Monday, August 31, 2009

Waiting is not fun!

Human nature... we are always waiting for something. Most of us never live in the now... never enjoying the moment (excuse the clich├ęs). I'm kind of one of those people.

Some very short term things I'm waiting for:
  • My VP so we can go to our lunch meeting that I think he forgot about
  • My focus to return, I've been kind of wondering today
  • Paul to call - we haven't spoken yet today
  • 5PM - So I can leave work
Some short (but not as short) term things:
  • Paul's return on Friday
  • Grandma date night on Thursday
  • Dinners
  • Happy thoughts
Some long term things I'm waiting for:
  • Paul's MBA graduation from MIT Sloan in 2011
  • Which will lead into Paul and my marriage also in 2011 (post grad)
  • Paul moving back to NY
  • Finding out where Paul will work and looking for a house
  • Decorating our house very natural and clean
  • Starting a family - I want kids so badly it hurts
  • Sewing, Painting, Crafting, Making ART!
  • Growing a garden
  • Eating organic/local
  • Greenifying our home - solar panels, rain collectors and all
  • My future - I cannot wait for my future... because it will be our future.
So yes - I can't wait. Right now I'm at work. I go home to an empty home (while Paul is living in Cambridge). I eat dinner alone. I go to the gym (which is fulfilling but I don't enjoy it). I study for the CPA exam. I sleep alone. It's a very lonely existence. So right now isn't something I'm relishing in.

A lack of motivation... yep!

Let's see what later will bring... then tomorrow... then next week... then next month... then next year... but it will need to stop... because tomorrows never truly come... only today

A Riddle:
Often talked of, never seen
Ever coming, never been,
Daily looked for, never here,
Still approaching, coming near.
Thousands for it's visit wait
But alas for their fate,
Tho' they expect me to appear,
They will never find me here.

What poem is this about? ---> "Tomorrow"

What did the little Girl melon say when the Boy melon proposed?

We cantaloupe (We can't elope).

This melon wants to know why not.

This weekend we celebrated the life of my grandpa. We were all at mass sitting in our own pews arriving at different times causing us to sit separately. It was a big group - about 30 of us in attendance. But there were others who sat separately for other reasons ... one's that some will find immature and silly, but they feel strongly about... because they can't seem to get along with any of the other family members. It almost pains them to catch a glimpse of one another let alone hold a conversation.

My grandma's house was filled with grandchildren ... eating, singing, laughing, playing mah jong... but Papa's children? There were none. My grandma's cousins arrived and my 2nd cousins with them. It was nice, we all got along great (as usual). My generation seems to see past small petty fights much more easily than the generations before me. It's not just the immediate generation of my mother and uncles but the generation of my grandma as well. It's like a family curse causing catastrophic fight after fight. When I see how close I am to my siblings, my cousins, my mother, my grandma and my uncles, I can only hope that nothing changes in how I act and feel towards them. That despite their actions towards one another, I can remain close with all of them, but as I get older, it gets harder, and I get lonelier - forcing myself to choose time and again who to spend my time with.

So with that long winded summary of why I feel the way I feel.... Why can't I elope? Because my beloved fiance wants his family to be there... to fill his heart with extra love and support. How can I deny him that? I suppose I can't, but at the same time, what am I sacrificing to give him this?

As much as I'd want the love and support of my loved ones there - as much as I'd need to have my family at my side... they can't stand to be by each other's sides... so how then will they be able to support me while I make the biggest vow I will make in my life? The vow to be the faithful wife of Paul. They can't be there - feeling happy for me, while they are being selfish only concerned about how much they hate each other. It wouldn't be fair ... not to me and not to them. So my solution is simple. I want to elope. I want to go some place natural... safe... calm... and make our vows to one another. Marriage licenses are simple... a trip to court and we can get that signed in a jiffy. Our promise to one another is the important part. Now the part where God is involved. I'm not very religious, but religious enough to want my marriage blessed by God. Maybe pre cana and a private ceremony? Casual... open invitation... no reception... no dinner... no party... because our flight will be leaving in 2 hours and we need to run to the airport to affirm our spiritual connection to one another?

I don't know. Hopefully things will change. Hopefully God will work his magic and help my family to heal.

Today last year we prepared for our 1st day of Papa's wake. The atmosphere was happy with togetherness but somber with sorrow. It was nice how easily all of us got along and supported one another. Who would have thought within only 4 months it would all fall apart.

Now a year later and that family is only a memory.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sewing 101

I sewed my 1st thing. It was just for practice, I doubt its even that useful, but I'll try and use it until it falls apart. It was a good start to practicing getting my stitches super strait and becoming more used to my sewing machine. I don't know if its a pot holder (it's too thin), a dish rag (it's not absorbent enough), or maybe a ....?

