Friday, October 30, 2015

KU, where are you?

Roll into town, Step off the bus, Shake off the where-you-came-from dust
-Crazy Town, Jason Aldean

Nashville, TN : where many bands call home and owe to their roots...and here I was, taking in all of the sights, sounds, smells, and sunshine, and looking for a 24-hr diner. I was hungry after rolling in @6AM Central Time.

I left Indianapolis early that morning, a better feeling of sentiment with the city as it looked so gorgeous lit up in the wee hours of 3AM. The last time I had stepped foot in the city was 7 years ago to march in the Indy 500 parade, a parade I hardly remember as I had been sick to my stomach and lucky I even made it through without incident {almost hit a kid in the head with my baton, though hehe}.

I think the caption says it all...caving to my slight addiction, but hey, I could have worse vices.

The Batman Tower loomed in the near distance as I walked from the Station to the Hermitage Cafe in search of soul food and wait for the attractions I wanted to see to open their doors.

Hooray for 24-hr diners!! The Hermitage Cafe did not disappoint. Vegetarian omelette, home fries {hash browns}, and rye toast {lightly toasted, just how I like it}. This charming little diner was the first stop of many and only a short distance from the station.

I decided to see the city all by foot to truly absorb everything it had to offer.

I may not have been to Athens yet, but I can now say I've seen the Parthenon, at least a replica... With my shadow as my only companion, I walked over 2 miles to see this beauty across town and stopped for a 21st-century selfie with the majestic piece of architecture.

A mix of grace, and some controversy: the Homo sapien in its true, all-nature beauty. I'm digging the carefree nature of the statues. Sure, they're statues, but zero fucks are being given that sense of wild abandon and pure joy instilled in their faces was pretty wonderful to see.

.....aaaaand maybe I'm thinking too deeply into this.


Stopped briefly to try and pick up Keith Urban for my sis, but, alas, he was nowhere to be found.

In sixth grade, I had an embarrassing taste for music: slight obsession for Jimmy Buffett, combined with love for Elvis and Evanescence. Those 3 artists are repeat for days.

And yes, I did have a delicious margarita from Margaritaville ;) It was called the Who's to Blame margarita and it paired quite nicely with the quesadilla.

When traveling, I find I hardly notice I haven't eaten much all day until I finally stop moving. Then I'm ready to devour anything and everything in sight.

Pit stop at the Coyote Ugly bar. Unfortunately, it was too early for much company and so I got to hang out with two Coyotes! Pretty sweet ladies ^_^

The road trip back seemed to take longer, but I think that was only in anticipation for Halloween and the night which lay ahead: picked up by 3 awesome dudes in a tour bus and sleeping on said tour bus's futon until we arrived at their Halloween gig and dancin' me arse off down front like the rebellious Sith Lord I was dressed up as...I digress.

There's a dichotomy of thought on public transportation: in the US, public transportation can mean a large city or as a means to get around for those who either cannot afford to or simply choose not to have a car, and is often thought of as a bit dingy, while in London, it seemed, and even the EU, public transportation is the way to travel for day-to-day or vacation.

Personally, I quite prefer public transportation because I like to be lazy {ha!} and not be bothered with driving, which can be a real pain. I quite miss the Tube and even the bus system in Kingston-upon-Thames and in good ol' Surbiton. I'll take someone carting my butt around anyday...

C'est mon jour...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Nobody likes you when you're 23

Solo birthday adventure to Chicago was a success!

First part of the journey: trek to the Amtrak station to get to Harrisburg for my departure...pouring down rain, but luckily, I still had that ridiculous poncho I chuckled at when the concierge gave it to me as I left the hotel in Philly.

Lesson learned from all of the walking accomplished: I walk a lot faster than MapQuest predicts for directions and therefore able to cover a lot more ground in limited time frames. 

What travel blogs and social media doesn't always show: the mess behind the artsy-fartsy pictures. Adrenaline was pumping and despite the bitter chill from the rain, I was kept quite warm under my jacket and clear poncho.

