Sunday, December 18, 2011

Update from the islands.

It's been quite awhile since I've been to my Hawaiian paradise. I miss it terribly. Luckily, Auntie has been providing me with updates. Apparently, Daylight (her cat) misses me, and sleeps in the hat that I left there at night. Also, She has given me updates on the happenings around town, including Christmas traditions, such as the Honolulu parade.

Shaka Santa. That's how Hawaii rolls.

worry wart.

I'll admit it.

Lately, I've been finding it a little more difficult to look on the bright side. I've been anxious quite a lot and I'm unsure why. I'm a bit of a worry wort, that I know, but I've noticed I worry more often lately.

In recent months, my car has decided it would be fun to break down numerous times. My bills ($1,000 for the first one just three weeks ago. Second unknown) for that car are beginning to be more trouble then it's worth. I'd finally had it when it began making a terrible grinding sound and I had difficulty steering the car. Luckily, I made it home safely and it was towed tonight.

Today, I was (I believe) pick pocketed while I was at work. My (brand new) phone was stolen. Again, I should probably count my blessings that I wasn't outright mugged, my phone had insurance and I was okay. Instead I'm just mad. I simply want to stand on my own two feet, build some savings, and not feel broke. I lie awake at night sometimes wondering when a temporary job will become permanent and I won't have to worry anymore. On the plus side, I'm being praised at my temporary job. Hopefully things will turn around.

I hate that I'm writing such a negative blog. Venting I suppose. I need to sit back, reflect and realize that I do have many blessings to count. It's just hard to see them sometimes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hey there Y'all!

Lots going on!

I'm doing well. I haven't really had the time to update my own blog or comment on my favorites, because of my new job and the long hours. (LONG) I often worked night hours, then was simply too tired to do much else besides hit the hay. (what a change from looking, searching and praying for employment!)

I will say this though: My sales job wasn't right for me. I had difficulty with the pacing of the job and being able to hear customers on the phone. I had to learn how to pitch in order to make the numbers that I needed to make, and I discovered that I wasn't very good at it. After a careful consideration, I left the job amicably, and I found another job that I enjoy a whole lot more. It's temporary to perm and part time for now, but I'm relieved to be with people again and have a steady salary. (You know the previous job wasn't right for you when your hair begins to fall out in the shower and you sit in the parking lot before work giving yourself a pep talk)

I'm relieved to be working again. The best part? This job has lots of opprotunity for growth AND offices on the west coast and in Hawaii. I sense a five year plan y'all!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Long time, no post.

Wow! Hi there.

I'm sorry I haven't written in awhile. Several things have caused this to happen:

1) No internet. This made blogging (including reading my favorite blogs) kind of tough. :( (As one of my friends/roommates said: "Katie, I bet this is KILLING you right now." Indeed. But, I survived. After all, there are worse things in life then no internet. (and no cable) We recently (as in, a couple of days ago) got internet and DirectTV, so I'm back in business. (now if only I can find my camera).
2) Settling in. It's taken a little bit to organize everything in my new room just so. My dad put together all of my furniture from Ikea, and I am now nestled in very nicely.
3) (and this was the MAJOR time eater) Job hunting, job hunting, job hunting. It's taken up a huge chunk of time, and yet, everyday was becoming the same. I filled out so many forms that I memorized every important number and address in my working life. I went to job fairs. I searched CareerBuilder,, Monster, even Craigslist. (which I really don't recommend) I hit the pavement, dropping off my resume at department stores in the mall. I began researching volunteer opportunities just to fill my time when starting Wednesday, my phone began ringing off the hook for interviews. I landed a job on Friday. I start tomorrow. I'm crossing my fingers that this works out, but even if it doesn't, I feel stronger and more confident. I know now that all I can do is try my best.
4) I think I was becoming burned out with blogging. I hate saying that, because I love it so much, but I needed a bit of a break.

I hope you all are well. I'll post more details on my new place (pics of new digs included!) in my next blog. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Home Sweet Home (well, almost)

My friends and I have finally moved into our new house. :) (Well, really there's, but they say it's mine too) I feel really lucky and blessed to have my friends. I'm still searching for a job, but with all the resumes I've sent out and follow up calls I'm making, something is bound to turn up soon. I will be keeping my chin up.

