Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Love Letters

A couple weeks ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Cup of Jo, posted some excerpts from an interesting article about the lost art of the unsent angry letter. At the end of her post she briefly mentioned an equally intriguing idea of writing a love letter to a current, past, or future love. I'd have to say my relationships with my first boyfriend has probably had the most profound effects on shaping my understanding of a romantic relationship. Looking back it feels like I've really come full circle to the amazing type of relationship I didn't recognize in my first boyfriend but never doubted in my husband. So without further ado I thought I'd share my love letter to my first boyfriend and of course my wonderful husband.

To my first boyfriend,
First and foremost I want to apologize for the way I treated you while we were together. I was too young and stupid to have an inkling of appreciation for all that you did for me. I fell for you at first because I thought you were a bad boy through and through down to your outrageously saggy jeans (thank god that tend is over!) But once we were "official"...well as official as sixth graders can be...you turned into a nice guy. In fact you were a really nice guy. You treated me like a princess and showered me with gifts of flowers and poems of love. You were smart and always offered to help me with my math homework when I struggled. And in return for your kindness I pushed you away. This wasn't what I signed up for. I didn't want a nice guy...where is that bad boy I thought was so cute?
Feeling smothered by your attention I broke it off. We remained friends and you were always still there being that nice guy for me. You switched schools and we lost touch. I dated my share of real bad boys who probably never cared for me half as much as you did. Sometimes I felt like a bad ass rebel dating without a cause. But as I started getting older I realized how stupid I had been to let someone like you go so unappreciated. I began to wonder if I would ever find someone as good as you to spend the rest of my life with. I started to think that maybe I just didn't deserve a guy like you anyway.
And then I met my husband, a smart, kind, and generous guy. And because of you I knew. I knew that this was a good thing. I knew that I should appreciate all the things he did for me like taking 2 semesters of chemistry to help me study even though it wasn't a requirement for his major or surprising me with a giant teddy bear in my dorm room.
So I'd like to thank you. Thank you for setting the bar even when I didn't know you were doing it. At least partially thanks to you I have an amazing life with my wonderful husband who treats me like a princess. I know that you're also married and I hope that you're both very happy and I hope you treat her as wonderfully as you treated me.

To my husband,
Life has been kind to me for bringing someone like you into my life. You've stuck by my side and have held my hand through some challenging times and always believed in me, even when I didn't believe in myself. You're the most unselfish person when it comes to loving me, always putting me ahead of yourself. You're always thoughtful, anticipating my needs before I even think about them. You've been endlessly patient with me even when I haven't deserved it. You're amazingly generous and always spoiling me with lavish gifts.
I love you with my every being. And everyday I strive to show you how much I love you and how much I appreciate everything you do for me. You're an amazing man and we've had an amazing 10 years together. I look forward to whatever life has in store for the two of us. I know that with you the joys that life brings will be more joyful and that the challenges we may face will be more manageable.
Forever yours,
Mrs. Honda

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Venus in Fur: A Review

I can't believe it's been over 2 months since my last post. I can't even honestly say my mini hiatus has been because we've been crazy busy or anything. I think it's mostly because we've been going through a little bit of a challenging situation on the home front which has left my mind preoccupied with other things besides blogging. Hopefully getting back into blogging will help keep my mind off of things outside of my control.

A couple weekends ago hubs and I went to see Venus in Fur, which was a nominee for best play at the 2013 Tony Awards. It was our first non-musical play and we were a little aprehensive that we might not enjoy it as much as a musical. Luckily the Tony's have yet to steer us wrong.

Venus in Fur is a play made up soley of 2 actors. The premise of the play is a playwright/director who is trying to cast the lead female in his play based on the famous book Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. If his last name sounds a little familiar it's because the term sadomasochism was derived from this guys name. If that doesn't give you a hint about what this play is like take a look above at the play's banner and hopefully you'll get it. As if the sensuality of the play weren't riveting enough there are plot twists throughout the play that keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

This was the first time we had seen anything in the American Conservatory Theater and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this theater. We've only been in the theaters that feature musicals (Golden Gate Theatere, Curran Theatere, and Orpheum Theatere), but the ACT is much smaller then those. It was definitely a much more intimate feel which I enjoyed. And even though the theater itself is much smaller they have a large open lower level with a bar and lots of seating which was a nice change from the cramped standing room only bar areas of the other theaters we've been to.