I stayed on the bus at the first pit stop, during which I was serenaded by 2/3 of Small Town Titans for my birthday promptly @00:01. I felt loved and sleepy...

First mandatory pit stop taken: Pittsburgh, where I bought myself a cookie in celebration {and hunger}. Interesting place and perched in my chair, well away from anyone, I was able to do some people watching as I tried desperately to conserve phone battery.

Goodbye, Akron! It was nice seeing you, bleary-eyed and groggy from being awakened by the blinding bus lights....the finer points of travel: reality.

Long bus rides, exhilarated and tired, fueled by the anticipation and sensory overload that comes with exploration of new places and new people all around.

Cleveland, OH! Nice little stop and a chance to catch my breath, checking in with Mummy so she could have some peace of mind.

{Sowwy, Mummy. I don't mean to worry you with my crazy strong-willed sense of adventure and stubbornness in seeing the world alone.}

Irony: I find comfort in traveling by myself and feeling safer in doing so. One would think the opposite: safety in numbers. However, there's no need to coordinate with another and it causes one to have heightened senses to look after themselves....

Toledo, OH! Wavy lines as we get closer and closer to Chicago...

These boots have traversed many identical pair took me through London and Berlin, where they finally fell apart on the cobblestones and pavement after over 35 miles in 2 days {22+ the first day!}

By now, I was quiiiiiiiiite awake ;)

My Gramps studied and worked after high school. Knowing that brought me a sense of calm and comfort, thinking of him walking around the Windy City around the same age I was... Thought the city has most definitely changed since '54, I love visiting places family has been before...

I have this theory that a small piece of one's spirit and soul are left in a city that touches their heart. Gramps left a piece of himself in Chicago as I did on my birthday.

*Obligatory cheese-tastic picture in front of a city landmark*

I posed in front of the Eiffel Tower on my 21st and so, posing in front of the Bean on my 23rd. Tourist-y and that's A-ok.

A trip to Chicago wouldn't be complete without some original deep dish pizza. Despite not being an über-fan of pizza, this was pretty dang good after walking several miles around the city, trying to take in as much as possible during my short stay.... The serving size for the smallest pie was for 2, and I did, indeed, devour half of the pie, "1 serving," but holy cow, was I quite full!! Plenty to eat during my next layover :)

And with that, it was a wonderful birthday spent across different cities and I was quite sad to go...but more adventures awaited in the next city.


....just have to stay up since a strange man sat next to me on, of course, the longest stretch en route to Nashville.

Oh, and Louisville bus station is no bueno.

Sentimental thoughts: flickering lights and the "D" sliding down from the Spanish header, Damas, above the women's restroom entrance sums up the shape of this area. Get me the hell out of here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Birthday Blues

Nobody likes you when you're 23....

With my birthday around the corner {T-minus 13hrs to be precise}, I have a sinking dread....of growing old and while I'm content with the laugh lines beginning to show around my eyes already, it's the wasted time I'll never get back that has me bummed.

Life always has a way of veering off course than how we imagined and I never thought I would be where I am, both a good and bad thing. I'm lucky to have a steady, albeit hectic, managerial position at this age, yet I'm not doing what I've always wanted to do: travel.

At the ripe ol' age of 22 {I still have a few hours, thank you very much}, I feel as though the clock is ticking and I'm not fulfilling my potential, so in a sense, yes, I feel old because of those thoughts...

This year, I'm skipping town to explore an unknown city on my own: a sanity trip to just think and numb some of the wanderlust pangs of pain I feel at times. While not a diagnosable disease, wanderlust can have some terrible side effects, i.e. anxiety, boredom, bouts of depression...

The aftermath of exploring a strange new town hacks away on such a large portion of my anxiety... Sure, the work stress is still there, but it becomes more manageable because I'm happier after a trip.

Traveling grants mental relief and recharge. 

