Monday, March 30, 2015

Musical Monday - Public Service Broadcasting

I saw Public Service Broadcasting last week and just loved it. Such a cool presentation, and no speaking by either band member during the show, though lots of interaction via electronic communications. A bit cheeky.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Nice to See You Again, Los Angeles

Two weeks ago I headed back to LA to escape Utah's (mild) winter and because I'd purchased tickets to one of Caribou's 3 sold out shows at the Fonda. I just had to see them.

I hadn't been back since last May - time to see if enough time had passed since our breakup and if LA and I could get along alright.

I took off Thursday after work and flew into hazy LA.

Hit the runway at LAX right at sunset. 

Just in time for rush hour. I picked up my rental car (a nice little VW) and headed over to Mike's place to kill a little time. Little did I know I didn't actually have time to kill, because Facebook messed up the time zones on my event, and people were already there. Whoops.

I'd figured it be easiest to stay Westside til rush hour was open, so I had a group of friends meet me at my favorite - yep, 800 Degrees. Meatball marinara with artichokes and ricotta, I've missed you!

These fine folks came to see me, and it was so great. I've missed them, too.




After stuffing ourselves with pizza (I seriously could've eaten a second one), we walked over to Diddy Riese for some sweets. The humidity was wonderful and I just wanted to swim in it! And swim in Masato's beard.


This girl cracks me up. She came all the way from the valley to see me, and I was so glad.

You take the 405 to the 105 to the 110 to the 91 to the 5....

After dinner I drove Mike home, and we stopped to see Rachel at her place since it was her birthday. I was loving this friend catch up time.

Then off to Hollywood to see Haleigh and Brandon and stay at their place. Parking is a nightmare on Beachwood, but thankfully they were coming back from somewhere and picked me up, since I had to park at least half a mile away.

I woke up the next morning and hung out on their patio under this leaf, taking work calls and answering emails.

Of course I love seeing the two of them, but their place is so convenient to fun!

After I wrapped up some work, Haleigh and I headed over to pick up Cher so we could grab lunch at Sycamore Kitchen. So so good. Also, so expensive, as I can't resist all the goodness there, and I'll spend $25 for lunch. Yikes. Their donuts are so rad. I had the rye chocolate chip cookie. 

And that awesome pork belly BLT.

After stuffing ourselves, we headed to Runyon Canyon to walk it off. I wholly agree with this sidewalk sentiment. And Haleigh has a hilarious photo of me trying to stand in the right angle to take this, but I will not be posting it. It's so awkward.

Hey sunshine!



Masato came and met us. He's always up for a hike or a run.


Back at the house I cleaned up and got ready for Caribou. Trevor came over and we walked to grab a bite. Not at Cafe 101, but man, what a place this is. 

We stopped first a at donut shop right before they closed. LA is such a donut town, and I am willing to try them all. Then we walked to a little Thai place in a strip mall next door. We walked in and didn't really see anyone, then I saw the cash only sign. Eeek. Turns out we did have enough, but no one seemed to be working. We took a seat anyway, and soon the nicest, cutest Thai lady came over to take our order. She was wonderful, and then brought us a stack of magazines to read while we waited. Next time you want a hole in the wall Thai that's good and affordable, go to Thai Pepper.

We ate our donuts on the walk down to the Fonda.

Finally, Caribou!

A video posted by Lauren W (@laurenhoya) on
Ah, the show was so good. I loved the four-piece band, playing what you know from the album, but having the space to build and expand and add more magic in the moment to tracks. The lights were great, and I looked around a few times at those around me - eyes closed, smile on the face, heads bobbing, some dancing breaking out. I almost went again the next night.



The next morning the rains had cleared the skies, and Haleigh, Brandon and I headed up Beachwood to hike the Hollywood sign. The trail has been closed off a bit more since I was last there, and parking is harder, but it's still possible. Especially when you're staying on the same street.



I requested lunch at ink.sack and it hit the spot. 


