Thursday, October 30, 2008

Girly Silliness

So my roommates and I have been discussing a list we heard about on Ryan Seacrest’s morning show. First, let me say that every morning is better when began with “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” on KIIS fm. It cracks me up all the way to work and makes me wish I had a longer commute! You know it will be a good day when you close the door of your car while laughing (that was me this morning).
Anyway, the list is “41 Ways to Melt a Woman’s Heart” and tonight we read the list over dinner and had some girl talk. Just to add a little cute awkward laughter to your day, here is the list…with a few edits (hey, my family read this blog!):

1. Ask her to dance.

2. On windy days, brush wayward strands of hair from her eyes and mouth.

3. When she’s coming down the street, across the room, or up the stairs to meet you, walk towards her as soon as you see her.

5. Put your arm around her when you introduce her to your friends and family.

6. Grasp her hand when a scantily dressed, beautiful woman walks by.

7. Call her when you’re feeling sad.

8. Kiss her eyelids.

9. Ask to see a picture of her when she was a child.

11. If she’s crying on the phone, go over to her place. Immediately.

13. Occasionally call her by her first and middle names.

14. Buy her your favorite rock album of all time on vinyl.

15. Order coffee for her, remembering exactly how she likes it.

16. Undress her and put her to bed when she falls asleep in the car.

17. Mention your upcoming anniversary before she does.

18. Send her something in the mail. Anything.

19. When she’s feeling insecure, stare into her eyes and tell her there is no one in the world who could be as right for you as she is.

20. Call her just before you get on the plane.

21. Pick her clothes up off the floor.

22. Try desperately to make her laugh when she’s feeling down.

23. Take her to see your favorite sport live. Pay more attention to her than to the game.

24. Touch her arm when you leave the table to go to the bathroom. Touch her again when you come back.

25. Shave just before you see her. She’ll notice.

26. Hug her when she gets jealous. Hug her hard.

28. Give her jewelry.

30. Ask her specific questions about her work.

31. Keep her favorite cereal on hand.

32. In the middle of a conversation, tell her you love her.

33. Send her very expensive flowers when you screw up.

34. Take her to a cabin with a fireplace. Build her a fire.

36. Read her a story when it’s her turn to drive during a long road trip.

37. Offer to fix something at her place that you realize is broken.

38. Notice when she’s wearing something new.

40. Kiss her hand in front of your most die-hard bachelor buddies.

So, what are your favorite numbers? Mine are numbers 19 and 20.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Student stories

Tonight I finished my first grad school class, Ethics in Organizational Leadership. Writing that sentence feels pretty good, I must admit. I also must admit that I cried on my way home. I’m sad this class is over. Sad because the topic was interesting and we didn’t have any weekly homework, but mostly, I am sad to leave my group of peers from this class. The central group was a pack of six or so who have gone through the program together. They are almost done and I doubt I’ll have a class with them again because my program is just beginning. I will miss their friendliness, their laughter, and their familiarity with one another. I will really miss hearing certain people’s opinions, because a couple of them just caught my full attention every time with their wise words and balanced perspectives. I am also bummed because my friend from undergrad is dropping the program and I will really miss her. Plus, my co-worker friend and I probably won’t be any more classes together (she is in the group I mentioned). But, what is exciting is knowing that in six more classes I could be the student who laughs it up with her peers. Knowing that we have all been on this academic journey. That is the beauty of the classroom experience.
So, what did I learn in this class? I learned that for all my open-minded, devil's advocate, accepting mumbo jumbo, I really am a black and white, duty driven, responsibility-led person, or at least that type of leader. This class showed me that yes, I am open-minded and attempt to learn (and hear) from everyone, but when it comes to my personal ethics I know what I believe and what my course of action is and the reasons for my moral standards. What surprised and sort of disappointed me is that I really am a boring, duty-driven person! I want to be situational and "live in the moment," but I am not. I do have responsibilities and I really do make them my priority. But what I have learned -not because of this class but actually since moving out of my parents' house - is that my responsibilities may make me a bit more boring and stable, but it also means that I know what is important to me and what lines I am willing to cross. I have been attempting to cross these lines since I was 18. It is my attempt at rebellion, but it isn't. It simply means that I am figuring out what standards and opinions and behaviors are important to my moral framework and what parts are not.
It must have been a pretty great class to have put all those pieces together! I will miss it. I hope I don't choke up every nine weeks with another ended term!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Leave your old jalopy by the railroad tracks

