January 28, 2006

moremore memes

Posted in memes at 10:17 am by Marise Phillips

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was living by myself in a studio apartment on San Francisco's noisiest street and working as a web producer 20 miles south in Foster City, and really, really wanting to find a job closer to home. I had been dating my husband-to-be (now ex) for about 4 months. I'd been single for a couple years before meeting him (unless you count all those frogs I dated since my last real boyfriend) and was really happy (relieved?) to be in a real relationship.

What were you doing one year ago?
I was living in the same flat I live in now, with J, and was working in Mountain View (40 miles south!) — hating it. The job had turned into 100% project management, my boss was a micromanaging workaholic, and I was sick to death of the commute. Then, when I found out I'd gotten 1/10th of the bonus my good friend and colleague got, I began applying to jobs online. I had also just applied to Stanford's Master of Liberal Arts program and was breathlessly expecting to be accepted. Ha.

Five snacks you enjoy:
I'm not a consistent/faithful snacker. In fact, I'm quite a fickle snacker. But at the moment, I like to snack on stuff like sesame cashews from Trader Joe's (aka "crack"), rice, nori & pickles (I count these as one snack, because they must be eaten together), eggettes (amazing and addictive Hong Kong-style waffles I get at this bubble tea place in South San Francisco), apples & cheese, and greek yogurt & honey.

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
Too many to mention, especially if I were to take my misspent youth into consideration, during which I memorized every single Police, Duran Duran, English Beat and Wham! song. But that was then. For now, I thought it might be more fitting to list the songs that I've *tried* to learn all the lyrics to merely by catching them on the radio now and then (since I'm slightly busier than I was as a teenager): "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morrissette; "Loser" by Beck; "Laid" by James; "Praise You" by Fatboy Slim; "Dirty Harry" by Gorillaz.

Five things you would do if you were a multi-millionaire:
Buy houses in all my favorite places; take care of my family and friends' financial needs; adopt a couple kids and a few more pets; start a non-profit art school (a la Born Into Brothels); donate money to progressive political causes.

Five bad habits:
Biting my nails; not flossing; keeping my clothes in piles rather than putting them away; procrastinating; overeating.

Five things you like doing:
Knitting; swimming; riding my scooter; cooking; um, you know.

Five things you would never wear or buy again:
Blue-green eyeshadow in long swooshes (hello, Prom Night 1986!); big eyeglasses (big sunglasses are sometimes ok); Yukon Jack (a completely disgusting "liqueur"); spandex bike shorts (even if I get skinny again); metallic leather (so damn fugly!).

Five favorite things:
The silly behavior of my cats; my boyfriend's sense of humor; my bed; my laptop; traveling far & wide.


January 27, 2006

love me some quizzies

Posted in lovey, pets, quizzes, reading at 11:14 pm by Marise Phillips

I was reading stacyo's blog and was inspired to find out: What city do I belong in?

You Belong in London

A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.

A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.

No wonder you and London will get along so well.

What City Do You Belong In?


So, tomorrow is my Japanese dinner/slide show. The first real party I've had since J & I moved here. I've ordered a couple big party trays from Kyoto Sushi, and hope to find the time to whip up some "raw food" style sushi as well. Which consists of fillings like macadamia nut paste (instead of rice), thin slices of fresh veggies and a variety of pestos and tapenades, all wrapped up in nori or collard greens. One of the guests I've invited is a raw food aficionado, so I hope to impress her with my renditions of the recipes I got from my health-nut friends in Hawaii.


Been reading a really engrossing series of graphic novels called Strangers in Paradise — enjoying them so much, i never want them to end. Good thing is, there are at least 4 or 5 more volumes to go. The writer/artist, Terry Moore, is equally skilled at both sides of the equation: the storyline *and* the art. I'm humbled by his talents.


The fish are doing well. Their water has been a bit cloudy since the first week I got them, but I read into it and it sounds like we're probably overfeeding them. It's cute, cause J has gotten quite excited about helping me take care of them; the only downside of his enthusiasm was the double-feeding that sometimes occurred. But I think we're in sync now: I do the feeding, he does the light-turning-on/off if he remembers to do so sooner than I do.

Furthermore, just to give you some insight into how nutty I am about these fish, I went to the pet store and bought them two varieties of frozen food that goldfish are supposed to like: bloodworms (ew!) and brine shrimp. Plus some fresh cucumber, along with a cute clownfish-shaped "fresh veggie holder" clip that sticks to the side of the aquarium using a handy suction cup. Who'd've guessed that fish feeding had reached such dizzying heights of technology?

When I got home, I was eager to see whether they'd like the cucumber, so I cut off a thin slice to insert into the clownfish clip, and J suctioned it into the tank. No bites. So then he jumped at the chance to try an experiment he'd been noodling over ever since I told him that goldfish like to eat cucumbers a couple weeks ago. He cut off a little chunk and threaded it with string, and tied the other end (the non-cucumber-baited end) of the string with a toothpick. Unfortunately, the fish didn't go for that trick either.

