Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The space between

Long distance relationships... can they succeed? Is it actually possible for two people to be able to maintain a healthy connection, while miles apart? I'm talking enough miles to separate you so that you can't just get off work and go and visit that person for a few hours and then go home. This could be a lengthy drive or plane flight away.

My cousin is in a long distance relationship (LDR). She began dating her boyfriend when they lived near enough to one another (I would assume) and then he moved to England to go to grad school. That was like a year ago and they're still together.

But are LDRs cut out for everyone? I've tried this once. The boyfriend who I kept going back to over and over again had moved to Vegas and we had tried it out once while he was there. It was hard. It was also during the summer, when I was off work. Well, in my defense, I did have a summer job, working 8-4, Monday through Friday. So weekends were the only time we could see each other, if we could see each other. It obviously didn't work out, but was that because of the distance? In this case, I'd say probably not. It would have ended anyway. In fact, that relationship ending had nothing to do with geographical distance.

I've obviously been presented with an opportunity to be in a LDR. I say it like it's a business offer. But I feel like I'm weighing out the costs and benefits of it like it is one. Without getting into specifics, I met an amazing guy awhile back. At the time, I was in a "relationship", and had no idea this guy was attracted to me. Anyway, he began pursuing me after my last little "relationship" and I've kinda started to fall for him. But I can't get past the fact that he lives almost 2 hours away.

I had this conversation with him a few nights ago. Poor guy. He listened as I sat there and rattled off every reason why this wouldn't work. I don't want to be a weekend (or every other weekend) girlfriend. I will most likely start to resent the fact that we live so far away. I'm not equipped to deal with not being able to see him whenever I want to (within reason, of course). What happens if this goes further and one of us has to move.... Yeah, all of this word vomit was coming out of my mouth as if my brain had no filter. But this is who I am. I think and I catastrophize and I try and plan things that really have no business being planned. I don't just let things happen.

The thing that he said that kinda struck me (aside from pointing out that everything that I was saying was negatives about us being together) was that LDRs happen all the time. It's not like we're the only people in the history of relationships that have tried this. Well, yeah. Duh. But these people aren't me. Or maybe I'm just refusing to be them without actually trying. Why do I do that? Why do I try to solve all my problems so as to avoid being hurt or wrong or in a situation I'm not comfortable with? Why do I try to plan so much? Why can't I just live in the moment? Why can't I just stop looking and start living (yeah, kinda cliche, but it fit)?

So the only thing that I could comfortably decide on was trying this. Because if I don't try this, I will always wonder, what if? Yeah, he's that amazing of a guy that I have to try this. What I'm worried about is now that I've decided that much, will I ultimately destroy it with my already established negativity? I hope not. I hope to wholeheartedly give this LDR a chance. I do have hope that with enough communication and trust, this might actually work. That I might actually be destined to be with this guy. And if that's the case, let's get this going. I'm willing to put in the work if he is. I'm willing to sacrifice, as long as he is. Where it will take us... I guess only time and patience will tell.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dave + Tim + Vegas = Amazing

Mom: So, who did you drive to Vegas to see again?
Me: Dave Matthews?
Mom: Ohhhh, Dave Matthews.
Dad (in the background): Who did she go and see?
Mom (to Dad): Dave Matthews. That's the guy I told you about that sings the song with that other country singer. I like him. I like his raspy voice.

Yes. Mom hearts Dave.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oh what a wonderful weeeeeekend...

What a great weekend!

Thursday night I went to the Kings game with the guy I used to date. Yeah, thought it was a bad idea after I impulsively asked him, but ended up having a really good time with him. No, nothing happened, I was just reminded that his issues have nothing to do with me and more to do with him. I've figured out that he does care about me and enjoy being around me, but there's a big difference between liking me and committing to me. And if he can't commit, he gets me as a friend. Only.

Friday, I spent the day at Disneyland with my family. My nieces are freakin adorable and it reminded me how lucky I am to have such a wonderful family.

Saturday I went out to dinner with some old friends from high school. I hadn't seen most of them in years, but I'm finding out more and more that people love to hang out... I just have to ask them. I also met up with someone who I had met a few months ago, at a Dave Matthews Band concert. He was in town so met up with my friends and me. Totally cool guy. I just felt bad that he left from hanging out with us at 12:45am and had to drive all the way back to San Diego.

Today, I did The Amazing L.A. Race with an old friend. It's L.A.'s version of The Amazing Race (the one on TV). We had no idea what to expect this morning when we showed up, but seriously, it was one of the most fun things I've done in a long time. We literally spent the day traveling around L.A., searching for and solving clues. We made it to the finish in reasonable time, not in last place, and without having to call for help (and get docked time). I will post more when I get the pictures we took throughout the race. Yeah, we took pictures. We didn't care. We had to capture the moments of us on this race.

What good times....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's not me, it's you

As I reflect on the last 2.5 months that I allowed myself to share my emotions with someone, I begin to wonder what the deal is with guys. I am by no means bitter about men. Ok, maybe I kinda am, but I'm not bitter in the sense of wanting all guys to die in a fiery pit of hell, I just wonder what the hell their issues are.

I went out to dinner and drinks with two separate lady friends of mine the last two nights. It was good to get the invites, with both ladies sharing much of the same heartache and frustration that I've been experiencing. So really, it was a time of venting and support and, well, downright boy-bashing.

The first friend is one I've known since I was 5 or 6. She and I have grown up playing soccer together. She was on my first team, the Ping Pongs, and I have pictures to prove it. We weren't super close friends growing up, but we were always in each others' lives one way or another. I have always kinda considered her my little sister, because she's a year younger than me and I've always felt that we have that connection. Anyway, she's just getting out of a 13-year relationship. Yeah, that's a freaking long time. The details of the relationship don't matter; what does matter is that she's finally become strong enough (or tired enough) to leave him. As she was telling me all of her woes, I was so proud of her for finally seeing that she would never be happy with him. She actually said, "I can live my life forever with this guy and be comfortable, but never really happy. But I don't want to do that. I want to know what a happy, healthy relationship is like." I wanted to hug her.

The second friend is one that I've known from high school. We were never close. However, thanks to technological advancements such as Facebook, we've become close. It's odd and awesome all at the same time how a website can lead to people bonding over daily status posts or mobile uploads. Anyway, we've been talking a lot lately about the difficulties of dating. She was the one who actually introduced me to the website where I met my last heartbreak. Due to recent status posts, we've been emailing about how we're both struggling with relationships lately so we decided to get dinner and drinks. This girl is amazing. She's been through a ridiculous amount of heartbreak and all while raising three wonderful kids. We shared our stories and discussed the unfairness of relationships. It was a good night.

What I'm having difficulties understanding is why the three of us are having such difficulties finding men. I know we're not the only single ladies in their 30s out there, struggling to find a good man to hold onto; but why is it so difficult?

I understand that a woman can only hold onto a good man when she is ready to love herself. I understand that many women have men who are horrible to them and they just accept it because they don't want to be alone (aka, be like us). I also understand that it takes patience and an unsettling waiver to find the right one. But seriously, what the hell is wrong with these men that those of us who are primed and ready are finding? We are wonderful catches, any man would be lucky to spend the rest of their lives loving us. But they can't.hold.onto.us. Why?

I am becoming more and more convinced that these issues are less about me and most women. I'm beginning to believe that these issues of relationships are more about men. Men are just as battered as women, but the difference between men and women is that women want the fantasy of living happily ever after and will pick themselves up after every heartbreak to try again. Men, on the other hand, don't buy into the fantasy. They get hurt and are content being alone or hanging out with their guy friends drinking beer. But what about when all of their buddies are married and having families? Don't they ultimately want to share their lives with someone? Isn't that what everyone's seeking? Maybe I'm just naive and a ridiculous romantic.

I know I'll never understand the complexities of men. I also know that finding a man is not the answer to my problems. I'm just ready to be in that chapter of my life and for whatever reason, fate is not allowing me to.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Did I love New Moon?


Aaaaaand that's all I have to say.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Feeling the aftermath

Yup... here it is. That damn feeling. That feeling of control over your emotions being lost. The feeling of, when is this going to happen for me??? The feeling of hope slipping away. The feeling of do I really have to start over again? The feeling of heartbreak.

When is this going to get easier? I'm 31 years old. When do I have to stop searching? When do I get to experience what my friends get to experience? When do I get to walk down the aisle and spend my life with the man that I love? When do I get to experience the fears and happiness of pregnancy? When do I get to start watching my kids grow?

