Monday, July 29, 2013

Blogaversary

Hey friends and faithful readers... it's that time of year again, can you believe this blogging journey is about two years old now? Okay, for me is seems longer, I almost posted that it has been a four year long journey... and not because it feels like it's been dragging on, but because it has become so much a part of what I do. I think the past couple years have marked the most consistent journaling I have ever done in my whole life... and while I may not post every event or thought that crosses my path, I do get a lot of it out.

Over the past year I've started chronicling my dreams, posting album reviews, recipes, and working on monthly updates about what has been going on in my life along with other posts about current events. I feel like I've given deeper insights into who I am now, and maybe a map of who I'm becoming as a woman in her early 30s who is still trying to find her place in the world.

In the past two years I've had close to 6,000 hits on my blog, and while that may be far from viral, it's still a voice in the blogosphere, people...strangers care about my thoughts and opinions and while that can be intimidating, it's also gratifying.

I suppose now is the time for my yearly wish list or resolutions to carry me into 32.

Over the past year and a half I've maintained a monthly "wrap up" journal style post, I'm not sure I want to continue that beyond this month. I do enjoy looking back at all the fun I've had, however it's beginning to feel forced and I can see that my writing style is suffering. I want to write about things that matter (not that having fun with friends/family doesn't matter) instead of just spewing a laundry list of diary entries that only my closest friends care about. I haven't ruled it out, I'm just thinking about making some changes.

I want to really learn how to use my camera and be a better amateur photographer (I hesitate to use that title, because there are real talents out here and I just want to better my hobby). I want to be creative and make beautiful things and I don't want to be limited because I only have basic knowledge.

I want to fall back in love with life, right now I feel like I'm treading water and that I need to create some new adventures and experiences before I drown. I'm not hating anything right now, I wouldn't even really say that I'm depressed, I'm just bored and apathetic, and that really needs to change.

Ideally I'd like to lesson my social network addiction, I feel like it takes up too much of my life, and for what? What do I have to show for the hours upon hours that I spend playing on facebook or twitter? I don't my presence to vanish, but I think it will be better if I'm not so connected all the time. So far I feel like I've done a decent job of not being logged into twitter or Facebook while I'm at work and my productivity levels have increased exponentially. It's amazing how much time is wasted on things that are really not that important (not that keeping up with friends and family is unimportant, but when I'm at work, I really should be focused on what I'm being paid to do, like a grown up would do).


Monday, July 8, 2013

Dream State Update: 2

These days my dreams have been fleeting. I don't remember much with I wake up... and sleeping during "normal" hours has been tough. It seems like when I turn off the lights and settle in for the night my brain kicks into high gear and starts thinking about all the things I don't really want to think about. Like is that knocking noise someone at my door, or is it my fridge (it's always the refrigerator), what are those noises outside? Is someone breaking in or are the alley cats playing an intense game of tag (it's always the cats). For the first time in my adult life I'm staying up late, not because I'm watching a great movie or I'm drawn in to an amazing book, but because turning off the lights has started filling me with anxiety.

I've lived alone for close to 3 years now, I enjoy my privacy and my personal space, and yet now it's becoming slightly claustrophobic, the walls are closing in on me.

Saturday night I was up until 2:30-3:00 am cleaning house like I had company coming over.... because the thought of calling it a night caused my blood to run cold.

What is happening in my dreams at night that I don't want to face them?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Jumping for June

House sitting: Had the oddest house sitting gig of my life this month... no strange pets to feed/take care of, no delicate plants to water, no teenagers/college students to babysit... pretty much all I had to do was spend one night, bring in the mail and newspaper, and call it a day AND I got to watch regular cable tv (I chose to watch the NBA Finals and cheer on my Spurs! Who did not win, but played well. I consider it a complete score... and I got paid really well. BEST OF ALL WORLDS.
Fake Birthday Party: In order to throw my grandmother off the scent of her big surprise 80th birthday party this month, the local members of the family took her out to dinner at The Swiss, a steak house in Santa Maria...and it worked, because the look on her face when she walked into her surprise party was truly priceless.


