The Journaler

This, in some ways, is a window to my soul: my book is open. This is an honest reflection where I embrace the highs and lows, ups and downs, roller coaster of emotions I am often riding, the good, the bad, and the extremely ugly...but this is me, and this is my adventure...By revealing myself honestly I hope to inspire and encourage, because we all struggle sometimes and it's nice to know we're not alone. This is my experience as a small town girl living in a big city, trying to make my way while taking lots and lots of detours...

April 28, 2011


I know I definitely should not be using this internet coined expression, but it just seems to be the only appropriate (or obviously inappropriate) way to go. I oh man; this post I will tell you right now is a rant - I am truly "journaling" right now as I tend to feel most inspired to write in my journal when I am feeling particularly peeved. HUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

So what's the big drama you ask??? There I was going about my week - having a great one I might add - working away, getting things done, getting ahead, only to then discover that my car had been towed. My roommates are out of town so I had to call a cab....sure, ya know, just add it to my tab...and I was told by the people at the tow place that unless I arrived within 20 minutes, the cost for my car to stay in their huuuge empty lot was gonna be majorly bumped up. I should add that as I was going to call the cab my phone decided to shut down; it's cool, ya know, just keep it comin, keep throwin those lemons at me, see if I care!!! I have already had 2 parking tickets this month, so like I said, put it on my tab, b****!

To my grateful relief, 1) the cab took cards, and 2) I arrived 20 minutes after the "20 minutes," because well, I live really far away but the lady was so nice, she didn't bump up the already sky high price. Thank you wonderful lady, bless you. Curse you awful person who towed my car claiming it was blocking your driveway when I am 150% sure that it was not and have the pictures to prove it! That's right! I drove back to the exact spot I was parked in, parked my car, and took pictures, because I guess I am crazy, but I wanted to prove that I was totally wronged, if only to myself and my family.

I know I'm being way overly dramatic. But pretend like this is my "reality show" and I'm just tellin it like it is.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh goodness that felt good. Thanks for listening, and please feel free to vent to me anytime, I'm a great listener : )

Now, I am brushing it off and walking away. In the long haul this matters zip, zilch, zero, nada, nothin.

And now, I feel bad because having been super busy today at work I didn't hear a word about the horrific tornadoes in Alabama until now. Perspective Liza, perspective. Getting my car towed is like a blessing in comparison to what these people have been and are going through. I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Nothing.

I am sending all my thoughts and prayers to the people in Alabama, and I want to encourage my readers (Mom....Dad.....sister....maybe best friend) (haha) to put things in perspective and be grateful for our good fortune, because things could be so much worse. I am blessed. Life is precious. Don't take anything for granted.

April 26, 2011

Are risks worth the risk?

Yes, worth it, way worth it! It's good knowing when to play it safe, but our intuition is a driving force for clarity; why ignore that (sometimes pesky) inner voice?

I recently made a rather risky decision - depending on how you look at it - but I got some great advice, followed my intuition, and I don't think I'll regret a thing.

I'm so thrilled to be where I am right now. I'm loving the whirlwind that has engulfed my life. It's crazy to think that just a year ago I was globe-trotting -- wandering around aimlessly to my heart's content. I love traveling and am always looking forward to the next adventure, but for right now, I'm ready to get a little settled. Not settled in the 'lets get married, have kids, move to a suburb and grow a garden' kind of way, but in the sense that I'm ready to be grounded and in one place for a while.

I love where I am right now. I've been wanting to move to SF for SO LONG, and I'm finally here! I love meeting new people and am having a blast as a freelancer working for a fabulous company.

How did I finally get here? How was I able to make the move rather than just talk about making the move? Well you asked, so I'll be honest. Ultimately I came to SF knowing I wanted to live here, but my application to grad school at SFSU is what actually got me here. I came with the presumption that I would undoubtedly be accepted. I even began Bartending School because I thought it would be the best job to have as a grad-student. As fate would have it, I did NOT get in (bitches....jk!). Actually, I'm happy I didn't get in; no really, I am! Because if I had been accepted, I would have probably wound up back in school. But the thing is, in my heart of hearts I knew what I truly wanted to do, and as fate would have it, I am doing it!

