Monday, November 22, 2010

'sisters are perfect'

Sunday afternoon, I ran some errands at Target with my bf.  While we were checking out, I couldn't help but eavesdrop on the neighboring cashier who was chatting it up with a female customer.  The two were having a discussion about the customer's daughters, two young, shy and possibly embarrassed little girls who were huddled together and desperately waiting to leave.  

What perked my ears was the cashier saying to the woman not only that her daughters were so cute and sweet, but that it was obviously they were close, because 'sisters are perfect.'  The cashier then proceeded to talk about how she had two sisters of her own and how they were close, though not by distance, yet nothing was better than having sisters.

This made me smile, because it made me think about my own sister.  I grew up for a bit of time as an only child and I always thought and felt it was so lonely.  By the time I was soon approaching my early teens, my sister was born and I was so excited to have a playmate.  But being 8 years apart, it was difficult at times to play board games and the like that were meant for kids ages 10 and up when your playmate couldn't even read yet.

Even so, I never felt alone and many times, we made up our own games--like playing school where I'd 'teach' her different subjects or pretending to go camping with a tent we set up indoors.  More importantly, we had our own array of inside jokes.  Countless times we'd be giggling about everything and nothing, and my mom would ask us what's so funny and we'd just say, 'nothing.'  To date, that's still our response.

By the time I left home for college so far away, my sister so was so young, not even having hit her teenage years yet.  By the time she reached high school, I was already all grown up with a real job and my own apartment, still living so far away from home.  Sometimes I feel like I missed out on so much not having been there and only hearing stories about everything in her life (not always even from her) and I felt so bad.  Like I wasn't there enough when she needed me, just to laugh or even to cry.

Then the unthinkable happened and fate stepped in and oddly enough, my sister ended up not only going to school in my same city, but at my own alma mater!  What are the chances??  Fate, you are a funny thing.  And let me say, it has been nothing but AWESOME.  We get to do all of the coolest things we always wanted to do, whenever we've wanted to do it, and best of all, I get to see and spend time with her bunches.  I feel so blessed that things worked out this way, and I think I never realized how hard it actually was being apart for all of those years when we were both growing up.  I'm happy that we've been given the opportunity to make up for lost time and that we haven't changed one bit.  Still as crazy as we used to be!

I've only been thinking about this more lately, with the way the past few months have gone.  The Fall semester has been so busy for her that we haven't been able to do as much together as we would've hoped and it's been sad and lonely at times.  Luckily we're able to talk daily and still share in the laughs and the stupidity that somehow finds its way into our lives, but it's just not the same sometimes when you can't physically be together.  I can't wait until her semester ends and she'll finally get a break to recover from this terrible few months and enjoy the holidays and super festivities!!

It's been a bizarre weekend.  One that didn't quite start off that well.  After months of waiting with anticipation, Bar results were released on Friday night.  Unfortunately, my name wasn't on the pass list.  It was really a surreal feeling to enter in my information to see if it did, and even though I knew I probably didn't do it wrong, I kept re-entering the information over and over again after the fact, thinking maybe there was a slight chance I screwed it up and maybe my name really was there!  Of course, I was only kidding myself and the past few months of living in ignorant bliss came crashing down and reality set in that yes, I had failed at something and yes, I would be studying yet again for the next few months only to do this all over again come the end of February 2011.  I'm not sure that it's really hit home yet or that I've accepted this fate, but I'd like to think I have some renewed faith, hope, and motivation to work hard and find my name on the February 2011 pass list when that time comes.  It's going to be a very long road ahead, but I know I have the support to help me through it.

When I found out my disappointing results, I was so happy that my sister was here.  Even if not physically at that exact moment, she was with me in spirit and talking to me through the entire evening.  My first mission on the road to recovery after this disappointment was to fill my head full of Hello Kitty and Sanrio goodness at the Small Gift LA show on Saturday in Santa Monica.  The show celebrated Hello Kitty and her fellow Sanrio friends for the Sanrio 50th anniversary this year and it was FABULOUS.  I was so happy that we all got to go together (my sister, my bf and me) as it was one of the first times in the past few months we've been able to hang out and just forget about all the crap in our lives.  And who can be unhappy when being filled with cuteness overload??  It was good and amazing therapy.

