Toll Roads in Orange County

So, I was in Newport Beach today and my GPS was not set to avoid toll roads, so on my way home I ended up on Toll Road 241…for which a driver needs a FasTrak or ExpressAccount.  To clarify, there are no booths with people waiting to take your money on the other end.  It is run solely with a camera and a machine to suck money off of one of those company’s transmitters. In order to not receive a violation of $57.50 in addition to the toll amount due, you need to go to their website 5 days before or within 5 days after driving on it.

I am sooooo lucky my sister told me about this. I was planning on waiting for my “bill” to come in the mail.  Well, per their site they don’t send bills.  They send violations. So, I repeat…do not wait for them to send you a bill because it will not be a “bill,” but a violation with that huge added fee. How is any ol’ regular person supposed to know this?  And when I got on the 241, it didn’t say FasTrak ONLY–or if there was a sign…it wasn’t big enough to catch a visitor’s eye.

The four roads you have to be aware of over there are the 73, 133, 241, and 261.  So, if you find yourself over there without one of those transmitters to pay your toll, then make sure you go to THIS SITE! once you get home.  You can pay your bill online with no additional charges.  You just need to know which of their roads you drove on and your entry and exit points.  🙂 Happy driving!


See?  Do you see any FasTrak signage right here?!?! La la laaaaaaa.  I did not take this photo, but if it says it underneath the CA 241, (if it does…I’ll be slightly embarrassed)        it needs to be BIGGER. 😀

“A good driver keeps her eyes on the road…                                                                                      and doesn’t look for FasTrak signs.” -Yours Truly


June 30, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . 2016, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Keratin Smoothing Treatment

Hello all!

I know I have been a lazy blogger. Boooooooo. I don’t have as much free time as I used to! Oh well…I am taking time out of my day to blog about a new hair experience I just had at a salon.

It’s June, I live in a desert, I haven’t been moisturizing any part of my body as much as I should be…but most especially…my hair has been feeling like straw after I wash it.  Usually conditioner softens it…but lately it doesn’t seem to be working. Hmm. So. I began to investigate ways to soften my straw hair on the internet. My research uncovered a process called the Keratin Smoothing Treatment.  I guess it’s the new, best thing in the salon industry –it’s supposed to be better and less toxic than the Brazilian Blowout (BB) since the BB forms formaldehyde gases… but through my research…so does this new “Keratin Treatment.” La la laaaaaaa   The beauty world is so confusing. :-/

So, being utterly confused –and desperate for soft looking and feeling locks…I went to a nearby reputable salon and had a consultation with a stylist. (Literally, I walked into the salon, asked if one of the stylists could quote me how much the procedure would cost me, a gal walked over to me, looked at and touched my hair, and told me it would be $175.00.) It was a 2-minute consultation process.  So, I scheduled an appointment with her to do the smoothing treatment on me the next morning.  Desperate times and straw hair come with droppin’ big bucks! 😀

Longer story shorter…My appointment began at 9:00 and ended at 11:00.  Wow.  2 hours on the dot.  This involved my stylist giving me a pre-wash with a clarifying shampoo to clean my hair really well (so go with dirty hair like I did!), blow drying it 100% dry, applying the Keratin solution to thin sections of my hair, putting a shower cap on me for a 30-minute “processing” time, blow drying my hair again and then flat ironing it.  Whoa baby.  There was a lot of heat involved.  Wanna see the results?! 🙂  So far…I’m happy.  I will write another review of this hair process after a month or so to see how I really feel about spending $200 to have smoother, softer, less frizzy hair.

I can’t wash my hair for three days. My stylist said the product is still working on my hair.  So, we shall see what it looks like after I wash it with sulfate-free shampoo for the first time! It’s neat how with my hair straighter, it looks like I have an ombré! HAHAHA!  My stylist asked me if I had gotten my hair colored to have an ombré and I said it’s a natural one from all of the gardening I have been doing!  I wear a hat and only have the ends of my ponytail exposed! Ha! Natural ombré! For freeeee!





