Wednesday, April 30, 2008

notes on american idol

so...sad to say last night's AI wasn't quite what i was hoping for. it's okay becca...i only knew one neil diamond song till about two weeks ago, but that one song made me reeeeeally excited. that one song was "america" and i couldn't wait. i was just praying it wouldn't be the totally gay group number of the week, which traditionally makes me gag.

my interest piqued as i had to wait through other contestants' songs performances to hear who would do my song. don't worry about my gagging reflex...that got fully taken care of when brooke did that monkees song. seriously? i hate that song anyway and she looked SO awkward. she slightly redeemed herself with the much more characteristic second song, but she still drives me crazy when she does that weird lip thing and interrupts the judges.

david cook was fantastic as always...he even seems like he's getting a bit humble. or maybe not. maybe he's just a pasty good actor, but i love love him. syesha, not bad. dreads, awful. it just seems like he's already checked out. i mean, for real, the wrong words when you're singing for neil diamond?? (who seemed like a super nice person, by the way.)

and then there was little archie, who ended up doing my song. i guess he did a good job, but when you've screamed and danced to the words of neil diamond's "america" as many times as i have, it's tough to compare. david a. is so cute but really, he's a little too musical theater for me. overall, a decent night.

although we must mention the hilarious screw up by paula abdul. brandon and i watched the show 2 hours later than live TV thanks to DVR and actually rewound it when she started blabbering about the second song, thinking we'd encountered a glitch and missed the next round of songs. LOL! nope, turns out she's just a crazy lady.

ryan seacrest is a morning show DJ here in LA (not sure if he's syndicated elsewhere) and today he discussed how screwed up the whole night was, from the judges' last minute notetaking to paula's little mix up to a crew member who threw up backstage, all over the stairs the contestants use. so the whole set smelled like puke and they had to change everyone's set up. love it!

oh and p.s. -- i got an email at 3:45 today saying if i could make it to CBS studios by 5:15, i could get a ticket to tonight's AI taping (i'm on the ticket waiting list). i slightly freaked out and then realized i didn't have a car and couldn't get to hollywood in time. CRAP.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


see this? what you're reading right now? yeah, this is my 100th post. 100! my first attempt at blogging, with its measly 15 posts and horribly distorted images, can just go to digital purgatory.

bad day turned good

thankful for a great friend who makes me tuna croissant sandwiches after a long frustrating day.
thankful for finding the five-day-old candy i left for myself in my desk drawer at work.
thankful to finally be home after a PSYCHO day at work.
thankful to be caught up on my google reader.
thankful for free tickets to rascal flatts and taylor swift this weekend.
thankful for a husband who loves me and actually remembered to take out the trash this morning without a reminder!!! (this is big for us.)
thankful for an upcoming visit from ms. brittany lee karford rogers.
thankful for new pasadena friends, old LA friends and an in-the-works housewarming pool party to mingle the two.
thankful for finishing one of my europe travel books...on to the next!
thankful that the crazies on the train so far have steered clear of me, though i do enjoy overhearing their insane conversations (why do insane people like to scream obscenities so much? it's like they all have tourettes or something)
thankful i have to wake up early AGAIN tomorrow to work out ANOTHER kink in the never-ending drama of pasadena parking permits...NOT.
thankful for a house that's finally in order.
thankful for $3.99 tulips at TJs that brighten up my whole apartment.
thankful for email pen pals that brighten my day.
thankful for blog comments :)

there are two kinds of people in this world: those who like neil diamond, and those who don't.

am i alone in being TOTALLY excited for tonight's american idol???

p.s. in case you were wondering, i've never made it more than 15 minutes through what about bob. that guy has ISSUES and it makes me crazy. (that's where the title of this post comes from, in case you also hate that movie.)

Saturday, April 26, 2008


we spent the evening back on the west side tonight...went to the temple, stopped in westwood to visit our old haunts including THIS lovely little place:

MMM. still thinking about how fantastic that was.

but anyway, back to the story. so we've been trying to find a car wash place around our new house that's not ridiculously expensive (any ideas, nat?) but have had no luck, and since we were back near our old house anyway we decided to go to our old car wash. then i needed gas so we went to our old cheap gas station. and then i needed a tomato and whip cream for some meals i'm planning (separate...nothing with tomatoes AND whip cream :) so we went to our old ralph's, and the same checkers were working, and i knew where everything i needed was located in the store. and outside there were the same graffiti and sirens and hoodlums and palm trees and billboards in spanish and i felt like i belonged there.

and i felt a little sad. is it weird that west LA still feels more like home to me than the place i currently live?

