Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Dallas Woman's Guide to Gold-Digging With Pride

"I'm fed up with the ramen-eating artist who can't work a real job because he must think about creating.  I'm sick of the relationship-phobic professional who is great for the first month, then turns aloof and weird.  He get angry at you because you assume he's your steady Friday-night date and rebels against cuddling.  I'm disgusted with the emotional vampire, the guy who leeches on to your own reserves and demands that you validate his whole existence.  Yes, you are a great writer/lawyer/politician, and great in bed and very, very funny.  This kind of man is never generous in return, neither emotionally nor materially.  I should add that in all these involvements there is some incident of cheating [....] I'm exhausted from the relationships I've endured, so I've decided to try it Aimee's way."

I'm beginning to see why this is my cousin's favorite book. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Ghost of Christmas Present

The year is winding down. Days are ticking off the calendar like the small remainder of leaves ripped from the trees in this morning's wind gusts. It's strange realizing that Christmas is less than a week away. I used to have trouble believing how people could actually be depressed during the holiday season, but now it's not so far-fetched. And while this year the loss of my Nonna is easier to bear than it was last year, it is still hard this time of year knowing that I won't ever again be able to make fraitz with her bustling around the kitchen or listen to her high soprano singing old Italian Christmas songs.

Move over, Martha Stewart!
It is becoming increasingly easier to hold her memory in my  heart without sinking into the sadness of loss. Nevertheless, I still long for her - her very essence - especially on this most festive of months.

Considering my life last year and how far the past 300+ days have brought me, I can't really complain too much. I am so cozy in my Little Mansion with my Teacup Panther and my Giant Nova Scotian Balsam Fir all decked out in gold and red.
I have loved decorating for Christmas this year. And, despite not being able to go to Buffalo this year, there's no other place I'd rather be than snuggled in with my family on good ol' Cape Cod, cooking and eating and drinking and watching Christmas movies together.

So no, I'm not depressed this year, but I understand the joy and peace so much more than ever before. Much to love, much to cherish, much to celebrate.

God bless us, everyone

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ernest Hemingway

"From things that have happened and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality. That is why you write and for no other reason."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Will Not Go Quietly Into The Night

At that moment I stood in the bathroom washing my face and hands. Not a single tear in my eyes. But there was no light in them either. I remember having the most mundane thought that we really needed to put a space heater in the bathroom because it was always so damn cold. I could feel it working its way through my feet, up my legs, around my heart. Somehow, as much as I hate feeling chilled, I embraced it at that moment.

At that moment he stood there. He stood there next to me, watching my shaky hands wipe away the mess and the shame, mocking me for being upset. "You can't possibly think that I'm going to believe that you didn't want it." "Baby, you know I love you." "You've always liked it when I did that before." "I know you could've fought harder to get away if you really didn't want it."

At that moment I felt nothing. And then there was another moment when I thought I would actually try to fight back. There was a moment when I thought I should try to win this battle of him always being right, of me always being too dramatic, of us always being "bigger than this." But, at that moment, I dried my hands and lost the war.

I wish I could say that I reported this crime to the police. I wish I could say that I left him after that night. I wish I could say that this was the only time I have had my dignity stripped away with my clothing. Unfortunately, I am not the only one that has been sexually assaulted by someone near and dear to me. Not all rapes are performed by a man in shadow in a dark alley. Actually, 38 percent of rapists are friends or acquaintances of the victim and 2/3 of assaults are committed by someone the victim knows. In fact, in the 30 minutes it's taken me to find the words and the courage to write this far, 15 women in the United States have been sexually assaulted. Chances are, if you are a man or a woman reading this who is blessed to be untouched, then you know someone who has been touched at some point in a way in which they did not want. Whether you know it or not. Sometimes not even the victims fully know it because they pass it off as no big deal. I still remember how shocked I was when I realized that throughout the 11 months of our relationship (11 months at the end of our seven year on-again, off-again relationship), I had been repeatedly raped by my boyfriend. But, I was 22 and had just lost my virginity, how was I to know that when I told him to stop because it hurt and he didn't - over and over and over again - that it was wrong? We were in love! And besides, he and I both knew that I'm dramatic and make too big of a deal out of things and I should stop putting our relationship through the ringer by "picking fights." Our relationship was worth more than my physical pain. After all, maybe there was just something wrong with me.

Yes, there was something wrong with me. The image I had of myself as not being worth only the utmost respect and love was what was wrong with me. And yet, even as I'm typing this I realize that I still have to remind myself that, Oh yes, I am a Lady of Worth. Because this is the truly heartrending statistic: too many women have been gaslighted their whole lives into thinking that the problem lies within them. That, to paraphrase my dear friend, if you don't want to get raped then it's up to you to not make bad decisions. And her blog post is really at the heart of why I am writing this. Because I want to be in the Get Shit Done room not the Get Over It room.

And perhaps the reason why supposed strong, confident women stay in the wrong Room is because we've been told our whole lives that the problem inherently lies within us. If I wasn't such a flirt, if I didn't wear that outfit, if I wasn't such a good dancer, if I didn't take that particular way home, if I had only worn a robe over my nightgown around my grandfather like my grandmother had warned me. We've been told by society, by boyfriends, and sometimes by parents that if you act a certain way you get certain results. It's the same justification that passes over "lady of the night" murders; the "well, she was a prostitute, what do you expect" mentality that simply continues to perpetrate the lie that it is somehow our fault.

However, I do want to say this and say it very clearly: there is something to be said for modesty and the fact that there are certain lifestyles that leave women more susceptible to abuse. Does that make it our fault? No. Do we need to be even more cautious? Yes.

The summer of my 21st year, I went out a lot. A lot. To say my conservative Christian parents were nervous was an understatement. Yet, during all the repeated conversations I had with them, they always reiterated the fact that it wasn't that they didn't trust me, they didn't trust the other people out on the roads driving drunk at that hour; they didn't trust the creepy guys that congregate in bars and club looking for only one thing. My parents have been around the block quite a few times and are not naive. They are not conservative because they have always been so, but because they have lived on the opposite side and been burned too many times.

I have been burned as well. But, I am not going to hide away from fear because of it. I am a woman and I have a voice. Right now it might be a small, scared voice, but, like the Who's kept alive so precariously on the speck on Horton's thistle, I AM HERE! And I will not go quietly into the night. So, thank you, Muska, for your post. It has reminded me, yet again, of why I am constantly inspired by your bravery and ability to use words to display it so effectively. More importantly, I am reminded that my purpose and vision for life has always been to effect positive change, to know that in my own way I am saving a small corner of the world. And that saving doesn't have to be overnight or to millions of people. It starts with one.

It starts with each one of us telling the men in our lives what is and isn't acceptable. It starts with us claiming that we are Ladies of Worth. It starts by getting in The Room.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Faithfulness Is What I Long For

I've been thinking a lot about infidelity. Why people cheat, what causes it, how does it happen? For whatever reason, it's been rearing its ugly head in my life more often than not lately, so, as is my M.O., I am going to use the gentle clacking of my keyboard to work through some of this and use it as a form of therapy.