The house is really great. There's still some work that needs to be done here and there, but that'll be done in due time. I would like to thank (my friend) Erin's mom, Ginny. She did a lot of work with the house, and especially my room, while I was so far away. With 6,000 miles between us, she painted my room a perfect green, refinished the hardwood floors, and redid everything. It means a lot to me. I would also like to thank my parents, who bought me all new bedroom furniture. (A dresser and nightstands were really needed in my life) I'm grateful that they let me stay at their place with no problem and told me I was always welcome, even when I felt a bit uneasy at times.

Now, it's up to me. Being on your own can be a little scary for sure (and I am a little--well very--nervous), but it's what I need in my life. I'm thankful for this new adventure, especially with the fact that I won't being doing it alone.

I'll close here for now. At the moment, we don't have cable or Internet, since we just moved in yesterday, but I will update here when we're all settled.

After five long months, I no longer live out of a suitcase. It feels good to have my own room and be in my own bed. I finally feel I can relax a little. I am home.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

After Irene.

Down the road from us, my cousin Shannon had a very different story to share. These are her photos:

-Photos 1 and two of are of a large oak tree that fell on her block. The oak tree is no more. I feel bad for the homeowner whose fence is destroyed. 

-Photo 3? That is NOT a lake or a river. True, there is a river nearby...but it's never flooded that bad before. Not as long as we've been here anyway. The diner across the street (way off in the distance if you look closely) is where our cousins and myself hang out on the regular. It's a cute little place. I'm unsure how the diner is affected currently. Hopefully, they got all the water out of there. Shannon's comment on the photo? "I don't understand how people wade through disgusting." Neither do I cousin. Neither do I.

-Photo 4 is a shot of JFK Boulevard, a heavy populated area, full of stores and restaurants. It's hard to imagine that I've driven on that road all the time on the way to my grandmother's.
You get the idea. The photo below was taken by my friend Erin. Luckily, the house we're moving into soon was not damaged by the storm.

A town not mentioned on the news much (national or otherwise) is Monroe Township, NJ. Monroe Township is an area that was hit incredibly hard with unexpected flooding. In one development, all the homes were destroyed. Those residents are now homeless. Businesses that have been in the area for years  have been closed until further notice. They may not be able to reopen at all. Most of these businesses and residents are not covered by flood insurance. Since the area has not been hit with this kind of disaster, flood insurance was not offered. Monroe is such a wonderful community. It's maybe 12 minutes from where I am. Six of my friends live there, and I'm always driving back and forth. It's just so odd to see this devastation. Please send your prayers to them.

This photo was taken by a member of the Facebook group: Help Hurricane Irene Flood Victims in Monroe, NJ

Local residents have just learned that FEMA will be helping Monroe. If you would like to help as well, please go to

Thursday, September 1, 2011


August 29, 2011

So all those news reports you've been hearing nationally? The ones about Hurricane Irene and her wrath up the East Coast? Well, that headed right for moi and the fam.

I can't say I was too pleased with her visit. She couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time. (I guess no hurricane is convenient) You see, I am still at the parents house. And my parents are at a dude ranch in the Midwest, where they have been since last week. (They're supposed to return on Tuesday) So...That means it's been just me for the majority of the week. At first, I wasn't too alarmed when I first began hearing of the hurricane's projected path. Our weather forecasters are kind of dramatic. (I don't know if yours are) I figured there would be a lot of rain and some wind, and I would have a tropical storm party for 1. I began realizing how wrong I was a few days ago. As each forecast became more ominous then the last one, Brother decided he was going to stay with me, and I decided to pick up (and dig out) supplies:

The day before the storm hit, I stocked up on about $150 bucks worth of groceries, including canned food (every official I listened to said enough for 5 days). Then I bought tape to use on the windows, filled my tank with gas, and took some mullah out of the ATM, just in case. I pulled in all the plants, and put all the patio furniture indoors. The day of, I cooked meals ahead of the storm, vacuumed and did laundry. I packed a "to go" bag, just in case I had to leave my parents apartment. (I was so not liking that stream in back of us at the moment) Then I moved boxes around the basement onto higher areas, just in case the basement filled with water. I was beat by the time my brother came over, but I still wanted to make a hot meal, so I cooked dinner too. Afterword, Brother told me he would clean up, then I went to bed to take a nap. I couldn't sleep though. As the wind began picking up, the texts on my phone started pouring in. Various friends and family checking in on us, asking how we were. I reassured them all we were fine.

