Sunday, December 27, 2015

Xmas from the heart

My 10yo cousin very much still believes in Santa and the mysterious way in which he gobbles up the cookies every year while she's tucked away in her bed. As tradition, I wrote the 'thank you' note as Santa, thanking her and also telling her I hope she remembers the true meaning of Xmas and to cherish the time spent with family.

Incredibly enough, I realized my own neglect in this area: busy working what seems like around the clock and have not spent nearly as much time as I would like with friends and family.... Having C3 in the car shop for repair does not help matters either {insert sad face here}.

A few highlights from Xmas:

I was lucky enough to have more-than-accommodating parents who picked my working butt up after a short {ha!} 12hr shift at work and then promptly fell asleep at my Nana's house after texting a select few that cheerful "Merry Christmas" text as we do in this day and age, counting down the seconds until it is "officially" Christmas.

This year's outfit: crushed velvet ShopPriceless skirt, favorite pullover sweater {similar}, Star Wars belt, thigh-high stockings, and new loafers.

Gag gifts are inevitable. My fav? Poo-dough, complete with yellow dough to make realistic corn pellets.

I may or may not have worn this in public during the travels of the day....

Obsessed with new robe! And friends found it a real hoot when I posted on social media.

I'm all set for when my favorite Wookie comes a-calling for a romantic date....once he's done saving the galaxy, of course.

Mama set me up for my aspirations at becoming a savant in pancake-making with a super sweet griddle. Chocolate-chip pancakes, anyone?

While gifts should not be the focal point of the holidays, I do quite enjoy giving thoughtful gifts and spreading cheer with something they would like, or something they would love but would never buy for themselves.

Spreading the love, surrounded by good food and wine, and good company - that's what the holidays are about, eh? Taking time away from the real-world problems and focusing on what truly matters. Time's too short not to take time to unwind with the ones who have your back through thick and thin, and to share the love with stories and sweets.

Did I mention I loved the robe?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Star Wars and Feminism

*WARNING: mild spoilers - character analysis*

Round of  applause for the All-Star cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, especially the incredibly strong female characters portrayed.

Yeah....I caved...and {power}walked the mile down the road to the nearest cinema. Being without a car for the {hopefully short} time being, means getting my lazy butt up and walking, something I should have done sooner.... And yes, I went alone, per my usual prerogative for adventures.

Oh! And before I forget, let me just leave this right here:

And also, THIS article on Harrison Ford - yes, i realize I used Hello Giggles for reference quite a bit, but this isn't my thesis paper, so....

Diva much? However, I like the author's last line: [she hopes that Ridley and Boyega] set a new standard of pay for women and people of color in the film industry in the process.

Where was I? Ah, yes!

Rey: new main character. Badass. Drives the Millennium Falcon, for fuck's Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater's sake. Han is hesitant to believe she's the pilot because she's a girl, but Chewie can sense there's something about her - umm, yeah, the Force is strong with this one.

Aside from the Force, she's strong, but also nervous and afraid, like any one of us may feel if we've been thrust into such chaos and the weight of the galaxy placed on our shoulders. She's relatable to boys and girls.


Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia was one of the few, if not only, strong female leads in the original trilogy. The prequels granted us Padmé Amadala and this upcoming trilogy is ever-expanding, introducing more female leads {I realize Padmé and Leia weren't the only, but the ones most familiar to all who've enjoyed within the spectrum of fans from casual to die-hards}. It does, however, disturb me that Disney made Fisher lose 35lbs to reprise her role...


Maz Kanata: voiced by Lupita Nyong'o {so many cool cameos in the film!!}, Maz is rather underrated. She lends her 1000 years-worth of wisdom and guidance to Han, Chewie, Rey, and Finn, as well as the audience with her comment she's seen Rey's eyes before...hmmm.

She's an entrepreneur with her own business and respect of all those in the joint despite her small statute {remember not to stare!}


Captain Phasma: yeah, I realize she's a "bad guys" from the First Republic, which reminds me quite a bit of Hitler's Third Reich....including a sinister autonomous arm salute following the speech of General Hux to the Stormtroopers.... None the less: she's second-in-command to Kylo Ren, the new big, bad Dark Lord in town.

There was a Reddit commentary going around stating that the armor isn't "feminine," whatever the hell that means. Do the Stormtroopers even have to have a gender?? I'm sure we all assumed they were male, based on the voices of those Stormtroopers heard in the original trilogy and the all-male Clone Troopers {they were clones of a male after all}, but I'm digging the addition of a female Trooper, especially one in charge.

Played by Gwendoline Christie, the one and same actress who portrays Brianne in Game of Thrones, could you expect anything less from this incredible woman?


These aren't the only one strong female leads, but certainly quite notable.

Thank you, Disney, for incorporating more characters little girls can look up to. Not all heroes are male....and neither are all villains.

