Saturday, January 31, 2009

T-1 day...

...until I eliminate soda from my diet.  I know right?  Who woulda thunk it.  My boss is going on three week break from alcohol and he said to be supportive I had to give up caffeine.  At first my reaction was your typical "psh."  And then I decided to go for it, and while I was at it, might as well just make it soda all together.  My dad gave up caffeine a few years back and he never quit craving it.  I think it's because he still drinks soda.  I never would have thought I'd actually give this up, but I'm going for it (and I got my dad on board too.  The rest of my family scoffed at me...apparently addiction runs in the family.)
I have to say it will definitely be the most difficult to refrain in the morning, and when I eat mexican food, mac and cheese, or any salty treat.  
Let's face it, this is going to suck.
But 2009 is the year for betterment for me,'s to sucking down a 12 pack on Superbowl Sunday and getting myself sick so I never crave it again.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Take from the rich and give to the poor?

Yesterday one of my favorite traders was leaving work when a homeless person asked him for money.  He gave the usual, "Sorry" and kept walking.  The homeless guy then says to him, "Hey!  We're in charge now!  Give me some money?"  Charlie's obviously taken back, "What??"  "Yeah!  We're in charge now!  You gotta give me some money!!"  
True story.
Then, this morning on my commute, with the rest of the working peeps who earn their paycheck I see what looks like a group of seats open on the subway.  Then with some shifting of people I realize, no, it's a homeless person sleeping, stretched out on the bench.
I couldn't help but think of the symbolism.
I'm supposed to keep getting up and going to work to pay taxes that will put money in this man's pocket?  Not exactly motivation.  I think I might rather be the one sleeping in and getting the handout.
Makes NO sense.

2008 Introspection

I stole this from Meggan. I love the idea.

What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Went skydiving.

Did anyone close to you pass away?
Thankfully, no.

What countries did you visit?
:(  Sadly none.  But that's changing this year!!

What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
My own apartment (dreaming big.)  More realistically, a busier schedule that keeps me motivated and interested.

What was your biggest personal achievement of the year?
Getting out of debt.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

What was the best thing you bought?
It's gotta be my watch.  I love it so much, and I've never worn something that got so many compliments, even from complete strangers.

Who did you have the most fun with?

Where did most of your money go?
Uncle Sam, rent

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting a new niece, moving into a place with my own room

What songs will always remind you of 2008?
4 Minutes by Madonna and Justin Timberlake, Too Late to Apologize by One Republic, Disturbia by Rihanna, The Way I Are by Timbaland, Feedback by Janet Jackson, Gimme More by Britney Spears, You Are The One by Shiny Toy Guns

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Spend money, stress/worry, make the same mistakes over and over again, waste time, miss opportunities, doubt myself, have petty relationship arguments (especially the same ones, over and over and over again), lose balance in my life, focus on things out of my control.

What was your favorite TV program?
The Amazing Race

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.  I don't hate anyone, and don't believe I did last year.

What was the best book you read?
It wasn't the most productive year, literary-wise, but maybe The Secret Life of Bees.  I really loved that book.

What was your favorite film of this year?
That's tough.  It's always easier to remember the more recent ones.  I can't pick a favorite, but the following stick out in my mind as movies I really loved: Juno, Defiance, Seven Pounds, Batman, There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, Sex and the City, Michael Clayton.

What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
Gosh, it was more like a birthday week.  Pretty much every year I do a low key dinner, but this year just happened to be different.  It started off at midnight with longboarding and a milkshake with Curtis at Charlie's, and then that night we had dinner at one of our favorite mexican restaurants, and then meeting up with Chels, Court, Jac, and Maria for dessert at Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man, followed by an impromptu dance party.  Then that weekend Rachel, Gina, and Rach's doggy Pepper came down from Boston and Chelsie, Jaclyn, Rachel, and I went skydiving by the Hamptons on Saturday and then the rooftop dance party that night to celebrate my, Chelsie's, and Maria's birthdays (since they all fall within a week), and sleeping all day Sunday.  Best birthday of my life.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Hm, a lot of solid colors, comfy clothes, leggings, skirts, jeans, tunics....these are my favorites.

What kept you sane?
Very good friends.

