Monday, December 29, 2008

Happiness Is

Accepting the fact that wishing for small appliances makes you old and then rejoicing when you get said appliances for Christmas. I love my Santa Baby!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When Did I Get So Old?

As the big 3-0 gets nearer, I can't help but wonder when did I get so old? I mean, look at my Christmas wish list - who wants and asks for these things at my age?Seriously, couldn't I have asked for certificates from Victoria Secrets or winter running gear? Nope, apparently all I want for Christmas is a Kitchen-Aid Mixer, a coffee maker, a blender and a food processor. I hope Santa reads my blog.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I Do Run Run, aka the New Year's Resolution

I resolve every year to be more healthy and work out more and inevitably I don't keep the resolution. This year though I want to try something new: I am resolving to run a marathon. I haven't picked a marathon that I want to run, but it is my goal to make it happen sometime in 2009.

I will track my progress here and I want you, dear readers, to hold me to this goal. I welcome any tips about marathon running including the best shoes, eating habits, training timeline, etc.

Wish me luck and see you in 2009!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hey Big Spender

As a recent victim of a company-wide layoff, I spent 6 weeks dreaming of what I would buy when I had income again (in between interviewing with probably every PR agency in Boston and every hiring corporate company too.) Well, I'm pleased report that I landed a position and in honor of that, here is what I decided to purchase myself a gift:

My very own Michael Kors handbag. A very "professional" handbag that seemingly complements my move into the very professional corporate world.

I know that I'm lucky to have found a job not only so quickly after being laid off, but in this struggling economy, soI just want to say thanks to all my friends who have been so supportive through everything, and especially my awesome boyfriend, who showed once again the true meaning of partnership.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Let It Snow

Hooray! The first snowfall of Boston has hit. I don't know what it is about the blanketing of a city in white to make you feel good, but I love watching the snow fall outside my window while I lay bundled up on the couch.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


It's been a few very frustrating weeks. Not because of the job situation, although that's been frustrating, but it's the other part of not having a job. Unemployment.

For 5 weeks I have been patiently (see, it can be done!) waiting for my first unemployment check to arrive. I received a notice showing that I can only make XX amount every week not to affect my unemployment and I have been abiding by those rules with my part-time job. So this past Monday I called to find out why I haven't received a check yet.

Turns out there's a "problem" with my claim and only my claim representative - who up until I heard those words I didn't even know I had - can tell me WHAT the problem is and HOW to fix it. No one else is allowed to touch my case.

So now I have my claim rep's name and number, so I call and leave a message. Then another one. Then another one. Two days go by and nothing. Not a peep. So I call a friend who advises me to call my State Representative. So I do. They are looking into it. I'm keeping a log of every call I've made to my rep. I call and leave a message for my rep's boss to let them know my situation. 5 days later and still nothing.

I should hear back from my State Rep's office on Monday, but I'm down to my last few dollars. Rent hasn't been paid for Dec. and "the landlord" is being really nice about it, but it's dragging him down too. We're trying hard not to panic, but what do you do?

The system was put in place for people like me who are hit during a hard time. I don't abuse the system and I wouldn't use it if I didn't need it, but I actually do need it. I'm following all the rules about looking for a job, interviewing, claiming my weekly income from the part-time gig, so why is it so hard for someone like me to get a break from the State?

I know they're overburdened right now and every morning I read the paper and it's just getting worse. I'm sure my story isn't unique. But how hard is it for my claims rep to call me and fix this one problem so I can get a check and pay my rent? And if (and maybe when) I get that first check, it still won't be enough. I will have to postpone my other bills to pay my rent so that I have a roof over my head.

You can see how daunting it can be. I'm trying to keep my head up, but it's hard in a time like this. I just hope that something changes soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I have never been patient. When I was a child I wanted to grow up so badly and everyone around me said I needed to be patient, that I would be a grown up before I knew it. Twenty years later I still haven't mastered the art of patience, but I'm trying.

This blog was created with the idea that I could share my thoughts on what's going on in my life and that I would hold very little back, but even that has changed. Many of you know what is going on in my personal life and I have been disciplined about not discussing it on my blog. And for those of you who don't know, you can shoot me an e-mail and I will gladly discuss it with you. So without going into details here, I will discuss as much as I can.

It's been an incredibly hard month for me and I've been pretty good about "letting go and letting God." I'm holding up my end of the bargain, but I'm having a hard time putting my faith in God and letting Him guide me at his pace. I want Him to lead me to my next journey in life NOW and I thought he had led me there this past week, but I was wrong.

