May 28, 2008


This is being written after eleven at night after a long day with more long days ahead... so I apologize in advance. You can stop reading if it really bothers you.

I seem to be losing many battles lately. At the moment, my cat has outsmarted me again. No matter how I arrange the furniture, no matter how many rubbermaid containers fit under my bed, she still manages to get under there to scratch her little claws loudly and destructively. I have more than twenty years life experience, a larger brain, AND opposable thumbs to my advantage, and i'm still bested by a creature who might technically be smaller than a bread box. It's a wonder I have any dignity in tact.

Things on my mind... work, responsibility, dreams, realism, bad habits, boundaries, what-ifs, calories, possibilities, manners, housing, lists, money, comprehension. All at once, sometimes. My brain is tired.

If all had gone according to plan, and there had not been so much car repair in the past couple of months, this entry would've described my trip to Seattle. I miss my sister. And i still have never seen Washington.

Church went well tonight, which is funny, because I felt more like a hypocrite than ever. I taught a lesson on holiness.

I need to work on the Independence Day piece for drama ministry. It looks like i'm just going to have to write it, since i have yet to find anything that works. I might post it here when i'm done. If it goes well enough, i might post video. That, of course, is assuming that i figure out how to do that.....

May 19, 2008

the conclusion

So yesterday, after much beach deprivation, Sophia and I decided to pack the car and head to the water..... only to be hit with obstacles such as traffic, blocked roads, getting lost, and lack of parking. Sophia got a headache, and we pulled into a McDonald's for much needed food, restroom, and freedom from the car. Seriously, it took us four hours between the start of our journey and that dang Venice Beach McDonald's. As we finished our food, she said she wanted to just go home. My little beach-deprived heart sank.

We got in the car and Sophia gave me the keys. She said, "Drive where you want" as she fell into headache-induced sleep in the passenger seat. So I faced a minor dilemma..... do I drive my friend to home to rest comfortably in her bed? Or do I go where I want to go and continue the quest for sand and waves?

Did you really think I was going to spend four hours in a car in ninety-degree heat and spend that kind of money on gasoline just to go home without my ocean?? Please.

I drove back down the streets I just learned (hey, getting lost isn't in vain when you learn new routes!) and back to the trusty cheap parking lot at our usual beach. We made it in time to see the sunset. Sophia dozed on a blanket and i waded a bit... and the usually-icy water felt quite nice. I was tempted to wade deeper than my knees and actually swim.... but the waves were rough and I knew it'd get pretty chilly once the sun dipped below the horizon. I could've stayed on the beach for hours and hours...... but it didn't take long before Sophia insisted we go back home.

At least traffic was light by then.

So the beach trip wasn't all I anticipated.... what do you do? I tried to keep a positive attitude...

Today wasn't too bad, either. A baby cousin was dedicated at church this morning. Martin from Kenya was impressed at my Swahili (ok, so I know less than ten words, but i think he was surprised that the white girl go that far), and promised me more vocabulary soon. His daughter ran up to me after church. :) Lunch was at a Mexican restuarant/buffet with a live mariachi show. I expected the usual low-key musicians, but this was an out-and out show with dancers and very talented musicians. It was a pretty nifty restuarant.... expensive, but i'd recommend it to anyone at least once.

The Desperate Housewives season finale was on tonight. Anyone have any thoughts on them fast-forwarding five years? And while we're at it.... did you not love The Office finale?? Best gag- the new HR lady thinking Kevin was mentally handicapped. Television discussion welcome.

Of course, i'm writing this to put off writing a spot... under the guise of thinking it serves as a writing exercise to stir the creative juices. Truth be told, i'm intimidated by this one. It's promoting the newest ride at Disneyland and has to be approved by the Disney people... and i feel less than confident in my copywriting skill. But it's already midnight and it's due first thing in the morning, so i better buckle down and hop to it.

Gee, how many colloquialisms can i fit into a paragraph??