However, I checked on them an hour or so later and I think maybe, just maybe, they were nibbling at the cucumbers… Maybe someday, they won't be too shy to eat in front of us anymore. O, what a happy day that would be! 😉

January 23, 2006

my first non-scarf!

Posted in DIYDesign, knitting at 8:17 pm by Marise Phillips

I made a cute lil purse for my niece Maya, who turns 5 tomorrow.

felted purse

January 19, 2006

in other news…

Posted in knitting, lovey, self-improvement, tales from the gym, weekend at 9:02 pm by Marise Phillips

I'm making a supercute, little, soon-to-be-felted purse for my niece Maya, who turns 5 on Monday. it's got a frosty green yarn for the main purse part, a pastel multi-colored yarn for the flap and strap, and i'm gonna make a big pink flower applique for the front.

Unfortunately, it's not going to be complete in time for her actual birthday, but I'm hoping it'll be no more than a week or two late. Pix to come later.

I know, I suck.


J is eating yummy chocolate peanutbutter banana cake and breathing rather heavily right now. hehe. that's cause it's goooooooooood. i'm sure i breathed like a sonuvagun when i was shoving a huge piece down my cakehole earlier this evening 😉

so, believe it or not, the "eating better" non-resolution i made is actually kind of working out overall, despite large infusions of chocolate peanutbutter banana cake and two black-bottom cupcakes yesterday. i haven't given up dessert, true. however, my main meals are far healthier than they've been in quite some time. lots more vegies, lots less meat.

lots less? meh. you know what i mean.

also, i have been doing fairly well on the gym thing this week. already been twice, and planning on going again tomorrow.

however, on the spending less front? BADBADBAD. bought a bunch of clothes over the weekend (but there was a party to go to! and a wedding coming up next month! and and and and…) i guess i'm sort of lucky a lot of the clothes didn't fit so well, necessitating returns and refunds.


strangely, i'm feeling more love for my parents recently. just this evening, i was thinking that it might be nice to hang out with them pretty soon. where in hell did *that* idea come from?? i haven't thought such things since I lived in Marin, about 10 miles south from them. weird. (now that i live in the city again, it's about 30 miles away, and across a bridge and everything. hard! far! excuse!)

i've got some dinner parties coming up, and I'm looking forward to them. first one is this weekend, for some of J's fellow expat friends who live in san rafael. we usually go up there (yes! we cross the bridge!) because they have a pool and two cute portuguese water dogs, and trish is a budding pastry chef specializing in chocolatey goodness. but it is long overdue for us to play host, and so i still need to figure out what i'm cooking. eek!! i do have the appetizer fairly decided: salmon and shrimp ceviche (raw fish marinated in lemon and orange juice and tossed with roasted chipotles, avocado and red onion. yum.)

the second dinner is for a fairly sizeable group of friends. i'm thinking of just ordering a big sushi platter for that one, rather than trying to cook. we're finally going to "show off" (aka bore everyone silly with) our photos from Japan.

finally, K's dad and his fiancee are coming to visit in mid-Feb, and I'll be making a dinner for six of us. can't wait!!


Posted in memes at 9:01 pm by Marise Phillips

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Riseyp!

  1. Riseyp is the last letter of the Greek alphabet.
  2. Over 2000 people have now climbed riseyp, with roughly ten percent dying on the way down.
  3. Riseyp is picked, sorted and packed entirely in the field!
  4. If you cut riseyp in half and count the number of seeds inside, you will know how many children you are going to have!
  5. Riseyp will often rub up against people to lay her scent and mark her territory!
  6. There are six towns named riseyp in the United States.
  7. While sleeping, fifteen percent of men snore, and ten percent grind their riseyp.
  8. The fingerprints of riseyp are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans, so much so that they could be confused at a crime scene.
  9. Some birds use riseyp to orientate themselves during migration.
  10. Riseyp can remain conscious for fifteen to twenty seconds after being decapitated.

January 12, 2006

Taking a moment

Posted in self-improvement, tales from the gym at 10:33 pm by Marise Phillips

…to acknowledge some achievements (one of my remedies against negativity and self-doubt):

  • Haven't killed the new fish – they still seem to be healthy and happy. They like to look at us as much as we like to look at them.
  • Got in touch with craigslist scooter-seller and will be getting a set of spare keys. This is much needed as original keys are missing and — call me crazy — I'd like to avoid getting more $100 tickets.
  • Been journaling every day. S'fun.
  • Ate yummy salad for lunch and had leftover Korean noodles for dinner, along with oh-so-healthy filtered water with grated ginger.
  • Registered a domain name in my full name and uploaded my *updated* resume and portfolio.
  • Been taking a more active approach to shaping my career.
  • Going to the gym again tomorrow, so better get to sleep!

January 8, 2006

new fish!