I am having big thoughts about the economy and the state of the country (and the world) at present. I just keep thinking about the 1930s and the Great Depression. Every time I think about the economy that is exactly where my mind goes. I see Steinbeck. I picture jalopies, empty houses, big families traveling across the country together, new communities of people packed in tiny houses begging for work with the start of a new day, and lots and lots of fruit trees (this whole sentence should prove to both Ms. Le and Dr. Bentz that I did take away something from “The Grapes of Wrath”).
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I am being a bit dramatic and thinking the worst. You also made me wondering what the heck is a jalopy?! But, my thoughts of the original Great Depression simply remind me that people survived then and we will survive now. People never know how strong they are until they face adversity, and if the numbers are correct, we are about to face it. In the 1930’s people grew their own food, let go of extravagances, and patched their clothes. They had to move to new places and rely on strangers. They learned very quickly what really matters in life and that loved one are the reason to get up every morning and put on a brave face. These people survived. We will too.

P.S. Any one who can name what song and movie this blog title came from gets major props!
"The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it." ~ John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

"And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed." ~ John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

(photo credit here)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Busy, busy, busy...

That is how to describe this week and the one that begins tomorrow (I don’t know why, but I always start the week on Mondays). Work is crazy busy and this week will be incredibly so! I think I’ll be working late at least part of the week. I’ve already been starting at 7:30 to get a head start all week.
I found out last Tuesday that my class ends this Tuesday. I thought I had two weeks left to cram in the whole term’s work, but no, I had a week! Tonight I finished all the work (and attempted to learn APA style). I am exhausted. It has been nine months since I’ve had to cram for homework! Such a long vacation from school…kinda want it back…kinda.
I also spent the weekend with my Grandma. It was nice. We looked through a lot of old pictures, but there are still four more drawers to clean out and a cabinet full of photo albums (the drawers just have stacks of individual photos)! I love looking at all the black and white pictures. It is so fun to hear my Grandma’s stories about her friends and my Grandpa and stories about my Dad and his sisters. I have some great childhood pictures of my Dad to bring home to my family in a couple weeks. Plus, a great one of my grandparent’s from the 60’s! My grandma has an almost beehive! It is hilarious.
One of the most interesting things about looking at all my Grandma’s pictures was that we found two pictures of a big group of her friends from when she and my Grandpa were first married. It reminded me of my post about a social circle because even my Grandma had that one solid group who did stuff every weekend and went away for vacations together. It is so interesting that this social circle exists in every generation. My parents had their group when they were in their twenties and my grandparents did too. Very interesting. I wonder when mine will come… I talked about this need for a group with two of my best friends from high school this week. They are feeling the void too. We all are. We used to be each other’s group. I miss those days. I think we all might…at least a little. My sister and I (and my mom) agree that the way to this new group is by joining a church. Sadly, the one I feel most comfortable at – and is my home church – is in Vista and too far away to plant roots in at this point in my life. We’ll see what happens. I am praying about it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

I am writing from home in San Diego tonight and am very happy to be doing so. It is strange how during this transitional period of my life I somehow live in two places. I have my apartment and I have my parents' house. Both feel familiar and offer two totally different routines and habits. The thing is, though, I love my San Diego home more. It is my "real home" no matter how much I try to adapt in my apartment. At the end of the day, San Diego is where I want to be. It is nice to be home. Nice to be with my family, no matter how dysfunctional we are or how often we remind each other of that fact. It is still the place I'd rather fall asleep at night and wake up to in the morning.
I love coming home after a few weeks of being away because everything seems so much more beautiful and nostalgic. I love to run errands because every street is familiar and every place holds a memory. I don't feel like a stranger here, I don't have to keep pushing myself to do new things. I am in my comfort zone, my safety net. Plus, there is the smell and sight of the ocean and my really great church. It doesn't get much better than that. Don't get me wrong, for the next few years of my life I am satisfied to spend my time in my apartment with my roommates enjoying my job and pursuing my grad degree. It is a decision I do not regret and intend to keep. Part of the magic and comfort of coming home to my house is because I don't live here anymore. It is no longer something I take for granted, and without my apartment and moving away that never would have happened. I'm just trying to say that when all is said and done Dorothy was right, "there's no place like home."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bloggers with Heart