Overall I'd definitely recommend this play to first timers or newbies. I think it was a great way of dipping our toes into plays without drowning in something that would surely be over our heads like Macbeth. However, I must warn (as if it isn't obvious enough) this play is not for the prudish at heart. The play is oozing with sensuality and even a bit of gender play. But if you go into it with an open mind I'm sure you'll find it just as enjoyable as we did.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Succulent Succulents at Succulence

Check out that awesome alliteration. My 2nd grade English teacher would be so proud (not really).

This past weekend I met up with a coworker to take a terrarium making class at this super cute little shop in Bernal Heights, Succulence.  Anyone who isn't living under a rock knows that succulents are so in right now and this store was like hipster heaven.  They have a nice selection of books on gardening, preserving foods, etc; as well as promenade terrarium and all the things you'd need to make a terrarium of your own.

L to R: starting with succulents in their pots, terrarium with my drainage layer and succulents waiting for their
 new home
The class was run by the owner,  Ken, who is crazy about succulents. We started off with us choosing 3-5 small succulents... but being the rebel that I am, I started with 6. I just couldn't choose! There were too many pretty ones to choose from.  Once we had all chosen our plants we sat down and Ken broke down the different components of a good terrarium and their importance; as well as how to care for our soon to be made terrariums. Then we took a tour of the shop to get some design ideas before getting started on our own terrariums.

L to R: succulents in place with decorative moss bits, adding the final touch of a blue ninja
Not to toot my own horn, but I was really impressed with my end product. Usually my DIY adventures end up incomplete or as a disappointment so I was really pleased with my terrarium. Even hubs was surprised at how well my terrarium turned out...so much so that he was gladly willing to give my terrarium a home in his new office. Now that's the true mark of a successful DIY project!

I can't wait to make my next terrarium and even want to try their vertical gardening class.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Year in Hawaii

First post of the new year almost half way through the January...please excuse my absence. As anyone in my field knows things can get pretty crazy around the holiday season and when I'd get home all I wanted to do was feed my face and fall into bed. Thank goodness we had a trip to Hawaii planned right after Christmas...I definitely needed a break from all the craziness at work.

The cost of flights to Hawaii were seriously out of control when we bought our tickets. So in an attempt to save a little bit of money we made the switch from Hawaiian Airlines to Alaska Airlines. But after 2 flights with poor service by the cabin crew of Alaska we decided that we'll be sticking with Hawaiian. On the flight to Hawaii my entire row was skipped over and wasn't offered any drinks. When I noticed they had skipped me I politely turned around to ask for a drink and was greeted with a completely annoyed stewardess. And while we were experiencing a relatively long duration of light turbulence quite a few people were hitting their call buttons...they were answered by an irritated announcement over the speaker system telling people to stop pressing the call buttons unless it was an emergency. On our flight back to California it seemed like the entire cabin crew staff had a stick up their ass or a major case of "resting bitch face." I even overheard the passengers behind us complain about the cabin crew member who rudely removed the digi-player from the passengers hand as she tried to turn it off before handing it over. Needless to say we definitely missed the warm aloha spirit of Hawaiian and will not be returning to Alaska any time soon. end rant.

group photo of the c/o 2003
Conveniently we were in Hawaii during the same time as my high school 10 year reunion...damn I'm getting old. The reunion was held at Stage Restaurant with good people and pretty good food. It was a nice chance to get together and catch up with a lot of people that I hadn't really kept in touch with. It's amazing to see how people have and haven't changed in 10 years.

The next day we hiked Pill Boxes with someone I used to ice skate with and her little brother. I am nothing close to an outdoorsy girl so it was the first time I hiked anything besides Diamond Head in Hawaii. It was a pretty easy hike even for a newb like me. Probably the toughest part of the hike is going back down since there's a lot of loose gravel which makes for a slipper trip.

my favorite ladies
That night we met up with the usual suspects at MW Restaurant. Of course the food was delicious, our culinary friends were the ones who chose the place. I'm pretty sure we should always let them choose our dinner spot since they always know someone in the kitchen and we get extra special service. Even though we had just seen them the night before at the reunion it was so nice to get to catch up in a more intimate setting. With one of them newly engaged and the other with a wedding coming up in summer there was definitely a lot to talk about. It makes me so happy to see that my friends have found such good guys to spend the rest of their lives with.