But its done. I also attached ribbon to my dish rags so that they will hang on my butterfly books more easily. It's a start. I will need to get on those pillow cases soon!

Here it is:

Missing you!

Today is on year to the day that I took off from work. To pack our things for our pending move out of NYC and back to Queens. We'd already painted, scrubbed and scoured our new home. As I sat in my cluttered apartment I thought of all the things I still had to do: pack, clean, organize, carry, visit my grandpa (who just got back from vacation with my family) and stay up all night to do more packing.

I called my Grandma who told me to save visiting for later in the day or even tomorrow. My Mom hadn't left her house yet and she wasn't talking to me. My Grandma didn't want to sour my Grandfather's good spirits with negativity which is so evident from my Mom - she wears her heart on her sleeve - or more like her scowling eyes, pursed lips and harsh words.

I relented and stayed home ... packing. Later that night I got a phone call - My grandpa was back in the hospital and was not doing well. I got in the car immediately and headed to LIJ, where I found him in the ER, my Grandma crying, my sister falling apart, my grandma with a oxygen mask on, my aunt and uncle and 2 cousins crying and distraught. I knew then it was worse than him being overly weak. I know it was more than him not breathing well. I knew this wasn't a false alarm.

It was then that my Grandma, hyperventilating, asked me what to do. The doctor had asked her to sign papers, as his chosen person, whether to put him on a respirator if he were to stop breathing on his own. This was a weight no one wanted to carry on their shoulders. I didn't know what to say. I talked to my Uncle and we all concurred that he was tired, that he didn't want to do this anymore, and that keeping him alive via machine was immoral and not what he'd want. Eventually the papers were signed by shaking hands and that was done. We were told to prepare ourselves, it was only a matter of minutes or hours now. So we did... we talked to him, asked him to push through, told him we loved him, and held his hand. My other Uncle came along with his girlfriend. They were both in tears. We were all in disbelief.

Then he was transfered to a room. So we all went upstairs to wait... and wait and wait. Only 2 of us were allowed in at a time. My Grandma should obviously be there. We took turns seeing him, but then my Mother came. She hadn't yet seen him in the hospital and spend some time inside. It was already close to 1AM. My Papa asked to see Amanda & Kyle - so they were woken up and brought upstairs where they sleepily said hello to my Grandpa. Amanda knew this wasn't good but didn't quite understand how bad. The hospital knowing this could be our last moments together, allowed all of us (14 of us) enter his room and spend what felt like only minutes with him, but was actually maybe an hour. We then said good night and left. My Grandma stayed with him through the night. I retreated to my Sister's house where we slept in an extra bedroom not wanting to be too far just in case.

The next morning, I called my Grandma who had stayed all night, with no food, no insulin, and no medication. I was worried, I didn't want to lose them both because she wasn't taking care of herself. I convinced her to let me bring her food and medicine when she all of a sudden said - no you're right, come get me and Lauren will stay here. I will go home, shower, medicate and come back. So that's what we did. I went, Lauren and Paul went upstairs and stayed with Papa and Paul walked my Grandma out to the car. Her cell had died, my phone was left at Lauren's, and we were completely off line. At home, my Grandma showered and I got her things together when the phone started ringing. It was Rommel who now changed his mind - he wanted Papa to fight and do whatever it would take... but that required dialysis - which would prolong his life but not save it. His liver was failing, his kidneys were failing, and his heart was not pumping enough oxygen into his blood stream. He was tired- and we all needed to understand this.

The phone rang again, and thats when I got the worst phone call of my life.... Paul, yelling at me that I'm not picking up my cell phone, that it's an emergency, and I needed to get back NOW! He yelled and yelled and yelled so I got my Grandma and said, it's an emergency we need to get back now! She began freaking out, crying, running, skipped her medicine and we ran to the car. I drove faster than I ever had before, peeled into the ER parking lot and told her to get our and go. A lady saw me frantic and asked if she could help - I told her I was leaving the car, keys and all and a boy named Paul would be running out to get the keys. I told her that if she could watch the car and not let anyone take it unless their name was Paul. Without even caring about the car, I ran away, door open, keys inside, ignition running, and found my Grandma, walking fast, but in circles. I grabbed a wheelchair and put her in it and literally RAN her to my Grandpa. When we got there, we saw his door was closed. When we opened it, I noticed all the monitors off... and Lauren holding his hand crying saying over and over and over again... He's gone.