I spent a good portion of last night researching the causes of infidelity. I used to think that before "The Artist" no one had ever cheated on me. And why would they? I'm beautiful, funny, intelligent, caring, an amazing cook, and a damn good kisser. But, apparently that doesn't matter because Homo sapiens find monogamy difficult (I find this article ridiculous, by the way). Now I'm starting to rethink my original hypothesis of only some people cheat to maybe everyone cheats. Seriously. Does no one understand the sanctity of exclusivity anymore? And now I'm terrified at the thought that maybe someday I too will fall along the wayside of secret meetings and guilty conscious and "I had to work late" just because I cannot deny my animal nature.

I had a conversation with one of my cousins while I was in Dallas for Thanksgiving about faithfulness and what it means to cheat. I believe that one does not need to actually have sex with someone else to cheat, although that is the ultimate culmination. Like all things, cheating begins in the heart and the mind. It begins by making a concious decision. For instance, if I go into work thinking, "Oh that project isn't due until next week. Maybe I'll work on it today." I most likely will not. However, if I go in thinking, "I will finish this project today no matter what!" I will finish it no matter what. Why? Because the mind is a powerful thing. The reason why I became a vegetarian and lost over 30 pounds three years ago wasn't because I thought it would be nice, but because I set my fucking mind to it.

Everything worth something is worth the hard work. So I told my cousin....if this man that treats you like gold is the person you want to be with for the rest of your life, then you need to find a way to work through whatever needs to be worked through. If, for whatever reason, he's not, then you need to end the relationship for the right reasons with the dignity that your time together deserves, not for another man.

Growing up, my parent's did not allow my sister or me to date. They were huge advocates of courtship. While I definitely don't ascribe to these rules in the strictest sense (and I most certainly didn't when I was 16), I do believe that most dating relationships do the opposite in preparing people for a lasting marriage. The way our modern society practices dating, it, in essence, prepares people for divorce. What do you do when you don't like/love/find the other person attractive anymore? Break up with your partner. What do you do when you find someone else more appealing? Break up with your partner. What happens when things get hard? Break up with your partner. Getting married does not mean that all of a sudden all those things that happened when you were "dating" disappear. If anything, they're magnified. It's just as easy for a married person to be attracted to someone else as it is for a single person. The difference is that there are vows and promises made (which really don't mean much today anyway). The point behind all of this is commitment. When you are committed to another person, it means that you are choosing to sacrifice your own needs and wants for the other's ultimate happiness.

Marriage is a covenant, a solemn agreement between two people to do, or not do, something specified - namely, to be promise to love, cherish, and honor the other person through the good and the bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. These vows are sacred. I love the wording of the original marriage vows: "...holy matrimony which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, in the time of man's innocence, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his church...and therefore is not by any to be enterprised nor taken in hand unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly and in the fear of God, duly considering the causes for which matrimony was ordained."
These vows are not only promises to each other, but in a sense they are law. And just as we are required and obligated to honor and obey the laws of our earthly governments, so we must honor and obey the law of marriage.

Well that's all well and good for marriage, but what about  pre-vow relationships? I believe that the same rules apply, though not as binding. One thing that I carried away from my break up with The Artist was when he told me that he wanted to have our end at least give honor to what we had. Yeah, I know, this coming from the guy who cheated. But, he had a point. I believe that it's important to be able to leave a relationship for the right reasons and "give honor" to what was shared. And, let's be honest, there's really only one reason why you should get out of a relationship: it's not ending in marriage. Because otherwise what's the point? If I cannot see myself spending the rest of my life with this person, what's the point? Unless you're just in it for sex, but that's a completely different topic (it's never just sex). And I trip myself up with this in my dating life all the time. It's not just a matter of, "He's hot and we have fun." At this stage in my life it cannot be about that anymore. But, I think this is where a lot of the problem comes from. This is why many people start dating in the first place and then days/weeks/months/years down the line realize that their non-negotiable's don't match up.

My non-negotiable's?

  1. That he have the same sense of spirituality/faith as I
  2. That the vision/goals we have for our lives are complementary
  3. That he is well-educated, hard-working, and ambitious
  4. That he is constantly encouraging and making me want to be better
  5. That there is a mutual respect, attraction, and selfless approach to loving the other person as they need to be loved, not how we want to be loved. 
So why would I even think about being with anyone that doesn't meet these key criteria? Because of stinking feelings and their funny ways! And feelings are funny because they are fleeting and we cannot trust them. Which is why love is so much more than that. It is the commitment that I spoke about before; it is a constant choice to love the other person as they need to be loved, not how you think they should be loved, or how you need to be loved yourself; it is a decision that starts in the heart to be faithful. 

This is the way my conservative Christian parents raised me and this is why I'm not really afraid that I will give into some animal instinct one day and be unfaithful. I know because I have set it in my mind and in my heart as not even an option for my life. Just as it's not an option to do conscious, malicious harm to others, it's not an option to give up or to look back, it is not an option to break my promises. 

It's not an option to live with anything less than the utmost integrity. 

So no, I don't believe that we're hardwired to cheat. I think that we are, at heart, selfish beings and our society has become conditioned to accept the easy way, the fast way, the most convenient way as king. We are all tempted and herein is not where the sin lies. The brokenness comes from giving into the temptations, some with worse and harder consequences than others. I am far from perfect and have my share of battle scars, but I would hope that the consequences of my sins,  no matter how grievous, are always born by me and me alone and do all that I can to spare others from the same pain to which I have been subjected. 

But, I am coming to learn more and more that the foundations for all of this is laid early on in the home. And if it is not set then, when will it be established?

Monday, December 12, 2011


I am stealing this idea from someone wonderful.

Things I Have Caught Myself Saying to my Cat:

  • You are so much smarter than that (as he attacks his reflection in the mirror)
  • You are crazy if you think you're going outside after sundown
  • Chill out! You know you only get to eat twice a day
  • Snuggle in (this is said often)
  • Wipe your paws before you come in (he does)
  • Tokes! Don't be weird
  • I'm sorry I stepped on you, but you should know better than to swirl around my legs when I'm trying to cook. I'm not saying it's your fault, but.....
  • Yes, it's still as cold as it was 5 minutes ago when you wanted to go out but realized it was too cold the first time.
  • Bye buddy, I love you, have a good day! (every single morning)

Nerd Fail

I used to think I was a nerd. Took pride in it. Bragged about it. Embraced it. Why, you ask? Why-ever did a beautiful, charming, witty, fashionista such as moi stereotype herself as a nerd? I will tell you, loyal readers: for the mere fact that I was raised on Star Wars (Han Solo will forever be my perfect man....Oh Noble-Bad-Boy-With-A-Heart-Of-Gold-and-Killer-Good-Looks, where have you been all my life?)  and SciFy, constantly had my nose in a book and actually enjoyed studying, and - most importantly - I was a beast at rescuing Princess Peach from the evil Bowzer a la 1988 NES 8-bit gloriousness.

The Evil Mushrooms still look like owls to me
But, alas, I have been sorely mistaken! Misinformed of what a true nerd is! What is this anime nonsense? And no I do not wish to partake! Play video games past the age of 11 on a system other than NES or Sega? Blasphemy! Graphic novels and and graphic-ier t-shirts? Don't make me give you what-for!

