Memorial Day

En route to Georgia...this is from a few weeks ago at the Twisted Root. The light was amazing — this is straight out of the camera, but sharpened for web.


Granddad update

Sorry I haven't updated sooner — Granddad's still in the hospital, and will be until Tuesday (they estimate). They found a spot of pneumonia on his lung that probably caused the trouble.

My mom and I are headed out first thing tomorrow to Georgia to care for him for a while. We're not sure how long. The plan is to get him into a subacute care center as soon as a spot opens up.

To be completely honest, I'm scared of this trip. I'm scared to see my grandfather this way, scared to have to be responsible and grown up...but I know it's what's best and I know it'll ultimately be good.




My Granddad's had a rough few years with strokes and illnesses. Tonight he's in really, really rough shape. We're not sure what's wrong, but it's scary. If you could...send good thoughts or prayers his way? Thank you so much.


I know it's cruel. BUT LOOKIT THE NOSEY-POO

Side note -- does anybody know how to make pictures BIGGER in Blogger?


...or not.


I'm back.

The stubborn side of me (the side that has disavowed cheese for the past 16 years) is kicking the weaker side of me for giving in...but the weaker side of me is saying FINALLY! INTERNET! OH, HELLO, LOVER! and also Oh, crap, I have 74,000 tweets and blogs to read. WHIMPER.

So here's how it went.

From Wednesday-Saturday, I did okay. There were times I really enjoyed not having the pull of the internet to lure me away from reading or knitting or playing games. I read 2.5 books in three days (!!!!). It was HEAVEN.

I enjoyed having silence in the car. I thought more than I've thought in, uh, a while (don't judge me). And it was almost a relief to not check Twitter every 2.4 seconds, and instead peruse magazines while I stood in line at the grocery store, or actually pay attention to traffic at stop lights.

I also got so. much. sleep. With no TV or internet to distract me, I was in bed by 10:30 or 11 each night. That? Is A-MAY-ZING for me. It felt SO GOOD.

But on the flip side, it was also much lonelier. I hadn't realized how much I depended on things like Twitter for friendship while I'm in Texas. (It sounds sad: I know. But I follow some really, really amazing people on Twitter.)

I missed checking Twitter one last time before I went to bed, seeing what others were up to. I missed checking blogs as I put on makeup in the morning. I MISSED WATCHING THE OFFICE GAH.


I want to repeat this little experiment once I'm back at school. I think I could last a week then — when I have my friends surrounding me. I also think I may have a modified break from now on — like no Internet or TV after 7 p.m. That way I'll keep my evening reading time.

All in all...this was a good experiment. I loved not being tethered to my phone or computer 24/7 constantly refreshing Twitter and Bloglines. I loved the free reading time. I loved the extra sleep.



I'm really not quite sure how I'll survive

So I have made an Executive Decision.

I am going most-electronics-free for ONE WEEK.

This means:

1) No TV
2) No radio
3) No Twitter (GASP)
4) No Internet (ZOMG GASP)
5) No blogging
6) No email
7) No texting
9) I'm pretty sure I've lost my mind completely at this point.

From today (Wednesday, 5/19-Wednesday 5/26), the only thing I'll be using is the telephone feature of my iPhone — and I don't even use that very much.

I am scared silly, y'all. I am so not even kidding.

But I just want to see if I can do this. Go a whole week offline. Force myself to read more, knit more, relax more.

(This also means that there will be no more posts for this week. I KNOW. I'm crying, too.)

(Also, I wrote this post in advance so that this whole no-anything shebang could officially start on Wednesday.)


I'm hoping this week will let me realize that I'm not a) addicted to or b) dependent on those forms of technology to survive. Because reading blogs and Twitter and celebrity-babies.com, blogging, emailing, etc. take up a lot of my time. So I'm going COLD TURKEY for ONE WEEK.


Wish me luck, y'all. I'M GONNA NEED IT.


Why yes, I am [somewhat] college-educated

So the other day I spent an afternoon with my mom. We browsed a few places and then headed to this crazy consignment/thrift store.

You guys.

I imagine this place would fit really well in a drug-induced hallucination. Or in 1973. Whichever.

It's filled to the brim with stuff — old clothes, signs, jewelry, bumper stickers, hats...you could spend DAYS in there and not find everything. Kind of like the Louvre. But a Louvre that smells like mothballs.

Anyway: the point of this post. I'll get there now. Promise.