I swear, I'm trying to be patient. I swear. I've been ready to do this since I was 18. And maybe I wasn't ready for the right reasons until recently, but the point is, I'm ready. I just don't understand why I'm not getting to be there.

I'm burned out. I'm tired of dating. I'm tired of going through the first stages of discovery with the guy you kinda like. I'm tired of starting to feel that comfortability with the guy and kinda getting into that relaxed state of mind. I'm tired of letting my guard down only to get smashed in the face.

I can only do this for so long. I'm seriously wearing thin. Especially when the circumstances are all but perfect and you still have to walk away, because you know it's not going to go any further if you stay and wait.

So again I'll spend the holidays alone. Again I'll have to hang out with my family, who I love, don't get me wrong. Again I'll have to watch my brother and his family that he's creating and wonder when I'll get to be plus one in my invite request. The only thing that keeps me going is that this has to happen at some point.

But when?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Putting my foot down (and seeing the light)

Here I am again, at this point in a relationship where I'm not getting what I want from it and second guessing myself. Here I am feeling like I'm becoming some crazy chick that is over-analyzing everything. Here I am getting hurt that I didn't get the phone call or the text that I wanted, becoming resentful of a situation that I can change.

I think I've finally figured out that this is the point where something isn't right, whether it be with the relationship in its entirety or with how I feel it's being played out. And guess what, I'm actually going to step in this time around and speak my peace, so that I don't continue to follow down the same path of always being the one to compromise, but never feeling like I'm being compromised for. I'm taking control. Not of anyone else, but of myself and my emotions.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to get rejected; that I won't get what I want from this. But you know what, I think I might be ok with that. I don't want to end the relationship, but I can't keep being in something that isn't meeting my needs.

The fact of the matter is, I want more than what I'm getting. I can't help that. And maybe he can't help being at a point in his life where he can't give me more. But if that's the case, I need to move on. No more timelines, no more waiting around for him to hopefully change his mind. No more waiting around for anyone to figure out if they want to be with me or not. I am who I am, take it or leave it. Be with me or don't.

I make no apologies for who I am or how I feel.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

An inspiring story

I just finished watching the much anticipated (by me) Dear Jack documentary. It's the story of Andrew McMahon, the singer for Jack's Mannequin and Something Corporate, who gets diagnosed with Leukemia in 2005 at the age of 22. From the beginning of his diagnosis, he documents most of his journey on camera and through writing.

Any documentary of this nature would be a powerful one, but I fell in love with this guy because of his story, so this was especially powerful to me. I was introduced to Jack's Mannequin about a year ago through blogs and read that this was an amazing guy with an amazing story. I investigated a little and found a few of his blog entries near the time of his diagnosis and afterward. He is an amazing writer, to say the least. I was told that the first time you listen to a Jack's Mannequin CD, it's good music, but it's not amazing. But as you begin to really listen to it, you begin to actually hear how amazing the music really is. And this music did in fact hit me in that exact way. He is an amazing artist. His songs are beautiful and his passion is felt in the energy of just his CDs. I have been a huge fan since.

As I watched this documentary, I couldn't help but imagine myself and my family in this situation. It was heartbreaking and real and intense. I saw the pain and the love and the fight. I was in tears for most of it. I imagined what my family, my parents in particular, would be like. I could see my mom trying to stay strong, but not lasting long. I could see my dad being the rock, almost removed from it all, trying to make me laugh instead of breaking down and crying in front of me. And for the most part, I imagined myself in this position. This is going to sound weird, but this isn't the first time I've imagined myself in this position. In the position of getting really sick and having to be put through the trials and tribulations of fighting the sickness. How would I react? I would like to think that I would stand strong and remain positive, but how do I really know that? I do know that it would be another time of deep thought and reflection in my life, as I think it would be with anyone.

I have always thought my purpose in this life is more than what it is now. I have always thought that my words and reflections about myself would be my impact on this world. This is why I blog. I had this blog for a few months before I went through my life-changing experience. If you've been reading for long, you'd know that the breakup with the last boyfriend and the therapy that followed it is what I'm speaking of. I don't know exactly yet how I will use these words and these reflections about myself, but I feel like they will be used in some way that will be an inspiration to others. I think that many people live their lives without the reflection that I've had with myself. I am a deep thinker. Many people may not know this, but I often contemplate things on a level far deeper than any other person might. I feel things deeply, I think about things deeply... It's just who I am. There's something about reflecting and contemplating that gives me energy. I think this may be why I love music so much, especially bands like Jack's Mannequin. I love hearing and seeing other people's passion and energy. If I feel their passion, I'm apt to loving their music.

So now, as I sit here thinking and feeling deeply about this DVD, I am in that moment of reflection. I think about how blessed I am to be surrounded and supported by such wonderful family and friends. I think about how blessed I am to have a job that makes such an impact on so many young people. I think about how blessed I am to live a healthy, happy life. I think about what kind of an impact I've had on others. I've really tried my best to be thankful for all that I have and all that I've worked for. I've tried to be thankful for those that have been in my life. I don't think my family and friends know how much I love them and appreciate them, but I'm not sure I know how to put into words what I feel.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for people like Andrew, who have gone through something so life-changing and learned something from it. It gives me hope that people aren't just living this life for the instant gratification or even for what awaits them at the end of this life, depending on their beliefs.

There's a quote from Joseph Campbell that hits what I feel about living life. "People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive... so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive."

When I am in my states of deep thought, I feel alive. I feel like I am experiencing life. I could be sitting on my chair, typing an entry for my blog. I could be on a boat, sailing around an island in Greece. Wherever it is, I feel alive. I try to really feel in moments like those. I try to take that time of feeling and reflection and do something with it. Many times, I don't know what that something is. So I just write or blog.

One day it will serve its purpose.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lessons of love

Today I was reading this article from Honey and Lance (my new favorite blog about dating and such) and I had some revelations. To sum it up, the dude was talking about what he learned about dating 3 chicks at once. I have never dated more than one guy at a time, not because I couldn't *cough*, but because I just choose not to. I can't maintain that much emotion and divide it among 3 dudes. I'm literally incapable and it just isn't fair, to me. You, however, can do whatever the f*ck you want. As long as you're not being whorish. And even then, to you I say, have some respect for yourself, but do what you want.

So anyway, it made me think about what I've learned from the dudes I've dated. I'm not going to sit here and hash out every single guy I've dated, but I will hash out the ones I fell in love with. Those are the ones I learned the most from.

Love number 1:
He taught me that firsts loves are capable of punching you in the face, helping you back up, punching you in the face again, helping you up, punching you in the face again, and then continuing to repeat this cycle for over 8 years (while I let him). He showed me that you can love with no boundaries and without knowing any heartache (until you are metaphorically punched in the face). He taught me what insecurity is. He taught me what passion is. He taught me what complete and utter heartache is, to the point of wanting to die. He taught me what butterflies really feel like. He taught me that promises can be broken, even with a ring on my finger. He taught me that even though I thought I was in control of who I was, I was completely wrong. He taught me that although the love may never die, two people are not supposed to be together no matter how hard they try. He taught me that everything is not happily ever after. He taught me that you can love someone and think they have your best interest at heart, but they don't always... but not out of premeditation or malice. He taught me that you can't change anyone. He taught me not to lend money to a significant other. He taught me that I love tall, white guys with dark hair. He taught me how to man up and walk away. He taught me how unabashedly wonderful yet how sick and depressed love can make me feel. He taught me a lot about myself.

I don't regret the 8+ years I spent loving him. Some people may say that it was a wasted period of time and that I should have just figured it out sooner. But I didn't. And the time that it took me to figure it out was not wasted. I felt things I had never felt before, both good and bad. I learned that I am capable of loving deeply. I will never forget my first love.

Love number 2:
This poor guy came into my life two months after I finally ended things with love number 1. He didn't stand a chance in the beginning, but managed to win me over. We lasted over two years. I look back at this one and realize that I needed him there in my life for a number of reasons. He saved me from myself. He saved me from continuing the cycle of love number 1. He saved me from thinking that love was all about the cycle of passion and butterflies and then sudden breakups and confusion. He allowed me to understand that love has arguments and can still manage to stay alive when the argument is over. He allowed me to understand that love can last... for more than a few months. He showed me (again) that I can't change anyone. He also showed me that I can't change myself to make someone happy. He showed me that love is freakin hard. And that just because you fall in love, it doesn't always mean you have the same ideals. He showed me that life isn't all about finding someone and getting married. And that just because you think you deserve something, you don't always get it... and that's not a bad thing. He showed me that I need affection and passion in a relationship. He showed me that talk is cheap. He showed me how to love traveling. He showed me how to love being outdoors and active again. He showed me that people are freakin stubborn.

