Bank of Americant

March 1, 2012

Day 29,

This isn’t the first blog about the evils of big banks and I’m sure it won’t be even my last. I opened an account with BOA constrictor of my money 2 years ago. I was with a local bank, but it was under my parents account, which I don’t recommend. Also, I was traveling a lot and every time I needed to withdrawals I ran into fees. Now I run into fees for everything.

My first fee was just for having a checking account. They said they’d wave it the first year. Then I got a letter saying they were gonna start charging for checking accounts whether or not you had direct deposit. I threw a fit. I went into the bank ready to close my account. They said they would wave the fee if I went paperless and ebanking, which meant I never actually went into a bank and used a teller. I signed up.

The evil fee they conspired up next everyone knows about. BOA wanted to charge $5 a month to use a debit card. They were trying to cut their losses, by screwing over their customers. The audacity. I was ready to join the fight and switch banks when BOA finally had to bend over and take it from the poor folk and dropped the fee.

The hidden fee. I was going through my savings account transaction when I noticed a $6 deduction. I had no idea what it could be. From what I could see from the BOA app all it said your “account exceeded the 2…” then it cuts off. When I went home and checked my computer it proceeded to say that I exceeded my withdrawal limit for the month. What is that about? So I called customer service, which is always fun. So when I finally was connected to an operator I told her about my problem. She went on to say that you can only withdraw 3 times a month from your savings account. First off why does my bank care how many times I take money from my savings? I then told the woman that I was unaware of this restriction and I was never alerted or notified I was going to be or was charged. I never check my savings account since I rarely use it. I usually put most my money in my savings just to feel financial pressure to keep me frugal. It was Christmas time so I needed extra money for presents. If I was aware of this fee I wouldn’t have transferred so much to my savings after I get paid. I asked her to wave the fee. She said she couldn’t. She said that it was a clear fee that we accept when we open the account. I preceded to tell her that the banker that opened my account never told me of this fee. She said its in the pamphlet, in my monthly bank statement, or maybe I forgot what the banker said. This is where I got irritated. I said I’m paperless ebanking so I don’t get a bank statement, and even if I forgot what the banker said when I opened my account that was 2 years ago! I told her that I didn’t have time to research and remember every possible fee I might run into. She continued to say there was nothing she could do. Bullshit. This was also the first time this happened and I wouldn’t have done it if I had known. She then told me that this happened in november. Now I’m pissed. This could have been happening for a long time. I said this is ridiculous and not worth keeping my account. I asked to speak to her superior. She said they would tell me the same thing. I didn’t care. The time it took to connect to her customer service manager I was able to calm myself down. I tried to remember what Dale Carnegie said in “How to win friends and influence people”. Deep breaths.

When the manager got on the phone I preceded to tell her the exactly the same thing, but in a calm respectful tone. I explained my frustration not only with the fees, but with myself that I had made this mistake multiple times without being aware of it. She was completely understanding and saidi she appreciated my concerns. Then she waved the fee. Victory!

I guess the other chick was wrong. I wanted to get her on the phone and say and thats why when you don’t get what you want get a superior. But don’t bank of it.

Monthly challenge

February 29, 2012

Day 28,

I realize that since the beginning of the new year I’ve given myself a new challenge every month. Granted its only february and that’s just 2 months I think I’ll keep up the challenge. January I started blogging every day. I’ve kept it up so far without missing a day. This month I’m on the hypoallergenic diet and soon will be ending my suffering. What should my challenge be next month? I don’t have a lot of time to work with so it has to be simple and doable.

Blogging every day has been quite a challenge. I don’t think I’ll last a whole year. I think every day is more than an average reader cares to read anyways. I do like finding subjects to write quick blurbs about, but I no longer write long research stories. So I think I’ll eventually cut back.

Hypoallergenic diet has been a nightmare, but a good learning experience. I’ve learned a lot about my body and the role food plays in my life. I do love buying and eating fruits and veggies. It makes me feel like a responsible adult. I will definitely take away life long lessons from this 29 day diet hell.

So what challenge will March hold. I’m already doing lent. Maybe I’ll just be more committed to my lent. I need a daily challenge though. One that will be obvious and keep me honest. It has to be daily or I won’t stick with it.

Due to the theme of lent I’ll commit to read one Bible passage a day. My boyfriend’s grandpa did say he’d pay me $150 bucks to read it in its entirety. A chapter a day won’t take to long. I’ll start… in the beginning, even though the Old Testament can be quite frightening. I’ll probably have many questions for God after each reading. Hopefully He’ll provide the answers. Nonetheless, I’ll have a richer spiritual life or just richer.