Hmm...something tells me I'll be seeing this film once {or twice} again before it leaves theaters - for the kickass characters, Daisy Ridley, and for all of the Easter eggs {Daniel Craig cameo, anyone?}.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Star Wars - a new era

*Warning: NO spoilers*

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is officially out and beating several opening records....before the doors to the first screening even creaked upon their hinges. This global enterprise, which includes likely 100's of thousands of fans in its fandom and will likely boast nearly $5 billion {with a B} in merchandise sales, was destined for cinematic history before auditions began {hard to believe it's been 2 years since I waited in line for literally hours at Twickenham Park in London to audition for the role of Rey}.

However, you likely won't be seeing me in a theater near you... Thank you, social anxiety, albeit this is not the sole reason. As much as I love Star Wars, I feel the hype has become overrated, bringing people out of the woodwork, which does not bode well with someone who will require spending some time alone to recharge her batteries from being overly socially stimulated...

Growing up a mega nerd, I often faced mockery and ridicule for the very franchise which is now regarded as one of the largest in the cinematic and sci-fi industry, earning quite a few discerning looks by passersby in high school for my Chewbacca backpack. I find it fascinating that love for this conglomerate is now hailing one as "cool" - funny how that works, eh?

Hot Topic model with the same Chewie backpack I own...
except I don't look half as fab as she.

Trends come and go, cinematic and literary masterpieces gain and lose fandom momentum as the next "it" thing joins the scene...

....but I have a furry feeling that Star Wars may be one to stay, which is good and bad, because I really want to see the new movie without risk of an overcrowded and noisy theater and my R2-D2 ink isn't fading any time soon.

Thankful I have not seen any spoilers via social media, so at least people are being respectful, unlike so many countless other premiered movies.

Perhaps now that I have a few days off, I may venture off to see it...who knows, I just may get a little wild in my current state of being stranded and potentially going stir-crazy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Luck of the Irish & other quips

Happy news....

My signed copy of Ron Pope's latest album: Ron Pope & the Nighthawks is en route to my humble abode and Hotel Room is available for a soothing, savory indulgement!

My other giddiness stems from the fortune I had in not spending a fortune on an impromptu purchase of a one-way {jk} two-way ticket to Dublin in February with a brief stop in Reykjavik, Iceland - it counts!

Excitement does not begin to describe the way I'm feeling, the chills and that inevitable oh, snap scared-shitless feeling of anticipation I always feel right before a big adventure. I absolutely love traveling, cruising off wherever my feet take me, or social anxiety as it steers me away from the masses and down roads less traveled. The little bit of nerves is perfectly understanding...I feel those are natural and also expected - in a sense, I've always been worried if I didn't feel nervous before a test of any sort. Those nerves keep me on my toes, otherwise, I get too cocky and might blow it.

I think I'm all ready to goooo, based on this questionable pic from my humble flat in middle-of-nowhere central PA... And hey, I just found out I have some Irish roots so I'm ready to roam the land of my people and lay a wet one on that ol' Blarney Stone.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Local Music Artists

"Local Music Artists" may, at times, receive a negative connotation, marking a band with a stigma which they have to overcome each and every time they take the stage, to prove they're not just a bunch of kids {or man children} who think they can be the next Dave Grohl or Brett Michaels because they can hold a 6-string.

It's drive, commitment, and tenacity, in addition to talent, which set the up-and-coming bands apart from the dreamers. True, you gotta believe to succeed, as they saying goes, but the gumption behind the prolific dreams takes it the next level.

I know, I know...I've gushed and bragged about my buds in Small Town Titans, but they're not the only ones. When it comes to music, I like what I like, and sometimes, after seeing a favorite artist take stage, they slowly recess into the smorgasbord of other music on my iTunes with me still appreciating their music but feeling they're much better off in a studio.

What prompted these feels and elaborate thoughts was a man by the name of Ron Pope, an artist from Nashville. His music gives me chills...his crooning and sweet melodies touch the romantic side of my soul, appealing to those memories associated with love in all her glory: the ups and downs; the warm, fuzzy feelings; and the heartache from heartbreak.

His most recent album, Ron Pope and the Nighthawks, is available here at Pledge Music, a wonderful site devoted to artists supporting themselves with only the 3 F's: friends, family, and fans. Hello, signed CD coming to my door shortly! >Okay, fan-gurrrrrling a little because I've been following him for a few years and I received a PM via Twitter from him ERMAHGERD<

While this may be a slight plug for Mr. Pope {and STT, sorry}, the real focus is local music. While local may not refer to simply your hometown, it's a broader term, looking at those artists who are pretty dang talented without the frou-frou garbage added by record lables {okay, I'm guilty of listening to it, too, Confident, anyone??}.

