The World's Ugliest Gym

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hey, everybody (aka my mom, Carina and my bug, Liz). I'm draggin' today in a big, big way. Last night, I hung out with the ever so lovely Kimberly from My Wooden Heart. We saw Phoenix at the Hard Rock and carried on giggling through the night downtown. Too much fun, but more on that in another post.

So from my really, really, really vague last post, you may have deduced that I am attempting to make some big changes in my life. Emotional. Financial. Physical. Yep, physical. More than anything, I'm just trying to be really honest with myself about the life I currently lead and the one I want to be living very soon. I feel like, for most of us, our dream lives are within our reach, we just have to have the courage to fight for them.

Some of the changes I'm trying to make have led me to the world's ugliest gym. Like a lot of us in the new year, I'm trying to be more aware about the food I put into my body (and let's be honest, some of what I love most can't even be considered food. Flaming Hot Cheetos, for - um - example) and the love that I give to it. Since I'm not a super active person by nature, this means getting my booty into the gym more days a week than I don't.

So, when I say that I recently joined the world's ugliest gym, I'm not kidding. It looks like 1989 got the stomach flu and threw up all over the building. Seriously. In the past, I've belonged to gyms that felt like a luxury. This gym? Not so much. I pretty much hurry through my routine just to get the hell outta there and give my poor eyeballs a break from all the neon. Ugliness aside, however, this will be my home away from home for at least the next few months.

Here's what I can tell you... It feels really good to be really good to my body... and the term "personal trainer" is a stretch for some. Standing next to me and chomping your gum does not a personal trainer make. Oh, and if you're going to ask me to do three sets of fifteen leg lifts on the hanging chair, I suggest you give me a prescription for a heavy pain killer because I've only recently stopped crying when I sneeze. So, thank you for that.

And on that note, I'm off to the gym.

PS) If you see me rockin' this outfit at the gym, it's only to fit in with the ambiance of the building's decor. However, I do typically work out exactly like Jane Fonda in this pic. I'm old school that way.

{images via Google images}

Growing Pains.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Saturday started out really beautifully. There was a whole lot of sunshine, a little bit of work, a trip to the gym and the possibility of seeing Katy Perry at the new club Haze that night. I was happy, excited and proud of myself.

I don't really know how to explain what happened next, but the universe had different plans for me on that fourth Saturday of 2010. During a quick catch-up conversation with my wonderful sister, everything sort of came crashing down around me. I got one heck of a wake up call and in a split-second, had to make the decision whether or not I wanted to keep doing things the same old way I have been or if I had the courage to look at myself, thoroughly and honestly, and begin to change.

So, change it is.

I know, I'm being awfully (and probably very annoyingly) vague, but that's just how this post is gonna have to roll. Please forgive me. What I will say is that I am determined to make some positive changes in my life and it's going to take a lot of work and a lot of honesty. (As well as a lot of love and patience.)

So yeah, I'm going through some growing pains right now except, sadly, Kirk Cameron is no where in sight. What started out as a beautiful Saturday ended as a terribly difficult (and perhaps even more beautiful) Saturday that just might change my life.

I'll keep you posted. :)

{image via}

Bad Blood in the Blogosphere.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This last week, while perusing the blogs, I noticed some bad mojo out there in blog land. Now, hey, you gotta do on your blog what works for you and I gotta do what works for me. Different strokes, right? No judgment. But... and it's a big but (kinda like mine), there are so many things to get worked up about right now. Ted Kennedy rolling over in his grave (thanks, MA), the horrors in Haiti, this photo of Chris Brown (please don't get me started), etc., etc. AND there are so many incredible causes our little blogging community has gotten behind and supported to make the world just a little better (like this and this).

When we come together, amazing things begin to happen.

My point? I know I had one. (Pardon me, it's early and I haven't had my coffee.) Oh, yeah. Let's save our energy for the things that matter and, above all else, be kind to each other. (Save the drama for your therapist. I know, you thought I'd say Mama.) Because, really, what are we if we aren't good to one another?

{The world can be hard enough without women turning on each other. It's just ugly.}

Have a happy, happy Saturday. You deserve it. Yeah, I'm talking to you.

