Monday, August 29, 2011

My Cup... or Yours?

I think I could literally make a new “Awkward and Awesome: Work Edition” blog post every week regarding the shenanigans that go on at my job. Lately, the awkward has been outshining the awesome.
 I am fairly positive that it’s almost always me who makes it awkward, knowingly or unknowingly. I am brought back to my freshman year of high school, when one of my classmates in speech gave me an “interesting” (for lack of a better term) nickname. We had an icebreaker where others were supposed to use adjectives to describe you, beginning with the first letter of your name. I thought for sure I was going to come out with “Awesome Adrienne” or “Amazing Adrienne”, or something equally as glorified. 
Instead, I was coined by one guy in my class as, guess what?
 “Annoying Adrienne”
 The nerve of this kid! It’s only in my later years that I have discovered maybe I am my own social worst-enemy. I think this kid was on to something… 
Anyway I think my co-workers may actually view me as “Awkward Adrienne”, hence the reason the awesome has been dulled as of late. To further exacerbate my point, I give you… 
The Great Coffee Cup Debacle 
Every morning, I arrive at work approximately 10 minutes before anyone else gets here. (I’m still in the “but-I-want-to-make-a-good-impression” stage. It usually lasts a couple of months before it’s retired for the “screw-it-I’m-going-to-sleep-in-longer” stage). I use this time to check my e-mails, get organized for the day, and get a head start on whatever task I am supposed to be doing. Shortly after that, the office manager arrives and makes a big pot of cinnamon flavored coffee. Since there are only two or three of us there before 8:30 AM, I get first dibs on it.
This morning I opened the cupboard to find the fresh, Monday morning supply of clean coffee cups. I reached for a tall, brown mug and poured myself a cup. It wasn’t until much later in the day (about 30 minutes before closing time) did I find out this was evidentially a huuuuuuge mistake.

Apparently, this mug belonged to one of the owners. It is her own personal mug, and should not be used by any other employee. Fortunately, I saved myself the embarrassment of being called out on this in public when one of the other women pulled me into the kitchen and gave me the scoop. “You wouldn’t know this, of course” she said, “but she [the boss] is a creature of habit, and therefore uses the same coffee mug every day. Please don't be embarrassed. It's nothing to feel bad about. I would just make sure to not make the same mistake again." 
I quickly retrieved the coffee cup from the dishwasher, washed it by hand, and returned it to the cupboard. I am sure she noticed I was using it today, but hopefully will be delighted to find it back it its proper location in the tomorrow.  
Coffee Cup: 1
Awkward Adrienne: 0
 After returning to my desk and thankful that someone was looking out for me, 
I just had to go back and snap a picture of the elusive coffee cup. After all of the fuss, you would think it would be rimmed in 24 karat gold or at the very least studded with tiny crystals and gemstones.

It wasn’t.

It was brown. And tall.

If it were a classic children’s novel, it would be called “Coffee Mug, Plain and Tall.”

This is it.


 That’s all for me, folks. Just keeping it weird!

Disclaimer: For the sake of the kid in my freshman speech class, he was only kidding and no, the hard earned dollars that are generated toward public education do not condone this type of name-calling :) It was all in good fun!

Off to the Races!


Spencer and I.


Spencer and I had the pleasure of joining some friends this past Friday at the Del Mar racetrack for some drinks and a little gambling. We had a great time despite our empty wallets! 

Never having been to a real horse race before, I placed my bet on the horse bearing my last name and hoped for the best. Apparently, he not only had my name but also my athletic ability because he placed dead last. 

Go figure. 

We still had a great time sipping our not-so-cheap beers and enjoying the free concert once the races were over. 


Can't beat that view!


After losing our money... still smiling!


Oops... I don't remember the band's name. 


