Sunday, August 29, 2010

Living for More

I'm reading a new book called "Half the Sky," and it's all about women's oppression in third world countries. I felt like a complete asshole when I started to get all worked up over dealing with stupid drama at Les Schwab the other day, only to read a chapter in the book, while in the waiting area, about all these young girls being forced into prostitution in India. Talk about putting things into perspective.

I know being middle class and white in America is a privilege, but realizing how lucky I am really hit me while reading this book. All the problems we have here in our country don't seem as dire as the ones in developing nations, which makes me feel like I don't do nearly enough for this world.

I don't want to live a mediocre life - I want to do something important and be able to look back in 75 years and know that I truly lived. This is why I've begun to question what the hell it is I'm doing and how can I do more. Sure, I volunteer with WEAVE, which gives me so much satisfaction, but somehow it just doesn't seem like enough. I've been reading some blogs by a couple people who are in the Peace Corps. See, these young people are able to go out there and do something important - why can't I?

So my latest goal is to at some point volunteer abroad in one of these countries, either teaching English to young girls or helping with an organization that rescues women from sex trafficking. How fulfilling would that be? In the research I've done so far, some organizations really want American women with degrees to help teach and train these girls. I would LOVE that! Now it's just a matter of finding the right place - and time - for me. I've got more research and reading to do, but this whole idea really has me excited. Especially since this is the time in my life when I need to do this - while I'm single and without kids. I don't want to look back and have regrets.

In other news, I've had a magical weekend so far. My dad was in town so he and I had a father/daughter date night on Friday. We ate filet mignon for dinner and then saw "The Switch," the new Jennifer Aniston/Jason Bateman movie. It was absolutely hilarious and sooooo good! Yesterday he and I got coffee and donuts, and drove around pretty much every neighborhood in Sacramento. He was showing me all of these places where he had memories ("That's where I lived with so-and-so, that's where I rode my motorcycle and escaped a rumble at a bar, that's where I got pulled over for my DUI."). Ahhh, memories. It was fun!

Then my mom came into town yesterday since she's headed to wine country for a trip with her 3 best friends. We chatted until after 1 a.m. last night (favorite quote from her: "I was watching this Dateline episode about albinos. They have pink eyes, you know. Those little freaks!" Oh, and she also said: "I will never do a mud bath at a spa again. What if someone pooed in there!"). We went to breakfast this morning before she headed to the Bay.

Now I've got the whole day to myself to do whatever I want. I'll probably go on a bike ride, since Dad helped inflate my tires and oil up my new ride (free bike from my co-worker - score!). Then it's laundry day, of course, and grocery time too.

As for my tap class update - I am LOVING it! I've definitely improved these last couple weeks, so I think it's all coming back to me. I don't sweat - I rain after every class, so I know I'm busting my ass off. We just learned a new dance to the "Night at the Roxbury" song - "What is Love" (and yes, we do the head bopping thing). It's so much fun! I'm really looking forward to performing.

That's all for now! Off to do my laundry and turn into a 14-year-old with some "One Tree Hill" episodes.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Pretty much from when I was a toddler until I was about 10, I had the habit of sucking my left index finger. I loved sucking that damn thing until it was slimey and crinkled. My favorite ritual was laying my Care Bears blanket on an air vent until it was cold, holding onto it next to my cheek and sucking said finger. I was in heaven.

My sister made quite a bit of fun of me for it, and eventually I realized I'd probably need to quit STAT. How was I ever going to be able to attend slumber parties with a gnarly habit like that?

I tried putting a Band-Aid on that finger before bed to deter me. Ripped that shit right off in the middle of the night and went to town. My sister told me about some nail polish that tasted horrible even after it dried, and I considered getting that. But being 9 meant I had little resources to buy such petty items. I concocted an idea to hang a string of yarn from my ceiling over my bed and tie my victim finger to it, but I quickly realized losing blood circulation in my whole left hand wouldn't be easy to sleep through.

