Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Spirit

While I'm not a big fan of the holiday season, I do tend to get caught up in it the week before Christmas. Which is why I started wondering where my little iota of holiday cheer went when I realized that it doesn't 'feel' like Christmas and I could care less.

And you know what I realized? This is the first Christmas in many years that I haven't been exposed to retail overdose or had TV programming that's inundated by holiday commercials.  So basically... unless I'm overwhelmed by shallow holiday materialism it doesn't feel 'Christmasy'. Nice. So, now that I've established that fact I feel a lot better about my lack of spirit because it demonstrates just how sad we are where we equate a time that should be about friends and giving back to materialism and stuff and annoying commercials.

With that said, bah humbug and thank god I'm not working retail this year! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Black and Blue 5

...was awesome!

Got there before the doors opened to get a good seat (couldn't go for suicide seating as we were with some under 18's).  Saw a great exhibition by the Cleveland Firestarters - these little ladies (ages 7-17) are amazing and the good majority can skate circles (and figure eights with continuous crossovers) around me. I have a huge amount of respect for them  and it was great to see them bout. :)

And the bout. It was good. It was great. I loved it. Every minute of it. There really aren't words to express it.

Favorite moment of the night was most definitely full contact musical chairs. Here's a link if you don't understand what I'm talking about.  Thank god for roller derby  --seriously, I have not found another place on earth where women are accepted as they are and encouraged to be aggressive (and beat the shit out of each other while wearing fishnets). Nothing could be better.

All in all, it was a great night of fun, friends (love my wRECk girls!), screaming myself hoarse (yes, I did), and even introducing friends to roller derby for the first time.

Here's my one and only picture from that night.

From L to R: Me (Capone), Juju, "S", Batt, and  "I".

Monday, November 15, 2010

This Week

Black and Blue is this Saturday! So excited! Can't wait to go. :)

As for the rest of life... I would really like it if I could just fast forward until New Year's Eve. Holidays are just such a pain and I really don't like the profusion of Christmas music. I know people like holidays, but please, please, please at least wait until Thanksgiving.  They've already started decorating the square. I understand the reasoning that there's so much to put up that they need to get a head start... but really. (And don't get me started on the profusion of "let's just sit and brag about how great we think our life is" Christmas letters. I'd like to see a Christmas letter where someone just comes out and says "I fucked up, my year was a wreck". That would make me smile.)

Other than that, not much happening. Work is good, always busy, always changing. The apartment is still standing (and I cleaned the kitchen, so it is even better). Still skating like crazy (at least twice if not three or four times a week). It's a fantastic way to relieve stress. Whenever I start to get anxious (because goodness knows life, and especially holiday-time life will do that to you), I just lace up my skates and go knock some people over. :)

Also, can I just say that while I understand how uneducated and narrow-minded people can discount a subculture, I do not see how seemingly educated and open-minded people can judge someone by their appearance. Why is it okay to judge someone? I don't hold out much hope for it arriving anytime soon, but I'm looking forward to the day when people are judged by their performance and their attitude --not the color of the skin, the color of their hair, or the type of clothes they wear.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The W & S Words

So I'm studiously avoiding both... Totally not a fan. Trying to stay warm by sitting in Starbucks, enjoying the free wifi and listening to some White Stripes. Thinking about what I'm going to do for the weekend. Was going to try the farmers' market tomorrow, but it's sooo cold... I don't know if I'll be able to handle it.

I wish I had something profound to say, but I really don't. For once I finally am NOT obsessing over every little thing and while I blog a lot less (sorry if you all were actually disappointed), I feel like it's a much better place to be.

Well, I hope you all are having a great week/weekend. What are you looking forward to in November? Here's what I've got:

1) Black and Blue 5

2) Turning on my heat (that is, if my landlord fixes it before the ground is covered with a blanket of white obscenities)

3) Cookie baking (OK, I'm actually not looking forward to the baking. I'm looking forward to the eating).

Um... I think that's it. November's pretty boring and I'm not looking forward to most of it. Black and Blue really takes the cake for November. It will be awesome!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

GO VOTE!

Good morning, citizens! Just thought I'd put my friendly (ok, maybe not that friendly as it's still early in the morning) PSA out there and say: Go vote today (or hopefully you've already done absentee), because if you haven't you've forfeited your bitching rights for another year.  Seriously, people, if you want to complain about the system, you have to participate that way you can at least say that you tried.

I would like to couple that PSA with another PSA which says: please do your research. This does not count reading propaganda leaflets or seeing signs on the side of the road. Please read up on all your candidates, including those without an official party affiliation. Like judges, for instance. Technically, no party affiliation, but terribly important --do your research and then get out there and vote, chicos!

OK, time for work. Happy Election Day!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I'm Not One to Gush

(Usually...)

Especially about haircare products.

But LUSH is amazing. I just got a Seanik shampoo bar which is this amazing little bar (lasts 60-90 washes)  that is doing wonders for my hair. My hair is terribly oily and could usually withstand washing twice a day, but this little blue bar is holding it at bay. I think I may be in love. Also, it's 100% natural, no silicones, no glycerin, no chemicals I can't pronounce. I love it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

And The Beat Goes On

Life is happening. It isn't very exciting, but it's happening. Still working (don't ask), still skating.