Too keyed up to close my eyes, I joined Brother in the living room. At first we were silent, nervously watching television and eyeing the darkening skies, until our neighbors broke the ice. Upstairs, they decided they weren't going to let Irene get in the way of their party. Or rather, perhaps they partied because of Irene. The louder the storm got, the louder they did too, including blasting music and even jumping up and down.

"I wish we had a case of beer or something," I joked. "We could have joined them." Brother laughed. "Hey, we have food!" Then he added: "I like listening to them, they take my mind off things." I agreed. We decided to remain low key, but we began chatting about other things besides the wind and rain outside, and switched the television away from the scary weather reports to mindless MTV. The lights soon began to flicker. 
"AWWWWWW!!!!" said the party upstairs. 
The lights returned.
On any normal day, this would have caused me to be annoyed at best. (I love my sleep) But I didn't think we would be sleeping regardless of a party, so I smiled instead. Around midnight, I said good night to Brother and did my best to settle down and turn in. I noticed the windows in the room I'd been staying in were rattling like crazy and debated on whether I should stay there. In the end, I decided I liked my bed too much. Against by better judgement, I booted up Mac and began updating this blog when I heard a loud electrical noise, almost like a brief explosion. Then the lights disappeared for good. Man, I hate the dark. And despite growing up on the edge of tornado alley, I hate storms too. Indeed, me no likey.

We had a battery operated modem, but it turned out that wasn't working properly anyway, so the Internet was out too. And since our modem is also connected to our phone line, that meant our phones were out as well. No power=no lights, Internet or phone? Yup. It was definitely time to hit the hay. 

Surprisingly, I slept for a good four hours until the wind woke me up again. The storm was much stronger. At that point, Brother was putting batteries in a radio and trying to listen to the weather. Tornadoes had begun forming around the area. Luckily, none ventured to our neighborhood. I was still worried about the stream in back of us though. I could hear the rush of the water in the ravine, an unfamiliar sound. Irene was supposed to arrive in our area by 8am Sunday morning, but it was clear she was about to make an entrance much earlier then that. Kevin went downstairs to check the sub pump in the furnished basement. I gathered up breakfast for both of us while listening to every one's stories of flooding on the radio. 

The New York area is surrounded by nine bodies of water. This means that even a cat 2 storm is dangerous for the area, even inland. I knew there was no way Kevin would make it to work. He knew too. He'd called out before I awoke. Turns out Brother stayed up all night for me. What a good twin he is. As the wind and rain intensified, I pulled out my laptop and we watched movies until the eye of the hurricane passed over us. Then we peaked outside.
"Huh," Kevin said. "I didn't even know that tree fell." I looked to my right. A big trunk was now stretched across the ravine and the neighbor's yard. Neither did I.

When the storm was over, we tentatively ventured outside to check for damage. Three transformers blew (the explosion I'd heard the night before), and lots of branches. I didn't see immediate damage from outside my doorstep. I had no idea how much destruction was just ten minutes away. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back to the drawing board.


Let's just say my new "job" didn't work out. After my first day of work, I received a phone call two hours after I got home. I was let go of my position, (the position was given to someone the owner knew). The receptionist told me I could pick up my day's pay whenever I wanted. I returned the next day where I was given $30 in cash. $7 an hour.

I was hired for $13.50 an hour.

To say I am not happy would be an understatement. I was hired for this position two weeks before my first day. That's two whole weeks I could have been looking for real employment elsewhere.

I've decided that while I am still looking in and around my area, I will also be looking at other states to apply for work. Has anyone here ever done this? Any success stories?

I need some positivity right now.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bloggin with style!

After mourning the loss of my PC Stanley, I've decided it was time to take the plunge and move forward.

Guess what I got? Hint: It's a tool I've always dreamed of. Have you guessed correctly? No?....Okay, I'll just tell you. I got a new laptop! But not just ANY laptop. It's a laptop I've only owned in my happiest of dreams. It's a......drum roll please:

My dear dad was finally the one who convinced me to take the plunge. (After my stepmother, her best friend and my brother's attempts were not breaking me) Besides, I was in Best Buy staring at this master of creation. I couldn't say no. (I'll admit it, being on an interest free payment plan also helped in my decision.) After about 20 minutes of buyer's remorse (which consists of my usual worry wart ridiculousness and panic) I came around to being the giddiest woman on the planet. The second that baby booted up the nerd in me was ecstatic. 7 hours of battery life! Awesome programs! No viruses! High speed! The keys glow in the dark! It's glorious.

