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Thursday, February 24, 2011

The World Revolves around the Sun. Not You.

Let me break it down really quick: I am one of two lead agents for the Exchange Program for a timeshare management company. Let me give you a for-instance. Say Joe-Bob has a week at the Cabo Wabo Resort in Mexico. But, after ten years of going to the same resort for the same week, he decides he doesn't want to go there this year. He can call me, "deposit" his week at Cabo Wabo for a week of credit to trade for a week anywhere that we have open. Say that he finds a week at Sunshine & Butterflies Resort in southern California. I would help him "deposit" his week from Cabo Wabo and book the exchange reservation for S&B Resort in SoCal. The info I need to deposit a week is: The name the resort you own, the start date of the week you're giving up and the size unit you're giving up.

It never ceases to amaze me how inconsiderate people can be. I truly believe that they think I have nothing better to do than sit on the phone and wait for them while they dig up the information they knew they needed to give me before they even picked up the phone to call in.

It's like when I worked at Jamba Juice (ahhh the good old days): It would always happen when we were in the middle of a rush. Some moron would stand in line for a good ten minutes. Then get up to the cash register to place their order, pull out a cell phone and go, "Hold on a second, let me call her and see what she wants." Really?? You had that entire time in line to get the orders straight, but instead of doing that, you're going to place the call now and hold up my line? Well, of course you are! Because the the world revolves around you, your time is the only time that matters.

It's even more interesting to see how full of themselves people really can be when you're simply a voice on the phone instead of a flesh-and-blood person in front of them. For instance, I had an owner call in a few moments ago. I won't give his real name, but he had an extremely common name like...let's go with John Smith. Shockingly, he wasn't the only John Smith in my system. There were no Junior's or Senior's--nor were there any middle initials--on his account that I could use to narrow down my seemingly infinite list of John Smiths in my system, so I had to resort to going into every single account and find the John Smith located out of Conscientious, California (I wish that really were a city...). When it took me longer than a half-second to locate his account, I was fortunate enough to listen to a litany of complaints about how slow and incompetent I am and how he's been an owner for a whopping 8 years.

Well that's fantastic, sir, but amazingly enough, there is more than one John Smith that owns a timeshare with us and instead of just picking one at random, I thought I'd find your specific account to make sure you get credit for the week you're depositing. So I locate his account after a totally unacceptable two minutes and getting the name of his resort, I ask him the standard question, "Do you have the start date of your week?"

Fifteen minutes later, after he scrolled through apparently a hundred e-mails, placed me on hold to call his wife, placed me on another hold to call his actual resort, he was able to give me the start date of his week and I could move on with the deposit and the trade reservation. His time clearly was more important than mine and the time of the five owners sitting on hold while I waited for him to get his shit together.

I wish there was an Aggravation Fee I could tack on to reservations: "Alright, sir, well since you were a total pain in the ass, I am going to have to collect an additional $25 fee." That whole thing wasn't even worth the $119 that went towards my total revenue for the month.

Day 5: Music Challenge

Day 5 is supposed to be a song that reminds me of someone. You know, there are a million songs that can fit each and every of these 30 categories, but as soon as I have to sit and think of one, I forget them all. It's rather frustrating. Hmmm...

So I'm going to go with "You're Unbelievable" by EMF. It's from the Coyote Ugly soundtrack. It may not have been the greatest movie ever made, but it was my movie with my three best friends in New Jersey, freshman year of high school. Catie, Casey, Katelyn and I lived and breathed that movie for practically the entire year. We each assumed a character (I was Jersey, "the Jersey Dreamer"; Catie was Rachel, "the NY Bitch"; Casey was Cammie, "the Russian Tease"; and Katelyn was Lil, "the Boss") and could quote that movie back and forth without even trying. Yes, slightly obsessed, but we were fifteen years old, so give us a break.

You better believe that when I went on my first real trip to Las Vegas (and met Katelyn and her now-husband there), we hit up Coyote Ugly in New York, New York and danced on that bar until our stilletto'd feet couldn't hold us up anymore. So now, every time I hear this song--along with pretty much any song from that movie--I immediately text at least one of the girls to tell them that the song is playing and it reminded me of them.

So, without further ado, I give you "You're Unbelievable" by EMF:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To Do & Eat in New Jersey & New York

Things I'm looking forward to in New Jersey & New York:
 Food & Drinks:
  1. Good pizza
  2. A real Classic Italian hoagie from "The Store" in Ramsey
  3. Bacon, egg & cheese on a Kaiser roll with salt, pepper, ketchup
  4. Good/real Italian food (Lasagna...Penne vodka....Baked Ziti...*drool*)
  5. Lotte's Chocolate cream she always makes for dessert at family dinners
  6. Hot dog from a street vendor in the City
  7. Twisted Teas (apparently they only exist on the east coast...I've searched high and lo for them out here)
  8. Diner food (not good for you, but soooo yummy at three a.m.)
  9. Bagels--basically, bread of any kind
  10. Dunkin' Donuts coffee if I have to wake up early and be somewhere
  1. Seeing my best friend, twin-sister-separated-at-birth, partner-in-crime since our freshman year of high school get married
  2. Seeing my aunt, uncle, cousins and meeting Baby Stella!
  3. Seeing the other original Coyotes (Catie & Casey...the other partners-in-crime)
  4. Giving Jordan the "Before She Was Famous" tour of my hometown: Ramsey
  5. Visiting the Lake and Boathouse in Central Park (*never been there)
  6. Visiting the Met
  7. Experiencing the City's nightlife (only did that once when I lived out there...tragic, I know)
  8. Just walking around and getting lost in the City
  9. Going to the Jamba Juice in Times Square and ordering a soy shot
  10. Going down to the Village
  11. Window shopping on Madison Ave and 5th Ave (and stopping to visit St. Patrick's Cathedral)
I have to do more research to find things I want to do and see that I've never seen in the City before. I'm sure there are hundreds of places and activities that I don't even know are there. Any suggestions??

