Posted in Life, Personal Challenge, Relationships

Single’s Awareness Day: Personal Challenge, 2-14-13

Today is known as Single’s Awareness Day or what I like to call “Make Single People Feel Like Crap” Day.  Since I am single and have been single on every Valentine’s Day since I was born, I have certain traditions for celebrating this day.  But since I am striving to try something new every day, I discovered something at Target yesterday that has enhanced my celebration.  I discovered Red Velvet Pop Tarts!!!!!DSC_0229

So now, I am sitting here and starting a new tradition.  I am eating my Red Velvet Pop Tarts while watching the 1967 film, The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.  Following this glorious holiday film, I will watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho followed with a Ghost Adventures Marathon.  Since I highly doubt I will find a man who would enjoy my February 14th traditions as much as I do, I think this is going to be my Single’s Awareness Day celebration tradition for many years to come.

Happy “Make Single People Feel Like Crap” Day!!!

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Posted in Holidays, Life, Personal Challenge, Southern California

Small Business Saturday: Personal Challenge, Day 69 (11.24.12)

Nationwide, today is Small Business Saturday, a chance for Americans to support their local economy by spending this annual shopping weekend buying gifts at the Mom & Pop shops in their neighborhood.

Yesterday was Black Friday, the reason why I personally hate the winter holiday season.  People are lining up, pushing & shoving, trampling over others and for what?  To save money on things their loved ones really don’t need?  People are rude, there are car accidents galore, and this all comes after a day when we are supposed to be thankful for what we do have.  It is pure insanity.

Instead, I like the idea of Small Business Saturday.  Not only are you getting gifts for your loved ones but you are also helping your neighbors out by supporting their businesses.  And you can actually get better gifts, gifts that have meaning.  For example, if I wanted to get my Mom something that could only come from California, from Pasadena or the Altadena area, I would shop for her at Webster’s Fine Stationers on Lake or Vroman’s Bookstore on Colorado (or Foothill).

But one of the great things about living in Los Angeles is all of the thriving small businesses.  I have plenty of shopping options up and down Colorado in Old Town Pasadena.  There are also great shopping areas in downtown Montrose and Sierra Madre.  Or I could head over to the Eagle Rock Block Party happening today in honor of Small Business Saturday (or more details, check out an article in LA Magazine).  Or for some gifts with cultural flavor, I could take the Metro to Union Station, cross the street and check out all of the shops on Olvera Street.

So this is my new adventure today.  I am going to finish up my holiday shopping by supporting the local businesses in my area.  If you would like to do the same, you can click on this link to find out what local businesses in your area are participating in Small Business Saturday.

Posted in Entertainment, Exploration, Life, Personal Challenge, Photography, Southern California, Tourism, Travel

Dia De Los Muertos Celebration Pictures: Personal Challenge, Day 48 (11.3.12)

On Saturday, I took the Metro down to Union Station and headed over to the Dia De Los Muertos celebration on Olvera Street.  I have always been told by Los Angeles natives that Olvera is the place to be on The Day of the Dead and they were absolutely correct.  The elaborate tributes, the costumes, the make-up, the dancing, the music, the shopping and the food–it was phenomenal.

I am going to let the pictures that I took speak for me, explaining what it was like celebrating Dia De Los Muertos on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Posted in Holidays, Life, Personal Challenge, Southern California

Halloween in the Dog Haus: Personal Challenge, Day 45 (10.31.12)

Halloween is by far my absolute favorite holiday but unfortunately, the universe decided it should be my worst Endo day this month.  So with very little energy and in a lot of pain, I am still surprised that I managed to get some decorations out.  I had so many plans for my holiday decor but I guess I will just have to save the ideas for next year.

But I didn’t want my holiday to be ruined.  Despite being in an exorbitant amount of pain, I could still partake in some of my family Halloween traditions.

When I was a kid, my Dad would get all dressed up to take us trick-or-treating.  My Mom would stay home to pass out candy and make us a big pot of chili to eat when we came in after a night of walking around in the brisk fall weather (this was in Michigan so we had some chilly Halloween nights).  I remember coming inside and sorting through our candy while my Mom prepared a bowl of chili for each of us.  Then we would sit in front of the television and watch a Halloween themed movie–like Nightmare on Elm Street, any of the Halloween movies or any of the Friday the 13th movies.

Wanting to keep up with my challenge of trying something new every day as well as family traditions, I decided to find a really good Chili Cheese Hot Dog.  Originally I set out to try Slaw Dogs but despite the hours posted on Yelp and on their door, the restaurant was closed when I arrived around 8:30pm.

So through another search on Yelp, I found “Dog Haus,” located on Hill Street in Pasadena.  At first I was a little taken aback by the prices.  Six dollars for a hot dog seemed extreme.  But I was set on a Chili Cheese dog so I couldn’t back out now.  I ordered “The Little Leaguer,” a hot dog covered in chili, cheese, onions and fritos.  I also included a side of tater tots and a drink.  For a person used to spending $1.50 at Costco for a hot dog and drink, this was out of my price range with a total of $13 for my meal.  But when I finally received my order and realized I could have fed two people with my order, I didn’t feel quite as bad.

The Little Leaguer was in no way shape or form a little hot dog.  With the Sweet Hawaiian bread bun and the massive dog in the middle, that would have been meal enough.  But add on what looked like a can of chili, cheese, onions and a bag of fritos and you have got yourself an entire meal.  I didn’t really need the order of tater tots.

Overall, it was a good hot dog.  It still can’t beat my love for my hometown coney dogs at National Coney Island (it’s a Detroit thing) but it was still a good dog.  Just be warned, the portions are much larger than you would imagine.

Posted in Holidays, Life, Music

My Halloween Plans for 2012

For those who know me, they know my absolute favorite holiday is Halloween.  And today, I found the ultimate inspiration for what I want to do to my house in terms of decorations this year.

Right now, I am teaching my students about lighting.  And one of the forms I like to teach them is horror lighting.  So I was searching youtube for videos or examples that I could use in my lecture and I found this video. Now I am in full on planning mode. I want to do this in my front yard. (The website for the guy who designed these light shows: http://www.creativelightingdisplays.com/)