And you probably shouldn't ask about the skating because, honestly... I am beyond obsessed. They warned me it would start to take over my life. I didn't believe them. I should have. I'm like a woman-posessed. It's amazing. I'm happier than I have been in so long and I owe it to eight wheels. I went skating three times last week - that's like 7 hours, guys! And then, my normal conversation has morphed into a) the new knee pads I got (So excited!), b) the bruises, and c) what is the latest alteration/repair/tweak to the skates which will help me take a turn just that much faster. Yes, I'm obsessed. And I realize your eyes are already glazing over now. Oh well, that's okay, because I've come to realize that everyone has subjects that make our friends roll their eyes, some of us are just... a lot more obvious ;)

Other than that... life goes on. Got to hang out with Sarah some more this week which was a blast. It was also good to get back to the farmer's market again. It'd been too long.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tempus Fugit

This week has been pretty good so far. Enjoying the crisp almost-Autumn we're enjoying right now - much better than the record-breaking heat we had before. I've also had more chances to talk and hang out with friends.

Zombie Walk was awesome! The first time I've ever been surrounded by so much blood and gore and NOT lost my lunch...  Anyway, a heck of a lot of fun. Went to the grandparents' afterward and enjoyed my family laughing hysterically as I am standing there covered in blood... Now I know who not to rely on if I'm ever fatally injured! ;)

Work's going well. Still busy, but I'm just learning to take that as a good thing. Still skating - and wishing I could sleep in 'til noon after I get home.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stuck

I feel like I've said this a million times. I thought at this stage in my life I was supposed to be past the point of stuck in an undefinable liminal state. Ok, maybe not undefinable. I just feel lately like I'm stuck. I do "grown-up" things, but still feel like a kid playing dress-up half the time. I thought life ended at 21, so surely I'm supposed to have it figured out at 25, right?

Not so. Apparently.

Maybe that's the whole point. Maybe I'm never supposed to figure it out. Maybe life's just a journey and it's not about where you end up or your ultimate decisions, but what you do with the time given you. Maybe I just need to stop worrying that I'm stuck and just go out and find ways to enjoy life.  Maybe I need to stop stressing about where I'm supposed to be and just enjoy where I am right now. Maybe life is just a whole slew of maybes and there's no getting beyond that.

stuck_for_an_idea1238104351.bmp

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NoiseTrade

I think I just went kinda crazy on NoiseTrade... but really! It's so fantastic. All the free music I want (legally!) and it only takes a tweet and download time (by the way, apologies to those on Twitter as I have just clogged up the feed with... quite a number of NoiseTrade ads).

Favorite right now: The Vespers (quartet from Nashville). Really like their sound even if it is a bit more light than I usually like. I'm still trying to figure out if the accent on "Not So Nice" is affected or genuine.

Anyway, I just wanted to spread the NoiseTrade love (without giving you overflowing inboxes). It really is awesome. And now that I've downloaded over 2 GB of new music... I think I'll be set for awhile. Then again, who knows. When awesome music is free, there really is no telling.

Enjoying my day off. Chilling in Borders and just taking a moment to slow down and just enjoy 'being'. I feel like lately I've built up a lot of stress and have been carrying it around everywhere I go. So this is me attempting to move past that and enjoy life. Well, if not enjoy at least not being tempted to jump out a window any time soon. (Granted, seeing as I'm garden-level jumping out of the window wouldn't actually do anything. I'd just land face first in a mulched flowerbed).

Getting ready for Derby tonight. Been feeling under the weather lately, so we'll see if I make it all night. I figure I have to at least attempt it otherwise I'll end up hating myself in the morning.

OH! Newsflash: The car is out of the shop and I was not charged at all! This is the first and only time I've probably ever debated giving a mechanic anything (well, anything that wasn't his due, like the whopping repair bills to which I'm accustomed...) Cookies may be in order.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rather Blustery Day

I l-o-v-e this weather! Seriously, I could go forever without having to deal with summer, I'd love to never have to shovel snow again, but give me this cool, crisp, blustery loveliness any day. Me encanta. Fall's not officially here yet, but it's sure starting to feel like it. It's "cooled down" to about 75F and it's wonderful.

Should probably think of something fun to do today... (I am currently ignoring the dead cockroach in my bathroom that I do not have the courage to even sweep up) But what to do? Movie? Nothing is really catching my fancy. Was going to go to the Garlic Festival, but just too expensive. Was going to go to the art museum and made up my mind too late. So... nothing much left to do - except go home and sweep up the dead cockroach. I need to buy a vacuum. I'd feel much more comfortably vacuuming it up. Ick.

Random post, guys.... Sorry about that.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Boredom

OK, so I really need to get a life. I am so stinking bored! All I ever do is work. I want to have a life. I want to have friends. Where do you find those? Is there somewhere I can find a sale on "a purpose for your life"? Where do I go to find friends? For so long I've depended on school to supply me with my social life and friends and now there are no classes... I have no friends and no life! Ack!

