Saturday, January 31, 2009

Going, going, gone...

Last night my family along with my uncle, aunt and cousin went out to dinner at Salt Grass Steakhouse. It was good food and good company. After dinner we went over to my uncle's as it was his birthday and we ate cake from Costco.

Today I woke up early and helped my Dad finish packing. He literally packed half a suitcase full of food--whole cashews, tons of twizzlers sealed in gallon-sized Ziplocs, and peanut m&ms. He said he wanted to share "American" food when he got over there. I just teased him and told him to ration his supplies. We did end up getting everything to fit, but one of the suitcases was overweight. Oh well. We went with him to the airport, and my uncle, aunt and cousin came along too to see him off. We took some family pictures, although my other brother is missing in them because he's still away at school.

Saying goodbye was...well, it ended up being a lil harder than I thought. It was almost surreal to just watch my Dad giving hugs goodbye to my lil brother and to my mom, etc. I hugged him goodbye and was just fine, until he started walking away to go through security. Then I just had to hug him again, and it was then that it hit me. I will really miss him. Sure, being the oldest has come with alot of responsibilities, and I've generally been known to be the strong one, always caring for everyone else. I didn't cry then, because I said to myself "who does that? and in the middle of the airport..." After that we went to the car where my brother proceeded to cry and say that it was all his fault that my dad left--which of course is completely untrue. We did try to call dad but he didn't answer. Later in the day, he did text me saying he made his flight to San Francisco. Afterwards, we met my uncle and fam downtown at Snooze for breakfast. We waited forever but it was very tasty.

I think it's interesting to see how people deal with different situations. Case in point: all my brother wanted to do was hear my dad's voice. My mom worried, so much so that she didn't eat anything she ordered at Snooze and then proceeded to keep nothing down after breakfast. And all I wanted to do was send him an e-mail. Strange, I know. But that's what I needed to do. I just e-mailed him wishing him a good trip and told him I loved him.

After breakfast we rushed home, my mom took my brother to his basketball game, and I ran an errand. Then came back, took my brother to Blockbuster to rent a Wii game, and then to a haircut. From there I finally went back to my oasis of an apt and am about to leave for my sleepover downtown at Kristen's.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Almost gone!

My dad is finally leaving for China tomorrow morning. I don't think it's quite hit me. I bet it will tomorrow and the days to come when I call his cell phone and he doesn't answer, or I go home and he's not there. We set up Skype on all the computers, so we all know how to use them and we all have webcams, so I think that will definitely help. Plus my dad is planning on sending out e-mail updates complete with pictures, so that's something to look forward to.

I bought him a travel passport pouch and recommended he bring No Jet Lag with him. I heard of No Jet Lag from Cynthia at Journey Juju. She's a frequent traveler, and recommends it, so I thought why not? My dad's definitely going to need it--he's got a full day of traveling ahead of him. He flies from DIA to San Francisco, then from there to Soeul, Korea, and then finally arrives in Dalian, where he will spend the rest of the year.

The other night when I went home, my dad showed me all of the paperwork he has to tote around--it's crazy! I thought it was bad enough when I went to Paris and I had to lug around extra copies of my flight and hotel intenaries, but this is nothing to compared to the paperwork he has. He has medical forms, work visa papers, and all sorts of other stuff. Not to mention he's going to be toting around notecards. Why notecards? Well, in a surprisingly smart move, he printed out key phrases translated from English to Mandarin, and pasted them on notecards. So when he needs a cab, he'll just show the driver the right card. Same with the other essential questions. I'm sure he'll add to it too. I never realized how difficult Mandarin is to speak. My dad has taught us a few basic phrases, but I can only imagine how hard it is to actually speak full sentences. I heard basic pronunciations online of simple sentences and I was completely lost, even on the slow setting. Luckily I have a few more months to try and learn something in Mandarin.


M and I turned in our 60 day notice to the apartment people yesterday. We just signed a simple form and then we were done. Pretty easy. I don't know why but I feel like packing already. And that is strange, even for me. When I had to move out of my dorm in college, I never packed, my parents always had to help me pack, and usually it was all last minute, so it was basically just throwing all my crap into boxes. It was kinda stressful, I'm not gonna lie. But for some reason, I feel like doing things different this time. I feel like getting organized, and labeling boxes and having them ready to go before we move out. At this point I'm keeping my eyes peeled at work for boxes, because I'm gonna need alot of them (I have alot of crap).