May 08, 2008

broken routine

I wasn't sure how today was going to shape up. The "check engine" light had been glowing ominously on my dashboard for a couple of days, and last night I started to smell something burning... Not to mention that for months I've experienced a hesitation then giant thud half the time I came to a stop. Knowledgable friends kept mentioning a dirty, expensive word that starts with a "t" and rhymes with "Dan's Mission".

I tried holding out until next Friday, when my paycheck would come galloping in on a white horse, complete with my accumulated overtime and, coincedently, on the same day as my tax stimulus check. I figured for twenty-four hours I would feel wealthy before I started slicing it up and dishing it out to car repairs and greedy dear-aunt-Sallie-Mae. However, I didn't feel comfortable chancing another breakdown on the freeway. So today was the day to at least find out what my options were.

I tried to remain focused on getting dressed and finding a mechanic, ignoring the black cloud looming (cliche, i know- but accurate). Sophia's co-worker suggested a place near their office, so I called to see how much their estimates cost (i searched the phone book all morning... does anyone else remember the days of free estimates, or am I imagining them? And why, pray tell, does it cost almost a hundred dollars to let a computer "diagnose" a problem??). When the man on the phone said, "Well, we'll check it and see. It could be something simple like a gas cap, and we wouldn't charge to fix something simple like that."

I told him I'd be right there.

The set up was pretty simple... basically just a big 'ol garage. And as I sat in the lawn chair just outside the door reading my book ( "Jesus for President"- Shane Claiborne), I heard the music the mechanics were playing as they worked. "Open the Eyes of my Heart"- I couldn't believe it. The playlist continued with other praise and worship tunes.... rock on.

Wonder of all wonders- the check engine light WAS due to the gas cap. Done. Fixed. But what about the thud? Well, turns out I needed new rear breaks- it was causing the back wheel to lock up. That might take awhile, but was going to cost $110.... an interesting total- the exact amount of the check I wrote Sophia as a payment for the car repairs I'd already charged to her credit card. A check she still hadn't cashed after a week. So I basically already had the money put aside to pay for today's repair! (And Soph can cash the check next week)

However, I was not about to sit in that lawn chair for hours while they fixed it, good music or not. So i started walking.... I browsed KMart and used their restroom while I chatted with my sister, Becca. I stopped by the pet store for a few minutes until I couldn't take the heartbreak of puppies confined to small, clear plastic bins with newspaper floors, or kittens with big blue eyes in metal cages rushing over to extend their tiny paws to me. (Oh, i hate pet shops. Overpriced, not a healthy living environment, and with all the existing pets in shelters.... and seriously, how many of them will be killed when no one buys them??). I walked to the Covina Tasty (it used to be a Tastee Freeze until the franchise discovered they were serving vegetarian items) and got one of the most awesome smoothies I've ever had (all fruit! No ice or added sugar!). I visited a scrapbook shop but got bored after a minute because it's really only paper and stickers... Checked out a small thrift shop that was disappointing not only for it's minimal selection, but the overwhelming smell of grandma (please note- not all grandma's smell like this.... mine doesn't. But it's the first word that comes to mind). Sophia took her lunch break from work and picked me up. We went to a small Mexican place I'd never tried. Lunch was tasty fish tacos and jamaica.

After all that, my car was done! It's as good as new! And my boss suggested that I not worry about coming back to work for a few short hours just to sit in traffic... so i've had a day of beautiful weather and reading books and not being scheduled..... and it's been kind of nice.

However, i'm starting to feel the anxiety of not being more productive. Sophia's almost off work and there's work to be done preparing for tomorrow's big Cali-grandparent birthday bash. We have to do some shopping, and after reading my friend, Cherith's, bulletin post about how we trash our environment, I never want to use a plastic bag ever again.

May 05, 2008

Things you never knew about me

And ways to keep my sanity while stuffing envelopes....

