With final projects, papers, and exams nearly consuming my life this week, I’ve been reminding myself to look on the bright side and enjoy the little moments of happiness that have made my pre-finals week so much less dismal! Here are the highlights.
1. I actually have a HUGE reason to be happy this week- I finally found out that I may be teaching early childhood education in Baltimore next year, if I choose to accept my offer from TFA! It feels so satisfying to know that I could potentially have a job next year doing something I love and something meaningful! To be honest, I am a little scared of moving all the way across the country to a city I’ve never been to, where I don’t know a single person, but I am always up for an adventure. This video expresses my feelings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3xICOc13wk
2. It has been absolutely beautiful weather in LA this past week! It was such a thrill to pull out my warm weather wardrobe! I’m so over jeans and sweaters. Bring on the springtime dresses and shorts.
3. Celebrating successes all around with friends. Summer jobs, job interviews, finishing finals, our futures: there was much to be celebrated this week with whiskey sours and mojitos! Cheers y’all!
3. Wine and silly cosmo quizzes with the roommates: Whats you’re flirtation personality? What type of sexy are you? Are you enough of a bad girl? Important stuff.
4. Thursdays I don’t have any class or meetings, so I got to enjoy a leisurely morning; I woke up without an alarm clock and went down into Westwood with Kim on an absolutely beautiful day. We got iced coffee, picked up some fresh strawberries from the Farmer’s Market, and found a spot on campus in the shade to eat our strawberries together. Strawberries, sunshine and friend dates make me so happy!
5. Our shower was finally fixed, OH HAPPY DAY! We have been struggling with low water pressure for MONTHS. It was literally a trickle of water. After hassling our landlord forever, our shower water pressure was finally restored to it’s former glory. This has seriously improved my life this past week.
6. I don’t know what it is about this past week but my Game of Thrones obsession has been thrown into full gear. I must be able to sense the approach of the long awaited 03/31/13- the premiere of the third season of the HBO series. In addition to wasting away my time watching the “History and Lore” extras on youtube, I recently discovered the sneak peek chapter of the 6th book of the The Winds of Winter, posted online. George RR Martin better finish that sucker soon, I can’t wait any longer!
Do yourself a favor and waste a few minutes on some shameless nerdery:
The Winds of Winter Teaser: http://georgerrmartin.com/if-sample.html
That’s all for now! Have a wonderful weekend!
1.) I spent most of my Friday stressed out in an important interview. My day was made better only by my beautiful new Vince Camuto blazer, which I bought specially for the occasion. There’s nothing better than looking sharp and feeling sharp in an interview! People who say fashion is foolish have never felt the power of a well put-together outfit.
2.) I got to celebrate finishing this crazy interview process with a delicious lunch with my brother at Craft and Commerce. Get the fried pickles. Trust me. Even if you hate pickles (I do), you’ll love ’em. And don’t act like you’re too cool to enjoy a shamelessly fried menu item.
3.) Decompressing after a long week, I spent my Friday night at home with the family enjoying our signature Trader Joes pizza/arugula salad creation (TJ’s 4 cheese thin crust pizza, topped with arugula and tomatoes mixed in a quick balsamic vinagrette, sprinkled with some parmesan and a little bacon- so freaking good) and Perks of Being a Wallflower.
4.) Helped my Mama put her finishing touches on our newly updated laundry room! Ain’t it purdy? My contribution was our new hand painted striped key rack. See my prior DIY for my “Hola, Guapa” sign for how to make one of your own, just at some hooks to the bottom and you’ve got yourself a key rack!
5.) Saturday afternoon we all went on a run around Miramar lake. It was a gorgeous day to be outside. Watched the sunset just as we were finishing our run!
6.) After burning some calories on our run, we rewarded ourselves with a yummy dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in San Diego, Hernandez Hideway. This place is off the beaten path, and a little sketchy looking but that’s part of its charm. The food is delicious and the margaritas are strong.
7.) DVR’d UCLA basketaball vs. Arizona. Great game and a Bruin victory at home, what more could ya ask for?
9.) Just about to finish out the weekend with the much anticipated History Channel premiere of Vikings. I’ll let ya know if it’s worth watching!
