Sunday, October 31, 2010

You are never to old to dress up for Halloween!

I am sitting here watching the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade on TV, I never knew it was broadcasted.  They say you should really visit NYC at New Years to experience, I have ZERO desire for that.  I think everyone should experience the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.  Why? Because there are some very unusual people you will see, everyone is happy, there is a little more room then being a sardine stuck in a small spot for hours, it is generally not that cold and last but not least - it is a little more fun.

While I am sitting watching TV, icing my ankle...I am remembering Halloween 2008.  Let me share.  My friend was moving and she really wanted to see the parade.  A few of us from book club decided we were going to go.  It was during the week, so I went to work and met up with the girls later on.  I stayed up late the night before working on my costume...because you can't go to the parade with out dressing up (OK, well one of my friends thought it was OK).   I am frugal - why spend $60 on a poor fitting costume?  So I came up with a home made costume - 'white lies'.  Very simple. I had on black pants and my black pull over fleece, and I safety pined small lies on index cards.  Sure, it was completely ridiculous...but it was also very unique.  Lots of people stopped to get a picture with me. 

So we start the night with green drinks.  Some friends were already drunk when I met up with them.  We head over to the parade.  Met some amazing costumes along the way.  A few friends decide to climb the barrier to join the parade...but one fell and BROKE HER FOOT.  I lost one friend in the chaos, and we end up going to the hospital and spend a few hours there before heading home. 

So I am not sure if I experienced the parade enough...but it was fun for the 30 minutes I was there.  The girl with the broken foot - we aren't friends anymore. 

(one of my things in my bucket list is to make a complete and utter fool of myself.  I am wondering if home made costumes qualify for that.  This year...I went as a skunk, previous years include nerd and chef.)

On a separate note but with the Halloween theme - I LOVE when the parents dress up taking their kid trick or treating.

Ok, I've been watching the parade for 90 minutes...well and doing other things, but I can't peel myself away. I am not a fan of all the store bought or Lady Gaga's, since I make my own ridiculous costumes...I really love the clever costumes people come up with. My favorites from this year...Metro Card Man, the loofahs, the robot - he even had the forethought to take a picture of himself and put it on his NYS license, the iPhone, some of the groups (KISS, the Flintstones, etc), marionette puppets, and the guy sitting on the toilet in a portapotty?.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wishing Bad Thoughts

Do you wish bad thoughts on people? I am ashamed to admit that I have.  Usually I do it after someone hurts me, and I started to believe in karma - what goes around comes around.  So, sometimes I wish the bad thoughts and other times I just envision the bad future scenarios of what would make me happy and them miserable.  I don't wish death because that is a way out, instead I'd prefer misery.  What can happen to someone to make them miserable and maybe regret their past choices? Can they be on top of the world one moment and then BAM it all falls apart.  Perhaps their significant other passes away, perhaps they are diagnosed with something, maybe they end up broke or in jail...either way, I would get some sort of satisfaction from that. I don't always envision the worst possible things - not all actions justify that, instead I just want something equally comparable to how I was hurt. 

I've mentioned before that I over think - and I definitely think about these things too much.  For instance, I constantly waste my time (YES, I know it is wasted time...and many times I don't want to think about it at all...but it is just there, it never really goes away) thinking about SI and his ex-mistress and what kind of karma they will endure.

I may come across as a mean, cold person that is full of anger and bitterness...but at least I can admit it.  I've lead a very truthful and honest life, I try not to break laws, I try to go out of my way to help when I can.  I think I am a really good person.  I am also full of love when it is deserved and that part of me generally overrides the other part twofold.  Sometimes I wonder that with the obstacles I've had - if that was my karma. Have I gotten it out of the way so the second part of my life will be better?  Was I am horrible person in a past life?  Either way, I know my internal thoughts are of no real bearing to others.  I may think bad things at times, but I know I would not be responsible if something actually happened. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Colorado in a week

My friend Anne and I went to Colorado for a vacation.  Here is my synopsis, in case you are ever in Colorado and are looking for things to do:

Day 1:  Garden of the Gods

Our first stop was the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.  This place was a FREE park where the sandstone rocks rise up 300+ feet among the trees with Pikes Peak peaking out behind the formations.  The park has trails that are easy to walk on and provided fantastic views of the formations.  Being in Colorado under 3 hours, walking was slightly harbored from the higher elevation then I am used to at 69 feet above sea level. 

The rocks allow for mountain climbing/scaling, provided that the experienced climber attain a permit first.  We did see two climbers which was pretty neat.  The falling rock is a must see stop when you first pull into the park from one of the entrances.

There are even some big horn sheep on the premises.
Day 2:  Great Sand Dunes 
A MUST see if you are in south Colorado.  The park was $3 per person. We drove for an hour through such thick fog - and then we get out of the fog, and we see the sand, what an amazing sight. We parked the car and started towards the 30 acres of sand dunes.  There are no paths - you make your own as you climb up the sand.  I am not sure if it was because it was only my second day of the higher altitude, but the sand dunes kicked my butt.  Granted, I am not in the best shape, but I was so out of breath walking up the hills.  I had hoped to maybe get near "high peak" which is 650 feet high, but probably got about half way or a little more.  (star dune is 750 feet).  I am sure with more time and more water, I would have, but we were unprepared, and had split the water.  So we just walked the ridge lines and enjoyed the beauty of this natural area.  It made me feel so small among all that nothingness.
It is utterly amazing that a place like this exists in our country.  Even more amazing that people didn't know about it or understand about the natural phenomenon.

Day 3:  Royal Gorge Bridge & Pikes Peak

The Royal Gorge Bridge is located in Canon City.  When we decided to add it to our agenda, we just wanted to walk over the bridge.  They have a special if you purchase your ticket from 7-8:30am for about $15 then you get full park access after 10am.  From 7 - 8:30 only the bridge is open to drive or walk over.  We drove over it first - which was very scary at first.  The wooden planks creaked the whole 10mph about 955 feet above the Arkansas River.  This suspension bridge is remarkable that it was the highest suspension bridge in the world until 2003 (then a bridge in China took the lead) and it was built in 1929.  There are 1292 planks covering 1260 feet long and 18 feet wide. 

