Sunday, December 30, 2012

Yosemite Adventure

I have been to Yosemite National Park a couple of times before, but both times were in the summer and I've always wanted to see the park in the winter time.  I took the last of my vacation time for the week after Christmas and planned a trip with the boyfriend to make that fantasy a reality.

The park was more beautiful than I had anticipated, and it wasn't as cold as I thought it would be either, no heavy jackets were necessary.  I had originally thought that I would just touch on this part of my trip in my monthly blog, but there were so many fun pictures that I thought I'd share most of them in their own post.

Hope you enjoy, I know I did.









 
 





Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy New Years!!!


Hello faithful readers, I hope you all have a safe and sane holiday. If you drink please don't drunk, I want to keep you all around for years to come.

I hope 2013 is the best year yet for you, and that each year after only gets better.

I posted my New Year's Resolutions on an earlier blog, you can read them here and maybe come up with a few of your own.

Merry Christmas Readers



So readers, were you on the nice list or the naughty list this year? A combination of both?

I hope that you have a fabulous holiday celebration with your loved ones, whether they be family, friends or maybe even co-workers, and that Santa is good to you all.

Hug your loved ones a little closer this year, and remember the ones who aren't celebrating with us this year.

Yesterday marked 16 years since my grandpa passed away and the Coca Cola Santa I posted the picture of always reminds me of him. I think about him often and like to think that he's my own personal guardian angel. I know he's out there looking out for me. It's hard to believe that so much time has gone by, but I know he's been there for our family every step of the way, we've lost a few other close family members over the years, Uncle Junior, my brother Everett, and Aunt Josephine and I still find myself watching the door for them to walk in sometimes. Christmas time is a time for celebrating family and it feels different when members are missing, but I think it just makes you cherish the ones who are still here more.

Have a safe and healthy holiday friends. I can't wait to hear about your experiences and maybe even a few shenanigans.  Talk to you soon.

Merry Christmas
Love
Lauren

Friday, December 21, 2012

Monsters at Your Door

I used to be a fan/page member of several pages on Facebook that provided me with a wealth of news articles that weren't always top loaded on my news.google.com feed. Most of these pages were centered around women's rights and promoting equality for minorities. They used to have a lot of really great information.  They were indignant when many politicians were talking about doing whatever they could to take away women's legal rights for particularly controversial medical procedures (abortions), they lobbied hard when the Susan G. Komen foundation decided they wanted to cut ties with Planned Parenthood, these groups celebrated when states granted same sex couples the legal right to marry, and I loved them for this.

So why the "used to be" you might be asking? Where has the love gone?

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings earlier this month, these pages have fallen from their missions of protecting individual rights that were granted by the Constitution, Supreme Court rulings, and the voice of the people, to being raging anti-gun pages. I understand, we lost a lot that day, it wasn't fair, and personally I can't stop crying over it. Every time I see one of those 20 children's faces my eyes fill up and it's all I can do to not let them spill while I'm at work. I feel the trauma of losing my brother who died a few years ago all over again, and while his death was due to a violent crime it wasn't gun related, it doesn't matter, loss is loss no matter how it happens, especially when it's unexpected. Everyone needs someone to blame for the tragedy. They look for monsters in the world.  They blame the NRA, violent video games, Hollywood, Walmart, the media, developmental disorders, and a host of others for the shootings. They have taken the conversation from being about stricter gun control laws and more availability for mental health care access to being about a total firearm ban. They use fear mongering techniques like "would you trust a stranger with a gun?" polls and belittling posters who have different opinions about how to make the country a safer place.

First, let's place the blame where it's due. The 20 year old man who brought the guns to campus and killed those people is where the blame lies. He did it, it's his fault, it was his choice. Callous? Maybe... but it's true. There are millions of people in the country battling illness and don't shoot up kindergarten classrooms. If you want to take a wider scope, let's look at his mom, otherwise known as Victim #1. She knew that her son had problems and still had firearms throughout the house and they were easily accessible to her son, she taught him how to use them, and took him shooting. I haven't heard anything about his father. Where was he? I'm genuinely curious. I'm not one of those people who feel like single parents are the cause of all evil, but just because someones parents are no longer with each other doesn't mean that one parent is allowed to check out on their kid. Did he die? Or just not around?  If the shooter was not getting treatment for his illness, why aren't there more means to get help for adults who don't want to help themselves?

Do you still need something to be afraid of? How about how hard it is to get help when you're mentally ill? How about being afraid of parents who would rather be their kids' best friend instead of an authority figure? How about being afraid of people who would happily take away your rights because they make them feel icky? How about looking to history and seeing what similar bans have done (think Stalin, Castro, Hitler)? How about wondering where it will stop once they start taking rights away?

Personally I think there need to be stricter enforcement of the laws we have, and consider making them federal laws so that they are the same across state lines, review "Stand Your Ground" laws to make sure they really work the way they are intended to and not a blanket excuse for killing people who could potentially be threatening, new policies demanding background checks for firearms sales, a review of what types of firearms are available to the general public, mandatory safety courses for firearms users, a licensing program that needs to be renewed on a regular basis much like a driver's license, and harsher penalties for violating these policies. Granted it won't keep criminals from obtaining weapons illegally, but it might make certain weapons harder to get in general. Law abiding citizens might be more inclined to keep weapons locked and out of sight when not in use. I also don't think that it should stop at gun control, there are many violent crimes that are committed daily that you don't hear about because they're on a smaller scale, but their impact is still felt. There needs to be a way to prohibit violent crimes in general. How do we take control back from the thugs on the streets and the abusers that hide behind their locked doors?

I don't think schools need to be turned into prisons to keep children safe, but having security and a police officer on campus at all times isn't a bad idea. Kids need to be able to enjoy school and look forward to learning and I'm not sure that would happen in an environment where fear rules.

A few of these pages are looking to dismantle the 2nd amendment, calling it archaic and unnecessary, however my feelings are that once you start taking away some rights, the others will be just as easy to remove. Why stop at the second? The first amendment causes a lot of trouble too, and who gave women and minorities the right to vote? We can't base our laws on emotions.

The same people who were against George W. Bush trading our freedoms for security post 9-11 are the trying to do the same now. I'm not saying there doesn't need to be changes, I'm just asking that we make them based on logic and not fear.  Stop looking for monsters under the bed when there are bigger ones knocking at your door.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

It's a little early to start talking about New Years' Resolutions, I mean we're not even a 3rd of the way through December yet, but it's never to soon to start making goals and doing what you can to make positive changes in your life.

