fresh start.

From here on out, it's smooth sailing. From here on out, I'm pursuing happiness. From here on out, it gets better.

The economy is horrible, and I'm bored with my day job, but I have something new- something to make staying at the day job worthwhile. I have: freelance design work. I currently have work within my chosen profession. I have work that I enjoy doing, that I can feel satisfied about. And that, that makes all the difference in the world. Even one small part of my day or week being dedicated to something that I like (in terms of a career and a supporting myself) means so much.

Along with this new work came a semi-epiphany. Most young people I know whom I consider successful don't work 9 to 5 jobs. They work 9 to 5 jobs and then some. This doesn't necessarily mean overtime at work- it can also mean side jobs, whether it be in the same field or another one. It means being a teacher and tutoring on the side. It means being an editor and writing screenplays in your downtime. It means being an art director and photographing weddings on the weekend.


So what if right now I can't find a job in my industry? I have a steady day job that I am happy to have in these uncertain times. But, I also have independent work. Work that I want, work that I appreciate, work that makes my life a little easier, work that eases my stress a little, though it makes me busier. And that? That's pretty sweet.



Please excuse this brief interruption from normal Europe trip programming for a poem. Some unfortunate events have occurred recently in my life, and by "unfortunate events", I mean a couple of people have passed away, one in extremely awful circumstances. This makes four people that have died this year, whom I cared for, or whose family I care for, or know well. Death is never pleasant, but four in five months is starting to be a bit wearing. So in the name and honor of those who have fallen, I post this poem, a favorite of mine:


Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight,my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

-W.H. Auden

R.I.P. Kristin Stock, Nick Cooley, Troy Lancaster and Mr. Sammy



Budapest. Buda fest. Buda best. It was pretty damn cool. Hot and humid as hell with occasional thunderstorms. Cool buildings, cheap prices, pretty parks, amazing turkish baths. My hostel was awesome, too. Very welcoming. I could go on, and on, so I'll just say this:

Budapest is like an older, beautiful woman who has fallen on hard times in her old age, like Brooke Astor. The bones of beauty and ncie clothes are still there, but the clothes are a little worse for wear, and her brow liner and lipstick are a little too dark. She used to be beautiful, but now is on the verge of garish. That is Budapest.


Lyon, on the way to Orange.

Paris was so much fun. Visited two museums (the Orangerie and the Pompidou Centre). Both have excellent art, and there was a great architecture exhibit at the Pompidou. Ate some good food. Partied my ass off with Karina on Thursday night and didn't get home until 6am on Friday morning. Went to a club that was full of American models and gay French men. It was interesting, but not that fun. It reminded me of the "Modelizer" episode of Sex in the City. Good times!

I wish I could post pictures, but my camera's brand new, so I haven't figured that out yet. Don't have that many, but it would be nice. Lyon's pretty. You know, old buildings, beautiful river running through the city- pretty typical. Amazing food, though: fresh pasta, fresh fish, homemade sorbet. Had the best rose` ever.

It's fairly hot, and it's going to be even hotter in the south of France (in Orange). My allergies are still driving me crazy. I find that a cocktail of two claritin and one allegra works well, though. Til next time- au revoir!



That's where I am. It's beautiful. My allergies are driving me crazy. I did a Marilyn in my sundress over a metro grate yesterday. Good times!



This last month and a half has been crazy. Crazy busy. I am so ready for a vacation, which is good, because on Monday I leave for Europe for 3 weeks. That's right. Three weeks. Visiting old friends (Copenhagen), and new friends (Micha!), and just generally hanging out = bliss. Plus, let's not forget the amazing food, wine and beer that I will be soaking up like a sponge. Good times, people, good times.


kiss kiss

Let’s talk about kisses for a minute. I mean kisses on the cheek, and specifically those given from men to women. There’s something in the air, I think, something going on with men and cheek kissing.

My friends and I have received a number of them in the past six months or so, enough to make me wonder about it. Mind you, these pecks were not from boyfriends, partners or husbands- oh no- but from friends and acquaintances. That is a very serious distinction to make.

