Monday, January 30, 2006

Ooh, that Smarts!

It is amazing what the mind can do to one's proverbial heart and in turn, one's body... I'm really feeling the stress of things to come and this stress has begun to manifest itself physically, yet none of this stressful stuff is truly underway yet, hence, the "things to come" reference...

So what the heck am I talking about then? Well, as in "things to come": My current lease is not up yet. I'm not moving right now. I'm not defending my thesis right now. I'm not preparing for my MPA oral examinations right now. I'm not yet searching for my new California job. The only thing that has begun is my thesis research and our new apartment search. The thesis? I'm dealing with it. The apartment search? Although I had been getting a handle on my much needed attitude adjustment regarding the whole search biznessy in Cali, the apartment search has proven much more difficult, far beyond the initial issue of my oh-so lousy attitude, due to the fact that I don't yet have a job in Cali. So it seems, I must first have a job in Cali before I can be included on a lease in Los Angeles. So what this means is that what we had wanted to secure first - our new home - may come dead last in the order of things. This discovery changes our timeline of things drastically and it's a disrruptive change. Sure, we aren't yet in any position where we must face the disruptive consequences of this change just now - thankfully - but they'll come, like the rest of it will. And although I realize that I can't yet do anything about any of these changes to our timeline right now, I can't seem to muster the energy or the focus to contemplate what I could do now to compensate in any way. All I know is that my head hurts just sitting here. I shouldn't be upset, as there doesn't seem to be much I can do about it all right now. I also realize that stressing out over it will do absolutely no good - yet I feel terribly discouraged, as if already defeated (which is sooo so not the case - I know this). Moreover, my head hurts so badly that my vision is blurred. It's all in my head - this premature stressing out.

However, this all may be complications with P.M.S.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Stuff Portrait Day!

For the first time since mid-December, once again, it's Stuff Portrait Friday! Call me silly - I do - but I think it's fun... So, according to Kristine:

#1 My Toys:
There's my 1.0 GB USB flash drive, mah new cordless mouse which I bought for my new laptop (If you click on the image, you'll see that it's name is "Annejelynn's 31st Birthday Present"),and mah new Nano, plus my two sewing buddies, mah serger and my sewing machine, itself. I consider all these things to be my "toys" - plus the digicam I used to take all these ridiculous pictures.

#2 My Secret: Secrets? I don't have any secrets... Nooo, no I don't - I have no secrets (evil giggling ensues).

#3 My Eyes: Taking these pictures? I have to say it was fun! Self-torture all in the name of SPF!?! The watery eyes were the result of my looking into a bright light while taking these "my eyes" pics.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Unbelievable: "801-###-#000" Calls Again!?!?

What more must I do? Someone please tell me. My cell phone just rang and this time I looked first, juhhst because that's what I usually do - - - NOT because I thought the LDS Member Records Office would possibly try calling me again, the very next day after calling me and being told "NO" again by me, from my own mouth AGAIN!?!? Unbelievable. Frankly, it's insulting.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

"May I speak with Julie...?"

Mmmkay, prepare for a mild-mannered, yet well overdue rant...
Anytime anyone calls me and asks for "Julie [insert last name]," I never know for sure if they're really asking to talk with me or my deceased mother, but either way, the caller is always someone who doesn't know me; the "Julie" part always serves as a sure-fire red flag. It happens rarely now (was not the case when I was an undergrad), but it's never fun to clarify to any caller that the person they want to talk to has been dead for several years. More often than not, the caller is really looking for me, but although my first name is Julie, that's not what I go by... Tangent: So why don't I go by "Julie" if it's my first name? As you may have gathered by now, my mum's name was Julie and two "Julie"s in the house would have been confusing... Soooo why not bump over "Julie" and use it as my middle name instead? My full name sounds notably better with the "Julie" part first, so I only use "J.", followed by my middle name. [end of tangent] So, as I was sayin', if someone calls asking for "Julie," I ultimately know the caller does not know me. Moreover, in more recent years, I've learned that any caller asking for "Julie [insert last name]" isn't normally a telemarketer, but rather, more likely someone calling from area code 801. Let me explain (the mild mannered rant begins)...