Corporate Secretary Barbie, Carpooling, Bad Country Music

I feel like Barbie today.

Which is strange because I'm not wearing pink and I didn't drive a plastic pink convertible to work from my pink cardboard mansion. I'm pretty sure it's the ponytail and the bangs. It may not make sense, but I feel like Barbie. Maybe Corporate Secretary Barbie, complete with legal pad and glasses.

Jordan and I carpooled to work today. That's the benefit of working in the same office as the person you live with. Some people say that they could never work with their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, but it's actually not that bad. At work, we barely acknowledge each other. I mean, yes, we talk. But we don't go skipping down the halls, holding hands and making googly eyes at each other and not once have we attempted anything in the copy room. At work, it's work. We don't go to lunch together every day (on occasion, we do) and we work in completely different departments so at the end of the day, it still sometimes feels like we haven't seen or talked to each other at all. Plus, you can save a shitload of money on gas carpooling, especially now that gas is slowly creeping towards $4.00/gallon. It's $3.65 at the Shell station right by our office. $3.65!! Those gas tycoons are loving it right now. Jerks.

So anyway. He flips on K-Roq to listen to the Kevin and Bean Show and the first sentence we hear after flipping to that radio station is Kevin going, "Country music bah-lows." Seeing how this is a constant topic up for debate in our household, Jordan immediately made it louder and started laughing. Now, I will admit that some country songs are just horrendous. But then again, some pop songs are horrendous. Some rock songs are horrendous. Some punk songs are horrendous. Some hip hop songs are horrendous... You get my point. I just don't know why people pick on country so much... Kevin did compile a list of country titles that are true, honest-to-God songs and I'm pretty sure these contribute to the bad wrap country music has:

I Still Miss You, Baby, But My Aim is Getting Better
Her Teeth Were Stained But Her Heart Was Pure
She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft
She Got the Ring, I Got the Finger
Brown Chicken, Brown Cow
(not the worst title, but if you listen to it...Yeah...Pretty bad.)
I'm So Miserable Without You, It's Like Having You Here
Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed
I Changed Her Oil, She Changed My Life
I Would Have Wrote You A Letter, But I Couldn't Spell Yuck
If My Nose Were Full of Nickels, I'd Blow It All on You

I'm fairly certain that these are all old, old old country songs and I will freely admit that these titles make me cringe they're so bad. But, I mean, they are kinda funny, no? LOL

Day 4: Music Challenge

Day 4 is a song that makes me sad. I'm going to go with "The Christmas Song", which everyone knows as the "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" song, by Nat King Cole. I'm not really sure why, but everytime I hear it, it makes me miss New Jersey and my friends and family over there. There wasn't one Christmas in particular where I listened to that song over and over and over again so it is forever connected to Jersey in my mind. I think it's just because it makes me think of the 'perfect' Christmas: snow outside, fire in the fireplace, house packed with family. Out in California, it's just my mom and my aunt as far as family is concerned. My other aunts and uncles and cousins are all back east and I would love to be able to spend Christmas with all of them again one year, especially now that Stella is born and we have a new baby cousin in the family. The last time we spent a Christmas back east, I was fourteen years old. In any case, this song always gets me a little teary-eyed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Following Myself...

Oops. I started following my own blog by mistake. I'm trying to decide if I should just leave it there since five followers boosts my ego even more than four (4!!!!!! Welcome, The Restaurant Manager! May I call you TRM?? :) Seeing that little 3 change to 4 triggered a tiny little happy dance in my living room on Sunday. Jordan thinks I'm crazy.) buuuuut at the same time, I don't want to be that blogger. You know, the narcisistic one who cares so much about what she thinks and says that she follows her own blog?

Meh. Maybe I'll leave it for a while. I feel better now that I've made it clear to the blogging community that I began following myself on accident.


UFC: "The Prodigy" vs Fitch, "Rush" vs Shields, "Rush" vs "The Spider"

Well good morning to you all!!

For some reason, I am in a remarkably good mood this morning. Can't really figure out why, especially when I had to drag myself out of bed when Jordan got to stay buried under the covers since he doesn't have work today. He does have to go in to work on Saturday, though, so there's the trade-off.

The countdown is officially on!! This Saturday, BJ Penn will square off against Jon Fitch in a fight that ultimately decide his future in the Welterweight division. GSP is currently preparing to fight Jake Shields (which really is an insult to GSP. True, Shields was the welterweight champ in Strikeforce, but his debut fight in the UFC was a total let-down. He didn't fight like a champ at all and he barely pulled off a victory. But Dana White did promise him a shot at GSP if he won that fight, hence the GSP/Shields match-up. GSP is going to take him to the ground and just ground him out for five rounds. Should be scintillating to watch.) However.

After the Jakes Shields fight, GSP will prepare to move up a weight class to fight Anderson Silva. If he wins, then he'll be the new middleweight champ and have to forfeit his welterweight belt. Which means...BJ may get a title shot in the welterweight division! Wooo!! (Side note: I'm going to cry if I have to watch Silva defeat GSP. Seriously. That's the most humble, respectful champion in the UFC versus the cockiest, most conceited champion. Plus, St.-Pierre came to this country and actually made the effort to learn the language. Silva can speak English, but never does. As someone who moved to a foreign country and learned not one, but three of their languages, I find it very insulting that he refuses to speak our language.)

