Thursday, July 30, 2015

Nolan Neal shared his Sante Fe wontons with me

Small Town Titans are still on tour and I'm still fan-girling from a distance as these sweet dudes rock their asses and break hearts onstage...

Soon they shall be home {for a few weeks anyways}

Good night at the show - Hagerstown, MD knew how to party hard and stir things up. I was lucky enough to be able to catch the show and stay with some kind folks in West Virginia.

Ladies and gentlemen, Nolan Neal!! He's breaking loose with his solo music and dayuuuum. The man has some pipes! His lovely croons kept ringing in my head - he even played/sang Better than Me from his time with Hinder.

Hinder is missing out on his sick vibes.

Nolan and I became quick friends; he even shared his Sante Fe wontons {as noted in the quirky post title}

Quite the jokester, he didn't stop at my looks!
{little quip about me being too hot to refuse a picture}
I picked cheese off of his shirt and he smoothed my hair - total teamwork for the picture.

So much love for this butthole.

Benjamin plays a mean lead guitar and is a pro at the loop pedal for his solo work. He can even lay a few good punches....sometimes.

Missing this guy and our forever love/hate friendship. After all, "F" is for friends who do stuff together...."U" is for Uranium bombs. Yin and Yang. 

Best damn merch guy/bodyguard/assistant driver/friend/teddy bear.

Matty Bear and I had a good night - he had me earning my keep by watching the merch table for him and I posed like a goonie little sister by him.

Then there's this guy.... KICK ASS lead singer and bassist.

His talent continues to astound me and I'm so thankful to consider him one of my best friends. Can't wait for him to get back, albeit I'm enjoying the excuse to catsit the furball children at his place...

Good times had by all.

Small Town Titans and Artifas

My dual life as a rocker girl and badass boss.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

He called me beautiful

The first time I heard those words uttered from his lips, I felt this odd sensation, this slightly elated, yet just as equally apprehensive, feeling. Those years of being consistently at odds with myself having left their mark and yet, another human being besides my Mum {sorry, Mummy} saw something in me that I have rarely noticed....

We all have beautiful souls despite our various backgrounds....okay, I lied, some people are rotten to the core some people do and have done atrocious things, yet I don't believe we're inherently evil. I like to think so anyways. Maybe. Maybe I'm only a half-believer...

Anywho....who I see in the mirror {when I actually take the time to look at myself, and not nitpick at my face or smooth my hair} is someone with multiple facets - our pasts, present, future all forge who we are, as well as those with whom we surround ourselves.

In looking through pictures of this weekend, I see a little bit of that person he may see....when I'm with one of my favorite people, it certainly shows :)

My big sis and I went to see Annie after a long day at Hershey Park the day before....oh, happy days indeed!

Front row - can't complain ;)

Turkey, avocado, + roasted red peppers

A nice walk downtown took us to the new crêperie, Au Bon Lieu. 

PB + chocolate = a little slice of heaven
Maybe that boy was right....maybe there is something beautiful about me, the way the light catches at just the right angle.

Could he be the crux to my journey of self-love? Who eyebrows look pretty fierce at least.

Cat sitting these two monsters certainly makes me feel loved indeed....cuddly kitties have a way of making one feel wanted and appreciated.

Cats can be quite fickle creatures. If you win their hearts, you're pretty golden, mates, especially if they allow you to pet the most sacred of sacred cat petting spots: their bellies!

We're all on our own path of growth and potential self-improvement. It won't be all rainbows and fully groomed brows, but it makes life an adventure.

Happiness is what we make of it...we can choose to be content in our misery, or we can fight tooth and nail to claw our way out of the darkness. The black hole is not a fun place so I'm choosing not to sink back and allow it to swallow me whole.

Y'all are beautiful creatures and we're destined for greatness.

And I drink to that.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Army Strong

Fajer/daughter moments are quite important to me, especially since I've pretty much moved out of my parents' place, using my old bedroom as a storage unit for the shit stuff I can't fit into my current digs yet cannot toss....yet. My nostalgic hoarding issue is actually improving, thank you very much.

My Fajer and I spent our last day on our mini vacation together at the Army Center in Carlisle. Wow.

They had me at sharp shooter simulation, albeit the damn thing shot high and compensating proved quite difficult, even for a missy who has inherited her father's gun expertise *ahem*

Re-created WWI trenches....holy cow.

This place was quite aw-inspiring with its simulations and replicas which grants its visitors better insight on what our heroic men and women have and are doing for this country.

Yes, I'm a proud supporter of our militia. Orders may not always be the best, but those men and women deserve major {no pun intended} props for what they sacrifice for this country.

What better way to end our Fajer/daughter date than a stop at Buffalo Wild Wings for beer and burgers? ;)

We didn't quite make it to Troegs for the beer tour as Tree and I had taken way back in March or so....but we have ample time for more adventures!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What's in a name: Lincoln

My Fajer came up to visit for a time Sunday night through Wednesday afternoon since I was able to finagle my schedule as such after working 12 days in a row. Work hard, get a well-deserved break!