{photo via}

Luna Las Vegas

Thursday, January 21, 2010

This last weekend, one of my number one people in the world, Ms. Luna Marie, came to visit me and my new city. Like only a couple of visitors before her, this was Luna's first visit to Las Vegas. The difference, however, is the lady herself. She's unlike any other visitor I've ever had and, honestly, unlike anyone else I've ever known.

Here's a little about the curly haired gal I call Luna: First of all her name is Laura, but I was introduced to her - back in our first year of our very hippie college - as Luna and it stuck. Also, her middle name isn't Marie, but I think it fits her. Luna is a teacher. A Buddhist. A boxer. She doesn't drink and she chants every day. To call Luna an athlete is one heck of an understatement. She speaks and studies Spanish and is in a long-term relationship with the country of Mexico (a place she has taken me at least four times). Has been by my side through almost every embarrassing episode of the last thirteen years. My mother would want me to tell you that after my dad died, Luna mowed my parents' very large lawn. That's just the kind of gal she is. Big head of curls. Big heart.

The trip started out with a bang. Literally. My tire blew out. I can't think of anyone else that could make me laugh as hard as that lady while trying to figure out what to do about said tire. Then there were tacos, grocery shopping for healthy eats and checking into (where else?) the Golden Nugget for not one, but two nights. Next there was a dip in the hot tub followed very closely by napping. Then came a stroll down Fremont Street that seemed to thoroughly confuse my lady. "Wait, are we outside?" (*Still giggling about that one.) Met up with the mister in my life for tapas and story telling.

I am quite convinced there is no better feeling in the world than to be laughing with the man you love and one of your bffs.

The next day we went to a place I had been dying to go to, but hadn't yet gone - Valley of Fire. It was truly stunning. The colors were breathtaking and the red sand reminded me of Namibia. After we returned to the hotel after hours of playing in the desert, we had one of my very favorite dinners in Vegas. The amazing spinach salad and lobster bisque at The Grotto at The Golden Nugget. Then I drove Luna down Las Vegas Boulevard for the very first time. Her reaction? "I thought it would be tackier." Aint it the truth? We went to The Venetian where, once upon a time, I met a handsome boy who would change my life and make me move to this crazy town. We had chocolate mousse. We watched the gondolas. We laughed. Once back at our hotel, we hot tubbed and stayed up talking about our fellers.

The next morning called for one of Luna's very favorite things in the world - a buffet breakfast. What can I say? The girl understands the art of the buffet like nobody else. Then she accompanied me to, wait for it...., the gym. Yeah, that's not a typo. Luna supported me while I joined the world's ugliest gym (more on this in a future post) and even helped me get used to the machines, etc. Then there was sushi and a trip to Mandalay Bay to see The Lion King. Before the show started, we had a little time to kill and a whole lotta sushi to burn off, so we walked around and shopped a little. As soon as we walked into Urban Outifitters - one of my very, very favorite stores, but one I had not been in since moving to Vegas - I said, "It feels like I'm home again." I even fell in love with a straw fedora. What do you think?

{This is the part of the post where I should write about The Lion King, but I can't. I just loved it too, too much and will have to write a little something dedicated solely to it in the future.}

So, to end my love note to Luna and our trip, I wanted to write down a few quotes from her visit. I'm not sure they will be funny to anyone other than us, but - hey - it's my blog. :)

- "Your tire looks abnormally flat."

- "I don't want to hear you say the word 'rims' one more time on this trip."

- "Shortest man in Vegas!"

- "I can't see a thing over the glare of the check engine symbol."

- "I am losing my mind. ARE WE OUTSIDE?"

- "Poor Gisele." (Um, yeah, the supermodel.)

- "Wait, honestly, are we outside?!? I can see the sky."

- "That's a fake sky, lady."

- "What the hell time it is?"

- "I don't know what language they're speaking, but it is the language of joy."

To my dear Luna Marie, thank you so much for coming to visit me and for helping me remember what is truly important. I love you.

Let's Just Get It Out There.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I have a problem.