Noms with sissy @Houli's!
I wasn't planning on really celebrating my birthday, simply getting the hell out of town is enough. I don't see it as anything special nor noteworthy. If anything, I get more excited about celebrating other people's womb-liberation day and reminding them how much their loved and how happy I am that they were the fastest swimmer once.

Since my mum has had the misfortune of dealing with my shenanigans, idiocy, and insolence throughout the years, I told her I didn't want nor need anything for my birthday if she was planning on getting anything...just my little gold backpack mailed to my apartment since I had forgotten it last time I was home.

Naturally, she's stubborn like I am and super kind to boot, and went out of her way to send packages...aaaand I just feel all the more bratty and un-deserving of her love since I'm already a great burden.

Quite surprised by a beautiful bouquet of flowers sent by my bestie, Heidi. As they were sent to my work, I was half-worried someone had died and this was how the news was being sent to me, or I had a stalker.

That's where my mind goes at times: extreme absurdities.

I digress...I felt quite touched and a few tears welled up in my eyes when I read the card from my dear best friend who wanted me to be totally surprised and feel special, which I most certainly was and did! ^_^

Feeling loved, alone, and content, and ready to take on the world.

Side note: In preparation for my solo adventure, perhaps I should actually get out of bed and put on some pants today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Adulting in the 21st century

adulting: verb [uh-duhl-ting, ad-uhl-ting]

  • being able to do things you've always wanted to do, but your parents (or the law) wouldn't allow, i.e. eat cereal for brekkie, lunch, & dinner; take long, crazy adventure drives, drink a divine glass of Merlot with your cereal
  • having to do things you'd rather not do, but your parents (and the law) make you, i.e. check in every so often so they don't think you're dead, taxes
  • get a job so you can pay for your own things, i.e. cereal & Merlot

I'm still learning this whole "adulting" concept...

I wear trousers half of my days and can put together a nice jumper/button-down combo, so I feel ready to take on the world...sometimes.

My nightly solo walk to the parking garage...a bit like Russian roulette with my fears and overactive imagination. Most nights I don't think about my echo-y footsteps as I trudge to my car, fairly confident there are no monsters lurking as the lights brighten with motion.

This particular night {@12 midnight}...I was half-convinced I was on the set of a slasher film, especially as I kept hearing car doors and the only other car parked near me was, of course, parked 2 spots down from my driver's side. *Bert stare*

Some employees don't like walking back to their car alone, even in the middle of the day, but I find a bit of solace in my walk of solitude to my lonesome car and back to an empty apartment {albeit Mr. Hippy & Harry the stuffed cat are always awaiting my return}.

Perhaps adulting is learning more about who you are, what you want, where you want to go, and your tolerances of socialization/society.

Or, maybe it's just getting on that work grind day in and day out to build that career, and I'm thinking way too metaphorically into this...


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Loner Living Downsides

"It's amazing living alone. It's like a refuge." -Paloma Faith

"I had already found that it was not good to be alone, and so made companionship with what there was around me, sometimes with the universe and sometimes with my own insignificant self; but my books were always my friends, let fail all else." -Joshua Slocum

As I flitted about the apartment this morning - okay, I spent most of my morning in bed catching up on virtual life and editing old posts in which I missed a word or two that were in my head but didn't quite translate into my typing fingers from my matter, I also danced about in a blanket, doing menial little tasks such as cleaning up and organizing, too lazy to put clothes on again but too lazy to go through with the whole ritual of a shower, realizing how freeing it is to live alone.

However, as my mind tends to wander and create silly little lists I never truly write down, running dialogues never uttered, I actually decided to put use to these thoughts so as not to lose them the instant my fingertips began smacking upon the well-worn keys on my ol' faithful laptop {together since 2011 and through multiple crashes, from which it's been miraculously saved by Lovely every.freakin.time}.

