Sunday, August 31, 2008

If I would have known then....

Being a life long sun worshipper, I've begun to notice a lot of changes taking place on my body - in a not so good sort of way...

In the last 14 years, I've had several moles removed and imperfections looked at by the dermatologist at my annual 'skin exams' and this year was no different. However, my new doctor decided he didn't like the look of this cluster of freckles I've always had on my right cheek. They were wispy, different colors, and different shapes. If you know your ABC's of moles, (Assymetrical, Border, Color) I knew that this needed to go - which is what I had done Friday morning.


I thought it was going to be scraped off, but since I've had it for so long, he had to cut it out. He made a diamond shape on my cheek and gave me two layers of stitches - 10 on the bottom and 10 on the top. All will dissolve on their own, but the bottom (inside) layer will take 3 months and I'll have a bump under my skin until then. I should find out by the end of this week if it's benign or malignant melanoma....hopefully it's nothing though...

Seeing my incision for the first time at the office, I burst into tears - literally. It was standing straight up like the stitching in your jeans and it was a funky color. My cheek was swollen all day like a little melon and I had a hard time smiling or laughing. My roommate was nice enough to go get me some extra strength Tylenol and antibiotic ointment once I got home and then Dipna stopped by with ice cream after work - everything is cured with mint chocolate chip :)

As of today, the swelling has gone down and there is just a little bit of bruising, but nothing too major. I have to keep telling myself that I'd rather have this little cut and scar on my face rather than going through chemo in the future because I wasn't proactive now.

Two days later

And another little interesting sun fact, I now have a thing in the corner of my eye that looks like yellow chicken fat that is caused by UV rays - I guess it's very common, but just another reason that I feel like a fool for laying out and using tanning beds as often as I did.

I think I've learned my lesson.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Santa Monica

I love the ocean and I especially love Santa Monica... I was able to fly down on Friday for the weekend to spend time with my cousin, hang out, do some sight seeing, and eat out way too much!

My plane landed around 3 and I finally got to our hotel around 4 with traffic. I should have known it was going to be an 'interesting' long weekend when I stepped into the first taxi. The driver was nice enough and had some classical music playing and asked if I liked this or if I would rather listen to some 'hard rock music'. I was like, 'Uh, this is fine - it's your car, listen to what YOU want and I'll be ok!' (Secretly hoping he would put in some Coldplay.) Let me just tell you, he cranked up the classical so loud that my eardrum was literally crackling and I kept having to plug my right ear because I swore it was bleeding and my eyeball was watering...seriously...

While we're stuck in traffic, he decides to switch cd's and put in some very, very sappy love music - and he was singing. It was like a compilation cd with Mariah Carey, Mark Anthony, Celine, and whoever else that could belt out a melody with such emotion and longing to be in somebody's then I just wanted HIM to hold me! ha ha...

$77 later, I arrived at the hotel - yeah, no kidding. I was told that Burbank would have been a good place to fly in if I were staying in Marina del Rey - well, if I should do this again, I will know that isn't the case and shame on me for not checking out Mapquest first. Oh well. On my way out of the car, I hit my thigh on something - no idea what it was, but it swelled up bigger than a half dollar and I ended up laying on the bed with an ice pack on my thigh trying to get the swelling down. Is this what happens to your body when you turn 34??

I got freshened up and headed to Santa Monica to meet Tristan and her coworker Jeff at his hotel. This time, I got the Coked Out Cabbie. All he did was sniff, sniff, sniff, wipe his nose in a very quick fashion and take the palm of his hand and hit the tip of his nose - like it was going to 'honk' or something. I'm just wondering if we were going to make it there safely or at all! Somebody cut in front of us and ended up getting hit in the opposite lane of traffic, but we kept on going - didn't see it, but heard it and knew it had to have been that guy who was in such a big toot. He dropped me off at the hotel and I forgot that there was a step in the mini van for me to get out of my chair and in one fluid motion, I opened the door and fall out of the cab - for real. People are staring at me and I jump up like nothing happened and threw him my wad of cash. He was all concerned and asking if I was ok, but I was gone... pride and all...

