Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Already Bogged Down on Christmas

Am I the only person who noticed the Christmas products in all the major stores BEFORE October 31st?!  I was only a little bit shocked.  I mean, I know Christmas is kind of a big deal to a huge majority of the population, but this is just ridiculous.  The pressure to consume this holiday season is intense.  Christmas decorations in October?!

Really? Has it come to this?

I don't understand. There are so many holidays between October and December. There was Yom Kippur and Sukkot at the beginning of October (and Rosh Hashanah at the end of September), Diwali and Samhain at the end of October, All Saints and All Souls day, Dia De Los Muertos, Thanksgiving and a whole slew of others in November, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, St. Nickolas Day, a whole bunch of other ones I either don't know or can't remember.  And yet everyone is all gaga-freak-show over Christmas.  And not even religious Christmas, oh no.  I'm talking secular Christmas. Am I seeing nativity scenes dominating the market this year? No. I'm seeing red white and green dresses on barbies, hundreds of fake trees, NFL themed ornaments, and a bazillion jolly santas holding coca-cola bottles.  Because Christmas isn't about the birth of Jesus anymore, it's about consumerism.  It's about spending hundreds of dollars on decorations every year to impress the neighbors. It's about showering little kids with presents from a fat guy who breaks into your house once a year. It's about who buys the most expensive gift, and who receives the most stuff.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The General Strike

Yes, it's been awhile!  I've gotta be honest, my blog took a back seat in the last days before Halloween.  There was so much to do!  We had to finish cleaning the house, make a definitive plan for the feast menu, clean more, work a million hours in Berkeley, and did I mention that I had a midterm on the 31st? A MIDTERM. Because my professors don't know a holiday when they see it.  Had I not had a midterm, I would've most certainly skipped class and celebrated the hell out of Halloween, but alas, I had massive cramming to do that morning in preparation for the exam from Hell.

So yes, All Hallows Eve was a success, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself despite the academic setbacks.  It was a great Monday.

And then on Wednesday, I spent eight hours in downtown Oakland, protesting and marching for the General Strike for Occupy Oakland. I had meant to post this immediately following the strike, but I was bombarded with essays and homework, and so I saved it as a draft until now.  Many things have transpired since I wrote this (November 5th), so keep that in mind as you read it. Here it is:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Because I can't be Me for Halloween...

It's the final countdown!!!!! Halloween is in less than a week, and I'm pretty stoked about it. Our Harvest Feast is on Monday (seriously?!) we have so much left to do as far as making our house ready for company. We still have a lot of boxes in the living room (the kitchen is a little better), and the hallway upstairs is almost  unusable because of a giant rug and some boxes blocking the way.... but we still have this week to finish up the cleaning, and then it's onto buying the food and cooking it and then EATING IT. Yay!

Get ready to CHOW DOWN.

More Halloween Foods

I've got some more great Halloween recipes that I've found on the web.  Well, they're not Halloween in the sense that they are not the American interpretation of Halloween, but more like the Samhain, Celtic/Irish/Old World interpretations of this time of year.  I'm not sure if any of these will be made for our Feast table come October 31st, but I thought I'd post them anyway, and if I do end up making them, I'll be sure to post pictures.

5 oz. flour
5 fluid oz. water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs (separated)
1 Tbsp. melted butter
2 large cooking apples
4 oz. confectioner's sugar
lemon juice
oil for deep frying
Make batter at least an hour before required, using the following method: Sift together flour and salt. Make a well in the center, add the cooled melted butter and some of the water and egg yolks. Work in the flour and beat until smooth. Add remaining water. Leave to stand. Just before using, beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Fold into batter mix. Peel, core and slice apples (make slices about 1/4 - 1/2" thick). Dip into batter and deep fry in very hot oil (175°-180° C) until golden. Drain and serve drenched with confectioner's sugar and sprinkled with lemon juice. (click here to see more recipes from this site!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

FOOD (Because I'm at school and I'm Hungry)

A few things:

1. We finally moved!  After a frustrating, exhausting two months we've finally found an apartment in the East Bay.  This weekend we made the big move, loading up a uhaul full of all of our junk (and three cars) and taking all of it to our new abode in Alameda.  Thanks to our dear friends who labored all day Saturday to complete our move in a timely manner (we love you!).

2. Halloween is in like 14 days, and now that we've got a place to live, we are gearing up for our Third Annual Harvest Feast!  I'm super psyched about continuing our tradition, despite the many challenges we face this year: Halloween is on a Monday, our house is full of unpacked boxes, and did I mention Halloween is in 14 days?!  There's a lot to do in a short period of time, and now that we're in the East Bay I'm not sure if our Marin family will be able to make the trek over to our new house, especially on a Monday.  However, I don't want to move the date of the party to another day because I'm determined to celebrate this holiday ON Halloween, not before or after it.  There will be other Harvest Feasts, so if some people can't make it this year, I'll try not to cry (but I can't make any promises).

3. Our oven may or may not be out of commission at the moment, so we're limited when it comes to making a big meal for Halloween.  To compensate, our Feast is going to be more of a potluck than it has been for the last two years.  Don't get me wrong, every year people bring food, and every year we have more than enough to go around, but we usually make the main dish and about 4 or more side dishes ourselves.  This year we'll be having to scale down the amount of dishes we make.  I've had to really think about what we're going to make, and this is what I've come up with:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Magic Apples?

First off, I'd like to give a shout out to all my readers in Russia and Belgium (Holla!).  I don't know why you're reading my blog (or how you even found it) but KEEP READING! Because it makes me feel special.

Honestly, I think the reason for my international readership is the fact that in the northern hemisphere Samhain is fast approaching; I'm gonna take an educated guess and assume that Google searches for Samhain and Halloween are increasing as we close in on the holiday, no matter what you call it or how you celebrate it.  So, perhaps the hits I'm getting lately are simply a result of a search engine popping me up higher on their search results page.  I don't care, I still think it's cool!

Now, in the spirit of October and Halloween, pretty much all of my posts are gonna be about some aspect of the holiday, and today I've chosen divination (cue the oohs and ahhs here).  Divination has been a part of Halloween for centuries, although the intent and context have both changed throughout history.  I decided to pick out a few divination activities that seem particularly popular (or used to be) as far as American Halloween celebrations.

