Saturday, October 31, 2009

The psychic on the radio

I listen to Roula & Ryan on 104.1 KRBE, in Houston. In the spirit of Halloween, the radio station decided to bring in a "medium" to give two callers a free reading.

Now, ask me 5 years ago, and I would have been sold on the idea; I would have called in the hopes of finding an answer or a reason to my life. Who doesn't remember Miss Cleo and her free readings!

I only had time to listen to the first call, but it was enough to amuse me.

The first caller had unfortunately lost her brother 2 years ago to a suicide attempt, or success rather. I immediately felt compassion but also pity to hear her subjecting herself to a psychic. The caller wanted to know why her brother had let go and ended his life.

The medium quickly started her reading by stating "I'm getting a 'T' connection to your brother. This could be anything- the name Tim, Timmy or Tommy......?"

No asnwer from the caller.

The medium continued: "This suicide was premeditated. This wasn't his first attempt, and I get a sense that he was worried about surviving the attempt. He thought "what would happen if I survived this?"'

The caller must have felt the medium was full of it because she responded with "I don't understand. How could this be? The way he killed himself, there's no way he could have survived."

It was obvious here that the medium couldn't ask the caller how the brother had died, so the radio host tried to get the caller to shine some light as to how it had happened.

The medium continued by saying "He had a very personal problem, he couldn't talk about it to his best friend, his siblings or family. But he's in a good place now. He's doing fine."

She added "A lot of people feel that people who commit suicide go into a bad place, but as I've done these readings, it's not always true. There are a lot of cases where the spirit will be happy. "

"I'm also seeing mountains and water" the medium added.

At this point, I think the caller pitied her and said that her brother lived in Florida for a while and used to ride his motorcycle at the beach.

"Well then that's where the mountains are coming from!"  said the medium. (Does Florida even have cliffs by the beach??)

The caller finally admitted that her brother had put a gun to his temple and pulled the trigger, resulting in immediate death.

Which lead to strenghtening my opinion on fortune telling, tarot card readings and horoscopes. It's all a bunch of vague generalities that can apply to everyone.

So what did the medium know?

  1. The suicide was premeditated.
    • When was a suicide not premeditated??
  2. The brother had a problem he couldn't talk to anyone about.
    • Well duh. If he could have talked to someone, I'm tempted to say he wouldn't have committed suicide.
  3. Fear of surviving the attempt.
    • Isn't that a little vague? Plus, the caller told her afterwards that this was not possible as he had shot himself in the head. Therefore eliminating any possibilities for survival.
That and the "T" connection was never clarified.

My sister had a session about 2 years ago. The reader told her that she would soon be "expecting" and move in with a guy she was in an open relationship with at the time.

To date, she is still single and childless.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I support his ranting

I support Sebastian's rants but only because they're negative and about his ex-wife; I'm all ears and paying close attention to find out what he truly hates.

"My wife told me once that I wasn't fun. Then I realized it's not that I wasn't fun, it's that I didn't like her and I wanted to make her life no fun. Ren, she was a [EXPLICIT] [EXPLICIT]" said Sebastian.

"And now, I hope it blows up in her face. I don't want her to be happy. She doesn't deserve to be happy. I was never happy with her. " he said.

"Never ever? Not even once?" I asked

"Hmmm..... maybe 3 days, and that was it. I think the only reason why it has lasted so long with her current guy is because they've never spent more than 3 days together (he's off in Iraq). And I think that's the only way she can function. Because when she spends longer than 3 days with anyone, she just goes batshit crazy. I wasted 2 years of my life with her. She's nice right now, and she'll continue being nice until she gets what she wants. He has the money."

"The biggest remorse I have is this debt between us, because at this point it's the only thing that keeps us on speaking terms still. And the trip to Europe will make the repayment take just a little bit longer. But it is SO worth it.

"Oh, I'm sorry it's going to take you even longer to pay the debt back." I said.

"Ren, Ren listen to me. It's Europe. I am SO glad to be going on this trip"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Roses

 This story occurred during the previous entry, Plan B.

Sebastian came home after work, with a small bouquet of roses. The first one he got me was on our second date almost 9 months ago. It was 3 roses;  he was the first guy to EVER get me roses so I was happy to swoon over him.

 This time though, I'm completely shocked and numbingly ask him "Am I seeing this right, or am I just really drunk? Will they still be there tomorrow?" Again he laughs as I continue to giggle.

"4 flowers. Hey, maybe next time I'll get my dozen" I mention.

"Hey now. Don't be picky" he said.

"Oh no- I didn't mean it that way. I just meant, if there was a next time, it could be 5. Like, 3 for the last time, 4 this time, and 5 the next time, and I'd dry them out and make a dozen" I explained.

"Oh, hmmm, nice," he said.

I continued staring at them, all the while wondering why he brought me flowers. So I ask,

"Wait- did you buy these flowers before or after I talked to you drunk?"

He laughs and says "After."

"So..... why did you buy them?"

"Just because. I thought it would be nice" he responds.

"Oh... ok" I quietly add.

A few hours later, as the alcohol is slowly wearing off, I start planning my excuse for bringing the flowers to my work the following morning.

"I feel it's tacky to bring flowers into work. Like.... you're showing them off or something, know what I mean?"

"Yeah. So what? Do you want me to bring them to you?" he asks

"Don't be silly. No... I just have to think of something. I mean.... I can't say I got them tonight and had to take them with me, because then that would make it obvious to everyone that I slept at your place."

"Well, just say that your boyfriend got them for you and you wanted to bring them in" he says.

"No........ Maybe I can say I spent the night at my mom's and you dropped them off there. Wait, no. Not believable."

"Then say that I left them in your car" he said.

Wait a second. Rewind! Did he just say boyfriend? That does not make sense. Crap! I had lost my window of opportunity to clarify. Did he just refer to himself as my boyfriend?

I can't ask now without adding too much emphasis on the situation. I wonder what he meant. Maybe he was speaking in general. Flowers=boyfriend. Hmmmm.... I don't know. I don't want to give it much thought. I want to enjoy the peace.

The next day, the vase nearly broke as it rolled off my car when I was trying to get into it. Luckily I caught it with my hand, and saved it. Once at work, I slipped right on by the lobby but not before being questioned by my receptionist.

"Well well well! What do we have there?! Who is it from??" she asked

I realize now that I gave her a smug look (which in my defense felt like an embarassed look) and said "My friend...." and continued walking to my desk.

"Aww...... how sweet!" she said as she placed her hands on her heart.

Once in my work area, I discreetly placed the vase beside my monitor where it wouldn't catch so much attention. No one noticed. Not even my colleague who sits behind me.

It wasn't until after lunch that my boss clearly announced while everyone was in my area:

"Oooooh, what pretty flowers!!! Whose are they? Who gave them to you??" she said.

I didn't dare respond as 3 other people jumped into the conversation asking me who was the guy lucky enough to send me roses. Since they all trailed off into their own assumptions, I didn't bother to answer anything. My direct colleague was surprised as well and when the frenzy had died down discreetly asked me "So who sent you the flowers?"

"Sebastian" I replied.

"Ah hah.... so you guys are... eh.... back together?" he said.

"Oh, I don't know." I responded

"What do you mean? Aren't you guys on good terms?" he asked.

"Oh, yes, of course. Things are great. I just don't know about that aspect of the relationship......" I said.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Plan B

Oh sh*t.

I messed up. But I have a good reason why. Let's attempt to start from the beginning.

My dad came over this weekend from California to visit the family. I ended up staying at my parent's home on Friday and Saturday because that's what I normally do when my dad comes into town. Remember that he lives and runs his business in California, but is still married to my mother. We're still a family, just.... divided across this continent.

Anywho, around Thursday last week, I noticed that I had skipped two birth control pills in a row on my 2nd week. I use my iPod Touch as my alarm, but since I reset it, the volume on it has been acting out and doesn't always make a sound. Granted the alarm goes off, as I see it on my screen- it just doesn't make the sound effect I need it to to remind me to take that pill at 9 pm every night.

So ladies, you must know that if you miss 2 pills in rows 1 and 2, you are supposed to take them right away, skip a day then take the remaining 2 to put you back on track, AND use a backup method for 1 week after. So I told Sebastian about this, and he took note and said "No worries, we still have condoms."


Fast forward to last night when I drop my dad off at the airport and we're all saying good bye. I had decided I would spend the night at Sebastian's because his apartment is just around the corner. He's still at work when I get there, so I clean up the kitchen, do the dishes and make myself a margarita. Everything is fine. I have another drink, and about 30 minutes later or so, Sebastian calls to see what I'm up to, and it's obvious then that I'm completely drunk. I bust into a furry of giggles and he laughs too and says he'll be home soon.

About 20 minutes later, he enters the apartment with a small bouquet of roses.(To be discussed in tomorrow's blog)

We proceed to take the kissing to the bedroom where he playfully pushes me on the bed, a little harder than I expected and I end up ramming my head on the wall as I lean back. A loud THUD leaves Sebastian with a big GASP look on his face. "Are you okay??" he asks.  "Yeah, I don't feel a thing!" and we bust into a frenzy of laughter.

We then [CENSORED.....CENSORED.....CENSORED], and come back into the living room a while later. He pours himself the leftover mix and I hear my "no babies" alarm- my 9pm reminder for my birth control. I stumble into the kitchen and grab my packet out of my purse. That's when Sebastian turns around to me and says "Hey- weren't we supposed to use protection because of your missed pills last week?"


"[**EXPLICIT***]!!!!! Oh nooooooooo!!!" I scream out.

"Yeah...... yeah....... nice. So what now? Plan B?" he adds

"God damnit!" I say as I drunkenly stomp my foot into the ground. "Crap Sebastian, why didn't you remember? I'm completely drunk!"

"I'm sorry! I just didn't happen to think about it!" he said as he continued laughing.

"Why is it that when I was younger, I never missed a pill, but now that I'm older and supposedly more responsible, I have problems remembering to take them???! CRAP!!" I said.

"I think, subconsciously, you want a baby." he said

Crap. Is that what it meant? But I know I'm not ready for a baby. I know I don't want one right now. Could it be because I see him as an ideal father figure that I'm willing to accept whatever happens??

"You want this baby don't you??" I confronted him

"I mean, it wouldn't be the worst thing to happen. It would just speed things up" he said."But I'm not ready for a baby. We're not ready for a baby" he concluded.

"Yeah, that's what I thought." I replied.

"So plan B?" he asked.

"Yeah..... I'll do it tomorrow after work"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why get me jealous?

BEG went away to a job this past weekend, and while I didn't hear from him at all, I really didn't give him much thought. I was spending time with my family as my father was visiting in from California for the weekend.
I managed to text him to say hi and see what he was up to, where he quickly shot me back:
"Hanging out with Julia and some friends watching the football game, talk to you later"

Wow. Bitter much?

I felt shut out, and I felt like rubbing my Euro trip in his face, but even then I knew it'd be rude to text back and forth while his "special squeeze" was around. I felt to leave it for the next available opportunity.

I crave attention. And when he was around, it felt great, even if I knew I wouldn't give him much of my time. Moreover, he had admitted that he liked having someone to come home to, which made it evident that he was looking for a permanent tail to be at his every beck and call when he was back into town (he travels quite a bit for his job; he's sometimes out for a week at a time.)

Has anyone felt neglected or jealous because some one wasn't paying attention to you like before?

Monday, October 26, 2009

My opinion on Open Relationships

Why do people insist on saying that open relationships are the worst thing possible?

My friend Jennifer gave me the most disgusted look ever when she asked if Sebastian and I were together and I told her "sort of."

"Why would you do that? So you guys are like what? F- Buddies? He can get what he wants, when he wants it?"

I hate that term, and though it may seem like that's all we are, it's not quite true. We're dating. How is that any different than when other people date? I know that a few years ago, I never would have imagined being in this position, but I can't quite dismiss it as being a terrible idea. Even though we are in an open relationship, we are still honest with each other. And we don't have sex with other people. At the current time, neither one of us is dating someone else. I did date two other guys, but I wasn't ready to the idea of being divided by them.

I think the reason why Sebastian prefers that term as opposed to the boyfriend/girlfriend exclusivity titles is because it scares him. I think commitment scares him because it ended so negatively the last time around, and I can finally understand some of it. I didn't understand it before, but I do now. I guess you have to experience the situation to comprehend the motions, right?

I didn't sleep with BEG when I had the chance; I couldn't. I didn't feel completely comfortable. I have to say that a part of me is....... relieved......... and grateful. If Sebastian wasn't around, I would have gone to BEG out of loneliness, but there weren't sparks to begin with. Maybe it had a lot to do with Sebastian being in the picture.

STDs has made dating a lot harder. Sebastian and I agree on this. And I won't sleep with someone new while I'm still with Sebastian. It's not safe.

BEG and I talked about STDs the other day when we met for lunch. I said that the new generation would have it a lot harder with sex because of the percentage of teens having STDs. He said that they had it a lot easier because 1 in 4 teens has an STD and makes it more acceptable as they become more open minded to the fact.

Ok, so maybe he has a point. I think however the only reason why he feels this way is because he told me he has oral herpes and HPV.

I'm currently happy with Sebastian. I'm happy because I can be joyful with him. He's someone I can spend my time with, share new moments with, visit new places and laugh.

Laughter- that's the most important thing for me.

And I'm not falling in love. It's dating. I won't let my walls come down.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Lifetime free flights for baby born on plane"

OMG. Click here to read the story.

This has got to be the luckiest woman ever! She gave birth to her son during mid-flight. While I congratulate the doctor on board as well as the flight attendants, I couldn't help but think about certain restrictions that should be imposed for pregnant women while flying. I mean.... aren't there restrictions? Or is it just restrictions given by doctors?

I want to have a baby on board too!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

He's happy..... but at what cost?

Things with Sebastian have been zen. As we were having dinner last night at Choo Choo Moving Sushi Bar, Sebastian began expressing his excitement for the Euro trip.

"I'm sooooo excited about this trip, aren't you? I mean I'm sorry about having to cut my family vacation in December, but I don't regret it at all- it's f***ing EUROPE!. This is the biggest vacation I've ever taken!" (He's going to his hometown in Redding, California the weekend after we come back from Europe)

"Yeah, lucky you that you have a tour guide to take you to France" I responded.

I was glad that he had enough enthusiasm for the both of us.

And then somehow, the conversation switched to us being "single."

"You know I haven't been unfaithful to you. I'm pretty happy right now. I went on Plenty of Fish the other day, and even though a girl sent me a message, I didn't feel like responding. "

This left me at a standstill because I couldn't figure out what he was happy about. Was he happy in his life right now because he was single? Was he happy with me? I didn't bother to ask because a part of me didn't want to hear rejection. So I just set it aside. And I've said it before, Sebastian gets even cuddlier when I ignore him or brush him off. Last night, in the middle of our sleep, he rolled over to me and hugged me tight. I don't know if he was asleep or awake, but it felt nice.

For right now, we're just in that "open relationship" even though "I don't want to see anyone else" he said.

Things with BEG and I have cooled down; we had lunch the other day after he got back from a week-long job on a rig out in Santa Barbara, CA. Our "relationship" has not changed- besides the fact that there are no amourous sentiments between us. I had made it clear that I didn't want to be exclusive with him. I wouldn't be able to devote 100% of myself to him; I am still dating Sebastian on the side, though I never admitted any of those things to him. I did however admit that I was seeing someone from my past. I just didn't specify how far back I was going.

We had a pretty good time, a lot of laughs. He had previously mentioned that he was seeing someone new, and still wanted to remain friends with me and hang out with his friends as well. He deemed me as "pretty f***ing cool" and wanted to continue being friends.  I mentioned being uncomfortable around his new squeeze and asked him how he would feel if I brought along a new guy into the picture.  He admitted that even though he had moved on and accepted the fact that I wasn't interested in him romantically, he would be jealous to know there was someone else involved.

Jealousy..... Yeah.... I don't understand that either sometimes. I mean, the only time I even considered being with BEG was when I knew he had found someone new and was spending more time with her than with me. I needed to feel jealous to know that he was worth something. WOW.

As of date, I haven't told him I'm going to Europe. I don't know how to break the news......

Friday, October 23, 2009


Continuing with our Euro Trip planning, we've decided to travel from Marseille to Rome by plane. The cost was 146€ per person for a total flight trip of 6 hours, versus 138€ for a train ride about 12 hours. Yeah..... I don't think I'm too excited about the possibility of getting hemorrhoids. Too much sitting hurts my tail bone.

