Monday, December 28, 2009

I LOVE STUFF.

I promise to recapitulate my trip to California soon, but before I do, I have to post the giveaway of all giveaways: The MEGA EXCITING CLOSET CONFIDENTIAL GIVEAWAY BONANZA. I love Winona. A lot.

And while I'm trying not to allow myself to accumulate more stuff (however wonderful it may be), I have the post-Christmas blues (you know, when you open present after present and then suddenly you're done, with nothing left to open except the bills you neglected while playing Santa yourself and you suddenly want more and more stuff?), and am in the market for more stuff anyway.

Take a look at the amazing prizes, but don't enter unless you intend to ship your winnings to me.

xoxo.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Home sick and homesick.

Is it December 17th yet??? Time is flying, but this wait to go home is KILLING me. I keep looking at my planner, turning just one page (!) over to next week, and envisioning my time on the Left Coast. Until then, though, here's what's going on:

Today: Another sick day. I should be teaching at this exact moment, but I know my body needs just one more day to fully recover. There are a couple things that absolutely need to get done though, like a trip to the post office (I have a couple cards to go out and also sold something on Amazon), and UPS-- today's the LAST day to pick up a box that came for me (inside, presents!). This evening, if I'm feeling up to it, is the last Yelp Elite Event of 2009-- an Ugly Sweater Party held at a new piano bar downtown.

Tomorrow, I will be back in the office and then to my Wednesday school to teach two classes.

Thursday: teaching, a haircut, and relaxing. I really MUST make sure I'm in good shape, because ONE WEEK LATER, we leave for California!

Friday: office all day. I'll get lots of work done, I tell myself.

Saturday: Working my occasional weekend job all the way out in (ew) Reading. But I really need the money.

Sunday: RELAX. Bake cookies for work. Watch football? Probably.

Monday: My department holiday party. I'm in charge of decorations (as always) and have done absolutely ZERO planning. It will come together this Friday and that morning, I guess.

Tuesday: Teaching.

Wednesday: Office. Teaching. Twiddling my thumbs and dealing with restless leg syndrome.

And because I've been on house arrest (although I did take a foggy-headed jaunt to Target yesterday), Richie had these beauties delivered:

The picture really doesn't do them justice.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

sniff.

I set a record!

For what? For health. Usually, I get sick about every two or three months. But the last time I was sick was while I was visiting home in July (after getting over the flu in June and a bad cold in April...). Well August, September, October, and November passed without much more than a sore throat here or there. Life was good. But then I woke up on Friday, December 4th, with a sore throat that was different from the ones I get from yelling at my students. This one was the beginning of a cold, and let me tell you, what a cold it has been! I went to bed early on Friday night (after Richie's mom cooked me a surprise tri-tip dinner!), but Saturday was much worse. I self-medicated with some pho, but I was just too exhausted. Richie and I watched two movies, and then I went to bed. At 5:30pm. And slept until 7:30am.

I'm feeling much better today (though not well). I stocked up on tissues, made a pot of wassail, and intend to lie around for the remainder of the night. Luckily, I already took tomorrow off because I was going to go upstate with Richie (he's doing some research up there), but will probably use it to rest even more.

Getting sick was such a typical end to a really rough week for me, but things will be looking up shortly. In fact, we leave for California in 11 days!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Partner in Planning

As anyone who reads this blogs knows (because you know me), I'm a planner. Sometimes to a fault, and I need to remind myself to just go with the flow and be spontaneous every once in a while.

Well, last week, I was mapping out this next trip home (which I am more excited about than words can express). Richie and I will be spending a couple days in San Francisco and Dublin, CA before heading down to Fresno, and I was making a (very loose) itinerary when I realized that we have no way to get to the Philadelphia airport. I gave the man a buzz, and while he knows about my planny ways, he was a little...I don't know, surprised, I guess, that I was trying to arrange airport transportation so early. He's really on top of things, too, but gave me one of those, "Don't worry, it will work out" lines. I accepted it for the time being, hung up, and went about my day.

Throughout the day, though, I was thinking about "it will work out" and what that means to me. Usually, things work out in my life because I make them work out. I get things done because I know they need to be done, and I don't rely on others (in my personal or professional lives) to do it. I'd have a ride to the airport because I would arrange one myself.

Later that day, I was hanging out with Richie, and I told him exactly that. I'm not used to sharing responsibility, because sometimes it gets me in trouble. For (a stupid) example, when Steve and I went to Savannah earlier this year, we were walking through the airport to our gate. I got confused by the signage, and made a wrong turn. We continued walking, and walking, and walking, until it was obvious we were never going to make it to our gate going that direction. I tried to figure out what happened, and realized that Steve wasn't paying attention to anything at all. Like I said before, it's a stupid example, but I remember being really upset that the responsibility on this trip-- that we saved for together and planned together-- was falling entirely on me. (And I don't mean to use this example to compare Boyfriend Past to Boyfriend Present, but it's appropriate, no?)

So anyway, talking about it last week, Richie assured me that I would not have to figure all of that stuff out on my own. In fact, when he said that it will work out, he meant that he would take care of it.

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Go 'head, girl

I have been a horrible, horrible blogger. That said....TILFT:

Tonight: another Yelp! Elite event. This one is seated, ultra-swanky, and extra-elite, as no one is allowed to bring their +1. It's at the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co, which isn't what it sounds like. I'm actually really exhausted and not totally up for this event, but I wasn't able to go to the last one, and you can bet I'm going to enjoy a $12.50 drink (or two) for free.

Tonight/Tomorrow morning: Leonids meteor shower. After my event, I'm going to go to Richie's and try to sleep immediately. We're going to set the alarm, and drive out to Jersey for a good view. Then we'll drive back and go back to sleep until I have to be up for work. Luckily, I don't teach until 12:30!

Thursday: my last appointment for one of the studies I'm in. I won't be paid until I complete some more phone calls (it's a linguistics study) from home, but at least I won't have to go in to the office anymore.

Also, my Thursday school is testing this week, so I get a little break from them.

The weekend: What more can I say? It's the weekend! Some plans include my Zumba class and Body Worlds 2: The Brain at the Franklin Institute (not to be confused with tonight's Elite event location)!!!!

And next week....
Tuesday: most likely volunteering somewhere for an early Thanksgiving dinner.
Thursday: THANKSGIVING!!! Followed by a nice, long weekend (though I will be working a party).


And I thought my calendar was going to free up with the weather change. Ha.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Miss Me?

So much has happened since my last post! Things like...

***Moving***
I mentioned my landlord being a douche in my last post...so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise when I say that I ended up moving out of my apartment a week earlier than planned (I needed OUT!). But my lease at the new place hadn't started yet, so I ended up storing my stuff and staying at Richie's parents' house. Their generosity was so, so appreciated, and the bed I slept in was sooo comfortable!

But now I'm totally moved in to my new place, and I love, love, love it! All I have to do is put up two shelves (I might just put up one instead, since I have plenty of storage space--if you can believe it), get some bar stools for my counter, and maybe hang a few more pretty things that didn't make the Round One decoration cut.

***Music***
I was out of the live music scene for quite some time, mostly because I wasn't really seeking out new bands and when I did go to a show, it was usually Steve's cover band. But now I'm back and ready for concerts! In the last month, I saw The Weakerthans, Lucero, and the Revival Tour with Chuck Ragan and Tim Barry. All shows were fabulous (man, I love me some alt-country!), and I'm ready for more!

***Mane Maintenance***
I finally got that trim I was talking about, and I feel so much better about letting my hair grow. Also, I've been wearing it curly (or I guess wavy) a lot, and it looks so cute! Getting a trim every 4 months (as a opposed to 4 weeks) is a great way for me to save some dough. Which brings me to...

***Money***
I've finally come to terms with the fact that I cannot live comfortably/without credit card debt on my salary. The market is not one for me to find a better-paying full time job right now, but I can supplement my income with some part time work. Some side projects I have going on include: being a study participant at Penn (it adds up!); freelancing (not much is going on there, but it might pick up again soon); working for some photo favors company at parties (Richie's friend owns the company and they always need people for Saturdays, which I have free); re-opening my Etsy store (now that I'm moved and settled, I can start building inventory and making money again). Any other ideas?