near death experience

so yesterday brandon and i were walking to the train station. there is a whole bunch of construction around our street right now ONLY because they're installing weird black and coral concrete slabs in the sidewalk (apparently the good old painted lines on the street aren't good enough for pasadena) and the main road next to the train station is blocked off to only one lane.

a huge big rig got itself a little stuck trying to maneuver between the skinny lane and open trenches and was blocking part of the street, but when the light turned green and the little walking man popped up we started crossing anyway. at this same time some stupid lady decided to turn into the lane of the truck. we were about halfway across the crosswalk when i realized the truck had started to back up and the lady was still coming, but i kept walking. i'm a pedestrian for heaven's sake! when an out of control car slams my body across the street one day, i'll be saying "but i had the right of way!" the whole time.

and then i kept walking, even though i was about two feet from a HUGE sixteen wheeler truck that was most likely blindly backing up, and another three feet from a crazy lady determined to squeeze her way into the lane. i kind of hopped and squealed when i realized what was happening, and then darted across the remainder of the street leaving my dazed husband in the middle of the road wondering if he was about to witness his wife's death. basically this is a lesson to look both ways and to use your brain when you see crazy drivers around, because you WILL die if they decide to ignore you. EVEN if you have the right of way.

p.s. i've asked brandon about six times in the day since this experience "remember when i almost died?" FYI things like this work great when you need a little extra bargaining chip for deciding who gets to pick the dinner location, getting out of chores, picking what to watch on the DVR, etc. but i still wouldn't recommend it.

LOST cupcakes

i thought this was hilarious:

i'd maybe even say that i loved those cupcakes, if said show wasn't in the process of pissing me off for the past season and a half.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

cereal heaven

i work in downtown LA. this means that at least once a week, one of the streets around my office is closed down for movie/commercial/music video shoots. (just WAIT until hancock comes out -- did you see the preview last night during AI? -- i saw practically that whole movie get filmed.) most of the time i ignore it, though i will admit i look around to see if i recognize anyone (which i never do. tangent: we had an intern working with us for like three days and she saw america ferrara on her lunch break. i have worked here for a YEAR and a HALF and have seen no one).

so basically it never means much to me. but today as i was walking up to the office i saw a bunch of grocery store aisles randomly set up in pershing square. every shelf was filled with boxes and boxes of cereal! totally awesome. i couldn't tell if it was for a commercial (most likely) or what but i was really excited by the amount of cereal.

then, after lunch i had to leave for a meeting and they were filming random people milling about the aisles. i didn't have my digital camera sadly, but i was able to grab this with my camera phone. look closely and you can see the cameras under the light tent. good times. and let me know if you see an outdoor grocery store on tv any time soon :)


two years ago today i graduated from byu. TWO YEARS. time flies! seems like just yesterday i was stealing ice cream samples from the creamery and hiking up the hill of death for classes. i made it through in the requisite four years and felt ready to leave when i was done, but i will always look back on college with so much love.

i love byu! like the totally lame alumni that i am, i immediately tear into my new copy of byu magazine whenever it lands in my mailbox and i'm seriously dreading the day i read through it and don't recognize any names (luckily my BFF works for the mag so at least i'll still get to see her!). and while i'm more passionate about byu football and cafe rio salads since LEAVING p-town, i will always have a special place in my heart for the great years i spent around there.

so in honor of the last-day-of-college anniversary i will give you a little walk down memory lane.


i had long hair...

these people barely knew each other...
(we got engaged a month later and married six months after that)

i was used to personal daily chats with the best teacher at byu (and now i have to settle for occasional IMs and christmas visits)...

i lived in the funnest place with the coolest peeps (although sami by this time had gotten hitched)...

i was ready to leave the "y" and go conquer the world.
my how things have changed. now i'm married, i work, there's no snow outside, i have to settle for alternative pork salads, life is good. but i'll always miss my cougs.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

bridal shower

yesterday a bunch of women in the highland ward threw my sister rachel a bridal shower.
our grammie flew out from arizona just to come -- here's all the coleman/payzant/wells/soon-to-be-holdaway women:

a whole lot of people came; it was so great to see so many peeps support little rachie. i was in charge of games (thanks to those who helped me brainstorm, two days before the shower when i found out that was my duty :). when everyone arrived i stuck cards on their backs with famous couples (lucy & ricky, pam & jim, elizabeth & mr. darcy etc.) and they had to ask yes or no questions to figure out who they had.

then, when she opened presents, i asked her questions about jesse or her relationship with him (i had interviewed him a few days before). if her answer matched the answer i had on a sign, she got to open a gift. if she got it wrong, she had to put a piece of sour cherry bubblicious in her mouth. mmm.

her favorite gift -- her very own tool kit

the gum wad...six pieces! woo hoo.
while it's a little weird that my little sister is actually getting married (one because she graduated from high school only two years ago, another because she's frozen in my mind as my much-younger little friend who shared my bedroom and built forts with me in the living room) i'm so excited for her. just a couple more weeks and she'll be hitched!

