Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our life, according to my phone

Because I thought I was going to get an iPhone last week, I cleared out all the pictures that were saved on my phone. They're random and they're not in order, but they show some of our more everyday moments.

This one is from so long ago, at Rancho's in North Park getting fruit smoothies.

This is from Marina's preschool graduation and I love it because she looks so tiny and angelic but also very stylish.

I think this is when Ella turned four and Derrik brought a giant Hello Kitty pinata. When I turned three or four, I also got a life sized pinata at this exact house. So it's a special picture for me.

Here is the time Ella put stickers on her face and then wanted me to take a picture to send to Matt. But I caught her looking all sick and tired and we told Matt she had the Chicken Pox and he believed it.

Matt doesn't like the kids to eat cotton candy but one time we went to a baseball game without him and this happened.

This is the kindergarten field trip, but when I see this photo of Marina and her friend, my mind fast forwards 12 years and I can totally see this in her senior yearbook.

Did you know Ella talks like a baby most of the time? This is the preschool friend who she speaks baby language with. It annoys some parents, but look how happy they are. Who cares.

Oh, this one? It's just Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. We were in a room together for a ridiculous amount of time. But I mean ridiculous in a bad way. Six minutes, I think? They gave three reporters  six minutes to do an interview, all of us at the same time. Six minutes. We each got to ask one question.

The day I bought Ponyo for Ella at Comic-Con. I love this picture because Marina looks so confident and sassy.

Sisters being sisters before bedtime.

One Sunday, the farmer's market by our house had a petting zoo and Ella was brave enough to hold a chicken on her lap. Me and Marina, not so much.

This was a closed storefront I saw in Ensenada. Ensenada is where my dad and most of his family live, and it's also where we go on vacation every summer. And Tijuana is where I spent many of my formative teen years and where I've had some amazing times as a grown up, too.

One day at Sea World, we found one of Ella's best friends and had a dance party with fuzzy Sesame Street pals.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The end of kindergarten

I don't even know how to start this post.

For so long, all I wrote about was finding the perfect kindergarten. And then we found it and moved and everything changed - from learning new channels on TV to being able to walk to the grocery store.

And now it's over. Kindergarten happened.

Was all that research, all those days I spent touring school, all the frazzled nerves from uncertain charter lotteries, worth it?

From my perspective: totally, definitely, completely, absolutely.

Watching Marina learn to read, have her handwriting go from baby scribbles to extremely neat, teach me random facts about bugs, sing songs in Spanish and use a computer with no problem, has been amazing.

She's also gone from painfully shy to an outgoing kid who makes friends easily and looks for any opportunity to perform.

But mine isn't the perspective that ultimately matters.

This one is:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The best: threading

I know I'm way, way, way, way late to this, but I have recently fallen in love with threading.
When I was in New York in 2006, this was already the biggest thing happening. I just sort of ignored it until now.

 I don't wear a lot of makeup, so I try to remain somewhat presentable by keeping my eyebrows clean. For years I've been getting them waxed at a salon in Normal Heights. But then we moved and I couldn't find a place I liked very much.

This led me to have the shaggiest eyebrows ever. So much so that I didn't even want to look at people when I talked to them. One morning, when I was a few strands shy of a unibrow, I saw a place in Hillcrest that took walk-ins and pulled over.

What I didn't realize is that this salon had no wax whatsoever, just thread! All my hair was pulled out by weaving a thread in and out of the pores? I think? I'm not really sure what goes on but it's pretty magical.

The feeling is so weird, it's not as painful as waxing but there's definitely a new sensation that's not entirely comfortable. I wasn't even sure if I liked it after the first time.

But I've been back four times now and I can safely say that I'm a threading convert.

 First, it's way cheaper than waxing. Instead of $32 I was used to paying, it was $17! Second, you can totally go in the middle of the work day and you won't come back with that red, sensitive just-been-waxed look. I've done this and it's awkward. And finally, it only takes about 10 or 15 minutes from start to finish.

I've never loved my eyebrows so much.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sidewalk photo shoot

My mom brought over some chairs for her salon for us to look at, but little did we know it would turn into an impromptu sidewalk photo shoot.

My mom thinks all that posing is a result of the one time she let them watch "Toddlers and Tiaras." (Don't worry, I gave her a good talking-to about it.) And I'm certainly not going to disagree with that theory.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Red, white and cute

Every Friday, the kids at Marina's school gather in the main field to say the Pledge of Allegiance. It's something that started after 9/11 and has continued ever since.

A different class leads the pledge each week and then the kids sing a patriotic song. Today was Marina's turn and she sang "There Are Many Flags" so hard and so proud, I couldn't even handle it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Annie > Polly

A music story from the U-T about how I found my new PJ Harvey.

Too old, too young

(From my Tumblr)

When "Sex and the City" was on TV, I was just young enough that I never completely related with what the characters were going through.

I enjoyed watching it and there were definitely moments that reminded me of situations in my own life, but the women always seemed a step ahead of me. They had established jobs while I was working as a news assistant. When they were all worried about weddings, I was most definitely not. And after Miranda had a baby, I completely lost my ability to relate to her.

Now the opposite is happening with, "Girls," HBO's new show about New York twentysomethings. I liked it, I laughed, but it certainly didn't change my life.

Today I spent many minutes reading hipster blogs that hated or loved this show, but either way, both sides felt very strongly about their argument.

I wasn't offended by the self-aware characters like a few people my age were. Some situations, like terrible indie boys and crazy friends, are things all girls can relate to at some point.

But I didn't feel like anyone on that show was speaking directly to me. I never had a trust fund or lived in New York or felt all aimless about life.

It's a weird situation to feel mild affection for something others are so passionate about. Like I'm left out of a movement, again.

So who were the TV girls that spoke to me? These are the first three that come to mind.*

1. Lindsay Weir of "Freaks and Geeks"

This show came out when I was already in my 20s, but there wasn't anyone like this on TV when I was in high school. (I had Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place.) Lindsay dealt with exactly the same things I did at her age, especially trying to navigate her place between her intellectual and freak friends. For me it was the arty kids and the glamorous surfer girls.

2. Angela Chase of "My So Called Life"

Because she dyed her hair the color I was never brave enough to try and fought with her mom like I did and because she just felt things, you know?

3. Denise Huxtable of "The Cosby Show"

She embodied what I wanted to be when I grew up: stylish and confident. Denise didn't exactly fit in with the rest of her family, but in a way that was more empowering than alienating.

(*I know this list is predictable, and I could have searched for totally obscure people to include, but that would have been a lie. Also, it goes without saying that Molly Ringwald is by far the number one influence on my teen years, but she wasn't on TV.)