We'll be having a little shindig at the apartment this Saturday to watch the fight. Nothing too big, just a few friends, drinks, snacks. I'll probably be either curled up on the couch watching between my fingers or jumping up and down like a crazy woman watching the fight. All I have to say is, BJ better bring it. He better be the same BJ that walked out for the Matt Hughes fight. You could tell just by the way he was walking that he was ready for that fight. And sure enough, twenty seconds into the first round, BJ knocked Hughes out. It was beautiful. Jordan got so excited that he jumped up from the table so fast, he almost knocked over the glasses on our table and spilled soda all over the one nice purse that I own. I hope to see that kind of confidence in BJ again this time. I don't know what happened to him during the two Frankie Edgar fights, but for some reason, he just lost all his confidence and it was rather heartbreaking to see. When Bruce Buffer said, "...and the new Lightweight Champion Frankie 'The Answer' Edgar", we both wanted to throw up a little bit.

And that is my rant on UFC for the week. LOL
courtesy of

GSP vs Shields (courtesy of

Silva vs GSP (courtesy of

Music Challenge: Day 3

Today's song is supposed to be a song that makes me happy. There are so many songs out there that make me happy for so many different reasons. There are songs that make me happy because they remind me of a person or a place or a moment in my life.

Of course, I've just reviewed the line-up and there are days designated for all of those songs. So. I'm going to pick "Stand" by Rascall Flatts. It has a really great message in it and it's one of those songs that I blast in the car with the windows down whenever it comes on the radio and sing at the top of my lungs even though it's probably off-key and it irritates the person in the car next to me since 9 out of 10 people hate country.

Listen to the lyrics. It's really one of those songs that can pick you up no matter what kind of mood you're in. At least, that's what I think. Enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Music Challenge: Day 2

Well, two days in a row. Look at me go. :) So today is supposed to be my least favorite song. There is only one word that can describe this song, but you have to repeat it over and over and over again:

Stupid, stupid, stupid! And that is my intro for this ridiculous song: "Toot it & Boot it" by YG. I'm actually ashamed to even post this on my blog, but this is what the challenge demands...

Gnomeo & Juliet, Pancakes, Monday Morning Cartoons

So last night the boys and I decided to check out Gnomeo & Juliet in 3D. We were initially going to go see Never Say Never. You know, the story of Justin Bieber's life condensed into two agonizing hours for parents 'round the world? We initially didn't even offer Gnomeo and Juliet as an option because, just like most other kids his age, Shane does love him some Justin Bieber. I got him the Bieber CD for his birthday and that was pretty much the only gift that got a genuine smile when he unwrapped it. But, for some reason, when Jordan mentioned Gnomeo and Juliet, Shane opted for that one instead. Talk about dodging a bullet! It turns out that Gnomeo and Juliet was an Elton John tribute. The entire soundtrack was Elton John from beginning to end. At the end of the movie, we found out that he was the executive producer. Shocker. It was pretty cute, though. Jason Statham, Dolly Parton, and Maggie Smith were some of the voices in the movie, along with Emily Blunt and James McAvoy (Juliet and Gnomeo). It wasn't like the other kids' movies these days that are jam-packed with adult humor for the parents that go, but it was still a pretty cute movie. They managed to successfully transform a Shakespearean tragedy into a kids' comedy with a special guest cameo by Will Shakespeare, himself.

Shane slept late this morning, which in turn meant we got to sleep late this morning. All the way until nine o'clock. Woo! I'm doing the blog thing, Shane is eating his second breakfast and Jordan is making pancakes and eggs--which will be Shane's third breakfast. I don't know how that kid eats so much food. Roughly every hour or so, you hear, "Daddy, I'm hungry." And he's super skinny!! Looking forward to my pancakes and eggs, though. Perfect way to start this lovely President's Day. It was pretty gross out yesterday (cloudy, windy, cold...yuck!), but it looks like the clouds are breaking up and I even see some blue sky peeking through. I'm pretty sure it's still cold out, but I don't think I'll be venturing outside much today. I have a quiz in my Legal Procedures tomorrow night that I have to study for and a bunch of reading to do. Shane goes back to his grandparents' house today, so at some point Jordan will be making the drive out to Brea to take him home. Perhaps I'll go, too. We'll see.

So Shane's watching the Cartoon Network right now. The Power Puff Girls, to be exact. I actually used to like this cartoon since it's the typical cartoon of good vs evil, yadda yadda yadda. But I gotta say, cartoons these days are actually pretty...not like they used to be. There's a ton of adult humor in them and violence and they're not like Captain Planet from our day that had a moral at the end of every episode. For instance, one of Shane's favorites, Kick Buttowski, has Kick (an adrenaline junkie who is always looking for his next rush) always battling his evil sister as well as the "evil" librarian. Is it just me or does that send a message to kids that TV rocks and books are evil? I'm not sure that's exactly the kind of message kids should be getting... Then a commercial for Fuzzoodles comes on and Shane starts singing the jingle for the commercial. That's how you know you're watching too much TV. Sigh... Why can't there be a cartoon that teaches kids that reading is cool?? LOL

Although, I will say that I do enjoy me some Big Time Rush, Victorious and iCarly whenever Shane wants to watch it. There's a new special Big Time Rush movie tonight... You best believe we'll be Tivo'ing that shit. ;)

Well my pancakes are ready so... Time for breakfast!! :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 1...Here We Go...