Also within this park, there are other attractions such as Aerial Tram, Incline Railway, Skycoaster and petting zoo.   The fees are generally about $25 per person and would not be a full day's worth of activities.  I did not partake in the attractions - since we had other plans this day and didn't want to come back after 10am.

Next up was Pike's Peak.  You can hike, drive or take the railroad up to the top.  The mountain raises 14,110 feet.  We elected to take the COG railway which was about 90 minutes in each direction.  Our luck would have it, we had front row seats going up.  Unobstructed views of the winding and steep tracks, the woods, rocks, and other side views made this experience even better.  The conductor suggests that you sip water going up to help with elevation sickness - the air at the top of the mountain is only 60% of that of sea level.  The temperature at the top rarely goes above 40 degrees Fahrenheit - and when we went it was about 33 degrees.  They allowed us to walk around for about half an hour before we had to head back down.  They tend to limit this time as more time affects people - including me -  I definitely suffered altitude sickness.  Up top, the views can span 4 states on a clear day.  Inside the visitor center they sell many items - including doughnuts which were surprisingly good.

Day 4:  Rocky Mountains & New Belgium Brewery

The main road going through Rocky Mountain National Park is Highway 34 - also known as Trail Ridge Road that runs 48 miles from Estes Park to Grand Lake.  This scenic road is quite amazing.  The valleys of the park are at an elevation of 6,    and the road inclines no more than 7% until it reaches 12,183 feet!.  11 miles of the road are above the tree line (11,500 feet) and the views of all sides of the road were breath taking!  There was one point, when you near the top, perhaps for about 40 feet - that there is nothing on either side of the road - well, just cliffs on both sides.  Once you are up that high, the environment is similar to that of the Canadian or Alaskan Arctic. The road closes from certain points in the late fall to late spring as the road conditions could be treacherous - so if you want to drive it, do check before heading out there.  We really lucked out and the road was open when we went.

Other items of interest in the park is the view of the Contenential Divide - where water draining either moves to the East or to the West - which also affect the landscape of the different sections of the mountains in the park.  There are several small glaciers and permanent snowcaps, 150 lakes, and 359 miles of trails.  Longs Peak is the highest peak in the park topping 14,259 feet and of course many animals can be seen including elk, big horn sheep and moose (we only saw elk).

Allow at least half a day to drive the roads (there is also the Old Fall River Road, with inclines up to 16% and tight curves) and if you are there for several days - hike!  The entry fee is $20 per 'regular' vehicle and is valid for 7 days.

Later that day we had a reservation at the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins.  This was a FREE tour that lasted about 90 minutes.  The tour includes some history and about 5 samples of beer throughout the tour (I think the sample size was about 5 oz).  The tour shows the different steps in the beer making process and ends with a ride down a slide (optional) and then time in the sampling room.  I did go down the slide :)  In the room, we were given more history about the beer we were sampling (varies by tour guide) and were allowed to write postcards to be sent by New Belgium (they pay for postage!).

Day 5:  Anheuser-Bush Tour & Denver Breweries

Anheuser-Bush in Fort Collins was huge.  A drastic change from New Belgium.  Although the process for beer making is somewhat similar, it was just done on a much larger scale with several variations.  This FREE tour was also about 90 minutes.  We started with seeing the Clydesdales and ended sampling beer at the end in their large hospitality tasting room/patio.  We were able to taste 4 beers (although I don't think they were counting).  I elected not to take the first of Bud Light Lime, since I do not like that - and started off with 11 oz Michelob Ultra (Michelob Light I liked from my taste test), then went to Budweiser, a quick taste of the Bacardi Sangria and then a sample of blueberry beer.

Later that day we headed to Denver.  Denver has a lot of Micro-Breweries.  We probably tried 4 of 5 of them.  I am not a beer connoisseur, and some of them I had a hard time drinking, others were pretty good.

Day 6:  Corn Maze & Head Home
Somehow I screwed up this day - I made an appointment for a free tour at the Denver mint - but of course they are not open on the weekends, so I am not sure how I thought that it worked.  I was very disappointed to realize, at the last minute, that we were unable to go.  So we headed to Littleton where the Denver Botanical Gardens has another location that they use for special seasonal events - such as the corn maze.  The corn maze is 8 acres and one of the most attended mazes in the country.  The maze was $10 for adults.  I grew up near an apple picking/pumpkin picking farm that also did corn mazes (not this big) and they 'haunt' it at night - so this stop wasn't a brand new experience for me, but it was still a lot of fun.  I mean, what isn't fun about trying to find your way out of a corn maze?  I can see how younger kids (teenagers) would have a fantastic time trying to find their friends or compete to get out first.   Unfortunately for me, I fell - at probably the safest thing I did all week - and sprained my ankle.  Lucky for me however, that it was the last day of vacation!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've fallen and I can't get up

I had a fantastic trip (post to follow) but on my last day, I somehow fell and sprained my ankle.  I felt really bad that we were not able to finish the corn maze due to my injury.  This was a first for me, I never broke a bone or twisted an ankle.  I think I jammed a finger a few times playing basketball - but other than that, this was amongst my 'worst' injuries! 

I don't know how I fell - and it happened so fast but in slow motion. I remember when my foot touched the ground - I knew right away I was going to fall.  And it hurt.  At first I was speechless.  Then I whimpered 'ouch, oh that hurts' or something. I don't know.  Anne came rushing over and I was able to get up after a little bit.  Flying with a new injury was not easy.  My ziplock bag of ice started leaking and I could not get comfortable in the small area. I wobbled for the next few days.  At first the swelling wasn't too bad, but by the next day, it was like I had a baseball protruding under my skin.  Day 3 I went to the doctor and he gave me an anti-inflammatory which really helped reduce the swelling and prescribed me an air cast.  However, an air cast is a 'durable medical good' and therefore, obtaining one according to my insurance company benefits is harder than it seemed.  The pharmacy, even though they had it, would not give it to me unless I wanted to pay out of pocket.  If I wanted it covered, I had to go to select offices - mostly orthopedic or prosthetic places - and by the time I got there the offices closed!  Instead I've been ace bandaging it up.  The anti-inflammatory really messed with me after the first take - I was nauseous and dizzy for my commute to work.  On day 5, I am happy to report my swelling is about 1/3 of what it was!  I am walking a lot better but it is still very sore and keeps me up at night.

