Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Driving Back to Stanford (aka BAD)

I went home for Memorial Day Weekend and in general, fun was had.  But that is a future post.  Today's post is on the drive back to Leland Stanford Junior University. (No it is not a junior university, it is just named after Leland Stanford Junior, thank you very much).

OK well first off, I hate this drive.  The drive from the LA area to Stanford is probably the only thing that I regularly do that I absolutely hate.  Well, I also hate exercising, but sometimes I kind of like it too.  This drive just sucks.

I have made that drive in the dead of night almost every time I've done it.  I have made that drive while trying to suppress the urge to throw up.  I have made that drive 11 times now, and 9 of those I was completely alone.  All of those in the last 9 months.  And more than once on that drive, I have shed tears and vowed never to drive ever again.  It is a cursed drive, I promise.

6 hours.  6 hours alone is enough to make me act a little bit crazy, but 6 hours driving is just really taxing on my soul.  But of course at the end of Memorial Day Weekend, the drive didn't take just 6 hours, it tool an entire 8 hours.  8 HOURS!!  Oh my goodness, the bad state of mind that I was into by the time I had finished the drive.

Right after the Grapevine (it's a real city, but you better believe my family makes jokes about things they heard in that area at every possible opportunity), there was an accident on the 5 which was actually cleared by the time I got there.  But because the accident occurred about 10 miles before a construction site, I was in stop and go traffic on a highway (with a speed limit of 70 mph, mind you) for one and a half hours.

Actually, this part wasn't that bad.  I spent the first half of the time being Ms. Grumpy-Car (my last name is Grumpy, and my husband's is car, but I'm sort of a feminist so I go with the hyphen), but then I decided that was stupid.  And since I discovered three cd's that I had forgotten about in Lolita (my car, who is now clean inside and kind of on the outside too), I decided it was time for a one-girl jam sesh.  Three minutes into that, a car full of 17-yr-old boys was next to me and decided I was hilarious.  So they started trying to attract my attention.  Which ended up with a few cat calls and kissy faces in my direction.  Which, you know, I will always take the ego boost.
But their mistake was to encourage me.  Because after they were safely out of sight, I decided to up the ante. There was like choreography and attitude in my ogjs (one-girl jam sesh, duh).  So I'm just doing my own thing and appreciating the fact that I can enjoy myself even when I am stuck in a billion (and I mean a billionnnn) traffic.  Then I realized the truck full of guys probably 5-10 years older than me on my left was taping me using their iphone.  Somewhere, there is probably a youtube video of my dance moves and insane vocal stylings titled something like "Girl stuck in traffic sings and dances in car"  or something else creative like that. When I saw them I was overcome with a fit of the giggles, which of course started the whole truck of guys in laughing.   At least I improved someone's traffic experience.

So yeah, traffic.  But as the hours wore on, my positive attitude was replaced with tiredness and loneliness (when did I turn into one of those girls who hates to be alone so much?) and the Dr. Pepper I had gotten at the gas station was almost all sparkling water and not very much of the syrup that makes it DP.  And I got sooo emotional.  It all just took it's toll.  I realized around 10 pm that normally I would be back at Le Stanford in my cozy bed by then and then around that time I came upon the second accident of the drive.

And it was a gnarly accident.  I'm pretty sure someone died based on the wreckage I saw, although I'm pretty sure I got there before the authorities did.  But I was so sucked dry from the drive, that I just started crying.  Like uncontrollably.  Ok, it was in control because I was still good to drive, but I just hated everything about that moment.  I don't really like crying, or most definitely admitting to crying, but it was just too much.  Then Green Eyes came on in my car and it made me feel sad in a good way and I listened to it about a billion thousand times.  Literally, 25 or more times.

Sorry for a long, wordy, complainy post, but you didn't have to read it if you didn't want to.  But there is hope.  Today is a new day, I am alive, and Lolita and I made it back to the Stans.