Let's start with Apple Divination!

Apples have always been popular tools for foretelling the future. Most Halloween divination revolved around match-making and one's "True Love". For many of us, finding out our true love via a peeled apple seems ludicrous, but if nothing else you can try some of these divination techniques for a good laugh on All Hallows Eve. There are a number of traditional methods in folklore for seeing who one's lover might be:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Post Midterm Brain Melt/ OMG, HALLOWEEN!!!

Okay, so I just got out of my Anthro class and I had a one page midterm that just kicked. my. ass.  Okay, so maybe it didn't kick my ass, but it was pretty mind-blowing for something so short. My brain is officially dead.... I'm not even sure how I'm typing this right now, because my brain is definitely malfunctioning, but I decided to do a blog post to blow off some steam.  And hey, I'm posting more regularly, so get excited about that!

Other than brain melting, life has been good!  I've actually been going out more, trying not to stay inside studying all the time.  For the past three weeks or so I've been going out to (cheap) dinner with my friend Angela, who just recently moved down here for school.  This has been a particularly joyous occasion for me because we have spent the last few years only texting or calling each other on occasion to keep in touch, and now that we live in the same town again we can go out and reconnect and do all the goofy stuff we did in high school (only now we're adults, and she has a car, so we have even MORE opportunities to do goofy stuff).  It's been great being able to hang out with friends after spending so much time feeling like a loner out here in the bay area.

One of the things that is awesome about Angela is that she is a great listener, and she genuinely wants to hear what you have to say, so our dinners have been long hours of conversation about every aspect of our lives: relationships, religion, school, faith, our futures, etc.  One of the things that we talked about a few weeks ago was our different religious beliefs. We are totally different when it comes to religion and spirituality-- she is a practicing Catholic, and I'm a practicing, experimental baby pagan.  If we were two different people, this would be a hindrance to our friendship. However, I think that in this instance our differences have made us better friends because we've forced ourselves to be open-minded to each others' ideas and beliefs, even if we don't agree with them or abide by them, and this mutual acceptance of our differences has provided a safe space to really delve into the complexities of our lives.  It allows us to talk!  I don't feel the need to censor myself because I know we can have honest communication.  So when we began talking about religion, I got pretty into it. Anyway, she asked about pagan holidays and different gods and goddesses, and as I was explaining the Sabbats and what they represent I suddenly realized I don't have a whole lot of knowledge about different pantheons, and even when it comes to the Sabbats dedicated to specific deities I lack the in-depth knowledge in those deities.  Why is that? (I thought to myself). And then we talked about patron gods/goddesses and patron saints, and I realized I didn't have a patron goddess either.

I felt a little inadequate.  I mean, there's no requirement to worship a specific pantheon or to have a patron goddess or god or spirit or whatever, and a lot of people I know worship a kind of all-encompassing deity (or deities if they are polytheists) as opposed to specific named deities (examples being gods like Apollo or Cernunnos, and goddesses like Brighid or Ishtar or Kali).  So it's not necessary for me to just pick a pantheon, especially if I'm not sure if I'm even polytheistic or not.  However, I do have a wish to explore different mythologies and lore, and to learn about different deities, and if that results in finding a patron goddess (or god, but that's a little far fetched in my case) then so be it.  I'm very hesitant to go out specifically searching for a partron goddess, or a specific pantheon to worship, pretty much because a lot of these pantheons come from cultures to which I don't belong.  I make no claims (at least ethnically or genealogically) to the Egyptian mythos, or to the Celtic or Norse or Native American mythoi.  And so just picking one would make me feel like am involving myself in a culture I have no business involving myself in. I'm not sure if that's entirely fair, 1) religions are not and should not be exclusive to race or ancestry and 2) because I'm most likely a mix of all different kinds of races that ally themselves with different religions and spiritualities, and as a result I should be able to make claims to multiple pantheons (but I don't know that, I can only guess).

Anyway, as a result of this conversation and the inner-workings of my mind, I've begun to peruse amazon and various book stores in search for some books on mythology, with no particular god or goddess in mind. And if it's possible, I feel even more lost than before (sad day). but as I continue my spiritual journey and research, I'll try to keep and optimistic mindset, especially in this blessed month of October (WAHOO!!!!). Anyway, if any of you actually care about what results in this research, I will keep you all posted.

Wow, I've already spent all my free time on this post. I'm off to my next class to learn things and make sure my college money goes to good use.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Halloween Countdown

Oh yes, it's that time of year again.  While many are still biding their time until Thanksgiving to usher in "Holiday" spirit, I'm getting absolutely giddy over the fast approaching month of October (dude, we've got like 4 hours to go and IT'S HERE!!!!). Yes, October is my favorite month of the year, far and above the often touted December many in the US treasure oh so much. I look forward to October every year, it's my Holy Month, if you will. NO ONE better mess with October. Heads will roll ( just kidding, I'm a lover, not a fighter).

Here are a few reasons why October is the best month ever:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh Great, Another Blog...

Yes, you read that correctly.  I've got yet another blog.

This time it's not my fault!  It's actually for school. For my Queer Studies class we're doing group projects in which we must create a group blog about a specific topic related to Queer Studies.  My group's site is currently under construction, but as soon as we get it all pretty and awesome I will post the link here and on facebook so you can check it out.  It should be pretty interesting.  This is what our blog will do:

This tumblr will examine the history of queer people and their multiple social identities as it is recorded/interpreted through media (particularly film/television and newspaper) from local and large communities (say Oakland newspapers vs. the New York Times). The alterations according to sources will be noted to see how the masses interpret this media as supportive of the queer community or detrimental. This documentation will start from the early 70's onward.
So.... you should all check it out when it's officially launched for the semester. It's on tumblr, which totally throws me off because it's kinda similar to blogger and yet it's not at all like blogger.  So some things that I expect to be the same, aren't. For instance, I was trying to make my personal tumblr all cool and swanky, so I browsed the templates and found one I really REALLY liked, and I clicked on it to make it my blog's template.  And it asked me for my credit card information.


So I looked back at the templates and I realized that the ones I was looking at all cost money.  And I'm not talking chump change, I'm talking 50 buck for a template.