NOTE: If I don't recognize a phone number, I usually won't answer it and will instead let it go to voicemail. Anyhow, my cell phone rang this morning and had I looked and seen the '801' area code, I would have known not to answer it... Instead though, I picked it right up (mistake one) and upon hearing the caller ask, "May I speak with Julie [insert last name]?" First, I told the person it would depends on which Julie he/she wanted (2nd mistake), and then when the caller KNEW what I meant by that, I actually said, "Yes, I'm Julie [insert last name], the younger" (3rd BIG mistake)!?! And only THEN did I hold my phone out, away from my ear for a better view of its LCD (my worst mistake, in that I did this waaaay too late in the game) annnd DAMMIT! Why didn't I check the number first before answering? Not only was it a 801 phone number, the rest of it was real simple, ya know? with three zeros in a row as the last 3 digits, nice and neat, with only 4 different digits used in total; definitely, MOST DEFINITELY an institutional number. Indeed, it was someone from the Member Records Office from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located in Salt Lake City, UT. The caller wanted to let me know (for the ump-teenth millionth time) that my church records were being held in Salt Lake and that the LDS Member Records Office wanted to forward my records to my current bishop, and without missing a beat, he/she then proceeded to ask me to please verify where I currently live... Some Background Info: The LDS Church keeps very detailed records for all of its church members, like any global institution may. Although LDS Church headquarters in SLC maintains a complete, individual master file for each and every church member, if any member's records can be found only in SLC, it's because, 1) you actually live in SLC, 2) you've died, or 3) the church doesn't know where you are. Over the last several years -six years to be exact- I have tried to tell various LDS church representatives (missionaries, home teachers, visiting teachers, Relief Society ladies, Singles Ward reps, several bishops and bishopric counselors and church records clerks) as kindly and as patiently as I can, at various times throughout each year (New Years, Easter, each general and stake conference weekend, mid-summer and Christmas), that I am well aware of the nearest LDS meeting house location and that I'm perfectly capable to drive there on my own or to pick up a phone and call, if I so choose to do so.

I do appreciate the intent behind the unsolicited calls and the frequently unannounced visits and what these people think they're doing - trying to get me back amongst the fold - but I really do not appreciate feeling as though I'm being tracked and hunted, repeatedly persuaded/asked to do things that I obviously do NOT want to do ~ is it not obvious enough for these people? If I wanted to, wouldn't I be doing it on my own? What happened to the concept of free will? Anyhow, this time I didn't use any euphemisms. I told the kind caller that I knew my records have been left in Salt Lake - and quickly, I was told that if I would just share where I live in Nevada, my bishop could have my records sent from Salt Lake before the weekend. I told him as sweetly as I could that I didn't want my records forwarded to anyone, honestly, and that I didn't know what more to tell him than that. I didn't apologize - I didn't say sorry or thanks. I just left it at that.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Christmas 'Secret' Revealed

IMPORTANT "P.S." for parents listed at the bottom of this post!
Although I had refused at the time to share any details regarding the Christmas 'secret' I had been working on for my honey-man (previous post here), let me say this: Those size-7 boys jammies I had been sewing were soooo NOT solely responsible for my throwing my back out the day before Christmas Eve day...
It was this bad boy:

I've made several patchwork projects before - even Christmas stockings - so I was well aware of the pain/time investment involved, but this one was the hardest, most painful yet ~ but well worth it, nonetheless, I think. What do you think?

P.S. See the "Safe Side" DVD in the lower right corner of the pic? ALL parents with kids under the age of 10 should buy this DVD! I HIGHLY recommend it, a hundred times over and over, as does my honey-man's angel boy-O, who willingly wanted to watch it 7 TIMES in a 48 hour period without any coercion on my part, really! Honest! I swear. BUY IT NOW, HERE!