My grandma broke down. This was nothing short of a disaster for her. Her husband of 47 years and 53 days is gone. She yelled and yelled "Why couldn't you wait for me. I only left your side for a moment. Why wouldn't you let me say goodbye." I knew why he waited... for her to leave. It was all in his last words to me, "Lil, take care of your Mommy Yolly, okay?" He held on all night never giving up because he wanted to make sure my Grandma didn't experience watching him die. Even in his last moments he was trying to protect her. He knew Lauren would be strong. He knew he felt comfortable with her. He knew she was his favorite. He knew it was time. He told her he was tired... laid into her and let go. The doctors came in and unplugged the machines allowing him to take his last breaths in peace.

My Grandma's cousin arrived soon after we did, thinking he was coming for a visit. Once he saw what had happened, he called the rest of the family to have them come. All thinking they were arriving to say goodbye, realized it was too late and broke down. But at that moment we all sat and talked about how much we loved him, with his body still warm by our side. Until we knew it was time to leave, pray, make funeral arrangements, and tend to Amanda and Kyle, children experiencing their 1st death.

Tomorrow - the 1 year anniversary of his death and I still cry. Writing this, my eyes are puffy, and my breathing short. Tomorrow we have a mass dedicated to him at 5PM followed by the rosary at their house, then of course food. I set up the alter last night and felt like he past away only yesterday. I miss him. I miss him every day. The sound of his voice, his silly history channel, his preaching, his food, his hugs, his company... all of him. I really do miss him with all the fibers in my being.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wish List

  • Laptop/Netbook - to let me study on the go! I may get my grandma's old laptop which would reduce waste and spending!
  • Kitchen Rack - I actually might need this more than the laptop/netbook because my kitchen is not somewhere I want to be i right now... not without it. I want my shelving soon! Maybe I can convince Paul to go with me on Sunday.
  • Kitchen Garbage - I'd like to wash out my current one and use it for dirty dish rags since its too small and get a larger one for our kitchen purposes. I'd love to get a recycling basket too but that's not a priority.
  • Facial Cleansers, Toners & Lotions... natural & organic - I'm almost all out of my moisturizer & toner and I have some wash left but its irritating my face so I may need to use it just on my body (it's for both) so I am thinking I may need some replacements. I'm considering Kiss My Face brand products. Particularly: Shea Soy cleansing bar, Balancing Act Toner, & The NEW Brighten Day Cream with SPF 4 - that still needs to go on the market.
  • $$$ - to continue with my physical trainer, I think its doing me wonders in the health department
  • Sewing lessons - How I want to improve my pitiful skills
  • Glass Food Storage - I'd like to replace all my plastic Tupperware style storage with glass covered storage
  • A Lap for my livingroom - The computer corner and table are so very dark... too dark to read or sew
  • Storage Baskets - to keep some craft stuff in
  • A thrift store bowl and cup - to keep at work for cereal and coffee. I keep stealing from the bistro and returning them, but its such a bother to get to. And I cannot use paper cups, its so wasteful.
Materialistic wise that's really about it... So I guess I cannot complain

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Physical Trainer

So yesterday was day 2 of the gym... day 2 of my Physical Trainer and it went a lot better than day 1.

My Gym is Ballys and my trainers name is Mike. He's a great guy on the gym floor but a little rough around the edges in the office. My 1st day's experience was a bit confusing... He pushed me hard but not too hard working out every single part of my body until it looked like I'd collapse... in only 40 minutes. We called it quits early- which was a blessing because I was so ridiculously sore the next day ... through Saturday.

So I'll share a little secret with you... I weigh 156 lbs... this is the second time I've ballooned over 152 AND my BMI is about 29 which is very very high and very unhealthy AND my body fat % is close to 45%. That's almost 1/2 of me being fat. So I may not have looked too bad, but I am definitely unhealthy.

After my session he said that it will take me about 20-24 sessions to lose the weight I need to lose and to get to the point I can call myself healthy but I'd have to work really hard. There is one problem, I only paid for 4 sessions, not the recommended 20. I just don't have that expendable income right now. I want to continue working with him despite his near meltdown at my mention of a measly 4 sessions but really - how can I afford him. I have my sister's wedding coming up, her shower just passed, and Paul just moved throwing all the bills on my lap. I need to think about it... but I do want it bad. I want so many things... but I feel a huge improvement from only 2 days with him... imagine 20!