I'm sorry, I don't speak freaky deaky dutch!
I have come to the realization of my non-nerdom over the slow course of basically since this summer. It started with meeting TLGOE. I foolishly believed that our nerdness was equal, but I soon learned that I was merely a minnow in the large ocean of NERD. This was the first inkling I had that my much-coveted title of Hot Nerd Chic might be false. The mass amounts of technology in his loft and superhero posters on his walls left me speechless with the epicness of it all. Unfortunately, things fell apart with TLGOE, although not because of the X-Box....perhaps because I just couldn't stop comparing myself to PowerGirl's effortlessly perky tits. Or maybe I was jealous of Ramona Flowers. The world will never know.

I mean, how do you compete with this?
My second hint that not all was well in the "I'm-A-Fucking-Nerd" world was after Mr. LA Looks himself entered the scene. After our first conversation I knew - Oh boy did I know! - here was a fellow nerd on my level. We can talk about how the subtle sexiness of Leia's white robe outfit is so much better totally not as hot as the blatant sex she oozes in her slave girl outfit! We can dream of naming our first car the Millennium Falcon! He can show me a video clip of him and his friend....battling with light sabers....? Epic? Yes! A display of his mad crazy editing skillz? Indubitably! A sign that I was surpassed, yet again, in the nerd department? Without a doubt. 

Of course I comforted myself with the knowledge that yes, of course I can still hold onto my Hot Nerd Chic title. For a girl, I'm still a total nerd, it's just the men-folk that have the upper hand, right? Right?? Ah, but here is where the proverbial nail in the coffin is pounded home:

Thanksgiving 2011: South Lake, TX. Scene I: The disgusted look on Hot Cousin Number 1's face when I claim that I "know nothing of Harry Potter." Scene II: The copious amounts of excitement displayed by Hot Cousin Number 2 as she played her World of Warcraft version of Xbox for the first time and me not understanding it at allllllllll. Scene III: All of my Hot Cousins having some inherent knowledge of all things pokemon, internet cats, and random cartoons. I was humbled in the grandeur of their Ultimate Hot Nerd Chic-ness. I was merely flotsam bobbing hopelessly in the wake of their Nerdliner. I was utterly and completely destroyed.

Until I realized that I can be ok with this. In fact, I am embracing NOT being a nerd. You know why? Because I am amazing at accessorizing the shit out of an outfit and looking hella tight 365. That's right, bitches, not only will I kill you on NES, I will also out-outfit you (except my hot-nerd cousins are total trend-setters. Blast!).

Seriously, what else do you need?
And to top it off, the time I save by NOT playing video games and looking up LOLZ Cats I can use to learn another language, teach myself to play piano again, learn the choreography to my favorite scene in White Christmas:

Seriously won't get married until the man I'm with reenacts this scene with me. You think I'm kidding....

And I will get around to all those things right after this: 

You're Welcome

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Dew of the Little Things

I sat with my back so straight I remember consciously thinking that the other students were going to think I was some snobby dancer mocking them with how good my posture was. I slouched a little bit, but couldn't maintain it, I was that nervous. My right index finger started to ache with how tightly I was gripping my pen.

"I don't belong here. There has been some terrible mistake and I am going to utterly disappoint everyone here and I will be a failure."

"What were they thinking? I cannot compete with the other people here. I don't even know if I'm a good writer. Actually I do...I know I can't write as well as the people in here probably can."

The "people in here" were a collection of twenty students from across the country. Only 20 students selected from the entire country to participate in a month-long internship in Washington D.C. with the World Journalism Institute. I was scared shitless.

I don't remember much else from that first evening except for one crucial phrase. It was after the director of the Institute walked in the room, full of energy and excitement, announcing that, "Each one of you are here for a reason." My ears perked up. What? It's not an accident that they selected me-ME-out of hundreds of applicants to spend a month training with the top writers, researchers, journalists in the field? I am here for a reason. There is a purpose behind everything even if I don't know it yet.

What I thought the purpose of that month was is different than what it has turned out to be. In my 20-year-old mind, the purpose of attending WJI was to hone my craft so I could eventually traipse across the world as a foreign/war correspondent the NYT. Obviously. Now, I'm starting to think that perhaps the main purpose was not so much about what I would do with the training I received, but how my life would be changed by the people I met. One person in particular.

One person who I have not seen since that hot summer in DC seven and a half years ago. Until three days ago. For five glorious hours, Holly and I nestled ourselves into a back corner of a French Bistro in a part of the country neither of us have ever been before and talked. And talked. And planned. And dreamed. And had an altogether natural, no-where-near-out-of-the-ordinary, it-was-as-if-we-saw-each-other-seven-days-not-years-ago conversation. Maybe it was the Skype dates in the not-so-distant past; the long distance phone calls, the emails and Facebook messages, the blog posts that meant we weren't catching up on the last seven years of our lives, but merely updating since the last time we had an in depth conversation (probably about a month ago).

I am more and more in awe of how I can call this woman my friend and that she's actually closer to me than some of the people who I have grown up next to despite the hundreds of miles that separate us. It's crazy to think that I would rather spend 16 days in a car with her this summer than with anyone else because I know she gets it. She gets me. She mirrors the passion I have inside to do something. To get up off our asses and affect change. To make a difference. To live boldly and purposefully.

I Adore This Girl

In this crazy, beautiful, stressful, adventurous, unpredictable, sometimes fucked up life, it is so rare and difficult to find a kindred spirit; a twin soul who will journey through with you whether that means laughing at your own stupidity or crying over it. We have seen each other through college exams and graduations, first jobs, first times living alone, first heart breaks. We have been able to talk through despair and death and sorrow. We have lived through multiple moves to multiple parts of the country. All with about 3,000 miles between us.  Yet, through all of this, we both have held on to an unwavering sense of hope. An understanding that there is a great need to be met and we will rise to the challenge.

One of my favorite writers/poets, Khalil Gibran, wrote it so perfectly in his poem On Friendship, "And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit....And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed." 

That is why, with her notebook, calendar, and smart phone in hand, we mapped out the route we will take on our road trip, how many miles, how long it will take, what we want to do, what theme we will have. And while it's not going to be the entire country or the whole summer like we originally envisioned (we are, after all, responsible adults with jobs, pets, rent, and bills), I believe it will be perfect.

After Holly dropped me back off at my uncle's house and we were hugging each other goodbye, she said, "There's no way we can go seven years without seeing each other again. We can't. We have June."

We have June. Let the countdown begin. :)

Oh, and for the record, I wasn't a failure at WJI. My writing skills were comparable (sometimes better) than the other students there. Yes, each one of us was there for a reason.

Friday, November 18, 2011

There are Some Days...

There are some days when I feel a sort of sad nostalgia. It's almost as if the small child I used to be visited me in my dreams, looked into my soul and let the giant tears run down my former face. Do you ever have moments when you wish you could go back and take your 5-year-old self in your arms and just rock back and forth as you both cry together? Sometimes I think I was wiser as a child when I was content to just sit and play with a stick and a rock and maybe a matchbox car....when I would lie on "The Rock" - the giant glacier boulder in the yard of one of the houses in which I grew up - and just watch the clouds for hours until I almost forgot reality. My imagination was my playmate. It still is in so many ways and it's something I'm trying to instill in the little boys for which I nanny four nights a week. When I first started two months ago, they would cry when I turned off the TV. Now they don't seem to notice. Yes, I am proud of this.

