California Dreams

February 25, 2015 at 9:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Did anyone else ever watch that show? Because that’s exactly what my recent vacation to  Long Beach, California was like.

Except not really. There were no angsty teenagers and certainly no band but my mom, aunt, cousin and I managed to have fun anyways. What did we do with our five days in the sun? Well, we enjoyed that sunshine to begin with! The weather was perfectly lovely the whole time I was away and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get some enjoyment from checking Chicago’s temps while I was wandering around in sunglasses and flip flops. Of course, that warmth now seems like a distant memory but I have pictures to prove it did actually exist.

Sorry for the blurry photo but I was in a car. In California.

Sorry for the blurry photo but I was in a car. In California.

We took one day and drove south to Temecula, which is an old wine country that we absolutely took advantage of. We toured a few different places and did tastings at each one, while I wore a tiara made of wine corks that my aunt found at our first stop. Because you know, engagement. The wine was a little too good and luckily my mom fixed me some frozen pizza when we got back to my cousin’s place or I might not have been so chipper the next day!

We spent a lot of time walking through various beach towns and my mom and aunt accidentally wandered onto a CSI set and were reprimanded for playing with the props. To be fair, it did look like real fruit. We did some shopping, ate at some great spots, got our nails done and basically had a wonderfully relaxing time. I even got over my aversion to Bloody Mary’s and enjoyed two back to back while at brunch! Luckily I know a girl here in Chicago who knows a thing or two about that tomato based adult beverage so hopefully she can introduce me to some gems here in the Midwest.

It was a perfectly relaxing trip to take in the middle of February and I did NOT want to come back. But real life always awaits, right? And unfortunately sometimes real life includes real temperatures in the teens and tears that freeze to your face. At least there’s wine and vodka here in Chicago too!

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Have Suitcase, Will Travel

February 12, 2015 at 8:54 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Tomorrow, I’m taking the bus down to my mom’s for the weekend and will spend time with my lovely family and friends for a few days. Then on Monday, my mom and aunt are flying to California to stay with my cousin in Long Beach for the week! It was a bit more of a last-minute trip than what I normally plan but everything worked out in such a way that I couldn’t not go, so tickets are booked and my bags are packed. Of course, it’s kind of difficult to pack for 20 degree weather for the weekend and then 70 degree weather during the week, but I think I managed. I am an expert traveler, or so I like to think.

Soon to be me, in girl form.

It’s kind of funny that I went 30 years without ever going to California and this is now my second visit in four months. We don’t have a ton planned yet but I know we’ll be hitting some wineries and obviously that’s all that really matters. I think we’ll go to Malibu and maybe San Diego as well but really, I’m just going along for the ride. I’ve been wanting to take a trip with my momma for a while now and my aunt and cousin are always a blast so I know we’ll have a good time. We’re all definitely ready for a girl’s week out! The only downside to everything is that my sister is unable to come with us but life can’t always be perfect, can it? I do get to see her this weekend and I think we’re going someplace where I can try on wedding dresses (whoa that’s weird to type) so at least we can visit a bit!

All in all, an exciting week coming up! Now if I could just bottle up some of that sunshine and warmer weather for my return to Chicago, I’d be all set.

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Friday Round-Up

August 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Back to the randomness!

The Simpsons get it, even if families is misspelled

In big news, California’s Prop 8 was overturned by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker on Wednesday!  Hopefully this means we’re finally on the right track towards marriage equality for everyone.  I know this decision will probably go all the way to the Supreme Court and we’re still facing a long road but this was a victory for everyone who would like to see basic rights given to the homosexual community.  As Judge Walker said,

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”

Amen to that!  I know that the main case against gay marriage is that it disrupts the sanctity of that institution, but come on.  Straight people can get married in a drive-thru in Vegas and have it annulled the next day but a gay couple who has loved one another and remained devoted for decades cannot take that walk down the aisle?  I’m sure you can gather how I feel about this.  Breeders have been making a mockery out of marriage for years anyway so it’s not like getting hitched is always some revered, respected event.  Case in point:

The woman who found out her husband was already married – through Facebook.  That’s right, she became suspicious that he was cheating and photos online of her hubby (and the father to her two children) clearly showed him in Disneyland getting married to some other woman.  Apparently she learned he was engaged and he promised her he’d break it off, so she didn’t begin divorce proceedings until she realized he went through with the marriage.  Uh, I would think finding out he was engaged to someone else would be a deal-breaker, but that’s just me.  And this obviously proves that all married people value and uphold the vows they took on their wedding day.  Gays would certainly ruin it for everyone else.