A stop to the new Visitors' Center was a must-see! Despite the humidity, Fajer was a trooper and stuck with his jeans and riding boots.

Oh, the treasures you find walking around this little enchanted town...I had been here a few weeks ago and last summer for a day trip and discovered even more wondrous charms.

The battlefields are extensive - as was the 3-day battle which took place here, killing 51,000+ soldiers and 1 civilian. A hallowed place indeed, strewn with memorial pieces such as this canon replica.

Jennie Wade, the only civilian to be killed during the 3-day blood bath.
I could have sworn this dummy was breathing......I saw the chest rise!!

There's a myth that if an unmarried woman sticks her left ring finger in the door through which Jennie was shot, she'll be engaged or married within a year.

I don't take such radical risks and thus did not partake in that risky business....

Bucket list item: ghost tour!

Our tour guide was fantastic! I accidentally tripped him in the attic of the Farnsworth House, but he was a good sport about it.

Macabre little building with 100+ bullet holes piercing its side.

Train station long abandoned and preserved...oh, how I miss the English train!

Obligatory tourist in hotel cheese-tastic picture.

Fajer and I booked a double at the EconoLodge. Quite a nice little place for all the longer we needed it. A hot shower with soap and shampoo is always warmly {no pun intended} welcomed after a humid, gritty day traipsing up and down the dusty streets of town.

Buchanan creeped me out at the Hall of Presidents and First Ladies.

I'm looking forward to the day they have to modify the recorded dialogue to reflect our first FEMALE President.

Many of these men wouldn't have been half as great as they were without the help of the tenacious women by their sides, granting them wisdom and sensible action plans ;)

After the sightseeing in Gettysburg, Fajer and I met up with my sis for our favorite place - Houlihan's! A whole pitcher of raspberry Long Island ice tea to me, yes please. Great time to catch up as we haven't had much time together, my Fajer and I. As he gets older, I've come to realize my superhero isn't invincible and time is precious, so more adventures to unfold!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cuddles with the bottle

Tonight I had an opportunity to spend an evening with great friends, eating veggie pizza and swimming! I believe the last time I wore a bathing suit in public was with Lovely....aka quite some time ago.

After the chlorine and horror film-filled night with fwends, I'm cat sitting, which entails snuggling with Max and Jax while sharing a 6-pack variety pack with me, myself, and I.

No complaints here...tonight I have it so rough with the ale and cats, snuggled in an oversize flannel button-down.

I was also able to Skype with the rock star Tree whilst he's out on the road, pursuing his wildest dreams. That, my friends, is quite admirable. How many people can so vivaciously chase their ambitions, transforming their dreams into their realities?

Tree, Drummer Extraordinaire, and the Pantless one are doing it - first tour underway and expanding their brand. Along with their good mate, the Teddy Bear, is along with them, for moral support, additional driver, and {if needed} bodyguard.

I quite admire these guys and all they're doing. It's a hard world out shit, Sherlock. But hard work does pay off - these dudes are proof of it.

My hard work is being balanced with cat snuggles as I progress in my own professional career.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

InstaFamous and Social Validation

Instagram and the ability to tap into its secrets of achieving high success in terms of Followers and Favorites is one of chance and fortune.... unless you have animals. Cute kittens and puppies are a darn-near guarantee of Awww's and hearts.

Imagine my surprise {said in a breezy French accent, no less} when my outfit achieved such high prestige amongst the Insta-world! And thank you to Shop Priceless for contributing to said popularity!

Favorite flannel aside from Lovely's shirts...
+ high-waisted jeans + new platforms

On that reflecting on this generation and the ever-increasing usage of social media platforms, isn't it fascinating how much emphasis we place on the number of Likes, Favorites, Followers, Friends, etc. we have on these various virtual places in which to place our thoughts, images, likenesses, and a piece of our soul we would like the world to perceive as an extension of our persona?

This "social validation" has become more and more integrated into our systems... oh no, the boy I like didn't comment on my new profile pic | my best friend didn't like the link I posted on her wall 2 seconds after posted | no one thought my joke was clever...

An endless stream of thoughts regarding whether or not someone saw a particular post and also, how many. I admit, I'm guilty of checking to see if there was a lot of feedback. I'm making a point of sharing the happy moments but also to experience so many more, putting the camera down to witness the joyous unfolding of life.

For now, I will revel a bit in my so-called new-found 'popularity' on Instagram ;)

Second time I've been featured on a popular site...mind-boggling for a small town nerdy girl.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sadness is worse when... know the root of the cause.'re perfectly content with all but this one integral part of your life. don't know how to rectify it.'re scared it will never be fixed.

But a nice new pair of shoes can fix this, mais non?

Thank you, Shop Priceless for the free gift with purchase!!

I've been looking for this style of shoes since i was in the beautiful and fashion-forward city of London! $35 is a LOT better than $150!

Monday blues are cast aside momentarily when there is much work to be done and a killer outfit in which to accomplish this.