So I was rooting through this bowl of little tiny rings. I love rings. Like a lot. And I found one that looked pretty cool — it had a light purple background with some sort of Asian character on it:

"Huh," I said aloud, "I wonder what that character means? Maybe like peace? Or love? Something happy, I'm sure." And I thought very seriously about buying it — not to wear, but to put out in my room on my dresser next to the Buddhas and the mini Japanese Zen Garden.

Then I noticed the lady behind the counter looking at me funny. Like I had three heads, or something. And then it clicked.

I flipped the ring upside down, and...


It wasn't a cool Asian character. It was the freaking Playboy Bunny.

I felt SO COOL, let me just tell you. And smart. And not embarrassed AT ALL.

So I put the ring back. And left the store and quit college and joined the circus. But not before trying on the coolest sunglasses ever.



I've never been a cilantro girl, myself.


Northerners vs. southerners

I know there's a big deal made about northern vs. southern stereotypes. Before I moved up to the northeast, a shocking number of people warned me that the people up there would be coldhearted and impolite. So I braced myself.

Now...maybe I've had low expectations over the past two years, but I've never experienced any unkindness by ANYONE in DreamSchool city. And I'm in a big, fast-moving city — where you'd "expect" people to fit the northerner stereotype.

Last Wednesday illustrates perfectly just how wrong stereotypes can be. Last Wednesday was when I packed up and came back to Texas for the summer — and y'all, after I posted this post I started crying and could. not. stop.

I cried as I left my dorm. I bawled as I hugged my roommates goodbye. And once I got on the subway to go to the airport...oh, y'all, it was the full-on UGLY cry. Like...nose running, eyes dripping, chest-heaving, gasping-for-breath sobs. IN PUBLIC.

(Now? I'm mortified. Then? I couldn't have cared less.)

As I rode the subway, clutching two large heavy suitcases, a large purse, a laptop bag, a sweater, and a neck pillow, all the while crying like I'd never be coming back, I was approached by a middle-aged woman.

She leaned up next to me and said, "I noticed you're having a hard time. Is there anything I can do?"

Through my gasping sobs I reassured her that I was okay, just really sad. She stood next to me for the rest of the subway ride.

I had to switch trains, and when I got on the next one, I was standing next to a man. I could feel him watching me, so I tried to tone down the waterworks (which, um, failed).

He kindly smiled at me, and said, "I can't help but notice your suitcase tag says Texas on it. My daughter lives there, and I was there recently." He kept me engaged (and distracted) for the rest of the ride.

When I got to the airport, I had mostly stopped crying (for the time being). I was planning on checking my huge suitcase and taking my smaller suitcase on the plane with me. But it was packed too big to fit in the overhead compartment — so I'd have to check both suitcases. That'd cost me $110 total. Effing ridiculous.

The sweet lady behind the ticket counter saw my tear-streaked face and swollen eyes, and said, "Oh, honey, is everything okay?"

I told her that I was just really sad to be leaving the city and my roommates for four months. She gently nodded, and said, "I tell you what. I'm not going to charge you for your second bag. I'll just charge you for your big suitcase and the overweight fee."

I could have kissed her. I'm not even kidding. Not only her kindness but the fact that I was saving $35 bucks made me cry happy-grateful tears. (Which then spurred sad tears later on because hi, hormones! But we're not going to talk about that.)

My point is...the people I've encountered in all the major northern cities I've been to have been so, so nice. I hate the stereotypes that exist saying northerners are rude. If anything, perhaps the fact that they're stereotyped as rude makes them a bit grumpy :)


Mother's Day brunch table setting

Designed primarily by my sister but supplemented by yours truly. Because I am awesome.


Off-topic but still important — I met up with the coolest nanny blogger and her friends while I was still up north. I'm so excited to hang out with them again in September :)


Weight pictures week 8


This means several things (excuses, excuses):

1) I've been SLEEPING!!!
2) I've been SNACKING!!!
3) I've been SKIPPING THE GYM!!!

I'm catching up on rest (and feeling 10 million times better, srsly) and doing my part to clear out the junk food in our house so that I can start eating healthy. This means I ate three different kinds of pita chips yesterday. And a quart of chocolate hazelnut gelato. I'm such a martyr.

And re: the gym — I need to call the gym by my house to see how much a summer membership will cost me. I'm saving up for an SLR camera that I'll need for my photojournalism class next semester with any of my non-nanny-job babysitting money. But getting to the gym IS important to me so I'll make do. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things on Monday.

