Monday, June 29, 2009

Rest In Peace, Michael Jackson

I remember watching this with my parents when I was a little kid. I remember thinking that I was watching an amazing performer, entertainer, and that no one would even come close to what he could do.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I lifted this quiz from a wonderful blog that I check in on now and then. Thank you!

Outside my window ...
I hear the the crickets chirping, a baby crying, cars driving by, and loving the cool breeze coming through, rattling my blinds. It's very peaceful.

I am thinking ... about my mom. Determined to not flip out about our finances this month and instead be proud of how far we've come. wondering why I still have babies on the brain.

I am thankful for ... my husband, my family, and friends. To have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, and money in the bank. Very grateful to have 1.5 jobs (one is part-time). To have support and to be supportive.

From the kitchen ... this week's meal plans includes Salmon Pasta Salad, Sesame and Cilantro Vermicelli Salad, Turkey Burgers with grated zu
cchini and carrot...mmmm...

I am wearing ... my favorite blue t-shirt from Marshalls and my favorite clam-digger shorts that are way too big.

I am creating ... my future. Learning bookkeeping skills, communication tools, and a more positive attitude in addition to being healthy and happy.

I am going ... to not travel for at least the next month, hopefully for the next 8 weeks. With my recent promotion I'll be going up North about every 8 to 10 weeks for a few days.

I am reading ... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I forgot how much detail is in that book.

I am hoping ... that I can continue the positive path that I am on, that my husband's projects will find funding, that my Dad will be happy, and t
hat my in-laws have an amazing journey in their new life in Turkey.

I am hearing ... birds. Crickets. The ceiling fan.

Around the house ... So much to do! Clean out closets, cleaning in general, clear out the clutter.

One of my favorite things ... Seeing my husband happy and content.

A few plans for the rest of the week ... Cook d
inner every night this week, going to church with Matt tomorrow as he's the cantor at services, create more posts for the travel blog, swim at least 3 times this week.

A picture to share ...

This is one of my favorite photos I took while in Etna, CA visiting Gayvin, Erik, and Jack. I love the contrast of the colors and yet they seem to blend together beautifully. Etna and the surrounding mountains are so tranquil and beatuiful. I can't wait to visit again.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I. Can't. Wait.

How long until July 15???

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Etna vs. L.A.

I can't believe how small this place is!

It reminds me of St. John, WA where my cousin and her family lives. There is one grocery store, one police officer (the police office headquarters is open from 8am to 12pm). "Downtown" consists of 2 or 3 blocks, and the most popular hangout is the local pub where they brew their own beer (the blackberry lager is amazing). The drugstore has an old-fashioned soda fountain, and the shelves are stocked with pretty much just one of each item. The air is clear, the people are friendly, and I'm surrounded by mountains. It's so beautiful and quiet here.

I have the same feeling here that I had in Hawaii - I miss the mountains, the green, nature in general. My skin and allergies aren't freaking out, and I sleep SO much better here. My wrinkled, puffy eyes are significantly less wrinkled and puffy since I arrived. I was laughing at myself when I had to go around town to find an ATM, and I was walking so fast! I told myself that it's ok, no one expects you to be anywhere, you're in no hurry, slow down and pace yourself.

I find myself really struggling to want to stay in L.A. It's an absolute challenge sometimes because my health improves whenever I leave that city. Even if it's just a few days in Cambria or Spokane, I'm so much happier without the hustle and bustle and craziness of Los Angeles.

However, I am not struggling to find friends and meaningful relationships, and I have a fantastic husband who's career is on the brink of major success. I must continue to focus on the positive, go to my last few counseling sessions, and work out on a regular basis. My life is what I make of it, whether I'm in L.A. or elsewhere.

(I think Etna won this round.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Moving Up & Moving On

No, we aren't moving again, at least not anytime soon. But I hope to whoever is in charge that this is our last apartment. Not that I don't love it, but I would love to have a house/condo/townhouse be our next home, whether we're renting our buying.

I was just thinking about some friends of mine that have moved and others who are planning to move. Gayvin and Eric (and of course their son) moved to a very small town in Northern California, about 1.5 hours away from the Oregon border. Another good friend of mine, Paige A., got a job in New York City, so she's moving away this summer. A few of my other friends talk about leaving L.A. not because they don't like it here, but because the opportunities that were once available have left this city and they can't make things work. Matt and I definitely talk about leaving, going somewhere cheaper where he could have an easier time finding work (with 11% unemployment, trying to find a job in California is like trying to find a needle in a haystack - nearly impossible). However, moving never solves problems, it can actually add to the ones you already have. So I think our ultimate challege, for right now, is to stay here for as long as we can. I encourage Matt to look beyond L.A. and California for other opportunities and that if he finds work that's worth moving for, well, we can cross that bridge when we come to it. But I'm not going to plan on a "what-if" kind of future...I'm going to plan for the future that's happening tomorrow.

So to those of you who have left - I miss you...

To those of you who are leaving soon - Let's get together as much as we can before you go, and I'll miss you...

To those of you (and to myself) who are thinking of leaving - You have to do what's best for your life, what will get you where you need and want to go.

