Friday, December 31, 2010

Bye 2010, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out....*boot*







It seems like everybody I know had a very hard 2010. Myself included. Lots of changes, lots of angst, lots of growth. It's nice that everybody takes the new year as an opportunity to take a deep breath and say "phew! I made it. Next year will be better". Really, it's just another day, but just that psychological break seems to be enough to rejuvenate us and give us hope that things will indeed get better. Optimism is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

I have a hard time remembering what I've done for New Year's every year.
NOT for the reasons you may think, (except that one year.....but unfortunately I remember everything. Ev.er.y.thing. But more on that later) but for the sheer fact that I am boring. At the heart of it, most of my adventurous spirit gets lived in my head. When it comes down to ACTUALLY going out and doing something crazy and fun, I find myself shrugging my shoulders and saying "meh. I'm tired." I hate this about myself. My friend Carolyn is the exact opposite, and I absolutely adore that about her. She always has some great party to go to, or some amazing club she and her friends found, or tickets to some kickass concert I would die to go to. Alas, she lives in the San Francisco area. More to the point, she's out there living. I want to be more like that. Beginning to blog has inspired me to get out there more and document, take pictures and think of ways to turn it into a funny and entertaining story. That brings us to another thing I hate about myself. PROCRASTINATION *enter echo-y sound effects here* Looking back over all of my diaries I kept as a kid (oh man, did I ever keep diaries!), when I wrote down my New Years resolutions, there was always that blaring one: no more procrastination! I even specifically remember an entry from when I was about 11 or 12: "no more procrastinating! Do it now, do it right!" Ah, yes. The unjaded enthusiasm of youth. There is wisdom in this, however. It can also bleed over into "not living life enough". Next year I'll plan something fun, when I have more energy I'll do such and such, eventually I'll visit my friends in the Bay Area.... You know. Don't deny it. It's a universal truth. My Mom used to have a magnet on our fridge (is it still there?) that said "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers. AMEN.

I have always written down New Years resolutions. They were usually the typical ones everybody always has. Lose weight, exerise more, eat right, procrastinate less, blah blah blah. Well, I'm going to keep mine a bit more attainable. I know I hate gyms, I don't need to lose any more weight (never thought I'd be saying that at ANY point in my life!), and I'm always going to procrastinate just a little bit. I know me. Me is a lazy bastard. So I'm going to share my resolutions with ya'll, so feel free to hold me accountable and wag your finger at me and say *tsk tsk* if I should falter. I can take it,

1. Procrastinate LESS. Some people can procrastinate, and it's not really that bad. My problem is that I'm EXTREMELY forgetful, (I blame the ADD. Really. Blame is freeing and fun!) and I know that it probably won't get done unless I do it now.

2. Walk or rollerblade the dogs every day. Twice a day is ideal for them, and it needs to happen. I'm not saying I NEVER exercise them (they would be unlivable), but they do get restless. This holiday season when I was sewing sewing sewing, working, knitting, sewing some more, working, etc..etc, they just didn't get their exercise. The guilt ate at me every day. No more guilt! More walks!

3. Talk less, listen more. This seems to be a common resolution among people, but for me it's especially important. Me? A talker? NEVER! I've tried to understand why I talk So! Dang! Much! and I think it comes down to that old song, "I'm just a soul whose intentions are gooooood! Oh lord, please don't let me be misunderstood." Almost like I keep trying to pick the right words, fail, try again, repeat ad nauseum. Or like I want to prove how clever and funny and smart I am. Ouch, that hurts to write. Hello mirror, you're not being very nice today! There's another quote I try to keep on constant rotation in my head from Abe Lincoln: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Really, I don't need to voice every. single. thought. about everything and every topic in a conversation. Especially when the alcomohol comes out (hooo lordy! Bonnie's gonna get chatty!) I need to keep my yap shut. It'll prevent that feeling later of "ooohhh, I talked waaaaay too much. So much for that next party invite." Really people, it comes from a deep-seated social anxiety that goes waaaay back to my childhood of trying WAY too hard to fit in with the cool kids. Trying REALLY REALLY hard to be entertaining and prove that I belong there. Usually with the opposite effect. Moving on.