Last year I feel like I did pretty well on the resolutions I made, and I liked them so much that I'll probably continue them throughout 2013 and beyond. What's great about them is that they aren't major lifestyle changes, like giving up carbs or caffeine... but just things to grow me as a person. I've compiled a list of 10 items that I'd like to work on over the next 12 months and I'm ready to share them with you.

  1. Take the time to appreciate the small things.
  2. Practice patience and empathy (especially when someone is trying to test my strength).
  3. Find new music
  4. Go on as many adventures as possible
  5. Take lots of pictures of pretty places, both near and far from home
  6. Go to the gym more (this was the one I failed at last year)
  7. Write more (while I didn't really work on any short stories this year, I blogged quite a bit more than ever before).
  8. Engage the Internet trolls a lot less
  9. Make sure my loved ones know how important they are to me on a regular basis.
  10. Make time for my friends that don't see as often as I should, ditto for family.  If you make time for me, I will find a way to make time for you.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy 2013 and that if you make resolutions that you are able to keep them.  If you do not have goals for the coming year, that's okay too, just do your best and make time for the things that make you feel better as a person and make sure you tell the people you care about them how you feel, you never know how much longer you will have them.

Until next time Cheers!
 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thanks for Reading


Thank you so much for reading about my adventures, my opinions, vents, stories, and listening to my play lists. I definitely couldn't do it without you.  In the last 4 months this blog as received over 1000 hits and it thrills me to get my writing out there for your reading enjoyment (I hope). There are many more adventures to come, so please, stick around for the next installment.

-Lauren

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November in a Nutshell

It's been another busy month, lots of shopping hanging out with friends and the boy, family time and the beginning of the holiday season. So without further ado here is November in a nutshell.




  • The Elections: This was a supercharged election year and there were lots of people who were passionate on both sides of the playing field, and even now still some that are upset/glorifying in the outcome of the race.  The incumbent was re-elected and we shall see how the next four years go in this great country of ours. Whether your side won or lost if you exercised your right to vote you made your voice heard. You may not always get your way, but as long as you do your part to make your opinions heard, our country will continue to be great. 

  • Veteran's Day Weekend: Veteran's Day is a day that we say thank you for all the sacrifices that the men and woman in our United States Armed Forces have made for us to keep us free and safe. It's also a three day weekend (for a lot of people, not so much me) in which I house sat for my aunt; took a day trip to Camarillo for to go shopping with my sister, my father's girlfriend, and he came along as well; and my boyfriend came to visit. I found an awesome pair of sunglasses to replace all the scratched ones I have in my collection and the cutest jacket. I had some great laughs with my sister trying on silly hats and getting to spend time with family that I don't normally spend much time with.  Getting to see the boyfriend was a special treat, he wasn't planning on coming to town that weekend, but he was able to get things finished up at school earlier than planned and was able to share his long weekend with me.
  • Baby Date: This month I got to visit my friends who had twins about a year and a half ago, I haven't seen them in awhile it was great fun to see how much the boys had grown since I saw them last (I think it was sometime in May or June). It is so neat to get to watch them grow into their personalities and become little boys instead of just babies.


    
    Wine Tasting at Rancho Sisquoc
    I made these Turkey Treats for the Big Day
  • Thanksgiving: This year we celebrated Thanksgiving with good friends of our family and their family. We did the same last year, and I'm hoping this becomes our new tradition. We have such a great time together and there is very little drama that often surrounds big family events. My boy also came home for this long weekend. He celebrated the day itself with his family, but the Saturday after the holiday we went to a big breakfast at one of my favorite local restaurants (Kay's Country Kitchen in Old Orcutt, if you get a chance you should check it out), visited with his grandma a bit, then went wine tasting at Rancho Sisquoc and Kenneth Volk Vineyards. It was such a nice and relaxing day, something to be really thankful for.

  • The Wizard of Oz: While this technically happened on Thanksgiving weekend too, I felt that it needed it's own bullet point. Every year since I was about 5 and was old enought to attend plays at PCPA my mom and I have gone to see their Christmas show. This year was no exception and we saw one of my favorites: The Wizard of Oz. The production was a lot different than in years past in that they used puppets for the munchins, flying monkeys, winkies, the great and powerful Oz, and Toto. It was really interesting to see what they could do with the dolls and how they could bring them to life. The actors who played Dorothy and Crew were phenomenal as usual. PCPA never fails to entertain. I'm so glad that I live in a place where I have amazing theatre in my own backyard.
 

 
Thanks for reading, and until we meet again, I hope you have a safe and wonder filled holiday season.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Always Look For The Silver Linings



I would like to start this out with a disclaimer.  I do not have any kind of professional or educational background in counseling or psychology.  All of the following advice or suggestions are just from my personal experiences and those experiences of people I know personally.  They are my opinions, feelings, and should be taken as that.

I’ve noticed that a couple friends of mine are having a hard time emotionally as of late, and while I won’t name names or divulge details, I’ll just say it seems their self esteem and views on life seem to be shaken.  I’ve heard that the Holidays can be unnerving for some and downright depressing for others, not everyone’s days are merry and bright this time of year, and I’d like to take the time to tell them that while you may be experiencing heavy storms on the relationship front or maybe other aspects of life (family, work, arguments with friends, loss of loved ones, etc.) this journey will not always be in the Forest of Endless Night, there will be sunshine, I promise.  I can’t tell you when day will break; it comes at different times for everyone, BUT IT WILL COME.  

For those of you, who have lost a loved one, whether to death or a change of heart, please remember your healing process is not on some arbitrary timeline.  Yes, your friends might tire of hearing about your loss, but that doesn’t mean your feelings are any less important or that you should speed your recovery. Take the time to get better instead of burying everything below the surface, because tossing dirt on a problem isn’t going to solve it, emotional issues have the strangest way of unearthing themselves at the most inopportune moments.  Grieving is different for everyone, so what might work for me may not work for you, the trick is to find what works for you and to go after it.

This morning I was texting a friend of mine to cheer her up and I offered up this piece of wisdom, now keep in mind that it’s intent was to make her laugh, but it still rings true.  “You have to protect you first. You’re never going to survive the zombies otherwise.”  Apocalypse jokes aside what I have found when dealing with loss (whether it be a friend or lover or the heartbreaking hybrid) the best thing you can do to get over it is to work on making yourself a better person for YOU, not to get that person back or to get back at them, but so that you can feel good about who you are again.  By protecting yourself I’m talking about not allowing those mean voices in your head to beat you up with a million “what ifs” or “if only I had {insert your personal method of self torture here}” remind yourself of all the things you love about yourself and work on fixing the things that could use some work.  Focus on the silver linings, even if they’re really thin… and if you having a hard time seeing them do not be afraid to ask someone who loves you to point them out for you.  I remember while going through some pretty awful break ups for every one thing I could think of that I missed about my ex, my girlfriends could list 10 reasons why they were grateful I was no longer in such an unhealthy situation.  Silver linings are so important, they are a big reason why I started my “Monthly Wrap Ups” on this blog, they remind me that even in the middle of a personal crisis a bad day doesn’t mean I have a bad life.  I have more things in my life to be grateful for than to be depressed by current setbacks.  It reminds me that depression lies.  It reminds me that even if things are bad now, they will be good again.

