Friday, February 27, 2009


I have a new blog!

I have really been ready for a change when it comes to the ol' blog landscape. Last night I bit the bullet and set up my new blog and imported all my posts from this blog.

The new blog is really bare bones right now, and I don't even know if I like the layout of it. I need to do some work on it. Can anyone point me to a good site for creating custom templates? I hate most of the templates Blogger offers.

Anyway, I won't be posting here anymore, so you can find me over there - at Love Street.

(Update your subscriptions and bookmarks, please!)

Hope to see you all over there!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Notes from the Universe: 3

In both relationships and life, Leslie, trust begets trust.

Generosity begets generosity.

Love begets love.

Be the spark, especially when it's dark.

Hubba, hubba -
The Universe

I got the above note in my inbox this morning. Last night, I read this. It's no accident that these two things came into my life at around the same time. And I don't even believe in fate!

The message is hard to ignore. And I feel a sense of clarity for the first time in months. Things actually make sense! This rarely happens to me, especially lately when I have been on emotional overload.

I feel that everything's going to be okay. I feel that even though things have not turned out the way that I expected them to and that I am not the person I ever expected to be, there is nothing wrong with making some adjustments and moving on.

I don't believe in putting too much stock in making plans, because unexpected things always come up and derail said plans, but I have to confess something.

I have a plan. It's brilliant and beautiful and simple and it might just work.

At this point, there is absolutely nothing more that I could ask for.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Babymoon, Day 1: Lost in the City, Lost in Beauty

Before I start recapping our babymoon trip to San Francisco, I'd like to make note of a few things:

1) These posts will probably be very photo-intensive. I used my new point and shoot as my primary camera during this trip and was very pleased with the results. My only real complaint is that it just can't handle having its ISO cranked up like my DSLRs can - which means that some of my pictures came out pretty noisy (grainy). That's what I get for refusing to use flash, yo.

Also, you may notice that many of my pictures from this trip are tilted. I think the fact that I took a lot of them from a moving vehicle had something to do with that.

2) Where's everyone been? I've noticed a really big decrease in the amount of comments I've been getting lately. Don't you love me anymore? Don't tell me you actually have lives!

3) How am I already exhausted? It's only Monday!

Okay, carrying on...

Roy and I woke up at the asscrack of dawn on Valentine's Day, and I was a total brat and took a picture of Roy's morning hair, which I am always so jealous of. My hair does boring things, like just laying there.

But Roy's... well, it's magnificent.

We did our last minute things and then picked up my mother-in-law, who dropped us off at the airport. I took pictures from the plane window. The flight attendant had to tell me to turn off my camera once the cabin door was closed. I had no idea "camera signals" interfered with all those airplane things going on.

At 8:30 AM, we landed in Oakland and took the shuttle to the rental car place. We spent awhile there because the rental car people kept insisting that we had to pay a $250 deposit since we were using a debit card to pay. Whatever. We climbed into our rental and took off. After paying the $250 deposit, of course.

I took a picture of myself, looking better than ragged and surprisingly well put together. This never happens, so I'm glad I documented it.

I had a pretty sad looking printed map that indicated we needed to take the 80 into San Francisco, but we didn't really know where the 80 was. We spent awhile driving around and trying to guess which way we should go, but it soon became clear to us that we didn't have an effing clue. So we stopped at a gas station, grabbed a map, and ate cheeseburgers at the adjoining Burger King. (Yes, cheeseburgers at 9:30 AM. It's a good life.)

With the help of the map, we made our way over the Bay Bridge and into the lovely and bustling city of San Francisco.

It was way too early for us to be able to check into our hotel, so we drove around some and then decided to head over the Golden Gate Bridge. It took us quite a long time to find the damn thing. We were following signs that eventually took us off the freeway and through some crazy street route that made absolutely no sense. I kept remarking how it shouldn't be so difficult to find a huge-ass bridge.

But it was. However, eventually we found it.

And we drove over it. (I didn't get a good picture of it. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good picture of it during the whole trip. So here, look at some street art instead.)

We drove right into Sausalito, where we had a forgettable lunch at a restaurant with an excellent view.

Lobster bisque (very bland and boring):

Crab cakes (okay, but the sauce was weird):

But the graffiti in the bathroom was cool:

We took a walk after lunch; it was gorgeous there. We loved the houseboats.

We headed back into the city and decided to go in the direction of Union Square, where our hotel was. And I kid you not, it took us an hour and a half to get there. We ran into all kinds of issues (traffic, not being able to make left turns, etc.). I was one grouchy mofo by that point because I had to pee and was extremely uncomfortable from sitting in the car for so long. I wasn't a very good navigator either, because I kept dropping the map but couldn't pick it up from the floor of the car due to giant tummy issues. I ended up using my toes to pick it up. We finally parked our car in a lot down the street, and I begged the parking lot attendants to let me use their bathroom. While I was engaging in the Longest Piss Ever, Roy grabbed our bags. Bladder empty, we made the short hike to the King George.

