Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Me? I Want a Hula Hoop.

Thanksgiving is over.  December starts on Thursday.  I officially have a license to start spreading Christmas cheer.  Dudes, do you even know how awesome Christmas is?  (Do you get annoyed when I call you dudes?)

At my parents' house, Christmas is not really that big of a deal - ON OPPOSITE DAY.  Christmas is the absolute best day of the year if you are a Gamboa.  And I am looking so very very forward to it.  I don't think you can quite possibly comprehend this if you haven't been to our house before during the month of December.  Allow me to illustrate what I am describing:

See these boxes?  All of them, every last one of them, is full of Christmas decorations.  Christmas decorations!  They come in all shapes and sizes.  From the giant ornate ornaments that we hang from our railings to the homemade felt trip to Bethlehem that is a Velcro advent calendar to the creepy robot Rudolph that walks around and scares small children and animals.

Before I left my Mom had started the tedious (but very worth-while!) process of decorating the house!  It's crazy!  She puts up garland with lights in it everywhere and inevitably half of the lights are bad so she has to re-string them throughout the garland.
In process:

I literally walked up to my mom and sang, "Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit's beginning to look a lot like Christmas."  It was a bag of cheese, but I love Christmas.  Hopefully you all don't get sick of me and my holiday spirit.  We're all going to have to wait til I get home after finals to see the finished product.  Unless of course you are any of my readers that live in my house.  In which case, don't have too much fun without me.  Merry Christmas dudes! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wherein A Space Heater and Top Ramen Saved my Life

Happy Belated Thanksgiving Everyone!

I had a great holiday and I hope you all did too.  I will get to that part of the story later.

Yesterday I made the drive back to school.  9 hours, my friends.  It was a record.  Traffic and accidents galore!  I know some people who were stuck in it all until 1 in the morning!  But, as with most things that suck, it was made muuuuch better by the presence of a friend.  And good music.  (I think I'm onto some sort of formula with that one.)

OK, but here's the real part of the story.  My little slice of house (well actually the entire house)  got fumigated during the week that I was home spreading holiday cheer.  And besides that, I was gone for an entire week.  Which means: food.  I couldn't keep anything in my house that would go bad after a week (the milk that we bought three weeks before the break started or fresh fruits and veggies).  AND because of the fumigation, we had to put any food that we did leave in the house inside a plastic bag with a special tying method.  Then that plastic was to be put inside another plastic bag.  Because apparently they've invented fumes that are harmless when inhaled but not when consumed.  And also they kill termites.

Point two about fumigation (I had to start a new paragraph because let's face it, I am easily distracted.): They had to turn the gas and pilot light off in our place for these fumes (apparently they are flammable?)

So back to the drive back to school.  After driving for more than 3 hours, especially where rain and/or traffic is involved, my makeup gets droopy, my emotions get funny, and that spot on my shoulder starts yelling at me to lay down and possibly take a nice warm bath.  But when I got home on Sunday night, my house was an ice box.  Literally an ice box.  And the emergency make-your-house-warm people wouldn't come to my house because this was not an emergency.  Frigidness under exhaustion is apparently not a good enough emergency? I would like to see the people try it.

But I was prepared.  And proud of myself for driving for 9 hours without shedding one tear.  And I was full of optimism.  And my optimism paid off!  Because for some reason our bedroom sink was giving hot water. Like enough hot water for me to wash my hair and face and wish that my body fit in my sink.  Which it certainly wouldn't.  Tender mercies of the Lord, I tell you.  If you're the praying type, I highly recommend saying thanks for hot water next time you get the chance.

It's a little strange how I become so emotionally attached to objects that I feel have saved my life.  I now call him Mr. Kevin.  

As I blow dried my hair, I plugged in the space heater I had borrowed from home because I knew I would be sleeping in the cold if I didn't do something.  And then the combined bedroom light and space heater and blow dryer power blew a fuse!  A fuse!
One call home to Dad and some stumbling around outside my house looking for a fuse box later, I discovered the box behind a bush and was back in business.

Oh but back to the food!  I was starving!  9 hours of driving apparently makes you hungry!  And since I had no fresh foods, it was the top ramen that saved me from certain death.  Because even cereal is no good if you have no milk in which to drown it.

That Top Ramen was oddly comforting.  I think it was the warmth combined with the fact that this is the meal I eat every time I have a stomach flu.  Plus I learned where the fuse box to my house resides.  And it gave me an excise to spend the rest of the night under blankets and without moving more than a foot at a time.

So now I just have to survive three weeks of school.  which includes finals week.   yum.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Photos and Giveaway Info


Remember when I told you that I was hosting a giveaway when I reached 10,000 pageviews and that I would give a hint every time I passed another 1,000 mile marker?

Well, I have since had about another 1,000 pageviews, and you, my dear audience, are clearly needing to be rewarded with a hint as to what my giveaway will be!

And here is that hint:

There is not one giveaway item, but instead of compilation a few pretty cool things, and one truly terrific item.

And with that very vague clue, here are some photos that I have taken lately from my cellular device.  Here we go dudes.

From the random category:

Apparently someone at work has the nasty habit of pulling about 7 toilet protectors out and then just leaving them on the counter by the sink.  Sign says, "Who is doing this?  Please Stop!"

 Just because I go to a world-renown university doesn't mean our TA's don't get lazy.  This is literally the only comment on the whole paper.  
 The fountains this week are blood red in honor of the upcoming rivalry game vs. Cal.  All this fountain does is make me want kool-aid
As I poured my third glass in one hour, I thought, "I probably shouldn't drink alone."

And these are the "I like what I see" photos:
I like this photo, but let's pretend it was taken 100 years ago:

Much better.

 I love these fall colors.  They're pretty much a new discovery for me here.  Because of the whole lack of colors in SoCal thing here.  And anyone who is from New England is scoffing at me right now.  
If I had an architectural obsession on campus what do you think it would be?  Oh yes, it's the most Stanford building there is, Hoover Tower (named after our only presidential alum, not the vacuum).

Happy Weekend, all!  Wish me luck on the drive back to Southern California this weekend!  I have company this time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Taking A Walk on a Grey November Day

Oh November!  November!  More than two weeks have gone by already in November.  And what have I been doing?  not even appreciating November for all that it's worth.  I should be listening to beautiful songs while snuggling up under a blanket, reading a book, and sipping on hot apple cider.  And I have been wasting it with what - studying?  Studying is nine months of the year, but November?  November only comes once.
And for me November is Christmas.  I can hear you now - the outrage!  "November is not Christmas!  November is fall/the onslaught of winter.  November is Thanksgiving!  November is the leaves on trees that you have taken a picture of.  November is special!  Don't lump November with Christmas.  Christmas needs to but out and realize that it is only one day - December 25th."

Oh, but you don't understand November!  You don't understand Christmas!  You don't understand magic!  Christmas isn't just December 25th.  Christmas is the whole months of November and December.  Christmas is an entire season.

Christmas is the celebration of Christ's birth.  Christmas is magic.  Christmas is family and Thanksgiving and gratitude and yummy food and music and cold weather all rolled up into one.  Christmas is the reason people magically become nicer to strangers and more willing to sing songs to old people they are not related to and to give things to people they love.  Christmas is the reason I'm allowed to get teary-eyed when I watch The Incredibles.  Christmas is the reason each member of my family gets approximately 7.2 times funnier when we are all together.  And why we sound better when we sing together.  Christmas is talking in British accents and wearing tights.  Christmas is knowing what's important and loving it the most.

So yeah, I sort of wish Christmas were 12 months a year.  But I'll settle for 2.  And maybe we just define Christmas differently, you know?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wax On, Wax Off

The following story might seem like I am trying to induce sympathy, but in reality, I just like telling someone my stories.  Because I am a chronic over-sharer.

Yesterday, I got out the wax. You know, the kind where you remove unwanted hair.  Well, having forgot that our microwave had just minutes before had been an oven (and was still sort of hot), I went about nuking my wax in order to get it hot.  And then I grabbed it by the handle and carried it to the bathroom.  And then when I went to open it in the bathroom, it was explosively hot.  And I can accurately use this word because the wax exploded over my left hand and half my bathroom.  As soon as it was on my hand I wanted to get it off, but I knew touching it would only burn my other hand, so I just shook my hand, confused and in pain.  After about 10 seconds, my hand simply went numb and then I was able to think, and I ran it under cold water.

The orange-y stuff is wax.  The pink stuff is my skin.

I knew I had three things to do, listed in order of importance that they struck me at the time.
1)  Clean the bathroom.
It was halfway covered in wax and I kept stepping in it, slowly accumulating a waxy, tangly wig on the bottom of my foot.  So appetizing.
2)  I had to get all the wax off of my body.
Which mostly included my foot, and also my non-pain hand which had somehow also acquired a significant amount of wax.
3)  Heal my hand, make sure I didn't get it infected.

For about forty-five minutes, I took a fork and scraped the wax off of every linoleum surface in my bathroom.  About every 12 seconds, I would remember my pain-hand which would then scream at me until I doused it in cold water, which gave the most instant, gratifying relief I have ever felt.