Vagina Monologues

February 28, 2012

Day 27,

I’m sorry what did you say? Did my vagina stutter?  I’ve heard of vagina monologues, but never really knew what it was all about. I didn’t plan on ever going to one either. Well till my boyfriend asked if I wanted to go to one coming to town. Shocking I know. Well he was going to get extra credit in his sociology class for it. He even invited my mom and sister. So the four of us went. to go hear what vaginas have to say.

I was totally surprised. It was hilarious. I don’t even think I can do it justice. I’ll just talk about my favorite talking vagina. It was dressed in leathers, held a whip, and was 60 years old. The monologue was about an accountant who became a professional woman pleaser. Like a lesbian gigolo. She talked about how she was an extremely load moaner. The men she was with thought she was weird and too eccentric. She later realized that she loved her loud boisterous moan and loved helping other women achieve their moan. Then she went on to describe all the other types of moan. It was hilarious. I won’t even try to describe them all I’ll just list a few. There was the catholic moan, breathy, dog panter, jewish, student, masculine, ect. I don’t even remember them all. The best part was watching this 60 year old woman play each one out with so much passion and without reserve.

The whole show wasn’t all quirky hilarious monologues. A little less than half was stories about women who have endured injustice and were sexually tortured. Some of those monologues were extremely hard to listen to. I can’t imagine going through the torment that some women have endured from rape, sexual violence, genital mutilation, and sex slavery. I’ve also learned that 1 billion women have been victims of these crimes. 1 billion. What kind of world do we live in where this is acceptable?

Luckily, there are causes like this to give these women a voice and to come together to fight injustice. I’m so glad I got to be apart of it. There were a few awkward times sitting between my boyfriend and my mom and sister during some of the scenes, but I think it would be weirder if it wasn’t. After going I definitely feel empowered. I feel like women have a hard time talking about their bodies, me included. Plenty of men brag about their junk. It’s mentioned in most rap songs. So why should women never talk about or be proud of their VaJJs? From now on I will not be shy or embarrassed about couchy snorcher. 

If you want to be apart of this here is a link to become involved. VDAY


February 27, 2012

Day 26,

Its the day where the film industry celebrates its continued controlled over shaping our culture. Isn’t it enough that we spend billions seeing there movies, watching tv shows dedicated to their personal lives, and read gossip magazines about who they are dating or broke up with. We copy their fashion, hairstyles, overall lifestyle. They create a longing for a standard of living that 99% of us will never obtain. They show us what’s beautiful, desirable, and normal. They have all this power of us just from lines in a script in front of a camera. Their job is meant for our entertainment. Nothing more. So why do we revolve our lives around theirs. Why do I care who they are sleeping with, what’s in their house, and most of all wearing?

If we quit caring they would lose control. Without us movies wouldn’t exist. While the economy has left most of us struggling to survive why do we promote and praise people who are getting paid millions to merely entertain? They aren’t saving lives, inventing new technology, making the world a better place. I just don’t understand our cultures obsession with movie “stars”. Today millions of people will watch the academy awards to see their idols dress up in clothes that could a family for a year. Why is this ok? It’s not like we are all movie critics and understand a fraction of what goes into the films we obsess over. We didn’t vote. I bet you most people watching the oscars haven’t even watched all the movies nominated.

Now don’t get my wrong I love movies. I live for movies. It’s my place to escape. It’s where my imagination runs wild. It’s wear I cry, scream, laugh, and fall in love all in 2 hours. I got my degree in film and couldn’t imagine a better college experience.

I don’t hate the academy awards. I just hate celebrity obsession. Some day I want to be at the oscars. I don’t care what I wear or who I sit with… well if there is a free seat next to Spielberg. Let’s focus on what movies are really about… another world and getting to be apart of it. Not what celebrity are wearing.

5 days till dairy

February 26, 2012

Day 25,

5 more days till I can starting adding the good stuff back into my diet. I can’t wait. I only get to add one item every other day and I’ll eat it 3 times that day. Then I keep track of how my body responds to each item. If my doesn’t react negatively then I’m not allergic to it and I move on to the next item. I’ve thought long and hard about what food item I’m going to reincorporate first, but it’s a hard decision.

If I start with eggs I can make omelets, but no bacon or sausage in them. If I add beef first for a juicy burger I can’t have the bun or cheese. Starting with adding gluten lets me eat breads and cereal, but I still can’t have milk. What about dairy? That includes, milk, butter, cheese, chocolate. Perfect.

