Fair warning, readers: This post contains a picture of me. And some fill in the blanks!

Friday, April 30, 2010

And by a picture of me, I mean a terrible, horrible, no good very bad sleep-the-night-before picture.

You'll see in a few seconds.

I'm a terrible bloggy friend.  I respond to comments, but I always do it late (I have a habit of checking my email the moment I wake up, so I'm not in any sort of state to form cohesive, sensible responses).  And by late, I mean months later.  I don't know what it is, and I'm trying harder at it.  But with all the bloglazy I've gone through this month, I have fallen embarrassingly far behind.

That in mind...I got a blog award!  From the super amazing David, whose blog I insist you visit because it is also super amazing and one of my favourites--and let's face it, whose opinions can you trust more than mine?  That's right: no one.  So, I'm incredibly thankful, and this is serious y'all--it has rules with it, too!

The rules for this one:
1. Get really excited that you got the coolest award EVER.
2. Choose ONE of the following options for accepting the OMB! award:
(a) Get really drunk and blog for 15 minutes straight, or for as long as you can focus.
(b) Write about your most embarrassing moment.
(c) Write a "Soundtrack of your childhood" blog.
(d) Make your next blog a "vlog", or video blog. Basically, you talking to the camera about whatever.
(e) Take a picture of yourself first thing in the morning, before you do anything else (makeup, brush hair, pee, etc.) and post it.
3. Pass the award on to at least three, but preferably more, awesome bloggers like yourself. Don't forget to tell them (duh).

1. Believe me, it happened.  You missed the party.
2. Here's the thing: I don't get drunk and I don't have the means to make a vlog, so those two were out.  My most embarrassing moment relates to being sick and I've had enough of that this month; and the soundtrack to my childhood is the entire discography of Boyz II Men, Queen, Elton John, The Police, Michael Jackson, Ace of Base and All-4-One.  So, I'm pretty much defaulted to the picture of myself first thing in the morning.  It ain't pretty kids.  I slept for maybe 4 hours, and those measly hours were quite fitful. I was considering putting off the picture until the next day, but I'd already taken so much time since getting the award that I just sucked it up.
You see that awful double bag under one eye and the massive bag under the other?!  Yeah. Pitiful. I am going to be so wrinkly when I'm old...*sigh*  And consider yourself special, because few pictures after 2006 exist of me without glasses.

What disturbs me most is that...I don't do much else to my appearance before I go out.  I'm totally that girl who can roll out of bed and walk out the door without a second thought.  I don't wear make-up, except the occasional eyeliner and mascara (I don't even own any aside from that).  Just add glasses and we have my every day look.  I even took a picture later in the day for comparison's sake.
Hair is damp and unbrushed--apologies.
You would think this would compel me to put more consideration in my daily appearance, but...ehhh.  Maybe one day I will, but for now I'm ok like this.  Did I purposely post this on a Friday, when I know a lot of people don't/won't read blogs before the weekend so theoretically less people will see my horrid sleep deprived self?  Perhaps.  But aside from the small vain moments, I'm ok for now.

As for 3. I feel like I haven't been active enough in the bloggy world lately to really pick and choose people to pass it along to, so imma cheat a bit and defer passing it along until later when I'm fully returned to interacting.

Lastly, because I don't participate in enough blog memes (sarcasm font), I thought I'd participate in Fill-In-the-Blank Friday!  I've been a longtime follower of the little things we do and figured it is high time to join in the fun.  Similar to ToT, head over to her blog and link up if you participate, too!

1. My absolute favourite movie of all time is The Sound of Music.  I know, I know, I get ridiculed all the time, but it holds such a dear place in my heart I can never let it go.

2. My favourite movie as a child was The Sound of Music.  Wait, can I use that twice?  Also Beauty and the Beast and Toy Story.  And The Sandlot, The Mighty Ducks, and Hook.

3. The best movie quote ever is from The Breakfast Club.  "Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place."

4. My favourite actress is __________ and my favourite actor is ____________.  I don't really choose favourites in actors...I will love Denzel Washington for all my life and highly respect Matt Damon, but I don't know if I can label them with favourite.  As for actresses, I tend to favor Kate Winslet (I've never seen all of Titanic though, so don't go pushing that on me) and Sandra Bullock, but again...no favourites.  If I want to be Meryl Streep, does that make her it?

5. The movie I could watch over and over again is You've Got Mail and Pride & Prejudice (the Keira Knightley version).  Seriously, I think I've watched both at least six times each this past month.

6. My favorite movie genre is dependent upon my mood.  Normally I'm always down for comedy, but sometimes I just need a good romantic comedy or drama.

7. A movie I'd like to watch this weekend is Date Night, Bright Star or Precious.  The latter two are waiting in my computer to be watched, I just haven't gotten to it yet.  And I'd more than likely go gay for Tina Fey in a heartbeat, so of course I want to see her movie.  OH and I just realized, I do need to watch Les Poupees Russes (the French film follow-up to L'auberge Espagnole, arguably the best French film ever.  Yeah, I'm lookin' at you, Amelie.) because it's due at the library on Tuesday.


a house is not a home

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Unlike yesterday, I won't allow a distraction to replace my intended blog post--but I will say this: I walked out of my house (after several minutes of pep talk to reassure myself that the bees will not harm me so long as I am not harming them), glanced down at my stoop and saw a large, very black spider.  Said spider starts crawling towards my boot, and I flip my shit, then realize that where I have run to is directly below and beside the purported beehive; in which I promptly flip my shit again, scream, and flee down the front path to my car.

Message of the mini-story: I am not leaving my house tomorrow because I'm 10000% positive my fragile nerves cannot take it.

So a few days ago I wrote the sentence: "I want to tell you how my heart hurts every day because I always feel like I'm away from home."  And then I found my old journalism notebook that had one of the six-word memoirs I wrote for a workshop, which reads "Lived in six countries.  Where's home?"  And for the lovely cherry on top (which I don't actually eat, but I'll stick with the saying), Tuesday's Glee episode was titled "Home" and had all these songs with the word Home or about your Home and even contained one of my favourite songs in the entire world.

