20 December 2012

Wintry Things

Last day before winter break!
Gabriel's last day of school is today.
I think it's a little bit cruel that he doesn't have a holiday concert of some kind for me to attend. Is first grade not still a grade of felt elf hats and O, Christmas Tree?
I don't go back to work until January 2nd.
I have lots of errands to run. Post offices and wrapping papers and groceries to buy.
Someday I will finish painting my bathroom. I started when I moved in September. It has been taped and primed with the outlet covers removed....since then.  It is such a SMALL room. You would think, wouldn't you?
This is Gabriel's first ever Christmas at his dad's.  My biggest source of sadface on this one is the fact that I don't get to do Gabriel's stocking. It's my FAVORITE part of kid gifting.
It has been terribly, terribly cold this week. I know that other people who live in other parts of the country or world will roll their eyes at me, but it has been LITERALLY freezing (it was in the high 20s (20s!!!!!) when I woke up before the sun this morning, and I'm sorry, but I live in Coastal California. Our temperature range is 60 - 80, year round. I DID NOT SIGN ON FOR THIS. And. Also. Our homes are not BUILT FOR THIS.
MY WARDROBE is not built for this.
Maybe in Chicago your 6-year-old has a cozy winter coat and you have a powerful furnace system but I live on the Monterey Bay. I have none of those things.
We are simply not prepared.

09 October 2012

Travelers Beware!

So I was looking through some travel guide at my parents' house, for....somewhere in Europe. Paris? Maybe Paris.
Anyways, there is this big section explaining to Poor American Tourists about the Dangers! Of! Travel!
People will try to STEAL YOUR THINGS!
Buy a special under-your-clothes wallet because pickpockets!


Here's the thing about that.

I've been lucky enough to travel outside of the country quite a bit, and have been to several large cities outside of the United States, including London, Rome, Madrid, Santiago, Johannesburg, etc., I'm obnoxious, etc., etc.

I have also been to several large cities inside the United States, including New York City, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, name drop some more cities because I am a Very Worldly Person, etc. etc.

Are there pickpockets and scamsters and people who hate you because of broad sweeping stereotypes in other countries?

Oh yes, there certainly are.

But I'm pretty sure there are ALSO people who want to steal my stuff and people who hate me because of the way I look inside of this very country.

I mean, there are places that are less safe than the United States, certainly.
When I was staying in Durbin, South Africa, I flatly wasn't allowed to leave the hotel without hotel security, and I couldn't even leave with security if it was after dark.
Hotel security was a large man with an AK-47.

But I didn't feel any more at risk of being robbed blind in front of il duomo in Florence than I did in front of the Washington Monument in D.C.

And in neither place did I feel like I had to stuff my money down my pants because otherwise I might die.

You can't tell me that downtown Paris is a more dangerous place for a lost-looking caucasian woman than downtown Los Angeles because I don't believe you.

I don't tape my driver's license to my belly as a preventative measure when I'm walking through Queens at night.

I refuse to wear my purse around my neck and under my sweater just because I'm on a subway in London instead of a subway here.

I'm forming a group and it's called Citizens Against Looking Stupid. Or maybe Travelers Against Dressing Like Fools.  Or maybe just Hey If You Wouldn't Wear A Fanny Pack Under Your Clothes In Your Home Town Don't Do It Anywhere.

08 October 2012

Very Traumatic Toilet Experience

Last night I had a Very Traumatic Toilet Experience.
Live animals leaping out of the toilet to eat me was, prior to this occasion, on the list of things that I'm afraid of in an, "I will glance in the toilet before I sit" sort of way, but not in a, "When I glance in the toilet there will actually be a living creature there" way.

Those are totally different ways to be afraid of something.

To illustrate:
I keep my shower curtain open because I don't want a serial killer to hide in my shower.
If someone (my mother, for instance) is at my house, and thinks that perhaps I would prefer that my shower curtain be pulled closed because of 'mildew' or whatever, then sometimes my shower curtain is closed when I go to the bathroom.
So I will open it, and hope that there's not a man waiting to stab me on the other side.
But I open it EXPECTING my shower to be empty.
I am LOOKING for a serial killer, but I am EXPECTING to find nothing.
That's how I was with live animals in my toilet.
I was LOOKING for a snake or a monster or WHATEVER, but I was EXPECTING to find nothing.

Imagine my surprise.

In my panic, I flushed it down the toilet, so I don't think it's alive anymore.

And my fear of live animals in my toilet has elevated to the kind where I am ACTIVELY EXPECTING TO FIND AN ANIMAL.