There are some days when I feel like this:

"Open me up and you will see
I'm a gallery of broken hearts
I'm beyond repair, let me be
And give me back my broken parts."

Oh Ingrid Michaelson, please never stop writing amazing lyrics. 

There are some days when I truly believe that if I do some weird combination of tasks, I'll unlock the portal into another world or another dimension where there are flying horses to tame and new adventures to be had. "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand to have someone understand, I want so much more than they've got planned." Yes that is from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Yes, I did watch it when it was on TV a few weeks myself. New mission in life: Find a Beast....

There are some days when I have a sort of indescribable ache in my heart and for no apparent reason I find myself longing for things that are not anymore and craving things that have not become yet. Am I the only one? 

"Where are my angels? Where's my Golden One? And where is my hope now that my heroes have gone? Some are being beaten. Some are being born. And some can't tell the difference anymore. Amen."


Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love a fancy, color-coordinated decorated tree. Yes, I'm getting a real one this year. And by a real one, I mean two. Upstairs and downstairs, people, upstairs and down...just sayin....
Yes, I am already thinking about this

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Independent Woman

I love my new apartment.

I love not having any roommates. No parents. No one to take care of but me and Toki:

Toki is a magical cat who greats me every day at the door when I come home from work and keeps my lap warm when I'm watching a movie and my feet warm in bed at night. He wakes me up in the morning by sitting on my chest and placing a little paw on my cheek. This is Toki language for "Feed me." But, on days when I'm not feeling well (which have been a lot lately), he'll just stay curled up by my side, purring, and wait for me to wake up on my own. He's good that way.

But, this is not supposed to be about Toki even though I've totally turned into the crazy cat lady fallen in love with the majestic beast. 

Ultimately, I love the relaxation that comes from knowing that when I come home, everything will be the way I left it. I can be as clean as I want, but not stress if I leave my breakfast dishes in the sink. I can walk around naked. I can play the music as loud as I want. I can cook at one in the morning. I can dance like no one is watching and literally have no one watching. 

I love feeling like a big girl again. Not "I'm 27 and still living in my parent's basement."  I love not living paycheck-to-paycheck and actually feeling like I'm working towards things that I want....
....I just spent the last 15 minutes calculating debt-payoff and readjusting my budget. I figure if I cut my monthly allowance, I can be credit card debt free by May....just in time for and Epic Road Trip (please let it happen!)

Sometimes it's still depressing realizing how far behind I am financially. I feel like I should have some $10,000 nest egg squirreled away somewhere at this point and already be five years into an IRA. Am I the only one who feels this way? 

I guess technically I could be well on my way towards that if I had listened to my dad and stayed in his basement and not spent the extra money each month on rent. But (there's always a "but"), there is no price tag on independence and peace-of-mind. I think I would rather it take me a little bit longer to pay off the debt I racked up in Pittsburgh and Brooklyn and actually be content holed away in my Little Mansion all winter then pay everything off sooner but be in a constant state of pulling out my  hair. 

It truly is about the little things in life. And I am reveling in them right now.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fifty two weeks to a year. Seven days to a week. Twenty four hours to a day. Sixty minutes to an hour. Sixty seconds to a minute.

Three hundred and sixty five days to a year. 8,760 hours to a year. 525,600 minutes to a year. 31,536,000 seconds to a year.

26 Years, 10 Months, 8 Days, 8 Hours, 49 Minutes of my life that I could call my Nonna mine.

I meant to write and post this over a week ago on the anniversary of her death.
The anniversary of her death.
Her death.

Sometimes it's still not real to me. And perhaps that why I have been avoiding this post...because the reality is all at once acceptable and horrifying. After so much time has past, I still don't know how to embrace the inevitable.

I was sitting with a friend on my porch while I was home from work sick last week and we were talking about signs and visitations from loved ones already passed. During our conversation, a chickadee - his grandmother's favorite bird - kept flitting in the branches of a nearby tree. Moments later a cardinal came and my friend was convinced it was my Nonna. While I don't know one way or another, I do know that her love and the life in her spirit continues to live on. I believe very strongly in the spiritual realm and I know that there is so much which we do not understand.

Case in point: I had a dream about her on Saturday night. I was in Buffalo sitting on the front porch and Nonna walked out. I knew that it wasn't really her, merely an apparition. But, I told her that the one thing I wanted was to just sit with her and hold her hand. And that's what she did. She also told me some things that I wish I could remember specifically, but it was basically about how much she loves me.

In the midst of horrible life decisions and not being anywhere near where I thought I would/wanted to be at this stage of my life, it is comforting to have her spirit remind me that I am loved unconditionally. However motivated I am to live a life that will bring her honor, I am also content knowing that no matter what I do or where I am, her love for me remains constant.

Each step taken; each breath inhaled; each tear to trace its way down my cheek, dissolve in the crevices of my face; each smile that deepens the lines around my eyes is significant. And that makes all the difference.

Monday, September 26, 2011

On The Up And Up

It's been a rough year. No where near as difficult as last year by any stretch of the imagination, but challenging all the same. However, I do feel as though I am regaining my ability to make more positive life decisions, which I was for sure lacking all of the last two years.

Positive Life Decision #1: Moving Into My Own Place. While I am completely grateful to have amazing parents who gave me a place to crash, rent-free, during a really hard transition in my life, I'm at the point where I can financially afford to live on my own and I am in desperate need of my own space. Granted, I could pay off debt quicker of I didn't have to worry about rent, but honestly, I don't feel as though I was actually making the most noticeable of dents since I tend to spend what I have. I feel as though finances or kind of like time for me: The less time I have, the wiser I spend it. Besides, I've lived on my own enough to know how to budget at this point and my rent is way below half my monthly income which it never has been before, so points for me.

Positive Life Decision #2: Being Boy/Drama Free. As much as I appreciated my time with TLGOE, I am convinced at this point that it is so much healthier for me to be single. That being said, I am actively searching for a husband. I don't want flings, I don't want rebounds, I don't want "he's nice, but..." I want a life partner. Someone who I am desperately in love with who shares all my goals and values and vision for life. Someone with whom I can start a family. No more settling. No more excuses.

Positive Life Decision #4: Joining A Gym. Besides the fact that I am regaining much coveted muscle tone and endurance, endorphins do a body good. There are so many positives to working out, and if you don't know about them, then shame on you. I am feeling better, looking better, stronger, more energized, and on my way to becoming a BAMF with the boot camp I'm in right now. Also, it keeps me busy which is a plus.

Positive Life Decision #5: Taking On A Second Job. I am working close to 70 hours per week between my full-time job (40 hours) and the new babysitting job I just picked up (25-30 hours). The joy of the sitting job is it is 4 nights a week - again, good with keeping me busy - and, I'm basically getting paid for feeding the kids and putting them to bed and then just curling up with my latest read and/or movie and/or sleeping. The kids are great: two boys, 3-years and 8-mos. And of course the extra income is fabulous.

