Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Year in Photos

A lot happened this year, and much of it was forgettable. However, there are always certain moments that last in my memory.

Earlier this year, my cousin got married in New York. Thus, our family had an excuse to stay in a tiny hotel room watching TV for several days. We had fits with each other, we went out for ice cream and manicures, but all in all, it wasn't so bad.

In February, I took a huge step; I moved out of my parents' house. I'd moved back to Washington and lived with them while getting my feet on the ground, but it felt so good to get out on my own (with a roomie). This right here is the emptiness that would become my room.

I discovered a new love with the help of my roommate, Stacy: karaoke! We took a trip down to Canon Beach for Memorial Day weekend, and randomly ended up at a bar running karaoke. We each only got one song in, but only a couple moments into "You Don't Own Me", I was hooked.

Anyone who knows me is quite aware of how much I love going out dancing. Yeah, there's the guys and fun drinks, but the real excitement is putting together the perfect outfit and swaying to the music. From L-R: Ronnie, Sachin, me, and Jenn. It was a Bollywood night, and what better way to celebrate double birthdays for Sachin and Jenn?

 While visiting my best friend in Spokane during the summer, we decided to make Sangria. Unfortunately, neither of us had a corkscrew. This would have proven difficult for anyone less than brilliant. Well, brilliant we were, since we knew how to google! Thus we removed the cork using a screw and a pair of pliers. Believe me, that sangria was worth it!

My first trip to Hawaii was made in October so that I might stand by the side of my best friend as she took vows before her friends, family, and God to love, honor, and cherish a man who loves her dearly. This view, all the views, and especially my gorgeous friend, were breathtaking and totally worth the trip.

These are the stockings that my mom made for each family member. As cheesy as they may be, the took time, energy, and love, and they are one of the things that make Christmas with the family so special.

I hope that you made wonderful memories this year as well!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Living the Dream

Just a few moments ago, I was sitting on my couch drinking some Lambrusco, eating some after-Christmas-sale chocolates, and thinking to myself, yeah, keep living the dream! I nearly dropped my delicious french truffle (ok, not on sale, but rather in my stocking) when I realized that I was, in fact, living the dream. Or at least my dream.

Okay, my life dreams are usually more like fantasies where I'm kinda similar to Eva Longoria in Desperate Housewives; a gorgeous trophy wife married to an equally gorgeous hunk-of-man billionaire. That, however, is not the dream I am referring to.

Right now, I am living in a decent apartment (and will moving on up come February), I make enough to support myself, my wardrobe is relatively current and cute, and I have friends both here and across the country. My life isn't perfect, but it's pretty darn good...especially with lots of chocolate.

Dream on, friends!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Making do with what I have: Cigarette pants

Shopping in my own wardrobe is not as easy as I could hope for, but I suppose it isn't as difficult as it could be. I am blessed with more than enough clothes, and most are even cute! So, without further ado, here is my in-closet makeover.

I began with a pair of cigarette pants that I had picked up earlier this year after watching "The Philadelphia Story" and admiring Katharine Hepburn's style. They weren't especially easy to find, but Banana Republic came through for me with this would-be wardrobe staple.

 My first look is for New Year's, as most people need to get a bit more dressed up for the NYE parties. I took a lime green (kinda) halter-neck top, left my hair down and flowing, added some low-heeled pewter dress sandals and a statement bracelet and voila!

I don't think cigarette pants would be such a potential wardrobe staple if they couldn't be worn to the office. Therefore, I knew I needed a work-appropriate look for this collection. I pulled my hair into a loose bun, threw on a fuchsia long-sleeved tee, a grommeted belt, a pair of black flats, and added hoop earrings and a black pearl necklace with invisible wire (it's kinda like fishing wire). Here's the work look:

My last look is for my love; karaoke. I think every girl needs to make sure that she has a fabulous outfit for a night out belting the lyrics of classic favorites and new hits. For my karaoke look, I pulled my bangs back and left the rest of my hair down, slipped into a pair of black patent heels, threw on a 3/4 sleeve purplish v-neck topped with a t-shirt weight dark gray shawl (or whatever you'd call it), added a couple bangles, hoop earrings and a multi-strand silver chain necklace and called it a day.


Hope you like!


Style of the Sirens: Jane Russell

After a fabulous day of shopping, my friend Mariko and I sat down to watch "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", one of the most well-known Marilyn Monroe movies out there. While Marilyn is a gorgeous knockout, Jane Russell is no plain Jane. 

It's amazing that such gorgeous styles have gone out of fashion. They're so beautiful and timeless. Well, on that note I will leave you with a clip showing Jane Russell at her finest; surrounded by men.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Civilized Nation?

Typically, when we read about horrors of humanity, they occur in distant, third-world countries. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There is now a trend in the UK of female genital mutilation.

How is it possible that such a progressive, civilized country would not work harder to stop this? While it certainly is a tight spot for parents that come from such a culture to be in, it is not right. This is not a gray area. It's black and white, right and wrong. Female genital mutilation is wrong.

It is my hope that the US never follows suit.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Year of the Celebrity Deaths

Yes, we know about Michael Jackson, Walter Cronkite, Farah Fawcett, and Patrick Swayze. Now we can add 32-year-old Brittany Murphy to the list of celebrities who died in 2009. You can read more about it on CNN.

I know I haven't watched all of her movies, but she was a talented, and very pretty actress. In honor of both her death and her life, please enjoy another side of Brittany Murphy; chart-topping singer.

A Dry Spell

Weekend after weekend, it seems the same. I am not out bustin' some moves on the dance floor, I am not having cocktails at a swanky restaurant bar, and I am not making out with a hottie. All in all, I am living the life of someone NOT in their twenties. This is the time in my life that I'm supposed to be out meeting new people and dating around. Why, you may ask? I don't leave my apartment. I curl up on my couch and watch a movie or play around online.