Posted in pets, weekend at 9:30 pm by Marise Phillips

after a week of mourning, i decided the best way to get over my previous failure was to try, try again.

last week, i replaced the water in the tank, washed the gravel and plants, bought a bunch of additional supplies (for alas, all I got with the first two fish was the tank and some food), and tested the new water, to make sure it would be optimally prepared for some new occupants.

today, i drove out to geary, had some Korean tofu soup, and headed over to SF's most venerable fish/fish supply store, called Nippon Goldfish Company. i'd been there about a year before to scope the place out, and was quite impressed with the whole operation. the vibe there kinda reminded me of being at the Guitar Center, what with all the enthusiasts milling about, talking to the employees about their shared interest. except it was fish, not instruments. but you know what i mean.

so anyway, when i showed up there today, i was very disappointed to find that they had gone out of business. they'd been around for 94 years, fer chrissakes! it was quite a shock to see them gone… man, i should've taken a picture of their very cool sign. ah well.

only partially daunted, i drove out to petsmart in daly city, as i'd been there the day before to buy replacement filter cartridges for my biOrb, and noticed they had a really good selection of goldfish. so when i got there today, ready to purchase at last, i pored over all the tanks showing off the various types, and finally settled on two blue orandas.

this is roughly what they look like:

I named them Haku and Chihiro, after the main characters in Spirited Away:

they've been doing well since i put them in the tank. my only regret is that the heater i bought is designed for a rectangular space, and the biOrb is, well… an orb 🙂 oh well, the heater is not a must, as they do well between 68 and 74 degrees, and the water they're in is currently at 68.

anyway. the tank I bought them from was fairly crowded, and this one is relatively spacious. they must either really like each other, or are just used to being cheeck-to-jowl, cause they spend a lot of time pretty close to one another. which is cute.

i really hope they thrive!!

January 2, 2006

ok, so maybe i lied.

Posted in family, self-improvement at 7:11 pm by Marise Phillips

maybe i *do* believe in something slightly resembling New Year’s Resolutions. it could just be having a few days in a row off work — makes me get all To Do List-y.

But last night as I lay sleepless in the guest room, thrashing and kicking the duvet into a large cone shape (per J), I couldn’t get my mind off the things I feel I *must* do, not sure how, not sure when.

I just know Not Doing Them is going to drive me to an early grave, literally and otherwise.

RiseyP’s Must Do List

  1. Taper off the evil anti-depressant
  2. Lower my cholesterol, hopefully enough to no longer require pharmaceutical assistance
  3. Get back in shape so that I can once again enjoy the following activities:
    • Skiing
    • Swimming
    • Hiking
    • Tennis
    • Rollerblading
    • Basically, being seen in public 😉
  4. Get back on top of my finances by:
    • making a budget and sticking to it
    • bringing lunch to work 3-4 times a week
    • taking in a bit of freelance work
  5. Practice yoga and meditation
  6. See a dermatologist (or homeopath?) to address various minor, recurring skin issues
  7. Take really good care of my teeth (which used to be my pride and joy!) by:
    • wearing my retainer every night
    • brushing with the SoniCare every day
    • using the various whitening products J regularly brings home
  8. Take better care of my hands and nails

i wrote to my brother, and that made me feel better about the whole aftermath-of-him-not-visiting-us-for-the-holidays:

Sorry I didn’t get to talk to you before you left for Korea. I was still upset about the Christmas thing, and I am no good at talking when I’m upset 😦

But I wanted to thank you for replying via email and for your voicemail. I was impressed by your thoughtful, reflective reaction to the situation, and I really appreciated your sincere apology.

I think I got so upset about you not visiting for a couple of reasons: obviously, we all wanted to see you and were very disappointed at the late notice; moreover, I have felt really stressed out about having to help mom and dad out financially, what with my tendency to live above my means, not to mention the condo in Colorado which J and I bought as an investment property, just a month before dad let me know they were in danger of losing their house.

So, considering all that, the thought of having you in town for a while made me feel less like an overwhelmed “only child.” As you can probably relate, it’s very comforting to hang out with you, knowing what we went through as kids together, and how all the crap w/mom & dad continues to this day. And it’s been especially rough for me, ever since they moved up here and so much closer to me geographically than they used to be (and I know you had to deal with this when you were all living in SoCal. sigh.)

Anyway, I finally was able to get up to Marin to see them today for the holidays. The delay was due to a bunch of obstacles that kept cropping up: their oven being broken, mom’s knee being really out of whack, and my car getting broken into the other day (no biggie, just a small rear window smashed in but, luckily, nothing stolen).

For simplicity’s sake, we just took them out to lunch at a restaurant near their house. It was good food but the visit was fairly rushed and non-relaxing — mostly cause I just have a really hard time hanging out with them without wanting to strangle someone. i wish that wasn’t the case, and I do try to work on it.

At any rate, I want to find out if you still want/need that digital camera I was going to give you for Xmas. If so, I’ll gladly send it to you – just let me know your new address.