Go Vote Already!

It is now November 3 and I can’t express how happy I am that this election is almost OVER! I know there are many people who disagree with me and enjoy all the political hooplah, but I am so tired of looking at the same political ads over and over again. I’m tired of all the biased commentary and people trying to give me multiple reasons to vote their way. No one has yet convinced me that he or she is “one of us.” The only breath of fresh air is the SNL skits that have been created through all of this (which I am watching now). They’re hilarious!

I love that the election has energized people to become involved and aware of the issues that surround them. I’ve never heard such lively political discussion from both party supporters…although I do wish there was a bit more tolerance from both sides on other people’s views. (I get annoyed very easily from both extremes.) Where most people enjoy getting into political debates with the other side, I just get uncomfortable. What can I say? I’m a person who likes to keep the peace and believes in compromise. I don’t always think I’m right. I feel that everyone’s voice has a place in making decisions for our country.

So, who will I vote for? This decision has been stressing me out completely. I am a “swing voter” to the utmost extreme. If you need the official definition, wordnet.princeton.edu defines it as “a voter who has no allegiance to any political party and whose unpredictable decisions can swing the outcome of an election one way or the other.” I am cynical enough that I don’t believe my one vote has that much influence, but we’ll say that it does for now. I hate to be called “unpredictable” but I am since everyday I change my mind. Literally…everyday I’ve had a different answer. One reason for my indecision is that I really don’t trust either candidate (or party for that matter) and find it hard to choose “the better of two evils.” Oh well! I’m sure I’ll be just as energized as most people are once I find a candidate who really represents me. So, who will get my vote? Obama? McCain? Colbert? I’m not sure. We’ll see what issues I find important to me tomorrow and what issues are worth sacrificing.

And that concludes my political chatter for the year!

Figs is so over it too!

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Still Surviving

Again, another mundane post about the little that is going on in our lives that is actually of any interest.

***Things have slowed down a bit (FINALLY!) and we now have been able to settle into somewhat of a routine. I am learning to break myself away from the laptop and feel comfortable with NOT checking my email every hour. You know, working at home has perks, but at the same time I feel as if I’m always working (or at least supposed to be working).

***My favorite time of year is just around the corner. I see the pumpkin patches out, one of my favorite things to do. Soon those pumpkin patches will turn into Christmas tree tents. Even just as exciting is that Starbucks will soon have gingerbread lattes…yum. I can agree that it is slightly pathetic that I get joy from this, but hey, I try to take good things where ever I can.

***Go Dodger Blue! It’s a good baseball post season at the moment with the Dodgers and Red Sox in the playoffs. I can only hope both teams will make it all the way and make it one exciting World Series for our household. So, not only will we be divided politically (Go McBama!…LOL!…and that is all the politics you’ll probably ever see on this blog) but we’ll be divided by baseball. Funny enough, those teams are blue and red as well.

***The big 30 hits next month. I wish I could jump out of the way but I’m tied to the tracks at the moment. On a good note, my wonderful hubby has booked a “Happy Birthday” trip for me to some surprise destination. The only hints I have are as follows:

  1. It requires a passport. This is VERY exciting!
  2. It’s relatively close since we are leaving on Friday afternoon and coming back Monday morning.
  3. I “may” need a bathing suit.

I have my suspicions, but nothing definite. Perhaps the Bahamas? South America somewhere? A cruise?

So, Can I Ask You Out Again Sometime?

I am in a new relationship…with a hair stylist. It is not as scandalous as it sounds.

When I lived in San Diego, I adored my hair stylist. I trusted him completely with the most precious thing I own- my hair. He was fabulous in every way. He would bring me Mexican mochas and give the best shampoos. I never had to show him a picture or tell him what to do with my hair. He would just KNOW. I could sit down and just tell him to do his magic. He loved it since he had free reign to cut, color, and style how he saw fit, and every single time it was perfect. Since I moved (and he moved to Tulsa) I have not been able to find a hair stylist as capable as he is. I’ve jumped from stylist to stylist, not being satisfied with any of them.

Yesterday, I tried a new place hoping I can finally settle down, and I think I may have found something pretty close. The little salon I went to was the cutest and girliest salon. The walls were painted pink and in the corner hung an array of vintage dresses (for vintage dress Friday, of course). As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by a lovely receptionist who offered a glass of wine or, perhaps, a beer. (Note: This was not a posh, expensive salon by any means. The price of my haircut was cheaper than any salon in the mall).  Already a great start!