So! This weekend, I'm heading to Boston (!!!!) for some serious R&R at a B&B as well as a Halloween party with my besties. It's going to be amazing.

ALSO: I know I haven't posted pictures of things (taken by me) in a long time, and the reason was that I didn't have any batteries. Now that I have some, the reason is because my computer is so close to death, that it can't handle importing pictures from my camera. When my financial situation starts to look up, I will buy a new computer. Ouch.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

stuff and stuff.

What a hectic few weeks I've had!

I was toyed with at work, my car got towed, and my landlord tried to screw me over (and is continuing to be an ass). Good things have also been mixed in with that mess (those messes), like some of the Things I was Looking Forward To in my last post like First Friday, Richie's birthday festivities, and the weather continuing to be amazing, in addition to some visits from out-of-towners! My dear friend Samantha was in town from Puerto Rico with her sister. We got tea, pho, and went to...a Cassavettes show! The guys were in town finishing up their tour on their way back up to Boston. It was so great to see everyone!

Next on the agenda includes:
1. My MOVE! We are now in the single digits of the countdown, and good lord, moving day can't come soon enough. I'm getting into the territory where I've started packing the things that I use more regularly, like some dishes and cooking utensils. Packing makes me so excited, because I can't wait to unpack and start arranging everything in my new place. I promised my brother that my interior design will be fit for a magazine.

2. BOSTON!!! I knew about this trip when I last posted, but I can't keep it in any longer! Richie and I will be heading up to Boston for my friend Eric's annual Halloween party (thank goodness actual 'Ween is on a Saturday!). We're staying at one of the B&Bs I used to work at (thanks to a nice friends/family discount), and I plan to take FULL ADVANTAGE of the weekend away by lounging, going for strolls, and seeing friends, of course!


Also...
I tried to hold out, but I desperately need a trim. I'm still growing my hair out, but my mane needs some serious shaping. So I have an appointment for Saturday morning. After all, it has been 4 months since my last trim.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Jump Right In:

TILFT:

+ Drawing class tonight. I enrolled in a free (supplies only) drawing class a few block away from my apartment. I've only had two classes so far, but I really enjoy concentrating on just the task at hand. It takes my mind off of the stress I'm feeling at work and because of my move. I'd like to continue to take the class after I move, but we'll see if that works out, given my teaching schedule and my mode of transportation on Thursdays.

+ First Friday and Richie's birthday party tomorrow night. First Friday is when a bunch of different art galleries open up and serve wine and cheese and other goodies, and people just meander from one to the next. I've gone in Old City, but tomorrow night I'm going to my new 'hood, Mt. Airy, to scope it out. Afterwards, one of Richie's classmates is throwing him a birthday party.

+ Adventure Aquarium on Sunday with Richie's family. The guy loves aquariums, and the one in Camden is supposedly pretty great. Afterwards, we're going to get dinner in the city, and I'll serve cake and coffee at my place after.

+ MOVING! My lease starts on the 15th, and I'm physically moving on the 17th. The U-Haul is reserved, and my stuff is about 50% packed at this point.

+ More of this weather! It's so crisp and lovely out, and my jackets will feel lonely and neglected no more!

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's a Boot!

I am now the proud, happy-- ecstatic, really-- parent of....

A PAIR OF VINTAGE FRYE BOOTS!!!!!

Pictures coming soon, after I buy batteries for my camera.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

That Was Quick!

After being toyed with for several days by one landlord (the owner of a dream apartment), I signed a lease at another property. This landlord doesn't lead me on, and my future digs are adorable!

As predicted, I am moving to a whole new 'hood. This one will require quite a commute to work, but not a difficult one, and I'm totally fine with that, especially because the area is so nice. I'll be living on the main drag, right inside the city limits, above a store (this main drag is much more mellow than the main drag I live on now). Neat things within walking distance from my apartment include:
+ Video store/ice cream parlor. Brilliant.
+ Pizza place/brewery. Have been. Did like.
+ Mexican restaurant/bakery! Haven't tried it out yet, but I've heard good things.
+ Restaurant/music venue.
+ Art Deco theater.
+ Tavern.
+ Florist. The squeeze can stop by before visiting.
+ Shopping galore, just a short walk up to the next neighborhood (it's affluent).

There's so much more, but I'm still learning the area and I don't move in until October 15th! Well, probably the 17th, since that's the first weekend. Pictures to come shortly thereafter. Girlfriend needs some move-in (/go to IKEA) time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apartment Hunter

Well, it's official: I'm moving.

It was one of those decisions where the thought just kept building and building, and then I finally just made up my mind to do it, said it out loud, and bam! The ball is rolling. The plan is to be out of my current digs in mid-to-late October (or by November 1st).

I think my roommate is a little peeved, but also understanding about why I need to live by myself/not with her. I was only supposed to be there temporarily anyway. But now she keeps complaining about all the things she has to do before having someone else move in (paint, fix the bathroom and kitchen, CLEAN, the list goes on and on). The thing is, though, that she promised me that all of those things would be done before I moved in. Now she's pissed that she actually has to do them because it's unlikely that her new roommate will be a friend that she's able to take advantage of. Me, bitter? Nah.

So I'm looking for affordable housing in cute neighborhoods. I'll likely end up with a studio, which is totally fine, because I don't have much stuff anyway. I know that I'm spoiled in my current location and would love to stay in the neighborhood, but have accepted the fact that in order to afford this new place, I'll probably have a bit of a commute to work.

I'm looking at a place in a great neighborhood tonight, and will continue the search on Saturday afternoon!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Heart Modcloth

I finally ordered a dress from Modcloth (see a couple posts down)! It's this little number that came yesterday and fits like a dream:



Also, can I just say, I would be one happy bride in one of these beauties. Plus, I'd have tons of money left over from my budget to spend on other things...like jewelry (both from Modcloth, obviously):



Friday, September 4, 2009

The Hairy Details

Remember this?


I'm so there. A little past there, actually, but I'm loving it. In fact, my hair naturally flips kind of the same way her hair is curled, so I have no complaints! All I do is blast it with my blow dryer, run my fingers through it, and go.
I'm going to let it continue to grow, though, because 1) it means I don't have to pay for a haircut, and 2) letting it get longer will mean more opportunities for creativity. I promise I haven't been lazy, constantly alternating between a ponytail and the 'do mentioned above. I've been playing with bobbie pins and twists and braids, and having a good time doing it!
New goal hair to be posted when I find the right stuff (baby).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weekend Wardrobe Wishlist

Yesterday, I wrote I humongo blog post with updates on my various blogs, TILFT, and a weekend wardrobe wishlist (WWW-- new feature, perhaps?). But the combination of uploading pictures for the WWW + weird connectivity issues on the server here lead to the demise of my glorious post. That said, I've decided only to post the WWW. Here goes...

This Saturday, I will be in Boston to celebrate Jay's birthday (would have been incluced on TILFT). We're going out to dinner and then clubbin, but with potential loungey bar stops in between. So my outfit needs to be classy, comfortable, and versatile. What I really want to wear is this little number from Modcloth.com:


I'd pair it with some black patent leather heeels or these Mossimo for Target badboys I picked up at Goodwill if I'm feeling a little crazy:

...but alas, I have neither the funds nor the time to procure that perfect, sassy dress for this weekend. Instead, I'm considering...

a simple, black cotton shift dress like this one (mine is Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit):

Could be boring, but with the right styling, it could be magnificent. Some ideas include:
+ SILVER: Pile on silver jewelry and accessories (including a pair of silver slingback peeptoes) until I'm blinding.
+ BROWN LEATHER: My favorite color combination is the faux-pas of yore, black and brown. I could cinch my waist with a big brown leather belt, step into some woven brown leather wedges, and add some copper, stone, and leather baubles.
+ COLOR: Pick out a colorful belt or use a scarf as one, throw on all of my plastic bangles, and finish with those purple heels (pictured above) or even red or blue ones.

I know Bobbie's going to be rockin' the jeans and sexy top look, so that's potentially an option for me, too. I'd wear jeans and heels like this:

But my predicament, like the model's above, is the top. Sure, I have nice tops, but they're all very businessy. I would want something flirty, like this:

Or romantic, like this:

Or saucy, like this:

[all shirts from Modcloth.com. Have I mentioned how much I wish my entire wardrobe was from there?!]