So here is my reintroduction list

1. Dairy (day 1)
2. Gluten (day 3)
3. Eggs (day 5)
4. Meat (day 7)
5. Soda (day 9)

Then officially I can have pizza again… wait that’s 9 extra days. Ahhhh. Stupid never ending diet. I just pray I’m not allergic to anything that goes on pizza. Even if I am on day 10 I’m ordering the biggest pizza you’ve ever seen and having it for every meal that day. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Next big question will be what kind of pizza and from where. I’ll save that quest for another blog.

I’m so afraid that after fasting for 28 days all the foods I love I’ll go on a binge. I’m actually glad that I have to reincorporate each food item over a long period of time. My family thinks I’m wasting away, but I believe they just associate diet with losing weight. My digestion is better, but the scale or my jeans haven’t changed. Due to this I hope that I don’t go overboard on overindulgence. I’ll just have to take it slow… one slow miserable food craving day at a time.

A Missing Angel

February 25, 2012

Day 24,

He lies there, in bed, alone and isolated, staring into the picture of what he loved most. The picture, although a simple standstill image, seemed to stare back at him, as though he was transparent. He looked away and drug himself out of bed to turn off the light. Once he returned to his bed, he laid there, his mind racing. Racing with all the memories of the countless nights he had taken for granted. As his recollection occurred within his mind, his senses began to synchronize with his thoughts. A warmth was felt over the front side of his body, as if the majestic body he once held was there. His heart began to slow as his eyes gently closed. His soft breaths brought a peace upon him. As he laid there, overcome with a false paralysis, his imaginary scene that he replayed in his head began to fade away. He awoke. Realizing what had happened, he grinned in satisfaction. Then, glancing
down at his shirt, an old, retro Nike tennis shirt, he took comfort in knowing there was still a presence of his love. Although not physical, he could still sense it and feel it. He then turned to his side and closed his eyes, letting the presence overtake him, and drifted off into a peaceful sleep.

Excerpt from “A Missing Angel”
Author: Gabe Gutierrez

Goodnight my angel

Not for single girls

February 24, 2012

Day 23,

“Doesn’t sound like a trip for a single girl.” This is what someone told me yesterday. Now this statement might make sense if I was heading to the Middle East or Tijuana alone at night. However, the statement wasn’t due to one’s concern for my safety. So why was it said? That’s a good question.

Here’s how it went.

Facebook post by a friend:

“I’m doing Bishop in May, and I’m looking for an amateur photographer/videographer that wants to record the trip.”

This is one of those friendships that is a few personal hangouts away from being a real friend. He is a rock climber and Bishop is a rock climbing hot spot. Even though I’m more than just an amateur photographer I thought some people hanging from rocks would be a great addition to my portfolio.

Here’s my response and the web it spun into.

Me: Ummmm. Pick me.

Him: Uuuum are you sure? You and 5 dudes, camping, and fire pitting while we climb for 4 days?

Me: Ha I didn’t even check who was going. I mean I expect privacy when I pee in the bushes.

Him: Doesn’t sound like a trip for a single girl. 

Whoa… slow down mister. This is 2012 in California right? He can’t be serious. Does he think I can’t handle camping, fires, rock climbing, testosterone? And what is a trip for a single girl anyways? Driving to the mall or getting my nails done? I want to know what trips single girls are going on nowadays. I’ve traveled in Europe by myself. I’ve gone hiking and mountain biking in the woods alone. I’ve left the airport on a 4 hour layover in Istanbul and took a bus into the city… alone. I’ve driven a truck with an EcoJohn portable toilet (it burns the waste with propane) from Southern to Northern California all by myself. I’ve gone running through the mountains in Nepal with a buddy… oh wait no I was unaccompanied by a man or a flock of dainty girlies. 

Also, if I’m camping with 5 “men” I wouldn’t be a single girl would I? I’d be a girl with 5 guys. So if anything big and scary came to feast on flesh the big strong men could save me… even if I could run faster then probably most of them. Guys go on camping trips and forget that they work in a cubicle watching their gut not so slowly expand wondering if their wife was generous to cook something they liked. We all know it won’t be the game they hunted, but generic factory slaughtered beef burger. Am I ranting? Sorry it’s just what us single girls do. Back to the conversation.

My Sister came to my defense

Sis: have you spent anytime with my sister? The only footage would be of her looking back asking you all to hurry up. You know her motto is “you can sleep when you’re dead”?

What a good sister. Us single girls have to stick together.

Him: Anna- I’m CERTAIN she would destroy us all.

Me: Yes I would. And no place for a single girl? I am assuming you aren’t friends with rapists. And that you aren’t sexist. 

Him: I am not friends with any rapists that I am aware of. And am not sexist, that I can think of. I figures that a group of married guys taking a woman on a camping trip might give an incorrect impression. 

Me: I’m a photographer not a stripper for a bachelor party, but if you guys can’t distinguish between the two when a woman is added to the mix then I’ll understand… not really.    