Lingering fragments of the depression I've been dealing with for quite some time crop up from time to time when I have a chance to collect my thoughts and just think.

Being busy at work allows me to focus my energy in a positive way, leaving just enough free time to think happy thoughts and of the wonderful people, opportunities, and future events, and sparing the barest minimum to dwell on the self-doubt or other demons inside...

But then the flood gate is released, much like a kragen, to flood my mind with those self-depreciating thoughts which nit-pick at my shortcomings and fears.

Hurray for friends who keep me grounded and snuggles with Mr. Hippy and Harry the Cat.

Hurray for this owl!

Try to tickle me, though, and it will end with disappointment as I am not ticklish in the least.

But I will tickle back if someone attempts.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Work to live, or live to work?

As a busy, busy work week looms ahead, I'm excited yet also a bit scared for the opportunities and more responsibility which it shall entail.

A workaholic pretty much my whole life [studies in place of a job during middle/high school years], I love to be kept busy with challenges behind every door.... but we also have remind ourselves to take a break sometimes before we crash and burn, remembering to listen to our bodies when they've had enough for the time being.

Currently having difficulty with this as I strive to prove myself worthy of my position of being in charge and hope to gain more respect as I continue to do so...

On the plus side, I have the freedom to dress how I'd like - as long as it's business-appropriate, of course.

Wear what makes you happy; for me, it's polka dots!

Just a typical dinner pour moi.....working on my energy drink habit, perhaps this is the reason for my feelings of fatigue lately...

Ironically, I'm trying to lose weight. In order to achieve this, i don't rely on silly fad diets, but rather eat when I remember and that whole concept of remembering things on the periphery, those not pertaining to work, is rather difficult.

"Dieting" issue solved.

On my off days, I spend them getting really excited when I receive a hand-written letter from my BFF.

She began our little pen-pal activity and we've been keeping it wrong. It's so lovely to receive in the mail and to write back!!!

Why do we [as a collective population] write letters as much? Why has technology caused this to become so superfluous? The love and thoughtfulness of writing a letter and reading's an incredible high. And yes, I love my friends, quite ardently.

They say to stop and smell the roses....well, I love to smell the grass from time to time [while maintaining a nice barrier between my body and the actual grass due to allergic reactions].

This guy.

Spending time with him has made my day in the extreme.

Cats are happiness to me.

And these are a few of my favorite things. keep me sane when life is hectic and overbearing at times, no matter how happy we are do what is asked of us.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Grief is a shared feeling

In essence, we do, indeed, find solace in shared sad times. Misery loves company not to keep those depressed feelings going by feeding off of one another, but to share the burden which grief brings, to shoulder one another's pain in order to stay afloat when times get rough.

Keep your chin up; you're not alone, dear friends.

Still contemplating why we're more accepting of an older person, 80+ beautiful years young, passing than a someone with fewer years of life experience. A loss of life, even at such a wiser age level, is still a sad parting from the world. A vibrant spirit puff into the atmosphere, never to walk barefoot in the soft grass again. I've always found it fascinating how the human mind works in order to comfort loss and sadness...

Perhaps this is why I quite enjoy my "sad music." It offers comfort and that raw emotion to any sort of feeling....specifically appealing to the notion that we are not alone, no matter how lonely we may feel at various stages of our lives.

Currently adding music to my iTunes library and enjoying the sunshine while I long for my commute to work if only to listen to George Ezra's croons.

Beautiful man, beautiful tunes.

Current mood, as modeled by Jax:

Deviance with a touch of longing to have what I want....Jax just wants the faucet to run and I long for confirmation from the Tree that he and the guys haven't died out on the road.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy birthday, 'Merica!

It's Independence Day and one of the world's most significant rebel's birthday!

Here's lookin' at you, kid. America.

It's someone's birthday, so calories don't count....otherwise I'd be in some serious trouble with the fastener on my high-waisted shorts.

Today has been an odd day of sorts in the sense that it does not feel any different. I've been away from this quaint town for four months, away from the man who made it bearable for over a year, and away from Grammie's warmth and hugs for over two years [not by choice].

>snuggles with Yoda<

Nostalgia always manages to buffet me in the face, a tumultuous force mixing with feelings of longing to be back in my bedroom safe haven. Perhaps others feel the same for their homecoming...we say we always want to GTFO but always drawn back to the place from whence we came.

As much as I try to resist, this little town always calls back to me, and it's not the cardboard Edward Cullen still creepily guarding my dreams from the corner of my room. This is home...where I don't have to wear pants except at the dinner table because Mum refuses to compromise.

Slowly, but surely, emptying out this little place in which there are so many fond memories. Sentiments out the window, except for things which truly matter. Materials things too often clutter our lives and so I've been hauling out bits every time I'm in for a few days. Make room for new memories while holding onto old, especially the favorites: seemingly mundane and unextraordinary which now are cherished as the most sacred...

Donating clothes in the name of the Ritz theater, a little shopping, socializing, and grilling today...with an Eiffel Tower necklace on. American thorough-bred.

Happy birthday, my Fair Lady.