Not too long ago (almost two years ago, time seems to fly by a lot faster the older I get) I was feeling somewhat lost and lonely.  I decided the best way to combat those feelings was to embrace them and call the loneliness independence.  I was able to prove to myself that I could enjoy my own company and I could create my own adventures.  I started a photo journal of sorts on Facebook that I titled “Finding My Bliss” and set out on a journey to take day trips and to photograph the process.  I learned things about myself and how to take some really cool pictures.  I’m by no means a professional photographer, nor is that even one of my dreams, but I am someone who likes to create pretty images whether it is through the lens of a camera or with a paintbrush and an arsenal of watercolor paints.  I found that being on the road alone relaxed me and gave me a time and place to think about what was going on in my life, and how incredibly lucky I am to live where I do, and to have the ability to just get in my car and go wherever the road may lead.  It taught me that while it is an incredible feeling to have that someone special to share your life with, you can also make some pretty amazing memories while you’re single.

For my friends who’s self esteem has taken a hit recently, I can say all the words in the world (and I mean them from the bottom of my heart) but I know that it is up to you to believe them for them to matter.  I will never stop telling you how important you are, how beautiful you are, how intelligent, and how anyone would be lucky to have you in their lives.  How anyone who doesn’t see how amazing you are clearly is stupid and doesn't deserve you.  But until you believe it yourself, they are just words.  You have to be able to look in the mirror and see the awesome for yourself.  It’s in there, I promise.  I wouldn’t make time for you in my life if you weren’t special.

This post is in no way meant to trivialize anyone’s pain, but only to remind you that it is temporary.  Work through the darkness even when it seems endless.  Find joy in the little things, because it’s often the smallest things that mean the most.  Surround yourself with people who truly care about you, and don’t be afraid to cut out the ones who weigh you down (even when it’s scary to say goodbye).  Don’t worry about what other people think about how long it’s taking you to heal.  Get better on your own schedule, I’m not suggesting that you wallow in pain forever, but as long as you are actively trying to get better realize that there will be good days and bad days, there will be giant leaps forward and there will be setbacks, that is normal.  Just try not to let your pain define you.  You are better than that, and if all else fails dance it out.

Don't You Know You're Beautiful


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving


 It's the day before the feast and I just wanted to wish all my friends, family, and faithful readers a very happy Thanksgiving holiday.  I want to take the time to let you all know how important you are and that I'm very thankful to have you in my life. Before we all settle in to gorge ourselves on whatever our traditional (or non-traditional) celebrations of the day may be I just ask that you take a moment either to yourself or out loud around the dinner table to count your blessings. For this one day concentrate on the good things in your life, even if they are few and far between. Before you turn on the football game (GO COWBOYS!) make sure your loved ones know that they are appreciated, you never know how many holidays you have left to spend with them.
 
If you have a special holiday memory that you'd like to share, a recipe that's been a family favorite, a tradition... feel free to leave them in the comment box. I always enjoy a good story or something new to try out in the kitchen.  So until next time, I'm thankful for you all, have a fantastic holiday.
 
 
 
 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's All About Closure; Isn't It


It's weird, lately I've been thinking a lot about an ex of mine.  Not in a "what if" sort of way, not in an "I miss him" sort of way, just a "his name crosses my mind" sort of way. I don't really care what he's up to or how he's feeling. I keep having dreams about saying goodbye over and over again, and every time I feel more settled, more at peace.

The other day I was going through some pictures to put together a photo album to commemorate the year, one of the best years of my life so far, and I found pictures of me and that certain someone... I immediately deleted them and felt nothing... and let me tell you, nothing was an amazing feeling. I finally felt in control, I finally felt in charge of my emotions, a way I never felt when I was involved with that person.

I don't know if this feeling of closure, or this lack of feeling comes with finally being in a functional relationship with someone who I know cares about me. Someone who encourages me to follow my dreams, someone who inspires me. Someone who makes me feel like I matter, someone who always is happy to spend time with me, someone who doesn't make me feel like I'm his back up plan when something better doesn't come along.

For the first time I feel like I can breathe. I'm not scared to be myself anymore, and suddenly I realize that THIS is what being in a healthy relationship is.

In saying goodbye to the one who broke my heart a year ago, I want to say thank you for saving me from myself when I was most destructive. Thank you for being my friend when I needed you. I'd like to think we served a purpose in each other's lives, and I'm ready to say goodbye and part as strangers. We don't need each other anymore, and that's okay. Sometimes people are meant to be in each other's lives for a lifetime and sometimes only for a season. So I'll be grateful for the good times, and let go of all the bad things.

To my new relationship. Thank you so much for showing me that it is possible to be in a healthy relationship. That it doesn't have to be stressful and scary. That I can sleep next to you and not worry about well anything. That we can laugh together, talk about important issues in our lives, or just be doing our own things and it's okay.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Awesome Autumn Playlist


This time I'm not adding the YouTube links, sorry, it just took a long time and I'm not sure that all of these songs will even be there...and I'm not cool with putting amateur covers of awesome songs on my blog. So if you're interested in the songs, all but Garth Brooks ones are on Spotify and you can listen to them to your heart's content for free. So without further introduction, here are the songs that have been rotating heavily on my play list the past couple months. Have a musical season friends. <3

  • Green Day - Oh Love
  • Jason Aldean - When She Says Baby
  • Salt-N-Peppa - Whatta Man
  • Michael Jackson - Thriller
  • TLC - What About Your Friends
  • Janet Jackson - Black Cat
  • Gary Allan - Every Storm (Runs out of Rain)
  • Jack Johnson - Banana Pancakes
  • Maroon 5 - Fortune Teller
  • Kristin Chenoweth - Witchy Woman
  • Lady Gaga - You and I
  • Al Green - Ain't No Sunshine (When She's Gone)
  • Garth Brooks - Friends in Low Places
  • Lil Jon - Get Low (To the Window, To the Wall)
  • AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long
  • The Cranberries - Zombie
  • Guns N Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine
  • Heart - Magic Man
  • Jackson 5 - Dancin' Machine
  • Ke$ha - Boots and Boys
  • Kenny Chesney - El Cerrito Place
  • Chevelle - Jars
  • Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA
  • David Guetta - I Just Wanna F
  • Garth Brooks - If Tomorrow Never Comes
Not all of these songs have a specific memory attached to them, but a few of them do and I can't help but dance when I hear them.

