Friday, December 28, 2007

Chick Lit

I really should write a book and call it, "Another Book About A Girl Whose Friends Are All Getting Married." I think it'd be a real page-turner.

It could be a journal of all the details that I get sucked into (happily): I could chronicle the outfits I wear and report on how well they were received (5 dance invitations, 2 phone numbers, 3 requests to borrow it, etc.). I could turn into a sort of restaurant critic, but review the menu choices at each reception. I can do side-by-side comparisons of the most romantic and/or effective sand ceremonies. I could make a list of the top [insert appropriate number here] songs played, as well as a list of songs that should never, EVER be played (I already started this one: Butterfly Kisses).

It probably sounds like I'm complaining, but I am completely serious (and excited, mind you) about this possibility. While the book will be about yet another bridesmaid/guest, it will actually become the quintessential tool for brides the world over. I can see it now, "OMG, Billy, this Nina girl says that our cake topper of me dragging you by the collar is tacky and overdone! We have to get a new one!"

My angle will be completely new, too, because instead of being the protagonist that just got brutally dumped by what she thought was her perfect partner and doomed to an eternity of singledom, I am a girl in a ridiculously happy relationship that already resembles a marriage (or so I've been told). I am a girl without a diamond on her finger, but with complete confidence in the future of her relationship. Instead of being bitter and jealous of the happy couple, this protagonist is loving and overjoyed that her friends have chosen to make their commitment recognized by the state, and, in some cases, an omniscient being.

I say, bring on the brides! Let's say 'I do' to a book deal, shall we?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Exmas Recap

So Christmas was a success! Steve's family wasn't too awkward, though I will say that opening presents was certainly an experience. Between his mom getting me extremely gendered kitchen towels, "Born to shop; forced to cook," and his sister being incredibly ungrateful "A mug. Okay." (not from me), it was a bit tough to get through. BUT, I did get some awesome stuff like a delightfully cozy bathrobe (I've been wanting one), the same mug his sister got (which I loved because it says: "I'm tired and I want a cookie"), and a coat rack from Steve and Rob-- finally! My family got me awesome stuff, too, like a crock pot and corresponding cookbook, some amazing makeup I asked for, and some oh-so-glorious money.

The highlight of the presents, though, was a pair of earrings from Steve. They're little hoops that are mobius strips, which symbolize eternity. "It's a lovely way to say forever," is what the little card that came with them said. I've been itching for a symbolic token of commitment for some time now (no, not an engagement ring), and I'm really pleased to have gotten one. Unfortunately, the earrings are posts, which I can't wear comfortably because of my super-sensitive skin. What's amazing though, is that the little hoop fits perfectly onto my finger! So I've made it a promise ring and am going to see if a jeweler can put some (inexpensive) finishing touches on it to make it more of an actual ring and not a make-shift one (some melding and sizing, if necessary).

A mobius strip:



Oh, and because I don't believe that I should be the only one to get a token for a mutual commitment, I got Steve a pin, circa 1989, of Bret Michaels. I asked him to be my Rock of Love. He wears it on his favorite hoodie. Haha.

Bret Michaels:



In other news, I got a TERRIBLE cold over the holiday and had to stay home from work yesterday. I wish I could have today, too, but my 90 days aren't up until Saturday, so I don't have any sick time yet. It's cool though, I'm taking all of my sick time that doesn't roll over to 2008 on Monday to prepare for the New Year's Eve party at our house. Hollaaaaaaaa!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve, chilluns!

So I am waiting for breakfast to start...I made my family's traditional Christmas egg and bell pepper dish this morning and it's currently cooling, making the house smell delicious. We're having it today because Steve's mom has to work all day on Christmas. We're also doing Christmas dinner tonight and...PRESENTS!!

After breakfast (I think), Steve is taking me somewhere for one my surprises. I don't really know for sure because he isn't giving me ANY hints. We did agree to exchange gifts between the two of us tomorrow when we get pack to our house, but there's one from him, for me, under the tree here at his parents' house! I wonder if it's another little something he has up his sleeve or if his mom bought it for me and thought it should be from him instead.

I love the suspense of this holiday. I need a Hitchcock-esque soundtrack following me around.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Brr...

Yesterday afternoon was my office holiday party. We had a tacky gift exchange (the bacon wallet I bought was a hit), where I ended up with a golden henny bank. I had been eyeing it from the beginning and got to pick last, so that was pretty sweeet. Afterwards we did karaoke, where I sang Hard To Handle by the Black Crowes, Short Skirt, Long Jacket by Cake, got suckered into I Will Survive, and finished with Manic Monday. I should also inform you that the party was a luncheon, and alcohol was NOT served.

