Friday, December 29, 2006

Live...and let live

As the new year approaches I start to think about resolutions. I don't usually make any because I think unless you truly make the effort, people really don't change after they are in their 30s...what I think about now is trying to be a better person in order to be a better mother, wife, sister, daughter etc.

All of these thoughts make me think about my own mortality. Having a child makes you change your perspective about everything. All you want to do is be healthy and happy in order to see your child grow up to be healthy and happy. You are committed to living better, wiser, stronger. (Ok, for the past week I've eaten more desserts and chocolate than ever so maybe I'll try to curb that a bit in the new year!).

At 37, I am more confident in who I am as a person. I attribute that to the people in my life that make it a happy experience. My husband, family, friends. At 37 you start to realize that their opinions are the only ones that matter because they shape your own. When you realize this, you know what is truly important--and it ain't what outside people think.

Which isn't to say I don't judge people. I do. I'm bad. I gossip. I'm not going to pretend I don't. But I also don't think it's right to talk smack behind someone's back and hug them the next time you see them. I hate that. And I'm guilty of it to a point. Anyone that truly knows me knows I can't fake a relationship. In other words, if I don't like you, you probably know it.

So I guess that is a segue way into my next topic--people who fake it or live in denial. We all do it to a point. I mean, how many of us truly love their day jobs? But to live your life day to day with someone that treats you bad or to have to fake your way through the day, ugh, I don't know how people do it. I want to shake them and tell them to wise up, get out, get on, be happier.

But who am I to judge what makes people happy in their own life? It can be frustrating to watch friends go through bad marriages or complain about being single but everyone makes a choice to live the way they want to live. I truly believe it is a conscious choice to choose to be happy. Some people actually need to live with drama to feel they are alive but there is only so much you can complain about before it really is your own fault to make a choice to do something about it. I love that line in that Dreamgirls song 'Listen' that goes, 'I'm all alone at a crossroad, I'm not at home in my own home..' that makes me so sad! GET OUT GIRLS! LIFE IS TOO SHORT!

Which brings me back to being a mother and being 37. I went through a similar thing when I was 27 and life was so different then. I was engaged and Al and I were just starting out. My perspective was naive. I've never been completely secure in myself--not in my looks or intellegence--those are things I have always struggled with. But I refuse to allow another person make me feel insecure in who I am--especially as a mother. I am confident in being a mother. I'm sure I'll make mistakes along the way but the choices I've made have brought me to wehere I am and have led me to become the person I am. Nothing in life is guranteed, you just have to make the best choices for the life that is best for YOU.

Off the soap box now.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Going Away to Come Home

We just got back from a nice trip to Ko'Olina, Hawaii. Getting a tan in mid-80 degree weather in the middle of December makes you realize why people live there. Sunshine days every day, every season. Ahhh...and going there on vacation means (well, to most) no work, no email, no stress. (I myself need to be online every day to check stuff. I get antsy if I don't have a decent DSL connection.)

It was also great to spend time with Al and James. With Al working so much and away from home, it was a good time to just hang out. And like me and Al, James loves the beach, sand, ocean, open sky.

As much as I absolutely love getting away from the daily routine of the burbs, one of the reasons I like going on vacation is coming home. As excited as I am when the plane takes off, I am actually even more thrilled when it touches down coming back. The truth is, I'm a homebody. I love our house, our friends here, the comfort of the familiar. I'm guess that sounds boring.

Going away to a different place and having a new adventure and new experiences makes me appreciate home more than it makes me appreciate seeing other places. Unlike a lot of people, I get excited when it's time to pack up and leave. I feel true happiness when we drive down our street and up our driveway after being gone--even for only a few days.

There are a lot of people that feel the need for adventure, to get away from the mundane and seek something new--especially when you are younger and wanting to explore. I truly believe it allows you to grow up, to learn about who you are and what you want. I stayed home a long time. I was 25 when I moved out to live with my then boyfriend/now husband and I still have seen very little of the big world.