Alright. Well considering the fact that I have a nasty habit of never completing anything I start, I figured I'd challenge myself to this little 30 Day Music Challenge that I snagged off of Waxed Red Threads. If I can actually complete all thirty days, I will...feel very much accomplished and inappropriately proud of myself. :)

Day 1: Your Favorite Song

Hmmm. Well my favorite song (at the moment...and I checked to make sure that "your current favorite song" isn't further down the list) would have to be Tim McGraw's "Felt Good on My Lips":

Yes. Country. What else would you expect?? Don't worry--they won't all be country... :)

I Accept The Challenge

30 Day Music Challenge, shamelessly stolen from Waxed Red Threads.
So...let's see if I can stick with this for 30 days...
Day 01 - your favorite song
Day 02 - your least favorite song
Day 03 - a song that makes you happy
Day 04 - a song that makes you sad
Day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
Day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
Day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
Day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
Day 09 - a song that you can dance to
Day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
Day 11 - a song from your favorite band
Day 12 - a song from a band you hate
Day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
Day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
Day 15 - a song that describes you
Day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
Day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
Day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
Day 19 - a song from your favorite album
Day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
Day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
Day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
Day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
Day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
Day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
Day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
Day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
Day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
Day 29 - a song from your childhood
Day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

A Lovely Saturday with Some of my Favorite People

What a nice, quiet Sunday morning...

Here I sit in my hot pink fuzzy socks and hot pink fluffy robe. Usher is snoozin' on the couch next to me and I'm catching up on my Tivo'd episodes of Passport to Europe on the Travel channel. Right now I'm watching an episode on St. Moritz, which is the ski village just below where I used to live (Davos). It's a very, very posh, very upper-class ski resort that people may remember when Princess Diana took William and Harry there for a skiing vacation and I think David and Victoria Beckham go there every once in a while.

I absolutely love the Swiss accent. It reminds me of living out there. I wish this woman would take the train a little further north to check out Davos. It's just as beautiful, just not quite as high-end as St. Moritz. Maybe I'll have to launch my own travel shore and call it "The Poor Man's High Life".

Yesterday we spent the day with Mom for her birthday. She decided that she wanted to go to the Discovery Science Center so we all piled into her car and drove up to Costa Mesa. They had an exhibit going on about the human body hosted by Sesame Street and Elmo. Shane had a blast, especially in the "Eat, Digest, Poo" room. He was particularly fascinated with the "Poo" button. Boys, go figure.  When we exhausted the exhibits in the Center, we went home for a little bit. Mom and I watched The Princess Diaries, which happened to be on E! while the boys played with the mini ramp and Tech Decks I got Shane for his birthday. Then we went out to dinner for Mom's birthday. All in all, it was a rather lovely day. It's been a while, I'm sad to say, since I spent the whole day with my Mom, so it was really nice to spend that time with her. She spent the night and left earlier this morning.

Today, I have homework on the agenda. I'm not sure what the boys will be doing. If they decide to do something super fun, I may take a break and join in. But in the meantime... I am homework-bound...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

California Drivers + Rain = Chaos in Motion

So the upside of mentally planning your outfit before you get out of bed and bypassing the make-up process in the morning is that you can actually leave the house ten minutes earlier than usual and arrive at work a whopping fifteen minutes early. Crazy. Some days I feel like looking super cute to the office. Some days I just don't care. Today is the latter type of day.

I woke up this morning actually doing math problems in my head. What is that about?? I mean, I was calculating percentages and figuring out true positives and false negatives. I guess I was just that stoked that I actually figured out how to handle those types of problems at Starbucks last night. I hate doing math work when no one I know is around because whenever I get an answer right, I feel the irresistable urge to do a happy dance and announce to someone that I got it right. My options at Starbucks was a middle-aged man who was on his cell phone arguing about how Lucy at Verizon can't do anything that he asks her to do (tsk, tsk Lucy...that's not good customer service) or a fifty-something woman who looked like she was doing a little healthy Facebook stalking on her laptop.

So, it's raining today. For those of you who do not live in California, let me please explain something: The second moisture hits the ground in California, all chaos breaks loose. People forget how to drive. There are the maniacs who still think it's fine to fly down the street doing 70 in a 45 zone despite the weather conditions, but then there are also people who slow down to 15 mph because they're afraid of spinning out and crashing. I'm the first to admit that I get nervous when it's raining hard--especially if I'm on the freeway. But for goodness sake, it's not necessary to slam on your breaks the moment three raindrops hit your windshield. I remember driving in upstate NY (specifically from Woodbury Commons up to Goshen after my shift at work ended): It was raining so hard it was like someone was just dumping bucket after bucket of water onto my windshield. Wipers were pretty much obsolete and everyone was crawling at about 5 mph on Route 17. That was scary and I had to use a crowbar to pry my hands off the steering wheel by the time I got to my destination. California rain aint got shit on an upstate NY storm.

Some exciting news on the UFC front: I've heard whispers that GSP is actually going to go up to Middleweight to fight Anderson Silva, which would make it a title fight. If he defeats Silva (and I think he will if he can get him to the ground. GSP's fights are far from exciting, but once he gets guys to the ground it's pretty much ground-and-pound for five roudns), then he'll be the new Middleweight champion and he'll have to forfeit his Welterweight belt. What this means for the Welterweight division is that the top two fighters will have to fight each other to determine the new Welterweight champ. What's super exciting about that is Dana White just announced that the winner of the BJ Penn/Jon Fitch fight will be considered the #1 contender in that weight class. So BJ may get his shot at the belt. And as long as he doesn't have to fight GSP (he's already fought him twice and lost both fights), he could stand a pretty good chance at becoming champ...again. The Penn/Fitch fight is next weekend and you better believe Jordan and I will be watching it. Go Baby Jay! :) (That's what the BJ stands for...).

