July 26, 2011

it’s no wonder

Everyone knows the difficulty of returning to work after a long weekend. And I suppose I have no reason to even compare my flexible schedule with any 9-to-5-er’s. But that’s the only explanation i have for my scattered lack of discipline and motivation today.

We had a busy weekend celebrating Kelly’s birthday. On Saturday, we checked out the L.A. Zoo. There we met Reggie, the alligator.

catalina 002I admire Reggie for his escapism skills and spirit of independence. A few years ago, he was spotted in a pond at a local park. He eluded capture many times, to the point where the city was calling experts, like Steve Irwin (who sadly died right before his trip to L.A.). When Reggie was finally caught, he was moved to a lovely home at the zoo- where he promptly escaped again. Seriously, I would love to have seen the look on the face of the zoo employee who discovered Reggie’s absence. As you can see, he was found and returned to his lovely zoo home, where he gets thousands of admiring visitors. And I think there’s even a children’s book about Reggie….

Sunday was a typical work day, with duties at church followed by a picnic with a neighboring congregation. Then I headed to Anaheim to attend rehearsal for “Job”. This was the first time seeing the staging since the initial table read. It’s amazing to watch actors breathe life into a written script. I’m very excited about the project and honored to have such a role in its production.

Yesterday was another first. Thanks to a fantastic deal on groupon, we took a boat to Catalina island!

catalina 014

Catalina is about 25 miles from the “mainland”, and you can see the outline of its mountains from our coast on a clear day. The main tourist-y town is called Avalon, and hosts shops and restaurants, as well as a theater and churches. People do live over there, so there is a school, golf course, and other life necessities. It reminded me of Lakeside, the little resort town on Lake Erie where we attended church conference each year- only this was Lakeside amped up quite a few notches.

On our day trip, we explored the area with a golf cart, swam a little by the beach, and had a tasty meal. One of these days we’ll come back for a weekend, and bring our snorkel gear. The water was so clear that while standing on shore, you could see the orange garibaldi swimming around. Also, there is a massive zip line that is begging me to try.

So now it’s back to summer as usual. I still have mixed feelings about the amount of free time during summer break for school. I feel like I should find a new writing project or something, but wonder if that defeats the purpose of slowing down until fall semester begins….

July 20, 2011

dog days aren’t over

Where is the line drawn between nurturing your dog and spoiling them?

A quick trip to the pet store today yielded a bag of food (plus samples! Centinela Feed & Pet Suppies has the best customer service!), two edible nylabones, and one durable nylabone. Why I didn’t get one more baffles even me. Of course, it only took Tootsie five minutes to devour her edible bone, with Yoshi clocking in at twenty minutes. I busted out the durable bone, and immediately remembered that these pups don’t like to share. There was only one reasonable course of action.

I walked to the store.

Nevermind that I’m still limping from a twisted ankle (slippery post office marble stairs + biking home + klutzy me). It didn’t matter that I’d already spent money on these creatures, or  that they already have existing toys. It was imperative that they weren’t fighting over the same new toy.

And that is how I found myself walking out of CVS with a “ruffin’ it DuraBone rubber dental toy.” Surely this would satisfy Tootsie, the Boston Terrorist and her sidekick, Yoshi the Young, for at least a few days.

I made a pit stop at Yum Yum Donuts on the way home. Just one soft donut sounded like heaven. And hadn’t I been burning calories through these walking errands? A family of three adults was in front of me, carefully selecting their variety of donuts through a rapid conversation in Spanish with the donut lady. During that time, I thought it wise to make my fat-filled choice to speed things up when it was my turn. That’s when I saw it- The FLY. It landed right next to the glazed-with-chocolate-icing I was carefully considering. That was the moment I turned right around to exit this house of sinful delights. Donut craving successfully eliminated.

I walked in the door, somewhat satisfied with the healthiness of my choice (as if I were strong-willed enough to resist temptation instead of just grossed out by unsanitary food). I unwrapped the precious new DuraBone, glad I had reached a canine compromise.

Seven minutes later, I was fishing rubber pieces out of Yoshi’s mouth and collecting the chunky remains of the so-called “Dura”Bone from Tootsie’s jaws of doom. So now we are back to sharing the original bone… at least until they destroy that, too.