I'm looking forward to the adventures that await in just a few weeks once her finals are done.  It'll be good just to re-group and re-charge and think about things to be thankful for and get into the holiday spirit.  But just seeing those little girls today, hearing what that cashier had to say, and thinking about what an emotional rollercoaster this weekend has been made me feel really nostalgic and appreciative for all of the wonderful adventures, memories, and laughs we've shared through the years.

This is a picture of us from about a year ago or so, having our first ever sisters' day at Disneyland.  We went on a Thursday and were so excited to find the park relatively dead so we got to do a ton of stuff.  Actually, lines were so light that at times, we weren't even sure what to do with ourselves to fill the time, haha.  It was festive, magical, and just plain awesome.  And now that she'll be getting an annual pass this year, I can't wait for more awesome adventures and catching up on all of those years that I ever missed.

Remember 10 years ago when...

We had chocolate covered raisins
We were given a 'light bulb' plastic bag
You rolled your Radio Flyer car down the stairs
We built snow kitty
We were deflated, then inflated by TG Express
Your feet expanded from excitement
The lonely churro rotated slowly around
We always ordered extra crispies
You had some 'great turtles'
We rode California Screamin' 3 times in a row, hiding from mommy
We always (fill in the blank) like an asshole
We always had to check our slippers
We gee gee ja ja'd until the sun rose multiple times
Daddy collapsed into the pots in the kitchen
We discovered Cat Face
Daddy made catfish soup
We hid the Ikea snake repeatedly in mommy's bed to 'scare' her
We watched Baby Yun Zi grow up and fell in love with pandas
You got chicken soup :X
We meh yeah ((hand motion))

Thanks for always being there for me, spewbags.  Love you :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

it's the most wonderful time of the year!

Yesterday I took a trip to Michaels, which is always oh-so fun but oh-so deadly!  I was feeling down in the dumps but once I got there and saw all of the Christmas decorations up, I was psyched!

There's something therapeutic for me to go to Michaels (or any craft store) and just wander the aisles, lost in my thoughts and looking at all the crafty items surrounding me.  Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love the decorations, the magical feeling...yes!  There was so much to look at, I was in major crafty and idea overload.

I did go into Michaels with some specific ideas in mind (and a coupon, woohoo).  I've been thinking about ornaments a lot lately (fueled probably by the purchase of some super cute alpaca yarn sock monkeys, a wire reindeer, and a polar bear from Crate & Barrel) and have been wanting to make some of my own.  I collected pom poms, jingle bells, felt...and I was thrilled to see a ton of Christmas ribbons at 50% off!  I probably spent 20 minutes just combing those spools, looking for some fabulous finds.  Needless to say, I went a little crazy but I got a lot for what I spent.

I started making ornaments tonight and it's been so much fun!  I love reindeers a lot (I think they're my favorite motif for Christmas), so I sketched out this interpretation of Rudolph and cut him out of felt, accenting him with a red pom pom nose and a jingle bell.  It took a while to make him because of all the little pieces and the hand sewing, but I love him to pieces!  He's a little lopsided because I put the ribbon in the wrong place, so I think I might use that as an excuse to keep him for myself :P  Onto the tree he goes, hehe.  I can't wait to make more ornament friends!

I really need to finish up some ornaments and then take a bunch of photos so I can make my first Etsy listings.  I'm a little nervous to open shop, but also excited.  Gotta get a move on it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

watch out disneyland! we be a-comin'...

Living in LA for the past 10 years, I've been spoiled having Disneyland basically in my backyard.  During college, I was fortunate enough to have an annual pass and being that one of my good friends also had one, we went just about once a month for quality bonding time and memories I still cherish today.

My sister has always loved Disneyland just as much as me, and I was always excited whenever my family would visit LA because it meant we could squeeze in a day to go and have an awesome time together.  Ok, that's an understatement.  We are *CRAZY* about Disneyland.  Never would I dream that years later, my sister would also come to school in LA at my alma mater and we could go to Disneyland whenever we wanted!  

Today, it was confirmed that my sister will finally be getting an annual pass after her Fall semester ends.  I am beyond excited!!!!  This time of year is always a favorite of ours anyway with Christmas just around the corner, and Disneyland has an even more magical feel (if that's even possible) than normal.  My bf and I have been passholders for the past 2 years and I can't wait for her to come on board.  Being a passholder really relieves the stress of getting your full money's worth when you're planning for and paying for a single day ticket.  It's such sweet freedom to come and go as you please from the happiest place one earth!