Friday, April 18, 2008

my ABCs

just thought i'd keep you all entertained while i procrastinate the apt post :)

A- Attached or single: attached, according to this ring on my finger

B- Best Friend: i refer to a lot of people as "best friends" -- especially britt, erica, my sis, my mom, kel

C- Cake or Pie: mmm cake for sure. especially in the form of a cup.

D- Day of Choice: usually thurs because survivor and the office are on, and i take the night off from the gym

E- Essential Item: chapstick, granola bars, computer with internet capabilities, DVR

F- Favorite Color: hot pink

G- Gummi Bears or Worms: mmm sour worms. but really if i could choose, it'd be jelly bellys.

H- Hometown: rancho cucamonga

I -Indulgence(s): cookies, home decorating, paper goods, blogging

J- January or July: july -- my bday, brandon's bday and my fave holiday (4th of july) -- we have some rockin celebrations that month

K-Kids: none yet thank you for asking...we're still arguing over decent names

L-Life is incomplete without: family, the Gospel, cookies, things to look forward to, sunshine and walks with brandon

M- Marriage Date: october 20 2006

N- Number of Siblings: 2.5 - rachel, grant, roxy (and soon to be a bro in law, jesse)

O- Oranges or Apples: oranges are barf. fuji apples are awesome

P- Phobias or Fears: somebody jumping me while i'm doing also i have major anxiety about going down a flight of stairs quickly, might have something to do with the lack of depth perception but it freaks me out. and i don't know if this counts as a phobia but i'm super insecure.

Q- Quote(s): to paraphrase: pray like everything depends on the Lord, then get up and go to work like it all depends on you - gordon b. hinckley

R- Reason To Smile: it's the weekend!

S- Season: summer all the way

T- Tag Five: angela, megan, kelly, caryn, rachel and anyone else (except natalie who did NOT tag me :( boo)

U- Unknown Fact About Me: high school i dated this great kid who went on to have a punk band and sang songs about our break up. they made like 3 cds and toured the world. we used to stalk him in rancho, and in college when he came to town he'd put me on the guest list and i got into shows for free. the band has since broken up but i still feel bad about how all that turned out. and that, kids, is why you don't date before you're 16.

V- Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animal: boo neither...unless you count eating them as oppressive...i love meat in almost any form

W- Worst Habit: being bratty to my husband

X- X-Rays or Ultrasounds: neither, never had em unless you count the dentist's x-rays

Y- Your Favorite Food: lately brinner. all time: cafe rio pork salad.


one of the wall street journal's blogs did a story this week about how reading blogs is addictive. UCI did a survey of blog-readers and one participant compared his or her reading habit to his smoking habit -- an addictive way to unwind and relax. SO TRUE. if you're reading this, i'm sure you can relate to a slight blog addiction...whether you know the person or not, you still read their blog when you're at home, at work or bored online. admit it. and know you're in good company, apparently :)

read the whole article here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

last night at the gym...

just another night at the pasadena 24 hour...i walked in, put my newsweek in the cupholder, started unwinding my headphones (do ipod headphones EVER stay untangled?) and hopped on the elliptical.

"do you have a battery?"

the girl next to me, who had already been on her elliptical for 36 minutes, asked me a simple question. i'm not really into verbally communicating at the gym (in bev hills our gym had its own girls-only workout room which i LOVED...i never had to talk to anyone) but i answered her with a negative and a smile.

"oh, well, my walkman died and i hate working out without music."

i smiled and nodded again. and turned on my ipod (translation = no more talking)

"oh my gosh that's so TINY! how does it even work? i don't know much about those things because i'm not high tech."

smile and nod. i even took the ipod out of its case to show her just how tiny it is.

"well you're lucky you can listen to music. HEY -- is there another hole in there for me to plug my headphones in, so i can listen too?" "No, sorry." i opened the newsweek, started reading. she inquired about the cover (referring to how environmentally-minded the presidential candidates are) and i actually had to explain what "green" means. then my ipod died. NICE. she was excited that now i had to exercise in silence as well. unless you don't count it as silence because she was still talking. finally she quieted down and i went back to sweating in peace.

five minutes later. "don't you think the 20s are a tough age? i mean, you're not a teenager, but you're not really an adult either. i don't like it. was it hard for you too?"

me: "how old are you?"


me: "me too."