Mainstream Pop and Punk is pretty epic, but it's the small-town artists for whom I go a little a sense, rooting for the underdogs while they're paving the way to where they want to be, which may not be triple-platinum or millions in $$.

Leaving a few gems here....

>also geeking out over what little I've retained on my lessons of HTML<

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Is it too late to say sorry? / Baby, now we got bad blood

L'amour est doux et belle

The Sorry X Bad Blood cover by DNK is stuck in my head.

>Flashback to when I had the pleasure of working with them when I served as President at ValleyFest<

Quite fitting...and a nice segue into...

Outdated dating faux pas:

  • The one who cares less holds the power
This is a rotten way of looking at any relationship with someone, whether it be in family, friendship, or more. The only time "power" should come into play is whether someone has enough muscle power to help me move my shit because I'm a weakling.

  • Holding back feelings {to avoid being hurt}
This is just plain silly. Yes, many, many feelings can be undoubtedly protected from being hurt, but also so many wondrous feelings which would not be explored otherwise.
  • To not have basic expectations
It's impossible not to have some sort of expectations. Don't sell yourself shortly, nor expect too much of someone either. Be reasonable as you'd want on the reciprocal end. If you want non-committal, then expect non-committal.

Communication is key in everything: work, relationships, even with your pets or food {make that banana know that it will end up in your tummy and to stop giving you lip}. Set boundaries and declare a few expectations.. ex. is Netflix & chill legit Netflix & chill or is it the not-so-innocent innuendo meaning?
  • To accept neglect/less than you deserve
See above....and also, have you seen Perks of Being a Wallflower, or at least not read the book nor seen the movie, have heard the overly used and wildly popular quote: We accept the love we think we deserve.

If you believe you should be treated like a bag of poo, then by all means, allow it, but me thinks we'd all like to be treated like royalty from time to time, or at least like we matter and are special, especially in times when we feel much like a wallflower, blending in with our surroundings.
  • If they don't respond within the hour, they obviously don't like you
Obviously, they're not that into you. Obviously, you're jumping to conclusions.
  • Grand gestures are corny and cliché
Being that often willy nilly romantic that I am, I find small gestures are my go-to for showing my affection, platonically or romantically. Cooking or baking for someone shows we're on the next level; cooking has always been a way my Mum shows she loves us, making our favorites when we come home, and it's something I've picked up as my own habit. Sandwich-making, that is revolutionary as I will only willingly make a sandwich for three men, two of which are my Fajer and grandfather.

Grand gestures, on the other hand, can be corny, but they're those wild, sweeping actions to show you truly care, or that you know you fucked messed up and have no other feeling than to explain, make them see you're raving mad about someone so you drive to their house like a crazy person in the hopes they won't call the cops nor think you off your rickety rocker...

A grand gesture could be simply putting down the phone when you're constantly glued to it for work....providing your undivided attention to show they are a priority even amongst the hectic responsibilities required at work.

And now some accurate advice in a clichéd Internet block of text on a solid background to make it look as though it is a godly decree:

Admit your faults. Fess up to your sins. And when needed, ask, is it too late now to say sorry?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Heed Caution, Take Care

With hectic schedules and desire to care for everyone around us, we often put ourselves to the wayside, neglecting basic little routines or maintenance-keeping. Today was spent doing little things to pamper myself and actually put some effort into my appearance, and getting dolled up for the heck of it.

Today would have been Grammie's 89th birthday and it needed celebrated with good eats, sissy hugs, and dreaming of the wonderful, kind, and vivacious woman that she was {okay, I spent half the morning ugly-crying, but that's beside the point}.

Eyebrows freshly plucked; pores duly unclogged, extracted, primped; old nail polish removed; YouTube videos on makeup technique watched and absorbed; newly gained skills put to the test.

Bright, sunny day as Grammie's spirit lives on, making today especially vivid for her birthday.

I opted for curls on curls and my new Shop Priceless crop top paired with my never-fail ultra-high AE jeggings. Incredible: it's December and nearly warm enough to go without a jacket....nearly.

Found these lovely boots at the thrift store down the street and I've been relying on them heavily to complete my {hopefully} BA outfits.

The end results: little loop curled into the wild curls, falsies {the last time I attempted these was senior year of high school, and Lovely had to apply for me}, eyeshadow {something I've avoided until today}, Star Wars lippy...

Quite pleased with the results.

While I did not really have anywhere I needed to go, I put this look to the test with my errands and a visit to see my Nana later that night.

Sister date warranted the Dragonite tee, so a swift change was in order! A stay-in night with pizza, beer bread, questionable&slightly burnt brownie bites, and Cranberry blush wine. Can't complain.

Grammie would always offer us good noms and Pap Pap would let us taste his wine, so in a way, we're kicking off her birthday shin-dig in a way she would have definitely approved ^_^

i carry your heart
i carry it in my heart

Happy birthday, Grammie. I miss you. I love you. I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places.