There are so many self-help dating books out there, but you always have to put yourself out there somehow. I'm not there, I'm here on my butt. I really have no clue as to how I am supposed to meet new people, but I know that I am supposed to.

What a wicked thing it is to be a twenty-something with a Jewish mama, who stays at home on the weekends. Any advice? Where should I go? What things should I do?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Goodbye Jack

Today I was informed that a friend of my grandfather's had died. It had seemed that it wouldn't be much longer, but the doctors ought to be sued for malpractice. Jack had been bleeding internally, so the doctors were running some tests. In the meantime, instead of giving him blood, they gave him blood thinner.

Yet it isn't the way he died that hurts so much, as it is the fact that he was one of the last links to my grandfather.

My grandfather was an amazing man with so much love, and whom I loved dearly (and still do). After surviving the Holocaust, Grandpa returned to Greece and joined the Army to fight the communists in the civil war. Once he had served, he came to America to make his way. He overcame great odds, and is an inspiration to me still.

Jack was a kind man, and though I still don't know as much about him as I would have liked, he will be missed.

In all of this, I feel like I am losing my grandfather all over again. Goodbye, Jack, and goodbye again Grandpa Jack.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Making do with what I have: Little grey dress

So I've seen it done time after time in shopping and fashion mags, but I wanted to try it myself. I took one basic dress and put together three different types of outfits using accessories in my possession. It was fun, it made me feel soo creative, and it's nice seeing that I get more use out of single items that I'd thought. Here we go!

The dress:

My first idea was putting together a warmer-weather outfit. Maybe for a nice spring day. I put my hair up in a ponytail, grabbed a couple costume pearl necklaces, and slipped into a pair of white peep-toe flats. This is what I came up with:

The second outfit is more everyday. Due to my limitations using my digital camera, please forgive me if not everything is especially (or at all) visible. I pulled my hair up in a messy side bun, put on a headband, added a few cheapie grey and black bracelets and a pair of hoop earrings, got into a pair of black leggings, and completely invisible to you, I also wore a pair of black patent leather slingback flats. Here's the result:

Finally, what would such a versatile dress be if it couldn't be dressed up? To get a night-on-the-town look, I pulled a few strands of hair to the side with a couple bobby pins, buckled into a wide sparkly silver belt (that had actually come with the dress), put on a pair of vintage clip on gemstone earrings and a black stone necklace, and added a pair of black patent pumps to complete this look. For your viewing pleasure, I present my last outfit:

 Hope you like these outfits and that I inspire you to play around within your own wardrobe. So often I'll look at Nordstrom's website or pass by a Macy's and practically salivate with desire. As my wallet cannot handle all that I want, sometimes I need to remember to want what I have.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

His name is Rick

Rick Springfield, that is! I've been listening to some of his songs at work lately, and I noticed something. He has got to be the most attractive 60-year-old ever. He is seriously gorgeous, and does not look anywhere near his age.

It seems that he also has a sense of humor about himself. I found this amazing song where he details how everyone confuses him with Bruce Springsteen. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Lasting Love

We live in a world of fickle hearts. We grew up hearing about Prince Charming and happily ever afters, but we also grew up watching marriages crumble and sex selling in every medium out there. Where, in all of this, is love?

I am one of those walking contradictions; a cynical romantic. I've seen the ups and downs, I've seen people fall in love, and I've seen people fall out of love. It seems like the older generations knew something we didn't.

Despite her death over a quarter century ago, John Wooden still writes his wife Nell love letters. It reminds me of that sappiest of sappy movies, The Notebook.

In all of disillusionment and wariness, I sincerely hope that I may one day experience this kind of love.

P.S. Thanks, Christina, for posting this on your facebook!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Interesting things happen at work

As I was writing a post on my other blog, one of my co-workers told me that he had a strange favor to ask. I looked up at him, tilted my head, and said "okay."

"Can I have a piece of your long hair?"

Um...this kinda took me off guard. My first thought was that he and the rest of his group were going to build an evil clone, but my rational side got the better of me.

"Why, may I ask, do you need a strand of my hair?"

"Well, we need something relatively transparent for a picture that we're taking for a suspension."

Okay, this made sense. It's extremely difficult to see individual strands of hair in pictures.

Guess there will never be an evil clone running around.



Monday, November 23, 2009

Missed connection

Being bored at home, I occasionally browse the Craigslist personals. I found both my apartment and my job through Craigslist, so I know it does work.

Back to the personals. One of my favorite parts is the "missed connections". It's story after story of some poor soul having met or maybe just saw someone who caught their fancy. Unfortunately, that fabulous person usually slips right through their fingers. Thus...missed connection.

Some of them are hilarious, some are kinda sad, and some are seriously weird. One time I read one that had taken place at a local club, on a night that I'd been there. It was amazing...the person described me perfectly.

I want that again. I want to be someone's missed connection. In fact, I want to be quite a few people's missed connection. To have that allure, that "special something" that makes them take notice of you. Possessing an allure that lingers in their minds for the rest of their lives.

I want to be that missed connection!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Growing Up Well

Recently, while I was Facebook chatting with a guy I graduated highschool with, he told me that I had really grown up well. My first thought was, how exactly does one grow up "well"? So I asked him what he meant.

"Well, you were a bit awkward back then."

This hit the nail on the head. I was a pretty sheltered girl, didn't really know how to socialize, and wasn't that great at putting together outfits. On top of that, I had braces throughout all of highschool, as well as bad skin. To put it bluntly, I was a dork. Not the pretty Rachael Leigh Cook if-I-just-take-off-my-glasses-I'm-gorgeous dork, but a real dork.

