Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Holiday

I have a new-found appreciation for Easter.  I like that it's a holiday all about joy.  The joy that Christ was resurrected and that He made a way for me to live in Heaven with my loved ones forever.  It's a pretty awesome idea.  And a way under-rated holiday.

I got a card from my fam bam (as part of a package) that was just too good to not share.

It has all the tell-tale signs of a holiday card from the Gamboa family to one of its members:
  • My parents wrote something cheesy in it.  
  • My mom altered the original text so that it's from the entire family (Most common are things like a little "& Son!" added on to a "Dear Brother,")
  • Everyone had to sign it
  • All the kids tried to be witty.  
Actually, we have sort of a competition to see who can be funniest when signing cards.  This time Marcus won.  I don't think he was even trying, I just really appreciate that he got right down to business.  It still makes me laugh now.  

Anyways, I realized that I usually like to write either about what thought is stuck in my head or about the interactions I have had with others.  Sadly, between work and class and studying for midterms, I haven't had much interaction with other people lately or many deep thoughts.  How pathetic is that!  I seriously need to get outside of my room more often.  
As a result, I have blogger's block.  I wrote an entire post that was a letter to my teeth (Oh GOODNESS, the relationship I have with my teeth.), but then I deemed it stupid and not even creative or funny, so I deleted it.  I did take a good picture of my teeth for it though.  But I think I deleted that too.  

Actually, the most notable interactions I have had lately are the three times this week I have absolutely wanted to kill Jillian Michaels.  But I keep using her DVDs because, I mean, she looks like this:

Ooh I should do a post on food sometime soon.  I have very complex and interesting opinions about food lately.  

Anyways,  that's about it lately for me.  It's been a week of nose-in-a-book-ed-ness so far, but we're only half way through, so hopefully it will get better.  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Summer Lovin'

You wouldn't believe how excited I am for this summer.  More excited than I am for practically anything else right now.  Well, that's false.  But I'm still PRETTY excited.  (Yeah, I used all caps, so what?)

This summer I am going home.  It's weird how my concept of home changes.  When I had a roommate, I was starting to feel like Stanford was home.  I still love it here, but coming back to my room everyday doesn't really feel like home.  It could be because half of my room has empty walls and a weird, uncomfortable and bare blue mattress.  It doesn't exactly give off a home-y vibe.

Oh the digressions of my brain.

Anyways, to Upland I go.  In about 8 weeks, that is.  I have big plans for this summer.  I hope I get through all the stuff that I want to.

Hopefully, the internship that I wan this summer will pull through and I'll be able to have a grand ol' time learning le business skillz and whatnot.  We'll see.  I'm afraid to count my chicks before they hatch on this one.

But then, since I am recently sort of becoming a foodie (Thanks K-Trizz), I was hoping to get a job as a hostess or the likes at some restaurant.  Just so I can get a feel for restaurants and a little extra cash in my pocket.  Which Stanford can then take away from me in the fall.

And then here's the part where I will (hopefully) never be bored or without anything to do,  because I have made a list of things I want to do during the summer.
I want to:

  • Learn to cook a lot of dishes that are yummy and healthy and flavorful.  
  • Go the Beach about a billion times.  Or like 4+
  • Get tan.  Like, actually look like I'm Mexican tan.  
  • Learn all the spices that are somewhat common.
  • Have a street art photoshoot in L.A.  I'm sort of obsessed with street art.  
  • Explore Griffith Park especially the Observatory.
  • Go to the Getty Museum
  • Read through the Book of Mormon start to finish.  
  • Go to the Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade
  • Go to the Grove and hear some free music
  • Hear Friday Night Jazz at LACMA
  • Hit up the Garment District in LA
It's crazy how I've lived so close to LA all my life and never seen a lot of these things.  Basically every Saturday of the whole summer will be a day trip for me, so hopefully I can get some friends to come along with me.

Also, I made this terribly awesome joke in a TUSB post and I'm afraid no one will ever see it, so I'm putting it here: Studies show that if you eat a bucket of spinach at every meal, you will grow big and strong.  (You have to click the link to get the joke).

