Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Little Bit of Lately

We finally ventured downtown for date night at Chego. Each weekend when we'd be making plans Nik would offer one suggestion, "Chego."

When I would ask Nik what kind of food to expect, he couldn't accurately describe his experience. He'd respond, "I don't know... It's just good." The "good" standard has also been used to describe half-baked cookies taken out of the oven. (Nik's obvious solution to when all cookie dough has been licked from the bowl.)

So I went with an open mind. 

And then had my mind blown:

Hands down, the best thing I've eaten in LA. Whenever we go out to eat, I normally can guess all ingredients and make some variation at home. These meals? Absolutely not. I didn't even know what we were eating. It was just good

This summer I've been inhaling books with all my free time. I may still be a fifteen year old girl, because Divergent has been one of my favorite I've read. 

Crazy Uncle Nik providing bath time entertainment. 

Nik has a talent for leaving miscellaneous items in his pockets. I think his intention is to line his pockets with high risk items to keep laundry interesting. Pens that will leak dark ink onto all of my clothes and flash drives with entire semesters of work on them that aren't backed up. 

Our keys had been MIA for a while. We lost them on a day we had both been using them, providing the perfect situation for us both to turn to each other accusingly, "Well you had them last." 

This week, as I switched our clothing from the washing machine to dryer I heard a heavy clunk, and metal scraping metal. Not a pleasant sound when doing laundry for your pocket-hoarding-husband. The keys revealed themselves from underneath the damp clothing. The keys with a 32 G flash drive on the key ring. 

Somehow the flash drive made it through a permanent press cycle unharmed. The same cannot be sad for our automatic lock and unlock.

We can't decide which is worse. 

Lastly, when we were first married we were given the advice, "When you play board games you aren't married." And we were like, "What?! Weirdest advice ever." 

One year later, we are addicted to Monopoly Deal and it's shed some light on this advice. I know we're encouraged to seek out "wholesome recreational activities" to strengthen our families, but honestly this game might be doing more harm than good. (Because no one could possible win as much as Nik without cheating. Not because I'm a sore loser or anything.)

However, I would totally recommend the game. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Dark Ages

For years, I always told my mom, "I'm not going to color or highlight my hair now, because when I'm married I won't want to spend the money on it." Which was practical and forward thinking, but also a freshman in high school shouldn't be concerned about her newlywed tight budget in the far-future. (6 years.) 

This year, I endured my third Rexburg winter.  Some cold-climate residents suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. (SAD) I suffer from Seasonal Ugly Disorder. (SUD) In the winter, my skin turns an unhealthy shade of off-white. No amount of blush or bronzer can give the breath of life to my face. Then the freezing, dry air sucks out all the moisture from my pale skin. And finally my hair, my poor hair. It turns an unnatural shade of bronde. (Brown/blonde) Natural highlights and shine vanish. 

Every winter it happens. And around February I always look for a SUD remedy. This year, I caught the brunette bug. 'Become a brunette, yes, that is what I need!' I thought. The thought consumed me constantly. (And my Pinterest boards.) 

So I hopped into a salon chair, and dyed my virgin hair. And then the stylist pulled off the towel to reveal my new hair and said, "Hmm, well that's interesting."

 ...Because that is what every girl who is dying her hair for the first time wants to hear. 

Apparently, my hair has red undertones. It pulled RED from a glaze that didn't even have red in it. 

Red with shame.

So then, we made the big move to LA. And it occurred to me, "I am in the Mecca of hair stylists. This is where the people with the hair I pin to my Pinterest hair boards get their hair done!" 

I quickly realized I do not have the hair funds of a celebrity. 

BUT, I did my research and discovered on Wednesday nights the Neil George salon has their interns practice hair on willing participants at a fraction of the cost. 

Driving up to the salon, my Jetta with Idaho plates looked slightly out of place on Melrose Avenue. Flustered as I sat in the salon chair, I talked about wanting to get highlights to begin the journey back to my natural color. Looking in the mirror, out of cruddy apartment lighting I normally see myself in, I saw how much my original color had faded and then rust color it had left behind. Darn it, I wanted to be a brunette and that red had gotten in the way! I turned to the stylist and said,  "Never mind, I actually want to try being brunette without any red tones." Which she heard as, "Make me as dark as possible, without dying my hair black."

This is the face of insanity. Don't make rash decisions in the salon chair. 

Fading to a decent shade. 

Presently: Aaaand the red is back. 

This Saturday, I have an appointment to bring me back to my natural color. (If possible.) Unless, of course I get some bright (dark) idea in the salon chair. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Good Week

We had a good --no, a great week. 

Berkeley shirts for the move to UCLA housing. (Nik's brother is starting the MBA program.) It was intended to be obnoxious (Couples dressing like twins?) and ironic. No one even noticed. 