*waterproof makeup is a lie as mine starts to leak down my face*

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Winter Blues

As days and daylight shorten with the ever-approaching winter weather, it's perfectly understandable to feel a twinge of sadness....daylight becomes more precious as there seem to be fewer and fewer hours of this wondrous phenomenon, fewer so with sleeping in to work my later shift, returning during the chilly hours of midnight and 1AM.

To all of you GoT fans, I'm sure you can appreciate the notion of "Winter is Coming." Yes, sadly, winter is coming, and all too quickly. However, with winter comes the magic clandestine moments of the first snowflakes and the snuggles which are sure to follow on days on during chilly weather. Flannel sheets + hot chocolate {with or without vanilla rum} make for a lovely combination for chilly weather.

A special treat was needed the other day, a 'licious Not Your Father's Root Beer float! A quick stop to Babbo's Italian Grille was in order for a panini and float. 

Fun fact: "panini" is actually the Italian plural form of the English word "sandwich." I'm okay with this as I quite love sandwiches {but won't make them for males out of pure principle}.

I say it's flannel season....but as you've probably noticed, I consider every season as flannel season. Equally ultra cozy on warm or cold days. Dark jeggings are good for anytime, no?

Grumpy gills per usual when waking up. Okay, it was also a close-up of this fabulous Star Wars lippy, of which I cannot get enough!

Long hours and long days....not getting adequate sleep....all lead to a grumpy gills me, but it's worth it when the hard work pays off {career-wise and literally since those loans won't pay for themselves!}.

Bundling up isn't all that motivating to get me out of the apartment, can be such a hassle! As much as I love this cashmere scarf, which was a Xmas prezzie many, many moons ago, I wish it wasn't needed as much as it is aka warmer weather, please! My buns are chilly.

I'm ready for a nice long snooze after I treat myself to a brisk walk outside...

Thursday, December 3, 2015

VIP Status

As unofficial spokeswoman of Small Town Titans, a title which I have granted upon myself and have since had approval from lead singer/bassist, Tree, I felt it rather necessary to include a post on their recent show in Hallam, PA {so happy I could finally attend a show since Halloween}.

After a lovely time in my hometown of peace and quiet, I was ready to be social and partake in social interaction, an activity I can only handle every so often with my social anxiety and relatively high levels of introvertedness.

To be the Small Town Titans' unofficial spokeswoman, one must dress to the nines aka like a BAMF rocker chic. Heelless heels + my new burgundy velvet skirt from Shop Priceless completed this look.

Even with the extra 5+" with my heelless heels, I'm still shorter than Tree....go figure.

Makeup on pointe with Star Wars lippy, curls, and a fresh coat of nail polish.

The guys did a phenomenally on stage! So proud of these rockers! They're doing what they love to do, pouring their heart and soul into the music they live and breathe....that, ladies and gentlemen, is rather inspirational. 

Tree: a lovely picture taken before the imbibed fans took the stage....literally. I guess they have that effect on people.

Oh, Jonny, your hair is always ace. The Beyoncé fan helps, I'm I've said before, I wouldn't mind having a Beyoncé fan follow me around for Instagram pictures. Knowing my luck, my hair would just look like a tornado swept through, aka every morning.

STT has such raw talent. They pour everything they have into every set, whether they're playing for 7, 700, or even 7,000 people. No backtracking, no froo-froo, no gimmicks, these guys are the real McCoy.

Okay, maybe I'm supposed to say that, but I wouldn't unless I genuinely meant it.

They're going somewhere.

Altogether good night spent with good people before a long, stressful shift at work. But this is why we have time off, non? Batteries recharged from time spent at home and at a sweet little venue to get back on track for work and kick butt.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Force Awakens: A Lippy Review

As someone who used to avoid lipstick years ago, I now see how it has enhanced my otherwise washed-out, vampire-tanned face and added that extra pizzazz needed to complete an outfit.

I do realize, in the wake of terrorist attacks {Pray for Paris}, makeup and hair and clothing all seem rather insignificant and vain, but in spite of such atrocities in the world, we should still retain some of those froo-froo habits and interests, for when we cower down in fear and relinquish all pleasures and enjoyment, that is whey "they" have won.

I try my damnedest to refrain from international affairs and political views, not out of ignorance {the world fascinates me, and out into the world I aspire to go...}, but feel this is not the place for such matters with so broad an audience. We live in times when the next generation {and even my own} is coddled relentlessly and mediocrity is the new standard as expectations are lowered and lowered...

But I digress per usual...

With the release of the new film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, CoverGirl got extra creative with its new line, inspired by the Light and Dark Sides of the Force.