  • Fear of running out of TP while in the bathroom - there have been several times I was nervous as I was actually staying hydrated by drinking H2O and having to run to the loo so stinkin' much 
    • Why do you health nuts do this to yourselves?? 
  • Hearing footsteps somewhere around the house {split into separate apartments} and I'm alone in bed...umm, no, not getting up for monsters 
  • Irrational fear that I'll forget to turn off the stove/oven {even when I haven't turned it on all day} & no one will be able to go inside to turn it off 
  • Realizing I have to get out of cozy bed to turn off the light & risk those 5 seconds of potential danger of being attacked by a gremlin in the dark 
  • Having to kill bugs by myself :( 
    • I hate centipedes, but happily squish stinkbugs 
  • Grocery shopping for one can be a real pain in the arse - sure, more for me mwahahahaha, but sales on things I want will occur only on bulk items or items only available in such & such a size, the smallest of which would take me 5 years to consume 
    • i.e. butter & milk - only suitable for making Mac&cheese 
  • My lone toothbrush looks ridiculous in a holder built for 4 
  • I have a step stool for in the my kitchen because I can't reach the top shelves....okay, I could and totally would climb onto the counters, but Mum so kindly thought ahead for me 
  • No one with whom to split the cleaning....I ♥ vacuuming, but dusting? Yuck. 
  • No one to pick up the mail when I'm lazy AF out of town for work/adventures 
  • "Living alone makes it harder to find someone to blame." -Mason Cooley 

Silly list for a whimsical, lazy day off {albeit are any of my days truly lazy if I'm accomplishing something, such as this list, eh?}.

Well, my wine won't buy itself nor the latest issue of Seventeen read itself soo...auf Wiedersehen and enjoy the sunshine if you're so blessed to have some on this crisp autumn day!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Matters of the foolish heart

"Love was just like communism: it was a great idea but never quite worked out."
-Conrad Valmont, The Longest Week

My inner 13yo self, angst-ridden and driven by pessimism battles the inner whimsical romantic who half believes she'll grow old with someone and be as cute as the couple holding hands and smiling in the hospital room the other day, giggling like two silly lovebirds.... Okay, I'm actually smiling just thinking about them and the years they must have spent together, the life they built around one another, a beautiful thing indeed in my fantastical overactive imagination *sigh*

As I have witnessed through experience and vicariously through friends, those wondrously soaring feelings, unstable and unpredictable can swiftly kick us in the teeth, back down to where we belong - slightly bruised and achy, and sometimes the worst for wear.

It's always interesting what one is willing to do in order to catch, and hold onto, the attention of a crush/someone we like/a significant other, the various types merely lumped together as it can be quite comparable, however different in degree for the lengths to which one will go to show how much they care - and because someone wants to put forth the effort.

It's easy to lie in my cozy double-bed alone, hogging all of the covers to myself, to denounce love and its potential, but in truth, I'm quite at odds at this strange notion. I see beautiful couples grow old together, listen to stories of family friends who have been together since WWII, observe the love on FB of those of our generation looking to break the mold of this gen's tendency to break and buy new rather than mend, and the biggest shit-grin spreads across my now-aching smiling chubby cheeks.

I feel it's more of a battle of trying to rationalize feelings which simply cannot be rationalized...there are specific attributes we may like about someone, but there's a spark that makes us {going back to middle school now} like like someone, and not just like them as we may like someone with a similar sense of style or character or eyes which light up the room or muscles with just the right mixture of strength and lithe...merdé.

There is hope and I hope....for others. Sure, I'm going to listen to those gut-wrenching, sickly sweet love songs and get puppy eyes, wait up all night just for the chance to talk on the phone after a long day, but as far as longevity, of this I'm sure: if I do end up alone, as likely to occur, I'll be okay.

The irony: the heart and brain are seemingly opposites {not opponents}, yet it is the brain creating these fuzzy-warm feelings. Why do you hide behind the guise of the heart, brain?