I made half-hearted attempts to quit finger sucking and failed. There was even one time I'd convinced myself that I'd stopped and told Robyn so, but she later presented photographic evidence of me asleep on our living room floor, finger lodged in mouth. Thanks a lot for buying the Polaroid camera, Dad.

One day I had an epiphany while reading one of my Babysitter's Little Sister books (a spin-off series from the Babysitters' Club about a 2nd grader named Karen). "If Karen is 2 years younger than I am and doesn't suck her finger, then I sure as hell shouldn't!" I thought. I was sick of the habit. I wanted to quit cold turkey, and finally I had mustered up enough annoyance with myself to actually do it. My index finger and I haven't looked back since.

Now, the reason I bring this up is because it's simple analogies like this that transfer into my adult life. I have one major bad habit that I just haven't been able to quit - I continually put my energy, focus and feelings toward guys who don't feel the same way about me.

Sure, I've had my share of assholes. But my problem runs deeper than that - this isn't about bad guys treating me horribly. This is about good guys just not being into me - and me just not getting it.

I'd like to think that maybe I've just had a string of bad luck, but when I look back on the guys I've dated, there is one common denominator - me. And no, this isn't some low self-esteem issue. I'm plenty happy with myself and don't need/want to change who I am. But I do want to stop moping after guys after they've made it more than clear that they don't feel the same way about me.

Plenty of my friends and family are sick of hearing me whine about this, I'm sure. And try as I might, I fail to follow anyone's advice about seeing things for what they are and not what I want them to be. It reminds me of people who buy those patches when they're trying to quit smoking. It works for a short period of time, but you eventually go back to lighting up. This is how I am with boys - I gather up enough strength to delete their number in my phone, ignore them and even go on dates with other people to get my mind off of things. It works for a couple weeks, but I eventually go back to listening to sad songs on my iPod, writing letters to them that I know I'll never send or shedding a tear or two.

I don't want to do it anymore. I want to continue being happy in my single life (because, quite frankly, I'm very content and lucky in all other aspects of my life). I want to hold out for that guy that is going to call me, allow me to act silly even if it embarasses him in public, verbalizes his feelings, actually loves me. I want a guy who doesn't half ass a relationship or lead me along like a stupid puppy dog just to stroke his ego. I deserve to not be taken for granted, and I deserve to be in a mutual relationship. I look forward to that day when I love someone and he actually decides to love me back. What a concept!

I'm optimistic. Just as people are sick of my bad habit, I too am fed up with myself. I don't want to be like this anymore. I've got that same determination as when I was 10, and I think quitting cold turkey might just work this time. Trust me, no one wants to see me stop being pathetic more than I do. Maybe today I've finally seen the light. Hell, if Karen isn't pining over an unrequited love in her books, then I shouldn't either.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Blog Design!

So Blogger has all of these cool new layouts, and I figured it was high time I update the look of this blog - not to mention use my own photo as the main header pic (the curly hair on there before wasn't mine, and since this is a blog about me...)

The header picture is me jumping on a trampoline a couple years ago, and I love how it captured my crazy, unruly hair as I laughed and had a good time. That's pretty much me in a nutshell - trying to laugh and be happy while living in a world with plenty of ups and downs. Not to mention, I'm sporting my bad ass Joan Jett shirt.

Racists, Waxing & Art Projects

My roommate has a guy friend whom she's known for a few years, and me being a single gal, I'm pretty much a magnet for set-ups. Of course, I'm not in the market to go out and date anyone right now (no one has really stepped up to the plate and met my expectations). Plus, I've been utterly disappointed in the romance department for the better part of my adult life.

But apparently this guy friend of hers has been asking her to introduce us. The 411 on this character is that he's 32 and owns his own business. OK, sounds fine enough, minus being a bit too old for me, but if guys in their 20s haven't been cutting it, maybe a step upwards might be the cure.

So she gave him my phone number a couple weeks ago. He texted a couple times and even called once - he didn't really wow me. Plus it's kind of hard to think about dating someone when no one quite compares to the one person who is always on your mind (yes, yes, I know I said before I wasn't interested in dating - what I meant was that I'm not interested in dating anyone new. Try as I might, there is one guy that I just can't get out of my head).