School is great, but it's round the clock....and so much work....for no pay! Not saying it's a bad thing, not at all - it's great for a lot of people, and I may find myself back at it one day, but for now I am right where I want to be. I am working for an awesome company, living in a fabulous apartment with some of my best friends (in SF no less), earning money, and having fun. No papers to stress about or tests to study for. I loved school, but I was ready to move on and I couldn't quite do that in Ventura. Here in SF I can, and I am. Yaay!

When we take risks, particularly the kind that are motivated by our gut instincts and heart, the positive will soon unravel, sometimes in unexpectedly exciting ways. Who knows if I would have ever made it to SF had I known that I would not get into grad school. It would have been a lot harder to justify coming all this way.

Sometimes in life it's better to go with the safe bet because security is important; other times risks are worth taking. There is something very exciting about being in the here and now with every move you make; I am a surfer riding the wave of life - sometimes I'll fall but I'll always get right back up and enjoy the ride.

April 22, 2011

Movie Review: "Limitless"

One of my favorite things about Ventura is the $3.00 Regency, previously known as the Mann. It used to be a regular, downright expensive movie theatre, until someone had the bright idea to make it affordable. It was a great marketing decision as they couldn't quite compete with some of the nicer and newer theaters popping up in town. Now they are more popular than ever with great deals a'flowin. Wednesday is $10.00 "Date Night:" 2 admissions, 2 popcorns, and 2 sodas; good deal, no? And of course their all beef hotdogs are only a buck all day everyday. I myself do not partake in this hotdog deal; too good to be true? Eeeeyeaaahhh I would think so, but I'm a skeptic about such things - dollar hotdog screams "health hazard, eat at own risk!" to me - but many people think they're delish.

Anyway, on to my review....

Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper (*sigh*), love those blue eyes, Abbie Cornish, and Robert De Niro. I had never heard of this movie, probably because I don't get TV in San Francisco, which in and of itself is a good thing, so I was pleasantly surprised. Cooper, always the nice, fun, party guy, shows us a different side to his forte. De Niro is, well De Niro, and we love him for always being solid.

Cooper plays an aspiring writer who suffers from years of severe writer's block. Unable to produce a single word on paper, he wanders the streets looking like he belongs there with scraggly hair and dingy clothes, nothing to inspire him besides the comfort of a cool stiff drink. Dumped by his girlfriend who loves him but essentially tires of picking up the pieces of his crumbling life, we see a man who is really down on his luck.

That is until he bumps into his ex-brother in law who gives him the gift of an $800.00 a pop pill, ultimately unleashing the dragon within. The concept behind this magic pill, is that it gives one the ability to use every part of their brain. It is believed that humans use only about 10% of the brain. So you can imagine the serious advantage one might have if one could use their brain to the fullest capacity. He is suddenly "clear, " and quickly realizes that everything he's ever seen, known, or heard is perfectly organized into the file cabinet of his brain, and instantly retrievable. He learns the piano in three days, and half listening to a foreign language becomes fluent almost immediately. Suddenly the world is at his fingertips and there is nothing he can't do. He becomes, "limitless."

Nothing seems impossible, until of course, the consequences catch up with him and the fun begins....

On our way home from the theatre my family fought about what the "coolest" part of the movie was (haha). The cinematography is amazing and "motion" effects, unbelievable. My dad kept saying he felt like he was on a ride. In my opinion this is one of the more original films I've seen in a long time. It plays with an idea that hasn't really been toyed with before, not that I've seen at least. In one word it is "fun." I would see it again today! It's definitely a rental if you miss it in theaters, just be sure to watch it on the biggest screen you can find; buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride!

April 20, 2011

Forget waxing, bring on the cotton thread

Thought I would cue you in to my latest obsession, ya know, since I am so up-to-date and in-the-know -- a fierce trend-setter -- all about the latest-and-greatest, strut'in my stuff thinkin I got swag when everyone else is like "NAGL" (for those of you not hip to the fashion-street-beat, that is an abbreviation for Not A Good Look....duh!) don't hate!

.....WOW I just had way too much fun with that sentence. I'm not "fierce" (although I can be, rawrr); I'm usually the one thinking "NAGL" about others, but not to judge of course - it's bold for people to dress in a way that others don't necessarily....get? I usually secretly covet the image of those with serious glam power who can pull off looks I could never in a million years. I think it's cool. Power to the cheeky, spunkadelick,  swag-tacularglamalicious people!

Clearly what this post is really about, is the desire to create my own language (imagine my surprise when I actually found "definitions" - some don't really fit but you get the idea).