Fall 2012 Spotify playlist... the Garth songs aren't on it because he's not on the site :-)


Sunday, November 4, 2012

My October Wrap Up

Its that time again, I promised you all that I'd get this up sometime this weekend so here is the monthly wrap up for October.


Morro Rock, Morro Bay, CA


Woody Car Show @ Wavelengths Surf Shop

Harbor Festival: The first weekend in October I spent the day in Morro Bay with my mom at the annual Harbor Festival. There was a Woody Car Show, lots of booths displaying artwork, local breweries/wineries, and awesome people watching. The weather couldn't have been better, was warm breezy, and there were amazing views of Morro Rock. This was my first trip to the festival, even though I've lived on the Central Coast my whole life. I'd like to think that attending will become a new tradition.



Mai Tai at the Elephant Bar
Old Town Saloon
The Big Fresno Fair
Long Weekend in Fresno: The following weekend I took a day off work so that I could have a long weekend visiting my boyfriend in Fresno.  While he was in class on Friday I met up with my aunt who lives in the Valley for lunch at the Elephant Bar and a little shopping near the River Park area in town.  Friday night we attended the Big Fresno Fair and saw the band Chevelle in concert... well most of the concert anyway, we stayed for the songs we knew, then wandered through the fair exhibits for the rest of the evening. Saturday we had a little football party at his apartment to watch the Fresno State game, but if I'm going to be honest here, and why wouldn't I be, my allergies were so bad that day that I ended up going to bed at half time and didn't wake up until many hours later when the guys woke me up to go to dinner... oopsies. After dinner it was time to head to Clovis for dancing at the Old Town Saloon. It was an experience I won't soon forget. The dance floor was packed all night and the DJ was amazing, I don't think he played a bad song all night, and the boy was a dancing machine, I'm not sure he left the dance floor for more than a few minutes at a time all night... eventually it was closing time and we decided to take the party back to his place... and it lasted until after we went to sleep sometime around 5am.  Needless to say Sunday was a day for sleeping in and relaxing, and then I made my way back home that evening.

Girls' Nights: Our weekly girls' nights have continued throughout the fall and we've been watching The Walking Dead, we're all caught up to the current season that's airing on AMC right now, so instead of watching on the TV we all snuggle around the laptop and stream it from the internet. I have to say I'm really thankful that I've gotten to know these girls this year, we've had a lot of good times and I know that I've found some friends for life.

The Boy Comes to Town: The weekend after I went to Fresno to visit him, he came home to get some work done on his truck and to visit me. There weren't as many epic adventures this time around, but as long as we're spending time together that's what is really important.  Friday night we went to a local wine tasting room for a couple glasses with his mom and friends, Saturday night we went to dinner with my mom, then met some friends for drinks at a bar in the Village of Arroyo Grande, then capped off the night in the hot tubs at Sycamore Mineral Springs.  It was such a relaxing night that I almost fell asleep in the tub, and no I was drinking and passing out, I was just that relaxed and tired. Sunday was all about football and family day, we went to his dad's house for the morning games, then I left to go to my parents for laundry and Sunday dinner, then he came back to my house for one last visit before he had to go back to school in Fresno.



Carving Pumpkins
SoCal Halloween: This year the weekend before the holiday I deviated from my usual Halloween extravaganza in San Luis Obispo to go down to Southern California and try it out Hollywood style.  The original plan was to get all dolled up (pun intended, I was a ventrilaquest dummy) and go to Bootsy Bellows, David Arquette's nightclub in West Hollywood.  We had been in touch with the club for the past couple weeks trying to see how to get reservations and if we needed them.  According to whoever answered the phones and emails, they weren't necessary, all we had to do was show up and we'd be in.  That was the same story 90 minutes before we got to the club. Somehow in that hour and a half everything we had been told had been thrown out the window and they were now a "reservations only"venue. Odd. I even was holding a tweet from the man himself (who was out of town) saying that he hoped I had a great time and that he didn't want me to have any trouble at the door. After about 45 minutes of standing in line the doorman told us we were wasting our time because we weren't getting in and we should probably find something else to do. Awesome. Never fear though, I had also been in touch with my cousin who lives nearby most of the evening and he came up with an even better plan. We met up at his place for a glass of wine then he took us to a super cool spot called Harvard and Stone in Thai Town. The music was fantastic, it was all old tunes that everyone could sing along and dance the night away.  It was such a better experience than we would have had in the Hollywood club.  I won't be surprised if Bootsy doesn't last much longer to tell the truth, we got there shortly after they opened and there was a steady stream of disappointed faces coming out of the club all night. If you get a chance, blow off the Sunset scene and make your way to Harvard and Stone, the atmosphere is friendly and the music will keep you on your feet all night.


Halloween Day: Since Halloween was on a weekday this year I couldn't go far from home to do anything that night... however, it worked out because we planned our Girls' Night that week to dress in costume and hand out candy to trick or treaters. Worked out perfectly... now if only there were more kids to give out treats to... we saw a lot of teenagers that did the bare minimum for costumes "hi I'm a guido from the Jersey Shore" said the kid in basketball shorts and a t-shirt "Duh, I'm a witch" said the girl in jeans, a sweatshirt, and a pointy hat. So I was stingy with their treats... only fair right?

Random: This month (on the 26th) marked the 3 year anniversary of getting hired at my place of employment. I've had some good times and bad times, but for the most part I really like my job and who I work for.  It was such a welcome relief to work for people that I can actually respect and learn from.
Mid-month I had lunch with a couple of my girlfriends who I hadn't seen in months, we went to the Natural Cafe and caught up on each others lives. I think the main thing we got out of it was that we really need more than my 1 hour lunch break to hang out.  They're both excellent photographers and bakers and I think we can all learn a lot from each other, as well as have a lot of laughs.  Check out their work Forever Moore Photography and Behind.The.Foto
I think I may have made my last Walmart trip, at the very least the Walmart in Santa Maria. I had gone there to buy some windshield wipers for my car as the weather is starting to change a little (very little, it was in the mid 90s today on the Coast). Anyway the store was crowded and filthy... How filthy you might ask? Let me break it down for you... I slipped in a pile of puke and there was no one around to clean it up... and since the smell had dissipated before I stepped in it, chances are it had been there for awhile.  After I slipped I noticed that the funky smell that wafted throughout the ENTIRE store was indeed vomit. Coincidentally there was a display of Lysol disinfectant spray near check out so I sprayed down my shoes before I left.  I even had my prescriptions changed to the local Target so that there really isn't any reason for me to go back. I'd rather spend a little more money somewhere else and not have to worry about the plague.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween Friends

 
 
Happy Halloween Friends, my monthly wrap up should be up sometime this weekend. Hope you have an awesome night and I can't wait to hear about your epic adventures and see pictures of all the shenanigans.  Don't worry, I'll recap mine, I'm just not through with the celebrations yet and I don't want to leave anything out.
 
