30 December 2011

Photo Challenge Day 11: Something Blue

Photo Challenge Day 11

2011

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
This year Gabriel spent a huge chunk of summer at his dad's, so I went the longest amount of time ever without seeing him.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
The only concrete resolution I had this year was to finish my tattoo, and I didn't, so no.  I might make some, haven't decided yet.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Everyone had babies this year, it seems like.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, but a lot of people I know died.

5. What countries did you visit?
No countries. I haven't been out of the country since before I had Gabriel.  SADFACE.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Money, time.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My brother got married on July 2.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Grad school, definitely.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I've totally abandoned all exercise routine, and have been feeling pretty bad about myself, looks-wise.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing especially comes to mind, but I'm sure I had some ear infections or something.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
MacBook Pro.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Gabriel's awesome, per usual.  My friends and family have all been wonderfully supportive of my life even though I've turned into a flaky recluse who isn't any fun.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
ExBF. Aubrey Huff.  The awful temp I had to train to replace me at my old job.  Maybe some other people but I think they read my internet.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Living expenses.  Text books.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Grad school, birthday, job acquisition, skittles vodka, weddings, babies.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Something by Justin Bieber, since this is the year my son became a fan.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? About the same.
b) thinner or fatter? I feel fatter, not sure if that's true.
c) richer or poorer? Much poorer, but with prospects of becoming much richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercising, knitting, photography, art, sleep, sex.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
School, driving.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At my parents' house.  None of the kids freaked out or had meltdowns, so it was pretty successful.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Nah.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Always Sunny.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don't hate anyone, but there are people that I don't care to speak to anymore.

24. What was the best book you read?
I read a bunch of good YA this year, including: Forest of Hands and Teeth, Birthmarked, The Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Enclave. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don't think I made one.  I need new music, whatcha got for me?

26. What did you want and get?
I got into grad school, I got a post-graduation job offer, I got the internship I wanted, I got a new computer, I have a yard now.

27. What did you want and not get?
When I really, really want something, I make a point of getting it, I'm stubborn like that.  But I would have liked to travel more, and I wish I'd seen more of my friends.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Horrible Bosses.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went out in SF night before, day of hung out with my family.  I turned 29.

30. What is one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Sleep.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Spent a lot of the year trying (and possibly/probably failing) to look professional.  When I didn't have to do that, I alternated between 'starving student' and 'little girl dresses self for first time.' 

32. What kept you sane?
Wine. No, seriously.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Chris O'Dowd.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Sports pedophiles, SOPA, limiting access to birth control.

35. Who did you miss?
Molly, Ben, everyone I didn't see when I didn't go to BlogHer, all my friends who live entirely too far away for my liking.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Krystal, who is my grad school friend (see! I made a new friend!)

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
My beliefs are important.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Run around just so I don't have to think about thinking.
 --
2010
Apparently I skipped 2009
2008

29 December 2011

Some Things I Bought

Poised Pleats Dress

Elizabeth Dot Tie-Neck Blouse

Stuart Weitzman Women's Naughty Pump

Photo Challenge Day 10: Childhood Memory

Photo Challenge Day 10

My grandmother was involved with the California Missions Foundation.  She helped with Fiesta every year, and we spent a lot of time running around there.  We also spent a lot of time learning about mistreatment of the Ohlone, so no need to chastise me for being fond of missions.  

This was hers, and when she died, my mom gave it to me.  I also have two more (Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo).  In fourth grade when we studied the Missions, we each made a model mission, and I made mine with clay on a tile, after this one.  My mom has it somewhere.

27 December 2011

Photo Challenge Days 5-8

Photo Challenge Day 5
Day 5: From a high angle
Photo Challenge Day 6
Day 6: from a low angle
Photo Challenge Day 7
Day 7: Fruit
Photo Challenge Day 8
Day 8: A bad habit

20 December 2011

Photo Challenge Day 1: Self Portrait

Photo Challenge Day 1

30 Day Photography Challenge

Here's a thing I decided to do, because a bunch of my friends are, and Megan's good at organizing stuff.

Who knows, maybe I'll start blogging regularly again?

A girl can dream.

12 December 2011

Getting Served With My Favorite People



This post is sponsored by Serve from American Express. Sign up for Serve and receive $10 credit towards your first use. Comment below within the next 7 days for your chance to win an extra $100 credit to your account!
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This past weekend I was given the opportunity to try out Serve from American Express.  Serve is a digital payments platform that allows you to send and receive money.  If you're out and splitting the bill, or you owe money for a cab, this is a new way to settle up with friends instantly via email or mobile device, cutting the awkwardness of owing friends money or chasing them down for what they owe you.