Ok, world, I see the sign, I get it.  I will write the long-thought-but-never-written post about home.  For those who knows me in real life, I'm sorry, I know this topic is beaten to a goshdarnfriggen' bloody pulp with me, but I can't help it.  And for those who have read my blog for awhile, you'll know most of the facts already.  Feel free to hit "Mark as Read" if you like, because this post needs to be written for my own sanity, and I'm going to be a bad selfish blogger and write how I need to.

I love San Diego.  I do.  I really, really do.  I find it to be a vibrant, lively city, and I love that I have a beach 20 minutes away and a downtown city life 25 minutes away and safe little suburbs outside my door and snow only 45 minutes away.  There's so much in one small county, and it keeps my ever-changing attention.  And I love living here, too.  I like the people, I like the structures, I like the weather, I like the accessibility and availability of almost anything I need.  A good 50% of my relatives live here, too, and that's always fun.

But it's not home.

Ok, that's a lie.  It is home.  I feel comfortable here, it's familiar and loved and when I come back to it after a trip away, I breathe easier and find that I've been unknowingly yearning for the hill with shitty potholes to get to my house and the confusing freeways and the odd patch of grass with a bench at the major intersection at the light to turn onto the street bordering my house.  My family is here, my life is here, my friends and, maybe one day, my career.

But even when I'm here, I want to be elsewhere.

Having lived in San Diego for 11 years now (though 4 of that was spent 80 miles away at University in Orange County), this is the absolute longest I've ever lived anywhere.  Even if I were to subtract those 4 years, living somewhere for 7 years is the longest I've been anywhere, too.  By the time I was 12 years old, I'd moved 4 times; lived in ten different buildings; and was able to call 6 countries "home" at some point.  I still have a hard time accepting the fact that I've known people for longer than 5 years, and that I still see them.  Sure, I have my best friends from those years in Europe, but I haven't seen them in years.  Our entire friendship was created on knowing each other for a year when we lived in the same country and inevitably came to a close when one or both of us moved.  That was life, and that's all I've ever known.  My brother often tells me I have "friend ADD" because I get restless and tired of the same people all the time.  Every year, the rotation of people I would see changed, and I still have a hard time grasping that that just isn't the case anymore.

Anyway.  Living the way I did, "home" was a lot more of a notion than a real thing.  Home is transferable, transportable, mobile.  A flat in West Riuslup and an apartment in Jacksonville and a beautiful multi-story house in Brussels and a mobile home in St. Tropez and a small marble-floored building in Lago Patria and temporary living accommodations are all "home."

The problem with this is that I never, ever feel as though I'm really home, even when I am in my own house.  A part of my heart is still in that London flat, part of me still lives in Belgium, part of my life remains at the Amalfi Coast.  Each of these places owns a part of who I am, and no matter how much I love wherever I am at the moment, I'm never really whole.

You know that feeling about 3 or 4 days into a vacation trip when the homesickness creeps in?  You've reached that point of craving familiarity, of wanting to see that crack in the wall or run in the carpet or secretly chipped vase in your living room.  That small, gnawing feeling of just wanting to go back to the one place you know contains your life and what makes you happy and that you take for granted--which is ok, because that's what it's there for.  To always be there, even when you don't realize it.  It's that small tug at your heart to return to home.

That's what it's like for me, every single day.  No matter where I am.  I'll drive in San Diego and crave the metro in Belgium.  I'll stare out the window and wish I was seeing the courtyard to my Parco in Italy.  I'll sit in Coffee Bean and my heart will start to hurt thinking about sitting in cafes in Marseilles watching everyone walk by.  I was eating pizza in Orange County when I was at school and felt so far away from the pizzeria down the street from my old apartment in Italy that had the best pizza margherita in the world.  I was staring at the most beautiful scenery while at Monument Valley in Utah/Arizona, and I felt so close and so far away from Mt. Vesuvius, a silhouette that used to be a part of my life every day.  Even when I was living in Orange County, I would be in a library and miss the libraries back in San Diego.  Everywhere I am, I feel as though I'm away from my home.

I'm envious of those people who can pinpoint their home.  Who can tell you every detail of their two-story tan brick house with the archway and french door entrance.  Who can walk through their house and point out where they fell when they were 3 years old and cried, or the doorway they walked into when they were 7 and knocked out a tooth, or the stairs they ran down to answer the door for that sleepover in 3rd grade or the exact place they were when their high school sweetheart gave them their first kiss goodnight.  Even those who have made the transfer of home away from their parents house, who can walk the two flights up to their apartment and show you the spot on the couch where a friend accidentally dropped his lit cigarette or the broken screen window where a drunken ex fell into it or their pots and pans aligned as they want in the kitchen cabinet.  I envy the people who can walk through a door and know they belong.

But even when I know this envy is there, I would never change my life.  I would never, ever trade any of my experiences for one house that contains my entire childhood.  If I had to live it all again, I would do every move, every leaving of friends, every box packed and new apartment cleaned and introduction at the front of the class as "the new girl from the other country" and stamp on my passport.  I wouldn't even consider any other way.

It hurts, feeling like every step is in a direction away from home.  Some days I am literally gripped breathless at the longing I have to return to somewhere else.  Other days it's manageable, just that thought weighing heavy at the back of the heart.  Most of the time, I feel like I'm permanently on vacation, in that stage of small homesickness with the excitement of exploring something new.  One minute I'll be ogling where I'm at, two steps later I'll want to go back to a place I know and love, and five steps from then I'll be back to wanting to be exactly where I am.  I'm just always "away."

I want it to be clear that I'm not unhappy where I am.  I am happy.  I really like where I am, in all senses of the statement.  Of all the places to be in the world, I'm pretty sure this is tops, or at least among them.  I'm sad, I'm always missing somewhere or something or someone, and I don't think I'll ever really feel like I belong where I'm at.  But despite all that, I am incredibly grateful and in love with my current city.

I think my heart just needs to grasp that "home" isn't about a building.  It's not about being able to point at a spot and tell the story, or walking through your childhood memories every time you walk from one end of the house to the other.  It's not about loving the rose garden that was planted when you were 5 months old, or the small hole in the wall where you hung your *NSYNC poster when you were 10, or that cabinet that creaks.  It's about knowing your past, having those memories, possessing the stories of youth and younger times.  It's about carrying that feeling of belonging, of owning who you are and what you've become knowing where it all happened--even if it happened to be in multiple places.  Home is simply a state of mind.