4. Spend more time with friends. This past year, it has become GLARINGLY apparent that I have neglected my personal relationships. I am way beyond blessed to have the kind of friends that go back to Jr. High and High School days where you form those bonds that are truly, truly unbreakable and unconditional. We've been through the shit storm of adolescence and come out the other side as family. The kind of family you choose. I love these people with my entire heart and soul, and need to spend more time with them. Not as a "oh, aren't you SO lucky I'm spending time with you!" sort of thing, but as a soul-nurturing "you've been feeling rejected by a lot of people lately, and need to be reminded that the people that matter most are still there and missing you." Knowhadimean? And new friends too. The ones whose calls I never return because I always mean to "later", and forget. See: procrastination. friend-loser habit extraordinnaire.

5. RELAX. When the hell did I become such a stress case? I used to be the gooiest, most easy-going person on the planet! Yes, a lot of big stuff has happened over the past few years, and I'm an emotive person. But I need to realize that being expressive and emotive can come off to others as "total nut ball stress case!". I despise the current practice of "fine". "Oh, I'm fine! How are you?" You can be having the worst day in history, and you MUST smile and say "I'm fine!". I'm a terrible liar. Always have been. It's not that I can't, it's just that I really hate lying. I'm not saying you have to tell the girl at the grocery store checkout your life story, why you're having the worst day ever, but a simple "it's a rough day, but I get to go home soon. How's your day?" will suffice. Tell the truth, people! It's freeing! But yes, I definitely need to relax and take things in stride a bit more. It's a constant learning process. I wish I could apologize to everybody I know, and tell them "really, I'm not this person! I swear!". Nobody likes to be around a stressed out whiner, and I've watched a lot of people I care very much about pull away from me gradually. This must change.

6. Don't overload my plate, metaphorically speaking. These past couple of years have been a good lesson in finding out what kind of person I am. Going back to school and taking a full class load, working, volunteering at the zoo, homework, etc, was a crazy schedule. I did very well, getting mostly A's and one B+ in biology. There were some freakout moments (umm...I may have freaked out more than once about my spanish class. The teacher was awful. Don't ask.) It sounds stupid, but there were a couple of things that helped me get through it. One was a bracelet that says "believe in yourself" (cheesy, I know, but I love it) and the other was a necklace with a picture of a bee on one side, and the words "just be" on the other. It reminded me that no matter how crazy my schedule was, I was exactly where I was supposed to be at that moment. Don't think about where I'm supposed to be later, or how much homework there is to do, just slow down and be exactly where I should be. That was a big comfort, actually. Nevertheless, I've found that I'm a much calmer, happier person if I balance my schedule a bit more.

7. Finances. Yes, that old cliché. I discovered mint.com, and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone. They even have an app for iphone, ipad, etc. It helps you budget, reach goals by taking leftover income after bills and adding it to your goal. It's all automatic. It's incredible! Once you put in your banking, credit cards, all that info, it analyzes what kinds of purchases you've made and categorizes it for you. Then it starts you out by creating a realistic budget based on your spending habits. It's so freeing seeing an actual number in front of you that says "it's okay to spend $ on xyz, because you've already budgeted for it. No guilt, no guessing if you're going to make all your bills for the month. All it takes is discipline. So go! Run, don't walk over to mint and create your own plan today!

I think that's about it. If you've read this far, you get a cookie. Or an aspirin. Whichever you prefer. Oh! I lied. One last resolution. Blog blog blog. It goes along with the procrastination resolution. There have been so many things I wanted to write about, but haven't. Then I wind up hating myself for not writing, feeling anxious, guilty, etc. So why not save myself those awful feelings and just WRITE?! Dooo eeet.

So how about you all? I'd love it if you would leave a comment telling me just one of your resolutions for the new year. Please?