I'm not sure what specifically has changed to make me the way I am, and I wasn't paying attention to the steps along the way. All I know is that when I look in the mirror, I more often like what I see than not. This is the complete opposite to how it used to be. My acne has cleared up, my teeth are straight, I have learned how to live with my curly hair and straighten it when I can't. I can apply make-up properly and can clothe myself in a flattering manner.

All in all, I suppose my friend was right; I have grown up well. What about you, random readers? How have things changed for you since your highschool days?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween P.S.

For those curious about this year's and last year's costumes, here they are! Last year in my honey bee outfit was fun, but it was the first time I'd really tried out the "sexy" thing with a costume. It was nerve-racking at first, wondering if my butt was showing. Eventually, I got over it and enjoyed myself. There were also wings that aren't shown in this image, but I really didn't like them.
Glenda and I went together to a party, and she was a Bollywood dancer. She had made her own costume, while I took the easy route and rushed to a party store to find something cute that would fit me. This is what I got.
This year, I don't yet have a picture of me in my costume. However, I do have the picture of the costume from ebay. I'm thinking that the model will look a wee bit better in it than me. Oh well.


Hello all! Tonight is Halloween, as you all know. I just heard the doorbell ring upstairs for trick or treaters. Earlier today I was out shopping at Alderwood Mall with Mariko, and there were tons of little girls and boys dressed up trick or treating in the mall. So cute!

Over the years, I've been many different things for Halloween; a clown, senorita, cowgirl, Avril Lavigne, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, honey bee, school girl, etc. Last night's party outfit was a black cat. Tonight I will be a sexy stewardess.

It seems that every year it gets more and more difficult to come up with original ideas. I had the brilliant idea of being a sailor girl after watching a music video by either the Saturdays or Girls Aloud. Unfortunately, I noticed that there were tons of sailor girl outfits this year. Evidently, I'm not exactly original. At least there weren't really any stewardess outfits. Mine is imported from an ebayer in Hong Kong. :o)

What fun, but not ugly unique Halloween costumes can you think of? I would love to have some ideas for next year!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Joy in the Little Things

Today is my 24th birthday. Yes, as my mom pointed out it's my "perfect" birthday - turning 24 on the 24th. And while it's been slow and I'm really not doing much to celebrate, various things today have made me a very happy birthday girl:

1. Waking up around 3am thinking that I needed to get up for work, then realizing the time and day and going back to sleep. Okay, this isn't that great, but finding out that the reason I'd awoken was due to a text message my friend Kirk had left wishing me a happy birthday made it a little better.

2. Walking out of my room to go wash up to find that Stacy (my roomie) had left a birthday gift sitting in the doorway of the bathroom for me. I'm glad her cat didn't start playing with it.

3. Getting the annual happy birthday song phone call from my family.

4. Sitting on my couch playing around online in a warm, cozy room courtesy of the space heater that my parents bought for my birthday.

5. Getting a free birthday scoop of Baskin Robbins ice cream. Yummy pumpkin pie flavor!

6. Finding an eyeliner in the perfect shade of deep purple for only $5 at Sephora.

7. Receiving a free 3-pack of lip glosses for my birthday at Sephora.

8. Buying myself two cute birthday panties...for only $1.99 each at Ross.

9. Eating leftover Chicken Tikka Masala from last night's outing with my mom for lunch.

10. Going dancing with Stacy tonight to celebrate.

There you go. I know that everyone does different things for their birthday, but I think mine is pretty darn cool. :o)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Aging Through These Years

This Saturday will rise to find a 24-year-old where the night before left a 23-year-old. It isn't a milestone, of course, but it is another birthday for me. It is one of those times when I get a bit reflective on what has transpired thus far in my life. What accomplishments have I attained? What memories will make me giggle even when I'm old and senile? What lives have I touched that they will mourn me when I leave this world?

I suppose a lot has happened over the years, and I have experienced my share of things. Yet, I always think of those other things, the ones that I haven't managed to do. I have not finished my bachelor's degree. I have not had more than 1 boyfriend, and haven't had one that lasted over 5 months. I haven't found a career. I haven't made many new friends in Washington.

So often it becomes easier for me to dwell on these things than the positive experiences I've had. Okay, I haven't finished my degree, but I can go back at a later time when financially possible. Dating may not be one of my strengths, but I'm still going to put myself out there with open eyes and an open heart. My job may not be what I want to do for the rest of my life, but it's keeping a roof over my head, food in my belly, and I actually enjoy it. Plus, it is where I've made a couple new friends. And yeah, my social circle could use some widening, but I have friends both in Washington and across the country that I know care for me.

Back in Virginia, my roommate Meng (who became my best friend!), my sister Christina, and I would often have our girls' nights at a club in Roanoke. Sometimes it would be us, sometimes we'd have Kristina J. and Ashley with us, but it was always a good time. This picture was taken in my apartment before departure. As you can see, we were ready to take on the night and all that would come with it (fat old guy in a cowboy hat, weird ugly Italians, short Greek man who jumped when dancing...even to Usher, etc.).
This was a very happy time, as you can see from our faces.
More happy moments to come in later posts. I must leave you now to go practice singing for tomorrow night's karaoke.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Scary Movie Binge

After putting in a lot of hours earlier in the week, I was able to leave work around noon on Friday. I decided that it would be a good day to have a "free" shopping day and watch some scary movies to put me in the mood for Halloween.