So yesterday I met him promptly at 6 and he worked me out hard... at least to me... he said he's still going pretty easy on me. Some things I was just simply not coordinated enough to do. Other things, I did with a bit more ease than last time (planks!) but my triceps are non-existent... and that hasn't yet changed. After doing 1 hour of strength training (and I mean he worked out everything but my ear lobes) I had to do 30 minutes of cardio. I asked him if that was realistic, I mean I just started... could I do 30 minutes right after an hour of hell? He said if I had to do 15 minutes, take a break, and continue to 30... well guess what... I did 30 minutes strait and I wasn't even crying about it. I never could have done that last week. I mean, I do get bored on cardio which means I'm my own worst enemy... so I need to remember my ipod and maybe my CPA review books or something - boring to some but very important to me right now.

So aside from seeing him twice a week for 1 hour of strength training and 30 min of cardio, I must go twice on my own to do 1 hour of cardio each time. I will go tonight and try and get on an elliptical. The lines for the machines are ridiculous so if its too crowded maybe I'll do what I can and come back later. It's nice living down the block.

So lets see if I can keep this up. I really am loving how my body feels because of it. And I love knowing I can do it... because I can... now if only my bank account supported this.

He's working me hard. I meet with him twice a week to

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home Changes

These are roses we brought home from Lauren's centerpieces. The Hydrangeas did not survive but these pink roses are hanging on. See the vintage thrift store vases? That crochet piece was done by Paul's Abuela. And my Great Grandma's favorite flower was the pink rose. A little tribute to them? This Saturday (my grandma's 1 year anniversary of his death) I will replace them with his favorite... red roses.

Before Paul left we rearranged a few things. Things I'd been talking about doing all summer. We at least started. It's so nice when you envision something and it actually works.

Our dining table from the UWS apartment was folded into a nook in the kitchen. We couldn't even sit at it. Now its in the corner of our livingroom... useful! That corner is a bit dark though. I may need to buy a lamp... or just put down some candles!

This book case was where the table now is. I moved it into the foyer. It looks great there. I love that I can see whats in it now. I can actually admire my books, frames and knick knacks (ignore the stack of frames - they have yet to be hung).

This is my messy kitchen. I have to tidy up for sure. I moved the fridge and microwave cart to where the table was. Now I can put up shelving where these pieces used to be to hold some nice dishes, canisters & supplies!

And lastly the bedroom. Instead of my little plastic tub, we now have our livingroom end tables acting like side tables. On each side rest the lamps we purchased at TJ Max for $30 each. They didn't fit our new CFL bulbs so I flipped the shades over and it worked!

Lauren's Bridal Shower

Was A LOT of work. But it was a hit. After 4 nights strait of high stress and very little sleep we pulled it off.

We got the "trick Lauren Sign" done as well as the Congratulations sign. We purchased the vintage vases. Picked up the flowers. Picked the menu. Put together the party favors. Printed the photo sheets. Bought the well wish book. Printed out the games we never played. And had that table stocked full of gifts.

The event turned out great. The food was good. The wine went down smoothly. The desert and coffee were yummy. The waiter was a sweetheart. And the best and most important part - Lauren LOVED it!!!

But apparently my Mom did not. She was not impressed with the food or the service or the company. I think you can shower her with diamonds and she'd complain that they were too shiny. I will need to learn how to NOT let myself get upset because its not me but her who is unhappy with all things in life.

In any event - I'm happy... because my baby sister is happy and she had a blast!

Oh yes and she was truly surprised... we pulled it off!!!

Some pictures:

The sign - isn't it artsy?

Lauren after she walked in and heard "SURPRISE"

My mom wanting to take a picture like the AT&T more bars commercial I guess

The Bridal Party

And of course that stupid hat

Friday, August 21, 2009

NY METS + Citi Field

So Citi Field - it's not my bag. I miss Shea... where I knew where everything was... where I had history... where I grew up... my ball park.

Citi Field is nice... and the seats are really good as far as view is concerned... but really? It was less ball park and more attraction... with big screen TV's, restaurants, batting cages and games? I found that hundreds of people weren't even watching the game! It was just not the same.

After getting off the 7 train and meeting up with Paul, Lauren and Bryan... a few beers and many laughs - we had a blast. We ate some ball park food at the stadium and then headed out after the game. Where we sat in the lot, polished off the rest of our cooler and went home.

I had a great time- I love my sister and love how loose and carefree she was able to be. Who cares if she doesn't really follow baseball - she appreciates it.

The season for the Mets is basically done... with everyone on the DL and losing one game after the next... I guess there is always next year.

Group Shot (Bryan, Lauren, Me & Paul)

Lauren & Bryan

Me & Paul

Me pouring beer on Lauren & Paul giving me a wedgie at the same time - action shot!

Sunday @ the MET & Asia de Cuba

Really thinking or just a poser?