“Gorgeous hair is the best revenge.” –Ivana Trump

HAHAHAH. Well.  It was the most apropos quote I could find.  Not that I’m seeking revenge against anyone! (Just against my dry hair!) 🙂

June 26, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , . 2015. 2 comments.

Parking Lots and the Holidays

Ah, the holidaze!  AKA–the holidays!

This time of year always brings back memories (aka, nightmares) about my old career as an auto claims adjuster.  I remember my last year handling 100 car accidents at any given moment.  That particular year in December, parking lot accidents were happening left and right…and well…I got reeaaalllly tired of listening to two people bark about how the other driver was at fault and had backed up into him/her…ay caramba.  The joys of an auto claims adjuster.  Parking lot accidents were the worst and constant around the holidays.  Scenario:  two people are backing up simultaneously.  They each think the other driver should STOP and wait for them. But, neither does.  Both just continue to back on up into the rear bumper of the other driver.  Oh. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  The joys of shopping at a mall and parking in a super crowded parking lot around the holidays.  La dee dah.  Tricky situation to determine which party holds fault, right?  Oh, the joys of the holidays.  So, people who don’t know I used to adjust car accidents for a living always ask why I park in the farthest spot in the lot…and I just reply…”Ah, I like the exercise…” instead of me getting all excited and exclaiming, “Do you KNOW how many car accidents happen in a parking lot at this time of the year!??!?” 😀

On a similar note, I, have been a victim of a crazy person in a super-packed parking lot in a very busy city last year.  I remember it as though it were yesterday.  Even though I had my cell phone with me, I didn’t have the with-it-ness to think about videotaping the lady while she was banging on my window screaming at me.  Scenario:  I had pulled into a parking spot.  A mad mom in a minivan stopped her car in the aisle way, exited her van, and proceeded to rush up to me (still sitting in my parked car). She began screaming, “Um!!! You didn’t indicate for the space!! You didn’t indicate for the space!!!”

You didn't indicate for the space!~!~!~

You didn’t indicate for the space!~!~!~

I sat there wondering why a woman would go through all that trouble to tell me I hadn’t indicated for the space, even though I was nearer/closer to the space than she was–she was down the aisle a bit more from it.  I then rolled down my window an inch and told her, “I’m sorry, but you weren’t that close to the space and I didn’t think it would be an issue.”  She began banging on my window telling me to *^#*&$@*&^# move my car out of the space.  Wow.  Whoaaaaaa baby.   Scary times.  That’s when (in retrospect), I realize I should have pressed RECORD on my phone.  Yikeseeeez.   Anyhow…needless to say she scared the daylights out of me…and if a person like her is that unstable, scary, and cuckoo…I wasn’t going to get out of my car and leave it there so she could slash my tires. 😦 Sooooo, I ended up pulling out of the space and circling around the entire shopping center another couple of times to find a spot that had no other cars driving down the aisle to contend with.  Scary lady won.  Very scary.  I only wish I would have been brave enough in the moment to tell her she needed to calm down and shouldn’t be talking to me (whom she didn’t know from Eve) like that.  Eek. But, I didn’t.  I just said, “Okay, okay,” and I pulled out of the space.  Boooooooo.  I have since searched for some “parking lot nightmare” videos on YouTube to not only make myself feel better about my experience, but to look for that same nut job…because I know that she is probably out there doing the very same thing to another unsuspecting person. 😦

Word of advice:  ALWAYS indicate (oh, that means to use your right/left turn signal!!) when turning into a parking space~~~~~!!!!!!! 😀 This is my friendly public service announcement at these very scary parking lot times during the holidaze.

“We’re never gonna get rid of crazy people. They’ve been around for thousands of years – they’ll continue to be around; they’ll continue to do horrible things.” —Michael Moore

December 23, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . 2014. Leave a comment.