My first stop was Bellevue Square mall, where I had my "free" shopping time. I was armed with a coupon for a free 2 oz. bottle of aromatherapy lotion from Bath & Body Works, and a coupon for a free panty and $10 off any purchase at Victoria's Secret. At Victoria's Secret, I picked out my free panty (I've probably gotten around 10 of them by now), and found a spray scent on sale for $10. Fabulous, free free free! Except that when the girl rang up my things, she informed me that the coupon was for $10 off any regularly-priced items. Well, crap. I ended up having her ring up the spray for the full price and take the $10 off of it, so I paid a little over $5, which is half the current price. Not bad. Next store was Bath & Body Works, where I found the 2 oz. aromatherapy lotions (I got the stress relief one), discovered a lovely seasonal scent, and picked out a vanilla bean hand sanitizer for $1.50. Great success! I also bought gyros for Stacy and I at the Greek Kitchen, but that wasn't part of my little game.

After coming back to a very excited roommate who was practically salivating at the sight of the gyros, I left to go pick up some movies at Blockbuster. I got The Lost Boys, Cronos, Behind the Mask, Green River Killer, A Tale of Two Sisters, and Children of the Corn. I watched a couple by myself, then watched Green River Killer with Stacy. Just some advice for my beloved reader(s): don't waste your time or dignity by watching this movie. The cinematography is horrible, it doesn't tell the whole story, and it's graphic both with sex and violence.

Children of the Corn was creepy, but wasn't really scary. The special effects are certainly not what they are now.

Cronos was a bit odd, but just as with Guillermo Del Toro's other movies, I felt a little let down.

The Lost Boys was fun but not scary in the least, and watching 80s movies is always fun. Love the outfits and hair! I think that this was the first movie I've seen with the "other" Corey - Corey Haim.

Behind the Mask was a comedy/horror movie. Basically, it was a documentary news crew following around a guy who was planning on becoming the next big slasher villain. Seriously hilarious, but the plot twist at the end was way too predictable.

Still haven't seen A Tale of Two Sisters, but I'm guessing that it will put me more on edge. I've heard that Asian horror movies are a completely different level of terror. I can't wait.

Tomorrow night I'm going to Mariko's for a scary movie sleepover. Besides everything pumpkin, I think scary movies is another reason to love October.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ideals vs. Reality in Dating

Boy meets girl. Girl saves boy, leaves him with only a memory of her. Boy searches for girl. Girl wants to go back and meet boy. Girl gives up part of her identity to find boy. Boy and girl meet, and boy courts girl. Boy meets Other Girl and plans wedding. Girl saddened, but friends help her get to boy. Girl crashes wedding and Other Girl is revealed to be an octopus who drags girl away. Boy comes and rescues girl. They live happily ever after.


Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy pursues girl. Girl likes boy. Boy and girl date. Girl opens up to boy and falls in love. Boy is no longer interested in girl and moves on.

Even if you're a couple fries short of a Happy Meal, you'd be able to figure out that one is a Disney plot and the other is what typically happens. If you're a female, you can probably relate to why I have the love/hate relationship with Ariel and all the other Disney heroines. Basically, little girls are set up for failure. From the time the first video was popped in the VCR, I was shown how Prince Charming meets the beautiful princess (or occasionally a gorgeous peasant), and instantly falls in love. There's some bad stuff that happens in the middle to pull them apart, but ultimately the lovers end up together and live in wedded bliss until the VCR dies.

Girls really don't have a chance here. Megan Fox said in her recent Cosmo interview that because we have ::ahem!:: female parts down there, that we hold the power. How is it, then, that female hearts keep breaking, dreams keep shattering, and despite the economy, Ben & Jerry's keeps doing just fine? How is it that we have become so enraptured by the fairytale that when reality sets in, we are completely unable to cope?

What exactly happened with this generation? Did the feminist movement truly scare guys into losing all traces of gentlemanly behavior? Why do my friends roll their eyes when I say that I want a guy who will adore me? My grandparents married out of obligation, and even as they would yell at each other in various languages, anyone around them could tell that they loved each other. When I see old couple walking down the sidewalk hand-in-hand, I wonder when my turn will come.

I do not want to keep setting myself up for failure, but is having standards going to stand in the way of ever going out on a second date? Am I too traditional in my idea that a man should act like a man and a woman act like a woman and all that entails?

Open the door so that I may enter. Take the check without a thought (otherwise it isn't a date, and you will be magically transported into the friend zone). Don't stop pursuing me after we've been going out for a while. Call, don't text. Are these things so difficult? Am I living in a dream world to expect standard date behavior?

Experience has jaded me a bit. Rather than planning my dream wedding, I play out in my head what sort of shenanigans I'll get myself into when I become a crazy dog lady.

Just a word to Disney: Thanks for the good times, but I feel I'm moving in a different direction.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Things that make the day brighter

Some days I know as soon as my alarm goes off that it will be a bad or even blah day. Some days seem average, but hold sweet surprises and fun times just around the corner.

It's amazing how even just little things can pull me out of a funk. Today I was bored. So after lunch, I decided to go to Bellevue Square to run some errands and get out of the apartment. I had just gotten out of Victoria's Secret with my free panty (love those coupons!) and was oblivious to my surroundings as I was trying to text with a dying phone. Out of my peripheral vision I noticed that some guy was walking directly into my path, so I scooted to the side, eyes still glued to my phone. He then bumped into me, saying "EXCUSE ME!" This, of course, is incredibly rude, so I looked up, stunned. Ta day! It was my friend Kirk, who had managed to peel his eyes away from his phone to see me coming his way. So he escorted me on an errand in the mall, then we got white chocolate blueberry mochas at Tully's. I have to say, encounters like this are such a nice twist in what would have been an otherwise mundane day.