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Annual Trek to Temple Square

So post-Christmas, as I may have mentioned before (did I?), we left L.A. for Ootah, which is where my entire father's family lives, but one - plus, well, my immediate family which of course includes my father, and they all live in Iowa, poor suckers. A few of my mother's nephews also live in SLC (Salt Lake City) with their families, and I also have numerous childhood, college and family friends who live throughout the SLC valley. Sufficieth to say, there are lots of people in SLC whom I love and adore, so lots of pictures were taken while we were there. The fam pics, of course, I won't share here, but I will show you some of the pics I took while we were at Temple Square with FIFTEEN members of my father's fam...that's about two-thirds of the clan. Not bad. Anyhoow, check out the crazy lights! ~ Click on the images for a larger, better view!
When I was little, my mum and dad would bring me to the MoTab (Mormon Tabernacle Choir) Christmas concerts broadcast on TV each year. Because of the whole broadcasting effort, there was a "No children Under Age 8" policy, yet I distinctly remember the time I was 5 years old, told to keep myself quiet as can be and to NOT reveal my age if asked, well aware of the rules. I even recall recognizing and reading the signs posted at the tabernacle entrances, stating the rules, and my father brought me anyhow... Why I remember it as "my father brought me" and not my mother, I dunno. She was always there too. I just remember being given my instructions to 'shhush' by my father and I remember thinking at the time that he was such a "sneaky sneak" for bringing me to the concert, not that I was complaining. I loved those Christmas concerts! - the other ones they have year-round, not so much. But I gotta say, MoTab's pretty darn impressive. My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Sudwicks, sang in the MoTab choir and I remember searching the choir seats for her. Have you seen how large the MoTab choir is? Check out the picture shown in the upper right on this website ---> link here. I think I found Mrs. Sudwicks once, and that was only because I was at home, watching for her on a MoTab TV broadcast and the camera had zoomed in on her singing for a brief moment. For years, until we left UT in '85, I remember attending those Christmas concerts each year... All the pretty people dressed in "their Sunday-best," and all the cute missionaries everywhere. Every Christmas, we went to Temple Square to wander the grounds and marvel over the lights and displays. As a child, I had loved the outside nativity scene most, with it's audio narrative playing over the outdoor loudspeakers. It's still like that today, but this past visit, it didn't have the same affect it had had when I was a kid - it only made me miss my mother.

Friday, January 20, 2006

"Baby Come Back..."

Otis and Owen were doing something super duper oh-so freakin' cute last night (when are they not?), and as I spun around to quickly grab my camerrraaahhhh - DOH! I let my honey-man keep my digicam in Cali so that he could take pictures of any other apartments he might check out! And THEN it dawned on me - ahhh, I can't do SPF tomorrow?!? And Kristine gave us an easy one!?! But, me no gots no camowah to takey any pixures (pouting)... Instead, I'll prep and share some pics from our winter break! How about that?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

And the decorator said, "No more apartment white...EVER!"

*UPDATE*: Check out this video story on Coastal housing from MSNBC - it will require Windows Media Player. Link here -->
This post is a tinsy bitty bit long, and probably wouldn't seem so if it didn't skip around so much. After work last Friday, I drove to LA for the three-day M.L.K. weekend, unbeknownst to my honey-man! Yes, this means that when I arrived late that night in LA, as I unlocked the door and walked in, my honey-man was completely and most utterly stunned. It was a priceless moment, followed by a most welcome, most wonderful weak-in-the-knees "welcome home" lip lock.
A Secondary 'PREFACE' of Sorts: In the case that anyone finds themselves confused at any point while reading the rest of what I'm about to share, juhhst for the record: I had a great weekend, I love and adore my Cali boys, and I still plan to move to California.

True to form, like any previous visit to LA, this past trip was fully loaded with lots of near-death-experiences amidst LA traffic and many mind numbing moments of self-discovery in which I have to not only recognize, but identify and deal with various personal fears and insecurities-galore on my part ~ And lucky for me, it's all with the most gracious help and support of my honey-man. I'm not kidding though. EVERY SINGLE TIME I go to LA to see my honey-man and his oh-so adorable angel boy-O, I always, ALWAYS have at least three mini-heart attacks while driving, and at least one, if not two, semi-minor, yet monumental, majorly painful, yet oh-so-healthy-for-me growth spurts. ooh! where the hell did that come from?!? did you see that? - "majorly" - ??? Is the Valley-girl mentality setting in already? EKK!!! Translation, minus the Valley-girl dribble: Nothing horrible ever happens when I visit LA and nothing ever changes physically, but at some point during each trip, some sort of personal "truth" is discovered and realized, and either my mind or my heart -or both- is greatly affected as a result = something happens that CHANGES HOW I SEE things.