The birds and the bees. Except no birds. And really nothing to do with that. So, just bees.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I had this whole idea for this post to be about how I went into this big blue funk last week and couldn't find the will to do anything, and ended up moping around my house driving my poor family absolutely batty as I refused to talk about what was upsetting me, and how I eventually read through some things and found some items from my childhood that made me realize life really isn't in the shitter, it's just on a downhill and now I feel like it's on the uphill and I surely hope it remains as so.

But right before I started writing the post, I went to my window to open the blinds (sunlight is good!), and have since discovered that there is a goshdarnfriggin' bee hive on my house!

I'm sure by now we know of my spider phobia, but what I haven't talked about is my fear of bees.  I thought I was doing ok about them, since I have survived a bee sting (we think) and they are relatively harmless so long as you're not tossing rocks at them or some idiotic action of the sort.  But um...seeing a general cloud of bees swarming right in the corner outside of your window is not something I can remain calm about.  There are at least 15 bees buzzing around, and who the hell knows how many more since they're crawling into the crack of my house between the garage door wall and the roof.  So, obviously, the solution was to call my parents freaking out, then close my blinds because we all know how well "out of sight, out of mind" works.

Problem is, I can hear the bees hitting against my window as I'm typing, and even when I have music on, all I can hear is the tap tap tap and it's making my heart go pound pound pound and my nerves go shit shit shit.

This. is. not. ok.

---Well, there was an invisible 4 hour pause there in which my parents returned from work/errands and dad was a big brave man and took a can of Raid on those bees.  But um...let's just say there are for sure more than 15 bees.  And they may have made it into the garage.  A good lot of them are dead on our sidewalk now, but there is still an even bigger lot of them flying around.

What I'm really saying here is...I'm not leaving my house.  Ever.

...perhaps an exaggeration, especially since I have to take my brother to work tomorrow (hooray for brother's car being broken) and make a library trip.  But really, these bees are making me extremely uncomfortable and I keep getting chills when I think about watching them all swarm.  We are definitely calling pest control, and unfortunately the hive is probably inside the garage wall, resulting in needing to tear down the wall to remove it (apparently leaving a hive will either a] keep attracting bees or b] rot and ruin all the wood and moldings of the house...neither of which are preferable), so this is not going to be fun.

But I'm really more concerned about making the tapping stop.


Ten on Tuesday! Volume 13

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's been awhile, my lovelies.  But I think I'm finally back, and back to a blogging state of mind.  Which I'm glad for, because I've missed writing.  And you!

Things have been kinda wacky around the house right now, lots of cleaning and reorganizing and switching schedules and chaos and whatnot so I'm in the middle of a small project.  I figured I'd do the Ten on Tuesday to ease back into blogging, and then Wednesday I will recommence with actual posts.  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and the beginning of the week has been well!

1.  Think back a decade, do you remember what your first cellphone was? Was it as cool as Zack Morris’s phone?

It was the typical red brick of a Nokia phone.  Mine was red and my brother's was green, so it was like Christmas when our phones were together!

2. What is the first children’s book you remember being read to you?
I remember The Twitches by Roald Dahl, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Siverstein, and this one book where it's a Native American girl whose tribe is in trouble because of drought, and while they were all trying to figure out how to save it, she went atop a hill and offered the gods her doll and the last sprig of some flower.  Because her sacrifice was from the heart, the gods heard and helped out the village.  I don't remember the name of it or if that's the exact story, but the gist is there.  (And I've just Googled and figured out it is called The Legend of the Bluebonnet.)

3. What was your first car? Did you love it or hate it?
My first car is my current car (2004 Toyota Corolla), and I adoreeeeee my baby.  I got her when I turned 19, and if I could drive her for the rest of my life, I seriously would.

4. Who was your hero growing up?
Julie Andrews.  Well, more like Maria from Sound of Music, and it eventually evolved into Julie Andrews.  And Josephine March from Little Women, who is still very real to me.

5. Think back to your first kiss. Was it everything you dreamed of?
Please refer to this post.

6.  What was your first BAD hairstyle choice? (Extra points for embarrassing photos)
I've never really had a real hairstyle.  It's always just been really long...like, REALLY long.  It was literally to my knees at one point, which was a bad choice (like milk...). Now I just wear it slightly layered and still long (though now to a couple inches above my waist).  Nothing's really changed.

7. What was your first realistic dream? (One where you had to think “Oh dang, was that a dream?”)
I don't remember my first realistic dream...they've always been pretty realistic though.  There was one where one of my best friends from Belgium moved to Italy in my dream; it was so real, I was absolutely crushed when I woke up and realized it hadn't happened.

8. What was the first phobia you remember developing?
Spiders.  Always.

9. Which character on Sesame Street do you most identify with?
I don't know about identify with, but I was always drawn to Big Bird.

10. What was the hardest goal you ever accomplished?
Finishing college in 4 years.  There were a lot of factors going against me, both personally and academically.  It was a feat, I assure you.


There's just too much.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm having a bit of a writer's block.

It's not that I can't think of anything to write though--in fact, it's pretty much the opposite.  I feel like there are a lot of thoughts going on in my head, and I want to write about it, but I can't really sit and sort.  My head feels like it's overflowing, and as much as I want to compartmentalize it and sort it all out, everything keeps blending.  The moment I try to focus on one thing, I can't stop the thoughts about others.

I want to write about all the notes I found from 5th grade that I passed in my classes and how I'm pretty sure I didn't actually pay attention.  I want to tell you about how I was cleaning out the boxes in my closet that resulted in me finding those notes.  I want to discuss how I feel like I'm being crushed by a strange mix of uselessness and overqualification.  I want to delve into my wanderlust and all the places I want to go and trips I want to take and things I want to experience.  I want to tell you how my heart hurts every day because I always feel like I'm away from home.  I want to tell you how I'm constantly surprised at the poor choices I make, even though I know I know better.  I want to tell you how grateful I am to have friends (real life and bloggy) who stay with me despite my flakiness and ridiculous avoidance issues.  I want to tell you why I'm at the library all the time.  I want to tell you about the six books I'm reading right now.  I want to tell you about a boy.  I want to tell you how odd it is that I hate peanuts and regular M&Ms but I love Peanut M&Ms; and I equate it to how I hate green tea and lemonade but really like green tea lemonade.

But I can't.  I'm stalling, and I have false starts, and every time I try all I do is Ctr+A the entire paragraph and hit backspace and try again.

