Glitz & Grammar

Life and Times of a Wannabe Writer


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Hoface to YO Face! (Get it?)

Getting ready to go out takes me a really long time. At least half this time is generally spent on my hair, which is something your average white guy will simply never understand. But as your average mutt of a woman with hair that nearly reaches her bubble butt (bubble butt courtesy of my 25 percent Spanish blood…holler!), there is just no way around these excessively long get-ready-times. So unless you want a date who looks like she stuck her finger into an electrical socket five minutes before painting the town red, you’re just going to have to wait the two hours it takes to tame my ‘fro and put on my makeup. Or my “hoface,” as I like to call it. Oh PS, the other hour is usually spent applying my hoface…

Anyway last night my man took me out to sushi. This was after we’d spent the day at some “ultra pool” on The Strip. “Ultra Pool” is just Vegas for “normal pool plus some shitty DJ and maybe a special appearance by a pseudo-celeb like Fergie.” (Oh PS, Fergie was there.) The point is, I had like 20 minutes to get ready for dinner after spending the day in some nasty bucket of warm, leftover drug water that was surely swarming with Hep C (and that’s best case scenario). As you can imagine and hopefully understand, scrubbing my every crevice with antibacterial soap and warm water took precedence over achieving the perfect hair and makeup look for dinner with my boyfriend that night. So I ended up going to sushi with a pristinely cleaned bod, but hair pulled back and exactly zero makeup aside from a single coat of black mascara.

And you know what my man had the audacity to say to me from across the table while face-to-un-made-face with a mouth-full of baked clams?

“You look really pretty tonight, baby.”

And you know what? I freaked the fuck right out.

I tried to keep said freak-out to myself, but as soon as he followed that bit with something along the lines of “I think you look sexy without all that red lipstick or whatever it is you wear to the club or whatever,” I had to excuse myself by pretending I had to pee. Because I didn’t want to lose my shit in front of him. So I walked myself to the ladies’ room, where I slammed the stall door shut and stomped my feet around the Hep C-infested public toilet (I’m a bit of a germiphobe, in case you couldn’t tell) as though I were the three-year-old boy we got sat next to whose parents had just taken away his Batman toy for screaming too loudly in a semi-classy sushi restaurant.

But seriously, I was pissed. Just stomping around in that stall and whatnot, all like, “Oh, so you think I look good leaving my afro-hair as is and saving an hour’s worth of precious life-time by foregoing the application of my everyday hoface? Really? WELL PISS OFF!!”

I was absolutely livid for a solid three minutes, or however long it takes to pretend you’re taking a whiz when you’re actually causing a one-woman scene in a public restroom.

Then I got over it and went back to our table, where I enjoyed some of the best sushi I’d ever eaten with one of my favorite humans on planet earth.

Because even though it wasn’t on my terms, my man had given me something I’d been searching for a long time—a partner who not only accepted, but appreciated me in my natural state. As is. Myself. For who I am and no one more. No “better version” of myself, just Jess in a jumper with her hair in a bun and a swoop of $5 Revlon on her lashes.

It’s not like I’m not going to stop wearing makeup or anything, because the truth of the matter is that I really love makeup. Makeup gives me the chance to transform myself into whatever I feel like being for the night. I’m not saying I’m not comfortable in my own skin. And I realize as a feminist this may sound contradictory to everything I stand for. But that’s just how I feel. I really like makeup!

What I am saying is that I’m going to start wearing far less of it, at least on days I don’t feel like expressing myself as anyone other than…myself. Because if the guy I’m crazy about thinks I look “really pretty” without it, I’d much rather spend the time I’d normally use applying my hoface doing other things I enjoy.

For example, he’s making me dinner tonight, this “awful” guy who pissed me off by telling me I look prettier as myself than I do disguised as some socially determined better version of myself.

I don’t have to be there for another hour. Normally I’d be fidgeting in front of my bathroom mirror, making sure my freshly-washed hair was at an acceptable level of puff, my face the perfect product of a Jessica Alba YouTube Makeup Tutorial. But instead I’m spending the hour reading a few pages from my favorite book, practicing the new chords I learned during my last ukulele lesson, and, most importantly, writing this stupid post for my silly blog.


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April Was a Good Month

April was a good month, a really good month.

First, though I’ve tried to keep it on the DL (people still use this terminology–“Down Low”–correct?), I think it’s become fairly obvious that I have been dating a new dude. This may seem abrupt to any non-friend/family-member-readers of my blog (shout out to the two or three of you!!!) but the truth of the matter is it was not. Though I love my ex with all my heart, we were over a long time before actually calling it quits. I still don’t have a single bad word to say about the man–he was, without a doubt, one of the best human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. We just weren’t right for each other. For starters, he deserves someone far less crazy. And I? I desire someone far more crazy.