Now, going to a new stylist at a new salon always feels like an awkward first date. Neither person knows what to expect from the other and each tries to make friendly conversation to get to know the person you have be with for the next hour. My stylist and I asked the typical questions of “Where are you from?” and “Do you like it here?” There were the moments of silence, in which you could tell both of us were scrambling to think of questions to ask that didn’t sound lame or forced. However, it all turned out to be great. She listened and advised and made sure I left with what I wanted.

All in all, I made it through with a glass of wine, a great short-do, and possibly a second date.

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Weekend Bits and Pieces

I adore long weekends…which I’m sure is not shocking. I love knowing on Sunday that I have one more day to get up without an alarm clock, eat breakfast leisurely, and plan my day of nothing. This weekend was particularly nice. A and I trucked over to the Gator game on Saturday. That was an experience! Being smashed into a sold-out stadium of drunken, rowdy college kids with intermittent rain and sun was something that was somewhere in between fun and misery. Ask me next week when the game is at night and I won’t be as tired from getting up at 6 am.

Sunday was filled with a whole bunch of nothing (much needed nothing) and Monday we did one of my favorite things to do when I get a weekday off- happy hour! I love happy hour. I love getting food for half price and enjoying a drink in the afternoon. Really? Who doesn’t like a deal?

Other notes- When A and I were reading at Sbux yesterday, I noticed two very odd things. One, a woman came in wearing one flip flop. She was just walking around, dressed completely normal, but only had one brown flip flop on her foot. Second, another gentleman came in with a backpack that had a body-soap-puff thing attached to it. Again, perfectly normal looking, but with an odd piece of flair. Hmmm…

New J.O.B.

I am now officially moving on to another (and hopefully better) position. YAY for me! Although I’m excited about this new venture, I can’t help but feel a little scared and anxious. I guess starting a new job is always a bit unnerving, but there is a little bit of excitement about taking on a new challenge.

On the note of new job, I have officially  given my notice and trying to tie up loose ends. I have an exit interview with HR next week, and I have this lingering question of how much is too much information when it comes to the exit interview. Am I supposed to be REALLY honest or just fake it knowing you may or may not come back so why burn any bridges? I know the answer is a professional in-between of the two. I’m already formulating my answers now.

In celebration of my new job, I post for you my favorite part of one of my favorite movies. Hopefully, my interview will go slightly better than this…remember, “It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just that I just don’t care…”

Five Things That Make Me Happy

I love lists! I think it’s my super-organized and controlling brain that likes to neatly put everything into a list with numbers or dashes. I also noticed that all my close friends will do the same. I guess great minds do think alike!

The past few weeks I’ve really made an effort to be a better person. When I say “better,” I don’t mean that I’m a terrible person at the moment. I give spare change to the homeless when I can, try to recycle everything possible, and have a general concern for animals and humanity. For me, better is happier or more at ease with myself. I’m trying to let the little things not irritate me and be more patient with the parts of life I can’t control (which is a majority of it). This is VERY, VERY hard for this anal control freak. I like the idea of being balanced and comfortable with myself and the life I’m living. On that note, I give you this list of five things that make me feel happy, all the way to my bones.

1. My furry (not fat), uber-mellow, slightly homosexual kitty…you would agree with me if you knew him
2. Cultured, Pink Berry-esque, green tea yogurt with pineapple, mango, and coconut flakes
3. A really good meal (whether it is home-cooked or at a restaurant)
4. A hug from my hubby
5. Listening to certain songs (I have a handful of songs that make me immediately smile…at the moment, I like Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” It’s island-sounding tune reminds me of eating rainbow shaved ice on the beach of Hawaii-home- after a good afternoon of surfing.)

***I also added to my Life list…AND I still have not crossed off anything on it yet. I really need to get moving on it!

Operation Photo Project

So, it’s only Thursday…not quite yet Friday. I’m sitting in my office cube with my coffee knowing I should be working, but my terrible headache reminds me that I’d rather write here instead. Lately I feel as if I’m going through a quarter-life crisis that has now lasted five years too long. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way, but I’m definitely one of the only people I know who dwells on it. Anyway, instead of whining about it I’ll tell you about the new project I have given myself.