Like/love is not a bad thing, but one which can be torturous...but that's why there is chocolate and stuffed hippos to cry on and wonderful girl friends to Snapchat when a guy or girl is being a butthead.

Be happy, be merry, fall in love....and have a healthy supply of chocolate waiting atop a stack of books in which to dive at the first sign there is need of retreat, but also be willing to let down your long hair, Rapunzel, to let someone climb the metaphorical tower wall of the prison in which you've encased yourself...

....and jumpers*: invest in jumpers so you can keep yourself warm when that male heater isn't around. 


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Youth and Femininity

Not a subject I tend to dwell on nor share my opinion because of the hostile reciprocation it receives, feminism still holds an ever-present place in my mind, particularly in regard to the workforce.

Common misconception holds feminists as tit-baring and man-hating, but this idealism which may flash across people's minds is just silly nonsense...feminism in its true form is woman-empowering, and also men-empowering - putting us all on the same playing field.

Emma Watson's appointment of UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and, most recently, Jennifer Lawrence's uncensored unabashed take on the wage gap still present in the 21st century show us the need for strong women to pave the way for other strong women.

Undoubtedly, I also feel some have taken the idea of feminism too far, using it as a crutch or excuse for their behavior - much like wanting to be treated as an adult warrants acting accordingly, I'm quite euphoric I can genuinely say I'm treated on an equal playing field as my male peers - a woman in business is not always an easy route, particularly management.

I do, however, notice, through observation, of which I'm quite keen on doing in order to assess situations, that this does not always translate as being held to the same standard for those underneath me...

With some, I'm grateful my competencies are realized and I've been able to prove myself worthy of their trust and loyalty. With others, I have felt as though my judgment is taken, since it comes from a higher up position, but there is a sense of resistance or an inner tendency to be argumentative or test how far it takes until I cave.

As a young professional gaining experience from managing employees months, years, even decades, older than I, I have felt my authority questioned and have questioned myself at times.

Perception is key, as is confidence, but I'd be lying if I said my age nor gender never played a role in earning the respect of employees and peers. I've found myself more aware of this - being judged by my anatomical attributes rather than by character {aside from body issues, into which we shalln't divulge at the moment} - and it bites it's not the best feeling in the world but only drives my will to succeed ever harder.

I have William the Conqueror's blood flowing through my veins and the heat of the French - I don't give up that easily ;)

The Quantum Moment by Robert P. Crease & Alfred Scharff Goldhaber
As Hermione would say... "and now, for a bit of light reading."

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Food and the French

I have a times, I am a serial Instagrammer, guilty of posting those foodie pics before devouring every delectable bite in sight. I will, however, admit that I only take one photo so as to be as time-efficient as possible, and so I can get on with it and move on to the delicious meal in front of me.

I still don't understand the whole "basic" concept - coffee in a cheap, recyclable plastic cup....but I'm not this terrible "Basic" if it's not coffee nor Starbucks, right?

Earlier this week, I tried the Nutella frozen Goodness {sans espresso} from the magical Folklore coffee shop a short, brisk walk from my apartment, partnered with a sandwich:

I'm a sucker for a good sandwich, not to mention the lure of a beloved Chronicles of Narnia character.

The French are known for their baked goods: crisp, hard bread; crêpes in every flavor and variety, sweet or savory; and of course, croissants.

With all of the French reviewing I've been doing with the Pimsleur Language Programs {thank you, DCLS!}, combined with the occasional strong desire for chocolate, I indulged by making my own chocolate croissants.

  • Pillsbury croissant rolls
  • Semi-sweet chocolate kisses
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Baking pan
  • DONE

Despite my constant drive of improvement, especially in regards to my figure and the journey to self-happiness, I've found little treats are important for one's sanity and so there is not a total relapse aka making a desperate grocery store run and buying every chocolate bar in stock....except Hershey's.

Treat yo' long as my bum continues to {ever-so-slowly} lift in perkiness and my stomach keeps flattening to its former glory days....