Naturally, I was of my favorite movie empires coupled with my new-found appreciation for lippy and its powers over the past few years.

While I was home, I picked up two shades, surprised my hometown Wal-Mart even carried the collection.

Silver #10 & Dark Purple #50, shown above, respectively.

The silver was a bit thin, but left a pretty sheen. I may utilize it to mix things up a bit or for a special occasion.

The purple, however, da-yum. It goes on so well and slowly fades to a purple-y rouge after a little wear and tear. As long as lasting, this color lasted all day, from morning until night. Evening was when I noticed the more rosy-hue, but even when I removed my makeup at night for bed, quite a bit came off.

These two are my go-to's: Wet 'n' Wild's Black Orchid 508A and Revlon's Wine with Everything 525.

They're both a deeper hue than the typical rouge, albeit the 525 is bit more red than the former. While both provide excellent coverage for several hours, the CoverGirl dark purple has them both beat.

While some lippy will become cake-like even with proper moisturizing prep before and during application, all of the aforementioned stay on evenly. I have noticed I need to reapply both chapstick and lippy with the 508A and 525, though...the chapstick adds moisture but does not take the pigment with it when applied on the dark purple as moisturizer is needed later in the day. thinks the CoverGirl will be making a luscious debut tomorrow at the rock concert....

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Homegrown Sassypants

Coming home is always a rejuvenating time, a time to get away and refresh my batteries....and not wear pants.

Looking back at old times, time seemed to stretch endlessly with limitless possibilities of how they future may unfold. As my friend Emily's latest blog post discusses, home can be one of countless places, wherever we may lay our heads for the night.

Home for me for 18 years was walking to Grammie's house, catching up on all the craziness of our small town and the bureaucracy of grade school {particularly high school}, and snacking on Klondike bars and Pepsi.

Since her passing, and being away for so long, my connections to this small town keep *ping ping* snapping, releasing their tethers, which is bittersweet as I always thought I wanted to get away, but hold on to certain memories to preserve them for as long as possible...

Booboobeeboo, Grammie, and my beautiful sissy

Glancing through old photographs and my phone's photo reel, it's evident how I've grown, not merely physically, but mentally and psychologically as well.... Reading through Emily's post had me thinking of the transition to my new home and my natural tendency to continue to refer to my childhood digs as "home."

While E-town is my current home, according to my credit cards' billing address and updated DMV profile, bumfuck C-field and wherever my Mum and Fajer are located will always feel like home as well....and same goes for dear ol' London. Hell's bells, I even called the Greyhound bus during my birthday escape from life excursion home as that is where I laid my head to catch some zzzz's overnight. Home truly is a state, not merely a location, as it morphs us into the person we are today: resilient, arrogant, open-minded, kind, standoffish, etc.

This bright-eyed girl has seen many, many things and many places. In looking back, I never could have fathomed I'd be where I am {for better or for worse}, but hope that I can be someone of whom my younger self could possibly be proud. 

And even though many of my adventures have been taken alone instead of with the person I had thought they would be with when I was younger, perhaps that has only helped shape me to be more independent, fiercer and hungrier for happiness.

Maybe home can be in my own head and heart, both of which have seemed hostile at one point or another {or twelve}. Perhaps the key into my safe haven is finding peace with myself and, like Emily, calling my night's final resting place, "home."

Happy photos from happy times in the past: 17 & 18, respectively. As much as I like to think I've grown from this smiling brunette, I can't help but wish I could channel some of her optimistic spirit to help fuel my wild child and bull-headed tendencies, and fashion them into serum for when I'm feeling trapped or doubting my capabilities, whether it's in personal or professional aspects.

Little girl. I've spoken back to her in my journal before as a means of comfort, and I hope that little girl inside at least hears some of the things I tell her, albeit knowing my stubborn self, she likely won't.

Verdict on home: it's within every one of us. It's a plethora of things: a person, a place, a memory, a song. It's comfort.

It's bed, which is where I'm heading.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Winding down from pre-Thanksgiving

Boo, it wasn't pay week.

On the plus side, after a semi-hellishly busy week, I came home to find a lovely letter from my favorite gingey in the mail. Heidi letters have become something to which I highly look forward to receiving in the mail as they always seem to arrive juuuuust as I need them aka when I've had a bad night or ready to collapse from exhaustion....or low blood sugar.

Busy day calls for no pants.
{Leggings are not truly pants}
Despite the near-fainting spells at work {that means I'm working hard, doesn't it??}, I feel this past week has been a productive one. Have you ever felt so busy that the hours seem to simply float past, one thing after another, yet it would be damn near impossible to rattle off a laundry list of all that was accomplished because there was SO MUCH done?

I actually styled my hair for once this week!
Now, I simply have to relearn my body so as to avoid fainting in an elevator....hurrah for these strong, lean arms to hold onto and large pieces of equipment which can bear my weight as I feel my vision tunneling and my body collapsing, internally feeling as though the whole world is caving in...