I have a big ol' crush on sushi. Morning, noon and night, I want me some raw fish. Oh, and while we're at it, could you please put some avocado and spicy goodness up on top? Thank you.

The funny thing is, I've only been eating my drug of choice for about a year and a half now. For the longest time, I just could not bring myself to try it. After months of unsuccessful attempts, my friend Katie finally insisted I get over myself and give sushi a try. As you can imagine, it was love at first bite and I haven't been the same since.

I was recently introduced to this little place by a sushi dealer. I mean - er, um - by a friend. Thanks to said friend I am now hooked on a habit called the "Sun of the Beach" roll. Next time you're in Vegas, I urge you to check it out. You will not be disappointed, but you may find yourself with a problem similar to mine. (Hey, I warned you.)

I, on the other hand, am trying to cut back to no more than one sushi fix a week. Okay, fine, twice a week. (I said it was a problem, didn't I?) Jeremy Piven and his mercury poisoning, here I come.

PS) If you are in Seattle, you have to go here. The Temptation Island roll pretty much changed my life. Also, a big shout out to my friend Todd who single-handedly taught a very uncoordinated gal to use her chopsticks with the best of them. Thanks, T!

What I Will Say.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

With everything going on in the world, I find it hard to blog about anything.

So, at least for today, I will not write about dresses or nights out on the town. I will not write about next weekend (or even last weekend). I will not write about pop stars or embarrassing stories from my past.

There are no words to express the suffering in Haiti right now. Nothing I can type onto my screen to make it better. What I will say is this: I am sorry the world can sometimes be so unbearable. What I will say is this: I may not be terribly religious, but I will pray.

What I will do is pull my loved ones a little closer and hope that you do too.

If you can help in any way, please do. You can find a list of charities to choose from here.

{image via we heart it}

I Support Love.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hope will never be silent. - Harvey Milk

Today I came across a beautiful, thoughtful article in Newsweek, "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage." In it, the conservative Ted Olson - who is trying to persuade a federal court to invalidate California's Proposition 8 - writes, "Americans who believe in the words of the Declaration of Independence, in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, in the 14th Amendment, and in the Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and equal dignity before the law cannot sit by while this wrong continues. This is not a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American one, and it is time that we, as Americans, embraced it." Please check out this article here.

Now I may be as liberal as the day is long, but I have friends and family of all political backgrounds and try to stay open to all sides of every discussion. However, for so many of us, this issue comes down to civil rights, plain and simple. Love is love and I support it.

Someday, when we are old, we will look back and be ashamed that we allowed this to happen. Whatever your beliefs are, stand up for them and fight for the rights of your fellow human beings.

There is also a great article in The New York Times about Ted Olson - A Conservative’s Road to Same-Sex Marriage Advocacy. Check it out here.

If you happen to be against gay marriage, I urge you to go ahead and read one of these articles anyway. What can it hurt? :)

The NYE Celebration
{that wouldn't quit}.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Last week, on NYE day, one of my best friends, Katie Lou, flew into town. The last time we were both together in Vegas pretty much changed everything for me and cemented a future move here. So, I knew big things were in store for this trip.

Let's have a little timeline, shall we?


Pick up the lady. Big hug. "Girl, I missed you soo much." Rush around picking up appetizers and bubbly. Arrive back at my place where we meet up with all of our friend, Richie. Rich officially becomes the fourth member of our posse for the very long weekend. Let's try to fit my toaster oven in one of our bags. Yes, Jenner, we really do need the toaster oven. How will we cook all our appetizers? Wait, what time do they close down the strip? 5:00?! Shit. Scramble into the car with all our bags - and the toaster oven, thank you very much. Not so quick stop at liquor store. Arrive at hotel. Check into really nice room that will only sleep two. Make some calls. Move to a much less nice room that is far more party-friendly. Start getting ready, making appetizers, playing music. Bust out of my dress. More friends arrive. A guy named Mike dances solo for hours. Try to take a cab to the Hard Rock, but take a limo instead. They want how much to get into the new nightclub, Vanity? $750 (for five guys and two ladies)? WTF?!? You could feed an African village for that. Let's get outta here. Take a cab to the strip where I celebrated last year. (Yeah, same jacket.) Struggle through more people than you can imagine. Try not to lose friends or boyfriend. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Kisses. Fireworks. Long walk. Rich telling every. single. person. we run into that he believes this will be a good year for them. After about 212 people, "Enough, Rich." Photos. More walking. My feet hurt. Change into the flats I had stored in my bag. More photos. Back to the hotel. More food. More drinks. I need a bubble bath. Can someone please cut me out of my dress?