~What is in the back of your car?
In the trunk... lots of stuff. It's temporary storage during this extended-yet-temporary living situation. In the backseat:
- A winshield sun screen-turned-protective seat cover (bags of cans for causes sometimes leak)
- sunscreen that needs to go back in the beach bag i keep in the trunk (i always care a swimsuit, towels, boogie boards, and other necessities. Some call it preparedness, others, wishful thinking)
- Sophia's boots that she left there and i keep forgetting to give back to her
- trash bag to try to keep some sort of neatness
- binder from sign language class

~Name one person that made you smile today?
the new hires, though the smiling was obligatory polite welcoming. Oh, and the tech guys produced genuine smiles by replacing my surge protector and therefore eliminating the loud, high-pitched squeal

~What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
thanking God that somehow, miraculously, i was already getting close to work

~What were you doing 45 minutes ago?
folding and stuffing billing invoices

~What is your favorite candy bar?
candy bars and filled with poisonous fat and calories... hehehe

~What is the last thing you said aloud?
"Good afternoon, how can I help you?"

~What is the best ice cream flavor?
something chocolate. i've been craving moose tracks. and mint chocolate chip. But i don't discriminate. i heart ice cream (even though it, too, contains poisonous fat and calories... frozen yogurt anyone? Pinkberry?)

~What was the last thing you had to drink?
water! :)

~What are you wearing right now?
green layered top that i dont think fits right, black skirt that does, pantyhose, work shoes.... but later- yoga pants and tshirt for tennis time!!

~What was the last thing you ate?
leftover chicken kabobs and sweet potato fries! :)

~When was the last time you ran?
around the tennis court on Thursday night.

~The last sporting event you watched?
There was a little league game next to the tennis courts on Tuesday.... and on Sunday, there was a Laker game on at the icky Mexican restaurant

~What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?
The healthy pop stuff with just a touch of butter

~Ever go camping?
In the summer of 2002, i lived at camp for the summer. I loved it. I miss it. I am DYING to go camping in the mountains here....

~Do you take vitamins daily?
Yup! A multivitamin and a green tea supplement. But i think the green tea one just makes me hungrier, so when it runs out i'm going to stop taking it.

~Do you go to church every Sunday?
Mostly. And 99% of Wednesday's, too.

~Do you have a tan?

~Do you like Chinese food over pizza?
Pizza has a very slight edge over Chinese. Ooh, but i haven't had Thai food in awhile....

~Do you drink soda through a straw?
I don't drink soda.

~What are you doing tomorrow?
Work. Maybe tennis. Probably writing. Prep for kids church. House stuff. Driving. Sleeping. Dropping the ball on something.

~Look to your left, what do you see?
Production request for a spot i'm writing, stopwatch, organized folders with various work info, little bottle of reed fragrance diffusers, The Office magnetic poetry and "I Heart Jim" dry erase

~What's the rush?
so much life, so little time

~Do you have a dog?
No ... but i fell in love with a dog who's missing a front leg through an organization called The Brittany Foundation. One day, when i am a writer working from my house on the beach, I'll have a dog. :)

~Any plans today?
Saving the world.

~Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
uncertainty, petty drama

~Last song listened to?
"Tearing Us Apart", Plain White T's, played in my head... i think i'm going to turn on music now

~Do you have a maid service clean your house?

~Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
Favorite favorite? Being barefoot. Flip flops a close second. I wear work shoes more often, though.

~Do you eat healthy?
I try to. But inevitably my sweet tooth gets the best of me. I'm working on that. By the way, it's "do you eat healthily" i think? Any word on this? I know that healthy should be in the form of an adverb....

~Do you like cats?
Love them. Even viscious diva Jolie.

~Have you ever been to Six Flags?
Ohio, Kentucky, and California..... i miss Cedar Point.

News of interest to reward those who kept reading:

- I won fifty bucks on a Taco Bell cup!! Woohoo!! Praise God!!

- I'm learning Swahili. Jambo means hello. Kwaheri means good bye. Ninakupenda means i love you.

- i am currently overwhelmed and behind on my work, with no clue where I'm headed. How's that for stress-inducing?

- i am scheduled to work more overtime Saturday, and babysit next Saturday. :)

-I might actually send Mom's Mother's Day gift on time. That's crazy.

Back to work. Kwaheri.