We checked in and then found our room, otherwise known as the Smallest Room Ever. Seriously. (I had read about the small size of the rooms when I booked the hotel, but I guess it was just one of those things that I had to see to believe.) But the Smallest Room Ever didn't stop me from stripping naked and crawling happily into bed, where I crashed for several hours. (There I go with the TMI again. But honestly, if there's one thing I love more than sleeping, it's sleeping naked.)

By the time we ventured out again, it was dark, and we had a couple of hours to kill before our dinner reservation. We decided to walk around the financial district.

It was really embarrassing to be so out of breath while walking around. Roy literally had to push me up a few hills. Once we found flat land again, we came upon a couple of really cool art galleries. One of them featured the work of Robert Deyber. His pieces were a whole lot of fun with obvious Surrealist influences.

Ass Hole:

Rock, Paper, Scissors:

The Fire Ant:

There were some very striking paintings upstairs as well:

While I really enjoyed Deyber's work, I wasn't completely in love with it. I reserved falling in love for the second (and last) gallery we visited. We were walking by, and I saw this piece in the window:

I was immediately intrigued. The colors were so bright, so primary, and the characters were so simple - yet I was mesmerized by this painting. We went in and inquired about the artist.

His name is Coplu, and he has done some magnificent work. Roy and I definitely overstayed our welcome, sitting on the couch in the back room and looking at the Coplu pieces:

The pictures here just don't do the paintings justice; they were absolutely beautiful and perfect in person - so perfect that Roy and I were seriously considering paying $3000 for the piece we saw in the window. The girl who was helping us was really pushing us to buy it (naturally) - she kept calling it the most perfect Valentine's Day gift, and you know, she was probably right. But I just couldn't justify spending that kind of money, no matter how damn beautiful the painting was or how much I wanted it. So we left - reluctantly.

And we went to Cafe Andree for dinner.

I took some pictures of our food, but they didn't turn out very well due to everything being so dimly lit. So here, have some (really grainy) pictures of us instead:

Dinner was good - not stellar, but very good. We enjoyed ourselves, and then we went back to the hotel. Of course, I kept thinking about the painting all night. All $3000 of it. I realized that I would have accepted it if Roy had bought it for me without my knowing about it, but that I would never be able to spend $3000 on something "nonfunctional" for myself. (I put nonfunctional in quotes, because I do feel that art and beauty do serve a purpose.)

I'm still not sure if we made the "right" decision in not buying it. We certainly can't afford a $3000 painting, but it sure was beautiful. I won't forget the way I felt while looking at it. And I suppose that's what art and beauty are all about; no amount of money you spend can harness the feeling you get when you see something truly beautiful.

(I'm still hoping Coplu will do children's books as his next project. I think his style would be perfect.)

Day 2 recap coming soon!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

With a smile plastered on my face

I watched this video tonight. Love.

A Beautiful Bridal Shower for a Beautiful Bride

I attended my friend Jessica's bridal shower today and had a really great time. Jessica asked me beforehand to take pictures, so I brought all my gear and spent most of the time snapping away. (I did stop to eat and to hold an adorable baby boy, though.)

You may recall Jessica from her engagement pictures. Her wedding is in April, and while she hired an awesome photographer, I'm going to be taking her getting ready pictures. I'll be at her wedding as a guest, but I'll still be taking lots of pictures. I'm very excited - I love weddings!

At any rate, here are some of my favorite pictures from Jessica's bridal shower today. Note: I didn't really include guest photos on here just because I always feel a little weird about sharing pictures of people without their knowing it.

The color scheme was green, white, and black (just like the upcoming wedding):

Loved Jessica's shoes:

Loved that people got their gifts wrapped in the wedding colors:

Jessica and her grandmother (who is so cute):

Stretching (or something):

Opening gifts:

This might be my favorite photo so far. It's very imperfect but it's still a lovely moment:

Jessica and Josh, the bride and groom. Stunning, aren't they?

Thanks for inviting me to your shower, Jessica! Can't wait for the wedding!

Friday, February 20, 2009

26 weeks

I don't know if the third trimester starts at 26 or 27 weeks, but whatever the case, I am almost there. I am 26 weeks pregnant today.

I don't really have a lot to report this week. But here are a few things:

1) I felt Charlie kick me in the rib area while we were in San Francisco. He's done that before, but only when I was lying down. This time I was sitting upright. It was pretty cool. It means that he's getting big. So big, in fact, that he kicked me so hard this morning while I was driving to work that it scared me a bit (because I wasn't expecting it). Crazy kid!

2) I did my one-hour glucose tolerance test yesterday. Basically you fast for a few hours, come in to the lab, "enjoy" a very sweet drink, and have a blood draw after an hour to see what your blood sugar level is like. If you don't pass, you do a three-hour glucose tolerance test. If you do pass, you are officially in the clear - no gestational diabetes.