Our last Sunday... we had a slow start. I was a bit disappointed, but once we got moving it proved to be a nice day. We started out driving to the MET where we looked at Art ... old and new. Around 1:15 we were getting a little hungry so we walked over to Serafino's where we had some pizza, a salad and the bellini I'd been craving for a while. Then it was back to the MET.

These are URNS! Aren't they beautiful?

After getting our fill of art we drove over to the Time Warner Buildings where we went to Borders and of course I spent another obnoxious amount of money on books - oh how I love to read. I'm reading "The World Without Us" - Alan Weisman right now. It's a non-fiction explaining what will happen to the world after the human race perishes. It's actually very interesting... nature is stronger than we think. They will reclaim this world and make it like we hardly ever existing. Erasing our mark in only a few centuries. Too bad our effects on the climate will always change what tomorrows will bring.

Knight in shining armor?

A quick run through Wholefoods where we left not wanting to wait on line... we headed down to Asia de Cuba. A favorite of ours. After a few drinks and a few dishes... we were stuffed! We drove home where we cuddled till I left for work the next day.

Real women have curves!

The annual date night car shot... Paul looks so cute in this picture!!

Saturday @ Robert Moses

Being that it was Paul's last Saturday before he moves to Cambridge, we decided we should spend the entire weekend together - just the two of us. We had a really good time. For a change of scenery we decided to go to Robert Moses instead of Jones. I had high hopes but they were dashed...

When we arrived the first thing I realized was that there were no big waves. I LOVE waves. They are what makes the beach fun. Then upon getting into the water I came across seaweed - the Monday before, Jones was seaweed free. Then I felt something bite my arm... there were little water bugs in the water - EWW! Paul said they didn't bite but then why did I feel a pinch - TWICE! Other people complained as well - I can't find what they are on the internet but yuck!

We took a long walk in the SWELTERING sun to the tip to fly Paul's training kite for kite boarding. It was fun but just too hot. After a few minutes I needed water and shade so we walked back.

We had a fabulous lunch of Spanish Ham (his mom brought from Spain for us), Cheese, Olives, Hummus, Bread Sticks and water. The followed by bananas and cherrys - we were happy people. More water, a few games of "paddle" ball and then home bound!

That night we had a nice simple dinner at Fatty's in Astoria and went home to have a nice evening.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Closed Invitation: Snowboarders Only

So as cyclical consistency would have it... the summer is soon coming to a close and with that a snowboard trip is planned. It seems to be the normal seasonal responsibilities for me... In the winter, I plan my summer vacation... in the summer, I plan my winter vacation. This year - it's slightly different.

This has become more tradition... it used to be just me and Paul traveling for some snow... or even him alone when I worked for the Man (PwC). But now, it's become a "family" event... or open invitation.

Year One:
Steamboat Springs:

With Andy, Paul, Melissa, Car & Eric... 3 "couples" ... all different abilities. Paul is the snowboard nazi... he's good, he's competitive and he usually owns the mtn. Andy is good, confident, FAST & tries everything! Eric had done it a few times, had some skill, but would try almost anything you put in front of him including a few jumps. Car had done it a bunch but didn't push herself, relaxed, rode scared, and hardly tried to improve her form. Melissa... well it was her VERY 1st time! And me... well I'd been doing it long enough to get down the mountain in 1 piece... but I fell a lot - but I tried hard... pushed myself through greens, blues, double blues and a few blacks... rode bowls, narrow trails, wide trails, powder and even did my 1st box. I ain't gonna front, I was no betty - but I did my thing and was pretty proud of myself. Car helped me get there... constantly pushing me... funny she didn't push herself. From there we met up with Steve - a skier - and had 3 days of family-ish atmostphere... Me, Paul & Steve... riding hard during the day, eating, having a few drinks and passing out.

Trip 2:
Whistler Blackcomb:
With Paul, Jerry & Joe... a smaller group indeed - and all boys but me. Now on this trip everyone was of a similar ability... i.e. GOOD! Then there was me... I wont lie - I didnt push myself has hard. I was intimidated. I was scared. But I tried SOMETIMES... I could have done better... I should have done better! At night we all got together, ate a big meal, drank LOTS of beer, joked around, scoped for chicks (for the single boys) and made fools of ourselves. We were the life of everyone elses party... I mean we were from NY and we like to party! We like attention! And we like to laugh. Then there was Joe... not a spoiled sport but kind of like the weakest link in the after snow dept... well he irked me... no long invited on my vacations. FAIL! Party poopers and party putter-downers are generally not welcomed in my party!

