Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fake It 'til You Make It

Is there a certain point where you feel like you are actually an adult? Maybe I just started adding responsibility at such a young age that instead of feeling like I grew up too fast, I feel like I am still a kid trying to fake my way through adulthood. I feel like there is just some point that it will all of the sudden click that I am a real, live grown up. But instead I just feel like a kid. I feel so much younger than those around me, even my friends that are 23 and 24. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I started Kindergarten at 4 years old and had a birthday late in the year, so I was always younger than everyone else. Maybe that just stuck with me. It doesn't help that I work with a bunch of middle-aged or older, mostly men. And that my braces make me look 15. But even before round two of the hardware, I felt like a kid.

I am stuck at 16. I don't understand. I have had a job, non-stop, since I was 15 years old. I bought my first car at 19, my first house at 22, finished my bachelor's degree, and still felt like a kid. I balance my checkbook and pay bills, I just recently moved in with my boyfriend (first time ever for me), am finishing up my masters in less than a month, and we are buying a house. It is all very exciting and a very "grown up" thing, but for some reason, I am still trapped inside the mindset of adolescence.

I am clearly rambling and don't even know exactly what I am trying to say.

When does it change? Does it ever change? I am going to be 28 this year and the number has no effect on me because I still feel like a kid. I look at other people and their lives and even though it is not much different than mine, I see it so much differently. I don't know.

I guess I'll just keep faking it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My, How Vegas Has Changed

(Disclaimer: I started writing this post over a year ago, shortly after returning from our anniversary trip and it never got posted because I was waiting to add some pics from a couple of the trips. I just saw it in my drafts and said "screw it!", so I added to it and here it is.)

I don't really mean the city itself. Although it boggles my mind how the strip hasn't really gotten any bigger, but they still manage to fit more crap on it. I am referring to my Vegas experience. Let's go on a little journey, shall we?
My first post-21 Vegas trip was Spring Break 2005. I was engaged, but my fiancee decided not to join me as I was going on this trip with a bunch of my fun college friends who he always felt insecure around. So, off we go.

Somehow, out of the group of girls I was going with, one of us realized that it was only $99 each way to fly out of Reno instead of Sacramento. Little did we know that the day we had to drive to Reno would also be the day of the worst storm of the year! I think it took us about 3-4 hours to get there. Ridiculous. We flew off to Vegas the next morning and met lots more of our college friends there. For some of the other girls it was their boyfriend, and the rest of us were "flying solo" for the time there.

We started drinking as soon as we got on the plane and didn't stop until the morning we came home. Party, party, party. Drink, drink, drink. Scream, smoke, dance, etc. By the second day I was hoarse and the morning of the third, I had nothing. No voice whatsoever. My laugh was a mere whisper. This made it very difficult to tell the hottie in the club that night who wanted to do more than just dance with me, that I was in fact engaged. All I could do was show him the ring on my finger. And the sad part is, I remember being mad at that ring because I would have loved to take advantage of that situation. Oh well, it is what it is. Well, it was anyway.

Our last day in Vegas we decided to do a Casino Crawl. We were pub crawl pros back home, so this shouldn't be much different, right? Except there are a thousand casinos, all with $2 daiquiris and $1 extra shots. I got full before I could get drunk, but we powered through it. We got all the way from our hotel, The Monte Carlo, down to Fashion Show Mall and into old Vegas before we decided to take a cab back and hit up the buffet. It was definitely an unforgettable trip.

That was only the beginning for me of what seemed like an addiction to Vegas. Spending money I didn't have, binge drinking beyond normal levels, smoking and dancing the night away in expensive Vegas night clubs. Completely ridiculous. Every time I left, I felt like if I never saw that city again, it would be too soon. Until 6 months later when someone would utter the magic word, "VEGAS". It was like we couldn't find a reason to go fast enough.

The next trip was in January of 2006. I went with the usual group of friends, only at the time I happened to be dating one of them. But we did all of the same things. At least 4 people to a room, this time we added an expensive dinner and a show to spice things up, pricey night clubs and hours in front of Fat Tuesday gulping down sugary alcoholic beverages. At the airport to come home feeling like death, no voice and getting that last traditional Burger King aiprort meal down before the return to reality.

Later that very same year, I was not longer dating the same person, which caused some friction in the group for a while, and made this next Vegas trip a little awkward. We had all somehow found our way back to each other, and then I invited myself along. LOL! It's VEGAS! So, in October we headed to Sin City the weekend before Halloween, with no costumes. Stupid.

We had the same core group and most of the same activities. Drinking the days away while wandering the strip and the casino. The traditional ride on the roller coaster at New York, New York, another show, more dancing the night away. You get the point. More fun had, more money lost, more damage done to my liver and kidneys.

This time I returned a mere 2 months later for New Year's. If I had to pay for this trip, I wouldn't have been on it. But Andrew's company was doing their "corporate retreat", so it was on the house for the most part. Each of the business partners brought a guest, and I was the lucky girl that got to accompany Drewie. This was a much different Vegas trip since these were people of a different caliber. Older, less fun people. More expensive dinners, higher star hotels, and even a $100 tip to the doorman at Pure so we didn't have to wait in line on December 30th. It wasn't even New Year's yet.

This was the trip where I had my first real massage and actually didn't pay for dinner or drinks . My lowest expense Vegas trip for sure. We went to some New Year's party at The Luxor for $100 a person. Open bar and buffet. I was so hungover from the night before I was visiting the bathroom every ten minutes (not to throw up) and couldn't really take advantage of the open bar until it was almost closed. It was still a fun time and a great trip overall. We didn't let the others stop the two of us from hitting up our usual night clubs. Great times.