So instead, I am going to turn back to watching this old Buffy rerun and my spoonful of Nutella; and leave you with three screencaps of three movies I love that I ran across on weheartit, all of which mean something to me.


This post is brought to you by the color red.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I was supposed to be here this past weekend:

Doing this:

But where was I? (if you follow me in Twitter--which you all should!--then you know the answer.)

I was at home, on my couch, sicker than ever.  The health gods decided I haven't been sick enough this year, so Wednesday I woke up and my first thought was, "Oh God I'm going to throw up."  Thankfully, I did not, but I got to spend the subsequent three days feeling like I was.  My temperature just kept on climbin' until 2am Thursday morning when it hit 103.8 degrees.  104 degrees is apparently the need-to-go-to-ER temperature, but fortunately it never hit that high.  Absolutely miserable time.  It was frustrating because by Friday (the day we were leaving for Vegas), my temperature was gone, but my stomach was still going.  And by Saturday (the day my parents were going to Phoenix), my stomach was settling, but my temperature went a little higher.  It's like my body was teasing me: oh oh you can almost go on vacation, but yeah...no.  Awesome.

So, I was incredibly pissed off this weekend.  I was supposed to be with 18 friends celebrating a birthday in Vegas, but couldn't.  I was supposed to be vacationing with my parents in Arizona, but couldn't.  My mom was supposed to have a nice weekend away with my dad, but instead had to stay home with me.  A friend was boothing at Earth Fair sunday and wanted me to come, but I couldn't.  My library books/DVDs were due and I was supposed to go turn them in, but I couldn't and now I owe $4.30 (that's more than my coffee drink!).

Angry.  Angry angry angry.  (So you know...seein' red.  Sticking with the theme here!)

While out today, I somehow managed to get a cardboard tag from a pair of jeans I was looking at caught under my nail, and when I removed it I gave myself a very nasty bleeder of a papercut.  It stings and is extremely distracting and now half the tip of my right-hand middle finger is red.

I am also at a...ahem...delicate time in the month, and I do not like the mood swings it is bringing in.  I've been so reflective and melancholy, and it's making me sad.  I've realized that there are things that I think I need to face, things that I need to learn to get past, I just...I'm really scared to go back to that in my head.  But at least there will be some blog posts coming?

Lastly, and try as I might I can't really get a red theme into this one (if you can't figure out how the last paragraph fits, you are on your own), I can't even explain how behind I am in responding to comments/emails/blog reading.  Between the Laptop Limitation I did, general laziness, then being sick, I don't even know where to begin.  Slowly but surely, I will get to it all, swear.

Oh, also?  I cannot friggin WAIT until basketball playoffs are over.  I hate basketball, I do not like the Lakers, I do not like Kobe, I do not like people discussing it acting like they know what's best, I do not like bandwagoners, I do not like people who yell at bandwagoners, I do not like people who don't realize they're bandwagoners.  So ready for this sport's season to be gone.

(images via weheartit)


The Best Thing About Being A Blogger: A 20sb Blog Swap

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dearest readers, as the name suggests, I am swapping blogs for the day--and I am delighted to introduce Toya!  All the way from Nashville, TN, I'm pretty sure she's one of the most honest and real bloggers I've come across in awhile.  I really love why she likes being a blogger, and I trust that you'll love her, too.  If you'd like to hear what I think is the best thing about blogging, head on over to her page; and make sure to check out the rest, too!  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Some writers blog as a way to advertise their talents or gain awareness of their name on the Internet. Some think that blogging cheapens the value of what they have to offer by giving away for free what they would expect to be paid for.

I started blogging on Myspace when it was popular. I used it as a means to express how I really felt about my parents getting a divorce. I can honestly say that blogging helped me cope with the issues I kept bottled up inside. It was then that I realized that blogging was healthy to me.

That is why I started missyoulove.org. I wasn’t too worried about how it would be perceived. I never told anyone about it because I was afraid of what they would say. Then I went to college and met some amazing people that also blogged and reading theirs inspired me to continue.

I am not much of a writer, I make many grammatical errors, and I ramble a lot (which I’m doing now) but that isn’t my main focus as a blogger. It is to share a little of myself to the world.

The best thing about blogging is having a place to pour out my thoughts without being judged (at least I can’t tell if I’m being judged.) I can express who I am from inside my head. In this world it matters how you look, how much money you have, and who you know. If you are real about what you write about, you have the ability to reach out and touch other people, help them with seeing things from another points of view, etc.

I also like blogging because of the great friends I have made.  It feels more authentic because people get to know me through my words. I have met so many people that have helped me when times were bad, answered questions about life, and help me grow stronger as a woman.

I honestly can’t say where I would be if I never started missyoulove.org because it has helped me in so many ways. I am very thankful for it.


Ten on Tuesday! Volume 12

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's that time again!  Head over to Chelsea's to link up if you participate, too!  I rather liked this batch of questions, though they kind of hurt my heart since it made me think of Europe and how much I miss it.  Also, tomorrow I will be participating in 20sb's 7th Blog Swap!  Which means I will be elsewhere in the Blogosphere, while I will have an awesome guest blogger hosting my little space for the day.  I will of course link you up to where I am, and I trust you all to play nice with my guest :)

1.  What book, movie or song has made you want to travel to a particular place?
The answers to this are limitless.  Because I'm not going to include places I've been already, when I read PS. I Love You (and saw the movie, but meh) I have never had a stronger desire to go to Ireland.  Of course it is somewhere I've always wanted to go, but the descriptions and scenery just...wanderlust.

2. Aside from your significant other, who would you want to take with you on a dream trip?
Ok, assuming I'm not going to be cast as some disgusting hermit...if it's truly a dream trip, I'd probably go alone.  There's just something about having your own silence to go somewhere you've never been and experience it without having to take into account some other person.  If I had to choose someone, of course it would be one of my best friends.  Mischa, Nadia, Brit...yeah.

3. Where would said dream trip be to?
Mmm...France.  I miss France so much it is ridiculous.  It makes my heart hurt to think about it.

