Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Learning Italian & cell phone addiction

I'm excited...I am now officially enrolled in my first "real" Italian class! The other two community education courses don't count, because, since they didn't involve assignments, tests, or grades, I never once bothered to open the book and study. It's amazing that I picked up what little I did.

This is something I really want to learn, and I figure that a more structured class will be good for me. Classes start August 27th. A friend at work wants to take the class also, which would be nice, but when she tried to enroll she found that the class is full! She's on a waiting list, but most likely won't know if she can enroll until August 23rd, when payment is due and those who don't pay will be dropped.

I have to admit that I am addicted to my cell phone. I pretty much knew this, but this morning it hit me hard. My phone was working as of 3:00 AM, because when I woke up I saw a text that had arrived then. By the time I left for work, I had no service. This lasted all the way to work, and I proceeded to get extremely nervous and panicked. My stomach was in knots...I receive emails on my phone, I've given my cell number for all these jobs I've been applying for...what was I going to do????

Once I arrived at work, I called my carrier, who found that many cell towers from Sacramento to Reno were not working. They didn't have an estimated time when it would be fixed, but I did get 100 free minutes. Lo and behold, less than 30 minutes later, I was back up and running. Yes, I completely freaked out when I had only been without service for an hour! (Well, it was longer than that, but I didn't know about it so that time doesn't count). I can't even go an hour without my cell phone...what does that say about me?!

I need to turn the damn thing off once my class starts so I'll be able to get some studying done!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Discovering Italy

I haven't always been in love with Italy.
There, I said it. I hate to admit it. I wish I could say that for as long as I can remember, I've wanted to go to Italy, but that's not true.

Until May 2005, Italy was only #5 on my list of European countries that I wanted to visit (behind England, France, Spain and Greece).

I have, however, always loved maps. When I was a child, my parents used to get National Geographic, and they would give me the maps that were included with each issue. I would spread the maps out on the floor and spend countless hours poring over them. My mom still remembers me doing this. Of course I loved the Italy map, because of the country being shaped like a boot, and well...even back then I loved shoes!

While unpacking some boxes recently (we moved over 3 years ago...I'm trying to finish unpacking!), I came across a stack of these old maps, and started looking at them. The Italy map was one of them, and it made me think of the countries that I used to long for, and how Italy was not at the top.

So how did I fall so completely head-over-heels in love with Italy? Well, to clarify, how did I fall in love with Positano? I've only been to the Naples/Sorrento/Amalfi Coast area, so I really shouldn't speak for the rest of the country, although I have no doubt I'll feel the same about it when I explore the rest of it.

Four friends of mine decided to go to Positano in 2004. Two of them live in Europe, two are from America, and all had been to Italy before. They casually invited me to go, and for some reason that I can't recall, I said no. After their trip, they told me all the details, and it sounded fun. A few months later, they were planning another trip for May 2005, and invited me again. All I could think was, "How can I pass up this opportunity?"

We flew into London, and spent a day there. It was everything I had dreamed of, but nowhere near enough time. I'll be back there someday, with my mom, as that's also her dream.

The next day we flew to Naples, where a car picked us up and drove us to Positano. From the moment I walked off the plane and saw the chaos of Naples to the time I stepped out of the car at Piazza Mulini, I was hopelessly in love.

But it was more than "love". I was home.

When it was time to leave, I cried. I've never cried before when leaving somewhere; I'm usually always excited to get to the next place. This was different. I felt panicked, like I needed to be there. I spent hours staring at the web cam (still do!). I've googled "Positano" more times than I care to admit.

I've been back twice, in June 2006 and June 2007. I have a trip planned for June 2008 (the villa is already booked!) But it's not enough. I want more!

If the job thing sorts itself out, I'm going there this fall. By myself. I have to be there. I feel so at peace and content and happy there.
Isn't that how you're supposed to feel when you go home?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

So many decisions!

I've been researching the permanent makeup thing, which has only led to more questions, which in turn leads to more decisions to make!

Such as: I can't just quit my current job until I have something else lined up because we have bills to pay. My husband makes about twice as much as I do, but we still rely on my salary. And I can't take the training until I have a job lined up, because I have no more vacation time at my current job and they won't let me take time off without pay! (How ironic that I'm trying to create more free time for myself and that's what's stopping me from doing it!)

So do I stay at my miserable job until January, when I can take time off for the training? Or do I find another job and take a week off in between jobs for the training? Maybe a part-time job, so I can pursue my new career the rest of the time, then quit the part-time job once I've built up a bit of clientele?

