Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Grab Bag

Well, my goal of writing four posts a month has not happened thus far. It's been a BUSY two months, but really, I think it's more laziness... that, and - when I go to write, I have it in my head what I want to write about or say, but then I look at my laptop and it goes into smoke. This one, I think, is going to be a grab bag of goodies more than anything specific... here goes.

Birthday, yo...
My birthday came and went in January. I stopped really celebrating my birthday when I was somewhere around 13ish - it was always never a big deal. I have always wanted (as an adult, anyway) to have a birthday party, where I could have all of my friends together to have fun. Just a party. I cannot remember the last birthday party I had (I think it was when I was before 10, but I think those were just mixed in Girl Scout things, or they were just family get-togethers). I dream of throwing a 70s/disco themed roller skating party, where everyone has to come in 70s getups - but unfortunately, here in SoCal, roller skating centers are few and far between, and none close by to me. That is my one party-really-wanna-do-idea. I'm sure - if I give way to dreaming and scheming - I can come up with others, but mainly, they'd definitely be costume parties. Anyhow, I'm now 37 years old, which doesn't seem as old now as it did (theoretically) when I was in my 20s. I have no issue with my age, nor do I act or look my age (whatever that means).

A Clusterfrick of Fur...
Also in January, Awesome gave birth to a litter of four kittens. This was a bad/difficult pregnancy and delivery for her, but all of the little fuzzbuckets are still alive and kicking (despite colds/eye infections that I've been treating for a month now). Just a recap: her first litter was a four-pack, who all died in their 6th week. Not sure why, but it was not fun. Her second litter was a onesie, Lil Bit, who is now 7 months old, is a big brother extraordinaire and my stalker (he is currently lying down on the other couch - directly across from me - and staring at me. He stands outside the bathroom door, and if I shut it shut it, he head butts it. Yep, he's decided he's mine.) - and he plays with the new litter and kinda watches over them and helps teach them. It's actually kinda cool, considering he didn't have that as an example when he was a babe, but it grew out of instinct. Awesome is still a psycho bitch. She's a good momma, but waaaaaaaaay too overprotective and asserts her aggression to those she deems unsuitable (which is just about everyone). I'm worried that when I have her spayed (which will be soon) that she will be a psycho bitch forever because her hormones will not have restabilized to "normal" (ie, pre-pregnancy). But, she cannot physically go through another pregnancy and labor like this last one, so this has to be the last one. We think she was actually 1-2 weeks overdue - the kittens were large and eyes opened by the time they were all a week old. They started going after the big kitties hard food by the time they were a month old. They still nurse occasionally, but their main diet is (and has been) hard food, fresh water and soft food once a day. Same as the big kitties. Now I gotta find them a home...

Monet, the 18yr old calico is slowly becoming a senior kitty... Up until about 4 months ago-ish, she rocked it with Awesome and had a second kittyhood. Now, she's chill, usually hiding out in a cupboard in the kitchen. I can tell that she has a touch of arthritis going on, because she is not jumping up on places that she usually did as often. In order to ease her getting out of the house (vis a vis my mother's bedroom window of all things), I am going to dig out an old ladder from a bunkbed set we used when I was a kid and hook it up so she can get in and out regardless of how her arthritis is doing that day. She still has her appetite and her motor works, and she is not in any pain (trust me, she WILL TELL YOU LOUDLY when she is!), I am not too concerned - aging affects all of us at some point in time. It is just weird to have to figure this out at the same time I am watching a foursome of baby fur go nuts. 