Oh, my God. Can we get a late checkout? Back home. Unpack the toaster oven. Recover. I've gotta take a nap. Wake up three hours later. I cannot confirm or deny that I woke up in a puddle of my own drool. Katie wants cheese steaks. We go the the Stakeout up the street. Everybody's head hurts. Get ready. Have a friend to actually swap clothes with again. First Friday. The Gypsy Den for art, music and vintage clothes shopping. Fremont Street. The Griffin. Meet up with a friend from home. "Hey, lady! It's so good to see you. Your new boyfriend is one tall drink of water." We're hungry again. Tapas at Firefly. Downtown Cocktail Room. Shots of Tequila. Back at The Griffin to dance to funk. Katie and I perform our old lady dance. Realize it might not just be a performance since my knees actually hurt while dancing. Home.


Sleep the eff in. Go to IHOP. I feel dirty, but this breakfast is soo good. Over to Richie's to use his hot tub. It's not working. Ok, let's go inside and watch Jersey Shore. Gotta go back home and take a nap (I'm on vacation, cut me some slack). All-you-can-eat-sushi with Katie. Start sweating mid-meal and realize I might not be able to pull this off. Take time to to regroup and do some stretching. Finish the meal. Get ready. Wear false eyelashes for the third day in a row. Hope I don't repeat the dress debacle due to eating my body weight in sushi. Go over to Rich's for a pre-funk. Shots. Photos. Realize I'm having the best hair night of my life. Thank the universe I bought that new curling iron. City Center. Eva Longoria's new restaurant for drinks, Beso. The Artisan. The Fireside Lounge. Fake leather jackets for days. Three nights of going out in a row. Oh, my God. I'm tired.


Recover all day. Go see our friend's show, The Fercos Brothers - Untamed Illusions. Oh, look at the baby tiger! The Attitude Dance (this one's for you, Katie). Honestly, how did that tiger turn into a man? Jenner, do you know how they pull off those magic tricks? Say goodbye to Rich. Yayo's Tacos for dinner. Plantains. Bye, Jenner. Check into the new
Rush Tower at The Golden Nugget for the night. "Look how nice our room is, Boo Boo!" Go to the hot tub. Drink two very fancy drinks while floating in said huge hot tub. Decide that this is the life. Come up with plan. If we all saved our therapy money (and this is coming from a therapist) and took ourselves to a nice hotel every Sunday night, think about how great we would start off our week. I'm going to start a campaign for this. Oh, wait, I'm tipsy. Go back to the room. Put on Golden Nugget robes. Soak in the tub. Watch a (terrible) movie. Eat junk food. Fall asleep. Love life.

On Monday, Katie flew back to Seattle. I'm still really sad she's gone, but she helped me start 2010 in the best possible way - with a best friend by my side. This was my favorite NYE to date and so much of that has to do with my friend. Thank you, girl. I love you.

{most all photos via the handsome Jenner}

I miss Brad and Jen.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

If you've read just a small town girl even a handful of times or simply just know me personally, you know that I am an absolute sucker for all things pop culture. Britney? Bring it. Kanye? Oh, no he didn't. He did?! Tell me all about it. Madonna? Yes, please, and then some.

I love it all, but there is no one I heart more than Jennifer Aniston. I don't even want to admit it here (no offense, Jen) because my love for Ms. Aniston seems so cheesy and, as Carina and I would say, LCD (lowest common denominator). However, this year especially, I'm all about embracing who I really am. Who am I? Thank you for asking. Well, among many other things, I am a card carrying fan of JA. Even if her new movie looks terrible, I still want to see it. What can I say? She just makes me happy.