But I don't really have anything like those (must be remedied soon!!!). So, finally, here's what I'm leaning toward the most right now:
I think the dress in the picture is black, but the one I have (yes, I actually have this dress!) is dark blue. Styling options include the silver and the color plans from my thoughts on the black shift. OR...because the arm holes hang down juuust a little extra, I can wear my leopard print bra with it (a little underarm surprise?), leopard peep toe mini-wedges, and then who knows what kind of jewelry? I'm also debating really playing up the flapper look and adding a white ostrich plume to my hair.



Decisions, desicions...and they have to be made soon because I'm packing tonight!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It bloggles the mind...

I've become a blogging fiend.

I decided that I can't keep up Beth Bruce: The Sex Lady, because posting to it felt too much like work. I spend all day talking and/or reading about sex and sexuality, and when I'm done, I'm just all sexed out (well...you know). I really feel like a blog should be an outlet, not a burden. But I do want an additional blog; one that isn't about my life necessarily and doesn't have personal updates for my small readership. So now I have two new blogs...

1. A fashion blog called Shop, Don't Drop! Read the first post for a better understanding of why I'm doing this. We'll see if I can keep it up.

2. A foodie blog called Serious Grindage: A Practical Guide to Mastication. I started it because within a week, I had at least three people tell me that they would read a blog about food if I wrote one. But I haven't posted to it yet because I don't know what angle I want to take. I mean, I already have all of those Yelp reviews and will continue to Yelp, so it needs to be different. Thoughts?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Yelp All About It!

As you can probably tell from the little Yelp map on the side of this blog, I'm a pretty active Yelper and have recently become more active through earning "Elite status" and being invited to special parties. This week I got to go to an awesome bar and eat and drink for free. The dress code? Monochromatic. Check out my sweet blue get-up:

That's my +1, Richie (see #5 on previous post), and fellow Yelper, Sarah B.

There's another one next week, too! Free Mexican food and sangria? Yes, please!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

(turn and face the strain)

Some changes I've noticed about myself/in my life:

1. I like blueberries now! This will make life a little easier for me because I found that avoiding blueberries is a pain.

2. I am no longer boycotting being introduced to new bands (or artists I've never heard of before). For a while, I was just exhausted with everything that comes along with keeping musicians/albums/songs straight, and now I'm okay with putting some effort into it and enjoying the fruits of my labor.

3. I put more effort into my appearance each day (during the work week, at least) than I used to, and I really love how it makes me feel...which is polished, professional, grown-up, and most importantly: sassy and fabulous.

4. While I really love my downtime at home, I would much rather be out and about socializing or at least going for a walk (solo or otherwise). I guess this isn't much of a change because I've always been very active, but I feel like it has been more obvious lately.

5. After a few months of singledom, I am again attached. It happened sooner than I thought (and maybe even hoped) it would, but I keep reminding myself of that overused-- but completely appropriate-- John Lennon lyric, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." I also think about my dear friend Jay who would always yell at me for "tempting fate" with all of my neurotic planning. So this me, going with the flow, enjoying my time with a completely delightful, completely unexpected young man.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fashionista

Two things:

1. I have a ridiculous shopping bug right now and absolutely no money to satiate my craving. But it's okay! I'm going to go through my closet this week and do some outfit evaluation to see what changes I can make to give myself the impression that I have new pieces.

2. Related: While I'm no slacker when it comes to getting dressed every day, I can TOTALLY put more effort into it and have a little bit more fun with my outfits. My inspiration? These two ladies right here:
Jessica of What I Wore
Sarah of The Year of Living Thriftily

Granted, both of them are in the fashion industry and have certain connections that I am extremely envious of, but I can do this, too!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Listing.

So...hi.

I'm having trouble concentrating on writing posts with any real direction, so I'm going to make some lists. Here goes...

Things I Did Recently That Were Tons of Fun:
1. Weekly, I go to my friend Sheila's for dinner. It's always such a good time, and the food is delicious. I take wine because I'm not much of a cook, and who doesn't love wine? Last week some friends I hadn't seen in a long time were there, too!

2. So I'm seeing this boooooy, and we've been having such a great time together. I'm enjoying half-day Fridays, so we met up for lunch and then went to the UPenn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Institute of Contemporary Art (both free!). After getting caught in some ridiculous rain, we had dinner, played a board game, and watched Flight of the Conchords. A righteous rainy day.

3. The weather on Saturday was GORGEOUS, so Sheila, her neighbor Esther, and I went to Ocean City, NJ for the day. Luckily, the three of us are all completely content napping on the beach for hours, so it was a perfect outing. We finished off the excursion with delicious Kohr Bros. custard and grilled hot dogs once back in the city.

4. On Sunday, that boy and I went to Princeton to explore, and when we got bored (as the town is small and a lot of shops were closed), we headed to Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA which were both really neat little country towns separated by a narrow spot on Delaware River. Once we got back to Philly, he made me dinner while I watched part of Wayne's World. Excellent.

Things I'm Looking Forward To:
1. My aforementioned health issues are slowly being taken care of. I had an appointment with a specialist on my lunch break today, and I'll be getting a CAT scan soon. Fingers crossed that this isn't serious.

2. My triumphant return to the gym! I told the doctor today that I stopped working out because of the whole mess, and she said I should be okay to go back. Tonight? Perhaps. Wednesday night? More likely.

3. I have a hearing tomorrow for a parking ticket I got months ago. It'll be nice to get it resolved.

4. Weekly dinner at Sheila's tomorrow!

5. I registered for an art class today! It's a basic drawing class that happens weekly this fall. The best part? It's free and by my house!



Annnnd I'll leave the lists at that.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oh My God, We're Back Again (Brothers, Sisters, Everybody Sing)

Well, would you look at me: I'm back again!

My trip home to California was all of the fantasticness I had hoped it would be, barring of course the nasty kidney infection that I won't go into detail about. I'm still trying to resolve said kidney issues and have an appointment with a specialist all set up for next week.

Some highlights of my trip include:
*Spending TONS of quality time with family-- both sides, even!
*Bobbie's visit! It really couldn't have been more relaxing or needed, with pedicures, shopping, and smoothies galore.
*Catching up with friends over drinks, burritos, cookies, and Trader Joe's UFOs.
*Disneyland! Although it was a little rough ending my trip on such an active note, it was tons of fun and totally worth it.

Since being back in Philly, I have enjoyed some mini road trips (the beach, a lake, Boston/CT), dinners with friends, and a triumphant (if a little boring) return to work. At least I'm making money again!

Now the plan is to enjoy what this city has to offer for the rest of the summer (and pray for sunshine!).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm baaaack. And leaving again.

So I've been MIA for a while, and it hasn't been pretty. Usually when I slack in the blogging department it's because I'm out being crazy busy and social and all that. This time, it was because the flu stopped me in my tracks! I have since done most of the recovery necessary to be back at work and back to my normal self (so, so close).

Because I have a couple days of office time before boarding a plane to CALIFORNIA FOR 17 DAYS, I have been doing a lot of slacking by planning my tattoo. Yep, remember the one I alluded to back in 2007? It's finally going to happen...in August. So I've been getting clippings and color samples together because it has been a long time coming and I want it to be perfect. My vision has changed a bit (for the better, I believe), but the basic idea is still there, which is a ginkgo leaf. I can't wait to get it and share it!

Alright, so because I can think of few things besides my trip home, here's a very rough itinerary of said trip:
Friday, July 3: Fly to CA! Drive up to Fresno with Matthew and Melinda, stopping in Bakersfield for dinner with Dad.
Saturday, July 4: Trevor's birthday/Independence Day party! Hot dogs and hamburgers, here I come!
Sunday, July 5: Breakfast with both in- and out-of-towners.
Thursday, July 9: Pick up Bobbie at the airport!
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Shenanigans with Hobs.
Sunday, July 12: Drop Bobbie off at the airport.
July 18 and 19: Disneyland!
July 20: Back to Philly.

Since most of the things I listed are weekend festivities, during the week I plan to:
+Have dinner with some family
+Visit friends
+Have a long-awaited ladies night in San Francisco with Katie and Anna
+Sit around and get (more of) a tan!

Oh, it's going to be CaliFANTASTIC.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Photos!

First, my hair:



Although a little "soccer mom," I'm really pleased with it. The layers are blended nicely, and it actually looks like it has a style! Growing it out from here should be smooth sailing.

