Saturday, May 27, 2006

Week in Review (May 21-27)

Recovered from a nice four-day weekend in Havasu. Lots of fun!

Confirmed that the bar where Johnny and I first met, Sharkeez, had in fact burned down.

Waited in line at the DMV to change my name on my driver's license.

Waited in a much longer line at the Social Security Office to change my name on my social security card. That experience was a nightmare.

Still battling with the issues of our Durango. First it was recalled for a computer crash but that was fixed. The very next day, Johnny towed the boat with the truck to Lake Mead and when he launched the boat, the air-intake-thinga-ma-jiggie got wet causing the truck to misfire.

After 16 days I finally have my baby back. But my thrill was short-lived when it still showed signs of having the same problem. The dealership has been very accomodating by letting us have our pick of any vehicle off their lot so we can have a truck to tow our boat to Lake Mead for Memorial Weekend. They wouldn't normally just lend any vehicle from their inventory for any customer. It helps that Johnny is good friends with the second in command to the owner. Plus they'd rather not spend another $700 on another weeks' car rental for us.

I been running around all over Vegas doing my errands all day and getting the runaround. I'll spare the details but will mention that I am happy to be married and don't plan to ever remarry so I will never need to go to David's Bridal for a wedding dress. I was given conflicting information on which I relied on and when I realized that I will not be able to get my dress dry cleaned through them, I wanted to jump over the counter and bitch-slap their rep.

Errands completed, I felt what it was like to be a taxicab driver. Except I had no passengers to pick up and dropped off and the only thing I was hauling around was my fat ass.

I am finally home and thought I would share the album I spent countless hours compiling, organizing, editing and uploading to Imagestation only to find out that my account was "deactivated". How could this possibly be? I have a paid membership with priviledges! Perhaps it was because another one of my albums contained photos of "pornographic nature" that were "offensive to the community" which violated my user agreement with Imagestation? I'm sorry, I had no idea that photos of people having fun in Havasu, which is a lake, and when the temperature is 104 degrees people wear bikinis in the water to stay cool, be comfortable and look good...not long johns! Trust me, there are some real pornographic material on the Internet that are way worse than the photos on my album. Even the streets of Vegas are full of billboards and material that would be considered "pornographic"!

Evidently, some sicko pervert was surfing the literally 1,000's of albums online through Imagestation and was "offended" by my photos like the one I posted about Havasu. Okay, there were families in Havasu, young kids skimboarding and having fun--who weren't offended by what people were wearing. So if it was a public gathering, how offensive can photos be of the public gathering?! I'm pissed off that I can't share my wedding album, pissed off at that overly conservative no-skin-showing police who had forgotten that sex was how they were conceived, and pissed off at Imagestation for agreeing with that oppressed Peeping Tom blabbermouth that my photos were "pornographic" and "offensive". Don't look then!

What kind of photos were they expecting to see when they saw an album titled "Lake Havasu" and people on the beach on the cover? GASP--what a surprise! Girls in bikinis and half-naked men. Obviously they couldn't turn away and kept scrolling through the pictures until "Oh my heavens, what on Earth is she wearing?!". It's a bikini, b-i-k-i-n-i, you know...what people wear at the beach? I bet I could put a bikini on my cute little cat and be "deactivated" for it.

Well, I have better things to do than to continue ranting. It's gonna be a lovely three-day weekend. I am going to shut off my laptop so I can go into the kitchen and cook my hard working sweetheart of a husband a nice dinner. While I am cooking, I am going to wear my Malibu Strings bikini. The little tiny one with the sheer black mesh material and glitter micro bi-ki-ni. Exactly like this one:

Try censoring this...MUAH HA HA HA HA!! Perhaps I will post pics of me cooking in my bi-ki-ni as well. Some people may say I have no shame. I say hey--I'm happy, healthy, I have a great husband who makes me happy and I like to please. I have one life, one body (and it's not too bad looking) and I'm a gonna enjoy everything for as long as I possibly can. At least I don't push my bi-ki-ni in any one's face. And in the case of the Imagestation nark, if you don't like it, don't look--and don't go looking for it either.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Hello Social Security Office

I must say this week would definitely not be written off as one of those so-so weeks. No siree! Since coming back from Havasu, my days have been jam packed with so many things to do which required me to recover quickly from the daze I was in. I went from one long line at the DMV to an even longer line at the Social Security Office in my quest to change my last name.

To say "longer" is slightly under par for describing the hours I had to wait in line...more like the airport on Thanksgiving or waiting for the perfect man as my friend would put it (but that wouldn't apply to me as I've already found the perfect man for me). In fact I'm still typing as I'm waiting and at my tapping speed on my PDA I can't say I'm lightning fast much less any faster than Johnny can type (I love you babe)!

