Monday, September 4, 2017

We won't be going back to the Hollywood Bowl

Last year Keith and I went to see John Williams conduct the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. It was one of the worst experiences ever, and we were really excited to go again this year actually be able to hear some of the music. We both vowed to really enjoy the show and to try to ignore anything that could possibly be annoying. We weren't going to let anything ruin our evening! We were going to have fun no matter what!

We won't be going back.

On Saturday evening we packed up our car and began the hour and a half drive down to one of the coolest outdoor concern locations ever - The Hollywood Bowl. It was hot. It was over 100 and there was lots of humidity and I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I tend to sweat really really easily. I used to buy this antiperspirant stuff that you rolled on in the evening and then it dried and clogged your pores and you didn't sweat the next day. It didn't work and I haven't seen it in any stores in a few years so I'm assuming it got recalled because it doesn't sound that safe. Anyway, so we got there and walked to our seats and it was super hot and sticky but it was so pretty! And we had a lot of food! And my hair stayed curled!

Last year I dropped my bottle of wine before I even had a chance to drink it, so this year I brought stacked wine. It was genius! I also packed a cheese ball, some Brie, Gouda, colby jack, triscuits, pita chips, hummus, other crackers, grapes, strawberries, chocolate covered carmel corn, beer, two kinds of salami, and chicken salad. For two people. We hardly made a dent in any of it! But that just means we have snacks for the whole week so I'm counting it as a win.
The weather wouldn't have been so bad if there had been any kind of wind. But the air was just still and sticky. There was a family two rows in front of us who had brought hand held fans (lots of people did that and if you ever go, you should take one) and the two older women in front of us actually asked them to borrow it! Even more surprising - they said yes! So this older lady in front of me was fanning herself and her friend and I was able to position myself so I could feel some of it. That was fun.

Just after the lights dimmed and the first conductor (David Newman) was walking onto the stage to begin the show, the women in front of us asked us to take their picture. Because you know, the past hour when it had been light outside and nothing had been happening wasn't a good time. It was a better plan to wait until the show was starting. After Keith took the picture (with the flash) she proceeded to sit there and look at the picture - as the show was starting. I just don't understand that?

David Newman led songs from A Star is Born, 1969, and some other movies that I didn't recognize. It was all so beautiful! I love symphonies so much.

Then, what we'd all been waiting for - John Williams!

This guy is crazy. He came out onto the stage wearing a long sleeved black sweater. IN 100 DEGREE HEAT. Hehehe, that John Williams is a genius and a total psycho.

After playing a few songs from Sabrina and Star Wars, Mr. Williams began talking about how a few years ago he met Kobe Bryant and then Kobe wrote a poem and then he wrote music to go along with it. Then he brought out Kobe Bryant and had him read his poem while there was some animation on the screen and music playing in the background. I don't care about Kobe, the Lakers, or basketball in general but this made me tear up. Just thinking about a 6 year old boy having a dream and then achieving that dream despite all the odds and hold on, let me get a tissue.

My favorite part of the show is when the Star Wars songs are playing and you can see all the light sabers waving in the air. As long as the light sabers don't have any sound effects, they're amazing! It gives me the chills to watch this video.

We took another sweaty selfie.

There were two encores. After the regular show ended, John Williams walked off stage and stayed in the wings for about 10 seconds and then walked back out, but when he left the second time I don't even think he stopped in the wings at all before walking right back out!

We waited about 20 minutes to head to the car to see if the crowd would dissipate and we could get out of the stacked parking sooner, but that didn't work. We still had to wait in the car for about 40 minutes before we could even move! But we were in air conditioning and had snacks, so we weren't complaining.

The reason we won't be going back to this venue has nothing to do with the actual venue or with John Williams or with the LA Phil. It's the people. It's a pretty casual venue so I think most people have no problem whispering to each other and having whole conversations during the music. The ladies in front of us even got up and left during one of the songs! We decided that if we're going to spend a significant amount of money to watch something that is really important to us, we need to do it in a setting that doesn't really allow for talking and eating. While to us it doesn't seem like it's asking too much for people to basically sit down and be quiet, this probably just isn't the venue to expect that.

So, we won't be going back. At least not for a symphony. This year was worlds better than last year, though! And we really did enjoy our time and are so thankful we got to go! We will treasure this memory forever. And if you hear of any John Williams shows in the greater LA or Inland Empire area that are indoors, holla atcha girl.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Things I've said that make me feel old

The following are actual phrases I've said that have made me feel like I'm maybe getting kiiiiiiind of old:

That's not the kind of cottage cheese I like.

I wonder if I'm getting enough fiber?

That chair doesn't have very good lumbar support.

These pants don't have a high enough rise.

I think the grey hair makes me look distinguished?

These kids are driving too fast!

I think I need another cat.

These shoes just aren't supporting my arch.

This shirt just shows too much cleavage.