OMGWTF are you KIDDING ME?! It makes me cringe just spending that much money on school supplies, let alone a friggin template for my blog. Where does tumblr get off trying to charge that much money just to make your blog look sexy?!  It took me like 10 minutes to find where they hid the free templates (is this because they were indeed hiding them or because I'm just computer illiterate?  Well....) I kinda hate tumblr already.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yay for finally posting!!!!

So... I haven't posted since August, and things have changed!  First off (and I dunno if you can even see the difference if you yourself don't have a blog on blogger) everything looks different on blogger!  Now my dashboard is all fancy, and my posting looks all fantabulous, and I've only just started using it but I love it. It reminds me of Up: "I just met you, and I love you."

That pretty much sums up how I feel about the change thus far. In other news, school is fun, I'm learning lots, blah blah blah.  The usual. I have so much to say and yet no time to say it.  These are the things I'd like to eventually talk about as far as my experiences in the time between this post and the last one (it has been many days): how I feel about school now that I've been here for about a month, the new multifaith group I joined, moving to Alameda, and of course my new job.  I will get to all of this as soon as I can, but right now I gotta go read an article for my anthro class.  Because I keeps it real.

 Oh my goodness, I'm also SUPER PSYCHED for Halloween coming up, and I will surely be posting pictures of all the holiday amazingness that I see in the next 5 weeks.  Yes, there will be a countdown, and yes, I will be posting pictures every five seconds, so be prepared. GET EXCITED.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Time Flies

Quick post before I rush off to class in a flurry of papers and pencils and books!

Yesterday was my first day of classes, and boy was it long!  I have 5 classes on Wednesdays, as follows: Cross-cultural Perspectives of Women, Contemporary Queer Writers of Color, Intro to Queer Studies, Musicianship, and Early Baroque Ensemble (not necessarily in that order).  The days was definitely long, and as i completed each class I accumulated more and more reading-- for my Queer writers class alone I have 7 books, and then we have to read articles online provided by the professor (who often lost track of what she was talking about during the one hour class yesterday).

Also, I bought my first round of books yesterday-- 10 BOOKS! And I'm not even done buying yet.  I have so much to do, and so little time to do it. But as my coworker told me yesterday, this is the big leagues.  I'll just have to suffer through it.

I'll post a more thorough post when I find the time.... I hope all my fellow college friends are doing well adjusting to their class schedules and such! Much love!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The End of an Era

Last night, Kourtney and I watched the last Harry Potter movie. No, we didn't see it in 3D (I'm personally not a huge fan of 3D, so this obviously not a huge let down for me). It was..... EPIC. I loved it! Well, I love almost all of it- the epilogue was kind of ridiculous, why would they choose to use the original actors?! Giving Ginny bigger hair doesn't make her look 19 years older, it just makes her look like a hooker. It was almost as bad as the book version (which was even more cheesy and sad; not my favorite book ending). But let's not let this minor offense detract from the obvious brilliance of the rest of the movie. Beautiful, people! Seriously, I cried. And not just a little single tear, but many, MANY tears that rolled down my cheeks and soaked the top of my shirt, THAT kind of sappy crying. It was I-can't-believe-I'm-crying-over-fictional-characters crying. It was so bizarre that in between the tears I would kind o f chuckle at the ridiculocity of me actually crying during a Harry Potter movie. I cried for a good portion of the battle, actually. When snape died, and when harry used the pensieve and saw all those memories, I couldn't control the flow of tears from my eyes. It was so tragically sad, his never-ending love for Lily, and even though I knew he was going to die (I've read every HP book multiple times, which is a pretty major spoiler), the emotions I felt watching it were just as strong as when I'd read it on paper. I cried and cried as each lovable character was killed off, and then I cried even more when voldemort was finally defeated (happy tears), and when Harry, Ron and Hermione all stood together at the end, surrounded by rubble, the battle and war finally won, it was the sweetest ending I could have hoped for (in fact, I will just consider that the true ending and ignore the deplorable epilogue). As the credits began to roll, I sat in my theater seat, suddenly profoundly saddened; it was over. There were no more books to be read, no more movies to watch. This was the end of the magical world of Harry Potter that I'd spent the last 12 years frolicking in, and it kind of felt as if my entire childhood and adolescence had effectively closed as the movie ended. It was over. All good things must come to an end.

The whole Harry Potter series has had a pretty large impact on my generation. I mean, I was a mere 9 years old when I first read the Sorcerer's Stone (actually, I read the Prisoner of Azkaban first, I back-tracked and read the Sorcerer's Stone and the Chamber of Secrets later). I had dreams of one day getting my letter from Hogwarts, thinking "Only two more years! Maybe, just maybe.... perhaps if I honestly believe, it will be real." Typical childhood faith. Obviously I never got my letter, either because I'm a muggle through and through, or its truly just a story (I'm inclined to believe the latter), but my love for the enchanting world J.K. Rowling created never faded. I have many memories of those often well-worn books, from the age of 9 until now, memories of reading the 5th book while on vacation in two days, of skipping the chapter about Aragog for years because I was so afraid of spiders I couldn't bear to read about ones bigger than me. I remember days of toting around one of my three copies of the Prisoner of Azkaban, one that I had put stickers all over, and I remember always throwing the book covers away because they were such a nuisance. I remember where I was when I read the chapter where Sirius died.

I know it sounds silly, and on many levels it is. However, for me and my fellow Potter fans, these books represent our childhoods; they bring us back to a time when we believed in magic, when nothing was impossible. We grew up with the characters in the book, as we got older, so did they. I suppose that gives us a connection, a sense of familiarity and unity. To be honest, these books are the few that truly take me out of this world and into a whole different reality, when I read them I'm "In the zone", if you will. I'm truly in the story. And even though the movies were never as good as the books, they still brought to life the magic and wonder of the books, they were essentially the manifestations of the world I had imagined in my dreams, the world I had gobbled up on summer days outside with giant books in my lap.

I don't think my love for HP will ever fade, nor do I want it to. The story is far too amazing to abandon, and I fully plan on reading all the books to my kids when the time comes. I hope they have as much of an impact on them as they did on me. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

This is a test

This is a test. I just got a new blogger app on my phone, and I'm just checking to make sure it works! I had the "official" blogger app by Google, but it sucked. I would type up a post during my commute, and after like 30 minutes of finger typing I'd go to publish, and it would just "load". FOREVER.


