Black Friday

I hate shopping. But for those who do [or have to because you have that "special someone" to shop for...no bitterness here]...best of luck to you. I shall stay in the warmth and comfort of my own home - listening to Christmas music, candles lit, perhaps a movie or two....let me know what great deals you got!

And if you still need help or coupons go HERE or HERE.


Please stop talking to me

How about another story from Charissa? She is always good for a great story. This one is rather complexing - I can't tell whether these guys were hitting on her or not - they put in an awful lot of effort for no follow through...read on. To read Cha's first story CLICK HERE.


fall 2006. pasadena. peet's coffee and tea. i'm sitting outside, studying one afternoon...

this older guy, late 30/40s, caucasian, walks by me, and stops next to my table. he looks as if he is about to ask a question. thinking that maybe he wants the extra chair at my table, i look up and smile politely (mistake)... and he asks,

"what nationality are you?"

for those who don't know me: i'm chinese, but i tend to get mistaken for filipino/southeastasian/
mexican/hawaiian/etc, and often get asked these types of questions, "where are you from? were you born here? wow, you look so exotic, what are you? are you from the philipines? are you native american because you look like it, do you want to be in my native american film project?"...from complete strangers. so i'm pretty jaded when it comes to these questions and i'm sure i sounded annoyed when i answered,


he seemed to be a little caught off guard by my answer, but catches himself and says,

"oh.. like, filipino-american?"

then he proceeds to talk to me for a good ten minutes, asking me questions about my ethnicity, showing off his extensive knowledge of asian culture: he likes dim sum! goes to hawaii a lot because of work and is exposed to asian culture! loves sushi! loves asian food!

and then...he asks what i'm studying and then about mft and fuller theological seminary,

"so.. this place does more than just prepare people to be bishops?"

and then...he asks where i'm from and even after i say the bay area, still tries to see if i'm from china mainland or taiwan (like i said, i'm from the bay area).

and then...he asks how old i am and then says,

"i assume you've had many marriage proposals"

and then...he asks if i have a boyfriend (to which i respond YES, a blatant lie) and asks me about the boyfriend

and then...he asks if i've lived overseas and when i said no, he asks surprisingly,

"oh, so you were born here
?" (ok seriously. why is it always assumed that i am not born in the US of A?)

and then... he asks if my favorite drink is a cosmopolitan (because... what? all young, hip women drink cosmos? a la sexandthecity? huh?)

and then... he asks where my name, "charissa" originates from (i tell him it's greek), he says,

"its greek? oh, so like greek mythology? and it means greece? like the country?"

"no, not the country, i said grace, "it means grace. g-r-a-c-e.

as he's talking to me the entire time... i never ask a question, never offer a seat... he just keeps asking question after question. finally, he leaves. just ends the convo and leaves. maybe he got the hint when i kept looking down at my book, not fully engaging in this conversation.

a little less than an hour later....
there was a man sitting at the next table over, had work and stuff he was doing... he looked late 30s/ 40s; jewish, maybe. he gets up, as if to go inside the store.. and as he walks by me, he says,

"wow, i was noticing how you flip the pen around your fingers! that is amazing!"

so yes, a habit of mine is that i tend to flip pencils/pens around my fingers. it's...not as cool as this guy is making it sound.

"yeah, i see you studying hard, and able to do that with the pen. i mean, if there was an olympic event for that, you'd win"

oh wow. that...was pretty lame. and with a sympathy laugh, "...thanks."

there is some awkward small talk.. and he starts to walk off. but, i notice that he doesn't walk far, and then he's stopped... as if he is debating something. he comes back over to me, and asks...

"so... what are you studying?

are you kidding me? so i have this conversation again...

"psychology... mft...fuller..."

he's asking me a lot of questions about school, fuller, and then he says,

"im sorry, this is weird standing over you, do you mind if i sit down... i know you're studying.. so...."

UH. before i could really answer, he pulls out the chair, sits, gets all comfortable, crossing his legs, etc... and just starts to talk.. about mft, psychology, religion. and i'm... just wondering, universe? what is happening to me today? of course, i'm polite in the conversation and after a few minutes... he seems to gets the hint that i don't really want to talk to him, as i keep looking down at my notes/book. finally, he says something about me having to study and he gets up to go back to his own table.

ok. so maybe they weren't actually hitting on me, but seriously people, what is it about me and my i-look-like-im-still-in-high-school-face and my junior-high-boy-body that attracts these older men to start conversation with me?


When we fall...we fall hard

Guys, do you sometimes you wonder what the big deal is if you go out with a girl only a couple times and then break up with her? "What's the big deal? We weren't even that serious."

Well, when we fall....we fall hard. We [fortunately] don't even have to MEET you to fall hard [take my undying love for Edward Norton as an example]. We are emotional beings - we get wrapped up in it all very easily. Now, I don't say any of this to scare you, I just want to shed some light on why we find it so hard to part from you.