Enter my new boyfriend.

I’m not going to write about how happy this guy makes me, for fear of jinxing whatever the hell weird thing it is we’ve got going on. To be honest, it makes me nervous to even mention the fella at all. Who knows where we’ll be in a couple of months? All I know is that right now I am having the time of my life with someone unlike anyone I’ve ever met before.

Anyway, whatever. One of the reasons April was so dope was because I got to spend a weekend in my favorite city on planet earth, San Diego, with the aforementioned new dude. We bar hopped downtown, took a ferry to Coronado, saw not one but TWO Padres games, AND…one of our friends even got so drunk she actually peed her pants! It was awesome! I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard and had so much fun. Not just when this chick peed herself, but like, the whole trip in general. Here are a few pics from that glorious weekend:

GoPads

Coronado

GoPads2

You may have noticed that I’ve censored my new dude. Again, just trying to avoid any potential jinx-age.

In addition to our San Diego getaway, New Dude and I attempted to cross off a bucket list item of mine: banging at a drive-in movie theater. Although we were unable to bang (who knew drive-ins were still such happenin’ venues?!), I did enjoy my first drive-in experience. We saw Captain America 2, which kinda sucked (#DCgirlforlife), but whatever. The company and Jersey Mike’s sandwiches we snuck in were GREAT.

IMG_5366

April is also the month of Easter. You probably already knew that. But the special thing about this particular Easter was that it happened to fall on the same day as Greek Easter. In my family, Greek Easter was always a way bigger deal than “Real Easter.” And even though I wasn’t near my family to celebrate in our normal fashion, I kept the tradition alive by making tsougrisma eggs for my own enjoyment. I think it made my YiaYia pretty proud.

GreekEaster

Other cool stuff that happened this month:

I dyed my hair blonde! Like, hella blonde. Not just the last few inches, wimpy ombre shit I normally rock. We’re talkin’ root-to-split-end BLONDE, yo! Check it:

Photo on 2014-04-30 at 13.51^FYI, that’s not a duck face. It’s just how I smile when there’s a camera pointed at me. If you don’t believe me, you can consult the 12-years-worth of yearbook photos I’ve got that prove so. Don’t be a dick.

I started working out! No, seriously! I got a membership at Las Vegas Athletic Club and have actually been going there and attempting to utilize their scary exercisical machinery! In addition to frequenting this particular meat market a few times per week, I’ve been seeing a personal trainer at City Athletic Club. It’s only been a few weeks, but I’ve already noticed some improvements in my slightly chubby, 13-year-old-boyish figure.

IMG_5384^Oh yes I did just post that!

I found a ukulele teacher! Here’s a quick vid of the few cords I learned during my first lesson with him:

There’s been some other cool stuff to happen this month, too. I went to my first Vegas Foodie Fest! (Sushi Burrito, where you been my whole life?!) and booked a flight to Reno next month to watch my baby brother graduate from college. I finally got to check out the Container Park in Downtown LV that everyone’s been hyping, and went clubbing for the first time since I can even remember. News flash: I still suck at clubbing.

So that’s a long blog post that has nothing to do with writing and everything to do with me, me, ME! Sorry ’bout that. But also kinda not sorry. Because as much as I love writing to share stories with other people, I also sometimes write to get the good times down on paper so that years down the road, when I’m down and blue, I can reflect on the times when I felt happiest.

April 2014 was definitely one of my happiest times :)


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This is your art on drugs

I’m going to be honest with you, I haven’t done a ton of drugs. I mean, I’ve dabbled. I’ve definitely dabbled. Enough to the point that I could never like, be elected president of the U.S. or anything of that nature. Which is a total bummer because otherwise I had that shit in the bank.

Anyway, one time I took a Sudafed PE and my mom had to rush me to the hospital because my heart was beating so fast everyone thought I was going to die. The doctor diagnosed me with an allergy to Pseudoephedrine, and ever since I kinda figured that if I can’t even handle a little cold medicine, I ought to steer clear of any of the hard stuff.

Still, I’ve always had this crazy idea/dream/bucket list item to write a story—one same story—while under the influence of different drugs.

But apparently some guy beat me to it. He used a different creative medium—painting. But essentially he did what I’ve always secretly wanted to try. He took a different drug each day, then painted a self-portrait while under the influence of each.