Anyhoo, this guy was supposedly "too scared" to meet me alone, so he asked my roommate out for drinks and told her to bring me along. I didn't really want to go, but if it meant hanging with Erica while also drowning my annoyance with this dude in beer, I was game.

The guy was a total disappointment, as I expected. Sure, he was cute and seemed like you're average Roseville kind of guy (which is a problem in itself), but within the first 10 minutes, I discovered this fool was actually a racist homophobe - every woman's dream!

He told me he'd heard I was a "die-hard liberal," which bugs the hell out of me. Apparently, not worshiping Ronald Reagan or DVRing Fox News every night makes you a crazy lefty in this town. I told him, "Actually, I'm just a Democrat. That's about it. And I support Obama."

This led to him spewing one of the dumbest statements anyone could ever utter: "Obama is such a retard. Plus, he's half black."


I generally don't engage in political debates with people I first meet - it's not really appropriate. But this ignorant asshole was about to get an earful from me. I didn't go completely postal on him, but I set the record straight. I also called him out when he had the audacity to tell me that gay people already have equal marriage rights - they can marry the opposite sex the same way we can. Holy Hitler, I didn't realize we woke up in 1833 that morning.

I'm no stranger to ignorant people. I know a shitload of them after living in Nevada and now Placer County. I wanted to slap this guy across the face but I held my composure because in the grand scheme of things, who was he and why would he ever matter in my life?

Some other gems I found out about this caveman:

1) He still lives with his mom (you're 32, for crying out loud!)
2) He immediately talked over and interrupted me at the beginning of the night (one of my No. 1 pet peeves is to be interrupted or ignored. I don't handle it well).
3) He talked about ex-girlfriends. Several of them. And included sexual escapades in his stories.
4) He said we should "nuke" Mexico and take it over so we can all live in Cabo.

Enough said.

Thankfully Erica and I got out of there before my head exploded. She apologized for even orchestrating the whole ordeal, and later said, "I think you need to meet a guy at a political rally."

Outside of that whole fiasco, I got a call from my college ex-boyfriend. We keep in touch from time to time, especially since our whole drama happened so long ago. During our conversation, I thought how nice it was that after all this time, we could finally be cordial with one another. He's moved on and now living with his girlfriend of 2 years. I've moved on by completely getting over my pathetic feelings for him.

And in the midst of me reveling in how this could be the start of a great friendship, he begins to talk about why all guys agree that girls need to wax the area around their assholes. It's what "everyone does now." It's a hot topic in Playboy. Khloe Kardashian was on the radio talking about it. My IQ literally went down 10 points after hearing that poppycock.

All of that excitement aside, this has been a pretty grand weekend so far. I went out to the movies with 2 of my co-workers on Friday to see "Eat Pray Love." Eh, I wasn't impressed. The book was much better, although I did like seeing the romance play out onscreen.

Yesterday I went to my favorite conditioning workout class at the gym and then hung out at my Grams' house with my aunts and cousins. We worked on our tiling and grouting art projects (you heard right - Tracy is actually completing an art project). It's basically where you break up tiles and glue them in cool designs on different things - stepping stones, tables, jewelry boxes, etc.). I decorated a red brick, which isn't really useful as anything more than a door stop, but it's art! It's allowed to be pointless. We played Yahtzee afterward - call me 92, but I love me some board games!

Today I tanned by my pool, did some grocery shopping and watched way too many "One Tree Hill" episodes on DVD. Now it's time for me to write in my real (handwritten) journal and maybe even clean my bathroom, if I'm feeling wild. This is the exciting life I lead!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Everything Old Is New Again

I've embarked on a semi-new adventure for the next year, something I dabbled in 15 years ago and then did for a couple years in high school - tap dancing!

My first-ever performance as a dancer was when I was 9, and it was to the oh-so-appropriate tune "Everything Old is New Again." I can still remember some of those moves - shuffle, step, clap - and my cool top hat outfit (thankfully these precious moments are memorialized on a VHS from the dance studio and the lovely photo to the right).