When you think about 2008 what sticks out in your mind?
A relationship, considering it consumed most of my time, energy, and focus.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happiness is

getting this email in your inbox:

It's not exactly JFK-Orange County, but it will be soon!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bodies the Exhibit

After hearing how awesome this exhibit is for the last two years I finally went and saw for myself.  Let me tell you, it definitely did not disappoint!  It was honestly so interesting, and my only regret is that I didn't allow for more time.  I went at 8:30 and it closed at 10 so I had to rush through the last couple rooms, which were some of the most interesting to me.  These rooms included the reproductive organs, and different periods of pregnancy.
It really was so incredibly fascinating to learn so much about all the different parts of the body.  It's amazing how much happens in our body that we just never think about.  I kept wondering how anyone could see this and not believe in God.  Everything is so intricate.
Considering I was the only person at the exhibit for a lot of my time there, it was a little creepy at first (especially when my phone started buzzing- scared the heck out of me!)  It's dark, and quiet, and I was just so focused.  However, the "creepiness" fades very quickly.  It's just so fascinating.
I'd highly recommend going if you're in the city, especially because this is the last year it will be here.  I know it goes on tour to other cities so I'd definitely recommend going if it comes to your town!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I'd really love to escape this cold winter we're having and head to the sparkly waters of Powell.

(In my chubbier days.)  I'd also really love to work on my tan.  I'm pretty sure I'm at my all time pastiest.  By the end of that Powell trip I'd never been so dark.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy 2nd birthday Megster!!

There's not a 2 year old in the world who's cuter, sweeter, or more precious than you.  Aunt Rae Rae loves you!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It's safe to say in the last month I've seen a lot of movies.  Here's my thoughts:

Good acting by Sean Penn, as always.  Interesting story that made me think.  I'm surprised they didn't release it before Prop 8 was voted on.  Sort of slow at times, they could have cut out maybe 20 minutes.  Oh yeah, and I love Josh Brolin.  Totally crush on him.

The best movie in all these.  Absolutely phenomenal.  So inspiring.  It was tough for me at times to not jump up and cheer.  Everyone should see this, and I wouldn't say that about very many R-rated movies.

Great acting, but totally depressing.  I wouldn't recommend it.

I realize "great acting" is redundant, but it's true. Meryl Streep was awesome.  I wouldn't put it at the top of your list, but definitely worth seeing.  It's nice to see a different story line.

Loved it.  I haven't seen many Clint Eastwood movies (Million Dollar Baby might be my only one?) but it really was great.  I couldn't figure out how it was going to end and then I totally loved how they wrapped it up.  If you're sensitive to racial slurs this is definitely a no go.  It's slightly cheesy at times but still really great.  I could have done without Clint singing the song to the ending credits, however.  I also loved that Clint's character reminded me of an extreme version of my grandpa-old war vet, grumpy, racist, very handy, and lovable.

Eh.  I didn't love it.  Interesting story, and even though you know the ending it gets really intense at times, however I was often bored, and thought it was lame no one spoke with a german accent (except Hitler, who was surprisingly sort of creepy to see.)

Anne Hathaway was amazing.  Not a movie I'd recommend to just anyone.  Sort of artsy, and some might just say it was dumb.  I was entertained, and enthralled by Anne.  She's reason enough to see it.  Interesting portrayal of families and how they cope with life's curve balls.

Cute.  Bring tissues.  Jen is gorgeous and I want to hate her.

Extremely well done.  Interesting story that kept me invested.  Sad.  Great acting.  I love the girl in it, Freida Pinto, she's strikingly gorgeous.  Everyone loves an underdog and this one is a winner.

I was dragged to this one despite thinking it looked like maybe the lamest movie ever.  Going in with the lowest of low expectations I found myself pleasantly surprised.  It made me laugh a number of times.  Completely unrealistic and ridiculous, but good for a laugh.

I still have yet to see this one.  It's rare I'm not fighting sleep in any movie, so I have to really gear up for this lengthy film.  I've heard really mixed things so I'm going in with no expectations.


There's a chance I may have learned this game this weekend.  And hypothetically speaking,  I could have taken $100 and turned it into $400.....hypothetically.  Hypothetically there were high fives all around.
I can see how people become addicted.  I'm just sayin...

I'm feeling...