As I am recalling all of my Vegas trips, I just realized that 2007 was a Vegas free year! Unless you count being there on the 1st and 2nd from the New Year's trip. I think I filled that time with cruises and concerts instead.

My next trip was the summer of 2008 and also a freebie. Somewhat. My bestie just happened to be one of the top producers in California for Wells Fargo in the year that they were going to Vegas instead of Hawaii. Who cares, I'll take it! The trip was Sunday to Tuesday, staying at the Wynn. Flight and hotel paid for and $100 in casino chips, which we traded in for cash. Happy hour on Sunday evening and Monday night was a banquet dinner with drinks as well. We went a day early, so we had to pay for one night in the hotel, which wasn't all that bad. And then we had to cover our spending money for other activities.

This was a Vegas trip of firsts for me. I had my first Vegas hangover, I thought I was immune. I wasted a whole day in bed because I was so hungover. It was also my first Vegas summer which means my first time at a Vegas pool. The drinks are still expensive. My first time in a Vegas VIP booth. My first time paying $80 for room service. And the first time I kissed JB. Definitely my craziest Vegas trip and simply because I went with April. When you're with her, crazy shit happens. It was however, my only trip that year.

This brings us to 2009. I had two trips that year. The first was a bachelorette party for the fiance of one of JB's friends. I didn't really know anyone but her, but I figured what the heck. It's VEGAS! And, I make friends pretty quickly. People kind of love me. LMAO!

We stayed at Mandalay Bay and got a cabana at their pool club one of the days. The other day we took a pole dancing, strip tease class called Stripper 101. I was sore and covered in bruises, but it was a hell of a good time. Fill in the blanks with scavenger hunts, dinners, and phallic accessories. Not to mention copious amounts of alcohol and you have your typical bachelorette weekend.

The other trip that year was with JB to celebrate our 1 year anniversary that August! We thought the best way to spend it was to return to the scene of the crime. :) It wasn't the Vegas we were used to though. We were in bed by 1am at the latest every night, went to a nice dinner and a show, played some penny slots, and spent some time at the pool. We even went to Tao together and tired of it pretty quickly.

2010 brought one trip to Vegas which was the UFC Fan Expo. It.Was.AWESOME! There were so many fighters there just walking around and available for pictures and autographs. Most of the guys we met were so nice! We didn't get much time at the pool and did't hit up any clubs, but we still had a great time.

I won't be setting foot in that town this year, due to all of the other fun we have planned, but JB will be going for his bachelor party/his friend's 40th birthday on Memorial Day weekend. I'm kind of jealous, but not really. The place they are staying at is paid for and he pretty much only has to pay for his flight. I always thought I would end up in Vegas for my bachelorette party, but it's a lot of money and a lot of work when you are a girl. I don't know if I have that in me these days.

With all of the players club emails we get from MGM, I know we will be back soon. I have had enought Vegas until then.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

To Grandmother's House We Go

I have to clarify that it's not really my grandmother's house, but I believe she was someone's grandmother before she passed away. Okay, let me explain:

A while back JB and his brother were looking for a place to move to right around the time a client of his had a grandmother pass away. She was left this house in Citrus Heights, in a horrible market to try to sell it, and needed someone to watch over it. Pretty good timing for such a travesty. He tried to arrange payment with her and she would have none of it. So basically JB and Rich have been living there, paying only utilities for about a year and a half now. All of the original furniture was left in the house (including this Jetson's-esque dining room table), but the owner cleaned out the rest. Fortunately some upgrades were made to the kitchen and bathroom cupboards and counters in the last couple of decades.

Back when I first started this blog, JB and I had just approached the topic of eventually moving in together. Well, if you had seen this house like I had, and most of his friends can attest, you would know that moving in there was not even an option for me. I figured we would find a cute apartment or house to rent until we were in the position to afford our own home. I never thought I would move into a house that had no dishwasher, no microwave, and no dryer, let alone have it be my idea. But alas, I am smart enough to see the greater good that comes from paying zero rent. We can obviously save more money, and it is only temporary after all.

So, after a lot of organizing and cleaning, I moved in to grandma's house 3 weeks ago. And I should emphasize that the cleaning was everywhere, but the organizing was only in JB's room. See, I had heard these stories that most boys are just gross and will live infinitely in their own filth, but I had never really seen it first hand. Until grandma's house. I don't know that the house had ever been cleaned since they moved in until right before the first time I came over there. And even then I think JB only really cleaned the bathroom. Before a month ago, the last time the house was thoroughly cleaned was in December when I enlisted JB's help to clean the house together. In case you are unaware, a month ago was the beginning of August. That means the house went 8 months without being cleaned and it's occupied by 2 boys. You can imagine my hesitance and anxiey leading up to our date of cohabitation. The week before I moved in, I cleaned just the bathroom and the kitchen and it took me 3 HOURS!!!!

I have to say, things have been going well thus far. Well, I guess I can't really speak for Rich. And I am sure that although he loves having me there, JB doesn't really like having to make the bed every morning and put his clothes away when he takes them off or do the dishes right after dinner. But it isn't nearly as bad as JB or I pictured it being as far as me freaking out every day and really hating living there. I think we both expected the worst given the circumstances, and actually things aren't all that bad. There is a place for most of my stuff and I have settled into my routine and all is well. Also, I have noticed that I have so much more time now that I am not splitting my time between life and love.

Of course, it has only been three weeks...

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