I'm currently waiting at Sebastian's apartment for him to get off work so he can make this booking. So if we plan this right, I will be having breakfast in France, lunch in England, and dinner in Italy on my 25th birthday. I'm pretty excited about that part.

Here is an itinerary of our 12-day trip.

Transportation costs alone equal to approximately $1008 for each person. This includes:
  • Airfare: all 3 segments together $731
    • Houston --> London
    • London-->Paris
    • Marseille-->Rome (separate booking, 146€ )
    • Rome-->Houston
  • Train:
    • Paris-->Marseille 39€
Lodging equals approximately $411 for the two of us.
  • Hotel:
    • London, 2 nights at £29 per night 
    • Paris, 3 nights at 35€ per night 
    • Marseille, 3 nights, free, Family Home
    • Rome, 3 nights at 36€ per night
Currency Converter

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sworn in to the US of A

Today I went to my Citizenship Oath Ceremony in Houston. At 7am, I was sitting right there along with another 1600 applicants and their family guests waiting for the judge to hold a session and legally accept our applications.

I gotta tell you, it's been a very long and expensive road to being sworn as a lawful citizen. It all started in 1993 when my family and I emigrated from France to California in search of that American dream.

After 5 years of countless Employment Permits at $180 each person, lost files by the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service), my father decided to hire lawyer at $1000 to help expedite our case. We were finally granted Permanent Residency Status in September of 1999. The yearly trips to the INS office in Los Angeles were now over. We had our passports stamped by an Immigration officer and were legally now residents.

We had 5 years to wait before we could petition for our right to citizenship, but somewhere along the way, we got lazy and left it aside. Our resident card (green card) was good for 10 years, and we always figured we'd get it taken care of before then.

Well, we surely didn't. About 6 months before the card expired, my mom started pressuring my dad and I to start the citizenship process; her card expires in March of next year. I don't know why it's different if we all obtained residency on the same date. I decided to ask my bosses for a loan for my application, and because they were also naturalized citizens, they were more than willing to help. The cost? $750 for the application.

The citizenship process went by without a glitch for me. It took exactly 4 months from the time my application was received to the Oath Ceremony. In between, I had to go get fingerprinted, and then take the civics test and be interviewed by an officer a couple of months later. My father submitted his application about 45 days before I did, and was right on track as well until the USCIS (United States Citizenship Immigration Service as it is now called) subjected his application for further review. He claimed his taxes in California, but his permanent residence in Texas. Since he was living in California, he would have to apply to be sworn into California, which delayed everything. To date, he has not heard back from the USCIS and has had to renew his green card because it expires next week.

My mother and Sebastian offered to attend, but I knew it would be very long, so I told them not to bother. The ceremony began 3 hours after our appointment date that morning, and 1.5 hours later, we were waiting to be called according to Alien Number to obtain our certificates. I also took 5 minutes to register to vote.

I currently don't have the original Certificate with me and can't share it with you because I handed it over to the Post Office when I went to apply for a passport. YES! I'm finally able to obtain an American Passport. Cost? $100 for the book, and another $60 to expedite and get it back in 2 weeks since I will be traveling in one month.

So it's done. I'm finally one of you! One of my V.Ps at work smugly asked "And you're willing to go to war if need be?" "If that's what it takes to defend my country, I will."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Expenses, Expenses, Ex Pences.

I got the good news this morning- my brother was able to secure us employee rates at the Holiday Inns in London, Paris and Rome. We are averaging out about $50 a night for 9 nights (we will be staying in a family house for 3 nights out of the 12)

The only things left for us to book is the TGV (high speed bullet train) from Paris to Marseille, down south by the Mediterranean Sea. The TGV is a train with a start-to-stop average speed of 173.6 mph. Maximum speed world record is 357mph. You actually don't even feel it going that fast. Cost of the cheapest ticket is 39€, or approximately $58 (1€= $1.49 as of 10/20/09) and the train ride lasts 3½ hours. Not bad for about 500 miles of travel.

We also have to decide on a way to get from Marseille to Rome. The train ride for that trip is 12 hours on a regular train, because the TGVs don't ride there. I still have to wait on ticket prices because their website is down. A plane ticket with British Airways is 146€, but takes 6 hours. It goes from Marseille, back to their hub in London, then down to Rome. We are weighing the pros and cons against the train trip. Even though we feel it'd be nice to see the countryside, I've done 6 hours of it before, and trust me, it isn't all that great.  So unless the price is half of that, we won't be considering the train.

I've managed to calculate the cost of Airfare, Hotel and the last two trains/plane, and so far, I've come up to $2425 for both of us. I won't be calculating food, attractions and shopping- we won't know how much we spent until the trip is over. But overall, we estimate a frugal $1500 each. I've capped my limit at $2000.

I also have a bank account in France with Euros, and will be using that to pay for the things when needed. Sebastian agreed to split the costs once back home. In the end, a Euro is still worth the same today and next month, whereas a dollar fluctuates. At the beginning of the year, 1€ was $1.30, so a lot has changed.
I figure it's best if he handles London, while I deal with France and Italy and their Euros.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A taste of Europe

Well, it looks like New Orleans will have to wait. I don't think Sebastian and I will be going any time soon.

Last Tuesday, while at work, amidst vacation talk with my coworker for the end of the year, I started feeling a bit bummed out about not getting to do what I really wanted. Another year had passed and I had saved enough money to travel abroad, but not really serious about doing it.