Anyway, if you're reading this that means that my new app works. Yay! This means I can post pretty much as soon as I have an interesting thought. Awesome.

Alright, quick update on my crazy life. As of today I still don't have a place to live in the East Bay. School starts in 3 weeks. What else.... I got promoted at work! FINALLY! I'm really excited. I'm now an assistant manager (holla!) And my new manager is super nice and pretty down to earth, thank god.

Did I mention school starts in 3 weeks? I'm kinda freaking out.

I need more guy friends. More on that later.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Apartment Hunting is God's Way of Punishing You

You may have deduced from the title that finding an apartment has not gone well.

As August fast approaches, I'm growing more and more worried because I'm now officially working in the East Bay, and in a month I will be going to school there, too.  I DO NOT want to be hopping from couch to couch when school starts, but I don't want to be so poor I can't afford food, either. And with all these numbers bumbling around in my head (rent, deposit, utilities, tuition, book costs...) I think if I talk about money or payments tonight I might burst into tears. I haven't even spent the money yet, and I already feel its loss, and with that goes the security of knowing that I'll have back up cash just in case I have an emergency.  I feel like I'm being robbed.  I mean, I have all this money saved, and yet I realistically can't even afford to buy a decent pair of shoes.  I feel guilty when I buy lunch for myself when I'm at work. When I'm not working, I try not to leave the house at all, so I won't spend any money.  I feel like a hermit, and I don't like it at all!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Baby Myley!

This post is long overdue.  For all of you who haven't heard the news:

I went up to Grass Valley the weekend of the 18th for my auntie's baby shower. This is her first baby, and she is definitely a long-awaited bundle of joy. My aunt and uncle have been trying to have a baby for a long time, and had pretty much convinced themselves that they couldn't have kids at this point, so when we found out in December that she was expecting we were shocked and super excited! Anyway, I got to Grass Valley Friday night, and Denise (my stepmom) took me to go help set up all the decorations for the baby shower, which had a Hawaiian theme. We spent 4 hours setting up and cooking, getting home at almost midnight. Then we stayed up an extra hour more just gabbing, looking at my grandma's buddy guy pictures, eating leftover chocolate cheesecake from Denise's birthday, etc. I was exhausted, but excited about the next day. I woke up at 8, we left the house at 9, and got to the baby shower at 10 to do some last minute setting up. We were so proud of ourselves because we worked so hard on the decorations, and we anxiously awaited Deanna's arrival. We knew she would be stoked!

Well, when she got there, and the baby shower began, Deanna seemed really distracted, and we wondered what was up. Was she okay? Her due date is near the end of July, so we figured she was just getting uncomfortable; its hard carrying a baby for 8 months! So we eat and talk, and we notice that within an hour Deanna had been to the bathroom about 6 or 7 times. What was up? Was this just pressure on her bladder, making her have to seriously pee every 10 minutes? A little after 1 o'clock Deanna and James pulled Denise aside and told her a secret: Deanna's water had broken early that morning. She was in labor! HOLY CRAP BALLS! When we asked them why they were at the baby shower and not the hospital, they said they knew how hard we had worked on the shower, and they wanted to open presents and games. Can you believe that? So nonchalant, like it was no big deal (I assume they were secretly freaking out, but they played it cool). We were shocked. We urged them to go to the hospital, but they wanted to open presents, so we loomed through all the gifts and then waved goodbye as they got into their truck and drove to sierra Nevada memorial, and we frantically packed everything up, dropped the presents off at their house, and met them in the maternity ward. At this point I knew I wasn't going home that night.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New 'Do?

Time for something new....

I got to do a lot of things in high school. I went to Europe, I got to go to football games and sing all over the place, I explored bad clothing and teen angst (yay....) But one thing I never got to try was a different hair color.

have chopped my hair off- I've tried different hair lengths, so that's all good in the 'hood. In fact, my senior year I chopped off more than a foot of hair in an angsty rage (again, yay....):

Crazy, right?!  However, it all ended well, and I love my curls (and sometimes frizz). However, I really REALLY want to do something wild with the color.  I've been wanting this for years, probably as long as I've wanted a tattoo (which I eventually got in 2009!), but I've been too much of a chicken to go all out.

Well, that ends now!  I'm ready to do something a little crazy and out there. I mean, come on! If I don't like it, I can always cut it off and try again; I'm no stranger to short hair.  So, I've begun my search for the perfect color of crazy hair, and I'm asking anyone who is reading this to give (constructive!) imput.  Keep in mind, it's supposed to look a little crazy, definitely not meant to be Disney Princess worthy! Okay, let's begin:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pictures of Graduation!

Good morning!

Let's do a recap of my awesome life with a few pictures, shall we? To start out, I graduated from College of Marin:

Me and Tashi, fresh out of Commencement

There's nothing in that Folder...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mills Preview Day and Shopping!

Oh goodness, so much to update!

Well, I actually updated the other day, but when I pressed the publish button, EVERYTHING WAS GONE.  I was so pizzled, you don't even know.  I was so angry that I pretty much didn't even check my blogger until today.  I figured that I'd give you a quick update on what's been going on since I last posted.

OKAY! So, last friday I went to Mills with my mom for a "Admitted Students Preview Day" for transfer students.  It was pretty awesome, not gonna lie!  It wasn't an orientation (That's in august, and it's a FOUR DAY ORIENTATION. Seriously?), it was just an informational day so for transfer students so we can be ahead of the game, start signing up for classes, etc.  I met a lot of other transfer students, which was nice.  As per usual, I was a shy caterpillar at the beginning of the day, but by the end I was a social butterfly.  While I was with the transfer students talking about transfer credits and how to log into my Mill e-mail, my mom was participating in the guest tour. When she came back for lunch, she told me it was pretty cool.  She went to one of the music buildings, which supposedly has AMAZING acoustics and a trippy mural of some sort, and she went to the library and met the outrageously enthusiastic librarians (no joke; I also met one of the librarians, and he was crazy in love with databases and books.  He also had a bowtie and jumped up and down with his hands over his mouth when he got excited about something, which was like every thirty seconds.  I think I love him.).  Fun fact, Mills apparently has a page of a Gutenberg Bible and a Mozart manuscript, which makes my new school pretty awesome. Also, before lunch we had a "Mills Meeting" which is basically a group of your peers in a small room talking about all the cool resources Mills has to offer.  I also learned the Mills cheer, which they call SPAM.  It stands for "Strong women, Proud women, All women, Mills women", and is accompanied by hand gestures.  Apparently the students do this cheer all the time.  It's goofy, but I have a feeling I will be doing it A LOT.