1. Not able to rest, relax, or be still:
2. Not satisfied to be at rest or in peace; averse to repose or quiet; eager for change:

I can't shake it.  The need for change.  (What?!)  I know.  I'm the one who's always fought off change.  I like things the way they are.  If it's not broken why fix it?  But maybe it is broken.  I don't really know.  And I'm just feeling, well, restless.  I can't think of a better word.
Never in my life have I felt this way.  I would imagine this is because before New York my whole life was governed by the time table of school.  Whether it was big or little changes, they were inevitable.  And after I moved back to California?  I was working towards moving to New York.
Clearly I've been in love with life since coming to the big apple, but lately I just can't shake the feeling that I need a change.  Not necessarily a move per se, just something.  But what?
I've been plagued with these feelings for, oh, about three months now, maybe.  I did get a little distracted by the holidays (even if I was particularly scroog-ish this year) but now that I'm settled back in, forced back to a routine, it's hanging over me again, like an itchy wool cloak that somehow needs to be adjusted, or just removed all together.  It's annoying.
Maybe it's just the winter blues?  I don't know.  Maybe not.  Maybe my life is supposed to go in a new direction.  Maybe there is something out there, waiting for me to steer my life towards it.  But, is there?  And if so, where is it?  What is it?  What steps must I take to find it?


I'm also feeling a dire urge to meet a whole bunch of new people.  A whole new scene of interesting, stimulating, people with whom I just get along smashingly.  Okay, I'll be honest, when I say new people, I mean new guys.  I want new new new guys to meet.  I was sort of stoked when I found out the singles wards were doing a speed dating night.  As lame as that makes me sound, I sort of just thought it would be fun, if for nothing else a few laughs and awkward stories.  I've never done speed dating before and thought, why not?  I convinced a friend to agree to go, and said we'd go into it expecting to meet some new people, and laugh on our way home about the dumb small talk we'd had.  And if a date came out of it?  Bonus.  Then this morning I realized it's the same weekend my (very married) bff Shantay is coming into town.  Out of desperation I then texted a good guy friend asking to be set up.
I actually really hate, no loathe small talk and the whole "getting to know you" conversations that always go the same way.  It's like endless job interviews where you're selling yourself.  But still, I'm feeling the need.  
I've sort of been distracting myself with trying to plan vacations (Lake Placid over President's weekend!  A tropical getaway in March!  A looming two week vacation to figure out!)  Some days this excites me, but other days it overwhelms me.  I'm left thinking, will I have the money for this?  Who will come with me?  I've already accepted (and am looking forward to) the fact that one, or more, of these vacations will be solo, but I don't want that to be the case every time.  
Oh yeah, and that two week vacation I mentioned?  I found out last week that two of my vacation weeks have to be taken all at once.  It's called core leave, and up until this point, as an assistant I didn't have to take a core.  Last year I found out towards the end of the year I technically had to take a core, for five days.  No sweat, I was leaving for Thanksgiving for a week.  But two weeks?  What the heck am I going to do for two weeks?  And better yet, who else has two weeks off they want to spend with me?  Yes, yes, I could go to California, or make my core leave overlap my Christmas break, but I want to do something.  I don't want to waste this opportunity sitting around my parents' house, or sitting around New York.  Yes, those are great things to do, however I can do them any time.  I want to take advantage of this daunting two weeks I'll have off.  And like I mentioned, I can make it overlap with a Christmas break so that I don't have to use other days off for that, but for some reason it just seems like that time isn't the best time to be going on vacation.  Too many other things going on.
Part of me wants to take a multi-country trip to Europe.  Part of me wants to take a cross country road trip.  Part of me wants to go somewhere super far, like somewhere in Asia, or Australia, while I have the spare days for flying (and recovering from jet lag.)
But figuring out vacations is really not the biggest worry on my plate.  It's something I have to figure out, but also something I get to dream about.  It's a task, and also a distraction.
Meanwhile, what about everything else?  What about my life?  What about the other 48 weeks out of the year?  I've looked into different things (volunteering, taking a class, getting a second job) but the motivation to do those things lasts about a week.
Where is my writing in the sky?  Where's my fairy godmother?  Where's my Jiminy Cricket?  I asked for a life coach this year for Christmas but Santa's elves didn't really have the means.  Maybe I should start looking for a shrink.
Oh yeah, and my hair seems to have grown three inches overnight.  All of a sudden I'm sort of hating it.  I feel like chopping it off.  I've never really had short hair, and didn't realize how frequently it has to be cut.  When my hair was long I cut it, like, twice a year.  Seriously.  It hasn't even been two months and now I'm like, what am I going to do?
And some days I'm feeling skinnier, and other days I'm feeling fat.  And I have no clothes.
I swear I'm not an unhappy person.  Just restless.  Is this my quarter-life crisis?