While I was debating all of this in my mind, my research led me to an article about laser hair removal. I've had this done on my underarms, which only partially worked, because my hair is so light. But since I'm very hairy, I've always been fascinated by the methods of hair removal. So I started looking into training for that. It intrigues me!

The training is quite a bit cheaper (which I thought was odd), but I would have to travel out of state for it, so add in airline tickets, hotel, meals, etc., and it would be about the same price.

I made a list (there I go with the lists again!), and I'm going to contact several people in each line of work. I have quite a few questions, and I think hearing from people who do these things every day will help me make a decision.

Ack!! I know things will all fall into place, but why does this part have to be so difficult?!?!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Quick update

On Friday I met with the lady about my possible new career. For those who are curious, it is doing permanent makeup. Although I love makeup and would be interested in this even if it were just about makeup, there's more to it than that. More and more plastic surgeons and dermatologists are offering this service in their offices, mainly for women who have had mastectomies, to recreate the look of a nipple. Also, women who have arthritis or parkinson's disease have a hard time applying makeup. I like the idea of being able to help people in that way.

It went quite well, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it. I want to do a bit more research first, but I'm excited! I think the fact that I'm excited and happy is a good sign that it's the right move for me. Not to mention that I would only need 6-8 clients per month to equal what I make right now. What a sad comment that is about my current job!

More on this later...we've had a bit of a family emergency this weekend, and I'm wiped out (more on that later also).

Monday, July 16, 2007


Serendipity...the faculty of making fortunate decisions by accident.

It's one of those words that just doesn’t come across my radar very often, but it’s a word that I like to read and/or speak...like wanderlust...or canoodling. I love hearing about celebrities being spotted canoodling, partly because I’m strangely fascinated by celebrities, and partly because I love the word!

But I digress. I read the word “serendipity” last week, and other than thinking about how much I like the word, I quickly forgot about it.

Then something happened.

After almost a year of procrastinating, I started reading “Eat Pray Love”. I was in tears by the end of the first page. While I’m not finished with the book yet (I can’t bear to read too many chapters at once), it’s definitely made me look deep and hard at my own life. What do I really want out of life? A family? Yes (soon, hopefully!). To keep traveling, both to my beloved Italy and to many other places? Yes. A job I look forward to going to? Yes.

Therein lies my problem. I can’t imagine looking forward to going to a place every day that controls my life, a place that tells me when I can take vacation and for how long, a place that tells me I can only spend so much time at home after I have a baby, a place that limits my salary based on some arbitrary salary range.

As I am in the midst of this job search, something keeps telling me that, even after I find a job with more vacation time, I am still going to feel trapped. It's my life, shouldn't I be allowed to make these decisions for myself?

So I've been pondering various options. I'm sure I must have some hidden talent which would allow me to make a living doing something I enjoy and that I am good at. But what might that talent be? What do I enjoy? And where might those two things intersect?

Here's where serendipity stepped in and perhaps helped me out. Last week I was skimming the local newspaper. I don't read it very often, but this day I saw it sitting on a table at work and picked it up.

Right there staring at me from the front page of the Life & Style section was a fascinating article. I don't want to say what it's about yet, as I'm afraid typing it will somehow jinx it! Anyway, it involves a training program for something that I find very interesting and that I think I would be very good at. I've done a bit of research over the last few days, and the woman who does this is apparently rather well-known for her expertise in this area...and as luck would have it, she offers her training program right here in Reno!

I'm going to meet with her to discuss the training and potential for this field. The training is expensive, but I'd rather spend some money now to make it all worthwhile in the end.

"Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for." ~ Lawrence Block

Monday, July 9, 2007

What I don't want

My horoscope for yesterday was very interesting:


"Always the optimist, you look to a day that's much like the present, except you have more of what you want and less of what you don't. By eliminating three of your "don't wants," you're closer to heaven."

I've been so busy focusing on all the things I want, it didn't occur to me that I might need to rid myself of some negative things. Let's see, what don't I want...

1. I don't want to be around people who bring me down, energy-suckers, if you will. I have a couple "friends" who are very negative and seem to exude bad energy. I've discovered that when I spend time with them, I walk away feeling pessimistic. This just isn't going to work for me anymore. I have made deliberate decisions regarding my life, and I want to be surrounded by positive energy that will help me achieve my goals.

2. I don't want to settle, in any aspect of my life. Since I started looking for a new job, more than one person has told me to quit being so unrealistic and be glad I have a job. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to have a job. However, there is a better job out there for me. Why should I settle for a job where I'm not very happy when I know that's not what's meant for me? I have to go out and make this new job happen, nobody is going to call and offer me my dream job unless I'm out there looking for it. I'm not going to stop until I find it!