"you ARE??" i'm not sure exactly how old she expected me to be. i considered telling her that i had a full time job and have been married for a year and half -- at only 23! -- to see what kind of frenzy that would throw her into, but decided to hold back.

then miraculously she decided to leave. i went back to working out, until i got a tap on the shoulder.

"hey, the front desk had a battery. AND i found TWO PENNIES on the floor! i just wanted to tell you." she giggled and walked away.

and i thought LA had all the crazies.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

our new home

we now live here:

i told you it was purple.

yesterday we spent the whole day here:

it was 85 degrees, for those of you still digging out of the arctic tundra. we ate chinese food and played rummy and i even got a resemblance of a tan line. glorious.

one of my favorite things about living here (aside from the AMAZING dishwasher -- which ironically we only run maybe twice a week, usually when i run out of spoons; two people just don't merit that many dirty dishes unless i decide to bake, like tonight's chocolate peanut butter cookies of which i've already eaten four -- and the quite efficient air conditioning; who knew i was living so deprived for so long?) is this little space:

yes, i had a washer/dryer at the old place but it was 25 cents more expensive than these and there was only one. lugging my dirty clothes 20 feet away sure beats spending the night at the laundromat down the street.

pictures of the interior are coming soon (i know you're all dying to see...), as soon as we put up some of our new ikea purchases.

today was our first day in the pasadena ward (i will admit i had a slight panic attack when we pulled into the parking lot -- it was like all of the sudden i realized OMG I'M THE NEW GIRL AND I KNOW NO ONE HERE WHAT WAS I THINKING. sometimes my shy side acts up and tries to take over my otherwise stable psyche). and can i just say how refreshing it is to be in a ward with multiple enrichment activites PER MONTH -- you know, as opposed to per quarter, if i got lucky, in the old ward -- and to know that we're all striving for the same things. i met some very nice people and am quite looking forward to settling in.

unpacked, almost

to follow up on my previous post, i just wanted to show you how all my hard work paid off:

those are 1/2 of my cool shelves :) now do you see why i was struggling? that closet is TINY and i'm still not sure i'm making the best use of space available. but i built shelves by myself and really that's all that matters.

finally, finally this weekend i got everything put away. well, almost -- unless you count that we haven't finished hanging shelves, mirrors, pictures etc. but i consider the fact that i got rid of all my boxes to be quite an accomplishment.

brandon got home from san francisco at 10 p.m. on friday. i let him sleep till 10 a.m. on saturday (mostly so i could experiment with how long it takes to walk to the new gym from my house...10 minutes people! i so love our new location) and then told him it was time to get up, that i'd been waiting for him to come home and help me ALL WEEK. i rushed him through the obligatory bowl of cereal and then put him right to work, organizing and hanging things.

i had to get a little creative, but we have spared ourselves the chore of securing a storage unit in the garage or lugging stuff to my parents' attic for safe-keeping. let's just say that the christmas season will call for quite the scavenger hunt in the payzant-wells household -- i shoved things in every nook and cranny we've got in this closet-deprived apartment. i now have holiday decorations in the linen closet, under our bed (the christmas tree barely fit :), below the kitchen sink, in my closet next to my sweatshirts and snow pants.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

all by myself

so brandon has been working late the past few weeks, and then left me today to go to san francisco for a few days (marielle -- i told him to call you guys :) so basically i've been a single woman for a week. i was totally depressed about today until about 11 a.m. when one of my co workers gave me one of her birthday sprinkles cupcakes and then my day started looking up.

i always said i wanted to grow up and marry a doctor or a fireman or someone who would be gone for a few days at a time in regular intervals because i definitely value my alone time, so it amuses me that now i'm one of those clingy girls who gets sad when she has to be by herself. but it's different when you're used to grocery shopping and going to the gym and perusing target with someone and then all of the sudden you have to do these things by yourself. not to mention that i live in a still-slightly-unfamiliar neighborhood and that i'm so scared of our complex that i only made it 10 minutes on the treadmill last night in our onsite gym before i freaked out and went home.

but i will be okay. last night, for example, i went to kickboxing. i had a semi-healthy dinner (turkey hot dog, green beans and wheat thins -- i'm trying really hard to avoid cereal dinners although we all know that's my favorite thing EVER and i've already had it once this week). i went to target, purchased some new shelves that i have wanted, and started to assemble them.