Finally - I'm so excited to see Tristan! She came down to pick me up in the lobby and to head back up to their room. Talk about a genuine person... she is so sweet and I have missed being around her this past year and a half. She had lived with me in my one bedroom apt. three years ago and I just loved having her there, camping out on my couch, going out with me, and spending time together laying out, watching tv, or whatever...

Once they got ready, we headed over to the 3rd Street Promenade, which is an outdoor shopping area with live entertainment along the strip and places to eat. We were starving and decided to stop in and eat at Johnny Rockets then headed out for some quick shopping, people watching, and a Jamba Juice! We were pooped out by the time we got done and headed back to the hotel around 10, hung out with Jeff for a while, then we left for our beds... so nice to lay down!

Saturday morning we got up early and headed over to Hollywood to see the big hillside sign, geek at the Walk of the Stars, look at the Kodak Theatre and Chinese Theatre. And guess what? We had the Coked Out Cabbie again!! Fun times...Anyway, we had some brunch at Mel's Diner and then started our 'tour'. It's so dirty down there - old gum stuck to the sidewalks, litter, wrappers, and just's pretty gross if you ask me. We took a lot of pictures, shopped a little, and did more walking... I had been there before, so it was fun to see her reaction and how she interpreted the scenery. We bounced back to the hotel so she could get some afternoon sun and decided we would walk over to the ocean. Bad choice - we got about 3 blocks with our map and turned around and went back to the hotel pool. We would have had quite the haul if we decided to stick to our route! I sat in the shade most of the time and enjoyed watching the kids playing in the pool.

Once we were done at the pool, we went up to Santa Monica to watch the sun set over the ocean, take some pictures and eat at Sushi Roku. It was her first time eating 'real' sushi and we both loved what we ordered! We headed down to the pier to walk along the beach, step in the water and take some more pictures... it was so funny because we were just walking along with our pants rolled up and all of a sudden, we hear this roar of a wave and the water came so fast and drenched our legs and jeans - I was wet up to my knees and walked around pretty chilly the rest of the night! It was worth it though...the smell, the sound, the view - you can't beat it.
Next on the agenda was to hit the Santa Monica Pier. We were really hungry for something sweet, so Tristan was on the hunt down for a funnel cake and guess what I wanted? Dippin' Dots! Low and behold, there was a Dippin' Dots stand right next to the funnel cakes! We were in heaven... I tried the S'Mores ice cream, but decided that nothing beats the mint chocolate. It was still good though. We did a lot of walking around and just hanging out at the pier and then headed back to the hotel around 9 - it was a long day. Sunday we got up and had breakfast in the hotel dining area and then got all packed up and ready for our flights to leave. I took off around noon and you know who took me to the airport - that's right, the COC - he said that he actually 'recognized' me from hauling us around L.A. three different times. I mean seriously, there is a SLEW of taxis parked outside of the hotel and what are the chances that I would end up with him?? Guess it was fate. Or something like that.

My flight was delayed an hour, so I bought a magazine and a bag of Skittles. Once the previous flight had boarded, I put my magazine and candy on my chair and walked over to the window to look outside - I wasn't even gone for 2 minutes - I turned around and my stuff was gone. Hello, this isn't like home when women would leave their purses with me while they ran into the restroom one last time before boarding. There I sat with nothing to do but people watch.
Once on the plane, I sat next to a minor who stared at me the entire time. She told me she was in 6th grade, lived in Folsom, and her mom had a surprise for her at the airport. She liked my shirt, told me that her mom was born in Little Rock and proceeded to eat everything in sight. She even had pretzels in her bag from previous flights that she had been stock piling! I was kind of jealous.

She pulls her carry on bag from under the seat and starts digging around, but something caught me out of the corner of my eye and I glanced over at her right as she shoved something back into her bag. Then she stared at me some more. She pulled out a dark t-shirt that had hot pink silly putty (that looked like gum) allllll over - inside the bag, on her clothes, in her pencils, erasers, etc. You name it, it was pink. The stuff had melted, so it was not only oily, but stringy. I helped her try to clean it up as best as I could and she said, "Wow, I'm glad this isn't my bag. It's my mom's." I laughed thinking of what a nice surprise mom was going to have when she saw this mess!! She ended up throwing it away when the flight attendant walked by and I told her it was probably a good idea :)

All in all, it was a GREAT trip and I'm so glad that I got to spend time in SoCal again - I love it down there... and especially my time with Trist.... but I was glad to be back home!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Other Love

This afternoon I had a former coworker email me about something in the skywalk that I wouldn't believe - and I didn't until I got the proof in a picture!