Now, if we were living in Europe, this would be common. In fact, if this were Europe, to not kiss both cheeks would probably seem like an insult when greeting or saying goodbye to a friend. But here, in the states, the rules are different. Here, we are germaphobes and place distinct lines between the physical contact of friends and lovers. Here, our culture was developed from prudes. Here we preach about morals and abstinence and ridicule other cultures who are comfortable with sex and sexuality. Here, we try to deny that we’re the same as every other human in this world.

Because of all this, a kiss is not just a kiss- a casual term of endearment, or sign of friendship. Here, kisses are full of meaning, and the meaning behind it can be laboriously analyzed for days and days. Does it mean he’s just flirting? Does it mean he likes me? How much does he like me? What is he thinking??

It can go on and on.

But let’s not dwell on the meaning of these kisses for now. Let us just enjoy them for what they are, because they are (usually) enjoyable. They are as light and sweet as meringue. They are innocent. They recall young puppy love and spring days and a pretty blush on the cheek. They sometimes bring forth a shy, coy, but pleased smile or a knowing look. They are the promise of something more. They are the antithesis to our hyper-sexualized, over-stimulated society. And that, every now and then, is a beautiful thing.


3 more.

I am perpetually running a few minutes behind schedule, so I set my clocks fast. Unfortunately, this cannot be done to my cell phone- reason #5 why I dislike them.

I am notorious for picking up where I left off in a discussion or a story an hour or more later. I only hope it's an endearing aspect.

Pasta is my soul food.It is impossible for me to take short showers. Just impossible.


about me.

People told me that my 25th year was going to be a big year in my life, but I think it's going to be my 26th. I'm generally a happy person. I like to watch and look, whether it be at people, places or things. I don't have cable because if I did, I wouldn't get anything done. I love to travel and want to see the world. My head is a constant jukebox, which sometimes is awesome, and sometimes sucks. I'm really good at organizing and I think someday I might make a good manager, but I have a few creative bones in my body, as well. I'm loyal to a fault, which bothers some people. I am shy and quiet, which some people take as being aloof. I always walk behind people, and I have no idea why. I am soooo not a critic. I have a great memory, but I forget little stuff like the name of that song, or book, or bottle of wine that I really loved. I am generally confident, but sometimes I'll get insecure and complain (even though I have no right to, because I'm a lucky girl). I'm frugal enough to be able to afford a bit of luxury. I'm a night owl and hate getting up early. Plus, I love sleeping. And animals. And nature. And wine. And chips and salsa and boys with foreign accents and learning and dancing and laughing and and and and... so much more.



This past Saturday was Picnic Day at UCDavis. It's basically an open house for the students thinking of attending in the fall, and a party day for alumni and current students. I've gone almost every year. Part (dare I say, most) of the fun of Picnic Day is catching up with friends that you haven't seen in a while. Usually, I've contacted my good friends beforehand, to see who's going to be in the area, but occasionally you run across someone that you used to know and haven't seen in a long time. Sometimes, it's a happy occurrence, but other times.....

I was standing in line for mouthwatering Woodstocks pizza on Saturday evening. I was just chatting, enjoying the beautiful weather and looking across the street when a small group of people stop in front of me. My first thought is: that guy looks familiar. Then: no. It can't be. Jesse? My mouth falls open just a little bit.

Jesse is an ex. I haven't seen him in 4 years or so, and even that was a brief encounter. We had an amicable split, so there are no hard feelings, but it was still a shock to see him standing in front of me after all these years. Unfortunately, because of said shock, I was only able to softly blurt out his name, and so he walked away without hearing (or seeing) me. Still, my mind reeled back over the years. It would've been nice to say hi and see what he's doing.

Cut to an hour and a half later or so, and I'm eating pizza, having a great time with my friends. I look up towards the door and think: that guy looks familiar. Then: oh my god. It's Joey. Again, my mouth falls open, only this time my eyebrows scrunch together because...