As an aside: I will say that I find it very funny how we can sit in coffee shops for hours on end; all together and yet very disconnected. I've been sitting in the same room with the same people for the past hour and not one of us has spoken to the other. What ever happened to the coffee shop as a gathering house? I guess I've never really experienced that, but really more often brought friends and conversation with me.

And then work friends. Work friends are great, but do they ever really turn into actual friends? Should we want them to?  Shouldn't we try to separate our work from our play?

Blergh. I just want a life.

On a terribly geeky and unrelated note, I'm currently reading "Chariots of the Gods" by Erich von Däniken. Very interesting. It's all about the theory that the ancient wonders of the world (pyramids, Easter Island statues, etc.) were built by aliens. While I'm not saying I necessarily believe it, it is really intriguing and definitely thought-provoking.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Done. Or trying to be.

I'm done. Done obsessing about my body; done worrying that no one sees the real me because they're too busy sneering; done thinking that I'm the ugliest girl on the block.

This fat girl complex is bullshit.

I have been constantly torn down and am constantly tearing myself down (save them the work, right?) over my weight and my body image and I am just done. It's not that I'm not health conscious. On the contrary, I work out regularly, and I try to eat right. What am I supposed to do? Walk around with a sign hanging off my neck "Yes, I ate my vegetables today, and exercised this week, so get off my back"? This is not a surrender. This is not a non sequitur. This is not me giving up. This is a resolution, an acceptance and a task set out to learn to love myself. I have had too many put downs lately where people only see me as a number on a scale or a dress size instead of the person I've work hard to become.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Life Goes On

Oh man. This week has been a doozy. Oh wait - it's only Wednesday! Well, hopefully Thursday and Friday will make up  for the first two days being completely shitty. I'm looking forward to the weekend (yay for fun weekend plans!), but at the same time I feel like I need to psych  myself up for these last couple days.

Being a "grown-up" is great, but it definitely is not a piece of cake. I'm currently trying to teach myself how to separate the different sectors of my life. I need to learn to leave personal issues at home, and leave work at work. Meh, it's a work in progress and I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

Sitting in Starbucks right now, enjoying my day off. I am not a huge Starbucks fan. It started off okay, but now Starbucks has morphed into the wanna-be arena for suburban housewives and business people who are desperately attempting their own brand of urban-chic. And here I sit... mainly because of the free wifi and the free drink coupon I had. It's making me feel entirely too yuppie.  While I do recognize what the company is trying to do, and the good they have done and are doing, I would like to see a different coffee shop on every corner - and not a Starbucks everywhere I turn. Guess I'll have to switch my wi-fi venue before I continue to preach. ;)

Not much else going on, still working; still skating. Feeling really weird not going back to school this semester. I know I've technically been out over a year, but it still feels strange not to have a stack of syllabi and a class list. I am slightly jealous. While it was always a challenge, school definitely gave me a sense of purpose that I'm not really finding in adult-life. It's all a lie, you know. They tell you to work for this piece of paper to help you get that job and then life goes on from there. While my degree probably did help my get my job, I'm not really using it at all and that frustrates me. I love anthropology and that is really what I want/wanted to do with my life. And now I'm pencil-pushing. Oh well! It's just in the meantime, right? One of these days (a few years from now and hopefully not more?) I'll embark on the next great education adventure and get back for that PhD. Here's hoping anyway.

Well, I'm out. Off to find a different coffee shop, a sense of purpose and something to spice up my boring life.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

They're Here!

I know you all are probably sick of hearing about this, but I just can't help myself. Look what I got on Saturday!


So excited. Really. I even got to try them out for the first time today. I cannot believe how different it is from using the crappy rental skates. There really is no comparison whatsoever. The one downside: breaking them in. I will be sporting blistered feet for a while.

Friday, August 6, 2010

!@#)&$*@%

No, I was not just swearing. I just couldn't think of a way to write a title that succinctly indicates the sound that comes to mind at this time on a Friday. It usually starts with a "blah" sound, turns kind of nasal and ends in a whine of hopefulness. See? The other title is so much easier.

End of Friday is fast-approaching and I couldn't be happier. It has been a tough week, but I'm glad I pushed through it. It's been tough, but it's come with it's own rewards.  Work: I finally gave myself my first week in about five weeks without working a stitch of OT. While I haven't been the superstar my bosses would like, I've managed to stay on top of my work and also have a day off.  Wednesday was glorious. I caught up on sleep, went shopping (not so glorious, but necessary), but the apartment clean (it's disorganized again) and made it to derby practice with ten minutes to spare.

And derby... Derby! Ack! I think I'm in love. Really. I almost didn't keep going. After messing up my arm, most likely breaking my tailbone and looking like an ass on skates (choose your interpretation: animal or metaphor), I just sucked it up and kept at it. I've had a number of people over my life emphasize the fact that I am "a quitter" in their eyes (likely only making me MORE of a quitter than before). So it turned into a "screw them, just watch me" and I went back. With a fair amount of trepidation. And aspirin. But... I did it! I made it through the practice. Only fell down once and (AND!!) was even told by a pro-derby girl that I had improved and that I was skating "really well". I've been on Cloud Nine since 10:45pm on Wednesday.  I did come out a little worse for wear, but staying iced up and still very happy.