And on that note, shall we end with a Plinky prompt?
“If you could banish any one person from your life, who would it be? Why?”

First impression: This is a cruel question.
Second impression: People are too precious to even consider this.
Third impression: Satan is the easiest answer. He’s a punk and screws up everything he touches. But Satan isn’t a person. So…. I got nothing. If I’ve learned anything from my recent drama, it’s that people are in our lives for a reason. I thought that other people’s lives would be better if I wasn’t in them, but that doesn’t seem to be the correct answer, either. The challenges now can change in a heartbeat. Maybe the question should be, who are you glad you included in your life?

July 18, 2011

day trippin’

Plinky's prompt today say, “Describe the longest road trip you’ve ever taken.”

Since moving to the west coast, i’ve driven to San Diego, Laughlin, Las Vegas, and the Colorado River somewhere near Arizona (I didn’t actually drive, so I paid little attention). While all of these were long treks through the desert (blah,desert), They were not as long as the vacation road trip we took as a kid.

The memories are a little hazy since it was so long ago, but it started with a Mickey Mouse figurine hot-glued to the top of a plastic blue Kraft Cheese Singles box. This was representing the money we were saving to go to every kid’s dream destination- Disney World. It was my life goal to ride the “Dumbo” flying elephant ride (though for most of childhood, I thought that the flying elephant ride at local kiddie fair, Fantasy Farm, was just that).

The preparations for the trip helped amp the excitement level. Mom and Dad were actually quite wise as they anticipated the long hours spent in the minivan. They gave each of use a suitcase to fill with things to do. Some of these things were snack or new toys & books we weren’t allowed to touch until we were on the road. I got the farthest back seat in the van, while Becca settled in the middle. We had plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the hours down I-75.

We visited relatives in Kentucky, Rock City in Tennessee, stopped at a hotel in Georgia, and finally made it to Orlando.

photo_lg_kentucky see rock city 

We stayed in a hotel that was designed with kids in mind, and Mom and Dad left us at their kids club a couple of times while they had grown-up time. We also checked out Universal Studios, where we discovered after my freak-out on the Back to the Future and the Earthquake rides that I was slightly claustrophobic (lame, I know). I was disappointed that the E.T. bikes didn’t actually fly, but the King Kong ride was intimidatingly cool. Also, Dad roped us into filming a Star Trek episode. Yes, somewhere in this world there is video evidence of my in a Star Trek uniform and fake typing on the U.S.S. Enterprise (if I remember correctly, my shirt was red. I should’ve taken that as the first warning sign). As a consolation for tolerating Star Trek exploitation, we also got to check out Nickelodeon Studios.

universal-studios-orlando-9 nickelodeon-studios-old-school-nickelodeon-4105281-278-424

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. I don’t remember much of our day at Disneyworld at all. I know it rained. We went on the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea subs, and I was disappointed  that the fish and sharks were styrofoam. I don’t remember riding Dumbo, but I do know we walked though Toontown and met Mickey. My sister made a gift for him, a yarn necklace. We rode Space Mountain and saw the Haunted Mansion. This is all I can remember about the biggest vacation of our childhood, despite being ten or eleven years old. This slightly concerns me.

disney world

On our way back home, we stopped at the beach. We thought we’d got to Daytona beach, but a little car race halted those plans…. So we drove up the coast a little way, and might have stopped in North Carolina. I’m not entirely sure. But it was my first time seeing the ocean- ever. And I loved it even then.

north carolina beach

So there you have it. Biggest road trip ever (for little me), through seven states and hitting some pretty big destinations.

What’s your favorite road trip memory? I really want to know!

July 15, 2011


Remember week-long Vacation Bible School? The games and crafts, the songs and stories…. it was the staple of every summer. It’s also been the focus of my week. It’s a little different from the adult perspective. There are so many details that need covered, you often forget about all the fun stuff. Almost. A quick game of “Spud” with some 2nd-graders, or pelting the kids with some marshmallows during the skit will quickly remind a person about the joys of VBS.

Of course, there is real joy in finally sleeping in tomorrow morning as well.

As you’ve probably heard on the news, they’re closing a major freeway tomorrow. Everyone is all worked up over the inconvenience and the prediction of traffic nightmares.My big plans this weekend involve staying home. I have a hunch that the traffic won’t be as bad as expected, except the immediate area of the construction. We’ll see if the media is blowing yet another minor event way out of proportion…..