My mum, sis, and Superman have told me I should see a doctor {I know, I should} but I'm as stubborn as an grown-ass man - *hint, hint* I don't go to the doctor's unless I'm at death's door and even then it's debatable. Stress will slowly subside, I hope, and with adequate sleep {and kitty snuggles}, I'll be back up and running in tip-top shape.

On the plus side, I managed to look semi-okay this week...or not. You be the {hopefully gentle} judge of that.

In these frames, I wanted to show off the BA Obi-wan Kenobi lightsaber umbrella Tree had given me for my birthday - wrapped up in wrapping paper which resembled tree bark, no less. This Jedi Master felt pretty darn loved by all of her friends and family for her birthday, even weeks after the fact. Maybe people still like me at 23 despite what Blink-182 thinks....and if not, well, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Potatoes gonna potate, tate, tate, tate, tate.

Wrapping up my week with a still of geekdom heaven: putting together my sister's new independence, one electronic element at a time. Surrounded by cables and parts, I could totally appreciate the giddiness and happiness experienced by Lovely when he's putting together a new gadget....

And that's a wrap. But after leaving here, check out Alessia Cara because she's pretty dang fabulous. Here describes how I have often felt at a party - awkward and very much an outsider and ready to hightail it out of there to go have my own party.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Love and that 9-5 Work Grind

....or in my case, usually 11-11:30, or whenever called for assistance and/or physical help.

Once again, this week seems to have slipped by; hours, blood, and sweat {no tears!} into work to help the shifts along. One week closer to Thanksgiving, which is already starting off on an interesting start as my Mum is none too thrilled that I will be traveling home after work on Wednesday {fingers crossed for leaving early}.

At times, work gets the best of me, resulting in stress and worry that I'm not giving my all and perhaps that's why things go awry. I don't feel I'm the center of the sometimes clusterfuck that is work, but merely I'm not taking enough preventative and responsive action to contend with such clusterfuck, or simply not doing enough as a leader as I should be as I try to ensure the team on duty is fit for service and aren't stressing out themselves...

Kitty snuggles make a great start to the day

And with all this, feeling as though I'm stumbling in my career, I stumble in that twisted realm of "feelings" and "like" and "love," while struggling with finding time to sleep in order to rest my brain from all of the directions in which it's being pulled from all aspects of my life: family, friends, dumb heart, career, wanderlust, compassion for Paris, fear of terrorism, etc.

Thank goodness for Hello Giggles and its wondrously thoughtful articles to lend a hand for relevant, open-minded perspectives... In the wake of figuring out who the hell I am {goodness, I sound so dang cliché}, I turn to HelloGiggles as I absentmindedly scroll through my FB feed, not truly engaged with what's going on in so-and-so's life, this person's new baby, this rando-couple's engagement photos, the blah-blah-blah mundane social media in between crises.

On that 9-5 just to stay alive.... -Beyoncé
Dress cute for work for improved performance and spirits!

As I've always struggled with that balance between hard-fact reality and my whimsically, fantastically romantic heart, I find the L-O-V-E articles particularly interesting, furtively saving these gems for late night reads before passing out in bed, another day gone and another night feeling exhausted to the very soul.

Some of my recent favorites:

  • A couple shared a journal for a year, which reminded me of when I went away for Uni for the first time, excited and fearful of what the implications would be for Lovely and I... It was a way to keep in touch and note the little, seemingly mundane, details which often get swept under the rug from all of the excitement of merely hearing someone on the other end of the line. It's a wonderful idea for friends as well, to take the time to write about the day, an outlet to say all the things which couldn't possibly be squeezed into a 45-minute phone call, or an instant message conversation.
  • This beautiful couple, who stay connected across their 7,000 mile stretch through social media and creativity - experiencing life "together" through their joint Instagram account. Beautiful. Heart melting.
  • And this little boy, who spoke out against a man who was verbally harassing a young woman as she was out for a jog. As a woman, this resonated, as my friends and I have experienced this countless times. Cue: Bye Felipe, postings from encounters with f*<kboys.
  • Best for last, eh? Or last one for those feeling particularly in touch with their tear ducts: breaking up while you're still in love. When things aren't bad....when your heart bleeds for someone, and despite all of the lengths one would go for this person, it leads to a puddle of tears, worn out sneakers from trying to run away from inner thoughts, and a new-found appreciation for love, whether it comes from a friend, family member, or SO.
Hello Giggles is quite delightful....and I shall leave you with these articles, and this gem. I'm constantly hunting down new artists with whom to fall in love {metaphorically- and musically-speaking}.

OH! And of COURSE: Adele's new album is out. Yaaaaaaaassss.

