We turn in our application later this month after taking a MILLION classes! But we're getting there and we're very excited!


Anyways, that's life at the moment. Movies, Harry Potter, and getting ready to be parents. Aaah!

Let's try to blog more than once a year, hmm?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

TV Obsessions

I'm super picky when it comes to TV shows. I don't like wasting my time on shows that I'm barely tolerating. Here are a few new shows that grabbed my attention.

"Fresh Off The Boat"
Based on the memoirs of Eddie Huang, this show is about an Asian family adjusting to life in a very white suburban neighborhood in the 90s, through the eyes of their hip hop loving oldest son, Eddie. I can't get enough of this show! Constance Wu as mom Jessica is the best.

"The Last Man on Earth"
We're only a few episodes in, but Craig and I are enjoying this one so far. I especially enjoy Kristen Schaal's character (spoiler? He's not the last person on earth) and how she clings to decorum in a destroyed and empty world. 

"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Craig and I binge watched this entire show in one weekend, like many others. It's really easy to say "just one more!" when the episodes are short and hilarious. It's about a woman rejoining society after spending the last fifteen years kept underground in a weird doomsday cult. How's THAT for a premise?

Still catching "The Mindy Project," "Girls," "RuPaul's Drag Race," "Downton Abbey," "The Daily Show," "Last Week Tonight," "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" (on Netflix!) and "Mad Men" when they air.  I wish I knew more people who watched Mad Men so I could throw a fabulous party for the finale, but alas! Maybe I'll just get dolled up for myself. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day 2015

Janet Munro in Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959)

I'm currently writing this sitting at my computer, wrapped in blankets, with cramps and a splitting headache. I was supposed to be at work but I was sent home. Or rather, Craig had to come pick up my sorry ass. I was sent home yesterday as well, and quite frankly this is NOT how I wanted to spend my week! I even painted my nails green for the holiday, and now the main green thing I'm wearing is my FACE. Sigh. 

Craig and I celebrated the holiday yesterday as best as we could. I made vegetarian shepherd's pie with lentils and sweet potato (om nom nom!) and we watched The Quiet Man (1952) starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. YEESH. The movie is beautifully shot and beloved by many, but I just can't get behind a movie that features a man grabbing, pushing, and dragging a woman across town. By her arm! By her COLLAR! Yuck. I know the whole point of the movie was about quaint little Ireland and how things are different 'round these parts, but goodness. I think I'll watch Darby O'Gill and the Little People later. It's not a great movie either, but Sean Connery and Janet Munro are just so cute. Although it's been a while since I've seen that one...does he drag her around too?

OK I'm going to go overdose on painkillers (not really) and take a nap. Byeee!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Seeking out Beauty...

Everything was beautiful at the ballet....

I'm not usually a stick in the mud. I have a sense of humor.  But I am SO SICK of this meme-obsessed, stare-at-my-phone-all-day, flaky, YouTube-celebrity-worshipping stupid generation. I know I sound like an old person standing on their porch shaking their fists at those "damn kids" but it really makes me sad when I see all the beauty fading from the world in favor of trendy nonsense.

Which is why I've been actively seeking out that beauty. After a less than wonderful work day yesterday, I looked up what was going on locally that I could attend to unwind from my day. And what luck! The American Ballet Theatre was performing Sleeping Beauty a mere 20 minutes away. I adore Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty, and the Pacific Symphony was going to be providing the music for the dancers. Yes please! It was a beautiful evening.

Cinema! Art! Dance! Music! Literature! Theatre! I want more!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hola Marzo!

Rabbit rabbit!

I love my Audrey Hepburn calendar...turning over to a new month and seeing her beaming luminous face makes the world seem full of possibilities. And what's on the docket for March? Work, movies, and most importantly the TCM Film Festival at the end of the month! Not sure yet what days we'll be able to go...depends on Craig's schedule. I'm determined to go with or without him...this will be my fourth or fifth year in a row. 

I've found heaps of new piano music too from estate and garage sales to digging through the stacks of music at my parents' house. A lot of it is from musicals so I'm going to force my sister to sing along. I don't have to twist her arm much though...she's a ham!

So my life right now is work (little toddlers keep me on my toes!), movies (watching constantly, writing for This Cinematic Life, and starting our film club), cooking (have I mentioned how much I love sweet potatoes in everything?), piano (of course), and spending all my money at Old Navy and Target whenever I get a chance, naturally. 

I'm also trying to make my Girl Scout cookies last as long as possible! Thin Mints from the freezer, can it get any better than that?

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Remember when I was like "Woo 2015 I'm totally going to update regularly!" Yeahhh sorry about that.

It's been a pretty good month. We went to the AMAZING Hollywood Costume Exhibit up in LA, we saw "What We Do In The Shadows" which was totally hilarious, and we had our first meeting of La Lune Film Club. I had higher hopes for the turnout and the discussion, but it's still early and we're still getting settled. Next month's theme is First Films, and it's looking like it might be Breathless which I haven't seen in ages. But we'll see!

I just realized all my fun updates were movie related. Ain't it always the way?

But! I'm not ready yet to share the super fun news. You have to wait a few months (and no, it's not quite what you think it is). 

And now I'm trying to buy Comic Con tickets. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Rhapsody in Blue

I'm big on traditions! On Fridays at work lately I've been playing Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" (which is probably my favorite strictly instrumental piece of music) and it puts me in SUCH a good mood. I feel like I know every single note like the back of my hand. Here's to the weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Not bad so far, January! I've been trying to fit in more outdoor time in the form of neighborhood strolls, remembering to take photos along the way. The rose above is from my mom's front yard, isn't it beautiful? In addition to stopping to smell the roses, I've been to two weddings already this year, watched a fair amount of movies, although not *too* many because I'm trying to have a life. Went to a screening of Rushmore at the Frida dressed like Max Fischer, which was pretty amazing, and I made these awesomely unhealthy wet burritos which I want to eat for dinner every day now. 

Craig and I are also planning vacations and film clubs and perhaps an even more exciting's to 2015, off to a pretty okay start!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hello, 2015!

2014 was kind of a bust. I only wrote 14 or 15 posts. The year sucked. I don't miss it one bit. So here's to 2015!

Okay, it wasn't ALL bad...Craig and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, we took a little weekend getaway to Palm Springs over the summer, and saw lots of excellent movies and art shows and performances. 

Out of sheer curiosity, let's see how I did on my resolutions from last year...

Stop reading comments and message boards.  This one was HARD, and I didn't completely succeed, but my little voice told me to stop anytime I started reading something stupid and negative.

More parties! We helped host an Oscars party, we had our 5th anniversary party, a Star Wars themed pool party, our annual Halloween party, and our first New Years Eve party. Not bad!

Buy clothes and shoes that actually fit and are comfortable! This one is actually still a resolution of mine. A combination of eating better and being sick (eep!) means that I unexpectedly lost a bunch of weight and a lot of my clothes don't fit. So that means more shopping, yes?

Cook! I actually cooked a fair amount in the first part of the year, and then slacked around the holidays. I made a pretty decent Asian tempeh dish so far this year, and I'm looking forward to trying new recipes. 

Do something different and physical. Exercise? Blech. This is one I always have trouble with. I'm on my feet a lot in my job as a toddler teacher, though, so it's not like I'm a total blob. Dance parties at work? Yes please!

Ignore everybody. I'm still letting my insecurities run my life. Must work on this.

Disconnect and reconnect. Less Facebook, more Face-To-Face time. I'd like to continue this, definitely. 

Say yes! Well, not to everything...

I think I'll let this year's resolutions come about more organically. Hooray for 2015!