There was a quote I read recently--damn, I should have written it down--that says something about how when you are at home you are most yourself so that is what the definition of what being happy is. Being with my family and good friends is where I am most at home in who I am--wherever that may be. I don't think 'home' is necessarily a physical place for everyone but that quote rings true for me.

Dorothy was right--there really is no place like home.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

October...and the leaves are stripped bare...hahaha

Happy October! I can't believe the end of this year is coming up. They've had Christmas decorations up since the beginning of this month!

Al's L&L is doing great! He's not home much but he loves it and it's something that's his own. How many people can say that? I'm supportive because I know not many people can say they love what they do. Or they love what they do but they are working for Corporate America. It's still never really your own.

Some thoughts recently:

My son is pretty awesome. I know everyone says that about their kids...and well, to every parent it's true. He is now age 3. I love this age and this time. I can have full conversations with him, we joke around, I teach him things, he teaches me things. He catches on to the humor. I have to admit--I wasn't into the newborn phase. I was always stressed out and tired. Having waited until I was 34 to have a child, you kind of get used to what your life is like without one. And let me tell you, having a dog doesn't compare. Yeah, it's a great starter to joint resoponsibility and the care, feeding and nuturing of a life, but having a child is completely different. Anyone that has kids knows what I'm talking about.

I love how aware children are. My son will recall lines from movies or his favorite shows or things we have said weeks later and add them into a conversation where it actually makes sense. They really do hear and see what is going on around them. Don't let their age fool you. They may be innocent but they aren't clueless.

It's too bad a lot of us 'grown ups' are. Pay attention people.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Written Word

I love writing even though the most I do is on this blog--sad! Here are 2 things I have always loved:

I have the poster framed in my office. One of the best ad campaigns ever. Whatever happened to this type of advertising? This is part of the reason I majored in advertising. Oh to be young and naive. It's actually more fun to be older and jaded. hahaha

Here is another blurb I love written by Josephine Hart--the first paragraph from the book 'Damage' (too bad the movie was bad!):

There is an internal landscape, a geography of the soul, we search for its outlines all our lives. Those who are lucky enough to find it ease like water over a stone, onto its fluid contours, and are home. Some find it in the place of their birth; others may leave a seaside town, parched, and find themselves refreshed in the desert. There are those born in the rolling countryside who are really only at ease in the intense and busy loneliness of the city. For some, the search is for the imprint of another; a child, or a mother, a grandfather or a brother, a lover, a husband a wife or a foe. We may go through our lives happy or unhappy, successful or unfulfilled, loved or unloved, without ever standing cold with the shock of recognition, without ever feeling the agony as the twisted iron in our souls unlocks itself and we slip at last into place.

It makes so much sense! : )

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Business Travel and the Joy of the Club Sandwich

I used to love business travel. I used to travel once a month to pretty cool cities that I always wanted to see. I've been to New York, Chicago, LA, Dallas, Las Vegas...and to places I never was interested in like Little Rock. Business travel isn't vacation travel--it gets old pretty fast. I think when you are younger, single and have no kids it's a great way to see the US, even the world. I don't travel anymore...and I don't miss it. Sure it's exciting at first but then it starts to get old. The airports all look the same. The rush of business travelers, the harried vacationers, the rush. You have packing down to exactly what you need to wear for meetings and maybe a different top for going out. I once travelled to Orlando with just the art folio bag and my laptop backpack. I wore the same outfit flying out as I did flying home. My business clothes were in the folio.

You know when you have to be at the airport but before 9/11 you could get there as close to boarding as possible. After the heightened security I would make sure to wear slip on shoes, have my license in my backpocket and my boarding pass printed out. And I'd travel with as little as possible. Again, it's not vacation travel.

