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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!!!


Day 22: How have you changed over the past few years? Share pictures.

How have I changed? I don't think I have. So I guess this will be a really short post.

Let's break this down, shall we? The prompt says "the past few years" -- and when I hear "few," I think three. Sooo... it's currently 2015 right now so three years back was 2012.

Good. Now that we got math out of the way.... LOL!

I can't honestly remember too much back in grand ol' 2012. Aside from getting a job (FINALLY), the only thing I can think of from that year was when I tried to donate platelets.

Platelets donation: FAIL!
I try to donate blood regularly, but there's always an issue since I have deep veins, and they have trouble trying to find them. Blood donation is about 20-30min at best with cantina time to drink juice and cookies before heading out. Platelets takes about 2hrs. They take some blood out, remove the platelets, and put everything back in your arm (lather/rinse/repeat). But due to my deep veins, re-entry wasn't an option so we had to stop. My arm got all bruised up, and my friends made jokes about me having a crack habit or whatever since the initial bruising looked bad, but I still donate blood. (Need to make an appointment to do that again sometime when I'm feeling better.)

Back to work...

I've been employed for the past few years, so that's a thing. I like having a job. Yeah, the job can be a little "grrr..." at times, but it helps keep a roof over my head and pays the bills so... yay! And speakin of "roof overhead" -- I''ve also been living in the same place for the past few years, so that's another thing. There was a time where I was moving from one place to the next, but then roommate got into relationships and all this stuff, so that left this single girl SOL for a place to say. Currently renting a room in a house of crazy, but we don't need to get into THAT story.

RIP Libby (2003-2013)
So it was pretty much work, home, insomnia, repeat... with the occasional dash of social interaction with friends and trips to see my family. The big badaboom in my life happened in early 2013 when leaving work after the closing shift to head to Fresno to meet up with my brother and his family to visit family out in SoCal... when a couple blocks from my mother's condo some ASSHOLE ran a red light and slammed into me, t-boning my car, spinning me, and leaving me in a state of "HOLY FRAK!!!" Nothing was broken (Thank Gawd), but my leg was bleeding a little, and I got bruised up pretty bad (finding a comfy position to sleep in was a bitch!). I had to call my mom to come get me. Eventually went to the ER since the adrenaline was fading leaving nothing but pain. But yeah... Libby was completely totaled, and there was no way to save her. Everyone was sad about what happened, but one random friend had to say "You had that car for a long time. You loved that car." And I got all weird again.

Say hi Nameless. (Hello!)
It wasn't until the tail end of 2013 (or maybe the beginning of 2014) when I managed to get a new friend. No one could replace Libby, but I couldn't afford a new Libby, so with Jim G (aka Jimbo) in tow (mainly for security because I'm tired of other men treating me like I have no idea what I'm doing since I'm a girl... so I brought a guy friend for security), and we shopped about.

We'd gone out once before to Auto Mall Parkway (which is a long strip of car lots). I originally wanted a Kia Soul, but they were too new to have any affordable used models. So on the next excursion, we went to Fremont and to the Honda dealership to check out the cars they had there.

And that's when I met Nameless.

I really like her. She and I get along famously. I need to take her in for an oil change soon... in the next couple weeks at the most.

Trying my bro's homebrew milk stout
Ended up not being able to visit SoCal family since I had car drama to deal with... plus, I was really in no physical state to make the trip. I had to hang out in Fresno for a few days (and miss two days of work) due to having no ride and needing to get the police report, blah blah blah. But I got to spend time with my family so that was a nice thing. I remember my brother explaining to my niece that she had to be careful with me since I had a boo boo. She was so sweet though making sure I was okay. Moving was a trial, and I was constantly shifting my body weight from foot to foot since aside from the bruised front, my back ached. Man, I really hated that experience. Of all the cars that have hit me, they seemed to have grown worse with each hit. Hopefully I won't get into another one since if things progress the way they have been, I'll be nailed by a Mech or tank or something. Ugh.