Anyway, this weekend is going to be pretty awesome. Tomorrow I'm helping out at the Philly's biannual Punk Rock Flea Market. My friend sells vintage clothing, so I'll be at her table along with some of my own vintage clothing and jewelry that it's time to say goodbye to. After that, Steve and I are heading into Jersey where we'll stay until Christmas afternoon or so. The only plan I'm aware of is a party on Saturday night-- other than that, Steve claims to have a couple surprises up his sleeve. Hmm...PRESENTS!!!

Well, I'm freezing because I'm using the computer in the basement (because Rob was using my computer upstairs in the office and I'm too much of a pussy to kick him off-- I'm actually am doing everything in my power to try and get that utilities check from him ON TIME this month), so I'm gonna end this riiiiiiiight now.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Allow me to show you something interesting...

This picture of me and Jay was taken last weekend in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum:




This one was taken nearly 2 years ago, when he visited me in Cali:



I think our form has improved over time.

Monday, December 17, 2007

My AMAZING Weekend

Last weekend sure was great. And because it was so great, I'm tired and not interested in paragraphs. Instead, I will write in list form:

Friday
[] Work was actually pretty fun, despite having all-day training on abortion. We got to play with Koosh balls and Play-Doh while we learned.
[] My coworker, Diana, and I went to an awesome store called Pistachio (like Black Ink for my Boston folk) after work, where I found a gorgeous (and inexpensive) pair of silver hoops as well as a gift for our Tacky Gift Exchange at the office party on Thursday. It's a wallet with a bacon print.
[] Diana and I met up with Steve for dinner and then went to a play in the middle of nowhere. Dinner: surprisingly fabulous Mexican fare; the play: not horrible.
[] AND THEN...Jay and Bobbie arrived that night (around midnight or 1:00, I think), as Steve and I watched The Sarah Silverman Program and other time-killers on Comedy Central On Demand. We stayed up and talked/loved on each other like old times.

Saturday
[] We got up, enjoyed some coffee, and eventually left for Philly. We had trouble finding parking near the Art Museum and we were HUNGRY, so we ate the museum cafeteria (not great). The museum, however, was better than I expected/remembered (especially since I didn't really remember anything but the Rocky steps from when I was there in 8th grade). Some stand-outs: Monet's Japanese Footbridge, Chagall's ginormous Wheat Field on a Summer's Afternoon, and several Dalis and Miros.







[] Moving on, we then got crazy-lost in Philly because the Art Museum District is confusing as all hell. But, eventually, we found Fabric Row where Jay attempted to find the non-existent black silk (or silk taffeta) with black stripes. He was directed to a store in Boston.
[] We then made our way to South Street for some cheesesteaks at Jim's (delicious) and coffee at Starbucks (also delicious, though extremely delayed). Neat location, though...all of their seating is upstairs, so you get a pretty cool people-watching view of South Street.
[] After going to Target to find some pajama pants for Jay (unfortunately not camo) and touching everything in sight like children, we went back to my house and watched-get this- SPICE WORLD in celebration of the Girls glorious reunion. Majah.

Sunday
[] LAZY!!! We went to this little breakfast joint near my house that has freakin old Trivial Pursuit cards on the tables. Our waitress was feisty and our food, delicious.
[] Jay cut my hair. It's ADORABLE.
[] We sat around.
[] We exhchanged gifts. I got the ridiculously cozy boot-slippers (blipper/sloots) from Old Navy. I gave Bobbie gnome-y pajama pants and a pretty mug, and Jay a book on napkin folding.
[] I made nachos with this odd-tasting cheese I bought. It tastes way better melty.
[] We went to dinner in Old City at this Belgian place we found for Steve's birthday. Upon arriving, about half of the amazing menu was missing. Turns out they got a new executive chef. Bastards. Dinner was still tasty enough.
[] We went back home and ate ice cream, sat around, and watched Family Guy. I fell asleep on the couch and eventually had to force myself to get in bed.
[] I freakin love those freakin guys.

The End. Pictures coming soon. Right, Bobbie?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gym/Skin

Do You Know Gym?
So I joined a gym last night (slightly later in the week than intended, but I had been paralyzed by a killer headache each evening before). Steve and I went to Bally's to check out their too good to be true offer of $18 down, $18 a month AND give a friend a free membership deal. It was, in fact, not true. They did have a pretty reasonable deal, but Planet Fitness had a better one, and the salesman/personal trainer/nutritionist/crazy man that gave us the tour of Bally's was scary. He seriously could have been a character on SNL. He wouldn't let us get a word in, he couldn't pronounce "big" words like "initial," he messed up all of the calculations when it came to membership fees (he almost got a pass on that one, since I'm terrible at math, but this is his JOB), and he would go on diatribes about diets and working different muscle groups. He also revealed that he was 19 years old and had been going to that gym for 4 years. I seriously suspect he dropped out of school to work out. Hey, more power to him: I can't mention that I have four certifications 12 times in one conversation!