And pictures make every blog post better, right?

This is relevant because he's at the beach.  

This is relevant because it's my blog and it's a picture of me!

This is not relevant.  

The End.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

And Finally, Boston

I've been putting off telling the Boston stories for a while because it means I probably have to stop talking about my crazy awesome spring break trip.
That and because by the time we got to Boston we had figured out travelling and we didn't do any stupid things any more.  Haha jk.  We just had friends in Boston to take care of us everywhere so we didn't really have too much of an opportunity to get lost or be starving or feel a little bit out of control.

Some of my Boston favorites were:
Canolis from Mike's Pastry two days in a row.  Thank goodness we were walking like 8 miles a day.  

Walking the Freedom Trail.  It starts with the old state building (I think it's called that - my memory is already starting to fade - boooo!)

Stopping to give ourselves some beauty treatment.  I turned into the face mask monster.  

And enjoying great seafood.  I'd never enjoyed a meal of seafood before that night.  New England does it right.  

This post doesn't have a cool story in it.  But Boston was soo incredibly awesome.  Everything there is deeply rooted in history and culture that has been that way for practically as long as America has been a country.  Besides there was the time KT and I bought a $7 brick of cheese and some focaccia from a little Italian place and ate it all for lunch.  Or when we went to the observatory telescopes in Harvard and got to see a great view of Boston and Cambridge.  

Boston is cool, yo

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On Living Alone...

I'm trying to balance out my serious posts with posts like my last one, where I complain about being sick and just gush over hot celebrities who help me feel better.  Hopefully this one will be somewhere in between those two extremes.

So for the last 8 weeks, and for 8 more weeks, due to some unfortunate circumstances, I have been / will be living alone.  The idea of living alone is pretty much radically different from the reality of it.  At least for me it was.

Partly because it was unexpected, and partly because I've never lived alone before, the first couple of weeks were downright depressing.  I crawled up in my own world of isolation and I didn't like it, but I didn't know what to do to change.  So I did weird things to try and shake myself up into normal life.  But that didn't work out very well.

What I learned was that what you do when you're by yourself says a lot about myself.  And i didn't like the version of myself that came out in those first couple of weeks.

But also, living alone is scary.  There's no one for you to take care of, and there's no one to take care of you. If you were kidnapped in your sleep no one could really be sure of it for at least a few days.  I have this theory that people aren't meant to live alone.  Nor are they meant to live in hyper-social places like dorms where all of your private life is now public.  And if you want to be alone, or if some weird depressional urge has you being alone, then you still get to hear everyone around you being social and having fun and singing along to Rebecca Black's stupid stupid song.
Those first few weeks were definitely the worst of both worlds.

So I tried to inject myself with the fun things that I used to do when I wasn't so depressed.  In stead of being lonely all the time, I was just alone.  I picked up fun things that I still do.
Let's pretend that "imagine what life would be like married to Mr. Incredible" 
time is not something I actually engage in.
Like one girl dance parties.
And fashion shows.
And turning my room into a work-out room.
And it's ok that you don't want to put on clothes after the shower time. (oops that one was supposed to be a secret)
And thinking time with Mo-tab.
And play with make-up time.
And sit on the floor to do your homework time.
And Disney sing-along time.

Mad props to Henry David Thoreau, man.

My very own Walden Pond?

But f'reals, it's been pretty enlightening.  I've learned about what I like and what I don't and what I do when left to my own devices and how to have fun with myself and how to be comfortable with just myself.

But I'm also seriously ready to move into a house again.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My sick-bed

I thought this was some biblical phrase.  But it turns out in only appears in the Book of Mormon.

But still, you can picture it in Biblical times.  Someone gets sick and so they lay them in bed and try not to catch whatever the sick person has.  Well I was sick this weekend, and let me tell you I can picture just fine.

My sick-bed involved about 30 hours of me leaving my sick-bed only to shower and eat and go to the bathroom. Social interactions are really for losers anyway.  And by losers I mean healthy people who enjoy their lives.  It also involved every pillow I own, pajamas, about a billion tissues, and my computer.  Oh and little cups of super hot water with honey in them that I would steal from the cafeteria at school.  Don't worry, these are the to-go cups that are meant to be stolen.

