Monday, January 27, 2014

The fish doctor is in

It’s the start of a new week, and unlike all my other weeks, this one will start off with a little bit more excitement. Tomorrow I get to leave for a nice long trip to Japan. Yes, I’m going to Japan again. This will make my third time going, and maybe, just maybe I’ll see more than I have the previous two trips.

I think once upon a time I was adventurous; where I wanted to go here and there and see as much as humanly possible in the short time I’d be visiting somewhere. But now, all I can think about is staying in. How boring, right? I remember when in Rome…now I get why people say that… we would wake up, eat, and rush out the door to see everything we could and not return until 9, sometimes 10pm at night, completely exhausted.

Coincidentally I got really sick after the 3 days there and spent almost the entire rest of the trip in the hotel room or on a couch. Any way, my point is I enjoy being in a relaxing environment more than going train hopping all over tarnation for days on end.

If I’m being honest and wanting to make excuses, my feet can’t take all the walking anymore. They just can’t. I remember while on that trip, G-man had to carry me on his back for 7 blocks because I was in too much pain to walk any further. Sweet man…

I feel better for having made that excuse.

Speaking of, I don’t think I ever shared the Fish Doctor experience I had in Japan last time. Maybe you’ve seen it on tv or read about it somewhere, but there are shallow pools filled with fish, and you put your feet in it and the fish nibble away at your dead skin.

Tell me you’ve heard of this?! It’s the weirdest feeling I’ve ever felt. It’s like being tickled all over your feet at once. This was our first time doing it and we couldn’t stop saying ‘this is so weird!’ and laughing the entire five minutes. They certainly loved G-man’s feet far more than mine.. I’d like to think that’s a good sign for me. Either that or my skin just doesn’t taste as good. Though they really took to my ankles.


I actually would recommend anyone to do this. If nothing more for the experience. It was fun and silly and we sure enjoyed it. Shortly after, we stopped to eat a pressed lobster into a and all. I’m telling you, the things you’re willing to do while in a foreign country is endless.

Hope your weekend was memorable.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One less thing

You know all those who say their iPhones rule their lives? How they go everywhere including the bathroom with it because they couldn’t imagine missing out on something? Well, I go back and forth with being one of “those” people. It is my lifeline so I do tend to bring it everywhere with me, but there are moments where I’ll leave it at home for a quick errand or in the other room just to see how I’ll cope. Baby steps are happening here.

Over the weekend, after much debate with myself, I finally made another step in my ‘you won’t have a hold on me, iPhone!’ stance. I turned off the Instagram notification. Sounds silly, right? What’s the big deal having it on? But any time I post a photo, I constantly glance at it to see if the screen lights up with a ‘like’. Or I imagine it lights up, so I’m always looking at it. Or I’ll push the home button to see if I missed one. I’ve had to turn my phone over in the past to keep from looking at it, but I actually went in and turned it off, so the only way I’ll see if someone liked it is by going into instagram itself. What’s funny is I’m not all that popular on there, so it’s not like I get a ton of likes in the first place, but something about it has me addicted to the attention.

Somehow someway, my twitter is like this. I don’t know what happened, but a month ago, it stopped telling me when someone tweeted me. I have yet to look into why, because I found it was nice not knowing unless I got into twitter. The exact same thing happened the moment I turned off Instagram. It was almost instant relief. The pull I always feel from my phone wasn’t as strong anymore.

Little by little I’m getting myself away from my phone. It’s definitely a good feeling. My computer on the other hand is quickly taking over the time I was spending with my phone. I blame needing it for school, but I’m on it well after I’ve stopped doing schoolwork, so I guess the school excuse isn’t holding like I wish.