Anyway, I ended up joining Planet Fitness, which is between work and home, for $59 down, $10 a month, no contract. Pretty sweeeet. They also give away free bagels every so many Tuesdays, and free pizza every so many Fridays (kind of funny for a gym, I know, but it is the "Judgement-Free Zone"). They also have tanning and massage chairs (which I could have gotten unlimited use of with another membership, but I'm going to assess my needs first. I can always upgrade). AND they're open 24-hours during the week and have decent hours on the weekends, too. Nice to know you can go running if you can't sleep. Haha.

Skin Update
Last Friday, my skin was SO BAD, that I went to CVS and spent too much on new products. But I can't really say "too much," since this stuff is working absolute wonders! My new skin-care lineup:

1. Cetaphil (or CVS knockoff) face wash. It softens as it cleanses!


2. Cetaphil moisturizing cream (on my face).


3. Whole Food Daily Multivitamin (which I should have been taking all along).


4. Evening Primrose Oil gel caps (with breakfast and dinner).



Why is it only when you have an "after" product to show off that you think to take a "before" picture? Oh well, that just means I have no evidence of having horrifying skin.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Go, Australian Scientists, Go!!!

I found this today on-- where else?-- Broadsheet:

Someday, bras will be writing this blog
Bras have been on my mind lately. (Also, on my back. Bah-DUM-dum.) I recently wrote a story about getting fitted for a bra. And today, what crosses my glittery pink desktop but a story about the "intelligent bra," a futuristic brassiere that has sensors in the fabric and adjusts for maximum comfort and support. Whoa, welcome to the future: No jet-pack, but supersonic lingerie! Women of all cup sizes can get behind this. The intelligent bra sounds like one of those Sharper Image chairs, but for your boobs. Ladies and gentlemen, I am so in. Now, whether you consider a healthy 33-year-old woman complaining about her giant rack to be interesting or totally annoying, you cannot argue with me that it makes exercise more difficult. As for running, I think I speak for large-breasted women everywhere when I say: "Ouch."

This exciting news about jet-pack bras follows a story from October about doctors in the U.K. working on a bra that actually detects cancer. This means that, in the future, my bras might actually be smarter and more supportive than 80 percent of the men I have dated. Huzzah!

In the meantime, one benefit of writing about having big boobs is that people e-mail you thoughts on where to shop. Tips for my big-busted sisters (and brothers!): The Le Mystere Dream Tisha Bra and the selection at FigLeaves.com. And with that -- ta-ta for now.

-- Sarah Hepola

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

When Words Aren't Enough

I went to a professional training yesterday that was supposed to teach me methods to connect with adolescent girls by using more than words. (I bet you thought of that Extreme song just now, didn't you?) I instead enjoyed a nice, 3-hour group therapy session because the training taught me nothing I can use professionally, but a whole bunch of stuff that might come in handy personally.

Anyway, the wine and cheese party was a great success. I like Gouda and Pinot Noir. I also got majorly hit on by a designer with red hair in front my oblivious boyfriend. So sassy. A toast to more social times! In fact, I'm thinking about throwing a New Year's Eve party. The theme: Party Like It's Going Out of Style--everyone wears something that's out of style, whether it's dressy or casual. I'm looking for a horrible cocktail dress complete with sleeves to the heavens and sequins that will make me fight gravity with all of my might.

Perhaps something like this,


but its horrible-ness is awfully debatable (which is why it would be a worthy investment).

Some final news:
+ Today is the day I buy a gym membership. I'm going after work to scope out the place and ask the necessary questions Whoo!
++ Word about Frakenbra has gotten out, and many, many people are interested in ordering.
+++ Bobbie and Jay are arriving on FRIDAY NIGHT!!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

It Had to Be Me

I am giving myself a gym membership for Christmas. I found one in between work and home that is running an amazing deal. Perhaps it will cure my crankies/exhaustion.

Tonight, Steve and I are going to a wine and cheese party. I'm excited! It's being hosted by our friend Ryan who splits his time between PA and China. What he does in each location, I'm not sure, but I bought sparkly tights for the occasion! Tee hee.

And tomorrow I plan to go to an art workshop for families of any size and artistic ability because a) it's something to do, and b) I can scope out the gallery for and outing with Bobbie and Jay. I'm going to try not to sleep in too late or chicken out because I'll be a one-person family.