Listening on repeat before I succumb to zzzzz.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Root of my {anti-}socialism

Social anxiety is a relatively common occurrence, inflicting more 200,000 cases in the US annually {or roughly 1 in every 1,600 Americans}. While one may find comfort in numbers and statistics, social anxiety at any level can be stressful.

It's rather embarrassing, experiencing that griping, debilitating feeling of fear, rushing heart, panic...especially when it's around friends or family. That over-stimulation of people all around, even if they're all friendly. Hyperventilating and worrying someone will notice as you frantically attempt to cover any symptoms by controlling your breath and contorting your face into a convincing smile.

I admit I've missed out on many things, or simply made an excuse not to go to something so as to avoid these feelings...overcome with the buildup of anxietal pressure inside my mind and heavy on my consciousness. In the past, both Tree and Lovely have witnessed this: I was lucky in that they were understanding in my discomfort, holding my hand and making sure I was okay in order to aid me as I struggled to unfreeze from this mental paralysis.

In solitude I've often sought solace in order to recharge and put myself back together, giving countless inner-thought prep thoughts to tell myself I'm A-OK, but it comes in waves of varying degree and strength. At times, I feel on top of the world, at others, it seems as though I'd rather be knocked upside the head or feel a few capfuls of Captain rather tempting as means to overcome the discomfort and mental spasms going on as all of the wrong types of fireworks go off in my head.

Written articulation seems to come in handy as an outlet for inner turmoil so perhaps that's why people I know have found it odd and difficult to believe I'm not a people-person nor an extrovert in the least... Social media presence paints a more outgoing persona, which I hold onto as a shell and is still very much a part of me, but one I exude as opposed to showing the tizzies I occasionally experience, locked inside my own thoughts.

There's a reason for the appeal to staying in bed: minimal social interaction means less risk of feeling overwhelmed.

And so that's my little confession time, dear readers...hopefully you don't think any less of me for being a looney loser loner with bouts of social anxiety.

Auf wiederlesen, meine Lieblings!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Antisocialism at its finest

"The ever-creasing weight of responsibilities that enmeshes our lives keeps us locked into the system. We become the pulse that keeps the beast alive, but the cost is our own lives. The natural world around us shrinks, crushed beneath the suffocating might of work."
-Fennel Hudson

Finding time to be social and physically interacting with friends is mandated and dictated by our very own sanity, for only then can we truly be free from work....a valid excuse to unplug from the demands associated with our careers. While we owe it to ourselves to set away for a fresh recharge, it is all too often that we don't feel as though it is justified unless people about whom we care deeply are involved, i.e. friends and family.

Thank goodness for understanding managers who realize the importance of unplugging and postponing non-urgent items for days actually spent in the office. I'm realizing more and more how involved a management position is, and potential future business endeavors may be, and it's quite unnerving in a sense because I want to work to live, not live to work.

Comfy pants for long hours: check.
Realization of this weekend: I hardly did anything but sleep and work, and work some more, and nearly wore myself out into a puddle of exhaustion on the floor. With books piling up, unread, expeditions left untravelled {is that a word??}, albeit making plans for my days off certainly helped get me through. C'est la vie, la vie de travailler, non?

Although a bit of a loner introvert with some extroverted qualities {when necessary *shudder*} who is prone to social anxiety and the occasional fainting spell, getting out of the apartment for little bouts {in between work, sleep, working at home, and travels} has been a great means of refuel.

One of many items cast aside in the donation piles...
Many hours were spent with my sis, packing and moving all of her shit her belongings to her new digs. Since college, I've attempted a more minimalist approach to things so seeing how much we had to pack out of that small bedroom was rather jaw-dropping, but also cleansing as we also hauled away bag after bag of garbage, recycling, donations, and items for selling.

Hours spent purging her room and rekindling the relationship with one of my favorite people to roam this planet...

A whole night with friends, pizza, beer, and board games reminded me just how secluded I've become, using my work schedule as an excuse for my unavailability {to some extent, this does hinder}. It's all in how we choose to allot our time that dictates the work/life balance... holy cow, revelation.

As the weeks fly by and I have the occasional nightmare of something catastrophic occurring to someone I love {screw you, scaredy-cat brain}, realizing how all too often I've simply let work take over or wasted my free time doing not much of anything but wait for life to occur.

We have just as many hours as Beyoncé so we should use them wisely. Mental note to self.

Speaking of efficient time's already past 11 o'clock and I have only left bed to insert contacts and make a semi-healthy pb banana smoothie for lunch meeting @12:30. Nbd.

Okay, maybe I'm wrong....maybe being antisocial and staying in bed all day is the life after all. Warmth, Mr. Hippy, books, and phone charger within reach...bed is hard to leave sometimes.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Roundup of Days Gone By

Once again, time is getting the best of me, passing by altogether too quickly, which is both good and bad.