Take these girls for example, I this it is a fair guess to say they have never actually met David Archuleta, [and now they never will if he has any say in it] but their undying love for him was evident and they were CRUSHED when things didn't work out:

Remember when we were that convicted? [I MAY feel a little guilty for voting for David Cook now]

When you really think about it - we girls are just really COMMITTED, loyal, invested, caring, and other really nice words that mean the same thing. When we fall for a guy we really like to put our whole selves into it.

*Thank you Cha for passing this video along


The union

OK boys, I'll let you in on a little secret - you never stood a chance [or very few of you at least]:

Thank you, Mike, for passing this along.



Golly! I never knew it could be so easy.


Awkward situation

#4: Being on a double date when the other couple is in a fight

Sometimes it is fun to go out on double dates, bring another couple along to spice things up - but what's REALLY great is when the other couple brings you along because they can't stand being with one another, can't figure out how to end it, and have found fighting to be their favorite pastime.


Cheater cheater

Last week I revealed to you all my deep love for country music and cowboys. Now that you know, I guess I can dazzle you with the lyrical genius of these fine musicians. Take the song "Cheater Cheater" for example. Go ahead and take a listen, not only will you be motivated to never cheat, you'll be singing right along AND if all else fails you'll have some really good names to call someone who cheats.

But seriously, this is a great song. Check out more Joey and Rory HERE.


I don’t know why you bring up a problem when you don’t want it fixed

Guys and girls handle things differently. I realize that this is probably an age-old disagreement/argument-starter/discussion – but let’s hash it out anyway, shall we?

When we share a problem we just want to be heard. We want to know that there is someone else out there that will UNDERSTAND what we are going through and will empathize with us. When you try and jump in with an explanation of what we could do to try and remedy the situation it makes us think that you don’t really care and just want the conversation to end, you are just trying to come up with a quick fix and you don’t really understand us. Sometimes we don’t need a solution – we just need to talk about it, you know, one of those bitch and gripe sessions.

If there is a problem, fix it. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do? WHY come to me with a problem if you don’t want me to let you know what you could possibly do about it? I am happy to listen to you complain about your brother’s ex-girlfriends mother’s daughter’s brother-in-law but then I am going to give you advice. You eventually have to come to a resolution – you can only TALK about your problems for so long.

Sometimes I think that men and women weren’t meant to ever really get married – they should just live next door to one another and have conjugal visits every now and then. KIDDING (maybe).



Gotta have my beer

When my friend clj told me he had an awful ad for me, I never expected this...


Save a horse ride a cowboy

For those of you who don't know, last night was an epic night in prime time television. The 42nd annual CMA's (Country Music Awards) were on. Why is this night so incredible?


I have a soft spot in my heart for these simple, strong, corny and sexy men. Perhaps it is because I grew up in the great Midwest - or perhaps it is just because they are THAT wonderful. Every year as I watch the CMA's or AMA's my country accent comes out and I feel warm and gooey all over. There's something about country music that makes you feel connected, American, and thankful for your life - cause it could ALWAYS get worse. For example:

And now...here is a taste of some of the hotness from last night:

Brooks and Dunn

Brad Paisley

Jake Owen

Keith Urban

Trace Atkins

Alan Jackson

Kenny Chesney

George Straight

Tim McGraw (did I mention I am married to him? long story)

Now...I realize that I just put Tim in here twice (and he wasn't even at the awards show) - but he's just THAT great.

Kid Rock (this is for you, Robin)

And I had to throw in Reba McEntire because she is amazing and I have a she-crush on her

Anybody? Any country fans?


Better late than never

I now bring to you a wonderful first date story from my best friend, Becca. Her and “Aussie” met in the LAX airport, shared a wonderful couple of hours chatting in the red carpet room, exchanged numbers and then…

So, did I tell you about my date with the Australian boy? We had planned to meet up Thursday evening at this cute little restaurant in uptown at 6:30p. I got a text from him at 5:45p saying he had arrived a bit early and would grab a table for us.

How nice of him, only I was still at work and had not even begun to close up shop because I wasn't planning on leaving until 6:00p. So I frantically try to get my crap together so I can get out the door and not keep Aussie waiting longer than I have to (even though I know it'll take me at least a half hour to get there).

Finally I am on my way scrambling out of the building when I realize I'm the last one to leave, which has never happened to me before at my BRAND NEW JOB. This means I am responsible for setting the security alarm and locking up the building.

Well, with the limited space of storage God gave me in my memory, I cannot remember for the life of me what our security code is to set the alarm. Profanities begin pouring out of my mouth as I sit there frantically reading the instructions by the alarm trying to figure out how to set it, but I still can't remember the code. So I run back downstairs to my office and dig through all of my training packets, papers, brochures, etc. knowing that somewhere in there we talked about how to set the alarm and SURELY I had written something down.

The only instructions I can find are: "Press the button ALL ON, and enter four digit secret code" Balls! That does not help! I try calling my boss several times but I know he's at a campaign event and he won't get any of my phone calls. Plan B.

I decide I will just lock up the building without setting the alarm and just play it off the next day at work: "oh, really? There's an alarm I am supposed to set?"