But I do have to make the drive one more time in then next 1.5 weeks, sooo.  If I have some sort of emotional breakdown around then, you'll know why.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Getting a Little Perspective

I really wanted some quiet on my Sunday.  Somewhere where I could just sit with my thoughts and enjoy a little down time.  Living in a dorm with over 300 people means I have basically forgotten what quiet sounds like.  

So I went to the balcony of one of the biggest classroom/auditoriums at my school.  I don't think it's supposed to be open on Sundays.  I even tried to be really quiet because I think there was some sort of janitor on the main floor for a while.  

It was really neat.  It's funny how I kind of hate living alone in the way that I do because I a rarely ever have people with me, and yet I still never really get alone time.  Time for just me to do what I want.  

I took this picture, and I don't know what I even pressed, but my camera made it take in black and white. I kind of like it:

The only thing I don't like is that you can't see all the empty seats on the main level.  There's something about being in an empty room that was meant to seat 200+ people that makes you pensive.  

I was trying for a while to write down a few of my more profound thoughts, but I decided they were just on the borderline of profound, but not enough.  Let's just say that my brain in the course of an hour can bounce from the rapture to vanilla bean to going to the beach to what I want to be when I grow up to the lady at work whose blog is fascinating in a hippie-ish way.  Not in that order, of course.  

I can't wait to see my Pops this week.  He's coming to visit me here in Stan-land.  And I can't wait to go home for the long weekend!  It will be such a party. Let's go to the beach!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just a (not so) little post

You know what makes me feel good?  Getting things done.  Also, having posts that don't suck.  I feel like my posts suck lately.  Should I stop trying?  I keep trying to hammer it out and hope something magic happens.  Should I wait until something truly blog-worthy happens in my little life?

I like to think that my life is little.  Is that weird?  I like to think that I have my own sphere of people and places that I know.  I like to think that little things can be important things too.

I think I keep blogging even though nothing of note happens to me because I like to think that little things in a little life can be important.  I mean, lots of big things are the results of billions of little things right?  Like molecularly.  Or take voting, for example.  I think little things have to be consistent in order to make a difference.

I like to have an end goal when I blog, but I don't really have an end goal with this little post.  And it's getting less and less little by the word.

But the point of blogging is that I take a little writing and I do it consistently and I become better at sharing little things.  I develop a skill.  Which is weird because I'm not sure if that skill is writing-involved or not.  I think that skill is maybe expressing?  I think everyone needs to learn to express themselves.  But in my case, I think I learn to express the right parts of me.  Like I said about choosing the things you love and making them bigger.  Making them a larger slice of the pie.

I love the little things.  I love chocolate milk with my family.  And words like "racist" and "holla".  I love singing in the car.  I love the toes of babies.  I love the sore feeling the morning after exercising. I love crossing something on a list out.  I love utility curves.  I love planning my little life.  I love notes on a staff.  I love the scars on my fingers.  I love words on a page and on a screen.

Was that a boring list?  I hope not.  I think little things are the things that make people interesting.  I think little things make it easy to fall in love.  I think pretty highly of little things, in case you couldn't tell.  Which is probably why I keep blogging even though nothing big is happening.

One little thing I do when I have the self esteem for it is themed photo shoots.

Remember the 80s?  I don't actually.  I wasn't alive.  But I remember parts of the early 90s, which are more or less the 80s.  Hence the following picture:

There are others, but I am too embarrassed to show them.  But I also wish I had a hair scrunchie.

A hair a scrunchie is a little thing that would have made a big difference.

Monday, May 16, 2011


You know how I said that occasionally I have been known to flirt a little bit in order to get something from something from someone?  Well the opposite works too.  I don't quite mean flirtation, I just mean I can have pretty good customer service sometimes.

On Saturday I volunteered at a TED event.  TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  It's basically a conference full of speakers who are pretty good who talk about "ideas worth spreading."  I hear about TED talks all the time at schoolio.  People think they're really cool.  At some events tickets are $6,000, but at the one I worked at they were only about $200.

