Friday, March 28, 2008

My ex is a copy cat!

So I got a text from Sensei T today saying
"(My ex) just moved in with me. So he can be closer to school. He moves in on the first. He is taking the studio place."

The house that my sensei lives in has 6 bedrooms and a studio that is attached to it. The door to the main house faces the door to the studio. Sensei T rents on of the rooms and I guess my ex is moving in to the studio, cuz school is literally one block away. What school you ask? The SAME school I go to. The one I walk to! Luckily, the probability of me having classes with him are slim to none cuz he doesn't have the prerequisite classes that my classes require and we don't have the same major.

Oh and the other kicker... he lives on the SAME street as me! Granted there is a major street that separates my track from his, but still!


So I have to make a decision on whether to keep practicing with bumping into my ex and him possibly practicing with us or not. It would be highly that we would bump into each other since I spend at least 3 house practicing on Sat and Sun.

It's funny how things work out, though, and how the universe sends you a sign when you ask for one. You see, I was thinking of cutting down to one day a week this coming months verses the two days a week I currently do so I could volunteer at the Marine Center. Then, last night while hanging out with my sisters and nieces, some of my older niece's troubles came out and I was thinking of spending a day a week (or every other week) with her to help her with school and just bond. Less then 24-hours later, life is telling me I can give up those two evenings on the weekends and do some other productive things with them. So I guess it's a blessing in disguise.

Friday giggles

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Our final days in NY

Before I knew it, it was time to get ready to head home. The night before we visited Jay's brother house in search for a carry on bag and to say our good-byes.

Two of Jay's nieces were heading out to a billiard and we decided to join them. It cracked us all up on the lack of people there. The place had 12+ pool tables, a huge bar, and some arcade games and we were pretty much the only ones there. We sat at the bar and enjoy each other's company. I thought it was so cool that the niece in the top picture and I have so much in common. She want to be a vet, doesn't want to have biological kids, but does want to adopt. She watches only two channels on TV, one being Animal Planet. I am such a monkey see, monkey do type of gal and now am hooked on the show. I am not a person who watches TV, but when I do turn on the tube that's all I watch now... ask Jay! I think he is tired of Animal Planet.. Hehe!
At the corner of the bar I spotted a basketball hoop game and challenged Jay... I was the score on the right and he was the one to the left. His niece came over and said, she was curious to see who was winning and then point out how I was kicking some butt. We played two more games and guess who kept winning... yup, me!

Earlier that day we had gone to Yonker's Race Track. It was cool to see a favorite spot of Ma's (Jay's mom)! And seeing how her birthday was in two days and we were gonna miss it, we made sure to go there. The board has all 9 race tracks in NY and you can bet on any of them. Man, people get so into it, getting close to the screen and screaming at the horses. Ma gave me this magazine book with all the race information and stats on the horse. I looked through and picked three horses to bet on and when I told her the #'s she said I had picked the 3 favorite for that race. Unfortunately, my horses didn't win.

We went down stairs and gambled a little bit. I lost a few dollars, but it was cool to hang out. And unlike Vegas, these rooms are smoke free!
When we got back, Ma and Jay showed me Jay's stomping grounds when he was younger. He used to run these hall and play man hunt with his friends. It was such a neat feeling to see all these part of Jay's life.
We got home and I just had to take a picture of Guy! I have never seen a kitty take a dump like this. He must be claustrophobic.

We walked through town and there was walls painted with these murals.

It shows the story of the town. It these murals were in LA and some part of Orange County, they would have been graffiti'd on already!
A little more walking and a stop at a Spanish food place and I got a look at the babies. Made me think of Cindy and her huge avocado seed that become a healthy tree. These suckers are huge!

And then it was off to the airport! *sadness*

Thanks for the beautiful memories New York!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Change in the wind

I can't believe it... I just got a call from my Mom and my bro-in-law got accepted to Duke University! Woohoo! Congrats Rudy! He's the one that just renewed his vows with my lil sis, Jessy. It looks like my lil sis will be moving to North Carolina in August. She is leaving the nest. While I am super excited for him, I am sad that my favorite sis is leaving the state.

Oh, another one that is leaving the state is my older sis. She, her hubby and their American Bulldog, Fang, are moving back to Colorado the end of April.

Who knows, maybe I will be the next to leave the state.

The city.. the old and the new

The night before at the bar there was a huge discussion about the new Yankee Stadium and once people heard I was not from NY, they insisted that I see it. I didn't get to experience the inside because no games were playing, but I toured the outside.
It was getting dark and from what I was told, it's not the safest part in the Bronx. But I did have my honey to keep me safe!
This is the "old" Yankee Stadium. The sign to it faces the freeway/highway.
And this is the new Yankee Stadium. The talk of the town is how there is 5,000 less seats and more luxury seats. People were saying it's becoming commercial, but that's what Harlem needs. I guess there are people whose job is to wake up early the day of a game, park there car in a prime parking spot and drink beer on the roof. As people need parking, they sell them the spot for like $50.00 and "watch" their car. Just blocks from the stadium if you park your car, it can and will be stolen in minutes!!!