As hectic as life becomes, with crazy schedules and laundry lists of shit chores to do, cooking forces me to take that little bit of time needed to slow down and focus on the little a perfectly cooked egg as part of my English brekkie after my morning run and workout.

Oh, how I miss walking into town to Weatherspoons for vegetarian English brekkie, listening to the old men discuss life with a beer in one hand and using the other to emphasize their accented opinions.

Et maintenant, je dois practiquer encore mon ukulélé et acheter du vin pour le dîner un peu plus tard....

I'm getting there....for some reason, food words in foreign languages are the ones which always stick. Wonder why?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bibliophile in her natural habitat

Lost among the stacks, drawn into my own bubble and traipsing about the not-so-dusty tombs, replacing their brethren onto the shelves: how I enjoy spending my brief shifts at the library... My mild case of OCD quite enjoys the satisfaction of rearranging books out of order into their proper sequence so others may easier find the next world in which to divulge.

It was here I found solace this morning, as well as when I found a few "new" treasures hidden among the corpses of trees. {That's essentially what books are, aren't they?}

Still on my Middle Eastern conflict with concentration on first-hand US military accounts kick, with a touch of Einstein, Tolkien, and worldly adventure...of sorts.

I can hardly fathom the numbers, repeating them to myself as a reminder that I can tackle anything thrown at me: 28+ hours worked at my full-time job between Saturday and Sunday. As the millennials would say, that shit cray.

As much as I enjoy doing what I'm doing, taking names, and running amok with all the craziness of a typical work shift, it's rather enjoyable to kick back {metaphorically} and escape among the shelves and slip into the fictitious and also informative world of books and all they offer.

For a bibliophile, working in a library setting, even if it's only on an on-demand basis, is a special nirvana...providing there are minimal instances with crazed patrons, shouting at you for no reason.

This knowledge-hungry bibliophile can't wait for the next opportunity to snuggle in bed and get started on this exciting stack!

Have you read any mind-opening/gut-clenching/aw(e)-inducing books lately?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Belly, Warm Heart

Powerful words. Imagine the possibility?

In an evolving virtual world of selfies and increasing self-centeredness, it is also one full of increasing self-consciousness, hiding behind the camera lens to mask the insecurities... but there's always something we like about ourselves, no? Whether it's a small brown freckle hidden under our arm or the multiple colors displayed in our eyes only to those who look closely enough, any little bit of love counts when combating insecurities trapped inside our heads.

Whether it's physical or intangible elements, if we were borderline obsessive about these wondrous traits we love, we could eventually focus on the whole beautiful picture, and further push our potential, achieving even more than our dizziest daydreams could fathom...wild.

I've made a goal of telling myself one thing I love about myself each and every day, happy or sad or lazy mood. Today, I love the way the little formation of brown freckles on my right arm which form an upside-down J - my first and last initial.

New H&M crop top; thrift store booties (woot!);
ol' favorite skirt from 10th grade: all ready for the world.
My outfit was also on pointe, so that helped boost my confidence as well. Lapping up these last few warm days while I can! Hello, bare vampire-tanned legs!

My fedora completed the look, but as usual, last minute pick-up as I rushed out the door for much needed grocery shopping. $.66 avocados were calling my name, as well as some lettuce and 'licious chocolate.

{I'm sorry, fellow drivers, who may have been subjected for the disgusting way I inhaled that small cookie dough chocolate bar}

I may have a slight obsession with cooking now....Mummy would be so proud! Taking simple ideas and running wiiiiiild. Ain't nobody got time for recipes...

There is a fabulous website called Supercook which I may be utilizing when I'm too lazy/busy {if that makes sense...} to go grocery shopping and am down to a few last, random items. Eggs are fairly versatile, as are veggie burgers and there's always rice or Ramen on hand. *drooling over the last Ramen meal I made*

Healthier, shmealthier. Let's be real, veggies are typically cheaper and I'm too lazy to cook meat so my laziness pays off in making healthier decisions easier.