Hashtag: Broken!
Took legal action against the frakker that hit me. (It felt like it took forever.) Had to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed for the rental that I HAD to get to get back home so I could go to work. (I don't have PTO at work... which in this case sucked balls!) Went back to the same lawyers that helped me when my Honda about 10 years previous became an accordion when some dude in a Toyota decided he didn't want to wait behind everyone trying to cross the bridge and slammed into me, causing me to slam into the truck in front of me, leaving my car to be an accordion and hence wrecked. They helped me get hooked up with the same chiropractors that I saw back in the "totaled Honda" days, but this time I saw the man instead of the woman. The adjustments were a pleasure as always (my lower back LOVES chiropractors), but since the other guy hit me on my left side, my left leg decided to get grumpy, and when I told the Pop Doc that, he applied the spider tape (or whatever you call it) on my leg. (It was SO not pretty... my left leg had swollen up bigger than the right... and I didn't like it at all.) I also on a few occasions had to get my ankle adjusted... which is NOT as pleasant as when my back is adjusted... which is sad..

I had borrowed a friend's car while she was out during military training out of state... and I got hit again when on my way to work a few months later. (CHP report said the dude who caused the accident said he got distracted by a plastic bag blowing around nearby, and when he turned back to front, he saw everyone at a stop or braking. He slammed on his brakes, hit the chic in front of him - who was behind me - making her hit me.) The car was fine (though missing a bumper), but it was still drive-able... until the eventual already existing wear and tear on the car gave up and pooped out. *headdesk*

Before...
After...
Meanwhile... back in Selfie Land...

When I still had the rental, I treated myself to a drybar visit or two just to pamper myself. I needed a pick me up, and instead of getting a milkshake or a beer... or a beer shake? -- I got my hair done. (Also I can't take a good selfie to save my life. I'm too busy trying to position the camera/phone and forget to smile. Also with the phone I forget to look at the lens instead of the screen so when I remember to look at the lens, the smile is gone... ugh. Hate it! My OCD makes it difficult to take a decent pic of my self. Then again, I do enjoy Instagram filters... they more often than not can make me look better than I actually do.

Bloggy blog blog...
Was also trying to get this blogging thing situated. Originally wanted it to be filled with all kinds of writing that I was doing, talking about my stories, posts on my story blogs... but then when the truck hit me... I can't explain. The want to write wasn't there anymore. It's like my inspiration or whatever just got knocked out of me. Usually I would be so tired from work and insomnia that I'd fantasize about Matrix-jacking my brain to dictate stories while I slept... but nope. I would look at the laptop and feel nothing. The most writing I could do would be lists for errands.

Ugh. It was rather depressing. Really really depressing.

Back then, I tried to make (and follow) a blogging schedule for myself. I think I had ended with Monday, Wednesday and Friday... but then that fell to the waste side, every once in a while a post coming from thin air, but anything original fiction-wise was just... not in me. Friends said that was understandable considering what had happened to me, but I was afraid how long this writer-apathy would last.

Nowadays, I've closed off my story blogs and left my main blog and "Everything At Least Once" open. Maybe I'll reopen them at some later date... or not... or maybe turn them into a book? Meh. We'll see.

Speaking of books, I've tried NaNoWriMo three times now... and failed them all. The initial time was back in 2010 when I got really close. I tried in 2013 and then in 2014 (closer to finishing in the latter year rather than the former). Aside from having this block after reaching 150-200 pages, there have been external factors that impede any writing progress. (Hopefully that will change soon.)

Garnier Nutrisse: R3 Light Intense Auburn
In other hair developments, I decided to go red... again. The color change garnered a lot of compliments which I didn't expect. It's just hair after all. Along with the red, I noticed that a lot more people were also commenting on the curly aspect. That usually comes and goes, but it seemed to come back in full force around the time of the dye job. So now when people say "I love your hair" -- I always feel the need to give credit where credit is due and say "if you're talking about the color, it's from a box; if you're talking about the curl, that's me... thank you."