On Procrastination...
I never got my Christmas/holiday cards out... I had enough and started embellishing them, but never got them out. So now I'll have them for next year, and hopefully I'll get them embellished and ready to go between now and November. It's becoming an annoying habit of not being able to get cards out on time EVER. I think the same goes for packages as well. It's not that I don't have things to send out - I do - but I think, oh, I can fit ONE MORE THING in the box/envelope/whatever. And I never seem to stop adding to the box. I took one morning before work and finally boxed/packaged and addressed all of the stuff I currently have to send out, and have been taking one or two (however many the paycheck will allow) to the post office once a week. This seems to be working, although it may take a while before I get everything out. Last week, I got the customs forms, so I can fill them out before I get to the post office and I can start sending out international packages. I am trying to package things as I pick them up now - I have a big box that I need to fill that's going to England, so I have it in the mail "center" and open, although it is already addressed and otherwise ready to go. As the I pick up goodies for this box, I put them directly in there, so there is no hiding crap in 200 million different places. I don't know if this is summed up to procrastination (which I am really good at) or if it's the desire to send something something that they will love and I can't send it out until I think they will love it. Acceptance much??

Doing it Organically...
So my goal to get out of the house and meet people (specifically: DUDES) is not really going on. Prior to my trip to Oregon to see the Monkey, I worked as much as I could so I could be able to take the time off. Since I've been back, I've been working (almost) nonstop due to others being sick and the store being short-staffed. I have looked up dancing lessons, but unfortunately, they seem to be in Pasadena as the closest place to go, and while that is really not that far from home, it is when you have to take two-three buses to get there (and ostensibly, get home). I've even checked Parks and Rec for my city and for the nearest to me (although I doubt I would meet someone my age there, I still want to learn how to dance), and there is nada that would be on my days off (for some reason, Wednesday seems to be the go-to day for dance classes). I am buying my first opera ticket tomorrow morning to go see Lucia di Lammermoor at the end of March - I've already made arrangements to switch a day with Donna so I can go see it (because it's on a WEDNESDAY, but of course. Thursday's tickets, which would be my actual day off, are more expensive, of course.). I also want to go see A Streetcar Named Desire, which is in May. I have already bought my dress for the Lucia - it's a blue semi-illusion wiggle, vintage - and my purse will be bought as of tomorrow morning - a Jonathon Resnick with interchangeable outer decor. I will, of course, post pics when I have both. Now it's just a matter of shoes.... I would love to go see The Book of Mormon, but I think those tickets (what's remaining would be $90+) are a little out of my reach... we shall see. In April, I will be doing a 5K with Purple at the Santa Anita Racetrack, but since I have to work Saturday afternoons, I won't be able to stay to watch the races (this may change... we will have to see when the dates/times are to maybe see about switching with someone so I can, cause I'd love to put on a fancy dress and big-ass hat and watch a race in person - ok, mainly it's so I can wear the big-ass hat. I cannot tell a lie.). I still want to go down to Downtown LA and pick up postcards from each "section" of LA's awesome downtown - Chinatown, Olvera Street, Little Tokyo, the Fashion District, so on and so forth - so I can send them out to my PUGPals. And so I can explore. I do explore the "excitement!" of downtown home, but it's a small town (comparably speaking, to LA proper and some of it's larger cities nearby), so there's not much to explore - or places to meet people. I do enjoy knowing that I am putting my money back into my very local economy, which in turn, makes a difference in helping us develop more jobs (ok, so I can't take all the credit for that - other people helped... but still, it's kinda cool knowing that your money going into the local shops helps those shopowners expand business and employment.). 

And this month's foodie addiction is....
Limon Lays and fresh pico de gallo. I can eat it for days, which is funny to me because it is what I craved when I was pregnant with the Monkey (and no, don't even think about asking. There are certain things that have to occur in order for pregnancy to even be a possibility... and trust me, I would know if those things had happened. And this would probably be an entirely different blogpost) - I would cut up huge chunks of tomatoes, onions, and cilantro (I wasn't accomplished enough to add the seranos yet) and (back then) I would mix it with La Victoria's salsa verde to give it a little more of a salsa feel (but then again, I would not add the La V and just shovel it in my mouth as was). Anyhow, FREAKING AWESOME IN MY MOUTH. 

