Monday, August 31, 2009

A Quarter-Century

Today I turned 25. It seemed a little anti-climactic since I've been celebrating for the past 48 hours (life is just so hard).
Being that my birthday usually falls on Labor day weekend I tend to do that. I started out Saturday with a typical San Diegan social event...beach followed by bar. Now that I'm OLD, I didn't get drunk and hung-over the next morning, instead I was what one might call balanced and had two margaritas (that were of course purchased for me, gotta love birthdays), an ice cream cone, and a good night's sleep. Holla. Sunday was the fam party which consisted of close friends, fam and OC-tastic BBQin.

Since today is a Monday, and NOT Labor Day, it happens to be the first day of school. That may have been a bummer to some but to me all I can say is THANK GOD! A little structure never hurt anybody! Especially a yellow, ESFP, ADHD, Virgo! You'll have to excuse the overload on references...Color Code, Meyers Briggs Personality Test and of course the ever-so-sinful astrological sign! My point is...being who I am, I can only go a summer's length of time without the order and predictability of a Monday through Friday job. As glorious as you may think serving, bar tending and nannying (or in my case, being a house cleaner) may be, working at a school where we all arrive and leave at reasonable hours, and by reasonable I mean it's still light out, is ever so seductive come mid August!

With the big 2-5 comin up, plans thrown around with the friends and family, lately I couldn't help but reflect. Weird. Thinking? I never do that. I've been thinking about what this past year has been about and what the next should be about...not by anyone else's standards, but by my own. After a day of building laptop desks and "interviewing" junior highers...uh and some happy hour post 3:30 with fellow teachers...I had a lovely dinner with some gal pals at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. Aside from the food selection, a particular pinot grigio, and fun-to-look-at bartender, it happens to be in walking distance from my house! Don't judge me, it's my birthday. Now that the three of us have hit 25, what seems like it should be a big one, I decided we should go around and say words that describe what we hope will describe this next year. After some mockery, as I'm always the one that makes everyone at the table take a turn at talking for one reason or another, the ladies got into it.

Some words like intentional, fun, confidence were mentioned, along with restraint which was followed by the comment "That should be one of Sara's!" I laughed then yelled RUDE! In all seriousness, even with some grigio down the hatch, it's nice to think about what has occurred and what is to come. This past year was one that can be defined by nothing short of GROWTH...and I don't mean I passed up 5'3". Honestly it would have been impossible to have been challenged even an inch more throughout my 24th year...on quite a few levels. Let's hope that 25 is one that takes the learning from all that....stuff, for lack of a better word, and puts it to some good use.

Here's to a Quarter Century folks!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The home stretch


This is what I should say as we set out on our running adventure, at 7:30 Saturday morning. The good 'ol "Orange" team (bragging) and I hit the 4 mile mark this morning. Kind of a milestone in my running career I think. That is definitely the furthest I've ever run. Let me remind you...I am NOT a runner! Naturally I was the sweaty girl in the back. A celebratory Berrie smoothie and 10 minute stare-into-space-sesh on the couch was much needed afterward.

In my usual before 9am haze (not to be confused with purple haze, the much slower team in our running group) I showed up seconds before the group's jont. I feel no need to arrive early and socialize. I tried chatting it up the first day with the pacing exercise small talk and was shut down! So lame. Now, I'm what we call an iPoder. Call me anti-social but a techno remix and some Snoop-Dawg whispering in my ear is basically all I need.

Since I start out toward the back of the herd, and stay there, I am able to observe...all things. I'm an observer. That's totally the reason I run near the back, it has nothing to do with me being an amature. What I see spurs some intimidation in me. I'm in the midst of some hard-core runner types. I mean, these runners have water-belts on! If you're new, as I am, to running world let me explain...These are elastic belts that have loops just big enough to hold plastic, easily squeezable bottles of water. Not just one...three, sometimes four miniature bottles of water. Why not just one big bottle you ask? I don't know. Perhaps too much weight in one area of your lower back? I can't tell you...because I'm not a water belt wearer. Some run with the double-bottle hold. This consists of Gatorade in the left hand and H2O in the right. These people say NAY to the belt. They can hydrate without the help of an elastic accessory from REI. I personally like the "stop at any water fountain in sight" game. It keeps me on my toes, literally. Who doesn't like almost fainting in August 90 degree weather then hittin up an oasis of glory at mile three?! Live a little!