I always debate if I want to dye it again. Red is the hardest color to maintain, and I don't want to dye my hair over and over since I don't want to damage it over and over. Since I really don't care if my (natural darkest brown) roots show, I just let it go until my roots are like a third of the way grown out. I've dyed my hair so many times, colors come out that I didn't even know I still had. I've seen black (dyed once for an anime Halloween costume), red, various shades of brown and blonde. I could give a frak about my white hairs - and yes, I have them - but my hair is more than two shades (meaning my natural hair and the intended dye job), it's time for a redo.

I've been keeping it up for a while, but now? I'm contemplating trying brown again. Wonder if the nickname "Red" that some people call me will go away if I do that.

Over the past few years, my support team of extended family (aka friends) has been wonderful and amazing. The amount of times they have helped me when I was down or out or down and out... they've been there with a cocktail or a hug or a movie or a joke...

They are just an amazing group of people that I am proud to know and call friend.

In the past few years, we've gone on road trips, collected together at gatherings, played games, celebrated holidays, toasted birthdays, gone to events, seen movies...

And through long-time friends, I've made new friends along the way which is always cool. I love meeting new people. Being the social butterfly that I am, I love it when we hang out in large groups, but I also enjoy the one on one time. We can act silly or serious, no judging, lots of happy.

Yeah. I kinda lucked out in the friend department. They make my life (and all of the bad moments) better.
Rumchata is awesome!!!

What else has changed? I've been working on my bartender-fu. Now I'm not looking to work in a bar or anything, but I've sort of been promoted to bartender for friends since Alithea S moved to Colorado. (She used to be our main cocktail maker.)

My job has me working A LOT of holidays, and last year I had to work July 4th (only a few hours in the morning). Leading up the holiday, Jess F was trying to come up with a holiday cocktail which I helped her experiment with in champagne-type glasses we got from a party supply store.

While at work, I saw a pic of these red, white and blue shots, so when I was off work, I went to BevMo and got some supplies (which two out of the three things I needed were things that Jess was also using, but I was pretty sure she'd be low or out, so I restocked... as well as got shotglass throwaways). When I got to the house and showed off what I got, they said, "So make it already." Never having done a layered drink before, I thought my first time went rather well.


I'm always trying new things so that hasn't changed, but I thought I'd share anyway. (And FYI -- I am always down for some paella... it is #happymaking!)





Cuddles with Maria
Siobhan's photobomb on Instagram
Got to go to the meadery some (before my schedule change and had

me closing Saturdays leaving me no time to make it to the meadery for drinks with friends.

I missed a lot of Saturdays... the laughs, the drinks, the company. It was all so awesome. Now I have weekends off and need to get my ass back in there. I've missed the past couple Saturdays due to other things needing to be taken care of on the same day... or being sick. They're trying being open on Sundays - and to some of those I've been to. Wonder if that'll continue to be a thing.

Translation: I am a nerd.
Toward the end of 2013 I had to deal with the typhoon in the Philippines. When I say "deal with" -- I mean my mother is from the Philippines, but not only that, she was from where the typhoon hit. I have family in the Philippines I've never met, and when I heard what had happened from another Filipina at work, I got quiet. And when my shift was over, I immediately called my mom... who was at my brother's place using the internet to find out information about the typhoon.

Not having a lot of disposable funds, I couldn't make a big donation to help my distant homeland. As luck would have it, my pals at The Nerd Machine created a shirt that all that were bought, proceeds went to help the Philippines. (And yes, I bought one.)

In happier news, I've been getting my audiobook-ness on. I love me some library goodness, and since I have a bit of a commute (not so much distance as traffic), I pop in a book, and it makes the drive so much better. I also get books to listen to when I drive to Fresno to visit family.

I need to get an Audible account and key into my budget some books to get... stuff the library doesn't have. But for now, the library has proved to be more awesome than not.

The library is also awesome since I'm a member of two book groups (though I don't always have time for both). There's a book group I do with Kathy W once a month where we go to the bookstore and sit with other ladies and discuss the book that we just read. Then there's the Facebook group (that I admin) that is a little more lax. (This month's book is "The Maltese Falcon" by Dashiell Hammett. (And yes, most of us have seen the movie.)