Now a couple before and after pictures of the house. These are of the living room because I'm not quite done with my bedroom (not that the living room is done either, but the difference is worth sharing).

BEFORE:




...literally just STUFF. Everywhere.

AFTER:






I'm not really all that happy with it, but it's a least a livable space. Now.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Half Empty/Half Full

I'm in love with these earrings:
They're from Etsy seller Yellowgoat.
You know...my half-birthday isn't too far away.

Da Boots

UPS wasn't NEARLY as bad as South Philadelphians made it sound. Probably because I left work early to go. I went to pick up these babies:When I got home, I immediately removed my rainboots to slip into them, only to discover that I can't get my heels in!!! I know they'll fit my actual feet once they get down there, but how do I initially do that? It looks like I may have to take them to the cobbler (okay, shoe repairman, but I like to call him a cobbler) to stretch them out just enough to sneak my pups in. I DO NOT want to return them because they are otherwise perfect.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hair, continued

I made a hair appointment for Saturday morning at a salon within walking distance from me-- and it won't cost a small fortune! While that's good news, there are risks involved because my appointment is at the Jean Madeline Aveda Institute, where a student will making the cut. You can bet I'll have a Yelp review up shortly thereafter (I'll also post some pictures of the new 'do on this badboy).

Since it's Thursday, my mind is definitely on the weekend. Let's have a look, shall we?

Today: I worked late yesterday, so I'm ducking out early to run some errands (UPS to pick up a pair of boots that I bought on impulse because they look perfect and they ONLY had my size left; IKEA if there's time-- I need shelves and a bulletin board!). After that, happy hour and a movie.

Friday: After work, I'm heading to my old stomping grounds to meet Diana for dinner. Later in the evening: drinks and a concert (Little Joy-- fantastic!).

Saturday: Haircut! Lunch, hopefully the gym (I've been REALLY good), and a party at my house for a friend's birthday.

Sunday: Happy Father's Day! Gym if I can't make it on Saturday, otherwise: R.E.L.A.X. Dinner out later.

All of these meals out mean that I have to be careful with my budget (both monetary and caloric). I can do it!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Update + Hairspiration

I've been ridiculously busy. Doing what, you ask? Well, in a word, socializing. In two words, socializing and working. In three: socializing, working, and....dating! (I guess that's technically four words, but I wouldn't count the "and.")


I would blog about my various dates with these men, but I think it would probably be boring because they've all been so good! I don't have any funny stories about guys not washing their hair or running around in circles in an attempt to show me their fun-loving side (that was before). No, all of my dates have been lovely. Also, considering how internet-savvy some people are, I wouldn't want any of them to stumble upon this blog and learn what I'm actually thinking (which isn't much different from what I let on, because I'm on this kick of ignoring inhibitions and saying/doing whatever I want-- it's fabulous!).


**********************************************************
In other news, I have exceeded the two months sans hair cut that I allow myself in an attempt to grow out my mane, so my hair is decidedly driving me crazy. With that, more hairspiration!


It's looking like, with the length my layers are, a wedge might be the way to go to maintain some sanity during this process:




After getting a shaping such as these, it will probably actually look like I got my hair cut, which is something I would normally be upset about. But considering I currently have a short layer that frames my face and a long layer that flips out (think Mrs. Brady, but not THAT bad), I'm willing to go for it. It's summertime, and I need something sleek and easy. Also, when it starts to grow out, all layers will grow together. And that's what I want.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

6 wonderful things

Time for TILFT!

1. Tonight, I'm going to my friend's house for dinner. She's cooking what sounds like an amazing meal, and I'm excited to see another one of the guests: a friend of hers I met a few months ago that I totally loved. He's also bringing his partner, who teaches for one of the grad programs I'm considering. It looks like the stars are aligning...

2. Sara returns from Pittsburgh today, so the roommate switcheroo will be happening tomorrow. With Adrienne's stuff out of the house, I can finally get really settled.

3. Katie's coming to visit this weekend! Her friend from college has been working in Wilmington this year, so she's going to be able to see both of us. I'll probably show both of them around Philly on Friday night, and then just hang out with Katie on Saturday morning. I'm excited!

4. Little things here and there, like a screening of Away We Go (I don't know anything about it, but it has a great cast), a potential clothing swap, and summery activities around the city.

5. A weekend trip to Boston! Tentatively scheduled for the last weekend in June, I'm really hoping it works out this time.

6. CALIFORNIA! Pretty much all of July. Oh helllll yes.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't Care How

Throughout our trip in the French Riviera, we called my cousin Heather "Veruca Salt," because she was constantly demanding things. While I'm not one to demand (I tend to covet silently), I thought I'd share a list of things I want (attainable and un):
Rachel Weisz's dress at Cannes (I was there, too!):

It's perfect. I love the band at the natural waist, the color, and the length. Great for work AND play. Except it probably cost my yearly salary. [Photo from GoFugYourself]

A beautiful, oversized beach towel:Summer is upon us, and the beach is but a quick drive away! I have only one beach towel, and while it's really cute, it's also small and not very absorbent. These (now sold out online) from World Market are ideal. [Photo from RealSimple]

More pants for work:

I rotate only two or three pairs, and none of them make me feel the way I want to feel. Especially if I'm not wearing heels, which is often due to the style of the pants and how much I need to walk/be on my feet that day. Luckily, it's warmer out now, so I'm working the skirts. [Photo from Banana Republic]

A clean, well-decorated house:



This is a biggie. After work yesterday, I unpacked most of my room and set things up how I want them (you should see my walk-in closet!!!). I haven't done the decor/trinket part yet, but will soon. As for the living room, I have no idea where to start. It makes me feel trapped and like I have no control. I know I have to be patient, but throw me a freakin' bone! [Photo from DesignSpongeOnline]

To take classes:
Anything from belly dancing to carpentry-- I just want to get out there and play!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just a little update...

FRANCE WAS AMAZING!!! It was one of those trips where everything went exactly the way I had hoped-- and better. A (very) quick rundown:

Wednesday: Arrive in Nice. Drive to Eze. Lunch (tomatoes and mozzarella). Swim. Go grocery shopping. Make a bread run. Overlook Monaco. Cocktail hour. Dinner (seafood stew). Break napkin ring. Bed.



Thursday: Breakfast (coffee, fruit, bread). Drive to Cannes. Walk around, hope to see famous people (no go). Eat lunch (pizza). Drive to Grasse, world perfume capital. No parking, head out. Arrive in St. Paul De Vence, perhaps my favorite from 1996. Walk around. Shop. Ice cream (hazelnut). Drive back to Eze. Meet Angelo (former neighbor). Cocktail hour. Dinner (chicken and veggies). Drink more. Swim. Drink more. Bed.


Friday: Breakfast (coffee, fruit, chocolate croissant). Head down to Eze Village. Walk around. Shop. Back to the house. Lunch (tomatoes and mozzarella). Drive to Monaco. Walk around. Drive the Grand Prix course. Drive back to Eze. Nap on hammock. Cocktail hour. Dinner (chicken and pasta). Watch TV. Bed.


Saturday: Breakfast (coffee, cereal, chocolate croissant). Drive to Nice. Go to Matisse Museum. Go to Chagall Museum. Drive to Old Town Nice. Eat lunch (mix of Niçoise food). Walk around. Shop. Eat macarons. Walk on the beach (and in the Mediterranean!). Drive back to Eze. Swim. Cocktail hour. Walk to dinner. Dinner (here we go: duck paté, goat cheese salad--best salad I've ever had in my life, leg of lamb, veggies, cheese plate and salad, ice cream, and grappa). Walk back to the house. Bed.
Sunday: Breakfast (omelet). Say goodbye. Drive to Nice. Hop on plane.

photos courtesy of Bobbie. Mine have yet to be uploaded.
So I got back to the states on Sunday night, and on Monday, I moved! What an exhausting day. I'm still sore, and barely unpacked for a variety of reasons, one of them being that my friend Adrienne still hasn't moved out to make room for me. I got my residential parking permit yesterday and took a trip to Target for some new house things. The plan for tonight is to put a serious dent in my unpacking. I just really can't wait to make this place home.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tax Update!

There is a refund coming my way!!!! Yaaaaaaaaaay!!!!

tomorrow...tomorrow...tomorrow...