As a New Years gift for anyone who's reading, when I get home this evening I'm going to write out a doozy of a New Years story for you. There are definitely better stories out there, but for living a pretty dull life so far, it's one of the best I've got. Now my boyfriend Brandon and I are waiting to be picked up by his Dad, Bill, to go skiing at Blue Mountain. Hopefully I won't be writing with a broken leg later! Nah, I'm a decent skier, and I've never been reckless. Happy New Year, interwebs!








Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My techwhoredom hopefully put to good use....

Over the years, there's been lots of trial and error. Especially with products. Thank goodness for the advent of the internet, where a person can thoroughly research choices based on other people's experiences. "Which one should I get? What's the best one?" I've gotten some great advice from my best friend the interwebs in the past, so I decided to try to contribute my two cents also. Here's my first tech post, about the Targus ipad stylus.





- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's never too late for thankfulness....

Thanksgiving is over, but it's never too late to share things you're grateful for. So here's mine today:
I'm grateful for snuggly 70lb. huskies who lie on legs and keep your feet warm.


I am also thankful for the time to work on knitting projects to keep your best friend's hands warm after cancer left her with reynaud's that freezes her hands.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

I survived Black Friday and all I got was.....lots of yarn!

I survived! Well, it's past 3:30 in the morning, so that's debatable. Check with me tomorrow, see if I have a pulse. Color me surprised (color? Yarn? Get it?! I slay me....), but traffic and all that wasn't really that bad. It was smooth sailing until we hit Mission Viejo, then SCREEEECH!! Traffic. Mom kept insisting she saw flashing trouble lights up ahead, but I kept trying to reassure her that no, it's just yellow tow truck lights. It's just traffic. We crept along until Lake Forest, and when we arrived at Yarn Lady I held my breath expecting a huge battle for parking spaces. What? Plenty of parking? That's not right.....We walked in the door, and it was bustling but not omigodgetyourelbowoutofmykidney crowded. Mom remarked on how beautiful and well put-together the store is (my reponse: "I know, RIGHT?!"), and I immediately bee-lined for the malabrigo. True to my nature, I kept up a constant running commentary, educating my poor Mom on the virtues and qualities of all the different yarns. Like I really know what I'm talking about. I run my mouth. A lot. I ran into Vickie, a knit-night favorite and a kick-ass woman who anybody would love two seconds after meeting her.





After spending WAY too much time wandering the store and lusting after yarn (Mom even bought some for me to make her a scarf. Handmaiden seasilk, which is the softest stuff you will ever feel.), I harassed the owner, Ginger (who disappeared before I could get a picture- Ginger, I have embarrassing birthday photos and I'm not afraid to use them!), said hi to other knit-night ladies, then escaped before I could do any more damage to my bank account. Okay, yes. I bought yarn for myself. You caught me. But mostly it's for christmas presents for other people! REALLY!! Here's my haul:





Then it was off to Rogers Gardens in Corona Del Mar. Martha Stewart's got NUTHIN' on this place. Yes, it's a nursery, but its mostly famous for its seasonal home decor. During
Halloween, they have the absolute coolest decorations I have ever seen. However, it's Corona Del Mar. Martha Stewart wishes she could afford some of this stuff.










Outside, they had an adorable toy train display that people were clustered around just to stare.

















I want this chair.....


And finally, I will leave you with one more photo:


Friday, November 26, 2010

Cover me, I'm going in!

I can't believe I'm going out on Black Friday. Only for you, yarn, would I risk the roads and the crowds and the lines. Actually, let me amend that statement. Only for you, Yarn Lady, would I venture forth on Black Friday. Not just because I have specific yarn in mind for Christmas projects, and maaaybe it'll be on sale. Contributing factor? Yes. Definitely. But also because you are such a friendly, cheerful place with people I absolutely adore, and I'll take any excuse to go say hi and pet all the pretty yarn. Especially because there is no social knitting tonight. Boo. Anyway, into the fray I will go, and will update later and report any Black Friday craziness I might witness.

