May 27, 2010

Oh, The Places I’m Going…

Normally, after more than a week without any updates, I would tell you that I am sorry for being somewhat removed from the blogosphere. This isn’t one of those apologies. Don’t think that I didn’t miss this because I did. I actually have a lot to blog about. I just haven’t had the time to sit down and do it. I’ve been busy.

Last Saturday, I graduated from college. The pay-off for five years of higher education.


After graduation, I had to say move out of my apartment and say good bye to most of the friends and loved ones that I’d accumulated over those five years. Because on Monday, I left for a two-day, 10-hour-stretch-driving, fast-food-eating, road trip across the Pacific Northwest (and saw stuff like this):


The destination: western Montana, my childhood home. I would be vacationing for about two weeks with my dad and step-mom and would be seeing my brother, best friend, and other various family members that I never get to see. (Because I live in California, see?) And since my Montana vacation inevitably ends and brings me back to California on June 6th, I have less than week from that date before I fly to Germany for a year. (Are you getting all of this? I know, it’s confusing.)

So… recap of how busy I’ve been (and will continue to be). Graduation. Move-out. Road trip. Montana. Back to California. Pack. Go to Germany. Blog-writing just didn’t fall into my plans. I’m kind of looking at future-business here, setting myself up for any future blog-absences I may have. Ha.

Anyway, I am writing to let you know that I did not forget about you, that I have not let go of myself, that I am no depressed, suicidal, or MIA. I am, in fact, very happy. I love my life. Yesterday, I saw my childhood-crush for the first time in 8 years (even though he’s married and has a super cute baby but we’ll get into that in a later post). My best friend and I have fallen into the same perfect, lovable relationship that we’ve had since we were 11. My little brother is grown up and smart and handsome and I’m so happy to see him. And I’m about to embark on the greatest adventure that I will ever have.

What could make my life any better?

May 23, 2010

To My Fellow Graduates


Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

May 19, 2010

The End Is... Here

I am in the library at CSUMB right now (probably the last time that I will ever say that). I just finished my last (and I mean that!) final for my undergraduate college experience. Now I am organizing my note cards for my Capstone presentation. Glue stick, scissors, highlighters, and all.

Tomorrow at 1 pm, I present my Capstone in front of my peers, professors, and family. Five months of work, 20 something hours of research (at least!), 45 pages, all presented in 16 slides within 15 minutes.

And then I'm done! Forever! 

Or at least until I get to grad school.

Oh, and graduation is on Saturday. Three days from now. What?!

May 14, 2010

Junk My Stuff? Yes, please.

In the process of moving out of my apartment and organizing for my trip, I’ve come to quite a few realizations about myself as a consumer:

  • I really, really, really like to buy notebooks, crayons, coloring books, and other types of cutesy creative things. In theory, they’re great but in practice, not so useful. My notebook fetish is the worst one. I found at least ten notebooks throughout my room, of varying sizes and styles, each with about three to ten pages filled with journal writing, fiction attempts or novel ideas, or sparsely filled with random notes. None of which are full or even worth having because the turnover rate is so high. Don’t set me loose in the stationary section at Borders. I’ll walk out with $15 worth of blank paper and no real intention to actually use it. The crayons are bad too because I only like new crayons. When one box of crayons is all used up and worthless to me (which means I’ve probably used them about three or four times) then I just buy more. Why? And for what? I don’t know. And don’t get me started on the coloring books. I love coloring books but like I said, in theory. I don’t actually color in them. Hopefully this fetish will come in handy when I someday have my own children. Until then, stop buying crayons and coloring books. Duh.


  • For a girl who often cries while shopping and only wears the same 15 combination-outfits, I have a lot of clothes. Clothes that have been traveling with me through the years but that I never wear. If I haven’t worn it in at least six months, I feel that it is fairly useless to me. And there are actually clothes in there that I haven’t worn in a year! Why do I have them? What purpose are they serving me? Two thirds of what is in my closet and drawers, doesn’t even fit me. It’s time to shed some garments. I can only imagine the kind of money I would spend, and the kind of closet space I would need if I could actually fit in the sizes that they sell at every store. Sure, they have great plus size stores like Torrid and Lane Bryant but my body just doesn’t work with those clothes. I do not carry my weight like an average plus-size person. Plus-size shirts hang on me. Plus size jeans sag at my crotch and don’t sit right at my waist. Belts are never big enough, they don’t perform the way they are supposed to. My hips are trying to get to high heaven. They’re worthless when it comes to holding up a pair of jeans. Therefore, I have to wear clothes that fit a little too snug, that give me a muffin top, that break out the backdoor-boobs… because it’s either that or wear clothes that are too big. And that, I firmly believe, is much worse. I really think it’s time to prune through my wardrobe. This is ridiculous.

  • I love printing pictures. I don’t even know what to do with all of the pictures that I have printed. A photo album would be the best solution but do you know how hard it is to store photo albums? Have you ever tried to lift a box full of photo albums? They’re heavy. I have at least five different places where I’ve been storing printed pictures. A photo-organizer, filing folders, Costco Photo Center bags, boxes. And they’ve been in these things for years. I just keep carting them around. And yes, I do put up a lot of picture frames but they’re usually current photos and the old prints get shoved into random places for storage. Sure they’re fun to look at three years later when you’re too lazy to sift through Facebook photo albums but, honestly, they’re just taking up room. They’re all on my computer, backed up in external hard drive. But I feel bad throwing them away. It’s like disrespecting memories or something. I don’t even know what to do.