Ugh, the beach, there's so much sand!

That looks like a varicose vein.

I think I'm getting a hot flash!

My retirement account is looking a little haggard.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Recently, my husband and I decided it was time to buy a new vehicle. We needed something that would work well in the snow and that we could fit animals and possible future children in. We needed something spacious and affordable. There are so many different kinds of cars out there, and we were dreading the thought of going from dealership to dealership to figure out what kind of vehicle we wanted and that would fit within our budget.
Wouldn't it be great if we could search for the best deals right from our sofa or bed? The great news is that with PushAuto, that is possible! PushAuto is an information and technology platform that allows its users to communicate with California's top auto dealers for a great online car buying experience. The easy to navigate website allows you to search for your desired vehicles and get the best possible price!
The best part? There's no additional cost to you for using PushAuto! So, if you're thinking about purchasing or leasing a new vehicle for your family, make sure you utilize PushAuto to maximize your car-buying experience.

Monday, August 7, 2017

What's the haps?

Do people still say that when they're asking, "What's been happening in your life lately?"? Probably, I think. I am very hip and with the cool lingo that kids these days are using. Cash me ousside, how bow dah? See? Told you.

Let's see... in the last several weeks a few things have happened. Things like... little sister got MARRIED! It was a stressful day filled with mishaps such as the absence of dinner plates at dinner, a car show which resulted in streets near the venue being shut down, which resulted in the wedding starting a half hour late because nobody could get to the venue or find a place to park, the veil being almost lost, my feet almost falling off because my shoes hurt so bad, and Katelynne (one of the 4 flower girls) refusing to sit with her dad and wanting to stand by her mom the matron of honor because "Mommy is my buddy!" Actually, that last one was pretty adorable.

Even with those mishaps, the wedding was beautiful and I cried when my sister walked down the aisle. She cried too. So did her husband, Joey. And here are some pictures.

Me and my stunningly beautiful sister!!

Me and Keith. My friend told me we look like a pastor and pastor's wife and that I should caption this, "Would you like to buy a Bible???"

My Grandma. I've talked about her before.

Two of the flower girls. Aria on the left, and my niece Katelynne on the right. Katelynne was very protective over her "treasure box" and Aria kept asking to play with it, thus the apprehensive look on Kate's face.

The four flower girls. Wrangling them was so fun.

Katelynne and me being very normal and supportive of the wedding.

My long time friend, Mallory.

Another long time friend, Christine. We were neighbors growing up and used to fight over who got to babysit the neighborhood children.

Me snuggling sweet baby Kyn.

My brother Robert and my Grandma.

Me and my Aunt Janet.

The beautiful newlyweds! Everyone threw lavender on them as they left. It looked beautiful but they said they inhaled a lot of it. Whoops. The two of them are currently honeymooning in the UK.

....trying to figure out why Patton is mad at me. He recently peed in my underwear box and he won't stop meowing in the middle of the night. Is he mad? Sick? Just a giant douche? We may never know.

...I sort of had a dinner party! Over the weekend my parents stayed at our house and on Saturday I cooked dinner for them, my brother John and his wife Amy, and Keith's parents. I made a roast in the crock pot and it was, apparently, "the best roast those 8 people had ever eaten." And it was SO EASY. Like, dump stuff in a crock pot and leave it there for 8 hours, easy. I'll tell you more about that another day.

...dreaming of our vacation! Keith and I are planning a European vacation this November. We are going to go to several places including Italy, London, Paris, and a few others that haven't been nailed down yet, but at least one of them is not a typical destination. So be prepared for lots of posts where I ask what kind of shoes I should wear in rainy London and how do I pack in a carryon for 3 weeks and how do I change my phone plan so I can still use Snapchat? All that and more, coming to a blog near you!

And that's it for now. Things have been very busy these last few months and I don't expect that to ease up any time soon. I am struggling to catch up on Game of Thrones - I'm still on season 4!!! Save me from the spoilers! JK I already read most (but not all!) of them.

Also, don't forget to check out this post!

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Bachelorette Party When You're Kinda Old

So you guys, my sister is getting married on Saturday. Her wedding is THIS weekend! How is my baby sister old enough to get married? Wasn't I just at the costume party for her 9th birthday party like, a week ago? Ugh. Whatever. What do you think? Does the girl on your left look old enough to be planning a wedding?
Ange has some amazing [almost] sister-in-law who had a HUGE hand in planning this bachelorette weekend. One of the sister, Nikki, orchestrated these before and after pictures of everybody! Keith looked at these pictures and said, "Wow, in the after your hair looks crazy." He's not wrong.
We went to the Santa Barbara pier and had some drinks (and complementary popcorn - YUM!), and I forced everyone to take group and individual pictures. This was the first thing that made me feel old, but you know what? If I hadn't forced this, we wouldn't have these pictures! SO GO ME. BEING OLD. I AM AN EXCELLENT OLD PERSON TO HAVE AT A BACHELORETTE PARTY.