I've entered into a very busy time of my life, but I always tend to thrive when I have a tight schedule. So, if I'm absent on the blogosphere, you can blame the crazy, but good schedule.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Obsession

"Expect the Trail to test you, both physically and mentally. Know your limits, and examine your reasons for strapping on a pack and tackling the Appalachian Trail. Part of the joy of hiking the A.T. is learning to deal with and overcome its challenges, to feel resilient and self-sufficient in a wild, rough place that has few of the amenities of civilized life. Don’t underestimate the Trail’s challenges — or ignore its timeless rewards."

This is my new obsession: to hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Because, of course, I grew up camping and hiking and I am at the peak of physical prowess. Oh wait...what? Is that date on the calendar correct? Oh, I'm sorry, my bad guys. Today is opposite day!

Yeah, never been camping in my life and the extent of my hiking experience was climbing Mt. Wachusett one Columbus Day weekend when I was 15 and my family went apple picking in Western Mass. But, that doesn't matter, right? The lure of the wilderness is calling me!

This all started because I watched this faux documentary about this girl who needs to escape the pressures of her reality and sets out to conquer the trail. It's called Southbounders (Southie's are people who choose the more challenging hike from Maine to Georgia).
I found myself mesmerized by the beauty she saw, the fortitude she displayed, the challenges she overcame, and the love she discovered. I found myself thinking I want to find love on the A.T., go skinny dipping in a spring in New Hampshire, hike naked in the rain, and dance on top of a mountain. I found myself crying at the end of the movie.

I felt such a deep longing to experience something so extreme that the end result is nothing short of miraculous: me finally being exactly the person I want to be. Whether it's the A.T. or jumping in a car and just driving across the country, something's gotta give.

I talked to a dear friend of mine about this and about the cross-country road trip we've been planning for years. We talked about possibly incorporating a small part of the trail into our itinerary. We talk a lot about how we both need this trip and I'm starting to think that it's getting to the point where it can no longer be in the planning stages. We. Need. This. Trip! I need to cut all my ties and never look back and let the call of the open road take me to its bosom and draw all the poison out of my soul. I need to stand on top of a mountain with the clouds so close I feel I can reach out and grab one on which to float away. I need to see the beauty of this country first hand and the beauty of its people. I need to be reminded in the goodness of mankind and the kindness of strangers. I need to escape.

I can feel the wind blowing through my's coming. To use the catch phrase of my college advisor: Make it happen. Whatever obstacle, whatever timeline, whatever deadline is in your way, there are no excuses. Figure out a way to make it happen.

Spring 2012. I will make it happen.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I am not ready to be back at work. I am too used to sleeping without an alarm and not having any obligations to successfully accomplish anything. I am accomplishing things. Not efficiently and definitely under protest. Why is procrastination so appealing?

I have been in a funk since returning from Buffalo. I hate that I can't shake this sense of exhaustion. Last week in Buffalo didn't really help in the "rest and relaxation" department. There were parts of the week that were more challenging than I thought they would be - like underestimating the amount of crying/complaining/bitching of which my grandfather is capable. There were parts that were every bit as challenging as I thought they would be - like the first time I walked into my Nonna's house - walked into her smell and her presence - without her being there. That part I knew was going to hit me like a snowball. It was more like a slab of ice. Walking downstairs to her kitchen....for some reason I knew that she would be there. I knew that I was going to step off the end of the stairs and round the corner and she would be putting a plate of freshly made zucchini patties on the table. But, she was not there. In the absence of her was just heaviness and loss....

....Parts like the first time I visited her grave at the cemetery. Another snowball and completely unexpected. For some reason, in all my emotional preparation for this trip, I completely overlooked preparing myself for visiting the place were the remains of her physical body rest. I stood with my head against the cool granite, my Nonno and cousin vaguely in the background, and wept. If I didn't know it would upset my Nonno, I would have fallen to my knees and allowed myself to enjoy the feeling of letting all my tears fall on her grave.

Despite how cantankerous and stubborn, grumpy and depressed my Nonno has become, I don't think I was ready to leave. Or maybe it was not ready to leave the security of my cousin's presence. Over the last couple of years, Alyssa has become one of my best friends. Despite the fact that she is over five years my junior, I feel more of a connection with her than I do from friends my own age who I have known my whole life.

There. Is. Nothing. Like. Family.

Over the course of the week, we repeatedly told each other how thankful we were that the other one was there because neither of us could have endured the constant bitching on our own. It's amazing how much my Nonna calmed and mellowed him while she was alive. I hate that he lives a self-fulfilling prophecy: He is so sad and lonely because no one will come see him anymore, but no one will come see him because he drives everyone away. Alyssa and I joked in a not-so-joking-way that we hoped he would still like us, his favored grandchildren, at the end of the week. I'm not so sure since he was pretty upset with me for not eating meat, drinking coffee, or eating at least 50 pounds of food at every meal.

We must have done something right, though, because he's called me twice this week already and talked about how much he misses us. There is nothing more heart wrenching than listening to your grandfather cry over the phone and beg you to come stay with him so he won't be all alone.

During the week, I was convinced that there would be no way I could move to Buffalo and live with him as I have been thinking about and wanting to do since my Nonna passed away. Now, my heart is aching because all I want is to go back. I want to be surrounded by my family and all the love they have for me all the time. I want to go back to school and meet new people and study something about which I am so passionate. And yet, I don't want to have to worry that he's going to cut me out of his will if I forget to wipe down the tile walls in the bathroom after showering or leave a single glass in the sink.

Ugh! I don't know what to do or what I want, but I know I don't want to be here forever. I know that there is something so much more for me and I am destined for something so much greater than this purposelessness I feel is consuming my life.

I may not have all the answers, but I do know that something's gotta give. And soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Someone To Watch Over Me

I want love. Deep, unconditional, utterly complete love. Knock me off my feet, take my breath away love. I want fearless love. Love that makes my heart ache from the beauty and security of it. Love that makes my stomach, cheeks, ribs hurt from the laughter of it. Unquestionable, unconquerable, unstoppable, unfathomable love.

I yearn for this love with every firing of my nerve endings. But, I cannot even imagine how this kind of love is even possible. I have never had or truly seen what this kind of love can do and yet I still believe in it. I believe that one day I will turn around and it will be right there ready to take the next step with me.

I want to be romanced. I want to be pursued because I am so precious and worthwhile. I want to work side by side and build a life together. I want a passion that is as deep as my own. I want to sweat and cry and laugh and bleed and run and dance and spin and plant and raise and grow and create and mourn and rejoice and lose and gain. I want to give all that I am and everything I have and not be afraid that it won't be reciprocated. I want to be cherished. I want to be protected. I want to be respected as strong and capable and intelligent and beautiful and funny. I want to be treated like a lady; treated like no other man has ever come before.

I want to hunger and thirst after God together. I want a man who is so strong in his faith that it is more important for him to please God than to please me. I want a man who wants me to please God more than I want to please him. I want a man who has so much zest for life that he is never content to stop learning, stop trying, stop attempting great things. I want someone who doesn't have to fight to make a point. I want a man who will fight for me. I want someone who is gentle, humble, kind, patient, strong, noble, hard working. Someone who has the same goal and vision for his life as I have for mine. Someone who makes me laugh. Someone who isn't afraid to cry. Someone who isn't afraid when I cry. Someone with a servant's heart and a king's wisdom.

