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You Only Live Once, This Is How I’m Doing It!

Month: January 2010 Page 3 of 4

An Apple a Year?

Joel and I took a trip to the Apple store today to get his computer fixed. While I was there I got a seriously awesome case for my iPhone. It’s the iSkin Solo FX. It’s cute and red with circles plus it’s non slip so I can set my iPhone on smooth surfaces without worrying about it getting knocked on the ground. Look how pretty!

The best part is, when the phone is asleep, the screen protector turns into a compact mirror! Can you say genius? Well it is for a girl on the go like me. It’s the simple things in life that amuse me, ok?

I seriously love my phone. Joel and I both got the 3G iPhone when it came out a year and a half ago. Unfortunately, Joel was mugged very shortly after getting his but so far I’ve beaten off all attackers and gotten hours of use and enjoyment out of mine. Before I got it I had to lug my heavy laptop along with me on all my trips. It wasn’t easy finding wifi that I didn’t have to pay for and pulling it in and out of my bag at security was a pain. The iPhone eliminated all that hassle.

When the 3Gs came out last summer we briefly considered getting Joel one but when they announced the features we were less than impressed. Let’s see, $299 (because the $199 price is for new customers. Don’t even get me started on customer loyalty, ugh!) and the main difference is video and a compass. Yeah… not that exciting considering dozens of cell phones already offer video and I already have a pretty good sense of direction. Just didn’t seem worth spending almost $300 plus signing another 2 year contract with AT&T (especially since we’ve become less and less satisfied with their services).

It’s just so frustrating because when the first iPhone came out it was groundbreaking. Apple has always been on the cutting edge of technology and the first iPhone was no exception. The thing is, I think Apple got greedy. Seems like their thinking was to release new upgrades little by little so that people have to have a new iPhone every year. Why give the customer the full product all at once when you can make them pay for five or six? Why else would they wait to add something simple like cut and paste? Or Flash (which the iPhone still doesn’t offer)? Or video? The maps application, while helpful, is definitely not turn by turn GPS. (One of my favorite things to do while Joel is driving is to yell at him to get out of a lake or a building since that’s where my phone says our “current location” is. It doesn’t amuse him much.) You can pay $50-$100 for the Tom Tom app if you want to add GPS to your phone or AT&T sent me a text that said they offer GPS service you can pay monthly for.

I understand there may be more to it than just greed. It just feels like they’re pushing things a bit too far. Consumers aren’t stupid, especially ones that buy Macintosh products. *wink* There are lots of other phones out there that offer just as much, if not more, than the iPhone. The iPhone is starting to not be that special. Joel and I are waiting until our contract is up this summer. Hopefully the new iPhone will be out by then and is totally awesome. Because I love Apple, I really do love my iPhone and quite frankly I’d rather not have to get used to a whole new phone.

So Apple, consider this your notice. I don’t like feeling like I’m being jerked around. The next iPhone better be the best thing out there. I know you can do it.

Plus, how many phones can I find that turn into a mirror?!

Blech

I was up most of the night sick last night. Well, five times between 2am and 10am. I don’t think it’s the flu because I never had a fever and other than being completely exhausted and weak from getting up every other hour I don’t feel that sick. I’m pretty sure it was just bad beef vegetable soup which sucks because that’s usually my go to food after I’ve been sick. Now I’m at a loss as to what to eat. I have a feeling if I eat something that will really help me feel better though so I need to figure something out. I hate chicken noodle soup… Any suggestions? What do you eat after you’ve been sick? Am I the only freak who doesn’t eat chicken noodle soup?

I’m also really bummed because today was the monthly papillon playgroup I usually take Phoebe to. It’s so much fun watching all the little dogs play together and Phoebe loves it. There wasn’t one in December because of all the holiday craziness and now I have to miss January’s. Boo! At least she’s a puppy and doesn’t know that she’s missing it.

Anyway, I don’t really feel up to putting together a real blog post today. I had an idea for a post about Phoebe and the snow but you’re going to have to wait until tomorrow for that one. I’m off to try and figure out anything that sounds good to eat. Wish me luck!