The blogger world – or “blogspehere” as some call it – has a heart. A BIG heart. I read blogs (almost) daily and I have come across several blog writers (from magazine columnists to photographers) who are writing and financially supporting a fellow blogger. Her name is Stephanie Nielson and she and her husband, Christian, were seriously injured in a private plane crash in August of this year. This couple (and the blog) has also been highlighted in the New York Times.
I have recently become a reader of Stephanie’s blog, the Nie Nie Dialogues, and have also began reading her sister’s blog, C Jane Enjoy It, to get to know their family better and get updates on the recovery. Both sisters have very entertaining and pro-family blogs. Many people who are supporting and reading Stephanie’s blog have commented on the fact that Stephanie makes women want to be better mothers and wives. She inspires them to be better “homemakers” in all senses of the word. If you know me at all you know that this type of inspiration is generally not something I am inspired by, but these blogs have caught my attention. They are definitely worth a read and seeing the blog community come together has been an inspiration all in itself.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Top 10: Gilmore Girls

I want to live in Star’s Hollow! A place with town festivals for every season and weekly community meetings (or are they monthly?). Where every neighbor knows your name and your story. A city that has no crime, one stop light and you can leave your doors unlocked at night. I want to eat at Luke’s every day and walk to the market and sit in the center of town under the gazebo. Plus, you never know when Jess might show up!

In case it is still unclear to you, we have been watching a LOT of Gilmore Girls lately. Actually, all the seasons have been on repeat since May. We know, it is a little excessive. It is just so witty and charming and enjoyable!

Here are my top 10 favorite episodes (and some clips!):

1. Sookie’s wedding.

2. Rory moves into Yale.
3. Jess drops in on Rory’s weekend alone.
4. The win a date and lunch picnic.

5. The Life and Death Brigade jump.
6. The Dragonfly test run weekend.
7. The night Jess shows up and asks Rory to run away with him.
8. When Rory visits Jess in New York.
9. When Lorelai and Luke break up (the first time) and she leaves him a very pathetic – uncharacteristic – “come back” message.

10. (a moment not an episode) Lorelai dreams she and Luke are having twins (before they are ever a couple).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Isn't It Romantic?

If I get married I hope...

to be this in love after seven years of marriage.

and this in love after 20 years.

to have a love story as "meant to be" as this.

to have a committed marriage as well known, respected, and admired as these two love birds.

and with any luck I will be married to him.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wanted: A Social Circle

Today is a day of big thoughts. I have spent most of my day being nostalgic and discussing life with Em. Tonight she reminded of what I wish to remember everyday, which is that the first year out of college is the toughest transition. I am in the biggest transition year; some say it is the biggest of your life, which also means it is one of the hardest. The strangest thing is that I am almost out of my transition year, so it will be interesting to see what changes happen afterward.
My most difficult transition is the lack of a support system. I have been having a hard time since I graduated with feeling like I have friends, not causal friends because I have those and should actually spend more time with them, but I am missing strong, deep, “best” friends. What I am really missing is a friend group. That is my problem. I felt this as an undergrad too, but was so busy I didn’t have time to really dwell on it. I had friends in college – many of them very good friends – but no group. I only had one-on-one friendships, which I admit, those are much easier for me because I don’t have to be so out-going and can cultivate deep conversations, which I love. However, now I am really missing a group. I think I miss it so much because I actually knew what it was to be a group in high school.
In high school I had a solid group of girlfriends who I spent every minute with at school and then hung out with every weekend as well. We spent at least six days a week together. Every Friday was full of making plans for that night or the next day. It was a great life. A busy and full life, but busy and full in the best possible way, the kind where you’re busy shuffling from one fun activity to the next. I don’t have weekend plans these days. I don’t have a set group who I can call up and five of us can go to the movies or dinner or have a sleepover. I am still a busy person and I still have some friends, but none of them know the others. I want a steady group of friends. I want a defined social circle and support system back. My roommates feel very similarly and I have been told this is a very normal feeling for my demographic. The biggest question we all seem to have is where to find those people to start that group?
I remember this T.A. I met back in high school who told me he wanted to write a book about how difficult the transition is for people who just got out of college. I remember telling him that the hardest transition was leaving high school and the first year of college. I still stand by that answer in the sense that during that year of my life (my first year out of high school) I was more lonely, depressed, unhappy, and hopeless than I have ever been and ever want to be again. However, I would say that this time of transition, the first year out of college, is the most socially empty. I am more secure in who I am and what I am doing, but I don’t have that group to experience it alongside me. I am envious of the TV shows that depict that group, from “One Tree Hill” to “Friends” to “Sex and the City.” I don’t believe this is a media fairytale either, because my own parents met their core group of friends around my age and spent the next ten years (give or take) making plans and hanging out with them. Many people cultivate their own social circles and that is what sustains their 20s and usually goes on to be the same group of people they raise their families and grow old together with. I just want to know when my will begin and how I find it. I guess we’ll all just have to have faith and wait and see…