I'm feeling quite accomplished today for two reasons. One is that I suggested a song for my coworker and fiance's first dance at their wedding, and they're taking it! They had been stressed about it for some time. (It Had to Be You, Harry Connick, Jr.'s version.) And the other is because we recently submitted an application for an anti-homophobia grant that includes a mini-bio of yours truly that totally provides a nice little pump to the ego: "Nina is a Community Educator and Outreach Worker with a background in teen HIV/AIDS education as well as experience in advocacy for HIV-positive individuals in New England. With a bachelor of arts in Public Communication from Boston’s Northeastern University, Nina wrote and produced a sexuality-themed talk show for the campus television station and has delivered presentations to groups of all ages, from a handful to hundreds of people. Her role in the implementation of this grant will be through giving presentations on the topic and doing outreach throughout the state of Delaware." Damn.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Frankenbraseline

I COMPLETELY forgot to talk about how Frakenbra (great name, Bobbie) feels in my last post!

Let me put it this way: I certainly had a certain glow when I wore it yesterday. Unfortunately, though, because my extreme level of frugality, Goliath's cup is more than just a little too small. But the creation is still a vast improvement from what I had been wearing and what is on the market right now.

Under clothes, I think the asymmetrical essence of my goodies is slightly more noticeable in Frakenbra (if you know what to look for), BUT, when I take it off at the end of the day, my breasts don't breathe that sigh of relief (I swear I hear it) associated with sweet freedom. Seriously-- I could have been using duct tape before, and it would have felt the same.

-Skin-
I should give Vick's a try...I have used some Aveeno with menthol in the past and don't recall it's effectiveness. The best product I have found so far is Vaseline's Intensive Care Advanced Healing Lotion. The CVS knock-off is also great, although they were out last time I went, so I got another CVS imitation of Vaseline, and have not been very happy with it. The real quest is what to use on my face. Augh.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's ALIIIIIIVE!!!

It worked!!



As you can see, the stitching isn't the prettiest work in the world, but I figured function must prevail over fashion-- at least in the early stages of a project such as this. I like how it kind of looks like a Christmas tree in the front.

I need more practice (and perhaps some of those mini roses made out of ribbon!) before taking orders.

In other news, my skin has been horrible lately because of:
1. Eczema (hands and legs)
2. Perioral Dermatitis, I think (face)
3. Acne (face)
Sorry, this is probably too much information, huh?

Auuuugh, I'm almost 23, isn't acne supposed to have gone away by now??? Maybe I'm being punished for all the years I had flawless skin. But I worked for it!!! It's not like I just HAD it, jeez! Anyway, here's a nice one of me messin' around with Proactiv's Refining Mask (the only worthwhile part of their system, if I may play Oprah for a moment also):



Perhaps all will clear up when the sun comes out again (the only treatment that has been proven to work for me). Maybe I can get a prescription tanning membership from a dermatologist....

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

An inconvenience of Biblical proportions

Yes Laura, that was the perfect snow. And I have just enough money left on my Starbucks card for one last tall drink. And I think a peppermint mocha, or even an eggnog latte, is where it's at. I will raise it in a solo toast to you and perfect winter days.

~~*~*~*~~

I have embarked on a new endeavor that is very close to my heart...in two ways:
1. It is an issue with which I have struggled since puberty, and
2. The proximity of this issue and my heart is very close.

I am talking about my asymmetrical breasts, David and Goliath. I understand how common my plight is (an estimated 99.something% of women), yet bra manufacturers do not seem to be taking this stat into account, and I continue to buy brassieres that fit one breast and is either 2 cup sizes too big, or 2 cup sizes too small for the other (I try to settle for a not-so-happy medium of a bra that fits neither breast individually, and is one cup size too big for David, and one cup size too small for Goliath).

So after finally becoming completely fed up with my sub-par bra, I decided that it was time for a plan. I:
1. Purchased a bra that would fit if I had two Davids.
2. Purchased another bra that would fit* if I had two Goliaths.
3. Will cut each of them in half, right down the front, in between each cup.
4. Sew the proper halves together to form a garment with different-sized cups: one that fits David, and one that fits* Goliath.
5. Find someone with the exact same sized breasts as me, but reversed so that I don't feel like I'm wasting a bra.

*This particular discount store did not carry a cup size quite big enough, but given this is my first attempt at my creation and I've been wearing the wrong size for over a decade anyway, no big whoop.


And that's my new project! I'm going to begin the sewing process tonight, given nothing goes awry between cutting the bras and threading the needle.

I've done a bit of research on this subject, and while there is the ability to have your bras custom-made, they are extremely expensive (nearly $200/pop), and the necessary measurements only scratch the surface of the issue (i.e. each breast length, from nipple to rib, but no individual width measurement, etc.). I did, however, find quite an ingenious patent for the exact solution asymmetrically-breasted women like me need, but have yet to discover where and how to get one.

I'll be sure to keep each and every one of you abreast on my progress. HA! Get it?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

White Christmas

IT'S SNOWING!!!

My yard is covered with dried-up leaves, and they're crackling away with all of the flakes falling on them. The snow's not really accumulating on the ground, but from my second-story office, I can see that the roof of the sunroom is turning white!