After lunch we went to a financial aid meeting (and my mother and I embarrassed ourselves).  It was almost boring, except for the fact that there was this one woman who sat in front of us, off to the side, and she was just.... not from this planet.  She had some serious atttention span issues, and she kept moving things around on the table, shuffling papers and stuff, all while the speaker was talking, and then she checks her blood glucose levels randomly in the middle of the meeting.  And then she burped, which was the point of no return for us-- we just LOST IT.  My mom and I were laughing so hard it was painful, I mean there were serious tears streaming down our faces.  My mom had to turn away from the speaker because she couldn't control herself.  I held my head down in shame as I tried desparately to control the siezing laughter, oh it was terrible.  My whole body was moving!  That's how hard I was laughing.  We pretty much laughed for like 5 minutes.  It was terrible, SHAMEFUL, and awesome.

Those are pretty much the highlights of the day at Mills.  Obviously we did a bunch of other stuff, I think I remembered all the cool stuff.  After we left mills, we drove up to Concord so we could go to the mall and get some clothese for me. My mom paid for it all, which was really generous of her, and thank the Goddess because I have no money at all and my clothes are becoming raggity.  Some days I look tore up from the floor up, I'm not gonna lie.  Anyway, she bought me two new pairs of jeans, two new shirts, a a bunch of underwear (YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!)  and two new bras.  Let me tell you, the girls needed some extra support, and the bras I got are awesome!  Seriously, it's like suddenly my boobs have a place to call their own; they are supported, and yet they aren't completely covered up so I still feel sexy.  They give me a bit of cleavage, which is nice (although, if I were to go to a club or something I would get a push up bra for some extra umph).  I've missed the cleavage.  When I was in high school, I was always wearing shirts that showed off my pretty amazing boobage (I LOVE my boobs), but once I graduated and my bras broke down, I never really recovered.... I started wearing those full support bras that give you zero cleavage, you might as well just wear a tee-shirt.  They were sad and lonely, and needed to be admired!  Well, with these new bras I'm back on track to boobie town!  Another great thing about these new bras is that they are thick enough that my nipples don't poke through when I'm cold, which I LOVE because get cold easily, and I don't to look like I'm smuggling raisins all the time.

Anyway, after that we went to dinner (sushi) and Kourtney called and asked if we wanted to see her show, and even though we were pretty exhausted (we'd been up since 6am and it was 7pm when she called), we drove to Walnut Creek to see the show.  It was a lot of fun, although I probably would've enjoyed it a bit more if I hadn't been so tired.  But I love being able to support her and see her shows, because I know it's important to her. Plus, I get to se them for free, which makes them even more awesome.

SO! That was my Friday!  And now, fast forward to today, just before I began typing this:  It's finals week.  This is the time when men and women are tested, truly tested, and not just on an intellectual level, but on a physical, mental and emotional level.  This is how the girls are separated from the women, and the boys become... bigger boys. =) I am cramming like nobody's business, people!  I just finished an exam, and then I have to go to work, and then go back to school to take another exam!  Then I have a bio exam tomorrow, and a math exam on wednesday.  This shit is for real.  And it's even more important than ever, because passing these exams are what is between me and graduation, not to mention the fact that if I don't pass these classes I won't have junior standing at mills, which means more semesters paying 36,000 dollars a year in tuition.  I mean, I already love Mills, but I the whole point of getting my GE classes done at COM was so that I wouldn't have to spend thousands of dollars a year on classes I could take pretty much for free (I get really good financial aid at COM). I'm planning on four semesters there, five tops.  Unless I go there for grad school.... but that's kind of far in the future, so I'm gonna leave that one on the back burner.  Long story short-- I have to pass these classes!  And I think I can, but I've gotta go study.

Which means I probably shouldn't be updating my blog.  Well, it's too late now!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Another Day...


I have a week left of regular school, followed by finals week, and then I am officially done with College of Marin.  Not that COM hasn't been fun, but I'm ready to be done with these classes and move on.  I'm ready to put my diploma on the wall.  That reminds me, I should probably locate my high school diploma.... kind of important...  Anyway, it's exciting times over here in sleepy San Anselmo!  I'm still on the hunt for an apartment.  I'm actually not sure about the status as far as the living situation goes.  I called Angela and we talked about possible places to live and stuff, and at the time I was confident that the three of us were going to be roommates.  But a couple of days later I texted her and she said she still needed to do research on the cost of commuting and stuff, which made me nervous.  We're on shaky ground at this point, so I'm hesitant to actually ACTIVELY look for a two bedroom apartment, just in case she changes her mind. I know that this is a big decision, and I want her to do all the research she needs to feel comfortable, but at the same time I'm growing impatient because I'm anxious to find a place so I can start establishing a job in the East Bay.  My boss said I would most likely have a place to work in the East Bay at one of the other stores, but they need me sooner than later, and I don't want to have to commute from here to berkeley to get to work everyday.  I really wanna get the ball rolling.  I mean, Kourtney and I already have a list of things we need for the apartment.  We even have a coffee table AND dining room table (hand-me-downs, but still).

We're ready.  We just don't know if Angela is.  I'm not sure where she would live if not with us.  Living in the city is expensive, and I don't think I know any college students who live in the city in an apartment by themselves.  College students are too poor for that! =)

Angela, if you're reading this, I don't mean to rush you, but call me!  Give me some updates, yo!

In other news, today I went to a pizza place called Pizza Orgasmica.  Yeah, that's right. ORGASMICA.  Because these pizzas have the ability to make you orgasm as you eat them, apparently.  Anyway, I have to admit that their pizza is pretty delicious.  I got a personal size pizza with shrimp, corn, roasted red peppers and cheddar cheese (and mozzarella). DELICIOUS. I didn't know shrimp was even allowed on a pizza!  But then again, I did have a baked potato pizza, and I'm pretty baked potatoes aren't supposed to be on a pizza either.  Anyway, I'm really gladI went there and tried something new, because I don't often venture beyond the olive and mushroom toppings on my pizza, plus that restaurant is where we will be having lunch after commencement next saturday. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

What's the Good Word?

Well, I've got a plethora of good words for you today! I've been super busy with the last two weeks of school (wtf, where did the time go?!), and summer is fast approaching.  I've got a shitload (yes, an amount that roughly equals the size of a load of shit) of things to think about, do, etc, and it's all very exciting!

Let me start from the beginning.

I found out last thursday, after much fretting and paranoid mailbox-checking, that I have been accepted into Mills College. This is kind of a big deal (for serious).  To be honest, I'm quite shocked that I got in, and now that I have I'm excited and terrified at the same time.  Mills is a very nice, very expensive private liberal arts college, which will be a nice change of pace for this community college gal, and I'll be living in a different environment filled with free thinkers and feminists (yay!).  I'll be surrounded by super smart women who know what they want in life and are probably super opinionated and talented students.  I haven't met these people, and I'm already intimidated!  At the same time, I'm really excited because hey, they picked me!  That's gotta count for something, right?  Doesn't that mean that I at least have the potential to be one of those talented, opinionated, determined women who knows what she wants? 

Anyway, getting into Mills changes the game, people!  Now I've gotta fill out paperwork, find more scholarships, figure out where I want to live, make more money.... SO MUCH TO DO!!!! And school starts in August, so I've got a lot to do in a short amount of  time.

The biggest thing for me is figuring out where I'm going to live.  I momentarily gave a thought to living on campus, but then I threw that out of the window.  I'm too messy to live with people who don't know me.  Have you seen my room?  I can never keep it clean; I have clothes everywhere, I never make my bed, and my little bookshelf needs some SERIOUS dusting.  It's like a cave.  Plus, I have my quirks-- I like to sleep with the tv on, and I snore.  There are very few people who can tolerate sharing a room with me.

I've given more thought to living off campus.  Kourtney already lives and works in the East Bay, and I would want to live with her (because she can actually tolerate my messiness and my tv habits, and because that's what couples do).  As an added bonus, my friend Angela is going to San Francisco State in the fall, so in theory we could all three be roomies and go on adventures.

I love me some adventures.

However, finding a place that fits all of our needs isn't the easiest thing to do.  If we live in the city, kourtney would have to commute to work, which is all the way in Walnut Creek (the most boring bart ride ever).  If we live in the East Bay, Angela would be commuting to the city for school (definitely doable, but maybe a little too much for a bart newb?).  Plus, renting an apartment requires having money, and I'm not sure how much everyone is capable of contributing.  I know that I probably wouldn't be able to afford a place in the city.  If only we had more time to think about it!  But alas, our time is limited.  I'm lucky enough to work with a company that has other stores in the East Bay, so I will have a job there, but they want me to transfer in June, which is definitely NOT August.  I'm willing to commute for awhile, but I'd rather find an apartment sooner than later. It takes a big chunk of time out of my day to go from Marin to Berkeley.  And sometimes the bus smells. =(

Monday, May 2, 2011

Excuse me as I just brush off the cobwebs that have collected on this blog. :)

It's been awhile since I last updated, which I apologize for, even though I admit that I've been busy (and lazy). Please accept my most humble apologies.

I've been thinking about what my blog is about. At first I wanted this blog to be a place where I gabbed about the various things that interested me in an intellectual way. I wanted to show my readers new things, and be very adventurous- one of those indie loggers, but with a twist because I don't dress like an indie-hipster. I'm more of a hippie/poor person. I really just throw stuff on in the morning, and I don't spend too much time looking fashionable (to my parents' dismay).  Anyway, I've quickly come to realize that I simply don't like planning my blog entries, and by extension, I don't like planning my day around a blog post. I wanna do things just because I want to, not because I have to write about it (even for funzies). I like to write about what moves me. I want to write about my thoughts and feelings, however mundane they may be. And I want to write with less structure, more like a stream of consciousness, which is what I'm more comfortable with.

This poses some potential unpleasantness for me, because a lot of my feelings and thoughts have to do with touchy subjects that I don't often talk about in normal daily life. There are a lot of experiences in my life that I've shared with very few people, if any; many of the stories I want to tell are highly personal in nature and emotionally charged. Some of the things I have to say may offend, although that is not my intent. However, I want to be honest and forthcoming with my stories- I don't want to censor myself just because I don't want to step on anyone's toes.

I've come to realize fairly quickly that this blog is meant to be a place to purge myself of emotions I've been holding onto for far too long. It is a place where I can share parts of myself that need to be expressed, the needy parts and insecure parts, the hopeful parts and wounded parts. This is my own way of cleansing my spirit, I suppose. My experiences need to be shared for selfish reasons: I need to be heard, I need to be validated. I don't need people to necessarily tell me that I'm right or wrong, I don't need people to tell me I'm the best or worst; I don't even need people to comment. Knowing that people read my thoughts is enough. It is my own self validation. My readers are just along for the ride.

I do hope someone reads this blog, and maybe it will be a reminder that as humans in this society we share similar experiences of happiness, guilt, shame, excitement, doubt, joy and sorrow. I'm not some famous writer, and I know that its highly unlikely that reading my blog will be the catalyst that brings about a transformation of someone's life, but that's not really the point of this blog, so I'll try to stay clear of those delusions of grandeur.

Anyway, thanks for those of you who read, and I hope you continue to do so. I'll be updating soon!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Birthday Blues

Oh, birthdays. How is it that the day of my birth is met with so much frustration these days? It's not what you think; I'm not fretting over getting old. I'm friggin 20 years old, I've got my whole life ahead of me (provided that 2012 doesn't actually end with all the creatures on earth dying... or a zombie apocalypse). I'm excited about getting older, and I was really excited about this upcoming birthday considering it is the last interesting birthday until I turn 30. I mean, let's face it, once you turn 21, the rest of your 20s are kinda lame. Twenty-two through twenty-nine are largely neglected because legally, nothing much changes (except when you turn 25 and can officially rent a car) and thirty is only interesting because your twenties have suddenly passed you by and you desperately want to cling to your youth.