The home stretch today...although I'm terrible with estimating yardage, I'm going to throw out there that I had about 10 yards to go. With a scheme of fleeing before the post-run seminar (i.e. someone talking about stretches or chaffing while I continue to sweat and itch from the grass I'm forced to sit on) I decide I should get my "cool down" in now and speed walk the last 10 yards...plus my play list has turned to some slower jams, I am left with no choice. I get my speed walk on, arms pumping, feeling just a little guilty since the enthusiastic coaches probably prefer congratulating runners instead of walkers at the end of the trail. I'm in the zone and fantasizing about the water ahead of me (should have worn a water belt). I swing my speed walking right arm and whop the upper thigh of the male runner next to me! I instantly spout out an apology, probably yelling to overcompensate for the music in my ears. Oops! I guess that's what I get for an early cool down and skipping out on the ultra-informative seminar!

I did stick around long enough to get my free t-shirt and hat! Secretly that's why I joined!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday Night "Fellowship"

Last weekend in a car ride to Del Mar, I had an entertaining conversation with a friend and her hub. She brought up changing our circle's weekly Tuesday night dinner to Wednesday nights. "Tuesday Night Dinner" has become a tradition, since we graduated, where five of us buddies from The Naz* get together for a sesh of food and dishing. If we switch "Tuesday Night Dinner" to Wednesday nights (and change the name obviously) she would then be free on Tuesdays to attend a Bible study with some of her church ladies. Apparently up until this point, she has let these ladies assume that she's been unavailable on Tuesdays due to a long-standing other Bible Study! The church ladies have been fooled! Eating sushi and chatting with your girlfriends does NOT a Bible study make!

I found the fact that she didn't correct the church ladies to be quite amusing. We laughed about how one could make the stretch.

We drink a lot of wine and sometimes we eat bread...that's sort of like taking communion!
We go around the table and give updates...like "prayer requests!"
Sometimes we pray before our meal

The best part about playing with what to call our weekly dinner is that the hub calls it his wife's "Women's Support Group." Apparently the few times she's missed TND have really proven to him that it is an outlet for her and a valuable use of time. If he knows what's good for him, and apparently he does, he'll continue encouraging her to attend. He's a smart man.

This topic came up this week at dinner. A consensus was made that for some reason there is this stigma or shame in some christian circles, not all of course, in spending time outside of your husband and/or kids in a NON-Bible study setting. In other words, it is perfectly acceptable to go to your Women's Bible Study on a given evening (hopefully after dinner has been provided for your household) or to "fellowship" with women from the church, perhaps spending time at a cafe or in someones home praying for husbands and children. BUT, if you are leaving your hub or even worse your hub AND kids to go...eat, drink wine or maybe coffee, and just have a conversation with some girlfriends..you are a bad lady! I suppose one could just use the word "fellowship" and make it okay to do any of the crazy above activities (like eating a meal with your friends) but why should it matter what we call it? Why should my friend have to misrepresent what she does on Tuesday evenings when anyone in their right mind knows there is nothing wrong with it?

It's not like our Fight Club that we hold on Thursday evenings, now that's a different story!



*A pet name that only alumni with the highest respect and love for Point Loma Nazarene University consider using.
*church ladies in this scenario think the following topics are suitable for women/women's seminars: 1) Cooking techniques 2) Honing hosting skills 3)Reading Proverbs 31...again...and again...and again.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chick Flick Night


I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate a good "Chick Flick." I think it's kinda funny that this term has been coined (I mean I get it, it rhymes, very clever) but c'mon you know the fellas like these "flicks" too! They pretend they're being draaaaaaaaaaged to them by their gf's but I believe that when the roomies are gone for the weekend and the testosterone in the apartment is down, The Notebook and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is at the top of the NetFlix Cue!