Be Present

Wow. I just had the craziest experience. I suppose you could say I’m distracted, focusing on one too many things, or scatterbrained?? “Eeep,” is all I have to say–regardless of whatever the reason/cause was.

I had been chatting on the phone with my sister and realized it was almost 8pm, so I quickly ended the conversation and jumped in my car to go to the gym. I had changed into my gym clothes hours earlier, but ended up getting the call…

I suppose I was distracted by my neighbor blasting his Christian Rock music in his garage while I was getting in my car, but as I drove along the road to my gym…and only when getting ready to turn in to the parking lot…I realized…I was wearing flip flops. :-/

Oy vey.

Really? I had NO IDEA whatsoever from the point of grabbing my water bottle and glasses…that I was wearing flip flops. Hmm. Scary, eh? Talk about being everywhere but THERE in the moment. Spooooooky. My brain was, uh…distracted? Dunno. It still creeps me out to think about it. I mean…what if I hadn’t even been wearing clothes and walked out of my house? 😮

I suppose that’s a far reach…but you get my point.

“I don’t think we realize just how fast we go until you stop for a minute and realize just how loud and how hectic your life is, and how easily distracted you can get.” –Meg Ryan

I’m living proof of that quote tonight. Embarrassingly enough.

P.S. And to answer your question if you’re wondering…I didn’t end up going back to the gym. I cleaned out my car instead. 😀

August 13, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , . High Desert Life. 1 comment.


I was at the gym tonight reading a Fitness magazine from February.  (You could say I’m a little behind on reading for pleasure…)

There was an article discussing how small amounts of stress are actually good for people because it sharpens our minds and helps people think more clearly–interestingly enough.

However, it had a section within the story that talked about BAD STRESS (the kind where you just have TOO MUCH!!!) and how the effects of TOO MUCH stress lead to certain unwanted occurrences such as waking up early every morning.

Let’s see, since I have started teaching I am repeatedly (most nights) waking up at 3:00 am and tossing and turning until my alarm goes off at 5:45 am…

I know I have a lot of stress.  I feel like I am moderating it pretty well (continuing to exercise, eating fairly healthy, etc…) but I guess that’s not enough for me.

The article suggests doing deep belly breathing for 30-minutes twice a day.  Honestly, I dread sleeping nowadays since I know I’m going to toss and turn for most of the night.  Soooooo…I am going to give the belly breathing a try.  Anything to get a good night’s sleep. Ahhhhhhh.  Life.


“He would lie in the bed and finally, with daylight, he would go to sleep. After all, he said to himself, it is probably only insomnia. Many must have it.”
 Ernest Hemingway

April 9, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . High Desert Life, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.


What a fabulous post title, right?!? 😉

I decided to keep it nice and simple.  No frills.  No cutesy talk.  I’m feeling blah right now.  I would like to attribute my blah feelings (general malaise, really) to the high pollen count and my allergies, but really…truth be told…I am coming off of chocolate.  And not very gracefully.  I am imagining a drug addict in my mind right now–someone so desperate for a hit of their favorite X,Y,Z…

My latest “fix” has been Lindt Milk Chocolate.  It is soooooo creamy, smooth, and satisfying.  A very dear, well-meaning friend gifted me with a bar for V-Day, and well…since I have been wallowing in my single hood and not dealing with my recent break-up adequately, I inhaled the bar in two days.  A bar has about 24 small rectangles?  I  never actually stopped, unwrapped, and counted…but it is a good estimate.

Oh lordy.  This stuff IS classic!  Yummmmo!

Oh lordy. This stuff IS classic! Yummmmo!

