Friday, May 31, 2013

May Group Giveaway!

Oh, helllooooo there.
Guess what? It's that time of the month again!
No, not THAT time, but Group Giveaway time!
I've actually never won one of these things before, but I bet it's pretty awesome.
If only I could enter my own...
But alas, that would be weird and I'm sure frowned upon.
So here's where you come in.

Up for grabs from these beautiful ladies:

Enter below!
And remember, the more entries you make, the better chances for you to win. Obvi. #simplemathskills
Good Luck and have a great weekend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


P.S. Interested in participating next month? Check out these options here!

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Trials and Tribulations of Apartment Hunting in San Francisco.

Let me take a moment to tell you about the trials and tribulations of apartment hunting in San Francisco. Mind you, I have never experienced anything like this in my life.

Previous experiences with apartment hunts went as follows:

1. Make appointment to see apartment.
2. You see apartment.
3. You like apartment.
4. You fill out application for apartment.
5. You get apartment.

Very simple. Very straight forward. No issues.

I have quickly realized that the San Francisco process does not go as smoothly.

The San Francisco apartment hunt goes a little more like this:

1. Go to

2. Be presented with THIRTY-SEVEN different neighborhoods to choose from in the 7 sq. mile region of San Francisco.

3. After filtering out the "you-may-get-stabbed-if-you-live-here"apartments and the "are-you-kidding-me-who-could-ever-possibly-afford-to-ever-live-here-you-must-be-on-crack-craigslist-lister" apartments, you then settle on a happy medium "that-looks-decent-enough-and-it's-affordable-ish" apartment.

4. You are then given a teeny tiny window of when you can see the apartment in person. It's usually on the weekend and it's about a 30-60 minute showing. Not a minute more!

5. If you're me (or smart), you then map out your plan of action, days in advance. You find the quickest route. You prepare to leave with plenty of time to get there early so as to be the first ones there. You have your checkbook in your bag, just in case this is "THE ONE" and they'll accept your deposit right then and there...or perhaps if you need to bribe them.

6. On the day of, you arrive early, thinking you've outsmarted the locals!

7. You enter the apartment, only to be stared at by 5 other sets of eyes, silently willing you to walk away and never return. It appears your plan of showing up early was also the plan of the other desperate house-hunters.

8. But you walk in anyway, head held high, determined to be the new renter!

9. And then you stand there, in a shoebox of an apartment, with these 5 other people.
And it's quiet.
And it's awkward.
And there's nowhere to go because as you're standing in the "bedroom" you can basically touch the toilet while also simultaneously able to touch the refrigerator in the kitchen with not one step being taken. Slight exaggeration, but not by much.

So then there's a whole lot of this going on with the fellow house-hunters:

10. You then tell the property manager that you're very interested in applying, but the property manager doesn't have any applications with him and instead has everyone write their name and email address down on a paper and he says he'll "email you an application later that evening."

11. Except later that evening, you get nothing.

12. And nothing the next day either.

13. You then try to contact them because you really, really want this place. And you really, really want to give them your money. Your last little pittance of money. All for this shoebox of a place!

14. But you hear nothing back.

So then there's a whole lot of Stephanie Tanner going on in your head:

As you can see, my friends, this city is not the easiest place to find a home. I have a theory (because I'm too lazy to Google the actual facts) that San Francisco is 99% occupied. So then there's the rest of us who are fighting over that little 1% left, and boy has it been a battle.

But I am determined. And I will fight to the death! Even if it means getting physical!

...okay, not really.

But I'll have the determination of that little guy if I need to!


Wish me luck. I'm off to scour Craigslist again.


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Tuesday, May 28, 2013


So as not to spiral into a deep and dark depression, while our bank accounts are slowly, but surely, dwindling and we have still yet to find a job or permanent home, I have to muster deep within myself and do my best to focus on this time in my life as a sort of "Funemployment" opportunity. 

For example, until I do commit myself to a job that comes with responsibilities and such, I should be thankful for the things that I can do until then.

Such as:

1. Say yes to that 5th (or 6th) glass of wine just because it's a random Tuesday...or Wednesday...or any day, really, because it doesn't matter; I don't have to wake up before 9am in the morning and I can stay in my yoga pants all day while lounging in bed and watching the new season of Arrested Development.