Last night I saw The Time Travelers' Wife with a girlfriend. Between the Quizno's 'wiches and diet cokes we smuggled in, the entertaining previews, and the movie itself (McAdams and Bana's work-incredible) it was a great evening. Although some of the crowd was the typical "dragged" bf and his chick flick lovin' gal, I couldn't help but appreciate being there with my bartending buddy.

Seeing previews of the latest Matt Damon film gave us both hope..."Do you know that in real life he married a waitress?! We're a step up from waitressing...we bartend!" Who knew the previews that most use for grabbing popcorn and hitting the bathroom could be so inspirational!

Eric Bana's naked bum (in many a scene I might add) might trigger an awkward moment on a date, but not with a girlfriend...instead you just look at each other wide-eyed and grin.

So, Charlotte York like rules  about seeing films like this solely on "date night." You may not be able to lie your head on some dude's shoulder (which I personally find is bothersome for the neck) but you will be able to lean over and whisper "Oh my gosh, I'm totally crying right now, are you?"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Apparently I'm a "Cleaner"

This morning at my Nanny Job...

I know, I know, I haven't mentioned Summer position #3 before. It is a mere 6 hours, 7:00-9:00am three-day-a-weeker. I get two children up and out of bed, feed them breakfast, pack their lunches and drive them to various summer camps. My favorite camps they attend are within 5 miles and provide lunches.

How do I manage all of these duties you ask....and still maintain sleep, sanity, friendships and so many eligible bachelors?  Coffee.  Lots of Coffee.

This morning Aunt Becky (not to be confused with Uncle Jesse's wife) from Carlsbad came out of the guest room, ran into me and said, "Oh, you're the Cleaner."

Confused. "Uh..sorta."

Until now I hadn't realized I'd become the cleaner. The two children are pretty self-sufficient. A simple "Did you make your bed?" and "Gimme that dirty cereal bowl when you're done" is really all they need from me. So, what I end up doing....is laundry and unload/loads from the dishwasher! Oh and mopping up the water off the floor from the family dog's dish (it's the best). So when Aunt Becky from Carlsbad not asks me, but tells me I'm the cleaner...I suppose she's right.

Is summer over yet?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quotes from Mars

I am nothing less than intrigued by the male gender.  I find their behaviors and thought processes to be compelling and interesting! I compare my male fascination to the average person watching a lava lamp. I can pretty much guarantee what will happen. It doesn't take that long to heat up. The blobs of goo will sort of bounce around, hitting one side, hitting the other, bouncing off the top, then the bottom, the color never changing. I know that at a certain point, the base of the lamp will burn if I touch it, but sometimes forget and do it anyway...or don't forget at all, but think that maybe this time it won't burn, but will just feel nice and warm! It's so very predictable but something about a lava lamp keeps you watching it, in hopes that something awesome will happen! What really happens...every time...the same blobs...bouncing around...in a way that we should all respect and admire of course. In other words the male gender is ENTERTAINING, for lack of a better word.  I have heard a handful of quotable quotes from some very quotable males in the last week or so. Some are quotable for their wisdom, some for their insanity.

Over an Italian dinner in Little Italy, cousin Tom and I discussed the topic of marriage...
"I mean, you're 31 now. You want to get married right?" I clearly have an agenda.  I want him to have kids that I can play with at family BBQ's okay! Tom's response in total seriousness, "Yea...Marriage seems like a good thing to do before you die."

I suppose that's one way of looking at it.

Over calamari and wine with my sister and brother in law...
"I mean, if he wants to see me badly enough, he can make it happen. I have a busy schedule but there's no reason we can't meet up for a quick glass of wine or something!" You guessed it, this is me talking.
My sister interrupts, "Or ice cream!" I quickly shut the idea down. "You know ice cream gives me diarrhea!..."  Later I asked my Bro in law if he was getting uncomfortable with our conversation.
"Actually I was more uncomfortable when you mentioned diarrhea."