Today after work, I sat in my “office” 🙂 and thought about chocolate.  I thought about it soothing me and comforting me.  I thought about a few mini Lindt rectangles melting on my tongue and fully inhaling the flavor of the chocolate.  Mmm.  I digress.  I told myself YESTERDAY that I am going to quit cold turkey this time and there would be no “weaning myself off of” the creamy decadence.  *sigh*   I have battled chocolate addiction in my past and have conquered it.  (It’s odd that I’m drawn to the milk varieties lately–I’m usually a 70% dark chocolate kind-of-gal…)  I know many people have chocolate daily, but for me—at this point in time, I have realized that I am wanting to use it as a crutch and an emotional comfort.  No bueno.  So, the solution is to remove it from my diet for a while, deal with my emotions, and then…re-introduce it in the future. 🙂

This, too, shall pass.  Alleluiaaaa.


“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” –Charles M. Schulz

February 24, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , . 2014, Health. 1 comment.

Racy Topics in the Jacuzzi

I was working late last weekend and decided to go against my rule, “Don’t go to the gym late on a Friday or Saturday night” (Pick-up scene for all the hot studs pumping iron) and my even more important rule, “Don’t go into the jacuzzi at the gym past 7pm on those nights–EVER!” ;-) However, since I was tired and sore from sitting on my butt lesson planning all day (YES! I got a job actually TEACHING and using my very expensive teaching credential), I decided to “chance it” and GO.  I threw on my swimsuit, drove over to the gym, swam a bit, and then decided (at 7pm!!!) to go soak in the jacuzzi.  

There were a couple of people (in their 50′s-60′s) in it and neither was talking much, so I thought it would be safe to go in and not have to worry about being bothered.  Those people got out and left a few minutes after I got in and a guy in his 20′s and a man in his 50′s took their places.   I am always nervous about the conversations that will be started in the jacuzzi and usually deny people eye contact (not that doing so always works at keeping them from talking to me).  

I was staring off into space and stretching my tight leg muscles when all of a sudden the older man (let’s call him Larry) began to talk.  THANKFULLY he directed his query to the younger fellow (let’s call him Jim).  Well.  Larry ended up asking Jim if he was a “believer” and if he had “been saved.”  Jim responded awkwardly and mumbled something I couldn’t really hear.  The next thing I know Larry began telling Jim about how he needs to get married and settle down with ONE woman because that is heaven on earth.  LOL.  Jim was floating in the jacuzzi looking mighty confused and stumbling over his words, but being awfully polite.  The next thing I knew…Larry lunged toward Jim and jumped on him giving him a big bear hug!!! I could hardly contain myself.  I fortunately had already been soaking for 20-ish minutes and decided to leave at that point.  

I couldn’t help but smile as I left… Here all this time I have been worried about being “hit on” in the jacuzzi at the gym!!! Not around these parts in the High Desert, I guess!!! I suppose I should start to be concerned about the Christian Evangelists, though!!!! :-P

I bet I could write a reallllly interesting story based on the conversations that take place in that jacuzzi. ;-) TBC…

Stay relaxed, y’all!! 

September 7, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . High Desert Life. 1 comment.


I am stuck.  Haven’t blogged in months.  I have been having lots of experiences that people would imagine would make me want to blog…but I just have not had the desire or the energy.  I think city life is sucking mine out of me.  Make sense?  

First, ever since I completed my teacher credentialing program, I have felt a loss.  The entire program had instilled such fire within me to be an educator and to fulfill my “life’s purpose” of being a teacher.  After moving up north to the Bay Area, I have not felt any fire within me, but rather have been experiencing the kindling smoking and making me gasp for air with the thought of entering an urban classroom.  What has happened?  Is teaching in an urban area that much different than teaching in a suburban one?  I suppose so.  My toughest days in my suburban classrooms have looked like scenes from a cute Disney movie compared to my experiences in urban classrooms.  So, what have I gone and done?  I have given up on teaching and thinking that I could be a teacher.  

Now, I feel like the sad soul who went through law or med school and now works at Petco… NOT that I work at Petco, thank the Good Lord…but, eh~~~ close enough.  My work does not fulfill me. I know this.  Unfortunately, instead of using that knowledge to ignite my fire again and look for teaching jobs, I am stuck in apathy.    