4. If you were hosting guests or providing tips, what three things would you show visitors to your hometown? (be it where you live now or where you grew up)
For the sake of ease, we'll say where I live now.  First, I'd make you go to Coronado Island, because it embodies everything I love about San Diego: the beach, beautiful architecture, lovely little shops and boutiques to walk around in...it's beautiful.  Second, I would tell you to go to the Gaslamp Quarter and barhop and walk around at night, because it's exciting and fun and so unique.  And lastly, we'd have to hit up a Mexican food place.  Not just any, but a legit, true, you're-basically-across-the-border little joint, like Alvaro's or Santana's or Alejandro's; and I'd make you eat a carne asada burrito or a California burrito.  You just have to.

5. If you had a long weekend ahead of you, where you head – beach, city or country/mountains?
Mountains.  The beach is commonplace here, I want to get away.

6. Do you have a passport? If so, did you get it for a particular trip or just to have, in case?
Until I was 15, I had no idea that people didn't have passports.  Seriously.  Since I was born overseas and continued to move in and out of different countries, I've had one all my life.  It never occurred to me that it was something you had to get, because it was always given.  I remember listening to a friend talk about her trip to England and mentioning that she had to apply for her passport; I kept thinking, "Apply?  Why?  Where is yours?"  I went home and asked my mom what she meant...let me tell you, my world was shaken.

7. Are there any travel souvenirs you collect? If not, is there something else you collect?
Postcards, and my family collects shot glasses and souvenir spoons.  I also have a small collection of Venetian masks and Hard Rock Cafe menus from all around the world.

8. If you could name a paint colour, what colour would it be and what would you call it?
It would be a deep red, bordering maroon or burgundy, and I'd probably name it something ridiculous like Holly Berries From Christmas or Fragile Desire.

9. If you were heading away for a weekend citybreak solo, where would you go? (forget about practicality here and flight times, assume you can get to any city in the world for the weekend)
Chicago.  As much as I want to say NYC, I need longer than a weekend there.  Of course I need longer than that for Chicago, but I think it would be easier for me to do it.

10. Is there a song or a smell or something that you strongly associate with a particular holiday/place/time, such that it always takes you back?
There are too many songs and smells that take me back to too many places and times and situations.  Everything in my life has an association of some sort.  But how about...the smell of ginger/spice cookies (called Speculaas or Spekulatius in German) will always, always transport me back to Christmas in Europe.  It's so strong and so powerful that I avoid it outside of the Holiday season because it makes me yearn too much.  And the song Collide by Howie Day reminds me of my senior year in High School and one boy in particular...he was my very best friend and we were so close.  We fought so often and were such a strange pair and we challenged each other at every turn (even when it wasn't necessary, because we're both stubborn like that), but...we were there for each other, even at the most unlikely times.  We were each other's worlds, and no matter how off we were from each other or whatever disagreement we had, we would always come back to the other.


So, Madonna and I could totally be like, SISTERS...

Last month, a lovely blogger I follow did this thing about loving her body, and it got me thinking about my body and if I love it and if I do why do I keep feeding it the worst crap you could put into it and why do I let cuts go untreated like the bloody papercut I got on my middle finger the other day and still stings like a BEAST.

Well...first, because it's a papercut, and what can I really do about that?

And second, Chipotle is just so damn good.

Anyway.  I'm not even going to get into all my body issues (which are, thankfully, much less today than they used to be); and I am sure as hellzzzz not going to post photos as the brave Jayka and all those preceding her did.  Firstly, because I will break my camera doing that.  Secondly, I will break my computer pulling that up.  Thirdly, I will break all my readers' faces if they see it.

Or it's because I'm too lazy and I don't feel like fiddling to get a semi-decent picture of my nails.  Whichever.

For those who didn't see the post, part of it was taking pictures of 5 features on her body that she liked.  The entire moral and thought behind this blog "meme" (it's not really a meme but I don't know what else to call it) is something I strongly support.  As a woman girl young lady (I'm not a girl, not yet a woman...), I understand the pressures of looking certain ways, wearing certain things, making sure certain things don't spill out or spill over or stay put.  Hell, I think anyone just as a human in society can understand that.

I'm not going to do 5 things, but there is one thing about my body I'm going to talk about: my teeth.

Specifically, my two front teeth (all I want for Christmas is...except I do have them, FYI.)

The thing is, I have a gap in my front teeth.  Not Vanessa Paradis-style or Mike Tyson-like or Anna Paquin even.  I guess Madonna, but maybe not as much.  But it is a gap, and it is there, and you can see it in most of my pictures.  I'm kind of lucky in that somehow, not many people notice it--real life or pictures.  My bottom lip tends to cover part of my front teeth when I smile, so it blends it out or something.  I don't know.

Anyway.  Before people ask, yes, I have had braces.  For three torturous years, and of course during the end of my high school career; so every prom picture, every grad photo, every celebratory snapshot is me rockin' that silver smile.  When I got my braces off (mercifully a month before I started college), my teeth were straight.  But I didn't wear my retainers as much as I should have -- they hurt, ok?!  they weren't the normal metal wire retainers! -- and eventually my teeth shifted.  They're not as bad as they used to be, but they're still not directly straight.

People have asked me if I wanted to get it fixed.  And not just my dental hygienist, regular people and friends and once this very odd man at the shop I was in.

That was a weird day.

I get it, ok?  Some people are really averse to awkward teeth.  I'm not saying I don't get a shiver every time Kirsten Dunst smiles or my eye doesn't twitch when Steve Buscemi shows that tooth.  There's something oddly beautiful about a pair of straight, white, normal sized teeth (I'm looking at you, Hilary Duff and those horrible veneers).  But I don't hold it against anyone when they don't have perfect teeth.  I still watch Kirsten Dunst movies (that is an entire other issue we will not discuss), I think Steve Buscemi is actually one of the best actors I've seen, and I'm glad Hilary Duff made relatively something of herself beyond Lizzie McGuire.

The thing is, I like my gap.  I really like it, actually.  It's just another thing that's off about my face and I think it somehow adds character.  Maybe I'm wrong about that, but does it really matter?  It's what I believe.  I always liked the gap, and I remember being slightly sad when I learned the braces would get rid of it.

Guess I won that battle, huh?

I understand that it is a turn-off to some people.  I've seen people literally grimace when I smile and they see my teeth (at least, I think it's because of the gap...hmm...perhaps should think this out a bit better...), and fine, I'm not going to fault you for thinking a gap-toothed smile is unattractive.  We all have our superficial standards.  I mean, I will most likely not want to date you if you're blond, but I'm nice enough to overlook that. You're welcome.