Update: I actually took my temperature and I’m running a low grade fever. Guess it might be the flu after all. This better not mess up my plans to go visit my sister in California tomorrow. Grrrr

My New Favorite Song

I have an obsession with dance music. I’m not sure exactly when it began. Probably during my first trip to Amsterdam when I was 14. It also helped that I moved to Europe when I was 18 and that’s basically all they play in the clubs there. I didn’t know any different. When I finally turned 21 I was sorely disappointed by the music they play at most of the clubs in the states. Just not the same.

Anyway, a local radio station plays Dance Factory Radio late at night and Joel and I enjoy listening to it on our drives home from visiting my family. Tonight while listening I discovered my new song obsession. It puts a giant smile on my face. Seriously, listening to it makes me so happy. So, I needed to share with all of you what will, no doubt, be on repeat on my iTunes for several days.

Ravers in the UK by DJ Manian:

Please ignore the random girls in soapy bikinis. Just turn your speakers up and enjoy the awesome sound.

p.s. I’m pretty sure I even understand the lyrics to this song… Pretty sure.

Embarrassing Facts About Me: Volume One

Singing is in my blood. My dad is an amazing tenor and passed down that talent in some form or another to all his kids. When we were little we would go around like the Von Trapp family singers and perform in nursing homes or churches. I loved it. I am not the best singer in the world but I can carry a tune fairly well. One thing I have problems with though is understanding lyrics. I don’t really know what is wrong with me. Maybe I’m slightly deaf… or just a little special. There have been songs where I was sure I knew the lyrics only to find out they were actually completely different than what I thought. A recent example: You know the song Now I’m That Bitch? If not here it is from Lala.

Yeah, until I downloaded it the other day I thought the words were, Now I’m Bad-ish. (I actually kind of like my lyrics better but whatever.) While I can’t remember any more examples off the top of my head I know there are dozens of other songs like that. I just can’t understand lyrics for some reason. Here is a visual of what I sound like when I try to sing a song.

Minus all the awkward dedications of course.

I felt bad the first time I watched this video because I could not stop laughing. I am never one to advocate bullying or teasing but her social awkwardness was not what I was laughing at. It’s because that is how I sound when I try to sing along to pop songs! I may be a bit more on key but it’s mostly mumbling until I come to the main catch phrase of the song. And even that I can’t get right all the time!

It’s ok, you can laugh at me. I’m laughing right along with you.

How to Save a Quarter

I’ve got a crap ton of laundry that needs to be done. I’m pretty sure I haven’t done a load since before Christmas. This either means that we have a lot of clothes or we wear dirty clothes a lot. Probably more the latter than the former since even when my clothes are all clean I have nothing to wear.

Anyway, I’ve been putting off doing laundry for about two weeks now and we’re pretty much out of things to wear. There aren’t even very many things that aren’t that dirty. I don’t know why I put it off. If I do laundry once a week we never run low on clean underwear, and there’s a manageable amount. Usually about four loads including sheets and towels. But when it’s only been a week I can easily talk myself out of doing it because we have plenty of clean clothes left. Then the next week there’s twice as much to do and it’s overwhelming. Generally I just suck it up and do it then but last week something came up. Which brings us to this week and there is very little left to wear and I’m completely overwhelmed.

It would be much easier if we actually had a washer and dryer in our apartment. The community one is right down the hall so it’s not so bad. It’s not like I have to haul it all to a laundromat and it’s almost always open so I don’t have to fight with anyone for it. The thing is, I have to have a very strict system when I’m doing laundry to maximize dryer time. See if you can keep up with my thought process. It costs $1.25 to wash one load, that’s a given, there’s no fudging it. The dryer is a whole different story. It also costs $1.25 for the initial time of 45 minutes. Unfortunately the dryer sucks and it usually takes a good 60-90 minutes at least to dry a load. If there is still time on the dryer you get an extra 15 minutes of dry time for every quarter. I figured out if I made sure never to let the time run out and switch loads it costs me $2.00 for the first load but every additional load only costs $1.50. Saves me at least .50 a load which adds up over time.

Typing that paragraph made me realize how ridiculous I am. Wow. I didn’t even get into my rules for what goes into the actual loads or how they’re washed/dried. That’s a whole other post though. Or not because you’d probably die of boredom (if you haven’t already from this post.)