Now for the weekend... Going to see Wizard of Oz tonight and then off to the west side to buy my skates tomorrow. After skate-shopping (and a significant wallet-lightening), headed off to take Nonna out to see Adam's Rib. Saturday night, giving the skates a whirl and hopefully not breaking my neck, and then family dinner on Sunday. Whew. Full weekend. But it should be good. :)


 I will try to post pictures of the skates if I'm able to pick them up this weekend. :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday

Friday, Friday, Friday, Friday!

Just a little bit excited about it being Friday. Could you tell? I don't even have anything terribly exciting planned, but still... Friday should always provoke joy. :)

On the schedule this weekend: cleaning, Little Italy, a walk in the park, getting my bike, and (if I can finagle it...) farmers' market. Now I just need to figure out a) where you get a bike registered around her, and b) how to add 48 more hours to the weekend.

Next order of business: the census. Ok, Mr. Census Taker, I have a problem with you. First, you do not send me the census form, then you leave notes on my door asking me to call you. Then when I return your call you say that now is not a good time and to give you a call back. I call back four more times and never get an answer or an answering machine. I then try to access the Census form by going online - oh wait! I can no longer request it online. Of course not! I try calling you at your lovely 800 number to still no avail. I give up, Census People. I have tried. I truly have. If you want my info, send me the damn form, let me return it and then leave me alone.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

::Rapid Flailing of Arms::

I don't think I've been on honest-to-goodness skates since I was in single-digits. And even then, I'm pretty sure they were made by Little Tikes. So what do I try to do? Join a rec roller derby league? Um, yes. So, never having been on skates before, I considered it a perfectly logical decision to go out and skate on one of the toughest sports I've ever seen - football's got nothing, you get a lot more padding and a nice soft field to land on. (Though, Rugby might take the cake).

I left work at about 7:00pm and made my way down to the skate rink where 'practice' is and managed to rent some skates and borrow some gear (I'm just proud of myself for remembering my own mouth-guard) and even managed to stay upright 50% of the time... Thank God for elbow pads, and knee pads, and wrist-guards and a mouth-guard and a helmet. Only minimal bruising out of last night, which is good.

Two things I liked immediately about this: 1) anyone can join, and they do mean anyone. Even out-of-shape, klutzes who've never skated before are welcome, and 2) all shapes and sizes in roller derby. I don't think there's really any other sport for women that engages both of those principles and it was encouraged to see women accepted as they are.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting this off my chest....

Cleveland... get over LeBron James. Really. I know you're heart-broken, I know you invested time and money into this kid since he was 18 years old. I know you basically revamped your franchise around this basketball 'king'. But really... All of this tragedy over a basketball player moving to Miami? Who gives a flying fig?  If he's gonna pull 'diva', we don't want him on the team anyway. It's about being a team and this is something LeBron apparently hasn't been able to handle. Give him a good send-off to Miami - maybe they can teach him how to work with others.

And Cavalier 'fans': If you are no longer a fan because LeBron has left or you are buying Miami Heat tickets, you were never a true Cavs fan in the first place. You're a LeBron fan, so stop boohooing over your brand-spankin' new Miami jersey.

Ok. I think I'm done. I'm so sick and tired of LeBron talk (and I realize I'm only adding to this). Even NPR is going on and on. This is a 25-year-old basketball player with entirely too much hot air. If only there was this kind of a ruckus when artists, writers, and scientists left their hometowns to take better paying gigs...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Looking Forward

To a three day weekend!!!!

Seriously, I am so ready. Plans for the weekend include:

1) Farmers' Market

2) Finding a wi-fi signal so I can watch Argentina-Germany on Saturday

3) Cleaning the apartment (I say this every weekend and somehow it either gets cleaned and then is messy again by Tuesday, or I just continue to live in clutter in favor of sleep)

4) Furniture shopping - I still need a few bits and it would be nice to finally put everything together

5) Busting the not-very-nice people who keep parking in my spot - I've got an incredibly sticky sticker coming your way courtesy of my landlord and a very angry voicemail I left them last night (In my defense, it has taken three months for me to get that worked up...)

6) Parades - parades anyone?

7) And to go with the parade... I am thinking of getting a new camera. Still doing research, but I think it might happen this week. My other is five years old and it's been good while it's lasted, but I think it's time to move on. (Anyone have any suggestions? Looking for something moderately priced max $200 and maybe a step-up from a point-and-shoot).

8) Sleep. Yes, sleep.

9) Visiting new exhibits open at the art museum. I love free museums and it drives me nuts when museums are over-priced (or even priced at all). Art, culture, and history should be accessible to all.

10) Reading and watching - got some books and some movies out of the library and am hoping to be able to get through some of them this weekend.

What are you guys doing for your holiday weekend?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Giving

I have a question. And really, I'm kinda confused on this point. What is it with giving? Giving advice, recommendations, presents... I had always assumed you give someone something because you think they'll like it or it will help them (granted, the giving of advice is rarely accepted as a good thing....). Why do you give someone a gift that you think is 'good' for them? For example, that book about the inspiring life story of the politician, actor, etc. that they hate. Or why, when people ask you for recommendations on movies or books that you like, why do they get upset when you name ones that you like (just as they'd asked)?