Anywho, the TED event was pretty good for me because I am good at smiling and answering questions.  Everyone was really easy to work with and it was great.

It bugs me when people think they are entitled to things.  Or think that they are more important than other people.  Ok, story time.

Because I worked at the event, I got to hear all of the speakers (until I decided I was exhausted and just ditched the whole thing three hours 4 hours before it ended - but in my defense I had already been there for 7 hours with only a 15 minute break for lunch).  But they were really cool talks so I had been taking little notes on my program.

After lunch, when the next session was starting, a few people had lost their programs and asked if they could have mine.  I told them where they could find more and people were generally ok with that.  One lady just wouldn't take no as an answer.  She asked for mine and I told her where she could find others and she still just wanted mine.  So I told her I had taken notes in it and she just said thanks and stuck out her hand.

WHAT THE HECK??  Just because I was wearing a red staff shirt and she had paid money for her ticket does not mean that she can take anything she wants from me.  What's next, does she want the jewelry I was wearing?

I don't know why this bugged me so much, but it really did.  Am I crazy?  I know it was my job for the day to help people, but I wasn't about to carry them to their seats or anything.  I'm probably overreacting, but it really got under my skin.  It made me not want to help people for the rest of the day.

I ended up giving her my program.  But I also flashed her a look that was both a smile and a dirty look at the same time.  I don't think I've ever really done that before and meant it.

And then, just so that there's a picture in this post:
A (crappy) picture of a dancer from Stanford's PowWow a couple of weekends ago.  
Getting in touch with my roots, yo.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Only Thing

I don't like about this shirt is that it implies that I am only 50% awesome.
Oh and that it's actually my little brother's shirt.  But Marcus and I can share like ALL of our clothes.  It's kind of magic.

And isn't it really hard to blog without blogger?

I mean, I know that my brain is still here and that my computer is still here, but I have like 3 drafts of posts that basically have like a sentence each in them that are supposed to get me started.  And I kept thinking of things and then flipping to blogger and being completely unable to write them down in an easy way (never mind the fact that I could have typed them up somewhere else or used a paper and pen).  So blogger, I say to you: Booooooo. 

Which reminds me.  Someone in the google family has a similar sense of humor to the one that I have.  Hence this little gem:

Oh google chrome, I knew we were soul mates.  Every time things suck, I too say Boo. Also, can you even read that?  It says boo

OK, so let’s witty-gritty.  It’s like the nitty-gritty except it’s the part where I try to be witty.  Which is not to say that I succeed very often.  I would say about 80% of the time I end up thinking I posted is like when someone changes their facebook status to show that they bought a gallon of ice cream at Albertson’s – does anyone really care?

But that’s the whole point of this post.  The point is that blogs are such a weird concept.  I basically share a little piece of my world with some shapeless audience and pretend that you all are hanging on my every word (But aren’t you though?).  And you in turn decide to read it all, personal information and all, even if you don’t know me very well.  I know because I do it.  I read blogs of strangers.  They are (for the most part) somewhat famous on the internetz for the blogging skills, so it’s not that weird, but still, it’s pretty weird.  I know intimate details of the lives of women who live in New York, DC, Provo, and Arizona.  I have never met these women.  But I know the nicknames that they have for their husbands and a lot of the things that make them laugh.  Creepy?  In some ways yes, and in some ways it is actually quite awesome.  I feel connected with these women and I like it. 

I was trying to put into words why I blog recently because I was supposed to get other students to be interested in blogging at an activity fair at my school.  The thing is, I don’t even really like writing.  I think I like attention.  I like telling stories.  I like being able to put into words the new beliefs and ideas that I get about my life.  I try to do it often, because I think it makes my brain work better.  To have an entire infinity of people to bounce ideas off of. 