Today is one of those days where I've been feeling ignored. I think it's residual--but a whole lot of it--from the weekend, which is when all this started.

To begin, I awoke on Saturday morning to find Rob sleeping on the couch. He had ESPN on, and in the morning, they just keep looping the news, so I had to sit through that while sipping my coffee and reading my email. He proceeded to sleep there with the TV on all day. During that time, I dropped a bunch of clothes off at Plato's Closet (at about 10:30am). They said that it would take about an hour to go through everything and that they'd give me a call when my stuff was ready to be picked up. I then went on a hike with my friend (it was lovely, thank you). I still hadn't received a call and closing time was approaching, so I called Plato's Closet to make sure I could pick up my stuff the next day. No problem.

On Sunday morning, after discovering Rob had usurped the living room again, I received a phone call from Plato's Closet saying that I better come pick up my clothes because after 48 hours, they donate them. Um, yeah. So I went, and had one of those moments where I kept trying to get around this guy who just WOULDN'T MOVE. Later, I went to the movies with another friend, and had to repeat myself and answer questions for her I had already mentioned the answer to several times. I already teach middle schoolers. Don't make me repeat things more than they do.

Fast-forward to today. On the freeway, people would just slowly, and without using their blinkers, meander over to my lane. This happened at least four times (it happens a lot anyway, but in one trip?!) I arrived at my Monday school, and waited for the security guard to help me after she helped three people who arrived AFTER me. I even spoke up, and she gave me 'tude. I then got to the classroom, and learned that the students were testing and I wouldn't be able to teach them today. Thanks for letting me know! I'll have to finish up my classes on June 1st.

And that's not even going into my tax debacle (yes, it's still going on) on Thursday, which also involved being ignored/not served.

Okay, I just needed to vent. My goodness, I need this vacation!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Packin' like a gangsta

Ohhhhh my goodness: packing is exhausting!!!

It seems like every time I feel like I'm done (before the day-of stuff like my dishes and toiletries), I notice something else I have to pack up. I actually just took a quick jaunt to the grocery store to pick up trash bags for all of my clothes and see if I could track down a milk crate for some fragile stuff. I couldn't, but I did find a box.

Then there's the stuff that I don't really use all that much, but feel like I should keep, like random wires and other computer stuff that I think is probably a good idea to hold onto. I really have no idea though.

So right now, my dining room is lined with boxes that are either ready to go or filling up little by little; my bedroom has packed suitcases: one for France, one for the week after I move (work clothes, mostly), and others with clothes I'm going to have to live without until I can unpack completely; my sunroom has boxes full of art, pillows, and blankets; and my car is full of bags ready to go to Goodwill. I'm waiting to pick up the rejects from the consignment store before I donate. Whew!

I want a pedicure.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Death by Taxes

My tax saga has been ridiculous.

After sending everything to a Tax Payer Advocate, I received a phone call from them saying, "Sorry, we can only help you with federal tax problems." So I found place on the PA Dept. of Revenue site where I can ask a question. I sent a detailed explanation of my problem and also asked how to make a formal complaint against the representative that was supposed to be helping me back in March.

Lo and behold, today I received a phone call from said representative saying that she tried to contact me, she's been so swamped, whine, whine. Eventually she apologized and is now back on the case. Now that she's doing her job, she discovered what the problem was. Unfortunately, I now have to hunt down a form from Delaware, and have been waiting a few hours to receive a fax that I was told would only take a few minutes.

Augh.

I WILL GET MY MONEY BACK!!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wish List

At this time next week, I will be in lovely Southern France! So I've been thinking about what I want to do...

1. Heather requested a mini road trip to Pisa, so we will certainly do that. I plan to research other neat things along the way. It's too bad there isn't a ferry from Eze to Pisa-- it's a straight shot across the Mediterranean!

2. The Cannes Film Festival begins today and will still be going on while we're there! I looked at the schedule, and they have a lot of screenings and concerts that are open to the public, and some of them are free!

3. A fancy dinner, because, well, why not?

4. RELAX. The house is perfect for doing just that. I just want to sit on the terrace and eat tomatoes and mozzarella, fresh bread, drink coffee, and look out over Eze Village and the Mediterranean Sea. And honestly, if we did that the entire time, I'd be happy.

UPDATE!!
5. The Eze Botanical Gardens! I found this place about a year ago when I thought an Eze trip might soon be in the cards. Also, it turns out The Edge from U2 got married there.

6 days, 6 hours, and 7 minutes!!! ---scratch that. Now it's 6 days, 5 hours, 37 minutes!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'll miss you, cable

My Etsy business continues to BOOM! I made another sale, and this time it was one of my pricier items! With the upcoming move, I'm going to be able to reevaluate all of my belongings and probably decide to put more stuff up for sale.

I pack a little every day, but have been procrastinating on things like clothes and jewelry. I've considered picking out only a couple rings, earrings, and necklaces to wear until after I move and unpack, but I don't know if I could take it! Not getting to change my accessories based on my outfits and moods? No thanks. But I might fold and do it anyway, because an easy, organized move would definitely be worth it.

Meanwhile, the weather here has been gross, gross, gross lately. So even though I want to be outside doing things, I really don't want to be outside at all. Plus, I've been sick (or suffering from allergies-- I can't really tell which it is), so I've been staying in and watching a lot of TV and movies. I gotta take advantage of cable and premium channels in my final weeks of having them!!!

Some movies I've seen lately, thanks to this weather:
+ If Lucy Fell. Completely predictable, but pretty adorable movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Ben Stiller.
+ Kissing Jessica Stein. I saw this once, years ago, and couldn't remember much about it. It was good!
+ Slumdog Millionaire. This really was a beautiful movie. I don't know if it deserved the Oscar because I didn't see the other nominees, but it was really good.
+ One Night at McCool's. Oh, brother. At least it was entertaining.
+ What Love Is. This movie only got one star, and I think was a direct to DVD release, but I thought it was actually really good. The entire movie is completely dialogue (save for one fantasy scene), and it is extremely fast-paced. Cuba Gooding, Jr., Matthew Lillard, Sean Astin, and Anne Heche were in it.
+ John Tucker Must Die. I have never encountered ANYONE who has seen this and didn't like it.

There must be more...but that's quite a list already. Oh, I've also been catching up on True Blood. Yum.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

my mind on my money

This was a fantastic week for business! I made two sales on etsy, and one on craigslist! Maybe if I can keep this up and put a little more effort into it, I won't need that part-time job!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My horoscope says I'll be fine.

Because money is so, so tight right now (for a variety of reasons, from the PA Department of Revenue to travel expenses), I have taken a few steps to save and generally manage my money better:

1. Cancel automatic transfers from my bank account to my savings account and investment plan. This is only temporary, but completely necessary right now, because it's better to pay off credit cards and loans (things that accrue interest) than to chip away at those things and let other funds simmer and earn a rate of interest that isn't even comparable to what I'm paying.

2. Since I'm in the habit of paying quite a bit more than the minimum payment on bills, I'm going to take advantage of the head start I gave myself and pay the minimums for a little while.

3. Because of my former Mary Kay business, I have two credit cards with the same company. I'm going to pay one off and only keep the one with the smaller APR. That's a no-brainer.

4. Cook! Or, um...prepare my own meals. The term "cooking" is a little ambitious for me, as I am huge fan of sandwiches, salads, and smoothies-- things that don't require a stove or oven (even of the micro variety!)... and, I guess, things that start with "S."

5. I would say cut down on shopping, but I spent a record low on "things" this month, so I'm going to congratulate myself and plan to keep up the good--frugal-- work.

And, finally:
6. Try to fix the aforementioned Dept. of Revenue mess. I have all of the forms necessary to file a complaint and try to make it better. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 27, 2009

#200

200th Post!!! Woohoo!!!

To raise my spirits, I bought myself a little something (with completely separate PayPal spending money, I might add), and it came today! I'm so excited about it, but can't say much, because there's one on its way for you too, Mom!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Deep Thoughts

I accidentally typed "Depp Thoughts" as the title as first. Mmm, Johnny Depp.

Anyway, I had this thought as I was going for a walk today: Is Dick Tracy's name Richard, or is he just called Dick because he is one? ...a detective, I mean. I haven't seen that movie since I was little. I need to watch it again, and soon!