I received an e-mail yesterday that made me smile. It was an advertisement for an online yarn store WhitKnits. The subject was "Rainbow Friday Sale!" Yarn is a happy thought. Bright colors, softness, the inspiration and endless possibilities. Yarn=love. Even before I started knitting, I thought Black Friday sounded so ominous. It is. Don't get me wrong. It also made me wonder if it's so dark and evil, why have it? Employees hate it, shoppers love/hate it, why torture everybody? Know what I mean? I guess what I'm getting at is the negative association. Black Friday. The Apocalypse. Doesn't exactly make you feel warm and fuzzy, right? So when I saw Rainbow Friday, I had to smile. Now THERE was a sale I could endorse. It made it seem like they're actually happy to be having a sale! Not like "Macy's Black Friday Sale: we really really don't want to be here, and we really really don't want to be having a sale. Please don't stampede us to death." Go on with your bad self, WhitKnits, good for you.

My Mom wants to go to Rogers Gardens too, which sounds like it wouldn't be too crazy. Hopefully. She'll get dragged to Yarn Lady with me first though, and I'm actually pretty excited for her to see the new store and how much it's changed. Also maybe to meet some of the awesome ladies I'm privileged to knit with. First, my nasty ass needs to shower and get ready, so I'll say goodbye for now. Update later!

ONWARD TO CELEBRATE RAINBOW FRIDAY!


I will be wearing my rainbow socks knit from mini mochi. Cause I gotta.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scenes from a darkened room

There's pictures at the end! Promise! I know, it's not the "lost in La Pine" post I've been promising, but I'm more in the mood for ruminations and rambling. Today was go-go-go non stop. The holiday season and the afternoon massage therapist (we'll call her C)'s imminent motherhood has my work schedule pretty much booked solid. This is awesome, and I'm completely grateful. Really. January tends to be a little slow, so anything extra right now will help with vacation and slow times. So, yay for the busy! Today was a flurry of solid activity. Here's how it went:

8-1:30 - booked solid work schedule

1:45 - pull into parking structure at Shops at Mission Viejo, witness man being arrested while more cops checked out a black mustang. (on a side note, I wouldn't call myself nosy, because I refuse to be one of those infuriating looky-lou's that blatantly stares. Class, people, get some. However, I am curious by nature and would have
LOVED to know the story there. Not the same thing as nosy. What!? It's not!!)

2:15- pick up laptop from apple store (no love for you, apple store, with your screaming children and pretentious employees)

2:30 - narrowly escape mall, but not before being horrified at the yeti-pelt vests and coats they're trying to pass off as "fashion". Me? NOT a fashionista. Ever. But I know ugly when I see it. Why would someone want to look Iike they're being swallowed sideways by Sweetums the muppet? OMMNOMNOMNOM!

2:40- bravely enter the 5 north, wondering if it's reheeheeally worth holiday traffic into Costa Mesa to get laptop fixed. Yes, yes it is. Le sigh.

3:30- drop off laptop to awesome Techroom, laugh and bond with nice girl helping me, said goodbye to laptop.

3:45 - pulled into UPS store nearby (never used UPS before, but how much more expensive can it really be? Famous last words.....). Did final inspection for loose threads and dog hair on items to be shipped, discovered that cellphone pouch snaps were not attached well enough and came off. Panic.

4:00 - pulled into nearby Michaels to pick up new snap pliers and snaps.

4:50- while sitting in Michaels parking lot, finally get snaps replaced and secured (yes, almost an hour. I hate those pliers, I hate those snaps)

5:00 - pull into UPS store, gather items to be shipped, talk to nice boy to get an estimate on how much to ship each item.

5:01 - literally snort and gather my things, telling him "thank you for your help, but I'll pass" when he states that the cheapest shipping will be $12 per item. I'm sure the customers would understand. It's a principle thing.

6:00 - arrive home after deciding to take PCH. 55 to the 405 to the 5? On a holiday weekend? Noooo thank you.

After being home for all of two minutes, the power went out.