Set up of my Serve account was quick and easy.  Because of the financial nature of the service, you do have to provide some personal information, as with other forms of payment.

Planning this out, I thought to myself, "Self, what is the best way to test the features of this service?"
And then my self answered back, "Jenny, you should take your friends out and see what happens."
Bad Ideas
Friday night I met up with some of my favorite people on Earth: Julia, Amber, Cody and Daniel.  That's a friend from elementary school, a friend from junior high, a friend from college, and a friend from grad school, in case you were curious.

We met at Cody's bar, where he bought us a round of drinks.  We decided not to worry about money until the end of the night, at which point we would figure out who spent what and go from there.
Me and Julia
This picture represents everything you need to know about me and Julia.
Mariah Carey is Creepy
Cody and I are playing the part of Mariah Carey giving The Biebs creepy sex face in their new music video.  Mariah Carey is 41, and Justin Bieber is 17.  Do you know how old I'll be when Gabriel is 17?  I'll be 41.  That's A CREEPY WAY TO LOOK AT A LITTLE BOY.  You can watch the music video if you want, but I must warn you: it's creepy.
Daniel is Tall
Daniel is tall enough that we don't know how to take a picture with him.
Pinkies Out
Amber drinks cheap beer even when I try to buy her a drink, but she keeps her pinkies out, for she is a classy lady.
Julia and her Chips

Serve comes with a debit card linked to your account, which is nifty.  You can use your Serve card anywhere American Express is accepted, just like a credit card.  I used mine to buy snacks at a corner store.
It was easy, and chips are delicious.
Bite
So is Cody.
At the end of the night, back at Cody's house, inhaling homemade nachos, I decided to pull out my phone and pay everyone back for drinks, bacon wrapped hotdogs, and late night snacks.
It was really easy.  Through the Serve mobile app, I reimbursed everyone for their varying expendatures.  You have to verify transactions by PIN, which adds a measure of comfort and security to sending money by phone.
We were all squared away before we went home for the night to sleep and sleep and sleep.
Thumbs Way Up
I thought this service was completely simple and intuitive to use.  I was comforted by the fact that Serve is run by American Express, a trusted financial institution.
If a system of paying people or paying people back through email or mobile is something that interests you, you get $10 just for trying it (sign up here).  Additionally, once you're signed up, you can get up to $50 for referring your friends to the service.  And! As per my note at the end of this post, by signing up for a Serve.com account and commenting here that you did so, you will be entered to win a $100 credit from your account.
You really have nothing to lose.
Admit it, you want to go out with me, don't you?

You can learn more about Serve on Facebook and Twitter.
--
Remember to sign up for Serve and receive $10 credit towards your first use. Comment below within the next 7 days for your chance to win an extra $100 credit to your account! Official sweepstakes rules and regulations may be found by clicking here. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

03 December 2011

29 November 2011

My life as a lunatic space cadet misplacer of things.

Pick Gabriel and Elliot up from school.
After Elliot is retrieved by sister, do TINY amount of work.
Gather things to take Gabey to the park, which is a 5-10 minute walk from house, depending on pace or whatever.
My things for the park, if you are wondering, include my book, phone and keys.
Why do I love the park?
Because at the park, I can read for pleasure without being pestered OR feeling guilty that I'm not doing something else.
An hour into my zombie book, realize the sun is setting, start to mosey on home. 
About 40 seconds from home, start to fumble for my keys, and realize that I definitely DON'T have them.
Panicked walk back to the park at breakneck fear-induced speed.
Panicked hunt for keys in the semi-dark, with an ever growing group of skeezy park-at-dusk spectators (mostly hoodlemish teenagers, peppered with some bums).
Panicked walk back to my house, searching the ground along the way in case I somehow dropped them.
Confirmation that all my doors are locked.
Attempt to peer into my window and see if my keys are somehow on the key hook that I never use (please be on the key hook please be on the key hook).
Cannot see hook from window.
Luckily, I have my phone.
Call my mom, who is on a walk.
Send my 14yo brother after her on his bike to convey the severity of the situation.
In what is now full darkness, sink into Defeat Slump on the front steps.
Mope about inability to drive somewhere, or even walk somewhere for dinner while this situation resolves itself.
Curse self for never bringing wallet anywhere.
Or keys!
Sister calls, she was on walk with mom.
She wants confirmation that I really don't have my keys.
Confirmed.
She is on her way.
It is a 40 minute drive.
With help on the way, sit Gabriel on my lap and take turns playing Angry Birds.
Thank god for my phone.
Get into house with sister's arrival.