To all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast, my heart and thoughts go out to you.  I can't seem to find the words to express my feelings, they all come out wrong, so just know that I'm thinking about you and hoping for the best even in this terrible situation. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Your Choice: Victim or Survivor.

 
I keep seeing posts about how October is Anti-Bullying Month.  I want to say that while I think bullying is wrong and is something that we should teach people to avoid; we also need to teach people how to respond to it when faced with someone who is a bully.  I don’t want to be accused of blaming the victim, but while you cannot control how someone treats you, you CAN control your reaction to it.  Yes, being picked on hurts and can cause long term emotional damage, but it doesn’t have to define you.  You can choose to be a victim just as much as you can choose to be a survivor.
 
Picking on someone that you see as a weakling, a threat, or even something as basic as different from what you consider normal is wrong.  However, it’s just as wrong to commit or attempt suicide because someone is being mean to you.  If someone is picking on your via social networks you have the ability to delete/block/report them, if EVERYONE is trashing your profile, you have the ability to disable your account.
 
I remember in Girl’s PE my freshman year in HS we had to do a section on self defense…against a physical attacker, maybe schools should have a seminar/class regarding self defense against verbal attacks too.  Words hurt; they can leave long term damage that takes longer to heal than broken bones and bruised limbs.  Honestly, I still haven't forgiven the scum bag who started nasty rumors about me in high school, however, I know that the words that he spread about me were completely false and I didn't allow him to destroy me, or even know how much it hurt when I found out that people actually believed him over me.  I chose to be stronger than his words. I think we need to teach people that they can choose to be a survivor instead of just a victim. 
 
Instead of encouraging “why me????” behavior, we should teach them, “yes, it happened, it was awful, this is how I’m going to get better.”  It is really hard to take the initiative to heal, just sitting around and waiting it out without making the efforts just makes it that much harder.  Deal with your pain, face it head on, and fight the fight every day even when it’s exhausting. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S EXHAUSTING.  One day you’ll look back and be grateful that you had the perseverance to pull through.  I think being picked on, while terrible and gut wrenching in the moment, teaches you empathy for the future.  You can put yourself in the position of someone less fortunate and understand on some level what they might be going through.
 
The world is a scary place, but you don’t always have to be afraid.  Be brave, fight back, stand up for yourself.  You don’t have to turn into a bully yourself, but you don’t have to be a doormat either.

Friday, October 19, 2012

You Know What Chaps My Hide

I know a lot of this has already been said (not necessarily here by me, but it has been circulating the Internet for months now... maybe longer), but with the encouragement of The Elitist I decided to let the fire breathing monster out of her cage again.

Its a fairly short rant today, the first a minor annoyance and then it escalates from there.

October is Awareness Month: For seemingly EVERYTHING. Anti-bullying month, Breast Cancer Awareness (more on this later), Lost Children, etc. It seems like every time I log into one of the various social networks I'm a member of I'm being told that in honor of October's ________ Awareness Month I need to take a moment of silence for {insert cause here}. There are 12 months out of the year people, spread your shit out. Okay, sorry, that was harsh and mean for any one of the millions of people who have been affected by whatever cause they're supporting, and I'm not saying your cause isn't worthwhile... it probably is, but why is October so special?

Breast Cancer and it's Pretty Pink Ribbons: First of all before you jump on my case for being a heartless jerk, let me say this FUCK CANCER. It's scary, deadly, and as of yet we don't have a solid cure... yes there are treatments that might force it into remission, but it's like a time bomb ready to go off at any time. Breast cancer (and all other forms) is serious business and I feel like "pinkifying" the world for one month out of the year makes light of it. T-shirts that say "Save the Boobies/Ta-Ta's/Second Base" across the chest is not only sexualizing something that is clearly NOT SEXY but it's reducing women to one piece of their anatomy. Women are more than their breasts. I've never seen a pair of men's sweat pants that say "Cure Colon Cancer" or "Protect the Prostate" across the ass, so why are we turning a very serious medical issue into something campy at best.  Yes, sex sells and gets people's attention, and sure it will bring dollars in... but just because you can get attention that way doesn't make it the right way. 

Professional sports teams, firefighters, and other companies spend thousands of dollars purchasing pink uniforms for their employees, who does this help?  I know they have the right to spend their money on whatever they want, and it's not up to me to decide what their budget gets allocated toward, BUT I think it would help a lot more people if they would donate whatever funds they use to purchase uniforms that they only wear for one month out of the year to cancer research. To something that will actually help cure cancer instead of just giving it attention. Let's fund research instead of rallies. We're aware, now let's do something about it. 

Why is Feminist Such a Dirty Word?: Is it because it conjures up an image of an angry woman in a pant suit? Or a hairy-legged, man-hating, sandalwood smelling, anti-deodorant-wearing, bra-burning hippie woman? Is that why strong women want to distance themselves from that word?

According to Dictionary.com a feminist is someone who advocates social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

Doesn't seem like such a bad thing does it? There's no mention of hating men, wanting more rights or privileges than men, no requirements for setting your bra on fire or tossing out your razors ladies. 

Do you want equal rights? Do you want equal pay for equal work? Do you want to be treated the same as your male counterparts? Do you want to be able to take your car to the mechanic and not get ripped off because you have a vagina? Do you want your daughter to grow up in a world where she has the same educational and career opportunities as your sons? Do you think your sister should be able to walk to her apartment at night after her last class without getting raped on her college campus? Do you think that your best friend should be able to have a cocktail at a bar or party without the fear of getting drugged? Do you want your major medical decisions to be between you and your doctor without political interference? Do you think that its ridiculous that single mothers are currently being blamed for society's problems by a certain political figure? Congratulations, here's your membership card to Club Feminist. Men are welcome here too.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Life Lessons Shouldn't Come from Hollywood.




I just read an article, not sure which news source because there were too many and I opened a few articles, saying that it was bad for America if Rihanna and Chris Brown get back together. Ummm no. It's NOT bad for America, its bad for Rihanna.

They went on to say that whether she likes it or not she's a role model and is setting a bad precedent for young girls/women that its okay to forgive/forget/go back to your abuser. Maybe parents/teachers/friends/counselors/other family members of young girls/women should use this opportunity to talk to them about why this behavior is dangerous and sadly normal.