While I was traveling to Utah, all I brought was my iPad and that was mainly for my audiobooks. Given I had incredibly long drives, I downloaded two books to listen to. Anne of Green Gables and The Hunger Games. I didn’t realize how much fun I’d have listening to these books. They kept me entertained the entire trip. They’re both 11 hours long, and if you’ve never heard Anne of Green Gables on audio, I highly recommend it. It’s only $3.95 in iTunes. An unbelievable steal and believe me, you won’t regret it. The Hunger Games is equally as good but at $25 is a little harder to stomach.

I left my computer at home though, and it was such a nice feeling not being tied to it. I’ve noticed over the past year I hardly read anymore. When I finally close my computer, my arm automatically reaches for my phone. I can’t seem to be still anymore. Stay quiet and let my brain rest, not to mention my eyes. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to think, so to keep myself from any and all thought, I busy the mind.

Regardless, I could handle a step away from electronics.

Do you have any tried and true tricks to keep off the phone? Or reduce your computer use? I’m all ears.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Case of the Mondays

Can you name that movie?

It’s a happy Monday today. Many have it off. Many get to relax and get that second or third cup of coffee. Nothing like starting your week off right with an extra day off.

It’s normal every day for me. Working on the schoolwork. Getting myself all mentally into my classes. The one I’m enjoying most, and doing it a little too fast (which is having me lose points..eek) is my Applied Food Principles class. I’m zooming through my assignments and it’s obvious after getting my first week’s graded, that I need to slow down just a bit and read carefully before answering.

My other class is First Year Composition. I found out as I was registering for my Spring classes that I have a very “writing heavy” degree. So begins the first of what I hear is many writing classes. This one is a little challenging as I navigate the enormous amounts of information given and sort through all the assignments but if it helps me learn to write better, I welcome it.

It had me thinking how much my writing style will change once I get a couple writing classes under my belt. Will it stay the same? Will I be all refined and deep? More witty but with a smoother delivery? Time will tell. Right now, all I care about is getting an A.

My food class is part cooking class and once I realized that, I was all sorts of excited. We have to prep and cook and show pictures of each with explanations. So far, I’ve made microwaved mashed potatoes and set the table. Each week we get new recipes, so you can bet you’ll be seeing my ‘products’ throughout the next few weeks. I doubt the professor intended us to take the photography so seriously, but I’m determined to take as good of pictures as I know how, to showcase everything.

Here are the first and second week’s labs.
I’m having fun to say the least. I’m hoping and wanting to get back into blogging. Things are bouncing around again in my mind so I’m hoping that’s a sign of better blogging from me. Plus I’m about to do some more traveling, so that always gives a little bit of interest in this home-body’s life. So, keep an eye out for a little more from me starting today.

I hope you had quite the weekend, whether you watched football or Pride and Prejudice, I hope it was a nice one.

**Movie: Office Space

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Only I would do this

Who would drive 14 hours straight for a job interview, then drive 18 hours back; get the job with an offer better than anticipated, only to say, “no thanks”?


Ok, I said a lot more than “no thanks”, but yes.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen all the mountain and snow pictures with “captain’s log” as the title. You inadvertently got to follow along with my endless driving, and hopefully didn’t lose your mind too much as you did. I’ve been on the hunt for awhile, and have really been looking far and wide for the right state, right city and right job when I thought I might have found it in Salt Lake City, UT.

Random spot, I must admit, but I had my reasons…least of them being the fact I’m not Mormon…I know, go figure. A non-Mormon wanting to live there. But it’s pretty. Really pretty, and I wanted a bigger city that would take me out of California. I have to get out of California, it’s time.

I have other states and cities I’m interested in, but a company in Salt Lake were the first to contact me, and an interview was set for later that week. Flights were too outrageous to consider that route, last minute and all, so driving became my only option. At least it was a beautiful drive for most of it, but the length! It was 4 hours longer than I expected. And I was tired.

I made lots of stops along the way, one of which was a casino in Elko, NV to sit on the bathroom lounge’s {carpeted} floor to charge my phone for awhile. That was fun. I kept freaking out all the women that would walk in and not see me at first.