This is where it gets tricky.

Him: can’t tell via Facebook if this was meant as a joke or not. So I just want you to know that nothing offensive:hurtful/annoying/upsetting/mildly irritating was intended. I have been known to be slightly uptight about perception, so please know that is where this is coming from.

Did I got to far? Darn sensitive men. Or maybe he’s just apologizing in public because I made him look like a sexist… I mean made himself look like one. 

Rather than continue a conversation that went down serious ally publicly he then texted me. I’m not actually going to include word for word what he said because it got a little too personal. Here’s the gist.

Him: Hey my buddie’s wives might not like having some cute photographer along with them. 

Yikers. I did not intend for this to happen. Well of course it’s not a ridiculously obscure reason. If guys would just keep it in their pants more and not use it as a brain substitute plenty more wives won’t need to fret over their husbands. Some women will always worry, but that is more their insecurities and trust issues. I say when you are dating someone let him hang out with all the hotties he wants and find out sooner than later. Of course this isn’t fool proof so don’t hold me accountable. Back to the interaction.

Me: I won’t ever respond upset on Facebook. What I said wasn’t out of anger. I mean it’s frustrating that certain guidelines have to be set. And I didn’t mean to put you in the position to feel like you had to explain yourself… For that I’m sorry. I’ll just wait for 5 heterosexual girls to go on a rock climbing camping trip and are in need of a photographer.

Him: Hahahahahahahahahaha! Don’t be bummed. I’ll see if you can be the video crew and how this might still work?

Oh no now he is trying to compromise. I don’t even think I want to go anymore. If he had said from the start, “oh great. Amy I would love you to come and shoot for us.” then it would have felt normal and natural. Now it feels like a big deal. I feel like I’d have to go through an interview process to make sure I’m not going for the wrong reason, “Oh this isn’t nude rock climbing. Never mind then.”

Me: Don’t change everything around. Seriously don’t stress about it. Besides you wouldn’t want me anyways. I would want to cook real food and not frank and beans, I’m trained in CPR and first aid, I don’t own a brush, only shave once a week, never hold in farts, and would want my dog to come  But she’s a girl too. So I’ll just wait for the girl trip.   

Him: Now I’m uncomfortable.

Me: Success. I’m only kidding. Besides I doubt you are uncomfortable. You seem like the type that thrives on awkwardness. Anywho. Have a good day. 

The conversation ended with him getting off the hook and me not becoming the campsite hooker. Damn. I guess I have to find a trip that is single girl suitable. Mall anyone?

another banished single girl

Off we go to grandma’s… retirement house?

February 23, 2012

Day 22,

Yesterday I found out that my grandma is moving to a retirement home. My uncle, her first born, was given the responsibility to take care of her after my grandpa passed. Lately she has been a little forgetful, but doesn’t that happen to everyone? She could use more interaction with others and exercise, but isn’t that our responsibility as her family? Aren’t we supposed to look after our elders not ship them off and pay someone else to do it?

When I was visiting my grandma today I was overwhelmed with guilt for not being there for her that I broke into tears. If only I had visited more, cooked and cleaned for her, been a responsible granddaughter maybe she wouldn’t have felt the pressure to leave her home for assisted living. I used to come over once a week to fix dinner and I haven’t in a long time. I know she already feels guilty that she’s needs driven everywhere even though I view it as returning the favor for when she used to be my chauffeur as a kid. There is so much I should do for and with her. One of my biggest regrets in life is not spending enough time with my grandparents. I miss the ones that have passed and she is my last one. So for Lent I’m going to make her a meal once a week even though she deserves much more than that.

What makes me more upset than her moving is that my uncle made the decision without anyone else’s consent. Doesn’t ask my mom, his sister, if she think grandma needs to move or even where she might belong. He already picked a place on the other side of town closer to him and extremely further from me. What’s even more disappointing is that my mom hasn’t said anything to refute his decision. She’s such an outspoken woman so why does she cower at confrontation with her brothers? That’s not how we were raised. My mom even told me to make sure to discuss such decisions with my sister when her and my dad get old. Why should I if she won’t? I’ll just stick her in a home and my sis will find out when she drives to mom’s house and no ones there.

Another reason I’m pissed is that I noticed my grandma’s jacuzzi was missing. My other uncle got whiff that she was downsizing and came over to capitalize on it. Is that how it’s going to be? Everyone just comes over and takes what they want. Bring in the Uhauls? It feels like she’s already passed and everyone is grabbing what they can like a black Friday rush, first come first serve. This is bullshit. This is my grandma’s life. If she doesn’t have room for both her tv then she call sell one or put extra stuff in storage. When she asks if I wanted any of her books I got uncomfortable. I don’t want anything. It’s still yours grandma. You have plenty of years to read all those books. Everyone leave her stuff alone. She’s still alive!!!