How awesome is this? A Dippin' Dots machine!!!

It's always nice to know that your friends remember little tid bits about your likes/dislikes and are reminded of you miles away.... if only I were there to purchase a little bowl of mint chocolate - I love the ice cream of the future.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Today I've decided that 34 is the 'new' 22 ... I feel good, God has blessed this past year for me, I have my awesome family, great friends, and good health... so today I'm going to celebrate ME!

Last night I made a strawberry Jell-O cake for my coworkers and I can't wait to bust it out. My sister in law makes the best Jell-O cake for me, though - I think it's because the pieces are SO huge and she puts actual strawberries on top. I think we (Todd, Evonn, and I) ate an entire cake in two days when I used to live with them. Ahhh, good times....

Tonight some friends are taking me out to eat after work, but it sounds like work is ending around 3 or 3:30! Why not? It's my birfday.

It's a little odd to think that I'll be celebrating with a whole 'new' group of friends when I've always been used to my 'lifelong' friends being there for me. Change is good - it doesn't mean that I don't want to be with the 'regulars', but this goes hand in hand with the endless 'new' chapters that keep opening up in my life. At least I know that someday I'll look back on this 34th year and know where I was in life, what brought me to this point, and reminisce about how each person truly meant something during this season for me.

I wonder if I can use any more quotation marks? I seemed to have 'overdone' it in that last paragraph... sigh...

So here's to ME - branching out, celebrating life, love, friendships, and new beginnings...

And seriously, a heartfelt thank you to each person who has walked through this last year with me! I couldn't have done it without your support, encouragement, and prayers...

You say it's your's my birthday too YEAH!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Fever

I love the Olympics.

I love the competitions, I loved the ceremonies, I love how humble the athletes are when they win or even when they lose. So many years of hard work to be put to the test in front of millions of people to BE the best of the best... what an accomplishment for these individuals!

But I can't lie...the (real) reason that I get so excited for the Olympics is to watch my Olympic-Crush, Steven Lopez. Meow.

Steven is a welterweight Tae Kwon Do two time gold medalist and now he's in Beijing competing alongside his younger sister and brother while their older brother is their coach. Talk about a family affair!

I had the nerve wracking opportunity to meet Hottie Hotterson a couple years ago when he was in Des Moines giving a seminar at one of the tae kwon do schools where my brother works. Todd called to let me know that he was in town and suggested that I come down to 'check him out' - I wasn't sure who he was at the time, but THEN found out that he was voted as one of People magazine's Sexiest Bachelors, I was totally there... and totally smitten.

Todd took this picture of the two of us and I didn't want to let his sweaty, rock hard body go. I was so nervous and can't even remember what I muttered to him when I walked over there, but I'm sure it wasn't too profound. I do remember him telling me that I had 'muscular shoulders' and then I probably wanted to blurt out how white our kids' teeth would be or something intelligent like that... I realized I am one of those people who definitely gets star struck and I cannot play it cool.

Needless to say, I'm pretty stoked to watch him fight next week! Hopefully he won't get kicked in his pretty face...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Louie!

HAPPY Birthday to you,
Happy BIRTHDAY to you,
Happy Birthday DEAR daa-aad,
Happy birthday to YOU!

I hope you had a great 63rd birthday, Louie! Been thinking about you all day and hope you had a great time at Chicago Speak Easy with everybody - I'm sure it was fun spending time together....wish I were there with you!

Know that you're in my thoughts and prayers and that I love you very much! Be blessed as you begin another new year~


Ok, I can't get this out of my mind and keep laughing every time I think of it.

Last night I was watching a rerun of 'Friends' and one of my favorite endings came on... (I'm already giggling again).

Ross wants to play the song 'Celebrate' on his bagpipes for Chandler and Monica's wedding...