Many moons ago, a young Katie was desperately trying to keep afloat in her AP Biology class as a Junior in High School. She liked to study in her older brothers room; he was away at college and she liked the extra space to spread out and study in his room. One fateful afternoon, she decided she needed some tunes to fuel her study session, so she turned on the stereo, and listened to the first CD that came on. After months of being ignored in her older brother’s stereo system, the Roxy Music Greatest Hits Album began with the opening guitar riffs of “Virginia Plain.” And so began the most productive study session in all of AP Bio history. Twenty tracks later, Katie was ready for her exam, and mystified by the power of Roxy Music.
It became her weekly tradition, studying Bio while listening to Roxy Music. At first she didn’t particularly even enjoy the songs, but soon she was a full fledged Roxy Music fan girl; Bryan Ferry’s kooky crooning had gotten the better of her. She couldn’t get enough, her ringtone was the beginning of “Pyjamarama” (recorded herself, of course, because apparently Roxy Music isn’t getting a whole lot of ringtone downloads) and every important study session had to be set to Roxy Music’s Greatest Hits almost to the point of superstition. From that fateful afternoon Roxy Music would always have a place in her ipod and her heart.
In summary, listen to this playlist and experience the true wonder of Roxy Music’s Greatest Hits. It will fuel even the most stressful of study sessions and hopefully begin a lifelong love of Bryan Ferry, as it did me. This is my gift to you, use it wisely.
1) Do you ever have a feeling that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing? It can be something really small and insignificant- like dancing like a wierdo for three hours with one of your best friends- but it feels completely and utterly life affirming. It feels like you are watching a movie about your life and we come to a moment of realization, an epiphany- a scene where the audio drops out and some epic, emotion-laden song comes on, and the audience just feels what the character is thinking. Except the audience is me and I have no idea what I’m thinking, it just feels right. You know what I mean? No, okay, maybe that’s just me.
2) This song makes me feel so nostalgic. Flashback to 8 year old Katie listening to this album in the car with the fam, my only source of angst is the fact that my older brother got to wear the “FF” tattoo that came with the CD instead of me. Take me back.
3) College has completely stunted my creativity. I have no avenue and little time for doing weird/pointless creative things anymore. I used to love just making stuff, it could be anything really- a life size wooden mannequin of myself for a tech theater project my senior year in high school (with literally no purpose other than looking really creepy) or making really nerdy t-shirts in my graphic communications class or baking cupcakes that looked like tennis balls for my teammates. Do I have time for any of that now? No way. And that makes me so sad. When I go home on breaks from school, I always lock myself away in our craft room and spend hours just creating. A few weeks ago I spent the entire night just messing around with water colors and went to bed that night feeling so weirdly fulfilled. What I made was downright hideous (hence no picture) but that doesn’t matter to me when I’m in one of my creative flows. I’m determined to create a life for myself where I can express myself creatively!
4) Deja Vu. WHAT IS THIS AND WHY IS IT ALWAYS HAPPENING TO ME? Today I had the most intense episode of Deja Vu, I was writing a paper on my laptop at a little cafe, drinking an iced latte and a short (rather hairy) 30 something man asked me to share my table, he sat down opened up his mac book and left 30 minutes later and that was that. But I just sat there for five to ten minutes trying figure out if this had actually happened before or if it was a dream, a prophecy, a vision that I share this table with this short hairy man. I cannot handle any more episodes like this.
5) Yes. Jacques Cousteau. 6) “The taste of the usual was like cinders in his mouth, and there were moments when he felt as if he were being buried alive under his future.” Edith Wharton took the words right out of my mouth. Here’s to mixing it up and not getting caught up in the usual this week…
I have the best roommate’s boyfriend ever! Did that make any sense to you? No, that doesn’t mean I have a boyfriend, or a boyfriend that’s my roommate, or a boyfriend with a roommate. My roommate’s boyfriend bought our apartment a dozen delicious cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop in Beverly Hills. Hence earning him the title “best roommate’s boyfriend ever”. If this was a ploy to win me over, he definitely succeeded, cupcakes indeed make my heart grow fonder. I may not have a boyfriend of my own to do insanely cute things for me and my friends, but this partially made up for my lack of a significant other, at least for today.