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Saturday and Sunday were a busy blur, but I was thankful to have met up with some new friends on Sunday morning for coffee and chit-chat before dashing off to meet up with an old friend at her surprise baby shower! It just so happened that my bestest, Dyana, and her husband were in town visiting family for the weekend. Her husband's family arranged a surprise baby shower in her honor and invited me to come. We had a great time! How I managed to come away from either of these events with no pictures is beyond me, but we were too busy catching up to even consider it!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and are well on your way to a fabulous week!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hiking

Trying to be fabulous while hiking a steep incline.


Yesterday, Spencer and I went hiking with a friend. We really enjoyed the climb and the scenery (though I was completely convinced we were going to be eaten by a mountain lion!) The signs they post at the beginning of a trail can really freak a person out :)

Just wanted to share a few of the pictures from our hike. Enjoy!


The rocky terrain.

Oh man. This one is intense. We were only on it for a short while.
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Have a great week!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Awkward and Awesome: Work Edition

Whew! My lull in writing lately has come as a result of surviving my first week of employment as a southern California resident.

Celebraaaaaaaate!

In honor of my first week, I decided to do an Awkward and Awesome: Work Edition to document five of the most awkward things that happened to me this week, alongside five of the most awesome. Inspired by my friends Catharine and Derek over at Your Modern Couple, here goes!


  1. Having a full-blown sinus infection on your very first week of work... complete with a 100 degree fever and a swollen face. Slightly less than awesome. 
  2. Eating lunch in your car, in the parking garage, for the first several days because none of your new co-workers will talk to you. You're the yee-haw weird new girl from Texas. Super. 
  3. Talking to a new co-worker as though she has been there for years, and totally trusting her judgment on everything. I mean, why wouldn't you? She offers you all kinds of good advice like "on my first week of work things were really slow for me, too. Once you get used to it, you'll get more and more work and you'll be busy in no time!", then overhearing your boss on the phone later saying that said co-worker started when? A week before you did! Fact. That happened. 
  4. Waiting patiently to be the last person in line on massage day (more on that later) while the masseuse talks your ear off about his children (who are now 23 and 21 years old) when they were toddlers and younger. Don't worry, he told me the whole birth story of his son and about his wife nursing his daughter. Dude. Massage time = quiet time. Shhhhhhhhh.
  5. Without a doubt, the people that I work with are almost identical to the people I used to work with in Austin. This one will reappear in the awesome section... but it is literally like taking a peak into the twilight zone.



  1. My first day of work just so happened to be "Massage Monday". Once a month, the company pays for a chiropractic masseuse to come in and give you a 15 minute back massage, along with a spinal alignment if you so chose to take up that offer. This one tops the list at massively awesome.
  2. Also carrying over from the awkward side is the fact that I work with an almost identical group of people as I did in Texas. It's literally like someone morphed their bodies, changed their names, but maintained their personalities. For the majority of my coworkers, this is a huge perk, and I even sit next to a Lisa! Shout out, Mrs. Sigler! ;)
  3. The location of this firm is in a very cool part of town within walking distance to restaurants, grocery stores, shopping, and Starbucks. My day is complete. 
  4. In Texas, our reps were very good to us. We would get cookies, cupcakes, lunches, breakfast burritos... you name it! While all of those things are greatly missed by me (but not my waistline), I am really looking forward to my rep-sponsored pedicure on Monday. Score.
  5. Spencer and I found a beautiful new apartment home in north San Diego! We are super excited to move in a month, and my drive time to work will drop from one hour (currently) to 20 minutes. Woo! (Bonus: our spacious new digs include a lovely guest suite complete with a separate bathroom and a gorgeous view of the lush hiking trails. Come visit us and we'll put you up real nice!) 
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That's all for me! 
What are you guys up to this weekend? My plan is to kick back and take it easy. I think I can handle that :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lessons of a California Motorist

Have you ever seen the movie Under the Tuscan Sun starring Diane Lane (love her) and Raoul Bova? There is a line in that movie that makes me laugh every time I hear it when Diane's character (Frances) and Raoul's character (Marcello) are discussing traffic laws in Italy.

Frances: Do traffic lights mean anything around here?
Marcello: Yeah, sure. Green Light - avanti! avanti!, yellow light - decoration.
Frances: And what about red light?
Marcello: Just a suggestion.