Something else that brightened my day today? That free panty, definitely. lol

Other things that have brightened days past:
  • Baristas at Cafe Ladro and Starbucks who have figured out my "usual"
  • Random texts and cards from my best friend telling me how much she appreciates our friendship
  • Buying my plane ticket, Shuttle Express ride, and placing the Sheraton reservation so that I can be the maid-of-honor in my best friend's wedding in Hawaii
  • Christina confirming that she will be in Washington for Christmas
  • Making Halloween plans with Stacy

It's amazing how many things, big or small, can change your entire attitude for the day.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Single on the Eastside

Some days Facebook really depresses me. Why is it that every other time I sign on I am greeted by images of engagement rings, wedding gowns, and silly couple pictures. As a 23-, almost 24-year-old, I am quite aware that I am reaching "that" age. The age where everyone around me seems to be coupling up or already coupled.

And then there's me. Okay, I'm not completely alone in my loneliness...I do know other singles. However, my rant would certainly not be as effective if I gave way to consolation at this point.

...back to me. Working 45 hours a week and always having a desire to get a good night's rest is not ideal for meeting a guy. Frankly, I am really not in that many situations anymore where I have opportunity to meet new people. I really don't know how I would make time for more activities that would enable me to meet The One.

So for now it seems that I am destined for 45 hour work weeks sprinkled with occasional girl-time sleepovers, karaoke nights, and dancing at my favorite clubs (which happens once every blue moon).

Sigh. Such is my life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things to do in Spokane

As my friend Meng's wedding approaches, I find myself (as the maid-of-honor) visiting Spokane every so often to go to fittings, address invitations, and just find excuses to get together. Unfortunately, Spokane seems to be a bit limited in attractions. So, while I suppose it is not exhaustive, here is my list of things one can do in the city of Spokane, Washington.

1. For a walk on the wild side, you can visit Cat Tales Zoological Park to see some beautiful big cats.

2. When the sun is shining, make sure to take a trip over to Riverfront Park. In the warmer months they have amusement rides set up, and in the winter they take those out and open up the ice rink. The park is also the location of Spokane's IMAX theater. How many parks can boast that? Besides that, it's beautiful and is a perfect setting for a photo shoot (in summer at least).

3. Dancing the night away is in fact an option, even in Spokane! Meng and I went to the Marquee Lounge, which was actually really dead when we first arrived. It picked up after about an hour, but I would suggest looking into other locations. The DJ was terrible, and he didn't have any idea who Kat DeLuna is. Ugh.

4. There seem to be an abundance of wineries in the area, which surprised me. I don't really think of Spokane as the Northwest Napa.

5. If you're interested in learning more about the area and its history, you would probably enjoy a visit to the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.

6. I personally love white-water rafting. No matter that I've actually only done it two or three times in my life. Flow Adventures offers rafting and kayaking excursions.

7. I can't find a working link for it, but definitely visit the happy hour at Uno. It's located at 515 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201 and has an amazingly inexpensive but totally delicious happy hour. Even if you don't drink, go out for the cheap food!

8. If you're tired of Vin Diesel, you can watch some real fast cars at the Spokane Raceway Park. My dad used to race. Now he just speeds and gets tickets. lol

9. No matter the hour, it seems that there are always tons of cars at the Northern Quest Casino. I don't get it, but maybe that's because I don't gamble.

I know most lists go to ten, but Spokane is kinda limited. Just be creative and have a good attitude.

Monday, August 17, 2009

In a State of Irritation

I suppose that in my previous posts I have been a bit vague about who I am, my interests, and so forth. Today you will learn a bit more about me through the venting of one of my recent frustrations. Yay.

Last summer I dated an Indian man who, while growing up in a Hindu culture, considers himself more of a "spiritualist". I, on the other hand, am a Christian, and I typically hold to Baptist doctrine. We have remained very good friends, and do get together every so often and occasionally get into deep conversations.

A recent phone conversation took place where my friend, whom we will call Mr. S, was raving about an Art of Living workshop that he attended locally. He told me of the church that held this inter-faith conference and how there were images all over the church of symbols from various religions. Mr.S thought that it was wonderful how the church embraced other religions and that it showed how Christians ought to act: be open to other religions and accept that our beliefs may be different, but equal.

Evidently, Mr. S had not been in a Christian church. He said that it was Unitarian or Universalist or something. Either way, if that is what the church held to, then it directly contradicted the Bible. John 14:6 quotes Jesus as saying "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This does, of course make sense when considering the cross. Why would God send His son down to earth, and then have Jesus die an excruciating and torturous death in order to take away the sins of all humanity, if it really did not matter what path you followed?

"Ehh, I sent my beloved son to be an atoning sacrifice for everyone, but y'know...whatever. Do what you want and be happy. Peace, man." Sorry, couldn't help adding the last part.

Anyway, that conversation truly frustrated me, especially since Mr. S seemed to think that he better understood my faith than I did. Jesus was not trying to be inclusive with his teachings. He didn't try to water down his message for mass appeal. What he spoke of was exclusive. You follow him or you don't. He offered himself up to die for the forgiveness of sins. The choice was, and still is, for every individual to make.

This post is not meant to bash my friend, or even beliefs that differ with mine. I do, however, want to make it clear that churches who believe that there are multiple ways to Heaven and to God are not following the Bible.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Power of the Negligee

Seduction. Sex. Scandal. All of these probably come to mind when you think of a negligee, and for good reason. Negligees are designed to be attractive and alluring to the male in question when the lady dons one.

Yet...they are so much more. I have pretty much always worn practical nightclothes to bed. T-shirt and shorts, nightgown, or long nightshirt. Whatever. They are comfortable, and make sense. A negligee is not that practical and really is not a logical thing for me to wear to bed (I sleep alone, lol).