I’ve already eaten one cupcake today, but that Oreo one is calling my name. Two cupcakes in a day is too many, right? It’s seriously testing my will power to have a dozen cupcakes in my vicinity right now. Crumbs cupcakes are too wonderful to resist. If you are in the area you should definitely stop by one of their locations and try a cupcake. I can only vouch for the lemon flavor, which was delicious, but give me a few days and I’m sure I’ll have more flavor recommendations for you!
I hope you all have a sweet week!
A day in the mountains has me itching for more time in the great outdoors. Living in LA, I relish the chances I get to get out and enjoy nature. My most recent jaunt to the Santa Inez mountains near Santa Barbara has got me day dreaming about camping gear, flannel, and all things L.L. Bean. Rugged gear with vintage charm, has got a slightly Moonrise Kingdom boy scout camp feel to it. Perfect for camping in style or bringing some outdoorsiness to the big city.
Clockwise from top left: 1.) Canoeing on Lake Vermilion MN with the big bro back in the day. 2.) Waxed Cotton Continental Rucksack from LL Bean, cute enough to wear around campus. 3.) Maine Guide Shirt from LL Bean, I’d buy a Men’s Small and wear it as a jacket with jeans and boots as it starts getting colder here in CA. 4.) Maine Hunting Shoe from LL Bean, cute for a rainy day in LA or a day out in the woods! 5.) My dream car, a vintage Ford Bronco in cherry red. I WANT. 6.) Fernwood Resort in Big Sur has great camp sites and tent cabins right along a river surrounded by redwoods. I went on a road trip there a few years ago and would definitely recommend it! 7.) Colorful little fishing lures that I’d love to add to my tackle box, pretty enough to go in my jewelry box as well. From LL Bean. 8.) Eddie Bauer flask in olive green, sip some liquor while you warm up around the fire 9.) Summer sunset over Lake Vermilion in Minnesota. 10.) Redwoods in Big Sur. 11.) Coleman Steel-belted cooler at LL Bean, a necessity for campsites and back yard barbecues.
All this talk of the great outdoors has gotten me in the mood for some nature-y sounding music, here’s what I’m listening to:
I went back home to San Diego a few weekends ago to celebrate my mom’s birthday and spend some quality time with the fam. It was a nice break from my life in LA; riding on the wave of a birthday weekend means fun outings, nice dinners, and birthday cake. The recipe for an awesome weekend. One of the items on the birthday agenda was that we all go get our feet massaged at this reflexology massage place called Happy Buddha, which my mom commonly refers to as “the foot-slappers.” As you may have guessed, at Happy Buddha you pay a relatively cheap rate to get your feet (and body) slapped around for an hour. I’m not a huge fan of massages (I’m too ticklish) but my mom swears by the place, so I figured I should give it a shot.
We drove up to the storefront and attempted to find a parking spot in the ridiculously crowded Asian mini-mall parking lot. Apparently the place to be on a Saturday afternoon in Kearny Mesa. It’s right next door to a noisy dumpling joint with a line out the door and an Asian market with the faint smell of durian wafting into the air. Not exactly my vision of an ideal spot to get a relaxing massage, but again I’m taking my mom’s word for it. So we wandered into the little storefront into a dark, cool, temperature controlled room, with soothing music playing faintly in the background and some really good soundproofing going on, as you couldn’t hear any of the clanking from the dumpling restaurant next door. There’s a couple finishing up their massage in the front room, so we whispered to the receptionist about our reservation for four massages. She directed us to four chairs and disappeared briefly to go rustle up four Asian men in scrubs from the back room to come massage us for the next hour. They delivered little Dixie cups of hot tea for us to sip while they brought out tubs, lined in plastic trash bags (so sanitary!), filled with warm essential oil-y water for us to soak our feet in while they massage the rest of our body before they get to the feet slappin. So after they got all set up, we reclined our seats and the Happy Buddha experience started to get real.