I learn more about men every day. Note: Do not discuss diarrhea anymore.

In an analysis with Mr. A about a reoccurring dude in my life:
"Well, I mean, I sort of have the control right? We only see each other when I call him. It's not like he calls me and I'm there. I call him and he's there!"
Mr. A: "No, that's not the way it works. The person in control is the one who has the least amount of emotions involved."
"So generally the dude."
"Yes."
Enlightened. "Oooooooooooooooh"

I had a light-hearted conversation over wine with a dear male friend of mine. In a very manly way, he candidly described some things he couldn't live without...
"Pizza. Chipotle. Salma Hayek. Peanut Butter...hmmm...I can't think of a fifth."
Being analytical at times, I pointed out the obvious..."Those are all food, except for Salma Hayek!"
His response: "But she sure is yummy."
Playing along, I throw out there, "Imagine if Salma walked in with a pizza in one hand, a Chipotle burrito in the other and a jar of peanut butter in her pocket!" At this point I'm thinkin' I'm super cool female friend who can relate to male nonsense.
"Or instead of a jar in her pocket, her body is covered in peanut butter!" He suggests enthusiastically.

Or that.

The worst of them all...but somehow still fascinating, simply because of how mortifying it is...
At an event with many friends, a mixed group, it becomes apparent to me (I'm starting to think I may be a little slow on the pick up) that the really "friendly brother of a friend" is hitting on me. After it is clear I am saying the big N-O...he resorts to the next option, "Okay, then let's go out to my car and you can show me your boobs." Feel free to burst out laughing, have a jaw drop or curse the male gender at this point in the blog. I find myself in an all too familiar place wanting to yell, "Is anyone else hearing this?!" This is one of those rare moments where you wish all of your girlfriends could run out from the corners of the room and be a part of it. Instead, I laughed and asked if that really worked for him in the past. Amazing no shame on his part was exposed...and nothing else was exposed either! 

Oh Boys...I'm convinced you truly are from Mars.
 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The grass is greener part II


It happens every year. Mid June hits and I tell everyone I know (it's the external thinker in me) that I just cannot wait until summer. Oh yea, it's just sooooooo nice to have a random schedule, work some days, some nights...no routine, time for the beach....

Ya wanna know what I tell everyone around mid August? That I can't wait until Fall when I can get back into some sort of freakin routine!!! Routine paychecks have something to do with it as well I think. Yea, I'm pretty sure actually.

I pride myself on being a spontaneous, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, free spirited kinda gal... until I forget to pay a bill, kick myself for not nailing down 1 full-time job (instead of 3 part-timers) and curse my "free" spirit for ending up being not so free! Turns out, all those Type A's (that seem to deserve pony-pulls most of the time due to their freakish desire for control) actually have something goin...it's called a budget, job that provides health insurance, and at the end of the day, or summer in this situation, a heck of a lot less stress...other than worrying about which girlfriend didn't pitch in the extra dollar tip at last night's dinner.

It's an internal (and epic) battle I face daily. Everything in me wants to hop on my rusty beach cruiser and ride away to the land of OB where I'll beach my day away, leaving the bills to pile, the unsecured job to "fall into place" (a saying that we use often, when things are easier left up to the universe than taken care of on our own) and leave all that inconvenient mumbo jumbo til tomorrow. Then I remember that the last time I left it until "tomorrow" a $40 parking ticket turned into a $90 one and that putting things off is often not the best way to go. Darn that logical part of my brain! How am I supposed to get any relaxing done with all that thinking going on up there?

So here I am, after a Sunday night of serving, wishing it were Fall...where I would have had the day off, oh and the day before that as well. I would be enjoying routine...until about December when Christmas break comes around and gives me just a little taste of what sleeping in on a Wednesday morning feels like...and I'm back to lusting after randomness.

The grass is always greener on the other side. But you know what they (whoever they are) don't tell you?
It's just as hard to mow!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sonic the Hedgehog


I went to a small, tiny really, Christian university where everyone knows everyone. This means that even if you don't know someone's name, which normally I do because I have a freakishly good memory, you at least recognize their face. I mean c'mon how many times can you walk past a face on "Caf Lane" without eventually being able to recognize it again shopping at Target?