Celisse and I tried to give up sugar for Lent, but she gave me a pass to try Salt and Straw ice cream. Marcello came over and picked me up, and we headed to Larchmont. The sky was great.


The line was a bit long, but they generous with samples. I tried the black olive brittle and goat cheese - wowza. A bit much to have a full scoop, so I went with almond brittle with salted ganache and a special LA chocolate flavor that was excellent. 

I'd wanna live in this neighborhood if I could.

I wanted to see a movie that night, and couldn't decide on a good time in a good location, so I went to Trevor's. I introduced him to House of Cards, then we watched Ida, which I really enjoyed. Trevor made a snack and made me take a bite without looking - hot chili jelly - yikes. My mouth burned.

Sunday morning came. I drove to my old Sunday School class in Westwood to see friends and say hello. Then I headed south to Huntington Beach to see Kari Ann and check out their midsingles ward. It was so lovely to see her, and I ran into even more people afterwards during the meal after church.

Then it was a quick drive back up to LA for tacos with friends just before I had to head to the airport. Downtown LA - I miss you.

We were all supposed to meet at my favorite taco truck in Lincoln Heights, but I arrived a little early and it wasn't there! Total bummer. Maybe because of the rain? I let some people know, and the bailed - rain and traffic, not a good combo. Good thing King Taco was close by. Jonathan and Trevor met me there. Always a good idea - tacos and sopes.


My last view as I left LA. I dig these two.



Sunday, March 08, 2015

Life Lately, February Edition

One warm weather trip out of the way, I came back to pretty mild weather in Utah, too. I'm so glad it's been a gentle winter.

I came back to a slightly disappointing work review  based on last year, not because I didn't perform well, but because of a forced curve and because my rockstar projects happened after they started ratings (October), I didn't get a lot of credit for last year and had to take one for the team. Both my boss and her boss felt terrible. I bought some sparkly shoes to make myself feel better. Well, mostly cause I've had my eye on them for awhile and they went on major sale. Thanks to Mint Arrow for the heads up. And thanks to Lacey for picking them up from my door step while I was away.

I did also get a bonus of sorts at work in the form of points, which I can cash in for a good chunk of gift cards. I'm thinking I'll get an iPad mini? Unless anyone has better ideas on how to spend that money?

I had a scheduled massage for post-Ragnar recovery, and the therapist at my favorite massage school was excellent. I was put through a workout, legs stretched, and it was great. Cher was in town too, and we had some Harmons cupcakes and soup for dinner.

And an onion cheesedip ball of crack. So good!

Valentines on the way - LA friends were sending this around.

Nope, I would not do the above. Not worth it.

I went to an opening exhibit night at Utah MOCA, and I swear of the 12 people I know in Utah, 10 of them were there. It ended up being really fun. I didn't take many photos of the art, but this artist's work was so interesting. Drones as art!

Nathan rounded up a few of us after for purple drink and Peruvian food. I almost bailed because I was tired, as usual on Fridays, but I rallied and had some excellent food.

Ballet West season tickets - second performance of the year. I'd never seen Swan Lake, but it was lovely. Though seeing it on Valentines Day alone and realizing it's the second ballet in a row I've seen where the female lead kills herself over a man? Hmmmm....

Don't worry, I'm not that irrational.

Sunsets. Yeah.

Valentines night I ended up a Buffalo Wild Wings (ha!) with a couple good girlfriends (Meghan and Amber) and a handful of guys. Pretty low key, and then we went to Scott's to play games. This website and games are actually pretty awesome - everyone plays on their own phones and we draw stuff in Drawful. I am a terrible artist, but we had some really good laughs and I even won a round. Beginner's luck. I made Taylor download this a couple weeks later so I could play again.

Taylor and Courtney were down in St George for the weekend and sent me this. Adorable.

Sweet Sabra in my ward left this on my doorstep for Valentine's. Such a lovely surprise, and I am glad we are friends!

Celisse convinced me to give up sugar for Lent. So I went on a binge the night before on Fat Tuesday.  That hasn't gone so well....