Sorry I digress....

A few days after threading, no irritation, and the beginnings
of an actual arch. Note, I have 2 completely different
eyebrows, so yes, I know they're not symmetrical, but
getting there! Slowly getting there!
This post is about Eyebrow Threading. And I love it. I am someone with very bushy eyebrows that grow like weeds. It's obnoxious. I look back on pictures when I'm 12-14 years old and shudder at the Frida look I was obviously trying to pull off at the time. Since then I have been plucking, and I mean everyday, it's such a never ending hassle. Literally to go more than one day without plucking my brows would mean....gahhh, let's not go there. Bottom line, it's annoying. But I've tried waxing, and to be honest, I would rather pluck. I always leave feeling greasy and irritation in the form of redness and little bumps almost immediately follows. And ultimately, it doesn't last long.

Threading is an ancient method with origins in the Middle and Far East. It doesn't use any irritating chemicals or oily creams making the process much more affordable as the only tool they use is a cotton thread. The only way I can think to describe it is, picture a Cat's Cradle. Remember that game with the string? When in the basic position, it forms an X and by pulling your hands further apart the X becomes  more narrow. If you can imagine it, this is how they remove the hairs, by sort of twisting and removing the hairs from the follicle. It's a very quick, albeit painful process. But you get used to it, and hey, no pain no gain!

I have had my eyebrows and upper lip threaded, and I'm telling you it lasts so much longer than anything I've ever tried. Aside from a random little hair here and there, I went for 2 weeks without needing to even think about my brows! Do you hear me!? TWO WHOLE WEEKS! You all probably think I'm crazy, but for me this is miraculous, I can't even tell you. I was impressed. And there is no redness, no irritation - just 5-10 minutes of tear-jerking pain (you can take it!). They will usually add some aloe, or a gentle cream at the end.

Sometimes they will also give you a nice little eyebrow massage, depending on where you go.

I am really into this, incase you couldn't tell. I think it's great. If anyone out there is like me and does not like to spend so much time plucking away those annoying little hairs, but does so to avoid resembling Groucho Marx, consider threading!

Here is a link to the SF Salon: M&M Thread Salon SF
-$10.00 eyebrow
-$10.00 upper lip

Salon in Ventura (I know, there's a threading salon in Ventura!??): Layla Threading
-$11.00 eyebrow
-$6.00 upper lip

Word to the wise, let them know it is your first time and you'd like someone who is gentle and experienced. In SF you'll have no problem, but I went to Layla's in Ventura and had a woman who was fine, but rushed through the process (making it a bit more painful) and I noticed that it wasn't quite as clean as when I went to M&M in SF. Just be sure to tell them exactly what you want. I say that I don't want my brows to be any thinner, just clean 'em up and a little shaping. Give it a try and tell me what you think!

April 17, 2011

TLC and a little perspective

2 Trees, Ventura
Awe to be home and in the tender loving care of your family. This weekend I decided to come home because, well let's face it - I'm a "Venturian," always have been and always will be - us "Venturians" can never seem to stay away for long. My lazy but vibrant little beach town, right off the 101, lies in between Santa Barbara and LA truly capturing the best of both worlds. Beach, mountains, and good energy pretty much sums up Ventura to me.

I'm loving San Francisco, but Ventura will always be home and fill me with the *warm fuzzies* every time I'm back. For now however, SF is where I want to be. It's certainly been a change of pace, but a welcomed one. I'm 25 and at a time in my life where I want to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of a big city. But I'm lucky because where I live allows access to all the best the city has to offer. I can see the Civic Center from my apartment, but am right across from Golden Gate Park and just a few blocks from the beach! Not to mention, there is a Trader Joes and Bevmo close by, and come on, who can live without such essentials!? 

Although it was scary to move away from home, good things have been happening, as I knew they would. I've been working for an energetic, cutting edge company allowing me to jump right in to the frenzy and feel like a contributing member of society. The work has been invigorating and challenging. I love getting home at the end of a full day and pouring myself a well deserved, tall glass of wine and truly "unwinding." This of course is not a new element to my life, we all know I am a lover of the vine, but I appreciate it even more after a "day at the office." My oh my, is this girl starting to sound grown up or what!?