I have been up to a few productive things {please see my post on lazy productivity}...and I consider catching up on sleep and improving my cooking abilities to be two of them. I also consider showering daily as being productive on one's day off because let's be real, that can be a chore - I have a lot of hair on my head that needs conditioned!

I digress as usual....

I've managed to stomach doing a little Xmas shopping for my bestie. For someone who can't stand Xmas carols until December 24th and gets quite irritated seeing tinsel and garland prior to that same date, that is quite an ordeal. {No, I do not do Black Friday shopping either, unless my Mum wants accompanied, but only because I love her.}

Lots of hair & attitude - perfect for a Parisian day off, non?
Aside from that, cat-sitting for Tree {considering this as a future career}, helping my sis pack for her new digs, working, and sleeping, I'm a boring lady...

My snuggle buddy; neediness and cuddliness at its best.

Max & Jax: on the warpath for pets and snugg's.
Mais regardez!! J'ai fais les nourrritures! C'est quelque chose, je pense....

For those of you unfamiliar with English traditions....Guy Fawkes Day, or Bonfire Night, was November 5th. While I am no longer in the UK, much to my chagrin, I could not resist a bit of English-ness in celebration {albeit by accident}.

I nearly forgot about this wondrous day until I was divulging in my crumpets and mango chutney {thank you, Wegman's international aisle} and mindlessly scrolling through Facebook.

My stomach was trying to tell me something with its cravings for an English brekkie...or I was simply feeling peckish for 'shrooms, eggs and carbs.

Experimentation {that sounds kinky....} is often the best way of cooking, I've found. Case in point: late-night hunger from forgetting to eat since lunchtime calls for a light late-night meal and one a bit creative considering I haven't had time to restock the fridge properly since my birthday hiatus from real life.

Ta-da! Simple pimple pizza using Pillsbury low-fat buttermilk biscuits. Low-fat plus veggies and pesto makes it healthy, non?

The things I tell myself so I can sleep at night....

Since I've started salivating from looking at these delicious pictures, I'll share a few songs I've enjoyed this week, thus proving I'm not totally out of sync with the world. I'm currently reading a book on quantum theorems throughout history and the world's acceptance of the uncertainty associated with such matter, so that's something worldly...

I shall leave you with that, kind readers. Auf wiederlesen!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Netflix and Chill

Proof of my naïveté and innocence: I thought "Netflix and chill" meant actually binging on House of Cards online with some friends or a S/O....little did I know...

Thank you, Superman, for correcting my ignorance before I made a complete assclown of myself in front of someone.

23: it seems every year that I become increasingly astonished that I'm this old ha. I don't feel this old, nor particularly old in the least for that matter.

I feel ready to take on life, my career {eventually, at some point, when I figure out what I want to be when I "grow up"}, travels...hell's bells, I've taken on Paris, Chicago, and Nashville all by my lonesome, so I'm feeling quite confident, albeit avoiding cockiness...

A brekkie suitable for 5- and 23-year olds. Lovely's mummy had bought this wonderful sealife waffle iron for me 2 Xmas's ago and I'm only now digging it out, feeling it would be rather dangerous {knowing my luck} to attempt to make waffles in a dorm room.


C/O of Mum and Sis: BA Vader watch and R2-D2 sweats and socks. "Growing up" means wearing all the cool things I never knew existed nor had the nerve to wear...

Obviously, I'm a mega man-repeller, but that's A-ok to me. only advice: run away. Or, enjoy and run with it, letting your heart gain experience, while simultaneously living on the edge, where at any point, that heart of yours could be pulverized and beaten to a pulp, cast aside like an old sweater now overly stretched and holey, no longer suitable for its basic job of warmth.

Perhaps I grow ever more pessimistic on the surface with age, while remaining a total vulnerable softie underneath, afraid of any deep-rooted leaps of faith unless they're out of an airplane {hello, future skydiving excursion!}.

Fear. Fear is a terrible emotion to with which I've become quite accustomed to taking head-on.

Currently finishing up the last season of Glee and this quote from lovable Brittany caught my attention:
You know...these Mounds bars are delicious but you have to eat them. If you just hold them in your hand, hoping that you might get to eat them one day, they're going to melt. Then you'll look like somebody just pooped in your hand. Don't let waiting for things to maybe work out with Blaine turn you into the guy who looks like somebody just pooped in your hand.

Now, this seems silly, but can be applicable in love and life: grab Mounds bars life by the proverbial horns and run with it, fear or no.

Untangling my thoughts on love and my career: we crave those comforts in life, those which come with familiarity and safety nets but perhaps what is needed are those giant leaps of blind faith to get to somewhere truly wonderful...

Okay, enough deep feelings for today. I'm craving chocolate, which means water for this grouchy dieting wench.