Thursday, June 28, 2007

PG-13 . . . really?

Last night Tom and I had the opportunity to go to a benefit viewing of Live Free or Die Hard on the lot at Fox. This was pretty fun because a) we got to see a free movie, b) before the movie we got lots of snacks, and c) money spent by the firm on our behalf went to a good cause (although, ha ha, I have no idea what that cause was). My expectations for the movie were pretty low; I have not seen any of the other Die Hard movies and all of the trailers that I had seen involved lots of guns and explosions and that is not usually my type of movie. I will admit . . . I enjoyed the experience quite a bit, but after the movie Tom and I looked at each other and asked, "That was PG-13?" To be honest, I rarely pay any attention to what a movie is rated. I think that the ratings system kind of picks and chooses what it wants to take into consideration when it rates movies and I think that violence is taken entirely too lightly (these feelings have definitely been influenced by the film classes I took in London in which we frequently discussed the American vs. European ratings systems). Live Free or Die Hard definitely should have been rated R. Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the experience was the number of the people in the theater who laughed when people in the movie were killed. Or maybe it was the juxtaposition of violence with comic relief in the film. Regardless, PG-13? I don't think so.

Anyway, it has been a few days since I blogged. The apartment that we were supposed to get fell through, but we have procured another one. We (tentatively) have the address for the new place (it's still in the university housing, it's just a different apartment) so let me know if you are interested.

We have been pretty busy with firm activities over the last few days. There are a few restaurants in LA that I have really been looking forward to trying, and we checked one of these out last week. It is called Asia de Cuba and it is a Cuban/Asian fusion restaurant. It was really great (particularly the dessert) and we were able to chat with the guy who initially interviewed Tom for his job. The next night we tried A.O.C. which is a little tapas style restaurant. This place was not our favorite, but it did have this really great corn and shrimp salad (mom, you would love this). On Monday we went with the firm to Color me Mine which is a place where you paint pottery and then they fire the pottery for you. Tom and I are not the most artistic people in the world, but we made good use of the stencils and both painted plates. We won't have them back until next week, but when we do I'll be sure to post pictures. Afterwards we grabbed some mexican food at El Cholo.

It has been an exhausting week. Several days Tom has picked me up from work and then we don't get home until 10 or 11. But I guess I can't complain; the firm has been unbelievably generous and we are really enjoying seeing a side of LA that we never thought we'd see.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

my current favorite tv show

As most of you probably know, I enjoy watching television. I have probably seen an episode or two of just about every show on television and I rarely find myself really impressed by something I'm watching. I have cut my television-watching down quite a bit recently, but there are a couple shows that I really enjoy: the one that I like the best is called Jon and Kate Plus 8 and it is on the Discovery Health channel. The show is a reality show about a couple who have 6 year old twins and 2 year old sextuplets and I highly recommend that you all check it out.

The other show that I currently enjoy watching is Run's House which is on MTV (Tom even enjoys watching this one). It is also a reality show and it is also about the daily lives of a large family. The dad (Rev Run) was in the group Run-D.M.C. and he has 3 kids from a previous marriage and two kids with his current wife. The kids are so funny. Season 3 of Run's house has just ended, but MTV shows re-runs regularly and season 4 will be starting in a few months.

The best thing about these two shows is that they are about large, functional families that really love each other and that really get along, despite all of the stresses that they go through in their day to day life. Also, they help me appreciate our nice, quiet little apartment.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my dad, stepdad, and father-in-law. You are all wonderful and we love and miss you all very much. I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Tom and I got back from Mammoth earlier this afternoon. We went with the firm and had a pretty great time. It was really great to get to know some of the people that Tom works with and they were all really nice. We went up Thursday morning (the firm rented SUVs and minivans) and after a five hour drive, we arrived at these cute little condos where we shared a three bedroom condo with two other couples who were both really nice.

On Thursday we just kind of got settled in and then went to dinner at the Chart House with the entire group of people. It was a little disappointing because they gave us a very limited menu since our group was so large, though I actually had some really great salmon. On Friday we got up and walked around the town for a few hours and then went to lunch with a couple of other couples.
Then Tom went swimming and I rested for a while and saw Oceans 13 at the local movie theater before we went to dinner at this place called Whiskey Creek which was pretty fantastic. On Saturday Tom and I rented bikes and discovered something that we already know: we are both in terrible shape. But it was fun.
Later that afternoon we attended a group activity where we went fly fishing. Honestly, this wasn't the most fun I have ever had. It was hot and windy and pretty boring, but now we have been fly fishing. And Tom even had a couple of fish bite his line.
We got up this morning and left pretty early. I feel pretty bad because the guy who drove us back got a pretty nasty speeding ticket a couple hours after we left. But we are home and will be back to our regular schedule tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It's not all a slice of heaven....