Trip 3 - coming soon:
Colorado? Steamboat Springs? Location TBD:
So this time, it's not me planning... well not per se. Andy and Paul took the reigns and made some rules... only 2 really. Rule #1 - Snowboarders ONLY. Rule #2 - Party-ers ONLY! And the all encompassing line... NO BITCHASSNESS! As Andy said - we should make T-Shirts.

I asked what makes a snowboardER... I mean... do I qualify? Does he? So this is how Andy explained it:
"See the requirement isn't so much so you can drink like a college rockstar or ride like an x-gamer. It's more so the attitude. Do you really want to ride? Are you a snowboarder or is it just something you want to try?"

I was scared... I was like... I'm not good but he assured me I'm getting there and that the point is that I WANT TO RIDE... I really breath the winter air just so I can strap in and ride!

Andy closed with:
"If the season past and you didn't go, you'd be sad/pissed or a combination thereof"

He's right! So what makes you a SnowboardER or any ER (kayaker, skier, swimmer?)... it's more than your ability... it's your passion. It's your priorities. It's your attitude. Do you have it? Can you hang?

When I started riding... I was left alone a lot... learning - it's cool... I can hang now. I can ride with the boys and keep up (sort of). I fall, sometimes I cry, I bitch... but I don't bitch out! I smile and sweat and strain and I work hard to do better. My biggest fall back is the mental hump... FEAR. I'll still keep on working on it! You can be a beginner... but love the sport... so it doesn't matter if you are left alone... all you need is some sweet snow, a lift ticket, some boots, a board set up... and you are ready to go! No goggles... no worries! No hate... you'll deal! No lunch... you'll figure it out! No company... you needs 'em!

Are you a snowboarder?

Is it how you dress or how you ride?

not gonna lie though... I'm worried I'll be stuck alone again... no girls, no intermediates... no buddy... no fun! I hope it doesn't become Whistler II

Carving out in the deep pow

Running through the trees

Tearing it up like Shaun White

Kicking ass like Torah Bright

Or maybe it's your 1st time and you are hitting it like my little bro!
(click on it to see the video)

From 02.16.09 - Amanda & Kyle Snowboard

Perplexed and Contemplative

I've had a lot on my mind lately and most has been depressing me or overwhelming me in one way or another. I've been trying so hard to keep a smile on my face and keep my spirits up, but it's been hard.

Lauren's wedding is not just stressful for her but stressful for me. Her bridal shower is proving to be completely over dramatic, over budget, and overwhelming. The worst part is, instead of being appreciative, she's annoyed that she is even having one. She is undeserving of one... I think I'm throwing her one for the wrong reasons: because I think I should.

Her bachelorette party is just as much a head ache. I dont know when we have time to do it, so at this point I've decided that I'm not going to worry about it. If the bridal party wants to get their ass in gear and organize it then fine, but I want nothing more to do with this crap. Lauren doesn't even seem to care if she has one... at least thats what she says... I'm sure that if she doesn't have one she'll act like a woman scorned. Such is the life of a bridzilla's maid of honor and a daughter of a screwed up family.

Paul's leaving... on Wednesday he's packing up and moving to Cambridge. That just sucks. I'm hoping I'll adjust well... back into our long distance curse. It seems we are long distance much of the time... I've been trying to be in a good mood... to ensure the last few days we spend together are happy... but I'm not happy... I'm not happy at all.

My grandma doesn't seem happy - when she doesn't it just makes it hard for me. She isn't who she once was. She's bitter now... angry at the world. She tries to be who she once was but it's just a mirage... her new angry complaining self always resurfaces. I know she misses Papa, I know she misses her children... they've done her dirty... No one approves of it... but no one can stop them... and what else can you do but attempt to fill the void.

My mother... it's like love hate... I don't know if she actually loves me or loves using me. It's like I've longed for a mother for so long, I'll settle for however it comes. I put myself on the floor to allow her to walk all over be with cleats on. But there are times when she is the only one who can comfort me... the only one who can put me back in my place. There are also other times where 1 sentence uttered by her is the only thing that can put me into a complete anxiety filled depression for a week.

Kyle and Amanda... they are growing up... but they are the light at the end of my tunnel. I love them with ALL of myself. But I'm scared... that they have a crappy dad and a slightly off mom... that they wont always be as precious as they are.

