Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Fruits and nuts...

I love them both (look at my friends, LOL). Actually, what I'm totally enamored of is fruit and nut trees. While driving north we passed so many orchards and I swear, everytime I'm staring (when I'm not driving) just trying to figure out what kind of trees they are. Only one orchard actually had a sign saying what it was, mandarins, how exciting! They were actually loaded down with fruit. So many of the trees were bare, something I'm going to have to get used to in the winter time now.

I love the concept of picking fresh fruit straight from the trees. My friend Javier's old place used to have an orange tree in the yard and the couple of times I visited I would use the orange picker and bring me a bagful home. I have vague memories from my childhood of picking cherries from trees. How fun is that?!?! We also used to go out into these heavily wooded areas when we lived in MI and gather up walnuts while they were still green and then box them up and when they were ready we would open the box and just crack walnuts on the sidewalk and chow down!

Even after 8 years I never got blase about fruit trees. Whenever I got a chance I would pick a lemon off or a lime. I've never been to a nut farm (is that what they're called, LOL) but I think that would be fun too. One of these days I'm going to take my nephew to an orchard so he can have the memory of picking fruit and eating it straight off of the limb.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Driving is not so bad...

When you have 2 other people to share the driving duties with, LOL. Actually, I did awesome today if I do say so myself. I think I drove for 5 hours straight! Considering that I'm usually only good for two I feel like I really stepped up to the plate this trip. I've decided it's the sun that drains me and since it rained the last 6 hours of our trip, I didn't have to worry about that.

I was a little bummed that the phone car charger my friend gave me didn't work with my phone, there went my plans to yak on the phone the whole trip, well, with people other then my brother and sister, LOL. I did yak for awhile with Nancy B (my guest typer) last night. I can't go a whole day without checking my email! Other then that I saved my battery so I could communicate with the other driver. Thank goodness for cell phones!

BTW, it turns out when you speed in Northern Cali you get speeding tickets, something that never happens in Southern Cali. Yep, got my first speeding ticket today, needless to say, I'll be driving the speed limit from now on (and people thought I drove like a grandma before!).

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Potatoe Chips and Doughnuts

One of the best things about roadtrips... road food. As soon as I think road trip the first thing I do is fill up my gas tank and the seccond is buy a bag of chips. Potatoe chips are a luxury I rarely allow myself, As a reward for driving (and staying awake) I love to munch on chips. Todays purchaches were Funyons and Mesquite BBQ chips. Driving is not so bad when you mark the miles while munching.
My friend Julie said she made the journey from San Fran on Red Bull and Doughnuts. I skipped the Red Bull but i just bought a doezen Crispy Cremes. So far I have eaten one, but I havent felt the sugar rush so I will soon be eating another. For me there are few joys in driving, eating is one of them.
By the way this post is being brought to you by Nancy B. We are 6 hours in to an 18 hour road trip. We are a third of the way through.... Wohoo Hoo!!! My goal was to make it two and a half hours before I had to switch drivers. I made it exactly two and a half hours! They were difficult but I did not want to let my bloggers down.
So we stopped in Sac and had dinner with Linda, it was a wonderful break to the tedium of the I-5. Now were on the road again and trying to see how far we can get before the end of the night. I will make sure to check in tomorrow.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The big day

This is it. I'm heading out of town. Of course, first I have to get Kathy and David up and moving. When Gramer flaked David stepped up to the plate, sometimes it's nice to have so many brothers, not all of the time, but sometimes:) Of course, my living room looks like a tornado went through it, it became messier once they got here but I figure if we just atart loading things up it will start to look better. My friend Steph is picking up my bed. I forgot that she needed one, so it's a good thing we had drinks the other night. I have to leave my big bookshelf but it's going to a great home. Michelle loves books too so she will fill it with goodies (although I prefer my book selection to hers, LOL). Javier will also be here this morning to help with load in, plus I need to tell him some things, like where the laundry room is and not to put things on the shower window, etc. Once we're loaded up we're going to go get our oil changed, yes, I procrastinated everything, and THEN it's time to hit the road.

I've already made plans with Linda to meet up with her for what will probably be for dinner. She's going to drive near the 5 to meet up with us:) I knew I had to talk my sister, the road warrior, into letting us stop there or else Linda would have kicked both of our butts, LOL. The rest of the ride would have been uncomfortable with sore backsides *G*. Unfortunately, David is not quite the road warrior that Kathy is so she figures Dave and I will be switching off all of the time and she'll be driving her car. I'm going to TRY and prove her wrong and try to dryve at least 2 1/2 hours before I poop out! Actually, I have a book on tape so I think that's going to help alot. I did the same thing when I went to Vegas last time and it made the trip so much more enjoyable. Sure, I still stopped to take a nap but the driving part was more fun.