It's not a celebrity's job to raise your children, and while it might take a village, the largest life lessons are taught in your own hut. Teach your daughters to be strong, independent, and that they don't need no stinking man who thinks its okay to knock them around.

Teach your SONS and DAUGHTERS that a REAL MAN would never raise his hand in anger towards a woman. That a REAL MAN handles his anger and frustration without resorting to violence. Ladies, that isn't a lesson just for the men either, violence isn't the answer. Abuse is abuse regardless of which gender is the assailant. Teach your sons that no means no NO MATTER WHAT. Teach your children that they are responsible for their actions and reactions. They are not responsible for their abuser's behavior, and while they might eventually get to a place where they can forgive someone for hurting them, they should never forget.

Don't expect Rihanna to teach that lesson to your children, it's not a lesson she's learned yet.

Spectacular Spectacular: My September

So its time to wrap up last month, and what a fabulous month it was. September was full of adventures, laughter, spending time with friends and family.  It wasn't all fun and games, it was also a time to say goodbye to a loved one.

Are you ready to get this party started? I am.

  • Boyfriend Adventures: Yes, I said it, BOYFRIEND adventures, we're all facebook official now so I can use the title.
    • Labor Day Weekend when he came home from school for the long weekend. It began with a Friday night Cook Your Own at the local Elks Lodge for a friend of his family's birthday party... PS I can cook fish on the BBQ like nobody's business.
    • Boats & Hoes!
      • Saturday we took a day trip with the intentions of going to Pfeiffer State Beach in Big Sur, but missed the turn and ended up at a BEAUTIFUL beach in Carmel that we basically had to ourselves, we maybe shared it with 20 other people, tops. After spending a few hours picnicking, watching new scuba divers venture out into the water, and yelling at seagulls (more him than me, can you believe it? I found someone more irritated by those winged rats than myself.) we decided to drive into Monterrey to see Fisherman's Wharf. We walked around the harbor, had fish and chips on the wharf, window shopped in all the tourist traps, walked through a Greek Festival, grabbed Starbucks for the drive home and made our way back to Santa Barbara County.
      • Sunday we went wine tasting with his mom and her BF in Tepusquet Canyon, went dancing at Harry's Nightclub and Beach Bar in Pismo Beach, hung out at Mr. Rick's in Avila Beach (word of advice, if your boy wants to give you a piggy back ride, make sure you've got hops, because if you're like me and don't you'll both end up falling down and rolling around the parking lot at the beach), and finished the night with nachos at my aunt's house.
      • Monday I introduced him to my parents. Big step right? I haven't introduced anyone I've dated since college to my mom. We met up for lunch at a local BBQ restaurant everything went smoothly and it was a lot less nerve racking as I had anticipated. Maybe I haven't given my parents enough credit over the years, but seriously when a shot gun gets brought out when you're sixteen to intimidate the guy who wants to ask you out, you learn to be cautious.
    • Weekend in Fresno:
      • That Good Old College Experience: When I was in college I was never really part of the "scene" I lived a half an hour away from the campus and wasn't close enough to the people who partied to trust them enough to play all the games that university students partake in. I never really felt left out or like I missed anything, but I have been assured that I have (LOL). So like any good boyfriend, mine has promised to show me the full experience of reliving my college years, without midterms, finals, or essays (at least on my part, so basically all the fun and none of the work). I learned how to play "King's Cup" (its so NOT my game, I lost both times we played) and learned that I excel at Beer Pong (or maybe he was just being encouraging?). Sunday morning we got up early(ish, okay not really) and went to go watch the COWBOYS! game at BC's... I guess all the festivities of the weekend were too much for me though, because I may have accidentally fallen asleep for a minute in the bar (oopsies! and I was only drinking water).
      • Winchester Mystery House and Downtown San Jose: I've wanted to go to this house since I first saw the billboard posters when I was in high school, but never really had an opportunity. When BF found out that I haven't been there he decided that San Jose was the next stop on our journey and I'm so glad he did. The whole experience was fantastic. I do have to say the only disappointment was that the tours are no longer guided by actual docents, you are assigned a headset and a remote and have to listen to the tour. I think it would have been a much more personal experience had we had someone leading us through the house, especially considering the price of admittance. My favorite part of the visit to the house was the wine tasting on the patio, it was such a pretty day and was so relaxing. I was nice just to have a glass of wine (our bartender had a heavy hand, with 4 tastings I practically had two full glasses) and just visit with each other.  Don't get me wrong the house was beautiful, interesting, and not at all scary (I was kind of hoping it would be creepy and haunted). After our tour concluded we met up with my aunt who wasin the area visiting my cousin, and cousin's boyfriend who had just moved into their first apartment together. We spend a few hours with them, had dinner at the Gordan Biersch Brewery in Downtown SJ (their appetizers, mojitos, and lobster bisque soup are amazing, you need to go try them out), then finished the San Jose experience at the Cinebar, a cute little dive bar a few doors down from the brewery.
      • Fresno State University: I received a tour of the campus, its beautiful, hung out in the library for a few minutes, and visited the cadaver lab... no dead bodies for me thank you, but I did go inside the lab where the bodies are housed, that counts for something right?
  • Zombie Nights: My whole September calendar wasn't filled with boyfriend adventures, I also have maintained our weekly Girls' Night In, although now we call it "Zombie Night" since we've been watching The Walking Dead for the past few weeks. It is getting us in the Halloween spirit (one of my FAVORITE holidays), and the new season starts on October 14th so we've got to get caught up. Sometimes we go to out to dinner, sometimes Karla or her roommate cook, sometimes we order in, what matters is that we're together and having a great time. We all snuggle on the couch together, turn off all the lights, and prepare to be scared by all the brain eating gore. 
  • Aunt's Funeral: This September we said goodbye to my great-aunt. She really was a great person, she raised me and other family members, she was always there with a hug and a story to tell. The funeral itself wasn't as traumatizing as many can be, we celebrated her life and wished her well. She is finally with all the loved ones that had already left us, and I know she'll continue to take care of us even though her body is gone.