All the things I've been hoping and envisioning my life to look like, are beginning to manifest, and I couldn't be more enthusiastic about the decisions I've made and the direction I'm going. I know there's no such thing as smooth sailing - there are sure to be many more bumps in the road - but I'm finally feeling more decisive and I think it's because I am listening to my heart and following my intuition. I'm allowing myself to see the bigger picture, thus taking some weight off of all the little things that so often don't matter at all, but are the things we stress endlessly about. Doing Bikram yoga has opened my eyes and is enabling me to put things into perspective. It's one of the healthiest things I've done for myself in a long time, and I don't plan to stop anytime soon.

I want to wrap up with a message my dad has taped to his dash, something he looks at every day when he is driving. It represents an idea I am learning more and more about and would encourage everyone to keep in mind as well.


April 9, 2011

Ready, set, run!

Like this picture of me??? HAH! Kidding, it's not me, but I know I had you all fooled ; ) I have been diligently going at my workout regime but am not quite here yet, nor will I ever be due to, ummmm -- large bust, yeah.

Now I have never been a runner, so anyone who, like me, never thought they could run...for pleasure...well I'm here to tell you that you can. For most of my life I have been very active but always as a dancer or part of team like softball or basketball. Dancing is the polar opposite form of exercise to running. You're body is engaged in completely different ways. I could dance for 3-4 hours at an intensive rehearsal, but not run for 5 minutes. Crazy, no? But it's true, at least for me.

I started running about 3 years ago and have been doing it on and off ever since. I find that whenever I manage to stick to it and run at least 3-4 times a week for a few months, I WILL lose weight. So here's the deal, at first it will be tough. Your feet, your shins, your calves, your ankles will be screaming in pain and pleading with you to stop. Don't push it. Just try to go a little further every time you run. Soon you will become stronger and be able to run farther than you ever thought possible. And here's the kicker that I would have never believed if someone had told me years ago, it actually feels good to get out and run - you will like it and become addicted (in a good way).

I know it's hard to make that mental switch in the brain allowing you to accept your regime and stick to it. I went for a run today and thought more about this "mental switch." I've realized that if I give my self the choice of whether to work out or not, that is, if I ask myself "do I feel like working out right now?" the answer will most often be, well "no, i don't." So don't give yourself the option, instead realize that if you don't fit that exercise in today you WILL NOT move forward toward your goal.

I kept telling myself that I have a goal, and that is to look and feel better, no GREAT, so in order to do so I need to work out, now. So instead of asking "do I feel like it?" I ask myself, "what time is it now? what are my options for working out with the time I have?" And then I just do it. You have to find a way to include it in your daily life, just like dinner or your favorite TV show. You don't have to think about fitting these things in, you just do it automatically. That is how it needs to be when integrating a workout schedule into your life. And I will always fail if I go overboard. 5-6 days a week just isn't going to happen consistently, and eliminating sugar and carbs is simply crazy. It is about integrating achievable health and exercise goals into your life in a way that is realistic for you to stick with. I have tried going at it very hard core, VERY hard core, but it never works out. Long-term health effects always out-way short-terms results, in my opinion. UNLESS you are going on vacation to the tropics and simply must look phenomenal in your bikini, then by all means, do what ya gotta do.

I hope this helps to encourage those of you struggling to make that mental switch. It definitely comes from within, but if you have a goal and want to reach it, sitting on the couch won't get you there.

Life is short and it is meant to be enjoyed. So don't cut out things that you love in the pursuit of a perfect body. Find a balance and a way to create harmony.

April 8, 2011

The Interview....

In order to get a job, there is often one crucial thing you must do, and must do well -- the interview, DUN-DUN-DUUUUUUUUN *Insert deep dramatic sigh here.* It's not that I don't like speaking to a group of strangers about why I am so great, but ehhh, who am I kidding? I don't! Some people love the opportunity to talk on and on about all of their achievements. I am not one of those people. The whole process makes me tense. I consider myself a humble person. I like to give credit but sometimes have a hard time receiving it. I know that I'm too hard on myself, but I'm just not one of those people who thinks she's got it all figured out and is so super duper cool; the fact that I just said "super duper" probably proves my point. However, when walking into an interview, one must possess great confidence and not be afraid to boast about all aspects of one's "remarkable" self.