And I passed. Hooray!

3) More and more strangers are commenting on my pregnancy. I saw a woman in a parking lot yesterday who gleefully said hi to me and then said happily, "You're pregnant!" It made me smile.

4) A security person at the airport asked me if I was having a boy because I'm carrying really low (according to her). It's fascinating to me how some people can just tell.

5) I've been buying things. Again. I got some nursing bras, some diapers (cloth, of course), and our convertible car seat. (I might have also gotten another diaper bag, but I will neither confirm nor deny that right now.) I got pretty good deals on everything. I have yet to pay full price on stuff for this kid. (Yes, there's still plenty of stuff left on our registries.)

6) I'm feeling a lot more pressure and general weirdness in my nether regions. I think the fact that I'm carrying low has much to do with that.

7) Charlie stole my brain. It's gone. I left the freezer open when I left the house this morning. I have emailed several people the wrong documents. I forget to pay bills. It's sad, really.

And that's pretty much all I've got for this week. I have some babymoon recapping to do, which I meant to start on a few days ago. But things have been crazy. I'll hopefully have something up by the end of the weekend.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I can't get started. So ask me anything.

A hodgepodge of thoughts:

1) I saw the above e-card at someecards and got a good chuckle out of it. I think sometimes, when faced with something so absurd, there's nothing to do but laugh. It's not absurd that Heath Ledger might be awarded a posthumous Oscar (have the Oscars already happened?) - it's that the card is oddly true. A dead guy is more successful than me.

I guess that all depends on how you define success. I'm alive, he's dead - I've actually got one leg up on him just because I'm breathing and responding to stimuli. So technically I might be more successful.

2) Several people have told me lately that I am in touch with my emotions in a way that most people aren't. When I was a kid, I often hid my emotions, so much so that it backfired on me in a big way as a young adult. I didn't make the conscious choice to get in touch with my emotions; my thinking just seemed to shift (probably out of necessity), and out came Leslie, emotional whirlwind.

I still have to constantly remind myself that it's okay to feel. I've lost count of the times when I've said to Roy, "I don't know why I feel so bad/happy/angry/whatever about this." He always patiently explains to me that feelings just are. And then it all makes more sense. How sad is it that I still think that I need someone else's permission to feel the way I do?

Maybe it's not sad at all; maybe I am just still learning how to understand the need to have feelings. It is, after all, something I denied myself for quite a few years.

3) Things I want:

to dye my hair brown
to know what people say when they talk to themselves
a nap
a personal assistant
for that chick in Accounting to stop emailing me

4) I feel that lately I am just kind of floating around, or rather speeding around, and I really need something to become clear to me. I am completely aimless and yet I am hastening toward a rapidly-approaching future. I am always asking questions of the world and its inhabitants, but rarely do I feel that the world asks me anything. So here goes. Ask me something. Ask me anything. I promise I'll answer your questions later, should you decide to ask.

5) Thank you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

100 Days

Today marks 100 days until my due date on May 29.

I very clearly remember when I reached the "100 days until my wedding" point - after that, time absolutely screamed by at the speed of light, and the next thing I knew, I was an old married hag. It's like I blinked and was married.

I know it's going to be the same way with having a baby. And just as it was when I was planning my wedding, my list of things to do is long. There are some big decisions that remain to be made (such as choosing a pediatrician, examining the pros and cons of circumcision, and figuring out what kind of childcare we're going to need). There are childbirth and breastfeeding classes to attend. There are books that remain to be read. There's a birth plan to write, a room to be painted and fixed up, showers to attend, and babyproofing to be done. Oh, and I'm also supposed to continue to work full time, work towards finishing my MA, and do things like eat, sleep, and breathe.

I have a million emotions about entering this last phase of my pregnancy. One of them is disbelief - I still cannot believe that we will have a baby at the end of this. Even though I know he's in there, sometimes it still just doesn't feel real to me. Can this really be happening to me? After almost thirty years of living and learning, can it be that I'm really going to be a mother? I have a really hard time wrapping my mind around this sometimes.

Things are going to change forever in 100 days, give or take a few. Things just won't be the same. And I'm okay with it. And I'm scared about that. But no matter what gets done and what's left undone, we're doing this.

We're having a baby.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"The world needs to hear your voice."

Melinda and I went to a Postsecret event at University of Redlands tonight. I went through the entire range of human emotions as Frank talked about secrets he's received and people stood up at the microphone to reveal their own secrets. I left with a renewed sense of hope for the human race.

Postsecret is an incredible movement doing wonderful things for the world. Attending this event reminded me that we all have some deep, dark, dirty secret inside, and while we may never share our secret with the world, the very fact that the secrets exist is enough to bind us together. I have never sent in a postcard - what is amazing is that someone else has always told my secret on their own postcard, allowing me to feel not so alone in the darkness of what's left unsaid.

I've been "collecting" secrets from the site for several years now; here are some of my favorites: