1. This blog is supposed to help document my life. I have almost always failed at keeping a paper journal; with that said, I am failing at keeping a blog. I’ve been back from Seattle, Alaska, and Victoria for a week now and have yet to post any pictures or tidbits that will help me keep alive memory of trekking through the Tongass National Forest with chattering teeth and painfully cold (but not freezing enough to go numb) fingers.
2. Last night while having dinner at Cadiz, my friend, Jon, asked me to go check out the back half of the restaurant, because he is trying to find an appropriate place to have his wedding rehearsal dinner. I took a stroll to the back and investigated their cozy Mediterranean seating area and bumped into a server and the restaurant manager. When I explained to them that I was looking for a place to have a wedding rehearsal dinner, they congratulated me. I quickly corrected them and said, “No. It’s actually for my friend over there” and pointed to Jon, who happened to be sitting next to my boyfriend. The restaurant manager smiled and said, “When is their big day?” I am just now (over 16 hours later) beating myself up for not playing along and letting the restaurant manager think they were a happy, homosexual couple. Minus three points for me. I am clearly losing my scheme-y touch.
I was watching Sarah Kay’s TED lecture from 2011, and she mentioned one of her spoken word poetry assignments for her students: 10 things I know to be true. I have zero plans to actually turn it into a poem, but I liked the idea of creating a list. She encouraged the people listening not to over think the process and to just list what comes to mind. So here goes…
10 things I know to be true
1. Bon Iver was by far the most beautiful band I have ever seen live. How is it possible to sound a million times better live than on grammy-winning, recorded album?!
2. I had an alternate-reality dream a month ago that I can’t shake off or forget. It made me realize that my life could have been completely differently had I picked “the other guy” over my boyfriend, and, in all honesty, it was not bad-different. Just different.
3. It doesn’t make me a bad guy or terrible girlfriend to think that other life would be pleasant. (However if I pursued it, I think that would be a different story.)
4. Cooking good Filipino food is not about being a great chef; it’s about adding the right amount of Patis.
5. Friends come and go, but I will always have my cousins. I am way too blessed to be a Golfo.
6. Mental wedding planning makes me happy. Most of the time these pseudo-weddings aren’t even mine. They’re friends on Facebook or acquaintances that I know. Heck, sometimes the people I wedding plan for aren’t even in a relationship. I just love putting together fake scenarios that involve food, flowers, decor, location, etc. Too wonderful. I blame Pinterest for this sick obsession.
7. In 2 weeks, I will be in Alaska. We have the following excursions booked: helicopter & glacier hike in Juneau, ziplining in Ketchikan, ATV tour through the Sitka forest. I AM SO EXCITED.
8. I have met some pretty wonderful people while living in Santa Barbara.
9. I am way too obsessed with watching TV. Making sure I am caught up watching Game of Thrones is one of my main priorities today, which is terrible and speaks loudly upon my work ethic considering I have a huge paper due on Thursday.
10. I love a good chick flick with over the top, complicated love scenarios, but I have come to realize that the best kind of love isn’t showy or anything like the movies. It’s a simple, quiet passion. I’m not saying that it isn’t hard work, because Lord knows that it is, but it is nowhere near as flashy or dramatic, and that’s okay.
An almost-first-hand experience of what it’s like to be a Golfo on Easter
I will never, EVER, be too old for this.
I had my very first ambulance experience last night. After dinner and seeing The Hunger Games with Sarah, I convinced her to walk further down State Street to meet some friends of mine at a bar. I became dizzy the second I walked in. Spots. Fuzziness. The whole shebang. I told Sarah that we should step outside, but I passed out before making it outside. The next thing I knew, I was sitting between Jaclyn and Jesse. Jaclyn was stroking my hair, Jesse was trying to get me to drink water, and Sarah was talking to AMR ambulance drivers.