If this picture doesn't look too bad to you - I would like to tell you my ankles are my best feature. I have very small ankles and thin bottom legs.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 11 - Something people seem to compliment you the most on

There are times I look middle eastern.  I have dark skin that tans easily and depending on how my eyebrows are shaped, I tend to get a lot of  "are you Egyptian" "are you Iranian" "are you Jordan".  When I was living in NJ, one of the only two states in the US that mandates gas attendants pump your gas, I asked one of the men, after asking me if I was middle eastern, why he thought so.  He said it was my eyes.  Others have since said it too.

Growing up I heard my older relatives say "she has such big brown eyes" and later on my godfather said "brown eyes tell emotion".

I don't really see it.  Eyes are eyes...but I guess I got a good set, even if I am nearing legally blind.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blog game

I guess the first part of playing a game is learning the rules. I'll state them for you. I, being "tagged", now get to answer questions asked of me by the tagger. When I'm done I am supposed to ask 8 questions of 8 other bloggers and they do the same BUT denise makes her own rules and I am not tagging who ever wants to play, just copy and post.   And of course, I didn't read Denise's full post when responded, so I have 16 questions...since she asked DIFFERENT ones, and I already answered the first 8.  hahah.  lesson learned: reply soon after reading post...not weeks later.

1. If you could travel anywhere, all expenses paid and everything included, where would you go?

This is hard because I want to see everywhere.  Can I do a trip around the world for this answer?  My current top five:  Egypt, Greece, Australia, Peru and Italy.

2. Do you believe in love at first sight?

No.  I think love at first sight is really infatuation or attraction at first sight. Sure there may be some chemicals bouncing around, but how can it be love?  For me, love takes time.  Maybe I am a little old fashioned, but there are things you need to learn and know about someone before you can love them.  I believe that the arranged marriages that went from resentment to love is a fabulous example that love can grow.  I believe that you can met someone and not be sure if you like them, and then realize you love them later on.  I believe that you can be very much attracted to someone...but once you get to know them you realize you don't like them.  I have never believed I (or a friend) would see someone across the street, eyes lock and know you'd spend the rest of your days together.  That happens in movies.  Movies are not real.

3. If you could meet someone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I have no idea.  I'll post about this separately when I come up with an answer.

4. Name your favorite movie, favorite TV show and favorite song {of the moment }.

Movie: I worked in a video store for a few years in high school, so a favorite movie is tough.  I really love the American President. Now, when I am home cleaning or doing something and I just want background noise I'll pop in a movie I own (not many) such as Wedding Planner or Legally Blond. No thinking required.   I can watch Shawshank Redemption over and over.

TV show:  Again, I watch too much TV.  I loved LOST. That is over.  I currently love How I Met Your Mother and NCIS.

Favorite song:  Innocent Man by Billy Joel.
5. Did you ever leave Facebook or thought of leaving it?

Absolutely.  I had a myspace page for all of 5 months.  I deleted it. I didn't want to get on the Facebook bandwagon...but I eventually got caught up in that too.  Then I became addicted to it.  I still visit it and look at status updates and pictures once in a while, but overall, I am not as crazy with it as I used to be.  It is great in the way that I was able to catch up with people I haven't seen in many years because I will not go to my HS reunion.  I have no desire to have coffee with an old friend.  But an email? That I can handle. 

6. What are your beauty staples?

I tend to just wear eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara.  I don't wear foundation because I have very sensitive skin and have broken out from being allergic to many.  I have considered trying mineral makeup but have not yet- since I don't need foundation in the summer anyway because I have a nice tan glowing face.  I used to be obsessed with chapstick, but got off that when I realized they make it addictive.  Two years ago for my New Years Resolution I decided to help get me out of my depression I would put in effort to look better.   I started to straighten my hair (I do like my hair straightener and use that 1 or 2 times a week), buy some new clothes, put on makeup, start wearing contacts again (had to give up contacts for about a year with all the constant crying).  These things did make a bit of a difference, and  I think I am pretty low maintenance - overall.  There are times when I think I fall into a rut and not taking care of myself.

7. Sauna or jacuzzi/hot tub?

Hot tub. I love the pressure of the water coming out of the jets on my back and feet.  But I do have a problem with the length of time I can stay in a tub.  No more than 10 minutes, unless I have company.

8. What is your life's motto?

People give advice, but advice won't be taken.  Lesson needs to be learned on your own.  OK, so it isn't a motto, but I have realized this over the last few years.

Now, Denise's questions (the only ones I was supposed to answer)

1. What do you lose most often? Your phone? Your keys? Your mind...? And where is it usually hiding.

I loose money.  Sure, I have a wallet and a purse, but I don't like carrying them if I am running out for something simple and easy or where there will be big crowds.  I stuff things in my pockets - and then it falls out.  If I do this, I also tend to keep 'emergency' money in my bra with a credit card - because you always need money to get you home.
2. What was your first job? Did you like it? And what was one thing you learned from it you still use in your current big(er) person job?

My first job was at a video store.  I blogged about it here.  I learned a very valuable money counting trick at this store.  Count up.  Don't rely on the cash register to tell you how much to give back.  I do it all the time (not at my current job) when I am out and about.
3. Favorite book(s)?

I read a lot.  See my "books" page.  My favorite book had to have been the Inferno when I was in college. I really got into that. 
4. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

I love that I am analytical and strategic.  That I think logically.
5. What's your favorite thing about me? (ha ha ha, I have to ask, I'm a curious lass)

I like that you are open about your depression and self analyze yourself so well.
6. Cats or dogs? What's your favorite? Why? If neither, what is your favorite pet type animal?

If I had to pick between cat or dog, I would go with Dog. I don't like that cats jump all over everything (counter, stove, etc).  My grandmother had about 10 that doesn't help win their case.  I am allergic to both cats and dogs, but I think cats is worse.  Dogs it seems to be only if I pet and then touch my face.  However, I don't really like dogs too much either.  Can I vote for a pet rock?
7.  Any tattoos? Attach a photo if you're brave.

I do not have any tattoos, and no immediate need to get one.
8. What is one skill you don't have that you’d like to learn?