As I walked into the office, it was so crowded I had to wade through the zoo of people lining the walls and squatting on the floor. Men, women, and children of all ages were there chatting, sleeping and babies screaming. Surely they were not all newlyweds and were also there to change their names!

Disheartened by the number of people, I pulled my number. The wait can't possibly be that bad. They were serving 435 and I looked at my ticket...572. I stared at it in disbelief. This must be a typo. There possibly couldn't be 137 people in line ahead of me could there? I scanned the room again at all people in the room. From the looks on their face, it appeared they had been waiting for an eternity.

Determined to accomplish this simple task, I took a seat and pulled out paperwork I needed to fill out for HR and checked my PDA for e-mails to reply to. I even heard a mother placing a fast food order with her son who would be leaving to do so.

I did everything I possibly could to occupy myself as I heard the voice over the intercom steadily call number after number. 442...442, now serving 442. No one responded. Good--other one dropped out of the race! If things keep going like this, I may be up there faster.

I had hoped to find a number ahead of mind that may have been discarded by an impatient visitor but no luck. I guess I'll have to hang onto my number, 572...now serving 448, 448. Maybe they won't get to me by the closing of business and may have to turn me away.

After what felt like two lifetimes, the moment came when my number was close to being called. My heart raced and palm went sweaty. Is it possible they just might call my number? The anticipation was like waiting for that number, MY number, to be called so I can say BINGO!! Except my number was guaranteed to come up unlike Bingo numbers.

Two hours later, I walked out of that Social Security Office, receipt in hand that promised my new card with my married name but it was just my luck to be leaving at rush hour. Well, waiting in traffic cannot be as bad as what I went through as I hit the I-215. Luckily, traffic was going the opposite direction. Crowds of cars full of people who had just got off work and headed home. SUCKERS! But then I came to a screeching halt at the I-15 interchange. What could it possibly be because this is not normal. Perhaps a car accident since the airport exit would be coming up soon.

I exited to the I-15 and decided to take surface streets. I would be going faster than the cars in the freeway parking lot. But my journey home was not that easy. I didn't mention that I was on the opposite side of town. The West side near Red Rock and for those who are not familiar with the area, it's about 40+ miles and it's not fun when you're in traffic and construction.

But at least I had accomplished what I had set out to do and THAT is good enough for me. Besides, I have a three day long weekend with my sweetie and that, my friend, is worth all the trouble.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Havascrew

I mean, Havasu.

Gosh, what trouble have we been up to lately since the wedding? Mainly trying to relax and take a short little break where we can simply just do nothing.

I am really enjoying not having class (maybe a teeny weeny too much) and being able to go home right after work to be home with Johnny.

This past weekend, we headed to Lake Havasu with a group of friends to enjoy our boat on the water. Since I have never been to Arizona before, I was really looking forward to the trip (more than you will ever know ;))

We left late Friday evening but the drive was a short two hours. Our friends were already there and we unloaded our luggage in the house we rented for the weekend. What a beautiful home it was--and just our style with the tropical paradise decor. Johnny and I took the master suite and after we unpacked, headed to the patio to BBQ and sit by the pool.

The next couple days were spent out on the water--either in the channel near the London Bridge or at the sand bar (a shallow place in the middle of the water where many the boats dock and people hang out). I won't mention the beer bong contests, pasties that pass for bikinis, or how one can get a free Havasu hottie t-shirt.

It was...a nice weekend =).

Aloha Sharkeez

Before I moved to Vegas, I lived in Redondo Beach. Fresh and pale-skinned from Washington, I had moved to the California city for the sun and remember being in awe over the palm trees. Before then I had never seen a palm tree much less the ocean. Before I knew it, I was fitting in with the locals. Strutted the strand with my newly acquired tan, frequented the restaurants, and hung out with the crowds in the clubs with my newfound friends.

Life later led to me to Burbank and I returned to school; leaving life at the beach behind but not before I met my sweetie, Johnny. We were introduced by a mutual friend and interestingly enough--at bar called Sharkeez in Hermosa Beach.

Sharkeez was unlike the stuffy bars and clubs of Hollywood. It was a place for the local surfers and beach bums to gather. Casual by day, sexy fun by night. I have many happy memories of Sharkeez. Not only of meeting my sweetheart but of times shared between good friends whom I still keep in touch with today.

Johnny and I had planned to honeymoon on nearby Catalina Island and visit our meeting place this 4th of July, which will mark our 4th dating anniversary, but then we heard about the demise of Sharkeez. What we initially thought was a nasty rumor turned out to be true.