Let me take a moment to explain something. Nothing ever happens in south orange county. I was born and raised here, and everybody Iives in a little cocoon of sameness. Same weather, the same places, the same happenings. If there's rain, or lightning, or crime, or a power outage, you bet your booty everyone you know is going to post about it on Facebook. Most people would find a power outage to be something freakout-worthy (ZOMG!!1111!!!eleventyone! I can't watch my reality television!), but I not-so-secretly love it. When I was little, and the power would go out, my Mom would bring out the old glass hurricane lamps and put them on a little table in the hallway as a nightlight. Then she would crawl into bed with my sister and I and read us stories. Cool stories. The old Grimm fairytales that involved scary witches, dogs with eyes as big as dinner plates and evil stepsisters chopping off their own toes and heels. It was special, and most of all, DIFFERENT. Out of the ordinary. I adored it. As a teenager, I was a fire marshall's nightmare, because I was constantly lighting the millions of candles I had all over my room. A copy of the Star Trek book "Federation" bears testament to this with its slightly charred, melted book jacket. Girl scout swear, this is true. It was accidental, and the carpet doesn't hold a grudge. I think.

To this day, I feel a strong pang of disappointment when the power comes back on. It marks the return of the status quo, the same ol' same ol'. Boring. Orange county. And yes, the power came back on about an hour ago, but I'm clinging to that feeling that things aren't the same as usual. Things got simplified for a while, and I'm not ready to let that go yet. So here I sit, in my bed, in my room, surrounded by candles and silence and sleeping huskies. For right now, things are different from the status quo. I'm not missing out on awesome social events tonight (okay, so yes I am....but we're pretending. Remember?), but instead I am reconnecting with my younger, more imaginative self who used to pretend that she was one of those characters in her beloved books who carried candles to light her path, wrote in a journal with a feather quill by candlelight, felt deeply that she was born in entirely the wrong century. I liked that Bonnie. She was full of inspiration and creativity. I'll be the first to admit, I'm a techmology whore. If it's new and nifty, I WANT it. Want with the fire of a thousand burning suns. I love me some groovy gadgets, but I also relish a simpler, more centered existence. It's nice to sit here in candlelight, not having to rewind whatever is playing on the dvr because I was too busy cruising the net on my ipad (see: techmology whore) or checking facebook. So to try and share a little bit of this blissful, simplified evening I will leave you, my one loyal reader (hi, mom!) with a few pictures of my little universe while the power was out this evening.






My knitting/reading corner. The plants and other cuteness make me ridiculously happy.




The owl was a gift from one of my bestest best friends Monica, and the hedgehog from Target had to keep him company. Woodland creatures. It's a crafter thing, just go with it.




You can tell Loki and Rowan are seriously worried about the power outage.




You're still going to feed us, RIGHT?! I know where you sleep, woman.....

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lost in La Pine! Send wine!

No, really.  Leave it to me to get lost in La Pine National Forest, which is HUGE, people! HUGE! They had to send out a search party for me. No joke. I'm going to write an epic, epic post about it tomorrow, but right now (just like last night) I'm literally falling asleep as I type.  But I will finish this LARGE glass of wine. Oh yes, yes I will. And I will sleep like a baby. There is a perfectly rational explanation for why I wound up yelling my voice out, crying, and praying the bears wouldn't eat me or my dogs.  But that will be for tomorrow. In the midst of the pitch black, panic, screaming, and crying, I did however manage to take a picture of how concerned Loki was about the whole situation.


Thanks, Bubba.  You can save me and Rowan from the bears by letting them eat you first. 

Tomorrow, dear reader, tomorrow.  For now, WINE!



and sleep...........

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Too much wine and not enough sleep make Bonnie go something something...



Needless to say, I made it to Chris and Mark's place safe and sound. I would write a hilarious and truly awesome post, but lack of sleep and a couple glasses of wine ... Blah blah blah. You get the idea. I promise tomorrow will be entertaining stories of mushing and knitting, etc etc. I will give you a preview that has something to do with my mouth that never stops running once I have a bit of alcohol. Or without. Pretty much a mouth that runs nonstop, annoying anyone within a 500 mile radius. Possibly more. Hey, whaddaya expect? My mom's a storyteller!