Jay and his bestest buddy, Lyphe were talking and I snuck a picture. Gottcha!

Lyohe decided to be a good sport and take a picture with me. Little did I know he was being silly. Haha!

And then Jay decided to copy him! Lyphe was going to do it to, but couldn't make a straight face.
Earlier that day we were walking around and I thought it was neat how the train is right above the street. It's not like that in Cali!

We drove my the Apollo, too! Didn't have time to watch a show, just enough time to snap a picture as we went off to get food!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Trains, ferry rides and standing in lines

It cracks me up that I was worried about what to wear in NY and spent time picking out my outfits, because I was always wearing my jacket and scarf and you can't see anything else. Haha! But seriously, I did change every day.

Jay did some research and found out that we had to buy tickets beforehand to visit the Statue of Liberty. Sunday we checked the website and the next two days were completely sold out except for a 8:30am tour on Monday and a 2:30pm tour on Tuesday. We opted for the 8:30am and woke up bright and early to catch the train into town.

Before getting to the train station we stopped by an Arab diner for an egg white and turkey sausage biscuit. Since I don't eat pork, I was thrilled that they had all this turkey stuff! Oh my, this little breakfast sandwich was delicious!!! And for being super early in the morning, the warmness of the buscuit was a welcoming treat to my tummy!

After a little walk, two trains and a little more walking we made it to our destination... an hour early, tho. We decided to get some hot coco from the many food carts on the street. NY is know for these little cart and while you might wonder where these people that man the cart go to the restroom and if they wash their hands, you can't help but agree that there food is the best!

We hung out in Battery Park for a little while and watched the sunrise on the Statue of Liberty just across the river.
We had to stand in line to get our tickets, another line for security and a line to get on the ferry. It was so cold out there! The wind was blowing and I think I understand "wind chill" now. The line for security was interesting. You stand in this machine and it blows air on you and you can't get out until it clears you. I guess the machine ensures that you don't have any chemicals on you.
We finally got on the ferry and off to see the Statue of Liberty.
Jay and I were kinnda surprise of the lack of direction. Once you get off the ferry you are on your own. There are no signs to were to go and what to see. We made a bee line to food first. I was starving! Then we walked around the island and went into another line to clear security AGAIN and finally see the green lady.
Once we got in there was no direction on where to go. It was really weird! Maybe we are spoiled by California and having tour guides? The minute you walk in you see this huge torch and it's the original torch. We walked upstairs and there is the history of the statue and some artifact and pictures. And if we didn't know any better we would have though that this was it! We headed for an exit door and realized there was more to see! Due to 9/11 security, the entrance to the crown of the statue is not permitted, but the entrance at the bottom of her gown is. It was 160 steps up and if you don't like confined spaces, it isn't for you.
Once we got up there we saw Manhattan, New York City skyline and Ellis Island. It was neat! And of you stood on one side of the statue it was windy and cold from her shadow and on the other side the complete opposite. Once we took some pictures and enjoyed the view it was back to the ferry to take us back to the city.

We made it to the heart of NY City. There is something going on everywhere! And oh my, their department stores are HUGE! We went to one called 21st Century. Not only is it three stories tall, but each story as extra floors. We asked for the shoe department and was instructed to go to the 2nd story and follow the foot steps on the floor. They took us to the back of the shop, down stairs and to a huge department store of shoes which is the size of one clothing store here in Cali.

We made it to Wall Street building, more trains, saw NYU and a bunch of other landmarks. We stopped at the World Trade Center spot and it wasn't what I thought it would be. Where the trade center went down is blocked off, the "memorial site" is right next to a subway entrance and there is only two booths. One maned by a person giving out brochures and another booth that two sides are with photos of that day and the other two are what is going to be built. And that was it!

They are going to construct two water fountains and a park.

We HAD to visit Time Square and see where TRL is at! The recruiting station is the one that was recently attacked. It's a tiny little building in between the street!

Monday, March 24, 2008

My first days in NY

New York is absolutely GREAT! I still can't believe what a great time I had because I have never experienced a vacation like this before. I had no worries or thoughts about home. We got into NY Saturday evening and I was a little nervous that our ride would be late. Last time Jay was in NY his ride was HOURS late, but Lyphe, Jay's best friend, was on time. It was cool to finally meet Lyphe cuz him and Jay talk all the time and have been friends since their childhood. It's rare to keep in touch with people when you move so far away, but they have an incredible bond. Once we got our luggage it was off to the car to meet Lyphe's girlfriend, Crystal. Both of them were so welcoming and were my tour guids as we made our way to Yonkers, where Jay grew up.One of the first things we did was have some good ol' New York Pizza from Alfonso's. I had a Sicilian with breaded chicken and this slice was before we headed home. It's weird, I ate the entire slice but didn't feel guilty at all! You can definitely taste the sauce more and the dough isn't so floury, as California pizza.

That night I met Ma' (Jay's Mom) and "AliBop" (Jay's niece). Afterwards, Lyphe, Jay, Crystal and I headed out to a bar in White Plains to meet people from a social group that Lyphe belonged to. I had the best calamari there! The sauce was tangy, yet light. Mmmmm!

