Sendddd Me Something Goooood. (the big reveal.)

A couple of months ago I signed up for a fun little thing called Send Something Good. In short terms, it's a secret gift exchange between bloggers. Weeee!

I was pretty thrilled to be given Ashley of Fairview Pl. as my gift buddy. In reading her blog, I learned all about her mad love for vintage as well as felt, teal, tea, pretzels and handmade jewelry. Done, done and done (x2). I bought her a gorgeous vintage tea pot + a really cool scrabble pieced turn to a little craft that I miraculously managed to makee into a necklace + some pretzel m&ms and tea (not pictured) + some felt stickers and a really cute felt pouch (also not pictured.. I included the last few things right before I sent the gift out!)

Since it was suggested that we additionally included something to represent where we live, I happily and proudly obliged with a couple of postcards: one from Ventura (my rad little beachy hometown) and one from Ojai (our neighboring hippie town) Oh and a little mini capsule of Ventura seashells. I thought that was a nice touch !

 Hope you loved your gifts, Ashley! (I almost kept the teapot for myself.)
Giving was just half the fun tho... I also got some snail mail myself, yo! And seriously, it was so exciting. The day my package arrived, my sister came running into my room squeeling, "guesss what came for youuuu!!" Haha, I got her involved in the whole thing and she made for some good audience participation as I ripped open my box. I was amazed to find a beautiful navy blue dress handmade by Kristen of Ola Mae's. It fits perfect!!! Thank you so much, Kristen!

Also in the box was a lovely little red scarf and some Kanses City coffee which is not pictured here because it went quick.

Don't you all want to be a part of this goodness! You know you do. Good news: this business is going down again soon! Make sure you follow the presidents  [ hehe, Gentri :) ] for any news regarding the next exchange! Also, just follow them anyway because they're cool. They be: Gentri, Kaitlyn, and Kristy.

Thanks girls for putting together such a fun thingggg.

Hope everyone is enjoying this gorgeous holiday weekend. I am. (I've successfully slept in the past three days until noon. #winning)


60 Days. {Setting My Goals & Preparing the Move}

Don't let the post title speak for itself or anything.

I'm moving to NYC in exactly 60 days from now and it's time I really let that one sink in. 60 days and I'll be on the other side of the country. With probably exactly those many suitcases pictured to the left and nothing else. A new chapter. A new slate. ... Can't wait. #rhymes

Before I go tho, here's what I wanna do! I wanna get shit done before I wake up on July 26th and sing, "Today's the big day, and oh crap, what have I done to prepare other than nothing. Geez, Jen. You're so predictable." Fact: I'm pretty good at realizing what needed to get done, rather than what needs to get done.

Here's my attempt to save myself in advance.


At the moment this is where my debt stands: $1,200. 64 + $68 parking ticket + $165 medical bill 

Yeah. I have my work cut out for me a bit, but that's why as I'm praying for miracles I'm going to simultaneously:

I blew like 30 bucks the other night at the bar on whiskey.

Basically, that can't happen anymore before I leave. I'm really gunna have to budget my money like super good.

By the way, do you guys think I'm crazy for moving to NYC with basically no money saved? I feel crazy. But maybe my readership will benefit from this? Everybody likes a success story, sure, but like a bad car accident, everyone struggles not to tune in the same.

Ok, now I just stressed myself out a bit.

A lot a bit.

Thinking about how much time I have left to prepare, like REALLY thinking about it, is stressing me out. But I'm just going to do this, you guys. I'm just going to do it and see what happens. I have a place to stay. I won't be homeless. And I can get a job quickly. I'm going to work as hard as a mother to survive when I get there (and before I get there, starting right now) and I'm going to make it.

I'm going to make it just fine.

It's now or never.

Like a friend said to me, "You can either spend the next five years never seeming to reach the amount of money you feel comfortable leaving with, or you can just get out now with what you have and BE OUT THERE."

I'm not going to let money hold me back. But I'm still going to try my best these last two months to gather anything and everything I have.

I really want to use these two months to tone up as best I can. I was doing pretty good with the working out and running, but then potlucks and birthday celebrations got in the way. And now it's been like a week since I've seen the gym and I swear I've gained like five pounds. Which is not the end of the world, not by any means,  but I just really want to make my health and my fitness a priority. I want to feel GOOD this summer in the city. Like not just good, but GOOD.

I decided to make a rule. Maybe some of you would like to join me. Ya know, if you're feeling my priorities....

I will not touch my computer or any form of social media unless I've made it to the gym that day. And yes, if I am at the gym... then I am free to do whatever I choose on my iphone, that's chill!

I just need to be getting back to a more serious and disciplined exercise routine. Waking up in the morning and having my computer be the first thing I touch is just DANGEROUS. I get stuck for hours and so many things don't get done. Namely the gym.

I wanna help my Mom around the house every day before I leave.

This seems like an odd goal to have before I leave, but I suspect that my mom is going to be helping me   A LOT in coming months. I just want to be able to pay her in advance, and also feel like I've really earned her help.

Yup. A really huge bday/going away one.

Not really my style. I usually keep it pretty quiet on my birthday every year. I'm a summer baby and as the story usually goes, everyone is always out of town or has something else better to do. The latter is mostly just in my head. But really, I don't plan birthday parties for myself because I fear that no one will show, except the random few that I didn't even invite or my own family who is required to show up. So instead I cut myself the opportunity for potential rejection and I just do something with my family and/or whoever I'm dating at the time and call it a happy birthday. And it usually is. I don't need some big giant party. Give me cake and I'm happy.

But, I think in light of the fact that I'm turning 25 and I'm also moving thousands of miles away two days later, possibly for good, I'm thinkin'... "ah, what the hell. Let's all do some jello shots in my big backyard and hopefully give me some nice bday cards filled with money!!!!!"

Not really about bday cards filled with money. But that would pretty sweet. 

Really, it would just be nice to have all my California friends, my sisters, my family, my cousins, my co-workers, my neighbors, whoever, all together in one place before I leave. I hope I can make this happen.

So in summary.

Get Money. Save Money. Pay off debt. Get toned. Keep the house cleaned for Mom. Celebrate my 25th bday and exit California with a bang.

Ready. Set. Go. (I got this.)

Friday's Letters.

Dear Readers: A couple of things.