Anyway, if I’m going to save my $2.00 or so a week I have to be on top of things. This requires a very big part of my day to be strictly dedicated to laundry. Timers have to be set and loads checked and changed right on schedule or the time runs out and I have to pay a whole $1.25 again which, while not the end of the world, kind of pisses me off. Maybe it’s the competitiveness in me. I need to win over “the man” who tries to dictate how much my laundry is going to cost. I don’t like giving the laundry dudes a quarter more than I have to. You know Friends? I’m Monica.

So, staring at four giant mountains of laundry in front of me (that don’t have a prayer of fitting into only four loads) I realize it’s probably going to have to be put off for one more day. Being on furlough has turned my posts from “What I did on my exciting layover” to “A day in the life of laundry” and it’s made saving a quarter or two really important. Jealous?

Boys from Jersey for our Birthdays!

Today was my sister Bekah’s birthday. She turned 17 today which kind of blows my mind since I saw her be born. Anyway, my birthday is on the 17th so we decided to take each other to a musical for our birthdays.

We took the train downtown so we got there about two hours early. That left us plenty of time to grab some Starbucks and Rebekah tried her first white chocolate mocha.

She approved.

After we warmed up and got our little caffeine buzz we grabbed some lunch. Bekah wanted a burger but the only places my iPhone could find within several blocks of us that served burgers were McDonalds, *gag*. There were three within a block of us. Three! Who needs that many McDonalds? Anyway, we settled for Corner Bakery which was another first for Bekah. After we ordered and sat down we noticed the sign on the table and were horrified that neither of our choices were on the list…

because it was a list of choices that were under 600 calories. Dude! Our meals weren’t under 600 calories?! It did say on the bottom that there were more choices under 600 calories online. I haven’t checked… I’m a little afraid to be honest.

After our delicious but possibly incredibly fattening meal it was finally time to see the show.

Yay, Jersey Boys!

The show was fabulous. It was lighthearted and fun. The audience amused me because most of them were in their late 70’s or older. They bobbed right along to the music and some even sang along. It was cute. The whole cast was incredibly¬† talented. My favorite by far was the actor who played Frankie Valli, John Micheal Dias. That dude has an amazing voice. I would recommend you go see it but the Chicago run ends on the 10th so you’d have to really hurry.

Happy birthday, Bekah. Thanks for being so awesome and going to the show with me. Let’s make this a tradition. *smile*

When Flying, be a Pessimist

As many of you know I have been furloughed from my job as a flight attendant. Even though I’m not flying I still like to keep up on what’s going on with my airline and the industry in general. I still log into the company website from time to time or get news from other sources but the fastest, easiest way to get the headlines I’ve found is through a saved Twitter search. Everything from finding out they switched contracts for the kind of toiletries that are in the amenity kits in first class to whether or not their stock is doing well.

One common theme I see is people swearing off a particular airline for one reason or another. Every once in awhile they have a legitimate complaint because they’ve truly been disserviced. Most of the time however the tweets are along the lines of:

“I’ve been delayed for 4 hours. ____ airlines SUCKS!”

” ____ airlines lost my bags, I’m never flying with them again.”

“I missed my connecting flight because ____ airlines didn’t hold the plane for me, JERKS!”

etc.

I can understand complaining about being stuck at an airport or having your bag lost but blaming the airline seems like a little much. There are certain risks you take when you travel by air. Just like you risk getting a flat tire, a rock in your windshield or getting stuck in a traffic jam when you drive. Flights get delayed and checked bags get lost, it’s a gamble you take when you choose air travel. I’ve been frustrated at situations but I’ve never blamed it on any particular airline because I know it could happen just as easily on any other airline in the world.

One flight I was on I had a passenger who was hysterical because we were delayed for a few hours. She was very upset because that two or three hour delay meant she was missing a competition she was in. She had scheduled her day to get in just in time to compete. While I felt bad for her, I’m never happy at someone else’s frustration, there was nothing to be done. It was a gamble and she lost. Sometimes I don’t think people understand how many ways a travel itinerary can been messed up and very few of them are the fault of the airline. There’s weather, air traffic control, security threats not to mention the inevitable mechanical or scheduling problem. If there is somewhere you have to be, plan to fly out at least a day or two in advance. If it’s around the holidays or to a city that frequently has bad weather (like Chicago) plan at least two to three days. If it’s important enough it’s worth spending the extra money on the hotel or dealing with the in-laws a bit more.