It's been a month now and I think I've handled it pretty well, but this past week was difficult. I thought my path would have been shown to me by now, but it's not the case. I'm praying constantly for the strength needed to get through this, and the patience to know that when the time is right, God will put me on the path. I just hope it happens soon. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Turkey For You, Turkey For Me

Wish me luck, I am making my first ever Thanksgiving Turkey next week. @Kaileen and our pal Sherlock (not Holmes) will be joining us for the festive feast, and I'm both nervous and excited.

I'm going to the store this afternoon to get the ingredients, and with any luck by this time next week I can post photos that look like this to my blog to show all my hard work!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Six Things

Oh you silly "Six Things" meme. Becky tagged me and I haven't been a good sport, but I didn't want her to think I didn't care, so I'm finally filling in my "things."

The Rules:
  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on the blog.
  3. Write six random things about yourself.
  4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
  5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
  6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

My 6 Things:
  1. I thrive in clutter. My office, my bedroom, both cluttered. I read a study that said people with cluttered desks are actually smarter. So there.
  2. Patience is not one of my virtues. It probably has to do with the fact that I'm ridiculously competitive and an over achiever. I want things fast and I have a hard time waiting to hear yes.
  3. My fingers are unevenly spaced. My pinkie finger lays off my its side, well away from the rest of my fingers. Oh, and neither one of my index fingers is straight. I never broke them, but when I try to make them straight, they clearly look retarded.
  4. When I was little, my dad and I used to have a Saturday ritual. We'd stop by McDonald's on the way to his shop, spend a few hours there, then come home and watch Kung Fu Theater. It's probably one of my favorite childhood memories.
  5. I sleep with a stuffed animal, in addition to one giant boyfriend and 2 cuddly kitties. But my stuffed lion, Leo, has been with me for probably 6 or 7 years now and he's totally ratty and nasty, but I usually can't sleep unless my arms are around him.
  6. I have some severe ADD and I'm blaming it on all this social media. I love all this new social media, but I think it's affecting my attention span. For example, it took me twice as long to complete this because I'm checking out Facebook profiles, reading my e-mail, reading an article and creating a spreadsheet. I'll willingly participate in a study that gauges the decline in attention due to too much stuff to grab our attention.
Ok, those are my 6 things. I'm going to tag Lindsey because she has time while she's nannying, and Jessica, because I want to use it against her when Colt is older and understands these things.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

PRogress 2.0

I started a new blog, called PRogress2.0. I've been wanting to start a professional blog talking about PR and the cross roads of social media, and I finally did it. While I'm sure there will be some blending here and there of topics not exactly relevant, there is a lot going on in PR right now (apart from the economy) that I wanted to explore and share my thoughts on.

I know many of you who read my personal blog work in my industry, so check out my new blog and feel free to comment, good or bad.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

This is Just the Beginning

Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama. What seemed an unlikely journey in the beginning ended with our nation's first African-American President.

In listening to Barack's acceptance speech, you know this is going to be a different President. He has pledged to earn the trust of those who didn't vote for him, and I believe him. He has already proven himself to be steady, thoughtful and caring, and I sincerely hope that we as citizens can come together and support him.

'Nuff Said.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Must Be Dreaming

A giant WRECK 'EM to Texas Tech for not only beating the best team in the country, but for leaping over Penn State in the polls to stand at #2 in BCS Rankings. We're in for a rough November - OK St., OU and Baylor. Call me crazy, but I think Tech can win it out. What do you think?

Friday, October 31, 2008


#7 Texas Tech faces its biggest challenge this week - #1 Texas. This rivalry has always been good, and this game promises to be one of the best. I'm not one for predictions, but I do think Tech stands a great chance since Texas always has a hard time playing in Lubbock.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Fathers and Daughters

I love this picture of Barack Obama and his daughter Sasha, taken at the Iowa State Fair in August. As the daughter of an amazing father who spent my entire life making funny faces like this, I am sure Obama's daughter will one day appreciate this photo of her dad being silly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thank You Thank You Thank You THANK YOU!

Thank you to I *Heart* You for giving me such great news on a dreary morning! If you aren't tapped into the knowledge of a fellow Texan, then I suggest you check out her blog, stat.