If only I could resist the temptation of sweets...they are vegetarian after all...

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Friday adventures to nowhere

As much as I enjoy going into work {yes, I realize employers love to hear this, but it's genuinely true for me}, I've also realized the importance of taking the time to recharge batteries and sometimes, doing seemingly nothing while actually doing something.

Breaking away from the outside world, unplugging from social media and work problems is crucial for body and soul....and sanity.

Growing up, through elementary, middle, high school, and then Uni, I was constantly on the go, go, go...too busy to even consider the possibility of being ill, albeit a decent immune system {despite sometimes eating like garbage} also helps. I guess all those years of the 5-second rule helped after all.

While I did go into work later than usual, I could not go without clocking in a few hours before cleaning myself up and getting into the office. In the meantime, romper and my favorite flannel lend a cozy hand in getting me through the morning.

It's incredible: even when I feel sicky, I still manage to get quite a bit done!

This whole work/life balance may prove a constant struggle with an ever-changing schedule, but flannels and clean sheets go a long way, even when you feel as though you're about to fall over.

Learn from my mistake: one fainting spell, several close calls, and a handful of panic attacks later, I'm realizing it's okay to be a legit lazy bum sometimes instead of, what I like to call, a productive lazy bum.

Productive lazy bum: a person capable of accomplishing many tasks, yet does not find the time to complete the simple mundane daily tasks such as showering, brushing their hair, or even getting dressed until evening.
 Another day, another crazy adventure to nowhere...

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Mystics in New England

New England in the autumn is quite beautiful - still a bit warm on this particular adventurous day, albeit worth the few small beads of sweat from driving the 5+ hours for a gorgeous views offered by these small towns.

The drive itself offered some pretty scenery once I got through Jersey. No offense, but I have a slight vendetta against that state....erratic drivers, cops included, and roads which do not make comprehensible sense.

Crossed a few things off of what I jokingly refer to as my death-wish bucket list; items I would be quite A-okay with never accomplishing in this short life.

  1. Drive on the PA Turnpike - what is so great about this mundane shit?
  2. Drive on the Jersey Turnpike - fuck that noise, never again
  3. Drove through Manhattan - *Bert stare*
Pure madness. But then again, aren't we all a little mad around here?

Pit stop for pee break, leg-stretching, and much desire snack.

On TripAdvisor, a few insignificant reviewers were bashing this old-timey bridge, stating it was boring and only exciting if one has never witnessed a drawbridge raising and lowering...yes, it is a boring occurrence, but it's a charm to this small town.

*I also almost got caught on it while allowing an old couple to cross in the crosswalk, during which they stopped so they could stare as the crossbars began to move downward, signalling the bridge was going to raise soon...*

View from the pier: wow, wow, wow.

After a few pictures, it felt great to put my phone away, ignore the world as I lapped up this picturesque village and let go of the worries of work and life.


Holy cannoli, Batman.

The Mystic Sweet Shoppe was rather delightful in fulfilling my sweet tooth pangs of hunger. Belly, heart, & soul happy, and Superman's chocolate peanut butter fudge tucked safely in my car to keep from melting.

I found this lovely bar downtown in Westerly, RI after a brief stop at the Clydesdale, Tavern, which, by the way, does not offer food, much to my chagrin. {Holy commas}

84 Tavern happened to be the bar which opened first {quite surprised so many did not open until 4 or even 5PM...} and had a delish lunch special going on which I could not ignore after shoving money into my gas tank.

For a while, I had the place to myself, conversing with the bartender and trying samples of the local brews:
  • Mystic Bridge IPA
  • Grey Sail Flying Jenny IPA
  • Allagash White Beer
  • Couch Surfer - no me gusta
With heavy heart from having to leave such a beautiful area, I walked out {after paying, of course} and made it back to my car for the 6hr toll-less drive back because in all honesty, screw toll roads and driving through NYC.