Now, I was expecting a little back rub, maybe some shoulders, legs and feet, but no way was I expecting a face massage. At first I thought it was a joke, that my masseuse just wanted a laugh at the expense of my roundy face and squishy cheeks. But after ten minutes of face massaging, it was past the point of being funny. He wiggled my cheeks in alternating circles, then moved to my temples and forehead, then just for kicks, back to my cheeks. Already self conscious about the chubbiness of my cheeks, this whole experience did nothing to boost my self-esteem. It was such a strange experience, I couldn’t really relax, I was too focused on the absurdity of my face massage and the sound of my lips and cheeks getting pulled and smashed around. Thankfully after a good ten minutes he moved on to my head, straight up grabbing my cranium and squeezing. I was finally able to relax a little bit as he moved on to my shoulders, neck, and back. After stressing out with school and work I could feel my strong Asian masseuse working out the knots in my neck and shoulders. I seriously think I may have gotten bruises on my neck and shoulders from the intensity of this massage experience. Happy Buddha is not for the weak. They adhere to the “no pain, no gain” method of massage. Only go here expecting some discomfort, with the goal of eventual relaxation.
So next he moved on to my arms and hands. I tend to get kind of tense in massages, and this was no exception. Mid arm massage my arms spazzed out and were like locked, muscles tensed, ready for a boxing match or something, completely incapable of massaging. I can’t help it, I’m ticklish and just a tense person in general. After multiple scolding’s from my masseuse, “relax!” he whisper yelled to me while trying to wiggle my arms from their tensed position, I think he just gave up and moved on to my feet.
Now the foot slapping experience really began. Taking my feet out of the warm water soak, massaging them, cracking toes, and pressing on reflexology points. At this point we were nearing the end of our hour massage and my feet hadn’t been slapped yet, nor had I heard any other slapping coming from my parent’s or brother’s stations. I began to worry, was this whole Happy Buddha experience a fraud, was there in fact, no foot slapping at the foot slappers?
Thankfully Happy Buddha did not disappoint, they only saved the best -and most entertaining- for last, a grand finale of sorts. My masseuse started, only to be joined by the three other masseuses, in a quartet of cacophonous slapping. Starting with the feet and then onto the legs. Open fist slapping/punching, it was a veritable slap factory up in there. I couldn’t help but bust out laughing, laying there listening to the four of us get our legs get beaten up. The next appointment had walked in to check in with the receptionist just as we were starting the grand finale of slap, strangers witnessing the absurdity of the massage experience that they were about to embark on, just adding to the hilarity of the experience. They even started giggling at the sight and sound of us. As the clock struck 3, the slapping ceased and with the final gravity drop of our legs onto the footstool our Happy Buddha experience was complete.
In conclusion, Happy Buddha completely lived up to its name, a strange, slightly uncomfortable, awkward at times, hilarious first foray in the world of Asian reflexology massage. I walked out into the Asian mini-mall parking lot that day much more relaxed, a Happy Buddha convert. I’ll definitely be back.
Check it out: http://hbreflexologyspa.com/
And yelp reviews too: http://www.yelp.com/biz/happy-buddha-foot-reflexology-spa-san-diego
Clockwise from top left: (1) A beautiful day at Royce Hall (2) There’s nothing better than a Bruin victory at the Rose Bowl (3) Best fwends enjoying the view of campus (4) the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion, can’t wait for the game this Friday!
Goodness gracious, I sure do love this school!
There’s nothing worse than when technology fails you. Unfortunately I’ve had my fair share of failures, to name a few, my hard drive crashed (losing everything), my mouse/laptop touch pad spazzed out, the power adapter plug into my computer stopped working and totally ruined my one week past its warranty laptop, my cell phone (not even a smart phone, gasp!) no longer receives texts sent to more than one person and no longer is able to send or receive pictures, and three broken cameras. At this point one would assume that I am an irresponsible technology user, and that I don’t take proper care of my precious devices. But that’s not the case, at least I don’t think it is. No one ever really taught me how to take care of a computer. I just kind of figured it out, a combination of common sense, scoldings from my dad, and things that I think I heard at some point from someone. I am generally a very responsible person, so all signs point to “its not my fault.” It’s all my laptop/cellphone/camera’s fault. In my past four years at college, each year I have faced some tragic crisis with my PC, but I have yet to be able to justify forking over a big hunk of my checking account to pay for an apple computer. That shit is expensive, and on a students budget, completely unreasonable. But I am right on the verge of making that unreasonable decision to abandon the inexpensive world of HP and Dell and transition to the shiny, happy, expensive world of Apple. After my last experience, I’ve had enough. I’ve had to deal with the emotional turmoil of the incredibly frustrating tech support, geek squad, customer service, “restore to factory settings” experience one too many times. But in the process I have become an expert at identifying the five stages of technology failure.