Some other changes...

I had to say goodbye to my Nimitz whose health was failing so I had to put her down. I was a mess that day... especially since this all happened on Mother's Day last year.

Then I also had to say goodbye to one of my favorite people in the world - Robin Williams. (That happened in August, but we don't need to focus too much on these sad things. They were just some things that effected me greatly. Thank goodness I had friends around me for both.)

I have a candy bucket at my desk which now that I've been moved to a different desk due to some "office rearranging" I can now hang it on the outside of my wall. It's currently sadly empty, but I got some candy this weekend (albeit Vday candy, blah), but now the natives can stop being restless. I started the candy thing two years ago last Christmas, and I've just kept at it. (Just cuz.)

Wow. This post is REALLY long. LOL!

What else??? I've been drinking more tea these days... the increased frequency started around November of last year. I have it with milk and honey now (thanks Carrie). Which reminds me... I really need to get more milk and honey before work tomorrow.

My brother and his family got me a tea carafe for Christmas. It essentially works like a French Press, and I use it for my looseleaf tea (of which I have a lot). All my tea infusers have either broken, gone missing, or are in storage.

So I'm really happy they got me this new one. It really only does one cup, but the mug I have at work is a little oversized so it looks like half a cup.

Hi Mom!
Other awesome changes... beat my mom at Scrabble... which is her game... but I realized that she doesn't know how to spell a lot of the words that she knows (or at least pretends to), and now that I got her a Scrabble dictionary, she has no reason to not know them. So now when she tries to be tricky, I ask her what the word is and to use it in a sentence. She usually takes it back by that point.

One of the jokes that comedian Jo Koy tells about his mother and the Wii... is that his mother is a shit-talker. And the next time I played Scrabble with my mom, I realized she was, too. But now when I'm beating her, she then decides to end the game before the actual end. LOL! (Victory is mine!!!)

Okay, three more things, and I'm done with this post.

I've been working my brain via apps on my phone.

There's Elevate, Fit Brains, Lumosity, and Peak. I do the games once a day on each app. Two of the apps have three games each day whereas the other two have four.

The memory games kill me. They show me tiles on a grid, and then I'm supposed to touch the squares to recreate the pattern. I haven't gotten past 13 tiles (and I don't think I'm going to).

There's another grid game that shows you explosions and then they disappear and two tiles have what looks like a ball of light, and you have to connect them and dodge the "explosions" in the process. I have no idea why I so much better with that grid game and not the other one.
The board at my old desk

The board behind my new desk
At work - at my old desk - my boss in rearranging cubicles, etc, had lots of small piles of things on the floor so he walked through the department one day and hung up some of the dry erase boards that had been just leaning against the cubicle walls. One of them he hung on the outside of my cube. I thought perhaps there would be some point to them being hung up, but nope - no one touched them after that.

So I did.

I started writing positive quotes on them - sometimes funny ones - but things that I thought people would enjoy. I welcomed everyone to write something, but it was mostly me. I found out later that my boss liked the positive message I was leaving.

At my new desk, I sit opposite my old desk and the board I always wrote on. I also have a board that hangs behind me. No one else has really taken to doing anything with them... so I write on both of them (from time to time).

What else???

Joined a gym... that is occasionally stalked by ducks. (Yes, you heard me. Ducks.)

Still playing around with my hair trying to find a quick and easy way (short of shaving it all off) to deal with my curls. (*sigh* It's a process.) Also trying to find products that are good for my hair... so I hit LUSH for some samples. (Some of the stuff is great... now if I could just fit it into my budget.)

But one of the best changes is having something of a regular schedule so I can go see my family and spend time with my favorite person in the whole world - my little weirdo (aka niece) Bella!


I don't feel like much has changed... although I'm continually trying to better myself and get better in life. And maybe one day I'll master it.

Until then, I need a nap... or a vacation... or both?

Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!
Rae

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