On another note, I'm not too sure if the Binghamton trip is going to happen. L and I were talking about it yesterday and we haven't heard from Gwen at all. On one hand I'd love to see her before she jets off to Australia to be with her bf, but one the other hand, I wouldn't mind saving the $300+ it would cost me to fly out there. At this point I feel as tho both L and I have put in all the effort we can. It's Gwen's turn to reciprocate. My only potential frustration is that she's going to decide, say, late next month, that she does want us to come out. That will for sure be frustrating because I bet it will be even more than $300 to fly out there, not to mention the short notice. L is luckier because she lives in the same state and is just a Greyhound bus away. I, on the other hand, don't have that luxury. So, we'll see. But at this point I'm counting that trip out.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We've got all our lives to...

In keeping with my very Zen like mood, I have recently had a mini epiphany of sorts. I owe it all to SA (self-absorbed), who was complaining about how they hadn't had a date in over a year. They are disappointed that they will be spending their Valentine's Day with their grandma instead of on a date. Up until New Years Eve, I hadn't kissed any boys in 4 months. I reminded them that technically we have the rest of our lives to date/to find that special someone, so it shouldn't matter that they haven't had a date in awhile. Who cares if you haven't kissed anyone or had a date in over a year. When you think of it that way--that we have all the time in the world to settle down--it makes a single gal feel alot better and less pressured to have a committed relationship. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely anti-commitment folks out there, but just because you don't have a date, or a bf, or a husband, that shouldn't mean you're self worth should plummet. SA does have a self-worth issue, but I digress. For Valentine's Day, I will just enjoy my time--maybe I'll go for a hike if the weather is nice, or cozy up in bed with a good book. What I will not do is pity myself for spending it alone; I will enjoy it.

On a side note, I do know that my mom wants me to date--she made it painfully clear last weekend when she pointed to the church bulletin announcement about the "Metro Catholic Singles Night." *rolls eyes*

Speaking of Valentines day, I did read about an interesting concept today regarding gifts. Your Secret Gift allows you send gifts anonymously. They even have different categories to choose from--support & encouragement; love & flirtation; religious & spiritual; politics; and people & pets. You can browse the appropriate category to find the right gift. And you can also choose to send the gift non-anonymously if you want to. They have cute teddy bears, inspirational books, etc.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's official

M and I are not renewing our lease. And after March, we won't be roommates either. M is going to move downtown and I...well, I haven't quite figured it all out yet. If you asked me last week where I was living come April, I would've confidently told you I was moving back into my parent's house. But, in a recent conversation with my mom she recognized that I wouldn't be happy at home and that in some ways it would be "a step back." I agree with her, but it's pretty costly living alone & finding a roommate presents another challenge, especially because most of my friends here either are married already or live alone and are currently in leases. So we'll see, surprisingly I'm just happy that we for sure made the decision of whether to renew or not. Now I have two months of making up my mind.

I contacted the Apartment Finders, have scoured craigslist, and even posted on Facebook that I'm looking for a roommate. Apartment Finders got back to me but most of the 1 bedroom apartments they found in my price range don't have washer/dryers included. So I'm going to keep looking. At this point I'm just open to wherever life takes me. I know, it's a very Zen approach, even for me. But all I can do at this point is take each day in stride, appreciate the last months in my beautiful apartment, and hope for the best.

While on craigslist the other day, I saw a posting for a girl that's looking for a roommate. She's a PhD student at CU, and has lived in the US for 6 years; she's originally from Taiwan. She's very quiet, doesn't do drugs, and seems very friendly. We emailed back and forth about places and just answering general "about me" questions. She seems like a good fit...I mean clearly no one can replace M, but for a roommate, she doesn't seem too bad. The only drawback at this point is that she needs a place to live by Feb. 6. She emailed me the other day saying that she's still looking for a roommate and found a nice condo to rent. She offered if I could move out early, that we could have a trial period of sorts. I'm still confuzzled by her email to be honest, but I think that's what she was suggesting. I emailed her back about the place, and am awaiting to hear back. I might meet her for coffee or tea this weekend to see if we'd even get along. Who knows, we might or might not be roommates. My mom freaked out when I told her I had been emailing a girl from Taiwan, but ultimately, it's my decision. I have to make my own mistakes. But I'm very open minded to different cultures and personalities.