I actually learned more about myself with this one. The aftermath of it was the catalyst to me changing who I was as a person, for the better. I learned how to be happy with who I am and to not let someone else dictate how I feel about myself. I learned that I can be alone and be ok. I learned how to enjoy me. I learned how to fall in love with myself. The last year and a half since love number 2 ended has been the most enlightening period of my life. I have challenged myself to so many things that have made me such a strong, independent woman. I actually like who I am and make no excuses to anyone about it. That's a good feeling.

I've heard that each love lost should be a lesson. There should be no regrets about that time you spent with that person, you should only look at it in terms of what you've learned. I feel that. I feel it wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ode to Devo

So I taught division of fractions and mixed numbers today. Again. For my 8th year. Which, is really no big deal. I feel like I get better at teaching it every year. But this is the thing... at about my third year teaching it, I came up with a brilliant idea (and by I, I totally mean one of my 6th graders at the time). Somehow, some way, the students and I were fooling around during that math lesson, many years ago. I know, a shocker. If you know my teaching style, we're always fooling around. But we're learning. All the time. (It's kinda my trick. If we fool around while we learn, they don't know any better.)

Anyway, so we're learning and fooling and such and somehow the song "Whip It" by Devo came up. And somehow, some way, I started singing it. I think it had to do with the fact that when you divide fractions, you have to multiply by the reciprocal. For those of you non-math geeks out there, it means, "flip it." So you flip the second fraction and multiply. So I was saying "flip it," and a student said something about the song "Whip It." Ha ha, funny reference. Well, that turned into the following line: "When division comes along, you must flip it" (sung to the tune of Whip It, by Devo). Brilliant, I know.

Well, as you can imagine, it stuck. The kids dug it completely. And I've used it ever since. That was 5 years ago. And every year, fewer and fewer kids seem to know what the heck I'm talking about when I sing the original Devo song. Which I find utterly and completely disgusting. These kids have no idea what they're missing by only listening to KIIS FM or Power 106. It kills me. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Taylor Swift and some Black Eyed Peas, but I never listen to the radio anymore. Partly because I'm an iPod whore and partly because I can't stand hearing about birthday sex (oh, excuse me, birthday text) and p-p-p-poker face p-p-poker face over and over and over. (On a side note, I find it highly disturbing that my 6th graders come in singing the lyrics to this shit. Parents?)

But I digress...

So today I'm teaching it and I'm all excited to bust out the "Whip It" spin. So I do and the only one giggling is my student teacher. Who's 25. Thanks, I appreciate it, but the ones who matter in this lesson are the ones looking at me like I am an old fart, talking about classical music or something. Some of them act like they get it (I think they felt bad), but I know they really don't because when I get to the step in each sample problem where I say, "When division comes along...." and they sing, "you must flip it" in the obvious incorrect tune, there's something off.

So this is my call to parents or aunts or uncles or older brothers and sisters.... help a sista out. Play some good music for your youngins. They have to know this stuff. It's gotta be like a rite of passage or something. I know when I was growing up, I listened to things like The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac. And I remember that shit. Good [popular] music is a dying breed right now. And I'm feeling it. I'm feeling it hard core when the math references that always used to work are being thrown by the wayside.

Maybe next year I'll play the Devo song before I teach the lesson so as to develop some background knowledge.

All in the name of teaching division of fractions...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

L is for Leo

This was my horoscope today on the dashboard of my computer:

You've been subtly, but powerfully, changed. You're ready to take a chance again and you have just the person in mind for the job. Don't be afraid to make the first move. The astrological agenda at the moment is just perfectly primed to give you all the support you need to make not just a good impression, but a lasting one. Ah. Isn't love grand?

I'm not a huge astrological/horoscope type of gal. I check mine out from time to time, but mostly for shits and giggles. This one made me laugh out loud (an actual LOL) today.

Why? Because it nailed it. Completely nailed it.

Oh, horoscope gods in my computer, you better not be shittin me on that support you're promising. I will come after you if you're wrong. So you better watch your back. I'm just sayin.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I love them, but I hafta be real

Even though Thursday's win was glorious (especially, being there to witness it), I don't think it's gonna happen for my guys this year. But one can dream, right?

Let's go Angels! (clap, clap, clapclapclap)

Irvine Lake Mud Run

My first, and definitely not last, mud run. What a good, dirty time. I can't wait til the next one in November!

After we finished. So wet and sticky and dirty.

We're such bad asses. Grrrr...

All the girls... plus T's adorable boys.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I like saying the word "exclusivity" out loud

I know.... it's been awhile. So let's update.
  • I'm sorta kinda dating someone. And by "sorta kinda," I mean totally. The thing is, we're not labeled exclusive, but we basically are. And I'm kinda ok with that. I'm not plannin on going out and dating anyone else and I'm pretty sure he's not either. Though you never know. But I'm pretty confident we're exclusive without giving the exclusivity title. Is that weird?
  • My neighbors suck ass. Since I've posted about the last late-night disturbance, I've had to call after-hours security at least 3 other times. Let's just say, one involved a hammer at 2:30am and another involved a slumber party at 2:30am. Maybe it's the time. It hits 2:30 and their internal "let's f*ck with our neighbor" clock goes off. Or maybe it's coke. Who knows. Oh, and lets not forget the neighbor who, after I spent 10 innings cheering for my Angels, shouted out his slider, "WAHOOOOOOO!!!! (clap clap clap) GODDAMN HALO FAN!" when A-Rod hit a homer to tie it up again. Which was obviously intended for me. Don't be a douche, dude. Can't a chick who lives by herself get some love? Anyone? Apartment living is amazing.
  • My kids might literally kill me this year. Or 3 of them. And believe me, that's enough to suck my will to live everyday. I can't break them. I have one kid who has been awesomely described as an "intellectual bully." He has difficulties tolerating anyone who's not as smart as him. The others just feed off his negativity. I sometimes have to hold myself back from saying, "Are you f*cking serious??"
  • I ran/walked a 5K last weekend and my time was superbly better than I had ever imagined. I gave up the long distances after I met the challenge of my halfer last year, but still like to be outside in that atmosphere. Next weekend I have my first mudrun, which will be completely awesome.
  • I totally think my friend on Survivor Samoa might have a chance at winning. I never watch that show, but found out this guy I used to want to hump super badly was going to be on it. He's doing well, and might actually have a chance. If only he'd stop being clotheslined, by clotheslines, while chasing after runaway chickens.
  • Thanks to the Angels win today (finally), I get to go to my first post season game on Thursday. Score.
Ok, now I'm just spurting out randomness. I'm boring myself.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Old, like 30

You know how people say that your 30s are so much different than your 20s? I totally never believed them, whoever "they" are. But I have to say, I've officially been in my 30s for a little bit over a year and by golly, they are right.

See, this is the thing. I've either excused myself or been excused from 3 friendships in the last year. You'd think I should feel bad about that. Possibly take an extra hard look in the mirror. And believe me, I have. That mirror and I have been besties for over a year now. But in the end, I don't care. It does not bother me that three seemingly close friends have been removed from my life. Wait, let me clarify... it does bother me in one way or another. But not enough to feel bad about the friendship being over.

Friend number 1: We had been friends for years. College friends. But now that I look back, I kinda use the term "friend" loosely. We said we were friends, we even might have said we were one of each other's best friends. But who were we kidding. Best friends don't compete with each other. Or accuse the other best friend of talking shit about her to her boyfriend. Really? Because that's how I roll? Not even close. When it comes down to it all, I was going through what I like to call the "detoxifying period" of my life. I had just gotten outta the relationship with the ex, was knee deep in therapy, and was over being treated like shit. I snapped when the last incident happened, and really never looked back.

Friend number 2: We had been friends for months. Literally. I thought this girl was the shit. She was everything I was hoping to be: bold, strong, and had a "f*ck you" attitude. At least on the outside. She was exactly what I needed in a friend at that point in my life. She always told me the truth about everything, whether I wanted to hear it or not. And I respected her for that. To be honest, I really don't know what happened to end this one, but I figure she wasn't the person I thought she was (or made her out in my head to be) if she would just drop me like she did. And boy did she.