There are inevitably cliques that form at a small school like this. There are the partiers, the athletes (which tend to overlap with each other), the super spiritual (you lead the homeless ministry and play the guitar in "chapel band", we all get it!), the dude-bros ("dude...bro!" Our school sits on the cliffs of amazing surf, 'nuf said), the over-involved (I mean, isn't ASB supposed to end after high schoool?) etc etc. I didn't really fit any one particular group, mostly just dabbled in a few from time to time and unfairly judged the rest.

Because of the recognizable face/small clique factor, I have reasonable evidence to believe that Sonic the Hedgehog knows who I am and is pretending not to.

I know that this sounds ridiculous. Let me back up. Although I really didn't partake in the party scene in college, I dabbled, like I said, and ended up at a total of 2 "sinful gatherings" (one of which I was turned into authorities for, long story). I also held tightly a hand-full of college gal pals who did partake in the par-tays. All that to say, people know people who know people...catch my drift? At a school of this size, in a scene of this magnitud, if you've been to one bash, you know everyone else who has!

Now, as an alumnis of over 3 years, I work as a beach server (there went my pride by the way). Did I mention it's just a summer job? Anyway, many young folks like myself, most a lot younger actually, work there too. I immediately recognized one young guy, notice I did not say young man! My friends and I always called him Sonic, although we know his name. If you played Sega in the 90's you have a pretty good idea of what this young man's hair do looks like. Take a moment to picture it. So, Sonic and I have made eye contact, exchanged friendly smiles and I've run through all of the connections between him and I in my head...more than once to be certain, just in case we chat. "Let's see...he made out with my asian friend that one time." "Oh yea, and my other friend, that other time." "And hey, didn't his best friend get that one girl pregnant?!" Classy dude. Over the employee salad bar one afternoon I threw it out there, "Hey, you're a Point Loma kid!" This is my way of being casual yet friendly. PLNU boys get overwhelmed very easily by females, especially outgoing ones. His aloof response (He's so cool) "Yea. You go there too?"

"Yup."

I thought it would end there. The polite thing for him to have done 1) pretend you at least recognize me, I mean come on I'm wearing a name tag for crying out loud 2) Say something like "Aren't you friends with...?" People love connections Sonic! At least I do. or 3) Say anything other than what you just did. No....I didn't go there. I just know that YOU went there. DUH.

Just like any hedgehog would, he dug his hole even deeper with...

"Are you still going there?"

(long pause)

"Nope."

Let's do the math for a moment. If I were a freshman in 2002, 7 years ago (with YOU!) and I were still going there, let's see, that would make me a really SUPER senior now wouldn't it!?! Unless you are high right now, very likely, there is no reason for your lack of manners or math skills!

Enjoy your salad!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This ship's about to sail

Here in Man Diego there are a lot of...you guessed it, MEN! I've encountered a few. Although I've made some strides in my effort to leave behind "Blanket Statements" (which ironically can be shortened to B.S.) I still hold onto some of the reasonable ones.

We've talked before, well I've written and you've read rather, about dating and the inevitable game of text messaging. Thanks to At&T's unlimited plan I haven't gone completely broke yet. Texting is by far the #1 men's choice for communicating. Those fellas just love it. It's less effort than a call and seemingly more friendly than an email. My point is texting is where it's at. You better believe that if you're in your mid 20's anywhere remotely in the vicinity you will be utilizing this technological beast.

I went on a date about 2 weeks ago with a "Nice" guy. Note: "Blog guy" existed somewhere in the middle of nice guy's stint. Remember my other blanket statement? When it rains....

Anyway, He went to the Naval Academy (what an upstanding citizen!) and is originally an East coaster.  East coast means the San Diegan mentality of There's a good swell today so you don't exist is a non-issue. I have this very, very special place in my heart for surfer dudes, I really do..