I want someone who will just as quickly climb a tree with me as take me to the opera. Someone who  is just as clean and neat as I am, but won't freak out if the house isn't perfect all the time. Someone who likes Do It Yourself weekend projects. Someone who gets excited for stargazing, rain dances, water fights, hiking through the woods, picnics, piggy-back rides, carnival rides, cooking, sailing, rolling down hills, swinging on swings, apple picking, bonfires, Christmas decorating, trying new things, being adventurous, camping, traveling, living life to the hilt.

Does this kind of love even exist? Am I foolish to still crave this? I don't want him to be perfect. I just want him to be perfect for me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Little Things

Sometimes I wander onto CraigsList and check out the listings for random things that I want. Normally that includes cars that I can't afford, laptops that I can't afford, and apartments that I can't afford. Yeah, I basically just like to covet things and not commit to buying them. I work hard for the money, I'm not going to throw it away on something unless it is a shopping spree completely necessary.

BUT! (There's always a but) after a much-needed Skype date with my friend, Holly, last night where she was sharing about her need for new housing, I decided to revisit the ol' "apts/housing" section. My avoidance of this area in the recent past is because, while I can technically afford to get my own place, living rent-free in my parent's basement enables me to pay off my debt that much faster. However, I miss having my own place. Especially now when all of my nerves feel so raw and exposed it seems as if having my own sanctuary is most definitely a necessity. Don't get me parents are wonderful, supportive people. I just feel sometimes that I don't want to talk to anyone, explain where I am every moment, or have to feel guilty if I feel like I'm not "contributing" enough to the household in exchange for free housing.

In light of recent events in my life, now more than ever do I want to go into "turtle mode," i.e. withdraw into myself for protection/hide away from the world and become a recluse. That's not crazy, right? I mean, I don't own any cats.....yet.....

As I was perusing the listings on CraigsList, one popped out at me:
Wellfleet. Waterfront. Winter Rental. $500/month. Utilities Included.
Glory be! Saints be praised!

I emailed the woman post haste and she quickly responded with even more (stunning) pictures of the property. We've been emailing back and forth all morning and I've already sent her my application and references and we've set a date for me to come and look at the place in person. Did I mention that it has an exposed brick wall? I love an exposed brick wall! *le sigh* I think I'm in love and have already mentally set myself firmly inside this loft for the winter.

Bonus: It's partially furnished with, conveniently, everything that I would need.

I am allowing myself to get ridiculously excited about this because, hey, it's about the little things, right?

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I leave for Buffalo in less than three days! I am avoiding excessive use of exclamation points. I am also trying to be realistic that walking into my Nonna's house (it will always be my Nonna's house) is going to be like a slap in the face. Because every piece of furniture will be embedded with her essence, but she will not be there. For the first time in my life, she will not be there to greet me in her thick accent or envelope me in her comforting embrace. Nonna always gave the best hugs.

When I talked to my Nonno last night, he couldn't contain the excitement in his voice that my cousin, Alyssa, and I are coming to see him (and the rest of my family that still lives in the area). And of course, the first thing on his mind was what I wanted to eat and what he needed to get at the grocery store. First on the list? Meatballs. *epic sigh* It's not even worth trying to explain to him anymore that I'm a vegetarian.

This is my life when I go to Buffalo

Despite the emotion that will be invoked by staying in my Nonna's house for the first time in my life with no Nonna, I know that this coming week is going to be so good. I need a change of pace. While moving out of the city and out of a very toxic relationship was the best decision I could have made, this summer has been anything but smooth sailing. Which is ridiculous considering I came home to find healing and rest and support and love. I am exhausted by the drama of it all.

Sometimes I wonder, despite the fact that I hate it so much, if I'm the one who inadvertently creates all the drama. After all, I am a Thespian (as in actor, not playing for the other team :)) and no stranger to the stage. But, then I think of times in my life when I haven't been around certain people and life seemed to be fairly even. For as much as I didn't want to be in Pittsburgh, I never remember having "drama."  Yes, there were hard things that I was dealing with and not everything about that year was easy, but I had amazing friends who were like-minded and easy-going. Mostly, I wonder when it ends. When does it get to the point where I am just too frikken old to deal with this? What relationships are worth keeping (even with drama) and which ones am I willing to let go to lead a healthier, more peaceful life? And, in letting those relationships go, do I sacrifice others? Am I ok with that?

I am not perfect. I by no means make perfect decisions. But, I am haunted by the horrible decisions I have made in the recent past and terrified of continuing the trend. What is the right thing to do? I have heard that sometimes you don't always have to know what the right thing is to do it, as long as you know what the wrong thing is. I don't even know that right now.

So, yes, I need this week in Buffalo. I need a moment to decompress. I need time to think without distractions. I need to go dancing with Alyssa and P.A. I need to play Mario Bros. WII with Ali. I need to go horseback riding with my aunt. I need to watch old home videos with my Nonno. I need to laugh. I need to cry. I need to love my family and be loved by them.
As my dad says, blood is thicker than water. I have no idea where that saying came from, but I am so grateful that my family will always be with me and they are awesome.

I am leaving for Buffalo in less than three days!!!!! No amount of exclamation points can communicate my excitement.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Because I Can

Epic song list. I could have written all of these and they define the last several months of my life.  

Carrie Underwood: Undo It
All around perfect angry-girl song. Every girl needs one...or twenty.
 "I should've walked but I never had the chance, everything got out of hand and I let it slide. Now I only have myself to blame for falling for your stupid games, I wish my life could be the way it was before I saw your face....You want my future you can't have it! Still trying to erase you from my past. I need you gone so fast!"

Sara Evans: A Little Bit Stronger
"Doesn't happen overnight, but you turn around and a month's gone by and you realize you haven't cried. I'm not giving you an hour or a second or another minute longer. I'm busy getting stronger."

Lauren Hill feat. Mary J. Blige: I Used to Love Him
This song has followed me through my life and gets more meaningful each time.
"I chose a road of passion and pain, sacrified too much and waited in vain. Gave up my power, ceased being queen, addicted to love like the drug of a fiend. Torn and confused, wasted and used, reached the crossroad, which path would I choose. Stuck and frustrated I waited, debated for something to happen that just wasn't fated. Thought what I wanted was something I needed, when momma said no I just should have heeded. Misled, I bled till the poisen was gone and out of the darkness arrived the sweet dawn. I used to love him, but now I don't."

The Wreckers: Cigarettes
I will belt this at the top of my voice on any given car ride.
"See I left another good man tonight. I wonder if he'll miss me, Lord knows I tried. But I think that maybe the thing that I did wrong was put up with his bull shit for far too long. I think I might like the quiet nights of this empty life. 'Cause someday maybe somebody will love me like I need. And someday I won't have to prove 'cause somebody will see all my worth, but until then I'll do just fine on my own...with my cigarettes and this old dirt road."

Sarah Bareilles: Between the Lines
"No right minds could wrong be this many times...My memory is cruel. I'm queen of attention to detail, defending intentions if he failed. 'Till now. He told me her name. It sounded familiar in a way, I could've sworn I'd heard him say it 10,000 times. Oh if only I had been listening."

Ani DiFranco: Dilate
Total. Girl. Crush. Look at the way she makes love to her guitar. There are multiple Ani songs that I could put on this list, but this is the most epic.
"You are so lame, you always disappoint me. It's kinda like our running joke, but it's really not funny. And I just want you to live up to the image of you I've created. I see you and I'm so unsatisfied. I see you and I dilate."