Also in love with Coffeeside Cookies, which are dipping cookies, similar to a biscotti. While they have no obvious coconut flakes in them, they have a distinct macaroon flavor to them and they are just yummy in my tummy with coffee or tea - basically, anything hot. Speaking of dunking cookies, Girl Scouts have Dulce de Leche cookies in limited markets (I bought mine in Oregon, and for the love of holiness, they are NOT being sold in California!! I protest!!). They are tiny, but have a light caramel flavor to them and like a shortbread cookie, are great to dunk in warm/hot beverages. Or to eat in the middle of the night when you're sleepwalking/eating. Whatevs, doesn't matter. 

I have been on a hummus kick for the past two and a half months now. Sabra's roasted garlic seems to be my go-to, and they have go-cups that have the fancy-schmancy new baked (?) pretzels with them. Bad breath who cares - not kissing anyone anyway, and anyone that close to my mouth is going to be in for a world of hurt. Nice thing is that it's good fiber, which is beneficial. 

Haagen Daas Salted Caramel Truffle Ice Cream. Enough Said.

The Glass Ceiling at work will be discussed in a later post... I need to chill a bit or it's going to read like a sailor wrote it. 

The trip to Oregon was a doozy, so it's going to get it's own special time too.

And the kvetching about things that need to be purged shall begin. April 25th marks a very special day that I do not want to have the past and it's issues clouding and it's beyond time to let things go.

Let's wrap this up, shall we? I've gotten to know a few of my neighbors even better since I started working at the store, which is kinda cool. My hairdresser survived a brutal attack by her then-husband, ending up with 12 stitches in the crown of her head and severe bloodloss. She also survived his suicide, which happened shortly after he bailed out of jail for assault with a deadly weapon (obvi to her). She is an amazing woman and I am so honored to call her my friend. 

Bedtime. Good night everyone, and big balls to ya.

PS: I know there are grammatical errors in here, especially the last half, but I've fallen asleep three times before I got through reading it. THIS grammar/spelling nazi is taking the night off and going to bed.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Hello, all...
It is officially January 3, 2014 (the date I am starting this post, anyway...), and a new year has commenced. I will be 37 years old in 19 days, which is a double whammy; I also celebrate Chinese New Year (being Buddhist and all), making January a triple threat for me. I think, more than any other time of year, January is my month for making changes, metamorphasizing (I make up words on a regular; don't mind me), rising from the ashes if you will. 2013 was not necessarily my friend - in fact, at times, 2013 was quite hellish for me. I am looking for 2014 to be a year of major changes in my life, although they will be ones that take their time in occurring, no doubt. I dread making resolutions - like almost every other human on the planet, they don't usually stick past the first few months. Instead, I set a goal for what I want to accomplish (and yes, I do realize this could be seen as a phrasological argument, but it's my brain, and goals are usually what work as opposed to resolutions) in the coming year - things that make a to do list, if you will, for the upcoming year. I have spent the past week or so thinking of what it is that is important for me to do this year for my own well-being, and I think I have a good grip on what they are going to be.

First and foremost, I need to find a way to get back into school. I currently have an MBA in Management and one in Hospital Administration. I want to complete my PsyD in Forensic Psychology (not the PhD because that is more research-based opposed to the PsyD, which is more practical). I have the school I have been longing to go to already picked out and have attended a couple of events there, but for a couple of reasons, I have not applied. My school loans are over $100,000 - 7 years in undergrad earning my BA in Psych (with a minor in English Lit), 1 year completing both MBAs online, and 2 quarters starting my PhD in Clinical Psych. In other words, A LOT of school went into that 100K, and yes, especially in undergrad, there were a few years in screwing around trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. All of the loans are in my name, which is somewhat uncommon here in the US (financial aid from the Federal Department of Education does not recognize you as an "independent" person until you are 24 yrs of age, married, a ward of the court, or other extenuating circumstances; if you don't meet these requirements, you are required to use your parent/legal guardian's income taxes from the previous year to determine eligibility. I was declared "independent" as far as financial aid was concerned since I was 17 yrs old (long story that I'll kvetch about later), so ALL of that is my debt. !!). Due to life circumstances, I have not been able to pay on my loans when the deferment period ended, and my loans went into default. When I worked at Sad Company, they garnished 15% of my gross paycheck (which was fine with me; in trying to make payment arrangements, they - DOE - decided the minimum payment per month needed to be $1000, which was impossible because I usually made 1/2 of that a month. So I was technically paying back my loans - YAY! - but had to wait until garnishment so that I could pay them back in payments I could afford); they have yet to determine whether or not to do the same with my paycheck from 7/11. Normally, a default is going to screw you out of any additional aid, whether it be for a mortgage, car loan, or student loan, which means I would be completely unable to afford going back to school. My goal (which I have put off until now) is to find out what exactly I need to do in order to be able to pay for school. I have been terrified for the past 2ish years of asking this very necessary question to the school's financial aid counselor, knowing that she may have resources that I could be a candidate for and ways for me to get back into DOE's good graces (there is an automatic deferment if you are in school). I also made a promise to both my grandmother (who passed in 1996) and my son that I would finish school with my doctorate. It has been an important goal for so long for me that I need to actually get on it and stop being afraid of what the outcome will be.