But really, if you're going to use my gap-toothed smile as the reason you don't want to throw out a friendship line for me, I don't want to be your friend/girlfriend/lover/anything.  Because if you're not going to make the effort to love me in spite of a gap in my front teeth, I am damn well willing to bet you will not make the effort to love me in spite of all my other numerous faults--the ones that matter, that make a difference.

In conclusion of this rambling mess: I have a gap in my front teeth. And it's not going anywhere.  Go ahead and hate it, but don't hate me for it.


A Visual Entry of My Browser

Monday, April 12, 2010

Whenever I run across a picture or a post or website that I really like, I tend to keep it open in my browser (I am the primo user of tabs, my friends).  I just can't stand to close it.  It's not like I look at the page/pic/post all the time, I just like knowing that it's there, a singular click away for when I do want to return.  The downside of this is that it slows down my computer to have so many tabs open, especially when the pages are picture heavy.

Since I've had the same browser open for 4 days now and it is turning my computer into a dinosaur, I thought I'd make a post that seems as though I'm just sharing my current interests but also doubles as a way to document the tabs without having them open.  Hooray for pictures!

I blame weheartit for this one, because I saw one of the photos and had to know where it came from--so I clicked the link.  And it brought me to a page that I understood absolutely nothing of (I think it was in Russian, but I can't be sure) except for the title saying "Sony World Photography Awards 2008".  So...I can assume it's from the Sony World Photography Awards?  I guess?  Whatever the reason, this is a sample of the pictures they have up.  Click if you'd like to see the rest (which I highly recommend), though be warned that a couple images and several of the sidebar ads are NSFW.

Cute Things Falling Asleep.  Oh yes, you know you're in trouble just by the name of the blog. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a big pet/animal person (sorry!), but even these melt my heart--especially that second video I posted; make sure to watch it all the way to the end!  I know you can scour YouTube for these and find a plethora, but an entire blog dedicated to some of the cutest animals (and sometimes people babies, too) fighting sleep and failing...agh.  ADORABLE.  Just the header on the blog wins me over.

Carlsbad, CA
I have this secret obsession with"dream" homes and estates.  I think everyone can look at some and get a feeling of want, but I love looking at the architecture and the design, too.  Which makes it incredibly dangerous when I'm on Dream Homes Magazine and Architectural Digest, because I spend hours looking and finding and inspiration-boarding.  And then I found the listings for Dream Houses in San Diego, which became responsible for 12 tabs...it's almost an addiction.  The above and the three following I love the architecture and exterior design of:
Coronado, CA

La Jolla, CA
I actually know this house, it's in the suburb I live in! (Which is why I won't write the location).  The picture doesn't do it justice, it's a gorgeous house with a beautiful location.  I trick-or-treated at it when I was in 10th grade :)
And I'm a little obsessed with the interior design of these (click to enlarge):
Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Rancho Santa Fe, CA -- and I actually think I've been in this house when it was first built.  It's even more stunning than it looks in the photos.
A friend of mine let me borrow the 1940s version of Pride & Prejudice, and despite the fact they did change some of the book, I really enjoyed it!  I have a hard time deciding between the 3 versions I've seen (2005 Keira Knightly version; BBC miniseries with Colin Firth; and now 1940s with Greer Garson).  I'll be first to admit that I, along with most other women, am in love with Mr. Darcy, so any actor will probably get a little leeway that might not normally be there.  But Laurence Olivier deeeefinitely played him well, in my opinion.  Such a classic man.

Click to see the rest of the Illustrated Cities series!
And lastly, this is an artist I've talked about before, but every time I see her work I love it even more: Blanca Gomez of Cosas Minimas.  Her recent Illustrated Cities series is so cute and fun!  According to her blog, these were done for a project, but I do hope she illustrates other cities as well! (So far she has done London, New York and Paris.)


Earthquakes, glasses, lots of the F-word and why I kind of suck at life right now.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I was hoping to have some mind-boggling (mind-bottling..."you know, when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle"+), enlightening post as my return from my Laptop Limitation thingamajig.  I wanted to answer your Big Questions, tell you how the world was created, hint at the answer to life, and basically blow your friggen' mindholes.

Buuuuuuuut...yeah.  Alls I got is a badly placed quote+ from Blades of Glory (which I still maintain to have one of the greatest chase scenes of all time), a few serious topics from the past week, and a throwback to the times of tests so I can tell you more things in the complicated-but-entertaining-for-me Q&A format.

There was a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Baja California (Mexico) on Sunday.  It was so strong that not only did SD feel it, but LA and Arizona did, too.  ARIZONA.  I mean, I had no idea they could have earthquakes there!  Obviously of course I knew, logically, technically, sensibly...but no. Regardless, that was the strongest and longest earthquake I've ever experienced (and I've gone through my fair share), and it was slightly terrifying.  Normally, quakes are so commonplace I wouldn't even bother to mention them, but this one was kinda scary.  We actually moved to the archway in the middle of my house--which never happens, normally we all just sit where we are and wait the 10 seconds until it's done.  I couldn't believe how long it lasted (35-40 seconds), and I'm 100 miles away from the epicentre! It's a bit surreal standing and watching your house, your very foundation, the freakin' earth shaking and rocking and going up and down.  And all you can do is wait.  Mexicali did suffer some damage (and one death, unfortunately), but we were very fortunate that everything is fine.  Aside from my DVDs and books being moved from their shelves and a good lot of our items in the curio cabinets being tipped over, all is well.  Though I have to admit, the resulting aftershocks have been ridiculous.  They register as high as 5+ on the Richter sometimes!  I can't believe I'm actually getting used to hearing my windows shake and feel my bed move.

On a happy note, I have health insurance!  I think.  My application was approved, and they charged us the money, so I better fuckin' have it.  Which is nice, knowing that I have at least some sort of coverage.  Load off my shoulders, at any rate.

Q: True or False: I bought a new shower curtain, and this is a highlight of the week.
A: It's true. It's purrrrdy because it's horizontal stripes of various grey tones.  I also enjoyed redecorating the bathroom my brother and I share while he was gone on the East Coast and therefore had no say in it.

Q: T/F: I went to the same library on three separate occasions in one singular day.
A: It's true. I started to get funny looks.  But I can't help it that I forgot some books the first time around, and then had to meet my mom there the third time!