Now all I have to Google is “getting rid of that apathetic feeling…” and move on with my life.  Right?  :-/


March 26, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Challenging Times in Romance Land

Romance is a tricky thing.  I looked up an article today to educate myself about how to more effectively communicate my desires for my partner to do certain “tidying up” things around the apartment more often.  Why must you spend the time looking up such trivial things on the Internet, you ask me in boredom??  Well, it is because, as I have been constantly reminded by my partner, I come off as insulting whenever I do it “naturally/on my own”–without the help of strangers who write Self-Help columns for people with relationship roadblocks to constantly jump over. People like me.

All I want is for my partner to DO these things…NATURALLY…like I do.  Is this too much to ask in life?  Say for example, when I see that the contents of our recyclables container are about to spill over…I take it out.  I recently began to take it very personally and began feeling insulted that I am always (except once) the one to take out the recyclables.  I began telling myself, Well, there is no concern for keeping our apartment tidy, now, is there? or Well…someone must certainly be impressed by how the recycling container never gets too full. WOW.”

So, thankfully the first article I pulled up was this great piece:

And now I realize that I have been equating the lack of household chore participation with a lack of care and/or respect for me.  How terrible.  😦  Now all I need is the follow-up article that discusses lots more tips and tricks to use in order for me to change my thinking.  Wish me luuuuuuuck.

“The world only goes ’round by misunderstanding.”  –Charles Boudelaire

October 24, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . 2012, Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Miessence and Me

Well, you know I am always doing my best to incorporate healthy foods into my diet and treat my body right.  Welllll, okay.  Not all the time. 😉

I have been feeling kind of blah and haven’t been fueling my body with the best foods available to me.  Stress= CHOCOLATE!  Loneliness=COOKIES!   Occasional boredom=MORE CHOCOLATE!   I know that I need to get my eating habits cleaned-up once again. Sometimes my diet is so pure and I feel like a rockstar, other times I let my diet sink into a trash-can-sort-of-state and I feel like a roly poly.

I, as many people know, used to be (key words there…) a raw foodist.  Even though I am not a hardcore raw foodist these days, I still keep up with certain websites and friendships I’ve developed.  Anyway, I have a great friend (whom I’ve never met) 😉 in the Philippines and she always sends me information about new products/retreats/etc. that she hears about through her work if she thinks I might be interested.

So, to make this long blog shorter…she got me in contact with a woman here in the states who sells certified organic health supplements from Australia. Oh, the world is so small now!

I contacted the woman, Lacey Swartz and she sent me three samples.  After using InLiven and Deep Green (two of the products) for a month, I noticed a few things:

1)  I do feel better.  Who knows if this is the placebo effect or not.  I am fine with it being either way, since how I feel is most important       to me.

2)  After using InLiven, I would have to go to the bathroom a lot.  I honestly think it’s because it has organic spirulina in it and I know spirulina always makes me go to the bathroom a lot.  (I’m talking every 20 minutes…)  Haha.  It’s supposed to be really healthy for people and regulates body fluid levels by removing excess fluid.  I guess I am just soooo full of excess body fluid whenever I consume it.

3)  Deep Green has a strong “green” taste, so I found that when I mixed it with cacao or carob it was muuuch better! 😀 It is alkalizing for the body because it has a bunch of different greens in it and I found that I felt really clean after I consumed it.

Both of these powders do have their own “green”  flavor, so I enjoyed them a lot more when I added them to my banana/green  smoothies.  They go really well with bananas.  I got three samples:  InLiven, Berry Radical, and Deep Green.  I will write about Berry Radical next time.  ^-^  So far, so good.  I really like the products because they make me feel healthy.  Lately, my diet hasn’t been where I would necessarily *like* it to be, so these powders are a super easy way for me to get heaps of nutrients into my diet while eating less clean than desired.  Oh yah!

Here’s an oldie, but goodie:

“The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine.” –Hippocrates

June 7, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . 2012, Health, RAW!!!!, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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