Friday, July 31, 2009

Another Post About Animals

Yesterday we almost ran into a possum. I was so excited about seeing the creature stalking across the road that when it turned the corner, I veered the car around to follow it. Then it ran into a pipe in the ground.

Roo: You are the only person on earth who loves a possum. Anyone else would have run it down with their car.

Annie: What?! Didn't you see its pointy little nose?

Roo: They are the most vicious creatures on earth.

Annie: No, Man is the most vicious creature on earth. The difference between Man and a possum is that a possum would never kill a man just to make it dead!

On second thought, perhaps I give a little too much credit to the possum...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Rooism...

"There's nothing stupider than a stupid goose."

I'd explain why he said it, but even in context, this declaration was bizarre and unforeseen. So it's best left as is.

A Recommendation

I never really believed the line that "one person can make a difference." But this book may have changed my mind. It is about a man who, after failing to climb K2, befriends the people of a Pakistani village and promises to one day build them a school. Even though when he returns to America he is broke and living out of his car, he decides to fulfill his promise. After many failures, his efforts slowly begin to pay off. And after ten years of work, his efforts gain incredible momentum and make historical progress in educating the children, particularly the girls, of Pakistan and later Afghanistan. In the trauma and aftermath of 9/11, he uses his effort to educate as his own war against terror--not eradicating terrorism with bombs, but using books to educate the younger generation of Muslim people and provide them with opportunities, success, and a wider world view. And he did it all because he genuinely loved the people--he loved them as human beings and he valued and respected their unique culture. I think it presents the people and religion of Pakistan and Afghanistan in a realistic, complex, and positive way that is rarely, if ever, emphasized in popular media.

It genuinely made me feel overwhelmed with gratitude for what I have been given in life. I found myself hungry to help someone else, love someone else, after reading this book. I definitely recommend it--especially if you've been feeling sorry for yourself lately, or don't believe one person can make a difference.

You can find out more about it at:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fun at the de Young

Every first Tuesday of the month, museums around the city are free, so a few weeks ago I decided to take advantage of the bargain deal and check out the de Young art museum in Golden Gate Park. 

Here is the museum from the outside. It looks like a large charcoal block. In fact, it reminded me of that big cube thing on the Transformers movies. (After seeing the last Transformers movie, I felt mentally ravaged and intellectually depleted, so I was also trying to remedy that by going to the museum.) Anyway, I tried NOT to think about Transformers as I went inside:

Inside, they have a variety of collections,

Furniture and folk art:

African and Oceanic tribal art and artifacts (tons of masks and shrunken heads and fertility gods and things).
American Painting, here are some of my favorites: 

The canvas looked like it was actually glowing:
The painting above is by one of my very favorite artists, Edward Hopper. (Not to be confused with Dennis Hopper, actor and evil mastermind of Speed and Waterworld fame. Here Dennis is with his portrait made of broken dishes--unfortunately, not a piece in the de Young collection.)

The Cellist. All grey tones, neat geometric shapes:
There were plenty of modern pieces, too. This is a bunch of charred wood hung from the ceiling with fishing wire and a bunch of mirror blobs on a mirror table. They looked cool, as modern usually tries to.

And finally, my favorite piece in the whole place. It is called "High and Wide"
My favorite thing about it is not how it looks, though it is admittedly lovely; the best part of this piece was the description of the medium: Goat hides, carpet, found metal, clothing, Mickey Mouse backpack, barbed wire, upholstery, textbook cover, Splash Zone compound, enamel, and spray paint on canvas and wood

(i.e., the contents of the dumpster behind Wal-Mart. It reminded me of Transformers in that way...)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One Year Older

My birthday was last Friday, the 11th. Besides a sweet watch and some pretty flowers, I also bought a new sweater vest...thing. I think it looks like something a Hun or a conquering barbarian would've worn to sack Rome, but Roo assured me that it was cool, so I kept it.

We celebrated by attending two great concerts. They were pretty much the same except at the first one we looked like this:

The concert looked like this (The Greek Theater in Berkeley):

It sounded like this:

And there was this totally amazing rainbow arching over the theater! It rained a little, but that just made it even more beautiful outside.