28 September 2012

The problem with bad guys

Two years ago, my friend's daughter was molested.
I was at the birthday party where much of this occurred. I met this man. I met his wife. I met his children. I didn't get any sort of creepy vibe off of him. Not a single internal alarm bell sounded. He was nice and normal and there with his own children who seemed perfectly nice and normal as well.
And he molested a little girl.
Right there.
At the child's birthday party I was attending with my son.
Intellectually I understand that I did nothing wrong in this situation. We were at a little boy's birthday party. I didn't KNOW that those little girls needed to be protected. I didn't know they needed to be rescued.
If I had known, I would have done something.
Of course I would have.
Anyone would have.
Everyone stepped in and did the right thing and this bad person is in jail and this sweet girl is being supported by her friends and family and is growing up to be good and strong and brave.
But I still feel guilty.
For being there and not doing anything.
I was there and I didn't do anything and I can't believe this thing happened to this person I love.
In August, a very bad thing happened to my best friend.
I didn't do anything wrong.
Intellectually, I understand that.
Just as I positively understand that SHE didn't do anything wrong.
The person who did something wrong was the man who raped her.
But I was there. I was there and I met that bartender and I told her I thought he was cute and I left her alone with him and nothing about him seemed off and I was never for a second worried about her until it was way to late to be worried.
I sat down in a booth to call a friend and fifteen minutes later she was covered in blood and white as a ghost.
And I know I didn't do anything WRONG.
I know that.
But I was there and I didn't do anything and I can't believe this thing happened to this person I love.
Everything you learn about bad guys leaves you with the expectation that you'll be able to tell who they are.
Something about them won't add up.
They'll leave you feeling creepy.
They'll LOOK like bad guys.
They'll ACT like bad guys.
The bad guys don't always look or act like bad guys.
I have been riddled by anxiety.
And mad.
I'm mad at that man and then I'm so ANGRY at our society and I'm mad at the detective who asked me, during my interview, "Does she do this often?"
And I was dumbstruck.
"Do what? Get raped?"
Fuck you, detective guy.
And scared.
I'm really scared.
And then over all of that I feel stupid because I have no business feeling that anxious and mad and scared when I'm sitting here whole and my friends are sitting next to me broken.
Bad things can happen right in front of you and not only did you not do anything to stop it, you didn't KNOW that anything needed to be done.
I didn't know that anything needed to be done and I know that's not my fault and I know I didn't do anything wrong but that is absolutely terrifying.

I'm going to write a blog post about curtains.

The weird thing about stepping away from your blog is how hard it is to come back.
I want to tell you how infuriating curtains are, but to do that I would have to explain that I moved again, and if I'm telling you about how I moved I should probably tell you why and then I need to provide some job backstory and talking about my job brings me around to my social life and some very bad things have happened to some of my very good friends but none of that is my story to tell so I can't really tell it but it's hard to explain how anxious and on edge and FURIOUS WITH THE WORLD I've been without telling these stories that aren't mine and before I know it I'm shutting my browser down again because no one really wants to hear about curtains.

And this is probably true.

I doubt any of you want to hear about curtains.


The house I'm living in now is my first experience with moving somewhere that has no curtains or mounting hardware or anything whatsoever.

Do you know what I did not know?

Curtains. Are fucking expensive.

In order to get like, regular quality curtains and not super-janky rods/hardware for JUST my bedroom and the living room, that would be like...close to a $1000. That sucks.

I found some curtain rods on sale at Cost Plus, and I bought some cheap Target curtains that I don't really like that much and I spent....$300. On curtains for two rooms.  This is such a deeply dissatisfying purchase to make.  It's not like a new couch or a TV or something that I'm going to sit around and actively enjoy. I'm not going to gaze fondly at my curtains. I don't even really LIKE my curtains. I just like them more than the extra money I was going to have to spend to buy ones I like.

Why are curtains such a racket?

01 September 2012

September, September

My first week of "real work" was this past one.
I started on the 15th, but then there was lots of training and then an airplane to Sunny Orlando Florida to train some more. I don't particularly like Florida but even so there's something cruel about staying in a sunny resort hotel with an endless river swimming pool and sitting in overchilled conference room for ten hours a day, staring at a computer and pretending to audit a pretend company's financial statements.
I was glad to come home and snuggle the boy.

The boy started first grade this week.  He likes his teacher, some of his friends are in his class. My after school care thing is sort of ragtag at the moment. Hopefully not too latchkey-esque, but we single parents do what we've gotta do.

Oh yeah, real work.

By way of quick explanation, because I find some people need it, I'm an accountant, but I do not do taxes. I work in audit, which means that I'm one of the people going through companies' financial statements and books and such and saying, yes, they are making the money they say they are making and they have the assets they say they have and if you would like to invest in them, go ahead and rely on these. I'm way down at the bottom of that pyramid, but that's my general role.