We'll miss you Auntie
 
There you have it, that was September in a nutshell, can't wait to see what October brings. Keep smiling friends, its the moments that matter.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

Lo's Firebreathing Anger Monster

I should preface this with the following is a response I wanted to post on a facebook status one of my "friends" posted on her page implying the administrator for the "Sluts for Obama” facebook page (who has been ill and suffering from migraines) is getting what she deserves and should "check her life." (Friends is in quotes, because she was a friend on facebook, I have since deleted her, and she was only a "friend" because of a long family history, not because we were close or I consider her to be part of my inner circle)

 Now I didn't post it to her page directly because 1. It’s not going to change anything, except possibly my "friend" count (and I'm not a friend-whore, numbers change daily) 2. It will just stir up mad drama if I post it on my page (and I really don't need that kind of attention) 3. while I'm not fond of religion myself, I think it would be rude to question a "firm believer's" faith in such a public forum, she's allowed to believe what she wants as much as I am allowed to believe what I want. Thank you Constitution. 4. I don't want anyone to think this post/response is a commentary on all Christians or the Christian faith in general, I'm just calling out the people who like to throw stones at their glass houses. As the wise Phoebe Buffet once said "Hello Pot, I'm Kettle, you're black"

Let the white hot angry rage flow. I was so unbelieveably pissed off when I was typing this that my hands were shaking and I wanted to scream. I've been needing to write for awhile now, who knew it would take pissing me off to my core to make the words flow.

***RESPONSE BELOW***

Maybe so-called Christians should "check their lives" before doling out judgment that isn't theirs to give.

My first suggestion is to read the "ABOUT" section of a page before you start spewing hate about something you clearly do not understand. Who know's you may actually learn something, like how the page adminstrator isn't a woman? The page is to inspire women (and other minorities) to take control of their lives and to empower us to not take crap from people who would like to take our rights away or diminish us because they don't feel we are equal to our male counterparts. Yes there are political cartoons about the upcoming election that don't paint that pretty of a picture of Gov. Romney, but show me any Pro-Romney page that doesn't have similar posts about President Obama. Does "liking" this page make me a raging liberal? Not at all, but mess with my rights, mess with my health, and you can bet your life I'm going to fight like a bitch over her bone.

The "sluts" part is taking back that ugly term that Rush Limbaugh plastered all over Ms. Sandra Fluke because she has the audacity to take birth control pills. I'm sorry if taking responsibility for your reproductive life makes you a slut paint me with a scarlet letter and feel free to unfriend/block me. You know Rush, the guy who was stopped at customs for have massive amounts of erectile dysfunction medication that he was trying to smuggle into the states? This is the same guy who has been married and divorced multiple times... and who blames strong women for his ever shrinking penis. Yeah, that's the guy who we should all be listening to for moral decisions.

I'm not one of those people who hide behind religion and try to call myself a righteous person, because I follow some parts of a book that was written by men for men. It wasn't emailed down from Heaven by the Big Man in the Sky it was written by people who no doubt filled it with their own opinions and agenda.

That being said I don't want to upset the people who are Christians and are actual decent people. People who help the needy, people who realize that ONLY God has the authority to judge, honest people who love their families and open their arms to strangers. There are people who would never imply that someone deserves to be sick because they have a different political affiliation. There are people who live their faith without ringing hypocrisy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How Do You Say Goodbye?

Last week I had to say goodbye to a loved one. Sunday night (September 16th) I received a phone call letting me know that my great aunt had passed away, and while I was shocked, it was hardly shocking news. My aunt, Josephine, had suffered from dementia for the past three and a half years, and for as long as I can remember her life had been peppered with various health ailments. She had been mourning the loss of her husband for the past ten years and had been looking forward to joining him.

She was a woman who devoted her life to her family. She raised my father and his sister, my aunt Cindy, so that my grandmother could work. She took care of me and my cousins so that our mothers could work as well. She loved her pets (dogs, cats, birds, and whatever strays wandered into the yard), she was a great cook, collected angels, and was hooked on her soap operas.

So how do you say goodbye to someone who played such a major role in your life? I probably spent 90% of my childhood at her house, she was there the day I was born, she was there when I graduated from high school and college, and every important event in my life. She held my hand when I was sick or scared, and she shared my joy on some of my happiest days.

So how do you say goodbye? Maybe you don't. Maybe you just celebrate the life they lived and know that they're finally where they want to be. You are relieved that they are no longer in pain. You realize that you will miss them and that holidays won't be the same without them, but at the same time they're never really completely gone as long as you hold them in your heart. They're never gone as long as when you think of them it brings a smile to your face. It's never goodbye, it's always thank you for loving me and I'll see you on the other side.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where were you?

Eleven years ago today I was still living at home and getting ready to start California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) in a week. I wasn't working at the time and I was supposed to stay home to supervise the crew reflooring my parents' house.

I remember my mom bursting into my room way before I was planning on waking up and being irritated, until she told me that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC. I was still half asleep and didn't understand what she was telling me, how could a plane fly into a building like that by accident?

Except it wasn't an accident.

And then another hit the second tower, and a 3rd hit the pentagon and a 4th crashed into some field after the passengers revolted. I remember being transfixed by CNN, I couldn't tear myself away from the screen. How could this happen? Here? Will we ever be safe again?

Eleven years later I still get chills when I think of that day, I still get teary eyed when I hear the Star Spangled Banner, and I am so proud to be an American. I might disagree with some of our policies, but I am glad I live in a country where I have the right to vote to change the things I don't agree with.

The people who tried to bring us down as a nation eleven years ago failed. That event did not tear us apart, it brought us closer together as many tragedies will do. I wish we could find that spirit of cooperation and cohesiveness again without having to face a similar crisis.

Thank you to all the first responders who risked everything to save those trapped in the towers. To the ones who didn't make it out, you are missed and will never be forgotten. To those who lost loved ones, your grief is shared by an entire nation.

To those who continue to serve and protect, you are the real heroes and your country is proud.

Where were you eleven years ago? How did you respond?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

On Political Ground... A Quick Opinion Piece

Its an election year folks, and that means things are about to get ugly. Whether you live in a red or blue state or lean to the left or right, everyone seems to have an opinion of who is the better leader of our country. My focus here isn't to tell you who to vote for, your political affliations aren't my business, much like your religion or your sex life. What I am going to talk about, and maybe get a real conversation started, is about how American (and maybe the world, my scope of experience is pretty limited) Politics is completely disgusting and we need to change our process if we're ever going to make it a better country and do our part to better the world.

In my opinion a politician should put the people of his (I'm just going to use the pronoun "his" for the sake of keeping things to the point, I fully support women in politics) country before special interest groups. He should protect the Constitution above any religions, even his own. Freedom of Religion also gives his constituents a Freedom FROM Religion that should be protected just as vigoriously. When science makes break throughs that could save the lives of millions it shouldn't be discouraged because The Church finds it "icky" and "against God's plan." People say that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and they look at our Pledge of Allegiance as an example, however a quick glance at wikipedia will tell you that the section that states that we are one nation "under God" wasn't even added until 1954, when the Pledge was originally written in the 1892 and many of our founding father's didn't even believe in organized religion. George Washington wasn't a Christian by today's standards... does that mean he was a bad president?