1. Denial: When the problem first starts, the initial emotional response is denial. You pretend there is nothing wrong. You struggle to finish writing your paper, going about your business, refusing to acknowledge the problem. Subconsciously you tell yourself, this can’t be happening, I don’t deserve this. You hope that if you pretend the problem isn’t there, it will disappear. But it doesn’t go away. You try restarting your computer once or twice, because that usually fixes things, right? But alas, the problem doesn’t go away, it actually seems to be getting worse, past the point of denial.
2. Worry: Once you get beyond the initial denial, anxiety sets in and you start to really worry about the future of your computer. Thoughts like “is this really happening?” and “Will I be able to fix this” run through your mind all day. But this is a practical kind of worry, where you run through worst case scenarios, making yourself sick with the idea of losing everything on your computer, but still hopeful of what Sharon- your helpful HP tech support agent- can coach you through over the phone. This is what I call solution oriented worrying. You’re calling your tech-y friend, finding a ride to the nearest computer repair place, calling the tech support line. You foresee emotional strife and lots of wasted time, but still see the potential for a solution. This doesn’t last long.
3. Panic: Stage three is when the practical worry you experienced is transformed into full fledged panic. This usually happens mid call to your tech support agent. After loading drivers, shutting down, restarting, tune-ups, backing up files, you lose hope. You begin to feel that no matter what you do, nothing will fix the problem, and nothing will bring my laptop back to its fully functioning state. This loss of hope often goes hand in hand with the extremely unhealthy process of attaching the state of your emotional health to the health of your computer. Your laptop is transformed from a useful device that assists you in school and work, to everything you’ve ever loved. This computer is your life. You feel that all that’s important in the world rests on the future of your computer. It’s value becomes magnified and you see it slipping away. Panic sets in as you envision your life without your computer. But this is soon to be followed by something much worse.
4. Rage: After two and a half fruitless hours on the phone, panic subsides only to be replaced by extreme anger. You curse the HP gods for sending you a faulty computer. As patient and helpful as Sharon over at HP tech support is, you begin to hate her. You hate her calm, accented voice. You hate her polite suggestions, ‘Please turn off your computer, miss, thank you, miss” It’s despicable really, what she’s done to you. Filled you with all this false hope, at first you believed that Sharon could really help you, but it’s apparent that her confidence and helpfulness was all bullshit. She has no idea what the hell is wrong with your computer, and she’s just making all this crap up. Your hatred isn’t just directed at Sharon. You hate your computer, you don’t even want it anymore. How could my pretty little HP go off and do this to me. You feel betrayed and pissed off. You did me dirty, HP, and you’re going to pay for it, you think. I’m going to type those keys so hard, I’m going to eat a granola bar over you and let the crumbs settle in all your nooks and crannies, I am going to quadruple click on every one of your buttons, its become an abusive relationship.
5. Peace (?): The end to the emotional stages of technology failure is peace, either in recovery or replacement. This is sometimes difficult to achieve, especially with a negative outcome. It’s easy to get stuck at rage. I always look back on my time with my old Dell computer with a tinge of extreme rage at its untimely demise. But I’ve recovered since then, and have been able to achieve peace in my most recent forays into technological failure and recovery. But this peace is tempered by the realization that so much of my life revolves around a silly computer. Its embarrassing, actually, how reliant I am on technology. As a student, I can’t go a few hours without access to a computer. A break from access to a functioning computer, has given me some perspective. Maybe I should rely a little less on my computer for my life, and relocate the value I place on my computer to something of actual importance in the big scheme of things.