After drooling over the sexy bras and lingerie I've seen in stores and catalogs, I recently decided to indugle myself just for fun. This is where I made an accidental revelation. Ready for it? Think you can handle it??

A negligee simply makes the wearer feel attractive. No need for a man to confirm this (though I suppose it's always nice to verify such information).

I love the negligees that I purchased. They are not the most comfortable things I've ever worn, but I feel so sexy and feminine when I am simply sitting on my bed reading before I go to sleep. How is it possible that such a tiny little garment could have such a huge impact on my view of myself? I feel prettier! I feel girlier! I feel SEXY!!

Going through a breakup? Forget him with a lacy chemise!

Lost your job? Apply online in your babydoll from Wal-Mart!

Need something for your African safari? Blend right in with a zebra print set!

Ta da! Everything is alright now that you're in a negligee.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Doggie Rescue Mission #3

There were two occasions in Virginia in which I attempted to rescue dogs. Here is the account of the first one on October 18, 2006, taken from my xanga:

Oh...kinda random, but Meng and I saved a dog this weekend! We decided to take a random road trip to Appomattox, and stopped at a couple of the little sites before going to the Court House. One of these places was the North Carolina monument. We got out, and walked down the little trail that leads to the monument. There, on the trail coming toward us was a dog. She was extremely weak she just laid down along the side of the path. There weren't any other cars. There weren't any other people. Her collar bore the name and home phone number of her owner, one Marcus S. Somethingorrather. Meng called him and left a message. I called the visitor's center who said they couldn't do anything but would keep calling the owner. Then I called the Sheriff's department after being advised to do so by Animal Control. The Sheriff's department said that they couldn't do anything or send anyone out unless the dog actually bit someone, but that they'd keep calling the owner. So we were stuck. The poor doggie was exhausted, and had fleas and an eye infection. Finally, Meng and I realized that we couldn't do anything more so we went on to the cemetary and Court House. After a little time at the Court House, Meng received a call from the owner who said he'd meet us at the N.C. monument. So we drove back over there and went to check on the dog. Wait. Where'd she go? After walking around for a couple minutes, Marcus showed up. We informed him that we could no longer find the dog. He kept walking on the path, whistling. As he turned the corner toward the actual monument, he started yelling out. He'd found her. He informed us that his dog, Peppy, had been let out of the yard by some neighbor kids three days ago and that she'd managed to walk the 18 miles from his house. Wow.

Doggie Rescue Mission #2 on March 13, 2008, also taken from my xanga:

So about an hour and a half ago, I was sitting at my computer in my pajamas trying to figure out what to do with my day. Out in the living room, the phone began to ring. Thinking that it was another telemarketer, I was hesitant to answer, but eventually I stood up and ran to the other side of the apartment. It was Meng. She told me that while driving to school to take a test, she'd noticed a dog lying in the grass next to the on-ramp to 29N from Church street. She felt bad, since she couldn't stop, and the dog definitely had a collar. Well, Meng and I consider ourselves dog rescuers, as we have saved exactly one lost dog before. After about five minutes of trying to decide what to do, I put a bit of makeup on, changed into some real clothes, and rushed out the door. Upon reaching the ramp, I saw the puppy sitting contentedly in the grass, but there wasn't a shoulder on which to park. I ended up taking the first exit (Grace street) and following it all the way to Fifth street, and making a big circle. The second time I decided to park on Church street just below the YMCA. It was a bit of a walk, but hey, I needed the exercise! Upon reaching the grassy area, I started walking toward the dog. As soon as it saw me, however, it took off in the other direction. When it had gone a decent distance, it decided to sit down on the grass again. Slowly I began walking toward it again. When I was within about 100 yards, the dog decided that the grass was too limited an area, and ran across several lanes of 29 into oncoming traffic. There was now no way to get to him. And thus, my mission was a failure.

I consoled myself with a raspberry mocha frappuccino light. I just hope that the poor doggy wasn't killed due to his stubbornness and stupidity.

Doggie Rescue Mission #3 occurred today. While two of my co-workers and I were on our way to a coffee break in downtown Kirkland, we saw a golden lab walk through oncoming traffic down a sidestreet by us. As dogs do not run loose in downtown Kirkland, we knew that this pooch shouldn't be taking a stroll right now. We quickly parked the car down the corner, and I took off running in the direction that the dog had taken while Mariko and Lisa tried to catch up by walking. Silly girls. After running for what seemed like an eternity (maybe two blocks?), I was out of breath and wasn't sure which way the dog had gone. I asked some construction workers if they had seen a dog go by. One of them informed me that they had, but that dog hadn't had any identification and had ran down another street and disappeared into some bushes.

All in all, this is Doggie Rescue Mission Failure #2.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ode to 90's Music: Aqua and Friends

Hugh Grant, as Alex Fletcher in "Music & Lyrics", was on to something when he said that nothing can make a person happier than a pop song. I know that when I'm in a grumpy mood, listening to bubblegum pop turns my frown upside down.

The 90's were definitely a good decade for pop music. Lately the airwaves have been flooded by songs that have such little meaning and are all about getting laid. I definitely appreciate the efforts of Colbie Caillat to change that. Anyway, back to 90's music. One of the best known pop bands of the time was Aqua with their hit single "Barbie Girl". I think everyone not living under a rock knows this song.

Aqua recently got back together to release a new album, and their music video for "Back to the 80's" is fun and the song is definitely catchy. It is currently in heavy rotation at work, alongside "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black-Eyed Peas.

Listening to Aqua made me wonder if they were unique in their colorful, high-pitched Danish-pop genre. The answer surprised me: no.Ok, not all of the bands I'm going to list are from Denmark, but you'll see the similarities.