Joey is an ex. My friends catch my expression and ask what's up. I feebly mumble: Ex number 2. Joey, I haven't seen in about 3 years. And again, it was an amicable split, but good grief Charlie Brown! 2 long-lost exes within 2 hours of each other? Is the universe trying to give me a heart attack?? Because I'm so freaked out, my body starts an adrenaline surge. Apparently, it was fight or flight time, though I felt rooted to my chair. And my beer. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) the line for pizza was long, so I had time to covertly glance at him, while drinking my beer and trying to calm down. He looked well. He actually looked better than he did when we were seeing each other. I figured, why not say hi?

So I walk over, and tap him on the shoulder. He looks over and is surprised, but looks happy to see me. Asks if I'm still at the same job (I'm surprised that he remembers it), and living in the area. I reply that no, I'm living in the bay area, then ask him what he's up to. He replies that he's living in the city and doing well. Then he asks for my number and says we should catch up. I say sure, and we part ways.

I get back to the table and my friends are dying to hear what he said. I say, "He asked for my number". Then I say, "2 exes in the same day- I don't think I can take any more." My friend M replies, "Don't think of it as seeing 2 exes- think of it as having 2 guys ask for your number in a week."

I like that better.

newly acquired.

Say hello to BAB, aka my Big Ass Bag. The picture may be a bit misleading, because this bag is big. 2 feet wide and 1 foot tall. Perfect for a weekend trip; perfect for carrying blankets to a baseball game on a cold night; perfect for smuggling bottles of wine; perfect for a trip to Europe.
Hell yah.


a weird interlude.

I was at a bar on Friday night, with a friend and some guys that she knows, near the end of a very fun night. One of the guys I know, and it was nice to see him since he had been MIA for a while. He was being nice and generous and funny, and it was great to hang out with him. All of a sudden he asks if I'm still running. I, surprised, reply that I stopped almost completely during the winter, but now that it's warmer, I'll start again. He says it's good that I'm running, that it's healthy. Then he says I look good, and though I am, again, surprised, I thank him for the compliment. Then he says, "Sure, I mean, don't you think we'd have good looking kids?"


Let me add that I don't know this guy well. We're acquaintances, not really friends. And there has never been any hint of romance between us. In fact, before this night, I didn't think he liked me much at all. In any case, I am astonished, to say the least. I reply, "I don't know," with my eyes wide, shoulders lifted and hands spread out in the classic pose of What Are You Talking About And Where In The Hell Did That Come From? He starts rambling:

"No, I mean, I'm just saying that you're running, you're healthy, you look good and we have nice features and our kids would be good looking."

I, still very shocked, nervous, and embarrassed, cough out a laugh and say, "I don't know! Seriously?? I don't even want kids!" At this he says, "Really?" and then starts rambling again. I zone out because it is so weird, and soon he sneaks out without saying goodbye to anybody.



an observation.

Late one night, a number of weeks ago, I was over at an acquaintance's house with our mutual friend, and her boyfriend. It was early in the morning, we were tired and some a bit inebriated, and the day's activities hadn't gone so smoothly. Over a simple question, the couple starts getting into a farce of a fight. I don't mean to belittle the cause of any fight, but the topic of this one was fairly ridiculous. Since the couple had gotten into a fight earlier that day, some of the anger was probably lingering, which I'm sure contributed to the swift battle cry of this one.

The fight of course made the acquaintance and I a bit uncomfortable and we tried to make peace, to no avail. The fight continued. Since it seemed that there was nothing else I could do, I moved to the other side of the room and sat down, half looking out the window at the beautiful, serene night, and half looking across the room at the disruptive, ugly scene.

Then the girl shouts,"I love you _____!" Over his words, she repeats over and over again:
"I love you _____!"
"I love you _____!"
"I love you _____!"
"I love you _____!" Until I can't listen anymore.

And then I think- the lady doth protest too much.


mo is...

I belong to a couple of social networking sites. I don't do much "social networking" on them, but I do appreciate them for allowing me to keep in better touch with friends that live far away. I'm not very good at calling people and thinking of things to say about myself.