surprise!!!!
Surprise Birthday Party: For the surprise party family came in from all over California to celebrate the day with my grandmother, we had dinner at a local Chinese Restaurant, and it was great to visit with family that I haven't seen in a long time, there were lots of laughs and tons of food to share.
Twinsies!
More Birthday Parties: The last weekend in June was filled with birthday parties for little ones. One of my best friends (that I've known since 7th grade) had a party for her two year old twins, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. There weren't any major toddler meltdowns. The weather was semi-cooperative (was a little hotter than I would have liked, but no rain, so that's nice), and it seemed like everyone enjoyed themselves. All in all, a successful party. The following day I went to a birthday party for a 5 year old that used to live with one of my really good friends (he's her former roommate's son) that made a request that I attend his party. There was pizza and face painting (although I didn't stick around long enough to get mine done) and lots of little ones running around. I think the highlight of the day for me was watching the kids play with light sabers made out of pool noodles. I wish I had taken a picture of them because it was so creative, and the kids could smack each other around with them without getting hurt.
Long Lost Friends: I am REALLY regretting that I didn't take pictures when I got to visit with one of my really good friends from college this weekend. I haven't seen her in years and years, and we're only really able to keep up with each other via facebook... and I had my phone with me the whole time, no excuses! But we had a great visit at Avila beach, saw some dolphins and seals frolicking in the ocean, and splashed around in the surf with her daughter. I'm hoping that I'll get to see her again sometime next year when I travel to the east coast for a friend's wedding, even if we just get to grab coffee (although I think where I'll be and where she lives is at least a 4 hour drive if not longer, so we'll just have to play it by ear).
Movie Nights: This month I went to the movies much more frequently than I normally would, I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness, This is the End, and Monsters University.  I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed all of them, even though there were many moments where just myself and the group of people I had seen the movie with were the only ones laughing. For Star Trek and This is the End, I can blame it on the adult beverages, for Monsters University? It was mostly because so many parts of the movie struck so close to home and I was there with a good chunk of my family. This is the End was a movie I didn't really have high hopes (no pun intended... I don't do that) for but it pleasantly surprised me and even scared me in a couple spots... who would have thought an apocalypse movie with that particular cast could have some scenes that would make a grown woman scream... then snort with laughter a mere seconds later. Good job guys.  Star Trek had a lot more emotion than I would have expected from an action movie, there may or may have not been a moment when I wanted to yell at the screen "For all that is good in the world, Kirk stop crying already, I'm uncomfortable with your man tears!"... again it really could have been the wine... and I'm hoping it was a whisper and not a whisper shout.  Monsters was everything a Pixar movie can be, it had enough humor for the adults to get a kick out of it... maybe more than enough because there were moments when my cousin (he's 11) would tap me on the arm and say "Lauren, you KNOW only our family is laughing at this... right?" Which would usually make me laugh harder... because it's not my fault the rest of the theater doesn't get the jokes.
Hazard Canyon With Mom: On Saturday the 15th my mom and I decided we would go for a hike/walk in the Montana de Oro State park, specifically at Hazard Canyon, neither one of us had been there in years (for me it was pre-driver's license, British Knights wearing days) and I wanted to give my camera a good workout. The weather was the right temperature, but it was a fairly overcast day. The ocean and coastline were gorgeous and just what I remembered. You can see some of my favorite photos here. 
Glasses: Woot! Finally got in to the eye doctor and found out that prescription I've had for years is not correct for my vision and that I need new glasses...which is good, because the glasses I've had went MIA about a month ago, and will most likely only reappear when I'm wearing my new frames. They're so stinking cute I can't stand it, and while I won't receive them before the end of the month, they've been sized and ordered and I think can be included in this post.
We're half way through the year folks. Next month is birthday month and I can't wait to share the shenanigans that usually surround July. Stay tuned.