Dunnigan. A nice place to visit......

After a surprisingly non-agonizing drive, the huskies and I finally made it to Dunnigan's Motel 6. My first thought upon driving up was "wow, right off the freeway..." My second thought was "there are practically no cars here.....what am I in for?" And now that I'm getting settled in my room, my thought is "this room is actually pretty nice!". It has that apartment smell to it....it's hard to describe, but if you've ever lived in a large apartment complex, you'll know. It's not a bad smell, kinda like paint and....*sniff sniff* laundry? Carpet cleaner? It reminds me of our townhouse when Brandon and I lived in Harrisburg. Oh jeez! Our old place smelled Ike a Motel 6?!?! Don't judge. It was a nice place. What!? It WAS!

Anyway, a nice old lady named Mildred checked me in. I tried very hard not to look like a dangerous person who arrives at 3am. Pay NO attention to the evil looking huskies in the front seat, I promise I'm harmless. Mostly. Do you ever go shopping alone, and go out of your way to show that you're NOT stealing anything? (My hands are in plain sight! My purse has remained closed!) I can't be the only one who feels this way...when the clerks follow you around, trying to be helpful? It was that same feeling. I'm a little crazy, I'm well aware of that fact. I go overboard sometimes trying to seem non-threatening and friendly, and I'm sure it has the complete opposite effect.

Okay, definitely time to go to bed. In the meantime, I'll leave you with a photo I call "Rowan and Loki earn a perfect 10 in the synchronized kong-chewing event". Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to check for bedbugs. Because I read the news.....sorry New York.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ummm....hi.



While I'm sitting here, waiting for the trailer hitch to finish being installed on my trusty Element, I figured I'd say hello. So, hello! I've wanted to start a blog for a long time, but procrastinated because I was waiting for that lightning bolt of inspiration to hit. You know, that moment where you think "this is it! I'm the best writer EVAR and I will write the greatest blog ever written!". I'm not alone in this, right? But then when you actually sit down and try to start writing, "teh funny" just isn't there. So I'm basically going to dive in head first, fully expecting that there will be a big ol' rock of embarrassment waiting just under the surface to crack my head open. But that's why you're here, right? Nobody can resist a train wreck. How else do you explain the popularity of Jersey Shore?

I wanted to be on the road by now, but as usual, best laid plans and all.....you know the rest. The trailer hitch I ordered last week was SUPPOSED to come in last Friday. No hitch. Monday, for sure! Nope. Okay, Tuesday. Really. That left me with exactly today to have the hitch installed and get two new tires on my car before hitting the road. It would have worked out fine, except the hitch (which I'm starting to hate with a fiery passion) wasn't installed by the time I finished with work. I hijacked my car (can I borrow this for a minute?) and took it to get the tires put on, since the other shop wouldn't be able to get to the hitch until later. So thats done, and now I sit. And wait. And wait. I WANTED TO BE ON THE ROAD BY NOW!!

Oh! Where am I going? I'm taking my two huskies up to Bend, Oregon to spend several days with a wonderful friend (love you Chris!). A community of mushers I'm acquainted with is gathering in La Pine for a weekend of beautiful forest trail dry land mushing, so there will be that too. But mainly, it's an excuse to finally get up there to visit Chris and her husband, and finally see Oregon. She's a professional dog trainer, and she wants to learn how to knit. So, she'll help me train my dogs (more on that later) and I'll teach her to knit. I bought her some yummy yarn as a hostess gift, and I'm hoping I can successfully recruit her to the cult of knitting. Come to the dark side! We have yarn and pointy sticks!

Okay, I feel like I'm rambling. Even if nobody ever reads this, I feel better knowing it's out there in the ether. Stayed tuned, there will be wacky road hijinks, I'm sure. It's the first time I'll have driven that far by myself! With dogs! A 17 hour road trip with two huskies? What can go wrong?