Stanley who? I can't recall. Say hello to, well...Mac. I know. How original. "Oh Katie," you must be saying, "Tell us how you really feel." No problem. Since I can't put my true feelings into written word at the moment (a rarity), here is my face:

I can't wait to catch up on all of your blogs again and get back to writing. It truly makes my day complete.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Movin on up! (Not to the East Side, but up just the same)

Oh blog, I have missed you. I feel like I'm neglecting you like a redheaded stepchild. No more, I swear. I can tend to you now.

Want to know why?

It's been difficult to keep this under wraps, since I've needed to for about a week or so, but I can finally say it: I have found employment! Want to know even better news? It's FULL TIME employment! One of the jobs that I had been hoping for did not come through, but another one did just in the nick of time, and I will love this job. I get to be surrounded by my favorite creatures (dogs) all day long, as well as people. My future employer is just lovely, and the business is located in a cute little town. I wouldn't mind getting an apartment in that area at some point, let me tell you. It's adorable.

After endless searching (before and after Hawaii) on Monster, Yahoo Jobs and applying to official websites of large companies, what worked for me was hitting the local wanted ads. It's something I don't think occurs to 20 something job hunters like myself (and I'm including myself in this), but that was the best result.

I have obtained so much knowledge and confidence during my Hawaii journey, I applied it in life at home as well. Be confident. Be self-assured. Be positive. Be yourself. Volunteer if you can, it's so rewarding. Lastly, keep going. Don't give up, there's something out there for you.

House update: Most of the major work is finished. Thanks Ginny, James, Erin, Amanda, Christine and so many others! You guys did things I wasn't able to do or wasn't here for. Just wanted to let you all know how grateful I am. I think there's some cosmetic stuff needed to do left. (refinishing the hardwood floors and such) then I will be on my way.


Remember that whole confidence thing I mentioned just seconds ago? I keep giving that to myself, like a shot. Moving out is a little bit scary. I suspect it will also be rewarding however. It's amazing what perspective distance can give you. If I can travel alone (without parents) 6,000 miles away, I can do this too. I think it's change that spooks me, and yet I love adventure. What I have to do, is tell myself that this is another adventure, rather then that scary word CHANGE. Adventure sounds a lot more cool. It also makes me excited.

Writing update: I have decided I would love to write a whole lot more. I'm going to a Freelance Writing workshop and taking some classes. It's a hybrid class (online so it doesn't affect work) and in NYC on my days off. Looking forward to seeing what new doors I can open for myself.

Computer update: I'm going to be setting aside money for a new laptop, because while Stanley the PC held on for a little while longer when I arrived home, he has finally sputtered and died. My model was the HP Pavilion Dv4, and I'm starting to read other nightmare scenarios online about this computer. Such a shame, but it's time for a new one. The library is a nice place, but I'm sick of spending a lot of time here.

And finally, thanks to all of YOU for reading my blog. You have no idea what world you have opened for me. I love reading your blogs too. It gives me confidence to try even more new things.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yup. I'm alive.

I'm so sorry to have disappeared on you all. A combination of jet lag, a dead laptop, and being on the job hunt has led me to neglect this blog. I'm returning slowly but surely.

Right now, I'll admit it, I'm having a bit of anxiety. (Not having a job does that to you) I like working. I enjoy being a go getter. I want to build towards my future and get started as fast as time will allow, but I do realize that I have to be patient. I'm grateful that I don't have a family to support. I know that I have my parents support should I need them, but I want to break out on my own and be self-sufficient, as I'm sure any young person does.

On the plus side, I'm getting interviews. There is a position I applied for that I believe is the perfect fit for me, and I would enjoy it. In addition, this position would allow me to build a future, and work toward the goals I need to achieve. I usually do not ask of this, but your prayers (or well wishes) would be appreciated. Stepmom said that whatever is in God's plan will be. Hopefully, we're on the same page.

Also wanted to add that I miss reading your blogs all the time. When I get a new laptop, I'll be back to reading and commenting on all of your blogs regularly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Random Epilogue.

Excuse the rambling. I'm still a bit jetlagged.