My very first client was one that I got thrown on, as did everyone else on the team. It was supposed to be a quick cleanup job so they could file, and when I was handed my tasks, I stared at my computer and felt like weeping.


As it turns out, the whole file was screwy and the things I couldn't find WEREN'T there. While that's bad for getting work done it was enormously good for my mental health. I was having an occupational crisis for like thirty full minutes on Tuesday.

I am hopefully halfway done with my CPA exams. I'm still waiting on scores for the second section I sat for. They should have been out a couple weeks ago. But aren't. I'm just going to assume that means I passed until I hear otherwise.

Next week I turn thirty.
I don't have any plans.
I mean, I'm going out tonight, but I don't have any ON MY BIRTHDAY plans.
I was sick all last week, which made me feel mopey, but now it's the weekend and I can breathe through my nose and I feel much more zen about the whole thing. I assume someone will probably remember to wish me happy birthday and hopefully no one will expect me to move mountains or anything.

Birdie, nerdy, purdy, sturdy, wordy, dirty, flirty.
Well okay then.

09 August 2012


I have a niece!
My first niece ever!
Baby Susannah was born at 2:57am on Sunday, July 22, 2012. 9lbs, 7oz, 20" long, ridiculously perfect.
Susannah, 8 hours old and already looking like a perfect infant baby.
Seriously, look at that baby.
She came into this world all full of chub and adorableness.
Baby Susannah
She's pretty great.
The kids are all crazy for her.
Everyone's crazy for her.
She's adorable.
Gabriel agrees.
Gabriel is rather fond of her.
Spent all day snuggling the niece.
I stole a baby.
I have another niece set to arrive at the end of next month.
I get two nieces!!
My two nieces get to be the same age and have all kinds of good cousin times growing up together!
I disappeared to the East Coast for awhile.
I started with Molly and Lora in Philadelphia.
I found my bar guys!
Super fun night involving ill-advised shots of whiskey, an almost-bar-fight between us and some regulars with a two-foot-long-pair of gardening sheers (defending the honor of Molly's laugh), karaoke, and that time I had the bartender turn on the Giants/Dodgers game. In Philly.
I wandered over to Matt in Hartford.
And you thought *I* had a big head
I ended up at BlogHer in New York City.
Awkward unsolicited lunchtime photography. Julia is thrilled.
Serious picture is serious. Spent all my spending money on costume jewelry and makeup. Because of course I did.
Yeah, I was at BlogHer, albeit quietly.
I've been going to the conference since 2008, and this was the first year that I didn't really know why I was there.
I'm not much of a blogger these days, I don't have much interest in fame-ishness,  I see most of my internetty friends at other times throughout the year.
I'm not saying I regret going, cuz I totally don't, and I love hugging people and dressing up and watching 413 hours of Olympic Volleyball in the hotel bar, but I'm not sure it's my favorite way to spend my money anymore.
I guess I'm getting old?
I passed the first section of the CPA exam that I took in July!  I have three more to go; the next one is next Tuesday. I want to get this DONE, but I am so comically bad at studying.
In fact, guess what I'm not doing right this minute?
Yeah, that's right.
Because the next section is regulation (read: taxes), and the IRS is stupid. You heard it hear first.
First day of full time worky worky is next Wednesday.
I'm excited about my life.
Weird as it sounds, I really love accounting.
I do!

10 July 2012

Finish grad school, go to Vegas

Friday was our last day of class.
So I drank beer during lecture, obviously.
Drinking in class
I see nothing wrong with this.
Krystal had some too, but it made her sleepy.
Sleeping in class
Then we went to the airport, where we drank at the bar until it was time to go.
Took a cab to the casino.
Ate (?)
Briya and Julia arrived.
Got to room.
Went out Friday.
Getting ready took awhile.
Did we have dinner?
Me and Jessica
Bugging Jessica while she tries to do her hair.
We're staying somewhere in there
The view from the club we were at. We're staying somewhere in the pyramid.
I carded anyone and everyone who tried to talk to us.
You think my friend is pretty?
Let's see some ID.
I'm photogenic
I'm a very pretty girl, guys.
We had to take lots of rests and remain constantly intoxicated in order to not die of hangover.
This is at one of our many fried meals.
Seriously butter make everything better.
Table Nap
Jessica taking a mid-meal rest.
After we ate I went to the pool with Briya, while the other girls sought out bedrooms.
Then Julia asked us where we were at and I texted her the following:
Just coming back from poop with Briya.
Not poop or poll.
Saturday, post-pool
We went to the pool, and then we took a rest.
Hot tub time machine
Our suite had a jacuzzi tub, which proved excellent for hangover rejuvenation.
Saturday Night
The lighting in our room was terrible but I promised we all prettied up quite nicely.
Saturday night
Obligatory photo of assets.
Too much makeup
Awkward self portraiture
Sunday hangover brunch
I don't care if you give me a martini glass, I will drink with a straw.
Sunday Poolside
Sunday poolside, where we spent hours.
Sunday Poolside
Krystal and Jess, looking all good in their bikinis.
Deep fried mac in cheese
Deep fried mac n cheese exists. And it is delicious.
Sunday Night
Sunday night, actually Monday morning, probably 4:30 am, post-club, in the casino bathroom, which p.s. has a sharps container? That's weird, right?
Death by airport
Then we almost died of hangover at the airport.
Previous Vegas trips chronicled here and here and here.