1. I love you

2. Thanks for your patience as I'm re-working a new blog design. I decided the last look was a bit too middle school-ish looking. Ha. It was time for a makeover. What do you guys think? 

3. I'm excited to share with you that I am looking into branding Punky and the City! I know I've only been here for like five minutes, literally. Like five minutes.... but I really am trying to sell myself as a writer and this blog has already opened so many doors for me in such a short amount of time. It's nuts. Needless to say, it's going to be a bit harsh on the pockets, and it will definitely mean another redesign in the near future.. but it will be the real deal and well worth it. I'll be surrendering my amateur designing ways and having a real web/ graphic designer come in and take over. I can't wait for it! Super excited for where this little baby blog will take me in my writing career. As always, I have to say thank you to you, my readers! You are few, but your feedback is intelligent and wise and more intuitive than I could ever have hoped. Thanks for clicking onto my blog. For commenting. For writing to me. For sharing my writing with others. For being a friend. For pushing me and inspiring me to keep writing. And lastly, for humbling me as a human being! Cause honestly, you all blow me away with your own blogs, your own stories, and your own words. It is such a RAD blessing to be sitting next to you all in this little land of BLOG. 

4. Lastly, film club is on hold. Sorry dudes, but not only is my mac's dvd player not working at the moment, but I'm getting real close to the big move and I've got all kinds of craziness going on as I prepare for it. I will hope to re-ignite our AFI extravaganza after I'm in the city!!

Dear LA: You always show me a good time, don't you. Last night I met up with a handful of darling ladies at the awesome Harvard and Stone. Gosh, I love that bar. Hot bartenders, live music, rustic decor, and a fire place! My kind of atmosphere. From the left is Alisia, Chloe, and me--- my friends are sassy!

Here's me and one of the best gals I know, Ms. Sarah Jaye. This lady makes me smile through and through. She's the first friend I made when I moved to LA at 19 and knew virtually no one except my sister. We've remained friends ever since and she's literally seen me progress from one chapter in my life to the next. And the next. And now the next again. So thankful to have her in my life! Sarah, if you're reading this: you is the bomb, mama. Love you!

Dear NYC: See you in two months. TWO MONTHS! I can't even believe how close you are. I am shaking. Half fear/half complete utter joy and excitement.

Dear Self: Maybe don't ever mention that you are feeling "a little hung over" anywhere near the boss again. That doesn't amuse him. 

Dear Jack in the Box: We had a a little dance last night, huh. Haha. My sister came bursting into my room this morning as she normally does, and asked, "How was last night?! Did you have fun??" Then she looked over at my desk and said, "Oh you got Jack and the box.....ahaha, it was one of those nights, huh." Yup. Keepin' it real since '87. That's just what I do.

Dear Danny: We met last night at the bar. I was groovin' to the band and then you started talking to me. You said, "They kind of sound like the Smashing Pumpkins, right?" And then I said, "Is there more than one band called the Smashing Pumpkins?" (Because the Smashing Pumpkins I know, sounded nothing like the band that was playing at the bar last night.) You looked at me confused, and I decided to cut you a break and said, "Yeah! A little bit!" We exchanged some more words, including the fact that I'm an aspiring playwright and that you write films, to which I said to you, "No way!" in a dead serious manner. But maybe you do write movies, what do I know? Why am I being such a jack ass? Then you said to me, "You look really cute tonight, by the way." And I said, "thanks!" even though inevitably I was thinking in my head, What other night do you have to compare with? We just met tonight, hombre. And also, I'm concerned for the dialogue in your film scripts. Is this how your guy gets the girl? Yikes. But I was as sweet and cordial to you as this girl could be, even though I did say BRB and then snuck out of the bar without ever saying goodbye to ya..... whoops. Sorry bout that. I just don't do well with those moments when guys in bars who don't charm me start asking me questions that involve numbers and itineraries for the remainder of the evening, which I could feel approaching as our conversation politely advanced. Could I have been wrong? Yes. Did I want to take any chances? No. 

I'm a tough crowd. Especially when it comes to men in bars. What can I say?

Dear Bed: You sound good. How about it!

Night night my friends.



How To Get Over a Breakup.

Don't lie. You know you've looked up those exact words on Google. If not, you've turned to a magazine or a book or something of the sort. Anything that may provide some kind of insight as to how exactly you're suppose to pick up the shattered pieces of what once was known as your heart. Oh, and make like that person who has been a part of your every day routine for so many weeks/months/years never existed. That person who you probably thought was your better half for good, your soul-mate, your best friend, your keeper of all secrets, your number one trusted individual in life. Surely, you've desperately asked the question, "how does life go on after this???" all while the tears come falling onto your lap, like lions, tigers and bears. I know I have.

Having been through six major break ups (yes. six. I get around in the land of committed relationships, so what), I'm here to provide some thoughts and advice I've acquired through my own experiences. This post is one that has been a long time coming, and I hope it has a little bit of something that everyone can relate to.

I'm going to keep it straightforward by saying this to begin with:

Breakups are fucking hard.

It doesn't matter if you're the one that got dumped, or if you did the dumping, or if the break up was completely mutual. It doesn't matter if the break up was a result of cheating or lying or if it was result of two people growing a part and falling out of love. It doesn't even matter if the relationship lasted many years or if it only lasted a few months. Many years=a lot of time invested in that one person, and entire life chapter of memories. A few months=a lot of time thinking about the "what ifs", the "what could have come", and the feelings of rejection and defeat for not even being able to make something last more than a few months. Whatever the case may be, break ups are rough.

And I hate to say this to you, but the hard truth is this:

You can't skip the part where you are sad, depressed or bummed out about things ending. You just can't.

You have to give yourself that time to mourn. The same way, you must mourn when someone passes. Of course, it's not the same thing, but.... in ways it is. Because let's be real here, when you break up with someone, you're basically saying goodbye to that relationship forever. Even if you are able to maintain some sort of friendship with that person (which, really, how often is that the case. And how often is that even healthy or normal or not awkward or fair to anyone else you date in the future), you are saying goodbye to a dynamic you shared with that person. And if that person has deeply wronged you some way, you are probably saying goodbye to that person all together. And it is sad. Of course you should cry and feel depressed. You've lost something that you put a lot of time and energy and heart into. If you didn't feel sad, that would be strange. So do cry. Do feel sad. Do eat ice cream. Do have maybe one night of getting pissed drunk in the company of friends who will take good care of you. Do take a coma of a nap or two. It's ok. Just don't let it go on for forever.