The CPA exam... shh don't tell anyone. I take classes on Monday... Day 1. I'm not happy about it, but my office is pushing for me... helping me pay for it... and treating me really well. I just need to buck up and get it done. Hopefully I can. Everyone knows how many times I've told this story. I've managed to keep it from my family ... I may have mentioned it to my Mom, but lets be honest, she doesn't really give a crap. Her idea of me studying is going to her house with my books ... playing with the kids and helping her out... then staying up all night reading... exhausted... retaining nothing. My grandma puts the pressure on hard... so I just never told her I was getting back in the ring. But the #1 pushers who make me want to cry... Paul's parents... even his aunt has been asking if I'm licensed yet. Why the pressure? Because thats the way our families encourage! Well despite that being the way of the old world back in Argentine, PR & the Philippines... I will NOT raise my kids like that. They will want to do well and want to succeed... on their own... similar to how I turned a new leaf in college... the pressure... it was on... but only because I placed it on myself... never anyone else... that only drove me to rebel.

My body! Oh how my body perplexes me... I was once a tight young fit tall healthy girl... now I'm lumpy, fat, and unhealthy! Ugh how time has changed me... thank goodness gravity has yet to take hold. I thought I'd lose weight this summer ... but NO, I gained 7lbs! What's up with that? This homegirl has GOT to get into the gym! On the plus I've gotten a lot of color this summer... healthy color... no tanning or laying out but lots of outdoor activities... swimming... and don't worry, I put on sun screen... SPF 50 too! At 4PM today I have an appointment to go have a tour of Bally's on my corner... if it's not ghetto I am going to join... there is a sale and no yearly contract.

I desperately need a bathing suit! I'm determined to get one today... so I can have a nice un-ripped flattering bathing suit to rock at the beach this weekend. My body might not be so hot right now, but I am still confident enough to rock a full coverage bikini (i.e. my tetas and ass stay INSIDE the suit).

Eh ... so I guess if those are my problems... I'm one lucky chica! Unfortunately... I'm sad and that I need to snap out of... no one can do that but me!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pains in my ass

Family is not always a gift... more often than not, in my family - they are simply a burden.

I don't get why people always gossip and why people always think everyone is out to get them.

I sent out 40 invitations to an event which clearly had address labels, event name, title and RSVP date and contact info... If this was not received for any reason (loss in the mail, loss on your table, loss due to flood, loss at all) but you KNOW about the event and KNOW that you are invited - doesn't it make sense to pick up the phone and RSVP anyway? Does it make sense to feel slighted as if you were never invited... you've already been told you were... for the love of God ... your family is part of the wedding party!

Ugh, I hate the BS

Which solidifies that fact that when I do get married... my family is NOT invited.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kitchen Gre-Vamp

Our planned Kitchen Green-Vamp

Some small changes to the kitchen in our rental apartment are hopefully coming soon.

We've rearranged our livingroom to allow our dining table to go into the corner. It is currently nestled into a small nook in our kitchen too tight to sit out and acting only as a shelf to place things.

In it's place in the kitchen I'm considering purchasing a commercial style kitchen shelving unit. On the shelving I'd like to store my glass containers containing things like sugar, flax seed, rice, etc... as my cabinets are currently filled to capacity. I thought it would be storage and visually pleasing. Much of those types of items are stored in containers similar to the one shown below.
Additionally I thought that some colorful containers would be great to house my kitchen towels and rags. I was thinking something like these mini trash cans below. They even come with lids. I'd like to have at least one for the dirty rags to be stored before their weekly washing. This would allow us to eliminate our paper towel usage almost entirely. we currently go through rags at about a rate of 3-4 a week when I cook regularly. Smaller dish towels are great to use to wash dishes rather than sponges and because of regular washings, they harbor less bacteria.I've broken yet another couple of glasses... they are slowly diminishing into nothingness! I refuse to switch to plastic but have decided that I will replace my glasses not with new glasses but reclaimed glasses from thrift stores and mason jars. I can buy a box of 12 mason jars for as $8 -$17 new and who knows if I get them from thrift stores!

I'd also like to slowly start replacing our cheaper and breaking cooking tools with more sustainable products like: cast iron, strong wooden spoons, bamboo boards (which we did start), and good quality knives. These changes mean we'd replace less and have these items for our lives. I know we can't invest too much on this front... but a wedding registry is in our future ... yey for that!

Hopefully once Paul and I buy a house in whatever state we end up in we can make the necessary renovations in order to create the greenest home we can afford and live in. Hopefully the small changes we can make now will make a huge difference in our rental apartment. And hopefully I can find much of what we need to make this happen on freecycle, craigslist, and thrift stores.

Did you know... (TMI ALERT)

That tampons are made of viscose or rayon or a rayon cotton blend and are bleached with dioxin which MAY or MAY NOT be associated with cancer. When you flush them, they do not biodegrade in the sewers and end up in pipes, latching on to tree roots and ending up in water filtration plants where they are filtered out and shipped to landfills. If you own a home... think about your plumbing costs.