I guess I just must be missing something because I don't see the logic in a) lying to people about what you like or b) giving something to someone that they would hate (if you meant well or not). I don't care how "well-intentioned" that self-help diet book was -that one is not getting a thank-you note.

Then again, I suppose I am kind of talking two sides of the same coin. On one hand, I can understand that I would never want to give something to someone that they would despise (though I'm sure I've probably done it unintentionally), but I try not to cater to people if they honestly ask my opinion  (though I do tend to tone it down if it's necessary - I'm not going to recommend Michael Moore to someone who can't take it with a bit of humor). Argh. Anyway. I'm frustrated. Can you tell? This irks me to no end. (Oh, and by the way, elderly relatives are exempt from the gift-giving rules because I kind of feel like they have senility as an excuse most of the time...).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday

Can I just that I love Fridays? Particularly when they are not followed by a working Saturday? I'm looking forward to having some time tomorrow to just relax, get stuff done, etc. Need to replenish the veggies (Farmers' Market, here I come!), clean the apartment (which hasn't really happened for a few weeks because I've been so busy), hang the last few pictures.

Oh! pictures! And by 'pictures', I actually mean 'records'. My local goodwill (not much more than a hop, skip and a jump from my front door) has proven to be a treasure trove for old records. So far I've picked up some Chicago, Eagles, Kiss Me Kate, Elton John, Carly Simon and (the one I'm most excited about) Carole King. I'm working on getting frames for all of them and hoping to have them all hung up by the end of the month. Gina helped me with the first few so I've got a good start.

Nothing really special for the weekend -just hopefully regaining some sanity and preparing for the week to come.

Reading some good books now. I'm loving my local library (even if they are a bit slow to put things on the hold shelf) and they appear to have a pretty wide variety.  Right now reading "Speaking of Empire and Resistance" by Tariq Ali. Pretty interesting stuff. I'm hoping one of these days I will find a modern novel I actually want to read. Most of the stuff I see these days (and it really isn't supposed to be an offense to the authors) just does not interest me as much as non-fiction or old fiction does. I would rather settle in with a Bronte or an expose than read "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest". Granted, I don't really know anything about TGWKtHN, but the name doesn't really strike my fancy... and in the spirit of history, I am judging this book by it's cover.

Well, lunch is almost over, so I'm off to finish the last half of my day and greet my weekend - with arms wide open, running in slow motion to a sappy 80s ballad.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer Sunday

Whew. I am glad yesterday is o-v-e-r. Party was a bit of a bust... It was great to see the few people that came, but it was a bit of a let-down. I also have a ton of food left. May take it into work if I can carry it all. Or it may just sit in my fridge for the next three weeks.  Anyway, I'm glad it's over. A bunch of stress for something that was definitely not stress-worthy. :)

On to better things now: looking forward to Heather coming to visit this week. We're going to see She & Him and then going to explore the city. Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame is on the list of things we may see. I've never actually been there and have always wanted to go.

Saw my first rugby match on the television yesterday. Have to say that it makes so much more sense than football. Granted, they were dumbing it down for the American audience, but it was just a lot more... well, let's just say that American Football has a lot of arbitrary rules that I don't get, will never get, and never really even want to get. Rugby seems more straightforward and more fun to watch.

Just found out that we have Roller Derby here. I really want to go to a bout and may try to go this Saturday... I will say quite honestly that I didn't really know what Roller Derby was until I watched "Whip It", but after I saw it I started reading up and am really curious to go to an actual bout.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's That Time of Year

Allergy Season!

Somehow, I always seem to forget that I even have allergies until I get to this time of year and wake up suddenly absolutely miserable... Seriously, folks. I'm currently running on Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom (rapid release, thank you very much), cough drops, and an over-sized box of tissues (which is rapidly disappearing).  One thing allergy season is good for: being able to crawl into bed at 9pm as soon as I get home from work and ignore the world until I leave at 7:30am the next morning.

Almost have everything settled in apartment land. Just looking for a few last things to be able to put it all in order. I really need to get the pictures straightened out. I'm horrible at hanging groups of pictures. I've been moving pieces of paper taped to the wall around for the past three weeks with no solutions as of yet. I may just have to hang them all up haphazardly and hope it looks artfully messy...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Summer in the City

Life is awesome. Really. I don't think I've ever been so happy, excited, content, at peace (feel free to continue with positive adjectives).

The recent move has gone really well. I'm pretty well settled in, hoping that I get the last things I need pretty soon. It really is a fantastic location for the price if a tiny bit small. I have almost all the pictures framed and hung and it's really starting to look like something.

Things I am excited about:

She & Him - In just about three weeks I will be heading to House of Blues to see She & Him in concert! I am beyond excited about this. They are definitely my new favorite band and this will actually be my first official concert. I know, that seems pretty lame for someone my age, but it's true! And it will be awesome (I hope). Anyway, if it isn't I will be... very disappointed.

Playhouse Square - After much debate (months of it, in fact), I went ahead and purchased seasons tickets (err, season ticket singular???) for the Broadway season at Playhouse Square. This is going to be so awesome. It's an incredible deal (really!) and I will get to see things I love and/or have always wanted to see like: Blue Man Group, Les Mis, and West Side Story. I actually just finalized all of this yesterday, so it's still a very big deal. And now I just have to wait for September to roll around... Impatient? Definitely.