There are a lot of things I would like to learn.  I would like to learn to sew (I have attempted, even took a class once), I would look to cook a lot better, I would like to have a skill that can land me an amazing job and pay handsomely for it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 10 - Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know

How can I really answer someone that I wish I didn't know? I think we meet people for reasons. 

Are they a gateway for you to meet someone else? I joined a book club with this girl Michelle that I was friends with.  Through the bookclub I met 3 fabulous women that I love.  I met other fantastic ladies too, but these three women mean so much to me.  Michelle and I are no longer friends...but because of her, I met these people, the people that are supposed to be my friend. 

Are they a reason to learn a lesson?  Enough said about SI in the last few days (and I could have written about him for someone I need to let go, but chose not to) but I don't wish I didn't know him.  It is because of him I learned a lot about myself, learned how to be in a relationship, etc.  I also learned valuable lessons in love because of him.  He was needed in my life.

Are they people you don't like because they make you evaluate yourself?  We all know someone who is so judgemental that they make you question yourself.  They help us face our fears.  Sure, it is not ideal, but they are there for a purpose, to make you a better person.

Is it someone who teased you?  I have been teased and tortured. It was horrible, but again, I learned from it. 

Is it the ex-boyfriends?  No, you needed them to learn.  To show you new emotions. To provide knowledge of the opposite sex.  To teach you about other people, yourself and how to compromise.  To start thinking about other people, and not just yourself.

Is it that lazy or rude co-worker?  Every job I have there are people I don't like there.  There are also employees jobs I don't work at, but frequent (county office, school, retail, HR, etc) that employee stupid or mean people.  You wonder how they get these jobs and you can't.  You wonder how they keep their job with that kind of turn-around or attitude.  It mystifies me.  But again, they make you persistent.  They make you dig around and learn things because it isn't given to you on a silver platter.  They are helping make you a smarter.

So far, I have not found someone in my life that I wished I didn't know.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My top five pictures

A few blog friends have done this and I also wanted to take the "challenge", which is to post my favorite 5 pictures and then tell you 5 things about myself.

Tent Rocks, New Mexico 2007

I went to New Mexico for a work trip and took a few extra days off to do my own thing. After a lot of research, I found a few places I wanted to go. Kasha-Katuwe was not a very common place online - in fact, my ENT told me he went there and he highly recommended it. I am so glad I went there. The trip was important for me since it was my first time doing things for me and learning about me, as an adult. At Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument I exerted myself physically and it felt amazing. The hiking to the top was a challenge and I was so proud of myself making it.

Beijing China, March 2005
At our hotel we had this amazing garden. It was breathtakingly beautiful with the architecture, water and bridges. I woke up early one morning before our class event to take a peak. I was a traditional New Yorker minding my own business taking in the beauty and thinking how lucky I was that I was able to experience that, until the relentless Chinese kept asking me to dress up. I kept saying no, but then I thought - why not? When would I ever get to do something like this? I couldn't convert the currency in my head and have no idea how expensive this was...especially because they changed my outfit half way through. But I am so glad I did it, something so different.

Death Valley CA, February 2007
I needed to get away for a little bit after SI and I broke up.  I was a walking zombie so I took a trip out west to explore Death Valley and the Grand Canyon.  I was amazed by the natural beauty of Death Valley. It was so remote, so desolate.  I really thought about things and asked SI to come out there and marry me in Vegas.  Of course he did not.  But the trip helped me.  I am not sure how exactly since I didn't find peace, I didn't marry him, nor did I get over him.  But it afforded me a great place to cry in peace and helped me learn how to travel alone.  Every time I see this picture I am reminded that the world is huge and I have only seen a teeny part of it.  There is so much out there and I know that when I need to think and time to myself, I know that I can find solace in going away and exploring new areas.

Shooting Range, Long Island NY, July 4, 2005
SI and four of his friends took me to the shooting range.  I LOVED it.  What an experience.  I shot so many different kinds of guns, including an AK47, a few other rifles, a hand gun, a revolver, and this HUGE heavy gangster like gun.  It was exhilarating being out there and shooting the target.  I hit my target quite a few times at the farthest distance.  I kept the target and a few shells and put in in my scrapbook (which I gave up custody of when I moved out).  I was proud of myself for doing so well even though I knew I would since I assumed I would go into law enforcement at some point in time.  

Hamptons NY,  Summer 2006
I have three wonderful sisters and four almost sisters.  These extension of my family was the family that lived next store.  Our family is older, but we all get along so well.  One day at the beach, we decided to have a little fun and attempted a pyramid.  It was such a fantastic day. I am so grateful that I have so many ladies that I can talk to about anything. The parents are awesome too.  I can't believe I have known them for nineteen years. It has been amazing watching all of us grow.

5 Things About ME:
1. I gave up drinking for 6 years after I went out on a Friday, kissed three guys at a bar thinking it was the same guy (it wasn’t)...and was still hung over on Monday and called in sick to work. (2001 - 2007)

2. I have a huge fear of bugs, I can not kill them, so I cover them up with cups and wait around for someone to come over to flush them.

3. I have wanted to get laser eye surgery since HS when one of my teachers had it done, and when my vision finally evened out, and after I saved up for it...I found out I wasn't eligible. :( contacts & glasses for life woo-whoo. Hopefully technology will keep advancing so I may still have hope.

4. I have NEVER smoked a cigarette or have done any drugs.

5. I hate sneezes & snot.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 09 - Someone you didn't want to let go, but you just drifted

A nice surprise - this post is NOT about SI!  Woot!

In college I became really good friends with this girl, T, who lived down the hall freshman year.  I soon transferred out of that college but visited this girl occasionally on weekends.  After we graduated, we were spending a lot of time together, especially in the summer.  Her mom was very ill and passed away and I think that brought our relationship even closer.  I always had a wonderful time with her, her family and her friends.   I was there through all her boy stories and troubles (SI and I would love reading about all the drama and think we were so happy to not deal with that!).  She started dating a new guy - and we even did a weekend ski trip together as couples.  I didn't really 'see' them together.  He is not who I pegged her to be with, and so many things seemed off.  But she was happy and therefore so was I.  Unfortunately, my sudden breakup with SI came at a really bad time, as she just got engaged the month before.  Of course I was happy for her, but when she kept asking me to go to Bridal shows, I couldn't.  And I thought it was very unreasonable for her to get mad that I couldn't do it.  I mean, here I was two months later, a complete mess.  Realizing I wouldn't be getting married anytime soon...that I was single. I WAS happy for her, but I didn't want to be a part of the planning.  Forgive me.  Try talking about your babies to someone who can't get pregnant or had a miscarriage - it isn't easy.  We slowed down in our talking over the next year, and I only saw her once.  Her wedding was beautiful, of course.  A little over the top elegant if you ask me. And we never spoke since.  I honestly dont' remember if I even got a thank you card.