As soon as I can I will pop on to let you know that I got home safely. The plan is to drive up to WA and then once I get there I can work on getting us a place in Portland. Kathy has a place in mind so once we fill out the application hopefully we'll be moving in there soon. I need to get Casa de Leiha ready for visitors. Of course, that means, I need to buy a bed too but one step at a time:) Pray for good weather today.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Let there be cake!

So last night was my last kickboxing class. I can't believe it. Something that has been so prevalent in my life for the past 2 years is over, at least, in this incarnation. Not only do I love kickboxing, I love the people who I take the class with and I love my teacher. It definitely is a family and since most of us were transplants, it's nice to have family close. We have a bond. We're like a gang, it's funny, before class on Wednesdays, when we're waiting to get into the room all of us will be hanging out downstairs gearing up and stretching and we definitely stick out from the rest of the gym. But it was fun, I loved the fact that we stuck out together. Everyone knew why we were there, we were kickboxers!

I definitely credit Joe with everything. He is an awesome teacher and he let each of us be ourselves. We learn a lot but class is not rigid. There's a lot of laughter involved. OK, so I loved Joe because he let me run my mouth during class but I was also a very avid student and would listen and learn from everything he had to say. He's an extremely knowledgeable man (at least about kickboxing).

Of course, Joe is not letting me off that easy. Just because I'm moving doesn't mean I'm not going to be a part of his class. He actually ordered a bag for me to practice on and he's going to tape classes and send them to me so I don't fall behind. The hardest thing about that is they won't get to hear my comments when I particpate in the taped classes, LOL. I have also decided since I will be practicing at home (until I find a job and a gym or school) that I will also work on teaching Jordan kickboxing. I don't want him hitting like a girl!

Joe actually had a cake specially made for my last class last night. It was beautiful. I took a pic but I packed my camera cable and have no idea where it is. He had white chocolate tubes going around the cake to signify bamboo, for strength and he had a fresh gerber daisy (I love gerbers) on top to represent growth. I loved it and it tasted delicious too!

Afterwards, Julie, Brian L., Brian D, Steph and I went out for one last drink. I'm going to miss so much about the classes, the self confidence it gave me, the discipline, the skills (OK, not getting up at 7am for class on Sat, won't miss that) but mostly I'm going to miss the people.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Packing vs Unpacking

Why is it that packing is so much more painful then unpacking? It's taking me days and days and I'm still not done. I will pack a couple of boxes and then decide that I'm exhausted and take a nap, then of course, I'm hungry and then my soaps are on and of course, I'm in the middle of a great book so I have to read some (a book that I've already read, Charlaine Harris' Living Dead in Dallas, in case you're interested) and because just the thought of packing is so mentally exhausting I must take another nap and let's not forget the hours I lose playing on the internet. Packing has just built itself up into this monstours weight on my shoulders and I don'r really have that much. I just moved 4 months ago, I weeded then, I'm weeding more but still I can't have accumulated that much more stuff since I moved from a studio to a 1 bedroom.

In comparison, when it's time to unpack, I'm a machine. i want everything where it should be as soon as possible. There have been times that I've moved where I am unpacked and settled on the same day of the move. When Nancy B and I moved in together (oh so many years ago) she went to work and the house was all boxes, she came back and everything was put away (I had my siblings help, free labor, love it).

Luckily my friend Javier (who is moving into my apt as soon as I move out) is coming this morning to help me with the packing. I figure if I have help that I can try and stay focused, once I watch last night's episode of Lost.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ever wonder.....

What you would look like if you were a South Park character? OK, neither did I but this is still a fun website. This link was posted on a board I frequent and I've mailed the link to a couple of you but not everyone so thought I would post it on my blog so everyone could play. Have fun!


The long goodbye

I have to say, I'm pretty good with goodbyes. I'm a military child and former military myself, I've said a lot of goodbyes in my life and I don't get emotional about it. If a friendship is meant to last, it will and if not, then I'll remember it fondly. Luckily, it's so easy to keep in contact with people I fully plan on keeping the friends I've acquired since I moved to LA.

One of my favorites is Ritchie! I met when I started at the museum. He's the Jack to my Karen (without the pills and money). I'll be honest, I love my gays and I love Ritchie most of all. We eat together, we gossip, we shop, he reins me in when I want to go crazy with my clothes and there's an easy affection between us. I love walking down the street arm in arm or hand in hand with him. The biggest thing he brought to my life was laughter. We laugh all of the time. We laugh at each other, ourselves and everyone else. Everything is free game. Tonight was our last night together. He came over to help me pack and clear out some things I was donating and then a few of our friends joined us and we went out for drinks and then Ritchie and I went to dinner with someone else, ran some more errands (important things like getting an ice cream from 7-11) and then he dropped me off tonight. Tonight's goodbye was the first time I got a little teary eyed saying goodbye since I decided to move to Portland. I will miss my #1 and the fun we had just doing the stupidest of things.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It's a date!