Farmers' Market - my local farmers market is within a five minute walk (five minute walk!) of my place on Saturdays. It is not that big, so I thought it would be pretty low-key, but I'm actually kind of impressed by the availability and quality of produce, especially this early in the season. And even if I don't actually need produce, I do try to head over there on Saturdays to treat myself to a crepe for breakfast and unconsciously support my local farmers' market to the contentment of my rumbling stomach.

The city in general - this city is seriously freaking awesome. There is so much to do here and so much of it is free. (Except the R&R Hall of Fame --keeping me from all those interesting things by your hefty price tag!).  Anyway, back to the goodness. Seriously, I love it. Never a dull moment, always something to do. Also looking forward to baseball season and hoping to be able to attend a few games rather than my typical sofa-side cheering.

Anyways, here's looking forward to an awesome summer and a great rest of the year! What are you guys looking forward to?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday...

Whew... Saturday is almost done and am I whooped. On Grandma duty today, so that's always an adventure. After much debate, we decided that we would try to get Grandma out into the light of day for the first time (other than doctors' appointments) in six weeks... Adventure is putting it lightly. I have a new appreciation for people with disabilities. Or for anyone who has to use a wheelchair. Ever. You don't think about how inaccessible places are -even those that are supposedly up to ADA compliant. Even traveling in the car was a pain, er... different experience. She can only sit a certain way. Her foot has to be up all the time. She can only travel for so long before having to take a break (literally doctor's orders). You'd think a little thing like foot surgery would be an easy ordeal. Not so my friend, not so. But at the same time, I think it was good to get her out of the house even if it could only be for an hour or two. Came home, got everyone tucked safely back into the house and managed to throw together dinner in under thirty minutes.

So, gave Grandma a break from the monotony today and gave Grandpa a break from waiting hand and foot on Grandma. And cooking. Cooking is not his cup of tea. :)


So... one day left to the weekend. I think I might just take tomorrow off and hang out around town. It's been a long week and a long weekend (err, one day...) and I am ready for a break. What shall I be for one day? Museum bum? Sidewalk artist? Library geek? If anyone wants to hang out around town tomorrow, give me a call!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Transitioning!

New Apartment time! Oh my gosh. I am both terribly excited and terribly nervous at the same time. I am (almost) all moved in and just trying to get everything settled. This is such a huge step for me and I’m absolutely terrified I’m going to screw it up. I know I won’t, but I still have this doubt.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Countdown

It has begun! Countdown to moving day! I'm so excited that this day is almost here. It will be me in my little 'flat' (I know it's technically Brit-speak, but I like the sound of it - it sounds so much better than 'apartment' or 'efficiency'). I have almost everything I need. Well, I should rephrase that. I have some that I need here, I have some that I need there, and I still need the big things like beds, dressers, tables, etc. Meh, who needs those, right?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Open (Tax) Season

Yes, folks. It's that time of year again. The time of the year where all people who procrastinate without really meaning to start scrambling to complete convoluted and maddeningly confusing forms so that they can (usually) give more money to the government. That being said... I have one tax return completed (yay me!) and it looks like I will even be getting a tax return (well, at least from the Feds. Don't know about the state and local folks, but we'll see)

Anyone have any fun, frustrating or generally informative tax stories they'd like to share? I've had my own fair share of close calls (like not realizing that even if you don't live within a certain municipality, you have to file with them if you work there and other stories -not to mention the employer tax horror stories I could, but won't, tell) and would love to wallow in misery or have a good laugh with others.

Life is going well here. Just signed a lease on my new place, so hopefully I'll be moving in the next couple of weeks. My car is up and running again at almost 100% (I'd give it an 87%). I'm looking forward to summer and (probably the best part of the summer as of yet) seeing She & Him at House of Blues in June. I am ridiculously excited about that. I had the shock of my life when I realized this is probably the first real concert I've ever been to outside of little bands (i.e. what Silers Bald was in Jr. High) and classical concerts. It's going to be pretty sweet.

Cheers (and whopping tax returns) to you all!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Days Are Here Again

Wow. It really has been awhile. Almost a month. Okay, more like three weeks, but that is still a long time for me. I'm doing well, loving the new job and the new schedule (four 10's works out wonderfully!) and the new paycheck. :) Granted, there are things I'd like to be different. I'd like to earn $50,000 a year. I'd like to have all my student loans paid off. I'd like to be able to eat ice cream for dinner every night. As you all have probably guessed, none of the aforementioned will happen, or is even likely to happen within the next ten years.

Despite my lack of crazy-good salaries (I do get paid a pretty decent wage for what I do), my ever-looming student debt, and my ability to gain weight just by looking at ice cream, I have to say that I am happy. Happier than I've been in a long time. I have a great job, live in an area I love (despite the snow that has been hounding me up until recently), am hopefully moving to an area I love even more and actually look forward to each coming day.  I had the shock of my life as I was out and about the other day, minding my own business when it suddenly occurred to me that I was a) grinning like an idiot, b) whistling, and c) truly happy for what may be the first time in my entire life. I don't think I have ever been so shocked. I was even more dumb-founded when this realization led to more grinning, louder whistling, and the incessant urge to call everyone I knew and tell them just how incredibly happy I was for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Hope you all are doing well out there in cyberspace and in real life as well.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscar Night

OK, so this post will actually not be all about the Oscars. It just happened to be a nice coincidence that it is Oscar night and I just happen to be watching them as I get ready for tomorrow.

