Monday, October 31, 2011

Hazel feeling festive!

This past Saturday I celebrated Halloween with friends at a house party. I dressed as a sexy Coastie (aka, member of the Coast Guard!). Pictures to follow... But today, on actual Halloween, I dressed up for the office lunch party in what I'm calling a bad-ass cheetah costume (It was a last-minute get-up-- just grabbed an animal printed dress out of my closet. And then another reporter came in with the same idea. Twinsies!). I didn't feel like going home and changing before doing the blotter, which means right now I'm sitting in the police station lobby... in kitty cat makeup! Full on whiskers, baby. LOL. What can you do what duty calls?

What are you doing to celebrate Halloween? Or did you go to a spooktacular party this past weekend? And did you dress up for work today? :)

Super late update (as in two weeks after Halloween!) but here's a few photos!
Me and my bestie. Marielle was an adorable penguin (she was obsessed with all things penguin as a kid). Her "costume" is actually a dress from Hot Topic! She let me do her makeup for the night. :)

Me and "Lt. Dangle"-- you know, from Reno 911! He sure knew how to work those booty shorts and 'stache! 

This is me at my office party, with my former editor, Kyle-- who came to work dressed up as my new editor, Scott! LOL.

Work friends. Karma, on the right, always has the most kick-ass costumes!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Views of New York

Obsessed with these "finger-painted" views of New York by Jorge Colombo. Don't you love how the lights just glow? I almost feel like I am taking an evening cab ride through the city.

Images via 20x200

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Waves Weekend

Saturday felt like going home.

Home to college, that is!

This weekend, my alma mater, Pepperdine, held its second annual Waves Weekend. Though current students are more than welcome to take part, the event is a way to get alumni to come back to campus for a little reunion and a lot of fun. Since I only live about 45 minutes away from Malibu, it was a great excuse to visit and reunite with some old friends.

I was especially glad to see one of my best friends, and sorority sisters, Kapua! She actually works on campus and she doesn't live too far away from me, but our busy schedules make it hard to connect. (But she just moved much closer to me last week, yippee! So I'll definitely be seeing more of her more often!)

We've got spirit, yes we do! Orange and blue are Pepperdine's colors. Kapua bought that hat, which is obviously too big for her, for her boyfriend. He's not an alum, but he has Wave pride whether he likes it or not!

I graduated in the spring of 2007. In some ways it feels like forever ago, and in other ways it seems like just yesterday. But walking around campus, I become acutely aware of how much has changed. New additions to the plaza, a renovated HAWC (basically Pepperdine's student union) that now serves hot food... I guess I'm glad to know my tuition, which I'm still paying in the form of loans, is going to good use! I just wish the campus would have been this nice (it's always been beautiful) when I still went there! Isn't that the way life goes...

Joslyn Plaza

The Theme Tower

I didn't attend the first Waves Weekend. But I can say without a doubt that this year's was better by far! This year, Malibu-born songstress Colbie Callait headlined the concert in Alumni Park. (Last year the park played host to Dwight Yoakam. Now, I like country music, but... no. I have no desire to see Dwight Yoakam!)

I absolutely adore Colbie. Her music just puts me in a happy mood. And she is wonderful in concert-- even better than the CD, I'd say! I have her first album, "Coco," but now I'm wanting to go pick up her latest, "All of You," and maybe even her second, "Breakthrough." Here's a few shots from the show, the ones that didn't turn out super blurry :)

The first song Colbie sang when she stepped on stage is my favorite: "Realize"

Me and Kapua taking a break from singing and dancing for a photo opp

Not pictured in these photos are some of my other lovely Alpha Phi sisters. I was so happy to bump into several of them-- Kelly, Sandra, Shenaya, Brittany-- and catch up before watching the concert.

Afterward, Kapua, her boyfriend and I decided to get some grub at Kabuki in Woodland Hills. I had never been but it was delicious. I got a light appetizer-- mixed tempura! Not so "light"-- and a lychee martini.

Oh, and I learned two things. One, that I actually really enjoy edamame. And two, this is the expression you get when you ask me to "do" Samantha from "Sex and the City." :)

Hope you had a fabulous weekend, too! Tell me, if you went to college, where did you go? And do you often revisit your alma mater?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Me & my Guitar

Hi there, folks. I have some exciting news to share: Last Thursday night, I bought myself a guitar!

Though it may seem like an impulse purchase, I have dreamed of learning how to play the guitar for ages. Many years my Christmas or birthday wish lists have included “blue acoustic guitar.” And every time I watched someone playing a guitar, blue or not, I pined away.

When I saw my friend (and former sorority “big sis”) Abby’s Facebook status a few weeks ago that said she was going to begin taking guitar lessons, it just reignited that flame. I hopped on the Guitar Center website and began searching through all the brands and models—some I had lusted after before and others that were new to me. I had decided that it was time to stop wishing, to stop saying, ‘oh, I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar’ and just do it. There’s no time like the present, right? It was time to make my own dream come true.

So on Thursday night, that’s just what I did. I convinced my brother Patrick to come with me to my local Guitar Center for moral support but even still I was a bit overwhelmed by all the choices. When the employee helping me placed a contender in my hand, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I didn’t know any chords to play or even which strings were which notes! But my Ibanez acoustic-electric guitar (with transparent blue sunburst) looked good and felt good, and I had read glowing reviews online. Ultimately, it won out over the also beautiful Epiphone Hummingbird (with the heritage cherry sunburst design) and, tucked inside a new cushioned case, the Ibanez came home with me.

This past weekend I started fiddling around with my new instrument. After looking up which string is which note, I successfully tuned my guitar! Then I watched a few tutorials on YouTube and learned to play a very basic version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”—albeit, very slowly. One step at a time…

It is bittersweet that my older brother Jeremy isn't around to help me through this learning process. He was a natural talent when it came to making music. He would create funny songs about me and my stuffed animal while strumming on his acoustic guitar and I remember there were many nights he would stay up late playing on his electric—until my mother came up to his room and told him to stop because the younger kids were trying to sleep! If he were here, I know he would have me jamming in no time. But his memory serves as a source of motivation to keep at it even when it gets tough, as I know it will! Sure, I sing and read music and used to play the oboe, but the guitar is a whole other animal.

As I am still very new to this whole guitar thing, any and all tips are welcome from those veteran guitarists out there! I'd love to hear your thoughts-- what most helped you when you were starting out? Am I crazy to think I can learn without taking formal lessons?

Photo taken by Patrick. He wanted to make sure I gave him proper credit. :) Thanks bro!