I finally get to go straight home after work today. Yay! I tried to catch a ride with Jordan this morning instead of driving in myself, but the slacker is coming in late since he went out to Taco Tuesday last night while I was slaving away in class. ;)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Did They Really Just Say That: Dumb People Edition

A very special edition of "Did they really just say that??"

My mom's mother-in-law (step-father's mom) may think she's better and smarter than everyone else (True story; she and her husband have college degrees and are, therefore, above everyone and anyone else that they come into contact with. They think they're better and smarter than you and they don't even know you) but she decided to leave this message on my mom's home answering machine regarding my mom's surprise birthday party this weekend:

"Hi Rob. This is your mother. I just need directions to Citrus City Grill for the party on Saturday. Gee, I hope it's okay to leave this message on the answering machine. Hopefully Diane doesn't get it."

That was paraphrased, but there's the general idea.

He spent ten minutes on my voicemail going, "This is a surprise party. Keyword being 'surprise' party for your mom. You cannot tell her. It's a surprise." Apparently he should have gone over the 'surprise party' concept with his college-graduate mother. She must have been sick the day they taught that in class.

Thanks for ruining the surprise!!

Temecula-Bound: Wine Tasting Take 2

Every time I hear someone say "I can transfer you to the Exchange program if you'd like", I just want to put my phone on "meeting" and hide under my desk. I heard that doing something 10,000 times makes you an expert at it. I wonder if, over the three and a half years that I've been doing this, I've taken 10,000 calls and could now be considered an expert exchange agent? Hmmm. I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

So. Dawn has broken on another day and the calendar has switched over to Feb 15th. The dreaded Valentine's Day has been over for the past seven hours and thirty-three minutes. Has everyone survived? I got home after a grueling day of work and class around 10:00 last night. Jordan had already gone to bed, but he left a little Valentine's Day surprise on the counter for me. Even more chocolate (the key to my, lots of those little candy hearts that say things on them (you know, the "B MINE" etc), a super sweet card that made me cry a little bit and a gift certificate for a 2-day, 1-night "Vino Getaway" in Temecula. Hurray for wine tasting! I wish we could go this weekend, but that won't work out. Perhaps the next. We'll see.

Last time we went to Temecula was in July or August, I think. We hit up four different wineries and did tastings of four or five different wines at each place. Well. Even though those glasses are just a few sips, by the time four o'clock rolled around, I was a bit ska-shod (a word that either my mom or dad made up, which means 'messed up'. It wasn't necessarily invented with inebriated or intoxicated connotations, but it works for this situation). We went back to the hotel room to take a quick nap because we wanted to check out Temecula at night and see if anything was shakin'. Well, that nap turned into an all-night kind of nap. So hopefully this time I'll pace myself a bit better.

I haven't written anything for the papers lately. It's been fairly quiet and I haven't seen any assignments go out. This makes me sad. The last articles I wrote were at the very beginning of January and I don't quite know what to do with myself on Sundays with no articles to write and no deadlines to meet! Hopefully it was start picking up soon. I've pitched a lot of ideas to my editor but they've all been No-Go's. Sigh.

Well. Time to get to work. I have vocab words to study for my Legal Procedures class tonight. Woo... >_<

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday: Wined & Dined. Saturday: Slaved Away

WOW. I'm absolutely exhausted and it's only six-thirty. Let's break down Friday night, though.

After a dreadfully boring day at work, I hurried home so I could get myself all pretty'd up for our dinner plans. I opened the door and I saw this weird stuff all over the living room floor. At first I thought the cats got into some mischief while we were out, which is not unheard of. But no, they were rose petals. It lead into the bedroom and I found a dozen roses, chocolates and balloons waiting for me on the bed. Valentine's Day may be overrated for some, but I love it. I also found a gift certificate for a 75-minute "luxury" manicure and spa pedicure. Oooo!!! I am so excited to take advantage of that!!

Dinner was lovely. We at at The Vintage Steakhouse in San Juan Capistrano. We shared an appetizer of sauteed artichoke hearts with mixed herbs, Sauvignon blanc and butter. It tasted just as mouth-watering as it sounds. For dinner, I selected the filet mignon with a Cabernet demi glace with fresh veggies and a double baked potato on the side while Jordan went with the New York steak. Both were yummy, although I personally thought mine was a little yummier. We brought our own bottle of wine with us: Jordan (cabernet sauvignon) (coincidence...?). All in all, a delicious meal, yummy wine and sparkling conversation. I was so stuffed that I declined dessert, although I'm kinda bummed that I did.

Jordan and Shane went fishing with the Boy Scouts early this morning and I lounged around and struggled to find the motivation to start working on my homework. Finally, around 11:00 this morning, I finally buckled down and started working on my math homework. Six hours later... I finally decided that I'd had enough of numbers for the day. The good news, though, is that I'm completely caught up in that class. I did all three units that I needed to finish and took the quiz. Tomorrow, while Jordan goes snowboarding with his boys, I'll be home working on all my other classes. The fun never stops with school!

Ashley and Sebastian are going to come over tonight, I found out, to watch some Strikeforce with us (another MMA organization similar to UFC and the former WEC, which has been absorbed by UFC now). I'm not that stoked on Strikeforce, just because I'm not as familiar with its fighters as I am with UFC and WEC. It took me a good, solid year and a half to learn everything I know about MMA/UFC/WEC. Strikeforce will be my next tackle. I do know that they have female fighters, like Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg, who is absolutely terrifying when she fights. I've watched this girl tear through every woman who stands opposite her in the Octagon. She's a machine. I would hate to be the unsuspecting, drunken moron who doesn't take the hint in a bar.