So what has me all giddy this morning? Reading this. As a closet fan of the worst/best show on TV I have endured the ridicule of my boyfriend enough to catch up on the season in private - and through . But news about Whitney's spin-off couldn't make me happier. Plus I'm so much more an East Coast girl at heart and hate everything about LA. So here's to Whitney ma
king it in the big city.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Without Further Ado

It only took 17 weeks, 2 days, 20 hours, 36 minutes and 40 seconds to arrive, but who's counting, right?! The complete couch - the whole enchilada - is now gracing our living room with its presence. You can see that the cats really enjoy having somewhere to rest their overworked selves and I can't blame them. This couch is so amazing and comfortable, and was well worth the wait!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want

Oh man, if I could have anything in the world right now it would be a new winter coat, particularly this winter coat. I really want a green coat and this is the prettiest one I've seen.

Cue Pat and Vanna

Do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do da.

That's me humming the Wheel of Fortune tune right now because TONIGHT is Stephen's Wheel debut. His show airs here in Boston at 7 p.m. on the CW (cable channel 14). If you're interested in watching him kick some wheel butt, check your local listings for time and station.

We're hosting a Wheel watching party for our closest friends tonight and I'll post pictures from it later this week because I need to show everyone the couch I've been blogging about for months.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Posting for the Man Now

My blogging hobby just became official: I did my first post for my company's blog RaceTalk. I'd love for you all to check it out and let me know your thoughts - I think the post is useful to everyone outside of my professional network as well since you all have multiple social networks.

Thanks and be on the lookout for more from me on the RaceTalk blog.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Surrounded by Blessings

Every once in a while you need to take a step back and look at the blessings surrounding your life. Last week my blog pal Martha was involved in a car accident and walked away relatively unharmed. When you see the photos from her accident you have to thank God because you know someone greater was taking care of her.

Another recent example? My former colleague and friend, and her husband, just found out they're going to be parents soon. It warms my heart to know that someone who is so giving and compassionate is about to embark on the greatest journey of her life. Good luck, Jessica, you and John are going to be great parents!

When you look at blessings that are handed out to the people you love, it makes you more aware of the blessings you have in life and that is definitely worth celebrating.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Think I Can

I like challenges. I've been told I'm competitive about everything. I don't like to fail. I guess that's why I'm scared about the challenges I'm facing in my career. The last thing I want to do is fail in front of my supervisors. So now I need to face the fear. Rise to the challenge. And keep thinking that I can.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fall is in the Air

It's turning cold, it's dark when I wake up in the morning and almost dark when I get home, and I'm wearing more black.

I busted out my boots for the first time yesterday and almost cried. Winter boots in September?! I guess this is what Boston is like, so I better get used to it - fast.

Leaves are starting to change color - the air is crisp in the morning and warm in the afternoon.

Yep, it's fall time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Couch 1.0 - Day 1

Dear Couch 1.0,

I must say, despite only having half of you in my living room, I am in love. With your firm-but-comfy cushions and your sleek, stylish design, you make my living room look good. But with all good things come some bad. I don't like that you are individual pieces and you slide around our floor, but I hope that in time we'll remedy that situation and everyone will be happy.

Despite that minor hiccup, you are an amazing couch and well worth the 11 week wait, and I can't wait until the rest of you gets here.

your very grateful owner

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Still a Tech Retard Blogging from Couch 1.0

It doesn't matter that my boyfriend is an engineer genius - I will likely never be that technologically savvy. But before I get into that I need to say that I'm blogging from couch 1.0. WTF does that mean? It means I got half my couch delivered today. hooray! We have half a couch for me to blog from. The other half should be here in two weeks, but at least now we have two corners and an ottoman, or even better, a place to sit down!

But I digress...

Why a tech retard? Because I went to Stop & Shop and tried the new scanner system, and because I FAILED. I couldn't figure out how to use my scanner at the check-out line and close out my ticket. It took about 5 minutes - and 2 frustrated customers behind me - to get it solved. Talk about a nightmare! But I'd like to think it's mostly the fault of Stop & Shop for their poorly explained instructions and not my aptitude - or lack thereof.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's a New Dawn, It's a New Day, It's a New Life

and I'm feeling good. I love that song! If you haven't heard it, check out "Feeling Good" - the Michael Buble version or Nina Simone's amazing version. Anyway, I digress. I just wanted to say that things are going really well in life right now.

Stephen and I have been watching MSU football with the Boston Alumni and I've met some awesome girls. It's so nice to have girlfriends in a new city - especially ones who are so friendly.
Speaking of girlfriends, Lindsey and I are getting our girlfriends together for a wine party this Thursday at my house for the Grey's premiere. It's going to be great to watch McDreamy on 52 glorious inches of high definition.