Ironically the day of the interview, everything went wrong. My alarm clock didn’t go off because it was still on Pacific time. My shower turned ice cold 4 minutes in. My coffee was disgusting and I only got 1/2 a cup. I met a girl to look at her place only to have it be a bad fit. I stopped for breakfast 15 minutes after the restaurant stopped serving it.

One thing after another and my mood got lower and lower and it wasn’t even 11 yet…with an interview in 30 minutes, this was not a good sign. Naturally, I got on the wrong freeway, went the wrong way, and lost the 10 minutes I was going to be early. I was forced to call to say I was going to be late.

Who drives 14 hours to an interview only to be late to it?


Of course I was still in my jeans from the morning, and had to frantically pull over a half mile away from their office to change in my front seat. It was a finer moment of mine.

Two minutes late. *sigh* I nailed the interview… what can I say, I’m good. …and humble. Afterward, I had to go to the mall because my favorite jeans, the only jeans I brought for this very quick trip, ripped and was ripping more by the hour all the way around the back to my butt.

Not good.

I make it in their mall and after over an hour of awkward walking around and futilely trying on jeans, I land on some “ponte” pants at Ann Taylor. Finally! I walked out wearing them and my day improved! I realized throughout that day that Salt Lake might in fact not be for me. I wasn’t in the best mood, but nothing about the city wowed me and didn’t leave me wanting to come back, let alone stay.

Talk about a dilemma when I just interviewed for a job. With each hour that went by on my long long drive back to California, it was more and more apparent I didn’t want to live there. So when I had my friends texting me saying the company was calling them for references, I was getting a bit nervous. In the middle, they called me but I wanted to hear back from my friends to hear what they asked, so I didn’t answer.

A few hours later, they called me again, and offered me the job with a better offer than I thought they would. I was surprised! So much so, instead of immediately turning it down like I planned, I asked for a day to think about it, and proceeded to freak out for the next 2 hours texting, emailing and talking it out with friends and family. Finally I prayed about it and by the morning, I knew I still couldn’t do it.

I explained to her why, and she understood completely. We parted on good terms, and I am now back to figuring out where I want to live. Where the next job offer will come from. And I’m okay with that. So back in California I stay for now. Focusing on school and enjoying this time with my parents for a little longer. Something right will come along and when that does, everything will come together nicely.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The one time I got dressed up

I realized something major yesterday as I was writing about all my trips. I forgot one major one! The trip to my friend’s to celebrate her 40th birthday. She wanted to bring in her 40th year with a bang and threw a Roaring 20’s themed party. I scoured the interwebs for well over a month determined to find an authentic dress. I find (and found) it interesting that the majority that I found were the rather skimpy ‘flapper’ dresses that were incredibly low cut on top and incredibly high down low.

I finally came across a great website that had authentic style dresses to the 20’s and had mine arrive just days before the party. I had grand plans to attempt the finger waves in my hair, but with time pressed, I kept it straight. Good thing I cut my hair a week before, everyone thought I did to fill the role for the party, so it worked out perfectly.

The birthday girl and I got ready together. This was probably the most makeup I have worn in a long time. It felt like so much.
The party was at one of her friend’s house and it was a nice low key event with a fun corner for photos, though of course I stopped for the selfie…as I do.
It was fun getting to see everyone in their dresses and the men having fun with their suits. We ate, we talked, we posed for pictures and had a great time getting to see everyone again after having moved away.
We found out we bought the exact same feather clip from Hobby Lobby. We were meant to be friends.
This is what happens when two people hand me their iphones and ask me to take a picture of them, and take a long time positioning themselves. I took selfies on both their phones for them to find. I’m sure they appreciated it. em144
More than midway through the party, I couldn’t feel my body slip. It was a snug one, used to keep everything in nice and tight, but it wasn’t down by my thigh like it should have been. I nervously sat down to ‘hunt’ for it, and lo and behold, it shimmed (unbeknownst to me) all the way up above my hips! Talk about shocked! Thank goodness it wasn’t that bright and the beads acted as coverage as I raced to the bathroom.
The party was great, the dress was perfect and the trip was much needed, getting to spend time together with friends and their families. I doubt I’ll ever get another chance to go (let alone be invited) to a themed party, so it was one I’ll always remember and so thankful I got to be a part of it. Pin It Now!