It looks like I’m limited in my options. I could call up my uncles and yell at them for their insensitivity, but I believe that is my mom’s job.  I could try to convince my grandma to stay, which I’m currently working on. My last resort is telling her I will move in and take care of her myself. I’ve contemplated this many times. My biggest concern is that she constantly worries about me. When I’m traveling she always wants me to call when I get home from my destination no matter if it’s 3am. Since I work until midnight most nights I don’t want her waiting up for me or worrying. Also, I’m not home very often as it is with work and school so I’m not sure how much assistance I’ll really be. I feel so conflicted. What can I do? I guess for now I’ll be with her as much as I can. Everyone spend time with their grandma. They are the best, but mine is even better. 

John Wayne is our favorite


February 22, 2012

Day 21,

Lent: the spiritual preperation through fasting and penitence the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

Fasting: the giving up of all food or certain foods for a period of times for religious observance.

Repentance: confession and remorse for committed sin.

The purpose of lent is to prepare spiritually through repentance, confession, and sacrifice for the remembrance of the Resurrection of Christ. However, lots of people will choose to participate in Lent as a way to make a health choice rather than expand their faith. Most people I know use lent as a way to rid their lives of any sort of distraction or overindulgence. For example, I’ve had friends give up, Facebook, sugar, music, Starbucks, ect.

No matter why you are partaking in Lent there are many things we can do without and fasting for Lent is a good way to rid our dependence of them. My mom said she is going to give up tv. I wonder what she’ll do with all that time. This made me think about what I was going to give up this year. Since I’m on a hypoallergenic diet I’ve already given up all tasty foods and drinks. I only watch tv at work. I see movies maybe once a week. I quit listening to music in the car to give me some quiet time. I’m not a Facebook or any social media addict. For the first time ever I can’t think of anything to give up. I must be a saint!

I’m sure I could think of a few things I could do without for 40 days. Can I fast work? Paying bills? Shaving? I’m sure my boyfriend would love that. I only shave my legs once a week anyways. Also, I don’t know how that would help with a spiritual rejuvenation. I doubt Mother Mary shaved her legs, but she didn’t have an option.

I’m determined to find something for lent. I love the challenge. It’s great when you put your body and mind through a strenuous exercise in self-control and succeed. My first chai after giving it up for Lent was one of the best tasting chais.

If you have ideas for me let me know.

Ok so I did some research and found some creative ideas for lent. Here is what some people fasted.

1. Money, donate a certain amount a week to a charity
2. Warm water in their showers (I already do this if I’m second to shower)
3. The last word in arguments (that might be good for me)
4. Time, volunteer a couple hours a week
5. Shopping (my mom and sis should fast this)
6. Clothes, give some away
7. Plastic bags, bring reusable bags
8. Tardiness or making others wait for you (this might be the winner)
9. Snooze button (I specifically set my alarm earlier to factor in a snooze)
10. Complaining (good thing I never do this)

I guess I do have a few things to choose from. I wish I had something more tangible to fast like alcohol. At least then I could splurge on Fat Tuesday and the day after Easter. If I give up arguing I can’t just go out on an argue fest after 40 days. Where’s the reward in that?

Ok it’s settled. For lent I’m going to fast… drumroll… tardiness. I always seem to put my own schedule before anyone else’s. I guess I developed this bad habit because my mom always made her time the most important in the family. We would always be waiting for her and she could never wait for anyone. Now I refuse to wait a minute longer than I need to, but won’t hesitate to put anyone else on hold. This can get tricky when planning anything with my mom.

Tardiness and time selfishness is my sacrifice this Lent. I guess this means not being an hour late to church either. Don’t want to keep God waiting. Heaven forbid… for only 40 days though.

1 gallon of water a day

Are you there God? It’s me, Amy.

February 21, 2012

Day 20

Hello? Is anyone out there? There is much debate on this question. From anywhere to God, supreme beings, and aliens many people believe that we aren’t alone. I’m one of these people. My faith has been challenged in many ways throughout my life. Being a skeptical, pessimistic, feminist I’ve definitely had my struggles, questions, and doubts about my faith. I’m not looking for any answers or arguments to persuade me in any way. I just want to share my experience and it can be taken however you like.