I made a fantastic batch of wassail, and plan to wrap a couple presents for my guests arriving in LESS THAN two weeks!!!

Hooray for winter!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Quotey McQuoterstein

I was just reading Jamye Waxman's Sex Matters blog (see my favorites), and came across a statement she made that I can TOTALLY relate to:
"See, I’m a really social person but sometimes I have anti-social tendencies. And tonight is/was one of those times. Which kind of sucked, because there I was in a room full of progressive and amazing...performers, writers, weirdos and intellectuals and all I wanted to do was be here, at home. But really I wish I wanted to be out having fun because, well, it would have been fun to want to have fun tonight. So why couldn’t I get my brain wrapped around being out and having fun?"

I hate it when that happens! "It would have been fun to to want to have fun." It's just so hard to force it. About a month ago, Steve, Rob, their/our friend Matt, and I were going to go to an ice cream house-warming party, and right after we bought our supplies (tubs and tubs of ice cream), I asked Steve to drop me off at home because I was completely unable to suck it up and go. I wanted to want to go so badly, but I just didn't.

Anyway, I wanted to post that before I forgot about it. I am very much in the fun-having mood now (and lately), so don't you worry.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Punless

Boot time!




You like those Red Light District tights, eh?












Anyway, my day:
Roll into work (early, as usual), and catch up on my Salon.com Broadsheet reading. Discuss a project that was back-burnered with boss, and start it back up with a sudden 3:00 deadline. Work with fury. Take lunch. Work with fury. More than meet deadline, but discover new issues that need to be fixed. New deadline: sometime tomorrow. Go to meeting until end of day. Take would-be donated shoes, skirt, and top from boss. Niiiice.

I now have a serious stomachache (stomach ache? stomach-ache?), probably from eating the same thing for dinner as I ate for lunch today and dinner yesterday. Damn financial woes! I wonder if Steve got me Flamin' Hot Cheetos when he went to Wawa last night...

I DID, however, have probably THE most delicious pomegranate of my life last night, thanks to the woman that provided me with 9 months lodging in her womb. I almost blogged about the pomegranate-- and only the pomegranate-- last night before bed. Since I didn't: You're welcome.

Some things I'm looking forward to (in the near future):
+Pushing Daisies and Project Runway on backtoback tonight!
+Friday's luncheon with Hydeia Broadbent.
+Seeing Enchanted on Friday with my coworker, Diana.
+Going to a CD/DVD/book swap in Philly on Saturday.
+My interview with a dance company for a position as an outreach dance instructor at a local YMCA (Saturdays, starting in January; pre-ballet and jazz).
+BOBBIE AND JAY COMING TO VISIT!

WHOO!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tree-light Delight

I had a massive headache for the last couple hours of work. Blah. But it's gone now. I came home and made dinner (shells and broccoli in cream of mushroom soup experiment) and...UNPACKED MY BOX FROM FRESNO!!!

That's right, the box of wrapped presents my family sent to me and Steve arrived today. Good thing I decorated and set up my funkadelic tree yesterday, or the presents would have nothing to lounge under!




Annnnd that's really all I feel like saying right now. Oh, except: Thank goodness Project Runway is back!

Peace.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dig In!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

Family: I miss you and wish I could be home for what sounds like one of the most crowded tables in the history of 5712.

Friends: I miss you and would like to thank those of you that hosted me on past Thanksgivings: Carolyn and fam, Laura and fam, and Julie and Jared for post-Thanksgiving dinner last year. All feasts were delicious!

Strangers: Happy Thanksgiving; make my blog famous.

Love,
Nina B.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I wish a was a baller

I want to have a famous blog. Like the kind that strangers read when they're looking busy at work. Of course, that would require me to post about things strangers actually know about, and not the ins and outs of my life. I would probably also need a specific topic, and all of you know that I'm a bit of a commitmentphobe (Steve = fluke).

I was a little bummed yesterday because I learned Monday that Steve's getting the boot from The Screamers. After the lead singer/booking agent business and pleasure cocktail went bad, the band got a new booking agent. This guy had nothing but criticism for the ENTIRE band, but the solution was to replace Steve, the rhythm guitarist, with a keyboardist. LAME. I really thought this band was going to be different from the other space-cadets he's worked with before. So now he's on the lookout for a new band.

On a more positive note, though, Steve was offered a job as a guitar instructor for a very fancy music school in Philly. And now that he won't have to worry about practice and gigs for a little bit, he can take on more students. NOT LAME. It really makes you think about those windows of opportunity and other cliched crap like that.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Classy lady...

After a loooong day (11.5 hours) of work (4 presentations on birth control to high school freshmen), I arrived home to a glorious package containing....my new boots! I love them, though I have yet to see them complete an outfit other than my pajamas. I'm sure they'll do great. Time to plan my outfit for tomorrow!