Now that I'm married with a son, I'm thankful I don't have to do it as much. I was never afraid to fly before but it's different now--travelling alone makes you paranoid. You start to look around the cabin and think--I really don't want to die with a bunch of strangers. Terrible thought, I know! I think that's why I understood what was going on in the movie, 'Lost in Translation' (if I think I got it right). There is a sense of being on autopilot that gets depressing even if you are staying in a 5 star hotel in a great city--especially if you travel alone.

I have a business travel ritual that I follow to this day. Thank God for the safe flight when we land, get to the hotel and order a club sandwich. Every hotel has a club sandwich and you can't make them bad. I always have them with fries. I usually leave CNN on while I check email. Those things make me feel better, safer in a routine. True comfort food! (BTW, the best club sandwich I ever had was just this past weekend at the Marriott Renaissance in Las Vegas. YUM!)

I respect people who have to do it all the time. There was an article in USA Today that talks about how frequent business travel affects personal lives--how can it not?
The issue is that most people that travel for business a lot are in positions that require them to do so...hopefully they are compensated pretty well because they sacrifice personal time to do it. You can't complain about a spouse that travels frequently if it pays the bills--there is always a tradeoff--but that's a whole other blog.

I have never done any international business travel (I don't count Toronto). If I ever have to it will be exciting, but right now I like being close to home. I can't get much closer. I telecommute full time.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Practically Impractical: Luxe Handbags

I like high end handbags. I also like cheapie handbags. I pretty much like any handbag that looks nice and is functional. So why in my craziness did I purchase one purse that was over $1000? Call it crazy (I almost do) but the truth is designer or 'luxe' handbags, while ridiculously overpriced are, to the buyer 'worth it'. I'm not going to lie and say it's because they are made better than other handbags. The luxe lines like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Gucci...will all claim they are well made, hand stitched, and only made in France, Italy, the US etc. and they may be, but I've had a $500 Kate Spade handbag strap break on me--twice and my sister had Marc Jacobs zipper pull fall off. No matter what people say, designer handbags are purchased because of the name first, design 2nd. Practicality probably doesn't and won't make the list. So why buy them? I have to admit, after starting out making nothing and getting to a point in my life where I feel like I like nicer end things, I treated myself to one of the most expensive things I've ever purchased in my life: a black leather quilted Chanel tote purse. I still feel a little guilty about it. It's such an extravagant purchase. If you are going to buy one you have to get over the price or it will just bother you. But don't believe the hype. Sometimes I have $2 in my Louis Vuitton purse! hahahaha. Sometimes (okay, more than sometimes) it's ok to be frivolous.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Married with Children

I read one of the best articles on being a parent yesterday--it's called 'Does Fatherhood Make You Happy?' by Daniel Gilbert:,9171,1202940,00.html

It questions our need to feel as though our children bring us happiness regularly. That's what everyone wants to say and what we want people to think but the truth is parenthood is HARD. And I only have one kid!

I have never loved anyone as much as I love my son. In the article Gilbert says:
"Our children give us many things, but an increase in our average daily happiness is probably not among them. Rather than deny that fact, we should celebrate it. Our ability to love beyond all measure those who try our patience and weary our bones is at once our most noble and most human quality." I love that. I love how honest it is.

Anyone who is married that thinks having a child will make a marriage better or give you a stronger bond is in for a rude awakening. Al and I were married 7 years before I had James. I was never afraid of preganancy--I was more afraid of after and raising a little person. I recall telling a girlfriend that I really felt I was at a point I was ready--then I got pregnant a month later. The truth is you are NEVER ready. Having a child and going through the newborn phase is a stressful and an extremely trying, not to mention tiring time. If you don't have a spouse that helps out--good luck! Here is a tip--if your significant other doesn't help with the household chores or the beloved pet, chances are you are going to be doing 90% of the work it takes with a child.

I have friends who complain complain complain about their husbands not doing enough to help out. I feel for them but come on, after awhile you have to either DO something about it or stop complaining--after all, their spouse is the person they chose to marry AND have kids with. I know it sounds harsh but hello--if a man isn't going to step up for their family, then they aren't going to step up for anything.