So during this last visit, the seemingly brutal reality of living a life in California sank in deep, real deep, and I'm not just referring to the "dollars 'n' sense" part of it all -or should I say, the total lack thereof- which has already been seriously screwing with me for a few months now. K, so one might ask, "Huh? brutal? how the heck?" I'm talking about my mental preparations to move to Cali. It's become far more than an 'on paper' decision; more than simply scribbling the math on a piece of scrap paper. More honestly, it's gone far beyond my entering ALLLL the $$$ numbers in an Excel spreadsheet (as if the scrap paper calculations were terrifying enough!?!), ESPECIALLY after we looked at a couple apartments together! Speaking of which, I must digress for a secky and say that I found it very encouraging, nonetheless, that I liked the very first apartment we looked at and so much, and it was NOT $1700/month. By the way, if it had been that much? $1,700 is just $17.00 shy of my friend, Poppy's monthly mortgage payment!

Anyhow, back to "the seemingly brutal reality of living a life in California..."
When I first met my honey-man, I knew a relationship with him would mean I'd have to move to Cali. I knew it, without a doubt, and I have already accepted the fact that by leaving Las Vegas, I'll be leaving those I've known and all that I know here, but I've done it before -change cities, that is- more than a few times now, and I've learned that everytime I move, I always meet and make new friends without forgetting the others from whence I came, and I always find new things to do, regardless of where I am. I'm a flexible girl that way, and I always adjust, and I'm sure it helps a lot too that I'm easily amused - - my father says I'm "fundamentally happy." But anyways, moving to Cali? specifically California? or let's say, even Manhattan? To live in a super big, uber-crowded city with migraine provoking traffic, and mega inflated real estate prices and increased living costs to match, a regular joe-shmoe (that'd be me) CANNOT afford a house - - not unless yer big time rollin' in the dough. Another thing to note with my frugal financial practicality in mind, trying to own a house in California doesn't make sense in today's market.

What all this means:
By moving to California, I'm leaving behind a way of life and various lifelong hopes and expectations that I've been raised with since I was a child, that my upbringing has reinforced over and over, time and time again, and I've been holding on to these expectations for years now and not only that, I'm now giving 'em up - - giving 'em up for love. That last statement is the most significant, and involves the two primary root issues at battle inside me right now... #1: There's a long-standing set of expectations revolving around my desire to own a house, to have all that a modest house could provide for me and my family. I will not at this time go into my long, long list of the many, many clear-cut reasons why I want a house (the list does exist in my mind, but that's a whole 'nuther post). Moreover, I want to clarify that my wanting a house has NOTHING to do with material things or social status; having a house does not mean having designer furnishings or showing up the Joneses, nor does it equate "success." Furthermore, I'm completely aware that most people in this world do NOT own houses for various reasons, some by choice and many without a choice, and I also know many people grow up living in an apartment(s) and they have happy, healthy, full lives, but I'm trying to deal with MY expectations here. Whether my expectations are realistic or not is another matter entirely, but it's something that I now must deal with by moving to Cali, in that my life's expectations thus far cannot be met in California. And issue #2: In the past, I've done a lot of things in the name of love -my friends and my parents would all say I've done far too much and all too often at my own expense- but this time it's not merely a matter of petty cash or how I choose to 'invest' my time, or in past cases, waste my time on the projects/passions of a significant other. With this one -my honey-man- I'm really starting over; I'm moving even further away from my family and I'm giving up a kind of quality of life that simply cannot be acquired or recouped in California.

BUHHHT I will stop there and quit rambling in such an obtuse manner about my personal on-going struggles re: the California lifestyle and all its grandiose living expenses. All this stuff that I think I'm giving up by moving to Cali? I may, in turn, end up having more than I ever dreamed I'd ever have. We just never know what's in store for us. Although I will say this: I still think they ("they" being anyone living in Cali) are ALL BUCK NUTS, including my honey-man, and that I still can't believe I'm going to willingly become a part of the they I'm now referring to... yet I never thought I'd ever live in Las Vegas either, better yet, willingly remain in Las Vegas beyond 6 months' time - make that SIX YEARS!?!