Want a 100% guarantee the airline won’t lose your luggage? Carry it on. Checked bags get rained on, snowed on, smashed, and sent where they’re not supposed to go. If you don’t check it you have complete control over where it ends up and how it’s treated. The people dealing with your luggage are human. They misread things, they have bad days and they make mistakes. It’s not a diabolical plot to make sure you spend your beach vacation in a sweater.

My best advice as a seasoned traveler is to expect things to go wrong. If you must travel at the last minute or check your bags cross your fingers and hope you’re not one of the unlucky few. But if you miss something important or your bag gets lost, please don’t blame the airline.

Avatar

I’ve never written a movie review before so don’t expect anything formal. I saw the 2D version of Avatar yesterday afternoon and wanted to share my thoughts about it.

The idea of the story is, a crippled marine, Jake Sully, takes the place of his late twin brother on a distant planet. He is chosen because, as a twin, he is a DNA match and is able to use the Avatar created for his brother. The planet’s environment is hostile to humans. Not only is the air toxic, but just about every creature is giant and deadly. The humanoid life form (I watch too much Star Trek) is the Na’vi. They are tall, blue creatures who are in touch with the planet and communicate with their deity Ewya. More on that later. When Jake arrives he learns of the conflict. The Na’vi’s home is on top of a large deposit of a type of rock which is incredibly valuable to humans. The humans want it, the Na’vi don’t want to move and it’s Jake’s job (as an Avatar) to earn their trust and convince the Na’vi to relocate before the humans take their land by force.

First of all, the special effects were unbelievable. Whenever I see a movie I have a discussion about it in the car on the way home. While discussing Avatar, Joel mentioned how good the CGI was. Only then did it hit me, it was almost completely CGI, wasn’t it? That’s how good the effects are. You’re never taken out of the moment because of the animation. Instead it’s as if you are transported into an incredible new world. One of brilliant colors, of forests that glow in the dark and fantastic creatures that are unlike anything on earth. Because you’re not on earth, you’re on Pandora. I found myself wishing Pandora was a real place. If it were I would brave the 5 year 9 month space journey just to visit it. Because it’s breathtaking, even in 2D.

Beyond the special effects I felt like there was a compelling story. Yes, there were blatant political statements but I felt there were elements of truth behind them. James Cameron seems to have a pretty realistic idea of how things could play out. This makes me so sad. Humans have done this time and time again. They’ve just taken what they wanted by force and twisted things to suit their needs instead of adjusting their needs to suit the environment. It’s not far fetched to think they might do the same on another planet. Besides all that, I felt for the characters. I cheered for them in their successes and teared up in their losses. Plus, there were plenty of action sequences that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Perhaps one of the most interesting facets of the story to me was the concept of Ewya. I believe in God and I believe He created the universe. However, I am not sure that on a different planet, with a completely different species He wouldn’t take a different form. Then the question is raised, if humans traveled to another planet would their particular rules for religion follow them? Which version of God would they be held accountable to? I suppose it’s all speculation since we don’t seem to be anywhere near discovering another planet that could support life, let alone another life form. To me it is an interesting thought process, although perhaps one I should explore more in a blog post of it’s own.

I highly recommend you go see it while it’s in theaters. No home theater set up, no matter how high tech would be comparable. So, there you have it, my first movie review. I give it 5 stars. Avatar made me think and feel and took my breathe away. To me that equals a great movie.

Ten Things I Should Like but Don’t

I saw this on a friend’s blog and thought it was an interesting idea. So here it is,

Ten things I should like but don’t:

1. Cilantro

I love Mexican food. Love, love, love it. It’s one of my favorite ethnic foods. However, I can’t stand the taste of cilantro. There are very few flavors that make me feel nauseous and that is one of them. Thankfully there are many Mexican dishes that don’t use cilantro heavily.