Besides cooking I have started a love affair with photography! I am mesmerized by some of the fabulous photography I’ve seen (Cooper Carras, Simply Photo and Simply Breakfast, Sweet Juniper, 3191…just to name a few). Even the photographs in my monthly Gourmet magazine are amazing. I love the pictures of food, dishes, and still objects. I have wanted to take a photography class for awhile now AND I would really like a fancy new camera. However, I have decided to put these excuses aside and just start taking more pictures to explore photography on my own with my very outdated digital camera. I also have a very cool Diana camera, which is aching to be used again. Now my project…next week I plan to do a week in pictures just to see what I can come up with. I’ll be my own photography professor and assign myself homework. This is either going to be fun or frustrating. I challenge any of you to do the same to see what you come up with!

**I’ve loaded a few more pics from our trip to Belgium two years ago. You can tell I’m getting the travel bug.

Right now…

1) I would like to scream really loudly on my very quiet office floor.

2) I want to buy a plane ticket leaving tonight to a place my finger lands on a globe.

3) I will make you my best-est friend if you brought me my favorite Starbucks latte.

4) I wish life would just take a 10-minute smoke break, giving me a second to breathe freely.

Seeing my mood?

Ah, but it’s Monday!

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I left my heart on the West Coast

I have had the very fortunate experience of living in three regions (or four if you count the Pacific Rim separately) of the United States- West, East, and now the South. A majority of my life was spent in Hawaii, California , and Washington. I’ve always called it the Bermuda Triangle since we kept moving every few years in the same pattern, locked by some unforeseen force. Whenever anyone asks where I’m from, I always give the short version of the story. I was born in Honolulu and moved to California when I was in middle school, and then stayed there through college. Not entirely true…there were multiple moves thrown in there, including two stints in Seattle. It’s too convoluted to tell someone the story unless I have a couple beers and time. After college, we add in two years in Boston and now a few years here in Florida and we’re getting a more complete picture.

Anyway, I’ve enjoyed (to some extent) my experience here in the South. The people are generally friendly (at least the true Southerners, as A calls them), the BBQ is the best in the world, and history is very reflective in each town you go to. I embrace my husband and all his Southern tendencies with open arms and sometimes a “Huh? That’s interesting…” attitude. However, lately I’ve experienced some Southern criticism (better word than distaste, which is the first word that came to mind) against Westerners. We (Westerners, that is) are viewed in a very stereotypical fashion. Granted, Southerners get their share of stereotypes too (the gun-toting, conservative, trailer living, racist thing), but I guess I never realized how much of it was out there! So, instead of trying to prove I’m not the stereotype, I have listed some California stereotypes I fully embrace and I’m very proud of:

I am:

1) very “granola”- I love to buy organic and local when I can
2) an environmentalist that would ban plastic bags and water bottles if I could, along with saving all animals from extinction (including the polar bears!)
3) a sandal wearing, beach loving, laid back girl who (used to) enjoy surfing and getting some sun
4) a proud liberal (well, moderate compared to the liberals I know) who believes in same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose
5) somewhat vain and superficial in that I care about gray hairs and wrinkles, and not against a little medical help to make myself look good (very L.A.)
6) very politically correct when it comes to public matters including gender equality and racial equality; but among friends, I can still understand not taking things too seriously
7) a lover of all music, including hip hop and rap…a true variety exists on my iPod

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Veg or Not to Veg

Well, it’s really pesco-veg (or pesco-vegetarian). Lately our little household has not been eating much meat, which is a good thing. Since I do most of the shopping and cooking, the whole house is forced to live a more veggie lifestyle- veggie burgers, black bean tacos, vegetable-laden pastas, margherita pizza. My thought-why not just be pesco-vegetarian completely? I say the “pesco” since I can’t give up seafood because I love sushi too much…and tuna sandwiches and salmon and shrimp.  I’ve been pesco vegetarian before (actually, multiple times). I have no REAL political reason for doing it (besides the whole treatment of animals thing and I’m sure the PETA pamphlets were distributed at your school too). I just don’t  like meat all that much. Also, meat is really expensive. Okay, I fully admit I am that yuppie grocery shopper who buys organic (when it’s affordable) and preservative/ antibiotic-free meat (again, when affordable). I have no problems saying I am a RESPONSIBLE shopper with her own cloth grocery bags. Doesn’t going partial veg just make sense then? The anal organizer I am has started to prepare a list of why and why not’s:

To go veg: CHEAPER!, healthier, no animals (besides those in the ocean) are harmed, already 3/4 doing it now

To not go veg: don’t really eat that much meat, really like BBQ, love turkey sandwiches and turkey burgers, sometimes meat is just easier, generally just like certain “meat” dishes, can be healthier since it’s an easy source for protein

No decision has been made since the list is completely useless.

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