All this to say...well, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:


BUT. I have like 1.5 months until I have to go to the beach and ZOH MAH GAH PUT ON A SWIMSUIT.

So, essentially, IT'S CRACK-DOWN TIME, YO.

Let's do this, bitch.



Two nights before I left DreamSchool, my roommates and I all went out for a final dinner together — celebrating THE END OF THE YEAR PHEW WE SURVIVED *THUD*

(That THUD represents how we all collectively fainted from exhaustion immediately upon finishing our last final/turning in our last paper/submitting our last article online/begging our last professor for an A.)

After we regained consciousness, the 6 of us ventured off to the neighborhood where 5 of us will be living in our new apartment next year. And we found, like, my new favorite restaurant EVER.

Picture this: old, Victorian-style house. Happy yellow walls. Cool middle eastern accents. Windows everywhere, and all open to let the sunshine and cool breeze inside. Delicious, filling, organic, CHEAP food.

Basically? That restaurant is speakin' my name, yo.

And not only was the food delicious, but the company was too. As we sat around sipping our chai or cappucinos, talking about nothing in particular but just enjoying each others' presence, I thought just how lucky I truly am to have these five women in my life.

Love, love, love.



I really did things backward by choosing to live in the northeast during the winter and in Texas during the summer.

My mistake.

All I know is that it's only* 87 degrees outside and it's not even fully summer heat-wise and yet I'm lying on the floor drenched in sweat unable to move because the heat is literally stifling me.

*only 87 degrees being not that hot relative to Texas, I mean.

1) I think New England has ruined me.

2) This does not bode well for 100-degree Texas summer days when the heat index makes it approximately 5,430 degrees outside.

3) If you need me, I'll be trying to squeeze my 4'11, 132.5-pound self into the 2 foot tall freezer. That is all.


Goodbyes SUCK

So I'm sitting on my bed in my empty dorm room fighting back tears. It's my last day as an on-campus student — come September I'll be in my apartment — and my last day here of sophomore year.

I can't say it enough...I just love this school so much. It (and the people here) make me happier than I can say. I could go on about it forever, but I'm crunched for time, so we're going to do a good ol' bullet point post.

• no weight post this week simply because I have not had time to even take a picture of myself. Exams/papers/articles/etc. took over my life and my sleep schedule. Hi, I haven't slept in three weeks.

• I applied for and got a Supervisor position in admission!!!!!!!!!!! I am SO excited and so proud of myself :) It was really, really tough competition. I'm still smiling about it :)

• because of said supervisor job (and the pay raise that comes with it) and a few other contributing factors, I may not have to take summer classes this summer or graduate early (!!!!!!!!!!!). This would make me ridiculously happy.

• have I mentioned I haven't slept in three weeks? Cause, like, I haven't. Last night I was up packing until 4:45, and was so tired my eyes would.not.stay.open, so I power-napped for 10 minutes and then packed again til 5:40. Then I crashed on the couch and my alarm went off at 6:30.

• the good news is that all my stuff has been taken to storage. The bad news is that I *already* discovered a few things I should have packed but didn't. Oh well, storing 15 boxes costs enough money...

• my flight leaves in a few hours. I'll get into Texas at like 10 p.m. I want to sleep for a week straight (PLEASE!!!), but no go: I've got a dentist appointment at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, and a haircut at 11:30, and babysitting jobs lined up for the weekend.

• I really wish I was staying over the summer here with all my friends. I'm not — but my summer is starting to shape up. In addition to nannying for Sam, Ben & Coco, I'm going to see family in Georgia and Michigan, my friend Kelly is coming to visit for two weeks, and I'm going to the BEACH with these awesome people!!!

• Boytoy Sean and I officially ended our "relationship" on Monday (we weren't in an actual relationship — more like friends with benefits (hi, Mom and Dad!) but we decided not to continue that in September). Now I gotta find me a real relationship. Who knows someone good for me?! Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

• I keep thinking back to this time last year. D. and I had just split up, and I was heartbroken. Last summer was so, so hard...but this year is so much better.

Ummm...I think that's it. Next time I write I'll be in Tey-has!


Another video blog!

So here are a few things I would like to point out. As usual. Because excuses are my friend.

1) Ignore my psycho eyes. See #2.

2) I am exhausted. Pleaseohplease excuse the pimples on my face. Because pimples are caused by sleep deprivation. Dur.

3) I am nonsensical. See #1.

4) Sorry if I made you seasick.


6) If you make it all the way to the end, I will personally stand up and applaud you. Because WOOF.