3. I don't want to do what society says people are "supposed" to do, unless it's what I want to do. I want to enjoy life, on my own terms! More on this later...

I don't think it's wrong to want to live my life my way. I won't do anything that would interfere with my family, but yes, I want it all! I only have once chance at this life, and I want to make the best of it.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

My eight...okay...ten random facts!

Sognatrice did this the other day, and I said I would participate. It only took me about two days to come up with something!

1. I love to be afraid. I love to watch scary movies, even ones I've seen before that give me nightmares. I suppose it's that adrenaline rush.

2. When I was little (about 10-12 years old), I used to stay up late on Wednesday nights and watch Dynasty. Of course, my parents didn't allow this, so I had to sneak. I had a small, black & white TV in my bedroom, so I would pretend to go to bed, then turn on the TV with the sound so low I could barely hear it. Looking back, I'm sure my parents could see the light flickering under the door (especially since they had to walk past my door to get to their bedroom), but they never said anything.

3. I assumed I would grow up and live in a house like they had on Dynasty. I just knew I would have servants and wear elegant evening gowns all the time. I had no idea how this would happen, I just thought I would be rich and famous, so I never planned for it. That's probably why I have a relatively small three bedroom home today.

4. Even though I don't get to wear evening gowns, I love dressing up and going out. I love putting on makeup, jewelry, nice clothes and shoes, and doing my hair. I'll spend hours searching for the right necklace or bracelet. I'm a girly-girl!

5. I don't leave my house without some type of makeup on, even if it's just mascara and lip gloss.

6. I love fruit. Love, love, love it! However, I generally do not like it mixed in with other types of food, for example, in a salad. I will pick out all the fruit first, then eat the rest.

7. Bent or mis-shaped paperclips really bother me. If I can't straighten them out to the point where they look new again, I throw them away. How the heck do people get them all bent like that?

8. I dislike talking on the phone. I will go to almost any lengths to avoid answering the phone at home. Yet my cell phone is my constant companion - I love text messages, and I get my email on my cell.

9. I'm in a music video. As I've mentioned before, I am a huge Rob Thomas/matchbox twenty fan. Back in 2000, the fan club invited members to be in the Mad Season video. The invitation was extended on a Wednesday, and the only provision was that we had to be able to be in Los Angeles by 6:00 am Saturday morning. Being as I'm only about 1.5 hours away by plane, that was easily accomplished. Not only did I get to be in the video, but I met the band (the first of many times...they are truly great guys) and made several new friends - people I am still friends with today!

10. If you watch the video, you can see me twice. Of course, you have to know exactly when and where to look, and you have to look quickly, but I'm definitely in there!

"You are about to make an important decision"

The other day my mom and I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant. We had spent most of the time discussing my need for a new job and my desire to spend time in Italy. My mom is very supportive, to the point of using her free time to search online for jobs for me. I love my mom. She even offered to make up the difference in my salary if I find a job that pays less than I make now. I would never take her up on that offer, but I love that she just wants me to be happy.

Anyhoo, at the end of lunch, I opened my fortune cookie and it said, "You are about to make an important decision."

A sign, perhaps?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I love motorcycles

A little background first...

My husband's life revolves around motorcycles. He manages a Honda/Ducati dealership. He's worked there for about 18 years. He started riding dirt bikes soon after he started walking. He started racing dirt bikes when he was 5. His parents met at a motocross race, where his father raced with his mom's brothers. Motorcycles are in his blood.

Thank God I like them too.

Friday night I was waiting for him to come home from work, since Fridays are our "date night". Instead of hearing his truck in the driveway, I heard the unmistakeable sound of a motorcycle. I rushed outside to see what toy he had decided to bring home with him. It was a brand new Ducati something-or-other (I'm not good with all the different types!). He just said, "Go change your clothes, grab your helmet, and let's go for a ride!"

It was a beautiful evening for a ride. We spent a couple hours enjoying both the new bike (it's fast!) and the scenery. The weather was perfect, not too hot and just a slight breeze.

Turns out he didn't buy this bike, as his shop is only allotted three of this particular model, and there is a long waiting list of people who want to buy one.

But that's okay, that's not the best part of the story...apparently Ducati allows authorized dealers to rent (not sure if "rent" is the right term, but that doesn't matter) bikes from their headquarters. Which wouldn't appeal to me very much, except they are located in Italy! Somewhere near Milan, I believe. And my husband thinks it would be a fun way to see Italy!

Slowly, the pieces may be falling into place to allow me to spend more time in Italy.