I texted Sebastian:

Me: I'm getting a big itch to take off to France for Thanksgiving......
Sebastian: You find any cheap tickets to help scratch that itch?
Me: $800 for 9 days. Sound tempting to you? I'm doing research and finding friends along the way who can lodge.
Sebastian: Sounds nice.... Yeah might as well while we're young.

I decided to wait until later that evening when we could talk it over more seriously. I only had 20 hours of vacation left, but I wouldn't be able to go in January before classes started because my coworker was leaving for 3 weeks to Colombia. My time was now, and it was nearing.

The very next day, Sebastian and I talked with our bosses to see the possibility of getting that time off. My boss was more than willing to let me take 2 weeks if I needed it- unpaid of course. The end of the year would prove to be a slow season for us, and she was more than glad to unload me as long as possible to save on a paycheck.

Sebastian got the time off approved, and called to check up on me. The very next day, I went to his place to continue doing the research, and the following day, we booked our tickets. After many time restraints and schedule conflicts, we settled on London, Paris, Marseille and Rome. I had to sacrifice Pisa, Italy to spend an extra day to see my brother, sister and their friends in Marseille, France. My brother told me we could use his mother's house for our stay (3 days).

Here's a preview of Marseille:

We will be traveling November 24th to December 6th, which means I will be spending my 25th birthday in Rome at the time.Sebastian is very exited about this trip because it will be his first time out of the States. He's really looking forward to getting a stamp on his passport from each country, which I found to be really cute.

I don't have my American passport yet, and I will have to expedite it when I get my certificate at the Citizenship Oath Ceremony this Wednesday. I have my French passport, which I can use when I'm in Europe, but won't be able to use it to come back into the states because I will no longer have my Green Card.

I'm still awaiting the word from my brother if he can use his Employee discount at the Holiday Inn hotels in London, Paris and Rome. I hope so because the rates were great.

So that's it- I've finally got something to look forward to. It's official, the countdown begins.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quit playing the victim!

My mother played the guilt card. I needed to take my grandma out of Houston one of these weekends because she can't drive out to anywhere, else she'll get lost (my mom, not my grandma.)
She knows that by making me feel guilty, she'll get what she wants. However, she also knows that by doing so, she will get the irate version of me.

My parents have comfortably played helpless ever since I could speak perfect english-for the last 12 years or so. Whenever I didn't want to ask someone for directions because I was shy, my dad would throw it in my face and say "Are you embarassed?? You're not helping because you're selfish."

Yep. Guilt trips got them everything they wanted.

And I believed it too, because when you're young, you believe everything your parents tell you; and I believed my dad until just a couple of years ago, when I realized he was talking out of his ass about 50% of the time.

When I visited my brother in France, he cautiously gave me a piece of advice that has since stuck with me:
"Manny (our dad) can talk a lot of nonsense. Don't believe everything he says or take it seriously."

That's right- my brother refers to our father by his first name. I understand him now; My father wasn't a present figure in his life, and when he was, he criticized him most of the time.

So when I was old enough, I started planning the family trips. I made the reservations, and planned out the itinerary. Anyone who's gone on vacation will agree that the itinerary is probably the most tedious work. In a sense, it helped me out in my adult life, though it sometimes made me feel like a control freak. Then again, all fingers pointed to me if I ever screwed up or missed something along the planning process. The positive aspect of these experiences was that I could plan everything on what I wanted to see. My parents would be none the wiser and never realize they'd missed out on something for their taste.

Since then, I've always scheduled my parent's trips around the country. I only screwed up once, and I got chewed out for it bad. I had reserved with Expedia, and as I was finishing up with the credit card numbers, expiration date and verification code, I went through a tunnel and lost the call. I received an itinerary that night by email, and assumed the flights were booked. The day of the trip, the airline told my dad that a ticket had never been purchased. It turned out that Expedia didn't confirm the order because of the dropped call, and what I had received was a confirmation to an itinerary, not an actual booking.

I've never purchased from Expedia since then. I go directly with the airline. I use them as a search engine, and get 100% confirmation when I book directly with the airline........... at the same price. At the time, Expedia was charging a booking fee of about $7.

Sometimes, I feel stressed because I know they were doing all of these things on their own when I was young. They never seemed to show a problem. But now that I'm older, all of a sudden, they're handicapped. When we were out at the Riverwalk in San Antonio yesterday looking to take a tour on a river boat, my mother turned to me and said "Ask him how much the tickets are and where we can buy them."

I snapped and said "Can't you ask him??"

My mom speaks English. Not 100% perfect, but very well compared to others. She plays the victim and has gotten very comfortable in knowing I'll do, write, call wherever she needs to. ANd these things take time. When I come home, I want to unwind, not continue working on her tasks. Supposedly, my job is stress free because I sit in an office all day, and she does manual labor and is physically tired.

My mind is running at full speed when I come home, and all I want to do is zone out for at least 30 minutes. Is that selfish?

Enjoy the pictures from the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch Animal Safari in San Antonio from this past weekend.

Friday, October 16, 2009

U2/MUSE Concert Tour

It was my first real concert.

I've been to some concerts in the past, but never to one that I was really looking forward to.
And I wasn't even there for U2. I was there for the opening act: MUSE, a UK alternative rock band.

I heard them for the first time when I was abroad in France in 2006-07. I fell in love with them and have been listening to their music religiously. It's unfortunate that they are not mainstream in the US; however they do really well in Europe. They sell out for concerts in Paris and Germany, as well as in England.

So it came as a complete shock when last week, I saw the billboard for the U2 360° Tour, and written below:

Was it a coincidence that Sebastian and I were talking about going to their concert if they EVER came to town??