Sharkeez had burned down to the ground and we don't think Hermosa will ever be the same. So we must say Aloha Sharkeez because had it not been there four years ago, Johnny and I may not have even met. (Photo: Daily Breeze)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

It's OFFICIAL!!

Earlier this week, I was definitely in a panic.

Finals are over and I'm not taking any classes whatsoever during the first summer session so I will have three solid weeks when I can go straight home from work and not be stuck in a classroom until after the sun is gone--yippee!!

The wedding is behind us now. We have collected so many photos sent to us by family and friends and can't wait to share them. Our gifts have all been opened even if a little late (1 1/2 weeks after the wedding) but are now sitting in the breakfast nook until we decide where to put them. We received so many cool gifts, there's just too many to list. After they were all opened, Johnny had said, "There's just one problem. We need a bigger kitchen!!".

The thank you cards were definitely a joint effort as we sat down each evening for several days to write them. Not that we had a bazillion guests to write to. It's just that we're a little slow...BUT we're done!!

This weekend, we are going to Lake Havasu!! It will be my first time so I am really excited about the trip. A nice little break from the semester and wedding planning. I am really looking forward to relaxing on the boat, soaking in the sun. As if I already didn't get enough while we were at Mandalay Bay. So what could possibly threaten to ruin my summer?? Marriage certificate. Yep, there's a fine print at the bottom with instructions to submit the paper to the county recorder within 10 days of the wedding and here we are going on 18 days!!

Horrible thoughts flashed through my head. Are we not official? Do we have to get married again? Do we have to redo all the paperwork? If so, do we have to change (gasp) our wedding date?

I had so much anxiety as I headed to the county recorder to turn in the marriage certificate. Alas, all that worry for nothing when I walked out of the office, checked the marriage record system online and--VIOLA!! We are finally on record!!

Getting married is not the tough part--it's everything you have to go through afterwards to change your name. But it's all worth it.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Our Honeymoon at Mandalay Bay

Since our wedding was the week before my final exams, my husband and I couldn't go very far for our honeymoon. A suite at Mandalay Bay was the next best thing to leaving town. Our room was on the 60th floor and had a private elevator that went up to the suites. It had a kitchen/bar, living room that was separate from the master bedroom, and a gigantic bath with a spa.



The next morning, we took our sweet time rising and went downstairs to the pool.







The next evening my family met us in our room for a tour before we went downstairs to the buffet. Afterwards, we walked along the Strip to enjoy what Vegas has to offer.



We watched the fountains at the Bellagio, checked out the conservatory, tried our luck at the slots (Johnny won a nice jackpot for the 75 cents he plugged into a quarter slot...LOL).



It was a great evening of family fun.

Our Wedding Day


One week ago from today, I married my best friend and I must say, it was the happiest day of my life!!

Surrounded by friends and family who came from far and near, we can't thank all of you enough for blessing our marriage with your mere presence.

The day couldn't have been more perfect for our outdoor/indoor ceremony and reception. Sunny, temperatures in the high 80's, clear blue skies and slight breeze...perhaps it was a sign of our future.

The moment I walked down the white silky stretch of aisle runner, arms around my dad's, I knew my life would never be the same. My dad, whether he was as nervous or as excited as I was, I will never know. All I could feel were his fragile little arms. When we had driven to the yatch club, my friend Teresa was the driver and he was in the back seat directly behind me. I asked him if he was ready and grabbed a hold of his thumb, just as I did as a little girl as a struggled to match his pace as I walked alongside him. Now we walk beside each other again as we approach the alter to meet the man I would forever call my "husband".

All was silent as I looked at the gathering of friends and relatives along the path which lead up to the wedding arch. Overwhelmed, the tears I tried so hard to fight back trickled down my face. I had told myself that I will not cry like so many brides I have seen do before me. My tears were streams of happiness as I finally understood it was the ultimate moment I had been waiting for--I was getting married!!

I can't describe what went through my head as I lifted my face to meet Johnny's, who was patiently waiting at the alter. All I knew was that it was ho--and God was he so handsome!!

From that moment, the world faded in the background and I was in a daze as I looked at him and then around us at all the faces of those who were present. The feeling I had was surreal as I realized we were surrounded by all these people love us and that's why they were there--to witness our marriage.

Thereafter, it was whirlwind from when we walked down the alter, through dinner, dancing, cutting the cake, bouquet throwing, and when we departed to our retreat at Mandalay Bay.

I wish I could've made our wedding day last forever... That day could have not been better if weren't for all the love and caring of friends and family who worked so hard to make our dreams a reality. THANK YOU (you know who you are and, you know what??...WE LOVE YOU TOO)!!

Photo contributors: Fabian and Oksana, John and Maggie, Nina, Peter and Money, Krista, Aunt Lisa, Sam and Chante...and more to come!