Smile.dk was a Swedish pop band that was huge in Japan. Evidently they are still around, as they actually performed in Seattle at the anime/manga convention Sakura-Con 2009. They are often confused with Aqua, and I can definitely see why when listening to "Butterfly."

Linnéa Handberg Lund is not a band in and of herself, but I suppose this list is not just about bands, but others who were in the same tiny little genre that has since disappeared. I have to say, as Miss Papaya, this girl sounds a lot like Lene from Aqua. Listen to "Cinderella" and try to disagree!

Daze is another band that recently (2008) got back together to try their luck with the europop dance genre. Their song "Tamagotchi" brings back memories. I used to feed mine tons of cake, then let it poop and get sick. I was a bad Tamagotchi owner.

While they may be Canadian, the Boomtang Boys definitely deserve a spot with their song "Squeez Toy." Of course, their limited success may all be due to their collaborations with singer Kim Esty.

And last but most certainly not least, we have Toy-Box. Watching the opening of "Tarzan & Jane" really makes me think that they ripped off the "AquaScope" thing Aqua did. While their most well-known song, the lyrics are certainly lacking in substance ("I am Jane and I love to ride an elephant").

What sets Toy-Box apart, however, is that I have actually heard of Anila (or Aneela) Mirza in another context. She sang "Chori Chori" with Arash.

I hope that I have made your hump day complete and turned that frown of yours upside down!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Over-intellectualization of blogs?

In a way, weblogs are a sort of online diary for others to read. You post about your day and every little thing that you find interesting and therefore newsworthy in your little world. One day you might write about how your best friend did the craziest thing to get her secret crush to notice her (OMG!!!!!). The next entry might be a bit more emo and how no one truly "gets" you. Then you might have a random survey that asks you questions about the last person you kissed and your favorite toothpaste.

Somehow, what started out as a journal of every little thought that passes through your head may start becoming something else.

I am often compelled to write on topics of a deeper nature so that I can voice my opinions and beliefs, and hope that my words that appear on another's computer screen might have some influence. Maybe just for a matter of seconds. But what if it's a longer-lasting impact? What if the words that I write are quoted by others? What if people take me seriously? What if others have felt the same way on that particular issue and are so glad to have found someone who was willing to speak up?

Before those (very few) of you reading this start assuming that I am a complete narcissist, I want to admit that I consider it highly unlikely that my weblog will gain much attention.

It is my aim, however, to leave others' lives better for having been in them. I want to leave a legacy behind. Maybe I won't have lots of money for my children when death comes upon me, and it's unlikely that I will have experienced great fame. Yet having lived a life of love, compassion, sincerity, and hope is, I believe, a life that was well-lived.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Disturbing Behavior: Date Rape

Last night to celebrate Hump Day, my roommate and I decided to break from our Saturday-only rule and go sing karaoke. We went to our usual spot; a lounge in the back of a Chinese restaurant in Bellevue. We saw a couple of the regulars, and took our regular table. Deciding that it was a bit late in the game, we each only put in three songs. I was up first, and I believe that I gave a decent performance of "America" by Neil Diamond.

Unfortunately, Stacy was unable to hear a word I sang as some creepy guy kept talking to her throughout my entire song. He asked her to dance repeatedly and would not take a hint. Once I had finished, I sat down and that creepy guy (we'll refer to him as Perve) started talking to me. I just wanted to drink my diet coke and enjoy our girl time in peace. Perve wanted me to dance with him. I did not want to dance with Perve, and I told him that I would not be dancing.

A couple songs later, Stacy gave a lovely performance of "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac. A few songs after that, it was Perve's time to shine. His song of choice? "Date Rape" by Sublime. Considering that this particular venue prides itself on its 12,000+ song book, I don't understand why that would be the song he chose. It did, however, fit him perfectly. Stacy and I were steaming mad and left soonafter.

I cannot understand how anyone would write (or sing) a song like that. This is not a silly little song to sing at karaoke, and I really do not care if the song punishes the rapist. It's still disgusting and abhorable.

ABC News had an article about a date rapist who was acquitted several times. Reading about this man, I fail to see how he became the monster that he now is. Every man was once a little boy. Between the age of innocence and a life in prison, something went very wrong and I'm not sure what exactly it was.

On top of this, the date rapist's victims kept in contact with him and often would later have consenual sex with him. It seems that the idea of "idenification with the agressor" comes into play here. What other people see as a horrible person that committed one of the most violating of acts against a woman, the woman may see as a man who was just too overcome with desire and did what he had to do, even if it wasn't right. Humanizing such acts and belittling their consequences upon the victim is absolutely wrong.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Caritas in Veritate: The Pope's Economic Encyclical

In case you haven't been keeping up on the news, Pope Benedict XVI issued his third encyclical on Tuesday: Reuters.

In this letter, he says that there is an "urgent need of a true world political authority...universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights."

From what I've read, what he is proposing sounds like a socialist dictatorship of the economies of the world.

While I do agree with some of what he has said, the idea of an individual or group ruling over the economies of all nations scares me. The fact that this comes from the Pope and not an air-headed celebrity is even scarier. I am not a Catholic, but I do recognize that he has a lot of power in his authority over the Catholic church.

There are issues with capitalism, as with any other thing, as it is an idea created by humans. It does, however, have a better track record than socialism. Any country that allows for this new system essentially surrenders themselves to the rule of another body. America is a self-ruling country, and it has taken a few wars to stay that way. I certainly hope that this country will not succumb to being led by an international economic ruling body that may not have the best interests of each individual country and its people at heart.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Nazi Legacy

It is an undeniable fact that racism is alive and well, even in the most civilized of countries. In what could be deemed as somewhat less-civilized countries, if you happen to be a foreigner of disliked origin, you may be hunted down and killed...along with your family.

