Thursday, August 28, 2008

Brides, Batter, and Beauty

I returned to LA last week for a wedding in San Pedro overlooking the ocean. It was beautiful and quite a fun, and refreshingly intimate affair. Dinner, dancing, a program - much more interesting than a reception line. I was even given the opportunity to speak at the wedding and I have to admit I think it went pretty well. The wedding coordinator liked it, so I let her know I was available for hire to write speeches for future weddings (I'm always looking for a job). I admit I was a little nervous to go, but I listened to my elven battle ahead of time and tried to face my fears like a true warrior. It ended up going really well and I found myself in good company and well-taken care of thanks to good friends. I'm glad I went. I spent the rest of the weekend with my old roommate Marcella, who I lived with for all three of my years in the City of Angels, sometimes marked by hellish experiences that bonded us for life. We went to the fashion district on Saturday morning and to a non-English speaking Mexican restaurant for a European lunch. Any lunch where you aren't under any time constraints and you can just sit there for as long as you want and talk for as long as you want is a European lunch. That's how they do it there. I had a number of those kinds of meals on this trip and was grateful to just connect with old friends and strengthen relationships with the people I love and miss so much in California. Sunday morning, we discovered the joy of Blaster Batter for breakfast. It's basically pancake mix in a can, or you can use it for waffles too. Just spray and make a pancake in seconds (and believe it or not it's organic. I could actually pronounce all the ingredients.) Pretty amazing. Only took us 5 seconds to master the art of it. Oh the ingenuity that exists in the country to help us be that much lazier.
Sunday evening my aunt and uncle picked me up and drove me to their new beach house in Huntington Beach. What a great place. I went walking by the ocean and biking everyday I was there and got more free counseling. They're some of my favorite people to talk to. In fact I had a lot of good conversations with a number of interesting individuals on interesting topics, including why it is guys go for trophy girls (If anyone can shed any light on that feel free.) I got to hang out with another house of the coolest girls I know on 17th street. If they had room, I would move in with them. There's a number of places I could live, I'm just having a hard time deciding which one. A lot of variables and unknowns I'm trying to work out but I guess that's life. Speaking of life and European lunches, a year ago at this time I was actually in Europe - the reason I originally started this blog so people could be updated on my month long adventures there. My first country was Switzerland. So in honor of my being at the Matterhorn almost a year ago to the day, I went to the closest Matterhorn I know and spent the day at Disneyland. And yes I clicked my heels as I walked in the entrance under the bridge. After all these years, I still find Disneyland a magical place.

So the trip back to California was a good one, with some journal-worthy experiences that appealed to my good story senses (not going to post those here) and I realized how much I really miss California. Maybe I have become a California girl.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The GRE - Godless, Relegable, Enervating

I recently discovered I'm too dumb to go to graduate school. So what am I going to do now? I'm going to satiate myself with mint desserts and vampire stories (I wish I could say I'm going to Disneyland as I still have my annual pass, but soon enough. And yes I'm into the Twilight series too. It's my guilty pleasure). I took the GRE test Tuesday morning - that could have been my first mistake, my brain is slow in the morning. I thought I was doing quite well until I got to the math section and then an additional verbal section that threw me for a loop. The test nazis always throw in an unscored section just to play with your mind and you don't know which one it will be. I'm pretty sure the section I felt I nailed was the unscored one and the section I did the worst on was the scored. Isn't that the way it goes? It's like the selected vocabulary words they chose to test me on were the ones I just didn't have in the bible-thick stack of flashcards I've been studying with for the past month. And it's not like these are words you even use. Anyone know what soporific means? (Hint: sometimes going to a long meeting at church can make you feel this way.) Needless to say I didn't score as high as I'd hoped and probably below many schools cut-off requirements. After I left the student services building and shoved the rest of my granola bar in my mouth since we're not allowed to eat or drink during the four hour test, I decided I felt a little angry. I don't think a standardized test is a fair assessment of what I know and what I can do. Maybe I've just been out of school too long. I think they should have a life experience part of the test too, for example: If you order a hot dog from a street vendor in New York and ask for the works how many toppings are on your hot dog? Or, how about what kind of shoes hold up best when trekking around Europe for a month?
All I need to decide now is whether or not I should retake the test to try and get a better score, or take it as a sign that I'm not cut out for grad school and eliminate another possibility for my future (process of elimination as a means to eventually figure out what you want to do. I seem to be there now.) What's a beatnik gypsy to do?
Some good news - I got a Queen bed set and comforter for only $25. My mom and sister-in-law definitely love shopping and its' thrill of bargains more than I do but they inducted me in to their club of getting highs off amazing deals when we went to Mervyns for a 75% off sale plus bonuses. I have to admit, I felt a substantial buzz from the experience and liked it.
I've also been reminiscing about where I was at this time last year. Getting ready for my trip to Europe. I will never forget it and am so glad I could do it. Next time, I'm taking someone with me though.