"What's new with you?"
"Ummm, nothing really. Same old thing?"

So, when I think of something funny, or there is a story or anecdote to share, I can text or hop on one of the sites and share it immediately, before I forget it. It may not work for everybody, but it works for me.

Anyhow, these social networking sites have a window at the top that allows you to write exactly what you're doing or feeling at the moment. Something like, "[screen name] is thinking about how much the rain sucks," or "[screen name] currently wants to take a nap." It's very twitter-ish. So, in honor of these funny anecdotes, I am writing this post in tagline style.

Mo has more and more to do and less and less time.

Mo is currently stressed about the quiz she has tonight that she is not prepared for.

Mo is currently studying at work for said test.

Mo is very sorry she missed the Louis XIV/Hot Hot Heat/Editors show last Friday.

Mo has no "romantic" plans for Valentine's Day, and she is okay with it.

Mo is going to be very happy when said quiz, the week, the HSUS petition drive, February, and the class are done.

Mo has finished season 3 of the Gilmore Girls.

The end. : )


new things.

In the spirit of the new year, I'm going to share some discoveries (new things), or things that I recently discovered I like, hence new to me.

First, the Gilmore Girls. Yes, it's a show that's over. And before it was over it was on for years. But, I only recently discovered how much I like it. Just a few episodes while catsitting and I'm hooked! I'm currently finishing season two. As an aside, it's so nice watching tv shows without the commercials. I almost never watch tv (on my actual television), and now that I can watch shows without commercials, I may never watch tv (on my actual television) again. Okay. Back to the show. I love the witty dialog, and all the cultural references. I like how they treat the relationships between people. But, of course, I have my issues with it, too. Like, how it wasn't explained why Lorelie decided not to marry Max (even though it would have been ridiculous if she had). And how she and Luke obviously like each other, and yet, are in complete denial about it. And don't get me started on Rory choosing Jess over Dean. Come on! Jess is just like Tristan-a jerk! Plus, he has no ambition, and he couldn't work hard to save his life. He's a loser. *ahem* end rant. You can see how involved I am.

Second: absinthe. I can't specifically say which brand, though. I was at the Fireside Lounge (another discovery- that place is looking good now) and since the infamous green fairy is legal now, my friend and I decided to try some! I was surprised at how much I liked it. We had the traditional way, (or so the menu said) which was very smooth. I don't like licorice that much, but the taste wasn't overpowering at all- it was complex and blended with so many other things that the licorice didn't jump out and hit you in the face like a jack-in-the-box. I definitely want to go try the St. George Spirits version, although I can't see myself buying it, at $75 a bottle. Ouch.

Third, I really should mention the Fireside. From the outside, it looks like a dive bar. Considering Alameda's bar selection, this is an easy assumption. However, inside it's clean and modern with soothing colors, nice furniture and a loft-like feel. Total surprise. I'm going to say it's the nicest bar on the West end.

Fourth: since I'm on the topic of bars, I'll go with The Hobnob. I've been there many times in the past months and I like it every time. It's friendly, hip but casual, and you can find solid food and drinks there. I've tried (and love) the truffle fries. I've also had artichokes with aioli, and some breakfast items. My memory is a little faulty with the breakfast, but I remember liking whatever my friend and I had. Oh! Also for brunch, they have make-your-own Bloody Mary's. Who doesn't like that?? Plus, that's just the cake of the place... there's frosting, too. You may ask, "what more could there be"? So, readers, I will tell you.

They have games. A bookshelf overflowing with games. Maybe it doesn't sound that interesting to everyone, but I guarantee that anyone can find a game that they enjoy. It was at this hallowed ground that my brother, sister-in-law, and I rediscovered Clue. Yes. Clue. When you were a kid, it was fun, but it's just as interesting as an adult. There's much more strategy that comes into play. And it's much faster. In any case, The Hobnob also has the (always fun) Apples to Apples, and cards, and many other games. I think it's worth checking out.

That's it, for now. Some discoveries. New things. New things for a new year. Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear. : )


first things first................

HappY NeW YeaR!!!