Here’s his story: http://elitedaily.com/envision/artist-creates-self-portraits-on-different-drugs-and-the-results-are-insane-photos/

Do you think this is cool or crazy? Maybe “cool” is the wrong adjective. Perhaps “interesting” is a better choice. I dunno. What do you think?

Screen shot 2014-04-10 at 11.09.14 PM
^ Photo credit: Elite Daily


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It’s Opening Night and I’m excited

I will never forget the day I fell in love with baseball. It was a few games into my first season of little league (yes little league…I wanted to play with the boys) when I hit my first home run. My homer was only mildly impressive, given that the ball never made it past the pitcher’s mound. But the fumbly pitcher kept knocking it back and forth between his ankles, long enough for me to make it around each of the bases. As I rounded third and bolted for home plate, I could see the fiery pride in my coach’s eyes. My coach was also my dad.

Before I could even realize what I’d done, Dad was screaming with joy and lifting me up into the air in celebration. “That’s my girl! That’s my girl!” he chanted to the bleachers while pointing to the back of my jersey which donned the number 9–a number I’d only chosen because it was his growing up. I hugged him hard and beamed inside, because the feeling a little girl gets upon receiving the approval and recognition of her daddy is truly unparalleled.

Anyway, this post is in honor of my favorite holiday ever—Opening Night/Day. Let’s go Padres :)

Slugger^ The little slugger herself


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Break UP

I remember my first breakup as if it were just yesterday. It sucked and I wanted to die. I was 23 at the time (late bloomer) and my boyfriend of two years had fallen out of love with me about a year into. Why he stayed with me that extra year is still a mystery, though all signs point to: I’m really great at oral.

Now, a seasoned ex-girlfriend, you’d think I’d have the hang of things. But I don’t! Breakups still bring me to the brink of death. Every single time.

Especially this time.

For those who hadn’t noticed (I did, after all, update my Facebook privacy settings to hide my current relationship status [#nunya]), my most recent boyfriend of a-month-shy-of-a-year and I split up. The only difference was that this time around we both still really loved each other. It was the quintessential “I love you, I’m just not in love with you” breakup. And let me tell you what, those are the fucking worst.

The truth of the matter is that many people in our situation would have continued on to the next logical step, which would have been, of course, getting married, followed shortly thereafter by having not just spur of the moment but purposely devised, unprotected sex to lead to the popping out of offspring via my vajay. I mean, not to sound smug or anything, but from the outside looking in, we were the perfect couple. We lived together, we took vacations together, we packed lunches for each other with cute little notes on the napkins, we took killer Christmas photos. And despite the fact that we were both pretty decent human beings who thought the absolute world of each other, the spark we shared in the beginning of our relationship—the one that old cartoon couple from Up still felt 50-some-odd years later—had been missing for quite sometime. And if any two people ever wanted what Carl and Ellie from Up had, it was he and I.

Knowing we weren’t meant to spend the rest of our lives together didn’t make our breakup any less painful, however. And these past few weeks have been among my life’s most difficult. Brink of death difficult.

I’m not sure why breakups take such a lofty toll on me. It’s not like I’ve ever been the white picket fence type of girl. As much as I respect those people—the ones who have seemed to master the art of life what with their nine-to-five jobs and all, their mortgages and gorgeous families, complete with a Pop Warner-playing son who is exactly two years older than his ballet-dancing sister—that’s just never been my style. That’s never been what I’ve wanted or strived for. For one, I tried the nine-to-five thing. I worked in a prestigious law firm that closed multimillion dollar deals on the weekly and let me tell you what, that shit was BORING. Also, I have enough trouble committing to a yearlong apartment lease, let alone signing my life away to live in a single house in a single city in a single state in a single country for ten years plus or however long it takes to pay off a home loan. No thank you.

I guess the hardest part for me—and this is some spill your guts out gore about to be spewed up in here—but the hardest part for me is that I know I’d be a great mom. And as I get older and older and continue to experience failed relationships, continue to turn my nose at perfectly eligible future baby daddy candidates, I realize I may very well pass up my opportunity to be a mother. They say it starts getting tougher to have a baby once you hit your thirties. Last month I turned 29.

But if there is one thing I want more than to be a mother, it’s to fall head-over-heels in love with the one person I was meant to share my life with. And as nonconventional as I have lived my life thus far, the common thread I have shared with humanity is my belief in true love and the fact that there is one person out there who was meant to spend forever with me. And until I find that, I am not willing to settle.

And I will venture to the brink of death a thousand more times if it means finding my Carl. Even if we’re like, 90 when it happens and I have to adopt or whatever.