Anyway, I've spent my last few birthdays laying low, not wanting to make a big deal out of it because I didn't want to be the brat who always needed attention (even though we all know I'm an attention where at heart) and I struggle with both needing and fearing being the center of the universe. Here's how my birthdays have looked like since middle school:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Posting From a Moving Vehicle

I know, I haven't posted in awhile. My badness! I've been super lazy this past week, and a little busy, too (though mostly just lazy). So the blog had been put on the back burner. Have no fear, I'm still committed to making regular posts! Sometime I just can't be motivated to write (well, type) because it seems like it will take a lot of brain power, and other times I feel that life is so uneventful that there's truly nothing to say. But here I am, still posting! And from a car, no less!

That's right, I'm using my sweet Android phone to update my blog, because I'm awesome.

So, Thursday night I went to my grandma Isoke's house, and I helped her make her own blog. I love my grandma, and she is a very smart, very wise woman. That being said, she's definitely computer literate. Combine that with forgetfulness, and you can probably appreciate the what resulted. I took her to blogger (because I kinda know how it works), and of course you need a Google account thingy.

Me: grandma, do you have an gmail account?

Her: maybe, but I wouldn't remember the address.

Me: okay, it says you do.

Her: well, I don't remember the password.

Obviously that little debacle took some time to sort out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Birthday Cake!

This weekend, as you all know, I spent the weekend up in my hometown, keepin it real (as always) for my brother's 10th birthday party.  Yes, 10 years ago my little brother was born, all 4 pounds of him! Now he's 73 pounds, and as energetic as ever!  I had fun hanging out with my family and eating cake.  Of course,  I took pictures (and videos, although I don't know how to get them off of my cell phone), and I allowed myself to have a grand ol' time.  So here's how my weekend went:

In order to catch the earliest Amtrak train, I spent the night at Kourtney's house, which is closer to the station than my house.  I woke up at 6:30 (yes, in the morning!!!!) and made my way to the bus stop with a very groggy Kourtney (my sweety loves me enough to roll out of bed just to walk me across the street; how lucky am I?!).  We had just missed the bus, but luckily another one came about 7 minutes later.  I kissed baby goodbye, hopped on the bus with all the early risers, and headed toward my destination!  The train ride to Sacramento was not too bad, and I was lucky enough to have a very polite seat buddy-- we ate our breakfast together in silence as we made our way through Martinez, Fairfield, and Davis (she had a bagel, I had a Dr. Pepper).  The thing I hate most is having to get off the train and wait for your connecting bus. Nine times out of ten, it's cold and windy.  I'm never prepared for this, despite bringing two sweatshirts and wearing pants.  I'm notorious for being fantastically freezing no matter how many layers I have on.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Using my Phone

Yay! Another post from my phone! Okay, so I'm currently away from my computer, but I wanted to make a post, so I'm using my phone to post. Just so you know, I'm still not used to the qwerty touch typepad, so if I have some serious spelling and grammar errors, you'll know why.

I just got a new app on my phone which basically lets me do cool effects for pictures. I've been fooling around with it this week, and as a photography newb, I'm please with my progress. If I can figure it out, I'll post some on here. Be gentle with your criticism; remember, I'm a newb.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This is the view from my school. The sleeping lady is beautiful from afar!

Spam is Lame!

Okay, so I've gotten some complaints from friend who have tried to comment on the blog and weren't able to.  And here I was, whining to myself because no one was commenting! Now I know why.  So, I went and changed the settings for comments, which means all my peeps out there can make comments and they will actually post.  However, they will be moderated, just so I don't get a buttload of spam.  Spam is lame!

Get it? I thought it was funny...

I didn't post yesterday because I procrastinate.  Awesome. So I had to go write some essays and do math homework.  Also, Kourtney came over and we spent the day eating delicious food and watching comedy specials.  She knows how to treat me like a queen.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Embracing the Blessings of Warm Weather

I didn't have time to post yesterday because it was such a BEAUTIFUL day, I had to go enjoy it a little.  So, after working in the morning to the early afternoon, my friend Tashi and I took a quick walk to one of the local parks in our area.  We grabbed a few snacks and made it a picnic!  I took my camera with me, so here are a few shots of the area:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shout-Outs and Prayer Beads

Oh, Hump Day.  You are not dreary like Monday, and yet you're not nearly as fun as Friday.

So, first-- a couple of shout outs!  The first one goes out to my Grandma Isoke for reading my blog!  I called her the other day during a power outtage (multiple towns were without power... I was at work and had to sell body products in the dark. Not fun.), and she commented on how she liked my blog and wanted to learn how to make one.  I told her it was easy, and that I would teach her the next time I visited.  This comes from the person who just realized you can change the size of photos:

A Pic of a Hamburger I Ate One Time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ndeya's Squee of the Week

Okay, so I have something to squee about!  I got a new cell phone, and it's WAY COOLER THAN THE LAST ONE I HAD!!!!!


Okay, so here's the deal.  I got my first phone about six months after I graduated from high school (I know, I know, I was way behind. Get over it.).  I was really excited because it was my first big purchase, and I was paying for it all on my own.  It was an exciting moment for me. I got myself the Pantech Matrix:

That's actually exactly how it looked, because I did indeed get the red one.  I thought it was so awesome, the bees knees, if you will.  Well, flash forward to 2011-- it's not so awesome anymore.  I can't use the internet, and even if  I could, the browser would make me cry (I've been spoiled by my iPod Touch).  It's also kind of bulky, and it was beginning to show signs of cell phone death. So, after being a loyal customer since 2008, I decided it was time for an upgrade.

It's Tuesday Already?

I know, I know. I haven't posted in three days. I have an excuse!!!!!

Okay, so I didn't post friday or saturday simply because weekends are usually when all I do is work (yes, I also work during the week, but usually shorter hours so I can get my homework done and go to school), and I feel that people are out and about on weekends anyway, so they probably won't have time to read my blog anyway. So, I will most likely keep my posts on weekdays.  Also, on Sunday I began doing research paper that was due... yesterday.