Q: T/F: I will be purchasing black, plastic, thick-framed glasses very soon.
A: False.  So false.  First, I can't stand thick-framed glasses (yes, I consider mine thin).  And second, I can't wear plastic frames because I don't have a bridge on my nose for them to rest on.  I have the flattest surface of face ever, except for where my unfortunate Leno-like chin and small round tip of nose pokes out.  So, plastic frames are a no-go; all they do is slip down and then move every time my chubby cheeks move.  However, a purchase of thin-black framed glasses with nose pads will be purchased soon.

Q: T/F: I want the iPad.
A: Surprisingly, false!  Would I turn it down if given one?  No.  Am I willing to shell out money I don't have on it?  No.  I'm waiting for the new, higher tech version.  Or, honestly, I've always thought the Microsoft Courier would be better for me.

Q: T/F: I am sore as shit right now, and it almost hurts to move.
A: Painfully true.  I worked out for the first time in...forever.  I probably shouldn't have done it when I still only have minimal breathing function out of my nose, and I probably should have started slower, but that would have involved thinking, and I didn't do that.  I hurt so hard that it pains me to move my legs.  Just sitting cross legged as I am now kind of burns.  But...pain is progress, right?  RIGHT?!

Q: T/F: In a debate of Las Vegas v. Phoenix, I am heavily favouring Phoenix.
A: It's kind of true.  My parents are going to Phoenix for a weekend, while a large chunk of friends are going to Las Vegas that same weekend.  Both sets have invited me along.  While I would love to hang out with my friends, I've never been in Phoenix (long enough to explore, anyway).  And I know, it's Phoenix, what could possibly be so awesome as to beat out a night of clubs and partying and alcohol and WOO!  Well, first, I don't really do all that, but mostly it's just the plain fact that I've been to Vegas, and my increasing need to go anywhere I've never been is winning.

Q: T/F: April 13 will be the happiest day of the year.

Q: T/F: Justin Bieber's "Baby" is on a CD in my car, and I purposely burned that song into it.
A: Deny deny deny.

Q: T/F: So is Nick Jonas's "Who I Am".

Q: T/F: In the last two days, you have learned not to Google "condom commercial" or "The Naked Chef" unless filters are very strongly on.
A: So very, very true.  The internet is a weird, weird place, man.  But bright side, if you ever want a forum to discuss condom commercials and the cinematography and accuracy of how the condom is portrayed in the commercial, boy do I have the place for you!

Q: T/F: I can't wait to try that KFC monstrosity called the Double Down, as pictured:
Bacon, 2 slices of cheese, KFC sauce between 2 chicken filets
A: THIS IS SO FALSE I WANT TO DIE.  Do you see that?!  It literally repulses me.  I want to vomit.

Q: T/F: I am seriously considering going back to school for an architecture degree.
A:  Mostly false...but a little bit true.  I considered it for a brief, delusional 3 minutes of my life.  I love architecture and am slightly obsessed with houses and structures and the design of them.  Granted, I know next to nothing about it, but it's something I enjoy and would love to create.  But then I remembered how absolute crap I am at math, and the dream died.  I mean, I had to cry in front of my teacher to get my C in AP Calculus so I wouldn't get my admission to university revoked.  I'm that bad.

Q: T/F: I am slightly concerned because everyone and their got-damn-mothers are pregnant/engaged/married/buying their own place/any or all combinations* of previous choices.
A: False.  I AM FREAKING THE FUCK OUT.  What is up with the world?!  Because holy geez one of my old roommates got married and 4 girls I know got engaged and 2 girls just announced their pregnancy and 2 couples I know just closed on their houses even though we are in our early 20s and this was just from this past week!  And here I am, living with my parents, alone, with zero prospects at someone buying me a drink at a bar.  Yeah.  This is good.

Q: T/F: I will be caught up on my Reader very soon, so you'll all get lovely comments within the next 20 hours.
A: I so wish.  Since no blog reading happened during my Limitation, I currently sit at 734 unread items in my Reader--which I'm sure will increase by the time I get to start reading them tomorrow.  Awesome.

Q: T/F: I kept to my Laptop Limitation, save for 2 days in which I was on the computer for 2 hours rather than 1.
A: Mostly true.  Mostly.  Ish?

Q: T/F: I have not had soda since Monday.
A: Unfortunately, false.  Had one with lunch yesterday--but seriously, you try eating Filipino food without soda.  I'm pretty sure that stuff is flavor profiled to combine with soda.  But at least that's the only one I've had for the week, right?

Q: Was this Q&A form really a throwback to high school test times, or was it a thinly-veiled way of doing bullet points without actual bullet points?
A: No comment.

Images 1 and 2 from weheartit, KFC screencap from overflowing
*What the fuck, Blogger--"combinations" is most definitely a word.  GET RID OF THAT STUPID RED SQUIGGLY LINE UNDER IT.  You recognize hullabaloo but not combinations...*shakes head*


Ten on Tuesday! Volume 11

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hello Ten on Tuesday!  I figured since I can do these pretty quick, I'd shove it into my hour of Laptop Limitation Time.  I'll return tomorrow or Thursday!
(and of course, head over to Chelsea's if you join in on the fun, and make sure to submit your name to Mr. Linky!)

1.  If you could travel back in time, would you?  What decade would you visit?
Am I traveling back for a visit, or am I traveling back to live forever and start my life from that point?  Because if it's the latter, I wouldn't go back.  If it's the former, I would definitely go to the Victoria era.

2. What was your best Halloween costume?  (fun to make? most creative?)
So...y'all can lambast me for this if you like, but I don't dress up for Halloween, and I haven't since about 3rd grade.  Possibly 2nd.  I've had 2 costumes that I can remember.  Of the two, I guess I liked the gypsy costume best because my mom made it for me and I thought it was so adorable.

3. Do you like your name?  If you weren’t called by your name, what would you want to be called?
I'm used to my name.  Even though it's one of the most common names in the world (first and middle name), I think it fits me well.  It's been fun getting nicknames since so many others have my name.  I adore my last name, though.

4. In the past year, what is the BEST recipe you made.  Please share it!
I haven't?  I don't really cook.  anything I do is a simple meal thrown together out of time restraint.  I suppose the yummiest is my mom's cookie recipe, but I don't have that anywhere handy right now.  Just know that her oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookies are the freakin' BEST.