I started my part-time job yesterday and I think it's going to be fun. I'm going to channel Kaileen and hopefully have some good stories coming out of working at the Bruins Pro Shop that I can post on my blog. I love good stories.

On my way out of work yesterday I came across a Bills watching party. The Boston Bills Backers are a large group of die-hard Bills fans! It will be so nice to have another opportunity to meet more people in Boston who share the same passions as me, especially the Bills.

So cheers to feeling good!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Hooray! Volleyball season started again! This time around is a little different than before because I am the team captain of my BSSC league, and I'm a lot more confident playing. With the lessons I took in the spring and the play time I got during the summer league, my play has improved, and with that my confidence.

Last night was our first night and we've got a good team - I've played with all but two of the team members before. We're playing in a formation that I've never played before and we're all picking it up pretty quickly, so I think once we get it down we'll be a legitimate competitor in our league.

I'm also playing in Stephen's work league, which starts in October. We're playing on different teams and while we've never played against each other, I'm looking forward to the new opportunity. Hopefully we play against each other as well as we play together!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Letter From Africa

Yesterday I received my first letter from Africa. As many of you know, my friend Kelly is pursuing her life-long dream of serving in the Peace Corps. She left in June and as hard as it was to say good bye to one of my dearest friends for the next two-and-a-half years, I couldn't help but be proud of what she was accomplishing and what she will have accomplished when she returns. But that's not what this post is about.

Yesterday I got my first letter from Africa. A letter. A simple piece of 8.5" x 11" loose-leaf notebook paper that had handwriting on it. MY letter. With the advent of the Internet, the written form has gone by the wayside. I think probably my last piece of written mail came from my Grandmother when I was still an undergrad. I miss those letters and it's the one thing I'll never forget about my Grandma.

There is nothing as exciting as getting something with your name scrawled on it - you KNOW that person was thinking about you. You know they cared enough to write you a letter, mistakes and all.

So thank you to Kelly for embracing the new and posting about her adventures in Africa, but also for sending me my first letter in years. I will hold on to that letter forever and I'll be writing you one in return soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Day of Labor After All

Whoever decided to honor the labor and trade forces with a day off was crazy- no matter what you plan, you always end up working. Labor Day this year was not a day of brushing dirt off my shoulder and admiring the hard labor I've been doing for the past few years, but rather a day of actually getting dirty. It was a funny day and I can't resist sharing.

Molly asked me earlier in the previous week to help her move a futon her friend was getting rid of. For the mere task of transporting this thing in my SUV she'd buy me lunch - a deal no one could resist as it sounded easy as pie. Wrong.

Navigating through the Brighton streets on moving day for EVERY COLLEGE STUDENT in Boston was laborious enough, but that was just the start. The futon was down in the dusty basement and we had to disassemble the piece, which proved to be a challenge. Lucky for both Molly and me, I've had many years' practice of being a single gal and having to put together and take things apart on my own, so eventually we got the futon taken apart and shoved into my car.

Putting it together proved an easier task - sort of - and after enjoying some raspberry lemonade we were off to enjoy our lunch.

Molly decided to take me to a fabulous diner in Newton Center, Johnny's Diner. The drive was lovely - it IS Newton, after all - and the weather was perfect, so we had windows down and the music turned up. Upon entering the parking lot, Molly curb-checked her car pulling into a parking spot and suddenly we heard a very loud "pssssssssssst" - a blown tire. This baby was going down FAST. We decided to eat lunch first - we were starving after the 90-minutes of futon work - and then call AAA.

I know I'm a terrible friend, but the whole time Molly was stressing I just couldn't stop laughing. We were ladies who had places to be and things to do before Molly's BBQ a few hours away. I found everything incredibly funny, and found it funnier when I had to explain to Kaileen why I was bailing on helping her out because I was being held hostage at Molly's car. Molly had to make arrangements with her friend to let people into the BBQ in case we didn't get done in time too - again, a giggle-worthy moment for me.

After a brief 30-minute wait for AAA (we killed the time by eating JP Lick's) we were back to Molly's where we had just enough time to shower and change clothes for the BBQ.

It was a great day, and the BBQ was great, so I hope Molly doesn't mind me sharing my day of labor at her expense.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

2008 Rally Cry

I don't want to use my blog as a billboard for talking politics, but after reading an article in today's Boston Globe about Hillary Clinton's speech and the reaction of certain Democrats, I can't help but use this post as a rally cry.

For Clinton supporters, the battle with Obama for the party nomination was a tough one. Whether Hillary should be the party's nominee no longer matters. Obama received the support of his toughest competitor last night, and that should be enough, right?