I normally don’t talk about or share my faith and really personal thoughts with anyone, but I’m comforted because no one reads my blog. So here I go. My “epiphany” happened at church. Cliche I know. I was an hour late and was mostly paying attention to the sermon. It was something about the Holy Spirit, which can make plenty, including me, very uncomfortable. As the pastor finished his spiel and invited people to come for prayer I had that same question I normally do, “Should I go up there?”. I figure that God likes to put me through unlimited discomfort and humbleness so I figure I’m always expected to go to the front. I know. Strange. Well I fought the guilt and just started praying for my sister. God can’t blame me for that. When she got her adequate prayer dose I moved on to my boyfriend. He isn’t a Christian. This is a big stigma in the church circle, but he is the most open spiritually than any of my religious boyfriends. He goes to church with me every Sunday and prays for me when I’m having a hard time. My first boyfriend went to church out of family guilt and pressure more than anything else. We both grew up in the church so we continued the tradition… when we felt like it. My second boyfriend was a Missionary. You would think that scored me some heaven points. Well we both worked for the church and became bitter of some leaders misuse of money. Also, he was extremely conservative so we fought over certain religious doctrine. Also, we never shared any personal religious experiences. Probably because we didn’t have any.

Back to my heathen boyfriend. I prayed that I would do my best to be the example of a good Christian for him. You know the loving, non-hypocritical kind. I also prayed that I would help him on his path to whatever he wanted to do. Sometimes I fear I’m just a hindrance in his life…. like a distraction from him finding his true calling. Well all of a sudden a voice in my head, call it what you will, said, “You could never get in the way of the plan I have for his life. How could you think you haven’t made his life better. You make people’s life better.” I immediately broke into tears. I hate crying. Hate. I will use ever fiber in my being to hold back tears. Nothing could hold them back. I hate feeling vulnerable and even while I write this I’m starting to regret opening up. No one’s reading is what I keep telling myself.

After I heard God speak inside my head I quickly asked the question, “Then why am I being punished? Why won’t you heal my hip?”. I believed that God didn’t want me to get back to my active life. “God, do you think I’ll run away and busy up my life with physical activities again?”. The voice responded with, “No. I don’t want you to run away from yourself. I want you to create. I made you to create. No matter what you do you are made to create. Don’t worry about your job. I will provide the supplies. Just create.” This hit me pretty hard. This past year I’ve challenged myself creatively in many ways that I would have never made time for previously.

Sports and physical activities have been my life up till a year ago when I hurt my hip. I’ve always been active. I love the physical strain on my muscles. I love to sweat. Dripping with sweat. I love to be sore. So sore I can hardly walk. Sports have always been my release, my refuge, my source of confidence. If I failed at everything I knew that I could go on the tennis court and kick ass. My self-worth was intertwined with my athletic skills. If someone asked how good I was at tennis I’d say better than most and you wouldn’t have a chance. If someone asks about any of my creative skills, whether photography or film I’d shrug and say alright, or average. Even though my family would give me confirmation or praise I would just right it off as a obligatory family duty.

I no longer have the fear of failure to prevent me from trying. Failing is learning. Now I have to relearn and rebuild to be confident in another way, in every way. I can’t depend on certain skills that come and go to make me feel good about myself. So from now on I will create. Create with confidence.

hand warmers I got for VD

Target Practice

February 20, 2012

Day 19

Today I planned on crossing a lot of things off my to-do list. Set-up dog fence, discover new hypoallergenic recipes, order a pair of Tom’s with the gift card I got for Christmas, clean, ect. Well none of that happened. Right after I listed off all the things I had planned for today my dad said, “Well I thought we could go out shooting because it’s such a nice day.” We have been trying to do this for a while now. Either one or both of us are usually busy or the weather is bad. I haven’t shot a gun more than maybe once or twice in my life… unless you count paintball guns… then it would be 4 times. I was a little hesitant since I’m not a big gun person and I did have a long list of to-dos, but who could turn down an adventure. So we hopped in the card and headed out to… actually I had no idea where. “North!” my dad said. After 40 minutes of driving, stopping to see a ghost town, add 10 minutes off-roading we finally made it to our destination. We were near a hundred year old bridge, train tracks, and a river. Beautiful.

I went and set up the cans and bottles we brought for target practice. Placing each one with care and in an orderly fashion. Then my dad gave me the safety guidelines. Never point it at anyone was the most important, even when it’s unloaded… unless they are trying to harm you, then fire away. Better safe than a life-sentence I always say. After I got all ready and had my target in sight my dad said he would buy my Starbucks in I hit a target on the first shot of the day. So after 5 more minutes of preparation. Bam! Miss. Damn. Oh well. Second shot. Bam! Direct hit. I still think I deserve of Starbucks, but I’ll hassle him for that later. After that first hit I was hooked. Just like meth.