Christina Perri: Jar of Hearts
This is probably one of the most poignant music videos I have ever seen and it never fails to bring forth a reaction from me every time I watch it. This song (and video), from beginning to end, exemplifies exactly what I went through.
"I hear you're asking all around if I am anywhere to be found. But, I have grown too strong to ever fall back in your arms! ...It took so long just to feel all right. Remember how to put back the light in my eyes. I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed, 'cause you broke all your promises. And now you're back. You don't get to get me back!"

Adele: Rolling in the Deep
I have been an Adele fan since she was on VH1's Behind the Music. She blows it out of the park with this song. This, more than any of the others, is my theme song.
"Finally I can see you crystal clear. Go 'head and sell me out and I'll lay your shit bare. See how I leave with every piece of you. Don't underestimate the things that I will do. There's a fire starting in my heart. It's reaching a fever pitch and it's bringing me out the dark."

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Did It!

If you notice that I'm not posting regularly on here (I know, I know, I just started up again), check me out over here. I am tre excited about this new blog. It's been a long time comin'

Ok, now go read it! :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Meet the Bosses

ec·stat·ic: /ekˈstatik/ - adj: Feeling or expressing overwhelming happiness or joyful excitement.
bliss·ful: /ˈblisfəl/ - adj: Extremely happy; full of joy
con·tent: /kənˈtent/ - adj: In a state of peaceful happiness
dating TLGOE: v: a combination of all three definitions above

He arrived at 6:15 sharp just like he said he would (note to self: be more punctual!). As I was collecting my things and getting ready to walk out to his car, my mom says, "If he's as much of a gentleman as you say he is, he will come to the door to pick you up." Queue TLGOE walking up to the door as my mom looks at me smugly. She loves being right. She also loves being a Chatty Kathy and TLGOE happily obliged her prattling away while we walked to the car.

Mom: Let me come see your car because I really like that color!
TLGOE: Oh no, you don't want to see my car, it's nothing fancy.
Mom: Oh, I don't care about that! I just want to see the color!! (everything my mom says is followed by an exclamation point. She's that excitable.)
TLGOE: Ok...
Mom: Oh yes! See this is what I would prefer over that *disdainfully gesturing to her sleek, black, really nice Amanti sitting in the driveway* If I could choose a color, this would be it!
Me: I thought you always wanted a pink caddy?
Mom: Oh yes!! It's my dream to have a pastel pink Cadillac! Or hot pink!!!
TLGOE: That way it could match your hair *joking around* (My mom's hair is pink at the moment. The hair color on the box is supposed to be red, but the white in her hair makes it turn out pink in some places. Classy.)
Mom: Oh my hair! Yes!!! You're right! I wish I had blond hair because then I could dye it hot pink and have it really stand out!!!

Hell, this looks so good that I would do it if I had blond hair
Seriously. I cannot make this shit up. My mom truly marches to the beat of her own drum. We finally detached ourselves and I'm sure my mom did not miss the amazingness that is TGLOE's habbit of opening the car door for me. Hopefully she missed the kisses we shared once comfortably seated.

Arriving at his bosses' house started my nerves, but they were completely misplaced as both of his bosses are incredible people. Especially Kevin. He's British. 'Nuf said. Plus, they used to be vegan macrobiotic so they made me a completely vegan, Japanese-themed dinner: udon noodles with kale and shitake mushroom soup and the best veggie tempora I have ever had. Oh, and spicy edamame to snack on with our beer when we first arrived.

Conversation came easy, despite the clashing of worldviews (me: conservative Christian. them: liberal zen/buddhists/asian idealogy). We left close to 10 after an amazing dessert of bruciata and wine (Italian for me :)).

TLGOE and I chose to keep the night going by catching a late showing of Cowboys & Aliens.

This still of Olivia Wilde is about as good as it gets

Did you get through that trailer? Yeah, I know, super long and super not-a-lot-happening-in-it. We both fell asleep. And my ribs are sore today from leaning against the cup holder as we were trying to snuggle. Movie fail! So disappointing because I actually really wanted to see this movie and was looking forward to lots of explosions and ass-kicking. Minimal explosions. Modicum of ass-kicking. Lame story line to make what little action almost unbearable. But, the extra time with TGLOE is always necessary and appreciated.

Now I have to wait until Sunday to see him again when he comes over for dinner to meet the fam. That is, of course, unless I decide to invite myself over some night this week....*evil laughter*

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Ok, one day later and I'm not freaking out quite so much. Although, I'm still getting used to my new ridiculously short hair. I chopped it all off (10 inches!) at the end of April when I was still in The City. I was getting tired of my hair being blah, the weather was getting hotter, and I could sense the inevitable end of my relationship with The Artist. That, more than anything, motivated the change. For whatever reason, I always feel the need to do something drastic to signify the end of a relationship and the beginning of something (hopefully) better.

But, this "trim" as I was foolishly calling it, is so much shorter than the first cut three months ago. And while it helps that everyone at my office and in my family loves it, it's still taking me awhile to get used to the reflection in the mirror. This is the shortest my hair has ever been. Ever. In my life!

I have always favored long hair. In fact, I went through a period in my life when I refused to wear my hair loose because I believed that a woman's hair is her glory and only her husband should see it. But, I was in college and vanity peer pressure got the better of me. My hair was down to my waist at the time and I still remember the gasps when I would walk into class with my hair floating around me *sigh*

Oh no! What have I done!! Come back to me, hair!

*breathing into a paper bag* I'll be fine. Really. After my hair grows out again.

It took a lot to cut off all of those glorious 15 inches and donate them to Locks of Love the first time eight years ago. Since then, this is the third time I've done it. But, this cut wasn't for a good cause. This was just to get it "reshaped." And then I spent last night angry and sad and way too emotional. Isn't it funny what a hair cut will do to one's emotional state?

As I said, I'm better today and actually getting used to it. I predict that I'm probably going to really like it in a couple of days time. The ease and minimal product usage will most likely add to that....and the incessant compliments. I devour compliments like a shark with a seal (BTW, it's Shark Week on Discovery Channel. *droooooooool*).
"Yes, I know I'm pretty, but affirm me, dammit!"

And on that note, I'm off to spend the last half hour of work watching Shark Week clips online.

Bonus: I'm having dinner at TLGOE's bosses' house tonight. Very nervous, but more excited to see him to let my nerves get the best of me. I just hung out with him on Sunday (picnic on the beach, watching the sunset while listening to Vivaldi followed by stargazing where we talked and snuggled and saw shooting stars. Great success :)) and it already feels like it's been foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr since I've seen him. I know....pathetic. But, in the best way possible! And the giddiness continues....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I just got my hair cut tonight. I am in tears. She cut it way too short and now I think I look like a boy. Seriously bawling my eyes out. And that's all I have the heart to write at the moment....

Warning Men: Do Not Read!

So, remember when I was all excited because I actually woke up early and ran 4 miles? Yeah. Then remember how my joints were a bunch of haters and made me look and feel like an 80-year-old woman? Right. And after a day and a half everything was back to normal and I was all, "Excitement! Imma go running Monday morning!!!!!!!" 