I had dinner with my friend's Michelle and Rossi tonight and we've already made definite plans for them to visit, I love it! I mean, I know a lot of my friends are coming to Portland, it's a cool town and they want to check it out, and see me, of course, but Michelle and Rossi have already picked a date, which is very cool. It's never too soon to book a room at Casa de Leiha, just know that Memorial Day weekend there will be no vacancies.

BTW, Rossi just showed me a site that I had never been on, Ifilm.com. It's a fantastic site, shows all kinds of video clips. I can't believe no one has talk me about this site before. All of the interesting things I miss because I don't have cable I could have searched this site for. I can't wait to become intimately acquainted with this site, LOL.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Keep your fingers crossed

I talked to my sister Kathy last night and she says that my brother Gramer will probably be driving down with her. That would be most excellent. Kathy is driving down to help me with my move and she will be driving a car up north as would I. The problem is, I'm not a road warrior. Kathy and Gramer are. If Gramer comes down then he'll be a main driver and I can be a relief driver because really, I'm only good for a couple of hours at a time.

When I drive to Vegas I have to take a nap halfway during my 4 hour trip. Recently I was driving back from Santa Barbara and it took everything inside of me to not pull over and take a nap, it was only an hour and a half drive! Gramer probably won't want me to drive much anyways. He helped me drive from MD to WA when I got out of the army. In my defense, I hadn't had a license for very long and we were pulling a UHaul behind us. We were in the St Louis area and were going to stop in and visit some friends so I leaned over to shake my brother awake to ask him where I exit and we were going around a curb and I didn't slow down like I since learned that I should, so my brother woke up to the site of a semi driving towards us. That UHaul whipped us around extremely quickly, LOL. Needless to say, my brother was awake and he drove the rest of the way home. So keep yhour fingers crossed that Gramer joins us so the 16 hour trip doesn't become a 25 hour trip, LOL.

Karaoke 3 weeks in a row, now that's a party!

I don't beleive I mentioned the fact below that I went to work this morning with less then four hours sleep. I think I've finally recovered from last night, or should I say this morning. Yesterday we celebrated my fellow kickboxer, neighbor and great friend, Julie's birthday. She had what I consider a succesful merging of the worlds, with friends from all aspects of her life. We had a great dinner at LaLas, my fave Argentinian place (skirt steak slathered in mushrooms, soo good) where we proceeded to spend the dinner laughing our butts off and then we headed to the King King club to dance. Julie says that the music was deep house, all I know is it wasn't the 80s pop that I know and love, LOL. It really wasn't my scene but the company was great, the booze reasonable and the drinks strong so we had a great time. Next thing you know it's last call but the hardcore partyers (lol) wanted the night to continue and hey, it was Julie's birthday (almost) so I suggested karaoke (my go to form of entertainment) and Julie was just drunk enough to agree. We dropped off Carmello's car (dave jr.) at the apt and I switched purses so I could bring in a bottle of tequila (for a change I was smart and didn't continue drinking, Julie on the other hand...). The other rockers were Dave, Brian L and his gf. After 1 drink I have no control over what is a very limited range to begin with so it was not a pretty sound coming out of my throat since I had way more then 1 drink that night and I was extremely loud as my sore throat can attest to but we had a blast! Julie and I decided that Dave should be fronting his lesbian rock band, not playing bass. Finally Brian said thhey had to go, it was 5:30am after all.

Today was more rough because of the hangover and lack of sleep but somehow I have made it through. The double doubles that Julie and I ate to feed the beast were wonderful. It was a wonderful way to spend my last Saturday in Los Angeles with great friends, lost of laughter and karaoke!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Today was my last day at work

It's sort of weird actually. I don't know what to feel. I've worked there over 8 years, 4 times longer then I've ever worked anywhere and it was a great job. The pay sucked but the benefits of working there were wonderful and now I have voluntarily left that job and am moving to Portland with my sister where neither of us have a job or a place to live. Not my normal MO.

It's an exciting time but scary too. I like stability in my life. To change everything all at once is a shock to the system. I think when I walk into my apt it's very clear how much my life is in chaos. I have boxes everywhere, clothes strewn about and it's all just utter chaos. I have less then a week to get myself organized. EAK!

This move has also made me realize what wonderful friends I have. Part of the reason my apt is such a mess is because I've been making an effort to spend time with all of them. Turns out, I really like the people in my life and it's taken me moving to truly appreciate how much I love them and how much I will miss them. The best thing about my friends, they allow me to be myself and trust me, they put up with a lot. It's not easy keeping a Queen happy:)