We shot with his .22 semi-automatic rifle, .222 bolt-action rifle, and a .22 semi-auto pistol. I started with the .22 rifle and had my best luck with it. I then switched to the .222, which I only shot once and hit a target it. So I guess technically my best percentage was with this one, but it was so hard to find the cross hairs before my arms got tired from the weight of the gun. Then the ear splitting sound made me set the gun down. I guess earmuffs aren’t just for looks at the shooting range.

Next up the pistol. I think I had the worst luck with this one. It’s harder for me to hold a pistol steady compared to the rifles. I did like how light is was, even though it was almost as loud as the .222 rifle. My dad didn’t have much luck with the pistol either so maybe it’s not just me. After about 1.5 hours of shooting I shot off the rest of the bottles and packed up. Don’t worry environmentalists we picked up our shells and targets.

I was surprised by how much fun I had. I can’t wait to mutilate some more cans. Too bad I’m not drinking soda this month. There is a weird feeling you get when you hit a target. I don’t want to say powerful because that might upset some activists, so badass will have to do. Ya I felt like a badass. So this is how those cowboys became so cocky.

If you hate guns then I’m sorry if this upset you… But… you’ve got to ask yourself one question, “Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

Friends forever?

February 19, 2012

Day 18

Old friends. I love it when I meet up with friends and it’s like nothing’s changed. I hate it when I can’t keep a conversation going because everything has changed. Maybe everyone is changing and I’m just staying the same. My friends are getting married, buying houses, stable job, babies, growing up. While my boyfriend and job might have changed everything else stays the same. No marriage in sight, no career, no babies, and still living at home. Why couldn’t I have picked a better degree. I should’ve just become an accountant. I keep wondering where putting off the typically life will finally pay off. I’m starting to think it never will. It’s not I’m putting my career first. What am I putting first? Nothing?

So as I talked to one of my college friends today I quickly realized that we have less and less in common every time we catch up. I’m starting to feel that way about all my friends. They all seem to have the same things in common and it’s just me that’s not keeping up. How did this happen? How did I stray from the path? Do I want to be on that path? I need some path rather than my circular existence. I don’t want to have the same story in 10 years when I run into an old friend. I need a path, a plan on how I want my life to go.

For now I think I’ll just keep in touch through Facebook instead of actually live talking. Don’t worry I’ll make to sure to call to inform you of my engagement. Till then I’ll just like your statuses while secretly disliking your perfect path.

I do miss my old friends. If they lived in town I’m sure our differences wouldn’t separate us. But we are world apart with no glue, but memories to draw us together. Miss you friends of yesteryear. Hopefully I’ll see you on the other side. Now back to my hamster wheel.

Dog Whisperer

February 17, 2012

Day 17

I just finished the book Cesar’s Way, by Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer. I am so overwhelmed by the amount of constant training and effort Cesar advises to have you dog be a happy well balanced dog. It’s like a full time job. I couldn’t imagine what having kids is like. First thing you must do is take the leadership role and let you know that they are submissive to you. There are a zillion examples of how to prove your dominance and each takes a lot of strenuous reputation. It’s hard to not my dog be what I want instead of what she needs. I don’t want to have to ignoring when I leave for work and first come home so she doesn’t get detachment issues. When she has a folly I want to baby her instead of let her learn to make mistakes. I’ve learned there are so many things we do as humans that give our dog issues.

A perfect example is my mom’s dog, Daisy, the most stubborn dog ever. I don’t care how cute a dog is if she misbehaves. After reading Cesar’s book I’ve learned that my mom does all the wrong things and Daisy has lots of issues because of it. For one the dog has the most ear splitting high pitched bark you’ve ever heard and she uses it whenever she wants something. She won’t ever stop because my mom always gives in. My mom will pick her up when she jumps up, let her out when she whines, walk over and get her when she doesn’t come. It’s obvious who’s dominant over who which is odd because my mom is a very dominant woman, very dominant. It actually can be too much stress for a dog to take the responsibility of the leadership role and can be relieved when you take over. Now if I can just convince my mom of this.

Normally I wouldn’t care if my mom is too lazy to make her dog well balanced, but her dog’s bad behaviors are affecting my training with my puppy. My girl is doing her best to understand the rules and boundaries, but how hard is to sit and stay when another dog is jumping all over everyone.

Now this is all a lot to handle. There are so many rules in just walking your dog.

1. Be the first one out of the house before the walk
2. Make sure she is calm before you leave the house
3. When walking you dog never them
be in front.
4. If your dog is off the leash make sure she is trained to come when called even when chasing a squirrel
5. Don’t let them jump on you or other people
6. Don’t stop to let your dog sniff every scent around them
7. The walk should be at least and hour or more if the dog is high energy
8. Walk your dog once in the morn and again in the evening ever day… every day!
9. Feed your dog after they have been walked so she associates eating with completing a task
10. Walk your dog before going to the vet, groomers, dog park, traveling, moving, or when something new is happening.