On Saturday at about 5, I came back from a very fun day in San Francisco exhausted and all sick-y feeling.  So when I couldn't fall asleep I spent all of my time instead watching movies.  Here's what helped me to feel better.
A little Hugh Jackman:
but seriously folks, they don't even airbrush this man because he is THAT GOOD LOOKING.  He is my celebrity crush of all celebrity crushes.  Too bad he has a wife.  No really, it's too bad.  

And also what helped me feel better was a little of the modern rat pack.  That's right, we're talking Ocean's 11:
And really, Matt Damon had to get his own picture for this one because in my mind he steals the show in this movie.  I just want to give hum a hug and tell him that he's just as good as Brad Pitt and George Clooney at being a con-man.  
He makes such a good nerd.  

And by this point I had exhausted all of the eye candy on my computer.  So on Sunday, wanting to be more reverent anyways, I watched the Lion King, which did help me fall asleep.  And then later some General Conference to help me make up for not going to church all day.  

And even though I'm still not 100% and my nose hurts from all the nose-blowing that's been going on here in this tiny room, it's good to be talking to other humans again.  And not just watching them on my computer screen and pretending I were friends with all these gorgeous men.  Really, a man should not be more gorgeous than I am, but still I am not complaining.  

Oh my sick-bed.  You are the only perk of being sick.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why does anyone have children anyways?

I'm going to attempt a serious blog post here.  Because I have serious things on my mind and I sort of like it when other people post serious things.

I'm taking this writing class with the very general topic of happiness.  We have to choose one topic for the next ten weeks to write about and do presentations on, as long as we can tie it to happiness somehow.  I'm writing about the Disney brand, but that's besides the point.
My teacher wanted to get the creative juices flowing, so she made us read a billion different articles to try and inspire us.  We somehow came to the topic of families, and specifically having children.  We discussed how study after study shows that having children does not increase happiness at all.  My professor went on a rant about how people know that having children will make them more tired, less financially stable, more stressed, more emotionally tired, more pressed for time and yet they stupidly continue to have children.  How in the old days having children served an economic function, because you could get your kids to help you with the work on the farm.  But now, the roles have reversed and parents are, in essence, slaves to their children.

I bit my tongue.  It was the second day of class, and I didn't want my teacher to hate me just yet, so I just let all the words pass by me.

Let me explain:  My Freshman year of college, after my very first term, my oldest sister was really pregnant, and my mom couldn't be there to help my sister out during the first few days of Preston's life because he kept playing tricks on all of us even from the womb.  My other sister was out of the country, and Adri didn't want to be without feminine help while in labor.  So I went.  Me.  18-year-old, knowing nothing about the miracle of birth (I was 5 when my youngest brother was born) and all, I went.  And I try not to be too weird about this, but that day changed my life.  I didn't really realize it then, but thinking back on that day I remember the rush of emotions that ranged from worry and almost panic (He was almost born without a doctor in the room) to discomfort to the most instant and complete sense of love that I have ever felt.  I'm not just talking about the love that I had for the baby, even though Preston means a whole lot to me.  I'm also talking about watching my sister and brother-in-law and the love they had for their new baby and for each other.  It was something I will never be able to adequately describe and something that I hope everyone gets the opportunity to someday experience.

The point of that story is not that I think the miracle of children is awesome.  It's not even that I think the studies are wrong.  The point of the story is that I decided, after that point in my life, that I wanted to fill my life with as much love as possible.  That my new life's goal is to love as many people as I can get this heart of mine to love, and to be surrounded by people who love me.

So maybe children do make you unhappy.  I know they do sometimes.  I also know that they make you happy sometimes.  I can't really say for sure which there is more of because I have never had children of my own.  (Though I love my nephews so much that I feel like they belong to me a little bit).  But I do know, that nothing ever, in my entire life of 20 years and half of a Stanford education and various jobs and relationships and friends, none of it, has ever brought me as much love as the love I remember in that room almost a year and a half ago.  Love like that has nothing to do with someone being forced to work for someone else.  And every time I think back to that day, or to those two little boys, I can't even believe how much I love my family.