One of her guy friends is my friend on facebook and has my cell, so occasionally he asks about me.  Why didn't I go to her bday party? Why didn't I go X, he had hoped to see me.  I missed her a lot in the beginning, but now, not so much.  Its been 3 years.  Our mutual friend does not fill me in on her life, and that is OK, I don't ask either. I don't really want to know.

UPDATE: A weird turn of events.  I pre-wrote this message when I was going to be away.  And I received an email from her on Oct 12th.  Very vague, asking if we can meet up for dinner in NYC one night.  I haven't written back yet. I am not good at rekindling relationships.  Last time I tried, the girl never apologized and talked and I was very uncomfortable.  And if T is reaching out now b/c she is pregnant or something, then it would be like she is rubbing it in my face with how great her life has been, when mine has been horrible.  So, I am not sure if I will agree to this.  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A few of my FAVORITE things, part 2

I don't use it very often, but I love the pampered chef can stainer.  It is made from a durable plastic, washes easily, and of course is easy to use.  I drain beans and olives the most.  Pampered chef has other great gadgets.  If you are ever invited to a party but don't want to spend a lot of money, there have some affordable things.  The can drainer is $5.

I tend to eat eggs, cream of wheat or cereal for breakfast.  However I realized that most cereals do not hold me over and I am hungry fairly early in the morning.  Then I found Quaker Oatmeal Squares.  I love this cereal and just recently bought 8 boxes when they were on sale.  The cereal stays fairly in shape/hard when you eat it.  I love the brown sugar one, but the cinnamon isn't that bad either.  It also makes a great snack or you can sprinkle it in yogurt. 

A few years ago, the Container Store came out with the life hammer.  I picked one up for about $15.  You are supposed to keep this in a place you can reach it in your car, and in the event of an emergency, the life hammer can shatter the windows, or cut the seat belt so you can exit the car (provided you can move). I loved this so much, that it was my Christmas present to my sisters.  Now that I just got a car, I have to be sure to remember to put it in the care.  They also make a smaller keychain version for the same price.

Stana Katic's plays detective Kate Beckett on ABC's Castle.  I really liked her hair last season (season 2).  It has grown a bit now and I don't like it as much, but last year I thought I should style mine similar to hers.  Her wardrobe also took a turn for something I don't consider detectives wearing on a regular basis, including stilettos. The show is still good.  If you haven't seen it, check it out. I think Natan Fillion is adorable on the show.

Last in this segment of favorites is my rain coat by Vineyard Vines.  I received this rain jacket from SI or his family about 7 years ago.  The jacket keeps me dry and is light weight, although when it is humid out, I do sweat and feel stuck to the jacket when prying it off my arms.  SI's sister started working for this really small company long ago and we were able to get a nice discount.  I have watched strangers on the train sport their ties, shoppers in NYC carrying their totes, and some products being sold in retail stores as well as a few of their own stores.  Also, their clothing line has probably tripled in the last 8 years.  Vineyard Vines is known for their small repeating patterns and casual preppy yacht club look.  Way back in the day, they were virtually unheard of and I was wearing them, making me somewhat 'fashionable' for the first time, ever.  I have two classic totes, this great jacket, a sash, two tee shirts, flip flops and pajama pants.  Now, before you head over to there site, I will warn you, some items are expensive.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pot Luck Ideas

Last  year a few of my mom's friends and family friends decided to get together for dinner.   Our first dinner was ordered in.  We had such a great time, that we wanted to schedule something every month, and decided to start a potluck so it wouldn't be so expensive and so one person didn't have to make a huge dinner.  A year and a half later it has been a success!  Of course we miss months, but that happens with every one's schedules.  We try to rotate the food: Main Courses, Sides, Dessert, Drinks.  But since there are generally 6-9 of us, there is always more than enough food.

I wish I had thought about keeping a log of the theme's we picked and will be better going forward.

August 2009 - Tapas (I made potatoes with pink sauce and hot spicy shrimp)
September 2009 - Pie (I made a deep dish pizza)
October 2009 - One Pot/Pan Dishes (I made an Oreo ice cream cake)
November 2009 - Childhood Favorites (I made mac & cheese)December 2009 - Cookie Swap - we made cookies instead of having a regular potluck

January 2010 - Breakfast (we went to the diner)

March 2010 - ? I don't remember
April 2010 - Italian
May 2010 - BBQ
June, July & August we didn't get together
September 2010 - Light Summer Fare
October 2010 - Fall Harvest (I made pumpkin cheesecake)
November 2010 - Soup & Sandwich

I like having a theme.  It really helps me try to be either creative or try something new.  In fact, I encourage people in our group to try new things - who cares if it comes out gross - at least you tried...and there is always plenty of food.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Come out come out where ever you are

Lately I have noticed that my hands are down my shirt a lot.  I realize I do this both when I am alone, and at times, in public.  I am not trying to feel myself up even though I know my breasts are huge and luscious and could be fun to play with.  Instead, I am constantly looking for that little tickle that drives me crazy.   A piece of hair.  Granted I shed my hair all the time, but in the last month, I have noticed my hair stuck on my boobs/bra/peaking out of my shirt more than usual.  I guess it is time to get a haircut.  Those little suckers annoy the crap out of me and I can't rest until I get it and pull it out and throw it on the floor (is that littering?)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 08 - Someone who has made your life hell or treated you like sh*t

I am a  broken record.  And I know you guys are tired of reading about SI.  But, considering the circumstances, he is the only person that fits under this statement.  Sure, in high school I had a few bad things done to me by other boys, but now 15 years later, I barely remember them.  Somethings seem bad at the time, but aren't so I can't really use those.   However, as much as I loved SI, he treated me like shit the last year we were together and for four years after that. 