My sister-in-law Amy and I took a selfie in the backseat. She is one of the most amazing women I have ever known. She's the mother of the niece we lost last October.
I also forced us to take a picture of all the "Tiffin" girls in front of some really pretty flowers and um, YOU'RE WELCOME.
We rode in a limo and stopped at a winery in Summerland, CA, and my sister Angentte told her proposal story. Her fiance (Joey)'s sisters were there, Jenny and Nikki. I snapped a picture of them listening to Ange's story of how Joey proposed to her and this is one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken.
Later, when we were at the pier and I was forcing everybody to take a group picture, a guy in a windbreaker jumped in the front and the guy who had my phone didn't want to take the picture, but I thought it was hilarious, so I just shouted 'TAKE THE PICTURE!' like, dude, this is 2017, I don't have to worry about how many films I'm developing. TAKE THE FUNNY PICTURE. MAYBE IT WILL END UP AS A MEME. WHO KNOWS.
Well, it did not end up as a meme and then we got a regular picture
Later, everybody got ready to go downtown and go to some clubs. Now, I haven't been to a club since before I got married so I decided to wear a very tastefully long sleeved flowy top from Express that definitely left everything to the imagination.
We had also stopped to have brunch at this fantastic restaurant that was obviously not fantastic enough for me to write down the name. Anyway, they made me double fist really cheap mimosas.
Later that night we played a game that had something to do with puckering and a pecker and there was brightly colored lipstick involved. I'll let you guess what that game was. I did not win. Here is a picture of the girls with their lipstick.

THEN, to cap the night off, we went to a club! You guys! I know I am old, but nothing has made me feel as old as I did when we went to the club! My older sister and I were sitting in the corner trying to be invisible but we were hit on by a guy in a fleece lined vest and we were NOT invisible and here is a picture of us with the bride in the background.
You know you're old when you only go to a club so you can take a selfie of the eyeliner a 22 year old did on you for fun.
We had a fishbowl of tasty alcohol that did NOT get drunk by us because it tasted like a sour patch kid but like, not in a good way. So, Joey's pregnant sister danced and pretended like she was drinking but don't worry, she wasn't! and it ended up being a really fun night!
...despite all the times my older sister and I complained about the music, or the crowds, or the lines, or the middle schoolers who were posing as 21-year olds, etc etc.
But the bottom line is that we were able to celebrate Angenette, whose wedding is THIS SATURDAY. And she had a wonderful bachelorette weekend, and her new sisters-in-law Jenny and Nikki did an amazing job planning it. And now I know for sure that I'm too old for clubbing.
BRB gotta go take care of my bunions.

Friday, July 21, 2017

How college shaped my future

This post is sponsored by Brightwood College, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. Brightwood College does not guarantee employment or advancement.

"Have I helped someone today?" - is a question I ask myself on a daily basis. I feel proud and accomplished when I'm able to answer, "Yes." Because of my college education, I am in a career which enables me to truly help people every day. Were it not for my education, I would not be where I am today.

When I began my college career, I had no idea where life would take me. I didn't know what I wanted to be or where I wanted to end up, but I knew that having a college education would greatly increase the opportunities I would be given. I knew that college would give me me lessons from books, professors, and individuals, and I knew that every single thing I learned would be put to good use after my college career was over. There were many times when I was struggling to study for a test or finish a paper, and I would think about my future and about how the things that were difficult at the moment would shape my future.

About halfway through my four years of college I realized that what I was truly passionate about was helping people. I wanted to help people in whatever capacity was available. I was so thankful I'd chosen to get my degree in Communication Studies because it taught me all about relationships and how human beings interact and learn from and with one another. It taught me how human beings gave and accepted help from one another.
In every job I've had since I graduated from college in 2010, I've been able to help people. In addition, with every job I've had since I graduated, having a college degree was a necessity. I speak with 100% honestly when I say that obtaining my degree enabled me to be where I am today.
During my senior year of college I was the president of my major's honor society. I was able to head committees, functions, and fundraisers so that our society could help other people. Through this society I was able to learn how to organize functions, delegate tasks, and communicate with co-workers. The opportunities I was given in college forever shaped me and my work ethic.

Today I am employed at a doctor's office. Had I not completed college, I would not have been hired. I am able to go to work every day to a job I am passionate about, a job which allows me to wholeheartedly answer, "Yes!" when I ask myself if I've helped someone today. 

When I go home at the end of the day, I feel fulfilled. I find myself excited to go to work in the morning because I know what I am doing will make a difference in somebody's life. The fact that I would not have this opportunity without a college education is not lost on me. At every opportunity I am given, I have encouraged young people to pursue a college education. When somebody says to me, "I don't have a specific career path chosen; I probably won't go to college," I encourage an education because it can lead to infinite possibilities which can help anyone realize his or her potential.