I think either way I'll be fine. At first I was freaked out about living alone. Like what will I do if I hear scary noises at night? It won't do any good to call someone because if it is something serious, I'm screwed. But after my intial freak out session, I am confident that I'll be fine either way--alone or with a roommate. I just think at this point, I definitely don't want to live at home. But, if I don't find a place by March 31, I know I can go home. So either way, I'll be fine.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chocolate + Travels

I booked my flight to Vancouver yesterday and and in an interesting turn of events, I'm adding Binghamton, NY to my travel schedule. Still not sure which month, but it is looking like March. I'm visiting Gwen, an old college friend along with L. It should be a girls weekend before Gwen leaves the U.S. I'm sure it will be a great time, but right now figuring out the logistics of the trip is making my head hurt. For some odd reason it's cheaper to fly into Syracuse, NY. But Syracuse is about an hour away from Binghamton, so I'd most likely have to take a Greyhound bus there and back. Which is okay, but after already having a layover on the flight, coupled with a bus ride, well, I can see myself being tired and cranky. However, if I fly directly to Binghamton, it's about $100 or so more and I'd still have a layover. *shakes head* At least I have some time to figure out this trip.

It was so nice out today, and for some reason I was craving dessert. Specifically chocolate. I googled dessert, and came up with Belvedere Belgian Chocolate Shop. I've passed this place numerous times, but never have gone in it. Until today. I couldn't make up my mind so I ended up grabbing 5 pieces of chocolate--two chocolate covered oreos (which I devoured on the way back to the office), one dark chocolate Boulder bar, a dark chocolate Almond, and a piece of milk chocolate covered toffee. I certainly treated myself, and no, I didn't go crazy and eat it all. I did eat the almond, and it was great. Definitely rich but definitely satisfied my craving. The rest are going into my snack drawer, to have on hand when my next chocolate craving hits.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

I am the sort of person that doesn't always enjoy making decisions yet loves to have the control. Somedays I am extremely indecisive, even about mundane things such as what to wear for work or eat for dinner. But there are also sometimes when I am sure of what I want. Today is one of those days where I feel indecisive, only this isn't about a mundane subject. It's about housing aka where I'll be living come April. M and I found out that our rent went up by $60. We've lived in our current place for almost two years now, and we love it. It's a spacious 1300 feet, complete with den, a kitchen with lots of countertop space, and bedrooms on opposite sides. Another perk is the garage with offers covered parking at no additional charge.

As great as this place is, and perfect for a first-time renter such as myself, I find that M and I are a crossroads, which isn't a bad thing whatsoever. But I feel as though change is on the horizon, not only with our president, but with my life in general. As I told M this weekend during a long walk, everything is changing, why not just add a new place to live too? It was good to discuss with M, because she felt the same way--she sees change coming along too. We discussed moving to a smaller place and saving money, or going our separate ways.

With my Dad leaving for China, my mom is open to me moving back home so I can pay off some debt and save up for house or condo. I have mixed feelings on that though. It's not a pride thing either, because I think it's very nice of her to open up the house I grew up in to me again. But I have concerns. I don't want to assume more responsibility with my little brother because I'm not a parent, I'm just an older sister. I don't want to lose my social life. Sure, I'll still have my car and friends, but I will lose my privacy I'm sure. And then there's the question of budget. Will I be saving money? Will I have enough to contribute to the household if I move back home?