I guess a few examples need to be given?  Where to start.  So we dated for 4 years.  At year two I decided to go back to college full time, and I worked per diem (but many weeks, it was full time).  At this time, I was consumed by homework and reading.  I told him to go hang out with his friends.  He did.  And he met a bartender.  They started dating.  Now, I am not sure why his friends didn't tell the bartender that he was dating & living with me 5 nights a week.  But this continued for 2 years, without my knowledge.  Sure, ask yourself how didn't I know.  One - I was super busy.   Two - there were times I had a feeling something wasn't right, but again, I was too busy.  Three - I trusted him.  Four - you tell me how easy it is to not know when you are in the same situation.  He sent me engagement ring shopping (I found a fabulous ring) with my mom and sister and took me to the jewelers a few times.  Anyway, so school was done, we buy a house in NJ we move and right away things were bad.  Nine months later I left when my fears became a reality.  I was shocked with how long they were together.  I was shocked that he gave her a credit card...and he always complained to me that he was broke, that he can't get ahead, it strained our relationship etc.  No wonder. I have copies of the Amex bills - with her daily CVS trips of $30, her shopping sprees of $300, and all the meals they ate out the once or twice a week he saw her...etc. 

The constant lying and manipulation is what is the worst.  You never know what to believe.  You are constantly doubting yourself and others.  Sure, I was never physically abused, but I'll tell you for 2 1/2 years he mentally abused me.  Sure this all came about because I up and left one day.  We didn't talk about it, which I deeply regret, because deep down, I do not think he would have left me at that point (maybe later). Anyway, during our breakup period was when he treated me the worst (before that I felt like I was on a pedestal...or that is what he intentionally did do I wouldn't leave).  This was the time I left but didn't want to, where I wanted him to get rid of her - and he claimed she was a psycho and wanted to end it but couldn't because she kept threatening things.  She claims they were engaged (this is when I lived in the house - and I certainly was NOT engaged).  We still saw each other somewhat regularly. I thought I was moving back in a few times.  He asked me to go away with him, we made plans...and then he'd take her. She moved into our house probably the week after I left. She packed up my things.  He said he needed to get a restraining order on her...but didn't.  He said he still loved me, but refused to prove to me she was out of the picture.  He'd send me flowers and call me 10 times a day at work begging me to be with him but yet, she still lived in my house.  He said she didn't live with him, but I received mail with 'offical' return labels. This continued for months, and eventually 2 - 3 years. 

At three years I basically gave up.  It was exhausting and no progress was being made in rectifying our situation.  I even bought a condo a few months prior and didn't tell him about it.  He kept saying we'd be together but he needed time.  More time?  So I blocked him.  But then I realized he still had things that were mine and I contacted him to get my school books back (I needed a statistics book that I couldn't find) .  Yes he had it. Yes, he would give it to me.  So we met up.  No book.  We met up again, no book.  Hook up.  I would constantly write emails or leave messages at work briefly explaining that if something happened to me (died) that SI was responsible for it.  I did not understand why he would constantly need to be in my life when he didn't want me. 

A few weeks ago it was our 4 year un-anniversary.  He told me he absolutely adored me, that I am amazing and he fears his life will not be complete with out me in it. That I was the best thing that happened to him, but he didn't know it or appreciate it at the time. That I was his 'one'.  That he was the happiest when we were together.  That he might never be truly happy without me.  But the catch - he doesn't want to try, too much has happened and he is too scared of it not working out.  What BS.  If you want something bad enough - it isn't even a question of fighting for it...hello - that is what I did for 3 years.  I fought and fought and fought till I probably looked like a fool.

I know it doesn't sound that bad...but you have no idea.  I have hundreds of emails of the psychological torture.  My old phone will full of texts and voicemails that had love all over it.  It was a viscous cycle that I was too caught up in that I didn't realize how bad it was until way way now I realize it. But it seems like that was from someone else.  When I think about SI, I think only about the guy I loved.  Not the other one.  I asked him once if he was diagnosed a multiple personality disorder or psychopath (he did fit that definition).  But when I see/talk to him...I don't see that.

If you are curious about the 'other' woman.  She was a high school graduate who became a stripper then a full time bartender.  She had fake dirty blond hair and a big nose that looked broken.  She was 6 years older than me, living in the basement of someones house and she was not close with her family.  She was taking a class or two at the community college 4 years ago when we corresponded.  I know McGriddle told me not to think of myself as better than other people...but come on.  Some people we are better than.  And trying to figure out why he'd love her and me the same is not really a mystery since we are so different.  I was the good housewife - she was the whore.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite

I am having cellulose insulation filled in my walls and bedroom ceiling.  I hope that this additional layer of stuff makes the noise harder to penetrate our thin walls.  For the last two years, since I have lived here, I have had the unfortunate issue of sleep disorders.  Most caused by outside noise, ie. neighbors.  Before living here, I did suffer some sleep problems too - sometimes it went from not being able to fall asleep to falling asleep with no problems but waking up in the middle of the night.  Of course stress could have played a factor, even if it was a very low level of stress.  Surprisingly, I am usually OK with the trains that pass in the middle of the night or the cars, but I wake up in an instant with a slamming door or foot steps from above.  This sleep deprivation has caused all sorts of problems - moodiness, lack of work production, irritability, exhaustion, weight gain, stress, you name it.  I try not to take pills and have not tried an OTC sleep aid for fear I'd have to take every night.  I did use ear plugs for a while, but those hurt the ears of extended use.  I then had to resort to only being able to fall asleep with my finger in my ear. 

So, I hope this works!  To prep my apartment, I had to empty all the closets and move the furniture.  Thank goodness yesterday was a holiday and I had time to do this as it took hours.  I ran out of places to hide my belongings...the tub, microwave (which is still broken) and stove were all full.  The men get here and it seems like we are off to a slow start.  Then they starting to put up all this plastic to help make clean up from all the dust easier. I feel like I am quarantined. I am 'trapped' in my kitchen.  They kept telling me I should leave, do some shopping or go get lunch.  But I don't...I have that issue of not fully trusting people, so I stay.  Although I am sure that nothing would be missing when I return.  So here I am in my kitchen, blogging about this...and it seems like they are having an issue with the hose to bring the insulation into the apartment...this day might never end. 