After a whirlwind journey (seriously, was that really almost four months of being away?!?), I have arrived "home" safe and sound. Well, it's as home as it's going to get for now. The plan was to move into my new place when I returned to New Jersey. That plan was delayed due to unexpected (and very expected) repairs to the house. (You gotta have a working toilet and a kitchen y'all. Although, not in the same room of course) So for now, I am in my parents new apartment. If I ever reach my main goal of complete financial Independence with some bank to spare, I want a place like theirs. You see, their place has granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, which has always been a dream of mine.
That's pretty much it. I don't ask for too, too much. Oh, except I also want a farm with some dogs, a goat, and some mini pigs. (In case you can't tell, that last part was a pipe dream)

I didn't expect my return to New Jersey to be a difficult adjustment, but I'll admit that it has been. I'm so grateful for the opportunities that Hawaii has given me, including a new found sense of confidence, but I'm feeling a little lost in my return to the mainland. I'm a bit in flux I'm afraid. I'm thankful I have wonderful parents who will happily let me stay with them until my place is ready, but I'll admit it: I'm ready to sleep in a room that is MY room. Not a couch. Not a futon. Not a guest bedroom, but my room, with my colors and my pictures and my pillows. I'm currently sleeping in a guest bedroom--in my old bed--but it still doesn't feel like my bed. I'd like to settle for a little while.

And yet....
I also want more adventures like the one I just had in the future. Traveling is for me. I want to continue my trek at some point, although there is no set date on that yet. First, I need a home base to forge myself in, a bigger work history and more savings. Then I'll go discover more of what this country has to offer. I'd like to go visit the West Coast (San Diego is nice I hear), and the south. (I want to visit Austin, Texas, which a friend of mine says is awesome) It's official, I've got a traveling bug. For now, I'm back on the job hunt, and I'm looking into Freelance Writing classes. I'd like to eventually turn my hobby into a job down the line. Writing I've discovered, is something I love.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The End of the Road....

...Literally. The other day, Auntie and I drove to the "end" of the main country road on Oahu and ended up on the other side of the island, near a remote area I had never seen before. We parked in the grass (something you had to do since the road was so narrow) and enjoyed the simplest--and the best--thing about life on the islands: It's pure beauty. The scenery. The mountains. The sunset. It was a pleasure that I knew I wouldn't have at the tip of my fingertips much longer, so I knew not to take the moment for granted.

I wish I could say these photos were mine, but it would be a sin to to call them my own. These photos are Auntie's, who wanted to share them with you all. She really didn't even want the credit for them. "You could say they're yours if you want", she told me. I didn't dare.

It pains me to write this, and I can't quite believe it, but today is my last day in Hawaii. It's currently 3am, and I have yet to shut my eyes, because I don't want to waste any of that precious time sleeping. (although I suppose I should at some point) My flight leaves the islands at 10:50pm Hawaii time, 3:50am Wednesday East Coast time. My bags are (mostly) packed, my boarding passes are printed, my dresser drawers are cleared out and my laundry is done. I have said goodbye to most of my new Hawaii friends, like Cassidy. I will say "See you later" to my best Hawaii friend, Pai, this morning before she heads off to class. I have said goodbye to all of the wonderful employees at the Oahu SPCA, and of course, the animals, like Blue the cat, and Teddy Bear the dog.

I have waved so long to my favorite bus driver, who has taken me across every inch of the island that he can. I have bid adieu to the schoolkids who ride that same bus, greet me every morning and refer to me as "Auntie" when they tell me all about their adventures in learning. I wish for them to continue to grow and to always be open to new experiences, as I have discovered in the past three months.

Today, my itinerary is cleared. I am doing nothing but finishing my packing, going to the beach, and spending my last day with family and friends. Thank you to everyone who has made my experience possible, especially to you Auntie. Without your guidance, gentle encouragement and support, I don't believe I would have made it as far as I have out here. You have helped find the Katie that I thought was lost, and I don't know how I can repay you for that. The world is at my fingertips once more. I can achieve what I want to achieve, big or small. Thank you also for taking me out to dinner, my trip to Maui and giving up your space to accommodate me. It's not easy to do so, and I want you to know that I appreciate it very much. You will always have a place to stay in my new home, should you ever need to, and you will always have a place in my heart.

I hope that all of you blog friends will stick around here, even though my Hawaii chapter has come to a close. I look forward, with nervousness but excitement, at what awaits for me back home. It's onto the next adventure. Where ever I end up, I'll be sure to write it down. 

I confessed to Pai that I didn't want to say goodbye to her, other friends, or the island. "It's not goodbye," Pai said. "Just say 'See you later.'" I have decided to take her advice. And so, I will close here.

See you later Hawaii. It has been an experience I will always treasure.
It's time to go home now.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Almost over....

I can't believe I'm typing this but: I head back to New Jersey on Tuesday night.

There are many mixed emotions that I'm coming to grips with on this fact. One is that I'm looking foreword to reuniting with family and friends that I haven't seen in almost 4 months. Especially Brother. I'm thrilled to see old decor as well. I miss NYC. I miss street fairs. I miss diners and great bakeries. I miss good pizza. I miss my bed. I'm a bit nervous on returning though, because I don't want to fall back into the old habit of feeling stuck. Since I've left, a lot has changed. For example, the family house was sold and my parents and stepsister have moved into new places. They have been situated for quite some time now, but I do not have that settled in feeling. The rental house that I'm moving into with friends is not ready yet. Because of this, I'll be under my parents roof again for a little while, which makes me hesitate. This time I don't have my own room and my things are still in storage. I've loved this adventure and I'm so grateful for every one's hospitality, but at this point, I'm becoming a bit worn out with sleeping on different beds and futons. I miss having my own space, a place that feels like home. I know I'll eventually have that, so I'm telling myself to stick it out a little longer. I'm also terrified that I don't have a job. A 28 year old should probably have one of those....

...And yet: I love the adventure of not knowing what's going to happen next and trying new things. I love it here. I love coming and going whenever I want. I love the fact that I'm not worried about anything or anyone while I'm out in Hawaii. The people here have been amazing to me and I have enjoyed the slow pace. I've made new friends and have been to so many new places. I've rediscovered a lot about myself that I thought was lost forever, like the fact that writing is probably what I enjoy the most and that being independent is the goal I've always dreamed of. I don't want to stop learning, or discovering new adventures. My next goal is to (eventually) travel to a new city. I'd like to stay in a hostel for my next trip. My long term goal is to move to the West Coast or the south, but I have to see what this country has to offer first, before I commit to one destination. All I know right now is that it's been amazing to not feel pain in my legs from the harsh, cold elements and I'd like to keep it that way. I'd love to have two places that I call home (a feeling that I have gotten since I've been here in Hawaii) Two sets of friends, two places I feel comfortable. I already have the two sets of friends part, and for that I am very lucky.

We'll see.

The best part about life is that you never know where it will take you. I've learned that too. In due time I will have what I want. In the meantime, I'll have to figure out what that is.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

You might be wondering why I've been MIA.

Or not. But I'll tell ya anyhow.

Well, first of all, I've been out and about seeing as much as I can before I leave the islands. (wow is it that time ALREADY?) Second, is this not so charming news:

My computer--one that's barely 2 years old--has sputtered on me and died. As in, deader then a doornail. I've managed to place a back up, VERY temporary disk in place, to get into programs like Windows 7, and get onto blogger if I'm lucky. Most of the time, when I turn on my computer, I get a black screen and nothing else. Also, my caps lock key keeps blinking. Don't know what's that about. The cause of this is being narrowed down, but the Geek Squad guys and a lovely Hawaiian local computer store owner both think that my hard drive and motherboard is shot. Why this has happened is unknown. Geek Squad says it'll cost hundreds to fix. (about as much as my laptop cost in the first place) Local computer owner says it can't be fixed at all, to cut my losses, and get my Hawaii pictures saved ASAP.

This is not the first problem with my laptop. (brand shall remain nameless) The first time, the hard drive crashed. Got a new computer under warranty. The second time, a virus got through my firewalls and wiped out my hard drive. Had to get a new hard drive. (not under warranty) the third time, ANOTHER virus got through my Norton and destroyed the whole damn thing. My awesome Brother-in-Law spent weeks trying to get rid of the virus, then put in a new hard drive and Windows 7. I almost feel bad to say this is now the fourth issue, since Dave put so much work into bringing Stanley back to life. (yes he has a name) Tech support wants $800 dollars to fix Stanley, and $300 for "consultation" which they will reimburse. (snort.)

I think it's slowly time to save for a new laptop entirely. Even if this guy gets fixed (doubtful honestly) I'm afraid our relationship is strained at this point. You see, I always end up footing the bill, and on top of that, he keeps leading me on into thinking he's a good computer. No sir, I am not stupid. You don't even return my phone calls.
I'm breaking up with you Stanley. It's time to move on.

P.S. I want my CD's back.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm a lovely blogger!

I won a Blog Award! Shannon, (from Shanimals Crackers) has decided to feature me by awarding me this:

Now. I wish I was as witty as Shannon when she accepted HER Lovely Blogger award, but I'm not. (oh, that and I'm starving so pancakes await) Instead, I'll just say thanks a bunches! I'd like to thank my parents for never giving up on me, my aunt's cat for giving me alone time when I need to write, and this really cushy pillow I sit on.

I'd like to spread the love and give my lovely blogger award to three other lovely ladies: Hayley over at Holding the World in a Paper Cup, Carly over at Tune into Radio Carly and Claire over at IN CHAIR. These bloggers are not only awesome writers, they're awesome people. I enjoy visiting their blogs regularly.

Now according to the award rules, I must post 7 random facts about me. Ahem:
 -I love saying hi to people.
-I love looking at google maps and checking out places that I may want to travel to.
-Clowns, Ferris wheels, and math give me the heebie jeebies.
-Thrift stores are one of my favorite places on Earth. It's like treasure hunting.
-I sneeze exactly three times before I fall asleep.
-I love the woods.
-I love bonfires and summer nights.

Thanks again Shannon! I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

More new things.

Remember when I said that I wanted to try new things?
Well I've been wanting to get a cartilage piercing on my ear for awhile now....

So after a bunch of research, I finally did.

Oh yeah, one more thing: Sorry in advance Dad.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Our Weekend in Maui: Part 2.

The next morning was a bit cloudy. I didn't fall back to sleep too well after returning home from dinner. Sometimes, due to cerebral palsy, my legs can tense up and hurt a bit. It's been less of an occurrence on the Hawaiian islands, but incidents do happen from time to time that I've grown to live with. Usually, my legs will tense and my muscles will be painful into the next day. I was determined to visit new sights though, not see the inside of my hotel room. I would see plenty of hotel rooms through travel in my lifetime, and sleep on lots of cushy beds and pillows, but walking around Maui would be a rarity. Popping back two aspirin, I waited until my spasms dulled, then headed to get free breakfast.

I was quite surprised at their breakfast selection. It wasn't the dry toast and cold cereal you see at a typical hotel. Downstairs, there was an actual diner, and guests of the hotel get to pick a free breakfast meal, have fresh squeezed juice and coffee. There, Auntie and I planned an itinerary for our day. First, we decided to visit The Lavender Farm:

The Lavender Farm is on the way up the Haleakala Crater. (more on that later) The property is owned by Alii Chang. He died this year, but a husband and wife team (as well as his co-workers) have taken over running the farm and keeping his dream alive. There are guided tours, an adorable gift shop and you can walk along beautiful trails, all speckled with lavender. When I entered the gift shop, there were all kinds of organic products made purely from lavender and all natural ingredients. Soaps, necklaces, earrings,  food products and teas. After purchasing a bunch of stuff for family back at home, I walked the trails.

Everything is kept immaculate. (in fact, one of the groundskeepers kept his distance to allow me to take pictures for this entry. I didn't even ask. It was so nice and thoughful of him. Oh and he probably didn't want to be on this blog or something like that. I will give a shout out to him anyway though. Thank you. You're the one who keeps this place beautiful.)

When Aunt Lynn and I grew tired of the Lavender Farm, she told me we were going somewhere else, but she couldn't tell me where. Soon, I realized why. If she told me where we were going in advance, there was a good chance I would have chickened out. When she began to drive, Auntie announced we were going to drive up the remainder of the Haleakala Crater. The Haleakala Crater is a dormant volcano that you can drive up around 10,000 ft. She didn't tell me how high we were going either. That was also probably for the best. At first, I was nervous as she drove up the winding roads.

But soon the view became more and more enthralling that I forgot to be nervous. Except when she teased me and would announce where a new cross was placed at every accident site we came across. Thanks a lot Auntie.

There are little stations you can stop at to take breaks on the drive up. FYI, this is probably a good idea, since the air changes the higher you go. If you start at the bottom and drive straight up without stopping to adjust, you could get altitude sickness. When I felt a little woozy, we pulled over to a rest stop, and I saw this view:

The blue beyond the clouds is NOT the ocean. Just the sky. Rain was happening below us, but we were up so high that we were above the storms.

Before we left to continue our journey, I had a funny idea: it took a couple of tries with my camera, but we managed. Can you fly? We did.

There's much more, but that will have to wait until my next entry. Until next time everyone!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recently, one of these guys paid a visit to me.

This my friends, is a Cane Spider. They are only found on the Hawaiian Islands and Austrailia. 

When we were in Maui, Auntie and I discovered one on the wall of a restruant we were eating at. (Nope, it wasn't an awful restruant. In fact, it was a fancy steakhouse. I guess the spider wanted steak too.) You know when, in a nightmare, you open your mouth to scream and no sound comes out? That was me.

The spider on the wall? His name is George. I named him George so I wouldn't cry. I figured if they have a name, they can't be TOO scary right? Right. Note, these are NOT George's pictures, just ones I found online of his friends, because I was too frozen in fear to take out my camera.

They are as big as you think they are.

Now, onto the big question: Are they poisonous?  Answer: Nope. Just scary as hell. They do eat the bugs though, including the roaches.

I think I'd rather see a roach.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Our weekend in Maui: Part 1.

Well, I just returned home from a relaxing mini vacay in Maui. I wasn't sure what to expect when Auntie decided that it would be best if I saw another island to get a full Hawaiian experence. One thing I discovered was this: Every island is completely different.

On Oahu, you mostly think of Honolulu and Waikiki. Waikiki being a touristy attraction, and Honolulu being a bustling city. (and continuing to grow)

It's still beautiful, and you can find quite a bit of astounding sights if you know where to look, but you won't find open land. Maui on the other hand, has tiny little beach towns and lots of space. I didn't think it was possible, but even the pace is slower in Maui.

We packed quickly on Friday night for our morning flight to the island. Auntie because she was busy, myself because....well....I thought our flight was on Monday. (Oh ADD brain. How you've reared your ugly head again.) Luckily, Auntie had called me on Friday afternoon to let me know that she would be home late to pack that night. That became my cue to return home and furiously fold things into my back back.

We left around 8am for our 9:30am flight to Maui. Flights between islands (generally) don't take that long, and the Hawaiian Airlines planes are nothing like the major airline ones. As we were checking in, Aunt Lynn warned me that our plane was a "puddle jumper". I wished she had warned me a little earlier, since I get airsick practically on reflex and would need to take Dramamine in advance. The smaller the plane, the worse it is. We got through check in pretty quickly, and I managed to take a chewable pill before I boarded. As we got on the plane, I became a little nervous. We had to go outside the airport to board and walk on the terminak itself. As I climbed up the tiny staircase to our puddle jumper, I figured I was in for it. Our tickets were for open seating. Auntie and I ended up in the very last two seats on the plane.
Did I mention I'm also sicker if I'm not in the middle or closer to the front?
As the plane took off, I could feel every dip and jolt in my stomach and the spinning in my head.
"If I don't vomit on this flight, I think I'll be cured." I said.
By the time a flight attendant came around with drinks, I definitely needed something carbonated. As I was sipping, Aunt Lynn reassured me that our flight was almost over. I thought she was kidding, since we were only in the air for 15 minutes. Nope, soon we were flying over Maui, then landing.
"Are you cured?" Aunt Lynn joked.
"Eh." I replied. Saying anything else would have been risky.
Luckily, when I'm on the ground, it usually takes a half hour to return to form. By the time we got the rental car, I was back to normal. As we drove to the hotel, I was amazed at how different the landscape was. Some areas were hilly, some were flat. All were open, luscious and GREEN. We entered the  town of Kahului (Ka-hah-loo-ee), which was more populated, but nothing compared to Honolulu.

I was amused when we passed a Costco.
Note to my favorite Costco employee back home: Transfer here why don't cha? Come on. You know you want to. Every one's nicer out here. And you wouldn't have to drive I don't think.

We stopped briefly at Krispy Kreme donuts. I should note that people go crazy for these donouts in Hawaii. Sometimes, people are even willing to hop a plane just to go there for a box and return home. Seriously.

I thought they were good, but not worth getting on a plane for. Next stop was....the Maui Swapmeet! You didn't think that Auntie could get away with passing by a swap meet with me in the car did you?

I didn't think so.

After lunch....

We visited the biggest tree ever!

This is serously all one. giant. root.

And I STILL didn't get all of it. It goes across an entire park.

Unusual for us, but soon after visiting the tree, we became pretty tired. We went to the hotel to take just a brief nap, and ended up sleeping until it got dark. This means our window of opportunity to do any more activities was gone. Maui is unlike home OR Honolulu, Even on a Saturday, they close up shop by 9pm. The only place we could find that was open to eat dinner? Ihop. We concluded then that it would be best to continue our adventure the next day. I didn't realize then that our adventure was just getting started.