But apparently not. According to the article, "some Clinton delegates in Indiana and Florida said they probably would not vote for Obama, but would not consider casting a ballot for a Republican." In an already tight race, every vote this November will count, and for Democrats to harbor ill feelings about what happened to Clinton and not vote for their party is complete rubbish. Every vote left off for Barack makes it that much easier for John McCain to win the office.

So the party really does need to unite. If Clinton can show grace and humility despite the cards she was dealt, then every Clinton supporter needs to do the same. I hope they realize that before it's too late.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Think I'll Pass

Ever since I got the word from the good doctor last week about not running, I've had the uncontrollable urge to run. This is who I am: the girl who won't listen to the words "you can't."

Every time I hear "you can't" I set out to prove that I can, and so that's how it's going to be with running. Why not enjoy running until my knees give out? Not running won't make them heal and I have a feeling I'll have to get a knee replacement later in life anyway, so why shouldn't I run while I still can?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Who Needs Love When There's Jimmy Choo?

Who needs love when there's Jimmy Choo?

Sometimes I manage to surprise myself with these zingers.

The remark came about yesterday in my head cold-induced state, when Kaileen, Stephen and I were recounting the events from the evening before. The topic discussed was marriage to wealthy men and two of our friends (names withheld for obvious reasons) who will succeed in their goal of marrying wealthy men because that's what they've set for themselves. Stephen's natural, guy response was "what about love?" and that's when my profound wisdom blurted out.

Natural. Profound. Typical Michele.

And the most profound thought of all - I may never own a pair of Jimmy Choos. :)

So ladies, when you do achieve your goal, will you please buy me a pair of Jimmy's?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hello, Quickly Fading Youth? It's Me, Michele

Yesterday was my first trip to my new physician in Boston, and she confirmed what I've been denying for a while - my quickly arriving old age.

I got a clean bill of health from my lovely new doctor with the exception of the fact that I'm no longer allowed to run. Whatever lingering hopes/dreams/aspirations for a marathon one day in the distant future -- dashed. Just like that, my knees aren't healthy enough anymore.

I've been ordered to take up new forms of exercise that don't impact my knees as much - swimming, spin, Pilates. On occasion I can get on the elliptical machine to "simulate" running, but under no circumstances am I allowed to run on a treadmill. She said I could "treat" myself to a road run, but only rarely, and that if I'm thinking long term for my knees, I should probably not even try it.

I can't stand thinking of myself as old, and I especially hate hearing the words "you can't" but in this case, I really can't. I have to accept the fact that I'm getting older and my body is getting weaker. I just hope this is the last thing I hear I can't do for a while.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Our Day at Wheel of Fortune

Friday was Stephen's big day at Wheel of Fortune. After a VERY long flight across country, we landed in LA at 10:30 p.m. (1:30 a.m. EST), 2 hours AFTER we were supposed to! We got to the hotel around 11:30 p.m. and crashed.

Neither one of us slept well, be it nerves or excitement or not wanting to oversleep the alarm. Stephen left the hotel at 7:15 a.m. and I headed to the studio at 10:30 a.m.

As contestant guests we were instructed NOT TO LOOK at our contestants or risk them being disqualified. I later found out Stephen and the other contestants were instructed to pretend we didn't exist. They also put the guests on the opposite end of the studio from the contestants, but it still was hard not to wave at Stephen!

Wheel taped 6 shows on Friday, and luckily Stephen was in the second taping. His first spin was a bankrupt!!! The next winner won the first puzzle and tons of cash so I felt like it didn't look good, but still... it was the beginning.

My only request - er, demand - for Stephen was that he win the prize puzzle so we could win a trip, and I'm THRILLED to say he did... and we did! :) Stephen's luck and skill won a 7-day trip to Puerto Vallarta - woo hoo!

I won't give away anything else, but his show will air on October 14, 2008. It was a very stressful time (for me especially!) but he did great and he looked amazing! I'm so proud of him for doing well (hey, a free trip isn't bad, right?) and we'll have a viewing party at our house the night his segment airs.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Weight Watchers

I signed up for weight watchers last night. And NO, it's not because I think I'm fat; I know better than that. I signed up because I want to learn how to eat healthier, make better decisions for myself and live a healthier life overall. Weight watchers will teach me how to make better decisions about what I consume and should keep me at a healthy size.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Cue the game show music, Pat Sajak and Vanna White - we're going to Wheel of Fortune!!!