Here in the U.S. I think that we take this sort of thing for granted. Instead of looking at the injustices against human life, we focus on the lesser discriminations occurring locally. While racism is certainly wrong, should we really be as worried about political correctness here as freeing slaves in other countries?

Hitler was not the only racist in world history, but he was certainly a big one. We are still learning more and more about the atrocities that took place at the hands of this evil man and his minions. To be fair, Hitler was not an idiot and he did make an impression upon the world. Evil people can be incredibly intelligent and can leave some of the most lasting legacies.

I read an article from the Daily Mail that spoke of how German Parliament is planning on post-humously pardoning 30,000 Germans who were considered traitors to the Nazi party:

Germany should be commended on stepping up and accepting fault for the crimes that were committed in the Holocaust. Germany has apologized to the Holocaust survivors, has issued reparations, and is now trying to undo some of the damage to the dignity of many German families. The lingering questions is this: is it enough?

Are monetary payments going to restore the heirlooms, photos, and every other material possession lost? Is a blanket apology going to make the memories of such terror go away? Will the stigma of your grandfather dying for being considered a traitor truly disappear with this pardon?

At least Germany is not trying to pretend that this was a conspiracy by the Jews as some believe. I do not understand Holocaust deniers. I have seen the tattoos, I have heard the stories, and I have seen the pain in those old eyes when telling of the sister who was last seen looking like a corpse.

When I lived in Virginia, I went to Randolph Macon Women's College one night to hear Eva Mozes speak of her experience as one of Josef Mengele's twins. You can read more about her and her sister here:

I constantly wonder how such hate exists in people's hearts to do commit such acts. And yet...there are parents who raise their children to become this:

Again I will say it; I do not understand how this is possible.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day 2009

We do not celebrate July 4th for Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum's mission to save the planet. We do not celebrate July 4th because we like parades and sparkly things in the sky. In fact, I could list a lot of invalid reasons for celebrating July 4th in America. Yet, it is important to keep our eyes on the truth and the origin.

This country has struggled both internally and with foreign issues. We have been verbally assaulted by leaders of other countries, and attacked by terrorists. America has been bashed by its own citizens as well as citizens of countries to which it provides aid. Starting from so few, we have become a nation of millions.

I cannot explain why Americans hate their country. I cannot explain why other countries and their citizens hate us. I'm sure that there are some valid reasons as well as plenty of stupid ones. All in all, we are still here. We are self-ruling. We are a superpower. The oppressed come to America to find sanctuary.

If you are an American and you are reading this, be proud of your origin. Be proud of your heritage. Be proud of those who gave their lives so that you might one day even exist. Be proud of those who took stands against tyranny so that you might be free to speak your mind. Be proud of those who survived that first year in a new land, holding on so that their ancestors might worship and believe as they saw fit.

If you are not an American and you are reading this, know that we are a strong people. Know that we have struggled and overcome. Know that we value peace and community, but are willing to fight to protect our own. Know that we live with open minds, but also speak out against what is wrong. Know that the vast majority of us are descended from immigrants, and that we all seek something better.

Americans may be considered a proud people, and this could be thought of as a bad thing. Perhaps it is. Yet we do have so much to be proud of, and so much for which to be grateful.

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

In the News

So in my previous blogging experiences, I have always enjoyed playing commentator on the news of the day. I would now like to share with my new readers what juicy and amusing bits I have found. Enjoy!

In the UK, a 72-year-old man beat up a 23-year-old would-be burglar: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/4464932.Burglar_gets_beaten_by_OAP/?ref=mr

On those random times when I consider 72-year-old British men, I do not usually think of them as especially tough. This guy was the exception, I suppose, as he was a former boxer.

Republican politicians have been pushing a bill to require proof of citizenship for all presidential candidates:

It's funny how just a few years ago, in 2004, Republicans were pushing for an amendment to allow naturalized citizen eligibility for the top office:

Now, lets just think this through a bit. I have been saying for the past few years that this seems to be a prophecy waiting to be fulfilled. Whose prophecy, you ask? Well, for anyone big on early 90s movies knows the answer to this; Peter M. Lenkov's and Robert Reneau's prophecy! For those of you who are unfamiliar with these names, there was a 1993 film called "Demolition Man" starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock that was set in the future. The America of this future was run by President Schwarzenegger. According to the movie, first he had been elected governor of California (check!), then an amendment was created to allow naturalized citizens to run for president. Get the picture now?

So a recap of the news: old man beat up hoodlum, and a Sylvester Stallone movie is becoming realtiy. Good day/bad day? Who knows??

Here I am!

So this is just the basic introductory blog post. My name is...well, for here, it's Kiki. I'm a 20-something single gal living in the greater Seattle area. I work in customer service for an e-commerce company that sells accessories for cell phones, PDAs, etc. Here's a little get-to-know-Kiki information.

Every third Friday of the month, Trinity in Pioneer Square has "Bollywood Paparazzi" in the Blue Room. I am so very white, but I love it! People think that I have an obsession with all things Indian, but it isn't quite true. I love the music, I love the food, I love the movies, and yes, I occasionally find the men attractive. Not an obsession.

I personally believe Arrested Development to be the funniest show that has ever been on television. If you haven't seen it yet, get on it pronto!

Rude people annoy me. Of course, as a customer service rep, I deal with rude people all day. Sometimes I wonder who raised these people into the monsters that they are today? Is this the result of a failure of a mother? Was the father absent? Or is this horrible person that is swearing at me via email just messed up?

That is all for now, but I certainly hope to post more soon. Ta ta!