We all need to support each other in this incredibly amazing (and sometimes stressful) time in our lives. So go team! Move up, move on, and continue the journey.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Busy Bee

My part-time job is supposed to be 3 days a week, 5-6 hours a day. I'm really enjoying the work that I'm doing, aside from learning "techie-speak" which may as well be Swahili. However, there was an accounting-time-sensitive project that I needed to help with yesterday, and I needed the money, so it worked out (only bummer was I had to cancel plans with Mary at the beach). Yesterday I left with the solid knowledge that Friday I had to focus on my other job and get some things done around the place.

Not so much.

I got a call from one of the Marketing people, who needed some help with some "drudge work" (those were his words) and was I available to help? I was on the bus at the time I got the message and took the rest of the ride home to decided what I wanted to do. I could stay home, get stuff done, swim, maybe even sleep in a little. Or go into work, and earn money that is needed.

I went with the second option.

I know that I can be empowered by "no" (as someone at work so delicately said), and that I don't always have to be available. I am part-time and by definition I am not expected to come in every day. I don't want to become the office go-to girl, meaning that just because I have a day off doesn't mean that I'm always free. But I did just start a few months ago, and I do want to be a team player, so I will go in today and earn a bill that I can pay without worry. And it is a chance to take a break from those dang purchase orders that fill my mind's eye when I'm on my way home.

On a happier subject, this next month is going to be a busy travel month. Thank goodness for air miles and companion fares. We are very excited about a trip to San Luis Obispo in July with our dear friends Stephen and Brie, who will be visiting from Washington! We found a great place to stay in Cambria that's only $95 a night, and you bet your behind I'll be blogging about it after the trip. We're also going up to Seattle at the end of the month for a very quick trip, mostly business for me and mostly Matt helping his parents tie up loose ends.

Oh, and I'm totally addicted to Scrabble on Facebook. Sigh.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Getting Spiritual

Depending on how long I've know people, this conversation is bound to come up. Am I religious? Spiritual? Did I go to Sunday School? Did I go to church on a regular basis? What does/did my family do? It's an interesting story, one that's not complete yet. I wouldn't say that I'm searching for a church or even a religion, for that matter, because for me, they go hand in hand. But I'd say that I'm spiritual in my own, private way. I try to be a good person and do the right thing. That sort of stuff.

My mom was a stained glass designer. She designed windows for private-home installations (privacy windows, decorative, etc). The most impressive, however, were the church windows. Built from scratch or restored, her play with color and light was always incredibly awe-inspiring and impressive. When these windows were done, naturally there was some sort of dedication ceremony and more than once, my parents took me with them. I never felt comfortable going, and could never explain why. To this day I couldn't give you a concrete reason, just that "It's not my thing."

My Dad's side is Catholic and from what I know, my Mom's side was Lutheran. I was baptized Catholic but never confirmed. This is something they, especially my Dad, always regretted, but as an adult I just wish I'd had the chance to attend Sunday School or a youth group, something to give a basis to grow on. Growing up, my parents said it's OK if you're not Catholic, you can be Jewish or Buddhist, it doesn't matter as long as it suits you. I always respected that decision and was grateful for the opportunity to go on my own, personal spiritual journey. Because like politics, spirituality is completely personal and it's not up to anyone but me to decide how I am going to pursue this path.

Matt is Lutheran/Buddhist. He prays, he medidates, but has been searching for peace, and he's found it at a new Lutheran church in North Hollywood. He joined the community officially last week, and is singing in the choir. It's been wonderful to see him connect with these people, to be part of a community separate from our friends and AFI. I have not joined, obviously, and before yesterday, had only attended services on Easter in April. When Matt decided to become a member of the church, I suddenly found myself in my Mom's position after Grandma Betty died. She passed in a horrible way, thank goodness it was quick. The trauma sent my Dad back to church soon after, where he started attending services more regularly. Mom didn't go often, probably every once in awhile to support him, and certainly when he asked her or was excited to for her to meet particular people. I think really he just wanted to show her off because she was so talented and wonderful. :) But I digress...I went to church yesterday with Matt for the same reason. I wanted to support him, and see/hear him sing again. He gets so much joy and comfort out of this community, there was a bounce in his step yesterday that's been missing for awhile. He and I both know that I won't go every week, but I will go once or twice a month to support him in what he's doing.

I do get something out of church in general, and this is the particular reason why I wanted do this post in the first place. The sermons always seem to speak to me in an incredibly personal way, and I know that's the whole point, but yesterday's sermon was eerily close. Dealing with death, depression, even suicidal thoughts. It was Holy Trinity Sunday, and her sermon was about each person's individual concept of God. It was fascninating. Even more interesting was after the service, when Pastor Sue invited me out to coffee or lunch, which generally she does only with those who are interested in becoming members (which I'm not). I do enjoy her company, however, and would welcome the opportunity to get to know her.

As far as being spiritual goes, I find the best way, for me, personally, is to try to live my life the best way I can. To stay positive, to be a good friend and family member. Being outside on a hike, or on a quiet beach, a sunny drive along the coast, dancing to good music, these are the times that I feel spiritual and connected to the world. I can't explain why or how, but when it happens, it's amazing and I hold onto that feeling for as long as I can.