26 June 2012

What I've been wearing lately. In case you care which surely you....might?

Lots of this I'm sure you've seen before, because it's mostly not new.
And I post these pics on instagram for the most part, so you might have seen them recently!
But I've been feeling pretty good about my body and been into my closet lately.
Which is good!
I use an iPhone app to diptych my pics.
Wearing 47 different shades of blue and a bucket of sunscreen. Taking Gabriel roller skating today, possibly followed by pool time at my sister's. If he ever cleans his room.
Target t-shirt (the laughably named 'boyfriend tee" over an Old Navy cami. Seven capris. Not the expensive Sevens, the big box retailer Sevens.  I believe I got these ones at Marshall's though.
Dinner at my grandma's?
Dress from Anthropologie. Spendy but I regret it not one bit. Shoes from Old Navy. Bangles from thrift stores whenever I see them. My sister thinks this dress is skanky. FIE ON HER I SAY.
Definitely doing a red shoes thing this week. Pockets! Target dress, shoes and cardi from Marshall's.
Dress is from Target. Shoes and cardigan are both from Marshall's.  Necklace is from my mother's jewelry box.
Don't you dare tell me my red chucks don't match my miniskirt. It's just that kinda day.
This is what happens when I'm already halfway dressed and Gabriel asks if I can wear the same shoes as him. Which I can, so there.
Wednesday dress. Weston Wear, 27th birthday present from my mama. Will probably add a cardigan both because it's foggy out and because this is probably too much bewb. Shoe ruffles!
This is a Weston Wear dress that my mom bought me for my birthday two (almost three!) years ago.  Ruffle shoes from Ross.
Today's dress. Bought last summer for my brother's rehearsal dinner. Clingy material offset by pattern and cut, I hope. Haven't combed my hair yet so I'm awkwardly trying to hold it up out of the picture.
Bought this last summer for my brother's various wedding social events. It's very comfortable.
If you find a good dress, it's worth the money. Bought this two years ago for ~ $100 and it's been worth every penny. Weston Wear.
Impulse-bought this right before BlogHer....'09 I believe?  Still a favorite.
I bought this Ella Moss dress in 2009 and it's still a fave.
This is another dress that I bought in the summer of 2009.
How much of my outfit can I fit in a square? Charles Tyrwhitt cardigan, Cynthia Rowley shirt (Marshall's), garnet necklace, amethyst ring, GAP skinny jeans, black flats, messy hair. For some of that you'll just have to take my word.
A random purple-toned top-half outfit.
I got this dress second hand from Crossroads a couple years ago, and I'm in a constant state of trying to decide if it's too short, or too tight on my chestal area, or too little girlish. But I wear it all the time. The shoes I stole from Stella years ago
Me and my freckle mustache. Dress is thrifted, and I actually put it in the donate pile after I wore it this last time.  It's too tight across the chest which makes it hard to zip up.  Shoes are from Target, but I stole them from my friend Stella. Years ago. Freckle mustache is my own.
Saturday Dressing. My favorite part is the back detail.
Dress from Anthropologie. 
Gabriel told my jammies are giving him a headache. Kid's got a point.
Random photo of my jammies! And a leg bruise! Target shorts, Old Navy shirt(s?).  I like to give myself a headache when I lounge.
Cousin's day wedding, yay or nay? It's on sale.
Wore this to my cousin's wedding on Sunday. Max & Cleo, on sale at a local store.
Wearing the wrong bra for this dress, and I simply cannot care. I'll keep my cardigan on. Or else I won't. Free People, bought in the summer 2010.
This dress, which is Free People, I bought in the summer of 2010.  I wore the wrong bra for it today, but quickly found that I didn't care enough to change.  It's a good lightweight summer dress.