The duration of an interview is usually around 45-60 minutes, which is quite a long time to be talking about yourself, and specifically to be channeling your most "stressful," "significant," or "challenging" moments from past work experiences. I find this to be extremely difficult. I could spend hours the night before prepping for any possible question they throw at me, but where would the spontaneity be in that?! And furthermore, I wouldn't want them to judge me based on some pre-rehersed script that I've carefully planned out. I like to think that interviewers value the ability of the interviewee to answer their questions with honesty and spontaneity. That being said, I realize more and more how nervous I get when being interviewed. And I must say, no matter how many times you've done it before, it doesn't hurt to at least take some time to bring relevant memories to the forefront so you're not caught off guard.

I went to an interview yesterday, and fear that nerves got the better of me. It can be difficult to speak eloquently and have the right words flow, especially when you are nervous. It was rather comical actually, I found myself trying to "communicate" the idea that I was a good "communicator," but finding it nearly impossible to "communicate" this to them. In other words, the WORDS were not flowing gracefully AT ALL. Despicable. Juuuuuust despicable.

BUT, overall it was a good experience. The people who interviewed me were extremely nice and made me feel comfortable. I think I just need more practice and definitely to gain confidence. I know who I am; I know that I would be a great asset to any organization because I am reliable, hardworking, quick, intuitive, positive, and I get along with everyone. I truly enjoy building those work/friend relationships. I just have to figure out how to show others who I am in 45-60 minutes under nerve racking, high pressure conditions. Confidence, confidence, confidence!

April 4, 2011

"Art" that is scary cool

This goes down as the strangest piece of art I have ever seen.  I have no words to describe it. 

"What the?!?" and "Whooooaahhhh" is all that comes to mind.

April 3, 2011

A Hiccup In Your Happiness

True friends are few and far between. I am blessed for I have some of the truest friends a person could ask for. There are many elements in life that contribute to one's happiness but most important is our intimate relationships.

I am lucky to have the most loving and awesome family, but I find the "phenomenon" (as I see it) to connect with someone spontaneously, whom you have no familial relation with, to be quite amazing.

I have had these connections and they inspire me. The simultaneous exchange of characteristics between two people and the joint recognition that a bond has occurred, along with a significant account of like-ability, is truly remarkable. My friends have always been cherished by me. I feel that friendship, real friendship, allows one to open their world to the possibility of a new perspective.

We all have our own unique personalities and opinions, but our friendships enrich our outlook because they bring new elements to it, and I love that.

When we make a friend, a true friend, and decide to stick around, we are acknowledging that despite the fact that there are no family ties, we want/need the other in our life, we love spending time laughing, talking, singing, and simply being with our companion. It is a special relationship, one that I would never take advantage of. I am extremely grateful for each one of my friends. Without each of their marks on my life I would not be the person I am today. So friends, I am so grateful to you. Words cannot express how humble I am to know you, to love you, and to be loved by you.

This week has been both good and bad. GOOD because I took two Bikram yoga classes and went jogging in Golden Gate Park allowing me to release stress and feel cleansed, and accomplished; good because I freelanced this week (YAY!); good because I moved in to a super cute apartment with a great and loving friend; good because I attended a writing workshop = *awesome -- did I mention it is at my house? = *double awesome; good because I had the most amazing margarita I've ever had; good because I spent time with family. BAD, well, see previous post.....

Good friends are there for you and carry you through the tough times. One such friend saw what I previously wrote and showed me this very relevant song. Have a listen.

Thank you friend!

April 1, 2011

Bikram Love

I did it, all 26 poses! It was amazing; like nothing I've ever done before. I feel cleansed from the inside out. Walking away from the studio my senses felt extra keen - I could smell jasmine in the air, the breeze felt glorious, and I just had a wonderful feeling of lightness and gratitude for being alive! Yeah!!
I got an amazing deal: 8 classes for $24.00! I have to use them up within a month but I am up to the challenge. I would love to fit into my jeans a little better and tone up a bit (a lot actually). I plan on doing Bikram 2-3 days each week and getting in a good jog along with strength training 2-3 days a week. It's time to get serious about exercise. Oh, and I definitely plan on finding a good dance class to integrate into my routine!....that is a MUST actually.

People who know me, know that I am quite active, but it isn't always easy to stay consistent. This month I'm going to try my very best to exercise consistently and be very mindful of my eating. I want to look and feel great gosh darnit! I will be sure to update on my progress, especially in regards to the Bikram experience. Love to all. 
couldn't resist, hehehe ; )