I also try not to do things that are easy.  Because most of the time I bore myself writing them.  Like posts that are like OMG listen to my cool cool life.  Or lists.  At the start of this blog I did a lot of lists because they were easy.  But not in a while.  They’re easy to write but boring to read.    Stories are better.  But since I suck at those, quips and anecdotes do.  And mostly I try to do things where my personality comes through.  So that I don’t sound like my life is perfect or that the things that I think are funny are actually the funniest things in the world (but f’reals, that spinach joke was hilarious ….. to me) or really anything where I come off as the awesomest (unless it is a reference to how I am the awesomest at life, because well, the obvious reason).  But at the same time, a blog is soooo narcissistic. 

I don’t know.  This post is already too long, but I can’t really tell because I wrote it in a word document instead of in blogger.  And I also don’t really know what I’m getting at except to say that blogging is weird but I like it.  Is that weird

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


You know what Stella and I have in common?  We both got our groove back.  Have you ever gotten your groove back?  It's pretty much the most awesome thing there ever was.

Definitely groovin'

I didn't realize I had lost a little bit of my life-fire (is that phrase too cheesy to actually use?) until this last weekend.  When I got it back.  I know it's a little soon to be saying that I definitively got some mojo back, but just listen to the day I had yesterday:

I woke up a full two hours before my first class and got ready, answered emails, read five pages of the Book of Mormon, and started cleaning my room.  I ate breakfast and went to class for an hour and then came back and then I did level 1 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.  I showered and got dressed and finished cleaning my room.  I even vacuumed.
At this point it was only noon and so I got some lunch and then headed to institute.  After an hour of that, I went to work and after an hour of nothing much to do, I finished everything I wanted to.
After work, I called my brother, got dinner with a friend, sent my resume out to three different places and then headed to the library, where I finished my music theory homework, wrote yesterday's blog post, and brainstormed this one.
Then I wrote in my journal and got to bed by 11:30.

That amount of productivity has been gone in my life for sooo long.  I went through a while (an embarrassingly long while I might add), where I didn't do much besides go to class and lay in bed.  I barely squeaked by with my grades (don't worry Mom and Pops, still B's and better) and at work and I just felt like a blob.  A bloggy blob.  Haha

It's good to feel excited about life.  My point is this: if you don't feel excited about your life, don't settle for that.  Because being excited about life helps you to be a more Christ-like person.  (At least that's how it's been working for me for the last 20 years).  And I look at myself in the mirror and I feel more attractive.

And more importantly:  Being more excited about your life doesn't necessarily mean changing it.  I almost hate the cliché that if you don't like something you can't change then just change your attitude.  I prefer to think about it in this (only slightly different) way:

Choose your love.
Love your choice.

There are tons of things I don't like about Stanford.  There are tons of things I don't like about being a student in general.  There are tons of things I don't like about myself, my body, my family, my personality, my laugh.  I could go on and on.  But these are the things I have.  And they are great.  There are things that I am absolutely crazy about for each of these things.  So I am going to concentrate on accentuating those things that I love.

Sometimes, I am afraid to do posts like this because I don't want to sound preachy or like I have all the answers.  It is so very painfully clear sometimes that I don't have all the answers.  But I have decided from now on to be unapologetically grateful and happy and positive.
People make it so cool-seeming to be a tortured artist type.  Or to be so aware of the sadness on this planet that they cannot possibly be happy.  Sadness has its place.  It has an important place.  But I think in my life, I'm going to decide that happiness has an even bigger one.

I have decided that I am in love with my life and that I always will be.

(I apologize that I don't have a glass of wine to give you because that ending was cheeeeeeeese.)

Monday, May 9, 2011


I am especially bad at giving titles to my posts.

I have the desire to BELT out some music even though I'm pretty sure my neighbors hate it.

I have to goal of making my blog the first thing that comes up when you google search "gigi gems" or "Gigi Gamboa blog".  I don't really know how you do that. (I'm second right now.)