2. Girly movies

I am not really a girly girl. In some ways I suppose I am but for the most part I’m perfectly happy in jeans, a t-shirt and tennis shoes. This extends to my choice in movies. I would much prefer so see a gory horror movie or an exciting thriller than a formulaic chick flick any day.

3. Thongs

I hate feeling like I’m walking around with a wedgie all day long. They may look sexy and I do own a few but I much prefer, er, full coverage.

4. High heels

See number 2. I need my shoes to be comfortable.

5. Wine

I really try. I would like nothing more than to be one of those classy ladies who relaxes with a nice glass of merlot or knows what kind to order with any entree. I just can’t get over the flavor. Yet. I’m working on it.

6. Make up

Who invented make up? I have a thing or two I’d like to say to them. Seriously, it cakes, it runs, it gets in your eyes, it clogs your pores and if you forget to take it off before you go to bed you wake up feeling like your face is going to crack off. Ugh! I swear if I wasn’t cursed with dark circles under my eyes I would never wear make up at all.

7. Waking up before noon

I am not a morning person. I would love to be but, despite my best efforts, if left to my own devices I never wake up long before noon. It doesn’t matter how many mornings in a row I get up early or how early I go to bed. If I don’t set an alarm don’t expect me to wake up before at least 10:30am.

8. Stubble

Some women think a five o’clock shadow is sexy. I admit there are some men on whom it actually does look pretty darn good. It’s not actually the appearance I don’t like, it’s how it feels against my face. I hate it when I start to really get into a kiss only to be snapped out of the moment because it feels like my face is rubbing up against sandpaper. Shave please!

9. Ring tones

I used to think ring tones were pretty nifty. I often downloaded the themes of my favorite shows or one of the hits off the radio to my phone. I don’t really know what happened. Maybe I sat next to that person on the train one to many times. You know the one whose top 40 ring tone is so loud you practically wet yourself when it goes off. Or maybe I had my own ring tone go off in an embarrassing setting one too many times. I don’t remember. At some point I decided that vibrate was a perfectly good way of being notified my phone was going off and now if anyone’s ring tone goes off, even my own, I feel annoyed.

10. Internet surveys

Ironic since I’m doing one, no? I don’t hate all of them but I think I got burned out on the endless bulletins on MySpace. You can only hear about someone’s first kiss, what color shirt they’re wearing right now, and have them coyly not answer if there’s someone they’re interested in so many times.

So there you have it.

People whose answers I think would be hilarious are:

Ex Hot Girl

Okay Seriously

Baby Rabies

Ineke

Zahara

Liz

and

JewliaGoulia

Plus, anyone else who feels the urge to post their own answers I would love to read them. If you do, please leave me a comment so I can enjoy your post. *smile*

The Decade in Seven Minutes

I found this video so interesting. It really made me think about and remember the last decade. It’s amazing how short a time things that I take for granted have been around, like Facebook or iPods. In 2000 I had barely entered my teens and I was a bit of a nomad because of hard times with my family. I thought I knew so much about the world and life. I guess all teenagers think they have it figured out. I’m now old enough to know I don’t have it all figured out but I’m excited to try. I almost can’t believe how much I’ve changed in the last 10 years, I know my 13 year old self would be quite surprised at how things turned out. Throughout the decade I grew up, graduated high school, became an adult, moved to Europe, got married and became a flight attendant. All in ten short years.

This last decade was good but it was also really hard. I have made great friends and lost other great friends, ones I thought I could never ever lose. I have learned so much about life and people. I’ve become a lot more cynical and I don’t trust as easily as I used to. I haven’t lost my love for life or my optimism though, in fact I believe I love life even more. I do appreciate my family now, they are the most important people in my world. I am more loyal and love more fiercely than ever.

I am very hopeful as the world moves into the new decade. I hope that people will learn to love their fellow man no matter what their beliefs. I hope that people will learn to put aside politics in favor for doing what is best for the country and the world. I hope I learn and grow more than ever. I hope hurts will be healed and wrongs can be forgiven. I hope to make many new friends and to grow closer to the old ones. I hope for prosperity for myself, my family and the world. More than anything I hope that I never stop hoping.

I will always remember the 2000’s both with fondness and sadness. It was an amazing decade. Hopefully the 2010’s are far, far better.

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