i was going to include a picture of the shelves from but my brain is too tired to remember their exact name. just know that they're white and metal and you have to assemble them. this is usually a brandon job but since he is always gone i have to take matters into my own hands. i got 1/6th of the way through it and then got tired and watched american idol. but i built it and that's all that matters!

yes and then i watched A.I. i thought michael johns did a good job, i don't know what was up with the judges. and i agree that david cook needed a little reality check before his head blows up because he's so freaking amazing. and brooke...seriously? that girl is starting to really bug me. but then i read this on MSN today:

Brooke White had been sailing along until winding up in the bottom three a week ago. White is the most predictable of the finalists, in that she always sounds perfectly nice and pleasant without doing anything truly memorable. Disliking her is akin to kicking puppies or heckling little kids playing soccer, but where she's fallen off in recent weeks is that she's not doing much to get people passionately in her corner.

LOL that's exactly how i feel too. she's just too nice to hate.

so tonight it's yoga, the rest of the shelves, and probably cereal. and nothing else because brandon also took the computer (!!!!) so i have no connection to the outside world :( more blogging comin at ya from GH after-hours, soon.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

how i spent my weekend

so this weekend i spent eight hours watching the general conference of my church. this happens every six months and i LOVE it. no matter what is going on in my life, at least one speaker always seems like he's speaking right to me. it's so uplifting and inspiring and makes me just want to be better. i'm so grateful to be able to hear the word of God through living prophets.

not to mention that i was always a little unhealthily enamored with president hinckley, but i'm happy to report that president monson is just as amazing and wonderful. yay for conference!

Friday, April 4, 2008

moving sucks.

last saturday we moved to pasadena. it took a TON of work to get everything ready -- who knew we had accumulated so much stuff?

some of our AWESOME friends came to help us finish packing up and load the truck. thanks guys, you were amazing!

my parents, jeremiah, courtney & curtis and tomas & allison used their big muscles to move all our heavy crap.

once we got to pasadena, it was just brandon, me and my parents -- and a HUGE moving truck full of heavy stuff. then we got the brilliant idea to hire people. we picked up two day laborers from the pasadena u-haul stop and it was the best thing i've ever done. period. LOL. certain family members of mine have shared their dismay that we'd do that, but they were awesome workers. i literally don't know how we would have done it without them.

we got the truck unloaded in an hour...and now, eight days later, i STILL have boxes in my living room and bedroom that need to be unpacked. it's really hard to get settled in when you can only devote one hour a night after work to unpacking. not to mention i have very important other priorities in life like american idol and date nights with the fujikawas. i have high hopes for this week though -- maybe i can finish as a single woman for three days when brandon goes to san francisco.

more blogs to long as our internet gets hooked up so i can stop stealing from our new neighbors ;)

so long adams/wilshire ward

on sunday, we drove back out to LA for our last sunday in the wilshire ward. when we originally moved there, we were in the adams ward -- the low-income inner city ward in the LA stake. we made friends from every continent, most of whom are the first generation of their family in america; we spent time with amazing people we never would have gotten to know in our typical activities. we had a bit of an initial adjustment period, but really grew to love it. in january, they realigned two wards and we ended up in the wilshire ward, but with most of our friends still with us. the new boundaries allowed a way better distribution of leadership and needy areas.

anyway, to get to the point of my story -- we loved it there. i was lucky enough to work with the teenage girls for the past six months and LOVED it. on sunday, all the girls threw me a going away party complete with cookies, lemonade and a card that they all signed. i think leaving them was the saddest part of moving...i'm not going to lie, no amount of dots cupcakes or whole foods bakery items will take their place. no matter how much i already love our new house :)

all the young women on my last day

my friend whitney (aka my new brittany, who just found out she's having a BABY! yay!) and i worked specifically with the 12 and 13 year olds. here's us and our girls: whit, jael, michelle, adreana, me and yoo jin

this isn't from my last sunday but it was so cute, i had to post it. a couple saturdays ago we worked at the cannery and then took food to a homeless shelter as a service project -- this is a picture of some of our awesome girls (and jamal on the right -- he wasn't supposed to be there, don't be confused :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

april fools!

the consumer team in my office instigated their own april fool's joke for nestle:

while i think that was a relatively decent attempt at foolery (or maybe i just liked it because they gave me my own candy bar, which added a delicious and hated 220 calories and 11 grams of fat to my daily intake), i have to say that the best april fools joke of 2008 goes to the brilliant peeps at google. i actually fell for this for about six minutes.