I remembered my colleague saying he had a ticket to the show, and I asked him if he was still thinking of going. He told me his friend still had an extra ticket- for the floor, but wouldn't know until later that night if he was selling to a friend or not. The cost: $100.

I was more than prepared to buy it.

Later that week, my colleague notified me that the friend had in fact sold the ticket to someone else. I was bummed out that I wouldn't be able to go because second tier tickets were so far up and $100 each. That weekend, my colleague called to surprise me that the ticket had not been sold, and asked if I was still interested.

YES!!! How much?

I gave him the money the next day and got my ticket. 

Once there, we cut in line, pissed a whole bunch of people off and got in place behind the outer circle, where we knew they would be walking, to await the first act.


Enjoy the show,



Thursday, October 15, 2009

And today's Forecast....

I get Sebastian.
Actually, I don't.

Or maybe I do, and I'm trying to brave it out and be a tough girl.

So we've decided to spend Halloween together. I went online this past weekend while I was at his place and placed the order for his Beetlejuice outfit (he paid for it.)

I went home on Sunday to have dinner with my family and borrowed the black dress that has been used for costumes since 1997. I tried it on and it felt a little bigger than what I remembered it to be. I'll have to make some adjustments to it and use some lace to give it that creepy-emo effect. Sebastian won't be donning a wig. They looked horrible online and very crappy. I suggested he grow his hair out until then and spray paint it green and white.

Sebastian also spent most of Saturday afternoon slaving over a hot stove making his famous enchiladas. After he had finished boiling the chicken, he comes to show me the pot and says "See? Now we'll have chicken broth for this winter." I couldn't help but think "Wow, you expect us to still be 'together' then?" My best friend is convinced he is making progress. I still think he won't commit.

After the RHPS show on Saturday night, I found out the movie would be playing again on the 30th and 31st. Sebastian and I had originally agreed to go on the 31st, but my friends will most likely get together at a club that night, and I would rather do that than spend the entire night at the movies. I told him we could go on Friday night instead and he agreed. He also mentioned in passing that his friends would be throwing a party at their house, and that we could possibly go. I added that I wanted to take my sisters trick-o-treating, and asked him if he would accompany given that we would be wearing costumes. He said yes.

I just don't know what to think. I'm pretty sure we won't be spending the holidays together. My family still thinks we're together, but I know he wouldn't come over for family dinner because he feels uncomfortable. I understand the whole language barrier thing, but not having him there would raise questions from my parents. Questions of which I'm not sure how to answer.

I haven't given our birthdays much thought either. We are 2 weeks apart; his 27th, my 25th, and I'd like to do something nice for both of ours, but really don't know if it's my place to. He only has a couple of friends here in Houston. He only ventures out with me; but he's also a homebody like me. We still have each others' keys; he gave it back to me about a month after we broke up, and I gave him mine about 2 weeks after I moved into my new pad. I still expect him to call before he comes over; I don't expect him to drop by unnounced. I do the same thing with him. The only time I went out of the blue was when I was having doubts. I felt he was still too close to the ex-wife, and I would show up unexpectedly thinking I'd catch them together, or with someone else.

I admit I was very untrusting and looking for imperfections.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I needed retail therapy

I did quite a bit of shopping within the past week. And it actually only happened when I wasn't sleeping at home; I haven't slept in my bed since last Tuesday night. I guess boredom is starting to creep up on me.

Either that, or I needed to splurge.

I managed to go to the thrift store last week and paid $39.90 for:

  • 3 purses, (1 of which was by Nine West, the other by Liz Clairborne),
  • 3 jeans (Express, Lei and Sonoma),
  • 1 Pair black Polyester/Spandex slacks (New York & Company; not pictured),
  • 5 turtle necks; one of which I wore and Sebastian complimented me on; he had no idea where I'd bought it.
I also got a 30% discount for my next Sunday purchase which I gave to my mom. I like shopping second hand, but I don't like going to that store because their stuff is dusty, and not all the dresssing rooms have mirrors. I leave with itchy eyes and a runny nose.

As I've grown up, I've developed a more feminine taste for shoes and purses. I don't need to wear brand, because I hang out mostly with guys- and can they really tell designers apart? Most likely not. And if he can, he's not the one for me.

I also went to Target and bought a Converse blouse because it was on sale for $19.99 and fit my frame very well; regular price is $22.99. Then yesterday, I went to Ross and bought 4 pairs of shoes for about $71.

So I might not be exercising frugality when I pay full price at a "department" store, but I still manage to shop within my price range. I hardly ever pay over $30 for a pair of shoes, unless it's tennis shoes, and brand (that I will pay for). I manage to stay at $20. And Ross always has beautiful shoes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

America’s Worst Job is the World’s Oldest Profession.

I pulled out an old paper I'd written for an English class last year, and thought I would share with you what I consider to be the worst job in the US. I deleted my footnotes and bibliography.

It is known as the world’s oldest and most secretive profession— a service exceptionally popular, nonetheless very taboo. Prostitution has been around for thousands of years, and remains to this day an unacceptable means of income in the United States. Though prostitution has been legalized in some parts of the world, it is only permissible in Rhode Island and certain counties of Nevada. In order to consider prostitution as one of the worst jobs of the United States, it is important to focus on the reasons why women choose to be prostitutes, the risks they face, and the working conditions.