In other, totally unrelated news, my visit to the dermatologist was a success.  I was able to finally rid myself of an unsightly mole I’ve had since birth and I got some advice on the whole acne issue.  Apparently, I’m dirty and oily, as are most other humans.  The doc wrote out a prescription for some fancy gel type stuff and I left the office with grand visions of skin with model-like clarity.  Then I got to the pharmacy and was told my insurance wouldn’t pay for the gel and it would run me over $100 out of pocket.

Guess what – my skin doesn’t bother me anymore.  I’ll stick to soap and scrubbing, thank you very much.

Lollapalooza is going on this weekend and I have a couple of house guests to prove it.  This giant music festival in Grant Park is slated to be bigger this year than ever before and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish to be down there with my buddies right now instead of here at my desk.  I’m still not sure if I’ll make it out for a day this weekend or not but my heart is with all of you sweaty, gyrating souls down there now.

The last time I went to Lolla, I had literally just returned from my month long research study in South Africa.  As in, I flew from Cape Town to Indianapolis (obviously not a direct flight), was picked up in Indy, rode to Chicago and was in Grant Park the next morning.  That was where I experienced my biggest jet lag/culture shock moment ever.  Standing in downtown Chicago with thousands of concert goers after spending a month with the same group of 9 people while traipsing through the bush in Africa was a bit of a mind-blowing experience.  It was awesome though and while I may not have the same feeling if I go back this weekend, I’m almost guaranteed to have a good time.

I’m also still working on my whole application to the Month at the Museum.  I’ve got two videos to choose from, the essay and application itself are complete and I’ve taken all necessary photos.  My plan is to finish everything tonight and tomorrow and have it mailed on Monday.  I’m still super excited about this chance so continue to send good luck vibes in my direction!  Also – a HUGE thanks is due to my friends who have helped with the videography, photography and editing of this whole thing.  I couldn’t have done any of it without you guys and I’ll be sure to get special visitor’s passes for you if when I win!

Or maybe I should include a photo a day? Nah, I'd never get any work done

Last but not least, this little blog here has seen a dramatic uptick in viewings this week.  WordPress provides a handy stat tracker which shows how many people check out my blog on any given day.  It fluctuates anywhere between 2 or 3 to 20 or 30 daily and I think prior to this week the highest ranking post was my 100th post rap (to the tune of the Fresh Prince theme song…if you missed it, it’s worth checking out).  Wednesday, however, I noticed that over 100 people had clicked on my homepage.  What the?  So I did a little sleuthing and realized it was because of my celeb crush, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  That oh so hot photo of him I put up earlier this week has brought more people to this site than anything else thus far.  Apparently others out there have been doing some image searches of the guy this week.  Who knew?  So if you’re a new viewer I hope you’ll hang around, even if I can’t promise photos of fine young actors every day.

Happy Friday everyone, may your weekend be long and your drinks be stiff!

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Injustice in America

April 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I try not to be too political on this blog, but every now and then I can’t help it.  I came across an article today that was both sad and outrageous and I wanted to share.  No matter what your opinion on gay marriage is, surely you can see the tragedy in this story.  Please excuse me for being lazy and simply copying and pasting the article, but I doubt I could word it any better than it is right now.

Here’s the original post, a case docket from the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

“Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place—wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling: without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold’s possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold’s lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home. Because of the county’s actions, Clay missed the final months he should have had with his partner of 20 years. Compounding this tragedy, Clay has literally nothing left of the home he had shared with Harold or the life he was living up until the day that Harold fell, because he has been unable to recover any of his property. The only memento Clay has is a photo album that Harold painstakingly put together for Clay during the last three months of his life.

With the help of a dedicated and persistent court-appointed attorney, Anne Dennis of Santa Rosa, Clay was finally released from the nursing home. Ms. Dennis, along with Stephen O’Neill and Margaret Flynn of Tarkington, O’Neill, Barrack & Chong, now represent Clay in a lawsuit against the county, the auction company, and the nursing home, with technical assistance from NCLR. A trial date has been set for July 16, 2010 in the Superior Court for the County of Sonoma.”

Breaks your heart while simultaneously pissing you off, huh?  If you remember, I mentioned last week that President Obama recently passed a mandate that would prevent things like this from happening.  However, it’s a little while before that goes into effect and stories like these are still all too common.

I can’t understand how these two men, who have done nothing but love and support each other for 20 years and have caused no harm to anyone, are a threat to the sanctity of marriage.  Hell, their relationship lasted much longer than many marriages I can think of.  Where is the justice?  Not in California, that much is certain.  I sincerely that hope Clay prevails.

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