Mom and I found out on our 2008 trip to Italy that these words ring truer than any I have ever heard about the country or the people living there. Cinzia, our fearless motorbike riding, leather boot wearing, massively awesome tour guide in Rome told us before crossing the busy street to the Vatican: 
"Do not look up. Under any circumstances, do not make eye contact."
We learned quickly that if you were trying to cross and did make eye contact, you would likely lose a limb or two as the driver would barrel past you. Apparently, they have a bit more sympathy if you seem unaware.

While I wouldn't compare motorists in California to the likes of those motor bikes lining the streets of Rome with a horn and a death wish, I would say that driving here is a whole other experience altogether. Here are my five best tips for surviving the streets of SoCal. 


Taken on our first few hours here.

1.) U-turns are totally legal.
Yeah it's pretty awesome, actually. 


Courtesy of Google Images.

2.) Speed limits seem unnecessarily fast.
I'm not talking about on the highways or toll roads (the US-5 is a steady 65 MPH). What I do mean is the commercial streets around the city of Carlsbad. The speed limit along these roads are usually around 55 MPH. While this may not seem like a lot, let me equate it to driving on South Congress (in Austin) or South Market Street (in Brenham). 
Yeah, pretty wild. 


Courtesy of Google Images
 
3.) Cameras capture your every move. 
Make certain that your brakes are in good working order. You will need them. There are a TON of traffic lights.


Courtesy of Google Images.

4.) Cell phones prohibited.
We were told on our first day here that law enforcement has really started cracking down on this one. 
It's a LOT harder than you might think to not just pick up your phone and call someone, even for something as minor as "are we out of Oreos milk?"


Courtesy of Google Images.

5.) Motorcycle privileges. 
I'm not sure I will ever get used to this one. Motorcycle drivers can (and will) cut you in line at the stop light or zoom past you on the road using the white line as their own personal lane. It scares me every time, hence the reason I like to drive in the far left or right lanes and hug the outside curve. Call me a granny, but I take no chances!


There you have it. Five tips for not wigging out while operating a motor vehicle in the state of California. Lessons learned the hard way. 

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We have a fun weekend planned! Checking out some future housing on Saturday (woohoo!) and going to see The Help on Sunday. (It was my weekend to pick the flick... I think that is totally doable considering I had to sit through two hours of alien guts and really bad old west jargon in Cowboys and Aliens last weekend!)

Hey, at least I'm not making him see Glee3D...
...despite the fact that I reeeaaalllllllly want to see it!


What are you guys doing this weekend?


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Workin' 9 to 5

I'm channeling Mrs. Dolly Parton this morning, 
a.) because that is the catchiest song in the world, and 
b.) because I have accepted a job offer!

Beginning Monday morning, I will be working at a commercial interior design firm in sunny San Diego. I am overly excited, grateful, blessed and very nervous! If I can make it through my first day without tripping over myself, nervous word vomitting, or getting a paper jamb in the printer, then I would consider it a successful first day. 

Psssh. Let's be honest. 
I am going to do ALL of those things! 

In the meantime, I plan to take a breather, do a little shopping for some new "professional" apparel, and hopefully spend a little more time out at the pool with a good book (if the sun ever decides to come out.)

Hope you guys are having a great week!

Friday, August 5, 2011

ABtakesCA Troubleshooting & a Recipe!

Hola Mis Amigos and Happy Friday!

I wish today's post was a bit more exciting, but alas... it's (almost) all technical.


Wonk. Wonk. Wooooooonk. 


I've received a number of calls / texts / emails / facebook messages letting me know that my "comments" section is being troublesome. I am so sorry for this predicament! I have been working to try and fix it... so far, this is what I have come up with.

First, ANYONE can leave a comment on my blog. I have total open access and everyone is welcome! Unfortunately, you have to create a "Member ID" in order to do so.

Think of it as being a part of a team.
Team Adrienne. 