Oh, and a big THANK YOU to the mum. Happy birthday to me!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thoughts on the Holidays

Oh man, I freakin love the holidays. As I was driving home from work on Friday, hungry for dinner, I realized that this Thursday is THANKSGIVING! The fourth Thursday of November is my favorite holiday for these reasons:

1. Food.
2. Weather.
3. You get the day off (if you don't work at a hotel, yay!) to cook/watch people cook/watch TV and eat. Oh, and give thanks for things you should be thankful for, like not working at a hotel and having the day off.
4. Thanksgiving is the gateway to Christmas and its sister holidays like the eight days of Hanukkah, the seven days of Kwanzaa, the Day of Santa, Christmas eve, and everything else, religious and commercial alike, including the debauchery of the New Year. Holla.
5. Leftovers.

Also, the holidays give people the perfect excuse to use up their personal days, splurge on transportation, and spend way too much time in malls so that they can visit their loved ones and shower them with gifts (and/or lovin). Unfortunately, I do not have any personal days, nor do I have the money to splurge, so, for the very first time in my life, I will not be home for the holidays. Instead, I will be spending both Thanksgiving (which isn't a first) and Christmas (which is) with Steve's family. And that's a nervous post in itself.

To soften the blow, Steve and I are taking a weekend trip to NYC after Thanksgiving because...why not? We'll be too early for tree-lighting, but eh-- that's probably overrated anyway. We're mainly going to ring in our third year together (awwww). The BIG news, though, the real blow-softener, is that Bobbie and Jay are coming to visit in mid-December!!!

I'm preparing myself to be tour guide in a city I still barely know, which is very exciting. I plan to take them to at least two museums, the public market, and of course, South Street for (window) shopping, cheese steaks, and people-watching. It is truly something to look forward to, and I'm about to pee my pants in excitement.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Home GREATS!

Today was a glorious day. Today was the day that I stumbled upon my friendly neighborhood Home Goods. My life has officially begun.

Work and social activities are already filling up next year's agenda, whether I'm prepared with a new planner or not. The notes section at the back of my 2007 lover (seriously-- it completes me) was full of next year's plans, and worse: out of order. So it was off to Barnes and Noble, which, surprisingly, had nothing to my liking. I realized there was a Home Goods right next door when I parked my car (cue the angels), and decided to take a gander after I left B&N utterly empty handed.

I found TONS of great stuff (of course), but most importantly: Holiday cards (which I had on a list for a future excursion), AND a lovely 2008 planner (which was unexpected). No coffee table though, which is what I was really hoping for, but tons of inspiration and stuff in "the back" that was clearly not ready for the viewing and purchasing pleasure of yours truly. Sigh.

In other, also exciting news: I did a mock presentation for my department today and can now officially give presentations unchaperoned. Whoo!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I'm sexy! I'm cute! I'm popular to boot!



I really want these $110 boots. They've been sitting in my Zappos shopping cart for a while now, but I just can't bring myself to 1) spend that much money on anything and 2) spend that much money on anything I can't try on first.

But they did get rave reviews...

Good Will Haircut

So funny. Bobbie and I got our hurr did at (pretty much) the same time yesterday. Here's my new 'do (not fully styled, but you get the idea):


Look familiar? That's right, I'm back to The Nina. And it feels so good.

Last week was pretty hectic (a welcome change from my previous weeks at work that made me feel like snail). Four presentations were sprung on me to prepare, and I did a set of presentations to high school football players on Thursday. It was really interesting: some were very open to the lecture (though I hate calling it that; it makes me feel so authoritative) and participated a lot, and some were very defensive and closed off. But for the most part, I had an awesome time with these guys. The bipolar audience is to be expected when it comes to topics like condoms and dental dams anyway.

Weekend = Steve's gigs (both awesome), and now I'm just chillin, enjoying my coffee and contemplating laundry (I don't really have a choice on that one).

Oh! I also went to Goodwill yesterday and found some nice housewares to complete the look of my dining room centerpiece (plus a fun rice bowl from Japan), and threw an adorable trench coat into the mix. Every working woman needs a fabulous trench in her wardrobe!




Here's another for good measure (I would add more, but the image upload thing pretty much stopped working after this one):
Okay, here's another:

Friday, November 2, 2007

AND...

Please read/watch the Emily X blog. Today's post was done from my place of employment, and the man in the video is our doc!

Good News/Bad News

The Good: I am potentially helping two brides-to-be with some wedding planning dirty work.

The Bad: One of them has chosen a bridesmaid that happens to be Steve's ex-girlfriend.

This could get ugly.