The main reason for our trip to Hawaii was to ring in the New Year with my family...especially since it was my parent's year to host the big New Year celebration at their house. It was really nice getting to see a lot of my family and celebrate with them since we don't get to see them too often. After growing up on an island with my family so close, living on the mainland and being so far away is a little bit tough for me especially during the holidays. I'm so glad we got to spend New Years in Hawaii with my family this year.

Before we left Hawaii and returned to our lives in California we made a trip to North Shore to check out the winter swells and to eat our favorite garlic shrimp at Giovanni's. Lastly we met up with a couple of friends from pharmacy school for dinner at Shokudo. It was great to catch up with them over some delicious honey toast.

Although our trip was short it was great to get away and see some of my family and friends that we don't get to see very often. Already looking forward to our next trip back for my friend's wedding.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Peter and the Starcatcher

On Black Friday hubs and I had our season tickets to see Peter and the Starcatcher after I finished work. Unfortunately due to some food poisoning which was probably from the sliders a food truck near work were giving away for free we weren't able to go. But thanks to the very kind people at SHN we were able to reschedule our show for matinee on Saturday. In hindsight we probably should've chosen the evening show on Saturday as the matinee was plagued with children who like to kick the seats in front of them.

The show is based on the book, which is a prequel to the Peter Pan story. Everything about this play is minimalist from the set and props are minimal as they invite you to use your imagination and the small cast that of people playing multiple characters. With that being said they do an amazing job using what few props and costumes they have to create an amazing story.

Although this is primarily a very kid-oriented play there were a lot of very adult jokes that had us lol-ing. Disney has put their name on a lot of different musicals, but this is probably the most grown-up friendly one we've seen so far. Highly recommend!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Stella & Dot Trunk Show

Last weekend a friend and I hosted a Stella & Dot trunk show at my house. I had been trolling their website and adding item and after item to my wish list. While trolling the website I saw that you can host a trunk show and I thought it'd be a great excuse to get some friends and family together and maybe help people get some things checked off their Christmas list. It was so much fun to just hang out and try on all kinds of different jewelry while sipping on some champagne (of course).

The products our stylist brought to the trunk show were absolutely beautiful. There were a lot of jewelry pieces that I remember being unimpressed with in the catalog that really won me over in person. Their handbags impressed me and were surprisingly high in quality. And their scarves...oh their scarves...so big and soft! I must say after seeing all those items in person I have a lot more things added to my wish list.
CW: Sutton Necklace ($128) - super cute statement necklace that can be worn multiple ways, Sanibel
Reversible Pendant
($69) - necklace that can be worn long or short with a reversible pendant, Stackable
Deco Rings
($49) - cute set of 3 simple rings, Luxemborg Scarf in Ceruleun Tiger ($59) - super soft and luxe
scarf perfect for the fall/winter, Serenity Stone Cuff ($49) - perfect for tiny wrists, Getaway Bag ($138) - this
big bag unzips to unfold an even bigger bag perfect for a weekend getaway.

This is the last week to shop our trunk show. It's perfect for checking gifts of your Christmas list or a little something for yourself. Be sure visit our trunk show online and select our trunk show by searching by my name (Lauren Honda).

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Porgy and Bess

The next show hubs and I saw this theater season was The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, which won an award at the last Tony's for Best Revival of a Musical. As season ticket holders we were invited to a special behind the scenes event where the director, Diane Paulus, discussed some of the background and history of the play and we got to watch some of the tech rehearsal.

Porgy and Bess started off as a novel by DuBose Heyward, which was then translated into a play and then later an opera, before being made into a musical. As a whole I thought the show was very good. Since the musical was adapted from the opera there was a lot of operatic singing, especially by the female cast. which at times made it very difficult for me to fully understand what was going on. Granted that is no fault of the musical...my ears just aren't used to that style and I found it hard to follow at times. Even with the operatic singing I still understood the main storyline, I may have just missed some of the underlying nuances.

Most notably the actors were amazing! In fact they were so convincing that the actors who played the villains literally got booed during the final curtain call. I don't know what was better...the fact that the audience booed them or that the actors loved it. LOL