I am very much looking forward to seeing how this works.  They started to cut small holes so the insulation will fill the space between the studs, I would guess the holes are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.  I will measure later.  The cellulose fiber coming into the unit is not loud at all.

The first guy arrived at 10am.  They didn't start picking up the pace until about noon, when someone else got there.   So in all this process for my small 650 square foot place took 9 hours.

I am not sure how well the insulation will work - I am hoping I can sleep through the night.  Not wake up when she gets up.  Not wake up because she is talking on the phone.  If it still isn't enough, I will probably install another layer of Sheetrock in my bedroom ceiling with green glue. 

I feel I should mention bedbugs quickly, since it is in the name of the post.  The phrase my parents said growing becoming a new reality.  Back in the day, people slept in hay, and therefore bugs would bite them.  Now however we are facing a pandemic of the return of the bedbugs. I am petrified of bugs  and what could be worse then having them in your bed? Don't get me wrong, I am a realist and I know there are certain bugs that live in our bed/couches that eat our dead skin cells.  I am fine with that.  But these little guys that are like apple seeds, those suckers are hard to get rid of.  I haven't done my own research, but from what a co-worker who has them has told me is that even fumigating their house isn't enough.  They had to dispose of their mattress and other items.  They were also told that the bug could live up to one year with out eating.  One year! So they can be there and you don't even know it. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Biggest Regrets

Everyone has regrets.  Here are some of mine (in no order):

Not knowing how to go about getting my invention patented when I was in middle/high school.  Someone made millions.  Not me...but I should have.  Who overheard me?  *And since I have another one in my  head, I should act upon it before it is too late again.

Not sticking out all the science classes for my bachelor's degree so I would have had a science degree.  Instead I thought by year 3 that looking through a microscope all day for the rest of my life would have been torture.  I didn't see the bigger picture. I deeply regret that decision.

Went back to school for MBA.  I did it for the entirely wrong reason.  It has not been worth it, my salary stinks, my profession isn't ideal, I will be paying off the loan for way too many years.  I should have stuck with a CUNY or SUNY school or let your job pay for your education.  Save your money.

I should have bought the condo down the street from my grandmother.  Sure, parking was not ideal, but at the low price of 80,000 for a spacious 1 bedroom unit - I would have tripled that easily when I moved out.  If only I got on the real estate bandwagon before it burst.

Not have sex with Jackson.  Super cute guy from college I had a crush on. We made out.  I slept over.  But I was too new at sex that I didn't do it.  Why not?  Would anything have changed?

Give SI too much credit.  Be willing to take him back.  Waited 4 years for him to get his life in order when I didn't focus on mine.  I should have known long before when I didn't like his last name with my first name that it wouldn't work.  I should have known and trusted my guts before it got out of control.

Tried that new make up that totally reacted really badly to my skin causing me to go on Accutane for 6 months, thus providing me so much insecurity.  And then after that affected my triglycerides, my eating habits didn't got back to normal, and now, 9 years later, I weigh 15 pounds more than I should and I have a messed up liver.

Being rude to some people in school.  I never really teased anyone (that I am aware of) but I wasn't nice to a few of the 'losers' that had crushes on me.  Well, I said hi and stuff, but I wouldn't consider dating them.  Overall, I do not think anyone can remember me as a mean spirit - so I am happy about that, but I think I could have been nicer.  Especially after reading about so many kids hurting themselves and others because they do not know how to react to the bullying, so they overreact and kill.

Not having children before I was 30.  Let's add being married to that while I am at it.  My plan didn't go according to how I thought.   Now I will be an older parent or not a parent.  Tough considering it has been my only real desire since I was 22. And I was not in the right frame of mind or financially secure enough to take matters into my own hands from 27 - present.

Being 'too good' in high school, college and as an adult.  Fear of not having fun or experiencing life.  Being jealous of everyone else.

Even after obtaining MBA degree, when job searching I didn't go with job in my field, I didn't go with job that paid well.  I went with the job that was 'easy' and had flexibility so I could be happy at home.  Hey, it worked at the time...for 4 months.   And now 4 1/2 years later am having a very hard time finding something else.

Not listening to other people's advice. Having to figure some really hard stuff out on my own. Could have saved me a lot of time...but I do not think anyone really just listens, they have to figure it out themselves - which makes it a lesson learned.

Allowing a higher up co-worker inform HR that you were leaving the job...before you even knew and not doing anything about it.  Why would you just go with the flow based on what someone else assumed? You should have fought for yourself and stuck it out...and you would have been the companies youngest assistant branch manager and maybe your career would have been way better than it is now.

Do you have a biggest regret?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Childhood favorites carries on to adulthood

I'm not going to lie. I might sound a little childish.  But, I love chocolate milk and mac & cheese.  Not together of course but each separately. 

I can eat mac & cheese several times a week without getting bored with it.  I don't of course, I do try to eat a better, more balanced foods and eat it about once a month or twice, if I am lucky.  Sometimes I even make homemade mac & cheese that is my absolute favorite.   But for 50 cents a box...why wouldn't you eat the boxed kind? 

Growing up my parents bough Kraft on a regular basis.  When 'I grew up' I attempted to eat the Annie's Mac & Cheese, but I thought it was disgusting.  Ate it once, that was more than enough.  I went back to Kraft, but realized I would have to poop soon after eating it.  I then tried the generic, store bought A&P variety (I've had Stop & Shop too) and I have to say, I absolutely LOVE it.  I don't poop right after eating it, it has a nice consistency and it is cheaper. What more could I want?

Now, if you want to make the home made kind, it is a very vague recipe:
1) In a pot, boil water and cook pasta according to directions.  Approx. 3/4 of the box works well, but you could do the whole box.  Elbows or small shells work well.

2) In another pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons of flour over med-low heat.  Stir constantly until well combined and thick. 
Slowly add 1 cup of milk (skim milks works worst, but I use it all the time since that is what I drink).   I mean slowly.  Add a little at a time, and make sure it is mixed with the flour and butter.  You will see what I mean.  Once all the milk is added, the sauce mixture should be a good consistency, add milk or use less as you see fit. 
Add cheese.  I generally add Cheddar and a little bit of Mozzarella.  However, I do not have an amount to add, I go according to taste. I like to taste the cheese, so I am very generous about how much I add. 
Taste with salt and pepper (I do not add salt and pepper to my food, but in homemade mac & cheese, it IS a necessity to make it taste way better - you could do it once it is separated in bowls to fit each persons need.  But I would add some, and then add more later).  
Mix the pasta with the sauce.  I eat it like this, however - some people throw it in the oven (sometimes with bread crumbs) for a nice toasty top.