Monday, October 29, 2007

With Open Arms

As the passenger on the drive home from New Jersey on Sunday (yes, I was there again), I did a lot of thinking. I thought about Steve, his friends, work, my goals, my friends, and my family, and for the first time since moving here from Boston, I felt comfortable with my choice.

Sure, good (nay, GREAT) things have happened since the move, but there was always some part of me filled with doubt and, maybe not regret, but an aftertaste of the move that was not so tasty. I was in very bad shape our first couple of weeks down here. Without friends, a job, a car, or a real sense of direction (physical direction/knowledge of the area), I became dependent on Steve and was overly sensitive and extra insulted when he wouldn't ask if I wanted anything from the store or introduce me to people at social events (this still bothers me, but he's improving and I have taken these responsibilities into my own hands more, too).

This weekend, after House of Blues, Steve and I hung out with a couple he's been friends with for a long time. I've also known them for a couple years, but not much more deeply than what would come from an occasional visit to Steve's hometown. On Saturday, though, these two were so hospitable, for the first time ever, I didn't feel like Steve's accessory that certain hometown friends may or may not take notice of.

The next day, after staying at our friends' apartment in Ocean City, Steve and I took a stroll on the boardwalk and enjoyed some quality time together. Sitting on the beach, I was so satisfied with how I had chosen to spend my weekend, and, ultimately, my life. The decision to move to Philadelphia made more sense than it ever had, and while I miss my friends in Boston, and I still wonder "What if?" when thinking about the option to move closer to my family (and other friends) in California, I've accepted and embraced my new life with Journey-like enthusiasm.

Just yesterday, a certain co-worker asked me where I consider home. And while the answer will always be, in part, California, this weekend was the turning point for the answer to be, in part, here.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Nice try, protesters

It has been raining here for four days straight. Its let up a little from time to time here in PA, but its been non-stop in DE. I expected a day or two of rain, and then a good deal of fall weather (since it seems like it gets colder and colder after each rainy day), but instead the rain just decided to stay. Yesterday was especially bad (or good, since it is the exciting, sexy kind of rain) because it was a loooong day that involved a lot of driving to places I had never driven before.

PPDE was having thier (our..hehe) annual Chocolate Festival, and it was someplace pretty close, with seemingly simple directions, but the rain and lack of signage in the entire state of Delaware made it very difficult to find. I must say, and this is probably the only time I will say this, thank goodness for the protesters standing in front of the gates leading to the venue. I wouldn't have found the place if it weren't for their "Planned Murder" signs and the squad car that was keeping an eye on them, flashing lights and all. Thanks PoPo!

So after the festival (which was great fun-- I schmoozed with probably the ditziest board member of any organization ever, witnessed a few coworkers drunk on chocolate martinis, and met certain colleagues' enigmatic partners that I've been hearing so much about), it was off to Bridgeton, NJ, where Steve was playing a show at the infamous, annual, "Angela's Party," which used to happen several times a year, but since that crowd's getting old and boring, only happens once now. He played with two former bandmates for that night only. Those guys are great, though, and they played an awesome set. (And Steve sang! Well!)

ANYWAY, the drive from Delaware to New Jersey was CRAZY. The rain was coming down so hard that I had my wipers on ludicrous speed, and my jaw was clenched so tightly, it was sore by the time I arrived at the pub. I had been there before, but I 1) didn't drive, 2) wasn't coming from a secluded mansion in Delaware, and 3) wasn't dealing with rain of doom. But I made it, safe and sound (despite several wrong turns), and you know what? I made it home to Philly in the wee hours of this morning, too.


View Larger Map
Click ^"View Larger Map"^ to see the route.

So now the rain persists. I don't really have any plans today except to paint my nails (why not?), and tonight I'm going to House of Blues in Atlantic City for some grub (with the Solof's) and entertainment (by a Solof).

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Judy Duty

Something very big happened today.

After a very long drive home from work (which really wasn't that long in time, but it's been raining all day and drivers get IDIOTIC in the rain), I arrived at my darling abode. The mail had not yet been retrieved, so went ahead and brought it in. After days of not receiving anything (which is good, since it's usually only bills), I found a pretty yellow envelope addressed to me. The return address: Steve's mom.

Inside was a 'happy new home' card and a check for a very generous sum of money. Now, I don't want to say that Judy's buying my love, but I will say that I think that maaaaybe she is expressing her love for me monetarily. And that. is. big.

I have had a very hard time getting this woman to even act like she likes me (who knows if she ever really did?), and I think I may have finally gotten through. This is one for the books.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beehave

And to answer Laura's question about the original tattoo design idea of a bee with lacy wings:

Early Christmas

Thanks to my dearest mum, I bought a pair of shoes I have been thinking about for a month and a half yesterday as an early Christmas present. The sad part: they're from Target and only cost $20. Whatever man, they get to live in their box when they're not on my feet like the more expensive pairs do because I love them that much.