The next day it was off to meet Jay's Dad and step mom, Jenny. Wow, can Jenny cook! She made the best chicken, rice and pigeons peas this side of town (or I guess it would be that side of town). Jay and I tried to recreate the meal last night, but it just wasn't the same! As you can imagine, I did a lot of eating in NY! Roy, Jay's Dad, gave me some Jamaican wine. I must say I am not a fan of wine, but this was so delicious. It didn't have that bitter taste that I am used to. It was sweet and had a kick to it. It was cool hanging with Jay's Dad. There are things he would say that reminded me so much of my Dad, which was comforting.
We made it off to Jay's aunt's house and met more family!

But before we went, I had to have a picture with the family, too!

That evening we went to "Squeaky's" (Jay's brother) house and meet more family. Their dog gave us a welcome... he got so comfortable that he passed out and tooted! Man, that dog can clear a room! We decided to walk back to Ma's house and as you can see we were COLD!

Now, being from the West Coast, we don't have all the same dinning options as the East Coast. Those of you with White Castles in your area might be shock to know that I never have enjoyed one of there burgers until now!

Well, I didn't have a beef one, tho. I had these tiny chicken nugget sandwiches that remind me of KFC's Chicken Littles.

More tomorrow on Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

I <3 NY!

I am back from our trip to New York and didn't miss home one bit! Normally, when I am on vacation I start to miss home half way into it and worry about my home, pets, mail, work, etc, etc. -- Not this time!

I have to charge my camera to download pictures, but to give you a preview I visited Yonkers, New York City, Harlem, the Bronx, Manhattan, White Plains and whole lot of other cities. We visited all of Jay's family and a ton of his buddies, the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Time Square, Grand Central Station, Canal Street, the old and new Yankee Stadium, Yonker's Race Track and local restaurants, billiards and bars. We had a blast!!!

Today I am back to the grind at work and missing New York!

Oh, and while I was gone, I believe I missed a birthday... Happy Birthday, James!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Getting ready for NY

I'm going to New York! YAY! I am planning all the last minute preparations and getting things in order. This morning I trained the temp that will be covering my desk while I am on vacay and she seems very reliable, friendly and like she will not screw stuff up. I have a final training with her tomorrow. It's good to leave and know your work is in good hands.

Tonight my oldest sister is coming over to see where I keep everything for the kitties and drop off a suit case. She will be babysitting my house and kids while I am gone and also volunteered my niece. I sent a text thanking my niece for taking care of my kitties while I am gone and it was news to her. Gotta love moms and there willingness to volunteer there kids to do stuff like cleaning out the kitty litter.

Now, all I have to night is complete my English timed essay final tonight. The teacher doesn't even give us the topic until you click on the link. He gave us a hint though, it will include some or all of the last 5 readings we were assigned and require quotes. Ick! Doesn't sound fun at all! But I will be glad to have completed it!

It's funny, the closer and closer I get to take off... the more and more my min d can't concentrate on stuff that needs to get done. I think I really, really need this vacay!
That's the latest with me...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Birth Control

I am about to take my last packet of 12 months worth of birth control pills and now need to decide to either get the shot or stay on the pill. Any suggestions?

My lil sis said the shot played with her emotions to much and I hear that you get your period inconsistently for the first year, then after the first year it rarely comes (bonus points!). Plus it doesn't have the additional estrogen hormone, which can contribute to cervical cancer.

So I am torn and need to make a decision in 3 weeks. Have any of you tried the shot?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Racking my brain

My head is spinning and is constantly thinking of school. I am getting excited about graduating from junior college, have accepted the fact that I will have to stay there for a year afterwards to complete classes for my major, and am looking to the future.

Ever since I was a lil kid, I remember wanting to be a doctor. I took my mom's scrub shirt, lab coat and stethoscope to school on career day. In high school that is all I wrote about and even visited some of the schools I wanted to attend.
For some time, I wanted to be an OB/GYN, but after a lot of consideration and exposure to the field, I changed my mind. Now, I am set on being either large animal or marine veterinarian. I have raised and cared for livestock, so I know I enjoy large animal care, but also love the ocean and think I might enjoy caring for marine life, as well. I can't believe it, in a year I will be applying to transfer. A part of me is kicking myself for taking such a long break from school and a part of me is telling myself to stop looking back and just look forward!
Here are the schools I am considering for my BA in biology/animal science:

Cal Poly Pomona, Southern Cali

University of AZ, Phoenix, AZ

For my PhD, these are the schools I am looking at:

Western University, Southern Cali

UC Davis, Northern Cali

All these school have one thing in common, I have to have "experience" with a minimum of 500 hours (or was it 250). I think it was either Cal Poly Pomona or UC Davis that said minimum was 250 to be, keyword, considered! But the next sentence stated that the average applicant has 5,000 hours. YIKES!
Once I get back from my trip to NY, I will be calling up some places to start volunteering. I really want to volunteer at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center! It's a minimum requirement of 4 hours per week for the first year. I am going to have to make some sacrifices with my time, but well worth it!