Annywaaaays, the title of this post is the very same as the title that was given to the listing description of the first apartment me and my honey-man looked at together, and I've included the original listing below with a couple pics my honey-man took later the next day:

"Rich, warm cappuccino walls in living and dining rooms with whipped creme crown and chair moldings. Huge mocha latte' kitchen with hand laid white Italian ceramic tile floor (there's that whipped creme again!). Custom art deco and tiffany replica fixtures throughout. Floor to ceiling wall to wall closets in the two huge bedrooms. Bathroom features more sparkling white Italian tile floors. Closets everywhere and storage, storage and more storage. Put a butcher block in the center of the kitchen if you love to cook and/or entertain, and still have tons of room! Rich wood floors throughout!! No, you aren't dreaming, it's for real and is nestled in a tropical like setting of tranquility and peace. Gorgeous swimming pool, your own very private patio that is larger than some single apartments, reserved covered parking w/storage unit, laundry facilities. It's double the size of any other two bedroom you can find, and is truly your own very private home. All this and yet it's only three minutes from the heart of the 'kuhl', happening arts district, great restaurants, shops, activities. Why yes, as a matter of fact, IT IS JUST PERFECT!! $1,295.00 w/year lease. Kitty will love all that room and windows, but sorry, no pooches. It's available now, but won't be for long."

The listing is soooo hysterical, is it not? We had to see the place and I had to share the listing's verbage here... Oh, but the place??? First of all, I've since learned that the word "huge" is simply a relative term when referring to any living space in California. The apartment was neither huge, nor was it "nestled" anywhere -however- the bedrooms were much bigger than I had thought they'd be and the closet space was ridiculously AWESOME, literally floor to ceiling, wall to wall! At this very moment, I'm coveting those closets. The wood floors were like new and the paint was, indeed, "warm" and the place was generally charming... a tab bit dark (ground level), but the living space felt very open, plus there's another 7 yr old living in the complex. In short, we liked it enough to apply, BUHHHT we don't know yet if we'll get the place, so the search is still on in case we may discover a better price and/or a better location.

All fingers and all toes are crossed, hoping that we'll find that right place we can call "home" in California, together. Also hoping that I'll calm my shit down and open my arms to the possibilities ahead.

Self-Portrait Day!

Another SPD brought to you from our time spent over the New Year in Keystone, CO!
Self-Portrait Day

Friday, January 13, 2006

2006 New Year's "Resolutions" - ?

One thing should be clear, I don't do resolutions - resolutions involve making CHANGES and I'm just tryin' to get by. Real lasting changes are either sudden and involuntary, or slow, steady, gradual developments. And me, I can't voluntarily, truly change much in one year's time, or at least nothing truly significant...
K, all the aforementioned considered? IT'S TOTAL B.S. Totally. TOTALLY.NOT.ME.

Not only am I a fabulous list maker, I totally believe in making resolutions... However, I tend to refer to what is essentially my New Year's Resolutions list as my "New Year Goals." Why a distinction? is there really a distinction to be made? Well, a resolution is more like a statement of decision, like "I will do such n' such every week from now on"; a long term, ongoing effort. On the other hand, goals have a desired purpose or end in mind = Ya do it and it's done, over with, like "I will save $1000 for my move to Cali." So me? I make up a list of 'goals' for each year.
This past year, a few goals weren't met, not realizing at the time I had proposed the list, just how much grad school would take over my life. Here's the stuff I didn't get done for 2005:
Create an Advanced Directive and a Living Will (both still in draft form, unnotarized)
Either sell or re-Register my Honda Trail 90 (It's a 1971, orange and adorahbul and I can't seem to make up my mind)
Read "Year in Provence," and both "Courage to Be" and "Courage to Create"
And a couple carried over into 2005 from 2004, still not done:
Frame "Cat Fish" print (---> link here - check 'er out! SOOOO CUTE!)
Restretch and Frame Merimekko fabric prints (and it will not happen this year either, I bet)
BUHHHT how about some Gotter'Done Goals for 2005?
Got on the Planning Committee for the MS Walk 2006
First trip to Montreal in August (pics found
in Oct. Archive here)
Iowa again for Thanksgiving (Mmmm, Cranberry Fluff! - recipe here)
Saved $ for 2006 New Years ski trip in Keystone, CO with the Iowa fam
Bought my first Digital cam (I so, so, so love it!)
Bought my very first Printer (finally!!!)
Saved $2K for a down and bought a new car (See mah Matrix here)
Gave a bag of stuff to Goodwill each month (plus some)
Discovered 4 Music artists, new to me: Nikka Costa, Imogen Heap, Ray LaMontagne, Marc Broussard (and many, many others this year) ETC. ETC. ETC.
I haven't yet finished writing up my 2006 Goals -there are soooo many things I must do in the next six months alone, regardless of whether or not I put 'em in a goals list... 1) finish my thesis, 2) graduate, 3) search for and attain a new job in Cali, 4) find an apt. in Burbank, and then 5) MOVE!?!? (not necessarily in that order) = Those are some LIFE-CHANGING BIGGIES, yes? And this semester I signed up for not only thesis credits, but another class, despite my previous shoutings, "AHHH, no more classes! I'm done with classes!"
*sigh* BUHHHT, lucky for me, I happen to do much better under pressure - really! Yes, unfortunately, I'm 'bout worthless if I gots lots of time to do something.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