On Thursday Stephen and I fly out to sunny LA - er, Culver City - for Stephen's chance at winning fabulous cash and prizes on Wheel of Fortune. Yep, that's right: my boyfriend on Wheel of Fortune.

It's no secret that I LOVE Wheel of Fortune, and I'm quite good at it, yet Stephen was the one selected. I can't help but feel the tiniest bit of jealousy for his good fortune, but at the same time I can't be more excited for him. He's going to be great!

The show tapes on Friday, and I guess we'll find out then when the show will actually air. I'll keep everyone posted, but please keep Stephen and me in your prayers as we make the journey cross country for the chance of a lifetime.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another Wonderful Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday, and probably the nicest to date. I've had some pretty nice birthdays (a few years ago, Michael Buble kissed me for my birthday at his concert and last year Stephen threw me a surprise b-day party on the tube trip) but this year was extra special. Not only did I have a birthday party last weekend, but this year, Stephen planned it. All.By.Himself.

We packed up the car yesterday and headed to the Se
a Dog brewery in Maine. For those of you who don't know, Sea Dog makes my favorite beer, the Bluepaw Wheat Ale, a delectable beer made with blueberries. We headed to Sea Dog, had some beers, then headed to Popham Beach. After sunning ourselves for a few hours, we headed back to Sea Dogs for more brew and a lobster dinner.

Here are some photos of my special day, including the beautiful bouquet of flowers my sweet friend Molly brought to the party last week.The flowers from Molly

Fudgie The Whale - many thanks to Sherlock!
Yummy - Blueberry beer in my new Sea Dogs mug.

Isn't this the cutest logo?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Vengeance is Sweet!

It's no secret I hate Massachusetts drivers. The not-so-awesome moniker of "Masshole" isn't something to be proud of, and it does describe quite perfectly what it's like driving on the roads up here.

Growing up in Texas, I've used my horn maybe 5 times the entire time I've been driving. Since I've moved up here, I use my horn no less than once a week, and it's usually because someone either decided to run a stop sign or thought the lane was big enough for both of us to share. It's frustrating and my mouth has never had so many expletives come out of it, but it's part of life, and I'm trying not to let driving here ruin every day; it's a work in progress though.

So imagine my delight this afternoon when I was sitting in traffic in the far right lane at the 28/38/16 intersection (Wellington Station) and two cars decided that they didn't have to wait; they figured that since they were turning right at the light they could just get in the emergency lane next to us and bypass all the traffic. EXCEPT....

there was a State Trooper, and he stood RIGHT IN FRONT of the first car and told them to turn into the parking lot. They were BUSTED!!!! The second car, a gold Honda Civic, must have had a deer in headlights look, because the State Trooper pointed at the driver again and motioned to go to the lot.

Luckily I was able to see this go down while sitting in traffic. I'm sure it didn't teach anyone around a lesson, probably not even those two who just got ticketed, but it definitely made my day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Better Late Than Never

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear friend Kaileen! A midwestern girl with great personality, she and I instantly became friends at work, and 5 months later we haven't looked back! She's been a staple at our house from the beginning, tearing down wall paper with us, and making the long trek to our house every other week or so to make sure I'm not sitting alone at Magoun's.

So, again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You deserve nothing but the best! We love you!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookie?

Well, friends, the dining room is complete! I finished painting it last night - just in time for tomorrow's party. I showed the pictures to a friend who said she immediately thought it looked like a chocolate chip cookie and made her hungry. WHAT?!?! That's SO not what I had in mind. I wanted something to exist peacefully with the celery green in the living room! The top color is actually called "Chai Latte" and the bottom half is "English Saddle."

What do you think? Chocolate chip cookie? Or maybe something else?The "before" picture- love the wall paper!
In process
Max helping outThe "after" shot - chocolate chip cookie?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Crisp Celery

Crisp Celery... that's the name of the new wall color in our living room. That's right, one room down, and just one more to go before the big party on Saturday.

The color is exciting and soothing all at once. It's probably exciting because we finally have something up on the walls, but it is a soothing color. The yet-to-own couch is going to look awesome in the living room, and once we add window treatments it will finally start to feel like our home.

So kudos to Stephen and me for actually making progress - and for having fun along the way.

before photo - note the awesome wall paper

I'll probably get in trouble for this
the finished product - LOVE it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's Almost Done

The house I've been whining about for 2 months now is getting closer to being finished. We put primer up on our walls last night (well, the dining room and living room)and will start painting tonight. Fingers crossed that everything will be ready in time for the Housewarming/Kaileen b-day/Michele b-day party this Saturday.