The hardest part of all of this is what decision to make. At this point, I am unsure. I feel pressured to make a decision too because our apt wants 60 days notice if we're moving out, which means we technically have till the end of the month to let them know either way. Which is not alot of time at all! I would be fine with living by myself but I'm not sure if that's the most economical decision I should make at this time. But I also don't want to live at home for another year or longer. I just don't know what to do. In this case, I just can't see the big picture because I'm too worried about the details. *sigh*

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Travel Plans

I've decided this year I'm going to save some money and travel within the U.S. Below is a rough sketch of what I intend to do:

Feb- Possible retreat weekend in Allenspark, CO
March- Possible Spring break trip with the family to Phoenix, AZ
May- Rendezvous to Vancouver
July- China to visit my Dad
Plus a trip to New York City to reconnect with A, L, and anyone else I'm forgetting.

I think that's enough. Gotta use my 20 PTO days sometime.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Crazy Week

Things have been crazy busy around here. This week is flying by. Seriously.

What have I been doing to make such days fly by? Well.... remember I had said I had alot to update ya'll on? Yeah, so I work for a new company now! Get this--apparently my old company sealed a deal with my new company on Jan. 1 BUT I didn't find out a thing until last week. My magazine was traded for another publication, so in the midst of all the crazy news, I've had to meet new people, attend several meetings bout benefits, email access, etc. And I learned we're moving offices, that is the people that are moving with me. About 9 of us total. ANd we're not moving too far, thankfully. We're moving about 5 blocks away from where we are now, so we'll still be in downtown Boulder. Whew. In addition to that craziness, I've been home to see the fam most of this week, and today I finally got my Eco Pass renewed. Lots of more on the to do list to go, but at least now you know why I haven't updated until now.

I'm looking forward to tonight--relaxing with mindless tv, being comfy, and going to bed early. Sounds like a plan to me!

Friday, January 9, 2009

I have....

So there's lots to update about, but the foremost thing in my mind is this: I have hives. Unfortunately I don't have the bee-type hives to report about. I have the red-scratchy-dotty-kinda-hives.

I have never ever had them before. Thankfully, they don't itch. Or at least I'm not itching them, and mentally trying to think of good thoughts to distract me. Apparently I'm allergic to sulfur-based antibiotics. Who knew? I surely didn't. I thought I wasn't allergic to anything, but now I can say I am. At least it's nothing serious. I can still breathe, and don't have huge welts. I just feel diseased, like a leper of sorts. The doc recommended taking Benedryl till it goes away, so looks like I'll be sleeping all weekend.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Apparently I've never mentioned Milka here, so I suppose I will talk about it now. I first heard of Milka while watching Heidi Klum on Jimmy Kimmel. She had just been back to Germany and was talking about her favorite chocolate, called Milka. Well on my trip to Paris, we found Milka in Lourdes, and the airport, Charles de Gaulle. And it was fantastic. Definitely creamy, milk chocolate. I spent some of my last euros on some to bring back with me. Shortly after getting back, M found out that Cost Plus World Market carries it, so we can have our Milka fix anytime we want! All this Milka talk reminds me of the point of this post--M found out that Milka makes Advent calendars! We're so getting one next year!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

I'm excited for what 2009 will bring. I had another long break, and it was so relaxing. I went to the Flobots concert at the Gothic on New Years Eve, and spent New Years Day sleeping in, catching up on shows on my dvr, and cooking chicken scampi, which is such a treat. Friday and Saturday was spent with the familia, and Sunday entailed lunch with Kristen and lots and lots of laundry.

I did manage to rent a few movies from Redbox. I saw Ballet Shoes, with Hermionie from Harry Potter. It was a really good movie, I enjoyed it. Oh, and I found about Inside Redbox, a website which gives promo codes for the movies. I used a couple over the weekend--it's a great deal. Who can resist free movies??

I was so wound up with energy last night that I went to bed way way too late. And I started off my morning trying to take the bus per usual, only to remember that my eco pass has expired. Our office was out of renewal forms, so it was a good thing I drove today. Work in general hasn't been as crazed as it was before the holidays, so it's nice to come back and not be stressed out. It's crazy windy out here. I have to go to the library, but I'm seriously not sure--I might just drive there. At least I have a car. I'm looking forward to watching the Bachelor tonight--who can resist Jason?!

Looking back on 2008, it went by way too fast, and I still haven't really reflected on it, but I think one thing I hope to bring to the new year is perspective. I realized it's very important, and I just hope I can keep it throughout the year.