Monday, January 6, 2014

5 trips in 3 weeks

We made it into another year. I just don’t know what to think of that. Last month…last year (yeesh), a lot of little things happened, so instead of drawing it out as I’ve done…only to stop midway and never finish, I’ll condense it today.

G-man was on deployment for a lot of the year, and I never really shared that, only because, well, why dwell. But he returned at the beginning of December and we got to head off to Napa for a long weekend. It was pretty nice. We stayed at the Westin and the service and atmosphere was great.

We did a wine tour with Flex Winery, and though it was nice, it wasn’t as great of an experience as I expected it to be. The driver kept cutting G off while he was talking and all around a bit abrupt, but one thing he did do, was take photos of us…though I admit, my OCD amateur photog self wished I had just done it. There were too many things I wanted to capture that he didn’t.
We got to do some fine dining, relaxed dining, clothes shopping and pretty much whatever we wanted, and it was so nice. The day after Napa, we hopped on a plane for Las Vegas to grab a rental car and drive to my brother’s in Southern Utah to stay for the week.

We had grand plans to drive into the mountains, play in the snow and whatever else, and instead, we stayed on their couch in their warm cozy home…because who wants to go outside in the cold?? It was an odd trip for me. I had my camera and barely touched it. The scenery was breathtaking and yet, I have nothing to show for it. Thankfully I was able to get a couple on my phone of my nieces and brother. My brother who is against his picture being taken and who is passing his loathing of it onto his oldest daughter. I got this after mild begging to both of them.
This little adorable one turned 10 yesterday. Officially double digits is such a big deal! She texts me every single day and something about texting my nieces and nephews just gives me the warm fuzzies. I love they want to talk to me.
After Utah, we drove back to Vegas for a weekend there, and stayed at the Red Rock Hotel and Casino. If you ever want to stay off the strip, stay there. Top notch service, beautiful facility, rooms are gorgeous and the views are breathtaking.
photo 3 (3)photo 1 (5)photo 1 (4)photo 2 (4)
I think we both forgot…multiple times, that it was the weekend before Christmas because we would drive toward the mall and be stuck in traffic for 15-20 minutes just to get away from it. Beyond the ‘blowing way too much money on gambling’, we did get to see The Pawn Shop that’s on tv and let me tell you…it’s a pawn shop. Seedy, messy, jam packed with people and kinda not worth the trip, but at least we can say we did it.

We finally got back to my parents and spent Christmas with them, where my mom made impeccable food and we stayed in our jammies all day every day.
photo 3 (4)
We ended the big long trip in San Francisco. Staying at the Westin there as well, and though it was insanely ridiculously crowded, the guy upgraded us to a double view room that was remarkable. This was in one of the windows. The other window had a completely different view.
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After driving through Little Italy and amazingly not kill anyone, we agreed it was impossible to find a parking spot, drove all the way back to the hotel, and got a cab. No wonder people don’t like to drive there. I hadn’t been that stressed and frazzled driving in a very long time. We had some of the best Italian I’ve ever had at North Beach Restaurant, and called it a night before I had to take him to the airport.
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I stuck around at a park to watch his plane take off before heading home myself. It was a good time together. One I’ll look back fondly on. One thing that was fun was I didn’t tell him I had cut my hair. He was surprised to say the least, and pushed my bangs off my face as often as he could. He’s not a bangs man, I learned, but thankfully, after seeing a 3rd stylist while in Utah, he (and myself) liked it a thousand times more.

What a relief!

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