It must! I hear that Fudgie the Whale is making an appearance that night!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Spy Game

I'm an avid people watcher. I love jumping in on other people's lives and watching them engage in something, or someone. There is so much to learn or laugh at just by watching someone else.

If you haven't done it yet, I highly suggest it. You'll learn so much about the people around you if you just stop and watch.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hard Lesson Learned

It has been a crazy week, which resulted in a long week. I won't bore you with ALL the details, but I mentioned in my last post that I was steaming mad. Our new tenants that just moved in on the first of this month, and whom Stephen and I have already bent over backwards for, decided to take advantage of their situation and threatened to withhold rent for reasons out of our control. The complaints were unfounded, and certainly not within their right (either morally or legally) to withhold rent. However, after a lot of back and forth, I believe we may have some resolved the situation.

Now, I'm not complaining about them or the situation they found themselves in. They had a right to be frustrated about things not working and to let their landlord know about it. Heck, if I were in their situation, I may have been just as frustrated! Where I'm upset is how poorly they handled the situation. Instead of coming to us respectfully and saying they were frustrated, they chose to handle their frustration by threatening to withhold rent. Rather than walking upstairs and letting us know, they opted to write it in a strongly-worded e-mail. And rather than give us consideration for what we've done for them - which is FAR MORE than what many landlords would do - they opted to use that as an excuse to DEMAND more things.

I guess this is a lesson learned for us as landlords, and an even harder lesson learned as human beings. But I have to ask:
-When did people stop being GRATEFUL for what they're getting (or have) and instead choose to focus only on what they're not getting?
-When did DECENCY and RESPECT go by the wayside?
-When did people stop looking out for each other and decided to look no further than themselves?

I guess it's been this way for a while now, but I don't want to give up just yet. I want to believe that people are still capable of good, that they're not always in it for themselves. I want to believe that people can be grateful for what they have, even if sometimes they wish had more. I want to believe that despite how LUCKY we've been and how HARD we've worked to own a house at a young age, that it doesn't mean we don't deserve to have respect from others our age who haven't been so lucky.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Visual Inspiration

I haven't had anything really awesome to say lately. It's not that my life is free from drama - on the contrary, but that's for another blog post when my blood isn't boiling and I can write something more than just an expletive - but rather I'm just not feeling inspired by anything. And don't worry, my one or two readers, I'm well aware that my blog posts are suffering. But with the lack of words on paper comes a different kind of inspiration. Rather than coming up with something witty, lately I've been taking some kick-ass pictures (at least I think they are!) Maybe it's Boston, or maybe I'm developing an eye for things, but check out these recent photos I took.

I took both these photos of the Boston sunset on Friday at the 4th of July celebration at the Charles River.

This is the burial ground in Boston Common. I love the way the light comes through the trees and the old, crumbly headstones. There is something so serene about this site.

My hope is that sometime soon I'll have something worth mentioning on here. In the meantime, I hope this trend of photo taking continues.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Classics

Shout out to Martha for posting something so relevant and important. I'm going to make it a mission to read every single one of these "classics" as well as others that aren't on this list. I've included some of my top literary classics below that weren't on this list (which really makes me scratch my head.)

  • "Dante's Inferno" Dante Alighieri- Read this in h.s. and STILL one of the most memorable books I've ever read.
  • "The Odyssey" Homer

  • "The Scarlett Letter" Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • "Frankenstein" Mary Shelley

The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. How do you do?

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.

2) Italicize those you intend to read.

3) Underline the books you LOVE.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (as with most books, 1000 times better than the movie)

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (one of my all time faves – it’s such a seedy read!)

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (how did this make it into the top 50?)

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (I REALLY tried to get through this… and couldn’t. It was that terrible for me.)

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray – (another of my all-time faves!)

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Boston --> Texas --> Boston

June has been an incredibly busy month and it's no surprise that it's quickly coming to a close. The first week of June brought Devon to Boston (shout out for being the first guest!) and we spent the entire trip walking around in the sweltering heat doing the tourist tour of Boston. Here's a photo of us after our duck tour.

I have to throw this shot of us cleaned up at Brian's party because the duck tour at the end of a 95-degree day doesn't do us justice.

The day after Devon left Stephen and I boarded a plane and got our butts down to Texas. Sure, the temperatures were hotter, but Texas has air conditioning! We went for the annual tube trip with all of our friends and I brought Becky and JP along for the ride. There aren't many photos of the tube trip because I don't have a fancy camera that can go in the water, but here
are some gems:
We were locked out of our condo thanks to someone (Stephen!) passed out inside.
Becky and me making the most of being locked out of our condo.
JP passed out on the car ride home. Priceless.
Stephen dining on crack noodles - aka "Blazing Masala Noodles" from Masala Wok. This dish is addictive!