Hamburgers for dinner tonight. Jordan had the brilliant idea of making Smores for dessert by roasting marshmallows in our fireplace. I don't know if he was joking or not and I'm also not sure if it's a smart idea to roast marshmallows in your living room, but it sounds scrumptious to me...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

UFC 126's Heartbreaking Recap... This is why I don't gamble

Well I am pleased to announce that as of today, "Ruined" is still in the running for publication. Or, rather, I should put it this way: It has not been rejected yet. I can't say whether that's because it made it through the first round or because they haven't even gotten to it yet. But the fact remains: It hasn't gotten shut down yet. Woo! I'll find out for sure on March 31 whether or not it will get published. I am fully prepared for the big N-O. The "we appreciate your submission, unfortunately". The oh-so-polite "your shit aint good enough". But hey. Some of those stories gotta get published. Why can't one of them be my baby?

Alright. So. I don't know if you know this, but my boys pretty much...completely let me down in UFC 126. Fortunately, I totally forgot to put money down on it. I was going to place the bet as we made our way to Rock N Rita's to watch the fights, but I was busy returning multiple dirty looks that I was receiving as we walked through Circus Circus. It's a short dress, people. Put your eyes back in your head and look around. This is Vegas. I may as well have worn a habit and rosary compared to other outfits I saw prancing along the Strip. But noooo. Walk around in the one family-oriented hotel in Las Vegas in a short dress (and I assure you...It was not low-cut, transparent, ridiculously was just on the shorter side) and all of a sudden you're right up there with Delilah and Mary Magdalene. Take a breath. Your kids can walk down the Strip and get handed baseball cards of naked women and the toll-free number to call to get them delivered "direct to you". My dress is nothing in comparison...

Anyhoo. The prelims went very well. Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone won his debut fight in the UFC. He's been a fast-rising name in WEC and now that he's a UFC fighter, I look forward to more interesting fights for him. Stoked that he won, though. That was really the only prelim fight I was interested in. Then the main card fights started. Miguel Angel Torres won his fight. If there was a Boring Fight of the Night, he would have one it. This was, again, a UFC debut for him and it was...D-U-L-L. He used his orangutan-length arms to keep his man at distance to prevent any major damange with his left and basically just used a right jab to get the victory after three rounds. *Yawn* Jake Ellenberger won by the skin of his teeth in a split-decision. It really could have gone either way. Again, a really "meh" kind of fight.

Ryan Bader... Ohhh Ryan. I guess you didn't get my "Gemini's gotta stick together" memo. Granted, Jonny Jones is one kuh-razy fighter. The man has an 84 1/2 inch reach. That's insane. He could probably wrap his arms twice around me and still have enough slack to box successfull. In any case, he choked Bader out. I believe it was a guillotine. So sad when I saw that hand go tap-tap-tap. Bader's no longer undefeated. :( The exciting thing... Joe Rogan announced that, due to an injury that forced Rashad Evans to step down from his upcoming championship fight against Shogun, Jones would get a shot at the belt!!!!! This fight will take place in March in Newark! So wish I could go. UFC and New Jersey?? Could life get any better?

Franklin and Griffin. Griffin basically just beat him up for three rounds. So sad. I think Franklin's time may have come and gone. He looked like he was exhausted during that whole fight. Didn't do very much damage, but did an AMAZING job defending from the ground the entire first round. Try as he might, Griffin just could NOT do anything that entire five minutes. They're both great guys, though, so I wasn't too sad to see Griffin win.

Silva. Belfort. Silva. Belfort. Silva. Belfort. First of all. Silva walks out with his son and then gives a hug to all his trainers, another fighter in the crowd (I believe it was Shogun, but I didn't catch that whole exchange so I can't say for sure), and then...get this...Steven Segal. But doesn't do anything to acknowledge his boy by his side. So...why was he there? Brownie points? Anywhoo. They get in the ring, dance around for about a minute and a half. Then...Silva comes out with this front leg kick...goes right between Belfort's hands...and bam! Right to the chin. And, almost in slow-motion, Belfort goes down, semi-conscious and one punch later, the ref calls it. Silva won the fight. I wanted to vomit. In a press conference after the fight, Silva credited Steven Segal for teaching him that move. That kind of a kick is meant to create distance, not to knock someone out and honestly, not being a sore loser here, but I honetly believe that Silva got lucky and did not intend to knock him out with that kick. Because even when Belfort went down, Silva paused like he was ready for him to bounce back up to his feet. When he realized that he really was down-down, he went in for that last punch. So...Belfort, rather disappointed in you. You've got a lot of rebuilding to do. And Silva...Start training for the GSP fight. And GSP, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE handle this ish for me. Ok? Merci!

Well we are watching the Lakers play the Celtics right now and Jordan's famous cornish game hens are ready for my gastronomical pleasure (first real meal since I've been sick. So exciting.). So with that, I must leave you.

PS. I heard Mark Sanchez (of the Jets, to specify for all you non-football people like me out there) is dating a seventeen-year-old in Jersey. I didn't even know that was legal. But apparently it is in Jersey and New York. I wonder if she's going to invite him to prom...

*Click!* Lightbulb goes on

I'm feeling inspired right now. Perhaps I shall put pen to paper and see what comes out...

I'm Alive

Today is my first day of re-entry into human society. On Superbowl Sunday--in Vegas--I woke up with a nasty cough and sinus headache and did not feel well at all. That, combined with a few other factors, led us to watch the Superbowl in our hotel room with me huddled under two blankets with a hoodie on.

I was up all Sunday night coughing. And not just any coughing. The kind of coughing where it sounds like there's broken glass in my chest.