PS. If you clicked the link, they're WAY cuter on/in person. Perhaps I will post a picture of myself wearing them later.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fallin'

Wow, there is NO WAY I can keep up with Bobbie's blogging pace. I should call her Bloggie, instead. Get it?!

Anyway, yesterday was a glorious day in good ol' PA. It felt like fall (again), so Steve and I ventured to Chesnut Hill, a town that we passed through when we were abode-hunting that completely took my breath away. The cobblestone street is lined with shop after shop (none of which I spent any money in-- not even credit card company money!), and there are amazing-looking homes, schools, and churches tucked away along the main road. We were even able to take a quick drive through New Covenant Church (which is also a boarding school, I think?), and I took a couple pictures. Isn't it gorgeous?




The battery in my camera was almost out of juice, and I was sneaking the pictures anyway, so I only got two, but trust me: the whole campus looks like a cluster of castles.

From Chestnut Hill, we headed out to Steve's gig in the town next to Scranton, which is where The Office is based. No wonder those characters' lives are so boring! But the gig was actually AWESOME, and I had a great time.




Okay, final news for the day: I've decided that I would like to get a tattoo. I've been toying with the idea for years, but I'm finally ready to do it. Well, almost ready, since the design isn't done, but I'm totally going to do it. What I want is a ginkgo leaf in a mendhi design. I'm having trouble doing this without it completely looking like a fan, but it'll happen. I don't want it outlined in black, I just want the whole thing to be the reddish brown henna color. And it's most likely going on my back, right above the bra clasps. Niiiiiiice.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Hobby Go Lucky

Yay for more interesting page layouts! I was hoping for a chic, clean look with the original layout, but was bored, bored, bored. Dots are WAY cooler.

It is the weekend and I am so excited to sleep! I'd be in better shape if it weren't for the fact that I had a professional (and useless) training two hours away from home yesterday. I woke up at 5:30, and then, when I got home, decided to go out and see a band that sounds like Muse until too late for my own good. I overslept a wee bit this morning, but was still at work early and lookin fabulous at that (amazing what a flower in your hair can do to pull an outfit together).

So I'm working on a new project. Since I'm more or less settled into this new life, I've decided that it's time for a hobby. Life can't be just go to work, go home, eat, watch tv, sleep, and when the weekends roll around, be a groupie to your partner's cover band (although that is great fun). So I've been researching dance studios, community colleges, stuff like that to keep me busy, but I've run into the same problem over and over: registration fees. I'm broke. I can't afford to have a hobby. But then I realized that I know six couples planning to tie the knot next year. Five out of six are in my area, and they're all in different stages of planning. Now, if you're reading this, you know that I'm a little wedding-crazy, so I have decided to extend my extra hands of assistance to these brides-to-be. I just started making my offers today, via email and myspace, but I'm very hopeful that these women are going to jump on my offer with sighs of relief.

If it works out, I will have an amazing hobby that could potentially get my foot in the door for that kind of work, or, at the very least, I'll get some experience for when the time comes to plan my own! Muahahahaha. Whatever happens, I'll have something to do on the weekends besides sleep in too late and watch marathons of Married Away and Whose Wedding is it Anyway?, and that's enough for me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thanks, Hobs

So I've been reading my (and maybe our) dear friend Bobbie's blog, and have loved every second of it. We may not have the time and/or energy for regular emails or phone calls, so a blog is the perfect way to stay in touch. I used to have one (on xanga.com, gasp!) that kept me in touch with all of my friends throughout California, Nevada, and Hawaii back when I was in high school, but my readership dwindled as we all headed off to college and the real world and made new friends and discovered new interests. But now that I live in Philly and work Delaware, I am far away from the people I once chose over updating my blog on xanga. And so, the cycle starts again (though I don't plan to lose touch with this group of readers). Welcome!

An update en media res: I live with my boyfriend Steve, and his best friend Rob in a house in a quaint little community outside Philadelphia. Rob is rarely home, and when he is, I'm usually at work or asleep, so Steve and I practically have the place to ourselves. I work for Planned Parenthood of Delaware as a Community Educator and Outreach Worker, which has been a professional goal of mine since I knew the job existed. (Condom demonstrations? Yes, please!) I never though in a MILLION years that I would end up working in "the first state," but hey: here I am. And I love it.

I don't have any hobbies yet because I don't have any money yet (it's coming!), but I plan on finding something fun and exciting as soon as I can afford it. Perhaps go back to dance class, or maybe take some classes in basket-weaving or sculpting. Something artsy. Or MAYBE I'll just get a part-time job doing something interesting like being an instructor at Curves or doing retail at a second-hand store. I'm actually liking that, because then I get money and a hobby at the same time! I think my mind is made up.