The following year I took tap again, and that end-of-the-year recital video showcases just how much of a perfectionist I am. The girl tapping next to me consistently veered off course and blocked me, so I took matters into my own hands and gently pushed her back in place. Hey, my mom didn't pay good money to have my spotlight stolen by some clumsy kid with vertigo.

In high school, I tapped at a dance studio in Nevada and absolutely loved it - especially when my tapping won me a scholarship the following year! Sadly, my dance career came to an end when I was told that I "ruined" my studio's Christmas show that I missed due to a horrible bout of the stomach flu. Classy. I quit after that bullshit.

I got back in dancing mode as a cheerleader my senior year of high school. Then I signed up for ballet my first term in college. I loathed that damn class. There were no mirrors, and the moves were boring. I stopped going altogether because I hated it so much (well, a new boyfriend at the time might have had something to do with it too), not really understanding the whole concept of dropping classes or taking something Pass/No Pass. I now have a permanent "F" in ballet as the first grade on my college transcript. No joke.

Ever since then, the only dancing I do has been privately choreographing in my room to Britney or Lady Gaga, and backing my thang up at the club. I've been missing dance a lot, so I did some research and decided to join an adult competitive dance class.
Our first class was this week, and I had a blast! I was actually the youngest one there - and also the crappiest. I hadn't put on a pair of tap shoes in 7 years, but I did my best to hold my own. Back in the day, I felt like I was one of the best in class. The other night, I was a-strugglin'. The class was a lot more advanced than I had imagined - right off the bat, we practiced wings and pullbacks (which I know means nothing to most of you, but if you know tap, these aren't introductory moves by any means).

But I love a challenge. And I love to perform. So I'm not going to be a quitter this time around! Over the course of the next 10 months, we perform at a couple competitions, recitals, the state fair, Six Flags and even Disneyland. I'm super pumped! This old tapper is new again.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hop Aboard the Flaky Train

Apparently, flakiness is all the rage these days. I know I bitched about people bailing on plans earlier, and now, even more people have joined the club.

I tried my best to organize a relatively informal elementary school reunion. I guess in my generation, "informal" translates to "optional."

This little hootenanny took place last Saturday night at a bar in downtown Sac. There were countless Facebook messages exchanged, a Facebook event was created, and word of mouth was also catching on. We'd been talking about this event for weeks, and I was really looking forward to it.

Sadly, the best part of the night were my two strong-as-rubbing-alcohol rum & cokes. People did show up (and to you all that did, I love you!), but the majority of people who'd confirmed their attendance, never showed. It was a bust.

This isn't to take away from the people I did see. Of course I love getting together with my friends, but I was really hoping to see the ones who I hadn't been in touch with for the last 15 years. I wanted to reconnect and all share in the memories of Thomas Edison, maybe even sing the school song together in unison (OK, that might be a reach, but hey, given how strong they make the drinks at this place, you never know what I might have conducted).

I guess it's all part of that cliched idea that you shouldn't have high expectations in order to truly have a good time. Things rarely turn out how we expect or hope.

On that same vein, another unexpected event occurred recently. My sister lost the boyfriend she dated in college to a tragic drowning accident. This really upset her, naturally, and it made me have a sick feeling inside. Death is never fun, but when it happens to someone young, it seems even worse.

The only upside I can think of with this whole matter is that it's events like this that remind us that everything can end in an instant. The people you think will always be there, might not be one day. And you'll have to always wish you could have told them one last thing, hugged them one last time, or even just heard their voice once more.

Yeah, yeah. I'm getting sappy there, I know. I just always want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to never waste time.

And in order to not waste many of my free evenings after work, I'm taking on a new endeavor - going back to dance! I may take a couple classes at a local dance studio (I've got to check it out first hand though) because I do really miss it. The only thing I like about going to my gym is the choreographic aspect of the moves we do in my fitness classes (doing the same, repetitive motion on an elliptical machine is booooooring!). So we'll see how that goes. I might be taking tap and jazz, and yes, all of my friends and family will be invited to my recitals.