One of my friends left her husband because he was a 'disappointing father'. I'm sure there is more to it but I admire her for knowing what life she wanted for herself and her son. It takes guts to do it on your own. I would feel the same way if Al was a slacker. Luckily he's not. Phew.

Friday, May 19, 2006

On Tattoos

People are sometimes surprised I have tattoos. The people that know me really well aren't surprised I have them. When people I meet find out (since they are hidden) I get that 'YOU?' thing. My family is pretty conservative. I'm the only one that has one in my immediate family. My husband would never get one, nor does he like them much.

I love tattoos. I have 2 small ones and one kind of big one. I watch Miami Ink and Inked on A&E. There is an artform to it that I appreciate but more importantly they just make sense to me to have them. Al feels the exact opposite. He doesn't 'get' them the same way I don't 'get' piercings. I think part of it is creative and part is identity. It's nothing unique to have a tattoo--lots of people have them, but what you choose and where you place them is a unique and permanent reminder of who you are--whether that is good or bad. I got my first tattoo at 23 in Hawaii on vacation with Sivi and Pam--small blue morning glory with green flowers on my inner left ankle. It took about 10 minutes tops. I still love it but it's small. I guess it's a good way to start out but getting them tiny doesn't make sense. If you are going to do it--DO IT. My 2nd tattoo I got on my 26th birthday in San Jose at Dragon Tattoo. Outline of a butterfly with tiny hearts on the wings. Took about 5 minutes--it hurt but it was very short so it went fast. It's just ok. I love the placement but I should have done it bigger and with more color. Then I got the outline of a sun (forget how hold I was but it was before I was married) on my lower back (in San Francisco, forget the name of the place, the guy who tattooed me was named Lucky!) went with Vic and Emil right after I picked them up from the airport. Took about 20 minutes but it felt numb. That one bothered me a lot--it was too small and I wanted color but wasn't sure to get more because Al doesn't like tattoos. Eventually the desire to get one won over. What's great is Al understands it's who I am. So that was that!

I was inspired by my good friend, Donna Raines to get my sun tattoo updated. She has the most incredible art tattooed on her back...koi fish, water, cherry blossoms. It's really beautiful.

So...for my 9th wedding anniversary I went to Folsom City Ink (with neighbor Tracy) and decided to update the sun. Originally went in thinking I would get a fairy. I have this thing for ethereal things with wings: fairies, angels, butterflies, birds, cherubs, unicorns (yeah, I know, I know--but I do!)...the tattoo artist's book had these awesome all made sense. Change the sun to a flower and have the birds on either side. They represent Al and James. Those tattoos took 2 hours and 20 minutes. And it HURT. A lot! But it was worth it. And Tracy and I had a great time! I love the people that work in and go to tattoo places. They are the most fun and open, non-judgemental and fun people I have met.

I'm not sure the latest addition will be my last, but if I get another one I'm sure it will be part of who I am like the others are. Rock on friends!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

First Blog: Rants and Raves from the burbs...

I thought this would be a good place for rants and raves and all that stuff that you (I mean, me) want to get out. I was born and raised in San Jose way before it became the tech mecca. It just got too big and too much for me. I had to get out! So we moved to El Dorado Hills back in 2003. I work for a great co that allows me to telecommute full time. Living in the burbs is great but can be boring as hell. Luckily I've found great, strong women friends to relate to and hang out with. Plus it's a great place and community to raise a family. And let's face it, once you have a kid it's ALL about the family. (sounds like Sopranos)

I'm starting this blog to rant and to keep in touch with all my Bay Area friends (mainly give family updates) and with my friends that have moved all over. It's also a place to vent--get ready--I can be very opinionated and yes, judgemental. If you don't like it, don't read it. Seriously.

I'll get back on now and again to share my unsolicited ten cents. BTW, that photo of me in the profile is old. It's with my beloved beagle Bo about 4 years ago. I had to include Bo in this!