Just in case you thought we were having nothing but fun I thought I would add a little piece on the part of LA that makes me bonkers: DRIVING. From backing out of my driveway and trying not to kill drunk college teens or scrape the Volvo which is always parked inches away from us, to my 15 minute commute to work in the morning, a whopping 2.5 miles away, to the no parking anywhere, well, it's enough to "drive" me crazy. Ha ha. Next summer I am looking at 45 minutes - 1 hour commute if I take a downtown job - we are talking eleven miles, ten of which are on the freeway.
Today was a perfect example of why LA may not be for everyone, even though we really like it here. Erica decided to leave her keys and wallet at home (on purpose she assures me), and since this was the first day that I had a free (or not free depending on how you look at it) lunch since I started working a few weeks ago I thought I would come back and pick her up so we could go get something to eat "really quick". We hadn't been to Chipotle in a while (the greatest restaurant on the planet), so I thought we would hit that up. 20 minutes later, after traveling 5 miles, we found ourselves circling the block that Chipotle was located on, in the heart of Beverly Hills. Street parking - Zero. Public "pay to park" lots - full. Nearby neighborhoods - full. "Oh look, a spot is opening up over there!" (*Zoom* a Porsche 911 Turbo crosses 4 lanes of traffic and neatly fills the opening before a car blinker can be activated.) After 20 traumatic minutes of searching we simply left. No Chipotle in hand. No perfect combination of rice, corn salsa, sour cream, black beans, and guacamole. 20 minutes to return back to our point of departure only to find that lunch hour was over, no lunch to be had. After a short prayer we found a spot being vacated in an alley behind an El Pollo Loco in Westwood (decent, but no Chipotle). Erica dove out of the vehicle to prevent any nearby alley cats from taking our spot, daring them to run her over as she stood defiantly in the spot, while I maneuvered the car into the treasured space. Only to discover that the parking was metered (and of course we had no change). Yes, metered. In an alley. Behind El Pollo Loco. Luckily the guy before us still had 8 minutes to go when he left.
It's a good thing I don't have a set lunch hour.

We're moving :)

Well, we're not moving very far. We are moving to the University Village which is about four miles from where we live now. Our apartment will be (slightly) cheaper and quite a bit bigger. We will have to start taking the bus to work/school, but we will be able to live closer to other ward members which will be nice. July 18th we can start moving in which gives us a little less than two weeks to get everything over there (our current lease ends August 1st). I am excited to have air conditioning.

In other news, we had more fun with the firm this week. Last night we ate at Jiraffe in Santa Monica which was pretty dang good. I had salmon and Tom had halibut. It's fun to get to know the associates better. Last night we ate with a fellow BYU grad who now works at the firm. Apparently she is the only member of the church at the LA office, but she said there are several at the Newport Beach office. We are going to be out of town on a retreat with the firm until sometime Sunday so we may be a little difficult to get in touch with. I imagine that we will have cell phone reception, but we are probably going to suffer with no access to the internet for a few days . . .

Monday, June 11, 2007

Because you wanted more

Here is a shot from the front of someone else's hybrid. Ours looks exactly the same except we were suckered into getting the windows tinted (hey, it came with the "value" package).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Well, we had a busy week. We said goodbye to our wonderful old car:
And hello to our new car, a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid (we haven't actually taken a picture of it, so this is a stock photo and this picture isn't actually a hybrid, but it's the same color so it's close enough):
We have been looking at cars for several months and hadn't even thought about getting a Camry. But a couple weeks ago we read the reviews of the car and found out that we could get a pretty fantastic deal on it, so we bought one. We are pretty impressed so far and glad we made the switch. We loved our Civic, but it was just too small. We hadn't anticipated toting so many people around and the two-door Civic just wasn't big enough, so we sold the Civic yesterday (and actually got quite a bit for it, thank goodness). But we were very sad to see it go :(

We also were able to enjoy a couple more restaurants this week on outings with people from the firm. On Wednesday we went to Rustic Canyon which was pretty good. It's kind of a farmer's market type of place. I had halibut and Tom had a burger, but the appetizers were probably better than either of our main dishes. Last night we got together with a different group of people and went to K-Zo in Culver City where we consumed a ridiculous amount of delicious sushi. But better than the sushi was the Japanese eggplant dish that had the best teriyaki sauce I've ever had. Yum, we love free food.

Today we went to Bakersfield to visit Tom's parents for a few hours. We wanted to show them the new car, wish Tom's dad happy father's day (since we are going to be out of town next week), and spend some time visiting. We came away with some fresh vegetables from Tom's mother's garden and we are very excited about eating them this week :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

On The Spot

Long story short, one of Irell's (the firm I'm working for this summer) clients is Mark Burnett, of reality TV fame. This is the guy who created Survivor and several subsequent reality TV shows. His latest creation is called "On The Lot", which is essentially a competition between a bunch of aspiring directors. At this point in the show everything is run American Idol style. The contestants make a new short film every week, and people are then voted off (or on I guess) the show by "AMERICA" (or whoever actually votes). Ok, so that wasn't so short, but the good part of the story is that one of the associates at Irell who works on Mark's stuff is giving us some VIP passes to attend the live taping of the show tonight. The VIP thing just means we get a good parking space and some munchies before the show starts. SO TUNE IN. And you might see me-for like a nano second.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

night out on the town part 2

Wow, we do so many more interesting things when we have someone else footing the bill. Last night we enjoyed some more festivities thanks to Tom's firm. Here's a quick summary of our last 24 hours (sorry, no pictures, things were pretty hectic):

Last night after work we went to West Hollywood to go to dinner with some people from the firm. Irell puts a lot of emphasis on these dinners so that summer associates can get to know some of the attorneys and luckily, I get to tag along. We ate at a ridiculously overpriced place called Katana which was unlike anything I've ever had. They have sushi and some other dishes, but their main focus is called Robata which are basically just grilled kebobs. Despite the fact that it was overpriced, it was pretty delicious. We had grilled asparagus, kobe beef, shrimp, prawns, and a few things that I had never heard of. I'm looking forward to future free dinners :)

Afterwards we went to a summer associate event which was at the House of Blues in West Hollywood (it was across the street from Katana). It was nice to meet Tom's mentor and some of his co-workers, though I think most people were there for the open bar. Probably the most interesting part of the House of Blues experience was that as we were leaving we were waiting to go down the elevator, and security made us leave the hallway. We were a little confused, but then we saw Courtney Love get out the elevator.

Then today we went to our stake temple day to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the LA temple. We were (of course) a little late, but it was very enjoyable and it was great to hear a little about the history of the temple especially since my maternal grandparents were married there 49 (I think) years ago.