The drive home was just as pretty as the one back, albeit a bit daunting with the long stretches of mile after mile of highway and drowsiness attempting to set in...

New England states have all been visited now. Bucket List item complete.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Women's clothing sizes make so much sense

As many women are in the habit of doing, I prefer to try on clothing, especially pants, before making such a hasty purchasing decision. I'm indecisive on clothes and will mull over my decision about 5x before finally placing the item back on the rack, having convinced myself it is not flattering or just isn't my color.

Even with more frequented stores, such as AE, I find myself in the constant guessing game of what size to pick up.

Men's pants sizes: cut & dry. Inseam & waistband.

What psychopath came up with the way in which women's pants are measured??

Yes, psychopath.

I'm constantly reminding myself of the need to purge my closet, only to conveniently never make it to that particular ticket item on my to-do list because I hate the hassle of doing black dress pants are in some need of trying-on and donating which ones do not fit.

Why my pants don't make sense, a review:

  • Dockers, size 4R: too short, taut {in a lovely, flattering way} across my bum
  • Express, size 0: falling off of my hips, but contour to my bum in a nice way,  a tad long
  • No Boundaries, Jrs. size 3: loose, a tad too long
  • AE Jeggings, size 2: all depends on the day, quite frankly, either fit or are too loose
  • Hot Topic jeggings, size 0 & 1: fit niiiiiicely
Mind you, I only post sizes for comparison; on any given day my size fluctuates, c'est la vie.

True, I could invest in a tailor, but I'm 22 and these dress pants are for running around a hospital, so it's no matter to me as long as they don't fall down. It's no wonder women feel added pressure to fit into a particular size. One size does not, indeed, fit across the board.

Size is relative...measurements are more precise...

Does anyone else have problems with their pants?? Yet another reason I prefer to simply not wear pants. Boots & socks are good enough for brisk weather.

Long live the pantsless leg season.

And Happy National Taco Day!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Centralia - a city on fire

A blip in bumfuck county, Centralia is a fascinating place in which it was mostly abandoned years ago {1962, if memory serves me correctly}.

The graffiti highway is worth a stop - if one can find it.... a little tricky, but luckily, there were some kids roaming about the area so I did what any suave solo traveler would do: followed them and was quite satisfied.

True....the thought did come to me that I might be attacked, bound, and offered up as an offering in some demented Satanic ritual, but I lucked out and they turned out to be seemingly safe and left me alone! Imagination gone wild... 

Visit from Europeans...? Or possibly Americans who are sick of the mindset that American football is king...?

Does Tree have friends in the area? Many interesting words spray-painted across the macadam.

One of two Pokéballs I came across amongst the names and d!ck pictures. Is American graffiti that unimaginative in this age?? Berlin is a great example of a city with artful graffiti - not phallic images spray-painted on every surface.

*flashback - middle school guys love to draw phallic images in textbooks and a few boys were asked if they had an addiction they'd like to share with the class ha*

Beautiful soulful words shared as well....I loved traipsing down the road and stumbling across hidden gems. A few paths veered off of the road and into the woods. At the edge of the road, they clearly said, "Do not enter," in wickedly spiked handwriting, so naturally, I ventured forth. Not much to see, but had a lovely walk in the woods nonetheless.

Traveling off of the beaten path can get the heartbeat up and lend one some time to just think of anything but work or responsibility...

There are still some people living in the area due to a 2013 squatters' lawsuit, but for the most part, it seemed a dead zone. Interesting place to stop and explore, though. Another town off of my travel bucket list and one I'd love to visit again for further exploration.

Around this time, I was getting a bit peckish and stopped at a local bar, the 901 Pub, in Pottsville. Delicious crab-stuffed mushrooms and a beer later, I felt good to go.

Apparently, my new-found friends thought I looked like a modern Rosie the Riveter and thus this picture was taken and shared.

Here's to new friends and many new adventures to come.