And in the meantime, consider the following:

1. Consider the fact that things didn't work out for a reason. There was something you weren't agreeing on. There was something you did or they did that was not right. There was something that was missing. And if you cared enough, you tried as best you could. You tried to agree, you tried to forgive, you tried to locate that missing puzzle piece behind the couch somewhere, but it didn't present itself. Or maybe it did, but then it didn't fit right. Things didn't work out for a reason. And that reason is waiting for you just around the corner somewhere. Be patient.

Someone once said to me (I wish I could remember who), "Keep in the mind that when you do find that person who is meant for you.. that person who treats you better than anyone else and is everything you imagined and more.. keep in mind that he probably broke several hearts along the way. He probably went through a lot of bullshit, bullshit that was his, and bullshit from others, to be the man he is today... for you. Maybe your current relationship didn't work out so that you both could be better for the right people when they eventually come along."

Golly gee Wills. When I heard that, it was like a big giant lightbulb went on, not just in my head, but in my fucking heart. Of course, is it easy to look at that person you've made history with and say, "Well, I guess I was just another one of your guinea pigs." ? Um. NO. Not at all. In fact, it's nearly impossible to think about being anyone's guinea pig in a positive way, because inevitably it is woven in with feelings of inadequacy and rejection. But, when you start looking at the bigger picture, there's much comfort there. There's much comfort in knowing that every failed relationship is a crucial counterpart to what will eventually be a successful one that lasts.

Think about it.

2. Consider what is going on in your life outside of what was your relationship with this person. Do you have a life outside of this person? If the answer is no, then I'm going to be tough by saying, it's probably a good thing you're not in that relationship anymore. It's time to restore balance in your life and re-evaluate what is important to you. Being freshly detached from another person who was taking up a majority of your time, is the best time to make this move. And you know what? Sometimes in the movement of re-evaluting things, you come to realize that there are things you need to work on. Things you need to fix. Nobody likes to admit to their faults... we're all perfect, and everyone else is wrong, not us. We're right. But here's the thing, we're not always right. Take the time to reflect on not just the relationship and why it didn't work, but also you're own life, you're own faults. Sometimes you come to realize that you weren't even in the relationship for the right reasons. Or that you're not even that sad about the break up itself, so much as you are just sad about how your life is going at the moment.

One of the hardest break ups I ever went through was in college. And it's strange because, I don't think I even loved that person as much as I have loved others in the past. (Have I ever even really "loved" anyone, or been truly "in love"? That's a whole different topic). But it was the hardest because I was in the saddest and loneliest place of my life. And in the moment, that college boyfriend of mine was my closest and almost only friend. Losing him was like the worst thing that could have ever happened. But it took losing him to realize that I had a lot of things I needed to work through on my own.. a lot of things in my life that I needed to fix. And had those things been stronger to begin with, maybe our relationship would have faired better. Because the other most real truth in the world is this: A boyfriend or girlfriend can't make you happy. They can only make you happier. If you're not happy to begin with, there will be trouble in paradise. Rest assured.

3. Consider the fact that's it's over. Don't keep holding on. This one is hard. Don't we all build castles in Spain about "getting back together" or them suddenly having a break-through realization that, "you are the one, after all". I'm not saying these things aren't possible, but they aren't likely. And most of the time they aren't genuine. Can I get real again? Often times "I want to get back together" translates "I'm having a hard time filling this void where you used to be. I know we're not right for each other, but I'd rather be with you than have the courage and strength to be alone." And then you get back together. And then you break up again. Not always the case. But yeah, usually the case.

 If it makes you feel any better, consider this. As a friend once said to me, "Any person who you've shared a great part of your life with and which whom has made a lasting and respectable impact on you, will always have the opportunity to come back into your life romantically in the future. And vice versa." Along with that, "If it's meant to be, it will be." But you have to give these things time, people. TIME! If you really believe it in your heart of hearts that things are not completely over with this person, that's fine. You might be right. But some hard separation is necessary. Distance/space/time... you have to give it to this person. And you have to give it to yourself. Sometimes things don't work out between two people because of timing.

True story: I know a couple who dated for several years in high school. Then they broke up and they each dated other people. Then they got back together after a few years passing. And now they are happily married. The lesson in this story: they took time to experience other things. Other relationships. Time alone. And time a part.

Do YOU for awhile. Stop focusing on how you can win this person back and start focusing on you. You are a person outside of that person, right? YES. YOU ARE.

4. Consider that in order to make this time of heartbreak less brutal, you should practice all of the following:

a. Eliminate all forms of contact with this person. Seriously. All forms. Start with the damn Facebook. That place is an evil fucking place when you are going through a break up. You want my advice? Block that person. Seriously. Just block them. It's nothing personal towards them. But it is. You don't want to see their face popping up everywhere on your newsfeed, or God forbid, see that they post a happy status.. or a photograph that contains some random girl in it. Do you really want to put yourself through that bullshit? I mean yeah, it's probably just his cousin he never mentioned or a friend (as if "friends" that are girls have ever been OK or comforting). Or maybe IT IS his new girlfriend that just moved in with him a week after you and him broke up (that ass-hole.) Seriously, you have some love for yourself, right? Why is that information necessary for you to view/learn? Just block the dude. Trust me, the strange and masochistic curiosity we have to check up on our ex's is much better left untouched. You'll sleep better at night wondering, instead of KNOWING that he still exists and he's off doing "happy things" that don't involve you anymore. Block the man. You are not being dramatic in doing this, you are being practical and WISE.

With that being said, delete his number from your phone as well. Even if you know it by heart, there's something about removing his NAME from your phone that automatically will make you feel better. And if you don't know his number by heart, then perfect. That'll make it hard to text him... especially at those times when you're drunk at a bar where they are playing a song that reminds you of him. Or those times when you're dunk at a bar.

b. Gather every piece of memorabilia you have with this person and BURN IT. 

Just kidding. Don't burn it. Unless, of course, they did something really wretched and it will make you feel supremely better. Then ok, sure, if you want to. But generally speaking, gather every piece of memorabilia you have with this person and put it in a box. Then put your box up high somewhere. And throw away your step ladder.