2. Stroll the streets on a random week day, while the sun is high in the sky. Then causally stop at a Starbucks, perch myself on the patio, and peruse the new People magazine while sipping on an Iced Coffee.

Have I actually done that?


But the option is there if I want it, and that's really all that matters right now, now isn't it?

3. Catch a matinee at the local movie theatre in order to beat the night rush and save me a few dollars. (Again, haven't done this, but I'm scrounging for reasons to enjoy this unemployment, here. Stick with me.)

4. Head to Union Square at 2pm on a Tuesday to exchange something at H&M. Not only do I miss the bus crowd, but I also miss the bazillion tourists that I'd normally find on a Saturday if I were to have that thing called a job that kept me from being able to go on such errands during the week.
Perks of unemployment, my friends. PERKS.

You see that up there? Empty. Empty = Comfortable.

Let me tell you something. Last night, when it was super crowded, I got stuck sitting next to this big black man. Him being big, or black for that matter, has nothing to do with this story, but I thought I'd give you a visual to go with the following scenario.


I sat next to him, and then I reach behind my head to pull my hair out from my jacket.
You know, a normal "fix your hair flip". No big deal.

THEN the man says to me, "Don't flip your hair at me!"

And I looked at him. Stared for a beat or two out of confusion, then said, because I'm SO NICE and thought maybe I had hit him with my hair, even though that was unlikely,

"Oh, I'm sorry."

THEN he said, "You know exactly what you were trying to do."

?????? Yes actually, I was trying to get my hair out of my jacket, weirdo.

So THEN The Dizzle PUNCHED HIM IN HIS FACE AND SAID, "Lay off my woman!"

Okay, that last part didn't happen at all. But boy, I thought about that scenario in detail because it was the only way to calm myself and not actually say anything to the man for the rest of the ride.

Do you ever do that? Have someone say something rude to you and then you're just stunned with silence, but the whole time you're thinking of so many clever remarks you can say back but you're just too nervous to say anything? Happens to me all the time. I'm debating on whether that's a good thing or not.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yeah, "Funemployment."

I'm trying to stay positive, and for the most part I am. I know a job will come sooner or later. In fact, I had another phone interview this morning and I didn't get off the phone crying, so I'm taking that as a good sign. ;)

Point is, I am focusing on staying present and enjoying each day. Because if there's one thing I've learned, it's that nothing is permanent. So enjoy it while you can, am I right?

Happy Tuesday!
....or is it Wednesday?


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Monday, May 27, 2013

I can't believe it's been a year already!

I was curious to see where we were and what we were doing last year, around Memorial Day.
So of course, I checked my personal "life documenter" - a.k.a. this blog.
And I came across this picture:

Memories that came to me when I saw it:

- We had just returned from Korea for my brother's wedding
- We had just decided we wanted to somehow travel the world for an indefinite amount of time, but had yet to work out any of those details
- We were SIX days shy of running a MARATHON
- I was a good 8 pounds lighter
- I had no idea what would entail for us that year
- But I was super excited to find out

Now, one year later, here I San Francisco!

Things I think about when I look at this picture:

- We have recently returned from 6 months of traveling the world
- We are now 1 week in to our San Francisco adventure
- I am nowhere near able to run a marathon again, let alone 3 miles
- I wear loose tops to mask the 8 pound gain-age (see above)
- I still have no idea what this next year will entail for us
- But am I excited? Yes. Nervous? Definitely (as you can clearly see in my weird/nervous/fake-ish smile)

Anyhoo, crazy what life throws at you, huh?
Here's to another year!
But more importantly, Happy Memorial Day to you all!
I hope you find a special way to spend it.
Even if that means spending the day in yoga pants and eating BBQ'd ribs.


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Friday, May 24, 2013

It's Friday and I don't have a clever title because my brain is fried.

Happy Friday, ya'll. Anyone else have a massive hangover? No? Just me? Oh, good.
You know you're getting old when you still feel crappy at 2pm the day after.
It's okay though.
The fun that ensued last night was worth it all.
Serena and her lovely hubs oh-so graciously invited us out for a few drinks.
And when I say a few, I mean six.

Sometimes I remember just how awesome this whole "blogging" thing is.
Because sometimes you get to meet some really awesome people.
But then sometimes you get to meet some really mean people, too.
And then I wonder if I should just retire the whole blogging thing altogether.
But then you meet another really awesome person, and it convinces you to keep on keepin' on.
Am I even making sense anymore?
Why do I still feel drunk? I don't think that's even possible.