I would like (ok, actually LOVE) to travel this year. It is a goal that I've had for a long time. I have planned to go on a cruise/trip to Hawai'i after graduating with my doctorate, so that trip will wait until then. I would like to see both the local sights (unbelievably, although I grew up and live in Southern California, there are lots of touristy places I haven't been to or seen) as well as go out of state, and maybe out of country (I would definitely need a passport, which is also on the to do list). In February, I will be traveling to Oregon to visit the monkey. I would like to attend Viva Las Vegas this year, but that is going to depend on both finances and time off from work. Other than that, I don't have any specific places I want to go; the goal is to just go. There are lots of places on my bucket list, so knocking some of them off of the list this year would be fantastic, although possibly unrealistic. 

Finding my creative streak again is a big must for this year. I was a musician in school, which was my biggest creative outlet then. Music is still huge for me in that I think of moments in terms of music that can express that moment for me, but I have not been listening to enough music of late (and my tastes range anywhere from classical to punk to Top40 to everything in between); that needs to change. My theme song continues to be "F'ing Perfect" by P!nk; I want my love life to be one that calls to mind the Lumineers "Hey." Music can change my mood in an instant - the first chord struck is one that can usually bring me out of a funk or let me wallow in my pity party or enjoy my shift at work. In addition, writing is now a huge creative outlet for me, and I set out with this blog to write once a week. I now know that may be slightly unrealistic (because of work and life), so instead, my goal will be to have 4-5 blog posts a month. I also have a large "bag" of things that I want to create - both for myself, but mainly for others - many sets of sweater guards, some dream catchers, some painting (not actually on canvas, but to help create and complete other projects). And my biggest creative project will be to re-do my room, which is a closet in the garage laundry room. I have been collecting paint chips, fabric swatches, cleaning supplies and other goodies to help transform it into a haven for me. In order to facilitate this creativity, I have two new journals: one is for projects - someplace where I can stash swatches, paint samples/chips, draw out plans; the other is going to be a journal I can keep with me and put in my purse. In order to help me sit down and write in the damn thing, I am trying this a little differently (I have had many journals over my lifetime, but - as with resolutions - I tend to start strong and end up with a lot of empty pages). For the past week or so, I have been cutting out phrases, words, and pictures of what I envision (or want to envision) for the next year. And I will continue to do this throughout the year, instead of just writing in it. The goal is to have something I can look back on to give myself some confidence as well as a place to write poetry, musings on life, daily happenings, whatever. Maybe work out blog posts prior to writing them here. The point is to draw on the creativity that I have buried for way too long.
The open book is the new journal's first two pages; the next two pages are similar... I hope to continue this throughout the year, which will create something more than just a diary. The bottom floral is the comp book that my sister and I are sending back and forth between Ohio and California in an effort to get to know each other.