Yeeeaaah! 
(I am only kidding... it's a terrifying thought for me to be a team leader!)

Anyway, in order to do this, please take the following steps:

  1. On the right-hand column of my blog, you will see a section titled "Followers". Underneath that section are icons of the cherubs that are currently following AB takes CA.
 2. Underneath the icons is a line that reads: "Already a member? Sign in"

3. Click on "Sign In"... even if you are not already a member.

4. Now, here is where it gets exclusive.
You have to sign in with a certain "ID". If you already have an account with any of the following services, you can sign in using your name and password for that service.
They are:

Google (Gmail, Blogger, etc.)
Twitter
Yahoo!
AIM
Netlog
OpenID

If you don't have one of these accounts, you can create a Google account (or any of them, really) and that will enable you to leave comments on the blog.

And I loooooove comments. Otherwise, it feels like I am just talking to myself most of the time. Which, I do anyway... but that way I feel a lot less crazy!

Lastly, I've had a few requests for an e-mail notification every time I post. If you're interested, please let me know! I will add your name to the list of automatically generated e-mails that go out as soon as I hit "publish post". That's speedy service. 

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OK... now that is out of the way, I have a fabulous (and super cheap and easy) recipe to share with you all!
I know... you're just going to have to accept it.
This WILL be a semi-food related blog.
I'm sorry!

One thing I discovered while in Austin, that somehow I missed for the 24 years prior, was Chipotle. Spencer would gladly eat there with me at least twice a week so I could get my burrito bowl fix. I loved their burrito bowls, and especially, their rice.
However, being the thrifty girl that I am, I always hated spending $7 for a meal of vegetables! Since I don't eat meat (well, land-grazing meat) I only ever wanted the veggie bowl and would cringe every time they gave me the total KNOWING I could easily make this myself.

My friends, I DID make it myself and you can too!



I discovered a fabulous copycat recipe for the cilantro lime rice that they serve at Chipotle. It was game over. The rice was absolutely fabulous!
However, a quick word of advice, if you chose to try this recipe (and I highly recommend that you do!) and want to save a couple of bucks, go with plain white rice instead of the extra long grain or Basmati. The extra long grain happened to be on sale at my supermarket, and while it was delicious and a little creamy, Spencer thought it was a little too sticky for his pallette.
To each his own.

This meal is pretty self-explanatory but I will go ahead and give you the run-down anyway!

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Chipotle-ish Burrito Bowls

You will need:
Cilantro Lime Rice  (click on link for recipe)
Can of Black Beans, heated
Can of Pinto Beans, heated
Can of Corn, or Mexi-Corn, heated
Guacamole (use whatever recipe you like)
Sour Cream
Shredded Lettuce (not shown)
Diced Tomatoes (not shown)
Grilled Onions & Peppers (not shown)
Lime Wedge (for garnish)

Spoon rice into bowl and top with onions & peppers.
Add beans, corn, cheese, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes.
Top with a scoop of guacamole and sour cream.
Garnish with a wedge of lime.

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As you can probably tell, I didn't have any lettuce, tomatoes, or grilled onions & peppers on mine. This was not intentional... we just didn't have enough room in the bowl! Can't wait to try this recipe again when I have my own dishes to use.
In the meantime, it is an excellent substitute!

And, to let you in on one more insider secret, these bowls taste much better with white corn tortilla chips and a Dos Equis.

It's a fact.

And, just for the record, the grand expense total for this dinner was...

$2.50 each (made four bowls)

Take that, Chipotle!

Anyway, hope you guys had a fabulous week and are well on your way to an even better weekend!


    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Winner! Giveaway: Wine Lovers

     Ladies and Gentleman, we have a winner!

    Thank you all for entering the giveaway! I know the comments on the blog weren't quite working correctly, but you all persevered. I got e-mails, Facebook messages, and even a couple of texts. (Yes, I accepted these!) The winner is... drumroll, please.

    Catharine!



    Congratulations, Catharine! I will send you an e-mail with the voucher enclosed. 

    Thanks for playing!