Anyway, speaking of awesome people.
TODAY, I had my very first food truck experience with the beautiful, Stephanie!
We met up in the Financial District and had some monstrous burritos from Senor Sisig.
Speaking of food trucks, I'd be lying if I said The Dizzle and I hadn't thought about opening our own someday...

So, here's to you two ladies for being so welcoming to me.
I'm so happy to now say I have 2 new REAL life friends here in the city.
And now you have to hang out with me.
Every. Day.
And ever.
See what I mean about the still being drunk thing?
I think I should probably go lay down and chug a gallon of water or something.

But before you go, can I tell you something first?
Once upon a time, I went to college in Los Angeles at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
While there, I had 3 roomies.
One roomie was named Jessica.
Jessica and I clicked instantly.
This was 8 years ago, and we're still friends today.
And I love her.
And she loves me.
She also loves traveling.
Probably even more than I do.
And that's saying a lot.
And Jessica taught English in Thailand.
And China.
And she traveled a lot more.
And she's here today to say hi to you.
And I'm going to stop talking so you can hurry up and meet her.
She's truly awesome and I know you'll love her.
But not as much as I love her.
Because that would be impossible.


Five Things I Learned in Asia: 

Hello guys and gals! I’m Jessica, the travel writer and photographer behind MissAdventure: Teach. Travel. Live. Learn. My blog is all about teaching abroad, traveling around Asia, living as much like a local as I can handle and, because all of this has taught me more than I ever expected it could, it’s a place for me to share with my readers what I've learned about the cultures, people, places and adventures I’ve come into contact with.

Since Mish asked me to introduce myself to all of you, I thought I’d kick things off with a few of the things I’ve learned after 18 months in Southeast Asia, China and India. I hope to entice some of you to take your own adventure, whether it’s to a new country, a new destination in your homeland, or just a click over to my little corner of the virtual world. I’d love to meet you there!

1. I am a squat toilet master. How do I know? If a girl can use a squat toilet in heels and while wearing a backpack (don’t ask why), I don’t think anyone will argue that it screams success. In fact, I’m so good that I actually prefer to use the squatters over the grimy western ones which are often marked with footprints on the toilet seat (yep, the locals stand on them) and sit in a pool of what I hope is water.

The first squat toilet I ever saw in Bangkok. In hindsight, it's a really clean one!

2. Asians remove their shoes before entering a home or a temple, and for good reason. After you’ve walked through random puddles in Bangkok (despite a lack of rain), tromped through the filth-lined streets of India and watched children and women pee on the sidewalks of China, you too will want your shoes far away from your bed.

A typical Indian street (actually, this one is quite clean!), in Bikaner, Rajasthan.
3. Chopsticks are my friends, not my nemesis. After four months in China, where they eat everything…and they do it with chopsticks, I can now proudly eat a chicken foot, a frog head and a bowl of rice, all without using a spoon or my hands. Now that's an accomplishment!

Eating dinner with my students in China. An entire frog was involved.
4. Asians are blunt. In Southeast Asia, I’m fat (even though I’m an average 130 pounds, 5’3”). In China, I’m an acne-laden freak (thanks to its unimaginable pollution), and in India, where I stupidly went to heal my allergy to China, I was asked multiple times each day, “What’s wrong with your face?” They say what’s on their mind as soon as it comes to them, and it’s often refreshing to know exactly what they’re thinking, rather than trying to guess what our westerner counterparts are really thinking.

That's me! Making chapati at the Kumbh Mela Festival in Allahabad, India. My face, believe it or not, was in the healing process.
5. Asians are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. It might sound like a contradiction to number four, but even their honest remarks are said with love and curiosity. On countless occasions, I’ve been invited into their homes, treated to meals, coffee and tea, spoiled with smiles, compliments and gifts. I’ve been a perpetual student, asking them about their lifestyle, their culture and their country, and they’re always eager to answer, to pose for pictures and to offer help when needed.

Even though they spoke no English, this kind family invited me into their home with smiles!

The people of this splendid, diverse, magical continent have made my travels into incredible memories that I won’t soon forget. And I’m documenting it all over here, to ensure I never will. Come teach me a thing or two, will ya?



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