Up


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My 2014 Resolutions/To Do’s

Technically the new year doesn’t start until midnight, but I thought I’d post my resolutions a few hours early. Not because I’ll be too busy celebrating the welcome of 2014, but because I am a bartender living in Las Vegas, which means at midnight tonight I’ll be deep within the weeds, serving the loudest, drunkest, most obnoxious group of humans enough liquor and cheap champagne to fill Lake Mead twice over.

So without further adieu, here is a list of resolutions/to do’s/bucket list items…whatever you wanna call it:

  • Take a photography class
  • Get First Aid/CPR certified
  • Host a “Game Night”
  • Bungee jump or zip line
  • Surf
  • Swim with sharks
  • Take a self-defense class
  • Travel to a foreign country
  • Visit far-away friends/family members
  • Learn to play a musical instrument
  • Get out of credit card debt
  • Join a gym (and actually go to it)
  • Get a writing job
  • Save $20 per bartending shift to put towards a travel fund
  • Volunteer somewhere cool
  • Put all bartending paychecks into savings

Happy New Year, everyone. From the bottom of my heart, I hope it’s your best yet.


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App of the Month: Notes

Remember when I said I was going to start reviewing iPhone apps, one per month? Well, it should come as no surprise that I never followed through with that. However, I did review Snapchat that one time and I am about to review another of my all-time faves: the “Notes” app that comes standard on pretty much all iThings.

I give Notes ten out of ten possible stars, even though I’m pretty sure my initial scale maxed out at five. Why such a high rating, you ask? And that’s a legit question. Because there’s nothing really special or cutting edge about the Notes app. It’s just this virtual notepad-ma-bobber wherein, using a thumb and/or index finger, users are able to jot down….notes. That’s it. But I love it!

Notes can be used for a variety of one’s note-taking needs. I imagine normal people utilize this app for writing down grocery and to do lists for later reference; perhaps they store reminders of upcoming events. But that’s not how I use it.

As a writer with the attention span of a toddler and memory of a goldfish, I’m often not inclined to sit down and write at the exact moment an idea strikes. But I also have a hard time remembering all my Pulitzer-worthy ideas later down the road when I’m ready to pound ‘em out.

Enter the Notes app.

For me, Notes is a place to quickly get down any idea I may have, the second it pops into my head. All I need is a phrase or two–“how to pack light for a long trip”; “Disney characters who were probably gay”; “a cheapskate’s guide to tipping like a not-jerk”–to serve as a trigger for a later time, a time during which I might actually feel like writing an article, essay, or blog post in its entirety.  In this regard, the Notes app is quite the handy little tool. But functionality is hardly the reason I rated it so high.

To me, the true potential of Notes is only ever realized months after typing an idea into my phone, months after whatever the hell that brilliant idea I had made even a scintilla of sense. These notes, the “what the?” ones, are the reason I love Notes as much as I do. Because the entertainment value in stumbling across a note like the following I just found, one I wrote myself at a moment I was probably certain I’d just come up with the perfect scenario to turn my novel into a bestseller, blows Candy Crush or whatever you’re into out of the water:

Notes

 

Edit: This was an actual story told to me by my father. I remember when he told it to me! I just don’t remember how I thought it would relate to my book about a zombie apocalypse…


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Happy Fish

Today was a hard day. I don’t really want to go into it anymore than that, but I do want to document—if for no one else other than myself—that I made it through a super tough 24 hours.

My heart is heavy but hopeful. And that’s all I have to say about that.

Now here’s  a cool pic of some happy fish I met at a sushi bar last night:

HappyFishLittle dude had no idea what was happening to his buddies just a few feet away. Perhaps ignorance really is bliss.


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Adorable Mess

As self-deprecating as I can be both on this blog and in real life, when I re-read old journals or revisit old photographs I often think to myself, lol Jess, you goober. You are such an adorable mess. I love you.

Recently I accidentally deleted all photographic evidence that I ever spent a month backpacking through Thailand because, well, I’m an idiot. The good news is I went on said trip with an ex-boyfriend I still get along with (sometimes) and was able to retrieve copies of my missing photos since I was smart enough to save a folder of the same onto his computer back in 2010.

Anyway, I found this one pic of myself in some grungy hotel in Bangkok (which was actually quite awesome at the time, considering it had a toilet and running water) shortly after getting a “Monroe” piercing for 10 American dollars. The piercing nearly cost me my upper lip, but it was super cute for about a day and a half.

IMG_0025lol Jess, you goober. You are such an adorable mess. I love you.

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