Friend number 3: We had been friends for years. Work friends. She was what I needed at that point in my life. I was about to leave the school I worked at because the environment had become toxic. She came in and helped me love the school again. We worked as next door neighbors for about 4 years. We were two peas in a pod. But then things started happening in her life that started to bring out values that I didn't agree with. I struggled with this for a few years. I didn't want to judge her. I wanted to support her with whatever decisions she was making in her life, whether I agreed with them or not. Wasn't that what a "friend" was supposed to do? But over the years, it became difficult to respect her. And that's hard. For so long, I was fighting this battle with myself. I can't judge her, it's her life. She's going to make decisions for herself that I may not agree with, but I still have to love her as my friend. And I did. I still do. But it got to a point where I couldn't be true to who I was and still support her as a friend. We were two completely different people. I had finally decided that I was going to talk to her about how I was feeling. And I felt like I said everything I needed to say without getting immature or catty. She listened, she spoke her feelings about how what I was saying made her feel, and we kind of agreed to move on from it as friends. But who were we kidding? You can't move on from that kinda shit once it's out there. I was already moving on from that friendship, and she was growing more resentful of what I had told her. Eventually, the friendship died. It kinda stung when the ball finally dropped, but I don't feel bad about it. I actually feel like a weight has been lifted.

The thing is, I've been kinda reflecting on these "friendships" in the past week. I was talking to a good friend of mine and she was telling me that she went through this too. She described it as sort of an "inventory" of your life. You come to a point where you realize that there are certain people or things that are worth holding onto. Worth working for. And those friendships weren't worth it to me. Call me self-centered or a bitch... I just know in my heart of hearts that I'm better off without those girls in my life. I just know. And I don't feel bad for any of those friendships ending. They were wonderful additions to my life and have helped me mold a piece of who I am today, but they had their time. And their time ended when it was supposed to. The friends I have in my life right now are the friends that I know are true. I'm over being friends with someone just to have a wingman to hang out with on a Friday night. If I consider you my friend, you are someone who I feel like will be around for a really long time, if not forever. I don't have the time or the patience for bullshit anymore.

I'm freakin in my thirties.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Week 4. Total concerns? Five.

So I've been back to work for 4 full weeks and I've had meetings with 3 parents, have one scheduled for Monday, and had to call and talk to a parent on Friday. What's the deal? All of the parents are, in some variation, wondering what's going on with their child. Really? Because I'm sure this isn't the first year where your student is struggling. Maybe one of those meetings was a "just getting acquainted with 6th grade expectations," but the rest were for sure not the first time their child has struggled.

Plus, I've already written 2 office referrals. I think I wrote two office referrals total last year. And this year I've written 2 within the same day, in the first 4 weeks.

The honeymoon stage is over.

The good news? I finally have a student teacher. I've always wanted one, not because they can do work for me, but I hope to one day mentor and/or teach future teachers, so I feel like this will let me know if it's something I should really pursue in the far-off future. I'm excited.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

You know what drives me crazy?

  • People who use their windshield cleaner while driving. On the freeway. Do they understand how annoying it is to be sprayed while driving behind them? Haven't they ever had it done to them? I go especially ape shit when I just had my car washed. Can't they just wait until they're stopped at a light?
  • People who park their car or turn their car off in a drive-thru. Is it necessary? Is holding your foot on the brake pad super tiring? Is it really that long of a wait? Are you saving any gas at all?
  • People who have to give exact change in a 15 or fewer lane. Or have to write a check in any lane of a grocery store. Um, hello? First of all, have you not memorized your debit card number yet? Second, your exact change is killing me. I want to stab my eyes out watching you dig in your coin purse for those 3 pennies and 2 dimes. One at a time. The only time I use correct change is when I have time between the total being given to me and when I hand the money over. Like when I have to wait for the asshole in front of me to start his car in a drive-thru.
  • People who allow their kids to run around screaming in any public place. And then think it's cute and/or funny. No, it's not. It's annoying.
  • People who don't give me the "thank you" sign when I let them in. Like if they're coming out of a parking lot or gas station or going into one, and you have to stop to give them room to jump in. I honestly don't mind doing that shit at all. But I think it's so rude when they don't at least throw up a hand to say "thanks." That's just a no brainer. And quite frankly, an asshole move if you don't.
I know I have more. But I had to get these off my chest now.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dear 2-3am party-goers,

Yeah, hi. I'm one of the hundreds of people who live in the complex that you were at on Friday night. One of the people whose windows were open because we do not have central AC and our bedrooms are hotter than shit at night. Especially in these humidly hot days lately. One of the people who was woken up by your shouting and cackling at 2am. I have a few questions for you...

Are you high? Ok, that was a stupid question and you probably were. Let's move on.

Are you fucking stupid? See all those little windows within your peripheral? Yeah, those windows all have little people inside. We live there. We sleep there. Wait, we try to sleep there. Until stupid idiots like you think it's ok to have conversations and tell jokes in a not-so-inside voice at 2am.

Did you not think we'd complain again after we complained to after hours security once? Going inside for a half hour and then coming back outside doesn't count as staying quiet. Yeah, I was one of the people who called twice to complain about your stupid asses.

I'm not really sure why you think the world revolves around your insane partying hours. Party all you want, just stay the hell out of my apartment complex. It was a Friday night, I get it. But I'm old and I went to bed at 9:30, hoping to sleep off the exhaustion from my first week back at work.

Please don't disrupt my slumber again. And you especially don't want to do that to me on a school night. I will violently hurt your ass. I'm just sayin.

Regards,
Brandi

Happy birthday, Jaylene

My brother and his wife had their 2nd baby yesterday. Her name is Jaylene Elisa and she is cute and perfect. It's still not real to me. I'm a bit concerned about how my love for my 3-year old niece is going to be split now. Or maybe not split, but doubled. Jaylene's not real yet, though by the pictures below, she obviously is. Maybe because she's just a lump. Can she grow already and recognize me and laugh with me? I'm ready.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm such a dork, part 2

Ok I don't know what it is about me and keys lately, but I have another little story to share.

The school I work at has moved to the school site across the street (in a nutshell, it was available and we needed more space). So there has been a lot of walking back and forth to grab stuff from the old site.

Anyway, today I asked one of the secretaries for the master keys for the old site because I wanted to see if there were some posters I had left in my old room. She gave me the keys and I walked across the street. When I got to the gate, I unlocked it, let myself in, and locked it. I don't like being the only one on campus, so I locked myself in. I went to the room, got what I needed, grabbed my keys, and was on my way back to the gate.

Well, when I looked at my keys, I had only grabbed my keys, not the master keys. Which meant that they were still in the classroom. Which meant that I was locked in. Shit.

So I'm on this empty (creepy) campus, alone, without my phone, and without keys to get out. So what do I do? I jump the fence like a freakin criminal and walk back to the new site, sans master keys.

When I explain my story, they all laugh at me. Of course. I'm an idiot. Thank goodness my principal had another set of master keys for the old site. So I had to take the trek back to the old site (btw, it was about 98* outside, with mad humidity for CA), unlock the gate, go back to the classroom, grab the keys, lock the gate on my way out, and walk back to the new site.

Ugh.

Someone needs to install a key chain piercing on me somewhere.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sarah Thomas 555-5501

Totally watched Serendipity for the 5000th time tonight and the eulogy struck me. It's funny, I've heard that part in the movie before, but I've never really listened to it.

Jonathan Trager, prominent television producer for ESPN, died last night from complications of losing his soul mate and his fiancee. He was 35 years old. Soft-spoken and obsessive, Trager never looked the part of a hopeless romantic. But, in the final days of his life, he revealed an unknown side of his psyche. This hidden quasi-Jungian persona surfaced during the Agatha Christie-like pursuit of his long reputed soul mate, a woman whom he only spent a few precious hours with. Sadly, the protracted search ended late Saturday night in complete and utter failure. Yet even in certain defeat, the courageous Trager secretly clung to the belief that life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. Uh-uh. But rather, its a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan. Asked about the loss of his dear friend, Dean Kansky, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and executive editor of the New York Times, described Jonathan as a changed man in the last days of his life. "Things were clearer for him," Kansky noted. Ultimately Jonathan concluded that if we are to live life in harmony with the universe, we must all possess a powerful faith in what the ancients used to call "fatum", what we currently refer to as destiny.

Freakin beautiful.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's still my birthday week

So I celebrated my 31st birthday this week.

Birthdays are an odd thing for me. One the one hand, I LOVE my birthday. It's really my favorite day of the year. It's my parents' fault. When I was younger, my birthday was my day. I got to do what I wanted (within reason), I didn't have to do chores, and my mom always made my favorite meal.

However, since I've moved out, birthdays have been a little hard for me to deal with. I still love that it's my day, but who's going to spoil me if my parents aren't around?

What I've realized in general this year is that I've got a giant fear of being alone on my birthday. I plan things weeks in advance so that I don't have to deal with the fact that someone else might not plan something. I planned a dinner this year and was so excited that all my friends and husbands (that live within 25 miles) made it out to celebrate with me.


Here's to being 31! I've been told by numerous people that this is my year. Oh, and that 31 = dirty fun. Well... ok, if you say so...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I'm such a dork

Today I was doing my usual weekend walk/run (mostly walk, downhill only run) of a hilly trail nearby. When I go, I drive there, park in a church parking lot nearby, and walk to the trail. It gives me one extra hill to walk, which I dig. The only things I take with me are my iPod (which is in an arm holder thingy) and my car key. I literally take it off my keyring and stick it in my arm holder thingy.

So I do the first hill, start to go down the next hill, and begin my first run. All of a sudden, I feel a click in my arm holder thingy, something bounces off my calf and hits the sidewalk. I stop immediately, turn around, and.... nothing. Nothing is on the very wide sidewalk behind me. I look in my arm holder thingy and my key is gone. My car key. The key to my car that holds my purse, my phone, and my apartment key. I immediately squat down and look in the nearby planters. At the same time, cars are passing by on a busy street next to me. I can only imagine what they were thinking. The bushes aren't grown together, but there are very low plants there. I'm on my hands and knees for about 10 minutes, combing through about 3-5 yards of planters. Nothing. Now, mind you, I drive a Honda and the key is not just a regular, metal key. At the top of the key is a giant black cover, where my automatic door lock buttons are. It's not a small thing I'm searching for.

So now I'm screwed. I can't find my key, I have no phone, I have no money. I do have my iPod, though (whew!). The only thing I can think to do is to walk back to my apartment, ask to use their phone, and call my parents, who are the only ones that have an extra car key. So I decide to start walking.

This walk back is like 2 miles. The entire way I'm trying to think of any other way that I can solve this problem besides calling my parents to drive the 25 minute drive out to give me my key. Nothing. I'm totally beating myself up the whole walk back.

I finally get back to the complex, ask to use the phone, and my mom says she'll leave in 10 minutes. I feel horrible, but she's totally ok with it and doesn't make me feel bad at all. I was partly hoping my dad would answer because he's so much more mellow than my mom, but she was cool about it.

So here I am, finally back from what should have only been an hour walk, two and a half hours later. What a mess.

Now I have to call to see how much another key is. And I don't think they're cheap. Great.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Coincidence? I think not.

Fourteen years ago today, my brother's best friend, who was 17 at the time, passed away after being in a bad car accident. He was the drunk passenger of a car whose driver was also drunk. My brother's best friend, Jon, wasn't wearing a seat belt and suffered extensive head trauma, as they were driving an open T-top Camaro. They ran the red light into a truck who was making a left turn in front of them.

I remember getting the phone call from Jon's mom the next morning.
Me: Hello?
Sheree: Hi Brandi. Is Bryan ok?
Me: Um, yeah, I think so. Why?
Sheree: Is your mom there?
Me: Yeah, hold on.

Sheree asked my mom the same thing. My mom went to my brother's room. He wasn't there, as expected. He was at work.
My mom: Yeah, he's at work. What's wrong?
Talking on the other end.
My mom: Oh gosh. Is Jon ok?
More talking on the other end.
My mom: Well, I know he came in last night and he had to work early this morning.

After they hung up, I found out that Jon had been in a car accident and Sheree was wondering if my brother was ok because my brother was supposed to be in that car.

The night before, my brother and Jon went out to a bowling alley. They met up with another guy that Jon worked with. This other guy, *Sean, was older than the two of them and was spending a lot of time with Jon recently. Sean was buying the beer, and the pitchers kept coming in.

At the end of the night, as they were leaving, Jon went to get into Sean's car and told my brother to come along. My brother knew he had to work in the morning and decided to take his own car and go home. He told Jon to come with him, and (I will remember my brother telling this part until the day I die) Jon started to take a step toward him and then decided against it and told my brother he'd see him later.

It was the last time my brother saw Jon as the Jon that we all knew and loved. They sped out of the parking lot so quickly that my brother had no chance to catch up. (Thank goodness.)

After the phone call, we called my brother at work. At this point, the word was that Sean was doing worse than Jon. Jon was supposed to make it and they weren't so sure about Sean. My brother came home immediately and we all went to the hospital.

Those hospital days were a blur. I don't even remember how many there were exactly, but I do know it was somewhere around 5 days that Jon was in a coma. In this time, I formed special bonds with a couple of girls that knew Jon. What I do remember is forcing myself to go in and see him. I will never forget what he looked like. He was lying there, face swollen beyond recognition, with tubes coming out of his head and mouth, and wires everywhere. It was the first time I had seen someone look like that. It wasn't the good looking and full-of-life Jon that I knew for the last year or so.

It was evident that Jon wasn't doing as well as we had first thought. I remember that his dad kept promising him a new Acura if he would just come out of this. They put pictures of it in his hospital room. Every time I see an Acura like that even today, I think of Jon.

After a few days in a coma, we were all pulled into a small room. Looking back, it's odd to me that his parents wanted us all in during this moment. Sitting there with his mom and dad, my mom and brother, and a few friends that had been there everyday, the doctors told us that the swelling in Jon's brain wasn't going down and that there was no brain activity. This meant that he'd be a vegetable if he were to be kept alive. I couldn't believe it. We all couldn't believe it. The doctors told Jon's parents that they should consider donating his organs. That was August 2, 1995.

Jon's funeral was HUGE. The largest I have ever been to (then and to this day). He was friends with so many people, it was unbelievable. The line of cars leading to the grave site was longer than the eye could see. You would have thought that the way in which he died would have scared some of those kids out of living that lifestyle, but it didn't. Many of them went on to get multiple DUIs. Sad.

The days and months after Jon's death were a blur of sadness, remembrance, and seeing my brother break down. As I type this and remember what he went through, I get teary. My brother blamed himself for Jon's death. If only he could have forced Jon into his car. If only he would have made Jon leave earlier. If only. You don't want to see any of your family members go through what he went through, let alone your older brother. He was the one who was there to protect me, his baby sister, and I had no idea how to make him feel better. I remember night after night of him crying and yelling and my mom in his room all hours of the night, trying to calm him down. I didn't know how to deal with it. I didn't know what to say to him. I'm thankful that my mom was strong enough to pull him out of it eventually, though not without stories that I would later hear about my brother considering things I don't even want to think of. It was a horrible time.

On top of all of this, there was a court case building against Sean. My brother chose to speak about Jon in front of the court and I remember being so nervous for him. He cried, which always tears me apart, and he spoke about the events that led up to the accident. He also spoke about his relationship to Jon. In the end, Sean was charged with a DUI (his second, if I recall correctly) and Involuntary Manslaughter. He got 3 years in jail, which turned out to only be a year and a half for good behavior. If I remember correctly, the effect of Jon's death on Sean was no where near the effect it had on my brother.

We tried to remember Jon as best we could for as long as we could. There was a tree planted at the park near his house in his honor. But, as things happen this way, we eventually moved on with our lives.

His mom never really got over it. I mean, who could blame any parent for not being able to get over having to bury their child. But I don't think she ever had the strength to move on. We heard recently that she was diagnosed with cancer (I think lung cancer, as she was an avid smoker) and the doctors were only giving her 6 months to live. That was last month. She passed today. August 2, 2009. Fourteen years (to the day) after her Jon passed.

I got the news a couple of hours ago. A friend of mine who shared those hospital days with me texted me and told me. I broke the news to my brother, who had hoped that she'd last a bit longer so he could go and say his goodbyes.

For someone who doesn't believe in religion, I believe that her passing on this day was not coincidental. She got to be with her son again, 14 years after he left her. It brings chills to my body and makes me feel peace for her all at the same time.

Rest in peace, Sheree. I hope that seeing Jon takes away the pain you had to go through for the last 14 years.

*name changed for obvious reasons.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday morning surprise

Ugh. I saw peen on OKCupid today. Now I'm only on two dating sites.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Can someone throw me a freakin bone??

I probably shouldn't even blog about this, but I'm going to because it explains what I've been forced to deal with lately.

I met a dude on a dating site. Super cool guy. Went through the motions with eHarmony, matched in each others' values, even exchanged a few emails, etc., etc., etc. He calls me and we're having a decent conversation. We get on the subject of traveling and I tell him about my fabulous trip from Rome to Athens last summer and how I got to see the Parthenon, which I've wanted to see for around 10 years. I joked about how I thought I was going to shed actual tears when I saw it for the first time.

When he asked me what and where the Parthenon was, I was a bit worried. I kindly explained that it was in Greece and probably one of the most famous, most historical buildings there. He then explained that he had gone to Greece, but couldn't remember what he saw. I figured it was a trip he took when he was younger. Nope, he said he went 2 years ago. Two years ago???? Ummmmm..... And he totally wasn't trying to be funny.

So he tells me that he's going to email me some pictures to prove he was there and I jokingly said I'd probably have to tell him what he was standing in front of.

I get the email from him today and I open the attachment that is the picture, thinking it'd be some obscure ruin somewhere on the side of the road. (If you've never been to Greece, there are in fact obscure ruins everywhere. They just build around them.) When it finally opens, it's a freakin picture of him standing.in.front.of.the.PARTHENON.

He honestly had no idea. Really. None. The thing is, there are signs everywhere. He had to walk up a giant hill to get there. THE OLYMPICS WERE IN ATHENS JUST 5 YEARS AGO!!! How does this guy, a seemingly bright 31-year old, not know what the Parthenon is???? I mean, I get it. History is kind of a passion of mine, especially ancient civilizations. But I learned about the Parthenon when I was in college. It's a pretty recognizable building. Is it not?? And even if it's not, isn't it something you should know if you've been there, standing in front of it??

Help me out here, this is not what is left out there for me, is it?? Please tell me it gets better than this.

Since I had already told the guy I'd meet him for drinks, I'm following through on that and will meet him later this week. But I'm worried. I've already practiced the "I've got plans this weekend," just in case. What plans? Family. Friends. Babysitting my niece. I'm a horrible liar, I have to have this stuff prepared so that I'm not caught off guard, stumbling for an excuse.

Ugh. Please tell me it gets better. Please.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Online Dating 101

It's funny that 7 months ago, I was mostly against internet dating sites. I thought (and still kinda do) that it was interfering with fate. I felt it was trying too hard to find someone and that there was a level of desperation going into it.

But I tried it anyway. I was convinced that getting myself out there was being proactive, rather than just waiting for social opportunities in my life. The first place I tried was Match.com. I did a 3 month trial, found a couple of guys, but nothing went further than the phone, for whatever reasons. I didn't renew my subscription there. Toward the end of my Match subscription, a friend told me about PlentyofFish.com, which is free. I've met a number of guys there, even went out with one, bit no luck there. I'm still on that site.

As if being sent a sign, I kept seeing eHarmony commercials, so I joined. I have to admit, eHarmony seems the most serious. You don't go out and find matches, they match you with people who they think you are compatible with, based on a pretty long and extensive survey you take when you sign up. Then, once you are matched, you have to go through a guided process of questions and answers before you can actually talk to them. Of course you can opt out of the guided process, but to me, it tells you a lot about if you really share the same values. I've only been on eHarmony for about a week.

Last week, I was told about OkCupid.com, which is another free site. This one is entertaining because you can take lame, but fun, Facebook-like quizzes. I still don't understand what a Quiver is and my profile on this one is probably the most smartass of all. I'm a trained professional at making profiles now.

So, needless to say, I've been involved in online "dating" for about 7 months. Since the beginning, I haven't been super into it. I don't pursue guys (though I have started to on eHarmony) and I'm pretty picky about the ones I do email back. I could care less if I get emails or winks or quivers. But at the same time, it has been quite a confidence booster to see the emails coming in periodically.

Online dating isn't any easier. The guys still don't know what they want. They still lie about things and don't follow through on things they say they are going to do. But it's becoming easier to care less about it. A friend of mine had a conversation with me the other day about how she met her husband on a dating site. She told me about how the process of being on dating sites wasn't easy, but it was kinda fun. She said she got good at dating and meeting for coffee or a drink for the first time. She got good at not accepting last minute dates. She went out with so many guys at a time and kept so busy that she wasn't really ever "waiting" for a call or a lame ass text. She learned that the right guy and good guy would never make her wonder if he wanted to hang out or get to know her.

So this is the thing. I've never really just dated. I've always met someone, and dated only them until it evolved into a relationship or died. I figure this is my time to learn this stuff. I don't want to wait around for a guy to text or call or ask me out. And I don't anymore. Which is weird. I'm not used to just being like, "Meh, whatever. If he calls, he calls." That so wasn't me. But it's becoming me now.

So with that, I say bring it. Let's do this shit.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I heart my momma

Last week I got a phone call from my mom. She wanted to know if I wanted to buy the summer package for Disneyland with her. We'd get a Park Hopper for any 3 days in the summer for $99. If you've been to Disneyland, you know this is a freakin amazing price for THREE Park Hoppers (especially a summer price). So yeah, she and I bought the packages. When she said it, I thought she wanted to do it so we could take my niece when we went. But it amazed me when she said she just wanted it to be her and I.

So yesterday, my mom and I did our first of three trips to Disneyland. It was fun. We spent the morning/afternoon at California Adventure (she hasn't been yet). I will admit, it was freakin HOT waiting in some of those lines, but hanging out with my mom all day was fun. I took her on the Soaring Over California ride (which she loved) and she wanted to wait in a 4o-minute line for the Toy Story ride. I wasn't super excited to wait in that line (during the hottest part of the day), but I did it. The ride was hilarious. You and your partner compete in a number of shooting competitions (carnival-style). I was kicking her butt after each one, but then at the end she won.

We shared lunch, sat on a bench in front of the Matterhorn to rest for over an hour, and found a pretty good spot for the fireworks show about an hour and a half before the show started. My mom and I are pretty close anyway, but I found that yesterday she and got to talk about a lot of things that we don't usually talk about.

My mom takes care of her mom every weekend. My grandma was prescribed medicine for dementia/psychitsophrenia/bipolar about 2 years ago. It's been a difficult 2 years for my my mom, seeing my grandma deteriorate. She and my dad have been taking care of my grandma on weekends and my aunt stays at my grandma's house on weekdays. My grandma can't be alone because she won't eat and she won't take her meds. If she doesn't take her meds, she becomes very paranoid that someone's trying to break in or that someone has broken in. It's very sad.

Yesterday I got to hear my mom talk about what an amazing help my dad has been in this situation. It's funny, because growing up, I knew my parents loved each other, but never heard them say it. It actually kinda bothers me that my family is not a family that says "I love you" all the time. But yesterday, hearing my mom talk about the kinds of things my dad was doing to help out with my grandma, it became evident to me how much my dad loves my mom (and how much she loves him) and what a wonderful man he is to her. It almost made me cry, to be honest. She even told me that she hoped I find a guy like my dad, at one point.

Needless to say, I can't wait for us to hang out again. I love that I have such an amazing relationship with my momma.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Shred: Day Negative 1

So I like to work out. Well, I like to work out when I am actually doing the workout, but getting me there is a pain in the ass. And sometimes I get super bored with doing the same thing over and over and over... so I'm always looking for new ways to stay/get in shape.

I used to play soccer, but the drive to the field where the league played was just too much. I trained for and ran a halfer. Once I met that challenge, I went back to hating running (and what is was doing to my feet, ugh). I tried crossfit and loved it, but where I was doing it was a pain to get to at 5:00 now that I'm on summer vacation. I like to hike and was doing that for a bit, but then I got sick and I never went back to it. I know... excuses, excuses.

So one of my friends (a friend of a friend that has become a friend since my last trip to Texas) posted something on Facebook (woot woot!) about wanting to start the Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred on Tuesday (tomorrow). One person responding turned into her starting a group on Facebook, now with about 30 members from all over. All of us are starting The Shred tomorrow and are going to keep each other motivated through the group on Facebook. I'm so ridiculously excited. It's a new activity and I actually have others to keep me motivated. And from what I understand, that shit works!!

Interested in joining us? Let me know. You can start at any time, even if it's not when we start tomorrow.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lonely, party of one

I'm kinda lonely lately. I mean, I have friends that I hang out with and I know I have a ton of people who care about me. But I'm just lonely. I wonder how long before I finally get to share my life with someone. I'm ready. I'm ready to settle down and do this. I feel like my baggage has been dealt with and I'm ready to be in love again. For real. But it's not happening.

My dad asked me the other day if I liked living by myself. And I do. Completely. I'm not depressed and holed up inside (besides the whole being sick for 2 weeks episode), I just want to move on to the next chapter in my life. I want to stop going to family functions alone. I want to have a workout partner. I want to have a partner, in general. And sometimes I wonder if it'll ever happen.

This will probably sound ridiculous and totally lame, but for some reason, I can't imagine myself on my wedding day. I mean, I could imagine myself graduating from college. I could imagine myself in a classroom in front of kids. I could imagine myself crossing the finish line when I did my halfer last year. But I can't imagine myself getting married. Is that a sign?? Does that mean it's not going to happen? That honestly scares the shit outta me.

So I wait. Like I always do. I be patient and have faith that the reason I'm having to wait so long is because what I'll finally end up with will be more than I could have ever hoped for. My faith is just wearing thin lately...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My MJ memorial

So yesterday I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the MJ Memorial at the Staples Center. A friend of mine "won" tickets and invited me to go.

I don't think I realized the magnitude of this event until I was actually there. I was sitting in a (very large) room with so many influential people. I think it hit me when Stevie Wonder was helped on stage. WTF? Stevie Wonder? I knew he'd be there, but when it all went down, I was overwhelmed.

And this is the thing. Say what you want about Michael Jackson, the man was a freakin genius. And he deserved to have his life celebrated yesterday. I don't know one person my age who wasn't trying to do the moonwalk at some point in their lives. I don't know one person who didn't secretly (or not-so-secretly) want the red leather jacket or the sequined white glove. I don't know one person who doesn't remember the first time they saw the Thriller video. I can tell you where I was: My mom got ahold of the video (now that I think about it, it was kinda odd that she got it) and she invited all the neighborhood kids in to watch it. I don't know what it is about that video and song, but it scares the shit outta me. To this day, I can't listen to it without getting creeped out. But I would pay a pretty penny to get my hands on the documentary of that video.

I will admit, when Michael was accused of all the child molestation stuff back in the day, I thought the man was guilty. Freak, child molester, pervert... all those names rolled off my tongue. But this is the thing... I don't know if I believe it anymore. I think the man had an f-ed up childhood/life. He didn't get to ever be a child. He was pushed into the spotlight at 5-years old and his stardom increased from there. So the whole Neverland makes sense. He didn't ever want to grow up and always wanted to be the kid he never got to be. I think that, yes, he did some questionable things with some of those kids. Things that we might deem as completely inappropriate. But do I think he molested anyone? No. I honestly don't. Not after what I saw yesterday.

I think Brooke Shields' eulogy was the one that hit home the most for me. She talked about how fun and full of love he was. She described him as non-jaded. Somehow, I believe that. I believe that he loved to perform and felt like that was what he was put on this Earth to do. He was at home on stage. He loved to make people happy. But off-stage, his life was in such a bubble, he was considered a freak. I considered him a freak, I'll admit. But everyone that knew him well described him as someone with a huge heart. I will believe that that was who he was. Not the sideshow that the media made him out to be.

And one more thing... his kids. Seriously, what beautiful and awesome kids he has. For the first time, we got to see them without masks, without umbrellas, without the boundaries that were put on them. This man wasn't just an entertainer for us. He was a father. And a seemingly great one at that.

Yesterday was a time for me to lay to rest the negativity that I've believed for the past few years. I realized that he was an icon whose music shaped my childhood. I realized that he was a wonderful person and father, who just wanted to make others happy.

What a wonderful experience that I got to be a part of. The magnitude of it is just beginning to set in.




Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Because I can

Yeah, I changed it. I get bored easily. And I like the new, bright colors. They're purdy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ear in-fect-you-tions

What.the.shit.

Why the hell do I get sick on every damn trip I go on? Ok, I take that back. No... now that I'm thinking about it, I don't. Let's review.
  • NYC February, 2008 - got sick and had an ear infection when I got home.
  • Texas June, 2008 - I remember getting sick the week before I left and going to the doctor to get meds to save myself. I was sick from heart-break. That totally counts.
  • Rome and Greece August, 2008 - I lied, I didn't get sick on this one. But I did start my lady-time unexpectedly because I stopped taking my pill with the f-ed up time difference. So we'll just count this as being sick.
  • NYC February, 2009 - got food f-ing poisoning the night before I left and literally threw up for the final time as my ride came to pick me up. Damn it, just call me a rock star on this one for sucking it up and kicking ass.
  • Paris and London March, 2009 - hungover as all hell (admittedly my own fault) on the 24-hour travel-day-from-hell. Threw up in Heathrow airport (check that one off my list), and had TWO ear infections by the time I got home. Asshole ears.
  • Texas June, 2009 - get sick the day after I get there. My BFF gets to take me to Urgent Care (called CareNow in Tejas) where I get meds. Oh, and I had to pay out-of-pocket because my insurance is stupid and can't get their shit straight. Awesome. Finally getting well and when I fly home, I get another bastard ear infection and pretty much die for the FIVE DAYS following my return. As a matter of fact, I'm still dying. On Sunday, I had to literally get into the bathtub to get a fever of 102.9 down. What am I, a toddler? Went to 3 different doctors and finally got my medication changed because, guess what, the one I got in Texas stopped working.
So yeah. This might be a sign. But I don't really care. I might lose my hearing, I might get pneumonia one day... but traveling is sooo worth it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Classy ladies

Someone please tell me why The Real Housewives of New Jersey is the greatest show that has ever aired on Bravo. No? Ok I will.

1. All those stereotypes of NJ women? Yeah, they're all true. Except these women married rich NJ douchebags and live in giant homes.

2. Danielle, the crazy bitch (let's face it, they're all crazy...she's just the craziest) has the most amazing face in the history of plastic surgery-gone-too-far. Her eyebrows, her eyelids, her cheekbones, her mouth... and that's just her face.

3. Danielle, the crazy bitch, is dating a guy who is 26 (she's 46), but acts like he's 17. Dude needs to wipe that smirk off his face. Ugh.

4. Jacqueline, the crazy sister-in-law, is f*cked. She married into the mafia - er, family - and is trying to stay loyal to the family's mortal enemy.

5. The season finale. Please tell me that I was not the only one who enjoyed that delicacy. And can someone get me "the book?"

6. The extra footage of the season finale. The fact that they replayed (and replayed and replayed and....) the "table throwing incident," was genius. We got to see that shit from 4 different angles.

My favorite lines from the last 2 episodes:
"If you haven't seen a table thrown, you're obviously not from New Jersey." -I forget which hot New Jersey Mafia son
"I am a classy lady." -Teresa, the chick who threw a table.
"Ha, I love you (kiss)." -Teresa, to her husband, 30 seconds after she threw the table.

Tuesday will be the best day of my life. Why? Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion Show. I count the days....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Change is ahead

Well, it's over. The work environment I knew and loved for so long is done. Yesterday was the final goodbye (though I refused to say goodbye to most of them). I'm sad. Really sad. I just feel alone.

To catch you up to speed, 15 of the awesome girls (and 2 guys) that I worked with got laid off in these horrible economic times. Our district laid off 171 teachers and closed 3 schools. It's a war zone out where I work. They laid off people all the way back to hire-dates of 2000. Why didn't I get laid off, you ask? Because I'm freakin lucky. Well, that and because I have a supplementary to teach Language Arts up to 9th grade. So now I'm being moved to a Jr. high next year.

And I'm ok with that, really. My belief is that everything happens for a reason and there HAS to be some awesome reason why I am going there, to teach my least favorite subject. Maybe it's the change I need. I've been teaching 6th grade for 7 years and although my teaching has grown, it is becoming a bit boring. Don't get me wrong, I love the age and I love the curriculum, but it's becoming less exciting. So change HAS to happen.

The last week of school was ridiculously difficult. The kids were sad, the teachers were sad, the parents were sad. Tears were flowing everywhere. People were moving shit out of there classrooms (including me) and saying goodbyes. It just sucked. In this time of closure, people have been saying things to me that I didn't expect. I had a parent that has been giving me shit ALL year, tell me how much she appreciates all that I've done for her daughter (through mascara tears). I've had my principal pull me into her office to say goodbye (oh yeah, BOTH principals are retiring... one that has been my ONLY boss since I've started teaching), telling me how she's loved watching me grow into the amazing teacher that I am and how I am a teacher-leader. Wow. Parents upon parents have come in (old, present, and possibly future) telling me that they don't want to see me go and they might pull their kids from the school because they wanted me as their teacher for next year. Most of my 6th grade parents are hoping that the Jr. high I get placed in will be the one that their child goes to. Our librarian came up to me yesterday and told me how much she loved when my kids came in, because they were always so well-behaved and she liked to watch the relationship that I had with them. Um, the librarian? If you knew this lady, you'd be like, "Wow." For her to say that, meant a lot.

