Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Rigid Search

We are leaving the state. The reason is because Roo will be doing an internship this summer with a company in San Francisco...but also because things just haven't been the same since the Delta Center became the Engergy Solutions Arena...

So, last weekend we went searching for someplace to live and this is what we found:

Option 1: A studio apartment in an ultra-modern renovated warehouse in East Bay. Pros: There's nothing cooler than living in an old warehouse. It even had a cool rooftop deck and was fully furnished.

Cons: The apartment was roughly the size of a solitary confinement cell. Also, I suspect it was haunted by the child laborers who used to work there.

Rent: $1500 per month

Option 2: A cute one-bedroom Victorian flat on Nob Hill similar to the one below.

Pros: Very picturesque, in the middle of the city, great views, had one of those elevators with the gate you have to lift up like in the movies.

Cons: Very old, few spots for the dogs to do their business, parking is non-existent except for an occasional spot on a 1000% grade hill across the street. Also see: Rent

Rent: An arm and a leg, plus one more extremity for a parking spot in a parking garage.

Option 3: A new, industrial-chic complex on the border of Oakland and Emeryville.

Pros: Finely furnished, washer drier in unit, the complex is fortified like a prison for safety. As we were waiting here on this corner to be shown the unit, we found it provided for the perfect "San Francisco" experience: across the street dread-locked hippies with Pink Floyd t-shirts kept streaming out of this house, pouring their drinks in the bushes, piling stuff into their van. The complex was on the border of the ghetto, and homeless cart-pushers would occasionally walk down the street mumbing to themselves while a gay couple stood looking at the complex trying to decide if they wanted to live here.

Cons: Roo noticed this ambigous sign at the elementary school across the street, "WARNING-Drug Free School Zone". It could be interpreted many ways, but I interpreted it as "I don't want to live here".

Rent: Your firstborn child. Plus utilities.

Option 4: One bedroom apartment in Sausalito overlooking the bay.

Pros: Amazing view, pet friendly, great area. Also see: Rent

Cons: 25 minute drive from work, 30 year old buildings.

Rent: $1440/mo plus utilities. In the real world, that is outrageously high for 700 square feet of 30-year old space. In San Francisco, it's a steal.

Option 5: Our rental car. We asked for a compact and ended up in this. Lumbering over those massive hills and one-way streets, trying to parallel park it felt enormous enough to live in.

Cons: Living as fugitives from Budget Rental Co.

Option 6: We happened upon Lucas Valley Road. We knew George Lucas lives somewhere on this road, so we drove along hoping maybe he'd invite us in to play with the ewoks in his backyard, have lunch with Harrison Ford, and stay on for the summer at the ranch.

Cons: George Lucas's house is protected by some kind of force shield to keep people out. We couldn't find it.

Option 7: We went on a drive up Lucas Valley Road and found this perfectly situated little church. I thought it was so lovely.

Cons: I'd probably have to become some kind of pastor or something to live in it.
Rent: My eternal soul. Plus utilities.

Option 8:

Pros: see picture

Cons: Only three things on the menu. Even the "secret" menu is fairly confined.

Rent: Clogged arteries and a massive heart attack at age 30. Plus utilities.

So many options. We've got some big decisions to make!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Roo Can Dream, too...

We were at the dog park yesterday when Roo decided to drop this bomb:

Roo: [laughing for a while] I have to tell you about my dream.

I didn't know what to expect, but I didn't expect this:

Roo: I dreamt I was a Victoria's Secret model.

Annie: hmmmm...

He went on to explain that he was part of a large group of people all trying out to become models. Part of the competition required him to sing in front of judges, which he did quite well.
He then told me that in the next part of the dream, he was going to be judged on how "ripped" he was. Unfortunately, he woke up before that stage of the competition.

I interrupted my own laughter to ask a most important question: What were you wearing?

He claims he was wearing boxer shorts, but I guess we'll never know for sure...

All in all, it made for the most unconventional conversation I've ever had in a dog park.

(Roo said it was okay for me to share this, by the way. He's not ashamed of his modeling aspirations.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Girl Can Dream...

Sometimes on particularly average days, I play this game where I imagine where I would be if I could be anywhere in the whole world right now.

Today, I would be here:

And here:

Wearing this: And this (plus a really good pair of walking shoes):
Eating a giant box of these:*sigh

Where would you be?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Authoritative history of Annie and Roo: Episode V

The Empire Waist Strikes Back
Nothing says elegance like a themed wedding reception.

Thus, when Roo and I decided to have a Star Wars themed wedding reception, we were the ultimate picture of class and elegance—at least according to anyone in the BYU Astrophysics Department.