KEYS.
ON.
KEY.
HOOK.

Resolve to be less forgetful.

23 November 2011

Thankful, 2011

Sacramento 7/10/11
Duncan, parents.
Dad, Duncan, Mom
Siblings
Daniel, Laura, James, Duncan, me.
Camille: Parrot
Camille
Caleb
Caleb
Elliot
Elliot
Simon
Simon
Kindergarten First Day
Gabriel
This was my quiet year.
I'm thankful for my family.
I'm thankful for opportunity.
I'm thankful for my life.

Awk.Ward.

So, yesterday.
Yesterday I accidentally recorded myself all morning.
Edited for lapses of time when I'm not there, etc.
Here's me, and all the scrunchy faces I make when I'm staring at my computer.
Music choices are lyrically NSFW.

20 November 2011

My Ass Goes Shopping: Jeans

I have a big ass.
While I'm by no means on par with Julia, my butt is bigger than your average white girl's, especially when you consider ass:waist ratios.
Jeans are difficult to buy.
While I also have inseam issues (real quick: I have short legs, pants go flowing on for miles after my legs have ended), I find those can mostly be solved with a little thing I like to call hemming.
My ass cannot be hemmed.
There are two camps of jeans rise: lower, and higher.
Both are fraught with danger.
Low Rise Front
Low rise pants in the appropriate size typically look okay from the front, if viewed from a standing position, in a skinny mirror, with all muffin top minimizing measures in place.
Low Rise Back
The danger lies in the back view.  Pants end, and the ass is still trucking merrily along up my back.  As they do.
The problems with lower rise jeans mean that I don't usually go down that path. I stick to the mid-high rise categories.  This puts me danger of Mom Jeans, but I'm hopeful that I've so far managed to avoid that fate.
High Rise Front
Hey look, these are my size.
High Rise Side
BUAHAHA JUST KIDDING SUCKER!  Feel the frosty air on your lower back! SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!
So what does it all mean, really?
It means that I own SEVERAL pairs of jeans designed by renowned fashion houses.
*ahem* Nelly *cough*
--
Jeans recommendations, anyone?

14 November 2011

Horrifying Nightmare Things

A couple months ago, my mom stopped by my house because she was in town. I was doing schoolwork, so my she offered to take Gabriel with her while she went downtown and ran a couple errands. This was great, as it allowed me to get some work done without the constant chatter of a 5-year-old.
A few hours later, Gabriel came bursting through my front door.
"Mom! Mom! Look what I grandma gave me! She said I could keep it! For myself!"
He had....this:
Nightmare
"I'm going to put it by my bed! Aren't I lucky??"
Nightmare
I stared at my mom, who had come in after.
"Don't look at me, you're the one with the child who wanted it."
"Why do you HAVE it?"
"It was under some stuff in the office"*
"....Great....it was hiding out, waiting for him."
Nightmare
This thing is standing by Gabriel's bed now.
So good luck getting me to check on you, ever, child.
That shit is creepy.
He loves it.
--
Last week, my mom was helping my grandma rearrange and tidy so that she could get her carpet replaced. Gabriel and I came over to help with the computer.
My grandma gave him this weird, stuffed M&M-ish thing.
Whatever.
On Friday, Gabriel declared that he was going to 'make a project'.
He cut the legs off of a pair of discarded tights.
He cut the hands off of this little round stuffed thing.
He borrowed some thread and some tape.
And PUT IT ON MY WALL.
Nightmare, II
"Don't you love it mom? I made it for you! Isn't it cute? Touch it! I want you to like it!"
I don't know what kind of monster I'm raising, but this is...this is no good.
--
*My grandpa's office is attached to a vacant retail building downtown, unoccupied since the 1989 earthquake left it yellow-tagged. My grandpa stored all kinds of weird stuff there: art, restaurant equipment, a motorcycle. My mom has slowly been clearing it out.

10 November 2011

Purse Distractions

I seem to spend a fair amount of time sitting around waiting for things/people/events.  Which would be fine at home and pantsless, but out in the world, I am easily bored.
Luckily, I am a lady of many devices. Listed in order of least to most adult-looking.