Here I am posing with the rainbow (you can't see it very well in this picture) and wondering why no one else seems to care about the rainbow and realizing that they are all drunk and/or high and also worrying about the fact that they will be driving home tonight in their inebriated states:

And at the second concert on Monday, we looked like this:

And the concert (or what we could barely discern of it from our distant seats) looked like this:
And they sounded like this doing a most beloved cover:

We weren't actually planning on seeing this concert, but on Saturday night, we got an email from a lady in our ward trying to sell some tickets she wasn't going to use. Roo seemed to think that it was our charitable duty to take them off her hands, and I deemed it a birthday miracle, since Coldplay has been one of my favorites for many, many years. So we went, and had a fantastic time! 

It was a very happy birthday--or birth-weekend.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

You know you are Annie and/or Roo when...

you decide to go to Harry Potter at midnight and wait two hours in line even though you already bought tickets to see the movie the next evening--but you just couldn't wait that long. So now you are going to see the movie again tonight even though you just saw it, like, a few hours ago.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What We Did for Our Summer Vacation

This post is a little late coming, so if you are sick of reading about what people did for the 4th of July, read no further...

Roo and I decided to take a weekend jaunt down to our favorite little California city, Los Angeles. We were blessed to have a couple of friends, Sarah and Drew, who were willing to take us in and let us stay with them. 

( I unfortunately don't have any pictures of our friends, so I will have to use photos of their celebrity look-a-likes to illustrate...)


Drew:As the weekend unfolded, it felt a little like living in our own little movie. First, Drew, who works as a tour guide for Warner Brother's Studios, gave us a tour of the studios. We saw the all sorts of sets and props and even the back of an actor on TV! 

Hey, is that Ross and Rachel sitting on that couch in the long-abandoned Central Perk!? No! It is Annie and Roo!  Believe your eyes!

Here I am in front of Rory Gilmore's house (of Gilmore Girls), still reeling from the realization that Gilmore Girls is not actually real. In fact, if you walk through that house and go out the other side, the facade is that of a completely different house. It was strange seeing all these places from movies and TV--they are a lot smaller than you'd think. There are a lot of facades in this business.

After our Warner Brother's tour, we decided to go check out Roo's childhood homes in La Habra Heights and Whittier. Going back there was like living in a home movie.
While taking this picture, the lady inside the house came out calling after us, demanding what we were doing suspiciously taking pictures of her house. Roo tried to ignore her, but I made him stop and explain himself. I think she bought our story because we weren't arrested later. Roo lived here as a little boy:

Later, his parents built this house and he lived here until his mission. His parents moved just a couple years ago. We spent lots of happy times here. It felt strange to go back--it looked the same, but it belongs to someone else now. It felt sort of sad to realize that we can go back to the place, but we can never go back to the good times we had there.  

All the sentimentality and bittersweet feelings (plus hours of horrific traffic) left me with a nasty headache, and we knew there was only one cure for that: Mad Wolf Mongolian BBQ. This is almost literally a hole in the wall, and it is run by perpetually annoyed Chinese ladies, but it is ridiculously good! We would go here back when Roo's parents lived in California, and again it felt strange to be back somewhere so familiar while everything in our life's circumstances had changed.   
We made time for some shopping and visiting Roo's siblings in Temecula one day, and then focused on eating some more. Anaheim has one awesome Romanian restaurant. It is run by Romanians and most of the patrons there were Romanian, too. The people all got a kick out of this American guy coming in and speaking to them in their own language and eating their specialty food. They tried to talk to me in Romanian, too, so I just had to smile and nod a lot.
During our stay, Sarah and Drew were house-sitting for an actor friend of theirs who has a super cute little house with a pool, ping-pong, big TV, and video game system. They let us stay there with them, which we were happy about because we got to hang out and swim and play Wii and Playstation. And on the 4th, we barbecued some food and ate outside under a big tree with colored lanterns then listened to the loud booms of fireworks while we lazed in the hot tub. It was idyllic, almost like a movie.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Band of Horses

One of my current favorite bands. This song makes me instantly happy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Rooism

While on a long drive:

Roo: Meat Loaf makes me spontaneously sweat.

He wasn't talking about this kind of meatloaf:

He was talking about the meaty "musician" who goes by the stage name Meat Loaf.

Aside from the most obvious question you may have about this declaration (i.e. What were you doing talking about Meat Loaf? Please, please don't say you were actually listening to that by your own choice! Well, all I have to say to that is, yes, we were listening to Meat Loaf. And our reasons are our own. Let us leave it at that.) Anyway, aside from wondering that, you may be wondering why Meat Loaf would make Roo perspire so.

Here's your answer:

Now do you understand?

Sunday, July 5, 2009