Monday I just felt like all the energy had been sucked out of me. I slept most of the four-hour drive home. I had every intention of going to class that night anyway (Speech, no less), but by the time we got home, I felt 100x worse. Took my temperature, yup: 102.5 Awesome. Didn't go to class.

Called out of work Tuesday. Didn't get out bed all day. Called out of work yesterday. Got out of bed at four o'clock to actually unpack from Vegas, take a shower, and eat some dinner.

Today I'm back to work but it still sounds like I have broken glass in my chest when I cough.

PS. Jordan was sooooo sweet while I was sick. He packed everything for me in Vegas so all I had to do was roll out of bed and into the truck when we left AND he brought me dinner in bed on Tuesday night (chicken noodle soup). Awwww.

Our Valentine's Day dinner is tomorrow night. I better be healthy by then.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

UFC 126: The Countdown!!!

So this is what it feels like to be home, in my pj's and pink fluffy robe, relaxing?? I've almost forgotten. I had my OCPA meeting, which went by fairly quickly, then came home. The work was not over: I put away the rest of the laundry, empited and reloaded the dishwasher, cleaned out the litter box for the kitties... I briefly considered doing homework, but made the mistake of sitting down on the couch instead of at the table with my books.

Jordan spent a couple hours at the studio while I was at my meeting and his producer, Mark, is going to make ringtones from Jordan's songs so I can download them onto my phone. That was my personal request and because Mark is the bestest producer ever (I'm sure he would have liked a fiercer or tougher adjective, but I'm tired and my word bank is running low).

Anyhoo. Jordan and I are watching the Countdown for UFC 126. Ooooooo doggie!! I am so flippin' pumped about this fight!! Belfort is an incredibly talented fighter and is currently shooting to be the first UFC fighter ever to have held a championship belt in three different weight categories. BJ Penn and Randy Couture held belts in two classes. Think about that. They're two of the best fighters ever and this guy is trying to do what they haven't and/or couldn't do. Put that in your pipe, Silva. I can't wait for Belfort to knock that smug expression right off Silva's face. The Griffin/Franklin fight is going to be another Penn/Hughes fight for me. I like both guys--they're both hysterical, very humble, very strong fighters--and while I hate to see either of them lose, I'm going to have to take a side. And my side is Franklin. I heard a rumor that they have a friendly wager placed on their own fight as well: the loser has to get a tattoo and the winner gets to pick what it is. Dangerous wager, I would think... I really like Griffin (he has, by the way, a New York Times best-selling novel that serves as an apocalypse survival guide; never read it, probably wouldn't buy it, but I might spend a couple hours in Borders checking it out).

So Vegas is fast-approaching. One more full day of work and then on Friday I just have to make it till noon. Woo!!! Jordan is going to have a lot of money riding on bets between the fights and the Superbowl and I've already warned him that if, heaven forbid, the fights don't go as they should, he better not be in a shitty mood for the rest of the night or the weekend. We've decided that we'll be checking out two clubs this weekend in Vegas: Jet and Pure. So ready to shake my moneymaker for two nights in a row. My Vegas dresses have been just aching to see the shine of a strobe light since May when we went to Sin City last time.

Should be fun!!! :)

The Girl Behind the Blogs

You know, I just realized that I've never done a "Getting To Know You" post. I mean, sure, I have my little profile thingy but does anyone really read that? So. In the interest of wasting time...
Twenty Did-You-Knows About Me:
  1. I lived in a village in the Swiss Alps for one year called Davos and another village near the Swiss-Italian boder for three years called Porza.
  2. The one American item I missed the most when I lived in Switzerland was Oreos.
  3. I have an unreasonable fear of jaywalking and walking down stairs.
  4. My mom, my aunt, and I are the funniest people I know. Or at least, we think so.
  5. I can sleep until noon durnig the week, but on weekends I never sleep later than eight.
  6. I can eat cereal at any time of day (and have eaten it for dinner two days in a row this week).
  7. I wrote a children's book when I was 7 called "Ferdinand & the Richest Secret" and proceeded to call every publisher in the Yellow Pages to try to get it published. They didn't take me seriously, though.
  8. My dream is to be able to walk into Barnes & Noble and see my book on the shelves. Even if it's just one copy.
  9. My favorite TV show is 24 and I'm heartbroken that the series is actually over.
  10. Gordon Ramsey, Zane Lamprey, Dana White, Neil Patrick Harris and Jonas Hiller would be five of the guests at my fantasy dinner party.
  11. I think I have a slight addiction to Las Vegas.
  12. I have two passports: one American and one Swiss. It makes me feel very Jason Bourne.
  13. I can't sleep without fuzzy socks on. It drives my boyfriend crazy.
  14. I am OCD with my handwriting: if I think it's ugly, I'll rip out whatever I'm writing and start over again.
  15. I'm a Gemini. Or a Taurus. Depending on whether or not you buy the new 13th sign thing.
  16. My three older cousins are the big brothers I don't have--I'm an only child.
  17. I speak French, German and Italian and want to learn Arabic, Farsi, Portuguese and Russian.
  18. I love country music.
  19. My childhood dog was named Quincy. He chattered all the time and all the Japanese tourists in Europe would take pictures of him instead of the major historical sites whenever they saw him.
  20. The 'MJ' stands for Michele Jacqueline.

Show-It-Alls Bug Me

No, not what you think. I've creatively combined Know-It-Alls and Show-Offs into the all-encompassing term Show-It-All. I'm good with the words like that. ;)

So I had my Legal Procedures class last night. Seems like it's going to be rather interesting. Next week we're going to an "accident site" of a faux car crash and, given the fact...sheet? case? situation? I forget what she called it, but she's going to give us the facts and we have to diagram the crash, collect evidence and basically prepare the case. We'll be graded on the case folder that we turn in a few weeks from now. I'm looking forward to it. Should be lots of fun.

