Here’s to you, dad

Playing cards with dad.JPG

Five years ago, I lost my dad after he had a massive stroke. I’ve been missing him and wanting to say something about it online. So, here’s my little tribute to my dad and me looking at the good times.

Here’s to you, dad:

You gave me a love for storytelling. I appreciate the written word and visual communication in the form of film and art because of you. You were also the best oral story teller I’ve ever known. History and your personal stories came to life from your breath.

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August Adventures

almost there

August was a super chill month for me. Honestly, I got too lazy. I kind of fell of the face off the planet in August. Really, I went to Boise for a week and a half, and while I was there I stopped updating this here blog.

It felt like I was gone for most of August. My aunt and I took a road trip from the LA area all the way to Boise, Idaho. We went up the middle of the state (don’t ask me freeway names, I didn’t drive), stopped in Berkeley for two days, headed east and stopped in Reno for about 24 hours, and then made it from there to Boise in a day. That’s a lot of being in the car. Can you tell? We made the most of it though! Road trip snacks and car games are actually a few of my favorite things, so I wasn’t too bad off.

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One crazy long weekend

my nephew

No, that is not my baby up top. Of course, I would tell you guys if I had a baby.

So, July has already been a pretty busy month. Summer is much more fun than spring was, at least for me. What do you guys think?

Here are a few things I did in the past five days:

  • Tried to help a man call for a ride while outside of Union Station. Actually helped one guy get on a bus.
  • Ate vegan food in Hollywood and got a discount because my boyfriend used to be in a band with the restaurant owner
  • Cried about LA traffic because I panicked. Good thing I wasn’t driving!
  • Started watching Orphan Black and got sucked in
  • Ate at a new favorite waffle place in Santa Monica
  • Hung out on the Santa Monica sand
  • Celebrated the 4th of July with my boyfriend’s family in Orange
  • Met artist Paul Frank at his pop-up shop in Anaheim
  • Went to a hospital to await the birth of my new nephew
  • Held my sister’s brand new baby when he was just a few hours old

my nephew

Wow, wow, wow. I guess I’ve been busy. This summer has been shaping up to be pretty memorable! Honestly, I didn’t think it would be. At first, I was so bummed to be out of college without a job. I was also super bored being home alone a lot, but I adjusted. Don’t get me wrong, I do still want a job! I would like to earn an honest day’s wage, make money, do what I love, learn new skills, use the ones I’ve got, and actually use my diploma. But it’s not too bad to have free time.

And hey, isn’t my nephew the most adorable little baby ever (besides the cute ones in your life)?

Happy birthday, grandma

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Today is my Grandma Donna’s 90th birthday. She’s one of my favorite people in the world, but unfortunately, I’m missing her birthday celebration because I’m at Coachella.

Just the same, I thought I’d share a quick thing I wrote for my grandma that someone else in my family will read to her tonight. At dinner tonight, my family will be sharing favorite memories and showering her with love.

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Merry Christmas

Christmas fireplace

Merry Christmas Eve!

I hope you all are enjoying the holidays. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or some other holiday, hopefully you are enjoying time off and resting up before the new year.

I’m excited to be back into blogging, but I’ll try to give myself a break and not post too much between now and the second week of January. I love Christmas and spending time with those I love. Ha! I just started and ended a sentence with love! How’s that for Christmas spirit?

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My mom, Colleen O’Brien

mmom and me

As a woman and as a feminist, I feel it is important for me to recognize women in my own life. I’ll also be doing posts on women in history who inspire me once a month as well.

Colleen Anne O’Brien

Born Colleen Anne Carpenter

Today she had a childhood friend over for breakfast, along with one of her sisters and her mom (my grandma, of course.) After breakfast my mom and her friend were recalling making mudpies in their backyards as kids, swimming on hot days and learning how to make doll clothes. It was nice to hear about those times and think about the little girl she used to be. Every one used to be little once- even moms!

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Taco night brings people together

Who doesn’t love tacos? Not only do they taste good, but I have found that where there are tacos there is good conversation and a community atmosphere. Just think about the last time you ate tacos and what you were doing at that time. It most likely was awesome.

Tacos in my family are about fiestas and familia. We may be white, but we live in Southern California and therefore have learned how to cook some awesome Mexican food. I had to have my sister and friends help me out, but I’m slowly learning too.

Last night I had a few friends over for fish and chicken tacos with some sides of pinto beans, Spanish rice, sweet corn cake, guacamole and salsa. Everything was more or less homemade and it was all really delicious! Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the tacos, but they did look great. For the fish tacos and watermelon salsa, I used this Food Network magazine recipe.

Guacamole before it was mixed up

Watermelon salsa

In strange and unexpected tun of events, the watermelon salsa ended up locked in the garage. I had put it in the garage refrigerator and when people started coming over, the garage door wouldn’t open with the remote. There is no side door, so my aunt had to call a repair person to come fix it. We got the salsa out once everyone was done with their tacos, but before dessert.

Jamiaca smells and looks pretty

I got these jamaica flowers at Baja Ranch on Tuesday, but later read online that jamaica tea drink has a tendency to stain things. I don’t want to risk staining the kitchen counters, so I just kept this as a decoration. I bought a 24-pack of Pacifico beer when I went to the store with my sister in the morning and a 1 liter bottle of Coke in the afternoon when my boyfriend and I went back for  fish since I forgot to defrost what we had. It’s a good thing I got the Coke because no one ended up drinking beer.

the promising looking brownies

There were a few changes in the dessert menu, but it all worked out in the end. My sister made brownies, but they accidentally got burned, even though she put them in for the time the recipe called for. My best friend was going to bring homemade soy vanilla ice cream, but her sister accidentally knocked the bowl over, spilling it out. Instead, my friend brought over honey flavored frozen yogurt that was sweet and light. To put on the frozen yogurt, we cut up mangos, plums, bananas and pecans to give everyone choices. The sweet corn cake was a real hit in the dessert and side department.

Tacos and good friends are two of my favorite things and even though little things I had planned for the night didn’t work out, I’m so glad the dinner all worked out.

Almost 100

My Grandpa’s 100th birthday is coming up in July. My family is having a party for him. Even though he will probably sleep through most of it, as he usually does at family parties, I know he will still enjoy it.

Last night when thinking about what summer projects I want to do I decided on three that may end up holding the most importance. I want to make a video for the party. It will be a montage of family photos and videos from over the years. I also want to make a video about the party from video and pictures I will shoot the day of the party.

I also want to get my grandpa doing things like he used to. At almost 100 years old he is not able to do much, but I am pretty sure he is still able to do some things that he no longer does. He is no longer able to work on cars, but I think he would be able to make a simple clock if given the materials. So, I want to make clocks with my 99-year-old grandpa. I want to do little projects like this with him because I know they should make him feel useful and happier.

I want to do manly projects with my little cousin too. A Pinterest board called Manly Man DIY gave me some inspiration. My 8-year-old step cousin Jason was begging me the other day to tell his parents I would hang out with him (aka babysit) every day so he won’t have to go to summer school. I did not want to agree to that and his mom told him she already paid for summer school, thankfully. I do want to hang out with the kid though and I think doing craft projects would be so fun. I think he would really benefit from some projects rooted in science. We can make clocks and even do more fun things like the whole soda and mint rocket thing.

This summer is going to be so good. Yeah, I need a job and an internship, but I also have so many other ideas that I can do even if I get both of those things. I want to go into business with my childhood best friend selling clothes and jewelry. I’m making an ambitious list of summer projects that I will definitely have to do. I’m so excited!