After getting extremely frustrated that I was not going to be able to get all the wax out of my bathroom before my roommate got home (Did I mention I was home alone during all of this?), I decided I should at least try and get myself cleaned up.  My clothes also had some wax, so I carefully took them off and got in the shower.
It seemed like such a smart idea at the time, but as soon as I got into the shower I realized all I had done was make it so that either my hand hurt incredibly in the warm water, or that my body revolted in disgust from the cold water.  Oh and now the shower was all sticky.  Like seriously.  So I got out, and immediately started scrubbing the tub, which didn't work.  But my feet were pretty clear of wax, so I figured now was a good time to try and clean the floor again.  Which also didn't work.

Frustrated, and remembering that I was still naked from my shower, I decided clothes might be good.  And holy crap, my hand hurt!  But I couldn't even put anything on it because it was still covered in wax.  Literally, some parts of it were about a quarter inch thick.
Oh the pickle I was in.  Pain, mess, stickyness, inability to touch anything without increasing the mess.

Finally, I thought, I should just take care of my hand.  And so I got a mixing bowl, and filled it with water and half of our ice supply.  And left my hand in it for about two hours until it felt like it was going to fall off while I called my mom, realized she couldn't come help me, and watched the Incredibles.  And cried.  In all of this, I didn't cry until I realized that no one could come fix it for me and that my hand would hurt and my bathroom would be sticky for a couple of days.

At this point, I considered going to the hospital, because oh yeah did I not mention the part where I took my ring off and some wax and skin came off with it?  But then I realized no health insurance plus no money equals no bueno.  And I took about a billion drugs, and explained it all to my roommate when she came home, and took a second shower (which actually helped clean up the shower because the hot water melted the wax off) and decided to go to sleep.

And every 1-2 hours as I slept I would get woken up by the feeling that my hand was on fire.  So I got new paper towels and new ice cubes and thank goodness my roommate brought an ice pack to college.  But it was the crappiest sleep I've ever had.  I practically OD'd on ibuprofen, but I survived the night, decided today was a sick day, and have since done most of the homework I was supposed to do last night.

Oh, also, apparently half a bottle of baby oil will get wax off of your hand, but not off your linoleum floor.  I still don't know hat gets wax off of your linoleum floor.

Oh and my hand is totally fine today.  It's just like I burnt it on a curling iron or something.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Today, in Ramblings

Do you ever feel like time is just slipping away from you? That you are never getting to all the things on your to-do list?  That you finally get through a few things and then all the sudden an entire week has gone by?  That's how I feel right now.  But 'tis the season (for midterms, that is - don't get my hopes up).

Oh, the midterms.  I've done poorly on my fair share of college midterms - I am a firm believer that it is part of the experience (especially here at Stanford where they design the tests so that the average is about 65).  However, I am usually a pretty good judge of how good or bad I did on a test.  I can usually tell that I either bombed it or did reasonably well.
But for every rule, there's an exception, I guess.  Like last week, when I felt fairly confident about my midterm grade, thinking I probably got about an 85.  Well this week I got it back, and let's just say I did below average.  And the average for the class was a 64.  So, yeah, not my proudest moment, and not a great moment for me to get that test back.

Obladi, I guess.  Which is my way of saying life goes on.  But wait, I'm going to suck a little more pity out of you, real quick.

Have I ever told you how much I hate blood?  So much, I hate it.  I don't mind so many other gross things: needles, raw meat, insects (except when I find them in my hair), and I've even touched a human brain (through gloves).
Tonight I sliced my finger open while making a salad.  Sliced.  I could see inside for a second, and then blood filled up all that space.  I just about died, but luckily I remembered not to let blood get in my food.  One butterfly band-aid, one regular band-aid, and about a minute of thinking of my nephew's rendition of "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" while breathing slowly and deeply later, this is what I ended up with:

And as is usual for me, when I don't particularly like the way my day has gone, I decided to give myself some me time.  Which, tonight, included a tall glass of orange juice, a call home to mom, and, you guessed it, repeated viewing of The Incredibles.

But today has been great too.

I took this picture on my phone this afternoon while I was at the bus stop,

and I thought, "I love the fact that this is a sunny afternoon in California .... in November."  I mean, I love that the evenings are starting to get crisp, but I love the sun.  It does wonders for my mood.

I also love the fact that everyone posts things they are grateful for in November.  It makes me think of the things I am grateful for, which are many.

And while I am on the subject, I love that I found time today to do this.  A good blog post does wonders for my mood as well.

And on that note..... I bid you all adieu.