Didn't happen.

Instead, I decided a positive life decision would be to eat a cookie (the size of my face) for breakfast. And then I decided, when I was wide awake at 5:30 this morning, that falling back to sleep trumped doing any form of exercise. Health fail.

Ugh, why is it so hard to say no to chocolate/sugar/carbs/cheese/anything fattening and delicious right now? Have I ever vented about how annoying hormones are and how my body is a frikken battle ground one week out of every month? Oh, I have? Multiple times? To multiple people? Regardless of whether or not they want to hear it? you're saying I should continue my rant?

But seriously, I just don't understand why this has to happen every month. Shouldn't there be an "opt in?" Or maybe it's more like once you're ready to have a baby, you just download an app for that. There has got to be a better/more efficient way. And don't even get me started about child-carrying/bearing. Wait, what about stretch marks? Loss of all bladder and flatulence control? What about my hips dislocating and something the size of a grapefruit coming out of my what??? How is this natural? I mean, I have trouble with tampons, much less pushing a baby out. Reason #358 why having kids freaks me the fuck out.

Another question: Is my body really that angry at me that I didn't get myself impregnated that it's going to not only give me the usual cramping, bloating, water-retention joy, but also extreme fatigue from lack of iron, headaches, numb toes, and bouts of vomiting? Really, my body? Seriously necessary? Why are you such a hater? Oh wait, you're also going to make me an emotional, irrational, temperamental train wreck? Fantastic! I love bursting into tears for no reason. Aren't I just a joy to be around.

I feel like I constantly need to be apologizing to people during this time because I am in a constant state of "OMGZZZZZZ!!!!!!! CAN'T DEAL WITH LIFE FREAK OUT!!!!!!" It's kind of like any filter you have on your mind during, you know, normalcy is completely wiped out.
Last night is a perfect example. I received news that a dear friend of mines mother just passed away after a long fight with cancer. I was (am) heartbroken. Perfect time to cry. Did I? No. I wanted to, but I was just sort of....numb....still am. Just sort of....processing. Instead, I waited to burst into tears until later that night when I thought I was done cleaning the kitchen and had just wiped down the sink when I realized I missed the cast iron skillet. Melt. Down.

Ugh! I hope that I can keep it together tomorrow night when I meet TLGOE's bosses (!!!). I'm not too concerned because my mood when I'm around TLGOE ranges somewhere between ecstatic and euphoric. Totally. Crushin.

Just thinking about him puts me in a better mood. *le sigh* So, there! Take that uterus!

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Joints Are A Bunch of Haters

Dear My Left Knee-

Stop being such a mamby pamby. It was only four miles...don't even act like you've never seen that much action before. I know you're a whore for the road, so stop acting like you don't like it when the road gives it to you rough. What? Did you think that you could just repose at a desk chair all day and be fine? Well think again! You have 8-hours of waitressing in front of you, so pull it the eff together!

I have my eye on you,

Dear My Right Hip-

Stop immitating Left Knee. She's not going to pay attention to you just because you think it's cool to copy her. Cease and desist immediately or I will never take you dancing again.

You have been forwarned,

Great Success!

I did it!!!! I woke up at 5:30 this morning and actually went running!!!!

I apologize for the excessive exclamation points, the endorphins are still pumping pretty strong. Endorphins really DO make you happy and I am overflowing with them right now. (I had to hold back on yet another exclamation point. I really am becoming my own worst enemy.)

Last night was fantastic, despite having to cut short sailing time and being a half hour late to the class at New Life Christian Center (amazing awesomeness extraordinaire). After arriving back home, I treated myself to some mindless TV watching (Man Vs. Food, why do you make a nine pound pile of meat and fries look so appealing?)

I'll have a side of coronary with that...and...godzilla??
 The virtual food coma was too much for me to handle, so I immediately fell 9:30. Awesomeness. But, it really was because that meant that I actually woke up before my alarm. I mean, who voluntarily wakes up before 5:30? This girl. This girl right here.

I also completely surprised myself by running the full 4-mile loop. Let me repeat that. I ran 4 miles this morning. Four miles. After not running for a year. Yessssssssssss! Unfortunately, my left knee hates me now. Damn you, LCL! You shall not get the better of me! *epic fist shaking*

The pièce de résistance, however, was actually pulling out my juicer for the first time since moving home and making myself 12 glorious ounces of kale, carrot, celery, granny smith, and yellow bell pepper juice. Immediate. Energy. Rush! I swear, this stuff is better than coffee, 5-hour energy, and diet pills combined.

SO MUCH ENERGIES!!! .....and gayness.....
Bonus: I am flying through my Things-To-Wrap-Up-By-The-End-Of-The-Week list and feeling like a total champ :) And now, as I knew I would, I'm just left wondering, What The Hell Took Me So Long?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Putting the Wings Back on my Feet

I have a hierarchy of goals. They are as large as traveling the world and as small as getting through a day without picking my cuticles. Right now, the goal on the top of my list is to actually break in my new running shoes.


I spent the first half of the summer bemoaning not being able to run because I needed new running shoes and couldn't afford them. Well, these have been sitting in my room, still in their box, for a week now without me slipping into their gel-soled goodness.

The main problem is the fact that I am a lazy slob and cannot get myself out of bed before 7 a.m. In order for me to go for a run before work, have time to come back and shower, make my lunch, and drive the 30-minute commute, I'm thinking I need to be rolling out of bed by at least 5:30. Somehow, I just cannot get myself to do it.

"Well, Christina," you say. "That's an easy solution! Just go running after work."

Oh, my naive children, don't you know that the laziness sets in even stronger after work?
Save me from myself

Ok, so maybe I'm totally telling the truth exaggerating slightly.

All jokes aside, the truth of the matter is that I am a champ at over-booking myself. Case in point: I am leaving work early today to go take sailing lessons with my dad and then leaving there and flying to Dennis to attend a class at New Life Christian Center. By the time that's done, it will be after 9 p.m. and I will be in no mood to go running or even have the energy to attempt it.

What really needs to happen is, to steal Nike's slogan, Just. Do. It! Health/nutrition/exercise is a cycle: the more active one is, the more energy one has; the less active one is, the more lethargic one becomes. I know once I get myself out of bed that one morning and start running, the whole process will become easier and I won't have to force myself to go to bed early.

Being committed to health means being committed to a change in lifestyle, i.e. waking up early enough to go running means not staying out late the night before. I have known this for so long and yet somehow it's so easy to regress. I am so close to my weight goal that sometimes it's easy to pat myself on the back and think those last 5 pounds aren't really that important. And while some people would agree and say that I look great just as I am, I set that goal for myself for a reason and it's important to follow through (and not just because I'm obsessive about weight loss and meeting goals). It's important because I'm not in the habit of half-assing things in any area of my life. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it right and to the best of my ability. That's how I was raised. Furthermore, once I acheive my goal doesn't mean I want to stop being healthy. I made the decision to change what I eat and how I consume and I want that to stay with me for the rest of my life.

AWESOME PEP TALK, ME! So, all that being said, I am totally inspired to stop making excuses and start running in the mornings....

........starting next week........

Hey, don't be haters, I blessed you with two posts in one day! Be grateful :)