I find that video games strike the best balance between engrossing and not ruined by the white noise hum of The Vast Unwashed.  I have a 3DS (which I love), but most of the actual 3D games require some sort of physical movement of the screen/reorientation to move within the virtual world.  Which is fun! But it's not fun if you wish to avoid interaction.  So I generally play my regular DS games out in public.  My favorites are the various and sundry Professor Layton games, and Plants vs Zombies (which we have for DS per Gabriel's request). 
Now the problem with video games, even if you're not twisting around in your seat to shoot the guy behind you, is that the playing thereof does not exactly portray you as a grownup. 

When I feel like video games would call too much attention to my childlike mind, I will either play on my phone or my iPod Touch.  Why do I have both, you ask?  Because the iPod touch came free with my computer, and the phone works for actually calling people and using the internet.  They fill the same role in the games department, so it's really just a matter of which one I find first when I fumble through my purse.  Favorites are sudoku and various word game incarnations (WWF, Wordfeud, Scramble), for I am a nerd. I have a couple for Gabriel on the iPod Touch: some balloon game, angry birds, something that's like angry birds except with zombies. 
But! When I feel like messing with a phone seems childish....

Books!! Remember books?  Boy are they handy.  You can just....pull them out and READ them.  Easy Peasy.
The PROBLEM, of course, is that my favorite books are of the Young Adult variety, which again, with the childish.  Which brings us to the best distraction device of all....

The READER!
I have a kindle, one of the slightly older ones (it's white).  And y'know what? I can read whatever I want and no one knows.  Plus I look all shmancy and sophisticated while I'm waiting to meet some professional-type for lunch or whatever. 
Winner, winner chicken dinner.

07 November 2011

Various

Daylight Savings Time fills me with rage. 
First, in the spring, I suddenly have to start waking up in the dark and I lost an hour of sleep and my day is almost over for no reason and my kid is still awake at 10pm and WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?
Then, in the fall, enter the 25 hour day.  25 hours is too long.  You know who doesn't sleep an extra hour when DST ends?  Children.  Fuck that, man.  And then the MONDAY after the SUNDAY that DST ends is the WORST MOST ENDLESS DAY IN ALL OF THE WORLD.  As I'm typing this it is NOT EVEN SEVEN O'CLOCK YET AND I AM PROBABLY GOING TO DIE OF IT.
Cone of Shame
A couple weeks ago my cat, Flick the Destroyer, came down with a case of Necrotic Ass Wound.  He had to get six staples in his rear haunch area, and wear a plastic cone for ten days.

He spend a lot of time running head first into walls in an attempt to knock the cone backwards off his head, and a lot more time just generally looking ridiculous.
Also: constant meowing to go outside, constant spilling of food and litter, generally unclean appearance.  He is all destapled and deconed now, so we're back to normal, and he's quite pleased with his rediscovered freedoms. 
I am not very pleased with his vet bill.
Cone of Shame

I went to the USC/Stanford game with Julia a couple weeks ago.
USC Game
It was ridiculously good fun, even though USC lost in triple overtime, I never managed to get undrunk enough to find Heather, and I'm bad at self portraiture. 
We stayed with Briya.  She remains awesome.
At that game, four different people told me that I have pretty eyes, which is the kind of complement I get from anonymous internet people but almost never in real life, so that was nice and ego-stroking. 
My ego likes to be stroked.

Oh! Here's something I learned while I was drunk at the football game! 
If your bathroom stall doesn't have a lock, you can shove a toilet seat cover (or toilet paper, presumably), into the little latch, and it will stay closed while you pee! 
You don't have to do that awkward one-legged squat thingie! 
Julia taught me this important lesson.
Maybe everyone else already knew it.
But in case you didn't!
Toilet Paper Trick
Magic!

I got a job! 
I mean, after I graduate, this summer, I have an offer for a job.
So it's not like I have an income NOW.
But I have a promise of having an income.
Later.
WHEEEEEEEE!!!!

31 October 2011

Halloween: 2011

Camille: Parrot
Camille: The Little Lost Parrot
Gabriel: Surgeon
Gabriel the Surgeon, giving me his best Mad Scientist Face
Elliot: Frankenstein
Elliot: The Friendliest Frankenstein
Bigs
Simon and Caleb: Werewolf Cousins
Brothers
My Nephews
Gabriel and Camille
Gabey and Mimi
Kiddos
All the Kiddo Cousins