Today I went to a few flea markets and found some great items, including a cute little ceramic Buddha and an awesome red steel stool. Perhaps I will post pictures of them (and a feather fascinator I made yesterday that I'm VERY proud of) soon, but I'm feeling lazy in that department.

Tomorrow? Cleaning the house! YAAAAAAY!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Got a map?

My game plan is working really well. I'm feeling refreshed and optimistic about the unexpected twist in my life.

First of all, I have an apartment lined up. Actually, it's a room (and a bathroom!) in a row home in the most amazing location (walking distance to work and, well, everything else). The down side is that it's not available until June, so I have to stick it out and be strong for the rest of April and May. My plan to get through navigating the choppy waters of being broken-up-but-living-together is basically to keep myself as busy and be out of the house as much as possible. That means WORK, after-work activities (hello happy hour!), weekend trips (rockin' some Boston), and long walks whenever possible (I've taken several of these and really enjoy them).

I've also been considering a relocation...perhaps back to Boston or to LA. The more I think about this one, though, the less I think that it's a good idea for professional and financial reasons. It's time to stay at a job for more than a year, and moving is expensive enough (even in the same city) to keep it at just once in a year. I have applied to some positions in the other cities, and if something comes of them, I will DEFINITELY consider, but I think I owe it to myself, my job, and Philly to stay for just one more year. Of course, that's where I am today; who knows how I'll feel tomorrow?

That's actually been the hardest part of all of this (so far): the mood swings. Sometimes I feel amazing, optimistic, liberated, relieved that I'm single and can do whatever I want. Other times I feel hopelessly lost and lacking any sort of idea of what direction I want to take.

This is awesome/sucks.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This is my message to you-oo-oo

Well. How do I put this? Steve and I broke up, and now it's time to move on. Without dwelling on the devastation that comes along with this (on this blog-- of course I dwell a little in real life), I'm going to concentrate on the things it takes to rebuild my life in singledom.

Step One: Have fun with my friends.*
Tomorrow after work I'm going out for drinks and a movie with three lovely ladies. Where we will be enjoying our libations is to be determined, but we're going to a sneak preview of Earth, which is sure to be adorable, educational and comforting. Also, next weekend, I'm planning to take a trip up to Boston to see and romp with Bobbie!

Step Two: Move out.
I wasn't initially planning to do this for a variety of reasons, but it has become clear to me that I really should. I'd like to live by myself, sans roommate(s), so I'm looking at studios. That will also save me money because I won't have to buy a couch and all sorts of other kinds of furnishings. I have an appointment to see one in a really great neighborhood on Friday, so my fingers are crossed.

Step Three: Feel my best.**
Eat well and exercise! Go out! Have fun!

Step Four: Look my best.**
No slacking in the aesthetic maintenance department! It's so easy to want to roll out of bed and go to work with bed-head and dressed in my pajamas, but I have a stylish reputation to uphold. Plus, fashion is interesting and fun to me, so why not put thought and effort into it?

Step Five: Continue to excel at work.**
While I don't think people should have to check their personal baggage at the office door, I don't plan to get bogged down with mine. I'm a rock star at work, and I intend to keep it that way.

*This step is clearly one that is continuous and was always in my game plan, but right now, it's crucial that I keep myself busy and surrounded by fun, loving, and fun-loving people.
**These are obviously continuous, too. I just need to make sure I remember their importance during this trying time.

Every little thing is gonna be alright.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The South, Parties, and Something Nice

Well, I am back! I feel generally refreshed and energized, even though I awoke with a cold on the day of our departure from Savannah. The Hostess City is beautiful, and I am SO GLAD I finally got to visit! Pictures are definitely coming soon, though I have to admit that I wasn't really in a picture-taking mood. But there are a few good ones.

Other pictures coming soon? A few select Jem ones: I looked truly outrageous. The party was great, and it ended a little early, which I was actually happy about because I got there early to help clean. And OH. MY. GOD. was there a lot to clean! I don't know how these two friends of mine could live in a place so cluttered/messy/dirty (yes, actually dirty)/disorganized. I mean, I'm a very neat, organized person, but their place was a nightmare even for some slobs. I wish there had been "before and after" pictures taken.

Plans for the weekend: a Pierogi party and that's about it. I hope I'm feeling better by tomorrow.

Other TILFT: Well, there is this trip to France...



...AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

gather no moss.

Oh man. I have been buuuuusy.

Quick recap:
+ PROM! My hard work paid off, and the event was a beautiful success! It actually kind of worked out that all my friends flaked and decided not to come, since I was running around doing crap all night. I did get a little bit of dancing in, though. Check out pictures here.

+ Sex Ed Lobby Day! I spent all day Tuesday at the state capitol meeting with representatives to try and convince them to co-sponsor two different sex ed-related acts that have just been introduced. For more, see Beth Bruce...I'll eventually write something about the acts.

+ Sara's Birthday! On her actual birthday (also Tuesday), we went out to an AMAZING dinner at a gay restaurant/club. Turns out they have a great brunch deal, so we're planning to return on Sunday after her birthday party.

+ Pedro! I attended another PP affiliate's watch party for the premiere of the MTV movie about Pedro Zamora last night. The event was great, and the movie was really cheesy. In a good way.

WHEW!

I finally get to relax tonight. I made it a point to keep it plan-free so that I can recharge a bit before some more craziness. What's happening next...

~ My Jem costume: Work on it was on hold for a while because of Prom and Lobby Day, but the party is on Saturday, so I really need to get back on it. My priorities: 1) Finagling the awesome silver-fringed belt, and 2) Potentially making the prom dress a mini mini. I already hemmed it to be a respectable knee-length with some tulle sticking out (definitely re-wearable), but think a tiny dress is more appropriate for Jem. I can't decide!

~ Drinks with some friends and, potentially, Steve (!) on Friday night. He may get a last-minute gig, but as of right now he has the night off so I'm going to take advantage of it.

~ Packing for Savannah! Oh yes. I cannot wait.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

MISSING: Mac, Charlie, Sweet Dee, Dennis, and Frank

My It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia DVDs are missing. I looked in the two places they could possibly be (as I am very organized), and texted the usual suspects (Gooch and Rob).

They said they didn't have them and didn't know where they could be.

Question: Should I believe them? ...it wouldn't be the first time a roommate stole DVDs from me upon moving out (cough, Amy P, cough).


Speaking of roommates moving out, it's been suggested that we throw a fundraiser house party to earn the rent that Gooch isn't paying. I think it's a great idea, but I'm torn about how to go about doing this. Here are some of my ideas:

+ Regular old party with a $5 cover charge. But depending on what we buy to eat and drink, that may not yield much of a profit. And you can't have guests BYOB and pay a cover.

+ Casino Night: We could set up different kinds of games (not just casino games, but ones easy to incorporate a betting system), and have House take a percentage of the winnings. Plus BYOB/G (grub). We'd provide some too.

That's actually all I got. Help!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

#193

I am amazingly close to my 200th post. Whoopideedoo.

Anyway, remember this:

As they say in those commercials with the red dot: I'm there. I wonder if her hair looked as much like a helmet from the front as mine does.

And because I'm feeling hopeful, I thought I'd post some hairspiration for further into the future instead of for my next checkpoint.

I'm really not too far from this one, I tell myself:


But I would really love this one:

(at least how I imagine it looks when it's not completely in her face)


And this is a pipe dream:

(It looked better in the movie.) I honestly doubt I can survive growing my hair out to this point, but it certainly would save money.

The thing is that I've had short hair for so long, that I don't know how it will react to length. Will it be straight or will it be wavy? Will it be full and luscious, or will it be flat and boring? Only time will tell.

Continuing with the visually-stimulating essence of this post, I'm going to share what I'm working on for my friend Sara's 80's fantasy birthday party next weekend:


...that's right. I'm going to be Jem. I found a hot pink prom dress at Goodwill over the weekend that I'm going to spruce up as best I can to be the most rockin' cartoon orphanage director there ever was. I even found a tutorial online to do this:

I'm excited!