I'm afraid I've gotten a bit off topic. This post is about a simpler time. The era of Brad and Jen. A time pre-Angelina and all those gorgeous children. {Now, don't get me wrong, I love Angelina's philanthropy, I envy her globe-trotting and I admire her dedication to human rights. (Oh, and those children couldn't be any more beautiful - which may or may not have something to do with the fact that I have dreamt about being their new nanny on more than one occasion.) Angelina's no Jen, though. I mean, can you imagine pouring your heart out to her over a bottle (or two) of wine? Does she seem like she'd make you laugh? Could she teach you all those tricky yoga moves? Exactly. No, no and no.}

Brad and Jen just seemed so effortlessly happy, cool and at ease with one another. (There was obviously a lot more to that story, but - still - that's how it looked to all of reading Us Weekly.) I loved how they would tool around Hollywood dressed casually, holding hands. They seemed like best friends that really knew how to have a good time. I loved how he once said, "Jen is the fire we all crowd around for warmth." I loved how she once said, "Brad is the kindest person I know... the sweetest goofball on the planet." Oh, and how can we can forget the story about him sneaking into her Friends dressing room and writing "I love my wife" in rose petals? I know I can't.

So, on the five year anniversary of their split, let's remember the good times. Oh, and if you're just as super-duper cheesy as myself, you'll want to check this out (or this or this) for a stroll down memory lane, a good laugh and maybe even a little cry.

To Brad and Jen, even though your breakup hurt me more than any of my own, thanks for the memories.

{all photos via Google images}

The Great Dress Debacle
of 2009 (and '10).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hello, friends. Happy, happy 2010!

My NYE was so much fun and I hope yours was too (I have a sneaky feeling you had a blast!). I'll be sharing more stories and photos in an upcoming post soon, but a little recap first. A hotel suite on the strip, a little party in the room, music, friends, a walk down Las Vegas Boulevard right at midnight, appetizers and bubbly for days. Fireworks and photos. Laughter and smooches. Red lipstick. Love.

Oh, and one little mishap.

In my last post, I mentioned having "one hell of a dress." Ladies, and the few fellows who might someday stumble upon this, it really was. For Christmas, I received a gift card to one of my all time favorite places to shop, ModCloth. (Thanks, Mama!) I scoured page after page of gorgeous dresses and finally decided on the one I had to have.

May I present to you, THE dress.

{Insert oohs and ahhs.}

I love everything about this dress, especially the extra piece of material in front that can hide the many crab cakes you may have devoured prior to the ball dropping... So, yeah, I had high hopes for this dress. When I got it in the mail and tried it on, I was in love. It was tight in all the right places, and because of the aforementioned piece up front, it concealed all the less than right places.

Skip ahead to NYE at our hotel. One of my best friends in the world, Katie Lou, had flown in from Seattle and we were getting ready, dancing to tunes in the bathroom, applying false lashes (the ones I refused to stop wearing for three days) and putting on our dresses. Scratch that. I was attempting to put on my dress when I realized the zipper wouldn't budge. As we were frantically trying to work with the busted zipper, I realized that the last week of eating my mom's apple pie (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) hadn't left much room to work with... or to breathe.

Finally, we had to call in the big guns - the boyfriend. Jenner can pretty much fix any problem and I knew he was just the guy to save my dress, my evening and my pride. Um..., not so much. We tried everything and for a beautiful, split second the dress zipped. We all let out whoops of accomplishment. Then the whole back blew out. Yep, I literally busted right out of my dress. Now, we can blame the zipper, but let's keep it real here - the zipper didn't help, but it was me and all that apple pie.

What did I do? I threw on my jacket and wore the damned thing anyway. I also had a good laugh or two and decided now was as good a time as any to start thinking about adjusting my resolutions to include easing up (only a little, of course) on the pie. And the chocolate. And the cheese. In the end, it was a fantastic night - even if I had to wear my jacket for the entirety of it and by the time we hit the Hard Rock, I was sweating due to said heavy jacket. You know what, though? My mom's pie is totally worth a few extra pounds. :)

Here's to homemade apple pies, new dresses and being able to laugh at ourselves. Oh, and here's to 2010!