There are so many things we love about Disneyland, it's too hard to even know where to begin a list.  Characters, rides, funny cast members, FOOD......I can't wait!  I wonder how many times we can go before the end of this year alone, and with her Spring semester schedule involving no classes on Friday, I think we'll be there a LOT.  I'm already predicting we'll be celebrating her 21st birthday next year there, too!  I'm totally going to have them give her a birthday pin, hehe.

In honor of the upcoming fun, here are some of my favorite pictures and memories from the past few years, including some holiday pics through the years.  Most of them were taken by me, but I think there are a couple that are my sister's.  She'll be getting an awesome new camera for Christmas and I can't wait for us to take some epic and awesome pics during the next year.  Enjoy!  And no doubt there are many more pictures, memories, fun headgear/headbands/santa hats, laughter and very full bellies ahead! :D

Friday, November 5, 2010

need to focus

Tomorrow morning, I'm taking this ridiculous ethics exam for the *third* time.  I need to pass this exam as part of my requirements for the CA State Bar and it's super annoying that I haven't passed it yet.  I mean really, how hard is it to think ethically?  And it's just a 60 question multiple choice exam (10 questions don't even count)...Apparently, it's hard for me!  

I haven't been able to focus as much as I would've liked.  I'd like to blame it on the 90+ degree weather the past few days in November of all things, but I think I've been unfocused about a lot of things over the past few weeks.  Apartment is as disorganized as ever, my shop still isn't open, I haven't reviewed a single law-related thing (to the point now that even studying this ONE subject feels like I'm reading and trying to learn a foreign language)...What the heck happened?  I really haven't been good about keeping a schedule and with so many ideas and thoughts swimming around in my head, I should've known better.  And with Bar results coming out in 2 weeks, I'll need to get myself back on track ASAP once I know my fate.  Besides that, I should be on track as it is now!

Having to study and ignore crafting has made me sad and I know I really need to find a happy medium between studying and crafting, if I have to re-study for the Bar again.  I need to be organized about my life!

Tomorrow will be dedicated to taking this exam in the morning and yet another USC football home game at night.  But Sunday, I'm planning on building my handmade light box so I can take better photos for my shop listings (jewelry is a butt to photograph, lemme tell you) and going through all of my crafting supplies to check out everything I've accumulated, organize things into bins, and plan out some ideas and get cracking.  Lately, I've had some ideas for some smaller plush, hair accessories, and ornaments - like for a holiday tree or even just for decorating.  Jewelry and bigger plush have higher price points for the cost of materials and the time it can take to make them, but I think offering some smaller things at lower price points will be fun for me to make and sell.  Easier, too!  I'm not planning on selling anything that's not already ready to ship - it'd be too stressful to list something and say it'll take me (x) time to fabricate and what if it doesn't end up looking like the photos?  I think it'd be better to say, this is what I have and I can ship it right out.  Especially since I'm anticipating a bunch of stuff being one of a kind, since I want to shake things up and have a nice variety.  I bought some fun supplies this week that I'm waiting to arrive and I can't wait to play around and experiment.

But for now, I need to prepare for this exam and leave the craft dreaming for tomorrow after the exam is over.  I am having serious craft withdrawal and maybe I needed this break to re-focus and be overflowing with ideas and motivation.  However, I will leave you with this, which usually brings a smile to my face and you know, on some days, you just really want to yell or scream at the top of your lungs for no reason, maybe just out of frustration with the world or yourself - don't you ever feel this way, too?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

panda love

I love the SD Zoo pandas so much, and I was thrilled last week to learn that Zoo Atlanta's 13 year old panda Lun Lun was expecting a cub any day now.

Then, in the wee hours of the morning (5:39 a.m. EST) on Wednesday, November 3rd, Lun Lun gave birth to her third cub!  This precious photo was captured of Lun Lun cradling her cub and placed on the Zoo Atlanta site.  (Story here:  Zoo Atlanta - Giant Panda Born)  Momma and baby appear to be happy and healthy.

The Associated Press also circulated a fabulous video of the birth itself (Lun Lun gives birth to third cub).  Love the baby's squeaking and Lun Lun's growl!  But adorable that she craddled her cub so quickly after birth.  

After watching Baby Yun Zi grow up and admiring all of the SD Zoo pandas, it's interesting to see the differences between our pandas and Zoo Atlanta's.  Panda love and fandom continues to grow strong! :)