The bottom line is, you are still going to think about this person. A lot. Only time will heal that dilemna. But until then, why not remove everything you possibly can that reminds you of them? This has always been such a huge help for me. Always.

c. Don't hang out with your mutual friends or show up to social gatherings where this person may be present. Don't! Despite what ANYONE says, you cannot be friends with someone you were in a relationship with immediately after you break up. People don't break up and then the next day show up to a party and have a totally platonic conversation with one another and/or just give each other a "what up" head nod and not feel like complete shit/total sadness. Again, you love yourself, right? So don't trick yourself into thinking that you'll get any satisfaction out of just being "friends" or that seeing them isn't going to be painful. It will be. So just avoid it all costs. Remember. It is over. And if it's not. Hard separation is key.


5. Consider spending time with your friends and your family.  Oh yeah. Remember them? They're still there. They've always been there and they always will be. And no matter what happens, it will never be ten kinds of awkward in any case, because you're not sleeping with them.... for one. And for two, they are your friends and your family. Use this broken time to say "yes" when they invite you to do things. And relish in the joy that comes with just having a good time laughing and spending time with awesome people in your life in a completely platonic way. There have been so many times when I have given into hanging out with my sisters or my Mom or a couple of girlfriends post break up, and I've found myself saying, "this is really nice. I've missed doing this so often. These people really make me smile." 

One more note: It is totally normal to think and only remember all the good things. The happy things when you lose someone. I've played this game all too often in my head... "but he was perfect." "we were so compatible!" "but he did this and this and this and it was all so sweet" "he knew me" "no one will ever make me feel as comfortable as he did" 

I've played alllllll of those things in my head time and time again, with each and every break up, which has only made some things very clear to me over the years:

1. Time heals all.
2. Time reveals all. (Not just the happy, but all the not so happy... all the reasons why it wasn't right, it wasn't all good, and it wasn't healthy.)
3. Time delivers new things. New people. New experiences. And in all of that, we let others in, and we find that there are many people out there that are just as great, if not better.

And finally, really this time, finally. Look around you. You are not alone. There are relationships EVERY DAY that don't work out. Somewhere else, someone is hurting too. Someone else is eating an entire thing of Ben and Jerry's wondering why Aphrodite is being a little bitch to them too. Look at US Weekly, at your televisions, at Yahoo News. Even the beautiful airbrushed celebrities with lots of money and perfect bodies are having failed relationships. You are not alone!

I welcome you to share your tales of trial and error in the land of committed relationships. Have you been through some rough break ups? What has helped you get through them? 

Feel free to comment me or even shoot me an e-mail. I am here to offer you all that I have learned and all that I know. At barely 25, it's a hell of a lot more than I could have ever asked for. And you know what? I'm thankful.

Here's to break ups. They happen. And we get through them. That's what we do! So stay fierce. Keep breathing. Let go. And move on.

The real Ryan Gosling is just around the river bend, my friends. You'll see.


And Then the Cake Was Gone. And it Was Time for an Update.

Ah, life is happening so fast right now and there is so much goin' on, people!!! Which means MUCH to blog about! I want to apologize in advance if this post ends up being a cluster fudge of many THINGS.

I have to, have to, have to, start off first with a big YAY. Like truly, the biggest YAY ever.. be-cause, my incredible blog friend Sheri has chosen my blog to feature in her rad blog series titled, "BLOVE". Personally, I have been obsessed with the series ever since I learned about it, let alone obsessed with Sheri and her blog, ever since I learned about her. Sheri's vibe is incredibly warm and down to earth, and she also happens to be pretty flippin' cool. Yeah, that's right--homegirl's got swag. For real. And she's been one of my strongest supporters ever since I entered the blog world in January. It is a blessing and it is an honor. Thank you, Sheri, for such an amazing feature. You encourage me through and through to keep on writing! I love you!

The past few weeks my blog life has taken a bit of a toll as I've attended several social gatherings revolving around potlucks, Disneyland passes, Mother's Day and my sis' 21st bday last night (yes, I am reporting live from a place of hang overs and a colorful  buffet of pain killers at the moment). Not to mention, lots of working at the job, and just taking in every free opportunity I have to spend time with my friends and family.

For those who may just be checking in with me and my space here for the first time, (Hi!) I am preparing to do an epic relocation from Ventura, California to NYC this summer. It will be my first time living super far away from home, and I am moving simply for the desire to live in the city. Not for school, not for work, not for a dude. For me. For my own some-day New York Times Bestseller autobiography. (Ha, here's to trying to make my life as exciting and interesting as possible.)

After the completion of college in Orange County, a series of restaurant jobs, a year long adventure in LA, and a seven-year journey through some bizarre and messy relationships, it's time to embark on a new chapter in my life, and I'm excited to share all of it with you! Yes, things are certainly going to get interesting when I start blogging about all my dating experiences (when I start dating again), and hopefully not my starving experiences. (I'm taking off with a very small amount of money in my pocket....and probably a prayer bible in my suitcase.)

Just to clarify some of the questions I've been getting: 

Yes, I have been to New York before :) At the moment, I have a whole school of college peers out that way, including a few new friends I'm made through blogging. How great! If you'd like to read more about my previous trips to New York and how I've come to decide I'm destined to live there, you can do so here.

To start off, I will be staying with my cousin Marni in Old Tappan, New Jersey while I look for a job and housing in the city. I have stayed with her in her house before and not only is it a beautiful home, in a very charming city, but it's only a twenty minute train ride into Manhattan. Not bad at all. My cousin also has a set of twins, Jaiden and Mateo, who are probably about seven now? They are adorable and I cannot wait for all of you to meet them thru mass photos and instagrams. Just wait.

I'm looking to find housing in Brooklyn. It's my first choice of location, but if not then maybe Harlem or Astoria. I've never been to Astoria before, but I hear it's nice and affordable? And I stayed in Harlem several years ago and thought it was pretty safe and nifty (apparently it's cleaned up quite a bit the past decade.) If any of you have lived in the city or are familiar with all the neighborhoods, I would love to hear any recommendations/opinions you may have as to where is a good place to live. Honestly, I haven't done much research. I've just gone based off my own experiences and the experiences of my friends. Haha. I should probably be doing a lot more of the "figuring things out exactly", but eh. This is where my tale gets it's EDGE.

As far as a job goes, I will be looking for either a serving or bartending job to begin with to support myself, but ultimately, I want to be writing plays... and getting them produced (that part is crucial). In addition to seeing where all of this blogging-ness can take me. I really just want to be writing one way or another. It's going to be a struggle, no doubt, being a "penny-less writer", but this is what I want to do. And I'm going to do it. Call me naive, and maybe you are right. But maybe you haven't met me and my determination. I work hard for the things I want, and making a career out of writing is what I really want. With that being said, wish me luck.

I leave July 26th... two days after my 25th birthday and a week before the epic Blogher conference which I will be attending in hopes of meeting somebody fantastic who maybe wants to offer me a job. Oh yeah, and a bunch of really awesome bloggers! If you are going, say WHAT UP. This marks my first conference of any kind ever, and I am a bright cocktail of scared and excited.

Thanks to my cool little counter there on the right, I know that I am 70 days away from the big move. And guess what. Make that an even BIGGER cocktail of scared and excited. Honestly, I'm scared shitless. Don't tell my family that, but the closer it gets until I leave, the more I am freaking out. And really, it's not the part where I'm moving far away from my family and my town that scares, (tho it does make parts of me very sad, as the move approaches).. it's more the financial part of it all. I really am going out there with very little money to get by. I mean yeah, I have a place to stay right away, and that helps a lot, but it's not in the city and I don't want to reach a point where I'm overstaying my welcome or becoming imposing on anyone, even if it is my own cousin or friends after. I like to fend for myself completely in most cases, and it's hard for me to accept help from others. I take it where it is needed, and I'm incredibly thankful for it, but I don't like doing it. It's definitely a pride thing.

70 days left to gather up a decent wad of money to take off with, and it's scary. I've progressed by leaps and bounds in my finances since the new year, having paid off almost all my debt at this point, but my savings situation is still a joke. I have a little time left to hustle, yes, but it's not much. And it's going by FAST.

Needles to say, it's Go Time.

I'm going to try and keep up with the blogging as best as I can, but for the next two months my main focus will be preparing for my move. It's time to start saying my goodbyes, and taking advantage of every last minute I have here in California. In addition to robbing a couple of banks.

Bear with me as my posts may be less frequent and/or less eloquent. I'm still here and I'm still pretty much always on Twitter 24/7, so don't be a stranger, my friends!

Before I Seacrest out on this one... here's a few snapshots of my sisters before the bday dinner last night. They are so darn pretty. I can't help but to take their pictures like every five minutes and upload them everywhere. They've definitely got the "photogenic" down. Heh, unlike me. Despite what any of you might think, it takes a good 28374 pictures of me to weed through before I find a decent keeper. Then comes all the filters. Ay yi yi.

You can't have it all! At least I can write ok. That's what they're saying anyway.... :)

Happy day/life.

top: Shannon (or as we call her in Portuguese, Shaninha. She turned 21 yesterday! weee!)
bottom: Michelle (or Misch.. she's the middle sis!)
I'm going to miss laughing with these girls on a daily basis. 



Happy Tuesday to you, friends! I have lots of goodness coming this week including a film club review post (it is coming, i swear!), an update on my NY move, and a guest post for Ms. Aubry of Practically Perfect in Every Way. Eeee! Can't wait to share all of it with you! But for now, I smell birthday cake.

Prolly because it's somebody's birthday. Somebody like this cute little fish right hurrr. 
Her name is Shannon. If you don't know it already, she's my youngest sis. And my best friend. 

Today she is 21. 21!!!! The exclamation points aren't even necessary because if you're a human being then YOU KNOW what a big deal this is. Not just for her, but for ME. I can now force the babe sis to hit up dive bars with me before I go make dumb choices (purchases) at Target. Or stalk celebrities in popular Hollywood bars and night clubs. (I don't really do this.) (Mmmkay.. I do.) Or get some good old Mimosas the morning after a long night of Mimosas. (It happens every now and then...with me.) Basically, I legally have a new wing lady. And it's my super duper awesome sister. YAY!

AND FOR THE LOVE OF CAKE! YAY for birthdays in general. Here's a little snap shot of heaven for the evening:

I die. 

In short:

You're beautiful. And I am so happy to celebrate this special day with you! 21 is going to be a great year for you. I. just. know. it.

Let's drink.

We'll be having ourselves some play time and din din in LA tonight. We're thinking Brazilian food @ Fogo De Chao. If you baby cakes are on Instagram, give my sis a follow and wish her a happy bday! @shansobel 



Friday's Lettahzzzz

Happy Friday everyone. I hope you have something epic and sweet planned for the weekend... for your moms. I'm still trying to figure out my plan of attack. It's going to have to be clever since I work in the restaurant industry and don't get the luxury of having holidays off EVER. Sorry Mom, for like the 28347th time. I'm working in clever ways to show you how much I love you. If only Mother's Day wasn't the only day of the year we get the official opportunity to do that.

Anywho. I have so many things lined up to post about, but tonight I'm takin' a break from the essays and participating in a link up! It's a rare thing, I know, but since I'm in the process of trying to host link ups of my own, it only seems right that I support the link ups of others. Especially of bloggers I heart and adores! Like the lovely Ms. Ashley.

Without any further ado: Friday's Letters.

Dear 2012. You are one speedy mofo. I can't believe it's already May. And Wow. In less than three months I will be relocating to the other side of the country. Every time I forget, I have that nifty little counter on the right over there to remind slash SCARE THE CRAP out of me. It's all happening. So fast.

Dear Readers. You continue to overwhelm me with your sweet words and your genuine support. My faith in myself and my writing abilities has heightened to new levels and I have all of you to thank for that. I'll never stop expressing my gratitude. Really. Never. You all empower me !!!

Dear Neil Patrick Harris. I just love you. I'm currently making my way through the second season of How I Met Your Mother, and you just make me smile nonstop. Such a talent. And kind of a heart throb? Are you sure you're gay in real life? My birthday is on July 24th. Maybe on that day you can play Barney at my birthday party, or give your sexual identity a second thought.. just for my case/just for like an hour. Really, I just want to make out with you. Or high five you really hard. I'll take the latter if that's all I can get. You're just awesome. The end.

Dear Punky's AFI Film Club Members. Hola! You guys all set to watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest this weekend?? FYI you can stream it on Netflix ! I can't wait to hear what you all think about the film. To anyone reading, join! I will be posting my own thoughts/review on Monday for you all to comment on/link up! YAY movies!

Dear film titled Tiny Furniture. I've been hearing so many great things about you. I think I will most def watch you this weekend as well. Any of you guys seen it? It's the same writer responsible for the new HBO series Girls. Any of you guys seen that show? #iwishihadHBO

Dear Book of Mormon. You are an AWESOME musical. Thank you Tammy for the divine introduction. SEEING IT live on Broadway this summer. Weee!

Dear Marina & the Diamonds. I am so excited to purchase and listen to your new album so soon so soon. Prolly tomorrow because this little gal can.NOT.wait.

Dear homemade baked pies at work. I don't like the way you stare at me. Cut it out. Especially you, chocolate fudge brownie pie. Damn, you looked especially good tonight. I guess technically I was doing all the staring. Allow me to rephrase: I don't like the way you look so scrumptious. Seriously. Cut it out.

Dear me. Congrats on not eating any pie tonight. Way to stay strong until you got off work and hit up Ralph's for some Cheez-its and some life saver gummies. Wah, wah. At least the cheez-its were reduced fat?

Dear gym. You know what this means. I'll be seeing you tomorrow morning no doubt.

Dear Ashley. I just wanted to say that. ( #theamandashow ) But since I'm here, I love your new hair. And your new get fit series are fantab. ------> Ashley is one fly chick, yall. If you aren't stalking her blog already, you should add it to your daily planner. Like now.

K. That's all.




Enjoy Now.

I'm an incredibly reflective human being.

Haha. Have you noticed?

Not just reflective, but deeply impassioned.

I spend a lot of time alone. In my head. Thinking. Remembering. Holding on. Even after, I've "let go". Because everything that has ever touched my path holds great meaning, not just to the planets, but to me. How or when I traded in for such an old soul, I couldn't tell you, but man this soul has a serious license to hoard memories and connect the dots. To make sense and make sight. It's crazy and constantly emotional. And sometimes, I wonder if I should just become a philosopher. Except then I am reminded by how much I love money. And so, I say scratch that even though there's no law that says a rich philosopher named Punky can't exist and be incredibly successful and well-recieved and named the modern day Plato (with money). But it seems far-fetched, kind of like wanting to be a professional blogger and all, so I stick with the nay, while simultaneously continuing to reflect and celebrate every sweet and sour moment that collectively makes up what I know as: my life.

I have a love/hate relationship with time. I'm still working on trying to explain that relationship and how it has a direct influence on my re-occuring depression. And not just my re-occuring depression, but my re-occuring bouts of joy as well. Like I said, love/hate.

In the corner of love, I am learning this: Every moment is completely perfect. And we are damned if we should not miss them after they are gone, but rather, miss them as they are happening

I don't like the shitty moments in life either, who does? But how many times have you looked back on what you once thought to be a shitty moment and in your present moment thought, "that wasn't so bad." "in fact, I miss it." or "if only I knew what was to come."

Isn't it so beautiful sometimes to just look back on those moments when you were so desperate and lost and then see the redemption that followed after? To see where you were then, and where you are now? Or better yet, to realize how beautiful every moment in life has been, whether good or bad. Even if it's after the fact, doesn't it make you want to approach RIGHT NOW differently?

I did some digging earlier this evening and I came across this little collection of words. Circa 2009 when I was having the toughest of times in college... I had recently been dumped and was feeling lame and insignificant, but still eager to make it out alive. If not with a degree, at least with a few remaining crumbs of self-worth. 

October 15th.
Starting my day off right with some no sugar added chocolate pudding @ 10:40. I missed class this morning. Whoops. So did Chris. Champs.
I have a midterm tomorrow for bio and I kinda want to cry about it.. but I won’t. I will, however, cry over the fact that I’ll be actually studying and not tumbling. Ha. Why am I so codependent on tumbler lately. Likes bees to honey.
I miss Ventura. I miss G & P and Kam even though the time with those people are well over. Well, mostly just with G and P. I think they both have girlfriends now. Thank God, men over 30 shouldn’t be single and partying it up every weekend like they’re 21. I’m happy for them. Funny people. G especially. I miss that dude a lot. Everytime I hear “Satellite” by Guster, I think of him. As well as “Reckoner” by Radiohead. Good song. Kam and I must have had it on repeat for a month. It’s amazing how certain songs will really throw you back to specific times in your life. Like John West. Everytime I play that free demo I got at his show, it immediately takes me back to late nights driving home from Kate’s back to downtown LA. Despite the fact that Michelle and I were getting screwed up the ass with rent and all the bullshit that came with that damn (but beautiful) downtown apartment, that was truly an exciting and eventually zen time in my life. I wish I could stop fantasizing over my past and embrace my present. Maybe today I’ll try a little harder.
I have less than a year left here in this town and at this school. I don’t need to make plays. I don’t need everyone to like me. I don’t need to feel included in everything that’s happening around me. I don’t need a boyfriend. I don’t want to feel worthless. I’m a good person and I have a few people around who recognize this and are here for me. What more do I need than that? I have less than a year left here in this town and at this school and I’m going to finish. I have so many bigger things waiting for me, and I know it.
So no more sadness. I’m gunna get through this just fine.

And I did.

I got out just fine. 

And I look back at those words, and my heart goes out to that girl. That girl who was holding on for dear life. And to think...that was only the beginning of much more heartbreak and struggles to come in those years of college and living in the OC. Ha. Oh boy, only the beginning. But I got through it ALL just fine. Here I am nearly four years later and I'VE LIVED TO TELL!  Praise God and you know what. I miss that time. I do. It was hard. And it was shitty, and at the time, all I could see was the hard and shitty-all around me. And reminisce about times before it. But what I didn't realize was all the other factors associated to that time, factors that I no longer have in my life. People. Places. Neighbors. Friends (I had more than a few... ! I was just hatin' on myself at the time). College Libraries. College Shuttles. Improv shows. Drama Parties. Hot Grad Students. Campus Strolls. Late Night Adventures. The Arc Gym. Textbooks. Bio Tutors. Tumbling in class. Sleeping in class. Ditching class. Performing in class. Backstage Shennanigans. Bar hopping in Costa Mesa. Serving jobs. South Coast Plaza. Field Trips to Newport, Laguna, LA. Weekends "at home" in Ventura.


It wasn't the most ideal college experience, but it was MY experience no less. And it's an experience I will never have in my life again. Those moments, those people, that time... they're gone. I mean, they live in my head, but I will never live them again. Just like I will never again live the time in LA that preceded it, or the time in Orange County that followed it. 

It's certainly what we call bittersweet.

And now I'm back in Ventura and I'm getting ready to relocate to the other side of the country. And as anxious and excited as I am, I have to remember to slow down and enjoy this moment now. Because this in-between stage... this is a special time too. I will never have this spring at home before I moved to New York again. This current fear of moving far far away from my family for the first time. This bed room set up. These daily beach runs with my sister. These daily FRO-YO runs with my sister. This awkward job at a random beachside steakhouse that's actually quickly becoming one of the most charming jobs I've ever had. This time with my Dad, who is only getting older day by day. This time when I used blogging as a means to get over a break up, and discovered my love/obsession for it. And for writing. And faith in myself. And strength to do whatever it is I want to do. And go wherever it is I want to go.

Everything about this moment right now, is completely unique and perfect. And I refuse to miss a single second of it. 

So hats off.....ladies and gentlemen. I'm off to Disneyland today!!! I'm gunna make one last use of my season pass with an old high school friend. And a couple of college friends too :) 

And yes, I am going to enjoy every moment of this young, vibrant, and blessed day. I hope you do as well.  


FILM CLUB: M*A*S*H (1970)


Two things.

1. This post is two weeks late. I know. Just pretend like it's not and *TRUST* that there will be a mini review posted every Monday morning by 6 a.m. [Check out the film club page for the film of the week/film on deck so that you may indulge in this film fest that is so much fun you can't even wait to be a part of it. And/or follow me on Twitter for updates on what films we're watching. "We" being me, my Dad, my sisters, all the ridiculously awesome members in the club currently, YOU, and all the friends you plan on inviting to this wild party. #therewillbepopcorn #andcandy]

2. Let's talk about this week's film: M*A*S*H.

Ummm.. did I miss something? Because I'm pretty sure I tried really hard to watch this movie and it was BOR-INGGG. I could not get into it, I tried so hard. I really did. I tried so hard that it made me sleepy and I fell asleep half-way through. 

Ha. I will admit, there were a couple of moments of dry humor that tickled my fancy. Such as the part where they put that blonde crazy general lady and her lover on blast throughout the whole camp base. Andd the part when she went ballistic in the other general's tent about resigning, and he just kind of shrugged his shoulders like whatever and topped off his boo's wine as she stormed off. But other than that... um. I did not care about any of the characters. OR what was going to happen next. What gives, AFI? And really... an entire TV series to follow? I'm confused.

Members: did you watch this movie? Were you bored too? Readers in general: have you seen this film?  Please tell me things got better or that I need to give it a second chance and I will maybe consider it with the additional pleading of a future hot boyfriend of mine to give it another "go" because it really is "sooo great." Otherwise, I'm crossing this one off the list for good and never looking back. 

Personally, I struggle to get into any film that has anything to do with war or the navy or the army or any of those genres. It's kind of the same thing with Westerns. Can't get into them. They're always just so damn slow. Did you guys see True Grit? Good God. So boring. And I'm a huge Jeff Bridges fan. I don't know. 

Kind of bummed that this one didn't stoke me out the same way Sierra Madre did a couple weeks ago, but eh. I'm looking forward to watching Jack lose his shit this week with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I've actually already seen it, but I think I was like 12 when I did, which doesn't really count. I HOPE YOU ALL WILL JOIN ME!

PS That one dude had a rad stache (he's in the photo above). I was digging that at least. 

PSS It reminded me of my latest ex. Not sure I was digging that.

PSS Donald was way young. Whoah. Took me a few to recognize him. 

PSSS This is the last PS, I promise. Just wanted to say that if you do have any thoughts to share, please do in the form of a comment. If you've written up your own mini review, include the link in your comment. I have decided to eliminate the linking up-ness and will bring it back as this club grows and there are more participants :)

Happy Monday and in other news... I have some huge posts coming this week :) Can't wait to share. And have, I told you all lately that I love you?

I love you.


i got my mom tipsy @ a potluck. (& other weekend tales of truth)

It's been a colorful entrance into May. 

I hit it off with not just one, but two potlucks in a row...where I may or may not have put my last blog post to complete shame. We won't confirm or elaborate on that, as I think the attendance of any pot luck speaks for itself. 

( I'm not sorry. Those mini bundt cakes were delicious. )

In addition to being pot lucky over the weekend, I had myself some strange and I had myself some awesome. Strange because I did a lot of drinking over the weekend, which is not usually my style. Awesome because I got my mom to rage with me, which is NEVER her style. I'm still new to the ventures of mommy-daughter drinking, but I have to say--it's quite fun!!!

You know what wasn't fun: uhhhhh, the $68 parking ticket I got in LA the morning before potluck number two. F, man. Total buzz kill motivator. Obviously, I ate and drank my feelings that much more passionately later that afternoon. And you know what--if it wasn't for the ticket, it was bound to happen anyway. I had to make up for loss time from the first potluck, where I managed to play it "cool", and you know, not stuff my face and/or lend suspicion to the fact that I only showed up FOR THE FOOD.

I actually didn't just show up for the food. That first potluck was my first blogger meet up EVER. I knew NO ONE to begin with. And it was a little daunting and intimidating at first. And when they started asking me questions, I felt my voice shake cause I was really super nervous, but then I didn't have any alcohol just yet and I didn't run away to the food table just yet, and it was all OK because everyone was loving and accepting and kind and funny and interesting and just like that, I was further reassured as to why I'm kind of digging this whole blogging thing in a ginormous way. 

And then I attacked those mini bundt cakes. And I'm still not sorry.

Fast forward to pot luck #2. It was my boss' 82nd birthday party and in this case as well, I didn't just show up for the food. I showed up because it was my boss' birthday. And she invited me to attend. And when your boss invites you to her birthday party, you should probably show up. ESPECIALLY if it's potluck. Helloooo.

(Ok. Maybe the food did play a significant role in this one after all.)