Friday, January 16, 2009


Some might hate me for this, but I seriously think is pretty hilarious...and maybe it's kinda true...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve this year was so fun.  I normally am not a huge fan of New Year's.  In my opinion, it's totally overrated.  It gets so built up, and usually is just not as cool as the hype.  Oh yeah, not to mention if you don't have a date, it's not that cool.
My flight back to New York was supposed to have gotten in at 10:15 pm on the 30th, however due to an engine problem that came up mid flight, we ended up landing in Vegas and hanging out for four hours while we waited for a new plane.  We ended up getting into JFK at 3 am, and I was home by 4 am (and then proceeded to get yelled at by the cab driver who thought my tip wasn't big enough.  Seriously???  Like, he was yelling at me in front of my building.  You better believe I got back in his face, and reported him, like any good New Yorker would.)
Needless to say I was so glad I'd taken the 31st off, and slept the day away.
Mike, Greg, and I met up at one of my favorite mexican restaurants, Harry's Burritos, for dinner and to figure out the plan.  It was exceptionally cold that night, and I just wasn't feeling up to doing much.  (Seriously, I don't think I've ever been out in such cold weather.  It turned out New Year's Day was the coldest we've had in six years.)
Greg talked us into going to the progressive party on the Upper West Side, and I'm so glad he did.  We ended up having such a blast!
The first stop was at Tony's apartment.  It was a smaller, more chill group.

With Dan

Mikey Perkey

BFF Greggy

The next stop was Peter's apartment.  I was so stoked when I got here because all my downtown peeps were there, and there was dancing!  (A staple for any good party if you ask me.)

The typical party scene.

Getting down with Libster.

Maybe one of my favorite photos from the night; with Anita, Libby, and Heidi.

The last apartment was where we hung out for about fifteen minutes and watched Dick Clark and the ball drop, and then, of course, more dancing.

Heids and Ashley

With Steveo

Happy New Year!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh yeah

When we hung out in Cardiff Jason took me for a scoot on the vespa.  They live a quarter of a mile from the beach.  So fun!!


So my initial Christmas plans were to spend half my time in Utah, and half in California.  Due to some flight problems, I ended up spending most of my time in Utah, which ended up being great.
It was really fun to just hang out at my grandparents' house and just sit around, eat, sleep, chat, eat, sleep, sit around, etc.  Seriously, it was five days of just that.

Sitting around sharing our memories of Grandma and Grandpa

With my cousin Kim

Grandma and Grandpa Marks

With Grandpa and cousins Kim and Nick

Mi madre

With Grandma and Kim

Maddie with her great grandma

Even though I was bummed I had to cancel some plans in California, I was really glad I ended up being able to spend so much time with family in Salt Lake City.  There was SO much snow that fell while we were there.  It was gorgeous, and such a nice trip.

Thanksgiving in January

So I realize these photos are two months late, but I had some difficulties between losing my camera cord and having bad internet.
At any rate, I went to California for a week to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  It was such a fun trip home.  All my siblings were their, and on Thanksgiving my grandparents, Uncle Mike, cousins, and cousin Adrienne's family were with us for dinner.  Such a good time.
I was able to spend some time seeing my sister's new house in Murrieta, and brother's new apartment in Cardiff by the Sea.
I didn't get as many pictures as I normally would have liked, but here's a few.

Maddie with her daddy, grandpa, and great grandpa.

Little cuties Ryan and Adrienne's daughter Jolie.

I can't squeeze these kiddies enough.

Brad and Mad.

The sibs, Brad, me, Rebecca, and Jason

Our failing attempts to get six kids under the age of five to sit for a photo.