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I heart NY

Sorry I dropped the ball on more NY updates. All that is really important is that I had an incredible time. Here is an excerpt from my journal about NY:
Describe New York. Describe New York? It is intimidating and homey all at the same time. Intimidating because there are people, cabs, and buildings everywhere. There are smells and noises and languages whizzing around you loudly. Walk into a cathedral on the corner, hear the religious silence. Walk out and realize how jolting-ly loud the city is. There are times I am walking so closely to people I want to scream in frustration. There are times I feel uneasy walking down a block and wish I was among a crowd.
NYC is homey because the city speaks to me. We are soul mates. The kind that challenges one another and pushes each other to our limits, yet understand one another to the core of our beings in a way that constantly inspires, refreshes, and teaches. We have a love/hate relationship. We bring the best and worst out of each other. I love NY for its magic. It “had me at hello.” I love the tall buildings that house offices, apartments, and hotels of all types. I love that you can walk so many places and can (almost) always grab a cab on any street to get anywhere. I love that it is the center of the media the way LA is the center of the film industry. I love that locals don’t react when they see a celebrity pass by. I love Central Park, even though I’ve only explored 100ft. of it. I love the way the city smells and how I wish it had a volume control button and how it really is the city that never sleeps in the sense that someone is always awake, walking, driving, or working.
It is my soul mate because I can people watch, eavesdrop, and observe all the time. It is my soul mate because it challenges me to be brave and makes me hit what I believe is my limit, but then I grow. Everyday is a marathon in NYC. Everyday is survival of the fittest. Everyday is forcing you to know who you are or drown in negativity and apathy and the speed of life. In forcing survival it tells you who you are and asks you to evaluate that. It demands you stay grounded in your foundation, but remain flexible to change in order to foster growth. It is one big challenge course on its own island game show.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New York Part Two

I am so exhausted I hardly know how or what to write! So much has happened. Let's start from where we last left off. On Monday (Day Two) after we rested at the hotel...
- went to Alfredo's for dinner, which is one of Dad's favorite places, but Mom saw a mouse...THREE times, so we had to leave after only receiving Dad's salad.
- then, we went to St. Barts (our old favorite restaurant), which is no longer St. Barts, but is this awful gourmet-type place. It was empty and we couldn't understand the menu and the food was no good. I had vegetable wheat, for example. The whole evening was pretty much a disaster. :(
Day Three:
- went to the MET and had a delightful and delicious lunch there. The art was wonderful. We spent most of our time in the 18-19th century European paintings wing.
- went to Serendipity but didn't stay to eat because we realized we were running out of time before our next plans.
- went to a market and got Dad some cheese and bought some stuff for breakfast this morning.
- went to dinner at a yummy seafood restaurant
- went to see All My Sons. It was fantastic! I loved it, which was great because that was what I was most looking forward to about the trip. It starred John Lithgow, Diane Weist, Patrick Wilson (from "Evening" and "Little Children"), and Katie Holmes. I even got Patrick Wilson's autograph afterward while we waited to see the cast leave. :)
- then Mom and I had a quick drink and a nice chat in the hotel bar.
Day 4: (today)
- met Dad and a co-worker for lunch at SAKS.
- went to the bank.
- in the taxi on the way to The Frick we passes Anne Hathaway getting out of an SUV! She is much thinner in person and her smile gave her away. She was beautiful. It was very cool. :)
- went to The Frick museum, which is me and Mom's favorite. It is an art collection at Frick's house!
- then said hello to my favorite house a block over from The Frick.
- walked up to The Whitney museum. It was way too modern and terrible, except for a Jackie O piece by Andy Warhol. We got free admission from the head of security thanks to a work friend of my parents, but in finding him the two ticket guys were rude and awful and treated us like we were undeserving and dirt poor and disgusting for "cheating the system." People in NY really are a rude as you hear. This has just been one example of many that have happened and I'm still here for another week.
- Now we are back in the lounge of our hotel and going to our room to relax before dinner.
I miss how nice and laid back people are in Cali. I also miss how no one really looks you up and down in a way that is obvious and disdainful. California are way nicer!
More later. Hope all is well.