  • I have a hard time letting go of material items. It’s getting easier this time around because I don’t really have a choice – I have to get rid of it all. But it definitely makes me realize how hard pressed I am to hold on to things. In the last two weeks I’ve managed to give three full boxes away to Goodwill. That’s good for me. I’m getting rid of crap that I don’t need. That I don’t use. That I think I need later but never actually do (seeing as I’ve already been through this before and have lived through a few “laters” already). For this move, however, I am not being picking. I can replace it. It’s just stuff. If I had 60 seconds in the heat of a fire to grab everything that was dear and near to me, I wouldn’t come back from any of this crap. Pictures, no. My computer, yeah. Because then I could print meaningful photos off later. My iPod, most definitely. I’d need the music to get through the aftermath. Maybe I’d grab my jewelry box (I love my earrings!). But even now, as I look around my room trying to identify the things I’d come back, I can’t really come up with anything. And I think that’s a pretty huge realization. Even a little sad. 

At the end of all of this, I am actually fairly satisfied. I can replace all of this crap. And I fully intend to. Someday. It might take me a while but it’s worth it. In my opinion, the adventure that I am about to embark on is worth starting over.

May 13, 2010

Taking Care of Business

All of the things that I need to figure out before I leave:
  • Move out of my apartment
  • Post my stuff on Craigslist and try to sell to my friends on Facebook
  • Find somewhere to store my stuff for the year that I’m gone that is free or cheap
  • Break my Verizon contract; try to get out of paying $150 cancellation fee
  • Figure out what to do with my DirecTV account; suspend it for 6 months or pay a $240 cancellation fee on my broken contract. Because apparently I signed up for 24 months, not 12. Sigh.
  • Budget for my credit card payments and my medical bills (Western Dental: $130/mo starting July 11th)
  • Graduate from college
  • Figure out what will become of my eventual student loan payments. Six months after I graduate (which is pretty much six months from now), I will have to start paying on my $41k total. Yikes.
    • Check up on exit loan counseling and possible deferment options
  • Email The Frau for insight about German banks, language courses, and (gasp!) Munich graduate school programs!!
  • Go through my clothes and get rid of anything that I haven’t worn in the last 6 months and give them to Stella
  • Find out about getting a cell phone in Munich; iPhone? Oooo! Maybe not.
  • Figure out what I am going to take to Germany and how I am going to get it there
  • Pack for Montana
  • Pay (or budget to pay for) my $212 speeding ticket
  • Talk to the Campus Health Center about the $200 bill that Doctors on Duty sent me that was supposed to be FREE
  • Practice my Capstone presentation; bring it to under 15 minutes
  • Study for my final in my Adolescence class
  • Write my mom, dad, brother, and best friend letters (So they know how much I love them, just in case something happens while I’m gone.)
  • Budget, budget, budget: I don’t have any money! Sigh.
There’s more, I know there is. I think that my brain is just having trouble wrapping itself around all of this crap. I better get started.
Being an adult is hard.

May 4, 2010

Fantastic Wonderland, Farewell Work, and Hello Mini-Vacay

I think I’m in denial. I don’t want to leave Monterey. I mean, I do but I’m not ready. Actually, I am ready but I’m just… I don’t know. It has been so beautiful here in Monterey and the city has been transformed into this fantastic wonderland of blue skies, warm sunshine, and aquamarine oceans. I walked to work on Sunday and it was the best decision I ever made. It was such a blessing to be able to enjoy the beautiful day and walk along the water, taking in the scenery. I’m already missing it and I haven’t even left yet.


I can’t believe how fast time is going by though. Soon I will be leaving. I graduate in 19 days. I leave Monterey in 21. I head off to Montana with my dad on the 24th. I’ll be there for a few weeks and then it’s off to Germany on June 14th. In preparation for all of this, I’m trying to pack up my apartment, organize my life, get rid of my crap, plan my financials, do my homework, and still have enough energy and time left to try to enjoy these last few weeks with my friends.

I don’t want to think about how much I will miss them. The last five years have been the best of my life and I am so grateful for those who have shared them with me. Old friends and new, it’s going to be hard to leave everyone. And the kids that I’ve been caring for over the last few years. Fortunately, I was able to spend a few hours with Baby D on Saturday night but damn, I’m going to miss that little guy. Wouldn’t you?


Fortunately, my time is going to be pretty well spread over the next few weeks. I’m not working anymore. My last day at MyMuseum was on Sunday. Oh, yeah. I work(ed) at this really cool children’s museum in Monterey. And what good is a last day without a photo shoot? Thank you, Chesty for being my photographer.



Bubble machine! Woo!

Me and ChestyI am going to miss the gossip at the front desk, kids peeing on the floor, cleaning the party room, ordering pizzas, and putting on the iPod after close. ‘Twas grand. But I’m not all the way done yet! I get to look forward to my going-away potluck at Chesty’s house. Woo!

Tomorrow I am going home to Morro Bay to visit mi madre for Mother’s Day. It’s going to be a nice little mini-vacation. Christy (my favorite cousin sister) and her kids are coming up to visit us and we’re going to play at the beach in the sunshine with my aunt and her kids. Should be fun. I need a little get-a-away before my final exam and Capstone deadline!

May 1, 2010

VLog: Episode One – Reality Bites


Kudos to me for having an awesome weird hair-do.