The first documentation of female prostitution dates back to 2400 BCE in Sumer. Located in Ancient Mesopotamia, the Sumerian records listed prostitution as a profession that was closely associated with temple service. Throughout the millennia, women have continued with this ancient line of work, and have been victims to new obstacles. Due to the nature of the work, it has become increasingly difficult to accurately document the number of prostitutes and customers. Most studies and samples are obtained through jail accounts, STD clinics and rehabilitation centers, but lack validity and reliability. According to a post made on Western Michigan University’s website, “Prostitution often begins in adolescence and is characterized by runaway behavior, general delinquency…”. No education or skill is required for this occupation, with a study revealing that 81% of prostitutes had not earned a high school diploma, and that nearly half had no prior work history.

Most women fall into the trap of prostitution for a few reasons, including but not limited to economic need, pressure from others, having been a victim of early childhood sexual abuse, and the need to support a drug habit. As a result of these hardships, women with limited education and minimal work experience see prostitution as a way to succeed when there are no other possibilities available.

Unlike other conventional jobs, prostitution is prone to health risks and violence. It is a misconception that prostitution is a leading cause of sexually transmitted diseases. “Prostitutes are most at risk from transmission occurring from personal relationships.” The U.S. Department of Health has concluded that sexually transmitted diseases account for only 3-5% of cases, indicating that prostitutes are not significant carriers of HIV. On the other hand, the biggest problem a prostitute may face is physical violence. Women are most likely to be abused by their clients, accounting for 60% of mistreatment, followed by police authority and domestic partners. These types of violence acts include being mutilated, kidnapped, threatened with a weapon, and thrown from a vehicle. Drug use is also common amongst prostitutes, with crack-cocaine being the most prevalent type. Prostitutes may use drugs “as a way of coping with the act of prostitution… or as a means of supporting a drug habit”. As a result, about 70% of prostitutes are or will become addicted to drugs.

There are many different types of prostitutions, which occur in brothels, bars and clubs. Call girls at escort agencies and higher end prostitutes are better looking, younger and healthier. Brothels provide a safer environment for both the client and prostitute with better security. Street prostitution is the most demeaning sector of this illicit business. Most prostitutes are controlled by a pimp and have very little protection once roaming the streets. Salaries for prostitute vary sufficiently since “reliable representative data on earnings in prostitution are difficult to obtain.” A study claims that prostitutes are well paid as they draw their comparison analysis against low-skilled service workers. Back in 1990, a prostitute’s average salary was $23,845, which would be $35,000 by today’s standards.

While it is impossible to determine the number of prostitutes who currently work, or have worked in the past, the National Task Force on Prostitution proposed that over 1 million people in the United States have taken part of this lucrative business. In conclusion, the reason why prostitution is one of the worst jobs results from its high turnover of new workers, its unsafe working conditions, and demeaning ideology.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A string of mixed signals

Following this week, things went by.... as half expected. I was pushed and pulled into two different directions. Not knowing which road to take, I decided to opt for both.

Though I had officially pulled the plug with BEG and told him I wanted to be only friends, he insisted I kept sending him mixed signals. He even remarked at one point "You sure do hang out with a lot of guys" when I told him I wouldn't be able to spend Friday or Saturday with him because I'd made other plans with my other guy friends. He was convinced I was going on other dates; at which is not 100% true. He wrote asking if I was being "friendly" with my other guy friends. I responded "No." He asked if I was using him until someone else came along. Again, I said no.

No, there are no new guys. Well, there are two others, but I haven't made any advancements towards them. These guys are simply there in the background, awaiting my acceptance to go get dinner. Since I met these guys through Plenty of Fish before I started my relationship with Sebastian in March, I'm not too concerned about what they think of me. They do know that I dated, and they are merely guy "friends" to me. Actually, they're hardly even that since I don't know that well.

So here's a rundown of what happened from Wednesday to today:

Wednesday: I don't know how it happened, but I ended up going to BEG's house for the first time to watch a couple of movies and have Pizza.  The only reason why I agreed to go was because his gay girl friend Lauren was there; I had met her last week at her music show. She was pretty cool, and I actually enjoyed her company. Around 8:30, she went into downtown for practice, which left BEG and I alone. But nothing happened. He offered to cuddle with me, and as I lay my head on his lap, he softly caressed my hand and shoulder. It made me comfortable. By 10:30, I decided to leave and head over to Sebastian, who lives 5 miles away. He had called me earlier that day on my way to BEG's and I had asked him if I could stay at his place after the movies. He automatically agreed. As soon as I walked into Sebastian's place, I crashed on the bed and fell fast asleep.

Thursday: I think I was feeling rather bored and messaged BEG to see what he was doing. Since Flashforward was playing that night, I told him I wanted to see it. This time, I decided to invite him to my place, but he said he wouldn't have a car because Lauren (the gay friend) was going to use it to go to practice. He offered to watch it at his place, and I found myself driving the 30+miles again to his place. We had leftover pizza and watched the show. However, there was so much talking, that I only watched half of it. Lauren later left us alone again to go to her practice.

BEG decided to lay down on the couch and have me lay on top of him. He was slowly putting me to sleep with his caresses when he says "You know, I canceled a date to hang out with you tonight." I quickly shot back "Why??? Don't do that!"

My phone buzzed. I looked at the caller ID: Sebastian. I pressed ignore, and quickly got up; and that's where I think I made it obvious that I had other plans. BEG didn't say anything, but I noticed a shift in mood. Knowing that Sebastian would be at the gym that night, I wanted to stop by his place to catch the first two episodes of Desperate Housewives that I had missed. I said goodnight to BEG and drove to Sebastian's, who was leaving just as I got there. He told me he'd go do some grocery shopping after the gym.  I took a shower there, and got to streaming online. About two hours later, Sebastian called me to say "I'm here at Walmart, in the cereal aisle. Pick any cereal you want."  I thought it was cute the way he offered; I chose Golden Grahams.