So last night I left the last end-of-the-year (end-of-the-awesomeness-that-was-our-school) party super sad and lonely. It's done. Even if some of those girls get called back (which we're hopeful for), not all of them will. It's sad. And our administration is going to be totally different next year. New principal and assistant principal.

The good news is, if people get called back, I have been told I'd be one of the first to return to my original position. (So the district says.) At this point though, I figure where ever I'm supposed to be, I'll be. Can't change what was already destined for me.

So this summer will be a waiting game. Waiting to hear where I'll end up. Waiting to hear if the district does a second round of pink slips (which I could be a part of). Waiting to hear if anyone else gets called back.

In the meantime, I'm leaving for Texas on Friday to visit the BFF. It'll be an awesome getaway to clear my head after all this sadness.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another revelation in my life

It's amazing to me how true the statement "Everything happens for a reason" is. You don't realize it at the time, or even at all, but the sequence of events that shape one's life happen for very exact, particular reasons.

I believe that. I believe it now, more than ever.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bummed

I'm pretty bummed that today, I lost someone who I thought was my friend. Thought our friendship was a strong one. I considered her one of my best friends, actually.

Apparently I was wrong.

And the worst part? I never really got the respect to get a heart-to-heart about it. I had to force the reason out of her through text. And I still don't understand it completely.

I really can't imagine what I could have done to her that could have been THAT bad. And if I did, I wish she would have talked to me about it.

But I guess that's how it goes.

I just have to stand by the belief that everything happens for a reason.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hiding shit, travels, and being 30

I seriously suck at posting these days. I don't know what to write about. I used to write about my issues with the ex, but I feel like I'm pretty much past it all. I could write about my issues with dating now, but I'm just not completely comfortable with it. I honestly have no idea who reads this, so if I were to completely say what I wanted, I might mow some egos down. And I'm not into that. So if I can't be raw and feel comfortable doing so, I don't want to write about it.

As an update, went to Paris and London with some of my lady friends. Lady friends whom I never would have met, had my life not gone down the path it has in the last year. So I'm thankful for that and to have them in my life. We had a blast (or at least I did). I finally feel like I'm that girl that has been places. I always wanted to be that girl, but now I am. Score. Friends and family are asking where my next trip will be. I have no idea. But the fact that the possibilities are always there makes life interesting.

I'm going through the, "I want to share my life with someone" phase. What's different about it this time around is that I'm totally ok with being alone (it doesn't bum me out), but I just don't want to be here for the rest of my life. And everyone tells me, "Oh Brandi, you won't." For the first time in my life, I don't know what is going to happen in that area of my life. When I was 18, I knew I'd go to college, find the love of my life, get married, have 2.5 kids, and a house with a white picket fence by the time I was 25. Yeah. I know.

Now I'm 30, and I don't regret anything that has happened in my life. In fact, I'm glad I'm not living the dream that I thought I wanted. But what's funny is that I never planned for life after 30. It was like, I was going to accomplish all of that stuff, and then I'd be happy. All of it would bring me happiness.

So these plans haven't happened and I've made no other plans. I feel like I'm just waiting.

Is that bad? Should I have plans? Part of me says yes, because I want to always strive for something. But then part of me says no, because my plans were unrealistic and fairytale-ish. And lame. And if I've learned anything in my 20s, it's that NOTHING goes exactly as planned. So I do things when they come about or when I want to do them. But I'm in limbo. And I hate being in limbo.

So, pretty much, my life is boring right now. No emotional issues to wane about. No need to talk about dating. Nothing going on.

So, I apologize for the lack of posting. It may be awhile before anything else comes up.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dear Nail Salon Lady Who Waxed Me Today,

Let me count the ways I love you....

1) You manicure my eyebrows like no other. They are so perfectly sculpted after I leave your wannabe spa room.
2) You ask me if I want something to drink. At least, I think that's what you asked me. After saying, "I'm sorry?" once, I can only assume that is what you said. You left it alone after I said, "No thanks."
3) You did not ask me if I wanted my upper lip waxed this time. Sure, I had already asked you to do it, but at least I know you weren't talking trash in your head about the apparent massive mustache you think I have. You ripped that shit off today.
4) You bring tears to my eyes. Literally. I've gotten used to your "sensitivity" when it comes to my eyebrows, but the upper lip is a new and delightful experience for me. Holy shit.
5) You spent a good portion of my sitting trying to convince me to get a pedicure. At least, I think. I have to respect the saleswoman in you.
6) You took my threading virginity away from me today. Threading is a new and fantastic experience. I think you felt bad for me because my eyes were crazy watering after the upper lip situation.

You are an amazing artist and I am counting the days until we can share in this moment again. Thank you for giving me my $13 (plus tip) worth.

Love,
Brandi

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dear Spray & Wash MAX with Resolve Power,

I had my doubts, but you do, in fact, work. You took away the pink champagne stain that landed on my shirt before we left the house last night. I wanted to change the shirt where said stain landed, but was told that "no one could see it." I still think the people who offered the aforementioned advice were in a hurry and didn't want me to change. Because you could TOTALLY see the stain. The good news is, I forgot about the stain after 2 glasses of wine, a good portion of champagne, 2 Pear Ciders, and a shot of tequila.

But I digress.

Your instructions told me to spray, wait NO MORE than 15 minutes, and then wash. Huh, interesting concept. So I sprayed, waited a tad longer than 15 minutes, came back and the stain was gone! I washed immediately after. And by "wash," I mean, rinsed in the sink.

So thank you, amazing little bottle of stain remover. You saved me from throwing out a very cute, brand new shirt.

Love,
Brandi (your new bestie)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dear Luck,

Wow. I'm not really sure how you managed to appear this week, but you were sure there for me. Again.

On Wednesday, 16 of the wonderful ladies (and 2 men) that I work with were served with their pink slips telling them that they may not have a job next year. I knew I was obviously in that group of 18 of our 27 certificated staff, because the word was, anyone that got hired after 2000 was doomed. I was hired in 2002. I had already mentally and emotionally prepared myself for the notification. I had my breakdown with my mom and realized that I couldn't change whatever was going to happen in the end. If I lost my job, I would move back home or to my brother's and get a job or two where I could. I was at peace with it.

On Wednesday, my staff got their pink slips. I wasn't at work, because my family went to Disneyland for my niece's 3rd birthday. It wasn't purposely planned, I had requested the personal day at least a month beforehand. I wasn't trying to avoid. I was ready.

On Thursday, I came into work and my Assistant Principal whisked me into her office and closed the door as soon as I walked in. She proceeded to tell me that I was I not receiving a pink slip this year because I have a supplementary authorization to teach Language Arts to Jr. highers and Freshmen.

I'm sorry... what?

Let's travel back 8 years ago....

I was sitting in my academic counselor's office making sure all my classes were on track to get my Bachelor's and to get into the Credential Program. She proceeds to tell me that because I took an extra semester of classes to waive the MSAT (big teacher test back then, now the CSET), I had earned a supplementary authorization in Language Arts.

I think I actually laughed and said, "Awesome." I didn't try for this. I honestly wanted to stay as far away from the MSAT as I possibly could. I am a horrible test taker. I psyche myself out for whatever reason. I can usually pass them, but with the girls I knew at that time telling me that the test was ridiculously hard, I had decided that the waiver would be the best option for me. It was only one more semester (Spring) and I wasn't going to walk until May anyway.

Fast forward 8 years and that bastard is what f-ing saved my ass from losing my job. Holy shit. Of course this means that I may have to teach Language Arts (my least favorite - and worst- subject to teach) to 7th, 8th, or 9th graders (ugh).... but at this point, a teaching job is a teaching job.

On a side, and totally unrelated, note... about 4 years ago, the state was recalling those who waived the MSAT to come back and take the CSET (the newer version of the MSAT) because they weren't "counting" the waiver as something equivalent to the test. They told everyone who got the waiver after June 2001 that their waiver didn't count.

I got my waiver in May 2001.

When will you run out, my dear friend, Luck????

Thank you for being there when I need(ed) you,
Brandi (totally employed for at least another year)

*I stated in the earlier post that our district was in the hole 3 billion. I totally meant 44 million. Meh, pocket change at this point. Just wanted to clarify.