Maddie and her grandpa

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Oh the places (I hope) to go

I hadn't thought much about New Year's resolutions.  I never really do.  A few changes I'd wanted to make in life I'd started working on a few months back.  It wasn't until I spent some time in Utah over Christmas with family and had a few days to hear all about my cousin Kim's fabulous jet-setting life style that I started thinking more about how I really really want to travel more this year.  I've lived in New York for almost two years now and am embarrassed to say I really haven't been anywhere.  A somewhat lame excuse is that last year I did have quite a bit of traveling to do for two weddings I was in, a bridal shower I threw, a baby blessing I attended, and somewhat of a family reunion over Thanksgiving.
This year (as far as I know) I don't have too many other obligations so I plan on spending my money and vacation days on seeing more of the US and world.  No more envious feelings while I hear about awesome trips to Hong Kong, London, Costa Rica, and Egypt (and then some!)
This year I'm going to travel travel travel!
So I've made the following goals.  This year I will:
*Visit one new country
*Visit two new US cities
*Take a tropical vacation to a new place
*Take a solocation

This Saturday I found myself in Borders browsing the travel section and I added these books to my library:

It was a tough call between the original 1000 Places to See Before You Die and the US and Canada version, but I went with the latter because I feel like I already have somewhat of an idea of other countries I want to see, but I really want to learn more about what the US has to offer.
I'm really excited about the second book.  The woman who wrote it has done a ton of traveling, and has visited six of the seven continents, at least once by herself!  She covers all the basics of where to go, what to see, how to do it affordably, and what things to keep in mind regarding safety.
I've been working on enjoying doing more things solo.  Obviously it's always really fun to do things in a group, or with a significant other, but I do enjoy some things by myself, like seeing movies, shopping, or just being alone.  I want to expand my experiences, and want to do some of those things by myself.
I'd love any suggestions of where you all have gone, especially if it was a solo trip!
I'm open to so many countries, but I'm thinking I really want to go to England.  It's just across the pond and I feel like it's a sin to live in New York and never visit London.  I'd love to see other areas of Europe as well.  I really want to go to Paris.  I've already seen a good amount of Italy, a bit of Germany, and glimpses of Switzerland and Austria.  I'm sure there's so much more for me to see in those countries, but right now the focus is places I've never been.
As far as US cities go, I'm dying to see San Francisco, New Orleans, and Seattle.  I also plan on going to DC this year.  There's no good reason I haven't been there seeing as how it's only a four hour drive, and now I really have no excuse since I have friends there.
Where else should I go???
PS Thanks for the suggestions regarding my trip with Shantay!  There's been a little change in plans.  Now she's coming here!!  I'm so excited to finally get to show her my city.  (She's been here, but not since I've been a local.)  
In the mean time, I'm still planning my winter getaway with some other city dwellers.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New fav



So I learned the hard way last year that planning a sunny escape mid-winter is a must living in this city.  So I've been thinking a lot about where to go and when.  My first long weekend is two weekends away so that's too soon, and President's weekend is also Valentine's weekend (such lame timing) so I imagine most probably want to stick around (but if not, let me know!)
My wifey Shantay and I have also been saying for a few months that it'd be really fun to meet up somewhere for a little bff/twinner/wifey getaway.  Now that she's a grown up married lady (not to mention lives 2000 miles away) we don't really get to have our weekly lunch dates anymore.  Seeing as how we were basically attached at the hip (it's hard not to be when you're twins separated at birth) this has been ridiculously difficult.
So we were chatting today and decided we're going to make it happen!!  I could not be more excited!
So now we're let with figuring out where to go!  We've both been to Cancun and Puerto Rico (plus don't want to go quite that far east anyway) and I want to do something a little more exotic than Florida.  Any suggestions?  My initial thoughts were Grand Cayman, Costa Rica, or Belize.  I know lots of people who've been to the first two but don't know much about Belize.  Or there's always the other places in Mexico.
Also, we want to make it somewhat central for both of us, so neither has to travel super far.  And then obviously, cost.  I've heard great things about all inclusive vacations, but I've never done one myself.  Plus I think it makes it sort of tricky since we're flying from two different destinations.  I'd love to hear any recommendations!  We're thinking maybe four days, five max. 
I know no matter what we'll have so much fun just being together, but an awesome location would make it that much more perfect!