Love lasts much longer than happiness anyways.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

DC craziness

Oh the DC.  DC was, I'm not going to lie here, my least favorite of the three cities that I visited over Spring Break.  Although to be honest I'm not sure I really gave it a fair chance.  We were limited to public transportation, which was fine because the place we stayed at was about a quarter mile from the subway station. And also we basically limited ourselves to free attractions.

I guess I have to explain.  I love food.  I love to eat and I love trying new foods and I love the idea of sitting down to a meal with someone.  It's a social thing for me.  It's about sharing.  Kristin and I would go two different places for each meal just so that we could eat half of whatever we bought and then switch with the other person. And in New York, we ate out for every single meal.  And it got to be expensive.  New York is expensive.  So by the time we got to DC, we figured we had better slow down on the food expenditures.

So when we got to DC on Monday night, we had some time to kill, and decided to go grocery shopping.  We could buy sensible things and spend less in two days than we had on two meals in New York.  It was brilliant.  Here's where the fun began.

Fun thing Number 1:
The nearest grocery store to where we stayed was Whole Foods.  I think whole foods is great.  But also, every time I go there, I want to buy expensive cheese and some grapes to go with them and these crackers look so good, and is that curry I smell?  Which translates to not cheap.  So we decided to take an extra little walk to whatever grocery store that the Google Maps app on my phone said was closest.  It was about a ten minute walk.  But then again we were in Virginia. So Virginia decided to have some rain right then.  Correction, Virginia decided to have a thunder storm right then.  A thunderstorm that only lasted ten minutes, and, you guessed it, it chose the exact ten minutes that we were walking to the grocery store.
Contemplating the State of the Union, and also what my next meal would be.  

Only when we got there, it was more like a convenience store that comes with a gas station except there were no fountain drinks and there was no gas station.  Which not only had like negative selection, but was actually probably more expensive than going to whole foods.  So soaked and disappointed, we walked over to whole foods.  But we were good!  Despite being hungry enough to have way too many cheese samples to not even buy the cheese, we were like Ms. Don't spend money and Ms. Only buy the essentials.  We ended up getting some deli meat, bread, boring cheddar cheese, yogurt, a couple of apples, a couple of oranges, and a bunch of bananas.  The  bread and things turned into sandwiches, which we ate for lunch and dinner.  And the yogurt and bananas turned to breakfast.  And fruit for snacks.  Which brings me to.....

Fun Thing Number 2:
Day 1 of eat all the groceries worked out great.  Were were full all day and we were happy and we even got to go to the temple that night.  It was cheap and awesome.
But on day two, we ran out of turkey for the sandwiches (holy cow brains I have been spelling this word sandwhiches my whole life and that is wrong!).  But no worries!  We would make grilled cheese sandwiches (it is so weird to type) instead.  Except that we only had enough bread for three sandwiches.  One and a half each.  And we were out of snack fruit.  But we had a bag of nasty peanuts that we had bought for the bus ride to DC.  So as we made the grilled cheese's, we realized we were using a really funny burner after we had burnt all 3 of them.  And then we put them in a plastic bag, which turned into us having soggy, burnt sandwiched when we were hungry for lunch.  It was the saddest thing we had ever seen.  We walked though cafes at all the museum-y places and smelled the food and instead ate our yucky sandwiches and nasty peanuts.
Not so excited at museum Number 7.  
Besides this, DC is a LOT of museums.  Like 7 museums in 2 days a lot.  So by the time day 2 was ending, we were more than happy to meet some friends at Good Stuff Eatery to eat a properly cooked meal and enjoy something else besides reading a plaque about a dead person (I know I sound terribly insensitive right now).
This trip has soooo many pictures of food.  But the food was definitely a highlight.  
Honestly my favorite part was the temple.  It is such a gorgeous temple.  Not that there are ugly ones, but this one was breathtaking. 

Oh and I left all my toiletries (read: makeup) in NY on accident, so I get progressively more haggard looking in the pictures.