I thought it would be nice to bring my mother with me. And what I mean by that, is I thought it would be nice to have a friend to chat with when my fairly new co-workers maybe didn't have anything to say to me. Or vice versa. Truth be told, I'm not very good in social settings where I'm not particularly close with everyone around me. And actually, I thought it would be nice to bring my mother with me anyway. Because we don't hang out nearly as often as we should. And it's something I'm working on.

Ironically, my mom faired quite well at the event, despite the fact that she knew everyone there much less than I did. She even abandoned me completely at one point and for more than a hot second (thanks Mom). It was kind of awkward at first... sitting there with that bowl of chips, but then I managed to weasel my way into a conversation that I found myself very thankful for. 

It started with overhearing this woman at an adjacent couch discussing concerns over her daughter's "older boyfriend." 

See now, those are two words I'm pretty tight with. Any close friend of mine knows my tendencies to fancy the older kinds, and any person in my life knows I've had many of the boyfriends. I overheard "She's 21 and he's 36," and it was a sure invitation to raise my hand and say, "I can give you insight there." And then I did. 

Because when I was 20 I met a man that was 37 and we dated for over a year. I'm sure you can do math, but that's almost twice my age, and yeah--- sometimes I look back on it and I judge myself too. But most of the time, I don't. Because it was a real learning experience and that man is actually still a good friend of mine today. It's a little bit tricky and quirky in ways, but he's that interesting character in my life that remains and I'm OK with it. His name is Steve. And that's not really his name. But that's what I call him. And he calls me Ned. And if that makes any sense to you then cheers because you know what's up, and yes, that is in fact where my obsession of Wes Anderson began. 

And since I'm honest like all the time, I will say it was indeed very strange that I should end up having such a conversation with this woman about my experience of dating older men (specifically Steve) because guess who I hung out with between potluck #1 and potluck #2. 

Yup, you guessed it---Steve. I could write a whole separate post on that in-between affair, but that's for later maybe. 

For now, I wanna stick to the awesome exchange I shared with this woman. Because you never imagine how much you can relate with any given stranger, and then when you do it's special. 

My opportunity arrived when this un-named woman of her 50s sitting at an adjacent couch on a Monday afternoon potluck in April graciously welcomed me into a conversation with much intrigue and no platters of judgement. It was almost as if she was desperate to hear my story, and I was happy to share it with her. 

Her pickle: She's worried because her daughter, Anne (character name) is dating a man almost twice her age who just came out of a seven year marriage, and not only is she moving in with him, but she's named him her "soul mate" and "hopes that he will marry her."

To which I nodded, "HA."

Though my past self would have loved to of been able to say Steve and I were moving in together at any point in the past, that was not ever the case. BUT, the "soul mate" and the "marry" bits. Um yeah. I know where daughter Anne is coming from.

And then mother of Anna spoke, "I just worry that what she thinks she knows and wants right now, is not what she will know and want later." 

To which I sang, "YUP."

Though my past self would have never given such a statement any consideration in the slightest, I can now say, I know exactly where Mother of Anne is coming from.

Because here's the thing. Us young folks, in our twenty-something year old skins, we're constantly growing. Constantly changing. And in that---constantly susceptible to believe in just about anything that seems remarkably good. We're dreamers and we put our whole hearts into everything. And it's dangerous and it's risky and it's foolish-no doubt. But this is what being young is all about. It's our time to fuck up---our grand and embarrassing episode of trial and error. Our unintentional landings into the mush pit, that sometimes eats us up like quick sand and leaves us begging for a light that we didn't before acknowledge. This is that crucial time in our lives where we begin to carve out what's important to us. What we need to survive, and what we can do without. WHO is important to us, and WHO we can do without. It's a time where we confuse soul mates with soulful moments. And we mix up loving a person with loving ideas or things about a person. We play with our hearts, and not our minds and we work off feelings, rather than practicality. 

We rush into things.

And who can tell us to stop that we will listen to? 

We're stubborn.

And we think we know it all.

And we don't most of the time.

Chances are, what we want right now, is not what we will want later. 

For some it is-- I guess I can't speak on behalf of every twenty-something year old--- but for Me, myself, I can definitely say, my ideas and my thoughts and my wants and my needs, they are changing constantly. I'm only half-way thru this dark and neon tunnel of what they call your "trying twenties" and I can already tell you I've changed my mind about a kazillion things. But it took EXPERIENCE to acquire all those neverminds, those second guesses, those revelations, those new conclusions, those universally calculated chips at my own developing statue of a woman. 

So what can I say to this mother of Anne other than, YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED and your daughter is probably making some really stupid choices, but who knows? Maybe she's not. And if she is, she's going to grow so much from it.  And so either way, you must let it be. And have faith that things will fall a part in whatever way they need to in order for things to eventually fall together. When and how and if they will fall a part at all, only the Good Lord knows, but that's where you can most definitely come in and save the day with tissues and chocolate and hugs. Because she might just come running home with shame and embarrassment. Or as I've come to understand--learning and maturing.  Do be there, Mother of Anne to love that child of yours unconditionally. To give her the support she'll need when she's fallen. To give her the encouragement to get back up. Nothing you say beforehand will stop her will. And everything you say after will soothe her soul. 

Except "I told you so." That one, I prolly don't recommend.


This was only a fraction of the beautiful conversation I had with this woman. Turns out we had another past situation in common, not me and the daughter of this woman, but me and the woman herself. It's an experience in my lifetime that I will eventually work up the courage to offer here. But on the couch that recent evening, it was quite the joy to connect with this woman in ways I haven't been able to connect with another being on such novel experiences. Like I said, thankful my mom peace'd out into the kitchen for her fourth glass of wine. Cause it pushed me to reach out and converse. And relate. And then when it was over, my mom returned and she topped my fourth glass of wine off and then together, we giggled the remainder of that little potluck away. 

On the same album, different song: How gorgeous is the second potlucks' hosts' garden/land?? We were all in complete awe and envy. 

Speaking of mothers and daughters, I snagged this shot of my co-worker and her daughter. I love it.

Oh yeah and one more thing. The hosts of this particular potluck (number two) are not just regulars at our restaurant.. but uhhh they are Academy Award Winners!!! No joke. Here's the evidence to prove it. I nearly pee'd my pants from excitement/too much wine when I looked over and thought out loud, "Holy shit, those are Oscar trophies!"