Meanwhile, it's getting later and later amidst my running around, and Aussie is only looking more and more pathetic sitting alone there at our table. I go outside to lock the door and my key (which I have never had to use before) does not even go into the lock on the door. They freakin' gave me the WRONG KEY!

Now I REALLY don't know what to do! I'm sweating, just cause I'm so stressed and I'm going on this random date with this guy, who has now been waiting for me for like a half an hour (I'm typically not so good at playing hard to get!)

So I end up going back inside, locking the door from the inside, not setting the alarm, and sneaking out the back door...ultimately leaving the entire building open with no security alarm on.

As I head out to my date I leave a voicemail for my boss: "um, hey, its me. I just thought I'd let you know, I just left the office and unfortunately the building is unlocked and the security alarm isn't on...hopefully you'll be able to come and fix that. Sorry!"

Forty-Five minutes after the initial text I'm horribly parallel-parked about ten blocks from the restaurant but all nerves about a first date are gone, I am simply trying to think of how I can explain my tardiness without sounding like I just made up a really bad excuse to get out of a first date. Feel free to borrow if you like: "Turns out I'm still the new girl at work."

GREAT way to start a new job and a first date. Amazing.


People say the funniest things

“So, somebody called me an angel today. What’d you do?” - clj

"It’s better than a bud lite lime, but not better than a Miller lite" [when referring to a REALLY GOOD lager] - Hydro

"It doesn't matter where you get your appetite as long as you come home for dinner." [When referring to marriage] - Friend's mom

"It's like I was the loading dock and she was the tractor trailer" - Male

"Man, I wish I would have known. I would have paid more attention to you" [referring to a girl liking him in High School] - Male

"I hope one of them falls off the stage on top of me when we go...and I hope they choreograph something for them in Speedos" [talking about Twitch and Will on So You Think You Can Dance] - Yeti

"You should have seen how I was before I met my husband boy crazy slash just crazy." - Female

"I may be a big guy but praise God I don't have cankles." - Male

“All I’ve got going for me at the moment is a date with Latin lover and cross-blogging” - Yeti

"I caught [insert hot guys name] starring at me, but I think he just stares." - Female

"To be honest, I have no idea what his face looks like" [when referring to how much she liked his biceps] - Female

Erika: If I have children someday that’s probably how they’ll dance [when watching a young boy break dance on television]
Yeti: Are you going to train them?
Erika: Nope, I’ll just pray.

"Oh, speaking of classy, I now have a crush on a guy with a girlfriend" – Jennifer

Yeti: Oh gosh, that shirt is disgusting and should not be allowed. But I am sure he has a good heart [referring to a man wearing a plunging v-neck]
Emily: Yes, you can almost see it!

Boss: I am going to look for a boyfriend for you.
Yeti: Really? Wow. You are usually so protective.
Boss: Yes, well. I just don't want you to end up alone with lots of cats.


The code

Now you know...

Thanks, clj, for passing this along.


One of the guys

I hang out with some ridiculously good-looking boys. I mean, ask any of my girlfriends – these boys are stop-you-on-the-street attractive. But even better than that they are wonderful, godly, hilarious, deep men that I am proud to call friends.

I have to be honest though, sometimes I get this prideful grin on my face when I am out with them because I know the looks I am getting – I know that girls are envious because they wish they were in the presence of such greatness. But then when I really stop to think about it…I don’t think I should be so prideful. These guys are actually really hurting my game. They are acting as one giant cock block.

It would be easy for anyone observing us to assume that I am with one of them, and that would be a logical assumption to make. And what guy in their right mind is going to come up and talk to me or ask for my number when I am surrounded by these fine men? You’ve got to be all sorts of bold I’ve never seen before. I think I need to stop hanging out with them so much – besides, I am “one of the guys” so some of the conversations I’m overhearing I could go my whole life without knowing ☺


How to impress a girl

Another Mingle2 delight. CLICK HERE. We can thank Griz for this one!


Where are you going and with who?

“Boundaries don’t keep other people out, they fence you in. So you can waste your life drawing lines, or you can live your life crossing them…and if you’re willing to take the chance, the view from the other side is spectacular.” – Meredith, Grey’s Anatomy.
I like this quote. As I crawl higher and higher in years I become more defined in my passions, desires and goals. But this quote got me thinking. When we are considering what we want to do with our life, a potential person to share these things with becomes something I have started to think about more.

Where do we draw the line or how much of a chance do we give someone to embrace what we are passionate about? Should we close the door because we don’t feel like someone wants to do the same thing with his or her life that we do? Or perhaps we should go for someone we feel connected to and hope that God will draw our paths together?

I can’t help but feel we tend to box ourselves in too much at times. If my life had turned out like I very much thought it would when I was in high school, let’s just say none of you would know who Carrie Underwood is but you ALL would have heard of my name and number one hits on country radio.

Life changes, paths change, desires change – and I think true connection comes down to chemistry and a foundation of values that are common when it comes to family and faith. The rest you can figure out together.