I couldn’t write about our reception without addressing the one question that most people are usually too polite to ask: Why?

Most people assume that either:
A) We surveyed a cross-section of 9-year-old boys to find out what would be the most awesome party ever and used that idea to celebrate our wedding, OR
B) I lost a bet.

The truth is that we had both been to our fair share of conventional wedding receptions, including our own. (The Star Wars reception was actually our second reception. The first very standard reception was held in Utah. We saved Star Wars for Roo’s family and friends in California.) And we’d had enough of tiny mint cups and being besieged by Michael Buble over the sound system. We knew we wanted to do something different. We thought of maybe having a cookout catered by In N’ Out, then thought a movie-themed party would be exciting. At some point, the movie-theme warped into ONE movie theme: Star Wars. Possibly because Roo already had an attic room literally jam-packed with every conceivable Star War-related toy, game, poster, bed sheet, diorama, and cardboard cutout—enough to decorate an entire house. It was perfect (though some might say tremendously nerdy. I chose to disregard that sentiment, however, and view Star Wars as a monumental icon of American pop culture. That makes it cool—and I know a ton of 9-year-old boys who would agree.)

The celebration would have been incomplete without my Princess Leia buns. The geriatric ladies marvelled at my "shiny" hair. Once I explained that I was wearing a wig, we became fast friends. And yes, Roo had a little Jedi braid to complement his full Jedi robe.

I made sure we put pictures of us looking normal here in the entryway--next to the Stormtrooper riding the Dewback. And the Taunton.

An ewok! Some of our family members really got in the spirit and dressed up. Many wore Jedi robes, one even sported an full Queen Amidala gown--headdress and all! The rest thought we were nuts.

Our catered dinner included: Obi-Wantons, Lightsaber Skewers, Yoda soda and Dark Side Salad.

The kids thought they were at a birthday party and kept asking when we would do the pinata.

Here is a sampling of just a few decorations. The highly-speculative masterpiece hanging above the mantel was painted by a Romanian friend of Roo's. I like to let everyone interpret its meaning for themselves. Its just safer that way...

Here are the party favors: lollypops encased in assorted plastic Star Wars heads. Sweet! (literally)

Most of the guests were already retired by the time the first movie was released in 1977, so they didn't really get what was going on. But that didn't keep them from marvelling at the decor. These ladies were so thrilled with this thing that they insisted they take their picture with it. We thought about explaining that it was the torso of an imperial guard, but we didn't want to confuse them. So we took their picture with the thing and they were overjoyed.

Roo made this giant replica in high school. It is the ship the bad guys fly in. It made a good centerpiece.

Roo wielded a light saber in case any of the guests got too rowdy. Luke Skywalker is looking pretty satisfied with the event. He stood in our line and entertained the guests to no end--making it easier for us to slip away unnoticed for some Yoda Soda.

Our cake was shaped like a planet--the ice planet of Hoth, to be specific. We put dry ice underneath so the fog would bubble up and shroud the cake in mystery and give it a sense of foreboding. The only minor crisis occured when Roo noticed that they had placed Luke Skywalker on top next to Leia--a major blunder. Thankfully, there were multiple Han Solo action figures in Hoth garb on hand to replace the errant Luke. Here is the cake after the crisis was averted--topped with Han and Leia. Luke is on the back of the cake sleeping inside a dead Taunton.

Not really. That would be a little weird.

And we're not that obsessed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Random notes on music...

I'm generally never inspired to clean. But tonight I put on some really great tunes, turned up the ipod and found my kitchen sparkling a little while later. I would like to thank the following songs:

1. London Calling - The Clash (I never get tired of this one. It makes me want to march...or riot.)
2. There There - Radiohead
3. All That She Wants - Ace of Base (why did I ever stop listening to Ace of Base?)
4. Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon (scandalously named, but seriously good.)
5. Silent Sigh - Badly Drawn Boy (from the About a Boy soundtrack. If you haven't heard it, you need to.)
6. Kids - MGMT (it will make you want to live your life.)
7. The Engine Driver - The Decemberists (a little more mellow, but totally genuine)
8. Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Iron and Wine (yes, it is from the Twilight soundtrack and girls all across America swoon when they hear it. I am no exception. It is brilliant.)
9. Black and White Town - the Doves
10. S.O.S - ABBA (no list is complete without ABBA)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dear Mr. Obama,

We have decided upon a change of format for the 2012 presidential race. Rather than a long and complicated election in order to determine the winner, we will proceed as follows:

(image courtesy of Jordan)