It's Nat'l De-Lurking Week

According to those who would know, it's "National Delurking Week" - and soooo that means what?
It means if ya stop by to take a peek or a brief read, ya gotta say HI before you leave!

Self-Portrait Day!

See me in my little 6' 6" tall brother's ski goggles?
I took this pic last week just for today!
Self-Portrait Day

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Christmas Memories, Realized

A few weeks before the Christmas holiday, I called my father to ask him some questions about my mother (<--link here).

See, I understand a few things very well... After time, we often embellish, understate and/or completely forget the details of the past. Also, when someone we love dies, we tend to either hang on to all the bad stuff -arguments, imperfections, pain and regrets- or instead, glorify the past, and that person becomes perfected in the eyes of those who loved that person. I have many memories of my mother, some good and some bad, but all from the eyes of my childhood, and this makes it particularly difficult to discern how reality-based my memories of her may or may not be.

Christmas is a very emotion-ladden time for me for the fact that my mum was a total Christmas nut and Christmas has never been the same for me since she died. As well as I can recall, within the first week after Turkey Day, if not the very day after Thanksgiving, Christmas began = off we went to the Christmas tree lots and out came the boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations, and none of it was ever taken down or put away until AFTER the New Year. Every room in the house reflected the holiday. The advent calendars? The garlands? all the ornaments and figurines? the countless Christmas albums and casettes? the strings and strings of Chrimpus lights? the pine wreaths? the bells? And the candles?!? Oh yes, THE CANDLES!!! It's amazing the house never caught on fire, although repeatedly, my bangs, eyebrows and lashes all caught flame. [Note: I was a bad, bad lil' fire bug, well into my twenties.] And all the baked goods and all the homemade Christmas candies? INSANE. And all the many homemade crafty creations? The wall and chandelier hangings, Christmas stockings, cross-stitch and hand-sewn dollies, hand-painted ornaments, and the night gowns and jammies made especially for Christmas Eve? And the spirit, the spirit felt throughout the home? Simply joyous ~ and most importantly, no stress.

From what I can remember, my mum was thrilled outta her mind about it all - absolutely tickled! delighted! bubbling! And truly gracious. But I wasn't sure... I haven't yet been able to recreate the kind of Christmas I remember from my childhood, and although there are legitimate reasons for this thus far, I had been wondering if what I want and its basis was ever even real.

When I called my father, my question for him was basically this: Do I remember my mother's enthusiam and her enjoyment of the Christmas holiday accurately? Was she truly as happy as I remember? Was she ever stressed out by any of her holiday endeavors? all the planning? the many projects? the hosting of holiday parties? Because I don't remember her ever getting stressed out at all over any of it - not at all - and I wanted to know, did I just never witness the stress?

My father not only confirmed my Christmas memories of my mum, he also explained - she was just so happy to be around for another one; alive another year, another Christmas.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Chrimpus Kitty

During the holiday break, once the boys and I made it to L.A., I kept expecting - waiting - to find some kitty-mangled tree ornament, but all Owen ever did was nap behind the tree, and Otis only stared at it (as shown), titling his head from side to side for long stretches of time.