It turns out I had really low blood pressure, which is weird, because I had three solid meals, drank water like a camel all day, had a single glass of wine, and had a normal blood sugar level. To their dismay, I refused to let the drivers take me to the hospital. (Those rides can cost a grand for a couple of miles!) While the EMTs dramatically explained to my boyfriend (who showed up after a frantic phone call from Sarah) that he would be liable for my death if I passed out under his care, I glimpsed at Sarah and gave her the three finger salute from The Hunger Games, who proceeded to giggle like a mad woman. Because life can’t be taken THAT seriously… even in an ambulance strapped up to all sorts of different gadgets.
(I’m taking this entire experience as a sign that I was supposed to stay in and work on my paper that I have hardly made a dent in. I get it, school gods. You win this round.)
Must find instructions on how to create this origami Yoda.
Boyfriend and I decided to make this our new home improvement project. We’re going to spell out our names and the dog’s name.
Cam: What is that you are peeling? An onion?
Me: Garlic. Wait! Are you being serious right now? You don’t know what garlic looks like?!
It has been 16 hours after our conversation, and I am still in shock that Cameron was clueless as to what garlic looked like. Boy roommates are the best.
Saving this recipe by Ina Garten for another lazy day. All you have to do is preheat an oven, prep the sauce, and shove the chicken in the oven. It’s so easy and so tender.
Ina Garten’s Lemon Chicken Breasts Recipe
• 1/4 cup good olive oil
• 3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
• 1/3 cup dry white wine
• 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
• 1 lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish.
3. Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.
4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.
I just found out that the first issue of this quarterly magazine that I am obsessed with is selling for $200 on eBay. I’m sitting here trying to decide if my love for this magazine (featuring Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali, and ramen!) and collecting things is worth more than $200… Hmm… No, I guess not.
Who in their right mind would spend $200 on a magazine anyway? I shouldn’t be getting involved in online transactions with crazies.
After lurking on Instagram late Saturday night and seeing some enticing pictures, I announced to my cousin that we were going to go to Bruxie for lunch on Sunday after a 7am Disneyland session with Chris. Disneyland, by the way, was a success. Being there at opening means you get to ride anything and everything by noon. Life changing.
Top: Fried chicken, pastrami. Bottom: Creme brulee.
Why am I salivating while looking at this picture? What is wrong with me?!
P.S. Despite the crazy monsoon weather in LA and my bald tires that need to be changed ASAP, I made it home to Santa Barbara safely by 5pm… which is only important because it means I didn’t miss the Mad Men season premiere. 17 months without this show was killer. I am so glad that Don Draper is back in business. It’s been too long.
I am determined to have all of Sunday to ME.
Therefore Friday night/Saturday morning consisted of:
- Student vocabulary quizzes: GRADED.
- Student classwork for this past unit: GRADED.
- Student in class essays: HALFWAY GRADED.
- Lesson Planning: …I’ll get there.
P.S. What is this zit thing under my chin? Way to be gross, skin.
I think it’s safe to say that all of my time and energy has been dedicated to teaching. While I am incredibly worried about finding placement in a school district later, I have also been trying to enjoy my last few months in the classroom right now. I have wonderful students who, on a daily basis, make me laugh, think, and learn. I also have amazing colleagues who have been inspiring and wonderful. Teaching is such a great experience, and I am confident that I chose the right career.
I started a unit on profiling articles with my students yesterday. The lesson went something like this:
Me: “Imagine me, little Ms. Golfo. And let’s say instead of this polka dot dress and red sweater, I decided to wear baggy jeans, a backwards cap, and a blue sweatshirt that said ‘CRIPS’ on it to class. But before I get to class, I got stopped by a policeman. Do you think I deserved to be stopped?”
Some students stated their arguments, whether they agreed on whether or not I should be stopped based on my appearance, then one student, after looking so pensive and thoughtful, looked up at me and said, “Ms. Golfo… why are we pretending something we all know wouldn’t happen. You love polka dots.”
He may have missed the point, but I high fived him for being awesome.
1. You got engaged on Valentine’s day. HOW FREAKING ORIGINAL.
2. I have been smirking more than smiling when I see relationship status changes on Facebook. Why are some of these people getting engaged anyway? At first I thought I was just being negative, but then I realized that divorce statistics are totally on my side. Maybe it’s just me, but I think some of these individuals need to grow up a little before they make such a grown up decision. Finish school, move out of your parents’ house, and start a career before you walk down the aisle. (And please, PLEASE note: a career and a job are two different things.) Call me old fashioned, but that’s how it is supposed to be.
Marriage is for better or for worse. Are you in a position where you could support yourself and another person if things turn for the worse?
Do you even know the person you are going to “spend the rest of your life with”? I hate to break it to you, sweetheart, but if you have been with your significant other for less than a year, the answer is probably* no. (*I say probably, because I know that there is always an exception or two. But chances are you aren’t the exception. Period.)
I think people are forgetting that marriage is supposed to be forever. People need to stop rushing toward saying “I do” until they’re 100% positive that they’re ready for forever.
I have been failing miserably to update you due to a busy holiday season. I told myself last year to keep on keeping on with you, because, well, I think there’s something absolutely wonderful about having documentation about your life. It helps you remember the little things. So note to self: be better about posting.
On to the good stuff:
Christmas Eve was spent with Phish’s family, who I have [finally] come to acknowledge as my second family. (About time, right?) On Christmas day, I had the extremely rare opportunity of having my grandpa, my great-uncle, my nieces, and the rest of my family surrounding me. I keep losing count every time I try to count all the bodies that managed to squeeze into my parents’ living room for the annual family picture, and I think that’s awesome.
Original plan for December 26th was to go to Disneyland with my lady cousins and little brother. Then James got hit with some kind of virus and we hit a ridiculous amount of traffic trying to get into the park. Mid anxiety attack, I pulled out of the traffic with Hanna and Mantha in the backseat, hopped onto the freeway, and headed to the grocery store for a bouquet of two dozen balloons for my cousin Sabby’s birthday. It wasn’t as fancy or magical of a day, but it’s hard not to feel like winners after all you can eat Korean bbq and Frostbites afterwards.
Corrina came home with me on the 26th and stayed with me in Santa Barbara for an entire week. Highlights pictured were our visit to the old Mission, our hike to Knapp’s castle, and our exploration of the Coronado butterfly preserve.
I also shared my love of Telegraph Brewery with Corrina. It’s this hole in the wall microbrewery that is a two minute walk from the house. Jaclyn, Ryan, and Phish met up with us one night, and after filling our bellies with pints, we filled two growlers up to take home for some Doctor Who drinking games. (Terrible idea to do it with whiskey, Ry.)
Rosa came up for New Years Eve. We started the morning with coffee, brunch, and shopping. Mid day we went to Telegraph where I had too much too drink and Corrina made questionable decisions with the brewery worker, Paul. We had originally planned to go out and about, but due to $100+ cover charges, we ended up joining Phish and his family at the house for some drunken entertainment courtesy of NSync and Maria.
Chris came by for a couple nights. Camera shy Chris didn’t make it in any of my pictures, which I am way bummed about. I am trying to take a picture a day the entire year of 2012. Let’s see how it goes. Anyway, we had a wonderful time going on a couple of short hikes, taking Wendy to the pier, and shucking oysters.
I am currently sitting at a hotel desk in San Diego. Phish has a work conference here, and while he is in meetings, I am taking advantage of the free time to blog, catch up on lesson plans, and finally start The Hunger Games (thanks James) before I have to doll up for dinner tonight.
Last night, at the awards dinner, Phish won a cruise for two to Alaska. I’m incredibly excited, because some of our friends will be going too! Downside: it means I’ll miss my USC graduation. It also means Phish has to fly home from the Philippines, because the flight for Alaska leaves the same day he was supposed to get back. But it’s Alaska. I had a ridiculously great time the last time I went, and as far as I am concerned, I would be foolish to pass up a free trip to one of my favorite places on earth. We’ll see how my mother takes this idea.