Friday: Let me remember..... Oh that's right, I came to my mom's to visit my grandma and sisters. I had planned to stay the night, until Sebastian called me during his break. "Are we.... doing anything tonight?" he asked me.

How sweet, he wants to hang out.

Me: Um.... I don't know..... are we?

Sebastian: I don't know...... you tell me.

Me: I guess we could do something tonight. You hungry?

Sebastian: A little. You want to do Zio's? (Italian Restaurant on his side of town.)

Me: Sure. Let me finish up here, and I'll meet you there.

I decide to talk to my grandma a little more and began to run late. I leave my house around 8:00 and meet Sebastian at the restaurant at 9:00. We have a quiet dinner, enjoy a few laughs and head back to his place. He asks me what we were doing this weekend and I tell him that I made plans with friends when he told me his schedule was going to be different. Turns out he had the entire weekend free, but I couldn't cancel on my friends.

Saturday: I'm to take BEG and his friends to the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the River Oaks theater. When I tell Sebastian this, he asks "Oh, can't I come?" to which I give him a confused look. As I'm about to respond with "Well, how do I introduce you to people? Cause you're more than just a 'friend' " he says "Oh no, it's okay. Go with your friends. I'll spend some time with Jason and Lorraine. I'm making enchiladas today." "Good, save me some" I say.

I'm also supposed to meet my Plenty of Fish friend David for lunch. We met online while Sebastian and I were still an item. He wanted dating advice and we quickly bonded. We shared a platonic friendship, with no ambiguity present between us. We had met in person once to have lunch over the summer and had gotten along very well. We communicate through emails since he is always traveling. I had told him mid week that we should have lunch on Saturday afternoon at a restaurant in my area. At the time, I wasn't planning on spending Friday night at Sebastian's. The next day, I completely lost track of time, and when I saw David's text to meet at 1pm, I soon saw he had sent it two hours previously. It was already 1:10 and I was all the way up north, still 25 miles away.

I felt like shit. I had carelessly passed up on a friend. And I wasn't happy. I had let Sebastian come between my friend and I. I grumpily sat on the couch, and told him what had happened.

"I'm sorry I f**ked with your time" he said.

"Yeah, literally." I replied.

Later that night, I texted BEG to see if he was free, to which he replied he was having a crisis with his friends. One of them wasn't going, and risked canceling for everyone else.

Crisis was averted  as BEG, Lauren and a few other friends, met in front of the theater around 11:30pm. And then I noticed the change. BEG was distant. And I knew why. He had gone on a date earlier that day, and for all I know, it had gone well. About an hour into the movie, BEG is texting someone. I don't read what it says, but I see the name Julie on the Contact slot. It's probably his date. But why is she texting at this hour? it's after 1:30

The movie over, I drive back up to Sebastian's house, who is still up, watching a series online. We talk and kill time. I tell him I want to travel. "We just got back from Austin last week" he mentions. "No, it's not that. I need to get out of Houston. I want to splurge" I say. "You want to do New Orleans?" he asks. "Yes, let's do it." I reply.

We finally go to bed at 4 am.

Sunday: I'm used to receiving a text from BEG in the mornings, but this time, nothing. I don't know if I'm sad or relieved that he's not quite there anymore. But hey, this is what I pushed him to do, right? So I can only blame myself. As soon as all the wonderful things start popping into my head, I quickly begin concentrating on the negative things.....

So where's that bill of health exactly?

I received a text a couple of hours later, but it's a random one. Well..... almost like all his other random ones, but this one doesn't make sense. I reply, but I don't receive anything in return.

He probably sent it to me by mistake. 

Sebastian is still sleeping beside me. I get his iPhone and start catching up on my blog subscriptions.

I'm supposed to go to my neighbor's art show in my neighborhood, but once again, I leave Sebastian's place extremely late. Then, once on the road, I realize I've left the leftover enchiladas at his place. I double head back to his place to get my food. He kisses me good bye and I hit the road once again.

I call my mother who has been at the exhibition for 30 minutes already, and is ready to leave. I suggest we meet for dinner, but she gets lost along the way, and tell her to head back home and stop at a restaurant around the corner. I text BEG to vent out, but he tells me he's busy, sorry and "ttyl".

I've just been dumped.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I'm sorry I'm late!

This originally is meant to be posted on Thursdays, but I just read Steph's blog today and forgot about "group blog thursday"

1. Your Favorite beverage:
 Orangina. Think of it as a Mimosa, but without the alcohol.

2. Your hometown

I've got two:
Pessac, France: birth to 8 years old

And Hemet, California
12-21 years old

(I lived in Whittier, California between the ages of 8-12)

3. Your favorite TV show:

4. Your Occupation/You are in school for

Current Employment:
Project Coordinator for an EIFS installer (synthetic stucco)

What I'm in School for:

5. Your first car

The first set of wheels I ended up driving was a full size van for the summer before college.

But the first car I owned was a 1991 Ford Tempo

6. Your favorite dish
Pad thai at a Thai Restaurant in Hemet

7. Celebrity you've been told to resemble

Christina Vidal from Freaky Friday, but I'm not dark like she is.

8. Celebrity on your "to do" list

I don't have one! They change with the summer Blockbuster's. This year it's Shia Labeouf

9. Favorite Childhood toy
Polly Pocket. Coincidentally, my mother never bought me one because they were too expensive at the time.

10. Any Random picture