One More Unexpected Thing Re: Age 31

Over the Chrimpus break, my dear honey-man gave me a generous certificate for a "Full Spa Style Facial," as a sweet "You've-finished-your-coursework, YAY! and Congrats!" / Pre- "Welcome to L.A." gift. Other than a pedicure or a semi-manicure, this was my first real FULL SERVICE spa experience, complete with steam room, sauna and misting room access, and it was all wonderful, wonderful, wonderful; a glorious, dare I say much needed, "love-yourself-as-you-are" experience. At some point, I told the woman working on me that if I began to snore, to just nudge me awake, please. It was a total luxury experience, is what it was.
And since my facial? Well, here's the something else to add to my short list re: things that I wouldn't have thought to be the case at age 31 = acne. Yes, although I had been forewarned that my facial would "bring out the impurities lodged deep in my facial pores [doesn't that sound lovely? ekk!]," I had no idea what that really meant. I was also told that I needed to "aggressively exfoiliate" on a daily basis, from here on out. So as a result, post-spa, plus daily attempts to "aggressively exfoiliate," I have experienced an acne "break out" more intense and longer in duration than any ever experienced during high school or college combined. For a couple weeks now, I've been a red spotty, bumpy mess.
I. AM. NOT. USED. TO. THIS... Luckily for me, my skin condition was pretty mellow throughout my adolescence and my parents were quite attentive, sending me off to see a demotologist before I could ever really experience a real break out; they're all about prevention. I had never imagined I'd experience my worst skin issues into my thirties though - ?!?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

31 Years Old Now

Some things I hadn't thought would be the case at age 31.

1. I never thought I'd be in love with someone who is 10 years my senior.
2. I never would have imagined that I'd be given semi-parent access to someone's child; a most gorgeous 7 year old angel boy-O, who I love so much I think at times my heart could burst.
3. I never thought it'd be so much work to stay in shape ~ or that I'd miss the body I had in my twenties = I finally appreciate my 20-something years.
4. I never thought I'd get up enough guts to get my butt back in school for a graduate degree.
5. And I would have never guessed my area of study would be Public Administration.
6. I never would have imagined I'd get along so well with my parents as I do now, today.
7. I thought I'd have children of my own by now (I know, I know = I still have time).
8. I never thought I'd live in Las Vegas and for so long - over six years?!?
9. I never thought I'd EVER consider moving to Los Angeles, better yet, plan to MOVE there?!?!?
10. I never thought I'd have a wrinkle crinkle between my eyebrows already!
11. I still love to sneeze juhsst as much as I did when I was a kid.
12. I still feel like a kid whenever there's snowy weather.
13. I still want and seek my parents' approval.
14. I never thought I'd get divorced.
15. I thought I'd have a house of my own by now.
16. The memory of my mother hasn't faded.
17. I still remember the sound of her laugh.
18. I still wish and want to be like her.
19. I still don't particularly care for olives.
20. Nor do I like guacamole.
21. I still have food issues based on texture before flavor.
22. I still don't like to drink carbonated beverages.
23. I still wish I had played some kind of sport in high school.
24. I still hope to someday visit Thailand.
25. I still hope to someday learn how to play all my mother's piano music.
26. I never thought I could justify buying a laptop of my own with a functioning PC at home, but now I don't have to, since my parents gave me one for my birthday/early graduation gift!?! woo-hoo! I'm using it write now as I type!
27. I still cry openly when given significant, meaningful gifts.
28. I still have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when excited about a gift I have to give for someone.
29. I still feel guilty about some things - minor things - I did during my childhood.
30. I'd still rather be a gullible, trusting fool, than a cranky, bitter cynic.
31. I don't feel like I'm 31 - I still feel like a kid most of the time.

Monday, January 02, 2006

WOO-HOO! Hoppy Noo Yeer!

Hope everyone had a most happiest of happy New Year celebrations!
I hope to share a more substantial post soon - oh, but I should mention... I hit the slopes today without incident! Was wonderful! and my honey-man on the slopes? As my lil' bro says, "He's very modest."