Monday, July 25, 2005

Ego Boost Compliments of the DMV

Don't know who out there is reading this, but there is a possibility you don't know me very well. I guess there is a chance we could know each other but just don't see each other/talk on a regular basis. Today's post is dedicated to that just that reason - that people change when you don't see them much.

I got my renewed license from the DMV today in the mail. I dread having my picture taken at the DMV - do they every turn out good? - but then I figure this picture can't POSSIBLY be worst than the last. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the envelope and out pops my new photo ID. And it wasn't too bad. Not bad at all.

So, I got out my old ID and compared the two. I had no idea I had changed so much. No wonder the bouncers at the door made me jump through all those hoops: in addition to showing them my ID, I have been asked to smile, to show proof of other self on other forms of ID and to have my friends vouch for me. Now I see why.

Without further ado, here are my old and new DMV pics:

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Feel-Good Story of the Day

So, here is a little tale that has it all: Tragic Loss, a Harrowing Journey and a Miraculous Discovery at the end makes this the feel-good story of the year!

When Mike came home from HI the other night, he was smart enough to come bearing gifts - several of them in fact. Sarongs, a shell necklace/bracelet set, gold earrings and a pretty gold bracelet. The bracelet and earrings are compliments of Turtle Beach and as such bear the emblem of their namesake. Okay, so that was what? 2 days ago? (Did I ever tell you that I lost the bracelet he bought me in Greece? The only thing I can think of is that we were wrestling on the beach one day - both dove after a football - and I think the clasp broke. Consequently, it has never been seen again. Important to the story.)

So, these earrings, while not necessarily my style (if he ever picks up an engagement ring for me, I am so telling him to talk to my girlfriends first) are in no way, shape or form on par with the Magic Mountain Necklace of Cartoony Doom. They are cute - small and quality. But they are the jangly kind - like the kind my friend lost at Ms. Kitty's in LA with the little Christmas Tree hook type post. Unfortunately, Hawaiians do not feel the need to include the little rubber pieces that make them stay put in one's ear but I wanted to wear them today with my bracelet. So, throwing all voices of caution to the wind (like I usually do) I wore them anyway.

I checked on them once or twice (still there!) and then forgot about them, those friendly little squatters in my earlobes. But, after lunch, I thought about them again and WOE UNTO ME! one of them had been hijacked! Or eloped with my sunglasses (which are still! missing!). I spent 30 minutes, walking the floors of my building. Retracing all my steps. Posting flyers of "REWARD! LOST EARRING! ANSWERS TO THE NAME OF SPARKY!" In the midst of all this, the thoughts kept rushing into my head, "He picked these out for you. He's sentimental. He's going to be upset. That's the 2nd piece of jewelry you've lost. You've only had these earrings 2 days! You'll never get anything nice from him again!" I lovingly laid the remaining earring in a safe place - the cup console in the car. It looked so bereft - sad and alone without it's perfect match.

I decided to retrace my steps further. Although I had only been out of the building once during the day, I figured it was worth a try. The odds were against me, but no attempt was too great. In my grief, I was afraid I would miss it or that someone else stepped on it, picked it up, or put it in their nose. That I would be too late. I started bracing myself for the realization that I would never see it again. Suddenly, on a quick detour through the cafeteria, I saw a shiny yellow glint on the floor! There, he was! My beloved earring of the Island! Still whole, still precious, and although the chances of it being stepped on were high, it is undamaged. Disaster averted!

I went back to my desk and cut up a pencil eraser. Then headed to my car and reunited the pair. Theirs was a joyous reunion. I put them in my lobes, securely in place with the homemade eraser backings.

Safe and Sound.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Unexpected Big Wave


Mike's Big Wave
originally uploaded by
Darling Clementine.

When you see a big wave coming, do not tell your reluctant muse to turn his back to it, allowing him to get soaked. Even if it would make a cool picture.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Too busy to Blog

It's summertime and everyone is either too busy - or too bored - to blog. Even the very word, "B-L-O-G" just sounds kind of blah, doesn't it? Like it's been sitting out in the sun too long and started to melt.

Anyway, my birthday was fun. Even the DMV wasn't too bad - I mean, as good as standing in line at the DMV can get. I parked the car in the lot and walked over to the main door, optimistically telling myself that I will be in and out of here in a matter of mere minutes! and completely ignoring the line of bored people that spilled out the door, poured onto the sidewalk, and clung to the side of the building. As soon as I recognized the line for what it was, I sighed dejectedly and shuffled my way to the back. It's always interesting - the people you meet at the DMV. Everybody's gotta be there at one time or another - it's one of those few similarities that unite our melting pot society here in the US of A - a singular hatred of the DMV. That and waiting until the last minute to register or renew our driving related issues. So, as I waited in line, I passed the time by unabashedly checking out the various people waiting in line. First, I tried to covertly observe the passionate couple making out behind me. Before I actually saw them, all I heard were the wet, sucking sounds of people loudly and enthusiasticly kissing. (Romantic, isn't it?) When I didn't hear them stop and come up for air, I figured I could at least turn around and sneak a peek at the romantic tonsil-hockey rendevous. I think that was about the time they paused their smoochfest and both turned to stare me down as they caught me looking at them. After that, I kept my eyes firmly facing forward and tried to guess if the Middle Eastern lads ahead of me were actually speaking a real language or just something the two of them made up.