I noticed that how and who are made of the exact same letters.

I figured out how to make it so when I try to go on hulu or facebook during the weekdays it instead goes here.

I have the desire to share with you that I made my very own website. Like a couple of months ago.  It took a really bazillion long time to do, so you should appreciate it a lot because everything (and I mean everything) in there I did by scratch.

I am looking forward to meeting Kevin Bacon this week.  And by meeting I mean I am going to hear him speak and I am going to try harrrd to meet him.  Is it weird that I have a mild Kevin Bacon crush?

I want to revive my Spanish and I don't hate talking to groups of people.  These are not really related.

And a little story because, well quite honestly this post sucks up to this point:

I went to work today and I was capital "B" BORED (I guess all the other letters are capitalized too).  This was just because my boss wasn't there for about the first hour or so. ( I just realized that my bosses could read this and then I had a mini panic attack and decided whether or not to post this but then remembered that my own little brothers don't ready my blog so I'm probably good.  Just in case, I would like to add that I have a great job that is super awesome and that my bosses are the best people in the world.)

Anyways,  I was wishing it were the weekend again, because I got to go to the beach.  But I didn't get lobster-fied as I had hoped because it was sooooo windy that they sand was pelting us and it was painful.  And then I remembered that my friend in Santa Cruz is super awesome because she made a ring for me.  Like on the spot!  It was re-donkulously cool.  Srsly.


Once again, on the very very very small chance that my boss reads my blog (you're so cool Ryan!  I want to be just like you when I graduate!), I would like to say that these photos may or may not have been taken during the hour that I was bored at work.  

But the ring, it is le cool, no?  I am obsessed with it so you can tell me if it's not your style and I will not be offended, but it is so unique!  I basically picked two beads that I like and my friend just whipped the thing up by wrapping them in cool wire.  I've been wearing it since I got it because I am in love.  

Is it wrong to love an accessory?  I sure hope not!
(P.S.  The ending to this post is cheeeese.  )

Friday, May 6, 2011

My family is OLD

Today, my youngest brother turns 15.   15!  That's not very young.  He is not a toddler.  There are only two of us who are not adults now.  Legally, that is (if you judged by which of us would eat chocolate milk and lunch meat for dinner, .... well probably less of us are adults).
Here is my favorite picture of me and the little brother:

Sorry Puke, I can't post funny stories about you because I didn't do that for anyone else's birthday.  Even though you probably do the weirdest things and thus have some of the funniest stories.  

It's weird how the family dynamic has changed in like the last five years in my family.  I think we keep getting weirder and weirder.  For me, most of all, my family is a reminder to not take life so seriously.  Because we definitely don't take things too seriously over at Casa Gamboa.

Am I the only one who goes to blogger to check all my blogs (instead of Google Reader) and thinks, "Oh Blogger!"  in a British accent so that it sounds like, "Oh bother!"?

That ties into this post because Winnie the Pooh used to say "Oh Bother!" and my family has a rich history of Winnie the Pooh.  Namely, the episode where Pooh goes to Rabbit's house and gets stuck in the door.  We call it (oh so creatively I might add), "Pooh Stuck."

But now that we are old, we have to wait until the grandbabies are in town to do little kid things.  But we still do them.  I vote actually for a flour fight the next time we are all home (June?)

Well, I have nothing else to say.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


This post has nothing to do with jambalaya other than the fact that jambalaya kind of sounds like jumbly.  And my life is awfully jumbly right now.

Stanford is a weird place. It is a lot like all of my dreams coming true.  There is great weather and great people and great departments.  And I love it.  It's like tiramisu.  Delicious and refined and energizing and just a little bit too much but in that good way where you like the indulgence of it all.
It's also like success boot camp sometimes because a lot a lot of people think that money will lead to happiness.  I think that more often money leads to a desire for more money.  Catch-22, really (but not really).