Freedom of Speech comes at a cost. This means sometimes you have to hear things that you don't like or may not fit your "One Million Moms" mold, but if you can speak out, so can your opposition. Assholes like the West Borough Baptist Church have just as much of a right to protest on public grounds as the "Occupy Wall Street," and "Pro-Life/Choice" movements. Are any of their opinions morally, logically, ethically correct? It's your opinion against mine. It doesn't really matter, as long as they are behaving in a non-violent manner they have the right to make their voices heard. If we silence one of them, we have to silence them all.

I feel like politicians should stick to the issues at hand (health care, welfare, unemployment, national debt, on going wars in the Middle East, etc.) and tell us what their plan is to fix it, instead of telling me why their opposition is wrong. Tell me why you are the best man for the job and not why the other guy is a loser. Show me your intelligence without stooping to name calling. Prove to me that you're honest without telling me that everyone else is a lying crook. I want to be inspired, I want to pick the best possible candidate, not the lesser of two evils.



Thursday, August 30, 2012

August Rush

Wow, its hard to believe that the summer is almost over. I realize that the calendar states that we have until September 22nd, but as I'm seeing everyone's "Back to School" photos showing up in my facebook news feed and with the three day holiday (Labor Day for my non-US readers) coming up this weekend it feels like its reached it's unofficial end. We had a great affair this summer, you'll be in my heart and on my mind, I've always been a summer girl and this year has been no exception. Now its time for the monthly wrap up.

Sawdust Festival
  • Vacation Home: At the beginning of the month I made a weekend trip to Orange County to visit The Elitist and her daughter. July had ended with a lot of craziness and I needed some downtime, there was no partying that would have been inappropriate for a 2 year old, but lots of laughs, shark hot chocolate, pool time, tater tots (sonic is kind of bad ass, I'd never eaten there before), Laguna Beach Volleyball (duh), brunch with the girls, and my first visit to the Sawdust Festival.
  • Summer Lovin': Had me a blast. So I've been seeing someone all summer and we had some pretty awesome dates from movie nights at home, going to the movies, farmer's markets, dinner with friends, Cook Your Own Night at the Elks Lodge, and getting kicked out of the pool area (we were just there too late, calm down, we weren't burning the place down). Obviously there were more details, but lets just leave it at we really enjoy each other's company, and I hope to continue to do so in the future.
Check out that "fringe"
  • New Hair: The Fabulous Ms. Amy Maggipinto at the Arani Salon and Day Spa took my hair journey to new levels of greatness this month. She is a hair wizard of the best kind, I've never walked away from her chair disappointed. Book now! Her calendar fills up fast, I promise you won't regret it.
  • Legally Blonde: My mom and I like to go see live theatre whenever we can, and we are lucky enough to live in a community that has amazing productions throughout the year. This year we saw Legally Blonde: The Musical at an outdoor theatre in Solvang, CA.  The show was so great, I had just watched the movie as a refresher course a couple of nights before, and I am pleased to say they were able to stick to the heart of the film that I've loved for so long.

Mr. and Mrs.
     

  • The Wedding Event of the Summer: Okay, so it wasn't technically a wedding, as my friends had eloped a couple months ago, but it was their wedding reception. It was casual, beautiful, and perfect. The only thing I would have changed was I would haven included a dance floor. It was great to see one of my really good friends find his soul mate and see the obvious affection between him and his wife. All the guests were relaxed and had a great time, as far as I could tell there was no drama or stress that can usually accompany a fancy wedding affair. This convinced me that THIS IS HOW A WEDDING SHOULD BE, it was a fun party, but it was about the marriage and not a big splashy uber expensive day filled with awkwardness, uncomfortable shoes, and speeches that go on forever. They had a BBQ at her family's property in the hills of the Central Coast, everyone wore cowboy boots and jeans, kids could run wild and play in the dirt, and it really made me think that it could be my ideal wedding. Give me blue jeans and cowboy boots and I'm a happy girl.
  • You're Crashing But You're no Wave: So tragedy befell this blogger early August. The fan went out on my computer and I sent it in to get it fixed up by a friend of mine who works for Onsite Computers and Design, the repair didn't go quite as planned, but they stood by their service and made it good. They even helped me purchase a new computer since they were unable to fix the one I had sent it AND transferred all my information from the hard drive of the dead computer to the new one. Needless to say they've earned a customer for life (even though I hope I don't have a need for computer support, its nice to know who to call when disaster strikes). I guess it wasn't much of a tragedy though, I'm now the proud owner of a brand new sparkly black HP G7 laptop and its wonderful. Sometimes bad beginnings have great endings.

Wanna be Impulsive, Reckless
  • Wilson Phillips at the Chumash: I totes saw them in concert at the Chumash Resort in Santa Ynez, no big deal. No really, it wasn't that big of a deal. It was delightfully terrible to say the least. The show was so lacking in professionalism that I couldn't help but be enchanted and feel like I was hanging out with some old girlfriends, incredibly bitchy-unfiltered girlfriends (just the way I like them. If you follow me on twitter ( @SL8Rgirl ) you'd see that I live tweeted most of the show. I think the highlight of the show was when Carnie invited me and my buddy (and all the other women in the audience) to come dance on the stage with her while they performed ABBA's Dancing Queen.

  • Blast from the Past: This month I got had dinner with a friend from high school that I don't think I've seen in person in 15 years. I got to meet her 3 kids and husband  at the Olive Garden (because when you're here you're family). The kids were a little stand offish at first, which is completely understanding, I'm still a stranger to them, but by the end of dinner I had won over their youngest and got a big hug when we said goodbye. Its crazy how so much time can go by, but when you see each other you know you're still friends. I don't think I can credit it all to Facebook, although I'm sure it has played a big role in us being able to maintain our friendship, I just think when people really click it doesn't matter how much time goes by the friendship won't ever die, it just might take a nap for awhile. So just know that if you were ever someone who was important to me, and it was just time and geography that seperated us, chances are you always will be.
  • Vasodilated
  • Hot Tub Shenanigans: Okay so I like the word shenanigans more than I like participating in them, but my bestie and I had a hot tub girlie date last weekend. We ate pizza (prior to the dip) drank champagne, ate strawberries, worked on our tans, painted our nails (as we were drying off), shared stories, and caught up on each other's lives. All while watching the (unremarkable) window guy clean the windows at my parents' house. We're jerks like that. What?! I offered him a soda. Just a warning, there is a reason why all public hot tubs/Jacuzzis tell you not to drink alcoholic beverages while soaking. Your blood vessels dilate and the boozy booze goes straight to your head before you can even finish your glass. Not cool if you're in public, not so much a problem when you're hanging out with the dogs, geese, and friends at home.
Well friends, I hope you enjoyed your summer as much as I enjoyed mine. See ya in the fall.