The week after we got back, two of our friends from Texas, Bucky and Dusty (yes, I realize those are SUCH Texas names!) came to visit, and we spent the weekend eating seafood, BBQ and playing flip cup at Ashley's Awesome place in the North End. I won't show all the damage we caused, but here's a good photo of the group of us:So it looks like our visits are done for another week or so now. And we're just about done with the downstairs unit, so our tenants will have a nice apartment to move into next week.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Moroch, You Make Me Proud

I'm prefacing this post by declaring that I'm going to start a second blog. When I originally started this blog I wanted to talk about interesting trends, topics and ideas taking place in my industry, but then I opted to focus on getting through grad school and keeping my parents and friends informed of my MIA status. Besides, there weren't that many interesting things I was coming across in PR and Advertising. But now that's changing, and so I'm going to run a second blog focusing on interesting stories and finds related to my industry. I'll let everyone know when it's up and running so you can see what I live on a daily basis.

In the meantime, I wanted to call out a spot that my old agency back in Dallas, MOROCH, just did for the Travel Channel to promote the new show "Great Weekends" with Samantha Brown. They won the TC campaign just before I left the agency, and I had the privilege to see the great work that was going to break for "Bizarre Foods" with Andrew Zimmern, and knew it was going to be special. Well, when I visited last week I got the same pleasure to see the new SPOT and it's awesome. Special thanks to Adrants for letting me know the spot has launched.

Friday, June 13, 2008


That's "Welcome to Texas" for you non-natives!

Yep, that's right, I'm back in Texas for the weekend and I couldn't be happier. I flew in on Wednesday evening and had dinner with Laurel, then spent all day Thursday hanging with my former Morochians. Today I'm dining on some Bone Daddy's BBQ for lunch then heading to Austin for our tube trip.

It should be GREAT times and I'll post pictures when I get back home.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Volleyball, Take 2

I got some good news/ bad news/goodnews regarding summer volleyball. I'll start with the good.

Good news:
I got onto an independent league - yay!!! I'm playing volleyball this summer, after spending my hard-earned cash on lessons and getting my feet wet with the team I played with this spring. I wasn't sure it was going to happen, so I'm glad I get to hone my skills.

Bad news:
Because there were only 3 girls on the waiting list and not enough men, I didn't get onto the intermediate league I wanted to play on. I got put on the intermediate/advanced team.

Ouch! Talk about a fright fest! Playing with "advanced" people - that's a little scary. I've had to pull my PR "everything-is-good-despite-the-bleak-outlook" mantra on myself and say that this is a good opportunity to play at a higher level and improve my performance exponentially. Which is what will happen... I'm going to be a volleyball all-star!

I already feel better. :)

Good news:
My former teammate from lessons, A, and I are playing on the same advanced team! She was one of the other two girls who signed up for our indie play and got put on the advanced team too, so we've got a buddy system going. And we're planning on playing in open play on Tuesday nights, and with another league that does open play on the weekends. So my volleyball calendar card is super full this summer, and who could ask for more?

So wish me luck on my quest to be an all-star. Naturally, I'll keep you posted on my progression.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Secret Love Affair

Shhh!!! Don't tell Stephen, but I have a new love in my life! He goes by the name of Home... Home Depot.

Yep, you read right. Home Depot is the new love of my life. And I'm sure I'm not the only closet - or out-of-the-closet - lover of HD. Every time I go, I see people just like me lovingly gazing at all that HD offers.

I've been to HD two or three times this week, walking up and down the aisles, pricing needed items for upcoming projects or dreaming about what I would do with an unlimited budget. And it never gets old. I'm frequenting HD so much that I'm becoming a regular face, the sales people knowing who I am and what I'm looking for. One guy even knows my Texas history and teased me about it today.

And it doesn't stop there.
My love doesn't hold back, and makes me feel like I can do anything. Yesterday, I walked out of the store almost certain I'm going to be an electrician when we're done installing and updating the outlets in our home. Do you have any idea how cool that is? I've learned how to update our switch boxes, install new outlets, wire the outlet plugs, install ceiling fans and fish wire through the walls. Thank you, HD, for making me feel empowered!

At this rate, and with this kind of empowerment given to me by my love, HD may replace Target as the place I take my weekly me-time trips.