Spring Fever

Inspired by the beautiful inspiration boards over at Snippet & Ink, I decided to make one myself by recycling images from her boards along with using some that I found myself. While mine certainly has a wedding vibe (and I would love to use it for my wedding), I was mostly driven by spring, which seems to be just a tease over here in the mid-Atlantic (I mean come on: almost 70 degrees on Sunday and 25 today?!). So without further ado, my inspiration board to coax spring into staying:



All photos via Snippet & Ink except...
Row 1, photo 1: Balboa Park, San Diego (http://www.balboapark.org/)
Row 2, photo 1: Photography by bomobob (www.etsy.com/bomobob)
Row 2, photo 4: I can't remember!



Just looking at it makes me happy...and warmer!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Robbed by the IRS!

Crisis (potentially) averted!

I had a great day on Friday. There was nothing specific that made it great, but it just was. And then I got home from work and found a notice from the PA Department of Revenue saying that I underpaid my PA taxes by over $700. Over $700?! I already paid them some...and Delaware already got quite a bit back from me, too. So for the states to ask for an additional $1000 from a person in the second-to-lowest income tax bracket is ABSURD.

So I called the Dept. of Revenue today and learned that yes, it is a mistake, because PA was trying to take the money that DE already took. Whew! So I faxed a bunch of paperwork over to them, and now I'm waiting for a phone call saying, "The check's in the mail!" Please ring, phone.

I never plan to work in two different states in a tax year ever again.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Feed me.

I desperately want to write for my favorite blog*, Design*Sponge. Especially now that I know they pay for their writers to travel around to do their research!!! And we all know how jealous I am of these get-paid-to-travel people. I mean, these writers have day jobs and write only weekly columns. I CAN DO THAT!!! Now we're back to the topic dilemma, since sexuality and design don't really go hand in hand (though I could come up with a couple arguments to the contrary, I really don't expect them to fly).

So to soothe my travel bug, the Soltierra trip to Savannah is quickly approaching (get me outta here!!!), and Bobbie and I have hatched a plan for a mid-May tropical getaway...we're still working out the details, as in, um, where we're going. The only stipulation is that it has a beach...a warm one. We'll decide based on flight and hotel availability and price.

My plans for the weekend? Well,
Tonight- I'm going to enjoy a quiet night at home. I tend to do this on Fridays, because I'm usually completely wiped out. I should also hit the gym.

Tomorrow- Waking up bright and early to go to an estate sale and/or thrifting with Sara. Afterwards, we're having a "Cleaning Party" (her attempt at making cleaning and organizing her post-hurricane-looking apartment sound fun) to prepare for her "Birthday Party," which actually is a party for her birthday, in early April. After all that, I will be making some pilaf and heading for to a dinner party in honor of my friend Diana's birthday.

Sunday- Lacking a plan, which is a very good thing. Maybe Steve and I will have another adventure! (Last week we surprised his sister at her improv show in DC.)

Man, I'm hungry.

*Second favorite. We all know foldedandunfoldedandunfolding is my favorite.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Great News!

No, I haven't found a Gooch replacement. But these things are good, too:

One) Even though I'm still in an in between stage with my hair, I've actually been able to do some pretty cute things with it, like pigtails (teeny tiny ones, appropriate for weekends), some flippy styles, and bobby pin creations. My next shaping trim should be in one month. Gotta love progress!

Two) This is big. I still haven't gotten Gardasil, the HPV vaccination, and I'm running out of time (they don't vaccinate people over 26, and it takes almost a year to complete the series). Since I'm also low on cash, I went to craigslist to find studies that I might qualify for as a participant since I made a few pretty pennies doing that in Boston. Lo and behold, I found a study done by Merck (the creators of Gardasil), testing out a new vaccine that protects against nine different strains of HPV (Gardasil vaccinates against four). It's a blind study, so it could turn out that I get Gardasil and not the new one, but either way, I'm getting PAID to get vaccinated!!! I'll also be getting paid to get physicals, pelvic exams, and Pap Smears. This is great.

Three) 11 days 'til Prom!

Four) 14 days 'til Sex Ed Lobby Day!

Five) 20 days 'til Savannah!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Prom Night

I have been working my little (okay, not so little) booty off with all of stuff I've been doing for prom. I'm head of decor (actually, I'm the only one working on decor, since it turns out my subcommittee co-chair didn't do a thing), so everything is image-related.

Here's what I have going:
RED CARPET: I found a really cheap red carpet to run from the entrance, through the lobby, to the stairs leading up to the ballroom. And when I say cheap, I mean inexpensive and also not fantastic quality, but it's meant to be walked on, and it will certainly provide the POP we need against the hardwood floors. Plus, we can't bill it as a "Red Carpet Event" without one.

CENTERPIECES: To save money and to keep with the theme, Cocktails for a Cause (Prom is the formal version of the quarterly "Cocktails" events), I am making little floral arrangements in cocktail glasses! At IKEA, I found martini glasses for .99 each, wine glasses for .83 each, and rocks glasses for .33 cents each. A couple days before the event, I'm going to pick up white carnations and some filler (cheap and chic!). Also, for the bar and hor d'oeuvre tables, I got two kits for AMAZING ostrich feather bouquets in tall, black Eiffel vases. The feathers are black and white, to mirror the black linens and white carnations.

DANCE FLOOR: The dance floor is going to have balloons hanging above (and I mean a lot of them), with silver and gold metallic ribbon hanging down to graze the heads of our boogie-ing guests. The balloons are pearly black, white, and gold. Today, I'm going to pre-cut the ribbon for a smoother set-up on the 28th. This project will also stop me from going shopping.

PICTURES: I enlisted a photographer friend of mine to take "Prom Pictures" of the guests that want to remember the night forever (for a small fee, of course). I found these photo props with face cut-outs that they can pose behind (or in front of, if they want).

COURT: Finally, I purchased a variety of crowns for the Prom Court! While a couple of the crowns are "nicer" for the King and/or Queen (this is definitely not a heterosexist event), I actually like the few crowns I bought for potential princesses the most: they're feathery tiaras!

And that's it! There are a few more little projects here and there that I need to work out (toiletry baskets in the bathrooms, for example), but that's the basic gist. I can't wait for this event-- partly so that I can get all of this stuff out of my living room!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Who's Beth Bruce?

DONATE TO MY WALLET!
Ahhhhhh!!!! I'm going through one of those budget freak-out phases AND I want to shop like crazy right now. I do believe it's a cause-effect kind of relationship. Come on, don't tell me you didn't see it coming! I sat down the other day and calculated how much I'm bringing in versus how much absolutely has to go out, and it was not pretty.

Where, or where, can that new roommate be? Apparently not on craigslist, facebook, myspace, or any other made-up compound word on the interweb. If I'm going to pay a third of this big house and share it with other people, I might as well pay the same amount for half of a smaller place and share it with just Steve.


BREAKING NEWS:
I've decided to start another blog (in addition to--not to replace--this one). It's called Beth Bruce: The Sex Lady, and I made with the hopes of it becoming a resource for sexuality-related questions, stories, and news. To get it on its feet, I'll probably dig through my students' anonymous questions, as well as my memory of non-anonymous questions that I thought were particularly intriguing or common. The name Beth Bruce comes from the pen name I created--along with some other foundation--for writing erotic stories (I still haven't finished one), and the nickname of "The Sex Lady" comes from my students. I had been wanting to start blogging with a circumscribed topic for quite some time now, and I can't believe it took me this long to realize the perfect one!


WEEKEND UPDATE:
I won a happy hour at a bar in the city on Saturday night. Few seem interested, but that's okay with me, since I'm a small group socializer anyway (yes, I made up the word socializer). This happy hour is literally an hour, so I'm thinking about where we should go (to eat, perhaps?) afterward. I've been dying to try out this mac-and-cheese ONLY restaurant for a while...

And I just got a great idea for Sunday: Steve's sister is performing in an improv show in DC, so we're going to take a day trip down to hang out and see her! I don't have to teach on Monday, so a late night won't be too, too bad. Woohoo!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Pro of Cons

Frustration: People just aren't aren't biting at my housing offer. I've gotten a couple nibbles, but when I follow up, they're gone.
Optimistic Outlook: Utilities will be lower, and I have the house to myself very often.

Frustration: MY HAIR!!! It's really out of control.
Optimistic Outlook: That means it's growing. And quickly!

Frustration: I've been feeling sloppy in the wardrobe department lately, and I don't feel comfortable putting out the funds to remedy it (mostly because I'm paying extra rent).
Optimistic Outlook: This is an opportunity to get creative?