Yes, I'm a huge procrastinator. Sue me! Anyway, I spent most of monday researching/writing this 5-8 page pager, and ended up with 7 pages right in time for my class!  And when I got there, I was informed that the research paper deadline had been moved to NEXT monday. On the plus side, I have a whole week to tweak it (I probably won't even look at it until next week, just being honest).  However, all that time I spent writing that paper (4 hours) I could have been BLOGGING. And I'm never getting those hours back! So, I apologize to the few who read this blog consistently.  Please, keep reading! I will be updating on a regular basis, no fear!!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Craft of the Week: Knitting!

I woke up this morning and thought "What should I do today? Oh yes, update my totally awesome blog!"

Then I went to work and forgot all about it.  So here I am now updating, trying despartately to think about what I'm going to blog about as I stall by finishing this sentence... Ah, yes.  Let's do a craft of the week.  And since this is my blog, I'm gonna start off with something I know: Knitting.

If I had a basket of yarn, it would be a basket of RAINBOW yarn. Just sayin.
 I know what you're thinking: Ndeya, knitting is so lame, only old women with 3+ cats talk about knitting.  This is where you would be wrong.  Oh so wrong.  Because knitting is actually kind of fabulous, and here's why:
  • It can be relaxing!  I often knit when I'm stressed out.  The constant motion of the hands and fingers kind of lulls you into calmness and contentment.  It's definitely a stress reliever.
  • It focuses your energies into a single goal:  finish the project! When you're knitting something with an intricate pattern, or just something that requires a little more brain power than the regular knit-purl-repeat I use so often in my knitting projects, you're gonna need to keep count of how many stitches and rows you have to follow the pattern.  If you don't you will end up in knitting hell-- there will be tears, and trust me, no matter how loud you yell at your yarn it will not add the stitches you lost, nor will make accidentally added stitches disappear.  It's important to keep your focus so your end result is favorable.  As an added bonus, focusing on the knitting helps you to focus less on how much your life might suck.
  • You can make stuff you'll actually use!  As an avid scarf wearer, I can attest to this.  And you can make more than just scarves (although, to be honest, that's all I've been able to officially complete when it comes to knitting projects... I'm still a novice, forgive me).  You can knit socks, vests, shirts, pants, dresses, potholders, bookmarks, purses, bags, babie booties, hats, headbands, gloves, mittens, legwarmers....  These are all things you can use or wear on a daily basis, which is why knitted gifts are always so awesome.
  • You feel really cool after you've finished a project.  I always think about how probably millions of women used to knit/crochet/cross stitch all the time to make clothes, and we just take it for granted.  I'm just saying, it's a little kick-ass, don't you agree?
So, I took a couple of quick pics of a selection of scarves I have out of the DOZENS I have in my collection (I love scarves. Seriously.).  I picked them out because I know they are handmade with love and I wear them often.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Um... Photo Montage?

First off, let me squee a little as I announce this blog has had 34 views in three days. *squee!*

I know, it's only 34 views, but hey, that's better than zero views!  I'm kicking ass!  Anyway, I've realized that I have another segment I want to do, and I don't really have a name for it yet, but this is how it's gonna work: I'm gonna post a picture from my life (a picture of some significance) and I'm going write the story behind it.  That way, those of you who don't know me can get to know me, and those of you who do know me can reminesce with me. 

Alright, let's get this started! Let me dig through my photo library......

Our Altar From Last Year's Harvest Feast
  This is a picture of the Altar we created for our annual Harvest Feast.  We started the Harvest Feast two years ago, when I (an eager baby pagan fascinated with all things Halloween) decided I wanted to do Halloween MY way.  I didn't want to go out drinking (I'm not old enough to drink anyway), and I didn't want to go trick or treating (you're NEVER too old to go trick or treating, but I wasn't feeling it that year).  I wanted to celebrate my favorite month of the year, spend time with family and friends, and really embrace this alternative way of experiencing my favorite holiday.  So I told my mom we were having a dinner party on October 31st.  It was happening, no backing down, we were gonna make a buttload of food and stuff our faces whether she liked it or not.  She agreed, and so began our Annual Harvest Feast.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting Structured

Okay, let's give this blog a little structure!

If I had my way, I'd be taking classes everyday to learn about a multitude of things: anything from mythology (roman, greek, native american, egyptian, japanese, chinese... pretty much all kinds of mythology from a bunch of different cultures) to knitting.  Unfortunately I'm unable to take 50 classes a year just for fun, so I've been limited to what I can learn through books and on the internet.  However, with the creation of this blog, I've decided to branch out.  If the information can't come to me, I will seek it out, and I'm hoping that this blog will help me accomplish that goal.  With that said, here's the plan:  I'm giving this blog a little structure.  I'm the kind of girl who appreciates a little form and focus in her life, so I've decided to do some weekly and daily segments to my blog. I've narrowed it down to the following segments:

Random Picture Montage

Because I take pictures a lot, I thought I'd do a little picture montage so you get a feel for who I am. 

If you don't already know, I'm kind of a weirdo. Anyway, let's commence with the pictures.

Me in the car

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Adventures in my Hometown

A few weeks ago I made my way up to my hometown to see my sister perform in a community play.  She played Beauty Rose in Beauty and the Beast.  I know what you're thinking: isn't her name Belle in Beauty and the Beast? Well, this was not the Disney version.  In fact, this particular performing arts group is headed by adults who write their own original scores and scripts for popular play titles.  I could spend all day talking about how much I think they SUCK at writing and composing, but this isn't about but let's not get into that.
Let me tell you, despite having to say/sing terrible lines from a terrible script, she was fabulous.  I wasn't allowed to take pictures during the show, but I managed to get a couple of shots of her in her outfit after the show:

I took this right before her smile fell off.
 I was very proud of her performance!  Her voice was beautiful, and she actually acted without being super corny and over-animated like some of the other kids in the cast.  Of course all of the kids did well, but she was a mile above all the others when it came down to it.  I was a little shocked-- this was my little sister, the one who likes to stick her feet in my face when I'm sitting on the couch, the little sister who I still think of as dorky 10 year old I left behind when I moved out of the house.  There she was, on stage; she was a whole different person.  She had poise and grace, she was mature and talented, and I felt conflicting emotions when I saw her perform.  On the one hand, I was so happy for her and proud that she was so talented.  On the other hand, I was saddened that it wasn't me.