This all seems like to much to handle and you might be rethinking getting a dog… and you should. If you can’t put your own dogs needs above your desires for a fuzzy friend then get a car.

Canon 5D

February 17, 2012

Day 17

Lately I’ve been contemplating buying a video camera, more specifically a Canon 5D. My family keeps pressuring me to put my degree to work and make some films and honestly I should. Unfortunately, in order to film you need a camera.

So me and my dad went to our local camera shop where a very knowledgable guy gave me all the info I needed, well except how to afford what I want. For a Canon 5D the body alone is $3,000. What’s so special about this camera you might ask. Well since I’ve been educated let me tell you. The Canon 5D has become the standard for filmmakers. I mean Spielberg isn’t using one, but the directors of the show House are. What’s great about this SLR (single lens reflex) camera is that it not only takes pictures at 28 megapixels, but also HD video. With the add on lenses you also have control over your depth of field unlike a standard video camera.

However, there are 2 problems with this camera. One is that the internal microphone is useless. You have to buy an external mic to plug into it which aren’t cheap either. Second problem is with the autofocus. It doesn’t autofocus in record mode. So if you’re recording and your subject moves out of focus you have to focus them manually. This can get really tricky if you are shooting wildlife, sports, or documentaries. It is rumored that Canon is coming out with a new camera in a month or two and possibly the focus problem will be fixed.

I guess I’ll just wait for the new one that comes out the decade I can afford it. When I walked into the store I thought maybe $1,500 or the most $2,000 was what I had to save up for not $3,000 plus an extra $1,000 for some lenses and a microphone. Who is buying these? No wonder they are being used in the film industry because no average hobbiest could afford it. Including me.

This was a major blow to my potential savings and entrepreneurial efforts. I won’t give up though. eBay here I come. If you know someone who is burdened by the pressure of producing award winning films with their expensive camera then I’ll will carry their yoke. I’m also taking donation. Or if you want to hire me as a videographer I charge $3,100… in advance. Till then thank Jobs for iPhone.


February 16, 2012

Day 15

I hate public display of affection. Hand holding, hugs, and pecks are ok, in context. Full on making-out isn’t ok anywhere, but behind closed doors. I care less about affection in places like beaches during sunset hours because that’s expected. Waiting in line at the store, Disneyland, airport, ect. is not the place for ass grabbing. I actually saw this old fat rich guy stick his hand up his young trophy girlfriend’s skirt while walking up the lift to an airplane. If it were me I’d have pushed him over the railing, then again I don’t have a sugar daddy I depend on. I’ve seen the same thing in line at Disneyland! Disneyland! while in line for a ride, surrounded by kids and their parents. Who wears a skirt to Disneyland anyways? At least save your groping for the haunted house where it’s dark and you have your own booth to contaminate. 

Also, it’s not just out and about that PDA is inappropriate to me its also with friends and family. Even if we are friends or related I don’t need to see you sucking face with your significant other. Everyone’s hung out with a couple that made you feel like a third wheel. For some reason they can’t be individuals, but a joined unit. One of the worst was a couple on my tennis team that would make-out at dinner, during the meal. In between bites they would lock lips and swap chewed food like a regurgitating bird. I wasn’t the only one who found it rude so I felt justified to say something. When that didn’t work I just had to be careful in choosing my seat. Another annoying couple would whisper to each other even when you were the only other person in the room. You would think they were high-schoolers in front of their mom. So rude. Couldn’t even stand being in the same room. Maybe that is their plot to get alone time. Selfish bastards. 

Now I have no problem rejecting a kiss because it’s in public, but when you have a choleric boyfriend he’ll try to embarrass me with affection. Damn stubborn choleric. I understand there are those fleeting moments when you can’t help yourself. Like on top of the Eiffel Tower or a dramatic proposal at a football game (whoever that appeals too). So every once in a while it’s forgivable. However, those moments will never be in the classroom. Ahhh the spark of this blog. Today in my glass class as the teacher was giving a demonstration 3 of the 4 couples were hugging and kissing. First off why is half the class couples? I didn’t know glass making was so romantic. I thought that was ceramics. Ghost anyone? No? Ok.

I guess that’s what you get for taking an art class at a community college. If I was the teacher I would have poured hot glass on them. Doesn’t anyone have any privacy or decency anymore? It’s all that social media causing people to think that we want to be involved in every facet of their personal life. No one cares.

So couples keep your ass grabbing out of glass class and back in ceramics.