Anyhoo. One of my pet peeves regarding classmates is people who feel the uncontrollable urge to show off and prove that they're smarter than everyone else in the very first class. Case in point: This girl (forget her name, but I do remember that she sat next to Eden, who popped gum and twirled her blonde hair around her finger while she talked), instead of introducing herself, proceeded to give us a five-minute lecture about her last job and the fact that she found herself working with unscrupulous bankruptcy attorneys blah blah blah. Here was my intro piece: "Hi, my name is Michele. I work for a timeshare management company and I also do some freelance writing for a few of the community newspapers. I have no legal background or experience except for receiving phone calls from owners who are upset about their timeshares and are telling me they want to sue us." I got a few chuckles and it lasted about thirty seconds. Boom. Done.

At a later point during the lecture, she felt the need to share her dream job, inform our professor that she knew what a litigator was, ask what the difference was between an arbitrator and a mediator, discuss in detail a car accident she was a part of, which was entirely her fault because she ran the light, but the guy was an illegal alien with no license and no insurance and her experience with that allowed her to "totally relate" to the fact that we'll have to draw a diagram in class next week. How she can relate to drawing a diagram because of her bad driving, I don't know.

On a brighter note, I had a dream that I called the winning score of the SuperBowl. The numbers I picked are a bit odd for a football game, but I might play them at a Roulette table and see what happens. Too bad I don't remember what team I picked to win in my dream; that could have been some valuable information.

On the UFC front, I read an interview wtih Belfort's boxing coach, I believe it was, saying that his speed has improved even more since his last fight (and he's already considered one of the fastest strikers in UFC) and I really hope he's right. I was at the Lesnar vs Velasquez fight back in October and that place BLEW UP when Velasquez defeated the previously-thought unbeatable Brock Lesnar. I was so happy. Lesnar was another super-cocky fighter who needed to be put in his place. I was so mad when he beat Frank Mir and then when he beat Shane Carwin (especially since Carwin had him in the first round. Lesnar was on the ground, was not intelligently defending himself, yet the ref didn't call the fight and he survived the first round. Sadly, Carwin gassed himself during that first round and got choked out in the second). Anyway. If Belfort pulls off this victory, it's going to be even crazier than when Velasquez beat Lesnar.

Tonight is the last night this week that I have a commitment immediately after work. I have my OCPA meeting that'll last an hour and a half. Not to be confused with the ASPCA, this is the Orange County Paralegal Association. I'm the Coastline student liaison this year.

I am so looking forward to being able to actually go home right after work. Then I have to pack and on Friday at 12:00 noon I'll be Vegas-bound. Woo-hoo!! :) I can already taste those $1 Margaritas at Casino Royale. Mmmm good. I just bring a huge Big Gulp cup in with me, hand them $10 and ask them to dump ten Margaritas into the Big Gulp. Hey--Vegas is an expensive city and I'm on a budget. Don't judge. ;)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

So Beginneth Another Day...

Well I survived the first day.Even *almost* finished one whole unit of my math homework yesterday. Not bad. Although I have a feeling that Math is going to be one of those subjects that I can't start, take a break, and finish later. I did that and when I went back to finish the homework, my brain was unwilling to cooperate. My Speech class seems pretty laid back, which is wonderful. Maybe that will make me less anxious when it comes time to get up and speak in front of all 36 people in that class.

My teacher is super young, maybe a year or two older than me. Really nice and friendly. She is a self-proclaimed "huge sports fan", an admitted bandwagon Packers fan for the upcoming Superbowl ("It's true; I became a Packers fan about a week ago."), and a steadfast Angels fan. Strike one. What is it with southern Californians and their Angels?? ;) So of course, during my little introduce-yourself shtick, I had to throw it out there that I'm originally from New Jersey and, therefore, am a steadfast Yankees fan. The line has been drawn. I'm sure we'll be able to work it out through the semester. At least the class will be over before the playoffs!

Since it was the first class, we got out rather early so I wound up getting home around 9:00. Jordan was kind enough to throw the whites in the wash since that's the one load I didn't get to yesterday. Now, this is where I learned a very valuable lesson at a very high cost. In my hamper, I had two jackets there were dry-clean only. One of them was my favorite, brown suede jacket. Now, common sense in my mind says: "This jacket is brown, therefore it does not go in with the whites." Common sense in Jordan's mind said: "She said do the whites, so I'm going to dump everything in this laundry basket into the wash, regardless of color." Sigghhh. I give him major props for helping with the laundry (something he usually does only when I'm out of town for whatever reason and am not present to actually do the laundry), poor jacket. :( The sleeves are still the right length, but the rest of it totally shrunk. I might still be able to pull it off since it was already a cropped jacket to begin with, but I definitely can't zip it up anymore. Lesson learned: If I don't want it washed in the machine, do not leave it in the hamper. I guess this is payback for me shrinking his favorite beanie that he got from Amsterdam that I didn't realize was in the pile of clothes as I was tossing them in. I guess.

Wow, who knew I'd be able to write a huge paragraph about laundry. My life is truly scintillating. I have my Legal Procedures class tonight (which I always say in Marisa Tomei's My Cousin Vinny accent: 'proh-SEE-djah').

By the way. How hard is it to understand the name 'Michele'? I clearly state my name at the beginning of every phone call I get at work and I get things like, "I'm sorry, your name is:

Selective hearing, I guess...