3) enjoy.  If you are going to re-heat (which I don't recommend) it tastes better heated up on the stove.  It is edible in the microwave, but just not as good, and the cheese seems to not melt evenly.

4) Of course you can add variations, different cheeses, add beef or peppers, etc.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 07 - Someone who has made your life worth living

I can't think of any one person that has made my life worth living.  I guess my family.  BORING answer, yes I know.  But my family is close and I love them.  Now that all my sisters have families, I really enjoy seeing the children growing and personalities develop and try to envision what they will be like as adults.  They are still the age where they love their family and aunt (me) and they give me a lot of attention.  I love showing and teaching them new things or helping them with projects.  I also love the elementary school drama.  I do not think their lives would change much if I wasn't in the picture.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Retail Therapy

I feel like these last seven days have been horrible, I've had the worst luck.  Well, that should not come as a surprise to you, since you've been reading ranting posts.  I am sure you wonder if I am bi-polar.   Yesterday was just as bad.  I had scheduled an appointment for this Wednesday to have cellulose insulation blown into my walls and bedroom ceiling of my apartment.  I met the guy two months ago.  He seemed great. Professional.  BUT, after that first meeting, everything has been crappy.  His 'proposal' was an email I that consisted of 2 lines and left me asking about 15 questions.  I told him a month ago I needed his workers-comp insurance and reminded him yesterday to find out that he had a temporary one and needs to reschedule to next week.  This is a problem for me since I will be away about 10 days and need this done before our next board meeting.  So do I get it done when I am gone (my dad will go over) so while I am packing...I am also emptying all my closets and moving furniture (then come back to a disaster?) UGH UGH UGH.  Between the job interview and this....I was so agitated. 

I hate my suits - and I have two business meetings coming up so I decided a little retail therapy would be helpful last night and since I have a car to run errands mid week...I did.  90% of my clothes are from Ann Taylor Loft but I need something different so I tried Dress Barn.  I remember my Mom shopping there when we were younger.  I can't believe I am frequenting her store!  I printed a 20% off coupon and ended up spending $300 I don't have in jackets and shirts.  I will end up returning somethings, but I couldn't make up my mind...I will have to put on a fashion show for my Mom or sisters to get their opinions.   Then I headed over to Kohls.  I am not a huge fan of the way Kohls clothes fit, but my sister had a 30% off coupon so I stole my Mom's Kohls card to use the coupon if I found anything.  They didn't have a skirt in my size, so I checked out purses.  Ten years ago, I was the anti-purse girl.  On my second date with SI we went to the movies and we left...and I realized I left my purse in the theater! I had to go back and get it, and he didn't understand how a woman could forget a purse, but I never used one before, I just shoved things in my pockets.  Now that I work in the city, I need a bag to carry my lunch, book, etc so I have bags.  But one caught my eye in Kohls, so I looked and found two I liked.  Total was $19.48 - savings of about $80!  How could I not get them? They are small. I like writslets.

Then I headed over to Marshalls.  I hate stores where you have to look through all the racks.  But I haven't been in one in a long time and it was right there.  I ended up getting a storage bowls, a 3-d tick tac toe game, a small hour glass.  Then I headed into Bed Bath and Beyond and got my Mom her birthday present: an iron.  She also wanted dish towels and this dish drying mat thing so I picked that up, but I still have to go to Macy's to get some 'pasta' bowls.  Then some of her Christmas presents will be done too. 

I spent way too much money, but I felt better...and now I have a reason to go run errands next week: returns.

Monday, October 4, 2010

These are the best years of my life?

Who said the 30's are the best years of your life?  Clearly, they are not living in my shoes.  I think they assume by 30 one is settling down.  You had your late teens/early twenties to have fun.  Your mid-late twenties to find a suitor and marry them, and probably start having kids.  By your 30s they assume that you have worked some place you like and make a really good salary, so when your mid 30's come and so does baby #2 or #3 you can stay at home with them, if you want to.  By 40 you are done chasing after little ones, getting better sleep, financially stable, have wonderful friends, etc.

Well, my mid twenties so far were my best years, and they weren't even that good.  I am hoping my 40s are my 'settling down' years.  So, I am a decade late, but I am sure not still partying it up like I am 20.   I was fast asleep at 9:15pm on Saturday night.  Sad.  Really sad.  I have a lot of work to do in the next 8 1/2 years...find a guy, get pregnant, maybe start my own business?  Seems simple enough, but after 4 years of being single, I did not find one potential keeper out of my whopping 6 dates.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What kind of morons work for you?

Dear Mr. G,

I would like to express my sincere disappointment in your district and the employees that work for you.  I recently applied to a posting for an opening and received a call within days since I am super qualified for the position.  When the lady called me at 3:50pm, before I was finishing up my work, and asked for an interview for 12:30pm the next day, I was shocked that such short notice was given and I asked if there were any other times or days I could go in.  The answer was NO.  I called back to confirm I can make it, after I decided I would call in sick to my current job, which as you see on the resume is in New York City.  I spent the evening preparing questions, surfing your website, deciding on an outfit, and deciding if I was offered the position if it was in fact something I would accept.  I came up with a fantastic answer to why I would accept a position that was easier and less interesting than my current job.  I woke early this morning to further prepare for this last minute interview and was astonished when the phone rang to CANCEL my interview claiming that the posting was an internal posting only.  This vital information is NOT on the posting so how was I to know that I would not be eligible?  Additionally, what kind of morons work for you that screen the resumes.  Clear on the front page states my current employer is NOT you.  How oh how did my resume make it past the initial review?  I should be flattered that my skills and knowledge blurred your vision, but I called in sick, taking a day I don't really have for this...and you cancel on me?!?  Unfortunately, even if I did the walk of shame back to work in the POURING rain, I would have been at work for 4 hours.  Not quite worth it.  I am pissed off that you think this behavior is acceptable.  I am quite happy that it didn't work out because I can not work for people that do not value perspective employees or current ones for that matter.