Once inside the actual building, it was relatively empty of people. I felt like I was in one of those clubs that have no one inside, but keep the long line of people waiting outside just to keep up the appearance of being THE place to be. I don't think the DMV can get away with that kind of behavior... unless, maybe they installed a disco ball or something. Yeah, right next to the screen that announces which number is being called next...

I read the paper while I waited and before I could finish the entire comics (the bastard who was reading the paper first TOTALLY hogged that page), my number was called. I was afraid I was going to have to do the vision test and take a written test to renew my license, but I guess they just wanted my money. Oh, and I had to take a new picture, but since my last one was so bad, let's just say I'm not heartbroken by that fact. All in all, I was done in about an hour and on my way to start the actual celebrating of my birthday.

I walked along one of the main drags through Hillcrest, treating myself to lunch in the process, to kill some time while waiting for some friends to show up at the
designated bar. (It's hip! It's cool! It's blue!) A cute girl walking an equally cute terrier mix strolled past me and I couldn't help but think she looked vaguely familiar. When I rapidly scrolled through all the useless bits of trivia in my head, I pinpointed her as one of my internet friends - those mysterious people you talk to online, but have never actually met face to face. Being that I am one of those face to face kind of people, I took off at a jog, trotting after this lady and her dog. Luckily, they stopped at the crosswalk on the corner and I had my opportunity to accost her introduce myself.

(Walking beside her) "Hi! Are you on
Myspace?" (God, am I smooth??)
(Her, walking a little faster) "Yeah....." (Open-ended response clearly indicated that she thought I was crazy.)
(Me, jogging now, trying to keep up) "Did you just adopt your dog?" (How was I supposed to know these are all used as pickup lines?)
(Her, obviously trying to get away from me) "Yeah...."
(Wait, is she slowing down?) "I think you're one of my myspace friends."

She finally slowed down, believing that I wasn't some kind of deranged killer or at least, not a killer. We chatted for a few seconds and she let me pet her dog, Cooper, who is even cuter in real life than on-line. All in all, the intro was rocky, but the meeting was a success.

Finally, back at the bar, I sipped a mojito while waiting for my friends. I scored a perfect spot with a table in the window, so I was able to people watch for the half hour or so before people got there. Thanks to Cheryl, Nowell, Nicole, and Devlynn (who staggered in carrying a bouquet of sunflowers bigger than her!) for stopping by, having a drink, staying to chat and catch up, and celebrate my day. I was worried that I was going to feel a little alone/despondent/left out/whatever since Mike was out of town, but you guys cheered me up and left me thinking, "Mike? Who's Mike?"

That's all for now - got a bit long-winded on this one.
Over & Out!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Lies... all lies

I haven't written for a looooooooooong time. Even grading on a sliding scale for my procrastinating self, it's been a while. Bad, bad monkey. I could say that I've just been so caught up in other things, like extravaganzas, galas and other BIG! EVENTS! but that would not be true. It would be so very opposite in fact... so, no more excuses. No bald-faced lies. I. just. haven't. written.

Smack my hand. There, make you feel better? Okay, now that it's all out of your system...

I have a bunch of stuff to post, I'm sure. But, it's like when someone asks you your address or telephone number and all of the sudden you blank. You stand there, sputtering and looking like an idiot until you quit being embarrassed and voila! it comes back to you in a flash. No, that's never happened to me either, but if it did, it would kind of be like right now... knowing things have happened, but not remembering really what they were. Or where I should even start.

To jog my memory for the next time, I will soon tell you about my low-key birthday party (which is today! happy 27 to me!) that I was forced to arrange for myself, my pre-birthday getaway that my BF allowed me to plan and then graciously paid for, the 4th of July and all the reasons I just can't stand Hawaii. Most of these involve some story and lots of pictures. But everyone likes pictures, right? And at this point, you're probably just hoping I shut up soon anyway.

The one thing I will touch on is the fact that I have a new nephew. Cole Jaxon was born on July 5th - one day late in true Barrera fashion. Why my SIL wouldn't wait until the 12th to have this kid is beyond me. She could have saved any money on a separate birthday present for me since having a relation born on my birthday in tribute is more than adequate. However, SOME people didn't see the importance of this and I will try and grumble a little more quietly in the future. I was sick with a bad cold at the time Cole was born, so I didn't make it to the hospital. In fact, I didn't get to meet him until this past weekend, when I went to my folk's house for dinner. In the past, when new parents, all aglow with love and adoration for their little bundle of joy asked if I wanted to hold the new baby, I deferred. "Uh, maybe later, thanks." I didn't mind holding the kid... I just didn't want to be put on the spot. Now, that I have 2 nieces under my belt, I'm an old pro at this. I walked in the door, "Hey, how's everybody doing? Fine? Good to hear.. where's the baby?" Someone reluctantly hands him over and he's in my arms, all 8 lbs of him. He's small and warm and smells like clean babies do. He struggles to open his eyes for a couple minutes, then gives up, yawns and goes back to sleep. What a life. Don't accuse me of being baby-hungry. I'm not sure I could do this full-time at this point in my life. But man-oh-man, it sure is fun to visit.

Anyway, that's about it. I'm leaving work early today (duh! it's my BIRTH-day!) and treating myself to a present... standing in line at the DMV to renew my license since it expires today. Special thanks to the bouncer who pointed this out to me last weekend...