I had a Tinder date with a guy in town from DC for a conference. He was super DC - Peace Corps, Americorps, non-profit, likes Al-Jazeera. We got along splendidly. Met up at Rye for a late night snack, and ended up chatting with a random older dude from the neighborhood who was out looking for some Fat Tuesday Fun. That guy slipped me his number while my date was in the bathroom. Hilarious. No, I haven't called that guy.  We played some pool and did some lip syncing. Why can't Mormon dates be this fun?

I dropped Justin off at the Little America hotel, which I'd heard is nice, even if it's not the Grand one. I had to go in a check it out quickly. Full on living room and rad bathroom. I need a staycation here.


Banff Film Festival came to town, and we went for our mutual activity. I snapped this as we were walking into the theater at the U. The feature film that night was And Than We Swam, and it was my favorite for sure. Go take a look.

Saw this on Instagram and found it fascinating! I can see the tower from my balcony now, though when the tree blooms, I can't. But it shows the weather forecast! I had no idea.

CC just had a rough breakup, so we've been having some good girl time. Like Costco and Target trips, and then I worked out of her office one day, since her other two coworkers were on the road. That was a fun day, especially since her office is in a great part of town. I wish I didn't work out in the burbs. I also took her to her first midsingles ward experience in Utah one Sunday, and that didn't go so well. We'll be trying the new Holladay ward next. I went once, and it actually felt like church! That's a miracle.

White Arrows were in town from LA, and I was on the fence, but decided to go see them after I'd already been to book club (In the Heart of the Sea is great!), went to religion class, and grabbed sushi burrito. I love busy nights like that. They were pretty good, and my timing was perfect. Kilby Court is so rad.

I had to get my car registration renewed and decided to go to the authorized place near work that's not the DMV. Much faster, right? Three trips later, maybe not. I failed the safety inspection because my windows were tinted too dark, then the next day I passed (thanks, Taylor, for peeling it off), but then they couldn't get my charge to go through and print the sticker. Except the charges did go through, ugh. It finally all got sorted, and I am a legal driver.


One Friday I drove down to Provo to see Meghan, since it had been awhile. We had a great girls night at Pizzeria 712, which is excellent, though weirdly located in that half constructed, abandoned sort of apartment complex in Orem. We watched Virunga and read magazines. Then I had a hair appt in Provo. Scary.

Then I took Meghan to Costco so she could stock up on food for Whole30, which she is finally doing. She wanted me to try it with her last year, and eventually I did it, and she bailed. But she's halfway through now, and going strong. And while I was at my hair appt, turns out she had a Tinder lunch date with a guy who a friend a mine was going to set me up with. Seriously, this Utah dating thing is too small.

I drove over to Taylor's after Costco, and out of nowhere - snow. You probably can't see it, but it was coming down and left a nice dusting on the lawn.

Hallie time! I wasn't even going to stay that long, but of course I did, especially since I wanted to see Courtney after work. This girl loves goldfish. 

And she still loves my purse.


Oscar Sunday - Nathan came over with gourmet grilled cheese stuff. We ate so many of them. Bacon avocado three cheese awesomeness. Oscars, eh, I don't really care too much. But I won my Oscar pool! I get a prize from Jacinda soon.

Random alpaca sweater day. A lady at work saw me in the bathroom and commented. Asked where she could get one. Um...at a textile market at a village in Ecuador.

 Work got fancy with chicken and waffles. I don't even love the combo, but it was the best thing in there that day.

Celisse asked if we could skip Lent on Sunday and have treats. So later that week, I caved and got cookie butter ice cream. Yeah, Lent isn't going so well. And I found the best chocolate chip cookie recipe this week and have been eating cookies like crazy, but tomorrow, we are back on the no sugar bandwagon. We can do it! It's only til Easter.

Marcello was in town to hang out with his mom and family. He popped over for dinner (we had Moochie's) and of course, he assumed the usual position. First on my couch (I'm just going to take a little nap, he says, at 10pm), and then I kicked him into my guest room and he slept all night. Oh, Marcello.

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