Pretty good weekend. Went to see Jesus Christ Superstar last night. Have to say that it took some time for Ted Neeley to grow on me, but eventually I came to appreciate him. Old school and pretty impressive. Though  John Twiford  as Judas really took the cake.  I mean really. He was incredible. And, trust me, it really pains me to say that of a former American Idol contestant.

(Sidenote: Would Avatar please stop winning Oscars?)

Went to see a church youth group production of Godspell tonight. Pretty good. I forget how -even though the production is never seamless, professional, and rarely polished- the energy and excitement is so infectious from groups like that. The pitch wasn't perfect, the lighting was jury-rigged and operated by light-switch, but I had a fantastic time. I haven't laughed so much in a long time.

PS: I really want to see Alice in Wonderland. Anyone seen it yet?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday, Monday

Another Monday passed. I'm still getting the hang of Mondays again. I'm sitting here, nice and warm with a bowl of french onion soup and some good music (Dave Brubeck, anyone?). I am tired, but relaxed and maybe even happy. Looking forward to the rest of the week and excited about the yet-still-far-away weekend, complete with plans of going to see both Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell if all goes as planned.

I just have to say that the soup is a great end to a long, cold day. On the other hand, I now have a dirty kitchen that I do not want to clean up... You win some, you lose some.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mantle of White

Okay, really, it can stop snowing now. Any day now. I am so over this 'winter' thing. Well over a foot of snow on the ground (after a thaw just a few days ago) and it is still piling up. I can hardly wait to see the sun, to feel some sort of warmth, to see the ground again, etc.

On the plus side, I think I might try to go look at some apartments tomorrow. :) Pretty excited about that. It's a big deal and after much thought and deliberation, I think it is the right way to go. It's the next big step in this new chapter (yes, I am feeling sappy and poetic) of my life and it is definitely a necessary one.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February Blues

Was going to write a post until I realized that it was going to be all 'woe-is-me' mopey-ness. So I guess I will just say "Hello" and be on my way. I'll be back when I have a better attitude.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

She's Here!

Nat arrived yesterday afternoon and it's been a blast! Just about ready to head out for the day to see some sights around Cleveland and do a little exploration. Thought I'd include a few pictures.

 
 

1. Nat and the Giant Icicle   2. Nat and the Snow Angel   3. Nat demonstrating how deep the snow is.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Take It Back

My new favorite band (if a duo can be called a band...?) is "She & Him". Made up of Zooey Deschanel (pretty famous in her own right) and M. Ward (supposedly famous, but I've never heard of him?), She & Him has a mellow, retro sound that I am loving right now. Surprisingly enough, Deschanel wrote all but three of the 12 songs on the album and they aren't half bad. Some of my favorites so far: "This Is Not a Test", "Sweet Darlin'", and "Sentimental Heart".

One of their songs that totally surprised me was "Take It Back".  It is not what I would choose in a song. It has kind of a country twang (think old country - no Carrie Underwood here) and it is a love-related song (not really a love-song as you'll see in the lyrics below). The beginning begins so simply and plaintively, and the lyrics only add to the charm.

_____________

Take it back
Oh, take it back
I don't want your lovin', anymore
Let me live
Oh, let me live
It's not you who I sank for
So, don't sit next to me
Sit by yourself

I don't wanna' wonder whether you love me
I don't wanna' wonder whether you care
So, don't try to woo me
Don't try to fool me
Oh, I know all of your tricks
It's a possibility, you'll stand in my corner

I don't wanna' wonder whether you love me
I don't wanna' wonder whether you care
So, don't try to woo me
Don't try to fool me
Oh, I know all of your tricks
It's a possibility, you'll stand in my corner

Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Blog Award

Thanks to Allison for passing on this 'award'. Ten things that make me happy...

1) Friends - Friends who stand by me, friends who tell me the truth even when I get mad. The few I can call my friends have proven themselves time and time again and I am incredibly thankful for them.

2) Chocolate - Yes, this is a little high on the list, but I have the biggest chocolate craving right now and I am certain that chocolate would make me happy.

3)  A working car - In contrast to the rarely-functioning car that I own.

4) Music -  This is a given.

5) Reading - Ditto.

6) Blogging - Maybe it gives me an over-inflated sense of self-importance, but I still like it. I like writing with the idea that someone may actually be listening.

7) Cooking - Speaking of which, just made the best risotto the other night. So yummy.

8) Exploring New Places - There is something about exploring a city, a museum, or even just a new-to-me store that is so cool.

9) Cleveland - Loving the places to go, people to see, and the most interviews yet of any other place I have been.

10) Learning - Sometimes I think I really am happiest when I'm studying.