Naval guy and I surprisingly hit it off and he followed up the next day, day after that and the day after that. The 3rd day was an email which reiterated how much fun he had, along with the phrases "phenomenal personality," "exceeded expectations," and "I'd like to see you again. "Wow. And I was on day 3 of dirty hair. Nice. I ignored the rule that includes something about a personality compliment being code for him thinkinh you're unattractive because...well, I wanted to!

Since he's a "nice" guy there are certain protocol that are necessary and include an appropriate amount of reassurance. I believe the not-so-nice guys don't need this, they reassure themselves plenty. I enjoyed the date as well, so why not respond with some similar positive feedback? So I did.

Blah blah blah it's now been two weeks and what do we have....a Mr. McTEXTerson.
This "Nice" guy is also a "Text" guy! Since my current career is that of a server, (some hard-core say "I don't give food, I give service"...Yea, I just give food) I can be found wearing a sweet black apron which perfectly hides a "vibrated mode" cell phone. So, even at work, I get many a "Hello Beautiful" and when he's feeling bold "Can I see you again?" texts, but never a PLAN.

I mean, I'm willing to help him out here, I'll do the textful banter and flirt in between taking orders, but I'm not about to pursue myself! When I "jokingly" say (or TEXT rather) "you better book me cuz I'm a pretty busy, and popular, gal!" I'm not trying to be coy, I'm giving it to ya straight! Only so many days in a week my friend, and in an effort to use an analogy that hits close to home...This ship is about to set sail! I mean, honestly I'm losing interest by the milo-second. If there's not a 2nd outing soon (and one that includes some wine and food) I'm going to have to pull up the anchor on this one!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My that's a fetching hurricane!

One of my many jobs this summer (gotta keep those outta work teachers busy and out of trouble!) is serving la jollans and vacationers wishing they were la jollans on a private beach at La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club aka The LJBTC...almost not an abbreviation at this point.

The LJBTC goer is one of two people: A member, just your average bloke who can afford to pay $60, 000 to join a private club where he'll frequent the beach and walk around with a tennis bag, you know, the ones in the exact shape of a tennis racket. The other is the guest who is staying in what we call our "apartments". We pretend not to, but we look down on these people. They are not as great as the members. "Oh, you're charging it to your room number? Yea, it's probably going to be about 30 minutes for a Kids' Chicken Tender basket, I'll get it to ya when I can."

I spend my day walking up and down the beach with trays of drinks in one hand and Styrofoam boxes of food in the other. With sections called "North Shore" and my attractive uniform of khaki shorts and a bright green polo I can't help but feel like Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell, the Beach Club years! I suppose I should be Jesse Spano since she was closer to being blonde, but she also was the type-A Brainiack, let's stick with Kelly. Spano also had that caffeine pill addiction during the college application episode, no thanks! 

Working at The LJBTC opens up my eyes to a whole 'nother world. A world where beach bags and straw hats cost more than my rent for the month. At dusk, the beach transfers from sweaty children (although I'm still there and sweating) to BBQ's and Kendall Jackson chardonnay. Beach Services (the young gentlemen that wear red polos, make inappropriate jokes over the walkies and call the new servers "Fresh Meat!") go around moving the days' lounge chairs/umbrellas to replace them with tables/BBQ's. Stay at home wives (notice I did not say "moms") begin setting up their reserved areas around 6pm for what I am almost certain is a secret competition!

The last time I checked we were on the beach and checkered table cloths and sporks, were appropriate.  Not here.  Each table is decorated with the most chic of linens and only the freshest of flowers. There is generally a theme, but sometimes the lack of one shows her "crazy" side! Hurricane vases with purchased seashells and candles are a requirement and wicker must occupy some part of the lay out, perhaps to hold bottles of expensive wine and aged cheese. Being an interior design enthusiast, I slowly walk by the ones that intrigue me and take notes on my server pad...

Plaid baby blue and sunflowers, just lovely
Yellow cloth and pink linen, how adventurous!
My that's a fetching hurricane!

I believe that with my studious notes, someday I, the sweaty beach server, could win Dusk Decor Competition!