All of the pictures that come from my webcam automatically go into a folder called Narcissism, because well, you know. But I can't be the only one who knows.   

Oh and also, Stanford is like one big question.  And that question is: What do you really want to do?
How am I supposed to know what I want to do?  I mean I know what I want to do today but also that involves laying in bed all day and watching movies (Let's be real, they are probably of the Disney variety) and then getting all dressed up so I can teleport to the party where all of my friends are dancing and they clap and yell, "Oh Shnaps!" at all the cool dance moves that we take turn doing.  And afterwards I teleport home and my family is playing a board game and the babies are being cute and everyone keeps saying, "that's racist" because Marcus said that he likes his chocolate milk really dark.

But here's the real thing.  It's that one of my eyes is significantly bigger than the other and I don't think I can pull off bold lipsticks and I almost don't hate the way my feet look.

Are you catching on to the feeling of jumbly-ness?

That picture reminds me of how I want to make the Gamboa family motto, "Well, at least I am having a good hair day."  Because while Gamboa's may be modest about many things, not hair.

Oh but just because I want to spend today doing the fun nonsense doesn't mean I will want to do it forever.  I mean I will also want to eat good food and eventually have my own man-friend and little monsters.  And I want to probably do something else.  Like put this $50,000 a year education to use and like enter the work field or whatevs.  Who knows how?  Oh wait, God knows.  Why won't he just let me in on the joke already?

How could you possibly not be tired of reading all of this jambalaya?  I'm practically tired of writing it , but then, wait no, I don't really get tired of telling people every third thought that pops into my head even though there is no sense of whatever that fancy word is that means that everything goes together somehow.  Stupid jumbly-brain and my inability to think of the words that fit in.

Well I think that's about enough for one post.  Welcome to ten minutes of jumbly-brain.  I hope you enjoyed your ride.  At this point, we are unable to give refunds if you are not satisfied with your experience.  Good day. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

You Know What is Great?

Well obviously there are far too many things that are great for me to list in just one post.

It is great that I won Ginger Beer.  From that one time when I posted on TUSB (and then reposted here) about finding someone else's birth control in my desk.  Ahh, the life of the student.  Anyways, I won a bottle of two-buck-Chuck (reaaaalllly cheap wine), but I had to give it back because I don't drink wine.  Which was sort of Awks Mcgee after someone made a joke about how if someone who wins a prize doesn't drink then they aren't wanted on the staff of TUSB.  But I laughed it off.  Anyways, that was about a bazillion years ago, but they just finally gave me a replacement prize.  I got ginger beer, which is supposedly like ginger ale but better.  (Which is weird because I would think ale is nicer than beer, but then what do I know about the alcohols?)

Now I can sit back watching some sports and knock a few beers back with my amigos.  Haha.

Also, sunshine is great.  And what better way to celebrate sunshine than by going to the beach.  Seriously, I think I will always have to live in beach states.  I love the beach.  It is warm and fun and summer and care free and sunburn that turns into tan. So expect tales of me turning into a lobster and then into a Mexican.  Is that racist?

I've heard that my grandmother on my Mexican side was even prettier than the girl above.  So it could happen you guys.  It's in my genes.  

The lastly thing that is great is your face.  Just kidding its watching Disney movies and calling it homework.  It's totally research for a paper that I am writing on Happily Ever After and Disney relationships.  Seriously Belle was on the road to an abusive relationship and Mulan's guy thought she was a dude for most of the time he knew her.  Seriously weird.  Seriously.  

In my opinion, the only healthy relationship in Disney movies exists in The Incredibles.  The movie makes a point to say that its a give and take and that each partner needs to work in order for the marriage to be happy.  Which is a small part of why I am increasingly obsessed with The Incredibles.  That and the fact that it's truly artfully done.  So many nuances.  

And somehow I've gotten my way to The Incredibles, which means its time to end this post.  

Somewhere, there's a fat lady singing right now.