__________

I tag Sarah, Allison, Natalie, Jacob, and Gina (if you still blog). Don't feel obligated to do this, but I'm just passing it on in the spirit of the game. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

YAY!

I just got off the phone and guess what! I have scheduled my third interview in one week! After months of searching and discouragement, it seems like things could possibly get better! I am trying not to get my hopes up, but -at the same time- how can I not be just a little bit excited?  I was actually bouncing I was so excited. Here's a bit of hope, for all of us searching, discouraged and worn-out!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm No Good With Sports

Seriously, you'd think I'd be a better catcher after all the curve-balls life has thrown (especially of late). But no. I'm not. I still feel like a bumbling teenager who's out-of-place in a grown up world that she's still trying to figure out how to navigate. You'd think at 25 this awkwardness would start to dissipate. Nope. Not even close.

Hoping that one day before I die I will have at least one moment where I feel like I've got it all figured out. As of right now, I'm still ducking pitches and shaking in my cleats over the confusion.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The View From Here

...isn't so great, but at least it's a roof over my head and job possibilities!

So, my life is incredibly boring. It consists of writing cover letter after cover letter (I am so sick of telling people how great I am and then never getting a job!), submitting application following the other hundred applications. It also consists of staring at a computer screen for hours on end. Ugh. Yes, I know. I shouldn't whine. I really shouldn't

Okay, moving on. Because of the excessive computer use, I have also found a couple things to break up the monotony (some of which actually only add to the monotony and others that may help).

1) Farmville - I swore up and down that I would never become one of those annoying people who has all the application updates on their Facebook. And yet, here I am. I originally started a 'farm' (though I hesitate to use the word) because my brother was new to Facebook and asked if I would be his 'neighbor'. So, in an effort toward moral support and neighborly goodness, I started out and now I'm addicted! It's not funny. I woke up at 2am the other night wondering if I'd forgotten to harvest the strawberries. Seriously... Employment, wherever you are, please come soon!

2) Music - Thanks to some lovely iTunes gift cards for Christmas I recently got some new music. Asa's self-titled album and Elbow's "Asleep in the Back" are the new additions and I would highly suggest them both (to those of you that like any of the following: world music, social justice issues, alternative music, British accents, and good lyrics).

3) Revisiting my high school days with a bout of babysitting - Yes, babysitting. Seriously, when you can make more money babysitting kids four times a week than you can at Starbucks these days. I'll take the babysitting (especially as Starbucks apparently isn't hiring).

4) And last but not least... my brand spanking new library card! - I am so thrilled to finally have access to a library again. Today I went out and finally got my library card and promptly took out a stack of books and then sat myself down in front of the online catalog to order even more. Something about a library... The bookworm in me is just jumping up and down with glee.

Monday, January 11, 2010

All Will Be Well

The new day dawns,
And I am practicing my purpose once again.
It is fresh and it is fruitful if I win but if I lose,
Oooooo I don’t know.
I will be tired but I will turn and I will go,
Only guessing til I get there then I’ll know,
Oh oh oh I will know.

The winter’s cold,
But the snow still lightly settles on the trees.
And a mess is still a moment I can seize until I know,
That all will be well.
Even though sometimes this is hard to tell,
And the fight is just as frustrating as hell
All will be well.


Keep it up and don’t give up
And chase your dreams and you will find
All in time.

All the children walking home past the factories
Could see the light that’s shining in my window as I write this song to you.
All the cars running fast along the interstate
Can feel the love that radiates
Illuminating what I know is true,
All will be well.
Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself,
All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.

All will be well.
Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself,
All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.
-Gabe Dixon Band
 _____________________

Despite the optimistic tone of this song (when I'm feeling down and out, I usually want a song that will just let me stay there for a bit), it really struck me today. The message I kept getting was something like this:

Life is up in the air. You don't know which way is up or down. Life is lonely, cold and frustrating. But -but!- it is still life. Despite the letdowns and the struggles, I am still alive, I am still participating in this mess and, as he said, "a mess is still a moment I can seize". Here's hoping as I grasp blindly for the opportunity within all my mess.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Update

Well, here I am. Job-searching again. I should be used to this by now. Due to several things that came up recently, I've had to switch locations (again). I'm getting to be a pro at moving. So now I'm here in Cleveland with the grandparents. They're leaving to start their careers as Florida snowbirds in a few weeks and they were kind enough to rent me their place while they're gone and while I get on my feet here.

In the meantime, while I'm job-searching and getting to know the area, I'm enjoying the impromptu cooking lessons with Grandma. I swear, there is something about her meatballs... and her sauce. Anyone who makes meatballs like that and thinks to add ribs -ribs!- to the marinara sauce deserves sainthood! She told me everything that goes in, gave me cooking tips, walked me through it step-by-step and I still don't think I'll ever be able to replicate it to taste that good... I even got to copy out the majority of her other recipes today into OneNote. So sweet. :)

Hope you all are enjoying the first month of 2010.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Here's To...

...better days
...deeper relationships
...healing divides
...mending fences
...new opportunities
...what we have been given, no matter how big or small
...getting struck between the eyes with a lesson on humility
...growing up (hopefully)
...moving on

...2010, as-of-now a year full of possibilities no matter how abysmally wrong we are proven in the end.