Nik had four days off of work, but was editing freelance all hours of the day. He sat in the same spot all day long with those massively nerdy headphones resting on his ears, giving the illusion that he was tuned out. But then if he was brought up in a conversation he would casually slip them off and be like, "What about me?" But then five minutes later, when his opinion was needed on important matters (shower curtains) I'd have to go tap him on the shoulder after the third, "Nik?! Nik?! How about this one?!" while simultaneously dancing to get his attention, and pointing toward my computer screen. He'd take off the giant headphones, with the dazed expression that accompanies hours of staring at a screen. 

Mr. Selective Hearing adorned in our niece's tea party attire. 

Monday, we went to Santa Monica to celebrate our first anniversary with dinner and a guilt free shopping trip. As in, no feeling guilty about spending money on our wants rather than our needs. (Shower curtain.) 

Whenever Nik and I go shopping together this bizarro Murphy's law occurs. He will find amazing deals, that just happen to be in his size. Meanwhile, there is nothing in my size on sale, and anything I do find doesn't fit. Maybe it is the universe's way of preventing us from blowing all our money on clothes. Maybe Nik has better shopping karma than me. 

I've had my eye on this dress at Anthro. A maxi! With sleeves! In a print! And the fabric is light and swishy. My size was waiting to be plucked from the sales rack. However, managing to get the dang dress on was an IQ test. There was a panel on the back separate from the dress, making it feel like I was sliding on the dress, only to find out only one of my arms or some other limb was in the neck-hole or something. When I finally managed to get in the dress, it was about four inches to long. I turned to Nik for his opinion, which after much thought he replied, "You look like you should be doing a rain dance." 

I've had a $12 gift card to Anthro resting in my wallet for months. Finally, accepting the fact that I was not going to save it for the sales tax on an overpriced dress, I purchased a set of journals, to replace the Moleskin set I had recently filled. 

Later, when trying on boots in Urban, I absentmindedly placed the bag holding my new journals on the ground, and then neglected to pick it up. When we were heading back to the car, I had one of those moments where your body seizes up, and your arms subconsciously pat down your body, reminding you, "Hold on, we've forgotten something." Keys? Purse? Phone? And then immediately, I knew. Anthro bag. Poor Nik, he puts up with my drama so well. I sprinted back to Urban, while he went to get the car. (Because I am the paranoia queen of not getting parking tickets... We've already gotten two in the three months living here.)

BUT my shopping karma must not be as bad as I assumed, because someone found and turned in my journals. Clutching my bag, I resolved to rid myself of a pessimistic attitude. LA is not filled with journal stealers like I had assumed! Thank you random Santa Monica Samaritan! 

Lastly, Nik and I ventured into the ultimate test to gauge how healthy a marriage is:

 When in Rexburg, we managed a set of houses and lived in a furnished apartment. Consequently, we have not accumulated any of the necessary items one must own. (Shower curtain.) Sure, we own an abnormal amount of picture frames and an obnoxiously large television, (Wedding gift, that was Nik's idea, not mine.) but we don't own a bed. Or a couch.

So, we went to the black hole of cheap furniture and lived to tell the tale. 


We discovered furniture and decorations we agreed on, (Bed-frames, media stands, desks, and curtains.) and the items we don't agree on. (Kitchen tables, desk chairs, and rugs.) 

One thing we can agree on? Saturdays spent together are the best.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cat Conversion

A few weeks ago I got a text with the following picture:

Firstly, this is a heinous cat. You could use this picture to one understand the word "scraggly". With that, this cat is managing to be scraggly and a fatso at the same time, which is no small feat. But most importantly this picture was sent from none other than the feline-foe Nicholas! The biggest cat hater of them all took the time to snap a picture of one. You know there had to have been some coaxing on Nik's side too. I can just picture him squatting, making any noise possible to keep the cat calm. The irony. 

Then, a pattern started to emerge. I found THIS on Nik's photo stream:

Coincidence?! I think NOT. Look how scared the poor cat is. Again, there may have been coaxing involved. Or verbal assault. 

Husband cat conversion progress: moderate. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

LA Through Nik's Phone

Nik has explored a lot more than I have. LA County is massive, and through his job he has been all over the place. But I get to sleep in everyday. (You win some, you lose some.) 

The Food:

The man is on a mission to eat as much delicious food he can get his hands on. He has consumed most likely his body weight in burgers. But his favorite is Chego, which serves Asian Latin hybrid dishes. He brings it up in every conversation about food, and tries to convince everyone to make the drive to get it. We have yet to go together, but I'm sure Nik will take care of that. 

The Fun:

Screenings are perfect for us because the combine our two favorite types of dates: a movie (him) and not spending money (me). 

Santa Monica

Venice (on Memorial weekend, so busy)

The Film:

So. Much. Video. 

Nik never stops. Between the County and freelance, there is always something to be filmed or edited. There have been a lot of early mornings and even more late nights. 

Seriously, THIS is what is life consists of:

Editing zombie mode. 

I can't even complain about the constant work flow, because there are so many more moments where it is like, "My husband gets to do something he loves everyday... and get paid for it."  How many people get a blessing like that?