In other news….. wait, I don’t really have other news. Life is pretty quiet right now, especially with no school during the summer. My friend, Lara, and I had a girls’ night in Hollywood that was super fun (yes, I did just use the phrase “super fun” and mean it). We got all dressed up, had dinner at Katsuya (Japanese) on Hollywood and Vine, then saw the opening of “Shrek the Musical” at the Pantages Theater. The musical was cute, and I love just being in old theaters (it’s second only to performing in old theaters!). There were even paparazzi and celebrity sightings. Every now and then, it’s fun to feel a little bit glamorous.

I feel like I’ve reached a rut in my blogging as summer is relaxingly slow. So I’m going to try using blog prompts to add a little substance to my writing. I’d love to hear your feedback on this! Especially from fellow bloggers! So here goes my first prompt from a site called Plinky: Have you ever lived outside the country of your birth? If not, would you consider living anywhere else?

Ok, so first things first. I couldn’t help but edit the crappy grammar of their posted prompt. A site for writers should be a little more thorough about these things, don’t you think? But no, I have never resided outside of the United States. In fact, i’ve only stepped on one foreign soil, and that was during summer mission trips to Ecuador in high school. I would love to revisit Ecuador, and one day when there is adequate funding (you know, after I repay dear aunt sallie mae for all those student loans), I would love to travel overseas. Europe… Australia… Kenya…. even Mexico or Canada would be interesting. Also, I would love to see somewhere tropical…. But would I actually want to settle in and LIVE in any of these places? I’m not sure. It’s a difficult call to make without actually visiting them yet. But based on current knowledge and current circumstances, I have no desire to live anywhere else than where I am right now.

This is quite a significant statement. As a girl who’s moved around her whole life (i suspect my genetics are a mix of yeti and gypsy, but that’s another story), to actually want to remain in one place is kind of a big deal. This present living situation is a mix of urban with small town. I can bask in nature yet be conveniently close to pretty much everything in the city. I’m only twenty minutes from downtown L.A. and can bike to the ocean. A beach day or free-diving can happen before or after work. There are mountains not far away, and job opportunities in a field I love. God has really blessed me here, and I am in no hurry to give up these things.

What about you? Do you like where you live, or do you dream of something better?

July 07, 2011

pieces of random from a scattered mind

I know I’m supposed to be taking a slower pace than usual this summer. But, sometimes it feels more like “lose a turn” than “take a rest”. Years of trying to stuff every moment with something worthwhile created a habit of busyness that’s hard to break, and so much downtime makes me feel lazy.

However, the lack of so many pressing deadlines is starting to grow on me. Having flexibility in my schedule is pretty fantastic. Perhaps I could get used to this slower pace lifestyle. Maybe.

So far this week, I’ve done my usual tasks for WorkChurch as well as coordinated and directed rehearsals for the VBS skit team. Household chores are mostly accomplished, and I even rode my bike to complete errands in the neighborhood this morning. As a bonus, we had a holiday weekend to enjoy with good friends and fun. So even when I’m “lazy”, things still happen.

God has been blessing me financially, too! Despite all of the challenges of 2011, He has provided above and beyond my needs… and even some of my wants! I figure since I share my challenges here, it’s only due credit to share the victories in life as well. So here’s a long-distance high five to heaven!

When June is over and July arrives, I start to feel like summer is slipping away. I realize this is silly when you live in a perpetually warm climate, but it’s still true. Before this summer ends and fall semester of school begins, I want to learn to surf or maybe to paddle board. This is in addition to getting back into the water for snorkeling/free-diving. Sunday was my first dive of the season, and while it was a good refresher, I didn’t see a single fish. This was due to my new mask fogging up, and my out-of-practice-ness limiting my time underwater. Now that the weather is consistently warmer, I aim to have more respectable results to share in the near future.

So there you have it, random excerpts from my scattered mind. I think I need to find some blog prompts. Or do you have any ideas? What would you like to read from me? If you leave a comment with a question or topic, this could be fun. It can be silly, serious, informative, or random, and I will respond honestly. Help my blog stay interesting…. ready…. go…..