Sanitary napkins or pads are made of polypropylene and plastic coupled with a petroleum based absorbent material which are not biodegradable or compostable. Because of this, they are increasing our contribution to our local landfills.

I've been pondering this for some time... yet haven't actually made any big strides to change this... until now. I found this menstrual cup called the Diva Cup (there are others such as the Mooncup & the Keeper). They are sold at Whole Foods and you can purchase them cheaply online. I got my 1st Diva Cup yesterday and decided to give it a whirl right away.

The Diva Cup is inserted into the cervix during a menstrual cycle and is meant to collect the blood and is then removed, dumped, washed, and reinserted. A single cup can last you the full year decreasing your costs as well as your landfill contribution.

My experience:
Fear: I was less fearful than actually excited to try my new Diva Cup, but I was also a bit fearful that I'd do it wrong, it would hurt or worse, it would leak! So I actually read all the directions.

Insertion: After washing my hands, reading the directions, and practicing the fold... I went right too it. I got it in on the 1st try, rotated it to get the seal and was fine... but then I realized that the knob on the bottom was a bit too long and needed to be trimmed. It was already in so I said, oh well next time.

The walk: After dinner I decided I wanted to walk to the natural store to pick up some organic ice cream and some natural unscented soap. During the walk I felt a little nervous - what if I did this wrong and leak? I just kept on walking hoping that all would be well once I got home. Once I got home, I immediately checked my underwear... not one leak! I was impressed.

Removal: After a few more hours I decided it was time to empty it. Though it recommends 2-3 times daily, I read a few reviews that said they were extra heavy and had to empty it more often. The removal was easy, I rotated the cup with ease and carefully pulled it out... at which point I yelled for Paul to come and look (we are pretty gross and both agreed that we wanted to see it, but that it was gross). The cup was 1/2 full! Told you I was heavy!

Washing: I emptied the cup in the toilet an then rinsed the cup with warm water. The Diva Cup website as well as Whole Foods sells a wash for the Diva Cup, but it also says that a mild unscented non-antibacterial soap will due. All my soaps were scented hence my trip to the natural store where I purchased Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap - Baby Mild Organic and Unscented Bar Soap. I love Dr. Bronner's soaps... they are USDA certified organic and smell great (at least some of them do). I washed my Diva Cup with some soap, rinsed it, (and cut a tip of the knob off) and reinserted.

Overnight: I was nervous about leakage over night, so I wore a "just in case pad" that I had.
Once I woke up I had a bit of a hard time removing the cup. The seal was stronger than the night before. I attempted to rotate the cup as directed, but I was unable to. At which point I used my finger while relaxing my cervix to fold the cup slightly and break the seal. At this point the cup was easily removed and I was shocked to see how little blood I'd removed. When I'd used pads or tampons in the past, it seemed so heavy, but now that I actually see wants coming out of my body rather than expanded rayon and cotton, I realize that it's really not that bad.

Today: Today will be my 1st FULL day of using the Diva Cup. After my shower I reinserted the cup and went about my normal morning routine. I did put a panty liner on just in case, but so far... 10Am and no leaks.

Thus far, I'm very happy with my Diva Cup. After 2 camping trips this summer with my period ... including rafting and having to stop mid river for a run into the woods where I shamefully changed my tampon and buried the dirty one - I know this is littering, I know its wrong, but I didn't know WHAT to do! - I now have another option. With having to empty only 2-3 times a day, I can go about my day virtually care free - save for a few menstrual cramps.

What I'm really excited about is snowboard season '09-10. In years past, our scheduled trips would always fall on my cycle - whether it be snowboarding, rafting, argentina, etc... Now I won't have to worry... except for my chocolate craving, dramatic emotional bitchiness, and of course those dreaded cramps... but leaks... GONE!

Try it! You can find it online for as little as $25!

$$$ Savings:

I typically purchase my feminine products from BJs Wholesale. I spend approximately $13 for a box of 84 tampons and $10 for 70 napkins. I do this every few months. In addition I purchase panty liners almost every month. I'd estimate that I spend over $225 a year on feminine products which pollute the earth. I've now spent $40 (yes I over paid) on a product that should last me the year if not more. It's made of surgical grade silicone - so it's SAFE!

Next Step: Luna Pads? They are a washable pad - they have winged, heavy, long, short, liner, etc...

I don't know if I'm ready to be washing my own pads but then again I might not mind once I have my OWN washer and dryer. For now, I'll think about it... but I do know that once I have a little one running around, I will NOT use disposable diapers... cloth diapers only!