I am going to perform one random act of kindness once a week. It doesn't have to be anything huge or costly, just something to make someone's day a little easier or a little brighter or a little kinder. I firmly believe in both karma and the Golden Rule (do unto others...) and realize fully that I am more than likely the one who receives the greater joy out of performing a RAK than the person receiving, but regardless, the world could use a lot more kindness in it. If I can help with that, then I want to. 

I want to continue to develop relationships with my "new" family (aka my biological father's side of the family, including my sister). My sister and I have a composition book that we write to each other in and send to the other (she lives in Ohio) - not unlike what we did in high school with our BFFs. I am hoping we can bridge the gap of 30yrs of not knowing each other and become friends, if not sisters.  I've met two of my uncles (and their significant others) and a couple of cousins, as well as FB friended them, so the steps are there, it will just take time.

I really really REALLY want to learn how to dance. Ethel has invited me out swing dancing with her and her beau, and the next time they offer, I'm going. But I would also like to take formal ballroom lessons as well. In order to help facilitate my back and body allowing me to do this, I want to make yoga a part of my life again, with or without going to a studio to practice. Yoga has always enabled me to be at a level of functioning higher than that which my back's injury would normally allow, and I have wandered away (ok, let's be blunt: I got lazy) from doing it, which is not benefiting me at all and is working to my disadvantage. I think that between the two, I will allow my body to continue to function at a level that would be unexpected from my injury.

I am shooting for being more social... I have done better this year in that I have gone out with Purple and Ethel and stepped out of my comfort zone - a little. I have made it a point to take myself out to lunch/dinner/breakfast once a week, although that doesn't necessarily have me doing a lot of interaction. I figure that the more I put myself out there - however it comes about - I will interact more, and maybe develop a dating life as well as a social life. 

Ok, so that takes care of the goals - the major ones, at least - for 2014. I have a tendency to develop other smaller goals throughout the year, and I will update or include them here as they pop up. January is also going to be a month of purging for me... A lot of purging. I need to get out of my head all that has gone on in the past few years in an effort to move completely forward and not just continue on in this existence of glossing over the bad and ignoring it happened (I'm really REALLY good at doing that), cleaning out my room and making it a haven - which means purging out clothes and things I don't use/need, cleaning out my Facebook account (I have already begun this), my phone contacts list, and the list of purging will continue on as I find things I need to move on from. I want to start February fresh; actually, Chinese New Year is the ideal time for me to start fresh, as it starts right around my birthday and it is traditional to "clean house" metaphorically and physically for the celebrations. I have already done some chopping to my hair - oh so necessary!! - allowing some of the length to go and incorporating some layers which will allow me to do more with my hair than I have been able to in a few months. I had already cut bangs about a month or so ago because it became an itch I couldn't scratch, and loved it for a while (as always, it makes me look younger), but am now letting them grow out (I know I am not the only one who goes through this cycle... it has become how to make the awkward phase of growing out work with my look now, but I think I've become adept at it, lol). I am about to go in and color my hair a different color, although it is still red (I had a very vivid dream in which I went to my Helen and told her I needed to color my hair crayon red and we did it... the color I am switching to is called Merlot Vibrant Red, by Vidal Sasson, which is a brand I've never used and a red I've never done, so it will be a first).
This should be interesting...

I still have to apply for Covered California, Cali's version of Obamacare; I've been hesitant because I'm worried about the premiums being more than I can actually afford as well as losing my ability to go to the same clinic in order to see the same NP I have become comfortable with.

Every journey begins with a single step (or something like that), so off I go.

Happy New Year everyone - I hope that 2014 brings you happiness, health and prosperity (of all kinds).
Just as an FYI: Chinese New Year is January 31, and this is the year of the horse (above is a dragon horse).
 xoxo Desilu

PS: Here's a quick pic of Lil Bit, who is now 5 months old and has decided that I am his person... He's so fluffy!!! 
Don't let the cuteness fool you... he's a lethal weapon when he wants to be!!
 One last note: it is only Jan 4, 2014, so it's only taken me a day to post! woohoo!!! lol, ok, I'm done now!