5. Look around – what is the nearest object or picture hanging on the wall?
Two very different types of lamps are hanging on the wall next to me.  Oh wait, no...there's a sign that says "Occupancy 116" just above me.  I'm at Panera, and it can hold 116 people in their dining room.  Apparently.

6. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?  Would you recommend it?
Hmm hmm hmm...in a theatre?  Good Lord it has been awhile.  I really think it was New Moon (dollar theatre, woo!), and that was in February.  And do I recommend it?  Uhh...sure?  I'm pretty sure my recommendation won't be the deciding factor if you do or don't go.

7. Did you go to summer camp?  Will you/do you send your kids to camp?
I did, for a few years when I lived in Belgium.  But it was a type of day camp, never a sleepaway kind of camp.  I really liked it, but it was different from the norm since it was a military thing and it was the only place where everyone spoke English.  I probably would send my kids to a camp, if they want to.

8. What kind of ringtone do you have?
My regular ringtone is Michael Jackson - The Way You Make Me Feel (my favourite MJ song!); my brother's ringtone is the Reading Rainbow theme song; my mom's ringtone is Boyz II Men - A Song For Mama, and my dad's ringtone is the Kill Bill theme song (he likes the movie, not for other reasons!).

9. Where is the farthest away from home you have ever been?
That question can't apply to me since I don't really have a distinct home.  I mean, if you mean my current home, I guess either San Francisco or when I was in Utah/Colorado/Arizona/New Mexico--I don't know which is farther.  But if you mean farthest from what I called home at the time, when I lived in Belgium I came to San Diego.  And I went to the Philippines.  Again, I don't know which is farther.

10. Has anyone ever written a song or a poem for or about you?
Yes.  Both, a few times, by a few people.  I don't want to talk about it.


Have a happy (hop-py? too punnerific?) weekend!

Friday, April 2, 2010

My dears, I do hope you have a fantastic weekend! San Diego is expected to be recovering from it's last big storm at this time, so I do believe some lovely spring days are coming. Even though I'm a Winter gal myself, beautiful spring days are appreciated. They're just so cheery and waiting to be filled, n'est-ce pas?

For those who celebrate it, Happy Easter! (And for those who are of the Judaic faith, a [semi-belated] happy Passover!)

I'm not a religious person. I never have been, so Easter has always been about the more...um...Hallmark-y ways. I have very fond memories of Easter egg hunts in the field behind the school in Belgium and outside the Lower School in Italy, consuming way too many chocolate bunnies than a child should (like Kinder eggs!  Childhood in a chocolate, my friends).  A very lovely memory--though perhaps not so for my brother--is Easter egg hunting at our house in Belgium; my mom would take Polaroid pictures (you know, when it was legit and not this hipsteryi'msoartsythrowbackbullshit) of the places she hid an egg and write the name below it.  Her intention was to make my brother and I read it, but as I was young and impatient I would look at the picture and bolt off, leaving my poor brother at my mom's mercy to read it before he could go.  Thank goodness my parents had the sense to make the "even amount of eggs each" rule, else I'm pretty sure my brother would have punched me.

I also remember whining and hating the holiday because it brought about pastel colours, something I despise.  If ever a color I can't stand, it is pastel pink.  When I am no fan of pink in the first place, making it sugary-sweet is the last thing that should happen.

Anyway.  Saturday my brother returns from his vacation on the East coast, and I am very excited.  Even though he'll only have been gone for 9 days, it was very different not having him home.  For Easter Sunday, as is the tradition since my move to the US, I will be going down to my grandparent's house and celebrating with the family.  It will be a good time, hosting a small egg hunt for a few of my cousins, seeing a few of my relatives, consuming yummy Filipino food.

What are your plans?

(photos via weheartit)


A Perfect Wednesday

Thursday, April 1, 2010

via weheartit
Last Wednesday was a wonderful, wonderful day and I thought I'd share a bit of the happy.

First, I went to the library.  And saw the hot manfellow I saw at a different library earlier in the week, which leads me to one conclusion: we're destined to be.  I mean, two libraries, two separate days, exact same time?  And we drive the same car?  Tell me that's not cosmic!

Unless he's way younger than he looks.  Then I'll just make friends and advise him which YA books to read, because I'm kind of an expert on it.


So after, I met up with Sarah, who is so amazing beyond words.  I beg you to click to her page and look at what a talented artiste she is.  We headed on over to Encinitas, perhaps one of the most typical beach towns in California.  Palm trees?  Check.  Ocean?  Check. Beautiful, toned people carrying surf boards to the water, hair sunbleached and skin suntanned?  Check.  Cute downtown with eclectic mix of boutique and second-hand stores?  Check.  Street lined with pubs and bars and varying international-cuisine restaurants?  Check.

God I love San Diego.

The goal of the trip was to visit Book Tales, an adorably quaint second-hand bookstore.  We know by now that I have a thing for books; and second-hand ones are absolutely lovely.  There's already an entire world within pages, and second-hand gets to encompass an entire other life, a history as to someone else owning it.
photos from Book Tales website!
And you can't beat the weird titles you will inevitably stumble across.  (Hey Sarah!  We Need to Talk About Kevin.)

After spending quite the amount of time in there (in which I acquired Charlotte Bronte's Wuthering Heights, since I've never read it and figure I should one day), we walked up and down the main street, popping into the random shops.  At Sarah's suggestion, we headed down to the beach!  Which, I mean, really...why would we go two streets from the beach and then not go?  Plus, it was a beautiful day.  Sun shining, not sweat-inducing heat but a nice warmth...perfect.

And yeah, I'm definitely wearing jeans and a jacket while at the beach.

Finished off with a ridiculously amazing and ultra-cool two-woman a capella concert in the car--with a few dance moves--of the discography of *NSYNC, and it was safe to say that that day was pretty much the highlight of the year thus far.


About Me

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I'm fairly obsessed with penguins, Peanuts (the comic), and the TV show Friends. Parentheses may or may not be (over)used in this blog, and books will pretty much be the only thing I ever talk about because they are my One True Love.


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Zoe's bookshelf: read

The Dragon's EyeAngelsThe Lightning ThiefThe Man of My DreamsCity of GlassCity of Ashes

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