Frustration: It seems like this school year will never end.
Optimistic Outlook: Spring break is less than a month away, and Steve and I are going to Savannah! My classes will be wrapping up only a matter of weeks after that.

Whew! I feel better.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

has spring sprung?

I did it already. I bought an item at Goodwill specifically to sell on Etsy, and as I was taking pictures of it for the listing, I decided to keep it for myself. How obnoxious.

Anyway, although it's not quite over yet (thankfully), I would like to say now that this weekend was fantastic. My friend Sheila and I attended the Drexel Art Auction on Friday, where I met more neat people (most from NYC, but still fun for an evening). I ended up crashing in the city at Sheila's, so we went to brunch the next day with the group from the night before. After that, I ran some prom decor errands, and came home. Steve and I caught up on Lost (what the heck?!), I got my snake ring that I bought on Etsy in the mail (!!!), relaxed a little, reached out to some other friends, and eventually went back to Sheila's for dinner (homemade Indian food? Yes please!). Today, Steve and I went for a long walk, and I learned that he used to hate music. Uh...what? Oh, and here's the kicker: it's been about 70 degrees all weekend. Sigh.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Yes, please.

Despite not having a wedding date in sight, I have found my dress. Maybe I'll just marry it:





Sunday, March 1, 2009

Blods.

It seems as though the Blog Gods were listening. Steve and I spent a lot of yesterday together, and it's looking like today is going to be a repeat performance! That's better.

The guy that was supposed to look at the room in our house didn't end up coming by and still hasn't called to reschedule. I'm getting worried, since he was the only person that has responded to any of my posts, and my offer is only getting older and forgotten about. We've already paid extra for March, and it hurts. Argh. Blog Gods, are you listening to this one???

Friday, February 27, 2009

frustrations, new friends, TILFT, and NKOTB

You'd think it was summer with the way Steve's schedule has been lately. Suddenly the guys (meaning his bandmates/bosses) want to start practicing during the week, which means the nights (or night, maybe) that were once available for us to go out to dinner or watch a movie are now nights when he's either playing for money or playing for practice. Plus, the band is based about an hour from home, which makes those nights even later for him. This week, we spent about an hour together on Tuesday at dance class and one hour together today to watch Lost.

It hasn't been all bad, though. I've been very disciplined about going to the gym and saying yes to social offers throughout the week. In fact, I started hanging out with a friend I made back in October but hadn't seen since, and its been really fun! We're going to the Drexel Art Auction next week, which I'm really excited about.

Which brings me to other TILFT:
-Getting a new roommate in this joint. I might not really be excited about this, but I'm trying to stay positive. I have notices all over: craigslist, facebook, myspace, even the newsletter at work, and have only gotten one bite so far. He's coming over this weekend to see the room. (What am I talking about? Gooch is moving out, we had another one of the guys' friends lined up, and he backed out. Rob is finally okay with turning to craigslist.)
-PROM! I've been working very hard on decorations and promotion, and I hope my hard work pays off.
-Sex Ed Lobby Day! I'm taking the day off from teaching to go to Harrisburg and lobby for state sexuality education standards. That's what I wrote my middler year paper on!
-SPRING BREAK, which = SAVANNAH. Oh dear god, yes.

In final news, I'm watching a 1994 movie starring Brad Pitt as an immature, starving artist. It's kind of cool to know what's ahead of him while he has no idea. There's also a New Kids On The Block reference.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

and another thing:

I actually had a very interesting dream last night.  In it, I had an abortion (or, was prepared for it-- I don't think I got to the part where it actually happened).  I looked up what it means at dreammoods.com, and here's what they said:

"To dream that you have an abortion, suggests that you are hindering and blocking your own growth.  You may be hesitant in pursuing a new direction in your life."

Pretty interesting, considering my recent posts.  It also said, "This dream may also be a message for you to take care and look after your health."  Also appropriate for little ol' always-sick me.

It could also just be because of my job and the fact that I taught my students about abortion yesterday.  Hmm.

The Etsy Betsy Spider

I'd like to start an Etsy store.  Actually, I've been wanting to do this for quite some time and have even started the process a few times, only to chicken out and/or realize that I don't have much inventory.

See, I don't make anything (though it'd be awesome if I could change that and make jewelry, art, or accessories), and when I buy vintage and funky thrift store items, I buy them because I want them.  I suppose I could start buying things that I like but don't want...but that's so difficult to do because if I like something, chances are I'm going to find a place for it in my home or jewelry collection.  And I'm not going to buy things that I don't like, because, well, that's just not how I was taught to do things.

Maybe I should start downsizing.  I have more necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings than days of the month--more than February, even!-- each, but I can't seem to part with any of them because each one is so unique/has special memories attached/looks great with a certain outfit/etc.  Perhaps I should become like that heartless woman Kanye keeps talking about and round up the hardly-worn pieces.

Would the pleasure I get from running a low-risk business be greater than the pain of parting with amazing vintage finds?  Maybe...I do have that entrepreneurial spirit itching to get out, and I'd hate to deny it its freedom.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

sojourn

Oh wait, there's more:

I want to travel.  A lot (both a measurement of my desire and the amount of travel I'd like to do).  I've caught myself tirelessly staring at maps and globes and daydreaming about past and future trips).  Bobbie's blog reminded me.  Maybe I should be a nanny.  Except I'm not really a kid person.

reflective safety tape

I've been thinking lately-- for about a week now-- that there's something much bigger out there for me.  I mean, I love my job (I intend to keep it for at least another school year) and truly believe in the work I do, but I just can't help but thinking (well, knowing) that I should be working on, or towards, something more.

I've been checking out different graduate programs, which makes me feel hopeful and empowered (both fantastic feelings, to be sure), but I just can't seem to decide on an area of study that I'm willing to commit so much time and work to for however many years (and the plan would be many years, because I wouldn't want to get a Masters or higher only to go into an unrelated industry).

Maybe it's just that I'm still young and, even though I love and am good at my job, it's not something I see myself doing for the rest of my life, and there's no "end," whether it be a promotion or other professional goal, in sight right now.

Or maybe it's because it's winter and we're all getting a little crazy.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

In Memoriam (+ some)

Thursday was a windy, windy day and night.  Crossing the bridge that separates my neighborhood from the city (after unwinding with some drinks and karaoke with friends) was a scary experience.  But I imagine it was much more scary for something else.  When I parked my car in our driveway, I discovered this:


One of the trees in our backyard had snapped, presumably because of the wind.  It's kind of hard to tell from the pictures, but while this tree is not oak-like in its size, it is still quite a substantial provider of foliage.  In fact, when I lie in the backyard in the summer, I sometimes curse the tree for providing too much shade.  I'm sorry, Tree!  You were beautiful!

Does anyone know what to do next?  Perhaps we can drag it to the little forest behind our house.  Or I can whittle it into something.  That'd be pretty cool.


image from xkcd.

So today is St. Valentine's big day!  I read a really great article at Design*Sponge yesterday about the significance of flowers.  One thing from it that I wanted to share was this, about roses:

"It is said that cupid, while shooting arrows at bees that had stung him, created thorns on rose stems where his arrows missed. "

I love that.  I don't remember learning it from my mythology class in high school, but we certainly didn't cover everything about every character.

So far, Steve and my plans consist of:
1. Picking my car up from Toyota.  I got home too late last night to pick it up then.
2. Lunch.  What a wonderful way to save on Valentine's Day!  Forget making dinner reservations a month in advance and shelling out more than you make in a week (well, at least more than I make) on one night.  Go to lunch!
3. Gift exchange?  I got/DIY'd a little something for him, and I have a sneaking suspicion he did something for me, too, even though we agreed not to.  You may throw up now.
4. An activity of some sort.  We've both been so busy lately, we have only really been spending time together at dance class, once a week.  I'm still prowling sites like yelp, gophila, and uwishunu for ideas while Steve sleeps, and it might depend on where we pick for lunch.

I don't have any plans tonight (Steve's working).  I keep thinking that maybe I should pull a Beyonce and round up all the single ladies to go out tonight, but I really don't want to/shouldn't spend any money.  Maybe I should have them come over instead...hmm...

Alright, well this post has turned into quite the stream of consciousness, and that's only so fun for so long.

Happy weekend, everyone!